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 Title: things are better when they aren’t perfect

Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Prompt: AU fantasy + secret twin/doppelganger
Medium: fic

Chapters: 1/2
Wordcount: 550
Rating: T
Warnings: none
Summary: Horio’s misaimed spell has some value, though it takes a while to see it.

First created: 3/31/2014

Last modified: 3/31/2014

Other notes: RyoSaku. Written for trope_bingo Round 3. Currently being revised - this is pretty much the first chapter of what looks to be three chapters.


Unsatisfied with her life, Ryuzaki Sakuno picks up a magic spellbook. Ignoring it, it is next found by Horio who attempts a spell. Emboldened by a success, he tries something else, a spell on Ryuzaki Sakuno. This backfires spectacularly. Somehow, Echizen Ryoma seems to be able to see through his spells.


It is free practice for the Seishun Gakuen Girls’ Tennis Team and Ryuzaki Sakuno is attempting to improve her form when she trips over a book.

“Spellbook of Useful Spells,” she read. The book’s pages were dusty and she sneezed before reading the cover again.

“Ehh? Spellbook?” She shook her head. Thanks to Tomo-chan lending her manga she knew what would happen if she gave in to her curiosity and opened this book.  Every time this happened in manga the spell the heroine would cast would make her life much, much worse and she would have to try to undo it.

“No, I don’t want to tempt fate,” she decided. (Except maybe have Ryoma-kun notice me as a girl, but that would be changing Ryoma-kun himself and she didn’t want that.)

Thus Ryuzaki Sakuno left the spell book in the bushes near the Boys’ Team’s Tennis Courts, somewhat happier by knowing she made the right choice.


The next person to come across the spellbook, poorly hidden in the bushes near the Seishun Gakuen Middle School Boys’ Team’s Tennis Courts was Satoshi Horio, on his way to practice.

“Ehh? Spellbook?” He flipped through the pages, eyes widening at the many different spells he read.

“Maybe this is my chance to get better!” He grinned, gleefully thinking of what he could do with the spellbook. Improve his grades, his tennis, maybe get a girlfriend, get Echizen to bow to him… “But first, maybe I should test one of these easier spells.” His finger stopped at a promising spell.

“Spell to make your reflexes heighten, lasting an hour. That sounds good.”


No one in Seishun Gakuen would forget that day. It was the day that Horio Satoshi avoided Inui juice, punishment laps, and somehow lasted long enough during practice to match Echizen Ryoma in tennis to reach 6-6.

While the spell had run out by the time the time-breaker rolled around and Echizen had soundly trounced him 7-0, it was still a great improvement, Horio noted. If he had cast the spell much later…

He couldn’t wait to go home and try out some more spells.


Horio was on top of the world. His homework was perfect (for once), he was praised by the English teacher when he read his essay out to the class (and for once not getting a smart remark by Echizen), and he relished Osakada’s disbelieving look when she heard of his lucky streak. He couldn’t wait to cast more spells.

He finally got an idea when he saw Ryuzaki Sakuno offering Echizen Ryoma a can of Ponta after their tennis practice.

“Echizen doesn’t know what he’s missing out on, with such a cute girl like Ryuzaki crushing on him. She should look at me instead, especially since I have four years of tennis experience and I have magic.” He blinked. “Magic.” He brought out the spellbook and started madly flipping through it. “I want Ryuzaki to get a crush on me instead, isn’t there some kind of love potion?”

Doppelganger spell

Concentrate on a person you would like to make a doppelganger of for ten minutes then go around a Cherry Blossom Tree (in bloom) three times repeating these words: Doppelganger, come to me, come to me, be free from who you be. The doppelganger of the person you were thinking of should appear.

Horio grinned. Surely this was good enough. A Ryuzaki for himself, maybe one that would make him bento and cheer him on (over Echizen) would be good. Maybe she’d be his girlfriend… Horio’s thoughts trailed off into imagining having Ryuzaki as his girlfriend.

After his daydream, he immediately closed the book and went in search of the nearest Cherry Blossom Tree, ignoring the fine print written below the spell:

Doppelganger may not act like original person. Doppelganger may try to take over original person if it pleases. Original person may feel ill after spell.





Sakuno opened her eyes to see Echizen Ryoma’s face near hers.


“You suddenly collapsed after opening your can of Ponta,” he said, sitting down next to her.

She grimaced as she saw his regulars jacket drenched. “Gomen, Ryoma-kun, I’ll have your jacket cleaned!”

He shook his head. “Never mind that. Are you feeling okay?”

She nodded, trying to ignore the throbbing in her head. “I’m fine, Ryoma-kun.”

“You don’t look fine,” he said. “C’mon, I’ll take you home. Coach said she was staying late.”

“Aa,” she agreed, “Obaa-chan wanted to hammer out the details of the next practice games against Hyotei and Fudomine with the principal and the other coaches so their visit wouldn’t conflict with other teams coming. Demo, I can get home by myself-“ She winced as she almost tripped when she tried to stand.

“C’mon,” he said, steadying her. “Think of what Coach would do to me if I let you go like this.”

“Hai, arigatou, Ryoma-kun.”


The next day, Sakuno woke up to an alarm clock that read 9:00 am.

She screamed. “I’m late! Obaa-chan, why didn’t you wake me up?” She wondered if the Boys’ Tennis Team had special practice today hence her Obaa-chan leaving early and not waking her up.

She immediately ran into the bathroom, taking the quickest bath and dressed in her uniform. Her head hurt as she realized something very important.

“Where’s my school bag?”


 She tiptoed into the school, hopefully avoiding any hall monitors or teachers. She was very late, finally giving up on finding her tennis bag and school bag.

“Eep!” she cried, feeling someone walk into her. She opened her eyes to see her English teacher peering down at her.

“Sensei! I’m sorry! I overslept!” she cried.

“Huh,” said her teacher, walking through her like she wasn’t there. “I thought I heard Ryuzaki’s voice, but that’s impossible. I just left her with the other students taking a test.”

She squeaked and ran to her classroom. Sure enough, she saw herself next to Horio scribbling on a paper.

She fainted.


This was officially the worst day of Ryuzaki Sakuno’s life.

No one could see her, it was weird to have people suddenly walk through her, and there was someone who looked exactly like her going through her day at school.

Worse, whoever it was wasn’t acting like her at all.

“Neh, Kenji-kun, would you mind-“

“Of course not, Ryuzaki-san! Just ask away!”


The person pretending to be her seemed to be more aggressive; she blushed when she heard her other self demand a pen from another boy who dazedly gave her one.

“Doesn’t anyone think something’s wrong?” She wished Tomo-chan was present, but she was in another class. She would only see her after school.

Her gaze turned to Ryoma-kun, who was frowning as he looked at the person who looked exactly like her.

She hoped she hadn’t done anything to Ryoma-kun. Or that the person that was pretending to be her hadn’t.

Her head hurt. She wondered if this was all just a dream.


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January 2017


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