imaginedyou: (HYD ;; plane)
title: Taking the Bait
character(s)/pairing(s): Atobe, Tezuka [Atobe/Tezuka if you care to see it XD]
genre: gen, comment fic
wordcount: 502
notes/summary: "When you said fishing, I didn't actually expect for you to spend the whole time... fishing." Originally posted here.
prompt: fic_promptly's OUTSIDE theme. Prompt: "Author's choice, author's choice, fishing."

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imaginedyou: (Default)
title: Warning
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters: Yukimura, Tezuka, Fuji. Rikkai.
wordcount: 909 Words.
summary: Yukimura just wants to pass on a 'friendly warning'.
notes: canon-set alternate reality. Inspired by Cyn's Traditions universe but not directly related because the details are completely different.

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imaginedyou: (Default)
title: The Price of Fame
fandom: Prince of Tennis
pairing: Fuji/Yukimura
notes: set in purgatory!verse ([ profile] clubpurgatory). Fuji knows things other people don't. Mostly because he pokes his nose in. 1139 Words.
prompt: [ profile] 31_days: 22 December 2006. Mad Dog/ Don't need a credit card to make my charge complete

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imaginedyou: (Default)
An attempt to begin this prompt from [ profile] reddwarfer for this fic meme. It just never went very far; my enthusiasm and inspiration during fic memes burns short and sharp and once it's gone, it's gone. 339 Words.

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imaginedyou: (Default)
Again, inspired by some themes posted over at the [ profile] tezukafuji comm.


tezuka, fuji, "condoms"; 209 words.


-and in a spurt of comedic genius in terms of timing, it's as Tezuka walks into the locker room to discover his team engaged in pinging elastic bands at one another that one ricochets off of Momo's head and straight at Tezuka's cheek, stabbing like a tiny, personal slap. When it falls into his open palm, he looks down and realises it isn't elastic bands they're catapulting after all.

"I'm sure you'll be very disappointed to know that your student council meeting caused you to miss sex education, Tezuka," Fuji says, leaning back where he sits and smiling in satisfaction as out the corner of his eye he watches Momo rubbing the side the spot just behind his ear.

Eight pairs of eyes are on him as he glances back down at the offending object in hand and wonders how dignified he can make wrinkling his nose and throwing it as hard and as far as possible. The thought is fleeting.

He takes steps until he is in front of Fuji, offers out his hand and downturns it so that the condom falls into Fuji's hand.

"Be more careful next time," he says, delighting Fuji with his innuendo.

"I do believe that that was the entire point," he replies.

imaginedyou: (Default)
Was browsing the old [ profile] tezukafuji comm, and came across some themes. And inspiration struck, a little at a time!


tezuka, fuji, "yamato buchou"; 100 words.


"Ah, Tezuka-kun you're still here," Yamato says, stepping up behind Tezuka. The smile drops from his face as his chin lifts to follow Tezuka's gaze onto the court. "If you are trying to get some information on possible future rivals, you might spend your time better elsewhere."

"Yamato-buchou," Tezuka replies without the merest infliction in his voice. Yamato sighs beside him. He voices no further opinion before vacating his spot, leaving Tezuka alone to watch the perfect repetition of a serve that is technically accurate but singly false.

As he takes a breath to leave, Fuji turns and waves.

imaginedyou: (Default)
title: ii. wait for me whenever darkness falls
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters: vampslayer!Tezuka, vampslayer!Echizen
prompt: From [ profile] vacivity: Five ficlets, each focusing on a different characters, set in a Vampire!AU setting. You must feature Fuji, Tezuka, Echizen, Kikumaru, Atobe. Any others are up to you.
notes: Written a while back, archiving. Second of five. 251 Words.

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imaginedyou: (Default)
title: i. the heart beats on and will not stop
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters: vamp!Eiji, vamp!Fuji, Oishi).
prompt: From [ profile] vacivity: Five ficlets, each focusing on a different characters, set in a Vampire!AU setting. You must feature Fuji, Tezuka, Echizen, Kikumaru, Atobe. Any others are up to you.
notes: Written a while back, archiving. First of five (obviously). 402 Words.

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imaginedyou: (Default)
Yanagi, Inui, allusions to Yanagi/Yukimura (and very lightly, possibly unrequited!Inui/Fuji). Talk after Yanagi & Inui's match. 222 words.


Double Entendre


"You play a different game these days," Inui says, breathless, and Yanagi squeezes his eyes shut tighter and refuses to wonder whether it was the match that caused the exertion, or the senselessness of chasing after him once it was over.

"I play to win," Yanagi replies, letting his voice carry on the wind and take strength from it.

"Did you?" Inui enquires. Yanagi turns to meet him this time.

"Win, that is," Inui says, his smile widening too far. And it isn't mockery, not with him. Yanagi senses Sanada's impatience from afar, like an invisible thread tugging at him.

"I have to go," he says to Inui. And, "I did." He takes a step away, and it's much like wading through wet mud. Yanagi wants, now, to leave Inui with something more than nothing, not like the first time. "I hear that you know," he says idly, turning back what he promises himself will be the last time, "what it is like, to have someone on your team who constantly evades definition. Someone who surpasses all others, and challenges people to change, be more than they are."

"I do," Inui says, still smiling, but not the huge grin of winning elation. More of a serious, comfortable and knowing smile. "Unfortunately, unlike you I'm not sleeping with that teammate of mine."

imaginedyou: (Default)
title: Eyes Closed
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters: Seigaku ensemble (minus Kawamura which I didn't notice 'til near the end and apologize for, but I didn't picture him in this. We get around that by saying this is obviously set after he quit tennis ;) )
prompt: [ profile] 31_days: 15 September 2005: Your eyes closed
notes: I was reading about Postulates. This has nothing to do with that anymore, really. 988 Words.

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imaginedyou: (Default)

AU setting (not in any particular verse), Tezuka/Fuji living together. 644 Words. Prompt: [ profile] 31_days, 20 august 2005.

Alhambra (signifying 'the red' in Arabic ).


It's blood, blood everywhere spreading across skin like spilt ink, dripping in a casual way blood never should be allowed to, and he can't help but be reminded of that time when Tezuka had pushed himself too hard and too far in his match, even though they were internal injuries and there had been no blood in sight. In his mind all he'd seen at the time was the world stained red.

He gropes aimlessly for a dish cloth, not remembering where he'd left it; the plain white one with stripes of blue woven through it. He is kind of reluctant to swamp it in his own blood, even if he is losing a lot so quickly, because his mother had offered them all to him as a peacemaking. All the same pattern but in a rainbow of colours. Because I don't know which colour would match your kitchen, she had said, but not accusingly. Just regretfully. If she'd only shown an interest, she would have known sooner.

Fuji laughs to himself as his head begins to pound, but it feels lighter at the same time. Here he is up to his arms in his own blood and he's thinking about the colour of the kitchen walls. He tries to think, to concentrate. He knows he can get up off his knees if he tries, can pull the dish cloth from where it overhangs the cupboard, can use his undamaged hand to hold himself up and to reach for the phone. He's definitely going to need medical attention.

"What happened?"

Tezuka's voice is always so calm, even in the most dire of situations, even when it's something happening to himself. Fuji breathes out. The dish cloth is being wrapped tightly around his palm, and though it hurts he refuses to flinch because lacking blood is worse. Tezuka's hand around his is suffocating, just as it needs to be. In his other hand Tezuka already has his mobile, dialling for an ambulance.

"I was just going to make dinner," Fuji sighs out. "Chop up some vegetables."

"The knife slipped?" Tezuka doesn't really have to ask, but the operator on the end of the phone will.

"Deep." Fuji nods and grits his teeth. Tezuka is squeezing his hand again. There is blood drying into his trousers.

"My partner was chopping up some food and the knife slipped. It's a deep cut; there's a lot of blood. Yes, he's still conscious. Yes, he's talking. Hold on. Fuji, are you feeling light-headed, or dizzy?"

"Yes." Fuji whispers. Tezuka rattles off their address and his thumb digs into Fuji's palm. Fuji hisses but knows it's all an attempt to stop the blood escaping. While the paramedics make Fuji sit on the couch as they clean up the wound, Tezuka mops up the floor.

"Efficient." The woman says with a smile.

"He knows he can't be of any help to you." Fuji says softly enough that Tezuka won't hear. "He'd rather do something productive. He doesn't like feeling useless."

The bleeding stays stopped once it is stilled, and they bandage him up, extract a promise to call again if anything happens, and leave on another emergency call.

Tezuka brings tea for them both, and Fuji takes his with his good hand, the warmth finally allowing the shock to sink in.

"It's such a shame," he says carefully, bringing his drink up to his mouth and blowing. "Now that I've ruined the dish cloths my mother is going to have to buy us a better belated house-warming gift."

He sips at his drink and is grateful to it for keeping a smile from his face. Tezuka's look of disbelief is priceless.

"You didn't do this just for..." He can't finish his sentence.

"Oh Tezuka, no, of course not." Fuji assures him quickly. "It was just a happy coincidence, don't you think?"

imaginedyou: (Default)
series title: Eraser Chapter One
fandom: Prince of Tennis
pairing/characters: Tezuka/Fuji, Yumiko.
summary: in any fiction (...) there was only ever room for three players (...) between adoring spouses, a seducer, or a child. - Imajica, Clive Barker.
notes: 2618 words. Future!fic, established relationship, angst coming up eventually. r/nc-17 rating from the beginning.

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imaginedyou: (Default)
To Em; the last alternate prompt for you :*

Tezuka/Fuji - Before you ask me, I want to tell you something.

You can do it in geisha!verse or in canon!verse or whatever ;)

<input ... ><input ... >


2007-03-08 03:01 pm UTC
(link) DeleteTrack This
Canon!verse; set after episodes 39&40 - the infamous duel in the rain ;)


"Tezuka, has the desire to see my true strength overcome the desire to unleash it yourself?"

No answer is forthcoming. Fuji meets Tezuka's eyes and damns the pride that stills his tongue.

"You play with a healed arm, you give everyone the best of your strength. You could have put us into the same block in the last ranking match, but you were too concerned with another issue. This time it's you pushing us away."

He wonders if he should turn and make for the door; it doesn't ever take many words to get his meaning across. But before he can take that action, Tezuka is pressing his palm to the door and forcing it to stay shut.

"I'm not pushing you away." He says roughly.

"No, you're just trying to push me onwards, as ever. But this time you couldn't even do it yourself, you had to send in reinforcements!" Fuji laughs and it tastes bitter on his tongue. "Did you think we would break each others barriers at the same time and fulfil your intentions? I don't respond well to manipulations, Tezuka. I use them. I knew what you were doing as well as what he was doing during the match."

"It was worth a try." Tezuka shrugs. There's never any apologies. Tezuka will never make moves he may later come to regret. It's almost admirable.

"You could at least thank me for doing you a favour in regards to Echizen." Fuji says, folding arms across his chest and leaning against the door. "His frustration sets a fire under him. It's wonderful to watch. The only thing I wonder is why he wanted to beat me so badly. Because of my reputation? Or does he see me as a stepping stone to you?"


(Reply to this) (Thread)


2007-03-12 01:28 am UTC
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Wahhh....i can SOOOO imagine this happening (behind the scenes...coz they had to cut it out)....

Fuji, you're soo perceptive..of course surpassing your reputation isn't all that Ryoma wants. We all know that he's trying to get rid of the competition for Tezuka's attentions. C'mon Fuji, go stake your claim! ^_^

(Reply to this) (Parent)

imaginedyou: (HYD ;; plane)
To Em; February prompt number 28
Tezuka/Fuji - Second date. At a carnival.

Actually written 6th March 2007, cracky second date where the Regulars interfere. Tezuka/Fuji, 1073 Words.


"I suppose you like these kind of things?" Tezuka asked, pushing the flyer for the carnival under Fuji's nose. He had taken quite some time to perfect his aura which made him quite unapproachable, and it had unnerved him a lot to suddenly have the guy, who had not been much older than him, shove the flyer into his hands on the way to school.

"Don't you?" Fuji asked pleasantly in reply, looking up at Tezuka. His gaze managed to be piercing even when his eyes weren't open.

"Ah, I've never been."

"Well then, I'll take you." Fuji said, packing his books into his bag to leave for lunch, slipping an arm through Tezuka's for a moment just to see him squirm away from the closeness. "Don't look so scared, Tezuka. It's a place people go to have fun."


"Fuji, what's this?" Eiji asked, grabbing at the paper sticking out of Fuji's bag. "Oooh, a carnival? Tonight? Are you going?"

"I probably am." Fuji nodded, smiled at his thoughts. He wondered if Tezuka would look down his nose at the childish rides, perhaps jump when on the ghost train. That would be something to see.

"Well if Fujiko's going, I will too!" Eiji grinned. "I'm going to see if Oishi wants to go!"

He seemed to forget class was about to start again in five minutes. Fuji put his hands into his lap and smiled to himself; things like that didn't matter to Eiji. If a certain tennis captain ever got wind of that, laps most certainly would follow.


"I ran into Momo and Taka-san and Ochibi after talking to Oishi about it, and getting a papercut and having to go to the nurse to get a plaster; Oishi makes such a fuss but at least he doesn't faint at blood like Hikata-kun did! And they're all going to come tonight too, isn't that great?" Eiji held a questioning finger to his lips. "I wonder if Inui or Kaidoh might come too if I asked them."

Fuji pressed his lips together, nodded as he tried not to laugh and wondered when it had become Eiji's tennis club trip instead of his and Tezuka's date.

Tezuka was not going to be amused. But then, he rarely ever was.


"Ah, everyone's finally here!" Eiji grinned as Fuji and Tezuka made their way up to the group. Until they had gotten into plain sight, Fuji had been practically dragging Tezuka along by the arm, warning him tactfully about the entourage that would be accompanying them all of a sudden. Luckily it was all Eiji's fault, and he could say so with a completely straight face. "I'm surprised you convinced Tezuka-buchou to come, Fujiko!"

"We all have our price." Fuji said with a mysterious smile. And was promptly drowned out by four different voices simultaneously picking out rides to go on.

"Ghost Train!"



"Ferris Wheel!"

"Look, we can all split up and meet up later for snacks." Fuji said quickly, stepping closer to Tezuka. "Just decide who wants to go where."

He kept purposely silent until everyone else had chosen so that he might pick somewhere for he and Tezuka that they could be alone. Eiji and Momo insisted on dragging Oishi and Echizen onto the Ghost Train, and Kaidoh and Kawamura were happy to tag-along with Inui so that he could use their tennis skills to determine how to win on the Hoopla.

"Well, I want to go on the Ferris Wheel first," Fuji smiled in a way that made people close their mouths against arguing, though they couldn't quite figure out why. "So we'll see you guys later."

No-one questioned Tezuka's silence, or how Fuji had decided they were going on it together. Eiji and Momo had already run off, Oishi picking up the pace to chase after them and Echizen muttering as he followed like he had allthe time in the world. Kawamura was trying to get Kaidoh to speak up, since Inui's nose was firmly between the pages of his notebook.

"I dislike this place already." Tezuka muttered. Fuji smiled and pretended he hadn't heard.


"It doesn't look very safe." Tezuka said as they stood in the queue. The woman in front turned to glare as her son's eyes grew wide and he began to question the way the seats were suspended.

"Tezuka, shush." Fuji said, and pulled a lollipop out of his bag, checking with the displeased mother before offering it to her child.

"Do you always carry sweets to bribe children with?" Tezuka enquired.

"No, but I'll be making a habit of it when I'm with you in future I think."


The inside of the car was not as nice as the outside would lead you to believe. Leftover drink cartons were the least of the problem. Fuji tried not to breathe in too deeply, warning himself that the scent he could smell just possibly might be urine. Now that wouldn't go down well.

Instead he sat down and placed his bag on the floor instead of inbetween himself and Tezuka.

"Just wait til we get to the top." He said brightly. Tezuka looked a little pale at the thought. Fuji had never stopped to wonder if Tezuka might be afraid of heights; it seemed like such a silly thing, for the captain of the tennis team to be scared of heights.

