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?
AN: And I wanted to say thank you to all the people that reviewed including stringer13, Earthlight, Khelc-sul Renai, Loving Monday, animehphantom, F. A. Starhawk, Nivell, izakinha, and LaVenDaRxXxHiMaWaRi. Thanks! Sorry it took so long to get this next part out.
Chapter #2: Telling the People
Ryoma's parents led the way down the staircase of the tower they seemed to be in and over to the main section of the castle before telling Ryoma that he should change out of his bedclothes and into something a bit more appropriate for being in public and then left him to find his way to his bedroom by himself. At least that's where Ryoma assumed he was supposed to be going. People kept their clothes in their bedrooms, right?
So, not having any better idea other than to keep going along with this crazy dream, Ryoma looked around the large hallway he had been abandoned in and tried to figure out which direction he was supposed to be going in. He steadfastly ignored the thought that usually in dreams, no matter how crazy, he would have already known which direction he should be going in. Eventually, due to no real logical reason, he decided on left and resolutely headed off in that direction.
Wandering down the hallway, he peeked into the first door he came across and found what looked like a sitting room on the other side. The next room revealed a bedroom, but a bedroom that he definitely hoped was not his. It was pink.
And so his search went on. Door after door he came to and not one yielded anything that looked like it could be his bedroom. Of course, he had no real idea what his bedroom even looked like so it was entirely possible he had passed it without even knowing. Eventually, he ran out of rooms and had to retrace his steps back to his original position before heading off in the opposite direction. This direction led him even further and was a slight bit more confusing. He turned corners and chose random directions when he came to crossroads. Eventually, he was well and truly lost. Increasingly irritated, Ryoma eventually decided to screw it, he would wear the stupid purple pajamas, and started his quest to just get back to where he had started. And apparently he was successful because he heard his mother's voice calling to him from down the hall.
"Ryoma! Why aren't you dressed?" Rinko asked as she approached, wearing the same dress and looking mildly irritated at his failure to change his clothes. "We're going to be speaking to the public soon and you know you can't go out dressed like that."
Ryoma just looked at her, barely keeping his irritation at bay. "I can't find my room," he said flatly.
"What?" Now his mother just looked concerned. "You forgot where it was?"
Deciding against telling her that he'd never known where it was in the first place because this was just some crazy dream, Ryoma simply nodded.
Rinko looked at him for a long moment after that confession then pointed off to the side and said, "It's right down that hallway, third door on the left. The one with the blue and green draperies." She paused a second then continued, "Are you going to be okay with dressing yourself?"
At that, Ryoma looked entirely unimpressed. "I forgot some things. I'm not mentally retarded."
"Well, alright," Rinko allowed though she didn't look any less concerned, "But do you know how to get to the balcony?"
Ryoma was silent for a minute after she asked this, but then had to admit, "Not really."
Rinko just nodded as if she had suspected that. "Then I guess I'll wait for you here," she said before waving him off. "Go. Go get dressed. We don't have much time."
Rolling his eyes, Ryoma still obeyed and went off to get dressed. Following her directions, he was soon walking through the door to his room and, as he looked around it, he had to admit it wasn't that bad even if it was still incredibly dusty from years of disuse. The room itself was massive with a large King sized bed off to the side covered in obviously expensive bedclothes and draperies, an elaborate rug taking up most of the floor space, and a sturdy wooden desk sitting in the corner next to two large bookshelves. There were two doors, which he checked to find that one led to an expansive and luxurious bathroom and the other led to a large walk-in closet filled with princely looking clothes. Pulling one of the shirts out to look at it, Ryoma blew on it, received a face full of dust for his trouble, and made a disgusted face. There was no way he was wearing anything that dusty. But, with a quick perusal of the closet, Ryoma was dismayed to discover that it seemed like almost everything in there was equally, if not more, covered in dust. Some were even riddled with holes from moths And he had to wear one of these things?
But he knew his mother wouldn't be happy until he was dressed more appropriately so Ryoma dug down even further in the closet in search of something that had been better protected from the years. Eventually he found a rather simple grey button up that was almost militaristic in style and a pair of dark blue pants that very nearly refrained from molding to his thighs. They were lightly dusty, but that was easily fixed with a swipe of his hand. Looking at himself in the mirror, Ryoma tilted his head as he considered his reflection then shrugged. It was better than nothing.
Exiting his bedroom, Ryoma wandered back to join his mother who, upon seeing him, gave him a critical frown before declaring, "Well I suppose that's alright for now."
After that it was a quick walk to where his father, Momo, and what seemed to be two trumpeters were waiting. Momo had a look of half-dead boredom on his face as Nanjiroh related, in great detail, some his old stories from his youth.
