Ivelle: This is a fic that is a little more serious, but still cute. Well everyone enjoy PLEASE REVIEW

Disclaimer: For the love of God we do not own Prince of Tennis! WHY! WHY is the world so cruel, why can't we own it!

The Seigaku regulars had just finished their Sunday practice before the national matches the following week. Everyone was anxious, especially Ryoma Echizen, he and his best friend Momoshiro Takeshi had stayed after to practice even more. They were playing very intensely against the Golden Pair considering it was only practice and doubles wasn't exactly either's forte. Ryoma had never been too serious about doubles, it seemed only when he played with Momo did he actually take his match seriously. The match lasted for long while neither side giving in, but in the end the more experienced Golden Pair had won. The two partners were making their way home while Momo and Ryoma, slumped off towards the locker room. Neither was too crushed about the defeat, they were tired more than anything.

Ryoma sat down on the bench and grabbed a towel to wipe the sweat from his forehead. His body was drenched; if someone saw him they might have thought he had just stepped out of the shower with all his clothes on. Ryoma quickly removed his shirt not liking the feeling of his shirt sticking to his body. Ryoma's eye traveled to Momo's now bare torso. His body was gleaming with sweat, Ryoma couldn't move. He was transfixed on the body that stood before him. Even with only a view of Momo's backside, Ryoma could tell that the front could only be more eye catching. Ryoma had seen Momo's body several times. Why was today any different? Ryoma quickly caught himself from staring any further, and pulled on his shirt. Sadness rushed over him and he looked back up at Momo, who was now sitting next to him.

"Echizen?" Momo asked, "Have you, ever wondered what it would be like t-to kiss?

Yes. Ryoma raised an eyebrow trying to make Momo feel stupid for asking such a ridiculous question.

"I mean have you, have you wondered what it would be like to kiss, to kiss me?"

Yes. Ryoma gave to Momo what he hoped would be a puzzled look or perhaps a disgusted look. He wasn't attracted to Momo, he liked girls. Ryoma was trying his best to keep his cool demeanor but he could feel his body shaking with excitement and fear. He waited for a long time until he responded. "No."

Momo raised an eyebrow at Ryoma, "You don't have to be ashamed Echizen. I have thought about you a lot."

"What are-" Ryoma was cut off by lips, lips that were on his own. What are you doing Momo? Ryoma was shocked, but much to his displeasure he enjoyed the kiss and kissed back without hesitation. Momo was becoming more intense and Ryoma was becoming more engulfed. Momo wrapped his arms around Ryoma's body. That was when reality hit him: I am here in our locker room kissing Momo, and I like it, this has to end. Ryoma pulled away more forcefully than he intended, sending himself to the floor. He wiped his mouth and stood up.

"Echizen-kun?" Momo looked severely taken aback and blushed a deep red.

"No, this isn't right!" Ryoma yelled.

"What's wrong! I know you feel the same way I do, I can tell!"

"You are a guy!"

"So, and the problem?" Momo snapped.

"That's not natural!" Ryoma snapped back.

"Love isn't natural?"

"I don't love you!" Ryoma yelled. Momo's face grew sad. He looked like he was about to cry.

Momo stood up from the bench towering over Ryoma, he leaned closer, and his face grew angry, or disappointed maybe. "You were the last person I would expect that from, maybe you should come see me when you decide to be a man!" With that Momo left the locker room. Ryoma folded his head in his hands.

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Why did I think of that? Ryoma tossed the ball in the air and served. Probably because of this stupid doubles match I was forced to play. I haven't played doubles since that day . . .

One of the girls who Ryoma and his partner were hitting with, spoke after she returned the serve, "Ryoma it's just a fun match you don't have to kill us!"

"Sorry Ivy, I don't like to lose," Ryoma said, allowing his partner to hit the ball back.

"Neither do we," said the other girl as she smashed the ball in between the two boys. Ryoma tried to catch the ball but only hit it in to the net.

"Janelle, you were the one who dragged me out here!" Ryoma said irritated by the match. He hated playing doubles. And he was getting annoyed and he knew Kaidoh was getting annoyed too. But it didn't matter anyway the match had ended and the girls had won.

