Learning to Fall. 
by Suteishichic

Chapter Fifty Three

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

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

"Show me." Eiji had said.

Oishi did. It was still early, before noon and Oishi had videotapes from last years Nationals when he and Tezuka went to watch. Oishi was surprised at some of the doubles teams, everyone there was, as some well known singles had competed as doubles. So he had taped them and they watched them now.

Oishi also had some tapes from world wide competitions, recording them usually to see one person's style who happened to be playing a doubles match. Oishi preferred singles and was sure Eiji did too, but there was something about when they played together that Oishi really enjoyed. A certain synchronizing. It was like they just clicked. They brought out the best in each other. It was magic.

Oishi watched Eiji as he watched and studied the tapes. Eiji got into the games like he got into a movie or a book. Lost to it. Occasionally asking Oishi to rewind and sometimes he would cover one of his eyes as if to not be distracted by one side of the screen and focus on the other. Eiji wanted to re-watch an earlier tape and Oishi let him while he fixed them both a quick lunch. He was starving and Eiji probably was too. It was nothing like anything Eiji would make but Eiji still thanked him, and ate robotically watching, entranced, lost.

When Eiji decided he was done watching he just turned to Oishi and said, "Hoi, have an extra racket? Mine's still at Fuji's."

"Do you want to go pick it up?" Oishi said and went to kiss him.

"Nya, I want to play somewhere first. I want to try a few things. Please?" He kissed Oishi quickly back, distracted, thinking only of tennis.

"Sure, I'll call Fuji and make sure they can play later this afternoon. This is what you want to do?"

"Hoi." Oishi called Fuji and set up for them all to play doubles at three. Eiji wanted to go try. Now. Both of them had on t-shirts but Eiji was still just in Oishi's underwear and Oishi had on jeans. He got both of them clothes to play in and they changed.

"Do you want to use my racket and I can use my spare one? Its wrapped still in your grip tape."

"Nya. You use what you're comfortable with and I'll use your spare one. Where can we go?"

"I know a street tennis place where people gather to play doubles. It only has one court and to play you have to keep winning."

Eiji smiled for the first time in a while and felt the tension on the strings of Oishi's spare racket, testing it out. "Hoi. Then lets keep winning."

Oishi had never seen Eiji like it before. He had seen him play angry, seen him play happy, seen him practice hard, seen him show off and goof off for a crowd, but he had never seen him this, determined or driven. They stretched out and Eiji wanted to warm up more by running to the court so they did. The day was just turning sunny with a few clouds and it was cool. There were a lot of people there and Oishi hoped they would even just get to play.

Eiji took care of it to Oishi's surprise. He walked up right after the last two guys lost. He was flipping Oishi's old racket over the back of his hand as if to get the feel for it. Oishi had never seen him do it before. Eiji said smiling and certain, "Yah-hoi! So who do we have to beat around here to play?"

One of the guys who won said amused, "Are you new here?" They looked to be seniors or even older. He and Eiji had just arrived, missing the entire game except for the last serve.

"Yeah." Eiji said smiling and shrugged. He must have known there were at least a dozen other teams in front of them. He didn't blink an eye.

The other guy said, "You any good?"

The words were out of his mouth before Oishi was aware he was going to say them, though he said his challenge smiling, "Why don't you find out?" The guys looked at him and then at Eiji.

The first guy answered Eiji. "You would have to beat us, but no one ever will. We're regulars at Ginka."

Eiji was already walking onto the court.

The second guy said to Oishi, "You guys had better be good."

As if drawn, Oishi followed Eiji on to the court. Eiji went up and Oishi back as if they had agreed before. They really had not talked signals, strategy, or anything but still, Oishi trusted Eiji and was enjoying seeing him this serious. Eiji saw Oishi get in place and answered the second guy. "Hoi? You going to talk or you going to play?" He was not smiling.

The first guy said, "We'll play. We'll even let you serve." He smiled as if he was sure this was going to be an easy win against two cocky guys.

They beat them 6-2. They then beat everyone else they played, one team after the next, until they had to leave to meet Tezuka and Fuji. Eiji was on fire and even Oishi found himself amazed at how good he was. He flipped and flew and dove, each time coming up smiling, as they scored again and again.

They had to run to make it to meet Fuji and Tezuka on time. When they left, the people waiting to play them were a mix of disappointed they were leaving, and relieved to see them go. Everyone seemed to want to know who they were and where they came from. They had created quite a buzz.

On the way running over, Eiji looked at Oishi and said, "Hoi Oishi?"

