Learning to Fall. 
by Suteishichic

Chapter Sixty Seven ~ Kikumaru

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

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

Eiji cried really hard, not caring how stupid he felt. He could be that way with Oishi and usually Oishi loved him for it. He loved Eiji when Eiji was himself.

Usually. But that was because usually Eiji wasn't mean to him. He had been mean.

But Oishi's turning away really hurt him, and then he walked away! He walked away from him really angry and wouldn't stop when Eiji yelled after him. It reminded Eiji of Friday when Oishi said all those mean things. Those terrible things thinking he was being good to Eiji by breaking up.

Eiji knew that he had been mean to say that to Oishi but he was angry. He was still surprised at how angry he was when he thought Oishi was laughing at him. Knowing Oishi was right. He had used the stupid conditioner sometimes. He would never have told that to anyone else. Ever.

But Eiji also knew it wasn't just that. All morning, all weekend, had been very intense, very emotional, and very beautiful. Eiji was mad, feeling that Oishi didn't understand that he needed reassurances now after it. He was upset about their weekend ending. Except for the part on Friday night, the rest of the weekend was like a dream.

Actually there were some things that really worried and bothered Eiji. Some questions he needed to have answered. Some things left over from Friday and Eiji did not know how to talk to him. He had tried. Oishi had even guessed one of the things when he let Eiji be on top. Eiji had wanted to talk to him this morning but making love felt so good and there didn't seem to be any time.

And if things went bad then at least Eiji had this weekend to remember. Most of it was better than perfect.

Eiji was mad at himself. He was always pushing. He pushed himself and everyone around him all the time. He had no idea why he always did that but he did. He hurt Oishi just like he was afraid he would because he was stupid and mean. He was stupid and mean because he was worried.

He wasn't like Oishi. Oishi could worry about things and smile, Eiji couldn't. If he was mad, he yelled. If he was sad, he cried. And if he had a problem he dealt with it. Not dealing with these things was making him worry. It was making him get mad easy and be mean.

He felt bad. He didn't want to be mean to Oishi. Or hurt him. And he did.

He felt terrible.

And scared still of the stupid kiss test.

But what if Oishi gave it to him, what if, and Eiji failed? What if Oishi left him? Or just couldn't be with him anymore? What if after he didn't want him anymore? What if he asked Oishi to give it to him and it was really Oishi's way of saying goodbye to someone? And he made Oishi say goodbye by making Oishi give it to him?

It was too terrible to think of, but he had to. He had to.

He knew Oishi loved him. That they were special. But, he also knew that Oishi was giving up his family. Eventually he was. Eiji wanted to make sure for him. Very sure that Oishi wanted this. Wanted them. That he was not experimenting. That he would not change his mind. Or have regrets. That this was real for him too.

Otherwise, one day, he knew Oishi would leave him. He would leave him and resent Eiji for all that he lost. Eiji wished for the millionth time that Oishi's stupid father get a clue and grow a heart, even though he knew he never would. He pictured Oishi again with long, soft, black hair, looking very cute, being very young, and feeling happy. He knew that little boy probably cried as his father took him to have his head shaved. He said he looked like a girl!

Then Oishi had to walk around and go to school like that. It was mean!

Eiji remembered how angry Oishi got when he told Eiji on the phone his most embarrassing moment of that woman thinking he was her little girl. Eiji had laughed and not understood why that made him so angry. Eiji understood now.

His stupid father. Eiji wondered if all those mean things Oishi said were things his stupid father would say. He would bet on it. He also wondered if his stupid father said men with long hair looked not only like girls but gay. He could believe that too. His father had said other stupid things like that.

It broke Eiji's heart to think how good Oishi was despite his father. How sweet, gentle, loving and kind he was. How big his heart was and how much Eiji loved him.

Eiji knew Oishi's father did not like him. Eiji knew he was nice and polite the night he met his parents. That terrible dinner. He hated the contradiction as his father then fell all over Fujiko the next time. All right Fujiko was a genius but still, Oishi's father was all over him. And Fujiko was sort of a feminine guy in a cool, nice way, now that Eiji thought about it. And Fujiko had longer hair that moved more than Eiji's did!

