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- Prince of Tennis - Undertow by Branch - This was... you know, I'm going to suck at trying to describe why you should go read this, because it's such a... building thing, it's really part of a larger arc that's going somewhere that you don't necessarily see in any one installment. You see pieces and each builds a little more on the last and I really like that in an author, much less in a TezuAto author since so few write them. But, with this story, it's also the interaction between the other characters, the insight into Hiyoshi's character while, at the same time, giving further insight into Tezuka and Atobe. The whole entire... atmosphere around their continued matches at the street courts, WHY Atobe is doing what he's doing, Hiyoshi's puzzling things out, the snarking/reactions of the Hyoutei and Seigaku regulars, the things you realize about the characters while reading, all these things added up to a wonderful fic that's both fun on its own and for that overall arc that I keep going on and on and on about. XD Plus, eeeeeeeee, flirting, in a style that I can believe for both characters, given that at least one of them isn't exactly the type to usually put on a display. XD (TezukaAtobe, but very lightly, it's only half about them, it's half about Hyoutei, too.)

- Prince of Tennis - Transpose by Branch - I suppose I really ought to be bundling these up together, since Transpose is the fourth in the arc and Undertow is third, but... enh. I read at an odd pace, so I'll rec when/what I feel like. ^_~ The author calls this Porn With Insights and I like that description here, because it fits--yes, there's smut and it's HOT. But it's only half because it's hot smut, it's also half because there's a certain understanding to the characters, not so much the way they think, but the way they feel, the things that are nearly beyond words, those vague sensations that I have such trouble putting into words myself. Which is one of the things that impresses me when an author can do it without being pretentious; when they can get across that feeling of of a raging storm without degenerating into nothing but cliche descriptions. This was... there was atmosphere to it. Plus. You know. Pretty smut. I always like that. XD (TezukaAtobe, R-rated content.)

- Prince of Tennis - Years by Jennifier D. - When I look back on this fic, having read it a few days ago... one of the things that sticks out most in my mind is that I liked what Jenn-san did with the story and the characters, in that I could buy that Tezuka and Atobe didn't pick up on their feelings for each other. So often, an author's characterizations are watered down or dumbed down so that they'll pine until the author has wrung the appropriate amount of angst out of them before they can get together and it feels... well, forced and doesn't ring true. But I liked the way Jenn-san characterized them here and I like all the little details she puts into a story so that you can just... get a genuine sense of where the characters' lives have gone in the future. She doesn't spend a ton of time detailing them out, but you still can feel where they are in their lives, I thought. Plus, as we all know, I'm a sucker for her TezuAto interaction, the way they sort of spark off each other, yet never losing the sense of intelligence and that vague sort of elegance I associate with them. ....yeah, okay, the rec sucks, but it's a good fic. So there. >:D (TezukaAtobe, some references to FujiRyo and TezuRyo.)

- Prince of Tennis - Already Are by Branch - Okay, so I kind of feel guilty that I haven't had a chance to catch up on Emily's other writing yet (Oho, they are so sitting cute and pretty on my laptop to read when I do, though.), but, pffttt, of course I had to MAKE time for a TezuAto fic. And this story was just... it's so much of what I want this pairing to be, intelligent and caring, but not overly dramatic or sappy. I mean, Atobe quotes poetry and it works. No, really, it does. It makes fantastic sense for the character because it's not OMG SO ANGSTY but it's also not OMG SO PRETENTIOUS, either, it's... well, Atobe. Also, the story touches on something that totally gets to me with these two--the parallels and contrasts, the way they're different and yet similar and has it MAKE SENSE that Atobe is thinking about these things. They way they affected each other, the way Atobe feels about his team and responsibilities, and just... *happy sigh* it was lovely writing as always and lovely characterization and just the perfect fix for me this morning. ♥ (Tezuka/Atobe.)

