AN: My second fanfic in the POT fandom! I'd love reviews :)
Also, thank you to everyone who reviewed/favorited my first story (Making Him Happy Again) :) And for those who Author Alerted/Followed me, thank you too :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis.
Ran away with this idea while attempting to think of an idea for a 30 kisses prompt. I may have taken too much liberty with the fact that in the data book Bunta Marui apparently has Home Economics cooking class (and actually bakes the same thing that the characters do, coincidentally), so Seigaku could likely have the same class. (Though he seems to be the only one who cooks in this class among the Rikkai Dai regulars, as far as I know.) Somehow inspired by the fact that Ryoma always seems to look for help from books when he isn't good at anything (see: Doubles, Pingpong, Bowling).
AN2 (9/1/13): Apparently Inui also has Home Economics, so this is now possible, hurrah! Though he is sewing an apron in class. Huh. Actually I cannot imagine Inui cooking anything safe for public consumption. Haha. (Solid, smoking bubbling versions of Inui jiru. I cannot even begin to imagine the horror.)
She always watched him. Ever since that day they met, she had always been captivated by him. Still now, when both of them were already in their first year of high school, he still captivated her.
His tennis was beautiful. Destructive, powerful, innovative, graceful. She couldn't look away whenever he had a match. He always inspired her, because he never gave up even against the most intimidating opponents; he always made it through matches with skill, endurance, and his passion for the game.
She was always watching him, even though he hardly seemed to care about her most of the time. It hurt sometimes, but Ryoma-kun was Ryoma-kun, and she knew that she still had much farther to go in a lot of things, tennis included.
Still, though, she wished he would at least acknowledge her presence more sometimes. Mou, she thought bitterly, the only thing that kept her going sometimes was the fact that he at least paid 90% more attention to her than to any other girl in their classes. He gave more attention to her grandmother though, how sad was that?
She shook away the thoughts in her head, feeling somewhat depressed.
"Ryuzaki, what are you doing?"
She opened her eyes to find her teacher frowning at her.
She blushed, realizing she had zoned out through the important English class that she should not really have been zoning out on. "Gomen, sensei."
"Then translate page 9 for us, Ryuzaki."
Her heart sank. It had to be the page she hadn't studied yet.
"I'll do it, sensei." Everyone's eyes turned to Ryoma-kun, who was looking at her out of the corner of his eyes with some amount of concern. She blushed again.
"Ah, Echizen-kun!" Everyone was surprised at the normally asleep Echizen's sudden volunteering. "Douzo."
"Hai, Sensei." Effortlessly, he translated the page with perfect intonation. After he had finished, he sat down again, looking at her for a moment before he yawned and slumped down on his desk.
"Same old Ryoma-kun," she thought fondly, "I should thank him later."
One of her best classes in high school was Home Economics. Compared to the painful English subject, Home Economics was a joy to go to. She actually understood what to do and never felt lost in that class, compared to English where sometimes the words in front of her would just blur inevitably and her eyes would fill with tears. She was happy that this year it was required, at least it might bring up her grades a little.
(It didn't help that English seemed so effortless to him, like breathing and playing Tennis. She always felt so embarrassed when she asked him for help in that subject. He must think her a dunce.)
Today, though, she was making cookies in class. Today was free-choice day (cook anything you wished to cook to bring up your grade in class), so she had decided on chocolate chip cookies, the popular classic, in hopes of maybe sharing them with Tomo-chan, her senpais and Ryoma-kun later at practice. She blushed as she saw the Tennis Prince at his own workstation in class, one in front of hers, thinking about Ryoma-kun had no place in her favorite class.
As she measured out the proper amount of flour and chocolate, she almost missed his quiet inquiry.
"Ne, Ryuzaki, what are you making?"
Her eyes widened as she processed his words.
"Ahh, chocolate chip cookies, Ryoma-kun." She blushed softly, "I thought it would be nice because they can be eaten by many people."
"Ah, wh-what are you making, Ryoma-kun?" She berated herself for the stutter, rare as it had become, suddenly slipping out.
He frowned at the book he was looking at, Cooking for Beginners.
"I don't know, I'm not really good at cooking," he muttered, with the tips of his ears slightly red. It was rare that the Tennis Prince admitted his lack of skill in doing anything, though, and his uncharacteristic answer only endeared him to Sakuno more. Mou, my heart, she thought.
"Would you like some help, Ryoma-kun?" She played with the edge of her apron to distract her from her somewhat uncharacteristically bold offer. "I'm used to cooking, so I can help with most basic dishes. Besides, I owe you for today in English." She felt somewhat bold mentioning the latter, but she really did want to help him with something that he had trouble with.
His silence made her feel uncomfortable; she was about to retract her offer when he nodded. "Sankyuu." Taking a few seconds to process his word, she couldn't help beaming at him.
