Himuro could feel the heat radiating off his cheeks as he tried to keep up with the beat of the song that he was listening to through earbuds. His breath came out in short, heavy pants, but he still pushed himself, trying to keep on going. Oh no, Himuro was not going to give her whatever sadistic satisfaction she getting from this.
The muscles in his legs burned and his lungs screamed for air, sides hurting with sharp pain from fatigue. He felt sweat bead on his asymmetrical hairline, the salty drops streamed down his forehead and blurred his vision.
He knew she was still watching, he saw her coming into his vision at her ran yet another lap. Her eyes were fixed on a clipboard, her hair was pulled back into a high ponytail, clad in his baggy Yosen jacket and black sweats.
Had he really only met her last month? It seemed so much longer.
The Interhigh had ended a while ago, and Alex was in America, where she messaged and called Himuro on a weekly basis. America was where he assumed she'd be for a while, atleast until the Winter Cup. Well, he was wrong. Alex had come back to Japan only a month later, and she'd brought a friend.
_____ _____. That was her name.
"A child prodigy," Alex had called her. Not in the same way as the Generation of Miracles, she preferred to use her mind over her body. According to Alex, she'd graduated high school when she was 11, enrolled in a 2-year college when she was 12 and finished with a degree in civil engineering when she was 14. Instead of starting a job right away, ______ chose to enjoy the rest of her childhood, doing whatever she could.
Alex first found her on the betting courts, helping out individual players while yelling at them in another language only she understood.
"I minored in Japanese," ______ explained.
The busty blonde and the intelligent teenager became fast friends, bonding over their love of basketball. Later, Alex planned a surprise visit to Japan to see her former students, and invited ______ along.
He still remembered the first thing she said to him.
"Have you tried putting your center of balance on your metatarsal?" She had asked, interrupting a fadeaway shot while he practiced outside of school.
She wasn't infatuated by him like the other girls, she seemed to actually listen to him instead of just staring blankly at his face. And maybe Himuro was too prideful to admit he didn't know what part of his body was the metatarsal.
She was so aloof, like she didn't care if he took her advice for not. She trained him using math and science, not by forcing him to do various exercises. He hated to admit it, but it was actually really effective. She took his abilities and mastery of fakes to create the Mirage Shot.
It was true, she was incredibly tricky. Impossible for him to figure out. So many girls wore their hearts of their sleeves, throwing everything about themselves out at once instead of leaving anything to the imagination.
"Yo, Himuro!" _____ called at Himuro finished another lap around the track.
"I'm getting hungry, do you wanna get something to eat?" She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and pinned her clipboard under her arm.
Himuro flashed that coy smile that made her weak in the knees, not that she'd ever let him know that.
"Yeah, I know a great sushi bar near the city square." He answered. "My treat."
"Cool, let's head out." ______ buttoned up Himuro's jacket, all except the bottom two.
"Oh yeah, if you think your gettin' your jacket back, you're sadly mistaken." She smirked, running ahead.
"H-hey! Coach'll kill me if I don't!" He shouted, feigning worry.
Himuro chased after her, listening to her light and joyous laugh.
"Gotcha!" He declared, wrapping his arms around ______'s waist. She doubled over, only supported by his muscular arms.
Himuro smirked, enjoying his close moment with _____, the prodigious and tricky _____.