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A Traditional Ninja Romance - Chapter 13

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: Gah, that's the last time I ever try to test LJ's word limit!  XP  I haven't been able to post all day because the update page would keep hanging (turns out it kept trying to load a draft of the uber-post that I had to cancel).  Consider that fair warning to others who may court such danger.

I really wanted to reply to everyone’s comments last chapter, but couldn’t figure out a way to do so without spoilering this chapter. Hope you enjoy! Almost the end, one chapter left!
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
A Traditional Ninja Romance
By Sinnatious
Chapter 13
Nanjiroh was unprepared for his attack and whirled away, threads of fabric floating to the floor. Ryoma didn’t pause for even an instant, striking again. Steel rang against steel under the moonlight. 
He spun on one foot, throwing a kunai, and followed it with another strike. Ryoma was putting all of his strength into each blow, and his arms began to ache faintly. Nanjiroh’s own sword grazed his elbow, but he ignored the thin cut, continuing his assault single-mindedly. The old man was concentrating now. Sliding along the tatami mats, he kicked Nanjiroh’s feet out from under him, but his father hopped back and regained his balance without even missing a step.
With cat-like speed, Ryoma threw three darts. His father dodged one, knocked aside the other, and sliced the third in half.
Smoke exploded in face. Ryoma dashed forward, then choked. Strong hands grasped at his neck and left wrist, lifting him from the ground. Clenching his teeth, he grabbed a dagger with his free hand and thrust it into the arm holding him.
After a moment the smoke dissipated, carried outside by the gentle evening breeze. Blood dripped on the floor. In looked like mercury in the silver light. Ryoma’s eyes widened, even as he struggled to draw breath.
He’d done it. 
He’d won.
Five seconds passed. Ten. Neither of them moved. 
Nanjiroh smirked, looking satisfied. “That’s twice now. You’re improving. Seigaku’s been good for you, I guess.”
Twenty seconds. Thirty. Ryoma counted under his breath. Nanjiroh frowned at his lack of movement. “You’re giving up now?” He inspected the wound on his left arm. It was small, but quite deep. “Ho, what’s this?”
Ryoma tightened the grip on his kodachi in his trapped left hand; muscles tensed and ready to spring. His heart was racing; blood roared in his ears. Fifty seconds. Nearly there.
Nanjiroh, for his part, relaxed his grip some and broke into a grin as he inspected the irritated wound.  "Hah, you're using poison now kiddo?  Clever touch."  He released him, and Ryoma slumped to the floor bonelessly, eyes wide.  How...?
A minute. A minute and ten seconds. His father wasn’t even reacting.

"You're immune?" he gasped.  Impossible! It was the strongest poison Seigaku possessed! Inui created it by combining the venom of the most poisonous of Kaidoh’s snakes! A decent dosage was supposed to kill any target in less than a minute!
“Of course I’m immune!” Nanjiroh laughed. “Do you know how many people have tried to poison me over the years? You’ll need a pretty high dosage to even get me woozy!” 
A high enough dosage… Ryoma gripped his kodachi and swept it upwards.
Nanjiroh flipped backwards as Ryoma rolled to his feet. “You’re up for another round already?! Why so persistent today?” his father teased.
“I will not fail my mission,” he murmured.
His father paused at that. “…Ryoma?”
“I will not fail my mission,” he repeated, and dashed forward again, steel bared.
Nanjiroh was far faster than he, even on a bad day. He dodged easily, and stabbed downwards with a tanto. Ryoma let out a hiss between his teeth as pain blossomed in his thigh. He jerked the dagger out and threw it aside, turning to face his opponent once more. Blood ran down his leg, soaking into the black fabric. 
“You’re really serious, aren’t you?”
“My mission is to kill you. I will not fail,” he said again.    
Nanjiroh's eyes turned cold.  “So that’s it, then.”
In that instant, Ryoma foresaw his death.
He barely raised the kodachi in time to avert the first blow. The blade went wide, slicing into his armpit instead of through his heart. The second slash grazed his face, opening a thin wound. His mask fell to the floor. Ryoma stepped backwards, barely keeping his footing under the barrage of powerful strikes. 
His sword was knocked from his grasp, and skittered across the ground. A firm kick to the chest threw him against the wall with a bone-jarring thump. An instant later, Ryoma gasped as a blade pierced his left shoulder, pinning him to the wood like a butterfly. Stars of pain exploded behind his eyes.
His father left the sword there, stepping backwards and drawing a second kodachi. “I knew it was a risk, but I didn’t think you’d have the guts to betray me. Seigaku must have filled your head will all sorts of silly ideas.” Ryoma coughed weakly. He could feel the energy draining out of his body. His senses were starting to go numb, dulling the fierce pain from his wounds to a manageable level.
He had one last shot. His fingers clenched around the small package in his pocket. 
Ryoma drew on the last reserves of his strength, and then threw it with all his might. 
Nanjiroh knocked the small parcel aside with his fist just in time. It exploded mid-air, filling the room with fire and smoke. “Thanks, Kawamura-senpai,” Ryoma wheezed. 
Coughing, his father clambered back to his feet. His clothes were sooty and his right arm burnt and blistered, but he was otherwise intact. Ryoma let his hand drop. Was the old man invincible? Well, at least the base would be destroyed. Maybe that was close enough to fulfilling the mission requirements that Tezuka wouldn’t think too badly of him. Even now, the flames were crawling across the floor, hungrily chewing through straw and rice paper. The temperature soared as the air crackled and hissed with sparks.
“You’re just full of surprises today, boy,” Nanjiroh remarked, seemingly unbothered by his burnt arm and the potential inferno. He raised his sword above his head. “This really is a big problem you’ve made for me here. But since I am your father, I’ll give you one last chance. Abandon your mission.”
“Never,” he murmured, forcing himself to meet his father’s eyes, even though the smoke made them sting. “I never fail my mission.”
Nanjiroh seemed almost regretful. “You were going to be a fine ninja, kid.” The sword descended. Ryoma closed his eyes, and awaited death.
A breath of cool air wafted over him. The expected pain didn’t arrive. Hesitantly, Ryoma opened his eyes again.
A familiar silhouette stood in front of him with one hand raised, clutching a naked blade between his fingers.
“….Buchou?” Ryoma gasped.
Nanjiroh stepped back. Tezuka dropped the blade, though his stance did not relax even a fraction. “…Oi, boy, this is the captain you were talking about?”
Ryoma’s mouth opened and closed wordlessly. Tezuka was here? But how… why…?
“That’s some technique you have there. No wonder the kid stopped complaining about the mission.”
“The mission?” Tezuka asked.
Don’t tell him. Don’t tell him. Ryoma chanted mentally. Couldn’t his father just let him die in peace? Didn’t Ryoma have the right to die without Tezuka thinking the worst of him?
“Heh, of course. Never expected some unknown to be the leader of the Seigaku clan. I never would have ordered the boy to seduce you, otherwise. We sorted that misunderstanding out, though. Hope you weren’t too heartbroken.” Nanjiroh laughed at that. “I underestimated him, I guess! How on earth did he manage to get a serious-looking guy like you into bed?”
Realisation passed over Tezuka’s eyes. “You ordered him to-?”
Perhaps now it would be Tezuka who killed him, instead of his father. That was the preferable outcome. Tezuka had every right to kill him. Ryoma would welcome it.
“And then Ryuuzaki’s granddaughter after that?”
“Of course. She was meant to be the target in the first place.”
Tezuka stood straight. Was that betrayal in his features? Ryoma’s vision was blurring – it was hard to see the captain’s face clearly. “So you are trying to create a new clan after all.”
Nanjiroh smirked. “What makes you think I need this brat to do that?”
Tezuka slid into stance, preparing to draw his sword. “You are operating in Seigaku’s territory. You attempted to kill one of Seigaku’s ninja.”
Nanjiroh scowled. “Hey, you know he’s only a Seigaku ninja because I ordered him to be.”
Tezuka didn’t respond.
“Heh, fine then. You look like you’ll be a challenge.” His father raised his kodachi again. “I don’t understand your reasons, but if it matters so much to you…”
Their swords seemed to glow orange amongst the floating embers and crackling flames. Tendrils of smoke curled in their path, the scrape of metal getting lost amidst the roaring flames. 
Ryoma blearily tried to keep track of the battle. Nanjiroh seemed to be moving slower than normal; was the poison finally having some effect? At least his father was wounded – maybe Tezuka could defeat him. Tezuka was the first ninja he’d ever met that he thought would have a chance. 
Why was the captain fighting, though? Was he trying to fulfil the mission in Ryoma’s place? He tried to focus on Tezuka, but his gaze kept wavering. The room was becoming unbearably warm, and it was difficult to breathe. It was probably because of the sword pinning him to the wall. He raised his hand and fumbled for the hilt. Taking a deep breath, he braced his feet against the ground and tugged the sword out. It made an unpleasant squelching noise. Ryoma almost blacked out from the pain. 
Perhaps that wasn’t such a great idea – he was able to breathe a little easier, but now blood was pouring from the wound at a slightly distressing rate. Ryoma pressed his hand against his shoulder in an attempt to stem the flow, but wasn’t sure if he was doing much good. He slid to the ground, leaving a crimson smear on the wall behind him.
“Ryoma!” It sounded like Tezuka’s voice, but he’d never heard the captain speak in that tone before. It was too expressive for the aloof and composed leader of Seigaku.
More voices. They sounded so far away. Darkness crept in at the edges of his vision. 
“Che. This place is ruined now. What a waste.”
His father. He still hadn’t managed to kill him. He would, though. One day he’d be a better ninja, and he’d win. Better than his father. Better than Tezuka, too.
“You really care, don’t you?”
Tezuka said something. Ryoma couldn’t make out the words.
“You’re a strange one. I guess the boy did his job too well this time. Since you gave me a good fight, I’ll make you a deal. You drop your mission, I’ll move out of your clan’s territory, and you can have him.”
More words.
“I wanted to travel anyway.”
Ryoma felt his eyes sliding shut. His wounds didn’t hurt anymore, but his body felt incredibly heavy. Just before he blacked out, he caught sight of a shadow leaning over him. 
“I’ll definitely surpass you one day,” he whispered. But he didn’t know who he was talking to anymore.


( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 1st, 2008 10:18 am (UTC)
Ooh. I'z first. XDDDD


Ijou desu.

Edited at 2008-06-01 10:19 am (UTC)
Jun. 1st, 2008 11:45 am (UTC)
AWWWWWW indeed. ;) Prepare for cavities. :|
Jun. 1st, 2008 11:35 am (UTC)
I've been checking this for the whole day since you've said you're gonna be updating this on Sunday! OMG!!! I knew it! Tezuka to the rescue.. OMGOMGOMG! WAH! That last line was soo Ryoma! And wah, TezuRyo loooove! Heheheh, that was such an awesome battle scene! Gawd it got my adrenaline pumping and I was reading this chapter with soo much concentration that I didn't notice my sister talking to me.. LOL! YAY! Keep it uP! Waaaaah its almost done.. when will the next update be? XD
Jun. 1st, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC)
Hee, sorry, as mentioned it was being slow all day, thwarting my updating plans (and apparently also your commenting plans ;)). I STILL MADE IT, THOUGH. :D

Next (and final) update should be on Wednesday. Hooray!
Jun. 1st, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC)




I WAS RIGHT. TEZUKA. OH, TEZUKA. Sinn. How could anyone think Tezuka belongs with anyone other than Ryoma? They're so perfect for each other, so entirely inevitable. Tezuka's Zone traps them both. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Really, Tezuka and Ryoma need to have A Serious Talk but I don't know if Buchou hasn't found Ryoma's letter already worked it all out and will just take him back to his futon and make wild love to him all night. Um, maybe even get his wound stitched up first, but Ryoma's a hardy little beast, and Buchou should probably shag him first and then send him to the infirmary, otherwise they'll just get all non-communicative again.

Jun. 1st, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC)
:O I've never actually broken someone's computer before. I am honoured!

There is no escaping the Tezuka zone. Serious Talking. Oh yes, there shall be lots of that indeed. *___*

I definitely like your idea. ;) Except then Ryoma would pass out during, and we wouldn't ever know if it was from blood loss OR JUST BECAUSE HE'S SO MUCH IN LOVE. *laughs*

But what about Yanagi?! :O
Jun. 1st, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC)
Eee! Tezuka to the rescue! :D :D :D

Okay, that made it all worth it, even the cliffhanger. :P
Jun. 1st, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
(I really must break the 'Tezuka to the rescue' habit, BUT IT IS TOO COMPELLING.) Sorry about the cliffie. Couldn't resist. Clearly I am bad at resisting things. :/
Jun. 1st, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)








Jun. 2nd, 2008 09:41 am (UTC)
Please blame all heart-attack related deaths on Kira, not innocent little Sinnatious. :3

Jun. 1st, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
.... *been gone for a long time due to life happening and now....* SQUEEEEEEEEEE *FLAIL* I knew Tezuka would come!!!! :DDD CUTE!

Jun. 2nd, 2008 09:56 am (UTC)
*glomps* You start posting stuff to the comm now, k? ;)

LAST CHAPTER WEDNESDAY! I am supposed to be doing things tomorrow night. :P
(no subject) - yusahana6323 - Jun. 2nd, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 1st, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
Aaaaaaw...Buchou to the rescue *squeal* which is a good thing because I was holding my breath for too long *gasping for air*...really, you be the death of me one of this day. *grin*

OMG...awesome fight scenes...che, Nanjiroh immune to the poison...it's so so cool how Tezuka stop the blade with his fingers. *squeals*

I can't wait for the next chapter...cause make-up *coughcoughcpugh* smut is always the best...hot, passionate, rough, and "AAAAAH" *Eeeeps, blushes and I'm such a pervert! Grin wickedly*
Jun. 2nd, 2008 10:24 am (UTC)
Awww, NOW I get ideas for breath-holding scenes. :( (Wait, I think Ka0richan has already done that!)

