A/N: SURPRISE! HERE'S MY VALENTINE'S PRESENT TO YOU ALL! So…this is it. Haiiii….I was supposed to finish this years ago, but oh well. Better late than never. Besides, I always did warn you guys that I have weird updating times- I update whenever my mojo feels like it. Heh. But it's fine, isn't it? I even updated a very LONG chapter, so please forgive me. Anyway, I just wanna remind you guys again before you start reading this chapter that I played a Japanese ladder game to decide who Ryoma's boyfriend would be. So I let fate decide. When I saw the person that was chosen, I was pleasantly surprised. And automatically, I knew how I wanted this story to go. So if you don't like the final pairing in the end- TOO BAD. It's not my fault cause I wasn't the one who decided it. Don't blame me- Blame fate ;)
And also, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR REVIEWS! I hit the 100-review mark~and almost the 200-review mark! Yosh! And this is the first multi-chaptered story that I managed to finish. I'm so proud of this accomplishment! =D
And don't forget, feel free to read my other POT stories as well. Don't forget to leave a review for them, okay?
Warning: Contains YAOI (Boy's Love)- or is this shounen ai? Oh well, if you don't like, then don't read!
Disclaimer: I DON'T OWN PRINCE OF TENNIS! If I did, it would have been a yaoi to begin with…..or a shounen-ai at the very least. And apparently, my subconscious mind borrowed the plot from the amazing writer, nicki-gurl. I dedicate this whole story to you!
Without further ado, the final chapter of Ryoma's Dating Who…
Chapter 5: Solved
The rest of the Seigaku tennis regulars were quiet during their train ride to Osaka which was located in the Kansai region. Fuji words kept repeating in all of their minds.
"I'm…the one who set them up in the first place. I'm their matchmaker."
Finally unable to take the silence anymore, Eiji let out a frustrated groan and ruffled his hair furiously. "Mou…I can't believe that Fujiko tricked us!"
"He completely led us on." Oishi admitted, sweatdropping at the tensai.
"That's was just mean, too mean, yo!" Momo said, exasperated.
"According to data, there was a 75% chance of Fuji tricking us like that." Inui told them, reading his notebook.
"Ughh…So that means more than half the tennis regulars know who Ochibi's boyfriend is." Eiji complained. "Oishi, Momo, Inui. Are you sure none of you know who Ochibi's boyfriend is?"
"No, I really don't senpai." Momo told him, shaking his head.
"I don't know either, Eiji." Oishi assured him.
"Me neither." Inui answered as he kept reading his notes.
Eiji nodded, satisfied with their answers. "Good. Okay, let's forget Fujiko for now and go back to the important topic here. Let's start focusing on who the boyfriend is." Eiji pointed to Inui. "Inui! Repeat the clues we have so far about the boyfriend!"
"According to data, firstly, Echizen's boyfriend is a guy. He knows how to play tennis and is strong enough to beat Echizen and knows how to handle Echizen's personality. The clue we got from Atobe is that Echizen's boyfriend starts with an 'S'. Kawamura helped us by saying the boyfriend's favorite food was Japanese. Kaidoh told us that they had the same sportswear. Yukimura said that the boyfriend can discipline Echizen well and Sanada mentioned that the boyfriend was taller than Echizen. Tezuka unfortunately gave an unhelpful clue saying that he knows the boyfriend. And finally, Fuji was their matchmaker." Inui read, closing his notebook when he finished.
"Let's start off with all the people who aren't Echizen's boyfriend. Obviously it's someone whose name doesn't start with 'S', so we can scratch out a lot of people like Atobe and Tezuka. Shinji is out because of his food choice and Horio because of various reasons." Oishi said.
"Horio seriously was never even being considered in the first place." Momo repeated again, still grossed out at the thought.
"Sakuno-chan is out cause she's a girl and Ochibi could never remember her anyway. Also for Shiba-san, the photograph lady." Eiji continued. "Hyoutei's coach, Sakaki Tarou is out because he's waaayyyy too old for Ochibi!"
"Don't worry, data says that he has a thing for the Josei Shounan's coach." Inui assured Eiji, pointing it out in his notebook.
"Eh? The one with the huge…" Eiji trailed as he made two big mounds on his chest. Oishi swatted his hands away, scolding him.
