Title: To Let You Know

Author: Kentra Shinataku

Pairings: none in particular

Warnings: little bit of fluff... with a little bit of angst…. almost…

Note: all tennis boy family-related things are completely assumed/made up how i want them to be. the families aren't exactly a huge part of the anime, yanno...

Note 2: please excuse the suck. I wrote this very quick to get it done on time and… well, it's not exactly good. . but. uhm. sorry.

for my wonderful, amazing, super, great-o, loving kaasan. because whether she gave birth to me or not doesn't matter; she's the only mother i've ever had.

===

He padded down the hallway, his socks slippery against the flawless wooden floor. Karupin mewed quietly at his heals, anxious to find out what the occasion was to be up and about in the middle of the night. There was little doubt in Ryoma's mind that the small sounds would not be heard.

His cousin had left her CD player on before she fell asleep, as usual, and he could hear the familiar strings of a violin dancing with piano keys so numerous that many hands could have been playing at once, but the sound meant nothing to him. It was merely noise; he wondered how she could sleep through it.

He stopped outside the next door and stared at, Karupin peering at him just as blankly. The envelope in his hand was just another extra weight, and after a moment, he slipped it under the door and went back to bed, hoping Karupin wouldn't take too long to get situated.

===

"Hey, be careful with that!" Momoshiro shouted, rescuing a bowl of egg whites from his little sister's hand. He delivered it safely to the counter just in time to stop his brother from knocking over the milk his sister was reaching for. "Kentarou, don't /make/ her drop things!"

"She can't do it right!"

"Can too!" Kenshi rolled her eyes, putting her hands on her hips dramatically.

"No you can't!" Kentarou shouted back.

Momoshiro did his best to ignore their petty arguments; they were just kids. Today was special, though, and he didn't want them to screw it up.

"If you two don't shut up for a few minutes, I can't measure this stuff right. Keep it civil!" He turned back to the measuring cup, doing his best to add the ingredients according to the recipe. Cooking wasn't exactly his forte, no matter how good he was at eating.

"Kenshi started it," his brother muttered, pouting.

"Did not!"

Just too loud. Momoshiro jumped in surprise, his elbow sending the previously saved egg whites over the countertop. "That's /it/! Get out of the kitchen, both of you! I'm trying to do something nice for mom, but at this rate you guys are just going to wake her up. Geez! Go outside or something."

With all the noise, he couldn't notice the smiling eyes peering in from the hallway on her perfect children. It didn't matter that they were loud; she wouldn't have them any other way.

===

He'd been making them since he was a kid. Not always on occasions-- sometimes he'd just write little notes to say hello, to ask how the day was going. He wrote about becoming a regular on the tennis team. He wrote about tournaments. He secretly confessed to her his regret for committing himself to sushi training when school ended. She would understand; as much as his dad wondered if quitting tennis was okay, he'd be far too disappointed if his son did anything but follow in his footprints.

Sometimes on holidays, even holidays that had nothing to do with her, he'd write her these notes. There were small gifts for birthdays passed, and heart-shaped valentines lined with lace, a little white teddy bear ornament intended for a Christmas tree branch. She had collected teddy bears since she was very young.

"Takashi! Your break's over!" his dad yelled from downstairs.

"Ah, I'm coming!"

He set the stiff, decorated paper into the box with the rest of the treasures, the unread letters, and carefully replaced the lid. The box stayed in his desk drawer.

"Happy Mother's Day," he whispered, only for the contents of the box to hear, before heading down the stairs.

===

He'd made sure to pay extra attention to the sound of the keys when she had logged on earlier in the evening. Each key made a different sound; one only had to listen carefully. It was truly amazing that there weren't more creative hackers in the world. Computer keys were just like piano keys, but matching the finger movements and clicks on an unfamiliar keyboard took a different sort of perfect pitch.

The flash work had already been done a few days ago, saved on a disk. It only took him minutes to upload it and set a trigger for the log in reaction. It would play as soon as her welcome screen displayed.

Inui knew that his mother wouldn't have time for an enveloped card; she had far too much work to do. She would end up setting it to the side and saving it for later, when in actuality, it would completely slip her mind. He grinned, satisfied. Between school and tennis practice, the animation had taken a bit of valuable time, but it was the perfect way to say 'I love you' to someone who hadn't the time to listen.

===

The phone rang six times before it decided to be answered. He hadn't expected any less.

"Yes?" Yuuta snapped, breathlessness laboring his voice.

"Good afternoon, Yuuta. How are you doing?" He thought, a moment too late, to comment on the unusually warm weather.

"I'm busy, Aniki."

"I noticed." Fuji considered the various interpretations to the curt retort, his smile spreading considerably.

Yuuta always hated when his brother left, what he felt, an incomplete thought in the middle of a conversation. "What do you want?"

"Mm. You're not home often enough. Mom would enjoy seeing you." He opened his eyes wide in a different kind of smile, looking for a moment at the 'off' button before disconnecting the line. There was nothing more to be said.

