title: magnificent
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Taka/OFC
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Taka prepares for the first day...
notes: for ai, for correctly guessing my fics for blind_go round 6.

He wiped down the counter in long, even strides, the motion unconsciously bringing him back to the time when he was younger, and he considered helping out at the store to be part of his training. He had raced around, trying to clean everything as fast as possible...

He took his time now, and didn't stop until every counter gleamed, and then he began on his knives.

He started to rinse the rice, and he got the fish he'd bought at the dock that morning out of their coolers, and put them down on the counter. He gutted them while the rice was washed, and then he cleaned his hands meticulously, and put the rice into the cookers, and the fillets into their containers, and put them on ice, and then he washed down the counters again. And again, until he could see his reflection in the wood.

His cell started tinkling at about nine. That made sense; other people were up and about by then, going to... schools to teach and offices and hospitals... his friends were all over the planet, actually. He got an email from Fujiko-chan last night from California, making the usual jokes about being confused about the time change. He waited until he got the seaweed out of the fridge to look at his phone. An email from Eiji that had more emoticons than words, and a promise from Oishi to be there for dinner, though he might be late... Kaidou sent him a very tersely phrased congratulations, and Inui sent him a link to a new mulled wine recipe. He stashed his phone, and went to put the condiments out on the tables.

He started a bit when he saw the belly protruding from the stairs leading up. Then his wife peeked around the corner. She rubbed her belly and winked at him. "You got up so early... I suppose it'll be like that, now that you're in charge."

He flushed, and then he went over to her, nearly dropping a bottle of soy sauce. "Did I wake you? Or him?" He rubbed her belly, too. Her bellybutton was sticking out now. He rubbed that extra hard. It was cute...

She laughed, and ruffled his hair. "Don't worry, silly. It's the big day! Are you ready? Has your father called yet from the cruise? You know he will..." she teased him.

He kissed her lightly, blushing. "I won't answer his call. And... the big day is still a few weeks away. Right, little man?" He patted her tummy. And then he stepped away.

She shook her head at him, but in her eyes, he could see complete understanding, which gave him all the confidence he needed. "Good luck, honey. You're going to be perfect, you know?"

He puffed out his chest, larger than he had while waving any flag for any tennis tournament. "Of course, of course, of course, of course! It's sushi time, bay~bee! Let the fish prepare for my magnificent knife!"

She laughed and rolled her eyes, but she blew him a kiss. "I'll bring you down some bread for breakfast. After I've eaten. I've had enough of your magnificent knife to hold me over for a while."

"Honey!" he whined, turning bright red. Her laughter continued all the way up the stairs, though.

He went back to work. This wasn't some silly daydream, after all! People would be coming for lunch soon, and he had to be ready!