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PoTWEWY - The Seventh 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 seventh day.  Dun dun dunnn.


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


The Seventh Day 
 
Ryoma opened his eyes and shivered, then sat up abruptly. Or rather, tried to. Tezuka was apparently unconscious and sprawled across him, his weight very effectively keeping Ryoma pinned.
 
He flopped back against the ground, and rolled his head to the side. The bus stop again.
 
It was the seventh day. The last day. All they had to do was survive long enough to complete the mission.
 
Their clothes had dried some, but were sort of damp, and Ryoma was still missing his cap.  He wondered if you could catch a cold when you were dead, but Tezuka’s body was warm, and the sun on his face was soothing. Right at that moment, Ryoma had a hard time believing that he wasn’t actually alive.
 
He probably should do something about moving Tezuka, but he was tired and Tezuka was heavy. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, brown hair tickling his face. It was mostly just the vague scent of grass and fish – clearly leftover from the river – but he could also pick up on just a hint of lavender and something vaguely vanilla. It was rather pleasant, and for just a second Ryoma found himself wishing that the moment could last forever. He didn’t dwell on the why or the how – nothing else seemed to matter.
 
Eyelashes fluttered briefly, and Tezuka let out a barely audible groan that Ryoma could feel rumble from his stomach all the way up to his throat. He shivered slightly, but managed to keep his expression bored and indifferent when those deep brown eyes opened and stared at him.
 
“…Echizen?”
 
“Tezuka, you’re heavy,” he stated in a droll tone.
 
Tezuka blinked several times, then nearly elbowed Ryoma in the face in his haste to stand. “I’m sorry, I-”
 
Ryoma waved it off with a yawn. “The mission should be arriving any minute. The last one.” As eager as he was to get out of this dangerous and surreal game, it left him almost melancholic. 
 
Their phones beeped. Ryoma noted with some dry amusement that Tezuka’s was still using the descending trill he’d changed it to on the sly. Still, the small mobile felt abnormally heavy when he flipped it open.
 
“Defeat the Game Master at the street courts. You have 4 hours.”
 
“Another tennis game? Think you can handle it?” Ryoma asked. He certainly wasn’t willing to bet their success on his own skills.
 
“I haven’t played him before, so there’s no way of knowing for sure.”
 
By now, Ryoma could spot Tezuka’s modesty for what it was. He relaxed slightly. “Good.”
 
“I won’t be able to play like this, though. The street courts aren’t far. Let’s get some fresh clothes first,” Tezuka suggested, then frowned. “And a tennis racquet.”
 
Ryoma was currently limping around in only one shoe, so he was very much in favour of that idea. It only took them a few minutes to locate a clothing store with an emblem – one that fortunately had everything they needed. The sales staff obviously had no idea how to react to them when they entered – on one hand, they looked a mess, but on the other hand it was clearly obvious that they needed new clothes. In any case, Tezuka didn’t give them the chance to decide as he efficiently went from rack to rack, pulling out a light purple button-up shirt for himself as well as a white t-shirt, then a white tee with two black stripes in Ryoma’s size. They both wound up with the same black pants in different sizes, grabbed some socks, then lingered for a minute at the shoes, both getting sneakers as anything else wouldn’t make any sense given the situation.
 
They didn’t try anything on – there wasn’t enough time. They spent another moment in what seemed to be the sports section – it had a very small array of racquets that Tezuka looked over disapprovingly before selecting one, taking a few swings with it, then stating, “It will have to do.” 
 
Their last stop was so that Ryoma could grab another cap – a white Fila one, exactly like the one he’d lost. Somehow Tezuka had calculated everything out perfectly, so they had just enough money left over for ramen. They grabbed their purchases and were back outside, the whole affair not even taking twenty minutes. 
 
Once out on the street, Ryoma shrugged off his still-damp shirt. “What are you doing?” Tezuka asked sounding scandalised.
 
“Getting changed, obviously.”
 
Here?”
 
