This was done as a request from an online friend of mine (with the support of my two fujo best friends) which I completed in.. ten days despite my busy schedule.

This is definitely not my first story, not my first story for Kuroko no Basket but is my first time EVER doing a shounen-ai/male pairing. Please let me know where I can improve! (Especially if the characters sound OOC)

The prompt of this story was cheesecake, (Blame my cravings.) but somehow it deviated from the cheesecake itself.

Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroko no Basket and it's franchise. I also do not own that line from Guilty Beauty Love (from Ouran High School Host Club) and Doraemon.
Note: The cover pic is from pixiv. I'll put up the link/code when I find it.


"Please, Kurokocchi?"

"For the last time, Kise-kun, I am telling you that I'm not interested in that kind of things."

"But Kurokocchi," Kise Ryouta begged, as if his life depended on it. "I already said that I'd treat you! Please, Kurokocchi! Go out with me!"

Kuroko Tetsuya sighed as he heard the voice over the phone wail, its owner probably near tears by now. It had been almost fifteen minutes since the blonde had called him; he had been right in the middle of a good part of his novel when his phone started beeping. He had considered ignoring the call, but decided against it.

"Kise-kun, look…"

"But I really want to check out that café, Kurokocchi! I'll even treat you to your favorite milkshake!"

"Do they even serve milkshakes there?"

"Well, I'm not sure if they do, but it's worth a try checking it out, right?"

"Why can't you just go alone, then?"

"That will be so lonely! Plus, I might just attract unnecessary attention from other people if I'm all by myself! What if I get terrorized on the way home and never get to see the daylight again? You wouldn't want that, would you, Kurokocchi?"

"You are simply exaggerating, Kise-kun. And I thought you enjoyed being surrounded by girls?"

"Well, not all the time," Kise admitted sheepishly. "Are you jealous, Kurokocchi?"

"Of course not," Kuroko interjected, a little too fast perhaps. "Stop being an idiot. Why don't you go find someone else, then?

"Because I want to go with you, Kurokocchi!"

"Like I said, why me?"

"Because I like Kurokocchi, of course!"

Kuroko was tempted to let out a deep sigh.

There he was again, spewing things like that so easily.

He was a fool, he admitted in his head, to even once consider that that air-headed blonde might possess the very same feelings that he did for him.

But what was he thinking anyway? They were both boys, plus the two never really spent much time together outside of club activities or school… Even though the blonde had the tendency to cling to him like a koala to a tree, there's no way he would have developed such feelings. And besides, it was pretty clear that Kise prefers girls in terms of that.

Perhaps it was just a one-sided kind of feeling on his part.

"Kurokocchi? Are you still there?" Kise asked from the other side of the call, his tone hinting his worry.

"Sorry about that, Kise-kun. I wasn't paying attention. Could you repeat that one more time?"

"Well… I was thinking that I continue bothering you about accompanying me today, since you have been against it from the start. Perhaps another day…"

"Actually, I think I changed my mind."

"Huh? W-What do you mean, Kurokocchi?"

"I'll go out with you today. But just for this afternoon."

"K-K-K-K-K-Kurokocchi…" The boy sounded as if he was shedding tears of joy.

"You have a photo shoot in five minutes, don't you? You better dry your tears so you don't ruin your makeup."

"I know that, Kurokocchi; but I'm just so happy, I just…"

"I'll meet you after you're done with work. What time do you finish?"

"About three, I think. We have quite a few shots to do today…"

"I see. Which station is the closest to that studio? I'll meet you there."

Kuroko scribbled down the address and time onto a piece of paper on his desk before bidding his former teammate farewell and cutting the call. He took a glance towards the clock hanging on the wall, pleased to see that there was still plenty of time for a shower.

He opened the drawer of his wardrobe and carefully selected his clothes, a black T-shirt and a pair of dark blue jeans. Retrieving his favorite cardigan from its hanger on the rack to wear over it, he made his way to the bathroom.

Somehow, he felt like he was dressing up for a date, though it probably wasn't one in the first place. He was merely accompanying an old friend to a café and nothing more.

It won't hurt to consider it one, though.

XXX

"Kurokocchi!"

Kuroko looked up from his novel at sound of the familiar nickname.

Kise was waving at him frantically, as if he were stranded on some deserted island and seeking attention from an approaching boat. He was practically beaming as he ran towards the teal-haired boy, radiating a light so bright that could rival the Sun's.

Kuroko felt warm feeling stir in his chest as he watched his ex-teammate (and he would admit begrudgingly, love interest) approach him.

There was always something about that idiotically happy smile that made Kuroko's heart skip a beat.

"Kurokocchi! I'm sorry for being late!" Kise all but glomped the smaller boy. "Did you wait long?"

"You're hurting me, Kise-kun."

"Oops! I'm sorry about that, Kurokocchi!"

The blonde model had donned a pair of glasses, most likely his disguise to deter 'unnecessary attention', as he called it. He wore a white collared shirt and black jeans with a pair of loafers. He also had on a black waistcoat and a purple scarf, which Kuroko himself had given him for his birthday in the third year of Middle School before he left the team.

"To answer your earlier question, I've been here for about fifteen minutes, though I was early by about ten minutes."

"Thank goodness! I thought I was really late! I wanted to get here earlier than Kurokocchi, but the photo shoot took longer than I thought it would!"

"Oh my, is that your friend, Ryouta?" A woman's voice came from behind him.

"Ah, Sanaecchi!" Ryouta gave the woman a smile. "You're still here? I thought you went back already?"

The woman was tall, at least if you consider what the average height was for the female population of Japan, but was still taller than Kuroko himself. She looked young, as if she weren't a day over twenty.

She was beautiful; Kuroko had to admit, with her flowing brown locks and her simple make-up. She was probably a fellow model who worked with Kise.

"Don't 'Sanaecchi' me, you little brat!" The woman grabbed Kise in a headlock, with a dark smile that rivaled Akashi's. "Is that how you talk to someone who's older than you, Ryouta? Didn't your aunt teach you any manners?" "Or do you hate me being around that much?"

"S-Sanaecchi! I-I can't breathe!"

Kuroko frowned slightly, though to most people his expression would not have changed.

"Excuse me…"

"Eh? Oh! I'm sorry! I had totally forgotten that you were here!" Sanae released her hold on the blonde boy, who started gasping for air.

"It's alright; it happens all the time."

"My name is Kotobuki Sanae," The woman gave him a smile. I'm a second-year student at Kanagawa's K University; and I also work part-time as this idiot's manager."

"Kuroko Tetsuya," He bowed in a greeting. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Same here. How long have you known Ryouta?"

"Since Middle School. We were teammates in the basketball club."

"I see! But are you really a High School student? I mean, compared to Ryouta, you're kinda…"

"S-Sanaecchi! I mean, Sanae-san! Don't you have to return to the office for a meeting? Aunt Kanako is going to be mad if you're late again!"

Sanae clicked her tongue, once.

"I get it; I get it," She grabbed a fist full of Kise's hair and started to mess it up; causing the blonde boy to protest. "I'll be on my merry way, then, since you don't like having me around. Don't forget what we have on tonight. You better not be late, or else."

"Yes madam!"

"Well then, I'll see you around, Kuroko-kun."

"See you again."

And with a wave, Sanae made her exit.

Kuroko looked up at his companion, who was trying to straighten out his hair. He was a little surprised to see Kise's face slightly reddened.

Could it be that Kise… towards Sanae-san…?

"Sorry about that, Kurokocchi…"

"It seems like the two of you get along really well."

"Eh?"

"I'm talking about you and Sanae-san."

"Well, we known each other for quite a while…" Kise rubbed the back of his head, avoiding Kuroko's questioning gaze.

"Let's get going. We don't have the whole afternoon to waste."

"K-Kurokocchi?"

"Which direction are we supposed to go?"

"We're supposed to turn right… Kurokocchi… you're acting kind of weird…"

"Really? It's the same as usual."

The two walked side by side in silence.

Kuroko had his eyes fixated on his book, looking up occasionally to ensure that he didn't bump into anyone.

However, Kise was fidgety, uncomfortable with the tension between them. He was happy when the smaller boy had agreed to accompany him to that new café, but somehow the atmosphere between them wasn't what he had expected.

Though he only knew the teal-haired boy since the second year of Middle School, he had been watching him long enough to differentiate his normal mood from others. He knew well enough that Kuroko wasn't as emotionless as everyone else had thought him to be; it's just that he expresses them differently from everyone else.

And Kise could tell at that very moment that Kuroko was displeased at, or bothered by, something.

"Say, Kurokocchi," Kise spoke to break the stuffy silence between them. "Isn't that the cardigan I bought you for Christmas two years ago? I'm surprised it still fits."

