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Paris, With Love
-- A RyoSakuFuji --
by: OrangeAce

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-o- The unexpected twist of fate brings a mixture of love, ambition, heartaches, -o-
-o- and a humorous espionage to Ryoma, Sakuno, and Fuji... in Paris. -o-

Full Summary: After overcoming the struggles to forget a childhood love, Ryuuzaki Sakuno sets out to Paris in search for her dream. But fate takes an unexpected twist when she once again encounters the one person she did not wish to meet… and fall for the second time. Could the girl survive Paris with Echizen, Fuji, and Kurumi in a tale of love, ambition, heartaches and a humorous espionage?

Disclaimer: TeniPuri is owned by Takeshi Konomi.

Author's Notes: I proudly present a brand new story for my 'Stories Authored' archive: Paris, With Love. Another RyoSakuFuji. Assured to be romantic and heart-tingling! Rated T for some minor cuss words… Oh and drama. Lots of it. Well, I hope everyone will enjoy! I've got my undivided focus and whole heart in writing this one…

Read on!

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Chapter 1: Collision

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The sight of planes taking off and landing in the airport runway was visibly seen from the enormous glass window plastered on the building's whitewashed walls. With the humongous space readily found in the area, it accommodated thousands of people who were busily making their way through the premises; either rushing to get to their flight, or was fresh from traveling and eager to get home. It was a wonderful day when surely no torrents of rain would become barriers to each flight of the plane. The sky loomed with its ever bright blue color, and white fluffy clouds scattered to hinder any excessive light and heat from the sun.

It was the perfect day which was forever waited by a young girl. Because it was on that very day, at a certain far-off place, that the same girl's dream would be brought to reality.

"Sakuno…" A soft and tired voice called out.

It was Ryuzaki Sumire's, the known coach of the strong Seishun Gakuen tennis team, who just recently retired and currently devoted her time for her beloved granddaughter: Ryuzaki Sakuno.

"I know you'll do well there…" the old lady gently beamed at the young adolescent in front of her, tears astray around her puffy eyes. The woman patted her granddaughter's shoulder fondly. "I'm so proud of you…"

More tears gushed in minute quantities upon the girl's rosy cheeks.

"A-Ah obaa-chan…" Sakuno showed a watery smile to her grandmother, grateful for all the things Sumire had done for her. "This day would never have come if it weren't for you…" Sakuno stated thankfully, managing to keep her voice from faltering.

She then hugged her grandmother lovingly, owing every achievement she obtained to her. Sumire's eyes started to glisten with tears again while she wound her arms around her granddaughter, acknowledging Sakuno's gratitude. It seemed like an eternity as the family released from each other's hold, gazing at each other before finally one bade her farewell. Sumire scrutinized the innocent and gentle girl she tended and cared for throughout the years.

Sakuno had bloomed into an exceptionally beautiful and vibrant young lady. With her silky, long auburn hair cascading magnificently down her lower back; with her huge chocolate-orbs gleaming brightly containing suppressed enthusiasm and excitement; with her newly-developed body: taller, wider hips, more curves, and an enlarged chest, indicating that the girl had indeed changed into a beauty.

Sakuno was smiling widely right now, watching her grandmother's expression contort into reminiscing, proud, sorrowful, happy, and different other faces. Often, mothers would be the ones having a difficult time letting go of their taken cared of offspring. But in Sakuno's place, since her parents had long passed away, Sumire had always been the one who was for the girl through every ups and downs, teaching her right and wrong, and watch her grow into someone she would definitely be proud of.

Understanding how her grandmother felt about letting go, Sakuno lingered a little more with Sumire's company, savoring every bit of the remaining time they would be together before a long period of return.

"I've been to Paris once, and my stay there was truly fascinating and unforgettable," Sumire stated, as she shared an experience to her attentively listening granddaughter. "Sakuno, there are lots of different opportunities out there… and you must always seek to grab them so as to lead you farther in the road of success."

The old woman grinned at Sakuno, whose eyes were starting to accumulate with tears again.

"I wouldn't be with you through this part of your life. But this is the perfect chance to prove your worth and to develop your independence." Sumire placed her hand on Sakuno's delicate face, and wiped the tears falling from her eyes. "Be strong my child. This is a once in a life time opportunity."

Sakuno nodded her head in response, and then wiped her tears away. She tried to gain back her composure.

She couldn't let her fear of losing company get to her. No. She wouldn't. It was at that day that her dream of finally studying culinary arts in Europe would come true. She wouldn't let her weaknesses hinder her from succeeding.

I will be strong… I will make obaa-chan proud. Sakuno took in a deep breath, and exhaled it right after. "I will do my best."

Sumire smiled back at her granddaughter then pulled her into another hug. "I know you can do it."

It was several minutes after that, the announcement of Sakuno's flight filled the large airport. The old woman ushered her granddaughter to already head to her plane.

Before heading off to the awaited flight, Sakuno grabbed her belongings firmly, clenching the handles of each bag then turned to her elder. This is it. She told herself mentally and gathered up courage and strength from the smiling figure of her grandmother just across her.

Approaching Sumire for a final farewell, Sakuno kissed the right cheek of her grandmother and whispered, "Thank you for everything."

