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A Traditional Ninja Romance - Chapter 8

Title: A Traditional Ninja Romance

Author: Sinnatious
 
Summary: TezRyo Ninja AU.  Ryoma's mission:  To infiltrate the Seigaku clan and seduce their leader.
 
Rating: M for violence and yaoi.

Author’s Note: This chapter is, um, sort of short.  Sorry!  The next chapter will definitely be longer to make up for it.
 
Prologue
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7

____________________________

A Traditional Ninja Romance
 
By Sinnatious
 
Chapter 8
____________________________ 
 
The air seemed clearer to Ryoma the next day, and there was a spring in his step that hadn’t been there before.
 
“You’re in a good mood,” Momoshiro observed, slinging an arm over his shoulders. “Did you get a date?”
 
“Eh?”
 
“You were almost smiling. I thought it must be a girl,” the taller ninja jibed. “Hey, is it Ryuuzaki’s granddaughter? I think she likes you.”
 
Ryoma shrugged off the arm on his shoulder irritably. “Don’t be stupid.”
 
“Whatever you say,” Momoshiro laughed. “Hey, come spar with me again.”
 
“You’ll lose,” Ryoma pointed out, even as they changed their course for the training grounds. They’d sparred plenty of times before, and Ryoma won every bout easily. Momoshiro had figured out that with his superior strength all he had to do was catch any wires the smaller ninja used against him and his defence would turn into an excellent offence, but hadn’t yet found a means of dealing with Ryoma’s swordplay or agility. Hand-to-hand combat wasn’t much good when your opponent could duck under all of your blows.
 
“Ha, we’ll make it fair, then! We’ll fight without weapons!”
 
“Che, forcing me to use your speciality?”
 
“Scared?” Momoshiro taunted.
 
“You’ll still lose.” Ryoma was faster, and while he was nowhere near as strong as his senpai, that didn’t matter when he could deliver twice as many hits.
 
“We won’t know until we try!”
 
They arrived at the clearing and started sparring. Ryoma didn’t pay a whole lot of attention; after fighting Tezuka the day before it felt like Momoshiro was moving through water. His mind was instead firmly fixed on the other ninja’s earlier comments. 
 
A date. 
 
It was an uncomfortable reminder. For the past couple of days he’d been so wrapped up in missions and his amazement at Tezuka’s skills that he’d almost forgotten about his overall goal. He kicked Momoshiro in the jaw, flipping backwards and checking the sky with one eye. The moon was only just visible – rising in the early afternoon. He only had another couple of days before his father expected his next report.
 
Momoshiro stumbled back, struggling to regain his balance after the last kick left him dazed. Ryoma ran forward, ducked one wild punch, grabbed the arm that threw it, and flipped Momoshiro onto the ground. He hit with a grunt and a loud thud.
 
“You’ve been practising!” he accused good-naturedly, sitting up. 
 
Ryoma shrugged. “You should use your nun chucks instead of trying to go bare-handed. You’re pretty good with them, aren’t you?”
 
“Yeah, but the damn Viper accused me of relying on them. I have to prove him wrong!” Momoshiro slammed his fist into his palm at that. Ryoma rolled his eyes.
 
“Idiot. He still uses his snakes, doesn’t he?” Momoshiro’s sulky silence answered that question for him. “Ah. You challenged him to a bare-handed fight as well.”
 
“He must have cheated! I’m going to have to practice more with Kawamura.”
 
“Heh.” His funeral. Even Ryoma was leery of fighting Kawamura in close combat. Just one lucky hit would land you out cold. “I’ve got to go. Keep practicing, Momo-senpai.”
 
“Cheeky brat!” Momoshiro called after him. 
 
Ryoma ignored him, making his way to Tezuka’s office to help with the paperwork as was routine by now. His mind was wholly occupied with his mission once again. His father wouldn’t be pleased when he admitted to making no progress over the past couple of weeks. 
 
Honestly, he still didn't quite know what to make of Tezuka, not even after fighting him.  The other ninja in the Seigaku clan were easy enough to categorise - you had close-combat hand-to-hand brawlers in Kawamura and Momoshiro, long-range fighting in Kikumaru, intelligence gathering from Inui, snakes and poisons from Kaidoh, tactics from Oishi, psychological warfare from Fuji... but Tezuka, if he had to guess, could do all of those things and more.  He was a rare, all-around ninja, and certainly there was no more fitting a leader for an unusual clan like Seigaku. 