Indeed. :D *coughs* I mean, no comment.
Jun. 1st, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)

Superman!Tezuka to the rescue. Okay that was a gross weird image D:

Sorry, brain not really functioning at 4 am.
Jun. 2nd, 2008 10:26 am (UTC)
It's not Superman Tezuka, but it's the next scariest thing:

(no subject) - argetangel - Jun. 2nd, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - superultragddya - Jun. 3rd, 2008 05:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - argetangel - Jun. 3rd, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 1st, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
I KNEW IT! :D! Tezuka to the rescue! Awww, but I hope he wasn't too sad after hearing from Nanjiroh about the initial mission. I'm sure he would've realized that Ryoma wasn't doing too hot after he was ordered to switch targets. D:

Hope to see more TezuRyo action in the last chapter. XD; Maybe a glued together version of that letter? ♥ Please write more soon!
Jun. 1st, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
xDMNKZNCHDAOkdhpa;nbks♥Tezuka!!!!(I wish I was better at commenting>.<;;)
Jun. 2nd, 2008 10:21 am (UTC)
I wish I was better at replying! XP I always want to, but it seems like a waste just to say 'thanks' or 'LOL' all the time.
Jun. 2nd, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
And you've made me feel sorry for Nanjiroh again! The way he says "...Ryoma?", the way he seems almost regretful. Awwww.. He turned cold when he realised that his own son truly was trying to kill him. To someone so alone, Nanjiroh's probably just lost the only person 'close' to him.

And Ryoma!! The surprise when he realises his father is immune, and then Buchou appears. I can't wait for the next chapter, where Ryoma faces off Buchou's questioning. =D
Jun. 2nd, 2008 10:19 am (UTC)
Nanjiroh continues to get the raw end of the deal. But it's sort of all his fault in the first place, so don't feel too bad. :P
(no subject) - agentlerain - Jun. 3rd, 2008 10:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Jun. 4th, 2008 10:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 2nd, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
I sure took a long time to see this. -.-

The fight scene was awesome. Poor Ryoma. He had everything done perfectly. It should have been his win, if Nanjirou didn't eat poison for his meals to build his resistance up. XD

That sure was fast. Tezuka to the rescue. Every TezuRyo fangirl's dream come true, I'm sure.

Wondering how he turned up there though. I'm making two guesses.

1. He did the housework to keep his mind off Ryoma and went sweeping the rooms, coming across the torn letter pieces under Ryoma's futon and began piecing it together like a jigsaw puzzle, before seeing the message and flying over to save his precious uke...er...I mean subordinate. XD Please excuse me. I'm on crack. ^^

2. He sent Ryoma on that mission but was infected with Oishi's motherhenliness when it comes to his precious uke and tagged along just to keep an eye on him. XD

I still wonder what was Nanjirou thinking in sending Ryoma to do that mission in the first place.

lol Ryoma. He couldn't live in peace, he couldn't die in peace either. Poor poor guy. XD

Eager for the next chapter. ^^
Jun. 2nd, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
-insert comment about Nanjiroh's cooking here- Yeah. The urge for Ryoma's well-earned success was strong. But I guess the urge for awesome Tezuka-to-the-rescue-dream-come-true was stronger. :/

Once again I find myself unable to comment lest things are spoiled. But yeah, pretty obvious wasn't it? ;) Though Tezuka's speed and timely arrival are at least justified. I want some of that crack. Tezuka's precious uke indeed. XD
Jun. 2nd, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)



"I'll definitely surpass you one day."


Jun. 2nd, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
Oh no. Nanjiroh didn't ruin everything, did he? I don't know why you worry about writing fight scenes; you do it really well. Tezuka found the letters he left, didn't he? When will those two crazy kids ever figure it out? (One more chapter, right?)
Jun. 4th, 2008 10:20 am (UTC)
Fight scenes are still brain-hurting. Choreography, gah!

Yup, just one more chapter. :)

Hobbes for president!

Jun. 2nd, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)

This chapter was SO GOOD! *__*
I cannot wait to read what will happen now!
*I'm feeling quite frantic, I wanna find out NOW! XDDD

How many chapters are left, more or less?
Jun. 4th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC)
Just the one. Which, incidentally, was just posted. ALL DONE! *washes hands*. See, you timed your catch-up read almost perfectly! :)
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