Midorima was sick.

Yes, that's what this horrible feeling in his stomach was. He was sick, so he couldn't go to school today. His luck was not that good, either, and he couldn't go get his lucky item in this shape, so he really shouldn't leave the building at all.

He picked up his phone and, laying on his bed, typed simple and formal notice of absence to his homeroom teacher. It was the first sick leave he was taking during his time in Shuutoku, so one day would be alright. He'd do his homework with extra care and add an hour to his usual basketball practice the next day. He turned to his left side, pulling the blanket back on. When sick, it was the best to sleep.

His lips had touched Takao's hair.

It'd been an accident. His partner had suddenly clung on to him after practice, like he sometimes did, and he'd meant to look down at him disapprovingly, but somehow the hawk-eye had moved his head forward, just then, and it had been like a kiss on the forehead.

And he'd been so stunned, and it'd taken such a long time for his brain to react, and he couldn't shake off the feeling of his lips touching the black hair. It was so wrong. It was like he'd accidentally sexually harassed his partner. You're not supposed to go touching other people's hair with your lips like that.

And the worst thing was, it'd probably been only half accidental. He liked Takao, in that way, he supposed. And he'd let his lips stay on his head for such a long time. Midorima felt like a sick sexual offender. How could he have allowed himself to do something like that?

It'd been the end of the practice, and Takao had been just leaving, and he'd just released his clutch on the green-head, said "bye, Shin-chan!" and left, before Midorima even had the time to comprehend what actually had happened. He'd been so shaken he hadn't even tried to do any shooting practice. He might've missed if he'd tried.

Takao must've felt violated, hence the quick departure. There was a trust between the two of them, but Midorima had completely crossed a line. He'd imposed his impure feelings on to his innocent - or well, uh, unwilling might be a better word - friend and he was afraid he might have destroyed the faith that they had in each other. How could you work with your partner if he might have some hidden motives? He would've gotten rid of these feelings, himself, if he could have.

There was no way he could sleep. His stomach just hurt more, thinking about things like this, so he got up and started making onion soup. It was no help. Such a no-brain activity didn't help to divert his thoughts at all. He had to stop several times, just to stand there, finger on the bridge of his glasses, waiting for a wave of self-loathing to subside. He had meant to keep these confounded feelings from interfering with his friendship and team play, and just one foolish mistake had had to ruin it all.

Midorima tried watching documentaries, reading a book and studying, but he couldn't concentrate on anything at all. This was stupid. It was just an idiotic accident. He could apologize, and then things should go back to the way they should be. He would write an official letter of apology and that would be that. He put the pen he'd been squeezing in his hand for the last five minutes to the paper and wrote, full of determination:


Excuse me for rudely touching your hair with my lips on Tuesday after training. Please, do not misunderstand. It was a pure accident brought by a misjudgment on my part. I did not mean to cause you to feel uncomfortable, and apologize for whatever unpleasant feelings I may have caused.

Your teammate,

Midorima Shintarou

Now, he'd just have to give it to Takao tomorrow. Maybe leave it on his desk, or hand it to him after practice. Or when reaching home. The latter would be best, he decided, since with one night's sleep in between reading the letter and meeting him, the number of the jokes the annoyance would make would hopefully drop.

He resumed his homework, feeling slightly better. He was rather sure of what the teachers would've gone through in today's classes, so he did a bit more than the approximate amount for insurance, and went on to read the book that would be studied in Japanese class a few weeks from now. He was planning to finish it a few days before the deadline so that Takao, who would realize all the library copies were loaned already when he finally got around to it, wouldn't cause any damage robbing him of it.

The doorbell rang. Midorima put the bookmark in its place and started walking, turned around at the door of his room, retrieved his eyeglasses from the desk and went to look.

It was Takao, he saw from the peephole. Maybe he was bringing some print-outs. He opened the door.

"Hey, Shin-chan! I heard you were sick, so I came to see what your sick face looks like!"

He closed the door. The doorbell rang again, in the rhythm of the opening theme of a popular kids' cartoon. It sounded well-trained. How many people did the hawk-eye torment with things like this? Defeated, Midorima let his friend in.

"Oh, yeah, I was ordered to bring you some papers, too", Takao said, parading straight into the living room. "You don't look that ill." He plopped down on the sofa.

"My stomach hurts. It does not show on one's face."

"Yeah, your face always looks like you have stomachache, Shin-chan. Are you on your period? Painkillers help for that, I hear."

Midorima's face warmed up a bit. "That joke was really tasteless. Give me the print-outs and leave. It would be troublesome if you caught my illness, too."

