It's been a while since I came up with an original plot for a one-shot. It feels like I've been doing nothing but Parallel and fills for the AnonMeme lately. Well, I won't say this is 100% original, since some of the ideas came from my childhood friend Izumi-chan when we hung out last Thursday.
How this ridiculous idea came about:
Few months ago, me and my sister/fellow author A Natsume Yuujinchou Lover went for lunch at MOS Burger. This was about three weeks after the Character Bible was published and a week after I obtained by own copy. It was then that I noticed that I always ordered Cheeseburgers (Kagami's favourite) and she always ordered Teriyaki (Aomine's favourite). It was a light-bulb moment for me. I wrote the idea down on a sheet of paper, but never wrote that story because I was busy with other ideas.
And about two weeks before, Izu's friend on twitter mentioned that he/she wanted to see a burger eating contest between our two basketball idiots. Since it was a good opportunity to use that idea, I said that I'll do it. And Izu helped out by giving me lots of fantastic ideas last week.
So, it took five long days, but it's finally complete.
My only wish is that everyone who read this would enjoy it. In fact, knowing that you all do never fails to make my bleak days a little brighter.
Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroko no Basket and its franchise.
It had been a tiring day for Seirin's basketball team.
Just a few hours ago, they had a practice match with Touou Academy. For the first half of the match, it seemed as if their opponents had the upper hand. However, they managed to turn the game in their favour in the second third quarter and caught up quickly. It was a close match between the two schools, but they managed to win with a mere margin of just two points.
The outcome had led to their coach grinning from ear to ear, but everyone else was worn out.
It is now sunset; and Kagami Taiga was on his way to his usual dinner-spot, a popular burger joint known as Maji Burger, all by himself.
"Ahh… I'm hungry. That darn match took everything out of me," He sighed aloud, placing a hand on his rumbling stomach. "I can't wait to get something to eat. Cheeseburgers sound good today. I wonder how many I should get…"
"You're always hungry, Kagami-kun."
He almost jumped when an unexpected voice came from behind him.
His teammate, Kuroko Tetsuya, blinked at him for a moment before greeting him.
"Good day, Kagami-kun."
"Don't 'Good day' me! We just had that match today!
"That has nothing to do with my choice of greeting."
"And you really have to stop scaring people like that!"
"I apologize. It was never my intention to scare you."
"That so? Sometimes I actually wonder if you enjoy watching people get surprised."
"It hurts to hear that Kagami thinks so terrible of me."
"Anyway, what are you doing here? I thought you said that you had something on today?"
"I do, but there's still a bit of time left, so I decided to get a milkshake while I wait."
"What's with that face you're making, Kagami-kun?"
"Nothing. I'm wondering about some things."
"What kinds of things?"
"Why should I tell you? They don't concern you, anyway."
"I was just asking. You don't have to be so rude, Kagami-kun."
The two soon arrived at their destination.
"Good evening; and welcome to Maji Burger. May I take your order?"
"I'll have a vanilla milkshake, please."
"And you, sir?"
"I'm ordering separately from this guy."
"I understand. One vanilla milkshake, regular-sized?"
"I understand! Please wait a moment!"
A short ten seconds later, she returned with a paper cup, filled to the brim with Kuroko's favourite beverage.
"That would be four hundred and fifty yen."
"Here you go."
"Thank you for your patronage! Good evening, sir! May I take your… Ahh, you're that customer that always orders a mountain of cheeseburgers, aren't you?"
"Will you be having that today as well? Or perhaps something different?"
"The usual… if you'd please."
"I understand! Please wait a moment!"
"Looks like you have become quite popular here, haven't you, Kagami-kun?"
"… Shut up."
After he had paid for his order and collected his tray, he walked towards his usual seat, where his teammate was alreadly sipping his drink with a satisfied expression on his face.
"What is it, Kagami-kun?"
"I've been wondering this for a while now… Why do you like those things so much?"
"By 'those things'… you mean vanilla milkshakes?"
"I don't really have any particular reason to like them. Is there a need for one?"
"No, but I assumed that you drink them because you wanted to grow taller… or something like that."
"From where did you come up with that ridiculous notion, Kagami-kun?"
Kuroko looked as calm as always, but the red-head sensed that he had somehow unintentionally offended his teammate.
"N-Nowhere. I was just curious, that's all. If you don't want to answer, it's fine with me."
