First things first... I DO NOT OWN PRINCE OF TENNIS! :D
Second...I apologize for being gone for SSSUUUCCHH~~~ a long time! But i hope you'll still my upcoming chapters.. .
Third...please do enjoy and review! ~~and if you ever happen to have some suggestions, feel free to message me here! :D
"Neh, June." Misaki asked her best friend not later than Monday afternoon. "The finals…what do you think happened?" She beckoned.
Apparently, June was too busy chewing her meal that Misaki had to wait seconds for her to put it all in. "Obviously, it's been delayed." She answered airily.
"Not that!" Misaki annoyingly answered back then sipped from her water jug.
"Hmm? Then what was is it about? That's what happened isn't it? Due to the heavy rain, the finals have been postponed 'til next week. It's also the reason why there is no morning practice and why the grass outside is wet making us eat here at the shed instead, isn't it?" June stated with a trace of bitterness especially in the part of eating at the shed.
"Yeah…well…" Misaki was about to take a bite on her sandwich when her eyes suddenly caught a glimpse of Ryoma walking along the corridors of their building. He was alone and he was thinking really deep. He has been like that since morning and it's making Misaki even more curious. It was never normal for Ryoma to doze off. Sure, he does not talk much and lives in his own world almost every day…but he never dozes off. It's safe to say that knowing Ryoma's attitude, surely the delay of the game got him pretty upset. 'It delayed and decreased his time span of boasting…' naturally that is what Misaki would think. But right now, it was different…he was acting way too different. Clearly, something happened yesterday that made him act like this. But what is it? Yes. The tournament has been cancelled. But what happened at the tournament? What happened after the tournament? What happened to him?
"SNAP IT!" June loudly snapped her fingers to draw Misaki's spirit back to the place where they are at.
"Why are you dozing off? You did pass the surprise quiz in math didn't you? Why the long face?" June blabbed once again and Misaki couldn't help but feel oddly sorry.
"Oh-umm…sorry! I didn't have a good sleep last night so I was a bit sleepy. But don't you worry June, I'll be okay." She assured her despite the restlessness she's been feeling inside.
"Okay let's move now to the film viewing—huh? This cable is wrong." Mrs. Hisakawa, their English teacher, wondered in disappointment as she found out she grabbed the wrong cable for the projector that she borrowed in school facilities office.
"I'll get it!" Yoshikuwa Hinaki, their class president, stood up at once and approached Mrs. Hisakawa for the cable.
"Thank you Yoshikuwa-san, you really are dependable." Mrs. Hisakawa commended as she gave Yoshikuwa the cable. Yoshikuwa, receiving the wrong cable, gently smiled at her sensei and went on to the school facilities' office to change it.
"Jeez, what a show off…" Liara whispered to Rie.
"Jealous?" Rie asked.
"Why should I be? She's a two-faced mannequin." Liara answered back. "Besides even you, Rie, hate her…you know…because of how she treats other people, especially Misa—eh?"
Rie followed the gaze of Liara who was struggling to hold her laughter. On the other end of her eyesight, she realized, was a very sleepy Misaki.
"Jeez, that's the main reason she's getting edgy grades for this subject…" Rie wearily murmured.
"Misaki!" Liara softly called the sleepy head attempting to wake her up.
"Ah-finally!" Mrs. Hisakawa happily announced as the class president marched in with what seems to be the right cable and soon enough the film viewing started.
"Psst! Misaki..." Liara softly tried to break the spell bounding on Misaki's sleepy eyes for the nth time in the middle of their English class. However, it seems like Misaki was badly hypnotized.
"Oi! Misaki!" No good. Misaki's head was already making her fall off to her chair.
"Uh, Yoshikuwa-san, can I please ask another favor from you? Can you…" Mrs. Hisakawa, the English teacher, whispered another one unto the president and soon enough Yoshikuwa gladly went out of the class.
"Misaki!" Liara's call was almost loud enough but still no feedback.
"Ugh! You leave me with no choice, Sakura, Misaki." Rie, who seemingly got tired of Liara continuously whispering Misaki's name on her ears, started to interfere and roughly threw her pencil case right at the sleeping Misaki, making her wake up in surprise and at the same time, fall of her chair really hard.
"Uh-ahHH!" She automatically shouted at her fall which surprised almost everyone in the class, especially her teacher.
"Oh Miss Sakura! What happened to you?"
Uh-oh. She didn't mean to shout it out like that. She woke up in the middle of falling off her chair. She knows that but she can't say that to her teacher, right?
'Skibbles. What do I do?' Misaki's mind is rapidly processing. Whether it was good for a person who just woke up or not- does not matter, what matters is she has to have an excuse, NOW!
'Oh yeah, that pencil case. It hit me didn't it…wait…it HIT ME DIDN'T IT?' Misaki looked from the pink pencil case to the owner of it. 'Rie….!'
Her teacher paused the film, and fully placed her attention to Misaki. "What happened?" She asked once again as Misaki helps herself rise up.
"Uh-yeah…well…it's Rie-'s pencil case. Yup! I was reaching it…to give it to her-YUP! That's it! I was actually reaching Rie's pencil case when I…outbalanced myself. You know…while reaching it, I…yeah. Umm...gomen-nee…but…could I just… go to the washroom?" She stated each word in discomfort brought by all the stares and the silence.
"A-Are you sure you are okay?" Her teacher finally broke the blinking silence.
Misaki gestured a two thumbs up. "Hai!" She assured. "Here you go Rie." She said returning Rie's pencil case then proceeded towards their tapestry. Mrs. Hisakawa seems to have bought that excuse since she started to continue the film without any other followed up questions. It somehow made Misaki quite relieved.
Walking along the corridor towards their bathroom, Misaki noticed she was following a very familiar figure walking right on the same direction as hers. He is always like that anyway. Walking like the world is his; cool and composed…no… cocky, narcisstic, air-head, who doesn't seem to know the word sensitivity -Yeah, that's what he is. He chooses those whom he wanted to befriend or talk to. He's a snob. He doesn't care much about people. He doesn't actually try to socialize with them. He's a total dumbass, an idiot! And he's….well…he's….
"He is not himself today…" Misaki thought as she washed her face and looked at her own reflection from the mirror of the girl's washroom. Within her emerald eyes rests nothing else but full concern and worry over a person she was not even supposed to be concerned of.
"But then again…here I was standing along the corridor outside the boy's washroom, waiting for him. Skibbles! What is really wrong with me?" Misaki thought as she slams her palm upon her face.
"It's not like he'll kill himself right?" She talked herself out of it.
It was definitely loud, but not loud enough to be noticed by the students having classes. Misaki started to get nervous. That rough sound she heard was from the boy's washroom. There's no doubt about it. It was him.
"Ryoma-kun!" With an image of blood drawn over Ryoma's body, Misaki could not help but be controlled by her extreme anxiousness towards Ryoma. Hurriedly, Misaki went onto the boy's washroom. Not knowing what happened is making her panic. Ryoma might have just done something reckless. She needs to see if he is still fine.
"Ryoma-kun…" Misaki heaved and as soon as she got sight of Ryoma standing along the sink, she stopped. 'He is fine.' That is what Misaki thought at first. But the closer she looks she realized how much Ryoma was looking heatedly on his own reflection. He seems mad…is he mad? To whom? To himself? But…why?
"Uh-" Misaki hurriedly went out as Ryoma finally moved to leave the boy's washroom. In her nervousness she took a deep breath to calm herself. She was about to act like a passerby when Ryoma suddenly went out and almost bump into her.
"Uh…Ryoma-kun?" Misaki looked straight into his eyes the minute she saw him. She cannot read it…she's not good at that. However, as she looked straight upon his eyes she started to feel something different. Inside her chest conveyed a heavy feeling she doesn't know what…maybe it was disappointment…or maybe it was defeat…was this what Ryoma was feeling all along? How could he handle it all alone?
Ryoma, after looking right through Misaki's eyes, started to get flustered and hurriedly turned his eyes away from her. "Ja." He uttered as he marched off.
"Uh—wait Ryoma-kun!" Misaki caught him right before he could pass through her. Ryoma turned to her.
"W-What happened yesterday?" Misaki asked with concerned face. Ryoma blinked for a few seconds. "It rained." He plainly answered then walked off.
"Uh-oi! Ryoma-kun, not that-wait!" Misaki grabbed hold of his arms to stop him. He paused, looked at the part where Misaki was holding him, looked at the persistent face of Misaki, and then asked. "What is it? Neko, you are acting weird."
"You're the weird one!" Misaki aggressively shouted which pretty much caught Ryoma's attention. "Tell me…" Misaki's eyes were determined. "The thing that is bothering you…tell me-the reason why you are acting like that-I know that you are feeling hurt, defeated, disappointed or something like that so please tell me all about it…don't hold on it alone…" Her innocent voice was strained with concern.
Ryoma looked at her concerned caring face and after a few seconds, he finally sighed.
"What makes you think that?"
"I feel it." Misaki strongly expressed as her emerald eyes started to connect once again unto his hazel ones. "When I look into your eyes…it felt like…something is missing…" She honestly answered.
"Ryoma-kun…" Misaki's caring voice sung as she reached to touch his hand.
Ryoma abruptly moved away his gaze and Misaki's hand away from him.
"Hn…" Ryoma grunted like it was a false notion. He looked back at Misaki as if she was a bother. "You really are an idiot…" he uttered as if the voice does not belong to his.
"Something bothering me?-exactly where did you drop your brain neko?" Ryoma chanted as he continued his march.
"What did you say?" Misaki heatedly asked back as Ryoma pulls up her strings.
"Hey! Just because you are being that perfect freshman that you are, you could already say things like that. I was just concern about you, you know? But it seems like I worried for nothing. Jeez, I really hope you lose at least one game so you could feel what it's like to be defeated. I mean c'mon…why do you always have to have everything on your favor? Are you really that loved by destiny? Skibbles -what the hell is wrong with the world?" Misaki kept on whining.
Hearing Misaki's sentence, Ryoma immediately paused his walk. "Lose one game…"
"Yeah! I mean just what the hell is 'mada mada dane' for if you never have actually lived up to that…"
"So you could just confidently wish for anything, couldn't you?" Ryoma murmured.
"Haha of course! Why? Are you ma—" Misaki stopped as she finally witnessed how much Ryoma's fist is trembling in what seems to be fury. "Ugh…could it be that-"
"Ry-ryoma-kun…I…I didn't mean it that way I mean…I guess…I…" Misaki wanted to explain herself but Ryoma just marched off deaf and close minded.
"R-Ryoma-kun gomenasai!" She uttered as she rapidly ran and grab hold of Ryoma's hand. Ryoma stopped.
"Let go…" His voice was never been that cold.
"Ugh…demo…" Misaki's eyes were shimmering in plea, if only it could convey a thousand words to him…
"Misaki…" Misaki trembled as Ryoma called out her name for the first time. His voice is so deep, tantalizing, and so serious that it releases a very cold feeling weighed deeply unto his soul.
Ryoma finally looked back at her and with pure hatred and annoyance planted in his eyes, he gently held Misaki's hand that was holding his left wrist.
"Really…stop being so annoying…" He uttered as he removed it and continued to walk away.
Misaki felt an immense pain flowing deep within her chest. Ryoma was getting farther and farther away from her. She wanted to chase after him but she couldn't move. She wanted to explain her side but she couldn't even say a single word.
"R…Ryo…ma…" Misaki struggles to fight the ice that is keeping her whole body frozen.
"R-ryoma-kun…" Little by little she was starting to have the ability to move.
"Stop chasing after him you dimwit."
"N-nani?" Misaki rapidly put up her break from running and searched for the owner of that foreign voice. Soon she found Yoshikuwa, Hinaki, their class president, standing along the corridor holding a class folder. With the way that she's been looking at her, it's obvious that she has witnessed everything that happened earlier.
"Yoshikuwa-san…"Misaki murmurs in shock.
"After all that you've said, you have the guts to even chase after him?" Hinaki Yoshikuwa started.
"You don't even have the right to call him 'Ryoma-kun.'" She continued.
"I…I didn't mean tha—"
"You meant every single one of it." Hinaki pushed. "You know that…" She heatedly added.
"N—no…" Misaki mumbles as tears started to fall from her eyes in guilt. "I…I didn't mean it…I mean…"
"Oh stop lying already it's just the two of us here you know that."
"B-but it's true! I really didn't mean it…I…I'm sorry…" Misaki wails as tears continue to flow from her eyes.
"Ugh! You really are annoying you know that? This is why Ryoma hates you so much." Hinaki utters as she passed by Misaki.
And with these words Misaki's eyes started to open up in surprise. "W-what did you say?" She whispered.
"Oh come on! I've got good Japanese diction don't I? Surely you've understood." Hinaki snootily replied.
She sighed. "Ryoma hates you. Didn't you know that? He's been avoiding you yet all you ever do is chase after him. It's the main reason why he's being disturbed all these time. You pester him."
"N—nani?" Misaki's eyes widens in realization.
"Oh you really couldn't sink it all in couldn't you?"
Misaki couldn't seem to find the courage to say it. "R-Ryoma-kun…he…he hates me?"
"YES! That's why he is bothered so much."
With that Misaki could not help but shiver in shame.
"Ugh! Honestly, you just thought of that now?" Hinaki snootily asked and seeing Misaki in such state she swooshed her long black hair and continued to walk in satisfaction which made Misaki come back to her senses and rush after Hinaki.
"B-but how?" Misaki aggressively asked as she grabbed Hinaki's shoulders.
"UGH! Well that's an obvious reason, isn't it?" Hinaki answered back as she roughly removed Misaki's hands away from her in disgust. She looked at Misaki from head to toe.
"Anyway…do us all a favor? Do stay away from Ryoma…and me." Hinaki airily insisted then went ahead.
The bell rang after that and everyone started to enthusiastically get out of their classroom. Everyone was stirring forward. Together with the world everyone was moving, everyone except Misaki who is still as ice as she stares at the now crowded corridor where Ryoma and Hinaki have both marched away from her.
"Really…stop being so annoying…"
Though noise has already infiltrated the hallway, the voice of Ryoma and what he said repeatedly reflects unto Misaki's ears. Ryoma never turned back when he moved into that corridor. He didn't even gaze affectionately back at her…in fact before he left, he looked back at her with eyes full of hatred…full of anger…
Did Ryoma…really hate her that much?
Misaki was awakened by a certain voice and found someone's body millimeters away from bumping her. She looked up and found the face of Mr. Yamamoto smiling at her.
"Sensei..?" She lowly and softly muttered.
"Eh?" Surprised by that sudden reaction, Mr. Yamamoto then placed his left hand onto Misaki's forehead, checking if she has fever or not.
"Hmm…you don't seem to be having a fever...what's the problem?"
Misaki tried to give a smile to lie that she's okay but the faint smile she happened to give did not convince anyone in particular.
Mr. Yamamoto sighed. "Uh—Takihiko-san" he sought for Rie who was busy talking to one of her classmates at that time. Rie responded at once.
"Rie-san…?" Rie looked at the feeble Misaki at once and worried engulfed her whole consciousness. "Nani-?"
"Could you please accompany this little miss here to the infirmary? I do think she needs time to rest." Mr. Yamamoto brightly addressed.
"I-ie…" Both Rie and Mr. Yamamoto got surprised by Misaki's soft voice. Misaki smiled. "I'm fine. I don't need to go to the infirmary." She stated though it did not changed Mr. Yamamoto and now, Rie's view.
"Are you sure Ms. Sakura?" Their sensei insisted.
Misaki contemplated for a second. "Hai!" She tried to regain energy as much as she could. It somehow convinced Mr. Yamamoto.
"Very well then, go inside, we still have class." The young teacher commanded and Misaki pretended with all her might to be as energetic as her usual as she went inside.
"Uh—Misaki, what happened? If it's about my pencil case, I'm sorry. I didn't expect-" Rie's voice constrained the same anxiousness Misaki had with Ryoma. She grabbed Misaki's wrist right before Misaki could enter the tapestry.
Misaki gave another fake smile. "Iie!—Rie-san it's alright. Maybe I'm just a bit tired…" She explained in smile then moved in.
Rie gave a concerned face. "Are you sure?" She asked, following her.
"Hai…" She answered.
Rie's face suddenly became sour. She then clapped Misaki's cheeks and pulled it hard. "Argh! Wie-sann!" Misaki loudly exclaimed.
"I hate that face." Rie expressed to which Misaki's eyes widened in shock. That, however, was abruptly followed by a smile. "Gomen-nee Rie-san." She lowly uttered then went ahead as the bell rang and Mr. Yamamoto marched inside and started to teach.
"Really stop being so annoying…" She felt heat crawl upon her body since then. Her mind started to hurt and her gaze started to become distorted.
"URGH! Annoying you say? Well who's the really annoying one huh?" Misaki vented now in anger while roughly scribbling doodles on her notebook. "If you hated me so much then you should have said so! And what's with all those actions? I told you I didn't mean everything that I said—and even if I did, since when did you start to care huh? You really are…argggh!"Suddenly, dizziness came after her so she closed her notebook, kept her pen, leaned on the tree trunk behind her and tried to rest her eyes. It was already club time and Misaki, without any clubs, started to wonder off alone, visiting the place she loves the most.
"Tsubasa…just where are you anyway?" She shouted as tears starts to form once again from her eyes. "I want to see you right now…" she stated as the wind continues to howl unto her ears. "I need you…" She whispers in silent prayer…and soon enough, she fell unto a deep sleep.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Hearing that loud shout, Misaki opened her eyes at once in panic having her head hurt aggressively.
"A-are you okay?" The angry voice was followed by a concerned one, Misaki, familiarized by the voice, struggled to overcome the pain first then looked up to find June standing in front of her with both her hands on her waist.
"Ugh…June? What are you doing here?" Misaki asked.
"Well I was asking you that question first weren't I?" June haughtily answered back. "Really…what the hell are you doing here?" She asked once again.
"Ummm…sleeping?" Misaki answered to which June boiled up even more.
