My fav thing about the Nishiura team dynamic is not only do they all root for Mihashi to realize he’s a talented pitcher, but they encourage him socially/want to help him accept that he’s valuable as a person and a friend. I love them.
My fav thing about the Nishiura team dynamic is not only do they all root for Mihashi to realize he’s a talented pitcher, but they encourage him socially/want to help him accept that he’s valuable as a person and a friend. I love them.
Some miscellaneous Oofuri incorrect quotes
I feel like this one doesn't need to be explained, really. The team loses a game after Abe was injured and had to be benched, and when Mihashi goes back to the dugout afterward, he's so upset that he starts crying. Abe hugs him. This is 100% my favorite moment in the anime.
Random "I love Abe" post because I can and he's been on my mind tonight and I love love love this boy 😍❤️🔥❤️🔥❤️🔥
Decided to write some shorter drabbles to warm myself back up for fic writing (since I haven't written a full-length fic in a month at this point) and maaaay have gotten a little carried away because it's Abe and I love him? But pssssh it's fine! ^^
“Whoa, whoa – hang on!” Abe staggered back, nearly tripping over someone’s discarded glove in the dugout, holding his hands up defensively. “Don’t gang up on me!”
A handful of his teammates – led by Tajima, of course – continued their advance, various devious, smiling faces staring him down playfully. Behind them, Mihashi hovered, clenching and unclenching his fists in a clear sign that he wanted to join in on what was about to happen but was still working up the courage to actually do so.
“It’s not my fault I’m having an off day getting on base,” the catcher tried, internally resigning himself once he felt the wall of the dugout against his back, stopping his retreat. He eyed Tajima and Oki and Izumi’s wiggling fingers. “T-This won’t help! Seriously!”
“Aren’t you the one who encouraged us to do this to each other when we were in a slump?” Izumi teased, grinning even wider.
Abe knew there was no getting away and no stopping them now. But he still shrunk against the wall, smiling nervously. “S-Shut up…!”
“Get him!” Tajima yelled, and suddenly the three of them descended at once, grabbing whatever ticklish spots they could find, making Abe burst into giggles and sharp squeals of laughter despite himself.
“Nohohohohohoho! Wahahahahahait!” he pleaded, trying to push them away from his worst spot while curling up and squirming against the wall, cackling helplessly. “Guhuhuhuhuys! This won’t hehehehehelp! I only hahahave one more at bahahahat anyway!”
“Then we’d better make it count!” Tajima laughed with him, turning to look over his shoulder at their pitcher. “Mihashi, get in here! You want to help Abe, don’t you?”
Abe wanted to protest, but he knew doing so now would only make Mihashi clam up against the idea of tickling him in the future, so he bit his lip and grasped at Oki’s wrist, shakily keeping it away from his worst spot.
After a few moments of coaxing, Tajima finally convinced Mihashi to join them. He and Izumi held Abe’s arms to the wall while Oki and Mihashi descended on his lower belly as a team, making Abe toss his head back with a shriek of uncontrolled laughter that nearly made him collapse to the floor of the dugout for how badly it tickled.
“GAHAHAHAHAHAHA STAHAHAHAHAHAHAP!! NOT THEHEHEHERE!!” Abe begged, his laughter coming out more freely than before. He arched away from the wall when more devious fingers joined in, tickling his sides and ribs in tandem with his worst spot. The catcher dissolved into wheezing cackles, shaking his head desperately. “Plehehehehehease, no mohohohohohore! Mehehehehercy!”
The four of them finally let up, ruffling his hair and helping to straighten his uniform as he gathered himself, and by the time Abe had recovered – still grinning and flushed from laughing – it was his turn to be in the on-deck circle.
Minutes later, in the batter’s box, the catcher who had been struggling to get a hit all day finally managed to get to first base on a line drive into left field. He looked back into his dugout to see his teammates cheering and wiggling their fingers at him. He blushed but tipped his cap anyway. He was sure he’d never hear the end of this.
Grinning to himself, he decided he didn’t mind. He couldn’t argue with results.
Boy meets dream ⚾️
- Mihashi Ren made by me! @maki_after_eight on Instagram! 😖💕
(please credit me if you repost and don't erase my user name in the corner! Thank you!) 💙
redraw of that one panel
He Cares About Mihashi
It gets me every time - the moment Abe first begins to wonder if Mihashi hates him. So much of the series is focused the other way around, but this moment here ^^^ is when Abe first realizes that every time he sees his pitcher, he yells at him. The expression on his face says it all: "This is wrong. I want to fix this. I don't want him to be scared of me all the time." And after this moment, he takes extra care to speak gently and be patient so he and Mihashi can communicate better together. He cares about Mihashi, and it really begins to show from this moment on. I love that.