"Yeah?" Oishi.

"Thank you." Then he smiled like the sun.

"You're welcome." Oishi smiled back at him feeling better about earlier.

They had to get there so fast that Oishi had not had time to think that this was the same court where he and Tezuka were last night, when things went so very, very wrong. Oishi blamed himself and wished Tezuka had told him the entire story but he knew his reaction to their talk was entirely his fault.

He hoped Eiji was not upset with that being the same place and wondered if he even knew. Eiji was taking the entire Tezuka talking to Oishi last night very well. He did not seem bothered by what Tezuka must have said to Oishi. Oishi realized that Eiji understood it was Oishi's reaction to what Tezuka said that was even more wrong.

And then there was Tezuka. Oishi had no idea what to say to him. He understood he was at fault and that Tezuka was trying to be a good friend but he was wrong too. Oishi did not know how to make it right but wanted to, as soon as possible.

He also wondered if Tezuka would apologize to Eiji. He figured he might as it might be the right thing to do but you never knew. Oishi had no idea how Eiji felt about Tezuka. Oishi also had no idea what was going on with the tensai and the Vice Captain. He also had no idea what would happen when Fuji saw him next and cringed thinking of his terrible, out of control behavior last night. His sobbing and pulling the tensai down to the floor, just remembering made him cringe.

Oishi suddenly thought this was a bad idea.

Eiji must have been watching him out of the corner of his eye. He reached over, flicked Oishi gently with a finger right between his eyes as they ran up the steps, and never broke his stride. "Nya Oishi, we're just going to beat our friends in tennis, right?" He smiled. Telling Oishi without saying a word that he understood. That it was fine. That it was going to be fine.

"Right." Oishi said gratefully. Eiji high fived him, smiling as they ran up the steps, and then they were there.

Hellos were exchanged all around. Fuji said hello to Oishi and gave both him and Eiji a long knowing look. It made Oishi blush and Eiji laugh lightly in almost a giggle. It was as if the tensai knew exactly everything they had done the night before and this morning. It made Oishi want to put his arm around Eiji protectively for some reason.

Then Fuji turned his attentions onto Eiji who basked in them. Eiji smiled when Fuji noticed his bandage and asked how many stitches. Fuji gave Eiji his bag from his house and Eiji was delighted to get his own racket back. He didn't say a word to let Tezuka and Fuji know they had played already nearly all that day practicing, and Oishi knew from his lead to say nothing also. But, Oishi knew he wanted his racket badly because it was the first thing he grabbed out of his bag before tossing it down.

Tezuka handed Oishi the regulars jacket he gave him the night before without saying a word. Oishi supposed it was a form of apology from his stoic friend until they could talk alone. Oishi thanked him.

He was going to show the jacket to Eiji but then noticed Eiji was doing that flip with his racket now psyching himself up again. He again looked both calm and deadly serious.

Oishi could always show him later. Now he wanted only to play.

Fuji noticed and looked at Oishi surprised. Oishi smiled and shrugged as if to say he had no idea why. Oishi figured it would be best if Eiji and he just played. Showing them, showing even Tezuka in actions, instead of saying it in words.

They beat them 7-5. Eiji was amazing. Even Oishi was stunned.

After Eiji and Oishi beat Tezuka and Fuji, Fuji asked both of them if they wanted another game and then to maybe all go out to eat together. Oishi though had a feeling that Tezuka and Fuji wanted to be alone. Oishi looked at Eiji who looked happy at winning, but at the same time seemed exhausted. He had watched as Eiji got more and more tired. To the point of panting towards the end of the match.

He thought maybe Fuji who knew Eiji well would pick up on it but the tensai did not seem to have yet.

Oishi was worried.

Eiji looked at Oishi as if saying silently if Oishi wanted to continue, he would too. After how driven Eiji was earlier in the day, Oishi saw a dramatic difference between then and now. Oishi turned to Fuji, decided to take a chance, and hoped he would not make Eiji in any way mad. He told Fuji that they already had plans for dinner and he would be ready to go whenever Eiji wanted to leave.

Oishi lied because he really thought he should. He felt terrible though.

Eiji looked at him, surprised, as if wondering what he was talking about, but seemed all right with leaving. Fuji made just enough fuss over how well Eiji had played that he felt adored. Then Fuji took Eiji aside and the two of them talked closely for a few moments.

Oishi felt his ears turning red. "Thanks for meeting us today, Tezuka. It means a lot to Eiji." And to me....Oishi added to himself.

