Dreams of a Lifetime

By Sileny

Summary: Takao is a dreamer, but sometimes his dreams terrify him.

Disclaimer: Everything standard that should be here.

Pairing: MidoTaka

Notes: Fluff, unhelpful senpai-tachiz

"People who enjoy life are winners."

That is Takao's self-proclaimed life model, and he's very pleased with it. It captures him well ("So well it's annoying-nodayo," Midorima says flatly while pushing up his glasses), from his cheeky grin to bright eyes to general hyperactive disposition. And Takao, as a follower of his life model, lives in the moment, for the moment, moment to moment. It's excitable and fun, just like how playing basketball with everyone on the Shuutoku team is. Takao loves it to pieces.

But Takao is a dreamer, a big dreamer.

He wants to hurry up and grow up, so that he's a capable adult standing on his own two feet. So that he's ready to brave the entire world, not just the world of the basketball court at his trusty Shin-chan's side (it's nice, but he wants more).

He wants to get married and have children, preferably with Shin-chan but if that can't happen he'll settle with a nice girl who's almost exactly like him (but that last part's a secret, he likes to whisper cheekily with a tone of questionable sincerity). He's good humored and easily pleased, and figures he'll make one hell of a dad to a equally cheeky little tyke or a adorable little princess. Ootsubo-san tells him he's more like the favorite uncle type, but Takao brushes the comment aside with an easy laugh; he wants to be a father.

And he wants his family (Shin-chan or girl-like-Shin-chan) to be happy. He wants to be a good husband. He wants to be responsible and respectable and he wants to protect them. He wants to cherish them, because they're so precious to him. So very, very precious.

But then he's pulled from his dreams and once again he's Takao Kazunari, fifteen, first year at Shuutoku High School, and his dreams are so far away and for a fleeting, crushing moment a wave of terror crashes over his tiny fifteen-year-old self. Suppose they don't come true? Suppose he's never capable enough of becoming an acceptable, responsible adult? Suppose he never gets to marry Shin-chan or a girl exactly like him? Suppose they can't have children? Suppose he isn't capable of protecting his precious, precious family?

Suppose he gets to a certain point and sees all his dreams shatter at his fingertips?

He's not even aware that he's standing in the middle of the Shuutoku courts during afternoon practice, shaking like a leaf with enormous tears raining from his eyes. He doesn't even register that the team crowds around him, asking him if maybe he's finally had enough of Midorima's constant abuse (Midorima objects vehemently at these accusations). Takao just shakes his head wordlessly and buries his face in Midorima's chest, hugging hard.

("My God, Midorima! You did do something! Hurry up and apologize, you horoscope-obsessive oaf!"

"Chocolates and flowers! Hurry and get him chocolates and flowers!"

"How about a fruit basket with our pineapples?")

Manicured fingers run through Takao's hair in an awkward attempt to be reassuring. Midorima has no idea what's wrong with the boy and the upperclassmen's attempts at offering advice does little to help. Half of him wants to just smack the boy on the head and tell him off for getting distracted during practice, but even Midorima has enough heart not to hit someone when they're in tears. "Takao?" he settles for instead.

"Just… stay like this," the shorter boy mumbles into his chest. Midorima heaves a sigh, but there's nothing he can do when Takao is so attached and giving everyone pitiful looks that tugs at their heartstrings.

Takao breathes out a breath that he wasn't even aware that he was holding, and squeezes the reassuring hard warmth that is Midorima. And all of a sudden his dreams don't seem particularly hopeless, so far and out of reach. And that reassures him enough, and he's glad.

A/N: Nothing like fluff after nothing but endless angst prompts running rampant in your brain. I hope this is OK? When was the last time I tried to write fluffy stuff OTL...