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Fuji did leave quickly. Two days later he was ready. He had searched for the place where his family lived and he had packed a few things he needed. Some clothes, a bit of food and a little money. It would take him about a day to go there. If they wouldn't accept him he would have to stay a night at an inn.
Tezuka didn't like it. He didn't want his boyfriend to be on his own in a place he didn't know. So much could happen to him and without his ability he might not be able to find a way to escape. Fuji was a little angry when Tezuka told him and he replied that he wasn't that weak and that he would be fine. He would find an inn before dark and that he would lock the door.
When Tezuka was sure Fuji would take good care of himself he allowed him to leave, although he didn't really have a say in that. Fuji would go if he wanted to. And so he did. He was a little nervous to go out on his own, but he wasn't going to tell Tezuka that.
He left with a high spirit and the hope that his family would be glad to see him again after so many years. He had to walk, so he left early when almost everyone was still in bed. Tezuka walked the first part with him, until they left the walls of the city. They said goodbye at the gate and Fuji promised he would be back in four days. He made Tezuka promise that he wouldn't start searching for him. They would both get lost and they might never see each other again.
'That doesn't sound very promising,' said Tezuka with a sigh.
'I know, but you're an important man!' said Fuji. 'You help ruling this country! The country needs you, so do your job and don't worry about me. I'll be back in a few days.'
They shared a long kiss and a hug before Fuji walked away.
'Look forward to what will happen when I come back,' he shouted at his boyfriend. He could see Tezuka was shaking his head, probably wondering why he had ever fallen for a man like Fuji.
The Seer enjoyed his journey a lot. He was only gone for a few minutes when he met a farmer who was heading the same way. He was offered a ride which he gladly took. He moved a lot faster that way and before he knew it he was already half way. The farmer wouldn't go further than that certain town, so from there Fuji had to walk again. He didn't mind at all, but he thanked the farmer for his kindness.
The sun had started to shine brightly and it was a wonderful day to walk. Fuji softly sang as he walked over the lonely roads. Now and then he met people on horses or with coaches. A few people were walking as well and he greeted them all.
He shared his lunch with a pregnant woman who he met on his way and who didn't bring any food. They sat down in the grass and ate together. The Seer didn't mind sharing, the two cooks had given him way too much anyway. He could still survive if he would be gone for a week. Fuji carried the woman's bags to the next village and there she took them back again. She was almost home by now.
Fuji still had to continue though. The village he used to live when he was a young child was close to the Western border of the country. He couldn't remember it had taken so long when he had travelled to the castle with his father, but he did remember his father had a horse. They had probably used the horse to get to the castle. A five year old kid couldn't walk so far.
The adult Fuji could walk that far. He was offered a horse, but being the unimportant person he had always been, he had never learned to ride a horse. If he could get along with his family it was something he wanted to learn in the future. That way he could visit them more easily and they might get a little closer.
Thinking about the future without looking in the future Fuji eventually arrived in the village where he was born. He didn't really recognize anything or anyone until he reached the market square. He used to come there almost every day when he was young. He joined his father who had to do business or he joined his mother when she went shopping. It didn't bring back much memories though. He had been so young when he left the place, how could he remember?
The Seer searched for the little house he had seen when he had searched for his family. It took him some time to find it. It was in a small street, away from the center. It was late in the afternoon when he knocked on the door. Fuji was incredibly nervous. He really wanted this, but he couldn't help but worry they wouldn't be interested in him at all.
Why did it take so long before the door was opened? Should he knock again. He raised his hand to knock again, but didn't. His parents weren't the youngest anymore, probably as old as Tezuka's parents. If something had ever happened to them it might be that they were hurt and they couldn't walk so fast? Had a minute already passed?
Fuji was still asking himself one hundred different questions by the time the door was opened. He looked at an elder woman with almost completely gray hair that reached a little further than her chin.
'I'm sorry,' said the woman. 'I was cleaning, so I had to wash my hands before I could open the door. What can I do for you, sir?'
'Is this the Fuji-family?' Fuji asked carefully. He hated to admit it, but he didn't recognize the woman as his mother. He kept telling himself that it had been sixteen years, but he still felt guilty.
'Yes, I'm Fuji Yoshiko,' said the woman. 'Can I help you with something, sir?'
'I…' started Fuji. 'Yes, I was looking for you and your family. I… I am your son.'
The woman looked at him with a questioning look on her face. She obviously didn't believe Fuji. 'My son is at work, he will be home within an hour. My other son died at the age of five, so I don't know what you are talking about, sir.'
Fuji was confused. He hadn't expected this to happen. He had prepared himself for all different kind of situations, like his mother accepting him or not accepting him, but not that she wouldn't believe him or that he was declined dead.
'I'm Fuji Syuusuke,' said the Seer. 'I'm alive. I'm not dead. Father took me to the castle when I was five and he sold me. I never had the opportunity to come back here, but now I have, so I wanted to see you again. My siblings too.'
'You can't be Syuusuke,' said the woman. 'He died when he was out with his father. I don't know what you are trying to obtain, but I don't have anything for you. I can't do anything for you sir, so please leave.'
Fuji grabbed the door when his mother tried to close it. He opened his eyes and begged her not to leave yet. The moment Yoshiko saw his eyes she let go of the door. Fuji, who was still pulling on the other side fell backwards.
'Those eyes,' said Yoshiko. 'You must be Syuusuke. Nobody else had such eyes. I thought you were blind when you first opened your eyes as a baby. But you could see. You could see more than anybody else. How can you be alive? You are supposed to be dead. I made a grave for you!'
Fuji stood up and smiled at her. 'Why don't we go inside and have a cup of tea while I will tell you everything?'
'Yes, tea,' said Yoshiko. 'We should…. come in.'
Fuji followed his mother inside and was a bit shocked by everything he saw. It was so small and everything was so old compared to most other houses around and especially compared to the castle. He felt guilty and out of place with the beautiful and brand new clothes he was wearing. Now he understood why his mother had kept calling him 'sir'. She had thought he was someone rich and important.
He helped her to make tea, because Yoshiko's hands were shaking. He told her to sit down, so he could finish the hot drinks. He put them down on the table and sat down himself as well.
'I still can't believe it,' said Yoshiko. 'I don't understand how you can be alive. And you look like you are doing well. What has happened to you?'
'Maybe you can tell me what you think has happened first,' said Fuji. 'It might be easier for me to explain what has really happened.'
'Your father took you on a little camping trip, or so he said,' started Yoshiko. 'You were his oldest son and he wanted you to grow up as a fine man. You were thin and small, so he said it would do you good to go and spend some time in nature for a while. You two left, but a few days later he came back on his own, carrying one of your shirts, covered in blood. He said you had been attacked by a wild animal and that he had tried everything to save you. He had scratches himself as well, so I believed him. We spend days grieving and I made a special grave, even though you were buried somewhere else.'
There were tears in the eyes of the woman as she told the story. Fuji could still see she had a hard time believing he was still alive and he was here with her in her living room.
'I don't remember very much from that time,' said Fuji. 'But I can see the past and the future and that helped me to understand what happened. Father often took me to the market to buy or sell things. I always enjoyed it, except when he went to one of houses. He went to visit… women,' said Fuji. He didn't know how to tell his mother his father had been cheating on her.
'Your father has left years ago with a young, beautiful girl,' said Yoshiko. 'I knew what was going on, so just tell your story.'
'At least twice a week he told he to wait outside while he went to a house where a girl lived. He was in there for half an hour or an hour and I could never go in there. I didn't understood when I was young, but later I knew what he had been doing. When we found out about my ability he got scared. He kept telling me to never speak about it with anyone, so I didn't. He said it was important business that nobody could know about, not even you. I asked him a few questions about it, like why I couldn't go inside as well, especially when it was cold outside. It probably scared him. He knew I was able to see what he was doing, even if I was standing outside on my own. I don't really remember the camping trip, but he did take me away at the age of five.'
'It was a camping trip,' said Yoshiko. 'You were looking forward to it so much!'
'He never took me camping. We went to the castle of the King. I remember father talked with a lot of people about me, but none of these people could help him. He kept telling me to behave and look strong and tall, so I did. In the end we stood in front of the King himself. Father told him he had debts and that he now had a way to pay for them all. He offered me to him. He told him about my ability and the King was very interested. Father sold me for a lot of money to work at the castle.'
'I remember he suddenly spend a lot of money,' said Yoshiko. 'I always wondered where he got that, because he never liked to work much.'
'He got it from the King and he left the same day,' said Fuji. 'I was at the castle all on my own and I didn't know what to do. I soon had to go to school there and I made friends, but even at that young age I had to give the King answers about things a child shouldn't know anything about. But it was my job, the king had paid for me, so I had no choice. I have been advising him and telling him what could happen for years and it wasn't a pleasant job. But I got food and I had friends, so it wasn't all that bad. I was treated well. Life hasn't been so bad, but I missed my family. You probably heard the King is gone now. I wasn't allowed to leave the castle, but now that the King is gone I'm free to go wherever I want. I took the opportunity to come here.'
'Life has been kind to you,' said Yoshiko with a smile that looked a lot like Fuji's. 'You look very good and your life wouldn't have been that good if you had lived with us.'
'I'm probably the only person in the world who could find out if that is true or not,' said Fuji with a matching smile. 'But I don't want to know. Life has been like this and we can't change it. I had good times and I had bad times, but that would have happened here at home as well. I might have lived at the castle, the most rich place of the country, but I was nothing more than a mere servant. I had a small room and I got simple food, just like everybody else who works there. I have nice clothes, but only because I had to appear in front of the King and the important people he worked with. Some people who lived there earned money. I didn't, because I was property of the King. I was sold to him, he owned me, so no need to give me money.'
'I guess it was meant to be like this,' answered Yoshiko. 'I'm just very glad that you are alive. But what will you do now? The King is gone and we have a new government. Are you still needed there or did they tell you to leave? You can start living here if you want to. We can make place for you.'
'There is no need to,' smiled Fuji. 'They still need my help there, even though the King is gone, people still would like to know what will happen in the future. But now I will hopefully get paid for it. I told them I wouldn't tell them everything and I wouldn't help them too much. It's better if they find things out on their own without knowing if it will work or not. They wouldn't be able to anything without me anymore and I don't want that to happen. But I can still stay. My… boyfriend is a part of the government. He has a room at the castle, so I can stay with him, even if I'm not needed anymore.'
'You have a boyfriend?' Yoshiko asked surprised. 'You really are doing well then. He is even a part of the government! Is he an important person then?'
'He used to be the advisors of the King,' explained Fuji. 'He became head of a department now. So he used to be a simple servant like me, but now he is more important. He doesn't consider himself as someone important though, I like that about him.'
'I would very much like to meet him one day,' said Yoshiko, smiling when she saw how happy her son was. 'If he is not too busy and if we are good enough to meet him.'
'Of course you are good enough!' said Fuji. 'Why wouldn't you be? You are my mother! If he would think you weren't good enough I wouldn't want him as my boyfriend! He isn't nobility or something like that, he is a normal person like you and me. He wanted to come with me today, but I told him it would be better if I would go alone. So he will definitely want to meet you too one day.'
'Oka-san, who are you talking to?' sounded a voice
'Yuuta, come here for a second?' Yoshiko called her other son. 'I have a surprise for you!'
A few moments later a tall, broad young men entered the room. He looked at his mother, then at their guest, then at his mother again.
'He is not your lover or anything, is he?' Yuuta asked.
'Oh, Yuuta, how dare you say something like that!' Yoshiko said shocked. 'Of course he is not my lover! This is your brother! Syuusuke came to visit us. He isn't dead!'
Fuji stood up and bowed a little for his younger brother. Yuuta was taller and broader and way manlier than Fuji was and would ever be. It made Fuji a little jealous, but he didn't show it.
'It's probably a big surprise to see me,' he said. 'Mother told me you all thought I had died. I'm very sorry I never sent you a letter. I thought you knew what had happened to me.'
'How can he be my older brother?!' asked Yuuta. 'He doesn't look like me at all! He is all pretty and feminine! Are you sure it's him! He looks more like a girl, maybe someone tries to trick you!'
'No,' smiled Yoshiko. 'It's Syuusuke. I recognize those eyes everywhere. He is my son for sure. Syuusuke, would you mind telling Yuuta your story again while I prepare dinner?'
'I will,' said Fuji. He sat down again and Yuuta sat in front of him. Fuji told the entire story again and answered all of Yuuta's questions until the younger brother was satisfied and sort of believed the story as well.
'How is Yumiko-neesan doing?' Fuji asked when he was done with his the story of his life.
'She married a few years ago with a man from a town not too far away from here,' replied Yuuta. 'We don't see her often. She has to work very hard, but whenever we see her she tells us she is happy, so we believe her. You should go and visit her too one day.'
'I would love that,' said Fuji. 'But maybe it would be better if you or Oka-san would tell her that I'm alive and that I will come to visit her. It will make things a little easier for me.'
'We could invite her here,' said Yoshiko who entered the room with plates with food. She handed one to Fuji. 'I'm sorry, it's probably not what you are used to, but it's all I have right now.'
'It's food made by my mother, how could I dislike it?' asked Fuji.
'Thank you,' said Yoshiko. 'I will invite Yumiko and you should come and visit us again that day. You should take your boyfriend, so we can meet him too. If you don't mind coming again.'
'I don't mind at all,' said Fuji. 'I would very much like to come back and get to know you all better. It's been so long, I don't remember much from that time, but I did miss you all a lot. I will come back for sure.'
They spoke about the things that had happened in their lives the entire evening and they laughed about each other's stories. It was almost like it had never been different, until it started to get late and Fuji reminded that he had to find a place to sleep.
'Is there a good inn in the neighborhood?' Fuji asked.
'There is,' said Yoshiko. 'But I won't allow you to go there. You are my son, you will sleep here!'
Fuji smiled. 'That is even better.'
She showed him the best bed of the house, but he declined, it was Yuuta's bed and he wanted his brother to sleep in his own bed. He went in his sisters old bed instead, since it was empty. It wasn't as good as he was used to, but it was like home.'
The next day he stayed as well and he helped his mother with cleaning and his brother with his work. For the little money he had brought he bought them a few things they needed. His mother didn't want to take it, but Fuji explained he would have used it to stay in an inn if he couldn't stay at their place, so that she should take it like a sort of payment instead. Yoshiko didn't want to be paid by her own son, but Fuji said it was fine and that he didn't need it. He wanted to give them something after they gave so much to him.
Leaving was difficult. Now that Fuji had found his family back he didn't really want to leave after spending only one day with them. The thoughts of Tezuka reminded him that he did have to leave. He didn't want to worry him too much.
'I promise I will come back soon,' said Fuji when he said goodbye to his mother. Yuuta had already left early in the morning, because he had to work. Fuji didn't mind, the less goodbyes the better.
'Please be safe and send a letter to the castle if you want! Everybody knows me, so they will bring it to me. If you need anything you can ask for it. I'm properly working now, so I'm getting paid. I don't have to spend much though, because I have a room and food provided there.'
'Thank you my son,' said Yoshiko. She gave her oldest boy a long hug before she let him go.
Fuji waved as he walked away until he couldn't see his mother anymore. He felt a little silly, like he was a little boy, but he didn't really care what other people would think about it. Happily he walked all the way back to the capital. It seemed to take a lot longer than two days ago, but this time he didn't get a ride and he wasn't as nervous anymore, so time seemed to pass more slowly.
The Seer arrived in the evening, just in time for dinner. Tezuka was sitting on his own in the dining room, looking a little bored and lonely. He was the head of a department now and the other people thought he was an important man. The others with the same job as Tezuka ate somewhere else with their families. The servants didn't see Tezuka as one of their own anymore and wouldn't sit with him for dinner.
Fuji slowly approached his boyfriend until he stood closely behind him.
'You look lonely,' he whispered in his ear.
Tezuka quickly turned around. He stood up when he found Fuji standing behind him.
'You're back,' he smiled. 'I'm glad to see you're safe.' He took Fuji in his arms for a few seconds before they both sat down and had their dinner.
'So, did you meet your family?' Tezuka asked.
'I did,' said Fuji. 'Or what was left of it.'
He told everything from the beginning to the end. How he met his mother and how she didn't believe him at first, but that she believed him when she saw his eyes. Her happiness and Yuuta's confusion. He told how he spend an entire day there and how kind they had been to him, even though they hadn't seen him for such a long time. He also said that they hoped he would come back and that he wanted to go back, so he could meet his sister and so his family could meet Tezuka.
'You told them about me?' Tezuka asked.
'Well, I told them I have a boyfriend and my mom said I should bring you next time. I told her I would, so you have no choice.'
'I would love to come with you,' said Tezuka. 'How did they live?'
'They looked rather poor,' said Fuji. 'I left my money with them. They didn't want to take it, so I just left it there. My dad left a long time ago it seems, so they don't earn very much. Now that Yuuta is working they are paying of the debt my dad left them with. I felt a bit bad for the clothes I was wearing. Everything was new and clean while they only had some old things. I really want to help them as much as I can.'
'Send them some money now and then. We don't really need it here,' said Tezuka. 'And we still have the money I earn. It's enough for the two of us. Send them some, even if they tell you not to.'
'I was planning to do so, but hearing that you will take care of me makes it even better,' smiled Fuji. 'I chose the perfect man! He is tall, handsome, smart and now he is even getting rich!'
Tezuka gave the Seer a playful punch. Fuji laughed. 'I gave you compliments, you should be happy.'
'I am happy,' said Tezuka. 'Happy things went so well for you. After everything you've been through you deserved some happiness and some luck.'
'You make it sound like my life has been horrible up until now,' said Fuji. 'It wasn't perfect, but it hasn't been that bad. I always had my Nii-chan who took good care of me.'
'I had to,' said Tezuka. 'No one else would do it.'
'See, I have been lucky! If you hadn't been here nobody would have taken care of me. It must have been fate. If I had stayed with my family I would never have met you! I would have been poor and I couldn't have helped my family.'
'I would have been lonely,' said Tezuka. 'I found out how boring life was without you around. That never happened after you came here sixteen years ago.'
'Then make sure I stay with you the rest of my life,' whispered Fuji.
'I will,' whispered Tezuka back. 'I want to marry you.'
Fuji's eyes widened and he looked shocked at his boyfriend. 'You really…?' he asked, not able to finish his sentence. 'But I thought you said we weren't together for that long yet and…'
Tezuka shut the Seer up with a kiss on his lips. 'I know,' he said. 'But I know I want to be with you and nobody else.'
'Me too,' said Fuji. 'But I want you to meet my family first. I want us both to get to know them better, so they can come to our wedding too. It won't be anything big, but I want them to be there.'
'We're in no hurry,' answered Tezuka. 'We have all the time in the world.'
'Then will you take care of me tonight?' asked Fuji.
Tezuka had to think for a few seconds to understand what his boyfriend was talking about. Then he understood. 'I… if you want to,' he answered. 'You sure are in a hurry with that.''I am,' grinned Fuji. 'So promise me.'