Wow! Tumbling is ALIVE! Hahaha, thanks for all the support, guys!

Part 2 of 3

"Tsuuuuuki!" Mina whined as she yanked on his arm in what he guessed was supposed to be a cute manner. "You keep looking at all the other girls passing by! Don't you think I'm sexy?"

Ryosuke couldn't help the little snort that escaped from his nostrils, and the girl clinging to him narrowed her eyes, now legitimately upset. "What the hell?" she huffed, releasing her death grip and turning her pert nose up at the air. "Whatever. There are so many better looking guys out there who'd die to have me be their girlfriend."

"I highly doubt it," Ryosuke chuckled, reveling in this unusual streak of honesty.

Mina's mouth dropped open.

"Look, I like someone else. We should break up," Ryosuke announced blandly, pulling a thousand yen note from his pocket. "Here. This should be enough for a taxi. See you around." He winced at her animalistic scream of rage, the bill slapped from his hand as she stalked off, underwear clearly visible from the back of her barely-there skirt. Ryosuke sighed and retrieved the money, putting it back in his pocket. No sense letting it go to waste.

People bustled all around him, pushing and shoving in the chaos that was the mall at night, where teenagers went to escape school and their parents, where husbands went to escape wives, and vice versa. Screaming, and laughing, and crying. Ryosuke liked to get lost in the noise, to become part of that teeming mass of emotion and color and energy. He like being a part of something. Usually. But not tonight. Tonight he felt on edge. Unstrung. Unsure. He didn't like it one bit.

He fought his way to the exit, carefully monitoring his wallet and phone at all times. One never knew in crowded places when thieves would strike. Not that he had much, just a few thousand yen and his phone which was a really old model because he couldn't afford anything better. But still, it was his, and he wasn't going to lose it to carelessness.

The night was oddly cold, yet Ryosuke could feel droplets of sweat winding their way down the back of his neck and into the collar of his shirt, the one he'd been wearing under his uniform and hadn't bothered to change before his date with Mina. Absentmindedly, he rubbed at the steadily dampening hair, grimacing and wiping the liquid on his jeans, worn and riddled with holes. Goosebumps climbed steadily up his bare arms.

"Just not my day, is it," he mumbled, rubbing his hands together to try and supply some friction. "Ah, well, they can't all be."

Slipping into a less-traveled alley, Ryosuke slowly made his way back to his apartment, making sure to avoid gang territory and police boxes, both of whom he considered equally bad news. Just as he'd cut through the park to avoid a squad car, he paused, squinting into the darkness as he noticed two hazy figures, one on the ground, the other towering over him. "Not my business…" he whispered, guilt twisting his insides, but survival instinct winning out.

"Why the hell do all you fucking tumbling idiots want to get fucked up all the time? Ruins my fucking mood every FUCKING time, dammit!"

Ryosuke froze. No. No way.

Turning back around, almost tripping over his own feet in his haste, he peered from behind a large metal play-dome and watched in horror as the person he now recognized as Akabane kicked the person on the ground in the face, causing the person to let out a cry of pain. More worry and nausea settled in the pit of his stomach, and panic sped up his heart rate to dangerous levels. No way could he take Akabane by himself. Akabane may have been an idiot, but he was really strong. What the hell was he going to do?

Considering his very few options, he steeled himself to expect some pain. Wasn't like he'd never got the shit kicked out of him before. By Akabane. Shit. He cupped his hands around his mouth and lowered his voice a few octaves.


Akabane looked like he'd just been hit by a train, jumping back immediately and sprinting like his life depended on it.

Well. That went better than Ryosuke thought it would.

Quickly shaking his head, he jumped from behind the metal structure and hurried over to the person's side, who was still quietly making noises of distress as he clutched at his face. "Oi, you okay? Oi?" Ryosuke frantically clutched at the person's shoulder and tried to remove the hand blocking the injury, eventually prying it off as the person fought him with all his might. "Mizusawa! Mizusawa, it's me! Oi! Calm down!"

"Tsuki…Tsukimori…?" Mizusawa whispered softly, finally relaxing a little, but still half out of it with pain. He'd never been kicked in the face before—that was something his father would never do, if only to avoid leaving visible bruises. It hurt. More than anything he'd ever felt before. "It hurts…" he mumbled, tears forming unbidden as blood poured from the left side of his mouth where his teeth had cut a long gash along the inside of his cheek.

"Okay. Okay. Umm…we…we need to get you to a hospital or—"

"No!" Mizusawa cried, wincing violently at the pain and the thought. "I'm…I'll be fine. I'm fine. Fine," he repeated, as though it were a recording. Ignoring Ryosuke's panicked look, he made to get up, but only made it half way before he had to pause, breathing hard, blood still dripping messily from his mouth. "Fine. I have to be…fine."

Ryosuke made to help him but stopped, not sure where else he might have been hurt.

"You don't…have to touch me…" Mizusawa breathed erratically. "You don't have to…dirty…" He swayed, almost collapsing, before Ryosuke rushed forward and looped Mizusawa's arm around his shoulder, frowning at the smaller boy's little yelp of discomfort and at what he just heard.

"Baka!" he frowned. "What the hell are you saying? Where is your house?"

"No…m'fine…Fine…" Mizusawa mumbled. Ryosuke sighed.

"My place it is, then. Your ass is lucky I live on the first floor."

"No! I…I don't…you hate me. You don't have to act like this…" Mizusawa slurred confusedly, trying to pull away, only to have Ryosuke tighten his hold.

"What bullshit are you spouting," Ryosuke growled angrily, supporting virtually all of Mizusawa's weight as he propelled them both forward. It was less difficult than he thought it would be, due to the fact that Mizusawa couldn't have weighed more than most of the girls he went out with, and he'd had to take them home when they were drunk on more than one occasion. "You avoid me at practice and I hate you? That's rich. That's great. Shut the fuck up and let me carry you, fatty."

Two blocks of sweating and cursing on Ryosuke's part, dropping his keys five million freaking times before getting the door open, and sending his pissed off mother back to bed, and he finally got Mizusawa Taku into his room, almost throwing the dead weight down onto his bed before, still breathing hard, he retrieved his small medicine kit from his closet. Being a yankee, he needed it more often than he should have. "Okay, now what…" he wondered aloud, worry increasing ten-fold when he realized Mizusawa had passed out completely.

Flipping on the light, he decided to just do what he'd known he'd have to all along, grabbing scissors from the kit, cutting off Mizusawa's shirt rather than try and remove it by pulling it over his head. He'd had it done to him numerous times, lost a lot of good shirts because of it, but it had saved him a lot of unnecessary pain.

His brow grew increasingly furrowed as he recognized bruising from a large foot covering both sides of Mizusawa's abdomen, one set of marks fresh and still bright red, but more were yellowed, a few green, showing that it had happened repeatedly, over time. If there was one thing Ryosuke knew, it was the colors bruises turned as they healed. He'd had to see the order so many times thanks to Wataru's fiery tendency to say what came directly to his mind rather than run it through a filter.

But then. Why would…Mizusawa was rich, right? He was a pretentious, cold, gay goody-two-shoes that followed the rules and generally stayed out of the way. But. This just didn't make sense. Ryosuke shook his head again, pushing aside his questions for the moment. Mizusawa needed some serious doctoring.

Pulling bruise cream from the small case, he rubbed it between his fingers to warm it up so it wouldn't shock the unconscious boy into wakefulness, then carefully applied it over his abdomen, ignoring the way Mizusawa's skin felt soft like a girl's, yet firm with layer upon layer of muscle. He tried really hard to be gentle, but Mizusawa was clearly hurting, twisting to try and escape even in his unconscious state.

"I know it hurts…I'm sorry. But I have to do it, okay? So just be a man, will ya'?" Ryosuke frowned again, this time in concentration as used two fingers to rub gently over a swollen red injury on Mizusawa's shoulder. Tumbling…would be impossible for a while. He then focused his attention on Mizusawa's face.

Then entire left side was swollen almost comically, and blood was spattered and dried gruesomely over Mizusawa's chin and neck, spilling onto Ryosuke's bed sheets. Ryosuke felt sharp pangs of empathy for Mizusawa's situation, coupled with fierce rage at Akabane and whoever else had done this to his friend. Was Mizusawa being bullied now because people found out he was gay? Why wouldn't he tell anyone? Wataru, at least for protection…or…or me, he thought gloomily. He thinks I hate him.

Ryosuke fled to the kitchen where he filled a towel with ice, additionally wetting it with cold water. He pulled the strongest painkillers he could find from his cabinet, left over from when he'd had to have surgery to get his appendices out. Mizusawa was going to be in an unbearable amount of pain when he woke up. Honestly, Ryosuke was dreading it.

Returning to his room, he carefully positioned the ice pack to where Mizusawa's cheek was lying on it, head turned on its side, and tried to wipe some of the thicker patches of blood from his pale face. That was when he noticed it. On Mizusawa's other cheek, faint but definitely there, was the bluish outline of a hand, thumb cut off at the curve of Mizusawa's jaw. Fuck. Was it Akabane? Was it a bully? They didn't have to treat him like this. Even if Mizusawa was gay, he didn't deserve…this.

Sure, Ryosuke had been a little grossed out at first. Okay. A lot grossed out. But…he would never…he couldn't imagine someone beating someone up this bad just because they liked boys. It was…it was stupid. And Mizusawa…never really hurt anyone. No, Mizusawa had only ever tried to help…And the whole Kiyama thing, he didn't even say anything about it to the group. He was trying to deal with it on his own. He never even…he never complained, when he thought that they all hated him. He tried to help, to the end.

But still…Ryosuke couldn't understand how Mizusawa could like boys. Just the thought of it made him uncomfortable, gave him this weird feeling in his chest. No, girls were much better. Were cute, were sexy. Soft. But Mizusawa…

Ryosuke jerked a little as Mizusawa shifted positions slightly on his bed, soon settling back down. Eyeing his totally destroyed body, Ryosuke pulled his phone from his pocket and carefully scanned through each number. He needed to tell someone. Even he was smart enough to know that. But who? Who would know what to do?


*of course I'm not happy with it, but you awesome people deserve an update*