A Prince of Tennis Fanfic
Pairings: Tezuka/Ryoma-ish at the ending
Disclaimer: Not mine
Ryoma has his study assistance
sorted into an efficient system. He goes
to Oishi with history problems, Fuji for math, Inui when he can’t find
Fuji and is completely desperate, Kaidou for Japanese literature, and
Momo, Eiji or Kawamura when he wants a break and/or food. This pretty
much ensures that everything is covered.
He never asks Tezuka for help.
not that Ryoma is BAD at schoolwork. In fact his grades are very high
in everything, especially English. But the subjects taught in Japan are
considerably different from those he studied in America, and at his
very first Japanese literature class he realised that he had a long way
to go if he wanted to do well. And he did. It’s not just about
maintaining a high enough grade to stay on the tennis team, it’s also
because he happens to KNOW that his stupid father had never been
particularly academically successful, and he wants to outdo him. In
Initially his high grades were
achieved by a lot of
(secret) work in the evenings, but with all the extra training (and
hanging out with his sempai) that he’s doing these days, he just can’t
put in the same amount of effort that he used to. And, well, his sempai
always claim they’re there to help, right? He might as well make use of
them. Especially in his two weakest subjects, math and Japanese
literature. The level of math taught here was considerably higher than
that of his previous school, and he’d NEVER studied any Japanese
literature at all before. So he compromises.
It all works out
pretty well. Oishi is absolutely ecstatic at the opportunity to lend
his assistance with history, while Momo and Eiji love to go out and
have fun when it’s time for a break. Sometimes Ryoma keeps some
problems aside for them too, but makes sure they’re ones he already
knows the answers to. Occasionally he asks Kawamura too, but knows he
doesn’t have to worry about HIS answers.
Ryoma cons Kaidou into
helping him with Japanese Literature through the simple method of
asking extremely politely. The older boy grumbles and growls, but
ultimately his sense of obligation forces him to help, albeit
This leaves math as Ryoma’s only
other weak point.
Fortunately he has Seigaku’s own dataman on hand, although the price of
his assistance is usually to try his latest concoctions. For this
reason Ryoma prefers to ask Fuji, who is happy to provide his help in
return for some future, unspecified favour. Ryoma knows he’ll probably
regret it when Fuji calls in his marker, but that day is very vague and
far off, as opposed to the test coming up on Friday.
all one way. Ryoma helps out through other, more subtle, methods. For
example, he uses his knack for observation to accurately divine when he
should turn down Kikumaru’s offer of food because there’s an essay the
other boy is procrastinating about, and he picks up as much slack on
the tennis courts as he can, pitching in with all the chores. And he
plays tennis as best as he can, of course, but he'd do that anyway.
Nationals come and go, and the school year begins to come to an end,
with all of the associated examination pressure. One day after school,
Ryoma heads for the clay courts he first played Tezuka on. He's not
entirely sure why, aside from the irritating nagging feeling he gets in
his head when he hasn't played a decent game of tennis for a while, but
when he arrives he finds his Captain waiting for him, already changed.
unplanned game is intense and consuming, and it's dark by the time they
finish (7-5, Tezuka's win). Afterwards the sweat dries quickly, and the
two boys shiver as they rapidly change back into their uniforms. They
don't converse, but simply fall into step, heading for Echizen's house.
Tezuka is the first to breach the silence. "How is your studying for
end of year exams going?"
Echizen slants him a curious look,
"Fine. How's yours?"
Tezuka is, after all, the one who really needs to do well in order to
secure a place in High School. Not that this should be too much trouble
for him, judging by comments Ryoma has heard about his recent placing
in the third years academic ranking.
"Well, thank you."
continue on and Echizen is beginning to dismiss the rare bit of
conversation as a fluke when Tezuka clears his throat awkwardly. "Fuji
was telling me how he helped you with a math problem the other day."
"Oishi commented that your history
test score was very good."
and Kawamura also referred to your schoolwork recently. And Kikumaru
mentioned the study session he had with you and Momoshirou last week."
rolls his eyes. 'Study session' had been a euphemism for certain sempai
desperately needing help with their English and picking their kouhai's
brains for it shamelessly. Oh well, at least they'd fed him. "Hmm."
"And I saw Kaidou directing you to
some study sources the other day."
"Ah." Ryoma is beginning to wonder
where Tezuka is going with this line of inquiry.
Finally Tezuka speaks again.
"You never ask me for assistance."
doesn't respond and they walk on in silence until they reach Ryoma's
house. Ryoma stops at the gate and shakes his head when Tezuka seems
intent on walking him to the door. "My father's probably in. If he sees
you he'll want a game and you'll never get home."
and, apparently unaffected by Ryoma's non-response to his earlier
comment, turns to leave. A small tug on his jacket makes him turn to
regard the shorter boy.
"Buchou," Ryoma hesitates, and then
finally sighs. "I don't ask you for help, because I figure you already
give me enough."
There is a short pause, and then a
lets go of Tezuka's jacket, feeling heat rising in his cheeks and turns
away. He takes a step towards the gate and then Tezuka's hand lands on
his shoulder, halting him in his tracks.
"Work hard, Echizen. You've still a
long way to go."
Ryoma ducks his head. "You too,
Buchou. Don't go getting careless."
hand leaves his shoulder and there is the faintest pressure on the top
of his head, as though someone had patted it gently... or kissed it.
Ryoma waits for the blush to leave his face as Tezuka pads silently
away into the night and wishes once again that he was taller, older,
stronger. He'll get there eventually he knows, but sometimes it's hard
to have to wait.
I've still got a long way to go.
But I'm getting closer.