A/N: hey guys! I'm just curious on how you respond to a very unusual pairing…the tallest + the smallest in all Pot characters. I'm pertaining to Ryoma and Choutarou. Heheheh…just curious. Tell me what you think about it. Then I'll decide if this will be a one-shot or not. Oh and there's also a little Tezu/Ryo.

Disclaimer: usual….don 't own the song, "Warrior is a Child" but it was a song dedicated to my favorite local pop idol when he died last 1998 and thousands went to his burial. TT

P.S.: "" for dialogs, '' for thoughts, italics for flashbacks and italics are for the song lyrics.

NOTE: Ohtori's a bit OC in the beginning. I'm using his love for music as the basis of his well, being out of character.

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It was a very busy Saturday morning in downtown Tokyo. A lot of people are busy doing their shopping to and fro the place and the noise is escalating by the minute.

Ohtori sighed as he stood outside his favorite shop: Great Harmony Ltd. It's not the kind of shop a Hyotei student would hang out. It's very simple and boring if you put it that way but he likes it. Here he can ogle at the brand new pianos on display and gaze up dreamily on the pricey violins. Oh sure he does have a baby grand and a classic violin in his possession but,

"I just can't help but lust over the brand new ones." He muttered to himself as he stared up at a brand new violin that's on display. 'At least I have this morning off. It's nice to be away from the team. Atobe-buchou became more annoying after we lost to Seigaku.' He mused as he checked out the new grand piano on display.

"Good morning, sir. It's nice to see you again." The clerk greeted him cheerfully. Ohtori smiled at him and bowed politely.

"It's nice to see you too Sir. You have impressive new arrivals." He courtly replied.

"Very true. Actually…" and the salesman started chatting about their new products. Ohtori on the other hand drifted into another dreamy state as he caressed the shiny, black grand piano, not actually listening to what the older man was saying.

"Aherm." The older man cleared his throat when he noticed that no one's listening to his rant. Ohtori snapped back into reality.

"I'm really sorry. My head just wandered off wile I was touching his grand. It's so exquisite."

The tall boy apologized.

"Oh you're not the only one. A lot of customers have been admiring that beauty every since it arrived last week. We only have two of them in stock. The other one is used for testing. You know, customers today really prefer quality." The clerk explained. This got Ohtori's attention.

"For testing? Oh really…" he murmured. Then suddenly the tall boy hit euphoria. 'It means I can try playing it! Oh this must be my lucky day!'

"Oh yes and we have found the perfect musician that can actually play-test the instruments. God, for such a young age he can play various musical instruments." The clerk chirped in. Ohtori stared at him in disbelief.

"Nani!"

"Eh?"

"Are you telling me that you have an official demo person? Are you telling me that the customers are not the ones checking the quality personally?" he fired one question after another at the poor clerk. He advanced on the older man, thanking the heavens for his height. 'I have to try this piano!'

"W-well only part-time. He came here last week wanting to have his grand be fixed. He too fell in love with this piano and asked if he can try playing a piece. We also have some customers that time and they fell in love with him the moment he started playing. We sold two of this baby at once." The clerk explained nervously.

Ohtori snapped back into reality and apologized profusely to the clerk.

"So you mean he's THAT good?" he asked when he calmed down. That moment he started to hear a faint sound of a piano.

"Yup. Not only that he can play the piano expertly, he can also play the guitar and other similar string instruments. In fact, he's here right now. He's checking up on the grand that he asked us to fix in place of being our demo person for the mean time." The clerk told him while leading him slowly towards a door.

"Really?" the tall boy asked skeptically.

"I guess you're more of the to-see-is-to-believe type of guy, huh? Believe me, he's a musical genius. Not only that, he's just a kid." The older man said as he ushered the Hyotei regular towards the door from which the music seems to be originating.

"A kid? How old?" Ohtori asked. 'Now this is interesting.' He silently added.

"I don't know, around 10-12 yrs. old. See for yourself." He said and opened the door for the tall boy.

Strings of beautiful melody greeted the soft-spoken boy when he entered the small but well-lit room. There are chairs inside the room, 'for the audience I guess' he added mentally and there in the middle stood a shiny grand piano of the same model of the one he was lusting after.

He took another step towards the center, catching a glimpse of the pianist who doesn't seem to notice his presence. The person just kept on playing.

'Wow…he IS good.' Ohtori thought as he listened to the melody being played. 'What piece is this? I've never heard of it before.' He added.

He went closer and closer and soon he found himself agreeing with the clerk that the infamous pianist is just a kid. One more step and he was towering over the piano, eyes widened in utter disbelief, his jaw dropped down in awe and was speechless as Ryoma Echizen kept his fingers skimming through the piano keys with ease.

Ryoma kept his eyes closed as he started playing a new melody. He let all the tension, all his frustrations go as he let his muscles relax to the music that he is making. He can feel the tension knots on the back of his neck and his shoulders unraveling with every note his fingers produce. He's been through hell these past couple of weeks starting from Tezuka's departure to his upcoming match against Rikkai.

Tezuka's trip to Germany put the end to their whirlwind secret romance. Oh yeah sure Tezuka told him not to be careless and to defeat Sanada and to take care of himself but that doesn't erase the pain he felt when he saw his Fuji-sempai making out with his lover the day Momo-sempai rejoined the club.

'Stupid pain…stupid love…' he mused as he let his emotions flow from his battered heart to his fingers, creating an enchanting, yet poignant music.

'Stupid Sanada for beating the crap out of me…stupid Oyaji for being a pervert…stupid, stupid me for being weak…'

The melody escalated into a higher notch.

'God he's beautiful!' Ohtori was trapped in a world of fantasy Ryoma and his music made. He clenched his fists in an attempt to suppress the unknown emotion that the freshman evoked deep with in him. He stood there, frozen in awe. That's what Ryoma did to him by just playing. What more could happen to him if the freshman took his music into another level?

'This must be heaven… but what a way to die.' The tall boy was bemused. 'No. he can't possible do THAT. From what I've heard during our game, I don't think he can hit a note.' He added.

But then again…this impetuous freshman proved him wrong.

Lately I've been winning battles left and right.

But even winners can get wounded in a fight.

Ryoma put all of his anguish in every word of the song, hoping it'll fade immediately like the way a note fades after you played the next one.

Ohtori can feel the chills ran up his spine. The moment the freshman started singing he has fallen, fallen hard. 'It's not just the piano, not just the talent…Kami-sama! What is this that I feel?' Those words that escaped from those soft lips seemed to hammer his heart with every bit of sadness it signifies.

People say that I'm amazing; I'm strong beyond my years.

But they don't see inside of me, I'm hiding all the tears.

'When will the hurting stop? When?' Ryoma thought bitterly as the memory of his lover's betrayal flashed through his head once more. 'When will it stop?'

Ohtori soon noticed that his whole body was trembling with raw emotions that the freshman oh so casually awakened inside of him. His knuckles turned white as he tried to maintain his composure. 'This is what beyond that smirk is…beyond the façade...beyond those sparkling eyes…' he silently concluded. His eyes are temporarily glued to the figure in front of him, a figure full of restrained sadness.

They don't know that I come running home when I fall down.

They don't know who lifts me up when no one is around.

I drop my sword and cry for just a while.

'Cause deep inside this armor,

The warrior is a child.

The melody then dropped back to the first pattern creating another wave of soulful notes. That moment Ryoma decided to open his eyes. He blinked a couple of times upon realizing that he has an audience, someone he never expected to be his. All the while his fingers did not stop its rhythmic movements despite the fact that it took him a couple of seconds to absorb the realization that it is Ohtori Choutarou that is standing before him.

