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- Prince of Tennis - refulgent by kleos_fic - So, aki_omoi pointed me towards this fic and... wow, this is the kind of fic that makes me want to let out a long, breathy sigh because the writing is so beautiful, because the characterization is that gorgeous, lovely style that makes me just want to swoon, because Fuji is so beautifully Fuji, especially when he's thinking of Tezuka. The way the author uses something so simple as a postcard to turn it into this gorgeous fic just... I lose my coherence trying to describe it. It's subtle and beautiful and genius and all the things that made me fall for TezuFuji in the first place. I wish I could say it better, but instead you must settle for: ♥♥♥ (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - Across and Fairytale by aki_omoi - I'm putting these two stories together since they were put into the same post. The first one is mostly about TezuOishi that, over time, somehow slips into OishiEiji and TezuFuji, without being terribly obvious about it. It's both very insightful, has all these gorgeous little details about such things as personal space or little comments they make to each other, the kind that just brilliantly illuminate the relationships and, in the case of Fuji being near Tezuka, made me feel the gravitational pull there, but also makes me light up with delight because she's so very in synch with the characters. But! At the same time it also does justice to the Tezuka/Oishi friendship, with this sort of sparklingly clear, beautiful way of writing the characters.

With Fairytale... you know how you sometimes have a fic that is filled with so many lovely little moments that you worry you'll be lost in the forest because of all the trees? That there are so many little lines that you want to stare at, that could be mini-fics of their own, and you want to read it as the peak of the fic, because it's just so right? This fic was like that for me, because each line that discussed the progression of Tezuka and Fuji's relationship over the last couple of years, the utter brilliance with which it's married to the canon timeline and characterizations and details, yet still infusing this marvelous sense of something that's almost like fairytales waiting to come to life, only in a modern-day, mundane setting, yet being all the more wonderful and brilliant for it.

I don't mean to give the impression that the story is like a fairytale telling or anything like that, but there's a sense of it, a parallel somehow, and it's utterly breathtaking for it. It is also breathtaking for the way Tezuka understands Fuji in the ways that are important, the way it has always been only a matter of time before Tezuka unravels the mystery, even when he's not actively trying, that he simply somehow understands. There is a realness, an almost physical sensation to many of the scenes (that afternoon in the rain, the aftermath, the next few days as Fuji feels almost transparent, yet still so beautifully in character) and a beauty to this that makes my teeth ache. I know I'm gushing, but... goddamn, this is my TezuFuji button right here. (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- 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 - Evenly by Maaya - This was just somehow a really nice, lovely, wonderful read when I was looking for something exactly like it. The writing is subtle without being obscure, the characters depthful and done right, I actually squeed over Tezuka and Fuji both in this fic. It was the first scene that did it for me, the way Fuji needles Tezuka and the response he got just made me go ♥ ♥ ♥. But it was also the locker room scene that just... yes, that's the TezuFuji I wanted to read, that's the dynamic I adore between them. Also, the ending is lovely, too. *happy* (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - your law of gravity by aki_omoi - What can I say about the author's writing that I haven't said several times over by now? That it's lovely and lyrical and the epitome of what I want with TezuFuji fic? That it has this beautiful quality to it that just makes me sparkle and remember why I love these characters? The way it manages to write this pretty imagery or this winding way with words or the simple way Fuji smiles and gives nothing away and it's not pretentious, instead it's lovely? The way Fuji looks at Tezuka or the way Tezuka seems to see into Fuji like no one else can or the way Fuji's thoughts are like water, they're gracefully flowing from one to the next, always with elegant motions, never quite able to be captured fully before they're slipping away again? I could read this kind of story endlessly, it seems. (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - Twenty Facts About Changing and Not by Maaya - So then I skip off to read this TezuFuji fic, having adored the previous one by the author and I knew right from the very first one on this list that I was going to sparkle like mad over this story. The author continues to actually be subtle about the characters, to breathe life into the little details without forcing them out of their character molds. Something so simple as Tezuka and Fuji meeting in a convenience store out of random chance works here because the author is very deft and light with her touch. And, oh, the lovely details, from plants on Fuji's windowsill to the paintings on his wall to the butterflies that come and go, this was just... clever, I thought. I'm very glad to have read. ♥ (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - People Talk by Ranier - This was a nice little TezuFuji fic that I found interesting and by the time the end rolled around... I really rather liked the way the author portrayed the characters. Fuji's teasing, Tezuka's lack of reaction until you least expect it, yet he's so Tezuka about it, so direct, or the way Fuji sees the world, almost a lyrical quality to it, but that's not quite it. The way he can be human here while still Fuji, that's such a lovely thing. But I also like the way the author keeps her theme throughout the entire piece without beating it into our heads too much, the way people talk and how they talk is worked into everything. It just... has a really nice pacing and I really liked the solid characterizations. *beams* (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - Fireworks by canarycreams - The writing of this piece was a little rough around the edges, it could have been smoothed out to make an even prettier fic, but all the pieces are there. The author uses lovely, subtle imagery that fits well with the atmosphere she's building, the characterizations are very on-target, the little details and descriptions that pop up really made the view of the whole scene nicely sharp and clear in my head. I also read all the way through to the end, which says a lot given my attention span lately. The fic has a lovely tone to it, something that's just yearning enough to make it work, but without going over the top into angst. And, oh, the last few lines made me melt into goo. <3 The author did justice to the festival theme, which is a favorite of mine. :D (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - apt#(one) by Charlotte - aki_omoi originally pointed this fic out and I'd read the author's TezuAtoFuji OT3 fics (that I just about exploded over, from sheer delight ♥), so I was looking forward to this fic. One of the things that I've noticed about the author is that I actually enjoyed reading the author's notes of all things. They had just that particular lilt or tone to them that actually achieved the humor she was going for. But then there was the fic. With a million different little moments and details of Tezuka and Fuji living together in America, so that not only is it genuinely clever and quite brilliant, it's also believable, the kind of fic that I don't even have to try to picture, because it's just there in my head. And, man, the sense of... two Japanese boys in America, the hints of culture shock that they're both good at smoothing over and adapting to, but still the faintest hint of being a little out of synch... I loved that. It's part of what made the fic so believable. And then there's grocery shopping and making dinner and answering the phone and doing homework and still playing tennis and getting sick and interacting with the neighbors and it's all this beautiful mosaic of moments that's sharp. Plus, hey, TezuFuji fluff that's actually really, really good! ♥ (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - The Definition of Failure by Kentra Shinataku - I've often liked Kentra's fics previously, so when I saw she had written something for top_cagnotte, I was curious to see. Plus, I've been in a TezuFuji mood lately--shut up, I know I'm always up for TezuFuji, but you know what I mean XP--and actually wanting to read fic. This is another one I'm glad I gave a shot to because the writing is good and I like the author's take on Fuji and the way she has him missing Tezuka, but not being overly angsty about it. I like that they're seperated here, the way Fuji responds to this even as he goes about the aftermath of Seigaku's victory over Rikkai, the way he interacts with Yukimura, the parallels and constrasts drawn with the SanaYuki relationship that weren't over the top. This was just a good read that I'm glad was posted. <3 (Tezuka/Fuji, Yukimura/Sanada.)

