Rating: T
Warning: This fanfiction contains character death and Male/Male relationships!

Seventy-Two Hour Countdown
黒子のバスケ © 藤巻 忠俊
Based off on a Vocaloid song From me who will die in three days
"By the time you read this letter, I'll probably be dead." There's no need for any further explanations, because the letter tells it all.

(By the time you read this letter, I'll probably be dead.)

"Aomine-san, it's time to check your temperature." The nurse smiles and enters Aomine's room, waving a dark blue clipboard and a ballpoint pen. Aomine grunts in reply and struggles to sit up straight, but his limbs refused to cooperate and he slumps back heavily against the pillows.

"You seem to be in a good mood today. Did something happen?"

Aomine points at the calendar placed on his bedside table, a sad smile tilting the corner of his lips up. "Well, I was counting the number of days I had left. There's three, right? 72 hours of life. Thought I should just make good use of what's left."

She smiles again and makes her way to his bedside, nodding as she silently records down his temperature and blood pressure.

(You know, Kise? There's this busty nurse that's in charge of me. But it feels like she's lacking something and I can't bring myself to smile back at her...

Though this is my chance to hook up with a girl. And I blame you for that, Kise. Why did you have to corrupt me so?)

"Daiki, I heard that you haven't been taking your medicine regularly. And you blatantly refused to be hooked up to any IV drips either."

Aomine sighs, running a hand through his hair. It's getting a little too long for his liking and Aomine contemplates if he should cut it. He should look his best for his funeral, just in case Kise decides to come back. "We both know that there's no point in doing all those things, it won't prolong my life. I want to live the remaining 60 hours of my life healthily."

"There's nothing healthy about you right now, Daiki."

"As healthy as a dying man can be then, Akashi," Aomine rephrases, and stretches out on the hospital bed. "Instead, can you help me buy the next magazine Kise is going to be featured in? I feel like I haven't seen him in a long time."

"You don't have to see him, Daiki. You don't have to see someone who abandoned you and basketball for fame in the modeling world."

Aomine tosses the near-empty water jug at Akashi, however his muscles give out at the last moment and the jug ends up falling off the table and crashes to pieces at the ground. "I won't forgive anyone who badmouths Kise, even if it's you, Akashi."

Gold and crimson irises flashed in fury, focusing on Aomine for a split second before Akashi closes them and sighs. Kuroko steps out from behind Akashi like how he used to do and scares everyone.

"Then if Akashi-kun promises that he won't ever speak badly of Kise-kun again, would you take your medicine like a good patient, Aomine-kun?"

"Well, maybe if you guys help me cut my hair too," Aomine bargains after weighing his options, threading his fingers through his dark-blue locks once more. "For the old times' sake."

Aomine flashes a smile; but Akashi and Kuroko knew better.

(Idiot, if you ever come home, I've kept the spare key in the mailbox.

And if you decide to enter my room then help me to clear the stack of magazines at the corner of my room.

And by clearing I don't mean flipping through them and getting your snot on it!

Just burn all of them so I can receive it over here and continue to read them, kay? There are even some which I haven't read yet.)

It's a little past seven in the morning when the nurse wheels breakfast into Aomine's room. Aomine puts down his pen and yawns, placing the papers on his table onto his pillow. The nurse notes the huge amount of paper in the wastepaper basket, but doesn't point it out.

"Aomine-san, what were you doing?"

She places the bowl of porridge before him. It's bland and tasteless but Aomine gobbles it down – for energy. "I was writing a letter."

"To your girlfriend?"

Aomine laughs, but doesn't deny. He doesn't point out that he stayed up the entire night to write just two sentences because he finds himself unable to write characters that he has written so easily hundreds of times before.

"I'm sure she'll be glad to read that letter, Aomine-san."

"I hope so too."

(Three days, this is a future I cannot avoid.

Don't cry. I mean, seriously, stop crying, you idiotic crybaby. It's not like I wanted this to happen to me.

Damn, I should be the one crying.

But then again, I'm done with blaming people for my state.

