The U-17 camp was a hardship for Sanada. He had fought tooth and nail to revive and rejoin the rest of the middle schoolers to continue the intense training. Upon his return, he saw that Yukimura had stepped up his game; he was a cut above the rest. But Sanada wasn't about to let himself get put down because of that. He worked even harder and fought for a spot in the top 20.
The camp nearly came to an end. Sanada was rooming with Yukimura that last night, but no words were exchanged. There were so much tension and confusion that came between them these past few years, singularly because of this camp that Sanada wondered if that spark ever did still exist. To him, it did. But he felt ashamed still.
For Sanada, he constantly needed to prove his skill.
Yukimura attended the U-17 camp for two reasons. The first was to see what was potentially waiting for him after their graduation and the second was to see if Kirihara was ready to take over for them. They would all be graduating, after all, leaving their little ace all alone and who knows what would happen next.
As the camp came to a close, Yukimura fulfilled his two reasons. He had successfully gauged his senpais and had reassured himself that Kirihara would be just fine.
Now they were going to board the buses. A few more minutes and they'd be back at Rikkai and they would be starting to practice their graduation ceremony. After all, Rikkai had always closed school last among the rest so it wasn't such a surprise.
But before they headed back he had to do one more thing.
"Yagyuu," he called out, stopping by the gates of the camp. "Do you have a minute?" he asked.
Yagyuu adjusted his glasses before looking over at Niou and nodding to him so he could go on ahead to the bus. "What is it, buchou?" he asked as he approached the other teen.
"I may be needing your assistance sometime soon."
Yagyuu raised an eyebrow at this. Yukimura asking him for help instead of Renji and Sanada? This was new...if not a little alarming. "With what?" he ventured to ask.
Yukimura's smile merely grew as he pulled out something elongated from his jacket pocket.
Yagyuu almost fainted.
Niou made his way to the bus before taking a detour and ducked behind some shrubs to listen in and snoop. That was his style after all. Straining to hear the conversation, his eyes widened when he saw what the good captain had reproduced from his pocket - a pregnancy test strip. Immediately he jumped up and dashed to catch Yagyuu and hold him steady. He had been talking to the bespectacled boy about future plans and having kids was a sensitive topic for him at that point. "I can help out too buchou," Niou offered. "I can keep Sanada-fukubuchou in the dark if you like puri~"
Yukimura had expected that Niou would be lurking nearby and chuckled as the trickster came out of the bushes to steady Yagyuu. "That would be much appreciated, Niou," he told him with a nod of his head. "Sanada plans to go overseas like Tezuka to pursue a professional career. He doesn't need this.... not now," he said as he looked away sadly. "We also have our own things to organize, don't we?" he added.
Niou nodded his agreement. "That's right puri. Hiro and I will help you out in any way we can buchou," he said in a tone of maturity before smiling. Looking around, he spotted Sanada approaching. "Yabbe. To the bus!" he hissed, urging them to the transportation.
Sanada raised an eyebrow as he saw the three. Eyes locked in on Yukimura for a while before he silently and inwardly shook his head. 'He already knows about my plans... Just wish him luck,' he thought to himself.
Yukimura watched as Yagyuu stiffly walked back to the bus, barely regaining consciousness. He smiled knowingly before turning around to face Sanada. "You're not planning to skip the graduation ceremony before leaving, are you?" he asked playfully as he adjusted his hold on his bag. "Come on then, we need to get on the bus," he said before looking around, spotting some buses already leaving and noted that the Seigaku and Hyoutei buses were still there since Fuji and Atobe were seemingly talking. 'What's this? Looks like I'm not the only one making plans,' he thought in amusement, spotting Fuji's body language.
Sanada walked up to Yukimura and frowned. "Why would you think I'd miss it?" he asked in slight disapproval. "I at least want to graduate properly before I set off for the world," he said quietly to the blue-haired captain.
"I know..." Yukimura said quietly. "Come on then, let's not miss the bus," he urged before walking back to the Rikkai bus where he could see Akaya snuggling with Renji who was seated by the window. Looking away from that scene he soon boarded the bus with Sanada following behind him.
