AN: I LIVE! It's been little over a month since I last update and I apologize profusely. My AP World History College Board exams are coming and I can assure you – I'm no Tezuka. I've been busy with National Honor Society, Class Steering, and Girls Scouts to even touch the story. But 9 reviews are pretty good. I feel pretty proud of myself. So this time, plans will go right. That is, until near the end of the chapter.
Guess what? Extra-long chapter! There are also references to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland so be prepared.
I've been forgetting to do the disclaimers. As of now and for the past few chapters, I totally do not own Tennis no Oujisama/Prince of Tennis.
"To be with love." ~Rikkai Young-Kan 'Owaranai Ai'
Blog Entry 3 – Does This Count as a Date?
Kirihara was too wide awake to fall asleep this time. He was watching the trees and buildings zoom by as he stared out the window. The second year decided to quit it and took out the bento from his bag. He carefully opened the covers as if it were a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
Inside the bento were omurice, slightly burned octopus sausages, a roll of tamagoyaki, a side of vegetables, and a generous amount of mini-riceballs. There were also pieces of grilled salmon and tuna next to the riceballs. On the second layer, there were small pieces of daifuku mochi, manju buns, a stick of dango, and a lone piece of taiyaki. This lunch would have been impossible without the help of his dear, loving mother.
Taking small, unsure steps into the confines of his family's kitchen, Kirihara poked his head into the room. "Uh… Kaa-san?" he said as he took more steps into unfamiliar territory.
His mother, Kirihara Saya, turned to him and smiled brightly. "Is something the matter, Aka-bun?" she continued cutting the lettuce despite not looking down. "You should know better than to enter the kitchen. Stay right next to the walls, sweetheart."
He clung to the wall as if it were his lifeline. "I wanna make a bento… for a friend."The Rikkai Devil took out the brightly colored two-tier bento from his backpack. "She gave –"
Saya turned with a gasp and the knife slipped out of her hands. It flew through the air and embedded itself in the place where Kirihara's head would have been if he had not ducked in time. She ignored her son's wide eyes and squealed, "You got a bento from a girl! Oh, Aka-bun, you're growing up so fast!"
Kirihara stood frozen in his place – just like a deer looking into headlights.
She came over and wrapped her son into a hug, completely forgetting about the knife in the wall. "Moro! Your son is growing up! He got a bento from a girl!"Saya cried out into the open garage door to her left.
A voice from the garage replied, "Yeah, so what? He gets bentos a lot since he's a Regular. What's the difference now?"
"He's going to give her a bento back!" she cooed as she nuzzled her cheek to Kirihara's.
'Someone, anyone, please kill me now,' Kirihara thought miserably as his father stormed into the kitchen.
"Akaya, it's time I give you The Talk."
END OF FLASHBACK
He was taken out of his little flashback when the bus came to a sudden stop. He peered out the window and saw a familiar pair of braids in the line going into the bus. Once he saw her head disappear from his sight, he looked in front of him.
Sakuno finished paying her fare and walked down the bus aisle to the seat next to Kirihara. After sitting down, she had her bento and thermos shoved into her arms. She took the items gingerly before looking at Kirihara himself.
"Thanks a bunch, Sakuno-chan! I loved it!" the little Devil grinned enthusiastically. His grin grew when he saw her return it with a smile.
The brunette let out a small sigh of relief, "Thank goodness, I was worried you wouldn't like the food." She looked at the bento in her hands and quietly added, "Ryoma-kun always said that they were 'mada mada'."
Kirihara frowned at the mention of the 3rd Seigaku Pillar. He remembered the advice some people gave him online and did his best to ignore the green-eyed demon within him. His control slipped a little as he let out, "Then he was an idiot."
She looked at him in surprise. "Kirihara-kun!"
"He should know a good bento when he gets one." He tried piecing a good recovery remark to get rid of the disapproving look on his friend's face. "You must've heard him wrong." Then he teased, "You get a little distracted during conversations sometimes."
"Do not!" Sakuno laughed.
After awhile of mindless chatting, the bus speakers announced, "NEXT STOP: SEIGAKU HIGH. NEXT STOP: SEIGAKU HIGH."
Kirihara glanced outside the window and saw Seigaku High creeping closer by the second. He interrupted his companion and said, "Sakuno-chan?"
The teen stopped and looked at him curiously. "Yes, Kirihara-kun?"
"Uh, we don't have any practice this afternoon since the tennis courts are being scrubbed down after school. So... I was wondering if I could come by and pick you up here."
