Author's Notes (1): This is the first Valentine story that I've EVER written. It will never happen again, so please enjoy. And yes, I've made Ryoma loose his cool in this fic. Why? Because there are times when he's a fifty year old in a twelve year old body, so why not?

Author's Notes (2): This is a stand alone ONE SHOT.

Author's Notes (3): No real hard Japanese words used. The one that was is all the way at the end.


Title: Most Special Valentine


Sakuno looked up at her grandmother innocently and smiled hopefully.

Sumire Ryuzaki sighed as she looked at her granddaughter's hopeful face. "I just don't know, Sakuno. I don't think that the boys will appreciate something like that."

Sakuno's face fell. "But it's Valentine's Day, Obaachan."

"And they're also BOYS," argued her grandmother. "They-ah- just might be too embarrassed to use them. The only way to get them to use them would be if they were, ah, threatened by Inui's juice or by Tezuka."

Sakuno bit her lip. "Oh."

"Couldn't you have just made them some chocolate?" her grandmother asked. "Most of them like chocolate."

"Everyone gives them chocolate," Sakuno said miserably. "I just wanted to give them something that lasts more than a day."

Her grandmother sighed. "I think they'd accept the gifts much more favorably if you made them some cookies or chocolates." She hesitated. "And I know that Ryoma definitely will like your cake but I'm not so sure about this."

"Ryoma won't care if I made a cake personally for him," Sakuno sighed as she looked at her gifts. "I guess I'll start making something that they'll eat."

As soon as her granddaughter left the room, her grandmother shook her head. "Where on earth did I get such a feminine granddaughter?"


Prince

Of

Tennis


As Valentine's Day rolled around, Sakuno got out of her grandmother's car and carried her bag of gifts towards the tennis club room.

She stood outside wondering if she should just leave the bag there or if she should knock on the door or if she should just forget the whole thing all together. She was already half ready to do the last choice.

"Do you need help, Ryuzaki?"

Sakuno let out a little squeak as she jumped slightly in the air. She was about to fall over when a pair of hands caught her. She smiled gratefully at Fuji-sempai. "Thank you, Fuji-sempai."

"Are you all right?" Tezuka-buchou asked as Fuji steadied her. "Is there anything that I can help you with?"

"Are you looking for Echizen?" Fuji asked as he looked at her and saw the bag of gaily wrapped bags. "Oh, you're giving away Valentine's Day chocolates?"

"Ano, I'm fine, buchou," Sakuno said shyly. She face turned into a deep red. "Um- no, I mean, yes, I, ano- I want to give the Regulars a Valentine's Day gift, but it's really not just chocolates but Obaachan said that it would be better if it were just chocolates but then I thought it would just be a waste if I didn't give you the gifts as well."

"I see," Tezuka said with an understanding nod. "It would be a shame to waste anything."

Sakuno nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, that's what I thought!"

"So what would you like us to do? Would you like to come into the club room with us?" Fuji asked kindly. At her ashen face, he added, "Or would you like to have us give your chocolates to everyone, Sakuno-chan?"

Relief filled Sakuno; she didn't think that she could bear it if everyone hated her gifts. "Oh, thank you, sempai." She handed the bag over to him as she reached in and pulled out two bags. "Ano- this one is for you and Tezuka-buchou- and oh! I have to take one out!" She reached in and grasped a very pretty blue and green bag with pink ribbons. "And this is my most special Valentine, I have to take that."

Fuji's eyes twinkled. "Is that Echizen's?"

Shaking her head, Sakuno blushed. "Ano- Ryoma-kun's is in the bag. Thank you for giving it to the other sempai-tachi, Fuji-sempai."

At her hastily retreating figure, Fuji looked at Tezuka. The stoic captain merely lifted a hand and took the bag from him. "I really don't want to know."


Prince

Of

Tennis


"Here are more things!" Fuji announced as he and Tezuka walked in. "Happy Valentine's Day from Sakuno-chan!"

