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Diamonds are Forever

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They first met her on a diamond.

It wasn’t an official diamond, or even a practice diamond. It was a bare spot in a field that had rocks for bases, and the pitcher’s mound was nothing more than a slight bump.

Still, as she told Kazuya much later, “You should respect the diamond, Miyuki Kazuya.”

At which point Eijun busted out laughing, holding his side. “BWAHHHAHAH! She’s got you pegged, you snob!”

Kazuya rolled his eyes in exasperation. “If you didn’t still insist on calling me by my full name after all these years, she wouldn’t do it either, idiot.”

But that was much, much later.

 

 

They first met her on a diamond.

They were thirty.

She was five.

The team did various charity events around town for different causes. Each of the players was encouraged to choose one type to dedicate themselves to, and they decided that they were interested in helping children, doing what they could to encourage the future generations, trying to give them whatever boost they could.

That’s why they were at this particular orphanage.

They visited regularly, at least once a month—they’d adopted this orphanage as their project, the thing to which they’d dedicate spare time and money. Whenever they had some time off, they’d stop by, chatting with the children, playing and entertaining them, bringing them things they could use, and sometimes things that they wanted.

Kazuya had to be stopped by Eijun more times than he could count, forced by his husband to return some of the toys and games he’d loaded into the cart. He wanted to give these children everything, but he knew Eijun was right, that they didn’t need everything and too much would cause issues. So, they brought practical stuff that the staff could distribute as needed, games and toys for the playroom, and the occasional stuffed animal or small toy for someone they knew was sick or down.

 

 

They first met her on a diamond.

She’d only been there for a few weeks, and the baseball players had been busy with a string of away games and hadn’t been able to visit. When they did, they were greeted by happy laughs and tiny hands pulling them out the back and to the diamond that the children had built. “Play with us!” they pled, and neither had the willpower to deny them such a request.

“If we’re going to play, you need the proper equipment. We’ll bring some with us next time, ok?” The group sighed and whined, laying down in the grass in disappointment.

Everyone but one girl, one five-year-old girl who they’d never seen before. She just stood there, glaring at them.

“Why? We have a ball.” She picked up the worn baseball from the ground. “We can play.”

Eijun grinned at her, and elbowed Kazuya in the side. “Yeah, Miyuki Kazuya, they have a ball. Why can’t they play?” At that, the children on the ground clambered to their feet, sensing a change. They rarely saw the two disagree, but when they did, they all knew that Eijun was the one who usually won. Especially if it was something the children wanted to do.

Kazuya looked at her, and she glared back, fiercely determined to play. He narrowed his eyes, and she narrowed hers, while Eijun laughed at them both. Finally, Kazuya backed down. Just a little. “What’s your name?” he barked.

“Naiya.” she replied in the same tone. “What does that matter? I want to play.”

Eijun chuckled. “Well, Naiya-chan, that’s a beautiful name. Even mean old Miyuki will have to agree to that, right?” Kazuya rolled his eyes and frowned.

“Why am I the bad guy again?” He bowed to the inevitable. “Ok, what equipment do you lot have?”

The children all ran off in different directions, bringing back a collection of worn mitts and pitted bats, equipment that had clearly seen better days. Proudly, they lined up for inspection, and both Eijun and Kazuya gravely looked over what was offered. When they got to Naiya, they asked her what it was that she had, and she held up the ball.

“I brought the ball. What else do we need?”

 

 

They first met her on a diamond.

A girl whose name meant diamond.

She was five.

They were thirty.

And although none of them realized it,

from that moment on,

she was theirs,

and they were hers.