This is for Black Maya.

Midorima is a proud, dignified man. Yes. He is a proud, dignified man, and proud, dignified men do not sleep with a teddy bear.

That is, unless their Oha-Asa horoscopes deem it their lucky item of the day. When that happens, even proud, dignified men do not have a choice.

At least, that's what Midorima told himself. Never mind the fact that the teddy bear was a birthday present from Takao, and that a teddy bear had indeed been his lucky item ... Four days ago.

How did Takao even find out when his birthday was? He had tried to keep it from him, as that idiot would probably have made a big fuss over it and dragged Midorima through the troubles of a birthday party or worse. No way. Midorima preferred quiet, fuss-free birthdays spent playing shogi or in the tranquility of a library.

Unfortunately, he had Takao as a friend.

When the day of his birthday had rolled around, Midorima avoided Takao as much as possible, lest he get pulled into a rowdy celebration. However, he should have known it was nearly impossible to hide from Takao, who had the Hawk's Eye in hand to aid him. No matter where Midorima went that day, he inadvertently ran into him.

Thinking back, it probably wasn't so hard to look for a 195cm-tall guy with green hair.

Despite Midorima's efforts to stop him, Takao was able to make sure that everyone in school knew that it was his birthday. As a result, his entire day was filled with well-wishes, spontaneous outbreaks of the birthday song (mostly with Takao leading) and presents. His basketball team even managed to procure a cake, which they devoured after practice. (Later, Takao told Midorima that he had been tempted to push his face into said cake. The glare he got in response was enough to make him very glad he didn't.)

By the end of the day, Midorima was worn out. He was tired of hearing all those 'Happy Birthday's from people he hardly knew; tired of accepting presents he knew he would never use; tired of standing around, unsure of what to do, when others sang for him. Utterly spent, he made up his mind to tell Takao never to do such a thing again.

However, when Takao asked whether Midorima had enjoyed his day, Midorima couldn't tell him that he, in fact, had not. How could he? Takao had his adorable grin on, and it was obvious that he had gone to some lengths to inform and hype the school up over it.

"Yes. I enjoyed it."

"I knew it! Not even tsunderes can hate birthday celebrations!"

If only you knew, Midorima thought. He hardly ever lied to make someone else happy, and the fact that he did spoke volumes (although he often lied to hide the fact that he cared for people; Takao had cited this as evidence of him being a tsundere - how ridiculous). In fact, he would only do it for the people he loved.

And that, he admitted reluctantly, included Takao.

Hugging the teddy bear tighter, he reflected on his strange situation. Takao's delight at his reply had made the lie worth it, but the fact that he cared so much about how Takao felt was ... annoying. Like an overly-romantic girl in love, Midorima would do pretty much anything for him, and that realization made him irritated. He could list a thousand and one things he let Takao, and only Takao, do - a clear indication of the depth of his feelings.

Before he met Takao, he found it easy to push everyone away, but his cheery tenacity had prevailed. Now, Midorima could hardly imagine a life without him; further confirmation that his feelings for his best friend weren't exactly on the straight and narrow road.

Midorima sighed, his conflicting emotions a Gordian knot. He had always been a prim and proper young man, but then Takao waltzed into his life and turned it upside-down. He wished he could have fallen for someone easier to get, but wishful thinking didn't and would never get him anywhere. And the worst part was that he didn't even mind - he had accepted how he felt about Shuutoku's infuriating, but cute, annoying, yet endearing point guard.

He had accepted the fact that he, Shintaro Midorima, loved Kazunari Takao and no one else.

Not that he'd ever confess or anything; his pride ensured that something like that would never happen. He'd let Takao figure it out himself - God knows he'd given him plenty of hints.

Until that happens, though, Midorima is happy with the teddy bear.

A/N: The MidoTaka pairing is sooo cute. I don't own the characters or the picture. Thanks, daishinoo, for beta-ing this - you did a great job! Oh, and I love reviews, people - be nice and write me some? I want to know if I did well.