So silly he didn't want to voice the question. Not for one second did he believe he would get a response even if he did ask anyway.


"It's so pretty." Fuji sighed, watching as the sky got closer little by little. They were still letting people onto the empty cars. He had a sudden urge to get up and touch the glass of the window, even if he couldn't reach the actual stars.

The car rocked a little beneath his feet, but he didn't think anything of it until Tezuka's hand caught his arm.

"Please don't do that." He said, his voice rough.


"Shake the car. I already said it didn't seem safe."

"But Tezuka!" Fuji wanted to laugh it as so absurd. "You saw it moving when we were in the line, it's been used hundreds of times and it works the way it's supposed to! Everything is fine."

"Well I'm not used to it." Tezuka said.

Fuji nodded acceptance, and curled his fingers around Tezuka's as he sat back down to try and ignore the way they still itched.

imaginedyou: (Default)
prompt: Geisha!fic; "A ribbon around her throat."
date: 15th February
characters: Fuji, Tezuka.
notes: 491 words. Features cross-dressing. An intrusion.

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challenge: [ profile] pot500's Festivals Challenge, #7.
characters: Fuji, Tezuka.
notes: Geisha!fic, not in the prompt list! 176 words. Features cross-dressing. Written on 18th February. Attending a Hanami*.

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prompt: Geisha!fic; "find a face behind our lipstick smiles".
date: 19th February
characters: Fuji, Tezuka.
notes: 458 words. Features cross-dressing. There are many different levels of disguise and deception.

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prompt: Geisha!fic; "Promise me to pass the time/Dance with me on plastic tears/Kiss me, We won't feel alone/Till morning when we disappear."
date: 22nd February
characters: Fuji, Tezuka.
notes: 662 words. Features cross-dressing. A farce.

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imaginedyou: (KWP ;; a good boy)
To Em; February prompt number 24
Seigaku gen fic, with undertones of pairings. Snow and hot chocolate.
(Originally I had planned for something Oishi/Eiji here, but I changed my mind. XD )

Seigaku gen, skiing trip as a means of training (any excuse!). 1336 Words. Unfinished.


"Number Seven; skiing will improve co-ordination." Inui says, peering down his nose to read the list in his notebook. Eiji opens his mouth to ask how long the list is, so he can work out how long to tune out for, just as Momo opens his mouth to refute items two, four and five on Inui's list so far.

Ryuzaki-sensei feels a nudge in her side that brings the boys to her attention, and speaks before they can.

"Number Eight; you're going because I said so!" She barks. "I don't know why you always have to protest against training in new places! People going skiing on their vacations; it will be fun!"

Eiji and Momo give each other commiserating looks, but each is glad the other didn't get a chance to drown them out. Ryuzaki glares as the team leaves to get changed after practice, wondering how on earth someone could elbow her when there was no-one standing on her left-hand side. She, as most people on the team would, firmly suspects Fuji.


"How did you manage it?" Tezuka asks. His way of asking a question with no curiosity in it at all is unrivaled, Fuji thinks to himself.

"You'll have to be more specific, Tezuka." He says, lowering his head further over his books to hide the widening smile on his face.

Tezuka drops a sheet of paper over Fuji's work; it is the room assignments for the ski-trip. They are sharing a room for three, along with Inui.

"Ryuzaki-sensei said something about keeping an eye on you." Tezuka says flatly. "Why I have to be the one to do so I have no idea. But then, she also mentioned considering having Inui do the job instead, until she realised together you could overthrow the universe, beginning with the ski lodge."

"She's too kind."

"So now you'll simply be overthrowing the peace while I'm trying to sleep."


"Hmm," Oishi says, standing outside the door to his room and puzzling over the sleeping arrangments while Eiji peers over his shoulder. "I assumed I would share a room with Tezuka."

"Well you can't be unhappy, Oishi!" Eiji smiles. "You have me!"

"And Kaidoh too." Oishi nods. He lowers his voice and speaks to himself. "At least he'll be no trouble."

