- Prince of Tennis - Captains' Pride by Jennifer D - I... am having the worst time trying to figure out what to say about this fic. I try very hard not to bring biases or baggage along with me into a fic (or at the very least not when I'm writing a rec for it), but... to be honest, that's what a recs page is. A whole big bag of biases. ^_~ I feel like I shouldn't criticize the fic because I've squee'd over stories that weren't written nearly as well. Yet at the same time, a few things itch at me, especially the randomness of the Fuji/Ryoma being thrown into the background. A few things also felt off with the characterizations, something about them didn't quite completely synch up with my own, but... I'm also aware that I'm being highly picky. The writing was very solid, the author was good, and much of how she characterized the two of them was eeriely in synch with my own views of the characters, especially the way they both are untouchable captains, yet being anything but ice cold. And it was wonderful that the way she portrayed their relationship was so close to the way I've portrayed it as well.
The little hints of lime in the story were wonderful, truly adding to the characterizations of the characters--which is one of the things I love most about (the way I see) TezuKei... they're not schmoopy, lovey characters, they're young males who would be fiercely attracted to each other and holding nothing back from the other. They would be as intense in bed as they were on the courts and while the story wasn't graphic, the hints of lime really added to the story. And I love that that match between the two characters was still brought up, still remembered by others, still affecting them, because it was that powerful. So, in summary... I liked this fic. I liked the technical style, the basic characterizations, and the way it was executed. And I guess when I can go on for this long about a fic, you know there's at least something very intriguing (to me) there. ^_~ (TezukaKeigo, some mentions of FujiRyo.)
- Prince of Tennis - Outside the Courts by Silver Wind - Given my love for TezukaAtobe, I, of course, immediately pounced on this fic and dug right in. There are so many things I want to say about it, but am having trouble putting them into a coherent rec. The thing about this fic is that... no matter what else I can say about it, the thing that I loved the most was the way it made me feel. I've been reading a lot of fic tonight and I almost don't dare read anything else, because I don't want to come down from my fic-high. What I liked was that this was just such a satisfying read, that it wasn't too long, it didn't drag anything out, but it also wasn't a small 5k fic. (Which I adore those fics, because sometimes those fics are just perfect. But I love longer fics, too. Hell, I love them all. XD) There were a million lines I feel like I could quote because they made me flutter-swoon or because they made me laugh, there were a million little details woven into the story that I just loved, and I absolutely adore the way the author characterized both Tezuka and Atobe. So. Much. Love. I. Have. *_____* <---my expresion ever since I read the fic
Originally, that was the end of the rec, but I decided to edit it a little because I realized I wasn't really done talking about the fic yet. I'm still having trouble with the words, but... I wanted to mention how much I adored the way the author wrote the characters, the way Atobe was aware of what he wanted when he looked at Tezuka, the way Tezuka had a very faint, dry sense of humor, but it was there, the elegance, intelligence, and integrity both characters displayed when around each other, and that feeling of... these are two amazing people who are such... I was going to use the word "titans", and while it's a cheesy term on my part, I think it's apt. I love that two such strong characters can be together like this, the relationship making each of them even more fascinating and stronger. Watching them in front of their respective teams was such a treat and then.... reading about the two of them in their quieter moments, when there's all this heat and intensity between them... yeah. I'm a silly fangirl in love and this fic just gave me everything I wanted. *_* (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Touch by sailorstarsun - When I saw this on FFNET, I was curious, because TezuAto is one of those pairings that snuck up on me and just pounced, digging its claws in and not letting go. I'm also very protective of it, as I want it to be treated right and... okay. There is only one thing I disagree with the author on and that is when she says in the author's notes that there's no basis for the pairing. XD Ohohoho, I saw a lot of basis for the pairing (especially Atobe's utterly smitten look towards the end of the match). Other than that... the author achieved what she set out to do perfectly--a fic that was sensual and beautiful on an aesthetic level. The fic is only PG-13 yet it made me go *_____* more than some graphic stories have, just from the pure... sensuality of it. There are also some gorgeous lines in this fic, but I think my favorite had to be: Passion, pride, love, lust; he put everything he had into that kiss. Everything he felt, everything he was, communicated in that embrace [....]