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PoTWEWY - Two Days Left

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 second last day! :O I'd better hurry up and decide how this fic is ending. And then get around to posting that paranoia-inducing meme. 
 


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

Two Days Left

Some distant part of Ryoma’s mind registered the sudden increase in the ambient noise surrounding them and demanded his attention. He was comfortable, though, and didn’t really feel like acknowledging it. 
 
“Echi- Ryoma! Ryoma, wake up.”
 
They’d fallen asleep? With an inarticulate groan he forced his eyes open, wincing at the bright sunlight. 
 
Traffic rumbled past the bus stop, and a car honked its horn in the distance. His head was resting in the crook between Tezuka’s shoulder and arm, which made a surprisingly excellent pillow. Their limbs were tangled, their clothing rumpled and pants undone, and Ryoma figured that it was a good thing nobody in the RG could actually see them like this. How did-
 
Oh, that was right. His face flushed slightly. It had been an idle thought really, but over the course of the day it had grown in his mind until he was fed up and decided just to act on it. In retrospect it wasn’t well thought out at all. They really didn’t have the time for that sort of thing. It was stupid.
 
It was worth it.
 
He slowly sat up, giving Tezuka the room to move. He felt strangely light and… floaty, he supposed. His entire body was sort of tingling. Was this the feeling that everyone talked about when they discussed romance? It sort of felt a little bit like when he went into a state of self-actualisation. It was bit strange to feel it when he wasn’t even playing tennis.
 
"It's the sixth day already," Ryoma murmured, closing his eyes and tilting his face skyward, savouring in the sensation.

Tezuka jerked.  "Ryoma, your hands!"

He raised his hands in front of his face.  They were fading, turning transparent.  Alarm pulsed through him, and he hugged them to his body.  "No!" 

That feeling… it was that feeling! It grew stronger and stronger, and his senses started to shift.  It was weird - like music through a radio station not quite tuned to the right frequency.  It was calling him, taunting him into twisting the dial just a little so that he could hear it properly.  It was beautiful, peaceful, calming, relaxing, inviting-

"I won't!" He yelled, screwing his eyes shut.  "Shut up!"

"Ryoma..."

"I won't," he repeated, panting from the effort of resisting.  The music seemed to fade slightly, drifting into the background. The high, floaty feeling started to ebb.  "I won't."  His breathing eased.  When Ryoma held up his hands, they were solid again. 
 
“Ryoma-”
 
“We don’t have any time to waste,” he interrupted. “We never made it to the far side of the mall strip – let’s go.” He set out at a run, not waiting to see if Tezuka would follow. The heavy footsteps behind him a moment later was all the confirmation he needed. The previous day they’d jogged – this time it was a run, the sort of pace he normally wouldn’t be able to keep up for more than 500 metres or so without tiring. He didn’t care – he ignored the slight tiredness in his legs and the burning sensation in his lungs, solely focused on scanning as much ground as possible. He picked out two Harriers half a block away, but they weren’t what they were after so he ignored them. Snatches of thought from people in the RG whisked past his ears as his senses stretched further and further – he expanded his scanning to a three-block radius, determinedly pushing back the headache and fuzz.
 
He was desperate now – Yanagi’s estimates had been right on the money. Somehow he managed to resist the call to shift into the higher plane, but even now Ryoma could faintly hear that distorted music. It grew louder when scanning but he ignored it, insulted it; did everything he could to push it away. 
 
It wasn't just his desire to stay.  It was Tezuka.  Tezuka risked everything to come back and save him.  If Ryoma ascended, not only would his efforts have been wasted, but he would also be the one on his own in the UG instead.  He wouldn't last three minutes.
 
Tezuka killed himself to save him from erasure. The least Ryoma could do was hang on.
 
The bliss of the day before already felt like a distant memory. Ryoma tried to cling to it as they ran through the streets, tried to summon the memory and use it to ground himself and draw strength, but it kept slipping through his fingers like smoke. 
 
Then there was a hand clasped in his. It was warm, and the grip was firm, and it felt like electricity was running up his arm. Ryoma glanced back. Tezuka’s expression was as neutral as always, but there was softness and a fondness in those dark brown eyes that hadn’t been there before.
 
Or perhaps it had, but it was the first time he noticed.
 
They ran through the streets hand in hand, ignoring Noise, scanning as much of the UG as they could. They passed the ramen store, then the sports store that sold the Fila wristbands, then the clothing store. Mothers and their children wandered between shops, a group of high school delinquents skipping class ambled along the footpath, young part-timers hurried by on errands; all ignorant of the pair desperately running through the streets, searching for needles in a haystack. Or not even needles, really – the empty spaces where the needles should be. 
 
