A/N: Two KuroBasu fics in one day? And both are on different pairings? I guess I'm on a roll. And initially, I wanted to post this on the release date of Granrodeo's song "Rimfire" (kurobasu's second opening song) as a tribute. But it didn't happen. That happens a lot with me, otl.
"I'm tired," Kuroko stated calmly before plopping down onto one of the park benches. He used the sweat band on his wrist to wipe off the heavy moisture gathering on his forehead. The sun was heavily glaring down below, and the winds offered no assistance in cooling anyone or anything down. Kuroko took in a deep breath.
He watched on from the sides as Kise, Kagami and Aomine continued to play on the park's basketball court. He could tell that Kise was also going to call it quits soon. Kagami and Aomine were way too strong for him. The blond would probably spot him sitting on the bench and then run over to sit next to him.
"Here, Tetsu-kun," Momoi sang, holding out an ice cold water bottle. "Ah. Thank you," Kuroko replied back, gratefully taking it before quickly cracking open the bottle and gulping down the chilly substance. It ran smoothly down his throat and gave his body a short, delightful resistance from the heat.
"They're really trying hard, aren't they? I'm surprised that Kise-kun can hold out for this long," Momoi pointed out, finally moving to sit next to him. She had spoken too soon however, and in no time, the blond model was slowly and sluggishly moving towards them. "This is way too intense. Don't you think they're playing rougher than usual?" Kise asked as he collapsed on the other side of Kuroko.
Kuroko doesn't give a proper answer, but he knows that what Kise says is true. If they had been playing in an official match, both Kagami and Aomine would already be on the bench for committing too many fouls. He frowned lightly at the thought, but then quickly recovered and shrugged it off. Both Aomine and Kagami were similar in many ways. Even the way they denied that fact was the same. Their rough pushes and shoves were obviously unnecessary, but that could be blamed on their everlasting rivalry.
"They both live for the moment," Kuroko remarked as a small smile tugged the ends of his lips. Kise and Momoi stared at him before finally nodding in complete agreement. Momoi giggled. "That's true. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing though," she replied casually.
"Eh, they'll just continue to live on in their own world," Kise said after taking a refreshing swig from Kuroko's water bottle, who didn't seem to mind in the least. "Kuroko and I can create our own world!" He declared, making almost no sense as usual, before he enthusiastically glomped the small blue-haired teen, who was now suppressing a sigh.
"No fair, Kise-kun!" Momoi whined, grabbing a hold of Kuroko's arm and clinging childishly onto him. As per usual, Kuroko continued to sit there with a blank expression on his face. At that moment, Aomine and Kagami had finally decided to end the game with a draw, mostly likely due to the fact that they had noticed Kuroko being harassed. The two sent each other threatening glares as they headed over to the park benches. Yet, they still had one thing in common at the moment. They both wanted to claim the little blue-haired boy. They might have had different reasons for that though.
"Oi. You're going to make Tetsu mad," Aomine pointed out, interrupting the Kuroko-cuddling-session. Momoi drew back with an annoyed pout, but Kise held on defiantly. "You heard him, pretty boy," Kagami bit out, clutching onto the back of the model's collar and pulling him back.
"You two are like security guards," Momoi said teasingly, knowing fully well that the two had a soft spot for Kuroko (though she didn't know if romantic terms applied), who seemed to be somewhat relieved. Both Kagami and Aomine turned towards her with identically irritated faces.
"Forget that. I'm hungry. Let's go to Maji Burger," Kagami said, wanting to shake off the subject of him being one of Kuroko's saviors. "I'm in! I'll buy you a vanilla shake, Kurokocchi," Kise began to coo.
"Okay," Kuroko replied in an instant after the hearing the name of his favorite beverage. Kagami scoffed at this.
"Sorry, but me and Satsuki are just gonna go," Aomine cut in, casually wrapping an arm around the pink-haired girl. She squirmed out of his grasp, looking slightly disappointed. She had been looking forward to following Kuroko around more. A part of her was also wondering why Aomine would just back off like that. She thought that he liked spending time with Kuroko too. "Eh, but Dai"-
"Going now," the tan basketball player muttered, dragging along the girl with him. "Tetsu-kuuuuuuunnn!" Momoi shouted as she dramatically stretched her arm out to him.
"Ah. Please wait. We'll walk with you to the bus stop, since it's on the way to Maji Burger," Kuroko spoke up, while Momoi's eyes sparkled with happiness. "Ah, that's right," Kagami sighed, scratching the back of his head. Just when he thought that Aomine would finally be out of the picture for the day...
