When I heard Kuroko's and Kise's duet song, I told myself I had to write something based off the title of that song. Well, here it is.
This is considered to be the sequel of 'Love so Sweet'. If you don't know who Sanae (a mentioned OC) is, go and read it. She appears in there. My thanks to all who had read it, especially those who had bothered to spare half a minute of their terribly busy lives to review it.
This is based off volume 16 to 17 of the manga, set on the day after Seirin defeats Touou. If you haven't read that far, there may be spoilers ahead.
And just a random comment, Hyuuga's character single is awesome. As expected of the almighty Hosoya Yoshimasa-kun.
I'm not going to write an author's note at the end, since I don't have much to say. This author is now terribly crabby, lacking sleep and needs to wake up in five and a half hours but refuses to sleep until things get done.
I bid you all good night. Enjoy the story!
Disclaimer: I don't own Kuroko no Basket and it's franchise
Cover pic comes from pixiv (ID 28541412)
Till we meet again
"Come on Tetsu; I know you're bad at shooting, but it you can't be that bad."
"That sounds really insulting, Aomine-kun."
"It's the truth. We've been at it for an hour already."
"But it's almost getting in. Look."
Kuroko took aim and threw the ball, which hit the metal rim and bounced off it towards the concrete ground below.
"How is that different from before?" Aomine shouted. "And what's with that look of ultimate happiness on your face? It looks really stupid!"
"But this is the closest I've ever got to actually making it in. I can feel it in these muscles." Kuroko lifted up one arm, flexing it to show the shape of his 'biceps' through his long-sleeved shirt.
"You don't have any!" Aomine retorted, his forehead meeting the palm of his hand at the shorter boy, who was now radiating an aura of accomplishment.
One could literally see him shining, with sparkles, flowers and all popping out from nowhere as if it were a scene from a manga.
"Anyway, I think you have too much room for improvement."
"No one is perfect, Aomine-kun."
"I never implied you were."
"… Is that so?"
"In any case, we need to see what other things might have gone wrong. We already tackled the problem about your palm, now all that's left is-"
"Ah! It's Kurokocchi and Aominecchi!"
The two teenagers turned their heads towards the direction of the loud shout.
"Oh boy," Aomine groaned. "What is he doing here?"
A flash of yellow came flying towards them, Kuroko specifically, with outstretched arms ready to catch its target.
Fortunately, Kuroko managed to dodge the attack, tripping the poor boy in the process. The blonde fell, face flat, on the rough cemented surface of the ground.
"That hurt!" Kise wailed, recovering from his supposed 'injury' in almost an instant. "What was that for, Kurokocchi? What if I hurt my face badly?"
"That doesn't really matter, does it?"
"Of course it does! You just do not do harm to a model's face!"
"Then again, you're the one to blame for your current state," Aomine interjected, holding a basketball under one arm. "If you didn't choose to come flying towards Tetsu, he wouldn't have done anything to you."
"Whose side are you on, Kurokocchi? Are you ganging up with Aominecchi to bully me?"
"I am always on the side of justice." Kuroko replied with a smirk.
"What are you doing here anyway?" Aomine asked, somewhat annoyed that their little shooting lesson had been rudely interrupted.
"I just happened to be passing by, that's all!" Kise grabbed Kuroko in a bone-crushing hug. "I was really happy when I saw Kurokocchi and Aominecchi here, so I came over to say hi!"
"Really?" Both Aomine and Kuroko shot Kise a sceptical look.
"It's the truth! Kurokocchi, you don't believe me?"
"Maybe," The teal-haired boy mumbled as he tried to struggle free from Kise's tight grasp. "Kise-kun, you're hurting me. It's uncomfortable and I can't breathe."
"Oops, sorry about that, Kurokocchi! So what were the two of you doing here?"
"Aomine-kun is teaching me how to shoot."
"Kise-kun, what is with that doubtful look?"
"But I never thought that Kurokocchi was able shoot…"
"That's an insult, Kise-kun."
"Well," Aomine rubbed the back of his head. "It was his idea in the first place."
"So Kurokocchi is able to shoot now?"
"Barely. He's showing a bit of improvement, but he has a lot to work on before he can actually shoot and score properly. If he wants to get stronger, this is the first of many things that he has to learn."
"Kurokocchi is going to face Murasakibaracchi soon, right? That's going to be really tough."
