Title: Spiral
Chapter: Prologue - Nightmares
Author: Datenshi Blue
Rating: NC-17
Characters: Ryoma, Momo, Fuji, Tezuka, Atobe, Ryoga, Yuuta and many others probably.
Disclaimer: Not mine, but I have fun torturing them.
Notes: This is kind of an experiment. Although it's not an AU, the story takes place six years after the end of the anime, when Ryoma is 18. I'm trying to write this as a response to a challenge, but I'm not sure it's going to work, because I'm too happy a person to write dark fics XD That's why I would really appreciate any kind of comment and thoughts about this little prologue. I don't want to fall in easy angst, because I hate it, and yes, there's a reason why Ryoma is like that. There is also going to be a plot, for a change. And I kind of know where I'm going also for a change, so chances are high that I'm going to write this consistently (well, if it looks interesting for anyone else) So please, read and review?

By Datenshi Blue


A scream breaks the silence and wakes Ryoma up. It takes him a moment to realize that he was the one screaming, so loud that his throat feels raw and the effort to stiffle a soft cough makes his shoulders shake. He is panting, and slightly shivering. It is not cold in his room, though, in fact he is sweating and feels hot, a familiar and disgusting heat running through his body, the last traces of a nightmare that he keeps seeing over and over again, that has been actually haunting him for years, making his thin frame tremble with fear and obvious lust.

A fear he doesn't want to acknowledge. A lust he doesn't want to give in to.

And so, Ryoma rolls to his side, sliding his arm under his pillow and curling against himself, ignoring the urge to reach out and grab his erection with gentle hands, stroking himself until there is only white light inside his head, everything else blurred or forgotten. No pain, no memories, no tennis, not even need.

He reaches for the sheets, instead, a forgotten heap of clothes that lies on the floor, probably because he kicked them off while thrashing about in his sleep, and covers himself with them, the expensive satin feeling cool against his fevered skin. His body is aching for release, though, and cool satin sheets won't fool it. Ryoma shuts his eyes and his grip on the sheets tightens. He is nothing if not stubborn, probably the most familiar feature of his personality after his legendary snarky temper, and he is not going to lose this fight against his body.

He was sure that coming back to Japan was going to be good for his mind. He was so sure that the nightmares would go away while he was back in the place he was the happiest at, that he feels cheated and disappointed now. It seems obvious that a trip down memory lane isn't going to do anything to clean his soul and the realization comes down on him like a cold shower. Not that he couldn't use a cold shower now to get certain parts of his body back to sleep, he thinks with a dark humour.

Ryoma sighs. There is nothing he can do, except being strong, and once he has decided he won't give in, he just won't. Maybe tomorrow he will find a way to exhaust himself so that he can sleep soundly. He has got a match, too. That is good. Tennis is good.

Tennis is everything.

And with that thought, Ryoma makes a point of ignoring the nagging voice in the back of his mind that tells him with an unpleasant tone that he is just using tennis to avoid facing his real troubles and that something like that is being unfair towards the sport that has always meant so much to him.

But Ryoma isn't a twelve-year-old anymore, and he has grown enough to learn that, sometimes, choosing to believe something is better than being honest about it. And, at least for now, tennis is good. It wears him out, it makes him push his stamina to the limit and it makes him ache, exhausting his body enough to make him fall almost unconscious in bed once he is done with his games and training.

And if that isn't enough, there are always different ways to keep the nightmares - and that special, filthy desire that comes with them - away. Like losing himself in the arms of another person, having them sweep his mind clean while giving his body the pleasure it seems to need to forget about those dark dreams. Yes, casual sex with an anonymous partner always works.

At least as a last resource. In the end, Ryoma can't help but wonder if it won't debauch him even further, taking him down in a spiral of sin and corruption and unsatisfactory satiation.

Ryoma closes his eyes, tired and sick of those thoughts and the images he has seen in his dreams and tries to sleep, without success. Nights like these are long and lonely and filled with unwelcome pain, and memories and unshed tears, and he knows it. Knowing it doesn't make it easier, though, but there is nothing he can do. Barbiturates or sleeping pills will make him test positive in the doping controls and that is something he can't afford. Not when tennis is the only thing keeping him sane.

At least these depressing thoughts have cooled his body down. He won't be getting any sleep, but he has won his little battle. That is better than nothing.