ENTITLED: Suspended in Motion

FANDOM: Prince of Tennis

CHARACTERS: YukimuraOC (very mild)

SUMMARY: Standing up on your feet and running to your goal seems impossible when your nerves can't tell your legs to stand up in the first place.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Prince of Tennis. Or Pocky.
DEDICATION: For my 언니, fyerigurl. I know this is terribly late, but happy birthday.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: doroniasobi, for being wonderful and encouraging and just there during the failure called my writing process.

NOTES: To be honest, most of this fic is just one huge recap. Whoops.


He is nothing but a greedy king, eager to regain his lost territory.

Yukimura sizes up the pint-sized boy standing at the entrance to the courts.

Echizen looks like a nice boy. A bit cocky, perhaps, but a perfectly nice boy, nonetheless. But that's all he is–a mere boy.

The Prince of Tennis?

Yukimura's lips turn up into a smile.


He'll crush him.

"Do you play tennis because you love it, or because you want to win?"

He ignores that thought, because that choice doesn't exist.

Not for him.



She was no one, really.

She was just someone around his age who happened to volunteer at that hospital. She wasn't exceptionally pretty or cheery or quiet. There wasn't anything remarkable about her.

Yukimura saw her every day when she came to deliver his dinner.

He called her Girl in his mind, because that was essentially all she was to him.

A girl.

She was no one special.



"Nii-chan," his sister said, munching on the Pocky that she has brought with her.

She'd brought it for herself more than she'd brought it for him. She'd offered him some, of course, but she'd known that he'd refuse.

He rather appreciated the fact that she still exploited this.

"What is it?"

He could hear the gulp of her throat as she swallowed the last of her Pocky, and watched as she laid her head on the bed–just next to his ankles.

"People say you're the Child of God, right?"

He chuckled. "What of it?"

"If you're the Child of God, then does this mean God wants you to go back to Heaven?"

At the word this, she waved her arm almost dismissively (almost almost) at the hospital room.

The question made him inhale sharply. His lungs suddenly felt so heavy, and the back of his throat felt like it was trying to force its way down into his stomach, and his heart stopped beating, just for a second.

His sister turned her face away.

"You're too good to be human, Nii-chan," she said, and her hiccup-hiccup and scratchy voice told him that she was crying. "You're practically an angel, and angels can't stay on Earth for long."

And as she sobbed quietly, the only thing he could do was stare at her, and think:

'No, I'm not.'


Yukimura narrows his eyes.

The boy looks smug because his jacket's fallen off.

"Boy, you know this game isn't about knocking off my jacket."



He wasn't an angel.

In fact, he was the farthest thing from it.

He contemplated this while Girl placed his dinner on the tray.


"It's really fun after all, isn't it…"

Yukimura looks down at him coolly.

"…This tennis thing."

That statement catches him off-guard.

"Do you play tennis because you love it, or because you want to win?"

"Mada mada dane."

And for a second, Yukimura almost believes it.




He secretly hated the nurses.

Their smiles weren't as fake as most people thought–a lot of them were genuine, and Yukimura knew enough to realize that they really did want him to make a full recovery.

But there was something about their forced cheer that made him clench the blankets into his fists.

Ah, that was it. Their forced cheer.

The nurses were sweet, really. Half of their fake cheer was to bring some sort of cheerfulness into the room.

But it was out of pity.

The last thing Yukimura needed was sympathy.

He didn't even need empathy.


Yukimura is amused by his efforts.

The boy is putting up a wonderful fight. He can see why Sanada had such a hard time against him.

But in the end, the boy's efforts are useless.

He will win.

"Do you play tennis because you love it, or because you want to win?"

It is the third time now that the Girl's question has popped into his head.

Yukimura pushes it aside.

He has a game to win.



He was always so jealous whenever he saw someone from the tennis club visit.

Especially Sanada.

So it was, of course, when Sanada comes to visit that he finally snapped.

"Yukimura," he saied, solemn and bitterly disappointed and self-hating. "I'm sorry. During the Kantou Finals, Seigaku–"

He hates him, then.

Sanada shouldn't have felt that way. He knew nothing about suffering, and he looked so stupid for looking so heartbroken over a tennis tournament that he easily could have won.

"Didn't I tell you," Yukimura began, deathly quiet, "not to talk to me about tennis?"

Sanada looked at him, almost scared for once.

"Why don't you just go home already?"

His dear vice-captain looked so unsure.

Yukimura glared at him. "Get out."

And as he left, the screaming began.


The boy is being too cocky.

"Five shots," he calls.

Yukimura narrows his eyes.

This boy is better than he'd thought–much better.

But it does not matter.

He has to win.

And when he hits the ball, it is almost a release of the angry disappointment he'd felt at the hospital.

"Ochibi! Your nose is bleeding!"

Yukimura stares on impassively, but inside he is panicking.

He's never made someone bleed like that before. Not with tennis.

But the boy gets up again, and that fire is still in his eyes.

And Yukimura decides then and there that this fire must be extinguished. This boy doesn't love tennis. He can't love tennis.

The only to love something, after all, is to almost lose it.

And so, he begins.



Girl brought him his dinner fifteen minutes after the screaming stopped.

The entire floor has heard his screaming by now, and even Yukimura knows it.

So today, their thirty-second routine is awkward.

There was a clink as she set down the metal bowl of rice next to the soup, and for the first time, he heard her voice.

"When are you going to stop feeling sorry for yourself?"

Yukimura looked up at her.

"Excuse me?"

Girl looked at him, and the look was so criticizing and harsh that he was momentarily taken aback. "You heard me. I spoke loud enough, and your ears are still working perfectly."


"It's your loss, boy," Yukimura calls, "though I doubt you can hear my anymore."

The boy drops his racket mid-swing, and Yukimura relishes in it.

He is winning.



When Girl came in the next day, Yukimura was sitting in his bed with a polite smile on his face.

She eyed him suspiciously.

"I thought about what you said."

Girl snorted and shook her head disbelievingly.

"Let me ask you something."


"This tennis thing is actually really fun."

Yukimura is stunned, and for the first time, he gets the sense that this boy has attained something that he will never be able to achieve.



"Do you play tennis because you love it, or because you want to win?"

Yukimura stared at Girl, who raised an eyebrow and matched his stare evenly.

"Does it matter?"


The Pinnacle of Perfection.

Yukimura tells himself to calm down, to focus, because there isn't a ball that he can't hit.

And he is right, because he starts returning shots again.

He grits his teeth and snarls.

'Is tennis fun?' he thinks, as he slams his racket forward to return the ball.

"Do you play tennis because you love it, or because you want to win?"

His arm swings through the follow-through.

Yukimura wants to snort in disgust, and he tells himself–no, he tells Her:

'Don't give me that shit.'

He has to win this. Losing is not an option, after all.



She nodded confidently. "It'd be stupid of you to invest so much of your life into something you didn't love."

He was amused, because Girl knew absolutely nothing about tennis, and she had no right to lecture him.

"But," she continued, "I guess that would just make you human, after all."


His crown is gone.



And then she smiled.

"So, Mr. Child of God. How does it feel to be human?"