Ryoma tore through wall after wall after wall. They broke hands briefly to fight a couple of Reapers who happened to stumble into their path, took care of it in a matter of minutes, then rejoined hands and continued breathlessly searching. 
 
“Ryoma, you can’t break through that wall!”
 
He stopped just before tearing it through it. Paying closer attention, he knew it was true – it was the boundary of the Game. Even if he could break through it, who knew what would happen if he did? Did the UG even exist beyond that wall? 
 
Now that they’d finally stopped running, the exertion started to catch up with him. Ryoma had to stop and take a break, gasping to catch his breath. Frustratingly, Tezuka didn’t seem to be out of breath at all. “Damn! Where are they?!”
 
Tezuka thought on it. “Finding Yanagi to get him to lead us to the Composer is maybe the wrong approach.”
 
“Do you have another idea?” Ryoma was willing to take anything at this point. Five days and they hadn’t even acquired a clue.
 
“Sanada.”
 
It was a good idea, but… “Won’t he be in Rikkai?”
 
“But the Composer must be in Seishun. I don’t think the Game could run, otherwise.”
 
Realisation dawned on him. “And Sanada is Conductor, so…”
 
“We follow him,” Tezuka concluded. “He has to come here from Rikkai.”
 
It was risky, but no less risky than wasting time running around the UG. “The train station?”
 
“It’s not quite within the boundaries of the Game, but we can get close enough that he shouldn’t be able to pass us without our noticing.” 
 
Elated that they were finally getting somewhere, Ryoma tugged his partner down by the arm and planted a brief kiss on his cheek. “Good thinking, Buchou. Let’s go.” He dragged a blushing Tezuka along behind him.
 
The boundary ended about three blocks from the train station exit. Tezuka found a nice patch of grass underneath a tree facing the boundary and sat cross-legged on the ground. Ryoma immediately settled himself into his lap.
 
“Ryoma, is it really-” Tezuka’s voice sounded a bit strained.

 
“It’s okay now, isn’t it? It’s comfortable,” he interrupted, leaning back against the firm chest. He could feel it rise and fall with each breath.
 
“Yes, but-”
 
Honestly, he’d thought that after the day before Tezuka would have loosened up a little. “I promise I’ll focus on scanning and not get distracted.” Tempting though it was.
 
He could feel the sigh more than hear it, and Tezuka didn’t protest anymore. A pair of arms settled around his waist and Ryoma hummed in approval. He didn’t really want to admit it but Tezuka’s presence was almost vital in fighting off the call of ascension. It grew more and more insistent, but it seemed like the pact was enough of a tether for him to fight it. Any small thing he could do to affirm that pact, to somehow get closer to his partner… anything would help.
 
And Tezuka’s lap was very comfortable. A bonus. “How long do you think it’ll be?”
 
The senior checked his watch. “If he comes to Seishun straight from school, it shouldn’t be more than an hour or so.”
 
Ryoma bit his lip. That was assuming Sanada came straight to Seishun. “Will we have enough time?” They apparently didn’t have any control over when each day started and ended, and the length seemed to vary as well.
 
The arms around his waist tightened briefly. “We’ll just have to hope for the best.”
 
No choices other than just sitting and scanning then. Tezuka might have an inexhaustible well of patience, but Ryoma was anxious. The call only ever got louder when he scanned, and without moving or constantly distracting himself.... Sitting like that though, it should be okay, so he clutched the Player Pin and let his senses expand to cover the area.
 
It was a mistake. The first ten minutes were fine. The next ten, that light feeling started to return. The music became louder, fuzzy and distorted but unmistakably calling.  
 
‘Shut up shut up shut up,’ he chanted in his head.
 
“Ryoma?” Tezuka sounded concerned. “Do you need to take a break?”
 
“s’fine,” he muttered. He wasn’t going to let it get the better of him. If he couldn’t handle scanning for this long, how was he supposed to last a whole extra day?
 
Another ten minutes. The feeling intensified. The sounds of the birds in the trees and the traffic in the background grew fuzzier, and the music sharper.
 
“Ryoma!”
 
Startled, he dropped the Player Pin and glanced at his hands. They were turning transparent again. The music surged.
 
“No!” He screwed his eyes shut, taking deep, gulping breaths. Tezuka! He needed… he groped blindly, but his fingers felt strangely insubstantial. The music was almost deafening now, but he still ignored it. 
 
Cool, calloused fingers caught his face. Ryoma leaned in to the touch, focusing on it, pushing back the call. His arms slid around Tezuka’s back as he clung on desperately, as if the mere act of holding on would be enough. 
 
Slowly, so painfully slowly, the call grew quiet again. Ryoma’s breathing evened and his body relaxed. Tezuka slowly carded his hand through his hair.
 
“…Maybe you should.” 
 
Ryoma didn’t open his eyes, but his fists tightened in Tezuka’s shirt all the same. “What do you mean?”
 
“Ascension is supposed to be an achievement. Perhaps you should. You wouldn’t have to suffer through the Game anymore.”
 
“And leave you to be erased by Noise?!”
 
“I could just outrun them. And there’s still a chance I could at least find Yanagi and complete the mission.”
 
There was no chance. Tezuka entered the game illegally – there was no way that they’d return him to the RG unless they took out the Composer themselves. “Not good enough.”
 
“But-”
 
“I’m not going without you,” he responded mulishly. It wasn’t about anything else any more. It wasn’t about the Game, or Sanada and Yanagi, or returning to the RG, or tennis, or even Karupin. It was about Tezuka.
 
“I returned to the RG without you,” Tezuka pointed out quietly.
 
“That was different. You didn’t know.”
 
“But it was still dangerous. You found a way. I will too.”
 
Ryoma didn’t dignify that with an answer. The music continued to echo quietly in his ears.
 
 
…One Day Left
 

 

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
kanaga
Sep. 5th, 2008 12:06 pm (UTC)
...That was a little unsettling...you have given me several almost-heartattacks...XD I can't wait for tomorrow's chapter to come even if it means that its a whole day closer to school...update soon!
sinnatious
Sep. 6th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
As you wish. Please do not stress out your cardiovascular muscles over this - that would be bad. :)
ankoku_tenshi
Sep. 5th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
Tezuka saves the day (again)...!

They're getting desperate...and we're only two days away to the end. Wow.
sinnatious
Sep. 6th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
Technically, one. Today is the last day. (dun dun dunn).
agentlerain
Sep. 5th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
Sadly enough, I'm proved wrong.

;__________________; Tezuka is the only thing keeping him alive. I really can see that happening, Sin. If you took all those tentative, almost one-sided friendships, the drive to be the best in tennis, family obligations and dear fluffy Karupin, then Echizen only has Tezuka left.

I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THE END.
sinnatious
Sep. 6th, 2008 03:58 am (UTC)
;_______;

<3
tezukaryo
Sep. 5th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
Giving me too many strokes are not good for my heart...really Tezuka, next time that Ryoma started to disappear, you should just grad and kiss him, that will surely bring him back. *grin wickedly*...I can't wait for the next day. ^_^
sinnatious
Sep. 6th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
I LIKE THE WAY YOU THINK. <3
(Anonymous)
Sep. 5th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Hi to you
Thanks to you
jade_peace
Sep. 5th, 2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
AH THE DANGER AND MOUNTING SUSPENSE ARE KILLING ME. *______________*

Oh Sinn, after a really horrible day, this was the perfect thing. <3
sinnatious
Sep. 6th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear you had a rotten day. :( Wallow in fandom, and it will make it all better. <3
ichinonaru
Sep. 6th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC)
OMG I love how Ryoma was clinging on to Tezukaaaa! Awwww such a sweet sweet chapter! Kyaaaaah! He's like treating Tezuka like he would a cute teddy bear or a safety blanket that he wouldn't want to let goooo! Wahhhhh! Sooo cuuuute <3 I'm scared for them, but I know that they're both stubborn so they'll find a way to be together no matter what! XD KYaaaaaaaH! Keep it up!
firedraygon97
Sep. 6th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
*huggles the two boys* ;___;

Good thing Tezuka's there as Ryoma's anchor. He's a fine anchor, haha. Love the hand holding, lap sitting, and cheek kissing. So cute. It's amusing how they're doing everything backwards (heavy make-out session and then all the cutesy cuddling afterwards).

Oh no, last day! GOOD LUCK!
sinnatious
Sep. 6th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
I figure that with all of the non-fluff related suspense, there was absolutely no point in torturing with almost-kisses. It would be just be mean. Do you agree? ;)
roseofthine
Sep. 6th, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
DYING HERE. D=

TOO MUCH FLUFF. SO FAST. -explodes-
sinnatious
Sep. 6th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
TOO MUCH FLUFF, YOU SAY?

Very well then. I have decided. :|
roseofthine
Sep. 6th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
<333
sleepingfingers
Sep. 24th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC)
This chapter is so. Heart-stopping. Just. Oh gosh, there absolutely has to be a happy ending to this.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )