Written for one of Takao's character songs, Ace Sama ni Banzai. Because everyone wants them to be together. Even the composer of this song wants them to be together! (At least, that's what I'd like to think) Which is why I had to put the twist in there.

Minor fourth-wall breaking

Ace-sama ga Suki

"Stop that, Takao." Midorima heaved out a sigh of irritation as he firmly pressed his heels onto the floor, but to no avail as the person pushing him from behind rather, forcefully, proved to be much stronger than he had looked—much stronger, considering their differences in height. Midorima also supposed that he'd gotten some extra leg power from pedaling too much. But no, he had no plans of making Takao stop taking him around in the rickshaw anytime soon.

"Can't help it, Shin-chan... You're too slow..! Everyone's present... I'm already late...!" Takao chided in between hauls of breath, seeing how he was actually exerting effort in what he was doing. It wasn't easy pushing around someone nineteen centimeters taller than you. When Midorima didn't budge, Takao stopped all attempts and ran off hurriedly, leaving Midorima behind. "Hurry, Shin-chan!"

The shooter shook his head. "What is Takao up to now?" Nevertheless, he followed him anyway. Midorima was able to catch up shortly after three flights of stairs. And because his observation skills were just as perfect as his accuracy, he did not have a hard time keeping track on the point guard.

Fifth door on the left; Midorima had entered a room and was surprised to see that most people he knew were in fact, present, just like Takao had said. He surveyed the familiar faces of a couple of members from Seirin, Aomine, Momoi, Kise, and if he wasn't mistaken, Kaijou's captain, Kasamatsu Yukio. Why they were all here though, Midorima had no idea.

"Midorimacchi!" Came a voice, and Midorima saw that Kise was making his way towards him. The blonde had an aura around him that was bright with enthusiasm he was practically emitting rays of sunshine. Midorima, being like he was, did not find this appealing in the least bit so he turned away. "Y-you're too cold, Midorimacchi!" Kise said as a gush of ice cold breeze swept by him.

"Is he always like this?" Kasamatsu raised an eyebrow towards the greenhead. The blonde nodded, a pout plump on his lips.


Midorima cleared his throat and pushed his glasses up. "What are you all doing here?"

"We are recording." It was Kuroko who replied. Today, it seemed that had not been as 'invisible' as he usually was. "Right, Kagami-kun?" He added, glancing at Kagami. Though, the latter had been short of a reply as he was too busy munching on his burger to pay attention to anything that was going on. Kagami only managed to utter a 'Huh? What?' in between mouthfuls.

"Oi, Kagami!" Aida Riko called out. "You shouldn't be eating at a time like this!" But the coach only received the same reply from him. This earned the junior a smack on the head. "Idiot!"

"Ow!" Kagami winced upon contact with whatever hit his head. And although he did finally put his burger down, it was for the sole reason of rubbing the injured area. He was not done with that burger.

One of the seniors shook their head at the sight. "Hopeless..." Hyuuga Junpei commented, and the rest of the team followed the motion.

"Tsk. Tsk."

"Stop that," he darted at Kiyoshi Teppei, who thought it would be a good idea to follow up by clicking his tongue to show further disapproval.

"What? I was only backing you up!"

On the other corner of the room, things had also been stirring up.

"What took you so long?" Aomine poked his head from behind Momoi. It was only logical to be looking at someone when trying to converse with them, right? But because the blue-haired ace was sitting atop a desk with his childhood friend standing right in front of him, he couldn't quite get a good view of Midorima. "Satsuki, you're in my way!" It came out gruff and impatient than Aomine had expected, and it made Momoi frown.

"Then you move," she scathed, as if a declaration of defiance. Really, Aomine could have been less rude about it. On the other hand, the ace wasn't tactless enough to not realize his fault, so after giving a pat on Momoi's head, he murmured a quick apology. "Fine."

"Good!" When Aomine was sure Momoi had finally cooled down, he took this opportunity to grip her by the sides and casually move her away.

"H-hey! What are you doing?"

Aomine smiled in satisfaction. All the pink was gone from blocking his view. "Isn't this better?"

Momoi rolled her eyes and sighed. Aomine was just as hopeless as Kagami. And she trudged her way over to Aida.

"Like I said, what took you so long?" Aomine brought up again. "We were waiting forever."

"I do not know what is going on," Midorima stated sharply at the persistence. "It was Takao who brought me here."

Suddenly, what sounded like a suppressed squeal broke out into the room. "He did?" Momoi asked all too excitedly, with eyes gleaming of what seemed to be interest and a kind of sparkle when watching some really sappy, really cheesy, butterflies in the stomach, heartstring pulling, 'and they lived happily ever after' teen romance movie. She quickly glanced at Aida, who had already turned to her, and they both exchanged knowing looks.

"Ah, yes. Takao-kun is scheduled for today as well," Kuroko informed.

Midorima's eyebrows furrowed. "Scheduled? For what?" And his expression slowly changed from 'what is happening, I don't really care' to 'what is happening, I want an explanation'. As if sensing this, Kuroko began to explain everything. From the what's—they would be recording their character songs; to the why's—it was part of their contract; to the who's—everyone in this room.

When Kuroko had finished, Midorima couldn't help but be taken aback. "What is wrong, Midorima-kun?"

"I do not sing," he promptly stated.

"But you'll have to."

"I refuse to take part in this silly activity."

"But you'll have to." There was the same blank expression on Kuroko's face, the same monotone he used when he spoke. But there was somehow a very subtle edge to itthat was enough to make Midorima cease.

The shooter sighed in defeat. "Whatever you say."

Now that Midorima was aware of his participation in this thing he did not even agree to, it only made sense that they were all gathered in a recording studio. He noticed this after many minutes of standing by the doorway.

The room was adorned with fancy and expensive high technology that were organized on the desks; some were mounted on walls, and the others Midorima took caution not to accidentally cause damage to as he made his way inside. The room was big and had more than enough space to accommodate them all. Even bigger, Midorima realized, as the other half had been separated by a glass wall.

In that area, he saw Takao come out from a door on the side. The point guard waved at him instantly the moment he'd spotted him.

"You two sure are close, huh?" Momoi had scooted next to Midorima with a look of implication on her face Midorima didn't notice.

"I have no choice..." He replied flatly.

"Sure... Which is why you have 100% attention on him?"

Midorima tore his gaze away to look at Momoi. "What?" But by that time, she had already gone to the back.

Meanwhile, things were starting to kick-off in Takao's side of the room. After the equipments have been set, the music cued in, and Takao began with the song.

Shingou machi de renpai kiroku koushin

Shouritsu wa mou hateshinaku zerottenda

Yuuzen to yatsu wa kyou mo shiruko wo susuru

Shouganee naatte pedaru koide...

"Wow..." Aida began as, not only her, but everyone else turned to the glass wall. "Takao-kun isn't such a bad singer," she commended. Takao seemed to really feel the song, and the sight made her look forward to doing her own. "Actually..." Ever so inconspicuously, the coach tip-toed her way next to Midorima, "He's reeaallyy good..." She dragged out the word 'really' as she sneaked a glance at Momoi, who had coincidentally made her way back next to Midorima too. "Right, Momoi?"

"He is!" Momoi replied in delight. "Right, Midorin?" She nudged him.

"I cannot tell." Midorima was apathetic.

Mattaku ore mo monozuki sugiru ze

Nandakanda to omoshirogatte

Koto no yukue yoko kara kenbutsu

Seishun ni tachiau ze...

A second later, Kise had found himself a spot next to Midorima. And then followed Kagami and Kuroko. Aomine hopped off from his comfortable position on the desk he wasn't supposed to be sitting on and squeezed himself into the group. Suddenly, Midorima had never felt so claustrophobic before.

"Hey! This song is about you, Midorimacchi!" Kise informed with a grin.


"Can't you tell?" Kagami said as if to support the blonde's statement.

"Surely I am not the only ace in this room. There is you, and Kise, and Aomi—"

Jissai donna teki ni datte sensai na kurai maji ni natte

Settokuryoku anda minna shiteru sa

Taigai myou na BARANSU de choi choi rikai koeru gendou

Demo kirai ni narenai ne

uchi no henkutsu na...

"Yeah, it's definitely about you..." Aomine was nonchalant but the way he had said it was as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

Woh woh ...

Midorima looked at everyone with a sort of hopeless dazed expression. They were spewing out things at him he couldn't make sense of. None was getting straight to their point, which he didn't appreciate, and the profound juxtaposition didn't really click in Midorima's mind. "Why are you all telling me this?" He finally said, worn out from all the thinking.

"...EESU sama ga suki!"

And there fell a silence.

A silence that weighed heavily like a ton of bricks and had fallen in the speed of light.

The abruptness was enough to make everything pause for awhile, as the music came to a screeching halt and put everyone into a shock too immense for them to process what was going on.

As Takao witnessed everyone's more than stunned reaction, he couldn't help but feel horrified as he little by little realized what he had just done. What he had said. And he kind of just wanted to die. Everything came tumbling out of his mouth without him even knowing. How the heck was that possible?

With shaking fingers, Takao had reached for the microphone in front of him and stammered into it. "I—I..." The poor guy was literally choking on his words as he tried to explain himself.

On the other side of the glass wall, screams of joy demolished the brick wall of silence. And they were coming from an over-excited teenage girl. Two over-excited teenage girls who were now in rejoice.

"Yes! Yes!" Momoi cheered along with Aida. "He finally said it!" For the two female basketball enthusiasts, it was like a winning game for their team.

Kuroko cocked an eyebrow. "I like Ace-sama...?" He trailed off skeptically.

Unfortunately for Takao, both sides of the room were equipped with surround sound microphones, so it was easy for everyone to hear Kuroko's very direct, very blatant query. If Takao had ten hands, he would've palmed each one on his face...at the same time... That way he could just hide away from this embarrassing situation.

"N-no! It's in the lyrics! I memorized it!" Takao defended, all jittery. But Kise had disagreed, scanning through sheets of paper.

"I have the lyrics, Takaocchi. You were supposed to say 'Cheers to our difficult Ace-sama', not I li—"

"Stop!" Takao brought arms in front of him. "I know what I said!"

"You said 'like'," Aomine pointed out.

"I didn't—"

"And that my friends is called a slip of the tongue," Kise announced brightly as if sharing an ingenious idea. But then he turned to Takao, and the brightness had dimmed down to a dark, conniving expression. "Unless Takaocchi actually meant it?"

Takao swallowed nervously. Everyone was ganging up on him. He was cornered with nowhere to escape. There was no way he could undo what had been done. And the worst part of it all was Shin-chan wasn't even saying anything at all! So that was it then. His two more years in high school, goodbye. Basketball club, goodbye. Friendship with Midorima, goodbye. It was over. Over! And all because of on one careless mistake—a slip of the tongue, like Kise had said.

Or... could it be that Takao was just really bad at suppressing his feelings?

"Shin-chan, I really..." Takao turned to Midorima. And with pleading eyes, he tried to explain himself one last time, hoping to salvage the remains of whatever friendship they have left after he had utterly messed it up. But Midorima didn't even look his way. "Oh god, he hates me now."

"Hey, Midorin, are you okay?" Momoi consulted as he put a hand over Midorima's shoulder.

"O-of course. Why wouldn't I be?" Midorima was looking away—far, far away from anyone's gaze. It seemed that the walls were the most interesting sight he'd ever seen.

"Midorima-kun, what do you have to say about Takao?"

The question though brought his attention back to them.

"What about him?"

"He likes you."

Midorima made a stifled sound, "He likes me?" And he was contemplating if what he had heard was correct, despite the fact that it was informed to him by the most straightforward person in the group.

"HE LIKES YOU," replied everyone in chorus.

"It's been obvious, you know?" Kagami said. "C'mon. How dense are you?"

"Dense?" Midorima was slightly offended by this. But then again, if it was that obvious, he wouldn't really have known until everybody had laid it all out for him right now. When Midorima thought about it, he never would have guessed that Takao could hold such...feelings for him.

"Well? What do you have to say?" Aida asked, interrupting Midorima's thoughts.

Another silence had graced the room.

Midorima suddenly felt uneasy. Now that he was demanded for an answer, what was he going to say? Seeing that he looked a bit bothered by the whole thing, Takao decided that the shooter didn't deserve to be put on the spot like this. After all, this was his screw up.

"Ah, Shin-chan! You don't need to answer!" Takao insisted, but Midorima had already opened his mouth to say something—it was a bombshell no one had expected. Especially not Takao.

"I don't mind..."Midorima mumbled.

But a mere mumble didn't satisfy the people in the room.

"Oh, what was that?" Aida pressed.

"I don't mind," Midorima said again through gritted teeth, noticing that he was being teased into it.

"Don't mind what?"

A vein was now plump on the side of his temple. Midorima was definitely being teased. "That... Takao likes...me..."

"Midorin, could you please say it loud for everyone to understand?" Momoi was nice. She had asked this in the nicest way she possibly could. Really. The devious look in her expression though gave out her real intentions. She was just like Kise.

Midorima sighed in irate and decided that if this is what it was going to take to make everyone stop pestering him, then he would say loudly and clearly, "I DO NOT MIND THAT TAKAO LIKES ME. Are you people happy now?"


And everyone seemed to agree on that.

Shortly after, Midorima turned to his precious wall, cheeks burning bright red and heart thumping wildly against his chest.

"Wow, Midorin. You look as red as a ripe tomato."

. . .

It was after Takao had finished the song—properly, after how many takes—when he and Midorima were finally able to have a decent conversation about the earlier uncalled for twist of events.

The two were outside the room in the middle of the hall when Takao awkwardly began, "So, Shin-chan... Are you really okay with this? I mean...this?"

"I don't see anything wrong with it," the other replied.

"Then is it safe to say that I really do like you?"

Midorima adjusted his glasses, but that was not going help hide the pink that was now tinting his cheeks. "You say things like that so easily." Suddenly, a hand had crept its way under the line of his jaw, and he felt his chin being thumb down. Midorima was immediately met with silvery blue orbs.

"Because it's true..." Takao said, the tip of his nose almost touching Midorima's since they were that close. Midorima flinched in discomfort. And Takao was not stupid enough to try anything that might make the shooter want to do legal punishment to him. So he grinned. "Does that mean I don't have to drive you around in that rickshaw anymore?"

Midorima pulled his face away from Takao's hand. "No."

"Aw, really?"

And as they both walked away, Midorima looked as red as a ripe tomato.

I swear I hear Takao sing that every time I listen to the chorus.