Learning to Fall. 
by Suteishichic

Chapter Nineteen

Warnings: Yaoi, Love, Angst, Fluff, and Lots of Sex. Some kink. You've been warned ;)

Disclaimer: Nope not mine. Still in my dreams. ;)

Rankings match days were always odd. There were people like Oishi who preferred to workout and practice as if it was any other day, others who liked to watch, and then others who liked to brag and speculate. Oishi knew Eiji liked to workout and practice. They would both rather do than talk about doing. They changed and stretched out with Tezuka and Fuji nearby doing the same. Odd that Tezuka who rarely worked out with others seemed to be into it? Oishi thought and then dropped the thought. He had enough to concentrate on. He had to win.

There was no set practice during ranking days, if you felt like playing and there was a court you could. Or you could stand around watching and talking. Oishi and Eiji found an open court and started soon after. Eiji had his serious face on, he was not going to let Oishi take anything lightly, and their game turned serious almost immediately. Oishi felt people watching and for once, decided not to let Eiji show off but really play him. Oishi watched Eiji carefully to make sure his leg was not hurting and kept going. Oishi was winning but Eiji was holding his own and making Oishi work for everything.

Then Fuji walked up and said in that cool glass voice, "Good morning, Oishi-senpai, Kikumaru-senpai, may I join you?"

They both agreed and Fuji casually walked to the rear of Eiji's side of the court with Eiji taking net. Oishi not sure of what was going on, but he heard the buzz behind him of others talking about what the tensai called them each, called Oishi.

Without waiting a second more, Fuji served. Oishi was a single playing doubles. A very good doubles team too. They knew each other well and worked well together. Fuji covered what Eiji missed and Eiji at the net with his incredible acrobatics did not miss much. Oishi was high from the challenge, the attention they were getting, and from being, just on. He needed the stress release.

He played seriously for a long time and then noticed that what they each started doing was playing up Oishi's better points. Oishi had slipped into the rhythm of playing with Eiji where Eiji got to practice his best shots. Oishi also slipped some very good favorite shots to Fuji. Fuji occasionally made Oishi run reminding him places he was weaker but on the whole, it was like they all three agreed to show off their skills to the tennis club. Tezuka would know, the captain would know, the coach would know, and probably Inui, but to everyone else, it looked like Oishi was holding his own against Eiji and Fuji. They let Oishi practice his moon volley several times getting a perfect shot in again and again right on the line each time. He with Fuji threw a few amazing combinations to Eiji allowing him to flip into the air and return backwards balls. Oishi only knew where the returns would be because he had practiced them so often with Eiji, he met every one.

Then, without warning, Fuji hit his Higuma Otoshi but before he let it go and drop Fuji met Oishi's eyes. He looked right at the space where it would fall. Oishi was able to return it with a last moon volley. He heard gasps and whispers. He shook both their hands and wanted to ask them if that was arranged and why, but because of the crowd couldn't. Their rally had ended.

"Oishi-senpai" Tezuka said behind him "care to go a little longer with me?"

"Yes Vice-Captain." Oishi knew he was being set up but not why. Tezuka called him senpai? Before he could ponder it Tezuka served. They had not played long when it started to rain. The people watching were groaning. Oishi hadn't even noticed that the sky had been steadily darkening he was so into playing. Oishi knew he was holding his own, and he was certainly trying his hardest, but he had seen Tezuka crush people before much better than Oishi. Whatever was going on and however hard it was to believe, his stoic friend Tezuka was in on it.

Oishi walked off the court after Tezuka getting soaked. Many rushed to congratulate Oishi on doing well with both Kikumaru-senpai, Fuji-senpai, and Vice-Captain Tezuka. Oishi finally got into the locker room to shower. He saw Eiji and Fuji walk past out of their shower laughing. Oishi could not even look at them. At Eiji. Oishi heard Eiji joke that Oishi was beaten so bad that he wasn't talking to them. Some laughed, even though Oishi knew his friends had made him look nothing but good on the court. It was a good cover up by Eiji for Oishi not getting a grip sooner.

Oishi walked to the shower and blasted the cold water sticking his head in it to banish the thought of Eiji naked from his mind. He felt someone standing behind him and knew he would die if it was Eiji. It wasn't. It was two very eager club members who just wanted to shake his hand. He was playing them later that afternoon if the rain stopped in the rankings match. They just wanted to tell Oishi he was awesome and ask him to go easy on them. They were, they said, no where near as good as Kikumaru-senpai and Fuji-senpai. Oishi just stammered out "Just, do your best, it will be fine."

