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Snapshots and Shadows

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The absolute last thing that Kagami wanted was to go back to America for two weeks in the summer - missing the actual sweet spot between June gloom and July swelter, missing a day of a traditional Seirin training camp, missing pickup games with Ahomine and Kise, missing Kuroko half-asleep at his breakfast counter in the morning. Not to mention missing the way Kuroko let him rest his chin on the top of his head when he was happy with him. Which, not to brag or anything, was a lot lately. Two weeks of missing the way Kuroko let him trace his thumbs over the insides of his wrists under the sweatbands, the way he let him lick the sweat off the back of his neck.

Everything was basically his dad's fault.

Kagami the elder had apparently had one of those midlife-crisis epiphanes, like something straight outta the Lifetime channel, and decided that their usual relationship of awkward Skype calls and care packages full of hard-to-get American cooking spices wasn’t enough, and that they should make an effort to spend some time together and Bond as a Family. The Skype calls had also abruptly become less about college ball statistics and the weather and more actually heavy feelings stuff. I mean just last Tuesday his dad had out-of-the-blue asked him if it was really tough being a gay kid in Japan and he had stammeringly told him that it wasn’t so bad.

That part was true enough - nobody had tried to give him any shit for it, though being six foot three probably helped. And considering what he knew (OK what Kuroko told him, his own gaydar mostly sucked except for Midorima and that Rakuzan SG, those two were fucking obvious) about most of the guys in the league, and a statistically improbable chunk of the Miracles, he had some pretty good company. Still, it was weirdly nice to get asked, and for his dad to finally acknowledge that maybe leaving his kid in a foreign country six months before the start of high school had been kind of a raw deal.

Well anyway, his dad had said, ‘Hey kiddo! Here’s some plane tickets, let’s go on this road trip up to Oregon to see your aunt and do some fishing!’ He’d even busted out that old picture of him and Mom in matching USC sweatshirts on the bank of some electric-blue creek in NorCal. And then Kagami had felt this big wave of nostalgia for LA, Cali, America in general, and then just as intensely he felt like he was being yanked away from everything he’d built here in Tokyo. So clearly things between him and his pops weren’t as settled as he thought because he’d been two seconds away from blurting out ‘No. I’ve got things to do here.'

But then he’d had his own kind of epiphany. A feeling like ‘oh crap, this is it.’ In a year and a half he was going to graduate high school and get a place with Kuroko and have this big awesome independent life and maybe this chance to feel like he was someone’s kid again would be gone.

His boyfriend, bless him, had seen that right away. He was so much smarter about all this nuanced emotional stuff, he could just look at Kagami's face and pluck all the backstory for this sudden trip out of the air between them, out of the place where they were standing - the spartan apartment that his workaholic dad had non-decorated and that Kagami had just recently bothered changing. Still, it would suck to be without him and while Kuroko did his own really good “I am a serene, self-contained person. Actual zen monks ain’t got shit on me” impression Kagami knew that they spent upwards of 80% of their time together and it would be really tough for him too.

So he’d enlisted pretty much everyone in his contact list to keep an eye on him: the Kuroko Watch squad was formed. And he really meant everyone. He'd even worked through a nice cold sweat before calling Akashi for fuck's sake, because apparently His Highness was too good for texts.

For a walking, talking collection of personality disorders Kuroko’s friends (yeah, ok, kinda their friends at this point) really had come through. The day he landed in LA he got an update from Momoi, who had taken Kuroko to an art gallery literally the morning after he told Kagami goodbye at the airport. It was a pretty intense data-heavy report, certifying that ‘Tetsu-kun’ showed a clear statistical preference for 1870’s Impressionists and was sighing 40% more than usual but he was glad that their first day apart had gone about as well as it could.

As they were driving north past Big Sur he’d gotten a steady stream of news about Kuroko, in badly spelled texts (Aomine), intensely long picstreams interspersed with bleeding-edge emoji that made him feel way out of touch (Kise) and then an actual honest to god formal email with a custom-coded template (Akashi, who would have probably preferred to send a handwritten scroll tied to the leg of a messenger hawk or something hella nutty like that).

