DISCLAIMER NOTICE: As usual, PoT and its characters not mine, OCs are. : )

Thank you to the author of "Crimson Rose Petals for being an inspiration for my first PoT fic!

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Melodies of the Heart

Chapter 1

"OUTSIDER"

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The sun was shining rather brightly across the oddly cloudless Autumn sky, birds chirped merrily as if enjoying chit chats in their own notable ways, and the dried auburn leaves fell gracefully onto the ground, waiting wistfully, unknowingly… a child's cry and a crowd's gasps and "Oh"s caught a certain Ryuzaki Sakuno's attention. She was walking alone, done from shopping some school supplies and tennis paraphernalia that her grandmother asked her to buy, her curiosity led her to the site though, where the cry came from.

Cheers from the crowd told Sakuno that whatever happened in that place was over, at least for them.

"Ano… excuse me… but, what happened?" she shyly asked an old man who was about to leave.

The old man gave her a rather toothy grin and answered the shy girl before taking his leave, "A young kid saved the baby! It is so great that in my old age I could still see the goodness in the young ones!"

Something told Sakuno that she must know who it was, she didn't know who it might be, but then again… it could be… perhaps… She pushed her way into the crowd, almost tripping in the way; at last, she reached the center of the stage. A young boy was being interviewed by the police, mainly because of the incident; though he had his back turned, Sakuno wondered if he was Ryoma. He was wearing a white cap, a white polo shirt with a single strip of color red right in the middle, and a pair of khaki shorts.

"Ryoma-kun?" she blurted out, taking the awareness of the young boy.

The kid turned around, "Ryoma… who?"

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"I'm so sorry!" a very flustered Sakuno bowed her head; she couldn't believe she just called a stranger "Ryoma-kun".

It was great though, that she sort of played along with it, not making Sakuno anymore embarrassed when she found out that she called the wrong person. She "asked" Sakuno to go to the park and talk about their "school project".

A girl, about Sakuno's age, shook her head, "Nah, don't bother. I should've taken off my cap when talking to the police." She took a sip from her boxed orange juice and stared at Sakuno, "So, do I really look like that Ryoma-kun when I wear my cap?"

Sakuno blushed a bit, "Ano… Chidori…"

"Kya, yare, yare… it's Tatsue. Kitami Tatsue, Sakuno-chan." The girl wagged her finger and smiled, "I do hope you don't mind me calling you Sakuno-chan, though."

"No. I don't mind, really." Replied Sakuno, "Ano… Kitami-san… could I call you… Tatsue-chan?"

"Of course!" she grinned, an ice cream cart stopped in front of their bench, "Fancy ice cream?"

"Sure." A merry smile played on Sakuno's lips, "I like strawberry…"

"Really? I prefer chocolate… mmm…"

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"Ryoma-kun…" muttered Sakuno as she Tomoka and Horio watched the regulars practice, though as usual they were more focused on the o-chibi of the regulars.

And alas, Tomoka shouted, "Sugoi! Ryoma-sama!!"

Unlike her feisty friend, Sakuno only gave a faint smile, she was happy that Ryoma was getting better and better with tennis (if it was even possible), but she didn't know how to tell him of how great she thought he was.

"Hey, have you seen Kato or Mizuno today?" asked Horio.

Sakuno and Tomoka shook their heads, and Tomoka replied, "Aren't you supposed to be the one who should know about it? You and your two years experience of tennis should be able to detect where your friends are!"

"Hey!" Kato waved; along with him were Mizuno… and a group of three girls, who did not seem to fit in the Seishun Gakuen High School.

The girls wore a white under uniform paired with a black pleated skirt, a black necktie and red jacket completed the "high school" look.

"SA-KU-NO-CHAN!" the girl in the middle waved, taking Sakuno by surprise.

"Eh?"

The girl in pigtails (ala Keiko from Yu Yu Hakusho) walked towards the braided girl, "Yo, Sakuno-chan, how are you?"

"Ta… Tatsue-chan?! Is that you?!" asked Sakuno by surprise, it was the first time she saw Tatsue wear a skirt, much less a school uniform since they met over a month ago.

"The one and only, Saku-chan." She winked at Sakuno, and turned at the two, "Er… hello?"

Sakuno blushed a bit, "Ano, Tatsue-chan, these are my friends, Osakada Tomoka, and Horio Satoshi, they're also Kato Kachiro and Mizuno Katsuo's friends as well."

"Oh I see, you must be Ryuzaki Sakuno then." Said another pigtailed girl (with light brown hair) who was with Tatsue, "Hi, I'm Sachimi Mai. I'm Kitami-chan's senpai."

Another girl, albeit with a shorter dark red hair (ala Midori from Midori no Hibi), introduced herself in a rather more polite manner, "Hello, I'm Nozomi Atsuyo; I'm in Mai-chan's year. It's nice to meet you."

Sakuno bowed, "It's nice to meet you too."

Tomoka did the same, and forced Horio to do it, "They're senpai, Horio!"

"Yare, yare, this is weird, my senpai-tachi are being polite," murmured Tatsue then looked over Sakuno's shoulder and saw the tennis court, "Eh, who's Ryoma-kun?"

"Eh?!" Sakuno exclaimed.

Tatsue walked to the wire and made a soft humming sound, "It's the kid with the cap, am I right?"

"Are you talking about Ryoma-sama?!" exclaimed Tomoka, "Why? Are you here to take his autograph? I'm sorry but I can't let you have one unless you're part of my Ryoma-sama's fan club!"

Tatsue stared unbelievingly at the girl before her, "But I don't even know him personally… hey, Sakuno-chan, is she always like this?"

"E he he he…"

Tatsue smiled, "Okay, I'll take that one as a yes."

All of a sudden, Mai jumped on Sakuno, her blue-green eyes shone brightly, "You're Coach Ryuzaki Sumire's granddaughter, right?"

"Er, yes?"

"Yosh!" exclaimed the over-excited second year, completely different from the polite girl she was earlier, "Hey, what time would she be coming here? Is she busy? Could we talk to her?"

"Oi, oi, senpai, one question at a time, Sakuno-chan isn't an answering machine, you know." Tatsue complained.

"No, it's OK, Tatsue-chan." Said Sakuno, before Mai stuck out her tongue on her kohai, "Grandmother would come by here about three in the afternoon, I'm not sure though if she's going to entertain any interviews though."

"Thanks, Ryuzaki-chan." Said Mai, "We'll be going now."

"Mai-chan!" the girl called Atsuyo exclaimed meekly, "Sorry, Ryuzaki-san, she's always like that. Thank you very much for answering out questions."

"No, it's OK. Really…" Sakuno could see Atsuyo's light blue eyes from beneath her bangs and found it rather odd.

"Hey, Tsucchi, Kitami-chan! C'mon, Natsume-buchou will kill us if we don't go back yet!"

"Natsume-buchou?"

"Our captain. Kitami-chan, are you going with us?" asked Atsuyo, in a rather serious tone despite her seemingly shy nature.

Tatsue glanced at Sakuno for a second, "No, I… have questions for Ryuzaki-gimi's grand daughter."

Atsuyo shook her head, "Fine then, I'll tell that to Natsume-buchou. Just make sure you won't do anything… rash, ne?"

"Yes, Nozomi-senpai."

Sakuno watched the two second years walk off from their sight, they were really… strange.

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At least, Sakuno wasn't the only one surprised by such appearance. Some of the Seigaku regulars had noted the act, even Inui was startled.

"Hmmm… maybe I should take data about those girls…" muttered Inui.

Kikumaru asked, "Nya? Is that for female availability for dates or something?"

Inui shook his head, "They might be spies from other schools, looking at how Seigaku tennis club is doing…"

"C'mon, just because some girls visited Sakuno-chan means it's about tennis, Inui-senpai." Commented Momoshiro, though he too was intrigued by it.

"Che." Muttered Ryoma.

They watched as the three girls separated leaving the smallest-looking girl with Sakuno; another figure left, who for Ryoma was Tomoka, since she was waving nonstop at Ryoma… as if he was going to wave back. Horio, Kato and Mizuno along with Sakuno and the other girl went towards the tennis court, when they were about to enter, the girl stopped.

"Hey, I don't think I'm allowed inside." Said Tatsue.

Sakuno remembered that non-club members were not allowed to go inside the court and frowned, "Oh, sorry, Tatsue-chan!"

Tatsue furrowed her brows, "Kya, yare, yare, Sakuno-chan. Don't frown like that. You'll have wrinkles at an early age and look ten times older if you continue that… Okay?"

Horio noticed that Sakuno blushed when Tatsue put her hand on her forehead.

"Okay." Sakuno replied with a smile so sweet.

"That's more like it, Saku-chan." The pigtailed girl smiled back, "I'll just watch from here, it's not like I'm going anywhere else."

Tatsue waved at Sakuno as she entered the tennis court, Sakuno replied with a curt nod.

"Oi, Sakuno-chan!" a familiar spiky haired Seigaku regular called Sakuno, who immediately went to where they were staying for a while, "Who's that girl?"

"Eh? Oh, you mean, Tatsue-chan?" she looked back at the girl who was now wearing a pink cap, "She's a friend of mine… why did you ask, Momo-chan-senpai?"

Inui suddenly popped out of nowhere, "What school is she from? Is she part of their tennis club?"

Sakuno shook her head, "Their school doesn't have a tennis club, Inui-senpai. Tatsue-chan came from Daidouji Gakuen High School, and she's the same year as I am…"

Inui seemed to be surprised when Sakuno said that Tatsue came from Daigaku, he started to scribble out information.

Oishi, who seemed to be a little interested in the conversation, asked, "They don't have a tennis club?"

"Yes, Oishi-senpai."

"It is practical for Daigaku not to have a tennis club." Said Inui, who now surprised Sakuno and the Seigaku regulars, "Daigaku is a very old style school, so normally, they will not allow such new type of sports to enter their system. Though, from I heard they were going to start some new clubs… what were their purpose?"

"Ano… I'm not really sure, but they were looking for grandmother…" murmured Sakuno, Tatsue hadn't told her about this kind of stuff about Daigaku…

"NYA!" exclaimed Kikumaru, as if he's gotten a jackpot, "Maybe they'll ask Ryuzaki-sensei to leave Seigaku and be their coach-"

Sakuno stood up, "No!"

The regulars were taken by surprise; it was not always that Sakuno would shout like that. Ryoma looked at Sakuno beneath his cap, she looked almost like she was insulted.

"That's not it… I know… Tatsue-chan would never do that… besides… Tatsue-chan is already a member in a club… and it's not tennis!"

"Hey, chill, Sakuno-chan…" Momoshiro tapped the young girl's shoulder, "It's not like that, isn't it, Eiji-senpai?"

Kikumaru waved his hands, signaling that it was nothing more than a joke, "Nya, don't be upset, Sakuno-chan!"

The glassed senpai scribbled something once more in his green notebook, "Is that so? What club is it?"

"Inui-senpai!" Sakuno frowned.

"Yare, yare, such persistent guys." A sarcastic unfamiliar voice to the Seigaku regulars answered.

"Tatsue-chan! Ano… I thought you didn't want to come inside…"

Tatsue looked like she forgot something then suddenly remembered it, "Oh, yeah, I forgot…" then stuck her tongue out a bit, "My bad, well, gotta take my leave then. Excuse me." She curtsied as if mocking the act and hopped almost half-way to the exit when Inui called her.

"Wait! You're from Daigaku, right?"

Tatsue looked at Inui then at her uniform and replied, "I'm wearing my ID which says I'm studying at Daigaku… then it must mean I am from Daigaku. Right?"

Oishi stared at her incredulously and asked Sakuno, "Is she always like this?"

"Well, she is." Replied Sakuno with a smile.

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A/N: WOAH at my attempt at Prince of Tennis. Disclaimer blahblahblah, we all know this isn't mine, etc etc etc… beware of Mary Sues! By the way, I am thanking the author of Crimson Rose Petals as my inspiration in making my first PoT fanfiction!

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