Tezuka said, "You play very well together. Kikumaru has improved." Two sentences from Tezuka that were rather incredible. Some in the tennis club would go all their years at Seigaku without ever hearing such high praise.

"Thank you very much, Tezuka." Oh, this was awkward.

Tezuka nodded and then to Oishi's shock, apologized to Oishi. He told him how he really was trying to be a good friend but that he was wrong. Tezuka said he was confused himself about a few things the night before in his own life, but now was quite clear. He said how glad he was that Kikumaru was all right. Then quietly added that they seemed to be all right as well and he was glad. Meaning Oishi and Eiji. Apparently now approving.

Tezuka then thanked Oishi for being a good friend before Oishi could apologize to him. He then told Oishi how Tezuka knew he was hard to talk to, and he had always admired how Oishi had no trouble talking to anyone. That everyone liked Oishi. He was sort of everyone's big brother, and really cared about everyone. He asked Oishi if he still wanted to take the tennis team next year to nationals with Tezuka as they had always planned.

But he wanted to know if next year Oishi would take the tennis club next year to nationals as their team's, as Tezuka's Vice Captain.

Oishi was surprised. Extremely surprised. It was not done. Always a senior picked a junior who was then captain the following year. But Tezuka said he both wanted and needed Oishi by his side. That only Oishi could give their team the support they need and that together the friends, as Captain and Vice Captain of so much talent and drive at Seigaku, would be an unbeatable team. They would help Seigaku get to nationals. They could even win.

They could then help choose the following years captain and vice captain out of the members and groom people for the jobs. Maybe even start a new tradition. Tezuka would not abandon the team but it was their promise to each other to get the team there. They could see it through together.

Oishi was shocked and flattered, how could he not be? Tezuka outlined the general responsibilities he needed Oishi to cover and one thrilled Oishi in particular. Even as he said it, Tezuka gave Oishi a small knowing look and smiled slightly. If Oishi didn't know Tezuka so well he would have missed it.

Tezuka Kunimitsu was a very good friend.

"Whatever you need Tezuka. Thank you." Oishi shook his hand. "Just ask. I'm your friend." They paused a moment both understanding the other perfectly.

Oishi would have to ask his father just to be on the safe side but it would most likely further cement his staying at Seigaku. Even if Oishi lost his regulars spot one month he would have a way to stay. It could work. It would.

And he and Tezuka would keep their promise to each other, to their team.

Then Eiji and Fuji bounded over. Well, Eiji half bounded, happy but spent, and Fuji glided over as usual. Fuji mentioned he and Tezuka had already purchased the tickets for the movie as it was sold out. They would meet them at twenty to ten in front of the theater.

They parted ways. Eiji was happy but still seemed really tired. He was happy that Oishi and Tezuka parted well. Oishi was not sure how to bring up that Eiji seemed so exhausted or see if anything was wrong, or if he was sick, without upsetting or annoying him. He also was not sure how to bring up what Tezuka proposed, and hoped Eiji would not only approve, but would be excited for him. There was a very sweet bonus, a nice benefit for them as well. It would make things a little easier and more interesting all at the same time.

Oishi had to shake his head as it filled with lusty thoughts.

"Hoi Oishi? What are we doing for dinner?" He looked so beat Oishi wanted to put his arms around him and carry him all the way home.

"I'm sorry Eiji, I hope you didn't want to stay and play longer or eat with them. I sort of felt like Tezuka and Fuji wanted to be alone for a while. And...." Oishi hesitated, searching for a little truth so it would not be a lie, "I'm a little tired. We were up late and then got up early and we've been playing all day."

Eiji put his palm on Oishi's forehead, "Nya, Oishi? Do you feel all right?"

Oishi smiled at a very fatigued Eiji still mothering him, "I'm fine, just a little tired. I could use a nap, like on the roof. Will you take one with me? At my house? We can either get dinner later on the way to the movies or pick something up now."

"Hoi. Can we pick something up now and eat it after our nap?" He smiled, bargaining.

Oishi knew Eiji really was tired when he didn't want to eat right away or cook as usual. "Sure. We can even get more ice cream."

They picked up some things at the grocery store near where Oishi lived. Oishi saw how worn out Eiji was even there. Oishi got a lot of grunts instead of answers even on food questions. Oishi asked him what he wanted to eat and Eiji shrugged as if he didn't care. His feet dragged like they were heavy and he was barely there it seemed.

They walked in the door of Oishi's house and Oishi still half expected Eiji to pounce on him. He didn't. He went and sat on the stairs as if too tired to stand up anymore. Oishi put everything down instantly and went to him. "Eiji, whats wrong?"

"Nya...." Eiji said softly and let Oishi put his arms around him.

"Are you just tired?" Oishi checked him for a fever with his hand and and then his lips and found he was cool to his relief. "Nothing else hurts right? Not your head where it was hurt or anything?" Maybe it was a concussion complication. Eiji shook his head no and Oishi was relieved.

"Just tired, love?" Eiji nodded pouting, looking half awake, and leaned over on him. "Do you want to go upstairs and get into bed while I put the things away?" Oishi got a head shake no and a mumble that ended in something about being sweaty and them having a shower. They had played all afternoon. "You want to shower with me first?" Another mumble with a head shake yes.

"Eiji stay here for a minute, all right? I'll be right back." Oishi raced to put what they bought away. He was back in less than a minute and Eiji was slumped over on the stairs. Oishi was a little scared and hoped Eiji was just exhausted. "Come on love, lets go get you clean and to bed." He kissed Eiji's lips again, though really still checking for a fever. He put his finger to Eiji's forehead and stroked like he did in the hospital and when they were together. "Eiji, stay with me okay?"

"Hmm Oishi...." But he slurred it and sounded a million miles away. Oishi put his arms around him and half lifted, half carried him up. He even thought of throwing Eiji in bed but Eiji lead them into the bathroom. Oishi turned on the water and undressed him and himself. Eiji put his arms around him and leaned on him. He held him close but said nothing.

Oishi made sure the water was hot and near scalding for Eiji and helped him in. He helped him wash and washed himself. He dried the both of them and brought him into his room. He handed clothes to Eiji to wear and thought he would have to dress him. Eiji responded then though, and put them on while walking towards the bed. So weary he didn't even pull his shirt down.

Oishi climbed in next to him, fixed his clothes, and lay on his back with Eiji laying on his side facing away from him. Oishi put his hand on Eiji's back rubbing lightly, and Eiji surprised him by grabbing his hand and pulling him towards him, weakly saying "Oishi?"

Oishi spooned him, putting that arm Eiji held around him and said, "Yes, love?"

"Thank you."

Oishi wasn't sure what for but said anyway, "You're welcome." He kissed his hair.


"Yes, love?"

"I love you."

"I love you too."


Oishi smiled but was still very worried, "Yes, love?"

"Shh, sleep." As if Oishi was the one talking. Eiji then turned so he lay wrapped in Oishi's arms. Oishi gently lay down on his back and pulled Eiji with him. Eiji, really not awake, curled up against him, weakly, barely, wrapping them together. Oishi hoped Eiji was just purely exhausted. More tired than even Eiji must have realized. Maybe Oishi had woken him up with his jaw the night before and he had not slept well.

Oishi was not sure but as he lay down with him, worried, Oishi felt a nap might be good thing for him as well.

He rubbed Eiji's back in soft circles, how he had put him to sleep before. Eiji's breathing got deeper and deeper as he fell farther and farther away.

Oishi thought how Eiji had heard his grandparents story even while half asleep and so he decided to tell Eiji softly, and not wake him, "You played incredible today, love. You amazed everyone, all those people, Tezuka, Fuji, even me. You're amazing. I love you, Eiji." Then he kissed Eiji's forehead, checking for fever and finding none. He lay back and felt Eiji's hair tickle Oishi's chin as he snuggled up closer to him in slumber.

He matched his breathing to Eiji's and soon joined him in sleep.

Oishi woke up startled from a bad dream, pleased to find Eiji still in his arms sleeping soundly. Oishi held him close.

He checked his clock in the reflection of the aquarium. It was dark. A few minutes before eight. His heart was racing and he was sweating.

Oishi shivered as if cold but entirely from fear.

The nightmare gripped him still. Images flashed through his mind and he could not shake them off.

Oishi running on a beach during a storm. He was alone, cold, and wet. Soaked to the skin and could not remember if he is supposed to be running away from something or instead chasing after something else. He can only remember the feeling of desperation and fear driving him to keep moving. He could not find Eiji anywhere in his dream nor could he sense him. It was like part of himself was cut off, missing, and gone.

Then somehow in the dream it switched and he was in the middle of the ocean, drifting all alone during a terrible storm, the waves swelled over the sides of his boat and the drenching freezing rain poured on him flooding it even more. It was dark and the water was black. He looked at the boat to find it was made of marble. He remembers the feeling of drowning, and worse than that is the realization that he is all alone. Eiji is not there and he does not even have any sense if Eiji is safe. He remembers in his dream thinking if he only knew Eiji was safe, cared for, loved, that he would be fine with this. He would be fine with drowning, with dying, but he cannot find or feel Eiji, and cannot help himself from going down.

It was a terrible dream, it felt very real, very scary, and it haunts him.

Oishi put his arms a little more around Eiji. He softly kissed him, wanting some comfort and to see how he is feeling now. "Ei-ji?" He said singing softly, as he realized the time. He is worried about him still being so weary. "Ei-ji? We have to get up so we can go see the movie with Fuji and Tezuka. All right?"

Eiji murmured in his sleep and rolled over, onto his other side, away from Oishi. Oishi spooned him concerned and felt a little hurt. Alone. It is absurd, he knows, but he still feels it. Oishi recalled his nightmare again and can't stay in bed anymore. He thought of asking Eiji to please wake up so he can talk to him about it, but he seemed so sleepy still and Oishi doesn't want to trouble him.

Eiji is so asleep still in fact Oishi said a little scared, "Eiji? Hey Eiji? Love, please wake up. You're worrying me."

He holds him close and kisses his hair relieved when Eiji softly says from a million miles away, "Nnn...tired...fine...."

"We have to get ready to go to the movie, remember? With our friends? The one you wanted to see? Are you not feeling well? Do you want me to call them and cancel so you can sleep?"

Eiji moves a little closer to Oishi as if cold. "Nnn...can't, Fuji got tickets....nnnn....time....?"

"A little before 8 but we haven't eaten dinner yet."

"Nnnn....Sleep more...then go."

"You want me to wake you at nine? That will be enough time?"


"All right love, I'll go shower and get ready and wake you at nine. If you get up and want to shower with me it would be nice...." He hinted and hoped.


Oishi held him closer for a moment and kissed the back of his head, breathing him in. He knew it was silly but he was worried and he felt very alone. He went to shower, disappointed Eiji wasn't with him, and not just for his touch or his kiss, but his company. Oishi left the door open, hoping Eiji would join him. He never did.

Oishi remembered how things were before Eiji, how alone he was all the time without even realizing it, and he never wants that again. He thinks about this as he finished his shower and got dressed.

He checked on Eiji who was still sleeping, curled up in the same position from when he turned away from him. Oishi went downstairs and heated the food they had bought earlier for dinner and set it out. He ate his portion although he had little appetite, still haunted by the very bad dream. Oishi knew he had to eat though, so he did. He went to brush his teeth and then went to wake Eiji. If he couldn't wake him this time, he decided he would pay Fuji back for the unused tickets and take Eiji tomorrow. He was kind of hoping Eiji would not get up and want to go, then found it strange that he felt that way.

"Eiji? Its nine love, you have to get up if you want to go."

Eiji sat up yawning. "Hoi Oishi." Eiji rubbed at his eyes, stretched catlike, and blinked at him. "You're dressed?"

"I couldn't sleep anymore." That nightmare loomed large over Oishi in his dimly lit room. He pulled Eiji up, wanting to pull him closer to him and kiss him, just for a moment until Eiji being close, being with him, pushed the bad feelings from the dream away.

Eiji allowed him one quick hug, a kiss on his mouth closed, and then said to Oishi's surprise, "Nya Oishi! I haven't brushed."

Oishi felt crushed. "Sorry...." He said quietly as Eiji stepped away.

"Nya Oishi, you can't wear that. Fuji said to dress nice, we might go somewhere after if he can get Tezuka to go."

"Where? You never said. Whats wrong with this?" Oishi was in tan pants and a white long sleeved shirt.

"Nya Oishi." Eiji yawned again, "He said not to tell you where. He said to wear all dark clothes, black if we can. I'll have to borrow some clothes, okay?"

"Of course. Tell me what I should wear and I'll change."

"Hoi." Eiji made a face. "I'm hungry." He sounded surprised.

"We ate a long time ago. I ate already but its ready downstairs. Its not as good as you would make though."

Eiji smiled. "Eat first, then shower, then clothes." He bounded out of the room heading downstairs, leaving Oishi standing there, stunned. Oishi for the first time in his life felt like pouting. He knew he was being stupid but Eiji had been engrossed with tennis earlier and now he seemed cold. Like a friend only. Oishi picked out some darker clothes he had and wondered if it was just that he was dressed so conservatively, so boring.

He shrugged. Maybe he should just go talk to Eiji. Tell him about his dream, his feelings.

