Learning to Fall. 
by Suteishichic

Chapter Twenty Eight

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

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

Oishi let the tensai cry as long as he could, now very aware that they were both naked, and still in the showers together. He also knew he could not move Fuji, until Fuji wanted to be moved. He made shushing noises, told him it would be all right, he was okay, he was fine, and he was safe, until eventually the tensai stopped crying and stared blankly ahead as if in shock. He was still talking to him in a soft voice, "Fuji-senpai, its all right, lets just get you out of here before anyone else comes in. Everyone will all be coming back soon, okay? Come with me. I'll take you to the nurse. Its okay."

Fuji said nothing but did finally let Oishi lead him back to his things thankfully before anyone else came in. Oishi wrapped him in a towel which he made no move to hold, so Oishi quickly dried him. Oishi thought he was going to have to dress him but the tensai put on his clothes when Oishi handed them to him. Oishi put on his dirty tennis clothes not wanting to get his school clothes wet or dirty and they were faster than his school clothes. He led his friend out and to the nurse just as some people started to wander in. He only paused once to shake his head no to a very surprised Tezuka walking in when they were walking out, letting him know without saying a word he would have to tell him later what happened.

Tezuka looked extremely upset, even for him, but for once did not try to control the situation, probably because he saw how blankly Fuji was still staring at nothing. Oishi was not even sure if Fuji noticed Tezuka there.

They went and waited for the nurse. As they sat there, Oishi had no idea what to do about Fuji let alone about Eiji. He was not even really sure what the hell had just happened. He only knew that he couldn't leave Fuji right now no matter how much he wanted to go find Eiji and try to explain, somehow, something, anything, to him.

Fuji finally spoke and broke into his thoughts, "Ne, Oishi-senpai, I'm...sorry." His voice was so soft, almost broken in sorrow, sounding from so very far away, that Oishi was not sure he actually said the words. Oishi waited for the rest of the explanation or something more but nothing came.

The nurse came out and Fuji said before Oishi could, smiling and speaking calmly, "Hello...I must have...slipped..and...fallen...in the shower and Oishi-kun found me. He woke me up and was kind enough to bring me here." Fuji sounded as if he was describing a bright sunny day to a child.

Oishi stood up he was so surprised. The bruises and welts along Fuji's collar bone and throat looked unmistakably like what they were--hand and finger marks. There was no way anyone was going to buy that story and Oishi had no idea what Fuji was even trying to do. They ushered Fuji away, talking about X-rays and a possible concussion. Oishi did not even have time to tell the tensai to call him when he knew anything or to say he hoped he felt better. As if feeling better was something he could wish on his friend right now. All he wished is that this never happened.

Oishi tried to stay with Fuji but they wouldn't let him. He waited for a long time and eventually they told him Fuji would be much longer. Oishi should change and go to class.

The few last stragglers to classes passed him by in the hall, a few asking if Fuji-senpai was all right. They had also heard the tensai fell in the shower. Oishi didn't answer them and when they saw the look on his face, they let him be. He went back down and showered, miserable. He was the only one there now and was already late for class. There was nothing he could do about it so he took his time. He didn't know what else to do.

He showered like a robot. Everything was on auto-pilot, and yet thoughts and images kept crashing into his head like waves. He tried not to think of the smell of his shampoo and what Eiji said about it. He tried not to think about Fuji and what that was all about. He tried not to think about his Father. He tried not to think at all, but it all kept washing over him. Oishi finished showering and automatically toweled off and wrapped his towel around his waist, trying not to think, to just function. He walked over to where his stuff was and sat down to get dressed, but then stayed seated there, not moving.

As he sat, he realized that Eiji would probably never speak to him again. He didn't blame him. If Oishi had walked into the shower and seen the tensai kissing Eiji, and that thought burned through him even now as he thought it, Oishi would have been devastated. Crushed. He couldn't even begin to think how terrible he felt about breaking Eiji's beautiful heart.

Oishi sat and remembered brushing Eiji's soft lips just this morning with his thumb and his mouth. He remembered Eiji tricking him into saying he loved him first, and then melting into him when Oishi said it a little later, for real. He remembered him mouthing back to Oishi, I love you, while being wrapped in his arms. He remembered the back of Eiji's hand touching his as they napped on the roof. Eiji kissing him on Fuji's couch as he tried to tell Oishi his feelings in just a kiss. Eiji being excited about playing tennis with him. Watching Oishi as he slept. Smiling at him. Loving him. Eiji.

Oishi remembered everything. Every little moment and it was all gone now.

