Title: Meddlesome Senpais
Genre: A bit of angst but romance all the way.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Prince of Tennis (well duh!)
A/N: This is my first RyoSaku fanfiction. A little OOC, I admit :)
A lot of mushiness (well heck this is romance after all)
Please do enjoy :)
For my good friend Isabel, have fun reading! :))
Sakuno’s determination was slowly slipping away. She was trembling with fear but she needs to do this, she has to, if only for her peace of mind. Breathe she reminded herself.
“R-Ryoma-kun” she stuttered, head bowed down.
She took a deep breath and summoned all her pent up courage. It took all her might to just open her mouth. “Ano.. I… I… I-I like you Ryoma-kun!” she looked up and all she can see was his stoic face, it was void of any emotion.
“Tennis is and will always be my only priority” he said callously and made his way to the park’s tennis court, completely leaving the devastated Sakuno.
Sakuno was in her room crying her heart out. She could not contain the tears that kept falling down her face. They fell continuously, free falling into oblivion.
“He doesn’t like me… He doesn’t like me…” she chanted brokenly.
She was still crying, for how long, she didn’t know. Her phone started ringing, it was Tomoka.
“Tomo-chan” her voice cracked.
Tomoka sympathetically sighed. “From your crying, I’m guessing he didn’t return the feeling.”
“No” Sakuno choked.
“I’m sorry Saku-chan, at least you did what you had to. Remember, no regrets.”
“I know but still it hurts. It hurts that he doesn’t feel the same way! It hurts that he doesn’t care at all! Doesn’t he know how hard it was for me to say that straight to his face!” she was clenching her other hand tightly.
“I can’t take away the pain or much less lessen it but I’m always here, don’t you ever forget that” Tomoka comforted. “I’ll come buy tomorrow and the ice cream’s on me” she cheered.
Despite herself Sakuno nodded. “Thank you Tomo-chan. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.”
She felt a little better after talking to Tomoka. Eventually her tears stopped. She took one big shaky breath and assessed everything that happened in the park, where she disturbed Ryoma from his well enjoyed sleep, to pour her heart out. Her eyes widened when realization came crashing in. It was not Ryoma’s fault that he could not return her feelings, love just comes naturally. It can never be forced on anyone. Sakuno’s resolve found its way back to her. Light once again adorned her lovely brown eyes. She began to smile as understanding came – Ryoma was even kind enough to honestly tell her, face flat, that he could never return her love. He never gave her false hope of any sort. He was just being true to himself, she had to accept that.
A decision was made. She had to move on. She had to accept the fact that as of now Ryoma has his priorities and it’s high time she had hers.
Students, new and old, stopped dead on their tracks when they saw an auburn haired goddess walking in the school grounds. Her long wavy hair was lovingly left down, cascading on her lower back. A beautifully sculpted face – soul searching eyes, small nose, and pink kissable lips. And her body, it was teasingly perfect.
“Saku-chan!” Tomoka squealed in amusement, noticing the boys’ dreamy eyes and the girls’ envious stares.
Sakuno noticed it too although she just shrugged. She was used to it by now. Ironic it may be, the changes began right after Ryoma left for the States. She even had her own fans club in Seigaku so it would be safe to say that Ryoma did her a favor by turning her down. Not that she was thrilled to be popular, in fact it annoyed her how they would follow her everywhere and give a mountain full of letters. Now she knows how peeved Ryoma must have been with all his fan girls. And the knowledge that she shared something with him gave her a fluttery feeling, no matter how much she denied it.
Sakuno and Tomoka loitered at the hallway. They were chatting.
“Have you heard the news? Ryoma-sama enrolled here too. Our tennis team is back, only now we’re all here in Seishun Gakuen. I can’t wait for the upcoming tournaments!” she squeaked delightedly.
Surprise crossed Sakuno’s eyes but it was gone as quickly as it came. “Oba-chan never mentioned it”
“Oh…” the bell rang before Tomoka could say anything further.
“Ryuzaki, please read the last two paragraphs.” Their English sensei instructed.
Sakuno read with refined eloquence. She asked her Oba-chan a few years back to employ an English tutor for her, and as they say the rest was history. She was on the last paragraph when the door slid open.
“Echizen!! It’s very nice of you to join us fifteen minutes early for your next period on the first day of school!” a tick appeared on their sensei’s forehead, eyes in a tight slit.
Sakuno seeing Ryoma after a few years of his sudden disappearance, sat down, her knees suddenly felt weak.
Ryoma bowed, “I’m sorry sensei but I helped the poor old lady down the street with her five bags and hailed a cab for her. As a young citizen of this country, we have a responsibility to help the elderly.”
Their sensei mellowed. He nodded and dismissed his tardiness fiasco. Ryoma inwardly smirked, that trick always worked. It worked during his Seigaku years and apparently it worked here too, old people are so gullible.
“Please continue Ryuzaki."
Sakuno stood up and read where she left of while Ryoma made his way to the only vacant seat, which was a seat back Sakuno’s. Ryoma’s eyes automatically went to Sakuno’s back. Who would have thought that Ms Wobbly Hips Hair Too Long would be this good with English he silently contemplated.
Soon after class ended, Ryoma walked to the clubroom.
“Nya, Ochibi! You’re back!! ” Eiji muffled Ryoma with a tight hug.
“Eiji-senpai, I can’t breathe!” he complained.
Air started filling his lungs as Eiji released him but only for a brief moment, Momo locked his right arm to Ryoma’s neck and ruffled his already unruly hair.
“Momo stop that already! He might die of suffocation” the mother hen of the team lectured.
Momo freed Ryoma and smiled teasingly, “How was America? I hope you found yourself a girlfriend”
“Nya! Ochibi’s growing up!” Eiji quickly interjected.
“Tch” was Ryoma’s only reply.
“Saa… I see you haven’t changed” the tennis genius contemplated.
“Fsssh” was Kaidoh’s affirmation to Fuji’s observation.
“Iie… Iie… Data…” glass gleaming, the data gatherer started scribbling on his trusty notebook.
“Burning! It’s good to have you back Echizen!!” Kawamura, holding his racket, fervently stated.
“What are you guys waiting here for! Fifty laps around the court now!!” the stoic captain authoritatively commanded.
The regulars obediently ran to the tennis court not wanting to anger Tezuka more. No penal tea please was their last thought. Fuji’s observant eyes saw Echizen’s small smirk before it was replaced with his tennis face.
A whole week passed within a heartbeat and Sakuno never set foot on the tennis court.
Ryoma briskly walked home, kicking random stones along the way. He grudgingly accepted the fact that he was affected by the way Ryuzaki was acting – calling him Echizen-san, no stuttering, and worse of all no home-made bentos. It’s your fault for breaking her heart he silently lectured. But was it wrong of him to tell her the truth? Tennis is and will only be his top priority, there’s no changing that. However with the way Ryoma’s acting, things might change after all.
“Each one of you will pick a piece of paper inside this bowl. In it contains the name of the person you will be drawing. Submission will be next week and I’m expecting great outputs.” Otari-sensei passed the bowl.
It was Sakuno’s turn. She dipped her hand and took a piece of paper. I hope it’s not Echizen-san she silently prayed. But alas, the gods must be against her, for on that piece of paper was the very name of that person.
She paced back and forth in the empty classroom when Ryoma came in. She was in a dilemma. She was having a hard time approaching him but she can do this. She composed herself.
Ryoma just looked at her.
“Are you free tomorrow for the drawing project?”
Ryoma rummaged his thoughts, checking if the team had practice tomorrow.
“I’ll take that as a yes. Tomorrow’s my only free time” Sakuno you liar she scolded herself. She only liked to finish the whole ordeal, the sooner the better.
Ryoma nodded. “My house 9 o’clock sharp” and with that he was gone.
She smiled. Ryoma-kun never change she mused, not realizing what she called him.
“Tilt your head a little, yes like that. Now stay and don’t you dare move” Sakuno demanded.
Ryoma was sitting on the trunk of the cherry blossom, Karupin on his lap.
“Now close your eyes”
Ryoma complied, closing his eyes. This domineering side of Sakuno was all new to him but nevertheless found it amusing, especially when she puffs her cheeks as she bosses him around. He stopped his train of thoughts. It was desperately going in a place he doesn’t like.
The gentle breeze gradually lulled him to sleep.
Sakuno took her drawing materials and started working when she realized Ryoma was really asleep. She adoringly smiled and continued on the task at hand. She nodded approvingly at her finished masterpiece. She was about to wake Ryoma but decided against it, he looked so peaceful in his sleep. She moved closer as she reveled on how time changed his physique. He grew a foot taller so her full height only reached his shoulders. His well chiseled body was camouflaged under his green sweatshirt. And his face, it was as strikingly handsome as she remembered, only now it matured. She imprinted this on her memory bank.
She lovingly gazed at his face and her hands slowly darted upward to touch his face. They were merely an inch away from his face when she stopped. She should not do this. She had worked so hard on taking him out of her system and one false move would blow it to smithereens. She stood up as if burnt and ran out of his house.
