Taichi doesn't take orders lying down. Unless you sit on him.
Disclaimer: I don't own.
It wasn't even that he had been expelled from the field for delivering a dangerous tackle to his opponent that earned him not only a red card but also a trip to the emergency room with so many stars in his eyes he could barely focus on his coach's rant.
It wasn't even that he had to have surgery to repair a torn ligament caused by an knee injury he couldn't even pronounce and deal with nurses who had uncomfortably cold hands and arrogant doctors who he suspected of trying to up his medical bills more than what was necessary, though his parents ignored his accusations.
It wasn't even that he had to wear a leg brace and use crutches and sit still for prolonged periods of time while listening to his therapist tell him he might not be able to play for an undisclosed amount of time or watching pointless television eat away at what was left of his intelligence or going out of his mind with sheer boredom.
It wasn't even that he had been banned for the next twelve weeks from the one thing that he loved to do most in the world, not just because of the competition or the games or the instant-fame popularity, but because of the adrenaline and the satisfaction and the sense of belonging.
It was the fact that he was currently lying flat on his stomach with his best friend sitting on top of him.
He still wasn't clear how this had happened, but the medicine was making him drowsy and he couldn't think straight anyway, so he didn't worry about it. And besides, he couldn't move even if he wanted to. So he stayed where he was, pinned to the living room floor, delirious and sick of being sick of being helpless.
"All right, I'll do the goddamn exercises," he said dully. "Now get the hell off me."
The tall, lanky blonde smirked, unfazed by his attitude. Instead, he moved to straddle him, facing the door while his handicapped friend faced the television, which was now airing a rather boisterous local football match with loud commentary. "You heard the doctor. You have to do this if you want to heal faster."
"Maybe I don't want to."
"Don't be like that."
"Maybe I want to."
He sighed loudly. "Why con't you grow up, Yagami?"
"Immaturity makes me sexy."
Yamato rolled his eyes, choosing to ignore the blatant lie, even if it seemed a little bit true. "Come on, go through the exercises one more time."
Taichi groaned, banging his forehead onto the floor. "It's not even working—,"
"You just started," the musician pointed out matter-of-factly, purposely trying to get on the boy's nerves some more by speaking to him in his signature I-Know-More-Than-You-Will-Ever-Know-You-Sorry-Excuse-for-Human-Intelligence tone of voice. "It's going to take time."
"I hate waiting." The footballer grumbled, muttering to himself, "Stupid surgery and stupid brace and stupid therapy. You know the doctors say they think it'll take me to the end of the year before I can even walk properly again?"
"You and I both know that isn't true."
"Yeah, but what if it is? What if none of this works? What if I can't play again? What if—?"
And here he stopped, because Yamato's hands were now running gently down his injured leg. He held his breath, surprised, but his best friend didn't seem to notice, working on massaging Taichi's knee with focused attention, unaware of the way the brunette had gone suddenly still and uncomfortably warm. It had always been vaguely strange to imagine the blonde's rough fingers touching his skin, and it felt even stranger now.
Well, maybe not stranger. Just…different.
He blamed it on the effects of his painkillers and tried not to think about it.
Yamato leaned forward and slipped his hands under the injured knee. "Lift your leg," he ordered.
Instinctively, Taichi obeyed, voice trapped in a sticky throat.
Yamato helped him, handling his injured leg as tenderly as possible, and then he lowered it back down and sat back. "Nothing's going to happen to you, Taichi. We're your friends and we won't let that happen. But you've got to trust us, lean on us sometimes. You can't do everything on your own."
"I know…," he whispered, caught up in the way it felt for Yamato to be this close, the sounds of the television falling into the background and the world slowly fading away.
The blonde kept talking, oblivious. "It's okay to rely on someone else once in a while. You taught me that, remember?"
He didn't answer.
"Besides, you scared the shit out of me. I deserve my revenge making you do your exercises, so you can't complain."
He paused. "You were worried?"
Yamato stopped, remembering. It had been a nasty collision, and before Taichi had even hit the ground he knew something was wrong. The crowd was jeering at the red card, and everyone was yelling at the same time, but all Yamato could hear and see was the brunette sprawled awkwardly on the ground, clutching his leg, swearing like a sailor.
He hated watching him play for this very reason.
It had taken every last bit of restraint to stay confined to the stands where he was, but he made sure to be at the hospital the second Taichi woke up after the surgery, delivering one of his better My-God-Are-You-the-Biggest-Idiot-in-the-Goddamn-World speeches, furious and angry and sick of seeing Taichi so helpless.
Blinking back to the present, Yamato snorted. "I said scared, not worried, dumbass. All I could think was, 'Imagine all the things I can make him do now that he can't run away from me' and then I panicked because I realized I was running out of time. Twelve weeks isn't that long to get really creative."
"You're evil," Taichi shuddered.
"You're rotten to the core."
"I'm rotten to the core."
"You don't have any shame treating me this way."
"Not one ounce."
"Hey, at least you're not feeling the pain anymore."
That, Taichi had to admit was true. But he wasn't entirely sure if it was because of the drugs or a certain boy's hands.
He felt the drowsiness of the pills really kick in now and decided to ponder the revelation at a more appropriate time. "Yamato?"
"You're fuckin' heavy."
Yamato started, realizing he was still sitting on him. He jerked himself off, sliding back to the floor, flustered. "Sorry."
Taichi smiled, shutting his eyes, already half-asleep. "Never said I didn't like it."