Ryoma, Shy?

Chapter One: New Environment

Ryoma walked from the car his father and mother calling out to him to have a nice day. His father Nanjiroh was about to pull away when he let out a comment.

"Now Shinonen do something that I would do, just for once. Heh heh. Good luck." Then giving a thumb up to his blushing son pulled away from the school gates, he'd just dropped Ryoma off at.

It would be Ryoma's first day at his new school and he was as nervous as you can be. He and his family had just moved from the United States, back to his birth place, Japan. Ryoma had left Japan when he was a year old, and had only come for visits with his family. When his mother had been offered a job in a law firm here in Japan, his family had decided it was time to move back. Now he was starting at a new school in a country that didn't even speak English, not including the fact he was entering a school system he knew would be a lot different than the ones in the US. He had no friends, not saying he'd had many to begin with in the US, but the few he did have had been sad to see him go, and he in turn was sad to be leaving. But what choice did he have, it wasn't like he could stay over there by himself. Ryoma shuddered at the thought.

Sighing Ryoma looked up at the school, Seigaku. It was huge compared to his old school, and to add it was completely blocked inside a stone wall and metal gates that would shut during breaks, and between classes so students couldn't get out. Ryoma gulped. It was like a prison, a prison that he'd have to enter, and try and blend in. Ryoma about broke out in a cold sweat. He was a very shy person and he really didn't want to have to reintroduce himself to new classmates, teachers and a new environment.

He'd been dropped off early so he could head for the office and his class schedule, so there were very few people around. The few that Ryoma saw as he entered the school grounds all seemed to be club members headed off for their morning club activities. No one seemed to even notice him, and Ryoma was glad of that. The least notable he was the less embarrassed he would feel.

Walking across the grounds Ryoma didn't see the small group of boys around his age heading towards him at a very quick pace. Nor did he hear the overly loud runner who was running backwards as he talked to his friends. By the time the others seemed to see him, Ryoma had finally noticed them coming, hearing them he turned towards the noise, his eyes going wide as the runner rammed right into him. The runner had heard his friend's warnings, and turned to see what they were freaked about only to plow headed long into a smaller form. They both landed on the ground, the runner had his breath knocked from him, but the smaller Ryoma wasn't so lucky.

When he'd hit the ground the weight of the boy and the force with which they'd impacted caused him to hit his back and head into the ground. With the heavier weight of the boy on his chest Ryoma thought he was going to black out from lack of oxygen. The world was going black at the edges of his vision when he felt the weight being lifted up from him, by the boy's friends. Then he felt a pair of strong hands pulling him up to his feet. Once he was upright, Ryoma began dragging in deep breaths of air. Once his mind cleared of the fog and pain from his head and back, Ryoma became aware of an older voice in front of him apologizing to him. When the reality of it all came crashing down on him. Here was a group of complete strangers all staring at him, and one tall dark haired boy with violet eyes was apologizing to him. HIM!!! And it didn't help that Ryoma figured he was probably his upperclassman, all of them looked like upperclassmen to him.

As the blush that sprung from his toes to his hair tips released itself, Ryoma bowed low several times in succession, apologizing for… being in the way, not paying attention, and that he was sorry he'd interrupted them and that the guy was an upperclassman and didn't need to apologize it was all his own fault. Then without really listening to the groups continued assurances, turned on his heel and pretty much dashed for the school building's entrance. If he had stopped he would have noticed, the smiles, and curious looks of said upperclassmen.

"I wonder who that person could be." Said one with a curiously bowl shaped hairdo.

"I'm not sure, I didn't recognize him." Said another male with semi-defined muscle and tan hair.

"He must be a new student. But he sure was a slight little thing." Said a feminine voice full of amusement. "And he seems to be very embarrassed." That had the smile on the male's face growing.

"Interesting, very interesting." Said another boy, who was the tallest in the group.

"That poor ochibi, he looked like a scared rabbit. I want to hug him." A boy with unusually bright red hair announced leaning his chin on the boy with the bowl shaped hairdo. A male with a bandana just nodded and hissed at the statement.

"I feel really bad about hitting into him. And then he wouldn't even let me apologize, the way he reacted it seemed he thought I'd blame him for it." Said the boy with violet eyes that had run into Ryoma.

"We mustn't let our guards down." A tall boy with tan-ish green hair and glasses spoke. "Now we need to get back to practice. Momoshiro you'll be running extra laps during after school practice.

"Hai, Tezuka-boucho." The boy named Momoshiro answered.

Then the group headed back the way they had come, jogging like before this time Momoshiro was looking ahead, he didn't need any more laps for another mistake.

…*…

When Ryoma reached the principal's office, he slowed down, pressing a hand to his racing heart. When he felt calmer, he straightened from his recovering posture, and began to pull the door open. Only to have the door swing violently open as another person pushed on it to exit the office. Due to the force of the double action the girl almost fell through the door way and Ryoma about landed on his butt for the second time.

When they'd gained their balance, Ryoma didn't look at them, he just bowed and apologized. "I'm so sorry I didn't mean for you to almost fall, I should have been careful opening the door. I'm sorry." Not looking up and staring at the ground Ryoma heard a giggle. He face lit up with red, as he realized the person happened to be a girl and she was laughing at him. 'Just great, not only have I already knocked into a senior, but now I have a girl laughing at me. Can this getting any worse?'

"I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at you, but it wasn't your fault, you shouldn't get so embarrassed over it. It was an accident. Are you okay?" Ryoma lifted his head to peer at the girl, and felt his heart stutter. She was wonderful. That was the first thought Ryoma had as he looked at the girl. She had her hair up in two twin braids, and was smiling at him with such a peaceful, happy look that Ryoma thought she may be a figment of his imagination. Ryoma was so caught up in looking at her, that he forgot to answer. When the girl noticed his staring, she just smiled figuring he was too embarrassed to talk. So she tried again. "Are you a new student here? Do you need the principal?"

Ryoma jerked at her voice washed threw his mind, and only nodded dumbly at her. The girl smiled and stepped back so Ryoma could enter the office she was standing in front of. Ryoma headed towards the door, but couldn't keep from looking at the girl in the corner of his eye. Once he was through the doorway the girl began to shut the door, but then turned back towards him.

"The principal's office is through that door there, the secretary isn't in yet, so just go on in, Okay?" The girl pointed towards a door directly to Ryoma's right, and then waited for him to nod his head before walking back out into the hallway and shutting the door. Ryoma starred at the door for a bit before he shook his head and turned towards the principal's inner office. An elderly woman was standing in the door way. Ryoma walked towards her.

"So you must be Echizen, Ryoma-kun. I'm Micikyko-san, the principal."

"Hello, Principal-san." Ryoma answered softly.

"Follow me." Micikyko-san said, and then moved aside, much like the girl had done and Ryoma walked into the office.

'Well, I guess it's time to get started on my new life.' Ryoma tried to keep the scary thought back, but still it ran thru his head as he entered the principal's office, and sat down.

…*…

Ryoma was heading towards his new classroom, following the teacher closely as they went. The bell had already ringed, and students were already situated in their classes. The principal had called the teacher over after she'd given Ryoma all of his books and things that he'd need for his classes. She'd introduced Ryoma to the teacher, telling him that the teacher would be his homeroom teacher for the rest of the year. Then the teacher introduced himself as Sigara-sensei, and that it was time he headed off to class and for Ryoma to follow him. Ryoma nodded, thanked the teacher and then bowed to the Principal in farewell before leaving the office.

Now they were headed towards a classroom at the end of the hall, identified only as Class B year 1. When they reached the door the teacher told Ryoma to wait were he stood by the classroom's door so he could introduce him to the class, Ryoma froze. He hadn't expected that he'd have to stand in front of the class and be introduced. So when the door that had been left open for him to when he entered and Ryoma could hear the rowdy noise of a classroom Ryoma almost missed Sigara-sensei saying his name. Taking that as his cue to enter the room, Ryoma did so, staring at the tiles in front of his feet, but not really looking around. He was trying to push down his blush when the teacher asked him to greet the class, and tell a couple things about himself.

Knowing he didn't have a choice Ryoma glanced up towards the class, and feeling the words he'd been about to say freeze in his throat. There were so many people staring at him, looking right towards him. Feeling like he was going to panic, Ryoma quickly raised his gaze to look over the class's heads toward the back wall, and choked out. "Hello my name is Echizen Ryoma. I'm from America, I was originally born in Japan, but my parents moved to the States when I was a baby, and I've only visited Japan a couple times. I speak both Japanese and English, I like to watch sports, and read. It's nice to meet you. Please take care of me." Then bowing Ryoma stood and fixed his gaze once more on the tiles just ahead of himself.

"That was good, Echizen-kun, everyone please welcome him, and help make him feel welcomed. Now Echizen-kun I'd like you to sit in front of Ryusaki-chan over there please. Ryusaki-chan, could you please raise your hand and show Echizen-kun where it is he'll be sitting." Ryoma glanced up to see the tale-tell hand, then rushed to his seat, as Sigara-sensei announced it was time for class to start. Ryoma hung his bag on the hook and placed his books and notepad on the desk, keeping his eyes glued to the desk until everything was put in its own place. Opening to the page of the book Sigara-sensei called out, and then opening his notebook Ryoma began to take notes. When a poke pushed into his back, Ryoma about jumped from his chair in fright, but he didn't know what to do so stared at the chalkboard and Sigara-sensei's back. That was, until a small folded note was tossed onto his desk from behind him. It said, "Open Echizen-kun." Ryoma frowned, and then unfolded the note. It read:

Hey I'm Ryusaki Sakuno

I sit right behind you, I don't think you recognize me, but I met you this morning;

at the Principal's office. I'm the

class secretary for this semester, and I just wanted to say hi and introduce myself.

If you have any questions, or need any help just ask.

Talk later, and don't let the teacher seeing you read this, or we'll both be in trouble.

LOL (a smiley face with a V-sign were drawn on the paper.)

Talk later.

Sakuno R.

Ryoma glanced behind him at the girl, and realized with another jolt to his heart that it really was the same girl from earlier. She was glancing at the chalkboard, and taking notes when she saw him looking at her. She smiled and then went back to her notes. Ryoma quickly turned back and shoved his face into his own notes. Sticking the note in his pocket for later disposal.

…*…