Chapter 7

Eiji was beaming, and had started to hop out of the cab, when he noticed Oishi leaning towards him, his hand extended. Eiji paused for a second, feeling a warm glow spread through his body, as he touched Oishi's hand. The gesture was so sweet, and Eiji smiled again, this time to himself. Oishi's grip was firm when he pulled Eiji forward, and Eiji shivered as Oishi's arm grazed his back as he reached around him to close the door to the taxi.

Eiji loved being around Oishi like this. Oishi's touch was safe and comfortable, and made Eiji feel warm all over, inside and out. Right now, Eiji just wanted, needed, to feel that security and warmth all the time. Because without it, he realized he was left feeling almost vulnerable, and a little scared.

"Oishi, are you guys coming in?" Eiji's mother called to them over her shoulder, gesturing from the doorway.

Oishi hadn't realized that Eiji had stopped walking. He turned around to face his friend, who was staring forward at him, seeming slightly distracted.

"Eiji?" Oishi walked back a few steps and touched Eiji's shoulder gently. He glanced at the door and assured himself that Eiji's mother had turned away for a second before he reached down and squeezed Eiji's hand. "Are you ok?"

Eiji felt his heart flutter a little, as he tried to think of how best to answer that. His thoughts quickly faded though, with the slight rush of energy that was spreading through his body at Oishi's touch. Eiji let out a laugh, not being able to think of anything coherent to say, and grabbed Oishi's arm, bouncing a little as he pulled Oishi along, and towards the warm light of the doorway.

……………………………………………………….

The familiar noises of Eiji's family floated past Oishi as he half-stumbled inside, a smile breaking on his face. Oishi had been slightly worried about whether or not he was invited to come in, and he was glad that Eiji had pulled him in without asking.

"I thought he was supposed to be sick?" Eiji's mother joked, watching her son bounce into the house, and winked at Oishi.

Oishi laughed and shrugged, and was about to apologize to Eiji's mother for being so late, but Eiji was pulling him somewhere else, into the living room, where his sister Aoi immediately pounced on Eiji, poking and tickling him, and causing Eiji to explode with laughter, which quickly turned into a whine.

"Nya, Aoi! I'm sick…"

Eiji gave Oishi an exasperated look, and then smiled evilly, ducking behind Oishi, using him for protection. Eiji wrapped his arms tightly around Oishi's waist and pressed his face against Oishi's back.

Oishi's body was tingling, and he felt his stomach turn over happily at the feel of Eiji's fingers around his strong muscles there. Oishi tried to remind himself where he was, that Aoi was right there, and he immediately put all of his attention into not blushing, which, of course, had the opposite effect.

"Nya! Oi-shi! Help!" And Eiji snuggled his face a little closer into Oishi's back, hiding from Aoi.

When Eiji breathed in and felt Oishi right there, he barely noticed his headache or the fact that his throat might be starting to hurt. He could ignore the heavy tired feeling in his eyes too, as long as he was close to Oishi. Thinking this made him smile all over again, and he squeezed Oishi a little tighter. He had been so sad, and now…. Eiji had even surprised himself at his ability to abandon his worries from the past few weeks.

Eiji knew he was able to do this because being with Oishi made him so happy, but Eiji couldn't help but wonder for a second what would happen when Oishi left. He knew that Oishi couldn't stay here forever. Eiji knew also that he would have to talk to Oishi, to find out what he really wanted, but right now…he just needed to feel close to him.

Eiji snapped back into reality as Aoi deftly detached his grip from around Oishi. Eiji felt himself being separated from Oishi, as his sister pushed him onto the couch.

"Aaah! Oishi save me!" Eiji was trying to wriggle away from Aoi, but it wasn't working very well.

Oishi sat down across from them, laughing, watching them wrestle, thinking how nice it must be to be a part of Eiji's family, where everyone was so comfortable with each other.

Suddenly Eiji shot up, pushing his sister aside easily. He crossed the distance to where Oishi was sitting in one stride. Eiji grabbed his friend's hand firmly, pulling an alarmed Oishi up from the couch with surprising strength.

"Mom!" Eiji called out, not really caring if she could hear or not, and ignoring Aoi's knowing smile from the across the room. "Oishi's spending the night, ok?"

Eiji glanced at Oishi, hoping that he wouldn't notice the sudden nervousness that had crept into his voice. "Right, Oishi?" Eiji looked a little vulnerable for a second when Oishi didn't answer.

