Authors Note: Well I must say it was a really hard decision to decide if Oishi should end up with someone, and if so Tezuka or Fuji. . . It was hard, I already said that but. . . LIke always Read and review please, and this is the last part!
Disclaimer: We do not own Prince of Tennis. . . man that sucks!
The regulars reached the train station and purchased their tickets. Oishi was conducting everyone, making sure they had their belongings, and tickets before he allowed everyone to begin boarding the train. He stood at the entrance to the train itself making sure he would be the last to board. Momo, Ryoma, Kaidoh, Inui, Eiji, Taka, Fuji. . .when he got to Fuji he noticed Fuji smile at him warmly before he followed after Taka. Tezuka was the last one in line, before Oishi. Oishi felt like he should say something, but what? The confusion of the previous day entered his mind once more. I like Fuji, I like Tezuka. Is it love though? Why do I feel so good and so ashamed at the same time? Why is Fuji acting so flip floppy? Did Tezuka regret kissing me? Was it wrong to like both people? Oishi's mind was interupted by a firm hand landing on his shoulder. He looked over to see Tezuka standing their looking slightly worried.
"Oishi, just forget about earlier today," Tezuka said assuringly. "It was a mistake." He said this and boarded the train. Oishi stood in silence for a few seconds before entering the train. It was impossible, he had hoped his bonding trip would make things easier to deal with, or even make it so he could forget. He knew he couldn't though, not now, not after Tezuka's words seemed to leave a hole in Oishi's heart.
Oishi took a seat next to Eiji, Momo and Ryoma, sitting across from him was Fuji, Taka, Inui, Kaidoh, and Tezuka. Eiji pulled put a deck of cards. "Hoi! Who wants to play?" Eiji eagerly asked.
Everyone agreed to play, everyone but Tezuka who sat by the window reading silently. "Tezuka, come on we're going to play poker," Fuji induced.
"Tezuka's really good, be careful," Oishi said. Tezuka looked over to Oishi and gave him a weak smile.
"Nya? How can he be so good it's all luck!" Eiji proclaimed, dealing out the cards.
"I've seen people on television, it's more than luck," Taka said looking at the cards he had been delt.
"Poker isn't much different from tennis," Inui said. "You can always tell what your opponents will do if you have the correct data." Inui flipped through his note book.
"Inui, do you always use your data, for everything?" Momo asked.
Oishi did not listen to what Inui replied, he watched Tezuka look through his cards. Tezuka, to most would be impossible to read, Even for Oishi most times it was hard, but he could tell, something was bothering Tezuka. Tezuka had looked that way since he returned to school. Was it the kiss, or the love confession? How could Tezuka ask Oishi to forget about it? Why was it a mistake? It felt right, but Oishi knew it was wrong. What was he to Fuji anyway? Were him and Fuji a couple? It seemed like that sometimes, but other times it seemed like they were strangers. He was so confused about the whole situation, that it was hard for him not to think of anything else.
"Oishi! Oishiiiiii!" Oishi jerked his head to find Eiji's mouth at his ear, yelling loudly. "It's your turn!"
Oishi realised he had been staring at Tezuka while at least three people took their turns. He blushed, picked up his cards and folded. He looked towards Fuji, who quickly became very interested in his cards as soon as he noticed Oishi's eyes.
Tezuka had won three games in a row, only narrowly beating Fuji each time. Oishi decided he couldn't play any more, and told everyone he was going to go to the bathroom. Oishi stepped into an empty compartment a little way down from the one the regulars were gathered in. He couldn't stay long but he needed to get away. This was a bad idea, how could he have ever though bringing everyone together would make him feel better? He remebered though, he didn't do this for himself, he did this for Tezuka and Fuji, to ease their tension. Was it working? Oishi didn't mind feeling like dying as long as everyone else was getting along good. Oishi gave in, feeling like he should do this since they entered the train, and he started to cry. He cried silently in the compartment. He had never felt so torn. What the hell kind of person was he? Was he supposed to decide? It seemed unfair, it wasn't his fault after all. But he couldn't think this. He decided he didn't deserve Tezuka or Fuji.
