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Tonight

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How stupid he was to have forgotten what today meant, especially after whining for almost a whole year since Aran’s party. Reo had not been surprised with the invitation tonight—his group had been spending so much time going to different places since work had mellowed down—but didn’t expect that he would see everyone, or that they would welcome his birthday together.

The evening began with a pretty standard dinner: meat, meat, vegetables (because Hagiya and Morohoshi, and okay also maybe a little Sanada), and more meat. Then it was midnight, and suddenly there were party poppers and champagne flutes and, oh, right, he was legal now.

It was weird, tearing up a bit when Yasui had brought out the cake—complete with sparkling candles—once the clock had struck 12, but Reo sucked in a lungful of warm air, made his wish, and took the others’ gifts and well-wishes.

“Okay, we gotta go now,” Yasui had said immediately after, smile loaded and with a purpose in his stride.

“Go where,” Reo had replied, laughing at something Sanada was saying and playfully trying to avoid Sanada’s attempts to mess up his hair. It’s not quite summer yet, but Reo’s bare arms were a bit sticky from the humidity.

“You’ll see,” Hagiya had answered instead, grinning and with his hands in his pockets, all secretive. “We got you a little something extra.”

“I’m not very good at surprises,” Reo had reminded him, trying to match the others’ steps. He trusts them, but between a mountain hike and an overseas trip out of the blue, a surprise could mean anything. They didn’t really fit the image, but Reo’s been with them long enough to know: his members were a little crazy-impulsive, sometimes.

“Don’t worry, nothing too wild,” Hagiya had waved him off as they turned a corner, an arm good-naturedly hooked over Morohoshi’s shoulder. “It’s Aran-approved, I think?”

“It is, yeah,” Aran had turned his head at them for a moment, busy in the middle of a conversation with Yasui at the front of the pack. “Sanada-kun and I checked it out two days ago.”

Reo had been about to ask exactly what it was, but they had stopped walking and Myuto had whistled low—they were here, apparently.

“Nice,” Myuto has his cheshire grin on, the bass thumping loudly on the speakers drowning out his next words. He pats Aran on the shoulder for a job well done, and then he’s grabbing him and Sanada and charging straight into the club, strobe lights and dancing and loud EDM and hip-hop music swallowing all three of them up.

Reo thinks he hears Yasui say, ‘we better not be in the papers tomorrow’ and Hagiya bark out a laugh in reply. There’s barely enough time to react in surprise—a club! Of all the things!—before Morohoshi is whooping excitedly and pushing at all of them to get inside.

Welcome to adulthood, indeed.