"S-sure," Sakuno blushed.
This caused Kirihara to blush a little as well. "C-cool. Is it okay if I took you to a café? You know, like a mini-date or something?"
Sakuno pulled at one of her braids, "I-I don't see why not." Gathering up as much courage as she could, she replied as the bus pulled to a stop, "It's a date then."
"Great," Kirihara said with a massive smile as he watched her get up and leave. "I'll see you then."
She exited the bus and turned to watch it leave. She saw him wave to her at the window and she waved back, standing on her tip-toes as the bus drove out of her sight.
"Sakuno," a voice started her from behind.
The teen whirled around to see Tomoka.
"You were you waving to?"
The tennis courts of Rikkaidai were full of members training. However, this didn't stop Niou and Marui noticing Kirihara walk in. He was already changed into his uniform and had his racket with him. But what caught their attention the most was voiced out by Yukimura himself.
"Why Akaya, you look certainly happy. Did something good happen to you this morning?" he asked.
Kirihara's huge grin remained on his face, "Yup!"
"Ooo, lil' Aka-chan got himself the girl," Niou slurred as Marui nudged him in the side with a snicker. "So what's new with you and the hime? Got yourself a date?"
Sanada stormed into the scene, "Tarundoru! Niou! Marui! Akaya! Why are you two just standing here letting daylight waste?" He didn't bother to wait for their excuses. "80 laps around the courts!"
The trio lazily chorused, "Hai~!" and began their laps.
Yukimura smiled gently as he watched the three runs their laps. Sanada crossed his arms and yelled at some bumbling 2nd years messing up their forms and thus messing up their swings. Yanagi played a game with Marui and was winning. Yagyuu and Jackal were umpiring games between a few first years.
"What a nice breeze," Yukimura commented as he felt the wind pick his hair up. "It must be a good omen."
All was good in the world of Rikkaidai.
Kirihara left the bus and began to walk aimlessly through the school grounds of Seigaku. He received a text from Sakuno asking him to wait for a while at the gates. Turns out, she forgot she had cleaning duty that day and had to stay a bit longer. She said that she'd text him as soon as she finished. So he figured it wouldn't hurt 'sharpening' his ninja skills by sneaking around the campus.
He quickly snuck beneath the shadows of an oak tree and stood still for a moment. His dark uniform blended in and was unnoticeable. At least, that's what he thought.
"KYAAA!" a feminine voice above him cried out as she leaped off the branches concealing her. She landed on Kirihara's back, pushing his chest to the ground. His bags fell to the ground with an audible thud. You could hear the tennis rackets clatter against each other from the impact.
'From the trees?' he thought dazedly as he attempted to regain his senses. The weight on him was lifted before he felt a foot press down on his back. "Oi! What the hell do you think you're doing?"
The girl laughed maniacally, "Is that how you plan on treating Sakuno's best friend, the great Osakada Tomoka?" She grinned when she saw Kirihara tried turn his head to look at her. She released him from her foot and stepped back to give him room.
He brushed off the dust and dirt from the front of his uniform before turning to the slightly shorter girl. "You know Sakuno-chan?" the Rikkai Devil asked warily.
"Yep!" Tomoka leaned in conspiratorially, "You've been making Sakuno really happy these past two days. Keep it up, okay?" She took her leave after seeing the grin on his face.
It was, of course, wiped off as soon as she began to walk away. "Hey wait a minute! You jump out of the trees and onto me just to say that?" he hissed angrily.
Tomoka turned to him, gave a v-sign and said, "Yup!" She walked faster to the gates and left the school grounds.
The scowl on Kirihara's face was replaced by a pout as soon as he couldn't see her anymore. His phone buzzed in his pocket and his excitedly took the device out. He read to himself, 'Kirihara-kun, I'm leaving right now. I'll be there in a few minutes. –Ryuuzaki Sakuno.'
Grabbing his bags, he raced back to the entrance and dropped his stuff on the ground once more. Kirihara ran his hand through his hair before giving up on his attempt to tame the wild curls. He quickly smoothed out any invisible wrinkles on his uniform before leaning against the pillars of Seigaku with his foot on the wall. It was a perfect example of a guy waiting for someone when he just arrived at the scene.
"Kirihara-kun!" A voice greeted as footsteps grew louder towards his direction. There Sakuno was running towards him with a happy smile. She stopped in front of him to take a breath before asking, "Did I make you wait too long? I'm sorry."
"Nah, it's all good. I just got here a couple of minutes ago." He pushed himself off the wall and picked up his bags. "Ready to go?"
"Yes!" she said as she walked next to his side.
It was a strange thing really. Kirihara's stride was a tad slower than it usually was while her's was a bit faster than before. However, both were completely comfortable with the pace they were going.
Mad Hatter's Tea Party was a local family-run café based on the children's story book, Alice in Wonderland. The tables were of different sizes, chairs different kinds, and the spoons and forks were different designs. The table cloths had holes in them, which were covered by plastic to prevent staining, and the colors inside were clashing beautifully. In a nutshell, the café was an OCD's worst nightmare come to life.
Kirihara pushed open the door and held it for Sakuno. A brief 'thank you' and the two were soon seated at a small table.
'Shoot, I forgot to follow Yagyuu-senpai's tip,' Kirihara thought as he saw Sakuno pull out her own chair. He shrugged it off and took a good look at the menu labeled 'The Oraculum'. Different cakes, pastries, and foodstuffs were listed.
The younger teen across him looked around in wonder and awe. "This place amazing! I didn't know that a cute café was here," she smiled to herself as she looked at the menu. Sakuno closed the menu and placed it in front of her.
Kirihara grinned at her as he placed the menu down. "Mura-buchou told me that his sister was raving about this place for a while. That's why I thought it'd be nice to check it out with you." He raised his hand and waved over a waiter.
"Is it okay if I order a slice of Upelkuchen Cake and a glass of Pishsalver?" Sakuno asked the seaweed-head.
He nodded. "Go ahead, it's my treat." After she finished her order, he added, "I'll have some Gribling Puffs and Jabberwocky's Blood."
The waiter bowed and left with their orders.
Sakuno and Kirihara began a light conversation on the terror known as English class. It soon turned into the topic of Sakuno's Home Economics class and to the strange antics of the Rikkaidai Regulars.
After an hour when Kirihara made it to his third story of Niou impersonating Sanada, Sakuno was already holding both of her hands to her mouth in an attempt to stop laughing too loudly. She had tears of joy and managed to squeak out, "Stop, stop, it's too much!"
"But I was getting to the good part!" he whined with a smile. "So Niou-senpai took the racket and began to run around as Fukubuchou. He went and used the tip of the racket to lift up a bunch of the tennis girl's skirts but never really looked. He made enough noise to let the girls take a look at his face before running off."
"Later I saw Fukubuchou with a bunch of red marks on his face. I never knew girls could be so violent!"
Sakuno snuffed a laugh down before answering, "Well, Kirihara-kun, they had the right to be mad. I mean, Niou-san did lift up their skirts. Girls don't like at all."
Kirihara looked innocently at her, "You too?"
She blushed a bright red. "Of course. It's embarrassing if that happens to anyone."
"No, I mean, would you slap Niou-senpai too?"
"I w-wouldn't go that far!" Sakuno cried out. "I mean, I-I'd probably raise my voice a bit, but that's it. I don't like violence that much." She silently berated herself for allowing her stuttering habits to resurface.
The Demon of Rikkaidai frowned. He grabbed the bill from the table top and fished out his wallet from his right pocket. Placing the yen bills, he once again waved to the waiter to the table. There was enough change to be placed as the tip and he told the waiter so.
Both stood up and pushed their chair in. They left the café with content stomachs and began to stroll. It was around 4:30 PM and people were already beginning to go home from work. Traffic jams filled the major streets as Kirihara walked on the street side and kept Sakuno near the shops.
He led her to a nearby park and to an open field on a small hill. "Come on, put your stuff on the ground," he said as he unceremoniously dropped his.
"Eh?" Sakuno was thoroughly confused. Nonetheless, she did as she was told.
"Good," Kirihara stood straight up. "Now hit me."
"EH?" Sakuno repeated. "Why?"
"Because," he said seriously, "you obviously can't protect yourself!"
Wincing, Sakuno stood her ground. "I don't want to hit you," she said with finality.
Kirihara narrowed his eyes. "You don't? Well, fine. You'll always be a weak little girl."
It was as if a knife stabbed her.
"You'll always be depending on other people." Stab.
"You'll never go anywhere in the world." Stab.
"You'll never get a job." Stab.
"You'll never get a boyfriend." Stab stab.
Tears sprung in her eyes, "Quit it, Kirihara-kun."
"What?" Kirihara taunted, stepping closer to her. "Awwww, is lil' Saku-chan gonna cry? Wah wah, boo hoo."
Sakuno finally lashed out. "Stop it!" she screamed shoving a surprised Kirihara. She watched as he teetered back and forth on one foot from the force before falling backwards and down the hill. "Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry!" she yelped.
Laughter filled the air. Kirihara stood up laughing, clutching his sides. "I-it's not a punch, but it's a start," he commented as Sakuno ran down to his side.
"Are you okay? I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me!"
Kirihara brushed her worries off. "I'm fine! You just surprised me that's all."
Surprised, Sakuno replied, "But- but I shoved you! You fell back!"
"Exactly, but that was because I didn't think you were gonna shove me. I just thought you were gonna slap me!" He continued laughing, ignoring the pouting girl in front of him.
"That was really mean, Kirihara-kun. I thought you meant all of that," she huffed. "You really shouldn't be laughing; I was worried that you were hurt." The pigtailed girl began going back up the hill to retrieve her belongings.
There was a pause before Kirihara went up to her and asked, "Hey wait! Where you going?" He kept up with her moderately fast pace. "Awww, come on, Sakuno-chan. Don't be like this." The lack of reply made him worried. "Look, I'm sorry, okay? I didn't mean to hurt you?"
Leaning down, Sakuno grabbed her bag and looked at him. "Honest?"
He did the same after getting his things. "Yup, really. I just wanted to teach you how to fight, that's all."
Kirihara admitted that it was cute to see Sakuno look down at her shoes.
"I don't like violence that much," she repeated from before. "So I wouldn't be a really good student to you."
"Uh, I think you're missing the point. It's for you to learn how to defend yourself."
"Oh, I see. Then I guess it wouldn't hurt. I'd have to ask Obaa-chan though." Sakuno shyly smiled at Kirihara, who beamed back at her.
Around 5 P.M. both finally left the park and went to the nearest bus stop. They sat on the benches for a while in complete silence, even as a bus pulled up heading west. Unfortunately, Kirihara has to take a different bus than this going east. They bade each other bye before Sakuno boarded the bus to go home. Thus, Kirihara sat alone at the stop to muse over the day's happenings.
His phone vibrated in his pocket, alerting him of its presence. He flipped the phone open to read a text that came from Sakuno.
'Kirihara-kun, thank you so much for today! It's hard to believe that we only met a couple of days ago. But I had a lot of fun on our outing. The bento you made was good too! Thank you so much! From, R. Sakuno.'
The grin on the Rikkai student was enough to power several cities. He quickly texted back. 'No problem, Sakuno-chan! Ne, do you think you could call me by my first name? 'Kirihara-kun' is so~ formal. Kirihara Akaya.'
As he sent the message, he couldn't help but think he was going too fast. People on first name basis are usually very close to each other. His senpai-tachi called him that because they considered him the 'baby' of the team, much to his displeasure. He asking Sakuno to call him this was a big step. Suddenly, Kirihara became nervous. What if Sakuno said no?
A vibration on his hand snapped the poor boy out of his thoughts.
'I-I don't see why not. I don't want to cause Akaya-kun any kind of discomfort. I'll see you in the morning then. My battery is dying. ^_^U From, R. Sakuno.'
"Aww, she even stutters in her texts!" Kirihara laughed out before fully understanding the contents of the text. His eyes widened before he let out a whoop of joy.
I went on a mini-date (I guess it counts as that) today with Saku. I gave her the bento and she said that it was good! Today was a really great day. Saku and I are on a first-name basis now. This is a good sign, right?
After the date, I took Saku to the park. I offered to teach her how to fight, you know, for self-defense? But I said some really mean things to her before I gave her the offer. She's too nice, you know? She was mad at me for a while, but after the offer, she forgave me. See? She's too nice! But Saku has to ask her Obaa-chan first before we go with the lessons.
So yeah, thanks for the help. Things are really going my way now. But I was wondering, what kind of moves should I teach Saku first?
Somewhere, a teen boy stepped into the crowded airport. He pulled his cap down and smirked. Loud English chatter filled the air. On the PA, a voice called out, "FLIGHT 360, NEW YORK TO TOKYO, IS NOW BOARDING AT GATE 10."
AN : Please don't kill me~ I know I haven't updated in the very longest time but Real Life got in the way. I also want to point out that Kirihara's been VERY OOC. And I stress the 'very' part. I have a counter for that. In this story, Sakuno is his first crush so it's somewhat natural for him to be all excised and such over her. And this, being Kirihara, he'll take any chance he gets to get the girl. So please, drop a review and help the poor baby out.
So this topic is "What can Kirihara teach Sakuno how to fight?" Ready… Set… Go!