Actually, I was going to write something for the MidoTaka-day on 6/10, but I had to take two exams this past week, so I ended up procrastinating it until today... Anyway, it's meant to celebrate that day! XD It's mainly MidoTaka, but there are hints of MiyaHaya. In this story Midorima and Takao are twenty four-five years old, Midorima works as a doctor and Takao as a photographer, and they live together as they date ever since high school. I hope you like it :)
Disclaimer: Kuroko no Basket and its characters belong to Fujimaki Tadatoshi. I only own my story.
[The Closer I Get to You]
Takao crawled on the sofa and reached for the phone, snorting lightly. He had forgotten to turn it off, and the ringtone filled up the living room just as he had finally managed to close his eyes and fall into a light slumber, after a whole afternoon of full work –the magazine he worked for suddenly decided that two photographs for the article weren't enough, so they called that same morning demanding he adjusted the other pictures he had taken and sent them within three hours. He was exhausted and looked at the screen for a few minutes. He was strongly tempted to hang up even before answering, to tell the truth. But if he did, he would never hear the end of it, so in the end he sighed and pressed the call button.
"Senpai? Hello~ What's up?" He said, in the most cheerful voice he could manage.
Miyaji-senpai, at the other end of the phone, simply snorted.
He was most definitely not cheerful. He never was, even when things were going smoothly and nicely. It just didn't seem to be in him.
"Hey. Why didn't you answer at once?"
Takao knew he was pissed off by the way he said the question, and didn't want to imagine what would have happened if he hadn't picked up at all.
"I was working and the phone was in a different room," He lied, quietly, "I'm sorry, senpai, forgive me~"
Miyaji snorted again. "So, what did you call me about?" Takao asked, purely out of courtesy. He wanted to finish quickly and return to sleep. When Miyaji started to blabber, though, he really did get curious.
"Oh? I didn't quite catch it. Can you repeat it, please?" He tried to be polite but really couldn't avoid mocking him a bit.
"I said I need your help, okay?!" Miyaji suddenly raised his voice, and Takao had to lower his phone a little so that the screams wouldn't deafen his poor ears. Miyaji seemed to be in a particularly fool mood.
"Don't make me repeat it!" he shouted. "So, are you free or not?!"
Takao looked at his wristwatch. "Heh~ I don't know," he hummed, "Actually I was going to rest a bit and then wait for Shin-chan to pick me up. We're eating out today." He knew he sounded almost too happy. Just remembering how Midorima had asked him out for the evening made him shiver with excitement. He was so cute and awkward! He really had to control himself to not jump him, as they were in public and Midorima wasn't particularly fond of public effusions.
"Ugh, you sound like a thirteen girl talking about her crush," Miyagi said. Takao though he could literally see him rolling his eyes and chuckled.
"I'm afraid I'm not free," he said. "I'm sorry, senpai. What did you need my help for?" He was still curious, but Miyaji wouldn't tell him at this point.
"I'm not your senpai anymore, idiot. Well, bye. Have fun," He changed quickly the topic and hang up.
Takao looked at the screen as it turned dim and the notice of the ended call appeared. He sighed and placed it back on the table, shifting to lie again on the sofa. Perhaps he still could sleep for five minutes or so.
Or probably not, he thought, as the phone started ringing again.
But this time the ringtone was different and as he recognized it he jolted towards the phone. After all, he was the one who had the idea of putting a different, unique, ringtone only for Midorima.
"Shin-chan," He said, fondly. Crap, he really sounded like an adoring girl. He coughed a little and managed to add in a slight manlier voice, "What's up? Have you finally given in and decided to tell me what we are doing tonight?" He joked, in fact no matter how many timed he asked, Midorima wouldn't tell him as he insisted it was a surprise. There was definitely something fishy about it.
"Takao," Midorima's voice was low and somehow bitter. It made Takao shiver. He had a really bad feeling about that. "A colleague's got a fever. I can't leave the hospital until night."
Takao felt a painful lump in his throat.
"Heh- is that so?" He managed to say, hoping the increasing anxiety growing in his stomach didn't make his voice weird. Midorima wasn't only one of the best doctors they had in the hospital he worked in, but he was also a serious, firm, responsible man. Takao knew that better than anyone else. There was no way he wouldn't help in a pinch like that.
"Yeah," Midorima sighed. "So, about the plan we had for tonight…"
"Ah, it's bad, but we can't help it, can we?" Takao answered in a rush. He didn't want to sound needy or desperate or selfish. He knew Midorima felt bad just as it was, and burdening him with any more guilty feelings wasn't gonna help anyway.
"It's alright, Shin-chan, don't worry. I'll find something else to do, okay?"
"It's really no big deal! Perhaps I'll call you later to say goodnight. Have a good evening!" Takao didn't give the other any time to answer and hung up. He took a deep, deep breath, and when he released air he felt like he was suffocating. Maybe he had been too excited. It was really no big deal, after all, they could always go out some other evening –he thought about the way Midorima had blushed while asking him out and felt bad for him. He had gone out of his away for nothing.
He heard a soft meow and then his black cat jumped on the sofa, cuddling against his side.
"I know, Shin-chan," he murmured towards the cat he had found in high school and then called just like his lover. "You miss Shin-chan too, I know. Uh, Shin-chan misses Shin-chan… Geez, it's really confusing. Perhaps I have to call Midorima something else." The cat looked at him and tilted his head, meowing. He didn't understand anything, of course. Takao himself was confused.
He sighed and picked up his phone again. He dialed a number and called.
"Miyaji-senpai? Do you still need my help?"
Miyaji shifted uncomfortably between the two store clerks that had quickly surrounded him after he had stepped into the shop. He wasn't very familiar with the fair sex, and his awkwardness made Takao uncomfortable himself. Until a certain moment, he had managed to not burst into laughter, but when one of the women had asked Miyaji if he wanted to buy a gift for his sweetheart, the face he had made –a blushing, almost terrified face- was just too much to bear; now Takao found it impossible not to laugh loudly, no matter how hard and angry Miyaji looked towards him.
His senpai –whoops, ex-senpai- managed somehow to deny being there for his girlfriend and told them he was just buying a 'damn t-shirt for a friend'. The two women looked disappointed as they suggested trying on the second floor. Miyaji dragged Takao on the escalator and slapped him on the nape.
"Ouch, senpai, that hurt," The black-haired boy whined.
"Your complaining doesn't look sincere when you grin like that, you lil' shit."
Takao chuckled. "You weren't very honest. After all, you're here for your sweetheart~" he mocked him and was slapped again.
"Shut up," Miyaji muttered under breath. Even after dating Hayama for one year and three months, he was still reluctant to show some love for him -even though going out of his way to buy him a birthday present was already enough of a demonstration of love- and treated him like something he just couldn't avoid. Takao didn't know if it was extreme shyness or just denial –after all Miyaji still liked girls when they were in high school, so he had had some trouble accepting the fact he fell for a guy. A noisy, annoying guy, most of all.
"So, what do you need my help for? Do you have trouble choosing? I honestly think he'll be happy with whatever you give him, you know," Takao smiled as he massaged his pained nape.
"Idiot, it's just for measures," Miyaji grunted, "That fellow grew quite a bit during this winter, and I think he's more or less like you now. So I need you as a mannequin, do you get it now? Tsk."
"I get it, I get it," Takao hummed and stepped on the floor just as they arrived. Miyaji walked to a shelf and started roaming through several t-shirts. When he picked up a green, large one, Takao couldn't help but flinch lightly -of all the shirts he could pick, really, why that?- and looked away. He suddenly found himself asking what Midorima was doing, what he was feeling, with whom he was working, and so on. He somehow envied his past himself, the one who had the privilege to be always, always by Midorima's side, whether it was school or basketball practice. In high school they were inseparable partners –the title of 'Shuutoku's light and shadow' that Kuroko gave them still made his pride burst- but then they had chosen different paths; first, when they went to university, then naturally when they started to work. Takao knew he was already lucky enough having him as a lover and housemate and couldn't possibly be any more grateful for that, but sometimes he wished... Was it that selfish to want Midorima all for him, all the times?
