A/N: Happy birthday Sho. You're my favorite kid ever. =D;
All I Really Want
"Shoot, I'm so late!" Sho Kazamatsuri ran down one of the hallways of Josui Junior High, his eyes set on the double doors that led to the back of the school, where the soccer field was. He had fallen asleep at the end of English class - again - and was forced to stand outside, where he had fallen asleep - again. He had just now woken up and had been alarmed to find that he was ten minutes late to practice. No doubt had Tatsuya started the practice without him, and the last thing he would have wanted was to miss something.
He dashed out of the double doors and came to a sudden halt. Everyone was there, but there was a table and some chairs out today. Most of the boys were sitting in the chairs, and some were standing up and running around, playing a rushed game of tag.
Nobody was practicing or talking about strategy or anything. There was one soccer ball out, but it was at the back of one of the nets, forgotten. Everybody seemed content, though - there were drinks and little snacks on the table, and Sho smiled a little bit as he saw the happy looks on his friend's faces.
"Hey, what's going on?" The black-haired boy said, walking up to Tatsuya, who was sitting in one of the chairs.
"Oh, you decided to show up." Tatsuya turned around in his chair and smirked at him. "We thought that you were skipping out on your own birthday party."
"…My birthday party?" Sho gave him a confused look. "What are you talking about?"
Yuki, leaning into the conversation over Tatsuya's shoulder, frowned. "What, you don't know when your own birthday is?"
"Is it…Oh! It is May 10th!" Sho laughed sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. "I didn't even know! Wow. That was stupid. I guess I was so busy last night… I practiced all night; I didn't even get to check the calendar. And Ko-nii left last night on a business thing and he hasn't gotten back yet, so he never got to tell me this morning."
"Oh, wow!" Shige swaggered up to the group, snickering the whole way. "Way to go, Puppy." He patted the shorter boy on his back, and then nodded at Tatsuya. "Well, Tatsu-boy here called off practice today."
Sho frowned a little bit at his captain. "Why…?"
"We've had a rough week." The brown-haired boy leaned back in his chair and sighed. "What with two-hour practices every day and a tough scrimmage two days ago. I thought we might need some cool down time, especially since Yusuke hurt his foot in that scrimmage. And besides, today's your birthday. You've been working so hard; why not take the day off?"
"Ah…oh…kay." Sho nodded a little bit, faking a smile. Who was he to ruin his friends' fun, anyway? "That sounds fun."
"Awesome!" The blond-haired boy patted Sho on the back - this time harder - and grabbed his wrist. "Come on, come on - we're playing tag and it's fun to make Yusuke it, because he can barely run with that sprained ankle of his."
"Shige, leave Yusuke alone." Tatsuya sighed, turning back in his chair.
"But he's perfect bait!"
Sho laughed a little bit and squirmed free of Shige's grasp. "That's okay, Shige. I'm kind of tired from school today, I can just watch."
"Ah…that's no fun." Shige paused, and then frowned. "That's not like you. You alright?"
"Yes, I'm perfectly fine." Sho smiled. "I'll be sure to join you soon."
"Okay." The blond boy grinned at him, and then ran off to join the game.
Sho sat down in an unoccupied chair and watched the party go on. The food on the table was quickly cleaned out, and the soccer ball in the net remained untouched. The innocent game of tag evolved into a vicious wrestling match between Shige and Masato that Tatsuya anxiously tore apart, much to the dismay of at least half of the amused team. Sho smiled at nearly everything - the success of the party, the happy looks on his friend's faces, even the turnout to the wrestling match, but he couldn't stop glancing back at the lonely soccer ball.
And then came the presents. He didn't get much, which was perfectly fine - he got lots of soccer gear, including a new pair of shin guards that he desperately needed, two t-shirts (that were both three sizes too large, but he expected to grow into them...hopefully soon), and a box of homemade chocolates from Miyuki, who had curiously handed them to him with a deep blush and a nervous smile. He was thrilled with these presents - back at Musashinomori, all he had gotten was a little trinket from Tomoyuki, something small from his parents, and maybe Ko would send him something in the mail - and he accepted them all with a big grin and a grateful thank you.
But still, something felt strange. Shige noticed it when Sho had opened his present and gave him that smile. That wasn't a thrilled Kazamatsuri smile. That was a selfless Kazamatsuri smile. It should have been a thrilled Kazamatsuri smile, since he had opened that amazing t-shirt, however large, that he himself had picked out for the younger boy. But it wasn't. Something was obviously bothering him. Why else would he have been so fake?
And then it hit him. Of course. The soccer ball that he had been kicking around before everyone had gotten there, the one that Tatsuya had made him leave by the goal. Sho kept looking back at it, as if the ball was calling to him and he couldn't go run to get it because he was being held back. How stupid of their captain, to call off soccer practice on a day no other than Sho's birthday!
And how nice of Sho. He knew what he was feeling inside - he wanted to play, he wanted to run, he wanted to kick the ball. But he kept all of these wants locked inside just because his team seemed so happy to get a day off. That was just like him. It would have made the blond boy sick if it hadn't been someone so pure like Kazamatsuri.
Making sure that no eyes were on him, the blond-haired boy snuck over to the goal, which was much harder than he had thought it would be because Sho was still anxiously looking back at it. Once he had successfully avoided the black-haired boy's gaze, Shige bolted over to the soccer ball and collected it quickly, dragging it out from under the net with the tip of his toes. The ball rolled smoothly against the freshly-cut grass - oh, that must have been another reason why Kazamatsuri was so upset, this grass was so short and perfect to play upon - and, carefully stopping it with his foot, Shige pulled back his leg and let it fly forward, watching it connect with the ball perfectly and sail over to Sho's chair.
Luckily, the boy had turned to check on the ball at the perfect time. He seemed stunned when he saw the ball sailing towards him at top speed, and he quickly stuck his hands out to stop it - he hadn't caught it, but it the ball hit his arm before it had hit the table and hurt something. Watching the ball fall to the ground and bounce a few times, Sho smiled weakly, and looked up at Shige, who looked pleased with himself. "Shige-san?"
"You want to play, don't you?" The blond boy ran over to the group, who had called to attention when Sho had stopped the ball from hitting them. "You guys are so stupid! Calling off soccer practice on Sho's birthday, what the heck are you thinking? This is the one day of the year where Sho would want to do nothing but play soccer!"
"…You're right." Tatsuya said with a rueful grin, obviously unhappy that Shige was right for once. "I guess that was pretty dumb, wasn't it?"
"But…you guys want to take a break, right?" Sho said, frowning a little bit and turning back to the group, who slowly smiled at him. Masato stepped up and patted the boy on his shoulder. "Who would want to take a break from soccer; am I right?"
Sho felt himself grin, which caused Shige to grin, as well. There it was. A thrilled Kazamatsuri smile. He had done good.
"Well then!" The blond boy said, reaching over and grabbing Sho's other shoulder. He pulled the boy over, and then waved at the rest of the group. "Let's play, shall we?"
The rest of the team got out of their chairs excitedly, ready to play, and Sho smiled to himself, thinking that, yeah, this was pretty much the best birthday ever.