"Oi-shi?" Eiji's voice still had its familiar whine, but the look in his eyes was tinged with an unmistakable intensity. He was relieved when, after a second, he felt Oishi squeeze his hand.

"Sure, sure." Oishi said lightly, holding Eiji's glance for a few seconds, and releasing his hand. "Just let me call home, ok?"

………………………………………………………

Back upstairs in Eiji's room, Oishi found himself, not for the first time, trying to convince Eiji that the medicine his mother had set aside was good for him, that it wouldn't make him puke, and that he might feel better if he would just stop being such a baby. The whole scene made Oishi smile inside though. This was one of his favorite things about Eiji. This adorable, playful side of him that Oishi always felt lucky to witness and encourage.

The fact that Eiji seemed completely comfortable having him there made it that much easier for Oishi to push the nagging questions out of his mind. He knew that he should have said something to Eiji on the ride over, that there were things that he really needed to say to him and hadn't yet. But part of him was still worried, that he would do something to upset Eiji, or that the bottom would suddenly drop out of their comfortable situation.

Oishi really just wasn't sure how to bring up their conversation from before, and so, for the time being, he decided he would just follow Eiji's lead, because Eiji seemed happy, and because it made Oishi happy too, just being around him again like this. He watched his friend's mouth twist into a pout as Eiji flopped back on the bed, shaking his head back and forth.

"No, No, No… I hate that stuff! It's so gross…"

"But I really don't want to listen to you sniffling and coughing all night so..." Oishi said it with a smile, but was concerned again, noticing Eiji's flushed face. "Besides, I really still think you have a fever."

Oishi leaned forward, placing the palm of his hand on Eiji's forehead, and watched Eiji close his eyes obediently. "See…I knew it. Come on, you have to take this or you won't get better." Oishi moved his hand, resisting the urge to run his fingers through Eiji's hair.

Suddenly Eiji opened his eyes and sat up, grabbing Oishi's hand tightly. "Oishi…" Eiji's eyes were a mixture of appreciation and…something Oishi couldn't quite read. "Why do you always take care of me like this?"

When Eiji looked at him again, his eyes penetrating, Oishi felt his heart skip several beats. A million thoughts were filling Oishi's head, and he wondered how he could best answer this question. Before he had a chance to say anything though, Eiji had leaned closer, and Oishi could see that he had tears in his eyes.

"Oishi, why?" Eiji's voice was shaking. All the sudden Eiji realized what was bothering him. He felt stupid, and Eiji hated feeling stupid, and right now he felt stupid because he was confused.

He was confused because he didn't know how to act around Oishi, especially when Oishi touched him, and Eiji's heart went crazy like that. He didn't know what Oishi wanted, or even why Oishi was here right now. He didn't know what exactly had happened in the locker room, and he didn't know how Oishi felt now, not really, anyway. Maybe he should, but he didn't. Sometimes, he knew he just needed to have things spelled out to him…and this, Eiji realized, was what he wanted from Oishi right now.

Oishi was watching his friend, looking for clues, wanting to make sure he said the right thing, even though he really wasn't sure exactly what Eiji was asking him. He hoped that maybe he could diffuse the situation by getting right to the point. Oishi took a deep breath, "Eiji, about before….I…"

Eiji's face darkened, and he seemed really upset now. "No! I don't want to talk about that anymore!"

Oishi wasn't sure what was happening, or what he was supposed to say. He concentrated on softening his voice, as he tried to smile. "Eiji, relax, ok? Just tell me what's wrong?"

And then Eiji's voice was quiet, hesitant. "Oishi, am I….special? To you?"

"Of course you're special to me. What do you mean?" Oishi looked at Eiji, honestly confused, as he tried his best to figure out what was going on. "Eiji, I really don't understand what you're asking me," Oishi tried again when Eiji didn't respond, hoping for some kind of clarification.

Eiji shrugged and said quietly, averting his eyes, "You take care of everyone, right? You're like this to everyone, and I'm your friend, so you came here to make sure I'm ok, but-"

"I don't take care of everyone, Eiji. Not like this," Oishi said seriously, and looked at Eiji again. "And you're more than just my friend, you know that."

Oishi knew what he had to say, knew that this was as good a time as any, and that he should just say what had been on his mind for days, weeks now. He knew that Eiji needed to know, and that he needed to say it, but… he had never said something like this before to anyone, and…but then he looked at Eiji's face. Eiji was watching him closely, expectantly, almost innocently and Oishi knew…he had to.

