Musashi adjusted the duffel bag concealing the surprise. He stood and smiled to himself at the practice equipment that Mamori hadn't put away yet, then pushed the door to the clubhouse open. "Hiruma?"
Hiruma looked up from his place on the couch, then demonstratively turned back to his laptop. "Huh. You're back."
"Yeah, I'm really sorry about missing practice today..."
Hiruma's ears twitched. "Doesn't make much of a difference in the long run, does it?"
"Yes it does, but that's not the point..." Musashi cleared his throat and sat in a chair across from the couch. He unzipped the duffel bag and drew out a container that was a little bit bigger than a shoe box. "Uhm, I had to miss because that was the only time I could pick this up." He awkwardly offered the box. "It's for you."
That seemed to interest Hiruma enough to draw his eyes away from the computer. "Huh? I don't need new cleats, fucking old man."
"I know you don't."
The box was grabbed from his hands with snakelike speed. "So what is it?"
Musashi forced down a smug smile. "Open it."
Hiruma flipped the lid open, and frowned down at the contents. "A fucking football. Like we need another one."
Musashi gently reached out and turned it so Hiruma could see the signature on the side with the laces. "Not every football is signed by Joe Montana..."
Musashi noted to himself that while he was used to the... unusual mobility of his friend's ears, he'd never before seen them perk up like that. It was pretty much the most adorable thing he'd ever seen. Suddenly all those hours he'd spent slaving away, squirreling money for this present seemed worth it. Musashi let himself smile, finally.
Hiruma looked at the football for a minute more, one long finger tracing over the laces the way he'd sometimes pet Cerberus when he was a puppy. (But only when he thought nobody was looking.)
Then he looked up, scowling. "What's this shit? Got nothing better to do with your cash?"
Musashi kept smiling. "No, actually."
"Huh." Hiruma lifted the football out of its nest of packing, and carried it over to the as-yet-bare trophy shelf over the tactics table. "Guess this belongs up here."
"Ah, there's a stand in there too." Musashi dug it out and brought it to the shelf, setting it up.
Hiruma looked away, and muttered something that might just, with a bit of goodwill, be interpreted as "thanks".
"I wanted to do it." Musashi shrugged.
"Yeah, sure. Thanks." He ran a hand through his hair. "I really need to cut this..."
At that Hiruma turned around and flashed a grin. "Oookay. Let's make it a family outing. I'll tell the porker."
"Should I be scared?" Musashi snorted.
"If you know what's good for you."
He chuckled, "crap, then. You gonna call him?"
Hiruma looked straight into his eyes, smirked, and flipped his cell open.
Musashi smirked back at him and sat back down, playing with a tasseled 'Deimon' pillow. Suzuna had been hard at work...monogrammed pillows, now?
"Hey, fucking fatass, it's me. Be back at the clubhouse NOW, Musashi needs a haircut. No, you're not gonna have to do it, don't be stupid. We don't want the poor fucker to look like a run-over hedgehog."
There was a high-pitched assurance and Kurita hung up. It usually took him twenty minutes to get from his family's dojo to the clubhouse, so they were in for a little wait. "How was practice today?"
"Pretty much as usual." Hiruma returned to the couch and dropped down. "Biggest Huh Bro is improving, but don't tell him I said so or I'll fucking shoot you."
"I'm going to tell him right now. I'm going." Musashi rolled his eyes with a yawn.
Hiruma reflexively reached down for his gun, and then swore and dug around for it among the profusion of pillows. "Fucking shit! Fucking manager and fucking roller-girl turning this place into some fucking tea party - "
Musashi, against his better judgment, started to laugh. "They really are a good influence on you. I'd been wondering if any of it sunk in. Oh, it's under this one." Musashi pulled out a magnum from under the pillow next to him and tossed it to the blonde.
Hiruma snatched it out of the air and pointed it at him. "Fucking say that again and I'm not responsible for the consequences!"
"You won't find a better kicker." Musashi chuckled. "And besides, you've never shot anyone. Ever."
"Who." Musashi snorted.
"The fucking dread, that's who." Hiruma struggled for a moment more to keep up his fierce expression, then dissolved into sniggers. "With a paintball gun. You should've seen the look on the fucker's face! I'm not sure if he was more horrified when he thought I'd blown his gut out or when he realized I'd ruined his fucking shirt."
Musashi laughed as well, "Serves him right...what, the genius himself thought his guts were leaking out from a paintball? Hah."
"Well, give him his fucking due, he got it pretty quick. But damn, I wish I could shoot and take pictures all at once!"
"You had your network set up at the time, didn't you?" He stretched.
"Yeah, but you can't count on those fuckers being around when they're needed."
"Hm, a pity. I'd have had that picture framed." Musashi frowned, thinking of Agon. He was one of the only people Musashi truly loathed, for reasons too numerous to mention.
"Hey, don't worry. You'll get one after we kick their ass in the tournament."
"What have you got up your sleeve? They're tough, as I'm sure I don't need to tell you." He got up to get coffee, the need surfacing because of Hiruma's earlier comment. He made the blonde a cup as well and brought cream and sugar so Hiruma could mix as he liked. He probably ought to be worried about that last, if only because of the way Hiruma got when he had too much sugar... the guy might drink his coffee black when he had an audience, because that was what badasses did, but when it was just the two of them Hiruma tended to have sugar with coffee, not the other way around.
It was a worrying thought; Hiruma hyped up on sugar...but just the fact that Musashi knew that Hiruma got hyped up on sugar made him feel fuzzy. He liked knowing things about the demon that others didn't. "So?"
Hiruma paused and scowled down at his coffee. "So basically, we hold the fucking baldy in reserve and hope to hell we don't need him before then. And that the fucking shrimp grows a pair."
"He steps up his game to the level of the other team as he goes along." Musashi mused, "We can do it."
"Yeah." Hiruma took another gulp, then snapped his head up and grinned. "What the hell, we're gonna do it. Show that dreadheaded fuck where he gets off."
Oh dear. Sugar. "Aah. I agree." He grinned back. "He certainly has it coming."
"C'mon!" Hiruma literally bounced up off the couch, grabbing his gun and jacket on the way. "Let's go meet the porker!"
Shit. Musashi had to rush after the blonde. "Right..." He strode after him, glad for his long legs, else he'd have been left in the dust. Kurita, luckily, was just around the corner and they were able to meet him with no mishaps.
Hiruma darted from one side of the road to the other ahead of them, as they made their way to the station. Kurita looked worriedly at him. "Umm, Musashi, is Hiruma... did he drink coffee?"
"Yeah." Musashi looked a little sheepish. "With sugar in it...whoa, Hiruma, watch it!" He had to dart forward and yank the blonde out of the way of a car. "Fuck...that's twice, now!"
"...I think you getting a haircut isn't a good idea," Kurita fussed. "He'll probably end up dyeing it pink."
"He doesn't have a say in what I do with my hair." Musashi looked a little alarmed.
"...want to bet?"