His Intense Looks
Look at those EYES UGH COME ONNNN I seriously love when he gets all intense like this 😍😍😍
Ookiku Furikabutte - this anime has probably the most tickles scenes, both in the anime as well as in the manga. It was also one of the first anime tickle scenes I found back in my earlier days when I just a began to get into the whole tickling thing. Therefore a few headcanons were long overdue.
Members of the Nishiura High School Baseball Team
The baseball team of Nishiura High School has a very special way to calm down their teammates when there’s a big game around the corner or when it's time for them to hit the ball out on the field. It was invented by one of their teammates and was named "Instant Relaxing Method" which turned out to be quite effective for some of the members. It consists of several seconds of intense tickling in order to calm the other down, easing of their stiffness and clear their mind from the anxiety. Laughing has in general a relaxing effect and thus it became a helpful technique in their future games.
Mihashi is the biggest lee out of the baseball team and is literally ticklish all over. Just a simple touch on his sides is enough to turn him into a wobbly laughing kid, sinking to the ground. Out of the entire team, this method probably helped him the most. He has a very low self-confidence and gets easily scared when someone yells around him. Mostly it's Tajima who would tickles him. He sees Mihashi as a little brother and is very protective of him, also being the only one that understands him when he can just stutter out a few words, or sometimes even just by his fidgeting. They spend a lot of their free time together and Tajima would often tickle him during their many sleepovers, knowing that he actually enjoys it. Besides the calming effect it also helps him to bond with the others, getting more comfy when he's around them. When Abe saw that it actually helped Mihashi to improve, he as well tried to tickle him for once. The first time he did it, Mihashi was both, surprised and excited. He always thought Abe didn’t like him for how he acted but seeing him so playful that he would tickle him, finally showed him, that Abe cared for him just as much as the rest of team and Mihashi couldn't think of a better catcher.
Tajima is a very open and carefree person that always has a smile on his face. In contrast to Mihashi, he has a lot of confidence in himself and therefore doesn’t need the relaxing method that often. Still, he loves to carry it out, wanting to help him and the other teammates to surpass their own limits and fears. Nevertheless, he wouldn't mind being tickled as well. That fact that his sides and feet are sensitive makes him also an easy target at training camps or at sleepovers and not only Mihashi has used his sensitivity against him. He is also a bit shameless and has no problem to talk about sensitive topics like masturbation in public. This also applies to the way he tickles people, when they're in a more comfy space and are fine with it. Thus, the only one he gets a bit lewder with, is Mihashi when they're having a sleepover and watch baseball games together. Mostly it starts with Mihashi getting a bit jittery, swaying from side to side and playing with his hands. These things are a sign for him that he’s in need of some tickles. Tajima would then just push Mihashi down, straddling him and tickle him playfully. Here he would sometimes bend down and - depending on the position - nibble his ear or even lick his feet. When he’s especially playful, mostly after a won game, he would even squeeze his crotch from time to time. He knows that Mihashi is fine with it, otherwise he would do things like this. When Mihashi tickles him back - yes with Tajima he’s not only confident enough to yell and argue with - he always does it very carefully and hesitant, but with Tajima’s encouragements he gets better and better.
Izumi is the tickle monster of the group and was also the one who came up with the relaxing method after being all nervous for being the first batter. He has sensitive armpits and an especially sensitive neck but tries to hid the fact about the latter spot. Mostly, he joins up with Tajima, who loves to help him out with calming down their friends. Their favorite targets are either Mihashi or Mizutani. When it’s their turn, they’re already on standby, wiggling their hands at them or initiating "Rock, paper, Scissors" with the loser getting tickled. You have to admit, that this can also backfire on them, where instead of Mihashi, Tajima came out on the short end. Izumi is in the same class as Mihashi and Tajima and when he learned that they were already using each other’s first names, he felt left out, wanting to be closer with them as well. So, Tajima just invited him to one of their sleepovers, already giving a wink to Mihashi. That night the tickle monster became the victim and all three had a lot of fun together. From then on, Izumi would join them form night to night, happy that he was able to get loser with them.
Mizutani is the second ticklish person of the group and gets roughly just as many tickles as Mihashi. His sides and his armpits are his biggest weak spots and are often target by Izumi. The redhead gets easily flustered when being tickled, still he even asks for it, wanting to improve and get a point for the team. Just like Mihashi, a simple touch on his flanks makes him sunk to the ground, much to the amusement of either Izumi or Tajima. Mizutani also doesn't hide his giggles and just lets them out freely. He also wants to return the favor and had once asked Izumi if he should tickle him as well, wanting to literally return the favor. Unfortunately for him, Izumi said that he doesn't need it anymore since he only got nervous the first time. Still, Mizutani would find a way to make him giggle and just waited for his change when they were back on the bus. Sitting behind him, he waited for his moment and teasingly slid a finger over the others neck and got the laugh from his friend he wanted to hear. I don't have to tell you what happened when they got back to the inn, they were staying at... well let’s just say Mizutani’s laugh could be heard long after the moon had risen on the night sky.
