Title: All the King's Horses: A Tenipuri Fairytale
Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis or its characters.
Warnings: Yaoi, language
Pairings: Mainly MomoRyo, but also InuiKai, Golden Pair, and TezuFuji and maybe a few others on the sides. Try and guess which couple goes with which fairytale!
Summary: When Ryoma wakes up to his best friend kissing him he knows something's wrong. The rest of his day only cements this fact. Now he's stuck in a world of princes and spells where the people seem determined to marry him off to Momo and name him King. How the heck is he gonna get home?
Chapter #1: Awaking Sleeping Beauty
The first thing Ryoma was conscious of was the soft feel of lips pressing lightly against his. Frowning, Ryoma tried to move away from the offending lips, batting a hand at the person leaning over him and turning over in his bed to pull the covers over his head and go back to sleep.
There was a loud laugh at this and then Momo's loud voice came, saying, "It worked! It actually worked!"
Ryoma groaned and tried to huddle further under his blankets. He wished Momo would go away and leave him alone to sleep. How had Momo gotten into his bedroom anyways?
"Hey!" There was a heavy hand shaking Ryoma roughly by the shoulder, clearly determined to have him awake. "Hey, Prince Ryoma!" Momo continued far too loudly for this time of morning, "You can wake up now! The curse's gone!"
"Momo-senpai," Ryoma grumbled, not moving from his huddled position under his blankets, "Go away."
But Momo clearly wasn't listening. "Hey!" he said again, still far too loudly as he shook Ryoma by the shoulder again. "Didn't you hear me? You can wake up now!"
Ryoma decided to ignore him to snuggle deeper into his blankets, already halfway back to sleep.
"Geez," Momo grumbled from above him and slightly to the left as Momo finally took his hand off of Ryoma's shoulder. "After sleeping for over 200 years, you'd think you'd be a little more excited to be awake."
At this, Ryoma woke completely and finally sighed. Clearly Momo wasn't going to go away until Ryoma acknowledged him in some way. So, pulling the blanket back from over his head, Ryoma sat up and glared at his best friend. "Momo-senpai," he snapped, "What do you—Ryoma stopped here as he finally realized both his surroundings and just what Momo was wearing.
He seemed to be in the middle of some round castle room, the walls made of ancient grey blocks and covered by moth-eaten red tapestries depicting scenes from some kind of battle. He was seated in the middle of the most luxurious, if dusty, bed Ryoma had ever seen, hidden behind dark red draperies and covered in a mountain of blankets. Momo himself was wearing a ridiculously expensive looking outfit in dark blue suede with golden tassels at the shoulders and shiny gold buttons all the way down the front. He was smiling his familiar wide grin and looking at Ryoma as if all of his Christmases and birthdays had come at once.
Ryoma blinked. "Momo-senpai?" he asked, more than confused.
Momo looked confused in return and actually looked around as if to try and find another person in the small room. Finally he turned to Ryoma and blinked. "I'm sorry. Are you talking to me?"
Now Ryoma looked at him as if he were crazy. "Who else would I be talking to? The wall?"
"Well, true," Momo allowed, "Nobody here, but us so far. But my name's not Momo-senpai. It's Prince Takeshi of Momoshiro." And here Momo smiled that familiar wide grin again and quickly went through a grand bow. "Also known," he said as he came back up, still grinning that grin, "as your future husband-to-be."
Hearing this, Ryoma just stared at Momo for a long moment. Then he stared at the draperies. Then at the walls. Then he shut his eyes tight and pinched the bridge of his nose. "This is all a dream," he muttered to himself, "A crazy dream. You will wake up in five seconds and everything will be back to normal."
"Hey," Momo said and when Ryoma looked back up at him he could see that Momo was frowning. "What are you talking about.?" Momo asked.
"This," Ryoma said impatiently, making a wide gesture to include the whole room. "None of this is real."
Still Momo frowned. "What? But of course this is real. What else—Momo abruptly stopped. "Oh," he said. Suddenly Momo seemed to understand and he got this annoyingly sympathetic look on his face as he continued, "Look. I know you've been asleep for a long time." Here Momo stopped to apparently stress this fact. "A really long time. And I mean really. You're pretty much ancient by now." But then, seeming to remember his purpose, he continued, "But you're awake now. This isn't a dream. The curse really is over." And then Momo smiled this stupid kind smile as if Ryoma was some cute little kid in need of comforting.
Ryoma scowled. "What curse?"
That thankfully wiped the smile off Momo's face and the older boy frowned. "The curse," he said as if it were strange that Ryoma didn't know what he was talking about. "You know, the sleeping curse. It's over."
"Curses don't exist," Ryoma said irritably. He didn't even want to know why he needed to explain this. This really was a strange dream.
Momo's frown deepened. "Um, yeah. They do. How else would you explain how you and your entire kingdom fell asleep for over 200 years without aging a day?"
"Easy," Ryoma said. "They didn't. I don't even have a kingdom."
"But they did," Momo said, "And you do. You just weren't there to see the curse, what with you falling asleep and all that. But you and your kingdom have been asleep for a really long time. It's become like a challenge for princes everywhere to try and get past the thick wall of roses that guard this place and get to you."
"Right," Ryom said, crossing his arms over his chest irritably and giving Momo a don't-be-stupid look. "And what are they supposed to do once they get to me? That seems like kind of a stupid challenge."
Here Momo seemed to get a little uncomfortable, putting a hand on the back of his neck and looking at the floor. "Um, well, they're kind, of, um, supposed to kiss you to see if you'll, you know, wake up."
"Kiss me?" Ryoma asked, a look of disgust settling over his features even as he remembered the feel of soft lips breaking through his sleeping trance. "You kissed me?! Pervert!" Ryoma threw one of his many pillows at the older boy.
"Hey!" Momo exclaimed as he dodged the thrown pillow and then dodged the next. "Hey! It's not like I was the one who designed the curse, you know. I only broke it."
"By kissing me," Ryoma said, still sounding mad. That would have been his first kiss too and Momo had stolen it. Bastard.
But this was just a dream. So, taking a deep breath, Ryoma tried to settle down and stopped throwing away his pillows, actually hugging the latest one close to his chest as he continued with a scowl, "And there's no such thing as curses so you must have just kissed me because you could."
Now Momo was starting to look a little irritated. "I keep telling you. Curses do exist and you were under one."
And that was all Ryoma could take of this. "This is stupid," Ryoma declared. "There's no such thing as curses and I'm gonna wake up any minute now." Looking down at his arm, Ryoma selected a nice patch of skin and firmly pinched himself. It hurt and he closed his eyes, fully confident that when he opened his eyes he'd be back in his own bedroom, Karupin by his side, and late for tennis practice. Opening his eyes to find himself still in the same room, with the weirdly dressed Momo staring at him stupidly, Ryoma scowled and turned back to his arm to pinch harder.
"Come on," he murmured to himself as he pinched himself again and again. "Wake up already."
A hand closing over his arm gently prevented him from trying again and Ryoma looked up irritably to find Momo looking down at him in some concern.
"You need to stop that," Momo said softly. "This isn't a dream and you aren't going to wake up. Accept it and move on."
Ryoma scowled. "This is a dream. There's no way reality could be this stupid. It all sounds like some kind of fairytale."
"Well I don't know what a fairytale is," Momo said, still looking at him in some concern, but taking his hand away, "But, this really is real. I don't get why you'd think otherwise. Don't you remember your life before the curse?"
"Yes," Ryoma snapped, "And I definitely wasn't a prince then. And you weren't either."
Momo went back to looking confused. "Are you saying you knew me before you fell asleep?"
Momo frowned. "But that's impossible. I've never seen you before in my life. Maybe you were dreaming?"
"I wasn't dreaming," Ryoma began angrily, "I—But here he stopped and slowly took a deep breath in and out. This wasn't getting him anywhere. Maybe he should just go along with the stupid dream and wait for when he would wake up for real. "Fine," he said. "Fine. Whatever. I'm a prince. I've been asleep for two centuries. Now what?"
Momo didn't look completely convinced by Ryoma's sudden change of heart, but answered anyway. "Well I don't really know. I wasn't really expecting it to work in the first place. But the stories say we get married though."
"Married!" Ryoma exclaimed. "I'm not marrying you!"
Momo looked insulted. "And why not? I'll have you know I'm a good catch. I'm handsome, smart, charming, athletic—
"Modest," Ryoma interrupted, giving Momo an unimpressed look.
Momo didn't seem to realize that he was being sarcastic. "Yeah! That too!"
Ryoma rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Doesn't mean I want to marry you," he said and pushed aside his pillow to start to get out of his giant bed. The stone floor beneath his bare feet was cold and he finally got a good look at what he was wearing. It appeared to be satin pajamas in a soft violet color.
"What the hell am I wearing?" he asked.
Still looking a little insulted that Ryoma didn't want to marry him, Momo barely looked at what he was wearing before saying a terse, "Clothes," and continuing, "And I'll have you know that it wasn't just luck that you woke up when I kissed you. Only your soul mate could do that. So we need to get married." Then, a bit petulantly, "You should want to get married too. Not just me."
Ryoma just looked at him, barely tolerant. "I don't believe in soul mates." And then he went to try and explore the room a little. He wanted a better look at one of those tapestries.
"What?!" Momo asked, snapping out of his anger, as he followed Ryoma's movements with his eyes and looked more than a little surprised. "But you're one of the Fabled Princes! You have to believe in soul mates!"
That had sounded like a formal name. Ryoma looked back at Momo curiously. "What's a Fabled Prince?"
"They're one of the princes that have gone through spells and curses and dealt with fairy godmothers and evil stepmoms. You know, they're the ones you can tell stories about," Momo explained impatiently, still looking like he couldn't believe Ryoma didn't believe in that soul mate rubbish. Then he kind of blinked and actually seemed to consider Ryoma. "But I guess they're kind of a modern thing so I suppose it's okay that you don't know about them."
Ryoma rolled his eyes again. Well, okay. As long as he had Momo's permission.
"Usually after the princes get done dealing with all the evil stepmoms and stuff they get married though," Momo said, continuing, "So that's why we need to get married."
Fingering the thinning material of the tapestries, Ryoma was about to open his mouth and ask why anybody would want to marry somebody they barely even knew, when the door to the tiny room flew open and Ryoma's parents burst into the room, wearing the clothes Ryoma imagined a King and Queen would wear.
"Ryoma!" his mom cried, rushing over to him to grab him up into a crushing hug as best she could in that huge dress.
"Mom!" Ryoma yelped and tried to escape her hold.
"Seishounen! You're awake!" his father exclaimed, clapping him on the back enthusiastically even as Ryoma's mother continued to squeeze the life out of him.
"Mom," Ryoma said, trying to get his mother to let go, "Mom, I can't breathe."
"Oh I'm just so happy!" Rinko exclaimed, finally letting her son go, but holding him by the shoulders so that she could get a good look at him. "The curse is finally over! I don't even know what year it is yet, but who really cares, right? Are you okay? No permanent damage or anything?"
"Um," Momo spoke up hesitantly, "It's 1635. You know, just so you know. And you might want to have a look at him. He's acting kind of strange." Then he went back to being silent.
But now he had both of Ryoma's parents' attention.
"Are you the boy that broke the curse?" Rinko asked curiously as she turned to Momo and finally let Ryoma go. Ryoma took a good few steps away from her just in case she was of the mind to hug him again. He wasn't used to his mother being so excited to see him. She was usually so controlled.
Nanjiroh was looking Momo over skeptically. "Don't look like much."
Momo looked insulted and like he was about to say something that he would probably regret later, but Rinko broke in before he could say anything.
"But I suppose we owe you a thank you," she said, smiling. "And a welcome to the family." Going over to him, Rinko gathered Momo's tall form into another crushing hug. "I can already tell that I'm going to like having you for a son-in-law," she said happily.
Momo smiled at this and returned the hug with equal enthusiasm. "And I can already tell that I'm going to like having you for a mother-in-law."
Rinko smiled again as she pulled away from Momo. "Aww. Aren't you the sweet one?"
"See?" Momo couldn't help but say to Ryoma. "At least she likes me."
Rinko turned to Ryoma in concern upon hearing this. "Ryoma? Don't you like him? He broke the curse!"
Ryoma crossed his arms over his chest again irritably and repeated for what had to be the millionth time, "There's no such thing as curses."
That just made both Rinko and Nanjiroh look at him, Rinko in concern and Nanjiroh as if he had suddenly gone mad.
"Dear," Rinko began slowly, "You've known about curses since you were born. I mean, we may not have told you what would happen if you touched a tennis racket, but there was all that commotion over in the Shinji Kingdom about the muttering curse and then there was the Tezuka's and that horrible aging curse."
"The last Prince of Tezuka looked like a thirty year old man," Nanjiroh put in. "And he was only 15." Blinking, he turned to his wife to ask, "Do you think they're still affected by that?"
"Yes, exactly," Rinko said, ignoring her husband's question as she watched Ryoma closely. "Don't you remember any of that?"
"No," Ryoma said bluntly. "I don't because it never happened. This is all a dream."
"He's been saying that ever since he woke up," Momo told his parents. "He even tried to hurt himself just to wake himself up."
This just made Ryoma's mother look all the more concerned. "Ryuuzaki-san never said anything about this when she changed the death curse."
Momo looked a little shocked by this. "Death curse? But I thought it was only a sleeping curse."
"Yes, well the curse was actually first meant to completely kill Ryoma. Ryuuzaki-san changed it so that he and everyone else would only go to sleep instead," Rinko said, turning to Momo to explain, but then she smiled. "At least until his soul mate came and kissed him."
Momo smiled in return.
Ryoma ignored this byplay, still looking irritated. "And what does any of that have to do with me touching a tennis racket? I play tennis all the time."
Turning back to her son, Rinko looked horrified by this. "No, you don't. You've never played that game once in your life."
"Well, he had to at least once," Nanjiroh said nonchalantly, "The curse was activated, after all."
Ryoma was starting to look confused. "What does tennis have to do with me falling asleep for two centuries?"
This Momo answered. "Apparently you first fell asleep when you picked up a tennis racket and tried to play a game against a prince from the Shinji Kingdom. The strings on the racket broke and hurt you and, you know," Momo shrugged, "activated the curse."
Rinko was nodding along as Momo explained. "Yes," she said. "Don't you remember that? We told you never to play tennis, but you never did listen to us. We even had that stupid game banned from the kingdom and you still went ahead and played it." Now she was starting to get mad. "What on Earth were you thinking? We told you never to play that game! And now look where you've gotten us. Asleep for two centuries! I should rightly ground you for the rest of your life for that!"
Ryoma's confusion was still there, but so was his fear of his mother's wrath. "I'm . . . I'm sorry," he said softly, not really knowing why he was apologizing, but wanting her to stop yelling at him. He had to remember this was still a dream. His mother wasn't actually going to ground him for the rest of his life because he played a game of tennis.
Rinko made a sound of disgust, but waved his apology off. "No. We should have told you why you weren't allowed to play it. It's both our faults."
"But does this mean we can play tennis again?" Nanjiroh asked, starting to look a little excited. "The curse is broken after all and, even if it's not, we have this guy here—pointing to Momo—to wake the brat up if it happens again."
Rinko looked considering. "We'll see. We should probably first think about what we're going to say to our people now that we're all awake. We'll have to introduce, um," she looked to Momo, "I'm sorry. I haven't gotten your name. What kingdom are you from?"
Momo smiled, not insulted in the least. "Prince Takeshi from Momoshiro."
"Oh," Rinko frowned. "I haven't heard of that kingdom. It must be one of the new ones. But still!" she continued, not to be brought down. She smiled at him again. "Nice to meet you." Then she turned back to Nanjiroh and Ryoma as she continued, "And we should probably have the Healer look at Ryoma. It's not right that he thinks he's still asleep."
Nanjiroh nodded thoughtfully and Ryoma just looked irritated. When was this dream going to end already?