"Ugh! That's not what I meant!" June is really like Kikumaru-senpai, now that she's mad she does nothing but to blab a lot of things Misaki does not understand.
"T-then…?" Misaki tries to connect.
"YOU!" June shouted as she pointed a finger at her. "ARE YOU GOING TO THE PRACTICE OR NOT?" She finally asked.
Misaki looked at June. "Ah-huh?" Misaki was still confused.
"WHY ARE YOU HERE YOU IDIOT?" It feels like June was at her limit.
Misaki rapidly gave a sweet smile. "Because I love this place!" she enthusiastically answered to which she received a hard punch from June.
"IT HURTS! -HEY WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?"
"YOU ARE! YOU'VE GOT A DRY HAIR, ROUGH SKIN, YOU ARE TOO THIN FOR YOUR AGE AND YEAH EW- YOU ARE SO UGLY! UGH! YOU ARE A HUGE PROBLEM YOU KNOW THAT?"
"Uh…" Definitely with just-woke-up condition, this upset the pigtailed, black-haired girl a lot.
"W-WELL YOU ARE EITHER! YOU ARE FAT! -TOO FAT FOR YOUR AGE, TOO SNOOTY AND TOO DEMANDING TO HANDLE!"
"W-what did you say?" June boils up in extreme anger. "WELL YOU ARE AN IDIOT! YOU'VE GOT A BRAIN OF A GENIUS AND YOU ARE JUST NOT USING IT YOU KNOW THAT?"
"W-WELL I WOULD RATHER HAVE A ROTTEN BRAIN THAN A MOUTH OF AN ELEPHANT." Misaki growled back. They were looking heatedly at each other.
"HMPH!" They both uttered as they turned against each other. A few seconds of silence was winning before June finally let out a sigh.
"I was caught by Tomoka and got cornered by her so I am really not in the mood for this little pesky drama of yours right now." June explained herself.
"W-what drama are you talking about?" Misaki got almost confused before she recalled and suddenly realized what June was talking about. "If it's about me not going to the tennis courts or being gloomy, well it's because I feel sick okay? I want to rest." She partly lied. Yes she feels sick and tired. But all of this was because of thinking how much Ryoma has been resenting her. But she just couldn't tell that to June, could she?
June finally faced her and tried to check if she has a fever or not.
"I'm okay." Misaki happily yet feebly informed her. "Though my head still hurts a little…" She further explained to which June looked away.
"Liar." She accused her. "You are like that the first time we had a fight." June further explained. "Clearly something's bothering you, isn't it? What is it?"
Misaki's mind was almost bursting in panic. "I—I really don't have one…" She covered.
"Shut up." June pressed to her. "I really hate people that lie." Her voice was clearly charging Misaki.
"Whatever, just go home if you really feel sick." June swayed.
"Ha-haik…" Misaki answered as she weakly grabbed her things and leave.
"Oh stop lying already…" she recalled Hinaki say those words to her…
"I really hate people that lie…"
"Please not you too June…" Misaki whispered as tears started to form unto her eyes. "Please don't be mad at me too…" She pleaded to the wind as she walks across the gates of Seishun. She wiped her almost formed tears which made her fall her notebook onto the ground opening a drawing of a Columbine flower on its page.
"Happy Birthday neko-chan…"
"Ryoma-kun…" She silently whispers…as she remembers the night where this kind of rare flower was given to her by that certain someone.
Misaki lightly smiled. "I hope you enjoy your unlimited Chawanmushi." She mumbled as she knelt on the floor, closed her notebook, grabbed it, and placed it inside her bag. She was about to stand when a pair of school shoes reached unto her sight. She looked up and found the smiling face of a maroon-haired third year whose blue eyes were sparkling radiantly towards her.
"Misaki!" She hummed as she playfully looked at Misaki.
"H-Hikari-senpai?" Misaki was definitely surprised.
Hikari fully smiled. "Hehe…" She chuckled in embarrassment. Suddenly, she clapped her hands and pleaded. "Onegai!"
The sound of the wire fence echoed once again as another tennis ball rushed unto its surface.
"And the ball was out again…" Rie narrated what seems to be happening on the tennis courts of Seishun Gakuen.
"Ah, mou! The finals are here yet Ryoma-kun seems to be in no good condition." Tomoka wailed once again.
"Ryoma-kun…" Sakuno whispers in prayer.
"What the hell are you doing Echizen? You've either been hitting them out or into the net for the last few minutes." Momoshiro shouted from the other end of the court.
"Sorry." Ryoma answered to almost a whisper.
"Get serious! Serious! The finals are next week." Momoshiro stated in concern.
"Yes…" Ryoma answered back still in his low tone which somehow bothered Momoshiro though he tried to shook it away as he prepared another training serve.
"Here I go…" He signaled Ryoma and did the serve splendidly. Ryoma received it and the ball straightly went towards Momoshiro, who simply dodged the ball and have it landed out of bounds once again. Ryoma was left stunned at the outside ball.
Momoshiro sighed. "Stop, that won't do." Momoshiro uttered turning his back. "Geez, I can't practice like this. Are you not feeling well?" He asked in concern face before he calmly walked out of the court.
Inui started fixing his glasses. "That is not the normal Echizen." He stated after watching the whole scene.
"Yeah. It seems like he's a different person." Fuji agreed.
Ryoma, contemplating really hard, started to move his feet towards the person sitting on the bench, wiping his face with a white towel. Everyone followed their heads onto him.
"Uh—what's the matter Echizen?" Kawamura asked after getting sight of him.
"Kawamura-senpai, I have a favor to ask…" Ryoma asked as he bowed his head down before him.
"Hehe…what do you think? This one?—or this one?" Hikari tried to remove the military cap she was fitting and replaced it with a green and white cap.
"Uhhh…" Apparently even Misaki could not choose which one. "Maybe that one-but that one might also look good on-"
"—Uhh! Never mind the cap let's get something else" Hikari irritatingly decided as she once again pulled Misaki away from the store and dragged her to another.
"Umm…Hikari-senpai, why again are we doing this?" Misaki asked in puzzle.
"I told you, didn't I?" Hikari rhetorically answered as she busily examines two different sweaters. "I made a bet with Fuji Syusuke that if he wins I am going to give him a gift." She explained.
"Uhh…I think…" Misaki dug unto the displays and found a white jacket. "This one's kind of good?" She suggested.
Hikari looked at the one Misaki was holding, examined it, then furiously looked at Misaki. "Don't say 'good?' like you are not sure of it. This really looks beautiful you know?" She answered as she held it.
"Ugh…what am I thinking?" Hikari suddenly switched from a hyper mood into a gloomy one. "Getting all hyped up about that agreement-surely he would win. He's Fuji! Ugh! Stupid stupid Hikari!"
Misaki chuckled after watching her senpai in dilemma. "But, it sounds to me you like it."
"Like what?" Hikari asked in wonder.
"Buying a gift for Fuji-senpai." Misaki answered in smile.
Hikari blushed for a moment. "No! It's just that-well…" Hikari finally gave up and sighed. "Fine. l am. But that was because he is a really nice friend…and well…yeah…maybe I was just looking for an excuse to give him one...I guess…"
Misaki smiled at that statement. "Hikari senpai seems to like Fuji senpai pretty much."
"NO!" Hikari abruptly denied. "Well I mean yeah-as a friend. But not more than that okay?" She clarified to which Misaki just shrugged and browsed for another selection. "Anyway, just go on and find some more sweater" Hikari demanded.
"I need to be sure! I want choices! This sweater is really beautiful but it somehow does not give me that 'Fuji-vibe.'" Hikari explained as she examined the sweater once again while Misaki went off to look for another one.
"Ugh! Not good enough. It seems too clean—hmm…how about this one-" Hikari was about to grab a bluish sweatshirt but stopped after noticing the presence of another girl who was about to grab it too. Her gaze travelled from the girl's hand towards the girl's face and as she realized who the girl was. She was iced.
"Uh? Hikari-san?" The girl is quite petite, fair, has a cute face, has an almond shaped and hazel-colored eyes, has pink soft lips, and has a long black hair. She was looking upon Hikari with a very timid smile as if she was an old comrade.
"Aya!" Hikari's heart started to beat fast after hearing the sound of a very particular voice. Marching from her behind was a tall guy with a good physique, and brown hair. He went to the girl called "Aya" and embraced her with love and affection.
"Sighted anything?" He melodically asked as he gently held the girl.
"Ummm…" The girl was trying her best to maintain her timid smile while at the same time hide her anxiety, but struggles and fails to do so. The guy, finally noticing, started to follow the gaze of the girl.
"Uh-Hikari?" He called in his most surprised and uncomfortable condition.
"Ryo…" Hikari managed to murmur in shock.
"Hi~ka~ri-sen~pai!" Misaki sung as she hopped her way unto Hikari with two new sweaters on hand. She was steps away from Hikari when she finally noticed the atmosphere around her senpai.
"H-Hikari…" The guy called out her name once as he took a step closer to Hikari. "How are you?" He sincerely asked with a one timid and gentle smile.
'Hikari-senpai?' Misaki looked from the pair and unto her senpai who stood still with fist shaking from intense emotions that Misaki knows not.
"Hikari I—" the girl was about to take a step closer but was stopped as Hikari abruptly took a step back, showing signs of fear.
"Hikari…" The guy called her name once again, but this time it was full of sorrow and regret. It felt like he wanted to talk to Hikari but she just couldn't seem to get a hold of her own self anymore. Watching all of this happen, Misaki knows she has to do something.
"HIKARI-SENPAI~~~!" She loudly called and it successfully drew even Hikari's attention to her. She dropped the sweaters and grabbed Hikari's hand.
"No good! I can't seem to find the right sweater for Fuji-senpai here. C'mon let's just go to the next!" She loudly complained as she drags Hikari out of the store, away from the two people Hikari seemed to fear the most.
"Hadokyuu? Hit it?" Kawamura asked the person bowing down before him but he received only silence as an answer.
"You want me to keep hitting it to you?" He asked once again.
"Please." Ryoma pleaded.
"What are you talking about Echizen? You know that Taka-san's wrist can't stand Hadokyuu very well, don't you? Using it in a normal match is already too much, but to hit it continuously…" the substitute Captain, Oishi, finally intruded in the talk. He held one of Ryoma's shoulders to persuade him but Ryoma didn't move from his bow.
"Echizen!" Oishi called strongly this time.
Kawamura looked from Oishi to Echizen then smiled. "I understand. Get on the court." He calmly and naturally said then stood up to which Oishi called his name in anxiousness.
"Don't worry about it, Oishi. I'm not going to injure myself before the finals." He answered him. Ryoma rose up from his bow and stared at Kawamura as he assured Oishi his safety. "Arigatou gozaimasu." Ryoma said back to his senpai and his senpai smiled back at him.
"Feeling better?" Misaki finally asked as she bought a loaf of bread and a ponta and gave it to Hikari.
Hikari stared at Misaki, took a deep breath then finally took the bread and ponta from her. "Arigatou!" She thanked back in an insisting happy face then changed right back to her gloomy one. Misaki could not help but just watch her senpai in that state. To be honest, she was waiting for her senpai to open up to her about what happened earlier but it looks like her senpai is still not ready to talk about it. Silence has been winning the entire moment.
"Uh did you know? There is going to be a meteor shower next Friday. What was it called once again? Perseid meteor shower? Yap I think that is it." Misaki tried to enthusiastically open up a topic but it seems Hikari was still dazed on what happened awhile ago.
"T-they said it would really be seen clearly here in Japan since the moon is crescent…I think it would really be fun wouldn't it be?" Misaki happily asked but still no reply.
"Hikari-senpai…" She finally called and Hikari, hearing Misaki call her, finally went back to her own self and looked back at Misaki. She tried to push a smile but she just couldn't.
"G-gomen nee…it's just that…well…" Hikari couldn't seem to find the right words…
Misaki, seeing her senpai sulk in sorrow, looked upon the sky, and finally opened up.
"He hates me…" Misaki finally let go of those words which drew Hikari's full attention to her in surprise.
"Ryoma…he said I'm annoying…" Misaki uttered with a gentle but an emotional tone. "Though I know I should be getting used to it by now, because that's just how he is at everyone but…" Misaki paused as her eyes started to shimmer.
"It's just different that time-his eyes were full of hate...like I was all but annoyance to him…" Misaki utters looking upon the sky in teary eyes. "I mean, I know I am an annoyance to him but…"
Misaki tries to hold back her tears. "Am I not his friend too?" Her voice wavers as tears started to fall from her eyes.
"Misaki-chan…" Hikari could not help but feel sorry for Misaki. She was about to hug Misaki but Misaki rapidly drew herself away from her.
"Ahhhh gomen-nee Hikari-senpai…it's just that if you hug me, I wouldn't be able to stop crying anymore." She explained in panic. "You see…I cry harder when people hug me." She explains in between tears and smile.
"Ah-eh…gomen-nee! Gomen-nee!" Hikari answered as she scratches her head in embarrassment. "It's just that…I want you stop crying but I just do not know what to do" She honestly answered in dilemma which led her to being down once again.
Misaki, seeing her senpai gloom, wiped off her tears at once. She approached Hikari held her hand, gulped, took a deep breath then contemplated. "Ryoma with an octopus hair and Sailor moon outfit…" She whispered repeatedly and after a few more seconds of struggle, she finally bursts out laughing to which Hikari almost jumped out in surprise.
"N-nani! What happened to you Misaki?" Hikari wailed in confusion.
"Hhahaahahaha!" Misaki happily smiled back at her. "I did the happy chant."
"E-eh?" Obviously Hikari has no idea.
"Fuji-senpai taught that to me" Misaki answered in smile and compressed laughter. "He said that if ever I feel sad and about to cry I should just do the happy chant…"
Two days before school festival…music room, Fuji was teaching Misaki regarding the Sonata D K224 of Mozart…
"So Daichi and Akemi—your two childhood friends-already went to Canada?" Fuji confirmed as he stood up from the piano stool and let Misaki sit upon it. "H-hai…" Misaki answered as she took the seat and looked upon the piece. "E-EEH?"
"Uh—nani? What is it?" Fuji asked in panic.
Misaki pointed the piano piece. "It's too complicated!" Then looked at Fuji. "W-why?"
Fuji stared at Misaki in wonder then smiled. "Haha. You can do it Misaki-chan. It's just basic!" He melodically sung.
'BASIC?' Misaki's brain is lamenting in panic. Her head is down in gloom and after a few more seconds of struggling she finally faced the very complicated piano piece with bulgy eyes while Fuji watches in smile.
"Fuji-kun!" A person called from the music room's tapestry.
"Uhm…this might take a minute or two Misaki-chan, would it be alright for you?" Fuji concernedly asked.
"Hai!" Misaki happily replied then went back to the piece while Fuji leaves the room.
Though Fuji was out, Misaki still continued to study the piece, after a few seconds, she was starting to continuously play the left hand part of the first arc…after a few more minutes, she was successfully playing the entrance so without further ado, she closed her eyes and tried to feel every part of the note she could play.
'Soon enough, I may really be able to play this with Masaru…' Misaki thought in smile.
'B-but I guess by that time…they won't be able to listen to this anymore…'
Misaki stopped her play and opened her eyes at once after feeling a gentle touch of affection from someone. She looked up and found her senpai softly patting her head while smiling back at her.
"Sen…pai…" She mumbles.
Fuji smiles back at her. "Seems like you haven't stopped the sad tears yet." He informed her and that's when Misaki realized how much tears has been flowing unto her eyes already.
"Uh-gomen! Gomen! It's just that…" Misaki kept on wiping her tears but it never stops.
Fuji gazed at Misaki, contemplated, and beneath silence he chanted.
"A man with an octopus hair and sailor moon outfit."
"E-eh?" Misaki looked at Fuji in puzzle.
"Now, don't you think that's silly?" Fuji playfully asked, successfully shifting the topic. "A man with an octopus hair and sailor moon outfit…"
"Uh—hai." Misaki is definitely confused.
"Now…" Fuji closely looked at her. "Imagine if that's me or Ryoma…"
"Mmmmpffffhhhhahahahaha!" Misaki could not stop her laugh right after recalling that moment. "I tried to think of Fuji-senpai at first but then I figured he was still too beautiful so I tried to think of Ryoma and well…hahahahaa!" She started laughing once again.
"Fuji with an octopus hair and in a sailor moon outfit?" Hikari took the time to imagine what she said and after a few seconds, she started to join the hysterical laugh of Misaki.
"Hahahaha! That would really suit Fuji best-haahahhahahaa!" Hikari could not help but keep on laughing. Misaki, seeing her senpai laugh her way out of sadness, could not help but smile and be thankful for it.
"It caught your humor to didn't it?" Misaki assumed in smile.
"Ha-hai!" Hikari happily answered back as tears started to fall from her eyes which had Misaki gawk out of shock.
"Uh…" Hikari, noticing her tears, hurriedly wiped them off. "G-Gomen-nee…I guess I just got too hyped unto it." She explained. "Don't worry about it." She continued in smile to which Misaki gleefully smiled back.
"Arigatou…" Hikari deeply voiced. "I needed that." She tenderly looked at Misaki.
'Fuji in a sailor moon outfit…' Hikari thought and was trying so hard to hide her laughter. 'Ohh…Fuji really thinks of the silliest things, even his pet is…uh-'
"H-Hikari-senpai?" Misaki called out her name as Hikari suddenly dozed off to her own world.
"I…I know now…"
"I KNOW NOW!" Hikari bursts out after reaching her eureka moment. "I KNOW WHAT TO BUY C'MON!" She shouted out of enthusiasm as she grabbed Misaki's hands and drag her away from where they were.
"Ah~ HIkari-senpai~~~" was all Misaki managed to say.
"Mffppphhhhhaaahahaa! Fuji-senpai that's genius!" Misaki struggled to say those words in between guffaws.
"It is isn't it? It makes you burst out laughing even in your most sorrowful state." Fuji honestly uttered.
"E-eh?" Misaki's eyes opened wide in realization.
Fuji went near to her and wiped the tears on her eyes. "That's what I call a happy chant".
"Hai!" The angelic smile of Fuji came before her. "Just a small dose of laughter…" He added.
"But one that is enough to put a stop to a flowing river." He said in smile.
"Happy chant…" Misaki thought as she looked back on that moment…
"HAHAHA! BURNING!" Kawamura shouted raising up his racket, definitely fired up to the game.
"You want a piece of my Hadokyuu? You're pretty courageous I must say. Even if you give up, I'm not going to let you off the hook, baby!" He kept on shouting in full spirit.
"Hey! You freshmen over there!" He arrowed the ichinen trio.
"H-hai?" The three nervously asked
"C'mon and feed me some balls." He commanded.
"Hai! One ball coming up!" Kachiro yelled and delivered one ball to which Kawamura spank with his Hadokyuu.
Ryoma tried to receive it but it made his racket flew away from his hold. Ryoma fearfully looked at his shaking hands after.
"Not over yet! This is only the beginning!" Kawamura heatedly shouted. "Freshman! Next ball come on!" He shouted once again and Katsuo delivered the next one.
Ryoma eagerly tried to receive the second, the third, fourth, and all the other upcoming Hadokyuus but he always fail on returning it. When he returns it, it's either the ball goes left, right, at his back, or at the net.
"There appears to be no damage to the shoulders." Inui reported after examining Kawamura right after their practice.
"I've reached my limit. Will you let me off the hook now, Echizen?" Kawamura, back in his gentle personality, asked in compassion while Inui kept on spraying in his arm.
"Come now…isn't there something you should say to the senpai who spent so much effort to train you?" Momoshiro asked Ryoma who was already gasping for air.
Ryoma took a deep breath. "Arigatou gozaimashita" He straightly stated and not long after that, their afternoon training finally ended.
"Mou~" Hikari expressed as she sat on the bench of the congested park located near the mall. "I give up…I can't find that thing anywhere!" She further complained.
Misaki tried to smile amidst exhaustion. "Well, even if it's exhausting I still find it fun! Arigatou Hikari-senpai." She truthfully expressed in smile.
Hikari smiled back into Misaki then looked upon the sky. "Oh no…it's almost sunset…"
"Eh?" Misaki wonderingly looked upon the horizon.
"Sunset…?" She whispered and as she moved her gaze around the park, she suddenly recalled the time she was once grieving for the lost of two dear friends in her life…all alone in a similar area, in a similar time…
"But he was there…he came for me…" With that sudden realization Misaki suddenly felt a fast and loud beat coming from his heart. "Because he hates me…is that really the reason why he's been in such state?"
Hikari examined Misaki standing in front of a swing.
"Neh, Misaki-chan…" Hikari called.
"E-eh?" Misaki's consciousness laid back. "What is it?" She asked in smile.
"I know I am not supposed to talk about this but I started to wonder about it and somehow, it just doesn't make any sense to me…" Hikari stated as she folded her arms. "I mean yes, Violinist is mean and treats everyone like everyone is annoying but…"
Hikari took a deep breath. "I just couldn't think he would hate you. Never. It's impossible I tell you." She truthfully blurted out. "It's not in his nature."
"U-uh…" Misaki was stunned by Hikari's words. If it was true…then what was holding Ryoma in such a state?
Hikari pouted her lips. "Well, in any case, aren't you at least bit worried about him? It is Kanto finals. I heard he'll be playing against Rikkadai's Emperor of Tennis. They say that man is of no mercy."
"Lose one game…"
Suddenly the back of Ryoma started to reflect unto her eyes. Misaki's insides were almost boiling up after recalling that phrase. It could be possible…if everything that Hikari said is true then…the thing that was holding Ryoma in such a state…could it be.
"Uh—MisakI!" Hikari hurriedly stood up and rushed after Misaki who ran all of a sudden.
"G-gomen Hikari-senpai it's just that, I need to go back to school. I have to ask one important thing to Ryoma." Misaki shouted far back.
"N-nani? O…oi! What about Fuji-senpai's gift?" Hikari yelled back.
Misaki turned herself and gestured an apologetic look. "Gomenasai. I'll just accompany you next time for now gome—uh"
"Uh-MISAKI!" Hikari rushed as Misaki stumbles hardly on the street after bumping unto a large man before her.
"Ah…it hurts!" Misaki complained as she rubs her butt and as she realized what happened she rapidly apologized. "Gomenasai-ah?"
"Ah~ Kawamura-senpai?" Hikari blinked a lot of times to wonder if what she is seeing is real and well…Kawamura senpai is really there.
"Douji-san?" Well, Kawamura is just as surprised as they are.
Ryoma was already gasping for breath after trying to serve another ball. It was fast, it was strong, but still it wasn't enough. His power is still weak compared to his enemy, he has to be strong. He looked for a tennis ball near him in order to serve once again but the tennis ball he had his eyes on was already caught by someone he had previously fought onto and defeated right at the Prefectural Finals.
Ryoma's eyes widened in disbelief but the person just smiled. "You're one useless person, brat" Jin Akutsu coolly stated.
"Didn't you give up on tennis?" Ryoma monotonically asked but it seems like Akutsu ignored it as he placed himself on the other side of the court and started to put aside all the tennis balls that Ryoma served unto the court.
"Ready?" He asked then started serving. Though Ryoma was surprised by that sudden movement, he rapidly regained himself back and prepared to receive his serve. However at the process of receiving the raging ball, his eyes gave him the vision of Sanada standing opposite his court. Fear started to trigger unto him and his grip started to shake once again having delivered an off-court ball.
"Long time no see. You got weaker. Brat." Though it was Akutsu who was telling those lines, Ryoma's eyes were starting to see the presence of Sanada who utterly beat him at tennis right after the cancellation of their final's game, right when it is raining really hard.
Akutsu gave another serve but Ryoma struggled to receive.
"To think that you actually lost…that pisses me off!" Akutsu, the only witness to the game, complained.
"And you dare say you want to go to the Nationals?" He asked in pissed voice as he jumped on air. "Don't make me laugh!" He shouted as he did his winning move.
Ryoma struggled so hard to catch it but he was not able to do so.
"Game count: 4-0" Akutsu casually stated then examined down Ryoma who was gasping heavily for air in his stance.
"What's that expression in your eyes? Did you see another shadow while daydreaming?" Akutsu claimed which heavily shocked Ryoma's consciousness.
"When I lost last time, your eyes reflected focus and determination." He continued and Ryoma started to recall his fight with Akutsu, what he did. How he won.
"When I look in your eyes…it felt like…something is missing…" He suddenly recalled Misaki's green eyes sparkling brightly as she told those words to him.
Ryoma gulped. Everything was becoming clear to him now.
Akutsu served another one, he tried for a return but Akutsu was already expecting it. He jumped and did his winning move.
"Like this…it's over!" Akutsu charged as he smashed the ball however Ryoma, regaining his consciousness back, took a turn and smashed back the ball. The ball rapidly bounced back in between Akutsu's feet, earning Ryoma a point.
Akutsu was silenced.
"I mean just what the hell is 'mada mada dane' for if you never have actually lived up to that"
"I'm not just going to end it like this, right?" Ryoma finally uttered and with burning eyes he looked at Akutsu.
"Mada mada dane."
It took a moment before Akutsu departed from his stance and laughed. "Here I come, brat." He announced as he gave another serve.
"Na-nani? Violinist lost to Sanada?" Hikari shouted in surprise as Kawamura let out that small information to them. Even Misaki was surprised, but at least now it confirmed the theory she has been thinking of. 'I'm the worst…' Misaki thought as she reflected everything she had said before Ryoma. 'How could I say something like that to him?'
"I couldn't believe it myself but…" Kawamura couldn't seem to continue.
"It must have been painful…I mean…winning with no single point…I just couldn't imagine how much Violinist could handle it…good thing it wasn't finals that time." Hikari expressed in sympathy which planted more guilt into Misaki. Silence was winning after that sentence, up until the waiter went up and asked for our order.
"Banana split smoothie." Hikari ordered then looked at Misaki. "How about you Misaki-chan?"
Misaki however was still fallen deeply unto her subconscious. "M-misaki?"
"Uh-hai?" Misaki finally answered back
"Do you want anything? C'mon, my treat." Hikari invited.
"Ummm…" Misaki looked at the menu.
"W-ell I gotta go now." Kawamura politely bid as he stood up.
"What? Why?" Hikari asked in puzzle.
Kawamura timidly smiles. "You see ummm…I had asked for help for my friend Jin Akutsu to help Ryoma get out of that frustration so they were kind of having a game today at a nearby court."
"W-what?" Hikari loudly asked while Misaki was stunned in surprise.
"Well…I guess the game is a bit over now…I've got to go check it out. Do any of you want to come?" Kawamura invited and he followed Hikari's face which is looking towards Misaki.
"Uh?" Misaki finally noticed the attention she was getting. "Gomen-nee! Umm…I'll order some vanilla smoothie." She stated to which the waiter took note.
"So you are staying here?" Hikari asked to which Misaki nods looking away.
"Well then…" Kawamura bid off
"Ahhh-before that Kawamura, can I ask what your phone number is?" Hikari shyly asked.
Hikari smiles. "You see…my little brother loves your ebi tempura so much so you know…"
"Ah…sure, no problem" And they both exchanged numbers.
"Well then…ja!" Kawamura waved before he went out of the restaurant.
"Ja!" Hikari happily waved.
"AHh…" Akutsu grab a hold of his knees as he gasped for air. After a few more seconds he managed to stand tall.
"Let the one who caused you defeat feel his own defeat…without hesitation." He stated then marched off.
Uphill, Ryoma saw Kawamura smiling at him. Kawamura then turned his back and marched off.
"Isn't there something you should say to the senpai who spent so much effort to train with you?" Momoshiro's voice echoed before his ears.
And with all respect he took his cap off and bowed.
"I've got to say, their smoothie here is delicious!" Hikari shared after finishing hers.
"Hai!" Misaki answered almost finishing hers.
Soon enough, Hikari's cellphone lighted up and after looking upon her message she happily smiled upon Misaki.
"Neh Misaki-chan…umm can I ask you a favor?" Hikari pleaded in smile.
"You see…there's a vendo at the next block full of drinks…ummm could you buy me a ponta over there? Just turn right at that corner" Hikari instructed to which Misaki confusedly replied.
"Why not just order here-"
"NO! Ponta from vendo machines are much refreshing -now go!" Hikari pushed Misaki out of the couch and gave her 10000 yen. "Buy three okay?"
"Uh…" Misaki could not help but stand and exit the restaurant.
After several seconds, Hikari finally stood up and went unto a faraway table where two men are sitting and discussing.
"Hello! Can I sit here?" Hikari asked as she scooted on the empty chair in front of the white haired one.
"Arigatou Kawamura senpai!" Hikari happily thanked the one on her right.
"No problem!" Kawamura smiled back. "Oh by the way, Jin Akutsu this is Douji Hikari. Douji Hikari, this is Jin Akutsu."
"Nice to meet you!" Hikari happily said to which Akutsu just ignored.
"Jeez Hikari senpai could just have ordered at the restaurant, why get it on a vendo?" Misaki complained as she inserted the yen unto the vendo. "Is it really more refreshing if it's on a vendo?" She asked herself as she pushed the button for a ponta.
"Here…three ponta…but if the other one's for me…to whom is the other one? Is it for Hikari-senpai again? Oh well…" Misaki stated as she grabbed all the three ponta.
"Jeez! These are so cold! Cold weather plus cold drinks oh no…here comes cold for me too…" Misaki glooms as she marched along the streets.
"But no! Misaki's immunity shall succeed this time!" Misaki heatedly charged the air.
"Uh…" Misaki finally took notice of the orange-violet sky. "Sunset…"
"Uh-" Misaki's blood started to rush throughout her body as she finally took notice of that sound. "The sound of a bouncing tennis ball…still practicing tennis at this hour…could it be?" Misaki ran through the tennis court in front of her and her eyes opened wide at the sight of a Seigaku tennis regular delivering a powerful serve unto the opposite area. Gasping for breath, he took a tennis ball out of his pocket. He was about to serve when he finally noticed a person watching him from the gates.
"Uh…neko…" This movement had Misaki iced up.
"Ryoma hates you" Yoshikuwa's words were repeatedly chanted at the back of Misaki's mind.
"Really…stop being so annoying…"
Misaki wanted to run but she couldn't just move her feet. Ryoma approached her from the other side of the court.
"Uh-Go…gomenasai…" Misaki finally managed to break loose from the ice in her body.
"Stay away from him…"
"I…I won't bother you anymore…" Misaki lowly muttered which had Ryoma open his eyes in realization. Misaki took a step back and finally managed to walk away.
"Uh-oi!" Ryoma pissed off, finally went out of the tennis court.
'Gomenasai Ryoma-kun…starting now I will not bo—'
"Aaahh!" Misaki shouted as a raging ball went pass unto her ears. She froze and looked from the origin of the tennis ball.
"R-Ryoma-kun…" Misaki managed to call in sweat as Ryoma swings his racket and walk towards Misaki.
"Oi…just what the hell are you blabbing awhile ago?" Ryoma finally asked the minute he reached her.
"Ayyyyy~ ITAI! RYOMA-KUN!" Misaki finally shouted as Ryoma banged a tennis ball unto Misaki's forehead. "What was that for?" She heatedly asked.
"Nothing…" Ryoma monotonously answered, then he took one of Misaki's ponta opened it and drank it.
"Aaahh! That's Hikari-senpai's-" Misaki cried but it was too late as Ryoma was already enjoying it while he marches back unto the tennis court.
"O-oi! Ryoma-kun! Give it back!"
"Ah…so refreshing…"Ryoma monotonously expressed aiming to insult.
"Ryoma-kun! I don't have money for extra one you know that? Pay for it! It's for Hikari-senpai!" Misaki repeated as she followed Ryoma.
Ryoma suddenly paused his walk, looked back, then stick out his tongue. "No way."
"Ughhh! Ryoma-kun!" Misaki, in full heat, finally charged Ryoma aiming to grab the ponta which Ryoma easily and triumphantly keeps out of her reach.
"Ugh! Give it!" Misaki demanded as he hammered Ryoma's sweaty shirt.
"Ugh! You are sweaty you know that? Give it back!" Misaki complained but Ryoma never listened as he took another sip.
"Give it!" Misaki charged and as she was finally able to grab hold of the ponta, she hurriedly pulled it away from him however Ryoma managed to grabbed it back, and with his strength, not only did the can came unto Ryoma but also Misaki who on the process spilled the ponta unto his body.
"Ah~ g-gomenasai Ryoma-kun…" Misaki's eyes were shimmering as she worriedly looked at Ryoma.
"Ah…now look what you did." Ryoma, still in his monotonous insulting tone, looked at his own Seigaku uniform. "Cats are really clumsy aren't they?" He stated.
"W-well it's your fault! You stole that ponta!" Misaki accused. "Which reminds me…give it back!" She further insisted.
Ryoma looked from Misaki to the ponta, then finally drank everything that was left of it. "Hai." He uttered as he gave the can to Misaki.
"E-eh? THIS CAN IS ALREADY EMPTY!" Misaki wailed in anger to Ryoma who was already marching off to his bag. "Pay for it Ryoma-kun! Pay for it." Misaki kept on repeating those words as he follows Ryoma up until he reached the changing room.
"What? Are you coming in here too?" Ryoma monotonously asked.
"E-eh?" Misaki's tongue tied to which Ryoma gave back a smirk.
"Fine." He uttered as he started to pull up his shirt.
"AAhH~~~" Misaki rapidly pulled his shirt back down and rapidly pushed him inside. "I can wait for your payment outside go change!" She rapidly stated then ran off. Ryoma, on the other hand, could not help but laugh at Misaki's reaction.
'It seems like Ryoma's okay now…' Misaki ponders as she waits for him on the bench under the tree. 'He was back to his irritating self once again…'
"Too irritating actually...I don't think they cured him…they made it worse."
"What made it worse?"
Misaki panicked after hearing Ryoma's voice repeat those words. She looked to her right and found Ryoma chilling beside her with his arms up in his head and with his legs crossed. He was already wearing his uniform back
"S-since when have you been here?" Misaki asked.
"Since I heard cats talk to themselves." Ryoma answered confidently.
"Stop eavesdropping on people's conversations!" Misaki heatedly demanded.
"Hai. You plus yourself equals conversation…hai…lesson learned." He further answered.
"Grrr…just pay me back now…please?" Misaki politely asked in compressed anger.
"Why should I pay you? It's not your money." Ryoma argued back.
"Yes, but I'll give it back to Hikari-senpai." Misaki clearly explained trying her best to not be consumed by her anger.
"Nope. I don't think so." And with that, Misaki's sanity was finally broken.
"AaaaaRggh! YOU LITTLE BRAT!" She roughly punched but Ryoma quickly evaded it.
"Oops. Missed it." He further insulted which triggered a hundred more punches coming from Misaki.
"Waaahh!-I give up." Misaki expressed in exhaustion.
"Really? You haven't even tapped a part of me yet." He truthfully answered and Misaki rapidly delivered a punch unto him. However, his reflex was quick enough to hold Misaki's wrist before it could reach him.
"Hn…" Ryoma smirks as he looks at her. "Mada mada dane…" He melodically sung as he smiles at her. Somehow, that made Misaki sick of herself.
"Why aren't you mad at me?" She whispered as she bows her head in shame.
Ryoma was shock at first but he rapidly gained consciousness. "Should I be?"
"YoU sHoULd bE!" Misaki aggressively shouted. "I…I said something harsh about you! I wished for you to LOSE! I ANNOYED YOU -A LOT! I…I-can't you find any of those reasonable enough to hate me?" She charged with persistent eyes looking at Ryoma.
Ryoma was overwhelmed by the aggressiveness of Misaki. He straightly looked upon her honest eyes and after a few seconds, he averted it with a sigh.
"Then…I am mad at you…" He monotonously stated to which Misaki iced in shock.
"Happy?" He continued.
It took Misaki about three seconds before she got a hold of herself and sighed. "I…I…" She is tongue tied as of the moment. "WHAT WAS THAT?" she finally shouted.
"Well you asked for that didn't you?" Ryoma monotonously stated leaning back at the bench.
"I…I… WhY aReN'T yOu MaD aT mE?" Misaki shouted in anguish.
Ryoma's head turned at her, examined her, and then shrugged. "Who knows…"
"What—who knows?" Misaki asked waiting for Ryoma to respond but Ryoma just couldn't seem to tell her his answer.
"Ugh~! You're impossible." Misaki finally gave up and sits back unto the bench. "I can't believe you wouldn't get mad at me." She mumbled in mixed emotions of disappointment, confusion and wonder.
"Cats are really war freak animals aren't they," and with that sentence, Misaki rapidly gave her killing look towards Ryoma.
"N-NANI!" She heatedly asked. "WhAt Is rEaLLy yOuR pRoBLeM hUh RyOmA-kUn?" She invited with burning fist.
"Hn…see…" Ryoma smirked as he pointed the burning fist of Misaki aimed unto him. "You're a proof yourself." He monotonously stated.
"ARRGGHH! Fine. Whatever. Just do what you please. I don't care anymore." Misaki vented out her anger in front of him and stomped her way to leave. She was a few steps away when she suddenly turned back, took Ryoma by the hand, and pulled him up.
"Uh…oi-neko…" Ryoma called her attention in both confusion and surprise.
"If you don't want to give the payment to me then I'll drag you down to Hikari-senpai and pay to her yourself!" Misaki bossily commanded as she pulled Ryoma to walk unto her side.
"Ah-oi! Neko!" Ryoma groaned but he was helpless as Misaki's arms tightly clung unto his.
All the time that Misaki drags Ryoma, he was giving Misaki a straight face, but Misaki, looking ahead, doesn't seem notice it. "You know you could let go of my hand now." He informed her and with that Misaki stopped.
"How can I make sure you'll not run away?" She asked him but Ryoma averted his gaze.
"See? So no can do mister." Misaki stated as she continued to pull Ryoma. Soon she started laughing feverishly and this somehow offended Ryoma.
"Oi neko, are you mental?" He straightforwardly asked, almost ticked off.
"Pesu…" Misaki started to call as she holds out her laugh, breaking the serene silence of their walk.
Ryoma tilted his head implying that he did not get the message.
Misaki smiled back at him. "It feels like I was walking a housedog right now." She stated in pure amusement. She looked back at Ryoma. "Pesu!" She addressed to him and that's how Ryoma started to get it.
"Pesu!" She called once again as she caressed his face almost thinking of her victory in teasing Ryoma.
Ryoma, however, instead of being insulted, was dazed at Misaki as she smiles brightly before him with her left hand holding his right hand, and her right hand caressing his face.
"Hai? Pesu pes—" Misaki stopped at the surprise of what Ryoma just said.
"You just called out my name…" She murmured in disbelief. It may have been the second time Ryoma called out her name but it was the first time he seriously did without mere emotions of anger or hatred. Misaki, now feeling grateful, happily gazed upon the hazel ones of Ryoma. However, as she connected unto his eyes, she started to feel something different…a dangerous trap hidden beneath a warm, blinding light. It crept unto her head like an impulse and so in discomfort, she removed all her hands away from Ryoma and rapidly looked the other way around. Silence has been winning that round.
Ryoma smirked. "Hai…that was a good name for a cat isn't it?" He continued.
"Uh…" Misaki snapped back from her senses. She was about to let those words go when she realized what it meant.
"N—nani?" Misaki cracked up and heatedly looked back at him.
"Misaki-neko-chan…hmmm sounds like a good cat name, don't you think?" Ryoma wondered.
"Don't just use other people's names for your cat name quest!" Misaki shouted in anger.
"Ah…don't worry I won't change Karupin's name. Karupin is still better." Ryoma monotonously answered her. "But maybe I'll use it someday when we get another cat or when Karupin got to have a son or daughter and be a father." He continued.
"ARRRGGHHH! ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME?" Misaki was already shouting in anger.
"Why?" Ryoma finally asked with evil schemes in his eyes. "Do you want 'Misaki-neko-chan' to be yours only?" He playfully asked.
"ARRGGHH! SHUT UP!" Misaki shouted and roughly grabbed Ryoma's hand once again. "Let's just go shall we?" Misaki suggested as she pulled Ryoma and stomped her way unto the sighted restaurant.
"Hn…so the idiot cat decided to lead the way…just make sure we will not be bumped by a car okay?" Ryoma playfully stated.
"Hai-hai! So just shut up pesu." Misaki answered back and as Misaki kept on pulling Ryoma's hand and drag him to a place he knows not, unconsciously…his lips curved up a sweet, gentle smile.
"Hikari-senpai!" Misaki called and Hikari waved back at the sight of the two.
"See?" Hikari mumbled at Kawamura who seemed to be waving at them in sweat.
"Oh Violinist! I didn't know you were here!" Hikari greeted in pretend. She took notice of Misaki holding unto Ryoma's arms but as Misaki rapidly let go she tried her best to ignore it.
"I didn't know Kawamura senpai would be here…" Misaki stated.
"Well…at least he is here I got a bit entertained while you are taking a very long time buying the ponta." Hikari complained to which Misaki arrowed an angry look to Ryoma who just ignored it in turn.
"Come to think about it why are there only two pontas?" Hikari asked and Misaki arrowed Ryoma once again who just ignored it again.
"Ryoma-kun…the payment." Misaki reminded him to which Ryoma finally sighed.
"Uh…no need! Violinist." Hikari halted Ryoma from pulling up his purse. Ryoma stared at her for explanation. "It's my treat!" She answered then delivered the other ponta to Kawamura while opening the one in her hands.
"Uh hey what about me?" Misaki wailed.
"You already got your smoothie didn't you?" Hikari answered back.
"Eeh?" She complained then arrowed an angry look once again at Ryoma who just ignored her -once again.
Soon enough, Kawamura's cellphone rung while Ryoma's cell phone lighted and vibrated signaling a message. They both opened their phone.
"What is it?" Hikari asked in curiosity.
"They seem to be asking for us to assemble at the riverbank…any ideas?" Kawamura asked the person at his side. Ryoma shook his head left to right.
"Oh well then…I guess we should just go…" Kawamura bid as he and Ryoma stood up. "Arigatou gozaimashita Douji-san, Misaki-san…." Kawamura bowed.
"Arigatou gozaimashita." Ryoma politely thanked at Hikari senpai. He turned to Misaki. "Ja." He bid then went off with his senpai.
"I wonder what that is about…" Misaki wondered.
Hikari opened up her phone. "Beats me…" She answered as she sends off a message to a person she thinks she could get an answer from.
"Uh, Ryuzaki-sensei! How was it?" Oishi stood up as the most awaited person came in on a bike.
Ryuzaki-sensei happily gave Oishi a thumbs up "It's okay now!"
"Excellent!" Oishi happily shouted.
"Hey everyone! Gather round, I have something to discuss with you." He called and everyone assembled before him.
"What's up?" Kawamura asked in wonder.
Oishi cleared his throat. "Well, everyone knows that the finals have been postponed for a week. But is it enough to train like we normally do?"
Fuji chuckled. "Heh…what exactly are you up to?"
"That is why we are going to a training camp in preparation for the finals against Rikkadai." Oishi continued enthusiastically.
"Training camp!" Everyone repeated in surprise.
"But what about school? It's okay for us to miss classes?" Eiji asked with shimmering eyes.
"We have obtained permission from the school already. After finals, everyone will attend make-up classes instead." Ryuzaki-sensei proudly announced in smile.
"So that's it…" Eiji mumbled in disappointment.
Oishi charged his fist. "Let's do our best!" He stated in full spirit.
"Yeah!" Everyone replied in the same high spirit.
"We will be leaving tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM. We will meet in front of the station. Everyone, don't be late." Ryuzaki sensei filled in the details.
"Hai!" Everyone agreed unto.
"Eh? 4 days camp at Karuizawa?" Misaki shouted as Rie filled her up with the details. "Why all of a sudden? I don't think I'll be allowed by my parents for that…besides…school!" Misaki answered back in panic.
"Yeah but they said we could attend make-up classes together with Ryoma after finals. Sakuno said her grandma, Ryuzaki sensei, needs help in other works out there so well I don't know…Tomoka and Sakuno are obviously going. Liara already got permission from her parents. June has no problem since Kikumaru senpai will be there. My mom, however, is depending her decision on you actually.."
"W-what? B-but…" Misaki couldn't seem to find the right words to express so she just took a deep breath then sighed. "Fine. I'll ask for my mother's permission."
"You will leave tomorrow at 7 am and you are just telling that to me now?" Mrs. Sakura seems to be mad. "No."
"Uh…hai…" Misaki lowly muttered. "B-but…"
"Misaki…No means no."
"She said no…" Misaki answered as Rie called up to her house once again.
"Oh…so that means no for me too…jeez what a waste. I could have taken inside scoop pictures and sold it for a hundred thousand yen." Rie bitterly stated on the other end of the line.
"G-gomenasai." Misaki wailed. "But I told you, didn't I? It's too sudden. My mother wouldn't allow me."
"Oh well…let's not cry over spilled milk." Rie quoted. "Well then ja."
"Ja." And as soon as Misaki put down the phone she walked straight unto her room, opened her window, and gazed upon the night sky.
Looking upon the half moon she sighed. "You'll be leaving at Karuizawa to train tomorrow…" She addressed in no one in particular, and after a few seconds she finally gave a serene smile.
"NANI!" Tomoko shouted in anger on the phone.
"T-tomo-chan please calm yourself down." Sakuno persuades her in fret.
"We're sorry Tomoka…it's just that…if Misaki is not going, Rie's parents were not allowing her to go too and well because of that June doesn't want to go anymore too and I just don't want to be left out soo-"
"YoU wILL nOT bE LeFt OuT!" Tomoka yelled on the other side of the phone once again and Liara could not help but to take it off her ears.
"G-gomen-neee…" Misaki apologized as Liara handed her the phone. It was quarter to seven and most probably Tomoka, Sakuno and the rest of the Seigaku tennis team were already at the station while they were hanging out to Misaki's favorite place at school.
"Hai-hai…like I can do anything couldn't I?" Tomoka uttered bitterly. "Oh well then, be jealous because we will be spending four days with Ryoma-sama!" Tomoka happily stated. "Hai-hai…" Misaki just replied back.
"Well then, ja!"
"Ja…take care." Misaki bid.
"Have a safe trip!" Liara added and as soon as the phone was put down, Liara sighed. "Well at least that's over."
"Oh yes. With just the two of us with Tomoka-no Rie-no stupid Misaki-uh nu-uh!" June continued as she checks up her nails. "Really, given the choice, I would definitely want to just spend time with the four of us here Tomoka free, than spend the time of my life there WITH Tomoka…" She added. "Oh yeah, umm…Rie do you have assignment in English?"
"We are of different sections; we have different senseis what makes you think we have assignment?" Rie snootily asked as she flipped her notebook back and forth.
"I was just asking! No need to be snarky." June said back then delved herself on her notes.
"Rie's definitely pissed off because she will not be able to cover training photos that would surely give here thousands of yen." Liara shared.
"Hey! It's not my fault that you were not given the permission to come with them…" June shielded herself.
"G-gomenasai…" Misaki doesn't seem to stop giving them the apologetic look.
"Like you can do anything with your sorry…" Rie coldly stated which somehow blew a cold gust of wind in Misaki's arena.
"Go-gomenasai…" Misaki wailed once again.
"Shhh!" June gestured for Misaki to keep quiet.
"Misaki stop talking!" June assaulted which somehow struck not only Misaki, but Rie and Liara as well. "E-eh?"
"Didn't you hear that?" June asked the rest of them.
"Hear what?" Liara asked.
"That…" June pointed.
"What was that?" Misaki followed the sound and as soon as she faced a Sakura tree she panicked.
"A cat!" She yelled to which the rest of them followed suit.
"Oh my!" Liara expressed as Misaki points a trembling cat at the top of the tree.
"A—Misaki don't!" June shouted as she found Misaki almost about to climb up to the tree.
"Misaki you'll get hurt!" Liara added in concern.
"No, I'm used to this. We often did this when we were children don't worry about me." Misaki assured them as she rapidly climbed up the tree.
"NONSENSE! You are afraid of heights you idiot!" June shouted which had Misaki remember but it was too late, she was already up high. With remorse Misaki looked down, and the minute she did so had her freeze up her limbs.
"Not good." Rie answered. "Idiot! Why did you look down?" Rie loudly scolded.
"Go-gomenasai!" Misaki wailed, now with tinge of fear.
"I-I'll go get some help." Liara announced as she ran out.
"Misaki you idiot! Could you hold on any longer?" June asked in worry.
"I…I'm fine…" Misaki tries to convince herself even though her overall muscles where frozen in fear.
After hearing that cry, Misaki's attention went back to the lost kitten. The kitten was crawling its way towards the smaller and weaker branch of the tree and this had Misaki act out in panic.
"No good…Leone! Don't go there!" She said to the cat as she crawled into the smaller branch.
"This is getting bad. Misaki don't go any further!" Rie demanded in worry.
"I…I'll be okay…but Le-leone…"
"NOOOO!" Misaki shouted as the branch started to break, having the little kitten fall down unto the ground.
"LEEEOONNNE!" Misaki cried.
"Uh-" June was definitely iced.
"N..no!" Rie expressed as she tried to move to catch the cat.
It was almost a dreadful scene for the three of them if it weren't for a man who highly jumped into the scene, catching the kitten on the process. He landed right on his two feet, with the kitten purring comfortably in his hands.
"Wow, that was a nice catch." Rie expressed as she claps her hands in awe.
"That was one heck of a jump." June added as he approached the guy.
Misaki on the other hand, was awe-struck. What that person did right there…it was something no ordinary man could do...
"Tsubasa…" She whispered. 'It was definitely something only he could do…'
The guy stood up and faced June and Rie with a smiling face. "Is this kitten any of yours?" He asked with shimmering hazel eyes with his dark brown hair coolly flowing through the autumn breeze.
"Well…" June pointed Misaki on top of the tree. "She calls it Leone."
"Ugh…" Misaki was dumbfounded. "It's not mine!" She denied.
"Duh! We know that. What I meant is that you are going to take care of it now, right?" June implied to her with her arms on her waist.
"Uh—hai!" Misaki responded at once.
"Well, go down there then." Rie commanded.
"Uh…h—hai…" Well, it was what Misaki wishes to do all along but her limbs are all frozen. "Umm…why don't you just all go?" She happily smiled.
"You can't go down can't you?" June stated with folded arms and raised eyebrows.
"What?" The guy seems to be amused.
"Oh you see she's afraid of heights." June explained to him.
"T-then why is she up there?"
"I don't know. That idiot just started climbing up to that tree after seeing that kitten in danger." June further stated.
"Oh…" the guy voiced and in an instant he walked in front of the tree looking up at Misaki.
"C'mon…I'll help you down." He gently offered as he reached his hand unto her.
"Ugh…but I-" And soon enough the guy climbed on to the tree and went towards her.
"Uh…that guy…" Rie's eyes suddenly flinched.
"Umm…any problem Rie?" June asked in curiosity.
"No…" Rie answered. "Nothing…"
"Can you at least move?" The guy asked the girl in front of her.
"Here" He reached his hand unto her and Misaki shakily tried to reach it. "There…" He gently sung in smile then flung Misaki's arms towards his neck and gave her a piggy back ride.
"A—arigatou." Misaki whispered in his ears.
"U..uh-hai…" The guy flustered in embarrassment. "He really is like Tsubasa…" Misaki marveled as she kept on looking at his ears as they went down into the tree.
"Jeez Misaki you really are one troublesome girl!" June heatedly scolded.
"Gomen gomen!" Misaki once again apologized.
"Anyway, what's taking Liara so long? The scene's over already." June impatiently stated.
"WAHH! Gomen! It's hard to find help you know that?" Liara arrived right on track, gasping for breath, while a janitor follows unto her back.
"Ah…no need - no need-that dude already saved the day." June pointed at the guy on the back who was smiling happily at them.
"Oh…." Liara answered back. "The new student from states?" She asked to which Misaki looked back at the guy while June looked at Rie first then to the guy.
"Ah…haha nice to meet you all." He answered.
"Well then…" Liara shyly looked at the janitor. "Gomenasai! It seems like the problem has been solved." She explained and the janitor scratched his head in confusion and left.
"W—welcome to Seigaku." Misaki innocently greeted at the guy right after.
"Uh—hai!" He shyly answered then suddenly shifted his mood as he curtsied into Misaki like a prince bowing in front of a princess.
"It's my pleasure." He uttered in English words.
"Uh…" Misaki, together with Liara, Rie and June, was stunned after seeing that sudden stunt of the guy before Misaki.
"Oh no…" Rie uttered.
"Rie…is there any problem? You seemed disturbed." June asked after observing the worried face of Rie.
"No…its just that…" Rie couldn't seem to find the right words. "Misaki…I just hope after all these, her world would not be turned up-side down…"
"Huh? What do you mean?" June asked.
"That guy…" She traced off.
"Hmm…the pleasure is mine sir…" Misaki playfully bowed back which had the guy smile in pleasure.
"Please just call me Tsubasa…" Misaki's face suddenly transformed from a normal to being a surprised one.
"Umm…what did you say your name once again?" Misaki politely asked.
"Tsubasa." The guy clearly stated and with a smile, he took Misaki's hand, bowed down and kissed it like an old renaissance man.
"I'm Tsubasa Kallenberg, nice to meet you..."
Again... I DO NOT OWN PRINCE OF TENNIS!
and...sorry...for not being able to update asap-and for grammars too-and for the long chapter! .
Pls. do review! :D Your reviews are the ones that inspires me to continue this story. :)
I hope you liked it even if its this long. ..
-PS...I'll be posting summary of what my characters look like soon (decriptions and/or pictures)...since i know you are already taking a hard time memorizing/ taking note of each...(sorry! .)
Anyway. thanks once again and please! Do review! :D .