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PoTWEWY - The Third Day

Title: The World Begins With Tennis

Author: Sinnatious
 
Summary: TezRyo Prince of Tennis/The World Ends With You crossover.
 
Rating: M for violence and yaoi.

Author’s Note:  Nice, long chapter.


.......................


The Third Day
 
A gritty substance prickled his cheek, and footsteps thudded near his head. Blearily, Ryoma opened his eyes. 
 
The bus stop again
 
Wait… they’d been at the street courts just a moment ago! Was it the third day already?!
 
Ryoma sat up, hand reaching for his cap and tugging it on over his head. Somewhat annoyingly, Tezuka was already awake, sitting on the bench nearby with that unreadable expression on his face again. Ryoma didn’t bother greeting him. He’d only known the guy for two days, but the looks Tezuka gave him sort of unnerved him sometimes – it was as though Tezuka was seeing someone else, or expecting him to do something that he never did. 
 
They were only awake a few minutes before their phones beeped. This time Tezuka’s let out a descending trill, eliciting a frown from the stern-faced teen. 
 
“You changed it?”
 
Ryoma nonchalantly flipped open his own phone. “It was boring.”
 
He was expecting Tezuka to be annoyed, but if anything he seemed mildly amused and didn’t even ask when Ryoma had the opportunity to mess with the phone’s settings. They read the mission mail. 
 
“Win a tennis match in the Under 18s without losing a point. Time Limit: 6 hours. Fail, and face erasure.”
 
“Tennis again?” Ryoma frowned. “Who issues these messages, anyway?”
 
“The Game Master.”
 
“Who’s that?”
 
“I don’t know.” Tezuka slid his phone back into his pocket, looking around. “But I dare say we’ll find out before the week is out.”
 
“So…”
 
"It must be a competition in the indoor complex.  We won't be able to play outside," Tezuka surmised.

"There's an indoor tennis complex?" Ryoma scrambled to keep up.

"Yes.  It's expensive, but it means you can play through Winter."
 
“Hey, where will we get the money? I spent everything I had on ramen yesterday.”
 
He hadn’t been paying attention to where he was going, so didn’t notice Tezuka stop. Thus it was quite a shock to suddenly run into what felt like an invisible wall. It stung like a powerful electric zap, and he stumbled back, Tezuka gently catching and steadying him. “What-?”
 
“A wall.”
 
“Obviously,” Ryoma muttered under his breath. 
 
“It’s already a long walk to the complex. This is the shortest way.”
 
Sighing, Ryoma stepped away from the invisible barrier, looking for some means around it. It was sort of irritating to watch people in the RG walk freely down the footpath while they were stuck there. 
 
Eventually his gaze landed on a plain-looking guy dressed in a school uniform nearby who seemed to be watching them. Ryoma thought he remembered seeing something similar before. Curious, he clutched his Player pin. Nothing. “Hey, there’s some strange guy over there. I can’t scan him.” Looking closer, he seemed to be sporting a pair of black, skeletal wings. Their curvy, sharp shape sort of reminded him of the Noise. Cosplay?
 
It caught Tezuka’s attention immediately. “A Reaper.”
 
“The guys running the game?” He grabbed a pin. “Will he try to erase us?”
 
“I don’t think so.” Tezuka strode towards him. Ryoma followed cautiously. 
 
Once they were only a few steps away the Reaper straightened up. “Players, huh? You want to pass the wall, you have to clear all the Noise in this area.”
 
Ryoma did a quick scan and nearly groaned. “There’s a dozen of them!”

”Then you’d better get to it.”  He sounded bored, and folded his arms as he leant back leisurely against the wall.
 
Ryoma growled low in his throat, but Tezuka’s hand on his shoulder stilled him. “Not all of the missions can be easy. There were bound to be obstacles.”
 
“As though the mission isn’t hard enough by itself?” he complained. 
 
“The stakes are erasure,” Tezuka pointed out.
 
“Che. Whatever.” He headed over to the nearest Noise.
 
The Noise were easy to dispatch – a minute or so of fire or lightning and a few hits from Tezuka got rid of most of them, but it was still time consuming getting through them all. Ryoma cast an anxious glance at his hand after they erased the last one. They’d wasted an hour just to get past a stupid invisible wall!
 
“Objective met,” the Reaper drawled. “Wall cleared.” Duties apparently done, he skulked away. This time when they walked down the path nothing impeded their way. Ryoma occupied himself by rifling through the pins that had dropped from some of Noise they’d fought. He was rather drawn to one with a sword on it, but the others felt like junk.
 
“Hey, what can we do with these- Oof!” He nearly dropped the pin he’d been holding up when he ran into another invisible barrier.
 
Tezuka frowned, holding out a hand experimentally and retracting it swiftly when it zapped him. Looking around, he located a Reaper. “Echizen, over here.”
 
“Not again,” he muttered, scowling, then pinned the plain-looking Reaper with a glare. Why did they all wear school uniforms? “What is it this time?”
 
“Bring me a yellow pin. Doesn’t matter which kind. You can get them from the Noise,” the Reaper said.
 
Ryoma held out an obnoxious-looking pin with some weird squiggles on it. “Will this do?”
 
“You’ve already got one? I’m kind of impressed.” The Reaper all but snatched the pin from his grasp. “Hey, if you have any more pins, I’ll buy them from you. The only way to get these is by erasing Noise, and we’re not supposed to really do that.”
 
Five minutes later they were on their way again. “It’s good thing those Wall Reapers will buy those pins the Noise drop," Ryoma commented. They’d sold all of their duds and duplicates.
 
“Hopefully it will be enough to cover equipment hire and the tournament entry fee,” Tezuka agreed. “We’re here.” Sure enough, the emblem was painted on the wall. 
 
They’d been walking for ages. Ryoma cast a nervous glance at his hand. They had less than three hours to finish the mission. How long did a tennis match normally take? "Hey, what happens if someone from the RG interferes?"

"I'm not sure, but I'm willing to bet that the Reapers will find a way to solve it." Tezuka nodded towards the side where one of the indistinct students leant against the wall.  He'd just be a spectator to anybody else, but the two Players could see the skeletal wings protruding from his back clearly. Now that he was looking for them, it seemed like those Reapers were everywhere. With a sigh, Ryoma turned his eyes back to the complex. There were a couple of people clustered around a desk, and a poster hanging above it. The competition, he guessed.
 
“Everyone here’s a lot older than us,” he observed.
 
“But it’s a small, local tournament for amateurs. The standard of play won’t be very high. Would you like to enter too?”
 
“Won’t it increase our chances? That way, if we wind up against each other, one of us can just throw the game,” Ryoma pointed out pragmatically. It was the only way he could envision them completing the mission.
 
Tezuka stopped, as though a thought had just occurred to him. “Can you… can you play tennis?” he asked hesitantly.
 
"I know the rules," he said huffily.  "But there’s no way I’d be able to win a game without losing a single point. Don’t you lose points from missing serves?"
 
Tezuka had that strange expression again. "…Don't worry, I can take care of it."
 
"Heh, you think you're pretty good, then?"

"As someone I know might say, ‘mada mada da ne’."

Ryoma blinked.  "So... you're not?"

Tezuka sighed, and rested his hand briefly on his head.  "It should be fine."

Ryoma scowled and swatted the hand away.  "Stop treating me like I’m a kid.  You're not that much older than me."

"My apologies; that wasn't my intention."  Tezuka headed over to the table, rented out a pair of racquets and entered them into the tournament.  He came back over and handed a racquet to Ryoma.  "We're unseeded, so we'll be in the first round."

"Good.  We've got less than three hours.  We just have to win one match without losing a point, right?"

Tezuka nodded.
 
Ryoma had his own match so was unable to watch Tezuka play. His opponent looked like he was in high school, and the racquet felt heavy in his hand. Something about it made him feel hollow and uneasy. He’d been sceptical about the whole thing to begin with, but when he threw a ball into the air and completely missed on the swing, he knew they were in trouble. 
 
Things only got worse from there.
 
Half an hour later, Ryoma trailed from the court, thoroughly embarrassed. Partway through, he’d managed to sort of get the hang of serving, but half of the balls he hit were out, and most returns he missed altogether. Irritably, he swung the racquet a few times. It was odd. Why was it so difficult? His body felt like it should know the movements, but it was hard to make it move the way it was supposed to. 
 
Either way, he was out. So much for their plan of matching up and throwing the game. He sought out Tezuka, who was on the opposite side of the complex. He was just finishing up when he arrived. “Hey, how did it go?”
 
“I won,” Tezuka replied simply.
 
Ryoma glanced at his hand. The timer was still there. “Lost some points?”
 
“Two service aces. The speed caught me by surprise.”
 
He lost just two points? That was surprisingly good, but then, the standard would only rise as they progressed through the stages of the tournament. “Che.”
 
“How did you go?” Tezuka asked.

Ryoma frowned, and handed the racquet back over. “Tennis isn’t much fun.” The match had left him feeling sort of drained. It was good that Tezuka was skilled at it, but Ryoma didn’t see the appeal. “Lost every point. Couldn’t get the hang of it.”

Tezuka’s expression looked oddly strained. “…It’s not for everyone, I suppose.”
 
Ryoma scanned the hall briefly. The Reaper hadn’t left his position. He was probably monitoring to make sure the mission was fulfilled correctly. "Hey… Couldn't we just use psychokinesis?"

Dark brown eyes turned to him.  "You're suggesting we cheat?" The disapproval was evident in Tezuka’s voice.

Feeling uncomfortable, Ryoma jerked his head in the direction of a girl and a guy, both about high school age and wearing Player Pins. There were probably others who hadn’t found their way there yet, too.  "Look, even if you're really good at tennis, this isn't about tennis, right?  This is about the Game.  I doubt either of those two over there can play well enough not to lose a single point... isn't the point that we find a way around it?"

"We won't need to cheat," Tezuka said confidently.  Ryoma wished he could share that confidence.
 
He folded his arms and looked away. “Che.” 
 
Tezuka might have been confident, but Ryoma had no assurance whatsoever as the timer continued ticking down on his palm. They had to wait for all the other matches to finish before Tezuka could play again. He watched the other two players try their hand at it – they lost several points right from the get go, but they were putting up a good fight in hopes of having a second chance. He just wished they’d hurry up – time was running out. 
 
With an hour and fifteen minutes left, Tezuka took the court again. Ryoma settled on the sidelines, along with a decent collection of other people. With a quick scan he could hear their thoughts – apparently Tezuka’s previous match had been rather impressive, if the speculation he was picking up on was any indication. 
 
He clutched a pin in his pocket. Tezuka was intent on doing the mission properly, but if it looked like a ball was going to go out, he’d intervene anyway. They couldn’t risk erasure.
 
“One set match, Ryuuzaki versus Shinohara, Ryuuzaki service play!” the umpire announced.
 
Tezuka moved to the service line. Ryoma was confused. He was using a fake name?
 
Tezuka threw the ball up into the air, arced his back, and then smashed the ball across the net.
 
“…Fif-fifteen-love!” the umpire stammered.
 
Tezuka bounced the ball once, threw it into the air, and swung again. The ball rocketed across the court. Once again, his wide-eyed opponent didn’t even touch it. 
 
“Thirty-love!”
 
Throw. Bend. Smash.
 
“F-forty-love!”
 
It was Tezuka’s game. Ryoma was almost as wide-eyed as Tezuka’s opponent. He hadn’t thought his partner was that good.
 
Maybe he wouldn’t need to use psychs after all. 
 
The receiving game wasn’t much better, though it was a great deal more nerve-racking. The serve looked positively snail-paced compared to his opponent’s, and Tezuka had no trouble reaching each of the balls. Every shot he hit was into the sides or corners, sometimes so close to the line that Ryoma’s breath caught in his throat. Tezuka didn’t look worried though, so he forced himself to relax. 
 
Four points later, and it was Tezuka’s service again. Four no-touch aces, and then Tezuka was receiving again. 
 
In the fourth game, his opponent obviously started to pull himself together, and actually managed to start some rallies. Tezuka returned each ball without fail. On the second breakpoint Shinohara hit to the far left, right down the line, but to Ryoma’s amazement – and that of the spectators – the ball seemed to curve, spinning back towards Tezuka who easily put it away with a backhand.
 
Snatches of thoughts encroached the edges of his awareness.  "Such spin control... I'd heard about some kid that could do that, but-"
 
“Shinohara doesn’t have a chance. Oh man, does this mean I’m going to have to play this guy next?”
 
Startled, Ryoma relaxed his grip on the Player pin – he hadn’t even been aware of how tightly he’d been holding it. Watching Tezuka play tennis… it was amazing, it really was, but it made him feel odd. Jealous, maybe, but it was dark, twisted sort of emotion that didn’t make any sense since he didn’t even care about tennis anyway.
 
Point after point fell to Tezuka. His opponent was visibly aggravated, but seemed to be giving up as no matter where he hit the ball it would curve back into towards Tezuka’s racket as though attracted by a magnetic force. Dark brown eyes tracked every ball unerringly, muscles coiling and stretching with each return. Ryoma was almost hypnotised. 
 
Twenty-four points later, a pale-faced umpire called the game. “Game, set and match won by Ryuuzaki!” There was a wave of excited murmurs from the spectators.
 
Ryoma glanced at his hand. The timer was gone. Fifty minutes to spare. Out of the corner of his eye he could see the other two players exclaim in relief. It looked like only one pair had to finish the mission for all of the players to be off the hook then – that was useful to know. Not that Ryoma would risk relying on other people. He was pretty sure Tezuka wouldn’t stand for it anyway. 
 
Tezuka rolled his left arm a few times and headed to the net. “Thank you for the game. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to forfeit the remaining matches.” He shook his opponent’s hand and bowed to both the umpire and the organisers. He hadn’t even worked up a sweat. As they protested, he headed back over to his partner.

"You did use psychokinesis," Ryoma accused in a low voice.  "I saw the way that ball moved!"

"I wasn't using a psych," Tezuka replied calmly as he returned their racquets.
 
Whatever. He was just relieved it was over.  “Hey… why did you use a fake name?”
 
“I thought it might cause problems if I didn’t. There was a risk of seeing someone from the RG as it was.”
 
“And why would that be a problem?” Ryoma asked, puzzled.
 
“You don’t think it would be a problem if people suddenly started playing tennis against someone who was supposed to be dead?” Tezuka bent down to tighten the laces on his shoes. When Ryoma didn’t respond, he glanced up. “…Echizen?”
 
It felt as though the world had stopped. “…You’re… you’re dead?”
 
Tezuka seemed puzzled. “Of course. All of the Players are.”
 
"What... I'm... I'm dead too?" he choked out, a little disbelieving.

Tezuka gave him a sideways glance.  "You didn't even know that much?"

"I don't... I don't remember anything," he finished lamely.

"Nothing at all?" Tezuka didn’t sound very surprised. He was starting to wonder if anything would phase the teen.

Frustrated, Ryoma tugged down his cap.  It was embarrassing to admit it, but it wasn't something he'd thought about.  "My name, but that's it."

"And you didn't think that was odd?"

"I didn't know any different, did I?" he grumbled.  It wasn't until he'd been prompted to try and recall something specific – such as being alive - that he realised that he knew next to nothing at all.  He never even had the chance to question it – as soon as he’d awoken, things happened one after another at a breakneck speed.
 
Tezuka had that pensive look again. “I suppose that explains why you didn’t know anything about the game. You forgot the briefing.”
 
Ryoma rubbed at his head. This was annoying. He couldn’t believe it. He was really dead? 
 
Thinking about it, it did make sense. Why people in the RG couldn’t see them, and all those weird abilities, the Reapers themselves, and Tezuka’s comment the day before. “So the game…”
 
“All players enter the game for the same reason. We’re playing to get a second chance at life,” Tezuka confirmed.
 
Third Day, End.


 

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
argentum_luna
Aug. 19th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD: Ryoma without tennis D:
agentlerain
Aug. 19th, 2008 12:43 pm (UTC)
=O So I was wrong. It's a second chance at life.
;___________;

Here I was thinking that Tezuka wanted a second chance at their relationship. And that by playing the game, they could reclaim their most precious thing; for Tezuka: his relationship with Ryoma, and for Ryoma: tennis. *throws that idea out the window*

;____________________; RYOMA CAN'T PLAY TENNIS ANYMORE. SIN. D= D= IS THERE ANYTHING SADDER?
sinnatious
Aug. 20th, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC)
YOUR SCENARIO WAS BEAUTIFUL. I WAS SORT OF SAD THAT IT WAS NOT THE CASE.
agentlerain
Aug. 21st, 2008 11:02 am (UTC)
I WAS SAD TOO. SIDE!FIC? XP
tezukaryo
Aug. 19th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
Well, that really clear the fog *grin*...OMG, Ryoma without tennis...now Horio is better than him...Oh the horror *giggles*...they are DEAD...how did they die?...an accident, is that why Ryoma lost is memory?...Did Tezuka follow Ryoma to get him back? *grin*...look forward to the next chapter.
jade_peace
Aug. 19th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
ARRRRRRRRGH

ASDFGHJKL;AFASDGLASDHBGOEIN;ASHGDOO

ALL MY FEARS ARE CONFIRMED.
THEY ARE DEAD.
AMNESIA!ECHIZEN.

TEZUKA ZONE.
ECHIZEN + NO TENNIS = PHAIL

ASDFGHJKL;ASDFGHJKL;ASDFGHJKL;ASDFGHJKL;

*BECOMES COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY INCOHERENT*

;_______________________________;

</3
ichinonaru
Aug. 19th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
OMG! It's Ryoma with sucky tennis skills! I'm so glad I decided to drop by and check if you've updated since I just decided to start playing WEWY and well... haha, now I'm intigued at the Game Master's real identity... is it Tezuka? Fuji? Waaaah! This story is keeping me on my toes! Exciting! I wanna know the reasooooon!!! XD I'm bad with long, mysterious and suspenseful fics, it kills me you know... The wait, the torture... and Haha, yeah I turn into a drama queen when I get soooo hyped up with all the waiting!!! Gaaaah!
Read too many fanfics and mangas with cliffhangers that leaves me frustrated to no end! It's like a cycle. I read one unfinished work and leave hanging then I move on to another AWESOME unfinished work and I get all frustrated till it builds up and all the accumulated pile to frastration over unfinished awesome works makes me rant longer and rantier comments!
Haha, hope you weren't bored... but really, its your fault for making rant-inspiring fics!
sinnatious
Aug. 20th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
Tezuka as GameMaster in a game he's playing? O___o

Oh dear, if it comes to waiting for answers and suspense, you won't like this fic at ALL. I wait for the last possible moment to answer questions. And then wait some more. :| This may test your patience horribly.

At least you know it WILL be finished, and relatively quickly? :D
ichinonaru
Aug. 20th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's why I like reading your fanfics... haha, despite giving us the answers at the very end, at least you update very quickly and I'm certain that it will be finished! ^___^

Er... I'm only guessing about the stuff I'm saying though since as I've said, I haven't started playing when I wrote that... I started yesterday and now I'm in Day5 Shiki Arc... I wanna see Yoshiya sooon! XD
And I want Matsuoka to be friendly with me! XD
ankoku_tenshi
Aug. 19th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Every time I see something about this game it makes me want to play it. But I don't have a DS. ^^;;;;

I wonder how those two died. Did they die together?
sinnatious
Aug. 20th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
D: That is indeed a horrible fate.
missselarne
Aug. 19th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
Gosh, Ryoma. Must you always forget everything? You better be glad you have Tezuka there to help out. And make sure to reward him very well.

I tried to play the game before reading. I forgot I can't play video games. But I made it through the first day!
sinnatious
Aug. 20th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
(I find that ignoring the AI and just trusting it to take care of itself made things a lot easier? A couple of days in, and I guarantee you'll be addicted. :D)
missselarne
Aug. 20th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
I wasn't paying attention to tht top, just mashing the left and right buttons. It's the dragging thing on the bottom that messes me up. But I'll take your word and try it again.
firedraygon97
Aug. 20th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC)
*snickers* Amnesia!Ryoma's so cute. I thought it'd be a your-mind-forgets-but-your-body-remembers moment when Ryoma went for his match, but alas, it was not to be. XD;

Ryuuzaki! A tribute to Death Note? Or is he just using the coach's name?

Game Master = Nanjiroh Y/N?

Please write more soon! This game sounds like it'd be fun, haha.
sinnatious
Aug. 20th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC)
Whichever you would prefer? :D

I'm posting daily. Which is silly of me, but this fic sort of calls for it. The game is a lot of fun! I heartily recommend it. It also promotes cross-dressing and is laden with innuendo, but that's just a bonus. XD
aventria
Aug. 20th, 2008 07:11 am (UTC)
=o =o =o He lost tennis?! But.. but... he lost his memories! He should've just lost his memories of and/or related to tennis. Or did he lose everything because his everything evolved around tennis?

Oh Poor Ryoma! T_T

Tezuka Zone!!! XDXDXD Oh it always comes back to tennis between the two of them! *flail* He's falling in love again~!


Oh this bit is confusing:

“You don’t think it would be a problem if people suddenly started playing tennis against someone who was supposed to be dead?” Tezuka bent down to tighten the laces on his shoes. When Ryoma didn’t respond, he glanced up. “…Echizen?”

It felt as though the world had stopped. “…You’re… you’re dead?”

Tezuka seemed puzzled. “Of course. All of the Players are.”


@.@ "Was supposed to be dead?" Or his follow up, yes "of course" he's dead?

*confuzzled* So does that mean he doesn't play Joshua's role and he's not *insert-eight-letter-word-spoiler-here* ?

@.@ guhhh...


sinnatious
Aug. 20th, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC)
That's what you get for leaping to conclusions? ;)
superultragddya
Aug. 21st, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
Ryouma has no tennis. D;

mou, howdidtheydie? DD; Kun-kun~~~~

sorry, i wanted to reread this chapter before commenting. ^^ ;;

hey, out of curiosity, who're the other pair? O=

And yaaaaay, I am imagining buchou sadfacing inside because RYOUMA WITHOUT TENNIS. DDD;

Sorry. >o> I like Tezuangst. >o>
sinnatious
Aug. 21st, 2008 10:54 am (UTC)
There are numerous nameless OCs. Obviously I couldn't kill off EVERYONE in canon. Stastically, that would make no sense.

And there's the interesting question - which is sadder? To not remember, or not to BE remembered?
superultragddya
Aug. 21st, 2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
Well. If you didn't remember, you wouldn't be saddened by not remembering, right?

While to not BE remembered...

Well, maybe that's just because I'm very self-centered and I'd be depressed if I were forgotten. ;~~;

...oh. xD Thanks~ <3
sleepingfingers
Sep. 24th, 2008 05:29 am (UTC)
Oh! Reading this chapter was almost painful. A Ryoma who doesn't know how to play tennis. ;__;
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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