Categories > Anime/Manga > Prince of Tennis


by YasminM 1 review

"Ryoma likes to keep things simple." Shounen-ai.

Category: Prince of Tennis - Rating: G - Genres: Drama - Characters: Echizen Ryoma, Momoshiro Takeshi - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2005-05-03 - Updated: 2005-05-03 - 659 words - Complete

Author's Notes: In lieu of a fic that has some semblance of plot, I present to you: a monologue. Considering that I had to kick Ryoma repeatedly to get him to speak, the preceding sentence really is not all that ominous. Please note that I have only seen up to episode 64 of the anime and may have gotten some details wrong.
Distribution: My site, FicWad, and Jumpy Boys.
Disclaimer: If you think I own /Prince of Tennis/, I have a bridge in Melbourne I'd like to sell you.

Ryoma likes to keep things simple. He already finds all the complexity he needs in tennis, in the perfect fusion of nerve and sinew. When his body lets him down, he knows there is no malice in its failure. It is simply a sign that he needs to train harder and better.

People are more complicated. They do all kinds of things for all sorts of reasons, and it weighs them down like fat. Ryoma avoids social niceties because he doesn't want to be caught in its suffocating folds like his mother. But he doesn't want to be like his father, either.

He thinks he can aim higher than /that/.

Momo-sempai is as straightforward as laughter should be -- as his laugh is. Ryoma thinks at first that he would be Momo-sempai's rival (in Momo-sempai's dreams, of course), but that position has already been filled by Kaidoh-sempai. It is Tezuka-buchou who becomes the paradigm Ryoma fights to surpass, not Momo-sempai.

Ryoma supposes they become best friends by default. Dimly, in the same way he knows to take off his shoes in the genkan, he realises this is the way the story is supposed to go. Ryoma is Ryoma and Momo-sempai is Momo-sempai. They bicker and compete with each other, and trade unspoken understanding under words that never matter very much anyway.

Only he's not sure that he understands completely. It is like the slight pause he still has between reading kanji and understanding its meaning, which is all the more frustrating because by rights he should know the language. He and Momo-sempai are two boys together, so why is it that he senses unfamiliar country just beyond the Momo-sempai he sees?

He usually remembers then that he likes things to be simple. Oftentimes it is: Momo-sempai makes fun of his tardiness and cycle them both to school, and they next see each other at recess or club practice. Later there would be burgers and milkshakes, before a companionable meandering back to their homes. Sometimes they get in trouble, but it's not the kind of mess that upsets the essential simplicity of their friendship. They know each other, not quite the way Oishi-sempai and Kikumaru-sempai fall into each other but still /there/.

Ryoma knows, though, that sometimes they'd like to make sure they do understand what they think they understand. Not because they think they could be wrong, but--

Or perhaps he's the only one who thinks this way. Momo-sempai isn't the kind of person who works the gears of his underused brain for something like this, or could stay silent for long even if he does.


Ryoma never thinks about himself and Momo-sempai for too long. He doesn't want this thing between them to change; he doesn't know if it will evolve like their tennis, reaching up from a trail of exhausted sweat and the exhilaration of discovery. The other path, the one that points down to despair, is not an option.

It is different in the past when Karupin was the only softness and warmth he lets near. The thought that he likes to be close to Momo-sempai makes him uncomfortable, but it doesn't stop the way the curl in his stomach relaxes when Momo-sempai's touch lingers a moment longer.

/Still/. If he expects too much from this, it'll eventually become complicated. He knows Momo-sempai likes things to be simple too, and he wants to keep it that way.

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