"Ohh, Ryuzaki-chan made chocolates for us?" Momo grinned as he nudged Echizen hard. "Isn't that just great? Really great?"

"Ittai," Ryoma muttered as he nearly fell over from the hard nudge.

"Ochibi! Isn't it great! We have something from Ryuzaki-chan!" Kikumaru exclaimed as he glommed himself on to the smaller boy.

"Ittai," Ryoma said as he was nearly bent over from the weight of his sempai.

As everything was distributed, the boys marveled at the bags, which actually were handkerchiefs that had their names neatly stitched on to them.

"My, it must have taken her some time to sew our names on these handkerchiefs," Oishi marveled at the fine stitches.

Kikumaru looked puzzled as he opened his bag. "She gave us a tennis ball and chocolates?"

Inui lifted his tennis ball and looked at it. "A tennis ball with our faces- and it seems what we like best." He pointed to a chibi-caricature of his face and a small blender and some vials. "See? She knows I like chemistry and making juice."

"She drew my fish," Oishi smiled.

"Nya! And I got a cat on mine!" Kikumaru squealed as he looked at his tennis ball.

"And she drew sushi for me," Kawamura said as he popped a piece of chocolate into his mouth. "And a karate logo- ohm!"

Alarmed at the noise, Oishi looked at his friend. "Taka-san! What's wrong?"

Kawamura shook his head as he waved his friend away. "Nothing- nothing's wrong- it's just I wasn't ready for such a rich chocolate!"

"It's a homemade truffle," Kaidoh hissed as he rolled the chocolate in his mouth, savoring the flavor. "With some raspberry."

Momo grinned. "She drew me a burger. Hey, Echizen, what did she draw you?"

"A tennis racket," Ryoma said as he adjusted his cap. "And a number one sign."

"How sweet," Fuji said as he lifted up his ball. "She drew me a camera and Tezuka a fishing pole. But I can't help but wonder-"

"Fuji," Tezuka said in a low voice warning voice.

"What she had in the bag for her most special Valentine," Fuji finished innocently.

"Fuji," Tezuka groaned as he shook his head.

Silence descended in the club room. Momo cleared his throat. "Ah- Fuji-sempai, what do you mean her most special Valentine? Don't you mean Echizen?"

Fuji shook his head. "No, I heard her quite clearly as she took out a blue and green bag with pink ribbons. She said that it was for her most special Valentine and that Echizen's bag was clearly in with the rest of the gifts." As they stared at him, he smiled. "If you doubt me, you can ask Tezuka, he was there."

As all faces except Echizen looked at him, Tezuka stood. "Enough of this nonsense- if you're not at the court in five minutes you're all running thirty laps."

As Tezuka walked out of the club room, Momo looked at Echizen. "What did you do this time?"

"Ochibi! What did you do to Ryuzaki-chan?" Kikumaru demanded as he looked at the first year.

"What?" Echizen said blankly as his mind was reeling at the thought of Ryuzaki liking someone else. "I didn't do anything!"

"And that might have been the problem!" Momo yelled. "Because you didn't do anything!"

"Like that makes sense, idiot," Kaidoh hissed.

"Now, now, calm down," Oishi said as he looked at Momo and Kaidoh.

Kikumaru glommed on to the back of his doubles partner. "But Oishi! Ochibi may have lost his Ryuzaki-chan forever because of what he did!"

Getting annoyed, Ryoma's eye twitched. "And I'm saying that I didn't do anything to her! I didn't say anything to her!"

"Maa-maa, and that might have been the problem," Fuji said sagely. "By saying nothing to her, you said something to her."

Ryoma stared at Fuji-sempai. "That makes absolutely no sense."

"Actually, it does make sense," Inui said as he opened his notebook. "When a female shows constant attention to a male, there is a ninety percent chance that she likes him. The male then must show if he reciprocates the feelings in some sort of positive manner. If he fails to respond in any way, then there is an eighty-nine percent chance that the female conclude that the male is not interested."