Two and a half years passed since that day. The entirety of Rikkai graduated and settled into high school, all the while starting their little group of elite investigators which was soon recognized underground by all governments worldwide.
Yukimura had Akihiro during all this. The birth was known by a select few...which was really just Rikkai sans Sanada. They were all pretty supportive and in the progress of those two years, the other regulars had kids of their own.
During one fine semestral break, the group decided to take a few days of vacation to watch the championship of the Davies Cup that was being held in France.
Each pair went their separate ways for a while, agreeing to meet at the courts within an hour. After all, they had a surprise to organize.
While going around the streets of France, Yukimura was walking along as he held the hand of the young Akihiro. "Aki-chan, don't let go of my hand, okay?" he reminded the child as they approached an area with a heavy crowd.
"Okay Kaa-san," Akihiro answered with a smile, gripping Yukimura's hand as he too spotted the crowd. He must have sensed his mother's anxiety as he stepped closer to him. After a few minutes of wading the crowd, however, Akihiro flexed his hand and found no hand to hold. He immediately stopped and looked around, panicked but surprisingly kept his cool. "K-Kaa-san?" he called out. Whimpering slightly, he moved off away from the crowd and sat down by a tree. Maybe his mother would see him better there.
Yukimura had a near heart attack when he suddenly felt the absence of his son's hand on his own. It wasn't like him to lose his cool at all but this was a different matter. These were one of the times he wished Niou would randomly pop up. "Aki?" he called out in worry as he moved off to the side hoping to see the little boy nearby.
Akihiro looked around when he heard his name but couldn't find the familiar face. Standing up to hopefully get a better vantage point, he jogged up to the side of the crowd and looked around before hearing some cheers from the courts. Interest piqued, little Akihiro wandered towards it and spotted the players walking out onto the courts to the cheers of the crowd. "Uwa..." he said in astonishment.
"What are you doing all alone little boy?" came a low voice from behind him.
Jumping in surprise, Akihiro wheeled around and looked up to see a man with a black cap cradling a tennis bag over his shoulder. "You're tall," the boy remarked with a chuckle.
Sanada's manager, who was trailing behind him, spotted the boy. "Are you lost?" he asked Akihiro before looking around. "Come here, I'll take you to the security center," he offered before reaching out to take Akihiro's hand. "What's the name of your parents? We'll have it announced."
"I don't know my Tou-san," Akihiro said, glancing tentatively at the offered hand and stuck close to Sanada's legs. "But my Kaa-san is somewhere here." He sniffed, not realizing that his eyes were brimming up with tears.
Sanada glanced down at him and knelt down, taking his hat off and placed it on top of Akihiro's head. "Don't cry now," he cooed.
Akihiro sniffled again and took hold of the huge bill of the cap with both hands to adjust it, looking up at Sanada with a smile. "You're nice," he remarked.
Sanada returned the smile with one of his own. "Now... who's your Kaa-san?" he asked.
"Yukimura Seiichi," Akihiro replied methodically.
Sanada froze, staring wide-eyed at the little boy in front of him.
"Aki! There you--" Yukimura stopped as he saw who was with his son. He glanced at Sanada and his manager before turning his gaze towards Akihiro. He then smiled before walking the rest of the way towards them. "Are you okay? No bruises anywhere?" he asked as he crouched down to check Akihiro over. He held him at an arm's length before pulling him close. "I was so worried," he said before standing up, picking Akihiro up with him. Turning his gaze to Sanada, he chuckled. "We were supposed to meet you tomorrow. I'm a little early," he said in amusement.
"Mm! I'm okay Kaa-san," Akihiro said in reassurance, hugging Yukimura before turning to Sanada as he was carried. "Do you know him?" he asked curiously.
Sanada softened his gaze. "Seiichi...." he breathed, running a hand through his hair due to the lack of his cap that was still nestled on top of Akihiro's little head. “Is he...?” he ventured to ask, confirming his hopefully positive suspicions.
