Arigatou, Sakuno

Everyone, expect Tezuka, gasp as they saw the serve that Aya just hit disappear into thin air and appears again at the corner of the court. All of them, even Ryoma, were so amazed that they can't even say a word. Aya looks towards Oishi whose mouth was widely open.

"Oishi-kun. Oishi-kun!!"

"Eh?! Na..Nani, Aya-san?" Oishi gasp as Aya looks at him.

"I scored..." Aya said as she points with her racket to the ball.

"So..Souda! L..Love 15!!"

"Wasn't that shot almost the same as Fuji's?" Eiji asks as he looks at Fuji and Tezuka.

"No..."

"Aya's shot is faster than Fuji's. No one could return that shot, that's one of Aya's techniques, 'Kaze'!" Tezuka said as he concentrates on the match.

Aya bounces her ball as she prepares for her serve; she holds her ball and smirk at Ryoma.

"Neh, Ryoma!"

"Nanska?"

"That Twist Serve of yours, was it like that?" She asks as she tosses up the ball and hits the ball with a Twist Serve!

The ball lands and bounces towards Ryoma's face, he dodges it as the ball flies up and gets stuck on the fence. Ryoma looks towards Aya who was smirking at him.

Chapter 9: Christmas Day

"L..Love 30!"

"Heh...you play quite well..." Ryoma said as he smirks at Aya.

"Anta mo. Here I come." Aya hits the ball with Twist Serve again.

Ryoma manages to hit the ball back but Aya use her 'Kaze' shot again.

"Love 40!"

"She can even use 'Kaze' even though she was not serving?!" Momoshiro gasps.

Aya serves the ball with 'Kaze' and win the second set. Ryoma serves the ball with a normal serve, Aya hits it back and the both of them continue hitting it to one another.

"Why are they keep hitting to one another?" Kawamura asks.

"Iya, look at Aya-san's foot." Fuji said to them and they did what he said.

They realized that Aya has not been moving from the same spot when she hits her first ball. But Ryoma was running here and there to catch the ball.

"Oi, don't you guys think that it looks like..." Momoshiro sweat drops as he looks at the others.

"Tezuka Zone. You learn this move from Bucou?" Ryoma smirks as he returns another hit.

"Not really, I knew this move, before I met Tezuka. But this move..." Aya swing here racket down and hit the ball with a drop shot.

"Arei wa! Masaka?!" Ryoma dashes quickly and tries to catch the ball. 'Is it Bucou's Zero-Shiki Drop shot?'

Instead of bouncing from the ground or rolls the reverse way, like Tezuka's Zero-Shiki, the ball lands firmly on the ground. Everyone, except Tezuka and Ryoma, their mouths were wide open.

"Love 15!!"

"Fallen Meteor. Unlike my Zero-Shiki, Aya uses the right amount of strength to let the ball drops onto the floor, without letting it to bounces off from the ground or even moving from its spot. She learnt this move when she saw my Zero-Shiki." Tezuka said as he looks at Aya.

Ryoma hits his serve but Aya returns it with 'Kaze'.

"Love 30!!"

Ryoma pick up the ball as he smirks at her. "Heh...I will definitely break that technique of yours!"

"Koi, Ryoma, show me!"

Ryoma serve his ball, when Aya hits it back, Ryoma was already in front of the net. Knowing that the return ball will be strong and heavy, Ryoma use two hands and returns it. Aya tries to return the ball but it only sent her racket flying.

"15-30!!"

"You are really strong, Ryoma, even though you are still a chibi." Aya giggles as she picks up her racket.

"Mada Mada Dane, Aya. For you to beat me." Ryoma smirks as he prepares to serve.

The two of them keeps on playing as the others observe. Sakuno clenches her hands together, praying for Ryoma's victory.

"Aya-san, she's like a universe. Controlling the whole system. She can return any shot Echizen hits. It's like she knows everything from the start." Fuji said as he looks at Tezuka.

"There's the Aya I know. She always will be the one to figure out something before anyone did." Tezuka smiles which surprise Fuji.

After half an hour, the score is Ryoma 4-5 Aya. Both of them were panting hard, especially Ryoma, who was running here and there to hit back the ball.

"Both of them are good..." Eiji said as he wipes away some of the sweat from his neck.

It was then Tezuka notices that Aya was holding her left arm and reveals some pain on her face. Tezuka quickly runs into the court and dash towards Aya, who was surprise to see his action. Tezuka turns towards Oishi.

"Stop the match now. Aya can't continue anymore."

"Eh?" All of them including Ryoma show him faces of puzzled. Aya looks at Tezuka too.

"I still can..."

"Don't forget that your arm is not fully healed yet. Don't stretch yourself too much."

"Kuni...Ah, wakata..." She smiles as her eyes' colour turns back into dark green.

Tezuka supports her by the waist towards the benches to rest. Aya looks at Ryoma when she sat down.

"Gome, Ryoma. Can't continue the match with you."

"Betsuni, we will play again someday when you get well." He said as he wipes his sweat away with his towel.

"Hm. Yasouku."

Momoshiro came over and hang his arm around Ryoma's neck. "Nah, Echizen. Even though Aya-san can't play with you anymore, the score is 4-5, you lose. Which means..."

"Nanska?"

"Echizen must give Ryuusaki-chan a kiss." Fuji said as he smiles at Sakuno.

"EH?!" Shouted Ryoma and Sakuno.

"Saa, saa, do it, Ochibi!" Eiji said as he push Ryoma towards Sakuno.

