Author's Note : This fanfic is weird in my head, but I really need to type it out or else it will haunt me forever sobs. Originally this has several illustrations with it, find the complete one in my tumblr on my profile.
Warning : Things aren't supposed to make sense at most part. Symbolism stuffs. idk if this is even aokise—oh wait, this is aokise. Unbeta'ed.
Kuroko no Basuke (c) Tadatoshi Fujimaki
Little Prince (c) :Antoine de Saint-Exupery
it was hard to fix a broken heart
Ten years old Aomine found him like a shooting star.
It started with sunflowers. He was passing by the sunflower field with his bike when small movements between the flowers caught his interest. Curious, he adjusted his baseball cap and surfed through the green stems and yellow petals, and saw a little boy lost. Hair and eyes as dazzling as the sun, tears hanging on long eyelashes, face all swollen. He curled on the ground and judging by those milky tear-trailed marks staining on red cheeks, Aomine knew that boy had been crying, probably a bit too much.
"Why are you crying?" Aomine asked, eyebrow raised. He never met that boy, but a familiar sensation thumping on his chest told him otherwise.
"My friends and I were playing," a pained sniff, "and they were gone."
"You didn't call for them?"
"I can't see them everywhere." Dark clouds floated inside his golden eyes. "They must be eaten by the monster. They are weaker than me, and monster likes weak kids. They are sweet."
The rain fell from his eyes and it was sad. He cried and cried and Aomine didn't know how to deal with tears; cheering people up was never his forte.
"Don't cry, crying is for girls!"
"I-I don't have frieeends anymore! Huwaaaah! "
Aomine stared down to that boy, somewhat taken aback with this confusing little bundle of emotions, fingers scratching the back of his head.
"There-there— pain, pain go away—"
"Stop crying!" The boy didn't stop and it made Aomine feeling lost. Crying was indeed a weird feeling. "What should I do?"
"Be my friend."
"I-If you give me your summer," he glanced up shyly, wet eyelashes fluttering, "I'll stop crying."
"Fine, I'll be your friend." With hand fisted on his chest, Aomine grinned. "If I become your friend, you'll stop crying, right?"
It didn't matter how it began, but eventually their meeting formed into a friendship because they were kids and unlike adults, kids didn't need to measure this and that to click on each other, as long as they could play and be happy on each other company.
Aomine was catching his new friend, Kise, and they were laughing on each other like kids should be. Despite looking somewhat pale under the exposing sunlight, Kise was surprisingly fast runner. It wasn't that much of long time for him to slip away from Aomine's sight, and the mop of dazzling blond hair was nowhere to be seen.
When Aomine could catch up, Kise was standing still on the road, eyes fixed on a certain spot under the tree.
"What are you looking for?"
"It's right there." The voice gave away how deep the sight affected on him. Bullets of sweat trickled down on his forehead.
"There. Under the tree."
He squinted his eyes. The spot under the tree held nothing but grass and it was nothing horror. There was no teeth, no ears and horns and claws, no nightmare or beast to be afraid of."I can't see anything."
"Oh no, oh no." Kise shook, terrified. "It sees you. It sees me. It sees us."
"Oh my god, it growls—"
They ran and ran even though Aomine didn't know why they should. The summer day was dragging slow at the tip of horizon but Kise took his hand in hurry and stormed off like a fired bullet, fearing for something the world couldn't ever see. His grip on Aomine's hand was strong and pure desperation.
Thinking it was ridiculous to run from nothing, Aomine yanked off Kise's hold with all his might and stopped right on the track, shoes anchored firmly on the ground.
Kise turned back, breaths heavy on his chest, golden eyes snapped open.
"Why are we running, after all?" The tanned boy growled all stubborn, feeling a bit angry, arms crossing in challenging manner. "There's nothing to be afraid of!"
"What are you doing? It's coming closer!"
"I can't see anything!" He barked. Kise was weird and maybe the sun baked his brain. "I see nothing so stop playing—"
The words died as something clawed his heart out from behind, and it broke in a painful snap.
Drops of cold tears fell to Aomine's cheek and he woke up, his head on Kise's lap. The first thing he saw was Kise's big, lemon flavored eyes, glazed with tears, and they were beautiful like marbles inside soda bottles. Under the sun, those eyes spectrumed into beautiful shades of gold.
"You are awake!" Hiccups and laughs danced on Kise's voice. "I'm so worried."
"Did I faint?" He tried to stand up and the pain pierced a hole through his flesh.
The pain was so sharp that Aomine fell to his knees, face distorted with pain, hands fisting on the ground. With eyes blurry, he casted a gaze down and saw the empty room inside his ribs. He had no heart.
With sense of dread, the realization fell to him.
"Just because you can't see something," Kise flinched at the disturbing sight, "doesn't mean it doesn't exist."
That—that monster broke his heart.
He didn't know if it was even a monster. It could be a beast, or a ghost, it could be anything—something terrifying enough to break his heart in a snap.
Kise kneeled besides him, awkwardly offering what was remained from his heart, now polluted by the air outside. It was now in pieces, more like stones other than something organic, and it lost its beautiful, ivy leaf shape. Aomine picked one up and touched a piece of his heart, thinking it was nothing special than a pebble. A heart meant nothing when it couldn't work. A thing lost its value when it lost its purpose.
Was this even fixable?
"What should we do?" Kise asked, hands still holding on the pieces, gently, carefully, like the remnants would slip out of his grasp, "You can't live without a heart."
Aomine scratched his head. "Let's find a glue and fix this."
They walked until they found an old, deserted store. It was a conventional store selling japanese snacks and traditional toys. The store was a dull smudge on the colorful blue and yellow scenery of this summer. Rusty wind bell chimed as they stepped in the store and the silence gave away how unappealingly empty it was.
Kise's starstruck eyes looked around the store like it was the most colorful thing happened in his life.
"I've never been in candy store before!" Kise squealed happily before exploring all the merchandises, forgetting about their purpose here. Aomine sighed at his friend and searched for a glue to fix his heart.
He had found a yellow glue-stick inside the drawer, along with scissors and cutters and needles. Putting all the heart pieces—or should he said, stones— on the wooden floor, he started to tape them back together. It was difficult like solving a puzzle and he despised puzzle with passion. He didn't find slightest amusement on building back something that had been broken too much.
When Kise was back with red lollipop on his hand, Aomine was in verge of giving up, hands tearing his hair in frustration.
"It's no use to fix a broken heart." Kise said impassively.
Ten minutes later, Aomine threw all of the pieces to nearest trash bin with so much defeat and they walked out the store.
"How does it feel to have no heart?" Kise asked.
"Weird." Aomine yawned and poked the hole on his chest, feeling the void slightly unnerving. "I feel kind of lonely, even though I shouldn't be able to feel."
They nodded in agreement. Losing a company that had been always with you would be very uncomfortable, like losing a best friend, or a shadow on the wall. There would always be an empty feeling.
"Must be hard to have no heart."
"Have you ever lost your heart?"
"Not a heart, though." Shrugs. "But something inside my head."
"Hmmm. Something like that."
"How does it feel to have no brain?"
"But one of my friends lost his whole body."
Aomine raised his eyebrow. "I can't even imagine how it feels to lose your body."
"He never woke up, so he can't tell me how it feels." Kise shrugged.
The conversation died until they passed an old pine tree surrounded by small jizo bosatsu statues. Several pine cones had been lying on the ground, and Aomine kicked one of them until it hit one of the statues on the forehead. Kise observed the statues with visible interest, and then to the pine cones on the ground.
"Can it work as your heart?" He picked one up, the one that still perfectly in shape.
"I don't know."
"Because we don't know, let's try!"
They put on the pine inside the ribs.
"How does it feel, Aominecchi?"
"Itchy." He scratched his chest. After all, that cone was picked from the ground—it might be dirty. "But I guess I can bear it?"
The pine broke inside the cage.
"It broke." They said in unison, more amazed than scared or disgusted.
Kise picked another one.
After the sixth attempts, the pine didn't break. But it didn't pulse either. It was nothing but decoration and Kise wanted to try another one, but Aomine said he had enough of pines and heartbreaks.
Before they leave, Kise casted last glance to the jizo bosatsu statues over his shoulder. He smiled at them, and they smiled back warmly, encouraging him to go on.
After all, jizo bosatsu are made for children.
"Hey, isn't it dangerous for us to walk casually like this?"
"Hm?" Kise turned his head. A question mark popped on his head.
"The monster you said," Aomine explained while scratching his nose, eyes coasted, it was awkward to admit that he was believing what he couldn't even see, but apparently it did exist and his heart did break,"isn't it going to chase after us again?"
"Don't worry." He smiled. "I think it was satisfied enough with breaking your heart."
"Then why it broke my heart?"
"Why you're asking me? Ask your own heart—it was the one at fault."
They found a white, decorateless building that have an intimidating aura of a hospital, but turned out it was a huge library. The door had no key lock, so they could enter as they pleased.
