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PoTWEWY - Day One

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 first week can be found here.  And now Ryoma must face another round of the Game, this time without Tezuka.


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


Day One
 
Ryoma stuck his hands in his pocket as his phone beeped, then pulled it out and flipped it open. “Go to Seigaku. Time limit: 2 hours. Fail, and face erasure.” That familiar zap, and red numbers ticked down on his palm once again. He didn’t even flinch at the pain this time.
 
Not particularly imaginative, but it was the first mission after all. First order of business was finding another Player to make a pact with. He was reluctant, but it was necessary for survival. The Noise wouldn’t take long to get him at all, otherwise.
 
He was tired. But he didn’t have a choice. 
 
“Buchou…” he murmured.
 
Tezuka wouldn’t know what had happened. Ryoma felt bad about that, but at the same time, he was a little relieved. 
 
There weren’t many people around. He displayed his Player Pin prominently, so that other Players could see it. Someone strong was preferable, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. Where would people go if they needed to find other Players?
 
Probably head towards Seigaku, he decided. He wouldn’t be able to get in without a pact, but all the Players should theoretically be heading in that direction. He set out at a brisk walk, keeping a nervous eye out for Noise. Without a pact, they’d come after him directly and he wouldn’t be able to fight.

He'd been surprised to discover that the Conductor was Sanada.  Considering that they'd met in the RG before, one would think that he'd be a little more lenient.  Unless he was still sore about losing the Nationals.  Actually, thinking about it now, that wouldn't surprise Ryoma at all. 
 
The day before, though… he shoved his hands deeper into his pockets, quickening his stride as the memories insisted on repeating in his brain like a bad movie.
 
Ryoma gasped as Tezuka’s visage dissolved into motes of light. It was like the air was being sucked from his lungs. It was cold, so cold. The strength left his legs, and he dropped to his knees.
 
It was the pact, he realised. With Tezuka returning to the RG, the pact had been broken.
 
The Conductor was still there. Annoyed, Ryoma struggled to his feet. He didn’t want to appear weak. He glared. “So what now?”
 
“Now… the matter of the entry fee,” Sanada said.
 
Ryoma almost stumbled. Images, sensation, voices… it all came flooding back to him with dizzying clarity. It was like a thick fog had been lifted from his mind. It was his memories… he remembered everything. Sanada – he already knew Sanada! And Arai! And that girl with the red pig-tails had been Tomoka. Momoshiro. Seigaku’s tennis club. 
 
Tezuka. 
 
Tezuka had known who he was the entire time, and hadn’t told him! All those weird looks suddenly made sense. Ryoma was vaguely irritated. He should have just told him! It would have made things so much simpler!
 
…Although would it have made a difference?
 
He didn’t dwell on it. Tezuka was already back in the RG – Ryoma could chew him out when he made it there himself. He did have one question, though. “Entry fee?”
 
“To play the Game, the Players are required to give up that which they value the most,” Sanada reported coolly.
 
So his memories had been his entry fee? That made sense then, he supposed. It was a bit unfair to not leave him with any that explained the game, though. He wondered idly what Tezuka’s entry fee had been.
 
For that matter… he was still having trouble remembering how exactly it was that he died. “Hey, give them all back.”
 
“I did.”
 
“I still can’t remember how I died.”
 
Sanada was deep in thought for a long moment, then said, “I cannot explain that. I’ve returned what was taken from you.”
 
There was another explanation then. Annoying. “So…you’re a Reaper. How did that happen?”
 
The question seemed to anger Sanada – at least, his brow furrowed just a little deeper than normal. “That’s none of your business.”
 
Ryoma could appreciate that, he supposed. He didn’t like people butting into his business either. “How long, then?” Had Sanada been a Reaper at the Nationals? But then, it looked like Conductor was pretty high up the food chain – he’d probably been a Reaper for a while if he’d ascended the ranks that high. Arai had been a Reaper for two years after all, and only made it to Wall Reaper level. It was possible Rikkai’s vice-captain had been a Reaper for the entire time he’d known him. It was vaguely unsettling to think that he might have been playing tennis against a dead person.
 
Either way, Sanada didn’t answer. He merely crossed his arms and stared at Ryoma coldly.
 
Ryoma huffed. “Che. Fine. You can just send me back now then. It doesn’t matter.”
 
“…You won’t be returning to the RG.”
 
That pulled Ryoma up short. He blinked slowly. No words seemed appropriate.
 
“The Composer decided that only one Player would be granted the right to return to life. Based on your performances in the Game, that right was granted to Tezuka.”
 
He wanted to say that it was unfair, and what was the deal with revealing something like that when the game was already finished? What was it all for? But in the end, Ryoma remained silent. Already the Game had proven itself unfair time and time again. Complaining about it was hardly going to change anything.
 
“It takes considerable power to perform that act, and there is the stability of the UG and RG to consider. The number of Players who can receive the privilege varies every Game.”
 
“So what happens to me now, then?” Ryoma asked, voice low.
 
If Sanada was surprised by his lack of protest, he didn’t show it. “You have a choice. You can choose to become a Reaper-”
 
“I’ll never become a Reaper,” Ryoma interrupted. Erasing Players to sustain his own life? He wasn’t interested. And being a Reaper had obviously finally sent Kirihara off the deep end. Sanada could keep those black wings. 
 
“In that case, the only choice is to play the Game again.”
 
Ryoma paled, but managed to contain his reaction. Another week in that hell? Another week in that hell, without Tezuka?
 
He’d made a promise, though. He might not be able to make the Tournament, but he’d promised Tezuka that they’d both make it back to the RG. “I’ll do it.” Even if he was late, he was determined.
 
Sanada nodded as though he expected that answer. “There’s the matter of your entry fee…”
 
Ryoma scowled, glaring at the ground simply so he didn’t have to look at the so-called Conductor. “What, you’re going to take my memories again?”

"Your entry fee is that which you hold most precious. It appears that after a week without it, you no longer consider your previous entry fee your most precious thing," Sanada stated. 
 
Ryoma didn’t look up. “And what would my most precious thing now be?”
 
“There’s a cat you should be familiar with…”
 
Ryoma head snapped up. “Karupin?” 
 
“Your entry fee has already been collected.”
 
He glared, fingers reaching for a pin. “You can’t…”
 
“Complete the game, and your cat will be returned to you.” Sanada paused, then added, “He will be well cared for in the meantime.”
 
They had Karupin. It wasn’t just his own life on the line… it was Karupin’s, too. He needed to complete the game again. Erasure was not an option.
 
Seigaku was close, but Ryoma’s steps halted. Between him and his destination several shapes were starting to blur in and out of focus. He didn’t even need to touch his Player Pin to know what they were. Noise.
 
They were coming his way. 
 
Frantically, Ryoma grabbed his fire pin. The most he could summon was a tiny candle flame. Panicked, he tried his lightning pin next, but only static sparks shot from his fingers. There was one that shot energy rounds he rarely used, and it didn’t do anything at all. He grabbed the pin for psychokinesis next, but couldn’t lift anything heavier than a pebble. 
 
He couldn’t fight. Fear gripped him as the Noise started to come closer. Frog Noise again. They’d become nothing more than pesky nuisances towards the end of the previous week, but now they were suddenly terrifying. He clutched the fire pin again.
 
There was a flash of light, and the flickering candle suddenly exploded into a firestorm. The Noise vanished with a shriek.
 
Ryoma flinched. A pact? With who?
 
He instinctively recognised the presence of a pact after the one with Tezuka had been torn from him, but this didn’t feel like the previous pact at all. The pact with Tezuka felt like a warm hug filled with light and security. This pact felt like cold water down his back.
 
“You’re a Player, correct?”
 
The voice was oddly familiar. Slowly, Ryoma turned around. Took in the eyes, opened so slightly that they looked like they were closed. The dark brown hair in the bowl haircut. The yellow shirt.
 
“Yanagi Renji?” he guessed. The name felt dusty in his mind.
 
“That’s right.”
 
Rikkai again? Granted, this time it was a Player, but Ryoma must have seen over half the team in the Game so far. It was more than just a little suspicious. “You made the pact?”
 
“I hope you are not offended. You seem to know what you’re doing, and I need a partner. And… if you don’t mind me asking, how was it that you knew my name?”
 
He stared, dubious. This was Rikkai’s data master, right? “Echizen Ryoma. You don’t remember me?”
 
“We’ve met?”
 
The realisation lanced through him like a bolt of electricity. “…What was your entry fee?” Ryoma asked.
 
Yanagi frowned. “…That’s a rather personal question.”
 
“Mine was my cat,” Ryoma offered quietly.
 
Eventually, Yanagi relented. “…Data. It was my data.”
 
He felt ill. Just like him… Yanagi had his memories stripped away too. 
 
It helped that it seemed as though they’d left him with memories of the briefing. That would save Ryoma some grief. Sanada had probably gone easy on a classmate. But even so…
 
The entry fees were cruel. In a way, Ryoma was glad he’d been unaware of what he’d given up. It was somehow worse to know that there was more than even your life riding on the Game.
 
“…I’ve met you in the RG before,” he answered warily. “We were on rival tennis teams. We’ve never played, though.”
 
Yanagi considered that for a moment. “I see. It appears that taking my data involved taking my memories. You were not deliberately forgotten. But this should make things easier then, correct? Since you are at least familiar with who I am.”
 
Not really. It actually made Ryoma more suspicious. How did Yanagi die? There was no point in asking when he was missing his memories. But it didn’t matter – the pact was made. “You know how to fight the Noise?”
 
“I was given some pins, but haven’t tested any yet.”
 
There was still plenty of time to do so – Seigaku was only a couple of minutes walk away. Ryoma scanned and saw some more Frog Noise nearby. “Che. Come on, then.”
 
Yanagi was extremely proficient with psychokinesis, but that was the most rudimentary of all the psychs, so Ryoma didn’t put much stead in that. He seemed rather good at Force and Energy rounds, though – projectiles of heat and psychokinetic power. Ryoma could manage those too, but they didn’t come as easily to him as the others, so he reluctantly handed over a couple of his spares. They went through about five or six Frog Noise, Ryoma trying out a few new pins himself – mostly ones that Yanagi couldn’t use. He found that gravity well one Tezuka had been really fond of, as well as the one that rained fiery rocks. It took him a while to activate the psychs, but he was pleased when he finally managed to get it. It made him feel a little closer to his former partner, even if the gulf between life and death still separated them.
 
Ryoma checked his hand and blinked. The timer had disappeared. Seeing his expression, Yanagi checked his own hand. “Oh? What happened to the mission?”
 
“Some other players must have finished it first,” Ryoma said.
 
“And stole all our fun doing it, too!” A voice drawled from above them.
 
The freshman tensed, ready for battle, eyes searching for the source of the familiar voice. He spied a glimpse of white hair out of the corner of his eyes and turned to face Niou and Yagyuu, perched on the roof of a building. Or rather, Yagyuu was standing and Niou had his legs dangling over the edge.
 
“You again?” Yagyuu asked, looking down on them. “Well, that explains things.”
 
"I hate working this much," Niou complained, cracking his knuckles.  "Two weeks in a row?!  When has that ever happened?"

Yagyuu adjusted his glasses.  "Oh, talking to some of the veteran Reapers it has happened before... just not for a long time."
 
“Reapers?” Yanagi asked.
 
“Oi, what’s Yanagi doing with-”
 
Yagyuu appeared faintly amused. “An unexpected development.”
 
“I see… I take it we have met before, then,” Yanagi surmised.
 
Niou frowned. “Hey, Yagyuu.”
 
“This must be what Sanada warned us about,” Yagyuu agreed. “Data as the entry fee.”
 
Niou laughed at that, slapping his knee. “That’s rich!”
 
Ryoma kept a wary eye on the exchange.  Technically they were enemies now - there was little to keep the two Harriers off their backs, unless whoever the new Game Master was ordered them away like Kirihara had. Yanagi was a complete beginner, too – Ryoma didn’t like their chances if the pair of Harriers pulled a dirty trick on them. Hopefully, like Sanada, they would go easy on a friend.
 
“Names?” Yanagi asked.
 
“White-haired one is Niou, the one with glasses is Yagyuu,” Ryoma answered in a low voice. Then added, “Probably. Sometimes they switch.”
 
“How nice of you to notice,” Niou grinned.
 
“I see. And our relations were…” Yanagi prompted.
 
“In the RG, we were-”
 
“Niou.” Yagyuu’s voice was pleasant and polite, as though he was merely issuing a reminder.
 
“Fuck, are we allowed to do anything anymore?! This is getting boring, you know. Sides, our orders were…”
 
“We’ll report back to HQ first. We don’t want to create any misunderstandings. There are other Players to bother in the meantime,” Yagyuu said. 
 
Ryoma relaxed, but only slightly. They were being given a pass. They’d have to watch out for other Harriers, but now that Ryoma knew to look out for them it shouldn’t be a problem. Apparently sheer dumb luck had been all that got them through the first Game unbothered.
 
Grumbling, Niou pulled back from the ledge and stood, looking back over his shoulder. “You’d better be watching your backs.” It was hard to tell whether it was a threat or a warning.
 
“Until next time.” Yagyuu inclined his head politely in farewell, and the pair of Harriers left, presumably to cause havoc for other Players.
 
Yanagi was thoughtfully silent, which couldn’t be a good sign. Eventually, he stated, “The statistical probability of meeting three dead people I knew while alive on the first day of the Game is less than 0.4 percent. That said, the probability of meeting further people I was once familiar with… 37 percent.” He turned to Ryoma. “Care to fill me in on any other information I should know?”
 
He was abruptly reminded of the fact that Yanagi and Inui had once been friends. He didn’t need memories to spout percentages and probabilities.
 
Ryoma sighed. It was going to be a long week.
 
Day One, End.
 
 

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
argentum_luna
Aug. 24th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC)
TEZUUUUUUKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA T.T


BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, RENJIIIIIIII <3
sinnatious
Aug. 24th, 2008 06:21 am (UTC)
FINALLY, I HAVE FOUND AN EXCUSE TO WRITE RENJI.
zen_strike
Aug. 24th, 2008 07:40 am (UTC)
AGH. TEZUKA. NOOO. Karupin~!

This game sounds wicked~ :D AND THIS FIC IS. UGH. SO MUCH WIN.
sinnatious
Aug. 24th, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *____*

It's a very wicked game. Perfect fit, Y/Y? :D
roseofthine
Aug. 24th, 2008 08:07 am (UTC)
;_________________;

i thought yanagi'd be the game master this week, ahaha.
sinnatious
Aug. 24th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
But that would be so predictable! There's so much about this that is predictable already - I have to mix it up at least a little to keep you guessing. ;)
roseofthine
Aug. 25th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
Well, I suppooooooose. ;__________;
roseofthine
Aug. 24th, 2008 09:22 am (UTC)
KAAAAAAAAAAARUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN! D;
su24
Aug. 24th, 2008 10:15 am (UTC)
god, poor ryoma X((
and i wander how would tezuka feel for ryoma noto make it back?!?!?!!!?
ichinonaru
Aug. 24th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)
HAHA OMG! Ryoma being paired with the data tennis player, the type that he hates the most... and surviving a week with him... pity... haahah! His patience is gonna get tested! And OMG HOW COULD YOU KIDNAP KARUPIN! HAHAH! Ryoma will now surely put Sanada on the very top of his HATElist hahahhaha! XD Keep it up! I'm gonna wait for the next update! WOOT!
yusahana6323
Aug. 24th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
。。。は?

カルピン! いやああああああああ。 D8

ひどい。ひどいよ, シンどの。
sinnatious
Aug. 25th, 2008 11:25 am (UTC)
(Not on regular computer, English today. :P)

I am slightly alarmed that I can erase Kirihara and no one bats an eyelid, but take Karupin as an entry fee and I'm horrible? O___o

(also asldjfslkfjs Monochrome icon <3)
yusahana6323
Aug. 25th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
I think you would get the same result if you erased the criminal that's been going around campus, trying doors and completely destroying apartments he can get into, and then you hold the apartment pet cat Lulu hostage.

(MONOCHROOOOOME 8DDD)
tezukaryo
Aug. 24th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
I wonder how Tezuka reacts when he found out that Ryoma did not make it back to the RG with him.
sinnatious
Aug. 25th, 2008 11:26 am (UTC)
How wonderful you ask! Day Two is now up. :D
(Anonymous)
Aug. 24th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
Ah~! Not Karupin! ><

The idea of Renji and Ryoma fighting the Noise together makes me want to laugh. XD Instead of just fighting Noise, Ryoma will also probably have to fight off a lot of annoyance, too.
roseofthine
Aug. 25th, 2008 06:07 am (UTC)
I LOVE YOU, TOO. 8D
firedraygon97
Aug. 25th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
KARUPIN. THEY TOOK KARUPIN.

I am thoroughly amused that Karupin is at the top of the food chain in Ryoma's book. Poor Tezuka. Loses to a cat. >D

Awesome chapter. I like the explanation! Wonder what Tezuka's up to in the RG...
roseofthine
Aug. 25th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
I LOVE YOU. xD
sinnatious
Aug. 25th, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
Your comment is made of win. <3 You have summarised Tezuka's plight so effectively.
roseofthine
Aug. 25th, 2008 06:07 am (UTC)
“The statistical probability of three people of meeting three dead people I knew while alive on the first day of the Game is less than 0.4 percent.

You need to delete the of three people, I think. >>

oh hi. it's thy rereading this. 8D
sinnatious
Aug. 25th, 2008 11:35 am (UTC)
SLAKFJSADFLKSAJFLKFJ I THOUGHT I ALREADY FIXED THAT, DAMMIT. Ta, all better now.

Honestly, sometimes I'm not sure whether I'm talking to you or your sister anymore. @__@
roseofthine
Aug. 25th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
IF IT SOUNDS LIKE ME, IT'S ME. |D I'M THE ONE THAT MAKES UNNECESSARY CORRECTIONS/POINTS OUT TYPOES/IS A SPOILED BRAT/IS EXTREMELY DEMANDING/LIKES TEZUKA ANGST/IS IN LOVE WITH KARUPIN.

If it's her, she'll probably be complaining about how thy's trying to get her to use her TOTALLY APPROPRIATE haruka/michiru icon. >8D

...also, I use the shift key for my allcaps, and she uses the capslock button. v

HER ACCOUNT CAN'T MAKE COMMENTS THOUGH AHAHA REMEMBER? BUT I SEND HER HERE TO REAAAAAD EVERY MORNING BECAUSE SHE'S ALREADY FALLEN IN LOVE WITH ALJIRA COPERNICAN INCARNATIONS (after she read your fic. xD) AND SO NOW WE'VE GOT HER PLOTTING TO GET MY COUSINS TO BUY IT SO THEN THEY'LL BRING IT OVER AND TOTALLY NOT GET WHAT'S ON THE SCREEN SO WE'LL HAVE TO HEEEEELP THEM. >8D

though i have a feeling she's actually going to be doing all the playing--she's amazing at video games, and she's very good at stealing the console out of their hands whenever they come over. >w<

Yay for better~ x3
sinnatious
Aug. 26th, 2008 10:00 am (UTC)
UNTRUE, THE CORRECTIONS ARE NECESSARY. I DON'T REALLY USUALLY USE A BETA, SO IT'S THE ONLY WAY THE MISTAKES GET FIXED. :D

Oh, well, that clears EVERYTHING up. XD

Excellent, if more people play the game, it is all worthwhile. MY EVIL PLAN IS WORKING. >:3
roseofthine
Aug. 27th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)
...THEN IT'S ALL GOOD? 8D

Doesn't it? I mean, you can totally send your army of tezuryo-shipping spiders over here to see who's using shift and who's using caps lock and hope they escape before my sister starts screaming ("THY THY THY THERE'S A SPIDER KILL IT FAST! D="). I...don't mind spiders, obviously, as they ship tezuryo. But, I have to kill them if my sister asks because then my mother will come in shouting.
roseofthine
Aug. 27th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
OH ALSO YAY FOR YOUR EVIL PLAN WORKING IF IT MEANS I CAN GIGGLY OVER KUN-KUN USING THAT FACE THAT FACE THAT FAAAAACE.
agentlerain
Aug. 26th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
=D =D Yanagi-KUN!

And the "Buchou..."ness~ asdajshdkjadhajkfhadkjfhakjfhKJdaskF!!!

Oh Sin, I can just picture Tezuka worrying so much about why Ryoma isn't alive. ;________; I want to see Buchou too~
aventria
Aug. 27th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
D=D=D=D=D= KARUPIN!!! KARUPIN'S A HOSTAGE? How mean!

And Renji's fee is his data... would've been a nice cover... *is still suspicious of the Rikkai*
jade_peace
Aug. 30th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
KAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPIIIIIIINN~

;________;

sleepingfingers
Sep. 24th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC)
There are so many things I want to quote in this! But just, Echizen's more precious thing! ♥
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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