Kagami usually wouldn't think much about this sort of situation. Sitting across from Kuroko at Maji Burger, watching him delicately sip at the straw of his vanilla milkshake, it was something that had become surprisingly normal. Still, as Kagami took the next bite from his fifth burger, he grew thoughtful. Today wasn't just any day. Oh, no, no, no. Today was Valentine's Day; the day of lovers and chocolates and hearts and roses. It would definitely explain why Maji's was a bit less crowded than usual. After all, who would want to take their date to a fast food restaurant? Kagami could only imagine how jam-packed the ice skating rinks and the movie theaters were.
He had been so preoccupied with his head in the clouds about the holiday that he hadn't even realized that Kuroko was trying to get his attention, not until a gentle finger poked at his left cheek.
"Kagami-kun, is something the matter?" he questioned, withdrawing his hand after thoroughly startling his teammate.
"What? Wh-why would you ask that? Nothing's wrong," Kagami replied, though his response didn't come out as smoothly as he had wanted it to.
"You seem to be a bit distracted," Kuroko persisted, forming his lips back around the straw of his milkshake.
"Well, it's not like we're in the middle of a basketball game, or something, so I don't see what the problem is." Kagami childishly took a large bite out of his burger, but the action had only backfired out of his favor. Instead of delving into a greasy burger patty, he had taken a chomp on his index finger.
"I've never seen that happen before," Kuroko commented, his deadpan stare remaining unbroken.
"Oh, shut up," Kagami hissed. "It's not my fault that it's Valentine's Day."
"Excuse me?" Kuroko questioned confusedly.
Instantly realizing what he had just said, Kagami sucked in his lip and held his breath. He'd really done it now. He'd gone and said something completely stupid and now Kuroko would think that he was even more of an idiot—you know, considering the fact that Kuroko already knew Kagami was an idiot.
"Well…you know," Kagami began slowly, a scorching heat rising and settling into his cheekbones, "it's Valentine's Day and here we are, two friends, just spending the afternoon at Maji's. Don't you think it's a little…" Unable to find the right words, Kagami trailed off awkwardly.
"I don't think that there's anything wrong with it. Besides, Valentine's Day has become far too commercial. Most people can't even explain how the tradition began," Kuroko said.
This had caught Kagami a bit off guard. "Oh, are you saying that you don't like Valentine's Day, Kuroko?"
"I'm saying no such thing. It's just not one of my favorite holidays."
Kagami felt even more uncomfortable now that Kuroko had said such a thing. Here he was being the only one who was making such a big deal out of nothing. It really made him feel stupid.
After a few minutes of collected silence, along with another burger digesting in his stomach, Kagami took up the courage and decided to ask, "So, Kuroko, have you ever had a Valentine before? You know, like, has anyone ever gotten you chocolate or given you a card?"
Peeling his eyes away from the window, Kuroko looked to Kagami and nodded. "Yes, I've had a Valentine before. In fact, I've had five."
"F-five?!" Kagami stuttered. "Wait…don't tell me."
Kuroko nodded once more. "Yes, and judging from the way your expression dropped just now, I bet you can guess who they were."
Kagami couldn't believe it. He even did a double count in his head, but there was no way around it. "Are you saying that your Valentines were the Generation of Miracles?"
With a third nod, Kuroko replied, "That's exactly what I'm saying."
"Kurokocchi!" Kise chanted, running half-way up the street in order to catch up with his teammate. "Kurokocchi, Kurokocchi! Wait for me, please-ssu!"
Stopping reluctantly, Kuroko turned around, only to be greeted by a very out of breath Kise and a neatly wrapped bag of chocolates dangling in front of his face.
"What are those?" Kuroko asked, though the answer was quite obvious.
"They're Valentine's Day chocolates!" Kise beamed. "I made them just for you, Kurokocchi!"
"Thank you, but I respectively decline," Kuroko responded, facing forward once more and continuing on his commute to school.
