A/N: Y'know, I really enjoy reading fics that make Sakuno interact with students and regulars from other schools, so I decided to write one too. This is a multi-chapter fic that imparts Sakuno's not too peaceful life as, well, Ryuzaki Sakuno. First off, Seigaku regulars! Then I will do one for Hyotei, and Rikkaidai, St. Rudolph –continues rambling to no one-… OHOHOHO!!!
DISCLAIMER: Takeshi Konomi owns the manga and its characters. I, however, merely own this fic.
ALTERNATE SUMMARY: With a series of strange and unexpected events happening one after another, Sakuno discovers her life in middle school was never meant to be as calm as still waters, especially when she makes friends with more bishies! And what about Ryoma? (Multi Sakuno pairings, both platonic and romantic)
© Doctor Meowzie
Seigaku: A Date and Some Stalking Senpai-tachi
The day was Friday, when the regulars of the Seishun Gakuen boys' tennis club were to practice for two hours after dismissal at school. As expected from a team of middle school boys who just so happen to get to the Nationals as the best in the region, they held practice matches among themselves. Of course, those they call practice matches won't seem like just practice matches to any passerby who never knew of the team's reputation, or at least how they played tennis.
"Nya, Fuji! You're going easy on us aren't ya?"
Kikumaru Eiji whined in the middle of a doubles match between Oishi-Kikumaru pair and Kawamura-Fuji pair. Oishi came up to Eiji and put a hand on his partner's shoulder, giving him a look that Eiji immediately understood as "We'll just have to play seriously to get them to be serious too, right?"
"Yosh! Let's do it, Oishi!"
While the doubles match began to heat up, a figure at the other court sprang to the air a good eight feet above the ground and slammed his racket against the ball that bounced on the ground with a loud, forceful 'THUD!'
Momoshiro's feet easily met the ground as he raised his index finger and grinned, "Don!"
His opponent looked at the crease the ball had left on the ground before saying, "Hmm… that was a nice one, Momo-senpai."
Momoshiro grinned at Echizen once again and said, "Of course it is, Echizen! Of course it is –"
A stray tennis ball hit him at the back of his head, cutting off whatever cool thing he attempted to say to come out of his mouth. Highly irritated, he whipped around and furiously pointed his racket to the suspect who he knew too well from all the strangely similar instances that occurred in the past.
"Oi! Watch where your Boomerang Snake is landing, Mamushi!"
The person he addressed his yammering merely stood his side of the other court and retorted, "Like I make the smallest effort to hit you, porcupine head."
"Why you –"
"Momo-senpai, it's almost time to go."
The rascal of Seigaku tennis club "Che"-ed towards Kaidoh's direction before turning back to his freshman kouhai.
"Oh well. Let's grab a bite at the burger joint afterwards, shall we?"
Ryoma nodded towards him as they assembled with the other club members gathered near the entrance of the courts to be dismissed by their captain.
Fuji inwardly shook his head.
For his project to be a success, he needs more material than just trees or flowers in the portrait. Hmm…
"Hey, Fuji-senpai! Would you like to join us at the burger joint afterwards?" Momoshiro called out to the currently deep-in-thought tensai.
Eiji popped out somewhere behind Momoshiro. "Come on, Fujiko-chan! I don't want to be the only one paying for his kohai's meals as a senpai!"
He merely smiled his usual and replied, "Iie, gomen. I have… more important things to do."
As the senior acrobat pouted at the misfortune that has been brought down on him, Momo and Echizen dragged him out of the club room with evil grins on their faces.
He was still deep in thought while walking around the campus courts, silently taking in his surroundings to see which among them best fit the theme chosen for his photography project. Aside from the school tennis club, Fuji was also affiliated with the neighborhood photography studio and also took part in a project the members came up with, choosing the spring season as a theme for their photo album compilation (it was spring after all, hence the theme). Then they were to display them or whatever productive activity the studio manager had planned out of the project.
It would be nice to include sakura trees, and maybe a panoramic view of the city during the season… or even include snapshots of the spring festival…
Just as he turned a corner did he spot someone sitting on the bench near the gym entrance.
That someone also happened to spot him at the same time.
As he thought of more ideas for his project, he smiled.
'Hm… I wonder if Tomo-chan's having trouble with her brothers again…'
The freshman granddaughter of the tennis team coach had been waiting for her grandmother to finish her work so they could go home together. It was Friday after all, and she could just do her homework during the weekend. She sat peacefully on a bench with her bag sitting beside her when she heard footsteps approaching.
Just then Fuji Syusuke appeared and saw her as well.
Sakuno blinked when her senpai stared at her through those perpetually closed eyes of his, and blinked again when he smiled.
"Hello, Ryuzaki-chan. Waiting for Sumire-chan?"
"Ah…" – she briefly wondered how her obaa-san will react once she hears that name – "hai!" She continued to watch as her gentle senpai sat down beside her. "Anou… I thought all the senpai-tachi already went home, Fuji-senpai…"
"Hai, I'm on my way home. Just looking around for something…" He looked contemplative for a moment before he continued, now with a brighter smile on his face. "Say Ryuzaki-chan, are you busy tomorrow?"
"Hm?" She tilted her head to the side. "Ah… I think obaa-san wants me to help out here tomorrow morning. Why?"
"We have practice tomorrow morning, so I guess you'll be free in the afternoon?" Fuji inquired, and Sakuno nodded timidly.
"Well then… I have a favor to ask you."
Near the noon of the next day, after the Saturday practice has ended, Ryoma, sipping from his can of grape Ponta, was about to walk home with Momo-senpai when something unexpectedly piqued his interest.
He watched as a few distance away, Fuji-senpai was talking to Ryuzaki Sakuno and, after a brief conversation, the two walked together.
He barely freaked out when an arm slowly wrapped around his neck and the owner of it brought his weight down along with him. Like him, Eiji also seemed to be surprised by what he just saw. "Nyah, was that Fuji? With Ryuzaki-chan?"
Ryoma grit his teeth when another arm slung around his neck and spoke up, "Yeah, and I swear I saw her blushing, Eiji-senpai. I swear I do. Right, Echizen?"
The freshman regular glared full blast at Momoshiro, who seemed annoyingly unaffected. Damn.
"Hoi hoi! And I thought Ochibi here was Ryuzaki-chan's favorite… Oh well! Too bad! Now you all know what this means!"
Momo raised his fist in the air. "HELLYEAH! STALKING TIME!"
Kawamura, along with Kaidoh, walked to them from behind and asked, "Hey guys, what's all the fuss about?"
"Fssh… What idiot would find stalking such a wonderful job, I wonder…"
"HUH? You said something, Mamushi?"
"Like what, spikehead?"
"GRR WHY I OUGHT TO –"
"Oi! Kaidoh, Momo! Stop that, nyah! Anyway…" Eiji turned to Kawamura and held up an index finger for emphasis. "Taka-san, did you see that? Fujiko-chan was walking with Ryuzaki-chan!"
"Eh? Fuji was?"
"Uh-huh! And who knows what Fuji was planning, going out with our cute little Ryuzaki-chan, what with his scary nature and all --"
Ryoma partly spat out the amount of soda he drank. "Going out?"
Eiji crossed his arms thoughtfully (Ryoma thanked whoever was watching from above that his senpai finally got off him) and continued, "Yeah Taka-san – and I think Ochibi here repeated 'going out' like a jealous boyfriend – but anyway, we're going to stalk them like we normally do!"
Ryoma glared real hard. Unfortunately for him, Eiji seemed unaffected as well. Damn, where the HELL did all his golden glaring powers go?!
Taka-san scratched the back of his head and chuckled, "Stalking again? But surely nothing bad will happen. This is Fuji we're talking about, after all –"
"Hmm… at least now I am able to point out a whole page of proven data on Fuji, 67 of which are deemed true… Splendid." Now the horrible, spine-shaking gleam and 'TING!' reflected on his glasses looked like a short yet unbearable horror movie to the other regulars. Inui wrote across the page in a ridiculously swift manner and, as Eiji tried to take a peek on what he was writing, abruptly closed the notebook. ("Almost, nyah!" ejaculated the hyperactive acrobat, earning him a pat on the back from Momo as he said "Maybe next time, senpai.")
"Now, everybody stalk."
"But Inui," Kawamura hesitated for a moment, not noticing the racket that dropped to his hands out of nowhere, "I really think we shouldn't – LOVELYYYYYYYYYY!!! COME ON EVERYBODY, STALKING IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH! BUUUUUUUUUUURNING!!!"
When Kaidoh thought that turning on his heel and making a 500 km/h dash for his life was pretty safe, Inui just HAD to shove a mug containing some eerily alien green mixture of bubbling slime under his nose.
His ears did not fail him. He knew they were stalking.
They were sitting across each other at an open coffee shop and he was positive he heard a 'Fssh', a 'Shh', and a 'Mada mada dane' somewhere behind Sakuno. The tiniest hint of something close to a sadistic smile made its way to his calm face. Ah, the torture days have come once again. Too bad, fellas. You're going to suffer.
"Eh?" The girl who sat in front of him, munching on her pretzels, looked around with her eyebrows creased. Somewhat wary of the idea of her senpai-tachi possibly stalking them, she glanced nervously at her companion. "Anou… Fuji-senpai? I think I heard Kawamura-senpai…"
"Oh?" Amused, the tennis prodigy smiled at his little kohai and shook his head. "I didn't quite hear him… I only heard a 'Fssh'."
Sakuno's mouth formed an 'O' and smiled at her senpai. If the rest of the senpai-tachi didn't bother Fuji Syusuke, then she might as well try her best not to be disturbed by them as well. She fidgeted a little as she tried to start a conversation, hoping her voice wouldn't stutter horribly.
"Hm?" Fuji smiled at her warmly, urging her to continue. She blushed. Oh, she was SO cute!
"I-I hope you… don't mind me asking you… but why did you choose me to help for your photo shoot…?"
The senior set his cup of coffee down on the table and directed his gaze ahead, past Sakuno, right at the cliché bushes that loyally served as their hiding place ever since the stalking season, initially suggested of Momo and seconded by Eiji, began. Damn, every time the regulars decide to spend their time stalking (or as Inui would call it, 'reconnoitering'), there would always, ALWAYS be a bush to hide their butts in and save the day.
Fuji averted his gaze to Sakuno and leaned closer. That definitely earned him an innocent blush from his kohai, who was beet red to the tip of her twin braids. He playfully smiled and said, "Aw, Ryuzaki-chan. You're just too adorable."
Ryoma's temple vein twitched. Hmm… was there even a visible vein there before? Oh well… it's just that, he actually noticed his vein twitching. As if he was irritated like mad. Duh, how could he NOT be irritated? Fuji-senpai, 3rd year, Seigaku regular, tennis prodigy, developer of the Triple Counters, and most of all notoriously dubbed as The Sadist was deliberately railing his temper. Wait, scratch that. He was NOT angry. Just irritated. Fuji-senpai was obviously flirting with her, with Ryuzaki! Ryuzaki of all people! Of all cute girls in the world, why oh WHY did Ryuzaki go on a date with him?
Wait. Pause – rewind that.
Fuji-senpai was obviously flirting with her, with Ryuzaki! Ryuzaki of all people! Of all cute girls in the world, why oh WHY did Ryuzaki go on a date with him?
Now why did that pop out of his noodle?
He inwardly 'GRRR'-ed in fury. Fuji-senpai really was a sadist. Now if he can only jump out from the bushes and scream murder at that angelic face…
"Ochibi nya, you look troubled," Eiji glanced at the freshman regular with a tilt of his head, "Ah, but of course! How could I forget? A third party is getting in the way of young love!"
YOUNG LOVE HIS ASS!
And why on earth was this 'Nya Nya'-ing earthling blabbering about that crap now?
"Fear not, Echizen," Momo placed his hands on Ryoma's shoulders, attempting to look like a sagely old man who was passing his wisdom unto the generation that will take over the future. "You need not hide that trembling jealousy of yours, for I, we, your senpai-tachi, are here to cheer you on!"
Ryoma's golden eyes widened. He? Hide? Trembling jealousy?! Now what the HELL—
"Sou, sou, Ochibi! We are all RyoSaku shippers here, you know! We're practically lending you the full extent of our support!"
"Eiji-senpai, what on EARTH are you talking about?" Ryoma had to cover his ears
"Don't complain, Echizen. Don't complain," Momoshiro held him in a playful headlock. "We are all full-fledged RyoSaku fans—"
Kawamura, in all his burning glory with a racket in hand, waved it wildly around, causing the bushes to shake loudly. He then pointed it towards Eiji and Momo before proclaiming, "THAT 'ALL' DOESN'T INCLUDE ME, BABY! IMMA PUREBLOOD FUJISAKU FAN!"
The two RyoSaku dudes stared at him. They stared for a little more, then looked at each other with similar unreadable looks on their faces.
"Hey Momo, do you think they even have a fanbase?"
The dunk master shook his head. "Impossible, Eiji-senpai, definitely impossible."
Two heads nodded solemnly.
"I feel the need to say, Taka-san, that your opinion is the same as mine."
Eiji once again screamed due to Inui's sudden butting in on other people's conversation. Honestly, that data man with inhumane handwriting speed is NOT human. He can actually beat all the most updated gossip mongers (more than half of which are girls definitely) with his insanely overqualified reconnoitering-slash-stalking skills that includes a brain as sharp as (or even sharper) than Einstein's, ears that might truly be described as overly sensitive, muscled legs that can send him flying to almost any place where he hears tennis-player-related issues, and most of all, his juice-making abilities that serves as his most terrifying weapon as of yet. Kami-sama, why did someone like Sadaharu Inui ever exist and live to torment him of all people?
"So you mean, Inui senpai…" Momo slowly raised a shaking finger at the data man.
Oh no, it's that horrible sunlight-reflects-eye glasses effect again. Isn't THAT so cliché…
Inui adjusted his glasses and smiled pleasantly. "Yes, I am a FujiSaku fan."
Four men literally burned amidst their auras.
"…this means war."
Ryoma looked at them as if they were those aura-emitting entities in DBZ who happen to land to the Tenipuri world. 'Sayan', were they? He sighed. Yes, this was Seigaku. Seishun Gakuen, whose regulars' team had to go through dramatically tough times, like members turning up horribly late for helping a pregnant woman/drowning cat coincidentally right before the start of official matches (which happen too many times), members being overran and stalked by rabid drooling fangirls, a certain member experiencing some sort of amnesia on an unexpected day, members suffering from several doses of several odd juices, and some other instances he couldn't really remember.
Now where was he? Ah yes… he was supposed to concentrate on Fuji-senpai. Fuji-senpai made him angry – er, annoyed him – so Fuji-senpai shall pay. He was doing some taunting in front of his very own eyes, that sadistic –
Wait a minute… why was he angry/annoyed, you ask?
The young Echizen blinked.
He really didn't know.
All he knew was that he wanted Sakuno to get away from where she was as soon as possible.
He pulled the edge of his cap lower and muttered, "This really is troublesome, neh, Kaidoh-senpai?"
Good ol' Kaidoh had been quietly 'Fssh'-ing the whole time. He too thought all their fanboying (he knew there was a word 'fangirling', but well, they are boys) crap as troublesome plus embarrassing. He'll bet anything they were the first ever fanboys to exist in the Tenipuri fandom. Wait, to exist in the what?
