A/N: Yes, I'm late, I know. Sorry about that ;_; Been kind of busy, but here's (finally) the epilogue!
Early morning was bathed in a hubbub of people coming back and forth to load their luggage in their respective buses parked in front of the inn. Most high-schoolers were still half-asleep, and the quick and light breakfast they had been given served no purpose in waking them up. Among them was Takao, who was literally sleeping standing, brought back to this world only by the grace of Ootsubo's well-aimed whack on his head.
"If you're done, get on the bus and sleep there, instead of standing in the middle of everyone's way." he lectured the point guard.
"Are we leaving soon?" Takao asked with a yawn.
"Not yet. Since there are also Touou and Seirin with us, it's taking a bit more time to load everything. Ah, I think Kaijou is about to leave, though. I'd better say goodbye to Kasamatsu." the Shuutoku captain said, leaving Takao there.
The latter glanced towards the Kaijou bus and almost choked himself laughing as he witnessed a very tear-jerking separation scene between Kise and Aomine. The Touou ace was desperately – and unsuccessfully – trying to get rid of the blonde teen who was clinging to his waist as if his life depended on it.
"Aominecchi, you have to promise me you'll phone me!"
"Just let go of me already!"
"And you'll have to come play one-on-ones with me whenever you have time!"
"Tch fine, I got it already!"
"And don't ignore my messages anymore!"
"If you keep sending me fifty messages a day, of course I'm gonna ignore them! It's freaking annoying!"
"You're so mean Aominecchi! I just want to make sure you're doing well!" Kise pouted in a very Kise-ish fashion, resulting in Aomine clicking his tongue and looking away, for he had recently found out that he was somehow rather weak to Kise's pouts. The Kaijou ace seemed to have noticed that fact, and was using it fully to his advantage.
"You don't have to ask me every goddamn five minutes." Aomine grunted, still avoiding looking at Kise.
"Then I'll ask you only twice–no, three times a day, but promise me you'll have to answer!" Kise insisted.
"Fine, fine! Now let me go or I'll seriously hit you."
"And promise me to phone me sometimes too!"
"Fine, I promise!" Aomine let out, exasperated. He was currently wondering what exactly had been wrong with his brain the day he had decided to fall for the most annoying guy of the world.
"Also promise me to come play basketball with me!"
"Hey, that's a lot of promises you're asking from me." Aomine retorted, now glaring at Kise.
"Then ask anything from me too!" the latter grinned.
Aomine cocked an eyebrow, then his lips slowly stretched into a smirk.
The eerie glint in his eyes suddenly cooled Kise off and made him look at Aomine suspiciously.
"Then I want you to let me do…" The rest of the sentence was whispered at Kise's ear and therefore inaudible for everyone but the two, but the sudden rush of blood turning Kise's face into a beautifully ripe tomato was eloquent enough.
"Hey." A cold voice interrupted them.
As Kise turned around, he immediately knew that his life wasn't worth much anymore, for in front of him was standing Kasamatsu – no, a demon in the form of Kasamatsu – arms crossed and looking as if he was going to set loose an army of hell beasts.
"S-Senpai?..." Kise made a weak attempt at smiling. "Is it time to leave?"
The Kaijou captain didn't answer, but two seconds later, Kise was being dragged by the collar to the bus, a remarkably huge and round bump on his head. Before throwing Kise on the bus though, Kasamatsu turned back to Aomine, glaring icily at him:
"And you, if you do anything to him that impedes his training, I'll kill you." he declared.
Cold sweat ran down Aomine's spine. A part of him just wanted to snort and shrug the death threat off like usual or snap back something insolent; but another part of him was taking Kasamatsu's demonic aura very seriously. Very seriously.
"Y-Yeah." he merely grunted, trying to sound indifferent but somehow failing a bit at it, which made Takao whistle as his eyes hadn't left the scene for a second.
"Wow, I knew Kaijou's captain to be a scary guy, but I didn't know he was that scary." he commented to no one in particular.
"When you have to deal with someone like Kise, it's a requirement." Midorima answered as he walked past the point guard to drop his luggage in the bus.
"Oh Shin-chan, you're here!" Takao grinned.
"Where else should I be?"
"I don't know, I figured you'd be listening to Oha Asa's horoscope or something."
"It's in half an hour." Midorima answered as he climbed on the bus.