- Prince of Tennis - Never Surrender by trixie -, you should have seen the horribly sad little squeak and dive I did when I was checking comms to see if anything had been posted for Tezuka and/or Atobe's birthdays and saw that trixie had written R/NC-17-ish Tezuka/Atobe fic. It was really sad. But. Anyway. In some ways, it's awful to feel conflicted over a fic, but in other ways, it's really nice because that means the fic was potent enough to get to me. trixie is a wonderful writing, her prose and dialogue are so sharp and readable, that I just sink into her stories and don't come out until they're done. Her dialogue is sharp and sparkling--every time Atobe said anything, I was practically grinning like a maniac because he's so... entertaining. Also? When four words from Fuji can cause a mini-maelstrom in my fangirl heart, I know I loved the dialogue. And I'm conflicted because... when I look at a situation where Tezuka is between Atobe and Fuji, I can't help but pull towards Fuji's side, it just resonates with me more. Especially with the emotional aspect, rather than simply physical attraction. But then you toss Atobe in, gorgeous and sexy and intelligent and brilliant and there's that fierce attraction there... it hurts when half of me wants to just smack Tezuka on the back of the head to go be with him, but the other half of me is pining over the Tezuka/Fuji. Which, as much as it hurts my little fangirl heart, makes the story that much more fascinating to read. Plus, it's just a lovely story on its own--beautiful writing, sharp characterization, and beautiful smut. The kind of smut I like so much for Tezuka and Atobe; hot, intense, fiery, and aggressive. Oh! Oh! And the scene between Tezuka and Oishi at the end? Wonderful friendship stuff. I swear, you'd have a tough time making a fic that was more up my alley. XD (Tezuka/Atobe, R/NC-17-ish graphic content, vague, vague references to Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - Delta by Branch - *long, satisfied sigh* Given that I read these around the time of Atobe and Tezuka's birthdays, this was exactly the perfect thing I could have asked for--Tezuka/Atobe fic that's... well, yes, all the things that I could want, right down to the intelligent, elegant atmosphere and the beautiful, intense lime scene. I love the line she strides with Atobe--very full of himself, very insightful and, well, diva-ish, but not a charicature of himself. It's the same with Tezuka--he's reserved and stoic, with the passion you know he has underneath, but it's not a parody of himself. Everything feels so... in-depth, I guess, which it needs to feel like with a cast of these characters (Tezuka, Atobe, Fuji, etc.), because they're all so complex and not ones to wear everything of themselves on their sleeves. Atobe's conversation with Fuji about Tezuka is beautifully done, layered in all those little subtleties that it needed to be, sharp, pointy barbs covered in smooth, polite words on both sides, neither really giving, but still managing to get somewhere. The characterization sparkles, they're all just so... believably them and it makes my little fangirl heart go *dokidokidoki* over them. Plus? The final scene between Tezuka and Atobe? Enough to bliss me out for an entire day, for the beautiful language used, the intensity and hotness of the light smut, the dialogue that was... heart-warming without being OOC, just... ahahaha, another rec that really sucks because I'm just so delighted with the story. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ <---there, that probably sums up my reaction better (Tezuka/Atobe, R-ish content.)

- Prince of Tennis - Static Conversation by hoshi_no_koe - I liked this story, it was... well, I suppose "cute" wouldn't be the word to describe Atobe in it, but it's kind of what comes to mind, because... it's the sort of dynamic that reminds me of why I liked Tezuka/Atobe interaction. Atobe frustrated with Tezuka's impenetrable layer of lack of small talk, until he practically has a hissy fit (which shouldn't have worked, but I found myself grinning with delight and terribly amused) and Tezuka just sort of looks at him and asks him to go fishing, and I love, love, loved that the author never said it, but I clearly heard the, "You could have just asked to do something instead of preening over mindless small talk." Just a little sparkly thing that made me happy to read. <3 (Tezuka/Atobe.)

- Prince of Tennis - without you by omi - Do you KNOW how long it's been since I read any decent Tezuka/Atobe. WAY TOO LONG. And this was... part of me hesitates to say that this is sort of the way things would have to go, given that Tezuka and Atobe are both only sons and would need to carry on their family names, because this is also Prince of Tennis and not always meant to reflect the real world. And yet... such a lovely, quietly heartbreaking fic because I imagine that this would be the way things would go, those last few days before they had to seperate, each of them beautifully, achingly in character. Yes, it's angsty, but it's not over-the-top angsty, which made it hurt more for me. And there are some lovely little details--Oshitari's conversation with the Seigaku regulars in their chance meeting, the description of Tezuka and Atobe's last night (which was just enough to make me go all sparkly eyed at the lovely imagery *fangirls*) and the ending was written just right so that my little fangirl heart seized up in exactly the way it was supposed to. Lovely fic. (Tezuka/Atobe.)

- Prince of Tennis - Valentine's Day by omi - I will mention that I read the author's post about the fic/characterizations ahead of time, so that got me inside her mind a little better and I think that helped me a lot when reading this story, to get where she was coming from. (And it helped that I agreed strongly with the essay, to the point that it eeriely reflected my own thoughts at several points. ♥) Then I skipped over to read the fic and was just... *fweeee!* It's been far too long since I found a TezuAto author that did well with the characters, who did justice to Atobe's personality, who did justice to Tezuka's personality, who walked the line between that match between them being the stuff of legends, but that there was more to them than just one moment of greatness. Plus, holy crap, the image of Atobe attempting to make chocolate and being just terrible at it should have been so incredibly cliche, but worked for me here, because he was still... that line between his ego and the way Tezuka stripped away so much of the unimportant stuff to get straight at the core of him and it shows here. ....okay, ending the rec now before I repeat my character essays and instead shoving everyone towards the adorable Valentine's Day fic. If the writing is a little rough at first, stick with it, by the end of the story, I was quite in love. >D (Tezuka/Atobe.)

- Prince of Tennis - Shining by Jennifier D. - It was a game, something alive, and to stay at the top, one had to fight constantly to keep one's position and reputation. It wasn't like a title, similar to the piano degree he had a home, but an ever-changing focus on the courts. Jennifier D. does one of the best Atobe voices I've read in fandom, she captures that egoism about him, but it's never really over the top or parodyish, and it's tempered with genuine elegance and brilliance. He doesn't come off as a joke or silly to me here, he comes off like... Atobe, the character who put stars in my eyes and fascinates me. The way he looks at the other players on his level, the way he approaches tennis, the way he demands of himself to be the best, the way people like Yukimura affect him, the way he progresses throughout his life, the way Tezuka affected him... it all just works for me. *__* (Maybe a faint hint of ZukaAto if I squinted, but it's really a gen Atobe piece.)

- Prince of Tennis - Black Satin by mei - I liked this, the way different people wake to the world each morning, the way Tezuka wakes, the way Atobe wakes, the things it says about them, but without dwelling on that. Plus, it's a lovely morning fic, waking up to your lover next to you, quiet little touches and I could buy this, for both characters. I really liked the way the intimacy was written between them--not sappy or too much, but in the quiet of their bed, it's a little softer while still being them. Plus, I just like the imagery a lot. <333 (Tezuka/Atobe.)

- Prince of Tennis - Locker room conversation by metafaust - My utter scouring of the 'net for readable fic with Tezuka and Atobe brought me to this fic, which I actually liked more for the style of it than the pairing itself. It's difficult to pull off an all-dialogue fic with that many characters (the rest of the Seigaku team discusses Tezuka being seen with Atobe XD) and still make them distinctive and IC. I could keep track of this fic and thought the characterization was solid, which is such a treat. :D (Tezuka/Atobe implied.)

- Prince of Tennis - Trinity of Lights by Katharos - *squeaks* Oh, good god, everyone cover your ears now, okay? (Well, eyes.) For my sake, so I don't lose what last shred of dignity I may still have in the eyes of other people. Because! Tezuka/Fuji/Atobe threesome fic. And it was good, genuinely clever, and had a squeak-inducing ending. You have no idea. NO IDEA. How badly I wanted this fic. The characterization was fabulous, the way Atobe and Fuji played off each other, the way they get so insane around each other while not being over the top or cliche about it here, the way Tezuka has to very carefully not massage his forehead or look for the bottle of aspirin around these two. The little details of the Christmas theme were brilliant, the characterization was brilliant, the whole thing was just.... eeeee, omg, LOVE. ♥ And I mentioned the ending had me in a gooey fangirl pile, yes? Because yeah. Especially because this worked here and I was beginning to despair that it could not be done. (Tezuka/Fuji/Atobe.)

- Prince of Tennis - Tradition by rei_kurasaki - Do you know how often I find TezuAto fic that doesn't make me want to throw rocks at the screen? NOT OFTEN ENOUGH. And I think this one worked for me because I didn't want to throw rocks at Tezuka's characterization, because Atobe was just pretentious enough for me to actually recognize him. The way he's still just so smitten with Tezuka, while not losing himself in the feeling, the way the ending made me smile. <3 (Tezuka/Atobe.)

- Prince of Tennis - Gift Giving by Katharos - I ♥ Katharos for writing a sequel to Trinity of Lights, because I marvel that a Tezuka/Fuji/Atobe triangle could actually be done without Fuji and Atobe killing each other, but without leaving out how similar they are and how that would lead to tension. In this one, she does a nice job of strengthening that side of the threesome, while not forgetting what makes the whole thing great--Tezuka torture. ♥ Because Atobe and Fuji competing, all the little details of just how they clash (oh, god, the gifts, so much hilarity) and it's all sparkly and clever and my OT3 makes me happy. *sparkles* (Tezuka/Fuji/Atobe.)

- Prince of Tennis - Never Surrender by Jennifier D. - I hadn't rec'd this story up until now because previously it was flocked, but since Jenn-san unlocked it and I have been craving good TezuAto fic, I went back to reread and rec this time. Because she is still and likely always will be my favorite author for these two, that undefinable quality she has that makes me think in terms of elegant lines and graceful use of shading, something that the manga has that I can't quite define. Because I can hear and see her characters, there's this gorgeous sharpness to the way they think, the way they talk, all these little details that add to this elegant quality of writing. (I know I repeat myself, but there is something about Jenn-san's writing that leaves me in a gibbering mess of fangirl goo.) Even when they're wrestling against each other for just the right position, there's that fabulous sense of competetion and spark, but there's also a glorious and genuine connection of caring between them. She does justice to these characters, they're... real, not just charicatures of themselves. Atobe is a diva, but he's a real person. Tezuka is stoic, but a real person. I cut my teeth in this fandom on her characterizations and I still come back to them as my favorites. Also? The smut is hot. Not just because it's these characters, but because it's damned fine smut. Because it sent me into orbit today just as much as it did back then. ♥ (Tezuka/Atobe, NC-17 content.)

- Prince of Tennis - perfection lite: ver. pride and honour by Jennifier D. - *happy sigh* No, really, you have no idea how grateful I am to Jenn-san, because she's one of the few authors that make this kind of style work. It's not quite dream-like, but there's a touch of something almost philosophical about it, a soft, flowing, poetic sort of style that works for her, where other authors can make me feel like I'm sinking into a miasma of overly heavy imagery or vague phrasings. There are so many little lines in this story that I want to quote, the kinds that show these wonderful little insights into the characters, written in her style that I just find so lovely. I love to read her takes on the characters, the lines of prose that make me gravitation towards the characters... but I also adore the dialogue at the end, the conversation Tezuka and Atobe have, the way they speak in speech patterns that really do feel like beautifully translated Japanese to me (which is something I don't get a sense of often enough and I crave it being well-done, because they really do come from a culture that's so... Eastern, yet it's never overt, it's always subtle, something you can't put your finger on), yet still so terribly clever. Just... *happy sigh* (Tezuka/Atobe.)

- Prince of Tennis - Twenty Feelings Experienced By Tezuka Kunimitsu by blackjacks - This fic has a stronger take on Tezuka than I usually find, there were one or two moments I might have quibbled, but there were a lot more moments that I thought had a particularily good turn of phrase or a really good insight (#7 is particularily hard-hitting in a rather brilliant way) and the writing itself is quite lovely. The author also makes it very coherent, it could have just been random moments scattered all over the place, but she does a really nice job of getting across feelings, of making Tezuka human without ruining the character or his role as GOD in the series. Also? Yeah, I liked the hints of TezukaxAtobe that weren't glaring, but were woven nicely underneath. (Some Tezuka/Atobe, but it's not the point really.)

- Prince of Tennis - Come Back by sunflower1343 - After reading this piece, I stopped to stare at it for awhile, because I couldn't decide which side of the fence I wanted to come down on. But for every reason that I wanted to take a red pen to the fic, there was a reason I more than just liked the fic. Tezuka's characterization needed a little fine-tuning, he was a little too easy to rile and would have been more measured and controlled in his responses, even when highly frustrated. Atobe, on the other hand, was lovely and just sparkled in that clever way that's needed for the character. His characterization alone is worth reading the story for, I think, especially if you don't have my hang-ups. *wry* But, also, the writing itself is lovely and the chemistry between the two characters is strong and I would be curious to see where the author goes from here. I think that's enough to put it on my list of authors to keep an eye out for. :D Plus, omg, TezuAto! The world needs more! (Tezuka/Atobe implied.)

- Prince of Tennis - winning the war by aki_omoi - itís as if his whole world has been turned upside down and changed, the world seems shaded in different hues, yet the world remains the same, heís the only one that changed. As always, the author's writing continues to be lovely and I'm delighted that she's taken to writing TezuAto now, even if this does turn out to be her only one, ever. XD She has all these lovely little turns of phrase, this way of writing the subtext/UST between Tezuka and Atobe, so that it's practically a tangible thing rather than her having to state that it's there. It just is. Plus, she has this gorgeous way with imagery that I would seriously love to steal. Just for a weekend, I promise! (Tezuka/Atobe.)

- >Prince of Tennis - XTLC by trixie - I feel like I haven't read Tezuka/Atobe fic in ages, so I was glad to see that trixie had posted one tonight. I meant to save it for later, to read off-line sometime (like I do with almost all of the fic I read), but since it wasn't insanely long, I figured I'd just skim the beginning at least. I think it was this line that officially got me to cave and read the whole thing in one sitting: Atobe made a face. "Stop being so difficult. You know perfectly well that when I say 'I made soup,' I mean 'I went to the kitchen and told Elise to make soup, and then stood around and made snide comments about how long it was taking.'" I really have such great affection for her Atobe and Tezuka/Atobe fluff and this just made me feel... warm and fuzzy in a way that TezuAto probably shouldn't but somehow does and shut up and let me enjoy my WAFF in peace! ♥ (Tezuka/Atobe.)

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