- Prince of Tennis - untitled by Aki - [Note: This fic is locked, but Aki friends anyone who asks, so I make an exception. Plus, she's Aki, of course I'm going to make an exception. ♥] I just... *flaps hands incoherently* Every time I think I can't possibly love Aki as much as I do, she goes and reminds me of just why. And how I would happily drag her into every fandom I could or follow her like a puppy to whatever she wanted. Because her TezuFuji is brilliant, because she can make me feel a moment, make me feel the tension in the air or the tiniest little gestures from either character. Because both characters are just so utterly perfect, from what's going on with Fuji to Tezuka's reaction to the three seconds of silence between them that I felt right down to my bones. Just... man, Aki puts me over the moon every single time, I swear. (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - anomalies and fireworks and dear abby by Charlotte - I continue to flutter my hands incoherently every time I try to explain that certain quality to certain TezuFuji fics, because it's more than just good writing, there's a certain line that has to be hit just right with both characters. I don't necessarily demand something terribly clever, but when I do manage to find that in a fic? Purr. Which is my way of vaguely getting on towards the point that I really like this author and, omg, Fuji starting an advice column could have been so bad or Fuji watching Tezuka breathe/sleep could have been so dull, but they sparkle in her hands. And the final scene of the last drabble? Yeah, that's what I want, that is my Tezuka and my Fuji. ♥ (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - Apple Pie by Tammaiya - The prompt for this one was rather strange and could have ended up feeling strained or lackluster for it, but Tammaiya somehow makes all the elements come together, makes all the random details actually work for the story and blend it all together with an actual point and some beautiful characterization. And, god, her Fuji is a freak, but he is a brilliant and beautifully in character freak. Tezuka is put-upon and annoyed, but he is also wonderfully in character about it and that always gets me to bounce a little brighter. Plus, god, she totally made this fit into the style of the anime, the way it could be so on crack sometimes, but the good stuff, the genuinely clever kind. I was rereading before writing this rec and every damn time I get to the lunch scene and Tezuka's non-reaction to the stalkers in the bushes... every time I start laughing like a maniac because it's just so beautifully written and timed. And, oh, the perfect ending gets me every time. (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - satyridae by Charlotte - Tenipuri, and TezuFuji in particular, have this way of making things work that wouldn't work with just any random couple. Not just any random pairing (or, perhaps I'm wrong about this and it only takes a talented enough author) would make something like butterflies work and not have it step over the edge into weirdness or pretentious writing. There's something about TezuFuji that lends itself so well to stories like this, in the right hands, with the right tone to it. There are all these fantastic little scenes, each infused with this sense of... whatever that quality is that makes Fuji Fuji. Whether he's watching Yuuta splash in the bath and watching the ripples forming or he's thinking about the different types of butterflies and all the things that bring them to mind or he's watching Tezuka. It has that quality that I like so much about TezuFuji fic, the way their dynamic is expressed through imagery that you can't quite pin down, but feels so right. (Tezuka/Fuji, but gen. Sort of.)

- Prince of Tennis - Lines, and Those Who Cross Them by honooko - I've enjoyed everything I've read of the author's work before, which, in a bizarre way, tends to make me wary when I see they've written for a pairing that I love to the point of being fussy about. But I usually end up clicking to read anyway and, obviously, in this case I'm very glad to have done so. The subtle take on the characters delighted me with this story, there were all these little touches to the characters that... well, it's hard for me to explain. But the first two paragraphs of the fic where pretty much all that was needed to sell me, because there's this lovely way of writing both characters as brilliant. The fic is very nicely balanced between both characters, there's a real understanding of each of them, both together and seperate from each other--one of the things I liked so much was Fuji's easy relationship with Eiji and Tezuka's subdued relationship with Oishi, they both fit with the characters while not dragging down the Tezuka/Fuji nature of the fic. Not to mention the slowly building something between the characters is lovely, the way there's that undefinable something building until it finally draws them together and, oh, how lovely and hot and intense it was without having to be terribly graphic. The sense of intimacy between the characters as they're pressing against each other is lovely, it's partly about hormones, but it's also about this person, it's about Tezuka and Fuji. This utterly hit my TezuFuji buttons, yes. ♥ (Tezuka/Fuji, R-ish content.)

- Prince of Tennis - higuma by lusciniaecantus - I... really liked this story. It was quiet and almost simple, but not in the way I usually mean the word. Perhaps I should say tranquil instead of simple, since I had a strong feeling of that through the entire story. There's something so lovely about the image the author painted, of the kimono and sakura and Tezuka and Fuji walking together at the festival, there's something that's so lovely about the characterization and the dynamic between Tezuka and Fuji even while I can't quite put my finger on what makes me say that. The story finds ways to make little things that should be old to me... and somehow they're lovely and new, whether it be Fuji being mistaken for a girl or the festival or the kimono, there's something about this story that draws me in., that was a terrible rec. Just go read the fic instead. (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - Missing by honooko - I feel like I shouldn't have the reaction to this fic that I do, that maybe I shouldn't be so affected by these characters. And it's probably because I do like them so much that I wibble over stories like this. I think what I'm saying, in a rather vague sort of way, is that this fic pushed my buttons, what might have been cliche with another fic somehow works for me here. The understanding-but-not between Tezuka and Fuji, the delicate balance of something between them, the way one wants to know the other, the way the pieces fall into place at the end... yeah, that just does it for me. (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - Downstroke by Maaya - One of the things I love about stories like this is that there's so much subtlety to the writing, that the turns of phrase are often as difficult to grasp solidly as the characters themselves are, so much is unsaid and left that way, much like the pairing. It's something that resonates with me often times, something that manages not to be pretentious to my eyes. And I really did adore this piece, something about the simple touches, where Tezuka is going through a list of names on his phone is enough to make me smile with love for this pairing, where they're shown in small flashes here and there along the way and it just... works. Yes. (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - a Border by Maaya - Perhaps I should have saved this fic for the bits & pieces post, but I like the author's work enough to make a regular rec out of it, despite that it's only 300 words long. There's such a pretty almost dream-like quality to the writing, there's subtle characterization without being explicitly stated, which is always what gets me going with Tezuka and Fuji. And it's nice when the author can write such a short piece, but it still feels complete and satisfying. (Tezuka/Fuji implied.)

- Prince of Tennis - Letters by honooko - Every time I read a new fic by honooko, I sigh a little happier or sparkle a little harder because, yes, I will never get enough of stories like this, no matter how long I'm in the fandom. The way she writes is with that certain softness of style that I love so dearly, that has gentle edges while still maintaining a depth to the characters, even when it's something so simple as Fuji sending Tezuka pictures while he's in Germany rather than writing letters. I adore the reasoning behind Fuji's type of letter he sends, it fits together with the character I know and is surprisingly subtle and perfect. I'm happy, so I gush, yes. Shush. ^_~ (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - Sores by Maaya - I don't normally get into supernatural fics, especially not with a series like Prince of Tennis, but Maaya's writing is so clean and lovely that she pulls the concept off brilliantly. It's even better because she doesn't take it too far, there's a hint of mystery about what's going on (but not so much that you're left utterly confused about what happened) so that most people aren't aware of anything so it doesn't stretch the premise/world too far... what I mean is that everyone is beautifully in character and the events are woven together with the series' tone so fluidly that it's like... simply adding another layer. That probably doesn't get across the ease with which this fic came across and I'm not sure how else to describe it, other than to say it was brilliant. Fuji and Tezuka's characters were fantastic and I love, love the idea. I'm not sure why, it's such a light, easy thing in her hands, but it's so... brilliant. Also, the first couple of comments are completely ♥-inspiring. (This is gen, but contains interaction between Tezuka and Fuji mostly.)

- Prince of Tennis - apt#(two) by Charlotte - God, how much do I love this fic and the one that came before it? Tezuka and Fuji and sharing an apartment and the author capitalizes on the potential for amusement beautifully while still allowing me to not have to shove it into the parody catagory. It's just. It's just. It's so beautifully Tezuka and Fuji and everything I love about their batshit relationship that doesn't say so many things and all these brilliantly clever little details added into the fic that make it just come alive. I don't even mind that it's in that space between gen and slash, because it's perfect there, the way Fuji teases (oh, god, the fax, that's somehow beautiful enough that I want to cry over it) or Tezuka looks blandly back at him or the million little things between them. It's a beautiful fic and nothing will convince me otherwise. (Tezuka/Fuji, but gen... mostly.)

- Prince of Tennis - Romance by honooko - *brightens* A fic for me? And I hadn't even known it coming? Plus, it's from honooko, whose TezuFuji work I rather adore (which I'm sure I've been very subtle about) and I love the way her Fuji is quite playful here, the way he pouts at Tezuka and you're not quite sure if he's serious or just playing or some combination of the two while Tezuka's just sort of "....." at him, but yet it's not parody, it's not over the top. Instead it's so much more the way I like it, Tezuka pragmatic, sensibly doing his homework, yet not without some notion of romance, even if it's not what Fuji expected and, oh, fic with smoochies. That doesn't happen enough, not with pretty writing like this. (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - Babysitting by Tammaiya - So she gets this prompt of baby in stroller and I was skeptical that she could do much with it, but then Tammaiya turned around and wrote... this. Which was brilliant, I tell you. The imagery is great, Fuji is great, Tezuka is great, the baby is great and, oh, god, the ending and I know I'm being all vague and overusing the italics tags, but I don't want to say anything too specific. Just... the last five or six paragraphs of this one send me into giggle fits (while still going ♥ over, yes, that is so Fuji) every time. (Tezuka/Fuji.)

- Prince of Tennis - Little Bit (part 01) by Charlotte - You know what I love about this fic? That it manages to find the line between crack and genuinely good, clever writing/characterization. You sort of have to walk into the fic (and the author's notes, which are helpful to read) and just accept the premise and go from there... which wasn't a hard thing for me to do because the author has such charm in her writing, the way it's so cute and funny that Fuji is somehow a five year old now and in Tezuka's care. The author uses the concept to bring out all those little moments of humor that I'd want to see, Tezuka worrying about what Fuji is going to grow up to be and positive it's going to be his fault and Fuji being so... Fuji about it, even as a five year old. Also. HOLY SHIT, THE CUTE KILLS, OMG, AWWWWWW. ♥ (This will be of interest to TezuFuji fans, but it's gen. Because, um, no.)

- Prince of Tennis - His White City by Charlotte - Part of me is going, ".....wait, why do I like this so much? The ending sort of makes me pissy! I don't want it to end that way!" But most of me is going, "Holy shit, a Tenipuri/Bleach fusion with Tezuka/Fuji and it's really sort of awesome." and telling that other part of me to shut up. Because Charlotte blends the two different series together beautifully here, I could actually picture Tezuka and Fuji in the Bleach world, I could totally see them being captain and vice captain and they were so themselves and it wasn't awkward or weird at all. I think it probably helped that it's not necessarily with the same characters we know (except peripherally), just that it's the Bleach world (so being familiar with the background of the Soul Society world would help) and they somehow fit into it. And, okay, the very ending was asldfkjalsdkfjlajksdflajksd so cool even if I didn't like, you know, the part that came right before it, but! Fuji calling Tezuka his captain even when he's not, the way he's so obviously, but subtlely gone on Tezuka, the way Fuji fits so perfectly into Rukongai somehow, the way he views that white city, the lovely language of the way he describes it, and then the perfection of the ending. This was just. So cool. (Tezuka/Fuji, not quite worksafe.)

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