title: hope floats
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Yuuta, Fuji
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Syuusuke gives his brother advice.
notes: for readerofseraph, for correctly guessing my fics for blind_go round 6. ohgod, forgive me for the title... ^_^;;;;;;

He slammed his racquet down on the ground as hard as he could, but he was only seven, and that wasn't too hard. He bit his lip, pressing down as hard as he could there, too. In books and movies and comics and anime and stuff, when someone was frustrated and unhappy like he was and they bit their lip, it bled, so he braced himself, but he didn't taste any blood.

He wasn't strong enough.

He swung around and he was gonna throw his racquet far, far away, but then, something stopped him. Syuusuke was there, really not much bigger than him, his junior tennis uniform looking as pristine as it always looked, smiling like he always smiled, holding the other end of Yuuta's racquet.

"Go away," Yuuta sniffled, and then he wiped his nose like a tough guy, because he didn't want Syuusuke to think he was actually crying, because he wasn't. He let go of the racquet, and let Syuusuke take it.

"If you threw this, Oji wouldn't let near the court ever again," Syuusuke reprimanded him, but he was still smiling, so it wasn't like being reprimanded at all. In fact, sometimes, Yuuta wondered if Syuusuke had feelings. It was hard to tell!

"So what? I'm gonna quit! I hate this game. So boring. I'd rather play at the beach!" he declared, balling his hands into fists. He'd fight if he had to! But Syuusuke wouldn't fight back. Even though... Syuusuke could be tough...

"Eh? Quit? How can you quit when you've barely started?" Syuusuke asked, and he made it sound like he was really wondering, but he was actually making fun of Yuuta! Yuuta could tell! Yumiko did the same thing! So annoying!

"So what? There's no hope for me, anyway! I hate tennis." He turned and started to stomp off, but when he got a good pace going, he realized that Syuusuke was walking with him, and keeping up without even trying! Yuuta glared at him and tried to speed up, but his legs were short, and he could only go so fast!

"Yuuta, you know... winning isn't everything." Yuuta snorted. If anyone in their family really believed that, then family game night wouldn't be so scary. "And anyway... if you run out of hope, you can always just make some more of it. Hope comes from inside of you. Like where you make poop, but you don't squat it out in the bathroom."

Yuuta stopped dead. Hope was like... poop?

Syuusuke beamed at him. He picked up Yuuta's hand, and put the racquet in it. "C'mon. Let's volley."

Yuuta followed Syuusuke, but he kicked a few rocks along the way. He... liked volleying with his brother, but he knew Syuusuke would only lob him easy ones. Syuusuke played soft with Yuuta, but he was always good at everything.

No wonder he could make hope like poop!

He snuck down after lights out to use the phone. It was dangerous and he might get into trouble, but it was the only way to be sure Mizuki wasn't listening. He dialed quietly, and then crouched down to whisper.

"Yuuta? Are you sick or just naughty?" Syuusuke yawned into the phone.

"Hey... Tezuka's off to Germany?"

Syuusuke was quiet for a moment. "And?"

Yuuta grinned. "Just go sit on the can and poop out some hope, bro." He hung up quickly, and covered his mouth to keep from snickering.

He had to work damned hard to get one up on his brother... but he could do it.