hello, how are you, my darling, today?
The door to Spirits & Such Consultation Office slams open before Arataka even has the chance to say “Hello!” The sound of the door hitting the wall causes Serizawa to jump in surprise, and Arataka does not scream, he doesn’t.
He pointedly ignores the smug look Dimple gives him.
He does, however, look at the person responsible for slamming his door open, and stares in surprise.
Standing in the doorway is none other than Hanazawa Teruki, and boy does he look frazzled. His uniform is wrinkled and his tie has come undone the slightest bit. His hair also looks like an absolute mess. A few strands have fallen loose from his ponytail, the strands poking out in odd places. Arataka knows that whatever is going on must be serious.
“Reigen-san! I need your help!” The high school student cries, still standing in the doorway.
Arataka and Serizawa share a look and as Arataka shuts his laptop, Serizawa runs off, exclaiming, “I’ll make some tea!”
“Come take a seat, kid.” Arataka tells him, waving him in.
Teru’s shoulders sag in maybe relief, and he closes the door behind him as he comes over to sit in one of the green chairs in the office. Arataka gets up from his desk and walks over to the other chair, sitting down in front of him. “So,” He starts, “What seems to be the problem, Teruki?”
Teru looks at Reigen, diving into his explanation, “Kageyama-kun doesn’t care about his birthday, that’s the problem!” He immediately exclaims, throwing his arms up for emphasis. “When I asked him if he had any special plans he said no, and that he didn’t really care about celebrating. Can you believe that, Reigen-san?!” The boy rants, a frown accompanying his face the entire time.
Arataka hums, putting a hand on his chin in thought. “Now that I think about it, Mob didn’t really make a big fuss about it even as a kid.” He twists behind him to glance at the calendar, squinting at it, noticing the date.
May 11th .
Huh...he hadn’t even realized how quickly the kid’s birthday snuck up on him.
Arataka turns to look at Teru again, seeing the distress on the kid’s face. “It’s really bothering you, huh?” He asks as Serizawa comes back in and places down three tea cups.
Teru nods, the frown still stubbornly glued to his face. He clasps his hands together, directing his gaze to the ground. “It’s just that...Kageyama-kun is so amazing...and he’s incredibly important to me. I want to do something special for him, but I don’t even know where to start. He’s been working really hard lately, and he deserves to feel special, even more than usual!” Teru declares, and Arataka recognizes some pride in those blue eyes of his.
Man, he and Mob are quite the pair, huh?
Without his permission, Arataka finds himself beginning to chuckle. Dimple floats over as Arataka chuckles, quirking a brow. “I think he’s finally lost it.” The spirit comments.
Arataka stops laughing in favor of looking at Dimple with a glare. “Shut it you.” He says. He then turns his attention back to Teru, giving him a smile, one that Arataka hopes will reassure him. “Teru, you don’t need to worry so much. Mob will love anything you put together, last minute or not. Just makes sure it comes from the heart.”
Teru goes quiet for a few minutes, humming to himself. He leans back slightly, crossing one leg over the other. Arataka waits patiently, glancing at Dimple and Serizawa as he does.
He then glances at the clock too, checking the time. Tome should be coming in soon.
“Reigen-san? I think I figured it out, but I might need more of your help.”
Arataka looks at Teru and grins, “What’s the plan, kiddo?”
When Shigeo wakes up, it’s to the face of Dimple. The spirit grins when he sees that Shigeo is awake. “Good morning, Shigeo!” He exclaims rather loudly, waving enthusiastically. “Happy birthday!”
Shigeo blinks up at him for a few seconds, mind still trying to catch up and brush away the sleepiness he feels.
Dimple’s smile drops in favor of him looking at Shigeo in concern, “Shigeo?” He questions.
And then it clicks. Shigeo sits up, yawning softly. He then looks at Dimple and gives the spirit a little smile, “Thank you.” He says, and Dimple’s grin returns. His tiny ghost hand ruffles Shigeo’s hair, making Shigeo smile a bit more.
He hears his phone go off and he turns to grab it. He flips it open (yes, he still has the flip phone his shishou got for him, even after all this time). He sees a few emails from friends and his smile brightens.
The first one that catches his eye is the one from Musashi.
“KAGEYAMA-KUN! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! FIGHT ON!”
He continues to go down the list, thanking everyone. One of the messages that really makes him stop however, is the one from Tsubomi.
“Happy birthday, Mob-kun! I hope you enjoy your day. Let’s call over the weekend, okay?”
His smile softens.
“Good morning, Kageyama-kun. Happy birthday! I’m sorry I won’t be able to walk with you to school today, but I’ll see you in class. I can’t wait to see you♡.”
Shigeo’s smile turns wobbly, and then his face turns red, and he hides his face in his hands. He feels Dimple pat his head.
His door then opens a minute later, and he hears Ritsu call out, “Nii-san?”
Hoping his face has cooled some, Shigeo picks his head up to greet his little brother. “H-Hi, Ritsu.” He stammers.
Ritsu gives him an odd look, but Shigeo tries to avoid eye contact. “Hanazawa sent him a disgustingly cute text and now Shigeo’s embarrassed.” Dimple explains, and Ritsu the nods in understanding.
“I see,” He murmurs, “Well, hurry and get dressed. Mom made breakfast.” Ritsu says, before turning to leave and close the door. He jerks forward as he quickly stops himself and looks at Shigeo, “Also, happy birthday, nii-san.”
“Thank you, Ritsu.”
Afterwards, Shigeo quickly changes into his uniform and gets ready for school. Dimple follows his routine, talking to him about how things have been going with Reigen, Serizawa, and Tome.
It’s moments like this that Shigeo truly appreciates. He feels like he’s surrounded by warmth, or maybe it’s more like he’s being pulled into a really warm hug? Oh wait. Isn’t that the same thing?
Ah, well. Double the warmth for him, then.
He’s never really made a big deal out of his birthday. To him, it’s just another day. But he does appreciate all the messages he receives. They’re very heartwarming, and they only add to Shigeo’s good mood.
After he’s done getting ready, he heads downstairs and finds both of his parents there, along with Ritsu. His mom pulls him into a hug, while his dad grins and ruffles his hair.
Shigeo beams at both of them.
They all eat quickly, and Shigeo’s thankful that he woke up earlier than he normally would.
Once breakfast is done, Shigeo bids just parents goodbye and heads over to the genkan to switch his shoes. As he does so Ritsu comes up to him, “Can we walk together today? There’s no student council.”
Shigeo doesn’t mind. In fact, the idea makes him happy, but, “What if you’re late? Peppercorn is a little farther than Salt Middle School…” The last thing he wants is for his little brother to be late because of him.
“It’ll be fine. Besides, since we’re leaving early today there won’t be an issue.” Ritsu reassures him.
Shigeo hums in consideration.
“Hey there birthday boy!” Teru exclaims as soon as Shigeo nears the school gates. He dropped Ritsu off at Salt Mid, despite his brother’s protests.
“Hanazawa-kun!” Shigeo greets, and as soon as he’s close enough, Teru tugs him into a hug. Shigeo gasps quietly in surprise before it melts away and he’s left with feeling warm.
The hug lasts a few seconds, and as Teru pulls back, he grins at Shigeo. Shigeo matches his grin, though his is softer, yet equally bright.
Shigeo has never felt more comfortable expressing his emotions.
“Ah, we should probably head inside. The bell’ll ring soon.” Teru tells him as he links their hands. Shigeo gazes down at them, suddenly hoping his palm isn’t sweaty. He glances up at Teru’s face and sees him smiling, so he guesses that no, his palm isn’t sweaty.
As they head to their lockers, they run into Tome, who enthusiastically wishes Shigeo a happy birthday before speeding off to her homeroom.
“Kageyama-kun,” Teru suddenly says, as Shigeo’s in the middle of changing his shoes.
“I know we usually head to my apartment after school, but there’s somewhere else I want to take you today. Is that okay?” The other asks him, and Shigeo looks at him with curiosity.
Upon closer inspection of Teru’s face, he actually looks kind of nervous. Shigeo wonders what Teru could be nervous about. He finds himself thinking back to a few weeks ago, when Teru confessed to him. He had looked nervous then too.
‘I wonder where he wants to go.’
“Of course that’s okay, Hanazawa-kun.” Shigeo eventually tells him. Some of Teru’s nervousness seems to dissipate at that, and it makes Shigeo smile.
It’s then that the bell rings and Shigeo jumps. “Ah! We’re gonna be late!”
Teru grabs Shigeo’s hand and closes their lockers with the help of his telekinesis. “Hurry, Kageyama-kun!”
They end up being late, but neither Teru nor Shigeo care very much. They end up giggling to themselves afterwards.
By the end of school, Shigeo is full of nerves. He’s excited for wherever Teru wants to bring him, but also kind of nervous.
Teru’s nerves are definitely rubbing off on him.
The minute the bell rings, Teru shoots out of his seat and makes a beeline for Shigeo’s. He stands beside Shige as he gathers his things together, and Shigeo gives him a small smile.
Since neither of them have a club today, they’re free to leave at a regular time.
As they near the gates of the school, Teru pulls out his phone and begins to text someone. Shigeo gives him some privacy and focuses his attention on their surroundings.
The streets around them aren’t actually overly crowded today. There’s a few other students around them, either walking in groups or walking by themselves. Other than the students, there’s a couple pedestrians out walking around on the sidewalk. Some hold bags or leashes for their pets.
“Ah, Kageyama-kun, look,” Teru suddenly steals Shigeo’s attention. The boy points at something in an alley, and Shigeo follows his finger. “It’s a cat.”
Shigeo spots the cat, and he smiles softly. It’s a small black kitten. He slowly moves toward it, crouching down in front of it. Teru stands behind him as he holds a hand out for the kitten. Slowly, it inches over to him, sniffing his hand.
It pulls back, as if deciding something. Shigeo waits patiently. It moves close to him after a couple of minutes, nuzzling his hand. His smile brightens as he gently pets the kitten’s head.
After petting the kitten for a little bit, Teru and Shigeo continue on their journey.
Conversation flows easily between the two as they walk, and Shigeo finds his nerves from earlier slipping away, forgotten.
It’s then that they stop at the park. There’s barely anyone here. The park is practically empty except for a couple of kids playing in the sandbox. Shigeo looks around in confusion, glancing at Teru. Teru smiles at him and grabs his hand. “Over here.” Teru says as he gently pulls Shigeo over to one of the wooden tables.
They stop at the table and put their bags down on it. Teru then grabs Shigeo’s hand again, tugging him a bit past the table.
“Hanazawa-kun, what are we doing here?” Shigeo asks, genuinely curious.
Teru turns to him with a grin. Except, this one’s different from before. It’s more...bashful and soft. His cheeks are dusted pink, and he intertwines their fingers. “I...wanted to do something special for your birthday today.” Teru begins, his voice uncharacteristically soft. “I mean, it’s not every day that you get to celebrate the day you were born, and what better day than today to let you know how important you are to me?”
Shigeo feels his face flush.
Teru chuckles softly at his reaction, and Shigeo notes that his cheeks are turning more red than pink. “I-I know that I can do that any day, but it’s even more important to do it today. Kageyama-kun, you’ve changed my life, and I’m really happy I met you. Thank you for being born today.”
That warm feeling from this morning is back, and all Shigeo can do is charge forward and wrap Teru in a hug. The force of it makes Teru stumble back a bit.
He feels tears prick his eyes. He sniffles quietly.
“W-Wait are you crying?! I’m sorry, Kageyama-kun, I didn’t mean to make you cry!” Teru exclaims, hugging him tightly.
Shigeo shakes his head, “These are happy tears.” He murmurs.
He hears Teru’s sudden gasp of surprise, and Shigeo pulls back to look at him in concern. It’s then that he sees that they’re suddenly standing in a field of flowers. He gasps as well.
“These are...beautiful.” Teru murmurs in awe. He then looks up at Shigeo with that same awe, “You’re amazing Kageyama-kun!”
Shigeo flushes red again.
“Oh, right! There’s something I want to show you!” Teru exclaims suddenly, making Shigeo look at him. He raises his arm to the sky, and suddenly there’s an explosion of color in the air. Shigeo stares up at the sky in wonder as he watches reds, blues, purples, pinks, and many other colors light up the sky.
“Hanazawa-kun...are these…” Shigeo trails off, too enamored by the colors.
“Fireworks? Yup! I asked Shou to teach me a while back.” Teru explains.
“Hanazawa-kun, you’re amazing!” Shigeo then exclaims, this time staring at Teru with awe. “That was amazing!”
Teru’s face turns pink and he scratches the back of his head. “T-Thanks, Kageyama-kun.” He smiles, and Shigeo smiles back. Teru then grabs Shigeo’s shoulders and spins him around.
For what seems like the third or fourth time that day, Shigeo gasps. The wooden table is no longer barren with just their school bags. It’s filled with food and instead of empty benches, there’s people sitting there.
In fact it’s—
“ Shishou ?” Shigeo questions as he and Teru approach the table. Sitting at the table along with Reigen are Dimple, Serizawa, Tome, Ritsu, Shou, and even the members of the Body Improvement Club and his parents.
“Ah, hey Mob! We were just waiting for Teru to finish his little light show.” Reigen says, grinning. “Happy birthday, kiddo.”
“Happy birthday, Mob!”
“KAGEYAMA! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”
“Yo, Ritsu’s bro! Happy birthday!”
“Ah...h-happy birthday, Kageyama-san.”
Shigeo stares at his family, feeling nothing but warmth and love for the people around him. He smiles at them all, feeling incredibly happy.
He looks over at Teru and beams .
“Now that that’s all taken care of, let’s have some cake!”
“Reigen, wait! Presents first !”
Shigeo’s never made a big fuss about his birthday, never really had anything over the top planned. But sitting at this park with everyone...he wouldn’t mind doing this every year.