Authors Note: HELLO! Jup Jup, me again with another story! This time it's a pair I decided to experiment with-the pillar pair, let's see how this goes. I decided to go with a more realistic, down to earth, flavor to this fic so that's why it's in Tezuka POV. And since in the series we never really saw how Tezuka really thinks—it gives me quite a bit of freedom to be creative. Well ENJOY AND REVIEW PLEASE!

Ps. Ryoma is OOC—yes it hurts me too, but I just made him a bit more..hmm accepting of his popularity (the cockiness was always there) and a bit more badass. OH and he isn't short anymore—come on u guys, he HAD to go through puberty and grow taller. And he's the same age as Tezuka—YES YES IM SORRY IM MAKING SO MANY CHANGES..I NEED IT FOR THE PLOT. And I did play around with the original P.O.T plotline—meaning I rook some events that happened there and used them here..but changed.

Disclaimer: Sadly, none of these babies are mine.

Ch.1 Enemies

People often say, look at the bright side of things. Think of the glass half full not half empty. Well, I would be classified as the person who looks at the glass as being half empty. But seriously- why are you looking at the glass instead of drinking what is in it? And no, I don't consider myself pessimistic; I'm just extremely down to earth. If you aren't realistic with yourself, you'll strive for impossible dreams that will never happen. I'd rather save myself the trouble and pain by not striving for those dreams to begin with. So what does this have to do with the current situation I'm in? Well, I'm just saying that I'm not striving for the dream of immersing well with the crowd staring straight at me. For who would want to immerse into a group of ogling girls and boys who's IQ's seem to barely match a 5th grader's.

"Introduce yourself", says my young and unusually enthusiastic teacher.

"Tezuka Kunimitsu, nice to meet you." I quickly bow and wait for my teacher to assign me a seat.

"Find a seat you like."

I spot a corner seat and calmly make my way to it, sitting down with a sigh. I rub my temples, transferring to this school was more stressful than I thought it would be. I look up and find girls staring at me; they turn their attention back to the teacher with a giggle. I sigh again and look out the window, today is a perfect sunny day. Yet I won't be outside playing soccer with the guys in my class and I won't be having lunch with a cute girl. I personally dislike spending time with other people; I tend to always be by myself-it is just how things end up working out.

The bell rings for lunch time after an annoying long class. I was put on the spotlight more times than I was comfortable with; the teacher enthusiastically calling my name and I, nonchalantly giving him the correct answer. I take my boxed lunch out of my book bag and notice a few girls walking towards me, I sigh mentally.

They crowd around me, the ring leader speaks up, "Hey Tezuka. I'm Ayumi, nice to meet you."

I look up at the extremely pretty brown haired girl, "Hnn."

"What brings you to our school? It's kind of sudden to transfer two weeks into the second year."

I shove my hands into my pockets and stare at the corner of the desk, "Complications."

She smiles, "Hmm I see, well we all have our problems. Would you like eat lunch with us? My friends and I want to know more about you."

I stand up and grab my lunch, "No thank you", and coolly walk out of the classroom. I walk around for a while, trying to find a place to eat my lunch in peace-maybe my permanent hiding place. Seriously, why is the layout of this school so damn complicated? I go upstairs, desperately wishing that the roof door be open. I turn the knob and smile to myself, it is. I walk through the door and close it behind me, breathing in the warm breeze.

"Such a nice day…"

I walk towards the fenced up edges and look down at the guys playing soccer. The game was coming to an end and one team won thanks to the black haired forward. They all cheer for him and he gives them a cocky smile. I become uninterested, sit against the fence, and open my boxed lunch; mother had outdone herself again. I eat some rice and look up at the sky, the clouds are moving so slowly.

"I wonder what club should I join…tennis club?"

I hold my elbow and grit my teeth, remembering memories I do not want to recall. Just as the memories are about to slip in; the roof door opens. I let go my elbow and continue to eat while staring at my food. Through the corner of my eye I see a group of guys from my class walk through the door, many of them had played in the soccer game just now. The black haired kid that had won for one of the teams is here also, he seems to be the leader. He takes out a pack of cigarettes while the other guys crowd on the floor around a pornographic magazine. He lights a cigarette and inhales, blowing out rings of smoke. He shifts his gaze to me, finally noticing my presence.

