This fanfic is dated to Nisey Haiiro who inspired me with her kindness and friendship.
Translation of Japanese phrases at the end.
On This Special Day
It was one of those things Oishi always noticed but never dared to mention. After all, Eiji tended to get irritated if you told him he was playing poorly. This was just something that had become a regular occurrence for a few years now; it was a fact that February marked a noticeable drop in the redhead's performance. Oishi supposed it had to do with Fuji's birthday, which fell on the 19th. Eiji always seemed recovered by then at least, and he had once told Oishi Fuji liked strange things and he worried what gift to get the tensai that he would enjoy. It seemed silly to Oishi since Fuji would undoubtedly love whatever his friend got him, but then, silly was one of his favorite things about Eiji.
It started off subtly enough, if he and Oishi weren't such close doubles partners the vice-captain probably wouldn't notice. When the month began Eiji would start jumping less and a few shots he would normally return with unbelievable speed would get past him. As the first week progressed, Eiji spouted an increased number of "hois" and "nyas" and then none at all. He began to miss more shots and had a harder time concentrating. And worst of all was the fact that the closer it got to Fuji's birthday, the more irritable Eiji became. Inui noted out loud one year, after Eiji had run off in frustrated tears, that, "Kikumaru is 80 more likely to start a fight between February 10th and 20th." Fuji adopted a confused look and said he was surprised by the inaccuracy of Inui's data.
This year seemed to be following the same pattern, with one serious change – it was worse. Eiji went from jumping less to abandoning his cute Eiji noises in the course of one after school practice. By the end of the first week he had already gotten into an argument and run off early. Oishi was surprised to see Fuji was the one to meet with the redhead's bad temper.
The following week, after running 20 laps, Eiji was ignoring everyone, especially a hurt looking Fuji.
"Eiji…maybe you should apologize, I'm sure he didn't…"
"Fuji should keep his nose away from where it doesn't belong."
"So should Oishi!"
"Eiji! You're being insensitive!"
"Oishi no baka! Are you going to play tennis or lecture me?" He said, walking to an open court.
"Ne, Oishi, practice with me?"
"Fu…Fuji. I…I'm very sorry for Eiji's behavior," he said, bowing deeply.
"Oh? Is it your responsibility?"
"As vice-captain and his doubles partner…"
"I see." Oishi noticed Eiji was playing Echizen and acting even more frustrated. He didn't speak to Fuji or Oishi for the remainder of practice. They remained uneasy around each other for the rest of the week.
During the last practice before the weekend, Tezuka ordered the 'Golden Pair' to play a practice match against Fuji and Taka. It seemed to Oishi that Eiji was putting extra effort into playing but it wasn't enough to overcome his agitated state. When one of the female onlookers shouted "Ryoma-sama wa kakkoii!" and Eiji actually dropped his racket Fuji and Oishi agreed it was time for a break. Oishi hoped to ask Eiji if he was all right but when he heard the other boy mumbling something about 'stupid girls whispering stupid things' he thought better of it. They lost.
The next Monday, Oishi thought his partner might be in better spirits. After all, Fuji's birthday was nearing and he must have procured a suitable gift. On top of that, it was Valentine's Day, Eiji might be single but there were plenty of girls who admired him and he was sure to get the attention he so often craved. As he turned the corner toward his classroom he was greeted by just that. Three blushing second years were handing him small packages of chocolates. A smiling Eiji took them gratefully.
"Wow! These are my favorites!" The redhead shouted lovingly as the three girls raced away. Smiling, Oishi started toward the boy for a much needed hug when both his steps and Eiji's smile faltered. It was fake. The two spent the rest of the morning in awkward companionship, Eiji was pretending to be happy and Oishi knew it was a lie but neither wanted to say anything. It didn't make much difference, however, as Oishi lost track of Eiji during first break when a girl gave the vice-captain some chocolates. Oishi decided to try and talk to Eiji during practice that day. He planned to give him the chocolates he'd received; sweets were only good with Eiji anyway. What Oishi hadn't counted on was the bubbly youth skipping practice.
Now it was Oishi's turn to play poorly and feel irritated. Fuji asked to practice with him again and was kind enough to go easy on him when he realized the boy was suffering. After club Oishi struggled with the buttons on his uniform and was startled when the tensai batted his hands away and began doing it for him.
"Daijoubu Oishi-kun?" Feeling absolutely useless, Oishi let out a long sigh.
"Why wouldn't he come to club?"
"Ne, Oishi…it's Valentine's Day." Oishi looked stunned.
"But Eiji doesn't have anyone special to spend it with?"
"Oishi…Valentine's Day is always hard on Eiji…he needed to not embarrass himself in club."
"I want him to be happy," Oishi barely whispered it, not even realizing it had escaped the confines of his mind. Fuji smiled at him, finishing the last button and walking away.
"Itte kimasu," the tensai said sweetly, heading out the door.
As he headed home, Oishi considered what Fuji had said, 'Valentine's Day is always hard on Eiji…' But why? Why should it be hard on him? Surely Eiji could have his choice of any girl in the school so it couldn't be that, could it? Oishi's heart sank at the very thought. He had realized some time ago just how much affection he felt for the childlike boy. He knew the jealousy he'd feel when a girl finally entered Eiji's life. He enjoyed being the most important person to the redhead, and was quite content to keep Eiji as the most important person to himself, even if it had to be in the guise of friendship. Oishi thought about it for a long time after he got home. Why was Eiji unhappy? How could Oishi fix this? Could Oishi fix this? If it was about a girl, he wasn't sure he wanted to. 'He needed to not embarrass himself in club.' The words flitted through Oishi's mind once more. Embarrass himself how? Even at his worst Eiji was beautiful… And then it hit Oishi fully, embarrass himself in front of whom? Eiji had acted strangely around Valentine's Day for a few years now so it had to be someone who had been around for a while, someone who watched them play tennis. But only Inoue-san, his assistant, and the two freshmen girls watched them play regularly. Did Eiji like older women? Oishi couldn't picture it, Eiji was too young. Then…it had to be someone from tennis club…it had to be a boy.
Oishi raced from his room and toward the entryway. He stopped just long enough to slip on his shoes and shout a quick "Itte kimasu" to his mother. He stopped at a florists shop and was relieved to find they still had a few rose bouquets. He purchased one quickly and headed straight for Eiji's house. There was a chance. Maybe, just maybe…His finger pushed the doorbell just as his thoughts caught up with him. Maybe. Maybe was far from certain. Was 'maybe' worth the risk? He smiled dryly and his grip on the roses tightened just as one of Eiji's sisters opened the door. She looked at him for a moment, smiled brightly, and ushered him in. He slipped his shoes off nervously and realized the girl would know just what he was up to as soon as he asked where Eiji was. After all, boys don't bring boys roses on Valentine's Day, even if they are doubles partners. He started to open his mouth to form the words but she didn't give him the chance.
"Eiji's in his room." She gave him a quick wink, "Ganbatte!" Oishi blushed and gave a slight bow.
Oishi made his way, slowly, to Eiji's room. The girl had made him more confident but he was still nervous. He was surprised to find Eiji's door shut. He didn't trust himself to knock, deciding instead to open it quietly and peer inside. The sight that greeted him was the most beautiful and heart wrenching he'd ever seen. Eiji sat on a large pillow in the middle of the room. The fading light cast a long shadow as the boy stared out the window, tears in his eyes. Oishi stepped inside, closing the door silently behind him.
"Eiji," he whispered. The redhead turned slowly to look at him. 'Breathtaking' was the only thought that came to Oishi's mind.
"Oishi?" Eiji processed him slowly and Oishi stepped closer, suddenly needing more than anything to be near the other. Eiji's yes widened as he took in the roses Oishi was holding. "Oishi!" Eiji shouted happily, standing and throwing a hug around the boy. Oishi was caught by surprise and let go of the flowers as the warmth of Eiji settled on him.
"I heard that Valentine's Day is hard on you…so I decided to help make you feel better," Oishi said, breathing Eiji in.
"Oishi wa saikou," Eiji mumbled.
"Eiji…Just remember…" The redhead pulled away slightly to look at the other, "On this special day…" Oishi let his eyes flutter closed as he leaned forward, "Is when I love you the most," he whispered, closing the gap between them and capturing Eiji's lips in an intimate kiss.
Japanese terms and phrases used throughout this fic:
Oishi no baka – Basically says "Oishi idiot" or "stupid Oishi"
Ryoma-sama wa kakkoii – "Ryoma is cute" or "Ryoma is cool"
Daijoubu Oishi-kun – "Are you okay Oishi"
Itte kimasu – "I'm going" often subbed in anime as "I'm going ahead of you" or "I'm going first"
Ganbatte – "Go for it" or "do your best"
Arigatou – "Thank you"
Oishi wa saikou – "Oishi is the best" or "Oishi is amazing"
I read someone ranting once about how using scattered Japanese in fanfics was dumb…I understood the sentiment but can't abide by it. If I could write the whole thing in Japanese I would, but I've only had 2 years of Japanese in my life. I'd leave it out entirely but I was having difficulty keeping their voices in my head, even with their image songs playing over and over in the background, and this helped. Also scattered Japanese tends to enter my thoughts and speech anyway so sumimasen (sorry) but it's gonna stay.
Author's Note: Don't you just hate these?
I just want to give a little background on this fic and give credit where credit is due.
I was feeling kinda down on Valentine's Day because…well I'm single and Valentine's Day has sucked for me for as long as I can remember. So a dear friend drew a cute, one page, Golden Pair doujinshi for me. The doujinshi inspired me to write a sort of expansion fic, including a little more background on why V-Day is hard on Kiku-chan. Therefore, this fic is based on a doujinshi that Nisey Haiiro drew for me and isn't my original idea. Most of the direct copying is in the last paragraph (starting around "Oishi made his way, slowly, to Eiji's room) but a few things are scattered around other places. Most of what Oishi says at the end is her words. I asked permission to use the idea for this fic and had her read it (and check my Japanese) first so there's no theft or anything.
I hope you enjoyed the fic. If you did, comments are very much welcome. If you didn't, constructive criticism is welcome, but not flames.