Linger

Takao opened his eyes, wincing at the bright light on the ceiling. He had to turn his head away so as not to hurt his eyes.

Ehhh?

A tall figure sat beside his bed, arms crossed. Takao squinted at the person. Again, it was Midorima, watching him with his intense green eyes. How often did he wake up seeing the stoic green eyed giant in his hospital room, sitting quietly, as he waited for Takao to get conscious?

Takao yawned into his hand, still feeling out of it. The meds he kept taking to ease the pain in his head and also to help him calm down during his therapies were seriously making him feel sleepy all the time.

"Hey there, Midorima. How's it goin'? You here to visit me again, huh? You know, I'm beginning to think I have another kind of illness." Takao groggily sat up on his bed.

Midorima frowned. "Why's that?"

"Uhhhm… Am I living on my last days? I mean, you visit me all the time, as if – jeeze – don't laugh at this, okay? As if you can't wait to spend every freaking minute of your life with me. That's funny, huh?"

Midorima felt a jolt in his body at Takao's joke. He had not thought of it that way. It was just, he never noticed that he kept on coming to the hospital to visit. It just became a daily habit, whether they had basketball practice or not, he would go straight here after school. In the past he and Takao had always been together, anyway. It wasn't like anything was different.

"Dude, I was just kidding! Don't freak out on me," Takao said, grinning.

Midorima merely adjusted his glasses, closing his eyes. He did not know what to say to that. In the past week, since the Shutoku boys were able to visit Takao in the hospital, Midorima found that watching his teammate sleeping gave him peace that nothing else could.

It must be because Midorima knew he had treated Takao rather harshly after Takao had made that stupid confession. Midorima knew he was feeling guilty about it. In a way, he had mixed feelings about Takao's amnesia. This way, they didn't have to be awkward around each other. They could always just go back to being best friends, with no ugly confession that had ever happened between them. It was a fresh start. The sad part, though was, Takao treated him no different than the other guys. He completely had forgotten their closeness. For Takao, Midorima was just one of the acquaintances he had in school.

And try as he might to fool himself, Midorima knew at the back of his head, one of the reasons he kept coming here every day, was to make Takao remember that – their close bond. Okay, so Midorima still didn't know what to do about Takao's confession. He honestly had not thought about getting into any sort of a love relationship right now – whether it was with a boy or with a girl. His head was just too full of basketball and school.

"Man, are you okay in there? You've been staring into space for a minute, now and you look like you want to kill something. Mind sharing?" Takao asked, cutting off Midorima's jumbled thoughts.

The taller boy simply shrugged, looking away.

Takao had to scratch his head. "Uhhhh – look, man, I don't mean to be rude or anything, okay? I'm sure you are a very good friend of mine back when – uhhh – back when I still didn't have amnesia. But are we – are we really like this all the time?"

Midorima frowned again. "I don't understand."

Takao sighed dramatically. "Uhm – I dunno. You're so – quiet all the time. You just sit there and I'm the only one who's talking and talking and –"

"The doctor says it might help you bring your memory back if you talk to someone you know all the time."

"Yeah, I know. But you – just listen, I mean, d'you wanna share stuff, too? Like in school? Or in the basketball club?"

Midorima scratched his cheek, pondering. "What do you want me to say?"

"Anything, I guess. Like, who's my best friend in school?"

Midorima had to cough at that. He didn't know what to respond to that. Honestly, he and Takao had been inseparable before his confession and the accident. But did that count as them being best friends? Wasn't that term for girls only?

Takao slapped a hand on his forehead. "Waaaah…. Did I suck so bad that I didn't have a real friend?"

"No," Midorima answered forcefully. "You were – a good guy. You have a lot of friends."

"Okay, so I have lots of friends. No best friend, though?"

"I – I don't know if – " Midorima straightened on his seat and spoke more loudly. "After school, you and I would hang out in your house or in my house."

"Really? What did we do?"

"You played video games while I reviewed notes for next day's lessons."

Takao tried to imagine the scenario and he chuckled. He looked at Midorima again. "Yep. I can totally see myself doing that. And you, too. You're the uptight kinda guy. Sooo. What you're saying is that you and I – we're really close, huh?"

Midorima adjusted his glasses again. He was getting nervous. "Can it be that you've started to remember things?'

"Hmmm… I really try, you know. But whenever I think so hard about the things in the past, my head hurts so bad. But really, man. You're cool, you know that? You've always been my idol back in junior high. And now we're close friends? Dude, that seriously makes me happy! Can I get an autograph?" Takao asked, snickering.

Midorima crossed his arms again and bowed his head, hiding a small smile.

As usual, Takao went on rambling about the random things he kept in his head while Midorima quietly and patiently listened.

Xxx

Takao was like a celebrity when he returned to school. Everyone cheered for him. Some fan girls even held some banners about how he was a hero for making their team win during the match. Everyone's attention was on him, even the teachers.

Everyone cooed around him, concerned about his head injury, and especially about his amnesia. A few girls even joked that they were his girlfriends. Takao was having the time of his life being the center of attention.

Boys and girls flocked towards him. He was completely adored by everyone because of the heroic stunt he pulled which had led to his accident. To them he was like, the coolest guy of the hour.

Midorima would usually sit in silence by his chair, watching while everyone showered Takao attention. Girls flirted with him endlessly.

Midorima snorted to himself. In the past, because of Takao's jolly good natured attitude, he really could easily flirt with girls, whether just to ask for more food or to copy lesson notes that he was too lazy to do during class, Takao used his boyish charms to his advantage.

Midorima knew this of course, and didn't have anything against Takao's excessive flirting.

But that was before.

Before the confession.

Now, all Midorima could do was sulk in one corner, thinking that whatever enjoyment Takao and these girls were getting out of this stupid flirting with each other was simply – foolish.

Takao had confessed to him. To Midorima. He was the one Takao liked. So what was up with all these unnecessary dallying with these girls? Takao was just wasting his time.

A shudder passed by Midorima's body.

Realization hit him.

Why was he so freaking irritated when Takao spent time with other people? He had not actually felt like this towards the raven haired point guard before.

Now, all he wanted to do was monopolize Takao's time. Just like before. Back when no one was between them. Now he felt like he had to go through the whole student body just to be able to talk to him.

It was just pissing Midorima off.

Xxx

During practice, Midorima still couldn't help but continue sulking. And he refused to believe it had something to do with his teammate Takao.

Today he actually missed twice. Twice!

And his motto in life was that he wouldn't shoot if he knew he'd miss. He had 99.9999% accuracy. Something was really wrong with him.

Even his other teammates and their coach noticed.

As usual, because of his head injury, Takao was exempt from practice. Takao didn't seem to mind though as he had a karaoke date with his classmates. Midorima had to grip his towel tight, wishing he could use it to smack the idiot on the face.

Sure, Takao didn't have to play during practice, but he could have volunteered to stay with the club, just sit on the bench and just watch the training. The old Takao would have done that.

Midorima had to stare down on the gym floor, completely annoyed. Where was the overly zealous Takao who vowed he would make Midorima recognize him by doing his best in his game?

Now, all Takao did was hang out with kids he wasn't even particularly close to in the past.

It had just been Midorima and Takao. No one else.

Now the idiot had to forget him and make some new friends.

Damn, this was so irritating.

Xxx

Two weeks after Takao came back to school, Midorima knew he could not tolerate Takao's insufferable attitude anymore. He had never felt so ignored all his life.

"Hey, Takao." The giant loomed over the happy-go-lucky boy in the middle of his chit chat with his new friends. It was during their lunch break.

They all looked up at the quiet eccentric giant.

Midorima was glaring darkly at Takao. "We have a game later this afternoon with Seirin. Since you have missed the last two matches, you should go and watch this one."

Takao scratched his temple sheepishly. "Uhh – look, man, I have something – "

"Step outside. We need to talk."

Takao had to gulp nervously. Midorima's tone of voice was the type that could never book any argument.

"Sheesh…" Takao muttered, shooting apologetic glances to his fan girls and boys, as he followed the Miracle giant outside the room.

"Have you forgotten everything? Including basketball?" Midorima hissed as soon as the smaller guy came near.

"It's not that, Midorima. It's only been a few weeks. I'm still under recovery."

"It won't hurt if you go to watch."

"Look, I have a date with a chick later. We're going to a newly opened ice cream parlor on third street. I heard the place is good. I'm trying to score here, you know. I'll go back to playing once I feel like it, I promise."

Midorima was clenching his fists, fuming mad. But he knew he had to right to yell at Takao. Everybody was free to make decisions. "When will that be?"

"Dude, are you blind or something? Did you check out this Akiko girl I'm hanging out with all the time? She's really cute and we're going out later. Can I go some other time to watch you guys?"

"What you're doing is stupid!" Midorima spat.

"What?"

"That girl. She hardly even talked to you in the past. You didn't know her at all. Now she comes clinging because you've become so popular."

"Whoa… Dude – that's harsh."

"You didn't even look at her before. And – And she wasn't even the person you like."

Takao squinted up at him. "Uhhh – you mean, I already liked someone? From before?"

Midorima had to step back. What the fuck did he just say now?

"Who was it? Who was the person I liked?" Takao nagged.

Midorima turned away. "Figure it out yourself. "

"Wow, that's rich. You know I can't."

"You know what? Fine. Don't come. The team won't miss a loser like you. Excuse me."

Midorima stomped angrily back to class. Takao followed whining, "Heeey, why are you so touchy about this, Midorima? It's not like I'll be playing anyway. I promise I'll come to the next match."

Midorima acted as if he didn't hear anything. He sat on his chair and began leafing through his notes, shutting down Takao.

He wanted to smack the idiot. And Takao never called him Midorima before. It felt cold and distant.

Shin-chan was a thousand times more annoying but it felt right.

Xxx

Takao sat across his lovely Akiko, fiddling with his spoon. The better part of the afternoon was spent with him listening to her chatter about the clothes she liked to wear, the make-up she was dying to use but couldn't because of school policies. She was a pretty little thing, of course, but other than the fact that she would look good on his bed, Takao couldn't feel a spark between them.

All he could think about was how stormy Midorima's eyes had looked this afternoon while they argued. Since his accident, Midorima had never been anything but nice to him. Too nice, in fact.

The spat they had a while ago was the first that they had. And the guy had called him a loser, made judgments about him, and even called hanging out with Akiko stupid. What right did he have to say all that?

It was as if Midorima was someone who really knew him to be able to act so familiar like that.

"Earth to Takao. Are you listening to me?" Akiko asked, waving a hand before his eyes.

"Sorry. I was just thinking. Uhhh – do you know this guy from my class? Tall, green hair, glasses – "

She smirked. "You mean the weird quiet guy who has taped hands when he's not playing ball?"

"Yup, that's the one!"

"This is really funny. You, asking about 'Shin-chan'. Well, I'll be honest. It's strange seeing him without you by his side. 'Cause all those times in the past, you guys hung out so much we were beginning to think you were y'know – a couple or something."

Takao's eyes turned into saucers. He was shocked. "Whaaaaat?" he squeaked. "C-couple?"

"I know, right? But it's true. You and Midorima-kun were the best of friends. You were actually his only close friend, though as he's really introverted. It seems like you were the only one he could stand talking to."

"Well, he did say we hung out in our houses. But I always thought it was with a group. Like what you and I do. With the guys."

Akiko shook her head pensively. "No, as far as I can remember, it had always just been you and him. My other friends even had a bet whether you guys were gay or not. I kept on telling them you're not. But they wouldn't listen anyway."

Takao had to lean back on his seat. This was just too much for him. He and – that scary guy Midorima? Were people out of their minds? "So – he was like my best friend or something?"

"You were inseparable. And you were also a tandem in the court. He seemed to tolerate you, even though the guy's patience is short with other people. And oh – you used to call him Shin-chan all the time."

"I did? Shin-chan? That's way too – girly!"

"I know. It's like you guys were secret lovers and that you had some sort of a hidden code for everything."

"L-lovers? Us? You have got to be kidding me!"

"Like I said, my friends thought that. Now, you guys barely even talk to each other. And Midorima doesn't hang out with anyone as you can see. If he's really your boyfriend, he should have done something, right?"

"Geeze, Akiko, would you stop with the boyfriend part? Seriously! How can you even think of hanging out with me when at the back of your mind you think I'm gay?"

She flipped her hair nonchalantly. "I dunno. You're cute and popular. It doesn't hurt to hang out with you."

Takao could just make out the words Midorima had just said about Akiko's shallowness earlier.

"Look. I have to go. I remember there's a match I need to see." Takao stood, grabbing his bag.

Akiko scowled at him. "What? We've been here for barely thirty minutes. Why are you going so soon?"

"My team has a game today. Have to watch it."

"And you couldn't tell me this earlier?" Akiko wailed, pissed off.

"Sorry. Gotta run."

Takao made his speedy exit without looking back.

Xxx

Takao couldn't take away the thought swirling in his head about what Akiko had said. Him and Midorima. Secret lovers who had been so inseparable. Were they really?

Was it possible that it was really true and that he just totally forgot about it because of this stupid amnesia he had?

Wow, him and Midorima. Midorima and him. Lovers?

Really?

Takao cursed this illness that he had. Did that mean he was gay and he didn't even know about it? Like, was that even possible?

And why didn't that idiot Midorima say anything, anyway? Geeze, this would be awkward.

He came to the stadium during the third quarter. Takao felt embarrassed to go down to his team's bench so he had to settle for a seat on the upper box. He could see the players clearly here.

He watched quietly as Seirin and Shutoku faced off against each other. It had been two weeks since he came out of the hospital and this was the first match of Shutoku that he would be seeing.

Takao turned deadly serious as he began assessing the game plays. He didn't know why he seemed to be seeing a lot of good angles from here when he was simply a spectator.

Since he had amnesia, he also forgot some few key facts about himself, even though he retained his other memories, like how he still knew he was a basketball player. He just completely forgot that he had this Hawk's eye ability that his team heavily relied on, especially when they were up against Seirin's phantom player Kuroko.

Takao's eyes widened.

He knew the blue haired player was going to do a blind pass to the left even though the little guy's body gestures appeared to be favoring the right.

Takao was not able to help it.

He stood, amidst the other sitting spectators.

Takao screamed at the top of his lungs. "HE'S PASSING TO THE LEEEEFT!"

The shout was picked up by Shutoku. It was too late for Kuroko. He had indeed made a pass to the left. Which was blocked by Shutoku's point guard. Shutoku was then, able to steal the ball.

As Shutoku ran towards their basket, Takao saw Midorima shoot him a glance.

Takao grinned and waved at him.

The ball was passed to Midorima. Who made an impressive three pointer.

Shutoku fans cheered.

Takao slumped back on his seat, his heart thumping all of a sudden. This thrill. This inexplicable rush of ecstasy whenever Midorima made a shot burned through him.

His beautiful moves. His perfect execution.

Everything was rushing in too fast.

Takao suddenly felt dizzy.

Memories flashed in and out of Takao's head. They were mostly of basketball, and other people. But it was Midorima who stood out in all his recollections.

His formless shots, his three points, him dribbling the ball, his carelessly tossed shots which never missed, his smirks, the way he removed the tape from his left hand whenever they would go and play. Everything. It was all about his – Shin-chan.

That's disgusting.

Takao held onto his head. Why did these words keep on ringing and ringing in his head? Why?

"Takao! Hey, Takao, get down here!" Captain Otsubo was yelling from the court during the time out. "Come on, man. What are you waiting for? Watch from here!"

Takao ignored his throbbing head to look down at his team gazing up expectantly at him from the court.

Takao's eyes landed on Midorima's intense green eyes.

That's disgusting.

Takao tried to remove all traces of agitation on his face. He stood and made his way down to Shutoku's bench. Some of the fans even cheered him on, as they knew he was the hero who had an amnesia because he hit head.

"Hey," Takao said to his teammates.

"Welcome back, man," Otsubo said, giving him a bear hug.

Takao froze, unable to move. Suddenly the guys one by one hugged him tightly, happy to be able to welcome him on his first game (even though he was only watching) after he was released from the hospital.

When it was Midorima's turn, Takao trembled. He didn't know what to do if Midorima actually hugged him!

Midorima stepped closer and simply placed his left hand on his shoulder. "You have to get well and play, Takao. We need your Hawk's Eye."

Takao nodded, looking at Midorima's jersey number to hide his nervousness. When Midorima's hand squeezed his shoulder in a sort of friendly, brotherly way, Takao stepped back, moving out of the Miracle's touch. "I – I got it. Do your best."

Midorima tilted his head. "Hai."

During the remaining minutes of the game, Takao used his ability to the best that he could, shouting out instructions whenever Kuroko would attempt a secret pass. It was clear that Kagami and the rest of Seirin were getting pissed because of it.

In the end Shutoku won. The boys seemed to have been completely inspired since Takao joined them. After the game, everybody was congratulating everybody else.

Most of them were all over Takao of course. The boys just couldn't quit rubbing his head and hugging him. They were just so happy he was back, after showing indifference to basketball for a month since he was at the hospital. Oh, they had tolerated it, knowing it must be one of the side effects of his amnesia. But now, that he was there, everyone seemed to have forgotten about it.

"Still can't remember anything about the team, Takao?" Captain Otsubo asked.

The boys surrounded Takao as they chatted during their victory.

Takao slid an uneasy glance to Midorima, who was polishing his glasses that were wet with perspiration. Damn, he looked so fucking sexy just by doing that!

Takao turned back to Otsubo. "No, sorry. I – just kinda – I dunno. It was instinct with Kuroko."

"Yeah, they probably have thought they were going to win because you were not playing," Kimura commeneted. "You are the only one who can read that weird guy like a book. It's a good thing you're here."

"Yeah," Takao croaked.

Takao glanced at Midorima. Midorima, as always was just watching him quietly.

Takao looked away, hoping nothing looked different with him today.

Xxx

In the end the boys left the stadium one by one. They couldn't have a celebratory meal since most of them had their own appointments and exams the following day.

Before Takao knew it, Captain and the coach had left and it was only him and Midorima who were left standing there.

Takao frantically looked around, trying to think of an excuse for him to be able to go, too.

Midorima made his way closer to the fidgeting point guard. "Takao…"

"Uhhh – I forgot. My mom asked me to buy something at the store. I think I have to go now!" he squeaked, his voice shrill.

He had turned to walk away when Midorima called out. "Takao. I'm going with you."

Takao froze on the spot. "What?"

The taller guy walked up to him. "I'll go to the store with you."

"B-but – don't you have like an exam or something?"

"No."

Takao's face fell. "Oh."

The two boys started walking side by side.

"Hurry. Whatever it was you need to buy, buy it quickly. So we can hang out in your house."

Takao stopped walking again. "What?!" he snapped.

Midorima turned down at him, frowning.

"Why are we hanging out in my house?" Takao asked.

Something snapped inside Midorima. He seemed to be in shock about something. Then he covered his mouth with his hand, looking sheepish.

Takao wondered what was wrong. "Uhh – what is it?"

"I apologize. It's just that – "

Takao prodded, "Yeah?"

"This used to be a habit – between us. In the past. After the game. You would – invite me over to your house. I – simply forgot that you still can't remember it. I'm sorry. I'll leave now. See you tomorrow in school."

It was Takao's turn to be shocked.

What should he do at a time like this?

He and Midorima had never once hung out like close buddies since the accident.

But was it okay for them to go back to that routine?

Takao found himself grabbing the taller guy's arm before he even realized it. "Hey, wait!"

Midorima turned back to him, deep green eyes and all.

Takao squeezed on the flesh he held. "Let's go."

No words were exchanged between them. The green eyed prodigy simply tilted his head and walked alongside his smaller teammate.

Xxx

Takao's mother had never been happier, seeing that Midorima came over to stay for dinner. She said she missed him awfully and that Takao's new friends were terrible. Takao pouted and contradicted his mother. Midorima quietly hid his amusement as parent and child argued with each other.

While waiting for dinner, the two boys went up to Takao's room. Just like in the past.

Midorma looked around as he carefully placed his bag on the bed. Takao noticed and said, "Uhhh – sorry I haven't really cleaned in a while."

"No. It's just that I have not – been here since the accident."

"Oh."

Silence settled between them.

Both of them stood in the middle of the room looking anywhere but at each other's eyes.

"Takao."

"Hmmm?"

"You still don't – remember anything about – our – our past?"

Takao gasped and looked up at Midorima's eyes. His gaze was burning. "I – No, I don't. Like I said, my ability to see Kuroko's moves is probably ingrained in me."

"I thought you had a date with Akiko."

"I did. I went to the game after my date."

"I see."

More silence.

They were still standing, unmoving from their spots like two big idiots.

"Isn't it for the best?" Takao suddenly asked.

"What is?"

The smaller guy had to clear his throat as he was unsure of what to say. "My amnesia. I mean, if there were – uhhh – horrible things in the past that happened, at least I forgot about them. Uhh… It's better that I'm starting fresh, right?"

Midorima didn't answer for a long time. He merely gazed at Takao intensely.

"Takao."

"Yeah?"

"Something happened. Before your accident. Between us."

Takao looked up at Midorima, startled.

"You confessed to me."

Takao gaped.

"You said you have loved me since middle school. And you asked me to go out with you."

Takao held out a hand. "Stop. Okay, look. I don't know what you're trying to pull. But since I wouldn't remember anything like it, let's just stop at that."

"Takao, listen."

"I won't. Why should I? I mean, it's stupid, right? Who would think of a – a – guy asking another guy out? I mean, c'mon."

"Takao, I said listen – "

"No, you listen, Shin-chan! I'm telling you that whatever – "

"Did you just call me Shin-chan?"

Takao paused. "I – I did… So what if I did? A lot of my friends told me I used to call you that!"

Midorima did not answer, but continued on staring at him as if he could look right through his soul. Takao was seriously getting annoyed.

"Midorima, look, let's just start afresh. Whatever happened in the past, whether I remember it or not, let's completely, utterly, totally bury it and start from here. From today. Sure we were close friends, we can always continue being that. Let's not change. We'll hang out like this, like you said. Before. No changes. Friends."

Takao was completely sure they were going to be able to put all the ugly stuff behind them. Midorima had to agree. They couldn't continue on being awkward around this all the time.

Takao began tidying up his bed. He then started up his game console. Midorima would probably just study anyway.

"I don't like you not remembering."

Midorima's voice cut through the deafening silence between them.

Takao turned to his tall teammate who still stood pensive in the middle of the room. "Huh?"

"I said I don't like you not remembering," he repeated.

Takao shook his head. "Maybe I'll get my memories back in the future. Don't think about it so much. There. My bed's done. You can sit here now and review your notes while I go play my game. You said at the hospital that this was what we usually did, right?"

Midorima slowly walked towards the side of the bed where Takao was standing.

Takao tilted his head at him. "Go on. You must be really tired after your game. Go sit down."

Takao was just about to step back when two long powerful arms grabbed him.

Takao's eyes went wide as he slammed onto a hard chest.

Midorima's arms circled around him in a painfully tight grip. Takao felt all the blood rush to his head. His knees became weak like jelly. "Wh-what the – Shin-chan?"

"Sssshhhh…"Midorima closed his eyes and buried his face on Takao's hair. Even he couldn't imagine doing something like this. But at the moment he did not care. Ever since he found blood on Takao's head he had realized that he wouldn't let himself lose Takao a second time without at least trying to understand these feelings that he had for the other boy. These feelings were simply just too important to ignore.

"Shin-chan?" Takao whispered. "What are you doing?"

Midorima held him even tighter. "I apologize. I will let go in a moment. But for now - just bear with it."

"Why are you doing this?"

"I missed you," Midorima answered honestly.

Takao seemed to have frozen stiff. "D-don't freaking joke with me, man."

"When have I?"

Takao's shoulders fell. With the smallest of voices he asked, "B-but you – you said it was disgusting, right?"

It was Midorima's turn to be startled. He froze for a moment, then he looked down at Takao who was trying his best to hide his face on Shin-chan's chest.

Something tugged at Midorima's heartstrings. Takao looked adorable like this.

"So you've been lying to us all this time, Takao."

The smaller boy shook his head while it was buried on the fabric of Midorima's uniform jacket. "No. I seem to just remember this afternoon. After I saw you play. It – It all sort of came rushing back. I still can't remember a lot of things during my stay in Shutoku. But what happened that day – yeah, I can remember it now."

Another long round of silence.

Midorima continued to keep Takao in his arms and the smaller guy made no move to struggle.

"Takao."

"Hmmm."

"It wasn't you."

This time Takao looked up. "Haaaa?"

"When I said it was disgusting, it was just I did not understand what you were trying to tell me. And that I failed to comprehend the reality of what it meant."

"And that disgusted you?"

"Yes."

Takao pouted. "You're one damn weird guy, you know?"

"Do you want to try it?" Midorima asked softly.

"Try what?"

"Going out."

Takao's eyes widened again. He immediately buried his face on Midorima's chest. "B-but… Aren't you – I mean – You didn't seem to want to – "

"That's why I said we could try it out. If we do not like it, then we can stop."

"Sheesh, Shin-chan, you talk about this as if it's some grand science project."

"I just had some time to think on my own after your accident."

"And?"

"I realized that – I want you to stay with me. As a friend or a lover or teammate. Anything will do. As long as you stay."

Takao's heart was fluttering wildly inside his chest. He had no idea that once motivated, his Shin-chan could be as romantic as this!

Takao's own arms snaked around Midorima's middle. His playfulness was beginning to bubble up within hm. He was so happy! "Hey, Shin-chan. Come to think of it, since we used to be together in the past, it was like we were going out already, right?"

The taller guy thought for a moment. "Your insight is correct on that."

"Dang, I forget how funny you talk sometimes, Shin-chan."

The two boys went on hugging each other, basking in the glow of their newfound love.

Takao could feel his erection throbbing. Crap. Sure, Midorima had agreed somewhat to going out, but it would probably take a while for the poor boy to also come to the realization that going out like this type of going out entailed far more serious stuff than just playing video games and studying quietly in their rooms.

Takao struggled to move away, hoping the stoic Miracle did not notice anything stiff on the lower region of his body.

"Aaaaah – why don't you sit down for a bit? I'm gonna go play my game now."

MIdorima pulled him back into the confines of his chest. "You think I'm so stupid that I don't know what happens to two guys when they're alone."

"W-what?"

"This."

Midorima dipped his head low and placed his mouth on top of Takao's half open lips in a chaste kiss. It was just a slow movement of lips, nibbling softly without any intention of turning it to anything more serious.

Takao closed his eyes and savored the feel of Shin-chan's hot mouth on his. It was heaven. His groin was tingling.

Slowly the taller boy pulled away. When Takao opened his eyes to look up at him, he found the basketball genius deeply thinking as if he was trying to plot a basketball strategy.

"I think it was not so bad," Midorima commented after a while.

Takao had to shake his head, trying not to laugh. Shin-chan looked way too cute when he was over analyzing things.

"I think this one's better," Takao said and pulled Midorima down by the lapel of his jacket.

This time, Takao showed Midorima how a proper kiss was done. Opening his mouth fully Takao let his tongue out, coaxing Midorima's lips open. He groaned when Shin-chan did. Both of them slipped their tongues in each other's mouths, rubbing, teasing one another's. Takao restlessly rubbed against the taller boy, shamelessly grinding his erection against Shin-chan's thigh. He also felt feverishly ecstatic as he felt Midorima's own hardness poke him through his their thick clothes.

Takao held up onto the taller boy's shoulders for support. Midorima kept pulling him up until his feet barely touched the ground. Both boys groaned and grunted, getting lost in their wild wet kiss.

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!

"Kazu – dinner's almost – " Takao's mom opened the door unceremoniously. "Are you kids both alright?"

For indeed, the two boys inside looked so spooked as if they just saw someone kill someone else. They had both jumped a mile apart from each other, heaving in short hard pants.

Takao held the collar of his gakuran closed. "Y-yeah, Mom. We'll – go down in a bit."

"Okay. See you."

Takao felt as if his heart would jump out from his chest any second from now. How could they have been so stupid, kissing like that with an unlocked door? If his mom had seen –

He let out a heavy sigh. "That was close. Uhhhm – sorry about that. I should have locked the door."

Midorima nervously picked on his glasses as he shook his head. "It's fine."

"Okay, let's go down." Takao breathed in and out a few times deeply, trying to compose himself before showing his flushed face to his family.

As he was about to open the door, Midorima took his hand. "I want to stay over."

The raven haired point guard's heart raced inside his chest again, just when he had willed it to calm down a few seconds ago. "Uhhh – sure. You've slept over in the past anyway. I'm sure mom wouldn't mind."

Something flickered in Shin-chan's gaze, a heavily sensual glint that sent another shiver down Takao's spine.

Takao squeezed on Midorima's hand, smiling knowingly.

Xxx

Going through dinner sitting so close to each other without blushing all the while took its toll on Takao. He had to pretend the love of his life was sleeping over just for the sake of that – yeah, sleeping, of course. Nothing more, nothing less.

But whenever Takao thought of the kiss they had shared before his mom barged in, he would feel his face heating up. He just hoped his flush was not that noticeable. Also he did not tell anyone that his memories of Shin-chan had already come back. His parents would just fuss over him and make him do longer therapies. Takao wanted to go back to basketball right away. His head injury had already healed nicely anyway.

Back in his room, Takao sat on his bed, fidgeting on the bed as he waited for Midorima to finish with his bath. He had already made Midorima's futon beside his bed.

Takao knew nail biting was tremendously beneath a cool guy like him, but he was just freaking nervous!

When the bathroom door opened, Takao shot to his feet, grabbing his towel. "H-hey. My turn."

Shin-chan nodded, still rubbing the towel on his hair. "Hn."

Shin-chan was wearing one of his spare shirts that he would wear after practice, but the pants were Takao's. They were too short, showing a large expanse of skin on his legs. He was just too cute, wearing something so ill-fitting like that. Honestly, Takao wanted to just push him to the bed and ravish him.

Not wanting to look like a real pervert, Takao rushed inside the bathroom, trying to ignore how good Midorima smelled after his bath.

Takao couldn't help but feel tense all through his shower. Midorima was sleeping over! It felt like they were two newlyweds on their first honeymoon night together, waiting for each other to bathe first because they were too shy to go in together! It was creepy. But sweet. And hot.

Takao changed into his dry clothes inside his bathroom. He made a move to open the door, but then nervousness settled on him again, making him so tense he felt he could just stay there forever.

After a few more deep breaths, he finally opened the door to get out. Midorima was sitting on the futon, reading one of his notebooks. He was obviously studying. What a diligent boy. Takao smiled to himself. Some things would never change.

"Hey," Takao called out softly.

Midorima closed his notebook and was starting to put it back in his bag when Takao said, "Hey, wait. If you need to review something, it's okay. You don't have to stop on my account."

Midorima gave him a disgruntled look, as if he was stupid or something.

Takao sheepishly made his way to his bed, sitting cross legged on it as he looked down at Midorima on his futon by the floor. Midorima didn't have his glasses on. Damn, he just looked so hot like this Takao wanted to lick his lip in appreciation. But duh – that would look – ughhh – so gay.

Midorima, likewise was looking up at him.

No one dared to make any move, or speak. Time seemed to stand still.

Takao couldn't take the turbulent beatings his heart was making. Any second longer would give him palpitations that would kill him. "Hey," he whispered, head bowed low. "You wanna sleep on the bed?"

Midorima also whispered. "Yes."

A goofy smile wanted to escape in Takao's lips but he fought it, not wanting to look like a stupid blushing virgin. Well yeah, technically he would be a virgin to whatever he and Midorima were planning to do here tonight anyway. But that was beside the point. They were both men. Why couldn't they just jump into it like the brave soldiers that they were and get passed this painfully awkward stage already?

Midorima moved to the bed until they were sitting a few inches from each other. Takao turned to the light switch on the wall beside the bed. "I'm turning off the lights."

"Leave the lamp light on," Midorima directed, his voice a low almost breathless hiss.

Really, his voice alone could do funny things to Takao's stomach.

The light was turned off. But the dim glow of the bedside lamp stayed on. The two boys lay side by side on Takao's double bed, feeling cramped. The bed was not made for two fully grown males to sleep on anyway. Usually when they slept over each other's houses they did separately.

But now. This tight space. Their skin had no choice but to stick together.

Takao turned to his side, his back to Midorima. "Good night."

"Hn," Midorima grunted, acknowledging.

Midorima stared at Takao's broad back. At the dim light he could make out how finely muscled it was. Takao was not overly muscular or thin. His physique looked just right. He was still tiny, though, compared to Midorima's height.

Without even realizing it, Midorima found himself turning on his side as well, facing Takao's back. He leaned a little closer, and he could smell his shampoo. Both of them used the same tonight but somehow it smelled better on Takao.

Takao's eyes were bursting open. He could feel Shin-chan moving behind his back and he was tingling all over. Was Sihin-chan going to finally hold him? How many more hints and signs was he going to give tonight before the tall brute did something?

"Takao."

"Yeah?" the poor boy squeaked in a pitifully shrill voice.

"May I – try to – touch?"

Takao swallowed a big lump of spit. Finally. Arrrgggh. He thought he would die of waiting. What he did, he boldly reached for Shin-chan's hand behind him, lifted it and as he guided it with his own hand, moved it under his shirt, up to his warm chest, where his thunderously beating heart was situated. "Please. Touch me. Here."

"Takao…"

After that, Takao was not sure how they ended up naked and writhing against each other. Knowing how passionate Midorima was with anything he set his mind to it, it seemed he treated sex with the same amount of zeal.

He was quiet and introverted on the outside, which Takao knew. What he was not prepared for was someone completely aggressive and dominant on the bed.

Midorima pinned him down with his considerable weight, spreading his thighs so wide apart so he could settle between them as he kissed Takao into breathlessness. He ran his hot tongue along the side of Takao's neck, sucking mercilessly on his skin. Takao was not able to keep in a high pitched moan.

"Be quiet, Takao. Your parents might hear," Shin-chan breathed against his neck.

"S-shit, Shin-chan. I need to come. I… I can't take it anymore."

Midorima stopped moving for a moment. Then it turned into a painful minute. Takao became worried. "What? What's wrong?"

"I feel that I want to come, too."

"Okay. Then let's do that together."

Slowly, Midorima's long fingers snaked down until they were poking Takao's little opening. "I want to enter. Here."

Takao licked his lips nervously. Ooookay. Fine. How bad was it that they were going to go all the way on their first night? Seriously.

"Okay. In my drawer, I have a small bottle of hand lotion. I think we'll need that. But I – I don't have condoms…"

"Have you ever slept with a man before?" Midorima asked solemnly.

Takao snapped, "Of course not!"

"Then we don't need them. I have not been with anyone before this."

"Okay. You make some good points, dude."

Midorima moved to kiss him before he reached for the hand lotion. "I think we should turn on the lights."

"NOOO!" Takao whispered furiously.

"Hmm?"

"You're not the one fucking spread so open like this! Sheeeesh. It's so embarrassing I think I can die."

Midorima simply grunted. He poured a substantial amount of lotion on his fingers. Takao waited for the sting in his ass. He had dreamt of having sex with Midorima a lot. But in all his fantasies he was the one topping the giant. Sure, the size difference might have made things a little awkward, but hey, everything was perfect when someone was dreaming, right?

In his dreams it was Midorima's sweet cute face who was begging him to be gentle.

In reality, it turned out that he wouldn't be able to compete with Shin-chan's aggressive nature. He might as well just give in.

"Ow… Ouch!" Takao hissed as the long digit slipped inside his virgin ass hole. Midorima held one of his thighs which had started to quiver.

"Bear with it a little longer," Shin-chan coaxed softly, almost encouragingly.

Takao pressed his head harder onto his pillow, gritting his teeth as he endured the sting. Okay. So this was pretty painful. He tried not to groan so much.

Midorima reached up to kiss Takao on the mouth and their tongues began another bout of rough play, twisting against each other as they meshed their lips together.

Gradually the pain lessened. Midorima's other hand had gone to Takao's cock which had become flaccid throughout the painful fingering in his ass.

Midorima began moving his hand up and down Takao's length, hoping to arouse his partner again. Midorima did not want Takao to only feel pain tonight. Both of them should feel good.

"Is the pain leaving?" Shin-chan asked against Takao's lips.

"Yeah. A bit."

"I have three of my fingers in now."

Takao's eyes turned into saucers. "T-three? Already?"

"Yes. Do you think you might be ready to take me?"

"I hope so," Takao replied.

"I'll stop if it hurts too much," Midorima vowed.

Takao wrapped his arms around Midorima's neck. "Don't. We've come all the way to this. I'm a man. I can take it."

Midorima nodded.

He reared up, until he was sitting on his knees, his throbbing manhood angled correctly, ready to pierce into Takao. He removed his fingers, and lifted Takao's hips onto his lap, Takao's legs gangling by his elbows.

Midorima pushed into his writhing lover.

Takao pressed hard on the mattress as his lower half pushed towards Shin-chan as well, meeting his slow gentle thrust. It was still a bit painful but the fullness inside was not entirely unbearable. When he was able to take all of Midorima's length in, the taller boy stopped moving, panting hard above Takao.

"You can – I think you can move now," Takao said through his teeth.

"Are you alright?"

"I'm fine. Just – just go slow."

"Yes."

Midorima thrust into Takao, his movements controlled, measured. This went on for some time, getting the smaller boy to be accustomed to his length and girth. After a few minutes, Takao was starting to feel good. He had gotten used to the feeling of fullness in his ass and was jerking himself off in time with Shin-chan's thrusts.

Takao had heard that the prostate gland was a gay guy's best friend because even if he was a bottom he could feel good with the right stimulation on this gland. Takao had never felt he believed it until now. Especially with how finely endowed Midorima was, his cock could reach better places inside Takao's body that his untrained fingers never could.

Takao closed his eyes, his mouth wide open as he moaned without any sound. Yeah, it was seriously making him feel good. Midorima seemed to be a genius with sex as well, even if this was obviously his first time with another guy.

Midorima gripped the undersides of Takao's knees raising his legs higher as he slammed hard into Takao. Sweat beaded his forehead. He grunted. "S-so tight…"

"Shin-chan…" Takao moaned.

"Yes?"

"Please… Harder. Yeah. Like that…" Takao mindlessly pumped on his own cock.

Midorima's movements became jerky, undisciplined, pounding hard into the smaller boy with abandon.

"Shin-chaaaan…" Takao cried out helplessly as jets of white hot liquid squirted out of him, landing on his chest.

The sight of Takao at his peak sent Midorima over the edge as well. He gripped Takao's thighs painfully tight as he released his essence into Takao's body. He buried his face in Takao's neck and groaned. Takao could feel the warmth flooding inside him.

MIdorima heaved with labored breathing. Still hard and buried deep in his lover's body, he braced his weight on his two elbows, not wanting to crush Takao. Likewise, Takao was also panting hard from the exertion, his legs wrapped around Shin-chan's slim hips.

"Hah hah hah… That was – hah hah – something else," Takao said after a while, sounding awed.

Midorima nodded against his neck. "Yes."

"So – uhhh – you think this is – about us. Are we really going out now?" Takao asked nervously.

Midorima snorted. "You tell me. You were the one who confessed."

"Geeeze…"

"Takao."

"Hmmm…"

"I never will do this with anyone but you. Anyone."

That seemed to comfort the point guard. "Okay. Thanks. Uhhh – me, too."

"Of course."

Takao chuckled at Shin-chan's dry tone. He sighed contentedly, wrapping his arms around Shin-chan's shoulders. "I thought you hated me, you know. I mean, when I remembered everything this afternoon, I was dead set on pretending as if I didn't. Like, I thought it was better if you think I still have amnesia. That way we could just go back to how it was. Before I confessed. Call me a liar or whatever but I didn't want to lose your friendship."

"I had some time to think, too. Back when you still had amnesia," Shin-chan softly said.

"Yeah?"

"At first, when you confessed, I didn't understand it and I stayed away because I didn't know how to act when I was with you. After your accident, somehow, you – changed and – "

"And?"

"It pissed me off."

"What did?"

"You ignoring me. Or the fact that you hang out with other people. That was when I realized. This. What we have."

"Thanks for realizing sooner."

"Idiot," Midorima tenderly whispered.

"You'll always be my number one, Shin-chan. My only one."

"You as well."

"Good. I'm dead tired I can sleep well into the next life. Good night."

"Good night."

They settled into a spooning position, with Midorima's chest pressed tightly against Takao's back. They would have to do something about their nakedness before Takao's mom discovered them in the morning. But the door was locked securely. So it was safe.

For now.

And the two lovers drifted off to sleep.

XXX

Ayiiiiieeeeee… Is it corny or huwhaaaaaaat? I'm really not good with a tsundere seme but I'm trying my hand on it, hoping to be more flexible in my stories. I hope Shin-chan is okay, that he wasn't too soft or girly with his reactions.

Takao is easier to depct but Shin-chan is quite trickier. So. I'm really sorry I was only able to update this now. I got a short vacay from work, that's why.

Thanks for supporting.