Disclaimer: I do not own the Prince of Tennis.
It was a dreary, dark afternoon. Grey clouds were scattered overhead. Walking on the sidewalks with recyclable tote bags filled with fresh groceries, the brunette frowned. The thought of the impending shower, unwelcome.
The young lady was making her way back home from the day's errands. Having been informed just a few nights prior of a new tenant to her and her grandmother's small - legitimate and legal - bed and breakfast busines, she had to scamper to and fro throughout the city. It was part of their dedication to quality service, to assure the ease and comfort of any guest's transition to the Tokyo lifestyle. She bought the new tenant a city pass, a mobile contract, and a complimentary three-day tourist past to go sight-seeing during the weekends. She refurbished the empty room, spread leaflets of the city and of his university in Tokyo.
From what her grandmother told her over the phone, the old woman was at some onsen in Osaka and will be back in a few days, the new tenant was the son of a family friend hailing from LA, California. Although the young man was of Japanese decent, he was an American through and through. He knew little to no Japanese and had taken a yearlong exchange in his second year of university to connect with his roots. The request came in last minute, and he was lucky they had a spare room.
The young man was an avid traveler who's been to far many countries for her to understand. He spent two years of high school in London and had the whole of Europe to his disposal. He spent a year in Singapore with his father, serving as a gateway to the whole of Southeast Asia. Latin America was his next target, she was assuming. Honestly, Sakuno was both scared and ecstatic to meet this new tenant. After all, he was staying a year. What stories he must have, she thought in excitement.
With a small smile on her face, the doe-eyed brunette made her way up four flights of stairs to their apartment complex. The image of a carefree young student brought a lightness to her feet, finding his free-spirited nature infective. Making a turn to her block, her light disposition took an abrupt stop. The slouched figure by her door surprised her. As she approached the man dozing off by her door, his face covered by a white baseball cap, she frowned unsurely, not knowing what to make of him. By his side was a duffle bag and, she had to bend down to peer into what looked to be a pet cage - a feline with piercing golden orbs met her cautious doe eyes, a cat.
Skeptical hazel eyes looked over the sleeping man. He couldn't possibly be the new tenant, she thought. Her new tenant was staying a year, not a week. Also, he looked younger than the man she was expecting. It was in this instant, with her dipping sideways, brows raised in befuddlement, that a light breath escaped the sleeping man's lips. Doe eyes widened as the man looked up, cat-like, hazel eyes meeting hers.
"Took you long enough."
Ryoma got up from his seat, standing a foot taller than Sakuno. The girl, taken aback, took a step away, uncomfortable by their proximity.
"You're the granddaughter, right?" Sakuno's brows creased, rather offended by the visibly irritated look on the young man's face. All hopes of meeting an agreeable university student were flung over the balcony. "The old hag's granddaughter?"
With a frown, Sakuno replied.
"Yes, Ryuzaki Sakuno-san." She introduced herself, bowing hesitantly. "And you are?"
He rolled his eyes. And her expression palpably soured.
"If you don't already know, then your security measures are obviously lacking, if not completely absent." He said, picking up his duffle bag. "Ryoma Echizen." He held out his hand. "I'm renting for the time being."
"Renting?" Sakuno had to ask, taking his hand for a shake. "You booked to stay for the year."
Ryoma looked around, not impressed. And yet again, Sakuno took offense. This man, she thought, was too self-entitled. Had she no decency, she would have already kicked his shin.
"Something came up." He lied, eyes settling at her irked ones.
"All right." She kept herself from biting. Pulling her keys out of her bag, she turned to unlock the door. "I'll show you to your room." She glanced back to check if Ryoma followed behind her. "I'm sure you're weary from your trip."
A scoff from behind made her cringe. Thankfully, she had her back to his arrogant – but handsome – but conceited person.
On their way to his room, they passed by the common room, a cozy and quaint arrangement of personalized, colorful throw pillows, dark wood floorboards, a television set, a bar between the dining and kitchen room.
Not bad, Ryoma noted. Glancing around, his eyes strayed at the family pictures to the side, of his host, he gathered. Arriving at his room, one opened by Sakuno, he was met with two bunk beds fit into a single size bedroom, two makeshift clothes cabin, and a single long table to one side. There were also empty shelves overhead.
"I hope you don't mind." Sakuno's good-natured disposition returned. "You'll have the room to yourself, but admittedly, it's rather cramped."
"Why don't you put down the other bunk?"
Sakuno turned to the wooden structure in front of them. Then, turning, met Ryoma's Cheshire eyes. She merely raised her scrawny arms for her tenant to understand. The handsome young man only shook his head and placed his belongings to the side. He released Karupin before assessing the build of the wooden bunk bed. Finding the clasps to the edges, he unlocked the structure and dismantled the bunk bed piece by piece. The process was going smoothly when one of the pieces refused to budge. Sakuno offered to help but Ryoma declined. Instead, he climbed the side of the bed. And, simply pulling as hard as he could, slipped and fell on his back in a loud, resounding, and painful thud.
Groaning, he glared at the bed before he turned to look overhead. Cheshire eyes widened, finding doe eyes glittering with mirth looking down at him.
"I forgot to say," His hostess said, obviously keeping herself from laughing; a grin spread on her face. "Welcome to Bunkyo, Tokyo."