It wasn't like it was suppose to turn out like this; if it was, then Abe could have planned it out so he wouldn't be speechless like he was now. Plus, it was brought way out of context by Sakaeguchi, Hanai and the others, but he was just glad that neither that dolt Tajima or Mihashi were present when all of this was going down. That would make matters ten times worse.
He was certain to when this started, or when he realized the truth behind the words he had just spoken aloud, but it sort of felt good to say what he was feeling. This was a different feeling of annoyance or anger he usually felt towards Mihashi - or even Tajima - and having this feeling was something completely new… and almost exciting. Almost.
"W-What did you say, Abe?" It was Hanai who spoke first, his cheeks bright red and voice cracking with humor.
It was quiet again as the team waited for the catcher's response. They were expecting him to answer with his same cool remarks, or even his angry jabs he would usually make when someone annoyed or angered him. Except now, now everything seemed foreign and unusual about Abe. It was uncomfortable as they all stood there, watching Abe open and close his mouth. But, somehow, they were enjoying it at the same time.
"We must have heard wrong…" Sakaeguchi was one of the few that were somber and almost scared looking. "Abe, I'm pretty sure I didn't hear you right…"
Izumi snickered: "No, you did."
And that was the last straw that broke the camel's back. From the top of Abe's head to the tip of his two ears, everything turned a blazing scarlet color. His eyes narrowed, almost animalistically, and his mouth turned into a small pout.
"Shut up!" Snapping at the laughs that followed Izumi's comment, "You all heard me perfectly clear. And don't pretend you all weren't thinking the same thing!"
Ah, the thing is, Abe, we weren't.
The team was silent as Abe left the field and went in the direction of his home, indicating that practice was over.
The ceiling fan provided some cool air for his flushed cheeks but it didn't help the fact that he was actually flushed. It wasn't like he was tired, because that's different and he could control that; it was the fact that the reason behind his pink cheeks was something - or rather, someone - could not be logically worked out, like a baseball game for example. A game was so easy to figure out, so simple to master the art of what strategy to use, so… perfect for him to control.
But, Mihashi Ren was no game. And Abe learned that today; because in a game, a player wouldn't leave one team and go bat for another. Even if the other team had the most friendliest, happiest kid - who also happened to be the best at the game - on the team. One wouldn't completely leave the other team in the dust just to be with the best! One wouldn't want to practice with someone who couldn't stretch him properly or raise him up like the other team did! Mihashi wasn't suppose to leave that peculiar team because Abe's team was a hell of a lot better than Tajima's.
But Mihashi isn't a game.
"Damn it." Abe groaned as he turned over in bed, rubbing his face into the pillow.
And then, to top this whole happy story off, he had to go and open his fat mouth in front of everybody. Sure, he didn't say for sure that he had some sort of feelings - which he most certainly doesn't, he was simply curious as to why Mihashi would choose Tajima over him, for example - for Mihashi but he sure as hell implied the fact that he was jealous of…
Beep beep beep
"Tajima." The screen read as Abe rolled over to pick up his phone. Opening to the text, he cursed Tajima silently. Why was he able to make Mihashi open up to him so easily? Why did he charm the boy so easily while all Abe got was a whimper and started jump and cold hands every time he tried to talk to Mihashi?
Why did Mihashi love Tajima?
Abe~, XD since we dun have skool tomorrow, let's all get 2gether and studee at my place. XD Mihashi is sleeping over, so dun bother picking him up tomorrow, kay?~~ XD XD XD
Abe stared down at his phone in a sheer emotion of disbelief. Again, the previous questions ran through his head all at once, but this time, another popped up:
Why do I care?
Snow had just started to fall in fat flakes as Abe got of the subway and started walking towards the home of Tajima Yuichiro, and for the moment being, Mihashi Ren. The walk itself was pleasant and serene, but to Abe it was a long hallway of hell. Every step he was just that closer to seeing Mihashi curled up underneath the kotatsu, his legs intertwined with those of the clean-up hitter. The two prized players of Nishiura High would be laughing and drinking warm jasmine tea with their eyes gazing at one another's in a longing expression.
And here he was, in front of the door, his hand raised and his breath shallow. He didn't want to knock, he didn't even want to be here, but he couldn't go, he couldn't run and leave those two together alone.
So he knocked, and Tajima answered as if it were any other day for studying. His smile was still plastered on his face, his shirt had a curry stain on it and there was a hole in top of his house slipper. It was as if nothing was up, it was as if everything was just normal. Abe gulped, thinking: probably because everything was normal for the two. They've been together so much that this whole deal is just normal for them.
Abe went in, his usual smirk on his lips. He went in and sat down under the kotatsu with Mihashi. Abe went in and pretended like this was normal.
"Okay!" Tajima scooted himself under the blanket and placed a cookie in between his lips. "Let's get studying!"
The day went by smoothly. And if anything, Abe saw what he had been seeing all along. He answered his initial question that he had spoken aloud yesterday at practice: 'What does Mihashi see in Tajima?" Yes, today everything was placed on the table for his to see. It was so clear to him now. Mihashi obviously loved Tajima and vice versa. Tajima protected Mihashi, babied him, and playfully teased him. It was like a young couple in love (which Abe decided that they indeed were), and it bluntly disgusted him. Mihashi, on the other hand, was almost submissive to Tajima, almost to the point that the previous disgusted him more than the latter.
"Well, see ya, you two." Abe mumbled, slinging his bag over his shoulder. "You'd better pass the exams this week."
"Later, Abe." Tajima waved energetically after Abe as he walked down the path.
Just as Abe was turning into the lane, he heard the soft, timid call of his pitcher.
"W-Wait, A-Abe-kun!" the soft noise of crunching snow was heard behind him, giving Abe a pretty good indication that this was not going to be easy. The other indication was the heat that was going to his ears.
The two walked in silences in the gray air to the station were they stood in silence as they bounced along the trail. Abe was tired and embarrassed to be alone with Tajima's… uh, boyfriend? It didn't really bother him that a boy would have a boyfriend but the fact that it was Mihashi bothered him. A lot. Sure, it wasn't like he was jealous of how close the two were, or how easily it looked like they got along, or how they laughed and would tell each other stories, or how they were carefree when with one another, or how Mihashi didn't stuttered or recoil whenever Tajima spoke to him…
Snap out of it.
The two made their way down the lane, lead by the dim orange glow of light. Abe was walking next to Mihashi, hoping that he didn't noticed the red tips of his ears.
"A-Abe-kun?" it was barely a whisper but above the dead silence of the street, Abe heard him right away.
"Yes?" He almost yelled, making Mihashi fall a few steps behind Abe. Silently cursing himself, Abe asked again: "Yes?"
"Uh, thank you for coming out to study with us," Mihashi mumbled, pressing his two pointer fingers together and twisting them as he went. "It really helped m-me."
Abe continued walking, not saying anything else to the meek boy trotting along next to him. Instead, Mihashi continued to run his mouth.
"I k-know Tajima-kun and I really needed the help," he giggled - giggled! - "Tajima-kun said that he really n-needed so he could pass! He said that h-he didn't w-want Coach to get mad at him."
How is that funny? Abe was already irritated with the way Mihashi was talking about Tajima, not to forget spending the entire day with the both of them laughing and goofing off with one another. He just couldn't stand the way Mihashi talked on and on about that damned baseball star; that damned shrimp that was stealing Mihashi's attention away from him, damn it!
Was Abe… jealous?
Why didn't Mihashi go on and on about how many laughs and stories he shared with Abe? Was it because he just wasn't good enough? Was it because he was stern and got annoyed easily; was Mihashi really that scared of him?
"Tajima-kun is really amazing."
It happened again. Like yesterday, during practice, something inside of him just snapped. However, yesterday it was more like annoyance and today it was completely different. It was more or less something he wasn't ready to admit to just yet; at the same time, he didn't understand why he wanted so badly to just admit to himself that he was jealous.
"Okay, I get it, Mihashi! Tajima is so great, and amazing and you love him! I get it, so just shut up about it!"
They had stopped walking altogether now and both of them were starring at one another. Their breath was shallow and could be seen past the drifting snowflakes. For some reason, Abe felt his chest ache and his heart start to pound uncontrollably all at once. Mihashi's face turned pink in an instance, his eyes barely keeping themselves high enough to meet Abe's cool glare.
"A-Abe-kun…?" Mihashi whimpered.
Oh great, he's going to cry. Abe squeezed his eyes closed, hoping that when he re-opened them, Mihashi - and the rest of this weird-ass world - would be gone. "Listen, Mihashi… I'm sorry, okay?" he sighed, rubbing his eyes, "I didn't mean to yell or get mad at you. I understand that it isn't my spot to be controlling in that, erm, sort of business."
"'Sort of business?'"
Snapping his eyes open to a narrow stare, Abe took in the sight before him. The previous stance of Mihashi was timid and flushed to a nice shade of red. Now his head was tipped to one side and his mouth open and eyes wide in confusion. No longer did he wear his timid expression but he wore the one that he normally did when he didn't understand anything Abe was trying to tell him.
"You know," Abe kicked some snow, already sick and annoyed by Mihashi's lack of feelings: "You and Tajima."
"Me and Tajima?"
"Oh, drop the act, Mihashi!" Abe finally brought his head up to meet Mihashi's wide eyes, "We all know that you and Tajima are a, uh, thing."
"You and Tajima are in love, damn it!" Abe exploded, his breathing increasing to a pant.
They stared at one another for moments, which turned into minutes, which turned into something that neither Abe nor Mihashi could explain in words. One would think the pink that rose to Abe's face was from embarrassment but somehow Mihashi knew that there was another option to explain this phenomenon. He couldn't explain it, but then again, he couldn't explain the reason why his own face was heating up or why his heart was about to beat it's way down the lane.
Finally, Mihashi spoke up: "I t-think Tajima is amazing, Abe-kun…"
Spit it out, Mihashi.
Abe hadn't realized that he hadn't been breathing until he took his first breath. The air was cold but somehow it didn't cool down his ears or the heat that was building in his chest. Noting that Mihashi was just as shocked as Abe was, he couldn't help but to smirk, even snort a little.
"You don't love him then?"
Spit it out, Takaya. Just spit it out.
"Good. I was starting to get jealous there."
Turning, Abe started to walk. A few seconds later he heard Mihashi gasp and the crunch of snow. As Mihashi fell in pace with Abe's speed, the latter couldn't help but to steal a glance towards Mihashi. With red ears and a stupid grin on his face, Mihashi was already staring at Abe when he looked over; turning his head as fast as he could, Mihashi mumbled a 'I'm sorry' but trying to hide his grin.
Grinning himself, Abe took in another breath of air before reaching out to grab his partner's hand.
No, it wasn't the first time, nor the second, but this time it was because he wanted to feel the warmth of Mihashi's hand because right now, his was pretty damn cold.
Abe-kun, you're pretty amazing, huh?
Disclaimer: I do not own Ookiku Furikabutte/Big Windup
Sorry, I know it went too fast and the ending was blah but I've not written in a very long time so I feel like this is a good start (But awful written story.) towards my new OF fandom. So, whenever I read/watch OF, I always love Tajima and Mihashi's interaction with one another and have always thought that Abe MUST be jealous!
And I did it without a single kiss. (which if I was the reader, I'd be pretty angry right now)