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Xmas Drabbles 2009 Master Post P2

swyrel 
Prompt: Either that Genesis/Cloud or Kunsel/Zack I've been looking for... If you do the K/Z one, then the prompt would be, 'but YOU told me to do it!'


“Is he gone?”

“Shut up! He’ll hear us!” Kunsel hissed.

A beat. Then, “How long do you think we’re going to have to stay in here?”

“I don’t know. The rest of our lives, probably.” A sigh, and a shuffle of movement, and a clink of metal as their shoulder pauldrons knocked together. “You’re such an idiot. What were you thinking?”

“But you told me to do it!”

“I don’t remember saying anything about burning the Commander’s copy of Loveless!”

“You were speculating about what would happen if someone did it! So I did!”

“There’s no need to speculate. We’re going to die. I don’t even know why I’m in here with you. I’m innocent.”

Accomplice,” Zack insisted. “You’re definitely an accomplice. You just stood there and watched and didn’t even try to stop me.” He thought on it for a moment in the dark, and then added, “And I used your Fire materia to do it.”

“Maybe I should just push you out. Commander Rhapsodis will kill you for me.”

“Naw, you love me too much,” Zack teased. He couldn’t see a thing, but he could still hear Kunsel’s eye roll. “Why’s he so upset, anyway? I bet he has like fifty copies. And he has the whole thing memorised! He doesn’t even need the book.”

“So what you’re saying is that there was absolutely no point for us to risk our necks like this.”

“Where’s your spirit of adventure? What kind of SOLDIER backs down from a challenge?!”

“A smart one.” Kunsel paused, then added, “An alive one.”

Zack didn’t really have a good retort for that, so instead tried to shift his weight on to his other foot. “Hey, move over, would you? This is kind of uncomfortable.”

“I can’t move. It’s not exactly spacious in here. I think my foot’s in a bucket.”

Fair enough. They’d kind of crammed themselves into the janitor’s closet in a hurry. Zack craned his head, squinting in the darkness, trying to get a gauge of the dimensions. No good. Utter blackness. The faint mako glow from his eyes wasn’t enough to see by.

“Stop it,” Kunsel grumbled. “Your breath tickles.”

“Hm?” He didn’t realise he was so close. He ducked his head, his nose bumped skin, and the edge of a helmet pressed against his right temple. Ah, found Kunsel’s neck. “Sorry.” As the words passed across the nape, a shiver ran down his friend’s body – no hiding it, because stuck together like this, they could feel each other’s every tremble. Seized by an idea, Zack nipped at the skin with his teeth.

Kunsel swore and jerked in surprise. Turned out it wasn’t such a great idea – the sudden movement had Zack stumbling back half a step, a broom slid partway down the wall, and the door shook. “Not funny, Zack,” Kunsel warned.

“Oww. Couldn’t resist.” He laughed. It had been ages since he last teased his fellow SOLDIER like that.

“Come on, you can’t mess around like that anymore, we’re Secon-is that your hand?”

“There’s nowhere else to put it!” The janitor’s closet wasn’t exactly spacious, after all.

“You’re a pervert.”

Zack snorted. “As though you’re any better. Remember that time-”

You told me to do that!”

“Oh, yeah, I see, when I say that it’s no excuse, but when you-”

“Shhh, footsteps!” Kunsel hushed. They listened carefully. No mistaking it. Commander Rhapsodos had a certain way of walking that all of the lower ranks had learned to identify, or more specifically, to fear.

“Crap crap crap, he’s heard us, we’re gonna die,” Zack moaned.

“You mean you’re going to die. I had nothing to do with this. And he wouldn’t have heard us if you didn’t keep messing around!”

“Hey, we’re in a closet, what else was I supposed to do?”

Silence. The footsteps had stopped. Both SOLDIERs held their breath.

When an abnormally long time had passed, Zack whispered, “Is he messing with us?”

“You must have made him really mad. He’s resorting to psychological warfare,” Kunsel muttered.

“Better that than materia.”

Then the silence was broken by a sharp click.

They didn’t dare say anything else until the footsteps receded. Eventually, when a respectable amount of time had passed, Zack ventured, “We’re not going to die?”

When no response was forthcoming, Zack prodded the warm body in front of him. “Kunsel? You broken, man?”

“Zack… he’s locked us in.

Zack thought about that for a moment, then grinned. “Awesome! We're not dead, then. How long do you think we've got until the janitor comes?”

"I'm never lending you my materia ever again."



jade_peace 
Prompt: Tenipuri, TezuRyo Space explorers!


“Main cannon charged at 91%,” Inui dutifully reported over the intercom. The ship rolled ninety degrees. “Shields holding at 52%.” Kikumaru’s fingers hovered over the targeting screen, tracking the enemy ships, quivering in anticipation.

“Taking enemy fire,” Fuji reported, far too cheerfully for someone in their situation. “Need some help, Echizen?”

The pilot practically growled, though his golden eyes remained riveted on the displays. Tezuka wasn’t sure if he’d even blinked for the past ten minutes. “Not unless you can repair the main engines, Fuji-senpai.” The words held a sharper bite to them than the usual taunting – the only sign of Echizen’s stress.

“Fuji, keep the line open to Inui in the Engine Room,” Tezuka chided, even as his fingers itched to take over the controls. He was captain, and he’d told Echizen he trusted him to fly the ship. He could not betray that trust by taking over when it counted.

