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Fri, Jan. 13th, 2006, 03:53 pm
[Prince of Tennis] Fic: Endgame

Whooboy, where have I been? Er, happy new year? Happy Friday the 13th?

Title: Endgame
Fandom: Prince of Tennis

Characters: Tezuka, Ryoma
Genre: AU. Shortfic.
Spoilers: Very vague ones. Fuhgeddaboutit.
Summary: If Echizen's tennis had been perfect to begin with, where would Tezuka be?

Tezuka should have foreseen this outcome when Echizen had beaten Kaidoh and then Inui so easily in the ranking matches, six-love, six-love. He should have listened a little more to the rumours about the first year tennis genius from America that were whispered behind his back. He should have seen how much Echizen was holding back as he played, how bored he looked even as he showed Tezuka the most perfect tennis he would ever witness.

Tezuka should have understood why he felt so much relief, when the day finally came that Echizen approched him for a match it was to be a private one.

Afterwards, Tezuka rose from his knees and, as they shook hands across the net, Echizen looked up at him from underneath the brim of his cap and said, "Not bad, Tezuka-san. But you're still mada mada dane."

There was no appropriate reply in the face of such humiliation.

As they were leaving, Echizen handed over his regular's jersey and told Tezuka that his family was moving back to America.

"When?" asked Tezuka.

"When I make my dad see things my way." Echizen tapped his racket against his calf, and Tezuka understood exactly how this 'convincing' would be done. Despite himself, he was impressed.

As if reading Tezuka's thoughts, Echizen said, "You can see why high school tennis doesn't really hold my attention."

"Then why did you come to this school?"

"My dad made me."

Echizen must have seen something strange in Tezuka's face, because his expression softened a little and he said, "Don't take it personally. Maybe if I'd come to Japan in middle school it would have meant something...but now there's nothing here for me to learn."

Nothing, Tezuka wanted to say, is what your tennis is all about. He wanted to teach this child who was not-a-child about tennis. About tennis so perfect it was empty, about passion that burned so brightly it died to ashes before it could burn its hottest. But it was hardly Tezuka's place to say this to Echizen. Not after their game. So he simply said, "Of course."

Echizen smiled a little, as if glad to be rid of some small guilt.

"I'll go now. Thanks, Tezuka-san," he said.

And Tezuka watched him walk away.

(Deleted comment)

Thu, Feb. 16th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)

Hurraz! Thanks so much for commenting...it means a lot to me because I'm a sekkrit fan of yours. I'm a total lurker nowadays who doesn't comment on people's fics even when I love them (excuse: school keeps me busy), but I'ma gonna take this opportunity right now to say I love Contact Lens. :)
(Deleted comment)

Fri, Feb. 17th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)

Thanks! I'm really glad to meet you too!

Yep, if you've seen my name around it's because of fic--I don't really make posts/comments for much else.

Fri, Apr. 28th, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC)

I probably should have give you a comment about your fic months ago, but I got sidetracked and you know how it is... ^^;

Anyways, I really enjoyed this ficlet. I'm not sure who I feel more sorry for though, Tezuka or Echizen. While on the one hand, you have the angst of Echizen never learning the burning love that is Japanese competitve tennis, but on the other you have Tezuka who's been so easily surpassed and left behind. Tezuka kind of reminds me of what it would have been like for waya and the other insei if Hikaru let Sai play and just went on by crushing people left and right.

I'm also intrigued by the why Echizen would be coming to Seigaku in High schoool instead of middle school. Did Ryuuzaki-sensei transfer to the high school, so Nanjiroh didn't feel the need to send Ochibi back to Japan? Did Echizen beat his father and decide to play in the states?

Fri, Apr. 28th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC)

I often neglect to comment at all out of sheer laziness, so you're like an LJ saint compared to me. :p

I feel more sorry for Tezuka, because he's so very conscious of his shortcomings and of the fact that Echizen's tennis is not what it should be. Echizen doesn't have to deal with knowing, at least not yet.

I didn't really think of a reason for why Echizen came to Seigaku in high school instead of middle school. I think Ryuuzaki transfering would make the most sense, so I'm going to steal that from ya as the "official" explanation.