I live! Hey, I'm Erica and I've been absent from for about...8 months. Family and school problems are the cause. Hopefully things will be better now. I'll be posting at least once a month, maybe more if I have free time. I also plan to pick up my two abandoned stories when I get the chance. Their story lines are still in my head and written down in random notebooks, so it won't be too hard.

This is a Prince of Tennis story! It will follow the animefrom start to finish. Evidently, there will be spoilers for some in later chapters. I'll make sure to point out at the beginning of chapters with matches which will be featured so readers know if they're going into unknown territory or not. I hope you enjoy, I have fun writting it! Review if you please

START

"Fshhh..."

A muscular youth hissed quietly to himself before setting off down a wooded path for a morning jog. Dew had settled on leaves nearby, occasionally dropping from the slight breeze and glistening from the dull tones of the sunrise on the horizon. The same wind gently blew the boy's black tank top as his feet carried him swiftly across the terrain. Sharp green eyes scanned the path through black bangs, which were peaking out from under a green bandanna tied securely around his head. His breathing wasn't labored in the least, and his pace showed that he was prepared for a long run. This would probably be the easiest and most peaceful moment of his day, as in a few hours he had to report to his school, Seishun Gakuen, for morning practice, and only had evening practice to look forward to while he sat through his classes. After two more jogs and some warm-down exercises, he would retire to his house, only to start the same routine tomorrow. Not that he minded, he preferred things to be in order and disliked sudden changes. Unpredictability may be interesting, but it can easily lead to trouble.

"Nya!" a nearby bush seemed to exclaim, throwing the boy from his meditative state. He nearly stumbled in surprise, but quickly corrected his misstep and slowed down. The bush that seemed to have made the noise was still. There wasn't anything around that would have made the sound, either; the only nearby animals were squirrels, and the boy had never heard of them sounding like a cat.

"Nyaaaaa!" There is was again! While his eyes were on the squirrels scurrying up and down the branches of a nearby tree, the bush had shuddered and made the same sound again. The boy stared at the shrub wearily, disliking the oddity of the situation and refusing to look away until he could identify the source of the sound.

Coincidentally, his internal questions were answered as a small ball of gray fluff rolled out from under the bush and made the same noise he had heard before. The fluff ball shook itself and stood on shaky legs. It was a little neko, appearing barely old enough to be away from its mother.

Through his tough exterior, the boy really had a gentle heart. Animals were his soft spot, particularly nekos. He perked up at the sight of the adorable gray ball and knelt down to pet it. It blinked and looked up at him innocently.

The boy drew back in surprise, almost falling over. One blue eye and one green eye stared back at him, blinking in wonder. The neko had two differently colored eyes.

Despite himself, the boy gently began petting the neko, delighted at its purr of pleasure. Having two differently colored eyes was unnatural, but how could something so cute and innocent be evil? Then neko began stumbling around, pouncing on anything that moved. The boy teased it lightly with his fingers, pulling away just at it lunged at him. A small smirk crossed his face and he played with the little neko.

"Kumo-kun? Ah, where are you Kumo-kun? Oh this is not good..." From somewhere down the path, a feminine voice called desperately. Quickly, the boy rose to his feet and started jogging at a much slower pace than before. Secretly, he wanted to make sure that the person he heard would find the neko and make sure it got back to its home. Unfortunately for him, the little neko chased unsteadily after him, tangling itself between his legs and making very adorable noises.

"Kumo-kun!" The voice was getting closer, and it was getting harder and harder for the boy to keep running with the neko running across his path and weaving in and out of this legs. As he predicted, the boy fell to the ground very unceremoniously. The neko ran up to his head and started pawing at his banana, as if urging him to get up and play some more.

"Ah, Kumo-kun! Yokatta!" A girl appearing in her early teens ran up to the boy and the neko, scooping the latter up into her arms and hugging it to her chest tightly. "I've been looking for you for hours! Hontou ni arigatou gozaimasu."

The boy looked up in surprise, having barely registered that someone was right by him until he heard her last sentence. Again he picked himself up and turned to jog, hiding his flaming cheeks from view.

"Chotto matte kudasai!" He stopped mid-step and turned reluctantly to look at the girl. At first glance he saw she was much shorter than him, with deep brown hair and dark eyes. Upon closer inspection he noticed she was dressed in a pair of black sweatpants and a gray short-sleeved shirt. She had a wrist cuff on her left wrist and ankle weights strapped just above jogging shoes. She looked at him with gratitude through a bang covering her right eye, seemingly unfazed by his appearance. The fact that she was unaffected confused and unsettled him slightly. He was used to people shrinking away from him in fear, and yet this girl smiled happily up at him with not a blink of hesitation.

"Ano, is something wrong?" she asked him in a worried tone. He realized that he had been staring at her for some time and quickly averted his eyes. His cheeks flushed again but he managed to regain his composure quickly.

"What do you want?" His rough voice made her smile falter for a second. The same smile she had on before quickly returned and she bowed at the waist, still holding her precious neko, who the boy now knew to be "Kumo-kun," closely.

"Arigatou for finding Kumo-kun. He went missing this morning and when I realized that he must have gotten out of the house I was so scared! Most people don't treat him well because of his eyes, you see, but you must have been playing with him for him to chase you down the street trying to get your attention. He gets attached to... eh?" The girl rose from her bow to find that the boy was walking slowly away from her. He heard her run up to him and turned around with a heavy sigh.

"What?" he asked gruffly.

"Ano... I just wanted to say arigatou for finding him and keeping him safe. I won't bother you anymore. Gomen." She bowed again and kept her head low so he wouldn't see the upset look on her face. He felt a bit guilty for hurting her feelings, but what good would come from emotions like that? Still, though...

"Don't mention it..." he grunted and turned to walk away again. The girl perked up at his comment and smiled softly at his retreating back.

"Ano, could I know your name?" she called after him. He hissed loudly so she could hear and started to jog again. He smirked, in a good mood from being able to play with the neko, and continued his morning run.

The girl started stroking the little neko's stormy fur, lost in thought. "He was nice. Different... but different doesn't always mean bad. We're living proof of that, ne, Kumo-kun?"

"Nyaaa!" The neko wiggled its way out of its owners arms and dropped to the ground. As soon as it regained its balance, it took off down the road after the boy. The girl took chase, shaking her head in frustration. "Chotto matte, Kumo-kun! Not this again! Gah!"

END


Well, that's part 1. I have the next few chapters written out but I'm going to wait a while until I post the next one. I need to make sure I have enough in reserve if something comes up and takes up my time. And I need to work on my other stories. First priority is my YYH story, since it's got the most convoluted plot. My Bleach story is easy enough to follow. But, we'll see. Until the next time! Ja mata!!