Ohtori did not break the heated eye contact he has with Ryoma. His breathing became ragged, his heart thumping harder against his chest. Every word of the song slowly strips the façade Ryoma has put up, slowly baring his hidden personality, making him vulnerable to Ohtori's presence. Yet…he did not falter, he did not stop playing and run off. He just continued playing with his eyes locked with Ohtori's all the time.

Unafraid because his armor is the best;

But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest.

'Damn you Sanada for beating the crap out of me earlier…damn limitations…damn…damn.' Ryoma kept repeating these words mentally as he started the chorus once again.

People say that I'm amazing, I never face retreat.

But they don't see the enemies that lay me at His feet.

'Rikkai…' Ohtori mentally concluded, quite sure that the freshman is now pertaining to their upcoming opponent.

They don't know that I come running home when I fall down.

They don't know who lifts me up when no one is around.

I drop my sword and cry for just a while.

'Cause deep inside this armor,

The warrior is a child.

Ohtori was breathless when his saw Ryoma's golden eyes shimmered with unshed tears. 'Why do you do this? Why did you choose to reveal your vulnerable self to me?' he sadly mused, 'isn't this supposed to be your friends' job? Or rather I say, Tezuka-san's?'

Ryoma closed his eyes as the melody reached the bridge. He doesn't want to see Ohtori's reaction upon seeing his weakness. He bit his lip as a solitary tear escaped from his eyes. 'I can't do this…I can't…'

Ohtori gritted his teeth when he saw a tear trickled down the freshman's pale cheeks. He felt a surprising amount of anger towards the person that caused this angel's misery. 'Is it Tezuka-san? You look up to him. You admire him. I saw it in your eyes during his game with Atobe-buchou.' Ohtori silently asked Ryoma, as if he's reading his very soul. 'No…you don't just admire him. There's something more to it…something more powerful. Are you crying because he did not recognize your feelings?' he can feel his nails digging deeply into his palms and yet he ignored the pain. He took a deep breath before daring his thoughts to ask the freshman a question he's sure he wouldn't be able to ask in real life.

'If you'd let me…would you let me ease the pain that you're feeling?'

I drop my sword and looked up for His smile.

'Cause deep inside this armor…

'Go away…you don't have to see me this way. Please go…' Ryoma silently pleaded. He doesn't have enough courage to open his eyes and look deep into Ohtori's hazel eyes once more.

Realization dawned on Ohtori. The raw emotion that the freshman evoked within him is now very clear. It is need. It is desire. The tall boy became conscious of his desire to have some sort of physical contact with this surreal creature in front of him. Even just a little heat… the truth is overpowering his whole being, the truth that he wants to protect this lonely angel from all the pain, from all the spite the world lashes upon him.

He wants to be the glue that will make Ryoma whole again. With his music, he bet he can. He didn't realize that his body was moving on its own. He pushed all his anxieties away, this time letting himself drown completely into the music that the freshman is making.

'Cause deep inside this armor…

Ryoma jolted a little when he felt a pair of strong arms encircling his body and drawing him towards a comforting heat. 'No…let go before it's too late!' the thought ran urgently in his head but his body was of a different entity that moment. He took a deep breath and surrendered to the warmth and comfort the taller boy is offering him.

The warrior is a child….

The music has long ended but neither would want to move an inch. They seem content with the silence that engulfed them after that moving performance.

"Uh….hi?" a hoarse voice broke their calm.

"Hello." arms hugged him tighter. "The music that you make is so profound. My name's Choutarou," gold met gold in a smoldering gaze. "What's yours?"

A smile, "Ryoma…my name is Ryoma Echizen."

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A/N: What do you think? Hehehehehehehehehehe….very unusual….very, very unusual… tell me if you want a continuation. Oh by the way, the name of the artist is Gary Valenciano. Try listening to the song…you'll be moved.

P/S: flames are most humbly welcomed…AND SO ARE GOOD REVIEWS! Thanks!