"Okay, Ryoma-kun, what would you like to cook today?"
Her cookies had turned out well, she thought. Her classmates had asked for some, pronouncing them delicious. At the end of her class, she wrapped up the rest of them, intending to share them later at tennis practice as she had planned. She felt too shy to offer some to Ryoma-kun at that point.
Ryoma-kun had decided to make cookies as well, sugar cookies, which she had helped him with. (It was easier, he reasoned, if they both made similar things since he was asking for help from her.) They turned out fine; the teacher actually seemed pleased when she came by to taste one. Ryoma-kun seemed pleased too, wrapping what he had baked quickly before others could ask for a taste.
"Are you going to give them to Uncle?" she asked. "He'd be happy, I think!"
"My first successful effort in baking? No way." He suddenly swung his bag over his shoulder, "I'll be going first, Ryuzaki. Sankyuu."
She smiled as she waved him off, knowing he was about to go up to the rooftop again to sleep. Ryoma-kun is still Ryoma-kun, she thought fondly.
While eating lunch with Tomo-chan, though, she allowed herself to indulge in the memories of that class, when Ryoma-kun was actually looking at her, depending on her to help him for once. With those memories came that of English class, of him again saving her but this time not with his Tennis skills but with his genius-level English.
After school, she had gone with Tomo-chan to watch the boys' tennis team practice. She let herself be swept away again by Ryoma-kun's playing, blushing with Tomo-chan's teasing her. She suddenly remembered she was carrying her bag of cookies which she had completely forgotten about while watching Ryoma-kun playing against Momo-chan-senpai; she showed it to Tomo-chan with a smile.
"Kyaa, Sakuno, chocolate chip cookies! Can I have one?"
"Of course, Tomo-chan! I made many because I wanted to share them!" She smiled at her friend who took one and bit into it, "Oishiii, Sakuno!"
"Arigatou, Tomo-chan!" She suddenly squeaked as she felt someone loom over her.
"Chocolate cookies, Ryuzaki-chan?" She turned to see Fuji-senpai in front of her, his calm smile in place. "Did you make them in class today?"
"Hai, Fuji-senpai!" She offered the bag of cookies to him. "Would you like some?"
He nodded, taking one and biting into it. "Arigatou Ryuzaki-chan!"
"Hoi hoi, Fuji has cookies-nya!"
"Ryuzaki-chan made them, Eiji. My compliments to the chef," he smiled at her, causing her to blush.
"I want one too-nya! Can I, Ryuzaki-chan?"
"Hai, Kikumaru-senpai!" she offered him the bag also, and he immediately got a cookie for himself. "Delicious-nya, Ryuzaki-chan!"
"I made them today in Home Economics, Kikumaru-senpai, I wanted to share them with everyone!"
"Ahh, Ryuzaki's cookies!" Horio-kun cried as the Freshmen trio appeared behind the senpai-tachi. "I want also!" She offered them the cookie bag with a smile, hoping that Ryoma-kun would finish his game before the cookies ran out so she could offer him some too.
"Aren't you also taking Home Economics?" wryly asked Tomo-chan. "What did you make then?"
"My cake burned," he said sulkily. "I don't understand, given I have four years of tennis experience-"
"And zero years of cooking experience-" sighed Kachiro-kun as he reached for a cookie. "Arigatou, Ryuzaki!"
"Ryuzaki's not the only one who made cookies today, though" said Katsuo-kun, also taking a cookie. "I think Echizen also made some." Everyone's eyes widened. "EHHH?" and "Ryoma-sama made cookies?" and "Echizen cooks?!" were heard, and Sakuno only hoped that Ryoma-kun didn't hear what they had said and that he was too focused on his game to hear any of these.
"Cheh," they heard as Ryoma-kun suddenly left the court. She looked at the score board, noting that he had won 6-3. "Stop talking about me cooking like you can't believe it."
"But Echizen!" Horio cried, "You burned rice the last time we had Home Economics! How could you have made cookies successfully?" Sniggers from the senpai were heard, and Tomo-chan started shouting at Horio-kun about how disrespectful he was to Ryoma-sama.
"I'm going to get a Ponta," the Tennis Prince said, stalking off.
She sighed as she looked at him, feeling that he had been hurt even with his uncaring façade. "Mou, Horio-kun" she berated him. "Ryoma-kun tried his best today, you know." Poor Ryoma-kun. Horio-kun was just tactless sometimes.
"Anyway, Ryuzaki-chan" said Fuji-senpai, "we're lucky that you are sharing your cookies with us. Don't girls usually give what they baked in Home Economics to the boys they like?" Kikumaru-senpai and Momo-senpai, who had just joined them, nodded in agreement with silly grins on their faces, starting to nudge her gently. She blushed at the question, "Iie, not always, Fuji-senpai! You can give it to your friends!"
