For the Future
A/N: Ahaha between the AoKise sequel and studies, this oneshot popped out. It's my first lengthy one \o/ There are two endings: the happy and sad one LOL. I couldn't decide on which to post -.-'' Please enjoy! Thank you xkaiblue for betaing this!
Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroko no Basuke!
Summary: Fast forward ten years, Midorima meets Takao again. This time, he will not let him go.
10 years ago...
"Shin-chan! It's all over now! We are now adults! Haha, I'll miss Shuutoku and the basketball club, won't you too?" Takao beams at him, smiling that beautiful, carefree smile.
Midorima is silent; he doesn't reply. He dreads what's about to come out of his mouth. Not saying anything prolongs the time he has with Takao. He stares at Takao, willing himself to stay silent.
Takao carries on chattering, as if he didn't expect a reply from him. "Ahhh, I wonder what the future holds for us! Shin-chan's going to medical school right? To be an awesome, life-saving doctor! Heheh, I should be Shin-chan's nurse! What do you think?"
Still no reply. Midorima grips Takao's hand tightly, unwilling to let it go.
Takao finally notices that something is wrong. Feeling worried; he peers at him from below. "Shin-chan? What's wrong? Are you sick? Shin-chan, do you need to see a doctor?"
Takao fusses over him, his concerned face making Midorima's heart swell with happiness but at the same time, the dread doesn't leave.
They have reached the end of the road, where his and Takao's paths home split up. This is where everything ends, Midorima realises.
Turning Takao to face him, Midorima places his hand on Takao's cheek and strokes it slowly and wistfully. It hurts, it hurts so bad; Midorima's heart is eating him out, telling to not do it so that he can be happy but his rational mind tells him that yes, it is the right thing to do. It is a raging battle of yes and no between his heart and mind. Midorima feels so lost, so confused over what to do, he wishes he could spill out his troubles to Takao but he knows he can't. Part of him hopes that Takao understands what's going on in his mind right now and will assure him that nothing is wrong but Midorima knows this hope is only wishful thinking. The rational part of him wins as usual and Midorima opens his mouth for the first time since their walk home:
"Takao, you're right. It's over. Us. We're over. This is for our future, homosexuals are looked down on in society and I want to be a successful doctor and if I want to do that, I can't be with you-" he cuts off his speech at Takao's expression. It is heart-breaking, one of devastation and disbelief. Midorima almost retracts his words, wanting to tell Takao that it was just a joke even though he doesn't usually crack jokes. But his mind is in control now, and he doesn't. Instead, he just stands there and stares back at Takao, his precious love, who is sobbing uncontrollably, trying to convince himself that Midorima was joking. Takao grabs his shirt and cries into it, his tears soaking the front and Midorima almost pushes him off but he doesn't, he lets Takao cry there and at the same time, revels in the comfort of Takao's touch. Yes, he can be rather perverse at times.
They stay there for a few more minutes but it feels like forever to Midorima and he doesn't want it to stop. But he knows that it has to end eventually so he pushes Takao away.
Midorima turns on his heel and prepares to leave without a goodbye because it'll make things even more painful and he won't be able to leave Takao. He begins walking but is stopped by Takao's words:
"Shin-chan... If-if I were you, I wouldn't give up that easily. I-I just want you to know that I will always love you, Shin-chan, even if you don't feel the same way and forget all about me in the future..." Takao cuts himself off as a sob chokes him.
Midorima wants to correct him and say No, I love you and what I wouldn't give to be with you forever but he knows that that is only half true and he can't afford to backtrack now. The future has been set for him. He'll go to medical school, become a successful doctor and live the life he always aimed for. He'll do it, whatever it takes to reach his goals and he knows he can and if it meant that he'll have to leave his past, he'll do it.
He'll leave Takao Kazunari.
"You have a slight fever; it's nothing that cannot be cured with a few tablets of paracetamol. Take it twice a day after you meals. That's all, just go and collect the medicine from the counter."
Midorima Shintaro nods at his patient, a tiny but bubbly girl who couldn't seem to stay still despite being sick. She had spent the whole time chattering about her life; her interests, her favourite food and almost anything in particular and Midorima had faced some difficulty in trying to get her to stop talking. He doesn't mind these people though; they fill up the gap in his lonely and routine life.
He is done for the day, that girl was the last of his patients. The knock on the door signifies his receptionist entering to give him a report on the day's events. Looking through the report meticulously, Midorima nods to himself as he confirms the prescriptions for each patient.
Rina, his receptionist, swings her arm around him as he proceeds to look through the accounts for the day. He let her do so, having been accustomed to her over-friendly actions which didn't mean anything to them both. Well, she had made a few passes at him before, but had backed off when she realised that he was clearly not interested in her.
"So... I was hoping for a leave off on Thursday, I've hooked a new date! He's a salary man and seems rich. Always picking up girls and stuff at the bar he frequents. Let's see if I can hook him! I'll ask him to introduce his clients to you, so pleaseeee?" Rina wraps her arms around him in a desperate attempt to persuade him. Midorima sighs.
"I don't see why not. I can handle a day's work myself. Go enjoy your date." Rina deserves a break after all. Midorima admits that he is a strict and unforgiving person when it comes to administration and most stuff for all that matters.
Time has aged him, causing him to lose the youthful contours of his face, shaping it into a more masculine and regular look. He was also getting softer; with the presence of his patients and Rina's constant influence. They had allowed him to relax a little and were also a distraction from his troubles and difficulties. He initially started out as a doctor at a well-known hospital, reaching his peak at the mere age of twenty-two and gathering the admiration and adoration of his fellow colleagues. That was when he realised that fame was not what he wanted. He wanted a less hectic life, one in which he could enjoy peace and quiet when he wanted to and so he left his job as a big-shot and settled down in a humble clinic in the middle of a district near his former house.
And here he was, he couldn't ask for anything less. Rina bid him farewell, blowing him a giant kiss which he ignored and continued his packing up. At least one of them here was having success in love.
Love. It was a subject he had avoided for ten years, ever since... that person. Midorima refused to mention or even think of that person's name. It brought back precious, but bittersweet memories which brought tears to his eyes so Midorima opted to not recall anything from back then. Try as he might, he was never able to fill up the hole in his heart left by that person. Work did nothing to take that person off his mind and basketball, his once preferred choice for leisure, only served to remind him that that person was no longer with him. He knew that it was his fault for pushing him away in the first place so he didn't dare to wish for that person to return to him again.
It was ironic, attaining his goal of being a top doctor had made him realise that it was all pointless if that person wasn't there. There was no one to celebrate it with- his friends had dispersed to different corners of the country with the exception of Kuroko and Kagami who had stayed together, the former becoming a kindergarten teacher while the latter becoming a fire-fighter. When Midorima earned his doctor's certificate, it was those two who had celebrated with him and even so, it didn't feel fulfilling with the constant affections the two showered on each other. It wasn't that he didn't like being in the presence of those two; he was grateful that they even bothered, it was the fact that they only served to remind him of what could have been with him and that person.
Funny how life works. Midorima sighed again and picked his lucky item, a piggy bank, up and left the room. Lucky items still remained an important part of his life. It had been ingrained in him since childhood, after all.
The ride home was as lonely as usual.
On Friday, Rina is excited as she goes on and on about her date the day before. Midorima now knows the many redeeming qualities of her boyfriend, and has dubbed him as Mr Perfect. He is charming, handsome, a gentleman, and rich and so on. Rina is probably listing every positive word in the thesaurus about her new love and Midorima just listens and nods in agreement. Rina seems genuinely happy and Midorima is happy for her too. Blessed is guy who has her as a girlfriend, as hyper and flirty Rina can get sometimes, she is a really nice and caring person. If Midorima wasn't too caught up with his past, he would have probably dated her a long time ago. Rina then suggests that they three go out for lunch one day and Midorima agrees for he is getting rather tired of eating the same few lunches every day.
The day of lunching with Mr. Perfect arrives and Midorima adjusts his glasses and checks the time again. Rina and her boyfriend are late, he notes impatiently. Knowing Rina's character, the two were probably being caught up in their flirting. He sighs in defeat as he continues his wait for the couple.
Ten minutes pass, and the couple are nowhere in sight. Perhaps he was stood up because the two decided to go to a hotel or something. He gets up and is ready to leave when Rina's voice rings in his ears.
"Mido-sensei!" Rina's waving catches his attention and she lugs her boyfriend behind her excitedly.
Mr Perfect's grumbling doesn't escape Midorima's ears; his eyes widen and his heart speeds up at that deep but familiar voice.
Takao Kazunari looks back at him, his expression probably being a mirror of Midorima's own. The two stand in awkward silence, lost in their own world when Rina's voice breaks through Midorima's thoughts.
"Kazu! Don't be rude, say hi to my boss, Midorima Shintaro, also known as Mido-sensei." Wrapping her hand around Takao's hand, Rina nudges Takao who jolts out of his shock.
Giving him a wary glance, as if unsure of what to do, Takao speaks and extends his right hand:
"Takao Kazunari, salary man at your service. Nice to meet you, Midorima-sensei."
Midorima feels his heart beating erratically. The years had changed Takao as well, he had grown taller, his hair now neatly combed back to emphasise the salary man look and his voice had lost the boyishness it once had and was deeper instead. He was now... mature. It didn't sit well with him, a mature Takao; he had always associated Takao with childishness. He felt his heart sink a little, despite knowing it was inevitable that Takao would change over the years. And the neutral tone he used when he said his name; it made him feel nostalgic for the familiar nickname he was once called. He remembers his situation and shakes Takao's hand, muttering a small "Hi." and lingers on the contact for a noticeable time. Takao notices and blushes a little.
"How long are you two going to hold hands? Mido-sensei, that's my boyfriend you're holding!" Rina butts in playfully, oblivious to Takao's slight flinch. Midorima resists the urge to retort that he was my boyfriend too and he manages a smile at the two. He stares at the back of the couple as they lead the way to the restaurant, his gaze lingering on the hands clasping each other and he controls the urge to break the hands. It wouldn't do any good for him to ruin the meeting after all. He continues to follow the couple as they stroll down the street together.
He was so going to have fun during lunch.
They reach the restaurant, a popular one, Rina claims, as they settle down comfortably in their chairs. Takao and Rina are seated opposite him, and the atmosphere they emit is nauseating. Rina coos at Takao and Takao flirts back. Since when was Takao such a player? He glares at their hands clasped together and looks away from the sight in an attempt to calm himself down. He bites back a sarcastic remark about the cuteness of the couple and keeps his eye on his food when it arrives, not noticing the stare from Takao as he chews his food in growing anger. Takao tries to feed Rina, who gobbles it up heartily and this succeeds in angering Midorima further.
"Shin-chan, ahhhhhhh..." Takao was holding a spoonful of his rice towards him. Midorima blushed and opened his mouth obediently. He chewed on the food thoughtfully.
"Ah, really? I'm glad! Heheh, I'll cook again for you in the future then!"
Midorima shakes his head. This was a terrible time to reminiscence. It was all in the past anyway. He continues stuffing the food in his mouth to avoid talking to the couple. Despite his eagerness to leave, Midorima, being the polite person he is, impatiently waits for the time to pass.
A few days later, he meets Takao again at his clinic. Takao nods a greeting at him and asks for Rina, crushing Midorima's small hope that perhaps, Takao was looking for him. He barks at Rina to come out and all but stomps into back into his room. He knows he is being childish but he is unable to control his behaviour. He must have missed Takao more than he thought. He stays in his room and refuses to come out even when Takao is leaving. Unfortunately, Rina notices this and confronts him about it after the third time he avoids Takao.
"Do you dislike Kazu? You act weird around him."
Midorima shudders at the intimate use of Takao's name. He hates this feeling of jealousy at Rina. She didn't do anything after all, it was Takao's fault for becoming her boyfriend. Yes, Takao probably knew that he was Rina's boss and agreed to date her to get back at him. Midorima grits his teeth, Rina didn't deserve to be led on by Takao, and Midorima needs put a stop to this relationship before it goes too far and hurts Rina.
So he gets Takao's new number from Rina and calls him out. They arrange to meet at a random spot nearby the clinic. Midorima arrives first and goes over what he has planned to say to Takao. He will not allow Rina to get hurt. Footsteps alert him of the other's arrival.
Takao stares at him, his face impassive and wary. Midorima resists the urge to gather him into his arms. Clearing his throat, he starts:
"Break up with Rina."
Takao is flabbergasted.
Midorima narrows his eyes.
"I know what you are up to. You are trying to seek revenge on me. Well, I won't allow you to take advantage of Rina like that; she has been a great friend to me all these years." Midorima doesn't tell Takao the true reason, that he wants them to break up because he cannot stand them together and all he wants is for Takao to return to him again. Over the years, he has realised that no one can ever replace Takao's position in his life. He realises this but he knows that this reason alone will not make Takao return. He had hurt Takao too badly for that, giving their love up for the sake of his career, what can possibly compel Takao to continue to love him? He hopes that his given reason is sufficient enough to persuade the other.
Takao laughing is not what he expects. This time, it is Takao who narrows his eyes.
"You are such an egotistical bastard. What makes you think my world revolves around you? I am with Rina because I like her. If you think I spent my ten years solely plotting a revenge on you, then you are sadly mistaken. I admit, my feelings for you have never ceased, but now, I feel that it is time for me to move on."
Midorima's heart burst with joy at Takao's last line. In the heat of the moment, he moves forward and grabs Takao's hands.
"Break up with Rina. I'm sorry for what I did ten years ago. I'll make it up to you; I'll never hurt you again so please... Come back to me... This past ten years made me realise how empty and lonely I was without you. I need you back, Takao..."
Midorima knows he sounds pathetic, the great doctor brought down to earth, but he doesn't care, all he hopes is that his words can touch Takao's heart into accepting him again. Takao's reaction disappoints him.
Takao shakes his head, and pulls away from Midorima. His body shudders as he clutches himself protectively.
"Saying 'sorry' isn't going to cut it. Yes, I did tell you that I'll always love you, but I realised the folly of my words. I may still love you, but I can't forgive you. If you've left me without hesitation before, who can promise me that you won't do it again? Sorry, but my answer is no." Takao turns on his heel and gets ready to leave, but Midorima's voice makes him stop.
"I'll show you. I'll show you how much I love you. And when you feel assured that I'll never leave you, will you return to me?"
Takao smiles a pained smile.
"We'll see then." and he leaves.
Midorima feels a growing hope in his chest. Destiny has given him an opportunity to win Takao back again, and this time, he desperately wants to succeed.
When Takao drops by to check on Rina, Midorima makes his presence felt as strongly as possible. He joins in the conversation and often directs it to Takao, who is forced to answer out of politeness. After numerous Q&A sessions, Midorima now knows that Takao is selling cars, living by himself in a small apartment near the business district and has picked up the bad habit of smoking. Midorima, being a doctor, disapproves of the last bit and swears to himself that he'll stop Takao. He ends up giving nicotine gum as gifts to Takao and using this as a reason to talk to him more. Rina notices this, and smiles, thinking that Midorima is just trying to know her boyfriend better. Midorima lets her think that and it seemed that Takao has no intention of telling her either. Is he so confident that he won't leave Rina? On the other hand, he feels guilty but shrugs it away. She'll hate me when she finds out, that I'm trying to steal her boyfriend from her. He thinks wryly.
The next step in repairing their relationship is to remind Takao of the past, Midorima decides. He shows up at Takao's new house after the clinic closes, after checking with Rina Takao's work hours and address. Takao opens the door sleepily, his shirt unbuttoned and his pants half unzipped. He looks so delectable and sexy and Midorima has to control himself from jumping on the man.
He cracks a smile and asks Takao if he wants to play basketball. He doesn't miss the fleeting grin across Takao's face as he agrees and invites him into the house to wait as he changes.
Takao's house is typical of a single, working man. Piles of newspapers and paperwork clutter every corner, and food boxes and drink cans litter the floor. Midorima is reminded of a certain Murasakibara Atsushi when he sees the sweet wrappers strewn everywhere. He clutches his hands and being the neat freak he is, starts tidying the room up.
Wrinkling his nose at the lumps of dirty clothes and oh my goodness, it's Takao's underwear. Midorima's desire to ravish the guy heightens but he knows that jumping right to sex isn't going to make him look better in Takao's eyes. So he controls himself and when he is sure that Takao is still busy changing, he tucks the underwear into his pocket. He may not have the real thing now, but he can always imagine for the time being.
Takao emerges from the bathroom, decked in a singlet and shorts. He still has his muscular arms, Midorima mentions it and Takao blushes and says he works out at the company gym. The silence is awkward as the two head out to a nearby basketball court but once the game starts, all tension is gone.
Takao hasn't lost his agility but Midorima, despite having not practised for many years, is still the accurate shooter as ever. Midorima wins as usual and the two collapse on the ground after the tiring game.
"Wahh, this brings back memories, eh?" Takao grins, the familiar boyishness back in his face. Midorima feels his heart clenching and unable to control himself; he leans forward and kisses Takao.
Takao struggles at first but eventually melts into the kiss, grabbing Midorima's hair roughly and pushing their lips closer together as if he needs more contact. They break free panting for air, Midorima's desire burning hot now and Takao being dazed and confused. Midorima leans in again for another kiss but is stopped by Takao.
"No... I don't want to... I can't..." Takao looks so lost and conflicted so Midorima gives in. He doesn't want to cause trouble to Takao but it seems that he did that exactly. Takao buries his head in his knees and stays silent, his body trembling. Midorima wants to feel sorry for what he has done but he doesn't, he doesn't regret kissing Takao and Takao's confusion means that he is still conflicted over Midorima and that is a good sign.
He stays with Takao until the guy has calmed down.
Takao still shows up at the clinic, pretending that the kiss never happened and that all is fine and dandy with Midorima. He continues seeing Rina but Midorima knows his heart is wavering. Gone are the make-out sessions in the receptionist office and Takao only holds Rina's hands now. Midorima is triumphant, he knows he is being cruel but he also knows that at this rate, the couple won't be able to last. This thought makes him happy.
Everything changes one day. Rina is out buying lunch so Midorima allows himself to do his dirty business in his room with Takao's underwear as a fuel. He leans in to smell the fabric and he groans in frustration at not having the real thing when the door opens shit, he forgot to lock it and Takao steps in, asking if Rina was there.
His hasty fumbling to hide the underwear and tuck himself back fails and Takao is not that stupid to not know what Midorima is doing. Takao turns a horrible shade of red and turns to leave and Midorima thinks Screw it all and lunges at Takao.
They do it under the cover of Midorima having a patient. Takao is so sexy and his moans are full of lust and desire for Midorima and Midorima thinks I miss this so much. After climaxing, Midorima buries his head into Takao's neck and murmurs "I love you, Takao."
The words have a stinging effect.
Takao leaps back as if burnt and he dresses quickly, his eyes not meeting Midorima's but Midorima can see tears pooling in his eyes. He leaves the clinic in a hurry, not bothering to stay to talk to Rina who has returned. Rina shoots him a what did you do look but Midorima ignores it. He is thinking shit, why did I do that? but at the same time, he basks in the afterglow of having sex with Takao.
It seems that Takao has made a resolution to not see him anymore. He stops coming to the clinic, telling Rina that he is busy with work but Midorima knows better. It seems that his actions had the unintended effect of driving the other away. He isn't worried though, he decides to let Takao collect his thoughts for a few days before he visits him.
Rina corners him one day, after working hours. "I slept with Kazu." She tells him that, nervously awaiting his response and Midorima is angry despite knowing he has no right to do so. He is the third-party here after all. Still, he cannot help feeling hurt so he screws the wait and goes to find Takao.
Takao opens his door, drunk out of his mind, stinking of cigarettes and dried tears evident on his cheeks. Midorima enters without an invitation and sits himself on the sofa.
A drunken Takao is not a pretty sight, he clings at Midorima and sobs like a baby, not unlike Kise Ryouta. Takao spills out everything to Midorima, his job troubles, his rocky relationship with Rina, the list goes on, Takao seems to have the world's burden on him and finally Midorima himself. It seems as though Takao is unaware that the person in front of him is Midorima himself, for he keeps referring to him in the third-person. Midorima lets him rant; he listens as he strokes Takao's head comfortingly, his reason for coming forgotten. After the rant, the pair stays there for a while in silence. Takao dozes off and Midorima stares down at his love, feeling his heart throbbing painfully.
The days continue, Midorima has managed to persuade Takao to resume his visits to the clinic, citing Rina as the reason but they both know otherwise. Takao accepts this and so the visits continue. They spend a lot more time together now, mostly either going out to play basketball or to drink (Midorima is rather disapproving of the latter). There is also the occasional romp at each other's house after which they both cling to each other and not let go. Rina teases them, saying that they seem more like the couple instead and Midorima thinks what Rina doesn't know won't hurt her. Takao is suffering as well, Midorima can tell that the guilt of lying to Rina about their past is eating him. He suffers frequent dizzy spells, from the stress of juggling work and Rina and this affair. When he sees Takao retching in the toilet after ending a call from Rina, Midorima knows this cannot go on any longer.
And so he corners Takao when they are at his house one day.
Takao cowers against the wall, looking sick, and pale and extremely out of sorts as he looks at Midorima. Midorima knows he is to blame for Takao's condition now and his heart clenches. He was the one who barged right back into Takao's life and messed everything up after all. So now, Midorima is going to set things right.
Takao pretends not to understand. "W-What?"
Midorima clenches his fist. "Don't act dumb, you know what I mean. Me or Rina."
Takao looks shaken. He sinks to his knees and clutches Midorima's hands, his eyes wide and pleading.
"P-Please don't make me choose… I-I can't… I don't want to choose." He shakes his head wilfully like a small child.
Midorima remains silent, he doesn't move, and just stares down at Takao. He wants to give in, and say it's okay, you don't need to choose, we can just continue like this, the one you love is me after all but he knows that if this matter is not resolved, Takao will never sleep in peace.
Takao is reduced to a sobbing mess. "Midorima, please don't make me choose… It'll hurt me to lose either of you; you don't want me to get hurt right? Please, Midorima... Shin-chan..."
Midorima knows that Takao is desperate now, for him to resort to using his former nickname and he almost gives in because just hearing that name is enough to make him listen to Takao. He decides to slap some sense into Takao.
"It's this wishy-washy behaviour that is causing you to be like this! You honestly think you can continue cheating on Rina with me forever? What if Rina wants to marry you? Are you going to continue this affair behind her back? Have some sense, Takao, this cannot go on! It's me or Rina. If you choose Rina, I'll exit your life, you don't have to worry about me interfering again but if you choose me, then I'll make sure that you won't regret your decision, we can settle Rina later." Midorima finishes his tirade, his chest heaving from letting it out in one breath and hopes that Takao can get the picture. He knows he is leaving Takao a difficult decision and he wants to help Takao make it by choosing option two but he knows it's Takao's choice. Takao keeps his head bowed and doesn't say a word. Midorima waits for a reaction though, he is unsure of how to continue after his lecture to Takao.
Takao finally looks up, he stares straight at Midorima. His eyes holding a firm resolution.
"Give me some time, I'll decide by then." Midorima nods and leaves the house, silently and desperately praying that Takao to choose him.
He follows the horoscope more closely ever since that day, hoping that each day will bring him more luck and influence in Takao's decision making. Three days later, Takao arrives at the clinic. Rina runs out to greet him and Midorima nods in acknowledgement. Takao's expression is unreadable as he greets the both of them. The three of them stand in silence in the clinic for a while before Takao pulls Rina out of the clinic.
Midorima stands in shock. In no way did he expect Takao to not choose him. Perhaps he had hurt Takao too badly for him to forgive him after all… He sighs in defeat and returns to his room to wallow in self-pity. It served him right, sacrificing love over career. He had made himself seem unreliable didn't he?
He resists the urge to cry, the tears threatening to spill out of his eyes. Midorima Shintaro is strong; he does not, and will not cry. He wipes his eyes hastily as the door opens and Rina peeks in, her eyes red and swollen. Midorima stares at her in confusion, but his heart is telling him yes, yes, yes.
"Kazu told me everything… I didn't know all this… Just suspected that something was wrong with you two… I guess… You win… Sorry, I need to take the day off…" With that, Rina rushes out of the clinic.
Midorima feels his heart leap out of his chest. Takao had rejected Rina. Takao had rejected Rina. He resists the urge to do a victory dance and waits for Takao to come back.
Takao doesn't return. Midorima starts to get worried; he closes the clinic and leaves in search of Takao.
A/N: The next two chapters are the endings! Chapter 2 is the sad ending, chapter 3 is the happy ending.