For the past six weeks I've been watching soundczech write her Tezuka/Ryoma fic Playing Grown Ups. For the past 6 weeks or so she's been posting it locked to me and Sam and Anna, and despite our varying levels of interest and experience with tenipuri canon itself we have all become quickly addicted to this fic.
I have read each and every section over and over again til the words feel smooth and soft in my memory. I've been downloading sections of it at work to read during dull moments. I have let pieces of it settle and digest and linger with me for days. Starla's writing is so understated and lovely and spare that it is easy to read and reread without feeling tired or disinterested; her writing is full of so many moments of quiet beauty and subtle longing and pure desire and yearning, and her Tezuka is a characterization that is poignant, and true, and graceful and real, and just exactly how I picture him in my mind.
Starla has, in fact, written the Tezuka/Ryoma dynamic, the fic that I've been waiting for and wanting, for months. This is basically the fic that I have been wanting to read ever since I entered the fandom. And she has written it so beautifully and subtly and with such soft attention to detail and understatement that it works on every possible level.
Tomorrow or the next day I will have a similar post to make about the equally beautiful fic flyby has been working on, and as I have been privileged to read both, I think that even though she and Starla have not been working side by side, the nature and tone and spirit of their fics reside in the same hope-filled place, cousins in this idea of a Tezuka/Ryoma dynamic that is as inherent and natural and right as it is inevitable.
This is the kind of fic I have been waiting for. Starla has written it. And it deserves to be read, and re-read, and re-read again.
Playing Grown Ups by soundczech. Rated R, 15,000 words.
Summary: Tezuka assumes he has been forgotten.
My 20th-century poetry professor was talking on Tuesday about how good literature gives you something to come back to over and over again. A good story is one thing. A story full of subtlety and understatement and understanding, that leaves you reading and re-reading and feeling just as satisfied every time; that is not a good story; that is one of the best.
Playing Grown Ups is among the best.