The thing that was most maddening about all-around ninja was that they didn't have any easily exploitable weakness.  Ryoma himself fell into that category, but so did his father, and it was extremely annoying.  It ruined all the good precedents - if someone was better at long-range fighting, you brought them in close-range, and vice-versa.  You matched strong heavy weight types against fast and agile types. It was the reason why Momoshiro couldn’t lay a hand on him, despite being quite a capable ninja in his own right. 
 
Mentally, Ryoma shook himself.  That wasn't the intention.  This wasn't exactly a battle he was fighting.  Thinking about it in standard terms was self-defeating.
 
Infiltration was successful, so why was the seduction part so hard? Perhaps Tezuka was just blind to the cues he’d been trying to give. Didn’t the captain think anything was odd at all about him sacrificing his afternoons every day to help with something as boring as paperwork? Surely he suspected an ulterior motive? Was he really that thick?
 
Perhaps that was the pot calling the kettle black – Ryoma had to admit that what little he’d learned of romantic affairs had been acquired in three days of spying on prostitutes and geisha.
 
Prostitutes and geisha…
 
Maybe he needed to act shyer? The geisha were always hiding their faces behind their fans and acting all demure. He didn’t have any fans or anything to hide his face behind, but maybe wearing his facemask around Tezuka would help. He didn’t see how – it struck him as strange – but he was willing to try almost anything at this point. 
 
When Ryoma slid open the shouji the next day, Tezuka glanced up with his mouth opened to greet him, then paused. He adjusted his glasses, swallowed, and gestured him into the room.
 
It was a reaction, at least, though Ryoma wasn’t sure if it was a good one. He briefly worried that perhaps it was bad manners to be wearing his facemask inside. Tezuka was probably too polite to say anything if it was. 
 
It might have also been that he’d exchanged his usual long-sleeved black garb for a small vest and a mesh shirt. Ryoma didn’t usually bother with the chain mail – it was no protection from a direct hit, and also gave him fewer places to hide weapons. In this instance, however, it showed a bit more skin, and accentuated his figure in a way his normal clothing couldn’t. Ryoma normally didn’t pay even a whit of attention to his appearance, but under the circumstances trying to look good could only help him. 
 
He sauntered over to the table. Tezuka gestured him to the stack of paperwork to his right. With a flutter of his eyelashes that made him cringe internally – this mission was really starting to hurt his pride – Ryoma took the paperwork and retreated a safe distance away to start copying out the reports. 
 
Then they sat there in silence for the next hour. 
 
Tezuka didn’t even look at him.
 
Ryoma was somewhat frustrated by the captain’s discipline and focus, and maybe even a little peeved that even when trying he wasn’t able to distract him. Even just a little bit more feedback would be useful! At this stage, he didn’t know if he was actually being seductive or just making a fool of himself.
 
He finished the page he was on somewhat angrily, strokes jerkier than normal in his irritation. Thankfully the mask hid his expression – it wouldn’t do for Tezuka to see his displeasure. Once done, he set the pages aside to dry for a minute, gathered them up and headed over to where Tezuka was working diligently.
 
“Buchou,” he said softly, trying to mimic the alluring way the geisha spoke. He had a feeling that he failed horribly. “The paperwork…” His voice trailed off.
 
“Just over there will be fine.”
 
He carefully placed the paperwork as indicated, then hesitated. Ryoma slid his eyes to the side, fiddling with his fingers the way he’d seen Ryuuzaki’s granddaughter do so many times. It was a shame he couldn’t blush on cue, but the mask would hide it anyway.   “If that’s all?” he muttered softly, filtering invitation into his voice.
 
Tezuka didn’t take the bait. “Thank you for your help.”
 
He’d not just humiliated himself by acting all demure for the captain to dismiss him so easily. “You’d been crouched over that desk all day, though. Isn’t it uncomfortable?” 
 
“A little. Your assistance helps, though. It doesn’t take so long to get through it anymore.” Honestly, it was hard to see how on earth Tezuka would have managed without that help. Why did they have so much paperwork?
 