He didn't understand why, only that nothing seemed to matter any more. Seigaku didn't. Tennis didn't. Nothing. His Father may as well send him away to Saint Rudolph's or the other end of the world and everyone could live their lives without ever thinking about him again. It didn't matter. Tezuka. Fuji. Eiji. Eiji was gone. He would never speak to Oishi again. Never smile at him. Never make him laugh. Never kiss or touch him. Never tell him he loved him again.

And there was nothing Oishi could do to stop it.

Any of it.

Then Oishi realized he could not draw any air in. He couldn't breathe. His chest was tight and no matter how much he tried, he could not take in any air. He saw stars around the edges of his vision and his vision started to close in on him. Everything started to fade to black. It was like Oishi was drowning and could not catch a breath in a sea of air. He gasped again and tried to breathe in and couldn't.

His vision was fading away and he was sinking, gasping, falling...

And then Eiji was there. "No! Oishi? Oishi! No!" Oishi was barely aware that somewhere faraway, Eiji was holding him, cradling him, even though Oishi was unable to breathe or move to help him. From a million miles away he heard Eiji saying, "Oishi, breathe with me! Just like when you can't sleep. Oishi, its all right. Stay with me. Breathe with me! Slow and easy! Shuuichirou I'm here! Oishi, its okay!" Eiji held him with his arms around him, his face next to his, and was trying to get Oishi to breathe, inhale, slowly, just a little, with him. Finally Oishi was able to get a little air, just a tiny bit, then just a little more, and his vision started to clear. Eiji kept talking softly to him the entire time, "Nya, Oishi, its okay. Stay with me, Oishi. Stay..."

Eiji had his arms around him, Oishi was still just wearing a towel and they somehow were half sitting and half laying on the floor. Eiji was holding him, touching his face, looking worried and upset, and tears were in his eyes. "Nya, Oishi. Stay with me. Oishi?"

Oishi could breathe, just barely, but he couldn't speak yet. He thought he might be imagining the entire thing, dreaming. He nodded. He was embarrassed, totally. His heart was racing and he was trembling. And he knew what had just happened. He'd had a full on panic attack. He had not had one since he was little. After which his Father was so scared that he ordered him to never have another. Eiji kissed his forehead and held him close. "Hoi. Shhh. Just breathe Oishi. Its okay. I'm with you."

"Eiji...I...I couldn't...I...I didn't..." Oishi tried to breathe in again, "Why are you here!" He finally gasped out.

"Nya Oishi, I saw." Eiji's voice was upset, small and hollow now, but he was still holding onto Oishi, not letting him go. "I saw you push him off Fuji, I heard what Fuji said, and I saw Fuji kiss you."

"Please." Oishi could still barely speak, "Please I never..."

"Nya. Oishi, I saw Fuji kiss you. You didn't kiss him, I saw. I saw you trying to push Fuji away..." Eiji had a little quiver in his voice. "...but I don't know why."

Oishi thanked whatever deity that was helping him, them, silently to himself. "Eiji, I am so sorry. I have no idea why he did that either. Please. I am so sorry. I just wanted to help him and he...he..."

"Nya. I saw. You went to save him from a monster and he kissed you."

Oishi nodded. "Love, I would never..." He started but Eiji put his hand on Oishi's mouth. Oishi saw now that Eiji looked like he had been crying hard. Oishi touched his face softly with his hand and wished he could make the pain in his eyes go away.

Oishi asked him, "Will you kiss me, please?" Oishi had tears in his eyes and he saw Eiji did again, too.

"Yeah..." Eiji whispered and leaned into him. It seemed to take a long time for his lips to meet Oishi's. As if Eiji was hesitating, or as if he might get burned. Oishi let Eiji reach for him, although Oishi wanted only to kiss Eiji, to have Eiji kiss away the memory of Fuji desperately holding him and pressing them together. It felt like the right thing to do for Oishi to let Eiji be the one to reach him now.

Eiji's lips were trembling slightly as they lightly touched his, and Oishi noticed that silent tears were coursing down Eiji's cheeks. Tears Oishi felt responsible for. Eiji pressed Oishi's lips a little harder with his own, so their lips now were barely touching instead of just barely. Though Oishi wanted to kiss him more, he waited and let Eiji take his own time. Eiji pressed a little harder. Oishi found he had put his arms around Eiji to match Eiji's arms around him. Oishi put his one hand familiar, instinctively, through the back of Eiji's hair like he often did and heard Eiji give a little sob in his mouth before kissing him harder. Oishi could not see clearly as his eyes were tear blinded.

Eiji gave him a series of light kisses using his lips only. Each one lasted a little longer and it was as if after each one Eiji felt a little more comfortable, a little more secure, a little more familiar again. He pulled back and looked at Oishi, still crying.

"Kiss me Oishi, please?" Eiji whispered sounding needy and scared. Oishi took his friend's face in his hands smoothing his tears away with his fingertips. Then he softly, gently, kissed Eiji. He deepened the kiss, and it felt like home. Eiji responded slowly, tentatively to his touch, his kiss, his lips, and then his tongue. Oishi tried to express his feelings in the kiss. How sorry he was, how he loved Eiji and only Eiji, that he would do anything, anything to make this all right now.

Oishi knew, distantly, anyone could walk in on them. A teacher, a student, anyone. He knew they both should have been in class. He knew what this looked like, and it was exactly how it was. He also realized he was only wearing a towel, was kissing his best friend on the floor of the locker room, and he just didn't care. All that mattered to him was in his arms kissing him back. Oishi decided he would stay like this for as long as it happened to take.

Eiji's kisses slowly took on a new form. They were hungry, lusty, and painfully needy. Oishi understood, this was not just about wanting or loving each other. Eiji wanted reassurance that Oishi was his. He needed proof. He wanted to, in a way, mark his property. Oishi did not mind one bit if Eiji claimed him as his, but Oishi knew that sex would not solve or heal this. In fact it might even make Eiji feel less secure in them.

Oishi pulled back feeling his heart tear a little seeing Eiji looking so very sad, needy, hungry, and at the same time confused and hurt wondering why Oishi pulled away. Oishi smiled the smile he knew he gave no one else but Eiji, and said softly, "I love only you, Eiji. Only you. I'm so sorry this happened, love. I'll do anything to make it up to you. If I saw you and Fuji like..." Oishi felt a wave of nausea and jealousy wash over him. He knew Eiji watching his face, was seeing it too, "...I'd be devastated. I wouldn't know what to think or do." Eiji nodded solemnly.

Oishi just then remembered the panic attack and the time, "Love, why are you here?" Eiji looked at him and around as if just then realizing where they were and what they were doing. "You saved me, you know? I was sitting thinking that you would never talk to me or see me ever again," Oishi paused hearing his voice fill with emotion, "and I couldn't breathe and then you were...here. How...?" Oishi started but Eiji interrupted.

"Nya. I couldn't just sit in class, I was too upset, so I asked to go to the washroom and went to find you. It felt, important, to find you. So I came here."

Oishi was amazed. If Eiji had not found him... "I may have saved Fuji from a monster but you saved me. How did you know how to help me?"

Eiji half smiled, "One of my sisters is scared of heights and used to get like that when we drove over bridges when we were little. I used to keep her calm."

"That hasn't happened to me since I was 6 years old."

"Its scary." It was half question and half statement. It scared Eiji as much as it had Oishi.

"Very." Oishi felt that terror of not being able to breathe looming over him and he shuddered. "Terrible."

"Hoi? What were you thinking? That I wouldn't talk to you ever again?"

"That and that none of this was worth it without you." He whispered it, hearing the fear in his voice. Eiji in response tapped the furrow between Oishi's eyes with a finger and then kissed him. It was a slow sweet kiss showing Oishi how dumb he had been, and how much he cared.

Oishi hugged him tight when the kiss was over, enjoying Eiji holding him just as close. "Hoi, Oishi?" Eiji said over his shoulder after a while.

"Hmm?" Oishi did not want to let him go.

"You should get dressed."

"Oh. Yeah. Right." Oishi kissed him once more just because he could and then said, "Why are you talking to me?"

Eiji smiled and helped Oishi up, watching him to make sure he stood fine. "Hoi. I was not going to. I was going to really yell at Fuji and at you too. Where's Fuji?" Eiji just noticed Fuji was not there.

"I'll tell you everything I know after you tell me."

"Hoi." Eiji looked both a little guilty and shy, "I was going to make you feel really bad..."

"Because you were hurt?" Oishi touched his face and Eiji nodded, pouting.

"But then I saw you...there...like that...and I forgot to...nya."

Oishi hugged him, though he was still half dressed. "Thank you, love." He said softly. Eiji melted into his embrace, his arms wrapping around Oishi.

"Nya Oishi." He said softly, "No more of...that. Please?" Oishi knew exactly what Eiji meant. No more panic attacks.

"I'm sorry if I scared you. Just don't... Please? Promise me?" Eiji somehow knew what Oishi was trying to say and couldn't find the words for. Don't stop talking to me. Don't stop believing in me. Don't stop believing in us. Don't leave me.

"I promise." Eiji said in agreement. Oishi kissed him, as if sealing it. Eiji ended the kiss and ordered, "Dressed."

"All right." Oishi said a bit shyly though he found he was slightly smiling. "I'll tell you what happened before you saw." Oishi did, showing on Eiji, gently, where the senpai was hurting Fuji and how Oishi found them. He was embarrassed as he told Eiji he'd lost his temper, and suspected Eiji saw him when he did. "And then you saw the rest."

"Nya. How did he kiss you? Show me."

"I...I don't think I can."


"It was weird." Oishi had to repress a shudder.

"Show." Eiji insisted as if he needed to know.

"Okay, you be me, but be me surprised." Oishi went to kiss Eiji like Fuji did but found he couldn't. He could not resist Eiji, and did not want to, nor could he duplicate the needy hunger of Fuji kissing him. "No. Thats not right." Oishi then thought and realized Eiji did do great impressions and probably saw things a bit clearer than even Oishi did from his vantage point. "I'll be me, you be Fuji, like you saw." It was better but still not right. Oishi had no idea why this was important to Eiji but it seemed to really be.

"No, it was more...forceful...more..." Oishi searched for the feeling, then he got it, "...it was more like he wasn't kissing me, he was wanting to kiss someone else, someone who didn't love him but he wanted them to. Really, really wanted them to. Needed them to, and they didn't. Does that make any sense?"

Eiji took a step back and thought a moment, then he said softly, "Hoi. Like this..." He kissed Oishi nearly exactly how Fuji did. Oishi froze at the change in his lovers lips, so familiar to him, and at once so foreign. He did not like the difference. He shuddered both feeling it again, and remembering.

"Like that. Yes, but I don't...like it though, even if its you."

"Nya, me either." Eiji looked an odd combination of disgusted, and, upset.

"How did you do...that?"

Eiji was looking down. He quietly made a sound that was half a hoi and half a sob and then said, "I pretended you didn't love me, Oishi. That you didn't want to be with me. That you loved someone else. That you loved Fuji and not me. And that it was the last time I would ever get to kiss you before you left me forever." Eiji was getting himself upset again, nearly crying hard again, his own acting job had convinced him too.

"No!" Oishi reached for him and held him close. "No. Don't ever pretend that again, love. Don't say it, don't think it, don't, ever. I know you wanted to understand how it was so you could understand what happened, but please, don't ever. Please. I love you. That isn't going to change. Okay?" He kissed him the right way. The proper way. Their way. Oishi swooned a little when Eiji responded as he normally did without that terrible, empty, needy touch. "I love you." Oishi said again.

"I love you too." Eiji held Oishi back for a while thinking, "Nya. I'm sorry for that but I needed to know."

Oishi told Eiji what happened after Eiji left. How the tensai cried and he had to walk him, dry him, and almost dress him. Then he told him of the quiet apology and the lies Fuji told the nurse.

Then Oishi remembered how Fuji just kind of stood there, not fighting back, but instead looking blank and afraid. "Eiji, do you think what Fuji wanted was to be saved, just not by me. That he wanted someone else to save him, someone he loves, and that person just never came?"

"Oishi...thats just so...sad..."

"It is love, it really is. I know Fuji wanted this to be handled his way, but his way isn't working. Its gotten him hurt. Fuji got hurt thinking he had everything under control when he didn't. You can't control other people. You might want to but you can't."

"Hoi. What do we do?"

Oishi heard that we, totally trusting him and in this with him, if the situation was not so serious, he would have smiled and kissed him. "I need to talk to Tezuka." Oishi started to see Eiji protest and stopped him, "No, its gone too far. I know Tezuka might seem cold or scary when you don't know him but he's my friend. He's a good guy and he cares about the tennis club. He cares about Fuji and everyone else, he just shows it different. He needs to know what is going on at least even if he can't put a stop to it. I won't tell him everything, I'll be discreet, but he has to know."

Eiji looked and saw Oishi was resolute, so he finally nodded, trusting him. Oishi felt a little weight off his shoulders lessen. "Love, you need to talk to Fuji." Oishi waited for Eiji to protest.

Eiji saw his look and said, "Nya! He did a bad thing, but he's hurt, he's in trouble, and...and he's my friend!" Eiji cocked his head to the side, pouted, and then gasped, "Oishi! He wont be able to play today if he's that hurt! He'll be dropped!" Fuji had never been dropped since becoming a regular. Despite what wrong Fuji had done, Eiji still cared unconditionally about his friend. And Oishi too. Oishi loved him a little more for his big heart right then.

