A/N: Idea courtesy of Wings Dipped in Silver. You just come up with the greatest stuff. :P Hope you likey~

DISCLAIMER: I don't own it at all. Like, none.

s—t—a—r—t—drabble

Mihashi was downright panicking.

It was the bottom of the sixth inning, and Nishiura was down seven to four. The opposing team was winning by a fair amount, and they were getting rather smug about it too, sending the dugout cheeky smiles and cheering extra loud just to piss them all off. And while it wasn't entirely Mihashi's fault, he always blamed himself for his team's shortcomings in terms of defense; he was the pitcher, after all.

It was their turn to bat now. Sakaeguchi hurried in to put on his helmet and grab his bat whilst everyone else filtered in after him, Abe and Mihashi last. Mihashi was looking at the ground, unwilling to meet anyone else's eyes, and Abe was raging.

"Ugh! I don't understand it! No matter what I do, they always seem to be able to hit it!" he growled, throwing his catcher gear to the floor in a huff. "They're reading me like a damn book."

Coach Momoe looked the slightest bit sympathetic. "I can see that much," she said, looking across the field to the opposing team's dugout, which was empty save for a few backup players and the coach, who smiled as he watched his pitcher wind up. "We've got to do something, because if we don't...we lose." She turned to face everyone. "And we don't want that, now do we?"

Everyone jumped at the suddenly scary look on her face. "N-No, of course not," they all more or less replied in unison.

While Abe fumed, he noticed Mihashi just standing there, still looking at the ground like it was the most interesting thing he'd ever seen. "Well, don't just stand there, Mihashi, get some water or something!" he yelled, though he wasn't so much angry at the sandy brunette as he was at the current score.

The addressed boy yelped, nodding furiously and jumping over to the water jug like his life depended on it. He held a cup shakily to the opening, filling it up before he raised it to his lips and gulped it down, the liquid quite refreshing. He sat the cup back where he'd retrieved it from and sat on the bench, hunching over. His arms were still shaking. Man, he really was getting worked up and nervous. He couldn't help it. He knew somehow that it wasn't Abe who was coming up short here; it was him. He wasn't good enough. He was letting everyone down.

Just like he had in middle school, huh?

You haven't changed at all.

Tajima, who had up until this point been observing the other team's pitcher like a hawk, looked over to where Mihashi shook in his seat, obviously uneasy. He watched him for a moment before his expression turned determined, knowing what he had to do. The dark-haired cleanup hitter walked across the dugout and stood in front of his team's pitcher squarely. "Mihashi, put your head up."

Mihashi flinched at the voice he knew well, but obeyed, raising his head just enough to look up at him with wide, unsure hazel eyes. Tajima swallowed audibly. He hated that look. He hated it because he knew that Mihashi was more than capable, but the boy wouldn't admit it to himself. Tajima would break him of that, one day. He would show Mihashi just how great he was, in any way he could. He bent down to Mihashi's level, which didn't take much bending since the cleanup hitter was short to begin with.

"Listen to me." He grabbed Mihashi's shoulders firmly, looking straight into his eyes, his face set seriously, a far-cry from the normally playful, joking Tajima everyone else knew. All else in the dugout pretended to be doing other things, but most were listening in on the conversation. "You've got this, Ren. These guys are nothing. They've just been getting lucky all this time. We can hit their stuff just as easily as they've been hitting yours, and that's only because they've figured Abe out, not you." He paused, smiling. "Tell you what. I'll switch out with Abe this time, and we'll see how it works out. Maybe we can use that breaking ball of yours to our advantage, eh?" he suggested, glancing at Coach Mo, who nodded minutely to him, imploring him to continue with his little ego-boosting speech. "I believe in you, man. We've still got three more innings to turn this around. Whatddya say?"

Everyone was silent, waiting for Mihashi's answer. He seemed to be rendered speechless, mouth flapping for a minute. "Ch-Ch-Chiro," he spluttered, face red from the lengthy compliment he'd just received.

Tajima laughed. "I'll take that as a yes," he leaned in close to give the boy a kiss on the cheek. "You'll do great."

Mihashi's face just turned even redder, especially when everyone else openly stared at them. The news that Tajima and Mihashi kinda sorta had a thing going on still hadn't quite sunk in yet.

Tajima stood up, facing the rest of his team like nothing had happened. "Alright, guys, I think I fixed Ren!" he laughed, back to his normal self again. He raised a fist high into the air. "Now let's do this!!"

It wasn't really that big of a shock when three innings and a whole lot of pep-talking later they had pulled off a win.

e—n—d—d—r—a—b—b —l—e—

A/N: Go ahead and leave more drabble ideas! Also, plain reviews are cool too. :3

See you guys~ C: