Kise sat on the bench, his fingers intertwined as he watched the game continue on. His eyes followed every player as much as he could, speculating them, studying their every moves. Kise's feet shifted nervously.

Seirin's using their run-and-gun! What amazing speed! They're catching up with Kaijou soon! But hold on! Kaijou isn't lacking behind! Even without their ace on the court!"

Kise's body tensed up as he itched to enter the court again. "Hurry up." he panted, staring at the timer.

Soon.

The moment the timer showed 2.33, the ball rolled out of court and there was a loud roar.

Kaijou, member change!

Kise immediately stood up, his face extremely dark as Nakamura walked towards him. "You've worked hard." he slapped the other's hand and strode into the court. "Kurokocchi, Kagamicchi, I'm back."

The ace of Kaijou is back in action! With Seirin in the lead, can they win it back? Or will Seirin persevere and win the semi-finals?!

"Remember what I said, Kurokocchi. I won't lose. Not to anyone, not even Kurokocchi. Not anymore."

The whistle sounded and the game begun again. The last 2-minute continued on with slams and dunks with Kaijou fiercely chasing after Seirin. It was getting tense and the whole stadium was fired up. Literally no one could stand against Kise with his perfect copy.

Kasamatsu-senpai and the rest of the Kaijou team wore smiles of confident as their ace earned the points back. But as the time neared the last ten seconds and Kaijou led 2-points ahead, Kise felt a pull in his muscle, a sharp pain silenced him as he shouted for a pass. He couldn't find his footing. Something was wrong. He lost his balance and fell straight down. The ball was passed, but the ace didn't receive it. He didn't even manage to touch the ball. Kuroko appeared out of no where and smashed the ball to Kagami. Despite that, all Kaijou members had their eyes on their ace. Their fallen ace.

Kise clenched his jaw and wrapped himself around his leg, the pain was excruciating. He could hear faint screams and shouts. The buzz of cheers. The noise the buzzer made. "Shit." he spat when he felt hands on him. "Shit. Shit. SHIT!" he recognized Kasamatsu's voice as a few other hands rested on him.

What is this? The ace of Kaijou fell down in the last seconds and it seems like he's in pain! Seirin took advantage of that and scored a three-pointer! And it's a buzzer beater! Amazing! Now the ace of Kaijou is being carried away by the medics. This is a sudden and rather surprising turn of events. But it was quite the heated match!

In the room, Kise flinched in pain as he bit his lips to stop himself from screaming. The medics were checking his leg out. 'Probably pulled a muscle.' he told himself silently in his head as he huffed. The door flung open and Kise managed to pry open an eye to see the tanned skin and messy navy hair. "Aominecchi." he managed to mutter. "Hush." he shushed the blond, ruffling his hair a little. The medics handed Kise a few pills and told him to take them. "Painkillers, they said." Aomine placed a cold hand on the other's sweaty forehead. He downed the pills without the help of water. Though it tasted bitter, it must be strong because Kise could immediately feel the effect of it. He blinked twice, feeling tape on his leg. "Hmm.." he blinked a few more time at the worried face.

Suddenly, a group of boys rushed in. Flashes of blue made Kise flinch as he tried to get up — but the medicine was probably keeping him down. Kise coughed when Aomine let the captain of Kaijou face Kise. "Oi, Kise, are you okay?" the male looked like he had been crying. Everyone's faces looked so down.. so defeated.

We were defeated.

A soft voice reminded him and he felt his vision blur as tears rolled down the side of his eyes. He blinked a few more times before he felt darkness closing around him. His eyelids drooped and he fell asleep. He could smell the sweat in the room, and that was the last thing he remembered.


Aomine's eyes rested on the blond. The effect of the painkillers should be wearing off soon. He bit his lips. The wait was tiring. But what he worried about most was how he was to break the news to Kise.

Slowly, his eyes drifted away from the blond's sleeping form to the window opposite his bed. The sun was slowly rising. "Hmph." he grunted as he made himself comfortable on the chair.

He sighed, closing his eyes to take a break, and to think of a way to tell Kise of the terrible news the doctor had told him after Kise's check up when he was admitted into the hospital right after the dismissal of the semi-finals of the Winter Cup.


"Is there anyone who's a relative of Kise Ryouta-san?"

"Ah, I'm a friend."

"Is his parents here?"

"Oh, no, they're on a business trip.

"Ah. Well, come into my office.


Aomine felt his eyelids droop. He was about to fall asleep when movement caught his attention. The shuffling of the bedsheets was hard to ignore since the room was so quiet. He looked over at the blond who had his eyes opened. "Kise?"

Kise propped himself up with an eyebrow as he held his forehead with the other hand. He tried rubbing the sleep away when Aomine stood up next to him, his cold hands caressed his cheeks and he brought Kise's face up to face him. "You're so pale." he commented, turning away to grab a cup of water for the blond. Kise sat there, his head still quite blank.

When Aomine handed the cup to him, he took it gratefully and downed the whole cup. He realized that his throat was quite parched and the water felt cool as it washed away the sleepiness. "Where am I, Aominecchi?" he asked, looking around the room. "The hospital, dumbass." Aomine raised an eyebrow at him and sat down on the chair again. "Did you hit your head too?" he asked teasingly. "No." Kise sighed, rolling his eyes, his fingers rubbed the cold surface of the cup nervously.

"My leg." he started, staring at the now-empty cup. Aomine glanced at him, his body tensing up. "I only pulled a muscle or strained it, right?" he asked, managing a smile. Aomine tried to smile back. He wanted to say, "Yeah! You accidentally injured your leg and you'll be fine to play basketball again as long as you rested!".. But that wasn't the case. He could lie to him. Mouth, yes. But his face, his body language, no. Aomine looked down on the floor and shook his head. The blond stared at him, his face unreadable as he tried to make out what Aomine meant. "What do you mean by that?" he laughed, his face showing that it wasn't funny though. "I'm okay, right?" he pushed the covers from his feet and tried to move his injured leg.

Wait. Why couldn't he feel a thing?