Title: Turning the Corners Upward
Pairing/s: Echizen Ryoma/Ryuzaki Sakuno
Summary: I forgot the reason why I was so fascinated by him. I forgot my intentions as I followed him around, fawned over his overly great tennis skills and took my time to even make him food. I blushed, I stammered and I tripped, making my name rhyme with klutz and ditz in his brain, probably.
Notes: Written for iu_fanfiction WC 41 || prompt: The way you laugh
Turning the Corners Upward
There had always been a hidden charm about him. A characteristic that I found endearing the moment I met him on that train, the white cap shielding his eyes as he droned a remark about gripping that I didn’t understand. I watched—in curiosity as well as fascination—as his words made those older guys grit their teeth, the hairs on the back of their necks bristling like an angered dog’s. I never truly got to hear those words. In fact, I barely heard his voice. It was the way he slouched and the way he spoke that caught my attention, only to be smothered by the overwhelming force of gratitude since I have been at the receiving end of the racket during that one ride.
And since then, I forgot.
I forgot the reason why I was so fascinated by him. I forgot my intentions as I followed him around, fawned over his overly great tennis skills and took my time to even make him food. I blushed, I stammered and I tripped, making my name rhyme with klutz and ditz in his brain, probably.
Yet as the years passed, I still searched for that hidden charm. I never strayed from being by his side, even ditching a few classes just to watch him play by the courts. My grandmother often told me that I should not make that a habit and yet….I couldn’t. I was looking for something—a fickle of a shadow that I haven’t even realized within myself. Yet I was sure…sure that I saw it on that train.
It wasn’t only him, though. I walked through the subways far more than I should have, retracing my steps, sitting on the same cart and the same seat, imagining what I could’ve missed on that interaction. My mind played the same scene, over and over and over; but nothing. I watched him play and watched his opponents as well, aching to know that hidden charm that only I harbored for him, only I was able to witness but was too stupid to forget it.
And now I run. I run with the bag wrapped tightly around my chest, panting as I go. I run with all the strength my legs can muster, all the breath my lungs can hold, all the determination my heart can contain.
And I thought I was.
And he was there, standing with a Ponta in his hand, a cap on his head, a jacket on his shoulders. It was as if we were on the same train once again, nothing changing except for that flash of recognition in his eyes and the flash of happiness in my own. And as I walk and hand him the parting gifts my measly 500 yen can afford, I watched.
And I knew.
I stood by the huge window that viewed the hangar, watching as the plane for America departed. I watched as the regulars did, not even trying to hide the small smile that crept on my lips, even in the midst of his departure.
For I have known what I had forgotten. I had realized that hidden charm that had drawn me in the first place, held me to him and would eventually make me fall in love with him.
It was the way he smiled. A smile…that only I was able to see.
And as my grandmother led me outside the airport, I realized another goal I had in mind. A goal not far from the one I just accomplished, a goal that would push me into his arms further, rendering me utterly and completely his.
I would love to see it, Ryoma-kun, I vowed. The way you laugh.