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Fuji and Tezuka sat in the gardens of the King on a sunny day. The people who worked and lived at the castle weren't allowed to spend time there, but he King didn't mind if his most trusted people were there to enjoy the nice weather. Eiji was working and he talked with his two friends for a little, but he didn't have much time. In summer he had a lot to do to make sure the gardens would look perfect!
The King himself was ill at the moment. If he had been healthy he would probably have been there himself, with some friends or his wife. At those moments no one else was allowed to be around. But he was in bed with a cold and Tezuka and Fuji didn't mind at all. Now they didn't have any duties and they could enjoy the weather together for once.
They were sitting on a nice bench, watching the fountain that was in the middle of the grass and the trees.
'It's so beautiful here,' sighed Fuji. 'I don't think I have ever seen a great place like this. Not even in the future or in someone's history. This is really something special.'
Tezuka nodded. He had never really spend time in this place either, since he was always busy with helping the King. They watched how one of the King's personal servants was playing with his kids and the water of the fountain.
'Makes me wish I could have had such a place where I could go with my family,' mumbled Fuji. 'Times like this make me miss them and I wish I could have grown up in a way like that. With my parents.'
'It hasn't been bad, right? ' asked Tezuka. 'Your youth.'
'It wasn't bad indeed,' said Fuji. 'It was rather nice to be honest, but going out and have some fun with your with your mom or dad or siblings must be nice. And then you always have somewhere to go to if you have problems or anything. I just wish I had something like that.'
'Do you remember what your parents were like?' Tezuka asked.
'Yeah, a little,' said Fuji. 'But it could be I made that all up. Fake memories, since I don't want to look in the future or in their history. But my mother was a really kind woman who loved her kids and other people as well. My sister was a lot like her. She was a few years older than I am, but she always played with me and Yuuta like we were of the same age. Yuuta was always frowning and he took everything much more serious than I did or my mom or sister. I think he looked more like my dad, although I don't remember much of my dad.'
'He was the one who brought you here,' said Tezuka.
'I remember that, but that was mostly because of his own interests,' sighed Fuji. 'He got money from the King and not just that, he had gotten rid of me, that is what he really wanted. I think he was a little scared of me, because I might figure all his secrets out. I did do that, but wasn't until I was about twelve when I did so.'
'Why does a father want to get rid of his kids if they will find out their secrets?' asked Tezuka. 'Must be something terrible he did then.'
'He often took me to the market. I really liked it there, since there were so many interesting people and so many things to buy. But we often went to houses of people and he knocked and went in there, but I always had to wait outside. He was always in there for about half an hour and sometimes even longer. As a young kid I hardly had the patience to wait for him, so sometimes I walked around a little and once I even went to get a book from a store. I could borrow it. I never knew what he was doing there, but later I remembered he always went to women, not ever to a man, so I guess I know what he was up to.'
Tezuka didn't know what to say, so he stayed silent and looked at his friend, encouraging him to continue.
'When he found out I could see the future and the past he was afraid I would say something about it to my mother. He probably didn't want her to find out and since I didn't know it was secret what he was doing there, he thought I might accidently spill out what was going on and break up our family. I think he loved my mom, I know he was always really kind to her, like she was kind to him. I just don't really understand him. Or actually, understood him. He might have changed by now.'
'Is that a good reason to get rid of your own son, never seeing him again?' Tezuka asked.
'Not just me seeing the future, but of course also the fact that he had depts. I don't know what he bought or if he had to pay those women money for the things they did for him, but selling me probably made him earn lots. I just hoped he shared it with my mother and siblings.'
The cat Yuuta had found his way to the garden. Normally he wasn't allowed there either, since the guests wouldn't like such a scruffy cat to walk around, but now it wasn't a problem. It was hard to keep the old animal away from Fuji.
'What is your family like?' Fuji asked.' I know you're a lot like your dad, but I hardly ever saw your mother. Do you have any other family members?'
'I look a lot like my father indeed, but my mother is very different,' Tezuka answered. 'She is probably a lot like your mother. She is kind and friendly to everybody, but she is also a hard worker and someone who will fight for her family. I don't see her too often either, but whenever she has the chance she will come to see me and my father.'
'She must miss the two of you,' Fuji said with a smile. 'It's sad that you can't see her too often either. Do you miss her?'
'A little,' answered Tezuka. 'When I see that father with his kid I also wish I could have been like that with my parents and I still wish I could see them a little more often, but I don't really miss my mother. I see her at least once a month and if I hadn't lived at the castle it wouldn't have been that much of a difference. I might have left the house by now and started to work for myself, so then I wouldn't have seen them that much either.'
'That is true, but you could also have worked together with your father and you could have seen him every day. Your mom too.'
'I see my father everyday now too. I learned almost everything I know from him and he all learned it from his father. I think it was supposed to be like this.'
'Your grandfather, did he pass away?' Fuji asked carefully. 'I never heard you talk about him, nor your father.'
'He did pass away,' said Tezuka. 'When the old King died he was suddenly gone. I was still too young to understand, but my father said he wasn't around anymore. But there is no grave for him on the graveyard, so I don't know where they buried him.'
'It's too bad you don't know that. We could have visited his grave and pay our respects,' sighed Fuji. 'Do you want me to see where they buried him?'
'No, it's fine, I hardly knew him and I think it's better this way. They said my dad looked a lot like him, so I guess I look a lot like him too. Knowing that is enough for me.'
'I see,' said Fuji. 'Life here is never easy for people, ne? Did your parents meet here at the castle?'
'They did, but they didn't both work here,' answered Tezuka. 'My dad worked here, with my grandfather as the advisor of the King. The old King that is. He got visitors from another country and my mom was one of the maids that helped the Queen of that other country to get comfortable around here. They saw each other once, but they both knew they were supposed to be together. My mother did go back to the other country, but when that Queen came to visit again, she joined as well and never left anymore.'
'Sounds so romantic,' sighed Fuji. 'Love at first sight. Your father doesn't look like a person who could fall in love at first sight, but I guess appearance doesn't say it all. But we know there is still hope for you then!'
Fuji laughed as Tezuka looked confused at him. 'I mean you can still find yourself a nice woman, even if you don't find the perfect girl here at the castle. It happened to your father, it might happen to you too!'
'That would be too much of a coincidence,' answered Tezuka.
'No, that is called fate,' said Fuji. 'You can't help it when it happens!'
'I'm not so sure anymore if I want a girlfriend,' sighed Tezuka. 'I see the King has a lot of trouble with the Queen and I don't want to become like that. Or like my parents, who only see each other in the evening and sleep in the same room. Other than that they hardly see each other. What is good about such a relationship? You can't enjoy your life together. Isn't that what marriage should be about.'
'That's the only reason you don't want to marry?' Fuji asked. 'I'm sure your mother and father are really happy those short moments they are together. I mean, the less time you have, the more special it is. I'm sure they will do anything to see each other every day. It was probably worse when they were younger, otherwise you wouldn't have been here!'
Tezuka blushed. He didn't want to think about things like that! Nor did he want to think about himself in such a position.
'Maybe I like guys better too,' he said suddenly. Fuji opened his eyes and stared at his friend.
'What makes you think so?'
'I thought about it since the last time we talked about it and I don't really dislike the thought of being with another man. I don't like it too much either, but that's the same for a relationship with a woman. I'm not really craving that either.''You really don't have to worry about such things,' smiled Fuji. 'When you will fall in love, you will know and you will know it's alright, no matter who you will fall for.'