Title: Over Time
Summary: Over time, strangers become acquaintances. Over time, acquaintances become friends. Over time, friends can become something more.
Pairing: Jakotsu/Bankotsu
Note: Something I wrote last summer. It isn't my best work, but I thought I would post it anyway. Har har.


Thump. Thump. The sound of a basketball reverberates through the air as it hits the pavement. Strong, lean, tanned arms bounce the ball in a steady rhythm. How one can look so relaxed whilst playing such a heated game is mind boggling.

'He's really good,' thinks Jakotsu. The nineteen-year-old sits on a bench opposite the court where a few boys are playing basketball. They play here almost every day, and Jakotsu sits on the bench and watches just as often. It isn't because he likes the game, but because he happens to like one of the players.

"Watch out!"

Jakotsu looks up just in time for the stray basketball to hit him in the face. He sees one of the boys, the object of his affections, run over to him. Behind him, the other boys laugh. They do this all the time.

"I'm sorry, are you okay?" The boy's name is Bankotsu. Jakotsu knows this because the other basketball players, for whatever reason, always throw the ball at him, and Bankotsu is always the one to retrieve it.

"I'm fine," Jakotsu says. "No harm done." He is rubbing his sore nose, but he still manages to smile.

"That's good. I'm really sorry we always seem to lose the ball." Bankotsu looks a bit sheepish as he picks up the ball. Jakotsu casts a glance over at the court, where the others are still having a laugh over such a well-placed hit. "You can play with us if you'd like." Bankotsu suggests Jakotsu play with them everyday. Jakotsu assumes it is because he feels sorry for him, so he always declines.

Bankotsu shrugs, looking slightly wounded at the negative response, and goes back to his friends. Jakotsu thinks maybe he should accept the offer one of these days, but he also thinks that if Bankotsu really cared to play with him, to get to know him, he would try harder.

The game continues, as usual, and the day goes by.

---

A week later, Jakotsu sits at the same bench, watching the same boys play the same game.

As usual, one boy throws the ball his way, as usual, it hits him (on the leg this time), and, as usual, Bankotsu comes over to apologize and get the basketball. It is the same old routine, as usual.

"I'm assuming you still don't want to play?" Bankotsu asks. Obviously, he is getting used to this routine as well. Jakotsu nods in reply, expecting Bankotsu to shrug as always and be on his way.

He does something else instead. "Look, I know I don't know you that well… and you don't know me, but, umm… we should hand out sometime." Jakotsu blinks in surprise. Bankotsu fidgets and looks at his expectantly, hopefully.

"Yeah, we should," Jakotsu finally says. Bankotsu smiles, asks Jakotsu to wait for him after he is done playing, and goes back to his game.

Jakotsu thinks that, just maybe, things are looking up for him.

---

Two weeks have passed, and the routine Jakotsu was once used to is practically nonexistent. The boys still play basketball, and he still watches, but the ball no longer ends up being thrown his way.

He now always waits for Bankotsu after he is done playing. Sometimes, they chat for awhile before heading their separate ways. Other times, they go to a movie, out to eat, or they just go back to one of their apartments to hang around.

Sometimes, when they are alone, Jakotsu gets this overwhelming urge to kiss the other boy. Then he realises that the feeling is stupid, Bankotsu is his friend, nothing more, and kissing him would not be appropriate.

Then again, he never has been one to think before acting on his emotions, so maybe a kiss is in the near future.

Jakotsu thinks he would like that, very much, actually.

"If only he liked me too."

---

Jakotsu sits on the bench, staring anxiously at the empty basketball court in front of him. There hasn't been a day in the past two months where Bankotsu and his friends don't play, but now it appears they wouldn't be showing up.

"Mou, I guess they aren't playing today," Jakotsu says with a pout. "I guess I will just call him or something."

Jakotsu walks home, his stride quick because he wants to speak to Bankotsu as soon as possible.

When he gets home, he rushes over to this phone, and dials Bankotsu's number.

It rings. Once. Twice. Three times.

After the fourth ring, Bankotsu picks up.

The two boys greet one another, and Jakotsu asks if Bankotsu wants to do something that day.

"I'm sick, actually," Bankotsu tells him, sneezing as if to prove his point. "I'd love to go do something, but I wouldn't want to get you sick as well." Another sneeze is heard.

"I'll just come over, then," Jakotsu replies. "You must be bored, so I can keep you company."

Bankotsu makes a noise, a bit like a laugh mixed with a cough and says, "Alright, I am a bit lonely."

They talk for a bit longer, and when they are through, Jakotsu gets ready to go over to Bankotsu's house.

Jakotsu stands at the door, knocking and waiting for Bankotsu to let him in. After a few minutes, Jakotsu becomes impatient.

Turning the door handle, he finds it unlocked, and enters the apartment.

"Hello? Are you here, Bankotsu?" Jakotsu makes his way through the apartment, calling out for his friend as he does so.

When he reaches the bedroom, he opens the door.

Bankotsu is lying on his bed, sound asleep. Jakotsu sits on the edge of the bed, looking down at the person beneath him.

"How nice of you to fall asleep on me like that." Jakotsu grins a little. "You know, seeing you lying here like this makes me want to…" he trails off, shaking his head. "Never mind, it's just a silly fantasy."

Bankotsu stirs, but does not wake. Jakotsu gives in, just this once, and kisses Bankotsu. "I guess I'll go make you something to eat. Sleep well." He exits the room, unaware of the eyes on his back.

"You didn't have to make me dinner," Bankotsu says. He takes another bite of the spaghetti Jakotsu made.

"I know, but I wanted to," Jakotsu says. "Are you feeling any better?"

Bankotsu nods. "Yeah. I think all I needed was some sleep," he responds. "Sorry about that by the way, I thought I would wake up when you knocked."

Jakotsu just laughs. "It's alright, I'm glad you're feeling better."

"Yeah, me too. Having a cold is no fun, but at least it gets you to make me dinner," Bankotsu says. Jakotsu laughs, and so does he. "You're a good friend, Ja. Everyone else just told me to get better, but you went out of your way for me. Thanks."

"It was nothing, really," Jakotsu says. He then grins perversely. "I'm always willing to go out of my way for guys as handsome as you are."

Bankotsu blushes. "Thanks… I think."

Jakotsu's smile widens. 'I guess he doesn't mind that I find him attractive.' "You are very welcome. I enjoy pointing out a cutie when I see him."

Bankotsu blushes again. He knows Jakotsu is gay, everyone does for that matter, and he doesn't mind when the other boy hits on him, but he always gets so flustered when he does. He was starting to think that maybe, just maybe, he actually likes it when Jakotsu talks to him like that.

Jakotsu looks over at Bankotsu, and notices how embarrassed and nervous his friend looks. "Hey, don't do that. I'm just teasing you," Jakotsu says with a smirk.

"Yeah, I know." Bankotsu laughs nervously.

"Then don't blush so much, silly."

Bankotsu sighs. 'Why do I always get so flustered around him?' "It isn't like I do it on purpose! It's just a stupid blush that won't leave me alone," he says.

Jakotsu giggles. "I know. Guess you're just easily embarrassed, huh?" Bankotsu slowly nods in response. "That is perfectly fine. I think it is actually cute when you get all bashful."

Bankotsu glares at the boy next to him, and Jakotsu bursts into giggles.

---

Jakotsu is once again over at Bankotsu's house.

"Ja, you don't have to make me dinner, you're my guest," Bankotsu says. Jakotsu ignores him, and continues cooking. "Fine, fine. Be that way."

Jakotsu runs around, now facing Bankotsu. "I like cooking, and all you eat is T.V. dinners and cereal, so I think I'm doing you a favor here."

Bankotsu opens his mouth to retort, but decides it is pointless to do so. Jakotsu is right.

Jakotsu finishes his cooking in silence. Bankotsu is thinking a lot about the boy in his kitchen. 'He comes over a lot more often than he used to, so I guess I am just used to him, but…' His thoughts are cut off by none other than the very same person who had just been occupying them, as he is informed that the food is done.

---

One year. It has been one year since Jakotsu and Bankotsu first met, and most everything is different from when the two had first become acquaintances.

Instead of sitting idly by and watching Bankotsu and his friends play ball, Jakotsu now joins in the games. The two are much closer now, best friends one might say.

Jakotsu still harbors some sort of crush on his friend, and Bankotsu has begun to think that maybe, just maybe, he thinks of Jakotsu as more than just a friend.

---

Jakotsu is lying in bed, fast asleep. Its flu season and Jakotsu is one of those unfortunate enough to come down with the virus.

Bankotsu walks into the room, and quickly checks Jakotsu for a fever. He doesn't seem to have one anymore.

Bankotsu smiles, "Looks like you're getting better, then."

For some reason, Bankotsu thinks back to that first time Jakotsu came to take care of him when h e was sick, and he blushes as his mind conjures up the image of Jakotsu kissing him. It was nothing, but for some reason, Bankotsu still hasn't forgotten it.

"How come I can't forget that, hmm?" He asks aloud. "It isn't like you haven't kissed me before."

"I guess that kiss was just really good, then." Bankotsu jumps when Jakotsu speaks, and Jakotsu laughs hoarsely.

"Umm, sorry I woke you up, Ja. Just go back to sleep, you need your rest," Bankotsu says before he stands up and makes to leave the room.

"Bankotsu, do you like me?" Jakotsu voices his inquiry so quietly that Bankotsu almost can't make it out, but he does.

He panics. "Well, yeah, you're my friend, so why wouldn't I?" He isn't quite sure, but Bankotsu knows that he probably, maybe, possibly likes Jakotsu, 'But I don't want to ruin our friendship…'

"That is not what I mean, and you know it. More than a friend, Bankotsu. Do you like me like that?"

Bankotsu stares and Jakotsu, panic etched across his features. "I, uh…" He thinks for a moment. 'I do like him, but…' "What would you do if I did?"

Jakotsu sits up in his bed, and smiles softly at Bankotsu. "I think I would be more inclined to kiss then, cutie."

Bankotsu walks back over to the bed and sits on it once again. Jakotsu looks at him in confusion.

"Well…?"

Bankotsu leans forward, so close that Jakotsu and he are nose to nose, so close they can feel one another's breath on their lips.

"Yeah, Ja. I do like you."

The two lean forward, bridging the gap between them, and allow their lips to touch.

Jakotsu thinks that this kiss is far better than any he has ever had.

"You know," Bankotsu says after they part. "This may sound rude, silly even, but I'm kind of glad my friends used to hit you with that basketball."

Jakotsu rolls his eyes. "Gee, thanks," he says with a pout.

"I'm not glad they hit you, I'm just glad, you know… it was you they hit." Jakotsu raises an eyebrow, and Bankotsu throws his hands up in defeat. "You know what I mean, stupid."

Jakotsu laughs and Bankotsu joins the laughter shortly after.

"Yeah, I do know," Jakotsu finally says. "I'm glad too."