This chapter features a very long flashback because of reasons!
It was Friday, finally, and Takao was in the living room of his dorm, playing yet another handheld video game. He'd tried to find the motivation to go to class that morning but had failed and elected to spend the entire day in his sleeping clothes, getting no work done at all. When Fujioka had gotten home an hour before, Takao tried to explain it to him—he didn't seem to understand. Then again, he didn't expect a struggling medical student to get how it was necessary to slack off every now and again.
As Takao's player character approached yet another treasure chest, three firm knocks sounded off at the front door.
"...Do I really have to get this door right now?"
Takao sighed as he mumbled the sentiment to himself.
Of course, Takao stood up and headed for the entrance anyway—as if he'd actually make Fujioka get up while he was right there, just playing video games. His eyes stayed glued to the small screen in his hands as he stood up and he continued playing right down to the moment he pulled the door open.
I wonder if it's that girl, he thought, suddenly remembering his random confrontation with Inoue the other day. He hoped he could avoid the awkwardness of having to see her again, at least for a little while. He tore his eyes away from his game to greet the guest at his door.
Takao then froze.
He instantly felt a wave of self-consciousness hit him—his hair was a mess, he tried to, but couldn't, remember the last time he'd washed this shirt he was wearing, he was in his boxers for god's sake, and Midorima was standing directly in front of him—hair perfectly placed and combed and his sweater and collared shirt in complete order, of course.
"Um…" Takao started, feeling profoundly awkward.
I haven't even showered yet!
He panicked for a split second before finding the right words to say. "Fujioka is in his room—you can go right in." Takao made sure to point in the direction of the room, too; in case he had been somehow unclear. The huge knot in his throat definitely made him feel like he wasn't being clear.
He took a long step backward, making sure to put a huge amount of space between Midorima and himself. Takao knew the appearance was perfectly normal since the two medical students knew each other and all, but still couldn't help but feel unnerved... he'd never imagined answering the door to see Midorima standing there. Feeling jittery from the encounter, Takao left the green-haired guy to close the door himself and walked off, rather quickly, to his room.
He let out a sigh when the bedroom door shut behind him.
Takao took a shallow breath and looked down at his game.
"Damn," he mumbled. He'd accidentally left his game running.
As he tried to remember which exact quest he was currently on, his mind kept wandering to what had happened the night before.
Takao sighed and laid back in his chair. Miyaji, Ootsubo, and Kimura appeared to be having fun watching the basketball game. Takao himself wasn't particularly invested in either of the teams playing, though, and found his gaze drooping and his thoughts wandering elsewhere.
And he was still thinking very much about what he'd unwittingly admitted to yesterday.
He had a crush on the tall, green-haired medical student.
Takao could already feel the apprehension sneaking in on him. Liking him didn't mean he would be liked back. Especially by someone so serious and focused on school. Someone he didn't really know anything about.
All I really know is his name and his major.
...But maybe I'm being overly pessimistic.
"Takao," Ootsubo called out. Takao snapped out of thought and saw that there was now an ad playing on the television. Miyaji and Kimura appeared to be disagreeing about the game in some way but Ootsubo was looking at him as if he'd been talking for a while.
"Oh, sorry—I'm kinda out of it." He flashed an apologetic smile. "What's up?"
"I know you said you wouldn't say who it was, but I think I know."
"Huh?" Takao couldn't make any sense of what he'd just heard.
"The guy that you got busted with the other night."
"The other—" Takao's eyes widened and his brows scrunched together. "Wha—can we not talk about that!? I'm starting to regret saying anything at all to you guys!"
Ootsubo simply continued to smile in the reserved fashion that was signature to him.
"It's that blond model guy, right? I saw you and him in the cafeteria last night."
"I've definitely heard that he's into guys—"
"How would I know!" Takao knew he was getting too defensive about this for his denial to be effective. Damn. And Ootsubo just continued to smile gently at him, obviously confident in his assumption. Takao sighed and pouted, looking back at the TV for no discernible reason other than to break eye contact. "Whatever, I'm going home."
