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A Traditional Ninja Romance - Chapter 7

Title: A Traditional Ninja Romance

Author: Sinnatious
Summary: TezRyo Ninja AU.  Ryoma's mission:  To infiltrate the Seigaku clan and seduce their leader.
Rating: M for violence and yaoi.

Author’s Note: Fight scenes!  Hooray for fight scenes!  How does Naruto's writer DO IT?  My brain is so fried.
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6


A Traditional Ninja Romance
By Sinnatious
Chapter 7
After the rather epic failure of his ‘drug Tezuka’ plan, Ryoma thought it safer to lay low for a while. The daily routine resumed without interruption. 
The alarming part was what he was beginning to consider ‘routine’.
Ryoma walked down the hallway, intent on heading to the training grounds. Partway there, he paused. Outwardly, nothing seemed to be amiss…
Cautiously, Ryoma tossed a kunai to the ground in front of him. An instant later a net of wires sprang up, grasping at empty air, followed by heavy blanket dropping from the ceiling. Three seconds after that, Eiji sprung into view, arms outstretched.
“I got you Ochibiiiiii- eh? What are you doing over there?” Eiji stopped, balancing precariously on one foot and staring at Ryoma with incomprehension.
“As though I’m going to fall for a lame trap like that, Eiji-senpai,” he drawled, retrieving his kunai from the ground. It was ridiculous. Weight-triggered traps were a pain to hook up. Didn’t the redhead have anything better to do?
“Eiji! What are you doing here! If we want to make it by nightfall, we have to leave now,” Oishi scolded as he arrived on the scene.
“I wanted to say goodbye to Ochibi!”
The vice-captain eyed the mess in the hallway. “By killing him?”
“This is the only way! Ochibi is so paranoid!” Eiji complained. He made another grab for his prize, and this time Ryoma didn’t bother moving. Sometimes the quickest way to escape the redhead’s hugs was to give in to them. Now that Oishi was here, it was okay – the vice-captain would pull his partner off before he choked him to death.
True to form, Oishi came to his rescue. “Eiji, you’re choking him!”
“Hey, Echizen!” Momoshiro wandered down the hallway, waving at him. “Let’s spar!”
“I’m kind of busy right now, Momo-senpai,” he wheezed, wondering if it was yet okay to draw weapons to scare Eiji off. Oishi’s attempts at prying him free were proving ineffectual. 
“Oh? What an interesting gathering. There is ninety percent probability that Eiji set up an ambush for Echizen. However, there should have been a less than five percent chance of success…” Inui was added to the growing crowd in the hallway. “Although now that I have you all here, I was wondering if anyone might be willing to help me test a new-”
Just hearing Inui mention the word ‘test’ was enough to get Eiji to release his grasp. “Eeek, no! Don’t let him, Oishi!”
“I wouldn’t mind helping out, Inui,” Fuji piped up, appearing from nowhere.
The shouji near where they were gathered opened abruptly, and Tezuka glared out at all of them. “Inui, no testing on clan members. Fuji, don’t encourage him. Eiji, Oishi, don’t you have a mission you’re supposed to be leaving for?”
Everyone snapped to attention at the sight of the captain and disassembled. Ryoma was left staring down at the mess Eiji made of the trap, then left it for one the trainees to clean up.
That was actually a pretty standard morning.
The next day was a little more peaceful, as half of the team was out on a mission. Oishi and Eiji then returned late in the evening, and the natural order of chaos was restored. Ryoma was almost growing numb to it by now. In fact, things were set to continue in that pattern indefinitely until the next afternoon.
Ryoma opened the shouji to Tezuka’s office at the normal time that day, but was mildly disconcerted to find it empty. Did the captain have a mission? Maybe Ryuuzaki-daimyo requested his presence again?
“Ochibi! Come quick!” Eiji yelled, barrelling down the hallway full-speed. Lightning-quick reflexes were all that prevented Ryoma from being bowled over by the hyperactive redhead. “You have to see!”
“See what?” He ducked another potential death hug from the overly affectionate ninja, and stood a safe distance away. 
“Tezuka and Inui are fighting!” Eiji’s eyes were shining with excitement. Ryoma’s interest was caught. 
“Follow me, nya!”
They headed out into the courtyard where they’d originally encountered the kamikaze Gyokurin ninja. The rest of main squad were already gathered. Ryoma’s breath caught in his throat. There was movement in the centre of the clearing. Tezuka stood proud with his kodachi unsheathed. Inui was on the other side of the courtyard, throwing a hail of kunai.
