A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes OR Dustorio by Halrloprillalar / prillalar
Prince of Tennis, Horio/Tezuka, G, 4500 words
Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a tiny kingdom called Seigaku...
Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a tiny kingdom called Seigaku. In the tiny kingdom lived a tennis player named Horio. Horio had had a very sad life. When he was young, his mother died after eating too many pancakes at an eating contest. She was posthumously awarded the prize, but it was still very sad. His father decided to marry again later. He got married to a man this time, because he was open-minded like that. But not long after re-marrying, Horio's father died too, from exhaustion.
So now, Horio lived with his stepfather, Mizuki, and his two stepbrothers, Ryoma and Kintarou. They were also tennis players. In fact, so was Mizuki, though these days Mizuki was mostly concerned with furthering the tennis careers of his real sons. So they were totally the favourites, while Horio was cruelly treated.
In fact, Horio was made to put up tennis nets and pick up tennis balls way more often than he should have, if they had actually done things fairly. Like, for every time Ryoma or Kintarou picked up balls, Horio had to pick them up 1.3 times as often. If he'd calculated that correctly, which he was sure he had, since he was as brilliant at math as he was at tennis.
In fact, after his two years tennis experience, Horio was just as good, if not better than his stepbrothers, even though nobody would acknowledge it. It was jealousy that made Ryoma and Kintarou skive off picking up balls. And also why they got more attention from Mizuki.
Horio also had to clean up his room and take the garbage out every Saturday. And do all the dusting. So that left him very little time for playing tennis. He only got in three or so hours per day, after school. And not with Ryoma or Kintarou -- they always cheated to make Horio lose.
No, he had to play with his only friends, three boys named Kachirou, Katsuo, and Dan. They kind of sucked at tennis, but Horio was helping them by letting them observe his awesome play.
Horio dreamed that one day he would be acknowledged as the best tennis player in the kingdom and get to have a normal life, like his jerk stepbrothers. "You'll be sorry you mistreated me someday," he said, from his seat in the corner on the floor.
"Why are you sitting down there?" Kintarou said. "The floor is all dusty. You'll get dust bunnies in your hair. You'd be like Dustorio or something."
Of course Kintarou was just trying to get in a jab about Horio's housework abilities. Which were just fine, he just had so much to do that he couldn't always get it done. "Shut up," he said.
"You should come out and play with Koshimae and me after supper."
"I know you're just trying to trick me into doing even more work for you," Horio said. "You won't acknowledge my two years tennis experience."
"Guess what?" Mizuki came into the room, holding up a hanger. "I found my old tennis outfit, the one I used specially for tournaments and parties. Isn't it fabulous?" The outfit was rather flamboyant, a brightly striped shirt and loud shorts. "I think one of you should wear it."
"Jeez," Ryoma said. He turned away and started playing with the cat. The cat was as stuck up as Ryoma was and would never sleep on Horio's bed, just Ryoma's. Also, Horio knew that Ryoma had trained it to sneeze on Horio's tennis equipment in order to infect him with deadly feline flu or cat sneeze fever.
"It's great!" Kintarou said. "I'll wear it."
Mizuki looked at Kintarou's current outfit, which had three holes and seven stains, mostly from juice. "Actually, you would probably rip it within two minutes. Horio, why don't you wear it? It would suit your complexion and you know that looking good is an important part of the mental game."
Horio sighed. This was so typical -- he could never have anything new, like Ryoma and Kintarou got. He had to wear old cast-offs. He hung the outfit in his closet. But he wasn't going to wear it, just to show them he still had his dignity.
Even though it was a pretty cool outfit.
"We can't wait any longer," Fuji said. He was attending a meeting of the kingdom high council of tennis players, which was taking place at the side of the royal tennis courts.
"Are you sure?" Oishi, another high councillor, looked over at Tezuka, who was hitting against the practice wall. "He's still so young."
"You're only six months older," Inui said. He was the statistical specialist on the council and also something of an amateur inventor. "If he doesn't find his Pillar of Support soon, it will be too late and then where will the kingdom be?"
"But how will we find one?" Oishi said. "He's never shown any interest in other players before now?"
"Except Atobe," Eiji said.
Oishi clapped his hand over Eiji's mouth. "I asked you not to say that name!" He shuddered. "I can't take any more sessions of Tezuka crying all night."
"Someone local would be better," Fuji said.
"We'll have a grand Tennis Tournament," Inui said. "And invite every eligible player in the land. Tezuka can play them all and it's statistically likely he will find someone to be his Pillar of Seigaku."