Abe is unfortunately not ticklish at all. At first, he thought of it as a childish thing, but when he realized that it actually benefits the team, especially Mihashi, he even suggests to use it whenever necessary. He leaves most of the time to Tajima and Izumi to tickle the team, not sure if his tickling would have the same effect. Later on, Tajima told him that it would really help Mihashi if he would do the tickling once in a while as well. So, Abe just did it one day when the two of them very training together and Mihashi was a bit too nervous for his tastes again. The ravenhead just stood up and squeezed his sides repeating that Mihashi can relax around him a bit more, trusting in his abilities. He was a bit clumsy the first time he did it, but since the brunette was just so sensitive it didn’t matter that much, since it still brought a smile on Mihashi’s face, accompanied by a faint red appearing on his cheeks. From then on Abe took Tajima’s words to heart and would tickle him more often and with each tickle Mihashi received from him, the more he seemed to relax around him, talk to him and even managed to look into his eyes. Who would have thought that such a simple thing as tickling could change a person’s behavior like this?
Bonus: Some more tickle scenes~
Welp, here you have, one of my first translation jobs. This feels so cringy because the quality and the font selection feels so bad right now, but my abemiha soul wouldn't let me not post this, i'm so sorry. Still it is good to know that I have improved so much as to see that my work of months ago was bad.
Whatever, you can go read the whole doujinshi here!:
Please remember that i have open commissions!
Ya’ll, I have to remind you all of the time in the (rematch) Nishiura vs Sakitama game where Mihashi cries after Abe promises to work together better with him later (and Sakitama is worried LMAO)
@intheticklecloset take this too >:p
Abe’s yelling at me. He doesn’t like me anymore. He’s going to replace me with Tajima and-
“-get your weight up. Hey! Mihashi, you listening?”
The pitcher snaps out of his thoughts, eyes scurrying from the ground to meet Abe’s.
“You weren’t listening at all were you.”
“No! I mean- y-yes!”
“I was listening!”
“Then what was I talking about about?”
“Uh...um...m-my weight?” Mihashi manages to yelp out, shutting his eyes.
“Yeah exactly, we need our ace to be at his best as much as possible. So you better be eating enough.”
Even when Mihashi lets out a wobbly smile at the mention of “ace”, most negative thoughts melting away, Abe notices the other boy still shuffling nervously. Ah my voice, guess he’s still not used to it.
Abe grows silent in thought, a hand combing through his hair as he groans impatiently. He doesn’t miss Mihashi’s flinch though, so he drops his hand and relaxes his face.
“Hey, you like tickling right. Why don’t you tickle me?” Abe throws out casually. “I know you still get nervous around me, so maybe that will help.”
The pitcher jolts, and his posture is as stiff as ever, but his darting eyes are now shining with an emotion other than fear for once. From shock to...Is that excitement? Never had he expected Abe to ask such a thing; was it really okay?
“I-I...um...” Mihashi trails off. His fingers twitch and he looks up at Abe, as if silently asking for confirmation.
“Mihashi, it’s a yes or no question.” And Mihashi only nods his head furiously, words stuck in his throat.
“Again, which one is- okay whatever, let’s just-” He sighs, raising his arms lazily. “Here, go for it. Just know that my armpits aren’t ticklish.”
The pitcher just stands still, irises moving furiously from the ground, to his catcher, and back to the ground. He wants to, but what if it makes Abe mad? What if he actually stops catching for him? What if Abe stops being friends with him? Were they even friends?
“Dude it’s fine, I’m not going to hurt you.” Abe huffs, cutting through Mihashi’s thoughts for the second time, “And I feel out of place standing like this, so get on with it already.”
Mihashi squirms, as if not sure what to do, but his hands his hands inch towards Abe’s waist. “O-okay!” he manages to squeak, giving Abe’s sides an experimental squeeze.
His catcher jerks lightly, successfully resisting the urge to bring his arms down. “Come on, is that all you got?”
The light encouragement gives Mihashi enough courage to start kneading into his flesh, eyes spontaneously searching for any discomfort on Abe’s face. But all he was met with was scrunched eyebrows and shaky smile, and not long after, a string of soft giggles.
“Seehehehe? Not scahahahary rihihight?”
Mihashi nods rapidly in response, fingers working their way up to the boy’s ribs. Abe barks out a laugh and catches his arms with the top of his head, refusing to give in to the ticklish sensations. His hands ball into fists as he fights off the urge to push his friend away. If this will help Mihashi feel more comfortable around him, then surely he can hold out a bit longer.
While the catcher wrestled with the challenge of staying still, all Mihashi can think about is how nice Abe’s smile was. It made him feel happy to see Abe laughing so freely, even if he was the one causing it. Without knowing, another wobbly grin slowly spread itself across his face.
Abe’s laughter eventually starts becoming softer though, as he got used to the skittering along his ribs. Mihashi then decides it’s time change spots, and starts pinching at the other’s hips.
Abe doesn’t last more than a minute.
“OhoHOkay! I’m gohohood! I’m gahaha-!” The catcher suddenly calls out, hands coming down to clutch at his own sleeves. Mihashi pulls away immediately, silently waiting for the other to catch his breath.
The atmosphere felt way lighter than before, and Mihashi’s eyes, although laced with a hint of concern, were shining with happiness. Abe seemed way less frightening now that the pitcher has heard him laugh. And he trusted Mihashi enough to allow this in the first place, and that trust is something Mihashi felt very lucky to have.
“...ha...thanks.” Abe breathes out, pleasantly surprised when greeted with his pitcher’s soft smile and less anxiety-ridden posture.
Mihashi shook his head vigorously, his head becoming a blur. “N-no! Thank you...Abe!”
“Woah, don’t worry about it. And stop moving so much, you’re going to accidentally hurt yourself.”
“Yes!” The boy squawks, about to nod his head off.
Abe rolls his eyes, and then smirks, “But you better get your weight up, because I still need to get my revenge.”
"Who wants Mihashi?!"
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the fervor with which Abe says "I do!" after Coach Momoe asks the team who wants Mihashi is everything.
A collection of the Big Windup sentence starters/coffee shots I’ve done, compiled for the sake of ease. These are all stand-alone stories. Most are Mihashi/Abe centered.
1) Lee Abe, Ler Mihashi
“Yes,” Abe said absentmindedly, then realized who he was talking to and quickly retracted. “I mean, no!”
Tajima smirked at him. “Well, which is it? Yes or no?”
“Y-Yes, but…” Abe hesitated. He glanced around the dugout. Everyone was staring at him. “I…I’d rather you didn’t—” Suddenly he felt someone grabbing his sides and ribs from behind, startling a laugh out of him before he could whirl around. He stared incredulously at the perpetrator. “M-Mihashi?!”
Mihashi looked both like he wanted to die and like he had just become the happiest person on Earth. “Y-You’re ticklish, too, Abe?”
“Obviously!” Abe snapped. He didn’t usually try to intimidate the poor kid, but he most certainly was now. “Don’t touch me like that again!”
Then someone else hooked their arms under his, immobilizing him in an instant. Abe recognized Tajima’s voice as he told Mihashi to “get him!”
The pitcher hesitated for only a moment, then seemed to muster up his courage and go for it, reaching for his sides and ribs again.
Abe brought a knee up to try and defend himself, but standing on one leg while he was being tickled just wasn’t happening, and he quickly realized his only option was to surrender at this point. He tried to hold back his giggles as he did his best to snap, “K-Knohohohock it ohohohoff!”
“Get him, Mihashi!” Tajima countered, chuckling into the catcher’s ear. “Go for his hips – I bet he’s really ticklish there!”
“Don’t!” Abe barely had time to cry out before Mihashi was blindly following instructions, hitting – as Tajima had guessed – one of his worst spots with unpracticed but effective tickles. The catcher finally gave up the fight and laughed freely, struggling in their cleanup batter’s grip. “Stohohohohohop! Mihahahahahashi, plehehehease!”
Mihashi’s face turned bright pink and he quickly backed away, having reached his bravery limit for the day. Tajima let Abe go, ruffling his hair. “You should laugh more, dude! It’s a nice sound.”
Abe couldn’t bear to make eye contact with his pitcher. He covered up his mouth with the palm of his hand, grinning into it. Dang it, Tajima…!
2) Switches Hanai and Tajima
Tajima had started a new game during his off-time in the dugout, and he was having a blast with it. It had started as an accident; he’d meant to poke Hanai to get his attention, but Hanai turned just as his finger pressed into his spine, and the movement of his turning made Tajima’s finger slide down a little, drawing a startled yip out of the center fielder.
It was obvious it had been ticklish, and now Tajima wanted to know how many of his other teammates shared that reaction.
Mihashi was obvious. He jumped and yelped as he did all the time. It was nothing unusual for him to react so strongly. The others, though? The others didn’t seem to even notice. Five his teammates only jumped from surprise, or sometimes didn’t jump at all. They’d just turn to look at him oddly, and the conversation would flow onward like it hadn’t happened.
The only other two who seemed to react like it had tickled (besides Hanai and Mihashi) were Sakaeguchi and Oki. Having finished his rounds, Tajima decided to return to where it all began, finding excuses to swipe a finger down Hanai’s back any chance he got, making him yelp and flush and sometimes even giggle. Tajima was always keeping Hanai on his toes, but the team captain decided it was just about time for the tables to be turned.
