Hello everyone. Yeah, I'm pretty much still alive. Though, it's been awhile since I've written anything over...500 words? This is 2k plus. I hope I hadn't lost my touch. Haha.

How To Confess, By: Takao Kazunari

"Midorima-kun... I..."

She was small, standing a few inches below Midorima's chest area. She had dark locks that fell long until her mid-back. Her fringes were tamed under a pink clip. And she was fidgeting, Midorima noticed, on the button of Shuutoku's blazer, which she wore appropriately like how the rest of the female uniform should be worn.

She was stuttering as she spoke with her chin down, but eyes staring up nervously. She opened her mouth again after the longest time, and Midorima wasn't sure how he'd react. "I like you...!" It was an announcement that had taken Midorima aback. She shot her head up, now looking at him with eyes full of determination.

What was he supposed to say? What was he supposed to do?

"Please go out with me!"

Well, first off, he would push his glasses up the bridge of his nose then speak to her with his arms on his sides and not across his chest, because he wasn't such an arrogant bastard like most people claimed him to be. Then he would tell her that he respected her being courageous enough, because he himself knew of his cold and distant nature—he wasn't the most approachable one in class, and he wasn't denying it.

(Most girls who confessed to Midorima rendered it to Takao first, or anyone else on Shuutoku—which Miyaji-san couldn't' quite believe that, "This guy over here?! Gets admirers?!" And Takao kind of defended Shin-chan, saying that he...

"Isn't that bad, you know? Shin-chan's surprisingly fun. You guys just don't know about it." And the way he had said it was as if he was one to boast. Midorima didn't hear any of this, of course. He was practicing his shots on the other side of the court.)

And then he would bow his head in apology and break it to her gently that the only thing he was interested in right now was his academics and basketball, and some other thing he still hadn't been quite sure of, but considered it anyway.

That was how Midorima planned his reply in his head for approximately 3.5 seconds, until the girl spoke, and the next thing Midorima knew, she was running off.

"Please consider it!" And not even sparing a glance back.

"I...!" Midorima called off, but she had long disappeared from his sight. He released a sigh. From his formulated plan, the only thing he was able to do was adjust his glasses over the bridge of his nose. "Honestly..."

From the corner, Takao emerged, snickering as he went over to the shooter. It didn't take him long enough to burst into bouts of boisterous laughter which echoed throughout the silent halls of Shuutoku's second floor—it was the end of classes and the two were just about to make their way to practice until...well...this.

"Ku-ha-ha-ha! Shin-chan! You just...! You just scared her off!" Takao continued more exaggeratedly than necessary, holding onto his abdomen as if it were going to fall off.

Midorima shot him a glare. "You were eavesdropping." It was a statement. And it wasn't something Midorima would say he was pleased about. He didn't like his privacy being invaded.

Takao wiped a stray tear that rolled down his cheek before taking in a few breaths and finally composing himself. "'Course not, Shin-chan! I was observing," Takao informed. "They're two different things, you know?"

Another sigh from the shooter; he was just about to tell Takao off, until Takao opened his mouth again. And Midorima couldn't help the little vein plump on the side of his temple because 'what will Takao go on about this time?'

"You should stop scowling!" Takao said. "You already look intimidating as you are. Scowling like that makes you ten times scarier, Shin-chan..."

Midorima was silent as he let Takao continue on. Maybe if he didn't reply then the other would eventually run out of things to say (he doubted it, though).

The two started walking with Takao leading the way.

"...but also, Shin-chan. I don't blame you. I think her approach was kind of...off?"

This time, it seemed that Midorima's interest had been piqued as he paused in his tracks, Takao following the motion. "What do you mean?" The shooter turned to the other with a slightly titled head.

"That's not how you confess to a Shin-chan," Takao explained smartly. "One would have to woo the Shin-chan... One would have to be gentle to the Shin-chan. The Shin-chan, after all, isn't used to these kinds of things. They would have to be slow and steady..."

"Takao, I'm right here," Midorima said, noticing Takao's way of explaining—it was as if he'd been talking about some kind of specimen. And he was just right beside him, too! At one point, it was almost insulting.

"Why do you think all the others come to us first?" Takao then asked, pertaining to him and the rest of Shuutoku who had to take Midorima's confessions for him. Not waiting for a reply, he added, "You know, if it were me, I would have done things differently. Then maybe you would have pondered on about it a little more..."

Takao's theory was that Midorima hadn't put much thought at the heartfelt confession; that he would have immediately given out his flat out reply without any consideration. That was why the girl had fled away so fast, not wanting to hear the big possible 'NO' right away—even though Midorima had actually put some 3.5 seconds worth of thinking into it—and that was more than how long he'd usually react to things.

Then again, Midorima was quite slow when it came to things like this.

He kept silent.

"Who knows? I might end up making you fall head over heels for me on the first try!" Takao winked and started laughing again. Midorima, on the other hand, thought that it had been an interesting idea to entertain—never mind the sudden stir of emotions and the clenching in his chest.

"Then... how would you do it?" He asked curiously.

"How would I do it?" Takao repeated thoughtfully. "Well, Shin-chan! I'd definitely compliment you first! Flatter you or something." He replied with a grin. "I know how deep inside you secretly like those." The point guard jabbed a finger to Midorima's side, causing him to jump up in surprise. "Don't ya?"

"Takao, stop that!"

And Takao did. Only because Midorima's chagrin was able to satisfy him that easily. Oh, how he loved teasing the shooter.

Takao continued, "Next, I'd tell you the benefits of dating me..."

Midorima felt strange. The stirring inside him was now like a whirlpool at the pit of his stomach as his chest clenched tighter. Takao noticed the change in Midorima's stance, and couldn't help but be concerned. Midorima looked like he'd been caught in a daze, raising up a fist to the second button of his uniform from the collar near his chest.

"Shin-chan, are you okay?"

Suddenly, without thinking, Midorima said, "Tell me then." His emeralds were a firm gaze on Takao. "Confess to me."

Instinct told Takao what he had to do next.


And the way he had said Midorima's name was unfamiliar to Midorima's own ears. It was compelling, something Midorima didn't think Takao was capable of doing. As opposed to the childish nickname, hearing Takao say his name like this was...was, oddly enough, making him nervous...uneasy. The stirring inside him grew worse, the clenching almost to the point of suffocation.

Midorima swallowed and hid behind his palm for a quick second as he adjusted his glasses over the bridge of his nose the second time that hour.

"You have the most beautiful eyes... And I like how it's framed by your equally beautiful lashes..." Takao began, those eyes looking up at Midorima and staring into his soul. "I like your height, how it towers over me like a protective shield. I like your voice. The way you scold me and the way you suppress a laugh when you think one of my jokes are funny, even when you try to deny it. They way you talk non-stop about your horoscopes are cute..."

The last word made Midorima cringe. But he said nothing, because that would mean breaking the moment. And for some reason, Midorima didn't want that. He wanted Takao to go on.

"I like how you hide your embarrassment by pushing your glasses up..."

"I do no—" Midorima was cut off by Takao, who had taken his hand just before he could push his glasses up.

"I love your quirks," Takao continued, eyes down on Midorima's fingers as he caressed the tapes with a thumb. The other turned away, reaching for the bridge of his glasses with his right hand. Maybe Takao knew him more than he'd thought. "...And your tsundere attitude."

"I am not a tsundere..." It came out as whisper, which Midorima cursed himself for.

"And I love how you always give everything your all..." The look Takao was giving him now was enough to make the shooter's legs turn into jelly. Midorima regretted ever establishing eye-contact with him again. "And your amazing shots...and I am honoured to be playing alongside you as your teammate, Shin-chan."

"W-what about the...benefits...?" That part slipped. Midorima didn't intend to say anything else after that, but it was all too late turn back. Now he wanted to know. Everything. He craved for Takao's words. Indulged in them. Midorima realized that they were far sweeter than anything he's ever known.

"Huh? Ah!" Takao's expression lit up with enthusiasm. "It'd be the same as always, Shin-chan! We'll still have so much fun and hang out and stuff. The only change is that..." But his voice lowered, and the air that swept in was still and serious. "You'll be mine and I'll be yours."

There was a pause, and then ever so carefully, "Shin-chan, I love you. Will you go out with me?"

Midorima was so convinced that Takao was about to get down on one knee and pull out a promise ring or something. He opened his mouth for a quick second, so close to muttering a 'yes', but reality was calling for his attention. "It's effective..." Midorima trailed off.

"Effective..?" Takao was puzzled. But soon, it clicked to him, too."See! I told you it'll work! If everyone confessed the way I did, I'm sure you'd instantly fall for them!" He praised himself for a job well done, trying to act as casual as possible in hopes of diminishing the awkward atmosphere hanging in the air.

But they both looked away from each other anyway, their minds still grasping the thought that this hadn't been a real confession. That it was just a friend helping out another friend with some woman issues.



. . .

Midorima came face to face with the girl the next day. Her hair was tied up in a ponytail, Midorima noticed. And she was wearing gym clothes. They both stood at the same spot on the second floor. This time though, it was Midorima's turn to speak.

His reply was ready. He had practiced it many times the night before.

"I'm sorry..."

'I am occupied with academics and basketball. I have no time for such things...'

"I hold feelings for somebody else. So I apologize. I cannot date you."

"I see..." The girl smiled up at Midorima, taking the latter by surprise. Midorima was certain that things were going to end up...to put bluntly, badly. Maybe a little violent, even. "I hope you'll be happy with that person. Thank you for your time." She left with a bow.

Truth be told, Midorima already was happy with that person.

"So... Shin-chan..." From the same corner came that ever familiar voice. Midorima looked back to see Takao, already wearing that cheeky grin that never seemed to leave his lips. "Who's this 'somebody' you're talking about, hmmm?" He cooed.

"You were eavesdropping."

Takao shook his head. "Observing, Shin-chan. Observing."

Midorima released a sigh. "You know this person quite well."

"What?!" The point guard was genuinely shocked. "Really? Are they good looking? That person better treat you right, Shin-chan! Or I'll seriously...!"

Midorima only smiled lovingly at that person.

I cannot romance, but I tried. I hope you guys enjoyed it!