And then at like 9pm on the day he and his dad finally got to his Aunt’s little cabin near Crater Lake, Kagami heard the distinctive Ping of a snapchat.

It was just a picture of Kuroko staring up at a slightly janky old arcade that was ten blocks from Seirin, where they'd sometimes stop after weekend practice. The arcade doors were shut, but automatic doors never picked Kuroko up unless Kagami was beside him. The photo was framed nicely, and only a few people knew about the place. All of this suggested the same guy.

He pulled up Takao’s number.

"Dude, are you stalking my boyfriend? Don't tell me you’re neglecting your scary green wife."

"Shin-chan's with me so we're pair-stalking technically UWU :D (◐ω◑ )"

“At least be useful and go stand next to him so that the door opens.”

"He looks lonely, ya know? Permission to kidnap your shadow? (╯✧∇✧)╯"

"OK, do it."

"Roger Roger, Tai-chan! ♥(ˆ⌣ˆԅ)"

Oh that little fucker, he’d told him not to call him that.

So, yeahh.. A little background there:

The thing was, Shuutoku and Seirin kept getting ties. Shuutoku and Seirin kept scheduling training camps together. They met up running laps on the same off-season bicycle track, booked rooms at the same broken-down mountain inns, did swim training in the same public Tokyo pools.

Ever since the Cup, coincidence conspired to put him and Kuroko and Midorima and Takao in the same places on a level that even Kagami, who lived his life in a world of invisible soulmates, glowing purple titans, and eyeball-lightning, had to admit suggested something downright supernatural.

And the other thing was - they were really good guys.

Midorima had really mellowed out, or maybe just reverted to the way he used to be - yeah still with the OCD and the speech quirk but awkwardly earnest, straight-up, without a shell of ‘massive asshole’ around it. And when you weren’t playing against him Takao was a goddamn riot.

And it was nice, you know, they were all in the same boat - starting last year out focused on basketball and being the best and a hefty dose of revenge, then getting totally blindsided by their feelings, ending the year dating their basketball partner. Each of them sometimes woke up in the grip of a strange feeling - a kind of happy panic, because something in their gut told them that this was it.

So one night after one of these suspiciously coinciding joint practice matches they’d got a hold of a case of root beer to celebrate a rare non-tie (Shuutoku’s favor, but fine, he’d give them props, they’d really worked for it) which had turned out to be hard root beer which had lead to the most crazy TMI conversation of Kagami’s life where he learned that,

a) None of them had ever slept with anyone before all this (Takao had waggled his eyebrows and chortled ‘Pfffahaha what, surprised? You got me - I’m a bit of a romantic.”)

b) Midorima had literally never held hands with/kissed/anything with anyone before Takao, which wasn’t exactly a brain-melting revelation. But, back in middle school he had a weird little from-afar crush on Kuroko. (‘Dude, really? Not Akashi?” ::cough:: ‘The gentle moon is preferable to the scorching sun, as it should be obvious.’) And after their first ever match he’d had a few intense sex dreams about Kagami, of all people (“I apologize, while this is a well-documented medical phenomenon, I still feel unseemly.” “Hey, hey man, don’t worry about it, you look like you’re about to pop a vein. That kind of thing happens.”) which had started Midorima on the path to actually thinking about his sexuality as opposed to kicking it under the bed and hoping it would go away. (‘Which super helped me out later when I kissed him and he didn’t freak out, so thanks <3’ - Takao)

It had been kind of flattering too? Hearing that. Kagami hadn’t exactly come out the other end of puberty feeling like he was ‘life-changing sex dream’ material ( un-fun fact: strangers still liked to describe him as “thuggish and scary”). He’d blurted out that much, head still a little fuzzy from the beer and a thoughtful look had crossed Kuroko face.

c) Takao thought Kuroko was hot. Again, Kagami was pretty sure more than half the guys in the league thought his boyfriend was hot. Even the 99% straight guys. Even as Kuroko broke up their plays and ruthlessly ended their dreams of InterHigh glory and then threw metric tons of shade at them in his calm, even voice if they were the slightest bit unsportsmanlike.

d) Kuroko always appreciated the way Midorima never went along with the score-fixing and other horrible bullshit that had gone down in the last few months at Teiko. In response to which Midorima got this intensely sad look on his face, like he was just one more of Kuroko’s words away from crying, and stuttered something about how “inaction was insufficient” and that he should have been better, and told the others to stop but then Akashi and-

His face was red and blotchy at that point and not just from the heat and the beer and Takao was holding his taped hand in a comforting way( Takao had also completely shut up so it was a really big serious thing). And Kagami just knew that he had to do something. So into all that Kagami awkwardly blurted out that when he was a kid he used to wonder about what kissing someone taller than him would be like.

That had broken the mood, so at least everyone was staring at him now and not dredging up the shitty past.

He’d stammered ‘Geez, theoretically! ! was talking about ‘theoretically’! I’m never going to kiss anyone but Kuroko ever again and I’m really fine with that!’

And then Kuroko had said “If Kagami-kun ever wanted to kiss Midorima-kun to see how it would be he has my permission. But only if Takao-kun also agrees.”

Which had slightly broken Kagami’s face, voice, and brain because Kuroko, and his tone and giving permission, just laying it out there how much Kagami was his.

Anyway it was probably a good thing that Coach Riko had opened the door and shooed them out with a broom, declaring that their ‘little kid sleepover games’ were over and that the combined menu tomorrow was going to make them cry at the sight of alcohol until they were 20, and they all ended up staggering back to their rooms and passing out.

So then ‘that’ had been floating around between them, but unlike what he’d thought, it didn’t make it awkward. It was like they all had a secret. The good kind.

And they were all busy with the new year and new club members and but still, somewhere in there after a 2-on-2 on a deserted street court Takao’s devilish grin was almost wrapping around itself when he poked Kagami in his sweaty bangs and said ‘Hey! So... Permission to kiss your boyfriend?’

Kagami had nodded. Midorima had nodded, his glasses already showing a minor crack and then Kuroko had given them all a deeply unimpressed look of ‘hey, aren’t I the principal party?’ before nodding himself.

So Takao had strolled up to him with a wink, did a couple stretches, because he was a goddamn showboat, and planted one on him.

It had been real slow and nice and respectful, at least before the poor bastard realized what he was in for. Five seconds later Kuroko had him clinging to the front of his shirt, knees unconsciously bent to compensate for the height difference, shivering and making little whimpers of noise when Kuroko put his cold hand on the side of his face and wouldn’t let him go.

Meanwhile he and Midorima couldn’t look away. Each of them must have been thinking ‘if I get a nosebleed and die from this, that would be fine’ and then they had this profound moment of being in synch where they both just about picked up their shadows ( ‘Kagami-kun should put me down, or else be prepared to make reparations later’ ‘Pffahahha Shin-chan, you’re in such a hurry already? fufufu~’) and ran for home and privacy.

Yeah after that day the tension had gone through the roof and built a house in the stratosphere. Still it was weeks before their schedules lined up just in time for a shrine festival in Kagami’s part of town. Weeks of hands brushing and springing back and a no holds-barred competition between Takao’s smooth innuendos and Kuroko’s deadpan, terrifyingly effective (and sometimes horribly explicit) flirting.

(Somewhere in there he had nerved himself up and kissed Midorima which had been really different from kissing Kuroko but also really good.)

Anyway yeah, that festival. The night after the fireworks. Everything seemed inevitable with the four of them wearing just clean sweat and two light layers of cloth.

Takao had looked around the room, at all of Kagami’s spare futons pushed together in the living room and stuffed half his hand into his mouth to cover a hysterical giggle fit.

"Oh my god, look at us! Four barely ex-virgins this is going to be Hi-larious!~~"

But he was grinning wide and excited and Kuroko had his determined resolute face on, the one that made Kagami weak in the knees.

And as for himself, he’d jumped into it, the way life had taught him to jump lately - with all his might not worrying too much about how he’d land.

