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PoTWEWY - Day Five

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:  I should point out that TWEWY gives you absolutely no explanation of the nitty gritty details of the how, so I've made a fair bit of a stuff up.  Also, D1 rocks.


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

 
Day Five 
 
Ryoma opened his eyes and rolled his head to the side. Closed eyes and dark brown hair filled his vision.
 
“Good morning.”
 
The freshman sat up so fast they nearly cracked heads. He scowled. “Don’t do that.”
 
Yanagi stood back up, giving the first-year his personal space back. “I was only waiting for you to wake up.” 
 
In the most disturbing way possible. He should have expected it – it was a very Inui sort of thing to do, and that was what Ryoma was basing most of his expectations of Yanagi on. “Che.” He didn’t bother getting up. The Rikkai senior selected a spot on the grass nearby, both of them eschewing the bus stop seats a couple of metres away in favour of the sunlight.
 
About ten minutes passed before Yanagi asked, “Should we get going?”
 
“It hasn’t even been half an hour,” Ryoma replied irritably.
 
“Considering all of the missions arrived almost instantly previously, the lack of one so far indicates an 80 percent probability of a repeat performance.”
 
“We should wait longer, just in case,” Ryoma argued.
 
“And waste as much time as yesterday?” Yanagi asked.
 
That was a good point. Most of the fourth day had been spent wandering around avoiding Reapers. But was that really so bad? “What else is there to do when you’re dead?” he scoffed.
 
“Watch people. Surely there are people in the RG you want to check on,” he suggested pragmatically.
 
Ryoma did actually consider that. His house was within the boundaries of the Game – it would be so easy to just drop by and see how his family were coping with his death. It would be weird, though. His folded his knees, hugging them to his chest. Karupin wouldn’t be there either.
 
There was Seigaku too, but Ryoma felt a bit funny watching his senpai when they couldn’t see him. It was lonely. It was one of the worst feelings in the world when Tezuka walked straight past him without seeing him in the RG. “It’s not really fair, since you can’t remember any of the people you would want to check on,” he reasoned. The excuse was a weak one, and he knew it.
 
“You knew me before – surely you knew of some of my friends?”
 
Ryoma shifted uncomfortably. “Like I said, we only met once or twice.”
 
Yanagi didn’t have anything to say to that. It was possible he suspected that the freshman was withholding things from him, but at least he didn’t appear to want to make an issue of it. They had to work together to survive, after all.
 
A weird feeling tugged at his senses again, and Ryoma stood. Yanagi followed suite. “A problem?”
 
“Another black Noise,” he answered, briefly touching his Player Pin.
 
They didn’t get the chance to run. Again it was a familiar Noise, only black – a serpent this time. They fared a little better this round, but it took a good couple of minutes to take it down.
 
“Need any healing?” Ryoma asked. He’d been lying to Tezuka the day before when he said that Yanagi was useless. The truth was that Yanagi was a meticulous and powerful fighter, and frustratingly competent with psychs for a new player. His only real shortcoming was a lack of proficiency with restorative psychs, so Ryoma had to be a little more careful not to be injured by the Noise – or at least, not so injured that he couldn’t focus long enough to patch himself up. But it wasn’t an issue really, as Ryoma was a veteran player by now. Some of his pins had even been changing after repeated use, and his psychs were getting bigger, flashier and stronger. He might not really like Yanagi, but things were working out well enough.
 
“Fine here, thanks.” Yanagi looked as composed and calm as ever. “These Noise are tough, though.”
 
That was an understatement. Ryoma was still catching his breath. It was hard to dodge and use psychs at the same time. He did a quick scan. “There’s more coming this way.”
 
“Perhaps we should keep moving.” Yanagi didn’t wait for a response – he set out at a brisk walk in the opposite direction.
 
After a few minutes, they were in the clear again. They stopped in the street. “Now what?” Ryoma asked.
 
“Oh? What a surprise. I haven’t seen you two for the past couple of days,” a smooth voice said from behind.
 
Biting back a groan, Ryoma turned around. Just great. Niou and Yagyuu again. On ground level for once, even. “What do you want?”
 
“We’re just doing our patrols, right, Yagyuu?” Niou drawled, hands on his hips and leaning forward with a leering grin.
 
Ryoma eyeballed Yanagi, who apologetically offered, “In getting away from the Noise, I lost track. Sorry.”
 
He supposed he was expecting a bit much from someone who was missing his memories in that regard, anyway. Of course he wouldn’t be able to predict his team mates’ routes, especially since they’d been focusing more on avoiding the other Harriers. With a sigh, he turned back to the pair of Rikkai Reapers and repeated, “What do you want?”
 
“Just to chat; is that such a crime?” Yagyuu answered, the slightest of smiles gracing his lips.
 
“What about?” Yanagi asked, seemingly unbothered.
 
Yagyuu folded his arms. “Oh? You’re not nervous at all?”
 
“Reapers aren’t allowed to attack Players directly until the last day,” Yanagi replied calmly.
 
Niou grinned. “We could summon Noise on you. Poof! Two more Players gone, more points for us!”
 
“I don’t think so. You’ve ignored us once already, and you mentioned orders before. If you were interested in getting rid of us, you would have done so already.”
 
“He’s got us there, Yagyuu.”
 
“So it would appear. But did you really expect anything less from Rikkai’s data master?”
 
“Not much of a data master without his data, is he?”
 
“Hey, if you’re not going to attack us, would you mind leaving us alone?” Ryoma interrupted.
 
“Aww, the widdle Seigaku freshman feeling left out?” Niou taunted.
 
Ryoma stepped to the side. “I just don’t want to deal with extra Noise is all,” he replied dully.
 
A black rhino-like Noise barrelled on to the scene, bearing straight down on the two Harriers. They barely leapt out of the way in time. The Noise simply reared and charged at them again. “The hell-?!”
 
“C’mon,” Ryoma muttered under his breath, grabbing Yanagi’s arm. “Let them take care of it.”
 
In the chaos they quietly ducked into a side alleyway to watch the battle from a safe distance. Ryoma was mildly pleased to see that it took the two Reapers quite a bit of effort to erase the Noise.
 
“Fuck, Yagyuu, what was that?” Niou swore as the rhino vanished. “The Noise ain’t supposed to attack us!”
 
Yagyuu looked as though he’d seen a ghost. He shakily pushed his glasses back up his nose. “Niou, get on the phone to HQ right away. We’ve got a wildcard interfering with the Game – someone’s making Taboo Noise.”
 
…………………………
 
 
Tezuka knew that there wasn't a whole lot he could do to help Echizen.  He was stuck in the RG, and while the Player Pin gave him a window into that world he could only keep it active for a minute or so at a time, and in any case he was just as powerless to influence it as Players were to influence the RG.

One thing he was capable of doing, though, was investigating Rikkai.  Specifically, Yanagi Renji.

He'd taken to borrowing the classified section of the newspaper once his father was done with it in the morning and scanning the obituaries.  After school, he went to the library to go through the previous couple of weeks of newspapers as well.

Eerily, he found his own death right there, printed on paper.  Tezuka Kunimitsu, aged 15.  Died from a single gunshot bullet through the heart.  The killing apparently happened in broad daylight, but there were no witnesses.  It listed his profile and a few accomplishments - an excellent student, national junior high tennis champion, student council president, so on and so forth. 

Strangely, even though it was still there on paper, nobody remembered that he'd died.  It was convenient, certainly, but a little creepy.  How was such a thing possible?

Mass imprinting.
 
That was the only explanation Tezuka could think of.  There were limits to how the UG could influence the RG, that much was obvious, but if Players could make thoughts appear in people's heads with just a pin and a phone, wouldn't it be easy enough for the Composer - who was apparently on a different scale of power - to just imprint everyone in the area?  To test, he tried to get the librarian to read the obituary to him, but she just slipped straight past any mention of his name without realising, even when he asked her to read it again.

There were bound to be opportunities for confusion, but people were good at reasoning out misunderstandings and improbable situations.  After all, if he was right there, he obviously never died, did he?  It was a mistake, or a coincidence, or a prank.

His fingers traced lightly over the kanji in the newspaper.  Right underneath his was Echizen's obituary.  Same place, same day, same cause of death.  But Tezuka already knew that.  He just didn't know how to approach it. He didn't understand the motive.  He didn’t know why.

There was an article on the second page about it as well.  A shocking double-murder in broad daylight.  Gun crimes were unusual outside of yakuza conflicts, and the fact that it had been an apparently random attack on two students caused extra controversy.

It wasn't random at all, of course, but Tezuka wasn't supposed to know that. Couldn’t even admit to knowing that, because technically as far all the parties were concerned, it was as though it never happened.

Police stressed that they were following all possible leads and devoting all of their efforts to finding the killer.  Tezuka supposed that if - no, when, he corrected himself sternly - Echizen finished the Game and came back to life, they'd have trouble remembering what they'd been working on the past few weeks.

There was no mention of a Yanagi Renji anywhere.

He hadn’t expected there to be really – the news would have come through the grapevine at school quickly enough. Ostensibly, the next port of call was Inui.  Tezuka waited until he was at home, then dialled the data gatherer's number.

There was a ring tone, then a click, then fumbling.  After a couple of seconds, Inui's voice crackled in the speaker. "Tezuka?"

"Inui."

A pause.  Then, "It's highly unusual for you to call me.  In fact-” Paper rustled briefly.  "There is a less than six percent chance you would do so outside of an emergency or team event."  Another pause.  "...Is something the matter?"

There was no point beating around the bush with Inui.  "I need some information."

"Of course.  If there's anything I can help with, I'm happy to oblige.  What is it that you're after?"

"Have you spoken to Yanagi Renji recently?"

That apparently blindsided the data gatherer.  He fumbled over his words for a minute before finally managing, "N-no, that is... not since the Nationals.  Why?"

"Have you heard any news from him?  Anything whatsoever from the past month?"

"Nothing.  Is there anything in particular you're expecting?"

"I came across a disturbing rumour," he answered carefully.

Tezuka knew that if there was anything to get Inui moving, it was mention of a rumour.  He was like a hunting dog when it came to them.  "I'll look into it.  I'll call you if I find out anything."

"Thank you."  It was overly cautious on his part, but Tezuka already felt that he was elbow deep in something he only just barely understood.  He preferred avoiding drawing Sanada's attention any more than he already had.  None of the Rikkai players, Reaper or otherwise, would think anything strange about Inui trying to get in touch with Yanagi Renji - they were old friends after all.
 
There wasn’t anything more he could do that day. Tezuka vainly tried to focus on his homework, then went downstairs to eat dinner with his family, and spent an hour afterwards practicing judo with his grandfather, who commented on his improved focus and concentration.

Five hours later, just as he was preparing to go to bed, his phone rang again.  "Hello?"

"Tezuka?"  Inui sounded breathless.
 
“Inui. Is something the matter?” He hadn’t expected to hear back so soon.
 
"It’s about Renji. I tried to get in contact, but there was no answer on either his home or mobile phone."  He was audibly upset.  "After that, I called all of his team mates.  I couldn’t contact any of the team members, but I eventually got a hold of one of his classmates.  He's been missing school all week, and they assumed he was sick."

Tezuka knew where this was going, but had to ask.  "And?"

Inui was speaking slowly and deliberately now - a clear sign that he was struggling to maintain his composure.  "I became worried.  So I went to his house.  There was no answer, but a light was on in the window.  The door was unlocked, and..."  Inui swallowed.  "Tezuka, he's dead."

Tezuka knew that this was supposed to be a shock and that he really ought to have a reaction, but he'd already known that Yanagi was dead and wasn't quite certain what that proper reaction ought to be.  "...What happened?"

"His parents were away from home, apparently.  He was strangled.  The police said that it looked as though he'd been like that for a couple of days already."  Inui sounded shaken.

Tezuka closed his eyes.  Another murder.

"Are you okay?" he asked softly.  He hadn't expected Inui to find the body himself.  If he'd known...
 
"It's all very shocking," Inui all but babbled.  "I was…. at first, I was going to call the ambulance but the body was cold and then I thought the police but..."  He trailed off, then tried again.  "I told them that I'd wanted to get back in touch with him and became worried when I couldn't.  I didn't tell them you were asking about it.  But Tezuka..."

"I had nothing to do with it," he said, already knowing what Inui was trying to avoid asking.  "My deepest condolences.  The rumour I heard was tennis-related.  In light of this turn of events, it's obviously untrue."  A lie, possibly the most bald-faced lie Tezuka had ever told, but necessary to protect Inui.
 
“I thought so, just…” Inui sounded lost.
 
“You should get some rest. Have something to eat, and go to bed,” Tezuka said sternly. “You’re excused from practice tomorrow.” He wished he could be more comforting, but that was more Oishi’s speciality.
 
“Right… of course. Yes… Thank you, Tezuka.” Inui hung up, mumbling to himself the probabilities of dying so young. Tezuka would have to keep an eye on him to make sure he didn’t try his hand at detective work. That could end very badly.
 
It was murder, after all. 
 
There seemed to be a lot of that going around recently.
 
Day Five, End.
 


Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
ichinonaru
Aug. 28th, 2008 11:40 am (UTC)
OMG I was waiting for this! YAY! Update *does the happy dance* Waaaah so finally Inui's on the move... er.. is the Day five supposed to be that slow? Not much happened... not that I'm complaining but at least you updated so that's fine... it helps move the plot anyway... waaaaiiii for Tezuka lying... yeah I can imagine him lying with a straight face actually... hm... someone should write a poker playing Tezuka sometime if it hasn't been done.. hahaa... Keep it coming!
Now I really have no idea what's gonna happen next! Totally out of my vector and imagination XD
sinnatious
Aug. 29th, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC)
Not much happened? Taboo Noise, D1, and the discovery of Yanagi's murder was not enough? I don't think I can cram much more into a single day! Geass has raised your expectations high for the amount that happens in one day. XD But yes. It's sort of non-stop here on in? Take the breather.
ichinonaru
Aug. 29th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
Aaah yes probably Geass's fault for throwing too many stuff that I get used to the bombardment... but lemme rephrase... haha, not much happened in terms of a TezuRyo meeting but that's expected since they're in different dimensions/frequency!
su24
Aug. 28th, 2008 11:51 am (UTC)
ohhh...a conspiracy ~grin~...i shouldn't be happy with all the murders...but this is great and exciting =D
sinnatious
Aug. 29th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
<3 I'm glad you think so. What isn't exciting about about murders and conspiracy?
argentum_luna
Aug. 28th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
T.T REEEENJIII!!!

and

INUUUUUI T.T

How very sinister :O
roseofthine
Aug. 28th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
zsdfkjldfa;jl ICON!
yusahana6323
Aug. 28th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
乾!!! :O 可哀想、乾!

ひどいよ! 悪だくみ です! もっと読みたいんです、シンどの!
sinnatious
Aug. 29th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
本当に私は悪い人と思いますか? それでは来週は少し痛いでしょう。 >:D
roseofthine
Aug. 28th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
Tezuka having to lie! 8DDD and awwww. Are you okay?" he asked softly. So. ;ljfdsj;lsdflkj;dsf TEZUKA. D8

...oh dear, murders~ D8

and, hm, guns. o3o ;;

also, WHAT HAPPENED TO ARAI? D<

sinnatious
Aug. 29th, 2008 12:23 pm (UTC)
DO NOT WORRY I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN HIM. :D
roseofthine
Aug. 29th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
YAY DOES THIS MEAN sdkldsflkj;fdsj;lkf s;jkl;lkj OH MY GOD!
roseofthine
Aug. 28th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
sososoiwasreadingupontwewy.

http://twewy.wikia.com/wiki/Piercing_Pillar

...why am i amused. piercing pillar ahahaha~~~~

...also, why do they remind me of seasons of sailor moon? xD
sinnatious
Aug. 29th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
YES.

roseofthine
Aug. 29th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
love you too. ;DDD
agentlerain
Aug. 28th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
Fuji, you evil bastard. You're the one behind all of this aren't you? *shakes head* And for Inui to find the body! ;_______________;

RENJI + INUI = <3 POOR INUI. THERE'S NOTHING LIKE LOOSING A CHILDHOOD FRIEND TO CAUSE THE DATA TO GO WONKY. ;_______;

Who in the world wants all these tennis players dead? @________@ Sin, you make me so confuzzled.
firedraygon97
Aug. 28th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
Someone out there doesn't like tennis players, huh.

Haha, I like how Ryoma thinks of Renji as another Inui. Basing his reactions on that is so amusing. Great chapter! Looking forward to when the mystery of the black Noise gets solved!
ankoku_tenshi
Aug. 29th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Ho, a conspiracy! I love those! 8D It's really interesting how things are coming together, and we don't even know what Fuji has to do with any of it yet. XDD
jade_peace
Sep. 2nd, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
ASDFGHJKL;

;________;

ARGH INUI. AND RENJI. OH GOD.
sleepingfingers
Sep. 24th, 2008 06:39 am (UTC)
Ooh. Very, very interesting development. There are so many questions that make me keep clicking "next" when I sorely need to go write the essay due tomorrow. ;__;
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )