"Come on, please!" Momo walked backwards in front of Ryoma with his hands clasped together in front of him. "It doesn't matter who, just so long as it's a girl!"
Ryoma rolled his eyes. "Momo-senpai, why do you even care whether or not I'm heterosexual?"
Momo paused, a flush coloring his cheeks. "Well...I might have...bet Mamushi that you were straight, and he said that you were gay..." Ryoma's eyes widened and he stared at him. "What?? That bastard started it! Hey, where are you going?" Momo raced after Ryoma.
"I can't believe you made a bet over my sexuality." His words were incredulous but his tone was bland. "It's almost worth being considered gay for you to lose."
"Oh, come on, ochibii! You wouldn't do that to me!" Ryoma turned to give him a glare, which Momo readily ignored.
"Look," He grabbed the arm of a girl walking past. "Just kiss her, so I can get a picture, and be right, ok?" He put a hand to Ryoma's back and one to the girls, and pressed them together. Ryoma craned his neck to avoid breaking his nose against her face.
"Oi, Momo-senpai! What do you think you're going?" He tried to back away from the girl, but his senpai's hand was against her back a well, and wherever he backed away, he'd just push her closer. He'd push her away, but besides being rude, he had no idea where to put his hands.
"Just kiss her! Come on, it's just a little kiss!" Momo pleaded, clamping them together.
"If it's just a little kiss, you kiss her." He was amazingly able to keep his bland tone while stepping backwards in circles around Momo, who held the girl to him with a death clamp.
"I would, she's cute, but I'm not the one I bet was straight!"
"Um, arigatou." The girl placed her hands on each of his shoulders and pushed back. "That's sweet, but I don't think Ryoma-kun wants to kiss me." The girl was flushed deep red, and after a second glance, he noticed a pair of braided pigtails.
"Of course he does! You're cute, you're a female! What more does he want?"
Ryoma stopped struggling, turning his head to stare at him with wide eyes. "That was incredibly rude."
"Yes, it was." The girl, Ryuzaki, agreed with me.
He gave us a pained look. "Oh, come on, ochibii, onegai!" He pulled us both into a hug. "If I don't get proof you're straight, I'll never live it down! You know what I'll have to do, if I lose that bet?"
"I don't care, Momo-senpai, you're the one who made the stupid bet!"
"This is about a bet?" The girl ducked underneath his arm. "You want him to kiss me because you bet someone he was straight?" She looked about as upset as Ryoma felt.
"Oh, don't look at me like that. You're part of his fan club, ne? Will you tell me you wouldn't have liked him to kiss you?"
Ryoma had dropped his head into his hands, but his head shot back up at the sound of a resounding "smack".
Momo had his hand to his face, where Sakuno had slapped him. "Whether I like him or not isn't what matters! You don't just grab a girl of the sidewalk and tell someone to kiss her! My opinion had never been brought up, you just assumed I was in love with him, you jerk!" Despite her anger, she had blushed a deep red at her own actions. Ignoring the urge to slap him again, she turned on her heel and ran out the gate to the street.
Ryoma, himself, was fighting the urge to run after her and apoligize. He looked over at his senpai. "In all honestly, you kind of deserved it."
"Oh, hush, ochibii."
Ryoma strode through the gates into the school grounds. He'd woken up exceptionally early today, that is, the bell hadn't rung yet. A small nap at his tree seemed in order. He paused a few steps away at the sight that greeted him. The girl from yesterday, Ryuzaki, was sitting at the base of the tree, half of her hair loose, and the other half being frantically braided by the girl's slim fingers. He fought the urge to walk over and help her with the other side, and waited until she'd finished the braid she was on to step closer.
"Ohayo." He said quietly, dropping to the ground next to her. She jumped visibly, and turned a deep red when she saw him.
"Ohayo, Ryoma-kun." She replied, her voice very small. She stared at the grass in front of her, her fingers never slowing down in their braiding.
Ryoma paused. He had wanted to apologize for Momo, what he had said, and about that stupid bet, but now that he was sitting next to her, he had no idea what to say.
His eyebrows shot together. Why was she apologizing to him?
"I shouldn't have hit him. I'd just had a bad day." Her fingers slowed, she was coming to the end of her braid. He picked up the rubber band and handed it to her. Her blush deepened.
"Don't apologize. If you hadn't of hit him, I would have." She smiled and bowed her head, slowly winding the band around the tip of her braid.
"Besides, you were right. He should have at least asked if you were in love with me." He sat back, leaning on the trunk of the tree, smirking slightly. He could almost see her face now, bright red, with eyes wide as saucers.
"It's ok. A lot of people assume I am, since Tomo-chan's my best friend, and she's president of your fan club." She hugged her knees to her chest, setting her chin on them.
"So you're not in love with me?" It was quite a feat, he thought, to keep his tone bland.
She paused, a light frown decorating her face. "It would take a lot of love, to agree to kiss someone simply to settle a bet." She looked back at him. She didn't say anything else.
He tilted his head slightly, looking back. "What if I'd just kissed you?" He said, his voice low.