It actually hadn't been hilarious, it had been,.... soft, kind of intense, well... intimate, though saying that big purple-prose honker of a word made his ears bleed.

The thing was, Midorima didn't have a single fratboy-jock bone in his body. Pretty much any other guy in the league, even trying to do something casual (which wouldn’t work anyway, unlike most of the rest of the world Kagami just couldn’t do casual), it would have been about dominance in some way. They just couldn’t help themselves, that was the whole dynamic at the heart of it. Well, except for maybe the giant guy from Yosen, but he belonged to his brother these days and Tatsuya was crazy possessive, so no way would that ever happen.

Midorima was such a Yamato Nadeshiko( at this point Kuroko would say: Kagami-kun please stop being such a returnee, that is a female-restricted term.To which he would say: No way, it's, like, the 21st century and Midorima can totally be one because that shoe fits to a T) that the idea of sex as a way to even out some kind of score on the court would never even get into his neurotic, high-class brain. Yeah, he and Kagami were rivals but it was a super old school rivalry, painfully wholesome, like something out of a post-war movie. They didn’t even trash talk before matches any more, just bowed to each other at lineup and did their best.

And it had gone down exactly like that. Under Takao and Kuroko's waiting gaze Midorima had actually bowed to him and thanked him for his generosity before he'd slipped the yukata off his shoulders, and that should have been ridiculous, should have been a bonerkiller for sure, except that it absolutely wasn't. He’d stammered out some kind of keigo of his own, something that might have meant ‘please take care of me.’ And Midorima had smiled at him and he'd laid back and given himself over.

Anyway, forget it. That’s all he can comfortably say on the subject, time for a classy fade-to-black from there on out. Honestly Kagami can’t even think about that night without becoming a giant mess so he tries not to do it in public.

But no matter what, he’ll always appreciate Midorima for being a weird sort of example, for making him feel like there was a way to be gay and Japanese at the same time.

So anyway the four of them were really good friends now and sometimes, mood, Kuroko, and Oha Asa permitting, they ended up making out. Sometimes more than that..

When Kagami had told him Tatsuya had almost died laughing about how his “cute little brother ended up in such a ‘modern arrangement’’ or whatever but then Kagami made fun of him back for being codependently married to his pet giant at the ripe old age of 18. Tatsuya really didn’t have a comeback for that one.

Though hey, maybe it was the bohemian West Coast upbringing talking but he was prepared to say ‘fuck it.’ They were both really happy, so it was fine.

Geez, he’d gotten so lost in his head he hadn’t even heard the phone chirp again.

The next snapchat was mostly Takao's face with one of Kuroko's eyes, Takao had clearly slung his arm tight around Kuroko's shoulders, as per his usual ‘as little personal space as possible with the people I like’ policy. In the background Kagami could see a solid wall of Midorima - no one else was that tall and wore starched button downs with actual fucking pens arranged neatly in their breast pockets.

The caption was: "Kidnapping in progress!!(๑•̀ㅂ•́)و I wanted Shin-chan to pick him up but he said he didn't want to get punched."

Kagami laughed at that. He really felt better, now that they were there. The ultimate Anti-Kuroko-Loneliness cavalry had arrived.

Midorima loved to complain about how Takao hung all over him and Kuroko ‘without a scrap of dignity’ but Kagami knew for a fact that Kuroko actually really liked that way-informal stuff. As long Kise and his screeching-death-hugs weren’t involved and as long as Kuroko didn’t have to initiate it. Somewhere in the bedrock of his formality his boyfriend had a little vein of ‘tsundere’ of his very own.

Meanwhile as he was thinking he got a few more pictures - Kuroko pulling an enormous rolly-polly stuffed frog out of the claw machine. -The frog perched on Takao's head with Midorima's chin above that, barely making it into the frame.

Ding. Then an actual text from Kuroko.

"I appear to have been kidnapped by the notorious Plush Frog Gang, Kagami-kun. I hope you are well."

He smiled helplessly. The little bastard put in punctuation, like usual.

