Tezuka introspective. Drama, I-3

He knew that no one among his peers was credited with greater insight into his opponents than Atobe Keigo. It was a justified reputation. But Atobe concentrated on the physical, and tended to ignore the signs of character that the ball wrote on the face of a racquet. It was the weakness in his strength, because those signs were the ones that told whether a player would or could go beyond his physical limits.

He found it strange that Atobe ignored this when he was one of those people himself.

But, then, Atobe had had years to get used to the idea that he didn’t need to know, that it would never matter, that no one could overtake him no matter how they drove themselves. Old habits were hard to change. No one had driven Atobe, or shown him in the language of his own body how much it could matter.

No one until himself.

And, to his credit, Atobe did watch him for those signs of the intangible, now, when they played. Not that he made it terribly difficult, he supposed. Nothing was very concealed when he played Atobe. When they faced each other the fronts ripped away, Atobe’s affectations and his own reserve both burned to glittering ash in the heat of their contest. He knew it was what kept them both coming back for another unofficial match every few months, carefully stepping around ever having to inform their coaches, for almost three years now.

Sometimes he wondered if Atobe realized just how much of himself he showed, when they played.

Perhaps it still didn’t occur to Atobe that his opponent would see. He knew his own style was somewhat deceptive. It appeared that he forced the game onto his terms, that it was simply the fine extent of his control that caused each ball to come to him as if called. But it was more than control; it was also understanding. He learned the language that the ball spoke to his racquet, and spoke it back, and the ball heeded. But the ball was only a carrier, in the end. The language he had to learn each time, listening through his hands, was that of his opponent.

Atobe’s language was both raw and sleek. There was fury in the power of his techniques, and malice in the way he held his hand until the most overwhelming moment so that he could crush those who dared stand against him, those who dared try to stop him. He used his strength as a bludgeon, and his speed to confuse, and his arrogance to infuriate. Where some balls sang against the strings his screamed.

And when someone sent that scream back, proved that he had heard it, Atobe’s eyes brightened and his smile turned hungry and true.

Tezuka Kunimitsu knew why he kept coming back. It was to hear a desperation and hope and frustrated rage that matched his own.

Sometimes he wondered whether Atobe saw that, too.


Last Modified: May 08, 12
Posted: Apr 22, 04
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  1. pastles

    Love this. Tezuka, as a character in the manga/anime, usually bores me because he’s so typical, imo 😀

    But i like how you had used the ball and racquet as a form of language, how Tezuka sees it as such.

    Hope to read more of this ^_^

  2. chocolate_chip

    Wow. That was just amazing. What great insight (no pun intended, really ^^;;) into both of their characters, as well as that match. You pretty much just wrote everything that I love but didn’t know how to explain about Tezuka/Atobe. I hope there will be more!

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *blushing* Thank you. More is in the works (though Atobe is being his difficult self about his pov sections). Fishing and maybe some UST is next up…

  3. flamesword

    It was to hear a desperation and hope and frustrated rage that matched his own.

    Oh, shit. -_- Well, that about does it. *shivers* You are going to make me read this pairing, aren’t you? ^^;;; Wow. I’ll have you know I was very skeptical about this whole idea, but, yeah….Tezuka. Wow. -_- That definitely does it, right there. I’d *squee!* except I’m still in shock. just like, oh. my. god. She did it. I am so dead. ^^;

    I lurve Tezuka, most days he’s my favorite character (he splits time with Fuji and Echizen tho…^_~) and you. just. nailed him. *awe* ♥ So. Well. I’ll be reading more of this, yessss–you are amazing. Feel proud…you’re one of a handful of people, in any fandom, who can make me read a pairing I don’t really like, and make me first of all believe it, and secondly, enjoy the experience. ^_~

    Actually liking the pairing, well, I’m still reserving judgement about that. I doubts it, I highly doubts it. >< But if anyone can do it, it would be you. ^_^

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *glows* Thank you, dear! I feel immensely proud. *nodnod*

      *wicked grin* And I love converting people.

      Hopefully, even if the pairing doesn’t grab you, there will be enough Tezu-love to make you happy anyway!

  4. Kata

    I’ve always been left a bit cold by Tezuka’s character. He’s just that grim and I really, really, really can’t imagine what the sound of his laughter would sound like.

    This brought that bit of deepness in the way I regard him that I could learn to like him. Btw, you have totally ruined fanfiction to me for life. Before reading any of this site I was merely dissatisfied with most of what I read elsewhere, but now… after having been coddled few days in here I feel like those other fics fall short by just too much.

    I’m glad there’s still a lot in here to be thoroughly read through. Thank you so much for writing these.

    Atobe banzai<3

    1. Icon for BranchBranch Post author

      *blushing* Thank you! It’s really wonderful to know you like the stories so much!

      Tezuka /is/ hard to write, even when I do it from his point of view. He’s a very inward character. *wry* And the artists draw him without a lot of expression changes. *grins* It’s amazing how he livens up when you put him with Atobe, though.