"That aside, aren't you going to start eating? Your burgers are going to get cold soon," Kuroko took the one at the top and handed it to Kagami. "Here."
Kagami reached out to receive the burger, but as he did so, his fingers brushed against Kuroko's. The red-head blushed slightly at the contact and averted his gaze while he unwrapped his food.
However, before he could take a bite from it, there was a loud slam.
"Kagami! I demand a rematch! Right here, right now!"
"Aomine-kun, if you slam your hand against the table like that, it's going to hurt a lot."
"Thanks for your concern, Tetsu; but I'll be fine. Bakagami, let's settle this!"
"Can't you see I'm about to eat?" Kagami shot him a glare and added under his breath, "I wonder why everyone calls me the basketball idiot when there's a bigger one standing right here."
"What was that?"
Aomine's lips twisted into a grin.
"Ahh… I know what's going on. You're scared, aren't you?"
"Hah? Whoever said I was?"
"Well, then accept my challenge like a man."
"If you don't mind, I need to take a call. I'll be heading outside for a while."
"Ah! Kuroko! Don't leave me alone with this guy!"
Kuroko promptly excused himself, and his seat was soon taken by the tan boy.
"Let's get this started, Kagami!"
"But why should I go along with your whims? It's not like I'll get anything from accepting your challenge, anyway. I already beat you once today; and I don't think I have enough energy to play another game of basketball with you."
At this Aomine gave a loud laugh.
"W-What's so funny?"
"You got two things wrong, Bakagami."
"Hah?! What do you mean?"
"The first thing: you will get something out of this. If you win, that is. It's worth the challenge; so trust me. And the second thing…"
Aomine paused to pick up a burger from the tray.
"… Is that we are going to compete with this."
"By this, you mean…"
"Looks like you got what I mean. That's right; we're going to have an eating competition."
It was now Kagami's turn to give a feral grin.
"Interesting. You said that I'll be able to get something out of this. What, exactly?"
"A date with Tetsu, of course."
"… Hah?" Kagami blinked at Aomine, as if the latter had lost his mind. "W-Why would I w-want to have a d-date with K-Kuroko?"
"Don't bother hiding it. I've seen the way you are around Tetsu. You're rather smitten with him, are you?"
"W-What? Don't say u-unnecessary things like that."
"You don't have to state the obvious!"
"And you didn't deny it. Judging by how defensive you're getting, so you do have something for Tetsu."
"… I-I think you got the wrong idea."
"No, I don't."
"What makes you so sure?"
"Don't act stupid, Bakagami. I've seen the way you look at Tetsu. You may not have noticed, but it's rather obvious that you like him."
"Well, I won't blame you for not realizing. Even I myself wasn't aware of my own feelings for Tetsu… until it was too late."
Aomine's usually confident and arrogant expression showed a rare one of pain and regret.
"However, I refuse to give Tetsu up to anyone. Especially not to you, Kagami. This challenge is not about basketball; nor it's about winning or losing."
"I get what you mean. Fine, I'll accept your challenge."
"Great. Let's start."
"Ah. But first, get your own burgers."
"Because I don't like anyone touching my cheeseburgers, that's why. Go get your own."
"Hah? Cheeseburgers? You mean these aren't teriyaki burgers?"
"Well, duh?" Kagami gestured to the unwrapped burger that had been ignored in his hand. "Can't you see?"
"You're Japanese, aren't you? Real Japanese men go for Teriyaki."
"What kind of stereotype is that? And besides, I eat whatever I want to eat. It's none of your business what I choose. I want this thing to be done and over with as soon as possible."
"Yeah yeah. I'll get those burgers and be right back."
Kagami let out a loud, bored sigh as he waited for Aomine to return.
He tapped in fingers on the table impatiently, as he felt his stomach growl fiercely. It was as if it was demanding to be filled with the food that sat idly on the table in front of him.
He closed his eyes and tried to distract his attention from his rumbling abdomen by listening to the sounds around him.
The murmur of teenage girls chatting excitedly amongst themselves was the first thing that came to his ears, followed by the noisy munching of that guy sitting behind him. A couple talking about their busy day at work. A mother shouting at her children to stay put and have their meal. A bunch of boys discussing about some article about baseball in a sports magazine.
And finally, the sound of a plastic tray being slammed down on the table in front of him.
