A/N: 8D Hey guys! Omg, it's not a Kingdom Hearts fic wtf... xD Well, I am glad to tell you that I have a new obsession. RyomaxSakuno from The Prince of Tennis! 8D Well, to be truthful, I've only seen a few episodes and read a few mangas on it, and I can't really say I know it as well as Kingdom Hearts, so please forgive any mistakes! Well, this is just to satisfy my RyoSaku craving that I've been having for the past week after I updated Who Needs Love? Okay, I ramble too much! Enjoy!
I do not own Prince of Tennis, Takeshi Konomi does.
Note: In Japan, the formal way to address a person is last name first, and then first name. Example: Ryoma Echizen would be Echizen Ryoma in Japan.
Infuriating. Absolutely infuriating. How many times must he tell his aggravating senpai-tachi (upperclassmens) to keep their filthy mitts off of his Fila cap? Because of its absence, Ryoma's hair would wave and swish uncomfortably whenever he played tennis.
Not that it affected the way he played, it was just a matter of acknowledgement that it was there, on his head. Just like his (weird) acknowledgement with his annoying senpai-tachi and their unique tennis skills, or when Karupin would slink next to head when he got ready for bed, or when that ditzy girl with the two abnormally long-braids would always be there for his tournaments.
Speaking of which, Echizen Ryoma hasn't seen her this morning. He shrugged, merely thinking that she was with her loud-mouth friend somewhere. Not that he cared...
Ryuzaki Sakuno fiddled with the hem of her uniform's skirt. For a temporarily unknown reason, her cheeks were tainted with a rich shade of pink. Why? Well, it all started when two of the Seigaku Regulars decided to pay her a visit.
Sakuno turned to whoever called her name and put on a smile. Running and trying to catch up were Momoshiro Takeshi and Kikumaru Eiji. Both seemed very high-spirited for such a morning, especially at school.
"Ohayou gozaimasu (Good Morning), Momo-senpai, Kikumaru-senpai," Sakuno politely greeted.
The two stopped, not even breaking a sweat. Psh, do you think a simple run in the hallway would wear them down? After all, thanks to their buchou (captain), Kunimitsu Tezuka, and his inhumane training of laps, they've gained endurance and stamina.
"Ohayou (Morning!), Ryuzaki-chan!" Eiji happily announced, pulling her into a warm hug, which caused the natural reaction of Sakuno to blush.
"Ah, ohayou," Momoshiro nodded. "Ne, Ryuzaki-chan, can you do us a little favor?"
She nodded hesitantly. Sakuno wasn't very used to being offered favors by the Regulars, though she would be glad to help in any way.
Momo-senpai grinned at Eiji, looking as if he could barely contain his excitement.
"Un, douzo (here)," Momo-senpai said, grinning as he handed over a white cap.
The twin-braided girl let out a little gasp pointing at it like it was treasure. "A-Ano (U-Um)... I-Isn't that Ryoma-kun's?"
"Hai! Demo (But) Ryuzaki-chan," Eiji snickered after confirming loud enough for students to stare in the hallways. "You can't let Ochibi (our little one) see it! Not until after practice today."
She knew it was wrong to take others people's things, and as much as she wanted to take that hat and take good care of it, her hands remained clenched by her chest. "... B-But, why?"
"Nyah, Ochibi left it in while visiting Tezuka-buchou. Would you take it and return it to him after our practice?" Eiji pleaded, putting on a quivering-lip-act.
Well, it was certainly quite awkward for a Regular to be pleading with someone like Ryuzaki, but she took it nonetheless. But would Ryoma approve of her keeping his hat?
"H-Hai... Demo, won't Ryoma-kun get mad that I have his hat?" she meekly questioned, gently fingering the bill of the cap. She could practically smell the cologne emitting from it.
"Nah. Echizen wouldn't get mad, especially not at you," Momoshiro laughed.
Sakuno tilted her head to the side. "Huh...?"
"Iie, nandemonai (No, it's nothing)," Momo laughed, taking the hat from her hands and placing it roughly upon her head, causing Ryuzaki to squeak.
Eiji giggled childishly. "Nyah! Ryuzaki-chan looks cute in Ochibi's hat!"
Her signature blush crept in her face.
"She sure does! I wonder what Echizen would say," Momo chuckled along. "Well, we gotta go now, Ryuzaki-chan."
The maroon-haired girl merely peered up at them, not used to seeing the white bill of the cap block about the top half of her vision.
"And make sure Ochibi doesn't see that hat on your head until AFTER practice!" Kikumaru called, waving to her as his and Momo's distance increased from her.
Sakuno reluctantly waved, "H-Hai..."
Wait... But why after...? Wouldn't it be logical to give it to him sooner? Oh well, her senpais would know best, so she'd best follow. Besides, they might've provided a logical reason for it, like Ryoma wasn't having a good start for his day. When it comes to a grumpy Ryoma, it also comes with a tennis ball or a racket to the face. You would have to be stupid and idiotic to bother him when he's in that type of mood. Yeah, that seems right. Momo-senpai and Kikumaru-senpai sure are good friends with him, so of course they would know when to bother him. And tennis practice usually calmed him down a bit, being his one and only sport after all. So, Ryuzaki came up with her conclusion, along with a (dense, if you ask me) question.
"I'll follow what Momo-senpai and Kikumaru-senpai say. Demo, why me...?"
Quickly (and gently) taking the cap from her head, she gave it another glance.
So now, here she was, trudging down the hall way, nervously fiddling with her sleeves now that she noticed how crinkly her skirt got whenever she would clench it. In her school bag, was Echizen Ryoma's hat, neatly tucked away and safe from the outside world. Why she was following such weird orders from Momo-senpai and Kikumaru-senpai was beyond her, and though it felt wrong to not return it to Ryoma, she had this longing feeling to be with the hat for a little while longer.
Okay, screw infuriating. He was beyond it. He was PISSED. (Well, Ryuzaki was a bit close on her logical reasoning...) Enduring a day without his favorite Fila cap just increased his stress mark. His cocky and arrogant mood was replaced by the aura of a killer, and it was evident during the practice match with Kaoru Kaido, who hissed angrily after the match. Ryoma won hands down, but only due to his enormous amount of frustration.
Before practice, he had learned who had touched his cap. Kaido provided "hissy" reasons of why he wouldn't touch that cap, Sadaharu Inui provided percentages of why his cap wouldn't be useful to him and his data, Shuichiro Oishi and Kawamura Takeshi were just plain innocent (except when Kawamura-senpai was handed a racket and cried out "BURNING!!!"), Shusuke Fuji just smiled and said a plain "no", and Tezuka-buchou just stoically shook his head. All that were left were...
Momo-senpai and Kikumaru-senpai.
Of course... Ryoma thought. Who ELSE would have the guts to touch anything Echizen-property? Whatever, he'd deal with them after their match was over. Right now, a nice can of Ponta was in order. Casually strolling over to the vending machine, he popped in a coin and stubbornly pushed the button. In the mouth of the vending machine, a can of Grape Ponta lay, ready to be consumed. But wait, something ELSE was missing also. He couldn't quite put his finger on it. It had something to do with the duration of his and Kaido's practice match. Did he miss something, or not notice something? Well one thing was for sure, it certainly didn't have to do with a certain maroon-haired girl with twin braids that seemingly appeared to BE missing... Okay, maybe it did. Just a teeny weensy- okay that was a lie too. Remember at the top of the chapter when he said "he didn't care"? Well, don't be fooled by Echizen's cold exterior. Sure, during his training with Ryuzaki Sakuno, he'd comment on how wobbly her hips were, how rigid her knees were, and her lack of posture. But hey, how was she supposed to get better without criticism? Well anyway, back in their junior high years, Ryoma was just a boy obsessed with tennis. But now that he's grown into an adolescent, those damn hormones decided to kick in. One incident could be recollected easily.
It was a sunny day. Need I say more?
"Bend your knees more."
Ryuzaki Sakuno obeyed, and bent her knees, much to her discomfort, and continued swinging at the ball ruthlessly. In return, the ball bounced against the wall, but only for her to have an indirect shot. Ryoma sighed, tipping the bill of his hat to hide his frustration. Getting off of his rump and leaving an empty can of Ponta behind, he started towards the timid girl bowing for the umpteenth time for how inexperienced she was. Ryoma really didn't need a constant reminder, although, that was one of things he found (secretly) adorable about her.
"G-Gomen nasai (I'm very sorry), Ryoma-kun. I'll try harder," she stuttered hopelessly. Also, another thing Ryoma didn't mind. If Sakuno didn't stutter, then she just wasn't Sakuno.
"It's okay," he lazily said. "Now, turn around."
"H-Hai!" Sakuno replied hastily and whipped around, having Ryoma dodge one of her braids in the process. Really, she needed to get those things cut.
"Now, show me your tennis stance," he demanded.
Ryuzaki did as she was told, and got in her stance. By the way Ryoma sighed, she could tell that she was still "Mada Mada Dane (not good enough)", or so the Prince of Tennis told her. However, she immediately snapped into reality, or fantasy, whichever one, because she felt a sort of body warmth radiating from her back into her whole entire being. Large hands began to cover her small ones around the pink racket.
"Bend your knees," Ryoma instructed once more, yet, softly into her ear. Sakuno's face matched her hair as she bent her legs.
"Keep your back comfortable," he instructed next. This time, Ryoma took the initiative to lean in, causing Sakuno's back to arch a bit (and her face turning 20 shades redder).
"Are you absorbing all of this in?" Ryoma boredly asked, though he couldn't help but keep sniffing that nice-smelling scent. It was her hair. It smelled like melons and cucumber.
"H-Hai," Sakuno complied nervously. Her heart was threatening to explode! Ryoma was so close to her!
From then on, Sakuno's posture got a bit better, though Ryoma had to correct it again and again from time to time. But, the strange thing was, he didn't mind doing it, being so close to her and all. Of course, the prince would never openly admit that... As time went on, Sakuno actually had a decent swing. Her hips were still too wobbly, but at least she could return a serve. Also, Ryoma had unintentionally been looking forward to practicing with her. Being as dense as he was, he chose to ignore this "feeling", logging it away like the endless fan mail he'd get from his die-hard fans.
Time sure did fly, for now he was a first year in Seishun Academy High School along with Ryuzaki Sakuno. Everything was how it should be, from his annoying fans and their love-sick mail, to his annoying senpais and their tennis training. He couldn't be happier, yet, this one little thing was making him somewhat distraught. Where in the hell could Ryuzaki be...? It wasn't like her to skip out at practice, having her dainty little finger curl around the fencing and silently cheering for him.
That voice, that voice belonged to none other than his Momo-senpai, followed by a painful slap to the shoulder.
Another slap to his other shoulder came, but the greeting was different.
If only he had his cap, he'd be tugging the bill down to hide his murderous glare. Ignoring the searing pain in his shoulders, he continued reaching for his beloved Ponta.
"What do you guys want?" he asked coldly, flipping the tab and taking a long chug.
"Nyah, Ochibi is so mean," Kikumaru glumly stated.
But Momoshiro only chuckled and ruffled Ryoma's unruly, forest green hair. "It's because Echizen's missing something."
After wiping his mouth, his cat eyes focused angrily on his two senpais.
"And I wonder whose fault THAT is," he gritted.
"What are you talking about, Ochibi?" Kikumaru innocently questioned.
"You two know EXACTLY what I'm talking about," Ryoma emphasized, resisting the urge to squeeze his Ponta can. "My hat. Where is it?"
Momo grinned, completely un-afraid of the tennis prince's cat-glare. "Hat? You mean that Fila one?"
"Yes," grumbled Ryoma. "THAT one."
"Oh, I don't know. We haven't seen it," Momo smiled cheekily. Ryoma knew that whenever his senpai smiled like that, something was bound to happen.
"Uso (Lies)," Ryoma abruptly said.
"Nyah! Uso janai (Not lying)!" Eiji countered excitedly.
The Tennis Prince grit his teeth and was about to chuck the can of Ponta at Eiji's head, when a voice called his name.
The three heads turned to a direction of a freshmen girl with large chocolate eyes and flowing twin braids in the back. Eiji and Momo grinned widely, while Ryoma stared wide-eyed. On Ryuzaki's head, she wore his beloved Fila cap. Once she caught up, bending on her knees to catch her breath, she panted," G-Gomen na... nasai. T-Tomo-chan kept... me for a little... little bit."
Ryoma blinked at her, then back at his senpais, who looked elsewhere.
Upon hearing her name, she stiffened and peered up at him. Calling her by her first name was a bit informal, but it also meant that the person was very close to him/her. Well, it's not like Ryuzaki called Ryoma "Echizen-san". "Ryoma-kun" kind of stuck to her, and he obviously had no problem with it.
"H-Hai...?" the auburn head stuttered.
Eiji kept himself from giggling, as Momo kept watching with an amused face.
"Why do you have my hat?" he asked, pointing at her head.
The freshmen girl really wished the ground could swallow her up, because Ryoma was staring at her, intently.
"A-Ano... I-I saw it wh-when I visited obaa-chan's (grandma's) office. T-Tezuka-buchou told me t-to give it t-to you b-because you accidentally l-left it behind when you had to meet w-with him," she stammered horribly, using the bill of "his" cap to shield her horrified eyes. Ryoma merely turned to his senpai with the eyes of a killer.
"I never even went to visit Tezuka-buchou," he irritably stated, causing Ryuzaki to increase her anxiety.
"Nyah, Ochibi! You're scaring the poor girl!" Kikumaru-senpai pointed out, ignoring "Ochibi's" glare.
"Yeah! What kind of gentlemen goes and does that to his girlfriend?" Momoshiro added incredulously, though fakely.
Being the dense boy that he is, except when it comes to tennis, he finally registered why his annoying senpai had done a stunt like this. His team have been trying to hook him and his coach's granddaughter up for the longest time, though Ryoma, was, well, being Ryoma. They weren't going to stop anytime soon, and it's not like Ryoma even cared that they wouldn't. After all, now that he is an adolescent, he now knows this "feeling" that was being kept in his heart for the navigationally-challenged girl with the two long braids.
Turning back to a frightened Sakuno, he narrowed his cat-like eyes.
"Why are you wearing it?"
Though he fully knew the answer to the question. It was obvious that his senpai-tachi had told her to. Sakuno would never have the guts to do something like that.
"A-Ano... I-I just w-wanted t-t-to see how... (gulp) how it would l-look on me...?," Sakuno answered half-heartedly.
Ryoma inwardly chuckled. She sure does suck at lying. He turned abruptly to his senpai-tachi, startling them a bit.
"...Thanks," he mumbled, barely enough for the two senpais to hear.
Momoshiro and Eiji blinked at each other, finally registering why he was thanking them.
Ryuzaki tilted her head in confusion as to why.
"Oi, Sakuno, you coming?" Ryoma called, his back toward her.
She snapped out of her thoughts and quickly tagged behind. "H-Hai!"
The sun was beginning to set, and the two walked on home, hearing the faint comments like "Nyah, Ochibi is growing up!" or "So young, so young...". Ryuzaki blushed again for the bajillionth time, taking the hat off and holding it out for Ryoma to take.
"G-Gomen... I didn't mean t-t-to keep it f-from you f-for so l-long," she apologized. To her relief and at the same time, disappointment, the tennis prodigy swiped his cap away.
"You better be," he gruffed. Sakuno, frowned, mentally kicking herself for being stupid, when, a force pushed down on her head, and a white border blocked her top-half of her vision. On instinct, she squeaked, causing Ryoma to smirk.
"R-Ryoma-kun?" Sakuno said timidly, peering up at him and his smirk. Good gracious was he handsome, especially without his hat to keep his unruly hair rule-y.
"When you want to wear it, just ask me," he responded, pushing down a bit harder to make sure it was securely over her head. Man, did she look cute in his hat.
"D-Demo... Won't you n-need it d-during tournaments?" Ryuzaki asked meekly.
"Then don't skip out on my tournaments," Ryoma demanded.
At this, Sakuno couldn't help but giggle. "Hai... I'll m-make sure to a-attend each one."
Ryoma kept his smirk. "Good. Now come on. I'll walk you home."
"Eh? B-But your house is the other way!" she squeaked loudly.
Same old Ryoma. He just doesn't care about things that aren't worth caring about...
Sakuno looked down at her feet, speechless and embarrassed. What has gotten into her crush? Upon reaching her house, Sakuno bid her timid good-bye, and also a quick reassurance of good care for his hat. Before she could turn around, Ryoma had grasped the bill of his cap and lifted it up to peer directly into her eyes.
"Good, you better take care of it," he smirked once again. Sakuno was about to confirm, if it wasn't for the prince's godly lips pressing gently against hers. After he retreated (slowly, might I add), Sakuno's entire being froze as Ryoma tugged his cap lower on her head.
"Ja ne (See you later)," he waved off and walked in the opposite direction, his forest green hair waving where the wind blew. Sakuno fought the urge to run up to him and embrace his back and immediately went inside, scarlet-faced and only to be greeted by her grandmother.
"Tadaima (I'm home) ..." Sakuno mumbled, but loud enough for Ryuzaki Sumire to hear.
"Okaerinasai (Welcome home)! Eh? Sakuno-chan, what's that on your head?" asked the old coach, whose concerned, wrinkly face dissipated into a smile.
Once again, Sakuno blush intensified, but this time, tugged on the bill of her prince's cap to cover her embarrassed expression. She could just hear Ryoma's cocky trademark phrase ringing in her head...
Mada Mada Dane.
A/N: 8D How was it? Did you like it? Again, please forgive any mistakes I have made, but I assure you, I did a bit of research on these characters, so I at least tried to grasp the basic idea. xD Well anyway, a review would be nice! Thanks for reading! C8