"My backpack is on the fourth row." Takao told him.
"Why are you telling me that?"
"So you can sit next to me, of course! Oh, and by the way, I'm coming to your place tonight!"
"Don't invite yourself like that!" Midorima snapped.
"Hm? But didn't you say your parents wouldn't be there? Aren't you going to be lonely?"
"I'm perfectly fine on my own."
"But didn't you say you wanted to spend more nights with me?" Takao grinned.
"Don't interpret everything I say however you want!" Midorima protested, flushed.
"Yes, yes. I'll make you dinner tonight." Takao merely answered.
Midorima clicked his tongue and readjusted his glasses, but as Takao watched him get into the bus, he noticed with satisfaction his ace taking seat on the fourth row.
About then minutes later, the first bus departed, taking the Kaijou students back to Kanagawa.
"Good riddance." Aomine said, yawning.
"You don't seriously think that." Momoi lectured him, both fists on her hips.
"Oh, Satsuki." The power forward scratched his head. "Well, he is annoying."
"You're being awful with Ki-chan."
"How am I being awful? He's the one who keeps clinging to me all day and night long, and in front of everyone, all the more. Do you know how much of a pain it is?" Aomine retorted back.
"Well, let's say you were the one who started the whole public affection affair." Imayoshi intervened, sneaking slyly into the conversation. Aomine looked like he wanted to protest, but apparently it was too much a bother for him; therefore he merely scowled:
"Tch, whatever." he grunted before climbing on the bus where Sakurai already was, along with a few from Shuutoku and Seirin schools. He went to the very back of the bus, and flopped down on one of the seats there, his face clearly saying he didn't want anyone to disturb him.
In the meantime, outside, Masako was giving out instructions to her team, using her sword as an efficiently persuasive way to make her point:
"Okamura, go fetch Fukui and tell him to hurry. We've got a long way to go so we need to leave soon. Himuro, where's Murasakibara?"
"In the room, making sure he didn't forget anything." the shooting guard answered, careful not to mention that the 'anything' was mainly snacks and sweets.
"We're leaving in ten minutes. Make sure he's back by then."
Himuro nodded before turning round as someone patted his shoulder.
"Still baby-sitting Murasakibara, I see?" Kagami observed, half-teasing, half-sympathetic.
"It seems so." Himuro answered with a sigh, though a faint smile painted his lips. "You look in a good mood. Did something nice occur last night, by any chance?" he probed, enjoying how his little brother's face suddenly turned red at the question.
"W-What makes you say that? N-Nothing happened in particular…" Kagami stuttered very unconvincingly.
"Yeah, nothing!" Kagami repeated. "Nothing at all!"
"Now this is disappointing. But that little guy's face tells me something did happen, in fact." Himuro smiled as he shifted his gaze to Kuroko, who was standing right behind the two of them.
Kagami felt his blood freeze as Kuroko's stare landed on him. It was a plain, expressionless stare, very Kuroko-like, but anyone who was acquainted with him even just a bit knew that this face of his was only the announcement of a slow and painful agony to come.
'I'm gonna die. I'm gonna die.' Kagami thought as Kuroko walked closer; yet, to his surprise, the blue-haired boy merely walked past the two taller players, heading for his bus.
"I will soon go to the sea with my parents for two weeks, so I believe someone will have to take care of #2." Kuroko said, and no telepathic power was required to guess who that statement was aimed at. Without another word, the Phantom Player climbed on the bus.
Himuro smiled understandingly at Kagami.
"I wish you good luck with Tetsuya." he said. "Try to stay alive, though. I'd hate it if something bad happened to my little brother." he added, and his hand reached Kagami's chest to pat it, where his ring was.
"Yeah, thank–Wait, what? I didn't say anything about Kuroko!" Kagami protested, which made Himuro chuckle.
"It's written all over your face, Taiga. And let's say I also had a little chat with Tetsuya. You can't hide many things from me, you know?" He ruffled Kagami's hair affectionately, which inevitably bothered the latter a bit.
"Could you stop doing that? I'm not a kid anymore."
"But I don't get to see you very often anymore, so let me enjoy it a bit." Himuro answered, an innocent smile on his lips. Truth be told, it wasn't so much to enjoy his last few minutes with Kagami as to enjoy the current reaction of his ace, namely Murasakibara.
For the latter had emerged from the inn and was now standing a few metres behind Kagami, observing the scene with what seemed to be a mix of mild annoyance and dull indifference. He then walked past them in a similar fashion to Kuroko and got onto the bus. Pretending not to have noticed his presence, Himuro kept on petting Kagami's hair.
"You could come to Akita someday, you know. I kind of miss playing with you."
"Right, we haven't been able to play in the same team since we were in the US. Now I totally wanna have a match!" Kagami grinned, suddenly excited at the perspective.
"Then it's decided. You'll have to come and visit me. Of course, Tetsuya can join too." Himuro added not-so-innocently, not missing the slight twitch on Kagami's face at the mention of Kuroko's name.
The redhead scratched his head, looking somewhat rather sullen.
"By the way, I was wondering… I noticed you've started calling Kuroko by his first name too."
"Does it bother you? If it does, I can stop." Himuro offered, amused.
"No, it doesn't bother me!" Kagami answered a bit too hastily, "It's just… Ah, never mind. Forget it."
Himuro tilted his head on the side, pretending not to understand Kagami's point. He wasn't given time to add anything as his coach called him out:
"Himuro! We're leaving!" she said.
"I'm coming!" the shooting guard nodded before turning back to Kagami.
Fate had made it so that both Murasakibara and Kuroko had picked seats by the window in their respective bus and had a clear view of the scene from where they were. The very same jaunty fate had made it so that Himuro was well aware of that fact. With one last smile, he leant forward and kissed Kagami on the cheek. Not a long, passionate kiss, but not a light peck either; just enough to make his point.
All naturally, that took Kagami by surprise and the latter jumped backwards, looking more confused than upset.
"W-What did you do that for?" he asked.
"Hm? Well as I said before, I don't get to see you that often, and we used to do that a lot when we were kids." Himuro answered with his usual unfazed expression.
"Y-Yeah but now is kinda…"
Himuro didn't miss the quick glance Kagami cast in his bus' direction, from where Kuroko was most likely witnessing the entire scene. And so was his dearest Atsushi.
Satisfied with himself, he went on:
"Well, I guess this is goodbye for now. Don't forget to tell me when you plan to come to Akita!" he said before jogging to his bus with a last wave of his hand.
With the Yosen bus gone, only the schools from Tokyo and Kyoto remained. Unnoticed by most, there was one certain Seirin member who kept glancing anxiously at the Rakuzan players, fidgeting and unable to calm his nerves down. Furihata was standing next to his bus, torn apart as for what to do. Rakuzan would be leaving at a moment's notice, and all naturally Akashi would also be leaving then. The Seirin point guard watched discreetly as Akashi was discussing something with his coach. Furihata hadn't had any opportunity to have a decent talk with the Rakuzan captain since that night. His head was still a confused mess about what had happened and what had almost happened – he flushed at the thought of the word 'kiss' – yet among that mess there was one thing which he knew for certain: he couldn't leave just like that. He could feel the frustration of something left incomplete, something that had yet to be finished, and he wasn't going to accomplish anything by standing there.
Oh, he had a vague idea of what he wanted to do; there was something in his pocket which he wished to give Akashi, yet whenever he made up his mind to step forward and move in the Rakuzan group's direction, he'd find himself stopping before even moving a muscle. Wouldn't he look ridiculous intruding in a team which wasn't his? And assuming he managed to gather enough courage to do it, he definitely didn't want the others to see him giving Akashi that thing in his pocket. He'd die of embarrassment. Perhaps he should have slipped it in Akashi's bag earlier? But now was too late.
And there was another problem.
Just a tiny, little problem, but still a problem anyway.
Akashi hadn't even spared him a glance since morning, let alone a word; and though Furihata wanted to put it on the account of being busy packing and all, a part of him feared that the Rakuzan captain had simply decided to stop that little game.
'Game? Was it really just a game? To kill time or something?' Dismay suddenly rose within Furihata before he vehemently shook his head. Even though he didn't know Akashi that much, it was quite safe to assert that he wasn't the type of person to play around like that. It consequently meant that Akashi was serious about him, right? Then why hadn't he greeted him even once today?
"Furihata-kun~" A voice playfully called his name just behind him.
Jumping, the Seirin point guard turned round only to find himself facing a grinning Mibuchi.
"M-Mibuchi-san!" Had Furihata been so deep in thought that he hadn't even noticed the shooting guard approaching him?
The latter chuckled.
"Hey, hey, calm down. I'm not going to eat you." he said, patting Furihata's head. "Just wanted to give you a piece of advice."
"Advice?" Furihata repeated, confused.
"Yup. I suggest you don't dawdle too much here and have a little chat with our dear Sei-chan instead." Mibuchi said, still grinning. "We're going to leave soon so you'd better hurry."
Furihata's cheeks didn't fail to betray him by turning a bright shade of red.
"I-uh, it's... I mean, uh, it's not, uh..." he started stuttering, but was cut off soon enough as Mibuchi shut him up by putting a finger on his lips. Furihata was so surprised by the gesture that he froze on the spot. Fortunately no one else seemed to have noticed, and the older teen removed his finger almost immediately.
"Don't think I haven't noticed you standing here for the past fifteen minutes, gazing longingly at our captain." Mibuchi winked.
"And if I've noticed, it means that he noticed too."
Furihata turned pale at those words and looked away, mumbling:
"Please mind your own business."
"I'd like to, but if I did so, there would be two people here who would end up going back home very frustrated."
Furihata raised a pair of timid eyes, perplexed. "Two?"
"You and Sei-chan, of course."
"Hmmm, it was cuter when you called him Seijuurou-kun, but let's not stray from the topic. Yes, Sei-chan. Knowing him, he probably doesn't want to force you or anything. That's why he has been avoiding you since this morning, or at least that's what I think."
"How can you be so sure? D-Did Akashi-san tell you anything?" Furihata asked, suddenly starting to panic, but Mibuchi must have noticed his reaction for he shook his head.
"No, no, nothing of the sort." he answered hastily, chuckling. "I have no idea what happened between you two, but I don't need to know to get the general picture. Let's say I have a good eye when it comes to matters like this one."
Furihata wasn't given the opportunity to answer as another voice rose:
"Mibuchi! What are you doing?" Nebuya called out from afar.
"Oops, time for me to go, I guess. Well, you should hurry up too, Furihata-kun. There's not much time left." Mibuchi winked at the Seirin point guard before hurrying back to his teammates.
Furihata watched as all the Rakuzan players started climbing on the bus, one by one, until there was only Akashi and their coach left. The team's captain gave a quick glance in Furihata's direction.
And then, before he even knew it Furihata sprang forward, driven by sudden fear. Fear that he was going to part ways with Akashi without even a few last words to each other.
"Akashi-san!" he called out the captain's name. The latter turned his head and looked at him with collected eyes.
"Kouki. You are calling me that again." he merely stated.
"Ah hm, I, uh…" Furihata fidgeted slightly, feeling Shirogane's intimidating gaze on him. As if he had read his thoughts, Akashi turned to his coach:
"I will be there shortly." he said to the older man who cast one last suspicious glance at Furihata before getting on the bus.
"Don't take too long." he ordered, to which Akashi nodded before focusing back on Furihata:
"Did you need something, Kouki?" he asked.
The question was very much expected, and yet Furihata still didn't have a damn clue as for what to answer. Lowering his head, he opened his mouth, praying that his brain would make up something in the meantime, but the only words that he managed to utter were:
"Aka–I mean, Seijuurou-kun, I uh, just wanted to wish you a safe trip back."
It was hardly noticeable, but there was half a second of silence before Akashi answered:
"I see. Thank you. I wish you the same."
"Ah, thank you very much!" Furihata said, while currently also wishing he could bang his head against a rock. Why couldn't he get past that annoying nervousness of his? Why couldn't he just act around Akashi like he did with his teammates? He knew that the Rakuzan captain wasn't the terrifying character most people depicted. If anything, he was actually caring and considerate – at least outside the court. Mibuchi's words still rang inside Furihata's head.
Knowing him, he probably doesn't want to force you or anything.
The least Furihata could do to repay the thoughtfulness was to give Akashi a proper answer. In his pocket, his hand was holding the 'present' for Akashi tightly.
Come on, just give it to him! It's not that big a deal!' he encouraged himself mentally.
"If you don't have anything else you need, I will be taking my leave." Akashi's voice brought him back to reality. Apparently he had interpreted the silence that had followed Furihata's answer as being the end of the conversation, if you could even call it a conversation.
