I would recommend reading this article before reading the fic. XD
It had taken Fuji some amount of effort, and one extremely convincing story. (The story wasn’t at all true, though he wouldn’t use the word “lie” in his yet-to-be-written best-selling memoirs. It was more a bending of certain facts.) However, the results had made the entire process worthwhile.
“Oh, dear.” Fuji cast a mournful glance up and down the train. “No seats left.” With a heavy sigh, intended to be heard by all those around him, he took hold of the nearest handle, shifting his feet as though he was uncomfortable.
“Miss, are you all right?” Fuji turned to see a young man with dark hair and a concerned expression. He wasn’t getting out of his seat yet, though, which meant that Fuji’s trump card would have to be played.
“Thank you,” said Fuji, with a look that managed to be cheerful and long-suffering at the same time. “I’m sure I’ll be fine.” He turned strategically to the left so that the young man could see the button pinned to the front of his dress.
The young man immediately stood, bowing his head. “You’re expecting! Please, take my seat. Such a lovely lady, and with a baby at that, shouldn’t be allowed to stand.”
“I just couldn’t accept such a gracious offer...” Fuji demurred, following it up with, “Well, if you insist. Thank you so much.” He took the young man’s proffered hand, seating himself with a great deal of feigned difficulty.
Yes, his plan was working perfectly, not that he hadn’t expected it to.
Ever since he’d heard of it, Fuji had taken an interest in the new railway policy of distributing buttons to pregnant women, buttons proclaiming their condition. The point of the buttons was one of which he highly approved: the women were given buttons declaring such a thing so that people would give up their seats on the train in favor of those who needed them.
It was clear that Fuji couldn’t let this idea go without finding some way to use it for his own benefit. A few phone calls, a consultation with his mother and his aunt, and he was ready to acquire a button of his own. The plan was absolutely flawless.
“That is completely immoral, aniki!”
Well, except for that one little thing.
“Is it? But Yuuta, it’s not as though I’m going to make pregnant women give up their seats for me.”
Yuuta glared at Fuji, then down at the button on his brother’s shirt. “This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of! It’s an abuse of the system!”
“I hardly think so,” said Fuji. “I do play tennis quite a bit, and I am usually tired when I’m on the train. I could get you a button, too, now that I think of it.”
“I. Don’t. Want. One,” Yuuta said through gritted teeth. “And you’re not doing this because you’re getting tired, you’re doing it because you can.”
“You don’t want one?” Fuji asked him sweetly. “Are you sure? I do worry about you, you know. I’d feel better if you always had a seat. Standing can be dangerous in case of a crash.”
“Unlike you, sane guys don’t want to pretend to be pregnant women,” Yuuta snapped.
“You could come with me and pretend to be the father, instead.”
“No!” Yuuta stepped away so they weren’t walking quite so close together. “You don’t even look like a woman!” That wasn’t true, actually, but Fuji looked less like a woman than...well, some women, anyway.
“I do if I borrow one of neesan’s dresses,” Fuji said, disturbing Yuuta even further than was strictly necessary. Women wore pants, too, after all. But where was the fun in that?
So here he was, seated on a train, settling his calf-length sky blue dress as he smiled up at his benefactor. The train slowed and then stopped at another station, allowing more passengers on board.
“So, where’s your stop?” asked the young man who’d given up his seat. “I’m going to the end of the line, so I’ll help you off, if you’d like.”
“Two more stops,” said Fuji. Apparently his being “pregnant” didn’t discourage anyone from flirting with him, which was yet another positive feature of the ruse. He gave the young man a brilliant smile. “You’re so considerate, I can’t thank you enough.”
“Well, well,” said Atobe, interrupting their conversation, stepping in front of Fuji’s admirer in a way that couldn’t be considered rude, but really couldn’t be considered polite either. “An interesting way to find out about your pregnancy, to be sure.”
“Oh, is this a friend of yours?” asked the young man. He looked cautiously hopeful, probably wondering if this meant Fuji was taken.
Fuji didn’t even bother glancing at Atobe to see if he would play along. “No, no.” He shook his head and smiled, laying a hand on his belly as though thinking of the child within. “He’s the father. Don’t you think our baby will be beautiful?”
“Yes, of...of course,” said the young man, with a nervous look at Atobe. Atobe, naturally, gave him a smirk that said he knew exactly what the young man had been thinking, and was not going to let anything occur between Fuji and anyone, without Atobe’s express permission. The young man swallowed and focused on a street sign out the window.
“I’m sorry to tell you this way, darling,” Fuji added, putting a hand on Atobe’s arm. “I was going to call you this evening.”
“Hmph. I’m sure you were, my dear.” Atobe raised an eyebrow and looked around the train car. Everyone around them seemed to have taken an interest in the conversation, because all of them glanced quickly away when Atobe met their eyes.
“Aren’t you happy to hear about it?” Fuji pressed, doing a very good job of sounding anxious. Their observers turned and murmured to one another about the poor pregnant girl whose boyfriend wasn’t being supportive enough.
Atobe smirked again and put an arm protectively around Fuji’s shoulders, despite the fact that the position caused him to step on the toes of the man sitting next to Fuji. Needless to say, neither one of them felt remorse when the man yelped and scooted to the side. He obviously hadn’t cared enough to give up his seat to a pregnant woman. “Of course I’m happy to hear about it, my love. You know that our baby will be raised in the finest of environments, with the best care that money can buy.”
“I was hoping you’d feel that way, dearest,” Fuji said, taking Atobe’s hand, his eyes shining as though all of his cares had been swept away.
Now that the apparent lovers’ crisis had been averted, everyone seemed to let out a collective sigh of relief. “So,” ventured one of the onlookers, a woman who appeared to be in her mid-thirties. “How far along are you?”
“Not far, I’m sure!” chuckled the woman on Fuji’s other side. “You’re still nice and slim, dear.”
“Thank you,” Fuji said, then laughed. “I’m sure my figure will be gone soon enough! I’m two months along now, isn’t that right?” He directed the question to Atobe, who made a show of considering.
“Yes, I believe that’s right,” Atobe agreed after a moment. “It had to be that one night, as I’m sure you’ll recall...” He let out a self-satisfied chuckle.
“Mm, yes,” said Fuji, his tone one of fond remembrance. “A lovely night it was, too.”
“I suppose you’re going to have to give up the champagne now,” said Atobe. “What a pity.”
“True,” said Fuji. “If not for all that fine champagne, I’m sure you never would have put me into this delicate condition...”
Atobe snorted in the most refined way possible. “Champagne had nothing to do with it. My personal charm and magnetism served well enough on their own, as you well know.”
The conversation became a discussion relating to exactly what roles champagne and personal charm had played in the conception of Fuji and Atobe’s child. Possibly as a result, several passengers disembarked prematurely at the next station. Not so coincidentally, Atobe acquired the seat next to Fuji, which had been vacated by the man Atobe had stepped on.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Fuji said solicitously to the woman who had first asked him how many months it had been. “Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves. I do hope we’re not making you uncomfortable.”
“No...” said the woman faintly. “Not at all.”
“What are you doing using public transportation?” Fuji inquired, linking his arm through Atobe’s as they stepped off the train together. “And without your usual entourage, too.”
“Slumming,” Atobe replied. “It’s best for those such as myself to experience the common life once in awhile.”
“I thought so,” said Fuji. “I assume your limousine will be picking you up shortly?”
“Of course. Very shortly, in fact.” Atobe placed his hand over Fuji’s in a true gentlemanly gesture. “I’m sure you will be happy to accompany me home.”
“You’re that sure?” Fuji asked innocently. “What are you offering to tempt me into this venture, hm?”
“Fine food and drink at my expense.” Atobe leaned in to murmur near Fuji’s ear, “And the pleasure of my company.” Fuji could hear the smirk behind the words.
“How can I refuse? But be sure the drinks are nonalcoholic.” He patted his stomach with his free hand. “There’s the baby to consider, after all.”