Disclaimer: Prince of Tennis isn't mine. OC is.
Her lungs burned. Her muscles ached. Her heart raced. Her mind calmed.
Yukari was soaring, her mind sprinting off to the solace deep inside her head while her body bulleted unconsciously through the familiar path. Her tennis shoes hit the concrete of the sidewalk, steady like the beat of a drum. Her breathing was even despite the almost inhumane pace and the steady burn of oxygen depletion. Her mind, chaotic from the day, relaxed with the steady rhythms of her feet and her breathing.
As Yukari ran, droplets fell from the sky, adding another rhythm to the ensemble. The pitter patter of the rain began as a mere sprinkle but was steadily intensifying. Closing her eyes Yukari felt the rain wash over her, bringing her main problem to the front of her mind and cleansing her of everything else.
Many people thought her life perfect. She was had an inheritance set to be activated on her eighteenth birthday. She had a sure future as the heiress to her father's trading company. She had the Hayashi name that had people literally at her feet. Little did they know that they meant nothing when there was no sentiment behind them. They had no feeling, only cold tradition that shackled the female into submission, that promised the female to some rich male, that forced the female to produce a new generation just like the previous. As her feet pounded into the ground, all Yukari could think about was how no one seemed understand.
Thunder crashed and lightning flashed across the sky. The sounds disrupted her rhythm, but they sent her blood pumping with a different emotion.
High society was fake and cruel. Yukari despised it. From the old geezers who sat at desks counting money all day to the vicious women who lived to criticize and gossip about fashion faux pas and scandals, she hated them all. Hate was a strong word, but disdain and abhorrence did not fit. She did not need a fancy word to describe her feelings.
That word did the trick.
But what could she do? She was but a child to her parents, who thought her weak, naïve, and unassuming. It was probably her own fault since she always tiptoed around her parents, trying to be polite and demure. But inside, her real self was like a caged lion, fiery and passionate. Thank goodness she had soccer to channel the rebel inside of her, to channel the anger she constantly locked up.
And then in the midst of it all was Yagyuu Hiroshi. He was the contradiction in everything she knew and felt. He was not greedy, gossipy, or any way ungentlemanly. He drew her in and gave her the tingles. And what scared her the most was that he was perfect.
Thoughts even more jumbled, Yukari squinted through the rain at her home. It was a large house, in a good neighborhood, and in a good community.
She sighed. The top far right window was lit.
Yukari had hoped that her parents would not be there when she arrived back from her run. She was soaked with rainwater and sweat, which was quite the opposite of how a lady should hold herself.
Stepping through the door, she grabbed the towel the maid had ready. She also braced herself for her mother's wrath.
"Disgusting. Yukari, how could you go out and dirty yourself like this? What would I say when people ask if that girl covered in dirt, rain, and sweat is my daughter, Hayashi heiress?"
Her mother was all about appearances. It was sickening.
"And you should stop running so much. You're getting too skinny, it's unflattering."
Guess saying she was fat was not an option.
"Well what are you waiting for?" Her mother suddenly yelled. "Get to your room and dry off! And you better make sure this does not get on the carpets!"
Sprinting up the stairs, Yukari didn't look back. Her mother would never change.
Yukari's room was as far from her parents' room as she could make it. Second floor far left room; it still was not far enough. Her room was it was her haven because her parents rarely if never checked up on her before going to bed and other things. For that she was thankful.
She had already missed dinner so her father would probably be furious the next day. Her homework had been done since she had a free period. A shower could wait. That thought made her smile. Her mother would never condone putting off a chance to freshen up.
To bed it was. Still in her dirty clothes, Yukari collapsed onto her bed. Drifting off, she succumbed to the rhythmic beats of the rain and the lingering thoughts of a certain gentleman.
Gazing out the window, Hiroshi stared at the stormy sky which flashed with lightning and boomed with thunder. He was more than sure that Yukari was running through the rain. A five mile run after school was part of her daily routine, which contained several other workouts.
Hiroshi looked out the window for a few moments, watching the water come down in sheets. His mind wandering away from his book, he closed his eyes. She was all he could think about.
The girl would definitely be the death of him.
Underneath his somewhat cold demeanor, he worried about her. Yukari was fiery, passionate, and reckless. Everything he was not, on the outside at least. She would inevitably catch a cold and he would be forced to bring her school work and some chicken and miso soup. Not that he really minded, of course. He liked to take care of her. He wanted to take care of her. This sense of protectiveness was a long way coming, ever since their meeting all those years ago.
Hiroshi glanced out the window again and frowned. He put his book down and walked towards the window. Pressing a hand to the cold glass, he felt the coldness crawl up his arm, the frigidness seeping into his skin.
Hiroshi knew that she did not exactly have a stellar relationship with her parents. Her parents never saw the Yukari that he saw at school and at other places. She laughed, cried, and expressed her emotions freely. Yet with her parents, she mostly retreated into herself, attempting to adopt a personality that was against her very nature. Seeing her like that was…unsettling. Although Yukari tried to conform, Hiroshi could see the defiance and the rebelliousness in her emerald eyes.
She was by no means what a lady of her stature should be, especially with her sports, her daily appearance, and her mannerisms. Inadvertently, they had become acts of defiance to her parents.
Their society had influenced not only Yukari, but Hiroshi himself. He was the golden boy of the family and people called upon him, knowing that he was dutiful and polite. His manners were impeccable, his presence was strong, and his name was prominent.
Unlike Yukari, however, Hiroshi had no wish to defy their position in society. He fit right in and was comfortable with the behaviors and rules. It was what he grew up with them and they became a part of his personality and essence. Now all he had to do was to ease his betrothed into the world they were born to be in.
A/N: Gah. Sorry to anyone who actually read this. Finals and APs kicked my butt.
I went back and reworked everything since I though stuff was moving too fast. Chapters will be shorter since I don't exactly have the most imaginative imagination. I can only come up with so much. Updates will probably (most likely) be sporadic since I'm going Governor's School and China this summer.
Thanks for your patience and constructive criticism is welcomed!