"Taka-san gets to room with Momo and Ochibi!" Eiji points out, pouting. "I want to! I bet they end up doing all kinds of fun stuff while we're asleep. Midnight snacks and exploring... Taka won't appreciate it at all!"

"Maybe Ryuzaki-sensei is hoping Taka-san will be a calming influence on them." Oishi says gently. Then wonders if she is hoping Oishi and Kaidoh will do the same in regards to Eiji.


The team lines up with their rented skis; Tezuka at one end in Seigaku blue, and Echizen at the other trying to peer out from under the huge woolen hat Momo had pulled down over his face after he had put his padded gloves on and been unable to stop him. Inui is somewhere towards one end, wearing a hilarious get-up that he insists, over the sniggers, is fully insulated and keeping him warmer than the rest of them put together.

"The Beginners Trail is that way," Oishi points as Ryuzaki waves goodbye and heads for the Intermediate Trail. "And there are instructors there, too." He begins to tread awkwardly across the snow, and everyone follows. Almost everyone.

"Fuji, aren't you coming?" Inui enquires politely. Fuji shakes his head and smiles.

"I'm going to warm myself up." He says, and heads in a different direction to both the team and Ryuzaki-sensei. He heads for the Advanced Trail.

"He's not serious?"

"Fuji has been skiing before?"

"Did you know that?"

"Data suggests Fuji would not pretend to attempt something he was not capable of." Inui rattles off. The look on his face indicates that he wishes he could witness Fuji's skill on the slopes.


Fuji takes the Advanced Trail on, slowly at first, a few times. If he slows down enough about two thirds of the way down he gets a great view of the Professional Slope. He looks at it longingly, and wonders if he's being brave, stupid, or just forcing boredom upon himself.

Just once, he tells himself. I'll try it just once at a fair speed so that I don't get in anyone's way, but slow enough that I'll be able to react if I sense danger coming. Just once, and nobody needs to know.

When he reaches the bottom one skiier glares at him for being too slow and forcing him to end without a flourish, and another peers at him with concerned eyes, as though gathering from his size that he is only a teen. But he has made it, and that is what counts.

Tomorrow maybe, he thinks to himself, I'll attempt it again.

But for the rest of that day, he will stay on the Advanced Route. No need to tempt fate. And showing off has never been his thing.

When he takes the lift back to the Advanced Trail, he finds someone stood waiting at the top.

"Tezuka?" He says, hardly able to believe it. "I thought you were on the Beginner's Trail?"

"I learn fast." Tezuka says in reply.


"That was not fun!" Eiji insists, collapsing into a comfy chair back in the lodge late afternoon time. "I fell on my face more times than I can count! Acrobatics don't work in the snow!"

"I could've told you that before you wasted an entire day endeavouring to find that out." Inui says, pushing his glasses back up the bridge of his nose.

"And!" Eiji continues. "I am cold! Why aren't you cold, Inui?"

"I already explained that," Inui says, biting back a sigh. He repeats the complex layering of his outfit, explaining how the various weaves keep in heat and the extra layers create more room for air and warm air particles. Eiji's eyes droop and he begins to wish he had never asked.

Oishi saves him by handing over a cup of hot chocolate, which Eiji jumps up to reach for and waits until Oishi sits down to jump into his lap. Promptly spilling both of their drinks. Oishi grimaces and nudges Eiji off, dragging him along to get another two cups full.

"I got you a hot chocolate also, Tezuka." Fuji says softly, smiling as he offers out the cup. Tezuka stares at it as though it offends him. He looks as though he is going to refuse it, but then something in the expression on Fuji's face changes his mind. If there is anything in it he is going to regret having tasted, surely it is better than saying no and dealing with Fuji's wrath.

When he reaches out to take the cup from Fuji, their fingers interlace for just a moment.


Tezuka is just drifting off to sleep when he hears it. Three beds in a row and Fuji is the one in the middle, claiming it before the more sensible suggestion of Inui taking it could be voiced. He speaks towards his right, towards Inui, but his voice is purposely loud enough that Tezuka on his other side will hear it too, Tezuka knows that for a fact.

