Disclaimer: All characters belong to Takaya Natsuki.

Please note: Whenever italics are used, it's to notate the use of German words. The only exception is when one of the characters has a thought in English.


"Was" means "What"

"Sehr hubsch und schon!" means "Very beautiful and pretty!"

"Ja" means "Yes"

"Ha'ri!" called the blond boy. Sliding open the door to the doctor's office, he came bounding in and nearly tackled the older man. "Ha'ri, let's go to the store!" Impatiently, he tugged at the doctor's coat sleeve.

"Momiji," said the doctor in his flat yet stern tone.

"Was?" he asked brightly.

"…I'm busy."

With a short and swift tug, his sleeve was wrenched out of the boy's hand. But he wasn't about to be defeated so easily. Oh, no he wasn't.

Patiently, he stood where the doctor had left him, a broad grin on his face. His eyes twinkled brightly as he watched Hatori shift some papers, his back turned to him.

"You know… I really, really want to go to the store…" he said in an innocent tone, his words trailing off.

The doctor sighed. Without turning around, he asked, "Why do you wish to go?"

Momiji's grin grew even more. "Oh well," he sighed nonchalantly. "I simply wanted to buy a gift for Tohru-kun because she's sick—"

The doctor immediately turned around, his eyes wide. "What? Why wasn't I told?"

"Ah, Ha'ri is suddenly so concerned, hm? How nice!" Momiji giggled.

The doctor sighed again. "You need to stop hanging around at Shigure's house."

"Huh? Why? I like Shii-chan's house!"

"…Never mind."

"Come on, Ha'ri!" This store!" exclaimed the boy. Excitedly, he skipped in, everything on his frilly outfit bouncing around. His eyes flitted about curiously.

There are so many cool things! Sehr hubsch und schön! he thought.

Slowly, his energy welling up and begging for release, he strode up and down the aisles. He knew that in making such a decision as he was trying to make, he had to use what time he had wisely and suppress the urges he felt to just buy them all. Cute and fluffy stuffed animals were on one side, sparkly hair-bands and accessories on the other. It was almost too much for him to take.

"Momiji, we've already been in this store," said Hatori, who was very annoyed at this point. "You didn't like this store, nor the I five others /I we've been to. I'm sure Tohru-kun would be happy with anything you got her."

"But," he sulked, his voice becoming sad. "What if she doesn't like a certain color? She wouldn't say anything was wrong. You know that!"

"Then are you done here?"

"Ja… " Momiji sighed. Miserably, he followed the doctor out of the store, leaving the fun items behind.

"I do wish you hadn't wasted time going into that store again. You knew I wanted to check if she is okay." And under his breath he added, "And punish Shigure for not telling me."

"Ah," he grinned, his spirits lifting back up instantly. He jogged up besides the doctor and positively beamed at him. "Ha'ri cares sooooo much for Tohru-kun—!"

"Say one more thing, and I'm going to Shigure's without you."

"WAH, Ha'ri's so mean!"

Hatori sighed and gently pushed the boy towards his car.

"You're not a child, so there's no need for that whining."

"But it's true…sometimes…" he said, sullenly opening the door.

"I'll make sure your next shot is a painful one."

"I'll be good."

For the entire ride out, Momiji was true to his word. Hatori said nothing, nor did the boy, but he sure was thinking things.

And squirming in his seat.

And humming a soft happy song to himself.

And wishing the car ride would I end /I !

Which it did. Eventually. The second the car was stopped, Momiji tore off his seatbelt and bolted towards the door. Behind him, Hatori took his time as he gathered the equipment he'd need.

"Hurry up, you need to hurry up!" the boy shouted, bouncing impatiently in place.

"She'll get better regardless if I rush or not."

Momiji just grinned and rapped on the door behind him, giving three solid knocks. The doctor pulled on his white coat, stethoscope secured around his neck.

"Momiji, if you're so anxious to see her, just go on ahe—"

The boy was gone before the words fully left the doctor's mouth. Momiji ran into house, slamming the sliding door behind him. Quickly he wrenched off his shoes and pulled on the house slippers before joining the others. At this point, his excitement had reached an all-time new high, but he was good and waited patiently.

From out in the entryway, there were the sounds of the door sliding open then closed, and soon the approach of soft footsteps. "Shigure, after I'm done treating Tohru, you and I are going to have a talk…" said the doctor in a slightly menacing tone.

Just as he finished speaking, he poked his head into the living room. Suddenly, everyone jumped up out of their hiding places and screamed, "Surprise!" The boy noted that one of them chose not to and gave a wave of his hand instead before resuming a skulking position.

Hatori just blinked at them.

Cheerfully, Momiji stood and stole the bag out of his hands.

"Happy birthday!" greeted both Shigure and Ayame. They wound their way through the younger members of the Sohma family and dragged their friend out of the hallway and forced him to sit at a conveniently open spot around the table.

"Happy birthday, Hatori-san!" said a very much not sick Tohru. She approached the doctor with a homemade cake held in front of her. Carefully, she placed it on the table before him and took her seat. A small smile crept across the doctor's face as he looked from the other two members of the Mabudachi trio, to the beaming faces of Yuki, Hatsuharu, Kisa, and Tohru, and to the averted eyes of both Kyo and Hiro. Then he eyed Momiji and said, with the grin still playing at his lips, "So she was sick, huh?"

With an innocent shrug of his shoulders and coy scratch to the back of his head, the boy simply grinned.

"Wasn't it nice of Momitchi-kun to do this for you, Haa-san?" said Shigure.

"He's been planning it for a while now!" piped in Tohru.

"I couldn't have done it without Tohru-kun's help!" he said, grabbing her hand after he plopped down beside her.

"Tori-san, blow out your candles before the wax melts!"

The doctor continued to smile and said, "Thank you." As an afterthought, he muttered, "I guess I have no need to punish Shigure now."

"Huh? What'd I do?"