Warnings: Sort of citrusy GinjixBan fic, taking place during no particular time in the series. Send feedback to Pyro.
Disclaimer: GetBackers and its characters are not mine. This fic is not-for-profit, just for wanking off. ;p

Toweling Off

Mido Ban sat reading peacefully when three fat drops of water fell onto the pages of his book. He stared at them for a moment before the smell of soap and a damp body leaning against him explained why. Growling with aggravation, he futilely tried to wipe the water off with his arm. It only sank into the paper. He pursed his lips at the sight of the smeared ink. Great.

"Ginji," he said, keeping his voice as even as possible, "why are you wet?"

Ginji pressed his chin on top of Ban's head. "Baaan-chan, I'm done with the shoooower."

Ban scowled. "I can tell. Why are you wet?"

Apparently Ginji thought nibbling on Ban's ear was a response. He hunched his shoulders, wanting to tell Ginji to quit it before he got his book wetter. He didn't, though, because in truth he really didn't want his friend to stop. The smudged pages glared at him for his lack of restraint.

Relinquishing his ear, Ginji leaned over his shoulder. "Whatcha reading?"

He held the book as far away as possible as water spilled down his arm. Damn his partner for distracting him! "Les Miserables. It's a rare edition, too, and you're getting it wet!"

"Oh." Idly Ginji tried wiping away some of the water that was dripping down Ban's neck from his leaning on him. He only succeeded in getting the shirt collar damp, too. "I tried reading that, but I couldn't understand it."

"That's because it's in French." With a sigh Ban closed the book. He doubted he'd be allowed to resume reading anytime soon.

"French? The ones who make French fries?" Ginji sounded decidedly more interested now.

He rubbed his forehead. While he found Ginji's naïveté amusing, sometimes he really wished they had the money to send him to school. "French fries aren't French."

"Then why are they called French?"

He opened his mouth, then closed it. Ginji smiled against the back of his neck. "…I don't know."

"That's okay. They taste good, and that's all I care about."

How had they gotten onto this subject? Ah, that's right. Ginji was avoiding answering his original question. "Go dry off, Ginji. Quit dripping on me." And quit trying to distract me.

Silence. A different kind of silence than the "I don't want to" silence. Muttering under his breath, Ban turned around. What the hell was the mat--?

Ah. Now he understood.

Ginji scratched the back of his head, smiling in embarrassment. "We're out of towels."

He drew his eyebrows together, frowning. "How could we be out of towels?"

"You sold them, remember? To come up with the rent money."

Ban's frown deepened. "Yeah, but I know I kept some."

Ginji shook his head. "Nope. All gone!" He tugged on Ban's shirt. "Let me use this, okay? My clothes are still wet from the rain."

Ban protested, tugging at his clothing, but somehow Ginji managed to remove it. He watched Ginji drying himself off—as much as he could with a button-down shirt—suspiciously. He was pretty sure he knew where this was going, though watching Ginji naked and wet in their dingy little apartment he couldn't entirely complain. He set his book on the coffee table with a heavy—though not entirely sincere—sigh. For now he could quit reading. Some things were more important than Viktor Hugo.

His partner tossed his shirt onto the ground. It fell in a wet little pile that smelled of Ginji's soap. Ban, in a strange way, envied it.

"Okay," Ginji said, smiling with all the innocence of a puppy. "How about your pants to dry my hair?"

Ban rolled his eyes and gave in to the inevitable.


The next morning Ban stumbled into the bathroom to take a shower. He squinted at the light reflecting off the tile walls, not sure of what he was seeing.

"That guy…" he sighed, dragging a hand through his hair. On top of the toilet sat four fluffy towels. He supposed he shouldn't be surprised, but it wasn't his fault he hadn't gotten to double-check. He couldn't exactly be angry at Ginji, though. His friend had made up for the dampened pages last night.

Alone in the room, Ban smiled. Ginji didn't need to go to school. He was more than enough trouble without it.