The great miscalculation of Midorima Shintaro
Midorima Shintaro thinks of mathematics and falls in love.
I'm sorry, that is the best summary I can come up with for this story.
RATING/WARNINGS: PG, shonen-ai, boys kissing.
A/N: An introspective piece really, into Midorima's mind. He is rather fascinating to write! Please enjoy the story ! Dedicated to a friend, who likes MidoTaka.
Characters belong to Tadatoshi Fujimaki sensei.
Life is a function of (x), where (x) is unknown.
Midorima Shintaro liked to think of life as mathematics. It made sense that one plus one would equals two. It made sense that the multiplication of threes would give you nines.
He applied this rule to everything he did, including basketball.
It made perfect sense that working hard would produce results, and that it would be possible to attain the exact results he desired if he deduced an exact pathway. Success was no more than an equation to him.
Practice, practice, practice. Rinse and repeat.
Countless nights, he lived in a world shrunk to the size of a basketball court, and his body would take it all in; the hot lights on his skin, the squeaky sound of his own sneakers on polished wood, the echoing bounce of the rubber ball. It became his secret place, a bubble of air, condensed with heat and sweat and goals and focus.
Every single time he throws the ball, he makes an exact reproduction of the amount of strength to exert, the height he would need to jump, the coordinates of his position in relation to the hoop, the precise timbre in the sound the air makes when he's thrown the perfect parabola...all imprinted to vivid accuracy in his mind.
He repeated every procedure meticulously until the synapses of his mind were completely wired to replicate results, and he could close his eyes and be at peace, for his wrists would know what to do, his muscles would tense just enough.
He would shoot, and he knew, for certain, that he would score.
He revelled at that security. The minute the ball leaves his hands, he would allow himself, for a fraction of a second, to breathe again. The ball would make a clean arc and slip right through the ring with a satisfying swish. There it goes. Sweet, sweet relief.
And then there's probability.
For any chance of success, there exists a chance of failure. However, if the odds of success could be increased by honing technique to mathematical precision, it would be possible to factor out man-made errors as an attribution to failure. That would leave more nebulous things like "luck", or "fate" to blame, whenever things did not go as planned.
However, to Midorima, even luck could be controlled, to an extent.
Even the stars may fall for men.
So there he goes, with his astrology charts and horoscopes and daily predictions, with trinkets and trinkets of "lucky" items, a frog one day, a silver spoon the next- and that seemed to do the trick. If it rained, he would have expected it, and his lucky item would be a green umbrella, or perhaps he would take measures to stay indoors. This way, even if he could not predict to accuracy what would transpire, he could minimize the negative effects it might have on him.
Or perhaps, this was his way of staying in control, even when control wasn't absolute.
It kept people at bay, understandably, but Midorima paid no heed to that. If he wanted to make friends, he would have played his cards differently, he would calculate different equations in his mind. Smile more. Laugh more. Accept social invitations with strategic people. Things like that.
But friends were not his purpose. Success, self-belief, self-efficacy- those were the things that mattered to him.
He had his skills, and he had the stars, and for Midorima Shintaro, it seemed to be enough.
It was precisely for this reason that Midorima could not comprehend the appearance of someone like Takao Kazunari in his life. Takao was 5 feet, 9 inches, and sixty-five kilograms of free-spiritedness and bright energy and loud laughter; in short- everything Midorima was not. Where Midorima was cautious and mathematical, Takao was reckless and loose-limbed. He seemed to play almost purely on instinct, and as a result, there was something organic and natural about his success.
He shoots, and he scores, and he's smiling all the way.
Almost beautiful, Midorima caught himself thinking, once. Just once.
It was the same in class. Takao had such good energy that people could not help but talk to him. He lived in a radiant world, enveloped in warmth and an endless supply of friends. He could have his pick of people to be with, and he would never fall short.
Here he was, in front of him, currently picking at his bento. The boys were cramped into a corner of the school's indoor basketball court. The court lights were switched off, as it was "after-hours", but Takao was insistent ( "But it's so hot outside Shin-chan! It's much cooler in here!" ) on eating there right after a practice session with Midorima. The summer sun burned into the zinc roof of the court, and light bled in through the cracks under the doors, or through the ceiling windowpanes. A worn basketball sat peacefully somewhere by the base of Midorima's feet, casting a small shadow.
In the dim afternoon light, Midorima noticed a bead of rice stuck somewhere on Takao's lower chin, and fought the compulsion to wipe it off.
"Shin-chan, your bento is really improving!"
"Shrimp, fried chicken, radish, sweet potato. It is nothing special," Midorima replied, but his fingers automatically found their way to his face, and he slid his glasses up the bridge of his nose in attempt to conceal his facial expression.
You're the only one who would eat them.
"What's that? Are you happy?"
"Why would I be happy at something trifle like that? Don't be ridiculous."
Takao laughs, in spite of himself.
"What a classic tsundere answer, as expected of Shin-chan!"
Midorima tapped his chopsticks against the plastic container, and weighed the pros and cons in his mind. He decided to go ahead.
"I was thinking about mathematics."
Takao stopped eating and fixed his eyes on Midorima. There was something about his gaze. It was sharp and penetrating, and he had a way of making you feel as if he genuinely wanted to listen to you.
"I was thinking about how satisfying it is that one plus one equals two. But then I wonder why it is that someone like you is in my life."
If Midorima's calculations were accurate, Takao would have left, a long, long time ago. Midorima was no fool, and he did not expect anyone to stay, not with his eccentricities and his "lucky items" and his general tendencies to keep to himself. He understood very well that he not the easiest person to befriend, but he was at peace with it. He simply accepted that he was on a different wavelength from everyone else, and lived his life accordingly.
Coldness does not beget warmth, not usually.
But here you are.
It left Midorima puzzled, and he grappled to make sense of it. It was almost as if someone dropped the sun on him, and he was completely at a loss as to what to do with it. If he did not understand how it came about, he could not understand how to eliminate, or, if necessary, maintain it. Somewhere inside Midorima, something was unravelling, and he had no idea where to stop, or start. It terrified him.
Takao watched the quiet tremor beneath Midorima's eyelids, the way he usually gets when he was deep in thought; and smiled, and his expression softening.
"Well," Takao began, "perhaps you made a miscalculation, Shin-chan."
Takao was fond of drawling out his nick-name for Midorima when he wanted to punctuate a point. There was no one else in the world who could get away with doing that to Midorima.
What happened next was something not even Midorima himself could have practiced or prepared for a thousand times.
"Perhaps I did."
He drew close, and the world stopped orbiting.
Takao made a small sound of surprise, but that was quickly muffled by Midorima's lips, strangely soft and pillowy for a male.
How bold. How bold. How bold.
He surprised himself. There were no rehearsals, no midnight practice sessions, no coordinates, no "lucky romance" items; just him pressing his lips clumsily against another boy's lips, with his nerves scorching and his pulse racing and his heart beating against his chest and every fibre of his being unravelling and oh Takao Kazunari, was kissing back, just as clumsy, just as uncertain, just as nervous.
"Oha Asa" and stars be dammed, this was perfect.
The great miscalculation of Midorima Shintaro, but I do not think I mind this one, not at all.
In a hot, worn down basketball court, Midorima Shintaro fell hopelessly out of control, and hopelessly in love.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the story! Comments and reviews are always appreciated :)