He chuckles and walks closer, "So the new kid declines Ayumi's invitation in order to come eat lunch on the roof by himself."

I ignore him, continuing to eat my lunch. He squats down, puts his face close to mine, and says "Are you deaf?"

I can see this kid and me won't be getting along. "Can you get your face away from mine? I prefer inhaling air, not smoke."

He laughs and moves away, "So you can speak." He stares at me with his gold brown eyes, "I'm Echizen Ryoma, what's your name again?"

I introduced myself in class; he was probably sleeping… "Tezuka Kunimitsu."

"Hmm, so Tezuka…why did you come to this school so suddenly?"

I pick up my stuff and stand, "Why doesn't anyone mind their own business in this school?"

He glares at me, "Do you know who you're talking to? You should watch your tone."

He is shorter than me, so I find his superiority act quite amusing. I glare at him, "Hmm? Should I care?" I walk off and slam the roof door. I'm usually composed but that cocky kid stepped on a few land mines. I walk to my classroom and sit in my seat, heaving a huge sigh. Why can't people just leave me alone? As if god is torturing me, someone taps my shoulder a second after I think this.

A pretty boy smiles gently at me, "I know that you don't want to be bothered, but the teacher told me to give you this. It's this year's agenda, all students get one."

I nod, "Thank you."

His smile widens, "By the way, my name is Fuji. I sit next to you in class." With that, he leaves the classroom. I smile inwardly, finally someone who doesn't invade personal space. I take out the homework assigned to us from the morning classes and start doing it. I shake my head at how easy the work is and finish right as the bell for class rings. The students rush back into the classroom and the teacher starts a boring lecture. I stare the at teachers shoes instead of listening to her rant on renaissance poetry. I feel slender fingers tapping my shoulder and I look to my right.

Fuji flashes me another one of his perfect smiles and in a low whisper asks me, "What clubs are you planning to join"?

There is something strange about Fuji, what is strange is that I don't get annoyed by him. He has a very pleasant personality and knows when he has to keep his distance. Who knows, maybe he'll me my first friend. I think for a while and whisper back, "…tennis club"

His face lights up, "I guess we'll be seeing a lot of each other since I'm part of that club. Well, since I came this year, I've only been a member for two weeks."

I nod, "I guess we will. I forgot to mention before, nice to meet you."

Fuji smiles, he seems happy that I acknowledge his attempts to become my friend. I don't know if this will turn out well, but it doesn't hurt to try. If I get tired of him, I can always just go back to being by myself. I return to staring at the teacher's shoes and try to get something useful out of her rant. It takes me by surprise when I suddenly hear my name.

"Tezuka-kun, give me a poet that made significant impact on renaissance poetry."

"Shakespeare."

She smiles, "But of course, who wouldn't know of Shakespeare? He influenced…" I block her voice and look out the window; I already know all of the things she is teaching. After a painful and countless chunk of time, the end of school bell rings and I pack up my things. Fuji approaches my desk and stands by it, patiently waiting for me to finish packing up. I finish and stand up, we slowly walk out of the school and towards the tennis courts.

Fuji places a loose strand of hair behind his ear, "So how long have you played tennis?"

"Since I was very little, you?"

He smiles, "Same. Are you good?"

I find the question amusing, "I guess."

"Then we should have a match soon, I want to see your skills."

I nod, "We should."

"So what are your other interests?"

I notice Fuji is staying away from questions he thinks will annoying me, I appreciate that. I give a slight smile, "well tennis pretty much takes most of my time, but I also enjoy reading. What about you?"

"I love taking pictures and taking care of my cacti."

I feel my eyebrow raise, "Cacti?"

He laughs, "So you can show emotion. Yeah, I grow small cacti."

"Interesting."

Fuji points ahead, "Well, here we are. Let's go get you registered."

We walk past a few occupied courts and head towards a white shack. Right before we go in I hear my name and I turn around. Its Echizen and his followers, I curse under my breath. I glare at him, "Yes, what do you want?"

"Are you planning to register for this club?"

"Yes"

"Well you can't."

"Why not?"

Echizen smirks, "Because I don't like you."

So he must be the president of the club, I guess I will have to find a way to get him to let me register. "Are you scared that I'll be better than you?" That gains gasps from the crowd, I guess he's president for a reason- he must be good.

Echizen laughs, "So you're challenging me? Are you sure you want to do that?"

I whisper to Fuji, "Can I borrow a racquet?" Fuji hands me one and I return my attention to Echizen.

"So, are we going to play?"

Echizen grins, "You know, you just know how to make someone hate you." He walks towards the closest court and I follow him. He stands his racquet on the ground, and says, "smooth or rough? " I reply, "Smooth." He spins his racquet and it lands with rough, Echizen gets to serve first. I stand by the base line and watch him serve. He throws the ball up, bends his knees, and slightly jumps to hit it. The ball comes towards me and its bounce angles towards me, the twist serve? I dodge it; I wasn't expecting him to hit a serve like that.

Echizen chuckles, "There's a lot to come."

He hits the serve again, I return it, and we have a rally. I hear Fuji, who sat himself in the referee's seat, call 20 love, I win the first point. After continuous rallies and simple shots, I win the first game. Echizen is just testing me, he want to see what kind of moves I have.

Echizen smiles, "Okay, now we can start playing."

He switches his racquet to his left hand and I smirk, so he's a lefty. It's time for me to start getting serious as well. I serve with all my power, I get an ace. I serve again and he returns it. I hit it close to the net on his side, thinking that he won't reach it. He runs to it, slides, and jumps-hitting it to my court. It bounces in form of a B, the point goes to him.

"Drive B."

The game goes to tiebreaker; he uses an uncountable amount of moves that I counter, mostly with my Tezuka zone. I need one more point to win and I know how I'm going to win it. He serves, I return it, and we have a short rally. I hit it to the center of his court and he goes for it, but it rolls towards the net-my Zero Shiki move. I win, and against Echizen, it feels great.

"Game over, Tezuka wins."

Echizen smacks his lips and mumbles under his breath, "You can register, but I will beat you next time."

"Next time? You're planning to play me again?"

He blushes when he notices his mistake and storms off. He's kind of cute when he isn't being annoying. Wait…cute? No, no way. Fuji congratulates me and I give him his racquet back. He helps me register and we walk towards the front gate.

"Where are you going now?"

"My part time job."

"Oh you work? Where?"

"In Kumiko's bookstore by the train station, do you know it?"

Fuji nods, "I've been there a few times. That's a pretty good job, it suits you."

"I've been working there for a while, it's peaceful."

Fuji smiles, "Well I have to go home, see you at school tomorrow." He waves.

I nod and head towards the bookstore. I open the decorated green door and walk inside. My coworker, Oishi, looks up from the book he is reading. He smiles, "hey there Tezuka."

"Is business slow today?"

Oishi nods, "Yeah, but that's good."

"Why?"

"The boss told me we're going to get a new worker today."

I put my work t-shirt over my uniform shirt. "Really? "

Oishi gathers his things, "Since my shift ends when your shift starts, you have to train him. He's working the same shift as you, it's always busier around the time you guys work."

"Hnn."

Oishi puts on his jacket, "I'll see you tomorrow. Good luck."

"Thank you." I start arranging the new arrivals and put some books on display. My boss calls for me so I walk towards his office. I knock and he says enter.

"Tezuka, my best employee—did Oishi tell you?"

I nod, "About the new employee? Yes."

"I hope you treat him well, he's going to be a bit of a handful."

"Why did you hire him then?"

"A favor for an old friend. The kid should be here any minute, just run him through the basics today."

We hear a knock at the door and my boss says enter. My boss smiles, "here is the new employee."

I curse under my breath and glare at the kid in front of me, "Echizen."