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PoTWEWY - The Fourth Day

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:  Sooooo sleeeepy.  -____-  Surprise, more characters!  Up to Day Four already, can you believe it?!  :O


The Fourth Day

Ryoma bolted upright, looking about wildly. The sharp thud of tennis balls echoed in the background. Where…?
The street courts this time, by the looks of it. It was a nice change waking up on grass as opposed to the unforgiving concrete of the footpath. Ryoma glanced around getting his bearings, before finding Tezuka still sprawled out on the ground sleeping on his stomach. For the first time it looked like he’d woken up before his partner.
Ryoma crouched down next to the prone form, tilting his head as he inspected the other boy. The almost permanent frown Tezuka wore while awake was smoothed in slumber. It made his face look a lot softer.
He obviously couldn’t remember how he’d died, but how did Tezuka die? He was burning with curiosity, but it seemed like a sort of personal question to ask someone he’d only known for four days. Funny. He never considered death like that before.
…Not that he would remember if he had.
Tezuka stirred, eyelids fluttering briefly. He pushed himself up off the ground with a barely audible groan, Ryoma looking on in amusement. His hair was mussed and his glasses were askew. It was sort of nice to see his unflappable partner looking human. With his own memory missing, it rather irked him that he needed to rely on Tezuka for so much. It stung at his pride to admit that if the elder boy hadn’t insisting on making the pact, Ryoma wouldn’t have made it past the first day. He wouldn’t have even considered looking for a partner to pact with.
“Echizen. Good morning,” Tezuka greeted him levelly. Then… “The street courts?”
“Heh. A change of scenery is nice, isn’t it?” Ryoma drawled. “Wonder if it means anything.”
“The mission?”
“Haven’t received one yet.”
No sooner than the words had left his mouth did their phones beep. Ryoma bit back a groan and fished his mobile from his pocket. 
“Sell twenty packs of Fila wristbands. Time limit: Eight hours. Hint: Check your phone.”
“What’s with the tennis obsession in all of these missions?” he groused.
“You’d rather erase Noise?” Tezuka asked.
“The Wall Reapers will make us do that anyway,” he grumbled.
Tezuka’s lips quirked in what could have been a smile, but Ryoma probably just imagined it. “There’s only one store I know of nearby that sells Fila wristbands.”
“Okay. Let’s get it over with then.” It was a good thing that Tezuka seemed to know his way around the area. Ryoma wouldn’t have even known where to start. 
“The ramen store is on the way. We should eat, as well.”
“Do we have any money?” He didn’t really feel like killing Noise and then trying to sell pins to Wall Reapers on an empty stomach.
“It should be enough.”
Given that they had a whole eight hours this time, Ryoma ate his ramen leisurely. And they still had seven whole hours when they entered the sports shop. 
It didn’t take long to locate the Fila wristbands. Ryoma counted them. There were exactly twenty on the shelf. They must have been the first players there. “So, we just have to sell all these, right? Can’t we just buy them ourselves?”
Tezuka checked his pockets. “We only have enough money left to buy three.”