Gratitude was all well and good, but that wasn’t what Ryoma was after. “Your shoulder looks like it’s giving you trouble. Perhaps I could massage it?”
 
“My shoulder?”
 
“You’ve been rolling it every few minutes for a while now.” 
 
Tezuka didn’t respond, though there was a faintest hint of surprise in his expression. If nothing else, he was getting practiced at discerning emotions from the miniscule changes to Tezuka’s permanently neutral countenance. Ryoma didn’t wait for permission. He stepped around the desk, dropping to his knees behind the captain and sliding his hands onto Tezuka’s shoulders.
 
Kneading the tight muscles, Ryoma spent a moment appreciating just how finely toned the captain was. How did he manage it? He spent so much time inside doing paperwork or in discussion that he wouldn’t have a lot of time to practice. In fact, that spar with Inui had been the first sort of training he’d ever seen Tezuka do. 
 
Tezuka had stilled under his touch, brush no longer moving over the paper. Ryoma took this as a good sign, and leant in closer so that his head was hovering over the captain’s shoulder. “Hmm, you still have a lot of work to do.”
 
Abruptly, Tezuka started writing again. “Yes. That will be enough. You don’t need to stay.”
 
It was a dismissal. Ryoma let his hands fall away from the captain’s back as he stood. “Until tomorrow then.”
 
Tezuka just inclined his head in response as he left the room with a somewhat bashful bow. Once safely ensconced within his rooms again, Ryoma tugged off the facemask and threw it to the ground. Was Tezuka immune? Ryoma was starting to worry that he was asexual.
 
It didn’t sit right, though. Tezuka wasn’t particularly expressive, but he was convinced that the captain was at least a little bit interested, even if only superficially. Ryoma didn’t believe for a minute that he’d continue to ask for help with the paperwork daily if he wasn’t, regardless of how much of it there was. No matter how good his self-control was, he was still human, and the brief flickers across his expression assured him that Tezuka wasn’t completely disgusted by the idea. 
 
Why then was he so resistant to it? The mixed signals were driving him mad.
 
It didn’t matter. Ryoma would figure out a way around it. He needed to. He wouldn’t fail the mission. He couldn’t. But he’d run out of ideas of what to try next.
 
Ryoma glanced at the sky. It was time to report to his father again.
 
This was really turning out to be a colossal pain.
 

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
nerfracket
May. 14th, 2008 11:28 am (UTC)
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee! This is too, too cute. Oh god, Ryoma, wearing your face mask to seduce Buchou. And Tezuka being resistant (but not really) to his charms.

Sinn, I love Ryoma. He's so very much himself, all determination and arrogance and crankiness, and entirely irresistible. ♥♥

Ryoma didn’t believed for a minute
Should be believe, yes?

Thank you for a great chapter! ♥♥
sinnatious
May. 14th, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)
Tezuka tries so hard. ♥ Ryoma also tries hard, but refuses to admit it. ♥♥♥

Ooo, good spotting, thanks! *fixes up all ninja-like*
iluxia
May. 14th, 2008 01:06 pm (UTC)
*sigh*

Futaritomo ganbarisugi nandayo....

*sigh*

Just get a room and have a good romp already.

Edited at 2008-05-14 01:08 pm (UTC)
sinnatious
May. 15th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC)
'Romp' brings forward such IMAGERY... :P

They definitely try much too hard. Given that it's so natural... ;)
iluxia
May. 16th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
Doesn't it just?

Sweat-slicked skin, tightened muscles, heads thrown back, arms around each other... oooh.
yusahana6323
May. 14th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
Touch is good! :D Tactileness! Ryoma's getting there, slowly... now, move down to the lower back and you might just get him. *horoscope research is fun* Tezuka can't hold up much longer, no matter how good he is.

Away to last final I go! *will blame YOU if I end up writing an essay about ninja XD*
sinnatious
May. 15th, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)
Ooo, good luck on the final! Blame? I think if you write about ninjas it should DEFAULT to an A+!
yusahana6323
May. 15th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
It should work that way, but somehow ninja don't fit into art history. D: Geisha do though...
iluxia
May. 16th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
*cough* Sorry to barge in like this, but I have to say---YOUR ICON KILLS.
sinnatious
May. 16th, 2008 11:59 am (UTC)
Why thank you. I'm quite fond of this one. :P YOU JUST KNOW THAT'S WHAT RYOMA IS THINKING WHENEVER TEZUKA GOES ALL AURA ON US.
tezukaryo
May. 14th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
!!"
Wow, Tezuka, you sure are putting up an impressive front...you must be chanting "MUST NOT GRAB RYOMA!"
Ryoma, take note...Tezuka get speakless when he see that smothering, sexy eyes of yours. ..See what happen next time if you sway that hip and flutter your eyes over your shoulder as you walk to your desk. *grin wickedly*

Ryoma is too adorable, working so hard to seduce Tezuka. ^___^
sinnatious
May. 15th, 2008 12:20 pm (UTC)
Re: !!"
All the best things require hard work, after all. ;)

*dies at that imagery* Tezuka's self-control would have to be the stuff of legend. He has no chance.
sleepingfingers
May. 14th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
I feel so embarrassed for Ryoma through the entire scene, but ee, it was lovely. And surely Tezuka can't hold out for much longer (although his deadpan expression is remarkable).
sinnatious
May. 15th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
Heh, sorry, I didn't want to include too much stage anxiety, but it's so fun! ♥ And Tezuka's deadpan expression is so lovely. :|
realdream1112
May. 14th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
hehe, Ryoma turning into a geisha and trying to imitate Sakuno :P

Mmmm Ryoma's massages...shouldn't refuse that, Tezuka.

Thanks for the update, I definitely love Wednesdays!
sinnatious
May. 15th, 2008 12:23 pm (UTC)
At last, Sakuno is useful or not for something. :P Thanks!
jade_peace
May. 14th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
♥♥

Why yes, you are made of awesome - and I awe at your prowess and abilities to make these two so adorable.
sinnatious
May. 15th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
Damn, I need an Atobe icon for that. *_* Thank you!
roseofthine
May. 14th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
...=DDDDDDDD

-squishsquish-

Tezuka'd better stalk him to oyaji's place. =P
sinnatious
May. 15th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
STALKING, HELL YES.
firedraygon97
May. 15th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)
Hahaha, oh my gosh, the image of Ryoma batting his eyelashes at Tezuka is outrageously hilarious. I wish we got to see what was going through Tezuka's head at that point. XD This is so cute. Good luck, Ryoma!
sinnatious
May. 15th, 2008 12:27 pm (UTC)
:P Alas, given my tendency to favour writing in Tezuka's point of view, I swore that I would complete this fic in Ryoma's. SO YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO KEEP WONDERING (wheee). :D
iluxia
May. 16th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
*cough* Sorry to barge in again, but I just REALLY had to say that I don't blame you for favoring Tezuka's point of view. No one can deny that writing THE stoic (or-so-he-wants-us-to-think) buchou is VERY entertaining.
sinnatious
May. 16th, 2008 11:55 am (UTC)
Strangely, Tezuka's head is the easier of the two to get into?!
gwynhafra
May. 16th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
*has fallen off the chair giggling*

Incredible...Ryoma actually had to go all geisha-ish to seduce Tezuka. If only we could be there to see it...with a camcorder in hand. *cough*

Tezuka's definitely affected. He has been ever since Ryoma stepped into the room. Good choice for an outfit, Ryoma, but the face mask...er...maybe Tezuka might find it a turn on, who knows. (I'm such a perv~)

Smart Ryoma, using a massage as an excuse to molest buchou-chan. Pity his injury is at his shoulder only. XDXD

-Gwyn
sinnatious
May. 16th, 2008 11:57 am (UTC)
Heee... don't worry, I think we're all pervs here :P

That would be a fun conversation... "Where exactly are you massaging, Echizen?!"
ichinonaru
May. 26th, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
waaaaaii OMG, I wanna know what Buchous is thinkiiiiing! Aaaaargh! WE all know he's dyin in there and he's prolly hiding something down there under the desk.. cough... gawd... I can't take it anymore! The sexual tension between them is so thick TEzuka probably can't cut it with his kodachi! WAH! XD I am gonna read the next chapter now!
Woot for the massage! HEHEHE
~~~ Hikari Manganji ~~~
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )