Chapter 23:

Twins Birthday (Takara)

Special Fighting Club


We´re in Tokyo. A few weeks have gone by since we won the summer high. Today is the draw for the nationals. Taiki and Kei came too.
“Ta-chan don´t draw something bad, ok?” Kei says.
“How high is chance that we´ll meet a really strong team like Kinkami in the first round?” Taiki asks.
“Low I guess, but someone has to fight them in the first round.” Kei answers.
“I´ll try to draw something good.” I tell them.Bookmark here

We make our way to a building close to the gym the nationals will be held in.
Reporters are swarming the entrance.
“Fuji-chan!” Ki-chan comes running to us, holding Rai-kun´s hand.
“Ki-chan, you guys made it too!” We hug.
“Of course we promised!”
“I saw your match in a live stream. You did well.” Rai-kun says.
“Takara, Taiki! We´re here too!” Hiro-kun says. Behind him Toshi-kun.
“Wanna sit together?” Ki-chan asks.Bookmark here

We try walking past the reporters, they´re trying to speak with the captain and vice-captain of Kinkami.
“Taka-chan, hi!” The captain Haya-kun waves at me.
I wave back.
Everyone stares at me. “How do you know Kinkami´s captain?” They ask.
“Social media. We´re friends on Instagram.” I answer.
We make it inside and take our seats. Normally only the team’s captain and vice-captain are allowed inside, but it seems many, like us, have their manager with tem too.Bookmark here

Some time goes by. Haya-kun and Haji-kun take the seats behind us.
“You really made it! We might fight each other then!” Haya-kun says excitedly.
I nod. “We´ll see.”
“Hayato, quiet it´s starting.” Haji-kun says.Bookmark here

A man enters the stage. “Welcome and congratulations on making it here! Today the captains of each team will draw one of these balls.” He points at a black box with hole. “A letter, for your block, and a number, for your position in that block, are written on it. When you´ve drawn your choice hold it in the air and announce what´s written on it, then give the ball to the organizers. Your schools name will be announced so just wait until you hear it. That would be all from me. Now last year’s winners Kinkami please make your choice!”
Haya-kun stands up; he pulls out one of the balls. “E-16!” He announces.Bookmark here

Ki-chan´s turn comes pretty fast. “A-12!”
Then its´s my turn. I walk up to the box take a deep breath and pull out one of the balls. “D-1!” I announce.
I look at the board. Our first opponents are already written on it: Kuroihakauchō.
I sit back down. “Good, Kinkami´s nowhere near us.” Kei mumbles.
Hiro-kun´s turn. “D-10!”
After he sits down he smiles at us. “Seems like we´ll meet pretty soon.”
I nod. “We won´t hold back just because we´re friends.”
“I sure hope so.”Bookmark here

We says goodbye to Haya-kun and Haji-kun and decide to go to a café together, it has been almost three months since we last saw each other after all.Bookmark here

“So it´s not your first time in Tokyo?” Ki-chan asks.
I nod. “Our father works here.” I say barely looking up from my coffee.
“That´s cool.” Hiro-kun says.
We talk about different things; how our respective summer highs went, training, school, my knee´s brought up and all kinds of trivial things.
I smile. This is nice, I think; just talking with likeminded people is quite a lot of fun.
After a while Ki-chan´s phone make a loud noise. “Oh our train´s here soon.” She and Rai-kun stand up. “Sorry but we have to get going.”
We hug. “See you at the nationals! You have to watch our matches, when you can, ok? We´ll watch yours too!” She says.
Hiro-kun and Toshi-kun leave about half an hour later.Bookmark here

Taiki, Kei and I stay sitting. We´re staying the night.
“Taiki? Takara?” A white haired man walks up to us. A tall black haired woman behind him.
“Dad? I mean father?” I say.
He smiles. “What are you doing in Tokyo?”
“Oh today was the draw for the nationals.” Taiki says.
Dad turns to the woman. “Fujimaki-san can you make some time in my schedule?”
She nods smiling. “That should be possible.”
Dad sits down at our table. “I heard about you qualifying, Daichi told me. I´m very proud of you two.”
I smile. “Thanks. Onii-sama watched all matches of the summer high.”
“I know, he send me recordings.” He orders a cappuccino then continues. “He was very excited. He told me that Takara gave him a present.”
I nod. “It´s a long story.” I tell him about of day off and Ken-kun´s uncanny ability to win plushies.
Dad laughs. “Well Daichi was happy regardless. He said he wanted to pay you back.” He smiles faintly. “I´m sorry I couldn´t watch your fights in person, I´m quite busy at the moment.”
“Like always.” Taiki mumbles.
Dad looks hurt. “I know I haven´t been the most present father but…” He seems to be thinking how to word what he wants to say. “The nationals are really important to you two, right?”
Taiki and I nod.
“Then let me start being more present. I promise to come and watch as many matches as I can, in person of course. I want to be part of something this important to you.”
I jump up. “Really?”
He nods shyly. I hug dad.
“I guess that´s a start.” Taiki says.
I sit back down. Dad looks at Taiki sad.
“Taiki I understand why you don´t like me that much.” Dad says.
“Oh do you?” Taiki says. Kei looking back and forth between the two.
“I ignored Takara a lot. Let me try to do better.”
“I don´t have a problem with that, Taiki. He´s trying like Onii-sama.” I say.
“It´s a bit late for that.” Taiki says.
“I know but better late than never, right?” I look at him with puppy eyes.
“They´re talking quite openly with each other.” Dad says to Kei.
“They had an argument.” Kei says.
“They did? About what?”
“My knee.” I say.
Dad looks confused.
I explain to him the situation with my knee.
“I guess it´s you decision. But please get the surgery after the nationals.” Dad say concerned.
I nod.
We talk a bit more. Dad asks about Kei´s family, our summer camp, our team members and many other things. It´s almost like he´s trying to catch up with everything me missed.
His assistant comes back some time later. “Just a few more minutes.” He says.
She nods. “I´ll be waiting outside.” She smiles at Taiki and me. “Oh and good luck for the nationals, I´ll be cheering for you.”
“She´s nice.” I say.
“She really is. I know your birthday is still a week away but I’ll give you these now. I wanted to send them you today but as coincidence has it I met you.” He pulls out two little boxes; one with a blue and one with a purple ribbon. “It´s nothing special. Not the most expensive gifts but I thought you´d like them.”
He hands me the box with the blue ribbon and Taiki the one with the purple one. “Those are your favorite colors, right?” He asks unsure.
We nod and open the boxes. It´s a pin in unicorn shape.
“I wanted to give you jewelry, but you can´t wear that during a match so I thought a pin would be better. And you can combine them.” Dad says.
Taiki and I try it out. Combined it looks like the two unicorns are hugging.
I smile. “That´s so cute!”
“That´s very thoughtful.” Taiki says.
“Isn´t that the first present you gave Ta-chan?” Kei asks Dad.
Dad seems startled and shocked at the realization. “The first present I gave my daughter was for her 18th birthday.” He mumbles to himself.
I hug Dad again. “Thanks.”
He smiles. “You know you´re too pure for this world Takara, I don´t deserve a daughter like you.”
I look at him confused.
“Never mind. Oh, look at the time, I really need do go now. I´ll keep my promise! Maybe I´ll even get your mother to come watch.” He stands up.Bookmark here

The next week our birthday arrived. All our team members, including Manami-san, Hisagi-sansei and even Yoshi came over.
We have a party.
Tanaka-san, our butler starts crying. “I´m so happy for you.” He says. “Even Daichi-sama came today.”
I nod. “Our first real birthday party with friends.” I say happily.
“Takara-sama, I´m sorry I couldn´t make it to the summer high but I have taken a few days off during January, to come watch the nationals.” Tanaka-san says, still teary eyed.
“Thank you.”
Tanaka-san is like a father to Taiki and me, he was the one who took care of us when Mom and Dad weren´t there, so I´m really happy that he´ll also come watch.Bookmark here

I sit back down next to Taiki, he´s opening the present Kei gave him. Kei hands me one too.
Taiki gets a book; something in English. I get a necklace.
“From my sister’s new collection.” Kei says.
He doesn´t like to talk about his sister much, with her being an idol he gets asked to bring autographs too often. But I´m a fan of his sister too and I´ve waited almost a year for her new collection to come out, even if I don’t have many chances to wear the necklace.
I thank him with a hug.
I hear someone clear their throat behind me. I turn around. Onii-sama. He looks embarrassed hands me a box and walks away again.
I open it. A fennec fox plushie smiles at me. I smile back, how did he know that they´re my favorite animals?
I turn to Taiki who just smiles faintly while eating his cake.
I do have the best twin brother in the world, I think.
I sit back down and show off my very first present my older brother gave me.
-june-
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