Disclaimer: Konomi's, not mine.
Pairing: Pillar Pair (Tezuka Kunimitsu x Echizen Ryoma)
Author's Note: For clinck's TezRyo Revival!
Echizen Ryoma has no reason to believe in love.
After all, from birth, what proof has he seen that love exists? His father is hardly the prime example; despite being married to Ryoma's mother, he spends his days flipping through softcore pornography and spying on high school girls as they pass by the house. His mother, for her part, seems less upset than one might expect by this, and it's nothing like what love is supposed to be, nothing like the movies and the books.
Of course, Ryoma cares very little, and he hardly spends his time looking out for proof of true love. It doesn't upset Ryoma that love might not exist; what effect does it have on him? He only wants to play tennis, and, as far as he can tell, true love has absolutely no bearing on his life. And so he spends his days through elementary school focusing on tennis and ignoring all he girls who giggle at him and sneak love notes into his desk, and all the women his father points out to him. Who needs love, anyway? Ryoma finds girls boring and stupid, much as he finds most everything besides tennis and his kitten, and nothing his father says can convince him otherwise.
When he first meets Tezuka Kunimitsu, love is probably the last thing on Ryoma's mind. Tezuka is an amazing tennis player, is strength and fortitude and determination embodied, and Ryoma isn't sure whether he wants to be him or defeat him. Either way, love is not anywhere near the equation, and when Tezuka challenges him to a private game at the court by the tracks, his racing heartbeat and insomnia and inability to think about anything but Tezuka have nothing to do with romance. His mind is completely devoid of any thoughts of love as he approaches the court, as the game begins.
When he returns, Nanjirou finds him on the front hall. "Where have you been?" he asks. "A date?"
"Something like that," Ryoma responds, turning and heading back to his room.
He still isn't sure if he believes in true love, but after being kissed over the net by the most admirable tennis player he's ever seen after the best tennis game he's ever played, he's thinking maybe something like love might exist, after all.