"Eh, Echizen said 'Mada mada dane" to her bento before, why would she give him her cookies?" Horio-kun said tactlessly as he snatched another cookie. "Ryuzaki should have moved on by now, given he doesn't seem to care anyway and he has no knowledge on how to treat a girl. Now someone like me, I don't know why no one gives me food even with my four years of tennis experience-"
She didn't hear the others scolding Horio-kun; she was remembering that day when Ryoma-kun did that. It still hurt, though the 15 year old Sakuno understood now that the 12 year old Ryoma-kun probably didn't mean it that way. And who was Horio-kun to keep bringing up bad things about Ryoma-kun anyway? Even if Ryoma-kun was somewhat apathetic, he was still kind-hearted deep down; she knew it best, after how many times he'd saved her from whatever scrape she'd get herself in. She was pissed.
"At least Ryoma-kun actually uses his tennis to help other people, unlike you, Mr. Four-Years-of-Tennis -Experience who only uses it to brag, not that it actually works!" Everyone, shocked at her outburst, watched as she snatched the cookie bag from Horio-kun and stomped off, planning to get her stuff and go home immediately.
"Oi, Ryuzaki! Don't take the cookies!" Horio bewailed, silenced suddenly by a seemingly randomly hit tennis ball slamming into his shoulder. "Echizen! Don't hit me!" His outburst made her turn back for a moment, causing her to lock eyes with Ryoma-kun who was staring at her intently for a few seconds before he lowered his cap and turned away. "Mou, I hope he didn't hear what I said," she sighed, heading for the clubhouse to get her bag and hopefully get home without further embarrassing incidents.
At home, she started unpacking her school things. Maybe she was too hard on Horio-kun. But it felt good to berate him for once, very uncharacteristic of her. She'd apologize tomorrow.
"Ehh?" She suddenly noticed something unfamiliar in her bag, smelling nice. She saw a note taped to the light bag, which she detached and unfolded.
"Thanks - Ryoma" she read.
She smiled as she opened the bag to find the sugar cookies he had made with her help. How could he have snuck that in her bag without her knowing, she wondered. Maybe while he was getting Ponta? He didn't actually have a can coming back from his walk, she remembered. How fast could he have been to have put it in her bag while she was talking with the senpai-tachi and Tomo-chan and the Ichinen Trio and come back in time to possibly hit Horio-kun with a ball? She shook her head; she'd probably never get the courage to confirm her thoughts by asking him. She felt though like she understood a little more about Ryoma-kun, how direct and indirect he was at the same time with things.
Even if Ryoma-kun was still mada mada dane with people, she loved that part of him anyway that tried. She bit into one of the cookies, smiling at the sweet taste on her tongue. "Oiishii," and she felt this to be more meaningful than if he had actually not accidentally insulted her bento (to her 12 year old understanding). She smiled to herself as she ate another cookie, allowing her mind to entertain silly girly thoughts that she'd never voice out anymore to Tomo-chan at her age. She'd keep how Ryoma-kun gave her his cookies to herself, no need to let Horio-kun know that.
She thought back to her depressing ruminations earlier in English class, which had gotten her into trouble and smiled; maybe he was actually looking at her more than she thought.
AN: I always wanted to do this ^^
Ei-chan: Thank you :)
yuri-chan021: Haha, Eiji is one of my favorite characters. I think part of the reason he was tortured was because I liked him so much and wanted him to appear :) Thank you, I'll try my best :)
Mikan-Lamperouge: Thank you for your review :) I've always thought that Ryoma would be the jealous type, somehow. ^^
JC-zala: Thank you for the very long review :) (I was really really happy while reading it ^^) I'm glad you liked my story :)
heartluv: Thank you :) (I know right? Though he's so cocky that he probably has pissed off a lot of people ^^)
J Luc Picard: Sometimes I feel that a lot of people in POT need anger management coaches. ^^ Thank you :)
lyne-sunday: Thank you :) I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
yana19: Thank you :) I feel that there's a lot going on under that cap of his, when he gives one-syllable answers, haha.
Thank you to DeathlyJester, Fanficlover16000, (I love your name!), , Melime14, Mika Zaraki 141, Relena01, SaKuRa-Blossom29, Sarah401, Vongola Ventitreesimo, animefaves, damnheart.o3, firehorse549, hapiflower, imadreamer7, kathyanime143, kylietjoa, laurennomnom, lolvang56, luv-u-alwayz94, , michelle88222, mirty love, prilly55, sasusaku x ausly, 123, silverstargazer, yi-chan, youare-who-youare, and yuri-chan021 for adding Making Him Happy Again to your favorites list :)
Thank you for adding me to your favorite authors list animefaves and laurennomnom :)