"Ehh? Weeeell, fine, I don't want to get sick. Here." He put the papers on the coffee table.

"Wait a moment", the grasshead said and went to his room. He came back with a folded paper. "I have a hand-out to give to you, too. Take it and go."

"What is this, Shin-chan?" Takao took the paper and started unfolding it.

"I said, go! I will infect you on purpose if you stay here any longer!" He stomped to the hall, cornering his friend against the door.

"Fine, geez! I'll come by tomorrow to see if you're better", the cornered bird said and fled out of the door.

Sighing, Midorima retreated back into his room. He would be made fun of for the duration of the next day, but he would endure it. He'd been made fun of for years in the past, and he was good at enduring it. It was all good, now.

Except it wasn't. He was still afraid of Takao's reaction. Oh, good grief. He'd just sat down with the book in his hands when the doorbell rang again.

It was Takao, again, breathless from running and cheeks red.

"Shin-chan, bow down a bit", he demanded, hasty and serious. And a little worried by the expression on his face, Midorima obliged.

Takao grabbed Midorima's face between his hands and shoved his lips against his.

Midorima's cheeks were puffed by the hands squeezing them, his eyes wide open. And both their lips were so dry and the way they touched was awkward, and the green-head was frozen, unable to pull away, or even breathe, for that matter.

Takao let go and stepped back, breaking the petrification. Midorima mirrored him, only his step was a violent, horrified jerk.


"Oh, I figured I'd catch your illness, after all", Takao said, smirking nervously.

"That is not-!"

"Shin-chan, seriously." He toned down the smile, for once, to an almost gentle one, flustered, himself, but somehow still so confident. "You're totally transparent. People aren't so bothered by things like that if they don't mean something to them."

"You are wrong, Takao! I-"

"What, you won't return my feelings, after all?"

"I- what?" He couldn't just accept things like this so suddenly and quickly. "Are you being serious?"

"As serious as I get", the hawk-eye said, the corners of his mouth stretching even farther, which apparently was, against all laws of physics, still possible.

"Can we talk about this tomorrow?" Midorima tried to close the door, but was stopped by a foot that somehow managed to get between it and the frame.

"Ow! How much force are you using? The door isn't a ball you need to throw to the other end of the court!"

He jerked the handle even harder.

"Ow, ow! Please, don't shut me out because you're embarrassed of crying! It's super moe, Shin-chan!"

"I am not crying", he stated weakly, somehow managing to keep his voice stable.

"No need to be ashamed of it!"

Midorima wasn't ready for this. He couldn't handle all this at once. He wanted time to think, in peace, alone. "I said I am not crying!"

"What, are you saying you don't actually like me or something?" Takao asked, sounding even more cheerful than before, but his voice had a weird sound to it, a note that threatened to break Midorima's heart.

"Do not be ridiculous!" he said, and when there was no reply, released his grip of the handle, letting the door open again. His partner looked at his face, flushed and, no doubt, red around the eyes, and grinned victoriously.

"Just as I thought!" he said, and charged in through the door before he could be stopped. The householder had no option but to shut the door and turn to face his friend, now cornered in a closed space.

"I really am being honest, you know, Shin-chan", Takao said and grabbed the shooting guard's right hand in a weird handshake that neither of them could really find a proper explanation for. "And sorry for not giving you the time to think, but I couldn't know what stupid explanation you'd come up with for this all being your imagination because you're not prepared to believe it's true, and you know, it'd be so lame to just go home now! I'll write you an official statement or something if you're worried about getting it wrong, but I'm not going to just go home when the fun part has finally started."

Midorima was rather pissed off for having been tricked into letting the hawk-eye back in, but he was also so happy he didn't know what to do, and still fighting with a ridiculous amount of disbelief, and he couldn't decide what he should be feeling, really.

"Shin-chan, your face really scares me right now", Takao said, trying to hold in a laugh.

"Stop making fun of me! I am trying to think!"

His grin gained a new shade of determination. "I said sorry for not giving you time to think, and I meant I am not giving you time to think."

"Do not imitate my way of speaking", Midorima said weakly, but was bothered by Takao clinging on to him, like he sometimes did, and refusing to let go.

And so he, with a defeated sigh, put his hands around his partner and pressed his lips against his dark, rough, irritatingly lovely hair.

I don't know if it sounds too silly, or if it's even noticeable, but I tried to bring Midorima's unique way of speaking into English by dropping words like "I'm" or "can't" and replacing them with "I am" and "can not".