A/N: I don't even know I just couldn't shake this image from my head. Un-beta'd. Written and posted originally on Akashi's birthday. Happy Birthday, Akashi.

The soft snick of the door opening, the soft echos from his own footfalls, the flick of the light switch when the entire room lights up, the shine from the paper-wrapped box that sits expectantly in the center of his desk — sights and sounds flood his senses and red-and-gold eyes blink, pupils adjust, and his feet carry him forward. Automatically he runs his finger along the paper which is drawn tight over the seams, fit perfectly over the corners of the cube.

The tape holding the paper to the box is slick under his finger, devoid of air bubbles and perfectly aligned in the best way possible to keep the wrapping secure. He doesn't need to look at the simple white rectangular card resting on top of the box to know who the gift is from, but he looks anyway and smiles at the perfectly scripted characters that spell out "Akashi Seijuuro" that were written just for him.

Akashi is slow and methodical as he frees the box from its shiny outer layer, automatically imagining that instead of his own fingers it's tape-wrapped ones that are pulling the wrapping paper taunt over the box, not wasting an inch. He folds the paper and sets it aside mechanically and admires the pure white box that sits in the direct center of his Rakuzan desk before he eases its flaps apart and looks inside.

Inside there is a familiar sleek case — he knows there's an equally as classy fountain pen resting inside its satin lining, but that's not what his all-seeing eyes are focused on. He sets the case aside and shuffles around the tissue paper until something silver lands in his hand, and he brings it to the light to look at it.

It's heavy and a size too large for his thin fingers, and intricate carvings etched intertwining cover its surface. It's a class ring, he notes, charmed; His own rests in a box at his home, proof of his years at Rakuzan, but this one is not like his. His smile arches a little higher when he pictures Shintarou "accidentally" allowing his sacred class ring to slip off his finger and land in a nest of paper; Akashi can see indecision between his brows but a set look in his emerald eyes as he closes the box and wraps it with perfection. He can imagine him later, eyeing the box with heated cheeks and debating removing the paper to retrieve his ring.

Shintarou's indecision has always been something that amused the ex-Teiko captain — so charmingly human and predictable but so uniquely Midorima's.

He'll find a chain for this ring later and wear both his own and Shintarou's around his neck, brazen and challenging to anyone who catches sight of gleaming silver. He'll welcome the weight of it thumping against his chest while he flawlessly executes maneuvers on the court.

But most of all he'll welcome a pair of emerald green eyes which will naturally hone-in on the rings, and the slight coloration that will rise in the cheeks of Midorima Shintarou.

As he shuffles the paper around in the box to return the pen case, the card with his name on it flips over and a second message is revealed. Happy Birthday.