"Lets go find out how Fuji is and talk to him, talk to Tezuka, and we'll go talk a little to the coach. We can probably get a pass from her because we've missed class."

"Nya. You found Fuji, why would I be there?"

"Because you found us. Remember, you did see part of it. We just won't say what parts you saw. As Fuji-senpai says there is a big difference between not telling the whole truth and telling a lie." Oishi caught Eiji's look and said just in case, "I've told you the whole truth and I am not lying to you."

Eiji gave Oishi a long look as if to check, and then smiled. He said, "You missed a button, Oishi." He laughed and fixed the top button of Oishi's jacket. Then Eiji kissed him spontaneously pressing his whole being into him, hugging him hard, resting against him for a warm, loving moment, and before Oishi could respond, he dashed away. "Hoi! Fuji-senpai's things! We can bring them! Come on Oishi!"

Life with Eiji was never going to be dull, Oishi mused smiling as he picked up his own stuff, and followed Eiji who was carrying Fuji's things. They went first to the nurse who told them Fuji had been taken to the hospital to make sure he didn't have any broken bones or a concussion. The nurse there told them Fuji was really lucky.

Oishi asked "Lucky?" incredulously.

"He wasn't that badly hurt for so bad a fall." She smiled at them and Eiji had to pull a nearly growling Oishi away.

Next they went to see the coach to tell her some, but not all of what happened and to get a pass. Oishi told her what happened.

Their coach said that Fuji told them the senpai had accidentally tripped and pushed Fuji. That's how Fuji fell. Oishi said he was there, they both were, and it did not look that way to him, or to Eiji. The coach said that it was their word against the guy and Fuji--the victims word too. There was really nothing she could do unless Fuji wanted to accuse him. She had just heard from Fuji and Fuji was fine, a few bruises and a headache. He would even be back to school in a little while. Tennis for the day was canceled as they were having maintenance check out the showers and put some strips down to avoid any further slippage or accidents. Was there anything else? Did they need passes?

They took the passes and Oishi realized what their coach did. She could have held the last ranking matches even with the showers closed, but she was postponing them for Fuji to have a day to recover. He thanked her for that and noticed her smiling in acknowledgment even if she did not outright say that was her reasoning.

They walked to class, Eiji keeping Fuji's things until the tensai was back. Eiji was thinking something. "What?" Oishi said.

"Hoi. Have lunch with the others, then join me and Fuji on the roof thirty minutes before lunch is over. Okay? And please be, discreet, when talking to Tezuka, nya? Tell him no more than you told the coach. Hoi?"

"Okay? But are you sure Fuji will talk to you?"

"Hoi. He has to. I'm his friend and he hurt me. Plus we're spending the night at his house."

"I'd forgotten! If you don't want me to go..."

"Nya! I want you to. And you might have to help me with Fuji. Easier with two people. And I want to..." Eiji let the last two words stop short of spilling out in the school hallway. He smiled, shyly.

"Good I want to, too." They both smiled a little more across the hallway, understanding each other. "But are you sure Fuji will really talk to you?" Oishi said much quieter.

"Hoi. Thats the only good thing about when people think you're stupid, they forget and tell you things."

"You're not stupid, and Fuji doesn't think you are either."

"Hoi, but lets hope he forgets and talks to me anyway." Eiji paused and his face softened, "See you." He'd said see you but he meant love you. Oishi heard it clearly and smiled. Eiji smiled back seeing Oishi understand his meaning.

"Thank you again. See you."

"Don't forget, thirty minutes."

"I won't." Oishi smiled at Eiji getting on Oishi to do something again.

They didn't want to part but they did. As soon as Oishi walked into his class and handed the teacher the note, Tezuka stood up, "Sensei, Oishi and I need to do what I discussed with you earlier. We will return as soon as we are able to."

The teacher gave them his leave and the class whispered all around them. Oishi had not even sat down. He cringed thinking of having no complete notes for that morning not his, Tezuka's, Fuji's, or Eiji's.

The teachers gave Tezuka a ton of leeway and it was something Oishi rarely, if ever, took part in. Oishi felt himself blushing, he had not even gotten to sit and he was walking out of class again.

The second they walked out and Tezuka shut the door he asked simply in his glowering way, still looking impassive, "What happened?" Oishi, only from knowing him so well, knew he was extremely upset.

Oishi looked at him and said, "We need to go somewhere where we can talk, Tezuka."

Tezuka looked around. No one was near them, but it was a public place. "Where?"

Oishi thought. "Come with me."

On to Chapter 29!!