Kaidoh slumped off the courts, hissing to himself, he didn't like playing doubles either.

"Have a good holiday Kaidoh! See you at the Open!" Ryoma shouted mockingly towards his next competition in the next open. Even though they played with the same coach they would still play each other, the girls they had played doubles with were also coached by the same person.

"Ivy, Janelle! You two are welcome to come to my house for the holidays and practice. I'll give you two private lessons," An older man in a robe had shouted at the two girls leaving the courts. They both raised their hands and gestured towards the man signaling that they would rather not spend the holidays with an old pervert. Ryoma shook his head and made his way off the courts. "Hey boy! You are coming for the holiday right? You are going to turn the big twenty." The man laughed

Ryoma looked at the man disgusted, "Don't want to."

"Your mom wants you to, and bring your girl, she's cute."

"Why so she can be in the same room with a pervert for hours?" Ryoma started walking again.

"Well it's not like you are interested in her, I mean you don't even like girls." Ryoma stopped.

"I'll come." Ryoma started walking again refusing to turn around.

"Good! Follow the coach's orders! Maybe you can beat me." The man laughed at his own joke as his son disappeared from view.

Why does he have to say those things? What a dirty old man. Ryoma made his way towards his apartments that were close to the university Ryoma practiced at and where Sakuno went to school. He decided to take a detour and pass through the streets of his tennis days at Seigaku. He stopped in front of a sports store, one that he hadn't been to in a long time, in fact the last time he was here was with. . .Ryoma shook his head That doesn't matter anymore.

"Excuse me sir?" A boy who looked about thirteen had approached Ryoma. Ryoma noticed the boy wearing a Seigaku regular uniform, it looked the exact same. "You are Echizen Ryoma right? The one they call Samurai second?"

Ryoma nodded at the boy and took a sip of the Ponta he was drinking.

"Well can I-I have your autograph?" The boy looked absolutely star struck; Ryoma nodded grabbing the tennis ball from the boy and signing it. He looked up from the boy towards the counter of the store. A man was standing there smiling at him.

"Momo?" Ryoma couldn't believe it; he hadn't seen Momo since he was in the eighth grade. The person who had been appearing in his thoughts lately was standing in front of him.

Momo walked over towards Ryoma, "Wow I can't believe you are here!"

Ryoma held out his hand but Momo hugged him tight. Ryoma felt a jolt of excitement run through his body. Him and Momo had been distant since that day in the locker room, eight years ago. Ryoma didn't want to, but he couldn't help but feel happy at seeing Momo.

"Hey let's go to the diner down the street and we can talk," Momo said leading Ryoma out of the shop.

The walked in silence but Ryoma kept glancing back at Momo. They arrived at the diner and sat down. The waitress approached their table and they both ordered hamburgers.

"So Echizen-kun, you look good!" Momo smiled. "I mean I thought so on TV too but you look even better in person."

"Th-thanks, so do you." Ryoma felt his palms sweating; on his legs he kept wiping his hands on his pants praying Momo wouldn't notice. Ryoma usually never got nervous but now he was. Suddenly a whole bunch of feelings had rushed through his body. All he could see was Momo.

"What have you been doing, I mean besides playing tennis?" Momo asked still smiling.

"I-I am on holiday right now because of Christmas, and I just signed an endorsement contract with Fila and Ponta." Ryoma hoped he hadn't sounded conceited, but he then wondered why he cared at all about how he sounded.

I am not attracted to Momo. He looks so good though, his hair is a little longer and he is a lot taller, his face is flawless, his eyes they are even better than I remember . . .

"Echizen?" Momo looked a little worried.

Ryoma realized he had been starring open mouthed at Momo. He blushed a little, "You have something in your hair," Ryoma pointed to a spot in Momo's hair where there was nothing.

Momo picked at the spot, "Did I get it?"

"No," Ryoma looked back towards the waitress where was she?

"How about now?" Momo asked picking through his hair annoyed.

"No a little to the left," Ryoma faced Momo again and watched as he tried to find the non-existent thing in his hair.

"Can you get it out?" Momo pleaded.

Ryoma reached across the table and placed his hand on Momo's head. His hair was soft, Ryoma gently pulled on Momo's hair pulling out nothing.

"Thanks," Momo said as their hamburgers arrived. Well Momo still had a ferocious appetite that was for sure.

"So what about you, what have you been up to?" Ryoma asked trying not to watch Momo eat.

"Um, well I play tennis at a university. I am the captain of the team, Taka plays with us too. Have you seen anyone else from Seigaku?" Momo asked while shoving his third burger down his throat.

"I have seen Oishi and Eiji at a few Opens, and Fuji, I played him last year at Wimbledon, and Kaidoh he trains with me."

"What? You train with Mamushi? I bet he is still the same. Inui goes to school with me, but he doesn't play tennis; he is studying chemistry I think," Momo still had a mountain of food lying in front of him. Seeing him eat so much to Ryoma's surprise didn't disgust him at all.

"You know, I think I have seen Inui at a few of our practices watching Kaidoh."

The two conversed for several more minutes. Ryoma finally started to relax, but he kept thinking about Momo's eyes, his lips, and his beautiful hands. Ryoma had not felt so excited in a long time. Finally Momo finished eating and they stepped out of the diner.

"So Echizen, I suppose this is where we part," Momo said

Ryoma hadn't even heard what Momo had said before he asked," Do you want to come to my apartment?"

Momo looked slightly surprised by the question, but smiled and nodded following Ryoma to his apartment.

Ryoma fumbled with his keys, he was nervous again. Why the hell did I invite him in? Finally able to unlock the door, Ryoma forced himself through almost falling while he swung in the apartment with the door.

"Nice place Echizen," Momo was scanning the room. Ryoma set his keys on the coffee table and sat on the couch, gesturing for Momo to join him. Momo's eyes traced the coffee table to a spot where a picture sat. Ryoma quickly slammed down the picture. "What's this Echizen?" Momo easily pulled the picture from Ryoma's grasp.

He is so strong, way stronger than before.

Momo looked a little shocked at the photo, but then he laughed. "You still see her, she is pretty. Sakuno right?" Momo asked placing the photo on the table.

"Yeah, well-" Ryoma mumbled the rest; he did not want to talk about Sakuno. He was annoyed because Momo still smiled.

"What?" Ryoma snapped at Momo.

"I have been thinking about you a lot lately," Momo said.

Ryoma shifted a bit nervous, "R-really? I have thought of you a lot too." Ryoma felt good, Momo still liked him. But he is a guy, but I want to so bad. Ryoma sat for a second while Momo still smiled at him. He couldn't take it. His libido was going crazy; he moved closer to Momo capturing him with his lips. Momo to Ryoma's surprise didn't pull away.

"I knew someday you would-" Momo was cut off by Ryoma's kisses. Ryoma had removed his own shirt and was unbuttoning Momo's

This was in a sense Ryoma's first time, he had never been with another man. Momo inside of him felt better than anything he had ever done with Sakuno. In fact Sakuno and Ryoma rarely had sex. Ryoma was never interested, and Sakuno was too embarrassed to ask, but sometimes she couldn't take it. Ryoma didn't hate being with Sakuno he felt like he was just there though -every time. He loved Sakuno, but he never saw them getting married. She was his best friend and they talked a lot. Well it was more like he teased her about her tennis and she tried to improve every time. They were close but not intimately. Finally he realized why -he was gay. Now that Ryoma realized this he felt bad for wasting his teenage years dating a girl just to prove he wasn't gay.

"YAY! RYOMA-SAMA HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!" a loud voice came from the hallway

"Shit!" Ryoma said pulling on his shirt and pants, thankfully Momo got the hint and was dressing himself as well.

The door was opening and Sakuno entered the house with her best friend Tomo. Ryoma usually couldn't stand the mouth that was constantly running from that girl but she had saved him. Ryoma felt his heart drop into his stomach, he had just slept with another man in Sakuno's and his apartment. He felt bad he wanted to be with Momo, but didn't want to hurt Sakuno.

"Ryoma you brought a friend over!" Sakuno smiled and walked over to Momo, her face lit up when she saw who it was, "Momo-sempai!" Tomo immediately came forward to see for herself that it was indeed Momo.

Ryoma stood up and put his hands in his pockets, "Momo, you remember Sakuno and Tomo."

"Of course, Seigaku's best cheerleaders," Momo smiled at the girls and then at Ryoma. Sakuno blushed a bit and Tomo was going crazy.

"Do you still play tennis Momo-chan?" Momo was not engulfed in Tomo's trap of annoyance. Sakuno stepped over to Ryoma and kissed him on the cheek.

"How was practice?"

Ryoma saw Momo glance over at him and he immediately looked away.

"Momo-san? Would you like to stay for dinner?" Sakuno asked pulling Tomo away from him.

"No."

"Yes."

Ryoma and Momo had spoken at the same time, and Tomo giggled.

"I'll take that as a yes," Sakuno said as she headed towards the phone. "I'll order from Kawamura, unless you want me to cook."

"No! We all know what your cooking is like. Why doesn't Ryoma-sama cook?" Tomo added.

Sakuno blushed at Tomo's comment. She wasn't a good cook at all. Ryoma was the only one who ever cooked but they usually ordered from Kawamura's.

"I'd like to have some of Echizen's cooking!" Momo said rather excited. "How about it, Ryoma will you cook for us?"

Ryoma was really annoyed by the request. He liked to cook, but he really wished Momo would leave. "Sure I will cook."

Everyone smiled and Ryoma made dinner. Ryoma was making steam pot, one of his favorite foods while Momo and Tomo set the table. Sakuno was trying to help Ryoma, but found that there was really nothing she could do.

"Do you think maybe Momo and Tomo could date?" Sakuno asked Ryoma.

Ryoma accidentally sprinkled more seasoning than he had intended on to his fish when she spoke. "No."

Sakuno looked confused, "Why do you say that?"

Ryoma turned to Sakuno and gave her a serious look, "He just isn't interested in that, so don't try to do anything!" Ryoma more like shouted that last part and felt bad.

Sakuno didn't say anything. Instead, she went to sit in the living room with Momo and Tomo while Ryoma finished cooking.

Their meal was filled mostly with Tomo talking about Ryoma playing or asking Momo questions about his life. Ryoma was annoyed but wasn't surprised to see that Momo was enjoying the conversation, and answering every question politely. Finally everyone had finished eating. Sakuno gathered the dishes and went into the kitchen to clean up everything. Tomo followed her carrying dishes herself. Ryoma walked Momo to the street.

"How far do you live?" Ryoma asked zipping up his coat.

"Not too far, about a ten minute walk I would say."

Ryoma saw every breath of Momo's because of the cold night. Ryoma wanted only one thing. His mind was on one thing -Momo. He wanted him bad. He still felt uncomfortable about "being gay" but he felt good; better than he had ever felt in his life he thought, well except for when he finally beat Tezuka. Momo had made him see a whole new side to life. He thought he was in love, real love, not like friendly love but 'I could spend the rest of my days with you' love.

"I'll walk you home," Ryoma suggested.

"Cool, but you don't have to," Momo smiled at Ryoma.

"I want to though," Ryoma said as he started in the direction Momo lived.

Momo caught up to Ryoma and grabbed his hand. "Are you sure?"

Ryoma looked at Momo and smiled. He had never been more sure of anything. How could he have blown this all those years ago?

"You know Echizen, I haven't stopped loving you even in eight years." Ryoma was sure he blushed, usually when he was told this kind of thing he remained cold and collected but it was somehow different with Momo.

"I think I haven't either. It just took me too long to realize my own feelings." They arrived in front of Momo's apartment building. Ten minutes have already passed?

