I will keep my mouth shut and let you read.
At first, when he stepped out onto the rooftop, Sayuki did nothing to acknowledge him, as she merely stared at the sky, watching the clouds move. Neither of them said anything as Ryoma approached her, then stood silently next to her, watching the clouds with her. Unsure of what she was looking at, he merely waited for her to say something. When she did... he would tell her. He had promised himself that.
Finally, Sayuki looked down and turned to face him. She tilted her head, studying him as if she had never seen him before. They stared at each other, taking in even the smallest of details. They stood there, the wind blowing, and as Ryoma watched, her eyes changed, ever so slowly, the slowest he had ever seen them change. It seemed like the world had been put on mute, life playing in slow motion. At an almost frustratingly slow pace, her eyes morphed...
Ryoma found himself staring back at his own two golden eyes. Slowly, her lips moved, mouthing a single word, her voice breaking the silence that they had both subconsciously created.
He didn't answer, continued to watch in silence as she suddenly clutched her head as if in pain with a "tsk" of annoyance. He reached out to place a hand on her head, not sure why his arm was moving but not bothering to stop it, but she recovered from the pain and stepped away from him, her two oddly colored eyes staring back at him again.
"Sayuki..." he began, but she put a finger to her lips to stop him. Turning away, she skipped, almost danced, towards the fence that prevented a careless student from falling to their gruesome death. Flashing a daring smile at him, that old mischievous smile that he loved, she clutched the fence with both hands, carefully placing a foot in one of the holes. With a start, he realized what she was doing, and he ran over to her, fear coursing through him.
"Sayuki, don't!" he shouted, but she was already over and on the other side, balanced carefully on the tiny bit of a ledge, both hands tight on the fence. He wrapped his fingers over her hands, afraid to let go, but she only grinned at him, though this time with sadness in her eyes.
"Don't worry," she murmured, putting her forehead to the fence so that they were almost touching. "If I was going to die, I'd be dead already. I do this a lot..."
"Stop doing it," Ryoma whispered, leaning against the fence so that their foreheads were touching, if only barely. He tried to keep his voice calm, but that fierceness still escaped. "Don't do this. Get over here right now. It doesn't matter if you care," he continued, as she opened her mouth to retort, "because I sure as hell do. And if you don't get on this side in the next thirty seconds, I'm going over there and throwing you over." For a moment, Sayuki looked bewildered, and then she chuckled, shaking her head as she began to climb the fence again. In a few moments, Ryoma had backed away and she had dropped down, grinning at him.
"Alright, Sir Don't-Make-Me-Go-Over there," she said, now choosing to lean against the fence, arms crossed across her chest. Her expression turned serious, and Ryoma suddenly understood that Sayuki had merely wanted a little bit of fun before she had to go through her fears. "I know you have something to say to me... And I think I know we're you're going to go with this." She waved a hand, adding, "But don't mind me and my speculations... Go ahead."
Ryoma eyed her warily, wondering what she had meant by her "speculations", then took a deep breath, almost smiling as a totally out of place thought crossed his mind. A week before, he never would have believed that confessing to a girl would be, in some ways, harder than winning the Nationals.
The amusement of that thought faded as frustration at the truth of the statement took over. How in the world was he going to do this?
Just do whatever you want... The idea crossed his mind. He might as well, it wasn't like he had any other plans in any case. A slight blush spread across his face as he reached out, not entirely sure of what he was doing as he was going entirely on impulse, and hugged Sayuki close to him. He normally avoided close contact, but this just felt... right. She closed her eyes in response, one arm wrapping around him.
"Sayuki, I..." He broke off, knowing what to say but not how to say it. He paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts, forcing back a blush.
"I love you," he murmured finally, squeezing her tighter before releasing her, stepping back to give her room and to see her reaction. She was blushing, and he was sure that he was too, and she looked at him in a way that was shy but not surprised. He wanted to hug her again, but he held back, waiting for her to answer.
When Kuroki had explained everything to him, he had anticipated rejection at first, but he was sure that he could convince her otherwise. But even then... Would she not return his feelings? Suddenly, the fear crashed down upon him. What if she didn't like him back? What if he couldn't help her? What if...
The most frightening and annoying phrase in any language, Ryoma thought bitterly.
"... No," Sayuki whispered softly. The wind carried her voice to him, and even though he had expected it, it didn't lessen the pain any. In fact, the hurt of the rejection seemed to hurt more, as a tiny part of him had been hoping, praying, that maybe she would say "I love you," back the first time... But the rest of him, the pessimistic and realistic part, knew that there was no chance of that happening.