But then he felt totally stupid. Eiji just wanted to get ready to go and be on time. Didn't he? Maybe Oishi should go sit with Eiji as he ate.

He went downstairs and sat with him. Eiji read the comics from the paper as he ate fast. He barely gave Oishi a glance, so Oishi asked him. "Is the food okay?"

"Hoi." He said around a mouthful not looking up.

"Are you okay?" What Oishi meant is are we okay and all that question implied, but he was suddenly afraid to ask.

"Hoi, better, not tired now. Shower!" Eiji went to pick up the plates.

"I'll do that, just go get ready."

"Thanks!" Eiji said and dashed off without touching him. Oishi cleaned up and tried to keep his head on straight. Eiji must not have liked the food much as he said he was hungry and then ate less than half. Eiji was just rushing. Oishi was getting upset over nothing. Right?

Oishi even thought of joining him in the shower but he found the door was closed. Not ajar, but shut, and Oishi did not want to knock and possibly find it locked. It would have hurt too much.

Oishi then remembered he had an older pair of black jeans that were small on him but might fit Eiji perfect. His sister had a bad habit of stealing them. Oishi went into her room and not only found the jeans but several shirts, sweaters, and other things that he had not seen in so long, he'd forgotten he owned them. He took the dark ones back. He made his bed and set the clothes out for Eiji to choose for them.

While he waited for Eiji to finish in the bathroom, he reread their texting messages from the night before. Oishi was going to erase them but suddenly didn't want to. He also had a crazy notion to text Eiji right now, I miss you....

Which was ridiculous because he was right down the hall wasn't he?

Oishi changed his pants into his favorite pair of dark ones. He often wore them on dates and girls always told him that he looked nice in them. One had said, they fit him just right in all the right places. Another said they were sexy and grabbed him in several places to show him why and where she thought so. Oishi felt a little better for about ten seconds and then felt stupid again.

He took them off and put his other ones back on, letting Eiji decide. Plus if Eiji didn't like Oishi's pants or said something bad about them, or anything else, even offhandedly, Oishi didn't think he could take it right now.

Just as he was folding them up, Eiji came into the room wearing only a little towel and a little pout.

"You make me not want to go anywhere but back to bed with you wearing that." Oishi said it without realizing he had said it out loud. He then hoped he could at least get a kiss now that Eiji had likely brushed his teeth, but all he got was a smile.

"Hoi? Pants you wore from our double date?" Eiji said distractedly pointing to what Oishi held in his hands. Oishi nodded. "Let me see. Please." He added when Oishi didn't move right away because he was surprised and dismayed.

Oishi started changing and handed his black jeans to Eiji. "These are some older pants that might fit you better. They're too small for me, my sister likes them and keeps stealing them."

"Hoi." Eiji put them on without underwear and dropped the towel. Oishi felt his jaw drop. It was not just the no underwear thing, although that didn't help. You could clearly see every inch of Eiji's perfect body, it was all now somehow perfectly defined, and all his best points were highlighted. Oishi could clearly see how strong his legs were, how perfect and tight his butt was and when Eiji turned around, looking in the mirror behind him, every contour of his front was highlighted, emphasized, and outlined.

Oishi made an involuntary little strangling noise. Half moan and half awe. It sounded almost like he said 'whoa' and he was not a 'whoa' kind of guy. Eiji turned to look at him as if asking if he looked all right. "You look...." Oishi could not find the words he wanted.

"Sexy?" Eiji smiled and suggested.

"Extremely sexy." Oishi said his mouth going dry. "Do you want a pair of underwear?" Oishi suddenly wanted to protect him from everyone else that would look at him the way Oishi was looking at him now.

"Does it look...bad without?"

Oishi did not trust his voice but hated in this moment that he could not lie. He shook his head slowly saying no, felt himself getting hard, and wanted to take those off Eiji. "No." Oishi heard the husky sound of lust in his voice at that one word. "Not bad, maybe too good." Eiji smiled and then waited for Oishi to finish putting on his pants when all he wanted to do was take both of theirs off.

"Nya. You don't wear any underwear, either." He smiled wickedly, daring him.

"All right." Oishi said. He blushed at Eiji watching him, and pulled his pants back down, again, and then his underwear. Eiji saw him hard and looked at him, surprised. Oishi explained, "Its from looking at you."

Eiji's wicked smile increased but he didn't move closer. He actually looked over at the clock and saw it was 9:20. His look made Oishi look over at the clock too. They had to hurry to be on time.

Eiji looked through Oishi's clothes for a shirt. It would be cool tonight after the rain. Eiji picked for Oishi a black, soft, sueded button down shirt. Eiji seemed to like how soft it felt. Oishi found it a little tight and had not worn it before. Some girl had given it to him. It was not what Oishi would normally wear but he had to admit, he looked okay. It showed off his shoulders and arms. It stopped just at the top of his pants. He usually wore baggier clothes and both of these fit him well. "Better?" He asked Eiji. Eiji nodded and smiled.

Eiji picked for himself a so blue it looked black dress shirt. Oishi thought it was black in his sisters room. It was cut in a slight western style and tapered in a little at the waist. Another gift to Oishi from some girl. Oishi never wore it because on his broader shoulders it fit too tight for him to even move. On Eiji, again, it looked amazing, like it was made to only fit him. In bright light the shirt still looked slightly blue and seemed to make Eiji's eyes look a deeper shade of sparkling blue. Eiji wore the shirt loose and untucked. When he raised his arms, the sides of his hips and stomach showed in a tantalizing tease of soft skin.

Oishi could see him being famous and dressing this way. He smiled. "Very sexy." He told him the truth before Eiji asked him.

Eiji smiled and then went to put on his shoes that he had brought with him and gotten back from Fuji. Oishi's shoes were too big for him. Oishi put on a pair of soft leather black shoes that he liked. He lent Eiji an older black suede jacket his sister had taken and wore his black leather one. Eiji looked him up and down. He smiled and only said "Hoi, is your cologne from Fujiko on?" Oishi shook his head no and then put a little on. Eiji did the same with his and smiled. "Ready?"

"Sure, let me just grab my phone." Oishi set it on vibrate so it wouldn't disturb anyone. Eiji saw and did the same to his, slipping it into his borrowed jacket. Oishi wanted to kiss him but didn't, he also wanted to hold his hand but held back, letting Eiji take the lead.

"Let's go." He smiled. Oishi was still hurt over this distance between them and did not know what to do.

They arrived exactly on time. Tezuka was almost scowling because Oishi was usually early for everything. Eiji apologized telling Fuji he had held them up. Fuji suitably admired what Eiji had on. Oishi felt a pang of jealousy knowing the tensai's eyes did not miss a thing. Oishi saw them slide over Eiji's body and linger on his borrowed black jeans.

Then the tensai looked Oishi up and down. "Ne, Oishi, you clean up well." Fuji said standing close as was his way. Too close. And Oishi knew the tensai noticed he had no underwear on either. Oishi blushed and saw Eiji look a little annoyed, his eyes flashed, dangerously jealous. It made Oishi feel slightly better.

He also saw Tezuka do the same to the tensai's admirations. Looking jealous. Tezuka. Oishi almost laughed out loud. Almost.

Tezuka looked like he had gotten a haircut. Well more than that, his hair looked...styled. Oishi could never remember Tezuka ever having his hair so styled in all the time he had known him. It was still shaggy but now it was perfectly, deliberately, so. Every strand in place perfectly mussed that only comes from someone giving it careful attention. Oishi had learned this from Eiji.

Oishi knew not to say anything but Eiji went right ahead. Either not afraid of Tezuka or figuring he could not be ordered to do a hundred laps around the movie theater. "Hoi Tezuka! Your hair looks...nice!" A hair complement from Eiji was really saying something.

Fuji shocked them both by thanking Eiji with a wicked but very pleased smile. Fuji had on a black pullover V-necked shirt that looked to be a soft velvet. It looked expensive and you could see the tensai's form well in it as he moved. He had on jeans that matched in color and maybe material but they were skin tight. Oishi noticed he also had no underwear on and that the pants emphasized his, well, his size in the front and also as how tight and strong his legs and ass were. Over this, Fuji had on a black, short, motorcycle style leather jacket. Oishi had never seen it on him before but it looked well worn and fit him well.

Tezuka on the other hand looked like a rock star or a teen idol. Dark blue jeans, expensive black dress shirt open at the neck, and no jacket as if he didn't care about the cold, as if he dared the weather to even try to bother him. His pants were low on his hips emphasizing his form and strength. Everything like his hair was wrinkled and worn perfectly.

It all somehow made Tezuka look like he dressed in the nearest things that happened to be lying on the floor but Oishi knew, knew, Fuji had dressed Tezuka with precise care. Oishi noticed for the first time that Tezuka was strikingly handsome and Tezuka seemed not to care about it, making him somehow, elusively, more attractive. His glasses made him look even more removed from everyone else. As if he couldn't be bothered to talk to the little people and he had enough of a not-caring almost swagger as he proudly walked to make you believe it.

Several people were openly staring at them as they walked to the theater. Most of them girls. A few even commented on one, another, or all of them. A couple even loudly pointed and called to them. They ignored the girls and walked into the theater. Fuji smiled as always, Tezuka scowled, looking serious, Eiji grinned, wickedly delighting in the attention, and Oishi just tried not to blush or laugh out loud.

Later he would compare it to the high he got whenever they as regulars walked into a tennis tournament. All of them in their regulars uniforms, each looking distinct and driven, all of them knowing their presence sent both a chill through their competition, and an excited stir through everyone else as they arrived. But this was the first time Oishi had ever experienced it. It was powerful, heady, and a thrill.

At the snack counter, Eiji surprised Oishi by insisting on paying. Oishi sort of felt this was a date, and he sort of wanted to pay, although they hadn't talked about it before. He knew Eiji was the complete opposite of him when it came to money. When Eiji had money, he spent it until he simply had no more. Oishi didn't mind paying for things because he saved, so he always had some. He wondered if Eiji thought because maybe of this morning that he had to pay. Then Eiji must have seen Oishi looking confused, he said, "Nya, its my turn, you bought dinner."

Oishi felt a sinking feeling in his chest. They were back to taking turns like when they were just friends. It wasn't a planned thing back then that one would pay and then the other, but it had evolved into that. Now Oishi sort of paid for most things and Eiji paid when he felt like it, mostly for little things, but he had never insisted before.

Then Oishi thought maybe it was because Eiji really had not eaten much. Maybe he felt bad about wanting to eat a lot. Oishi just had him get him a water when Eiji insisted that Oishi get something. He really didn't feel like he could eat anything. Eiji looked disappointed that Oishi didn't want more. Oishi had noticed when Eiji felt stressed he ate, when Oishi felt stressed, he couldn't eat. He mused at how opposite they were on many things. Eiji only bought a small popcorn, small soda, small candy for himself. Oishi wasn't sure if he was low on money or just wanted to eat his own things and not share. He didn't feel right speaking to Eiji about it with Fuji and Tezuka right there.

Oishi did notice Tezuka paid for Fuji and that he tried to ignore what the tensai was putting on his food. He wondered idly if Tezuka ever was burned kissing Fuji after Fuji ate such potent, spicy things, like the medicine drops that burned. He then dismissed the thoughts in a hurry, not wanting to go there.

Fuji lead them into the theater. The show was sold out and there were seats all the way at the top or right in front of the screen. Eiji wanted to sit in the front row but Fuji whispered something to Eiji who looked surprised, and then nodded, suddenly smiling wide.

They sat in the balcony in the last row and took some of the last seats together in the middle. Tezuka went in first, then Fuji, then Eiji, and Oishi was on the aisle. Oishi had never sat in the balcony before and noticed that couples around them up there were already kissing. A few really going at it as the lights dimmed. Oishi noticed this one couple out of the corner of his eye and felt a pang of jealousy that he could not be that way with Eiji. Not that Oishi was into heavy public displays of affection, but to have the option must be really nice.

Eiji and Fuji talked in whispers, laughing now and again. The previews started and Oishi heard Eiji telling Fuji which ones looked good and what he wanted to see. Oishi wished it was him Eiji was talking to.

He wondered if Tezuka ever felt the same about Fuji.

Oishi noticed the couple in the corner he had been watching make out, separate and was surprised to see it was two guys. One just had long chestnut brown hair and the other had gray blond hair. No one seemed to care or notice them but Oishi. It made Oishi wonder if this was why Fuji picked this theater and these seats.

Not that it mattered with how distant Eiji seemed to be right now.

The movie started and Eiji's arm was resting on the hand rest. Oishi had enough and just wanted to touch him. Even casually. He missed him and he was right there. He put his arm on the armrest and just brushed the back of Eiji's hand softly with the back of his own. It would seem casual if anyone looked, but he hoped Eiji would know he would like nothing more than to just touch him, to hold his hand, to be closer to him.

Eiji did not even look at Oishi. He did not even tell him to watch the movie. Eiji just took his arm away and put it in his own lap.

It reminded Oishi of how he had been at the movies with that crazy girl. No, even Oishi had been nice enough to touch her after he stopped her. Oishi suddenly found he couldn't sit there any longer. He just couldn't.

He whispered, "Excuse me...."

He figured Eiji didn't care what he did and Oishi stood up.

He walked out.

On to Chapter 54!!