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PoTWEWY - The Fifth 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:  The Game Master finally turns up.  Hopefully he came out okay.


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

 

The Fifth Day
 
By now, Ryoma wasn’t even surprised to suddenly discover himself waking up in some weird public place. They were on the grassy bank by the river this time.
 
He was a little bit surprised at how soft the ground was, though. He was almost tempted to try and go back to sleep.
 
When his fingers touched fabric, he rethought that decision. Rolling his head, Ryoma realised that he was actually sprawled across someone. Gaze travelling upward, he caught sight of a relaxed brow and a wisp of brown hair.
 
Ah, that would be Tezuka.
 
Tezuka was extraordinarily comfortable, but partners or not, Ryoma figured that he probably was the sort to protect his personal space rather zealously. For that matter Ryoma was too, but since Tezuka was the only person he really knew he was willing to make concessions. He rolled off onto the grass with a yawn, and instantly regretted it. The ground was cold and damp. Tezuka had been nice and warm.
 
How did they even get like that, though? Ryoma hadn’t thought too deeply about what happened in that intervening time, but he never remembered falling asleep after completing a mission. It was probably some weird supernatural force. He couldn’t picture Reapers wandering around putting the players to sleep then carting them off somewhere. It had to be automatic, but it was still a disturbing thought.
 
Then again, they were essentially just soul now, weren’t they? It wasn’t so hard to imagine that when the Game shut down for the day it might shut down the Players too, and then maybe when it started up again it spat you back out in a random location. And since you were tied to your partner by the pact, you’d wind up in the same place. Ryoma contented himself with that explanation, even though there was no proof of it either way. 
 
A moment later a slight frown appeared on his partner’s face, and dark brown eyes fluttered open. Tezuka pushed himself up, took a moment to orientate himself, then very politely said, “Good morning.”
 
Ryoma checked the sun. It looked closer to early afternoon, but he didn’t bother pointing that out.
 
“The river?”
 
“You’d know better than me,” he muttered in a surly undertone.
 
“Hm.” Tezuka didn’t have a chance to respond to that, as their phones both beeped simultaneously.   
 
“Clear all the Noise from Seigaku Courts. Time limit, five hours,” Ryoma read aloud, and then snapped his phone shut. Finally, a nice straightforward mission. Oh sure, there were probably half a dozen Wall Reapers to slow them down, but most of them were happy if they just defeated some summoned Noise or performed some dumb errand or answered a riddle, which Tezuka invariably figured out in a matter of seconds.
 
“Five hours… we’ll eat quickly,” Tezuka decided, then started walking away.
 
“Hey, where are you going?”
 
“Seigaku is this way. The ramen place is on the way,” he replied.
 
Ryoma scowled, and shoved his hands in his pockets. “Oh.”
 
They hadn’t even made it to the ramen shop before they ran into their first wall. Looking around, though, Ryoma couldn’t see any Wall Reapers. “This is just great,” he grumbled.
 
Cackling laughter suddenly sounded from above them. It sent shivers down his spine. Tezuka was looking at the roof. 
 
"Kirihara?"
 
It was another Reaper, feet dangling over the edge of the rooftop. The guy's face stretched into a positively demonic grin.  His hair was a curly mess, and his eyes were sort of bloodshot.  "Ha!  I can't believe this!  You two are in the game?  This is the best!" He slapped a hand over his eyes and rocked back and forth while he laughed.

He had those same black skeletal wings that the Wall Reaper Arai had, but the vibe he gave off was different. He was wearing a bright yellow shirt instead of the usual school uniform or plain black clothing most of the other Reapers favoured, just for starters.

"Who is this guy?" Ryoma asked.
 
“A tennis player from Rikkai,” Tezuka answered.
 
“Hey, I’m much more than that!” he yelled down, standing and pointing rudely at them. “Pay a bit more respect to your Game Master!”
 
“Game Master?” Ryoma repeated, blinking.
 
“So you’re the one who has been issuing the missions,” Tezuka surmised.
 
“That’s right!” Kirihara giggled – but it somehow sounded more threatening than childish. “I thought I’d introduce myself to the surviving Players! And now it all makes sense. I didn’t think anyone would complete the third mission, but now that I know you two are here…”
 
“Hey, why-” Ryoma started to say, but was interrupted when Kirihara burst into a fit of manic laughter again.
 
“This is so rich! At last! I’ll finally get you back! I can’t wait until the seventh day! Then the Reapers can finally attack the Players directly, you know!” Kirihara grinned, eyes wild. 
 
That was news about the Reapers attacking them directly… “You mean they’ve been attacking indirectly?” Ryoma asked.
 
Kirihara ignored his question. “There’s not many of you left now. I run a tight game. But I want to take care of you two personally.” He giggled again, looking positively giddy at the thought. “You’d better escape erasure until the last day!” He waved his hand. “There, the wall’s gone. As thanks for making things interesting.” He ran off across the rooftop, and a moment later was out of sight. 
 
The guy was clearly bonkers. “Does he have some sort of grudge against you?” Ryoma asked.
 
“My team defeated his in the National Tournament,” Tezuka replied in a low voice.
 
Ah, tennis again. No wonder all the missions had been so heavily tennis-themed. “What a weirdo.”
 
Tezuka seemed troubled by the revelation. “He’s dangerous. Even in the RG, Kirihara was always a bit aggressive.”
 
Ryoma suspected that his partner was being polite and understating things again. Those bloodshot eyes made him uneasy. Not scared, because something as lame as bloodshot eyes just didn’t scare Ryoma, but it still didn’t sit right with him. He sidled a little closer to Tezuka without really noticing he was doing it, then frowned and stepped away again.
 
“We’d better get to Seigaku,” Tezuka said eventually.
 
“Yeah.”
 
They started walking.
 
They quickly ate some ramen, then resumed heading towards the school. They only encountered two walls on the way – for the first all they had to do was defeat some summoned Noise, then run back and fetch a bowl of ramen for the second one. They had a good two and a half hours to spare when they reached the school gates.
 
It was a good thing too, as it seemed like Seigaku’s tennis court was crawling with Noise. Ryoma nearly dropped his Player pin in shock.
 
“That’s going to take forever to clear,” he hissed.
 
“Then we’d better get started,” Tezuka said.
 
They started at the edges, clearing them away methodically one after another. They must have spent at least half an hour killing Noise. They were picking up a rather impressive collection of pins – they were going to be rich the next time they came across a Wall Reaper. 
 
As a crow-like Noise vanished into the ether, Ryoma put his hands on his knees, struggling to catch his breath. Tezuka clutched his Player Pin and did a scan, then frowned. “It seems as though others keep turning up to replace the ones we’ve erased. We’re not making any progress at all.”
 
“Where are all the other Players, already?” Ryoma groused. It would be easier if they didn’t have to clear them all themselves. 
 
“There might have been more walls on the other paths,” Tezuka pointed out. “In the meantime, we should figure what keeps bringing all these Noise here, or we’ll never finish in time.”
 
Ryoma’s attention was caught by a scuffle over near what looked like the tennis court’s clubroom. “Hey, what’s happening over there?” There was a small group of students, and it looked like they were arguing.
 
Tezuka followed his gaze, and froze.
 
“Heartless Viper! I want them here too, but they’re grieving!”
 
“Idiot! Do you think they’d want us to stop just like that?! That’s disrespecting their wishes!”
 
“Hey, who are your saying is being disrespectful?! We’ll just win without them! Or don’t you think you can?!” It was Momoshiro, Ryoma recalled vaguely – the spiky-haired guy from the day before. He was wearing a Fila wristband.
 
“Are you looking for a fight?!”
 
“Nyaaa, Kaidoh, Momo, don’t fight!” A redhead was tugging on Momoshiro’s arm. “Fuji and Oishi will be back! They just need another day, I’m sure!”
 
“Correct,” a really tall guy with thick glasses added, placing a hand on Kaidoh’s shoulder. “There is a less than ten percent chance that confronting them over their absence will bring them back faster. And at the very least, there is a 90 percent chance that Fuji will be back at practice tomorrow on his own. He appears to have dealt with his grief better than Oishi has.”
 
“Oishi,” the redhead lamented sadly. “He won’t even talk to me. We need to stick together now!”
 
“That’s what I’ve been saying!” Both Momoshiro and Kaidoh snapped out at the same time, then glared at each other.
 
Tezuka was paying close attention to the exchange. "You know those people?" Ryoma asked, curious.

Tezuka stiffened slightly, then nodded briefly.  "...in the RG." 

It stood to reason then that they were all members of Tezuka’s tennis club.  Momoshiro and the guy wearing the bandanna seemed to be in particularly bad moods, fighting with each other despite apparently having the exact same opinion, while the other two were trying to break them up.  Ryoma clutched his Player Pin and did a quick scan. It looked like that Kaidoh had a Noise on him, and the others were perilously close to getting possessed themselves. It was probably what was attracting all the Noise.

"What do you think they're fighting about?" Obviously they were upset about some people not being there, but considering that their captain had just died, Ryoma didn’t see the big deal.

"About practicing."

”For a tennis tournament, right?"

Tezuka turned to him.  "How did you know?"

"We’re on a tennis court, you're obviously good at a tennis, and if they're arguing about winning without people because they’re grieving..."

Tezuka looked oddly disappointed.  "...Right."

"...Do you want them to go?"

"Pardon?"

"Do you want them to go to the tournament?" Ryoma asked impatiently.  "Even though... you know."

"Of course," Tezuka replied.  "But I don't have any say in the matter.  They'll have to sort it out themselves."

"We could find the others and imprint them," Ryoma suggested, holding up his phone and Player Pin.

Tezuka placed his hand on his wrist and lowered it.  "No.  It's meaningless if they don't play of their own volition."

Ryoma could sort of understand that, he guessed, but he hoped they sorted it out soon.  "Whatever."  In any case, he was willing to bet that if they got rid of that Noise with a hold on Kaidoh, the Noise on the rest of the courts would thin out a little. “Let’s go.”
 
They went for the Noise. Tezuka vanished from his sight, but not from his senses. Long used to fighting in different zones, Ryoma focused on their enemy instead. This Noise was a new one – it looked a bit like a sea serpent, curled and floating in the air as though it were underwater. 
 
No problem. Ryoma grabbed his cyclone pin and clutched it, concentrating. Whirlwinds started to form around the Noise. It twisted in the air, briefly confused by the turbulence, then suddenly shot straight for him like an arrow.
 
It was fast! Ryoma staggered back, hand clutching at his side. Blood seeped through his fingers. When did…
 
“Echizen?! Are you okay?” Tezuka’s disembodied voice hung in the air.
 
“Fine,” he ground out through gritted teeth, then let out a grunt when the Noise whipped into his back. Grabbing his lightning pin this time, he sent out a spray of lightning bolts that left the air crackling. The Noise shrieked and fled a short distance away. Ryoma kept a wary eye on it. It was quick, and most of his psychs took a second to activate, even though he’d been getting faster at it. He fished blindly for one new pin he hadn’t used much, but required less concentration than the others. It bore the image of a katana. He clutched it between his fingers and waited, vision blurring in and out of focus. Dammit, it hurt, but if he didn’t pay attention now he’d get erased, and where would that leave Tezuka?
 
The Noise dashed for him again. This time Ryoma was ready and slashed at the air. An almost invisible blade formed around the fingers clutching the pin, and the Noise shrilled in pain and wheeled away. Gasping for breath, he shifted position again, shoes smudging the blood dripping on to the ground. Dammit, this was the first time a Noise had actually drawn blood from him – the worst the frogs ever did was leave some grazes. 
 
Suddenly, the Noise vanished. Tezuka must have pulled it into a gravity well at last. He appeared back in his peripheral vision just as Ryoma sunk to his knees. “Echizen!”
 
“S’okay,” he insisted, blood-slicked fingers fumbling for one of the healing pins. He dropped it on the ground, and scrabbled to pick it up. “Just have to…”
 
The pin slipped through his fingers again. It was so hard to concentrate. It looked like he was looking at the world through a bad television set, with fuzzy interference obscuring the picture.
 
