Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis.
Notes: I'm a big fan of BtVS xover HP fandom, and at one website, there was a 'Parent Trap Challenge' for it. So, a friend of mine told me wouldn't it be a challenge to do that for Prince of Tennis instead. Hence, the fic. I know I haven't updated my other PoT fics for months, but I just can't get this plot bunny out of my head~ XD So yeah, enjoy~ :D
Ryoma boarded the airplane to New York feeling numb, his face expressionless. Even as he sat between a plump old man, and a young mother with a wailing baby, he barely showed any expressions. He never felt so betrayed before, not even when Ryoga suddenly disappeared on him again two years ago. He thought that they liked each other. They had been going out for three years, ever since Ryoma started high school. He thought that their feelings were mutual. But maybe it's not. Ryoma had found neither hide nor hair of Tezuka at the airport earlier. He couldn't even reach the older teen by his cell phone. He remembered the sympathetic look his old tennis teammates gave him when it was time for him to leave.
Ryoma bit his lower lips when he felt a lump forming in his throat. No matter what, he won't give in to his emotions. If he managed not to cry when he almost lost his eye in a tennis match, then he is also able not to cry over this. By the time the airplane landed many hours later, Ryoma had already made his resolve. He would focus on the reason why he went to America. He would focus on making a name for himself in the pro tennis world. He would focus on surpassing the 'Samurai Nanjiroh's' name in the professional circuit.
All his blood and sweat bore fruits when he had his two consecutive wins in the Grand Slam in just three years. However, his final match left him with a serious injury. Doctors said that it would take the minimum of two months to heal. His manager gave him a choice to go through rehabilitation in America or in Japan, where he would be amongst family. After some persuasion from Kevin, who became his best friend over the years, he begrudgingly agreed to return to Japan. Kevin gave him a victorious smirk after that, and Ryoma could only grumble under his breath.
That was how Ryoma found himself at Newark International Airport, waiting for his delayed flight to Japan. Ryoma stared at his cell phone, rereading the email his mother sent to him earlier. He should have known that Kevin was still working with his mother to get him to visit Japan again. He hadn't return to Japan since he left three years ago. For some good reason, he thought. Ryoma sighed. He just hoped that his mother didn't make a fuss of him returning.
Ryoma narrowed his eyes when he spotted his old best friend, Momoshiro, waiting for him at the waiting area after he was done picking up his luggage. The ex-power player of Seigaku grinned widely when he saw Ryoma, and gave him a peace sign.
"What are you doing here?" The question was short and curt.
"Well, your mom told me you were coming, so I volunteered myself to pick you up," the spiky-haired man explained.
Ryoma frowned. "My mom told you?" When Momoshiro nodded, his frown deepened. "Who else did she tell?"
"Relax, Echizen, I only knew because I was returning Karupin to your house. I found that cat playing in my parents backyard again when I went for a visit a few days ago."
His expression quickly changed from annoyance to worries. "What do you mean by 'again'? How many times have Karupin wandered out of my house?" He was gripping the handle of his luggage tightly with his uninjured right hand, his knuckles practically turning white.
Momoshiro looked at his best friend with an amused expression. "Chill, Echizen. It only wandered off to our house two or three times. That fur ball probably misses you." The taller man couldn't help but chuckle when his best friend's mouth curved upwards slightly.
"Anyways," Ryoma's glare returned. "Who else knows?"
Momoshiro laughed nervously. "Details, details," he waved it off. "Now, we better get going or we'll be late. We can't have that now, we can't have that." Before he could protest, Momoshiro took Ryoma's luggage from him and led him to the car.
Ryoma had a bad feeling when Momoshiro parked his car at the parking space opposite Kawamura Sushi Shop. With a heavy sigh, he asked, "Everyone is waiting in there, aren't they?" He glanced at the sushi shop.
"Maa, not really everyone," Momoshiro gave a sheepish laugh. "Just some ex-Seigaku regulars I kept in touch with." And some other people, Momo added in his head. "They all missed you a lot."
He sighed again, knowing he wouldn't be able worm his way out of this gathering, so he followed Momoshiro out of the car. He just hoped that the person he tried to avoid for the past three years wouldn't be there. He braced himself when Momoshiro slide the entrance door open, and went inside after the latter.
He winced when a hyper and cheerful voice called out the dreaded nickname given to him in his freshman year of middle school. "Ochibi!" He turned to see Eiji waving vigorously at him with a big grin on his face. The redhead was sitting crossed leg at the side table, along with Oishi next to him, and Fuji the opposite side of him. Tachibana Kippei and Ann occupied the other table near the legendary Golden Pair, and Sanada and Yukimura occupied the table next to them. He also noticed that Kaidou, Inui, and Yanagi, who were probably invited by Inui, at the counter table. Huh, he thought as he glanced at everyone in the shop. Never thought so many people would be here to see me.
"Come on in, Echizen. Don't just stand there, have a seat," Kawamura exclaimed, motioning towards the two empty seats next to Yanagi. Realizing that Momo had already went off to join Ann; he glared at his best friend. Traitor, he thought.
"You could have a seat here too, Echizen," Yukimura offered. "I would like to hear more about your matches."
"Seiichi, maybe you should let Echizen eat first before interrogating him," Sanada, the young dojo owner told his boyfriend. In return, the dark-haired student doctor pouted at the former.
"I'll just sit by the counter then," Ryoma said, as he closed the door behind him. He went towards the counter table and was about to sit at the unoccupied seat further from Yanagi when the latter spoke, "You don't have to seat so far away, Echizen. I won't bite." Ryoma's face flushed slightly as Yanagi smirked.
"I wasn't scared," he muttered as he slipped on the stool next to Yanagi. "Hisashiburi," he said, and Kaidou and Inui nodded, acknowledging his presence.
"Saa, Echizen, what would you like to eat? Don't be shy, today's meal is on the house."
"Uisu." After Ryoma ordered some salmon sushi, Oishi slipped onto the seat next to him.
"It's been awhile, Echizen," Oishi said. "Are you alright?" he asked, gesturing towards left hand, which was in a cast. "We saw your last Grand Slam match and heard about your injury."
"Aa," he said. "I'll be able to get this cast off in six to eight weeks. Then, probably a month or so for rehab," he grimaced.
Oishi patted him on the shoulder. "You'll get through. Oh, did you hea—"
"Ochibi!" Kikumaru cut in as he glomped onto Ryoma from behind. It was a good thing he had already swallowed his sushi before the hyper Eiji glomped him.
"Eiji," Oishi chastised his best friend.
"Gomen, gomen," Eiji smiled sheepishly. "I just couldn't help myself when Oishi went off to talk to ochibi alone. I wanted to talk to him too."
"88% chance that Echizen will turn—"
"Blue if Kikumaru does not let go of his hold on Echizen, is what you were going to say, wasn't it, Sadaharu?" Yanagi cut in. Inui adjusted his glasses as his mouth curved upwards. Yanagi always knew what he was about to say.
After Eiji let go, Ryoma rubbed his neck while giving the redhead the evil eye. Eiji laughed nervously at that. "You do realize that I'm as tall as you now, Kikumaru-san?"
"Ochibi will always be ochibi! Besides, what's with the formality? Just call me Eiji. And why didn't you keep in touch with us? Or come for a visit? We only ever heard about you from Momo, or from the internet." Eiji pouted after he finished his rant.
"Che," he muttered. "I was busy," and as an afterthought, he added in, "Eiji-san." That was half true. Although the main reason was he didn't want to accidentally bump into Tezuka.
"Eiji," the redhead insisted.
"Yadda," he popped another sushi into his mouth.
"Fine," Eiji puffed his cheeks.
"Eiji…" A big sweat drop appeared on Oishi's head seeing Eiji's childish attitude.
Fuji chuckled. "Both of you are as lively as always." The brunette-haired tensai gave his friends his trademark smile. Ryoma turned around, and nodded at Fuji. "I would like to catch up more, Echizen, but I'm afraid I have to get going."
"Fuji, you're leaving already?" Kawamura asked.
"Yeah," Fuji replied. "I need to get back to the agency. They needed one more photographer immediately."
"Drive safely, Fujiko," Eiji exclaimed, giving his best friend a peace sign.
"Ah," Fuji nodded. He turned his attention back to Ryoma. "I'll see you around, Echizen. We need to catch up after all. I hope your injury will heal fast. It must be frustrating for you." Then, after a wave, he exited the shop.
Oishi shook his head at Fuji's bold words and patted Ryoma's shoulder once more. "We'll leave you to your dinner then, Echizen. But I want to have a word with you before you leave, is that's okay?" After Ryoma nodded, Oishi returned to his own seat, dragging a reluctant Eiji with him.
"Did you and Oishi-san have a nice chat?" Momo asked, glancing at his best friend after the traffic light turned red.
Ryoma nodded. "Why do I get this feeling that you were the one who planned this?"
"Planned what? The gathering?"
"No, the talk with Oishi-san."
"Well, I know that Oishi-san would probably be able to make you listen to reasons," he replied, returning his gaze towards the road. He continued driving when the light turned green.
"If I knew that was your ulterior motive, I wouldn't have come in the first place," Ryoma muttered.
"Stubborn as always, aren't you, Echizen?"
"It's not like I was the one who broke our promise," the 21 years old man grumbled.
He sighed heavily. "Echizen, don't you want to listen to his side of the story first?"
The dark-haired pro tennis player growled. "I don't care. He didn't contact me after that, so same difference."
"If I remember correctly, weren't you the one who refused to answer his calls?" Ryoma sent a glare at Momo's direction since what he said what the truth. "Look, Echizen, just give the man a chance to explain himself. Meet up with him. I promise you, he was as broken as you were when you left."
Ryoma growled as a reply, and refused to say another word to Momoshiro for the rest of the drive to his house.
Tezuka groaned when he woke up with a splitting headache. He tried to remember what happened the night before and groaned again when he realized he had let his guard down. He had forced Oishi to grab a drink with him, and he ended up getting himself drunk.
He went to the kitchen and put the kettle on and then, took a carton of orange juice from the fridge and drank it directly from the box before sitting on the stool near his kitchen counter. He buried his face in his hands. It was foolish of him to behave the way he had the night before just because he heard the news about Ryoma's return. He was with Yukimura and Oishi for lunch when Oishi received a phone call from Momoshiro. When the call ended, the former mother hen of Seigaku's tennis club gave Tezuka an apologetic look before relaying Momoshiro's message to Yukimura and Tezuka.
He pretended to be indifferent about it, knowing why Momoshiro warned him to stay away from the sushi shop that evening. If Ryoma saw him there, then the younger man will definitely go away. It still hurt him a lot that Ryoma wouldn't let him explain. A few months after Ryoma left for America three years ago, Tezuka found out the things his family had done to break them up. Tezuka tried calling Ryoma time and again to apologize, but it was too late. Ryoma wouldn't let him in anymore.
He was about to fix himself a somewhat decent breakfast when he heard his doorbell rang. He thanked his lucky stars that the intensive drumming competition in his head has stopped, although it was still pounding lightly. He went to the entrance of his two-bedroom apartment to open the door. If he had heart problem, he would probably have another heart attack now at the sight of his unexpected guest.
"Good morning, Tezuka-san," Ryoma said hesitantly. He felt like a thousand needles pricked his heart when Ryoma called him by his surname. After a moment, Ryoma said, "Well, you look like hell."
I've been in one for the last three years, was what Tezuka wanted to say but he bit his cheeks before he could say it out loud. Instead, he inhaled and exhaled to regain his composure before saying, "Aa. To what do I owe the pleasure?" He kicked himself inwardly. He didn't mean to sound sarcastic, especially not when he finally get to see Ryoma.
Ryoma stared at him, hard. "I guess I deserved that. I could go if I'm not welcomed—"
"No, don't go!" his outburst made Ryoma glanced at him with a raised eyebrow. He opened the door wider and invited Ryoma in.
After the younger man entered, he looked around and remarked, "I was surprised when Momo told me you moved out of your parents house. However, this apartment is really…you." The apartment has a decent size sitting room with a bookshelf filled with books in a corner, and an open-kitchen the same size as the sitting room with a wooden counter table and three matching stools. Between the sitting room and the kitchen was the dining area with a rectangular dining table set for six people.
He went to the kitchen after gesturing for Ryoma to take a sit on the sofa. Seconds later, he returned with two cups of green tea. "Have a drink," Tezuka said, before disappearing into his bedroom to change out of his pajama.
Ryoma looked around. He felt awkward being in the same place as Tezuka. He looked around again. Then, a photo on the side table caught his attention. It was a photo of him and Tezuka, taken by Fuji during their high school graduation. He frowned when he saw that the photo has traces of being torn into smaller pieces.
"That was the only photo of us that I managed to save."
He almost jumped out of his skin when Tezuka suddenly spoke from behind him. He didn't notice that the brunette has returned. "What do you mean by 'save'?" he asked, curiosity getting the best of him.
"It was a month after you left. I found out that my dad was the one who wrote the letter— I thought it was you. I came home one day and couldn't find any of our photos together. My mother came to my room that night and told me my father destroyed everything, but she managed to save the pieces of one of the photos." Tezuka nodded towards the photo. "I put it back together. I moved out a few weeks after."
After taking in everything Tezuka said, Ryoma asked, "What…What did the letter say?" He noticed that Tezuka's expression changed, and quickly said, "You know what, never mind. I don't want to know."
"Ryoma…" Tezuka said with a pained voice.
"I'm sorry for intruding so early in the morning. This was a mistake," he mumbled. He was about to walk away when Tezuka grabbed his hand and pulled him in an embrace.
He could feel his heart beating fast when he felt Tezuka's breath on his neck. He could smell Tezuka's familiar wood scented cologne when he breathed in. "This isn't fair," he mumbled against Tezuka's chest. "I came hear to prove to Momo and Oishi-san that I don't feel anything for you anymore. So, how could you just pull me in your embrace and make me all weak-kneed like some girl."
"I've waited so long to see you again, Ryoma," Tezuka said. "I never stopped loving you."
His only reply was to wrap his arms around Tezuka's waist. "I hate you," said his muffled voice. "You always made me lose my resolve." For what seemed like a long time, Tezuka's smile finally returned.
"Oh yeah? When?"
"Before, when I was completely resolved in not telling you that I'm a hermaphrodite, and was born with female organs. But you broke my resolve," he whispered. "You still loved me even though I am a freak."
"You're not a freak," Tezuka said, before capturing Ryoma's mouth in a long, deep kiss.
After that day, they started spending more time together to make up for lost time and to catch up in each other's life. They would sometimes meet up for lunch after Ryoma's rehabilitation session ended, or dinner when Tezuka's training at Sakura Private Hospital ended for the day. Soon after, Ryoma fell in love with Tezuka once more.
A month later, Tezuka proposed, and Ryoma was in love enough to say yes. He was in love enough to accept the fact that their union won't be completely blessed by the Tezuka family. In love enough that when he found out that his reproductive organ weren't dormant, he went through with the pregnancy. In love enough that he decided to take a break from pro tennis life and moved back to Japan.
However, his love didn't stop him from calling Kevin in the middle of the night a year later, asking Kevin to pick him up at Newark International Airport. Kevin knew something must have gone wrong, so the blonde agreed without asking any questions. After he hung up, Ryoma hushed the crying baby he was carrying while trying to stop the tears that threatened to fall once more. The pain he felt now was nothing compared to the time when Tezuka broke his promise a few years ago. He felt like his heart was breaking into a million pieces.
By the time Kevin arrived at the airport to pick him up, he was thankful that his baby girl was finally asleep. Kevin noticed how red Ryoma's eyes and nose were, but decided not to mention it.
"What happened?" Kevin asked, but immediately regretted asking the question when the tears returned to Ryoma's eyes. Kevin was relieved that instead of crying, his best friend just rubbed the tears away.
"Kunimitsu— I— We didn't work out," he answered quietly. His eyes were filled with sorrow. "I had to leave Takuya with him. That's the only way they'd let me keep Chiyo." At that moment, Ryoma's tears fell at the thought of not being able to see his son, Chiyo's twin brother, again.
Kevin was furious, his hands clenched into a fist. "Who?"
"Kunimitsu's grandfather," he managed to choke out, the lump in his throat returning.
Kevin could feel his anger rising. He swore, if he were with Ryoma in Japan that time, he would definitely kill that old man. He inhaled deeply and let it out, trying to control his anger. "C'mon, Ryoma, I'll take you home."
He shook his head. "I don't want to return to my parents home yet," he said. "I'm not ready for questions."
Kevin nodded, "You could stay at my apartment for the night. It's a long drive to your parents house in Greenwich, so we'll visit them tomorrow."
"Thanks, Kev," he said gratefully.
A/N: So, how was it? I know the ending seemed rushed and all but yeah, my muse disappeared, and I just want to get this out. Anyways, please review~