Author: orewafujoshida (also go by the name of firestodust)
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Kurobasu characters. They belong to Tadatoshi Fujimaki-sensei.
Summary: Takao has a girlfriend. Rumors and gossip flying off the handles as he was spotted with an unknown high school girl. Unbelievable! Shutoku's High Spec Kareshi is finally out of the market!? They all turn to Midorima who is just as surprised as they are.
A/N: Don't know if this theme has been done before. I haven't seen or read a fic about it yet. So I thought, why not...
In case you were wondering, HSK, or High Spec Kareshi, is a term used to describe a guy who is high quality boyfriend material. Which is also used to describe Takao. This story is reposted from my tumblr.
Anyway on with the story.. (*≧▽≦)/
Midorima adjusted his spectacles by pushing it further up the bridge of his nose. His desk had become quite crowded in only a matter of seconds. It wasn't uncommon for people to crowd around but they seem to have attached themselves to the wrong desk as they are usually chatting up his seatmate in front of him.
"No. I have not heard. And whether or not he has a girlfriend shouldn't be anybody else's business but his own."
The dissatisfaction of not getting the confirmation they were looking for were all in their faces and they dispersed to seek answers elsewhere. Who did they think he was, Takao's spokesperson, manager, secretary? Did anyone even need to issue some sort of memo or make a public announcement every time someone got themselves a girlfriend? He thought not. It's Takao's private life and they should keep their noses out of it.
Still, he didn't think Takao was the type of person to be quiet about this sort of thing. Or be quiet about anything in general. He was always up in his face telling him everything and anything he was thinking of down to what he had for breakfast that morning.
However, Midorima couldn't dismiss the fact that Takao had been acting strangely yesterday. Takao had excused himself, telling him that he couldn't drive him in the rickshaw home that day because there was something he had to do. And then, sending him a message this morning in apology that he'd be running late and to go ahead of him. Only to be met with a swarm of classmates who wanted to affirm if the rumor of seeing Takao after school with some pretty school girl in the shopping district yesterday was true or not.
Yet despite being a convenient instant message away, Takao hadn't mentioned that to him at all. Not yesterday, not today. In fact, Midorima found it surprising that he kept secrets from him at all.
It begs the question of... why?
Or perhaps.. Takao wasn't as open with him as he thought he was. The sobering thought made him get up from his seat. It was still a good 30 minutes before classes started and all the clamoring in the classroom was disrupting his line of thinking.
A walk. Yes... a walk sounded good.
He was well aware of Takao's reputation in school. There were girls left and right who would offer him lunch bento which he would gratefully accept and happily munch away. And there were perhaps, a number of occasions he could count with his one hand, that Takao's shoe locker would come bearing a love confession. But Takao would always turn them down and he would come trotting over to him afterwards as if nothing happened.
So what made this one the exception? As much as he'd hate to admit it, he'd like to see for himself what made this girl so special from the others. Was she exceptionally pretty? Well, they did say she was fairly pretty, somewhat dainty and demure, as they described. Elegant, graceful, poised with a mature air about her despite her age. Completely opposite of what Midorima would think Takao's type would be like.
So then, if it was true...
If Takao really were to have a girlfriend, maybe it'd be for the best.
For instance, he'd most likely stop sticking to him like they were connected to the hip and have someone else to lavish his attention on. Then maybe it'd be more peaceful and quiet and he could actually concentrate on more important things without him continuously egging him to go along with his juvenile pranks.
The point guard was also too friendly and touchy-feely for his own good, doing whatever he likes, poking, hugging, and even jumping on his back some few times! Takao should be lucky that he eventually learned to ignore his blatant ignorance of the definition of personal space. He wasn't going to always give him the satisfaction of being able to elicit a reaction from him, which he found was the purported reason to some of Takao's bizarre behavior. His reactions amused Takao to no end and that irritating cackle would rip out of him, even if Midorima didn't find anything amusing in the slightest.
If Takao had a girlfriend...
No longer would he greet him in front of his house during school mornings with that ridiculous goofy grin he always wears with a cheery, "Ohayou, Shin-chan. Here's today's lucky item for Cancers." Nor would he cart him around in that rickshaw despite loudly complaining about how embarrassing it is.
Instead he'd meet him at class, of course he'd still be greeting him but if he was spending time with her after school, he probably wouldn't have time to help him with his lucky items.
He sighed audibly, regrettable as it was... it couldn't be helped. What man would prioritize doing favors like fetching limited edition plushies or other knick-knacks over spending time with their girlfriend?
It wasn't as though he couldn't pick up his own lucky items either. It was just that it was so convenient when Takao offered his assistance. But when faced with choosing between friends or someone they loved, the choice was quite obvious and Midorima didn't want to overstep his boundaries and be naive to believe that nothing would change.
Of course, he could still see Takao in basketball club.
Takao would never give that up, that was for certain. But what if she came to practices and distracted him. That wouldn't do. He'd make mental note to remind the captain that outsiders had no place in disrupting their practices. Not even if they were girlfriends.
And then there was also... Takao, who would be chattering at him nonstop about all the cute things she did and stay on that channel all throughout the honeymoon phase until it was so unbearable, even Miyagi-san would have to chuck whatever produce he could get his hands on at him to make him shut the hell up.
Midorima grimaced, already dreading what was in store for him. He'd end up having to hear about how cute she is when she's angry, sad, happy, about how huggable and adorable she was in their last date. Whether he liked it or not, Takao would indulge him with all these intimate details he didn't want to be informed of. Because that's just how Takao is. And ever since, Midorima's never been able to find the off-switch.
Instead of dozing off during class, he'd be fiddling with his phone. No doubt sending flirty messages and getting her to respond to him while she's in class too. She would indulge him and he'd smile.. how would Takao smile.. Midorima wouldn't know. Takao sits in front of him and unless he wanted to be the target of flying chalk, he'd do well to keep his face forward. But he has seen that expression, when those eyes light up and his whole face brightens with mirth when he greets him.
Or would it be a different smile reserved only for the person that makes his heart flutter...
Would she wait for him outside his school?
Or would he be the one to meet her at hers.. Takao seemed like he would be the type to go out of his way for the person he likes. The type to spoil and give into their whims no matter how selfish and demanding they could be. That was also the type of person Takao was.
Would they hold hands..?
Takao was always prattling nonsense about how his fingers were like one of Japan's National Treasures. Sometimes he'd press his palm up to his unbandaged hand just to compare and offhandedly comment on how he wished his hands were just as good to look at. It was probable to conclude that Takao had some strange fascination with hands.
She probably had pretty hands... slender, feminine, small...
...Obviously. That goes without saying.
He had large hands. And while he religiously maintained them, it was still definitely a man's hand. Hands that are able to grip a basketball effortlessly with just his one palm. And why was he even comparing his hands to a girl's!? Much less Takao's girlfriend's!? How did he even reach this trail of thought...
Takao's stupidity must be contagious somehow.
He ran his aforementioned fingers over his hair and deeply sighed. His original intention of taking a walk was to clear his head but now it's become even more muddled than before. It's all his fault. Stupid Takao. He wasn't even present and he continued to bother him! How dare he make him worry like this!?
Worry... he was worried about him..?
Alright, fine. So he was worried. So what? Since when was it a crime to be worried about one's own teammate! Well, no... that's not quite it. If he had to think of the other Shutoku members, their private lives did not concern him to this level unless they did something or other that sullied the team's reputation, which he doubted they would ever do...
So what were they? He couldn't be presumptuous enough to call them friends. Friends do things for each other, don't they? All he remembers ever doing is ordering Takao around and reprimanding him. But despite all that, he always came bouncing back, he never truly went away...
If Takao were to really leave... His fist clenched, his chest felt tight. So much, that he needed to inhale a big gulp of breath.
What in the world...
Anxiety..? Even when they were in a pinch, Midorima's always been sure of himself, after Teikou. After all that Akashi ingrained in him to let go of his hesitation to shoot and get it in the basket every time.
Takao can't leave. He'd never give up basketball. But could he really be committed to two important things? What if there would come a time when he had to choose one or the other? That should be where the anxiety stems from, he figured. But there was still the lingering feeling nagging at him under all of that.
No... that wasn't exactly it either.
"Shin-chan. Shin-chaaaan! Oiiiii, Earth to Shin-chaaan~! What're you spacing out for?" who of all people had the audacity to address him so informally and then peer at his face at a narrow proximity.
"Your face is too damn close!" Midorima planted his open palm on Takao's head and shoved him off a good arm's length distance.
"Wha-!? Heey, I was only checking to see if you were feeling alright." he rubbed his cheek sullenly. "Classes are already starting, you know. And it's kinda hard to miss a behemoth like you standing in the middle of the hallway."
"Shut up. I stand where I please. I didn't ask you to call me into class." Midorima marched past him in a huff. Stupid Takao. He didn't even get to finish assessing their relationship and he had to show up! He hadn't realized until now how much time he used up just reflecting.
"Hai, hai~ now just get into class, Ace-sama." he felt his hands lightly pushing him forward from the back. And recoiled immediately from the jolt that spread from the initial contact, "Stop being so familiar, it's annoying."
Takao stared at him with his smile completely wiped off, mouth slightly parted but no words came. His outstretched hands eventually retreated back to his pant pockets. "You're right. Ah~ sorry, Shin-chan! Just out of habit, you know." the playful grin returned and he trotted over to his seat.
What was with that expression just now...
Midorima could feel eyes staring him up and down but he learned to ignore them and keep his eyes fixated on the page the teacher instructed them to turn to. That could have been his chance to ask Takao about the rumors. But Takao just had to choose that time to aggravate him. Given, it wasn't in his place to reprimand him when he was only calling him to class when nobody else had...
The words came out of his mouth on its own before he could stop them. He did regret having suddenly snapped at him but... why was it different this time?
Why did Takao have to look at him like that...
He wasn't sure what to think anymore...
He felt his phone vibrating in his pocket and he carefully fished it out, keeping a wary eye on the teacher who continued his lecture before deeming it safe to read.
/Are you okay, Shin-chan? You're not feeling sick, are you?/
If his glares could burn through the monitor, it probably would have burst into flames by now. /I'm fine. Quit texting in class. Nobody asked you to worry about me./
Less than 20 seconds after, the phone vibrated again. /Eh~ If you say so. Say, Shin-chan, will you meet up with me later during break? There's something I need to tell you./
Midorima felt his throat go dry. This was... this was really happening, wasn't it?
He felt his insides churn unpleasantly. He clutched his phone tightly in his grasp to keep his fingers from trembling. What... they really were shaking. Why? A dull pain spread through his chest and he let out a ragged breath he didn't know he had been holding in.
Maybe he really was feeling sick. That's what it felt like. That could be the plausible explanation to all of this. He clasped a hand to his mouth and his stomach was doing even more flips. By then, he wasn't sure if he wanted to throw up and he unconsciously hunched forward on his seat.
A hand shot out from the sea of gakuen uniforms. "Ano~ sensei!" Takao's voice rang out throughout the classroom. "Shin-cha- er, Midorima-kun isn't feeling very well. I can take him to the nurse clinic."
"Ehh..." the teacher glanced over to Midorima's form whose color had been drained from his face. Well that was a first... "Very well, both of you may be excused."
"I don't need your concern. It's not like I'm going to faint, I can make it there on my own."
As soon as they were out of an earshot, Midorima shook Takao's arm off him and started walking briskly ahead.
He couldn't face him.
Not like this. Not when he was in this state.
Takao frowned, "Shin-chan, don't you think you've been acting weird? I mean, even weirder than usual." the shorter of the two quickly caught up to him. His eyes reflecting genuine concern but Midorima wouldn't even look at him square in the eye since this morning. "Look. If it's something I did wrong, just let me know what. Don't be like this."
"I won't let you!" without warning, Midorima turned around, grabbed the startled brunette by the shoulders and slammed him against the wall. Takao let out a pained yelp when his back connected to the concrete. "Fuck-! That hurt! Shin-chan, what-!?" that may have partially due to the impact, but his head was swimming with what set Midorima off all of a sudden. He's never seen him so riled up before.
"You can't! I won't allow it!" Midorima kept a firm grip on his shoulders to keep him in place.
"S-shin-chan..?" the Midorima he was used to dealing with came off as this level-headed snob who oftentimes spoke as though everyone else within breathing space was beneath him. But right now, he was.. he was just flipping out. For whatever reasons he had yet to divulge. "Keep it together, hey.. I don't know what's wrong if you don't tell me."
Takao moved in to embrace him, wrapped his arms around his neck and just held him like that. It seemed like the right thing to do in an effort to calm him down some so they could talk. Midorima still wouldn't look at him and kept his head on his shoulder.
Despite the obvious size difference, he looked no smaller than a clinging child, well ...a towering, man-child who was half-squatting low enough to be hugged. Given their height difference wasn't THAT big. Okay.. so, maybe it was. Takao ran a hand over his back soothingly, whispering words of comfort and patiently waiting until he was ready to talk.
When Midorima finally stilled, his voice low and raspy came forth, "I demand you break up with her."
Takao's face drew a blank. Out of all the things he expected him to sprout, this wasn't one of them.
...Did he hear him wrong?
Midorima pulled back, his cheeks were flushed red but his face was deadly serious. Takao could only squawk in confusion, "Say what?"
"Don't make me say it twice. Break up with your girlfriend. I- I command it! If you don't stop seeing her, then... then, you need to be prepared to sever your ties with me! Because I won't settle for anything less! I have no use for you if you screw up your priorities by putting her first above basketball!"
"Haaa!?" Takao didn't even know where to begin.
From girlfriends, to basketball, and even severing ties now, how the hell did this escalate so quickly!? His horoscope today said that he'd have the best luck. Not that he really fully believed Oha-asa readings but hell, if he was having the best kind of luck right now. "H-hold up, Shin-chan. Slow down. I can't.. I can't process this. It's too fast."
Wait... girlfriend? Why was Shin-chan rambling on about a girlfriend?Girlfriend... ehh, it couldn't have anything to do with her yesterday? And then, everything just clicked into place.
Oh no. Takao's lower lip trembled, he can't mean...
"Ah. So it's about that." Takao's voice was more composed now. He folded his arms over his chest and grinned impishly, "I don't know, Shin-chan. I mean, all I'm ever good for is driving your rickshaw and helping you with your lucky items. Surely you can find someone else like that."
"There's..." Midorima's head hung low before clenching his fist and declaring openly and quite loudly enough to be heard from two hallways over. "There's nobody else like that. You know you're the only one! I don't want anyone else! Only Takao!"
Oh no. Shin-chan was too cute. And way too direct in an indirect way, was that even possible!? Ahhh, this was bad for his heart. Did he even have any idea what he was saying? Takao covered his face with his hands. He only wanted to tease him a little but didn't take into account how it would affect him.
Midorima took hold of Takao's wrists to pry them from hiding his face. "And your answer... Takao."
The point guard merely tilted his head upwards, smiling coyly as he drew their faces closer together. "Did you even need to ask?"
# Omake #
Hey, hey... did he... did he somehow overdo it? It was only a small kiss, right? Hardly even called a peck. But considering this was Midorima he was talking about, maybe he was just too overeager.
"Shi...shin-cha-" he nervously called him but his breath was suddenly cut off when warm but insistent lips closed over his own. It took him a good 2 seconds to register what was going on before he responded in kind, leading the kiss. Midorima still seemed inexperienced and resorted to mirroring his movements, meeting him with equal if not, even more vigor and ended up cornering Takao between himself and the wall behind him.
Takao had to pull away first to catch his breath. He has yet to find his voice. "S..shin-chan.. that..." he didn't count on having it backfire on him, having initially expecting Midorima to stammer, blush, and stumble with his words in attempt to save his dignity. Nothing prepared him for the possible scenario if he kissed him back!
His heart wasn't prepared for this.
He'd have to teach Shin-chan a thing or two about keeping his partner's pace in mind and not smother them like he was trying to eat them. Uwahhh... his face went entirely red at the implication and the thought of a next time.
Midorima wasn't unfazed either. His own face was also just as hot and he fiddled with his eyeglasses nervously. The expression he was wearing was anything but calm. "If.. if that's what you choose, do what you have to do and break it off with her already!"
"Ah... but I can't do that." at Takao's words, Midorima's expression fell and he sputtered, "Why the hell not!? B-but you- you just kissed me, you fool-! Nothing but a weasel! Snake! Kappa!"
"Shin-chan." Takao cupped his cheeks with his palms, the affectionate and adoring smile coaxing him to sullen silence. "I can't break it off if there's nothing to break up over." at Midorima's growing confusion, Takao continued, "Look. Shin-chan. Remember what I said earlier about talking to you about something?" Takao reached into his back pocket and produced a rabbit plushie.
Not just any rabbit, but a rabbit that seemed to don a blonde curly wig, red rimmed glasses and wearing a red rider's jacket. He poked the rabbit's cheek, its permanent frown deepened from the press.
"Well... see here, today's lucky item for Cancers is this this bunny plushie that was on sale for only a two week period before it got sold out. Nobody was taking any back-orders or restocking so... I was just about to give up on it."
"But it just so happens, I had a Wild Tiger plushie that the girl at the online site I met wanted. So we met up at a cafe yesterday and traded. That's all." he gingerly planted the said plushie in Midorima's hands.
"I wanted to surprise you with it... and seeing as you were carrying the wrong bunny mascot. I did a good thing, huh?" Takao peered at it and snickered, "...It kind of reminds me of you, actually."
Midorima glared at the plush toy in his hand that wore this sour expression, grumbling. "It doesn't look a thing like me. And I'm not a bunny."
"Oh, but you are. You're my big, lovable, bunny-shin-chan." Takao poked his cheek too, for emphasis. "But I have to say I'm kind of flattered... I didn't think you'd get this upset if you heard I got a girlfriend." He wrapped his arms around his torso and squeezed, "I feel so loved."
"I-idiot! Don't get too ahead of yourself and making your own conclusions! I wasn't upset! I was just... that was..." Midorima jerked back a little too abruptly, "I'm-I'm going back to class!" And he marched off in a huff.
Takao's shoulders were quivering. Shinchan's ears. His face. They were so red. His selfish, demanding, tsundere Ace-sama. So cute. Some things just never change. And he wouldn't have it any other way.
Only few moments after his melodramatic walk-off, Midorima poked his head back in the hallway, scowling, "You're too slow! Why didn't you come after me, Bakao!?"
"Hai hai, sorry to keep you waiting," Takao jogged over and joined him by his side. Digits of his left hand shyly brushed against bandaged ones until the latter gently coiled around his.
A/N: Right, Tiger and Bunny references for the mentioned plushies in the Omake. Thank you for pointing that out to me, bluedream10. Ugu... I thought I wrote them down. Turns out I didn't copy paste the whole thing and my A/N at the bottom didn't get copied over. Q_Q
And thank you for the reviews and faves. X'3 And the story was meant to be a one-shot so I'm sorry if I disappoint readers by admitting that there won't be additional chapters to this. I'm afraid that I might end up drawing legs on a snake.