"And let me tell you. Those were the days. I don't know what it's like nowadays, but back then you could buy an etching with a simple promise. You couldn't do that once the boy was born. Nothing was ever the same after the boy was born. Little brat. Once upon a time I could—
"Dear, shut up," Rinko said kindly, interrupting her husband midsentence.
Blinking rapidly as he seemed to realize that Nanjiroh had finally stopped talking, Momo seemed to come out of his daze and turned to Ryoma and his mother. "Oh. Hi."
Rinko smiled at the boy and asked, "Are you ready to be introduced?"
Momo smiled back, obviously just relieved to not have to listen to Nanjiroh's stories anymore. "Past ready."
"Good," was Rinko's answer to that and then she walked forward and opened the doors to the balcony. Following her out, Ryoma found himself on a wide veranda that stood over a large clearing filled with people of all types. The crowd was loud and not paying the balcony any attention whatsoever so Nanjiroh nodded at the trumpeters and waited until the loud tune called all of the crowd's attention to the small group on the balcony.
Stepping forward, Nanjiroh raised his voice so he was nearly shouting. "Greetings, citizens of Echizen!" There was a loud cheer and then Ryoma's father continued on, "I understand that many of you are confused. You may have fallen asleep in a strange position or strange area at a different time of day. You probably have no idea what may have caused that and may be feeling somewhat panicky. But let me just assure you that everything is okay. You are safe and you have probably already ascertained that everybody is alive. Is that correct?"
A long moment of murmuring amongst the crowd and then a few of the louder citizens yelled out an affirmation or seven.
"Good!" Nanjiroh said, still loudly and with a growing smile. "And I suppose you all want an explanation?"
Another loud cheer of affirmation from the crowd.
"Alright! And I suppose I can give you one. You have all probably heard about the curse put on our young Prince when he was very young. Well that curse has come to pass. Somehow, in an event outside anyone's control, the Prince was presented with a tennis racket and was injured as was foretold. And, of course, upon being injured the curse was activated thus sending him and everyone in the kingdom to sleep until the Prince's soul mate could come and break the curse."
It was really rather strange. Ryoma had never known his father to be any good at public speaking. And he had certainly never, ever, heard him speak so intelligently. But of course this was a dream, so that made some semblance of sense at least.
"I do not want to alarm any of you," Nanjiroh continued, "but it has become apparent that the Prince's soul mate took much longer than was anticipated to arrive."
"Geez," Momo grumbled under his breath. "I got here as soon as I could. It wasn't exactly easy, you know. Where's the gratitude?"
Hearing this, Ryoma looked up at the other boy and smirked.
"Please be calm," Nanjiroh continued still, "but the year is 1635, almost exactly 200 yrs since we first feel asleep."
The crowd really didn't like that, which made sense. There were shouts and loud cries and the crowd struggled against each other in their bid to be heard.
"Quiet!" Nanjiroh called.
No one listened. If anything they got louder.
"I said QUIET!" Nanjiroh yelled and that apparently shocked everyone into silence. "Thank you!" he said at a more normal level. "I know that this is may be upsetting. I'm sure there are many of us who had family outside the kingdom and it is normal to be shocked at a loss of so many years. But there will be much work to be done in the following days to ensure that our kingdom continues to thrive and we all must work together and keep our calm if we want to be successful. It can be done though and it will be done. The Kingdom of Echizen was once a great power and it will be great again!" Here, Nanjiroh raised his voice once more as he finished the motivational part of his long speech and the crowd burst into cheers once more.
Waiting until the cheers died down, Nanjiroh eventually called again for silence. "And on a more positive note," he started with a huge smile, "there will be a royal wedding in our immediate future to look forward to. Two kingdoms will be joined and there will be a new addition to the Echizen family."
As his father started rambling on about how great the new wedding and future will be, Ryoma, who had been settling into an accepting calm where he was content to just wait until he woke up, really started to feel just the tiniest bit freaked out. He didn't want to marry Momo. Why on Earth was he dreaming about it?
"And so, without further ado, I'd like to introduce my future son-in-law, Prince Takeshi of Momoshiro!"
Here Momo stepped forward to take his place next to Nanjiroh with a wide grin as the cheers started again. Waving cheerfully to the crowd, he was obviously reveling in the moment. He always did like being popular just a bit too much.
"Go on!" his mother hissed as she pushed at Ryoma insistently.
"What?" Ryoma asked, looking back at her in confusion.
"Go!" she repeated. "Get up there with your fiancé!"
"My what?!" Ryoma yelped, but she had already pushed him forward and he found himself at the railing of the balcony, faced with the increasing cheers of the crowd. Staring at the mass of cheering people with wide eyes, Ryoma froze.
"C'mon!" Momo said, grabbing his hand and making it wave. "Smile!"
Deciding he'd gone along with this dream so far so he might as well continue, Ryoma mustered up a weak smile and started to wave under his own power. He hated crowds.
Later, after the cheering had died down and Ryoma, his family, and Momo had gone back inside, Rinko was off trying to figure out if a Royal banquet was even possible with the supplies and food they had while Nanjiroh was meeting with his advisors and various informants to try and figure out just what was going on with the kingdom at large. They had sent Ryoma back to his room and told him to wait there for the Royal Healer, who would be sent as soon as they found him. Momo had been set up with his own room, but, like every room in castle, it was still covered in dust and in desperate need of a scrub by the castle maid and so he had decided to stick around his fiancé in Ryoma's room.
"Y'know," Momo began as he looked around the room casually. "You'd think that if a spell could put thousands of people to sleep and keep them from aging even a day it could keep everything from collecting so much dust and dirt too."
Ryoma, seated on the large bed, gave Momo an irritated look at that, but didn't say anything.
"You're gonna have to get new books," Momo noticed as he wandered over to the bookcases and read over the titles. "These are probably falling apart by now."
Ryoma gave Momo one more glance then purposefully looked away. He wasn't even going to honor that with a response.
"I haven't even heard of most of these," Momo continued, still over at the bookshelf. "I mean, these must be ancient. Geez."
Ryoma still said nothing, determinedly keeping his eyes on the door. Where was that Healer?
"And you're gonna have to learn two centuries worth of history and politics, you know?" Momo said conversationally as he wandered back over to Ryoma's side. Ryoma could practically feel him there, but didn't look. "I could probably help with that if you want. I mean, history isn't exactly my strong suit, but I probably know it better than you."
At that, Ryoma had to close his eyes and put a hand to his temples. It was a little much that he was apparently supposed to look to Momo for tutoring help in this dream. Why would this dream not end? Shouldn't his alarm be going off by now?
"Hey, you have a headache?" Momo asked, looking at Ryoma in concern as he carefully took a seat nearby.
"No. No, I'm fine," Ryoma answered irritably.
Momo just looked at him for a long moment then asked cautiously, "Do you still think you're dreaming?"
At that, Ryoma glanced at Momo out of the corner of his eyes then turned back to his watch of the door. "What do you think?"
Momo huffed out a breath. "Well that's not good. You've been awake for a while now. I was for sure it would just go away once you got used to reality again."
"This is not reality," Ryoma had to insist at that because, really. This was just getting to be too much. "Reality doesn't have spells and curses and - and castles. This doesn't even look like Japan."
At that Momo looked somewhat curious. "What's Japan?"
Unable to believe Momo had honestly just asked that, Ryoma stared at him for a moment. "It's the name of our country," he finally said.
Momo frowned slightly. "Our country's name is Seigaku."
Ryoma blinked then frowned in return. "No . . ." he said slowly. "That's the name of our school."
"Why would you name a school Seigaku?" Momo asked, obviously confused.
"It's short for Seishun Gakuen," Ryoma replied.
"Oh," Momo replied though he obviously still didn't get it. There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence, thankfully broken by a knock on the door.
"Your Majesty?" a voice called from the other side.
"Yeah?" Ryoma called back casually and Momo gave him a strange look.
"May I . . . May I come in?" the voice asked hesitantly.
"Sure!" Ryoma said and then waited for the Healer to enter.
The door opened to allow entrance to an old man carrying a rather heavy looking case. Walking slowly over to the side of the bed Ryoma sat on, the old man made a short bow and introduced himself, "My name's Seitarou, your Majesty. The Healer. Admittedly I've known you since you were a young boy, but I've been told you've been suffering some forgetfulness lately. Is that right?"
Ryoma frowned at him suspiciously, unsure about what his answer should be.
But Momo took the choice out of his hands before he could make a decision. "He keeps saying that this is a dream and he's going to wake up soon," Momo explained. "And his memory seems to be really messed up. He says he knew me from before when that's impossible and then he seems to think the country's named something like Joppen."
"Japan," Ryoma muttered sullenly.
"Yeah. That," Momo said.
Seitarou frowned and gave Ryoma a considering look. Then he turned to Momo and said, "Thank you for your help, your Majesty. I'm sure it'll be most useful. But if I may ask you to wait outside? My examinations must be made in private."
Momo nodded and jumped off the bed. "Of course." He waved at Ryoma and made to leave the room. "See you later, okay?"
Then he was gone and Ryoma was left alone with a strange man.
"Now," Seitarou said as he took out a foreign looking tool from his case. "Let's see about you, shall we?"
And Ryoma had to wonder how his subconscious knew so much about Medieval medical care when he could honestly care less about the subject. Because this check-up? It was not standard to the 21st century.