"Well thanks for the walk home, Echizen-kun." Ryoma kissed Momo quickly, he had wanted to do this all night, even though they had already gone all the way. Ryoma only found himself wanting more. Momo wrapped a hand around Ryoma's head while the other one opened the door to his apartment building. He pulled away grabbing Ryoma's hand and pulling him up the stairs. They reached Momo's door and Momo awkwardly opened the door trying to kiss Ryoma at the same time. The door opened and both boys stumbled into the room. Ryoma kicked the door closed with his foot, as he started to unbutton Momo's shirt. He kissed Momo's neck removing the shirt. Momo pulled the t-shirt Ryoma was wearing over his head and they finally made their way to the bedroom. Momo had put all of his weight on Ryoma's body and they both fell back onto the bed. Ryoma was still kissing Momo's neck and Momo's hands explored Ryoma's body.

Ryoma heard a ringing coming from the pants Momo was about to pull off. Momo pulled away but Ryoma pulled him back ignoring the ringing of his phone. Momo sat up again and Ryoma dug into his pants pocket pulling out the phone. It was Sakuno who had called, Ryoma felt guilty once again. But this is what he wanted right? The ringing had stopped and Ryoma pulled Momo's arm. Momo wouldn't budge.

"What?" Ryoma asked annoyed. He still felt a bit guilty.

"You have to tell her before this goes any further." Momo said seriously.

"What!" Ryoma had always detested cheaters but he didn't want to tell Sakuno what he did or that he was gay.

"She loves you, I think she will understand," Momo said.

"What she doesn't know won't hurt her or anyone," Ryoma said pulling on one of the loops on Momo's pants.

"Stop it!" Momo said, "What's with you? The Echizen I know wouldn't act this way! Or are you still ashamed of being gay?" Ryoma snapped. He stood up and grabbed his t-shirt putting it on.

"Then tell her, because, I love you and I don't want to have to be secretive about it! And if you love me you should feel the same way," Momo looked angry.

Ryoma didn't even care. He pulled on his coat and walked out slamming the door. Why do I have to tell anyone? I just don't want anyone hurt. But he is right, I should tell Sakuno. She will be hurt, but it is better than sneaking around, and Momo is doubing my love. I can't have this happen! I'll tell her tonight. I just hope Tomo is gone.

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SMACK! Ryoma's cheek was smacked hard by a hand.

"Tomo!" Sakuno said through her tears. Ryoma had half a mind to punch Tomo in the face, but he felt like he deserved what he got. He was hoping that Sakuno would be mad at him, raging; but it was worse, she just sat there and cried. Ryoma had never felt so guilty in his life. How could he hurt her like this? He couldn't find the words to say, nothing he could say would justify his actions. He found that he was not as guilty for being gay as he was for sleeping with Momo in their house.

"Come on Sakuno. You are going to stay with me!" Tomo grabbed their coats and headed out of the apartment slamming the door.

Ryoma turned out the lights and sat on the couch. He could still smell Momo and him. He loved Momo, but felt awful about Sakuno. He thought that he should talk to her soon about everything. He wanted to wait until she had time to think herself. Ryoma looked out the window. Snow was falling, it was six days until Christmas and seven until his birthday. At least things with Momo would be good now, hopefully. Ryoma decided he needed to do something. Something to prove to Momo that he loved him.

Ryoma lied on his back and thought of things he could do, then he thought of the perfect plan.

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It was Christmas Eve, almost six o'clock. Sakuno had come by a couple times when Ryoma wasn't home to grab her things. Ryoma was thankful to miss her each time and she probably felt the same way. The oven beeped to signal that the dinner was ready. He pulled out the meal. He had to admit it smelled good. Ryoma usually detested things that were supposed to be "romantic", but he thought Momo would be excited so he couldn't help but smile at the thought of Momo's face.

Ryoma had called Momo three days ago asking him to come over to talk. Momo agreed and Ryoma started his plans.

He went to the window to check if Momo was approaching -not yet. Ryoma grabbed the bag of Rose petals he had and sprinkled then all over the floor. He lit the candles and checked to make sure everything was perfect. He was satisfied, everything was perfect! Ryoma couldn't help but feel proud. He had gone to the store earlier and bought a new outfit for the occasion and after much debate with himself decided not to wear his hat.

Ryoma ran to the window again he was practically bouncing with joy! He saw Momo -he was close. Tonight Ryoma would prove that he was not ashamed to be Momo's lover, and invite him to Christmas dinner at his parents' house.

Momo was crossing the street and much to Ryoma's pleasure was smiling. The snow falling only added to the effect of the night that was going to happen.

SCREECH!

Ryoma sat for a second watching the scene play over and over in his mind. A car had swerved from the ice hitting Momo. Ryoma waited -Momo would get up. He was fine. Nothing.

Ryoma ran out of the apartment jumping down the stairs and blasting the door open. Momo was still in the middle of the street, a group of people gathered around him. He pushed his way through the few people that stood there. "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? CALL 911!" Ryoma leaned over Momo's body, resting his head on his arm. Blood was falling on to Ryoma and was now all over his hands. He pulled out his phone with the other and called 911.

"I-I am sorry." A man had stumbled out of the car that hit Momo. Ryoma was about to murder the man when he felt the head in his arms shift.

"Echizen-" Momo seemed to have a hard time saying the words. Ryoma could hear a siren in the distance -the ambulance was close.

"Shh," Ryoma whispered, Momo's face was all bloody and Ryoma sat there rocking his body back and forth, "It's okay. I am here, everything will be fine." Ryoma kissed Momo softly on the lips, all he could taste though was the blood. The ambulance had arrived and the people had dispersed. Ryoma still was clinging to Momo's body.

"Sir, you are going to have to move." A tall lady had come over with a stretcher. Ryoma handed the lady Momo's body. They pulled him into the back of the truck and Ryoma jumped in.

"Sir, are you his relative?" Was this lady serious? Was she really going to try and kick him out of the truck?

"I am his lover. Is that good enough to go to the fucking hospital, or are you going to waste more time while he dies?"

The woman didn't say anything. The EMT's started to work on Momo. Ryoma felt dazed as he grabbed a hand that had dropped from the stretcher. Don't leave me now please.

Tears were flowing from Ryoma's eyes. "Don't leave! I need you! I love you!" Ryoma kissed Momo's hand. The doors of the truck had opened and they were pulling out the stretcher Momo was laying on. Ryoma followed, not letting go of Momo's hand. He followed as the doctors rushed him through the hospital doors.

"Sir you can't go in here. This is for doctors only." The doctor pushed Momo into a room and Ryoma held his hand until the doctor forced the two apart.

Ryoma was led to the waiting room by a nurse. She sat him in a chair but Ryoma stood and paced the waiting room. He didn't care that he was covered in blood.

Finally a doctor emerged from the room -he looked glum.

Ryoma swallowed. The doctor was about to open his mouth, "Don't you tell me that he is –" Ryoma couldn't even say it himself.

"I am sorry sir."

Ryoma gripped the doctor's collar.

"No!"

"It was too late, he lost too much blood." The doctor pulled himself away.

Ryoma sat down in the chair and tilted his head back. The tears were falling freely down his face. No, I didn't even get to. . . he can't

"Sir, you should call someone," A nurse had kneeled beside him handing him a phone. Ryoma hesitated before dialing the only number he could think of.

"RYOMA!" Sakuno was running down the hall when she spotted Ryoma. She immediately embraced him where he sat. She held him in her arms stroking his hair as the tears fell. "Come on. I will take you home."

Ryoma stood up fast, "I have to see him!" Ryoma ran through the door they wouldn't allow him to pass through. It was empty. Ryoma ran out looking around frantically until he saw a lady carry a stretcher into a room -a stretcher that was covered. He ran to the door.

"I am sorry sir, no one is allowed in there."

Ryoma ignored the nurse forcing himself into the room. He saw Momo's hand and uncovered the blanket over his body. His face was still bloody. Ryoma grabbed Momo's limp hand and kissed it. "You aren't dead," Ryoma was rocking back and forth again. "You can't be, I love you, love can overcome this, please." Ryoma again kissed Momo's lips. "Please!"

Ryoma felt a hand land on his shoulder. He grabbed Sakuno's hand still rocking back and forth. "He isn't dead."

Sakuno pulled Ryoma up and embraced him. "Let's go home Ryoma."

Ryoma sobbed into Sakuno's shoulder as she led him out of the hospital.