Sakuno's heart starts to beat faster as Ryoma lean closer to her. She shut her eyes tight as she feels his breath in front of her face.

'Is he really going to kiss me?'

It was then, she notices that Ryoma did not kiss her. She opens her eyes and saw Ryoma walking out of the court.

"Oi! Echizen, where are you going?!" Momoshiro shouts out to him.

"Toilet!!"

Sakuno felt her heart was being torn apart, she was hoping that Ryoma will kiss her. Karupin meows at her and Aya, who was messaging her arm, notices the look on Sakuno's face. She stands up and start walking towards the same direction where Ryoma went.

"Aya, where are you going?"

"I'm thirsty, going to buy some drink."

Tezuka smirks as he picks up the water bottle, which Aya just drank, it was still full. On the other side, Ryoma was at the vending machine. He slots the coin into the machine and was about to press the button for Ponta, when someone press it for him. He turns around and saw Aya smiling at him.

"You're really shy in some ways, Ryoma."

"Which way it that?" Ryoma said as he opens the can of Ponta and drinks it.

"When telling Sakuno that you like her." Ryoma almost get choke as he beat his chest and cough hard.

"Cough! W..What talking?! Who say I...?"

"That means you don't like her, okay then, I shall go and tell her that."

"Ch..Chotto!! I...I just don't know how I should express my feelings to her...I was lost in words when I want to tell her..."

"You already have expressed your feelings before, I bet that you can do it again."

"Already? You mean..."

"Kochi, Ryoma." Ryoma moves towards her as she place her arm around his shoulder and walk towards a bench. They sit down and enjoy the breeze.

"All of us knew that you like Sakuno. Especially during those days when Sakuno was having her coma. That song, you sang for Sakuno, wasn't it created to tell her your feelings? Then now she has awaken, why are you still hesitating to tell her your feelings face to face?"

"I...I think I don't want to tell her so early..." Ryoma said as he looks at the can of Ponta in his hands.

"If you want to do something important, you must do it before it's too late. You will regret it, and I mean it."

Ryoma looks at Aya and realizes that her eyes changes into dark red again. Aya look seriously at him.

"There was once when I almost make a big mistake, a mistake that I'll lose myself and the one I love." A scenery came across Aya's mind suddenly, showing her and Tezuka at the airport.

"Is it Bucou?" Aya smiles and looks at Ryoma. She raises her hand and touches his cheek.

"I just don't want you to make the same mistake I have made. Ryoma, just tell her what you feels for her, you do not need to express it in words, or in sentences. Just let your feelings out. Believe me, it will work. And I know that you would give up things so easily, am I right?" Aya places her hand on top of his, Ryoma smirks.

"Mochi lon! Arigatou, Aya."

"Yorokonde. Sah, go to her now! Ganbatte!"

"Hm!!" Ryoma runs back to the tennis court where the others are. Aya smiles as her eyes changes back into green colour.

"Looks like you are getting interest in Echizen." Tezuka said as he approaches Aya and holds out his hands.

"I like that boy." Aya smirks as she takes his hands.

"More than me?"

"For him is like, for you is love." The both of them smile as they lean into a deep kiss.

At 7pm, all of them went to Kawamura's Sushi shop, except Ryoma and Sakuno, who was still at the back garden. Karupin was resting on Sakuno's laps and Ryoma was pushing the wheelchair for her. Ryoma was still thinking of whether he should express his feelings to break the silence, he came to a stop when he notices that Sakuno was shivering as the weather was getting colder. Ryoma takes his jacket and place it around Sakuno. Sakuno was surprise at first but enjoys the warm of Ryoma's jacket.

"Neh...Ryoma-kun...Korei..." Sakuno said as she shows Ryoma the wrist band on her right wrist, which he gave to her.

Ryoma blushes and answer back, "I...I made it, actually that's a Christmas present, I hope you like it."

"Arigatou...Demo...Why am I wearing the band with the letter "R" and you are wearing with the letter "S"?"

"A..Arewa...Sono...AHH!! I can't take it anymore!! Sakuno!!" Ryoma shouted as he looks at Sakuno who was shock at his raise of his voice.

"H..Hai?!" Ryoma starts to blush more as he lower his head a bit until his hat is covering his eyes.

"I always wanted to tell you this, but I was afraid. I was afraid that you will reject my feelings, but I want to say it now! I like you, Sakuno. I really do..." Ryoma felt that his heart feeling lighter as he finally tells Sakuno his feelings.

"Ryo...ma...kun..." Tears starts to roll down Sakuno's cheek, Ryoma quickly wipes it away and tries to calm her down.

"I was waiting. I have been waiting for you say those words...I thought that you don't like me...I...I..." Ryoma places his index finger on her lips.

"SShh..Wakate mas..."

"Ryoma-kun..."

"Ryoma. Just call me Ryoma."

"Hai! Ryoma."

It was then they realized that it was snowing. On the other side, the others came out from the sushi shop and enjoy the snowy scene in front of them. Ryoma takes off his cap from his head and places it on top of Sakuno's head. He leans forward as their faces were only a few millimeters away. Sakuno starts to blush as she looks into Ryoma's golden cat eyes, he smirks at her.

"Merry Christmas, Sakuno."

He closes the gap between them by giving Sakuno a deep kiss. And the both of them enjoy the rest of the white Christmas Day.

This is not the end. Gomenasai!! Because I'm busying preparing for my E.O.Y Exam. Wish me good luck, haha. Stay tuned for the next chapter