Linger

Hi everyone. Since I'm still not able to update my other story Ignite, I'm hoping to get back to my lovely readers' graces with this little corny two shots that I hope you'd like. It's a little PWP so please forgive me for all the cheesiness and sappiness.

If you've noticed with my other yaoi stories, all my semes are the sweet and caring ones. So it's really hard for me to portray a tsundere seme. Sorry, I'm just a very stereotypical fujoshi who wants her uke to be the one who gets the loving. So sometimes, when I'm trying to plot out a scene for this couple, I get stuck. I don't want Takao to be all clingy and needy. And I especially don't want Midorin to be a real cold mean bastard like in the cannon. So I'm sorry if maybe he'll get a little OOC in this story. I hope I don't make him too sickly sweet for those hardcore Midorin fans.

The next chapter would be the last one I promise.

And I also am working on Ignite as well, for those who have been asking for an update. I just had to write an update for my Naruto fanfic because if I didn't let it out it would have driven me crazy.

I'm really sorry if I'm not able to update as fast as you would have liked, because of my job and my duties as a mom as well, and I hope that you would still be patient with me.

But I'm really working on the updates, okay?

So with all that disclaimer, I present to you: Linger.

Xxx

Takao closed his locker dejectedly. His head was bowed low, shoulders slumped.

How many days had it been since that disastrous confession in this same locker room that shattered the most important friendship he had with the person whom he held so dear in his heart? Three days.

Takao clenched his towel, forcing himself not to actually cry over it. But no matter how he thought about it, everything was ruined. He didn't even know if he could play basketball the way he used to. Not with his precious Shin-chan despising him like this.

That's disgusting.

Takao had to sit down on one of the benches, so weak he was on his knees whenever he remembered those cold words being directed at him. By none other than his green haired Miracle teammate who had been his world, ever since he saw him play in middle school.

Midorima Shintarou was a force to reckon with in the basketball court. He played as if he invented the game himself.

Since middle high, Takao had known the admiration he felt for the talented shooting guard was more than the usual normal sort. A boy did not dream of another boy at night, or think of him first thing in the morning when he woke up. Nor would a boy use that other boy's image as his inspiration in order to peak in orgasm.

No. It was definitely an unnatural lust filled obsession that he, Takao Kazunari felt towards his giant of a teammate who was the most eccentric and introverted person one could ever hope to meet.

In all honesty, Takao didn't know what it was he saw in Midorima for him to be so crazily in love with him.

Aside from the fact that Midorima was really handsome, of course. And that he was like just – just –

Takao sighed dreamily. He looked so hot when he played basketball that it took everything Takao had in him to really hold back his feelings these past few months and not jump the Miracle prodigy.

But three days ago.

Three day ago he had not been able to hold it back. He finally blurted out everything to his crush.

I love you, Shin-chan! Please… Please, would you go out with me? I have loved you since middle high!

Now, as Takao looked back on that fateful day, he cursed himself for being so recklessly stupid. How could he have been foolish as to not realize that Midorima wouldn't be interested in him like that? Sure, Takao was the only person in the world who could tease Midorima like crazy without being beaten to a bloody pulp, and that they were practically inseparable at school, in and out, even in court. But all these things. For all that their closeness was worth, Takao didn't realize that it was simply just that. Male closeness. Platonic in every sense.

He had been mistaken in interpreting everything as a signal that Midorima was interested in him too. He was really an idiot.

Takao let out a long heavy sigh. It was so embarrassing! How he had to muster all his courage to finally finally confess his feelings to Shin-chan.

Only for the giant to glare at him with cold distant eyes and say, That's disgusting.

Takao sighed dejectedly again.

Great. Just perfect. And now they had a district match against Kise's team Kaijou High. This was a great way to be focusing on his game.

The other Shutoku boys were finishing packing their stuff to go to the basketball court where the game would be held. It was quite noisy in the locker room but Takao was lost in his own thoughts that he didn't hear some of his teammates calling him.

Takao could only remember the sting of those two words that Midorima had spoken. Right before he walked away, leaving Takao like the idiot that he was.

Takao clenched his fists. After that encounter Midorima never bothered speaking to him again. So it had been three days now. During practice Midorima acted as if nothing happened of course. He was a professional through and through. He never let their petty spat get in the way of his game. But it was never the same. The camaraderie, the bonding, the teamwork. It was obvious something was really off.

And Takao felt that if their team lost he would not be able to forgive himself. Because he was the one who started this madness which may cause an imbalance in their gameplay.

Midorima walked into the locker room, holding up his duffel bag. "Coach says we can go. The van is ready," he announced in his no nonsense voice like always, pushing up his glasses in such a fluid manner too mature for someone sixteen years of age.

Takao didn't want to drool. How could Midorima simply look so hot while he shifted his glasses the way most geeks did? Damn, everything he did was beautiful.

Suddenly Midorima glanced at him.

Takao felt his knees shake. He was suddenly nervous. Midorima's green eyes were still icy towards him. Before Takao could make any reaction, Midorima stepped out, followed by their teammates one by one.

Xxx

Their coach Masaaki Nakatani was spitting mad. Takao had been replaced twice during the game. Everyone kept on bungling with the ball. It was only due to Midorima's quick plays and three pointers that they were able to do some rallies to tie up the game. All throughout the four quarters, Kaijou would lead by six to seven points, prompting Midorima to really step up his game and score so they could catch up.

Right now the game was tied. Ninety points each. Seven seconds till the game was over and the ball was with Shutoku. If they could shoot it, it may mean their victory, especially if they could use up all seven seconds. But two other things could happen: either Kaijou stole the ball and made a shot, thus making Kaijou the winner, or Kaijou would defend to death, resulting in an over time.

And this was a very important district match.

The coach turned to Takao, "Seven seconds, Takao. We have seven seconds to score this last point to win. I need you to lead the play and pass the ball to Midorima. Try not to lose the ball until the seconds are up. We can't afford to go into overtime. Midorima, you go here. You, Otsubo, I need you to mark this guy. And you Kimura, I want you to mark this one…"

As their coach rattled off their instructions, Takao's eyes surreptitiously went to where Midorima stood, as he was drenched in sweat, wiping his face with the front of his uniform. He was intently listening to what the coach was saying. Takao could feel a surge of pride as he watched the Miracle giant. He really was something. His talent was boundless.

Gaaah, I love him so much!

Midorima chose that option to look at Takao, startling the point guard. Takao showed a small smile, hoping Midorima wouldn't really throw away all of their friendship away just because of a crazy moment when he had lost all reason and blurted out something stupid like that.

Maybe after this game Takao would tell him that he was a man, too. He could suck it up and move on, and that he did not want to lose Shin-chan's friendship. It was all that mattered.

Takao's smile got bigger, tilting his head at Midorima, hoping the Miracle boy would smile back.

The genius simply rolled his eyes away, as if he didn't see Takao watching him. The raven haired boy turned to his shoes. Midorin was still pissed. Maybe he would never talk to Takao for the rest of their lives.

If only Takao had not said those words then maybe…

"Takao! Hey, are you listening? Quit spacing out! We have seven seconds into the game!" Coach Masaaki growled at the poor heartbroken point guard.

"Hai, Coach! Gome, gomen," Takao chanted.

"Hmph!" Midorima snorted from the other side, looking more pissed.

Coach finalized his instuctions and with a thunderous roar for victory coming from the tam, they boys went out to the court.

Everybody went into positions.

The referee blew on the whistle, gave the ball to Takao and the timer began.

Takao drove inside the enemy's defense to get to their basket.

Almost there… I just need to pass the ball to Midorima –

As he swiveled around, Kaijou's point guard Kasamatsu came out of nowhere from behind, skillfully inserting his hand and stealing the ball from Takao's grasp.

"And number four Kasamatsu stole the ball from Takao Kazunari everybody – " the voice commentator droned on.

Takao glanced at Midorima, who had a horrified look on his face.

The basketball players began running to the other side of the court, where Kaijou's basket was.

Takao glanced at the clock.

Six seconds.

No. This must not end this way. He was not going to bungle up.

Running as fast as he could, using all the energy he didn't know he still had, he overpassed Kasamatsu, who glanced up, startled, at how Takao was able to overtake him in speed.

Takao made a few desperate attempts to steal the ball.

Kasamatsu threw the ball sideways to one of his teammates.

Takao knew this would be his last chance.

He reached out, with the sole purpose of touching the ball, of getting it back no matter what.

The crowd went wild as he was able to tap the ball away, away from Kaijou's member.

The ball bounced on the side, and like a mad man, Takao hurtled forward, throwing his body away just to make a save.

There was nothing else he could see but the ball. He didn't notice if he was almost crashing down to the ground, or if he was almost towards Shutoku's benches. All he could see was the ball.

At last! He touched it!

Glancing behind him, there was only one person he could see who mattered.

"SHIIIIIIN – CHAAAANNNN!" he screamed, tapping the ball towards his Miracle team mate.

Right before he crashed towards the benches, head first.

Out of the corner of his eye, before he passed out, he thought he saw Midorima smile fleetingly at him.

Then everything went black.

Xxx

"He's not waking up! Get a stretcher!" Coach Masaaki roared.

The game had just finished.

Midorima scored a very impressive three pointer almost halfway across the court.

But the boys of Shutoku were not able to fully celebrate their victory as one of their teammates lay on the floor unconscious.

Because of tenaciously running after the ball, Takao didn't see where he was crashing into. His head hit the iron bench rather hard, as all his weight was hurled downward, face first as he chased the ball.

All of the boys of Shutoku gathered around Takao, their savior. If not for that steal, they wouldn't have won.

Panting heavily, Midorima knelt beside his fallen comrade. He gasped upon seeing a dark sticky substance oozing out of Takao's head. "Blood!" he gushed out.

"Out of the way! Out of the way!" the medics yelled, bringing out the stretcher. They carefully placed Takao on it and stormed away, where an ambulance was waiting.

Midorima stared after the medics who held Takao, while he was glued on his spot, unable to move away. The other boys didn't know what to do either, as all of them were deeply worried.

"C'mon, guys, let's thank Kaijou for a good game, then we can visit Takao in the hospital," Coach said, keeping a very calm façade in order to pacify his players.

One by one, the boys began walking towards the middle of the court where Kaijou was waiting. But not Midorima. He stood unmoving, his gaze directed towards the direction where the medics went. He stood still as a statue, as if he wasn't breathing at all.

"Midorima," Coach called out. "Let's get moving. We'll go to him, I promise."

It was as if Midorima snapped out of trance, his lips parted in a gasp. He looked, for the very first time, disoriented.

Coach clapped his back. "We're all worried, child. Let's just pray for the best."

"Hai, Coach," the Miracle giant answered listlessly.

Xxx

Unfortunately, Takao was not allowed visitors except family members on the first night he stayed at the hospital. Sadly, Coach Masaaki and the boys had to go back home without getting a glimpse of their point guard. But they were able to speak to Takao's parents and wished them well.

Even after everyone had left, Midorima stood outside the hospital, looking up towards the third floor, where Takao's room was situated in.

For some reason, he felt he got the scared of his life when he actually saw blood seeping from Takao's head after his crash. What if Takao did not heal? What if he –

Midorima looked down at his shoes, realizing his fists were clenched at his sides and he was trembling. He had never been so afraid in all his life. Of course Takao was one of his teammates and if Midorin saw another teammate suffer the same injury, it would be terrifying as well.

Although for some reason, Midorima didn't know why he particularly felt this way, this horrible sinking feeling that if something really bad happened to Takao, that it would affect him in the greatest way.

Would they not be able to hang out anymore like they used to? Would Takao quit basketball? Would everything just go back to the way it was?

Then Midorima looked up, as realization hit him: for the last three days it hadn't been the same in the first place.

They had not exchanged one single word after Takao's pathetic love confession.

All because of him – Midorima – who refused to have anything more to do with Takao.

Was that why he was feeling so down? Because he was guilty of picking a fight with the raven haired point guard? But – was it all there was to it? This feeling of guilt that was nagging at him, saying he should have made peace with Takao in the first place before this accident happened?

MIdorima dropped his forehead on his palm, sighing.

Yes, it was true he had been monumentally shocked when Takao confessed that – that – kind of love to him: another guy. They were both men, weren't they? Weren't they supposed to confess their love to girls?

Midorima covered his mouth with his hand, still agitated. That day. That day he had been too harsh with Takao, saying it was disgusting. Anyone who would have heard that would automatically think he was the one that was being disgusting. So of course Takao would have also thought that.

And yet, even after that time, when he rudely rejected Takao, the boy never stopped smiling at him, his longing painfully obvious on his face. Midorima squeezed at his own jaw, lost in thought.

What was this feeling? He honestly didn't know.

He only knew that men were meant to be with women. His own parents were a pair of male and female. Midorima didn't actually know of a couple with same sex. He had never met any. Was it even possible to have that kind of relationship with another guy? What would two men do when they were alone anyway?

Why was he so naïve with all these things?

All his life, as far as he could remember everything was about basketball. Never about anything else. Sure he was also focused on studying, and even if he always had good grades, he never really devoted passion into it, treating it as one of life's basic necessities, like sleeping or drinking. One did not drink water with zealous motivations. A person drank because he had to. So it was basically the same with studying.

Whereas basketball. He chose this sport. He chose to train hard to get better at it. He was committed to it.

And because of this one tracked hunger to be the best in it, he really neglected the people around him. He didn't know how to become friends with anyone. Most of the time kids his age shunned him for being eccentric, for being too quiet and cold.

But not Takao.

The idiot was like a gust of wind that kept on blowing, in every direction, not knowing when to stop. He had no inhibitions when it came to Midorima. That first time he asked Midorima if they could hang out, everyone in the classroom was amazed, knowing how brooding the green eyes prodigy was, always keeping to himself, stingy with his lesson notes, and preferring to snap at people who invaded his personal space.

But Takao had treated it as a challenge, pestering Midorima all day every day, even taunting him with the pet name Shin-chan, something that only Takao could ever get away with.

Midorima couldn't even begin to imagine what Takao could see in him to be that interested. Most of the time, when they hung out in each other's houses, doing study sessions, Midorima would only keep quiet as Takao rattled on and on and on about the little happenings in his life as if he wanted to share everything to Midorima.

Was Takao only interested in him because he could lend his ears whenever Takao felt really talkative? Which was about ninety five per cent of the time when they were together.

Midorima let out another weary sigh.

One thing was for sure. He did not want anything bad to happen to his teammate.

He also didn't despise Takao, not in the way Takao would have probably thought.

When Midorima said it was disgusting…

He meant it as a statement because he did not understand what Takao could have wanted. And also, the fact that his very own heart skipped a beat when Takao said he loved him.

For the first time in his life, MIdorima felt an excitement deep within him in those words that Takao said – the I love yous -, an exhilaration he had no words for. And it was not even about basketball.

And Midorima was the type of person who could get disgusted with things he did not understand.

That was why 'That's disgusting' were the very first words he said back.

Right there and then, Midorima thought he should apologize.

Yeah. He should apologize. Especially for these three days that he had been nasty to Takao. He didn't mean to be so cold, but knowing how much of a joker Takao was, Midorima was not sure if the point guard was serious about it, or if he was only messing with Midorima.

Takao never took anything seriously. Probably even confessing to another guy. He could have made it as a joke, just for the fun of it, just to see the green eyed Miracle's reaction to something so stupid and funny.

That was the first thing that came into Midorima's mind that was why he was so pissed.

But no matter. Whatever takao's intentions were, Midorima knew he should apologize first thing when Takao woke. Then they could probably just forget everything and go back to how it was in the past.

They were friends.

At least, that foundation could not be shaken.

Xxx

After three days, Coach reported to his boys that Takao could finally accept visitors. Everyone was so happy. Midorima sat on the bench, wiping at his sweaty face. He was suddenly nervous.

At the hospital, the boys gathered outside Takao's room, getting ready to come in. Midorima held back, too fidgety, his head bowed low, gripping the handle of his bag almost painfully.

"Are you alright?" Otsubo asked.

Midorima turned away. "Hn. I'll just go to the bathroom."

"Okay."

Midorima splashed water on his face several times, trying to get rid of his anxiety. Why ever was he so nervous on seeing Takao again? Was it because for the past three days that he had eaten alone and walked home alone, he was able to finally come to terms with his feelings?

That life without Takao was not as – happy as it was when he was there.

Did it even mean anything?

What was Takao to him anyway?

Midorima returned the glasses on his eyes, glaring at the mirror. He should face Takao once and for all. Although he was nervous, he couldn't also hide the fact that he was ecstatic his teammate was up and about. And that he already was conscious.

When Midorima stepped into the room, he didn't expect everyone to be so quiet. Takao's mother was there, an apologetic expression on her face, towards the Shutoku boys gathered around her son's bed.

Midorima frowned, stepping closer.

Takao was sitting up, the top of his head surrounded by bandage. There was a pleasant smile on his face although something was kinda off – like he was staring up at strangers who were visiting him.

Then Takao's eyes zoomed in on him.

Midorima didn't know whether to smile or wave.

The two boys simply stared at each other.

Then Takao turned to his mother, "Would you look at that, Mom? Isn't that Midorima from Teiko Middle High? He's one of the Generation of Miracles! I've told you about him, mom, do you remember? He's also here to see me? How cool is that?!"

Midorima flinched.

He looked around at his teammates. All of them looked dazed as well.

What was going on?

Takao's mother bowed, looking remorseful. When she straightened up she explained, "I'm sorry Midorima-kun. I already told your other teammates. Because of the head injury Kazu had, he now has – retrograde amnesia. It seems like he can't remember some details in his life before the accident. The last memories he has were when he was still in middle high. So it appears that – he doesn't know any one of you as his friends."

Midorima was taken aback.

So that was why all their other teammates looked uneasy.

Takao didn't know any one of them.

Xxx

Still finishing the draft for the update. So sorry for the delay.

And also for Ignite, which I'm also working on. Love you guys. Thanks for supporting.

So how would Midorima react, especially after he has had some realizations about his feelings? Would he confess to Takao this time? Let's wait and find out.