And I'm back to my habit of killing characters OTL
uhhh so this is based on a Hetalia doujinshi I found on tumblr some time ago ouo. it was sad. very sad. I cried so much ;;w;;
I'm starting to like this pairing more than I should lol /shot. maybe I'll try to write a KagaKuro fic again next ouo
Aomine's kinda OOC here, but I guess I was portraying his character during their Teikou days before he became a arrogant bloke? ;;w;; anyway, I'm so sorry!
bleh. excuse my mistakes! KuroBasu isn't mine. Thanks in advance for reading!
Kise Ryouta casually perched on a tree with one leg dangling freely and half his butt off the branch.
He hummed a tune to himself as he gazed through a window leading to a hospital ward. The occupant of the place was a tanned boy in his teens. The boy was grinning away as he joked and talked with a visiting friend that showed no emotion.
Huh. Kise thought for the umpteenth time. He looks way too healthy to be hospitalized, let alone to already be standing at death's door.
Kise was a grim reaper and had been one for the past 50 years. He still had no idea what happened. All he remembered was waking up from what seemed to be endless darkness to find himself lying on the bottom half of a bunk bed. He'd wandered out of the room right after that and had fatefully bumped into his current boss.
Kise shuddered at the memory. Akashi was a sadistic redhead with mismatching eyes, and he was Kise's boss. He looked about Kise's age; fourteen. The blonde remembered how the shorter had stared at him as if there was something really disturbing on his face before deciding that he would be working under him as a soul collector. He'd brandished a really sharp looking pair of scissors as he said it, so Kise was basically forced into his job.
And after this long, Kise still could not adapt to his depressing work. He'd seen so many energetic people die from sudden deaths like accidents or cancer, and every single time, Kise would feel himself shatter a little inside. If he still had anything inside, that is.
"Kise." A stern voice sounded behind the blonde. "Stop skipping out on your job."
Kise knew who it was without looking.
"Ehhh," he whined. "But this is my job, Midorimacchi!"
Kise's colleague was a bespectacled boy with neatly cut green hair. He pushed his glasses up his nose and scoffed at Kise's pathetic tone.
"You don't believe me?" Kise asked indignantly. "Look at that guy!" He pointed at the tanned boy. "The colour of his soul is fading. He's.. dying soon."
Kise realized belatedly that his tone softened at the last two words. Midorima - who, knew of Kise's unneeded sensitivity since he was his tutor for a short while when the blonde had first started his job - only raised his eyebrows before fishing a hardcover notebook from his pocket.
"Aomine Daiki," he read. "Age of death: 14. Cause of death.."
"See?" Kise tried to regain that indignant tone, but it turned out as something more like a pained whisper. He averted his gaze back to the ward.
At that moment, Aomine Daiki happened to look out. His friend had walked out to replace the water in the vase, and he had nothing better to do. The figures on biggest tree caught his attention, and he saw Kise sitting there with Midorima. Their gazes met, and the tanned boy waved enthusiastically.
Kise blinked in a mixture of surprise and confusion. "Huh?"
"Well," Midorima sounded impressed, though he worked to hide it. "That's one unusual boy."
"..Looks like he can see us," Kise muttered.
"Maybe it's because his time of death is so near," Midorima said, once again readjusting his glasses. "That happens sometimes."
Aomine successfully opened his window. "Hey!" he suddenly yelled out. "Are you guys angels!?"
Kise sweatdropped at his energetic behavior. This guy was supposed to be dying, for God's sake!
"..What should we do?" he turned to his friend, only to find the other boy walking/floating away.
"I don't know," Midorima said. "But this is your job so deal with it. I'm going back to mine."
And with that, he vanished.
Dread weighed Kise's heart. Someone with so much energy should not be dying yet. A sigh escaped his lips as he drifted towards the window. He summoned his scythe and hefted the wooden handle over his right shoulder.
"You're wrong," Kise said as an answer to the question directed to them earlier. He tried to be as monotonous as he could. "I'm a grim reaper. And sorry to break it to you, but you'll be dea-"
"Aww man," Aomine cut him off with a whine even more pathetic than Kise's. He stuffed a finger into his ear. "So I'm gonna die soon. That cheapass doctor.."
"Eh?" Kise blinked blankly. "Aren't you surprised at all?"
"I've always had a weak body," Aomine answered flatly. "So I kinda figured I won't live long."
"Ehhh," Kise couldn't help agreeing with what Midorima had said earlier. This Aomine guy really was unusual.
"Hey, grim reaper dude?"
Kise focused his gaze on the other boy. "Hmm?"
"What's your name?" Aomine asked good-naturedly, all smiles.
Kise wasn't exactly sure if he should answer. Grim reapers weren't supposed to involve themselves too deeply in the lives of those who are dying soon.
"..I'm Kise," he said after hesitating for a moment.
"I'm Aomine Daiki." His smile was so bright, Kise was contemplating whether or not to summon his sunglasses. "Nice to meet you!"
And that was how Kise came to meet a weird sick person named Aomine Daiki.
Aomine Daiki had been sick for practically all his life. He was born with a weak immune system, and was prone to all kinds of nasty diseases for as long as he could remember. And when he turned twelve, the doctors discovered a tumor in his brain. Hospitals became his second home. He had been there so many times, he couldn't even smell the antiseptic anymore - which, was a relief because he figured one more waft of that stench into his nostrils would make him drop dead right there.
But despite that, he never gave up on life. He'd never thought 'Ah screw this! I might as well just die and get it over with!'. His parents treated him like some sort of delicate china that could break at even the slightest touch, but Aomine didn't want that. He took joy in freaking them out by sneaking out to play basketball every time he feels extra energetic.
And then as if fate was laughing at his face, he had cancer. The tumor had been monitored closely and was not expected to break out in at least another five years, but in Aomine's case, it only took six months before it got worse. The doctors recommended an operation to help remove the whole bloody thing, but Aomine refused. He was aware of the fact that his memories were at risk, and he'd rather die remembering everything instead of passing on without even knowing his own name. Besides, he'd decided that enough money was spent on him already. He knew his parents were struggling financially, and he wasn't going to make things even harder for them.
Aomine then spent the rest of his days in the hospital. His friends would visit regularly to keep him company, so it was never actually quiet. There was even once when they were threatened by a nurse to shut up. Aomine never acted as if he was sick. What's the point of getting all gloomy and emo when there's nothing he could do about it? So he smiled, laughed, and made the most of all that's left of his miserable life.
No, not miserable. Precious. His precious life.
Meeting the blonde grim reaper had made a sudden twist in Aomine's boring routine. Kise had drifted towards the window of his ward when Aomine called, and had quietly told him that he was going to die soon. As if Aomine didn't know that.
Aomine admired Kise's golden orbs that shone with life despite his talk about being a grim reaper and all. He liked Kise's angelic looking face, and he even liked Kise's flat voice that he just knew contained a certain cheeriness to it, as well as certain grief. Huh. A grim reaper grieving? That's new.
"Yo, Kise!" Aomine immediately snapped out of his reverie and slapped on a smile when he saw the grim reaper in question floating right through a wall towards him. He ignored the stares of the passersby who assumed he was talking to thin air.
Kise eyed the fluffy hospital slippers the tanned boy was wearing and the IV pole he was holding on to. " Practicing walking?"
"Yeah.. well.." Aomine scratched the back of his neck. "I guess you could call it rehabilitation. I want to at least walk to the toilet by myself."
"But.. aren't you pushing yourself too hard?" Kise's voice was tinged with genuine concern. Aomine's forehead was beaded with perspiration.
"I know I am," Aomine told him casually, running the back of his hand over his brow. "But I'm human. Even after knowing that I'm going to die, I can't just sit still and wait, can I?"
Kise gave him a familiar you-are-so-weird-and-I-can't-understand-you-at-all look. Aomine only laughed it off, secretly hoping he wasn't panting that bad.
"Aomine-kun!" A voice called from across the hallway. Aomine turned as the pitter-patter of footsteps gradually got louder.
"Ah, Tetsu!" he grinned. Kise recognized the boy with the emotionless face and strikingly light blue hair. Kuroko Tetsuya, Aomine's close friend. He hung back as the two engaged in a conversation.
"How's your rehab going?" Kuroko asked, coming to a stop. He didn't seem to notice Kise's presence at all.
"Awesome!" Aomine said, his grin not once wavering. "At this rate, I'll be able to get out of here in no time."
"..Yeah." Kuroko's lips twitched into as small smile. "That's good to hear."
Kise couldn't help but notice the pain in Kuroko's eyes when he smiled. His heart ached.
"Anyway," Kuroko was careful to keep his voice leveled as he spoke. "Your mum's here so you should go back to your room, Aomine-kun. She brought your lunch for you."
As they walked off together, Aomine glanced behind once.
"Meet me outside later," he mouthed to the blonde. Without waiting for his reply, he turned and slowly shuffled back to his ward.
Kise watched silently as the tanned boy disappeared behind a corner. He held up his hand and touched his face.
His fingertips came up wet.
Kise searched the grass as he listened to Aomine's animated chatter about random things. Aomine had to stop a few times to demand whether or not he was listening to him, since Kise seemed a little too engrossed in staring at the grass. But Kise was good at multitasking, and he really was listening - even if he didn't look like it.
"..I found one!" he announced in joy, abruptly cutting off Aomine's rant about how tasteless the hospital food was and how he wished the nurses had bigger busts or something. Aomine opened his mouth and was about to protest about Kise's sudden outburst, but he caught himself at the last minute.
Because Kise was smiling like never before. Aomine let himself blink once. Twice. All this while he'd seen Kise almost every day, and never had he seen him beam like that before. Kise's smile radiated happiness and warmth, and it was very contagious for some reason. Aomine's anger melted, and he too, felt himself breaking into a grin.
"Here," Kise drifted over and held out his hand. There was a tiny green thing resting on the center of his palm. "This is for you."
Aomine picked the green thing up, and his fingers brushed against Kise's palm. He resisted the urge to grab his hand. Kise's hand was solid, but so cold. Aomine wanted to hold them to just maybe warm them up a little or something -
"A four leaf clover?" he whistled. "You actually managed to find one!?"
Kise only shrugged as if it was no big deal.
"Gosh, thanks so much, Kise!" Aomine's sapphire eyes shone. He held the clover close to his heart. "I'll keep it somewhere safe so I won't lose it."
"You better," Kise smiled crookedly. I almost broke my back looking for that. "Anyway, Aominecchi seems to be really happy lately. Did something good happen?"
"Nahh," Aomine leaned back against the trunk of the tree he was sitting under. "I guess it's the effects of the rehabilitation." He knitted his eyebrows slightly. "But it doesn't seem like you've been doing too well. What's up?"
Kise averted his gaze and sighed. "Well.."
"Heartbreak?" Aomine supplied.
"Kinda? I guess."
"So you grim reapers can't fall in love or something?"
Kise bit back a bitter laugh. Aomine's question was so innocent, yet it stung. Because no, grim reapers are not supposed to fall in love, give up their scythe, and even interact too much with the living. They had to stay heartless to fulfill their jobs.
"Even if we can," Kise said, almost talking to himself. "There's no point since the other person probably can't see us…"
"But!" Aomine stood up suddenly. "But I can see you!"
Eh? Was Aomine blushing? Kise looked closely, and noticed the faint tint of pink on the taller boy's tanned skin. He really was blushing.
"Pfft." Somehow, Kise found it funny. "What's that all about?"
Aomine grew a shade redder. "What's so funny?"
Kise was too busy doubling over laughing to answer him.
And after a while, Aomine's scowl faded, and he too started laughing.
When Kise entered the ward, he swore he felt his heart sink.
Aomine was staring off to space as he sat on his hospital bed. And for the first time since Kise met him, he realized that despite his energetic personality, Aomine was weakening by the day. And at that moment, he looked so fragile, so lifeless. And so very pale. It didn't show much on his tanned skin, but his lips - Kise swallowed a gasp - were a deathly shade of white. His eyes seemed to have lost the usual shine in them.
It took several seconds, but Aomine finally blinked and turned. He smiled weakly when he saw the blonde.
"Hey, Kise.." he managed. "Looks like you came here again today."
"What happened?" Kise drifted to the tanned boy's bedside. He noticed the slight shrillness and panic in his voice, but he didn't care.
"It seems like I got sick again today," Aomine answered calmly. His voice was barely audible. "They told me to stay in here for a while."
"B-But," Kise stuttered. "You looked like you felt well until yesterday. So why..?"
"I'll feel better tomorrow, so don't worry!" Aomine said, trying to sound cheery. Kise couldn't help but notice how forceful it sounded.
"But anyway," the tanned boy attempted to change the subject. "Tomorrow's expected to be sunny so let's go for another walk." He held out his right hand, fingers curled except for the pinky. "It's a promise!"
"..Mn." Kise bit his lip as he nodded and linked his finger with Aomine's. "It's a promise," he echoed, willing himself to smile.
But Kise knew: the promise was one that was impossible to fulfill.
Kise stood near the entrance, almost frozen in place. He couldn't seem to take his eyes off the occupant of the bed. It shouldn't be happening. The lively and almost hyperactive Aomine Daiki should not be confined to the bed with an oxygen mask on his nose and mouth, barely able to move. It was wrong. Plain wrong.
But it's the truth, a voice in Kise's head muttered. No matter what you say, it's still the truth.
"..It's almost time."
Kise didn't even turn as Midorima materialized next to him. He didn't even bother teasing Midorima for worrying about him.
"..I'll be collecting the soul," Kise heard himself say to no one in particular. "I've been waiting all this while.."
"Then say it to the person himself," Midorima did not lock gaze with him. "Not me."
"..What are you saying?" Kise scoffed bitterly. "I'm.. a grim reaper. I'm not supposed to.."
He trailed off when he heard a chorus of gasps.
"Aomine-san!" the doctor said.
"Aomine-kun! Hang in there!" Kise could see just how tightly Kuroko was hanging on to his dear friend's hand. He could see just how desperate he was to not lose him.
Kise bit his lip hard enough to taste blood. He summoned his scythe as how he did the first time they met, and drifted over silently.
"Aominecchi," his voice sounded hoarse even to his own ears.
"..You came again, huh..?" Aomine still managed to smile despite his condition. ".. But I guess it's really the end this time?"
Wordlessly, Kise nodded. He hefted his scythe over his head. "I'm-"
"I'm glad I got to see you one last time, then." Aomine inhaled a shallow breath. "I.. love -" He coughed. "I've always.. loved you, Kise.."
It took all of Kise's willpower to bay his tears when he nodded once more. "..Mn."
Aomine's smile widened a fraction, and he closed his eyes. "Thank you.. Kise."
And Kise swung his scythe.
The machine stopped beeping.
Kise was aware of Kuroko's pleas for Aomine to wake up. He was aware of how Kuroko was shaking his friend's limp body in a vain attempt to make him open his eyes once more.
Kise stood there, his head hung low and his hands clenched as he watched the doctor cover the tanned boy's face with a cloth before wheeling him off. I won't cry, he told himself firmly. I won't cry. I won't cry.
"Hey, Aomine-kun's invisible friend?"
Kise looked up. Kuroko was holding a bookmark in his hands.
"..I'm not sure if you're here listening, but allow me to speak," Kuroko said softly. "I've never.. seen Aomine-kun so happy to hang around anyone in my entire life. So.." his voice cracked with emotion. "So thank you so much for staying by his side until the very end."
Kise clenched his fists tighter.
"If you loved him as much as he loved you," Kuroko lay the bookmark on the center of Aomine's now empty ward bed. "Then please take this. I won't be seeing your answer."
The pale boy sniffled once, before he turned and slipped out.
Midorima adjusted his glasses. "I'm going back to my job."
Once he was alone, Kise bent and picked the bookmark up. It was made of plain cream-colored paper, and it featured a single four leaf clover - the one that Kise had given Aomine just two days before. His eyes widened, and his hands shook.
A single droplet rolled off his pale cheek and hit the marble flooring below. Then another. And another.
"Idiot.." he muttered as he held the precious item to his non-beating heart. "You should have told me earlier, you stupid Aominecchi.."
Kise fell on his knees and wept, his wails unheard to the grieving family and friends of the tanned boy outside.
And that day, Kise once again felt something in him shatter.
Kise rested his chin on his hands as he went through his list of souls to collect in his room. He absentmindedly fingered a lock of his hair as he scanned the pictures, names, and various other information of the soon-to-be-dead.
A knock sounded on his closed door.
Kise looked up, slipping in a bookmark before closing the book. "What is it, Akashicchi?"
The door opened, and Kise's redheaded boss entered. Kise stood and bowed slightly as a sign of respect.
"There's something I want you to help me with," Akashi went straight to the point, waving off the blonde's acknowledgement.
"Umm, sure." Kise knew better than to defy Akashi's will. He valued his hair and face, after all.
Akashi seemed to have smiled a bit, but Kise decided that it was just his imagination. The redhead never smiles.
"I want you to guide a new recruit for me," Akashi said. Kise raised his eyebrows significantly. New recruit?
Akashi turned towards the door. "You can come in now."
A tanned boy stepped through the doors. He was tall - even taller than Kise. His dark blue hair was choppily cut, and he had eyes of the same color that glinted mischievously. He grinned at Kise as a greeting.
"This is Aomine Daiki," Akashi said, watching as Kise's eyes widened. "From now on, he will be working as a grim reaper."