Whatever feels right

Summary: She was only twelve when she fell in love, thirteen when she had her first dance, fourteen when she first kissed a boy and fifteen when her life changed. Most would think she was too young...


2001

I remember it like it was yesterday, the first time I fell in love, I mean. It was so... well, unromantic I suppose. It wasn't the way any girl would want to fall in love. I fell in love with someone on board the same train as me. He had really beautiful feline eyes and hair which spilled out from under his white cap and a face which held such boyishly handsome features. He wasn't someone you would forget in an instant, because he stood out so much.

He was cocky, arrogant, but the girls fell for him all the same. They even had a fan club for him, even though at twelve I supposed he didn't really care too much. Besides, most of the girls didn't really love him the way I did. They idolized him because of his good looks and superb tennis skills. They just didn't get it. They were only twelve, after all.

I saw him in the locker room after one of his practices, with water running down his well toned, muscular body. He had a towel wrapped around his waist, his hair plastered to his head and water sliding temptingly down his body. He was the only one still there, and I had always admired him for his commitment to tennis, always being one of the last few to exit the courts. He didn't notice me standing by the open doorway, and I was glad because I felt like my face was on fire, seeing him like that for the first time. Half-naked, I mean. I had left quickly after that, my cheeks still hot from embarrassment.


2002

He had led the team to victory that year, and there was a huge party in the hall. I still remember the place, rather dim to create a romantic atmosphere, with candles ablaze everywhere along the sides of the hall. He was leaning in the corner of the wall, quietly sipping his drink with one hand in his pocket. He was taller than he had been last year, but still maintained that boyish face with that strong jaw line and piercing eyes.

He was wearing a tuxedo that night, as custom, and he looked rather bored, as he always did when he didn't like being in certain places. His face didn't falter as a few of his teammates chided him to dance, teasing him as he rolled his eyes and shot them the famous 'mada mada dane' look. He was, however, extremely uncomfortable under that stoic look which reminded me of Tezuka's. I slipped closely by to watch him out of the corner of my eye, to 'save' him if he got too uncomfortable by asking one of his teammates to dance. I've never danced in my life and I thought I was probably really bad at it, but I didn't have any better ideas.

He looked awful fidgety, trying to walk away from his teammates. I, being stupid and rather desperate to 'save' him, strolled over and tapped one of his teammates on the shoulder and asked him to dance. He smiled at me and declined, asking if I wanted to dance with the boy I had been trying to rescue a few seconds ago. The tennis prodigy just stared at me for a few seconds, causing my cheeks to redden, then slipped out of his stoic look and shoved a drink into one of his teammate's hands, leading me onto the dance floor.

He put his arms on my waist as I placed mine nervously on his shoulders. He must have noticed I was tense, because he had pulled me closer and whispered in my ear. "Relax..."

I melted into his warm body, half listening to the slow song being played. We swayed to the soft melody until the song ended, in which he had thanked me for the dance and slipped away to rejoin his teammates.


2003

He was named captain of the tennis team this year, and his popularity with the girls sky-rocketed. I was happy for him, of course, but deep down inside, still anxious that he would finally start to notice girls and possibly have one as a girlfriend.

I would watch him play at matches, like I used to when I was twelve. Sometimes, I would watch tennis practices without him knowing, and would chuckle at how strongly he resembled Tezuka.

He would give orders to run laps if anyone was caught distracted or causing disturbance in practices and smile smugly to himself as he watched them run, remembering the times he used to run too and now enjoying his power to make people run. He still was that arrogant, cocky boy deep inside.

He had changed much that year, looking more and more mature and less like the little boy he was two years back. He was now about 170 cm; give or take a few centimeters and he was a little thinner than his old self. He was smart, getting into tops during examinations.

I had always loved Valentines Day, though this year my heart sank when I saw girls crowding around him, shoving their chocolates and candies and gifts at him as he entered the school. It was late in the evening when I saw him lugging all those gifts to shove into his locker. He had shoved his hands into his pockets and trudged to the tennis courts which were empty since training had been canceled. He took out his racket and a tennis ball and started to hit it against the wall. Thud, thud, thud.

I watched in mild fascination as the balls flew from his racket to the wall and back to his racket again. Suddenly, the ball flew past his racket and toward me, to which I had screamed and ducked. He had turned around and stared at me. I started to walk away when he rushed to me and grabbed my arm to turn me around.

"Ryuzaki?"

"Hai... buchou..."

"What are you still doing in school?" He asked.

"Um... nothing... I... I saw you come to the courts and I followed you..."

"Oh. You're not going to give me a Valentines Day gift are you?"

I remembered that my present for him was still in my locker. "No... I mean... no offense, but..."

He cut me off. "It's okay."

We were quiet for a while, both staring at the ground. I looked up at him and said shyly, "Happy Valentines Day, Ryoma-kun."

He nodded and I felt awkward when he didn't say the same thing back to me. I was about to leave when he had placed his lips upon mine in a short, sweet kiss. He had then whispered a 'Happy Valentines Day, Ryuzaki" into my ear and then left the court with his cap concealing part of his face.

It was my first kiss, and the only kiss that mattered most to me over the years.


