Sorry for the wait! Thank you for the reviews and to those who gave suggestions for future scenarios.

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own Prince of Tennis nor do I own the song Reflection by Christina Aguilera.

Sitting cross-legged on the loveseat was the almighty Atobe Keigo. His eyes ran through the paper which contained Ryoma's bio data, the Tennis Association's Rules and Guidelines and also a photocopy of the Principal's note regarding one Echizen Ryoma.

On the bio data, under gender, Ryoma had placed Female which meant the principal and the staff knew of her real gender. 'But if that is so, why wasn't she revealed earlier?'

Atobe's attention then shifted towards the photocopy as he read the note.

Echizen Ryoma wants to pose a boy upon entering Seishun Gakuen because she wanted to join the Boys' Tennis team rather than the Girls' saying that the Boys' was obviously stronger than the girls. Although I was a bit hesitant at first, her parents made a compromise that if ever the tennis team had already found out, then they would give the 'go' signal for me to reveal the truth. The staff has no idea about this to protect Echizen-san for there are some teachers who – for lack of better words – can't keep their mouths shut.

Atobe had taken note of the number of erasures that the principal had done, letting him get the idea that this might've been a hard one to write and he was probably lax since this was a very private document that was meant for the principal's eyes only. Atobe hummed to himself, 'Inui did a very good job.' He stood up from his seat and sat in front of his computer as he himself began some research.

It was about time that he helped his dear cousin.


"Hey." Ryoma managed to say to her dumbfounded teammates.

"Ochibi?!!" was all Eiji managed to exclaim. Even he was smart enough to put two and two together. That the Prince that they all loved and adored was actually a Princess. Conflicting emotions could be seen in their eyes. Emotions of betrayal. She didn't trust them enough to tell them about her secret. Disbelief that she actually managed to hide under their noses all this time. Awe, since she managed to defeat the opponents thrown her way and that she managed to par up to them when it came to physical exercises. All in all, they didn't know what to feel, what to expect or even how to react.

Momo, who had been her best friend, felt that his throat had gone dry and managed to say only a single word that shook Ryoma to the core, "Why?"

Ryoma stood on the steps, her hand shaking a bit as its grip tightened on the railing. "I…. I can explain, you guys."

Seeing the conflicting emotions in their eyes, Ryoma doubted that they'd find her reason humorous. Her eyes met with Fuji's for a brief moment, then finally to her mother. 'She never wanted me to pretend in the first place…' then once again, her eyes moved towards her teammates, 'I… I owe them the truth… I… I'm scared…' Ryoma felt like breaking down then and there but she stood her ground.

"I just wanted people to take me seriously." she blurted out, "I… I've seen the performance of the girl's tennis team in Seigaku and yes, they're good, but not as good as you guys. I mean… it's always the boys who took their training seriously, half of the population in the Girls' Tennis team are in it only to ogle at you guys, who would want to be in that kind of environment?" Ryoma went down the stairs completely and looked at each of them in the eyes, 'They don't trust me anymore.' she realized.

"You could've trusted us more, Echizen." Tezuka's monotonous voice ended the short moment of silence, "We're teammates. If you don't trust us, how do you expect us to trust you?"

Ryoma felt stupid, 'Damnit. Damnit.' her hands curled up into fists on her sides, "Then you'd be treating me differently!" she stomped her feet, a childish act she never managed to get rid of.

"How do you think that this way would be any different?" Tezuka's voice felt cold as he spoke to her, "It would've been better if you'd told us to your own accord but you hid the truth from us."

"Was it fun, Echizen?" this time, it was Momo who spoke up.

"Was it fun being able to play with us? Was there a rush of thrill as you tried to keep the truth from us for a very long time? When were you planning on telling us, huh, Echizen?"

Eiji's gaze on her was that of disappointment, "It hurts, Ochibi… you don't trust your senpai-tachi."

Fuji could feel sympathy for the girl, "Just let it go, guys. Ryoma only want - "

"No." Ryoma cut Fuji off, "I don't need you to back me up, Fuji-senpai. I can handle this on my own." Ryoma glared at Fuji with her sharp eyes, 'I don't need your help now, bastard.'

"We're sorry, Echizen," Oishi looked at her with tender eyes, "but as of now… we're really unsure of how to react. There are still other people out there who thinks that you're a boy and they need to know sooner or later the truth. And trust me that they'd rather know it from you."

Ryoma shifted her gaze towards the floor and took a step back. "Well, if that's all you wanted to say, senpai-tachi, you may take your leave." Ryoma looked up and let a small smile linger on her face, "Thank you for all the trouble you went through for me." She slowly made her way up the stairs as silent tears ran down from her golden eyes.

As soon as she entered her room, she locked the door behind her and slid down the floor, hugging her knees as she tried to muffle her sobs. Karupin pawed her master gently before curling up beside her.


Atobe Keigo leaned back his chair as he flipped through papers making sure he didn't miss a thing. Three more days and the tournament will start and he still needed to make sure that his cousin won't be disqualified. Rubbing his forehead, he flipped his phone open and dialed a number.

"Alisa Harrington speaking, who is this please?" a voice answered from the other line in English.

"Miss Harrington, this is Atobe Kiego."

Atobe could already feel himself being victorious in helping his cousin as a smirk made its way to his face.


Ryoma was in her room leaning against the headboard of her bed and mindlessly played with her hair. She had skipped dinner and locked herself in her room together with Karupin who was staring at her master with sad eyes.

Letting out a sigh, Ryoma got down from her bed and stood in front of her mirror. Reaching out her right hand towards the reflection on the mirror, 'We look so much the same…' she silently thought to herself. She hummed a tune and sang to herself silently with a small sad smile.

Look at me
You may think you see
Who I really am
But you'll never know me

"Eh? Is that a transfer student?"

"Wow, she's cute!"

"I think I've seen her before…"

"She looks so familiar…"

"Damn. She's hot!"

Every day
It's as if I play a part

Walking down the hallway, Ryoma entered her room and continued to ignore all the whispers behind her. She was now wearing the girls' school uniform after much persuasion from her mother. Though she was hesitant to go to school after yesterday's incident she realized that if she really wanted things to be clear, she better explain it to them well.

Now I see
If I wear a mask
I can fool the world
But I cannot fool my heart

Horio then approached her with a boastful look and huffed his chest, "Hello there! You're a new student right? My name is Satoshi Horio and I have two years of tennis experience! What's your name?"

Giving Horio an incredulous look, she said one thing that made the whole class' jaw drop.

"Echizen Ryoma."

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

Lunch Time

Ryoma felt herself getting cold as her fingers touched the cold doorknob that led towards the rooftop. She knew the regulars were going to be there since she sent them – much to her embarrassment – love letters. 'I can do this. I can do this.'

After turning the doorknob and taking a step forward, she could see that all eyes were on her. It was deadly silent and she wanted to break it so much. She could see how Eiji was resisting the urge the glomp her right then and there.

She took closed the door and took another step forward before bowing down. Her long hair cascaded down along with her head. Her hands rested on her knees and she shut her eyes close.

"Senpai-tachi, I'm sorry!" she didn't straighten herself as she continued, "I know you might all think that I don't trust you but the truth is I really do and I was just scared of what might happen. You might not take me seriously anymore and I don't want to be kicked out of the team!

I am now
In a world where I
Have to hide my heart
And what I believe in

I know that I've made you all hate me but I understand that and I can take it if people hate me but I don't think I might be able to handle it if you guys are the ones hating me. I don't know why but it just hurts so much to know that you hate me and I don't know why I'm scared to lose you!" tears steadily dropped on the floor, "I…I would understand if - "

"Echizen, get a hold of yourself!" Tezuka's voice reached her ears which shocked her, she looked up, her tears blurring her vision, "H – huh?"

'Did I do something wrong? Did I say something wrong? Oh no, what if they really do hate me?'

But somehow
I will show the world
What's inside my heart
And be loved for who I am

"Ochibi-chan nya~!!!" Eiji took a huge leap and glomped her, rubbing his cheeks with hers, "I forgive Ochibi, nya." Eiji gave him a huge smile and she couldn't help but smile a bit herself, a tall shadow was then in front of her, she looked up and realized that it was Tezuka, "You are – huh?"

Ryoma's arms were around Tezuka's waist as more tears ran down her cheeks, she buried her head on Tezuka's stomach and nodded, "I know, I know! I'm Seigaku's … pillar of support!"

Relief ran through Ryoma's body and she could only care less that she was hugging her ex-boyfriend's boyfriend. "Thank you, buchuo… thank you so much!"

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection
Someone I don't know?

Ryoma pulled away from her captain who had a shocked look on his face.

"Well, I already had a hunch that you were a girl since there's always a time in a month when you'd wear black shorts and your temper is shorter than normal." Inui's said more to himself, "And add in the fact that you're shorter than an average boy your age should be though you've been drinking two bottles of milk a day, it seems like they helped in developing your breasts – ouch!"

Inui stopped talking as Ryoma kicked his shin with a red face, both from embarrassment and anger, "Shut up, Inui-senpai!"

"I lost to a girl…" Kaidoh told himself in a small voice as realization hit him.

Momo laughed at his rival, "You sure did, mamushi!"

Must I pretend that I'm
Someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

"You lost to me too, Momo-chan-senpai." Ryoma said in a teasing tone which made Momo sputter incoherent nonsense.

"Speaking of tennis," Oishi looked at Tezuka with an inquiring look, "What do we do about Ryoma's predicament? Our game against Hyotei is now only 2 days away."

There's a heart that must be
Free to fly
That burns with a need to know
The reason why

"We can find a way, Tezuka." Fuji said, giving Ryoma a glance, "We can ask for Ryuuzaki-sensei's help."

Ryoma looked doubtful, "In such a small period of time… is it even possible?"

"Nya~ Ochibi can continue to pretend to be a boy until this Saturday!" Eiji said with a grin.

The warning bell then rang signaling that there was only 5 minutes before classes would continue.

"Well, this is another problem huh." Taka said while scratching his head.

Ryoma bit her lower lip, "I'll try to figure something out… somehow."

Why must we all conceal
What we think, how we feel?
Must there be a secret me
I'm forced to hide?

"Here are some print-outs." Oshitari lazily handed over a short folder to Atobe who was about to close his locker. Receiving the folder, he momentarily opened it and examined it for a brief moment. Oshitari leaned back against the lockers and ran a hand through his hair as he waited for Atobe's reaction.

"Ahn? There is no specific rule. And with my reputation, I can easily work on this." a smirk was evident on Atobe's face.

"But when you'd speak in behalf of Ryoma, wouldn't it be suspicious especially to those who are unaware that you are relatives?" Atobe gave Oshitari a look, "'The great Atobe Keigo, helping their competitor just so she won't be disqualified.' That'd be the perfect headline for any magazine."


Ryoma's face nearly split in two as he entered her house, "Tadaima!"

Peeking out from the kitchen, Nanako gave her cousin a strange look, "Okaeri, Ryoma-chan. You look happy, did something good happen today?"

I won't pretend that I'm
Someone else for all time
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

"The regulars forgave me, Nanako-chan! Although it was still kind of weird when Momo-chan-senpai was hesitating to put me in a headlock after finding out that I was s girl, but it feels so good that they now know." Ryoma gushed out as she crashed on the couch. Nanako couldn't help but feel happy for her cousin. It's been almost 3 years since she saw that kind of smile on her cousin's face.

'Time flies, huh.'

Nanako went back in the kitchen, tailed by Ryoma who put on a spare apron. Giving Ryoma a strange look earned her a grin, "It's been a while sine I put my culinary skills to use. I don't want to get rusty."

"Thank you then, Ryoma-chan."

They worked silently as Ryoma began making dessert. It was just a simple Blueberry Cheesecake but she placed all her heart into it since it has been a long time since she touched a single kitchen equipment.


"Ara? Blueberry cheesecake!" Nanjiro immediately grabbed a large slice of the cake before digging in, "I didn't know you knew how to make this Nanako-chan." Rinko commented as she also grabbed a slice of the cake.

Nanako gave them a smile, "It wasn't me, oba-san. Ryoma-chan made that cake."

Rinko turned to Ryoma who was silently eating her cake with a small smile on her face, seemingly in different world.

'Opening up did you good, didn't it, Ryo-chan?' Rinko thought to herself with a smile as she reprimanded her husband's lack of table etiquette.

After dinner was finished, Ryoma had went up to her room and finished all her assignments. Sitting down on the floor as she scratched Karupin's soft spot, which was just behind her ear, she hummed to herself.

"If it feels this good to be accepted as who I am, Karu-chan, I should've done this a long time ago, ne?"

Karupin merely gave a meow of approval. Karupin was now happy that her mistress was back to normal. Her happy-go-lucky, cocky mistress.


"Atobe-san, phone call for you." a maid knocked on Atobe's door while holding a wireless phone on a small red pillow.

The door opened and Atobe answered the call, "Atobe Keigo, speaking."

"I've dug out some. Expect me there in 2 days time."

Atobe could only raise a brow at the abrupt phone call before handing the phone back to the maid who bowed down before walking away.

'I might not be defending her after all.'

Atobe gave a wary look at the computer screen which revealed a grinning black-haired girl with emerald tints to her hair, an article was beside her picture. He closed the window only to reveal another window which was that of a blond haired girl with cerulean blue eyes smiling at the camera. Atobe gave the girl one last look before closing the window and shutting his computer down.


It's not the best chapter I know and sorry. But I did my best to come up with ideas and I was having a debate with myself about which song would fit perfectly for this chapter. Then I decided to put the other to use on another chapter since I already have a scene in mind. Heheh. Anyways, this is chapter 5 and I hope you liked it.

I updated earlier than expected since I am going out of town and I have no other time to update this. So please don't forget to review!

Oh and thank you for all those who reviewed the previous chapter, you guys keep me alive.

~MysticBlood