Sakuno laughed softly, and reached over to drag her bag closer to her. "I might have slapped you. But I'd had to have heard that it was a bet." She stood up. Ryoma stood up and grabbed her hand.
"I meant, what if I just kissed you, with no reason other than I wanted to." His voice was deep. If her blush had begun to fade, it came back full force.
"If...no one jumped out of nowhere with a camera..." She swallowed thickly. "I guess I wouldn't mind." Her voice was soft.
He smirked. "That's good to know." He let go of her hand and walked past her, pulling the brim of his hat down.
Sakuno stood frozen. She let her mouth fall open. 'I cannot believe he just did that...'
Sakuno paused underneath the tree. School had ended, and she'd just finished tennis practice. She sighed and fell against the trunk, closing her eyes. She had the distinct feeling Ryoma-kun had been picking on her, earlier that day. She had no idea how she would handle herself, if he actually kissed her. She thought about it, true. She'd had a crush on him since she'd met him. In her mind she could handle a kiss smoothly, falling against him and tangling her fingers in his hair, pull away slowly and bite her lip. But that was in her mind. In real life she was sure she'd bump her nose against his, sneeze, or trip. She was already mortified, she wasn't sure she could handle something like that.
She put her hand to her forehead. Her head was pounding. She had been hit in the head twice during tennis practice. Neither time did anyone call out an apology, she was sure someone hated her, for some reason. And as much as she tried to ignore it, how she had hit Momo-senpai yesterday, and what Ryoma-kun had done this morning kept rolling around in her head. She felt like her brain was about to explode inside her skull.
Signing softly, she reached a hand to the end of one of her braids. She hated how tangled her hair got, if she let it loose, but she just couldn't handle it being up any more.
Sakuno jumped straight up in the air. She lost grip of her braid, and her eyes flew open, registering the shocking closeness of Ryoma-kun's face to hers. Her breath caught and she glued herself against the tree behind her, her expression surprisingly similar to a deer caught by the headlights of a car. Ryoma smirked.
"If you're not busy, you could go with me to eat." He said it simply, never pulling his face even half an inch farther.
"Why would you want me too?" Her heart was pounding in her chest, and the headache didn't ease even a little. It's not that she didn't want to go; it's not even that she was trying to play hard to get. It was just that that was the only thing that entered her mind.
He tilted his head slightly, in the process bringing his face a bit closer to hers. She splayed her fingers across the trunk of the tree, pressing against it like a life line. "Momo-senpai might have been the one being a jerk yesterday, but I'd like to apologize. Are you busy?" He decided not to ask if she wanted to. It was a bit silly to give her an opening to say no. She was obviously a bit nervous as it was. Her face was bright red, and she had plastered herself against the tree. Even thought she looked scared out of her mind, he couldn't help the surge in his chest at how adorable she looked. He might have smacked himself, for such girly, love struck thoughts, if he hadn't already come to terms with them.
"N-no, I'm not busy." Her voice was timid. A small part of her mind told her it was very likely, thought she'd never really kept count, that Ryoma-kun had said more to her today than he had any other full week since she'd known him. Another part of her mind rejoiced at that fact. The other one, the one that registered the pain sensors that made uop her headache, wished he would back off and give her space to breath. It was very small, though. It grew smaller when he grabbed her hand.
"So let's go."
A tennis ball zipped by her, on the right. She heard a whispered curse behind her. She'd been hit four times already, today, and someone was trying for a third. She was sure there was more than one girl trying to bludgeon her skull in, but she had no idea who. As it was, almost every girl in her year seemed to want her dead today. She hurried toward the shower.
"Tomo-chan, has anyone said anything to you about me?" Sakuno was sitting with her friend, on a bench near the school. Tomo-chan had bought her some ponta and brought medicine for her head. The headache she'd had from yesterday never really eased, and she'd never gotten the chance to let down her hair, until bed. She coupled that with the multiple strikes she'd gotten today at tennis practice, it had gotten to five as she left the showers, and she felt like one big pulsing bruise.
Although, and even though nerve-racking, lunch with Ryoma-kun was worth the headache.
"No, why?" Tomo took a big gulp of her own ponta, licking her lip where it dripped.
"It just seems that a lot of people are upset with me, or something. I think people were hitting me on purpose..." She kept her eyes most of the way closed, fending off the light until the medicine kicked in.
"Don't be silly. Why would anyone be upset with you?"
She shrugged softly. "I don't know. It just seems like they are."
Tomo shrugged as well, gulping down the last of her drink. "I'll check the latest gossip and things tomorrow for you." She tossed her can into a trash bin close to the bench. "I have to go, though. I'm babysitting until seven." She leaned over and gave her friend a quick hug. "I hope your headache gets better." She bounced up, and jogged down the path toward the gate. "Ja!" She called over her shoulder.
Sakuno smiled weakly, leaning back against the bench, letting her head fall back to face the sky. She let out a small sigh, trying to clear her mind. She didn't want to think.
"Onegai!!!" A voice sounded right in front of her. Groaning softly, she lifted her head and peeked underneath her eyelashes at who had spoken. Momo-senpai dropped to his knees in front of her. "Let him kiss you! Only a little! Please!"