"And Ochibi didn't do anything," Kikumaru practically wailed. "And now Ryuzaki-chan likes somebody else!"

"I wonder if he plays tennis?" Fuji said aloud.

Momo shook his head. "You are such a dolt! The dating gods give you a girl like her and you don't appreciate it! If the gods ever gave me a girl-"

"Like the dating gods would do that for you," Kaidoh sneered.

"What's that Mamushi?" Momo demanded. "Like any girl will fall for a face like yours!"

"What's that you porcupine head?" Kaidoh demanded.

"Ano, not again," Kawamura said as he restrained Momo and Inui held back Kaidoh.

"Will you two stop fighting?" Oishi demanded as he came between the two.

"Mada mada dane, sempai!" Echizen said as he strolled out of the club room.


Prince

Of

Tennis


"And why are we doing this?" Oishi asked as he looked at Inui and Kikumaru while they hid behind the street wall. "Isn't this stalking?"

"This isn't stalking, it's called trailing, Oishi," Inui said as he wrote something down in his notebook. "Stalking is when you send unwanted messages and gifts, harass and objectify the person in unhealthy ways. What we are doing is merely trailing her to see who she is giving that bag to. She should be going to tennis practice in the park as soon as she gets her favorite beverage at the corner store."

"And how often do you trail her?" Oishi asked. "There is a thing called privacy-"

"Oishi-mama! You should know! You saw how Ochibi was at practice today!" Kikumaru scolded as he glared at his doubles partner. "He practically flattened all the non-Regulars! And he was absolutely merciless when playing against Kaidoh in practice! We have to find out who her Special Valentine is! There she is!"

"Besides, don't you think this is fun? Playing detective?" Fuji asked mischievously.

Oishi buried his hand in his face. "I still don't believe this is happening-"

"Given the current situation, it is no surprise that this is happening," Inui said as he scribbled in his notebook. He looked at his phone again. "Tezuka is still not answering. Well, since Echizen has made no clear indication that he likes her, it is quite possible that she might have fallen in love with someone else and that her crush on him is over."

"And what makes you think that I like her, Inui-sempai?" Echizen demanded as he crossed his arms and glared at the Seigaku data man. Behind Echizen, there stood Kaidoh, Momo and Kawamura.

Kawamura shook his head. "I don't know if this is the right thing to do."

"This seems a bit excessive, sempai," Kaidoh said as he shook his head. "Fssh, She's the coach's granddaughter."

Inui looked at his book and lifted a handful of papers, carefully not revealing any of his observations. "Echizen, do you honestly think that I would have this much notes on Ryuzaki-chan if you weren't interested in her? And let's not forget the two notebooks I have at home."

Echizen paled as Momo gasped, "You have two notebooks on just their relationship? Why?"

"Because at the moment, other than his family and Tezuka, Ryuzaki-chan happens to be a key player to his emotional equilibrium," Inui said as he looked at Momo. "And we must get his equilibrium back at any cost!"

"Well, that's one way of putting it," Fuji said as he shook his head.

"Let's get Ochibi's equilibrium back! Nya!" Kikumaru exclaimed with his fist in the air.

Oishi shook his head. "Just- let's just not get into trouble."


Prince

Of

Tennis


"Okay, so what is she doing?" Momo whispered as he tried to look for Ryuzaki.

"She's putting on a pair of knee pads and wearing some gloves," Kikumaru said with some puzzlement. "Oh- look! Someone's coming!"

"Who is that?" Oishi asked as he strained to look.

"It's Kajimoto and Wakato," Kawamura said faintly. "They're talking to her!"

"She's reaching into her bag!" Momo groaned.

"Hmm, Tezuka is still not answering," Inui mused as he looked at his phone. "Is there something wrong with his phone?"

"Sempai! Never mind that!" Momo hissed. "Look!"

Ryoma stiffened as he sipped his Ponta. His eyes narrowed briefly as he listened to his sempai talking to each other.

"Idiot! She's getting change," Kaidoh hissed. "Fssh…It's not them."

"Hmm, her swing has improved," Fuji said as he studied her form.

"We need to get closer," Inui decided. "But don't get caught."


Prince

Of

Tennis


"Look, there's another guy that approaching!" Kikumaru hissed. "It's Ohtori! And look! She's bowing to him! Does she know him?"

"Probably, sempai, she seems to know every tennis player that's passed by for the past hour," Kaidoh hissed.

Momo groaned. "How can one girl know so many tennis players? I've lost count on who simply passed by or even said hello to her! Fudomine, Yamabuki, Midoriyama, Hyotei…What's going on here? Is it a tennis convention that's going on around here? What's up with all the players?"

"There isn't any convention that is going on," Inui said as he looked up from his notebook.

"I think I'm still in shock that Atobe and Oshitari actually just stopped by to talk," Kawamura said as he shook his head.

Oishi shook his head. "It's not like we shouldn't have expected this. The girl is sensei's granddaughter and she has met most of the players."

"Well, for all her shyness, she is popular at school," Fuji said as he looked at Oishi. "I've heard from the Freshmen Trio that quite a few boys like her."

"Echizen, did you hear that!" Momo demanded. "Not only do you have to worry about the other tennis players, you have to worry about in-school competition!"

"Mada mada dane," Ryoma said as he adjusted his cap on his head.

"Wait a minute! Everyone- This is different! Ohtori's hugging her!" Kikumaru hissed.

Everyone's jaw dropped as they saw Ohtori swing Ryuzaki-chan around in a wide circle, with her laughing. When he put her down, she leaned against him for some steady support.

Ryoma's jaw hardened as he felt his heart fall to the vicinity of his feet. Without him being aware of it, his hands were clenched into fists.

So this was the person that Sakuno liked now….

He looked with narrow eyes at the smiling face of Ohtori as he looked at his Sakuno.

And he felt like taking all his tennis balls and smashing them at the tall Hyotei Regular. There should be no reason for Ohtori to be even breathing the same air as his Sakuno…

His Sakuno…

There was no doubt about it. Ryoma considered Sakuno his…

And he'd be damned before he lost her because of his stupidity…

"Arrgh- he's leaving too!" Kikumaru wailed as he dropped his head down. "Who the heck is this girl's Special Valentine?"

"How can one girl know so many guys?" Momo demanded as he pulled at his hair.

"I think we should just go home now," Oishi sighed as he shook his head. "She might just be killing time before she gives it to someone."

Fuji perked up as he looked over at Sakuno again. "Why is Tezuka here?"

"What?" everyone gasped as they stared at the Seigaku captain talking with Ryuzaki-chan.

They watched as Sakuno shook her head as she shyly talked with Tezuka. Their jaws dropped to the ground as Tezuka patted her head like she was a favorite pet. They were speechless as Tezuka stayed for the next thirty minutes giving her a tennis lesson.

And when she was done, Tezuka waited patiently for her to pack up her tennis racket and towels.

"They're getting ready to leave," Kikumaru hissed as she reached into her bag.

Ryoma held his breath as Sakuno reached into her bag….

And pulled out a water bottle.

"Fssh…" Kaidoh hissed. "This is insane."

"She's making me crazy!" Momo hissed loudly as his pulled at his hair again.

"I can't stand this," Oishi moaned.

"Inui! Who the heck is her Special Valentine?" Kikumaru demanded as he glared at the data collector. He threw himself against Kawamura. "This is driving me crazy!"

"There, there, Eiji," Kawamura said as he patted Kikumaru's head.

"My, she keeps us in suspense doesn't she?" Fuji chuckled.

"Shh! She and buchou coming closer!" Momo warned as they started coming towards to where the Seigaku players were.


Prince

Of

Tennis


"And I saw the other tennis schools come by, they were very bothersome, buchou," Sakuno said as she shook her head. "Everyone was lost. I can't understand how anyone could print the wrong directions if they're trying to open a new tennis specialty store."

"Ah," Tezuka said. "And did you give them the right directions?"

"I think I did," Sakuno admitted. "But I did warn them that I had no idea where I was so they shouldn't trust me on that."

"You warned them," Tezuka shrugged. "It's their fault if they're careless."

"I suppose so," Sakuno said doubtfully. "And- there you are!"

Tezuka waited patiently as Sakuno gleefully ran forward and picked up a beige cat with a dark face. He was amused as she cooed over the cat.

"Ah, Noranneko-san, did you know I was waiting for you? Did you? I was looking all over for you!" Sakuno cooed as she walked over to Tezuka. "Did you know that it's Valentine's Day today? Did you? I have something special for you! Sempai, can you open my bag for me please?"

The cat looked up at her and meowed.

As Tezuka opened the bag, he stifled a smile of amusement as Sakuno pulled out a familiar blue and green bag with pink ribbons.

"I got you your special Valentine's bag," Sakuno cooed. She lifted the bag up to show him. "See? I packed a really nice piece of yellowtail! Just for you!"

The cat looked at her, bumped his head against her chin and meowed.

"Karupin, you traitor!"

Startled, Sakuno whirled around to see Ryoma come stomping out from the bushes looking as mad as a whirlwind. "Ryoma-kun!"

"Karupin- you bad kitty! So this is the reason you haven't been eating at home!"

The cat meowed at him then turned his nose up at him.

"Wait a minute here!" Momo cried out as he followed Echizen out from the bushes. "Just wait!"

Sakuno stared as all the Seigaku Regulars emerged from the bushes and tress of the park. "Sempai-tachi? What- what are you?"

"Do you mean to tell me that Echizen's cat is your Special Valentine?" Momo demanded.

"Ano- you heard that?" Sakuno asked faintly.

"Yes!" Momo said as he looked at her then grabbed his hair. "I can't believe that we waited all this time for you to give that bag to a cat!"

"Ex-excuse me, sempai?" Sakuno stuttered as she stared at him.

"Now, now Momo," Kawamura said as he patted Momo's shoulder.

"Fssh.. I knew this was a waste of time following her," Kaidoh hissed.

"Sempai-tachi, were you all stalking me?" Sakuno asked as she stared at them.

"Ano- it wasn't stalking. Stalking involves harassment, unwanted messages and gifts and objectifying," Oishi explained while his cheeks grew red. "We were only trailing you."

"You're starting to sound a lot like Inui, Oishi," Tezuka said as he cocked an eyebrow at his assistant captain.

"Well this was interesting," Fuji said as he looked at Tezuka. "I didn't know you were giving Ryuzaki-chan lessons."

"Her grandmother asked me," Tezuka shrugged. "Her usual teacher is Tachibana Kippei."

"Nya!" Kikumaru exclaimed as Oishi stared.

Inui scribbled that bit of information in his book. "Ii data."

Ryoma scowled at his cat. "Just because she feed you with yellowtail-it doesn't mean that you can ignore the food at home!"

Karupin meowed at him then bumped his head against Sakuno's chin. "Ano- Ryoma-kun, Noranneko-san is your cat?"

"Yeah, he's my cat," Ryoma answered as he scowled at his cat. "And right now, he's being a very bad and spoiled kitty. Karupin, you're going on a diet."

Karupin meowed back at him then looked away.

"So, Ryuzaki-chan, why did Ohtori hug you, nya?" Kikumaru asked innocently as he stroked the cat's ears.

"Oh, Ohtori-san's aunt is my Sunday school teacher and since she's just had her baby, she gave him tickets to a recital. He wanted to know if I would like to go to a recital with him this weekend instead of his sister," Sakuno answered as she stroked Karupin's head. "I said I was free. So you do have a home, Karupin."