2004

It was my first year in high school, and it was the year of changes for most, including me. Even though I didn't have what most would consider a perfect body, I had a fair amount of admirers. Most had asked me out but I had declined. In my heart, I still held onto any hope that a certain golden-eyed boy would return my affections. It had been nearly four years, and I had made a vow to tell him how I truly felt about him by the end of those long years.

It was raining that fateful day and I had waited for him after practice at the school gates. I didn't have an umbrella and the rain soaked through my clothes onto my already cold skin, making me shiver. I noticed him, also without an umbrella, walking toward the school gate. He saw me and arched his eyebrow in surprise as I blushed slightly.

"Ryoma-kun..."

"Ryuzaki, what are you doing in the rain? Shouldn't you be at home?"

"Um... I..."

"Here... I'll walk you home... it's getting late..." He placed his Seigaku jacket around me and I fell into step with him. He was quiet and had stuffed his hands into the pockets of his uniform. He was walking a little too fast, so I had to run a little to catch up if I fell behind his long strides.

A few minutes later we had arrived at my doorstep and my grandmother had invited him in despite his persistent refusal. She had told both of us to change, handing him some old clothes she had. After that, she poured us some hot tea and made us sit down while she went to tell his father he was staying for a while. Not like his father really cared, anyway...

We sat opposite each other, and I handed him back his jacket with a shy thanks. He nodded gravely and we were silent the rest of the time. When Grandmother came back with the tea and set it down, we had both reached for the same cup, and our fingers barely brushed each other's before being pulled back. Our eyes locked and I looked away first, not wanting the flush on my face to be that evident. He had shrugged and picked up the cup. I muttered something about going to the bathroom, but I had tripped over the rug. He had ran to catch me but he was a little late. Somehow, we managed to end up in a pile of tangled legs.

"Um... Ryoma-kun, I'm so sorry, I-"

He looked pretty flushed, and I wouldn't have blamed him since our position on the floor was pretty suggestive. He put his face close to mine.

"Sakuno, stop apologizing."

I could feel his hot breath on my cheek and raised my head to meet his. And then, it suddenly hit me. He said my name. My name. Not just Ryuzaki. He had called me Sakuno. His eyes bored into mine, and I stared back into his wonderful, golden orbs.

"I love you, Ryoma-kun-"

Oh god. I did not just say that out loud.

But I did.

He stared at me and I looked down, all the while cursing myself mentally.

"I... um... I mean... I'm really... uh... sorry..."

"SAKUNO! ECHIZEN! WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING ON THE FLOOR?" I looked up to see my veryshocked grandmother looming above us.

He pushed himself off me, apologizing for his crude behavior and muttering something about having to run some errands. Still mumbling softly to himself, he walked out of the house and into the heavy downpour.

I was still very much on the floor, clutching his Seigaku jacket. It felt soft and silky between the recesses of my fingers.

"Are you just going to let him get away?"

Huh?

"Go and give him back the jacket!" My grandmother winked at me and pushed me in the direction of the door.

I thought she had gone insane.

The rain falling heavily and it had blurred the scene in front of me. I could still make out the figure at the end of the road as him, so I raced down the road to catch up.

"Buchou!" I yelled. I was surprised he could hear me through the heavy thuds of raindrops upon the cemented floor of the pavement.

"Ryuzaki! Go back inside, you stupid girl! You're going to get a cold!" His face contorted into what I assumed as a emotion between anger and concern, but I wasn't very sure.

"I... I just wanted to return you... your jacket..."

He stared at the jacket and let his eyes travel back to my face. I thrust the jacket into his hands before turning to run back to my house.

"Sakuno!"

I stopped.

"Yes, buchou?"

He stepped in front of me.

"Don't call me buchou..."

I didn't understand what he was talking about. Did he want me to quit the tennis team? Was I not 'worthy' to call him buchou?

"W..what would you like to call you then?"

He stared into my eyes. "Whatever feels right." He held me close and kissed me softly.

I finally knew what he meant.

"I... I'll see you a-around... Ryoma-kun..."


A/N: Errr... don't like this too much because of the ending which was kinda crappy. I wanted to make somebody die, like Ryoma for instance. Haha. Just kidding. Anyway, didn't want to write a romance fic, but I've been working on this for a while (about 2 months) and I wanted my hard work to be paid off with reviews (or flames, whichever come first). So, review! Flame if you want to, I don't bother. Oh, and I apologize for

a)the EXTREME oocness. I just can't write something which is in character, which proves what a crap writer I am.

b) the change in writing style as the story dwindles (ooh, love this word!) down to the end. Kinda lost touch. Haha. Sorry if it bothered you. Go ahead, flame!

c) the fact that Ryoma referedto Sakuno as a 'stupid girl'.I know he wouldn't do that, but it went along with the OOCness.

d) the fact that Sakuno suddenly stops calling Ryoma 'Ryoma-kun' after year 2003 when she's still in love with him. Just play dumb and ignore it. I hope you're good at it.

e) too many random kiss scenes. haha. esp the valentines day one.

f) the part in the valentines day where Sakuno is mad at the fan girls for giving Ryoma presents. I know it happens every year (girls crowding Ryoma on Valentines Day), but again, just ignore it.

Isuck.I know. Tell me somethingI don't know in reviews or flames.

-dwi-