Standard, I don't own PoT even though it makes me cry like crazy, disclaimers apply. Written longer than usual because I love you and because the reviews came in so fast. I was like…whoa!

Sixth Grade: The Return


Ryoma POV. Airplane Terminal.

It was loud and noisy, and it felt good. A crowd of strangers is the best place to be when you want to feel alone. And I definitely need to feel alone. Or at least feel something. I mean, I'm coming back. It's finally happening, so why don't I feel anything?

Maybe it's because part of me knows that I can't just come home and pick up where I left off. Maybe it's because part of me knows that they might not feel the same why I do. Maybe it's because part of me is…

"Maybe you should just shut up and stop worrying!" Ryoga slapped me on the head.

Right. Stop worrying. Except that all the emotions that I haven't felt in the last few years are catching up with me. All right now.

It makes me want to punch Ryoga in the face and scream, and then punch Oyaji in the face and scream. And then scream some more, and more, and more. And then go play tennis. Yes, that sounds like a very good course of action.

I especially like the part where I get to punch those two idiots in the face.

Arg! Think non-homicidal thoughts!

Calm. Rain. Tennis. The same thoughts that I always had. The same ones that ran through my mind when they weren't here.

"Whoa…now he looks dead." Male voice. Sounds really retarded so it must be Ryoga. In fact I'm almost positive it is him.

I open my eyes. Crowds of strangers. I like it. I walk into them, leaving the idiots that are supposed to be my family behind me. People push and rush and trip and I'm not sure what I should do. I want to help them out, but I'm in no position to help anyone. I want to help the guys I left the most, and I'm not even sure if I have enough strength for that.

My hand reaches out towards the girl, unconsciously, and looking at my frail fingers and I pull the pale hand back. Still weak, I can't help but think. Still not enough, I can't help but think. Still mada mada dane, I can't help but think.

I walk over to the girl and pull her up with a strength I didn't know I had. Then I walk away, as I've always done. She shouts something along the lines of thank you to me as I walk off. I wave to her without turning around. The fewer people that know I exist, the better right?

I don't want them to see me when I'm weak and frail and I can't do anything.

And yet, I want to see them.

I'm so selfish.


Ryoga POV. Shuttle Ride Home.

The poor kid. At least he's going to get to see those friends of his soon. I mean, we bullied Nanjiroh into forcing his old school to accept his son. Not that something like that would've been necessary if they saw his amazing tennis skills.

The brats going to be better than I am.

But it's alright, I thought, smiling at the idiot who had fallen asleep with worry. I guess that's what happens when you let the stress catch up with you all together. It's like all the colds he should have caught from practicing in the rain are affecting him right now.

Or maybe it's all the emotions that he's kept hidden. Or all those feelings, all those weaknesses, all those times when he should've given up but he just kept on going. It's all of those times put together, and they've all caught up to the poor brat right now.

But he'll be fine.

He's gotten so much smarter, so much faster, so much stronger. It's like nothing can stop him now, because he was born for this. And all of the fighting, all of the cold, wet, rainy practices were just moments, giving birth to the monster in front of me.

Because this monster is going to kick butt.

And this monster, my monster, is finally going to get back all of the things he's had to leave. He's going to get all the things that he deserved, instead of the cold years that he's had to live through.

So I'll be happy for him.

After all that's how I'm supposed to feel, right? I'm not supposed to wish that this shuttle ride would last forever. I'm not supposed to wish I could fly Ryoma back to America. I'm not supposed to fall in love with this beautiful, strong, so unbelievably strong, so ridiculously beautiful, being.

So I'll just be happy for him. And those kids better take care of him.


Kunimitsu POV. Seigaku Tennis Courts.

I'm a senior. The senior. The senior captain of the Seigaku Tennis Team. The one without emotions. The scary guy, with a scary stare that hangs out with the sadistic pretty guy with evil intentions behind his pretty little smile.

Yeah, I'm pretty scary.

But it's not my fault. It's no one's fault. It's not his fault. And it's not their fault. It's no one's fault that that those happy, smiling boys, those five little kids, had to leave each other and grow up in the harsh world we call reality.

So anyways, I'm the big scary senior captain and I'm always the first one at the courts. I have to work hard, otherwise I'll remember, and I don't want to remember. Well, it's not that I don't want to remember him…it's just that I want to forget. Does that make any sense at all?

It's fine if it doesn't. Sometimes I don't even make sense to myself. It's like my whole life is an oxymoron. Yeah, oxymorons describe my life all right. Like pretty ugly, seriously funny. My life's like that.

As I walk towards the courts that I know ever so well, thinking of the ironic oxymorons that describe this crappy thing people like to call life, I saw him.

He was beautiful.

But that wasn't why I gasped. That wasn't why I dropped my rackets and let the tennis balls scatter across the courts and run all over the place. That wasn't why time seemed to freeze, as he turned around, with his longish locks framing his perfect face.

The reason…was because it was him.

"You…came back." I said. I wasn't too sure how I felt. Was I happy? I couldn't be, he'd left us. Was I sad? No…I couldn't be sad, not with that gorgeous boy in front of me. Was I upset? Was I upset that Ryoma came back without telling us, just like he left us?

"Ohayo." His voice was icy cold. "Do I know you?" His eyes flipped up from under his Fila cap. I stared, shocked. Did I mistake him? No…no one else could ever be this pretty. No one, not even Syuusuke who'd been with me for so long, who'd been there for me. Syuusuke…how would he react to this?

And…how should I react to this.

He reached out with his racket, moving all the tennis balls together, and shooting them into the basket I'd dropped. "Play against me." He said. It wasn't a request, and it wasn't an order. It was…cold, emotionless, it reminded me of the way people described me.

And it hurt. Was this how Syuusuke felt? Was this why he had begged me not to do this to myself? Was this why he would stand strong, why he would freeze his tears with his icy eyes and tell me everything would be alright?

Because that's what I wanted to do for Ryoma.

I didn't know what else to do. Maybe because I wasn't as strong as Syuusuke. I couldn't even carry myself through the day, how could I pull Ryoma along with me? I don't know what to do…

And when I looked up, to serve that stupid yellow tennis ball, I realized Ryoma didn't know what to do either.


Syuusuke POV. Chemistry Class.

"Mitsu! Mitsu!" I bounced up to him. He had spaced out, that was for sure. Or else he would've killed me for calling him Mitsu during class. Hmmm, people were already whispering about it. Maybe Mitsu-chan was more popular than I thought.

Ah well, just have to pull him through three more classes. Just have to act like a hyperactive preppy kid like the other brats in this class for just three more classes. Gods, why couldn't I have Eiji's energy?

I looked at the redhead, jealous that he could have such a normal life. Jealous of his energy, jealous of his happiness, his innocence. But it was too late for me to have any of that stuff. I may as well be glad I still have my Mitsu.

"Ku-ni-mi-tsu." I wagged my finger in front of his face. "Wake up already!" He came back to earth, and dragged me out of the room. Not much better than before but at least I know he's still alive now.

"I saw him today." I said. His voice was deep and raspy, exhausted and tired, and clueless and lost and desperate for help. My heart ached for him. I wondered briefly what had him so lost. I mean more lost than usual. We'd already agreed, that since we were both crazy, we would keep our calm during school hours and go crazy after class.

And he'd managed to keep his composure every single day, with a strict stare and a business-like countenance, he'd get through each and every single day. With limited emotions, if any, he would sneak through the day, ignoring everyone and attempting to be ignored by everyone.

Sorry Mitsu, but girls don't leave hotties like you alone easily. I should know, I get my fair share of them.

"You'll be fine," I smiled at him, letting the mask-smile slip away slightly, so that he could see a peek of a real smile. That always made him feel better.

He looked up into my eyes, placed his hands on my shoulders, and said "I saw Ryoma today." And that's when I lost it too. Mitsu's eyes clouded over, letting me know that his rendez-vous with Ryoma had not gone well.

My body, my heart, my mind, my senses, everything fought with everything else. Nothing made sense and the between the two of us…there wasn't much sense left to go around to begin with.

"He was at the courts. He was playing tennis. In the morning. In the cold. I'm worried about him. He didn't remember me…or at least that's how he acted. I think…I think he was as hurt as we were." Mitsu was rambling, half the words didn't make sense, there were few actual sentences and nothing seemed to be in the right place. But we knew what it meant.

We understood each other, and thank god that we did. "Should we help him, or should we wait?" I looked at Mitsu, Mitsu, darling Mitsu. I don't want to see you like this. I haven't seen Ryoma yet…so I don't know how hurt he is. And as much as I want to see him now, I can't bear to leave you.

Not like this, and not ever.

Mitsu looked at me. "How can we help him? We're in the exact same situation he is." I nodded understanding, and even slightly agreeing with him. Because Mitsu was right, all of us were hurt and lost and confused. But the difference was, I had him. I had a rope to reality, and anchor something to keep me safe.

Ryoma would be lost right now. So we'd have to see him soon.

I tilted my head into Mitsu's chest. I'd see Ryoma soon. And I had Mitsu for now. That was good enough for me. That was good enough for now. I'm safe for now, and soon we'll come rescue you.

Gen. Keigo. Ryoma.

Mitsu.

Everything's going to be okay now, right?

Everything has to be okay. Because if this goes wrong. The five of us…will have nothing left. Because Ryoma was all we had to hold on to…and if he's let go already…there's nothing left.

Nothing but Mitsu. So I won't let go of you. My fingers entwined with his. I won't let you go. So we'll get Ryoma together…because as much as I love him…I won't let you go.

No, I've lost too much already. I won't lose anything else. I wouldn't be able to handle it. "So please…stay with me." I didn't even know I said it…but at the same time I could tell… that Mitsu needed to hear it.

Ryoma. We're coming. Wait for us. We're coming back…coming from our lost little land. Coming from the dark shadows that we were so lost in. We're coming to get you.


Genichirou POV. That little park for rich kids right by the Atobe Mansion.

He's so mad at me right now. I know I shouldn't have done it, but I slapped one of the 2nd years today. And now Keigo is mad at me again.

Before we started going out, he just let it slip as another stupid thing that I did because I missed Ryoma so much. Now we pour our loss of Ryoma into each other…so he swears I shouldn't have a reason to do these stupid things anymore.

But that damn Kirihara!

He takes tennis for granted, he uses the one thing that kept the five of us together, as a weapon to hurt others. And I just couldn't accept that…because in a way it was like Ryoma was hurting me. All over again.

I pound tennis balls into the wall at a rate that should be considered inhumane, then throw my racket at the gate, making a large hole in the cheap material. Stupid schools, can't even make a gate properly.

I grab the somewhat busted racket, the one that I bought last week, not my precious one. The one that's too small for me to use and extremely old and absolutely covered in scratches. The one I was still using when Ryoma left.

I stare up at the angry sky with its stupid clouds and I can't help but think that something is wrong. Something is wrong with, if not our relationship, then the fact that the five of us are still hiding things.

Not from each other, it doesn't work that way. Whenever we see each other, which isn't too often since we're in different school districts, we can't help but show everyone exactly what we're going through. No, no one talks at all, but their facial expressions say more than their words ever could.

Except Keigo. Keigo was the only one that still used words to talk to me. I know this because he told me he loved me.

And I gave it up today. I'm so stupid. He trusted me not to do something idiotic and retarded like this. "Why does everything have to be so hard for us Keigo? Why is it that the five of us, even though we can't forget each other and there's nothing to forgive, but we still act this way. We act as though we don't care about each other."

I sighed, feeling the first dribbles fall over my heated skin. "We act as though we don't still love each other. And I act like I'm not completely head over heels in love with you."

A very wet, very girly purple haired diva runs to me from somewhere on the other side of the courts. Behind some shed that I didn't even know we had. He kisses me full on the lips, like the first time he told me he loved me. "Gen-chan," he says between passionate kisses and fierce battles of the tongue, "that's all I ever needed to hear from you."

And at that moment, I know everything will be okay. I don't know how long it'll take, but I know I'll be alright in the end. Because this feels so right.

Ryoma's still gone, and Kunimitsu still rarely talks, and Syuusuke still fakes that smile. But I'm standing here in the stupid rain, kissing my stupid diva, and everything feels right.


Sorry, it's late, and it's kind of awkward and I'm still not completely satisfied with it…But there's your next chapter.

If anyone really hates it, can you please, please tell me so I can revise it before all of my readers start hating me for this one chapter? Because even though I didn't kill anyone in it (not planning on killing my favorite five anime/manga characters anytime soon, so you can relax now) but because I did this chapter over a whole lot of days…

Well, it's choppy. And it annoys me.

But I don't know how to fix it!

Hugs and Kisses, and Lots of OT5 Love,

Your still unsatisfied, but hopefully still loved,

Rose-chan