. Gorgeous, gorgeous ficlet. (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Brightly Shining Star by Jennifer D - I actually read this fic last when I went through Jennifier D's stories, but I'm going to put it first on the list for reasons that will become clear as you read it. I actually debated with myself for awhile whether or not I was going to even rec this story (for reasons that will also become clear as you read it), but ultimately decided to because... well, partly because I'm such a huge TezuAto fan and partly because I would have have reacted to the story in the intended manner if it hadn't been as well-written as it was. I don't want to say too much about the story lest I spoil it, just... it was well-written, it achieved its goal, and read it first. Trust me. (Some light TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - School Excursions - part one and part two by Jennifier D - Ahhh, how much fun it was to spend some time indulging in this favored pairing of mine by reading fics written by a competent author~. I admit... the author is very competent on a technical level, something about the characterization didn't ring quite true for me here. Perhaps I'm being overly pick, which is something I'm very prone to doing. I can often be overwhelmed by a story's charm even when it has technical errors and I can also be dispassionate about a story that's beautiful on a technical level. Now, this isn't a backhanded compliment, if I thought the only positive thing about this set of stories was the prose itself, I would not be rec'ing them. I honestly enjoyed reading them and I honestly enjoyed the author's take on Tezuka and Atobe and I honestly just... enjoyed the stories.
I liked that they were recognizable, that they were the same amazing characters on the screen, and I liked the little details woven into the writing. Of the two the second one was my favorite, I really liked the way Tezuka responded in their conversation, I could just hear that. And I liked the way the story ended, not going too fast, but still moving forward. And I liked that... something between these two characters, that attention/attraction that's always there between them. So... yeah, I had fun and I'm just all happy-floaty about having one of my favorite pairs written about by an author who seems to love them as much as I do. (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Unexpected Visitors by Jennifier D - Have I gone on and on about my adoration of TezukaAtobe yet? Because if not, let me do that for a bit. I love this pairing so much, I really do. There's something so... fascinating about it, something just amazing and intense and full of chemistry and it makes both characters even more fascinating to watch; the dynamics of this pairing just make me swoon. And that's what I liked about this fic--it captured that sense of both of these two amazing characters being so strong and fantastic and the sparks just flying when they interact with each other. There were a thousand little moments that I adored here, from Atobe calling Tezuka, to the visit, to the way he reacted to Tezuka, to the way Atobe somehow managed to get what he wanted, to the way you could feel Tezuka's -_- mood mixed in with a returned attraction. The way the author described Tezuka and Atobe... I honestly think it's her best work yet and I'm very anxious to see more in this vein of her writing. Aaaaand, that's a crappy rec for a fic I genuinely liked a lot, genuinely thought captured who the characters were so very well, that genuinely made me sparkle and immediately reread. ....that sounds so much dorkier when I type it out like that. =_= (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Find a Way by Gen X - Have I fawned over Gen X enough yet? No? Well, okay, here I go again then. ^_~ This drabble is near and dear to my heart because she wrote it for me, which I'm pleased as all hell about, especially because it's good and because it made me like something I don't normally like. Namely, phone sex. Usually I don't like it because it's crude and I'd rather read about the pretty boys actually touching each other, but it works here because Tezuka and Atobe are so far away from each other, because it's more alluding to the sex than actually describing it, and because these two boys have the two most gorgeous voices in the series. I'd pay good money to hear that phone conversation. *___* Add into it lovely writing, fantastic characterization, and wonderful details and you've got a fic I've read an embarassing number of times already. >_> (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Comfort Zones by Jennifier D - *hums~* It's been a good night for TezukaAtobe and I continue to love the hell out of this pairing with an intensity that surprises me. I've become rather fond of Jennifier D's TezuAto fics, because the more she writes them, the more I agree with her take on the characters, so this was a wonderful treat to read--I liked the sense of time passing by and the way that was done in the fic without it feeling like things were missing; the pacing was just right. But the things I loved most were the little details--I especially went *hanya~n* over the bathroom scene (Well. And the beginning scene in the restaurant and back at Tezuka's apartment. Wonderful way to start off the fic, with their interaction/dynamics just perfect.) - Atobe only grunted and propped his chin on Tezuka's shoulder, eyes half-closed and brushing his teeth with a barely conscious look. Atobe Keigo wasn't a morning person. Tezuka was a morning person. They had learned to compromise along the way. It's little things like that that make me melt along with the way... mm, it's difficult to put into words. The way... things just seemed to work out with these two, somehow they worked together and everything... *repeats self* worked. And it was the perfect blend between sex and emotion, because Tezuka and Atobe are a rather physical pairing, but it's not just sex. Neither is it completely schmoopy emotions and sappy love, yet there is love. Gah. It's nearly 5am for me right now, I'm tired so I ramble. Good fic, go read. (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Beneath the Surface by Gen X - You know, it's hard for me to write recs sometimes, at least not without repeating myself terribly, because I've already said so much about what I want to say in the comments. However, what the hell, I'll just repeat myself. ^_~ What I adore about Gen X's writing is that she understands these characters and puts in these fabulous little details that just make so much sense. And with this drabble, she set this mood to the piece, she mirrored the way a storm feels and I just adore it when an author can do that. So even if I wanted to kick both of the characters for being stupid, I adore this fic because it's just so wonderfully written. (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - View From the Pantry by Ilya - You know, reading the summary of this fic (as it's Atobe x Tezuka; Tezuka x Fuji), something crystallized for me... that TezuAto has carefully made its way to being even with TezuFuji for my affections. Reading the summary, I realized that because I have my wonderful, wonderful, precious, invaluable TezuFuji niche in the fandom... I crave the same thing from TezuAto. Bah, but I'm digressing. Ilya's writing is very smooth and readable as always and I liked a lot of things about this fic--I liked Atobe's self-confidence woven into everything he thinks without it feeling like it's compensating for something. That's one of the draws I have for Atobe--he doesn't brag because he needs external validation, he doesn't brag because he's secretly insecure, he brags because he is just that damn good. Yet at the same time, you see his more human side and... wahhh, I just wanted to hug him. The little details of Fuji cooking that noxious thing he calls food, the shirt that Atobe wanted back, all these little things that just made me see the story. And then there were the lines that just hurt, because, dammit, I want Atobe, to be happy, too. *sniffles* I hate it when fics force me to choose sides against my two favorite pairings. *kicks the underside of the desk petulantly* (TezuAto, TezuFuji.)
- Prince of Tennis - Delegation a.k.a. Chibi!Atobe's Boredom Woes by Gen X - I still have trouble believing how wonderfully Gen X has gotten the crack-headedness of the chibis down into fic, because I could just picture their antics and I was alternately laughing myself silly or grinning like a demented loon over how adorable the little Hyotei chibis were. Plus! Her Chibi!Atobe is just perfect, I am truly in awe of how great and wonderful he is! I'm also impressed as hell by all the litte details she got into the fic, the way she managed to get them all into it, yet it didn't feel forced or overly bloated, it was all done just right. And, of course, the little hint of Tezuka/Atobe at the end made me delirously happy. *sparkles* (No real warnings/pairings, Hyotei-centric, a little TezuAto if you want to see it that way.)
- Prince of Tennis - Christmas by Jennifier D - And then we have a TezuAto fic to complete my morning and make me sparkle--there hasn't been a good TezuAto in quite some time and I've been suffering from the lack, I really have. ^_~ Anyway, my one complaint would be the use of "ore-sama" in the text of the fic, as it's awkward in an English story and I belive it means "me" or "I" rather than the third-person "he" it was used as. Other than that, the author has really become one of the two authors I absolutely slobber over for my semi-regular TezuAto fic (Gen X being the other), because of the way she writes both of them with such fondness. Her Atobe truly is a diva, but the wonderful, fun one I know. Her Tezuka is strong and reserved, but with true heart, and I love him. This fic also achieves that gorgeous balance between sex and emotion that my perfect TezuAto has--it's not all about either one but both are there. And, oh my god, Atobe's irritation with Tezuka's lack of a (visible) sense of humor were perfect. XD And, um, excuse me while I try not to drool over the pretty boys being naked imagery presented here and the way Tezuka could actually smile with Atobe. I suspect I'm going to fail at that. *wibbles* (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Late Into the Night by Jennifier D - There were, like, eight zillion things I loved about this story, from Tezuka pulling the dozing Atobe's hand out of his hair to drape over his shoulder to the way Atobe viewed Tezuka's dual responsibilities of homework and entertaining him to the little interruption in Tezuka's studying to the way Tezuka touched Atobe. I adore the way the author can make this whole storyline/situation come to life in such a short little drabble, because it gives a feeling of satisfaction rather than desperately wishing for more details on what the heck got them to this point. Not that I don't still want that, mind. ^_~ (TezukaAtobe, some FujiRyo.)
- Prince of Tennis - Originality by Jennifier D - Yet another reason I'm so very thankful for Japanese fanart is that it inspires the English side of the fandom and we get gorgeous stories like this one. This was... a gorgeous fic that was just naughty enough to completely and utterly make me go *____*!!! in all the right ways, yet it was still beautiful in imagery. I love it when a fic can do both. *hanyan~* Plus, the rest of Seigaku's role in this fic had me in hysterics (especially Fuji! XD) and Atobe was perfect and Tezuka... god, how I adore Tezuka, how with even just a few small gestures he has me *____*!!! all over the place. *____*!!! (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Competition by Jennifier D - I will attempt to reign in the shrieking fangirl part of myself to sound at least semi-coherent, despite my love for this story. Jennifier D's work has a lot of things to adore about her writing--it's beautiful prose, clever dialogue, wonderful characterization, and she writes these stories that... just leave me happy afterwards. She knows how to write Tezuka and Atobe so amazingly well, she makes the magic of their relationship come alive for me--I know I've said it a hundred times by now, but it's really Atobe's irresistable force meets Tezuka's immovable object that makes me sparkle over this pairing, the way these two are able to get under each other's skin like no one else (even if you can't see it). I am completely in love with the three points in time portrayed here--the past was especially just... absolutely perfect. And the present... the way Tezuka inspires Atobe to be even more than he already is... it makes my fangirl heart skip with love. ....I'll shut up now. ^_~ (TezuAto.)
- Prince of Tennis - It's Raining Outside by Cali-chan - There were a few things off about this story (I believe Japanese teenagers can drink much, much earlier than 18, I had a bit of a hard time with Tezuka's hesitancy or believing that he was a virgin, and Atobe's sexually decadent, bordering on slut-ish, attitude), but part of that could just be that I have this very set view of the characters, someone else had a different view, and I'm a picky bitch. I freely admit that. ^_~ And I just wanted to mention that 'cause my journal, my recs, my opinions, all that. The reason I'm rec'ing this story anyway is 1) hot sex and I gleefully pounce on any nicely written TeniPuri smut. And it was nicely yum indeed. 2) The ending totally won me over, I could just SEE that. I adored the way Atobe looked at Tezuka as an equal, the way he was intrigued by him, knew he was gorgeous, was even a little intimidated by him, yet also knew Tezuka was lucky to have caught his attention in the first place. I liked the way Tezuka was staunch in his beliefs, the way he met and matched Atobe's aggression and the actual intercourse part? Um, excuse, I have a puddle of goo to melt into over here.... I also adored the morning after and what ultimately won me over? Atobe's little demand of Tezuka at the end. So perfect for him. XD XD XD (TezukaAtobe, graphic content.)
- Prince of Tennis - Kama Sutra by kasugai gummie - This story was just... fun, very light, cute, humorous, and a nice read with some really, really funny lines. (My favorite was the description of Momo, who came to deliver Atobe's birthday present: "Some guy who looked as if a hedgehog crawled onto his head and died there-" Hee! XD) And while I admit the usage of "Ore-sama" is awkward (and, as I understand it, is used to refer to oneself, not a third-person pronoun replacement), but given that this was a humor fic, it didn't clash as much as I thought it would. (And by now everyone should know that I have a bee in my bonnet over that anyway. ^_~) The real treat of this story is the very smooth writing, the wonderful sense of timing (which can be a bitch to do in text), and the lovely, lovely characterizations that I could just SEE. *snuggles the author's Atobe and sparkles* Plus. You know. Some really nice mental imagery. Mmm. :9 I enjoyed muchly. (Some light TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Quiet Sweet by sailorstarsun - This is one of those stories that touches the romantic fangirl in me, that isn't so sappy that I feel like I have to take a shower afterwards, but is just... sweet. The title is an apt one, because it is quiet, sweet, and not about boys gushing how much they love each other, but about subtle moments and actions that show how much they want to be near each other. What I loved about this is that it's just a single, quiet moment on a single night, yet it shows the softer side of their relationship. Toss in some lovely writing, some little touches between them to make me squee, and you've got a fic that just... gahhhh, I'm sorry. I have to go be a squeeing fangirl in the corner now because I'm getting all melty. ^_~ (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - The Real Atobe by mayze - This was a nice, sweet, short little story that was just a quiet moment into Tezuka's perspective, especially regarding Atobe. The thing I liked most is that Tezuka specifically had no regrets, because he doesn't, if he had the same choice to make all over again, he would do the same thing. And I like that Tezuka can see past the narcissistic egotist Atobe to see that there's someone worth more than that there, to bring out in Atobe. I also liked that it was just a short, quiet moment, revealing and subtle without hammering things into our heads. And I really needed this TezuAto fix today. ;_; (Some very light Tezuka+Atobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Want it or Not by sailorstarsun - This is exactly what I needed to cheer my inner TezuAto fangirl up, because she was getting a little listless lately (though, all the confirmation of the TezuAto stuff in 20.5 helped muuuuuchly, too). Smut is always, always wonderful, but especially so when it's well-written, clever, amusing, and hot. It made me happy because it was them, the back and forth antics between the two of them, each of them suseptible only to the other, Tezuka's incredible self-control and Atobe's incredible... well, Atobe-ness. XD *happy, floaty sigh~* And, of course, I loved that Atobe would do something like this, because he delights in trying to get Tezuka to twitch. And, of course, I also love that Tezuka's major weakness seems to be how much he can't quite resist indulging his gorgeous boyfriend. ....I'm such a goober for these two. >_> (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Kirei na.. ~decision~ by sailorstarsun - You know, sometimes I just want fluff or one of those dippy romantic stories that make my inner squishy fangirl sigh happily like the fourteen year old girl she resembles. Which sounds like a backhanded compliment, but isn't really because I genuinely liked this story for the same reasons I genuinely like Sailor Moon--because I am a romantic at heart, because the sense of sweeping romance makes me flutter happily. Well, and because I really do adore the image of Atobe and Tezuka dancing in formal clothes like that. *hanyan~* sailorstarsun is one of the few authors I know I can count on for my ZukaAto fix (that I desperately crave sometimes) because the writing is always pretty and flows well. Also? The little bit at the end with Shishido and Ohtori was wonderful, I just adore cranky!Shishido sometimes. (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Smooth Lines and Crossed Paths by Jennifier D - I could swear I've rec'd "Smooth Lines" before, but I guess not, since I can't find it on my list of recs anywhere. At any rate, it gives me a chance to comment on these two together, because it'll save some shrieking on your eardrums this way. ^_~ The thing that so impressed me about "Smooth Lines" is that I've had similar thoughts before--it's one of the problems that plague characters like Tezuka, who take their responsibilities seriously, no matter what their heart wants. Jenn's Tezuka is rapidly becoming one of my favorites, because I see him so clearly, because he's so strong, yet still human, because the clues are there for his personality if you know where to look. Her writing is lovely as always and while I could have appreciated "Smooth Lines" ending where it did, I'm also incredibly glad for the sequel "Crossed Paths", despite how much I ached the entire time I was reading it. I like these two stories because not everything is perfect, but things turn out to be okay in the end. I liked these two stories because the characterization was wonderful and I could believe these events. And I liked them because, dammit, I needed a TezuAto fix. *shining eyes* (TezukaAtobe.)
- Prince of Tennis - Date-O by Sai - *cackles* This was absolutely hysterical, the humor beautiful and the characterizations just spot on in my eyes. The thing that I loved about this was that it skirted the edge of gen and shounen ai so beautifully that I could almost believe this would happen in an actual episode--especially considering Fuji's mischevious nature. Certainly, I could be see everything happening and the author has a gift for comedic timing in novel form. It's difficult to get down jokes in a fanfic that have the same feel and timing as the series itself, but I totally got that off this fic, not to mention I loveloveloved Tezuka, Fuji, Atobe, and Eiji's reactions. Just... BWAH. So funny.
Especially Fuji and the way I could believe that he set something like this up--none of the characters were dumbed down for his little trick to work and god bless the author for that. Also, little touches like the scene at the ice cream palor (With Inui's diagram and stick figures! *sporfles* Or Tomoka's eyes just barely peeking over Sakuno's head while they're spying--I love little things like that that can make me just picture a scene.) or Inui's random facts that make the team go "WTF!? How do you know that!?" Much, much love for this fic. ♥ Oh, and? The little bit of Tezuka - Fuji interaction at the end? Beautiful. Especially Tezuka's way of being pissed and Fuji's reaction. ♥ (Actually gen, but hints of Tezuka/Atobe and I was totally reading Tezuka/Fuji into the end.)
- Prince of Tennis - Backstage (Chapter 01, chapter 02, chapter 03, and chapter 04) by Branch - Oh, man, there are no words for how glad I am to see Branch writing Tezuka/Atobe fic, because... just... *happy vibrations* there are a certain handful of authors (Jennifier D and Aishuu were two of them as well) that I never discussed things with beforehand, but we seemed to have reached so many of the same conclusions on the characters, to the point that it's eerie. (The Atobe - Fuji comparison is the one that sticks out most in my mind, because how many times have I said that or made that case? But I was also totally *____*'ing over Atobe detailing the antics of his team to Tezuka, who's gently amused, because I have had similar and thoughts and, eeeee, no only does that make ME feel smart to be in synch with an author I really like, it makes me happy because this is how I see them! ♥) And reading this story... oh, it's what I'm looking for, I can't put it better than that, I don't think. Not everyone is going to react the same way, but for me... there are good reads and then there are the things I'm looking for and this was so very much the latter.
It was marvellously in character and in line with how I see them, it was clever and, oh, how I will go on about a fic that's not only got a wonderful graps on the character, but one where the dialogue is actually CLEVER. The interaction between Tezuka and Atobe was just... I hum and sparkle over it because there's no clear favorite between the two, because they're both so gorgeously THEMSELVES, because it's not Atobe-favorism, because it's not Tezuka-favorism, because it's the dynamic between them that's the focus of the scenes rather than how one in particular bounces off the other. The slow building towards something is just... leaving me in that happy, swoon-y place, because I can BUY THIS, especially because they're more honest here, but they're not sappy or saccharine, they're THEMSELVES. *bounces* Man, you can see how hard I've been pulled back to these two amazing characters after a fic like this, can't you? (Tezuka/Atobe, though, it could easily pass for gen at this point.)