Besides, Echizen was already doing a fine job of navigating the Seigaku through the worst of the enemy fire with such limited tools. Their shields would have collapsed long ago otherwise. “Kikumaru, hold fire until the full complement of weapons are back online.”

“We’re outnumbered. We should go to warp speed,” Oishi suggested, brow creased in worry.

“Main engines are still being repaired from the initial ambush,” Inui cut in over the intercom. “It will be another ten minutes until they’re safe to use again.”

“Make it five,” Tezuka ordered. “And get those weapons online.”

“Weapons are at 97%. I can bypass the main power converters for the engine to get you twenty seconds of full speed. After that, though, they’ll have to be taken offline.”

“Do it.” He headed over to Echizen’s station, placed a hand on the pilot’s shoulder and leaned in to speak softly in his ear. “Five minutes. Can you keep us in one piece for that long?”

He could see beads of sweat trickling down the back of the boy’s neck, soaking into the dark green hair, but his voice remained steady and his smirk didn’t waver, even as the ship lurched sideways too sharply for the gravity stabilisers to fully catch up. “Che. Too easy.”

The Seigaku, peppered with carbon scoring, ploughed towards a collection of smaller ships. Kikumaru shrieked, but at the last moment the ships scattered, and they broke through the outer edge of the net.

Tezuka’s lips thinned as he returned to his seat, but had to acknowledge that playing chicken was an entirely reasonable strategy when they were surrounded like this. He gripped the armrests of his captain’s chair as the ship nosedived. Even knowing about his heritage, it still surprised him when Echizen used the extra dimensions in space – having become so used to reminding fully human pilots of it. Fortunately, their enemies appeared to suffer the same dimensional trappings as Earth pilots – the missiles and laser fire were slow to follow, and for a blessed few seconds, the shields could rest.

“Urgh, I’m going to be sick,” Momoshiro complained from somewhere near the back.

“Fssshuuuuu, it’s all in your head,” Kaidoh snapped. “The dampeners take care of it.”

“Kaidoh, Momoshiro! You’re not needed here. Head down the engine room to help!”

“Buchou!” They both saluted and hurried to the bridge lift. Momoshiro swore and stumbled as the ship spun into a vertical corkscrew.

The intercom buzzed to life again, and Inui’s dispassionate tones echoed through the bridge. “Weapons are at 100%.”

“Kikumaru!”

“Got it!” The red head declared, and slammed his fingers down on the targeting computer.

Space lit up in a hail of colour, painting the darkness red and blue. Four of the smaller vessels exploded in the barrage. The shields of the main ships shimmered, but held.

Another three boarding vessels exploded as the Kikumaru’s fingers danced across the screens. Echizen banked a sharp left, and a thick green laser barely missed the ship.

“Leave it to me, Ochibi!” Kikumaru focused their firepower on the main weapons of the attacking frigate. The shields shifted into the visual spectrum, but held steady.

“We don’t have enough power to break through the frigates’ shields! They’re far more advanced than anything we’ve encountered before!” Oishi reported.

“Inui!” Tezuka barked at the intercom.

“Main engines are online, Tezuka.”

“Echizen!”

“Uise!” Fingers sliding across the controls, Echizen rolled the ship, angled their escape trajectory, and pulled back on the warp.

Space smeared around them. Klaxon alarms blared over the bridge. Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen…

“No sign of any pursuit!” Oishi called out.

Three more seconds for insurance. Then, “That’s enough.”

They were dropping out of warp speed as the words left his mouth. Tezuka sent Echizen a glance, who tilted his head with a slight smile and mouthed ‘predictable’.

Inky blackness, peppered with stars, filled every view port. The alarms were silenced – the only sound remaining, the dying whine of the ship’s engines. No sign of either landmark or hostiles. They were light years from any known threat.

“Status reports,” Tezuka demanded.

“All clear over here, captain,” Fuji reported.

“Eight ships destroyed, nya! But the main laser cannons are overheated.”

“No sign of enemy pursuit. We must have surprised them,” Oishi confirmed.

“Inui?”

“There’s been some hull breaches in the lower quadrant. I estimate main engines will be down for at least five hours. That shortcut cost us. But I can restore all other systems to full capacity in fifty-three minutes.”

“Prioritise the hull breaches and shields,” Tezuka decided. There was little point in being able to escape if they were taken out by another surprise attack. He cast a glance over the crew. “Oishi, take control of the bridge – bring up the junior staff to keep watch. Everyone else, take a break.” They’d been under pressure for days, now, ever since the initial contact went bad. They needed to take the opportunity to restore drained mental and physical reserves. “But stay alert. We must not get careless in space.”

“In that case, I think I might go visit Taka in the galley,” Fuji said brightly, and left his post.

As soon as he disappeared down the lift, Oishi appeared at his shoulder. “I’ve been meaning to say something for a while, Tezuka,” his First Officer confided in a low whisper. “But I’m not sure if putting Fuji on communications was a good idea. It seems like we’ve had to engage in battle a lot more than you’d normally expect from this kind of expedition…”

“Space is the final frontier,” Tezuka replied tiredly. “Risks are to be expected.” And then, to placate the nervous officer, pointed out, “He is the most accomplished linguist we have on board. Now if you’ll excuse me.” He stood and headed over to the pilot.

Echizen glanced up at him with a self-satisfied smile. Tezuka didn’t see that – he instead focused the way the boy’s fingers trembled on the controls, still shaking from excitement. “Buchou.”

The use of the foreign term of respect quickly struck the implied slight from his thoughts. Echizen looked young and small, but his race – or rather, his mother’s race – matured differently. “Echizen. You did well.”

“Che. Mada mada dane.” But he’s half-human, too, a voice whispered traitorously, the same voice that very nearly stopped him from accepting the prodigious young pilot onto his crew, until it occurred to him that Echizen had likely suffered that prejudice more than enough in the first half of his life, and it would be foolish to contribute from the other side of the coin. “Ready to trust me with the ship yet?”

“I already trusted you.”

“Liar.” But the words were accompanied with a cheeky smirk, and Tezuka didn’t acknowledge it – instead stepping away to head to the lift.

Echizen tapped in a holding course, locked the navigation computer, and then hopped out of his chair to join him. As Tezuka suspected he would. “Do you miss flying?”

“Being captain is an honour and an important responsibility-”

“Not what I asked,” came the belligerent reply. Tezuka glanced down, and nearly missed a step when confronted with the vivid amber gaze. He was forced to admit that as a halfling, Echizen was uncommonly alluring. The mixture of genes had created an aesthetically pleasing blend of features.

The worst part was, Echizen knew it.

“I could take over the captain’s seat, you know, if you wanted to fly,” Echizen remarked with a slyness that was better suited to Fuji.

“But then you wouldn’t get to fly,” Tezuka pointed out.

“But I could order you around.”

You do that anyway, Tezuka thought, but didn’t voice it.

“Che. So boring,” Echizen declared when no response was forthcoming, then yawned.

The lift opened on to the residential level. “You should get some rest.”

The pilot shook his head sleepily, and followed Tezuka right into his quarters, walking in and making himself at home like they were his own. Echizen insisted it was a cultural difference. Tezuka refrained from pointing out that the boy had spent at least half of his life on Earth. “M’okay still.”

“You should take the opportunity while it’s here. It might be the only chance we get for a while. Even though we’ve escaped for now, we can’t get careless.”

“In space,” Echizen added.

“Pardon?”

“You left that part out.”

Tezuka frowned, then agreed. “Yes. In space.”

Echizen yawned and flopped onto the settee.

“You have your own quarters, you know.”

“Yours are bigger.”

Tezuka couldn’t argue with that, so headed to his desk to update the captain’s logs with the day’s events. By the time he was finished, the pilot had fallen asleep, sprawled across the couch. Some distant part of him noted that this was probably why the rookie’s uniform was always wrinkled.

He dimmed the lights, and fetched a blanket from the linen closet.

His pilot was perceptive. Tezuka missed flying. But he didn’t regret trusting the Seigaku to Echizen at all.



inyourfaisgirl 
Prompt: Tenipuri x Rurouni Kenshin


“Tezuka,” Oishi calls from the door. “We’ve found the hideout.”

It’s the news they’ve been waiting for. He snatches up his swords and pulls on his haori. “We’re moving out. Don’t get careless.” His subordinates snap to attention, and they fan out from the building in regimented formation. Tezuka leads his and Fuji’s squads swiftly through the streets at Oishi’s hushed direction – not quite at a run, but they can’t delay for even a moment. The rebels seem to have eyes on every street corner these days. Even now, an evacuation may be in progress.

The night sky burns orange, and embers float through the air. Kyoto is burning. The rebel base is just ahead.

Then a cry of pain splits the air behind them, and blood paints the wooden walls of the alleyway crimson.

Tezuka turns and has his sword drawn in the blink of an eye. Nothing. He glances down at the felled body of his subordinate. The strike is long and clean, cutting through bone like butter – death was instant. Only a handful of swordsmen can produce such work.

“Where did he go?”

“It’s an ambush! On your guard!” Oishi warns.

Tezuka says nothing – his senses are honed, and he moves forward to rest his weight on the balls of his feet, ready to strike at a moment’s notice.

The slightest touch of sandals hitting dirt reaches his ears, almost lost in the distant roar of flames. Tezuka whirls.

Just one man?

Green hair. Amber eyes. Blood-spattered clothing.

Demon.

So the rumours about the Battousai’s return were true.

Fuji dashes into battle before anyone can give the order. He has the right to, technically, and he’s been wanting to challenge Battousai for months, but Tezuka’s brow dips in disapproval. Their swords clash in the firelight. Fuji is a prodigy – fast, perfect form. Hundreds have fallen under the hand of the captain of the first squad.

The Battousai, however, dances around the blade as though he’s playing.

He’s just a boy, smaller than even Fuji. He shouldn’t be able to strike so hard as to rent a grown man’s body in two. His speed is superhuman, his form unpredictable. Tezuka hasn’t seen the sword style before, but he’s heard whispers of it.

He leaps into the air. Fuji twists, sandals sliding through the sand, and barely blocks the strike. He skids back under the pressure, shoulders heaving from exertion. A cough burbles in his throat.

Tezuka moves forward. “Enough. I’ll take over here.”

For an instant, Fuji looks like he’s about to argue, but then a sunny smile blooms on his face and he retreats. He’s smart enough to know he can’t win against the Battousai in his current state. “Sorry Tezuka. I forgot you wanted a chance at him too.”

The hitokiri doesn’t acknowledge the exchange other than to shift his stance slightly to focus on the new opponent. Tezuka frowns. As he thought, he’s stalling. That the rebels have sent out such a valuable swordsman alone to delay them must mean that there are important people at the hideout.

He can’t allow this fight to last. “Your rebellion will end tonight.”

