A/N: This is my first fic after I've hung around for about a year. Really hope you'll like it! Reviews are welcome ^^
Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroko no Basuke, or all of this would be canon. (laughs)
As he sits in the ambulance in his white robe listening to the sirens with two paramedics across him, Midorima Shintarou repeatedly thinks, this is stupid.
After a three-day shift at the hospital (today is Saturday, on top of that), he couldn't wait to take a hot bath at home. He tells himself that the Spartan workload cannot be helped, since he is only an intern. He was even looking forward to – though he'll never admit it – seeing his boy- roommate, who had tenaciously filled up his message inbox with "when are you coming home"s and "I'll cook dinner"s and even a "I miss you".
That last text almost made him drop his phone, and he had hastily pushed up his spectacles before replying with a "SHUT UP AND DIE".
He was ready to leave when a call suddenly came through, requesting Midorima-sensei to tend to possible victims of a household fire, as all the other doctors were occupied.
So here he is now, in the middle of a housing estate. As the ambulance pulls up, he can't help but feel irritated, even though it's his duty.
The already narrow road is congested with two fire engines hastily parked in front of the apartment building and three more police cars are trying to get through. The throng of spectators gathered only makes it worse. From the ambulance, Midorima can only see black smoke being emitted from the window of a second-floor apartment, but a loud yell right outside the vehicle diverts his attention.
He pushes open the door to see a red-haired idiot in a firefighter suit and a blue-haired idiot in police attire – both of whom he never wanted to meet again, especially not in such a circumstance – in a heated argument. The argument pauses as the firefighter and the policeman turn to gawk at Midorima, who is in the middle of stepping out of the ambulance.
"Midorima?!" "What are you doing here?!"
'This is stupid' can't even begin to cover this, Midorima thinks as he pushes up his spectacles.
"I'm telling you to park your damned police cars somewhere else, can't you see that we can't get the third fire engine through?"
"Well, I need to do a report too! And why the hell do you need three fire engines anyway?! Isn't it just a cooking accident – "
"Hah? I'm not the one who sent three fire engines – "
"Shut up. The both of you." Ten whole minutes of trying and failing to find out if there were any casualities, because he couldn't hear a thing over the drabble of the onlookers and the increasingly loud bickering, are enough to make Midorima snap. He readjusts his spectacles for the umpteenth time in less than thirty minutes and continues. "If you aren't going to carry out your duties, don't get in the way of others."
Both Kagami and Aomine visibly falter but do not stop shooting daggers at each other.
With the noise level considerably reduced, Midorima stops a passing fireman to ask about the situation. He relaxes when the disheveled man affirms that the one woman in the apartment is only lightly scratched from fleeing the fire. Midorima mentally notes that this is probably the sole lucky thing that's happened in the entire day; having missed the Oha Asa horoscope in the morning and thus lacking the day's lucky item, misfortunate events refused to leave him alone.
As he instructs a paramedic to fetch and tend to the casualty, Midorima feels his mood lighten appreciably. He can probably get home in under half an hour, if he takes a taxi, and even be in time for dinner. No one is seriously injured, he'll just need to check on the woman before he leaves and –
"Look, do something about the damned fire already! You aren't putting it out!"
"What? Isn't it obvious that there's much less smoke coming out now? And why don't you mind your own business and move your stupid police car!"
Vein throbbing dangerously in his temple, Midorima advances towards the two idiots. To add on to the fiasco, his phone goes off in that very second. He mentally curses himself for not switching it off as he pulls it out of his pocket.
"What?" Taking one glance at the caller I.D., Midorima barks into the receiver. In the background, the idiotic argument continues.
"Ehh? How cold! I just wanted to ask when you're coming back! You said you'd be home by six but it's almost six-thirty now and you didn't reply my texts so-"
The excessively boisterous chattering fuels Midorima's throbbing vein so he holds the phone away from his ear and snaps, "I'm still working."
There is a short pause on the other end, which is almost immediately followed by a tenfold increase in the clamour.
"Wait, what's with all the background noise? And the police sirens? Is that an ambulance? Where are you, Shin – "
The overflowing concern makes the doctor sigh despite himself. "I'll call when I'm done." He cuts in, softening his tone.
"What? Wait, don't hang up – "
Midorima hangs up.
He turns around to find the pair of idiots looking incredulously at him, though the policeman's expression of disbelief quickly turns into a smirk.
"You don't look the type to get a girl~friend." Aomine taunts, twirling the last word in his mouth. The shade of pink forming on Midorima's face is in stark contrast to his white robes.
Kagami seems slightly confused. "Actually, that sounded more like a guy to me."
Midorima sputters, his face now as red as the fire engines around him.
Apparently finding the doctor's overreaction to be so darn hilarious, Aomine decides to continue with his jest. "It's that guy from your high school, isn't it? What was his name again? Something like Ta- OUCH!"
The sentence is cut short as a violent jab is delievered to Aomine's side. "Who the fu-"
"Aomine-kun, you should stop teasing Midorima-kun. You're embarrassing him." It was a calm monotone.
The trio jumped. "Tetsu?" "Kuroko?"
"Aomine-kun, Midorima-kun, long time no see." The slight man nods. Aomine still looks taken aback by the sudden appearance and Midorima stares stupidly before he realises it and closes his mouth.
"Wait, how long have you been standing here?" Kagami demands.
"I was here since that fire engine pulled in." Kuroko points at the third fire engine still stuck behind all the police cars. "Before that, I was watching from my house." Noticing their confused expression, he adds, "I live in the next block."
"Oh right, I kind of forgot about that, with the whole mess here," Kagami scratches his head.
"I knew you would forget about that, Kagami-kun, since you're an idiot –" the even statement cues an angry "hey!" from the redhead. "– just don't forget that you were supposed to come over for dinner when you finish work."
"Wha? Dinner with this idiot?" – cue for an angry "oi!" – "You'll catch his stupid!"
Midorima has a strong urge to walk away.
"Actually, you can come too, Aomine-kun. We can have dinner together." Midorima narrows his eyes and is certain that Kuroko has a small smirk playing on his lips though his tone never changes. "Kagami-kun doesn't mind."
"Of – of course I mind! I'd lose my appetite!"
"What was that?"
Apparently satisfied with frustrating the firefighter, Kuroko inquires if Midorima-kun, who is in the process of getting away, would like to have dinner as well. Not wanting to further involve himself in the stupid love triangle, Midorima declines and explains that he has dinner at home.
"Yeah, prepared by his live-in loverboy," Aomine quips
"Shut up about that already, Aomine," the doctor is glad that his voice comes out curt. "I don't have a lover."
"Stop denying it! And stop pushing up your specs already! There's nothing to push up!"
It does not help as Kuroko decides to join in as well. "You'll hurt his feelings, Midorima-kun."
"So do you have a lover or not?" Kagami still looks clueless.
Midorima is saved by the paramedic who tells him that the injured owner of the apartment is being tended to right now. Taking this chance, he excuses himself from the idiotic love triangle and flees - no, strides - to the ambulance where the wounded lady is waiting.
The little housewife is almost in tears as she explains that she had fallen asleep in the bath with the pot still on the stove. The paramedics disinfect and bandage her scratches, and the doctor wonders why they sent him here in the first place. Perhaps it was some irony of fate that brought him here, to have this ridiculous rendezvous.
This thought is just too ridiculous even for someone like Midorima.
He calls the hospital to inform them that the situation is alright, and they tell them that he is free to go since he has been working overtime, after all. He feels relieved as he hangs up and starts to shrug out of the white coat. The time on his phone reads six-fifty, which means that he is already almost an hour late for dinner. He imagines that person waiting by the table at home, perhaps looking at his phone because he was expecting a call –
No, he definitely did not just think about him. It's absurd. He is just hurrying because he's tired and he wants a hot bath. And some hot food. It's definitely not because he wants to see that idiot. Just to mention, he is also not feeling guilty for making him wait.
When Midorima steps out of the ambulance, the three of them are still there, though he hoped that they would have left by now. It seems like they – well, the two idiots – are still mindlessly quarreling over the issue of dinner. He catches a sliver of their argument as he walks by.
"Go home already!"
"What's your problem, Bakagami? Even Tetsu said it was fine."
"Just because Kise's off flying kites in Greece and you're lonely, it doesn't mean you can do anything you want."
"Who – who said I'm lonely? Besides, it's Rome, not Greece, idiot."
Midorima wonders why would Kise be flying kites in Rome anyway, and then he decides that he doesn't really care about what that blonde idiot chooses to do in his free time.
"Who're you calling an idiot – "
"Aomine-kun, Kagami-kun, please stop it already. Besides, Kise-kun flies planes, not kites, Kagami-kun." Kuroko says quietly with a trace of irritation in his monotone. Then he spots Midorima, who has already walked a distance away. "Ah, goodbye, Midorima-kun."
"Goodbye," Midorima nods tersely.
"Uh, bye," Kagami grunts, while Aomine lets out a laugh. "See you around, bring loverboy along next time!"
Resisting the impulse to throw something at the policeman, Midorima pushes up his spectacles instead. He has not realised it earlier, but the sky has already darkened. According to his phone, it's now four minutes past seven. Even if he gets a taxi in time – which will be difficult at this hour – the earliest he can reach home will probably be at seven-thirty.
Once again he thinks about that person waiting at home.
Fine, maybe he is feeling a little guilty. But it's definitely not like he wants to see him or anything stupid like that! He probably doesn't even need to feel bad, for that idiot should have gotten so hungry that he ate his fill already. Even though he said he would call back when he was done, there is probably no need to either, for that idiot should probably be entertained enough by the television.
Nonetheless, Midorima quickens his footsteps. He figures that he will get a taxi once he gets onto the main road, which should not take him more than five minutes, but the size of the housing estate exceeds his calculations.
It takes him fourteen minutes to walk out of the needlessly big estate.
The time on his phone says seven-nineteen, and looking at the traffic, Midorima rules out the prospect of reaching home anytime before eight, even though his house is not too far away. I'll call you when I'm done, he remembers himself saying.
Midorima decides that a phone call would not be too bad.
He dials that familiar string of numbers (he did not memorise it, he just remembered it after seeing it show up on his phone so frequently), but the phone is not picked up after five rings. Which is strange, because that person always answers the phone on the second – very occasionally the third – ring.
It is the eleventh ring and counting. Of course he isn't worried or anything like that. There must be a very logical reason behind this, like the washroom. Yes. Washroom.
Twentieth ring, and still no answer. Okay, he admits that he is slightly worried. He rarely calls, but his calls have always been answered very promptly. Maybe that person is asleep. But it does not make sense, for it is only seven. Seven twenty-one, to be exact.
Midorima ends the call on the twenty-seventh ring. As he stares at his phone he tries to think of a rational excuse, but his thoughts inexplicably brings him to the phrase 'kitchen fire'.
"This is stupid," he mutters, hoping that saying it out loud will help him reason better. He's only thinking that way because he just witnessed a household fire, nothing else. He is not worried about the reason why his call was not answered. He is not worried about whether something bad happened. He is not worried. He's just going to get a taxi, and go straight home.
"This is stupid," but Midorima jabs at the "call" icon on his phone anyway and brings it to his ear. There is no answer by the sixth ring, but he sees something approaching him on the pedestrian way. Wait, it can't be –
"Hey – Shin-chan – " The trishaw's pedaller calls, almost making Midorima drop his phone. The trishaw stops in front of him, and Takao beams up at him from the pedaller's seat.
"Wha – what are you doing here?" Midorima gawks. "How did you know I was here?"
"I saw you on the evening news!" Takao says brightly. "Your hair, more like. Hard to miss, isn't it?"
"I was on the news?" Midorima narrows his eyes.
"The fire in this estate was. I thought I saw a bit of your hair at the corner of the screen, then I remembered the sirens and stuff when I called you."
True enough, Midorima does recall seeing one or two reporters just now. But it still doesn't explain why Takao pedaled all the way here – on that old trishaw, no less.
"What are you doing here?" Midorima asks again.
"To take you home," Takao smiles his easy smile, and Midorima is reminded of those high school summers many years ago. He notes that this idiot in front of him has not lost the ability to roll embarrassing things like this off his tongue. In fact, that infuriating skill of his has only grown stronger over the years.
"Shin-chan?" Still smiling, Takao waves a hand in front of Midorima's face. "You're hungry, right? I'm hungry too. Let's go back home already."
"You haven't eaten yet?" Midorima blinks.
"I did say I'd wait for you to have dinner."
Oh right, of course. Midorima thinks that this person is an idiot after all, as he climbs into the back of the trishaw.
"So what are we having?"
The trishaw starts to move. Even though only he can only see Takao's back, Midorima knows that he has that stupid grin wide across his face. As Takao rattles off about dinner (beef stew, with carrots and potatoes), Midorima thinks that it is not so bad to have a live-in lov –
Roommate, he tells himself firmly, though it does not seem to work anymore, even with Midorima himself.