Chapter 3

Sakura Midori, a rising star in Japan. She came from a humble family, although when you look at her now you won't be able to see the sweet little girl she was before. She changed so much.

She was the daughter of a fisherman and vegetable vendor in Chiba. She grew in place were the beach is always available. It molded her being and perspective in life. Growing up with not much money was hard on her, especially when she was the youngest of the 8 children in the family. All she got in her childhood was the t-shirts, toys and things handed down from the oldest sibling. She grew up having experienced just eating once a day for a week. Their family didn't have the means to feed them all. She lived to experience being humiliated by classmates about having nothing to wear but the same old ragged clothes. Whenever this happened she just cried quietly in the darkness of their small house. She wept until she fell asleep. The turning point of her change was when her 7th brother died.

It was raining very hard that day and his brother was having an attack to tuberculosis. Being poor and having no money, they can't bring her brother to the hospital. Thus, they were left to choice to comfort their suffering family member with what they had a simple cough medicine. She, her mother and her 3 sibling were the only ones left at the house during that time. They were helpless. They can't do anything but cry as their beloved started coughing more and more blood. Her brother was already pale and so thin from the lack of proper medicine and food. She stared helplessly as her mother tried to lay down her brother on the only futon that they have in the house. Her brother coughed up more blood while her mother was brushing his bangs aside trying to elevated his feelings even just a little for the last time. Her mother's tears were dripping on the face of her smiling brother's face.

Her brother kept saying, "Mother, imouto, oniichan, don't cry. I'm happy that I have lived my brief life of 8 years with you. I would not have it any other way. I'm happy I feel that I already out lived my life!" Her brother kept smiling through all these while lightly caressing her mother's hands and looking at her and her brother from time to time.

She saw that her mother tried to smile at her son and kissed his forehead and whisper in a love-filled voice "Son, I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me and your father for not giving you a chance to live a longer life on this earth. I promise you son that if a dark being came right now, I'm willing to sell my soul just to give you a longer life to live! Son, please forgive me. " Her mother whimpered the last part of her sentence. She was trembling as tears keep on raining on her sick son's hair and forehead.

With the last of his strength, the weakening child hugged her mother tightly in a firm embrace and pecked her cheek while saying "Mother, beloved mother, it never crossed my mind to ever blame you, father or even the situation that we are in. I even saw it as a blessing, since our family was full of love and warmth. Always remember and tell the whole family that I love them beyond the ends of the earth and I never blamed anyone of you for my illness". His voice was fading slowly and with shallow breath and wheezing sound he spoke his heartfelt parting words "To lessen your grief, always remember that all you have to do... to make me happy... wherever I may be... is live your life to the fullest because you will not only live it for yourself...but for me as well. I love you mother, sister & brother if ever I will live again I will choose you even if we are poor" with that her brother closed his eyes for the final time and hang lifeless from her mother's arms.

Her mother did not shrieked, she just sobbed quietly as the two of them watched her shaking mother caressing his dead brother's face and showering it with kisses.

It was after that, that she became stronger, unrecognizable. After the death of her brother her family changed as well. She rarely saw her parents at home. Even some of her siblings were also working now rather than studying. They never took care of her like before. Thus, she knew that her change was for the better. Whenever she remember her brother's word she could always praise her for his intelligence and understanding, although she could not help but curse the word "poor". It was what took her childhood away. It was what took her brother away. It was what took his siblings away. It was what took her parents away. It was what took her family away.

She promised that she will marry a man who is wealthy; wealthy to the point that she can buy the miracle of medicine and can decide for life and death. She promised that she will rise to the top whatever means necessary. Her fierceness, anger and lust for money made her forget to look at her family. She missed on how one of her siblings is slowly falling into another deadly illness. Before she knew it, her fourth brother followed the faith of her younger brother. At that moment she lost all hope and was willing to succumb into despair.

She was now 11 years old and walking on one of the beaches in Chiba. The sun was already setting. It gave an orange background on the quite softly breezing beach. 'It's a nice and peaceful sunset. Beautiful for a memory to take with me. A scenery that will mark my mind for my final goodbye'. She closed her eyes as she listens to the rustling of the palm trees. She was walking deeper and deeper to the water. This was her plan. She wanted to drown herself at twilight so there is only a small chance that she may be caught and stopped. She also chose an area wherein very few people visit.

As the water was already waist high she heard a faint screaming from the shores. "May be my imagination or maybe my brothers are calling for me!" She smiled gently in remembering her brothers. But before she could go on any deeper in the water, she felt a pair of arms circling her waist and pulling her back on the shore.

She struggled but suddenly stopped when her captor irritatingly said "Just because I beat you at a game doesn't mean that you should drown yourself you know!"

A little boy with a brown tousled hair and rimless glasses was standing in front of her. He was handsome even for a young age. His brows were wrinkled in obvious irritation and worry.

She was somehow mesmerized and at the same time intimidated with the presence of the boy. But her ogling was cut short when the boy sighed.

She stuttered a bit but answered back "What do you want! I don't even know you! Mind your own business"

To her surprise the boy sighed again. She looked at him oddly as if he had grown two heads.

"Look, I'm sorry if I defeated you in our game. You don't have to pretend not to know me. Come on. Your dress is all wet and we might catch a cold if we don't change quickly." He grabbed her hands and tried to pull her along but she refused to budge. Thus, he looked back with an inquiring gaze.

She blushed a little looking at the handsome face of the boy who was currently holding her hands. In a timid voice she asked "What's your name?"

The boy was a bit startled. His eyes widen a bit and as if comprehension sunk in it returned to normal. But this was accompanied with a small blush and the boy suddenly let go of her hands.

The boy started to speak but she was startled at how the boy stuttered a bit "I'm sorry, we have been playing for the past 3 days and I still haven't introduced myself. I'm Tezuka Kunimitsu". She saw that the corner of his mouth pulled up a little. He was giving her a bit of a smile.

She instantly fell in love. The boy made her felt cared and loved again. This boy somehow cared for her. This boy saved her, made her a reason to see that there is something worth living for.

She was about to introduce herself when the boy said "For the three days that we have met, this is the first time that I saw your eyes. I never knew that they were hazel colored, I thought that they were... uhm never mind. So what is your name?" The boy despite looking stoic was somewhat talkative with her.

She smile back at him and started "I'm S-.." She never finished for the mother of the boy called for him.

"Kunimitsu! Where are you! We have to hurry! Your grandfather is waiting for us in Tokyo!" a distressed voice was calling from the bushes.

The boy in front of her closed his eyes and was looking reluctant in showing up for his mother. But he gave a sigh and opened his eyes looked at her and said "Take care! I'll see you again next week, okay?"

He turned his back on her and started running after her mother still screaming his name. She was a bit stuck. She does not know what to say to the boy. Something in her was telling her to let the boy know her name, just simply to plant the name in the boy's head. Her consciousness is telling her that it is important of him to know and hear her name. She opened her mouth to speak again and scream her name but was cut off when the boy turned around and said in a caring and worried way "Make sure you change your dress! You might get sick. I don't want you catching a cold or anything and please do be careful". With that the boy went through the bushes and back to his mother.

'I leave to Kami-sama our next meeting. If we are meant for each other, then I'm sure we will meet again' She looked wistful up at the darkening sky. She has now found a new meaning in her life. She felt cared. Her motivation to live on became stronger than ever. 'I will live my life to the fullest like what you said brother! I will just wait and see!'

-POT-

"Ooo-kay.. and CUT! That's a wrap everyone! Good job!" the director shouted and turned to Sakura.

"Sakura! Charming as ever! That was amazing! I never expected to see you act a drama scene like that!"

Sakura smirked and said "That sir is the product of years of anguish". She turned her back at him and walked away.

The director was still looking at her with sad eyes and sad smile. "Be careful Sakura, you look like you are trudging on dangerous grounds"

Sakura immediately changed to her most seducing attire and proceeded to Seigaku where she knew her Tezuka was coaching his team.

"Good, I can still make it to Seigaku in less than 15 minutes and see the tennis team practice" She smiled to herself while undressing herself.

"Well see if Tezuka-san can resist me when I show my biggest asset" She put on her dress with the ridiculous low neck-line. This greatly pronounces her curves her plump breasts and nice ass. She carefully arranges the shirt to show more of her cleavage than necessary.

"Let's see how self control does Tezuka-san has after he sees me." She smirks as she continues to put on her wardrobe.

"I will get you! I swear I will get you and make you mine Tezuka-san" Sakura finished her musings packed her clothes and run out of the building making every man look her way with her svelte figure.

-POT-

"Hello?"

"AH! Tezuka~! I forgot to discuss about our date for today!" Fuji teased.

Tezuka was a bit shocked that caused for him to raise his eye brows. "Date-?" He said flatly.

"Oh Tezuka, I was just fooling with you! I was talking about our supposedly meet up today, remember?"

Tezuka could hear a rustling of shoes "Ah.. Yes Fuji, what about it?"

"Well, I wanted to ask you where were we gonna meet?"

'We're still meeting up?' Tezuka was a bit surprised.

"Tezuka, you there?~" Fuji asked in whiny but cute voice.

"Yes Fuji, how about the station, near your house?"

"Eh? Isn't the tennis shop closer to your house than mine? Don't you think that it will be more convenient for you that I'll just go to your house?"

"It's fine. I don't want you to walk with your condition"

"What condition?"

"Aren't you sick?"

"No, where did you get that from?" Fuji chuckled a little at how Tezuka was being so much out of character.

"Fuji, if I remember correctly being sick is the only valid reason for a regular member to miss practice".

"eh... Don't be like that buchou! It's just one of the valid reasons! I could give you lots and lots more of valid reasons for a regular to be absent!" Fuji teased further. He was already making his way out of their house.

"I'm sure you can Fuji." Unconsciously, Tezuka's lips turned upward into a small smile. He was already walking out of the school gate relishing the breeze that blew past him.

"Ah! Is that patronizing I hear in our buchou's voice?" Fuji acted a bit shocked as he continued to walk.

Tezuka closed his eyes a feeling of familiarity came to him. "Maybe.. " Tezuka left it at that.

Fuji let his tingling chuckle fill the line of their conversation but abruptly stopped. "Ah Tezuka! We haven't decided where to meet!"

Tezuka also stopped a little and resumed walking as he started to talk "It's fine Fuji, I told you that I will meet you at the station near your house."

"Eeh! But that will mean that I will have to wait for you! I don't want that!" Fuji whined a little but then immediate added "Ah I know! How about we meet half way?"

Tezuka can't help but feel lighter at hearing Fuji's chuckle. 'It's quite pleasing to the ears of anyone' He tried to justify his peculiar feeling. His previous sour mood was also forgotten.

At hearing Fuji's idea, he thought that it was quite reasonable so he said "Alright, so where then?"

"I don't know! How about we just keep talking until we meet each other?" Fuji asked playfully. 'hihihi as if the ever stoic Tezuka will allow that!'

"Fine."

"Huh?" Fuji was unsure from what he heard. 'Did Tezuka just agreed to something nonsense and impractical?'

"I said fine."

"Ah! Ha..ha..ha.. ok then. 'This kind of feel awkward. I didn't think that he would have agreed! hehehe' Fuji thought.

-POT-

"Yone-san! I really can't wait!" the jubilant head of the Fuji family spoke through the phone.

"Hai~, I hope you two enjoy your boding time together! Oh! You will be so shocked on how Syuuske grew!" Yoshiko walked around the kitchen preparing dinner for the family.

"Grew? That child grew? From the pictures you sent me I didn't saw any growth at all. If I didn't know any better I would say he was stuck at his height from when he was 13 years old!" Ryou was exaggerating just to irritate his wife.

"What are you talking about? He grew! He is almost as tall as me!" Yoshiko replied exaperatedly.

"My point exactly yone-san. The fact that he is just starting to be your height means that he is doomed to be small for his whole life." then he added thoughtfully "You know I think it would have been better if he finds himself a boyfriend rather than a girlfriend! Because if he ever find a girlfriend, whom I'm sure will be breath-taking- nothing less for a Fuji, they might be mistaken as bishoujo best friends being out to shop or undercover actresses!" Ryou answered a bit of fake worried tone. He snickered lightly at hearing his wife sigh.

"Yone-san, do you want your little ol' wife to make an impromptu trip there to Australia?" Yoshiko opened her eyes a bit (although it won't be seen by her husband) and smiled that creepy smile.

"Ugh, like what I said our son is gorgeous in every sense of the word. His height that he inherited from you just pronounces more of his kawaii-ness... eheehe" cold sweat has formed on the forehead of the Fuji dad. The day his wife came over to Australia was the same day he was left with the 5th scar of his life (1 from Yoshiko, 1 from Yumiko 2 from Syuusuke and 1 from Yoshiko again).

Yoshiko returned her familiar smile to her face when she heard the fear in her husband's voice. But decided to play a little with her husband. 'What is a conversation without a little sadistic remark from the Fuj'si beloved and beautiful mother' Yoshiko giggled in a low tone to avoid making her husband aware on what is going on in her head.

"Ugh! I've awoken the sleeping witch in her again! I guess I shouldn't have pissed her so much about Syuuske's height being inherited from her!" Ryou groaned at hearing his wife sweet but sadistic giggles. 'I'm such a masochist! I've fallen in love with my wife all over again just because I remember how playful she can be!' He sighed dreamily and breathed in deeply to prepare himself for the coming wave of sadistic attack from his wife.

"You know darling, usually the husband is quite happy if he would be visited by her gorgeous wife!"

"Well, darling~, they don't have a wife who like you…. Which I very much love don't get me wrong" Ryou added when he heard his wife growl.

-POT-

Moments ago Tezuka just came in and informed her that the team was dismissed due to unexpected occurrence. Ryuusaki sensei sweat dropped. She knew what the unexpected occurrence was.

"Uh. I'm sorry Tezuka. I was just about to go down and see but someone called me so I took longer on finishing" Ryuusaki sensei looked a bit embarrassed that she was not able to fulfil her job as a coach for the day.

"Its ok sensei I understand. That will be all sensei, I already left the training regime for the team at the club house for you to check over. I already organized it and did the inventory with Oishi. You may be able to check over it and see the equipments yourself when the time allows for you." He bowed and waited for Ryuusaki sensei's response.

Ryuusaki smiled at Tezuka and thanked and dismissed him without forgetting on her reminder just a while ago.

"Remember Tezuka, I wont be accepting you tomorrow if you are still like that. Fix yourself. We have to be ready with the ATJCI (please refer to chapter 1). I will take over the training tomorrow."

Tezuka bowed and said "Yes and thank you". He went to the door and silently opened and closed it as he left.

"One down and one more to go" Ryuusaki sensei sighed.

"Why would Fuji-san wants to meet with me, I wonder. I hope she won't be withdrawing her son from Seigaku" She chuckled a little. She knows how unpredictable the Fuji's are. First is Syuuske with his eccentric sense of 'entertainment', Yuuta with his unexpected withdrawal from the school, their sister's brother complex.

'I still remember when Syuuske was once bullied in his first year, I never thought that a charming girl could do such a thing. The poor boy never repeated the same mistake to anyone having a family name of Fuji *scary* Ryuusaki sensei sighed and shook her head.

And of course! How can I forget Syuuske's mother! Ryuusaki almost felt tired. She met Fuji's mother a couple of times only and it did not escape her keen eyes that the mother shares the sadistic side of her son. She could never forget such a character! How could she when that person caused chaos during that day without even doing anything!

Flashback

Ryuusaki sensei had a single train of thought running through her head over and over again the moment she stepped into the class she was supposed to teach for the day and that is "I expected nothing less from them, I know they are all good looking, but why on earth would you wear something like that at a parent visitation day!" Ryuusaki sensei sighed and tried to process what she was seeing with her own eyes.

At the back of the class stood a graceful woman with a familiarly honey-colored hair and closed eyes wearing a tube one piece dress with an insanely long slit but somehow she pulled it off to look somewhat like business attire. She has cute little boy talking to her in an animated way while half of the class was looking at them weirdly. No one could reject the fact that the two are related the woman was the sister and the one she was talking to was her sibling although the adults in the room was not absolutely sure whether it was a boy or a girl. But looking at his uniform it is definitely a he. Ryuusaki sensei could not start for most of the eyes were glued at the stunning pair (stunning in a way that both are good-looking but also weird in some way. Everyone thought "Isn't this supposed to be a PARENT visitation? A somewhat formal occasion?"). She tried to gain the attention of the people the only way she knew how. She cleared her throat and greeted everyone in a pleasant voice. That was the cue for all the students to return to their seats and for the parents to stay at the back.

"Good morning everyone. As well all know, today is the parent visitation." When she said this most of the eyes landed on the distracting woman wearing a tubed dress. Although it looked like the woman did not felt anything and continued to smile and looked at the teacher in front.

Ryuusaki sensei continued. "So let us start with the introduction of the parents or guardian by accompanied by the students or their particular charge." Ryuusaki sensei smiled and went to the side to give space for the student and guests.

When it came to Syuuske, every father and any male figure attendee focused their full attention to his guardian who seems like his sister. They went to the front and Syuuske started introducing his companion.

"Good morning everyone, this is Fuji Yoshiko and she is the one who always took care of me" Being the sadistic he was introduced his companion as vague as possible to create more confusion running around the room. He was enjoying the weird looks he and his companion was getting. His smile grew a bit larger at hearing the whispers arise. After the introduction, Syuuske made way for his companion to take the center stage and further introduce herself.

She bowed and said "Good morning everyone, I'm Fuji Yoshiko and I been with Syuuske in a very long time" She smiled being a Fuji, she also enjoyed torturing people and was pleased as more question marks raised from people's head.

One obviously envious mother spoke "So what is your relationship with Syuuske-kun the? Are you his sister?" everyone whispered in agreement to clarify things up.

The mother and son acting shocked looked at each other and Syuuske innocently said "Oh I'm sorry did I forget to mention that? This is my mother" He grinned and the eyes of most of the guest bulged out looking at Yoshiko. No wonder Syuuske was cute looking his mother looked like 21 years old.

'That day didn't end well' Ryuusaki sensei sighed at remembering talking to Syuuske's mother and gently reprimanding her on her choice of clothing. That clothing caused most of the males to have their eyes glued on her legs while their respective wives were boiling in anger and envy. It was obvious that the mothers and fathers had a slight argument over being a cheater or something.

"Fuji-san, I appreciate it that you made an effort in coming to your son's parent's visitation, although it would have been better if you have dressed more appropriately." Ryuusaki sensei started gently. They were in her office with Fuji Yoshiko and Syuuske.

"I apologize but there was no more clothes for me to wear. You see I just visited my husband in Australia recently and just got back this morning. Most of my dresses were for laundry. So I just went to my daughter's room to borrow a dress. This is what best fit and looks good on me" She smiled the same way Syuuske smiled while having naughty thoughts for trouble.

"Uhm yes. I understand although, I hope next time you would wear something more appropriate."

"Well, alright I'll try but I'm not allowed to wear something that won't look good on me, right Syuuske?" Yoshiko smiled at her son.

Syuuske nodded jubilantly in agreement.

'Doesn't he find his mother a bit weird? She's acting like a teenager!' She stared at Syuuske and back at his mother.

'I will never understand their eccentric mind!' Ryuusaki sensei sighed and lowered her head a bit.

Both Syuuske and Yoshiko's mind screamed "FUJI 1 Seigaku 0 hahahaha".

End of Flashback

"Despite being eccentric I know she is a good mother. I do hope she brings good news". Ryuusaki sensei thought while standing up and arranging her files. She plans to go to the club house and check over the files Tezuka was talking about.

TBC

A/N: I apologize for the long update. I just finished my thesis and is now FREE! I can update faster now. I hope you enjoy the story. I'm not so fond of this chapter although I hope you like it. Oh pls review? I want to know on what areas I should improve on. Pls help me be better at wrinting? Pls? hahahaha oh and those who are reading this, I need help. Apparently, I can't write fluff scene of TezFu, can anyone help me. I'm having trouble over this. I thought I can do it but apparently I can't *sob sob*. It is so frustrating. Please help? I'm stuck and I'm so sad. Give me tips or anything. You don't know it might be helpful *smiles*. Thank you once again and enjoy.