"Which is why he needs to learn as much as possible before that match," Aomine tossed the ball to Kise, who caught it with ease. "I'm in the mood to play. Let's have a game; one-on-one."
"What about me?"
"Tetsu can just take a break for now. Go grab a drink or something to replenish your fluids."
"It's been a while since we did this," Kise grinned, bouncing the ball and passing it from one hand to the other. "Are you sure you're up for it, Aominecchi? You look like you haven't slept in days."
"Just come at me with all you got, Kise!"
Kuroko sat by the wall, taking small sips from his bottle as he watched his two ex-teammates playing.
He couldn't help but smile at the sight of the two playing, with a feeling of nostalgia welling up in his chest. Both of them used to play like this every day back in their middle school days. Those were the times what most would call the time of youth, filled with smiles and laughter that were thought to be endless.
It was a pity that they had to come to an end.
However, Kuroko thought, it would be nice if the six of them (seven including Momoi) could come together to play basketball like this again. But perhaps that is just wishful thinking on his part.
He diverted his attention back to the game.
Kise had just managed to score another basket, and currently had possession of the ball. Aomine, however, managed to make a quick steal, shooting it into the hoop as soon as the ball was in his hands.
"As expected of Aominecchi; you're still as good as ever."
Kise had a playful grin on his face as he dribbled the ball, one that Kuroko had not seen in a long time.
"You're not too shabby yourself. You've gotten better since the Inter-High."
"Of course. Since we lost our chance at the Inter-High, Coach has been giving us hell every day during practice," Kise sighed as he prepared to shoot. "The victors for the Winter Cup will be us!"
"I'd like to hear you yell that into Akashi's face."
At the mention of their former captain's name, Kise lost control of the ball. It flew out of his hands and rebounded off the hoop.
Kuroko caught it before it could hit him square in the face.
"Don't bring up Akashicchi at a time like this!"
"Kise-kun, that was dangerous."
"You are not forgiven."
"Oi, Tetsu; pass it here, would you…" Aomine paused when he spotted the teal-haired boy's look of… slight anger, perhaps. "No! Just a regular pass would do! You don't have to use an Ignite Pass!"
"Oh? I thought you loved that pass."
"As long as you are not aiming it at other people's faces! Well, Kise's is fine but…"
"That's an excellent suggestion."
"Dai-chan! That's where you were!"
"Oh crap. When did Satsuki get here?"
Kise heaved a sigh of relief. Momoi's timely arrival had the teal-haired boy distracted; and his precious face-of-a-model was saved from danger. At least for now.
"Tetsu-kuuuuuuuuun!" The peached-haired girl latched herself onto the teal-haired boy, who froze at the contact.
"No fair, Momoicchi! I wanted to hug Kurokocchi too!" Kise protested from beside Aomine, his lips pouting.
"You're crushing me, Momoi-san."
"Ah! My apologies, Tetsu-kun."
"Dai-chan! How could you abandon me like that? Especially when you asked me out on a date, too."
"I didn't ask you out on a date! I just told you to accompany me to get some new shoes!"
"Really? But when you called me this afternoon, you asked me to go out with you."
"I did not mean it in that sense!" Aomine grumbled. "Women. Sheesh!"
"So Tetsu, how much as Dai-chan taught you? Are you able to shoot yet?"
"Not yet, but I feel like I'm actually close to making it in."
"That sounds fantastic! And Ki-chan, what are you doing here? Since you have a match tomorrow, shouldn't you be at the hotel resting up?"
"I was just taking a walk around," Kise replied as he retrieved the ball. "Staying in one place too long makes me feel too cramped."
"If you have nothing better to do here, Satsuki, why don't you just leav-"
"Oh would you look at the time!" Momoi suddenly exclaimed, interrupting the tan boy. "The shop is going to close if we don't hurry! Bye bye, Tetsu-kun; Ki-chan! Let's go, Dai-chan!"
"Why do I have to go with you?" Aomine demanded as he was being dragged away by his childhood friend.
"See you soon, Momoi-san."
"Oi, Satsuki! What's the meaning of this?"
"Just shut up and come with me, Dai-chan!"
"I'll remember this, Satsuki! And you, Tetsu! Don't even think about slacking off on your shooting practice if you want to beat Murasakibara in that match! And Kise, if you want to stay, at least make yourself useful! Even if you can't teach him, be a live target board or something! Got it?"
The two watched as the pair of childhood friends disappeared into the far-off distance, mixing into the large crowd of people.
"Why is Aominecchi shouting while being dragged away by Momoicchi? That's really embarrassing."
"And there is no need for a live target board, to say the least. It's not like I'm practicing my Ignite Pass Kai or anything like that."
"And what's with Momoicchi? Don't you think she's acting weird?"
"Weird? How so?"
"It looks like she's too eager to leave… don't tell me she and Aominecchi actually have that kind of relationship?"
"They haven't got to that stage yet, I think."
"Really? Seems that way to me, though."
"If you are that curious, go and ask them yourself. I would prefer to think of it as Momoi-san being considerate and letting us spend some time by ourselves. Since we are dating, after all."
Kise paled, dropping the basketball he was holding.
"Y-You told Momoicchi?"
"Is it a bad thing that I did?"
"N-No, but it was kind of embarrassing… I mean, she even acted normally just now. How did she react to the news?"
"She's okay with it, actually. In fact, she said that she knew that we, I quote, 'were bound to have that kind of relationship someday'."
"How did she know?"
"Women's intuition, I presume."
"Ah. Well, it should be okay if she's the only one who knows…"
"Actually I have told two other people."
"Kagami-kun and Akashi-kun."
Kise's eyelid twitched.
"I can understand why you told Kagamicchi, but… why Akashicchi as well?"
"If we hid it from him, he would definitely get mad when he finds out, won't he?"
"You got a point there."
"And Momoi-san is right. Shouldn't you be going back to your hotel soon?" Kuroko picked up the basketball that Kise dropped, giving it a light bounce.
"Kurokocchi, are you that eager to get rid of me?"
"No; but you still have to get up early for your match tomorrow, right? Not to mention that your coach would be showing you the videos of your next opponent tonight."
"I promised them that I'd be back in time for that. And you don't have to worry about me oversleeping; Kasamatsu-senpai will definitely kick me awake the moment dawn breaks."
"You are sharing a room with him?"
"Well, we drew straws to decide our room allocation and partners… though Kasamatsu-senpai wasn't keen to hear that he had to room with me. He went about asking Moriyama-senpai and the rest if they wanted to switch with him, but nobody wanted to."
"Is that so?"
"It's the truth. Kurokocchi, are you getting jealous again?"
"What nonsense are you spouting? I do not get jealous at little things like this."
"Really? But that time with Sanaecchi-"
"Oh, would you look at the time. I better continue with practicing before it gets too late."
"Don't ignore me like that, Kurokocchi! And don't steal Momoicchi's lines!"
Kuroko did not reply, his focus was now solely on his practice.
He dribbled the ball, running towards the net as he would in a drive. Decelerating into a stop, he held the ball in both hands as he bent down in a shooting position. However, before it left his hands, he stiffened for a moment.
The ball bounced off the rim and fell towards the ground. Kise picked it up just as Kuroko was about to catch it.
"Kise-kun could I have the ball, please-"
"Kurokocchi, you hesitated just now, didn't you?"
"… You could tell?"
"It was rather obvious, actually. Well, even if you don't hesitate, I'm pretty sure that you would miss, but still…"
"For the third time today, that's an insult," Kuroko narrowed his eyes. "If you have nothing better to do, do you think you can leave? You're interrupting my practice."
"Kurokocchi, I was just stating a fact. You don't have to be sound so annoyed. Or perhaps it was something I said earlier?"
"You must be jealous again, aren't you, Kurokocchi?"
"I am not. And I would appreciate it if you would stop teasing me."
"Y'know, Kurokocchi, for someone who supposedly deadpanned most of the time, you really suck at keeping a poker face."
"It's so easy to tell when you're bothered by something."
"I'm not feeling bothered or anything like that. Don't spout ridiculous things."
Kise tossed the ball behind his shoulder. It rolled towards the wall, coming to a stop by the foot of the metal pole of a street lamp.
The blonde moved forward to stand in front of Kuroko. There was less than an arm's worth of space between the two of them. He reached one hand out to cup the shorter boy's cheek. He ran his thumb over the smooth skin of his cheek before placing a light kiss on it.
"Come on, Kurokocchi… you can just talk to me about it," Kise wrapped his arms around the latter, almost embracing him. "What use am I as your boyfriend if you don't have any faith in me?"
"Kise-kun, we're in public. And your face is too close."
"And so what if we are in public?"
"Guys don't usually go around doing things like this to each other in broad daylight."
"Kurokocchi, it's already eight in the evening."
"It was a figure of speech. You know exactly what I mean."
"I do; but I don't really care if we get seen or not. Don't try to change the subject."
"But don't you have a reputation of a model to uphold? What if someone takes a picture and-"
"You're worrying about necessary things, Kurokocchi."
"I love Kurokocchi; and nothing can change that. I won't let anyone take you away from me, ever. I don't want to want Kurokocchi to disappear from my sight again!"
"That's also why I want Kurokocchi to trust me. I want to become more than just a boyfriend. I want to become Kurokocchi's… no, Tetsuyacchi's most important person. I want to Tetsuyacchi to open up to me, to be able to share with me the things that are on his mind; to confide in me."
"I understand, Kise-kun." Kuroko gave a small smile, though Kise was unable to see it.
"Tetsuyacchi… Can I kiss you?"
"If it's not now, there is no use asking, right?"
"Your answer, Tetsuyacchi?"
"… Y-You may."
"Thank you, Tetsuyacchi."
Kise loosened his grip on the smaller boy, allowing them to gaze into each other's eyes for a brief moment before they brought their lips together.
This kiss felt so much different from their first. At that time, it had been so awkward; it could have been labelled as a total disaster. However, it was a sweet memory that they would never be able to forget.
This time, their kiss was nothing but a simple one. There were no battling of tongues involved, nor was there any touching whatsoever. They just remained where they were, simply melting into the warm of each other's lips.
Their tender moment didn't last long when they parted for air.
"I love you, Tetsuyacchi."
"I-I love you too… Ryouta-kun."
Kise's face reddened when he heard Kuroko address him by his first name. His gave a wide smile, pulling the latter into another embrace, this time a tighter one.
"Kise-kun, I can't breathe."
Kuroko's tone was soft, with hint of a smile in it. He gave the taller boy's back two gentle pats, a subtle demand to be released from his hold.
"But I'm just so happy…"
"Tetsuyacchi actually called me by my name for the first time…"
Kuroko blinked for a few long seconds and pushed the taller boy away, turning his face away from him.
Was he… embarrassed?
"I didn't mean to call you by your first name. It was an… an accident. A slip of the tongue."
"Tetsuyacchi, why are you going all tsun-tsun on me now? Have you taken after Midorimacchi?"
"I have not. It was unintentional. I won't do it again."
"But I want you to call me by my first name."
"I don't want to."
Kise moved forward, catching Kuroko by the shoulders. He spun the shorter boy around to face him.
"It's embarrassing," Kuroko replied, averting his gaze. "And really, stop putting your face so close to mine."
"Was it so awkward for you to address me by my name?"
"… I guess."
"Tetsuyacchi's so cute when he's being shy!" Kise squealed, trying to hug his boyfriend again.
Fortunately, Kuroko stuck his hand out to prevent him from doing so.
"A-Anyway, I should resume with practice."
Kuroko gave Kise a light push, distracting the taller boy momentarily to pick up the ball.
"That reminds me, what did Aominecchi say about your shooting? I'm sure he gave you quite a few pointers, right?"
"He mentioned something about me using my palm when I shoot… and about my sense of distance or something like that."
"Eh? The palm? When people shoot, they only use their fingers and their wrist. But to use the palm… I've never heard of such a thing."
"Well, he said that I had to change my form. But if I do that, it's going to look rather… strange."
"But it's fine if it goes in, right? Still, I never knew that Tetsuyacchi was so concerned about appearances."
"But it will be really, really weird…"
"Have you tried it yet?"
"No, but I'm telling you…"
"Just give it a shot! It might actually work!"
Kuroko paused for a moment, as if there was a debate going in his head.
"If you insist…"
He sighed once before straightening his back, adopting the pose that Aomine had recommended earlier. He had his eyes fixated on the hoop and the next, preparing to make the shot. He took a deep breath, bent his knees and jumped to make the shot.
The ball flew through the air, hitting the backboard and passing through the net of the basket with a smooth 'swish' sound.
"It… went in."
Kise's statement was all he needed to confirm that he wasn't hallucinating.
"Tetsuyacchi, you made your first shot!"
"I… actually did it." Kuroko blinked, still in disbelief.
"But it was really weird, wasn't it?"
"It's not. On the contrary, I was thinking that Tetsuyacchi looks rather cool with that pose."
"Your flattery isn't helping."
"I'm not flattering you; I'm praising you! Shall we try it again?"
Kuroko nodded, picking up the ball again and repeated his earlier actions. Only this time he missed by an inch.
A few drops of sweat rolled down the sides of Kise's and Kuroko's faces.
"Aominecchi was right. You really have a lot to work on."
"So I've noticed."
Kuroko shifted the strap of his bag that was slung over one shoulder as he walked along the street, on his way back home. Behind him, Kise followed with a slight skip in each step he took.
"Why are you following me?" Kuroko asked with a frown.
"I'm not following you; my hotel happens to be in the same direction."
"… I see."
"What's with that doubtful look again? Do I look like the kind of person who would have ulterior motives?"
"Hmm… I wonder."
"I was kidding. Which hotel are you staying at anyway?"
"It's just down the road from here. You can see it from here."
Kise pointed ahead of him towards a ten-story building.
"Ah. So you weren't lying."
"I would've liked to walk Tetsuyacchi back home, but I promised Coach that I would return in another five minutes."
"I see. Well then, farewell."
"Tetsuyacchi, are you really that eager to get rid of me?"
"Not really, but you still have to prepare for tomorrow, right?"
"Oh, right." Kise gave a sheepish grin as they stopped outside the entrance of the hotel. "All the best for your practice and your matches, Tetsuyacchi."
"You too, Kise-kun."
"You're still not going to call me by my first name?"
"I need to consider it first."
"I don't have a reason to. Shouldn't you be going soon? You might just end up getting kicked by that captain of yours."
"It happens so often that I'm used to it already. Thanks to Kasamatsu-senpai, I think my rear end has become pain-resistant," Kise gave a nervous laugh. "Be careful on your way home, Tetsuyacchi."
"I will. See you soon, then."
"You're just going to go off without my good-bye kiss?"
"You were expecting one?"
Kise's eyes were sparkling. Somehow, it seemed like a pair of puppy ears had magically appeared on the top of his head.
He took one step closer towards the blonde, reaching up and standing on the tips of his toes. He planted a quick kiss on Kise's cheek before his ankles gave way.
"You're too tall," He muttered under his breath.
"Thank you, Tetsuyacchi!"
"What is it?"
"The next time we meet… I promise I will be much stronger."
"I wouldn't expect anything less from you, Tetsuyacchi."
"Oh, and one more thing."
"There was a movie you said that you had wanted to watch, wasn't there? When the Winter Cup is over, let's go out watch it together. Just the two of us."
Kuroko gave Kise a smile before he turned to leave.
Kise felt his heart skip a beat. He clutched his chest dramatically as he felt it tighten.
The smile Kuroko had given him was so pure, so adorable… He found himself at a loss for words. If he could, he would have taken a picture to preserve that precious moment; but since couldn't, he would have to make do with engraving it into his heart, mind and soul.
"Why the hell are you standing out here grinning like some idiot?" A gruff voice muttered from behind Kise.
"Kasamatsu-senpai." Kise blinked, surprised to see his senior walking over to him, hands stuffed into the pockets of his sweat pants.
"I didn't know you were going out with someone… Though I didn't think that someone like him would be your type," Kasamatsu sighed. "That Kuroko from Seirin, huh… Well, as long as it doesn't affect your performance on the court, I guess it doesn't really matter."
"Y-You're okay with it, Kasamatsu-senpai?"
"Hah?" Kasamatsu questioned, raising one annoyed eyebrow.
"I mean… about me going out with another guy… who happens to be a player from an opposing team…"
"Why are acting all uncertain about it? That isn't like you!"
"Why are you apologizing for?"
"I thought I might have offended you… or something like that."
"You are always offending me in one way or another! What difference does it make now, huh?"
"Anyway," Kasamatsu huffed. "Everyone's waiting for us in the multi-purpose room. We're going to watch a video of our next opponents. Let's go before Coach hollers at us again."
The two walked in silence along the hallways of the hotel, with Kise tailing behind Kasamatsu the whole time. Before they entered the room, the latter turned towards his junior.
"I meant what I said, Kise."
"About your performance on the court. Your skills have definitely improved since the Inter-High, but I don't want you going soft on our opponents. Especially if we are facing Seirin again."
So that's what it was about.
"You don't have to worry about a thing, Kasamatsu-senpai."
Kise gave his captain a smirk, one that he wore as a sign of absolute confidence.
"I will not lose to anyone ever again. Even if it's Tetsuyacchi."