[[ If it wasn't obvious, this is Aokuro (AomineXKuroko). Lots of headcanon (hence some of the OOCness) involved although I tried to keep some of the details as close to the Manga as possible. Only read everything once so can't really say it's really accurate. The last few paragraphs are totally not related to the series and things that I added in. As usual, I forgot my ending for the fic when I reached the end and improvised one so it's a little crappy. /3 ]]

Kuroko could still remember, the Aomine that loved basketball, the Aomine that he used to know and admire that would practice with him till night after practice. The one that he knew that gave it his all in his playing, the one that was nothing but a fleeting memory now. No matter how much he longs to see it, wish that things could go back to the past it was impossible. The Aomine he was partner with no longer exists.

Truth was, Kuroko knew he was drifting away right from the start but he did not want to admit it and subconsciously ignored it till it was too late. The distance between them had grown so long that the line separating them was worse than before. Aomine was from a different world than him, but even so they got along very well when it comes to basketball. Up until then, they were still close and Aomine still sees him in his eyes.

Aomine would come over and find him and they would hang out together with Momoi and the rest sometimes. More than anyone else from the Generation of Miracles, Aomine was the one he admired and acknowledged most. He could not help it, Aomine was special in many ways.

The one who first noticed and acknowledged him was Aomine and that fact would never change. Without Aomine, there would be no Kuroko right now. He would never forget how they first met, how Aomine stumbled upon him in the Third-String's gym one day. Like everyone else, he did not notice him till Kuroko had greeted him.

But the only thing different was that Aomine did not ignore him despite knowing that he was not up to his level. The only thing Aomine laughed at was when he told him how much lack of a presence he had and despite learning that he was in Third-String, Aomine did not judge him and instead practiced with him. That Aomine was the one Kuroko longs to see again, the one that would practice with him with a smile and whether they had talent or not did not matter as they were playing out of love for that game.

He was the first person that Kuroko opened up to and saved his struggles and uncertainties with. The Aomine back then really was just a basketball idiot that only cared about basketball and nothing else. His test results were nearly as bad as Kagami's. Kuroko could not deny that he was as much as a basketball idiot too and that was what made them compatible and close. They both loved the game as much as each other.

Kuroko would never be able to repay him enough for all that he had done for him. The first time someone actually accepted him and paid attention to him was Aomine and that made him special to Kuroko. Even when he was late for their usual practice, Aomine had waited for him and asked him not to give up basketball when he wanted to quit.

If Aomine was not there to ask him not to give up, he would have given up a long time ago and Akashi would not have noticed him. Neither would he be able to come up with his current style of playing and remain talentless in playing basketball. Aomine was the main reason he played for Teikō and perfected his skills for.

He would always be his first light and goal. No matter how much he looked up to him, Kuroko knows he would never be able to defeat him alone. It was fun playing basketball with the him from back then, Aomine would always be smiling and praising his passes and Kuroko still sees in playing in his memories and dreams sometimes.

It was hard to believe that the Aomine he knew existed when he looked at the current Aomine. This Aomine does not need him and it was the basketball style he had come to like. They used to get along so well and their way of thinking was the same till Aomine grew too strong and no longer see any joy in the game.

Kuroko had tried to convince him to come back to practice and that there would be someone strong enough to defeat him one day, just like how Aomine had encouraged him back then. It worked for a while still he grew more jaded and no longer believed his words. For the first time ever, Aomine had ignored him and did not notice him raising his hand for the fist bump that was the token of their relationship.

Slowly, Kuroko felt that he was no longer needed by Aomine who could now win without him and no longer need any of his special passes. His place in the team grew wider away when the rest slowly started rising in power like Aomine and it was like he lost their trust. More than anything, it pained him that everyone only see winning as an objective and completely destroy all their opposing teams and Aomine stopped smiling and loving basketball.

He hated basketball then, more and more each time when he watched Aomine play. The fondness he saw inside Aomine was gone and this Aomine was a complete stranger and no longer his partner and light. Deep down, he had hoped that Aomine would turn back into the one that he knew and when that did not happened, he gave up completely that he would come back by himself.

That was why he left the team without a word, no one would notice for a while anyway. The one to have always paid attention to him was Aomine and now that Aomine no longer had a need for him, he would not care either right? Kuroko doubted that Aomine would even imagine him playing basketball with someone else and finding another light for himself.

Frankly, he was not even thinking much when he first entered Seirin and joined their basketball team. Despite everything that happened, Kuroko still loved basketball, the basketball that he used to play with Aomine. Aomine's old playing style was something he would always admire and he still wanted to do what was best for him.

Momoi would be with him so Kuroko would not have to worry about Aomine not being to look after himself. It hurt to even watch him play and know of the distance between them now. The past felt like it did not exist at all and it was all a dream.

Sure the both of them had nothing in common besides basketball and if you take it away, there is nothing between them already. But still, the two of them were close and almost inseparable. The one to understand each other best was each other and the one Kuroko wanted to always catch his passes was Aomine. His passes were created for him and Aomine had always been happy to be the one to catch his passes.

Their relationship was a strange one too and Kuroko never did get what they were. Aomine had always been clingy with him more than anyone else and get along best with him. He would invite Kuroko to hang out besides practice instead of the others and eat ice-cream and such. They used to walk back together too and celebrate after winning a match.

Kuroko really wished they could go back to those times and time would freeze and not move forward. That was impossible and he knew it. He would never be able to get back the past and chasing after the past was pointless. He had to move up but despite all that, his mind would always go back to the Aomine from back then.

The word 'partners' held a big significance to him, the word Aomine always labelled him as and he really was happy to have Aomine as his partner and light. Even now, he would not have minded being his shadow forever if he had stayed the way he was. He lacked the self-esteem to chase after Aomine back and his skills were much too weak.

Aomine has already drifted away from him and Kuroko focused his thoughts back to the present. He really was surprised when he first saw Kagami. Despite him looking completely different from Aomine and their playing style was not the same, he saw the old Aomine in him. The one that loved basketball and enjoyed playing the sport.

He could not resist but ask him to play a match with him. Even if this was not Aomine, that was fine. He just wanted to get back the small feeling he used to get from practicing with Aomine. Kuroko knew he could not go back to Aomine now, not when Aomine no longer needed him and lost his trust in him. His words back then must be a lie to Aomine when Aomine realised that the rival he wanted does not exist at all.

If that was the case, he would be the one to make that lie come true. He would make good that promise and see to it that it happens with his own hands. This was not betrayal, he was still doing what he thought was best for Aomine. It would never change, the feeling of wanting to do what was best for Aomine would always be with him. Kukoko was not using Kagami when it was not a lie that he would help Kagami defeat the Generation of Miracles, he just did not state his reason why.

No matter what Aomine thinks of him, Kuroko would not lie to him whether it was in the past or now. Even if Aomine no longer believes in him and his words, he would still do his best to keep his word and maybe the Aomine he knows would come back if he manages to defeat him. When that time comes, Aomine most likely would think of him as a traitor and someone who betrayed him but that was fine. He did not have to know that Kuroko was doing his all to do what was best for him.

He was a shadow, a shadow deserved no thanks. It was just a stroke of luck that he chanced upon Kagami. He might not be able to reach Aomine's level right now but he would do all he can to make him reach there soon and Kagami had the potential to do that. It might be selfish of him to help Kagami all for the sake of his ex-teammate and that might be betraying Kagami in a sense.

Regardless of all that, he still wished to see the old Aomine at least one more time. Kuroko did not even get the chance to say all that he wanted to say to that Aomine since he never thought they would part on such terms. It was alright if Aomine thought he betrayed him by getting a new light since he already did betrayed him when his words did not come true and he had given him false hope.

They were just so different, one was the light while the other was the shadow. Sort of ironic that the one that was the light had darker skin and darker hair and eye colour while the shadow of the pair was paler and have lighter hair and eye colour. Their appearance and everything was the direct opposite and yet they got along so well. The only similarity was just that they both loved basketball and they had blue hair and eye colour, just different shade.

Kuroko chuckled as he thought that those were his thoughts back then. Now he really does see Kagami as his partner, not as special to him as Aomine but still his partner regardless. He had seen the determination Kagami had and he truly wants to help him now. Slowly, he was no longer even a means to him as to get back Aomine and for a period of time he had forgotten all about his plans to see the old Aomine again.

He was completely taken over by how much Kagami seemed to like the sport and how serious he was in it. It felt like Aomine all over and basketball was fun again and Kuroko allowed himself to forget about Aomine for now. He was already betraying Aomine in a sense and if he already was betraying him, a little more would not hurt even if it does hurt him mentally.

Kagami really does appreciate his passes just like how it used to feel. They even bump fists like what Aomine used to do with him and everything was alright like this for a while. Till Moimoi came to find him and talk about Aomine. The thoughts about Aomine that he buried deep inside him was brought up again and he knew he would never be able to keep them under control again. He flinched mentally when Momoi mentioned how alike Kagami was to the old Aomine and he wondered if she knows that was part of the reason why he picked him as his new light.

His past memories were brought up as she continued to talk about the past and how they got along well. Back when Aomine still praised him for his passes and how Midorima would say they were compatible to the point of annoyance and Kise pouting that he pass more to Aomine than him. Aomine himself had mentioned that they had nothing in common besides basketball and how the best person to tag with him was him and the one to bring out his best.

He had stared at his fist as he recalled the times and it was almost like he could feel Aomine's fist bumping his again. Just like how she thought that Aomine's play style with him back then was what she liked best, it was the play style he liked best too. Much better than the Aomine who plays alone now. He could not help but ask if Aomine would change if he beats him because he really wanted that Aomine back.

The promise to her to defeat Aomine was not just for her sake, it was for his own sake too. Maybe he would be able to stop chasing Aomine once all this is over and move on. Kuroko has a nagging feeling that he would not be able to give up till he finally gets it over and defeat him. Seeing Aomine on the opposite field would be different than how it was with Kise and Midorima since they were not him and he was closer to him than the other four.

When Kagami mentioned that he met him and questioned what happened the two of them, Kuroko had to think back to his past again. It was hard to maintain his usual tone of voice and expression as he talked about how Aomine started to change slowly and how he began to lost interest in the game. It was a painful topic when he was powerless to stop Aomine from changing and the last time he saw Aomine smile during a game.

How Aomine gave up believing in his words and finding a rival that would be able to beat him. How he gained the concept that "The only one who can beat me is me." along with how the other four started changing after blossoming too. Kuroko really wanted to believe in Kagami when he said that they would bring him back to his senses. The hope that he gets to see Aomine smile again was back.

"Tetsu." The name that Aomine always called him and tone that he used was the same as always and it was a long time since he had last heard that name and voice. "Aomine-kun." Came out naturally and it was almost like when they were in the same school again. Seeing Aomine in a different uniform reminded him that they were opponents now and he was here to defeat him. The look in his eye held something different and without asking, he knew what that was. Kuroko was still the one that understood him best even now.

There was a small tint of betrayal and jealousy in those eyes and he pretended not to notice. He had no reason to ask why when he knew the reason behind it. Aomine did not like it that he had replaced him with Kagami and Kuroko fought the urge to not say that he was the one who pushed him away and not the other way around. At least this meant that Aomine would take this match seriously and would not play half-heartedly.

Even though his play is not the one that he wants to see, at the very least it was one that showed that he was serious. There would be no point if they were not playing Aomine at his best, maybe not his hundred percent but more than what he usually play to people who did not catch his eye.

He knew Aomine would be at least serious if the opponent was him. Aomine had always played his best with him and he knew this would be no exception. Especially when he was showing how displeased he was and taunted him to come out when he was resting on the bench. It was an indirect way to tell him that even with his new light, he would not be able to defeat him because Kagami's light was dim. Aomine still respected him in a way and he had smiled bitterly to himself at that.

Kagami had not reached his level yet and it was expected when he was thought that Kagami was not strong enough to bring out all of his abilities since these passes were created and intended for Aomine's use, making them more suitable for him than Kagami. That was very apparent when Aomine was able to catch his passes faster than anyone else and the remark that he was best with him almost made him scorn when Aomine obviously no longer had any use for him.

It hurt him more when Aomine bluntly told him that his basketball cannot beat him. There were disappointment in Aomine's eyes and Kuroko felt bitter that he was not able to win and prove the point he said a long time ago. He felt really powerless and his way of basketball was useless against him. Despite that, he did not want to give up. If he gave up, the chance to see Aomine smile again would never come and his words were going to remain a lie.

He had to stand up and try again. No matter how many times it takes, he has to try, try until he beats him and the Aomine of the past appears again. Kuroko really wants to see that smile again, the smile that meant a lot to him and how much fun it was to play basketball with Aomine. Even if he was no longer by Aomine's side, he still wanted him to play with joy and truly love the game again.

Because that was best for Aomine and if the bond between them breaks and Aomine needs him as an opponent, he was willing to do that. It was fine as long as Aomine was back and no matter how much he wants to play with him again, he still views Aomine's thoughts more important than his own. He was a shadow and a shadow is no means important compared to a light. If he could see that Aomine again, he was willing to risk everything for that. No amount of time apart would make him forget that and his love for Aomine's old playing style.

The trip to the hot springs brought back old memories and he could almost see a younger him there with Aomine and all the other Generation of Miracles' members. Aomine had always looked after him after he could not stand the heat and end up feeling dizzy. Resting on the bench felt familiar and when Kagami asked him what drink he wanted, it was just like how it was when he first had Aomine with him.

He had answered a Pocari like he had answered Aomine back then. "Here." He had reacted to that without thought with a thanks before he blinked and realised that the voice really was Aomine and he hurriedly took the towel off his eyes. "It's been a while, Tetsu."

"Aomine-kun." Why was he here? Kuroko wondered if the heat had got to him and he was hallucinating so badly that he imagined that Aomine was here. There was an awkward silence between them till Aomine spoke up. They managed a small chat about his new drive for a short while. Aomine looked like he had something to say but Kagami appeared and Aomine had closed his mouth again.

Kuroko really wondered what he wanted to say before that and he soon learnt that their next opponent was him. That was fast, he did not expect to face him so soon. At leasthe did not have to wait for their next encounter soon. He was determined to make this the last match between them, not just for his own sake but for his seniors too. This was the only time they could play with Kiyoshi around and he wanted to give it his all for them.

He had grew attached to the team and he really felt like one of them now. They believed in him and in turn he would do his best for them. Despite all that, the selfish feeling of wanting to defeat Aomine to see him smile again was bigger than anything else. He admitted to Kagami that the thing he wanted to do more than anything was to see Aomine smile as he play basketball again. Even once was good enough, he just wanted to see that with his own eyes again.

A fragment of the Aomine that he knew was more than enough and he was not going to ask anything more than that. Even when his drive was defeated and his passes were rendered useless again, he did not want to give up. This time, they had a better chance of winning compared to before and he had complete trust in Kagami.

Somewhere inside him, he wished there was another way to bring back the old Aomine without him defeating him with his own hands. That thought was pushed aside soon enough and he chided himself for being stupid. If there was a way, he would have brought him back long ago. This was the only way and he was not letting himself be sentimental and prevent his team from winning.

"It's your win, Tetsu." The words rang in his ears and he was smiling inside at that. Without showing it on his face, he knew Aomine would be the only one to know that he was doing that. "Back then, we didn't bump fists." This was a way to convey his feelings without letting anyone else know what that means, only Anomine would get it.

"It does. Don't ignore me this time." A silent reminder that he was still there for him and they were still friends and he forgive him for everything. With the declaration and physical contact, he knew what Aomine was thinking too. It was Aomine's apology to him for not realising that he was the one that pushed him away and gave up on their partnership. There were many things Kuroko wanted to say to him but now was not the time and place to do so.

That was fine. There were many chances for him to do so in the future. He has done all he could and whether or not that had reached him completely was out of his control. This was what he wanted right? Kuroko still felt slightly upset that he would not be able to be by his side if he really does come back. This was a sacrifice he knew right from the beginning and it still hurt.

This team had helped him got back what he was trying to get back and he was going to play his best to repay them by winning the other matches they have. That was all he could do for them, he would be sure to stay here despite a part of him that wanted to go back to the past and be partners with Aomine again. His relationship with him was not that fragile to break even if they were on different teams and he believed in him.