They thanked "Oishi-senpai" and Oishi realized what was going on. What the plan was. Fuji was setting it up so he put all his opponents on the defensive just by his being there. Tezuka too. Oishi smiled, he had very, very good friends.

He went to rinse himself turning in the icy spray he did not dare shut off and he noticed someone near to him standing like he had been a few minutes ago. In the coldest setting possible, being blasted by the icy water, to shut out unwelcome thoughts in a boys shower room. When he realized who it was, Oishi was glad he had put down his soap or he would have dropped it. It was Tezuka. Oishi finished up his shower and left Tezuka still standing there being sprayed full at blast with ice water.

Oishi walked out into the main part of the locker room with a towel wrapped around him to get dressed. The tension in the room was unbelievable. Both Fuji and Eiji were standing looking shocked and guilty at Oishi. Oishi had no idea what was going on. "What? Did something happen? What?"

"So Oishi-senpai, is it really true? If you don't make regulars you get shipped off to Saint Rudolph's?" They way the word senpai was said was sarcastic and rude.

Oishi slowly took in the room. Fuji was looking at him not smiling which in itself was shocking. Eiji was standing there with his head down and his hands clenched into fists. Oishi still had no idea what had happened but he made some guesses and decided on a plan of action hoping it was the right one. He was calmer now, his friends were helping him, and he had slept. He was ready. "Saint Rudolph's is a good school. Right Fuji-senpai? I don't know what I'll do. But the one who decides what happens, is me." Oishi smiled.

This totally disarmed the guy who expected Oishi to fight, stand his ground, and get back in his face. Still he said, "If that is the deciding factor Oishi, then you had better pack your bags, I'll never give up my spot. Never."

"And you?" Oishi still smiling said to the other regular in his block.

"Never." He snarled back.

"Oh. So which one of you will be the one to defeat Fuji-senpai?" Everyone murmured and a few laughed. There was only one person who ever beat Fuji and that was Tezuka. "And which one of you will beat the other? And which one of you will be the one to beat me?" Oishi said still smiling. They both snarled at him that they would. "You're welcome to try."

"Is there a problem?" Tezuka even dressed only in a towel, dripping wet, could still command with a few words. Both regulars snapped to attention as did the entire room. Except for Oishi and Fuji.

Both regulars started stammering out answers and Oishi calmly turned, still smiling to Tezuka and said, "No Vice-Captain, there is no problem." Then he turned and went to dress.

As soon as he was dressed Eiji appeared with Fuji right behind him. "Oishi-senpai...?" Eiji said Fuji still was looking at Oishi without smiling. Oishi shook his head at them slightly saying no. Not here.

Calm as could be, Oishi said instead, "Kikumaru-senpai did you hurt your back when you landed that last time?"

Fuji said, "It was a little roughed up but I tended to it. He's fine Oishi-senpai." Oishi ignored the little burn of jealousy at him wanting to dress any wounds on Eiji, but he knew that he would not have been able to touch Eiji impartially in the locker room as he hoped Fuji could.

Eiji said, "I know how to fall." and looked at Oishi confused as if to say but you know that!

"Well, I'm learning." Oishi said smiling at Eiji looking confused, "How to fall. Ready to go?" Smiling, the three walked out past everyone like they didn't have a care in the world.

They filled Oishi in on the way to class. They said that the two regulars from before were getting into Fuji's face again. Once they saw Oishi walk into the showers they verbally attacked. Eiji tried to diffuse the situation but the two guys would not give it up. They must be really scared to lose their spaces. Words got tossed around about Fuji and about Oishi too and how determined he looked but he had nothing to prove or lose. One thing lead to another and Eiji blurted out more than he should have. Once the two found they'd hit a sore spot they were pressing with glee, trying to cause pain, not realizing how much they were upsetting Eiji, and not Fuji. Fuji had just gone to protect Eiji when Oishi walked into the room. A little different than Oishi guessed but he had gotten the gist of it after all.

"Don't worry about it. Its not your fault. They are two idiots. Its not like you meant to say it and besides it doesn't mean anything."

"Nya Oishi, now they know!"

