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PoTWEWY - Day Six

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: This post might be a little screwed up as I had to make it using a client as whatever it was that LJ did to make the editor work in Opera and Safari managed to break spectacularly break it on my machine. I've got latest Internet Explorer and Firefox, and have cleared my cache - any other suggestions?





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

Day Six

Ryoma stared dully at the pavement, not particularly interested in making small talk with Yanagi. His partner occasionally murmured something that sounded like an idle observation under his breath, but at least he didn't feel the need to share it with the world the way Inui did.

Eventually, though, he did speak up. "I don't believe a mission is coming today either."

They'd been awake for over an hour. Until this sudden dearth of missions, the mail never took more than a couple of minutes to arrive.

Ryoma didn't respond, staring at the dark clouds slowly scrolling in from the west.

"You should be relieved," Yanagi pointed out philosophically. "Fewer missions means less risk of erasure."

It could also mean that Arai was planning something big, probably for the last day. And the Harriers and Taboo Noise would still be picking off Players in the meantime. Ryoma still didn't respond.

There was a nice breeze. It was tempting to go to sleep, but Yanagi wasn't as good at sensing Noise approaching, so he had to stay alert. The game was tiring. You couldn't relax for even a moment, and he'd been at it for nearly two weeks now. But even if he could find somewhere safe to curl up for an hour, Ryoma doubted that he'd actually sleep. There were too many things to think about. Things that were bothering immensely now that he actually had the chance to dwell on them for more than two seconds.

Was it all really just a coincidence? Arai apparently died and became a Reaper well before he'd transferred to Seigaku, and it sounded like Sanada, Niou and Yagyuu had all been dead for some time as well, but what were the odds of both he and Tezuka dying at the same time, and then Yanagi a week later? That was an awful lot of death in the middle school tennis circuit.

Yanagi and Arai and the others were probably coincidences, he guessed, but what were the chances of both he and the captain winding up dead at the same time? Even if he got most of his memory back, the circumstances of his death remained closed to him. He had some notion that he'd been talking with Tezuka after practice... about the tournament line-up or something. It was all rather fuzzy. They'd gone walking, and he'd stopped in at a convenience store to pick up some Ponta...

Outside the convenience store. It happened there.

"Hey... since we don't have any missions, mind going somewhere?" he said suddenly.

"Oh?" Yanagi perked up. "A change of heart? Where are we going?"

Ryoma stood up and started walking, leaving his partner to catch up. "Just something I want to check out."

Curiosity alone guaranteed that Yanagi would follow. He hid it a lot better, but he was just as much a slave to knowing things as Inui was.

Walking the streets was a lot more hazardous than it used to be. Wall Reapers still seemed to be on duty out of habit, but they were few and far between. And the first one they did come across was being attacked by Taboo Noise.

They chose a different path. Ryoma tried not to wince at the screams for help.

It was only fair that the Reapers knew what it was like, he reasoned. Being afraid of erasure all the time… they were just getting a taste of their own medicine. He should be grateful to whoever it was that was interfering with the Game.

They started at Seigaku, Ryoma carefully retracing his steps as he remembered them. Momoshiro had opted out of burgers and run off as soon as practice ended. He and Tezuka had been the last to leave, and were walking in the same direction - the freshman heading home, and the captain on his way to the sports complex nearby to get in some extra training, since he'd spent most of the afternoon practice ordering everyone else around and discussing the upcoming tournament with the coach. Hearing that, Ryoma decided to tag along for training as well.

They never made it to the sports centre. On the way Ryoma suddenly felt thirsty, and they stopped in at the convenience store for drinks. He bought Ponta, and Tezuka bought Calpis. That part he could remember clearly, but it started to get fuzzy when he tried to think about what happened after that.

It was different when he actually saw the convenience store, though. Something stirred in the back of his mind. Ryoma's steps slowed.

They left the convenience store. Ryoma cracked open the Ponta. They resumed walking, and turned the corner.

A voice. He hadn't heard what was said, but he recognised it, and turned to answer.

Ponta splashed on the ground.

Ryoma stared into empty space. A single gunshot echoed in his ears.

"Echizen!"

"Sorry, Tezuka. I really hadn't planned it like this."


He winced and grabbed his head. It hurt to think about it.

He knew that voice.

"Are you alright?" Yanagi asked.

Ryoma didn't answer, trying to force himself to think through the pain.

That was where his memories ended.

That was how he died. He'd been murdered.

Ryoma stared at the pavement. It was clean, but in his mind's eye, all he could see was bubbly purple soda mixing with crimson blood.

"Is there something about this place?" Yanagi asked.

"Yeah," he replied dully. "I died here."

The data master apparently had a decent sense of propriety, as he didn't say anything else.

Tezuka must have died right after. Probably killed by the same person. He would remember properly - he would have had longer to register, longer to react.

Ryoma rubbed at his chest. It felt tight all of a sudden.

"…Harriers will be coming along here in about ten minutes," Yanagi said quietly.