"So, Inui," Fuji asks, causing Tezuka to open just one eye as though it will help him hear better. "Naturally the first step is to gain the trust of the staff and work our way up to the owner... Have you ascertained the location of his rooms yet?"

Tezuka bolts upright and reaches out to the nightstand in the dark, fumbling for his glasses. As his fingers touch them he hears Fuji's light laughter, and even Inui's reluctant chortling. His face burns red in the dark and he is thankful for the darkness. He lays back down without a word, cursing Fuji, Inui, and Ryuzaki-sensei for putting him here in the first place. Oishi also, for not contesting the room assignments; surely usually they would have roomed together?

imaginedyou: (HYD ;; saturn)
To Em; February prompt number 20
Yagyuu/Niou - Spying.
ALT: Nanjiroh-centric - I want something with Nanjiroh/Ryoma interaction (doesn't have to be sexual) about 'growing up.' Can involve any of Ryoma's teammates.

Between his father and his teammates, life is difficult for Echizen Ryoma. 1379 Words.


Somehow or another, though Ryoma avoids it like the plague, every single member of the tennis team manages to visit his house at some point. When it was Buchou, Ryoma's legs shook the entire time, even though Oishi-sempai was there too. He kept pushing them into the next room and the next room because his father kept coming in to interrupt, and the last thing he needed was for Buchou and his father to meet.

That just couldn't happen.

"Hiding something from me, boy?" Nanjiroh leered after Ryoma had pushed the front gates firmly shut behind Tezuka-Buchou and Oishi-sempai. "What, or who, is it you don't want your old dad to see? Not a girl, is it?"

"No, don't be stupid." Ryoma replied, walking past his dad with his nose in the air. It wasn't until he reached his room that his control faltered and his legs gave out on him.

Close, so close.


Momo is always at Ryoma's house, and when they are together, they play tennis a lot. That isn't unusual. Ryoma doesn't have books, just tennis magazines, and he doesn't play computer or video games much.

Sometimes Ryoma feels the leacherous stare of his father on him as they play. That is unusual. He focuses his eyes more sharply on Momo and lets him win some points, just not too many. Let the old man see that he is worth something, he can beat his teammate, the one older than him who comes round all the time on his bicycle and calls Ryoma 'friend'.

Ryoma thinks his father has no friends, after all. He wins the match, and Momo takes it in his stride, because he knows now that Ryoma is better than he is. He evolves his skills much faster. In fact, his smile isn't just easy, sometimes Ryoma thinks he sees something like... pride there. He's seen that look from his mother, but never from his father.

"You won't get any better playing someone who is no challenge." Nanjiroh says. The sun is setting, Momo is long gone, and Ryoma's feet have made themselves walk out the back door near to the steps his father is sitting on. "Shall we play a match, Ryoma?"

"Whatever." He replies, but his feet are already making to follow his father's footsteps.


Eiji-sempai has been to Ryoma's house with Momo a couple of times, mostly after a huge pig-out on burgers, because they insist they can't walk too far, and Ryoma's home is closest. Tezuka-Buchou and Oishi-sempai came out of concern and obligation to the team. Kaidoh and Inui-sempai have not come to his house at all, though Ryoma thinks Kaidoh-sempai jogs somewhere near the house in the hope that Karupin will sneak through the bushes and adventure close to his running route. He doesn't say anything.

When Kawamura-sempai comes by, it is a complete accident. Nobody warned Ryoma they had ordered sushi in, and so when he opens the door and sees Kawamura-sempai standing there with a package in his hands, he does not know what to say. Kawamura holds up the package feebly, with a hesitant smile, and lets Ryoma see the 'Kawamura Sushi!' on the side of the box.

"My father asked me to deliver some take-out because our delivery person is on another trip, and stuck in traffic." He explains. "I'm sorry, I didn't realise it would be you. You never told us where you lived."

"It doesn't matter." Ryoma mumbles, and invites Kawamura-sempai in, thinking he will refuse. To his surprise, Kawamura-sempai does go inside for a while, but not for long because he is probably needed back at the shop. He peers around the hall and the kitchen with interest, as Ryoma's mother and cousin unpack the food and divide up the portions for everyone.

"He seemed like such a nice boy," Ryoma's mother says when Kawamura-sempai is gone. "Very polite, if a little shy. Maybe you should invite him back sometime."

"Mmm." Ryoma replies, not intending to at all. That was even weirder than Oishi-sempai being at his house, even weirder than Tezuka-Buchou.

"What's this I hear?" Nanjiroh asks, bounding into the kitchen and sniffing the air appreciatively. "Ryoma has a polite friend? He must be growing up!"

"I'm eating now." Ryoma says, taking his plate and walking away from the whole situation.

If he were to list the events in order of weirdness, which in his head he technically already has, then Fuji-sempai's visit to Ryoma's house is weirdest of all. For a start, there is no reason for it. Everyone else has had a reason.

"I just felt like it," he shrugs in response when Ryoma asks, and smiles. Ryoma doesn't even know how Fuji-sempai knew where he lived, and he is scared to ask.

He figures maybe Fuji-sempai is lonely, because his brother doesn't live at home anymore, and Eiji-sempai seems to go out for burgers or on trips with Oishi-sempai more often than not now, and even Tezuka-Buchou isn't around for him to tease, because he's all the way in Germany. thinking of Germany makes Ryoma grit his teeth. It is too far away, and he wants a rematch.

"Shall we play some tennis?" Fuji-sempai asks, as though reading Ryoma's mind, and though he wants it more than anything, he jus shrugs and says, "yeah okay."

Fuji-sempai stands up and ties his hair back, something Ryoma has never seen him do. It makes him look even prettier than usual, more girly. And his non-descript clothes add to that.

They start off rallying to warm up, and when Ryoma feels his father's approach, something is different. He stares in a shocked, open-mouth sort of way, and Ryoma knows what the problem is. Then he knows Fuji-sempai is a mind-reader.


"Do you want to serve, Echizen?" Fuji-sempai asks with a sweet smile. Ryoma frowns and knows he must give all his attention this time and ignore his father.

"You don't have to do me any favours, Fuji-sempai." He says, adopting a cheerful attitude, though inside he is screaming. "I'm going to beat you."

"Ah," Fuji-sempai nods. "Of course. If you say so."

Ryoma grips his racket harder and serves with his right hand. Fuji-sempai returns it easily; he has seen it too many times now to be phased by it. That's okay, that's fine, it means Ryoma can play properly and not rely on patented moves. He plays better when he has to improvise. He begins to bounce on his tip-toes. Fuji-sempai smiles.

"Split-step so soon?" He asks across the net. "This isn't a real match, Echizen. You don't have to get so serious."

"I'm going to beat you, Fuji-sempai." He repeats, and he can't understand the responding smile on Fuji-sempai's face this time. It looks a little sad. Or longing.


Fuji-sempai doesn't play seriously, he can tell. He can tell because it frustrates him like not having Tezuka-Buchou around right now to play a match against does, and he wonders if they're both determined to annoy the hell out of him with tennis. The sun gets warmer overheard, and Fuji-sempai just gives up when he is ahead, just like that, to reach for a towel and a drink from his bag. He came prepared.

"That's enough for today, I think." He says, sitting down and not betraying a ounce of exhaustion. Ryoma is sweating a little, but that is it. He was concentrating too hard on the match to notice anything else.

"It's not fair," Ryoma begins, and Fuji-sempai is already smiling. "You were ahead again, and you just gave up! I might have won!"

"You might have." Fuji-sempai nods in response. "But I guess we'll never know. Sometimes the game you are playing is more important than who wins, Ryoma-kun."

Ryoma just frowns all the way until Fuji-sempai leaves, which is not long after. Suddenly he remembers his father watching them again, and can feel the eyes on him from behind, not pretending to hide at all.

"RYOMA HAS A GIRLFRIEND!" Nanjiroh shouts so loud the birds in the trees dart off in all directions, and Ryoma lets his head drop to his knees in despair as his father makes the connection Ryoma knew he would.

Just outside the gates, Ryoma bets Fuji-sempai is laughing. And planned everything all along.



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( imagined you saw me )

November 2016

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