Dodge, he mentally urged the captain. To his amazement, Tezuka didn’t appear fazed. His sword flashed through the air, deflecting the projectiles with ease. Inui wasn’t finished, though. He ran forward – for someone so tall Ryoma was briefly surprised by his speed – and drew a kodachi of his own. Tezuka blocked it easily then slashed at the air. The tip of the blade rent a small tear in Inui’s sleeve as he retreated.
“What’s going on?” Ryoma asked.
“Echizen! Right, you wouldn’t know. Inui challenges Tezuka to a battle every couple of months,” Oishi explained, eyes transfixed on the fight in front of them. “Inui’s been training a lot recently; I guess he thought it was time to try again.”
“Probability of kunai being attached to wires, 82 percent!” Inui recited, knocking aside and then slicing free the knives thrown at him. Six of them? The most Ryoma had ever managed to puppeteer at one time was four. 
“What happens if Inui-senpai wins?” he asked. While Inui was an excellent spy – he was almost too thorough in his profiling of their targets and enemies – Ryoma didn’t think he’d make a very good clan leader. And he also didn’t much like the idea of having to try and seduce the spy instead of Tezuka. He’d have to start from scratch!
“Saa, I don’t think there’s any danger of that. You don’t have to worry,” Fuji assured him. “Just watch. We might even see Tezuka get a bit serious.”
“The battle’s been a bit strange though, don’t you think?” Oishi asked. “Tezuka hasn’t gone in for close-range attacks for a while.”
“He has been using more long-range attacks,” Kawamura agreed. “Maybe Inui’s improved in close-combat?”
“I don’t think that’s it,” Fuji mused.
Ryoma felt a tingle running down his spine as he watched the deadly dance. Inui was a decent ninja – he was strong, fast, and accurate in his attacks. There was nothing fancy or tricky to the way he moved, but he had an uncanny ability to predict what Tezuka’s every response to a situation would be. To recognise that the kunai were controlled by wires, and to always manage to block Tezuka’s strikes whenever he came in close range… Something was still a bit off, though. 
That was when Ryoma noticed the circle of dust at Tezuka’s feet.
The captain hadn’t moved from that position for the past five minutes.
“A perfect defence,” Ryoma breathed.
Inui tried approaching from the right. Tezuka turned on one foot, deflected the attack with his kodachi, and pushed aside a follow-up punch with the palm of his hand. Inui retreated under a storm of shuriken, running counter-clockwise around the courtyard, only just staying ahead of the silver barrage. The edges of his clothes were all torn ragged by now, and he was panting for breath. 
There were no openings in that stance whatsoever – Inui had no hope of winning while Tezuka stayed within that zone. The concentration required for such a style of battle was amazing, though. It was physically less demanding than attacking, and would also have a profound psychological effect on your opponent, but the mental drain… Tezuka must be ridiculously disciplined to maintain his position and resist being lured into attacking. He bade his time, deflecting the long-range attacks with ease, ignoring Inui’s feints and gradually wearing his opponent down.
It was a devastating fighting style. He forced his opponent to run circles around him and grow tired, and then the instant they slipped up…
Ten minutes later, Inui yielded with the tip of a kodachi at his throat.
Tezuka really was amazing. 
The days following the witnessed battle between Inui and Tezuka were superficially no different from the days previous. Ryoma, however, could feel an almost tangible energy in the air. It thrummed at the edges of his fingertips, and crackled every time he met Tezuka’s gaze.
The images were burned into the backs of his eyes. From that encounter with Gyokurin he’d been able to establish that Tezuka was an incredible ninja. Now, however, he was starting to become aware of just how incredible.
He wanted to test his own strength against him. He wanted to see Tezuka in battle again, spinning and striking with such economic grace and perfect poise. His fingers quivered with every brush stroke as they sat in the silent office, filling in request forms and duplicating mission reports. The nervous energy he was bundling up had him training longer and harder every day, and completing missions even more swiftly and efficiently than usual. He lay awake at night, replaying what he’d seen through his head over and over again, examining the battle from every possible angle.
He didn’t know if Tezuka noticed his restlessness or not, but by the end of the week, Ryoma couldn’t deal with it anymore. When he finished helping Tezuka with the paperwork, he remained standing in front of the desk.
Tezuka paused when the shadow didn’t move away immediately, and looked back up towards him. “Is there something else?”
“…I want to fight you.” It was a challenge to keep his voice even.
Tezuka remained stone-faced. Eventually, he nodded and stood. “Very well. Follow me.”
They headed to another training ground – one on the edges of the compound that Ryoma hadn’t been to before. Obviously none of the trainees knew about it, as it was completely deserted.
“We can spar here without being interrupted,” Tezuka explained. “Are you prepared?”
Ryoma couldn’t believe that Tezuka had acceded to his request so easily, but wasn’t about to question it. He nodded firmly, fingers curling around the hilt of his kodachi. Excitement buzzed through his veins as he drew steel. He’d left his mask behind, but he didn’t need it. He wanted to be able to sense the currents of wind on his face, and smell the delicate perfume of the plum blossoms in the air. He needed every sense available.
They stood at an impasse for a long moment. Ryoma decided that since he was the one who requested the spar, it was good manners for him to be the first to attack. He darted forward, blade brandished. Tezuka parried easily. He threw several shuriken at short range, but they were easily dodged or knocked aside.
They exchanged a lightning-fast flurry of blows, swords whistling through the air and tips of hair floating to the ground after a number of close calls. Eventually Ryoma retreated. Tezuka was in the same stance he’d used when fighting Inui. The perfect defence.   
“Stop messing around,” Tezuka ordered, switching the kodachi to his left hand. “And fight seriously.”
That gave him pause. Ryoma hadn’t intended to allow Seigaku to learn that he was left-handed – even being so careful as to ensure his chopsticks were held with his right hand at meals. How had…
The first time he’d been duplicating the reports for Tezuka. His right hand had been incapacitated, so he’d used his left. Tezuka had commented on his penmanship.
Idiot! He’d been so focused on building a good rapport with the captain that he’d completely forgotten about hiding his ambidexterity!
It was too late. In any case, it meant he could enjoy the spar more now. Smirking, Ryoma swapped his kodachi to his left hand. Now things could start getting interesting. 
He circled around Tezuka, darting forwards and backwards and testing his defence extensively; with wired shuriken mixed in with non-wired ones, mixing swordplay with hand-to-hand fighting, and switching between long-range and short-range combat as quickly as possible. Nothing made it through. He picked up a few scratches for his efforts too, as his reckless attacks left tiny openings that Tezuka ruthlessly exploited. Fast as he was, he could barely keep up with the captain’s speed. 
Ryoma settled a short distance away, considering his options. While Tezuka was in that stance, there wasn’t a lot that could be done. The best course of action would be to try and turn the battle into one of endurance. The problem was that when he was in defensive mode, Tezuka had to cover less ground. Ryoma was still fresh, but knew things wouldn’t stay that way for long if he continued to let the captain dictate the battle. 
He’d have to turn it into a siege. Physically Tezuka could keep fighting in that stance for hours – forcing his opponent to skirt the perimeter of his influence meant that they would always tire first. But it was a mentally draining style. If Ryoma took an economical method of long-distance attacking, he could hold out until Tezuka’s concentration faltered. 
He slid to halt just outside of easy reach, regarding the captain thoughtfully. Dark brown eyes stared at him emotionlessly from behind thin glasses. Ryoma ceased moving about, instead standing still while throwing a variety of projectiles Tezuka’s way. None of them made it through, of course, but it took Tezuka more effort to defend himself from them than it took Ryoma to attack. They kept at this for several minutes.
Tezuka threw several shuriken in return. Obviously he’d cottoned on to the plan to turn it into a battle of endurance. Ryoma leant to the side, allowing them to whiz harmlessly past. His eyes widened when a moment later he spied sunlight glinting off a wire. The shuriken were just a distraction - Tezuka hid wires in their wake!
There was no time to react as the wires turned, whipping around his body in a matter of seconds. Ryoma gasped involuntarily as they tightened, pinning his arms against his sides. Reflexes were all that stopped his legs from becoming entangled as well.
Ryoma tried tugging against them, testing his strength against the captain’s, but it was a futile endeavour.  Tezuka remained unmoving, and straining against his bonds just wound the wires tighter.
“Why, Buchou, if you wanted to tie me up you could have just asked,” he purred, fluttering his eyelashes.
Tezuka didn’t move, though Ryoma fancied he spied a blush.  “Do you yield?”
“Yield?” Ryoma scraped his shoe on the dirt then somersaulted on the spot. The wires fell to the ground around him, freeing his arms. “It’s a bit early for that.”
“A dagger in your shoe,” Tezuka observed. “I see you are well-prepared.”
Ryoma smirked, and returned to contemplating the problem at hand. Obviously his opponent wasn’t willing to wait around to see who would win the endurance battle. He’d very nearly been caught once, and now that Tezuka knew about the blade hidden in his shoe, there was a higher chance that he wouldn’t be able to wriggle out of it next time. But while Tezuka was in that stance, there were no openings. Ryoma needed to make him move. He needed to create openings for him to attack.
Tezuka’s battle style was very rotational. Unlucky for him, Ryoma’s was too. There were ways to break that style – his father had done it to him hundreds of times before.
Flicking his wrist, he threw a dart, aiming for the captain’s peripheral vision – he noticed that he tended to react just a little slower there. Sure enough, Tezuka whirled, sword slashing through the projectile. Brown eyes widened when it exploded into a cloud of smoke. Ryoma had hidden a smoke pellet inside.
Tezuka had no choice but to leave his ring of defence or be a sitting duck. Ryoma met him as he left it, striking forward in an angular stabbing motion. Tezuka stepped to the side, a thin line of blood appearing on his cheek, and parried the sword as it swept back towards him.
Ryoma grinned. Tezuka normally moved in arcs – pushing attacks to the outside of a circle – but that sort of motion was ill suited to dealing with more angular methods of attack. While an angular attack could be easily avoided, it served his purpose well enough; finally, there was an opening. His sword whooshed downwards.
It stopped a hand’s width away from the captain’s face; blade caught between two fingers.
Ryoma stared. He was shocked to numbness as Tezuka pushed the sword aside, pulling it from his grasp. Tezuka’s own kodachi was pointing at his chest.
“Do you yield?” Tezuka asked again.
His throat was dry. Wetting his lips, Ryoma murmured, “Yes.”
Tezuka withdrew, sheathing his kodachi again. Ryoma bent to retrieve his sword from the ground, mind blank. It was unbelievable. Catching a sword with both hands was something he’d eventually perfected, but he’d never even tried catching it with just one.
It was a powerful technique, though. It trapped the opponent’s sword, while still leaving a hand free to attack. How on earth did Tezuka master something like that? His timing must be superhuman.
Ryoma was left breathless. It wasn’t like losing was all that new to him – he’d lost every single skirmish with his father he could remember – but it was still… he wasn’t sure what he was feeling right then. Disappointed? Maybe a little. Thrilled? Perhaps. The adrenaline was still thrumming in his veins. It was nice to be able to cut loose every now and again. Awed? Certainly. Tezuka had shown him a trick that not even his father could do.
Perhaps it was happiness. Tezuka had taken him seriously from the outset, rather than flaunting his superiority. He acknowledged him as a worthwhile opponent. Even in the throes of Ryoma’s most desperate attacks, Nanjiroh continued mocking him. No matter how many missions he completed successfully, his father would dismiss them as child’s play. It felt good to be recognised as a valuable member of a ninja clan. It confirmed what he suspected all along – that he was a competent ninja, and that his father was just so monstrously strong that they didn’t even belong on the same scale.
“It was a good spar,” Tezuka stated. “Thank you for giving it your best.”
“Why did you agree to it?” Ryoma asked, plucking a few shuriken from the ground. No sense in them going to waste. 
“…You have potential. I wanted to see it.” Tezuka picked up the remains of the dart he’d cleaved in two, inspecting it carefully. “The hidden smoke pellet was a nice touch.”
“Still mada mada dane,” he muttered under his breath.
Tezuka seemed amused by that, though didn’t say anything more. They continued cleaning up the clearing in silence.
Ryoma retrieved the last of the shuriken, tucking it up his sleeve. He turned back to the captain. One thing was still bugging him. “I don’t understand. The clan is so loyal to you, and you’re the best ninja for leagues around.” Not including his father, but the old man wasn’t active so he didn’t count. “Why do you remain loyal to Ryuuzaki-daimyo when you could sever ties and have the clan serve a more powerful lord?”
It was a risky type of question – the sort that could break trust. But Tezuka just met his gaze levelly, and responded, “It is far more satisfying to serve a lower lord and make them great, wouldn’t you agree?”
Ryoma’s eyes widened. His face stretched into a smirk. “Heh. You really are something. As expected of the captain.”
Unbelievable though it was, he was sort of starting to like Seigaku.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Tezuka-zoooooone! XD Love it! The fight scenes are great!

Your AUs are amazing and very well thought out. Great job!
May. 10th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
i love your interpretation of tezuka's zone!!!!
ryoma should permanently just join tezuka by the hip and leave he dad to eat the dust bunnies at home :)
May. 10th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
“Why, Buchou, if you wanted to tie me up you could have just asked,” he purred, fluttering his eyelashes.

May. 10th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
I love the fight scenes, and Tezuka Zone ninja-style. :D

“Why, Buchou, if you wanted to tie me up you could have just asked,” he purred, fluttering his eyelashes.

Tezuka didn’t move, though Ryoma fancied he spied a blush. “Do you yield?”

Oooh, Tezuka blushing. That's got to be an accomplishment.
May. 10th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)

Oh, asdfghjkl;

Tezuka zone and ambidexterity and Seigaku and *___*

Oh God I love you.
May. 10th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
“Why, Buchou, if you wanted to tie me up you could have just asked,” he purred, fluttering his eyelashes.

ROFLOL, Oh Ryoma you are so...*squealed*

Tezuka didn’t move, though Ryoma fancied he spied a blush. “Do you yield?”

Oh Tezuka, I hope that the blood only rush to your checks and not also to your ...*raise eyebrow* IT DID! OH MY...*LOL*

Incredible fight scene!!!
May. 11th, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
*raises eyebrow* Wouldn't that be an embarrassing reason to lose the fight? 'Um, you see I...' ;) ROTFLMAO
May. 10th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
Tezuka stood proud with his kodachi unsheathed.

Possibly the dirtiest line in fanfic. You srsly don't want to know what images that conveyed.

I've read all of this in one sitting; yay for finally starting to catch up on everything!

This fic is fabulous, Sinn - love the plot; the idea of Ryoma having to seduce Tezuka is both hilarious and hot and Tezuka is just... hot. Hot. Seigaku are marvellously themselves; this line:
The vice-captain eyed the mess in the hallway. “By killing him?”
had me choking with laughter and all I could say was, "Boys. Oh, boys.

Fabulous, fabulous.
May. 11th, 2008 05:21 am (UTC)
You know, I agonised over that line. I even tried to rework it so it sounded less suggestive, but then I thought 'surely no one else will pick up on that, SURELY it's just me with a dirty mind...' *laughs* You proved me wrong. ;)

Glad you're liking it so far! I hope you will keep reading.
May. 11th, 2008 07:58 am (UTC)
I will definitely keep reading this and I'm still reading TDOER as well at every opportunity I have. I love your writing so much, Sinn. You make it very easy to do so. ♥♥

Also, are we going for some kind of dirty mind record? Ryoma trying to be seductive is gorgeous, hot and adorable but here, Tezuka does it without even trying. He just is. *happy sigh* And you can't help but show that. :D
May. 11th, 2008 08:28 am (UTC)
Sure, let's embark on the dirty mind challenge! ;) With all the swords *cough* in this, it should be an EPIC BATTLE. Oh god how am I supposed to finish this without laughing every second paragraph now?!

I KNOW! You don't even have to try with Tezuka. He's just there, and automatically hot. Even just standing still, he RADIATES IT.
May. 11th, 2008 08:42 am (UTC)
In this fic, he is radiating it from his proud, unsheathed kadachi. It probably shines, blinding the unprepared with his glory. Combined with the influence of his Tezuka Zone, it's definitely sucking something in or maybe that's the appeal of his perfectly shaped, unbelievably hot arse.

But, you know, that's Tezuka. All hot, all the damned time. ♥♥
May. 11th, 2008 08:46 am (UTC)
!!!!!!!!! I can already see that this is a battle I'm going to lose horribly. XD Consider Chapter 9 my retaliation. :|

Can Tezuka give blow jobs with the Tezuka zone? *laughs*
May. 11th, 2008 09:34 am (UTC)
That would be the crackiest crack fic ever written but it would srsly explain why EVERYONE wants to play Tezuka. It also explains why they keep FALLING TO THEIR KNEES AFTER HE'S PLAYED THEM.

Whoohoo! Roll on Chapter 9! ♥♥
May. 10th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
And he also didn’t much like the idea of having to try and seduce the spy instead of Tezuka. He’d have to start from scratch!

Hahaha, right, that's the ONLY reason why...

I also love the taunting and Tezuka's blush. ♥ That's some progress, surely! Go Ryoma!!

Please write more soon!
May. 11th, 2008 05:27 am (UTC)
I suppose that would be a good platform to get some Inui/Ryoma happening... nah, I'll save that for another experimental fic or something. :P

The taunting seems to have been a hit! :D
May. 11th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
AWESOMENESS. TEZUKA ZONE!!! ♥ TEZUKA'S AMAZINGNESSS ajs;fjhas;dfhaoiewhsjha;dsfhlj.

May. 14th, 2008 10:00 am (UTC)
I shall take keyboard mashing as a positive sign. ♥♥♥
May. 13th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
I am thy loved the fight scene. =D It was so well-written and I spent all the time I was going to spend commenting staring at it over and over. I love the sword-catching. =DDD and asdfjkl; oh my godddd.

waiting eagerly for tomorrow. =D
May. 14th, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)

...You know my routines far too well. :P

I'm glad you liked the fight scene. It took ages, and it is a relief to hear that the time paid off. -__-;;
May. 14th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
Two. =P This one and superultragddya. That one's an RP journal and I was too lazy forgot to log out.

Think of me as just another completely obsessed fangirl. =P

Awww. <333
May. 14th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
okay... I've been a lurker about on LJ for like a year now but...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you fic is so awesome I just had to comment♥♥♥ I love it!!! Tezryo sparring♥!Ninjas♥!!!!
*Shoves mochi into C.D. drive in hopes that you'll receive it*

*goes back to lurking*
May. 14th, 2008 09:56 am (UTC)
What's this? Mochi in my CD drive? *om nom nom nom* DELICIOUS!

*waves* Ooo, a lurker. OR PERHAPS MORE FITTINGLY, A LIVEJOURNAL NINJA?! I hope we can convince you to delurk some more. ;)
May. 26th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
OMG I almost got caught by my dad! He went to check on me if I was asleep so I feinted and went right back as soon as he went back to his room! Gawd I was squealing in delight! Waaaah especially the part where Ryoma had made Tezuka blush... ooooh Ninjas are kinky I bet considering with all the materials available...heehee

~~~ Hikari Manganji ~~~
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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