The girl started walking away, shifting a suitcase to her other hand so that she could wave goodbye.

As her granddaughter drifted away, Sumire watched Sakuno take her strides in the tiled floor of the airport. She continued to observe her granddaughter walk her way until the girl had completely disappeared in the heart of a crowd. Sumire smiled to herself.

"Everything I've done isn't even enough to repay how much you're worth and what you've gone through…"

- o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o -

Sakuno entered the First Class part of the plane where her coat was taken from her by a nearby stewardess.

"Good morning, madame…" The same stewardess led her to her seat which was the fourth chair in the private section. Sakuno sat down and thanked the woman with a smile, which the attendant returned. After settling in herself, another stewardess came forth bringing a tray with a variety of food.

"Caesar Salad please…" Sakuno said.

While munching on her lunch, Sakuno stared outside the small glass window beside her. She could see the airport from where she was, the sight making her remember of her dramatic farewell with Sumire just a while ago.

The girl smiled to herself.

Her grandmother was very supportive and encouraging to her during the previous year and ever since, right after she had retired from being coach of the Seigaku tennis team. Ryuzaki Sumire had devoted the succeeding days after she had ended her ties with the school into planning and helping out in Sakuno's future career. She wanted her to be successful, her grandmother had told her.

After months of applying into different schools abroad, Sumire had excitedly informed her one day that she was going to study in Paris. Sakuno couldn't believe her luck. All throughout her childhood, Sakuno had always been fond of working in the kitchen; she loved mixing ingredients in bowls, using the stove, cutting vegetables and alike. Hearing such wonderful news from her grandmother pumped her up into preparing and doing her best to face different other people in a far off place. Paris. She was going to Paris to study what she greatly loved to do.

Moments after snapping back to reality, Sakuno noticed the change in the outside environment at which she was staring at blankly. It took a while before Sakuno processed what was happening; they were already taking off.

Feeling her heart miss a beat because of both nervousness and excitement as the plane increased in altitude, Sakuno prepared herself to be in a certain place not long after, where her fate and luck would carry her to survive in Paris.

Paris. Sakuno sighed.

Interrupting the girl from her reverie, the flight attendant who had accompanied her to her seat approached her to offer for more service. "Would you like some entertainment ma'am? Or a video game, perhaps?" Pulling out a gadget from a box just above Sakuno, the stewardess showed it to her right after completely getting hold of it.

Being oblivious to the fact that there was actually a tiny plasma television in front of her, Sakuno asked, "Ano… but how would you play it?" She asked innocently, causing the girl to chuckle at her and point to the direction of the TV.

Turning to where the stewardess was pointing, Sakuno blushed at her lack of knowledge in such facilities found in First Class. She looked back at the smiling stewardess a bit flustered and said, "No thank you… I'm not really much of a gamer."

The airplane crew nodded her head in understanding and returned the gadget where it was stocked. Silence enveloped the two young women, the stewardess still standing by Sakuno's side. Sakuno was waiting for the girl to leave any moment now, wanting to compose herself and recollect her thoughts before she reached Paris. But instead of walking away, the girl spoke up once more after moments of seemingly deliberating with herself.

"Is it your first time to travel to Paris and ride First Class?" The young lady asked in a different demeanor of voice, causing Sakuno to be startled a little bit with the attendant's candid question.

Sakuno blushed, and then nodded her head in response. "Hai," she replied in a tiny voice. She turned to the stewardess who she caught scrutinizing her. Are all flight attendants this annoying? Sakuno sighed. Sensing that the lady wouldn't be leaving soon, Sakuno expressed her curiosity in the stewardess's previous question. "Ano… Excuse me. How did you know it was my first time?"

The lady grinned. "Why, it's tainted all over your actions ma'am." She chuckled heartily at Sakuno's confused expression. "You seem so fidgety and kept on looking out the window, seemingly feeling a bit of being homesick."

Sakuno had to softly gasp at the lady's accuracy.

She chuckled and added more observations. "And usually, used First Class sitters would be bossing us around the whole time…" She had said this sentence with a smile. Sakuno remained silent, but acknowledged the hinting compliment in the lady's voice.

After another silence, the stewardess suddenly grabbed a remote from her uniform pocket and directed it towards the tiny plasma in front of Sakuno. "Maybe you would like to watch something to pass your time, ma'am?" The stewardess returned into doing her job which relieved Sakuno a bit. In her opinion, the lady was a bit snoopy.

Secretly wanting to be alone already, Sakuno nodded her head, thinking that this would probably cause the woman to finally go away and leave her in peace.

"Yes please…" she said politely.

Smiling at her, the stewardess handed her the tiny remote. And much to Sakuno's great relief, the lady did indeed walk away and left her alone right after. But before doing so, said that she just needed to press the red button on Sakuno's arm rest if ever she needed something else.

"Finally…" Sakuno told herself as she closed her eyes to think about certain things once more.

This time though, interrupting her from her thoughts, the plasma emitted screams which caused Sakuno's eyes to jerk open and grumble from another unexpected interruption. Focusing her gaze on whatever was on TV, the girl realized that it was the news; and the screams were coming from a huge crowd carrying sign boards and posters saying, WE LOVE YOU ECHIZEN RYOMA! Echizen Ryoma?