"Back to the topic, it can't be Sakurai of Fudomine or Sengoku since their favorite foods are non-japanese and I don't think Echizen respects them. Same goes for Shinjou of Josei Shounan, Shishido of Hyoutei and that duck person from St. Rudolph's whose first name is Shinya." Oishi continued.
"It can't be Kevin Smith because he's the same height as Echizen and I don't think Echizen listens to him very well." Momo added. His eyes suddenly widen as he thought of someone. "Ah! What about Saeki Kojirou from Rokkaku?"
Eiji's eyes widened too. "You're right Momo!" He banged his fist in his hand and nodded. "It could definitely be Saeki! He's a guy. His name starts with 'S'. He plays tennis and is very strong. He can handle Ochibi because he handles his own teammates like Aoi-kun, the whistle-nose guy and the guy who says bad jokes on his team! I don't know his sportswear and his favorite food, but he's taller than Ochibi. I also don't think Tezuka knows him, but isn't Saeki best friends with Fuji?" Eiji reminded them.
"You're right Eiji!" Oishi agreed, impressed with his doubles partner thinking. "Since Saeki is Fuji's best friend, it would definitely make sense if Fuji was their matchmaker."
"Hmm…that's a good guess. In fact, Saeki's favorite food is mashed beancurd and roast sea urchin, which is Japanese." Inui informed them. Before Momo, Eiji and Oishi could smile in triumph at finally figuring out whom the boyfriend was, Inui continued, "But Tezuka doesn't really know who Saeki is. Since he was in Germany during the time we met with Rokkaku, he only knows Saeki by name, but not by the actual person. He also does not have the same sportswear as Echizen- although it's close since Nike and Fila are both US brands. Also, data says that Saeki is 100% straight."
"What?! You're kidding…" Momo trailed off, disappointed that they were once again wrong.
"Nope. According to data, Saeki is very much straight and is very popular with the ladies. In fact, he's so much popular with the ladies that his team captain, Aoi-kun, is very jealous of that fact and wishes to be like Saeki as well." Inui said.
"Ugh…we're right back where we started then!" Eiji moaned, sinking lower into his seat.
"Actually, we're not." Inui pointed out. Eiji perked up at that. "Since we finished eliminating all the people who are not Echizen's boyfriend, which leaves us with 3 choices who each have an equal 33.33% chance of being Echizen's boyfriend."
"So, Echizen's boyfriend really is Yukimura, Sanada or Shiraishi, huh?" Oishi sighed.
"Eh?" Eiji frowned. "But didn't Yukimura and Sanada say they weren't dating Ochibi?"
Momo's shook his head. "No…Eiji-senpai, remember that you asked if they were dating Echizen? They never actually gave you an answer. They just change the topic to something else."
"Ah! So sneaky! Just like Fuji!" Eiji cried.
"Anyway, so Echizen's boyfriend is definitely those three." Oishi concluded. As they all nodded, their train finally stopped as they finally arrived in Kansai.
"Guess, we're going to find out who Ochibi's boyfriend is, ne?"
"Ah~ do my eyes deceive me? Isn't that Momoshiri-kun?" Momo shivered as he heard a very familiar voice call him. He completely forgot why he didn't like coming to this school.
"Ah! It's peach butt!" Hitouji Yuuji exclaimed, wrapping his arm around his doubles player, Konjiki Koharu, who was the first one who noticed them.
"Eh? Peaches have butts?" Kintarou joined into the conversation. "Aren't you Koshimae's best friend? Broom-hair, right? You don't look like the butt of a peach, broom-hair."
"What are you guys talking about? Butts of fruit?" Kenya asked, joining into the conversation.
"Peaches don't have butts." Zaizen told them, sighing at their ridiculous antics once again.
"Eh? So broom-hair is a peach butt with no butt?" Kintarou asked, looking confused.
"Kin-chan, you're being rude to our guests." Gin scolded the younger man, gently.
"But Ko-chan and Yuu-kun were the ones who said that Broom-hair was a peach butt and Zaizen was the one who said he had no butt!" Kintarou complained.
"Well, obviously Momo-kun here has a butt, Kin-chan." Kenya pointed out. At this time, an angry tick on Momoshiro's head was growing increasingly large. His other three teammates did their best not to burst out laughing- well, Inui and Oishi did. Eiji had no problems laughing hysterically at his kouhai's predicament.
"For the last time, my name is MOMOSHIRO! Not Momoshiri, Broom-hair and definitely not Peach Butt! It's MOMOSHIRO! M-O-M-O-S-H-I-R-O! MOMOSHIRO!" Momo yelled, glaring at everyone. He definitely remembered why he hated coming here.
"Isn't this Seigaku?" Chitose asked, walking up to them. "I had a feeling you guys would come and visit us."
"Eh? Was it your ESP, Chitose-san?" Eiji asked. Chitose smiled and nodded his head.
"Now that you mentioned it, why is Seigaku here in the first place?" Kenya asked, looking at them.
"We're actually here to see Shiraishi-san." Oishi told them.
"You wanted to see me?" Everyone looked as they saw Shitenhouji's team captain, Shiraishi Kuranosuke, walking towards them. As soon as Shiraishi was there, Eiji rushed forward and stopped until he was right in front of the bandaged-covered captain.
"Shiraishi-kun. We came to ask you a question. Will you answer it clearly and truthfully?" Eiji asked, looking deadly serious.
"Yes, of course." Shiraishi promised, looking serious as well.
"What. Is. Your. Favorite. Food?" Eiji asked, looking like he just asked a murder question.
"Eiji…" Oishi sighed.
"Eh?" Shiraishi exclaimed, surprised. "Oh, it's cheese risotto. I have a love for Italian cuisine." Shiraishi answered.
"Yosh! So the boyfriend is definitely not you!" Eiji yelled, pointing at Shiraishi.
"Boyfriend?" Shiraishi asked, looking confused.
"We're actually trying to find out who Echizen's boyfriend is." Inui told them. The Shitenhouji's team member's eyes all widened.
"So the chibi has himself a boyfriend? Awww…" Koharu squealed.
"Spring is in the air for the kiddo." Yuuji added, smiling.
"Who would've thought." Kenya said, grinning.
"Thought he was asexual." Zaizen muttered.
"EH?! I wanna play with Koshimae and his boyfriend now!" Kintarou crowed. "I bet Koshimae's boyfriend is super duper strong!"
"Congrats to them." Gin nodded.
"Echizen's growing up." Chitose commented.
"Well, it's nice that Echizen has a boyfriend. But what does my favorite food have to do with it?" Shiraishi asked.
"Well, we spent all day trying to find out who his boyfriend is and from the clues we gathered, the boyfriend's profile fit you perfectly. The only problem was that we didn't know what your favorite food was." Oishi explained.
"Echizen's boyfriend's favorite food is Japanese. Since your favorite is Italian, then you can't be the boyfriend." Eiji concluded.
"Oh, I see. Well, I may not be the boyfriend, but I do know who it is." Shiraishi told them. He smiled when everyone looked at him in surprise.
"You do?! How the hell do you know when you're all the way here in Osaka?!" Momo demanded.
"I saw them together before. I'm actually part of the 'Plants club' together with Yukimura of Rikkaidai and your fellow teammate, Fuji. It was during our meeting. When Yukimura went out to get some fertilizer for the plants, me and Fuji were talking and he told me that Echizen had a boyfriend and his boyfriend was in the very school we were having our meeting at."
"Wait…so doesn't that mean…" Momo trailed, his eyes widening at the news. Shiraishi grinned as he nodded his head.
"Yes. Echizen's boyfriend goes to Rikkaidai."
During the time in Shitenhouji, In Rikkaidai…
Fuji Shuusuke was wearing his usual smile as he walked through the gates of Rikkaidai. He had made plans to meet someone that day, but he frowned a bit when he realized that he was a bit too early. Maybe he should have stalled a bit longer with his teammates…
Fuji chuckled. He still remembered their shocked faces at his confession. Oh well, he knew that they would forgive him for it. In fact, he was positive that they would find out who Ryoma's boyfriend was soon. It was only a matter of time.
Speaking of Ryoma, Fuji smiled wider when he spotted a certain golden-eyed kouhai sitting under one of Rikkaidai's big cherry blossom trees, taking a sip of some ponta. Fuji decided to buy himself some apple tea from one of the vending machines before making his way towards Ryoma.
"Ah, Fuji-senpai." Ryoma acknowledged. He nodded his head toward his senpai as Fuji sat beside him.
"So, I told them about me being your matchmaker." Fuji informed him, taking a sip of his tea.
Ryoma nodded. "How did they take it?"
"They were completely shocked. It was so worth keeping it a secret." Fuji said, smiling happily.
"I can imagine." Ryoma snorted. Fuji-senpai really did have a bit of a sadistic side to him. "So they really thought we were dating, huh?"
