Hello, guys ^.^

English is not my first language and it's my first attempt to write a story without writing it first in my native language, so forgive me mistakes (if there are any since I had wonderful beta!).

Of course there is also disclaimer: KnB is not mine. If it were - it would be a hardcore yaoi manga.

And the most important thing: Thank you - Tainted Fated Demise - for your wonderful beta!

It's annoying, really. It bothers him more than he would like to admit. Not that there are many things that don't annoying him. In fact, it would be easier for Midorima to list things that are not irritating, rather than those that are.

But its times like these, Midorima feels that his temper gets better of him. He knows he has nasty disposition, that he's easily angered, but he doesn't care much about that. At least as long as he knows he won't make a fool out of himself, which would be happening now if he didn't calm down.

Because he knows he shouldn't care, but he does.

He must admit that the girl is very pretty. Long black hair, cute face, petite and slender form. A great sense of fashion, a voice that's not high-pitched and she's very calm—kind of shy even. All in all, one hundred percent Takao's type.

She approached them when they were going home after the last training session of their high school career and smiled at them both, asking Midorima if she could borrow Takao for a minute. From the way she was blushing, really prettily - even if he's only admitting it with an inner and outer scowl - he knows why she needs Takao. And he knows also that now will be the only time she'll take a minute. Then it'll be an hour. Then a whole evening. Then weekends. And probably after that, his life.

Not that he didn't see that coming, even if he was exaggerating right now. Takao is really popular, both his easy-going personality and good looks are like a magnet for girls. And he is tall. Only when compared to huge freak such as himself, did Takao seems to be small. Some day - with a small hope that it's not today - he will find a girl that will suit him, that will make his heart race as much as Midorima's beats around him.

He doesn't even know when he started to feel like that and it took him more than a year to admit he was feeling anything at all. Only after Winter Cup in their first year, did he started to understand what friendship actually is and from there it… it somehow happened. He wasn't really open about his feelings, he still ordered Takao around, still beat the crap out of him every time he said or did something really embarrassing or absurd and he didn't even spend much extra time with him. He didn't even know how people showed they cared for each other.

But lately, Midorima thinks that Takao might actually know that he's the object of his inappropriate infatuation. Since they won Winter Cup, the smaller guy seemed to enjoy teasing him in new ways - like trying to hold his hand, invading his personal space each and every time they were alone and whispering his full name during classes when he needed something while leaning in. Every time Midorima slapped idiot over the head, but he feared that Takao knew it was making him hot and enjoyed his misery. Or maybe the fact that they were graduating in next few months did that to Takao. It's not like they wouldn't be in touch after high school. They're going to study in the same college, only in different departments.

Maybe he should change colleges? He still has opportunity to go to one outside the prefecture. He just doesn't like changes or surprises. Midorima likes his life stable, predictable and even dull. It's safer this way. But looking now at the pretty girl confessing to Takao, who was sporting his usual grin, he found it really hard to just stand in the same place, drinking red bean soup and not moving. It's not like he deluded himself in thinking that Takao's friendship was something special - that guy was friends with entire world and even if he'd chosen to follow Midorima at this moment, he wasn't the kind of a person who would devote their entire life to one special person. The question was, however, was Midorima okay with just standing there and watching Takao leave his side and move onto some random girl? Watching daily as girls confess and fearing every time that this was her?

Because confessing himself was so out of question. He snorted to himself, because such an idiotic thought shouldn't even appear in his head. It wouldn't get past his lips, ever, he knew himself that much. It would be creepy, shameful, completely wrong and, most of all, very unwise. He didn't want anyone, much less Takao, to know just how pitiful he was for falling in love with the only person who could stand him. He could take the loathing and the hate, but he was sure that pity and being laughed at would touch even him, the one who never thought much about other people.

Ah, when will the girl end it?! Midorima looked at Takao and wondered why he was looking so serious while the girl's smile dropped and suddenly, she too, was all business. Were they…was she…suddenly he felt very much out of place. What if they would want to go home together? Or maybe on a date? He could remind Takao that they were supposed to go to his house to study (after all, exams were pretty close) but…he wasn't used to it. It was Takao who dragged him anywhere, who reminded him they were supposed to do something together. He was the chasing one. Midorima didn't know if he had it in himself to do something like that.

When he was already deciding that he was going home without him, the girl turned away from Takao with tears in eyes and marched to the school gate.

"I can't believe everyone thinks that he's so cute and harmless." she sniffed when she was passing Midorima. She shot him a sad look and smiled at the effort, "Good day to you, Midorima-senpai."

"She was quite a catch, huh?" Takao joined Midorima and looked strangely after the girl, "Fiery one, despite her looks."

They started walking and Midorima huffed, feeling uneasy, "Hmpf, then you're going out?"

"Wha?" Takao gaped and after a moment started laughing, "God, Shin-chan, you're so clueless sometimes! Of course we're not!"


"Many reasons" sang Takao in a lilting voice. The rest of the walk home was in silence.

When they entered his apartment and he served tea, Takao whistled, "Why're you so quiet today, Shin-chan?"