"Mine? Yes," Yukimura answered, avoiding the question that he knew Sanada was asking. He wasn't sure how Sanada would take it. After all, there was still the French Open....there was still Tezuka Kunimitsu that stood at the top. "Aki, give the nice man his cap back," he told his son before kissing him on the cheek. "We need to go back to the others."
Sanada frowned, crestfallen. His heart pained and he wasn't even sure if this was his son.
"But I wike it," Akihiro remarked with a frown, clasping his small hands on the bill protectively.
"Seiichi, I...." Sanada trailed off for a while, pursing his lips trying to make his decision.
"Sanada-kun we need to go!" his manager reminded him.
"No," Sanada finally said, gazing at Akihiro and slowly turned to Seiichi. He tossed his tennis bag to his manager and advanced a step forward and kissed the former captain.
Akihiro, thankfully, had the bill down and didn't see.
Seiichi took a small step back so that Akihiro wouldn't be crushed and returned the kiss, throwing a hint of longing into it but not so much to be carried away. After all, they were out in public and Akihiro was just in his arms. Pulling away, he smiled and saw Sanada's expression. Inwardly he sighed before glancing at the manager who was looking at Sanada in confusion.
"Yes, Genichirou..." he told him quietly. “He's also yours,” he finished before looking at Akihiro, adjusting his hold on the boy. "Aki-chan, you need to ask your Tou-san if you can keep it before you actually do," he scolded lightly. "Go on," he coaxed as he gestured towards Sanada.
Akihiro looked expectantly at the pair, smiling and adjusted the cap. "Can I keep the cap Tou-san?" he asked politely.
Genichirou beamed at the boy and reached out to pat him with it, relief sweeping over him, nodding. "Aa. That's yours," he replied.
Akihiro shared a wide smile reminiscent of Seiichi before reaching out and pushed their cheeks towards each other. "Make kissies and make-up?" he asked.
"The things you pick up from Jackal," Yukimura said with a chuckle before leaning forward. "Kiss and make up then," he said before kissing Sanada on the lips. It was then that various flashes appeared all around them. "Your paparazzi have arrived," Yukimura said in amusement.
"I don't care," Genichirou answered with a calm smirk as they parted from their kiss, much to Akihiro's amused applause. "I already missed enough watching Aki grow up. I'm not going to make that mistake and miss another important milestone in his life. I have family that's more important," he stated family.
"Family~" Akihiro provided with a smile.
This caused Seiichi to chuckle in amusement and relief. Finally, it was time for his little family to come together. "Aa...Family," he said before kissing Akihiro on the cheek. "Come on then, before any talent scouts approach Aki again."
Genichirou furrowed his brow as he took his tennis bag from his manager again and headed off with the pair, away from the crowd of cameras. "Talent scouts?" he asked in surprise.
Akihiro spotted the bag and reached out for it. "Tennis~" he stated happily.
Yukimura nodded. "Talent agencies apparently notice the obvious potential that Aki has if he chooses to go to the entertainment world," he explained as he walked with Sanada. "But I think Aki prefers sports," he said proudly.
Genichirou turned to Akihiro for a moment, holding out a tennis ball he had stowed in his jogging pants pocket which the boy took.
"Tennis ball~" the child identified happily.
"He'll lead Rikkai to that championship that was taken from us," Genichirou said with a smirk.
"You really can't expect anything less from our son, Genichirou," Yukimura chided as he watched Akihiro take and play with the tennis ball.
"After all, Akaya and Renji's child seems to be shaping up to be a possible vice-captain," he added. "He just has a bit of a problem to work on."
"Devil Data is a bad mix," Genichirou pointed out immediately, frowning.
"Keiji~" Akihiro identified, clapping his hands together with the ball in between, not really making much of a sound.
Genichirou turned to their son for a moment of contemplation. "Does he get along with...Keiji?" he asked his husband curiously.
"Keiji is funny," Akihiro shared, giggling.
"Actually...you should see it for yourself..." Yukimura said as he gestured to a boy in the middle of a crowd that was shouting rather colorful Japanese words at the foreigners that didn't understand him. Bloodshot eyes darted around restlessly. In his hand was a toy racket. "Someone got lost..." Yukimura said with a sigh before putting Aki down.
Akihiro walked up towards Keiji, past the legs of people and to the boy, smiling. He reached out and patted him soothingly on the head. "Okay Akuma-kun you can relax. No one's playing with you 'cause they don't know what you're doing," he scolded lightly. "Don't make me take the racket away," he warned.
Keiji - who was currently taken over by his Devil personality - put down his racket and bowed his head. "They knocked off my glasses..." he muttered in his defense as he glanced at the broken pair on the ground.
"Keiji!!" came the frantic voice of Akaya moments later as he pushed through the crowd. "A-re? Aki-chan's here," he said before looking around. "Aaaah! Fukubuchou!" he identified as he saw Sanada standing with Yukimura.
"Here~" Akihiro said, pulling out an extra pair of glasses to the boy. "Your tou-san gave this to me to give to you in case yours broke," he explained.
"It would seem as though Genichirou has chosen a side," Renji chided with a smirk as he approached.
Genichirou nodded to the data man and regarded Akaya in the same manner.
Yukimura chuckled before nudging Sanada. "Now watch," he whispered.
Keiji slipped on his glasses and immediately all tension disappeared. "Chance that you'd find me before my parents....100%," he muttered before Akaya promptly picked him up in case anything else happened.
"Come on, Aki-chan," Akaya encouraged before making their way towards Sanada and Yukimura. "I have to thank Aki-chan again, buchou. If he was any later, Akuma might have used pebbles," he said in distaste.
Yukimura nodded. "It was fortunate that we arrived when we did, isn't it?" he said with a smile before picking Akihiro up again.
"I thought the party was tomorrow," Akaya added as he looked at Sanada.
"I predict a change in the wind considering that Genichirou is not preparing for his scheduled match," Renji supposed. "94%."
"Family's more important," Genichirou said simply, turning to Seiichi and Akihiro, smiling and gently plucked the boy into his own arms.
"Tou-san~" Akihiro said with a sigh, hugging him.
"Then we can have a party earlier~" Akaya said with a happy grin.
"Did someone say earlier party?" a small child that highly resembled Niou said as he appeared in the middle of the adults.
"Mitsui," Keiji pointed out.
"That means the rest of the Niou family is around," Akaya pointed out.
"Puri~" Shoichi simply stated, stepping out from behind his twin.
"There's two of them," Genichirou said in shock.
"Fukubuchou spotted puri~" came a lower voice as Niou came into view dragging his hubby with him. "Reunion earlier?" he asked with a grin.
Akihiro waved at the pair. "Hello~"
"Yes, they had twins," Seiichi answered.
Akaya grinned before looking at the time. "Yabbe, I need to get back to the hotel room," he exclaimed before handing Keiji off to Renji. "Sai should be awake and who knows how long Marui-senpai can keep him amused," he said. "See you later, Fukubuchou!" he called out before running off.
"So then..." Seiichi said. "Shall we get some ice cream before we all head to the hotel?" he asked.
"Ice cream?" the twins and Keiji suddenly asked.
"Desserts before a meal?" Akihiro asked in slight distaste.
"But Aki!!" Shoichi complained.
Akihiro turned to the twin and glared, pointing at him. "Tarondoru!" he scolded with a straight face with the cap in place, much to the shock of Genichirou.
"He's been exposed to watching too many of my recorded club practices," Renji said in apology.
"Dinner before desserts," Akihiro said in conclusion, nodding to himself firmly before he relaxed and turned to his father, smiling.
Genichirou melted immediately. This was indeed his son. He had missed the first two years of his life, but he was not going to let Seiichi raise him on his own anymore. He wanted to watch this boy - his son - grow up and achieve things they never could. He felt a pang of guilt for leaving his family behind, but now that he was back, he clung onto it like a lifeline.