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staying put

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"i said i'm fine."

"sure you are." shino'oka sighs, letting abe down onto the dugout bench. he really was fine, it was just a scrape on his leg. the same one that got sprained all those months ago - but that has nothing to do with anything, especially not why his leg is throbbing. it's just the scrape. obviously.

he is fine.

"i'm going to go get the first aid kit." she continues, "so stay here, no more running laps for you today, so don't go trying to join everyone else you hear?"

"it's not a big deal." abe grits out through his teeth, but sighs because there's no convincing shino'oka now that she's up and brushing the dust off herself. "i can still run."

"not with blood on your leg you're not. it's practice, just take it easy for once."

and with that, shino'oka is up and walking back to grab the kit, leaving abe alone in the dugout.

it was a stupid thing that put him there, it's true, he wasn't paying attention when sakaeguchi made some stupid quip that caused him to tumble. and now he has to pay for it. stupid sakaeguchi.

"a-abe-kun?"

ah. of course. abe closed his eyes and let out a long breath, hoping his annoyance would go with it.

"go back to running laps mihashi."

"but, but your leg, i--"

"i. am fine."

abe's voice came out like froze steel, biting off the sentence at the end so mihashi wouldn't question it. for a second, abe thinks it's worked, because mihashi is doing that waffling thing he does at the edge of the dugout like he wants to leave. which he should. he needs the exercise.

what he doesn't expect is for mihashi to firm up his shoulders, make a small exhale and walk right into the dugout.

"mihashi--"

"until! until shino-oka, comes back."

he wants to say no, he wants to yell or push or something, anything so mihashi doesn't have to see him stuck in the dugout like an asshole over an injury again. once was bad enough, and he feels his neck burn with the thought of it.

"you don't have to do this."

"i want to." mihashi's voice is no louder than normal, but far more firm.

goddammit. abe can't say no to that, not even if he wanted to (which he does, for the record, his neck is still hot with embarrassment and not anything else.)


shino'oka comes back not even two minutes later with a quiet laugh when she sees mihashi and abe shoulder to shoulder on the bench.

"you two are really making an amazing battery, aren't you?"