While walking there, Momoi sneaked in some quick glances towards Aomine. She was still suspicious, and she most certainly wasn't going to let go of this issue. Aomine loved to take Kuroko away from Kagami. He loved it when he could easily move Kuroko's attention from Kagami onto himself. He enjoyed making Kagami mad. He also enjoyed having Kuroko's complete attention. Momoi knew these facts fairly well. So naturally, when Aomine had quickly tried to excuse himself, she became alert. It wasn't like him. It wasn't like him, and she needed to know why he had done that. But seeing as the others were still walking with them, she knew that she would have to save that for later.
"Oi, Tetsu. What's your opinion on Kagami? Like, what is he to you?" Aomine questioned, startling Momoi even more. She sighed from frustration and confusion. Why would he ask that when Kagami was right there within ear shot?
"Hey, what kind of stupid question is that?" Kagami demanded hotly. The subject was quite touchy for him, since he had absolutely no idea what Kuroko might say. Aomine disregarded him and focused his gaze on Kuroko, who seemed to be pondering the question. Kise also looked extremely curious, and even Momoi had to give in and hold her breath.
"Kagami-kun? Hm...he is my..." He trailed off, looking up at the darkening sky. Kagami abruptly turned his head away from Kuroko when he realized that he had practically been staring. Looking eager was out of the question, especially on something like that. Kuroko usually paid close attention to detail, and he definitely didn't want any of his actions to be noticed.
Unconsciously, Kise and Momoi had begun to lean forward, highly anticipating Kuroko's answer merely out of curiosity. However, Aomine looked unusually serious, as if Kuroko's statement would have the ability to change his life. Kagami bit down on his bottom lip as he continued to stare on straight ahead, firmly pretending that he wasn't interested. Finally—
"...teammate," Kuroko stated, expressionless as usual. The group was silent as they each absorbed the boy's straightforward answer.
At that moment, Aomine burst out laughing, startling a few people on the streets. Kise and Momoi had their hands held over their mouths as they stifled their amused giggles. And poor, poor Kagami had nearly stopped dead in mid-step. His face flushed in sour embarrassment, but he still chose to keep his eyes away from Kuroko.
"S-shut the hell up!" Kagami finally snapped at Aomine, who nearly had tears coming out of his eyes. He reached over and patted the red head's shoulder, as if comforting him. "Looks like I had nothing to worry about," he said, still breathing hard from his laughing fit. Momoi saw a strange glint pass through Aomine's eyes.
"Lucky for you, we're at the bus stop. See ya. Tetsu, Kise. Kagami," Aomine said, giving them a lazy wave as Momoi hugged Kuroko as her farewell. "Don't look too disappointed," Aomine teased, grinning at Kagami's angry expression. The red head promptly flicked him off before stuffing his hands in his pockets and walking away, letting Kuroko and Kise follow closely behind him.
When the sky darkened a little more, and Aomine's breathing became barely noticeable, Momoi decided to speak up.
"You're letting go of him, aren't you?"
Aomine frowned. "Well, shit. Don't you have anything better to do besides notice my every move?" He asked, sighing. She beamed innocently at him.
"We're childhood friends, Dai-chan. Nothing will go unnoticed by me," she chirped. "Anyway...maybe I should rephrase that. You're not really letting Tetsu-kun go, but you're letting Kagami-kun in, right? By the looks of it, you've fully accepted Kagami-kun. You're a retired light, as of now," Momoi continued, watching as Aomine's frown only seemed to deepen.
"Ne, stop looking so depressed. No regrets, right? Kagami-kun is capable. They'll manage," the pink-haired girl told him, reaching over and gripping onto his hand. She thought that he would yell at her, or at least tell her that her theory was "complete bullshit." When no such outburst came, she was almost worried. But he suddenly spoke up.
"Right. You're right. Tetsu will be fine. Besides, you're not leaving me any time soon," Aomine said with a slight smirk. Momoi rolled her eyes. "Don't count on that," she giggled jokingly before playfully punching his upper arm.
Kagami was in despair.
He felt as if he had lost an important basketball game. The pain in his chest was pretty comparable. He sighed heavily. Kuroko could have at least called him his "light." He wouldn't have minded that as much. Hell, even the word "friend" was fine by him. He would rather have been friend-zoned than teammate-zoned. The red head glared across the small table, straight at Kuroko, who was silently drinking his vanilla shake and listening to Kise's idiotic stories.