The boy simply tilts his head at him. “Heeeeeh? You’re the captain of the third squad, Tezuka Kunimitsu, right?” There’s fire in his eyes. Confidence. Determination. “Then I guess I’d better take this seriously.”

The Battousai doesn’t know how to lose.

Under different circumstances, he thinks he would have liked to teach this child.

Now, however, they are enemies.

Tezuka dashes forward. Their blades clash like ringing bells.

----

Ten years later, Tezuka approaches a dojo, having traded the Shinsengumi uniform for a policeman’s.

The former captain had accepted defeat gracefully in the end, and turned his energies to preserving the peace. It had been a difficult transition, working among former enemies, but he’d made the sacrifices for the good of his ideals.

So far, though, this era has disappointed him. The honour from the days before the Restoration seem like a distant memory amidst the corruption and the disbandment of the samurai class. Once-great swordsmen are reduced to petty thieves or lazy bureaucrats.

He’s here to see if Echizen Ryoma has managed to escape that fate.

Almost all of his old comrades are gone, now. Kikumaru and the remains of the Oniwabanshuu have disappeared into the underground. Tuberculosis claimed Fuji during the last days of the Boshin war. Inui had been slain when he’d been discovered as an informant.

He and Echizen are the only sane ones left from the Bakumatsu. He’s the last worthwhile veteran Tezuka can call upon.

He enters through the gate, and is unsurprised when the wanderer meets him at the entrance of the dojo with his sword drawn. Tezuka’s eyes flick to it. A reverse blade.

He doesn’t agree with the philosophy, but that’s not what he’s here to test.

“Eh, Echizen? You’re holding your sword in the wrong hand!” the short boy with the monobrow exclaims. Horio, if he remembers correctly.

The fierce looking teenager off to the side wearing a red bandanna glares the vocal child into submission. “Fshuuuu, idiot. Haven’t you noticed? Echizen’s left-handed.” So Kaidoh – or by the moniker he used to use, the Viper – has noticed. The youth has potential, then, and Tezuka is glad he went to the trouble of only injuring him. Others might not understand his logic, but he must balance his duty to the country with his pride as a swordsman.

“Ehhhhh? Ryoma-sama is so amazing, all this time he’s been using his right hand!” Tomoka, the lady doctor, shrilled. Sakuno, the nervous girl who’d inherited the Ryuuzaki dojo, stands off the side, watching the confrontation with confused eyes.

The man at the centre of the discussion appears scarcely aware of the fuss – he has eyes only for his opponent. As it should be.

“Che. I knew it was you. You finally look your age, Tezuka-buchou.”

Kaidoh sits up at this. “Tezuka- as in the Shinsengumi captain?”

“What?” Horio squawks. “You mean this guy fought Echizen back in the war?!”

Tomoka screams.

Tezuka shifts into stance, and doesn’t bother with further small talk. Echizen knows why he’s here. There’s no need to spell it out for the audience.

The boy he fought ten years ago hasn’t changed at all. He still looks like a child. Younger than even Kaidoh.

Except the fire in his eyes has vanished, replaced with a dull, bored hazel.

Tezuka dashes forward, katana bared, and vows to bring it back. Yukimura and his band of followers are Echizen Ryoma’s responsibility. Tezuka will see to it that the former hitokiri finishes his duty.

That his heart sings at the prospect of the challenge is irrelevant.



crysaliz 
Prompt: xXxholic. Doumeki/Watanuki – they say opposites attract… but that’s not true, is it?


“You! Don’t think you can get away with just eating all the cupcakes I made for Himawari-chan like that! You’re a pig! A menace to society!” A long pale finger shook at him, practically a blur.

Doumeki swallowed the last of the cupcake.

“It’s alright, Watanuki. I shouldn’t eat so many sweets anyway,” Himawari chipped in with a sunny smile. “I’ll get fat!”

Like flipping a switch, the fire and demonic eyes turned to bluebirds and sparkles. “Himawari-chaaaaaaan! Don’t say that! You could eat all the sweets you want and you’d still be beautiful!” He swivelled around, grinning manically. “Although Doumeki will get fat for sure. He’ll bloat up bigger than Santa Claus!”

“I never put on weight,” Doumeki remarked blandly.

“THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE A DEMON WITH A TRANSDIMENSIONAL STOMACH.”

Whatever that meant. Watanuki had been hanging around the shop too long. He’d started picking up strange words.

Himawari laughed and clapped her hands. “You two are such good friends!”

“We’re not! We’re totally not! We’re complete opposites!” Watanuki railed at the sky.

“But you know what they say – opposites attract, right?”

Watanuki looked at her as though she’d just suggested he try breathing water. Doumeki frowned, and crossed his arms.

That didn’t sound right. Doumeki had issues with the saying. Sure, if they picked and chose the right personality traits, they were opposites, but if you picked and chose the right traits, they were similar, too. And there were a lot of ways in which they couldn’t be opposites. They were the same age, for starters. They were both male. Both decent at soccer (even if Doumeki was better). Both involved with Yuuko’s shop, even if it was in different ways.

And if they really were opposites, one of them would be good, and the other would be evil. It might have been a matter of perspective, but Doumeki was pretty sure that neither of them harboured any true ill intentions. Even if Watanuki threatened him with bodily harm on a daily basis.

No, they weren’t opposites at all. It was a symbiotic relationship. Watanuki cooks. Doumeki eats. Watanuki sees spirits. Doumeki chases them away. Watanuki reacts. Doumeki gives him something to react to.

If it weren’t for that, Watanuki would have no one to cook for, would be chased by spirits all hours of day, and would withdraw entirely into his own world.

Watanuki needs someone to blame. Doumeki provides a safe target.

“We’re not opposites,” he said suddenly.

“Ha, you see! Even he admits it!” For the first time, Watanuki looked happy to be agreeing with him.

Doumeki cracked open the canteen and took a generous gulp of the warm soup inside. “We’re halves.”

Watanuki froze, mouth hanging open. Himawari giggled. “You really are, aren’t you? Like yin and yang.”

Doumeki nodded. Watanuki unfroze.

The teachers in the ground floor staff room paused. Was that screaming? Or more importantly, why were there bento boxes raining from the school roof?



roseofthine 
Prompt: Sailor tenipuri!tezuryo? (with bonus points for guardian cat!karupin with a tennis ball on his forehead :D


Ryoma paused on his serve. “Momo-senpai?” The lanky junior was swaying dangerously on his feet.

“S’okay, Echizen! I’m just kinda… sleepy…” With no further warning, his friend collapsed to the ground unconscious.

Ryoma stepped forward, his teammate’s name poised on the tip of his tongue but not quite escaping. The next court over, Arai wavered and dropped to his knees. Katsuo and Kachirou started panicking, but their cries tapered off into tired groans.

The freshman lowered his racquet. What was going on? Inui Juice? But the senior hadn’t brought any out yet today…

He hurried over to his senpai, keeping a wary eye on the rest of the tennis club members who were wilting like flowers in the desert. Practice wasn’t that bad. Tezuka wasn’t anywhere to be seen yet, so there hadn’t even been any laps. “Momo-senpai. Wake up.” He poked the junior with the edge of his tennis racquet.

A flash of white caught the corner of his eye. Ryoma abandoned his sleeping senpai and hurried off the courts.

"Karupin?” he hissed. “What are you doing here?"

The guardian cat didn't get the chance to speak - the commotion on the next tennis court answered for him.

A vaguely gorilla-like monster came crashing onto the court, covered in brown and green fur and clutching a tennis racquet in its deformed hands. “Two years!” It shrieked. “Two years!” The air shimmered, waves of energy being sucked towards the black racquet from the members of the tennis club.

Great. Why did the youma always come during tennis practice? They were going to wind up wasting the rest of the afternoon running laps again.

"Che," Ryoma grumbled, and cast a quick glance around. Was anyone looking?

Inui appeared behind him as though by magic. "The centre of the left side of the clubhouse is at the right angle to be hidden both from the school buildings and the courts," he murmured. "I've sent Kaidoh to the bushes over near the fence. Kikumaru to the toilets on the west block, and Kawamura-"

"Inui-senpai," he interrupted.

"...I'll go transform, then. We'll have the youma surrounded."

Ryoma rolled his eyes, and used the chaos as a chance to slip away behind the clubhouse unnoticed. He dug into his pocket and pulled out a wristband marked with a golden moon - though he preferred to think of it as a tennis ball, no matter what Karupin said - and swapped it with the one on his left hand.

He closed his eyes against the bright glare it emitted, only peripherally aware of his sneakers changing to boots, his shorts changing to a skirt, the weight of a heavy brooch and bow settling over his chest, and lastly, a golden tiara nestling itself in his dark green hair.

Transformation complete.

The instant it was finished, he darted to the corner of the clubhouse, peering around the corner. He was getting used to walking in the boots, but it still looked ridiculous. Why hadn't whoever made the transformation bands taken into account that they might not get reborn as girls? Ryoma still didn’t really believe it. He didn’t feel like a girl, not even when he was wearing a stupid short skirt or stupid tiara or stupid red knee-high boots. If it weren’t for the magic powers, he would have outright refused.

At least the boots made him look taller.

Karupin jumped down from the clubhouse roof to land on the grass in front of him, and sent him a reproachful glance. “I’m know, I’m going,” Ryoma grumbled, and ran out onto the courts where the youma was still sucking up energy from the tennis club.

He skipped the traditional speech – he wanted to hurry and get back to practice. “Hey. This prefecture has enough monkey kings already.”

The youma whirled on him, eyes red with rage. “Twooooooo yeaaaaaaaaaars!” It howled to the sky. Ryoma winced. Some kind of sonic attack?

“Not so fast, nya!” A new voice interrupted. With a shower of sparks, Kikumaru back flipped onto the scene, dressed in an orange sailor outfit that clashed horribly with his red hair, and landing with uncanny grace in a pair of high heels. “Sailor V to the rescue!”

“Sailor Mercury, transformation complete. Probability of victory, 100%,” Inui intoned, appearing on the other side. His glasses had been replaced with an opaque blue visor. The skirt and boots made him look lankier than even Momoshiro, and Ryoma couldn’t understand how the newspapers kept insisting they were all girls. Even with the bows giving the illusion of a bust…

“GREAT-O! SAILOR MARS FOR VICTORY!” Kawamura yelled, dressed in a red sailor outfit and heels. Forget Inui - no girl had arms like Kawamura. He threw a punch at the youma, and it reeled in pain and confusion. “YEAH, BABY! TAKE THAT!”

Ryoma glanced over to where he expected the last sailor senshi to turn up. Sure enough, Kaidoh was already there in his green sailor outfit, complete with lace-up ankle-high boots and tiara taking the place of his usual bandanna. He didn’t say anything to announce his presence. Ryoma could understand. He had the least experience so far.

“Two years?!” The youma circled in place, distressed to find itself surrounded. “Two yeeeeeeaaaaaaarsssssss!”

“It’s primary attack is a sonic disrupting scream,” Inui reported promptly, lights flashing across his visor as he analysed the youma. “It causes paralysis. Be careful of its claws, as well. I will attempt to locate the source of the energy drain.”

Kaidoh barely appeared to hear, launching straight into an attack. "FSHUUUUUU! Jupiter Thunder Dragon!" A massive lightning serpent lashed through the air.

"Venus Love-Me Chain!" Kikumaru cried, twirling in place.

"MARS BUUUUUUURNING MANDALA!"

The youma was battered on all sides. Something shattered, and suddenly dark mist billowed over the court.

“Did we get it?” Kikumaru asked, peering through the clouds of darkness.

“I believe we destroyed what it was using to gather energy, at least,” Inui observed. “It appears it was the black tennis racquet. Ingenious.”

The youma shrieked in despair as the energy began to escape. “Two yeaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrsss!

The shriek shook in the air as the monster turned and charged straight for the only sailor senshi yet to act, filled with rage. Ryoma’s eyes widened as he found his vision blurring, and feet unable to respond.

Kikumaru was shouting something, but he couldn’t hear it over the ringing in his ears. Move, he ordered his unresponsive body. Move!

A sprig of lavender whistled through the air, nicking the youma’s bottom lip. The screeching cut abruptly short, and Ryoma could move again. He leapt backwards, before almost being blinded by a dark cape. A gloved hand on his shoulder steadied him. Ryoma scowled. Stupid boots.

“It seems you got careless,” came the low comment.

“Che.” Ryoma didn’t deny it. “You’re some kind of stalker or something.”

“I simply fight the Dark Kingdom, same as you,” was the measured response.

Ryoma shrugged. “Less work for me.” He slanted a glance at Tuxedo Mask. “Are you going to take care of this one, then?”

“I rather think your powers are better suited to the task,” Tuxedo Mask replied.

“Tch. Boring,” he muttered. Should have expected.

“Sailor Moon,” Inui interrupted. “Now would be the opportune time, while the youma is stunned!”

Rolling his eyes, Ryoma pulled the tiara from his head, and pulled back as though he were about to perform a Cyclone Smash. “Moon Tiara Action,” he recited – and then, only because Karupin told him the attack was more powerful if he said the words.

The disc of golden light sped from his hand, arcing to hit the youma right in the monobrow. It shrieked as it was showered in golden sparkles. The magical tiara spun back into Ryoma’s hand as the enormous youma began to shrink, the green and brown fur being replaced with pale skin and a green shirt.

He threw a smirk back at Tuxedo Mask. “How was that?”

The masked crusader’s expression didn’t change – he simply pulled his cape around and leapt to one of the fence poles surrounding the tennis courts. “I am not needed here any longer. Until we meet again, Sailor Moon.”

Ryoma watched him go, heart thumping unnaturally. He told himself it was the adrenaline rush from fighting the youma. Or another one of those past-life things. He just couldn’t shake the feeling that he knew the masked vigilante somehow.

“Another victory for the Sailor Scouts! YEAH, BABY!” Kawamura roared.

“You okay, Ochibi?” Kikumaru chirped, running over the slight senshi.

“Fine, senpai,” he muttered, brushing him away, and turning his attention to the boy flat out on the ground where the youma had stood not moments before.

“It appears the youma possessed Horio when he acquired the cursed tennis racquet,” Inui reported blandly, to the surprise of absolutely nobody.

Ryoma stared at the rest of the tennis club splayed out flat on the clay, only just beginning to stir from their sleep. “I’m more worried about how we’re going to explain all this.”

"We can pass it off as a side-effect of Inui Juice, nya!" Kikumaru suggested.

“Fshuuuuuu, nobody drank any juice today,” Kaidoh hissed.

“Memory loss side effect,” came the matter-of-fact retort.

"This has been happening a lot lately," Ryoma groused, stooping to pet his guardian cat as he joined them on the courts.

Inui tapped through his mini-computer. "Seigaku has been the target of an unusually high percentage of youma activity. Rather than the Dark Kingdom discovering our identities, however, I believe it's more likely to be a case of schools being a popular target for energy harvest. Seventy-six percent of all youma attacks have been in areas with high concentrations of people under the age of twenty - and thirty two percent of those have been focused on health and sports clubs."

“Oi, they’re waking up,” Kaidoh grumbled. “We should get back to normal.”

Ryoma nodded. Karupin ran to back to the court entrance. The five sailor senshi scattered and returned to their civilian clothes. Ryoma breathed a sigh of relief once back in his regular clothes, retrieved his tennis racquet, and sauntered out from behind the clubhouse to find their captain only just arriving on the court, barking orders at the confused club members waking up on the warm clay.

The five – now normal – regulars returned to the courts at the same time, unfortunately catching the attention of the captain as they did so.

"Where did you all disappear to?" Tezuka asked sternly.

The others exchanged nervous glances, then looked to Ryoma as leader, one by one.

Their mistake. "…There was a pregnant lady about to give birth."

A long pause. Then… “Laps.”

No getting around it. The five regulars jogged for the court exit, brushing by their stone-faced captain as their fellow club members clambered to their feet, yawning and looking bewildered, before also being ordered to run laps.

Ryoma frowned, though, and checked the court for stray flowers. Nothing.

He could have sworn, as he passed the captain, that he caught a whiff of lavender…



SPECIAL BONUS GIFTFIC
agentlerain 
Prompt: TENIPURI STARWARS!CROSSOVER. R2D2!Karupin, Leia!Sakuno, Nanjiroh as Darth Vadar. /cannot unsee


“Help me, Tezuka Kuni-Mitsu. You’re my only hope.”

The young farm hand stared at the flickering, repeating hologram with an air of disinterest. “Who is she?”

“Princess Ryuuzaki Sakuno,” the protocol droid promptly reported. “She was our former owner. Before we came to this place, of course. Oh my, I do hope she’s alright.”

“She has long hair,” the boy remarked drolly, as the hologram looped once more. With a sigh, he picked up his tools, muttering about Jawas and memory banks under his breath. The astromech whistled and sputtered angrily at him.

“If I may, master-”

“It’s Echizen Ryoma,” he interrupted.

“Master Echizen-”

“Just Ryoma,” he corrected once more.

“Ryoma. I am 01-SHI, and my companion’s designation is E1-J1.”

Ryoma gave a lazy, aborted wave in acknowledgement.

“If I may,” 01-SHI resumed in his hollow timbre, “He says the restraining bolt is interfering with the playback. If you wish to view the whole message, you should try removing it.”

“Help me, Tezuka Kuni-Mitsu. You’re my only hope.”

Ryoma frowned, but eventually curiosity won out. “Che. I guess you’re too small to run off on me.” He located the bolt and pried it loose, and the hologram abruptly died. Ryoma glared at the empty space. “Hey.”

E1-J1 whistled cheerily.

He looked to the protocol droid for translation. “I’m very sorry, he’s being quite difficult,” 01-SHI apologised, then in a lower voice to the astromech, “Don’t be so rude. What are you so worked up about, anyway?”

The chirps grew abrupt and angry.

“What’s he saying?”

“I’m so sorry,” 01-SHI apologised again, “He simply keeps repeating that he needs to find Tezuka Kuni-Mitsu. Do you know of such a person?”

The workshop fell silent as the farmhand pondered this. "…I don't know of any Tezuka Kuni-Mitsu," Ryoma eventually muttered. "But I guess there's Tezuka Buchou. He might know something."

"Oh, we don't want to put you to any trouble," 01-SHI demurred, then at E1-J1's shrill whistle, amended, "But it really would set his mind at ease."

Ryoma shrugged. It was a good excuse to go see Buchou. Nanako didn't like him, for some reason, and was always trying to make sure Ryoma had as little to do with him as possible. “We’ll go tomorrow, then.”

----

Ryoma opened his eyes to find himself flat on his back in the sand, and a cloaked figure looming over him. His fingers groped for his blaster, but his hand was caught before he could pull the weapon free. “Easy there.” The stranger helped him sit up.

Once upright, his head cleared, and he could look at his rescuer properly. A familiar face, framed in a light brown cloak just a shade darker than his eyes. “Buchou?” He rubbed at his eyes, wincing at the grittiness. “Lucky. I was looking for you.”

Tezuka didn’t reply – just tugged him to his feet. “You shouldn’t be this far out, all alone. These wastes are not to be travelled carelessly.”

Ryoma winced as he settled back on his feet, but concluded he’d be okay. Only bruises – the sand people had given him a few good whacks, but mercifully avoided the blasters. He scowled. “It’s because of this stupid little droid,” he muttered, gesturing towards E1-JI, trundling up without a scratch on him. “Keeps going on about needing to meet some Tezuka Kuni-Mitsu. Thought he might be a relative of yours.”

Tezuka stared at him for what felt like a thousand solar cycles. Eventually, he murmured, "I haven't heard that name in a long time."

"So you do know him?" Ryoma pressed.

Tezuka nodded. "He's me."

“Che. I knew it.”

The sounds of horns and the coarse groans of banthas on the distance chose that moment to intrude on their conversation. “Come. We can discuss this back at my hut. The sand people are easily startled, but they’ll soon return, and in greater numbers.”

Ryoma nodded in agreement, and headed for the speeder. E1-JI’s whistle stopped him in his tracks.

“Is there a problem?” Tezuka asked.

“01-SHI,” he grumbled. The damn worrywart protocol droid had fallen into the rocks.

----

Eventually, they’d made it to Tezuka’s hut, damaged protocol droid in tow. Ryoma set to work on re-attaching 01-SHI’s arm, while Tezuka prepared some refreshments.

“If it’s all the same to you, master Ryoma,” 01-SHI requested, “I think I might shut down for a while.”

“Go ahead,” Ryoma agreed, secretly pleased that he’d be spared the droid’s incessant worrying over the fate of his circuits.

"I hear you've become quite a starfighter pilot. Almost as good as your father," Tezuka said as he settled down on a stool near them.

Ryoma snapped to attention. "You knew my father?"

"He was a Jedi Knight, as I was,” came the solemn response.

He fell silent. He knew his father had been an incredible pilot, but a Jedi Knight? “I thought that was some boring old religion.”

A slight shake of the head. “Not at all. Though the Empire would like to paint it so. We fought together in the Clone Wars.”

“You fought in the Clone Wars?” Ryoma interrupted.

Tezuka nodded. Then, in a low voice, “Echizen Nanjiroh was an incredible Jedi Knight – an inspiration to all those who worked with him. And the best pilot I’ve ever seen.”

Ryoma worked in pensive silence for several minutes, then asked, “…How did he die?”

The silence that followed his question stretched even longer. Eventually, Tezuka said in slow, measured tones, “…I once had a master, a powerful Jedi Knight, who was lured to the dark side. He goes by the name of Darth Vader. He turned on the Jedi order, and destroyed all of the Jedi Knights… including your father.”

Ryoma thought on that for a long minute, fingers stilling in their repairs. Eventually, he murmured, “Nanako never told me.”

Tezuka’s lips pressed into a thin line. “Your cousin was hurt deeply by the loss. She doesn’t think it wise to become involved in galactic affairs, as your father did.”

Wordlessly, Ryoma resumed tinkering with 01-SHI’s arm. E1-J1 chirped, and rolled up, bumping Tezuka’s leg. “Oh yeah. This droid had some message for you. There was only part of it-”

Tezuka reached down, flicked a switch, and the message flared to life – at the start, this time. Ryoma glared at the astromech unit. The stupid little droid was making him look dumb, hiding the message like that!

In the background, Tezuka watched the hologram with a stony expression. “…Inside this E1 unit are the plans for the Empire’s new weapon than the rebel alliance needs to find its weakness. I beg of you, deliver this droid to my grandmother on Alderaan. Help me, Tezuka Kuni-Mitsu. You’re my only hope.”

As the message dissolved into silence, Tezuka leaned back, deep in thought. He glanced over to Ryoma, stared at him for long moment, then said, with an air of gravity, "You'll need to learn the ways of the Jedi, if want to accompany me to Alderaan."



Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
ii_crack
Jan. 18th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Let's not get careless...
...IN SPACE.</strong>

omgomgomg XD

*goes back to reading*
sinnatious
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:18 am (UTC)
That part was entirely for you. <3
(Anonymous)
Jan. 18th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
<3
OMG I so miss your TezuRyo fics!

The drabbles made me miss it all the more, especially the sailormoon one.
clinck
Jan. 18th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh these are so lovely! I love love love the space one especially :x:x:x
ankoku_tenshi
Jan. 18th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC)
OMGOMGOMGOMG.

I loved the space one! Some really nice hints of backstory here and there. And sailor moon!tenipuri was just indescribable. Of course Ryoma would still keep relating everything to tennis even if he's a magical boy in a short skirt and tiara.

Does that also mean we get to see his and Tezuka's future love child? :DDDDD
sinnatious
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:30 am (UTC)
And don't forget the part where said future love child is corrupted by dark magic and turns adult and then proceeds to kiss the daylights out of Tezuka! XD I love sailormoon.
agentlerain
Jan. 19th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
aasjkashdkkjshdmm I am soso torn between laughing really hard and wanting to just glomp you for writing so many awesome crossover cracky stories which still kinda of work! *___*
sinnatious
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:31 am (UTC)
<3 I finally finished your second drabble! Well after you got back, oops! How careless.
agentlerain
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:37 am (UTC)
♥♥♥ I loved the Kuni-Mitsu (Mitsu in my mind sounds a bit girly. :P) and sort of kept reading Oishi's name as Oh Shit- but haha, besides my strange thoughts, alskjasd, you wrote it well that if fitted into the SW canon! Doesn't matter at all! I still loved it. :D
sinnatious
Jan. 21st, 2010 07:31 am (UTC)
Oh Shi- XD *dies laughing*. That kind of summarises C3P0's attitude about everything. "We're doomed."

See you tomorrow! :D Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything!
agentlerain
Jan. 22nd, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
SEE YOU TODAY! >:D
firedraygon97
Jan. 19th, 2010 06:34 am (UTC)
Hahaha, the only ones I hadn't read yet were the last 2!!! as;ldfkjas;ldkfj SAILOR MOON/POT. STAR WARS. JUST. *___*

All the little details you add are so perfect, like Tezuka's lavender and Horio turning into the youma who's from a chibi-episode. XDD GENIUS!

You really need to do this again some time. XDD; I'm looking forward to the next round of drabble-requests for you~ Thanks for all your hard work!
sinnatious
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:33 am (UTC)
Next Christmas, perhaps! :D

Thanks~! Wow, you commented on pretty much all of them! You may have the distinction of being one of the few readers to sample every one. XD

<3 So happy you noticed all the little details in the Sailor Moon crossover. I was concerned they might be too esoteric.
likeviolins
Jan. 19th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
These are so +wonderful!+

The Sailors were all so horrifying and amazing and perfect and Ryoma was so wry and +him+ asjkadaasaasadfs (not enough randomly combined letters to convey my glee at the boots making him taller).

And Sakuno in the Star Wars. &hearts
sinnatious
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:34 am (UTC)
Thank you~! They were great fun to write. The Sailor Moon one especially. :D
lunarfirefox
Jan. 20th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
I LOVE YOUR FICS *___*
They are like drugs, horribly addicting and irresistable

And now I can't get the image of sailor!Ryoma out of my head @__@
sinnatious
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:33 am (UTC)
Thank you!

Then my work is done. ^_^
lunarfirefox
Jan. 20th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
If I start doodling the Seigaku sailor scouts, it will be your fault D:
...well, partially thy's fault too. But she's already taken the blame for my cracky PoT!Pokemon pictures.

At least I can maybe pass off Ryoma as a girl with short hair if my friends ever ask xD
sinnatious
Jan. 21st, 2010 07:27 am (UTC)
Doooooooo it. *____* You know you want to.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )