Okay so I'm extremely annoyed. I had half a chapter of one of my fanfics typed up and saved to my laptop after a long period of inactivity and my laptop has now crashed … I guess I should have learnt my lesson last time that happened (annoyingly enough it was only 2 months ago) Now I have a new laptop of a different brand and I'm hoping it won't happen again. (My lesson learnt: Never buy Compaq laptops!)

Anyway here's a very long belated chapter dedicated to you people who are still sticking with this story even though it seems like I've fallen off the face of the Earth :)

Just for clarification; if you've forgotten the match line-ups for the practice matches last chapter here they are: Momo vs Kirihara, Taka vs Yanagi, Echizen vs Sanada, Fuji vs Yukimura, Inui + Kaidou vs Yagyuu + Niou, Eiji + Oishi vs Marui + Jackal

If Niou didn't know better he could have sworn that his vice captain was smiling as he approached the net.

"Game, Set, Match. Game to Echizen 7-6"

"91.5% chance Niou is thinking he's dreaming" Renji muttered into Niou's ear, making the trickster jump.

"Why the hell do you do that?" he yelled at Rikkai's resident tensai (1).

"Yanagi! Stop terrorising Niou and get on the court!" the very object of Niou's disbelief yelled. With a shake of his head and a very evil chuckle (in Niou's mind), Yanagi did as he was told.

"Mada mada dane, Niou-senpai" Echizen chuckled as he walked past the white-haired third year. It seemed like everyone was out to get Niou today, what a shame.

Repressing a sigh as he finally managed to attain a can of Ponta and a place to rest, Ryoma couldn't help but glare at the interruption to his peace.

"Won't you come and watch the match Echizen?" this brunette interruption murmured.

"Yadda," was the annoyed response and with that he closed his eyes and began to ignore the repeated requests.

With a sigh the vice-captain of Rikkaidai Fuzoku Chuu sat down next to the lazy first year. "Has anyone ever told you that you're a brat?"

The only reply was a snort.

"I'll take that as a yes then."

Ryoma moved into a sitting position and faced Sanada. "Has anyone ever told you that for a stoic person you're pretty talkative?"

Sanada raised an eyebrow. "Really now?" he said, receiving a glare clearly saying 'no duh.' "I could say the same about you."

"Well you don't know much about me then." Ryoma stated with a raised eyebrow.

"Would you hold it against me if I said I wanted to," he sighed. "I realise this may be too soon after Fuji-san, but I'd like to get to know you better if possible."

Ryoma frowned and a longing glance was sent towards the smiling brunette now playing on the court. He softly muttered the tensai's name.

Sanada swore in his head. 'Stupid, stupid, stupid Genichiroh! You're supposed to be making the boy forget about Fuji!' Placing a sympathetic hand on Ryoma's shoulder he muttered a simple apology.

Ryoma shook his head. "You don't need to say sorry. I'll need to get over him eventually." He sighed. "Though you do owe me a Ponta now…"

Sanada chuckled "Brat."

"You know it," Ryoma replied, poking his tongue out.

"I'll treat you to Ponta after this. How about that?"

Ryoma stood up, "and I'll take you up on your offer of getting to know each other better." He continued with a smile and then walked off leaving Sanada to his thoughts.

Meanwhile Fuji was having difficulty withstanding the almost brutal strength of his opponent's strikes, those both physical and psychological.

"Fuji-kun," Yukimura smiled, returning Fuji's strike with barely any force, "Your style is faltering this afternoon. Are you okay?"

The subtle hint made Fuji flinch. Yukimura wasn't asking about his play at all; merely referring to their conversation the afternoon before. Yukimura's true statement sounded something like this to Fuji, "I want to make your life hell. It sucks doesn't it? I know you're not okay, I just want to remind you of what you've lost and won't be getting back."

Another point was scored to Yukimura as Fuji faltered. "Game to Yukimura, 4-1." the referee stated, "Swap courts."

Fuji stared at Ryoma as he walked to the opposite side of the court and was surprised to note the challenging glare that was being sent in his direction. "You're doing crap Fuji-senpai," his eyes said, "if you lose I will never talk to you again." Fuji was filled with resolve, as that message was understood his smile returned.

'Ryo-chan might come back to me yet.' he thought to himself as he readied himself to serve. 'I need to do this, if only to redeem myself in his eyes even a little.'

Ryoma's smirk widened as he saw the determination in Fuji's eyes spark again. He knew what thrill meant to Fuji, and to Fuji a challenge from Ryoma was enough to bring that thrill into any tennis match.

As Fuji's score was brought closer and closer to Yukimura's, Ryoma's smirk only grew larger. Seeing Fuji play after ignoring him all afternoon made him happy, even if he couldn't fully admit it to himself. Ryoma knew that he shouldn't have felt so lost after Fuji admitted that he needed space the day before but at the same time a large part of him feels like something, some part of their relationship, was keeping them from truly being a couple.

He smiles wistfully as nostalgic memories of seeing that wide, truthful smile broach Fuji's face when they played tennis just because they could or when he went out of his way to do something sappy and romantic regardless of his pride. He was such a fool for giving that up even throughout the teasing and those niggling self doubts.

The self doubts that make him hesitate to take Fuji back, despite the memories he has with the third year. Maybe, given enough time, he could figure out what exactly was missing in their relationship and give his ex-boyfriend another try. But until then, he's happy with living his life to the best of his capability. If that means taking life one step at a time, then Ryoma will do just that. He was a firm believer in letting life lead its course. Come what may, Ryoma will be ready.

And here's a new chapter for you finally. Hope you liked how I finished the chapter … I felt like leading into Ryoma's thinking a little bit. Finally starting to get into the OT6 stuff a bit now, Yay!

Thought I'd say a little thanks to you guys now! When I get bored I explore fanfiction and I was pleasantly surprised to find this story in an OT5 community. So thanks heaps for your support in this story even though I don't put a large amount of effort into writing this story for you!