"You're the quiet one, Takao. It's usually you who's talking nonsense without shutting up for even a minute."

"Aaah, I'm just sad that we're not in basketball club anymore. But we're going to play in college, right?"

The green-haired boy shook his head, "I don't know. First of all I don't know how much effort my studies will take and if I would have any time for myself. Secondly, I think…" He hesitated for a moment, "I'm wondering about going to college outside prefecture."

Takao cocked his head to the side, "That one that send you scholarship proposition? Hmm, nice, but I don't think I'll find a place to live there. I would need a good job to support myself and that would mean no basketball."

"No one said that you're going with me, Takao."

That seemed to surprise him. Midorima even thought that Takao, for a moment, looked extremely angry. But his voice was still light and smile was still there, "So… just you?"

"And why would it be otherwise?"

"Dunno, maybe because you'll miss me?"

"Stop making up things."

"Ok, maybe because I'll miss you?"

Stop. Those words hurt him a little, because he knew Takao liked to use them as a joke and this was no joke for Midorima. He tried to sound normal while looking for the sugar. He didn't drink it with tea, but Takao loved it, "Why would you? You have enough of friends and you can always try with that pretty girl from today."

"So you think she was pretty?"

"If I didn't, I wouldn't say it."

Takao stood up and walked over to Midorima still smiling, but there was something off with the way he was looking at him. Midorima started to get angry. Here he was, trying to talk some sense to that idiot, even to coerce him into dating that girl and Takao was rubbing back at him, like it was nothing.

"Which part of her was pretty? Her Hair? Eyes? Chest? Legs? Or maybe you liked how well-mannered she was?"

"Whatever suits you, it's not like I care." He tried to pass Takao and sit down, but smaller guy held him by the elbow.

"You should care Shin-chan, because she wanted to date you and was trying to make me get lost."
He was dumbfounded, "Eh? But she was talking with you. All of them are."

Takao chuckled darkly and moved closer to Midorima, whose heart started beating rapidly. Too close. He was too close.

"Yes, she was, but only because I'm so greedy that I don't allow anyone else to be near you. She was the only one who saw this and tried to confront me about it, but she needs few more years to beat me in a debate."

"Are you nuts? What gave you such a stupid idea?" Now that was too much! He knew that because of his unique personality people didn't like him and that idiot wasn't even with him all the time when no one was speaking to him!

"Despite being egoistic bastard Shin-chan, you're really innocent." Takao moved even closer, his free hand reaching Midorima's glasses and taking them off and the world blurred suddenly, "While I'm not. I made sure no one would get close to you."

"Why would you do that? And give them back!"

It's not like he was fun. Even in middle school no one wanted to hang around with him except Akashi, who liked to keep his pawns close. So why? Because Takao didn't want him to annoy other people? That would be like him - to care about others.

Takao chuckled and sneaked his arms around Midorima's neck. Why was he this close? It was a little more than his usual invasion into the taller boy's private space but the awkward position was decidedly comfortable. He was fighting his own eye-lids, who wanted to close and enjoy the pressure of Takao's body against his. His hands gripped the counter, because he had to stop them from embracing his friend, because then there would be no escape from this. And he didn't want to be laughed at.

"Release me this instant" He barked, hoping it sounds as menacing as he wanted.

"But don't you want to know why?" Takao moved slightly and the friction of his body made Midorima semi-hard and oh god, he so hoped he wouldn't notice!

"No, I don't!" Midorima pushed Takao hard and the boy stumbled and almost fell over on the couch.

"Geez, Shin-chan no need to be so harsh, it was just a…"

"Say it was just a joke and I'll kill you." Yes, this time it was right tone of the voice, "Now sit down and we'll start studying. If I'm going to get into a college outside of the prefecture I need to have the best grades I can."

"Yes, yes, my genius of an ace." Takao seemed to go back to being normal after that. After an hour of making tests, he demanded pause. "Argggh! I can't understand this! "

"It's pretty simple. You're just using x to…"

"Not now, Shin-chan, I beg you."

He sighed. It was like that each and every damn time. That guy and focus were almost absolute contradictions, "Do you want more tea?"

"Yup, sounds good. And if you have some snacks I'll love you eternally" Takao followed Midorima, who didn't even stop when he heard this since it was normal, into the little kitchen and suddenly this place seemed too small for a certain midcourt shooter. It was…awkward. "Hey, Shin-chan…"


"Wanna play some video games after that?"

"No. I have a good book to read." When he heard a disappointed sigh he looked at Takao who seemed to be really sad, "But you can stay and play while I'm be reading. You still didn't take that Final Fantasy game with you. But be a little too loud about it and you're so out of here."

Yes, now that's the kind of a smile that looked good on Takao's face. Not a stupid frown, not a grin that showed the sadistic bastard that he was and most definitely not the I'm-so-cute-love-me-everyone sickening smile he was gave to the girls he rejected. Just happiness and a slight trace of irony.

A/N: Reviews will be greatly appreciated! I'm really nervous about my first English story!