Disclaimer: I don't own no nothing (that actually made sense!!)

POT RyoSaku fic.

Summary : It all started with her Stuttering …..

A/N: Thx for all the reviews!! One of my fav authors also reviewed …. Honored!! Thx for the advice, I will take better care next time grins and so I edited the whole thingy, and say I change the time frame to like, their high sch period, (assume all conditions the same, except that angelhazel happily moved the whole seigaku 2 or 3 years into the future for her own convenience) ….. sheesh, Mada Mada Da Ne, Angelhazel!!

Anyway, thx all for the reviews, gave me a lot of encouragement!

Echizen Ryoma was a not patient young man. He also had an inbred disregard of most things that doesn't have to do with tennis.

If his brain were a computer hard disk, it can be said that while most of it was running the TENNIS OS, so that he can function on the ball court without making the slightest effort, the minimal was allocated for the temporary VIRTUAL MEMORY, which other people use in their daily interaction.

That could account for his poor memory of names and faces.

His talents in tennis and natural charisma (inherited from a certain "baka oyaji") brought him many unwanted advances from the students of Seigaku. To his horror, groups of unidentified female objects (UFOs) would regularly ambush him in the corridors. And he had to clear his locker of random gaily wrapped gifts and letters all covered in pink hearts every, yes, EVERY morning.

It always took Kikumaru or Momoshiro to fish him out of such tight spots. For unknown to the young prodigy, those two senpais were always keeping an eye out for him. All the regulars have hordes of fangirls, and crowd control had been bred into the young men. Except for the soft-hearted, soft-spoken ones like Ooishi and Kawamura (sans rakketo), each regular can resolve such scenes easily. Their Ochibi seemed to deal with the problem by studiously ignoring the presents waved in his faces and the hands groping him in the back, up to and until he "drowned" in the writhing bodies of over enthusiastic fangirls.

There have been tons of people frequenting his vicinity ever since he started school at Seigaku. Those who belong to the tennis club, he has gotten used to over the months. That doesn't mean he like them or anything like that, just that he can drudge his memory for names to go with their faces.

There were the three Ichinens, including the boisterous Horio with his "years of experience" in everything and anything. And in interest of self-preservation, Ryoma could also identify, and quickly walk away from, the equally boisterous cheerleader with her "RYOMA SAMA!!!" who could easily be heard in a 10km radius. Rather embarrassing, that.

And there was the quiet one who seems to be in a package deal with the cheerleader. She who stood quietly at the fences during his matches and during tennis practice, who seldom cheered like her friend did, but was always there. She was the one with the long, flowing, impractical, braids. Very long, very impractical. He once told her to cut it off.

He remembered that he met her long ago at a train station, and that she gave him the wrong directions, causing him to forfeit a championship. That memory only stuck in place after seeing her frequently in school.

Her name was easy to remember since she was the granddaughter of the coach. Ryuuzaki.

Up till recently, he identified her by those long braids. But just last week, her face was burned into his memory.

He was walking out the gates, all weary from running laps for Tezuka Buchou's sadistic enjoyment, when he heard his name being called. He stopped, turned around, and saw a figure in skirt running towards him. He was looking into the setting sun, and couldn't make out who it was, but since it was only one person, rather than a horde, he curbed his instinct to run. He was really too tired to do anymore running today, he thought as he decided to wait until the person approached so he can deal with whatever issue it was.

She was so slow. His patience waning, he tried to identify the girl as she was running. He squinted into the sun, unable to see more than the rough shape of the body. He shifted and focused on the face, hoping to find some clue. The girl's face was shaded, but as she came nearer, he could make out first, a small and pert nose, then a small mouth, opened in the shape of an o from her efforts at running. She was panting through well-shaped lips.

Suddenly Ryoma was strangely loathe to leave without meeting this girl. He pulled his cap lower to better shield his eyes as he studied the face coming towards him. What color would her eyes be?

She stopped about 10 feet away, and bent over, tired from the running. That's when he saw the braids. Two long braids that was lost to sight while he was squinting into the sun. A strange feeling settled into his heart, it felt a little like disappointment. Oh, she was the coach's granddaughter.

But still, for thoroughness, he decided to take note of the color of her eyes.

Ryuuzaki Sakuno stopped panting and walked closer. She was smiling shyly. "A..ano….. ano, Ryoma-kun, a…are… are you …. going home ?"

He almost didn't hear the question, as huge honey-brown eyes were presenting themselves to his scrutiny. The setting sun lit those eyes with a gentle orange light, making them strangely bright and appealing. Ryoma was shocked, why had he never noticed how pretty Ryuuzaki was? He smoothly pulled his cap lower so he could hide his expression.

She had a heart-shaped face, set with a pair of soft brown eyes, and the cutest nose imaginable and those soft lips …. His thoughts ran a little wayward and his imagination was getting away from him…..

That Ryuuzaki was saying something to him finally got through the thick haze in his skull. A second wave of disappointment hit him, the girl in his vision stutters!!

He cannot imagine holding a conversation with one party taking hours agonizing over each word. So, she's only a pretty face. Oh well, so much for his Great Discovery.

"Mada Mada da ne, Echizen," he thought to himself woefully.

He reluctantly walked her home that day, the two of them walking in silence. Sakuno kept quiet because she didn't know what to say, and Ryoma, because he didn't want to initiate a stuttering conversation.

He had unconsciously and unwillingly paid more attention to Ryuuzaki since then, and he found it strange that she didn't stutter when conversing with other people. She spoke with the loud cheerleader frequently, and sometimes she joined the other three boys in discussions. She did all these without showing the slightest tendency to stutter.

In fact, as long as she didn't notice he was within earshot, she spoke fluently, in a soft, sweet voice very compatible with her appearance. So why did she act differently when speaking to him?

Strange indeed.

He saw her a few times in the corridor, and she always dragged out the simple "Ohayo, Ryoma-kun". He always had to hold on tightly to the last of his patience so as not to simply walk away. The moment he did that, he just knew that Momo-senpai would pop out of nowhere and start lecturing him in proper etiquette when speaking with girls. And all the while Ryoma would probably be in a painful headlock.

Oh, it was strange, alright.

Ryoma decided she only choked up when talking to him. Such a conclusion required proper consideration, and considered he did.

Two days later, the kitchen sink in his home was choked, and his mother had made his baka oyaji fix it. Nanjiroh made a lot of noise as he went about the task, grumbling and mumbling. So it was difficult for Ryoma not to notice what he was doing. He sat at the kitchen table watching his oyaji mess about under the sink, and occasionally caught some phrases Nanjiroh was using on the choked sink.

Ryoma simply sat and was immersed in his own thoughts.

The sink was finally fixed, with Nanjiroh still loudly complaining, only to be silenced when his wife gave him a peck on the cheek as a reward. About that time, Ryoma hit upon an idea.

Ryoma spent the next few days observing his Oyaji, discreetly of course, since he didn't want to supply his nosy parent with potential blackmail material. He soon decided he had gathered enough data for him to carry out his plan flawlessly.

"If Baka Oyaji can do this, I can do it better!" he thought in conviction.

The sun was setting, staining everything with an orange hue. Ryoma was getting ready to home after practice; Momo-senpai was waiting for him at the bicycle shed with the promise of free burgers.

He was walking away from the courts when he heard it again. Ryuuzaki was calling him. He stopped and turned, waited for her to come nearer. There was something he wanted to try ever since he came to the conclusion that Ryuuzaki only stuttered when speaking to him. Now is as good a chance as any.

She caught up to him, and was catching her breath. He studied her as she bent over panting.

"A…no … ano, R…Ryoma-kun ….," she was starting to say.

"Here it comes again, ", Ryoma thought, "let's test my theory ….."

He reached out and snagged her waist with one arm to bring her closer. His other hand went to hold her head in place as he deftly covered her lips with his.

Hmm…. Soft…..

He nibbled at her lower lip, teasing it open. She was apparently in shock, as he could feel her startle. But she also seemed helpless against his ministrations. The moment she granted him entry, Ryoma attacked her tender mouth with his tongue.

Hmm …. Sweet ….

He ran his tongue over her teeth lightly, and was soon lost in her taste.

"So this is why Oyaji does it so often," was his last conscious thought for a long time.

Sakuno was petrified when Ryoma suddenly started kissing her, she clutched at his shirt, not caring if she left the material permanently wrinkled. Ryoma's tongue was doing strange things in her mouth, but since it felt so good, her body gradually relaxed. Her slender hands went around his neck for support while she tried to copy his actions. And all the while, her mind was in a whirl….

The two were locked into the embrace for interminable minutes. When they finally broke for air, Ryoma kept his hold on Sakuno, and asked with a smirk, " You were saying…?"

Sakuno was looking dazed, her face flushed belatedly as she realized how close they were. Her mind still reeling, she started pushing at Ryoma's chest as she said the first thing that came to her mind," Iyada na! Ryoma-kun ta ra! Hanase yo!" (lit: u r awful, let go of me)

To her surprise, Ryoma only tightened his arms around her and started laughing. Sakuno never saw her prince laugh like that before, and was so caught up in staring at Ryoma in amazement that she temporarily forgot her predicament.

"Nani O? What's so funny, Ryoma-kun? Ryo-ma-Kun!!" She had started pounding her fists lightly on his chest in trying to get his attention, but a small answering smile lit her face.

"Mada Mada da ne, Ryuuzaki," the young man went back to his customary smirk, but there was a new light in his golden eyes.

Amidst her fluent protests, Ryoma dragged her along to the burger dinner, where he further enjoyed making Momo-senpai pay for his newfound partner too.

Oh, and the conclusion? Ryoma had decided that since Ryuuzaki seems to have something stuck in her throat only while talking to him, it was up to him to "unchoke" her.

And he had lots of fun doing it.

"Mada Mada Da Ne, Ryuuzaki!"

"Mou, Ryoma-kun ta ra!"