After a quick adventure on the first floor and found nothing interesting but books and dusts, Aomine walked toward Kise and found the little boy folding a paper on the floor. A thick book was wide open, one page torn in the middle, in which Kise used the page to make a paper crane.
"What do you make?"
"A wish." He said nonchalantly, expert hands blowing life to a paper crane.
"It's a crane." Aomine pointed it out matter-of-factly. "Not a wish."
"It's a wish, don't you see, Aominecchi?" He sulked and placed the crane on his lap. "Well, I need to do nine hundred and ninety nine more to make it a wish, to be exact, but a small part of wish is still a wish."
"A thousand paper cranes?" Aomine couldn't help but snort, despite he knew it was impolite to laugh. "But how can a thousand papers can grant a wish?"
"Don't laugh!" A blush splashed on his face. "Mama told me it works and she's always right."
"Adults likes to feed us with nonsenses, and you're old enough to know it."
Kise ignored him.
Aomine saw the book. It was a medical book with human brain printed on the hardcover. He didn't know why Kise chose that particular book among thousand of books.
After watching Kise's papercrane-making for quite a long time, Aomine commented, "You're fast."
"I'm an expert at making papercranes!" The papercranes had piled up."I keep making thousands paper cranes since I was young."
"And ever since you were young, your wish had never been granted?"
He never answered.
Kise offered to teach Aomine how to appreciate the beauty of papercrane. Aomine had refused, of course, but because the library provided no entertainment and Kise whined too much like little girl (to the point that Aomine considered Kise was actually a girl), he decided to go on with it so Kise would shut up.
At the first try, Aomine tore the paper.
At the third try, the right wing was smaller than the left one.
And Kise had made it seemed so easy.
After the tenth try, he made his masterpiece. It was way too ugly and nothing good compared with Kise's, but at least the wings were in right angle. Throwing the crane on the cold floor, he decided that he had enough paperfolding for the rest of his life. He lied on his back to take nap and with a loud hiss, his heart broke.
"Ouch." Aomine had grown quite used with the heartbreaks. "It broke."
He threw the rotten pine cone away and it clattered on the floor.
"Your heart broke again?"
"Yep. Is there anything we can use?"
Kise put a papercrane inside his chest. Like the cone, it didn't break and it didn't pulse but it wasn't that unpredictable."Make a wish!" He giggled.
"I wish for new—"
"No, don't tell the wish!"
"But you said to make a wish!" Aomine protested.
"A wish is personal ." He explained. "Telling your wish is like spilling a secret, so don't share it with anyone."
It was on the fifty six papercranes when both of their stomachs growled.
But there was nothing but books inside this room, so Aomine said that they must go out and find food. Kise was against the very idea of going out the library and leaving his beloved papercranes, but he decided to follow Aomine.
Not very far from the library, there was a small house, as small and dull as the candy store before. It was empty like the rest of this world. Ignoring all decency, both of the boys rummaged straight inside the house.
"I'm home!" Kise said all happy, even though he didn't expect any reply. The words bounced on the white-plastered walls and lit up the whole house.
"Is this your home?"
They found several foods inside the refrigerator on the kitchen, mostly consisted of vegetables and fruits. They ate almost all of the fruits and ignored the vegetable ones purposely.
Aomine took a bite at his banana and his heart broke.
He nodded, one hand pulling out the papercrane inside his chest. Both of its wings were haphazardly torn apart and its head twisted in weird angle. Kise looked out inside the refrigerator to find another substitute.
He offered a carrot and Aomine shook his head firmly, eye gazing the orange stick with undeniable hate. "I hate carrots."
"How about lettuce?"
"It's too big!"
"You're going to put that inside my chest?"
The tomato melted into a pulp inside his chest. It needed fifteen minutes to clean the mess that got stuck up there.
"How about this?"
Kise offered him an apple. It was small, but red and perfect in shape, the skin smooth and glowing golden under the lamp. Gently, the golden-haired boy put the apple inside the cage, and they were taken aback by the improvement.
The apple was pulsing slightly against the ribs.
"This works really well." Aomine was amazed, listening to the faint sound of heartbeats, and suddenly he felt more alive.
"Probably because it's an apple." Kise smiled. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
They found a daisy field not far away from the house, and it didn't take long for Aomine to plop down on the comfy bed made of daisy flowers and take a nap. He didn't know why he was even that tired. The clouds drifted slowly on the sky, sometimes shielding the harsh summer sun away from the world. If they were lucky, a wind would tease and sliver on their skin, barely cooling the heat.
After twenty minutes of his quality nap, Aomine woke up. His chest ached a little when he flexed his body, but it was bearable. Everything was the same except the sight of Kise sitting next to him with Aomine's cap on his head. It must be stolen when Aomine was sleeping.
"Why do you wear my cap?"
"The monster ate my hair when you slept." Sighing deeply, he played with the hem of his yellow shirt, his gestures uncomfortable. "I am getting ugly."
The idea of his friend being super shiny bald under the cap perked his interest. "Let me see."
"Let me see!"
They wrestled on the ground, one trying to get the hat off and the other fighting to keep it on. it was an intense brawl with so much blood and tears and man's pride, whole chunks of pride, but Aomine claimed his victory as he yanked the cap off, and suddenly Aomine regretted to do so.
Kise's head was gray and hairless, yes, and he was indeed looking funny without pretty marigold crowning on his head, but Kise was looking at him with so much hurt on his eyes and Aomine suddenly felt like shit. He went too far.
"I'm sorry." Aomine wiped the tears with his white shirt and placed the cap on top Kise's head again. "I'm sorry. Please stop crying."
He didn't stop.
"It's not that bad."
"No, please stop crying… It's weird, yes, but the world will get used on it, and it will grow again. I'm sure it will grow."
"But the monster ate my friend's hair too," he sobbed while tightening the cap around his head like a lifeline, "and it didn't grow back until he died."
Sighing, he looked around and got an idea. Aomine picked some daisies and put them on Kise's head, the flowers crowning on his gray cap in pretty yellow color.
"See?" Aomine grinned. "It grows prettily."
They went back to the sunflower field to fetch Aomine's bike and when they arrived, it was a sea of brown and black instead of green and yellow.
"What happened?" Aomine scratched his head before sneezing. "It's getting cold all of sudden."
"The summer died." Kise replied. "Look."
The boys saw the sun sunk into the horizon, dragging the whole sky and the world into the darkness.
On that afternoon, the summer died. The sunflowers died. The cicadas died and the blue sky died. This empty world seemed like dying—everything was bleeding red. From the town, to the grasses under their feet, to Kise's golden eyes and Aomine's dusky skin.
Even their silence was crimson-colored, too.
They were watching the sunset together at the field full of wilted sunflowers. Side by side, shoulders brushing, hands laced in a loose knot.
It was pretty, the sunset, the moment, the rotten sunflowers, the pulsing apple inside his chest. Everything seemed pretty when it was almost gone, after all. The world was beautiful and they were feeling somewhat content with the silence, before soft words spilled all over the ground.
"Have you read Little Prince, Aominecchi?"
Shrugs. "I'm allergic with anything that involves too much concentration, like papercranes or books."
"But you must read books to be a good person!" He whined. "Mama told me so!"
Kise clicked on his tongue as a disinterested Aomine dug inside his ear with a pinky.
"So what is this 'Little Prince'?"
"In the book Mama bought me, there's a character named Little Prince."
"Little Prince says people loves to watch sunset when they're terribly sad."
"Are we sad too?"
After the summer died, a blue moon rose on the sky, smearing the world gently with hundred shades of blue. If one closed their eyes, they would hear stars popping across the sky or the stirring sound of constellation around Mother Earth.
It was a night after the summer died when Kise said those little words:
"I need to go."
"Why? You need to go home?"
"You need to go home," Kise stated firmly, "and we will never meet again."
Kise avoided the question with a smile.
It was such a sad face and Aomine wanted to wipe the tears melting on those golden medals, to say big boys don't cry, but like the first time they met, he didn't know how to comfort people. Aomine was a big idiot when it came to emotional matters, and ever since they met Kise was very emotional.
The apple inside his chest broke into half and fell to the ground.
"Your heart broke again!" He giggled.
The blue-haired boy didn't know laughter could be this sad. It was so wrong, and he hated the sounds. He hated how easy Kise could fake a smile. He hated how crybaby Kise was. He hated that Kise laughed and cried because of him.
"We are going to meet again tomorrow. Or the day after. Or someday. We are going to meet again."
"I can't." Kise shook his head firmly and Aomine realized how final this goodbye was. No 'see you again' would be shared. "I can't be here tomorrow—or the day after—or someday."
"But I said I'll be your friend." The cold air was barely breathable and it hurt his lungs. "I didn't teach you basketball yet. And cicadas. You said you want to catch cicadas with me? And crayfishes. And everything. Don't leave."
"We can't." He shook his head again, stressing the unavoidable. "Because my time is over."
The world exploded into nothingness.
Aomine winced at the bright light and looked around. Nothing existed except their presences. Confused, he stared back to Kise, who grinned and cried at the same time. His hand tugged off the baseball cap and the golden hair sprung back to life like blooming flower, the daisies fell gracefully around him, and he was as beautiful and shining as the little boy Aomine saw this morning. Nothing more, nothing less. Just perfect.
The white around them blurred the outline of his tiny body and Aomine feared he would be erased.
"Don't leave." Desperately, the tanned hands reached for the paler ones. The goodbye suddenly felt so heavy and his chest ached even though there was supposed to be nothing inside.
Kise was the one who supported him through the heartbreaks. He didn't want to lose him like he lost his heart—it was too much to lose two things for one day."It's not safe. That—that monster might be around. It can eat us like it ate your friends. We need to stick together."
"It is going to eat only me. It's just matter of time."He shook his head and Aomine never felt this frustrated. "After all, my friends might be waiting for me."
"I don't care. Don't leave me."
Kise was conflicted at first, but action was eloquence, so he kissed Aomine's forehead softly, and his apology smothered all over the skin.
"If you are missing me," he giggled before getting choked by his own tears, "i might be closer than you think."
Aomine would forget all the details, but the last thing the boy saw was his friend devoured slowly by white, by the invisible threat he would never see, and the monster left nothing except Kise's heart. It was raw red and pulsing and alive.
Fifteen years old Aomine woke up after his surgery.
A week after Aomine waking up, Momoi paid a visit to hospital with daisies on her hands.
Momoi was arranging the flowers on the blue vase when she noticed the anomaly.
"Since when you can make paper cranes, Dai-chan?"
Aomine stopped folding his medicine paper as her question knocked him back to his sense. He stared on her with eyebrow raised, and looked down to find a papercrane on his hands. They both knew that he never gave a damn about origami, so the existence of paper crane on his hands was indeed questionable.
He gaped, "Since when I can make paper cranes?"
His doctor was a kind-hearted, middle aged man with a smile made of saccharine and fluffy mustaches colored with pristine. With red nose and rolls of fat and the way he walked in waltz and tuned a Christmas Carol, Aomine had been thinking that his doctor was Santa Clause in disguise.
"How's your feeling?" Aomine gave an annoyed 'Hmmm' at that, fingers still giving birth for new paper crane. Momoi and he had lost count on the paper cranes but he kept making them, now more a habit than a pastime activity.
"Oooh, paper cranes!" The doctor winked at him, "Can I join you?"
"Sure." Aomine gave him a paper, one eyebrow raised. The bed shook terribly as the old man plopped down to make himself comfortable.
"This reminds me of a patient here." he said, fat fingers stroking the paper. There were memories smudging on that smooth surface of a paper, one by one, the sad ones, happy ones, bittersweet ones, the ones he wanted to forget and the others that he cherished until now. "He was around your age. A kind, sweet person with the brightest smile. The only wrong thing about him was an anomaly inside his brain."
Aomine itched to ask what happened with his brain, but dealing with nostalgic old man was troublesome, so he gulped back the question.
"He liked making paper cranes too, even much more obsessed than you. He kept making hundreds of paper cranes until the Head Nurse scolded him about it."
He laughed, finding humor slipped on such memories.
"But at least, making paper cranes was a way for him to stay positive, especially in that time."
They looked on each other, and sorrows marred on the man's christmas smile, and he seemed more tired than before. Was remembering supposed to be that painful? "There was a time," the old man said, "when children were dying and adults couldn't do anything. And the one left was him. He was the strongest and it was sad to watch him grow up alone, because all of his friends died before him."
"Were they eaten by a monster?" He asked in mocking tone.
"Probably. By the one that none can fight against when the time comes."
Fold. Fold. Turn the paper and stir it up until it shaped into a bird, until it smelled like memories and sepia portraits.
"He was always stingy about his wish, never once telling anyone what was it."
"A wish is personal ." Absentmindedly, those words slipped. They left a weird taste on the tongue, like those words didn't exactly belong to Aomine. "Telling your wish is like spilling a secret. It's embarrassing."
The old man blinked owlishly before laughing, maybe a bit too loud, and it annoyed Aomine to an extent. "What's so funny about it, Sensei?"
"B-because you sounds exactly like him!" Wiping the tears—from both the laughs and sadness dwelling inside his heart— funny how something could be sad and happy at the same time—"It's funny.. to think that Ryouta is the one giving you heart donor last week—"
My father is going to have transplant too. Not a heart transplant though, but it makes me wondering how it feels to have a part of someone inside your body.
Little Prince is my favorite book ggth