Ryouma and Tezuka have a mild clash of wills, over which Ryouma gets rather frustrated.
Note: This particular story really came out of my personal opinion that the whole affair with Kevin Smith in the anime was rather inconsistent with the way Ryouma and Tezuka normally behave.
Ryouma could hear the mocking undertone perfectly well, and stifled a grin. It wasn’t quite time to grin at this one, yet. Not until Ryouma had him on the court.
Tezuka observes one of Ryouma’s matches.
He knew people had wondered, sometimes, about how hard he seemed to push Echizen, but he’d never seen it in that light. If it seemed that he placed insanely high bars in front of his best player, he did it with the sure knowledge that Echizen would go off in search of a cliff if left to his own devices.
Ryouma drags Tezuka off for an unofficial match.
When the doorbell rang, Kunimitsu knew exactly who it was. He couldn’t have said how he knew, because he categorically refused to believe that an inanimate object such as a doorbell was capable of ringing in a cocky tone just because of who was pressing it. But the information got through somehow.
Ryouma catches up to his senpai, and takes advantage of his second time around with Tezuka as his captain. This time with, perhaps, a few more insights than last time.
As soon as Ryouma came within range of the crowd noise that enveloped the high school tennis courts he started praying that his captain had a lineup for the ranking matches that would make the day, in some way, less annoying.
During Tezuka’s first year of college, and Ryouma’s second year of high school, Ryouma tracks Tezuka down again and they edge into a relationship not based on the tennis club.
Kunimitsu remembered that it had taken less than a month from the time he started high school to the day Echizen Ryouma had come to find him. He was not, therefore, entirely surprised to see Echizen now, not quite two months into Kunimitsu’s university studies.
Ryouma comes to terms rather abruptly with the reason he’s clinging to Tezuka.
At first, it had been a matter of chance, really.
Tezuka finally loses his battle to stay detached.
Kunimitsu resigned himself to the knowledge that he had just welcomed all the interest and chaos and trouble and thrill that Echizen trailed after him like a too-long scarf into yet another part of his life.
Tezuka and Ryouma achieve some closure.
When Tezuka’s tongue still only flirted with his, Ryouma nipped at it, and then made a pleased sound as Tezuka’s low laugh vibrated down the whole length of his body.
Tezuka and Echizen settle in with each other.
“But, really! I never thought, in a hundred years, Echizen would actually catch him…”