I know I have lazed around in this story, but I wish to be forgiven! Accept this as a peace offering! (wink wink) Sorry!





"I totally saw it, nyah!"

Ugh. Eiji-senpai.

"No lies! I swear to my death, nyah!" Kikumaru Eiji enthusiastically said, his eyes glowing in innocence. His mouth was slightly ajar, adding effect to his dramatical face as his eyebrows raised as high as it can. "I totally did and you wouldn't believe it!" he had his hands up in thin air, waving it for more attention. "Or maybe you would, considering that we are talking about Ochibi here, but still."

Ryuuzaki Sumire rubbed the bridge of her nose. Eiji was simply too energetic for her age. And mind. She could comprehend the boy, even if she tried. Well, most of the Seigaku Tennis male players all were. Prodigies and Tensais in their own, unique—(ehem!)Weird(ehem!)—way. Really.

"Enough rambling, Eiji. Tell us what you saw." The stern smooth and manly voice of Tezuka-buchou stood out from all the other compliments the other males were making. Ah, it must feel so good to have that leading slash commanding persona. So cool, Tezuka-buchou, so cool!

Eiji pouted slightly and dropped his arms just a little low, huffed and grinned, a sense of pride overflowing in his eyes. For Ryoma, his red headed senpai looked like, dare he say it—having fun sitting on that chair. He knew thanks to his honed observation skills that the acrobatic tennis-playing, though more childlike than he was, man like eyes and ears attuned at him. And as Ryoma looked at his senpai who was now on the hot seat a.k.a. the witness chair, he finally made a decision as he diagnosed him with 'Attention overdose'—

The red-head rolled his eyes playfully, "Well, if you really like, as in really, really like to know, then…" she stopped and grinned blindingly and freakishly before he continued saying, "I'll have no choice but to tell you, nyah!"

—and that he was simply loving every moment of it. Ryoma hid his face on his palms. The tight knot that was forming on his stomach said one thing: embarrassment. Lots of it.



It was a hot day.

The perfect excuse to go to the mall and enjoy its very cool air-conditioning.

And that was just what Kikumaru Eiji was going to do as he happily clicked his cell phone off. He had invited his best friend (shh! It's not supposed to go around. For Eiji loved to think that he treats his friends equally even though he preferred the company of the fish-loving man. But anyway, he preferred that nobody ever got jealous because his presence was just… captivating people to surround and revolve around him. Right.) slash doubles partner to go with him and stroll around the mall and maybe play arcade.

He was about to skip off silently out of the house when one of his sisters caught him and had swindled him into buying her… female stuff. Not that Eiji minded he was so used being tricked into buying things the Alpha male shouldn't be seen buying that it seemed so natural for him to be inside the sweet scented and very female store. He metrically walked towards a hall, picked up a soft pack and quickly made purchase.

The sweet and malicious smile of the guard at him, the stares of the females inside the store, the cashier's retort of: "Buying these for your girlfriend?" and "That time of the month, huh!?" didn't even made the hyper Seigaku Tennis club regular falter. Though a text message coming from Oishi saying that he was sorry and wouldn't be able to come for he was tied up with blah blah blah, made Kikumaru slump a little, he recovered when someone unexpected entered the female store and bumped on him.

"Gomen." That someone said tone low and bored. It even sounded not apologetic. And he knew that voice. And that cap.

And those eyes!

"Ochibi!?" Kikumaru whispered in disbelief as Ryoma's figure brushed past him totally oblivious to the fact that his acrobatic-playing senpai just saw him. Kikumaru grinned sheepishly like that of a Cheshire cat and decided to play Mr. Detective with his favorite kohai.

It seemed that this day was a lucky day after all.

End Flashback


The crowd went 'O' as a response.

"I did not—!" Ryoma started his defense. "I was not—!" But the poor prodigy was cut off better yet was unheard for all the people inside the room erupted in their own conversation and snickering and giggly questions.

"Haha!" Momoshiro laughed, hugging his stomach. "Oi, Echizen! Who would have thought you were a closet person!?"



Ryuuzaki Sakuno's head turned from left and right as if looking for something though she did not know what it was. She fidgeted slightly as she met her crush's eyes. For that small span of emotional contact, she blushed and ran away from the tennis court.

Kikumaru Eiji was coming from the bathroom. When he saw a blushing Sakuno running towards his direction, the red-haired boy nudged his brain. Why would she miss watching Echizen Ryoma's single's match? That was very un-Sakuno and un-fan girl indeed. Ergo, confusion roused in the senpai's heart.


The girl slowly stopped, bowing as sign of respect, "Senpai," she uttered softly, barely hearable. But Eiji did not mind in the least. Instead, his eyes were focused on the thing—a small rectangular box covered by a blue glossy foil with a frilly pink ribbon on top wherein he was pretty sure left no sender's card—that was resting on her arms, carrying it like her baby.

Kikumaru's eyes shined as he was able to connect the pieces of information together. His eyes moved from the cute pig-tailed girl and then to the not-so suspicious box she was holding. "Ne, Sakuno-chan," He knew that box. Eiji smiled wholeheartedly and cheerily said, "Happy birthday!"

Said girl nodded and blushed.

"Thank you, senpai."

And the girl rushed off to God knows where.

End Flashback


"So sweet Echizen-san!"

Ryoma flinched. "I don't do sweet!" he seethed every word.

"Ever the humblest Ochibi!" Kikumaru said.

"I did not—!" Ryoma tried again as Fuji's gleaming eyes opened up to him. But Seigaku's Ochibi stopped short when the sight of Kinimitsu Tezuka's smirk greeted him. He knew whatever fell from his lips would be lost cause. It seemed at that time, only one thing—glaring at his nosy senpais was the right thing to do.

So he did.





His smile was something he always loathed.

And yet that he—that thing smiles again.

"Syuusuke Fuji."

Ryoma groaned.