"You bought it a size bigger, remember?" Kuroko replied, not even bothering to look up from his book. "I simply grew into it."

"Kurokocchi sounds quite cold today… Are you angry or something? Did something happen?"

"I'm not angry. And nothing happened."

"Something must have happened. Kurokocchi, you're not acting like yourself today."

"How so?"

"Kurokocchi is usually very composed, but you seem rather unsettled today. You're acting as if there's something bothering you; not to mention that you seem to be giving me the cold shoulder as well."

"Is that so?"

Kise opened his mouth to reply, but shut it again when he couldn't think of what to say.

As for Kuroko, he kept his eyes on the open pages of his novel, but he couldn't concentrate on the story.

He didn't expect someone like Kise to be able to read him completely. The only other person, other than his own parents of course, who had succeeded in doing that was Akashi; but then again there was nobody Akashi couldn't read. For most of the people he had deemed as his close friends, they could only read him if they had been constantly observing him for long period of time.

Could that have meant that Kise had been watching him? Since when? For how long has he been observing him?

"Kurokocchi! Look out!"

Kuroko snapped out of his thoughts as he felt sudden heard Kise's sudden shout. The next thing he knew, he was being pulled towards the taller boy as bicycle zipped past behind them at full speed; if Kise hadn't intervened in time, he would've have gotten run over by now.

However, that fact did not register itself in Kuroko's mind. The only thing that was occupying it at that very moment was the fact that Kise, in a split second, had grabbed his arm and had forcefully pulled the smaller boy towards him.

The blonde now had his arm wrapped around one shoulder, pressing the smaller boy tightly against his muscular chest.

Kuroko could feel the heat rising to his face with each passing second. With his nose pressing against Kise's shirt, he could smell his scent: a mix of sweet freesia and his sweat that seemed to mingle into a unique fragrance that could only be worn by Kise Ryouta alone.

It was a pleasant smell, Kuroko thought to himself. Even though their proximity had made him a little unsettled, it seemed to have calmed him down. He hoped his near-flawless poker face would hide his embarrassment.

"That was close… Kurokocchi, are you alright?"

"Y-Yeah."

Did Kuroko just stutter?

"Um… Kise-kun, do you think you could…?"

Kise was wondering why Kuroko's voice sounded muffled until he had finally noticed that he was practically embracing the smaller boy.

"U-Uwah! I'm sorry, Kurokocchi!" Kise let go of him, flustered as his face reddened again with embarrassment.

Kuroko did not move, nor did he say a word. He simply remained passive, as if nothing has happened. However, with the probable aid of a magnifying glass, one could see the faint blush on his cheeks.

From Kise's point of view, it seemed as if the teal-haired had not been bothered by the incident at all. However, the microscopic blush did not go unnoticed.

He turned away from Kuroko, avoiding his gaze as he suppressed a nose-bleed. It took every bit of willpower the blonde ever possessed to not glomp the smaller boy right at that very moment and start ranting on how cute he was.

"Kise-kun? Are you all right?"

"I'm perfectly all right, Kurokocchi!"

"Then why are you looking away?"

"Well, I… err, just thought I saw someone I knew over there!"

"Is that blood I see dripping from your nose?"

"E-Eh? It must be your imagination."

"I doubt it," Kuroko sighed, retrieving his handkerchief from his pocket. "Here. Take it as my thanks for saving me."

"T-T-T-Thank you, Kurokocchi! I'll treasure it!"

"But I do want it back, though. Don't forget to wash it and return it to me."

"B-But I want to keep it!"

"… Fine; keep it, then."

"Yay! Kurokocchi, you're the best!"

XXX

"Are we almost there yet?" Kuroko asked, tempted to drag his feet along the path. "It feels like we have been walking for a very long time."

"Really? It only has been ten minutes, though."

"Fifteen, to be exact. So where is this café?"

"It's just right up ahead. You can see it from here." Kise pointed towards a building that was situated in the middle of the large park.

The café reminded Kuroko of a cabin that you could find in the mountains, surrounded by trees; except that its exterior was painted a creamy, light yellow. White tables and chairs were placed neatly on the grass surrounding the café, allowing its customers to enjoy the sight of the bright blue sky and the light breeze of the wind.

"So, what do you think? Pretty nice, don't you think?"

"It looks pretty… normal."

"What were you expecting, Kurokocchi? A cosplay café? Or maybe a maid café? Or perhaps a large castle with princesses in frilly dresses and princes on white horses?"