The freshman nodded to show he heard. "…Let's go."

"You don't need longer?"

He shook his head. He'd come here for answers, and only got more questions. There was no point in staying any longer, and in any case, thinking about it was giving him a horrible headache.

It was cloudy, which didn't help his mood any. It cast a dreary pall over the Game, taking the already gloomy outlook and turning it completely bleak. It felt as though a sort of hush had fallen over the entirety of Seishun as they cautiously walked the streets.

They rounded the corner. There were two Players, cornered by Taboo Noise. One was an elementary school kid, the other looked to be a high school freshman. "Make it go away!" the kid screamed, closing his eyes and crouching, frightened.

"Look out! Don't stop fighting now!" The high school girl yelled, running forward to grab her partner.

The Noise got them both at the same time. Ryoma and Yanagi quietly made their way in the opposite direction.

Another Wall Reaper fell, and they changed course again. They were near the street courts now.

"It's them again," Yanagi observed. He didn't need to stipulate who 'them' was - Ryoma knew just from the inflection of his voice that he meant Niou and Yagyuu.

He eyeballed the scene warily. The pair of Harriers were facing off with another rhino Taboo Noise. It looked like they were having a tough time of it.

"What do you think?" Yanagi asked. "Should we help them?"

His first instinct was to ask 'are you crazy?' but remembered that the pair of Harriers had essentially given them a free pass so far this week. "Let's do it. They'll hate it."

Yanagi smiled, and they ambled into the fray.

The pair of Harriers blinked, surprised at having their quarry taken from them. Yanagi very calmly launched an attack, Ryoma following up with a firestorm. Then lightning. Then force rounds. Then fire again.

"Hey, we can handle this ourselves!" Niou growled.

Ryoma ignored him, quickly stepping back a safe distance. This Noise could take an extraordinary amount of damage, but it was slow and lumbering when under attack. So long as Yanagi kept it distracted….

Concentrate!

It was over as soon as he summoned the meteors. Ryoma landed softly back on the ground as the Noise vanished.

"No need to thank us," Yanagi offered, brushing off his hands.

"We didn't ask for your help!" Niou was visibly cheesed off.

"Oh? Looked like you were having trouble to me," Ryoma remarked with a smirk.

"You brat, just because-"

"Niou, they just assisted us in a tight spot. We should show them the proper courtesy," Yagyuu interjected.

"Screw that! We were fine!"

"Thank you for your assistance," Yagyuu said politely, ignoring his partner swearing in the background.

Yanagi was already behind them, poking at the ground. "What's this?"

"Don't touch that!" Niou snapped.

"It's a Taboo Noise refinery sigil," Yagyuu answered in a level voice. "We were investigating when the Noise attacked."

Ryoma squinted, leaning around Yagyuu to get a better look. It was a large black diagram painted on the ground, filled with twisting shapes that reminded him vaguely of some of the patterns on the Noise.

"Oi, Yagyuu, we gotta go tell Sanada," Niou interrupted.

The bespectacled Harrier shook himself. "Yes, of course. My apologies, but we were in quite a rush before you arrived. Good luck on the final day."

"Try not to get erased," Niou added with a leer.

Ryoma watched them hurry away with a frown. Yanagi inspected the sigil for a moment longer, then joined his partner in watching the two Harriers depart. "They already know who made it."

"How do you know?"

"If they didn't, they would have stayed and watched the sigil to see who came by."

Ryoma tugged his cap down over his eyes. "Che. Makes no difference to us."


…………………


Tezuka glanced at the sky and quickened his pace as he left the street courts. It was probably going to rain, and he hadn't brought an umbrella.

It had been a couple of days since he'd seen Echizen, and there was a lot he needed to tell the freshman. He'd spent as long as he could at the ramen store again, but the pair of Players never showed. In the end, he had to concede defeat and head home. The game was probably over for the day - it usually ended well before sunset.

Still, just a look to check wouldn't hurt. There were things that Ryoma needed to know.

Tezuka stood out on the street, took a deep breath, and clutched the Player Pin.

A dark shadow materialised before his eyes. To his horror, it turned, eyes burrowing into him.

Abruptly, Tezuka stuffed the pin back into his pocket and backed away. He turned and jogged for the next three blocks, not daring to stop until the bad vibe in the air had cleared.

Was that Noise? What kind of Noise was that, anyway? Normally Noise were indistinct in scans, only taking form when they were close by. He'd never seen one so black and somehow… evil before, either. He shuddered.

Tezuka stared at the Player Pin cradled in his palm for a long time. He had the feeling it wouldn't be very wise to keep using it anymore.

What on earth was happening in that Game?

Day Six, End.

