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The Power of Gossip - Chapter 11

Title: The Power of Gossip
Rating: T
SummaryIn Tezuka’s defence, it had been a moment of panic at the end of a very stressful day. Now everyone thinks he and Ryoma are dating.
Author’s Notes:  Not really happy with how this chapter came out, but spending more time on it probably won't make a difference.  Also, be aware of cliffhangers hereafter!  Whee!

Chapter One - One White Lie
Chapter Two - This Is How Rumours Get Started
Chapter Three - Dropping Pennies
Chapter Four - Resisting the Forces of Chance
Chapter Five - Over-thinking Things
Chapter Six - Discussing Rumours
Chapter Seven - Reading Between the Lines
Chapter Eight - Outside the Comfort Zone
Chapter Nine - Realising the Obvious

Chapter Ten - Resisting Temptation

********************************
 
The Power of Gossip
 
Chapter 11 – Avoiding the Issue
 
By Sinnatious
 
********************************
 
Ever since coming to realization that his much vaunted self-control and patience were not, in fact, all that they were cracked up to be, Tezuka had found himself doing everything he could do avoid his roommate. He spent the next few days occupying himself with helping the Golden Pair train or wandering the town by himself or with Kawamura.  This particular pattern of activities was rather advantageous in avoiding any face-time with the other tennis pro, who was alternating between his own training, doing drills with the Golden Pair, or having his attention monopolized by Momoshiro.  Since he always woke up and left the room before his companion even stirred, that limited the contact they had to mealtimes and the few minutes before they went to bed.  And it was easy enough to sit at the other end of the table during meals.

Even so, the problem was continuing to get worse, and Tezuka still hadn't figured out what he was supposed to do about it.  He knew that he wanted to do something about it, certainly, and his imagination was continually cooking up more and more detailed - though utterly ridiculous - scenarios of various things he'd like to be doing about it, but what the actual proper course of action was he had no idea.  The problem really lay with Echizen.  He just had no clue as to how his colleague would react.  Logically, one could easily come to conclusion that there had to be some mutuality to the feeling, given the difference in how Echizen treated him compared to everyone else.  But at the same time, Tezuka was worried that if he did confess and the young pro didn't share his emotions, it might destroy a cherished friendship and that hard-earned respect. One just didn't throw Echizen's respect away.  You could probably count on the fingers of one hand how many people he granted it to.

Because of this turmoil within him, Tezuka was having trouble even meeting the other boy's gaze now, paranoid that those sharp eyes would be able to see straight through to his impure thoughts.  So he avoided locking with that hazel stare whenever possible, even though his gaze inevitably floated back whenever the teen wasn't looking.

The preliminary rounds for the tournament started on the weekend, and Tezuka attended a few of the more notable singles matches, and of course, all of the Golden Pair's games.  His efforts at keeping a respectable distance from Echizen while sorting out his thoughts were a little less successful here, as everyone tended to sit together and the other pro almost invariably wounded up sitting next to him.  It took a mammoth effort from Tezuka to keep his eyes forward on the games while simultaneously resisting the urge to take Echizen's hand, half from the craving to feel that contact and half out of a desire to gauge his reaction.  It was something he could maybe try later in the week, he bargained with himself, when there wasn't so much of the holiday left to go.  That way if Echizen responded badly, things wouldn't be awkward for as long.  Well, any MORE awkward than they already were.  For Tezuka.  Echizen seemed blissfully ignorant of the silent torment his roommate was going through, and Tezuka had every intention of it staying that way.

Even so, it was hard whenever the nineteen year-old tried talking to him - Tezuka didn't trust his own voice anymore, so his responses on even the relatively safe topic of tennis were short and clipped.  It didn't help that Fuji's amused glances and Inui's endless notebook scribbling continually fuelled his paranoia.  He had briefly considered asking Fuji for help, seeing as his shrewd friend was apparently already quite aware of the situation, but his one attempt at broaching the subject had been easily sidestepped, and Tezuka was far too embarrassed to bruise his pride by trying again.  It was a private matter anyway.  Too many people were involved as it was.

Why did his life have to become so complicated?  Up until a few weeks ago, it hadn't been much more than tennis.  You couldn't get much simpler than that.  Now everything had been thrown into disarray.