"Of course not," Kuroko gave a slight grin. "I was thinking along the lines of a Doraemon-style café."

"Anything but that," Kise grimaced.

In their second-year of Middle School, the team went for a karaoke session together. Apparently, Kise lost some bet with Aomine and Murasakibara and had to sing the Doraemon theme song (and do a little silly little dance to it) in front of the entire first string. The very act itself had made Kise the butt of jokes and victim of constant teasing from the rest of the Generation of Miracles up till today, especially from their blue-haired ace.

What made it worse was that Akashi, as a form of payback for something the blonde had accidentally done to him a few weeks back, had the whole performance recorded down on video and posted it online. The captain had justified his actions by claiming that he was just 'helping' him to improve his popularity.

Needless to say, it worked like a charm.

His fan-girls were definitely more than pleased; and his fan base had increased at least by three-fold throughout the world.

For the months that soon came after, Kise was swarmed by his thousands of fan-girls who demanded to hear him sing the embarrassing song live for them. Since then, Kise made sure that he would never offend the red-haired captain ever again, even if it was never intentional. He also started to show a repulsive dislike for anything associated to that earless blue dorayaki-eating robot cat and its franchise.

"But I was expecting something a little more… showy, especially if it was a place that you of all people would want to visit."

"Eh? Really?"

"Or at least, everyone else thinks of it that way."

"Why does everyone keep stereotyping me?" Kise raised his arm, dramatically sobbing into the sleeve of his shirt.

"But who was the one who suggested this café in the first place? Did you see it in some magazine?"

"Actually, it was Midorimacchi who recommended it to me. He mentioned…" Kise paused, his cheeks reddening slightly. "Never mind what I said! Let's just go in!"

"Welcome!" They heard call of the waitress as they stepped through the large double doors.

A light blush rose on her face as she spotted the blonde.

"A-A table for one, sir?" The young lady stuttered.

"Well, actually, there are two of us…" Kise pointed to Kuroko, whose presence was as weak as usual.

"I-I apologize for my rudeness! W-Would you like to have your seats outside?"

"Indoors, if you don't mind. Do you think we could have somewhere a little more… private?"

Kuroko raised an eyebrow at this. He would've guessed that Kise chose to take that measure to avoid being spotted by his mob of fan-girls, but he couldn't help but suspect that the blonde had some hidden motive.

"U-Understood! T-This way, if you please."

As the waitress led them to their seats, the smaller boy couldn't help but notice the stares Kise was getting from the girls, even in his disguise.

They sat down at their tables, situated in a dimly-lit corner of the café, and the waitress handed them their menus. Kuroko couldn't help but notice the excessive attention she was paying to the blonde the whole time.

"I will return shortly to take your orders," She informed them as she excused herself with a polite bow.

"Kurokocchi, what would you like to ord-"

"She was looking at you, wasn't she?"

"Well, it must be because of this face of mine. Though, it must be truly a crime for the Gods above to create a beautiful creature such as I. Even in Kurokocchi's beautiful eyes I can see my own-"

"Really, Kise-kun; you shouldn't go around stealing lines from other people like that. And by the way, they don't have milkshakes here on the menu."

"Eh? They don't?"

Kuroko replied to Kise's question with the raising of his eyebrows.

"I'm sorry about that, Kurokocchi! I'll ask the waitress if they could try to make one for you when she returns later!"

"… Fine."

"Thank you, Kurokocchi!"

"And what about you? What are you having?"

"Hmm… I think I'll have the cheesecake. It's their specialty, after all. And maybe a café mocha… Kurokocchi, why do you look so surprised?"

"I didn't think Kise-kun was the type of person who would like sweet things."

At this Kise laughed.

"There are a lot of things you don't know about me, Kurokocchi. But there are a lot of things I know about Kurokocchi."

"How sure can you be about that? We have never really gotten to know each other outside the basketball club."

"Even so, I'm sure I know."

"Why do you sound so confident about it?"

"Well…" Kise gave a goofy little grin as he scratched his cheek with one finger. "That's because I'm always watching Kurokocchi, even from afar."

"…"

Kuroko, for the first time he could remember, was at a loss for words at the blonde's honest reply.

"Sorry for the long wait! May I take your order?"

"Um, before that, I would like to enquire if you serve vanilla milkshakes here…"

"Unfortunately, we don't."

And with that line said, a dark and heavy atmosphere descended upon them. In fact, Kuroko looked as if someone had kicked Tetsuya #2… or rather, he was emitting an aura that seemed as if he were ready to murder somebody.

It was at this moment that Kise recalled an old incident at Teikou: There was a time when Kuroko was promised his vanilla milkshake in exchange for a favor. However, after the deed was done, he did not receive one, which led to his aura manifesting into one of a fearsome monster.

The poor 'victim', his first and last, had claimed that it was more terrifying than having Akashi stare straight into your eyes menacingly for five minutes.

Hence, Kise did not want to know or face the brunt of this boy's wrath.

"B-But I may, I would like to recommend our vanilla parfait…"

"T-That sounds delicious! What do you say, Kurokocchi? It might not be so bad to try something new for a change…"

"I'll give it a try, then."

"Eh?"

Did Kuroko just agree to give up his vanilla milkshake for something else?

"U-Understood! A-And what about you, sir?"

"Ah! I'll have the cheesecake and a cup of café mocha, please!"

"I-I'll be back with your orders soon!"

The waitress scrambled away from the smaller boy as far as possible, which was a smart move to make until his aura subsides.

"I'm really sorry about that, Kurokocchi. I honestly did not know that they don't serve milkshakes here."

"It's alright. I understand."

Still, Kise found it hard to believe that Kuroko was that forgiving about not having his milkshake.

In fact, the smaller boy had been acting really unusual today… it wasn't the usual Kurokocchi that he was familiar with. He had been touchy, a little grumpy… and actually refused the milkshake.

There has to be something that was bothering him; Kise was sure of it.

"Say, Kurokocchi…"

"Hm? What is it, Kise-kun?"

"Kurokocchi, is there anything that is really bothering you?"

"You have asked me that before, haven't you? I already told you that there wasn't anything on that is bothering me."

"Don't lie to me, Kurokocchi! I know there must something; especially since Kurokocchi has been acting weird for a while now."

"Why are you so bothered about it?"

"Because I'm concerned about you, Kurokocchi!"

"Why?"

"Because Kurokocchi is the most important person in the world to me!"

Kuroko was taken aback by the sudden declaration, but his face merely showed a frown.

"Please don't joke like that, Kise-kun. It is not funny; and most definitely not amusing, either."

"I-I wasn't joking, Kurokocchi! I was being serious!"

"People usually don't blurt out things like that so casually, Kise-kun. Besides, those are the kind of things that you should tell to Sanae-san, right?"

"H-Huh? Kurokocchi, I don't get what you mean."

"You like her, don't you?"

Kise blinked once.

"Eh?"

"I mean, the two of you seemed to get along so well… so I kind of assumed that you had feelings for her or something."

Kise blinked at the shorter boy for a few more times before bursting into laughter.

"W-What's so funny?"

"Kurokocchi, you're thinking too much. Sanaecchi is a relative of mine."

"Huh?"

"Sanaecchi is my cousin. You can say we practically grew up together. Really, what were you thinking, Kurokocchi?"

"I-I just assumed…"

"Oh, I think I got it now!" Kise was grinning from ear to ear. "Kurokocchi, you were jealous, weren't you?"

"I wasn't," Kuroko protested, trying to keep his face straight. However, his efforts prove futile under the blonde's leering gaze. "Well, maybe a little."

"You don't have to be so shy about it, Kurokocchi! Don't be such a tsundere."

"You know that term is only applicable to Midorima-kun, don't you?"

"That's true."

"Say, Kurokocchi," In the blink of an eye, Kise's tone and expression became serious.

Staring straight into the blonde's golden eyes, Kuroko could feel his body tense up. What was Kise up to, making a face like that?

"Kurokocchi… Answer me honestly: What does Kurokocchi think of me?"

"Well, if you ask my opinion, Kise-kun is a very cheerful and honest person…" Kuroko was interrupted with Kise's chuckle.

"I don't mean that, Kurokocchi. What I meant was: What does Kurokocchi see me as? An old teammate; or perhaps a friend? Or maybe… something more than just that?"

Kuroko felt his mouth go dry. The thought never really crossed his mind, though it had brushed the border several times.

When he had first met the blonde, he was the kind of person he had wanted to avoid the most. Arrogant, cocky, overconfident in his own abilities… If he weren't assigned to him as his personal trainer, he would have avoided him like the plague. Unfortunately for him, Kise somehow grew attached to him, following him like a lovesick puppy.

After some time, however, he started to enjoy the blonde's company; even more than he had thought he would.

Even at this moment, Kuroko knew that he had become fond of the blonde boy, even more than of anyone else. Even though he was harsh with him at most times, it was clear (though not very obvious) that he always had a soft spot in his heart for him.

Truth to be told, he had known for quite a while now: he liked Kise and there was no use denying that fact.

And it wasn't just the kind of liking that happened between friends or the people whom you are comfortable being around with.

It was the kind of liking that held romantic notations and affections, one that involved longing and desire for the other party; one that would fit perfectly into the definition of 'compassionate love' in a psychology textbook.

If he had wanted to describe it in an unbelievable corny manner with his light-and-shadow anthology, he would say that Kise-kun was his sun.

No, not just his light, but he was the sun in his world of darkness; radiating a bright, yet warm light for the shadows to move freely.

He did not bother to deny how attracted he had become towards his ex-teammate; but he had only one worry that stopped him from acting on those feelings.

What if Kise did not feel the same?

Some part of him was telling him that the object of his infatuation had shared the same sentiments as he does.

But Kuroko couldn't be help but be bothered by the fact that Kise was always so casual around him, coming and going with that idiotically bright smile on his face. True, there were times when he was serious at times that he needed to be, but Kuroko couldn't help but to have doubts in terms of interpreting that ditzy, carefree 'touchy-feely' behavior of his.

And the fact that Kise was now serious (either that; or he's simply just putting on airs) didn't really help the teal-haired boy with making his decision to spill the beans and come clean with his feelings.

"So, Kurokocchi; what is your answer going to be?"

Kuroko swallowed the saliva that had accumulated in his mouth.

He had no plans to confess; no, not yet. Not until he knew how Kise feels about him.

"Before I give you my answer," He spoke, hoping that his voice did not give away his uneasiness, "I want to hear Kise-kun's first."

"Huh?"

"Tell me, Kise-kun: What do you see me as?"

Kise's serious expression crumbled faster that a tower of cards, soon replaced with his usual grin.

"I already told you before; I like Kurokocchi."

"That isn't exactly answering my question, Kise-kun. And really, please don't go spouting things like that so casually. Some people might mistake it for something else."

"Something else? Like what?"

"I think you understand what I mean, Kise-kun."

"No, I don't understand, Kurokocchi. Tell me: what exactly do you mean?"

He's testing me, Kuroko mentally grimaced. Since when did Kise learn to be so manipulative? Then again, it might be Akashi's unhealthy influence on them in those years of Middle School.

"Kise-kun, when you said that you liked me, what in what context does 'like' mean?"

"Of course I meant that I like Kurokocchi: not as a friend, but more like the kind of liking that is between lovers. Or perhaps you can even call it love."

"T-That's…"

"I'm not exactly sure of it, but I get the feeling that Kurokocchi felt that same way about me as well. No, it's more than just a feeling," Kise put a hand on his chest, over his heart. "In here, I know that Kurokocchi feels the same way towards me."

"T-That's ridiculous. We're both boys…"

"So? Does it really matter?" Kise lifted Kuroko's hand gently, placing a gentle kiss to the back of his palm. "Kurokocchi, let me tell you one thing: I have never, ever said that I liked anybody other than to you."

"Kise-kun…"

"Now that I've answered your question; it's Kurokocchi's turn to reply mine," Kise looked up to gaze straight into Kuroko's eyes. "Kurokocchi… what am I to you?"

Kuroko inhaled deeply as he felt as if he had been taken by those eyes.

He had to tell Kise his feelings now; or he might not have the chance to do so again.

"Towards Kise-kun, I also lik -"

"Sorry for the wait!"

Just as Kuroko began to speak, the waitress returned with their order.

She set them neatly on the table and left promptly, as if she had realized that she had interrupted something of great importance.

"What bad timing… What were you about to say, Kurokocchi?"

"Ittadakimasu."

"Eh?" Kise gasped. "Kurokocchi, you haven't answered me yet!"

"But the ice-cream would melt if I don't finish this quickly."

"It can't be helped, then… I guess I'll dig in as well. Ittadakimasu!"

The two took their first few bites in silence.

Somehow, being interrupted seemed to have made the atmosphere between them a lot more awkward that it could ever have been before.

Kise watched as Kuroko dug his spoon into the white mountain of ice cream, lifting a generous amount and brought it to his lips. His face was had returned to the usual expressionless one; he wondered how the smaller boy could always put on that poker-face so quickly.

"This is delicious," Kuroko complimented with an expression of mild bliss, which Kise thought was rather cute.

"Really? Let me have a taste."

"But this is mine. Get your own."

"So mean, Kurokocchi!"

"But if you would let me have a bite of your cheesecake, I might reconsider."

"Of course you may, Kurokocchi! Here you go!" Kise lifted the plate with one hand, ready to pass it over to Kuroko's side of the table.

"I wasn't finished, Kise-kun."

"Huh?"

"I'll only let you have a taste of my parfait… if you feed me a bite of your cheesecake."

Upon hearing that statement, Kise nearly dropped the plate.

"W-W-W-What are you saying, Kurokocchi? You want me to f-f-f-feed you…?"

Kise swore he was going to faint from the pure joy from the moment. Either that, or die of anemia due to a sever nose-bleed.

The face that Kuroko was making right at that very moment… that adorable little pout formed by those lips that indicated how much he wanted to be spoilt by the blonde… it was too good to be true. Unfortunately, a sharp, impatient kick from the smaller boy from under the table told the blonde that this was no sweet dream of his.

"I'm waiting, Kise-kun."

"Yes, yes; here you go," Kise cut a generous amount of the cake and lifted up with his fork. "Say 'ahh' and open wide."

Just as the cake was about to reach Kuroko's open, waiting mouth, Kise withdrew the fork.

"What was that about?" Kuroko asked, slightly annoyed.

"If you want me to feed you badly," Kise grinned with that serious smiling expression of his. "You'll have to continue saying what you were about to say before the waitress interrupted us."

Kuroko narrowed his eyes. He wasn't exactly expecting him to ask, but he knew that the question would pop up sooner or later. When the blonde was curious about something, he was persistent…. and desperate, to find out what it was, even if it was something that was better left unknown.

Apparently, he doesn't seem to understand the phrase 'Ignorance is Bliss'.

"Kise-kun… I didn't know you could be so manipulative. Did you learn that from Akashi-kun?"

"Perhaps so. But I just wanted to hear how you felt. I could have sworn I heard something just now, so I wanted to confirm it."

Kise's grin made Kuroko uncomfortable. The blonde wasn't as bright as the light reflecting off his hair, but he was still smart enough to 'connect the dots', as they say. With all those little hints that he (had now realized that he had been unconsciously) dropping, even an idiot who knows nothing but basketball would be able to figure it by now.

He knew Kise was dying to hear that four-syllable phrase from his mouth; but he wasn't going to give in without a fight.

"Cake first."

"But I want to hear your reply first, Kurokocchi!"

"… Cake."

Kise felt his resolve to obtain his answer weaken as Kuroko shot him a look that resembled a small animal begging for its master's affections; it was his trump card. Since Middle School, Kise and the rest of the Generation of Miracles, including their frightening and manipulative captain, could never say 'no' to that face.

With a face as cute as that one, how could one bear to?

"Kurokocchi, it's unfair for you to use those puppy eyes now."

"Cake," Kuroko pushed his parfait towards one side of the table and bent over to reach that fork. Kise, still stunned by the sheer adorableness of his companion, did not move.

With a quick lunge, Kuroko had his mouth clamped over Kise's fork. He sat back down, with a smug look of victory on his face as he chewed.

"Kurokocchi," Kise whined. "Couldn't you do it in a cuter manner?"

The blonde's question was all but ignored.

"Delicious," Kuroko licked his lips. "Thank you, Kise-kun. Here: your reward."

He now held his spoon in front of Kise, on it a scoop of his parfait.

"You'll feed me too, Kurokocchi?" The blonde beamed with joy as he accepted the smaller boy's offer.

This had to be his lucky day!

"This is really good! Thank you, Kurokocchi!"

"Don't mention it."

"But Kurokocchi, you still haven't answered my question yet. I know you would try to avoid the topic, but I really want to know. Please stop beating around the bush and tell me already: What were you about to say earlier, Kurokocchi?"

Kuroko almost took pity on him. Kise just sounded so desperate.

"You already know what I was about to say, don't you?"

"Perhaps so. But I want to hear Kurokocchi say it himself; it's better that way."

"Why don't you try asking directly, then?"

"How…"

"Don't think too much, Kise-kun. Just ask it in the manner that makes you comfortable. Just… be natural."

It was a challenge, and Kise knew it from the start.

He could tell that Kise had been putting up that air of confidence around him earlier; it was his way of hiding his shyness and his fear of being rejected.

He knew that Kurokocchi was testing him from the start; to see if he was worthy of his heart, his soul, his everything.

That's because that's the kind of person Kuroko was: approaching important things with caution and never making a move until he was a hundred… no, a thousand percent sure that he would not regret his decision.

Kise stared into those light blue eyes, which gazed with him back with a tender look of honesty, patience, trust… everything that was just so Kuroko-like.

How was it that a mere act of gazing into his eyes could warm his heart?

The smaller boy was remained still, his hands clasped together on the table with a small smile on his lips. It wasn't the kind of wide, toothy grin that Kise always wore, but one that was more subtle, more subdued.

How long has it been since he had the chance to see that smile until today?

He reached out his own hands to take his hands in his.

How was it possible that the day he had been wishing for had finally arrived?

"Kurokocchi," He started, his lips slightly trembling as his heart raced. "I… I like you. Would you please go out with me?"

Even though he had known what the answer was going to be, he still couldn't help but feel overjoyed when he heard the soft reply.

"Of course I will."

XXX

"Thank you for your patronage!" The cashier called out as they left the café, walking down the street hand in hand.

The sun was soon setting, dying the sky a vibrant shade of orange.

"Thank you for everything today, Kise-kun."

"I should be thanking you, Kurokocchi."

"Why?"

"Well, if Kurokocchi hadn't agreed to accompany me today, all of this wouldn't have happened, would it?"

"True."

"And I'm really, really glad. I thought Kurokocchi would never feel the same way about me."

"And you were the one going on about knowing me very well earlier, weren't you?"

"Well, at least I got to see a jealous Kurokocchi. I should've taken a picture when I had the chance."

"Don't you dare," Kuroko frowned. "That reminds me of something. What was that about something going on tonight?"

"Huh?"

"With Sanae-san."

"Oh, that," Kise rubbed the back of his head absently. "I told you that I'm staying at my Aunt Kanako's place while I'm studying in Kaijou, right? Well, my grandparents from the country were planning to visit us in Kanagawa next week. Sanaecchi and I were supposed to go out shopping for some supplies that Aunt Kanako asked for at the department store tonight."

"I see."

"What did you think it was, Kurokocchi?"

"Nothing much, really. It just sounded kind of suspicious. If any of the tabloids were to hear of it, I'd say your modeling career would be over in the blink of an eye."

"That's so mean, Kurokocchi!" Kise exclaimed. "But I don't plan on being a model for the rest of my life, though."

"Even with your current popularity?"

"It's true that I'm as famous as some of those idols out there in the industry, but this modeling thing wasn't something I had wanted at the start. I told you before, didn't it?"

"I don't believe you have."

"I actually worked part-time in my Aunt Kanako's company as an errand boy. It so happened that day that one of their models fell ill on the deadline of the shoot and I was asked to take his place for that day. It was meant to be a one-off thing, but when my Aunt realized how popular I could be, she roped me into her agency. It was awkward at first, but I guess I got the hang of it. Aunt Kanako agreed that I could quit after High School if I wanted to."

"Anyone else would die for a chance like that. So what do you want to do in the future?"

"Well, it was always my dream of being a pilot, so I guess I'll attend flight school or something. What does Kurokocchi want to do in the future?"

"I haven't given it a thought, actually. Oh, we've reached the station."

"That's quick."

"Thank you for walking me to the station, Kise-kun."

"Kurokocchi… I don't want to leave you so soon…"

"Please be sensible, Kise-kun," Kuroko reached up to pet the blonde, as if he were doing the same to Tetsuya #2. "We can't have you starting a scene here."

"I know, I know. Kurokocchi, let's meet again soon."

"And next time, make sure you find a place with vanilla shakes."

Kuroko tugged Kise's shirt, making the taller boy bend forward as he placed a quick kiss to his cheek.

"I love you, Kise-kun."

-END-


So... How was it?

I haven't wrote sweet romance in so long; I think my skills for writing confession scenes are getting rusty.

If you want to listen to the Doraemon song sung by Kise's seiyuu, it's at my blog. I can't put the link here, but my blog is amaku-dokidoki at tumblr. Just click the 'fanfiction' tag on the tag page to find it.

Maybe I should try an AkaKuro next... I'm just dying to write something for Akashi.

Thank you for reading!

Cheers,
Dreams of the Future