Five Minute Duels

Chapter Summary: Tea and Oishi get to spend the whole time together bonding over their favorite pastime- worrying about friends.

Disclaimer: I own nothing- not Yu-gi-oh, not Prince of Tennis, ok now I'm depressed.

Ok well I'm back with another one-shot and I've decided to make a collection of them in this one story, and hope someone enjoys them.

I was grateful for all the positive reviews I got for the last one-shot and I'm happy that I can now respond to them since this is a story (sort-of) now. Thank you so much to Craze Izumi, babs, Akira Nimura, dragon shadows, and Shinikami Dragon. Craze Izumi, I fully plan on writing Ryoma and Yugi together, although with those two (three if you count Yugi's other half) I think all you'd end up with would be chaos. (Evil laugh) Fun. But bring on the suggestions for more pairings- I'll see what I can do.

I decided to go with Tea and Oishi in this next story because those two pretty much fulfill the same position as "mother" with their friends. I know a lot of people hate Tea for her friendship rants but they were just too perfect together to give up. If anyone needs a description of Tea after reading this cause you're confused just ask in a review and I'll post one on my bio page. So enjoy reading and tell me what you think.

Chapter 2 - Friendship Trials

Tea stifled the sob that threatened to break from her lips, and shatter the silence of the white hallway she was standing in. Biting her lip and fisting her hands in resolve she forced herself to think strong. If she starting crying now, she would lose it. "I have to be strong for Yugi," the brunette announced to the wall in front of her, trying to sound as confident as she wanted to be. Unfortunately, inside, she was a trembling wreck.

'He almost died.' Her brain wailed at her as she saw in her mind again the flashing lights and sirens, the raging inferno of fire, and the small, slight figure of her friend who just lay on the gurney so still he looked like a porcelain doll. Behind her Tea could hear the voices of her three best friends as they argued over who was going to eat what on the tray of food in Yugi's hospital room. "Idiots," Tea grumbled under her breathe. How those three could nearly get burned and then start goofing around three seconds later was beyond her. She didn't think she'd ever get over this. Some manic nearly killed Yugi over his millennium puzzle. Yami wasn't able to protect him in this duel. And neither was she.

"I wasn't there for you Yugi, and you needed me." Tea whispered as she toyed with the blue hem on her skirt. She had always believed that no matter what, the four of them, Joey, Tristan, Yugi, and herself, had an unbreakable bond created by friendship which would always support each other in a time of need.

"But what good is friendship when you're dying from smoke inhalation?" she asked bitterly to the wall across from her. It offered no suggestion, and the guilt and doubt inside her grew. She hadn't been able to help Yugi, and she knew that this fight wasn't over. Maybe Joey and Tristan saved the day this time but what about next time?

With a sigh Tea turned around to head back into Yugi's hospital room, trying to put a genuine smile on her face. Her friends depended on her to be strong, and she would not let them down. Even if the smile she wore was artificial, her feelings were genuine.

She never realized there was someone else in the hallway until they crashed into her, and together they collapsed on the tiled floor. 'Why me?' was her last thought before looking up into warm, concerned brown eyes. 'Wow.' was the next.

Oishi was in a very good mood. Although he had missed tennis practice that afternoon to visit his uncle at the hospital, the good news more then made up for it. His sprained wrist was completely healed and he could now rejoin Eiji to form the famed Golden Pair once again. Although he was happy that he could help out that poor pregnant woman in her time of need, he could not stop feeling guilt about letting down his tennis partner, and his team by getting injured. Momo had really come through for them all in that tough situation and Eiji had surprised him in the match. He couldn't wait to try out some new formations with the bouncy redhead at practice tomorrow. Maybe he should buy Eiji a new tube of toothpaste to make up for his absence at the match.

The vice captain was pondering this thought in-depth as he ran into someone standing in front of him and they both went down in a tangle on the ground. Immediately he started apologizing for knocking down the poor person, probably a sick and injured individual since he was in a hospital. Oishi inwardly berated himself for not paying better attention and hurting someone like that. Then he caught sight of his victim, a young woman with shoulder length brown hair and impressive sapphire eyes. Inwardly he cringed since his limited experience with young ladies usually ended with them screaming his name and trying to tear his clothing off. But this girl surprised him.

First she glared at him and slapped his face while she yelled "Pervert!" And then she broke into tears.

For a moment Oishi just sat and stared at the girl in amazement before he came to the realization that with the two of them still in a tangled heap on the floor, one of his hands was actually really not anywhere a gentleman should touch a lady without her permission. Actually, probably not until they were married, Oishi changed his mind as he removed the hand and murmured another round of apologies.

The girl untangled herself from him but continued crying and Oishi's caring instinct kicked in. "Are you alright miss? Did you get hurt anywhere in the fall?" Oishi asked gently, automatically reaching out to pat her shoulder but restraining himself since she hadn't seemed to like his touch before.

"I'm just fine. It's my friend that I'm so worried about." the girl sobbed as she leaned forward, resting her head on Oishi's shoulder. The vice captain tensed for a moment before relaxing, and patting her on the back. In a weird way she reminded him of his tennis partner Eiji, who could switch emotions at will. Usually when he was upset he just needed someone to talk to and hug him and he would feel better. Maybe he could do the same for this girl.

"What's wrong with your friend then miss-?" he asked softly.

"My name is Tea. Tea Gardner. And my friend is fine now, but earlier today he was involved in a fire. He almost died and I wasn't there to help him. I'm a horrible friend." the brunette, Tea, explained.