Even if I break everything in my sight, all that's left is this feeling of emptiness inside of myself.

But even that irritation in my heart is gone now.

It's as if I'm watching a dream.)

Aomine wakes at two in the morning. His body is cold and drenched with sweat. His heart is pumping erratically and he stiffly clambers onto his wheelchair, wheeling himself out of his room to the nearest payphone.

His hands tremble as he slots in the change needed and presses the numbers to dial Kise's number.

26 hours left, and Aomine wakes from a nightmare of Kise's plane to Paris crashing. It is vivid, so real, that Aomine will give anything to hear Kise's voice, to know that the blond is doing well. But his muscles are stiff and refuse to contract. His fingers fail to press the numbers fast enough and the payphone hangs his unmade call.

The loud repeated clink of coins ejected by the payphone resounds in the long hallways of the hospital. Aomine gives up after his eighth attempt and slams his head against the payphone, squeezing his eyes shut. He thinks that he has never considered himself more useless than this instant.

He hates himself. He hates how useless he is.

(I want to see you, Kise. I want to touch you and know that you are fine.

However, this 24 hour life is too short to go to your side.

I'm tired of waiting. Won't you come back?)

He lays on the bed, unmoving. There are tubes connected to his body and medication continuously pumped into his system. He is drowsy, so drowsy that he thinks if he closes his eyes and dozes to sleep, he'll never wake again.

"Are you sure you want to continue with this, Aomine Daiki-san?"

Aomine nods lethargically at the doctor. He is too tired, too afraid of pain to sit through any more of this suffering. "I just want to end it all."

"Then," the doctor trails off as he injects a solution into Aomine's upper arm. "You should be losing your consciousness soon."

Aomine doesn't mention that the corners of his vision are already blacking out. It's hard for him to believe that his world is going to end in a few minutes. Instead, he turns towards the window, noting how the quiet afternoon wind gently sways the curtains. The brightness of the autumn blue sky etches itself into his retinas and he slips his eyes close when Kise's smiling face comes into mind.

(I love you, Kise. I'm sorry I didn't wait all the way to the end.)

Twelve minutes after Aomine is pronounced dead, the door to his ward slides open and a blond mess bounces in with a worried look on his face. "Why didn't you tell me of your condition earlier? I've terminated my contract with the modeling agency! I was planning on getting back to Tokyo last night but the plane was delayed and- Aominecchi?"

"You're too late, Ryouta. Even though I informed you of this two weeks ago."

"He was suffering, Kise-kun."

Four pairs of eyes turns to him simultaneously and Kise's breath catches in his throat. They are standing around a bed with serious expressions and red-rimmed eyes. It is like a huge barrier separating him from Aomine.

Guilt racks through Kise.

The doctor shakes his head as he leaves the room. The nurse wipes at her tears with her sleeve as she fishes around in her pocket and pulls out a letter before running out of the ward after the doctor. "Kise Ryouta? This is addressed to you, from Aomine-san. He was writing a letter to you all along and although I think it's never meant for you to read it, it's best if you keep it."

Kise tries to take a step forward but his feet refuse to move. He's in a state of denial because when he sees Aomine's unmoving form from the gap the doctor and nurse were standing at, the only thing in his mind is that this cannot be true - Aominecchi cannot be dead, he couldn'tcouldn'tcouldn't- and smooths out the crumpled piece of paper with shaky hands.

(I should apologize for not stopping you that day. You probably wanted me to tell you not to leave, right?

But you know, even if I was given a second chance to re-live that day, I still wouldn't stop you.

Because that's just how much I love you.

Fuck, stop crying.

Let's play basketball together again, someday.)

Author's Note: Wow, that's another angsty AoKise fanfic that I wrote. I think AoKise angst is the only thing I can write nowadays. Gosh, someone should stop me from writing all of these because I don't think my heart is able to take anymore of this. Thank you to all who cried although I think I'm the only one... And, since this is not a procrastination corner, I'll stop just about here.

Thank you for reading and please review!