Yeah, it's been awhile, and my excuse is really lame, I know. I've been working, and my friend introduced me to K-pop (mainly MBLAQ and SHINee), so I've been a little distracted and busy... But I got this chapter done, and I'm still planning on finishing this fic, and working on another three more (one of which I've already started), so please bear with me as I fangirl over my love for Thunder, Mir, Minho, and Taemin (more Thunder than anyone else), and please expect more twists and turns later on in the story!
Guest- I guess we're gonna find out by the end, ne? Until then, just keep holding on.
Anonymous- I'm glad that you like the fic. Thank you.
AishiteruVivi- Thank you for reviewing, and your suspicions will or will not be confirmed soon enough.
(One Week Later)
Eiji was lounging across the couch, a hand on his turning stomach. Fuji sat next to him, holding a cool wash cloth to his head as he urged him to take slow, deep breaths, relax, and just rest himself until he felt well enough to move again without throwing-up. "The kids can't afford to have both of us out of commission, ne." The tensai teased, shaking his head. "I mean, I guess I can cook for them, and play around here sometimes, but Tsukasa and Kunihiro really like going to park when they have time, and Hime-chan is getting to that age where she's going to have too much energy, and be running around all the time, and I can't chase after her like this. So that only leaves you... and you already gave me your word that you would watch over the three of them until I give birth, so let's just get you better so you can keep your promise, okay?"
Eiji groaned and rolled over onto his side. He was feeling nauseous again, and the trash can placed right next to the couch was his closest source for disposal, should his vomiting fits start up for the fourth time that day. "You're not making this any better for me, you know." He mumbled, just as Fuji ran the wash cloth over his forehead a second time; he shivered in delight and crept closer... he paused after that, and exhaled deeply to keep the rising lump in his throat from exploding out from his mouth.
"Sorry, I know this is hard on you... especially after the fight with Oishi. But this is why I've been encouraging you to at least speak to him. You don't have to make up, or even see each other—just talk, because this little fight of yours is turning out to be a lot more stressful on you, him, and even 'Mitsu and myself than I first thought. Just look at you, Eiji... you're making yourself sick over him, and you haven't left the apartment since the day you showed up here." Fuji stood up from the couch, and moved over to a chair instead, where he could relax and rest his back from the weight of the baby. "You know I love you, ne, and would do anything to help you out, but this is starting to scare me... and the kids shouldn't have to see this from you... they're still too young..."
He jumped up from the chair when Eiji rolled even further and buried his face in the trash can. Splashes of liquid could be heard emanating from the plastic bin, and as he moved to rub the redhead's back, quiet sobs and whimpers joined in the fray. And it lasted for a while afterwards, with Eiji emptying his stomach into the trash, crying all the while as Fuji comforted him and encouraged him to drink from the cup of water he'd grabbed from the coffee table. When Eiji finally sat back though, and closed his eyes against the lights beaming down on them, the tensai softened his expression, and offered a weak smile in apology. "I'm sorry." He said, and Eiji waved him off. "No, listen to me. I'm just worried about you. But try as I did to be nice before, and tell you that everything was just fine, that things would get better even if they stayed as they were... you wouldn't listen, and so, I thought that maybe if I acted a little meaner, you would finally realize just how bad things are for all of us right now..." He shook his head, and held his face in his hands. "That backfired just a bit though, ne? I only made you sicker."
"No, it's fine." Eiji replied, panting. "This is all my fault. I overreacted, and instead of going back to Syu-san and apologizing like I should have, I stayed here with you like an immature child, and fumed and sickened over the thought of him and his habit... he... he's supposed to be quitting... but every time he gets close enough for me to believe that he is... I just catch him all over again, and then suddenly he's not quitting anymore... And for some reason, this is just bothering me a lot more than usual... maybe... well, maybe I'm more adamant about him stopping than I thought... And I took it out on you and Tezuka—like the idiot I am—instead of telling Syu-san how I feel..."
"Mm, and this sickness of yours..." Fuji nodded to him. "I'm sure this could all be solved if you two just talked things out, and went back to being together... like before the trip. This makes practically five weeks apart now, and I know how you get even after a day of Oishi being at work..."
"Yeah, I know... but I'm just not ready to talk to him yet..." Eiji shook his head, and sat up, his hands cradling his face as his breath grew heavy again. "Oh... I feel sick..."
"Just lay back and relax." Fuji encouraged him, rubbing at his shoulder. "You moving around like this is just going to make things worse... Unless you wanted to move back to the bed? That would probably be more comfortable, ne?"
"No, I'm fine... I just wanna sit like this for a while..." The redhead heaved out a sigh, then sat back against the couch backing to rest. He closed his eyes once he was in the "perfect" position, and allowed sleep to creep up on him like he'd done for the past week of being at Fuji and Tezuka's. But instead of getting some much-desired rest, the only thing he really wanted at the moment, he jumped up and vomited into the trash bin again.
Gods, he was miserable. He just wanted to go home... and see Oishi, and be comforted by him, and get over his sickness so he could take care of Fuji and the kids, Oishi and himself, and keep preparing everything they needed for the baby. But there was something keeping him from doing that... though he wasn't sure what. Maybe it was really all about their argument over Oishi's smoking... but that was a bit much, wasn't it? Could he really overreact to something he knew he really had no control over? Because if Oishi wanted to smoke, he had every right to... but Eiji could still request that he stop, and keep him away from the baby whenever he reeked of tobacco. They were both grown men, and they could do what they wanted... even if the other despised the idea of him doing it.
"Maybe we should let you see a doctor..." Fuji murmured from beside him as he only continued to empty his stomach into the bin. "This is starting to get scary, and I don't want anything to happen to you just because I didn't take you to go get checked out..."
Eiji spit out the last of his vomit, and slowly, painfully, sat back onto the couch again, his chest heaving to catch up on lost breath. But then he shook his head, when his focus returned to him, and the look he gave Fuji in response to his statement let him know that there was just no getting him out to the hospital, even if the redhead had to be dragged there kicking and screaming. "I don't need to go..." He breathed, turning himself away from the tensai when he made to protest. "I'm not dying or anything... and this isn't something we don't have an answer to... I'm miserable because of Oishi and his stupid, stupid habit... And we've been apart for so long... By now, I find it nothing but normal that I'm sick like this... But I'm not ready to see him, not yet... Maybe in a few more days..."
"You can't stay here forever, you know." Fuji stated, though his tone sounded far from threatening. "One of these days you're going to have to make up and go back home so you can take care of the baby together, and wouldn't you rather that happen before she comes, instead of after? You're going to be stressed enough worrying about her well-being and safety without being in an ongoing fight with Oishi."
"Yeah, I know." Eiji mumbled, burying his head in a couch pillow. "But for now, I just wanna sleep. Talk to me later when I'm feeling better."
Fuji sighed as he stood up and moved across the room to the kitchen. "With the way you've been this past week, I doubt that you're going to be any better later on than you are now."
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Dinner that night was lonely for the redhead. Tsukasa and Kunihiro played around and talked about their lessons at school, while Tezuka and Fuji fussed over Himeko and the spilling of her food all over her clean pajamas... which meant that Eiji was left out of the group, out of the conversations and the comfort of being a part of the family. But that was just it: he wasn't part of their home, or their family. He was a friend, yes, and he and Fuji considered themselves close to brothers, but he wasn't actually blood-related, or considered a member of the apartment; he was just a guest, and one that was breaking off from the group the longer he stayed.
He just needed to go home... he wanted to go home, to Oishi, to his bed, his kitchen, his baby's things... but there was something still holding him back, keeping him from returning and holding onto his boyfriend for dear life until he felt good again... Maybe Fuji and Oishi were right... maybe he needed to go to the hospital and get himself looked at, because there was obviously something wrong with him—he just didn't know what.
"U-uh... Fuji..." He piped up over the din of the other five seated alongside him, and immediately the room quieted. Kunihiro shrugged and went back to eating his dinner, Tsukasa giggled and waved to the redhead before turning to coo at Himeko, and Fuji and Tezuka gave him their full attention, knowing he had something serious and meaningful to say. "I'm... I'm gonna go see a doctor tomorrow, okay? And afterwards, I'm gonna pack up my stuff and go home. You're right—I just need to go see Syu-san and make up with him. We can't be doing this kind of thing so close to the baby's due date, especially over something as dumb as his smoking. He's a grown man, so he can do what he wants... and I shouldn't hate him for it, because I love him too much to do so..."
Fuji nodded, and a gentle smile spread across his face. "That's fine. And I'm glad, Eiji. We all want to see you get better—back to your old self. And if you need me for anything, you know you can just ask."
Eiji breathed out a sigh of relief. "Nn, thank you, Fuji." He then raised his eyes when a hand touched his, and he saw Tsukasa smiling at him.
"I'm going to miss you, Eiji-san." He said, sounding a lot more mature than his age would suggest. "But I want the new baby to be happy and safe. And if you and Oishi-san are happy, then the baby will be too. And I hope you're not sick, because we can't let the baby get sick too, ne?"
Fuji giggled at his son, and reached over to pull him close. "Eiji understands your worries, Tsu-chan, but I don't think it's very nice of you to interfere with other people's business. Why don't we just finish eating, and silently pray that Eiji and Oishi and the baby will be okay? How does that sound?"
Tsukasa grinned and nodded his head, before picking up his chopsticks to continue devouring his meal. Fuji and Eiji exchanged a look in the meantime, one that spoke levels without either having to actually say anything. Dinner went on peacefully after that, and everyone, including Eiji, joined in on the conversations and jokes and giggles that filled the room for the rest of the night.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Eiji felt his knees knock together in nervousness as the nurse prepared the needle, the labels, and the small assortment of vials from beside him on the room's little work table. He hated shots, and usually Oishi was there to comfort him, to hold his hand, whenever he got one, just to help keep him calm... But he was alone this time, and he could feel the anxiousness settle in the longer she stood there moving the needle around in her hand, and tying his arm off to help cut the circulation.
"Now, hold still, okay?" She instructed him as she leaned over and brought the needle to his skin. He quickly avoided his gaze and tried to even out his breathing, but the hard pinch he felt a moment later made him inhale sharply, and grip the chair he was in tightly with his free hand. Hours seemed to pass before the intrusion beneath his skin disappeared, but when he looked up to the clock hanging on the wall in front of him, he realized it had really been less than a minute. Oh well, at least it was over with.
"This will be examined and finished within the next few days." The nurse said as she stood back and put the labels on the blood-filled vials. "And the doctor will give you a call when we get the results. For now though, you're free to go."
Eiji nodded and stood up, gathering his things. "Okay, thank you." He said, bowing. "And thank you for helping me." He turned then, and walked out of the room, heading out to the main doors so he could finally go home and see his stuff again.
Oishi was going to be at work when he got there, and would be still until around six, which gave him more than enough time to tidy everything up and make dinner and an apology cake, before the two of them saw each other for the first time in over a week. And he could only hope that Oishi would forgive him, and allow him to stay, because what he'd done was far from being worthy of that. And if Oishi were to hate him, well, he'd understand... he just prayed that wouldn't be the case though.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Oishi hadn't expected any kind of greeting for him when he returned home that evening, but what he got was a cheerful cry of "okaeri", a kiss on the cheek, an apologetic hug, and perhaps the most elaborate dinner he'd ever seen Eiji make. His briefcase dropped from his hand the moment his brain caught up to him, and he held the redhead tight in his arms for what felt like hours, until they pulled away and shared a short, sweet kiss. "Eiji..." He then breathed, running his fingers through Eiji's fiery hair, pulling him close again. "I missed you..."
"Mm, me too." Eiji murmured, burying his hands into the dark, pressed suit his boyfriend wore. "And I'm sorry. I overreacted, ne. But there's just something so... frustrating, about hearing you say over and over again that you're going to quit smoking, but then you don't. And yeah, I realize that some of that is my fault... but you know that I haven't been feeling that well lately, so I guess that's only helping me to act more irrational."
Oishi shook his head. "Don't worry about it, okay? Let's just learn from what we've done, apologize, forgive, and move on. We have more important things to worry about right now than a few small fights. And I promise you..." He separated them, so he could stare straight into the redhead's teary blue eyes. "I promise you that I will stop smoking before the baby comes. Believe me, I'm just as adamant about keeping her away from dangerous stuff like that as you are. So please, just bear with me until then. I'm really trying my hardest, but this kind of thing is hard to just give up so suddenly."
"To be fair, you've had twelve years to give it up." Eiji told him, not at all trying to sound like he was complaining, though the look Oishi gave him in reply made him think his voice had come out otherwise. "You didn't even have to start, you know!" He defended, and Oishi scoffed. "You could have just kept being the adorable dork I love..." He smiled. "... instead of some jerk who thinks that ruining his lungs is some sort of fun to be had."
"You know I was insecure at that time, and my parents were stressing me out with all their threats to your safety." Oishi sighed. "I got in with some bad people back then, I admit it, but at least I only went as far as smoking cigarettes... Some of the others weren't so lucky though..."
"Nn, I hear that two of them are still in jail." Eiji said, stepping away to lead them over to their table overflowing with hot and delicious food. "And as much as the concept of a bad-boy is appealing to me, you don't fit that personality, and since I'm in love with you and no one else, I don't need that."
"Well, that's why I broke off from that group." Oishi explained, before taking a seat down in his chair, and picking up his chopsticks. "When I saw how upset and unhappy you were with my new image, I realize that I'd made a mistake. So I changed back to my old self, and instead got that apartment to get away from all the stress and hardships my parents brought to our relationship."
Eiji giggled. "And now all that remains are the cigarettes."
"Yeah... yeah, that's all." Oishi nodded, bowing his head. "Itadakimasu." He then said, as his hand reached out to pick up a bite of food. "I was pretty stupid back then, wasn't I? I even went so far as to start smoking, just to look cool and impress you."
"Yeah, you were." Eiji teased, pushing some rice into his mouth. "But I don't get why. You'd already had me, and a really good group of friends too. Breaking off and doing what you did was a pretty dumb move." He shrugged and took another bite. "But I guess everyone goes through weird stages like that... Yours was just a little more extreme than most people's, ne?"
Oishi smiled. "Mm. But I'm glad I got over it. Otherwise, I would've lost you and all of our friends, and I don't know what I would've done with myself if I had."
Eiji shifted in his seat, letting his feet curl up alongside Oishi's. The two of them exchanged a small grin, before going back to finishing their delicious, and rather relaxing, meal.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
(The Next Day)
Oishi rubbed Eiji's back soothingly as he buried his head deep into the toilet, and let out every bit of the breakfast they'd just finished eating. Not even twenty minutes had passed since then, when they'd been happily feeding each other bits of their egg and meat, and kissing each other on the cheeks, the neck, the lips, at every opportunity they got. They knew they'd been sappy, and that, had anyone else seen them, they probably would've lost their food too, but being reunited for them was like falling for the other one all over again; and they quite enjoyed that time together... at least, until one of them got sick enough to heave it all up.
"You never saw a doctor, did you?" Oishi questioned when the redhead finally, uneasily, sat back from the toilet, and stared up at him, his breathing labored. "Eiji, I told you—"
"No, I saw one yesterday." Eiji defended, wiping his face off with the towel he'd been handed. "The nurse said she wouldn't be able to get my lab results for another few days though, so we're just going to have to wait..."
Oishi looked like he wanted to cry, as he kneeled down and pulled the redhead into a tight hug. "Oh, this is worrying me so much. You've been sick for almost three weeks, and it shows no sign of stopping... I just hope that nothing serious is going on with you. I don't want to lose you..."
"Talking like that isn't going to make me feel any better, you know." Eiji deadpanned, before he let himself go limp in Oishi's arms. He was picked up from there, and carried back into their bedroom to rest. "Stay here with me..." He said, when Oishi tried to walk away, and he could only smile when a familiar warmth pushed up against his back, wrapping him up nicely enough to make him fall asleep in only a few short minutes.
Oishi stayed awake though, listening to his breathing and feeling his chest push in and out with each puff of air he released. He really was worried about the redhead, and scared of what they could find when the lab results returned (He worked in the medical field after all, so his mind could only focus on the worst possible scenarios for their situation). And what would happen to the baby if he were to lose Eiji, or have him in a state incapable of caring for her? He wasn't too sure he could care for a child on his own, especially not a little girl, so he prayed, and hoped, and... whatever else he had to, that Eiji would be alright, and that the two of them could live out the rest of their lives happily with their daughter at their sides.
So I hope you like this chapter, and please, two reviews as always. Thank you! See you next time!