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Cherry Stem

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“Ha, I did it!” Koganegawa grinned, showing off a knotted cherry stem between two fingers. 

Goshiki gasped. “No way! How’d you do that?!”

It was the last day of the First Year Selective Intensive Training Camp and the members, plus their ball boy were taking a much needed break for lunch. Conversations lead to another, mainly on a specific fruit they were served today for dessert.

Taking it as a challenge, Goshiki reached out and picked one of the shiny black cherries. Hinata and Tsukishima sat to his right as they watched him put the fruit in his mouth, stem and all. The dark haired boy struggled, his eyes narrowed with focus as he moved the stem around his mouth trying to tie it. Koganegawa preened himself for doing it so easily while Kunimi and Kindaichi sublty snickered across the table.

Goshiki finally gave up, slamming his hands with a thud on the table when Hinata jumped up, “I wanna try!!!”

He saw Tsukishima smirk at this enthusiasm. “Good luck with that,” he teased.

“Don’t listen to him, Hinata!” Koganegawa encouraged. “Try it!”

Hinata frowned and stuck his tongue out to Tsukishima before taking one and popping it in his mouth. He took a bite of it, its bitter flavor taking over his taste buds before the sweet kicked in. Once finished, he took out the hard pit and began to work on the twisting the stem.

He found it no easy task, especially with others watching him with curiosity. There was no delicacy in his movements as he moves the stem around his mouth impatiently. He almost swallowed it three or four times. Soon it was more malleable and he started to bend it around his tongue. Feeling a small tight knot against his teeth, his lips parted and presented a messy knot balanced dainty on his tongue.

“Ah…”

“Ooh! Nice, Hinata!” Goshiki and Koganegawa cheered in unison.

Hinata turned to Tsukishima to show off but his attention was fixed on the blond’s baffled expression. A pink bloom ran from his cheeks up to his ears and his glasses did nothing to conceal the hue. It wasn't Tsukishima's usual flush on his glistening skin after a long day of practice. It was soft and pale under a look of embarrassment.

Not breaking eye contact, Hinata had a thought come up as he stared into Tsukishima’s dazed golden eyes.

Would Tsukishima be able to do this to?

He probably could, he figured. He might even be a good kisser. And soon an image of himself pulling Tsukishima down to capture his lips crossed his mind.

With a shiver, Hinata immediately plucked the stem off and broke eye contact with burning cheeks.

Tsukishima also looked away, collecting his tray with a nervous expression.

“I’m not hungry,” he excused himself and left the lunch room in a hurry.

It wasn't an unusual excuse coming from the tall boy with little appetite but the others still watched him leave in silence and confusion. Before anyone could speak up however, Hinata slid the bowl across the table to Kunimi as a distraction. As a distraction for whom, he wasn't sure.

“Here, try it out!” He smiled, his cheeks still flustered.

Since when has Tsukishima’s lips looked so… kissable ?