Sobbing and whining, Kise raced to catch up with Kuroko once more. "Kurokocchi, that's so mean! Please don't be that way! I spent all night making these for you!" He wouldn't admit to it, but he had experienced so many failed attempts with making Kuroko's chocolates. Who knew that you could actually burn chocolate!
Kuroko's pace slowed, as he looked over at Kise. "Did you really spend all night, Kise-kun?"
"Yes!" Kise affirmed. "See? Look at these bags under my eyes! I'm so lucky that I don't have a photo shoot today or I would be so dead-ssu!"
Kuroko sighed, stopping altogether. Kise stopped as well, eager to hear what Kuroko had to say. Extending his hand out, Kuroko sighed once more and said, "Considering that you worked so hard making them, it would be rude of me to decline. I'll accept them."
The noise that projected from Kise's mouth should have been illegal. It rang through Kuroko's ears and sent chills spiraling down his spine.
"Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Kurokocchi! This means that I am now officially your Valentine! Don't you forget that, okay?" Kise giggled, placing the bag of chocolates down into Kuroko's palm. Waving his teammate off, he ran to catch up with a few of his other friends from his science class. This left Kuroko alone to his own affairs.
He placed the chocolates carefully into his school bag, making sure that the wrapping was tightly sealed and that they wouldn't end up spilling out everywhere. Just the thought of having chocolate-stained book pages made Kuroko cringe.
The transition from his second to his third period class hadn't been as smooth as Kuroko had wanted it to be. Couples were constantly stopping in front of him, both on his left and on his right, exchanging hugs and chocolates. The blockade made it virtually impossible to pass through, or so he had thought.
At that very moment, a hand from behind had grabbed his arm and drew him backward, startling Kuroko thoroughly. He didn't know what had shocked him more, however; the fact that he had been whisked out of the crowd, or by who he had been whisked out of the crowd from.
"Midorima-kun, thank you for the help," Kuroko acknowledged, bowing his head with quick gratitude.
"It's no problem, nanodayo," Midorima replied, using his third finger to push up his glasses.
Being keen on subtle differences, Kuroko noticed that not only had Midorima's left hand been bandaged, but his right hand as well. "Did something happen to your hand?" Kuroko asked, watching as his teammate's fingers withdrew rapidly, only to be hid behind his back.
"Ah, no, nothing happened to it," Midorima countered, where in reality, if he were to remove those bandages, an array of cuts and kitchen-born wounds would come into view.
"I see," Kuroko nodded, adding, "Well, thank you again. The hallway has seemed to clear a bit more now. I'll be off." Just as Kuroko had began to walk away, that same hand had stopped him once again.
"Uh, it's a tad ironic, but Aquarius's lucky item for the day is chocolate," Midorima muttered.
Before Kuroko could say that he already had received some chocolates, another small sack, this one a bit less extravagant, had been placed into his hand.
"Thank you for your concern," Kuroko said, examining the chocolate a bit more thoroughly. The edges of the squares were ragged and the circles weren't very…circular.
"Don't thank me. It's just your lucky item. It's not like I want you to be my Valentine or anything like that, nanodayo," Midorima scoffed, pushing up his glasses once more in attempts to mask his blossoming blush.
"Understood. I won't get the wrong idea," Kuroko promised, watching as Midorima dashed off after stating that he was late for class, when in reality, he and Kuroko both knew full well that this was his study hall period.
Although lunchtime was usually spent surrounded by his noisy teammates, Kuroko found himself eating alone this afternoon. Uncovering the lid of his bento, a vast shadow began to obscure his view. Looking up, Kuroko was surprised to see Murasakibara bending over and eyeing the contents of his lunch.
"Can I help you with something, Murasakibara-kun?"
"Hmm?" Murasakibara hummed, swaying slowly back and forth. "I'm just wondering why you're not eating chocolates for lunch. It's Valentine's Day."
"I'm well aware of the day," Kuroko said, breaking his disposable chopsticks, "but I just don't think that eating chocolate as a meal is very healthy."
"Did your doctor say that?" Murasakibara asked, sitting down next to Kuroko.
"I'm pretty sure a doctor has said that before, just not mine in particular."
"Well, if your doctor hasn't said it, then that means that you can eat it," Murasakibara decided. Digging his hand into his school bag, he pulled out a super-sized chocolate bar and handed it over to Kuroko. "There. Now you can have chocolate for lunch."
"Thank you, but I'd much rather eat the lunch that my mother prepared for me. However, I humbly accept your gift," Kuroko said in thanks, placing the chocolate bar down by his side.
Ripping open the wrapper of a chocolate bar of his own, Murasakibara shrugged his shoulders and said, "Whatever, I guess. But make sure you eat it for dinner."
Kuroko nodded and began to eat his lunch, having no such intentions of doing what Murasakibara had said.
As the school day had finally come to a close, Kuroko was rather eager to get out of his school uniform and into some sweats. He and Aomine had made plans to practice together later, and he was intent on keeping them.
While he was replacing his school shoes for his public ones, he felt a firm hand clasp onto his shoulder, followed then by a just as firm voice.
"Good afternoon, Tetsuya," greeted Akashi, removing his hand once Kuroko had turned to face him. "How has your day been?"
"It's been alright," Kuroko answered honestly. "Why do you ask?"
"Are you aware that today is Valentine's Day, Tetsuya?"
"Very aware." And in Kuroko's case, more aware than he had wanted to be.
"Good. I'd like to present you with these, then."
What Kuroko was presented with surprised him. It was a large, heart-shaped box of velvety texture. The ribbon that secured it read "European Gourmet," and the sides of the heart shined and shimmered whenever the light reflected off of them.
"Akashi-kun, I don't understand…" Kuroko said, giving his captain a look of confusion.
"Oh? But you've just told me that you were aware that today is Valentine's Day, yes? I think you understand quite well."
Holding the box to his chest, Kuroko asked, "Did you give one of these boxes to the others as well?"
"No. Just you." And before Kuroko could ask why, Akashi added, "I felt that you were the most deserving to be called my Valentine. You've really been giving it your all during practice lately, and I think such a thing should be thoroughly commended."
Kuroko felt a bit tongue-tied, but managed to speak his words of gratitude. "Thank you very much. I must say, I feel very honored to receive your praise, Akashi-kun."
"Good, good. Well, I'll see you tomorrow. I have to attend a club meeting."
Kuroko waved Akashi off, thanking him once more for the chocolates.
Being extra careful with this gift in particular, Kuroko decided that it would be best to just carry the box around with him rather than placing it into his school bag with his other chocolates. Regardless, he couldn't help but wonder why just one day out of the month of February could turn all of his friends into affectionate romantics.
"Hey, let's take a break," Aomine huffed, wiping his forehead with the back of his wrist.
"Okay," Kuroko agreed, following his friend over to the water fountains.
After a long drink, Aomine threw his arm around Kuroko's shoulder and began to ruffle his fluffy blue hair. "So, Tetsu, did you get love confessions from any hot girls today?"
Kuroko tried to push Aomine off of him with very little success. "Of course not. Though, I did receive chocolates from Kise-kun, Midorima-kun, Murasakibara-kun, and Akashi-kun."
Aomine looked a bit stunned. "Really? Hah, then I guess my chocolates for you won't be as special."
Withdrawing from Kuroko, Aomine rubbed the back of his neck and looked over to where his and Kuroko's bags laid. "Yeah, I have some chocolates that Satsuki gave to me, but she gave me too much, so I figured I'd just give them to you. You don't mind hand-me-downs, do you?"
"You know what, I take back what I said before," Aomine cut in.
"My chocolates for you are going to be special, okay? They're going to be super special, because they're from me. Maybe they'll give you magical powers and improve your basketball skills." Aomine was confident in his words, only until Kuroko began to chuckle. "H-hey! Why are you laughing at me?"