She tried not to wince. "Nani?"
He looked up at her, his eyes wide and slightly watery. "Do you know what I'll have to do, if I lose this bet?" He said in a pained whisper.
Sakuno sighed. "Not the bet again..." Why must she be made to think? In an offhand gesture she pulled the rubber band out of one of her braids, combing her fingers through it and letting it unravel.
"Yes, the bet. I know it's shallow, I know I shouldn't have made it! Please, just let him kiss you! Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!" His voice was a high pitched wimper, it made her head throb. She pulled the band out of her other braid, about ready to smack him again.
"I never said I wouldn't let him kiss me. You want him to kiss you, you need to ask him. Now leave me alone." She knew her voice was snappish, but it was hard enough keeping her self from kicking him.
He looked back at her, his eyes shifting and frantic. "Yes, yes, I'll talk to him..."
She shook her head slowly, convincing herself not to worry about him. She finished letting the rest of her hair down, sighing softly as she felt the medicine kicking in.
"So which is it?" Sakuno refused to jump. Her headache was only just starting to go away. She did not want her brain to jiggle and start it up again. Again, she slowly raised her eyelids to glance at the speaker underneath her lashes.
"Would you not mind my kissing you, or do you want me to?" Ryoma sat down next to her.
Sakuno avoided thinking of the string of grammatical sandtraps, or the simple words she didn't want to have to decipher. "Either, or..." She said, sliding her eyes closed again.
They flew back open a moment later, when something pressed against her lips. Ryoma pulled away, she could have sworn she saw a light blush on his cheeks. He stood straight, and dropped his hat on her head.
"If anyone else lobs a tennis ball at you, tell me." He said softly. He turned, shifting the strap of his bag on his shoulder. Without his hat, it was hard to hide the flush coloring his cheeks, but he just had to see what she would look like with it on. He waited until he'd turned the corner, to touch his lips. Maybe kissing wasn't so bad.
It had been three days. If he didn't get proof that Ryoma was straight before the end of the school day, he'd loose the bet. He could not lose the bet. He held his video camera in front of him like a death ray. He had to get footage today. He would get footage today. He would be sticking to that little pip-squeak like glue.
"Damnit, where is that little pip-squeak?" Momo had seen Ryoma a grand total of twice that day. During the first class, and during tennis practice. He almost didn't even see him there, he hadn't had his hat. He needed a picture of Ryoma doing straight things in about 15 minutes. He didn't even want to think about what would happen if he didn't.
"So you liked it?"
Momo spun around at the voice of his ever beloved Ochibii.
He almost broke his camera, getting it out and turning it on. That was most defiantly a female voice.
"But now, you're holding my hat hostage?"
He hid behind some bushes, nearby a tree where Ryoma was standing, talking to the same girl he'd talked to the day before, and before.
She was biting her lip. "Mmhmm."
He shook his head. "So, what do I have to do to get it back?"
She smiled softly. "Are you busy?"
He shook his head, smiling. She reached in her bag, and pulled out his hat.
He took her hand, and pulled her closer. He backed up, setting his hat on his head, and started to lead her away. Momo jumped out of the bushes and raced after them.
"Stop!!!" He dropped to his knees, and then on his stomach. "You-ho can't go!"
Sakuno sighed. "He's still on about the bet."
Ryoma rolled his eyes. "It's your own fault. You shouldn't have made it."
He was crying. He was actually crying.
"Do you have any idea what I'll have to do?"
He pulled his hat low enough to cover his eyes. "I told you, I don't care."
Momo stood, and bent slightly, whispering something in Ryoma's ear. His jaw dropped. He turned to Sakuno.
"It's not like I'd mind kissing you, really...I didn't yesterday."
Momo gasped in anguish. "And I missed it???"
Ryoma glared at him. "Keep your shirt on and aim your camera, you idiot."
He set his hand on her waist and leaned his face closer, pressing his lips softly against hers. Momo squealed. Yes. He squealed.
I'm serious. There was squealing involved.
In the end, the bet was drawn to a tie. Kaidoh refused to believe Ryoma kissed Sakuno without being bribed, or paid into it, and two people, who'd seen Momo whisper to Ryoma before he kissed her backed him up. Momo, however, didn't lose ,since everyone agreed that a true gay man could not be bribed into kissing a girl. The girls that had been lobbing tennis balls at Sakuno, the first one had seen her talking to him the first morning, and the rest were told by the first and saw Ryoma right before he'd invited Sakuno on their first lunch. A few well aimed lobs from Ryoma put them in their place. Three weeks later, Sakuno ran a mile and a half all over the school grounds, dodging Ryoma and playing keep away with his hat.
A/N: Ok, I'm sorry about the end, I know it's goofy, but it's 3 am, and I need to sleep. I might redo this, but I'm done for know. I hope you guys liked it. This is the first Prince of tennis fic that I've spent more than 15 minutes on. I had Momo call Kaidoh mamushi, because I saw it in one of Ginnyfer's fics (Unchained Melody, I love it, please update soon!) Have fun, guys, I'm gonna sleep. snore Ja!
PS: What does Mamushi mean?