“So, I know how I got here,” Aomine remarked thoughtfully, shifting a little against the bed. “But how did Tetsu talk you into this?”
Taiga grumbled against his bare shoulder. “You pick the weirdest times for long, meaningful talks.”
Aomine flexed his arms a bit, where they were draped against the pillows over his head, emphasizing the soft cuffs around his wrists. “Got nothing better to do until Tetsu decides what he’s going to do with me.”
Tetsuya smiled a little and dropped a kiss on the soft skin of Aomine’s inner arm, sending a faint shiver through him. “You’re fine where you are.”
“So, there you go.” Aomine nudged Taiga with his hip. “What’s the story?”
Taiga sighed and wrapped himself a little more snugly around Aomine’s perfectly relaxed sprawl. “He didn’t talk me into it. It… just kind of happened. I guess, really, it’d been happening pretty much since we met.” After a moment’s though, he smiled against Aomine’s shoulder. “I think the first time I knew about it was after the Cup final last year. Tatsuya waited, after, to talk to me. And Tetsuya was waiting for me after that.”
Taiga stopped short on the steps of the Metropolitan Gymnasium, startled. It was late. Almost everyone who’d come to watch the Winter Cup finals was gone, including the teams who’d played. But Kuroko was still sitting on the steps, bundled in his coat. “What are you doing here?”
“Waiting for you.”
Taiga opened his mouth and closed it again. When Kuroko sounded that matter-of-fact there was no getting anything else out of him. “Fine, come on, then.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets and turned toward the subway station. Kuroko fell in quietly beside him. He didn’t say another word except ‘excuse me’ until they were on the train.
“Is it all right?” he asked, at last, low enough that the neighboring passengers three seats down wouldn’t hear.
“It’s… yeah, it’s… okay.” Taiga still wasn’t quite sure what to make of the things Tatsuya had said, the apology for being jealous, the scolding for ever holding back, the assurance they were friends. The insistence that he was not, now, and could not be any kind of role model or guide to Taiga. Taiga touched the ring he still wore, a tiny weight on its chain, remembering what might have been the line of a matching chain under the neck of Tatsuya’s sweater. Or might not.
“I see.” That was all Kuroko said, but when he shifted with the curve of the tracks, his arm pressed against Taiga’s and stayed there.
It helped. It settled Taiga, to know Kuroko was there, made the part of him that still felt raw and strained relax a little. It was… comforting.
And that was the first time that Taiga thought, all the way up in the front of his head, that he might be thinking of his partner as more than just his partner. Well. They were friends, of course. They did… friend things. Ate lunch together, studied together. Walked home together. Went for dinner together. Stayed out late and slept at each other’s houses. Called old friends up for loans of clothing…
Okay, maybe not just friend things, now he thought about it.
By the time they got to their own station, Taiga was wondering whether he was really a complete idiot, and whether he could excuse himself by Kuroko not having noticed either. Or had he? Taiga could read Kuroko’s game like book, by now, but other things were still harder to figure out. He studied Kuroko sidelong as they climbed the stairs to the street, until Kuroko glanced over and raised his brows questioningly, apparently perfectly at ease and not concerned in the least by having possibly acquired a boyfriend without noticing. Taiga shook his head vigorously to dislodge that thought, which just made Kuroko look amused.
“What is it?”
“Nothing.” Taiga held out for almost a block before he finally gave in and added, “Hey. Do you… I mean, are we… Um.”
Kuroko waited patiently.
Taiga raked a hand through his hair with an aggravated sound. Screw it. It wasn’t like the two of them used words all that much in the first place. He stopped on the sidewalk, in the shadow between street lights and reached out to touch Kuroko’s cheek. “Do you… ever think about this? For us?” he asked, low.
Kuroko’s eyes widened a little, and for a long moment Taiga had a sinking feeling that he’d just embarrassed himself. But then Kuroko’s lips turned up in a faint smile, and he lifted a hand to rest over Taiga’s, turning his head just a little into the touch. “You’ve been thinking a lot, tonight.”
Okay, so maybe Taiga had been the only completely oblivious one, fine, whatever. “I was just… thinking, yeah,” he finished a bit lamely.
That tiny smile was laughing at him. “I like Kagami-kun, too.”
Heat rushed to Taiga’s face and he tugged his hand away again. “You just come out and say things like that!” he complained.
Kuroko held him for a second. “How else are people going to know, if you don’t say?” He smiled a little wider when Taiga stilled, unable to argue with the justice of that one, and finally let him go.
They were quiet until they reached Taiga’s turn-off, and then he hesitated, looking down at Kuroko. “So. Um.”
Kuroko was laughing at him from behind that little smile again. “Come here, Kagami-kun.” He reached up to thread his fingers into Taiga’s hair, and Taiga, rather relieved, leaned down to a light kiss, just a brush of lips against each other. “Good night,” Kuroko murmured.
“Yeah,” Taiga answered, finding his voice just a bit husky. “See you tomorrow.”
There was an extra bit of warmth wrapped around the raw places inside him, as he walked the rest of the way home.
It didn’t take Taiga long to realize that that first kiss was part of a pattern. For someone whose strengths were strategy and timing, Kuroko was very aggressive. He was always the one who rested a hand on Taiga’s shoulder while they were changing for practice; the one who was suddenly watching Taiga thoughtfully in the showers; the one who pulled Taiga down to increasingly thorough kisses when they met or parted by the park court at night. Even when he was completely wrapped up in Taiga’s arms, head tipped back to meet his mouth, it was Kuroko who was setting their pace.
Eventually it got obvious enough for Taiga to say something, one night they’d stayed so late practicing that even the captain had given up and gone ahead, and told them to just turn off all the lights behind them. Kuroko came to him while Taiga was sitting on the bench to tie his shoes and stepped lightly between Taiga’s knees, sliding his fingers into Taiga’s hair to tip his head back for a kiss. The slow, soft force of it made Taiga’s breath catch, and he looked up at Kuroko after, hands linked behind his legs. “You seem different, when we’re like this.”
Kuroko cocked his head, fingers still running through Taiga’s hair. “I don’t think it’s that different,” he said thoughtfully.
Taiga shook his head a little. “You’re a lot more… well, I can’t say more forceful.” This being the same guy who had slugged Taiga one to get his head back in the game. “Just… you lead a lot more, like this. Well," honesty forced him to add, "a lot more openly anyway.”
“Do you mind it?” Kuroko asked after a long, quiet moment, eyes steady on Taiga. Taiga blinked.
“I… don’t exactly mind it, no. It was just kind of noticeable.”
Kuroko sighed and leaned against him, arms sliding around Taiga’s shoulders and resting there. “I think this is something I need,” he said softly against Taiga’s hair. “To lead, like you say.”
Taiga was quiet himself for a moment, wondering. “Why?” he finally asked, resting his forehead against Kuroko’s chest. “I mean… yeah, you’re the one who leads already in a lot of ways. You’re the one who kept me away from whatever the hell hole it was that Aomine fell down. You’re the one who doesn’t quit. But we’ve always been partners. Part of why I needed to be stronger was so you could rely on me, back.”
“I’ve always relied on you,” Kuroko said, very softly. “You’re why I could stand on my own, and find my own game. But I’m still me; I play with people, not alone, it’s what I do. That’s why I need to know you trust me, even more like this than when we’re on the court. I need to know you trust me completely.”
Taiga went still at that. “Completely?” he echoed, cautiously. Kuroko laughed a little against his hair, fingers stroking through it again.
“Completely,” he agreed. “You’re my partner. You trust me. I trust you. That’s how we play the way we do, and I love that, but this is more personal.” There was still that touch of rueful amusement hovering in his voice. “For one thing, there aren’t any other teammates or opponents; just us. So it’s more intense. Can you trust me that much, Kagami-kun?” He pulled away from Taiga gently, until only his hands were still resting on Taiga’s shoulders. “Or should we just stay partners?”
The jolt of protest in Taiga’s gut answered part of that question for him right away, but he still hesitated. He knew Kuroko pretty well, at least he’d thought he did, but there were ways ‘complete trust’ could go in a personal relationship that he really wasn’t into. “What do you want me to trust you to do?”
Kuroko’s hands were back in his hair, gentle and soothing. “Nothing that would hurt you. Nothing you don’t want. Just… to lead you.”
Taiga looked up at him, leaning into Kuroko’s hands without even thinking, but still hesitating. The last person he had trusted to lead him… He touched the chain around his neck and took a breath. “Let me take it slow,” he said quietly, meeting Kuroko’s eyes. “The last time I trusted someone like that… didn’t end real well.”
A spark of rare anger lit in Kuroko’s eyes and he stepped close again, arms closing around Taiga’s shoulders. “I’m not Himuro-san. We’re partners. Whether you can do this or not, that won’t change.” His hands drew Taiga’s head back and Kuroko kissed him again, deep and possessive. It made something hot flare down Taiga’s veins, feeling the fierceness in Kuroko’s mouth on his, in the arms wrapped around him, supporting him. When Kuroko finally drew back, he said, softly, “Go as slowly as you need.”
The perfectly earnest words, set against that fierce kiss, made Taiga laugh, wrap his arms tight around Kuroko and laugh himself breathless. “Yeah,” he said at last. “Yeah, let’s try it.”
The pleasure lighting up Kuroko’s face, when Taiga looked up, made the warmth in Taiga’s chest settle in deeper.
