Chapter One
~Prologue~

~Kuroko no Basuke is not mine!~

Everyone grows up. Everything grows, or ages, or changes over time. However, feelings remain, no matter how insignificant, and the feelings are what matter the most in this world. And in the worlds beyond ours, because there are indeed other worlds. You just need to know where to look to find a trace of them.

When you're young, you don't think about these things. You think about the upcoming basketball game or the practice after school, or even the cute someone who caught your eye and winked during math; when Kise was young, that someone was Kuroko -a teammate, but still!- and Kise was the one winking. They braved middle school and tournaments together, winning over and over again until winning stopped being enough for them, and then middle school was over. Kise and the Generation of Miracles left Teiko behind, soaring ever-onward, but somewhere in the discussions of high schools and the best places for them Kuroko disappeared.

And then he was registered, refusing to give the school name or location.

And then he was gone; Kise thought forever.

Days of listless photo shoots filled Kise's school-less days until his mail revealed a plain white envelope without a return address, addressed to him in tidy blue ink. Kuroko's signature style! It practically opened itself in his excited hands, his uncontrollable glee hindering the make-up artists, and a small piece of card fell out into his lap.

'Dear Kise-kun,

All registrations are now final and unchangeable, so now I will answer your question. I am going to attend Seirin High School, and play their basketball.

Sumimasen,

Kuroko'

Kise hadn't known what to think- what to say; what do you say to something like that? As Kuroko had said, all the registrations were finalized now and nothing could be done, meaning that the phantom player had done this on purpose. He was severing the ties that bound him to the Generation of Miracles and their basketball.

Though those ties didn't stay severed. The Generation of Miracles suffered victories and losses at the hands of the Taiga that Kuroko had found, a new Light that only got brighter, and at the end of high school basketball and the next season were too small to worry about anymore.

They had careers to earn, jobs to get, homes to pay for and enjoy and keep up; the boys kept in contact -even Kuroko- but things started to overshadow their ancient bond of 'teammates'.

Love: right out of high school Atsushi Murasakibara got down on both knees -one knee still gave him a bit too much height when compared to his senpai- and professed his love and allegiance to Tatsuya Himuro in front of everyone present. And, better yet, Himuro had accepted the man with the ridiculous candy wrapper ring -the real band came later, after months of training in a culinary school landed the giant a job as pastry chef in a ritzy restaurant.

Laughter: After high school, Shintarou Midorima moved on to medical school and he lost touch with his basketball partner Kazunari Takao entirely, too focused on his studies to answer more than Kise's occasional 'hey, midorimacchi'. He excelled, his grades and precision sending him higher and higher on the 'suitable' list for graduation, and he soon found that scholarships he hadn't planned on were coming his way; he would graduate with honours and job offers had already been made. He was certain of everything in his future, at least, until Takao came rushing into his first period lecture with his new textbooks piled in his arms. Takao, as he'd learned later via a harsh interrogation of his ex-teammate, had studied harder than ever and saved every free penny over the last year, saving his college fund more and more until Midorima's school was an option. He claimed, rather breathlessly once the tale was over, that he could not stand another day without his Shin-chan. He wanted to be with him; forever. And Midorima had laughed -laughed harder than he thought possible- until he had worked out what to say. He claimed that, while Takao had been a hopeless fool in high school that this new level of insane was too much. And then Midorima had welcomed Takao back with a smirk, because Takao would still be pedalling the rickshaw.

And life: Satsuki Momoi soon found a relationship outside of her childhood friend, earning herself a house, a husband, and what would soon be a bouncing baby girl. Or she would have, until she caught her husband in bed with his assistant after she had been out on a day trip with the policeman-in-training, Aomine Daiki. He had been just pulling away when he saw her exit, stumbling with a suitcase in one hand, and it was not difficult to determine that she and her husband were not going to work. He provided her with a place to call home, a loving place his parents had given him to stay for the duration of his training with the force, and a safe place to rest her heart. She had given birth to a healthy baby -weight and size were normal, blood tests came back perfect- and she had asked Aomine to name it: her daughter's name became Mitsu. And Mitsu, as it seemed, was growing more and more attached to her Daiki-chan as the days went by.

And, as of not long ago, Kuroko Tetsuya was to become Kagami Tetsuya in the fall.

Everyone approved of the pair's commitment, even Akashi -he had maintained his level of control, even after high school- and the old Seirin duo were very happy.

Kise was happy for them; they deserved their happiness. He had his planes to fly -people needed to travel, after all- and he had his fans -which were still growing in number despite his growing age-, which were enough for the blond man to live with comfortably. He had want for nothing, as his careers paid exceptionally well, and his home was lavish- bordering on extravagant. He was still kind, reaching out to charities he knew and didn't know, and he was always showering his ex-teammates in gifts and praise. That was Kise- happy, healthy, generous Kise.

Which is why, when things turned sour, Kuroko turned to him first.

~Kuroko no Basuke is not mine!~