So I lied about the "real soon" part. Gomen~ OTL I lied about this being the final part, too. Much thanks to cool-girl027 for requesting a part where Takao interacts with other members of the Generation of Miracles. There would be one more chapter. Hope you enjoy this one. :3
Takao is a walking, talking sin—at least Midorima thinks so.
The raven-haired player chuckled softly, lips curved wickedly in his signature smirk, and to him, he looks and sounds like a purring cat more than anything. Except that he hates cats and actually likes Takao.
"Takao, we have morning practice tomorrow." He's not quite sure whether he's reminding Takao or himself.
"Shin-chan…" the smaller guy purred, blue eyes tempting, glazed. Fact: Takao's voice is much lower when he's serious. Another fact: The Hawk Eyes can be used for things other than basketball. Like leading people to temptation…
"Shin-chan…" Takao whispered breathlessly, eyes transfixed on their ace's handsome face. It is during times like this that Midorima lets his guard down, and he is allowed for a fleeting moment to see the gentle look passing over the green-haired player's face as their lips part.
"I love you, Shin-chan…"
He trailed his fingers on Midorima's chest, down the player's sculpted stomach, ventured lower, and he felt the taller guy tense beneath him. "Takao…" Midorima hissed, partly scandalized. They have morning practice tomorrow after all. He chuckled. He would deal about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.
He wrapped his left arm around their Point Guard's slim waist and rolled over in one fluid motion, propping his right elbow so he doesn't crush Takao. Their Captain is actually a tall guy, but with the almost 20-centimeter height difference between them, Takao looks small.
"You're being reckless, Takao," he scolded.
Takao licked his lips before pulling him closer and whispering into his ear. "That's my charm, Shin-chan."
Takao is a walking, talking sin.
Takao relishes the fact that he could elicit such reactions from the ever-composed Midorima Shintarou. Their ace is probably the most domineering person on the planet next to Akashi, but he's not one to initiate contact unless he really has to. The green-haired player has so many reservations, enough to catapult him to sainthood, and Takao has made it his lifetime mission to make him forget each one. There's something feral beneath that cool demeanor, waiting to be provoked, to be coaxed out.
Midorima licked his collarbone and he shuddered as their ace planted soft kisses up his neck, beneath his ears, nibbling on his earlobe, fingers trailing expertly on his skin, fondling and pinching where he has to. He groaned when Midorima's hand slid below his stomach. Those who say that their Shooting Guard's hands can work wonders have no idea what those long, elegant fingers can really do.
"Impatient, aren't we, Shin-chan?" he asked teasingly.
The taller player squinted at him. "Just whose fault is that?" Midorima demanded, kissing him before he could even answer the question. Midorima's hands are everywhere, his skin burning where he touched, and he groaned into the Shooting Guard's mouth when a finger slipped inside.
Nobody else will ever be this close to their ace.
Takao is sleeping contentedly next to him, bare-chested, and he pulled the sheets up because, really, they can't afford to have their Captain catching a cold at such a crucial time. "Shin-chan…" Takao murmured in his sleep, and he felt a sudden wave of affection wash through him. He put an arm around his partner and closed his eyes. He has to wake up early so he could go for a jog before breakfast.
"Get up, Takao. We're going to be late for practice."
Takao pulled the sheets over his head and groaned. "A captain is never late. He arrives precisely when he means to."
Midorima grabbed the sheets from him and shook his shoulders. "Takao…" the green-haired player intoned. "Get. Up."
"Takao. Can you go ahead? I have to go somewhere first."
"Eh?!" Takao stopped walking and faced the taller player. "You woke me up so early because you said we're gonna be late for practice. Where are you goin'?"
"Somewhere," Midorima answered dismissively.
Takao pouted. "For all I know, you're meeting with a lover. Shin-chan! You cheater!" He made loud, sobbing noises—to which Midorima replied by lightly smacking him on the head.
"Go to practice now. You're going to be late." Midorima waved him off and walked away.
Takao puzzled over the whole thing on his way to Shutoku. "Too suspicious," he kept on muttering to himself.
"Captain! Captain! Midorima-senpai is with someone!"
He turned around to find a breathless freshman looking half-panicked and half-amazed. He made an exaggerated frown. "I know that Shin-chan doesn't have people skills but you shouldn't be so surprised if he's with other people." The other seniors he was talking to all laughed and started sharing their first impressions of Midorima. Everyone's impression has something to do with lucky items.
"Who could he be possibly with?" he wondered aloud, and, fortunately, he didn't have to wonder for too long. Midorima walked in, holding what seemed to be a week's supply of snacks, Yosen's Center walking behind him. All activity in the gym suddenly stopped as every player stood in awe and disbelief. Two players from the Generation of Miracles are at their gym. They even arrived together, meaning, Midorima was the one who brought Murasakibara along. Midorima bringing anyone to the gym is a marvel in itself.
The gym was so quiet that everyone could hear the two basketball prodigies bickering.
"Mido-chin! We forgot to buy chocolates," the purple-haired player complained.
"Later, Murasakibara," Midorima answered with such obvious annoyance.
"Mido-chin, you are always irritated. You will get old early."
Everyone in the gym had to suppress their laughter.
"Look who's talking! You don't even look like a high-schooler. And you look like that Titan from that new anime show," Midorima snapped.
All the anime fans in the team burst laughing.
"You wear glasses, Mido-chin. Old maaaaaan," Murasakibara drawled, making pretend-glasses with his fingers.
"That's it! Go die, Murasakibara."
"Go die, too, Mido-chin. I'm not teaching Takao anymore." Murasakibara turned to leave and everyone in Shutoku's basketball team held their breath as Midorima heaved a sigh and conceded for the first time, in public, to a person who's not a team captain.
"Fine. I'll buy you chocolates."
"Wait, wait, Shin-chan! Why is he here?" Takao glanced towards Murasakibara, who was busy eating and paying the Shutoku players no attention at all.
"You heard him. He's here to teach you."
"What? Why? Waah!"
"Please speak properly, Takao. And he's going to teach you defense."
"But I'm good at defense, Shin-chan!"
"Can you block my shots? Can you guard me?"
"Murasakibara can. And no, it's not just the height. Akashi can do that, too."
"Shin-chan! You can just teach me what I need to learn!"
Midorima stared at him with his intense green eyes, like the taller player always does when he's about to smack sense into him. "I can't teach you what I can't do, Takao," the taller-player said evenly before walking off to practice his shots.
Only then did he realize how hard Midorima took their loss to Rakuzan two years ago.
Takao has never spoken to Murasakibara before and he doesn't really think he likes the player so much. But then, he's known for his tolerance for all sorts of people.
"I don't understand why Mido-chin chose you as his partner," Murasakibara stated, sounding like a giant spoiled kid. If the Yosen player wasn't such a big guy, he would have punched him in the face already. So much for his tolerance.
"Come on now. You have to teach me how to defend and guard well," he tried to steer the topic away from his qualifications as Midorima's partner.
"Taka-chin… Ta-chin… Takao-chin… I don't like your name," Murasakibara decided.
And I don't like you. He stole the ball from Murasakibara and dribbled as fast as he can to the other side of the court. Before he could even make it inside the three-point line, Murasakibara was already in front of him. "Fast…" he muttered under his breath. Murasakibara stole the ball and ran across the court, and it took him everything he got to keep up with the taller player.
I have to get the ball before he jumps. He jumped to steal the ball at almost the same time Murasakibara jumped for a dunk, and he fell with a loud thud. Everyone in the gym turned to look at them.
"Murasakibara. If you injure our captain, I'd kill you," Midorima yelled, walking towards them from Court 2. The looks Murasakibara and Midorima exchanged baffled him completely.
"Mido-chiiiiiiin," Murasakibara half-chanted, snatching the towel draped on Midorima's shoulder.
"I already told you to bring your own towel and—Oi! Don't eat here," the green-haired player scolded.
"Mido-chin wants to win against Aka-chin."
Midorima glared at him. "Naturally. So, how was Takao?"
The Yosen player bit half of his chocolate bar before answering. "Ih ash ood aysh—"
"Don't talk with your mouth full."
"Mido-chin, are you my mother?" Murasakibara asked, partly-amused and partly-annoyed. "He has good eyes, pretty fast, but he's not as good as Aka-chin."
"Eh… I dunno. He doesn't react fast enough. Ah, this is so bothersome," the taller player complained.
"Good work, everyone!" Takao chirped happily, dismissing everyone. Deep inside, he wishes everyone would go home already so he could leave and sleep like a log. Practicing with-slash-going against Murasakibara Atsushi was so tiring, he'd probably drop dead any minute now. He glanced around to find Midorima and Murasakibara talking by the locker room and for some reason, he felt a sudden pang of jealousy. It's stupid, he knows that, because Midorima himself told him that he has never been romantically interested in anyone before—and there really is no point in doubting the green-haired player's statement because, hey, we're talking about a man who's more interested in books and horoscope than human beings here. But there's something about seeing Midorima with someone who could stand up next to him that kills him. Sometimes, he still feels as though in terms of ability, he and Midorima will never see each other eye to eye.
He saw Murasakibara leave and decided to go after him. "Atsu-chan!" he called after the Yosen player. He regretted the nickname the moment the taller guy turned and glared at him.
"What? And why are you so small? My neck hurts from looking down so much," Murasakibara mumbled in between bites.
He decided to ignore the insult to his height. "So… Are you comin' back tomorrow?" The taller guy blinked at him.
So he was that bad, huh? "Why not?"
"I don't know. Mido-chin only asked me to come play with you today. And you kept pulling fakes on me. Annoying."
"Imagine how I felt playing with a giant," he shot back then laughed. "Thanks for practicing with me though. The members of the Generation of Miracles are all monsters."
Murasakibara placed a large hand on top of his head and for a split-second, Takao thought that the Yosen player might actually dunk him into the basket. "You're sooooooo short. Mido-chin really likes you though…" The purple-haired guy let him go, took a bite at his chocolate bar and walked away.
He gaped at Murasakibara. He knows?
"Ne Shin-chan… Sorry to disappoint you but I wasn't able to successfully block Murasakibara. Not even once." He laughed.
"Don't worry about it," Midorima said quietly.
"But you went out of your way to ask him to teach me. I'm sorry for always letting you down," he sighed. Before Midorima could even answer, he quickly added, "In my defense, though, he was a really bad teacher."
Midorima stopped walking and laughed—one of those rare, brief, golden laughs of his that never fails to make Takao's heart do back flips. "Yes, he's a really bad teacher. Anyway, he confirmed what I was thinking so it's fine. Besides, I can't block him either."
"Wow, Shin-chan. You suck at comforting," he laughed, earning a glare from the green-haired male. "What were you thinking?"
Their Shooting Guard looked at him squarely and answered with impossible calmness, "The Emperor Eye. You can copy that."
"Eh?!" he practically screamed. Midorima rolled his eyes at him.
"Don't "eh" me. You're the one who said you wanted to go against Akashi."
He stared at Midorima and silently thanked his past self for being such a wonderful person and getting reincarnated into the lucky bastard that he is now. Midorima always takes care of him. Always. "Thank you, Shin-chan," he murmured, trying to blink back the tears forming in the corners of his eyes.
Midorima took his hand silently and he allowed himself to get pulled along. Right then, he realized that there is nothing to be afraid of. They aren't Shutoku's light and shadow for nothing.
He couldn't think of anything to say so he decided to just take Takao's hand. It's comforting like that, to hold each other in silence and know that the other understands. He recalled the conversation he had with Murasakibara earlier.
"Because he's my captain. And I trust him and his abilities."
"Mido-chin speaks like an old man."
"Hm… Mido-chin really likes Takao."
"You could say that."
"Eh?! You didn't deny it. Mido-chin is really an old man now."
Gahd. I'm sorry if this chapter is so slow. I really wanted to build up the story before going into the Rakuzan-Shutoku game because, ugh, my feels. I'd be happy to hear from you guys. 3