A New Game

The course of the afternoon was the same as always.

At the end of every tiresome practice, Midorima and Takao would be the first ones to hit the locker rooms to freshen up—this was to call dibs on the less than dirty shower stalls, because apparently certain ones were cleaner than the rest, and it would be kind of gross to be bathing in a stall with mold and grime practically growing on the tiles. It's first come, first serve, if you will. Also, it sucked having a school janitor that only came in twice a week to clean.

After the sweat of the day had been washed away, Midorima and Takao would pack their things—Takao blindly stuffing his clothes in a big clump inside his duffel, and Midorima giving him a sort of displeasured look, because it was such an eye-sore for him to see things in such a mess. (Midorima liked his laundry folded and neatly put inside his bag).

The two would then bid their senpai goodbye—more often, it would be Miyaji yelling at them to come to the next day's morning practice on time unless they wanted to get run over by Kimura's pick up. Not that they were ever late, though. They didn't dare test Miyaji's patience.

Takao would chuckle at this, Miyaji-san, hostile as always, and run next to Midorima, who was just about nearing the gym's exit.

The bike racks (which were Midorima and Takao's last stop before heading home) were located at the back of the gym. One bike stood out among the rest. It didn't fit the racks like the others did. Actually, it didn't fit the parking space at all! How could it, when a rickshaw was attached to it, of all things.

Along their regular course was deciding who would pedal the unusual vehicle on the way home. This would be decided by playing a round (or three...or five...if Takao tried hard enough, and if Shin-chan was feeling generous) of janken.

To say the least, Takao was not fond of this game. The game in itself was fine—making either of the three shapes with a hand, finding the right timing and right shape to counter, pfft. It's kid's play. But what really got to him was losing against Midorima every single time. Again—Every. Single. Damn. Time. Like, how does he even do it? It was like the skill was innate in him.

Midorima didn't think strategically about it. He didn't apply some sort of mathematical formula to equate whatever shit. He just won. All the time.

Sometimes, Takao would be so convinced that maybe it was Midorima's strong belief in horoscopes and fate. Maybe his lucky items did work. Maybe Takao should try it out, too. But just in time, he would recall all the weird things Midorima had to carry around...in public...and would think, no. He didn't want that.

Takao sighed. Here we go again.

It was when accidentally stepping on a random twig and breaking it in two when Takao had thought of such a brilliant idea—a new game they could play. A game he knew he would definitely win because, 'Shin-chan would never let himself go all the way!'

(Not that Takao would, but it's not like he minded... The point was he should win).

"Shin-chan, I propose a new game," Takao announced in all grins as Midorima loaded the last of their stuff at the back of the rickshaw.

"What is it now, Takao?" Midorima was almost sighing as he replied.

"How about we play something else other than janken?"

Midorima looked at him incredulously. "And what could that possibly be?"

Takao rummaged through their things (much to Midorima's dismay considering how he had fixed everything literally just seconds ago), and from his satchel, he took out the barely finished box of Pocky he secretly snacked on during the five minute breaks at practice. "Tada~" The point guard said in a sing-song tune, waving the box in front of the shooter. "Now, I'm sure you know how this works, Shin-chan..." Before Takao could continue though, Midorima had cut him off.

"I refuse," Midorima spat.

"What? Why?"

"I refuse to play such childish games."

"It's not childish!" Last time Takao checked, his classmates were playing it in the obscure parts of the classroom, or under staircases. Though, the only thing Takao really needed to do was provoke Midorima into playing. And if he said the right words... "Or maybe you're actually afraid you'll lose, huh? Afraid 'destiny' won't back up this time?" Takao quoted the word 'destiny' with his fingers.

Midorima darted at him. Bingo.

"Fine." Midorima declared, reluctant as he was, he shall not take Takao's insults (teasing, really) lightly. "Let's do it."

Takao smirked. "Heh. That's what I thought. So, whoever bites off first loses, yeah?" Midorima simply rolled his eyes. Meanwhile, Takao had pulled out a chocolate-coated biscuit stick, and popped one end between his lips. "There, Shin-chan, you can have the chocolate part," Takao mumbled, careful not to drop the treat.

Midorima stared at his end bitterly before releasing a sigh. "Let's just get this over with."

Takao could only grin in satisfaction as Midorima leaned closer. He looked so pained having to do this, it was almost amusing. Shin-chan is so cute like this.

Both ends of the stick were inside of each mouth, and as Midorima got closer, Takao could feel confidence and anticipated victory stirring within him. It was just a matter of time before Shin-chan felt embarrassed enough to completely back away.

But the problem was, Midorima wasn't backing away.

And suddenly, Takao was just slightly on the brink of panicking.

'What is he doing? He's supposed to be biting it off! Shin-chan, stop!' Midorima inched even closer, and the voice inside Takao's mind only screamed louder. The shooter was a good two centimeters away from him—dangerously close with his eyes slanted, a drop of sweat rolling down the side of his face, and concentrating hard. 'Bite it off, damn it!' Because Takao was sure as hell he won't be the one biting it off. Takao had to win this one.

Then he felt it.

A light brush of Midorima's soft lips against his own slightly chapped ones. The warmth of his breath mixing with Takao's own. And then...and then...the piece of biscuit that was formerly in his mouth had been swiped away. For a quick second he could taste the faint flavor of shiruko, overwhelmed by smooth chocolate and traces of biscuit crumbs, and he could taste Shin-chan. And he tasted so damn good.

He wanted to pull him closer, but Midorima had already backed away.

And it clicked. I never knew Shin-chan could be so bold...

"I guess I win," Midorima brought on suddenly, swallowing the last bite of Pocky he had taken from Takao, not even batting an eyelash, as if he was strictly doing business.

...And so sneaky!

"What's wrong, Takao?"

Takao collected himself before replying—in fear of suddenly combusting from all the heat he was feeling from his face. "S-Shin-chan, that's' not fair!" Takao cursed inwardly. The stutter sounded so uncharacteristic of him. "You took my piece. I didn't bite it off so it doesn't count. I want a rematch."

"Stop it. This is ridiculous," Midorima stated and was about to ride back when Takao looked gravely at him

"We do a rematch or we don't go home."

Thirty minutes later, Midorima and Takao were both in the back of the rickshaw, consuming the last Pocky stick from the box, panting quite breathlessly, hair a little bit disheveled, and sweating.

Midorima pulled back for the nth time. "This is no good. Next time, we'll do our old routine."

Takao steadied himself against the wooden frame and wiped the side of his mouth with his sleeve. "Yeah..."

Psst. They ended up making out /wink.