"And Taka-san can make all the food!" Eiji said. "Why isn't he here, anyhow?"
"Excuse me," Fuji said. "I forgot something in my room."
And thus an edict went out to all the land. It was delivered by two junior members of the Seigaku royal council, Momoshiro and Kaidoh.
"We're really more like lackeys," Momoshiro said. "If we were actual council members, we would get to, you know, vote or something. Or do more than make Starbucks runs, at least."
"Shut up," Kaidoh said. "We should respect our elders."
"I don't see why one of us can't be the new Pillar of Seigaku, either." Momoshiro took off his special edict-delivering hat and tossed it on top of a mailbox. "We're super good at tennis! At least I am."
"You're not as good as I am." Kaidoh glared at Momoshiro. "It's just a stupid rule-- I mean, it's a highly respected tradition that the new pillar has to be recruited from outside the council."
"Well, at least they could have let us post the edict in the town square instead of delivering it to each house individually."
Kaidoh actually agreed with this so he didn't bother to argue. "Your hat will get dirty. And you were off-tune at the last house."
"Why did Oishi-senpai say we had to sing the edict anyhow?"
"I thought he told you," Kaidoh said. "That's what Fuji-senpai said."
Momo knocked on the door. Kaidoh got out the pitch pipe.
"There are only three days!" Mizuki waved his arms in the air. "Quick! We have to prepare!"
Ryoma shrugged and picked up his tennis racquet.
"Not tennis," Mizuki said. "Shopping. We have to find the perfect outfits for all you boys. I can't have you seen at the social event of the year looking like something the cat dragged in."
"But we just have to beat that Tezuka guy, right?" Kintarou said. "New clothes are itchy. I don't like being itchy."
"You'll be a lot more than itchy if you don't do what I say." Mizuki waved his hand mysteriously. "I'll turn you into a frog."
"Okay, okay!" Kintarou hunched up his shoulders. "I don't like frogs."
Horio had always suspected Mizuki was evil, but he had never considered he might be a witch. It explained a lot. But he was too excited about the tennis tournament to worry about it. Now he would be able to show off his considerable tennis skills and win the admiration of all the land! If his evil witchy stepfather and evil jerky stepbrothers would even allow him to go...
"Come on!" Mizuki clapped his hands. "We can visit twenty boutiques today. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow. And I have it on good authority that Tezuka prefers a delicate lilac shade. I have a swatch right here..."
Horio sat down in the dusty corner. There was no point to going shopping. Mizuki never bought him new stuff, at least not anything good, like that time when he bought new video games and Ryoma got the cool zombie game and Kintarou got the cool car racing game and Horio got the lame fantasy adventure game. And Mizuki wouldn't even buy the hint book! Plus he'd just have to carry everyone's bags.
"Not coming, Horio? Well, I do have your measurements," Mizuki said. "Maybe you should practise a little while we're gone."
Practise dusting, that's what Mizuki meant! Well, Horio was going to practise tennis, even if Mizuki turned him into a frog. Even as a frog, he'd beat everyone at the tournament!
Horio looked at the outfit hanging on the back of his door and scowled. There was no way he was going to show up at the tournament in a colour called Lilac Breeze! Especially since Ryoma and Kintarou certainly had designer tennis outfits and Horio's was sure to be a cheap knockoff. If it wasn't from the thrift store!
No, he'd just have to cobble together an outfit as best he could. Maybe his stepbrothers should feel what it was like to have all their best stuff taken away for a change!
When it was time to leave, Horio grabbed his racquet and headed out to the front door. Ryoma and Kintarou were there in their new Lilac Breeze outfits. They were both scowling, they were so ungrateful always. "Hey!" Kintarou said. "How come Dustorio gets to wear that shirt when you said I couldn't?"
Horio had raided Kintarou's closet. Which had yielded only one tennis shirt: faded blue with a decal of a lizard monster on the back.
"And isn't that Koshimae's cap?"
Ryoma shrugged and pulled an identical cap out of his bag. How many of those did he have?
Mizuki sighed. "Horio, you can't go out looking like that! What about my reputation? You have a perfectly lovely new outfit."
"Then I just won't go at all!" Horio folded his arms. He'd been right all along when he said they would stop him from going to the tournament. It was hopeless. They were determined to see that he had no fun at all and had no opportunities in tennis.
"I don't have time to argue with you," Mizuki said. "I don't want to keep my date waiting. Put on something that's at least not threadbare and take a taxi." He pulled on a pair of black gloves and adjusted his scarlet silk shirt.
Horio wondered why Mizuki didn't have to wear Lilac Breeze.
"Oh, Horio." Mizuki turned around. "Put that shirt in the rag bag. It's only good for dusters."
When the door closed behind them, Horio burst into tears. Everyone was so mean, he had nothing nice, they wouldn't even let him go to the tennis tournament! No, he had to stay home and do all the housework! He sat down in his corner on the floor and burst into tears. And then he sneezed.
"Is something wrong?"
Horio jerked his head up in surprise. He thought everyone had already left. But this was someone he'd never seen before. A tall man, wearing a jacket draped over his shoulders, a headband around his forehead, and dark glasses.
"Who are you?"
"I'm a friend," the man said. "My name is Yamato." He crouched down next to Horio and put his arm around Horio's shoulders. "I'm here to make you feel better." He sneezed too. "Why is there so much dust? That's kind of a health hazard."
"Are you one of those creepy men Mizuki keeps warning us about?"
Yamato smiled and gave Horio a little squeeze. "I'm your...fairy god buchou. And I'll see that you go to the tournament."
"But I only have rags to wear!" Horio sniffed and wiped his nose on the back of his hand. "Plus everyone hates me!"
"I don't hate you," Yamato said. "In fact, I like you very much."
"Um...sure." Horio should totally have kept that whistle Mizuki gave him. "You are one of those creepy guys."
"No, no, I'm just your friend." Yamato stood and pulled Horio to his feet. "Now where's your bedroom?"
"I agree," Yamato said. "That outfit is completely impossible."
Finally someone with some sense! Horio was beginning to warm up to Yamato a little. "I know, right? It's totally second-hand."
"No, but it's Lilac Breeze. Everyone there will be wearing Lilac Breeze. You need to stand out from the crowd if you want Tezuka to take you seriously."
Well, Horio definitely wanted to be taken seriously. "So, what should I wear?"
"What did I do with my wand?" Yamato rummaged in his pockets and pulled out a stick. He waved it in the air and a bunch of blue smoke filled the air.
When it cleared, Yamato was holding a tennis outfit. It was white, with sparkly gems on it. It was made from a new space-age super-fabric that would wick away sweat and stay crisp and cool even during the longest match.
It was also a dress.
"You'll look darling," Yamato said.
"I'm not wearing a dress!" Horio stole a glance under his dresser, in case the whistle was there.
"Can't I just see it on you?"
"Then we'll have to make do." Yamato rummaged through Horio's closet. "Here, wear this." It was the hand-me-down outfit from Mizuki, the red shorts and the green and orange striped shirt. "That will get everybody's attention."
Horio guessed he'd have to wear it. After all, it was his tennis that counted, not his outfit. And, really, it did suit his personality. Also it wasn't a dress. "I'll go put it on."
"Oh, don't mind me," Yamato said.
Horio locked himself in the bathroom. When he came out, Yamato was lounging on the bed.
"I have a few other things for you. New wristbands." He held them out.
"They're especially customized to fit your wrists." Yamato said. "And lined with rare sponges from the Dead Sea. Roger Federer wears them."
Horio pulled them on. They were pretty comfortable, actually.
"Is that a BLINDFOLD?"
"Oh, wait." Yamato took out a Swiss Army knife and made some alterations. "It's a mask. To disguise you."
"Why do I have to be disguised?" Horio said.
"Who's the fairy god buchou, you or me?" Yamato said.
Horio put on the mask. Maybe it was kind of dashing, actually.
"Next--" Yamato pulled out a stack of DVDs. "Twenty volumes of my special Tennis Is For Everyone video instruction series."
"What are those for?"
"For your tennis. So you'll get good enough to defeat Tezuka."
"But the tournament is TONIGHT!"
"Oh, right." Yamato frowned. "Okay, here's a magic racquet instead."
Horio gave the racquet a swing. Blue smoked trailed after it, which he supposed was the magic.
"Another thing," Yamato said. "An entourage." He waved the wand and Horio's friends appeared in the room. They started coughing from all the smoke. "They'll accompany you to the tournament."
"But we were just at the tournament," Kachirou said.
"It was my turn to play Tezuka next!" Dan wailed.
"Why are you wearing a mask, Horio?" Katsuo said.
"Now make sure you leave before midnight," Yamato said. "Remember to follow through on all your strokes. Watch out for the Tezuka Zone. Don't take candy from strangers. And neither a borrower nor a lender be."
"Is that everything?" Horio said to Yamato.
"Are you sure you don't want to just try the dress on?"
"That one looks promising." Inui waved at the tennis court, where Tezuka, dressed in a fetching outfit of Lilac Breeze with accents in Purple Haze, was playing against Ryoma. "He's quite skilled."
"And he's so cute!" Eiji squealed.
"I don't think he's all that suitable," Oishi muttered.
Tezuka hit a Zero Shiki drop shot and the match was over. "Oh, too bad," Kawamura said, on a trip from the kitchen with a batch of cream puffs.
Over at the courts, Mizuki spit on a Kleenex and scrubbed at Kintarou's face. "I can't believe you already tore that outfit! And there's whipped cream all down the front of your shirt."
"Hey, Koshimae!" Kintarou yelled. "You have to play me now! I want to try that drop shot on you."
"You're supposed to play against Tezuka," Mizuki said. "That's the whole point of the new outfits. Don't you want to be the new Pillar of Seigaku?"
"I want another cream puff," Kintarou said.
Then all eyes turned to the masked youth striding onto centre court. His green and orange striped shirt seemed to glow amidst the sea of Lilac Breeze. Confidence streamed off of him like the rays of the sun. And he had very cool wristbands.
"That outfit looks familiar," Mizuki said.
Horio was so late! The tournament was all but over by the time he got there. He would have thought after all Yamato's razzle dazzle that he'd have a magic coach and four up his sleeve. Or at least a limousine! But no, Horio and his entourage had to take a cab and because of the tournament they were so booked up they'd had to wait and wait.
But now he was there. Horio was the last contestant to play. According to the scoreboard, no one else had defeated Tezuka. Stupid Kintarou hadn't even played him! It was all up to Horio to show them what real tennis was now.
He strode onto the court. Everyone was looking at him and his amazing skills. Also, his flashy shirt. He tried to remember the advice Yamato had given him. Watch out for the Tezuka Zone. Well, whatever kind of stupid move that was, Horio wasn't going to get tricked by it.
He strode even further, up to the net. Tezuka was waiting. Horio looked up at him. Tezuka had a Lilac Breeze shirt on and white shorts. He had a blue wristband on his slender wrist. His light brown hair waved softly in the evening breeze. The lights on the court gleamed gently off his glasses. And everything seemed to go a bit hazy for Horio.
Hazy in his heart.
Horio stared at Tezuka, transfixed. He knew: this was the Tezuka Zone. He was trapped in it now, without having played a single stroke.
"Spin for serve," Tezuka said and Horio thrilled to the musical sound of his voice.
Horio won service and they started to play. He thought at first that being suddenly in love might impact his tennis game, but it turned out that he was playing extra well, inspired by the passion in his heart and inflamed by a desire not to disgrace himself in front of his beloved.
Or maybe it was the magic racquet. There sure was a lot of blue smoke.
It was a close game, hard fought, and the cheers of the spectators were deafening. Horio persevered, though his outfit didn't wick away sweat as well as it might have, and at last they were at match point, his match point.
He served an ace.
Tezuka met Horio at the net. "Good game," he said and held out his hand. When their fingers clasped, Horio knew this was his destiny, his true love, the one he'd been waiting for all his life.
Plus Tezuka seemed like he wouldn't make Horio do the dusting.
"I think this is the one," Oishi said.
"Tezuka thinks so," Fuji said.
"How can you tell?" Kawamura said, another tray of cream puffs in his hands.
"It's his hair," Inui said. "It's waving a bit more than usual. Remember how it was when Atobe was here?"
"Can we start planning the wedding now, Oishi?" Eiji jumped up and down. "I like weddings!"
The clock struck midnight.
Three boys rushed onto the court, grabbed Tezuka's opponent, and dragged him off through the crowd, so quick that nobody thought to try to stop them.
All that was left behind was a leather wristband lying on the court.
"Oh, shit," Oishi said.
Tezuka's hair waved sadly.
"Why did you drag me off?" Horio yelled. "It was my hour of triumph! And my destined beloved! Now it's all ruined!"
"But Yamato said you had to leave at midnight," Kachirou said.
"Yeah," Katsuo said. "Who knows what horrible things might have happened otherwise?"
"Actually," Dan said, "I think he just doesn't like kids to stay out late."
"Well, I'm going to march right back down to the tennis courts. Or get a cab, anyhow. And claim my trophy and my true love!"
But Horio was suddenly was stricken with food poisoning from a bad cream puff. He just made it to the bathroom.
Love was going to have to wait.
"I can't believe we have to traipse over the whole kingdom again." Kaidoh stomped up the sidewalk to a house, with Momoshiro trailing after him. "Does anybody really think trying a stupid wristband on every tennis player in the kingdom is going to help us find the stupid kid who won at the stupid tournament?"
"You complain too much," Momoshiro said. "You should be more respectful to our senpai."
"I still don't see why we're not eligible to be the Pillar of Seigaku! We're talented and smart! At least I am!"
"We've been over all this before," Momoshiro said. "I told you, it's an honoured trad-- Oh my god."
Kaidoh stopped. "What?"
"We've had this exact argument, except this time we've switched sides! Do you know what this means?"
"We convinced each other with our brilliant arguments?"
"No, it means we're interchangeable side characters."
Kaidoh's shoulders slumped. "You're right. We're not important to the plot even. I mean, anybody could do this stupid wristband job."
"We should run away and join another kingdom. Like Fudoumine."
"Sure, then you you could be interchangeable with that loudmouthed redhead."
"Shut up," Momoshiro said. "We should start our own kingdom. The Kingdom of the Great Momo-Chan and that Snake Guy."
"I think The Ancient Kingdom of Honour and Tradition is better."
"Maybe I'll start my own kingdom," Momoshiro said.
"And maybe my kingdom will declare war on your kingdom!"
The door opened. "Can I help you boys?" Mizuki said.
Kaidoh looked at Momoshiro. Momoshiro sighed and got out the pitch pipe.
"Come out here, boys," Mizuki called. Kintarou bounded into the room. Ryoma meandered in after him.
"Are there cookies?" Kintarou said.
"No," Mizuki said. "Where's Horio? You're all supposed to be here."
"Are we getting another new stepfather?" Kintarou said.
"We'll have that talk later," Mizuki said, flashing a coy glance over at Momoshiro and Kaidoh. "Right now, these handsome young men want you to try on this tacky leather wristband. If it fits, you'll be the new Pillar of Seigaku! For sure, it will fit one of you." He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled. "Horio!"
Horio could hear all of this from the bathroom, where he was crouched over the toilet. It totally figured that Mizuki was trying to exclude Horio from this chance and was completely favouritizing Ryoma and Kintarou! They were going to steal away Horio's big chance to be famous and powerful! Not to mention he was in love with Tezuka, of course.
He had to rush out there and reveal the truth! Right after he was done barfing.
"I'm afraid it doesn't fit," Momoshiro said. Or maybe it was Kaidoh.
Ryoma shrugged and pulled the wristband off. "Whatever," he said.
"Let me! Let me!" Kintarou grabbed the wristband and tugged it on. "Nope, it doesn't fit me either." He yanked it off and it ripped in half.
Mizuki sighed. "I'm sorry," he said. "He always rips his clothes."
"But what will we do now?" Kaidoh said. (Or possibly Momoshiro.) "We still have about a hundred houses to go to."
Horio burst into the room. He was wearing old sweatpants and a T-shirt stained with barf. His face was pale and his hair was all messed up. "It's me!" he said. "I'm the Pillar of Seigaku!"
"Yeah, that's what everybody says," Momoshiro and/or Kaidoh said. "But the wristband is wrecked, so you're out of luck."
"But I have the other one." Horio brought out the matching leather wristband.
"It's true!" everyone exclaimed, except Ryoma, who just shrugged again. "He is the Pillar of Seigaku!"
"I always knew one of my boys would be the Pillar," Mizuki said. He gave Horio a squeeze. "Good for you, Horio."
Which just went to show that Mizuki was only sucking up now that Horio was going to be rich and powerful.
"We'll take you back to the palace," Kaidoh (or Momoshiro) said. "But maybe you could, uh, take a shower first?"
After a shower and some Pepto-Bismol, Horio went off to the royal tennis courts. There he was re-united with Tezuka.
Horio's eyes filled with tears of joy. Tezuka's hair waved in the breeze. And the whole council cheered.
The wedding was quickly organized. Tezuka was strikingly handsome in a Lilac Breeze tuxedo. And Horio was quite dashing in an orange and green suit. They were married in the centre court, with a huge crowd looking on. And at last Horio's true strength as a tennis player and amazing human being was acknowledged by all! Plus he still had the magic racquet.
The reception was lavish, with all kinds of food and drink. Horio stayed away from the cream puffs though.
Their honeymoon was blissful. And quiet. Tezuka didn't talk very much, it turned out. But he listened to Horio talk, which was a real change.
When they got back, Horio moved into the Royal Suite. He was hanging his stuff in the closet, when he found the sparkly white tennis dress!
"How did this get here?" he said.
"Oh, that," Tezuka said. "It was a wedding gift. From an old friend. Maybe you could wear it sometimes."
They lived happily ever after anyhow.
Comments of any kind are always welcome. :)