The first time Tezuka remembers being afraid, he is cleaning the living room. He has a duster which he swings around ineffectually and an apron about five sizes too large which he trips on as he walks, but his mother tells him he is doing a wonderful job. He nods, because of course he would do a good job, and decides to have the whole room done by the time she finishes dinner. It goes well, for a while. Then he gets behind the couch and finds a spider. He stares at it, spellbound by its long legs, and falls back on his bottom, but his eyes don't lose sight of the spider. It moves up its web and the spell is broken. Tezuka rushes back to the opposite wall with a scream and stands against it, breathing hard.
His mother hears his scream and hurries in from the kitchen. She asks him what happened, and he shakes his head. Nothing, he proclaims adamantly. Eventually, she goes back to dinner, leaving Tezuka alone with the dust bunnies and the spider.
He decides that he is going to finish cleaning, spider or not. After all, Tezuka is five years old and weights twenty-one point four five kilograms and the spider is only a little thing that probably doesn't even weigh a whole gram. He marches back to the space behind the couch and with one resolute huff, swipes his duster through the web and smack into the spider. That done, he goes to finish cleaning.
When he tells Fuji this, he is no longer five years old and weighs more than a whole twenty-one point four five kilograms. Fuji still laughs at him, though, and says that it is so typical of Tezuka, to barrel right through his fears.
He waits for Fuji's laughter to abate, then crosses his arms and asks, then, what Fuji's first fear was.
Fuji laughs again, and leans in to whisper conspiratorially that he was terrified of tennis balls.
Tezuka does not move except to shake his head, because he does not understand. Fuji smiles and waltzes away, glancing back over his shoulder to see if Tezuka is following. Tezuka shakes his head again, because he is dealing with Fuji and there is not much else to do, and follows. They walk mostly in silence, except to ask how a test went or if tennis practice is going to be terrible, until Fuji explains.
It isn't as amazing as Tezuka expects, Fuji starts, though Tezuka does not know how Fuji knows what he is expecting. He doesn't say this; Fuji continues to tell Tezuka that he was hit in the head by a stray tennis ball when he was four and spent the next three weeks terrified of everything round, small, and yellow-green. He then decided to take it up.
Tezuka finds himself rolling his eyes. How very like you, he murmurs.
Fuji beams at Tezuka and says that he, for one, is glad that neither of them have grown in the past ten years.