"Eiji, I love you."

Eiji blinked several times trying to convince himself that he had just heard correctly. He was a little shocked. "Ne, Oishi, really?", he asked in a quiet voice, blinking away a few tears. Eiji was smiling after a second though. "Really?" he asked again, mostly just to reassure himself.

Oishi nodded, "You couldn't tell?"

Eiji shook his head, a contented smile fixed to the corners of his lips now. He glanced sideways at Oishi, silently waiting, hoping there was more.

Having Eiji's full attention like this made Oishi's whole body feel warm and alive. He was a little scared though, and not quite sure what was going to come out of his mouth next. "Eiji, I've never felt anything like this before. And I just…I'm in love with you…completely. It's kind of scary, but…wonderful too, you know?"

Eiji was smiling, as he nodded in agreement, and then his face turned reflective, and he took a breath, holding Oishi's gaze for a second. "Oishi, what do you….want?"

Oishi thought for a second, not really thrown by the question, but wanting to make sure he could articulate his thoughts properly. He really wanted to make sure Eiji understood that he was serious…

"What I want…Eiji, I want to be with you. I want…to take care of you, to make you happy." Oishi paused for a second, thinking. "I want us to be together, all the time. That's what I really want." Then Oishi paused for a second again, suddenly hesitant. "If…if that's what you want?"

Eiji's expression had changed as he listened, realizing that this was real, that this was actually happening. He was staring at Oishi, eyes wide, blinking tears away rapidly, as he realized how stupid he had been, feeling so insecure and defensive. He realized too that he didn't know what to say, or where to start, or how to possibly convey how happy he was, and how much he wanted this too.

"Oishi, I'm sorry I got so upset, it's just… I'm really…lost when you're not around, even for a minute…so…I got scared." Eiji stopped, shaking his head, realizing that he needed to answer Oishi's question. "Oishi, I want to be with you too. That's what I want…of course that's what I want. I love you."

He finished this with a huge sigh of relief, and then Eiji snuggled close to Oishi, burying his head in between Oishi's shoulder and neck. "Oi-shi…. I missed you so much. I'm so happy." He held Oishi a little tighter. "Now I can be myself again!" Eiji said, laughing.

Eiji could feel the smile spreading throughout his whole body, and he wondered if Oishi could feel it too, it seemed to take up the entire room to him now, his happiness.

Oishi wondered briefly what he should do now, but before he had a chance to think too much, out of nowhere, Eiji had tackled him, and they both fell off the bed in a heap. Eiji was laughing hysterically and saying Oishi's name over and over again with a smile so huge, it was impressive, even for Eiji.

And then Oishi started laughing too, as he realized that there was really no point in wondering what would happen next, because Eiji was constantly surprising him, to the point where he wondered if he would be able to keep up with him.

They lay there for a second, until there was a brief knock on the door, and Eiji bounced up quickly, pausing for a second to cough.

…………………………………………………..

It was Eiji's mother, asking about the medicine. She obviously knew how stubborn her son could be. "And I heard that cough!"

Oishi heard Eiji grumble at his mother's comment and then cough again.

Then Eiji's mother poked her head around the door, "Oishi, make sure he takes it before you guys go to sleep, ok?"

Oishi smiled back at her, trying not to blush. "Of course, no problem."

Eiji closed the door, hanging his head slightly, and casting a sidelong glance in Oishi's direction. "Oi-shi…my head hurts." He was frowning, his voice sounding a little hoarse again.

"That's because you haven't taken any medicine yet, Eiji," Oishi said, smiling, leading Eiji by the arm to his bed, knowing that Eiji was enjoying every second of the attention.

Eiji took his medicine diligently this time, without arguing again. He was staring at Oishi, watching him, as he purposefully measured the dose. Eiji wrinkled his nose at the taste, but gave a small smile, because he knew Oishi was making sure he wasn't cheating, and that he finished every last drop.

"Now I have to brush my teeth again!"

"As if that's a problem for you." Oishi laughed. Eiji was so cute, so completely irresistible all the time, Oishi was thinking, as he watched Eiji lay back on the bed, his mouth twisting into pout that Oishi was trying to convince himself wasn't at all seductive.

"Oishi, do I have a fever?"

"I told you already, yes, you do have a fever, and that's because you keep whining, and you won't go to sleep."

"But I don't want to go to sleep…" Eiji coughed again.

"See?"

"But, I was only sick because I missed you so much, and now that you're here I shouldn't have to take medicine, or go to sleep…" He sighed. "I don't want to be sick now Oishi…"

Oishi could feel his heart beating a little quicker at Eiji's honest admission. "And you wanted to before?"

"Well…. it worked right?" Eiji winked. "But now I feel worse, it's not fair!"

"You totally deserve it!"

"Oishi…."

Eiji was still whining, but Oishi could tell he was really tired, and felt a little guilty for playing along for so long, and not insisting that they both get some rest. "Seriously Eiji, if you don't rest, how are you going to get back in shape enough to play doubles with me again?"

Eiji sighed, and then gasped. "Oh no! Tezuka is going to make me run laps!" Eiji hated laps. More than anyone, maybe. Then he pouted, frowning at Oishi, and glaring a little. "You should have to run them with me!"

At that Oishi laughed, realizing that this was completely fair, though he wasn't sure how he could explain his rationale to Tezuka.

Eiji was smiling, and he stuck his tongue out at Oishi as he crawled into bed, pulling the covers around his ears. "Oishi…?" Eiji's voice was slightly muffled from the covers. "Can you turn off the light?"

"I thought you had to brush your teeth again?" Eiji must be really tired to forget something like that, Oishi was thinking.

"Oh no…that's right!" He let out a huge yawn. "Ne, Oishi?" He lowered his voice and looked at Oishi, completely serious. "Do you think it's ok, just this once?"

Oishi couldn't help but laugh. "Eiji, you know you're insane! You do know that, right?"

"Stop making fun of me! Nya! I'm serious! My teeth are – Oishi!" Eiji was starting to explain for the hundredth time his many thoughts on the importance of maintaining his teeth, but looking at Oishi, laughing, he forgot about everything else and starting laughing himself.

After a minute, Oishi got up, and turned of the light, fearing that if he didn't, Eiji really wouldn't ever go to sleep.

…………………………………………………..

Oishi stretched out on his back, sighing. Even the spare futon in Eiji's room always somehow seemed more comfortable than his own. He had thought, briefly, of how nice it would be to just crawl into Eiji's bed, but figured it was too risky, with a house full of people, even though he really wanted, more than anything, to be close to Eiji tonight.

"Ne, Oishi?" Eiji's voice sounded slightly uncertain.

"What?" Oishi asked, curious, hearing the little pout in Eiji's voice.

"I miss you."

Oishi felt his whole body glow, and he smiled, amazed at the effect that Eiji saying that he missed him had, when he was in the same room with him, three feet away. "I miss you too," Oishi said, meaning it.

Eiji made a happy noise, before he ventured quietly, "I can make room in here, you know…"

Oishi paused for a second. "Is that…ok?"

"It's ok, since you know I'll fall asleep first…then you can escape to the floor, ok? Please, Oishi?"

……………………………………………….

As soon as Oishi had pulled back the covers, and lay down, Eiji had pulled him close, sighing, and practically smothering him. It was really cute, Oishi realized, how much attention Eiji needed all of the time. Neither of them said anything for a while, and after a few minutes, Oishi extracted himself from Eiji slightly so that he could move his hand to lightly touch Eiji's forehead. Oishi was happy to find that it was no longer warm. He lay back, listening to Eiji's measured, though slightly raspy breathing for a while, his thoughts wandering.

It was hard for Oishi to believe now that up until a few hours ago, he had really and honestly believed that he would never be here again, that there was no way that Eiji would ever let him into his life again.

Oishi knew that Eiji was right there, and that there was no reason to be anything but happy, but, he also knew how close he had come to losing him, and Oishi never, ever wanted to feel that way again. He loved Eiji so much, and Eiji actually loved him too. Amazingly, Eiji still loved Oishi after everything that had happened. Oishi wished more than anything right now, that he could take all of it back. He wanted everything to be perfect with Eiji; he knew that Eiji deserved that… Eiji coughed and shifted a little, startling Oishi out of his thoughts.

"Oishi, are you awake?" Eiji's voice sounded sleepy, and he coughed for a second again.

"Mmm. Just thinking."

"What about?" Eiji said, sounding curious, and a little more awake now.

"You." Oishi said simply, not sure how much he wanted to talk about this right now.

"Hoi?" Eiji sounded excited, and this made Oishi smile.

But then Oishi realized that he really was worried, worried that things could never be as perfect as he wanted, because he couldn't take back what had happened. He had hurt Eiji, maybe worse than anyone, ever, and he couldn't take that back…

"Nya, Oishi? What's wrong?" Eiji was slightly hurt; he knew that Oishi wasn't telling him everything. "You seem…sad."

Oishi sat up, trying to clear his head.

"Oishi…" Eiji prompted again.

Oishi took a breath before starting, hoping that he could tell Eiji what he was thinking without hurting his feelings, or upsetting him. "I don't know why, but I was just sitting here thinking about you, about how I'm really lucky to be in this room with you…and…"

"Oishi…" Eiji sounded surprised, and confused. "And that made you sad? Why?"

Oishi couldn't get rid of the heavy feeling in his chest. It was a familiar feeling, and Oishi knew that it hadn't been so long ago that he had felt like this all the time. Losing Eiji, Eiji disappearing - that could never, ever even come close to happening again…

Oishi could feel his voice shaking. "It's just…I thought I lost you, Eiji. I really did. I thought you were gone. You were gone…" Oishi heard covers rustling, and Eiji was close to him in an instant, hugging him tightly.

"Oishi, I'm right here." Eiji wasn't sure what was going on in Oishi's mind right now, but he knew he didn't want Oishi to be sad. Oishi had cleared up his doubts before, and had made him feel so good about everything; he really wanted to be able to do the same for him now.

"Oishi, it's ok. There's nothing to worry about," Eiji said the words softly, releasing his grip around Oishi after a second, wanting to see his face.

Eiji's seemed so completely sincere, that Oishi couldn't help but stare back at him in slight disbelief. "But, I really screwed everything up before. I want to make it up to you, Eiji…I…I need to." And then Oishi could feel Eiji's fingers pressing against his mouth, softly, and he felt his whole body relax from the sensation.

"Oishi, I love you. There's nothing for you to make up for… I told you before, I'm happy. I'm really happy."

Oishi kissed Eiji's fingers impulsively, and Eiji made a noise, almost a whimper. He was trembling, as Oishi touched his face, tracing his fingers over his cheeks and brushing his hair from his face. Eiji was so perfect; it made Oishi really sad to think of how stupid he had been, to be afraid of this.

"I'm sorry, Eiji, I just…I want everything to be perfect. I want you to be happy. I don't want to think about before, but…"

"I don't want to think about it either. I won't, ok? I promise. Never again. You either, ok?" Eiji was distracted by Oishi fingers, by his touch, but he tried to focus, knowing that it was important for Oishi to feel better about this right now. "Oishi, please just listen, ok?"

Eiji kept his serious game face on, but inside he was smiling, because he knew that he had a really good plan, something that he had thought of just a second ago, but that he was sure would work. He was completely determined to make Oishi forget about this silly guilt he was feeling.

"Oishi, there's nothing to worry about; you don't have to do anything. You've already made it up to me. I'm sorry I got upset before. Everything is perfect. I know that you love me, and I know that you didn't mean to hurt me, and Oishi…I know that everything will be ok. Oishi, listen to me…"

And then Eiji leaned close to Oishi, whispering in his ear that he loved him, saying everything that he had said that night on the court, using the same words, as if trying to erase that memory by saying everything again, here, now.

Oishi could feel that Eiji was shaking. His lips kept brushing Oishi's ear as he spoke. When Oishi touched his hand to Eiji's face again, he heard Eiji make a little noise, and it sent a shiver through him. Oishi was so caught up in this, in Eiji touching him and feeling his breath on his neck, that his body felt so light he wondered if he would float away. This was a different feeling, something Oishi had never felt before, and again he felt a little in awe of Eiji's power over him.

Eiji kept repeating to him, that everything would be ok, as if he was trying to overpower any remaining doubts in Oishi's mind with these words. Oishi found himself relaxing, really trusting Eiji, believing him.

"And then…" and Eiji moved closer to Oishi, staring at Oishi, his eyes wide.

"Then…?" The word came out in almost a whisper, as Oishi felt Eiji leaning closer, touching him, his arm, his breath grazing Oishi's cheek, sending a shiver of electricity down his back.

"Oi-shi, kiss-" Eiji whispered, but before he could finish asking, Oishi had kissed him, long and hard, taking Eiji's breath, and the rest of what he was going to say, away.

………………………………………………..

Epilogue – Two weeks later

"Excuse me…"

"Nya? What?"

Eiji was busy trying to eat his lunch as fast as possible, hoping to catch Oishi in the hallway before his next class, missing him already. Eiji hated not having lunch with Oishi. He was pouting a little now just thinking about it.

"Kikumaru Eiji…" Fuji's voice was mock stern, but the smile, which never seemed to leave his face hadn't wavered. "You are not listening."

"Ah, sorry Fuji! What were you saying?" Eiji looked up from his lunch guiltily, and was surprised to hear Fuji's true laugh surfacing, the one he saved for only his closest friends.

"What?"

Fuji continued to chuckle.

"Nya, Fuji, what? I hate it when you do that!"

Eiji's voice was spiraling upwards comically, but Fuji was looking past him, his eyes lighting up for the briefest of seconds. "Ah, Oishi. This is perfect."

Eiji's ears had already perked up at the familiar footsteps, and he turned his head happily, seeing Oishi standing behind them.

Fuji smiled serenely at Oishi, who looked apprehensively back at him, and then at Eiji.Eiji shot back a slightly frightened look, shaking his head. Oishi took a deep breath, swallowing hard. He smiled brightly, but before he had finished his greeting, Fuji had interrupted him, not wasting any time, apparently.

"I was just saying to Eiji that I noticed how he has been just glowing lately. But I don't think he agrees with me. But it's hard not to notice, right Oishi? What do you think?"

Eiji had to stop himself from choking on the last of his food. He glanced at Oishi, who was floundering miserably. Eiji sighed as he watched him, thinking that Fuji must really be enjoying this one. It was such a typical scene - Fuji pressing on with questions, smiling, Oishi scratching his head, looking adorable, as he tried not to blush – but suddenly the situation struck Eiji as incredibly funny. He jumped up, the rest of his lunch clattering to the ground, and Fuji turned to him, curious.

Eiji threw his arms around Oishi's neck, snuggling close to him. "Of course I'm glowing Fuji! I'm always glowing, right?" With a bounce, he jumped forward, releasing Oishi, and poked Fuji on the nose. Then he stuck his tongue out at both of them, before he turned all of his attention to Oishi.

"Ne, Oishi, can I borrow your notes for next period, please?" He grabbed Oishi's hand, huge eyes looking up into his face expectantly, "You promised, remember?"

"I promised to lend them to you if you agreed to finish the homework first," Oishi reminded him, wondering if the color had faded from his face yet.

"I know, I know, I did it!' Eiji plopped back down next to Fuji, and Oishi leaned over, peering into Eiji's jumbled mess of a backpack. "Here, here, see?" Eiji let out a triumphant "Hoi!", smiling at Oishi. Then he looked worried for a second. "But I need you to check it, ok?"

"Of course, Eiji." Oishi smiled, looking down at his watch, and then back at Eiji again. "But come on, you're going to be late. We should be able to make it to my locker, but only if we hurry…"

"Oi-shi…" Eiji was staring over his backpack, things scattered everywhere. "Why can't we all have lunch together? I hate that!" He frowned. "Ne, Fuji, right? It's not fair..."

Fuji smiled at Eiji, and then shared a separate smile with Oishi before getting up. "Oishi's right though, we'll be late if we don't hurry." Fuji bowed smoothly before turning on his way to class.

As soon as Fuji was out of sight, Oishi leaned down, his shoulder brushing Eiji's arm, and snuck in a slight kiss just below Eiji's ear, that he knew no one would notice. Eiji sighed happily, and Oishi whispered, "He knows, right?"

Eiji laughed out loud, shaken out of his moment of bliss with thoughts of Oishi blushing, and Fuji smiling. "Of course he does!" There was probably nothing Fuji didn't know, Eiji realized, shuddering.

"Does that bother you?" Eiji asked suddenly.

"Not particularly…" Oishi was thinking. "But I wonder if we should tell him, you know? So he can stop wasting his time trying to embarrass us?"

"Nya…" Eiji was smiling, the smile getting bigger the longer Oishi was next to him. "He enjoys it too much. Besides, he's not going to stop when you make it so easy!"

And then they were both laughing, as they hurried to class.

-OWARI-

A/N: Finally finished! I hope that you approve of the ending, it gave me kind of a hard time…(KagomeGirl – you were right about the kiss..heehee, and yoshiko-chan –I couldn't help but throw some hopefully fun Fuji in there for you!)

Thank you all so much for being supportive of my first story - I really, really appreciate all the reviews! Please let me know what you think of the end, and thank you again so, so much for reading and reviewing!

Ah, it feels so good to actually finish something…I was getting worried there for a while too. ;)