There was, Taiga learned, a particular way Kuroko touched him, when he wanted to have control. It was slower, more deliberate than their casual touches, a flex of fingers that let Taiga feel some of Kuroko’s strength of grip. Never bruising, but very… definite. When Kuroko touched him like that, hand sliding down Taiga’s neck or up his arm, he wanted Taiga to give way to him, to let himself be directed. Taiga found he didn’t mind.
Actually, it was pretty damn hot.
Which was why he was currently stretched out naked across his bed with Kuroko kneeling between his legs, watching him intently while he fondled Taiga’s cock until Taiga was panting for breath, hands clenched in the pillows over his head.
He was harder than he thought he’d ever been in his life.
It wasn’t just Kuroko’s hand on his cock. It also wasn’t just that he was spread out wide for Kuroko to handle. It was the way Kuroko was watching him, so closely, so carefully. Every time some particular stroke of his fingers drove a gasp out of Taiga, he noticed and did it again. Every time Taiga’s body started to pull taut, Kuroko’s grip softened, easing him back down a little. Kuroko was paying attention to him the way Taiga had only ever felt in the middle of an especially intense game, when Kuroko’s awareness of the team, and of Taiga in particular, started to seem like magic. The attention felt like being fondled inside. Kuroko ran his thumb up the underside of Taiga’s cock, slow and firm, and Taiga bucked up, gasping.
His partner smiled faintly. “Under the circumstances,” he rubbed his thumb gently over Taiga’s head, illustrative, “I think you can call me by my given name.”
“I…” Taiga wasn’t a formal kind of guy, not nearly as much as Kuroko, who was still calling him ‘Kagami-kun’ for god’s sake. But he hadn’t wanted to use Kuroko’s name. It was too close to Tatsuya’s name, and wouldn’t that feel weird? Kuroko’s other hand slid up his thigh to fondle his balls gently, and Taiga shuddered, hands clenching tighter in his pillow as the name was nearly pulled out of him. “Tetsuya!”
And it wasn’t weird. He wasn’t thinking of Himuro, of anything at all that wasn’t his partner’s eyes and hands on him, sure and intent and melting his brain out his ears. His partner, smiling and pleased and scraping the edge of his nail very delicately behind Taiga’s balls. “Fuck, Tetsuya!” Taiga came undone all at once, bucking wildly against the bed while heat wrung him like a rag, over and over. Tetsuya’s hands stroked him firmly through it, until Taiga dropped back against the twisted up sheets, panting and dazed.
Tetsuya leaned over him and kissed his forehead softly. “Taiga.” The simple sound of his name sent another shudder through Taiga. It sounded intimate. It sounded like Tetsuya laying a claim on him.
“How the hell do you do that?” he asked, husky, finally unclenching one hand to reach up and run it through Tetsuya’s soft, rumpled hair. “It’s like you put a mark on me just by looking at me, when we’re in bed. It almost feels like we’re on the court, only…” he snorted with some amusement, waving a hand at their current naked, sweaty, sticky condition, “different.”
Tetsuya settled on one elbow beside him, resting a hand on his chest. “It’s similar, I suppose,” he agreed quietly. “I… reach out to know who I’m playing with and against. To find you, especially. I suppose it’s a mental trick a little like Izuki-senpai’s, but for me it’s all about who’s paying attention to who, who’s looking where, where each player’s body says they’re going to turn next. So I can move behind or around the thing they’ll be looking at.” He was silent for a long, thoughtful moment, stroking Taiga’s chest slowly. “It’s a mental trick, but… how you respond matters too. If know you trust me, if you reach back to me, it’s easier to find you. Easier to keep holding you as the game moves. And you’re easier to hold than anyone else. I like that.” He leaned down and kissed Taiga, slow and deep and so rawly possessive Taiga’s breath caught in his chest. “I want to hold you this way, too.”
“Tetsuya…” Taiga reached up and wound his arms around Tetsuya, pulling him down and wrapping himself around his partner. Tetsuya let him, relaxed against him in a way that made Taiga have to swallow hard. It wasn’t one-sided trust he was giving Tetsuya. He closed his eyes and took a slow breath. “I trust you,” he said softly. “Completely. Whatever you want to do.”
And if that thought made heat tingle along his nerves again… well, that was nobody’s business but his. And Tetsuya’s.
The pleased sound Tetsuya made put a little curl of anticipation down Taiga’s spine, and he smiled up at the ceiling.
Sometimes, Taiga wondered exactly how he’d gotten himself into his current situation. And then, sometimes, he remembered it was Tetsuya and didn’t actually have to wonder.