"R-Ryoma-kun?" Sakuno muttered to herself as certain passed events came flooding back to her.

Echizen Ryoma, the titled Prince of Tennis, had left Japan several years before. Sakuno had momentarily been struck and heart broken when she heard about the tennis prince's sudden flight to the US. Sakuno never even got to say goodbye. Actually, no one got to say goodbye. For some unknown reasons, the boy secretly migrated to US, offered of being a tennis-pro at the meager age of fifteen.

With the young boy's already ingenious tennis skills, being informed of his transfer, everyone knew that he would reign the tennis world not long after. That assumption did indeed come true. Ryoma had won the Grand Slam for two years, after much rigorous training for a year as soon as he stepped in the US. Victory had mingled with the boy's fate resulting him to be a worldwide icon now; truly very popular, successful… and a girl's fantasy.

Sakuno suddenly shook her head. Where had those last words come from? Sensing that reminiscing about her past love wouldn't help her prepare for her new life, Sakuno took out her music player from her bag, and placed each earphone in her ear, letting the soothing music calm her down before entering Paris. Everything was perfect at the moment, and she did not need any past weaknesses to alter her path of career into failure. Echizen Ryoma was nothing to the girl now. It was her career that truly mattered at the moment.

As soon as Sakuno diverted into her self-composing mode and was engulfed by the music from her player, the girl remained oblivious of what the news depicted in the plasma's tiny screen was about.

"Is it true that Echizen Ryoma is having a break from all the recent competition?"

A tiny man with huge spectacles came into view and several microphones were shoved in his direction. "Yes, yes. Echizen is indeed in a vacation right now."

"Where?" several reporters said at the same time.

"In Paris."

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"Stupid art gallery…"

Echizen Ryoma, the world-renowned tennis-pro, made his way through the most secluded and least crowded areas in the city. The boy was well-built and grew incredibly tall for the last few years, and deciding that the only way he could keep away from the annoying mass of fans would be to wear a disguise.

The young man had worn a cap, big for his head and much to his complete disappointment that he wouldn't be able to wear his usual one; knowing that that would definitely make him stand out. He also wore big black shades to cover up most of what can truly make him distinguishable; his cat-like eyes that can send off any opponent to stagger with the intensity of the gaze that came from those golden orbs.

Ryoma grew into a remarkably good-looking young man, with his much defined, handsomely chiseled features which could cause thousands of ladies to swoon upon his feet… And this was what the boy had entirely disliked about himself; it was because of this that girls drool over him like bumbling idiots and get in his way.

Stupid girls.

Just a while ago, Ryoma had decided to take in sights, and was actually enjoying his time looking at the fine works in a famous art gallery in the city… when he suddenly had to retreat from the area because of an unwanted happening.

He had discretely entered the premises with his disguise, wanting no attention diverted to him. Despite all these, he was pinpointed by a group of women: Fangirls. The crowd had run after him when he made his exit, clearly clogging the surrounding area of the gallery. He had caused havoc.

"Tsk. And I thought I would get some rest when I fly here…"

Opting to rest from all the running he had done all day, Ryoma headed towards the city's park where he had chosen to take a nap, knowing that the area would give him peace and tranquility.

Admittedly, he did not expect that staying in Paris would be so hazardous. Ryoma actually thought that detaching himself from tennis for a period of time would give him solitude and relaxation from all that had happened to him. Tiring and painstaking days, Ryoma had experienced in the US: practices day and night. It was only now that he enjoyed life without anything to do with what he was famous for.

Picking a covered spot behind a huge park bush, Ryoma lay across the healthy green grass, folding his arms underneath his head to serve as a pillow. The boy looked up into the clear sapphire-like sky with white clouds drifting by, enjoying the relaxation the surroundings were giving him.

I made the right decision to go to this trip by myself… Ryoma smiled to himself. He was glad he got his manager to agree in going to Paris alone. He knew that bringing guards or companions with him will only serve as 'pains-in-the-neck' and would keep him from enjoying completely. The boy continued to gaze at the beauty of the surroundings and think about certain things until he had gradually closed his eyes, and drifted off to sleep.

Paris was without a doubt, going to be a place full of wonders.

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"Ano… pardon sir, but why is there a huge crowd outside?" A certain auburn-head, who had recently just boarded off her plane, was now riding a cab and headed to the prestigious university she was going to study in.

Sakuno gazed outside the car window, wondering what in the world was happening in the streets. The people congesting the area were mostly comprised of women.

The cab driver shrugged his shoulders in complete clueless-ness himself. "I'm sorry (1) Madamoiselle, but I do not know," the man said politely to Sakuno, who still continued to look outside her window. "Perhaps there is a performance presented by the nearby art gallery…" the man assumed, trying to give at least an answer to the girl.

But Sakuno was too caught up in worrying about certain things to actually find the root of this commotion. I'm going to be late. Sakuno was one of Japan's delegates in this top culinary arts university, so she had to make sure that everything would be in order. She couldn't just waste this opportunity her grandmother and she had worked so hard for.

For the first day, the girl needed to present herself upon the appointed personnel of the institution, where she would be given access to her own dormitory, other school facilities and benefits. She could not afford to be late. No. She definitely could not be late. The university may give her a bad impression if ever she screwed the first time she would even show herself.


Sakuno clutched the hem of her skirt in absolute annoyance. Why had the day suddenly turned against her? And she actually thought that the awaited day was going to change her life for the better. And now, what was happening? She was stuck in a cab, which was in the midst of a gone-wild crowd of people, causing her to run late with a very significant presentation of herself.

The girl took in deep breaths.

She was going to get out of this situation.

Suddenly, interrupting her from her worries, her cell phone rang hysterically. Sakuno immediately grabbed her phone from her blouse's front pocket. She checked out the number calling.

Parisian University.

Composing herself before answering the phone, Sakuno then flipped the gadget open and placed it near her ear.

"(2) Allo…"

"Allo, Mademoiselle Ryuzaki. This is Leonard-"

"I'm on my way sir," Sakuno said frantically; presuming that the man had called her due to the fact that she wasn't going to be accepted, doubting that the she was going to show up. "Don't worry sir, I'm coming." Sakuno repeated, wanting to assure the man that there was nothing to worry about.

"Ah… I know Mademoiselle Ryuzaki… I know."

With these words, Sakuno felt a bit relieved, hearing from the appointed personnel herself that her dream wasn't going to be taken away from her. It would most certainly not… for Sakuno would make sure it most certainly will not. With this statement however, the girl wondered why this man had called her. And so, the young woman patiently waited for the man to say more.

"I just called because we are sorry to say that our dormitories are filled."

Nani?! "What do you mean sir?" Sakuno fought back the urge to hysterically ask the man what was going on.

Was she not going to be accepted because of the mere fact there was no room for her to stay in? Sakuno could feel her body shake in nervousness. Would her dream disappear just like that? Get a grip of yourself Sakuno… you're being negative. Sakuno then resumed to attentively listening to every word Leonard was saying.

"For our miscalculation of students entering the university this year, we are suffering from an unexpected lack of accommodation for all students," Leonard started to explain, thus clearing up Sakuno's previously frantic and negative thinking. "Sorry, Mademoiselle, but we have to ask you to stay in a hotel for the mean time… since we just handed the last dormitory key to a student who came in five minutes ago…"

Sakuno could feel her heartbeat return to normal rate. So everything was actually still according to plan. It was just that she had to stay in a hotel instead of the university dormitory.

Sakuno sighed.

If only she was there earlier, she could have gotten the last dormitory. Now she had to pay to stay in a hotel. Who knows how much a room costs?! If it weren't for the crowd… Sakuno thought to herself regretfully.

"I understand. Ano… am I already reserved for by the school?" Sakuno asked Leonard expectantly, hoping her best that her expenses would be taken care of by the school.

"Yes, Mademoiselle. You will be staying in the Grande Maison. You just need to register, and they will immediately lead you to your suite. No need for unnecessary arrangements, for everything has been well taken care of…"

"Ah… I see," Sakuno replied softly, feeling relief surge inside of her.

Okay, so she was going to stay in a suite instead of a "Class A" dormitory. I just hope that the hotel isn't rundown… Well, the hotel staying was certainly unexpected, but it was not something to be loathed. Despite the sudden turn of events, Sakuno felt contented of being assured that the road towards all opportunities was still in tack. The girl plastered on a smile for worrying about nothing.

"We are truly sorry for the inconvenience Mademoiselle Ryuzaki. We appreciate your understanding over the matter," Leonard, with his French accent, apologized on the other end of the line. "We look forward into meeting you tomorrow, Mademoiselle. Rest well and good day."

"Good day to you too…" Sakuno managed to say before the line was cut off.

The girl emitted a long, heavy sigh. And she actually thought she would be kicked out of her 'about-to-begin' dream. Resigning to her thoughts, Sakuno realized that her only problem now was the transportation to the university. She couldn't ride the cab every day; her pocket money would bleed.

Turning to the driver, Sakuno stated in a polite voice, "Ano… Change of destination sir. Instead of Parisian University to a bike shop instead please…"

- o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o -

"(3) Excusez-moi, Monsieur...Monsieur...Monsieur... !"

The Grand Slam Champion's eyes suddenly snapped open, for he was interrupted from his peaceful afternoon slumber. He groggily positioned himself into a sitting position, still remaining oblivious to the fact that there was a fuming police officer just meters away from him. He yawned heavily and stretched his arms up, still ignoring the presence of the law enforcer. Gaining back most of his composure, Ryoma then only realized the upright citizen. He stared back blankly and uninterested.

"Monsieur… Did you not see the sign saying '(4) Defense de marcher sur l'herbe'?" the police officer asked Ryoma, who still seemed to be missing a part of himself from sleep.

The man repeatedly tapped his wooden stick on his other hand's palm in impatience. As Ryoma showed no intentions of doing what the officer was pointing at, he glared at the still impassive looking boy, with his huge cap and shades on.

"'ello! I am talking to you, Monsieur!" the officer angrily exclaimed, glaring even more at the tennis champion whom he still had not distinguished.

Ryoma sighed, and finally decided to respond to the police officer's recent statements. "What is it?" He asked in a hollow tone, as he slowly stood up to be face to face with the fuming man.

He set his gaze upon the officer with so much intensity, his cat-like eyes focused on the man in front of him… But the man just stared back, seemingly unaffected by Ryoma's actions.

The boy grew bewildered at the response he got, then remembered his eyes could not be seen. Ah. Sunglasses. Ryoma tipped off his sunglasses lower as to preview his deadly glare, which had caused a number of his tennis opponents to stumble in the intensity of his golden orbs.

The gesture was somehow effective, for the man visibly stiffened. Ryoma had to smirk at this one. The boy had a way of manipulating people.

"Y-You are not supposed to be 'ere! This area of the park is off limits because of the sign 'Keep off the grass'!" And then, he gulped once more as Ryoma intensified his gaze upon him. "I-It's rude to stare at people like that! Where are your manners, Monsieur? You cannot just do that to your elders… especially those who are highly respected! And stepping on an area that says 'Keep off the grass' is truly unforgivable…!" The officer's volume of voice was incredulously loud now, as he grew more and more conscious at every passing moment Ryoma's frightening glare was on him.

Spontaneously, Ryoma had shifted his gaze on the ground where they were standing at. Baffled by the boy's sudden change of attention, the police officer momentarily felt relieved at the boy's gesture, ostensibly lifting up a heavy burden.

After several moments, the man grew curious on what the boy was looking at. Following Ryoma's direction of gaze, he then found himself staring at his own feet. Puzzled, he looked back at the young adolescent who was now smiling back at him.

"What… is so funny?!"

"You're quite a hypocrite, Monsieur…" Ryoma said frankly, making his first few signs of movement after a long period of just staring. The boy had started to walk away.

Befuddled, the officer took a while to process what the boy had meant… then he blushed as realization finally hit him. "W-What I've done is acceptable for I am 'ere to assure that nothing else like this will 'appen!" the man shouted and hurriedly strode nearer Ryoma as to prevent him from escaping.

"Excuses… excuses…" Ryoma muttered under his breath as he continued to look at the frantic man blankly.

I need to stop. The boy thought to himself as he realized that provoking this man too much would cause him to get in big trouble. Deciding that he had no business left with the police officer for the man had gone quiet now, Ryoma began to walk away once more.

"'alt! You are not done with me, young man! I 'ave things to discuss with you!" the police officer cried, following Ryoma in each step he took. "I need to bring you to the station for this!" he shouted loudly, feeling every fiber in his being to loathe the guy who had obviously disrespected his dignity.

Ryoma continued to walk away, ignoring the fact that the officer was following him. Growing more and more annoyed with how Ryoma was treating him, the man grabbed the young man's arm.

"I'm talking to you boy!" he bit out venomously, glaring daggers at the still calm tennis prince.

Feeling the grip of the officer on him, Ryoma's patience suddenly thinned. "Baka."

The police officer was taken aback. Baka? "Excusez-moi…?"

"Baka," Ryoma repeated as he was vexed with the fact that his supposed to be perfect day turned out to be something like this. He narrowed his eyes even more at the confused looking policeman.

"What tongue are you speaking?!" The officer was shaking in so much fury now, sensing that he was being insulted at the moment. Ryoma remained silent and unmoving as he just continued to glare at the angered man. "Did you not 'ear me?!"


"You bastard… What is your name?! I will be getting you for this!" The officer's anger had heightened from Ryoma's continuous disrespectful gestures towards him.

The boy had totally pushed him over the edge this time. But despite all the squabbling the man was emitting for the past few minutes, Ryoma had remained being cold and indifferent by all what the police officer was doing. It was the boy's way of pissing someone off.


The man shook uncontrollably at the response he was getting from the young adolescent.


Unable to contain his remaining self-control any longer, the police officer had intended to hit the boy by a swing of his hand when an unlikely and unexpected interruption emerged.


Shifting his attention to where the racket came from, Ryoma found himself in a catastrophic situation… Definitely bad timingOr not. Ryoma was already on his feet when the police officer returned his attention on the boy he was just about to hit. The man started shouting for the running individual, but all his efforts were ignored.

Ryoma had to run. Stupid fangirls.

- o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o -

"(5) Merci" Ryuzaki Sakuno just exited a two-storey bakeshop, adorned with simple glass windows, a middle-sized door, and tables and chairs placed outside for extra accommodation of customers.

Sakuno had just applied for a job in the bakeshop, knowing that her pocket money would definitely be exhausted not long after. She needed to financially support herself from now on. No obaa-chan, no Tomoka, no other people to depend on but herself. Independence was a key part in acquiring success in her career; most especially that she had decided to study in Paris.

Preparing to mount on the bike she had chained on a nearby post (hearing stories from the cab driver that theft would definitely take place in any area of the city, if careless of your possessions), noises that seemed to be made by the friction of shoes and the pavement caused her to look at her side and gape at what she saw.

There was a man, in a big cap and shades, running towards her, actually seemingly intending to run on her.

Moving away from the path of the tall boy, Sakuno stepped aside and waited for the running boy to pass by until she could finally get to her bike, and proceed to the Grande Maison.

But instead of the boy passing by her, he had stopped right beside Sakuno as if waiting for something, causing the girl to be utterly bewildered the whole time while she was unlocking the chain of her bike. Sakuno ignored the boy's presence, thinking the he would probably go away when she pretends he wasn't there.

Ah… Why is my day turning like this…? Sakuno thought a bit afraid as the boy continued to be still as if expecting something from her.

As soon as she finished unlocking the chain, Sakuno felt relieved, now finally able to leave the creepy boy behind… though deep inside, she somehow found the boy's presence warm and familiar.

Gah… What am I thinking? Sakuno was at long last about to ride her bicycle when noises started to emerge all of a sudden.

Turning to where it was coming from, Sakuno was surprised with the sudden slam of a body towards hers… thus causing her to fall down, down, down into the hard concrete.


Then everything went black.

- o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o -


A capped boy was sprinting down the boardwalk as if there was no tomorrow.

Echizen Ryoma, the prominent tennis genius who have reigned the tennis world, decided to travel all the way to Paris to get some vacation… And where did everything lead to? He had been bombarded by annoying fangirls in an art gallery which caused car congestion; was interrupted from his blissful nap by a proud and hot-tempered policeman who had screamed, threatened, and harassed him; …and now? Well, he was once again, running for his dear life because of a massive number of rampaging girls ready to pounce on him when given the chance. No. He would never let them have that chance… Well, that's why he was running right?

Ryoma looked behind him as to see if he lost the unwanted company he had ensnared. Dammit. Nope. The gone-wild girls were still behind him. Then, squinting to get a better view of what seemed to be a set of different people following him, he cursed even more.

Behind the horde of women was a separate group of policeman, with the officer Ryoma encountered on the park in the lead… It was definitely Echizen Ryoma's day.

Turning by a corner, an obstacle for the 'run-from-the-girls-and-policemen" marathon appeared all of a sudden. Right in his path was a delicate-looking girl with beautiful long wavy auburn hair unlocking the chains of her bike connected to a near-by post.

Wanting to have the girl stand aside from his way, shouting at the girl to move had actually crossed his mind. But before he could shout at the blocking girl, shouts were emitted from the group of people behind him.


"Damn! They're still behind me…" Ryoma growled aggravated.

The boy's fists started to whiten as he continuously tightened them, his nails almost digging through his palm. He could not take any of this absurdity any longer! Focusing his gaze on the girl who seemed awfully familiar… Dammit, you don't have time for that right now!

Shaking his head to snap back to reality, he shifted his focus on what the girl who was currently busily tending to… Bingo. A bicycle!

Reassured that his ticket out of the horrible mess was found, he then diverted his running direction towards the girl who still remained ignorant of the happenings. As he drew nearer, and the pads of his feet growing louder, it was only then the girl turned to his direction and noticed his presence. Assuming that he would be passing by her, the auburn-head stepped nearer to her bike and resumed her business of unlocking the chain.

In a few moments, Ryoma was beside the girl, breaking the assumption of him passing by. He saw her visibly stiffen as she realized that he was just standing a few inches away from her.

Ryoma smirked as she continued to pretend that he wasn't there.

Wondering how far his admiring and loathing crowds were, he turned to the direction of where he came from and noted that he still had time to wait for the girl to unlock the chain of her bike before he was a goner.

Patiently… okay. Maybe impatiently, he waited for the girl to work with the lock; the auburn-head in front of him was obviously having a hard time, her hands slipping with the grasp of the chain from time to time. Okay… so he was making her nervous. Ryoma made attempts of actually unlocking the bike himself, but realized that that would only make a bigger commotion and get him into bigger trouble.

Well, the girl might go hysteric you know. At least now, when he remained to be just beside the girl, the auburn-head couldn't accuse him of anything… yet. He was actually planning to borrow the girl's bike for the mean time.

Waiting, still waiting, Ryoma took time to recollect his thoughts in where to go to next after he had acquired the bike. I'll go back to the hotel to have a nice, hot bath… Through this relaxing and reassuring process, the boy became ignorant of the fact that the auburn finally unlocked the chain and was already preparing to mount on her bicycle when…


Now that immediately snapped the daydreaming boy back to reality like being struck by sudden jolts of electricity. Becoming once again aware of his environment, the boy remembered that he was being chased by a mammoth crowd of fangirls and police officers… and then, he also became aware of the fact that the reason why he was standing on that spot, instead of running for his dear life like he always did when chased by unwanted company, was because he was patiently waiting for his ride.

The bike is unchained…

Swiftly moving towards the bicycle to finally be released from the loathed mob who have followed him all throughout, Ryoma was about to make a run for it when he suddenly was blocked by the girl in front of him, his full-energy to sprint towards the machine transferring to the girl's petite body instead.

And so they went down, down, down into the hard concrete, the girl receiving a full body slam from him.


Ryoma grunted from the impact of the fall he received. The boy didn't exactly get hurt, but the surprising instant of actually falling down on the ground caused the sound to come out of his mouth.

Opening his eyes, he found himself looking at a dainty face with soft and tender features. It wasn't unusual for him to actually see a beautiful woman, moreover become close to them if he wanted to, but there was a certain pull and attraction towards this girl… like they had actually met before. Continuing to gaze at the beauty in front of him…


"Damn, damn, damn," Ryoma repeatedly cursed as he spontaneously let himself up, momentarily forgetting that he needed to get out of the place now. Heading for the bike, Ryoma was hit by another realization: the girl was unmoving.

"Shit," Ryoma muttered and tried to keep himself from exploding.

He turned around and approached the girl. The day was definitely too much to take! He had slammed the auburn, the girl being under and the one falling hard on the concrete. Of course she would become unconscious.

Curse this day.

After steadfastly grabbing the girl, he immediately headed back to the two-wheeler, sat on it, and then consciously positioned the young woman on his lap, not wanting to give her anymore damage. Guilt was mingling inside of the tennis champion for hurting the girl.

Looking behind, he noticed that the crowd was just a few meters away from him. Ryoma then finally made his exit. Propelling the bike with his athletic drive, it was not long after when the adrenaline-full boy and the seemingly lifeless girl was out of sight.

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Sakuno gradually fluttered her eyes open. The first thing that came into view was the towering grayness of what seemed to be buildings and the rest of the surroundings. Groggily sitting herself up, the girl scanned the area with blurriness still tinged in her eyes.

"Where am I?" Sakuno muttered to herself as she continued to examine the place she was in.

The structures in the surrounding area looked like apartment buildings in Sakuno's opinion. Then there were several box crates that stood on top of each other, making the place look even more secluded.

"You're finally awake…"

Sakuno spontaneously turned her head to where the voice came from. The girl let out an inaudible gasp. Sitting on one of the crates in the alley, was the exact boy who had been in front of the bakeshop a while ago who was followed by a massive crowd. She continued to stare, stunned at the disguised Echizen Ryoma.

Who is that guy…? Sakuno could feel her heartbeat increase in speed as she thought of all the consequences that could possibly happen to her. Why did this supposedly perfect day turn like this? Sakuno clutched the hem of her skirt as she continued to scrutinize the still unknown boy's figure.

As Sakuno continued to gaze at him, Ryoma suddenly felt conscious, bothered by the possibility that the girl could break through his façade. He touched the huge cap on his head, and pushed the big shades further into the bridge of his nose. Okay. Everything was still in tack.

There was silence between the two, both not knowing how to act and feel with each other's presence. Ryoma had his gaze, impassive, towards the girl; whilst Sakuno had hers focused on the boy too, though with curiosity written all over. Recognition was totally absent in the situation, despite the fact that the two had been looking at each other for quite a long time now.

Breaking the silence, "Ano… w-who are you?" Sakuno softly asked, managing to find her voice through the icy and uncomfortable silence.

With her sudden question, the boy didn't bother replying to it, but instead stood up from where he was, showing signs of leaving. Sakuno swaggered as she attempted to stand up, finally achieving to do it in a few moments. "Ano… where are you going?"

"Leaving… what else?" Ryoma answered crudely, sensing that he had no other business left with the girl.

She was fine now, so nothing else to worry or feel guilty about. For the boy, leaving will be the best option, knowing that even a single person who would know his identity would change everything about his stay in Paris. He couldn't risk that.

The boy continued to walk away, with both his hands placed inside his pants pocket.

Sakuno, feeling this certain pull towards the boy, pursued on talking to him even if it was obvious that the boy was uninterested and couldn't wait to leave the area. Standing up, Sakuno made a few steps towards the boy.


"Were you the one who landed on me?" Sakuno asked, her voice starting to grow firmer and steadier with every passing moment.

Ryoma stopped from his tracks as the girl had said this.

This man had hurt me. Sakuno thought to herself, resigning to the fact that this boy shouldn't just be let go of. He owed her for attempting to steal her bicycle. For knocking her down unconscious…

Sakuno had the sudden notion to rub her sore back, only feeling the wrath of her fall now. Kya… It hurts. After soothing herself, she returned her attention on the boy in front of her with sudden annoyance surging inside her like hot flames. And for intending to leave her just like that without even saying sorry! It was this boy's fault that her day turned into something disastrous.

"Gomen…" muttered the boy, surprising the auburn-head who was just complaining in her thoughts about the Ryoma leaving without even saying sorry. "It seemed like you were fine enough not to be brought in the infirmary any longer…" Ryoma reasoned out, clearing a few gaps in Sakuno's confused mind.

Making exiting movements once more, Sakuno had the sudden dilemma of actually continuing to be not hostile with this guy or not. Well, he had said sorry… but still. The thought of actually not bringing her to the infirmary in the first place when she was injured, moreover because of him… was truly absurd.

"Ano… wait." Deciding on remaining to be the same kind girl she was, Sakuno insisted on following this boy, wanting to know more and feed on her curiosity.

Remaining unaffected and indifferent with the girl's simple request, Ryoma continued on his way of making exit. With Sakuno adamant of knowing more of what happened, the girl was about to shout for the boy's attention when Ryoma spontaneously sprinted towards her and kept his hand over her mouth.

Damn. Damn. Damn. Hearing high-pitched woman voices, Ryoma realized that the fangirls were not far from them.

Sakuno's eyes widened at what he suddenly did. Oblivious to the shouts of the obsessed-Echizen Ryoma mob, the weight of her taking the antic as an act of violence and mistreatment made Sakuno wriggle out of the boy's hold even more.

"Stop moving…" Ryoma's breath was hot against Sakuno's ears, causing the auburn-head to blush at the contact.

Thinking that she needed to do something with her present predicament, Sakuno continued to struggle against Ryoma's hold, remembering that she was on her own and that there was no one else she can rely on in that place. Acting like someone she wasn't known for, Sakuno bit Ryoma's hand, causing the tennis champion to withdraw his hand around the girl's face and wince in pain.

When Sakuno was about to let out a burst of scream, an unexpected gesture hindered her from initiating what she was about to do. The boy was kissing her.

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After hours of walking around the city, Sakuno had finally reached the Grande Maison. Energy and enthusiasm for the day were drained out of her as she continued to sulk on the recent happenings. Her supposedly perfect day had turned out to be utterly chaotic.

Approaching the reception area of the hotel slowly, Sakuno thought of all the misfortunes she had encountered. She had lost her chance to stay in the university dormitory because of a random mass of girls; was body slammed by another random person who came her way, attempting to steal her bike.

My bike… Just recently, Sakuno had lost her bicycle back in the alleyway. Not wanting to think more of her misfortunes, the girl sighed heavily, feeling hopelessness and helplessness overwhelm her. It was just her first day of Paris, and she had already attracted numerous unwanted events.

"I even lost my first kiss t-to, t-to a stranger…" Sakuno touched her lips, feeling the still intense lip-lock she experienced with the boy who seemed to ensnare lots of attention for some unknown reason.

She would just be going to the police station later for her loss of suitcases and bicycle. She needed some rest right now.

Reaching the desk a few minutes after, Sakuno composed herself to talk to the receptionist and at least try to look not harassed.

"'ello Mademoiselle, what can I do for you?" a plump looking man beamed at the auburn-head as she neared the desk. Then, suddenly remembering something, "Ah… sorry, but if you are looking for a room to stay in, we are full…"

Sakuno smiled and shook her head after the man had said his explanation. "Ano… I was reserved by the Parisian University," the girl replied shortly, expectant of the man's reply.

She was eager to enter her room, tired from all that had happened. She needed rest for tomorrow… for tomorrow was her first day in the university.

"Wait…" the plump man said, returning to the desk he came from as to check the records of any reservation made by the school.

It was only then that Sakuno had time to check-out the place. The girl's eyes glistened with awe as she indulged herself on the elaborately designed carpet lying on the marble-tiled floor. Chandeliers were magnificently dangling on the hotel's high ceiling, shadowing colored shines on the floor. The whole hotel was finely furnished, adding to the hotel's elegance and wonder.


Sakuno turned her attention to the plump receptionist who now looked frantic and confused. He had several pieces of paper in his hands, seemingly trying to decipher something out from it. "Ah… you will be staying in room 14344…"


Opening the door of her suite, Sakuno immediately entered and lay down on a nearby soft couch. Scanning the room with swift glances at everything, Sakuno actually liked the suite. It was humongous and very comfortable.

She smiled to herself.

She was so tired, and despite all that had happened to her, the girl felt relaxed with the atmosphere of being in a hotel in Paris. She was in Paris…

Snapping her eyes open with sounds seemingly coming from the bathroom, Sakuno stood up and approached the door. Just as when she was about to grab the knob and push it open, another set of sounds caught her attention.

She turned around.

It was only then she noticed that the television was on.

"Why is this open?"

Focusing her gaze on what was showing, Sakuno realized that it was in the news. Kya. What's with the news today? Sakuno thought to herself in wonder as she approached the TV to get a better look of the presented break-through.

"Yes, yes. Echizen Ryoma is in Paris."

Sakuno stiffened at those words, her eyes wide in stun. Uncomfortable with the sudden discovery, the girl diverted her gaze on something else. Her gaze landing upon the bed, the girl noticed a familiar pair of sunglasses and a huge cap.

"… Oh god…" Sakuno muttered to herself as she continued to scan the area and saw a familiar pair of suitcases just adjacent a coffee table.

Disrupting Sakuno from being dumb-founded with all she was discovering, the sound of the opening of a door reached the girl's eardrums. Turning to where the new sound came from, Sakuno found herself looking at an Echizen Ryoma, hair dripping wet fresh from shower, clad only in a white towel.



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Author's Notes: Gah!!! 18 pages, people. EIGHTEEN! Seriously, I think I need to learn how to cut my chapters… (hits self) Well, I hope you enjoyed! Please tell me what you think about it! Review and wait for more updates! And gaps will be filled in the next chapter! So look forward to it (:))

French Corner

(1) Allo – Hello (used for phone calls)
(2) Mademoiselle - Miss
Excusez-moi Monsieur – Excuse me Mister
(4) Defense de macher sur l'herbe – Keep off the grass
(5) Merci – Thank You

Btw, the name Parisian University just popped randomly in my mind. Also Grande Maison (Big House)… Heh. My French classes are paying off.

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Posted: 02.08.08
Edited: 11.03.08

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