Title: Swing, Swing
Pairings/Characters: IzuMiha; Tajima
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Asa Higuchi. Just like my soul.
A/N: Written for Izu-Kou during a conversation about lowered expectations for unpopular OTPs. Keep that part in mind .-.
It was Tajima who suggested it; stupid grin, thumbs up, and an offensive wink to seal the deal.
Mihashi had never said anything before. Just stuttered through the first syllable of a name he couldn't pronounce in the presence of, "Who makes your dick throb?" Even the pitcher knew enough to interrupt "dick" for a normal person's meaning of "heart" in this case.
Izumi looked up passively from his lunch, first starring at Tajima until investing his time in studying Mihashi's ever heating face.
"I'm free tomorrow," he mentioned offhandedly. "What'd you get for the fifth question?" He asked Tajima.
And that's how Mihashi ends up waiting in the foyer. They didn't make any special plans- none that Mihashi knows of. He thought to call earlier to see if he needs a bow tie, or maybe to bring his mitt?
He settled on a pale blue and white checkered button-down, smartly matched with khaki pants. His mom said he looks lovely, but casual and that's slightly calming.
He has a snack while he waits, because he isn't sure whether they'll go out to eat or not. It's just barely afternoon and Izumi's text says he'll be there by one. That does very little to ease Mihashi's nerves or his ever growing he's more afraid of pissing the outfielder off with his stupid inquiries before their date even starts. Honestly, he's just anticipating the cancellation of his afternoon plans.
That doesn't end up being an issue when Izumi rings the doorbell five minutes past one, the image of casual in his khakis and a bright yellow shirt decorated with purple birds flying across his chest.
Mihashi's overdressed. His date only just arrived and he's already screwed everything up. Except Izumi doesn't act mad. He smiles coolly, commenting on how nice Mihashi looks in blue.
"Should I say hi to your parents?" Izumi wonders when neither of them move for a while.
"N-no! T-They're… Out." Which is half of a lie. His dad's on a business trip, but his mother's been fretting around in the kitchen all day, waiting. Mihashi doesn't want Izumi to have to deal with her. Not now, at least. Or rather, Mihashi doesn't want to deal.
Izumi nods his head back towards the fence, "Then let's get going."
He's already grating on Izumi's nerves. They haven't even left the stoop and he's ruined everything. But then Izumi smiles and the panic calms down to a simmering.
Mihashi's pictured walking alongside the outfielder before. Dreamed of it even. Enough that he just almost pinches himself for extra measure.
Walking with Izumi in reality is different from his fantasies.
For one, their hands are clamped in their respective pockets instead of cupped together. They don't flirt like Tajima and Izumi usually do when they go out on Sunday afternoons, kicking at each other's feet and making inappropriate comments. That's okay, Mihashi's not at that level of socialization yet, anyway. He's just not sure if the silence is comfortable or not. It's not for him.
It's not going to work out. Their friendship is ruined. Mihashi ruined it with his feelings and his passive prompting for Tajima to set it up. He's that glitch in the game that causes the whole console to have a break down.
Izumi slides into him suddenly. "Tajima was right," he grins lightly. "I can almost read what you're thinking."
Mihashi feels his face grow red, clapping his hands to his cheeks. He knows? He catches Izumi still watching him, still grinning, and it clicks. He's flirting…with me? Maybe not the same way he does with Tajima, but the sentiment excites Mihashi- his heart's pumping blood hotter than he can ever remember. More than the adrenaline of standing on the mound; of defeating Tosei.
Crushes are amazing, he thinks. Mihashi's had them before, but he's never been on a date. He's never had them almost mutual. And okay. Izumi's humoring him, but it's kind and this might be the closest Mihashi's gotten towards anything ever outside of Tajima's porn magazines.
"Let's get something to eat, huh?" Izumi offers.
They choose to get lunch at the McDonald's a few blocks down. Izumi apologizes but he doesn't get much of an allowance, and seriously the pitcher can pay for himself but Izumi gets the cashier to tell him, "Your money's no good here." It's kind of suffocating being taken care of like this. Mihashi basks in it.