He crossed his arms and replied, "Yeah."
Ryoma suddenly looked up when he saw Eiji jump out of the bushes, out into the open.
"Oh crap, the targets escaped!"
They arrived at the studio around half past two in the afternoon.
"Welcome to Sayonji Studios and Photographers' Guild, Ryuzaki-chan."
Sakuno looked at the sign of the name of the studio before following her senpai inside.
A woman who looked like in her mid-twenties and was sitting behind a desk full of folders and albums looked at the newly arrived students and greeted them with an ear-to-ear grin.
"Good afternoon, Fuji-san. I see you brought someone over –" smiling, she glanced at Sakuno, and what was supposed to be a brief, welcoming gaze became a long one as the woman's eye's widened, "—Oh my GOSH! You must be Fuji-san's girlfriend! You are SOOOOOO adorable!!!" She tried reaching out to pinch the blushing Ryuzaki's cheeks but failed to do so when Fuji stopped her with a wave of his hand.
"Don't get too hyped up, Kihoshi-san. I brought her along because she's helping me with my own share of the project."
The woman grinned brightly. "Oh really? You really are a tensai, neh, Fuji-san? You chose a really cute girlfriend too! Well, have a good time and enjoy!"
Sakuno was about to correct the woman's Sakuno-is-Fuji's-girlfriend notion when she noticed Fuji's hand on her shoulder. She glanced at him as he whispered, "Give it up, Ryuzaki-chan. That woman's really hyper when it comes to these things, she might probably not listen to any corrections we'll tell her. Come on now."
Soon they entered a room (unsurprisingly full of lights, custom backgrounds, mirrors and cameras) where they placed their bags. Sakuno watched as Fuji pulled out a large paper bag and handed it to her. Judging from the softness of the bulk, it must be what she was supposed to wear for the pictorial. 'Pictorial? Is this for real?' she thought as she looked at the bundle in her arms.
"You'll wear that kimono, Ryuzaki-chan. I think it'll look good on you."
"Anou… i-is it okay for me to…?"
"Hai," he patted her head affectionately. "Don't worry. My older sister let us borrow it. She only said she wants to see the pictures once they're developed as her condition."
Fuji smiled at her. "Well then. I'll leave you here to change. Meet me at the backyard; it's only there behind that door." He pointed at a white door at the far end of the hallway.
"Okay," she smiled back.
Her senpai closed the door and she looked at the paper bag. Fuji-senpai said it was his older sister's kimono. Though she didn't know how his sister's face looks like, Sakuno was quite sure that she was beautiful. The trait might've run in the family. She pulled out the kimono and slightly gasped.
It was so simple, yet beautiful.
"Great, now where are those two?!"
"Well, it's not our fault we lost the target, nyah, Momo?"
"There is an eighty-seven point six probability that Fuji made sure we were distracted before doing the great escape."
"MOERUZE! IT'S NOT LIKE WE CAN'T FIND THEM! BUUUUUUUUUURNING!!!"
"Yeah, let's go! Let us stop Fujiko-chan's interruption of the RyoSakuzation of events once and for all nyah!"
"That's really annoying Mamushi! And what side are you on anyway?"
"Why the hell are you matchmaking Ryuzaki-sensei's granddaughter?"
"Who cares! Echizen will perpetually owe us one day on this one, neh Echizen?"
"ECHIZEN! SAY SOMETHING!"
He wore a satisfied smile on his face as he gazed at the camera he was holding. It was a good thing he joined the Photographers' Guild. And to think there was an area full of cherry blossom trees and greenery here… absolutely convenient.
Even though the backyard of the studio was a public place, not many people visited the area, which was a good thing. He needed to take wonderful photos and place them in his and the club's collection, all of which featuring his cute little kohai dressed in a pretty kimono. Aw, he really was excited.
Glancing over his shoulder, he was surprised to see two of the other Seigaku regulars coming towards him. So he wasn't the only one who knew of the place…
"Oishi. Tezuka." He nodded in greeting. "What brings you here?"
"We were just walking around," answered Oishi. He noticed the camera that Fuji was carrying. "Ah, so you'll be taking shots now?"
"Hai. I'm doing a major project at the studio," Fuji tipped his head to the building in front of them, "you two can be our spectators, if you want."
"Sou ka," Oishi said appreciatively, "How about it, Tezuka?"
The tennis club captain nodded his head, his face as stoic as usual. "It's fine. I don't mind."
"Well then, let's wait a little more…"
Oishi raised both his eyebrows and inquired, "Who're we waiting for?"
The door to the inside of the building opened and revealed a pretty Sakuno clad in a pale pink kimono, the hem of which were a darker shade until the color faded into a lighter one towards the upper portion, and bore miniscule floral prints. The red obi was wrapped neatly around her small figure. The kimono was the only noticeable change in her appearance, since she still maintained her two braids and hair clip.
The thing is… SHE'S SO CUTE!
"You look beautiful, Ryuzaki-chan." Fuji complimented her with a smile. She blushed at this, muttered an embarrassed 'Thank you' and glanced at the other two senapi-tachi.
"Tezuka-senpai? Oishi-senpai?" She blinked at the tall senpai-tachi, not remembering them to be involved with the work.
Fuji smiled at her. "They just happened to pass by, Ryuzaki-chan, and I invited them to watch… if you don't mind."
"Iie, it's… it's okay, senpai." Though deep down, she was incredibly nervous.
"Let's get to work, shall we?"
Being the gentleman he is, Fuji walked her home after the pictorial ended. Back then, he knew Sakuno had been nervous with Tezuka and Oishi around, although she did a pretty good job in front of the camera. After all, he had just felt sharing the satisfaction of seeing what fleeting view was to be preserved in a photograph to Oishi and Tezuka.
"Anou, Fuji-senpai. We're already here. Thank you for walking me home." She stood in front of their gates and bowed deeply to him.
He patted her head, smiling warmly at her. "Iie, thank you, Ryuzaki-chan. You really were a big help for this. Oh, and would you mind calling me 'Syusuke' from now on?"
"Eh?" Sakuno blushed lightly and stared at her senpai with wide eyes. "Th-then… well, sure, Syu-Syusuke-senpai." Then she suddenly smiled happily at him. "And Syusuke-senpai can call me 'Sakuno' too! Because… anou…"
"Uh… because I consider Syusuke-senpai my friend!" She looked at him with a determined face.
Fuji momentarily opened his eyes to reveal surprised blue eyes. Then he smiled again, finding the face she was making cute. 'Sakuno, Sakuno, you're so much like a child.'
"I'm glad that Sakuno-chan thinks I'm her friend." Sakuno looked at him like a child who first saw Santa Claus. Fuji was looking at her with open eyes, indicating he was serious though his voice was soft. "I too consider Sakuno-chan my friend. So do the rest of the regulars in my opinion."
Those words were all it took to make the smile on her face brighten even more. She had always idolized the boys' tennis club regulars, and here was Syusuke-senpai telling her that the others also thought of her as a friend. Fuji patted her on the head once more and told her to go to her grandmother already. Bowing to her friend, Sakuno bade him a 'Good bye!' and went inside their residence.
Fuji chuckled and turned to walk towards the direction of his home, happily saying to no one in particular, "Sakuno-chan is really adorable."
A/N: You know, Sakuno-chan can look good in a photograph even without make-up. Wonder how the photographs look like? WELL, you'll have to wait and see! Next up: St. Rudolph regulars' turn to cross paths with our dear little Sakuno! This first chappie maybe quite peaceful, but don't even think that the Seigaku regulars were the only ones who knew of and witnessed Fuji and Sakuno's little date! (hint hint) Haha! Thanks for reading! Please review and don't flame!