Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis nor the characters!


I'm sorry. The Swing

The impact of the small cliff did leave her some bruised and cuts, but it at least didn't gave her severe injury, instead it hurted like hell.

She tried to stand up. The pain in her right arm and her right leg didn't help so much.

She looked up and saw the small cliff and the window she fell from- chuckle- she was reckless indeed. Who with their sanest mind would jump out of a window.

She didn't think much of it when she saw a pair of bright yellow eyes in a second. It didn't last long because grunt noises was heard beside her.

Damn, I totally forgot he was here.

"H-hehe. Hime, you're kind of reckless aren't you,"

Shoji stood up, it looked like he wasn't hurt by the fall at all, but the theory backfired when small cuts was visible on his face, and his clothes were slightly tattered.

"Just like your father. Hmph, even your glare is similar to your father, of course your face is like that woman's face. Disgusting"

"What? And I thought you adored my mother" Sakuno mocked him, her glare still evident.

And then...she ran.


Ryoma didn't waste any second.

He jumped.

Trough the window and slide down the cliff with no hesitations. He was close and he knew it.

Ryoma reverted back to reality when he saw his sempai also sliding down the cliff. "What, Echizen? You're not the only one who wants to save Sakuno-chan" Momo grinned at him while he recklessly dodged the bushes.

"Yeah! If you're the prince then we're the knights!" Eiji took an upside down jump when he jumped off the window.

"Knights, huh" Ryoma smirked.


For a stupid reason. For such a stupid reason she ran for her life.

She thought she lived a normal life. A normal high school life. Not this.

Right now she could been hallucinating all of this in a dream. And then she'll wake up and laugh of the silly dream she had. Tennis freaks with unbelievable skills? Arrogant yellow-eyed boy? Heiress? Maniac uncle? Hahaha! Yeah right! Stuff like that only happens on overrated dramas! Like hell it actually happened!

But I won't change anything I guess.

Sakuno clutched her right arm with her left while she halted and panted trough the forest. All this time she had been dodging trees, running trough bushes and jumping over cliffs while a maniac uncle was chasing her. What a normal life, huh?

The night sky slowly turned orange all of the sudden.

Sunrise already? Sakuno thought, but by the time she looked up at the sky she didn't know she came to a dead-end.

Sakuno ran, unaware that there were no path anymore. She jolted away from her thoughts when her right foot didn't felt the ground anymore. Instead it was met with air.

She fell on her bottom right on the tip of the cliff. This time it wasn't a small cliff like last time, but a huge cliff of about 100-200 meter? Maybe 500? And at the end of the cliff was a rapid river. Violently trashing at the sides of the cliff at the bottom.

Sakuno was about to turn when she saw cold-blooded eyes.

She clenched her right arm when she noticed blood running down her arm. Great. Her trail of blood splatters led him to her location. Superb!

And all because of the past.


Flashback

The day were it all began.

Two twin boys were arguing of who shall sit on the swing,located at the back of their garden, first.

"I'm the oldest, so I shall have the honor to sit on the swing first!"

"No way! Just because you're the oldest doesn't mean that you have the right to sit on the swing first!"

"Do too"

"Do not"

"My,my. Don't need to argue of petty matters. I thought both of you better than that"

"Oba-sama"

An old lady sat on the balcony of an old Japanese styled house, watching the twins argue.

"Come on Sho-kun. Let your younger brother, Shoji, have the swing for now. And by the way Sho-kun. I heard your piano recitals went fine. I bet your mother is proud of you!"

The 8 year old Shoji at the time slowly approached the swings and began to swing on it, but not without watching his elder brother, Shotaru, go inside the house with a smile on his face together with their grandmother.

The wind passed trough him, alone on the swing.

He obtained at that time what he wanted. The swing was his, but why wasn't he satisfied?

Ah, that's right. He got it because his grandmother felt pity on him. After all she only loved his brother.

So that's why he was alone on the swings, early at morning.

\(=3=)/

"Good job Sho-kun! You won first place again! You won against the juniors even though you are only 12 years-old!" His mother hugged his brother while holding the diploma when he yet again won the piano contest against 16-years old males and females.

Shoji gripped the sliding door while he watched his father and mother hug him with love, trough the tiny crack on the door.

Yet again he failed.

Just because he wasn't a genius at the piano or at studying or at sports doesn't mean he was invisible, like he wasn't there. He was there, looking at you while he sat at the swings all alone.

Wishing he would make his parents proud.

\(=3=)/

At the age of 15 he heard his mother was a coach for a cocky feline-eyed brat whose skills are remarkable. And this time it wasn't his brother.

Maybe he could have a shot for the so-called sport, tennis? Maybe he could finally show them that he's here. Maybe he could finally show his brother, Shotaru, that he wasn't the only genius around.

"Stand up,Shoji" His mother shouted across the court. "Stand up!"

His limbs felt weak, and he panted while his knees was on the ground. He looked at the other side of the court. A bored feline-eyed boy with a smirk on his face. He jumped a bit before he regained his stance that had Shoji run across the court. He tossed the ball as he jumped and hit the sweet spot of the racket with the ball as it flew towards his opponents court, but suddenly when it hit the opponents court it bounced with a slice towards the opponents face. In this matter, Shoji's face.

Shoji fell flat on his back when he dodged the tennis ball headed toward him.

No more, he couldn't take it.

6-0, game to his opponent.

"Great job brat" His mother told his opponent who only had been a couple of years younger than him. His opponent looked towards him with a bored expression.

Devastated he slumped on his swing yet again.

He couldn't believe it.

His brother, Shotaru, was rallying with the feline-eyed cocky boy who beat him six month ago.

And what's surprising was that both smiled.

"Deuce" The umpire for the seventh time announced deuce.

They were both panting and trying their best to take the next point as they always did. They have been at advantage-40, but turned it around at deuce, but yet again came to 40-advantage and so on.

How could his brother hold long when he only began to train in tennis half a year? While he trained for almost one year?

"Advantage" the umpire called to his brother's opponent.

Both panting and smiling at the call.

Shoji gripped his racket. When he played against the feline-eyed boy he wasn't that rough like he was toward his brother. It was almost that the feline-eyed boy went easy on him, didn't see him as threat. Didn't see him at all.

The boring look on his eyes were replaced with excitement and adrenaline. Nothing like the time he went against him.

Suddenly cheers decided the end of the game. 7-6. His brother lost.

At that time he would smirk at his brother's first loss, right? But no matter what, he couldn't. The thought of his opponent mocking him by going lightly on him made his blood boil. His brother and the boy mocked him.

They shook hands when Shoji returned from his thoughts. Suddenly he saw his brother mouth him "I'm sorry" trough the other side of the fence.

What was that? I'm sorry? For what? I'm sorry for making you look like a weakling? I'm sorry I made my opponent have a hard time fight against me while he easily beat you without even breaking a sweat? What the heck?

Shoji left before his brother could glance at him again.

\(=3=)/

He was devoted to tennis. If his brother could do it so could he.

He rallied with the wall day and night every single day. Tennis was something he started with first. Like he would let his genius brother ruin his chances!

POK -96-

POK -97-

POK -98-

Only a few more then he'll reach 100.

POK -99-

Just one more! But then his brother face popped inside his mind, making the 100th ball zoom past him.

He was so close yet he failed again.

Clap.

Huh?

Clap. Clap. Clap.

Shoji looked behind him and found an auburn haired pigtail girl clap towards him.

"Wow, you were great!" She clapped with a smile...to him.

His heart beat fast.

At the age of 18 he found his first love.

It crashed a couple of years later.

\(=3=)/

"Congratulations, Shotaru. You're the heir of the company" His father happily congratulated him.

"If your mother didn't pursue her dream of being a tennis coach and move out of the estate she would have been very proud of you"

"Really Tou-sama? That's amazing!"

His brother and his father shared a hug.

He was angry, yes, but he had at least something Shotaru didn't have.

He just didn't know how long he was about to have her.

\(=3=)/

"Mom, dad and Sho. Meet my girlfriend, Ichigo" His brother announced as he showed the all familiar auburn haired pigtail girl.

In front of his eyes, in front of his parents, it all crashed down. He didn't think it was possible to break more.

"Ah, you're that boy who played tennis that evening, right? You were really great!" She smiled.

His brother too.

\(=3=)/

At the age of 20, he turned insane. To watch his first love, the only person he cared about, walk that aisle with his dreaded rival, made him insane.

"I now pronounce thee as husband and wife"

His blood boiled even more.

"You may kiss the bride"

Now all he could see was darkness.

At the same day the swing he loved for 20 years, broke.

\(=3=)/

To watch the five year old walk trough the halls, was torture.

"Mama! Papa!" the five year old girl called towards his mother and...father.

"Yes, my hime" Shotaru asked his daughter while he hoisted her up. And Ichigo standing beside him.

"Sakuno want to swing" She giggled while they led her to the swing that has been repaired a year ago.

Shotaru and Ichigo pushed the swing while Sakuno giggled of joy whenever she went higher and higher up.

Hm, you even took the swing, aniki (1).

\(=3=)/

"I'm sorry dad-no...father. This may be a sudden decision but I decided that I don't want to be the heir anymore. Please give it to my younger brother"

Shotaru bowed to father and left his family with his new family. As I was trapped.

My own brother felt pity on me.

Shotaru had everything he wanted. Talent, his first love...and the swing.

He couldn't take it anymore.

He would no longer just sit there while his brother take everything away from him. Not anymore.

End of Flashback


Shoji didn't hate his brother, but loathed him. So much that the devil inside him...

...killed them.

"All I needed to do was sabotage your car. Making it look like an accident, but unfortunately you survived"

Sakuno jolted away from her thoughts when her uncle chuckled.

"It wasn't all was it?"

"Hm, what are you trying to say hime?"

Sakuno clenched her right arm harder, her gaze was down.

"There are more behind that story that made you hate your own brother, my father, right? There's also an another reason why you want to kill me, right?"

"You're just observant as that wench. Very well. I'll tell you. You're right there is more behind that story-" Shoji started.

"-When he gave me the company. He left me alone. Trapped inside the estate. Inside my so called home. He did it on purpose. My father didn't even speak to me during the time I was the heir. No one spoke to me. Not even your own father came back. I thought I had the chance to start again, but no. Your wicked father tricked me"

"T-tricked you?"

"Yes, tricked me. He didn't gave me the company. He gave it to you"

Sakuno's eyes widened. "W-what?"

"His will were found after he died. He never originally gave it to me. He just lent the company to me. Until you turned at the right age to take over the company. And he did it again. He took everything I had yet again"

"Ironically enough, my father took everything you had when you killed them" Sakuno spatted towards him.

"Shut up! You don't know anything-" Then suddenly Shoji got interrupted by Sakuno all of a sudden.

"Of course I wouldn't know anything! Of course I wouldn't understand! Heck, like I would understand why you kill someone. Yes I was blinded by the fact you killed them, but I jumped to right? I took the fall right? That's why you aren't severely injured. Because I took the fall when I pushed you trough the window. I may not remember my father or my mother, but I at least know deep inside that I love them! Even though you killed them, I still can't hate you-" Sakuno sobbed. Her cold heart sobbed.

"-because you're my family"

"You don't hate my father do you? You turned insane because you missed him, right? When he left you...you were all alone, right? I'm not sure why my father left everything onto your hands after he left the company, but I at least know this that he cared for you"

Sakuno's tears flowed freely down her chin.

"H-how" Shoji trembled. He could see his brother's crying eyes and his first love's sad face on Sakuno's face

"During the match between the boy and my father, he mouthed I'm sorry, right? He said I'm sorry because he couldn't beat the one who beat you. You were devastated that he beat you, so your brother after he heard you lost wanted to make up for the loss. He wanted you to win. So he trained hard for half a year to take revenge. He cared about you- no, he still cares about you"

Sakuno's uncle fell to his knees while he tried to fight the tears that uncontrollably fell downwards.

She was right. The replica of Shotaru and Ichigo was right. Shotaru and Ichigo's hime was right.

"AAHHHH" Shoji cried full out.

What had he done. He was blinded by his goals to be better at his brother that he killed the only thing that was precious to him. And he was the one who broke the swing.

"I'm sorry Sho, I'm sorry! Please forgive me! I didn't mean it! I thought you hated me! I'm sorry, Sho! I'm sorry!"

Shoji held his head down while he pleaded to his brother. Don't leave me, Sho.

"You're forgiven..."

For a split second Shoji thought he heard his brother say those words to him, but when he looked up he saw Shoji's hime saying: "...and I'm sorry".

His tears wouldn't stop. Everything he bottled up inside...was bursting out.

Sakuno could only stare as her tears and her uncle's tears fell. And then suddenly she unconsciously said it. She didn't know what came over her, but she said it.

Was this her father?

Sakuno clutched her head wailing for her father and mother to help her regain her memory.

"Please! I don't want to forget those precious memories shared with precious peoples! I want to remember!

I want to remember everyone! I want to remember Echizen Ryoma!"

As she said that, pictures of pictures appeared before her eyes.

.

.

.

Suddenly a crack was heard.

Sakuno- trough teary eyes- looked beneath her. The ground of the cliff was cracking up. And it seemed that her uncle would also fall if she didn't push him out of time.

With all the remaining strength she pushed her uncle to safe ground before the edge of the cliff broke. Making her fall.

Down.

But before she closed her eyes, waiting for the impact of the cold river, she swear she saw a pair of bright yellow-eyes. Screaming her name.

"SAKUNO"

Her eyes widened. It wasn't a dream. It was real.

She saw her Ryoma reaching his hand towards her, missing her by a hair-strand.

With teary eyes, she smiled as she fell from the cliff.

"RYOMA-KUN!"


"Please! I don't want to forget those precious memories shared with precious peoples! I want to remember!

I want to remember everyone! I want to remember Echizen Ryoma!"

Ryoma could hear her. Every single word.

He ran as fast as he could and just in time saw her uncle being pushed on the safe ground while she fell.

Down.

Ryoma ran attempting to catch her before it was to late.

"SAKUNO!"

But he couldn't catch her. He missed her. Their finger almost graced each other.

He almost lost hope until she smiled and yelled;

"RYOMA-KUN"

Then everything turned cold and dark.


(1) Aniki- meaning older brother like onii-san, but aniki is more in polite/and or respected speech.

Ah, alright, before you throw rotten fruit at me because of why I'm so lazy and publishing a horrible chapter, let me just say that I'm finally done with the musical! Ah, geez I got "Grease Lightning" in my head!

~Go Grease Lightning~

Anyways, I'm sorry for my grammar mistakes in this chapter (and previous chappies), but I'll look over them as soon as I have time.

And right now I'm busy re-uploading the chapters, because come on! You got to admit that the first chapters and so on are killing your eyes! So I'm using my time to fix grammar mistakes, before I go to the last chapter!

Yes, the next chapter of Forgotten Friends is the LAST one!

At least until then, I hope you'll stay and read!

And thanks so much for those who reviewed and faved 3, and alerted and such! You guys are awesome! I cannot say how much I'm grateful for you guys! Hopefully I'm able to be a decent fanfic writer in the near future!

Mwah 3,

-Jiin^^