Silence descended as Ryoma looked at Sakuno. "No."

Bemused, Sakuno looked at Ryoma. "No? Karupin doesn't have a home?"

"Yes, he has a home," Ryoma snapped. "No, you're not going."

Sakuno looked at Ryoma blankly. "Why?"

"Because you have practice with me this weekend," Ryoma said.

Sakuno blinked at him. "But, the recital is on Saturday evening. We practice on Sunday mornings."

"That's why you can't go, you'll be too tired to practice in the morning," Ryoma answered stubbornly.

Sakuno looked at him as if he lost his mind. "That makes no sense."

"You can't go and that's final," Ryoma scowled.

Sakuno stared at him and felt her temper start to rise. "I didn't know that you were my father, Ryoma-kun."

"I'm not-"

"So then you have no say on where or when I can go out," Sakuno snapped.

"Oi, oi, this is not good," Oishi started to say as he looked at Sakuno and Echizen. "You two shouldn't be arguing."

"We're not arguing, sempai," Ryoma said through gritted teeth.

"Yes we are, sempai," Sakuno countered. "And it's because Ryoma-kun's being unreasonable."

"I'm being unreasonable?" Ryoma practically yelped.

"Yes, you are, Ryoma-kun," Sakuno fumed. "And furthermore-"

Fuji placed a hand on Sakuno's shoulder. "Sakuno-chan, wouldn't it be better to ask him the real reason why he doesn't want you to go?"

Blankly, Sakuno looked at Fuji and then Ryoma. "Ryoma-kun, what's the real reason why you don't want me to go to the recital?"

Ryoma glared at Fuji and remained silent. Momo sighed and hit him on the head. "Ittai!"

"Answer her," Momo ordered. "Or else I'll let Mamushi take care of you."

Ryoma glared at Momo. "Fine… it's because Karupin doesn't want you to go."

Everyone stared at Ryoma as he crossed his arms. "That's why you shouldn't go."

Kikumaru worked his jaw in an effort to get a sound out. "Oh- Ochibi- that is so…"

"Mada mada dane," Inui said as he looked at Echizen.

"Ryoma-kun, you're saying your cat doesn't want me to go to the recital," Sakuno said slowly.

"That's right," Ryoma said stubbornly. "Karupin doesn't want you to go."

Sakuno lifted the cat in her arms and looked him in the eye. "You really want me to go, right Karupin?"

Karupin stared at her and meowed. Then he bumped his head against her chin.

Sakuno looked at Ryoma triumphantly. "Karupin wants me to go."

"He does not," Ryoma fumed. "He said no."

"He said yes."

"He said no."

"I don't believe this," Oishi said as he covered his face with his hand. Kikumaru snickered as Kawamura shook his head. Inui wrote frantically in his note book as Momo and Kaidoh simply stared at the two as they bickered.

Tezuka shook his head. "This is-"

"Amusing," Fuji finished. He looked at Tezuka. "Since when have we ever seen Ryoma act like a normal twelve year old?"

"Even so this is ridiculous," Tezuka said dryly. "Echizen- Ryuzaki-"

"Karupin doesn't want you to go," Ryoma scowled.

"Karupin says he does," Sakuno scowled back.

"This is enough!" Tezuka said in a loud voice. He looked at the two twelve year olds and then grabbed the cat. "I will take Karupin back to your place of residence and you two will discuss the real reason why Echizen doesn't want Ryuzaki to go to the recital." He looked at his Regulars. "And this means everyone but those two are going to drop off this cat."

"Don't say anything else that can be heard of as stupid," Momo whispered into Echizen's ear as he left. He winked at little Ryuzaki. "Be kind to the brat."

"Nya! Good luck, Ochibi!" Kikumaru called out as Oishi dragged him away.

Inui adjusted his glasses as he looked at Ryoma and Ryuzaki. He sighed for the loss of data, but it could not be helped. There were just some moments should be private. He bent down to whisper, "Echizen, your emotional transference to an animal was brilliant, yet immature."

"Please do better." Inui then looked at Sakuno. Ryuzaki, be patient with him."

"Why do you call me immature when she believed me?" Ryoma scowled.

"Because you are filled with boy hormones that can make you do stupid things and she is naïve enough to believe your stupidity," Inui answered without looking back. He lifted his notebook. "It's all in your data!"

As he left, Sakuno looked at Ryoma warily. Finally she asked, "Are you going to yell at me?"

At her cautious look, Ryoma lost his will to argue with her. "No."

"What was Inui-sempai talking about?"

"He basically said that I'm mada mada dane," Ryoma said after a moment.

"Oh," Sakuno said. "Why?"

Ryoma sighed as he looked at her curious, wide eyes. "Probably because I am. Sometimes."

"Okay," Sakuno said after a moment. "Ano- can you take me home now?"

Ryoma scowled. "Why?"

"Because I have to make supper for Obaachan," Sakuno answered.

Shrugging, Ryoma picked up her bag as he wondered what to say. Sakuno bit her lip, she still couldn't understand why Ryoma thought that Karupin didn't want her to go to the recital with Ohtori.

"Ryoma-kun?"

"Why do you think that Karupin doesn't want me to go to the recital?"

Ryoma stopped and stared at her. The girl he liked couldn't be that dumb, could she?

Sakuno shifted under his stare. "I mean, I understand why you don't want me to go because I do get tired easily. But why doesn't Karupin want me to go?"

Ryoma shook his head in wonder. No, she wasn't dumb- Just really naïve…which made everything all the scarier. He really didn't want to open his heart where he could get hurt. After all, look at what happened just now. He was reduced to arguing with her like a child. He didn't want to get hurt.

"Ano-Ryoma-kun?"

He didn't want to lose her out of his stupidity.

"It wasn't Karupin that was saying he didn't want you to go." Ryoma took a deep breath. "It was me."

Sakuno's eyes widened. "Oh. Ano- Ryoma-kun? If I promise to not get so tired for your lesson, can I go to the recital?"

Ryoma felt like banging his head against a wall. She just didn't get it. He gritted his teeth, "Why do you want to go so much?"

"Because it's my favorite quartet," Sakuno answered. "And this is their last stop before they break up."

"Oh," Ryoma said as he was somewhat mollified.

They walked a bit further. "So can I go?"

"I really don't like the idea of you going," Ryoma said slowly.

Confused, Sakuno looked at him. "But why?"

"Because it seems like you're going on a date with Ohtori," Ryoma answered. "Before you go on a date with me."

Sakuno stared at him. "A-A da-date? I'm not going on a date with Ohtori!"

"You're going to a recital with him," Ryoma scowled. "When two people go out together somewhere, then it's a date."

Sakuno stared at him. "But we're going with the whole Sunday school class! There will be twelve of us! How can that be a date?"

Ryoma stared at her. "Twelve of you?"

"The twelve of us," Sakuno nodded slowly. After a minute of staying still, she asked, "Ano- Ryoma-kun? What were you- ano-you said- ah, well, ano-"

"That I want to go on a date with you," Ryoma finished for her. When she nodded quickly, he smiled. "I do."

"You do?" Sakuno squeaked as she looked at him with wide eyes. "Why?"

Ryoma smiled as he brought his face closer to hers. "Because I like you."

Then he gave her a quick kiss. He chuckled as her face turned beet red. Feeling more carefree than he was before, he took her hand and started pulling her towards the street.

"Ano- Ryoma-kun? Where are we going? My house is that way!"

"Come one- we're going a small date first."

"Why?"

"It's Valentine's day!"


Author's Notes (4):Def. noranneko: stray cat