He was the first person he could think of to help him master his new shot. There were different reasons why he picked him, the first one because Aomine would be the best person for that, the other one being that it would be just like old times where they played together and the last reason to see Aomine smile again.

Kuroko wanted to play basketball with him again, even if it was just a short while and he would have to be rivals with him again once it was over. He wonders if Aomine realises that the court he picked for this occasion was something familiar. The same one they used to play on in the past before Aomine grew distanct.

The smile came out on his own when Aomine accepted his request and he mentioned that this was the place they used to practice when they were second years. It felt like the them from the past and it was really nostalgia. He wished it could last longer but that was impossible. He would have to go back to reality and Aomine would be gone once he mastered his shot.

This was a short time and it was more than enough for him. He managed to see the smile he wanted to see again and Aomine loved basketball again even if he was no longer by his side. That price was simple and he still betrayed him even if it was for his own good he did so. Asking him to help him had a hidden meaning and Aomine had caught it already.

It was to tell him that Kuroko still viewed him as important and trusted him enough to test his new move even if he was a rival now. Kuroko had always completed his new moves by practicing with Aomine in the past and he was going to do the same now. A silent reminder that Aomine's style was still the one he loved and he would always be special to him.

Aomine's announcement that he would beat him and that the next time they met they were rivals was of no surprise to him. "Tetsu. Wou—never mind. Forget it." Aomine shook his head and waved him off. Kuroko managed a small smile, he had caught what Aomine wanted to ask him and Aomine understood him enough to know the answer to his unasked question.

"Aomine-kun's still special to me and if Aomine-kun's willing to wait, I would come back to him. No, I have never really left Aomine-kun's side. I'm always doing what's best for Aomine-kun." His words felt a little out of character to him but he needed to get this across. There were things that needed to be spoken out even if the other party knows him well. You would never know if he gets everything that you want to say.

It really was the truth since his goal had not change despite his new attachment towards his team. His feelings for Aomine was stronger, proven when his desire to see him smile again was more than what he felt for the team. "Never left me? Sure you can say that when you're doing it right now? Can't say I have the right to ask you to come back when the one who forced you away for me and made you take up such an action." Aomine added with a chuckle. He really could not complain or say anything when he did not realise that his past actions had caused the relationship between them to strain and drift apart.

"Why wouldn't I wait? My only shadow is you, even if you have another light with you." He could not fought the jealousy that he was feeling that he was replaced, even if it was his fault. He really had wanted to be partners with Kuroko together forever in the past before he lost interest in the game and causing him to lost Kuroko with his own hands. He had pushed him away cruelly without realising that and here he is now mentioning that he was jealous.

What a spoilt brat he must be to Kuroko, especially when Kuroko did it to defeat him and bring him back to the way he was. "But I haven't changed completely yet. I still belong to Aomine-kun don't I? Even though Aomine-kun's a little different compared to before to me but I guess it hasn't changed that much to have someone else instead. I haven't broken any of my promises with you now have I?" The words rang a bell and he was reminded of the promises Kuroko made with him.

There was a selfish request that Aomine had made Kuroko promise two months after they started becoming partners and he noticed his affection for the shorter male. He had caught the other's chin between his fingers to make sure that Kuroko was looking at him. "Nee, Tetsu. You belong to me right? Not only for basketball but more for personal matters as well."

That was after a few stolen kisses he stole from Kuroko and Kuroko had never pushed him away during them. That meant that he returned his feelings right? Those were his thoughts back then and he was still very much immature at that time. "Can't really say that I can promise during basketball since Akashi-kun wants me to pass to the others too. But for the other matter, up until either of us changes our mind about it, I guess I can agree to that."

He recalled laughing at how Kuroko had never openly accepted it and neither of them had put a word to what their relationship was. "You better keep your word then, Tetsu." For the first time, the kiss between them was not a stolen one and one that was wanted mutually. It was the one he remembered best since it was the first official one they had and it continued up until their partnership soured. The other promise was probably the one he said that he would meet a rival stronger than him and he laughed that Kuroko still remembered everything he said back then.

Still he very much rather Kuroko to come back to him and play with him again instead of playing against him. "Since it's very much my fault that you stopped being partners with me, I guess I can compromise this. You can continue having that Kagami as your light up until you graduate, but outside of basketball you're solely mine and I'm not sharing you with anyone else and definitely not him. I want to play with you again, Tetsu when we graduate and you're going to be my shadow again right?"

This was all still within Kuroko's expectations. He guessed Aomine would throw something like this out and the terms were still reasonable he supposed. "I can't say I can be solely yours, Aomine-kun since I belong to myself more than I belong to you but you can take the second ownership over me after myself I guess. Aomine-kun would have to get back the things he lost from me himself though. And of course. Aomine-kun's playing style is still the one that I love most."

That Kuroko. He shook his head at how Kuroko never answers him directly and plays around with his words again. He tilted his chin up and locked gazes with those familiar blue eyes he used to stare at all the time and grinned. Time had not pulled that completely apart yet, he knew his place in Kuroko's heart was not as much as it was back then but that was fine.

He was going to win him back completely for sure. Aomine was not going to lose him for a second chance, losing him the first time was more than enough already. He knew what was like to be apart from him and have nothing but past relationships between them. Aomine had already learnt that he did not want to lose him and things without Kuroko was boring and dull. Kuroko was irreplaceable in his life and someone he never wants to be away from his life.

School especially when he no longer had anything to look forward to, the past it being the time he could spend with Kuroko after that. He had to suffer for his mistake and watch Kuroko in another team now and be in a different school from him. That should be enough punishment and who said that being in different schools was going to make him drift away from him.

"Good. Because you know I won't let you get away, Tetsu." Too long he thought as he finally locked lips with him. It was still as he remembered and he tasted the same as before too. Why was he foolish enough to lose this back then? Nothing would be worth losing him and he really was not going to let him go for a second time. This time he was going to firmly keep him to him and not break their relationship.

In a sense their relationship had never ended since it had never officially started when he never did give it a word to it. Perhaps he was insecure now and he needed to put a name to it to make sure that Kuroko would not go to someone else. "After all, you're mine and the one that's I'm dating." This was one of Kuroko's insecurities he knew and that was why he never did clarify what they were in the past. For them to be in a real relationship, Kuroko had to step out and be a person instead of his shadow. Now that they were not partners, he could get him to be a person to him.

"Dating? Doesn't Aomine-kun like girls with big breasts though? I didn't know I was up to Anomine-kun's standards." Aomine resisted hitting him when he watched him say that all with his normal facial expression. This was Kuroko's form of revenge was it not? "Tetsu, you're making me say this on purpose aren't you? You know my only exceptions to lots of things is you. Even with all our differences, you're still the only one who clicks best with me and I can't imagine someone else here in your place."

A satisfied smile appeared on Kuroko's face and that was the end of the topic. There were another two more years that he would have to hold back and wait for Kuroko play with him again but that was fine. The most important was having him outside of basketball and as a person instead of a shadow. He rather have Kuroko as one to stay with him rather than just basketball.

Kuroko sighed as he noticed another flash on his phone. He should have expected this. Why would Aomine actually be willing to go to class without any benefits? He was texting him every few minutes and Kuroko was lucky that the teacher did not notice him as he sent another reply. What was the point if all Aomine does in class is text him? He supposes having him listen to class is the best he can do.

It was hard making the relationship work when he was still not being a person instead of just a shadow and the thing about being rivals from different schools. He still met up with Aomine often though since Aomine asks him to hang up every chance he gets. It was almost like they were in Middle School again. Would this last till the future was a mystery and he was happy to just let it be for now.

The future is the future and he is just going to think about the present now and nothing else. He would not give up that easily either, this was something that was hard for him to get back after all. Kuroko did not want to lose Aomine again. Unless it was something that was best for Aomine, he would not let go. Everything has always been all for Aomine after all.

[[ ARGH. I really hate it when I forget the endings I'm supposed to have and end up with some weird ass ending instead. I'm so sorry for the end. Why am I such a failure? DX I will edit it if I ever remember what it's supposed to be. ;w; ]]