He knocked on his sister's door before leaving. "Yumiko, do you need anything from the store?"

"Ah, Syuusuke, you're going out?" she asked, looking up from her novel.

Fuji nodded, "Mm, I've got to get mom the perfect gift."

===

The jog home wasn't as pleasant as it was most days. Partially because it was only a jog, not his usual run. But only partially. It was extremely embarrassing to be seen carrying an assortment of flowers down the sidewalk. The neighbors were used to seeing him running during any given hour of the day. The usual vendors expected him to jog past their stands without so much as a glance at their products.

No one would have ever expected Kaidoh Kaoru to jog through his morning routine with a bouquet of flowers tucked in his arms. They'd think he'd been off on a date, or had stayed out all night with a lover. What if they thought he had been out with another boy? Girls didn't give boys flowers. Only a boy would give another boy flowers.

He had kept his eyes on the sidewalk on his way back, counting the cracks and noticing how grass grew through some of the concrete slabs.

Hazue gave him a strange look when he filled the vase with water, setting it on the table where his mother was sure to find them, the little card leaning up against the base.

"Are those for mom?"

Kaidoh blushed, and left the kitchen.

===

Everything was finally in order. His elbow ached, unfamiliar muscles strained by those a tennis racket didn't exercise, from all the dusting. His mother wasn't home a lot. She was a busy woman, involved in too many things for her own good. Housework rarely got done with his mother's over-activity, his tennis-activities, and his father's work-activities. While the house was far from a mess, it could never truly be considered clean.

Until now.

Tezuka had spent the entire day making everything perfect, from clearing the dust bunnies from under the stove to cleaning the toilets and tub. His mother always complained about her house being untidy, that it wasn't fitting to invite guests over because of it.

He stretched out on his bed, his glasses on the nightstand beside him. His mother never had much to say to him, and if she noticed, she wouldn't bother to wake him up.

===

Ridiculous; he'd used half of the brand new tube of toothpaste for nothing! He didn't give a thought that his mom might not appreciate a mess all over the bathroom mirror. It was fun for him and funny for her. That's all it /could/ be. Besides, with tennis practice, he hadn't had time to get her a present, and he still owed Oishi 2500 yen for the last DVD he'd bought.

A little creativity solved everything, right? Mom's like that kind of thing, of course.

Eiji's mom had lived in Spain until she was nine. He hadn't bothered learning Spanish from her; he barely had enough patience to learn his kanji. Something to do with her native language was sure to please her, and his favourite toothpaste pleased him, so it all worked out in the end. Or it should have, had he realized earlier that he spelled two of the words wrong.

He only wanted to make her happy.

===

He couldn't stand his lack of preparation. It was unlike him to procrastinate, to be unprepared. Spontaneity wasn't exactly Oishi's strongpoint, yet he had failed to do anything /special/ this year. He'd always managed to keep special occasions under control, buying birthday gifts for friends months in advance, marking pertinent events in red on the calendar.

This year he had nothing.

There were thousands of excuses he could use-- exams had been stressful, studying day and night for hours, and tutoring Eiji on top of it, and tennis practices were longer and more frequent as they stepped up the tournament ladder. He was the leader of several school organizations, and teachers had been extra demanding, and he'd taken all sorts of advanced classes. Sometimes it felt as if everything was slipping away too fast while he was walking in slow motion. There was no way to catch up.

His mother deserved more than this. She had raised him to be what he had become. She'd raised him to be intelligent, a good student, a good person. Shouldn't he be able to show her that she'd done her job well? Wasn't it time for /her/ to have a break?

Oishi tapped the den door a couple times, looking at the hall clock. It was a little after midnight, but there was no doubt his mother would still be awake; her job allowed little time for merriment.

"Mother?"

She looked up at him, dark circles burdening her youthful eyes, and smiled. "You have school tomorrow. Shouldn't you be in bed?"

"I just wanted to say I'm sorry," he disclosed with difficulty, his eyes on the floor in front of her desk as if he were a child being reprimanded, "I don't have anything for you for Mother's Day."

"Syuichirou," she said gently, "you've been working too hard to worry about that sort of thing. The best gift you can give is for you to get along to bed, now."

"Mother..." he finally dared to look at her, fully encompassing her tired stature, her lack of motivation for anything but her work. If she finished her work she'd be allowed her own sleep. "Yes. I'll see you in the morning."

"Goodnight, Syuichirou."

"Happy Mother's Day," he murmured as he shut the door, but she'd already returned to her work.

===

He let the cupboard door fall closed loudly, startled by the sound of the telephone. He had just wanted a little snack, but /somebody/ had to interrupt him with their evening calling. Probably some telemarketer.

He grabbed for the phone, annoyed to be deterred from his snack. It was probably Inui spying on him and wanting to tell him off for avoiding his special menu.

"Hi?" he grumbled, disinterested.

"Ryoma-kun?"

"Oh... hi mom."

"I just wanted to say thank you."

===