"All right," admitted Oishi, "it would have been better if they didn't know they had any advantage, but they know. So we downplay it. We keep waving both of you in their face and they forget about me. They never see me until its too late. Right? Besides the two of you and Tezuka did a world of good this morning as it was. That kind of damage isn't easily overcome with a rumor. By this afternoon the rumor will be that Saint Rudolph's wants to steal me from Seigaku."

Eiji and Fuji looked him, at each other, and then back at Oishi. Eiji smacked his head, "Hoi! We should have thought of that!"

"If you'd both talked to me before making a master plan..." Oishi started.

"Ne. You'd never have agreed Oishi-senpai." Fuji interjected.

"Nya. No way." Eiji agreed.

"Ne. Shame though, he has some good ideas. Terrible liar though." Fuji mentioned smiling once more.

"Hoi. Waste of an evil mind." Eiji said to the tensai grinning.

"What am I going to do with the both of you?" Oishi joked and the three laughed as they walked down the hall that whispered as they sauntered past.

Oishi saw on their way Masumi and stopped. He turned to Eiji and Fuji and said, "Kikumaru-senpai, Fuji-senpai, please go on ahead." Oishi looked at Eiji and said, "There is something I have to correct. See you both later. And thank you both again for this morning."

"What does he have to do Kikumaru-senpai?" Fuji said quietly, but just loud enough for Oishi to hear.

"Learn how to fall, Fuji-senpai." Eiji said smiling.

"Ah." The tensai said and they turned to go.

"Masumi-chan, may I speak with you a moment please?" The girl was beet red at his approach but agreed. "Masumi-chan, thank you very much for your kind note, and for watching us yesterday. I am sorry we were interrupted while I was talking to you. I wanted you to know the truth. The truth is, there is someone else. Someone else I have feelings for."

She looked crushed. Oishi hated this. Masumi said, "That girl?"

"Oh, no, not her. No. Someone...else. You're very kind Masumi-chan and I hope that we can be friends, just friends but, friends. All right?"

Masumi said in a quiet voice with tears in her eyes, "Does she make you happy Oishi-kun?"

"Well, ah, yes...she...does." Oishi did not even have to think to conjure up Eiji and smile. "Okay. I... I have to go now Masumi-chan. Take care."

Oishi left her and got about 10 steps towards where Eiji and Fuji were waiting for him when they all heard Masumi start crying loudly to one of her girlfriends. Oishi cringed, his face turned even more scarlet, and his friends grinned, not at her misfortune, but at Oishi's discomfort.

"Ne. Feel better now Oishi-senpai?" Fuji asked smiling.

He glared at Fuji, knowing that its hard to give a scathing look when your face and ears are burning, "The truth, huh Eiji?"

Eiji only chuckled in glee.

It was still raining at lunchtime. Eiji, Oishi, and Fuji ate lunch with the other tennis club members. Oishi had really created a buzz and was mortified. He had no taste for food. Now everyone was saying what a heart breaker he was based on rumors of Kiko and Masumi.

Eiji passed some food towards him saying, "Hoi." Eiji was making a face at what Oishi's mom had given him. He was used to making his own or buying but he guessed his mom was feeling sorry for him and made him lunch. Oishi realized that Eiji purposefully brought too much of what he made to share his with Oishi. And that he probably had made something he knew Oishi would like. It made Oishi feel better. A little.

"He's right Oishi-senpai," Fuji interrupted his thoughts, "you need to eat for this afternoon.

"Its raining." Oishi said discouraged and frustrated at having to wait a day.

"It will clear up by the end of the next class." Fuji said as if Oishi was lame-brained.

Eiji nodded with his Fuji knows expression on his face. "Eat." He said seriously. Then he handed a container of something to Fuji. "Hoi. Fujiko, here."

Fuji looked very happy. "Ah, thank you Kikumaru-senpai!"

"What is it?" Oishi asked.

"One of my favorites." Fuji said still smiling wide.

Eiji shuddered, "You do not want to know." He looked grossed out thinking about it.

"That bad?" Oishi was surprised, he knew the tensai liked strange and spicy things but how bad could it be? He reached for the box to look or smell it.

"Nya Oishi-senpai," Eiji was shaking his head no his hand shot out to stop Oishi, and he said quietly, "Nya. I'd rather eat your breakfast everyday than smell that ever again..."

"That bad?" Oishi repeated seeing Eiji look a little green.

"Worse." He said shaking his head at Fuji in disgust.

Fuji laughed.

On to Chapter 20!!