Ryoma smirked, and gave his partner a sly glance. “It’s not like anyone can see us, you know.” He pulled off his sodden shoe and socks.
 
Tezuka frowned, glancing back. “I’m sure they’d let us use the change rooms in the store.”
 
It would have been a better idea, but they’d spooked the sales people enough as it was. Ryoma went to unbuckle his pants and frowned, hesitating. Granted, they were invisible to everyone in the RG, but that didn’t mean he was entirely comfortable with shedding his pants in public. “Turn around,” he grumbled to his partner. Tezuka immediately obliged.
 
Fresh clothes really did feel a lot better – if nothing else, it was nice to get rid of that torn and bloodstained shirt. When he turned back around it appeared that Tezuka had given in to practicality, as he’d pulled off his own shirt. Ryoma’s eyes fastened on to the bare back, and he was mildly surprised at how well toned the musculature there was. It stood to reason, given Tezuka’s displayed prowess in tennis, but on first impressions he resembled a bookworm who didn’t see sunlight. It was the glasses and manners, Ryoma decided. 
 
He tore his eyes away when Tezuka started changing out of his pants, though. He wasn’t a pervert, no matter his curiosity. Not like his… that thought confounded him for a moment, as though he’d almost grasped something, but it slipped through his figurative fingers.
 
Ryoma tugged on the new socks and shoes. The shoes were a little tight, but after a day of walking around and stretching them they would fit perfectly. In any case, it was better than walking around barefoot. 
 
“Ready?” Tezuka asked.
 
Not even slightly. “Let’s go,” Ryoma muttered.
 
They headed to the street courts, stopping only long enough to very quickly eat some ramen. Ryoma scanned regularly now, checking for any Noise traps or Harriers that might be coming after them. If what that pair said the day before was true, they could find themselves in a fight with an actual Reaper. Ryoma didn’t have any moral difficulties with erasing someone who was trying to erase him but he was also willing to bet that fighting a Reaper would be a lot harder than fighting Noise. Snatches of thoughts crept in at the edge of his senses every time he scanned, though, making it harder to filter for those ominous empty spaces. That was one thing he wasn’t going to miss in the RG. ESP wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.
 
The street courts were just around the corner. For one moment, Ryoma was seized by insecurity and indecision. They’d lasted together this far… but back in the RG Tezuka would have his friends and his tennis club and his life back again. Would he still want anything to do with him? He might have only put up with Ryoma for the sake of the game – maybe after this that would be it. Ryoma would come watch his tournament, and then what? How would Tezuka explain a new hanger-on?
 
The thought was faintly terrifying. Ryoma didn’t know anyone else. But he was also quite sure that he didn’t know how to be scared, and so clenched his fists determinedly and headed on to the street courts.
 
Kirihara was waiting for them. He turned when they arrived, and his face split into a crazy grin. “You made it! Good.”
 
“Of course.” Tezuka gripped the handle of his racquet a little tighter.
 
The Game Master glanced at it. “What did you bring that for?”
 
“Tennis,” Tezuka answered, in a tone that suggested it was obvious.
 
Kirihara stared at them, then abruptly burst out into maniacal laughter. He laughed for so long Ryoma thought he might faint from lack of breath. “Hey.”
 
Tennis? You thought you were going to defeat me in tennis?!” Kirihara was almost gasping for breath amidst his laughter. 
 
Tezuka frowned. It was only a slightly deeper expression than his usual frown. He didn’t reply.
 
Kirihara raised an arm, his black skeletal wings flaring out slightly. His hand almost resembled a claw held like that, and his bloodshot eyes seemed to almost glow. “I’m not interested in defeating you with tennis anymore. I’ve found something much better as a Reaper!”
 
Ryoma understood before Tezuka did. He clutched his fire pin, and rested his weight on the balls of his feet. Kirihara wanted a fight. He’d wanted a fight from the very instant he’d discovered Tezuka in the game. This whole mission was so that they’d come right to him for this battle. 
 
It was do-or-die. Only one side would get to walk away. “Tezuka.”
 
“I know.” Tezuka placed the racquet on the ground carefully, clutching one of his own pins in its place.
 
“Ha, glad to see you get it!” Kirihara swiped his hand horizontally in a violent motion. For an instant, it was like the air warped around them, and then they were in the zone.
 
Ryoma didn’t waste an instant – the minute he spotted Kirihara, he focused his flames. When the fire cleared, though, all he was fighting was a black shadow that resembled something more like a demon. It was fast. Ryoma whirled to the side to avoid a clawed hand slashing out at him, swinging his own arm as he did so. An almost transparent blade left a trail in the air, and the shadow hissed. It was a guttural, angry sound – a mere echo of Kirihara’s actual voice.
 
There was energy in the air, and Ryoma knew that Tezuka was doing something big. A moment later the shadow seemed to shift, and regular old Kirihara was in front of him again, albeit levitating just slightly off the ground. This didn’t bother him – Ryoma found that when using some of his psychs he’d levitate without noticing himself. He threw out a stream of lightning that crackled through the air. It made a direct hit and Kirihara doubled over, cursing, before sending out several bolts of energy. Ryoma avoided most of them, though the one that did glance across his knee didn’t hurt that much. If all of them hit, though, it might have been a different matter. “Don’t let him get successive strikes!” he called in warning, hoping that his own voice could carry across the zones the same way Tezuka’s could.
 
He didn’t receive an answer, but assumed it was because his partner was busy. Kirihara was fast – if you stood still for even a moment he’d send a barrage of energy bolts at you, and even when moving he’d dart in to swipe at you, blood-shot eyes close enough that you could see the veins. Ryoma was picking up a nice collection of bruises and grazes, but grit his teeth and sent forth a flurry of whirlwinds to buy some time to get his bearings. He was right – fighting a Reaper was quite different to fighting a Noise. Kirihara was intelligent, for one, and would actually dodge his attacks and always act in that short moment when he was concentrating on activating a psych.
 
Kirihara halted suddenly, a strange expression on his face. Tezuka must be doing some serious fireworks, Ryoma surmised, and dashed in, pin clutched between his fingers. He slashed upwards.
 
He’d been expecting blood – and indeed, there seemed to be a spray of what looked like blood, but it transformed into a black substance that evaporated as it hit air. Kirihara’s image distorted and fuzzed, as though he was getting bad reception, and he stumbled back. He laughed, but it was weak and unstable now – the strong, proud maniacal laughter of earlier just a distant memory.
 
“Impossible… you… it can’t be. I’m the strongest! I can’t lose!” He staggered back, seeming to fade in and out of sight. “I can’t-”
 
He never finished the sentence. One second here was there, and the next he was gone. Erased.
 
Ryoma felt a bit odd about that. Regretful, almost. Which didn’t make any sense, because the Game Master had been trying his hardest to erase them. It was only fair.
 
Erasure was horrible, though.
 
It didn’t matter. They didn’t need to worry about erasure anymore. They’d done it. They’d finished the Game. Ryoma felt his shoulders sag in relief. Tezuka was next to him again. He didn’t say anything, but he could practically feel the relief there as well. Absently, he plucked a light blue pin from the ground.
 
Light flashed. 
 
For a moment, Ryoma was disorientated. They were in a spacious room. There were no windows, so he assumed it was underground. The floor was marble and the walls covered in mirrors. It was strange, though. Just a moment ago they’d been standing on the street courts, but then, it was no surprise after all those mornings of waking up in strange places.
 
“Congratulations on finishing the game.”
 
Ryoma turned slowly at the voice, careful not to show his surprise. Tezuka was less successful. "Sanada?"
 
It was another Reaper, definitely – the wings were a dead giveaway. He was wearing the same yellow shirt that those two Harriers and Kirihara had been wearing, too. He was also sporting a black cap and an expression possibly even more serious than Tezuka’s.

Ryoma glanced between them suspiciously.  "You know this guy too?"

"In the RG," Tezuka explained.  "He's the vice-captain of Rikkai’s tennis team.  But Rikkai isn't..."

"This zone might be called Seishun," Sanada interrupted, "But it encompasses quite a large area."

"We know where the boundaries area. Rikkai isn’t within it,” Tezuka stated.
 
Rikkai again. By Ryoma’s count, that tennis team had four Reapers in the game? Maybe more Tezuka hadn’t known about. Did their school burn down or something?
 
He supposed it could have happened a long time ago. They were Reapers, so they could still interact with the RG. It made sense that if they’d met up in the UG, they might want to stick together in the RG, apparently by all joining the same tennis club. It made it a very creepy tennis club in Ryoma’s opinion. Was it an exclusive thing – dead people only allowed?
 
“Reapers are not confined in the same way that Players are.” It appeared that was the only answer Sanada was willing to give the question. “…I see you took out Kirihara.”
 
That made Ryoma tense. If they’d been team mates this Sanada person would probably be annoyed. “We had no choice,” Tezuka replied evenly. “If there was any other way…”
 
Sanada nodded. “It was Kirihara’s decision. A loss, but he knew the risks when he issued the mission.” There was definite displeasure in his expression, but Sanada appeared to be all business. “And now, as Conductor, it is my duty to grant you your reward.”
 
“Wait… we’re all that’s left?” Ryoma asked.
 
“You were the only Players to finish the game,” Sanada confirmed.
 
Everyone else had been erased? That pair at the tennis tournament? The high schooler and the little kid who’d helped them clear Noise at Seigaku? Ryoma felt sick suddenly. They were strangers, but they’d been comrades, sort of.
 
“Conductor?” Tezuka asked. Ryoma belatedly remembered the term. The white-haired Harrier had mentioned it – something about setting rules, and a Composer, too.
 
“The game is run by the Composer. As Conductor, it is my duty to execute his will. And now, the time has come to conclude matters.” Sanada smiled now, but it was a cold and empty smile and didn’t seem to fit on his face at all. “It was a surprise to see familiar faces, but as expected, you played the Game wonderfully. I’m not surprised that you finished successfully. Are you ready?”
 
Ryoma and Tezuka both nodded firmly.
 
“Good luck to you, then. You first, Tezuka.”
 
The light that shone was so bright it was nearly blinding.
 
 
Seventh Day, End. 
 
 
…………..
 
Footsteps clattered on a concrete path, mindless chatter filling the air as people walked past. Traffic rumbled on the street nearby, drowning out the twitter of birdsong and rustling of the wind.
 
He was alone.
 
Ryoma stood up, dusted his the dirt from knees, and stared dully at the bus stop timetable. 

'You have 7 days.'
 
It was Sunday.
 
 

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
superultragddya
Aug. 23rd, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
BOOM. -goes to read- >>
superultragddya
Aug. 23rd, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
All over again~ D; likenekuandshiki,ahn?

And eee, Tezuka waking up all over Ryouma~ 8DDD

and awwww, tezuka and his clothes.

Yaaay bookwormbuchou. 8D
sinnatious
Aug. 23rd, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
BETTER THAN TEZUKA WITHOUT HIS CLOTHES? ACK, WHAT I AM SAYING, THAT'S SO BACKWARDS.
superultragddya
Aug. 23rd, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
YOU AND YOUR OBSESSION WITH CLOTHES-LESS BUCHOU. RYOUMA WOULD BE ASHAMED though i think he thinks about naked tezuka more than you do. >o>
sinnatious
Aug. 24th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)
I BLAME VALIANT?
roseofthine
Aug. 24th, 2008 08:06 am (UTC)
DO NOT GET. D;
ankoku_tenshi
Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
Eh?! It's not over? I don;t quite know what's going on, since I never played the game, but what I do know comes from Wiki. ^^;;;

Awww, Ryoma's musings are always so cute. The way he's always so blunt is funny too. I'm just happy this isn't over yet.
sinnatious
Aug. 23rd, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
SURPRISE?

It will be explained tomorrow (technically, later today). And yes, fic is way longer than this. I would have thought all the unanswered questions would give it away. :3
argentum_luna
Aug. 23rd, 2008 07:45 am (UTC)
YOU'RE GOING TO TAKE TEZUKA AWAY FROM RYOMA, AREN'T YOU??? A;DKFJ;ADKSJF;ALKJSDF;KAJDSF
sinnatious
Aug. 23rd, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
>:3
superultragddya
Aug. 23rd, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
THAT FACE. SO ADORABLE, KUN-KUN~! 8D
ichinonaru
Aug. 23rd, 2008 08:05 am (UTC)
OMG... waaaah! And then??? Is Ryoma gonna play thrice like Neku!? But nothing was revealed so I'm expecting something more maybe? And what about Kirihara, is he erased for good?? Oh noes... I'm even more confused now... haha, I wanna knooow what happens nexxxxt!
su24
Aug. 23rd, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
you are evil ~pout~.......how could you live him alone?!?!?!?!??!?! nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo....meh, great chapter as always
su24
Aug. 23rd, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
opss, i meant "leave" not live XD
sinnatious
Aug. 23rd, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks! <3

I cannot resist being evil. Sorry. It's genetic or something. :|
firedraygon97
Aug. 24th, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)
My gosh, how cruel!! D: Poor Ryoma. Where did his Tezuka go?

Heeee, I love Tezuka acting all scandalized. "What are you doing?" So cute. The scrambling around in the morning was great, too. Looking forward to another 7 days!
sinnatious
Aug. 24th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC)
Thanks, hope they don't disappoint. :)

Tezuka is such a dork. <3
agentlerain
Aug. 26th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC)
;_______; Sin!!! I'm without a computer at home right now, so I'm on at the university's. But you made me sad and laugh out loud. The people just infront of me are staring at me weirdly, wondering what in the world's so funny/strange. XP

Ryoma shed a tear for Dan~ YOU KILLED OF DAN DESU. AND AKUTSU! GRRR.

But I <3 this. "If they’d been team mates this Sanada person would probably be annoyed." BECAUSE RYOMA IS DEFINITELY REMINDED OF SOMEONE ELSE THAT HE'S ANNOYED AT WHO DOESN'T SMILE NEARLY ENOUGH. =D

And yay! for almost remembering his father. =D

sinnatious
Aug. 26th, 2008 09:27 am (UTC)
NO HOME COMPUTER?! :O EMERGENCY, STAT! On the other hand, I was indirectly responsible for making you look weird. PLUS! ;)

Truly, Sanada and Tezuka have a startling amount in common. I'd never really considered this before.

Strangely, you were the only person to comment on his near-rememberance of his father? I was so pleased with that bit, too. *hugs*.
agentlerain
Aug. 27th, 2008 05:16 am (UTC)
;______; Yes. I'm suffering from withdrawl symptoms and thus am trying to sate myself with fanfiction from the university computers. I'm in hostile territory right now, the Economics building people know I'm just a poor Arts student.

Muhahahaha~ I have achieved new revelation for Sin. XP How could you not have seen it before? While Tezuka is in Germany, Sanada poses the biggest thing against Ryoma. Both understand Echizen's abilities and want him to strive to heights. =D Oh Sin~

Ah~ *hugs back* But I'm always looking out for the sub-text that you put in, Sin. After all, you and Nanjiroh have a love-hate relationship. ;)
aventria
Aug. 27th, 2008 07:15 am (UTC)
D= Oh I see... so it wasn't Tezuka...so if he wasn't...am I to assume that you'll follow the game and have a similar twist? Because Sanada's there as Conductor which makes me hugely suspicious =|
jade_peace
Aug. 28th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
ASDFGHJKL;

SINN.

LAVENDER~~

sleepingfingers
Sep. 24th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
This is truly chilling. Just when you think everything's over, it starts all over again.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )