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I Don't Want To Be A Baller

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“So, like, you like me? But not in a best friends way?” Michael had to make sure.

 

“Yeah…” Jeremy answered.

 

“Well, it’s a good thing that your buildup to dating Christine was all for nothing! Also, I’ve been in love with you since I was a fetus, basically!” Michael chirped.

 

Wait, wait, wait, wait, cut! Take 2, sorry, everyone.

 

-

 

“So, like, you like me? But not in a best friends way?” Michael had to make sure. He had been in love with Jeremy since the beginning of Junior year instead of fifteen thousand years like how most people like to write him.

 

“Yeah, I do. I found that Christine and I shared theatre in common. That was it,” Jeremy muttered. “So, is this the part where we stop talking forever?” He asked.

 

“As much as I wouldn’t mind never talking to you again, I do like you back, geek,” Michael said.

 

“Oh, shit, waddup!” Jeremy’s eyes widened. Michael just gave him a disappointed look.

 

“Fucking shitty memer,” Michael sighed.

 

“I was being ironic. Shut up!” Jeremy slapped his chest. Michael just laughed at him.

 

“Okay, anyway, in all seriousness. I do want to try this out.” Michael gripped Jeremy’s shoulders. He leaned down to the short furry and bumped into his forehead with his glasses.

 

“Fuck! Ow!” Jeremy rubbed his head.

 

“Right, oops.” Michael flicked his glasses to the top of his head.

 

“Oh, wow, you look hotter without your glasses,” Jeremy said without thinking about it.

 

“I didn’t realize that needing to see subtracted from my overall attractiveness,” Michael deadpanned. Jeremy laughed and pulled Michael into the kiss that time. It was awkward, but it was definitely… passionate?

 

“Meh.” They both finally decided.

 

“Am I supposed to be freaking out right now? Like, I’ve been pining for you for like…” It was beginning of junior year when he accepted that he had a crush and it was almost time for school again. They were seniors. So… it was definitely almost a year. “A while.”

 

“I mean, you don’t have to. We can just, like, kiss ‘n’ shit,” Jeremy answered.

 

“Alright. Do you want to go play video games while sitting on my lap?” Michael wiggled his eyebrows.

 

“Sure. You want to play some dating simulator called Be Less Single? I heard it was good.”

 

“Ew, dating simulators? Not only are they not two player, they have a completely inaccurate grasp of reality,” Michael cringed.

 

“Fine. Do you want to play Two-k?” Jeremy suggested.

 

“The basketball game? Jeremy, I’ve never stepped near a basketball. I don't know how it works.”

 

“Speaking of which, Jake asked me for a favor.” When they got downstairs, Jeremy crawled into Michael’s lap while the ladder was laying down on the beanbag. “He asked me to…”

 

Michael waited for an answer. “What?” He finally piped up.

 

“If you want to do basketball with him.”

 

Michael stared at him for a hot second. “Are you kidding me? Jeremy, you’ve got to be joking. How long have you known me?”

 

“He says he’s seen you run. And also, he says that it would be cool if you could at least tryout. He doesn’t get to play a lot of sports with friends."

 

“Why can’t you do it then?”

 

“Michael, you’re taller than me.” That was a canon fact, by the way. “Also, you’re one thicc bitch!”

 

“How did you just say thick with two c’s in a sentence?”

 

“Does it matter? Can you please try? For me?” Jeremy put his arms around his neck.

 

“Why? I don’t know how to play!” Michael scoffed.

 

“So you’ll learn. Basketball starts in the winter, anyway. I’ll go to all of your games.”

 

“Jeremy, I am never going to learn how to play basketball. I will never step on a court, either.” Michael crossed his arms. "Never."

 

Jeremy just had an indignant look on his face.

 

-

 

“I’m sure you’ll do great,” Jeremy promised. He had a number three jersey on. Michael’s jersey. They were standing in the locker room about thirty minutes before the game. Michael had just changed out of his suit and into his shorts and t-shirt (Jeremy totally didn’t watch).

 

“I still can’t believe I’m doing this,” Michael huffed. Jeremy would never admit how much hotter Michael had gotten in the past few months. His arms got bigger, his legs were stronger, but ultimately?

 

He got THICCER.

 

“I can. You let Jake and I train you the last few months. Which is to say, you let Jake train you.” Jeremy kissed him. He pushed Michael’s head so they could deepen the kiss.

 

“You’re so lucky I love you or else I would beat you over how much you’ve made me exercise. And also the diet. Holy shit, that diet was good for my health, but awful for my sanity.”

 

“Think about it this way. You can throw me around like a ragdoll now. Also, you can carry me anywhere,” Jeremy grinned.

 

“I could carry you anywhere considering you’re a fucking malnourished twink.”

 

Jeremy had never been so offended. “No more kissing for you. I’ll only give you one if you score.”

 

“How about one kiss per point?” Michael whispered in Jeremy’s ear. He gulped and shivered, but he definitely accepted the bet.

 

“Either way, good luck. Seriously, I’m really proud of you for doing this.” Jeremy punched his shoulder awkwardly and did the finger guns before running off to the stands.

 

“Hey.” Jeremy slid in between Christine and Brooke.

 

“Michael is actually doing this?” Rich confirmed with Jeremy.

 

“Yes, he is actually doing this. I’m shocked, too.”

 

After a while of banter and talking about random shit (Seriously. They started talking about parallel universes at some point. Chloe really got heated up over it), the boys of Middleborough came out of the locker room, waving and grinning.

 

“Michael Mell is on the team? Since when does he do sports?” Someone whispered nearby.

 

“He’s kinda hot,” Madeline murmured.

 

Oh, right, Jeremy and Michael decided to not come out to anyone but their friends. They weren’t trying to actively hide it, but it wasn’t something they showboated.

 

Either way, Jeremy got a bit jealous and possessive when someone praised him and really pissed when someone insulted him.

 

The game started with Michael benched, so he just watched Jake move through everyone with graceful moves and easy three pointers. Michael was on Varsity, so it wasn’t like he was bad, right? Jeremy just hoped that they would sit out for equal times.

 

Thankfully, near the middle of the first quarter, Michael got sent in. He didn’t do anything outstanding, but he made a few layups. Jeremy made sure to cheer for him when he scored their team four points. At some point, Michael bulldozed through the other team like an angry rhino and made a three pointer.

 

He watched every move Michael made: the way he spun through other players, the sweat that flew off his face when he passed the ball, his ass, every bend and snap he made when shooting, etc…

 

It was simply hypnotic. He played the game like he played Bayonetta: wild yet graceful.

 

The quarter ended, and Michael went back on the court with Jake and a bunch of people Jeremy didn’t give two shits about. Michael flashed him a seven with his fingers and Jeremy turned bright red. He knew the other team wasn’t the worst, so the fact that Middleborough was crushing them this badly was impressive.

 

And that shit just went on. By the end, it was 70-21. Like, what the fuck? Michael was a sweaty and panting mess by the end, but he scored eighteen of those points. His points alone would’ve almost tied the game like what.

 

Jeremy waited for Michael to come out of the locker room with his normal clothes. He was still sweaty and tired, but Jeremy hugged him tightly and pulled him into a really hot kiss. Not that kind of kiss, obviously.

 

“That’s one of eighteen,” Michael murmured.

 

“C’mon, you’re exhausted. I’ll drive you.” Jeremy didn’t mind his sweaty boyfriend. He felt elated for him, on the contrary. Also, Michael when he was sweaty and tired was kind of hot.

 

Their friends were just as happy for him, too.

 

“Mell, that was awesome! Holy shit, you can ball the fuck up!” Rich whooped.

 

“I have to admit, that was pretty awesome,” Chloe smiled.

 

“I think Madeline was drooling all over the seat watching you,” Brooke chuckled. “Now look at you two.”

 

“It was a bit hard to understand what was going on, but I know you got a lot of points! So good job!” Christine piped up.

 

“You’ve definitely made a reputation for yourself,” Jenna mentioned.

 

“What does that mean?” Michael tilted his head, his arms still around Jeremy. The ladder was just chilling with his chin on Michael’s shoulder and his arms around his neck.

 

“Michael, I have to admit. I wasn’t sure how you would do. But after seeing that? Like, holy crap, you just trucked them!” Jake waved them over. Rich stared at him with heart eyes and Michael wondered when the two idiots would get it together and just go out. Not that he had any right to talk, considering how long it took for them two to get together.

 

“What I mean is-” Jenna interrupted. “Your court kiss with Jeremy and balling up game, for the lack of better words, was an inspiration of sorts. Or something. I’m looking through Twitter and a lot of people find you guys cute, basically.”

 

“Well, I just want to take a fucking nap. That is probably the most physical exertion I’ve ever put myself through… ever,” Michael murmured. Jeremy rolled his eyes and helped Michael to the car where they drove to a diner. He sat next to Michael in a booth.

 

“You forgot that I was taking you out, huh? You really must’ve gotten into it,” Jeremy said.

 

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

 

“You don’t know?” Jeremy muttered to him like he was a kid. The diner was mostly empty, so Michael kissed Jeremy without feeling weird about it.

 

“That’s two kisses,” Michael said. He put an arm around Jeremy’s waist and sighed.

 

They spent the entire dinner as close together as possible. The waiter didn’t seem to care. If he did, he did a good job of hiding it. At some point, Michael nearly face-planted into the pancakes he ordered, so Jeremy paid the bill and took him back to his house.

 

“How did you stand being near me? I was sweaty and gross.” Michael sniffed his shirt. He shuddered.

 

“Dunno. You smell like vanilla and coconuts.” Jeremy actually kinda liked Michael’s smell, no matter what. Whether he smelled like weed or sweat, it always seemed normal. Was that weird? Did Jeremy have a fucking kink for Michael’s smell? He sure hoped not.

 

Michael threw off his clothes and Jeremy wolf-whistled.

 

“Oh, wait, this is your house. I forgot you were here,” Michael said. He saw a few light flashes in Jeremy's basement. Was that bad?

 

“Okay, big guy, I think you need a nap. You’re delirious!” Jeremy cackled.

 

“Big in multiple ways, according to you. Lemme shower first. You can help me.” Michael winked. Jeremy’s clothes were off in a few seconds.

 

“C’mere, dork,” Michael said in a low voice in the bathroom. Jeremy grinned and closed the shower curtain.

 

While Michael had a hard time getting it up when he was tired, it wasn’t impossible.

 

Thank God Mr. Heere wasn’t home to hear the two ‘showering’.

 

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