Warnings: AU Universe. Gender switch. Non-canon. OCs.
Disclaimer:I do not own Prince of Tennis or any of the characters, but the OC characters belongs to me
Chapter Fifty Nine: Rematch? Showdown at the Top!
"Well, I must admit, that is a pretty amusing way to win a match." Rika was still laughing ten minutes after the match was concluded.
Singles two was a close one, with both Kevin and Kenneth drawing their match to a long tiebreak until Kenneth clinched that win, ending their tiebreak at a 58-56. Doubles one was Haruki and Kirihara as a doubles pair, against Kachiro and Katsuo of Seigaku.
The Seigaku pair did quite well against them, until one of them mistakenly thought that Kirihara had entered Devil Kirihara mode, and promptly forfeited, much to Rikkaidai's disbelief.
Kirihara merely grunted as he returned to his place as bench coach, not feeling all that happy how his final match in middle school had turned out to be.
"Two wins and two losses." Shuu muttered, looking up at the electronic scoreboard that detailed all the matches' outcomes for both Seigaku and Rikkaidai. "The next match will determine the champion."
As one, every single pair of eyes in the Rikkaidai's bleachers turned towards Rika who is examining her racquet strings, promptly ignoring everyone around her.
"Always go, Rikkaidai!"
"Let's go! Let's go! Rikkaidai!"
"Their cheerleading squad is as impressive as always," said Ryoga, looking over at Rikkaidai's side with interest. Rikkaidai's cheerleading squad are all out in full force, screaming at the top of their lungs.
"Just which side are you on, Ryoga-san?" Tomoka snapped.
"Sorry, guys!" Kachiro apologised fervently, bowing repeatedly to his teammates. "I didn't mean to forfeit! It's just…"
Shiki sighed. "Like I'm saying, it's alright!" he snapped. "It's over now anyway.
"Two wins and two losses, huh?" Kayama Shuuri muttered, looking up at the electronic scoreboard, his mouth twisted in a grim line. "The next match decides which school will emerge as champion."
"It's alright!" Some random player exclaimed. "Next is Shinderui-buchou! He'll win for sure!"
Kenneth resisted the urge to palm his face, but Haruse had no such qualms as he turned and glared at the speaker. "Did you have your eyes shut during last year's Nationals?" he snapped. "It won't be as easy as you think!"
Kaidoh grunted as he watched Shiki stood in front of Ryuzaki, listening to some last minute advice. "Unfortunately, he's right," said the vice-captain with a grunt. "Shinderui's opponent is Rikkaidai's top player. Their fukubuchou is also Japan's number one player, Echizen Rika! They were both unable to participate in this year's Kantou finals because of that car accident, but now that they are both in tip-top condition…" He trailed off before coughing into his hand. "She defeated Shinderui in last year's Nationals, and is said to be on the same level of their former captain – Yukimura Seiichi."
"Not only that." Momoshiro added, turning to face their kouhais. "Shinderui had played against that girl more times than one could count, and he had never won against her once." He smiled grimly. "This match won't be as easy as you think."
"Another match, huh?" Rika sighed, her racquet tucked beneath one arm. She pushed a lock of dark hair out of her eyes and sighed at Shiki's grinning face. "Wipe that smirk off your face, Shiki. I won't be going easy on you just because of your help back then."
"Of course," said Shiki with a grin. "Don't go easy on me. I won't as well. I have some new moves that I want to try out anyway."
Rika raised a brow. "Well then, I look forward to it," she said before placing the head of her racquet on the ground. "Which?"
"Rough." Shiki called out as Rika spun her racquet before it fell on the smooth side. "Damn."
Rika sighed as she picked up her racquet. "May the best man win," she said, turning around to head to her service spot on the courts. "Service."
Shiki nodded. "Yeah," he said, turning around as well to head to his receiving spot. "End."
Over at Rikkaidai's bleachers, Seika cocked her head to one side in confusion. "They're both…smiling?" she questioned. "Do they know each other?"
"Hmm?" Kevin turned to look at the freshman. "Oh. Yeah. They're good friends in a way, and rivals as well. Each time Rikkaidai and Seigaku ends up facing each other, they both always end up playing against each other. But no matter how many times Shiki had played against Rika, he had never won once."
"Beginning now, the National tournament of singles one. Rikkaidai Fuzoku's Echizen Rika versus Seishun Gakuen's Shinderui Shiki. One set match! Rikkaidai's Echizen to serve!"
"It's finally here." Sanada stated grimly, arms akimbo. "Now we shall see just how far both schools have came along in just one year."
"You should know that the Twist Serve can no longer work on me, Rika!" Shiki called out as he received the Twist Serve and returned it. His eyes then widened when he saw Rika leaping into the air to receive the serve before smashing the ball so quickly that before he could even fathom what is going on, the ball is already in his courts.
"Game! Rikkaidai's Echizen! 2-0!"
Shiki turned his head slowly to look at the ball that is rolling slowly away to the back of the court. 'T-That is…' he gulped and turned to look at Rika. 'Earlier, that is…'
Rika smiled, tapping her racquet against her shoulder, and it is only now that Shiki realised that she is still playing right handed. "Should we stop with the warm-ups and get serious now?" she enquired.
Shiki smirked and shrugged. "Just like you, Rika," he said. "You never change. But I agree." He nodded. "We should get serious. Let's give the audience a good show." As one, they then both switched their racquets to their left hands.
In the audience, the spectators from the public went wide-eyed at this proclamation. That was a warm up for those two? They seriously have to get their training where these guys went…
'That earlier…' Shiki frowned. "Looks like I don't have a choice here." He closed his eyes and an aura then surrounded him, and Rika frowned. The silver haired boy then pointed his racquet at Rika. "Should we get the show underway then?"
Rika frowned. "Muga no Kyouchi?"
Shiki smirked at Rika. "Here I go," he said before throwing the ball up into the air, and serving.
The ball hit the ground on Rika's side, and as she stood ready to receive the ball, her eyes widened as the ball spun furiously. 'What the…? Twister Serve?'
Rika barely managed to twist her body in time to avoid the ball as it shot skywards and struck the light post just a few meters behind Rika. The light post actually comically had a dent in it afterwards.
Hikari went wide-eyed at this. "You…can't be serious…" he choked.
Next to him, his twin is in the same state that he is, if not more. "What strength and power…" Hikaru muttered. "What kind of monster is that guy to be able to achieve something like that?"
"Dear me… Looks like I really can't take you lightly after all, Shiki," said Rika with a shake of her head. "Give me your best then."
Shiki smirked before he served again, and Momoshiro and Kaidoh recognised that shot at once – having seen it only once the previous year.
"Big Bang?" Momoshiro uttered.
"Seems like it had more power packed in it than before." Kaidoh supplied. "Shinderui used to be a speed type player. But looks like he is focusing more on power now."
Rika frowned as she grabbed her racquet with both hands before returning it simply to Shiki's court. "You may have power, but it's far too simple."
Shiki frowned before returning his ball via a cross shot, and his eyes widened when he saw that Rika is already standing where the ball is about to fly towards, and he narrowed his eyes. 'I forgot. She plays that style of annoying tennis – analyzing tennis. It's almost like she can see where I'm going. She's one annoying opponent, and also the reason why I had never been able to beat her once.'
Shiki then raced towards the ball as Rika returned the shot to him, returning it via a Drive A, increasing the speed and power of that shot. Much to his frustration, Rika had already seen through the path of the ball, and was already waiting for it.
"That is all that you've got?" Rika taunted before she returned the ball faster than Shiki had expected, claiming one point.
Yanagi smiled to himself. "She's gotten stronger," he commented to his teammates, all who nodded in agreement. "Seems like it wasn't a mistake leaving Rikkaidai to her and Akaya."
Marui snorted. "I think that it is maybe Rika who is running the entire show," he said. "You know how Akaya is."
Yagyuu smiled, adjusting his glasses, whilst both Niou and Sanada looked as if they wanted to kick Shiki off the courts and replace him.
Kirihara Akira grinned. "It'll be interesting to see her in high school two years from now," he grinned. "No one will be able to so much as touch her in tennis then."
Himura Haruka, his vice-captain snorted in amusement. "Buchou, you wouldn't even be in high school by then," he pointed out.
Yukimura smiled at that.
"Game! Rikkaidai Fuzoku's Echizen! Three games all!"
Rika looked at Shiki with some disappointment on her face. "Shiki, I hope that you're only playing around," she said with a sigh. "You don't seriously think that you can beat me with moves like that, do you?"
"Shinderui's Nitouryuu…" Igawaki Haruse narrowed his eyes. "It's been defeated? Impossible!"
Kenneth sighed. "No. Tennis like that won't work against her."
"Oh please!" Rika almost groaned. "Who do you think even taught you Nitouryuu? Do you seriously think that you can beat me with a style of tennis that I knew inside out?"
Over at Rikkaidai, Kevin was shaking his head.
"This is really like a repeat of last year," he said, and Haruki was nodding. "It definitely seems like Seigaku and Rikkaidai are really fated to clash with each other, no matter what."
"I really didn't want to use this against you, but I don't have a choice here." Shiki whispered. "As always, you are the only one who can push me to my limits. Not even Tezuka-buchou can push me this far." He closed his eyes, and Rika narrowed her eyes. "The final door." He whispered under his breath. "Open."
An explosion of aura exploded from his body, causing Rika to shield her eyes momentarily, and when the light had cleared, Rika narrowed her eyes. "Teni Muhou no Kiwaimi, huh?" she muttered. "Very well. Let's see what you've got."
She narrowed her eyes as she saw Shiki walking towards the receiving area of his court just then, and her eyes then widened as a ball bumped into her foot, and looked down only to see the tennis ball rolling away from her. A dark mark just a few meters away on the court told her what had happened, and her eyes widened. 'W-What the hell? When did he…?'
The referee was rendered speechless as well before he called out the score in a shaky voice. "F-Fifteen all!"
"Game! Seishun Gakuen's Shinderui! Five games to four!"
"This must be some kind of joke…" Rika muttered, pushing a lock of sweaty hair out of her eyes. "To push me this far…" She glanced at Shiki whose aura from the third door hasn't diminished in the slightest. 'But it's impressive… To be able to last this long whilst using the third door. I couldn't last longer than fifteen minutes with the third door. That's why I never use it in matches until the climax if I absolutely have to use it.'
Rika then bounced the ball on the courts before throwing it up into the air and serving. The moment that her racquet impacted with the ball, she closed her eyes, focusing on nothing but just hearing the sound of the ball.
That is one thing that helps her in her tennis skill – she had remarkably sharp hearing. Her hearing is better than most, and that is another reason why her analyzing tennis style gave her opponents so many problems. Rika not only uses her ability to see the habits of her opponents. She uses her hearing to determine where the ball is going to go. With Shiki using the third door, she has no choice but to use her hearing if she even wants to stand a chance at returning all his shots.
"I've never seen the fukubuchou pushed this far before." Hikari muttered, his eyes wide. "That Shinderui guy… I hate to admit it, but he's good."
"Yeah." Takahiro muttered. His eyes then widened as he managed to catch sight of the ball, though his eyes were hurting tremendously. "Rika! Duck!"
An explosion of pain greeted Rika in the head the moment she headed to the receiving spot where she had determined the ball is going to head to, and she is only vaguely aware of darkness overtaking her momentarily as she fell onto her hands and knees, one hand holding onto her head.
The next thing that she knew, she heard a babble of voices above her, all shouting above one another, and giving her an even worse headache than the one that she is currently suffering from. She could barely hear them though, as the voices sounded as if they were being muffled by something.
"Hey, is she alright?"
"Shinderui! Why didn't you watch where you're hitting? Or better yet, control your strength a little! I'm surprised that she didn't break her skull!"
"Hey, it's not my fault!"
Then the voices sounded clearer, almost like someone had just cleaned out her ears, and she felt a hand on her arm, and someone speaking next to her ear.
"…ka? Rika? Can you hear me?"
Rika cracked one eye opened only to see the concerned eyes of Kevin, the rest of her team crowding around her, concern etched on their faces. "Kevin?"
Kevin breathed a sigh of relief. He then held three fingers in front of her face, waving them to and fro. "How many fingers am I holding up?"
Rika growled as she swatted his hand away from her face. "Three. Now stop with that!" she snapped.
"Seems like she's just fine." Kevin announced to the rest of the worried Rikkaidai team over his shoulder, all who breathed sighs of relief. Over at the bleachers, Rika can see Seika and Yurika holding onto each other with fright and terror visible on their faces, and that Sanada is grabbing onto Yukimura so that he doesn't leap into the courts then and there.
"Now can the rest of you please head back to the bleachers? We still have a match here." Rika made shooing motions with her hands as she shooed her team back, grabbing her racquet that Takahiro had handed to her.
The referee frowned as he approached her. "Are you sure that you can still continue?" he enquired, and Rika nodded. The referee sighed; he probably had some experience in the past with stubborn tennis players who don't know when to quit, and knew that it's meaningless to argue with Rika. "Alright."
"The game will commence! 0-30! Seishun Gakuen's Shinderui leads!"
Rika held onto the side of her head with her right hand, shaking her head every now and then to clear her vision. Shinderui sure could pack some power in his shots despite his small size. This isn't looking good. She can't even see properly now.
"Oi… Is the fukubuchou really going to be alright?" Ryou asked, turning towards his teammates, miraculously awake for once. "She doesn't look too good."
"Rika wouldn't let us stop the match even if she isn't feeling alright." Kevin bit on his bottom lip. "You know how she is. And you know how important that this match is to her…and us."
"Buchou will stop the match if it really looks like she couldn't continue." Haruki tried to reassure his teammates.
Kevin frowned. "Yeah. Maybe."
"I have no other choice. I was saving this to use against my old man. It seems like you'll have the honour to face this new technique of mine." Rika muttered as she let the ball rest in the palm of her right hand, shaking her head every now and then to clear her vision. Across the courts, Shiki frowned. "The third door." She muttered beneath her breath. "Open."
Just like with Shiki, an explosion of aura exploded from Rika. Yet unlike the silver haired teen, the aura surrounding Rika is more controlled and tamer, as compared to Shiki's wild and untamed aura.
"T-That is…" Niou muttered, eyes narrowing. "If I'm not mistaken, that is what she used earlier against Shinderui." Seeing his friends' enquiring looks, he elaborated. "Control. She has complete control over the third door, the speed and movement of her shots, etc. Unlike Shinderui's third door, Rika has complete control over hers."
Shiki frowned as he readied himself. "Give me your best, Rika," he muttered.
His eyes then widened when he saw Rika walking away from him, her back facing him. His eyes then widened when he heard the tell-tale signs of the ball rolling away towards the back of the court, and looked only to see the ball rolling away slowly.
"W-What the hell?" Shiki gasped. While he didn't have Rika's ears, his hearing is still good enough to catch the sound of tennis balls. He never sensed or heard anything at all!
"Referee, aren't you going to call?" Rika asked, keeping her eyes on the ground to lessen her headache as she gripped the ball in her right hand.
The referee blinked before he realised that Rika was speaking to him before he called to the person manning the cameras. "Er… Monitor! Get a close-up!" The monitor did so, and everyone in the stands saw the shot in slow motion of Rika serving, and the ball entering the courts. "It's in… 15-30!"
"A shot without sound, and so fast that you can't even see it…" Kevin muttered before a smile broke across his face. "Rika. Since when did you…?"
"A shot without sound and with high speed, huh?" Niou grinned to himself. "Nice one, Rika. Not even Shinderui or someone who plays analyzing tennis can do anything against a move like that."
"Accel Return." Yukimura said suddenly, and his friends turned towards him. The blue haired teen smiled. "It suits that shot down to a T. Accel Return."
"Game! Rikkaidai Fuzoku's Echizen! Six games to five!"
"One more game…!" Kirihara muttered. "Come on, Rika! Finish it as soon as you can!"
"Can the fukubuchou last until the end?" Hikaru asked Kevin, worried. "She doesn't look too good."
"Opening the third door had helped her condition somewhat." Takahiro muttered, lacing his fingers before his mouth. "It's probably best if she can finish this match as soon as she can."
"This is getting ridiculous…" Momoshiro uttered, his eyes wide at seeing Shiki helpless against the shot. "No shot couldn't be returned! That…Accel Return or whatever. Even Shinderui—"
"It isn't that easy, peach brain!" Kaidoh snapped. "We tennis players return our opponents' shots by utilising two things!" He held up two fingers as he spoke, ignoring the fact that everyone in Seigaku were listening intently to him, and even those in nearby bleachers. "Sight and Sound. We used our sight to see the ball, and the sound to hear the shot. But that Echizen had disabled those two senses by using Accel Return – a shot with no sound and so fast that we can't even see it! Before we even knew it, it is already in the courts! Even the monitor couldn't catch the shot until it hits the ground! That's how fast it is!"
Kayama Shuuri nodded in agreement. "As long as Shinderui can't see or hear the shot, he won't be able to return it," he added. "And that isn't good. Out of all of us, Shinderui depends on his hearing and sight the most. With these two disabled, he won't be able to so much as touch it."
Rika panted heavily, the auras from both players on the courts not diminishing in the slightest, and her migraine is causing her to feel like there are jackhammers hammering at her brains.
"This…is the last ball, Shiki," she said, holding the ball in a shaking right hand. On the other side of the court, Shiki was panting heavily as well. With the third door opened as long as it did, it is taking a toll on Shiki's stamina and strength.
Rika threw the ball up in the air, and like before, there wasn't even a peep to be heard as her racquet impacted with the ball. Almost like in slow motion, Shiki's eyes caught the movement of the net between them before instinct caused him to run towards his right side, and his racquet impacted with the ball.
The eyes of everyone present widened at that movement.
"He caught the ball!" Kevin gasped.
Shiki gritted his teeth as he grabbed onto his racquet with both hands. 'What power! I can see why they named it Accel Return! But I won't lose!'
The next moment however, Shiki felt himself losing his hold on his racquet as it went flying out of his hands and hit the wall behind him, with the ball rolling away from his foot. The silver haired teen panted and retrieved his racquet only to have his eye twitching when he saw a large hole in the middle of his racquet. All the wires of his racquet were practically forced out of the racquet itself.
"Game and match! Game won by Rikkaidai Fuzoku's Echizen! Seven games to five!"
It was like an explosion had just gone off in the stadium as the Rikkaidai supporters cheered so loudly that it startled several birds in flight from the nearby trees.
"We won!" Hikaru screamed, leaping onto his twin and choking him with his bear hug.
"Get off me, Hikaru!" Hikari protested, trying to unlatch his twin from around his neck.
"We won! We won!" Ryou screamed, hugging the person next to him who turned out to be Shuu who was slowly turning blue due to the lack of oxygen.
"Yatta! Rika-sempai did it!" Seika leapt on the person nearest to her who turned out to be Takahiro, and enveloped him in a bear hug. She realised what she had just done almost immediately before blushing and leaping off Takahiro like she had just been burned and bowed apologetically to him. "S-Sorry, sempai!"
Takahiro only smiled and grabbed Seika by the waist and pressing his lips to hers. Yurika and Kevin exchanged wicked grins as they saw that. Above the Rikkaidai bleachers, both Sanada and Yanagi were restraining Yukimura who had seen the hug and then the kiss, and was fighting to get down there and kill Takahiro for 'violating' his baby sister.
"That's…my baby sister that you're kissing, you pervert! Get…your hands off her!" Yukimura growled as he fought hand and nail to free himself, but to no avail.
Sanada sighed. "I pity Rika if this is what she had to go through with Ryoga-san when she had first started seeing Seiichi," he muttered.
"You forgot her father, Sanada." Niou put in, and Sanada blinked.
"She really did it." Riku smiled, clapping politely, ignoring the craziness going around him that is the Rikkaidai tennis club. "She really did it."
"It is Rika after all." Sora put in, also clapping politely.
Riku laughed. "That's true."
"Rika, you're paying for a new racquet." Shiki said sourly, pointing at the poor state of his racquet. For lack of a better word, he might as well either restring his entire racquet or just get a new one. "My poor racquet." He nearly whined, eyeing his racquet woefully.
Rika laughed tiredly, having fallen on her behind the moment that the referee had announced the score. "Sure," she said. Strangely enough, her headache had cleared the moment that the referee had announced her win. Her head doesn't feel like it is about to break apart any second anymore. She grinned at Shiki tiredly. "I win."
Shiki sighed before leaping over the net and walking towards Rika who is still sitting down on the ground and squatted down before her, still holding his broken racquet. The stadium had quietened down some with this action, but not by much.
"It looks like it," he said. Shiki then smiled. "Strangely, it doesn't bother me much anymore. At the last Nationals, it does. Until Tezuka-buchou told me that win or lose, it doesn't matter to him, as I've become an excellent pillar in his eyes. You as well, I'm sure. I'm sure that you're that unbeatable pillar to your team, the one that they always looked to for strength."
"That's right, fukubuchou!" Haruki called out, cupping his hands around his mouth.
"What he said!" Hikaru added, still latched around his twin's neck until an extremely angry twin whacked him across the head hard, hereby releasing himself from Hikaru's grip.
"Can you get off me already, Hikaru? You're not exactly light, you know!"
Shiki sighed and shrugged his shoulders before smiling at Rika. "Right from the start, I knew that this will happen," he said, and Rika raised an eyebrow. "From the time when we had first met until today… It is like I will be running at full speed, trying my hardest, and you will always be just a few steps in front of me, jogging leisurely. That's why I tried so hard to beat you. I didn't want to lose. But more importantly, I didn't want to lose to you." Shiki smiled. "But looks like no matter what, I can never defeat you. My brother was right. You have that kind of talent that only appears in a player once in a century. The talent to evolve with every match." Shiki then smiled. "Rika. Let's play again if we have the chance." He then stretched out his hand to pull Rika to her feet.
Rika stared for several moments before she smiled and took Shiki's hand as he pulled her to her feet. "Of course," she said with a nod. She then winked. "But a fun game this time." Shiki laughed. "Rikkaidai's championship award…" She turned to smile at her team before turning back towards Shiki. "We couldn't have done it without you, Shiki. You and your team."
Shiki laughed. "A half championship? I'll have to decline," he said. He then smiled. "Next year, Seigaku will be the champion."
Rika laughed. "We'll see about it," she said.
They both then laughed together, and to their watching teams, it is almost like hearing bells tinkle.
One Year Later
"Looks like your mind's made up, Rika." Yanagi said as the entire Rikkaidai tennis team, along with the ones from Rikkai High minus Yukimura, were present at the airport. "If truth be told, I kind of expected this day to come ever since you entered our team back in Rikkaidai Fuzoku. The Grand Slams, huh?" Yanagi mused. "Maybe one day, we'll all be competing against you in the courts."
Everyone laughed, and Rika smiled. She nodded. "Thanks," she said. "I'll be going to Europe, Yanagi-sempai. But I promise. I will be back one day."
It was near the end of Rika's senior year in Rikkaidai High.
As usual, Seigaku had lost to them in the Nationals…again, though this time, it is more like friendly matches against each other in the tournament than all-out fights. It wasn't that long after that when Steve Meyers had contacted Rika, extending to her an invitation for a chance to play professional tennis after the Tennis Association had seen her skills and matches.
It had taken Rika nearly a month to decide, especially with exams and all. But with encouragement from her friends and family, she had finally decided to take the chance that she was offered. Yukimura on the other hand… The two had a big fight the day that Rika told Yukimura of her decision. Rika knew that her boyfriend is just upset that she'll be gone for who knows how long, though he had overreacted a little. She hadn't seen him since, which had been about a week now.
Rika looked over at the entrance of the airport hopefully, but no blue haired teen came barrelling through like how he had been when she was departing for the US Open nearly two years ago. Shinderui Shiki who is present as well sighed. "Yukimura-san isn't coming, is he?" he asked Sanada who grunted and shrugged.
Almost on cue, an announcement echoed over the loudspeakers of the airport just then.
"Flight number 304, from Narita to Vatican: check-in is now in progress."
Yukimura Seika frowned. "Nii-san is a baka!" she muttered. "What the hell is he doing?"
Rika sighed. "I can't wait for him, or I'll miss the flight," she said. She then dug in her bag before pulling out a photo album and pushing it into Seika's hands. "Seika, give this to him for me. Tell him that I'll want this back once I return, and that I'll definitely be back one day."
"Do your best, Rika," said Marui with a grin. "Don't worry about 'Mura. He'll come around. Do your best over in Europe."
"We'll come over in a month or so, Rika," said Ryoga before giving his sister a hug. "Take care of yourself until then."
Rika nodded. "See you."
She then walked towards the departure gates before showing the officer her passport and was then allowed entry. Takahiro said nothing as he stared at Rika's departing back. She will forever be his first love, but he had already moved on. He then gave a rare smile at Seika as she smiled back at him, and squeezed his hand affectionately.
"Ah!" A cry from Haruki caught their attention, and everyone turned only to see Yukimura Seiichi stepping out from behind the pillar not too far from them, a semi guilty look on his face. "Seiichi-nii! Where have you been? Rika has left!"
Yagyuu frowned as he looked from Yukimura to the pillar that he is hiding behind and sighed. "Yukimura. How long have you been here? And where have you been?" Yukimura muttered something beneath his breath. "Pardon?"
"I've been here for two hours," said Yukimura, suddenly finding his feet very interesting. "Hiding behind the pillar."
Kevin blinked owlishly, along with every other. "Huh?"
Takahiro exploded first. "You…idiot!" he exploded, causing everyone to look at him with surprise, as he is such a mild and even tempered person that rarely loses his temper. "Don't you know that you're the one person that Rika wanted to say goodbye to the most?"
"Hey Takahiro! Calm down!" Seika tried to calm her boyfriend down.
Yukimura sighed. "Take care of my sister for me, Takahiro," he said. "And Seika, take care of our parents and make sure that Haruki doesn't get into too much trouble."
Seika smiled and nodded. "Sure," she said. She then giggled when she saw the confused looks on everyone's faces. "Looks like I'm going to have to miss my brother for awhile. Nii-san, when you get back, I want a sister-in-law, and maybe some nieces or nephews."
Yukimura spluttered, going red in the face before he coughed and looked around at all the confused faces. He then smiled and pulled out his passport from his jeans' pocket. "I'm taking the next flight to Europe," he explained.
Grins and smiles broke out on the faces of everyone present, but Ryoga doesn't look too pleased. "Seiichi, don't do anything that I wouldn't," he warned.
Yukimura grinned. "Don't worry, 'onii-chan'," he said, and Ryoga spluttered. "I won't let you become an uncle early." Ryoga almost choked on his spittle and everyone laughed. "Well then, I'm going. See you guys in a few years."
"Give Rika our regards." Riku called out, hanging over Sora's shoulder.
Yukimura smiled and waved before walking towards the departure gate, after the girl whom he loved more than life itself.
Nineteen Years Later
The strong aroma of breakfast could be smelt in just about every inch of the Yukimura residence as one Yukimura nee Echizen Rika hummed to herself, preparing the bentos for her children and husband.
Rika then smiled to herself as she glanced at the photos hanging on the walls of the kitchen, all filled with photos of the Yukimura family's family and friends. Her brother had married his girlfriend since his college days, who actually turned out to be one Fuji Syuusuke's elder sister, Fuji Yumiko. Takahiro had married Seika when he had turned twenty-two, and is now a tennis coach in one of Japan's most famous sports schools, just like her.
Sora had became a famous photographer, and as for Riku, no one in Japan won't know his name, as he had actually turned out to be a famous violinist, playing in concerts all over the world. The rest of their friends had also all settled down and were leading their own lives, though they always met up every month or so for a good chat about the old times and their lives.
She and Seiichi have returned to Japan when she had turned nineteen, having had enough of the tennis tournaments and the fame, and they have then gotten married about a year after that when Yukimura had secured a job as a doctor.
Rika laughed to herself when she remembered how Yukimura had proposed to her. That memory certainly always made her laugh.
"Ne, R-Rika. W-Would you…?" Seiichi stuttered, holding out a bouquet of red roses. "W-Would you…? W-Would you…?"
"Yes, fine! I'll accept the damn flowers!" Rika snapped, feeling tired of the stuttering that he is doing.
"No! W-W-WOULD YOU MARRY ME?" Yukimura nearly screeched out, nearly pushing the ring that he is offering into Rika's bewildered face.
A very long silence followed after that.
She then glanced at the top-most photo hanging on the kitchen wall that is taken by Sora on the day of their wedding that is a group photo of all their family and friends. Wakato Hiroshi from Jyousei had actually been their wedding planner, and had flirted with her throughout the entire wedding ceremony, much to Yukimura's displeasure.
She could still remember it like it was yesterday, their wedding day.
"Do you, Echizen Rika, take Yukimura Seiichi as your lawfully wedded husband, to love and care for, to cherish and respect, until death do you part?" The minister asked.
"I do." Rika said, her eyes staring straight at Yukimura's own sapphire ones like no one else mattered, and that they are the only ones present.
"Do you, Yukimura—"
"I do." Yukimura answered, looking straight at Rika without seeing anything else at all.
"Well, yes, but at least let me finish speaking!" The minister stated, annoyed. There were titters of laughter from the audience, and Yukimura grinned sheepishly. Sanada who had been his best man disguised his laugh into loud hacking coughs. "Do you, Yukimura Seiichi, take Echizen Rika as your lawfully wedded wife, to love and care for, to cherish and respect, until death do you part?"
"I do," said Yukimura, smiling brightly.
"And now, with the powers vested in me by kami, I hereby pronounce you as man and wife," said the minister, smiling from ear to ear, and cheers went up. "The rings please." He requested.
Haruki who was grinning from ear to ear didn't move. He just stood there like a stone statue, staring at the happy couple. Seika and Takahiro both nudged him in the sides whilst clapping alongside everyone else, and Kevin who was standing next to Takahiro tried to disguise his laughter into loud hacking coughs.
"O-Oh yes," said Haruki sheepishly, coming back to reality. "Here."
The minister took the rings, glaring at Haruki all the while, an action that caused Seika to duck behind Takahiro, mindful of her bridesmaid's dress, giggling helplessly. Rika's other bridesmaid, Tachibana Ann who is now known as Kamio Ann laughed, whilst her husband, Kamio Akira chuckled.
Rika nearly chopped her own fingers with the knife that she is using when she felt a pair of arms wrapped around her waist from behind, and she looked over her shoulder only to see Yukimura Seiichi hugging her from behind, nuzzling her neck, a smile on his face.
"Oh, for goodness sake, Seiichi! Not in the morning!" Rika nearly groaned. "Riiyu and Rihan will be both down soon. They sure don't need to see their parents going at it so early in the morning!"
Seiichi had a devilish smirk on his face at that. "Funny, I didn't hear you complaining about it last night," he teased. "I think I hear something along the lines of 'harder' and 'faster'."
Rika turned bright red at this before the sounds of their children running down the stairs caused Seiichi to unlatch himself from his darling wife and coughed into his hand, pretending to be busy preparing his own coffee as their daughter and son ran into the kitchen, both already in their school uniforms.
"Kaa-san, Tou-san, morning!" Yukimura Rihan, aged 16, a freshman in Rikkai High greeted as he sat down in his seat. He basically looks like a younger version of Seiichi, only with his mother's dark eyes.
"Morning!" His younger sister, Yukimura Riiyu, aged 13, who will be starting her freshman year in Rikkaidai Fuzoku, greeted breathlessly. Whilst Rihan is his father's mini-me, Riiyu is her mother's, only with Seiichi's sapphire eyes.
"Morning, you two," said Rika briskly as she placed their breakfast in front of them. "Now finish up your breakfast and get going. You don't want to be late for your first day of school. And don't forget your bentos." She placed their bentos in front of them as she said so. "Not to mention yours of course, darling." She gave a grinning Seiichi his own. "And wipe that smirk off your face."
"I have to go soon!" Rihan stuffed two slices of toast into his mouth before washing it down with some milk before grabbing his bento and bag and rushing to the front door. "I'm meeting Ryuu! I'm leaving now!"
"Nii-san! Wait for me!" Riiyu called out before she finished the last of her breakfast and grabbed her bento and bag. "Tou-san, Kaa-san, I'm leaving now."
"Have a safe trip." Both parents called out as the front door slammed shut.
Seiichi then grinned as he eyed his wife appreciatively. "Now that the children are gone, how about we continue last night's activities?" he suggested, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. "Let the doctor give you a 'check up'."
Rika tried to stay angry, but couldn't help laughing at the mischievous look on Seiichi's face. "Oh, for goodness sake, Seiichi!" she laughed. "Very well. But I have a class to teach at ten."
Seiichi grinned. "Plenty of time," he murmured in her ear as he lifted her into his arms and headed up the stairs.
"Here it is." Yukimura Riiyu muttered to herself as she slid opened the door and stepped in only to bump straight into a handsome dark haired teeth with sapphire eyes so much like her own. "Ack! Gomen! Oh no!" She dropped all the books in her arms as she did so.
"Gomen!" The handsome boy apologised fervently as he helped her to pick up all her books. It is still pretty early, and as such, no one else was in the classroom. "Here, let me help you."
"Thank you," said Riiyu, blushing lightly as she straightened up. "Are you in my class as well?" The boy nodded, smiling at her. "I'm Riiyu." She bowed to the boy lightly before straightening up again. "Yukimura Riiyu. Nice to meet you."
"I'm Shin," said the boy with a pleasant smile. "Tanaka Shin. Nice to meet you too."
A/N: And this concludes The Ice Princess of Rikkaidai! I hope that you guys have enjoyed this story. I know that I enjoyed writing this, definitely! I had been at it for over two years! A new Prince of Tennis story will be up within the month – the story where a female Ryoma is mute, and the pairing will be either Shiraishi or Oshitari, haven't made up my mind yet, though I'm leaning more towards Shiraishi.
Anyway, I hope that you've enjoyed this story, and please read and review! Oh, and a cookie to anyone who could guess whose son Shin is.