"Yup." Fuji said, smiling wide. "Sorry Ryoma, but I'm already taken."
"I wouldn't date you even if I was single." Ryoma told him, frowning at him. "I'm not a masochist, senpai."
"Fair enough." Fuji just shrugged it off. "Anyway, do you think that the others know that you didn't even get on the train to Shitenhouji?"
Ryoma smirked. "I bet they didn't realize yet- nor do I think they ever will. It was a good plan we made- me going to the train station to lead the others on the wrong path to Shitenhouji. Of course, I didn't actually get on the train."
"Our entire plan was brilliant- from Hyoutei all the way to Shitenhoujji. We had to time it just right and make sure that everything went down smoothly. There were even some surprise appearances from Kaidoh and Tezuka…" Fuji chuckled a bit before frowning at Ryoma. "Speaking of Tezuka, you weren't cheating on your boyfriend right?"
"Of course not. I just fell- I would never cheat." Ryoma answered seriously.
Fuji gave a relieved smile. "That's good then. It would have made me a bit put off if all my matchmaking efforts for you two went to waste."
They continued to chat with each other for a bit longer as they waited under the big cherry blossom tree.
On the train back to Tokyo…
"So it really is Yukimura or Sanada!" Eiji exclaimed. He was hyped up since that were so close to finding out who Ryoma's boyfriend was. Sadly, they didn't have enough money in order to buy a train ticket to Kanagawa and then another one to Tokyo. They had no choice but to go straight to Tokyo.
"We're so close, so close, na!" Momo agreed, pumping his fist in the air. It felt nice that after all their efforts, they would really find out who the boyfriend was.
"Since it's either Sanada or Yukimura, let's gather the clues one by one and try to see if they all fit one of them?" Oishi suggested.
Inui nodded. "That would be the best way."
"Hoi! Hoi!" Eiji agreed. So first off, Ochibi's gay…so his lover is a boy."
"Yukimura and Sanada both fit that description." Momo nodded. "Next, the boyfriend loves tennis, is a strong player and his name starts with 'S'."
"That still fits both of them." Oishi said, scrunching his eyebrows together. "The boyfriend's favorite foods are Japanese and he's taller than Echizen."
"They both still fit the descriptions." Inui noted, writing in his notebook.
"What about Fuji-senpai being their matchmaker? I don't really think Fuji is very close with Yukimura or Sanada, so why would he matchmake them with Echizen?" Momo pointed out.
"But Fuji is in the same club as Yukimura, remember? With Shiraishi, they have their 'Plants Club'." Oishi reminded him.
"Eh?" So it's Yukimura after all?" Eiji asked, with wide eyes.
"I don't think we should assume that just yet. Since Fuji has been to Rikkaidai many times for the 'Plants club' he could have also met up with Sanada there too. Yukimura and Sanada are almost always together, so it would make sense if Fuji had gotten close to the both of them." Inui told him.
"Mm…" Eiji mumbled, thinking about it. "I just wonder what Fujiko's relationship with them is exactly? I feel like there's something going on about that."
"If it involves Fuji, we're better off not knowing. Also, we shouldn't assume who Echizen's boyfriend is until we can fit all the clues together. " Oishi informed them all. They all nodded.
Back at Rikkaidai…
"Ryoma, in all seriousness, do you love your boyfriend?" Fuji asked, taking a last sip of his tea.
"Yes." Ryoma answered in a quick but direct voice. He had already finished his ponta and was trying to take a nap- although it was all in vain since Fuji kept talking to him.
"You sure?" Fuji pressed.
"Fuji-senpai, exactly why are you here again?" Ryoma asked, getting irritated.
"Now you ask me?" Fuji asked, looking surprised. Ryoma glared at him. "I'm doing the same as you; I'm waiting for my boyfriend." He replied. He looked at his watch. "Though I came a bit early, so I decided to come hang out with you."
"Go bother someone else." Ryoma told him, laying down on the cool grass as he stretched out his legs.
"Aww…you're like a cute kitten. I bet your boyfriend loves cute things too." Fuji chuckled at Ryoma's angry look. "Anyway, why do you love your boyfriend Ryoma?"
"What is this- an interview?" Ryoma snorted, closing his eyes.
"Nope. Just friendly conversation. Girls do this to pass the time, you know." Fuji pointed out.
"How should I- I'm not a girl." Ryoma shot back.
