Omi groaned as he rolled over and pulled a pillow over his head. Their latest mission had gone badly; both Ken and Aya were injured and Omi hadn't slept well after tending to them. He could not want to know why someone saw fit to knock on his door at this hour. Making the firm decision that he wasn't going to answer, he removed the pillow, rolled to his side, and proceeded to ignore the light sound.
He should have known better. A few moments later, he heard his door creak open and there whispered voices behind it.
"I don't want to wake him up."
"But he'll leave for school soon, and we won't see him again until work this afternoon."
"Then we'll surprise him this afternoon."
Omi sighed inwardly. He heard quiet footsteps pad across his wooden floor. He recognized the slight limp and bit his tongue to stop himself from admonishing Ken for walking around on a sprained knee. He heard a muttered curse and smiled slightly, he couldn't stay mad at Ken for long. But he was going to have a fit this afternoon if he saw Ken waltzing around the flower shop. Nobody ever listened when he told them to take it easy for a day or two.
"Ken, you'll wake him up." Yohji's voice was instantly recognizable.
"Nah, Omi's a deep sleeper."
"You don't have room to talk."
"Hush, let's just leave these and go." Omi was positive they would notice the constant change in his facial expressions. He wasn't sure why he continued to pretend he was sleeping, but he kept his eyes closed as he heard his partners moving things on his desk. He was quietly hoping they didn't touch the computer when he felt a hand touch his forehead.
"Oi, Yohji, he's a little warm. You don't think he's sick do you?"
Omi tried not to move as he felt another hand replace the first. "You're right. Maybe he shouldn't go to school today. We all know he doesn't need to."
He heard a small click as someone turned off his alarm, and felt the weight of the bed shift as someone sat down next to him. "Ne, Omi?" Ken spoke, gently brushing the hair from Omi's forehead. Omi rolled over a bit, deciding that now was as good a time as any to pretend to wake up. "Ken? What time is it?"
"Don't worry about that. Listen, Yohji and I took a vote and decided you don't need to go to school today. Sleep all you want, we'll cover you in the shop."
"Ken-kun..." Before Omi could start his prepared speech about Ken's knee; he was silenced by his friend's smile. "I'll make Yohji do the heavy lifting and I'll run the register. Deal?" Omi nodded, pretending to be half-asleep, and he smiled at Yohji, who was glaring daggers at Ken.
"Go back to sleep Omi, we'll see you when you feel like getting up." The tall man pulled on Ken's arm, and they walked towards the door, both turning to smile before they left. Just before the door clicked shut again, Ken leaned back inside.
"Ne, Omi. Happy Birthday." He winked and ducked back out.
The boy looked over to his desk, where three brightly wrapped packages sat next to his computer. He swung his feet over the bed and crossed the room quickly, and took the small note that lay on top of the presents.
You know, you should encrypt your files better. Ken had no
problem hacking into the database. Of course, you taught him
to use the computer in the first place, probably helped.
Anyway, we decided to find out when your birthday was,
since you never told us. We didn't have time to plan
a real celebration or anything, but we hope this
works just as well.
Happy Birthday Omi,
He blinked a few times and reached for the smallest box, with Yohji's formal script spelling out his name. He briefly wondered who had wrapped the presents as he took two slips of paper. There was a gift certificate to a local restaurant addressed to "Omi Tsykinuyo and a girl of his choosing." He smiled as he took out the note beneath it,
Pick one of those giggling girls and take her out
on me. I'll even help you pick out what to wear and
cover your shift. Have fun!
He grinned and reached for the first of two flat packages. Aya's name scrawled on the top was the only clue to its origin. He lifted out the present and gaped at the fitted leather pants. "At least they're my size..." Omi shook his head. "He must have asked Yohji for help..." He reached for the last flat box, assuming it was from Ken. He slipped it open and carefully pushed aside the tissue paper. A brightly colored jersey was neatly folded inside, with a handwritten letter lying on top.
It occurred to me that you would be great
at soccer. You've got better reflexes than I did
back when I was in J-League. One of these days,
I hope you'll let me teach you. Until then, this is
the jersey I wore when we won the championships,
the year before I quit. I think it suits you.
Omi folded the note again and lifted the jersey from the box. He turned it, running his hand over the raised letters spelling Hidaka. He turned; knowing Ken was still at the door watching. "Don't you want it anymore?"
Ken smiled and limped into the room. "I've got others."
"No protesting. It was a gift, if you give it back my feelings will be hurt." He sat in the desk chair, grimacing slightly. "Well, try it on. You're smaller than I was...I didn't know if it would fit you."
Omi slipped the old keeper shirt over his head, almost getting lost inside. "It's supposed to be a little big, right?"
Ken laughed, "Yeah, you've gotta move in it. That's what we'll say anyway."
Omi smiled at his friend as he slipped the shirt back over his head.
"Omi," Ken looked at the floor. "Do you want to learn to play soccer? You don't have to."
Omi smiled, "I'd love to. Hey, maybe we could both be world famous players."
Ken smiled again, but Omi could tell it wasn't real this time.
"Nah, I've done that already. You're turn." He stood slowly.
Omi frowned, noticing the small tears trailing down his friend's face. "You couldn't play anymore."
Ken shook his head. "I'd never pass the physical with some of the injuries I've gotten." He glanced over at Omi, "to be honest, I don't know if you could either. But that doesn't matter," Ken smiled and ruffled Omi's hair, "because it's more fun to play with friends than in a tournament."
Omi grinned, "Hai! After you rest for a few days, we'll start."
"Yes Dr. Tsukiyono." Ken grinned, saluted and marched as well as he could towards the door. He turned before he left, "Get some rest yourself. You work too hard." Ken winked, "Happy Birthday."
"Arigato Ken-kun." Omi smiled as he climbed back into bed.
"Doitashimashte Omi-kun." He shut the door with a small click.