Ootsubo's smile left him. "You are? Takao, you don't have to—"
Takao was already at the door, and just in time to hear Miyaji ask something along the lines of 'what the hell's his problem?'
...What is my problem? What was I getting all flustered for? I'm usually a much better liar— His thought was interrupted and he stopped in his tracks. Takao had meant to take a right and walk toward the main entrance of the building but for some reason, where he expected to see large glass doors, he saw an elevator.
He had been walking in the opposite direction.
His face grew hot and he pulled at his hair in frustration.
"What the hell's going on with me these days!?"
A deep, familiar voice tinged with disapproval sounded.
"So noisy, even when you're alone."
Takao turned around and Midorima Shintarou was just a few feet away, walking toward him. He wasn't wearing his typical button-up, collared shirt—he was instead dressed in athletic shorts and a hoodie again, unzipped this time—his gym clothes. Takao smiled a little.
"Shin-chan—funny seeing you here."
"I don't see how it's funny considering I live here," Midorima retorted, now passing by him.
"Hehe, I guess you're right." Takao stuck his hands in his pockets and began to follow him. Midorima suddenly stopped walking.
"Where are you going?" he asked sternly, turning back to face Takao.
"Hm? Where ever you are—"
"And why is that? I assume you came here to see someone else?"
"Huh?" Takao lightly scratched at his temple, feigning a look of cluelessness. "Well, I guess so. I was hanging out with some friends in the rec room, but they were talking about a bunch of upperclassman stuff and I got bored." He smiled again, hoping his bluff seemed valid enough. "Then I got lost and you happened to find me! Lucky, huh?" He unintentionally gave a particularly bright smile at the end of the sentence.
"There is no way you got lost between the recreation room and the front door." Midorima adjusted his glasses, the light overhead causing a slight glint in the lenses as he furrowed his eyebrows. "Even you're not that stupid."
"So mean!" Takao whined, unable to keep himself from chuckling despite the insult. "So are you heading upstairs?" he asked, nodding toward the elevator. Midorima didn't answer and instead he continued to give his look of disapproval and crossed his arms. "Oh... so your room is on this floor," Takao inferred.
Midorima sighed, seemingly giving up on his privacy. "It's the last door in the hall."
"Haha, I knew it," Takao hummed, playfully rocking back and forth on his heels in triumph. Midorima turned to continue walking down the hallway and Takao followed him.
He's not sweaty at all... he thought as he stared up at the broad back in front of him. Then again, he might have cooled off on his walk back from... huh.
"Were you jogging again?"
"I was at the gym."
Takao pictured Midorima lifting weights and the idea seemed kind of silly at first—a composed, antisocial bookworm like him putting in physical effort in a public setting! Yeah, it was silly... until he then pictured him shirtless, dripping in sweat, veins and muscles bulging with exertion and testosterone... all accompanied by that serious, furrowed brow and unprovoked death glare... staring him down.
Shit. Getting turned on out of nowhere. Takao smiled to himself, actually pretty annoyed with how little control he seemed to have over himself. He was all about control but when this guy was around...
Midorima stopped in front of a door and Takao, paying too little attention and trying to memorize and erase a sweaty, weight-lifting Shin-chan from the forefront of his mind, accidentally ran into him.
Midorima glanced at him for a second while he unlocked his door.
"Where exactly do you think you're going?" he asked. Midorima's voice was less serious than Takao had expected—like he might be genuinely curious.
"Hm? Oh, I guess I did follow you! Ha ha!"
Midorima opened his mouth as if to say something, then shut it again and stared at Takao instead. He then sighed and turned his head to face the door as he unlocked.
"I don't get what the hell you're getting out of this."
Takao felt his heart pick up in speed a bit as the jingling of keys sounded.
