Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis

A/N: Thrill, kind of. Hints of it, anyway. And also, old. Everything I post these days seems to something written long ago. Well, almost everything.

Critique, comments, opinions, every type of review is much loved.

There weren't many things in Fuji's life he was passionate about. But when Nationals passed, Fuji had added two more things on to that list.

Tennis and Ryoma.

The two were so entwined to each other it took Fuji time to realize they were separate things, not one and the same.

With only a few words at the right time, Ryoma had awoken a fire inside Fuji, a passion for tennis, a desire to do his best. In the pits of despair, certain of his loss, Fuji had given up when Ryoma spoke to him. With only a few words the boy made Fuji give his best, strive for all he was.

Fuji had lost his match against Shiraishi, but he had given his all, felt the thrill of the game in a way he hadn't before. Despite the loss he had found tennis. In a way Ryoma had given tennis to Fuji.

Ryoma had always intrigued Fuji, from the very beginning. His endless potential, the way his strength only increased with every opponent, one stronger than the other.

It was pure lust for power Fuji had felt when he'd witnessed that shot between Ryoma and Shitenhouji's Kintaro.

Seeing Ryoma play against Yukimura made Fuji fear for the boy. He wanted to stand and tell the boy to forfeit, give up, but at the same time he felt compelled to follow the game to the very end because he felt Ryoma's unyielding refusal to give up.

Watching the game between the two brought a thrilled smile on his lips.

Still he thought it was all just about tennis, the way Ryoma made him feel.

When it was time for Ryoma to return to America they all went to the airport to see him off. Fuji had already said his goodbyes to the boy, only Kikumaru and Tezuka were left.

When Tezuka managed to smile again Fuji chuckled as Ryoma's eyes bulged. When Kikumaru glomped Ryoma and wasn't shrugged off, he felt jealous. When Ryoma turned to follow his family Fuji felt his heart break.

Outside the terminal Fuji looked up when he heard a plane take off. He watched Oishi comfort Kikumaru who looked even more miserable than when he'd missed meeting the Chocolates.

Fuji turned and ran inside the terminal, hoping he wasn't too late. "Echizen!" he yelled when arriving at the boarding gate. His heart beat so loudly in his ears that he feared he wouldn't be able to hear if Ryoma answered.

As a hand landed on his shoulder Fuji's world stopped. He turned, hopeful.

"Fuji-sempai? I thought you all left already." Ryoma placed his bag on the floor.

Fuji's laughter rang out as relief filled him. He threw his arms around the boy. "Just promise, promise you won't forget me," Fuji demanded in a whispered voice.

"Uh, Fuji-sempai," Ryoma muttered, standing rigid in Fuji's embrace.

"Promise," Fuji demanded, tightening his hold.

Finally giving in Ryoma wound his own arms around Fuji. "I promise," he told Fuji, smiling.