Summary: Kaneki thinks rereading his favorite book for the nth time is a perfectly good way to spend his free time. Hide disagrees.

Rating: K+

Genre: Humor/ Friendship

Characters: Kaneki, Hide

Tags: Pre-Aogiri, video games, Hide totally cries over Disney movies, For all the wrong reasons

Word Count: 641

"Kaneki. Hey, Kaneki." A sudden jab at his shoulder drew Kaneki's attention from the pages of his (nice, familiar) book, and to the somewhat-exasperated expression on his best friend's face. He arched an eyebrow. "You weren't listening, were you?"

He shook his head.

Hide sighed, then perked up a like his best friend hadn't been ignoring him. Again. "I was saying, how many times have you read that book?"

Kaneki shrugged, mumbling something. Hide strained to make it out, then shrugged it off. It was either an "I don't know" or "A lot," and both answers merited the same response, really.

"Well, we have something to do today, then. Come on, man, I picked up some awesome new games the other day. You can spare a day to try them out with me, right?"

Kaneki knew he shouldn't. He couldn't trust himself anymore. He was better now that he was eating again, but what if...

He looked up to decline... and made the mistake of looking his friend in the eyes.

He could almost see the drooping ears behind the hopeful expression.

He really had been ignoring him lately, hadn't he?

"Alright," he said, and was almost immediately blinded by the grin thrown his way. Immediately after, Hide grabbed hold of his sleeve and started tugging him out of Anteiku. He glanced at Nishiki for sympathy and, getting only a smirk in response, resigned himself to a long day of repeatedly losing horribly.

At least it could be worse.

"Come on, Kaneki, you're not even trying!" Hide whined, crossing the finish line in first place with a large gap between him and the other racers.

"You know I'm bad at these games," he said, concentrating on holding onto his precarious position at third... fourth place.

"Then you should try practicing! It's not that hard once you get good at it."

"I don't have the money, Hide."

"But Kaneki...!"

Hide gaped at the screen. "How did you...?"

Kaneki stared alongside him. "I don't..."

Sitting on the TV, unaware of the shock it had caused, a victory screen proudly proclaimed the half-ghoul's victory.

"So. When were you going to tell me you knew mortal kombat?"

Kaneki squirmed in Hide's grip, trying to get comfortable without spreading the wet spot on his shoulder. "Hide."

The blond sniffled. "He just wanted to know what summer was like..."

"This isn't even a game, Hide..."

"Yes!" Hide grinned, folding his arms back behind his head. "I told you I could win!"

"I never doubted you."

"Even if it took me, like, an hour."

"You did fine."

"And would've been a lot easier if I'd had the right spell."

"I'm sure."

He grinned, then eyed Kaneki's half-empty cup. "You sure you just want coffee?"

The brunet carefully held himself back from blanching. "I'm good, thanks."

"And you're sure you don't just wanna crash on my couch?" Hide leaned against the wall, watching his friend collect himself. "I mean, I know it's not that long a walk, but..."

"I'll be fine, Hide." Ghouls didn't prey on other ghouls in the 20th ward. "This isn't the first time I've walked home after dark."

"Yeah, but..." he ran a hand through his hair, frowning. "What if some weirdo tries following you home, or something?"

Kaneki rolled his eyes. "Hide, trust me. Nothing's going to happen to me. I'll be fine."

After a moment, he sighed. "Just stick to main roads, then, okay? If you get yourself hurt again you'll end up ignoring me completely."

Kaneki flinched. "Sorry. I don't mean to, but..."

"Yeah, I know. Just... come on. Respond to my texts, at least. I can't be the only one trying here, you know?" He smiled weakly, watching as Kaneki headed for the door. "I'll see you tomorrow. I'll stop by Anteiku after class."

Kaneki nodded as the door swung shut.

Notes: So. This little piece got started up when a friend and I started lamenting the lack of decent fics in our current respective fandoms. We decided the way to fix this was, obviously, to start up an ongoing prompt challenge, because why not?

From here on out, I'm going to post a new chapter here every day, each one based off a prompt. Feel free to suggest them. I might even do them. Eventually.