"Come now, Ryoma. Just answer the question. As your matchmaker, don't I deserve to know how the two people I got together are working out?" Fuji told him, opening his eyes.
"Che." Ryoma scoffed. It was silent for a few moments before Ryoma finally spoke. "I love him because he's him. If it was anyone other than him, I wouldn't even give them a second thought."
Fuji smiled. "I get it. I guess that's how I feel about my boyfriend too, in a way. It's hard for someone to grab your attention. And once you find that person, your attention will solely be on them."
It was quiet again for a few moments as Ryoma looked up at the sky and Fuji stared at the students of Rikkaidai that would pass by. Ryoma finally turned to his side and asked, "Senpai? Why did you become our matchmaker in the first place? I mean, why him? Why me?"
"Hmm…" Fuji thought about it. "I guess it was a coincidence? You two just happened to be there at the same time?"
"What does that mean?" Ryoma asked, confused.
"Well, if I had to choose a reason, I guess it would be because of you. Remember the whole 'Karupin' incident back then? You needed someone to help you…and your boyfriend just happened to be the only one around who could."
Ryoma's eyes widen as Fuji's words sunk in. "Wait…I don't understand. I know that you were the person who got me to realize my feelings…but what do you mean by the 'Karupin' incident? I didn't tell anyone about Karupin unless…you were there, weren't you?!" Ryoma shouted, his eyes widening.
Fuji smiled. "You found me out. I just happened to be there the time you both found Karupin, but I left after that since it felt like I was intruding on a private moment. From that time on, I knew you guys would be perfect together."
Ryoma was speechless. After a minute, he managed to croak out, "Why?"
"Hmm?" Fuji gave him a questioning look.
"Why would you help me?" Ryoma asked.
"Some people may say I'm a bit on the sadistic side, but for some reason, I just can't stand seeing someone who I care about cry. And when I saw you being so sad over Karupin before, I just felt like I wanted to help." Fuji admitted. "It was strange."
"It is strange." Ryoma agreed. They were both quiet again, thinking over their conversation. "Senpai?" Ryoma asked.
"Thank you." Fuji's eyes widen, showing shocked blue eyes as he turned towards Ryoma, who refused to look back at him and was attempting to sleep once more. Fuji closed his eyes and this time, smiled a true smile.
"Getting a bit sentimental, ne Ryoma?" Fuji teased.
"Che." Ryoma spat back.
They waited a bit longer, exchanging a few words here and there. Finally, Fuji spotted two familiar figures walking towards them. He shook Ryoma and pointed towards the figures direction. Ryoma immediately sat up and waved towards them.
"Echizen, Fuji…how long did you guys wait for us?" One of the figures asked as the other said nothing, just staring at the two.
"For a while, but it's okay. You're back!" Fuji replied. He then proceeded to get up so he could go to his boyfriend. With arms wide, he ran…
…Right into Sanada's large arms and gave him a big hug.
On the train back to Tokyo…
"I think we should look at the clues at a different angle." Inui suggested. The other three looked at him with questioning looks.
"What do you mean, Inui?" Eiji asked.
"So far, the clues we've said are pretty on-point. But I feel like, instead of just seeing if the clue fits Yukimura or Sanada's profile right, we should also see if the clue matches them the best." Inui explained.
"What does that mean?" Momo asked, confused.
"Ah, I think I got it." Oishi put his fist to his hand. "For instance, one of the clues is that Echizen's boyfriend can beat him in tennis. Both Yukimura and Sanada can both beat Echizen, but technically, only one has beaten him before."
"Ah, now I get it." Momo nodded.
Eiji's eyes widen as he listened to this. "Wait, another clue was that the boyfriend could handle Ochibi's personality and he could even discipline him. Both of them can handle Ochibi's personality but only one knows how to discipline others.
"What are you talking about, Eiji-senpai?" Momo frowned. "Both Sanada and Yukimura are known for their discipline techniques in Rikkaidai." Eiji shook his head.
"Yes, but don't you remember? One of them has a family that owns a dojo. And aren't they usually strict in order to discipline others? Also, I heard that one of them is in charge of their discipline committee back in Rikkaidai!" Eiji explained. Momo's eyes widen as he realized that Eiji was correct.
"What about the sportswear?" Momo asked, trying to think about it. All four of them became quiet for a while, thinking about it. As his eyes roamed around the train randomly, Oishi spotted something. His eyes turned wide as realization hit him.