Somehow, the thought that Kuroko had simply been joking failed to pass through Kagami's mind. At the moment, he felt completely incapable and washed out. Kagami chomped ruthlessly at his hamburgers, which he couldn't quite taste. After realizing that the mountain of burgers he had ordered was gone, he stood up and swung his sports bag over his shoulder. Without a word of farewell, he left Maji Burger, not in the mood for any sort of conversation or argument.
At ten in the morning, while Kagami was thoughtlessly running on his treadmill, Kuroko showed up at his front door. He was speechless when he had opened the door, and the urge to close it again was strong. He then noticed that Kuroko was dressed in a plain shirt and jersey shorts, which surfaced as a question. Before Kagami could ask, Kuroko spoke up.
"Kagami-kun. You said that we would practice together at the park. At nine thirty," he informed him politely. Kagami wanted to bash his head on the wall for forgetting, but he didn't really blame himself for it. He had scheduled that with him before Kuroko had decided to go ahead and put him in the teammate-zone. The red-headed teen shuddered at the memory. His luck was getting worse. He noted that he should probably ask Midorima about his horoscope.
"My bad. Let me just put on my shoes and we'll go," Kagami found himself saying. Kuroko simply nodded before walking a few steps away from the front door. After the red head slipped on his worn out tennis shoes and grabbed a basketball from his garage, he and Kuroko ventured out to the park. Kagami didn't know what to say, so he didn't say anything on the way there. The boy next to him had teammate-zoned him just the other day. There was nothing he could say.
"Kagami-kun, are you feeling alright?" Kuroko asked, causing Kagami was jump up in surprise. "I'm fine...!" He replied loudly, enough to cause suspicion. But the blue-haired boy simply nodded back.
"Okay then. Let's try our best, Kagami-kun," Kuroko told him as they stepped onto the park's basketball court. Kagami scowled. This was going to be a long day.
"Kagami-kun, if you keep playing like that, you'll get fouled," Kuroko stated as he stood up from the ground. His teammate grabbed onto the shoulder of his shirt to help him up. "Sorry, it's a bad habit," he replied gruffly, wiping off the sweat that was freely rolling down the side of his face. He squinted up at the sun, sighing.
Kagami felt a little better after playing some basketball, in all honesty. It was his favorite thing to do, and it was something he loved. He felt a little foolish and pitiful thinking it, but he knew that if Kuroko wasn't there, basketball would always be there for him. It was something he could always return to, and never tire of. If he could think about Kuroko in the same way, that would be great. But he had put him in the teammate zone, and all hope of that thought was lost.
The said teen turned towards Kuroko's voice. "Mm?" He acknowledged back.
"We are completely out of synch today. Something is bothering you," Kuroko said in a matter-of-factly tone. Kagami cringed. He sighed heavily, scratching the back of his head. It was now or never.
"Kuroko, about yesterday..." He started. "Yes?" Kuroko asked, tilting his head to the side and staring up at his teammate with his large, blank, trademark eyes.
"You said that I was just a teammate," Kagami forced out, snapping his gaze away from the boy's eyes. "Ah. I had phrased that wrong. I meant to say that you are my light," he replied in his monotone voice, but Kagami could also sense a small apology within the statement. He nodded, but it didn't make him feel any better.
Sure, being called his "light" was much better than being called his "teammate." However, for some reason, Kagami didn't feel satisfied at all. He still felt a slight pain in his chest. "Kuroko," he said. The said boy looked up at him once more, giving him his full attention.
"What if...what if I said that I wanted to be"— Something more. He gulped. He couldn't say it. But Kuroko continued to gaze up at him, oblivious to his discomfort. You're making this difficult Kuroko, dammit, Kagami thought as his large hands balled up into tight fists.
"I...I want to be more than just your...l-light," he finally admitted. The moment he had said that however, a man with a leaf blower had passed by, basically omitting Kagami's entire sentence. Kuroko blinked.
"Can you please repeat what you said, Kagami-kun?" He requested. Kagami flushed and panicked before whipping around, turning his back on the boy.
"But I did not hear it."
"That's your own damn fault!"
Kuroko finally smiled softly as he followed after Kagami's retreating back. Of course, he had heard what the red head had told him. Kagami didn't know that though, but he didn't need to. He hadn't even noticed that Kuroko had intentionally put him in the teammate zone just to get on his nerves.
"You are definitely more than just my light, Kagami-kun."
A/N: So basically Kagami goes from teammate-zone, to light-zone, to you-are-more-than-my-light-zone! Poor guy. The whole time, Kuroko had been teasing him.
Thank you for reading!