I slowly rolled over, trying to find the source of the non-stop beeping. I spotted flashing underneath my bed.
"Seriously," I rolled out of bed with a grunt.
Somehow my phone fell off my nightstand and behind a box under the bed. I pulled out the box, grabbing my phone and quickly shutting off the alarm. I reached up and placed the golden phone on the nightstand. I blinked a few times, ridding my eyes of sleep, and focused on the box in front of me. I traced my fingers across the cover of a book leaving streaks in the light layer of dust. I gingerly picked it up and lightly fell back onto my haunches cross-legged. I slowly flipped through the half-dusted book before stopping on a page near the middle.
"The Generation of Miracles"
The page was littered with photos of the team: Aomine shooting a layup, Akashi standing on the sidelines-watching with that golden eye, Momoi biting her thumb and clutching her clipboard, Midorima unwrapping his fingers, Murasakibara towering over a terrified opponent, and one of me smiling with my arms wide in the air after making a basket. There wasn't a single picture or mention of Kuroko.
I closed the book gently and set it on my knee. I sat like this for a moment-stroking the spine with a dusty finger.
Some of the steam from the shower cleared as I shook his towel out. After drying off, I wrapped it around my waist and walked back into my bedroom. As I passed by the nightstand, I kicked the box back under my bed and checked my phone. There was a text waiting from the photo shoot girl.
"Get ready not with whatever you want, and I'll be over soon. What's the address?"
I typed out my address and flipped the phone shut before slumping onto the bed, twirling the flip phone in my hands. Hope my parents won't mind a girl coming over to hep me get dressed this early in the morning.
I got dressed in a peach linen button down shirt and tight skinny jeans before brushing my hair and teeth, then put some socks on. The phone started ringing.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Are you dressed?"
"Yeah, are you here?"
"Come outside." The phone clicked.
I walked through the apartment to the front door and stepped outside. The girl was waiting there wearing a green dress with a simple, brown belt and flats. Her hair was waving all the way down her back.
"Good, but sense you're meeting in a gym, you may want to change into something a bit less tight," she said while motioning to my lower half.
"What? You're here to pick me out an outfit for whatever this is, not to give me advice."
"This 'whatever this is' is personal. So, you should be personal-be yourself. It's about you, not high fashion." She turned her back and started to walk away. "But you really should put on different jeans."
I arrived at the gym fifteen minutes early with loose-fitting jeans on. I pushed open one of the double doors to find an empty room. I did another look around to make sure I didn't skip over Kuroko. No one was there.
I tried sitting down, but was too anxious. My mind was whirring with the same thoughts that plagued me yesterday. What if he doesn't feel the same? What if you thinks I'm a freak? I stood up and started pacing up and down the side of the key. Minute after minute passed by. Finally, I stopped at the top of the key and stared at the net and let out a large sigh.
"This might help," a familiar voice said behind me.
I quickly turned around to see Kuroko standing a few feet away next to a basketball trolley, with one in his hand. He was wearing a gray, striped cardigan with a blue v-neck underneath and dark washed jeans. His collar bone was peaking out from under the soft fabric.
Kuorko tossed the ball to me; I caught it with a smack against my palms. Kuroko nodded to the hoop. I straightened up, smiled, and gave a nod before turning back to the basket.
I spread apart his feet, bent my knees, and gripped the ball before bringing it up to my face. I spread my fingers apart and let out a breath as I exploded out, releasing the ball. It spun off my fingers and into a clean arc.
The ball went through the net, bounced beneath the hoop and slowly bounced off towards the back wall. I straightened up with a smile.
"Too bad I can't do that'" Kuroko commented. I turned back to face him and took the two steps up to stand in front of him.
"You wouldn't be the Phantom man if you scored during games. People would be forced to notice you," I replied. We'd had this conversation countless times.
"I know, but I feel like that's all I am: a shadow. I don't care that I'm not recognized. I just don't think I'm doing enough to support Kagami."
"Kagami can support himself...if he can keep a clear head and work with the team. He's not your responsibility, he's his own." Kuroko sighed.
"I promised him I'd help him beat the Generation of Miracles," Kuroko explained, leaning on the all caddy.
"That kind of includes you, Kuroko-cchi," I said while leaning on the other side of the rack.
"Yeah, but you're taking this way too seriously. It's a game, a high school game."
"You're one to talk. You lost for the first time yesterday and broke down on the court," Kuroko smirked.
"Let's put that in the past, okay?" We both started laughing.
"So, what is it you wanted to talk to me about, Kise-kun?" My laughing slowly diminished.
I bent down and put the brakes on the wheels of the cart and slid down onto the floor, leaning onto the basketballs. Kuroko walked around to the other side of the cart and joined me.
My nerves were calm.
"Kuroko-cchi...I've been changing lately. Especially with how I view certain people-you in particular." I stopped speaking and scrunched my face, my eyes searching the gym for some way to phrase this.
"Kise-kun, are you okay?" Kuroko put his hand on my knee. I looked over to him. Kuroko's brow was furrowed-hiding part of his wide, blue eyes. My eyes dropped down to Kuroko's hand; his thumb slowly and softly traced the threads of my loose jeans. Kuroko was watching me, concerned.
I slowly picked up my hand and placed it on top of Kuroko's.
We looked at each other.
"I have feelings for you."