It was Fujiko talking about the paper Eiji was doing that made Oishi's father finally be nice to Eiji. To not treat him like he was totally stupid. Eiji knew he was on his best behavior. He had been very good, although he was nearly terrified that something he did or said would make Oishi get sent to Saint Rudolph's back then. Eiji had been very, very good. Even Oishi had said so. Even Fujiko later said he was amazed. Eiji had been his very best because he loved Oishi. Oishi had needed him, he had been there for Oishi who he loved, and his father didn't like him. His father thought Eiji was stupid until the paper. Then he never admitted he was wrong or really was any nicer. Just a little bit more respectful, but he still fawned all over Fujiko.

Eiji wondered what happened to Oishi's father to make him be the way he was. He felt sorry for him and he felt bad that Oishi had to deal with him. The saddest was that Oishi still loved his father. Part of him would always wish his father would love him back, be proud of him, accept him. Eiji knew that if Oishi was with him, once his father finds out about them, his never would never love him or accept him. He would never accept them. It broke Eiji's heart a little to know it. It broke his heart a little more knowing how Oishi's father was to Oishi. Oishi was so good, so kind, so thoughtful, such an amazing person and his father would never know it.

As bad as his father was now, once his father found out about them, he would be worse. It would be worse. His father would break Oishi's heart.

Eiji knew though he made Oishi happy. They made each other happy. They did. They would continue to. He couldn't fix Oishi's father or the hurt he did to Oishi, but Eiji could love him more than anything and Oishi could love him back the same. It would be more than enough. Eiji knew this.

He just had a need to make sure Oishi wanted this. Wanted them. For certain. Because if in a few months or a year or ten years, Oishi changed his mind, Eiji would not be able to handle that. Oishi would still lose his family if his father found out and then he would need Eiji more than ever. Eiji just needed to know. Now.

But how do you ever know? And how do you ask someone you love more than anything, even after being caught up in the moment, if this is real? If they are 100 percent certain no matter what and not going to ever change their minds? Or have any regrets? Ever? Eiji cried a little harder as he thought about it all.

Oishi kissed his tears, his cheeks, his forehead, and his lips as Eiji cried. He held him close. Eiji always felt better when Oishi held him. It kept him from worrying. Worrying was not a natural thing for Eiji and it made him feel tired and grumpy. Both of which were not natural states for him either so it became a vicious cycle until Eiji dealt with this.

Eiji kissed him back, needing to. "Nya. I was mad, nya. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it." He had a few sobs left in him, the kind almost like hiccups.

"Its okay, I got mad too. I'm sorry too."

Eiji took a deep breath and said in a little heartbreaking wail, "Nya! Why did you walk away? Why did you leave me?"

Oishi looked surprised. "I just needed some space. I didn't want to get angry at you. I didn't want to hurt you, love."

"Hurt?" Eiji felt surprised and confused. Oishi would have hurt him? Never.

"Say something to make you back off or physically push you away." Eiji felt baffled and hurt by this. Oishi would push him away? Eiji said he was sorry. He was stupid to say that about Fuji.

But then Eiji realized that maybe Oishi needed reassuring too now. After this weekend and everything maybe he needed it. Maybe even more than him. Eiji felt terrible.

"Nya Oishi." Eiji said hugging him. Somehow they were on the bed and Oishi had wrapped him up in his arms. He wrapped himself around Oishi too trying to make Oishi feel better and also to keep warm. "When someone says something that hurts or upsets you, isn't it better to talk to them or yell at them? Nya. When you walked away...." Eiji gave a little sob remembering.

"Shh. I'm right here," Oishi said kissing him and hugging him tighter. "And you were walking away. You were leaving."

"Nya, I didn't know what to do. I wanted you to stop me." Eiji was confused and pouting, hoping Oishi would kiss him when he pouted and feeling a tiny bit better when he did. "I wanted you to talk to me or yell but you left me."

Oishi explained, "I just needed a minute to calm down. Eiji, my family isn't like yours. We never fight. Ever. If someone says something that hurts me, I walk away hurt and angry. I get upset but I never let it out. If they keep it up, I say and do whatever I can to get away. To get space. I don't want to hurt anyone. Not by saying anything or pushing them. Later we might talk about it but usually we don't. Ever." Oishi put his arms around him more, "I wouldn't have hurt you though. Never. That's why I asked you to give me a minute and to stop."

Oishi paused and thought, "Eiji, if my father yells at me I can't react at all. I can't get angry or upset or let him see anything bothers me because if he sees it then he won't stop until he gets me more upset. Its like he looks to see what hurts you and when he finds something, he keeps hurting you right there over and over. He says its to toughen me up." Oishi paused and breathed in a deep breath. Eiji watched as he let it out slowly.

"He's a bully Eiji. My father's a bully with a terrible temper. He says terrible things and when he gets really mad he loses his temper and hits people. I don't want to be anything like him, so when I feel like I am getting mad, I need time so I don't get that way." He kissed Eiji's cheek. "When you said something you knew would hurt me, even though you were mad, and joking, when it hurt me, when you hurt me, I needed time to go away and calm down. Then when I calm down I can be how I always am with you. Then I can be myself." Oishi looked at him, "So when you followed me and wouldn't give me a minute to calm down, it was like my father, getting in my face, saying mean things, trying to hurt me more....I'm so sorry I got upset. Very sorry."

Oishi looked terrible. Eiji saw he was beating up on himself. Saying mean things to himself. Eiji wanted him to stop. "Nya, Oishi, I'm sorry too." Eiji then put the rest of it together. "He hits you?"

Oishi shrugged. "Not often anymore. More when I was younger. I would protect my Mom and sister though. I still do. Mostly he pushes and just yells now. With my grandmother sick, freshman year, my father had to change jobs. The old one was really stressful for him and they treated him bad. He wasn't happy. It was really bad then. Its not bad anymore."

Eiji felt shocked and horrified by this. Oishi's family was so different than his. They never talk here, they never really fight to make things better, it was one big house where everyone was passive aggressive, meek, and walked on eggshells around Oishi's father who treats everyone bad. It was a cold house. The only warm thing in it that Eiji knew was Oishi. Eiji didn't really know his sister but thought he should get to know her because she could probably use a good friend. He decided to do that later.

Oishi was continuing while Eiji was thinking, "I'm not saying its right Eiji, but that is what I know. That's how it is here. I've tried to unlearn it, really tried. I wish my family was like yours sometimes. I really do. I've seen you fight with your sisters, standing toe to toe both screaming mean things at each other. But when you're both done, you both hug each other and cry and say that you're sorry. And that you love each other. You end up closer than before." Oishi shrugged and shook his head no, "That doesn't happen here. If my sister and I fight we don't speak sometimes for weeks or months. If my Mom gets mad at my Father, she doesn't talk to him until she forgets a week later that she isn't talking to him. Or she gets scared and talks to him. Then everything goes back to how it was before. No one gets closer, no one talks, and nothing ever changes."

"Nya." Eiji wondered at this and then had to ask, "And if your father gets mad?" Oishi pulled back a little to look at him. He looked like a little boy and very old at the same time. It was something in his eyes that Eiji had never seen before and never wanted to see again from him. "No!" he said slightly louder than he meant to, "No, I won't let him hurt you. I won't let him say those things to you or hurt you. No Oishi." Eiji kissed him, crying again.

Oishi kissed him back like he was trying to reassure him. Eiji saw Oishi was really fighting to not get upset about this. He smiled sadly and looked at Eiji in that way he looked when he wanted to say he loved him. "Shh. Eiji, its all right. Its not bad anymore. I'm all right. I'll be fine. Its not for very much longer and I can get through it. Especially now. Especially with you." Eiji was not sure what he meant by the very much longer. Then he had a thought.

"Oishi, nya, you would have gotten away if you went to Saint Rudolph's. We can go!"

Oishi smiled a little more. "I love you." He kissed Eiji softly. "Eiji, I really want to stay at Seigaku. With you. I wouldn't really get away. My father does care about me, he does, but he is a bully. He competes with me. He never went away to school. He would resent it if I did. When I came home, he would test me more, demand things, and pick fights with me. It would be worse, much, much worse. Plus I couldn't protect my mom or my sister if I was away. Its not for much longer. Junior high, then high school, just a few years of normal, and then we can go to university together, be roommates, be together if you want?"

Eiji nodded. "Hoi Oishi. Just as roommates, nya?" Eiji smiled a little.

"Never, your boyfriend wants more than just roommates. All right with you?"

"Hoi. I love you, too." Eiji kissed him and thought a minute, "What would you have done if you told your father?"

"I would have had to move out. My uncle, who we saw for your leg, he once offered to help me with my school fees if I ever needed it. Tezuka once offered to let me live with him." Oishi shrugged.

"Nya! When?"

"Freshman year. When it was bad. I didn't know what I would do but I thought we could figure something out. If you wanted me to, I would have. I'll even go to Saint Rudolph's, but I don't think its a good idea for me to go there. It would make it bad when things have been all right. But I'd do it if you want to."

"Nya! This and that for now, normal, and then the rest later, unless we have to." Eiji felt better for a moment as they came up with a plan and then got very upset again. "Nya! Why didn't you tell me?"

"Ei-ji, shh. Its all right. I'm sorry. Its just something I've always had to deal with and I've never told anyone. Tezuka saw how things were and one day just, offered. I'm sorry. I guess I thought you saw how things were and just knew. What you saw is really how things are now, its not really bad anymore. It isn't, maybe because I'm getting older or too big for him to come after me. I don't know." Oishi thought for a moment, "I didn't even think about things being worse for me if I went there, to Saint Rudolph's, I just didn't want to be away from you. I just didn't want to lose you. I love you very much. You make me very happy Eiji."

Eiji wondered if he should have known. Did he know? Oishi didn't say but didn't he imply this? Eiji was not sure. He was angry at himself. Then he thought about making Oishi happy and got annoyed. "Oishi?" Eiji asked with tears in his eyes again, "When you walked away from me, when you left me, were you going to talk to me ever again?"

Oishi looked at Eiji and said hurt, "Of course I was. Of course. But Eiji, you were the one who was going to leave. You were putting your things in your bag. You were going."

"Nya, I....I didn't know what to do. You told me to stop. I thought you wouldn't talk to me anymore. I thought you didn't want to be with me. I thought you didn't love me...." He gave a little half sob remembering.

"Ei-ji," Oishi said his name in that singing way that Eiji loved. "I love you. Even if I'm mad, I still love you. I just needed a minute. That's all." Oishi hugged him and kissed him softly. "I know sometimes we might fight. I'm not used to it, but I'll try to learn how to do it better. Maybe you can show me?"

"Nya. You just can't walk away. You can go to here," Eiji touched his forehead, "You can say stop, but you can't leave." Eiji felt guilty, "I won't leave either. I'll wait. I didn't know what to do." Eiji then thought about what was really bothering him. Eiji felt tears blurring his vision again. "It was like....then!"

Oishi looked surprised as the word shot out of Eiji's mouth. Then he closed his eyes for a second as if feeling something hurt him. Eiji felt terrible. Oishi said, "I'm sorry Eiji, I didn't even think about Friday. I didn't give you any choice but to leave then did I?"

Eiji shook his head, "No." he said, miserable. Oishi looked surprised at him, surprised and upset. "No. I thought I was okay about it but no. I know you did it because you made a mistake, I know you said sorry, I know you did it because you love me, but it still hurts. What you said still hurts." His voice cracked on the last words.

Eiji took a shaky little breath and continued. "No. I can still hear you saying those things. I can still feel how it felt to run away after you kept pushing me to go." He heard the tears in his voice and went on anyway. "Everything else before then and since then Oishi, everything else has been perfect. Even better than I thought it would be."

He heard himself give a little sob and he held on to Oishi tighter. "I love you Oishi, but, nya, I need to know if you feel that way, about any of those things. If you meant at all any of those things you said."

Eiji was crying harder now and buried his head against Oishi's chest, not able to look at him. He knew he had to say this but was so terrified. He had to. "Because if you do Oishi...even a little...then I can't...I just can't...." ...do this anymore. Was what Eiji was going to say but Oishi stopped him before he force the very last words out that he never wanted to say.

Somehow, by some miracle, Oishi heard them and didn't let him say them, "No! No, Eiji, I don't. Not at all. I didn't even then. My only thought was that I didn't want you hurt or held back because of me."

Oishi held him tight, "No Eiji. I love you, more than anything else in the world. I want to be with you. I meant what I said about telling my father. I don't think its wrong for us to be together. I know it isn't wrong. I'm sorry I said those things. I am so sorry I didn't just talk to you or believe in us for that one moment. I'm sorry I let Tezuka push my buttons and didn't protect you first, even from me. If I could take it back, all of it, I would. Please? Please forgive me? Don't you know I would, that I would do anything to take those words back, to not let you be hurt, if only I could?" Eiji heard Oishi crying as he held him tightly. "I'm so sorry." Oishi whispered crying.

They held each other crying for a little while. Eiji felt bad for making Oishi cry but then it felt better because they were both crying. That both of them were sorry. Oishi really was sorry. That he didn't mean what he said. Oishi then whispered to him, "Eiji, I would have died if I lost you."

Eiji was shocked. He didn't know what Oishi meant. That he had a panic attack at Fuji's, he said he had started to have one. That when Eiji left, if it was over. That if that crazy girl killed Eiji. Eiji realized he had not even really thought about it. Fuji even said, if she had given Eiji a second dose or if Eiji was not strong she could have killed him. Probably would have. Eiji never thought about dying before. Not until Fuji's sister gave him the card reading and then he was more worried about them, him and Oishi, than himself.

Eiji wasn't afraid of dying, he found when he thought about it. If it had happened then, it would have been an awful and stupid way to die. A lot of people would cry at his funeral and be hurt. Eiji felt very upset for them more than for himself. His parents, sisters, family, and friends would be devastated. His mother's joyful child gone.

Then Eiji looked at Oishi who was waiting for a reaction from Eiji to what he said. Oishi was completely serious and so Eiji tried to picture it. Oishi if he had died. Oishi alone. He would always blame himself and never get over him. Eiji started crying again thinking of how upset and distraught Oishi would have been. He tried to picture Oishi coping, even functioning, and he just could not. Even if Oishi didn't physically die, if Eiji died then, the Oishi he knew and loved would have died with him. Oishi did not know how to fall. Or to land. He would never have gotten up.

Eiji then realized with a shock that it would have been just as true for Oishi if they broke up. If that night, Eiji never saw Oishi again, Oishi would never recover. And he realized now, Oishi knew that the entire time he said those mean things to Eiji. Oishi loved him so much that Oishi did it knowing that it would kill himself. Even without a good family, Oishi understood how important Eiji's was. He wanted Eiji happy at all costs. Even the cost of himself.

It was a stupid thing for Oishi to do, but it was done out of misguided, unconditional love. "Nya Oishi. I'm fine and I'm with you. I'm right where I'm supposed to be."

Eiji gave him a long look. "Nya, you really would have." It was not a question. Eiji realized it was true. Oishi nodded, still crying silently. "Oishi? I forgive you." Oishi pulled him close and cried a little harder. "Nya. Its all right. I forgive you Oishi. Don't do it again." Oishi whispered never to him and cried a little more, holding him close and kissing his hair while hugging him.

Eiji gave Oishi some time to go away and come back. He knew when Oishi was back because he pulled Eiji gently up and kissed him. Just pressing his lips to Eiji's as if he needed to. Oishi was still crying so Eiji started giving him light kisses on his face, lips, and neck. He loved him. He didn't want Oishi to cry anymore or be upset with himself.

Eiji believed in signs. He did. He was superstitious about silly things but it worked for him. So he needed a sign.

Eiji also knew that sometimes signs didn't just happen. You had to ask questions occasionally to hear them or really look to see them. Oishi had started kissing Eiji and so he was back now. "Oishi?" He asked, hearing his voice sound small and hoarse from crying, Eiji tried to carefully phrase it so that Oishi had a chance to say what Eiji most wanted to hear and not make it so obvious. "Hoi. When did you first have feelings for me? As more than just a friend?"

Then he changed his mind a moment later, "Nya Oishi, don't tell me. Tell me instead all the girls you've kissed and touched. I know you don't like to but its not you bragging to another guy. Its you telling me, your boyfriend, what you've done so I don't feel jealous anymore when I hear it from them. So I don't worry or think you want them. Or so that when I hear some girl say she's your ex-girlfriend, and she is going to get you back, I don't worry. I know why you did all that kissing. You were lonely and it was fun, but now I need to know."

Oishi looked shocked and horrified. Eiji put his lips on his in a kiss before he could answer. Eiji pulled back and took a deep breath. He changed his mind for the last time. "Nya Oishi, don't say anything. Just give me the kiss test. I'm ready. I'm not scared anymore. I love you. I'll pass it. I'll show you that I'm the only one who can."

Eiji then settled down next to him to wait. His heart was pounding but he believed. He believed in Oishi, he believed in himself, and he believed in them. Maybe this time, the sign was not supposed to come to Eiji but from him. Maybe Eiji was supposed to give the sign to Oishi.

He could do this.

On to Chapter 68!!