Ping. Ten minutes later: A picture of Kuroko and Midorima hanging out under the streetlamp by a convenience store, eating cheap popsicles. Takao, with his magic 360-eye-powers, had managed to get a picture where the popsicles were hanging out of both of their prim and proper mouths at kind of suggestive angles. Kagami facepalmed but felt his face heating up under his hand.

"They won't eat any brand but ‘GariGari’, Miracles sure are fussy right? At least those are cheap~~"

Kagami noticed that too, he'd tried to convert Kuroko to the wonder of the King Cone but he just liked those cheap fruit-flavored ones. It was something to do with the past, for sure. By now Kagami had a whole separate instinct for sussing out when something of Kuroko’s was connected with what had gone down in middle school. But it didn’t seem to carry any kind of bitterness with it. Not anymore.

Nowadays when they ended up at a combi and he bought one for Kuroko, he didn't get quiet or sad-looking, he just tried to draw faces on Kagami's arm with the tip when he wasn’t paying attention. Or he’d shove the whole thing in his mouth before slowly taking it out and then innocently complaining that the brand was going downhill because he could swear they used to be thicker. Because let’s face it, Kuroko was kind of evil.

"Thanks for keeping him company"

"No fear Tai-chan! We're thinking about dragging him to summer practice tomorrow. So can we? Pretty pleeeease?"

"Sure, if he wants to. but careful with his stamina, he's not like you crazy assholes."

That night Kagami went to bed maybe kinda-holding the lumps of the heavy comforter, wondering if God could do him a solid and transform them into his partner’s body come morning. Yeah, he was stuck in maximum pining sap mode. But the pictures had really helped.

And because Takao had no sense of restraint they kept coming. Ping went his phone the next morning as he was cleaning up in the kitchen. It wasn’t even jet lag at this point he was so used to getting up early in the morning to make breakfast for two. His aunt had teased him about being so self-sufficient, such good husband material, and his dad had looked a little guilty.

Now both his dad and his dad’s big sister were smoking out on the porch so he had a free minute to look at his phone without feeling like a giant teenager stereotype. The picture was Kuroko sitting on the bus looking out the window. He didn't look as lost as in the arcade one, only still, the way he got sometimes. Those were the moments that Kagami liked to sit back and just look at him, and perceptive guy that he was Takao probably knew that.

"Pretty sure he's thinking about you" the caption said. "He was cold, but now we've warmed him up!”

Next was another text from Kuroko.

"Good morning, Kagami-kun. Takao-kun and Midorima-kun have invited me to come with them for some practice and to stay afterwards. Please let me know if that’s all right."

They’d agreed on some ground rules when not everyone was there but this was the first time they had a chance to test them out.

"Yeah, go for it. Sorry again for leaving you alone for so long."

Texting Kuroko always seemed so damn inadequate when they were at their best face to face, a court-length apart at maximum. Lately it was like there was a giant game clock in the back of Kagami’s head, counting down the minutes until Kuroko was within fistbump distance.

Another picture: Kuroko and Midorima talking about something, Midorima with his nose scrunched and his eyes flashing, Kuroko’s chin up, finely-built hands gesturing everywhere - one of their brainy arguments that they both seemed to be really into, made a little bit funny by how both of them were clearly squeezed into a bus seat that was way too small for Midorima’s 195cm ass.

"Oh my god they started talking about some really boring-sounding modernist novel. Can you believe these guys? Help!! S.O.S.! ヘ(゜Д、゜)ノ Buy me a ticket to America, let’s swap places!~ "

"No way"

“PFFFHAHA Fiiiiine. Red and black works with my skintone but you'd look ~SO horrible~ in our uniform ;p.”

Freaking Takao, he grew on you. Like a fungus. He was the closest thing to a normal American guy you could find and if that made him kinda outrageous by Japanese standards then whatever. To Kagami he just seemed normal, though OK, maybe a 12/10 on the extrovert scale.

They were all going to practice huh? Practice. Then afterward. Yeah he was a little dense sometimes but not that dense. Kagami deliberately set his snapchat notifications to “off", chewed his lip for a moment, changed it back. Actually if he was really honest with himself he didn’t want to miss a goddamned thing. As a compromise he set the phone to vibrate.

Which was good because the next picture was Kuroko kissing Takao. A hella good kiss from the looks of it, he could see a hint of teeth. The camera was shaky for the first time, like a certain Miracle SG couldn't quite hold his famous hands steady.

"Guess he was thinking about other things too... Thanks for the meal~<3"

“Thank you, we will take good care of him." buzzed a rare text from Midorima, who was incredibly paranoid about people seeing his phone but still sent short, hyper-formal messages when it was important. Which was his usual prickly-sweet thing in a nutshell.

"Don't do anything I wouldn't do." That was kind of a group in-joke between the four of them at that point.

Brrrr the phone vibrated in his pocket a few seconds later.

"Ok so I'm back on camera duty since Shin-chan wants a turn! Can you believe it? Months with me and he's still so shy!! UWU our Ace-sama is the cutest. ₍₍ ( ๑॔˃̶◡ ˂̶๑॓)◞♡"

The picture was Kuroko leaning against Midorima's shoulder while Midorima cleaned his glasses, outwardly firmly ignoring the boy sitting on his knees and the color clinging to his own ridiculously perfect cheekbones.

Another text from Takao:

"Sorry I can't send you shots of the previous moment because you know how he gets... Please use your imagination though!"

2 seconds later:

“Ok. nvm I lied a little and snuck one in. Fufufufu~”

They weren't kissing exactly but Kuroko was really in Midorima’s lap now, the prim little hike of his legs making his jeans pull tight across his thighs. Midorima's giant hand curved low around his waist, he was bent over him just hovering, while Kuroko's hand was fisted in his collar. It could almost have been innocent except for how Kuroko’s lips were really, really pink. The expression on his face would be impenetrable on another person but was downright needy for Kuroko.

Midorima always kissed too forcefully before you eased him into it. Kagami tried not to chase the thought. Failed.

He checked the clock, yeah he’d managed to cook some cinnamon oatmeal with apples on auto-pilot and it needed to cool down. His dad and aunt were gabbing away, they’d probably be busy for a couple more minutes. Morning showers were normal right? It had been a warm night last night, yeah, it was totally plausible! He ran upstairs, grabbed a change of clothes out of his dresser and ninja’d his way down the hall to the bathroom.

Some kind of time dilation thing happened in the shower. Look, he tried to be quick and efficient about it but it had been so freaking long and those pictures. By the time he got out it was twenty minutes later and he had a new text.

"Oh my god, man, we need to get into some kind of Guinness Book of World Cockblocking Records! I think we found the only two guys on planet Earth who, when they hear 'Oh yeah let's go practice in the deserted gym on a weekend and oh by the way I have the Key to the Club Room, there’s a really comfy big couch there, *wink* *wink* ‘ ACTUALLY want to practice first. My life is super-tragic rn. T-T"

Kagami snorted. Yeah, they would totally do that. Midorima because he was just that dedicated, and Kuroko because he wanted to lovingly mess with Takao’s head.

"But on the plus side... sweaty Shin-chan?"

A picture was attached. It was apparently hot enough that Midorima had started practicing his threes with his shirt off.

Kagami blushed. He had an instant flashback to the way his hands had felt, moving across that back when it was sweat-slick for a completely different reason. He swiped at his face with his phone hand, only to see another minor wall of text scroll by.

Apparently Takao was feeling chatty, big fucking surprise.

"You know, back then, whenever we were in a match against you guys they always told me to mark your boy and I used to think’ Hey, does his sweat taste like Vanilla?’ Brb going to find out! (。>ω<)。.".

Kagami, at this point pleasantly pink all over from the shower and no longer living in the bleak, urgent hellscape of sexy texts with a morning boner, cracked his jaw on a satisfied yawn and wrote back: "Pretty sure he just tastes like sweat ( like the last 20 times you’ve licked him) but hey, knock yourself out."

Downstairs his dad and aunt had demolished the oatmeal and left a note on the kitchen counter about going into town for camping supplies. Pfff. Camping supplies that probably included Marlboros and a fresh case of Stella. Freaking adults. Meanwhile Kagami was going to actually keep everyone from starving to death and make lunch. He put the phone on the counter and- Brrrr -promptly picked it back up.

It had a picture of a small room with pale orange walls, cluttered with shelves of trophies and pennants. There was a teacher's desk in the corner and, next to it, an enormous old brown leather couch. Currently the couch had a freshly-scrubbed Kuroko, fully dressed( to Kagami's surprise, honestly), sitting demurely on the center cushion with his hands folded in his lap.

"Betcha our clubroom is nicer than yooours ∗˚(* ˃̤൬˂̤ *)˚∗"

The next picture had the same room, the shelves, the couch.

Only Kuroko had changed. He was holding the tails of his shirt out of the way, his legs spread to make room for the figure kneeling between them. Takao's clever, summer-tanned hands were cheerfully gripping his knees, probably better to push them apart.

Kagami swore.

He put the phone in his pocket and began shoving the pasta ingredients that he’d pulled out back into the cupboard. If he tried cooking now he'd burn the whole damn house down.

He got the next picture a good eight minutes later, giving Kagami enough time to race upstairs to his tiny guest bedroom, and think long and hard about what was happening 6000 miles away. It was Takao, chugging a can of that red-bean stuff with a sly look on his face. Behind him Kuroko, now shirtless, with his pants unzipped and a couple of fresh marks on his neck was leaning back against the couch, his chin tipped back to show off his throat.

Kagami sagged against the door. Locked it. Unmuted his phone.

Ping.

A top down view Kuroko's flushed face, still a little too open after coming, pressed into the tented fabric of Midorima’s hopelessly uncool corduroy pants. Long taped fingers were cradling his jaw.

"Hey! I told him he could take a break and sit the next round out but he's being stubborn…”

"yeah I know all about that." Kagami sent back, one-handed.

There had been a memorable day (actually kind of ironic calling it ‘memorable’ since he doesn't remember jack shit about it past lunchtime) when Kuroko had cornered him on the roof, pushing him into the wall and dropping to his knees, and afterwards, having shamelessly claimed Kagami's soda as a chaser he’d just shrugged and said "I do enjoy doing that. Much more than I expected to."

And just remembering that, hearing that in Kuroko’s voice - soft, even, unbearably smug, Kagami was pretty much ready to go again.

Christ. Why had he bothered putting pants back on after that shower? Now they were too fucking restrictive and he kicked them off, let his body fold back onto the messy bed, let his hands go where they wanted. The next several pictures are were pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Takao sure had an eye for close-ups.

His breathing was way too loud in his ears and his left hand had started slipping on the upstroke when the shot of Kuroko's sweet button nose pressed into Midorima's happy trail almost finished him off.

"Well they seem to be having fun, don’t they? Meanwhile I guess I've got to entertain myself~~"

Ping. Kuroko's pants pushed town to his knees, Takao's hand cupping the lower curve of his ass. Kagami's memory sucker-punched him with how it felt to be doing that himself, the unreal smoothness of the skin. His hand clutched impotently at the blanket. The next picture made him moan, shockingly loud in the empty house.

Kuroko. Or at least a familiar part of him - pink and furled.

"I found this lovely thing though! Doesn’t it look lonely?"

The next message he got from Takao was a sound file.

He pressed play with his free hand, fumbling twice before his thumb hit the button correctly.

"-mmmhph... " Then a slick sound. Kind of like someone pulling their ridiculously long proportional cock out of someone else’s throat.

"Aaanhnnnn.. Takao-kun that's... that's unfair, really! " The sound of something sliding back into a mouth. And then other sounds, more immediate wet sounds. God.

Kagami threw his phone across the room where it landed in a pile of laundry, He couldn't stand it anymore.

His head was full of memories and his hands were tugging mercilessly at his ridiculously stiff dick, which pulsed and leaped and downright hurt dammit, like it was pissed at Kagami for a week of limited privacy and for taking it away from its favorite pair of pale, muscled thighs.

The phone pinged. He groaned, panting and crawled his way over to it, wiping one of his hands clean on the blanket (yeah laundry was happening later, for sure) and swiping the load screen away with a growled curse.

It was more red than pink now, wet with little dribbles of spit, stretching easily around two fingers.

"I'm gonna lube him up some more, ‘cause safety, you know. But he looks pretty ready as-is huh?"

How the fuck could Takao still type?

Kagami breathed through his nose and chewed on his knuckles. Dragging himself back from the edge by sheer willpower, he decided was going to try and last. At least that way they could be connected, he could pretend he was there.

Midorima must have gotten the phone again because the picture was blurry - but like artistically blurry - if you let your eyes relax you could see the couch, the two bodies on it, Kuroko on all fours with his elbows braced against the armrest, his toes curled. Someone had taken off his pants and shoes but left his socks on. One night at a training camp he’d said that always made him feel a little indecent, and Kagami would bet good money that Midorima had remembered it with his giant brain.

Takao was bent over him, straining as he worked himself in.

The next shot was in focus, Midorima must have moved around to the front to take it - Takao kissing Kuroko's ear, with a weirdly sweet, serene expression, Kuroko clearly panting as he adjusted. The one after that - Takao flashing a peace sign, shit-eating grin buried against Kuroko's messy hair, Kuroko clearly torn between turned on from getting fucked and rolling his eyes.

Then Midorima demonstrated his rare but kinda mean brand of humor - the next picture had Takao totally shocked, making one of those terrifically stupid sex faces. Kuroko must have clamped down on him suddenly. That was just like him, wasn’t it.

It punched a laugh out of him, but it ended on a gasp. He took a few precious seconds to break rhythm and prop the phone up next to his face. One by one, four more pictures arrived - each one scoring a line of heat along his body, like getting whipped with ropes made of fire.

But it was the one the was just a shot of Kuroko’s gorgeous, sweat-damp fingers digging into the couch that made him shove his whole face into the pillow to muffle the sounds. Oh. oh. When he came down he was shaking worse than after a full quarter of overtime and couldn’t seem to gulp enough air.

There it was again, that whole time dilation thing again. When his brain was no longer 120% stupid with satisfaction he just knew that it was later and could make out the new line of text on the phone.

"He said he wanted tea so Shin-chan went to get teabags from his locker.”

Kagami snorted weakly. Forget bagged tea, Midorima probably had everything you needed for a full-on traditional tea ceremony next to his perfectly pressed spare towels.

Ping.

Kuroko stretched out full-length on the couch, still naked but with his feet sticking out from under a blanket of two orange Shuutoku jackets. Somewhere in the last round he’d lost one of his socks.

"Seriously! He's like a noodle, how do you manage?! Shin-chan had to carry him into the shower. Too bad this phone isn’t waterproof ( ˃̣̣̥ω˂̣̣̥ )"

Kagami rolled over onto his back, and put his arm over his eyes.

He could barely move and he probably had that dead giveaway ‘stick a fork in me, I’m done’ look on his face. And hey, he tried to stay conscious, he really did but his mind was full of Kuroko’s blissfully-spread naked toes hanging off the side of that couch and between one heavy content breath and the next he was out like a light.

A familiar chirping woke him up from his power nap. 2 new notifications.

A selfie of Kuroko sitting next to Takao in the back of the rickshaw, head buried in his shoulder.

2) "I'm taking him home tonight. If it gets Shin-chan to pedal we should borrow him more often <3!!"

Kagami smiled, tracing the exhausted dip of Kuroko’s neck in the photograph. That was a good idea. Takao's family was hang-loose enough to welcome a last-minute sleepover and then Kuroko wouldn't have to go to bed alone.

He texted Takao.

“Thanks for taking care of him, tell Shin I said hey.”

And then “<3”, which was lame as hell but he sent it anyway.

Kagami turned his phone off, set it to charge, and, huffing air through his nose at the ridiculous state of himself, rolled up his dirty sheets and went to take another shower.

Only four more days and he’d be home.

- end -