i need to do homework now but mmmm
but since i recently converted myself to aokuro, i wrote this to celebrate ^^
there's not much else to say so,
warning: aokuro and one sided aokise don't like don't read
also i don't own kurobas
The room is very dark.
"Tetsu, pass me that water."
"I don't know whose it is."
Lips move in time with the words.
'I'. 'Don't'. 'Know'. 'Whose'. 'It'. 'Is'.
(He says 'know' really funny. He never noticed before, but Kuroko's 'know's came out like lilting, half-formed questions.)
"Don't give a damn, just pass it I'm so thirsty. And Satsuki, stop fucking filming us, why are you even doing this anyway?"
The camera quivers and shoots upwards and back to give a quick shot of Momoi cheekily sticking her tongue at the lens before she turns it around again and refocuses it on Kuroko and Aomine. Kuroko is holding the water bottle by the neck, staring at it suspiciously and swishing it around as if he could magically find out whose it was by doing so.
"I wish Kise-kun was here, he'd be able to help out."
('Wish'. 'Kise-kun'. 'Was'. 'Here'. 'He'd'. 'Be'. 'Able'. 'To'. 'Help'. 'Out'.)
"Oh yeah, can't he like taste water and find out what it's from or something?"
"So he claims."
('So'. 'He'. 'Claims'.)
"That's creepy as hell."
He laughs, and his voice echoes. His fingers run along the edge of another tape as he grabs the remote and fast-forwards it. Kuroko and Aomine's mouths move comically fast, their actions exaggerated by the speed, as Kuroko gets up and leaves the shot for a fraction of a second before coming back with a new bottle of water and Aomine ponders it quizzically, twisting the cap this way and that and -
He presses play, and the video slows down in time to show Kuroko sighing and shaking his head as he takes the bottle from Aomine, giving it a deft twist to unlodge the cap before passing it back.
"Ah, thanks, Tetsu."
There's a sassy eyeroll.
The remote clatters into the ground, along with the other tapes that he was holding. His hands clench in his hair and he grits his teeth, turning his face down.
Not right. No.
He shakes and takes a few breaths to calm himself down. Bending, he has to slap his hand down blindly in the dark before he can find the remote under the desk. A press of a button, and then suddenly everything rewinds. The bottle cap reseals, Kuroko leaves and comes back with empty hands, a quick flash of pink, Kuroko puts Midorima's bottle back on the bench, and then Aomine is pointing, again, and asking for something that he can't have.
He presses play.
"Tetsu, pass me that water."
Kise Ryouta stays in Midorima's office for a little over a day, playing that single video clip over and over again as he continually mutters, under his breath, something potentially heartbreaking and decisively destructive.
"Tetsu, how long have I been here?"
"But how long?"
"...Why do you ask?"
"When you open the windows it's not warm anymore."
"That's because it's winter."
"That's...that can't be right."
"It was summer yesterday."
Kise was drawing the curtains closed and pulling the window shut when Midorima walks in, clipboard at hand and scribbling something in that illegible doctor-handwriting. Kise stares at him, eyebrows furrowing at the gaudy necklace around his old friend's neck.
"Today's lucky item?" he prompts.
Midorima hardly blinks. "Something blue," he says, "But it didn't specify which shade."
The plastic necklace, which Kise did have to admit probably had at least seven shades of puke-blue, definitely fulfilled those requirements. He makes a mental note to check Oha-Asa next time for his friend; Kise knew one of his old cashmere scarves from his modeling days also would have done the trick and probably be less humiliating. The hospital definitely felt otherwise, though - whatever worked for their best doctor worked for them.
"How was he today?" Midorima asks, clicking his pen and tucking it back into one of his pockets. Kise glances at Aomine out of the corner of his eye before shrugging.
"Any signs of his vision coming back?"
Midorima sighs and reaches up to massage between his eyebrows. "Any sign of remembering what happened?"
Kise laughs this time, but it's bitter and grates on both of their ears and he stops soon. "No. You know what, though?"
"He asked me if it was summer today."
The final red and gold and brown leaves on the trees swirl down outside the window.
"...He still lives in that day."
Another laugh, less painful. "Maybe it's for the best, Midorimacchi. Who knows what he'll do when he finds out."
Midorima's eyes harden. "It's not your place to hide that information from him. You need to stop coming, Kise."
But before Midorima can stop him, Kise's already half out the door, waving over his shoulder.
"I'll be back at the regular time tomorrow, if he wakes up before then tell him that I stopped for a vanilla shake with Kagami, or something stupid like that."
"Why were you late today?"
"I went to Maji with Kagami-kun for lunch, and then they said I couldn't come in for some reason."
"Ah...that might have been my fault."
"What did you do?"
"Well, remember what I told you yesterday about me thinking that it was still summer?"
"You were right, it's winter now."
"What does this have to do with the doctors keeping me out of your room though, Aomine-kun?"
"I wasn't in the room. I forced him to take me out in a wheelchair. It was freezing. But I think it was snowing."
"It's not snowing today, Aomine-kun."
"Ah, shit, I got all excited for nothing, then."
"Why would you think it was snowing?"
" We were outside and talking about the old days when I felt something wet on my arm and asked Midorima if it was snow. The asshole told me yes."
"Good work today," Kise says to Midorima on his way out, patting the doctor on the shoulder and pretending not to notice how his eyes were still red and blotchy.
"How's everyone doing?"
"What's Kagami up to these days?"
"Kagami-kun's playing in America. He wants us to go to one of his games when you get better."
"Ah shit, the asshole beat me."
"We don't need to look at it that way, Aomine-kun."
"Yeah, at least I got you in the end."
Kise hides behind the door when Midorima opens it. He waits until the doctor steps further into the room before grinning.
The clipboard falls and Midorima spins around, eyes wide and breathing irregular and face as pale as a ghost. Kise laughs, quietly to not wake up Aomine, and dodges the pen as he's fleeing out the door.
He tries not to notice how they're both crying afterwards.
"How's Murasakibara doing?"
"Murasakibara-kun got out of culinary school and is the pastry chef of a cruise ship."
"Oh goddamn, doesn't he get seasick easily?"
"How do you even do it?" Midorima finally asks him one day as Kise's standing at the mirror in Aomine's room, rearranging his hair.
The blonde looks like a corpse when he turns, dark shadows punched under his eyes and his cheekbones protruding too much to look remotely healthy. It makes Midorima feel both disgust and pity - he remembers back in the day when Kise was considered the most attractive out of them.
(He misses them.)
Kise looks at Midorima and the smile that he gives him reminds the doctor of nails.
"Repetition and dedication, Midorimacchi," he repeats like a mantra, cheekily tapping the side of his head.
Midorima is frozen to the spot, even as Kise waves at him before darting out the door and whistling as he walks down the hallway.
He never thought hearing 'Midorimacchi' in Kuroko's voice would be so alarming.
"What's Akashi been up to?"
"Surprisingly, Akashi-kun became an actor."
"...You're kidding me, right?"
"Not at all."
"A...like a...an actual actor?"
"He acts in television dramas."
"It's quite terrifying."
He turns to the mirror.
Sky-colored eyes stare back, on a pasty face surrounded by a messy shock of pale-blue hair.
Kise stumbles backwards and digs his fingernails into his palms so he doesn't scream.
He blinks, and the reflection is his own again.
"...Hey, what about that other idiot?"
"Kise. You didn't tell me what he's been up to."
"...Mmm, I hear he's been doing alright."
"I'm not sure, I haven't spoken with Kise-kun in a few months. Last I saw him he was modeling in Paris."
"Nothing. I just always knew that asshole would shoot forward in life and leave the rest of us behind.'
"He asked me how Kise was doing today."
Midorima looks over from where he's checking Aomine's condition and sees Kise with his arms wrapped around himself. He's staring at Aomine's sleeping face like it holds all the answers to the secrets in the world, and when he speaks his lips only move a fraction.
"How considerate," Midorima finally says. He turns away because he's afraid of going crazy if he stares at Kise's expression any longer.
There's a moment of silence before Kise sighs. "I told him I was doing good."
"Chronic lying, you should get that checked out."
A laugh. "I don't think he ever found out."
Midorima doesn't respond, because he agrees and he doesn't think Kise would be able to keep himself together any longer if he confirmed that his feelings had always been one-sided.
"Do you not love me anymore?"
"...Why would you say that?"
"You don't touch me at all."
Midorima walks into the room to see Kise curled into a ball in the corner of the room, fingers digging into his hair. He's rocking and muttering something quietly under his breath between low whines. Midorima sighs and hangs his clipboard at the foot of Aomine's bed before stepping towards the blonde.
"Come on, Kise, get up."
Kise has to be pulled up to his feet and sat in a chair and given a glass of water before he looks up again. His eyes are dried and withered and glassy and breakable to the touch. Midorima shakes his head.
"You know, you're not helping anyone."
"All you're doing is tearing your heart out, understand?"
"Kuroko is dead. And soon, Aomine will be too."
Kise passes the glass back and dips his head and Midorima can tell that he's trying not to scream.
"Why do you do this to yourself?"
He knows better than to expect a response that time.
"What is, Aomine-kun?"
"It's gotten so cold all of a sudden."
"Whenever you open the window there's always this really cold air blowing in."
"I apologize for being unable to control the weather for you."
"That's not it, Tetsu you bastard. I just wouldn't expect it to be this cold in the summer."
Kise sits at the window, staring outside with his fingers pulling and flicking at his bottom lip in thought. All of the leaves had fallen from the trees, leaving bare branches that looked like hands reaching out to grab him from the other side of the glass.
(It would snow soon. Actual snow, though chances are the 'other' kind would fall as well.)
When he gets up he shifts over to Aomine's bedside, pushes up his fringe (his hair was getting too long, it didn't suit him) and presses his lips to his forehead.
Kise leaves and closes the door behind him.
"You're right, it's not summer anymore."
"That's nothing new."
"Oh shut up, Tetsu, I was just wondering. I could have sworn it was summer just last week, but Midorima took me out and it was snowing outside. It's just hard when I can't see anymore, got it?"
"Of course, I understand."
"...It's just really annoying."
"Not being able to see."
"I'd suppose as much, Aomine-kun."
"I want to see you again so badly."
"What do you look like now?"
"Can you move a little closer? I want to feel how long your hair is."
"It hasn't changed at all. I cut it."
"Why won't you let me touch you, Tetsu?"
Kise stops Midorima with a hand against his chest just as he's leaving the room.
"I'm in love with Aomine Daiki," he says, like it was ever a secret.
Midorima fingers the red poppy pinned to his doctor's coat and fights to keep his face straight. "I know."
"I've always been."
(Midorima doesn't know what to do, because when he looks at Kise all he can see is Kuroko.)
Kise turns away, and it's a while before he looks back. There's a smile, a shadow of his old mocking grin.
"I wonder why it never snows around me?"
Midorima throws a pen at him as he's leaving.
"You don't talk about the others."
"Do I not?"
"Yeah. How's Kagami been? I'd expect him to come visit me at least once, the bastard."
"It's been a few months, Aomine-kun. He has been, you were just asleep. Besides, he's in America now."
"He was recruited."
"Ah...well fuck him. What about the rest of them?"
"...They're all doing good. They came to see you, too, when you were asleep."
"Goddamn, how long was I asleep?"
"A few months."
"...Tetsu, what even happened to me?"
(Kise and Midorima will never tell him.)
(Not about the double-suicide.)
(Not about how they reached Aomine in time.)
(Not about how they didn't reach Kuroko in time.)
"...Aomine-kun? Are you sleeping?"
"...Mmm...no...sorry...I'm just a little tired today..."
"Ah...should I come back tomorrow, then?"
"...No...just saying there is fine..."
Midorima shakes Kise awake from where he had fallen asleep against the wall and the blonde jumps up groggily as if expecting an attack, head snapping around and eyelids still heavy with sleep.
"Time to go," he says. Kise's eyes focus on him, and he blinks blearily.
"It's time to go, visiting hours are over."
"Visiting hours. Over."
"It...ah...thank you, Midorima-kun..."
Midorima doesn't say anything, already too used to hearing Kuroko at all times of the day now, and waits patiently while Kise staggers to his feet and ambles out the door, not quite awake but not quite asleep either.
"You're sleeping a lot more these days, Aomine-kun."
"Yeah...I don't know, I just get tired easier."
"We both know what that means. Guess I might not be able to ever see you again, after all."
"Don't say that."
"No, you don't know what it feels like. I honestly...it becomes so hard to wake up now."
"Aomine-kun, pl - "
"It's a really heavy feeling, I can't really describe it."
"I can't exactly play basketball like this anymore, can I?"
"That's...that's the least of our worries right now."
"Heh, I suppose you're right. Still, Tetsu, apologize to Kagami for me? I don't think I can even keep up with him now. He'll be disappointed."
"Thanks. God...I'm...Tetsu, you know, it's probably only because of you that I'm even trying anymore."
"This'll sound really sappy, but if you weren't still alive and well next to me, I probably would have given up long before now. Thank you for that."
And that did it.
With that, Kise finally gives in to all the heartbreak and unfairness and presses his face to one of Aomine's hands and shakes and shudders with the force of his sobs, cursing every god that he once believed in and every god that he stopped believing in for all the hell that they bring to people that don't deserve it.
"Hey there, don't cry, you're going to make me cry too," Aomine says quietly, his fingers curling weakly around Kise's grip.
Outside, it begins to snow.
Aomine passes away not long after that exchange.
His final day fell on one of the last days of winter, when the world was on the brink of spinning back around and warming up for the resurgence of life, at night when no one but the late-shift nurses were present. His flat-line had all of them running to his room, but with the absence of Midorima and the best of the other doctors, he couldn't be saved and slipped away early the next morning before sunrise.
The nurses claimed that he slipped into unconsciousness when it finally happened, didn't feel an ounce of pain, and if it was otherwise then Kise never wants to know.
To his surprise, one of them comes up to him during the funeral.
"Are you Kise Ryouta?"
He stares at her, not suspiciously, because that would have taken energy that he no longer possessed, but nods in affirmation nonetheless.
"Ah, Aomine-san wanted to let you know that he says thank you. And sorry."
It's enough to catch him off guard, for his eyes to widen slightly and for actual, genuine emotion to resurface. "You got the wrong person. He was looking for Kuroko Tetsuya," he responds, and it's a miracle that his voice doesn't shake when he speaks.
The nurse shakes her head. "He specified Kise Ryouta. You were there with him during those last days, weren't you? I'm sure it was you. Did you know, he died with a smile on his face, too. I'm sorry if it's too soon to say this, but it's too obvious that you were a very important person to him."
Kise chokes. It's too much of a surprise, much too soon.
Before his mind even catches up to his body he finds his mouth opening and, in Kuroko's voice, responds, "Thank you."
i will write something happy.
but this is me playing around with kise's perfect copy (which we have to admit just has like an infinite possible number of cool plotbunnies that you can take from it, i mean come on guys i'm disappointed we haven't done more), problem is that it eventually became a dialogue practice piece. also this was written in like the span of 2 days, and for a longer fanfic that's a miracle for me.
still, can we please just take a moment and think about how funny it would be to hear kuroko's voice coming out of kise's mouth i mean really.
for now though please don't kick me out of the fandom and everyone have a good day! uwu