“So what is this idea you said you had?” he asked Tetsuya, wrapping his arms comfortably around him as Tetsuya slid down to straddle his lap on Taiga’s tiny couch, forearms resting over Taiga’s shoulders. “And, incidentally, that was a really evil thing to say to me right before practice.”
Tetsuya’s smile was tiny and secretive. “Was it?” The smile widened when Taiga growled, and he slid his fingers into Taiga’s hair, pulling his head back so Tetsuya could nip delicately down his throat. Between quick, soft bites, he explained, “I want to tease you for a while, tonight.”
Eyes half closed, breath hitching with each sharp little nip, Taiga managed, “Tease me how?” He shivered as Tetsuya’s tongue stroked up the line of bites, wondering if there were going to be marks there later. Tetsuya had only marked him once before, but it had been very distracting having the whole team stare at his neck during practice. Distracting and arousing, to know he was walking around with the mark of Tetsuya’s mouth on his skin, which might have been the point. That had been the day Tetsuya had jerked him off in the shower, eyes heavy and hot on him as they listened to the rest of the team’s horseplay over drying off, just across the hall. Taiga shivered, remembering, and tipped his head back further.
Tetsuya drew back and ran his hands down Taiga’s neck and over his chest, slow and firm. “I want you to watch me. And not do anything else, until I say you can.”
Taiga’s face turned rather hot. “Watch you?”
That tiny planning-something smile flickered over Tetsuya’s face again. “Yes.”
Tetsuya obviously had something in mind, which… actually did more to convince Taiga than anything else. Tetsuya was the strategist, after all. He laced his fingers with Tetsuya’s. “Okay.”
Tetsuya looked pleased and pushed up off the couch, tugging Taiga with him toward the bedroom. “Come here, then.”
It was a little weird, Taiga thought as he followed along, how much this felt like their partnership on the court. On the face of it, the two were totally different. On the court, they both made their own choices, for all they watched each other and worked together. Here, he gave the choices to Tetsuya, let Tetsuya’s word be the one that moved him or held him still. And yet… maybe Tetsuya was right, and it really all came down to trust, for the two of them. He trusted Tetsuya to play his own strengths, on the court, and to choose well for the team. Here, undressing at Tetsuya’s soft prompting, lying back against the head of his bed as Tetsuya’s hands urged him down, here he trusted Tetsuya to be with him all the way, and to choose well for the two of them. He trusted Tetsuya to hold him, even closer than he did on the court, and the feeling of being held like this was hot and secure. And that was something he wanted.
He watched as Tetsuya undressed and folded his clothes neatly on Taiga’s desk. It was easy to overlook, on a high-powered sports team, but Tetsuya was solidly built. Compact, yes, but leanly muscled, and those muscles sharply defined. The flex of them as Tetsuya slid up onto the bed and knelt there, facing Taiga, held his gaze.
And then Tetsuya reached down and wrapped a hand around his own cock, and Taiga had to swallow. He hadn’t really thought it would do much for him, just to watch, but… the slow, deliberate stroke of Tetsuya’s fingers up and down his cock, coaxing himself harder, made him think about that hand on him.
Tetsuya smiled and closed his eyes. “Taiga,” he said softly. He slid a thumb up to circle over his head, and his breath pulled in, and he tipped his head back a little. “Taiga…”
A husky sound caught in Taiga’s own throat. Tetsuya sounded… he sounded like it was Taiga who was touching him. When Tetsuya moaned, faint and breathless, it sent something hot through Taiga’s chest and down into his guts. He didn’t think he could have looked away from Tetsuya’s hand working over himself, from the way Tetsuya spread his knees wider against the bed, if he’d tried. Without thinking, he started to press one hand between his own legs.
“I didn’t say you could move.” The words caught Taiga like a hand on his wrist, and he swallowed and curled his fingers in the rumpled sheets under him. Tetsuya smiled, slow and clear, head still tipped back. “That’s good.”
Taiga was breathing faster himself, now, flushed from watching the way Tetsuya touched himself, listening to the sounds he made, all the while pinned down by Tetsuya’s order to stay still. The stillness made the rest of it twice as hot.
There was something wicked at the corners of Tetsuya’s smile, now, and he rocked forward to take Taiga’s little bottle of lube from where it lived tucked against the blinds on the window ledge above his bed. Taiga was prepared for Tetsuya to squeeze some into his palm, for the sheen of it as Tetsuya stroked a hand down his cock. What shocked him, and sent a jolt of blinding heat through him, was seeing Tetsuya turn one shoulder to him, seeing him slide slick fingers down behind himself to press between his cheeks. “Tetsuya,” he gasped, hoarse.
“Mmm. Taiga.” Tetsuya’s wrist flexed, pushing a finger into himself, and a flush climbed up his throat. He drew a slow breath, fingers sliding back and forth over his cock, and murmured, “Be still.”
