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Yaru, Epilogue

Tezuka and Echizen settle in with each other. Romance with Drama, I-3

Pairing(s): Tezuka/Ryouma

Kunimitsu stood at the back of the humming spectators and observed the various recriminations and celebrations of Rikkai’s and Seigaku’s teams with some amusement. He had company, as he always did when he came to watch matches between these teams. Both Sanada and Yukimura had come, today.

What amused Kunimitsu most was watching Echizen and Kirihara, engaged in a discussion as vigorous as their just finished match, climbing the stands toward their respective seniors without paying the slightest attention to anyone else. This included several of the scouts who made bids for Kirihara’s attention, only to bounce off his impenetrable focus on Echizen.

“…supposed to be two years ahead of me, not two behind!” Ryouma was saying, in an aggrieved tone, as they came into earshot.

“I don’t know what you’re complaining about,” Kirihara told him. “I’m going to be the one bored out of my mind for a year, until you catch up.”

Ryouma waved a dismissive hand. “No you won’t. Momo-senpai is going straight on. And,” in the tone of someone being fair against his every inclination, “Atobe-san is already in the pro circuit.”

Kirihara made a face. “This is supposed to be encouraging?”

“He’s a good opponent,” Ryouma said, “and it’s the best we’ll get until they graduate. Two years!” he glared impartially at Kunimitsu, Sanada and Yukimura all.

Sanada declined to comment, merely giving Kunimitsu a look that asked him to control his unruly kouhai. Yukimura, though, smiled.

“Well, after all, university is where we’ll find the majority of our favorite opponents, isn’t it?” he teased, gently.

Ryouma eyed him dourly before giving Kirihara a look remarkably similar to the one Sanada had directed at Kunimitsu. Kirihara snorted and stepped around Ryouma to place himself between Echizen and Kirihara’s erstwhile captain. Ryouma’s mouth quirked, and he abandoned that front, apparently satisfied, to saunter over and stand inside Kunimitsu’s personal space, gazing up from under his cap with a gleam in his eye. Kunimitsu stood his ground and looked back with, he hoped, sufficient coolness to indicate that he had no intention whatsoever of being tempted into a public display and Echizen could just put a leash on his mischief right now. Judging from Ryouma’s grin, at least the basic idea got through.

Yukimura had a hand over his mouth.

“Your team is getting ready to leave,” Kunimitsu pointed out to Ryouma. “You should join them. I’ll see you later.”

That promise seemed enough to placate Ryouma. “Sure thing,” he agreed, easily, turning back toward the stands. Kunimitsu was under no illusions that Echizen had actually chosen to shelve his mischief; the bright look he tossed over his shoulder was enough to prove otherwise. Kunimitsu couldn’t quite keep an eyebrow from twitching up with rueful resignation.

“Okay, now I’m really impressed,” Kirihara declared. A glance showed him watching the two of them, wide eyed.

“Akaya!” Sanada rapped out. Kirihara directed an obvious Well, aren’t you? expression up at him.

Yukimura appeared to be having a coughing fit, which was almost convincing, but his sparkling eyes gave away his amusement.

Echizen grinned at Kirihara and strolled down to the Seigaku team. Kunimitsu shook his head. It should be an interesting evening. “Sanada. Yukimura,” he nodded to them. Sanada nodded back, and Yukimura recovered enough to bid him a goodbye that wasn’t too very choked.

As he walked away, Kunimitsu heard Yukimura chiding Kirihara, in his soft “social voice”, for the breach of manners.

“Yes, Yukimura-san,” Kirihara said, tone repentant. “But, really! I never thought, in a hundred years, Echizen would actually catch him…”

Kunimitsu chuckled to himself. That made two of them.

He remembered the comment, later, though, as he lay on the floor of his unlighted living room, reclining on one of his two floor pillows, and stroked Ryouma’s bare shoulder. Ryouma purred and settled closer against his side, tucking his head down against Kunimitsu’s chest.

He had been more or less pounced on, as soon as the door was closed, and clothing was strewn haphazardly around the room. In fact, if he wasn’t mistaken, that was a sock hanging from the jade plant. Not that Kunimitsu had been at all a reluctant participant. But it reminded him.

“Were you chasing me, all that time, Ryouma?” he asked, ruffling his fingers through the sleek, dark hair under his cheek.

Ryouma shrugged, and twined himself still more closely around Kunimitsu. “Not really,” he answered. And then he lifted his head to give Kunimitsu an impish look. “Not any more than you were chasing me,” he added.

Kunimitsu chuckled out loud. “Fair enough.”

Which meant, he reflected, gathering Ryouma just a bit tighter against him, that they had been heading toward this more or less since they set eyes on each other.