Long, calloused fingers plucked the pin from the ground. Ryoma felt warmth spread over his injuries, and in a somewhat eerie fashion, could almost feel the skin knitting back together. The fogginess in his head started to clear. Blearily, he focused on the dark brown eyes staring down at him. Tezuka had his head propped up on his lap – when did he wind up in that position? - and the pin clutched between his thumb and forefinger.
 
“You were careless.”
 
“Hn.” He’d nearly been erased, and all Tezuka could do was lecture him? “Didn’t know you could use that psych.”
 
“Neither did I. Are you alright?”
 
Ryoma pushed himself up, hand feeling his side. It was still coated in blood, but the skin underneath was smooth. Tezuka did a superb job. How annoying. They possessed a relatively complimentary set of psychs so far, but it irked Ryoma slightly that Tezuka was better at one than he was. “It’s fine now…. Thanks,” he added grudgingly. He pushed himself to his feet and did a quick scan. Tezuka’s team mates were free of Noise, and it looked like the fight had been broken up. The court still had at least two dozen Noise to take care of, though. “C’mon, we still have to take out the rest. There’s not a whole lot of time.” The threatening red numbers were still ticking down on his palm.
 
“Are you sure-”
 
“It’s fine,” Ryoma insisted irritably. He was more annoyed with himself for getting hurt in the first place.
 
Tezuka made to hand the pin back to him, but Ryoma waved it away. “You keep it.”
 
“But-”
 
He wasn’t going to admit out loud that Tezuka was better with that psych than he was, so Ryoma just barrelled into the next battle. He’d just practice with the next pin of that sort they got and get better, and then it wouldn’t be an issue anymore.  
 
It seemed that getting rid of that Noise had done the trick, as no new Noise turned up to replace the ones they cleared this time. At some point Ryoma noticed another pair of Players on the other end of the court clearing some away too, which was just as well as the timer on his hand was getting dangerously close to zero. A tennis ball whizzed past his head, but he didn’t pay it any mind. It looked like the fractured remains of Tezuka’s tennis club finally got practice started, but they were oblivious to the Noise and Players on their courts. Ryoma deflected one stray ball with psychokinesis, which set the guy with glasses scribbling in his notebook, muttering about a new technique with an even sharper angle than some sort of ‘snake’.
 
At last, the final Noise vanished into the ether. Panting to catch his breath, Ryoma glanced at his hand, just before the timer vanished. A minute and a half. They’d cut it close. 
 
Tezuka was bowing formally to the other pair of Players, who’d just erased the last Noise. Some high school guy and a little kid. They looked like they might be family. 
 
“Hey, when’s that Tournament?” he asked suddenly.
 
“Sunday,” Tezuka replied as he straightened.
 
Ryoma did the math. The Game started on a Sunday – at least, he was pretty sure it had. “You know, it’s only seven days, so when we finish the game, you’ll still be able to go compete then, right?”
 
“…I suppose.”
 
Ryoma nodded, satisfied. “Then it’s no problem. I don’t really like tennis, but I’ll come watch. In the RG.”
 
Tezuka looked surprised, then said, “…It’s a promise?”
 
Promises seemed like such a child-like thing to make, but just this once, Ryoma put his pride aside. “I guess.”
 
Tezuka had a future and a life to get back to. Ryoma didn’t quite know what exactly he was supposed to do with his second chance at life, but at the very least he’d put his uneasiness aside and finish the game for Tezuka. They’d get back to the RG together. He’d figure out what came after later.
 
 
Fifth Day, End.
 
 

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
agentlerain
Aug. 21st, 2008 11:22 am (UTC)
;_____________; There's no point to his life unless it has Tezuka and tennis. But the yakusoku~

... =D 'You were careless.'
sinnatious
Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:41 am (UTC)
They should have done a pinky-swear. But thanks to xXxholic, that brings up unsettling thoughts of Himawari, and that's gotta just be bad luck.

....God, they SHOULD have done a pinky-swear. *is regretful*
ichinonaru
Aug. 21st, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
A very logical explanation about the Game haha! Yeah, it actually makes sense when you think about it!
And oooh Kirihara being the GM was unexpected!
OOOOOH reference to Echizen's cyclone smash, and Samurai JR!!
And oMG! Why didn't I realize it beforeeee.... the reason why Ryoma forgot tennis was the same reason why Neku forgot his own memories right? Are you keeping that reference or are you changing the reason for his amnesia... but then... now I'm wondering about Tezuka... hm...
sinnatious
Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:39 am (UTC)
Wonder away. ;) Gosh, you know, figuring out logical explanations for some of that stuff in TWEWY is brain-hurting, glad you think it worked. XD That game left SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS (and that's even AFTER the secret reports. -___-)
ichinonaru
Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:54 am (UTC)
Yep! fallen angels and all that... well I haven't unlocked the secret reports yet but I've read it up! XDXDXD
And I'm still savoring the Joshua part... I don't want to change partners... I hope that he can be my partner for the rest of the game.. sadly, I have to change to Beat after a week! Shame really! HAHA! I like Joshua and Neku's interaction! I heard that even the developers think he's gay! Hahaha! I wanna see the omake! XD
su24
Aug. 21st, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC)
ohhh, there is great depth in it...and the way you explain how the other regulars handle their emotions are great! :D
sinnatious
Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:38 am (UTC)
Ah, a relief, it was a part I was worried about. Thanks!
jade_peace
Aug. 21st, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
asdfghjkl;

THERE IS NO LIFE AFTER TEZUKA AND TENNIS ;__;

Promising to watch Tezu compete *___*

And Cyclone Smash !!

Argh, Sinn, I love you so hard.

Oh and a tiny thing I wanted to point out - "as no new Noise turned up the replace the ones they cleared this time" I think you meant "as no new Noise turned up TO replace the ones they cleared this time"
sinnatious
Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:37 am (UTC)
Ah, thanks for catching that, fixed!

<3
firedraygon97
Aug. 21st, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
This is so much like me playing an RPG without a walkthrough. "WHY AREN'T THE MONSTERS STOPPING?!" Oh, gotta flip a special switch. Gotcha. v__v

Hee, I love the cameos. (Kamio? Next, please! XD)

Tezuka's desperate hope that Ryoma's remembered tennis is so sad. ;__; Good luck!!
sinnatious
Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:43 am (UTC)
I had to be choosy with the cameos - can't be killing off everybody! - and sadly, Kamio did not make the cut. :( The potential for punnery makes me regretful.

God-damned those special switches! XD
superultragddya
Aug. 21st, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
...does Ryouma get his memories back after the week's over? o_O

and, oh, Tezuka bowing formally. -giggles...giggly-like- >>

How'd Aka-chan dieeeeee? 8D

and mmm, head in lap. *g*

and poor, poor, Tezuka, nearly thinking Ryouma's gor his memories back. ;__________;

(but yay tezuangst just the same! =D -is not a sadist, really-)
sinnatious
Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:52 am (UTC)
Suuuuuuuure. ;)

As though I'll tell! XD
superultragddya
Aug. 22nd, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
-giggles-

Love you too~ x3
aventria
Aug. 25th, 2008 08:41 am (UTC)
HEAD ON LAP! HEAD ON LAP!!!! AWWWW~

BTW: "Tezuka had his head propped up in his lap..." are you sure that's not "...on his lap..." ?

SIIIIIINNNN!!! D=D=D= Why weren't they dorky enough to do a pinky promise?
aventria
Aug. 25th, 2008 08:47 am (UTC)
I've just finished reading the comments and found that you ~did~ remember pinky promising. =| I'll just have to think that they did after all XD.
sinnatious
Aug. 25th, 2008 11:09 am (UTC)
Easy fix! Just mentally add 'They locked pinkie fingers, holding the promise just a little longer than they needed to' to the end of the chapter. :D
sleepingfingers
Sep. 24th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
It's good to see Ryoma jealous of Tezuka, even though it's nothing to do with tennis. :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )