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[Tenipuri] Broken Toys

Title: Broken Toys
Pairing/Characters: Sanada/Yukimura friendship, cameos and commentary by other random Rikkai boys.
Rating: PG-13 at the very most
Word Count: 4351
Summary: A collection of memories and the importance of things.
Warnings: ...Small children?  ...SanaYuki as small children? Stupidcute? Potentially stupid. None, really.
Notes: Written for justsonya @ rikkai_exchange. "Prompts" included newly formed relationships and coming of age, sooooo. Little kids they are. For a little while, at least. *insert muttering about other three fics started for exchange being nothing but epic failure not worth finishing maybe after I stop hating on them there will be an influx of bizarre D1 here* Thank you, impressioniste, for giving it a once over to catch my "I have not slept in 287349872349870-9827304987239847 hours" typos and fail!grammar. ♥



He stood, still and silent; dark eyes focused straight ahead and the only outward sign of insecurity was the hand clutching the folds of his mother's skirt tightly. There was nothing to be afraid of - not the lanky yet feminine woman in front of him, the small baby burbling happily in her arms or the tall, skinny boy half hiding behind her.

"Genichirou," His mother said in that gentle way of hers. "These are our new neighbors. Say hello." His head tipped slightly to look up at her, then back at the incomplete family. Still, he said nothing.

"Come on, don't be shy." She urged, pressing her palm to his back and guiding him forward. He stumbled but corrected himself quickly, scowling back over his shoulder. He wasn't a baby! He could walk on his own, and he could talk on his own, he didn't need to be pushed or told what to do.

"'lo." He said quietly, avoiding looking any of the newcomers in the eye by keeping his gaze focused on their shoes.

"Hello there," The other woman replied warmly, shuffling the baby around in her arms for a moment so that she could kneel in front of him. "Your mother tells me you just had a birthday. How old are you now, Sanada-kun?"

This lady smelled funny; nothing like spicy, chocolaty scent his own mother had – she smelled like the flowers his grandfather brought home occasionally, and . . . dirt. She smelled like dirt. What kind of mother smelled like dirt?

Genichirou sniffed slightly and kept his gaze low. "Five." He replied simply. This lady was still a stranger, he couldn't tell her any more.

"Five?" She asked, seemingly amazed. "You're well on your way to becoming a man, then." She looked back over her shoulder and jerked her head, signaling for the boy behind her to come forward.

Genichirou's ears turned slightly pink – he wasn't on his way to becoming a man, he already was! Grandpa said so! "Thank you," he mumbled – his mother wouldn't allow him to not respond to a compliment.

"Mommy," Came a soft, timid voice, followed by its owner as he stepped out from behind his mother. "Older. Not the same."

Mother Yukimura chuckled softly and gave Mother Sanada an amused look. "Four is almost five, Seiichi. Don't you be in such a hurry to grow up on me."

At her words Genichirou's head lifted to stare at the other boy almost rudely. Only four? Younger than him? Then how come he was so tall? "You're bigger." He said shyly, cheeks taking on the same colour as his ears. His response, however, seemed to please Seiichi – if the happy flush was any indication.

"C'mon. Gots to show you!" Pushing aside all previous timidness Seiichi ran forward and grabbed hold of Genichirou's wrist, tugging him impatiently away from his mother's side. "Home, Mommy!" He shouted as he started for his own home. Genichirou stumbled along behind, giving his mother a bewildered look and opening his mouth to protest – he didn't have permission!

"Have fun, sweetheart!" Mother Sanada called after the boys, for all appearances not the least bit worried. Once the boys were out of earshot, she continued. "Should we follow?"

"They'll be fine," Mother Yukimura replied, setting her daughter on the ground and holding on to her hands to keep the child upright. "My husband is home, so they won't be alone. I think Seiichi just wants to show off his new toy."

Mother Sanada laughed softly. "In that case, he'd better be convincing. Genichirou is a sixty-year-old man in a five-year-old's body." She turned, and beckoned for the remaining Yukimuras to follow. "Shall I put on the tea?"

*

Yukimura frowned. He may have known Sanada for years, but that did not give the older teen the right to completely take over the best spot in front of the tv. "Move over, tubby." He grunted and nudged at Sanada's side with his foot, one hand on his hip and the other holding a bowl of popcorn.

"It's my house, I'll lay where I please." Sanada replied, but he scooted over by a fraction anyway. Still with the tubby – there wasn't anything wrong with his weight – he may have been a little on the heavy side, but it was almost pure muscle. "That should be plenty of space for you, shorty."