Fair enough.


Last Modified: Feb 08, 12
Posted: Sep 26, 04
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    1. branchandroot Post author

      Fuji with the clue trout at the tennis court. Yeah, that’s very Prince of Tennis.

      Happiness is good! Happiness is a warm Ryouma. *has Beatles flashbacks from childhood*

      Remind me not to write replies when I’m a bit drunk, darling. *kisskiss*

  1. ladycrysiana

    Squee! Just…squee! And I’m joining in the plotting!Fuji love at this point, because really. Plotting Fuji! I loved Kirihara’s comment in the epilogue, too. Right. The warm fuzzies have overcome me, so I’m just going to sit by and heart at you now.

  2. ayonoi

    Thnak you so much! This was an awesome arc. Let’s hear it for matchmaking Fuji style (yeah, right, he wasn’t! Wink, wink). I was amused by the Rikkai people. I also wish for SanadaxYukimura goodness…SIGH, they are so good together. Man, I like both captains, a lot.

    You are wonderful! *huggles*

  3. kasugai-gummie

    Generally speaking, TezuRyo bores me. It bores the breathing shit out of me….

    But there are exceptions.

    Your writing is so freakingly gorgeous, so vivid, that I had to keep from making pathetic noises each time there was a particularly delicious bit of dialogue between the two.

    Which comes to a part on characterization: damn woman, you made things WORK. And that’s rare in a fandom so crackified such as this. I guess my apathy to Tezuka comes from the fact that the animators and Konomi don’t really try to define him all the more (aka: given the personality of a cardboard box) but you defined him in such a way that allowed for developement that was both believable and enjoyable.

    ;____; Woman. You are teh *LOVE*.

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *happy grin* Thank you!

      Characterization is what I focus most on, and it’s always good to hear when it rings true to readers. (I love crackfic, too, but I can’t write it to save my life. ^_^; ) Tezuka, especially, is fun to play with, because Konomi tosses off a few little hints of personality, and then just goes off and leaves Tezuka swinging in the wind of his own perfection. Poor guy. *pets Tezuka*


  4. sakurazuka-jae

    Noooo… it can’t be the end… I want MORE!!!

    I’ve enjoyed this storyline so much, especially watching Tezuka and Ryoma’s slow, gentle and almost inevitable movement towards each other. I’ve also enjoyed the way certain other people have given helpful nudges along the way (the comment in the first part about “someone had told him Tezuka liked to come here and when he found out it was Fuji…” had me howling with laughter).

    1. branchandroot Post author

      *delighted* Oh, that’s good to hear. I was a little concerned that the slow pace would frustrate readers. Nothing faster seemed plausible, though.

      *grins* Ah, Tezuka knows Fuji.

  5. moffit

    I’m with Ai Ling. I just finished reading this entire arc and have fallen in love with it. It’s the little details thrown in that make it more real, more tangible and believable. Now I find myself seeing hints of it going just this way from Ryoma’s first day in Seigaku, with the two of them chasing each other.

    You did a very, very good job with this. ♥

  6. Lami

    I love this whole arc, but on a certain level, I enjoy this last chapter the most. Must be the humour. I love your characterisation and the way you describe things so vividly. As a matter of fact, this must be at least the third or fourth time I’m reading this particular fic – it’s one of my absolute favourites in the whole fandom, and I keep returning to it whenever I’m on a TezuRyo binge. It’s just so heart-warming and well written, and leaves me with a good feeling. So, eh, I figured that I should de-stalk and give you the praise you certainly deserve for producing a gem like this. Thank you for the wonderful fic! ♥

    Also, I feel that I should mention that your FMA arc ‘After’ is one of, if not the best Roy/Ed I have ever come across and thus one that I keep coming back to as well. For these two arcs, your site will now never leave my bookmarks. I really have no idea why I had not added it earlier. 😛 So, yeah. You may trust that you’ll be hearing from me again, and if it happens to be on a day when I’m feeling less laconic (apathy is a bitch, yo) you’ll probably even get a keysmash. When I’m in the right frame of mind, a writer of your calibre can reduce me to an incoherently gibbering, randomly squeeing mess of fangirl goo. *nod*

    1. Icon for BranchBranch Post author

      *sparkles* Thank you so much! It’s great to hear that you’re enjoying the stories!

      Especially Tezuka and Ryouma, since they gave me so much trouble, getting them together in this arc. *eyes the characters with exasperation* They have so much chemistry and yet turning it toward romance took a lot of maneuvering. It’s really wonderful to hear that it came out well!

  7. ellie

    you deserve a standing ovation. You’ve captured tezuka and ryoma’s dynamic perfectly and the relationship is entirely plausible. <3 love love love.