Oishi heard the door to the compartment shift, he quickly wiped his face trying to look normal. When the door opened he saw Eiji smiling, "Aha! Found you Oi-Oishi?" Eiji entered the compartment closing the door behing him. He sat next to Oishi and hugged him. "Oishi? What's wrong? Why are you crying?"
Oishi desperatlry wanted to tell Eiji everything, but he felt ashamed. He pulled away from Eiji. Eiji looked truely worried. This was not supposed to happen. "Nothing is wrong Eiji."
"But-but you are crying," Eiji pointed out.
"I know, I am just worried about the team." Not entirely a lie.
"I-I just don't know what we'll do if Tezuka can't play. I mean how will the others deal with that?" Entirely a lie, he knew everyone of his teammates would be strong and wheather Tezuka played or not, they would make it to nationals.
Eiji laughed, "Oishi! You are like a mom. Everyone will be fine! Tezuka never gets to play anyway! We win before we make it to him!" Eiji hugged Oishi again
"Yeah, I guess you are right," Oishi forced a half smile. Why couldn't he just tell Eiji the truth? I love Fuji and Tezuka. . .
"Let's go back! Everyone thought you got lost!" Eiji pulled Oishi up wrapping an arm around Oishi's shoulder. "We have to make it to nationals with or with out Tezuka! We're too young to retire!"
They reached the compartment. Oishi hoped by now his face hadn't looked like he had just got done crying. He smiled as Eiji led him inside. He sat down next to Eiji and everyone looked at him smiling.
"I didn't know the bathroom was that hard to find," Oishi looked up and saw Fuji smiling at him. Oishi smiled back. Maybe it wasn't so bad. He looked over to Tezuka, and his smile faded a bit. Tezuka was looking out the window, resting his chin in his hands.
The train came to a stop, everyone got up and stretched. "We have to hike a bit, but it's nothing too extreme." Oishi said leading everyone out of the train.
Everyone looked glad to leave the train. They were at the very outside of the city it seemed. Oishi led the way up a path towards a nice spot to see the sunrise. Oishi enjoyed the hike the clean mountain air seemed to ease his mind just a bit. He thought maybe up here he could think clearly, maybe he could figure something out. Several times Eiji ran up to Oishi's side giving him a reassuring smile. Oishi's guilt multiplied everytime he did this. He should have just told Eiji everything. They were here for a bonding trip though, he didn't want to ruin it by dumping his problems on others.
The hike really was short, as soon as Oishi really started to relax they reached the top. With everyone standing there in silence Oishi felt his worry and pain rise again. Eiji walked over to the edge of the hill leaning on the gate that kept him from falling. "There are alot of clouds out we might miss the sunrise," Eiji said looking to the group. Oishi could see the faint light of the sun as it began to rise. Eiji was right there were clouds, what if they missed the sunrise? Oishi couldn't help but feel like the sun. . .something that only wanted to bring light to the world, but was so easily over powered by clouds. His mind felt cloudy all the time.
Oishi let his head fall down. So much for this bonding trip. What a dissapointment. Oishi felt a hand grab his firmly he looked to his side and saw Fuji, "Wait for it Oishi, it's not to late." Fuji smiled a Oishi.
Oishi smiled back and looked up staring at the clouds, he wore a worried expression, but he knew Fuji was right. There was still hope that the sun could shine giving the regulars the sunrise from the mountains they wanted. Fuji's smile grew wider as the clouds disspersed. Oishi beamed, and the other regulars smiled and clapped in approval. It really was a beautiful thing. Oishi felt a surge of hope. This trip, was after all a good idea.
Everyone was having a good time, chatting playing, or just sitting and observing the scenery around them. Oishi was joyfully watching as everyone enjoyed the trip originally none of them wanted to go on, that is, until he saw Tezuka. Tezuka sat on a rock his chin in his hand like it was on the train. Tezuka was definately troubled about something. Oishi looked over to Fuji who was deep in conversation with Taka, then he went over and sat on the rock next to Tezuka.
"This was a nice idea of yours Oishi," Tezuka said not looking at Oishi.
Oishi looked over to Tezuka, "It seems like everyone is having a good time, everyone but you."
Tezuka did not respond he just continued staring out into the scenery.
"Tezuka, talk to me please. I-I don't know what to do! I am so confused about everything," Oishi pleaded.
Tezuka lifted his head not looking at Oishi, "You know in the begining, Fuji only wanted you for one reason."
"Huh. . .what are you talking-"
"You were the only one he couldn't charm," Tezuka looked over to Oishi. "He wanted to make you his conquest, I should have told you the minute he told me."
Oishi was a little shocked by the whole thing.
"You know what Oishi, I didn't tell you because I knew you wouldn't submit to Fuji, but I didn't expect. . ." Tezuka shifted a little and once again turned his gaze to the scenery in front of him.
"What? You didn't expect-?" Oishi started.
"I didn't think you would fall in love, I thought Fuji kind of scared you, I wasn't worried about it at all," Tezuka shook his head and laughed a bit. Oishi had never seen Tezuka behave this way before. His usually stern, silent best friend was saying something that had clearly been on his mind for a while.
"I'm not sure I understand," Oishi said.
"I blew it, I really did. . . you know what suprised me even more was that-"
"Hey Oishi! Tezuka! Come on! We are taking pictures!" Eiji pulled Oishi up dragging him to where the camera was set up, Tezuka slowly followed.
What had suprised him even more? Damn! Great timing Eiji. Now Tezuka will never finish what he was saying, infact he will probably regret saying anything in a while.
Fuji was setting up the camera, finally satisfied with the position, he ran to join the picture before the camera clicked. After the picture everyone played for a while and Tezuka went back to his rock. Oishi was about to go ask Tezuka to explain himself when he was pulled away by Fuji. Fuji was leading him far from the group into some trees.
"Where are we going?" Oishi asked allowing himself to be pulled.
Fuji smiled, "I need to get far enough from everyone to dispose of the body properly."
Oishi laughed a little, but felt uneasy after that comment. They were far enough away so that Oishi couldn't see where everyone else still played.
"Oishi, isn't it funny how it takes someone else to make you realize your feelings?"
Fuji pulled Oishi into a kiss. Oishi kissed back confused. This kiss was playful, and full of kindness and excitement, Oishi felt like he was kissing Eiji. Not that he had ever kissed Eiji, this is just how he always thought it would be.
Oishi pulled away staring at Fuji in bewilderment. Fuji smiled, "Don't worry Eiji kisses nothing like this, his is more like-"
Oishi not really wanting to hear how Eiji kissed firmly planted his lips on Fuji's. This was the most forward thing he had ever done, sure it was only a kiss, but it felt like for a split second that he was in charge. This quickly changed as Fuji wrapped his hands aroung Oishi's head pulling him closer, intensing the force of the kiss. Oishi felt good, Fuji's kisses usually made Oishi forget about everything, except for that one time in the park, but even then Oishi had felt totally consumed by Fuji, from only a kiss. Oishi wondered what it would be like to explore Fuji further, throwing all of his judgement out of the window he unbuttoned the top button of Fuji's Oxford, still kissing he moved his hand to Fuji's waist untucking his shirt. This time he would remove all three shirts at once. He slid his hand up Fuji's torso grabbing the wife beater, he pulled up. Oishi felt Fuji's hand pull his arm from out of his shirt. Oishi stepped back pulling away from Fuji.
Fuji had never been the one to stop, or pull away. Oishi was confused and it must have shown in his expression, because Fuji laughed as he tucked his shirts back into his pants.
"Sorry Oishi," Fuji kissed OIshi gently. "I really would rather wait, until you are ready."
Oishi's face must have turned the brightest red, "Bu-But I am rea-"
Fuji placed a finger on Oishi's lips to silence his speech.
"I know you don't want to lose it in a forest, with your friends just up the hill a little way. Imagine the data Inui could collect."
Oishi blushed even more, "The-then why did-"
Fuji's finger once again met with OIshi's lips, "Because I wanted you to know something,"
"What?" Oishi was confused. Was he supposed to know already.
"You really are different from anyone I have-"
This time it was Oishi's finger on Fuji's lips, "I'd rather not hear about the other people."
Fuji smiled and sucked on the finger Oishi had put on his lips.
"Fuji!" Oishi pulled out his finger and wiped it on his shirt.
Fuji laughed, "How to put this. . ." Fuji looked really puzzled, what could be so hard to say?
Fuji kissed Oishi again and wrapped his arm around Oishi's waist and pulled Oishi's arm around his shoulder. They walked back up like this smiling.
"Hoi! Are we playing house! Look Oishi is the mom and Fuji is the dad!" Eiji shouted seeing the two emerge from the tree's
"House? Where'd you get that idea?" Oishi asked laughing.
"Fuji said he was going to go ask you about playing a game! And I think you decided on house!"
"That's right Eiji, and I did! Guess who you get to be?" Fuji said.
"Who? Who?" Eiji was jumping up and down!
"The cat," Oishi said smiling at Eiji!
"Yes! I knew it! Who is Chibi-chan, and Momo-chan?"
"Hmm. . .They are our youngest sons." Fuji said.
"And Kaidoh and and Taka are our daughters!" Oishi chimed in.
"Inui is the family physician!" Fuji added
"And Tezu-" Oishi looked over to Tezuka, who was still on the same rock. He felt like his whole world had just crashed down. Fuji looked towards Oishi.
"Tezuka is the grandpa!" Eiji exclaimed.
"Actually, it's getting kind of late, we should all head back," Oishi said not in the mood to play house anymore.
"Awwwww come on! I wanna play house!" Eiji whined.
"No!" This was a command, a command from Tezuka. "Oishi is right, and we do have practice in three hours. Everyone lets go."
Eiji was about to raise an argument but quickly changed his mind once he saw the look Tezuka shot him.
All the regulars marched down the hill in silence. They arrived at the train station and remained silent on the ride. It seemed like Tezuka had almost put a damper on everyone's mood. Oishi couldn't blame them, the look he gave Eiji was quite scary and the way he said "no" was too.
Momo, Ryoma and Eiji headed off together for hamburgers. Inui and Kaidoh left to train a little before practice, and Taka and Fuji left to go to their houses and collect their bags before heading for practice. Tezuka and Oishi remained alone.
"I'll go open the lockers," Oishi said heading towards the school.
"No I can, it's alright," Tezuka said catching up to Oishi's side.
"Why don't we both go," Oishi suggested. Tezuka was very flustered. What was he so anxious about?
They reached the tennis courts and Oishi unlocked the doors to the locker room. They were thrity minutes early for practice and had time to kill.
"Tezuka? What were you going to say, I mean up back on the mountain?" Oishi watched as Tezuka pulled on his jersy.
"I- It was nothing just forget about it," Tezuka stepped out of the locker room and headed for the courts.
"But you can't-" Oishi started. Tezuka paused for a second.
"Sorry Oishi, really just forget it," Tezuka made his way to the courts.
Oishi sat in the locker room. He felt angry but soon let that emotion die down. After all he probably didn't help by kissing Tezuka, and then going to the woods with Fuji. But did he really do anything wrong? Oishi was tired of being so confused.
Fuji entered the locker room and smiled, this is where there first encounter was. Fuji smiled and kissed Oishi on the forehead. "What's wrong Oishi?"
"I just, feel a bit tired," Oishi said. This wasn't a lie, entirely.
Fuji raised hie eyebrow but didn't press the subject. He just changed and went out to the courts. Soon everyone else arrived. Oishi made his way to the courts and saw everyone grouped around Tezuka. Oishi went to see what was going on.
This wasn't happening, It couldn't be. Germany? That was too far away. He figured Tezuka would be out of the regionals but he didn't think he would be leaving the country. Oishi went home and layed out on his bed. He cried, his best friend was leaving him. He felt bad, he was only concerned with himself. What about Tezuka? This place was supposed to be really good for healing injured tennis players. He decided it was the best thing to do. Tezuka had to leave. Or else he wouldn't get better. With this thought Oishi drifted off to sleep, however, he could not stop the flow of the tears that had put him to sleep.
Oishi had to drag himself to school in the morning. He would have to take over the captain duties. He decided to check out a book from the school library. He was browsing the shelves looking for a book on Germany. He felt a hand on his shoulder, he looked up and saw Tezuka standing over him.
"What are you looking for?" Tezuka asked.
Oishi stood up and faced Tezuka nervously, "I-I was looking for a rule book, a tennis rule book."
Oishi went to a nearby table and sat.
"I wanted to ask you something Oishi," Tezuka said.
"Will you please take my place as captain."
Oishi thought for a second. "No"
"Tezuka you are our captain, no matter where you go you are our captain. You'll be back for nationals anyway." Oishi smiled at Tezuka, "I will be substitute captain in your absence."
Tezuka smiled and left for his classes leaving Oishi in the library.
Today's practice would be Tezuka's last.
"Echizen, will you play me?" Tezuka asked, no one looked surprised by this request.
"Sure," Ryoma said coolly stepping on to the court.
"Oishi, " Tezuka said turning to him and smiling. "Will you be the judge?"
"Yes of course," Oishi replied without hestitation.
"This will be a good refresher on the rules," Tezuka said emphazing the word rules. Oishi blushed, he should have know Tezuka knew he was lying about looking for a rule book.
Tezuka had completly mastered the Tezuka Zone with his right arm. Ryoma however was putting up a good fight. In the end Tezuka won by two games. Even with his right arm Ryoma wasn't good enough yet.
"You better be able to beat me when I get back." Tezuka said to Ryoma.
Everyone left practice, excited about the match. Oishi had just finished locking the door to the locker room and turned around to find Fuji in front of him. "You are going to the airport tomorrow right? I thought we could go see a movie afterwards."
"Yeah that sounds great!"
" Okay I will meet you at the airport tomorrow." Fuji left smiling. At least his date with Fuji would take his mind off of Tezuka.
Oishi arrived at his house, and layed on his bed again. He pulled out the book he had checked out on Germany and was flipping through the pages. It didn't seem all that bad, the place Tezuka was staying was supposed to be safe. He heard a knocking on his bedroom door.
He got up to open the door and saw Tezuka standing in his doorway.
"Tezuka, are you alright?"
Tezuka went further into Oishi's room closing the door behind him.
"Tezuka, what's wrong?"
Tezuka stepped towards Oishi pulling him into a tight hug. "I just. . ." Oishi was scared he had never seen Tezuka act this way before. Tezuka was definatly not this type of person. He had never hugged Oishi like this. He was so nervous and scared. Oishi had no idea what to do.
"Oishi can I stay here tonight?" Tezuka had never asked to stay the night at Oishi's house, he just wasn't like that. Usually he had to be forced to do these kinds of things.
"O-of course you can, here let me go get some more pillows-"
"Will you sleep with me?" What! Oishi's mind played that request over and over, he blushed and must have been gaping, because Tezuka quickly responded, "I mean just sleep, that's all." Oishi blushed even more, of course Tezuka didn't want to have sex. But still this kind of request from Tezuka was highly unusual. But Tezuka after all was human, and he was going far away, to a place where he would be completly alone.
Oishi nodded and went into the bathroom to change into his pajamas. When he entered his bedroom he saw Tezuka, asleep. Oishi covered Tezuka with blankets, and felt a tug at his arm. Tezuka wasn't asleep after all. Oishi layed next to Tezuka, feeling extremely akward. Tezuka was leaving tomorrow and was probably sad about it. Oishi turned to face Tezuka, and noticed that his captain was crying. Oishi had to use all his power to keep from crying himself. He embraced Tezuka and softly stroked his hair. "It's okay Tezuka, you will be back before you know it."
Tezuka clung to Oishi's body sobbing into his shoulder. "Oishi, I am sad."
Oishi couldn't believe this was happening, he was comforting Tezuka Kunimitsu, the most stern person in the world was breaking down in Oishi's arms. Oishi couldn't sleep he just held Tezuka the whole night, he was sure Tezuka didn't sleep either. They didn't say a word.
The morning came to fast, in a few hours Tezuka would have to leave. Oishi felt like he finally understood a little bit of the confusion in his head. Tezuka had probably decided a while ago that he would go to Germany. This if course had to be a hard desicion for him to make. That must have been why he had been acting so cold, colder than usual. But what about that night at the hospital? He couldn't have possibly known then. The sun was now fully risen. Oishi shifted a bit to get up but Tezuka wouldn't let him move. Oishi stayed there for a little while longer it would be alright.
"Will you miss me?" Tezuka had never asked a question like this before, Oishi still wasn't used to Tezuka's weird behavior but he felt like he could understand. Tezuka was in pain.
Oishi smiled, "Of course. You are my best friend."
Tezuka gave Oishi a half smile, he was about to say something when the bedroom door was swung open.
"Oishi, I brought a gif-" Fuji didn't finish his sentance, he just ran dropping what he was carrying in his hands.
Tezuka and Oishi sat up. Shit! I didn't do anything wrong! If I go after Fuji I can explain. Oishi ran from his bedroom after Fuji, not saying a word to Tezuka. Fuji had already left the house, the door was wide open. Oishi ran outside barefoot. "FUJI!" Oishi saw Fuji walking down the sidewalk, casually like nothing had happened. He turned around when he heard Oishi yell his name smiling.
Oishi cought up to Fuji, breathing heavily. "Fuji, it. . .that wasn't what you thought."
Fuji laughed, "It's okay Oishi, you don't have to explain yourself."
"But I do! You ran out-"
"I was just surprised that's all." Fuji smiled and continued walking.
Why couldn't Fuji just be honest? He was upset, Oishi knew it too.
"Look! I thought maybe I did, but I don't, Tezuka is-"
"You don't need to explain." Fuji kept walking.
Oishi pulled Fuji's arm to stop him from walking.
Fuji wrenched his arm away and walked on. Oishi stood there. He was angry with Fuji. Why couldn't he just say it!
"Fuji was now at the end of the street he turned and yelled, "Oh about the movies, I have a previous engagement so maybe another time."
Fuji turned the corner and was gone. Oishi slumped back to his house. He didn't do anything wrong, but still Fuji was upset. He entered his bedroom and saw Tezuka standing, with his hands in his pockets, looking out the window. "I am sorry, I shouldn't have come here. It was a mistake. Just forget about it."
"No! Tezuka I can't forget about it! And I can't forget about the kiss either." Tezuka turned and gave Oishi a surprised look. "I-I really feel bad, about leading you on. I don't think any of this was a mistake either."
"No I knew how you felt about Fuji a while ago, it just-" Tezuka couldn't finish what he wanted to say.
"I know, and I am sorry I cannot return your feelings," Oishi looked away from Tezuka. He felt terrible about making Tezuka sad, but he knew that what he was doing was the right thing.
The airport was busy as ever, Oishi thought he might miss Tezuka, but he saw his best friend sitting on a bench waiting for his flight to be called. Oishi walked over to Tezuka right as his plane was called. He hurried as he saw Tezuka stand up and head for the gates. "Tezuka!" Oishi shouted.
Tezuka turned around and faced Oishi. Tezuka smiled at Oishi and he walked over to where Tezuka was standing in line.
"What's that in your hand?" Tezuka asked eyeing whatever it was that Oishi was holding.
"It's a present from Fuji." Oishi handed the gift to Fuji.
"It's a cactus?" Tezuka laughed to himself.
"Well, it is from Fuji." Oishi face saddened a bit.
"He loves you Oishi," Tezuka patted his best friends shoulder.
"I am sorry Tezuka," Oishi said, "I do love you it's just-"
"I know, but maybe when we are older." Tezuka laughed.
Tezuka was in line to go through the gate towards the plane, Oishi hugged him
"Oishi promise me that. . ."
Oishi left the airport smiling, he knew he would be able to keep his promise to Tezuka. Both promises. As he approached the exit Oishi decided he would go to Fuji's and explain properly. He exited the airport and sat down at the bus stop next to a man reading the newspaper. He waited for the bus, happy. Things were still rocky but at least he felt no more confusion. He just hoped that Fuji would forgive him and they could have a real relationship. "Isn't it funny how it takes someone else to make you realize your feelings?"
Oishi turned to the man next to him it was Fuji. He couldn't help but smile wide. "Fuji-" Oishi was kissed hard by Fuji, so hard that he almost fell from the bench.
Fuji laughed. "You know my afternoon is free after all."
"Really? Well I think I have plans-" Fuji again kissed Oishi. Oishi felt like those women in old movies who were swept off their feet by the dashing heros of the stories.
Fuji pulled Oishi's ear towards his lips, "I love you."