Written for Theme: #26 If only I could make you mine for 30 Kisses. Momo can't seem to bring himself to ask Ryoma something.
By: Neko Mastermind
He couldn't do it.
No matter how many times he went over the words in his head, or practiced in front of the mirror, he just couldn't say it when it came down to it.
But Momoshiro Takeshi wasn't a quitter.
So he'd practice some more, and even had Eiji-senpai act as a sounding board, ignoring how the redhead had nearly laughed himself sick when Momo had told him his predicament.
"Don't worry, Momo-chan!" He had said. "There's no way you'll get turned down. You should trust your senpai, nya!"
But asking a guy to date compared to asking a girl was ten times different, and despite his senpai's optimism, he just couldn't seem to feel the same. So, after each failed attempt, each time the words stuck in his throat and he earned another curious, inquisitive look, he'd go home and practice. And practice, and practice, and practice.
One didn't go about these things lightly. Especially when it came to one Echizen Ryoma.
"I really do like him," A rather upset Momoshiro explained later as Eiji and Oishi listened, both sympathetic. "But I can't get the words out of my mouth."
He tried to act as if nothing was wrong. At practice, he was his loud, energetic self, teasing Kaidoh, and getting in to trouble with Eiji and dragging poor Ryoma into it. But when he'd walk home alone with his friend, he doubted the looks of longing he shot at the freshman went noticed.
That is, until he was caught.
Momo and Ryoma were over Momo's house studying one night, since there wasn't a way to get their homework done with Nanjiroh peeking his head in every ten minutes and trying to provoke his son into a game of tennis. And since Momo's siblings were on a school trip, his house was peaceful and quiet. Just what they needed.
No matter how quiet it was, he just couldn't concentrate. Not with Ryoma sitting across from him, brows furrowed and lips pursed as he tried to calculate a math equation. Momoshiro found himself ignoring his English homework in light of watching his friend, and couldn't help but smile at the subtle change in Ryoma's expression when he came up with the answer.
"What?" That single word cut through whatever thoughts of cute freshman prodigies he was thinking at the moment, and he blinked widely, doing a wonderful impersonation of a deer caught in the headlights of a car. "Eh?"
"You keep staring at me." Ryoma didn't seem bothered by it, just...curious. Golden eyes searched his face for an answer, and a slim eyebrow raised as Momo sputtered an excuse.
"I'm just uh...watching you! Yeah! To see if um...you figured out the problem right." Momo sighed mentally, making a note to practice his excuses if - no, after - he asked Ryoma out.
The freshman shook his head a little and returned to his work, though there was something different about his expression. He looked almost disappointed; as if that wasn't the answer he was hoping for.
Momo kept himself in check for the rest of the night, and after they finished their homework, he walked Ryoma to the door.
"You can come over tomorrow night too, if you want." He invited, grinning happily when the boy shrugged a shoulder in response. "Sure."
"Alright then, I guess...I'll see you tomorrow morning?"
When Momo turned back around, he almost started at feeling lips against his chin, a still-too-short Ryoma leaning up on his tiptoes, trying to surprise him with a kiss. He felt his cheeks heat a little, and noted that Ryoma was actually blushing...and leaned down to return the gesture.
A moment later they pulled away. "Echizen..."
"I'm waiting, Momo-senpai," Ryoma said, expression fierce despite the reddish color his cheeks. "For you to ask me."
Ask him..? It suddenly clicked - Echizen had known all along. He shouldn't have been surprised as he was; even though the freshman mostly kept to himself, he was very observant, even of things one wouldn't think he'd even care about.
And those silly eight words - the ones he'd gone over in his head thousands of times, practiced in front of the mirror, and even to his senpai...
Finally came out.