"I'm Oishi Syuichiroh, Miss Gardner. And you shouldn't feel bad about not being there for this friend of yours. You obviously care about him since you're here to see him and you're so worried about him. Sometimes things happen in life that no one expected and we just have to make the best choices we can. You might not have been there during the fire for your friend, but you're here now. Sometimes you have to put trust in your friends, no matter how hard it is, and believe that they can do things on their own." Oishi lectured with a smile as he thought of a certain bubbly redhead. "Sometimes they can surprise you with how strong they really are."

The brunette smiled back at the tennis player, her tears stopping abruptly as she thought about his speech. "You know you're right Mister Oishi. I've always assumed that my friends and I needed to always be together whenever one of us was in trouble in order to lend support. I thought that my friend couldn't handle trouble on his own without me. Maybe I was scared that he was leaving me behind, because of all the new things happening in his life. But I should have trusted him. Yugi's a strong person inside and no matter what happens, I do believe in him." Tea admitted, wiping the tears from her face with the back of her hand.

The two teens smiled at each other, comfortable in the companionable silence in the hallway. Then the door behind them slammed open and a boy around Oishi's age with warm amber eyes and scruffy blond hair leaned out and called to the brunette sitting with him. "Oi Tea, Yugi saved you the pudding and won't let either me or Tristan eat it." the boy whined "I tried explaining that you're trying to lose weight but he won't budge. Could you get off the random guy and help me out with Yug? I'm hungry."

Tea narrowed her eyes and glared at the blond. "Joey as a rule never accuse a girl of being fat and then ask for her help in the same sentence. No wonder you can't get a date. And tell Yugi I'll be there in a second." The blond scowled at the insult but nodded his head and moved inside, shutting the door again.

Oishi turned towards Tea and held out a hand to help the girl to her feet. As the brunette stood, Oishi did as well, taking note that the school uniform the girl wore was one he didn't recognize.

"Do you go to school outside of Tokyo Miss Gardner?" Oishi asked curiously.

Tea glanced down at her outfit and tugged nervously at the skirt. "Yes I actually live in Domino City and go to the school there, but they brought Yugi to this hospital."

"Well I hope to see you again sometime. Maybe you could come and watch me play tennis sometime? I play doubles for Seigaku Junior High School here in Tokyo. I'd love to meet your friend Yugi." Oishi asked.

The brunette smiled and laughed, "It would be nice to see a different game for once. Maybe when Yugi's tournament ends we can visit."

"Well I guess I have to be going now to buy some toothpaste. I hope your friend is doing better soon and I hope you stop feeling so guilty. You're a good friend Tea, I can tell." Oishi declared to the girl and patted her shoulder.

"Thank you Oishi." Tea said before turning and walking into the room that the blond had come from a moment ago. Oishi paused a moment to hear the laughter coming out of the door before heading off the exit. He had his own friends to consider, and his own guilt to assay.

It was several weeks later when Oishi found a small box sitting in front of his tennis locker. As he opened it up, he was very aware of his teammates' stares and the fact that Eiji was hanging on his back, staring over his shoulder, and urging him to quickly open the box. Once open, the box displayed a letter, a photo, and several colorful cards with pictures of strange creatures on them. While Oishi wanted to keep the letter and photo to himself, he couldn't help but show the cards to his teammates, uncertain as to what exactly they were. Surprisingly, it was Kaidoh who answered him.

"They're dueling cards for a strategic card game called Duel Monsters, Oishi-sempai. You use the monster cards to attack your opponent and then magic and trap cards to defend yourself. My younger brother likes to play." Kaidoh explained, while a blush spread across his face from having the regular's undivided attention.

"Nya Oishi, who do you know that plays Duel Monsters? Do you play the game? How come you never told me? You never tell me anything anymore," Eiji wailed from behind him as Oishi reached out to study the photo. Immediately he recognized the brunette in the picture as Tea as she smiled for the camera, her arms around a small boy with spiky, tri-colored hair and the blond that Oishi had also met in the hallway. Another boy with brown hair stood next to the blond, and they were all laughing, clearly quite happy together. Oishi then turned to the letter, wondering why Tea would send him these things and how long Fuji could keep Eiji distracted before he demanded a explanation from his partner.

Dear Mister Oishi,

I apologize if my sending you this at school has caused any problems but I don't know where you live so I hope this works. I wanted to thank you so much for the advice you gave me in the hospital a couple weeks ago. My friends and I have just gone through a very rough time, and I'm happy to say that we've never been closer now. My friend Yugi actually won the tournament he was playing in, and I was finally able to believe in him and trust that he could manage by himself. You're right, he did surprise me. I wanted nothing more than to come visit you, but for now this picture will have to do. The picture is of my friends Yugi, Joey, Tristan, and me. Right now, something has come up and we have to travel to America for awhile. When we return, I do hope to visit and watch you play. I also enclosed some duel cards on the off chance you're interested in learning the game of Duel Monsters. Thanks for all your help.

-Tea Gardner

One more thing, I apologize for calling you a pervert and slapping you. Are you dating anyone right now?

Oishi flinched inwardly as he watched Eiji snatch the letter out of his hands and start waving it about. "Nya Oishi's got a girlfriend."

He had never wished that Tezuka was back from Germany more than at that moment, to give the team laps to run. Instead he surrendered to the chaos and stared at the picture again, wondering exactly what caused a quartet of teens to suddenly travel to another country. He hoped she was alright. A crash behind him left him hoping their team would survive as well.