Taiga thought he could almost feel the grip of Tetsuya’s will on him, like another hand, and he shivered under it. When Tetsuya pressed another finger into himself, a little moan tugged free from Taiga. “Tetsuya…”
“Shhh.” Tetsuya’s voice was gentle, even as his body pulled taut between his own hands. “Watch, Taiga. Think about it being your hands, here.”
He pressed in another finger, slow and careful, and Taiga swallowed hard. His cock was standing hard and flushed against his stomach, now, and his clenched fingers were about to put holes through his sheets. “Tetsuya… please.” Just saying it put another shiver through him. He’d never begged for anything in bed, never been pushed far enough that he wanted to. He hadn’t expected how hot it would be to beg Tetsuya, and trust that Tetsuya would allow what he needed.
Tetsuya finally looked over at him, eyes bright and hot. “Yes. I think we’re both ready.” He drew his hands back slowly, a husky little sound catching his his throat as he slid his fingers free, and Taiga nearly moaned.
“God, yes Tetsuya, please…” He reached out as Tetsuya slid up the bed to him, and relief made him dizzy when Tetsuya let him, let Taiga gather him close and hold him tight. When Tetsuya’s fingers wrapped around his cock, still slick, and slid down him, Taiga shuddered. When Tetsuya shifted up on his knees and pressed Taiga’s cock against his ass, slowly sinking down onto him, Taiga couldn’t do anything but cling to Tetsuya’s hips and pant for breath. Leaning back against the headboard like this, with Tetsuya’s weight over him, he couldn’t push up much; how fast or slow that brain-melting tightness closed around him was up to Tetsuya.
He almost came just from realizing that.
Tetsuya was panting against his shoulder as he settled all the way down, and when he said Taiga’s name the breathless note in his voice made Taiga close his eyes. He wanted so many things. He wanted to let go and just feel Tetsuya ride him. He wanted to wrap himself around Tetsuya and fuck him. He wanted to hear more breathless sounds like that, because he was inside Tetsuya. “Tetsuya,” he managed, low, “some time… let me do this. Please.”
Tetsuya leaned in, making Taiga gasp with the shift of muscles around him, and kissed him soft and open. “Some time, yes,” he promised, and there was a glint in his eyes. “But not tonight.”
Taiga moaned out loud with that combined promise and denial as Tetsuya rocked up and back down, and he gave himself up to whatever Tetsuya chose for them. “Yes.”
“Mmm. Yes.” Tetsuya smiled and did it again, slower, more deliberate, grinding down onto Taiga. Pleasure climbed up Taiga’s spine, twist after twist of it as Tetsuya moved over him, hands braced on Taiga’s shoulders. Half of it was the pure rush of sensation every time Tetsuya’s body shifted, but half of it was something else completely. Something that wrung out parts of him that weren’t his body, left him warm and shaking—the knowledge that Tetsuya wanted him this much, this way.
When it all spilled over, he just let it, let Tetsuya have him however Tetsuya wanted him.
Tetsuya gasped as Taiga bucked up under him, one hand sliding down to wrap around his cock again. And just when the rush of heat was easing, his body tightened hard around Taiga and raked another wave of pleasure through him.
They leaned against each other for a while, after. “Thank you,” Tetsuya finally said, straightening up a little to look down at Taiga, touching his cheek lightly. Taiga caught his hand and turned to press his mouth to Tetsuya’s fingers.
“What for? Isn’t this what I agreed to?” To let Tetsuya lead him when they were together like this.
Tetsuya smiled softly. “Yes.” He traced Taiga’s lips with his fingertips. “That’s why I’m saying thank you.”
Taiga looked aside and finally said, low, “It’s what I want, too.”
Tetsuya’s kiss caught him by surprise, hot and sudden and ruthless enough to make him gasp for breath. “Then even more,” Tetsuya murmured. “Thank you.”
“Yeah. Okay,” Taiga whispered back and they stayed where they were for a while longer, wrapped around each other quietly.
Most of life went on the way it always had. There were classes, which were still half incomprehensible but only half, which was an improvement; there was practice, which was satisfyingly grueling; there was shopping for groceries and cooking for himself, and increasingly cooking enough that he’d still get a full meal when his senpai begged or snitched bits of his dinner; there was fielding occasional visits from Aomine, when he got too fed up with his new captain’s hovering watchfulness and skipped to visit Seirin, just to show he could.
But now there was also this. There was lying on Tetsuya’s bed, draped over a pile of pillows that raised his hips high enough in the air to make him blush, feeling Tetsuya’s hands kneading slowly down his back and over his ass. “Tetsuya…”
“Shh.” Tetsuya’s thumbs spread his cheeks open slow and firm, wide enough to make him gasp for lost breath at how exposed he felt. “It’s all right.”
Just the fact that Tetsuya was telling him, not asking, put a complex little shiver down his spine. It felt good, good to relax and trust that Tetsuya had things in hand; but there was always that adrenaline-edge of letting someone else say what would happen. Especially when what was happening was Tetsuya’s fingers rubbing against him, slick with lube, making slow, hard circles against the muscles of his ass until he felt warm and relaxed back there.
“That’s better,” Tetsuya said softly, dropping a kiss at the small of his back. “I’ll make sure it doesn’t hurt, Taiga. That’s why I wanted to go first, after all.”
And there it was, the care that Tetsuya took that undid him every time. Taiga closed his eyes and took a slow breath as Tetsuya’s fingers pressed into him. It felt good—completely unfamiliar, but every bit like Tetsuya touching him always felt, slow and intimate and sure. “Tetsuya…” He could hear how husky his own voice was.
“Be still,” Tetsuya told him, gentle and firm. “Just feel.” He slid his other hand down Taiga’s back, kneading those muscles loose too as he worked his fingers in and out of Taiga’s ass until he was panting, breath catching every time the press of Tetsuya’s knuckles stretched him a little more open. That was what he felt most, right now, spread ass-up over Tetsuya’s pillows with his muscles going lax—so very open for Tetsuya. Open, and sure he’d be taken care of.
His own protective streak nagged at him, sometimes, to take care of Tetsuya instead. But… he did a lot of that. It was good to turn it around, to have someone else do it for him. And Tetsuya had been doing it from the first match they played in together. Tetsuya was good at it.
He trusted himself in Tetsuya’s hands.
Those hands shifted on him, strong fingers twisting slowly inside him, and Taiga’s thoughts unraveled again in the wash of sensation down his nerves. Tetsuya’s fingertips rubbed slowly inside him, and he moaned with the surge of pleasure that answered.
“Mm. That sounds good,” Tetsuya murmured to him, free hand stroking Taiga’s ass.
“Tetsuya…” A shudder stroked down Taiga’s spine as Tetsuya’s fingers slid free.
“Be still, Taiga,” Tetsuya said again, low and soothing. His hands closed on Taiga’s hips, and there was a blunt pressure against Taiga’s entrance that made him hot with anticipation.
“Yes, Tetsuya,” he said, husky, lying still and lax in Tetsuya’s hands, waiting. Tetsuya pushed harder against him and Taiga’s hands closed on the sheets, tight with the breathless pressure of Tetsuya’s cock pushing slowly, slowly into him. He gasped at the sudden easing and the slide of Tetsuya inside him, thick and hard, holding him stretched open. “God…”
Tetsuya’s voice was breathless, too, as he leaned against Taiga, holding still. “Relax, Taiga; relax for me.”
“I…” Taiga’s breath shuddered in his chest. “I… yes…” He let the sheets go and let his breath go and nearly moaned with how it felt as his body eased more around the hardness of Tetsuya’s cock. “Fuck…”
A soft, husky laugh answered him. “Yes. But slowly.”
Taiga moaned openly as Tetsuya slid a little back and in again, a little further, and in again, slow and easy. The sensation stroked down his nerves, soft and intense. “Yes, Tetsuya,” he whispered. Slow was just fine, yeah.
He’d always had a good opinion of Tetsuya’s control, but it was getting better now as Tetsuya fucked him slow and sure. Tetsuya’s hands worked gently over Taiga’s back, easing him into the pleasure that was rising through him like a tide coming in. He trusted that control now, like he’d trusted it for almost a year, and let Tetsuya’s hands guide him. He moaned against the sheets with the heat of Tetsuya’s cock working in and out of him—did as Tetsuya said and just felt the heat curling tighter and tighter inside him. When Tetsuya’s hand slid under his hip to wrap around his cock and stroke him firmly, he gasped and bucked, taken by surprise by the fresh twist of pleasure. “Tetsuya!”
Tetsuya’s fingers tightened, and there was a smile in his voice. “Just feel, Taiga.”
He couldn’t do anything else, spread out like this with no leverage, and he shuddered as Tetsuya shifted over him, fucking him harder, hand working around him slow and demanding. It was so good, Tetsuya had made it so good for him, and he surrendered to Tetsuya’s control, moaning as Tetsuya drove him higher and higher, and finally drove him right over the edge. Pleasure raked down his nerves and wrung him out around the hardness of Tetsuya’s cock. The way Tetsuya gasped and pushed deeper sent an extra shudder through him.
When he finally came back down, muscles limp, throat dry from panting for breath, Tetsuya was leaning against him. His hands stroked over Taiga’s back and shoulders gently, carefully, and a soft sound caught in Taiga’s throat. This. This was why he gave himself to Tetsuya, gave Tetsuya control—so that he could feel this care. So he could do nothing but feel it, just like Tetsuya said.
He’d believed for a long time that his partner knew what he needed, after all.
So he lay quiet and let Tetsuya clean them up, let Tetsuya ease him down to the bed and wrapped his arms around Tetsuya, and bent his head under the gentle slide of Tetsuya’s fingers through his hair.
He trusted Tetsuya’s choices.
Taiga knew perfectly well why Aomine had started descending on Seirin after practice was officially over. He wasn’t actually complaining, either; he loved the fast, wild matches they played, one-on-one with each other. That did not, of course, stop him from calling Aomine a needy bastard or asking whether Touou was boring him, just like it didn’t stop Aomine from calling him a one-trick jumping idiot. That was just the kind of relationship they had.
Besides, it made Tetsuya look like he wanted to laugh at them.
Aomine waved casually over his shoulder as he turned toward the station, and Taiga stood with Tetsuya for a minute, watching him go. At least, Tetsuya watched him go, and Taiga watched Tetsuya, and the wistful look in his partner’s eyes. “You guys okay, these days?” he finally asked, quietly.
Tetsuya turned back, beside him, and started on their way home. “Better than we have been in a long time.”
That wasn’t exactly a yes, but Taiga knew things were a little complicated between Tetsuya and his old partner.
“He’s better, now he has people he has to work against,” Tetsuya added, eyes distant under the slow shift of the streetlights as they walked. “You. Kise-kun. I always knew that was important to him, to have someone to push him. Sometimes I wonder…”
“What?” Taiga asked, as the silence drew out.
Tetsuya still hesitated. “I’ll tell you later,” he finally said.
“Sure,” Taiga agreed easily, making a mental note to ask, if ‘later’ took too long. Sometimes, Tetsuya got a little too quiet about things that bugged him. “Oh, hey, food.” The lights of the convenience store down from the park called to him, reminding him that he hadn’t had his evening snack yet.
Tetsuya’s eyes were laughing again as he followed along, and Taiga nodded to himself with satisfaction. Whatever Tetsuya was thinking about, whatever ‘later’ involved, it didn’t look like it could be too serious.
‘Later’ arrived the next evening, just when Taiga was considering bringing it up again. They’d ended up at Tetsuya’s house after practice, ears still ringing with the coach’s orders to study for the year end exams. Taiga studied infuriatingly complex kanji for as long as he could stand before he gave up and stalked downstairs to get them both drinks just so he could move something besides his pencil. When he got back, Tetsuya smiled at him from where he sat on the edge of his bed, and held out his hands. “Leave those for a second and come here, Taiga.”
Taiga set the two cans on the desk and came to him, curious. Tetsuya never called him by his given name unless they were both alone and intimate. He hadn’t expected that so soon, tonight. Tetsuya caught his hands and tugged Taiga down until he was kneeling between Tetsuya’s legs, close enough to wrap his arms around Tetsuya. Which, of course, he did. “What is it?”
“What I was thinking about, yesterday…” Tetsuya ran his fingers slowly through Taiga’s hair, eyes searching his face. “I was wondering whether I should have held Aomine-kun tighter; whether that would have been what he needed.” His hand drifted down to touch Taiga’s cheek. “You make him feel normal again. I was wondering what I might be able to do for him, now.”
“It’s already you who did that.” Taiga looked down, trying to put what he saw between them into words. “You’re the one who knew what he needed, along with what you needed, and didn’t stop until you got it.” A corner of his mouth curled up. “Or after.”
“And you were the one who believed I could,” Tetsuya said softly, arms sliding around Taiga’s shoulders. “It all connects.”
True enough, but weren’t they getting off topic? They’d started with Tetsuya saying he’d been thinking about holding Aomine tighter. Like he held Taiga now, Taiga supposed. And then he went very still, staring past Tetsuya’s shoulder as those thoughts settled together.
“You want to hold him, too,” he said, low. “Like this. Hold him like this now.”
Tetsuya gathered him closer. “Not if it will upset you,” he said firmly. “Not if you don’t want him to be with us like this.”
With us. All connected. And Tetsuya had said Taiga was the one who made Aomine feel normal. Slowly, Taiga leaned against Tetsuya, wrapping himself tighter around him. “You really think it could work?” he asked against Tetsuya’s shoulder. “Aomine’s pretty possessive of you whenever he gets the chance.” Of course, all the damn Miracle-types were possessive of Tetsuya, but Aomine was the one who still showed it, even after getting his ass kicked by Seirin.
Tetsuya’s hand slid gently up his back and closed hard on his nape, holding him in a grip like steel. “Possessing me isn’t a choice I would give him.”
Taiga made a breathless sound, head bent against Tetsuya’s shoulder, reminded of exactly what kind of relationship they were talking about and very hard from the reminder. “Yeah… okay.” He’d been thinking something else, too, before Tetsuya turned his brain to mush… ah, right. “You think Aomine will want this that much?”
Tetsuya’s hold gentled, stroking Taiga’s nape until he shivered, head still bowed. “Aomine-kun always kept going until someone stopped him. Sometimes that person was Momoi-san, but the longer we worked as partners the more it was me. When he said we didn’t agree on anything but basketball, it was because he always pushed until I told him to stop. And then he did, at least until he lost faith in the game and I couldn’t make him stay serious. Or, at least, I didn’t. I think I just didn’t go as far as he needed me to, to make him.”
Taiga thought about the kind of partner Tetsuya had been to him, right from the start. Demanding and fearless and very strict about Taiga’s attitude toward their team and the game. He remembered Tetsuya clotheslining him repeatedly, with a perfectly immoveable look each time that said he refused to let his partner screw himself up. And he laughed against Tetsuya’s neck. “I don’t think that will be a problem any more.”
He could feel how Tetsuya’s lips were curved when Tetsuya dropped a kiss under his ear. “I don’t think so either.”
Taiga was quiet for a moment, thinking about Aomine, his most annoying and brilliant rival, his partner’s ex-partner, the one whose edge made his fists itch sometimes. The one who always came back to him, as well as to Tetsuya. “Yeah,” he finally said, quietly. “Yeah, let’s try.”
The way Tetsuya’s arms tightened around him made him smile and hold Tetsuya closer.
“…and that got us here.” Taiga paused and poked Aomine lightly in the ribs. “And why do you want to know so much, anyway?”
Aomine squirmed away until Tetsuya, laughing, rested more weight over him. “Hey, you were right here for it when Tetsu caught me, and you got to see the whole thing. Fair is fair.”
Taiga thought about the things Tetsuya had said to him, about Aomine, and snorted. “I think Tetsuya caught you a long time before that. He just didn’t make you know it until now.”
Aomine stilled at that, eyes turning dark and heated as he looked up at Tetsuya. “Yeah, I guess he did.”
Tetsuya stroked Aomine’s hair back, smiling faintly. “I didn’t realize myself until you,” he told Taiga. “But… yes. Maybe so.” He looked down at Aomine, fingers tracing down his jaw as Tetsuya tipped Aomine’s head back and nipped lightly at his throat. “Maybe things would have been different, if I’d known sooner.”
“Some things,” Aomine said, soft and husky with the arch of his neck. “But some I think we’d still have needed Tai for.”
Taiga found himself caught between sputtering over the nickname and turning red over Aomine, of all people, actually admitting that. And then he found himself just plain caught by the brightness in Tetsuya’s eyes as he reached over to touch Taiga’s cheek.
“Yes,” Tetsuya agreed, eyes holding Taiga’s. “We would.”
Taiga gave way to that perfect assurance and turned his head into Tetsuya’s hand, pressing his mouth to Tetsuya’s palm. “Guess things turned out pretty well, then,” he said, glancing down at Aomine’s—at Daiki’s—smirk, and watching how the edge of it softened.
“So there’s that taken care of,” Daiki murmured, slanting a sidelong look at Tetsuya, deliberately provoking. “Now. Thought of anything interesting to do with me, yet?”
Tetsuya had the gleam in his eye that always made Taiga look for something to hold on to. “Maybe I have.” He stroked a hand up Daiki’s arm to finger the cuffs, and slowly, deliberately, unsnapped them. Daiki’s brows rose. “Taiga,” Tetsuya said, quiet and firm, not looking away from Daiki, “hold Daiki down for me.”
Taiga nearly moaned with a completely unexpected rush of heat, and he could see the way Daiki flushed, eyes widening. “Yes, Tetsuya.” He could feel the tension in Daiki’s arms as Taiga ran his hands up to grip his wrists and pin him down, the way Daiki never let himself be pinned on the court, the way Tetsuya demanded he submit to now. Daiki’s eyes were already a little glazed.
“Kagami,” Daiki breathed. “Tai…”
Taiga smiled wryly, a little breathless himself. “Only what Tetsuya allows, right?”
“Fuck,” Daiki moaned as Tetsuya held his hips against the bed and leaned down to lap at his cock, light and teasing. “Yes.”
Taiga leaned on Daiki’s arms, holding him for Tetsuya to drive half out of his mind, and thought that he’d never been more right than he had been when he gave Tetsuya his trust. Tetsuya had seen how they fit together, how they could all have a place with each other, and Taiga didn’t think this was a place he would outgrow. So maybe this was someplace he could stay.
When he leaned down and kissed Daiki, soft and questioning, Daiki kissed back.