Aomine Daiki loved a really good game of basketball. As far as he was concerned, it was the best thing in the world, even better than sex.
He actually spoke from knowledge, there. Some people got all starry eyed over anyone with talent, and some people got turned on by anything that looked dangerous. So there had been kisses and groping with girls in school who giggled over it, and there had been hand jobs in the locker room with other boys who weren’t sure whether they idolized him or feared him, and there’d been a few women out on the streets who made speculative comments about his height, and there’d been that one guy on a street court who bet a good fuck on their game and he’d been a man and anted up when he lost, even though he’d had to tell Daiki what to do.
Daiki felt he had some basis for saying good basketball was better than sex, but hell, it had been something to try so he had.
What he hadn’t thought about until recently was that it might be possible to combine good basketball with sex. He hadn’t thought it until the night he’d come to Kaijou to play Kise and stayed so late they were the only ones in the shower. He’d watched the stream of water running down Kise’s back and reached out to follow it with his fingers, and Kise had turned and looked at him with eyes still hot and focused from their game. He figured, afterwards, that Kise’s experience probably came from a lot the same places his did. It was easy with Kise, and neither of them took the sex for anything but was it was: a way to stay in the place they found when they played.
Tetsu and Kagami, though… that was harder to figure out.
Daiki knew he felt a little differently about Tetsu, his oldest friend after Satsuki, his partner, the one who’d left and come back all to pull him out of the hole he’d fallen down. Tetsu had come back even after Daiki had pushed him down that hole too, something that still made him flinch when he thought about it. Tetsu was… special.
Tetsu, who had a new partner, now.
Tetsu, who welcomed Daiki wherever they met, who smiled at him again, who rested his hand against Daiki’s back when Daiki flopped down across his lap during practice. Who scolded him for slacking off in a way that was so familiar it made Daiki’s chest clench, made him trail along after Tetsu just to hear more of it. Who smiled at and scolded Kagami just the same way.
And Daiki couldn’t damn well strangle Kagami for it, because Kagami was one of his best rivals these days, one of the painfully few who could even begin to call himself that. Daiki thought it might just kill him to lose Kagami again after finally, finally finding someone like him to play. So there was really only one thing to do, and Daiki had decided to do it tonight.
He laughed as he slammed the ball in past Kagami one last time. “Ten! Another game to me, and you pay for food!” He touched down on the cracked asphalt of the little park court and grinned at Kagami, taunting. Tetsu had left them to it half an hour ago, after reminding Kagami of their test the next day with an edge of resignation that said he didn’t expect Kagami to listen.
Kagami caught his balance and straightened up, breathing hard, eyes still bright with challenge. “Fuck you! One more time!”
Daiki thought he really might be just a little in love. Well, that made it easier.
“One more time to fuck you?” he purred, showing his teeth. “Yeah, we could do that too.”
Kagami paused for a long moment, blinking at him. “…wait, what?”
And it was too easy, really. Too easy to take one long stride that brought him right up against Kagami, close enough to feel the heat radiating from him after their game tonight, and wind his fingers in Kagami’s shirt, and catch his mouth fast and hard. The sound Kagami made was startled, but his hands found Daiki right away, spreading against his ribs sure and easy. Daiki made an interested noise at that.
When he finally let Kagami go, Kagami stared at him with disbelief, though he still hadn’t backed off either. “What the hell was that?”
Daiki shrugged easily. “Seemed like a logical next step.” He watched, entertained, while Kagami opened and closed his mouth a few times, and finally kissed him again to stop him.
“Mmm… Mm! Wait, wait, wait.” Kagami pushed him back a little, frowning. “What about Kuroko? I mean, you’re… with him… well, it’s obvious okay?”
Daiki gave him an aggravated look. Why couldn’t Kagami just shut up and get down to the screwing, like everyone else? “That’s why, idiot. He’s not going to be happy leaving you out of it, so I’m fucking stuck with you. Might as well make the best of it.” Grudgingly, he added, “And also it gets pretty heated up when we play like this, though I gotta say you’re wasting all of that by talking.”
Kagami stared at him for a long, silent moment, and Daiki watched his expression slowly change, through confusion, disbelief, exasperation, sneaking pleasure. Eventually, it settled on a tilted kind of amusement. “What the hell. This I’ve gotta see.” His hands tightened, and he pulled Daiki back against him, tipping his chin up a bit to catch Daiki’s mouth in turn.
That was better, and Daiki cheerfully wound himself around Kagami, sucking on his tongue. The feel of Kagami’s arms locking around him made him purr, and he slid his hands down Kagami’s back, groping his ass. It was a nice handful. He laughed into Kagami’s mouth when Kagami growled and pushed a leg between his thighs.
“God, you’re pushy,” Kagami muttered.
“You’re surprised?” Daiki mocked, and smiled when Kagami snorted.
Daiki laughed outright at that, amused by the way Kagami’s language was sliding even further down the scale than usual, and bent his head to bite at the taut line of tendon running down Kagami’s neck. That got him a satisfying thrust of hips against his. Satisfying for now, but not enough, so he closed his mouth and sucked.
Daiki smiled, eyes half lidded, at the feel of Kagami’s hold on him tightening, hard enough to drive his breath out. Yeah. This was what he wanted. He relaxed into it, flowing with the flex of Kagami’s muscles like he’d flow with a game, biting back up Kagami’s neck until he found his mouth again, hot and intent against Daiki’s. He laughed low in his throat when Kagami turned to push him against the the pole under the basket. He leaning back against it and hooking a leg around Kagami to pull him in tight. The breath Kagami sucked in when Daiki slid a hand down the back of his shorts to grip bare skin was plenty of compensation for the press of the pole’s plastic padding against his spine. He slid his fingers between Kagami’s cheeks and made a pleased sound when Kagami jerked against him.
“Did you plan this, or was it spur of the moment thing?” Kagami asked against his ear, fingers digging into Daiki’s back.
“Mm, pretty spur of the moment,” Daiki admitted, rubbing slowly.
Kagami’s hips ground against him. “Then that’s as far as you go,” he gritted between his teeth.
Daiki’s brows rose. Kagami knew what he was doing, here. That was good to know.
Knowing didn’t keep him from bucking a little with the surprise when Kagami yanked down the waistband of Daiki’s shorts, dragging his underwear down with them, and wrapped his fingers around Daiki’s cock. “Shit,” he gasped, “Kagami…” The pole padding was cold against his bare ass, and he squirmed a little.
It was Kagami’s turn to laugh, low and breathless, fingers tightening. “More later, maybe, yeah?” He kissed Daiki again, slower this time, deliberate like his hand was deliberate, stroking up and down Daiki’s cock.
A spark of challenge danced up Daiki’s spine, hot and excited, and he plunged his other hand into Kagami’s shorts too, fondling him from the front and back at once. The way Kagami moaned into his mouth tasted good, and Kagami’s fingers felt good wrapped around him, warm in the cool night air and strong in a way that made Daiki’s excitement burn hotter.
But no matter how Daiki touched him, dragging his fist up and down Kagami’s cock, rubbing his fingers in ruthlessly hard circles over Kagami’s entrance, those slow kisses didn’t speed up. They just got deeper. It wasn’t what Daiki was used to, but it felt good. It felt like Kagami was really paying attention to him. He liked that thought a lot.
Daiki hung on as long as he could, but when Kagami bucked into his fist, when Kagami moaned into his mouth, pressed up full length against him, when Kagami’s fingers tightened and stroked down him like Kagami wanted to memorize the texture of him… well, he dared anyone to hold steady through that. He pulled roughly away from the kiss and buried his head against Kagami’s shoulder as pleasure wrung out his whole body.
The weight of Kagami leaning against him was actually kind of nice, too, he decided in the floating daze after.
“Hope you have an extra towel,” Kagami mumbled against his neck. “Mine’s back in the locker room.”
Kagami wouldn’t quite look at him while they got cleaned up, which had Daiki smirking. “Shy?” he finally prodded.
“Oh shut up.” Kagami threw the towel at him, scowling, and added, “You get to explain your own insanity to Kuroko, if that’s what the point of this is.”
“Won’t have to.” Daiki balled up his towel and stuffed it into the bottom of his bag, concentrating on his hands instead of what he was admitting. “He knows me. Knows you too, now. He’ll see it.” And then he’d know he didn’t have to choose.
Kagami heaved a vast sigh, and he had his hands on his hips when Daiki looked up. “Yeah, maybe he will, and then what’s he going to think? Unless you actually open your idiot mouth and tell him that this is all for his sake and not just you and me hooking up, which is what I’m saying you should do.” Not completely under his breath, he muttered, “Miracles my ass, the lot of you are total morons off the court.”
“Says the guy getting twelves on his tests?” Daiki shot back, having been at Seirin the day their coach saw some of Kagami’s exam papers that he’d stuffed into the bottom of his locker.
“That was in History!” Kagami snapped. “It’s different here, how the hell am I supposed to catch up all at once?”
“I dunno, actually knowing how to read, maybe?”
The deflection worked, and they bickered all the way down the road to Daiki’s turn-off toward the station. But Kagami’s words stayed with him. Maybe, Daiki admitted grudgingly, he was good for something besides basketball.
So what was he going to say to Tetsu?
Daiki had about a week to think about it, and then he had Seirin’s practice hours during which he didn’t have much time to think about it, because Aida Riko was a demon in girl-shape.
“Footwork drills?” Okay, he admitted it, he was whining a little.
She folded her arms forbiddingly. “With your style, in particular, you absolutely cannot afford to slack off on exercises to strengthen your lateral movement muscles.” She pointed an imperious finger at the tapes set up on one side of the gym, looking like an insane cross between an obstacle course and a hopscotch grid. “Go! Kagami, you could stand to run this one too, but if I catch you trying to do it at Aomine’s speed you’ll wish you’d never been born.”
Kagami closed his mouth on whatever he’d been about to argue, and muttered, “Yes, Kantoku.”
The footwork drill was challenging, enough to actually keep his attention, and he had a good laugh when Aida-kantoku scolded Kagami for jumping bits of it, despite his argument that he was practicing his best skill. But all the while, in the back of his head, he was aware of Tetsu’s eyes on them, measuring. When official practice was over, and they were waiting for Tetsu’s senpai to finish their individual training so Daiki and Kagami could play, he wandered over to hop up beside Tetsu on the stage and sprawled across his knees as usual.
Tetsu hesitated a moment before he rested his hand in its usual place on Daiki’s back.
Kagami ostentatiously scooped up Tetsu’s water bottle along with his own and sauntered toward the east doors and the sinks to refill them. Daiki sighed; yeah, he got the point already. He was talking. “So, about Kagami,” he started.
Tetsu’s hand lightened, as if to lift at any moment. “The two of you settled something.”
“Well, he’s your partner now,” Daiki muttered under the smack of balls against hardwood and the echo of Aida-kantoku’s orders, resting his chin on his folded arms. “You wouldn’t like it if I tried to cut him out. So.”
“So?” Tetsu prodded after a long moment. “So… this?”
“So there was nothing to do but include him, if I want to be with you,” Daiki said, a little annoyed at having to state the obvious.
After a long, still moment that kind of wore on Daiki’s nerves, Tetsu let out a small huff of laughter. His hand rested on Daiki’s back firmly, again, and Daiki settled at that. That was better. He watched Kagami coming back with the water bottles with half closed eyes, finally feeling properly lazy again. Kagami leaned against the side of the stage, eyeing them, and shook his head.
“You’re both crazy. But, what the hell. Always seemed like it was the crazy ones this kind of thing worked best for.” He took a long drink from his own water.
Tetsu cocked his head at his new partner, not minding while Daiki stole his bottle for a drink of his own. “Does that mean you’re crazy too, Kagami-kun?”
Kagami’s mouth curled up at the corner as he leaned back on his elbows, watching their senpai out on the floor. “Yeah. Guess I might be.”
“Thank you,” Tetsu said softly, and Daiki watched with a certain glee as Kagami instantly got flustered, looking off to the side with his ears turning red.
Really, it was no wonder Tetsu handled Kagami so easily, if he responded like this every time Tetsu got all earnest.
“Not like it’s a favor or something,” Kagami grumbled. “You don’t have to say thanks.”
Tetsu smiled, tiny and obviously amused. “It’s something you chose to do that makes me very happy. Shouldn’t I thank you for that?”
Kagami turned redder, and Daiki laughed. “Give it up, Kagami. Tetsu always gets his way sooner or later; best to save time and just agree now.”
Kagami glowered at him. “Aren’t you supposed to be morally opposed to that kind of thinking?”
“Kagami-kun,” Tetsu said quietly, hand pressing a little more firmly against Daiki’s back, and Daiki had to agree with the pained look Kagami gave Tetsu.
“If you’re going to make me be nice to him, we’re going to have problems,” Kagami pointed out.
“I wouldn’t try to do that.”
Daiki always knew Tetsu was smart.
“But I don’t want to argue about that.”
That silenced both of them, and Daiki shifted off Tetsu’s legs, sitting up to drape against his back instead. Kagami half turned, one elbow still braced on the stage, and leaned against Tetsu’s knees. Daiki could feel Tetsu’s shoulders ease under their silent attempts at reassurance.
“So, hey.” Kagami nudged Tetsu’s leg. “You want to play too, tonight?”
“Hey,” Daiki objected. Kagami was getting better, and Tetsu would be a decisive advantage for either of them, now.
Kagami rolled his eyes. “I didn’t say ‘pick sides’. You remember that one Saturday Kise showed up and we played one-on-one-on-one?”
“And you played so long Kantoku yelled at us all the next day.” Tetsu looked down at him, smiling a little. “I couldn’t play the way Kise-kun does.”
“No, but that could be good,” Daiki said, thoughtfully, resting his chin on Tetsu’s shoulder. “For us to keep a look out for you, and try to keep the ball. For you to track the game and try to take it while we’re distracted with each other.” Even as he said it, he could hear the parallels with how they acted toward each other off the court, and Kagami looked satisfied.
“Yeah, like that.”
Tetsu nodded slowly. “That does sound like fun.” He wasn’t smiling this time, but his whole expression lightened at the assurance that, even in matches like these, he had a part.
Daiki exchanged what he was pretty sure was a look of complete understanding with Kagami. Maybe he was still a little jealous, and maybe Kagami still thought he was a jerk, but they both wanted to please their partner, to have those fierce, fearless eyes look at them and approve. Kagami agreed on that, at least.
He supposed there could be worse people to be sharing Tetsu with.
Later, on the way home, Daiki leaned his head back against the vibrating window of the train and stared up at the ceiling, thinking.
Tetsu and Kagami had gone with him as far as the little park Daiki and Kagami had played each other in a week ago. And, at the turn-off toward the station, Tetsu had reached up to curve a hand around the back of Daiki’s neck, and tugged him down and kissed him. He could almost feel it again, just thinking about it, the warm, firm pressure of Tetsu’s mouth against his. It felt like the way he remembered being Tetsu’s friend felt—like support he could lean against, like a demand made quietly.
And then, of course, because Tetsu was Tetsu, he’d given Daiki a perfectly bland, purely evil look and pushed him toward Kagami.
Kagami had been caught just as flat-footed, at least, and they’d stared at each other for a long, frozen moment. Tetsu had just stood there looking calm and expectant. It had been Kagami who’d broken first, scrubbing his hands through his hair with an aggravated sound. “Oh god, fine, just…” The look on his face when he’d closed the distance between them made Daiki expect something like their last kiss, something hard, but when Kagami caught his shoulder and leaned in his mouth had been light, almost hesitant. The word that came to mind, now, staring up at the lights running along the roof of the train, was gentle.
Daiki didn’t know whether to be charmed or outraged.
But he thought… he thought there might have been a time when he’d have kissed like that, too.
He didn’t know quite yet whether this was the right way to get back to what he’d had, with Tetsu, with his game, with his friends. But as he listened to the hum and clack of wheels on the tracks, he thought he was glad he’d reached out to include Kagami in it.
Tetsuya walked beside Taiga, smiling quietly. On reflection, he was glad Daiki had done what he had. Knowing he and Taiga had been together had given Tetsuya a bad moment, wondering whether he would be excluded from that the way he was from their one-on-one matches. Apparently, though, it had just been Daiki’s way of not making Tetsuya choose between them, and in the end Taiga had found a way to close the circle all the way and include Tetsuya in the matches too. It was the happy warmth of being with them like that that had made Tetsuya reach for Daiki when they parted, wanting to give the warmth back again.
It was that warmth that made him pause at the turn-off to Taiga’s street and look up at him, head tilted invitingly. It was hard to tell, in the dark, but he thought Taiga was blushing a little, and he had to smile. He reached out to rest a hand against his partner’s chest, feeling the quick rise of his breath. "Taiga."
Taiga made a quiet sound, reaching out to close his hands lightly on Tetsuya’s shoulders. "I miss hearing people say my name, you know. Nobody does, here."
"No one would take that liberty unless they were very close friends," Tetsuya agreed, and took a step closer. "Intimate friends." Yes, Taiga was definitely blushing, he noted with amusement. When one of Taiga’s hands slid up to cup his cheek lightly, he had to smile. "I’m not that breakable, you know."
"I know that," Taiga protested indignantly, though his hands didn’t tighten. "It’s just…" He huffed, looking aside for a moment. "This… it’s something people should take care, when they do."
Tetsuya softened at that. He wouldn’t have thought Taiga would be a romantic, but maybe it made sense. He was so pure-hearted; it was why Tetsuya had chosen him, after all. "It is," he agreed quietly, winding his arms comfortably around Taiga’s waist. Taiga relaxed and looked at him again, smiling back a little. When Taiga leaned down to him and carefully, gently tipped Tetsuya’s head back, Tetsuya let him, let himself rest against the warm support of Taiga’s arm around him, let himself kiss back softly.
The wonder in Taiga’s eyes, at the corners of his smile when they parted, made Tetsuya reach up, gentle in his turn, to brush back the wild mess of Taiga’s hair. The softness in Taiga’s voice when he said, "Tetsuya," made something catch in his chest. They stood wrapped up in each other for a long moment.
Finally, though, something occurred to Tetsuya and he cocked his head up at Taiga. "I doubt Daiki let you be careful."
Taiga growled. "He sure as hell didn’t. And, okay fine, it’s fun that way too, but it’s not like this!" His arms tightened around Tetsuya.
"Do you think it should be?" Tetsuya liked that thought; he wanted to see Daiki looking at him, at them, the way Taiga just had.
"Of course it should be!" Taiga was getting indignant again. "Otherwise it’s not special, it’s just fuck-buddies."
Tetsuya blinked a bit at that, but a smile spread over his lips. "I’m glad he thought of this at all, though."
Taiga looked down at him, quiet for a moment. "He wants you to be happy."
Tetsuya reached up and pulled Taiga down to another soft kiss. "I am."
And he’d be sure to tell Daiki so, too.
A/N: In hanakotoba, camellias indicate love and longing. In particular, white camellia indicates waiting for a beloved while red indicates current love.