Yukimura's nose wrinkled in annoyance as he took a seat next to Sanada and used the other teen as a backrest. "Yeah, yeah, just because you finally grew taller than me." The bowl of popcorn was set down to his side and nudged into a spot where they could both reach it.

Sanada didn't reply – their movie had started and it was a mini-argument they'd had time and again. Roughly halfway through the movie, he spoke again. "I don't think it's physically possible for a llama to be in that position."

"Don't tell me you're taking cartoons seriously now." Yukimura snorted. "I can't handle it from two of you, Akaya already thinks it's possible to catch a shooting star in a net and fly to another planet." He really shouldn't have put The Little Prince on for his sister while their mildly eclectic junior was visiting.

Sanada shrugged. "Merely commenting." Of course he didn't take cartoons seriously. "Remind me why we're watching this, again?" Disney generally wasn't his thing, but it had been Yukimura's turn to choose the film and his captain's taste in movies had always been rather . . . strange.

"It's all an extravagant ploy to get you to go to the school dance with me. Stag, of course, Mister Emperor."

Shifting slightly, Sanada looked up at Yukimura. The pleasant smile on Yukimura's face clearly stated that he was not lying. "You know perfectly well that I don't dance. Not for my own mother and certainly not for you."

"Sure you do. You just need to find your groove." His smile grew wider – and somewhat wicked. "If I remember correctly, once upon a time you did a mean Funky Chicken."

"I hate you." Sanada grunted, but he did not deny it.

*

"Come on, come on!" Seiichi yelled, turning to face Genichirou as he jogged backwards. "Start wifout us!" After making sure Genichirou was following closely he turned again, running as fast as he could towards his family's home.

Genichirou jogged slowly behind – his mother had insisted he wear his best suit; the collar was itchy and the slacks were too tight, he was growing too quickly – he really couldn't run any faster. "Wait!" He called as he tripped over the curb. He barely managed to keep himself upright, and Seiichi was already so far ahead that he really had no chance of catching up in this state. "I'll come soon!"

Seiichi had already caught his breath and was leaning against his front door by the time Genichirou arrived, his formerly neatly-combed hair a mess and his slacks covered in dirt. "Sorry," he mumbled apologetically, trying to dust himself off as best he could – his father had always told him that it was important to keep up appearances.

"He-yah now, 'sgo!" Seiichi shrugged, pushing the door open and crashing right into his mother as he tried to enter.

"There you are! Hurry up, everyone else is here already." Mother Yukimura chastised, ushering the boys inside. "I've never seen a boy late to his own birthday party." She murmured to herself. "And Genichirou, you're filthy. Come with me."

It was an order from his best friend's mother, he couldn't say no. He followed her quietly, standing patiently as she combed his hair, dusted his clothes off and took a wet hand towel to his face and hands. After a few minutes he was allowed to join the other children – now the party could get started.

It wasn't long before a group of young boys began to get rowdy, turning everything into a competition – who could fit the most marbles into their mouth, who could build the biggest block-tower, and once Mother Yukimura had put on a mix tape, who was the best dancer. Genichirou wasn't sure how, but he won – all because he remembered the stupid chicken thing his older brother had shown him some months prior.

"All right, boys! Who's ready for presents?" Mother Yukimura called from somewhere in the vicinity of the kitchen. Her words were followed by a chorus of excited shouts and the thunder of feet pounding over the wood floor.

"Me, me!" Seiichi yelled, apparently forgetting about that 'indoor voice' his mother so often reminded him of. Genichirou stayed back – that's what he'd forgotten, after he'd spent so much time in the store with his mother trying to find the perfect gift, and now he didn't have it.

Only Seiichi seemed to notice that he hadn't followed. He wove his way through the crowd of boys toward his friend and squatted in front of Genichirou, a curious look on his face. "Wha's wrong?" He asked, poking the other boy in the forehead. "Said I'd shay-ah wif you, yeah?"

"No present." Genichirou replied miserably, staring at his toes in effort to avoid looking Seiichi in the face. "It's at home."

Mother Yukimura had made her way to check on the boys and upon hearing the confession, smiled. "Don't worry about it, sweetheart. It's here, your father dropped it off on his way to work this morning."

Genichirou perked up, head lifting to stare at the woman hopefully. "Really? Really really?"

"Really." She nodded, holding out both of her hands to help the boys back to their feet. "Are we ready now?"

Both boys nodded firmly, and soon enough the room was covered in ribbons and wrapping paper. Seiichi sat in the middle of the mess, studying each of his gifts carefully. Among other odds and ends, he had received a deck of cards, some new colouring books, a picture book featuring puppies and kittens from Genichirou, and from his parents, two brightly coloured and child-sized tennis racquets, completed by two cans of multi-coloured tennis balls.

While Seiichi had wanted to play with all of his new toys – with everyone – right away, his mother firmly refused to allow it. "There aren't enough to go around, it wouldn't be very nice." Seiichi reluctantly agreed, but as soon as his guests sans Genichirou had gone home the balls, racquets, and two five-year-old boys disappeared.

*

"Too slow!" Sanada's yell echoed across the court. An arm raised to wipe the sweat from his brow and after a moment he positioned himself again, ball bounced once, twice, three times before it was slammed heavily back across the net.

"Says you!" Yukimura grunted as he ran, skidding to a stop and bracing himself for impact. The ball was flung back at Sanada and the rally began, neither willing to bend to the other's will and neither willing to give up the point as the pace quickened and ferocity intensified.

"Man," Kirihara commented from behind the fence. "Never seen Sanada-fukubuchou go so hard on him before." Ah, there it was, Yukimura was going to get the – no, Sanada managed get himself close enough to lob the ball back over the net. Damn. "C'mon, Buchou! I know you can kick his ass, no sweat!"

"It happens." Yanagi replied, mouth curling into a displeased frown. Kirihara really didn't need to yell. "They're fighting again, but you didn't hear that from me." His arms crossed over his chest as he watched – this wasn't a friendly game of tennis, this was a duel to the death. Though whose death was still questionable, given how hard their captain and vice-captain were playing.

Kirihara's nose wrinkled slightly. "Gotcha." He fell silent, watching the match intently for a few minutes before asking, "What they got to fight about, anyway? They're always all happy puppies and kittens and flowers and shit. Or at least their equivalent of it."

Puppies and kittens and flowers weren't exactly Yanagi's idea of the best way to put Sanada and Yukimura's relationship. They were more like an aging, bickering married couple. "I've already said too much." He said firmly. "They have their reasons."

"Yukimura-buchou's jealous 'coz Sanada got himself a girlfriend." Marui happily supplied as he passed by – naturally he'd been listening to the whole conversation; it wasn't his fault that their oh-so-favourite junior did not possess the capability of keeping his voice down.

The confused look on Kirihara's face soon turned to one of dawning comprehension. "Really? Who the hell would date a dumb gorilla like him?"

"Takahashi-san from --" Yanagi's hand clamped tightly over Marui's mouth.

"Finish that sentence and I will make quite certain you run laps for the next week." He murmured threateningly near Marui's ear. Marui nodded and Yanagi seemed to be satisfied, letting go of their self-proclaimed genius and raising his voice. "He's not dating anyone." Yanagi clarified, mostly for Kirihara's sake. "And he's not a gorilla, Akaya. You know better than to call people names."

"'snot my fault he looks like one," Kirihara muttered under his breath. Bah, whatever, it wasn't important who Sanada was or wasn't dating. What was important, however, was that Sanada lose this stupid game so they could all go home and Yukimura could make good on that promise of treating him to yakiniku.

"Thirty-love!" Yagyuu called from the umpire's chair. Yukimura crouched for a moment, wiping sweat from his face and breathing heavily as he glared daggers at Sanada.

Sanada glared right back. "I already told you, you're too slow. Getting soft on me, Seiichi?" He growled, setting himself up for his next serve.

"In your dreams, Genichirou." Yukimura hissed angrily in response. There wasn't any fucking way he was going to lose, not to that big stupid jerk.

"I don't need to dream," The ball was smashed over the net, and the game resumed.

*

"You broke it, you big stupid dummyhead!" Seiichi's angry cry echoed down the empty street. The toy truck the pair had been playing with now lay in the gutter, the dumping bed broken clean off the body of the truck.

"Didn't mean to!" Genichirou yelled back, clearly distressed. "Accident! I'm sorry, I'll fix it." He picked up the pieces of the truck and tried to fit them back together – he really hadn't meant to break it.

Seiichi snatched the broken toy out of Genichirou's hands and held it protectively against his chest. "Did too! You stepped on it!"

"I didn't mean to!" Genichirou repeated as he sniffed, tears streaming down his cheeks. He rubbed at his eyes furiously as he got to his feet. "Y-y-you can have mine." His truck wasn't nearly as cool as Seiichi's was (had been), but they could both still play with it, right?

"Don't want your dumb stupid truck!" Seiichi screeched, his face turning an angry red. "Your truck is dumb and mine was better and you broke it and it's all your fault!"

Genichirou didn't know what else he could do or say. He'd never seen . . . well, anyone so mad in his entire seven years alive. "I'm sorry," He said miserably, toe scuffing on the pavement hopelessly.

"No yer not! You wanted it and I wouldn't let you have it so you broke it! You're a stupid meaniehead and I hate you and you're not my friend anymore!"

If Genichirou had been sad before, now he was mad – how dare Seiichi accuse him of breaking the truck on purpose? "FINE!!" He bellowed as loudly as he could. "I didn't like your stupid truck anyway!"

"It's not stupid!"

"Is too!"

The truck clattered to the ground as Seiichi dove forward, his slight frame crashing right into Genichirou and sending them both sprawling to the ground. "Is not is not is not!!" He screamed, small fists flung wildly at Genichirou.

"Is too!!" Genichirou squealed in response, his own fists flying and connecting at random. The fight became more and more heated, neither boy willing to give up as they pulled hair, punched, kicked, scratched and bit at each other.

The commotion was beginning to attract a crowd of onlookers, but no one did a thing to stop it. At least, that was, until Grandfather Sanada appeared to physically pull the boys apart and hold them back away from each other.

As soon as Genichirou felt the familiar strong grip on the back of his shirt collar, he stopped fighting. His bruised and filthy face turned towards his grandfather guiltily – he knew he was in big trouble. Seiichi, on the other hand, continued to rage; pushing and pulling and trying to break free of Grandfather Sanada's grasp.

"I don't know what this is about, but you should both be ashamed of yourselves." Grandfather Sanada said coldly, his voice dangerously low. "Go home, Genichirou. I'll deal with you when I get back." He told his grandson, letting the boy loose and watching as Genichirou hightailed it back towards his home.

Grandfather Sanada eyed the broken truck that still lay in the street. So that's what this was all about. He took hold of Seiichi's wrist and collected the parts, completely ignoring the boy's cries of protest as they marched towards the Yukimura home. The boys could make up later, but for now what they needed the most was some time away from each other to cool off.

Seiichi cried the whole way home. Grandfather Sanada remained silent until the boy had been safely released into his parents' custody. After a hushed conversation with Mother Yukimura he was off, determined to get to the root of the problem.

By the time he returned home Genichirou had cleaned himself up and banished himself to his bedroom, sulking guiltily in a corner and miserably awaiting his punishment.

Grandfather Sanada crouched low, a curious gaze focused on the boy. "Genichirou, what happened?" He asked quietly, voice taking on a soothing lilt – nothing like the cold, dangerous tone he'd had not fifteen minutes prior.

"It was an accident," Genichirou replied in a barely audible voice. "I broke it, but I didn't mean to, honest!" He buried his face into his knees – Grandpa couldn't see him crying again – no, he wouldn't cry again.

"I know you didn't mean to. You're a good boy, you wouldn't break Seiichi's toy on purpose, right?" A hand moved to rest on Genichirou's shoulder, rubbing slightly in a comforting manner.

Genichirou nodded, his head lifting to look his grandfather in the eye. "I said I was sorry but he said I did it on purpose, and I said I didn't and I said I'd give him my truck even though it's not the same and he said my truck was stupid and he didn't want it and said I'm not his friend anymore and I got mad and said I didn't like his stupid truck anyway but I really do and he hit me and –" He paused to catch his breath, sniffling as he attempted to keep himself from crying.

"That was very nice of you to offer your truck, Genichirou. But sometimes it's not the actual item that's important, it's the memories that a person associates with them." Grandfather Sanada moved to sit beside Genichirou, pulling the boy into his lap and smoothing his hair. "I think that truck was very important to Seiichi, and that's why he got angry. I'm sure he doesn't hate you, he's just sad. People do funny things when they're sad. They say things they don't really mean."

Genichirou sniffed again. "Y'sure?" He asked, resting his head against his grandfather's chest and listening to his heartbeat. "Really really?"

"Really really. We'll take care of the truck tomorrow, okay?" Grandfather Sanada promised. "I'm sure we can fix it. But for now, don't worry about it. If I know you boys, this will all be over soon. These things just take some time, do you understand?"

"Yes, Grandpa."

*

"I said I was sorry, what more do you want from me?" Sanada asked, exasperated. "I don't understand why you're getting so pissed off about it."

Yukimura's frown deepened. "Because you had no right to tell her that. Who I do or do not date isn't any of your business." He said angrily, stuffing his hands in his pockets and pacing the length of the room.

Sanada wanted to bang his head against a wall. He'd only been trying to help and this was what he got, go figure. "I thought I was doing you a favour." He admitted, shifting against the wall uncomfortably. "You kept complaining about her calling you and emailing you all the time, so when she asked me if you liked her, I told her what I thought was the truth."

Even if what Sanada had told Takahashi was the truth, it didn't mean the older teen had any right to go out and blab his personal business to everyone. "I can take care of, and think for, myself, Genichirou. I'm not a baby."

You're certainly acting like one, Sanada thought to himself. "I'll talk to her again, then. Take it back. Say I was only joking." He tried to compromise, eyes focused on Yukimura. "I was out of line and I shouldn't have said it. It's my fault, and I'm sorry."

Yukimura laughed – a genuinely amused laugh. "Like anyone would ever believe you were joking, Mister 'I have a stick up my ass and a cruddy old rock in my bag'."

"That 'cruddy old rock in my bag' has been in my family for generations, thank you very much. And I –" Okay, maybe, possibly he could see where people could potentially think he had a stick up his ass. "Okay, maybe you got me there, but aren't you being silly? I already apologized and offered a solution. If you can think of a better one, then say it so we can get this done and over with. I think Niou's started taking bets as to how long it'll take."

Yukimura stopped in his tracks. "It's fine," he sighed. "I'm being stupid, too. Just forget about it. I didn't want to go out with her, anyway. Not my type of girl." He turned towards Sanada and looked him square in the eye, puffing his chest as if to make himself look bigger. "But if you ever do something like this again, I'll never forgive you."

"Deal." Sanada smiled. Well, at least that was finished. He didn't think Yukimura had completely forgiven him yet, but at least it was a start.

"Well then," Yukimura said, dusting off his perfectly clean hands. "If I remember correctly, you owe me about a week's worth of window shopping. I need a new coat."

"I hate you."

"On the contrary, you'd be completely lost without me." Yukimura grinned, sidestepping and fleeing out the door before Sanada had a chance to throw something at him.

*

There he stood, a package clutched tightly in his hands and a new, too-large hat pulled down over his brow. Genichirou stared at the door in front of him, wondering whether or not he should even go through with this. What if Seiichi was still mad at him? What if he didn't like it, what if . . .?

No. He had to do it. Grandpa said he wouldn't ever know anything if he never tried, and at this point it was now or never. He took a deep breath and counted to five, then pushed the door open with a soft call and stepped inside.

"What're you doin' here?" Seiichi appeared from around a corner, hands fisted on his hips and a frown on his face. "I told ya, yer not my friend anymore!"

"I know, I'm sorry." Genichirou replied meekly, holding the package out in front of him and dropping his head. "I just wanted to give you this."

Seiichi eyed both the package and Genichirou suspiciously. Curiosity, however, eventually got the best of him. "What is it?"

Genichirou took a tentative step forward, offering the package. "Open it. Not the same, but . . ." They'd tried their best, at least.

The package was snatched out of Genichirou's hands none-too-lightly and Seiichi plopped himself on the floor, nimble fingers tearing at the paper. His eyes widened as his efforts revealed a toy truck – his toy truck, in one piece and a Snoopy bandage plastered over one of the glued cracks. "My –"

"Grandpa helped me fix it." Genichirou murmured, watching the other boy for some sort of sign that everything was going to be okay. "Is it okay?"

Then next thing Genichirou knew, his back was once again hitting the floor, but this time Seiichi's arms were curled around his neck and his shirt felt damp. "It's ok," Seiichi sniffled against his chest. "It's all better now."

Genichirou petted Seiichi's head awkwardly. He certainly hadn't been expecting that reaction. But . . . "You don't hate me anymore?"

"Uh uh." Seiichi shook his head and sat up, rubbing at his eyes. "Don't hate ya 'n you're my friend again." He got back to his feet and offered his hand to Genichirou. "Sorry I hit you." Even at such a young age he did realize that if Genichirou had gone through the trouble to fix the truck his own grandfather had given him, the least he could do was apologize.

Genichirou couldn't do anything but smile happily. All was right in the world again. "It's okay." He assured his once-again friend. "Grandpa said it was important, so I had ta, 'coz you'd be sad, 'n it's sad when your important things are broken."

Seiichi's truck had been important to him, and equally Seiichi's friendship had been important to Genichirou. When both were lost, there was nothing left but sadness. Time, however, has always had a funny way of fixing things.

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