He thinks about kissing Akashi. A lot.

It's become something of an involuntary past time, especially when Akashi is off on one of his tedious talks about the benefits of steel-cut oats versus instant. He's memorized the shapes those lips form but he can only theorize how they would fit over his own and what shapes Midorima would make to complement Akashi's—if they would complement them at all.

He waits.

He waits for a day when Cancers rank high enough. He makes sure he has two lucky items on him and a third one hidden in his gym locker should the need arise.

Opportunity presents itself after practice. Akashi is beside him, icing a leg propped on the bench. Midorima carefully sets down his water bottle next to Akashi's and begins to change out of his practice clothes.

"I think we should switch up the starters for the next match."

"That's fine." Midorima replies mildly, catching Akashi's gaze briefly as he buttons his school uniform.

Akashi rattles off the list of players he has in mind, but Midorima's not really listening. He eyes the water bottle with a red mouthpiece, blinks away and swipes it from the bench with one casual motion, bringing it to his lips.

He only has few precious seconds to sip from it before Akashi can mention, "—That would be mine."

"…Sorry." He replaces Akashi's water bottle and adjusts his frames before busying himself with the contents of his locker, immensely dissatisfied. Midorima didn't really feel anything, and he certainly didn't taste anything, except for…well, water. So then, why did Momoi make such a big fuss about sharing an indirect kiss with Kuroko?

"That was premeditated."

"It was a mistake," but he doesn't try very hard to sound convincing. There was no use in denying it if Akashi had already seen through him.

He can hear the step Akashi takes toward him, and a step is all it takes for Akashi to be too close, too warm against his shoulder.

"Why don't you actually try kissing me?" Akashi asks, voice taking on a soft and slightly breathy quality that stilted Midorima's movements and stirred him in all ways inappropriate.

"Cancers do not rank first today." He's hesitant, because God help him if he screws it up. A boy without experience needs all the luck he can get.

"You are lucky enough today. Kiss me."

And while Midorima disagrees, refusing Akashi is something few have achieved with their mental health intact. He shifts to face Akashi and wonders how this is supposed to work. Step one: considering their great difference in height, he would probably need to inch down closer to Akashi's face. What he didn't expect was for Akashi to raise himself on his toes to meet him halfway. He has no time to think about step two because their mouths clash and it's anything but pleasant.

It's terrible, even, because they've both taken a step backwards, clutching to their mouths.

"…I told you it was better to wait," Midorima grouses in an accusing tone.

"We'll improve with practice," Akashi's muffled assurance comes from behind his hand.