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
ankoku_tenshi
Aug. 29th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing the person who shot Ryoma was Fuji...maybe he's in the Game too. Myabe he's the Composer. XD Nice touch with Tezuka at the end.
sinnatious
Aug. 29th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
Maybe he's a lot of things. :D Seriously though, just putting Fuji's NAME in a fic gets so much speculation. What are all these Fuji fans doing in the TezRyo fandom? XD It boggles the mind.
roseofthine
Aug. 29th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
Isn't Fuji the cliche'd matchmaker of TezuRyo? >>
sinnatious
Aug. 30th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
Your point is noted and I shall adjust accordingly.
roseofthine
Aug. 30th, 2008 05:15 am (UTC)
data wa~~~~~~ -SHOT-
ankoku_tenshi
Aug. 29th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
I don't know! That's a really good question. XD It's just that Fuji is in some ways such a 'mysterious' character, that people like to pitch him in the role of someone who is omniscient, or has to do with the 'shadier' bits in fic, I guess. And the way you cast him in the fic makes him look super suspicious. XDDD
sinnatious
Aug. 30th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
:D

It's true, of course. Yay for fanon!
agentlerain
Aug. 29th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
:O I had a terrible thought that Buchou was going to get killed again, on the final day after Ryoma gets out of the Game. Only for this terrible Game to happen again and again and again. God. *shakes head* You wouldn't do that would you?

I still think Fuji is behind this. But also have a sneaky suspicion of Atobe for some reason. =D
sinnatious
Aug. 29th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
That's an AWESOME idea! Once again you have left me jealous. Of course, you must also consider that I don't really want to be writing this crossover forever (and much fun as it is. :P). Nah, what I have written is a bit different, and this makes me sad.

You need to post more fic, I think. :D

There is a bit of a Tanabata thing happening at the moment, though. *___* How seasonal.
agentlerain
Aug. 30th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC)
Pfft. JEALOUS? I AM JEALOUS OF YOU! *bows* I am terrible with finishing my fics. And clearly you are Master especially with TezRyo fic. *flails*

Of course you don't want to write it forever and ever. BUT GOD SIN, IF YOU EVER DECIDED TO TORTURE US, THAT WOULD BE ONE TERRIBLE WAY. ;_________;

Wikipedia! Tanabata eh? Well wishing is fun! Are you going to answer our wishes?? Hmmm?
tezukaryo
Aug. 29th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
Ah...it looks like Tezuka will be bothering Sanada again for answers now, especially if he feels that Ryoma is in danger *grin*...so they were murder by someone they know and why do I keep think that it might be Fuji...we all know Fuji is a sadist, but a murderer...that's just too much.
ichinonaru
Aug. 29th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Tezuka is sooo worried about Echizen, awww I wanna shout "Yudan sezu ni ikou!" somehow... hahahha keep it up! Great chapter as usual, hm.... I bet you'll come up with something so awesome like you'll be naming a Composer who we wouldn't be expecting and make it good, waaah I'm sooo excited alreadyyyyyyyyyy......
sinnatious
Aug. 30th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
You give me far too much credit - I'm often very predictable, and if you've read more than one fic of mine you can probably guess everything. :P I hope you like it regardless!
ichinonaru
Aug. 30th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
Naaah, well not really... ok sooo there's a bit of a common theme recurring! But hey, it just means that if you come up with some sudden idea, we won't be anticipating it and you'll be able to surprise us effectively... It just means that you need to have more faith in your writing skillz! XD
Keep it up! Of course I love it!
roseofthine
Aug. 29th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
My sister says "AHAHA TEZ."

Don't ask me for a translation. >> ;; she probably wouldn't tell me, anyway. x3

Yaaay Yagyuu being polite and showing courtesy! =D Also, cheesed off! That phrase amuses me so much. I keep imagining...well, never mind, but. xD

I don't have any suggestions, as LJ isn't working for me, either. -stabs- Or maybe it just has a huge, huge crush on LOVE-kun and won't let me post about anything else. :
sinnatious
Aug. 30th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
Seems to be fixed today, at least. :? Didn't really help my tech rage yesterday, though. XD *stabstabstab*

*isn't going to ask* XD
roseofthine
Aug. 30th, 2008 05:14 am (UTC)
-petpet- It wasn't fixed for me, the damned thing keeps creating a new LJ cut every time I did a new div, so I had to switch back to HTML like usual. xD -snugs-

MY GOUYAAAA. >8D I don't have an icon of him, ehehe, but. 8DDD I posted a relatively small photo of him in my LJ? >>
firedraygon97
Aug. 29th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
Haha, I thought the Taboo Noise was going to chase Tezuka. XD That would've been a little like Watanuki in xxxHolic.

Glad to see Ryoma's still a snarky little brat. And he recognizes his killer's voice! :O It must be Fuji...! But I would love it to be Atobe (who orders Kabaji to shoot). >D
sinnatious
Aug. 30th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
<- is probably already taking too much influence from Holic as is. :D
jade_peace
Sep. 2nd, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
ROFLMAO Niou.
sleepingfingers
Sep. 24th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
I am dying to know who murdered Tezuka and Ryoma and who's changing the Game.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )