More to Life
Summary: Injury, the one thing that can cause any athlete to retire young. Injury is what caused the present captain of Seigaku's tennis club to stop playing his game. Now all he had was his lost dream. Is there anything more to life than tennis? Ryoma Echizen didn't think so, and so he became a wanderer or was planning to when he met someone who showed him that there was more to life…
It's been almost three years since Ryoma met Tia. Three years since he found more to his life than tennis. Three years since he found the passion of his life and the person of his dreams. His photography became the center of his life but it wasn't his only focus. His main focus would be the person who introduced the art world to him.
Tia Fujimaru was his girl friend of two years and to this day he was happy to be with her. After a few months of dating the girls of Seigaku finally let the couple be. Tia would tell him of the antics that some girls went through just cause they were jealous of her and she would always laugh wholeheartedly.
He loved that about her because he knew how much of a burden being associated with him could be especially since she was a girl. The fact that she laughed it off every time was something that he would always appreciate. She never got jealous and always trusted him. It was always something he couldn't understand but knew not to question it.
Sitting there he found himself staring at her and couldn't help but smile. She was just as beautiful as ever and in her little outfit. They were sitting in her room and she was busy sketching away while he watched her. "What are you looking at?" asked Tia without taking her eyes off her sketch pad.
"Nothing just you," he said as he quirked his head to the right so that he could look at her better.
"Stop it Ryo, I wanna get this one right for the competition," said Tia as she reached out her left hand and turned his face back to it's original pose.
"You know, you'd think after all these years you'd be able to find a new subject," said Ryoma as he smirked at her. She looked over her sketch pad and raised her brows.
"You getting too full of yourself again?" she asked with a smile. He smirked again as he leaned forward and pulled her head down to his. With a quick kiss he got his wanted effect, quickly caused her to stammer.
"Yeah I think I am, and you don't seem to mind," he said with a wolfish grin.
"Oh shut up you jerk and get back into the pose!" said Tia as she threw her pillow at him. He caught it and dropped it on the bed. He turned back into the position that Tia put him into. The cushion that was already in his lap cushioned his elbow as he held his face with the same arm that was resting on the cushion. His head was tilted to the left with his hat slightly ajar.
"That better?" he asked as he eyed her. His hazel eyes gazed into her. She blinked once to get out of his trance and got back to work. She was almost done and couldn't wait to go to the institute and hand in her submission. Since this was her last competition before heading to university she wanted to hand it in personally.
"You're coming with me right?" asked Tia as she put in her final touches.
"Where?" asked Ryoma as he watched her eyes move at the same moment as her hand.
"To the institution, this competition is the last one for this year before summer. I wanted to hand it in personally instead of sending it. Besides you still have to give in your submission don't you?" asked Tia as she put her pad down and admired her work.
"I already did," said Ryoma as he crawled over to her and looked at the picture.
"What?! When?" asked Tia.
"Yesterday. Dad and Ryoga were bugging me to take them to the institute and so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone," said Ryoma.
"Oh why didn't you tell me? Then I guess you don't need to come," said Tia with a sigh.
"What are you talking about? Of course I'll come, I want to be there when you hand it in, so when you win I'll be able to say that I was there with you," said Ryoma as he wrapped his arms around her waist and brought her into his lap. Resting his head on her shoulder he just sat.
Tia smiled as she rested her head on his shoulder and let out a sigh. "I love you Ryo, you're so sweet!" she giggled as she turned around in his lap and pecked him lightly before getting up from his lap.
"What that's all I get?" asked Ryoma as he looked at her.
"Yes, nothing in front of Sammy! He is watching," said Tia as she pointed to the frame. Ryoma looked at her twin brother and smiled sheepishly.
"Sorry Sammy. Since you don't like our mushy time how about I take your sister out of your line of vision so we can continue?" asked Ryoma he turned to her and pulled her up from the bed and took her right out from her room and pinned her up against the wall in the hall.
She let out a gasp as he brought his face closer to her. As he was coming closer she broke up into laughter. Ryoma twisted his face and stared at her.
"What?" he asked watching her intently.
"It's just I was thinking about that first time when we met and you were like a robot and now you're making the moves on me," said Tia as she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him before he could speak.
All his thoughts vanished when she touched her lips to his. His arms unconsciously went to her waist pulling her closer into him. He lost himself into her.
The couple jumped back when they heard Tia's brother yelling for her. They both let out a nervous gasp as they looked towards Takato's room and took a step away from each other.
"What?" yelled Tia as she looked down the hall in the general direction.
"Can you stop sucking face with Echizen and get the phone? Some lady from your art school," said Takato from inside his room.
"What?! Do you think it's for my admission?" asked Tia as she looked at Ryoma totally ignoring the 'sucking face' comment.
"Probably, you are amazing," said Ryoma as he pecked her quickly before pushing her towards Takato's room. "Well hurry up and go pick it up," said Ryoma when she glared at him.
"Oh right," said Tia as she ran into her brother's room. Ryoma watched her go and decided to go downstairs while she talked on the phone.
When he went into the kitchen he saw Sora Fujimaru sitting at the table looking through a slightly large book. When she heard the rustle at the entrance of the room and looked up. Her rimless glasses sliding down her nose. "Ryoma? Where's Tia?" she asked with a warm smile as she took off her reading glasses and put it on the book.
"She's upstairs with Takato. Someone called for her," said Ryoma as he sat down on the chair across from Sora.
"Oh well would you like something to drink or eat?" asked Sora as she got up.
"No thanks, I'm taking Tia out in a bit. She was just finishing her portrait for her entry submission," said Ryoma with a smile.
"Oh well then I guess she won't be home for dinner again tonight," said Sora in a teasing voice.
"Uh…well if that's okay," said Ryoma.
"Of course it's okay sweetie, you are one of the family now. You and Tia go have fun just don't stay out too late, remember you have your appointment with me tomorrow morning," said Sora.
"Yes ma'am I'll be there. I want to know what the situation is like," said Ryoma with a grin.
"You itching to play again?" asked Sora with a wide grin.
"Maybe, but I'm just—" A loud shriek ran through the house as Tia came thundering down the stairs looking for Ryoma. He turned towards the direction of the stairs and saw Tia's excited face and knew that she got it. He stood up anticipating the hug.
"I GOT IN! RYOMA I'M GOING TO BB ART INSTITUTE, with top honours and full scholarship!" she squealed as she hugged him.
"I'm so proud of you sweetie," said Sora with a proud smile.
"Yeah congratulations," said Ryoma as he kissed her quickly.
"Oh this is like a dream come true!" said Tia with a huge grin. She jumped up and down in Ryoma's arms.
"Well I guess this would be the best time to go drop off your sketches and then we can go for dinner in celebration, unless you want to come back and celebrate with the family," said Ryoma.
"I wanna go celebrate! Mama it's okay right?" asked Tia as she looked at her mom from Ryoma's arms.
"Of course it's fine we'll celebrate tomorrow night after we get the results for Ryoma's appointment. Our family and yours, Ryoma," said Sora with a smile.
"Sounds good to me," said Ryoma with a smile as he let go of Tia. "Tee go get your things and then we can go," said Ryoma.
"Okay I'll be right back!" said Tia as she ran off back up to her room to get her portfolio. Ryoma just smiled as he watched her go.
"Ryo come here! Come on look they put it back up!" said Tia as she tugged Ryoma through the public gallery of the BB Art Institute. They already handed in Tia's sketches and were welcomed by the founder of the institute. Tia had a long chat with the woman while Ryoma waited outside.
Now that they were done the formalities Tia and Ryoma decided to wander the art gallery. "I can't believe they put it back up," said Ryoma as he looked at the landscape picture he took when he first got the camera.
"Yeah this room is all on landscapes and seascapes, look they have the one you took last year, at the harbour," said Tia as she pulled him towards another picture.
"Well it's always awesome to see them up," said Ryoma.
"Yeah well you're awesome so of course it's awesome," said Tia as she linked her arms with his and walked along looking at other walls. They stopped at a painting of a little boy. Tia's eyes started to water, it always did when she saw it.
"Don't cry, he's smiling down at you right now."
"I know…it's just…he looks so……happy," she said with a smile as she looked at the painting of her brother Sammy. It was that painting that gave her the full scholarship. The lights and shades in the picture contrasted well and the goofy carefree look was just was added the perfect touch to the painting.
"He is happy, and you should be too, now let's go for dinner. After this last week of school we deserve it," said Ryoma. It was Friday night and they had a lot to celebrate. They finally graduated, Tia got into the school that she always wanted to and Ryoma was planning on telling her that he would be going there too.
By the end of the night Tia couldn't help the smile that was on her face. Ryoma and her would be going to the same school. He would study his photography while she did her art work. She couldn't even put into words how she was feeling. Everything was just so perfect for her and tomorrow they would find out if Ryoma's arm was healed or not.
Let out a content sigh they walked down the street hand in hand. Nothing could ruin their mood not even Ryoma's loudmouth father.
"Oi Chibisuke! What are you doing?! I thought you had the doctors appointment today?" asked Ryoga from the bottom of the stairs.
"Yeah, I'm coming!" said Ryoma as he rumbled down the stairs wearing his black hat crooked and a black and red baggy zip up hoodie and blue jeans.
Ryoga grinned at his little brother who looked rumpled and tired. "Long night?" asked Ryoga with a grin.
"Yeah because someone was loud all night long!" Ryoma glared at his brother.
"What are you talking about?" asked Ryoga.
"You and your stupid music. Why the hell did you have it up half the night?" asked Ryoma.
"Oh that? Well you see I have a match today and I always play music the night before it keeps me pumped. You should know that," said Ryoga.
"You don't have a match today. I know when you do so I wear the ear plugs," said Ryoma with a grumble.
"Oh yeah it was last minute. Just a friendly match against my old rival," said Ryoga.
"Old rival?" asked Ryoma with curiosity.
"Oh don't worry about it, you should get going! I'll be there with the old man in a bit okay, good luck!" Ryoga shoved Ryoma out the door and slammed it with a satisfied grin.
Ryoma grumbled but left. He was on his way to the hospital to get a consultation on his injuries that he sustained three years ago. The pain that used to be there was gone now but he never knew if he'd be able to play yet. He wasn't sure if he wanted to play anymore even if he could.
"There's only one way to find out," he muttered as he walked down the street. He already called Tia and told her to get a ride with her mom, and he would meet her there. He wanted time to think and that was what he was going to do.
He had a lot to plan and couldn't wait to get it started. He was once know widely across the tennis world and could become known world wide once again. But know he was becoming a growing name in the art world. His pictures were becoming sought after and it was something he never thought could happen to him.
The institute always called him for new photo's to publish into their gallery and post it online. It was something that was still new to him and he loved every minute of it.
When he finally walked up to the hospital he was satisfied and thought through the scenario of his arm. If it was healed but he couldn't play then he'd still be happy. And if he could play, well…then he'd have the choice of playing.
Walking into the lobby he saw Tia sitting patiently and she jumped up from her seat when she saw him. "Ryoma come on I want to get this over with! I just know you're all healed up," said Tia with a smile.
"Yeah, where's your mom?" asked Ryoma.
"She's working on another patient but she'll be done in a bit let's go into the waiting room," said Tia.
"Tee shouldn't we ask the receptionist to get up a room first?" asked Ryoma.
"Oh don't worry about that I already set it all up while I was waiting for you," said Tia with a bright smile.
"You're really excited for this?" asked Ryoma.
"Of course, I just know you'll be able to play and I want to see you play," said Tia.
"What?" asked Ryoma with a shocked look on his face.
"Yeah I want to see you play, after all I've never seen you play before," said Tia with a brilliant smile that reached Ryoma's face.
"Okay well then let's go," said Ryoma as he grabbed her hand and let her lead the way.
"Okay Ryoma we've got the results," said Sora and another doctor as they entered the room again after all the tests with results.
Ryoma closed his eyes waiting for what they had to say next. He opened up his eyes and saw two smiling eyes and grinning faces. "You're arm seems to have healed back to perfect health. With your own statements it's safe to say that you can play once again," said Sora with a brimming smile.
"So that means……I can play tennis again?" asked Ryoma.
"Yes, there is nothing stopping you from playing anymore," said Sora.
"Oh this is so great come on Ryo let's go find Eiji-nii and get him to have a match with you!" said Tia as she pulled him out of the room.
"Thanks Dr Fujimaru, this is just…lots to take in," said Ryoma before being dragged out of the room.
"Come on Ryo hurry up we have—" Tia smacked right into someone mid-sentence and stumbled back. Ryoma steadied her and looked at the person who bumped into Tia.
"Aniki what are you doing here?" asked Ryoma with a glare.
"Is that any way to great the family? Eh you brat?" asked Nanjirou as he stood beside his elder son. Ryoma looked them both over and saw that they were wearing tennis clothes both of them.
"Why are you dressed like that Oiyaji? And where's mom?" asked Ryoma.
"Your mother is at work right now but she'll be here for the dinner with the Fujimaru's. Now let's get going we do have a match to get started," said Nanjirou.
"Why are we going to Aniki's match? I don't want to watch," said Ryoma.
"We're going to your match Chibisuke! Now come on you have to get changed unless you want to play in jeans," said Ryoga.
"Play…? I'm playing?" asked Ryoma.
"Yeah you know my old rival always was you, now let's get going!" said Ryoga with a grin as he took his brother's arm and pulled it off of Tia.
"Hey I'm coming too!" said Tia. And she ran after them with delight and excitement.
"Hello and welcome to Tennis weekly. We bring you a special program today. Going into the world of our future generation we have a guest from the past tennis world. Echizen Ryoma is finally healed and can now play tennis once again. It's been a week now since doctors have said that he's able to play to his full potential, so we wanted to ask him personally what he future goals are for one of the young tennis players who was once deemed the best. So let's call him out, ECHIZEN RYOMA!"
Ryoma walked out onto the stage and shook hands with the host. After sitting down the host got right to it.
"Okay Echizen-kun we want to know what are your plans? Are you planning on storming the tennis world once again?" asked Matsuri the host of the show.
"Well I'm not sure yet. I know now that I have a choice between tennis and my new passion which I've grown fond of."
"Speaking of which we've heard that the Echizen pictures have become quite the rave in the art world," said Matsuri.
"Yeah that's what I've come to love now, in the past three years all I had was photography and I actually really good at it. Tennis was something that I was pushed into as a kid cause of my father, but my only goal for tennis was to beat him. And I accomplished that a long time ago, so I don't know if I'll be 'storming the tennis world once again,'" said Ryoma with a grin.
Gasps were heard in the audience. "So you mean tennis isn't in your near future?" asked Matsuri.
"Well it will still be apart of my life, but someone very dear to me showed me that there is more to life than tennis. And she was right, because I've fallen in love with my photography and don't think I'd be able to be the same without it," said Ryoma.
"So that's it then? Tennis is not your main part in life?" asked Matsuri.
"Nope and neither is Photography but it does win out over tennis."
"So what is the main part of your life then?" asked Matsuri.
"The main part…? Well she is the person who brought me into the world of photography and the person I love most," he said with a wide grin as he looked into the audience seeing Tia's face in total shock.
Matsuri looked in the same direction and saw Tia's face and knew he was talking about her. He motioned the camera to aim it at her. When Tia saw herself on the screen she let out a gasp as her hand came up to her mouth.
"Yup that's her, Tia Fujimaru. She's been with me through thick and thin and I don't think I'd have been able to get through these past few years without her," said Ryoma.
"Ryoma you idiot!" Tia whispered as she looked at camera with a fake smile.
"Well that was unexpected but we'll keep an ear out for any of your tennis matches in the future! Well thank you for coming on the show!" said Matsuri as he rose to shake hands with Ryoma. Ryoma shook his hand and then the camera shut off.
Ryoma walked into the audience and took Tia in his arms. "Sorry," he whispered into her ear knowing she didn't want to be on camera.
"It's okay you jerk, I'm just happy that you even mentioned me on the show as the person you love most. You're the sweetest!" she said with a smile as she tipped up her head and kissed him soundly.
He smiled into the kiss and pulled her closer to him. He lost himself in her like he always did and couldn't help but love it. Tia was by his side, he had a promising future ahead of him with his photography and he could always pick up tennis if he ever wanted to.
Life was finally perfect for him and he found more than he ever thought he'd ever have…all thanks to one person. The one person who was in his arms at that very moment and he vowed never to let her go.
She was the missing piece that he needed so desperately to find. The part of him that she always told him he would find one day. Little did they know that she was everything and more in his life.
Looking into her eyes he knew, that there was…
More to life…
THE END FOR REAL!!
A/N: Well this epilogue was always in my head but I just never got around to it. And cause I got a review a day or two ago asking me to write more stories—I think for prince of tennis—I thought how about I put up the epilogue that you all asked for. I hope you liked it! And just to let you know if you couldn't figure it out Ryoma and Tia graduated and are 18 years old in this chapter! Well thanks for reading and review one last time please!