Authors notes: Ditto
She was graceful and agile. Every opponent fell before her ruthless skills. Soft wavy black shoulder length hair, tied in a high ponytail, danced into her hazel eyes as she ran around the court.
Game and match. She had won again.
She was good, she was really good.
He clapped along with the other spectators of this street tennis match. Some seemed surprised and amazed, but others like himself, had seen her do the same incredible things almost everyday. They knew her talents were great.
She was the reason he had been frequenting the street tennis courts more often lately. She intrigued him. Ruthless on the court, yet kind and gentle when dealing with others off court. They had a lot in common.
In time he had planned on doing what he was about to do now. But like his teammates, even though he didn't show it as much, he was feeling the pressure of finding a date to take to the dance. He wasn't desperate, he just didn't' feel like being left out of this particular event when there was a girl he was interested in.
"Anou....excuse me, but I think you are a really good player." He stated politely approaching her quietly from behind.
She turned to face him, face red and sweaty as she panted, still exhausted from her exertion. "Ah, arigatou! I appreciate you coming to say that...."
"No problem, I mean it. I've seen you play many times before. Would you mind playing a match with me?"
For some reason or another she seemed surprised that this boy with a seemingly ever present smile on his face would ask her this. "Um, sure. I'm always up to a challenge!"
"Great, let's go then."
"Okay, coming." She stated just as calmly as she took a small break to drink from her water bottle and stretch her already tired muscles.
Done with stretching, she quickly made her way over to the court not wanting her opponent to wait too long.
"Which?" He asked patiently waiting by the net and still smiling at her.
She blinked in confusion. Did he always smile so much like that? It compelled her to feel the need to smile back. She did so and called her choice. "Smooth."
He nodded in understanding and twirled the racket, then let it fall. It was rough.
"Ah, too bad, it's my serve."
"Well then, let's see what you've got." She answered cockily and he continued to smile.
"Heh, let's see indeed." He answered with an amused chuckle.
Once again she found herself confused by his behavior, but pushed it to the back of her mind and concentrated on the game as he served the ball. It didn't seem like a hard shot to return, and she easily hit it back.
The game continued like this for quite some time. Both were volleying nicely. Some shots were missed, but it was nothing in comparison to the ones they would actually hit.
However, as it grew monotonous, the young man grew bored and began to play unrestrained.
"What??" His opponent exclaimed as she watched the ball continue to roll and not bounce.
He merely smiled at her and offered no explanation. The end result was game and match , for him. She was good, but he was better.
She was a good sport and went over to him to shake hands estatic about what she had seen him do. "That was amazing! What was that?!?"
"Ah, hai. Gomen otou-san."
"Don't apologize, it's not my fingers you almost cut off."
"Is something bothering you? You seem distracted today."
"Iie....well I just have a lot of things on my mind..."
"Well.......ah, welcome!" His father suddenly shouted cutting himself off as a group of customers entered their resturant.
"Hello." They chorused back.
A family of four, with parents, a daughter, and a son, they seemed good natured.
"I'm starving." The girl exclaimed seeming to be around his age.
"As are the rest of us, that is why we are here." Her father answered smiling at the owner. "Please, give us the best you have to offer."
Turning back to his son, the owner of the establishment smiled at him proudly. "You heard the man, it's up to you now to help me make them a good meal."
"Hai!" Kawamura answered enthusiastically as he paid renewed attention to his work and did his best to make his father proud.
As he worked, he couldn't help but hear the family's conversation. It was something about the way they spoke that caught his attention.
They had an American accent.
From their spot at the table, the daughter of the family had been paying attention to him as well, but he hadn't noticed.
She was impressed that he knew how to cook and yet was about the same age as her. She was lucky that she knew how to make eggs. Wanting to watch him up close, she sat at the barstool and watched him with fascination.
"Wow, how long did it take you to learn something like that?"
Taken aback once more by her accent and yet finding it cute, he smiled at her shyly. "A long time, I had to practice a lot."
"Wow, I'd never have the patience to go through all that just to cook." She replied laughing good naturedly.
"I like it."
"You guys are from America aren't you?" He couldn't help but blurt out and then immediately regretted it. "Eh, anou.....I'm sorry I shouldn't have said that...."
"Iie, it's okay. I'm sure you can hear an accent. Yeah, we just moved back to Japan two weeks ago."
"Are you happy?"
"Very, I loved America, but I missed Japan. Now that I'm here I'm starting to miss America. Seems like I can't win." She answered laughing once more and this time he joined in.
"Oi, Azalie, stop flirting and get your butt over here." Her brother suddenly called smirking evilly as he did.
"You are so going to get it Kenji!" She shouted back light blue eyes suddenly burning with anger.
Kawamura could only blush slightly as he chuckled at their antics and wondered if she had been truly flirting with him. She was pretty after all, with light blue eyes and dark brown hair so it was no wonder why he'd be flattered if she was.
"Why are you so mad? Because I interrupted before you could ask him out?"
Only evil triumphant laughter could be heard in response to her outburst.
Smiling shyly Kawamura gently patted her shoulder and shook his head. "Just ignore him, it's okay."
Turning to him, he could see that her cheeks were flushed with embarrassment. She had been attracted to him since the moment they had walked into the restaurant. His boyish good looks and soft demeanor made her attracted to him.
"I can't ignore him, he's my idiotic brother."
"Hey, I heard that!"
Shaking her head as if to clear her thoughts, she turned to Kawamura once more with an uneasy grin. "Um, well, I am still quite hungry..."
"Ah, gomen! It's almost finished." He replied hurrying to complete their order. He had been so distracted...
Azalie merely watched his determined face as he set about fixing their dinner. ....He certainly was cute....