His eyes opened to see his rival's cocky grin.
"That was fast," He commented, raising an eyebrow.
"This place has great service, I tell ya."
"All right! Let's get this started!"
"Ah, yeah. But let's wait for Tetsu to come back."
"We need someone to keep count, right?"
"Wait. We're going to go by the number of burgers we're going to eat?"
"Well, duh. Isn't it obvious?"
"I thought we were going to decide by who can empty their tray the fastest."
"As expected, you are an idiot, Bakagami."
"Hah?! Who are you calling an idiot over and over again; Ahomine?!"
Aomine seemed to have taken offence to the moniker, but ignored it nonetheless.
"Apparently, Tetsu likes guys who can eat a lot."
"Whoa, you didn't know?"
"No, I didn't. Wait a minute. How do you know about this, anyway?"
"Kise asked him once, back in Middle School."
That explained a lot.
"Oh, speaking of Kuroko, where is he, anyway?"
"Apparently, he's still on the phone. I saw him standing outside talking."
"Why don't we just go by how fast we eat instead? I seriously doubt you want to pause this competition halfway just to grab more burgers… if we run out, that is."
"Oh! You've got a point. Let's do it that way, then."
"So what are we going to do? Wait for him? It's not like we can have a competition without a referee, especially if we want it to be a fair one."
It was then a female voice shouted out.
"Then allow me to be the referee for this match!"
"Who the hell are you?" The two asked in unison, staring at the weird girl who had approached them with an overly-happy smile on her face.
"Me? I'm just a passing busybody!" The girl seemed a little too eager to volunteer. "So, how about it?"
"I guess… that would be okay. What do you say, Kagami?"
"I'm not particularly against it or anything."
"Well then, let's start!"
"What's going on over here?"
Another girl came over and peeked over the shoulder of the first. She wore the same uniform as the latter; perhaps they are friends. Several more came after her.
"An eating contest? Sounds interesting!"
"What kind of mess are we getting into THIS time?"
"But is it possible to eat that much? They have enough there to feed an army!"
"All righty! Let this competition begin! On the Red side, we have the Cheeseburger Chomper: Forked Brows-kun! And his opponent on the Blue side, we have the Teriyaki Tearer: The Ganguro Man!"
"Don't call me that!" Both boys protested at the exact same time.
"What is with those ridiculous names, huh? You got something against my eyebrows?"
"And what's with the 'Ganguro' part?! I'm naturally tan! It's my grandpa's genes, I'm telling you!"
"These two brave souls are here today for a great challenge with a date on the line! I call it the Great Burger Battle! Competitors, are you ready?"
"Are you wondering what I'm wondering?"
"About how much this noisy woman had actually overheard from our conversation? I'd personally like to know that, too."
"I repeat: Competitors, are you ready?"
"Bring it on!"
"Well then! On your marks, get set; go!"
At the call, the two dove at their mountain of burgers.
By this time, their little competition had gather much attention from both the people inside the store and those outside who had been passing by.
"And our match has started! Our two competitors are starting by unwrapping their burgers with such speed! And it looks like the Ganguro Man is off to a great start; he got the wrapper off first. But Forked Eyebrows isn't too shabby either!"
For some reason, their referee started to go into announcer-mode.
Not that they actually bothered, though.
"And here they go, with their first burger! And the Cheeseburger Chomper lives up to his name! Look at him stuffing his cheeks like a starved squirrel! But Teriyaki is close behind! They're both off to a great… no, a fantastic start! It's hard to tell who's in the lead at any given time!
"And they're both on to their second burgers! Neither of them are willing to let the other get the upper hand! As of this moment, the victor of this competition remains unclear!"
"Go, Ganguro Man!"
"Beat im', Forked Eyebrows!"
"Mpmh mh mpmh mm mphm, Pmhmpmm!" (I won't lose to you, Bakagami!)
"Mm mh mpmh mhpm mmph, Mhmmphm!" (That is my line, Ahomine!)
"Mpmhm mh mpmhmh!" (Tetsu is mine!)
"Mhm mphmm." (You wish.)
"Look at them go! It's amazing how someone could eat this much! Are they really Japanese?! Or perhaps they're really regulars at those eat-for-free contests?!"
"No, they're not. On the contrary, they're just normal high school boys… with a larger than normal appetite."
The girl gave a small yelp of shock when someone from behind her spoke.
She turned around, mouth agape as she started at the boy with light blue hair and matching eyes.
"W-Who are you? Since when have you been there?"
"My name is Kuroko Tetsuya. And I've been here for about half a minute now."
"Ah, there's no need for you to introduce yourself. Wait. You said your name was Kuroko… Tetsuya…?"
The girl's eyes widened before they narrowed. A knowing grin spread across her face, as if she had sorted out the cause of this entire fiasco in her head.
"So that's what this is all about."
"Pardon me?" Kuroko gave her a curious stare.
"Oh, it's nothing."
"Is that so?" Kuroko raised one eyebrow, but did not enquire further.
He reached between the two to pick up his milkshake and his bag, which had been left under the table. After he had collected his belongings, he returned to the crowd, watching the competition along with everyone else who had gathered there.
"Both of our competitors are looking good so far! Just a few minutes into the competition and they have both gone through half a mountain of burger! How fast are they eating? How many can they eat? Will these two boys put sumo wrestlers to shame? They're eating so much that it's truly amazing, if not terrifying! Is it even possible to store that much food in the human body?"
Kuroko looked around him.
It seemed like almost everyone inside the restaurant had gathered around them, including curious members of the staff. There were some who were silently watching, just like he was; but there were plenty of cheers and shouts that fueled the atmosphere surrounding the two basketball idiots.
He sighed and took another sip of his milkshake.
It was then he thought he heard two hard taps on the glass.
He looked up, his eyes widening slightly when he spotted the person on the opposite side of the glass. No one else seemed to have noticed him, except for Kuroko.
"I can't believe it… They finished at almost the same time!"
"That's incredible… being able to finish that much in such a short amount of time…"
"Are they even human?"
"So full… But that… was a good match, Bakagami…" Aomine grunted, rubbing his stuffed belly with one hand.
He looked as if he were the character of some anime: his abdomen had become comically larger and rounded and his shirt buttons looked as if they could pop out at any time.
Kagami, too, was in a similar state.
"Yeah…" The red-head nodded in agreement. "Hey… So who won?"
"And now that both our challengers have been rendered unable to battle, it is now time to announce the results of this competition! The winner shall be rewarded with a rare chance to go on a date with a very special person!"
"Just spit it out already! Who won: me or Bakagami?"
"Oh, hold your horses and be patient. I was about to do that. And the winner is…"
Everyone waited anxiously for the announcement.
"You see, while the two of you were stuffing your faces full, Weak Presence-kun left with this really dashing looking guy with blonde hair. My, he was so good looking he could have been a model, if I must say so myself. He looked familiar, though I'm not exactly sure where I might have seen him before. Maybe he actually is a model."
"Blonde…?" Kagami repeated, a little surprised.
"Good-looking…?" Aomine's expression was the same as Kagami's.
It then clicked in their heads.
Of course. It had to be Kise. I mean, you don't even need to be a genius to know who the girl was referring to.
"A few minutes ago, actually."
"Where are they?"
"They already left."
"Now that you mentioned it, Kuroko did say that he was waiting for someone…"
"Seriously? And you choose to only mention that now, Bakagami?"
"I didn't choose! It's just that you didn't bother to ask!"
"Ahh, forget that. So Kise was the person Tetsu was waiting for?"
"Seems like it. So what does that mean?"
Before Aomine could answer, it seemed as if Kagami had figured out the answer to his own question.
"Don't tell me… Kuroko… and Kise are…"
For some reason, he did not dare to finish his own sentence.
The truth… if it really was the truth, came to him as more of a shock than a surprise. The fact that he himself that realized this made it even worse.
Sure, Kise had always been clingy around Kuroko, which was something that he always ignored. However, he did not realize the fact that the latter never once reacted strongly against those acts of supposed one-sided affection; neither did his body language imply that he had found it repulsive.
"Yeah… It seems like it. After all, Tetsu always seemed to have a soft spot for him, but really…"
"It's kind of frustrating."
"Yeah. It is."
Damned you, Kise! I'll get you one day! Just you wait!
The two of them swore silently, fists clenched.
This… means war!
Somewhere else, Kise sneezed.
"Are you alright, Ryouta-kun? Are you catching a cold?"
"I'm fine, Tetsucchi. Someone must be cursing me, that's all."
"Well, that's your fault for making so many enemies."
"That's kind of mean, Tetsucchi. Are you still angry that I was late?"
"I'm not angry."
"Believe me, I'm not. I'm just a bit… disappointed, that's all."
"I'm really sorry about that, Tetsucchi. I really didn't expect them to take so long today."
"It's your work, so it can't be helped, right? I'll forgive you this time."
Kuroko did not reply to Kise's grimace.
He shook the paper cup in his hands. It was empty.
With a sigh, he tossed it into a nearby trash bin.
"By the way, what's with Kagamicchi and Aominecchi today? What exactly were they doing?"
"Probably something stupid again, I presume," Kuroko sighed wearily, closing his eyes. "Those two are so alike; it's a mystery why they don't get along."
"Well, think of them as like poles of a magnet."
"That makes sense."
"And I bet Aominecchi was the one who started it."
"You're right about that."
Kuroko took a few more steps, but stopped when he heard no reply from Kise.
He was about to turn around to look at the blonde when a firm pair of arms wrapped around his chest.
"It looked to me that they were competing over you. It made me a little… no, more than a little angry to see that they were treating you like some rare prize. But what made it even more infuriating for me was that they actually laid eyes on you, too. Tetsucchi is mine, and no one else's!"
"Why are you getting jealous and possessive for? You know well enough that I see you and them differently."
"I'm sorry, Tetsucchi… but I really, really can't help but feel jealous of them."
"For a lot of reasons. Especially that light and shadow thing."
Kuroko resisted the urge to roll his eyes. How many times have they had this conversation again?
"Ryouta-kun, listen to me."
Kuroko broke free of Kise's hold, turning around to face him. Reaching up, he held the blonde's cheeks in his hands and brought their faces closer together so that their noses were touching.
"Ryouta-kun, I have said this over and over again. Aomine-kun and Kagami-kun may be my light; but that is all they are to me. Ryouta-kun is more than just a mere light; in my world you are the sun. Their light is only bright; but you… Ryouta-kun is both bright and warm."
Using one hand, he reached down to hold one of Kise's wrists. He brought the hand up and snuggled his cheek against it.
"I love you; and only you, Ryouta-kun. I know you may feel insecure at times, so I'll say it as many times as you want me to."
"So there's no need for you to get jealous over those two idiots… okay?"
Reaching up slightly on tiptoes, Kuroko closed the gap between them with a kiss. It was a simple and gentle gesture, as if he were trying to console Kise.
But just when he pulled apart slightly, Kise crashed his lips down on his once more.
Taken by surprise, Kuroko tried to move his head away. However, Kise had one hand firmly clamped at the back of his head and the other around his waist.
"Mmm…!" Kuroko protested, but he couldn't speak properly.
He gave Kise two hard pats on the shoulder, but Kise refused to let him go.
"Uu!" Kise let out a wince as Kuroko forcefully pushed his face away. "T-Tetsucchi…?"
"Ryouta-kun, not in public."
"Tetsucchi was the one who started it. It's unfair to put the blame on me, right?"
Kuroko wanted to give Kise another glare, but he refrained from doing so.
"… I guess you're right. But that doesn't give you the right to do whatever you want."
"Tetsucchi is so stingy…"
"I'm sorry you feel that way. Speaking of which, where are we headed today?"
"About that, I found another good café around here! And this one is famous for its milkshakes!"
"But I had one earlier."
"You can always have another one; it won't hurt!"
"I don't want to die from diabetes, thank you very much."
"Even if it's my treat?"
"… Well, if you're paying, I suppose I can't refuse."
"For some reason, I'm getting that there's a hidden meaning behind that statement of yours."
"Is that so? It must be your imagination, then."
Kise laughed at Kuroko's change in expression… or rather, the lack of it.
He wrapped one arm around Kuroko's shoulders, pulling the shorter closer to him.
"Shall we get going, then? The sun's going to set soon; and you must be hungry, right?"
In reply to the question Kuroko only nodded, once with a small smile on his face.
"Hm?" Kise blinked, staring down at Kuroko's outstretched hand.
Kise grinned and took the other's hand.
Together, the two of them walked towards their destination, with bright smiles on their faces.
Love is a battle that takes two people to win.
It's not something that you can accomplish on your own.
After all, a relationship always consists of two people, never one… right?