One afternoon during a practice game against a neighboring school, Hanai snuck up behind Tajima and swiped a finger down his back in retaliation. He wasn’t disappointed when the cleanup hitter whirled around, a wobbly smile on his lips.
Hanai smirked. “So it tickles you, too, huh?”
“It seems to me like you were asking for someone to try this on you.”
“Was not.” Tajima shrugged. “It was an accident, but then I had fun with it, so I kept messing with you guys. That’s all.”
“Uh-huh. Well, since I’ve got you all wound up now, allow me to help you relax.” Hanai grabbed Tajima’s ribs and pressed his fingers in, drawing a squealing giggle from his smaller teammate.
“Hanai! Wahahait, I’m not tehehehense!”
“Yeah, but I’m having fun with it, so I’m just going to keep messing with you.” The center fielder couldn’t help but chuckle himself at the silliness of it all. “Serves you right for being so cocky all the time.”
“Hahahahahanai!” Tajima cried, but he was beaming, and neither of them made any move to put an end to their newfound fun.
3) Lee Mihashi, Ler Abe
“Mihashi,” Abe grumbled, “you’ve got to sleep.”
“I can’t,” Mihashi whined back, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands. “I’m trying to. I’ve been lying awake this entire time.”
Abe frowned. He’d woken up in the middle of the night and rolled over to see Mihashi staring at the ceiling, looking exhausted but still wide awake. He propped himself up on his elbow to get a better look at the pitcher. “This isn’t like the nights before Mihoshi. Why are you so worked up?”
“It’s just…t-this team we’re playing…they’re really good.”
“So I’m n-nervous that they’ll hit all my pitches.”
“They won’t.” Abe sighed. “Don’t you trust me by now?”
Mihashi looked at him in surprise, wide-eyed. “Of course I do! I trust you, Abe.”
“Then go to sleep.”
“It’s…it’s not that simple. Not for me.”
Abe was getting tired of this conversation. He sighed heavily and rolled over so he was sitting on Mihashi’s legs, yanking his blanket down to get at his ribs and underarms, tickling lightly. “Then let’s make it simple.”
“Eeep!” Mihashi squeaked, first trying to push Abe’s hands away, then opting to cover his mouth with them to keep his laughter quiet for the others in the room. He wiggled and giggled, begging as softly as he could. “Nohohohohoho! Abe, stohohohohop!”
“Not until I tire you out so much you can’t help but fall asleep.” Despite himself, Abe smirked at Mihashi’s smiling face, worming his fingers into his underarms and wiggling deep. Mihashi nearly launched himself off his bedroll for how hard he spasmed, laughter pouring from him in waves. Still, he kept his mouth covered up, determined not to wake anyone else.
“Plehehehehease! It tihihihihickles, Abe!”
“That’s kind of the point.”
Abe kept it up, kept tickling for several minutes until Mihashi’s giggles grew so tired he could barely get them out. When he finally let up and helped cover his pitcher in his blanket once more, it took less than a minute for his anxious friend to finally begin snoring. Abe smirked, satisfied, and Mihashi slept through the night with a smile on his face.
4) Lee Abe, Ler Mihashi
The bases were loaded, there were two outs, it was the bottom of the fifth inning, and the score was tied. But no one in the dugout was paying attention to that. Well, except for the coach, of course. All the boys who weren’t out on the field were staring at Abe, who had just let out the loudest shriek any of them had ever heard.
The poor catcher was blushing, too, which only made everyone stare harder.
Tajima wiped mirthful tears from his eyes, having been sent into hysterics laughing over the sound Abe let free. “You’re really that ticklish, huh?” he teased, patting him on the back. “I’ll be sure to remember that next time your temper flares up, buddy.”
“Shut up!” Abe snapped, shoving him away and turning his eyes back to the game. He ran a hand through his hair in embarrassed frustration but seemed determined to not be bothered by the stares around him.
Gradually the other boys turned back to the game as well, but even when Izumi hit a ground ball to advance Oki to home plate and take the lead, Mihashi’s focus never left his catcher. He hovered behind him nervously, working up the courage to take action. He’d really liked that sound; he wanted to hear it again, but he didn’t want to make Abe mad at him.
Then again, Abe was mad at him a lot.
As everyone congratulated Oki upon his reentering the dugout, Mihashi climbed up to stand beside Abe and grabbed his ribs from behind just as Tajima had done a moment ago, and just as he’d hoped, another shriek ripped from the catcher’s throat, followed by him whirling on the pitcher.
Mihashi flinched, but surprisingly hung on to his courage long enough to tickle Abe’s ribs from the front this time, pushing him against the railing, trapping him in place.
The catcher’s eyes went wide in the split second before he burst into laughter, feeling the heat of his blush on his cheeks and ears. “Mihahahahahahashi! Stohohohohohohohop! We’re in the mihihihihiddle of a gahahahahahame!”
But no one else seemed to mind the fun scene unfolding before them. The other boys smiled and laughed along with him as Mihashi kept it up, too addicted to the sound of Abe’s helpless giggles to show mercy now.
5) Lee Mihashi, Ler Abe
“Did you just lie to me?”
Mihashi froze, eyes wide. Abe glared at him. “N-N-No…”
“Shino’oka told me that she gave you three rice balls instead of two, like I asked.” The catcher’s voice was even, but his eyes were hard. “And then you ‘politely declined’ the third one.”
“I…I didn’t…w-want to have…more than the rest of the team,” Mihashi managed, doing his best to get the words out despite his fear he was about to get yelled at. “I d-didn’t know you a-a-asked her to give me t-three…”
Abe leaned in close to his face. “She said she told you and you still refused to eat it.”
Mihashi gulped, averting his eyes. “I d-didn’t want to b-be unfair to the others.”
“This isn’t about fair or unfair. It’s not like we’re in a war and these rations are critical. It’s an extra rice ball to help you regain the weight you keep losing. You can’t go below 50, Mihashi. You’re small enough as it is.” Abe sighed angrily, standing up to his full height. “You know what I have to do now that you not only refused the extra food – which I know you can eat – but then lied to me about it.”
The pitcher flinched, expecting Abe to start yelling. Instead he felt fingers in his ribs and he burst into surprised laughter before he could even think about trying to reign it in. “Ahahahahahaha! A-Abe?!”
“I can feel your ribs, dude. This is ridiculous,” Abe growled, tickling him even harder, fingers pressing into the grooves between his ribs, making him cackle hysterically despite himself. “You’ve got to eat more! The next time Shino’oka gives you extra food, eat it. No one is going to beat you up for it. We all know you need to gain the weight.”
Mihashi grabbed his wrists, trying to pry him off but far too weak to do so. “Plehehehehease, Abe! S-Stohohohohop, I’m r-reheheheally t-t-tihihihihihicklish!”
Somehow, hearing those words seemed to calm the catcher just a bit. He smiled a little, his voice softening. “Are you, now? Then you should have no problem remembering this lesson the next time you feel like ‘politely declining’ an extra serving.”
6) Lee Tajima, Ler Abe
“Ehehehehehehahaha! Ahahahahabe, why?!” Tajima squealed, barely able to hold himself up with one arm while the other reached across his torso to try and pry the catcher’s fingers from his lower ribs. Ten seconds ago he’d been doing sit-ups, and now his normally serious teammate had his legs trapped so he couldn’t even kick him away.
Abe allowed a tiny smirk. “I’ve kind of gotten used to doing this to Mihashi when he’s out of sorts. Which is a lot, to be fair. I didn’t really think about it, but I do think you need it.” He reached his other hand over now, leaning on Tajima’s shins to grab at his hips and squeeze.
Tajima giggled hysterically, his arm shaking from the effort to keep himself up, desperately trying to grab his tickler’s arms to try and ease the sensations even a little. “Stohohohohohohop! I d-dohohohohohon’t need you to t-tihihihihickle me!”
“Aren’t you the one always pushing us to tickle each other during games when we’re too worked up to focus?” Abe mused, sliding up to his lower ribs, pressing his thumbs into the place where they met his belly. “Do you ever consider that the tables could be turned on you at any time?”
“Of cohohohohohohourse! But we’re nohohohohot plahahahahahaying a gahahame right now!” Tajima finally gave up on trying to stay upright in favor of using both hands to try and grab Abe’s wrists to stop him. “Quihihihihihit it! Ahahahahahabe!”
The catcher quirked a brow, more and more curious the longer this went on. Tajima had to have a spot…right? Everyone did. “Nah, you know what? I’m having too much fun to stop now. I want to find your spot first.”
Tajima’s eyes flew wide open and he suddenly looked both panicked and elated, his giggles bubbling out of him faster than before. Encouraged, Abe smiled at him, hands flying everywhere he could reach, searching for the place that would make their confident cleanup hitter a mess of begging laughter.
Dang it, how did I get roped into this silliness with the rest of the guys? Abe thought, but he didn’t let it stop him. To Tajima he smirked and said, “All right, then. Where’s your tickle spot…?”
7) Lee Abe, Ler Tajima
“I think I’m stuck…” Abe muttered, his head and arms still trapped in his too-small undershirt.
Tajima rolled his eyes. “Dude, you knew it was too small when you put it on, and you’ve been suffocating in it all day. Why not just cut it off?”
“Because it’s still a perfectly good shirt. It just doesn’t fit.” Abe sighed. “Someone else can wear it. Can you just get me out?”
The cleanup hitter smirked. He knew he’d never have a more perfect opportunity than this, and he was definitely going to pounce on it while he could. His only regret was that Mihashi wasn’t around to see what was about to happen. Maybe it would help his nerves to see his catcher in stitches.
“Hold still,” Tajima instructed seconds before plunging his fingers into Abe’s sides.
“AIEEE!!” Abe squealed, jerking so hard he lost his footing. Tajima caught him before he fell completely, resuming tickling once he was safe from tumbling to the ground. Abe squirmed, his arms flailing within the small shirt but unable to come down to protect himself. “Stahahahahahahahap! Tajima – gehehehet me out!”
“Let’s count your ribs first,” his mischievous teammate suggested. “That shirt was so tight on you I think one of them might have broken. We can’t have that!”
“My rihihihihihibs are FIHIHIHIHIHINE!!” Abe lost his footing again, this time falling backwards in to Tajima’s waiting arms, and the cleanup hitter wrapped his arms around him in a hug, pressing his fingers deliberately into the grooves of his ribcage. “TAHAHAHAHAJIMA!!”
Tajima ignored his hysterical pleas, counting each set of ribs as he worked his way up to the catcher’s underarms, grinning like the Cheshire cat all the while. Unfortunately for him, once he reached the top of his ribcage and scribbled into Abe’s armpits, his laughter died down, replaced with gasps for air. “Aww, you’re not ticklish here?”
“N-No,” Abe replied breathlessly, trying to twist away. “Quit messing around and get me out of heeeeEEEERE!! NAHAHAHAHAHA TAJIMA!!” The catcher cackled so hard his laughter went silent, his knees wobbling in an effort to stay upright.
“Ooh, good spot, huh?” Tajima teased, wiggling his fingers into Abe’s lower belly, right above his waistline. “If only Mihashi could be here to see this. Tickle, tickle, tickle!”
Abe shrieked with renewed hysterics, struggling against his teammate. “PLEHEHEHEASE!! NO MOHOHOHORE TIHIHICKLING!! JUST GEHEHEHET ME OUT OF HEHEHEHERE!!”
Eventually Tajima let him go, but only after another few minutes of making Abe laugh himself silly.
8) Lee Abe, Ler Mihashi
“Hey, Mihashi,” Abe said, coming up behind the pitcher. He’d tried to keep his voice gentle so as not to startle him, but it didn’t seem to do any good, because Mihashi jumped anyway.
The catcher held up a bottle of sunscreen. “This might be a little weird but…everyone else is already in the water and I…kind of need help.”
Mihashi glanced at the bottle, then at Abe, then at the ocean where the rest of the team had already begun swimming. Suddenly it clicked. “Oh! Y-You’re not…going in the water, too?”
“Nah, not for a while. I’d like to just chill for a little while on the beach.” Abe jabbed a thumb over his shoulder. “But we didn’t bring umbrellas, so I need to have sunscreen on. I’ve taken care of everything else, but I can’t protect my back on my own.”
“I can do it for you,” Mihashi said, picking up on what his catcher was subtly asking. He reached for the bottle, and Abe handed it to him, turning around.
“Thanks. I owe you one.”
Mihashi remained quiet as he uncapped the bottle, squirted some lotion into his hand, and reached for Abe’s back. He hesitated for only a second before pushing through his nerves and beginning to apply the sunscreen, starting from his shoulders and working his way down.
Once he reached the space between Abe’s shoulder blades, however, Abe jerked and let out a noise that made Mihashi freeze in his tracks. “I’m s-sorry, did I – did I hurt you? I didn’t mean to, I—”
“Relax, man.” Abe gave him a look that almost seemed…embarrassed? “I’m just ticklish there. I’ll hold still this time, I promise. Just don’t linger, okay?”
“O-Okay.” Mihashi blinked at him. Ticklish? He squirted out more sunscreen and started over, doing his best to be quick about covering his friend’s back with the protective lotion. Abe did stay still as he promised, but he continued to let out little noises and giggles here and there, even squealing once. By the time it was over, the pitcher wasn’t even thinking about it anymore, and he reached his hands around to grab onto Abe’s bare sides, squeezing hard.
“He-eeey!” Abe cried, giggling harder, wrenching himself away and whirling back around to shoot him a half-managed glare. He snatched the bottle back. “You done?”
“Y-Yeah…s-sorry, Abe, I just couldn’t—”
“Couldn’t help yourself. I know, I know.” The catcher ran a hand through his hair, though from frustration or lingering embarrassment Mihashi couldn’t tell. “I’m going to go lie down, unless you need sunscreen, too?”
Mihashi shook his head. “I’m…I’m going in the ocean now.”
“Okay. Have fun.”
Abe took off at a brisk pace to where he’d laid his towel on the sand, and Mihashi didn’t even realize at first that he was smiling after him.
I’m already having fun, he thought, then hurried to the water to where Tajima and the others were waving at him.
9) Lee Hanai, Ler Tajima
“If I catch you, I’m going to tickle you,” Tajima said seriously, staring Hanai down with a determined glare.
Hanai jumped, eyes widening. “You…you what?”
“You heard me.” Tajima smirked, putting his hands on his hips. “You challenged me to a race, but we both know I’m faster than you. I’ll let you get a head start, but if I catch you, I’ll tickle you. That should be good motivation for you to own up to your smart mouth, right?”
Hanai just stared at him. He hadn’t considered it a ‘smart mouth’ when he declared he could finally beat Tajima at something, but seeing him like this now made him hesitate a little. “Look, we don’t have to race…”
“Nope! Too late for that!” Tajima made a shooing motion. “Go on. I’ll give you a five second head start. Then I’m coming after you. And if I catch you…”
Hanai turned on his heel and sprinted for the opposite end of the field, heart already racing. What had he done? What had he gotten himself into? What was he thinking, challenging Tajima to anything?
Despite his five second head start, when Hanai dared to glance back Tajima was very nearly barreling for him, and one terrified shriek later the center fielder suddenly found himself face-first in the grass in his own territory, a weight settling on his back.
“Wait! Wahahahahahahait!” Hanai pleaded, bursting into giggles the instant he felt fingers in his sides. He spasmed, trying to roll over or kick his legs or something to get Tajima off of him, but nothing could move the immovable cleanup hitter, and soon the taller boy was shrieking with helpless giggles and pleading for mercy. “Tahahahahajima! Stohohohohohop! Plehehehehehease, you wihihihin!”
Tajima just giggled along with him. “I know. I just really wanted to tickle you, and this was a good excuse. Thanks for helping me out, Hanai!”
Hanai groaned through his laughter. Seriously, what had he been thinking, challenging Tajima to anything?!
10) Lee Abe, Ler Mihashi
“Pfffthahahaha – M-Mihahahashi, I – I – ehehehehehehehe!” Abe giggled, sputtering and tripping over his words with embarrassing squeals that made him blush even harder. He fisted his hands into his hair, kicking his legs, using every ounce of strength he had to not stop his pitcher.
Mihashi, for his part, didn’t even realize he was smiling at Abe as he tickled gently, squeezing his sides and skittering over his ribs. He’d never once gotten to be the one to make the catcher smile and laugh like this, and he was enjoying every second of it while he could.
“Mihahahahahashi!” Abe squealed, bringing his arms down instinctively as he trailed downward to his belly. He clutched his fists by his head, trying to hold firm. It had taken everything in him to admit to Mihashi that he wanted to be on the receiving end this time, and he knew it was taking everything in his friend to reverse his role, as well. The last thing he wanted to do was ruin it by protesting or actively stopping him. Not when they were less than a minute in.
“Are you o-okay?” Mihashi asked, slowing a little.
Abe was instantly desperate for more. He nodded emphatically. “Yes, I’m fine! Keep g-gohohohohoing – AGH, NO!!” The catcher spasmed, hands flying down to grab Mihashi’s arms, stilling the both of them.
“I’m sorry! I can stop—”
“No!” Abe cried, clutching him harder, making sure he didn’t move. “It’s okay, it’s just…just a reflex, I swear. I’m really…really ticklish there.” The catcher’s face was red as a cherry at this point. “Please. I want to try.”
Mihashi gulped nervously, then pressed his thumbs back into his friend’s lower belly, kneading gently, lighting up when Abe tossed his head back with laughter, kicking even harder than before. After a moment, the pitcher decided for both of their safety he’d better straddle him, so that’s what he did.
Abe’s laughter grew even louder and his eyes widened in surprise. “MIHAHAHAHASHI?!”
“Y-You said you wanted to try,” Mihashi said, switching from using only his thumbs to using all ten of his fingers to tickle Abe’s weak spot, and the catcher gripped his arms even harder as his laughter turned boisterous. “And…well…I do too, Abe.”
I can easily picture Abe genuinely saying all three of these.
It's probably such a little thing to most people, but we almost never see Abe bow to anyone like this in the anime. He'll kind of nod and tip his cap and he'll line up with the rest of the team when they're thanking the cheer squad for their support, but to get through two entire seasons before seeing him bow to someone he truly respects makes this moment even more impactful in my mind. Here he's apologizing to Mihashi for breaking his promise and being selfish about how he wanted to run their battery. He's doing it even though he's injured and sitting down. I just really love the character growth he went through to get to this moment, and to see him do this was such a cool thing to me.