Moments later he walked out with their meal prepared and arranged neatly on the plates.
"Please join us..." Azalie started shyly.
"Anou, ...I really shouldn't..."
"Please? I need better company than this thing sitting next to me."
"Hey!" Kenji exclaimed in retaliation.
Rubbing the back of his neck nervously, Kawamura glanced at his father, wordlessly asking for permission.
His father in return, nodded once and smiled urging him to get to know the young girl. He reasoned that it would do his son good to get to know the opposite sex.
"Ah, I guess I could...."
"Sit then ,sit! Enjoy some of this wonderful food you made for us, it tastes really good!"
"Hai it does!" Her family chorused in agreement making him blush a deep red as he bowed politely and thanked them all.
Practice was over, his body was overheated and sweaty, but it felt good. It always felt good.
Waiting just out of the court was his date for the afternoon. Well, he didn't want to think of it as a date, but what else would one call it? A friendly outing with a girl?
Yes, for now he would simply call it an outing with a friend who happened to be a girl.
"You looked great out there Ryoma-kun!" Sakuno beamed as he approached her, her cheeks a rosy red.
"Thank you." He replied as he continued to walk not waiting to see if she would follow or not.
She followed him like an obedient puppy until she was able to match his pace. Awkward silence fell upon them almost immediately making her look anywhere else other than at her companion.
"So, ...where do you want to eat?" He asked as they came to a crosswalk waiting for the light to change.
Happy that he would take her tastes into consideration, she rewarded him with one of her best smiles. "Eto, how about that burger place you always go to? I like their fries there...."
"Sure." He answered with a shrug as they both made their way there silent once more.
Entering the burger place, they were greeted with the sight of various students sitting around eating an after school snack. Apparently they had just gotten out of their extra curricular activities as well.
"Wow, I didn't think it would be so crowded..." She muttered.
"It almost always is. "Was his reply.
Standing in line waiting to order, Sakuno felt quite proud of herself for having taken the inciative and reminded him of his promise to her. She had always been a shy person around boys, but slowly she was gaining more confidence.
"Momo-senpai..." The boy beside her suddenly muttered breaking her out of her thoughts and making her look up.
Ryoma merely pointed to their larger senpai leaning against the counter flashing a flirtatious smile and talking with some girl who apparently worked there.
A small amount of anger rose within the boy, hadn't his senpai mentioned that he had to leave practice early because he wasn't feeling well? Now it was obvious that he had been lied to. It wasn't that he really cared, just that it annoyed him a bit.
The girl he was talking to, he remembered was the girl Reina whom they had met a few days before. She was smiling and laughing at whatever comments Momshiro was making and it was obvious by the way they interacted, that this wasn't the second time he was visiting her.
Finally placing and receiving their order, both Sakuno and Ryoma made their way past their senpai to an empty table.
Making sure to bump into Momoshiro slightly, Ryoma muttered, "Glad to see you're feeling better Momo-senpai."
"E-Echizen! I-It's not what you think!"
"Whatever..." The tennis prince muttered as he shrugged off the older boy's excuses and went to sit with his female companion.
"So....is that Momo-senpai's girlfriend?" Sakuno asked as she bit into her burger delicately looking for a conversation topic.
"This dance really has everyone feeling the spring fever, doesn't it?"
"Uh-huh." He replied with a small smile as he began to eat his own food.
"So...are you going?"
"It's a waste of time, so much work and worrying only for a few hours of no one really dancing anyway."
"Mou, your so negative about it! Don't you think you will have any fun?"
The two continued to eat as another awkward silence fell upon them.
"This...this isn't a date right?" She suddenly asked not making eye contact with him, staring at her fries as if they were the most entertaining thing.
"I don't think so...." He answered truthfully.
"It's just a girl and a guy who happen to be friends hanging out together right?"
Sakuno swallowed a rather large lump that had formed in her throat as she struggled to say what she wanted to say next. She had been doing so well damnit, she couldn't lose her nerve now!
"Well, do you want to go to the dance together as friends? We don't have to say it's a date, we can even show up at different times...."
In truth what she had just said made no sense to him. In the end wouldn't that situation still be considered a date? Maybe what they were doing now was considered a date after all as well. Now he felt confused and uncomfortable.
Besides, the puppy dog look she was giving him was making him feel strange and he couldn't help but find it slightly ....cute.
"You don't have to , it was just an idea..." She immediately responded her cheeks now as red as a tomato feeling disappointed even though she had not received a response. His hesitation was answer enough.
She was embarrassed beyond reason now. Had that suggestion made her seem too desperate? A million thoughts raced through her head as she struggled to not cry in front of him. How foolish had she been! He obviously wasn't interested in her and now she had forced him into a situation where he had to reveal that to her.
"I guess so." He finally responded.
Her heart stopped. Had he really said what she thought he had said?
"I'm sorry, what?" She asked snapping out of her thoughts.
"I said , I guess so. We could go as friends." He replied with a small uneasy smile.
"Okay." She answered with a smile that threatened to take over her entire face.
Inwardly she was shouting and rejoicing. 'Tomo-chan was right,' she thought, 'It most definitely must be fate!'
I thank all of you that have taken the time to write your reviews. I take them all into great consideration and I hope that you have enjoyed this update.
I know that my Original characters, as much as I've tried to not make them mary sueish do seem marysueish. sigh I can't help it. I'm mary sueish myself and if you think about it, so is everyone else. It's hard to make all of these girls gung ho types and that wouldn't seem natural anyway either. So my point is , that it's very hard to keep them from becoming mary sueish. So please bare with them. I will continue to try my best to not make them monotonous. Also if grammar was bad, please excuse that as well since my beta-reader has not gotten a chance to read this yet.
Thank you all and please review!