What happens to a person when their body is broken to the point where there is no certainty for the future? All that you worked for is gone in a flash. The aftermath is something not one would like to face.
Ryumi stares out of the window of the taxi, taking in the world around her. The city appears a bit different from last time she saw it. She has a bit mixed feelings on joining her family here this time around. She always planned to do so, but… not so soon and not under these circumstances…
"Ryumi, honey." the woman she considers to be her mother calls gently, laying a hand on her shoulder. The young girl startles awake, her head snapping up. She must've fallen asleep somewhere along the ride. She had a long flight behind her, a very uncomfortable one at that.
She looks around in a slight daze to find a slightly familiar house outside. She never actually lived in there. Only visited before returning back to her own life in the U.S.
Scooting carefully out of the vehicle, Ryumi stares at the traditional styled suburban house for a moment.
"Go on ahead. We'll take your stuff inside." her mother urges her calmly, already by the trunk of the car where the driver unloads her suitcases with care. Taking her mother's advice, Ryumi steps forward with slow and deliberate steps, her body stiff.
She enters the gate before making her way around the house, looking for someone in particular. She reaches the backyard and comes to a silent halt before the porch running around the back of the house.
The reclining man in robes freezes for a moment before lowering his magazine to peer at her with a set of dark-brown-with-a-hint-of-molten-gold-eyes very similar to her own. Seeing her standing there, he slowly puts down his reading material and rises to meet her.
When he steps down in front of her, he puts a hand on her head affectionately. "Welcome home my little bird." he coos before drawing her to him.
Putting her head on his chest, she can't help but shake a little with the emotions running through her, making her father wrap her up in his arms even tighter, shielding her from the world for as long as she needs it.
Sometimes, the only thing to make a teenage girl, who feels like her world is falling apart, to feel a bit better, is a hug from her dad.
"You'll be okay." he breathes.
"Oi! Echizen-kun! Are you gonna join me to the store? I need some new grip tape." Momoshiro calls out to his friend before he can leave the courts after practice.
The younger boy quickly shakes his head. "I can't today." he states simply before rushing off, faster than anyone is used to.
"Eh? O-chibi seems in a hurry." Eiji states, observing the boy's haste. Ryoma was only in the changing room for a second it seems, having gathered his things before briskly walking off towards the school gates. He's not even out of their sight before he starts running. "Whoa! Look at him go!" Eiji states in amazement.
Momoshiro blinks in confusion. "Wonder what's up. He wasn't really playing seriously today either, that he wasn't. Something on his mind, could that be it?" he muses.
"Interesting data." a voice mutters behind them, making Momoshiro glance over to see Inui scribbling in his booklet.
Oishi steps up beside Eiji, looking in the direction where Ryoma rushed off to. "I wonder if he's alright. I'm a bit worried. Should we go see?" he wonders, a frown creasing his brow. He carries the name of the mother of the group for a reason.
"What is the hold-up?" a voice from behind them asks authoritatively, making them turn to their captain.
"Nya, o-chibi is acting strange buchou." Eiji is quick to explain with a pout on his face.
Tezuka blinks unfazed. He too noticed the boy's lack of concentration in practice today, but didn't call him out for it just yet. If it continues however… "Leave it for tomorrow." he tells them sternly before turning away to meet with the coach to discuss the coming period's schedule.
Ryoma meanwhile is rushing towards his home in a fast pace. He hasn't been in such a hurry to get home in a long time, but he has a good reason. His big sister should have arrived today and he can't wait to see her.
They haven't seen each other in a few months at least. She only came by once shortly after they moved to Japan from the United States. While they left the States, she remained with the intention to at least finish junior high there, since she only had a year left to go before high school. During this time she stayed with his half-brother, him being her full brother and their aunt.
She planned to follow after them when she finished. But sadly, tragedy struck. He hasn't seen her yet and only heard some things of what happened and the sort of injuries she sustained from his parents and cousin telling him, but he wasn't allowed to see the pictures his brother made on their request during her stay in the hospital because they didn't want to scare him. But he was either way. Mentally, he has been preparing for the worst.
He almost didn't notice when he came bounding onto the property, but skidded to a halt and remembered to kick off his shoes before setting foot in the house or his mom would have his head.
He stepped into the dining area, looking around with wide eyes like hare on the watch for a buzzard. His heart is hammering and there is a lump in his throat.
"Ryoma." a voice calls out softly from the porch, making him look over to see his cousin Nanako, motioning him over to where she is sitting with a book on her lap.
"Nanako…" he breathes stepping closer.
She smiles kindly. "She's upstairs in her room. She's probably resting from her flight, but you can go check on her if you're quiet." she tells him, motioning to the stairs.
Ryoma hesitates for a moment before quietly making his way up the stairs, trying not to make the stairs creak. He crosses the hallway before coming to a stop before the room his mom had prepared for his sister.
He once again hesitates. He isn't sure why exactly, or then again… maybe he does. Despite how happy he is to have her here, he's a bit afraid of the state he'll find her in. He always looked up to her as she always had his back while growing up, but her accident made him realize that his big sis is not as invulnerable as she always appeared to him. Nothing would ever get her down so he believed…until something did.
He jumps in surprise as the door before him swings open and his eyes widen even more as he comes face to face with the girl he looked to for all the answers only to find her clearly lost for those she herself needs.
The first thing to catch his attention is her right arm that is hung in a sling and wrapped in a blue cast from her hand to her elbow. Another thing quite obvious to see is the brace around her right knee, clearly visible below her shorts. His eyes then run over her normally flawless skin to count the fading yellow blotches that used to be severe bruises.
He blinks out of his reverie when her free arm wraps around him pulling him in a hug that is long due. It is only then that he notices his quickened breathing and his watery vision. And at that moment he releases a sob that he has tried to hold in for the past three weeks, ever since he started worrying for his big sister's health.
So that's the first part of a new story. I wrote Prince of tennis before, a long time ago. I really like the anime and I like tennis, so what more could you want? I'm not entirely sure who I'm going to hook her up with. I have an idea, but I will create a few cute moments here and there before I make up my mind.