By: Chaos and Raven
"What's this?" Ryoma held up the little glass pyramid gingerly. Around him, the rest of his teammates looked equally confused.
"A dream box," Fuji said happily. "It's for New Years." He held his up and demonstrated how the bottom flipped open to reveal a mirrored panel. "You write a dream or a goal on a piece of paper and put it in the box. Then you leave it by your bed until the dream comes true."
Surprisingly, the Seigaku team seemed excited about Fuji's idea. Even the analytical Inui seemed curious. Probably just for data, Ryoma thought cynically.
"Look, I have paper and different color pens," said Kikumaru. He ran over and grabbed his tennis bag from where it was sitting with all the others at the front of the restaurant.
As the paper was handed out, Ryoma looked carefully at his box. The glass was multicolored, amber and purple with a slightly iridescent sheen. He could just barely see the reflective surface of the mirror on the bottom. What to wish for though?
He could write that he wanted to beat his father at tennis, but that was silly. It was only a matter of time before he won. Something just for him, maybe. As he looked around at all of his friends, he couldn't imagine what else he would want. Perhaps he would write his wish for the team. To win at the Nationals.
He tapped his pen impatiently against the table. He didn't want to put down something that he knew would happen anyway but that's all he could think of. He needed something impossible. Something that he might need help for.
"Hey, Echizen! What is your dream?" Momoshiro asked, cheerfully slinging an arm around Ryoma's neck.
"Aw, come on," he cajoled.
"It's supposed to be a secret, Momo," Oishi said from across the table. "It won't work if anyone else knows."
With a reluctant sigh, Momo released Ryoma and went back over to bother Kawamura for more sushi. Ryoma furrowed his brow and finally wrote a single word on the paper. Let the dream box make what it would of that.
They finished their dinner and made their way further across town to the temple. Ryoma's mother offered to let the team watch the fireworks from there since they were slightly uphill and there was a good view. Nanjiroh would be elsewhere, Ryoma hoped, but he didn't put much faith in that. Perhaps his dream should have been that his father would stop embarrassing him.
"Yuuta!" Fuji's voice warmed as it always did when he was around his brother.
"Syusuke," Yuuta muttered back. He was with that guy Fuji beat. Ryoma didn't really care for him.
"Come with us to watch the fireworks, Yuuta. It'll be fun. You can even bring your friend, if you want to."
"Mizuki has to go home, I was walking him."
Fuji shrugged and grabbed Yuuta's arm. "I'm sure he can find his way."
Mizuki was glaring daggers, but he didn't protest. Ryoma sighed. So much drama. He started walking again; they could catch up. He didn't want to miss any of the fireworks.
He looked up, surprised to find Yuuta next to him. "Hm?"
"I... I was hoping we could play tennis again sometime."
"Are you any better yet?" Ryoma asked with a sly smile.
Yuuta sputtered. "Of course! I practice every day!"
"Well, maybe so. We can play after the fireworks if you like."
"You like watching the fireworks?"
Ryoma nodded. "We did every year when I lived in the United States."
He led the way through the gates and up to the temple tennis court where his mother had spread out blankets for them. The tennis players swarmed the area, getting comfortable by huddling up next to each other.
"Tell your mother we are very grateful for her hospitality, Echizen."
He nodded and then was dragged into the pile by Momoshiro and Kikumaru. He managed to extract himself slightly, sitting between Yuuta and Kawamura. They, at least, weren't squishing him.
"Nine." Tezuka's firm voice began the countdown.
"Eight." It was continued in stereo by the rest of the team.
"Seven." Ryoma kept his eyes trained on the sky.
"Five." Next to him, Yuuta shifted.
"Four." Cool fingers brushed his knuckles.
The sky exploded into a cacophony of light and sound as the New Year began. Yuuta's face was red, though it was impossible to see that in the redgreenorangewhite light. Ryoma turned his head to the left and waited until Yuuta met his eyes before lacing their fingers together. Already, Fuji's dream box was working. One word. Love.