“Let’s get those now, then go kill some Noise to get some pins and come back for the rest,” Ryoma suggested. Though the thought of having to collect pins and go sell them to the creepy Wall Reapers wasn’t a pleasant one. As his hand reached for the wristbands, though, a thought occurred to him. “Hey… did this shop have an emblem?”
They exchanged a glance, and then without a word checked outside.
No emblem. Nothing to tune their frequencies so that they could interact with the RG.
“How are we supposed to buy wristbands when we can’t even be seen in this store?” Ryoma complained.
“It just said to sell them – not that we had to buy them. Maybe we’re supposed to get other people to buy them,” Tezuka suggested.
“And how are we supposed to do that?!”
Tezuka didn’t have an answer for that. He appeared deep in thought. “Maybe it’s the wrong store. There’s another one… it’s about an hour’s walk away.”
Ryoma bit back a groan at the thought. Figured. Eight hours was way too long for so simple a mission. There’d probably be a dozen walls to clear on the way, too.
They started walking. Surprisingly, they had to have been walking for a good half an hour before Ryoma finally slammed face-first into a wall, tripping backwards and landing on his backside. He swore, and Tezuka gave him a reproachful look.
“So where’s the Reaper, then?” he growled.
Tezuka was looking around, but froze suddenly. Ryoma leant around him to see, and spotted a Wall Reaper sloppily dressed in a school uniform – though this one’s hair was long and his skin more tan than the others. “Right, let’s go see what dumb errand it is this time. Hey you!”
This Wall Reaper reacted a little differently when he saw them. And by ‘a little differently’, he meant that he went bug-eyed and nearly fell over. “What?! You’re kidding me!”
“Hey,” Ryoma said. “Tell us what we have to do to get past the wall.”
“You’re players?! Seriously, you’re both players?!”
“I’m rather surprised to discover you’re a Reaper,” Tezuka said.
The Wall Reaper looked uncomfortable at that. “Yeah. Two years ago. Hit my head diving into the pool and drowned.”
“That’s sort of lame,” Ryoma mumbled. 
“Shut up! It wasn’t like I did it on purpose! I made it into the game, but didn’t do too well. So I asked to become a Reaper.”
“That’s how you become a Reaper? You just ask?” Why didn’t everybody choose to become Reapers, then? From the sounds of it, they got to lead lives in the RG and the UG, and didn’t even have to complete the game without getting erased to do it.
“Well, yeah, but not all the Reapers last you know! We’ve got to do stuff to survive just like the Players do!” the Reaper snapped. “I’m a Support Reaper so that means I’ve got to do things like stand around setting up walls and stuff, but it’s better than gaining lifespan the same way as the Harriers.”
There was a lot of terminology in there that Ryoma wanted to ask about, but Tezuka cut in before he could speak. “My condolences,” Tezuka stated. “Echizen, this is Arai. Arai, Echizen.”
“Hey, you know-” Arai started to say, but Tezuka raised an eyebrow, and his mouth formed into an ‘o’. “Oh. I get it. Still… Tezuka-buchou and Echizen?  I mean, I knew there was a pretty good chance, but..." Arai rubbed his head.  "I can't cut you any slack just because I knew you in the RG."

