A few weeks before Sanada’s fiftieth birthday, Ren calls and apologizes in advance for not being able to fly home. Having been through this before with Yukimura, Sanada tells her that it is okay.
"We can celebrate when I come back after Wimbledon."
"Hn," Sanada says and hangs up after she sounds rushed on the other end.
He weaves through the house and finds Rai and Yukimura on the tennis court. He watches for a long while, daring Rai to take just one point. Not playing everyday hasn’t diminished his husband’s power in the slightest. Sanada chalks it up to unnatural ability.
Yukimura takes the match and shakes his son’s hand over the net before padding to Sanada.
"Ren can’t make it home," the kendo master says as Yukimura takes a long drink of water.
"Barcelona," he says matter-of-fact and Sanada nods.
Rai walks past and says, "Give me an hour. Rematch."
Yukimura smiles as their son disappears into the house. "He doesn’t know when to give up. I wonder who he learned that from."
"No clue," Sanada says in a deadpan.
"There’s a charity event in Shanghai and I’ve been asked to attend. I know it’s last minute Genichirou, but--"
"It’s okay. Go."
Yukimura looks at him in shock. After their marriage almost coming to an end on more than one occasion because of his career, Sanada being so easy with him leaving is just odd. He feels Sanada’s hands on his hips then his lips on his cheek.
"Really. It’s fine," he whispers into Yukimura’s ear and releases his grip.
The tennis player gives an easy smile to Sanada’s retreating back, wondering if getting older was making him wiser. He definitely wasn’t as argumentative anymore.
"Otou-san, I know your birthday is tomorrow, but Kazuki invited me on their skiing trip in Hokkaido and we’re gonna snowboard."
"He’s waiting for you outside, isn’t he?"
Rai nods quickly. Sanada lets out a sigh.
"Have fun," he says. "And be respectful."
Sanada watches him grab an overnight bag and rush out, Atobe’s limo stretched out in front of the house. He closes the door after the vehicle pulls away.
"He bought it, Sei-otou," Ren and Rai say in unison as they gather in the foyer of Atobe’s mansion.
Atobe crosses his arms, looking utterly skeptical. "Honestly, my fiftieth will be a month long celebration."
"It will not," Tezuka says and the diva looks highly affronted.
"Don’t be ridiculous. We will be able to celebrate yours as well."
"I would prefer something akin to what Yukimura is doing for Sanada."
"Sometimes I think you forget who you are married to."
Tezuka gives him a long-suffering look. "I could never."
Atobe looks content with the answer. "In any case, I suppose you can use whatever rooms you need for this...event."
"Thank you, Keigo," Tezuka says and turns to Yukimura. "I think I know the perfect one."
Sanada wakes up at four, meditates, showers, and eats breakfast all before five. At six, the doorbell rings and it startles him in the middle of his iai practice. He walks to the door, katana in hand, and answers it.
"Good morning," he says looking at the sword, unfazed. "May I?"
He steps back and lets him in. "Aren’t you supposed to be skiing?"
"Aa, no. A bit of tendonitis in my ankle and I didn’t wish Atobe to stay at the cabin when he could be enjoying the slopes. Anyway, are you terribly busy? I realize," he intones, gesturing to the sword, "that I’ve interrupted you."
"It’s nothing I can’t do later," Sanada says.
"Good to hear. Would you mind coming back with me? I think I might need to replace the flooring in the dojo and I concede to your expertise on the matter."
"I’ll go change."
"Thank you. Happy birthday, by the way."
Sanada stops, gives him a wan smile. "I suppose so."
The drive back is mostly silent. Sanada doesn’t feel like bringing up Tezuka’s lack of driver. He supposes when Atobe is away, Tezuka can freely live without all the ‘perks’ that come with being married to the diva.
"I hope I’m not taking away from your day," Tezuka says as they pull through the gates.
"It’s no trouble. I didn’t have much of anything planned." Maybe dinner with his parents, but they hadn’t returned his call yet. Admittedly, he had called after they had gone to bed and probably were not awake yet.
"You know the way?" he asks as they step inside. "I have a phone call to make, but I shall meet you there."
Sanada nods. He knows the way, even if he is still confused by the layout of the mansion. He wanders down hallway after hallway and wonders how anyone can navigate this damn house. Finally he arrives at the dojo. No doubt Tezuka is on the phone with Atobe and therefore he will be in the room alone for some time.
He turns the knob and steps into the dark, the daylight not having reached the room yet. He feels around for the switch and flicks it.
Ren flings her arms around him and kisses him on the cheek. "Happy birthday, Daddy," she says.
"Thank you," he says as Rai hugs his other side.
"Sorry, Otou-san. You know, for lying."
"I suppose it was for a good reason," he tells Rai and tugs on the teen’s hat playfully.
His eyes search the room for Yukimura. Lilac eyes meet his and he gets a bright smile followed by the tennis player mouthing the words, ‘happy birthday.’ Sanada wrests himself from his children and crosses the room, pulling Yukimura into his arms.
"You know you have guests," he tries to protest.
Sanada kisses him anyway and mumbles, "they can wait for one moment," against his lips. He pulls away reluctantly and grasps Yukimura’s hand.
"Thank you for this," he says in between getting congratulations from everyone on the old Rikkai team, various opponents, his parents, brother, and nephew, and Tezuka and Atobe’s children. "Really."
Yukimura smiles wickedly and bumps his hip against Sanada’s. "You deserved it, Genichirou," he whispers. "You’ll get your present from me tonight."
Sanada hopes the party ends soon.
After the party ends, Tezuka shoos the servants away and finishes cleaning on his own.
"Ore-sama had no idea you could be so devious," Atobe says from the doorway, eyes locked on Tezuka’s every move.
The bespectacled man smirks briefly before gathering up the last of the party remnants. "Tarundoru, Keigo."