"Why?" The word escaped him before he had even thought of it, even though Kuroki had already told him why. But he wanted to hear the reason from her, make sure that Kuroki hadn't been mistaken, make sure that it wasn't only because she really didn't feel anything towards him. That little word, no, that terrifyingly powerful word of negativity and rejection, whirled around in his head, seemed to pound at his emotions until only hurt and depression was left. He felt like a cold hand had taken his heart, squeezing it, burning him with the frost. The pain lessened slightly as she opened her mouth to reply. Maybe she would take it back, maybe she would realize that she really did love him back, maybe he wouldn't have to make her suffer through her fears.
"Kuroki told you already," Sayuki murmured in reply, and when she looked up, his heart gave a painful wrench when he saw the tears in her eyes.
"I want to hear it from you," he answered, his voice remaining normal despite that his heart was breaking. She stared at him, as though trying to see how determined he was to hear the truth, and she took a deep breath and began to speak.
"Ryoma, you know how my eyes can copy the eyes of other people, and through the eyes, their personality and their basic patterns of thought," Sayuki said. "You don't know that I don't actually copy what the people know, though. I don't gain intelligence, so for things like your tennis moves or your favorite color, those I'd have to find out on my own."
"So your ability isn't perfect," Ryoma said, more to himself than to her. She nodded.
"Personality, eye color, and a very, very small part of how they think is all I can do," Sayuki continued. "But that's usually enough. Now..." She paused, closing her eyes and rubbing the eyelids as if her eyes were hurting. She looked back at him, eyes wide open. "Kuroki told you that I copied my parents eye colors. The red is my mother's," she pointed to her left eye, "and the dark turquoise green one," this time she pointed to her right, "is my father's.
"They were the only ones to ever see my own eye color, if only for a short moment, and they never told me what it was," she continued quietly. "And nobody knows why this happens to me. Suigo's parents are working on it... Right now, they say that it's a mutation with my eyes, but that doesn't explain why I have the person's personality." She let out a humorless laugh. "'Eyes are the windows to a person's soul,' I guess."
"Not funny," Ryoma muttered. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the drawing that Sayuki had handed him on Sunday (has it really been only four days since then?), smoothing out the creases. "'I can't decide'," he murmured, reading the words yet again. This time, though, he truly understood what they meant.
"My 'color'," Sayuki finished, watching him. "You can't miss something you never had nor remember, but you can always long for it."
"... Sayuki, I've thought about this," Ryoma said, pocketing the drawing again. "You say that you're just copies of your parents, but-"
"Ryoma, do you really get it?" Sayuki looked frustrated now, glaring at him, her eyes watering slightly. "I look like me on the outside, but my personality, both of them actually, the way I think, my likes and dislikes, everything is based on my parents. I'm only using their personalities. I don't know my own personality, my own color, that doesn't exist anymore. Nobody alive knows what it is. I'm a nobody, a copy that doesn't even begin to measure up to the originals."
Ryoma opened his mouth to speak again, but Sayuki cut him off once more.
"Just let me say everything first," she said, almost pleading. "I need to know that you know everything before you start speculating... I'm sorry, I know you'r-"
"It's alright, just go on," Ryoma cut in. He knew that if she started apologizing, he would really never be able to get rid of the pain in his chest. The tears in her eyes were already enough to drive him towards guilt and depression.
Who is this? he wondered. Is this... This is Sayuki. Not annoyingly cheerful, not sarcastic, not strong... Weak and scared. Do I... He felt ashamed for even beginning to think of the question. Of course he still loved Sayuki.
"My mother played badminton." Ryoma blinked at the sudden, random change in the topic, but Sayuki continued. "And my father played tennis. The only thing they ever disagreed about was which sport was better. I was a natural at both..." She broke off with a bitter smile. "Rather, more accurately, I was good at both because I had copied both of my parents'... Normally, since tennis and badminton are such different sports despite their similarities, it's really, really hard for someone to switch from one to another. But I learned badminton, and after they died, I took up tennis. I learned both... Because they knew both.
"So, you could say, that my eyes help me in tennis in more than just copying people," she went on. "Because I was copying my dad, I was 'naturally' good at tennis. I didn't have to start from scratch, everything was already there. It gave me even more of an edge over other people. And already, I had an advantage because I could be whoever I want. I'm nobody, without my own personality, and I'm everybody at the same time.
"And still, I have to wonder, what would I be like if I never had these eyes?" Ryoma heard her voice crack slightly at the end, and he knew that she was close to tears, her fists were clenched and she wouldn't look up from the ground. "Maybe I would've been a normal kid, maybe I wouldn't have done badminton or tennis, maybe, somehow my parents wouldn't have died if that one little thing had been changed."
"And maybe you wouldn't have met Kuroki," Ryoma said. She looked up at him in surprise, and this time he was the one who had to clench his hands, resist running over there and wiping away the tear stains. He was sure that Sayuki had said what she had wanted to say, and he wanted, needed to prove to her that she wasn't as much as a nobody as she thought. "You wouldn't have met Kaze or the others, you wouldn't have moved to America. You never would've even heard of me, we never would've met, you never would've made friends with everyone in Seigaku..." He saw her lips twitch into something of a smile. He had wondered about what Kuroki had said that one day, how she knew that he would be the one to do it. Had she known? Had Sayuki known, like she had about so many other things that she had feigned ignorance about? Had she been hoping?
"I never would've loved you," he continued, almost whispering now. "Hell, I probably wouldn't have ever learned love. You know me, you know how I was. Before I met you, tennis was my life. It still is, actually."
"I have a question, only one," she said. "You can go ahead with trying to convince me that I'm not a nobody or whatever, but... You say you love me... How much?"
"More than tennis," he answered with a smirk. "More than my life. And now that we're on the topic of tennis, that reminds me of another point. Your mother played badminton, your dad played tennis. So what? You play both, that makes you different. They never went through what you went through. They never played both sports, never moved back and forth between America and Japan, never met the people you met and never went through all the ordeals of your life. It's what happens to you that makes you Sayuki. It wouldn't matter if you had started out with a personality like your parents', Kuroki's, or even Captain Tezuka's. Everybody changes... I'm living proof of that. I met you, and my life changed, and I changed with it. People adapt."
"You have a point," Sayuki admitted, but she still seemed unconvinced. "But Ryoma, I've been living with this for all 13, almost 14, years of my life. You don't think I haven't thought about this before? The thing is, it still doesn't change that I'm still-"
"-using your parents' personalities, I know," Ryoma finished for her. "It doesn't change that you don't have your own eye color, that you still don't know how you actually are. But in the end, does it matter?" He took a breath and swallowed... His mouth was dry. He could never remember having talked so much ever in his life, but he had to keep going, convince her... "You could've had normal eyes, but you didn't. That makes you different. And really, I don't think your own personality is as much as a mystery as you think it is. Because I really, really doubt that either of your parents ever got like you do when you're hyper."
And the surprised look on Sayuki's face told him that she had never thought about her hyperness before. It didn't surprise him. She didn't think normally when hyper, it was like she was on an insane high that no amount of depression could bring her down from, and most people wouldn't connect her eyes with hyperness.
"Sayuki, you've been saying the same thing all this time: that you aren't unique," Ryoma said. "And I've been saying things to prove that you are. You've met people and gone place, done things in a way that nobody else has ever done. It doesn't matter if you were a perfect clone of your parents, eventually you would start changing. In the end, no matter whose eyes you're using or whose personality you're hiding behind, you'll become yourself." Ryoma closed his eyes, thinking of everything he had just said. Yes... he loved Sayuki because she was herself, no matter what she or anybody else said.
"Sayuki... You may be everyone, but you're everything to me," he murmured. When he opened his eyes to look at her, he was stabbed with the fear that he had said something to make her cry again, because she was staring intently at the floor, her eyes shaded from his view.
And then she tackled him.
"Wha- Sayu-!" Ryoma stuttered, feeling a blush rise to his cheeks as he tried to pull the girl away from her (despite all of him protesting).
"You- Idiot!" Sayuki wailed, still clinging onto him like a lifeline. Her arms were wrapped around his neck so tightly he was amazed he hadn't choked to death yet. "So. Fucking. Dense! Can't believe you actually used a cheesy line!" She finally backed away, arms still hung loosely around his neck, glaring at him with tears in her eyes but grinning all the same. It was a very interesting facial expression, to say the least.
"... Soo, does that mean I convinced you?" Ryoma said hopefully with a little twisted smile on his face. "And that you like me back?" Sayuki rolled her eyes, an action so familiar and normal after this week of craziness that he almost laughed.
"Ryoma, I always knew you were stupid in anything other than tennis, but really?" she asked, exasperated. "Hm, let me think. I helped you out in a tournament that you missed because of your own idiocy-"
"-I'm an idiot, we get it."
"-and when I didn't even know you," Sayuki continued, pretending he hadn't interrupted. "So there couldn't have been any admiration there or anything."
"I can taste the sarcasm from here," Ryoma replied dryly. Sayuki grinned.
"But yeah, I guess you could say I love you," she answered. "... Wait, or is it I guess I could say I love you? Huh..."
"Sayuki, stop confusing yourself," Ryoma said playfully, mussing her hair. She pouted, punching him playfully.
"Why didn't you tell me though?" Ryoma asked, rubbing his arm. That punch had actually hurt...
"Well, you're a dense idiot, for one, I thought we established that quite nicely," Sayuki said cheerfully. "So I figured that since you're so stupid, you wouldn't have realized your feelings yet so if I said anything you would probably say something idiotic and then later feel really guilty about it, so I waited for you to say something first. I didn't know that you'd take until now though," she mumbled.
"Sorry I'm an idiot," he answered, patting her on the head. "I didn't know that you promised them though. I figured that they hadn't asked yet because they obviously still like you." Sayuki gave him a pained smile.
"I've never liked them in that way though," Sayuki said sadly. "They've always been like brothers to me. Kaze thinks of me as a sister, but Daichi still likes me and I can tell that Suigo's somewhere in the middle."
"They're not touching you," Ryoma scowled, hugging her closer protectively. Sayuki laughed, but didn't back away. They stood like that for a while, the silence enveloping them, but it wasn't awkward. It was nice to have some peaceful time to think for a while, comprehend everything that they had just talked about, truly appreciating what had just happened.
"... You know what sucks the most about us going out together though?" Sayuki said after a moment of silence. "It means that Kuroki and everyone else was right."
"Then maybe we'll be right and she'll start going out with Captain Tezuka," Ryoma chuckled. Sayuki smiled, and he felt, rather than saw, it against his neck.
"... Neh, Ryoma... Could I have a kiss?"
They pulled apart and Ryoma was grinning at her.
"I seriously thought you'd never ask."
Friday (how many days left? who really cares anymore?)
Sayuki and Ryoma had agreed to keep the fact that they had started going out as of yesterday a secret. They wanted to see the peoples' reactions...
Their classmates were the first to find out, Suigo, Daichi, and Kaze in particular.
They had been walking to school as normal. Kaze took one look at them (and they hadn't even been doing anything, they had been watching Kuroki and Tezuka bicker) and told them, "Congrats," before walking away.
"He's always been a perceptive bastard," Sayuki smirked.
In class, Suigo and Daichi had seen how cheerful Sayuki had appeared and immediately guessed correctly what had happened. Their responses had been less shocked than Sayuki and Ryoma had imagined.
"Make her cry, I'll be the one to kill you," Daichi had said simply. "She still owes us our second chances, so if there's any sign of conflict..." He smirked dangerously and let the threat hang in the air as he walked away.
"Aw, dammit," Suigo whined, kicking a desk dejectedly as he glared at the couple. "I knew this would happen! I KNEW IT!" After he had vented out his anger ("I KNEW IT! I SO KNEW IT!") his glare had suddenly changed into a cheerful smile as he told them congratulations and skipped away after Daichi.
Ryoma's fangirls had found out next, and to no one's surprise, really, it turns out that Sayuki had had a secret fanclub too. The people walking outside of the school ground sweat dropping as they saw the buildings come crashing down with furious shrieks and shouts of denial coming from inside the school.
Seigaku would never be the same again after the rampages of furious fans.
Sakuno watched them sadly as they walked off to lunch with Kuroki and Tezuka and Momo up on the rooftop. Sayuki had told her first thing, knowing that her friend would only be more broken hearted later. Sakuno was happy for her friend but... She bit her lip to force back the tears, squeaking with shock when she felt someone's hand on her shoulder.
"I know how you feel," Daichi murmured, an odd lopsided, forced smile on his face as he stared after Sayuki. "My heart died today too." Sakuno nodded silently. They needed no words... They were companions in heart break, both knowing each other's pain, and they understood each other and were friends because of it.
Though they told Kuroki and Tezuka during lunch, Momo had been in the bathroom so he didn't know until after school. Kuroki had only smirked at them and burst out into a round of "I TOLD YOU SO!" and she wouldn't shut up until Momo had come back. Tezuka had only nodded at them, the smallest of smiles on his face as he congratulated them.
Momo's reaction, though, was off the charts. It was, to use Sayuki's words, "abso-freaking-lutely priceless."
"Echizen, do you have a girlfriend yet?" Momo asked half-heartedly. Before Ryoma could say anything, he answered for him, "Let me guess: no."
"Yes, actually," Ryoma said nonchalantly. "She's right there, waiting outside the courts."
"That's what I-" Momo began, but then he froze when the words processed through his brain. Ryoma had walked ahead, smirked at Sayuki, who returned it with a mischievous grin, and he threw an arm over her shoulders as they walked off to the courts.
"... JESUS CHRIST, ECHIZEN, ARE YOU SERIOUS!"
Ryoma and Sayuki looked over their their shoulders, stuck out their tongues childishly at Momo, then turned to continue walking. Ryoma saw Momo's furious face from the corner of his eye and he snickered, pecking Sayuki on the cheek.
Momo's anger ebbed away and a smirk spread over his face.
"It's about time... Cocky little-" He was interrupted by Horio's loud freaking voice.
"ECHIZEN, YOU'RE GOING OUT WITH SAIKI!"
Sayuki: ... Wait, what the fuck? We end with freaking HORIO? He appeared, like, once in this thing! WHERE THE HELL IS THE REST OF THE STORY!
Ryoma: Kuroki and Tezuka never got together in the end...
Kai: :3 No way I'm letting them get out of this one... This is just the end of Sayuki's little arc revolving around her eyes and shit. The story's gonna keep going, but it'll just have more of Kuro and Tezu and less of you guys.
Sayuki: Hm... I guess that would work. ... wait, so do they get together in the end?
Kai: ... no moar spoilahz.
Ryoma: At least tell us the name of the next one...
Kai: Opposites Don't Love, shortened as ODL.
Sayuki: ... Huh, I guess they don't end up together then... :C Unfair.
Kai: ... evil smirk You'll see...
Before you run me over: YES, OPPOSITES DON'T LOVE WILL BE A SEMI-SEQUEL/CONTINUATION OF FLIP SIDE OF THE COIN. I've actually already started it. Like mentioned above, it focuses a little bit more on Kuroki and Tezuka, but Ryoma and Sayuki are still just as important. Because of this, the chapters are going to be longer. So even though ending FSC feels like a part of me just died, it's not over yet. :3
Sorry for the lack of warning on my part, but I wanted it to be a surprise. I guess I succeeded?
On a separate note, I know that the mystery of Sayuki's eyes has not been solved yet, nor has it ended. The end of FSC merely marks the end of Sayuki's insecurities and the dense idiot Ryoma FINALLY realizing his feelings. :3 The secret behind Sayuki's mysterious eyes will be revealed in the second "arc." Hint: can anyone say MOAR SUIGO PL0X?
Anyways, I promised a giant shoutout/reply thing at the end of this chapter, so here it is.
Sayonara and Sky-chan: Can I shower cookies upon you two like no tomorrow? There are no words other than THANK YOU for all your support. :D You guys made my days so many times, I can't even begin to THINK. Hopefully ODL will be three times as awesome so I can give more cookies to you guys for even more support.
VanillaCream: Ah...back in chapter 24 with the crazy costume makers and lack of drama. We all love those awesome times. :D I would've replied to your review a long time ago, but since anonymous reviews can't be responded to... I hope you enjoyed FSC and, if you read it, love ODL just as much!
ixheartxrecx75: 25 chapters in one day? That's... crazy. I like it. :D Thank you so much for your review and your opinion on DaichixSakuno. I have taken your advice to heart and changed how I would've portrayed them. You can be proud and say you influenced the outcome of FSC and ODL.
elsey951: You hear some people complaining about such simple reviews that state things like UPDATE SOON PLEASE but I find that I actually like these comments. It helps spur me on and reminds me that there are people out there that are waiting (im)patiently for my work. So, thank you.
Chao. BloodyRose: Not only do you have one of the most epic names ever, you have written one of the awesomest reviews. Thank Ryuu's English teacher for the first appearance of Kuroki's dreaded English homework. From what she tells me, that is actually what her English teacher once gave her for homework. And as for the Ice cube... Fitting, non? I LOVE YOU TOO. Less than three, less than three.
Yuzuru Renge: Criticism=highly welcome. Don't worry about it, friend. :D It's reviews and details like those that help me discover my mistakes and write better. But just one tidbit: if you read Ryuu and my profile, you'll see that in my corner, I said that I'm aware that I write with Mary Sues. I am aware of this, but thanks for pointing it out anyways. :3
Well. Flip Side of the Coin is over. But has it ended? Hell no. The sequel comes with more Kuroki, more Tezuka, and more RyomaxSayuki than ever before! Gee, that sounded cheesy.
Side note and slight spoiler: Kuroki's parents appear. :D
Chapter one of Opposites Don't Love should be up in a few weeks! Under the same genre, but with Tezuka as the character this time. Ryoma and Sayuki are still in it, don't worry. :3
I now end this huge author's note with one last word:
Thanks for all your support, and I hope you look forward to Opposites Don't Love as much as I do!