Author's Note/Farewell: Well, that was fast... I can't believe I finished this already! If you're wondering why I've been updating like crazy lately, it's because I have a lot of free time this week.
This is the end! I can scarcely stomach it. This is the first multi-chaptered story that I have ever finished writing in my entire life. For those of you who asked me how I wrote/planned this, please brace yourself. I did some initial planning back in October, but that planning only lasted about 3 chapters and I just went with the flow after that. I just started with a blank document and just laid out all the ideas swimming in my head. Usually around 3am when I was practically half asleep.
I know I wrote this with really bad methods, and I know that I'm not the greatest plot writer... but I kind of aimed for this story to be slice-of-life, and to the Guest who told me that they felt the story quality went down from chapters 25-End, I'm sorry! You are probably right... I'm just not great at plot making unless I work really hard on it! Thank you for your feedback.
Majstro: Sorry I made you choke on your california roll. I'm touched that I even moved you a little bit.
stephyduck: Thank you sososososo much TvT I'm so glad I hooked someone onto TakaMido!
Rose-MaxareBadass: darling I will be sure not to disappoint you in the future. You've stuck with me for so long, and I'm so thankful for it! LOVE YOU.
Fantita: Sweetie pie, thanks for reading my fic till the very end and always reviewing.
CMHerrera: I seriously cant thank you enough for your amazing support (sobs)
rumovercoke: Yes! Fellow Scorpios unite. I felt that sharing the same sign as Takao really helped me write this fic because I can understand him really well! I'm glad I had the privilege of breathing life into these characters! You're so welcome. I'm looking forward to reading your stuff in the future.
aschidnosekai: thanks for your support! (hugs)
Drunken Strawberries: hope I make your day again today :-) It's been great reading your feedback!
Neevey: Thank you! I hope this one will be better.
and YES. I read every single one of your reviews even if I don't reply. So... Hehe. Yeah.
Disclaimer: I don't own Kuroko no Basuke.
Two Years Later…
"Mom! We're leaving," Midorima called out as they both slipped on their shoes at the doorway. Takao and Midorima were both dressed in casual clothing, and the weather was warm enough to permit a light jacket instead of a heavy one. There were light clouds over head, allowing the sunshine to seep through. Paired with the cherry blossoms that had emerged in time for graduation, the sight was practically picture perfect. Takao wanted to jump on his bike and go for a ride to somewhere far so he could admire the trees for as long as he wanted. He silently made a vow to do it before the petals fell to the ground.
"Stay safe, okay?" His mother called from the living room and Takao couldn't help but grimace thinking about the lunch they just had. It was worse before, when Takao's dad first treated him with a forced indifference but he knew that…
Takao shook his head. It was giving him headaches thinking about it.
Their families rarely ever met and when his mother saw Midorima's mother at the supermarket, it was always a warm exchange. He didn't think it could ever change from that, and he was okay with that. He didn't expect the two mothers of a gay couple to become best friends, after all.
"Thank you for your hospitality," Takao bowed.
"Why are you being so formal all of a sudden?" His mother waved her hand dismissingly, "Haven't I told you this plenty of times?"
"Ah, haha… yeah…" Takao laughed hollowly. Maybe it was because he knew that this could be the last time he would see her in a long time, but he felt rather sad at having to leave. The house too, had so many memories that Takao liked to reminisce about.
But live moves on, he reminded himself.
On their walk to the health store, Takao had convinced Midorima to let him borrow his bike. He rode slowly along the path as Midorima kept up with his own pace. The streets were rather bustling due to the nice weather and Takao lifted his head occasionally to admire the combination of the blossoms and the sunshine.
"It's pretty, isn't it?" Takao muttered.
"You see this every year…don't you?" Midorima said.
"So?" Takao retorted and pedaled a little faster, forcing Midorima to speed up his walking pace. He didn't complain though, because then he'd be the first to give in.
"Ahhh… I wish I brought my camera," Takao complained.
"Is that more important, or is our destination?" Midorima asked.
Takao screeched to a stop and looked at Midorima with a hard stare.
"What?" Midorima said.
Takao swung his left leg back onto the ground and began to walk. Midorima looked confused for a few seconds before he followed.
"What if I said… I'm just happy that we're looking at such a beautiful thing together?"
Takao tilted his head back to look at the trees again.
"And that you being here makes it a lot more beautiful… forget it. This is really corny but-"
Midorima had stepped in front of him and grabbed his chin and tilted it down.
"Scorpios are so…" He muttered as he leaned closer.
"So… what?" Takao asked curiously, "and you know there are people watching…right…"
"You're so romantic," Midorima said without blushing.
Takao's heart gave a double flip but he didn't get a chance to recover. Midorima planted a firm kiss onto his lips and Takao couldn't help but respond. He opened his mouth to the caress and nearly protested when Midorima quickly pulled away.
"Well… you can be, too…" Takao tried not to turn embarrassed.
"Come on, let's go," Midorima turned back to the road as if nothing had happened.
"Welcome! Oh. It's just you two," Shiori stood up from the counter and immediately started to rummage in her special cabinet.
"What? So we aren't welcome?" Takao quipped.
"No, you're not. You belong here," she drawled, "good enough?"
"Wow. So we've progressed to informal speech, have we?" Takao noted her usage of language.
"Of course! We've known each other for this long!" She made a dramatic hair tossing motion even though her hair was already cut into a short bob.
Midorima made a small noise through his nose beside him and Takao rolled his eyes.
"So…" Shiori wrung her fingers together for a second, "how are you guys doing by the way?"
The way she asked the question wasn't just in a conversational manner. Takao frowned and looked at Midorima. He didn't have any sort of expression on.
"Uh… yeah… we're fine… why?" Takao asked.
"It's almost time for the graduation ceremony, isn't it?" She looked rather nervous.
"Yup," Takao shrugged, "Where are you headed off next year?"
"Kyoto, pharmacy," Shiori said.
"Wow, Kyodai? Good job," Takao said admiringly.
"Oh, it's not…" She started when the staff room door opened. Kei stepped out and stopped at the sight of Midorima and Takao.
"Ah- It's you," He said to Midorima.
"Him?" Takao said dumbfoundedly and shot a glance at Shiori. She shrugged in response.
Kei walked behind the counter and grabbed the paper bag in Shiori's hand. She tried to grab it but he lifted it up high enough so that she couldn't reach it.
"Idiot! Give it back to me!" She flushed.
"Here you go," he threw it to Midorima, ignoring Shiori.
"Free of charge this time," Kei said before he locked Shiori in a tight embrace from behind.
"W-what are you doing? Did you do something to the bag?" She said, flustered, "I mean, I was going to give it to them for free anyways but you better have not messed with anything or you're going to-"
He gave them a bored look as he placed a hand over her mouth and muffled her protests.
"Just go," He jerked his head to the door.
"Thanks," Takao said, trying his best not go laugh.
As they left the store, he heard Shiori's voice.
"What do you think you're doing?" She yelled.
Takao chuckled and looked at Midorima.
"Just put the bag in the basket," he said. Midorima complied silently, but his fingers lingered on the paper for a second. Takao narrowed his eyes suspiciously.
"I'll push the bike," Midorima said.
"Ha?" Takao said incredulously, "Seriously?"
"Why? Is it surprising that I would do something for you?" Midorima forcefully grabbed the bike from the other side and Takao raised his hands up and raised his eyebrows.
"Suspicious," Takao pursed his lips.
"Suspecting Scorpio," Midorima said and started to walk ahead.
"Conniving Cancer," Takao stuck out his tongue and crossed his hands.
"Cancer's aren't conniving, idiot," Midorima retorted, "You sure you aren't talking about yourself?"
"Hmph," Takao snorted and tried to grab the bike but Midorima swung it out of the way.
"Jerk," Takao laughed and planted himself precariously on the seat instead. Midorima nearly lost control of the bike and Takao gave him a childish grin.
"Come on, push," He swung his leg over so he was sitting properly, "I always pull, so it's your turn to push."
Midorima tilted his head at him for a few seconds.
"That makes sense in more ways than one," Midorima nodded to himself.
"Hmm… Really?" Takao shrugged, "Hey, what do you think about going to the arcade?"
"…Not my thing," Midorima pushed his glasses up and started to push the bicycle with Takao sitting on it.
"That's not what you said on your birthday. We were playing Bishi-Bashi like madmen! And you even said we should go again because it trains our biceps!" Takao groaned.
"Why are you putting words into my mouth? You're the one who said that," Midorima glared at him but Takao could see him making an effort not to grin.
"Okay, whatever. That was me. Can we just go?"
"Wow… this crowd is huge," Takao exclaimed, "the players must be good."
They had gone to the nearest arcade, and the hot air and male sweat in the air made Takao want to choke but he had to stick through it. The games were worth it. He was currently trying to fight his way through the crowd to see who on earth was playing on their machine. Well, it wasn't there. But Midorima and Takao were really good at it, so he called it theirs.
He almost got close enough to see the players when a skinny teenager wearing hipster glasses and a straw hat turned to see who had shoved him. Takao tried to look away, trying not to look like the guilty party. He couldn't help it that he was unconsciously rude to strangers.
"Where do you think you're shoving? Gross," the glasses boy curled his lip at Takao.
Tch, this idiot… He couldn't wipe the nasty look on his face off and he turned his glare to the boy. Hipster boy startled a bit at the look on Takao's face. He had that effect sometimes. He tried to turn it into a friendly smile but he knew that it was probably even scarier than his frown.
"What did you just say?"
Hipster boy stuck out his arms and gave Takao a rough push, causing him to crash into someone behind him. He spun around to apologize, but stopped when he realized who it was. Midorima placed a hand on Takao's head and spun him back around to face the boy.
"Get lost," Midorima glowered ferociously.
The boy stared up at Midorima, intimidated by his height for a second before regaining his composure. The crowd began to dissipate and he looked as if were ready to do something violent. Takao's heart began to beat wildly and was about to take a challenging step forward when Midorima blocked him with his body.
"Don't," Midorima said.
"Tch.." Takao hissed. He was mad at Midorima for knowing him too well. But after a second, the boy left and Takao stared at the floor.
He hated being so immature sometimes.
Takao felt something grab his hand, and realized it was Midorima. He was holding it in a discreet way, but it made Takao nervous nonetheless.
"Thank you," he whispered.
"Let's go," was all Midorima said. He let go of Takao's hand and made his way to the bright yellow machine with its gigantic screen.
"Ah," Takao stopped and pointed at the two boys who had just finished playing and were gathering their belongings off the floor.
"Kise!" Takao called and sidestepped past Midorima.
He grinned as he felt Midorima's glare shoot daggers at them. It egged him on even further. He slung his arm around the taller boy's shoulder and flashed a smile at Aomine, who was standing beside him.
"What are you doing here?"
"I remembered your text from two days ago and decided to give the game a shot!" Kise said.
"It's a pretty dumb game," Aomine said.
"That's not what you looked like when you were playing! We almost beat all the levels on our first go, so we tried again and…" Kise scratched his head.
"Let me guess," Midorima approached them, "one of you pressed the buttons too many times and it forced you to go into Oni mode."
"Wait! How did you know?" Kise gaped.
"So predictable," Midorima shrugged.
"Yeah right, I bet you two did the exact same thing yourselves," Aomine crossed his arms and scrutinized the two.
Takao turned to look at Midorima and they stared at each other for a few seconds.
"We're more alike than I thought," Takao laughed.
No one spoke up for a few seconds but they were interrupted when someone tapped Midorima on the back. They turned around to see the intrusion, only to realize it was another player waiting for their turn on the machine.
"Oh, sorry," Takao apologized, "We were just chatting for a second. We'll be playing."
Aomine gave Takao and Midorima a hard look before leaving.
"Let's go, Kise," he said as he turned towards the exit.
Kise gave them an apologetic smile and bid them farewell.
"Do your best, you two," Kise said in a tone of voice that suggested he wasn't just talking about the arcade game. Takao scratched his head and nodded. What was up with everyone today?
After a lengthy session on the Bishi-Bashi machine, Takao and Midorima left the arcade with rather sore arms. They had beaten the game in Oni mode, which was an accomplishment for them. Takao wondered if he could propose a trip to the arcade for the whole basketball team. It technically was physical exercise. Maybe they could do some Taiko no Tatsujin as well. He chuckled at the thought of Midorima smashing his drumsticks to the beat of classical songs.
"What is it?" Midorima asked.
"Nothing, nothing…" Takao waved his hand. They were on their way back home, and the sun was beginning to set. The orange light that basked the cherry blossoms gave him a nostalgic feeling. There was a slight breeze, and some of the petals had already begun to fall.
"It's a pity…" He said under his breath. Midorima suddenly screeched the bike to a stop and Takao looked back at him in curiosity.
"Who told you?" He demanded.
"Hah?" Takao said, flabbergasted at Midorima's tone.
"I thought I told them to not say anything…" Midorima muttered and Takao's curiosity perked up.
"What? What is it?" Takao asked.
"I…" Midorima started but clamped his mouth shut almost immediately.
"Let's find somewhere to sit, and I'll… yeah…" Midorima said nervously as Takao gave him a sour expression.
They approached a nearby park, and Midorima leaned the bike on a metal pole. He grabbed the paper bag from the basket and headed for the swings. Takao stood from a far, wondering what was going on. He stuck his hands in his pockets and followed after Midorima.
He sat on one of the creaky plastic swings and began to push himself lightly. Once he got into a comfortable pace, he was swinging like he was back in elementary school. Funny how he was doing this now…right before he graduated from high school.
Takao glanced at Midorima, who was watching him with solemn eyes.
"I guess I should tell you something too," Takao said as he let the swing slow to a stop. It took a long time though, and when he spoke up again, he was still going back and forth.
"I think I'm going to Handai…" Takao tilted his head back and closed his eyes. He didn't know what kind of expression to show Midorima. He was afraid he would lose control if he did anything stupid.
"You got accepted already, right?" Midorima asked.
"Yeah…" Takao mumbled. Being with a genius like Midorima didn't make everything easier. In fact, if he were with anyone but Midorima, he probably would have been ecstatic in bringing the news. Osaka University was good, but for someone like Midorima, it wasn't even a challenge.
"I'm going to Todai," Midorima said bluntly. Takao resisted the urge to sigh. Instead, he felt the prick of tears. He turned his head to the left, trying his best to focus on the window of a nearby house.
Hmm… they have nice blinds. Takao tried to think, but his eyes continued to water up and his expression crumpled.
This was to be expected though. Where else would Midorima Shintarou go except for the best University in Japan? Tokyo was where he would go.
Just as he felt the tears in one eye ready to roll down, Midorima started to rummage through the paper bag and Takao blinked them away as fast as he could. What was he doing now? This wasn't the time for that sh-
"Give me your hand."
Takao refused to look back, and stuck his hand out.
He felt something cool and smooth in the palm of his hand. Takao brought his hand back and was surprised when he saw a silver ring gleaming in the sunset.
"What… is the meaning of this?" Takao held it between his index finger and his thumb, looking through the circle, "You're not proposing right?"
"Get real," Midorima growled, "Can't you guess?"
"No, not really," Takao said.
"You're dense at the times I want you to be perceptive," he said as he took the ring from Takao's grasp.
Midorima rummaged through the bag again, and took out a thin metal chain. He looped the ring through it deftly and reached over to fasten it onto Takao's neck. He drew back a bit from the sudden proximity, but slowly relaxed.
"I have one too, but I'm wearing mine," Midorima waved his right hand up, "I know you don't like wearing things on your fingers or wrist… so I got Kei to get a metal chain with the rings…" he trailed off.
"Oh…" Takao said softly.
"This isn't goodbye," Midorima said, "but I can't say that we won't go through some hard times."
"You don't have to promise me anything," Takao grabbed the ring hanging from his neck and ran his fingers over it absent-mindedly.
"If anyone asks… say you're in a relationship," Midorima ordered.
Takao laughed quietly at that.
"What else would I say?" He grabbed Midorima's right hand and brought it to his face.
"Thank you," Takao said and kissed his hand lightly before letting it drop back to its original position.
Midorima grabbed his hands and pulled him up from the swing. He stepped closer, still grabbing onto Takao's hands. He brought his face closer and lowered his voice.
"Remember how Ootsubo something about hating each other if you live together?" Midorima said.
"Yeah?" Takao said.
"I don't think it worked out for us… so…" He brushed the tip of his nose against Takao's.
"Let's try it again in a few years, okay?"
"Definitely," Takao grinned and closed the distance between them in a swift motion.
Oh my god. And that is that.
Even through ups and down of the quality of my plot and writing, I hope you enjoyed this fic and I hope that you ship TakaMido just a tiny bit more. I love you all, current AND future readers.