So, last night I talked about how soundczech and flyby (aka striking_sparks) have been working on their respective long TezuRyo fics. Starla posted hers yesterday, and if you have not read it, and you are at all interested in this pairing, then you absolutely must.
And then you should go read Chiya's fic:
Breaking Orbit. Tezuka/Ryoma, rated PG-13/R. 20,000 words.
Summary: "And what will you do then?" buchou asks quietly, voice low and serious. "What will you do when you have no one left to beat?"
I have been watching both of these authors work on these fics for a month or more, and it has been impossible for me personally not to see them as a call-and-response pair of fics, not so much in structural or plot similarity, as much as in spirit. These are both fics that believe in Tezuka/Ryoma as a dynamic that works on a fundamental level, a fundamentally good level. And I really have felt so inspired just watching them create both of these stories and hewed out of a tacit and subtle pairing this very wonderful certainty of belief in the passion and potential that Tezuka and Ryoma have together. That is why I ship them. This is the kind of fic I have been wanting to read since I stumbled my hyper way into this fandom.
Chiya has put so much love into Breaking Orbit. She has cultivated every word and every scene feels taut and intense with emotion. It's so difficult to turn away from her vision of Ryoma, discovering himself and his love for Tezuka simultaneously, as well as the nature of what they could be together. She has written what is probably the best descriptive writing about the game of tennis itself I've ever seen in the fandom, and paired it with the knowledge that Tezuka and Ryoma's relationship is inexorably bound up in their love for tennis. Last fall ssj10 and I had an exchange in which she said this:
For whatever reason,... I have found very few people who can really tap into what makes me love--'love' as in I find something real, and touching, and heartbreakingly *true* about it, that I take it with me when I leave the screen behind or put down the tankouban--such a ridiculous, campy, shounen fight story disguised as a sports manga in the first place, and that is the Love. The pure, simple, bone-crushing, heart-rending Love that is the glory of competetive sports. Because that is what it's really all about, for me. And it's not as simple as writing about some glorious 6-0 victory, or blithely mentioning adrenaline rushing to the head, or any of those pseudo-sexual descriptions of euphoria you might see tossed around in the attempted portrait of a sport. There doesn't even have to be a match for me to feel it. Quite the opposite, really. There just needs to be that ungodly passion for something so outwardly *meaningless* fused into everything that these characters are, everything that moves them and guides their interactions with each other.
I have carried this quote around with me for months, and it really encapsulates for me both what I ultimately love more than anything else about Prince of Tennis, and what I think Breaking Orbit does so well. Chiya's fic is a love story, an OT3 if you will: of Ryoma, and Tezuka, and their tennis.
Tomorrow I should have more TezuRyo and H/D recs as we wrap up the Alien (ALIENS!) challenge for pillarchallenge, but Chiya's fic gets its own entry. What are you doing still reading this post?