Standard disclaimers apply.

Chapter 1: Zilch

This is really awkward. Really. There's this psycho on top of me and I just lay here gawking. Come on, girl. Gather your wits and say something.

"C-can you g-get o-off me, please? Y-you're kind of heavy."

Great. There I go again. I don't know why I'm so timid. I was confident before, you know. Fer rel. I used to be a dancer when I was little, you see. That's how I met Tomoka, my best friend from Seigaku. We both went to the same dance studio and we both loved to perform. Now my self-esteem wasn't off the charts like Tomo-chan's (and kami forbid if I were as bold as she), but at least I was confident enough with myself.

Wait a minute, you know what? I think I know exactly why I'm this timid. I think it's because of stupid Ryoma-kun. Yep. That's right. He was so mean, calling me wobbly hips, always insulting me. He even criticized my pretty braids! He said they were too long and that I should cut them. I didn't just to spite him. Nonetheless, my ego still shrunk big time. Not that I have an incredibly huge one, anyway. I mean, I haven't referred to myself as 'ore-sama', ne, Kaba– Ehem. The point is that I am quite painfully shy. And it's kind of beginning to annoy me, to tell the truth. Hell, I know some people already think it's incredibly annoying. That's why a lot of fangirls out there are bashing me or what not. Don't think I don't read fanfiction. Oh, the horrors. But, whatever. I can't please everybody. Believe me, I'm doing everything I can to get rid of the excessive stuttering and blushing. But I guess old habits die hard. That's just who I am.

I didn't notice that while I was busy with my internal monologue, the weight on top of me was already gone, nor did I notice the boy who crashed into me was running away already. Only when I heard a few snickers did I notice that I was the only one left sprawled on the floor and and gawking at nothing, that the stupid jerk was already sprinting down the flight of stairs, going to who knows where. I hope it leads him to hell. I scoffed and glared at the general direction he went. The nerve of that guy. He bumps into me, crushes me with his fat body and leaves me laying on the floor. What a bastard...

...Okay, so he's not really fat. He's actually got quite a lean physique. He kind of reminds me of Ryoma-kun, what with the dark hair, intense eyes and general lack of courtesy. Come to think of it, he's quite familiar. But still, that doesn't change the fact that he's a jerk. Seriously, was it too much to apologize and help the person you bump into? I think not. And so, lest I embarrass myself more, I got up, dusted myself, gathered my things and walked towards where I think my classroom is. Again, old habits die hard. Though I don't think it's as simple as that. Getting lost has been second nature to me and I don't think that will ever change. Maps don't help and compasses only made things worse. Believe me, I've tried using them. That's what got me to bump into that jerk anyway.

Alright, so it was partially my fault. I wasn't looking where I was going because I was too busy deciphering what the hell that arrow thing was doing but still, he was running! Sure, my reflexes are not as good as Eiji-sempai's but had he been walking, I'd have noticed and I would have gotten out of his way. I don't know why the mean dude was running, but doesn't he know it's against the rules to run around in the halls like that? I sigh. I really wish Tomoka was here with me so I can have someone to vent my frustrations to.

Oh, how rude of me. I'm Ryuuzaki Sakuno, by the way. You know, the granddaughter of the mean ol' ogress coa– I mean the beautiful, caring, kind coach of Seigaku. Ring any bells? I know it was hard to recognize me with me being out of character like this, but, as I told you, I was pretty confident myself back in the day. All my spunk must go somewhere. And that somewhere is in the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind. Yes, I have those. Just because I'm all nice and sweet and shy doesn't mean I don't have a 'dark side'. I just don't let it out that much. Tomoka does that enough for me. Oh, how I miss her. Being a new student sure sucks.

It's the third day of my first year here at Rikkai Dai and a lot of things have happened already. Some are good, while some are downright nasty. You'd think I would have forgotten about my accident with the mean dude this morning, but I haven't. Sure, I may seem timid and forgiving on the outside, but what I can forgive I can't always forget, can I? I can't really be blamed for being so bitchy. Had he shown an iota of civility, I wouldn't have minded as much. But nay, he was being an uncultured freak, bumping into me and running off without so much an apology. That stupid jerk. But, there was also something else about him that I find so... irritating. I know it's stupid not to like someone and hold a grudge for such shallow reasons but I can't help it. Just because I'm nice and sweet and friendly doesn't mean I like everybody. As I've mentioned, he's a bit familiar. I know I've seen him someplace but I couldn't quite remember where.