Ryoma opened his eyes, his vision hazy. He blinked, disoriented. His cat like eyes widened as realization sank in, he fell asleep while she was drawing him. He stood up to find her when he saw her note. 7
You feel asleep so I helped myself out. Thank you - Ryuzaki
He could not sleep. This has been a steady occurrence for the last few days. He was perfectly fine until he came back in Japan, until he saw Ryuzaki again. Maybe he was just guilty of the way he treated her during the time she confessed but he didn’t feel the slightest during that time, what is the difference now.
He eyed his cat, “What’s wrong with me Karupin?”
He ironically sighed, as if a cat could talk.
Karupin jumped from the bed and dragged a heart shaped box to him. He incredulously looked at his cat. It was the chocolate box Sakuno gave him on his last Valentine’s Day in Seigaku. It was the only chocolate he accepted.
Ryoma, the genius that he is, started to uncover Karupin’s message. Love. No, he can’t be in love with Ryuzaki. But he does get annoyed whenever he looks at the fence and only sees her loud mouthed bestfriend. He was tempted to pummel her admirers with tennis balls and even with his precious tennis racket, if only Tezuka would not forbid. She was constantly on his mind and he kept the tennis ball she gave him on his tennis bag. He smirked maybe he can prioritize something other than tennis.
Sakuno was late. She was sleep deprived for weeks now. She was wide awake until daybreak, resulting in her current predicament. She took big strides to get to Seishun Gakuen faster. Finally, she arrived in the school grounds and was about to make a run for it when someone unceremoniously dragged her to the school’s cherry blossom. She flailed her hands, stopped when she got a good look of her captor.
“Did I hurt you Ryuzaki?”
“No but why did you drag me all the way here?”
“Can’t it wait? As you can see we’re already very late!” she panicked.
“Now” he was replying in monosyllabic phrases.
So she waited. And waited. And waited.
“Mou, Ryoma-kun!” she pouted, not realizing what she called him.
Ryoma smirked, at last he heard it again but found it hard to express himself. He was antisocial. He was not used to saying things so he decided to just act on it.
Sakuno was roughly seized in Ryoma’s waiting arms, his chest cushioning her head. She was wrapped tightly and securely in his arms. She blushed beet red. He was so close, she could feel the rise and fall of his chest. Everything was like a dream. How long had she yearned to be held by him, to mold her body into his, to feel his never ending warmth. His heart, thumping erratically. His voice, vibrated on his chest as he spoke. She contentedly sighed.
“I’m no good with emotions you know that well enough. So I hope you can understand the language of the heart. My heart can you hear it? It annoys me that it beats uncontrollably when you look at me. I want to take hold of it when you’re near me so it won’t flip. I hate it when I think of you, my brain stops functioning and my heart takes over, ordering me to say things I won’t normally say. And whenever it beats, it says one name, Sakuno…”
Ryoma was about to say the three words all of his fan girls would die for when Sakuno stopped him.
“Shhhh….” Her forefinger automatically went to his lips. “I don’t understand the language of the heart but your heart I do understand. Here’s my answer” she delicately pulled his head to where her heart lied.
Ryoma could feel the rapid beating of her heart. He smiled and aligned his head with hers, their faces a breath away. He looked intensely into her eyes, his mask completely gone. “I think I got the message.”
Ryoma closed the gap and softly kissed her lips. He could feel her smile then eagerly responded to his kiss. They allowed instinct to guide them. The kiss grew heatedly, classes completely forgotten.
It was just the two of them or was it? For hiding in the nearest bush was the regulars minus two – Ryoma, who was busy kissing Sakuno and Tezuka, who has better things to do than to meddle in somebody else’s private life.
“Saa… this would be a good blackmail material” Fuji took a picture and proceeded to record the whole shebang. Sometimes being late does have its perks.
“Nya, Ochibi already has a girlfriend!” Eiji wiped his tears with his arm, sniffing.
“Young love… young love…” Momo sang.
“Echizen would have a fit when he finds out we spied on him. And we’re late for class” Oishi worriedly remarked.
“Iie… Iie… Data… There’s a 90% probability that Echizen will discover our spying” Inui continued to write on his notebook with his probability theories.
“Fssssh” Kaidoh was only dragged here by Momo.
“Burning! Echi… Hmmpphhh…” both Momo and Eiji slapped their hands on Kawamura’s mouth, completely silencing him. While Fuji took hold of his racket, he sobered.
“We can’t let Echizen catch us!” Momo stealthily crawled out of the bush when he bumped on someone’s legs.
“Hey!” Momo complained and looked up to see who it was.
“Mada Mada Dane”
“Echizen!!” All of them gasped except for Fuji who ingeniously ran past them, cam-corder in hand.
“Wait for us!!!” they exclaimed and quickly ran after him with an enraged Echizen on their toes.