"Takao!" Only when he was called for the third time, Takao blinked and saw Miyaji waving a hand in front of his face. "You're not listening, aren't you?!"
Takao laughed nervously and scratched the back of his head. "I'm sorry, senpai, you were saying…?"
"What are you zoning out for?" Miyaji sighed and before Takao could answer, he added: "It's about Midorima, isn't it? I was surprised when you called me back, earlier. Have your plans with him changed or something? You don't have to lie to me, you know." He tried to sound cool and tough, but he was clearly worried. Takao felt his smile slowly melting away.
"Shin-chan was suddenly held back by some emergency at the hospital. It's no big deal," he rushed, looking away. He took the closer shirt and put it up in front of him. "What about this? Does Hayama like bright colors?" he asked, as he really needed to change the topic. Miyaji seemed to get the hint.
"Unfortunately, he does. He always wears the most unthinkable combination of colors. I told him I'd punch him if he wore purple and yellow together again" He said, and Takao burst into laughter.
Takao looked at the clock on the wall. It was merely half past ten. He had tried to sleep, but he just couldn't, so he decided to watch some tv while waiting for Midorima to return, even thought it would happen very late. "Shin-chan, come here," he called for his cat, who gladly complied by sitting in the space between his stomach and his bent knees, purring and pushing his head against him. Takao started scratching his ears lightly and shifted on the sofa, gluing his eyes on the tv screen. He had found an old American movie, to which he wasn't really paying attention because his whole mind was focused on Midorima –what he was doing, when he was coming back, if he would eat the rice with salmon he had cooked for dinner, although it was already cold and stiff. He probably would. Despite being often called cold or cruel, Midorima was really a kind-hearted man: he would eat the worst dinner of all times, if it meant to make him happy.
Takao couldn't avoid looking again at the clock. The cat complained as nobody was caressing him. Takao then noticed he was staring at the hour hand, almost hoping that the minute hand would go impossibly faster. Takao thought it was almost embarrassing how much he was worrying, how much he clung to Midorima. It really wasn't big deal, they could eat out whenever they wanted –or maybe not, and that was the problem. Since Midorima was promoted and given the chance to work for that big hospital in Tokyo, Takao felt proud of him, but also couldn't help noticing how, even though they lived together, they saw each other only at morning and at night, and go out together on Sundays. It wasn't all Midorima's doing, of course; Takao knew that his job was also at fault. Their jobs stole too many hours, minutes, seconds they could pass together, and it was happening more and more as time passed. How many days had passed since they had played a bit of basketball together? He really couldn't remember. And he missed it; he missed his old days when they were young and always together and he could watch Midorima's weird, way too high, but beautiful, three-point shooting as much as he wanted.
"Shin-chan, I'm lonely," he whispered, and buried his face in his knees. No one answered him. The silence was pregnant, the only noises being his quiet breath and the clock ticking.
Then, all of sudden, the cat Shin-chan stood up, meowed and his ears jolted as he looked towards the door.
"Shin-chan?" Takao looked down at his pet, but just as he called him, he had already jumped off the sofa and ran out of the living room. Takao got on his feet to follow him, curious about what had caught his attention, but just as he turned around the corner and reached the doorway, the name he was going to call died in his throat.
A man had just stepped in, his breath short and unsteady as he removed his white cap and looked first at the cat who was rubbing against his ankles, then at the boy standing in front of him.
"Takao," he said, then coughed. Takao opened his mouth, but not a sound came out; he watched Midorima in shock and noticed how sweaty, ruffled he looked. He probably ran from the hospital, not even thinking about getting a bus or something else. When he coughed again, Takao snapped out of his trance and reached for him, patting his back lightly. "Are you okay? Please, breath," he said, turning his pat-pat into caresses.
"Takao," Midorima said again as he straightened and caught his wrist in his hand. "Takao, you… idiot." He sighed and let his head fall on Takao's shoulder, making him shudder.
"Shin-chan? What's up?" he asked, confused, trying to not get dizzy as he felt Midorima's warm, irregular breath against his neck. It was June, it was hot, but he didn't shrug him off, he didn't want to.
"You idiot," Midorima repeated, "How is this no big deal? Today is… T-today is special."
Takao blinked, he had no idea what Midorima was talking about, but he sounded so desperate so he just went along with it. "It's okay, Shin-chan, calm down," he said as he hugged him tightly and kissed his red ears, neck, nape, everything he could reach. He stopped in the middle, though, as something cold slipped on his finger. He instinctively pushed Midorima away and looked at his hand. His eyes went wide and teary.
His ring finger was circled by a small, golden ring. Simple, but beautiful.
"W-what is this?" He almost choked while saying it and looked up at Midorima, expectantly. The other man covered his face with a hand and muttered something.
"Shin-chan, I can't hear you. Speak louder," Takao urged and clung to his arm so that he couldn't hide his face anymore. Midorima was red on his cheeks, nose and ears as he was more than embarrassed -Takao thought he was ridiculously cute, even though he knew his face probably looked the same he couldn't retain a smile. "Shin-chan?" He called him again, shaking his arm.
"I've wanted to do it for a while, and Oha Asa said today was the best day regarding love, for Cancers…" Now that he said it, Takao remembered vaguely having heard that; watching Oha Asa had become a habit for him too, ever since high school. "But the horoscope regarding job was so-so, and in fact an unforeseen difficulty appeared, and it ruined everything even though I had made other plans," Midorima fixed his glasses and coughed. "I still wanted to come home early, though."
"So that's why you ran? You're so cool, Shin-chan," Takao chuckled sotly, but his tension raised again as Midorima looked at him with a glint in his green eyes.
"Naturally, I did everything I could," he said, "because I've something I want to say."
Takao felt his heart beat so fast that he could die right there, but silently waited for Midorima to continue, trembling as he took a deep breath.
"Takao, I want you to marry me," he said, serious, "I can't assure you we won't have hard times, or that we won't have disagreements. But I'll do everything I can so that you can be happy, so please give yourself to me… K-Kazunari." In the end, he couldn't avoid tripping on his name. It was probably the first time he had ever said it, since even when they had sex he always called him by surname. Takao barely managed to spurt a choked yes before he followed the impulse to launch his arms to his neck, hug him tightly, then kissing him; he kissed Midorima –his Midorima, now and for as long as they would live- again and again until he felt his knees bending, and even then he clung to him with all his might,
"Shit, I think my legs gave out… You know, Shintarou," Takao laughed a little as he voiced his lover's name syllable by syllable. "I am most definitely sure I can't be any happier than this, so I think your love is going to kill me." Midorima snorted lightly.
"You won't die, you idiot, as long as you do everything you can," he said, his voice low and a bit cocky, but Takao didn't fail to notice how much Midorima's heartbeat had sped up -just like it happened when they were newly lovers, his heart seemed to beat faster and faster the closer he got to him. Takao glanced at his new ring and laughed, thinking it was the same for him after all. His eyes fell on the calendar: he would have to circle the 10th of June so that he would never ever forget that wonderful day.
"Yeah, yeah, Ace-sama," he hummed, stood on tiptoes and reached to kiss him again, to which Midorima gladly complied, while the cat Shin-chan meowed loudly, jealous of their attention.
Hey there! I meant to write some cute, fluffy story, and that's the outcome. I'd be really glad if you could review and tell me what you think of it, I really like reading your comments and I'm always grateful for them (since I'm not english, it's also okay to point out mistakes, you'd help me get better). The title of this story comes from the song 'The Closer I Get to You' by Brighten because when I listen to it I always end up thinking about Midorima and Takao :P Also, the black cat named 'Shin-chan' is the same that appeared in my other story 'The cat is on the table', so you can think of this story as a sequel of that, or something like that ;D See you next time!