Small droplets of water with a strange and distinct smell fell from the clouded sky and onto the dry concrete pavement. The day was unknown as well as the time. But such measurements did not matter as they barely play a part in Aomine's life. Recently, he's lived life without caring much for the day and time which has raised concern in the other members of the Teikou Middle School Basketball team as well as from his classmates, teachers and his family. Day in and day out, the tanned teen has been stuck in an infinite loop of waking up, playing basketball and going to sleep. Classwork, lunch and duties were all blocked out from his mind as minimal communication slipped pass through his lips the past month.
Everyone knew the reason he fell into such state but no one could relate to him.
"Aominecchi's…" Kise began, sitting by the sideline bench of the first gym. He held a water bottle in his hand and sipped out from him; his eyes watching the first and second stringers of the basketball team, "He hasn't been coming to train with the rest of us lately. He's apparently gone back to the fourth auditorium."
"Eh~? Really..?" Murisakibara replied; his long body sprawled out against the rest of the bench. Kise nodded, knowing full well that the taller male can't see.
"It's been a month, now." Midorima commented, grabbing onto the ends of the towel that was draped around his neck. He stood near Murisakibara's head as the said teen and Kise turned to look at the Fate Follower.
"Has it really been a month that he's been…? Since that…" Kise started but could not dare to finish. Murisakibara sat up, allowing room for Midorima to sit as Akashi came by. He stood in front of the three with his arms crossed over his chest. He parted his lips to speak.
"Where's Daiki?" He asked with no such hints of emotion across his composed face. The three members glanced at each other then back at their Captain.
"He's probably at the fourth auditorium." Kise replied, cocking his head in the direction of the said gym. Akashi sighed.
"He's been going there for a month now. It's getting problematic." The Captain complained. The sitting teens did not know what he meant by that though, "We're going to have to do something." He announced, looking off to the direction that Aomine presumably would be.
The moment his hand opened the large gym doors, the stuffy atmosphere surrounding him disappeared. Aomine smelt the distinct smell of the rain as the humid but cool air lowered his heated body. He stepped outside, a small outward shelter protecting him from the rain as he sat against the brick wall, towel over his head. His knees were bent upwards as his forearms leaned atop them. He closed his deep sea orbs and faced upwards. Aomine felt calm underneath the sound of the rain splashing against the warm pavement as all thoughts were drained from his mind. His body was tired out from all the training he's done. Even though it's hard to train by yourself in a lonesome gym, and the perks of training in the fourth auditorium were that there was no one around to boss him or scold him for trying just a little too hard. He accepted that fact and thus continued going there. Besides, what was the point of having a fourth auditorium if no one's going to use it?
Aomine felt sleep overtake his system—rainy weather was the best weather to sleep in and he, like most, would do so. His eyelids, even if closed, felt heavy and his mind slowly began to shut down into sleep mode. But before he could do so, he felt a soft touch upon his shoulder, followed by a voice.
"Aomine-kun, even if it's hot, you shouldn't try to fall asleep in the rain. You'll catch a cold."
The tanned male turned his head in the direction of the voice he heard; the towel naturally slipping off. His eyes widened at the sight of a light blue hair and accompanying orbs.
"Tetsu…?" Aomine's voice cracked with confusion as the said male smiled just a bit, "What're you… What're you doing here?" he then asked. Kuroko took it upon himself to join Aomine; sitting with his bottom against the floor and his back against the brick wall. He looked straight out ahead at the empty quad, rain now coming down hard. His legs were crossed over each other as his hands rested on his lap.
"I've heard that you haven't been practicing with the others. I just came to see what's up." Kuroko answered, looking straight ahead.
Aomine stayed silent. He wasn't sure what words could make up an appropriate reply. He did not want to leak his inner thoughts out to this male but then again, that might be the only choice he's got. That, or to just run away and avoid the Shadow but he couldn't bring himself to even do that.
"So what is the matter, Aomine-kun?" Kuroko asked, turning his head to face Aomine. It seemed that the tanned male had also been looking straight ahead and it doesn't look like he was going to turn his head to face the Shadow either.
"Why are you here, really?" Aomine glanced quickly at the Shadow but it did not go unnoticed by him. Rising to his feet, the tanned male brushed himself off before looking down at Kuroko with eyes that showed no emotion. Kuroko returned the look with a longing gaze, one that Aomine once grew accustomed to, but no longer remembered. It was a gaze he'd seen every day; a gaze of admiration. Kuroko looked up at the younger male before also stumbling up to his feet.
Suddenly, Kuroko extended his arms and constricted them around Aomine's built body, enveloping him into a strong embrace. Aomine was confused at this notion but showed no signs of rejecting it.
"Why are you doing this? Tell me, why are you here?" Aomine asked, finding himself slipping his arms around the smaller body; his chin atop Kuroko's head.
"Can't I be here?" the Shadow asked, moving his head to look at the Ace. He saw an angst-filled expression—one that could break hearts. Kuroko tsked, pressing a palm against Aomine's cheek, all in which the tall teen unknowingly leant into; eyes closed as if savouring the warmth.
"It's been a month since you've…" The tall teen started but his sentence trailed off with his hand hesitantly touching Kuroko's.
"Since I've… left?" Kuroko finished, cocking his head to the side. Aomine's eyes fluttered open before his teeth gritted at the use of words.
Kuroko smiled a lonesome smile, withdrawing his hand away from Aomine's cheek. The tanned teen immediately missed the Shadow's touch but he bit his lower lip to prevent any signs of that from surfacing.
"It's not the end of the world, Aomine-kun. It's not like I've left you. I'll still be around. I promise." Kuroko informed, placing a hand on top of Aomine's shoulder. Aomine turned his head to look at the hand before looking back a Kuroko. But the said teen was no longer in front of him. It was as if he vanished; disappeared, left. Aomine took a confusing step forward with his fingertips against the cheek that Kuroko had just touched. What he felt was real, yet now before his eyes, Kuroko was wiped out from his sight. Gritting his teeth, he clenched his hand tightly before banging it against the concrete wall.
"Damn it, Tetsu..!" he muttered underneath his breath as he turned his back against the wall, pressing it against and sliding downwards. His hands ran through his hair in utter frustration at the current situations before he knocked his head back into the rough surface of the wall. The sound of the rain that once filled his ears soon began to calm into a light trickle before eventually coming to an indefinite halt. He could smell the rain on the pavement as the sun did not falter to show itself beyond those dark clouds.
He was so confused at what happened moments ago. He wasn't sure if Kuroko was right in front of him or if his mind was playing a cruel trick on him. It had been a month since Kuroko left as it had also been a month since Aomine's changed. He had accepted everything that's been done yet he couldn't help but transact into someone that no one knew. But now he's having a hard time accepting what's in his head and what's actually true. He feared not being able to differentiate between reality and fantasy ever since a month back and now the two worlds came in colliding in his mind in a never ending strife for his attention.
"Why did you have to go?"
黒子のバスケ © 藤巻 忠俊
Kuroko No Basuke
Please tell me this is ambiguous.