Lunch is quiet since Tajima isn't there to interrupt the silence. But it's only slightly uncomfortable this time on Mihashi's part, just because it always is. They spend the rest of the afternoon shopping. Izumi buys a new pair of running shoes, divulging Mihashi in his running schedule outside of practice. He even invites the blond to join- if it doesn't interfere with Abe's strict policies. Mihashi's pretty sure it has more to do with pitching, but he declines anyway. He's having trouble staying awake in class as is. Izumi shrugs, but keeps the invitation open.
When they walk, Mihashi isn't imagining that Izumi's bumping into him every once in a while. He definitely is. Mihashi starts to think it's because he's getting in the way, but the third time he apologizes Izumi laughs.
Oh. Mihahsi realizes. He's flirting again.
"We could see a movie," Izumi suggests. Then he points just over to Mihashi's right. It's a family park, but the hour's getting late and the children scarcer. Most of them are on the slide. Izumi's pointing to the open swings, "But I could never resist a playground.
"I'll race you to the swings!"
Izumi's got a decent height going by the time Mihashi settles into the swing next to him. He hesitates to push off the ground, but it doesn't take too long for him to catch up to Izumi's pace and soon they're even.
Izumi laughs suddenly, the sound of which sends chills down Mihashi's spine and sets him on edge. It's a nice laugh. Izumi doesn't use it enough, he decides. Not around him. When Mihashi looks over he catches the outfielder's eyes.
"Hey, look! We're married*!"
And suddenly Mihashi's starring up at the sky, a harsh pain in the lower half of his body where the heels of his feet smacked into the ground, and his butt followed the gravitational pull.
Izumi's standing over him not a minute later, "Are you okay?"
Mihashi's first instinct is to nod even if he's not actually sure. Maybe he's in shock. The pain in his back is pretty much a reassurance that he's wide awake.
There's a light thud in the grass where Mihashi suspects his date has fallen on his own behind, laughing quite loudly.
Izumi thinks he's a joke.
This was all Tajima's idea, anyway.
"I-I'm sorry Iz-Izumi-kun… For forcing you to c-come out with me…" He feels a familiar hitch in his throat.
"Why do you say that?" Izumi asks, suddenly sober and kneeling back over Mihashi's head.
"'C-Cause Iz-Izumi-kun acted l-like he didn't c-care…" Mihashi confesses. The brunette looks down at him, but Mihashi covers his face under his sleeves as though trying to hide even though he's on his back in the open of a public playground.
"Would you believe it if I said I was nervous, too?"
Mihashi peeks through his fingers to find his date hovering over him still. The truth of his statement is there- in the quivering, unsure smile on his lips down to the pink glow on his cheeks. Slowly, he nods. Mihashi doesn't completely believe him- he probably never will. He figures they could get married and adopt children and have 101 Dalmatians, and Izumi could give him flowers every morning, but the blond will probably always have a suspicion that Izumi's there because Tajima made him.
"I like you, Mihashi," he says quietly. Liar, forms in Mihashi's mind but even that's hushed as Izumi leans over, hands on either side of his face, and the brunet's kissing him. Upside down, in public, in the middle of a playground in what could still pass for daylight.
So maybe he could get used to the idea of Izumi genuinely liking him. But it's going to take some practice. Izumi doesn't seem to mind as he smiles into the kiss.
Tajima's still grinning when he makes it to the dugout. He's the third person there, so he doesn't miss the tell tale signs of Izumi unwrapping his arm from around Mihashi's shoulders.
"Good morning," Izumi greets him, lamely, putting his arm back where he seems to think it belongs.
"M-Morning!" Mihashi chirps.
"Morning!" Tajima sings back to them in high spirits. It isn't until he throws himself down next to Izumi that his face goes slightly pale. They're both confused when he jumps back up, looking completely scandalized. "DOES THIS MEAN NO MORE BRO CUDDLE PUDDLES*?!"
Izumi looks to Mihashi, who shyly nods back. That's all the warning Tajima receives before his matchmaking project wrestles him to the ground.
*Izumi's referring to the fact that when two people swing in synch they're said to be married. I don't know it was stupid thing I did as a kid. And yesterday. I don't know if it's universal?
*Bro Cuddle Puddles is a totally a thing they do. I will hear nothing else.