Teppei's brain had just died.

It was definitely dead now-murdered, in fact, and whoa WHOA HEY "GET YOUR TONGUE AWAY FROM ME YOU FREAK!"

Mitsu had the audacity to look bewildered at being shoved away-bewildered, as if it were NORMAL for him to suddenly spring himself on someone like that and k-ki-kkkkk- "Teppei? Was it that bad?"

"Bad? Bad? You just kissed me! Out of nowhere! You licked me!"

There was a very long, very awkward pause, in which Mitsu stared from one side of the couch and Teppei did not cease pointing accusingly at him from the other.

"Teppei," Mitsu said, finally, slowly and carefully, "we've been living together for months."

"So? It's cheaper! And you're attending college in the area!"

"We haven't used honorifics practically since we met."

"We're friends! Rivals! Of course we wouldn't!"

"I buy things because they make me think of you all the time and I tell you every time I do it."

"They're usually ugly! You're doing that to insult me!"

"You do it too sometimes," Mitsu laughed, and suddenly sat upright and scooted closer to Teppei again, whose train of thought was immediately derailed. Again.

"Rivals! Wait how do you know that wait no I don't!"

"Teppei," Mitsu continued, still grinning, if no longer laughing, and scooting closer, "we've known each other's favorite foods for years even though we were never even in the same region for most of those years. And you insist on doing the laundry for both of us since I'm the better cook." Teppei started to reply again, except Mitsu covered his mouth with an oddly cool hand and his formerly much more eloquent reply came out as "m-mm-mphmphmmr." "So that means you've handled my underwear, right?"

Teppei tried to scream. Mitsu smiled at that in a way that made Teppei vow silently to possibly try and murder Mitsu if he ever smiled at him like that again.

"I talk to your mom more than you do." That's because you're a freak, Teppei desperately wanted to say. "And you talk to your mom a lot, so that's something like an accomplishment!" LEAVE MY MOM OUT OF THIS, he wanted to say. "Plus, she pretty much gave me her blessing, remember? 'Please take care of my worthless son, he's a lot of trouble but he's a good boy'-"

"DIE," he said, having finally gotten fed up with it and just pulled Mitsu's hand off his face.

"Teppei," Mitsu said, and he paused briefly, apparently focused on wriggling his hand free of Teppei's grip and dodging all attempts to return it there even though he never looked away from Teppei's eyes which was really uncomfortable and only made moreso by whatever weird thing he must have been doing to keep Teppei from looking away himself. "Teppei," he said again, moving his hand to Teppei's cheek, still weirdly cold, except this time Teppei realized it might have been less because Mitsu's hands were cold and more because his face felt like it was on fire-and actually, come to think of it, Mitsu looked sort of red too- "I just told you I like you a lot. In a really obvious way, so even you could get it. And I know you did, because you said..." Mitsu paused to contort his face into an expression that looked absolutely nothing like Teppei, and then, in an exaggerated voice that sounded absolutely nothing like Teppei, continued, "You said, 'Huh? I knew that! I mean, of course you do, I'm awesome! Now quit saying embarrassing things!'"


So, fine, maybe Teppei had caught on that this wasn't all the platonic sportsmanlike competitive relationship it appeared- it was still mostly that, but not... all. And maybe living with Mitsu wasn't so bad, even if he was still a jerk, and maybe he really was a good cook, and maybe it was painfully obvious that he always went out of his way to try and make food Teppei liked, and maybe not even Teppei could quite miss hints that big when they were attached to food.

But kissing wasn't like that. He hadn't been prepared! Even if they were kind of maybe close enough for it, Mitsu had still taken him completely by surprise, so he should have expected Teppei would react badly! Kissing and dating and that kind of thing-they were close, but he didn't know if they were that close. Or if he wanted to be that close! Okay maybe he wanted to be that close but that didn't mean it should just HAPPEN with no warning like that-

Somehow Teppei managed to say none of that out loud, which was a success of sorts, but also did not say anything else in the process, which was less of a success since his silence apparently wore down Mitsu's grinning capacity. Teppei only noticed this by the time his expression had actually started verging on upset, mostly because Mitsu had finally pulled back and stopped touching him.

When he started to stand up, Teppei just moved-and since he didn't think it through at all he sort of threw their legs together and nearly tripped them both by accident, but he managed to catch himself and stand up and catch Mitsu and pull him up and then he kissed him.

Really quickly.

And then kind of dropped him before Mitsu had any chance to react at all.

... and Mitsu looked so surprised about the whole thing that Teppei would have wanted to gloat under any other circumstances.

Mitsu just kept sitting there on the ground looking stunned, slowly turning redder but not really reacting otherwise, and Teppei was starting to understand why he'd been so put off by Teppei's accidental long silence earlier because this delayed reaction thing was really nerve-wracking-and then Mitsu's hands shot up to touch his mouth, like a girl or something, and Teppei felt himself blush harder because who even reacts like that to being kissed?

"You kissed me!"

"Duh! What did you think I did!" And just like that, Mitsu was back to all cheeky smiles, if much pinker ones.

"Haha, well, Teppei is so graceless I wasn't really sure for a minute!"

"WHAT? Don't make fun of me! It's not like you could do any better!"

"I thought I already did!"

"No way! That sucked!"

"Then let me try again!"