"I'm sorry," Ryoma interrupted, though he wasn't sorry at all.  "Who were you again?"

"Hey, that's a bit-" he faltered when Tezuka shook his head slightly.  "Ah, crap!"  Arai seemed to have a bit of a temper, though was visibly restraining it every time he looked in Tezuka's direction.  "This is all so messed up!"

Seeing as he wasn't about to get anything out of the Reaper, Ryoma turned his attention to his partner instead.  "Knew him in the RG?" he guessed.

"He was a member of my tennis club."

What was with these people and tennis?  He didn't see the appeal. “So, about the wall?” he asked impatiently.
“Huh? Oh, the wall? I can’t lower that one. The game doesn’t go outside of the ward. Don’t even try.”
“The Game has boundaries?” Tezuka asked, looking pensive.
“Sure. All the games do. This one stretches from here, to just past the street courts, to the shrine past the shopping complex, then just north of the river. Seigaku’s pretty close to the centre of it.”
Ryoma looked into the distance. He could clearly see skyscrapers in the distance – it was weird to think that he couldn’t go there. Even though they were standing outside on an open street, he suddenly felt claustrophobic. “Then what about the mission?!”
Arai hesitated. “Look, hey… I can’t just be giving out hints, but if you clear a task, then maybe…”
“You can do that?” Tezuka asked.
Arai folded his arms and looked away. “It’s not exactly against the rules… I normally wouldn’t but… well, they’re supposed to explain these things to the Players. I figure if they haven’t, this is what we’re supposed to do. It’s not ‘cause I knew you or anything!”
It was a little weird to hear Arai referring to Tezuka in the past tense when he was standing right there. Either way, Ryoma thought it only fair that if this Wall Reaper knew his partner while he was alive that he extend them some extra courtesy. “So, what do you want?”
Clearly put on the spot, Arai looked around. His eyes lit up. “How about you get rid of that Noise possessing my classmate over there? It’s been annoying me for days.”
Ryoma turned and scanned, quickly zoning in on a spiky-haired guy sitting on a bench, staring into the distance and looking perfectly miserable. A rather hyper-looking Noise was buzzing around him.

"If only I'd gone for burgers... then maybe at least one of them..." 
“Ah, Momoshiro,” Tezuka said.
“…Another member of your tennis club?” Ryoma hazarded.
“Huh, think he’s all depressed over your death?”
“More likely…” Tezuka stopped and turned to Arai. “Noise can possess people too?”
“Not possess exactly, but it’s sort of a… you know, they can make them really depressed and negative. Noise are drawn to negative emotions, but also create a bad vibe… sort of like some sort of loop thing…”
“A cyclic dilemma,” Tezuka supplied.
“Right. Hey, I knew it!” he protested hotly when Ryoma deadpanned.
“Right. So, we clear the Noise away from him, he cheers up, and you’ll tell us about the mission?” he confirmed. Sometimes he was tempted to get these agreements from the Wall Reapers in writing. Arai in particularly didn’t seem like the trustworthiest sort. Ryoma wouldn’t put it past him to add extra details to the deal on whim, or neglect to tell them something.
“Yeah. Not cause I care or anything! Just that it’s annoying.” Arai grumbled.
“Heeeeh,” Ryoma drawled, lips curving upwards condescendingly.
“Shut up! Just do it already!” Arai demanded, making a fist, and then hesitantly unclenching it at Tezuka’s stern stare.
“Echizen, let’s go.”
Ryoma trailed after his partner, heading over towards where that guy Momoshiro was sitting. “He called you ‘Tezuka-buchou’. Does that mean you were the captain of the tennis club?”
Tezuka nodded. Ryoma smirked. “Heh.” No surprise. Tezuka struck him as a leader-type, and his tennis had been pretty impressive, even to someone who didn’t know anything about the sport.
“Let’s just get rid of the Noise,” Tezuka said tiredly.
It was a simple enough matter – once Tezuka disappeared into the other zone so that they could fight the Noise properly, Ryoma clutched his fire pin tightly, concentrating on the ground beneath the angry frog Noise. Flames rose in twisting pillars. He was vaguely aware of Tezuka doing something, but the psych would fail if he lost concentration. After a moment, the Noise fuzzed and evaporated from existence, only a small pin dropping to the ground to signify it ever existed.
Amazingly, once the Noise had been erased, Momoshiro perked up almost immediately. Curious, Ryoma clutched his Player Pin for another scan.
“What am I doing? I can’t undo it. I shouldn’t just mope here! I should… I should do something in his memory or something! Yeah! Maybe…”
He was out of scanning range relatively quickly, loping away with a long-legged stride. Ryoma watched him go. “Heh, your club members really cared about you Tezuka.”
Tezuka started a little at his name, but didn’t comment. He had that strange look on his face again.
They headed back over to Arai. “So?” Ryoma asked impatiently.
“Hey, don’t take that tone with me you brat, you’re just-” Arai faltered again when Tezuka stepped up next to Ryoma, and changed the subject. “Fine. So you know how you can scan people? If you write a message into your phones while you’re scanning someone, you can imprint them too.”
“Imprint?” Tezuka asked.
“It’s like giving their thoughts a nudge. Just having a word or idea pop into their head. It has to have context, but you know… like if they’re trying to decide between chocolate or vanilla ice-cream, you could imprint them with a flavour to choose.”
“I see…” Tezuka looked like vaguely disturbed by the notion.
“Is there anything this piece of painted metal can’t do?” Ryoma asked, only half sarcastic.
Tezuka held up his own Player pin thoughtfully and examined it. Eventually, he refastened it to his shirt. “Thank you.”
“Hey, you know… good luck,” Arai mumbled, sort of begrudgingly. “Club’s been sort of… just, you’d better win! You’ll be letting Seigaku down otherwise!” His piece said the Reaper stalked away, hands shoved in his pockets and kicking at a stray can angrily.
Ryoma smirked. “Heh. You’ve got weird people in your club, Tezuka.”
“…So I’ve been told.”
“Guess we’re supposed to imprint people to get them to buy those wristbands then,” Ryoma mused, sighing and shuffling his feet some.
“…It doesn’t seem right,” Tezuka said quietly. “Scanning is already invading their privacy, but to influence their thoughts…” He clearly had some moral dilemmas over their current mission.
Ryoma scoffed. “How else are we supposed to do it? Not like we can just go talk to them normally or anything.”
“There should be a way.”
Ryoma tugged his cap down over his eyes. “If you think of one, then let me know. Until then…”
This time, it was Ryoma that started walking through the streets, and Tezuka who followed. Memory or not, he was starting to get the hang of this game stuff, and just because Tezuka was captain of some tennis club didn’t make him captain of Ryoma.

Golden eyes flitted from side to side as he walked, looking for susceptible targets for imprinting. Since Tezuka didn’t really like scanning, it was mostly up to him. Sportspeople would be the easiest, he reasoned, since busy housewives and businessmen on lunch break wouldn’t have much need to go buy Fila wristbands, and the imprint would probably do nothing.
They passed the street courts. Ryoma’s gait slowed as he scanned more intensely. Maybe he ought to try imprinting a few people there. There was a guy with slightly curly black hair and terrible fashion sense hanging out with another guy with a small cross-shaped scar on forehead. He clutched the Player Pin, focusing on the black-haired guy.
“And then, to assure our victory, I could… what would be the most efficient course of action be?”
Fingers darted across the phone keypad. ‘Fila wristbands.’
“…Fila wristbands, maybe? We could unsettle our opponents with the display of our team morale… but that particular brand doesn’t have my colour, and it’s proven that-” The thoughts started wandering off into another direction, and Ryoma nearly groaned. So close! Maybe imprinting wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Perhaps mass imprinting was the way to go. If he just imprinted randomly, he was sure to get a few people to buy them. That was the way advertising worked, right? And that was all this really was: subliminal advertising.
There was a girl with a round face and reddish pigtails looking a bit melancholic over on the benches, though you got the impression that this was a rare thing. Ryoma clutched the Player pin again.
“Now that he’s gone… No, no, I’ve got to keep up a cheery face! I’ve got to keep it together, and unravel the mystery, and… but what can I really do? As leader of the fan club, I have to do something…”
Ryoma pressed the send button on his phone again.
“…Fila wristbands? …That’s right! We can prove our everlasting devotion with memorabilia! One for everyone in the club, and then one each for the memorial, then…” She stood up abruptly, expression determined, and started walking in the direction of the sports shop.
That… was slightly weird. Ryoma didn’t quite get it, but it seemed to have worked so he wasn’t about to complain. Tezuka still had that look of disapproval on his face, but didn’t say anything. The mission was paramount, after all.
Ryoma tried imprinting various other people on the courts but not too many took the bait. A great majority wondered why they even thought of the product at all, especially when they already had a brand new wristband, or didn’t usually wear them, or on the odd occasion Ryoma wound up with a passer-by who didn’t even play tennis at all.
Tezuka looked at his hand. “Two hours left. Should we check the store?”
Ryoma spied that spiky-haired guy they’d de-possessed earlier – what was his name again? – entering the street courts with a racquet bag on his back. “Just one more.”
“I… I can start by making sure we don’t lose that tournament. Yeah! Although… I should maybe do something extra. Like some sort of… I don’t know… damn, this thinking is making me hungry.”
‘Fila wristbands.’ Ryoma hoped that he didn’t decide he wanted to eat Fila wristbands, but if it helped sell them, he didn’t much care.
“Fila wristbands… yeah, that’s it! A wristband… it’ll be like a lucky charm! It’ll show who I’m playing it for! Then I can’t possibly lose! Crap, the store is gonna close soon, I’d better go right now!”
“All done?” Tezuka asked.
Ryoma slipped his phone back into his pocket. “Yeah. Let’s go.” Hopefully some of the other players had caught on to the imprinting thing too – Ryoma estimated that he’d only managed to get about six people to decide to go buy a wristband, and wasn’t sure how many of them would actually follow through.
The sports shop was about fifteen minutes walk away a brisk pace. They entered and headed over to the wristbands. The spiky-haired guy – Momoshiro, that was it - was already there of course, and it looked like the girl with the pigtails was there too. It appeared that only half of the wristbands had sold, but to Ryoma’s relief the girl was gathering up several.
“Hey, you’re going to buy all of those?!” Momoshiro exclaimed, looking alarmed.
She sniffed. “Of course I am! To prove my everlasting love! In fact, this isn’t even enough!”
Momoshiro grabbed at two of the wristbands before she could snatch those up too. “Hey, no, I need this more! He was my best friend you know!”
“But I was the leader of his fanclub!” She grabbed at another one.
“I used to give him rides to school!” Momoshiro snapped, snatching up another one.
“I watched all of his games and practices whenever I could!” Another wristband grabbed.
“I was actually in those games and practices!”
They suddenly stopped. They’d grabbed all of the remainder of the wristbands, and their expressions seemed to flatten. Ryoma was a little worried that they’d both burst out crying at any moment and was suddenly grateful that he was invisible.
“We… we should go pay for these,” the girl said quietly.
Momoshiro looked as though he was deflating. “…Yeah.” They headed over to the cash register with their wristband loads.
As soon as the purchases were completed, the timer vanished from his palm. That was always a relief. He was already dead, but being erased… it seemed so final.
The two of them headed towards the door. At the exit, they paused and shared a glance.
“In his memory, right?!” the girl said, raising her fist.
Momoshiro smiled, and bumped the fist with his own. “Yeah.” They headed outside, looking a little more cheerful.
Ryoma blinked, putting two and two together, and turned to his partner. “Were they arguing over who misses you more?”
Tezuka’s expression didn’t change. “I usually use Prince brand.”
Fourth Day, End.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 20th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)

Aug. 20th, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC)
Aug. 20th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
This chap made me laugh AND teary-eyed. XP

3 more days!

Aug. 20th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)
Been getting ready to move so I haven't had time to sit down and comment on all these chapters so far... but...

可哀想、リョマくん! そして手塚部長も! このままどうしてありますか? ;_;

Aug. 21st, 2008 10:42 am (UTC)
びっくりです。 :P

そうか? 大変ですね、都会に移しているから今はユサハナさんが忙しい。どこに行くよていですか
Aug. 21st, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
私がとても忙しいです! でも、私のルームメートが優しいとおもしろいです。 :)

Aug. 20th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
OMGaaawd! Heeheee, now I'm left wondering more about how they dieeed and why they are together and stuff and why the amnesiaaaaaaaaaaaa XD
Arai was awesome, HE could pass as a WallReaper! XD
Will this have more than 7chapters?
Aug. 20th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)





Although Arai was hilarious.

<333~ MOAR <333~
Aug. 20th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
ASDFGHJKL; No, Tezuka is not feeling like a melon - I meant melancholic. D= *hits head diving into a pool*
Aug. 21st, 2008 10:44 am (UTC)

*Tezuka feeling like a lemon melon, lol*
Aug. 21st, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
Haha, Arai. You are so made of fail. XD

Aaaagh, Momo, I feel bad for him. And Ryoma is still so clueless; it's sort of funny. ^^;; And the little scene at the end with Momo and Tomoka was cute.
Aug. 21st, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
I usually use Prince brand.


and awwww, conscientious!buchou makes me gooey inside. <333333

and eeee, Momo and Tomo fighting over them. ;~~~~; I love how you characterize Tomo here, normally she's...dislikable in fanfiction. But I like how you show her dedication to Ryouma; it gives her a lot more dimension than other people.

alsoer alkjsafd jlk;asfd jl;kaslj;ka ;ljk;lkjMIZUKI. D8 I LOVE YOU.
Aug. 21st, 2008 10:46 am (UTC)
Tomoka gets a bad rap, definitely. Of course, that's because she has a grating voice and never shuts up, so perhaps the dislike is earned. :?

WHY IS THERE SO MUCH MIZUKI LOVE IN THE FANDOM? D: He is the most inferior of the data players!
Aug. 21st, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
Well. I didn't like her at first. But sometimes I just start thinking...well.

I absolutely despised Atobe when he first entered the scene. He was so...DD;

But now I find it almost impossible to dislike anybody in the dratted fandom. D; Except for Miyuki.

Aug. 21st, 2008 05:09 am (UTC)
I just love this chapter...made me LOL and teary eyes *grin*...it really does look like that Tezuka follow Ryoma to get him back...does Arai still afraid that Tezuka will assigned him LAPS even in death *giggles*...Ryoma cluelessness is so cute and funny *giggles*...why is Tezuka keeping Ryoma's idenity from him?...look forward to the next chapter. ^__^
Aug. 21st, 2008 10:49 am (UTC)
Thanks! Tezuka tells people to run laps, and they just ask 'how many?' ;)
Aug. 21st, 2008 11:06 am (UTC)
;_____________; I love you, Momo! It's sad that the best thing he can come up with is that he took Ryoma to school some days. ;________;

And it's doubly sad because Ryoma thinks it's all that fuss for Tezuka, and is acting all 'Che' about it. D= But really, Tezuka knows that it's for Ryoma, and is secretly wondering inside why no one is crying for him.

Aug. 21st, 2008 11:45 am (UTC)
Aug. 24th, 2008 07:59 am (UTC)
Arai *rofl* had a sad, sad way to die. V. lame. And Ryoma picked the right people to imprint XDXD.

Also, why are they're only missing Ryoma and not Tezuka? Bit suspicious...

p.s. His hair was mussed and his glasses were askew[?]

Aug. 24th, 2008 08:10 am (UTC)
Askew is a real word! Means crooked. I will defend it. :| Engarde!

Tezuka gets missed too, but I figured Tomoka and Momoshiro would be more concerned with Ryoma. :3

Poor Arai. Doomed to suck always.
Aug. 24th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC)
*counter-parries incoming lunge*
No I meant did you mean askew because you're missing an 'a' up there. *points at sixth paragraph*

Aww, does that mean that Tezu's really dead? Or did he really just threaten people laps to follow Ryoma? I still have that mindscape where he might still play Joshua's role though.

Will get back to reading as soon as I finish/reach next break.
Aug. 24th, 2008 11:03 am (UTC)
Ah, I see. I recall angsting over that sentence, and wound up deciding that askew was more correct, but clearly the decision did not reach my fingers. *Aborts and bows* Thanks for noticing.

Break? You are working on the weekend?! The horror! I love your icon.
Aug. 25th, 2008 08:21 am (UTC)
Helping with family business so I always have work .___________. I was just rushing it a bit last night so that I don't need to wake up early tomorrow. *abhors yanking self out of bed when it's cool and rainy*

Anyway, onwards Brain! ~
Sep. 24th, 2008 05:38 am (UTC)
Oh. Oh gosh. The last two lines. They really killed me. *.*

and just because Tezuka was captain of some tennis club didn’t make him captain of Ryoma.

Oh Ryoma, of course he is.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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