Fuji sits in his room, staring at the picture in his hand. The edges of the photo are worn, lines creasing the middle. He’s carried it ever since it was taken, on the day the club went to the top of Mount Fuji to watch the sunrise.

It’s the only picture he’s ever taken of Ryoma, the only time the freshman has ever stood still long enough to allow his image to be captured.

His hands tighten. Ryoma is elusive and aloof. No one can get close to him, and Fuji is no exception to this.

He’s tried everything. He’s left hundreds of text messages and voicemails on Ryoma’s phone, hoping that one day Ryoma might return one. But he never does.

Fuji has sent him cards and chocolates for every possible holiday, but has never gotten a single thank you. Or an acknowledgment that Ryoma has ever received the cards.

And he’s followed Ryoma, learned his schedule like the back of his hand, and he’s taken every opportunity that presented itself to initiate conversation. But, every time, Ryoma finds a way to excuse himself and Fuji is left staring after him.

Fuji hates that he’s reduced himself to this–to pining after a man who doesn’t notice he exists. That he’s begun to live for tennis simply to have Ryoma’s attention focused on him because it’s the only time he looks at him twice.

He wants more from Ryoma, but all of his attempts fall short. And it starts to feel natural–after all, he’s not the kind of person anyone should try to make a life with. It hurts to admit that, but it’s true.

There’s too much darkness in him, too much pain. And Ryoma deserves more than that. He deserves to be happy.

He stares at the photo. In it, Ryoma is smiling and carefree. It’s the only time he’s ever seen Ryoma happy.

And even knowing his own shortcomings, he finds himself wishing that he was the one who put the smile on Ryoma’s face.

Drabbles Index

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