If it had been a stranger, someone whom he didn't respect or share a good friendship with, it would be easy and he'd know exactly what to do.  If it had been a girl, he would have known what to do.  Heck, if it had been anyone OTHER THAN ECHIZEN there wouldn't be any problem at all.  Even if he'd suddenly developed a crush on one of his other friends, it would have been easy to figure out whether the feelings were mutual or not - from either observation or a few careful questions - and even if he'd been wrong it would have been simple enough to smooth things over with the right words.  But no, he had to go and fall for the one tennis player on the circuit that defied nearly every social norm. Coming to terms with his own sexuality was hard enough without Echizen thrown into the mix.
 
All the same, he thought he was handling the situation as well as could be expected, and while he wasn’t really sleeping very well at night – terrified of temptation – he was managing to function normally; at least, whenever the object of his affections wasn’t present. His friends must have known him better than he thought, though, because after Oishi and Eiji made it through the preliminaries, his oldest friend had quietly coerced him into another private lunch.
 
“So, Tezuka…,” Oishi started as they sat down at the diner they’d been frequenting regularly throughout their stay. “How are things going?”
 
“Quite well. And yourself? You’ve been in top form in your matches so far.”
 
“Yes, things are going good, hopefully we can keep up the pace,” Oishi agreed, almost dismissively, before leaning in. “Actually, I arranged this lunch today because I’ve been meaning to talk to you.”
 
That had been obvious, but from his friend’s tone, he started to suspect that he was the one Oishi wanted to talk about, rather than someone else.  There was no getting out of it – Oishi could be almost as stubborn as Echizen if he thought someone had a problem. “What about?”
 
“You and Echizen.”
 
He might have guessed. It seemed like everything revolved around Echizen these days. 
 
“What about us?”
 
"Well... the two of you have been acting a bit different while we've been on holidays," Oishi addressed him in a hushed voice.  "I thought maybe... you know... you seem to feel uncomfortable with us knowing about… it."

Tezuka didn't respond to that.  He didn't really know how to, anymore.  A week ago, this would have been where he would have cut in and tried to convince Oishi yet again that it had all been a big misunderstanding in the first place, but things had since changed. 

"I mean," Oishi barrelled on, "I told the others to not bug you with questions or tease you guys too much, and they have been trying... even Inui's been pretty well behaved as far as I know..."

"You have nothing to apologise for, Oishi," he interrupted, when it became apparent that the doubles player was about to get on a roll.  "In fact, thank you for that."  When he thought about it, his friends really had given them a lot more space over the issue than he'd expected.  During Momoshiro’s stint of dating Tachibana's sister back in junior high, the catcalls and gossiping had been almost non-stop.  Granted, they were adults now, but Tezuka suspected that age hadn't changed most of them that much.  In fact, after the initially flurry of excitement, they'd all been rather careful about minding their own business outside of the odd comment here and there - except for Fuji, of course, which was odd when you considered the fact that the meddler was apparently the only one aware of the true situation.  Well, not so odd, when you also considered that his friend had turned matchmaking into a hobby during their high school years.  It seemed as though Fuji had recognised what was really going on before even he himself did.  "It has made things easier," he added after an extended pause.

"Oh, really?  Because I know Eiji can't help himself sometimes, and when Taka gets a racket-"

"It's fine, Oishi.  You really don't have anything to apologise for."

"Um, okay then.  But... well... you and Echizen aren't REALLY having problems, are you?  I asked when we ate lunch last week, but before you could explain..."

At that moment, Tezuka was sorely tempted to confide everything in the man he probably considered to be his closest and oldest friend.  Just to have someone listen, who he could trust to keep a secret and not to meddle and just generally be a sympathetic ear.  But he couldn't.  Not right then.  It would be unfair.  He could already picture Oishi freaking out over the fact that he'd exacerbated the issue by getting them a room with a single bed.

"You should just concentrate on your tournament, Oishi," he said firmly.  "You and Eiji have been performing well in the preliminaries, but it's only going to get harder here on in.  Don't get careless."

"But Tezuka-"
 
How exactly had he ever become friends with such a mother-hen sometimes mystified Tezuka, before he remembered the mother-hen tendency was probably what drew Oishi to him in the first place.   "Nothing has changed between Echizen and I."  It was technically true, anyway.  "You just worry about this tournament."

Oishi looked doubtful.  "Even though you say that, things feel like they’ve been a bit strained... Oh, is it the press you’re worried about?”
 
The press. He’d almost forgotten about them, actually. After speaking with Shiba, he'd been worried about scandalous articles in all of the tabloids and tennis magazines, but all he'd seen when the regular run of weeklies had come out two days before had been one or two small asides in the rumour columns.  There were three possibilities as to why this was.  The first was that neither he nor Ryoma were quite as popular or famous as others made them out to be – which was true when they were overseas.  The second was that the tabloid writers were exercising a rare display of sensitivity and journalistic integrity and not publishing mere rumour based on third or fourth hand sources alone.  The third possibility was that Inui had something to do with it.  He didn't know what, but experience had taught him to always consider Inui an option.  When you had friends who liked to control information as much as Inui did, you couldn't rule them out of ANY scenario.
 
Still, Oishi had given him an out. “I suppose the press has been something of a concern. Echizen isn’t worried about it, though, so I shouldn’t be either.” 
 
“Echizen has the right idea. You have nothing to be ashamed of,” Oishi stated firmly. 
 
“I’m not- I’m just shy, is all,” he finally settled. Another half-lie.
 
His friend’s face broke into a soft grin. “Tezuka, you haven’t really changed, have you? I guess if your relationship is still new… Don’t worry about it. You’ll get used to it. We’ll help.”
 
What?
 
“Oishi, that’s not really necess-”
 
“Oh, here I am interrogating you and making us late! Look at the time! We’d better head back to the others!” His friend abruptly stood from the table, waving frantically for the bill. 
 
The diner was only a short walk from the hotel, so they didn’t get a chance to talk on the way back, though Tezuka was privately filled with dread over what Oishi’s conclusion had been. 
 
“Ah, you’re back,” Fuji greeted. Everyone had gathered on the footpath outside of the hotel. “Just in time. The movie starts soon.”
 
“The movie?” Tezuka asked.
 
“That’s right, you weren’t there when we were planning it this morning,” Fuji recalled, though his friend’s sly look implied that he knew exactly why he’d been absent – he’d taken yet another a long morning jog to avoid Echizen after waking up from yet another vividly intimate dream. “There’s an action film that just premiered at the cinema nearby. We thought we’d go see it if the match this morning finished in time.”
 
“Ah, in that case, I was planning on-”
 
“You should come, Tezuka,” Oishi interrupted pointedly, though he wore a sunny smile on his face. “You’ve been spending far too much time on your own this holiday. Who knows when we’ll all next have the chance to hang out like this again?”
 
When his friend put it like that, it was impossible to refuse. “Very well then.”
 
He should have known better. 
 
The cinema was about a twenty minute walk from the hotel, and was actually rather small – it was somewhat old and dingy, ringed with lights, and thus was probably a theatre that had been converted once stage shows were no longer so popular. The foyer was surprisingly large, though, with the ticket booth off to one side and the candy bar sequestered away on the other end of the building with rope set up for long lines.
 
Almost as soon as they’d entered the building, money was shoved into his hands. “Tezuka, could you and Echizen go buy the tickets? We’re going to hit the candy bar,” Oishi asked, nudging him vaguely in the direction of the ticket booth. 
 
“I don’t know what the movie-” Oishi was gone before he could finish his reply. 
 
“Don’t worry, buchou, I know which session they want to go to,” Echizen assured him.
 
It was tempting to just given the money to the younger tennis pro and find some excuse to put that safe distance back between them, but it would be unspeakably rude to do so. So they stood in line in awkward silence. Awkward for him, anyway. Echizen seemed to be enjoying himself, at least, though only a practiced eye would be able to discern the ghost of a smirk hovering on the teen’s lips that signified the difference between boredom and contentment. For a moment, Tezuka felt proud that he was able to read the other man’s emotions that well, then a second later guilty for the exact same reason.
 
Once they’d purchased the tickets, he thought he was in the clear, but his friends had somehow artfully arranged for him to sit next to Echizen in the theatre, despite his deliberate efforts to avoid that end when they had been filing in to the seats. For his part, the young pro didn’t do anything other than wordlessly offer him some popcorn which Fuji had pressed into his hands to share. He declined, having read far too many cliché encounters of brushing hands in movie theatres to risk it.
 
It might have been okay after that if the movie had been good enough to hold his attention, but the plot was predictable and the characters woefully two-dimensional. So inevitably, he spent the entire movie being far too conscious of the person sitting in the seat next to him. In all honesty, it was more fun to watch the light from the movie screen create dancing patterns across Echizen’s face, but Tezuka had to constantly tear his gaze away, worried that he’d be caught staring. The teen’s elbow was resting on the armrest, too, and due to the small size of the seats, would brush against Tezuka’s arm every time he moved. So most of the movie was spent sitting as still as possible in a slightly awkward position that minimized all possible contact.
 
It wasn’t that he disliked the contact; it was more that even slight brushes had the horrible tendency to turn his mind blank. His physical reactions to even brief encounters with Echizen were becoming almost hair-trigger, hence his increasingly desperate attempts to avoid the other pro at all costs. He didn’t like the feeling that he was losing control of his own body, but when jolts of electricity seemed to surge through him from even casual skin contact, he had to admit that his hormones were winning the battle, and the only way to stay ahead was to avoid the temptation in the first place.
 
Which was somewhat more difficult when you were trapped with said temptation in a dark movie theatre for two hours. 
 
Finally, the credits started rolling, and he could get away. He’d walked slightly ahead of the group in his haste to escape, and now waited for them at the street entrance as they spilled from the theatre. 
 
“That certainly did not fall within the average of the reviews,” Inui remarked.
 
“It was so boring!” Eiji complained. “There were only a couple of good fight scenes! I thought you said it was good, Fuji!”
 
“Guess I was wrong.” Though that smile seemed to suggest that movie was exactly what Fuji had thought it would be. The man’s taste in entertainment was almost as off-kilter as his taste in foods, apparently.
 
“What now?” Momo asked.
 
“I could use some fresh air,” Oishi said cheerfully, “Why don’t we go to the park?” 
 
It wasn’t as though professional tennis players didn’t already get a lot of fresh air, but everyone seemed to like the idea so they ambled off towards the park, somehow losing Kaido somewhere along the way. Tezuka tried to slip away a few times himself, but Oishi and Fuji managed to corral him and Echizen between them, continually trying to draw both of them into conversation. Tezuka was becoming paranoid that they had conspired against him, but it was much more likely that Fuji had picked up on what Oishi was trying to do without being asked.
 
Only when they were at the park did he finally get a chance to break away from Echizen for a while, just to relax his tense muscles and recollect his frazzled nerves. Eiji had dragged his well-intentioned but interfering doubles partner over to the monkey bars – it seemed that the hyperactive red-head had no intention of his letting his age get in the way of fun - giving him the opportunity to slip away and settle himself on the grass underneath a large, shady tree. The weather was lovely, and there was a light breeze. He had a book in his bag that he withdrew and paged through, quickly losing himself in a story far superior to the drivel they’d been watching before.
 
Burying himself in the narrative, time seemed slip away. Only a small part of his consciousness bothered to check the light every now and again as some means of gauging the time, and he kept an ear out in case any of his friends called him, but thankfully they seemed occupied enough. Only once did he perceive some movement out of the corner of his eye, but it was during a particularly gripping part so Tezuka did not bother to turn his head to verify who the flash of colour had belonged to.
 
His concentration was finally broken by the voices of his friends as they wandered back over to him, making loud jokes as they flopped down near him, disturbing his peaceful repose. A little startled at being brought so abruptly back to reality, Tezuka shut his book and looked about for his bag.
 
It was with a rather large measure of surprise that he realised Echizen was lying on the grass next to him, using said bag as a sort of pillow. How long had the nineteen year old been sitting there for? Why hadn’t he said something to let him know he was there?
 
The teen tilted his head slightly, then sat up, proffering the bag to him wordlessly. 
 
With a light nod, he took the bag back and placed the book carefully inside. Maybe it was for the best. If Tezuka had been aware of Echizen’s presence, a great deal less reading would have been done.
 
“Saa, the sun’s almost set,” Fuji observed, standing and brushing the grass from his clothes, the others following suite.
 
“Maybe we should start thinking about dinner?” Kawamura suggested.
 
“Hoi? What about Kaido though? Where’s he gone to?” Eiji hollered.
 
“I was just speaking with him over the phone before,” Inui reported. “He went for a jog earlier. He’s on his way here now.”
 
As though summoned by his name, the Viper in question jogged up to them, nodding in curt greeting. Before Momo could open his mouth and make a comment, Oishi hurriedly asked, “Where should we eat tonight?”
 
Fuji rubbed his chin in exaggerated thoughtfulness. “Hmm, I saw an interesting looking Thai restaurant on the way home from the courts yesterday.”
 
“Ah, why does Fuji like everything spicy?! I just wanted to go get pizza!” Eiji whined.
 
“Pizza sounds good,” Momo agreed. “We could eat it back at the hotel. I’m tired of eating out all the time.”
 
“Pizza is not the healthiest of the foods,” Inui started to say.
 
“Um, I don’t think it would hurt just this once. I’m sort of tired after today,” Kawamura meekly interjected, thankfully saving them from another lecture on nutrition from their well-meaning data-gatherer. 
 
“I’ve never tried Thai,” Kaido said quietly.
 
“What? Viper, there’s a Thai restaurant just a few blocks from your house back home!” Momoshiro, of course.
 
“So what?!”
 
“Mada mada da ne, Kaido.” It was the first words Echizen had spoken since the movie theatre.
 
“Brat.”
 
“Everyone, calm down!” Oishi interrupted before Echizen could prompt Kaido and Momo into another fight. “We can split up, if it’s going to be a problem. Who wants to get pizza?”
 
Momo and Eiji both threw their hands into the air. Kawamura added his a little less enthusiastically, and Echizen stuck his hands into his pockets, but sidled alongside them in such a way that his choice was made clear. 
 
Oishi nodded. “I’ll get pizza too. Fuji, Kaido and Inui have already expressed a preference to try out the Thai restaurant. What about you, Tezuka?”
 
“I’ll go with Fuji, Kaido and Inui,” Tezuka replied, though winced inwardly. He really wasn’t very fond of Thai cuisine, and of the two choices would have preferred to get pizza with the others, but just knew that if he went with Echizen’s group, Oishi would ensure that the two of them sat together again. Having his well-meaning friend try and throw the two of them together all afternoon had been torturous, and he didn’t think he could handle any more of it.
 
They parted ways, the larger group heading back towards the hotel. Tezuka spent the rest of the evening pushing his food around the plate in a small and poorly-lit restaurant, listening to Fuji and Inui pry a conversation out of the reticent Kaido. The rice was at least palatable so Tezuka ate as much of that which could be liberated from the surrounding sauces as possible. Inui had inquired about his apparent lack of appetite a few times, but he merely brushed it off, saying that he’d had a large lunch.
 
About an hour and half later – due largely to Fuji and Inui’s desire to linger over their meals – they returned to the hotel. Tezuka briefly contemplated going to train on the hotel’s tennis court, even though the lights for it weren’t very good, just to avoid Echizen a little longer, but figured the youth was probably still hanging out in Momoshiro’s room.
 
When he unlocked the door and entered the room, though, he was abruptly proven wrong. Echizen was sitting there on the bed, arms crossed and posture unusually straight. The younger pro stood as he entered the room, and Tezuka realised with no small amount of trepidation that the tennis player was apparently waiting for him.
 
Tezuka stood in the short hallway uncertainly for a moment. When it became apparent that he wasn’t going to venture any deeper into the room, Echizen stalked over to him in quick, measure strides, neck craned slightly upwards and eyes practically blazing.
 
“We need to talk.”



 

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
kaorismash
Oct. 6th, 2007 09:08 am (UTC)
He knew that he wanted to do something about it, certainly, and his imagination was continually cooking up more and more detailed - though utterly ridiculous - scenarios of various things he'd like to be doing about it, but what the actual proper course of action was he had no idea.

Are you implying what I think you're implying? Because, gosh, hee. Tezuka's mind is giving him absolute hell isn't it? All those cold showers and restless nights and high-strung nerves can't possibly be good for him. :3

I really love how he's such a wreck because of Ryoma, and all because he's too paranoid and because he's thinking too much and the urge to hold Ryoma's hand. *_____* The fluff of this just kills me.

Oh, and:

After speaking with Shiba, he'd been scandalous articles in all of the tabloids and tennis magazines, but all he'd seen when the regular run of weeklies had come out two days before had been one or two small asides in the rumour columns.

First part does uh, not make sense. You're missing a word there, I think. Maybe. Um.

That aside. Awkward Tezuka is such a dork. :3 I love how Ryoma is the more confident in the relationship, and how he's taken the initiative (kinda, I'm assuming) at the end and being so blunt about things. Oh. I want to cuddle him. :'3

My favorite part in this chapter would have to be the reading and sleeping under the tree scene, where Ryoma is using Tezuka's bag as a pillow without asking and Tezuka doesn't care about that rather about how he's relieved that he hadn't noticed Ryoma so far. I just want him to run his hand through his hair and smile and sdjhfkdljga;dlfhadfh. In due time, I hope. *stern face*

I'm kind of jahdsgkadfhg over the end. :| I MEAN. HOW CAN YOU JUST LEAVE IT THERE? *despairs* As a writer, I completely understand the appeal of leaving such a cliffhangerish end, BUT. AS A READER. I DO NOT APPRECIATE. BECAUSE MY IMAGINATION IS NOT GOING TO LEAVE ME ALONE LONG ENOUGH TO MAKE IT TO WEDNESDAY SAFELY.

*flops over you* Overall, I'm a big nice puddle of warmth and cannot wait for what happens next. *_____________*

♥!
sinnatious
Oct. 6th, 2007 11:52 am (UTC)
Mwa ha ha... yes, sorry for the cliffhanger. But I cannot resist. It was just the perfect place to end the chapter.

Darn it, you're right, that's quite an oversight on my part. Hmm, can I blame you because we were chatting while I was proof-reading and that TeniMyu clip just TURNED MY BRAIN TO MUSH and I missed entire words? Okay, maybe not. Fixed, thanks for picking up on that one for me!

I think everyone's either going to hate or love the next chapter. Should be interesting.

And yes, you may imagine what you think I am implying. Maybe it will help you last until Wednesday? Three chapters left! At least your pain will not be prolonged. Wheeee!
rolling_scone
Oct. 6th, 2007 11:15 am (UTC)
“Mada mada da ne, Kaido.”

that sent me into a gigglefit :P I know I'm lame and of course Ryoma has to notice that Tezuka is avoiding him (you know, because in my world Ryoma would do anything to be close to Tezuka) but yay! I've been waiting for this fic to update, which, I suppose, is a testament to how much I love it.

*FLAIL*
umarekawareru
Oct. 6th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC)
*_____*
Wow.

First of all, I can not believe I didn't see this fic until today. Second, I am awed by your prowess. What a fic. *flails*

It's really hard to see multi-chaptered TezuRyo, and the summary seemed promising so I clicked and... *fangirls*

I love that Tezuka's a dork and that the first thing he thinks of is of saying he's with Ryoma, and that the other regulars appear just in time to prevent Tezuka from ever living it down. I love that Ryoma's cool with it while Tezuka's driving himself crazy, and I absolutely adore your Fuji and his lewd comments about Echizen's flexibility. Actually, the only thing I don't like is that I have to wait until Wednesday to read the next installment XD

About your writing, I must say that you've really improved since the first chapter - the style is so much more polished now than it was in the beginning, and that only serves to making this fic better than it already is ^^

Oh, you - you make me a happy TezuRyo fangirl *____*

Do you mind if I friend you? XD

sinnatious
Oct. 6th, 2007 12:59 pm (UTC)
Re: *_____*
Thanks! Quite welcome to friend me, I am flattered!

I do agree, definitely not enough multi-chaptered TezRyo fics. I love the drabbles to death, but nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a good long TezRyo. ;) This fic is my small part in trying to rectify this deficiency.

Thank you also for the comments on the writing, especially. I still really need to work on how I start fics - it's been a recurring theme where things will only start settling and taking shape halfway through, which is part the fault of my style and part a bad habit. Hopefully something I'll figure out soon.

Glad you enjoyed it so far, hope you stick around!
hyper_airis
Oct. 6th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
Oh~ That scene in the park was just adorable. It sent this warm feeling through me when I read it.

AND THE ENDING IS SUCH A HUGE CLIFFIE. D: I am nw so excited for the next chapter. Woot~

*offers lotsa ♥s*
roseofthine
Oct. 6th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
Right. I'm taking forever to read this because I keep seeing parts that I really, really love and I have to come down here to squee. So here goes. ^^

One just didn't throw Echizen's respect away. You could probably count on the fingers of one hand how many people he granted it to.

PERFECTION. <333

even though his gaze inevitably floated back whenever the teen wasn't looking.

ZONE, PERHAPS? ;D

Up until a few weeks ago, it hadn't been much more than tennis. You couldn't get much simpler than that.

In Tezuka's opinion, maybe. Not in mine. xD

I love how he's so straightforward with his thoughts. You do a good buchou. =3

But no, he had to go and fall for the one tennis player on the circuit that defied nearly every social norm.

But isn't that what you love about him? ;D

but Tezuka suspected that age hadn't changed most of them that much.

OH TEZUKA. OH SEIGAKU. OH YOU. -cracks up-

He didn't know what, but experience had taught him to always consider Inui an option.

Well, I think it's safe to say Inui's his best bet. xD He's just...stalker-y that way. And he really does care for Seigaku. Even if he tortures them with horrid-tasting juices. He loves them. <3

he’d taken yet another a long morning jog to avoid Echizen after waking up from yet another vividly intimate dream.

What fun. =D

Echizen seemed to be enjoying himself, at least,

Of course, Tezuka. He's with you. <3

For a moment, Tezuka felt proud that he was able to read the other man’s emotions that well, then a second later guilty for the exact same reason.

-hits Tezuka- You really are thick, aren't you? D8 But that's okay. I think we all know we love it. ^^

He declined, having read far too many cliché encounters of brushing hands in movie theatres to risk it.

Aww. I love the cliche encounters. xD

it was more that even slight brushes had the horrible tendency to turn his mind blank.

=DDDDDDDDDDD

but Oishi and Fuji managed to corral him and Echizen between them, continually trying to draw both of them into conversation.

I LOVE MATCHMAKER!OISHI. THE ONE TIME MY NUN DECIDED TO PAY ME BACK FOR ALL HER RECRUITMENT AND DIRTY PAIR FICS, IT WAS MATCHMAKER!OISHI AND TEZURYO. I HAVE LOVELOVELOVED IT EVER SINCE. THANK YOU!

Hmph. I have to go. D8 Well, I'll be back later to read the rest.

Let's hope I don't quote the rest of the fic, as well. ;D

Loved it~ ♥♥♥
sinnatious
Oct. 7th, 2007 10:27 am (UTC)
Oh, I like that. Ryoma's zone draws people's gazes towards them no matter how hard they look in the other direction. WIN. I love it.

A matchmaker Oishi TezRyo fic? I don't believe I have ever read such a thing! This I must find. I am now on a mission.

roseofthine
Oct. 7th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
I AM BACK NOW TO FINISH READING. >D

And it's true. It really is. Especially for Tezuka. <3

Oh! It's on FF.n. I believe her username is Winter Marshmellow. ^^ It's the only TezuRyo on there, and I believe it's marked "for thy"? =33

The website isn't working for me right now, sorry. xP

Andandand~ Tezuka + pizza+preferring pizza over Thai = hilarious image in my head. =)

When it became apparent that he wasn’t going to venture any deeper into the room, Echizen stalked over to him in quick, measure strides, neck craned slightly upwards and eyes practically blazing.

“We need to talk.”


Oh dear. =ooo
pharrezychica
Oct. 6th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oooooh, cliffy!
Can we expect good news from the next chapter?
Cause I'm starting to feel really bad for Ryoma, poor thing.

My twisted mind is envisioning Tezuka being overly cold and maybe saying something he doesn't mean to put distance between them and ending up gurting Echizen.


Please, tell me I'm wrong ;_____________;
sinnatious
Oct. 7th, 2007 10:33 am (UTC)
Hmm, don't really know what to tell people about the next chapter. So I won't tell you anything. ;) (Because then where will the cliffhanger be?!)

Going to have to last until Wednesday, I'm afraid. :) I'm actually a bit nervous about finishing the fic myself.
mimineko_chan
Oct. 6th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
SINNNNNNNNNNNNNNN ! How could you ? That was just oh that was just oh my GOD ! That cliffhanger was… there is no word for that. It was just perfect… in a very annoying way. Since you DID tell us in advance, I was prepared for something drastic to happen, but that… THE CONFRONTATION (is that going to be the next chapter’s title ?). I can even hear the drums. I can’t wait for the next chapter to come out. And really Sin, you are digging your own grave by putting every chapter twice a week. I can’t imagine the pressure… you are brave my friend… very brave… and I admire you for that.

I really wanted to wait for the next chapter, but unfortunately, I was just too tired. I want to write another dabble related to this chapter, but the only thing in my mind is INUI ! You know the part where Tezuka is way too paranoid concerning information. Hehehe !


::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

“Hohohoho ! This is the best news in sooooooooo long in the tennis world. Hohohoho !” Came a squealing of some sort in the news room. (Do you watch Card captor Sakura ? Think of her friend, euh, Tomo-chan(?))

A jumping fangirl of Tennis was jumping up and down holding the phone. Everyone in the news room was during what they are supposed to do and no one was even affected by the squealing, which resemble the squealing of a mouse. Earplugs ? That would be effective, but they couldn’t afford wearing earplugs at work. Everyone working at Tennis International (I invented that, sad, I know) was used to the squeaking sound. Maybe not used to, but if they wanted to keep their sanity, then they knew better than to interrupt her. Her name was not important, but everyone knows that she was a fan of tennis. More importantly, she could dig any gossip concerning the players. People leave her alone to her own squealing and concentrate on their work that pays the rent. She was a good journalist, her writing was good, and her stories sell. The population love to hear what happens to their idols and knowing that they too, are human. So it was a really big thing that she, her coworker gave her the name of ‘FanGo’ as she is a fan and a gossip (I have poor imagination) got one of the most story of the year concerning the best two tennis player. Miss FanGo was just talking to one of her sources who shall not be named as that source is protected by the law.

She was dancing around in her cubicle because she just knew that this story could land her with a very big promotion. Just thinking of the office that she could get with that story alone, made her want to squeal in delight once more. She did not really think of the impact of this news until late at night in front of the TV with a frozen lunch. The consequences of learning the new piece of gossip landed her crying all night long, but that’s not the story here. No, it was the day, and she was not one to think too much of the consequences. She was typing the story and verifying that there was no mistake at all. She made a few calls, but overall, she did not want to give away her chance at glory. Printing her page, she gave it to her boss, an old man that looked like Santa Clause. He boss might look kind, but he was nothing but. Hard and strong willed, he came at the top at a very young age and stayed there, probably until death in her opinion, but he was good, he may yell a lot at everyone, but he was one of the best journalists that she encountered.

Later in the day, it was actually right before leaving the office, her boss called her. Thinking that he loved her story and was going to give her a promotion, she skipped in the office with a big smile.

“I’m afraid that I can not publish that.” Stunned she was. How can he not publish this news ? It was probably the only thing they have on those two players.

“But boss, Tezuka and Ryoma are both very secretive about their personal life. This is the chance boss. Why can’t you publish that ? Just imagine all the people that going to buy our magazine. Others would die to get their hand on…” The rest of the sentence was lost as The Boss raised one of his hand to signal that she must stop talking. The boss sighed. Really, that girl talk too much.
mimineko_chan
Oct. 6th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
“I can not put this story up because I received a phone call concerning this story. I’m sorry, and even through this is one of the juiciest story ever, there is someone higher out there that does not want this story published. So I want something else by 8 tomorrow morning, understand ?” And that was final. The girl sighed and left the office. There was no arguing with the boss. He was the one that signed her check after all. Oh she knew who was the higher guy. It was her job to know. And she made a promise, Inui Sadaharu, you will pay for making me lose this chance at glory !

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Ok, that dabble came out really really wrong. Don’t throw tomatoes at me ! Eeeeeeeeeep ! I think that commenting on this chapter would be safer ! ^^

*Sigh* Tezuka being a dork is just too adorable. And Ryoma taking everything into his own hand (why do I have the feeling that even through Ryoma is going to be the uke, he is in fact acting like he is the seme ?) Oh and meddling motherhen Oishi ? My my my, I didn’t know that you would be that mean and torture poor Tezuka like that. (The devil in me is quite satisfied ^^)

I was squealing in delight (and similar to Tomoka) when I was reading the part where Ryoma was sleeping right beside Tezuka. That was just so cute. I can just imagine the sweetness of it all. And Fuji must of have his camera with him too ! Hehehe !

Ok, now I really have to go. Going to the Uni’s swimming pool to get myself in shape. I’m feeling fat these days.

Mimi ♥
sinnatious
Oct. 7th, 2007 10:42 am (UTC)
Digging my own grave with this update scehdule? Hardly. Updating twice a week isn't that difficult for me when the chapters are as short as they are (which should hopefully earn me some forgiveness for including cliffhangers). The only thing that can really interfere with it having to do overtime at work, and this fic should be finished before there's any risk of that. :) I feel more pressure about the content of the chapters more so than the actual update speed, actually.

Heh heh, another cool drabble. I laughed. Thanks for writing it.

Getting in shape! Kudos to you! I'm trying that myself at the moment, though it is but a last-ditch effort in combating the effects of my sedentary lifestyle. One that I'm rather certain I will abandon in less than a month. Because when it comes to choosing exercise and sitting at the computer writing fic, it's pretty apparent which is going to come first. ;) I wish you better luck and self-discipline than I.
sakurazuka_jae
Oct. 7th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
Uh oh... Tezuka's in trooouuuubbbllleeee...

*grins* Well, that's what he gets for spending too much time in denial after being olivious for so long. *cheers on Echizen* Make him confess Ryoma!

I'm loving this story so much.
pat_ace87
Oct. 7th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
Another chapter >__.
faire_estela
Oct. 9th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
After that cliffie at the ending I've decided that I hate you. Really, woman, how can you leave us like that? Oh Echizen. You've always been two steps ahead od buchou's mental process, haven't you?

Really, I'd hate you if I didn't love you so much because of the rest of the story.

(Also, I'd love to read more about your Fuji. He sounds amusing. Do you plan on writing more PoT stuff once you finish this fic? =D=D)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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