Wiping the corners of his eyes, Kuroko shook his head and responded, "No, it's just, what you said, it was stupid."
"Call it stupid all you want, but if my chocolates improve your game, you'll be thanking me in the long run." Aomine began to dribble one of the basketballs, passing it over to Kuroko after its pressure had been checked.
Catching the ball without even so much as flinching, Kuroko waited for Aomine to run down the court and give him the ready before throwing the ball in his direction. Aomine jumped into the air and grasped the ball with strong hands, dunking it hard into the hoop.
"Nice pass!" Aomine shouted, racing back over to Kuroko with a curled fist.
Bumping his fist with Aomine's, Kuroko nodded and said, "Nice shot," as well as, "and thank you for the Valentine's Day chocolates."
Kagami sat, mouth agape with partially chewed hamburger bun sitting on his tongue. He couldn't believe a word that Kuroko had just told him. The boy's life sounded like it had been stripped straight out of some sort of shoujou manga.
"Kagami-kun, please close your mouth. It's unsightly," Kuroko instructed, reaching over to push Kagami's chin upward.
Snapping his jaw shut and swallowing hard, Kagami's eyes bugged out and he grew very alert.
"Were you even listening to me, Kagami-kun?" Kuroko asked, poking the edge of his milkshake's straw.
"Yeah, yeah! I just…it's so weird. I can't picture any of those egotistical guys doing anything like that. Are you sure you're not just pulling my leg?"
"Pulling your leg? What kind of phrase is that?"
"Ah, sorry. I guess it's something only Americans use. I was asking if you were lying to me."
"Why would I lie to you about something like this, Kagami-kun? I still have all of the chocolates as proof."
This made Kagami nearly choke on his soda. Sputtering, he gasped, "You what?!"
"Did you not hear me? I can repeat myself."
"No, please don't repeat yourself, Kuroko," Kagami sighed, rubbing his forehead. "Just, let me get this straight. Your old teammates each give you chocolate for Valentine's Day, and after all of this time—"
"Precisely a year," Kuroko input.
"Okay, so, for an entire year, you've kept them without eating them?"
All of Kagami's shock now melded into amusement. Covering his laughter with the back of his hand, Kagami couldn't suppress the chuckles that escaped through his lips.
"Is that funny to you?" Kuroko questioned.
"It's weird!" Kagami exclaimed. "Why didn't you eat them?"
"I'm not particularly a fan of chocolate. Still, I didn't have the heart to dispose of them, though. So much work had been placed into Kise-kun's and Midorima-kun's chocolates, and all of the others took time out of their day to do something special just for me. They were gifts just as good as any other gifts that I have received."
"If it's like that, whose gift did you like the most?" Kagami asked, fitting his cheek into his palm.
Kagami blinked, absolutely confused. "Huh?"
"I like Kagami-kun's Valentine's Day present the best."
"What are you talking about? I didn't get you anything."
"Yes you did. You bought me a vanilla milkshake."
"Yeah…but I do that, like, almost every day."
"Yes, but it's not only that. Kagami-kun knows me the best. He knows that I like vanilla milkshakes. Even though you didn't intend for it to be a present, you bought me one on Valentine's Day. I'd very much like to think of it as a gift."
Kagami felt the blood rush to his face. He scratched the back of his head and looked out the window for some sort of distraction. "Well, I guess you could consider it a present, if you really wanted to."
"Thank you, I will."
With a strong slurp from his straw, Kuroko waited a moment before adding, "You know, you should feel special, Kagami-kun."
"Oh yeah? And why's that?"
"Because I actually consumed your Valentine's Day present."
Hi there! Chappy here! :D
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I really hope that you enjoy this decently-sized Valentine's fanfiction! (:
The idea came to me on a whim (and I thank God that it did, because plotting is so difficult x.x), so I decided to just go with it! I hope you enjoy! :D
As always, thank you for reading! :D