"I know what it is!" The other three looked at him as Oishi smiled widely back. "By sportswear, it doesn't mean just by the brand right? Sportswear could be anything that a person wears while they play sports. There is one type of clothing that Ryoma wears while playing tennis that only Yukimura or Sanada wears as well." He pointed to the item of clothing that a little boy sitting nearby was wearing and the other three's eyes followed.
It was a blue cap.
"You're so smart Oishi!" Eiji cried, giving his doubles partner a huge hug. All the clues were finally adding up.
"Knows best…" Inui murmured. Suddenly, it was as if a light went on in his head, he immediately went to write it down in his notebook.
"What is it, Inui-senpai?" Momo asked, excited.
"I was thinking that maybe Tezuka's clue wasn't so simple after all." Inui told them as he continued writing in his notebook. "Maybe he meant that the boyfriend was someone he knew best. And out of the two candidates, there is only one who Tezuka has known since they were young- their families are even close with each other."
"Oh my god…so it's really him…" Eiji whispered. Momo nodded, also stunned. He suddenly froze- maybe it was because of the revelation of who Ryoma's boyfriend really was both relieving and shocking, but he finally managed to fit the last clue into the mystery.
"The phone call…" Momo whispered. The other three looked at him.
"What did you say, Momo?" Oishi asked.
"The phone call. Remember when Eiji-senpai and I had overheard Echizen's call to his boyfriend. During the conversation, he spoke in mostly japanese. Except for two words which he spoken in English." Momo explained.
"What words?" Inui asked, raising an eyebrow.
"It was…" Momo thought for a while trying to remember. "Ah, it was, 'That's enough'." Oishi and Inui's eyes both widened as they both understood what Momo was saying.
"I don't get it." Eiji complained, the only one not understanding. He was really bad in English.
"It's okay." Oishi assured him, giving him a pat.
"I'll explain." Inui said. "Every Japanese phrase can have many English interpretations and it's the same vice-versa. Many English phrases can have many Japanese interpretations. The English words, 'that's enough' can mean a lot of things in Japanese. But Eiji, think about it. If you translate the phrase 'that's enough' into Japanese, doesn't it match a certain phrase that only Sanada or Yukimura uses often?"
Eiji frowned, thinking about it for a while. He did his best to translate the words and even though he wasn't very good in English, Eiji was able to figure out what everyone one was saying. When he translated 'that's enough' in Japanese, there were many other ways to say it in Japanese, but it was a certain phrase (just like an expression) that made his eyes widen in realization.
Eiji stared at them all with wide eyes as one Japanese word slipped through his lips.
"I missed you so much, Sanada!" Fuji said, smiling wickedly up at him.
"Um…" Sanada replied unsurely, looking behind the tensai to spot his seething boyfriend.
"Knock it off, Fuji-senpai." Ryoma warned through gritted teeth. "Your own boyfriend is right there!"
Satisfied for ruffling his kouhai's feathers, Fuji let go of Sanada and went to give Yukimura a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Yukimura was merely amused at the whole exchange.
"Hello Seiichi." Fuji greeted, opening his blue eyes at his boyfriend.
Yukimura gave him a smile. "Hello Shuusuke. Interesting greeting as always."
Fuji grinned. "You're the only one who understands me."
"Dear god help anyone else who could." Ryoma muttered as he walked towards them. He and Sanada exchanged quiet greetings to one another as Sanada slipped his hand into Ryoma's.
"Did you wait long?" Sanada asked him.
Ryoma smirked. "Too long."
"Yes, it really was long, wasn't it?" Fuji added.
"Gomen. We had a meeting and didn't know it would go on for so long." Yukimura apologized.
"It's fine. Ryoma and I had a heart-to-heart together, ne?" Fuji told them, giving Ryoma an innocent smile. Ryoma rolled his eyes.
"You totally owe me one." Ryoma muttered to Sanada, squeezing the others hand hard. Sanada winced a bit, but nodded.
"Okay, I guess we better be on our way now. Shuusuke, you wanted to see that new cactus that just came in, right?" Yukimura asked as he and Fuji turned to leave.
"Oh, yes! The one with the green flower? It finally arrived? I can't wait!" Fuji gushed, excited. He and Yukimura both turned to wave Ryoma and Sanada goodbye as they both left for their date.
"Thank god they're gone." Ryoma sighed, leaning into his boyfriend. He was feeling tired from the day's events and since school had ended, no one else was around. Sanada wrapped his arm around Ryoma's small body and looked at the other with concern in his eyes.
"Are you alright, Ryoma?" He asked, his eyebrows furrowing a bit.
"Just tired, Gen." Ryoma assured him. "I've been going everywhere today. It's senpai-tachi's fault." Sanada raised his eyebrow.
"So did they find out about us?" Sanada asked.
Ryoma shrugged his shoulder. "Who knows. Do you care?"
"No." Sanada answered truthfully. "Though once your teammates finds out, then everyone will know."
Ryoma snorted. "Yeah, Eiji-senpai and Momo-senpai won't be able to keep their mouths shut for long." Looking up at his boyfriend, he was always somewhat amazed that they were even dating.
It wasn't love at first sight. Ryoma never believed in those girly fairy tales where a knight in shining armor would swoop in and save the princess. But he had to admit, when he was going through a tough time before, he was glad that someone happened to be there to help him. And he was glad that that someone was Sanada.
"What is it?" Sanada asked when he noticed his boyfriend staring at him.
Ryoma shook his head. "Betsuni. Anyway, did you know that Fuji-senpai saw us that day with Karupin? Apparently, the reason why he got us together was because he felt that I needed someone and that someone just happened to be you."
"Honto?" Sanada said, a surprised look crossing his strict face. "I always thought it was because he didn't like how me and Yukimura were close and wanted to set someone up for me."
"Hm…" Ryoma thought about it. "Knowing Fuji-senpai, I wouldn't be surprised if he was trying to kill two birds with one stone." He shrugged. "Oh well. By the way, you're sleeping over my house, right? Okaa-san is making your favorite miso soup, Nanako is setting up the pillow and blankets in the guest room- even though it's pointless since you'll just sneak into my room in the middle of the night or I yours and sleep together- and Oyaji wants to play a match with you."
"Ryoma." Sanada started, giving him a strict look. "We're sleeping in separate rooms this time. I don't want to do anything in your house while your parents are there."
"You were perfectly fine 'doing something' the last time you came over." Ryoma pointed out.
"No." Sanada finalized.
"Che! You're such an old man sometimes, you know." Ryoma said, glaring at him.
"Better than being a cheeky brat." Sanada spat back.
They both continued to glare at each other for a few seconds, before they both started to chuckle. Even if they were dating, they still bickered once in a while. Sanada held Ryoma around his waist and lifted the smaller boy up as Ryoma wrapped his arms around Sanada's shoulder and leaned close.
"Are you sure you want to kiss an old man?" Sanada asked with a serious face, but his tone was teasing.
Ryoma pretended to consider it for a second. "If you have to deal with this cheeky brat, then I guess I can do my best to deal with you too." They both leaned in to kiss the other deeply. Just as Ryoma was about to slip his tongue into Sanada's mouth, his phone started to vibrate.
"Tsk!" Ryoma clucked, pulling away slightly as he checked his phone. His annoyed expression soon turned into a smirk as he showed Sanada his phone.
"It's senpai-tachi." Ryoma opened his phone to find that his senpai sent him a text message. It read:
SANADA! IT'S SANADA, RITE?
OMG! SANADA?! THE ONE'S WHOSE FACE IS LIKE- ლಠ益ಠ)ლ
HE BETTER BE TREATING YOU WELL OCHIBI!
ANYWAY, OMEDETOU OCHIBI! 〜(￣▽￣〜)
ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOU'RE YOUNG AND YOU SHOULDN'T BE DOING ADUL-
Echizen? This is Oishi. Sorry about Eiji.
Anyway, we figured out who you are dating.
As long as you're happy, then it's okay with us.
But is it alright if we ask you out tonight to talk?
We'll meet you at 7 at Kawamura's Sushi place.
Feel free to bring Sanada too.
-from Oishi, Eiji, Momo and Inui
Ryoma sighed. "Guess there's a change of plans."
"You can always decline the offer." Sanada reminded him.
"Nah, it's fine. It's free sushi anyway- senpai-tachi will definitely take the tab." Ryoma replied, shrugging.
"Then you should call your mother. I'm sure she'll be fine with the change of plans." Sanada told him.
"Ah, okay…wait! Gen, what about the miso soup?" Ryoma asked, looking worriedly at his boyfriend.
"We can have it tomorrow for breakfast." Sanada assured him.
Ryoma pumped his fist in the air. "Yatta! That's means we're having a Japanese breakfast tomorrow!" Sanada smiled at his enthusiasm and couldn't help but ruffle his hair.
"Where's your hat by the way, Ryoma?" Sanada asked. It was unusual that Ryoma was without his hat- he was like that also. Ryoma looked around and spotted his hat near the tree he was sleeping near earlier.
He went to get it and as he picked up his hat, he looked at the familiar cherry blossom tree again. He smiled as he remembered how his relationship with Sanada started right at this exact tree. And he remembered that this exact tree was the thing that brought them together.
Ryoma and Sanada's love story? When Ryoma was visiting some family in Kanagawa, his cat Karupin snuck into his bags so it could be with his master. Ryoma later found out that Karupin loved playing near the cherry blossom trees right near Rikkaidai.
One day during a storm, Karupin went missing. Ryoma searched frantically for his beloved cat and then remembered how much his cat loved visiting the cherry blossom tress at Rikkaidai. Coincidentally, he bumped into Sanada during his search. Apparently, Sanada had left one of his schoolbooks in the tennis locker room and had come to get it. He decided to help Ryoma find his cat.
They soon found Karupin, but sadly Karupin laid underneath the big cherry blossom tree, covered in blood and was unmoving. No matter how much Ryoma begged and cried, Karupin never woke up.
Sanada stood behind the crying boy, not knowing what to do. Slowly, he went behind Ryoma and gave the other an awkward but comforting hug. He rubbed Ryoma on the back gently as Ryoma wailed for his deceased cat. Sanada watched as the cat's blood slowly washed away from the rain.
Unbeknownst to them both, Fuji was watching the whole thing. He was on his way to meet up with Yukimura, but Fuji happened to see Ryoma, Sanada and the dead Karupin. Fuji wanted to come up to them and help comfort his devastated kouhai, but he felt that he wasn't needed at that moment. With that, he walked away, the beginnings of a matchmaking plan starting in his head.
Sanada wrapped the dead Karupin in his jacket and brought Ryoma to his house. There, Ryoma stayed for the night, mourning for Karupin while Sanada was right beside him, comforting him as best as Sanada could.
After a few days, Sanada and Ryoma visited Rikkaidai during the weekend and gave Karupin a proper burial, burying him near his favorite cherry blossom tree. During the funeral, Sanada's eyes went wide as he heard a meowing nearby. When he pointed it out to Ryoma, they both went to find out where it came from.
Ryoma noticed that there was a small hole located at the bottom of the cherry blossom tree. When he looked inside, he was surprised to see a tiny baby kitten inside. He carefully reached inside and gently put the kitten in his arms. It looked exactly like Karupin except it had bright green eyes whereas Karupin had blue.
When Sanada saw it, he told Ryoma that Karupin probably died that day due to giving birth to this kitten. Apparently, Karupin was a girl, not a boy as Ryoma originally thought. And Karupin had not been getting fat lately, she was actually pregnant.
Ryoma snuggled close to the kitten, tears dripping down his face. He smiled as he looked at the kitten. "Karu…" he whispered, naming the kitten. Sanada smiled at them both. Ryoma didn't lose all of Karupin after all.
After that day, Ryoma and Sanada had gotten close. Ryoma would sometimes visit Sanada for a tennis match together or Sanada would visit Ryoma and see how baby Karu was doing.
During this time, a certain tensai also put his plans to work which ended up with Ryoma and Sanada in situations with them being very close to one another.
After many unsuccessful plans, Fuji finally went for the straightforward approach and helped Ryoma realize his growing affection for the Rikkaidai tennis team fukubuchou. As soon as Ryoma realized his feelings, he immediately called Sanada and told the older guy to meet him at the cherry blossom tree that evening.
There at the tree, Ryoma (straight-forward as always) confessed his feeling to Sanada and kissed the other with all his might. Sanada, shocked at Ryoma's actions, soon melted into the kiss, realizing his own feelings as well. And of course, unbeknownst to them both, a certain smiling tensai hid behind some bushes, taking pictures of the whole thing.
From that moment on, Ryoma and Sanada became lovers.
Giving the cherry blossom tree one last look, Ryoma turned away to join Sanada again.
"Shall we go? We have a train to Tokyo we need to catch if we want to make it in time to meet the rest of your teammates." Sanada told him, holding out a hand for him.
Ryoma gave a small smile as he wordlessly took Sanada's hand.