"For starters, you might want to stop referring to him as the object of your affections."

"It's accurate."

"No, Akashi-kun, it's creepy. You sound like you want to polish him up and store him away on a shelf like a trophy."

"Then what do you suggest?"

"…Call him honey."

"Tetsuya, your mouth is twitching."

"Milkshake withdrawal." Kuroko waves dismissively. "I'm trying to quit."


"Text messages. Sexy text messages."

"I'm sorry?"

"Here, let me show you." Kise unpockets his phone and flicks through his outbox. "See?"

not wearing anything and thinkin bout u ;)

"You wanna flirt and tease him a little. Get him in the mood, y'know?"

"I see now." After giving it some thought, Akashi shoots off a message of his own.


"Umaibo," Murasakibara nodded sagely. "Definitely Umaibo. I'll even give you this one if you'll tell Mido-chin to stop nagging at me."

Akashi frowned. "You want me to offer Shintarou a half-eaten Umaibo to convey the depth of my undying affections. Atsushi, are you invested in this at all?"

"Mm, not really."


Haizaki just laughs in Akashi's face and walks away clutching his sides. Akashi makes a mental note to show him that ankle-breaking was not just a basketball terminology.


"Kise's full of shit, don't send him a sexy text message."

"Yes, I was beginning to have doubts about that." Akashi had yet to receive a response.

"Look, you either want him or you don't. Don't half-ass it with a text."

"I certainly wouldn't want to give the impression I'm not giving it my all," Akashi nodded earnestly, with look that read go on.

"Just—grab him and kiss the shit out of him. Sounds crazy, but you'll thank me later."


"Akashi, would you mind explaining this?" Midorima asks as they're walking home together. He shows Akashi a message on his phone.

I'm wearing practice clothes and basketball shoes, and thinking of you at the moment.

"Was my meaning not plain to you?"

"No." He doesn't look the least bit turned on, like Kise claimed he would be.

"Yes, well. The scent of sweat and the feel of cushioned soles reminded me that I wanted to schedule a captain's meeting with you," Akashi lied.

"You could have just said that. Is that all?"

"Yes, honey."


"Anyway, this is for you." Midorima doesn't look too thrilled when Akashi passes him a stick of Umaibo. "…It's from Atsushi," Akashi adds as an afterthought. "Consider it a token of his friendship."

"Why is it half-eaten?" Midorima promptly drops it into a garbage with a disgusted scoff.

"I suppose we can't all be perfect," Akashi sighed.

"You're acting strangely today, Akashi. Did something happen?"

Akashi stops in the middle of the sidewalk and Midorima turns to look questioningly at him. "I don't quite know how to say this, so." He reaches for Shintarou's tie and tugs him down to his level. "Hopefully this makes things clear," and he kisses Midorima in way that was anything but innocent.

At first Midorima makes a strangled noise, like he's about to say something, but Akashi efficiently works his tongue into Midorima's mouth and silences him the moment he tries to speak. He kisses back, partly because he wants to and partly because it feels like the most natural thing. For awhile, he focuses on nothing but the increasingly wet sounds of their lips, perhaps more suited for a dark alley under moonless sky. He's pretty sure mothers are glaring at them as they walk by, but Akashi's mouth is so hot and tight, he's starting to wonder how they would feel inching down on his throbbing, aching—.

Akashi pulls away to breathe, slightly flushed pink with excitement. "I want you," Akashi says quietly, like he's divulging a secret to the air between them, fingers still clutched to Midorima's tie.

Midorima nods. "I know."