Learning to Fall. 
by Suteishichic

Chapter Forty Four ~ Fuji

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

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

Tezuka arrived at Fuji's only seventeen minutes after Oishi left. Fuji knew because he was watching the clock with a growing sense of dread.

What Tezuka expected to find when he arrived, Fuji was not sure. He must have seen the gift he earlier had given to Oishi. It had been thrown down on the floor in Oishi's haste to look for Eiji. Fuji looked at it and folded it up only after Oishi went running from Fuji's, desperate to find him.

After Oishi ran out, Fuji had also snuffed the candle he and Eiji had been relaxing and talking to and the scent of burning wax and wick still lingered in the air. Fuji went to clean the tea cups but found he could not. Instead he slowly sipped and savored Eiji's tea. Fuji wondered all the while why he did that. As if drinking Eiji's last drink and wanting to put his lips where Eiji's had so recently been. As if Eiji was gone. Fuji realized only then that something felt very off, wrong, like something really bad was going to happen, even worse than imaginable, and Fuji found he was close to crying.

Tezuka rang the bell, and Fuji let him inside. He took in Oishi's gift, Eiji's things by the door, Fuji's state of distress, the two teacups, and the candle. He said two words and they were not said as a question. They were spoken like an accusation. "What happened."

Tezuka must have sensed the damage he had caused. But it was more as if he too sensed this was all Fuji's fault. Again. Fuji destroyed what he loved. He destroyed who he loved. Tezuka probably knew it too.

It just did not make sense to the tensai. Nothing did anymore. The more he tried to not harm others, even at the expense of himself, the more others got hurt. The only time in the last few years when Fuji felt good about himself and things was last night with Tezuka actually loving him in his bed and tonight, earlier, listening to Eiji, of all people, spout wisdom and sage love advice. Fuji realized he felt so close to Eiji because he could just let go around him. Eiji was safe. Eiji would never hurt him.

And in return somehow, Fuji's warped sense of loving Tezuka came back around like a buggy whip shot and hurt Eiji.

Fuji felt he had nothing more to give.

How much did a reed have to bend in the wind before it too broke? Or before it lay down and just stopped getting back up again?

The tensai felt like enough was enough. He'd had enough. And Tezuka had only just arrived. "Thank you for coming Tezuka. Now, why don't you tell me what happened? You can start with what you said and did to Oishi."

"What Oishi and I discussed is none of your....."

"Stop it!" Fuji's normally well honed voice cracked and snapped like a whip making Tezuka suddenly look at the tensai. "That is a lie and you know it. Now you may have gone there honestly thinking you would help your friend but you never thought of the implications your actions would have on his life. On their lives. On their hearts. You were wrong, Tezuka. Dead wrong. And the ones who will pay for your being wrong are Eiji and Oishi."

"What happened?" This time he actually asked.

Fuji told him. Told him about his conversation with Eiji earlier. How happy Eiji was. How happy Oishi was. How Eiji's family knew. Knew and were fine with it, just happy that their son was happy and loved. That was all that mattered to them. How Oishi lied to Eiji making him run away to god knows where alone, devastated, at night. How Oishi started to have a panic attack and could not breathe. How he didn't even want to anymore without Eiji. How he sobbed until Fuji forced him to remember that Eiji was out there alone and needed him. How Oishi was wrong. How Tezuka was. How Oishi still had not called to say he found Eiji. That Fuji knew something was wrong. Knew it. Felt it somehow. The details came out in big staccato bursts filled with more emotion that Fuji had ever shown Tezuka.

Fuji saw each truth come out like a blow across Tezuka's face. Like Fuji had picked up his racket and was smashing it against him each time he spoke to him, at him. Yet, the tensai never again raised his voice. He didn't need to. What Tezuka did, his entire conversation with Oishi, was driven by his own problems over his feelings for Fuji, Fuji's feelings for him, and their inability to communicate any of it or work any of it out. And they both knew it.

Fuji knew he was wrong to let things get so out of hand with them, to let things go on for so long and become so bad, so warped. Fuji told all this to Tezuka too.

As the tensai talked, he moved his hands slowly, trying both to show emotions he was feeling, and also trying to stay calm and not slip into crying which would accomplish nothing. He watched Tezuka the entire time.

Fuji finished and stopped moving. He stood in front of Tezuka waiting for a response, a reply, a movement, anything.

"What do you want me to do?" Tezuka said it quietly. "You never tell me what you want me to do." He was upset as well he should be. He said it calmly but Fuji knew him now. Tezuka was tired of waiting. So was Fuji.

"Ne. I apologize Tezuka. I'm sorry. I was...damaged for a long time. I am getting better now. Things will be different. I will be different." Fuji walked over to the back of the couch where Oishi had crumpled to the floor pulling him down a very short time ago and leaned on it. He looked evenly at Tezuka and sighed. "Tezuka, I....."

Fuji's phone rang and the tensai was at the phone before the first ring stopped. Perfect timing as always.

It was Oishi, nearly hysterical and whispering furiously about some crazy girl holding Eiji. Fuji thought for a moment that he might be delusional. Oishi was insistent that it was that girl that had come to their school, this was real, and he was afraid if he called the police she would hurt Eiji. Fuji knew that no matter what he had to keep Oishi calm and get there. "Oishi stay calm. Just go there and keep her talking. Agree to whatever she says. Protect Eiji. And Oishi, be careful. We're on our way."

He hung up the phone and steeled himself. He hoped to not be alone right now and wished he could have some help, some support. "Right now Tezuka, we have to go help our friends. That is what I want you to do." Fuji picked up his tennis bag not quite sure why. Tezuka looked at Fuji wondering what was going on. "I'll explain along the way."

Tezuka followed him out.

Fuji explained on the way and they rode hard to get there as soon as possible.

When they got there, Fuji still felt a sense of dread. The scene was not a happy one.

Fuji could not believe what a bloody mess they both were. And the girl looked dead at their feet. What had they done!?

Then Fuji could not believe she was alive and what a mess Eiji was. Or that Oishi was covered in Eiji's blood. Or when Eiji said gentle Oishi somehow made her inhale the anesthetic.

Fuji could also not believe that they were hugging and kissing each other. Fuji would have thought that Eiji would never forgive Oishi, certainly not right away, even though Oishi did his stupid act out of misguided total love. But apparently he had.

Fuji would have to ponder it all later.

Tezuka said little and let Fuji handle everything.

After Oishi and Eiji went off hand in hand running, Fuji told Tezuka to check around the area for blood or evidence from Eiji or Oishi. Fuji checked Kiko's pulse and breathing. He touched nothing but looked at the bottle she had used on Eiji and herself. He could not see all the label, it was face down, but he saw enough to know what it was.

Fuji threw the ropes that must have been tied around Eiji into his tennis bag. He hid as much evidence of anyone else but the girl being there as he could.

Fuji then soaked a few visible stains of blood off the ground with a water bottle having Tezuka fill it several times from the fountain until the area only looked wet. Hopefully the police would not notice in the dim light. The ground around was muddy which helped. Kiko was starting to wake up and Fuji briefly thought of knocking her out again but had no idea what a second dose would do. So Fuji called the police and handed Tezuka one of his spare rackets hoping no one would notice they were the same color and style although different tensions. He had them lock their bikes up as if they had been there for hours. They were barely sweating from the hard bike ride over and the quick cleaning job. Tezuka said little and only did what Fuji asked him to do, occasionally asking a question for clarification, but saying no more.

"Ne, are you all right with this Tezuka?" They would have to lie to the police and cover for their friends.

"She needs help." Was his only response and Fuji was too worn out emotionally to ask Tezuka if he was doing it for her or for Oishi or because Fuji asked him to.

"Ah." Fuji said as he turned away. They ran to meet the flashing lights of the police car.

The police questioned them together and separately for a long time. Especially when Kiko fully woke up. She vomited everywhere so she must have taken a much stronger dose than Eiji. Fuji remembered how strongly Eiji smelled things and was glad he was not sick like this in addition to being hurt. The ambulance was there and giving her oxygen. She was crazed. She was nearly foaming at the mouth demanding that her beloved Oishi come out. And Kikumaru or she would kill him, them, herself, and everyone else.

Fuji simply said they were there late playing tennis, no one else was around, and that when they stopped to get some water, they saw something or someone in the shadows, checked, and then called the police. He said they thought she was dead. Tezuka repeated the same.

For one lucid moment Kiko recognized Fuji and begged him to help her find Oishi. She screamed that she had to get him away from Kikumaru. Fuji just said he did not know who she was. It wasn't a hard lie to tell. She was a muddy screeching mess and looked insane.

The tensai said he did know an Oishi and a Kikumaru and they were all in tennis club at Seigaku together. After Fuji mentioned casually about Kiko coming to their school, it didn't take the police long to find the report on her from the week before or their old phones where she had left ranting messages and threats to kill Eiji, Oishi, and even herself.

The police were about to let them go when Oishi called. Eiji must have taken the phone over and Fuji relayed to the police after the call that they had both been to the hospital as Eiji was injured playing tennis. Fuji was sure the police would check but it looked like it was over.

They gave the police all their info, asked if they could let them know that the girl they had "saved" would be all right, and then were sent on their way. The police even asked if they needed rides home and they said no, they had their bikes. They rode back to Fuji's. Tezuka said nothing but just followed.

Fuji walked in the door after unlocking it. He knew no one else was home. "Please, have a seat, make yourself at home. Would you like some tea, Tezuka?" Fuji did it out of habit. When all else failed and you had no idea what to do, make tea. The tensai boiled the water and went to call Oishi. He spoke to Eiji for a long time, filling him in, and setting out things for tea. Tezuka listened to Fuji and watched him the entire time.

Fuji finally hung up the phone after wishing Eiji well on what was he figured finally going to be their first night together.

"You were going to tell me something." Tezuka explained his reason for still standing there and looked like he could wait all week.

Fuji realized he meant before when Fuji almost confessed everything to him. The tensai went to make the tea and Tezuka moved to the couch where they had sit, sipping in silence, before or after, many times. Fuji turned out the lights and lit the relaxation candle for the second time that night. This time for himself. He joined Tezuka with their tea on the couch when it was done.

He thought of Eiji, how they lay so close together just as friends, and the tensai lay his head down in Tezuka's lap. He was suddenly very tired and needed a little comfort. Tezuka seemed surprised when Fuji lay down on him, but he did not move or say a word.

Fuji missed the Tezuka from the night before with an ache. He found he was nearly crying thinking of what might have happened to Eiji and had curled himself into a little ball trying to hold his tears in.

"Fuji?" Tezuka put his hand softly on Fuji's shoulder. That was all it took.

Racking sobs gripped Fuji. He could not help it or stop it. It was an ugly cry that had long been buried deep inside him. Tezuka had somehow pulled him into a sitting position on his lap and was holding him, stroking his back. Letting him cry. Fuji's forehead was resting on his collarbone. Fuji sobbed so hard he was having a hard time catching his breath. Tezuka whispered, "Shh, Syusuke...its all right now, shhh....." He kissed Fuji's forehead and smoothed his hair.

When Fuji was finally finished sobbing, Tezuka handed him his tea to sip. Fuji's throat was dry and the warm tea felt good. Then Tezuka dried any remaining tears with his current handkerchief, kissing both of Fuji's cheeks and then his lips. But it was a chaste kiss.

As if Tezuka also had no idea what to do.

Fuji then realized Tezuka was as lost as Fuji was.

Fuji started talking, the words just came tumbling out. Fuji let go and for once, for one more time, and told one person nearly everything. Everything but that. Even though he knew it would probably drive Tezuka away. Fuji even mused for a moment that he may have been trying to drive Tezuka away. Testing him and expecting him to fail, Fuji wanted someone, Tezuka especially, to understand him. Just for a moment until he was gone.

On to Chapter 45!!