Invitation: Please Don't Kill Me

Truly, madly, deeply in love was the great Fuji Syusuke, tennis tensai of Seigaku. Truly, madly, deeply unsettled was the object of his affections.

"Eh—um—Fuji, I'm fine," mumbled Tezumi Sachie, the girl who must have been born under a whole constellation of indecently lucky stars. At this very moment, she was due to walk out a door held upon especially for her by one of Seigaku's most eligible bachelors, who had also insisted on carrying her belongings. However, the sight of him clearing her way while weighed down by four heavy bags—her backpack and tennis racket holder, and his—did not delight her. He was only being an excessively perfect gentleman, of course. Which was kind of nice. At the same time, it was a door. Stepping forth she pushed it open wider still. "Here—you go ahead. You're carrying so much."

But he refused to budge. She eventually gave in and went through the dratted contraption so as not to hold up everyone else. One schoolmate, a Third Year girl, gave her a look of such intense jealousy that Tezumi physically wilted. Fuji noticed none of this. disengaging from the door he set out for the tennis courts, humming cheerfully. Tezumi followed, tugging on the strap of her bag. "At least let me hold on to this one. You look like a pack mule. Everybody's staring."

This actually had nothing to do with the bag. Dating Fuji was like dating a celebrity. Staring was something that just kind of happened.

"But I can't let my precious girlfriend carry something so heavy," protested the excessively perfect gentleman.

"Fuji, I play tennis! I can handle a couple of books."

"Of course you can. But I want to do this for you. Please?"

Tezumi blushed, which made her scowl. She peeked at him and his sweet honest smile. Forcing herself to roll her eyes, she muttered, "Do what you like."

They parted ways at the courts. Fuji carefully placed her things on a bench. "Could we go somewhere together afterwards?" he asked, hopeful and the slightest bit unsure.

"Yeah, of course," she said, trying to sound relaxed and casual, but her voice came out high and wobbly. How mortifying. She needed to get a grip already. The last thing she needed was to come off as one of those girls who swooned and fainted over a guy. Because she wasn't. One of those girls, that is. She was just in her first relationship, coincidentally with a boy she kind of really liked. A little nervousness was normal. Right? Right?

Fuji waved and left. Bent over to get a racket out, straight black hair shielding her face from view, Tezumi finally allowed a wide grin to unfurl on her face with a flourish. She wouldn't have admitted it dangled above a snake-infested pit, but she felt like the happiest person in the world.

Author's Note: And that, my dear readers, is a snippet from the NEW AFTS. As you all know, I haven't updated this story in years. Recently I decided to rejoin the fanfiction world, and felt an urge to rewrite some of my old stories. Originally, AFTS was supposed to be this fun fling to blow off steam, and I don't think I could stand by the original version in terms of, uh, content, among other things. But I read it over and there are some things I like about it, such as the Fuji-Tezumi dynamic, which I adore. So I rethought the premise, gave everything a little more context and sense, and am attempting to do it over. Unlike before, I'm not going to delete all these chapters and post up new ones, just because I think the two are very different stories, even if one is technically a rewrite of the other. So the new AFTS is going to be posted separately. I'm not sure if it's any good or how far I'm going to get with it, but for now I'm tentatively having fun, so...we'll see how it goes.