"Ryuuzaki-san!" I was yanked out of my thoughts as the teacher's figure materialized in my vision.

"I know the tennis regulars are quite a sight to see, but there are other times to ogle at them." Higurashi-sensei told me, a slight smirk on his face. Ugh, isn't that like a form of harassment or something? Humiliating students? I should so totally report him to the council. Yeah. I'll just put that on my list of things I want to do but I can't because I have no guts to do it, also known as TIWTDBICBIHNGTDI. Yep.

I heard my classmates laugh at me, and I tried not to blush. What was he talking about? And so, I turned my gaze to where the teacher was looking and lo and behold, there scattered around the tennis courts were the Rikkai regulars, practicing their... erm... tennis. Of course, Sakuno, what else would they be doing? Interpretive dance? I guess that's why my gaze lingered on them when I had been spacing out. They kind of remind me of the Seigaku tennis team. So determined and hardwo–

That jerk! I knew I know him from somewhere! He's that Devil Akaya! I say the name suits him well. He's an ill-mannered, boorish, uncouth jerk!

"Ryuuzaki Sakuno-san."

I turned to look back again at my teacher really fast, for a moment there, I thought I'd get a whiplash. Huh? Why is he glaring at me like that? And why are my classmates staring at me? Do I have something on my face?

"Sit down, Ryuuzaki-san. I will speak to you later after class." Then he returned to his teaching. What class was this again? Oh, right. English. Yeah. That's why I didn't like his class. The subject he's teaching was the most difficult for me to comprehend. It's even harder for me to keep up with lessons because I have noone to tutor me in English here. Fuji-sempai used to do that when I was still studying at Seigaku, you see.

Wait a minute, what did Mr. Higurashi say again? Why did he want to see me after class? Was he thinking of having some kind of twisted, secret taboo student-teacher relationship with me? I hope not. I guess reporting him to the council wouldn't be on my list of TIWTDBICBIHNGTDI anymore. I mean, I'm still too young to be in a relationship and he's too o–Oh. Oh shit. I hadn't realized that in my moment of indignation, I had stood up and shouted to the world what I thought I was just thinking to myself. I sat back down and stole a glance outside the window. I saw the regulars staring up at me (or I think they're looking at me), all sporting looks of shock and disbelief.

Great, just great. I haven't been here a week and everything's already going down the drain. My first two days had been fine, if not good. I didn't get lost as much, and my classmates welcomed me and treated me well (though I think it's because we're all new, what with us being first year students and all). But as Murphy's Law dictates, 'if anything can go wrong, it will.' I just didn't know it will happen so soon. I knew transferring here was a bad idea. If only grandma had waited a couple more years to retire, my parents wouldn't have taken me back with them and I wouldn't have to go to a new school. Stupid grandma, why are you so old?

Cue image of grandma, laying on her bed looking all fragile and senile, smiling ever so sweetly at me. I shook my head. What kind of granddaughter am I? Oh, grandma I'm so sorry for thinking such bad thoughts about you. It's not your fault you're past the prime of your life. Bless your sweet, little hea– right. Who am I kidding? Grandma's still as strong as a mule. The only reason she retired is so she can go to other countries and have her ridiculous beauty treatments. Yeah. So totally her fault. I sigh. Why am I such a good, obedient granddaughter again?

My musings were cut short (again) as I noticed a hand in front of me. "...Ryuuzaki-san, are you listening?"

"Huh? Oh, so-sorry. Co-could you repeat it, pl-please?"

He glared at me (again). "Let's see. You disrupted my class, you caused quite a scene, you bad mouthed a student, and you have been spacing out. And here I thought you were a model student." I winced. "Oh yes. I have read your file. It says there that you were quite shy and timid and that your record is untainted. Your behavior a while ago, however, gives another impression. Care to tell me what that was about?"

I flinched. I could lie and say some outlandish tale just to get him off my case, but that's just not me. So I told him the truth. How that Kirihara dude bumped into me this morning, how I couldn't stop thinking about it and couldn't let it go, how I suddenly remember him, so mean and cruel, from a couple of tournament matches when I was still in Seigaku, and how stressed I am with all the moving and transferring. I told him everything, perpetual blushing and stuttering included.

He let out an exasperated sigh. "Alright, Ryuuzaki-san. I will let you off with just a warning this time, but see to it that it does not happen again. You are dismissed." He picked up his things walked towards the door. But he stopped for a moment and said, "I also suggest you apologize to Kirihara-san. Good day, Ryuuzaki-san."

And then he was gone. I groaned. I knew nothing good would come out of my transfer here.

I am now limping my way to the tennis courts, ready to (reluctantly) apologize to Kirihara (aka The Mean Dude). Why am I limping, you ask? Well, after five minutes of debating with myself whether to apologize or not, I decided to just do it and get it over with. I remembered the pointed look Mr. Higurashi gave me earlier and I doubt his suggestion was only just that. It was more like an order and I have a feeling he would incessantly nag me if I didn't do as I was told. However, I felt like I had been sent into the battlefield the moment I stepped out of the classroom. There were fangirls everywhere, all of them trying to attack me. I think I have an idea why. They must have heard about my sudden outburst and didn't take my insult to The Mean Dude well. I'm surprised he even has fangirls. Must be because of his badboy image. So yeah. I got mobbed by vicious, rabid fangirls. I think one of them even bit me. Yep, I'd have to get anti-rabies shots just in case.

Thankfully, I was able to get out of the cluster of fangirls alive. However, my luck didn't hold out for long as I tripped on one of the fangirls' bags, fell down the stairs, and sprained my ankle. I sat on the floor for a few minutes because it was just that gosh-darn painful and made my way to the school clinic soon after. What, you think I'd go to the tennis courts right after I got up? Uh huh, yeah. So I just had my foot bandaged and am now limping my way to the tennis club room. Practice must be over because the regulars were nowhere in sight and the freshmen are already putting stuff away.

And now, here I am, in front of the tennis club's locker room, my hand fisted, ready to knock. Come on, Sakuno. You can do it. Just knock on the door, ask for the Mean Dude, say sorry and walk away. It's simple, really. Yep. I can do it. After all, I've memorized what I was going to say, planned to keep everything curt and brief, conditioned myself to hold my head up and not stutter, and to walk away with my dignity intact after. So come on, girl. Do it.

I mean, it's not like that hasn't happened to me before. Really, people bump into me all the time and I just let it go. Besides, he could have been in a hurry. Yes, I was being irrational. That must be it. He's probably a nice guy despite that... erm... demonic appearance. Yep. Right.

Oh, fudge. I put my hand down and played with the hem of my skirt. I can't do it. Why did it have to drag on for so long? I had been so completely, utterly ready to do this after my talk with Mr. Higurashi, but no. Nothing has to go as planned. Why kami-sama? What have I done wrong? I sigh. A lot of things, it seems. I must have done something even more perverse in the past life for me to deserve such a fate.


I looked up and saw the Mean Dude staring at me, an irritated look etched on his equally irritating face.

"What do you want?"

That annoying prick. If only I wouldn't get into trouble, I would have punched him to Seigaku. I doubt I could do much damage to him, though. But, whatever.

"If you're not going to say something then move out of the way. I want to go home."

I flinched. That stupid jerk!

"Oi, brat. Don't be so mean. You're making her uncomforta– Hey, weren't you the one who called Kirihara a jerk?"

A figure appeared beside the Mean Dude and I think I've just burst into flames. I felt so flustered. Did he have to remind me? The look on his face says he's enjoying it. I couldn't really say I blame him, though. He's the trickster after all.

"H-hai. I wo-would like to a-apologize for that, Mean D-du– I mean, Ki-kirihara-san!" Shit. Didn't mean for that to slip out. I bowed a little, more to hide my face in embarrassment. Yep. So much for holding my head high, not stuttering, and keeping my dignity intact.

"Aw... Come on, Akaya. She looks sorry. Look at her cute face. She looks like a tomato."

I couldn't see the Mean Dude's face, though I think it's still on its default annoyed frown. And I am so not sorry. I'm just embarrassed is all. Anymore of Niou-san's teasing and I'd have self combusted.


I looked up to see Niou-san's disbelieving face and the space where the Mean Dude was last standing.

That damnable fiend. That insufferable jerk. That infuriating bastard. Here I am, apologizing against my will, throwing whatever dignity I have left to the wind and he walks away from me?! I was supposed to walk away, damn it!

"Sorry. He's just like that. He'll come around, eventually." I looked at Niou-san. He offered me a consoling smile and followed his teammate. At least he was nice, so unlike the Mean Dude. But, whatever. I don't care if he forgives me or not. I've done my part and apologized. I just hope I don't encounter him again. Ever.

So yeah. I edited the first chapter because I wasn't satisfied with it. I hope this one's not as crappy. :P