The door opened and Midorima stepped in... but didn't close the door behind him.
It was an open invitation.
"Oh. P... pardon the intrusion." The surprise triggered unnatural formality in Takao. He actually felt a little... nervous.
He'd been trying to go home and now—now he was in a certain someone's overly tidy dormitory.
Shuutoku's A building was mostly for upperclassmen so the number of freshman and sophomores there was low. The reason it was mostly reserved for juniors and seniors was that a large number of the rooms were singles and the units meant for multiple residents were bigger than the ones in the B building. It looked like Midorima lived alone which made total sense... Takao couldn't imagine Shin-chan happily sharing a space with an everyday college student.
Don't underclassmen have to pay more if they manage to live here? Takao wondered. Though if it turned out he was rich or something, that would make sense, too.
This particular unit was just a bedroom but the room itself was large enough to make up for a lack of common room.
Midorima's bed was in the furthest corner of the room, next to the window and with the head of it situated between the wall and a rather large shelf. The shelf was filled with books, save for the top two racks; these two were more spacious and held what looked like trinkets and toys. Figurines, a deck of cards—oh, and that huge, orange bunny from before.
The bed was made.
The small kitchen area was clear.
Hell, even the carpet was spotless.
It really doesn't look like a male college student lives here, Takao thought, making sure to take off his shoes with as little mess as possible.
Takao closed the door behind him as his eyes finally drew to the back of his host. Midorima was placing his bag down and taking off his hoodie. Takao smirked to himself, the most impure of intentions soaring around in his head.
What the hell am I doing here? he finally asked himself.
Something stopped him from doing what he would usually do. Under these circumstances, Takao would normally have slithered over to his target, silently snuck a kiss in, and dragged him into their own bed. His fingers itched with the natural impulse to reach out and touch but his will wavered and his lips pursed slightly.
Some uncomfortable feeling was slowly creeping into him, spreading. It couldn't be nervousness. Yes, he was nervous, but there was no way he was nervous to the extent of freezing. With this guy. Midorima. Please. He let out a short laugh.
"I see things are just as tidy as I imagined they'd be," Takao said rather stiffly, almost like an announcement, as he stayed planted firmly in front of the door. "...Anyway, I've got things to do at my place—so." Takao almost cringed at how clumsily he'd segued into that last sentence.
Whatever. It doesn't matter. Just gotta get out of—oh. But I can't forget.
Since he'd forgotten the last time, there was no way he'd give Midorima the chance to point it out again.
'I'm going to do this every time I see you.'
Takao's lips curled into a devilish grin... keeping playful promises? Getting a rise out of people?
Going up to someone and kissing them?
That was his territory. Suddenly his nerves were overtaken by a cocky feeling of mischief.
"Before I go, though," Takao said, suddenly his smooth self once again. While he approached the broad back facing him, now in just a plain white t-shirt, he licked his lips a little in preparation. "I believe I owe you something."
Midorima turned to face him, no change whatsoever in his face. The coldness made Takao's heart jump a little—but by now, he knew better. When Midorima wasn't overreacting to stuff and blushing like crazy, this guy was constantly pulling a poker face.
And that would just make it all the more fun to make him lose control, wouldn't it?
I told him not to call me that ridiculous name.
How did things even get this way?
Midorima had let Takao follow him to his door. The worst thing was that he couldn't deny to himself that he'd really been hoping Takao would follow him... when the door had closed and he heard Takao's voice inside the room, his heart had done a flip and he'd been happy.
Happy. Happy that this guy was visiting his place! It was the first time any other student had been to his dorm since he'd started this year... and for some reason, that person was Takao.
And now this same guy was walking up to him with a particularly annoying grin on his face and a look in his eyes that spoke of no good.
Takao wrapped his hands around Midorima's neck and pulled Midorima down to him. As he did so, he lifted himself to his toes and delivered a small peck on the lips. Midorima's skin felt like pins and needles and just as he closed his eyes and unwittingly felt himself hoping for more, his wish was granted. Takao softly kissed him again—so softly, it seemed out of character.
But maybe that's on purpose? Shintarou thought as he felt his cheeks heat up.
Takao experimentally licked at Midorima's lips. When Midorima's mouth parted in response, the smaller man snuck his tongue in. The wet muscle greeted the inside of Midorima's mouth and at first it felt like an invasion... but the incredible heat that came from his tongue and the gentle way Takao now had his hands cupping his face made it... hot...
The raven-haired boy stroked at Midorima's left earlobe, for seemingly no reason at all, then withdrew his tongue, ending things with a small but definitive kiss, bringing himself back down to the soles his feet as he did so. Midorima opened his eyes briefly, feeling like he was in a daze, feeling like he wanted more of what they were doing. Like he wanted more of the sharp-eyed boy with the wide range of smiles in front of him. Once they parted, the only thought that flashed across Shintarou's mind was:
He's not going anywhere.
It was like something in him just... snapped.
Before Takao could take even a step back from him, Midorima grabbed the boy by his waist and pulled him into him again. Takao's eyes widened at the sudden act.
The last syllable in that sickeningly sweet nickname he was so fond of faded into the smack of the two boys' lips meeting again. Midorima knew if he wasn't careful his glasses would bump against the face of the boy he was kissing so desperately but that's what desperation entails—a disregard of many things in order to get what you want. Takao let out small sounds against his lips that could have been words but Shintarou ignored them and instead licked at the lips he had seized, very quickly inserting his tongue into Takao's mouth, seeking that hot, intimate feeling from earlier.
There was a brief moment where the smaller boy's hands moved and a pang of fear resounded within Midorima as he worried that he would be pushed away. (He'd just suddenly grabbed him, after all. There had been no real way to tell if that would be a good idea and he'd just gone off of impulse for once.) But when Takao's hands just continued to embrace his neck and a few of his fingers snaked their way into the hair at the nape of his neck...
It was as if Takao knew exactly how to touch him.
Spurred on even further, Shintarou realized that the sheer force of his advance on the much shorter guy had actually taken them several feet in Takao's direction and against a round dining table for two that he'd, honestly, forgotten he had. Takao's hands moved from around his neck to support himself on the table and he hopped up slightly to sit. When the table wobbled a bit, Takao opened his eyes and glanced down for a moment, probably to check if it was a steady enough surface to support him.
Look only at me.
Shintarou moved one of his hands from Takao's waist to caress the back of his head as he kissed him, deeply before using his tongue to part Takao's lips. When he didn't insert his tongue but instead licked the very edge of Takao's teeth... Midorima was sure he'd felt him a shiver go through him.
Takao pulled his head back then.
The raven-haired boy with sharp, silver eyes gazed at him.
Slightly out of breath.
Hair just a bit messier than usual.
A little flushed.
He wasn't smiling, though. Wasn't smirking or anything like that at all.
Instead there was this undeniable look of bewilderment, neediness, and a slight bit of impatience.
With just a hint of vulnerability.
Damn... Midorima bit his own lip and felt his face getting flushed.
Somehow this look is... unbelievably hot.
Midorima took a breath and placed his hands on the table as well. He hung his head next to Takao's face, not knowing just how warm his breath felt against the other boy's skin.
"You make me lose control," Midorima admitted, under his breath.
Takao let out a light snicker and a short breath.
"Is that so?"
Wanting to get his seriousness across, Midorima leaned closer to Takao's ear and muttered,
"Yes, that's so." Not sure what was coming over him, Midorima licked at Takao's earlobe and spoke into it. "Did you need me to prove it to you?" He slid a hand back to Takao's waist, holding onto bare skin at his side.
Midorima jerked his hand back in surprise and pulled away, staring at Takao—but not before a chill of pure arousal shot through him at how goddamn sexy that sudden moan was.
Is he... hyper-sensitive or something?
Takao already had his hands clasped over his mouth, his cheeks quickly turning from slightly flushed to red. Redder than Midorima thought a shameless guy like him could ever get.
"OK, Shin-chan. I... I have to go now!" Takao said, somehow managing to make sense through his clear embarrassment. He hopped back down from the table and edged past Midorima to head back to the door. "T-thank you for your hospitality," he said while putting his shoes back on and smiling in a forced manner.
"You..." Midorima readjusted his glasses, using the short moment to gather his thoughts and sense back together again. "You're leaving?"
Takao nodded, that half-convincing smile still firmly stuck to his face. Midorima felt defeated... defeated until he felt absolutely annoyed with what he saw next.
The idiot couldn't get the door open.
It's—you just unlock the handle.
The longer Midorima watched Takao struggle with the door for seemingly no reason whatsoever, the more frustrated and annoyed he got.
What, so this is a normal thing for him and he's just making his escape now?
How many other guys does he do this with?
Is he just suddenly leaving because he doesn't want to deal with talking to me about—
About what? There isn't anything!
This last thought and the incessant noise of the unmoving doorknob finally pushed Midorima off the edge. With a few quick, forceful steps, he rushed over to the door, unlocked the simplest of mechanisms, for god's sake, and flung the door open.
"Go ahead. Leave." He practically growled the last word.
And yet the little Scorpio in front of him seemed unphased. Continuing the half-smile, he just said,
"Oh god, I'm such an idiot sometimes! Thank you, see you later, Shin-chan!"
When the door finally shut behind Takao, Midorima locked all of the locks. He nearly tripped over his gym bag, totally having forgotten that he'd dropped it in the improper place. After putting it away, he took a shower. He put on his pajamas. He brushed his teeth. And once he felt crisp and clean again, he pulled out one of his many textbooks and the notes he'd taken in a class the day before.
At a quarter past eleven, he decided to go to sleep. He woke up his desktop monitor by shaking the mouse a bit and, once again, saw his prediction from Oha Asa that morning. There hadn't been anything of note in the prediction, had there...?
With his computer hibernating and his body and mind exhausted, Midorima Shintarou finally laid down in his bed and closed his eyes. All he could see was a mess of silky, black hair in his fingers and an annoying yet sexy smile accompanied by a sharp, narrow gaze. And the portion of his prediction he'd failed to heed kept repeating in his head:
'Today marks important new beginnings for you, Cancer!'
Oh. Em. Eff. Gee.
First things first!
I'm so sleepy and I have to work an 8-hour shift in 4 hours. If there are repetitive lines or typos, pleeease hold off on commenting/pointing them out just for today (Jan. 18, 2014). I plan on going back with a fine tooth comb and fixing anything like that once I get some sleep after work today. I really wanted to get the chapter out to you guys ASAP, typos be damned! (I am crossing my fingers so hard that there are very few now.)
I am so sorry I haven't updated this story since freaking October that is truly appalling. I could apologize twenty ways to Sunday (and if you'd like me to, that's fine, I'm also upset with how long this took to finally finish and publish), but WHATEVER WHO CARES, things have happened this chapter!
Yeah, this one's a doozy... It actually used to be longer—you'll be seeing the continuation of Friday next chapter.
Please read & review! What'd you think? Still in character? Still interesting? Is it terrible yet?
It's been such a long time since I published one of these—I like the chapter OK but I also think it's very possible it's a piece of doodoo and I just forgot what that smells like since it's been so long.
If you don't like giving criticism publicly, feel free to shoot me a message on here or Tumblr—about characterization, dialogue, plot, plot holes (I don't think there have been any... yet), typos (oh dear god don't let there be any), etc., etc. Or if you wanna chat about MidoTaka. Anything really. You can even message me to yell at me for taking forever! I accept it wholly.
See you in a bit for Chapter 16!