"Ah wait!" he hurriedly stopped Akashi. He then took in a deep breath, and mustered all his courage. It was now or never. Taking the thing from his pocket, he handed it to Akashi: "Before you leave, please accept this!" he said, bowing his head.
His heart was beating at a furious pace inside his chest, and he could feel his cheeks burning as he waited for Akashi to take the item. Fingers brushed his, accepting the present, but as Furihata was about to let out a sigh of relief, those very same fingers moved to his face, lifting his chin up.
"I already told you that you don't need to bow your head to me." Akashi said gently. "And I will be taking this, then." he added, carefully folding the piece of paper containing Furihata's phone number and keeping it in his own pocket. "Thank you, Kouki."
"Y-You're welcome. And uh, I was thinking…" Furihata averted his eyes, his pulse racing faster than ever, "If maybe, you had some time this s-summer before school starts again, and if it's not a bother for you, hm well… I-I'd be happy to–"
"I have already prepared tickets for you to come to Kyoto. You should receive them shortly at your house." Akashi cut him in. "I will be looking forward to your visiting, Kouki." he added with a smile.
Furihata blinked once, then twice. 'Eh? What? What? Huh? Eeeeeeeeeeeeh?!' There were so many things he could point out as being wrong in Akashi's answer, but he was polite enough not to voice out his surprise, though the incredulous stare he gave Akashi spoke well enough for him.
"Is something the matter?" Akashi cocked an eyebrow.
"Ah, no no! Everything's fine! I-I'll be honoured to come to Kyoto!" Furihata answered hastily. 'Doesn't want to force me? Like hell!' he thought, but at the same time, he felt strangely happy.
"Then I will be waiting for you." Akashi concluded, and without a warning, he leant over and kissed Furihata on the corner of his lips before turning round and climbing on the bus, leaving a completely dumbfounded – and red – Furihata. The latter's fingers lingered over the spot where Akashi had just kissed him, as if to memorize the warm touch. His head felt slightly dizzy, but now he was ridiculously happy, even though it hadn't even been a real kiss.
He definitely needed to go to Kyoto.
On the Rakuzan bus, the other players who all had their faces stuck to the windows to observe the scene quickly sat back when Akashi climbed on, pretending they had seen nothing. Only Mibuchi had a faint, mischievous smile gracing his lips as he looked at the picture he had just taken with his phone.
He could probably sell it at a high price to Akashi.
Two minutes later, Furihata was also looking at his phone, smiling dumbly at the new message he had just received.
It had been half an hour now, and Himuro noticed without much surprise that Murasakibara was still very much sulking. His eyes refused to meet Himuro, choosing to gaze outside instead, his cheek resting in the palm of one hand while the other hand was holding a snack. He took a bite of it, but the nonchalance of the gesture didn't fool Himuro's eyes.
The shooting guard didn't speak immediately, and for a moment only the sound of the engine and the other players' discussions could be heard.
"Atsushi." the shooting guard called out softly.
The taller teen didn't bulge. Instead he merely opened his mouth to take another bite of his chocolate bar, but Himuro was quicker than him; in one swift motion, he grabbed Murasakibara's wrist and brought the bar to his own mouth, stealing a bite. It was way too sweet for him, but he endured it for the sake of witnessing his ace staring at him in utter disbelief – it was well-known that the only ones who would ever dare steal food from Murasakibara were those who didn't wish to live anymore.
Himuro ran his tongue over his lips, giving Murasakibara a candid smile. The latter's cheeks immediately turned pink, and any retort or protest died in his throat. Scowling more than ever, he merely wrung his wrist free and proceeded with gazing back at the window, shoving the rest of the bar into his mouth. Himuro stifled a chuckle. Either the scenery outside was particularly fascinating, or his junior was dead set on not talking to him. Most likely the latter.
Not that it surprised Himuro. It was a routine he had learnt pretty quickly since he first met Murasakibara, and one he knew pretty well now: whenever the purple-haired teen was upset by something – usually something very childish – he would start sulking and acting like a five-year-old kid until someone – usually Himuro – coaxed him with food or promises of food. This time though, Murasakibara already had food in his hands, which meant that Himuro would have to find another way to deal with him.
But not yet. For now he still wanted to tease his ace a bit more, because he loved how adorable Murasakibara looked whenever he was teased. Therefore it was with his most natural tone that he said:
"The camp was an excellent idea. It was fun being able to see Taiga again, what do you think?"
"I don't care." came a very grumpy answer.
"Atsushi, why are you in such a bad mood?" Himuro inquired with a feigned ignorance that sounded almost insolent. "Is it because you didn't get enough sleep? You can sleep in the bus now if you want. There are still five hours until we arrive."
"I'm not sleepy!" Murasakibara snapped.
"No? Then what is it?"
"Stop asking me that all the time, it's annoying. And if you want to see Kagami so much, then next time go back to Tokyo with him!"
There it came. Atsushi was so predictable that Himuro couldn't refrain from chuckling, which in return only served to pissed the purple-haired teen more.
"Are you saying that you don't want me to come back to Akita with you anymore?" Himuro asked.
The question made Murasakibara turn a pair of angry eyes at him.
"I didn't say that!" he snapped back, then turned away again while mumbling something which sounded very much like 'Kagami's an idiot, and Muro-chin's an idiot too.'
Himuro stifled a chuckle and patted his teammate's hair. Said teammate tensed a bit at the gesture but definitely didn't reject it. Then Himuro leant closer.
"Atsushi." he called out softly.
As Murasakibara grumpily turned back to him, Himuro caught his lips in a furtive kiss, almost a peck, but enough to startle the purple-haired teen.
"You'll come to my place tomorrow? I promise I'll have your favourite candies waiting for you." Himuro offered.
At first Murasakibara didn't react; then after a few seconds, he slowly nodded.
For the candies, of course.
By the time the bus dropped the Seirin team in front of their school, the clock indicated 4 pm. Riko stretched her arms in delight.
"Finally back! Well, that was one exhausting week!"
"Don't speak as if you actually did something exhausting." Hyuuga grunted back, which earned him an elbow in his side.
"Hey, how about we all go to Maji Burger before going back home?" Koganei asked, and the suggestion was immediately welcomed with a round of approval.
The team consequently headed for their favourite place, and soon after they were all seated around a table, most of them with a simple menu on their trays while Kuroko only had a vanilla shake, and Kagami was hidden behind a pile of burgers, as usual.
"I tend to forget that Kagami's stomach is a black hole." Izuki noted, watching with amusement as his junior wolfed down burger after burger.
"Kagami-kun's head is also a black hole." Kuroko commented with his typical toneless voice. "There is nothing inside."
Everyone around the table laughed except Kagami who was too busy giving Kuroko death threats. The Phantom Player, not the slightest bit unfazed, merely stared back at his Light.
"Kagami-kun, please give me a burger." he merely said.
"Hah? Where the hell did that come from?" Kagami snarled. "And right after insulting me? Just how shameless are you?"
"I have to admit it's rare for Kuroko to joke like that." Koganei grinned as gave a strong pat on Kuroko's back.
"Maybe he's turning a bit more human?" Izuki said.
"That comment hurt me a lot, Izuki-senpai." Kuroko answered evenly, hardly looking hurt at all. He turned back to Kagami: "Kagami-kun, I'm really hungry right now. I think I am going to faint if I don't get anything to eat."
"Like hell you're gonna faint." the power forward snapped back. "And why the hell did you only order a shake if you're hungry?"
"Because I knew that Kagami-kun would buy plenty enough."
"Hey, he's not wrong." Hyuuga pointed out. "Kagami, as your captain, I order you to share your burgers with everyone."
"Now, now Hyuuga. It's not nice to pick on the younger ones." Kiyoshi intervened, his usual smile plastered on his face.
"Besides, if we all take some of Kagami's burgers, he'll be the one to starve, Mitobe said." Koganei translated his friend's cryptic gestures.
"Kagami-kun, I feel very dizzy." Kuroko insisted, though once again, he didn't look any different from usual.
"Tch, just take one and leave me alone already." Kagami answered dryly as he picked one of the many burgers on his tray and handed it to his partner.
However, the latter shook his head.
"I don't want that one."
A vein popped on Kagami's temple. "You're being picky now? Do you want to get hit?"
"I want this one." Kuroko said, swiftly grabbing the burger Kagami had in his other hand and which was partially eaten. Without any hesitation, he bit into it, munching with sheer indifference at the stunned stares he received from his teammates.
"K-Kuroko..." Riko started, uncertain.
"Yes?" Kuroko took another bite.
"Y-You know, normally people would call that... an indirect kiss." she said carefully, voicing out loud what everyone was thinking.
"Is that so?" Kuroko's tone was still as quiet as ever as he tilted his head on the side innocently.
"Wow... Don't tell me you didn't know that, Kuroko." Koganei said.
"There's a limit to how clueless you can be." Izuki added.
"I simply didn't want to eat a full burger. That is all." the blue-haired teen answered.
On his side, Kagami was hiding his face with one hand, praying that no one noticed how red he had turned. He had probably been the only one not to miss the mischievous glint in Kuroko's eyes as he finished Kagami's burger and sucked his fingers clean. More blood rushed to his face at the last gesture as weird thoughts and images popped in Kagami's mind.
A demon. Kuroko was a demon.
He felt a sympathetic pat on his back.
"It's fine, Kagami. It was just a mistake." Hyuuga said.
Kagami repressed the urge to retort that it was definitely not a mistake.
That incident was the only noticeable event on that afternoon. Riko soon decreed that it was time for her to go home before her father started sending the police to search for her. Everyone else followed, most of them taking either the bus or subway. Both Kuroko and Kagami chose to walk home. The trip was incredibly silent.
Eventually they had to part ways. Kagami scratched his head, avoiding eye contact with Kuroko.
"Well uh, I'm going this way."
"You wanna play street ball tomorrow?"
"That is not very romantic for a first date."
Unsurprisingly, those words made Kagami choke. "I-It's not supposed to be a date! Where the hell did you get that idea? I was just thinking, if you're free or something, well uh, we could play or something! It's fine if you don't want to! Well, I guess you don't want to, you must still be tired from the camp and we spent the entire week playing basketball already." He gave a short, nervous laugh before cooling down a bit. "Then... Do you... Do you wanna go to the movies, maybe?" he asked with a much smaller voice, still not looking at Kuroko.
"Street ball is fine."
This time, Kagami turned to him, annoyance clearly painted on his face.
"Just make up your mind already."
"I made up my mind a long time ago, Kagami-kun." Kuroko answered as he grabbed Kagami's ring and used it to pull Kagami down into a kiss.
The street was fortunately desert, but at this point it didn't really matter to Kagami anymore. What only mattered was the feeling of Kuroko's soft lips and playful tongue on his, sending chills down his spine in spite of the summer heat.
When they parted, he was given the satisfaction of witnessing a faint shade of pink on Kuroko's cheeks. He leant in to taste Kuroko again, slipping a hand in Kuroko's hair and snaking an arm around Kuroko's waist, his mind forgetting everything about decency and whatnot.
It was Kuroko who gently poked him back to remind him they were still outside. They were both flushed, and Kagami had to force a small cough to hide his embarrassment at the situation.
"I-I was thinking... You could drop by my place if you want." Realizing how this may have sounded, he added hastily: "I-I mean, just for dinner or something!"
Kuroko smiled. "Thank you, but my parents are waiting for me."
Right. His parents.
"Oh, yeah. Well, no problem. Next time, maybe?" Kagami tried not to sound too disappointed.
"It would be my pleasure."
"Great. So, see you tomorrow? 3 pm at the court near my place?"
"Yes. I will be looking forward to my first date with you."
Again, Kagami flushed at those words before scratching his cheek. "Actually... It's not really gonna be a date since I told Aomine to come over and play too..."
Kuroko stared at him silently, then blinked once and declared:
"I was right about the black hole in your head."
"How the hell was I supposed to know you'd consider it a d-date!" Kagami protested. "Listen, the day after tomorrow, we'll go to the movies, alright?"
"If you're paying, then yes."
"Tch. Well, fine."
"Then, see you tomorrow, Kagami-kun."
As he watched his Shadow walk away, Kagami let out a small sigh. Of all people, he had to pick the most annoying one, for sure.
Kagami flopped down on his bed and grabbed a magazine to read before sleeping. As he skimmed through a few pages, his phone buzzed. Grabbing it, he couldn't help but smile as he read the name of sender of the message.
A/N: Aaaand done! Again, sorry for the long wait. I hope you liked the epilogue, and I want to thank all those who followed the story since the beginning. You rock! *throws cookies around*