A/N: This is super late! I'm so sorry. A lot of things happened, and right now, I'm still trying to recover but I'll try my best to get back in all of my writing works. However, since I have work now, I can't promise a fast update too, it will be hectic for me starting Monday so again, I have to apologize in advance. I'm not really...satisfied with this chapter especially since my favorite beta wasn't able to beta read this, but I have to keep going. Thank you to2llyuntraceable for all the comments and advice you gave me. You helped me mature in writing and thoroughly given your time and effort in creating One Touch. I hope you get back to us again someday.

Anyways, question guys, I'm not forgetting Sakuno's parents' name, right? It isn't mentioned anywhere in the anime and even in the wiki so I'll assume that it also isn't mentioned in the manga. But if it was, tell me in the review box so I can change it. Also made my own thing with Sakuno's past and family as I mentioned in the previous chapter. Before going into the chapter...




One Touch


Unbound Feelings

Sakuno gazed at the gate of the Echizen household nervously. This was the second time she was seeing it, but she could still feel her nerves getting to her. This time, she was going inside – she was going inside Ryoma's house and would officially meet Ryoma's family.

'What will they say to me? Mou, what am I gonna do!?' She bit the inside of her cheek as her nerves silently devoured her.


Her head snapped up as she heard Ryoma call out to her.

"Are you going to stand there all day?" His arms were crossed as he raised an eyebrow at her.

She jolted and murmured an apology before she cautiously walked towards the opened gate.

"My parents don't bite," Ryoma said dryly as if he was able to see right through her.

Sakuno felt her cheeks burn. "T-That's not it!" she quickly denied.

Ryoma rolled his eyes. "Yeah right, and I hate tennis. Your face says it all, Sakuno. Let's go." He dragged her by the wrist inside the gate, her halfhearted protests falling on deaf ears.

"I'm home," Ryoma announced as they entered the house.

She and Ryoma were both putting on the house slippers when a beautiful woman appeared at the entrance. She had a dark shade of auburn hair and gentle amber eyes, making Sakuno stare at her nervously.

"Oh my…" the woman said in surprise with a hand over her mouth as soon as her eyes landed on Sakuno. "Dear! Guess who Ryoma brought in!" the woman yelled.

"Mom!" Ryoma exclaimed in exasperation.

Sakuno blinked at him in bewilderment. "Mom?" she echoed faintly. "S-She's your mom?"

'She looks so pretty! So that's where Ryoma-kun gets his looks!'

She immediately bowed in greeting to the woman. "G-Good afternoon, Echizen-san. I'm sorry for the intrusion."

"Oh, nonsense," the woman waved her polite greetings off and proceeded to hug the living daylights out of her. "Finally! Ryoma brought you here! I've always been telling him to introduce you to us, Sakuno-chan!"

Red-faced, Sakuno couldn't do anything but let the woman smother her. 'S-She knows me!? But how? Did Ryoma-kun talk about me with his parents!?'

"Oooh! What's this? If it isn't the cute Sakuno-chan!"

Sakuno saw a 40 year-old-something-man walking towards them. She vaguely recognized him as Ryoma's father after seeing him a couple of times in Ryoma's matches but she'd never spoken to him directly.

"Right? Ryoma finally decided to let us meet her," Ryoma's mom chirped happily while still hugging her.

Sakuno heard the sound of something meeting skin. Ryoma was probably facepalming.

"Mom, you're scaring Sakuno." Sakuno felt the hold around her disappear.

"Oops. Pardon me." Ryoma's mom chortled behind her hand.

"I-It's okay…" Sakuno placated, not knowing what else to say.

"And we're only here to do our project, old man! So don't think of anything stupid!" Ryoma yelled at his father while pointing a finger at him.

Mr. Echizen smirked deviously at his son. "I didn't say anything, seishounen ~ Why so defensive?"

Ryoma's eyebrow twitched while Sakuno watched on in bemusement from the sidelines.

"Did you finally confe–" A tennis ball suddenly went flying and hit Mr. Echizen square in the face. The man twitched as he landed on the floor ungracefully from the sheer impact of the hit.

"Stupid old man…" Ryoma said through gritted teeth, his hand already back in his pocket as if he hadn't just thrown a tennis ball at his father's face. His ears were suspiciously turning a bright shade of red.

Mr. Echizen was up in a second and was on Ryoma. Wrapping an arm around his son's neck, Mr. Echizen proceeded to dig his knuckles into Ryoma's head. "You little brat!"

"Let go of me!" Both father and son started to wrestle against each other while throwing curses here and there.

Then Mrs. Echizen suddenly hit both of them on the head with a rolled-up newspaper.

"Dear, stop teasing your son. Ryoma, don't just stand there! You have a guest to entertain. Let's go inside, Sakuno-chan." The woman then guided her inside while both father and son nursed their aching heads.

'This is...Ryoma-kun's family? How...eccentric.'

After talking a little in the living room. Sakuno was finally introduced to everyone. Ryoma's mom is Echizen Rinko, Ryoma's dad is Echizen Nanjiroh–the legendary samurai, and Ryoma's cousin, Meino Nanako. All of them demanded she call them by their first name, and all she could do was stutter an agreement.

Ryoma's family were wonderful people, Sakuno decided. Especially Ryoma's mom. Rinko-san was so gentle and motherly. Sakuno had been without a mom for so long that she actually missed the feeling of having a mother figure aside from her grandmother. Rinko-san felt so warm and welcoming which helped her to immediately feel at ease. Plus Nanjiroh-san was quite the joker though Ryoma seemed to think otherwise.

Ryoma closed the door to his room with a deep sigh after kicking his father out. Sakuno could only chuckle at the two's childish antics. She had never seen the tennis prince quite so agitated and easy to rile up until he was with his father. He and Nanjiro-san had a cute father and son bonding.

Ryoma glared at the closed door before he dropped his tennis bag beside his bed.

"I'm sorry about that. My dad is just…" he trailed off as he grimaced.

Sakuno shook her head. "It's alright. I think your dad is a wonderful conversationalist," she reassured.

Ryoma looked at her incredulously before he rolled his eyes. "Whatever, only you would say that about my father."

"He's not that bad," she tried to defend Nanjiroh-san but Ryoma only snorted.

"Let's just start our science report," he grumbled as he opened the computer.

Sakuno nodded as she placed her bag beside Ryoma's bed. At that moment, it finally dawned to her that she, Ryuzaki Sakuno, was currently inside The Echizen Ryoma's room. Her heart started drumming violently inside her chest and she suddenly felt faint.

'I'm inside his room…I'm the first girl to ever enter Ryoma-kun's room outside of his family.' She felt like the luckiest girl on Earth right now.

Her eyes roamed around, committing everything to memory. Ryoma-kun's room looked plain but it was clean. There was a huge cabinet, a few spare tennis rackets hanging on the wall, his bookshelf near his study table and computer, a side table beside his bed, and a single window.


Sakuno's eyes snapped down as a white and brown Himalayan cat emerged from underneath Ryoma's bed.

"Karupin!" she happily exclaimed as she knelt down and stretched her arms invitingly. The cat seemed to recognize her immediately because it didn't hesitate to jump into her arms and snuggle comfortably on her chest. Sakuno embraced him while sighing in relief.

"Your foot is healed. Thank goodness," she murmured as she scratched his ear. Karupin purred and nuzzled his head against her. Sakuno giggled in delight.

"If you hadn't found Karupin that day, I don't know if I would still have him here right now," Ryoma said as he knelt beside her.

Sakuno blushed as she busied herself in scratching Karupin's ear. "I didn't do...much. I just did what's right."

"Heh, I don't think other people would do the same thing you did though." Ryoma placed his elbow on the foot of his bed and rested his cheek on his palm.

"Hm...then let's just say Karupin is lucky to have met me," Sakuno said, laughing a little.

Ryoma smirked. "Your nonexistent sense of direction saved my cat. That's ironic."

She pouted. "How mean, I still got him to the vet's clinic."

Ryoma chuckled. "What a miracle."

Sakuno pushed him on the shoulder with her index finger. "Bully."


"Meowr," Karupin purred on her hand.

"Come to think of it...I guess I was also lucky in meeting Karupin…" she muttered, a small smile forming on her lips.

"Hn?" Ryoma gave her a curious look.

Sakuno giggled. "Well, we became close friends." She shrugged her shoulders, trying to act nonchalant but the warm feeling on her cheeks betrayed her.

"Huh, you're right. I did feel grateful to you at first because of Karupin, but," Ryoma glanced away, "I guess you're not as bad as I thought."

"Ohh…" Sakuno could only mutter, looking down at Karupin to hide her flustered expression.

'Is Ryoma-kun...happy to know me better after years of being acquainted?' The cat started purring against her. 'I can only hope he does.'

"Hm, I guess he really likes you," Ryoma suddenly spoke beside her, making her jolt in surprise. Sakuno turned to the side as Ryoma caressed Karupin's head.


And then he just had to look up at her and gazed directly into her eyes. Her vision was filled with nothing but intense golden irises, and she ended up unconsciously holding her breath as she tried her best to act normally, though her heart was a hopeless case. Ryoma was just too close to her personal bubble and she could hear the loud doki doki in her ears as if mocking her sorry attempt to calm herself.

'Snap out of it Sakuno! It's not a big deal.' Quickly, she tried to start a conversation to fill the sudden awkward silence that settled between them.

"I…" she muttered, and Ryoma blinked at her. She bit her lower lip as she tried to form the words without stuttering. "I just...thought of something horrible."

Ryoma's forehead creased. "What?"

"Your fangirls are going to hunt me down, and kill me...slowly and – painfully." Sakuno did her best serious expression while silently trying to get a hold of her nerves. She watched as realization dawned on him and he rolled his eyes in exasperation.

"You better bring this to your grave then," Ryoma deadpanned.

Sakuno didn't need to force the chuckle that came out of her mouth as Ryoma let a small smirk quirk his lips. She couldn't help but stare at him, wondering how she ended up so close to him that he was letting her inside his room, hugging his cat.

Finally, Ryoma stood up and rummaged in his cabinet. "I'll just change my clothes. You can start the report while I'm gone," he instructed before he left the room.

Sakuno released her breath and leaned heavily at the side of the bed. She slapped her face once and gently placed Karupin on Ryoma's bed and started doing their report on the desktop.

It didn't take long for Ryoma to return and they started to work together. They exchanged questions and clarifications here and there, but the casual atmosphere between them remained and Sakuno was thankful for that. Soon it got dark and she had to go home.

Just as she was about to pick up her bookbag, three knocks came from the door and Ryoma's mom entered.

"Ryoma, Sakuno-chan, dinner's ready. Are you done with your report?" Rinko-san asked.

"Not yet, mom...but we decided to continue this on Saturday," Ryoma answered as he turned off the computer.

"Then come down to dinner. You too, Sakuno-chan." Sakuno opened her mouth to politely decline the invitation but Rinko-san didn't let her. "I'm not taking a no for an answer," Rinko-san said with a smile.

"Just eat dinner here, or mom won't let you go," Ryoma retorted.

"But I–" Then he was pushing her out of the door by her shoulders.

Rinko snickered behind them. "Oh, you two are so adorable."

Sakuno's face flamed and Ryoma immediately moved away from her, scowling at his mother before he continued on ahead of them. When they made it to the dining area, she and Ryoma gaped at the feast on the table.

"I hope you'll like it, Sakuno-chan. Nanako-chan and I went out of our way to cook Japanese food just for you," Rinko-san said as she helped Nanako-san place the plates and chopsticks on the table.

"T-Thank you so much, Rinko-san, Nanako-san. Y-You don't have to do t-this much for me...I–"

"It's no big deal, Sakuno-chan. Ryoma-san never brought a friend over before. His Tennis buddies visited him, but that's it. He kicked them out as fast as he could so we've never had a chance to serve them food," Nanako-san explained.

"And the Ryuzaki's are always close to the Echizen's. Your grandma coached my husband after all. We're like family," Rinko-san added.

"Oh…" Sakuno could only mutter as she sweatdropped. She glanced at Ryoma who seemed to not have heard what Nanako-san had said since he was busy eyeing the foods on the table.

"I've never seen so much Japanese food laid on our dining table before," Ryoma said in astonishment, his eyes seemed to sparkle as he turned to give her a look that made her chuckle nervously.

"I'm not going to eat here frequently just for you to have Japanese food all the time, Ryoma-kun," she grumbled.

Ryoma blinked at her. "I'm not saying you should eat here all the time." Sakuno gave him a skeptical look. "Two times a week is fine."

She stared at him incredulously, however she was aware of the redness that returned on her cheeks in full force. "No," she replied in what she hoped to be a firm refusal.

'Don't assume, don't assume! Ryoma-kun just really really likes Japanese food. It doesn't mean that he wants you to actually have dinner with him and his family! No, don't you dare think of anything stupid!' she chastised herself as she tried to control the fast beating of her heart.

He scowled at her. "Che." Crossing his arms, a contemplative look appeared on his face. "How 'bout four times a month?"

Sakuno bit the inside of her cheek as she clenched her skirt and tried her best to look defiantly at Ryoma. 'No! I'm not agreeing to this. No matter how handsome you are Ryoma-kun!' Inside, all of her neurons and nerves were in chaos.

"It's not as if it's a big deal. I ate dinner at your house too," Ryoma grumbled.

She felt her ears blazing, but she let out a huff. "E-Exactly. You eat Japanese food at home, a-and every day, y-you eat my cooking at school too. You're b-being…too greedy R-Ryoma-kun."

'Well hello there stuttering-san, it's been quite a while since you said hi to Ryoma-kun.' Sakuno suppressed the urge to run into the bathroom just to try and calm herself. She should learn to put a Ryoma bulletproof somehow, or her heart wouldn't last long.

Ryoma's scowl deepened. "Che. Blasphemy," he waved a hand in dismissal, "I'm not being greedy. You offered to make me lunch and Ryuzaki-sensei threatened bodily harm. I just took advantage of the opportunity given to me," he said in such a nonchalant manner that Sakuno gaped at him.

Then Rinko-san was suddenly there, hitting Ryoma with a rolled-up newspaper at the back of the head.

"Mom!" he exclaimed indignantly.

"Don't be rude to Sakuno-chan," Rinko-san scolded, wagging a finger in Ryoma's face.

"Che, and now you're taking her side over your own son," he grumbled with a scowl.

"R-Rinko-san, it's alright! You d-don't–"

Then Nanjiroh-san suddenly burst into uncontrollable laughter. "So Sakuno-chan is cooking for you, seishounen? That's why you no longer complain about western food during breakfast."

This was just too much embarrassment for a single night. Panic started to churn inside her as she realized what she just blurted out in front of Ryoma's family.

'You idiot! Now they'll think that you're no different from Ryoma's obsessive fangirls for cooking his lunch all the time!'

She was on the verge of hyperventilating while stuttering an explanation. "I-It's not what you think, Nanjiroh-san! I o-offered to cook Ryoma-kun's lunch as t-thank you for helping me. I-I-I'm just trying to be a good friend to him! I'm n-not — Ouch, Ryoma-kun!" She turned towards him with puffed cheeks when he abruptly yanked one of her braids.

"Stop blubbering, the old man is just teasing you." Ryoma deadpanned before he glared at his father. "Watch it, old man."

She could clearly see the amusement sparkling in Nanjiroh-san's eyes as he grinned evilly at her and Ryoma. Sakuno felt her whole face on fire. She could probably cook an egg on it. 'Ryoma-kun stood up for me again? I-is he trying to protect me or–' She quickly pushed the hopeful thoughts away.

"Ohoho, such a protective boy–frie–" A tennis ball flew towards Nanjiroh-san's face which he managed to catch this time. "Oi! This is the second time you threw a tennis ball at me! Where are you even getting th–Yawch!" Nanjiroh-san cried out as Rinko-san hit him with the newspaper too.

"Stop messing around, you two. Let's eat now," Rinko-san said sternly and everyone sat down without another word around the rectangular table.

The rest of the dinner was relatively peaceful and no one got physically hurt this time around. There were conversations exchanged from time to time and Nanjiroh-san being a joker but nothing that made Sakuno uncomfortable and nervous – until Rinko-san asked a certain question.

The woman laced her fingers in front of her and gave Sakuno a curious look. "Sooo, what happened last time when Ryoma slept over at your house, Sakuno-chan?"

Sakuno and Ryoma simultaneously choked on their food and Nanako-san readily handed them a glass of water. She and Ryoma coughed a few times before they could recover.

"Mom! Ryuzaki-sensei already told you the situation!" Ryoma yelled.

Sakuno snapped her eyes towards Ryoma in surprise. Why didn't he just tell his parents? It was her fault why he had to stay there! It was her own weakness and fear.

"The old woman only said that you're sleeping over at their house because Sakuno-chan's not well and the old hag was stuck in the faculty because of the storm," Nanjiroh-san said, picking his ears with his pinky in a nonchalant manner.

Rinko-san nodded at what her husband had said. "So, did you have a fever and Ryoma has to take care of you, Sakuno-chan?" the woman asked with a look of concern on her face.

Ryoma looked irritated so Sakuno immediately spoke. "I...I-It's my fault Rinko-san. Ryoma-kun had t-to take care of me b-because…of my fear of...thunder." Her voice quivered and she felt her hands shake just from the memory.

Rinko-san and the others looked curiously at her. "You're afraid of thunder? Did you have this from the beginning?"

"I–No. I don't. It only started when I was, umm...eight," everyone looked at her with unabashed curiosity. She could even feel Ryoma's eyes bore into her. "When I...with my parents, w-we...we were in the...c-car a-and…"

The sound of the screeching tires echoed around the wet road followed by a loud crashing noise and glass shattering. Thunder assaulted her ears and she felt trapped in the darkness – trapped inside the car as blood ran down her face. Her arms were numb from pain and she couldn't get a word out of her mouth. Her parent's bleeding bodies were in front of her as lightning struck along with the booming sound of thunder. The loud pattering of the rain was like ominous music following her terrified soul.

A warm hand landed on her shoulder and she jolted out of the traumatizing memory with her body trembling in fright. Her ears were ringing and she couldn't comprehend where she was as she tried to catch her breath. Another flashback of that day… 'but it's been a while since I had one!'

"Sakuno?" Ryoma's worried voice seemed to call out to her soul and she emerged from the darkness with a gasp. She placed a shaking hand on the table to steady herself. That was when she heard the other voices calling out to her.

"Sakuno-chan! What's wrong?" Rinko-san's voice was filled with panic.

"What happened?" Nanjiroh-san sounded confused but concerned.

"Sakuno-chan…" Nanako-san's voice was terrified.

Ryoma held her shoulders. "Sakuno, breathe, what's wrong!? Tell me.."

Her whole body shook uncontrollably. She tried to open her mouth but all she could do was gasp for breath as she willed the dark spots to disappear from her vision. The screeching tires were still echoing as if it was happening a few meters away from her.

Then she was suddenly being lifted in someone's arms and carried bridal style. The fragrance of grapefruit and floral ozone invaded her muddled senses and she realized that Ryoma had carried her towards the long sofa as soon as her back landed on something soft.

She clutched onto his shirt. "B-Bag's pocket...meds," she could barely get out but Ryoma understood her. His presence quickly disappeared and a gentle hand swiped her bangs away.

"It looks like she has PTSD," Sakuno heard Nanjiroh-san say.

"I'm so sorry, Sakuno-chan. I shouldn't have pried." Sakuno could only shake her head to rebuke Rinko-san's statement. It wasn't her fault. Even Sakuno hadn't anticipated that flashback. She hadn't had an episode for a very long time. The attack was so sudden.

She heard rapid footsteps approaching and then, Ryoma was there. "Sakuno, here," he said as he placed the capsule in front of her mouth.

She quickly took the medicine and let Ryoma help her drink a glass of water. She leaned her back on the soft cushion of the sofa and waited for the medicine to take effect.

"I-I'll be fine. Gi-give me a f-few minutes," she said with difficulty as she took deep breaths. She felt a gentle hand touch hers and she unconsciously squeezed it. Ryoma was holding her hand but she couldn't even focus on his touch.

After a couple of labored breaths, the medicine finally kicked in and she was able to stabilize herself, although her body was still quivering from the sudden flashback.

"I'm so sorry. If only I hadn't asked you…" Rinko-san apologized again as she caressed Sakuno's cheeks. The woman was sitting to her right as Ryoma sat to her left. Sakuno touched the woman's hand and tried to give her a reassuring smile as she shook her head.

"Mmn...it's not your fault, Rinko-san. It's been...three years since I last had an attack. T-This was a surprise to me too," she mumbled weakly.

"Are you feeling better now?" Nanako-san asked, hovering beside Rinko-san.

Sakuno smiled. "A little. The medicine is just kicking in."

"I wouldn't have guessed that you have PTSD, Sakuno-chan," Nanjiroh-san said as he knelt in front of her.

Sakuno bit her lower lip. "I-It's not known by many people. Just my grandma...and my doctor," she answered hesitantly

"Do you know...what triggers an attack?" Ryoma asked, observing her carefully. His hold tightened on her hand.

Sakuno leaked her dry lips as she swallowed hard. "D-During the early years...it could have been triggered randomly. A-anything related t-to my…" she felt her body shake again as her hands turned cold.

"Sakuno? You don't have to say anything." Ryoma tried to stop her but she wanted to continue speaking.

She gritted her teeth. "My p-parents," she took a deep breath, "Anything...related to them...c-could trigger an a-attack."

Sakuno clenched Ryoma's hand, looking for a source of strength. She owed this to them, after scaring them with a sudden panic attack. She had to tell them something. Besides, it was due time she opened up to other people and who would be better than Ryoma-kun and his welcoming family?

"Their names, their favorite foods, their things, the rain, especially thunder and lightning, the sound of the engine," her lips quirk into a pained smile. "It's honestly been a long time since I said their name."

"Ryuzaki Satorou and Ryuzaki Sayuri."

Sakuno's head snapped towards Ryoma's father when those names came out of his lips.

"Y-You knew them, Nanjiroh-san?" she asked with widened eyes.

Nanjiroh-san crossed his arms as he smiled at her. "Of course, they're my buddies. Especially your mother."

Sakuno straightened, ignoring the shaking of her hands. "My m-mom?"

Nanjiroh-san nodded, grinning. "Who wouldn't know her? Although she was more popular as Michele Williams. She is a well-known tennis player internationally, considered legendary too."

"Michele Williams!?" Ryoma exclaimed beside her. "We've watched a couple of her matches on tape!"

Nanjiroh-san laughed at Ryoma's interest. "That's right. I had all copies of her matches. It's good study material."

"D-Did you play tennis with her?" Sakuno asked a bit eagerly. She forgot she was holding onto Ryoma's hand and clasped her hands together in front of her. She almost regretted moving.

Nanjiroh-san laughed. "We played a lot of matches actually, and I always won them, though your mom was a worthy opponent."

Sakuno felt her admiration towards her mom rise a notch higher. "I didn't know mom played against the undefeated Samurai."

Nanjiroh-san chuckles. "Your mother was a tenacious person. No matter how many times she lost to me, she would still ask for a rematch the next time we saw each other."

Sakuno sighed. "I always wanted to be like mom, but grandma had to stir me away from tennis before because of my condition."

"Hm, that's understandable. You can't push yourself to be better. PTSD takes a while to heal," said Rinko-san, patting her head in comfort. Sakuno gave her a grateful smile.

"When I entered middle school though, grandma wasn't able to stop me from pursuing the sport," said Sakuno with a small chuckle.

"Oh, so what made you pursue tennis again Sakuno-chan?" Nanako-san asked.

Sakuno blushed and glanced at Ryoma. "W-Well...umm...before my first day in middle school," she twiddled with her fingers as she felt her heartbeat sped up, "Umm, grandma decided to try and let me watch an actual tennis match. T-To test if it could still trigger an attack."

"Oh…" Ryoma muttered as if realizing where she was going.

Her blush intensified. Should she continue?

"And then?" Rinko-san prodded.

Sakuno sweatdropped. "Well ah, in the train on my way to the tournament I got in a situation with a few tennis participants of the tournament and…" she glanced at Ryoma again who was blinking at her innocently, "I umm, it's where I...first met Ryoma-kun, he...saved me from them," she whispered as she looked down her lap.

"Oh! Oh my gosh! Is Ryoma the reason you decided to pursue tennis again!?" Rinko-san exclaimed excitedly as Nanako-san giggled.

"E-Ehh! N-No! N-Not really," Sakuno waved her hand in denial, "A-Although Ryoma-kun did save me t-that day. He ended up not being able to enter the tournament because of me. B-But someone challenged him in a match." She nervously glanced at Ryoma again who was now smirking at her. "T-That's the first tennis match I've watched since the accident."

"Heh, did my match against Sasaki make you decide to play tennis?" Ryoma asked with a raised eyebrow. The smirk on his lips didn't disappear.

"H-His name is Sasabe, Ryoma-kun," she muttered, "A-And...it's not like i-it's the main reason why I l-love tennis...but umm," she fidgeted, "Your Tennis...is amazing. I-It made me remember how great my mom was while playing. And for the first time since the accident, I watched an actual tennis match without experiencing any flashbacks," Sakuno smiled as she remembered how awe-inspiring Ryoma was that day, "All I could feel was the adrenaline and excitement of the match. That time, I decided… I want to play like him." She gazed directly at Ryoma who looked surprised. Then she remembered his family who was watching them intensely. Sakuno shifted her eyes away and giggled nervously.

"Hmm, that's interesting," Nanjiroh-san said, stroking his bearded chin.

"Oh, that's just too cute. You unknowingly helped her overcome something, Ryoma-san," Nanako-san gushed.

Ryoma glanced away and made a gesture of pulling his cap down only to remember he didn't have them. He crossed his arms instead. "Che, that's not a surprise. My tennis is great after all."

Sakuno stared at him in bewilderment as she noticed the tinge of red on the tips of his ears. 'Is Ryoma-kun...shy about this?'

Rinko-san chortled behind her hand as Nanjiroh-san slapped his son's shoulder. "Well done, seishounen," he sang, grinning at Ryoma with a teasing look on his face before he stared at Sakuno.

"Are you interested in learning your mother's techniques?" asked Nanjiroh-san.

Sakuno's eyes widened "I...what do you mean Nanjiroh-san?"

Nanjiroh crossed his arms "Your mother had a lot of amazing techniques. Although I can't really do them myself, since they have a lot of tricky dance-related footsteps, I saw and encountered them enough to know the mechanics. So, what do you say?"

Sakuno gaped at Ryoma's father. 'Did the legendary Samurai just volunteer to supervise my training? If he's also going to include that technique…then...' "R-Really?"

"That's great, Sakuno-chan! You should accept," Nanako-san suddenly exclaimed.

Nanjiroh-san laughed boisterously. "Of course. At least here, if you had a sudden attack, we'll know what to do. Besides, it's the least I can do as a friend to your parents."

"Heh, you better take this seriously old man. The last time you promised to teach Sakuno, you dumped the obligation on me," Ryoma retorted with a smirk, crossing his arms.

Nanjiroh-san stuck his tongue out at his son like a mature adult. "That time, Sakuno-chan was still learning the basics. Now she wants to hold the big guns. I'm the only one who can supervise her aside from the old lady."

"I…" tears gathered in the corner of her eyes, "T-Thank you, Nanjiroh-san. It's an honor," said Sakuno earnestly.

Nanjiroh gave her a rare, gentle smile that morphed into a Cheshire grin. "It's a good way to get acquainted with the family too, Sakuno-chan. After all, you and Ryoma seem to–" Ryoma's foot landed in his father's face, muffling the rest of his words. However, the damage had been done.

"You really don't learn a thing, you stupid old man!" Ryoma said through gritted teeth.

Sakuno's whole face exploded in heat as she stuttered denials. No one seemed to hear her though. Rinko-san and Nanako-san fussed over her while both father and son bickered in the background. She didn't know when her quivering stopped, she hadn't even realized it, but she couldn't be more grateful to Ryoma's family. They just met her, and yet, they treated her like they'd known her for a long time.

"Are you sure you're okay now?" Rinko-san asked for the fifth time as she walked her to the porch. "And do you really not want your grandma to pick you up here?"

"Yes, Rinko-san. Thank you very much for taking care of me," said Sakuno, bowing her head. "Grandma told me she'll be coming home late because she had an important meeting. I don't want to disturb and worry her unnecessarily."

The woman sighed. "If you're really sure then, but you don't need to thank me, Sakuno-chan," Rinko-san smiled, "Since Ryoma mentioned you, I've been eager to meet you. My son is not a very sociable person and he seems to be allergic to girls," she put a hand on her cheek as she frowned worriedly, "I'm actually close to believing he swings the other way around."

Sakuno couldn't help but chuckle nervously. "Umm...that rumor is also circulating around the school."

"Oh my! Then you have to prove that he's straight, right, Sakuno-chan?" the woman said with a gentle smile but the mischievous glint in her eyes gave her away.

Sakuno sputtered. "T-There's nothing wrong with Ryoma-kun, Rinko-san! You d-don't need me to prove anything."

Rinko laughed demurely behind her hand. "Oh, I'm just teasing you."

"And what are you teasing Sakuno-chan about, hmm, Rinko?" Nanjiroh-san suddenly appeared behind the woman and placed his elbow on his wife's shoulder.

"Nothing. It's between us girls." Rinko-san winked at Sakuno, and as if on cue, she felt her cheeks redden.

Someone scoffed and Sakuno saw Ryoma walking behind his father while putting on a jacket.

Sakuno's forehead creased in confusion. "Are you going somewhere, Ryoma-kun?"

He stared at her as if she was asking a stupid question. "Do you really think I'll let you walk home alone after what happened earlier? Besides..." he busied himself with putting on his shoes, "We can't have you wandering around like a lost puppy in the middle of the night."

She pouted. "I can handle myself just fine."

Ryoma straightened and crossed his arms. "Oh really? So which way to your house once you come out of the gate? Left or right?" he asked as if stating a mathematical equation.

Sakuno bit her lower lip as she tried to remember which way they came from earlier. "Umm...left?"

Ryoma gave her a deadpanned look. "Mada mada dane, Sakuno. Stop protesting and follow me."

Feeling dejected, she sighed deeply. "Okay," she grumbled.

She and Ryoma shifted their attention to his family who were busy gazing at the two of them as if watching a soap opera. All they needed was a box of popcorn to complete the imagery.

"We're going," Ryoma muttered as Sakuno bowed to them.

"Thank you for having me," she shyly said, feeling her cheeks heating up.

"Take care, Sakuno-chan," Rinko-san said with a smile, waving a hand at them while Nanjiroh-san grinned beside her.

"Come back soon," said Nanako-san.

Sakuno stated her final farewell before she followed Ryoma out of the gate.

"When are we going to continue the rest of the report?" she asked as Ryoma closed the gate.

"Saturday is fine with me," Ryoma answered.

Sakuno frowned. "Aren't you going to give me a tennis lesson on Saturday?" she confirmed as they started walking.

Ryoma waved his hand dismissively. "I'll teach you in the morning then we'll go to my house to finish our report."

Sakuno nodded. "That's convenient enough."

The conversation ceased and the sound of their footsteps echoed on the pavement, only for Ryoma to break it with an unexpected question.

"If tennis can trigger an attack, why did you still choose to play it? Even going as far as to learn your mother's technique even though it can endanger your health." Ryoma didn't glance at her. He just continued walking with a hand in his pocket as if he hadn't just asked her such a personal question.

Sakuno was taken aback and wasn't able to respond right away. She contemplated her answer, thinking why she kept on fighting and she was surprised when the answer came to her quite easily.

She looked down at her feet. "Ryoma-kun, I've always known I'm weak but...if I...if I surrender myself to this illness and not fight it as hard as I can, then…" she took a deep breath as she felt Ryoma's gaze bore into her, "then I wouldn't feel like living," she said barely above a whisper. "I-I want t-to continue living my life without regret, with my parents' memories beside me. I want to be strong. I want to overcome this with everything I got and be proud of myself for doing so." She looked at him with a smile. "I want to be a better version of myself."

Ryoma didn't say anything, he just continued to gaze at her with an unknown emotion glinting in his eyes. Sakuno was confused. 'What are you thinking, Ryoma-kun?'

Then a small smile appeared on his lips as he stared up at the dark sky. "Heh, I wouldn't have guessed," he put his hands behind his head, "You have a long way to go, Sakuno."

Sakuno closed her eyes as she smiled. "Mm...I'm aware."

"Then you need all the help you can get," Sakuno glanced confusedly at him as he looked at her, "I've got to watch your back too, or you'll end up in a troublesome situation again..." Ryoma smirked, "Klutzy Sakuno."

She pouted. "Mou, meanie Ryoma-kun."

He only raised an eyebrow and she ended up sighing. 'I guess Ryoma-kun is Ryoma-kun. He can't help someone without sounding mean.'

Sakuno closed her eyes and gave him another smile. "Thank you, Ryoma-kun."

"You have to cook more lunch for me as payment," he grumbled.

She hid a giggle behind her hand. "Of course, R-yo-ma-sa-ma," she said with a teasing grin.

Ryoma looked at her, askance. "Don't you dare."

"Yes, Ryoma-sama?" Sakuno innocently replied.

"Sakuno." He was glaring in warning now.

"Hm, what is it, Ryoma-sa–kyaaaa!" Sakuno ran as fast as she could as Ryoma started chasing her, her laughter echoing in the street as he called out to her in annoyance.


Ryoma's eyes snapped open as he gasped for breath. Sweating all over, he could feel his whole body blazing with heat. He clutched his blanket like a vice and took a deep breath to calm his chaotic heartbeat before he ran a hand down his face in frustration. He felt the familiar tightness in his pajama pants that he had become accustomed to waking up to in five consecutive days. Ryoma gritted his teeth.

It was the same dream all over again. A dream consisting of Ryuzaki Sakuno and...naughtiness. Which was getting more and more ridiculous as the days passed by. Sakuno didn't even do anything for him to dream of her like that!

"Damn it!" He angrily trudged towards the bathroom to take a cold shower, looking angrily at the bulge in his shorts. His hand twitched to touch it and relieve himself of the ache, however, masturbating to the thought of Sakuno felt really really wrong, he might end up hating himself and unable to face his friend for the rest of his life.

'No. I just have to think of other thoughts. Like...those questionable things my crazy fangirls put inside my locker. Or that movie my father forced me to watch, what's the title again? Ah, Human Centipede? Uh...yeah that!' Ryoma furrowed his brow, concentrating on the horrific images while the cold water rained down on him until he felt himself relaxing and rid of those stupid dreams.

When he emerged from the bathroom with his usual miserable face, he caught sight of his calendar and remembered that he was supposed to meet Sakuno at 8 am at the park's tennis court. Ryoma sighed, 'he was doing that a lot since the start of this week,' he thought as he went down to the dining area with a mask of indifference, only to pause at the sight of his parents and the two big suitcases beside them in the living room.

"You're up early, seishounen," His father greeted as he grabbed the handles of the suitcases.

Ryoma eyed his parents' attire and sighed. "Where are you guys going this time?"

"We're going to Hokkaido! Nanako-san won a lottery but she said she had to finish her college thesis with her group mates so she gave us the ticket instead. It's good for two," his mom answered with an excited smile.

"And Nanako-san is already out of the house?" Ryoma observed as he dried his hair with a towel.

"You just missed her," his father replied with a bored face, scratching his chest.

"Don't worry, there's food in the ref. Just heat it whenever you like," his mother turned towards his father, "Let's go dear. Take good care of the house, Ryoma."

And they were out of the house in a flash.

"Typical." Ryoma snorted, proceeding to heat his breakfast before he went out to meet Sakuno in the park. When he got there, the girl hadn't arrived yet – as usual. He waited for a few minutes before he saw her running in the distance. Wearing white shorts and a shirt with a red jacket, her tennis bag slung on her shoulder, and their lunchboxes in her hand.

"You're only ten minutes late, that's an improvement," said Ryoma as soon as she reached him, looking at his wristwatch while Sakuno tried to catch her breath.

"I'm sorry, I overslept," she replied, straightening up.

"Hn. Let's start since you already run on the way here," he said, trying his best not to linger on her form. 'Stupid. Ridiculous. Dreams.'

"Alright." Sakuno placed her things beside Ryoma's on the bench near them and made her way to the court with a racket in hand.

He and Sakuno did a few stretches before they started rallying with each other with Ryoma yelling corrections here and there.

Both of them were too absorbed in the game; they hadn't realized it was lunchtime until Ryoma's stomach growled in hunger. Sakuno stopped mid-serve and stared at him. He scowled as she started giggling behind her racket.

"I hadn't...realized the time," he grumbled while Sakuno continued to chuckle.

"Let's go eat then," she induced, barely restraining her laughter.

"Che." Ryoma looked away and headed towards the bench where they left their things.

He and Sakuno ate in silence and relaxed for a while, until they were sure the foods they ate would stay in their stomachs, then they were back to rallying again.

Sweat rolled down Ryoma's face as he ran towards the ball quite far from his reach. He dived on the ground and managed to catch the ball near the edge of his racket and hit it back towards Sakuno who yelped in surprise.

Smirking, Ryoma jumped back on his feet and started running in the middle of the court.

"Mada mada dane, Sakuno," he said as he hit her drop shot that she was barely able to return. Ryoma grinned like the cat that ate the canary. "Drive A!"

"EEEH! Drive A!" Sakuno screeched as the ball hit the ground with a powerful crush, making a decent dent on the cemented floor. She fumed, puffing out her cheeks. "No fair! You used drive A on me!"

Ryoma smirked and placed his racket on his shoulder. "You surprised me with that shot, I've never dived for a ball you hit before. I had to exact my revenge."

Sakuno pouted like a petulant child. "Hmp...still not fair! I didn't even get a single game from you! Mou."

He raised an eyebrow. "You got four points against me. That's an improvement."

"You're going easy on me," she pointed out with a huff.

He opened his mouth to retort something when the slightest sound of thunder interrupted him. Sakuno jolted in surprise and they both looked up and saw the darkening sky. Ryoma immediately walked towards her, knowing her fear of thunder.

"Let's hurry back to my house," he said and Sakuno nodded.

They quickly grabbed their things and walked out of the tennis court in a hurry. As soon as they left the park though, the rain started pouring down mercilessly on them, drenching them from head to toe. Acting on impulse, Ryoma dumped his jacket on top of Sakuno's head.

"E-Eh?" Sakuno looked up at him in confusion.

"Hn. Just run," he retorted, and then they were sprinting down the wet road towards his home.

Ryoma glanced at Sakuno and frowned. He was a bit worried that she would have a sudden attack so he made sure to run near her just in case. Lightning struck and the thunder roared while he was opening the temple's gate and Sakuno screeched while covering her ears. He quickly placed a hand on top of her head and wrapped an arm around her body.

"Calm down. Let's go inside." He patted her head and guided her inside his house.

"Here, take a shower or you'll get sick," Ryoma instructed as he urged her into the bathroom. The sound of the rain was barely heard inside, and thankfully, the thunder was not as intense as last time.

He let her borrow one of his shirts and shorts before he also took a shower in his parents' bathroom. When he got out of the shower wearing a white shirt and black sweat shorts, he noticed that the loud pouring of the rain had subsided. Ryoma exhaled in relief as he sat down on his bed, toweling his hair dry while he petted Karupin.

'Thankfully, Sakuno didn't have a panic attack this time,' he thought while Karupin nudged his furry head against his hand.

Ryoma hadn't realized the consequences of letting Sakuno borrow his clothes until he saw her walk timidly inside his room with a towel on top of her head and her normally braided hair let loose, cascading freely behind her back. His hands slowly ceased all activities as he gazed at his friend who was looking down at her feet.

"Umm...t-thanks for the clothes, Ryoma-kun," she muttered, looking up at him with a cute blush on her cheeks.

His heart was suddenly a circus, with his stomach flipping in acrobatics. All of his dreams about Sakuno came back to the forefront of his mind in full force and he started to feel the heat creeping up his body.


Sakuno's worried but hesitant voice brought him back to reality and he cleared his throat.

"Ah, yeah. I just forgot something in the bathroom. You can continue our report," Ryoma said without looking at her as he quickly walked out of his room – vaguely hearing Sakuno's confused reply – and into his parents' bathroom in seconds.

"This is so stupid!" he quietly growled as he bumped his head on the tiled wall. He washed his face with cold water again and took a few deep breaths to calm himself, trying to think of other things aside from Sakuno.

'Happy thoughts… happy thoughts…' He thought like a prayer in his head, trying to conjure out all the grotesque movies his father made him watch and all of his senpais' stupid antics to get rid of his irritating imagination and dreams about Ryuzaki Sakuno.

Once he was sure that he was calm enough, and there was no sign of him having not-so-innocent thoughts about his friend, he returned to his room.

"Mm, you're back. Can you check this, Ryoma-kun," Sakuno greeted as he closed the door.

"What is it?" Ryoma shoved a hand in his pocket and accepted the paper that Sakuno gave him. "Mm. This is good enough for a presentation," he said after he skimmed through the contents and handed the paper back to her.

"We've already finished the PowerPoint so the only thing we have to do is to study our part of the discussion." Sakuno proceeded to re-read the notes they made as Ryoma sat on his bed.

Letting out a sigh as he tried to focus on the notes. He knew it was no use to feign indifference to Sakuno's presence in his room. Her floral scent already lingered in the air and his rapidly beating heart made it impossible for him to focus on anything but her.

He peaked at her as she mumbled to herself and brushed a lock of auburn hair behind her ears. Her little pink lips bit on her pen as she frowned in concentration. His shirt was too big and his shorts looked cute on her. For some reason, he wanted to take a picture of Sakuno in that attire. Ryoma gulped down the big lump that suddenly formed in his throat as sweat rolled down the side of his face.

'The air conditioner is on. Why is it getting so hot!?' He glanced away from Sakuno and narrowed his eyes on the papers in his hand. 'Damn it, I don't understand a thing!' Ryoma had already memorized everything related to their report a long time ago and he was only pretending to read these materials to divert his attention away from Sakuno but his brain couldn't even process a word on it.

A chair scraping on the floor jolted him out of his thoughts, and Sakuno stood up to grab a book in her bag placed beside his bed while still looking at the papers in her hand. Ryoma was diligently following her with his eyes, that was why he clearly saw Karupin popping out from underneath his bed while rolling a tennis ball on the floor.

"Sakuno!" Ryoma stretched out a hand to warn her but it was too late. Sakuno stepped on the ball and completely lost her balance.


She fell over towards him and he quickly tried to catch her but stepped on Karupin's tail in the process.

"Meoooowwrr!" his cat cried out and Ryoma immediately lost his momentum as he lifted his foot off Karupin's tail in a hurry.

The next thing he knew, he was pushed back on the bed and the wind was knocked out of his chest as Sakuno's weight landed heavily on him, followed by something warm and soft enveloping his lips.

His eyes widened in sync with Sakuno's as he felt his whole body freeze and his mind go blank. His muddled brain registered the scent of strawberry and vanilla surrounding him like a thick fog, along with the small body lying on top of him and Ryoma knew he was a goner.

Her hair tickled the side of his neck while their noses touched. He could feel her breasts pressing intimately against his chest, making tingles crawl up his spine. Ryoma's heart stuttered to a grinding halt before beating so fast, as if he was in the middle of a very intense tennis match. For a second, he forgot to breathe.

Sakuno gasped as her head snapped away from him. "I-I-I'm s-s-so sorry, R-Ryoma-kun!" she placed her hands on his chest as she sprung up, sitting on his lower stomach. "I-It was an accident. I d-d-didn't mean it!" she frantically said, her face was cherry red.

Ryoma clenched his fist as he used his elbows to steady himself and prop his upper body up. The fast beat of his heart was so deafening that he was almost sure Sakuno could hear it.

"Then Sakuno… do you know where you're sitting?" he asked as he stared at her with a hooded gaze. Ryoma could barely recognize his own voice. It was low and dark, filled with barely restrained desire.

He heard Sakuno's sharp intake of breath as she looked down at where she was sitting. "I-I'm s-s-sorry! I'll g-get off now!" she squeaked as she tried to clumsily get off him, pushing on his chest to stand up.

Ryoma's hand shot up to firmly hold her hips before he even realized what he was doing.

"R-R-R-Ryoma-kun!?" Sakuno stuttered with a high-pitched voice.

He didn't answer her. Instead, his eyes slowly traced up from her neck, her jaw, her pink lips that he had been able to taste for a brief moment, up to her pair of amber eyes and her cutely flushed face.

"Run away at the count of three," Ryoma darkly whispered, trying his best to stop himself from doing something drastic. He knew he was close to letting go of all the restraints he had put on himself since he started dreaming of her, but his scrambled brain still managed to think of giving her a chance to stop everything from happening.

Sakuno's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "H-Huh?"

"One." He clenched his jaw. 'Hold it in, damn it!'

"R-Ryoma-kun?" She blinked at him in confusion.

"Two." He slowly moved closer, his eyes never gazing away from hers. 'Run, Sakuno. Push me away!'

"W-Wha-what, what are you doing?" She leaned away from him but her fingers were clenching his shirt so tightly and her breathing was speeding up. "R-Ryoma...kun?" He slid a hand on her right cheek, his fingers brushing her hair.

Sakuno's eyes widened as her ears and cheeks reddened and her lips parted a little. Right this moment, one thing was certain for Ryoma: she still hadn't pushed him away or stopped him from going closer.

"Three," he said gruffly, his own breathing becoming unsteady too.

"Wha–" Ryoma pulled Sakuno flushed against him as their faces became inches apart. Her breath hitched and the hands holding onto his shirt quivered until their noses brushed, and finally; their lips touched.

Reality definitely felt different from his dreams. No, his dreams failed to give justice to how kissing Sakuno really felt like. Her scent, her small body pressing against his, her hands that were clutching his shirt as if begging him not to disappear, the feel of her slightly damp hair between his fingers, the taste of her breath, and most importantly, the fluttering feeling of her soft lips pressing against him.

Ryoma wanted to feel her more, to explore this newly discovered sensation with Sakuno. However, they were both still hesitant, uncertain of how to move forward. Ryoma had never done anything like this before, and he doubted Sakuno had.

She gasped, and Ryoma took advantage of that moment to deepen the kiss. He wrapped an arm around her waist and tilted her head to the side to kiss her more comfortably, moving his lips slowly against hers, testing the waters. He didn't know what he was doing. He was only following his instinct; but somehow, this felt right.

"R-Ryo…ma… " Sakuno whispered as she timidly responded to the kiss, moving her lips cautiously against his as if wondering whether she was doing everything right. It was somewhat amusing for some reason that he couldn't help but bite her lower lip.

"Ah!" Ryoma released her lips, opening his eyes to see her reaction. He didn't even remember closing them.

"Hah…" She was breathing heavily, looking so flustered as she gazed at him with hazy eyes.

What surprised him though, were the emotions in her eyes. They showed uncertainty, confusion, a tad bit of curiosity, and most importantly; it was filled with…barely restrained desire and anticipation. He had never seen such a look on innocent Ryuzaki Sakuno's face except for in his dreams.

Ryoma's eyes narrowed as he pushed her on the bed, hovering on top of her while he trapped her hands beside her head. "Sakuno."

"Y-Yes?" she yelped in surprise, looking absolutely embarrassed.

'Cute…' he couldn't help but think as he leaned forward to capture her lips once again, kissing her much more aggressively while she tried to mimic his movements. Ryoma didn't know Sakuno's real feelings towards him but he couldn't help but feel relieved that she was trying to respond to his kisses instead of pushing him away. Her shy movements were actually sparking more fire to his desires, making him hungry for more.

Suddenly, he felt an impulse to know what she really tasted like and immediately stuck out his tongue to lick her lips and Sakuno opened her mouth with a gasp, and before he could think about it more, he had already inserted his tongue inside her mouth as if it was the natural thing to do, meeting her hot tongue for the first time.

He knew nothing about kissing or the technicalities of it but as soon as their tongues touched and he felt her graze his as she tried to retract her tongue out of surprise; heat started pooling at the pit of his stomach as bolts of electricity shot up his spine.

'This… this feels so damn good,' he thought as he started flicking his tongue experimentally against hers. A pleasure-filled sound came out of Sakuno's throat as Ryoma twirled his tongue around, coaxing her to mimic him. Soon, she was carefully responding to him, pulling his body more firmly towards her. He caressed her leg down to her knee, pulling it up against his thigh to part her legs, and placed a knee in between them. He continued brushing his fingers down her ankle and back up her thigh, feeling the goosebumps running up and down her skin.

The squelching sound of their tongues meeting echoed around the room, arousing him more as he recognized the sweet taste of the strawberry flavored Ponta she drank earlier. Ryoma couldn't help but suck her tongue to get more of that taste.

"Ah!" Sakuno wrapped her arms around his neck, gripping his hair tighter while her hips bucked against his leg while he continued to explore and caress the crevices of her mouth.

"Mm… Nng...a-ah!" Sakuno continued to let out cute noises, and Ryoma felt like he was going to lose his mind. Who knew Sakuno could actually sound so… so…

"Ryo...ma...mph!" She intertwined their fingers, and he finally realized that he was out of breath.

"Hah!" Ryoma panted as he moved away, leaving a string of saliva connecting them. They gazed unabashedly at each other as they breathed heavily, taking every gulp of air they needed before they were back to kissing in seconds, not even knowing who moved first.

He let go of her hands to touch her waist, running his hand up and down her sides. Sakuno combed her fingers through his hair as she shyly caressed his back.

"Sak-kuno," he rasped while the movement of their lips became more urgent and frantic, and soon, Ryoma's tongue was back inside her mouth again. Her voice echoed in his ears as she squirmed and started grinding her hips against his knee.

"Mnn… Hah! Ryoma-k-kun..." His fingers stroked her cheeks with his thumb as Sakuno's hand slid up his clothed chest.

"Nn...Sak… " His hand seemed to have a mind of its own as it started to brush her clothed belly and slowly moved his fingers inside her borrowed shirt to feel her heated skin.

Ryoma opened his eyes slightly to look at Sakuno in surprise as he felt her hot palm also wander inside his shirt and stroke his spine in a timid manner, scraping her nails against his skin in the process. Inexplicable jolts of pleasure shot up his body and he swore he felt them right to the tips of his toes. He let go of her lips and watched as she opened her eyes in curiosity.

"R-Ryoma-kun?" she asked, looking embarrassed and uncertain, but her eyes were shining in wonder as if asking for more. Slowly, a smirk curled up his lips.

"How bold," Ryoma commented, gazing in amusement as Sakuno's whole face exploded in red.

"I-I… " Ryoma cut her off with another kiss and she immediately responded, making him more excited when her hand moved to his abdomen, her warm palm heating up his skin even more while she wrapped an arm around his neck. He shivered in delight.

'I'm not the only one…' he realized as his hand brushed her flat stomach, moving up inch by inch until he stopped at the feel of her bra. Ryoma's mind ran a mile when he finally registered what he was doing. He slowly moved away to gaze at her eyes as he carefully traced a finger on the line of her bra, wordlessly asking whether they should continue or not.

Ryoma was giving Sakuno a chance to realize what was really happening now. They were both in a completely dangerous situation and his mind was screaming at him to stop, that he shouldn't be doing this to his friend; to Ryuzaki Sakuno of all people!

He knew there was a line that shouldn't be crossed. They were not in a relationship; both of them weren't even aware of each other's real feelings. Hell, Ryoma was still confused about his own feelings! However, for some reason, he couldn't stop. His mind was trying to reason with him, but his body wouldn't listen.

Ryoma was suddenly snapped out of his thoughts when he felt both of Sakuno's hands grasping his wrist. His fingers immediately stopped moving and he clenched his jaw. She was staring straight up at him as she bit her lower lip.

Ryoma used his other hand to caress her cheek. It's okay, he understood. He immediately accepted Sakuno's decision and was about to get off of her when she lifted his hand and guided him to touch her breast.

His eyes grew in size as his mind registered the texture of her bra and the very, very soft thing that he was touching. Sakuno diverted her gaze to the side and shut her eyes tight as he felt her fingers tremble against his wrist.

Ryoma's heart started pounding erratically inside his chest, feeling his logical thinking brutally kicked out of his system. Slowly and hesitantly, his hand squeezed the softness that he was touching, feeling the electricity running up from his fingertips and all over his body and successfully crushing the remaining uncertainty he had.

Sakuno gasped as he carefully massaged her breast, feeling his whole face exploding in heat. 'I can't believe this is happening. It's… it's so soft–'

"Ah!" She squirmed and slowly opened an eye to look at him. Ryoma didn't know what expression he had on his face, but he was sure that it was definitely not his normal one.

"Damn it," he groaned and captured her lips in a searing kiss as he pressed his leg more against her warmth and took notice of how damp her underwear felt against his leg while also painfully aware of how hard he had become since they started kissing.

"Ohh...!" Sakuno slapped a hand on her mouth when a particularly loud moan escaped her lips and Ryoma frowned, removing her hand away from her mouth.

"Don't," he commanded in a low voice as he kneaded her clothed breast.

"N-No… I–" Ryoma leaned towards her neck, leaving butterfly kisses up to her earlobe before he stuck out his tongue and licked her skin. Sakuno gasped and moaned more, not hesitating to let her voice out now. She panted like she had run a marathon as his other hand cupped her neglected breast and squeezed a bit harder.

"Ah, R-Ryoma-kun… b-be gentle," she gasped, gripping his shoulder tighter while her other hand held onto his neck for dear life. He gripped the sheets beside her head to ground himself as his blood boiled from all the touches and kisses they were doing.

"Nn...sorry," Ryoma mumbled, kissing her neck in apology before he moved down to her collarbone and bit a patch of skin and started sucking vigorously.

She whined louder, squirming restlessly underneath him. He growled low as he felt her move her hips against his knee while his hand continued to massage her breast. Then he was back to her lips, playing with her tongue as he slowly tried to remove her bra—

"Ryoma-san, Sakuno-chan! Are you still studying? I brought pizza!"

Ryoma felt like a bucket of ice was dumped on his head as his and Sakuno's eyes snapped open in surprise.

"Ryoma-san, Sakuno-chan?!"

The both of them sprung away from each other and frantically tried to fix themselves.

"W-We're coming down, Nanako-nee!" Ryoma replied in panic, afraid that his cousin would come up the stairs and knock on his door. It was also then he remembered that the door to his room wasn't even locked! He ran a hand to his face and belatedly realized that Sakuno had grabbed all her stuff and bolted out of his room.

"Wait, Sakuno!" Ryoma immediately grabbed his jacket and ran after her, wearing and zipping it to hide his boner. All he could think of was Sakuno running away from him right now. He managed to catch up with her when she paused as she came down the first floor. His cousin Nanako looked at them curiously from the sofa, a slice of pizza in her hand.

"Sakuno-chan? Why are you and Ryoma-san running down the stairs?" Nanako asked as she stood up and walked towards them.

"I-I just remembered that my grandma sent me on an errand so I have to go," Sakuno frantically bowed. "Thank you for having me!" And then she was running again.

"Wait, Sakuno. Stop!" Ryoma stretched out a hand to grab her arm but Nanako placed a hand on his shoulder to stop him.

"Ryoma-san, I don't know what's happening but from the look on Sakuno-chan's face, I think she needs time for herself. You don't look good yourself. Your face is red, what's going on?"

Ryoma clenched his fist and bit the inside of his cheek in frustration.

"Ryoma-san, did you and Sakuno-chan have a fight?" Nanako asked in concern.

Ryoma felt the tips of his ears burn and he removed Nanako's hand on his shoulder.

"Nothing. I'll talk to her tomorrow," he replied through gritted teeth as he stalked back up the stairs and to his room. Burying his face on his pillow and groaning when his nose was invaded by Sakuno's smell. Ryoma also felt his fucking boner, which was thankfully unnoticed by Nanako-nee since his jacket hid it well.

"Damn it, what have I done?" he grabbed a handful of his hair and tugged hard.

He shifted to lay on his back and looked up at the ceiling before he put an arm on top of his closed eyes, gritting his teeth in frustration. He walked to the bathroom to take a very cold shower and he smacked his forehead on the tiled wall. His emotions were in chaos. He didn't know what he was feeling. Was he frustrated because Nanako disturbed them, or was he frustrated with himself for touching Sakuno?

"But she let me touch her," he said to himself, remembering how many times he gave Sakuno the chance to stop and push him away from her. Then his mind flashed through the whole thing that happened earlier. The kiss and… those touches.

He stared at his hand as the cold water from the shower continued to rain down on him. 'Earlier, I touched Sakuno with this hand.' Ryoma felt his face blaze and he immediately smacked his face.

'This is not the time for that!'

"What am I going to do now?" He exhaled, tilting his head up and letting the water rain down his face for a few seconds before he turned it off. "I'm the worst."

How was he going to face Sakuno again? What would he say?

"Idiot," he mumbled to himself. What was he even thinking?! Why did he kiss Sakuno? Why did he…touch her like that? Was he such a pervert to do that to his only female friend? He was so so stupid!

'Can we still be friends again after all of this?'

To be Continued….

A/N: *Hides behind rocks* It's my first time writing this kind of content. I can say it's an experiment of some sort. I'll try to improve it coz things are going hot starting here so umm, if anyone's not comfortable with that, feel free to stop reading from here. *scratch head* Anyways, I wanna know your thoughts guys.

BTW I FORGOT! Who among you guys is willing to make a discord group for us? Sometimes I want to talk with my readers whenever I'm in the process of writing a chapter and it motivates me to write longer chapters. Usually I reread the comment section but I figured it will be much more fun if we have a discord group for One Touch and Your Mine. Here's my discord account if someone decided to make a group, add me and I'll post an announcement here! Discord: SyrinxSilenus#1714

Mistress peverell, o0CrimsonsDragon0o, Black angel in love, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP! You helped editting this chapter even though POT is not your fandom, I can't thank you enough!


Juls: Thank you so much! I'm trying my very best to maintain their personalities because I as a reader can't stomach reading fanfics with ooc characters so I'm so happy I'm doing good so far. I know it's been ages but I hope you enjoy this chapter!

chumchum94: Haha he'll be dreaming about more from now on. He's a healthy teenage boy after all! Sorry for the cliphanger, I know I'm evil. *giggles*

Notamy: Hello! Welcome aboard! I know what you mean! I probably read ALL of the Ryosaku fanfic in ffnet and all other sites just to satisfy my thirst for more but ended up looking for more. The sad part, almost all of the good ones are left abandoned! T_T. My frustrations made me write my own and I'm not really a romance writer, I just thought that I should try because I'm curious about this and that, and now, here I am. HAHA. I'm so happy whenever I satisfy my co-Ryosaku fans coz I definitely understand the thirst for more. There are not much Ryosaku fics these days. Well, umm, there will be physical, but of course, it'll tackle their real feelings and TENNIS, so I hope you'll still enjoy this. AND that teaser, I'm so planning to post that but not until I finished One Touch or Your Mine so you guys have to be patient with me, but I'm glad you like it!

animeflunky: Thank you! Most of the fics I read, Sakuno falls in love, we all know that. She was caught by our arrogant prince from the first episode. But what I was curious about before I started writing this is, how can Ryoma's feelings started. When? And how are his struggles in dealing with it coz we all know he's a stubborn brat until he realizes that he had fallen hard. And of course, what I'm so curious about is how Ryoma deals with growing needs as teens since it all be too new to him. Especially since he was disgusted by his father's mischievous personality. So I'm glad I'm not the only one who's enjoying Ryoma's struggles with his feelings.

Gracedashes: Nice to meet you too! Thank you for loving my story. I actually only plan to write in Sakuno's POV coz I'm not confident that I can do Ryoma's personality justice, but these days, I'm enjoying writing everything in his POV than Sakuno's hehe. Woppss! You bet it will all be heated from here hahah. Hope you enjoy!

Guest: Thank you! I know, I also think the fandom is dying so it's a delight to know that there are still fans out there! And nailing their personalities is an achievement for me, yey! Hope you like this chapter.

yumichan . ryosaku: Hello! You're welcome, dear! And thank you for waiting so patiently, I'm so happy you enjoyed it so far. We are all excited with this stubborn brat's realization, haha! About the chapters, I'm not sure. Maybe 10 chapters or it could be more. But it won't be more than 20+. I will definitely publish that teaser don't worry, I just got to finish One Touch or Your Mine. Happy readings!

YreSu: Oooh we are all excited! Hmm, I have thoughts with that, Ryoma will have a stroke hahahha! let's see ^_ We are all waiting for that moment, Ryoma panicking because of Sakuno is always a treat! Yep, a lot of us are waiting for that. I also want to publish it but time is really cruel, I need to finish one of my ongoing stories first. But I will publish it!

neko-alme: Neko-chan! I'm soooo glad you like it. And I'm also still waiting for your story! *EHEM* We all love cute Ryoma while he still tries to be a nonchalant brat but failing so horribly because of Sakuno hahahah. Woops, I hope it's not too early for the steamy part, this is not a long story after all ^_^ Yep, definitely agreed on that part. I've searched the internet thoroughly for that just to get inspiration! Sadly, all of them are abandon *sad puppy whine* Thank you for reading!

eccentryssa1: Hello, I also love writing in his POV. He's such a cute boy when he's in love and still denying the obvious. Thank you, glad you like it! Hope this one did not disappoint!

xorku . bork: Yey! I'm happy I excite you with my humble writings. I'm always worried if I got their personalities right so it's such a relief whenever readers pointed out that I got them right! Yep, 2021 is tough on us, we need some stress relief! Ooofff! I'm so laaaate. I watched POT on TV when I was in grade school but I can't even remember all the characters! So I was soooo late with this OTP but I will try my best to catch up with all the excitement *giggles* I will continue that, just need to finish my other ongoing stories. ^_^

Meruru-Chan: You're welcome dear! I'm not abandoning any of my stories don't worry. I'm not going to do that to my fave pairings and I will do my very best to finish this. I'm glad you like it so far, we are all giddy about Ryoma's feelings. HAHA Hope you like this chapter!

ryochi24: Hello dear, I am definitely gonna finish this! And yep, me too hopes to finish this haha. I'm happy you like it!

Sairentorida: Ooooh, who's that? I'm not really good at naming my Ocs *scratch head*

vanene10: HEEEEY! Sorry for the cliffhanger, we all hate that as a reader and writers are evil for still doing so MUAAHAHHA. Thanks for loving it, and hope you like this chapter too!

Lee7anna: Yeey! We all crave for this! I'm so happy you think so, and of course, I'll continue updating it. Ohemgie thank you! You flatter me. Hope you like this chapter too!

Guest: Thank youuuu! That's a treeeeaaat! Thank you for liking my stories!

Kitani: Aww dear, you don't know how much your comment made me happy and inspire half of this chapter to finish! Your welcome, I can relate to that. I'm also craving for Ryosaku stories. Yep, that's my aim since the manga will be taking forever to get there. True, true, yep, agreed to that, especially his feelings for Sakuno. He treats her differently from the get-go compare to how he treats Tomoka and his other female classmate which make us curioousss. The anime did not do justice to our dear Skauno that's why many hated and found her annoying at the start. We are all enjoying this cute awkward Ryoma who's in denial HAHAH! I really love Ryoma's moments with his family especially since they're all simping over Sakuno. I love developing Sakuno, I wan't to explore her character more along with Ryoma, I'm not really fond of weak mc that's why I'm trying to make Sakuno stronger. Wops, that made me nervous, I hope I did not disappoint. THANK YOU!

123hfyb: Thank you dear!

Iris Irine: (I'm combining my reply to your two comments here) Hello, thank you, I'm glad you're enjoying the ride. Thank youuuu so happy everyone appreciate the development of their feelings, especially Ryoma. I'm happy you liked the teaser, I'm going to post that in the future after I finish one of my ongoing stories. I look forward to your thoughts and comments in the future too. P.S I'm happy about that too, I don't want the fandom to disappear. I also love the Echizens moments haha. Oooh I enjoyed writing their interactions too, I sooo love Nanjiroh because he always managed to poke fun of Ryoma and destroy his composure. Hope you like this chapter!