In a Different Life
On rainy days, he doesn't hold back his sad and bitter thoughts because he likes to think the sky's crying with him.
Aomine Daiki moves out of his apartment on a dark, rainy December day.
And he watches.
In silence, he watches.
Standing there with his feet never quite touching the ground, he watches as the apartment's emptied—one box at a time. Aomine heaves a sigh and wipes the sweat off his brow with the back of his hand, muttering profanities under his breath at how much 'crap' he had accumulated over the years.
In a different life, he thinks, they could be living there together.
He imagines—he imagines because that's all he can do. It's all he's been doing for a decade now—what it would've been like, leaving the place with an "I'm going now!" and getting a "Take care!" in return.
The thought makes his heart ache.
('Don't think about it. Just don't think about it.')
Momoi drops by with food and drinks because Aomine has never been one to plan ahead and completely forgot about lunch again. She scolds him for being so forgetful and careless. And in response, he covers his ears and averts all further eye contact. But once she's done her spiel, Aomine mumbles a reluctant "Thank you" and devours the meal she brought him.
In a different life, he thinks, he could be the one chiding the man for being so negligent towards his own well-being.
But Aomine was moving out and moving on with his life.
The thought leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.
He surprises himself with how much resentment he feels sometimes. For all his encouraging words, he's nothing but a hypocrite. After all, who was he to tell others to move on when he couldn't do it himself? He was the one who urged Aomine to move on and be happy with his life, so why did he want to do nothing more than to hold him down and keep the man to himself?
('Mine, he was supposed to be mine.')
Maybe it's his selfishness that's keeping him grounded. It's been months since his killer was caught and locked away—months since he had that conversation with Aomine in the land of the dead. But he's still not ready to move on yet. Instead, he got bored of waiting in the vast field of nothingness, and with his mind plagued with uncertainty, he ventured to the world he no longer belonged to.
He's not sure where he's supposed to go, but he knows it isn't here.
Kagami and Kuroko stop by to help because Aomine asked them to the day before. He wants to and is going to get rid of that one box that's been following him around for the past ten years now, but he can't do it on his own. Momoi immediately greets Kuroko with a happy smile while Kagami and Aomine start bickering. Ignoring the two, Kuroko shows her pictures of his then-coach's newborn with the slightest smile on his face.
In a different life, he thinks, he could've been born a girl and they could've started their own family together.
Aomine would've liked that, he snorts to himself, slightly amused.
('He would've appreciated the breasts.')
With a flame in his eyes, Kagami challenges Aomine to a contest to see who can clear out the apartment the fastest. Aomine accepts with a competitive grin while Momoi shakes her head and rolls her eyes. The two take off and race in and out of the apartment with boxes in their arms. Kuroko doesn't offer to help and sticks to helping Momoi carry the lighter boxes out of the place.
He watches as the apartment becomes barer and barer.
Eventually, Momoi leaves because she has a meeting with the new coach. Kuroko's face down on the floor out of exhaustion, and Kagami trips over an empty box and nearly brings down the entire building with his fall. Aomine clutches his stomach from laughing too hard.
No one notices him.
No one's thinking about him.
And it hurts because he had meant what he said:
He's afraid of being forgotten.
('You promised you wouldn't, Aominecchi. You promised.')
In a different life, he thinks, they could still be together.
Kagami pushes himself back onto his feet and announces that he's going to get refreshments from the convenience store nearby. Kuroko offers to join him and they leave together.
He tries not to think about that store, the basketball court—the memory still makes him cringe.
In a different life, he thinks, he could still be alive.
Left alone, Aomine makes his way upstairs to his bedroom and he follows. It's empty now save that one box. Sitting down, Aomine dumps out the contents and sifts through them. Still wrapped up and unopened, all the Christmas presents, Valentine's Day gifts and birthday surprises that were bought and collected over the years lay strewn on the floor.
Those gifts—all those thoughtful gifts, all those frivolous gifts—spent years collecting dust, waiting to be given to their rightful owner.
But the day never came and it would never come.
('It's not fair. I'm right here…I'm right here.')
That box, he thinks, contained so much more than magazines and old photographs.
It was full of tender memories of the past and pleading hopes for the future.
For ten years, it held Aomine's heart.
('And he's letting it go. He's letting it all go.')
Aomine's eyes remain dry as he goes through the things, tossing item after item back into the box. He hasn't cried since their last conversation and chances are, he won't ever cry again—at least not for him. Aomine pauses when he comes across his old cell phone and the note-
'Going out for a bit, I'll be right back~!
-but after a moment's hesitation, he tosses them back into the box along with everything else.
Finally, he's down to the last piece.
It's an old photograph from his locker—the one he drew hearts all over.
'Me and my beloved Aominecchi!'
And he remembers—because his memories and imagination are all he has left—it was a sunny day when they took that picture. The two of them were in the courtyard being childish and making faces at one another, telling jokes, trying to get the other to cave in to the humour. The picture turned out looking absolutely ridiculous with their wide, wide grins and barely contained laughter.
But it's his favourite.
In a different life, he thinks, they could be happy.
('We could've been happy—we would've been so happy.')
It begins to rain harder outside.
Aomine continues staring at the photo, probably recalling the same memories as him.
His heart breaks as the man reaches over to return it back into the box.
But then Aomine pauses and looks outside at the rain. Then he glances back at the photograph and frowns, clearly indecisive about what he should do with it. Holding the picture in front of him, Aomine tells it quietly, thoughtfully, "Hey, Kise, so it's December again. Since you broke my phone, I guess I'll just have to say this out loud."
He snaps out of his reverie and strains to listen.
Heaving a sigh, Aomine begins, "I don't really want to admit it, but I still miss you. Maybe it's because it's December, but I've been thinking lately. You know, in a different life, you'd still be here and we'd still be together." Then he adds with a chuckle, "In a different life, you could've been a chick with huge breasts—which would've been great."
Mentally, he wills the world to go silent, not wanting to miss a single word.
"But that's in a different life—one that probably only exists in my mind. In this life, you're gone and I know you're not coming back. And just so we're clear, I intend to keep my promise to you. I won't forget you, Kise, but I do plan on moving on and letting you go like you told me to. I just thought you should know—I'm going to be okay."
Somehow, he's both pleased and displeased at the same time.
Aomine clears his throat and continues, "I know that it's probably going to be hard for you to hear this, but in this life, I plan on being happy enough for the both of us—even if it means being happy with someone who isn't you. You understand, don't you?"
But just because he understands doesn't it any easier to accept.
('I want you to move on, I do. But don't let me go. I'm scared, Aominecchi—so scared. Please don't let me go.')
In a different life, he thinks—but he has trouble completing the thought with his grief-filled mind.
Aomine rubs the back of his neck sheepishly and holds the picture a little closer. "Look, just because we couldn't be together in this life doesn't mean we can't be together in the next. Tell you what: I'll reserve my next life just for you, okay? In the next life, we'll be together and happy. I promise. So just wait for me to get through this life and I'll come find you in the next one."
The weight in his chest disappears and his heart's filled with warmth as Aomine gives the photograph a kiss and gently puts it back into the box.
He watches as Kagami and Kuroko return, his mind still caught up in Aomine's words.
('His next life—he promised me his next life.')
Suddenly, he feels lighter. Looking down, he sees that he's fading with a soft glow but he finds that he's fine with that.
('This isn't the end. We'll be together again.')
The men bicker for awhile before Kagami lifts the box up and asks one last time if Aomine's sure about parting with everything. Aomine rolls his eyes and waves him off, urging him to "Just hurry the hell up."
Standing there with his feet never quite touching the ground, he watches as Aomine makes his way to the door after the other two. He's barely still there when he realizes that this is it. He'll never see Aomine again—not in this life.
But he's okay with that.
In the next life, he thinks with a smile.
"Aominecchi, I'm going to go now. You better keep your promise."
('In the next life, we'll be happy.')
The rain stops.
And he's gone.
Pausing at the doorway of his bedroom, Aomine furrows his eyebrows. For a moment, he could've sworn someone called his name. He glances back and instinctively closes his eyes as flash of brightness hits him.
Aomine shields his eyes from the sunlight and blinks in wonder.
When did the sun come out?
Its warm rays of light fill the room with a soft glow and it reminds him of Kise's smile.
With a smile of his own, he leaves and closes the door behind him.
A/N: Sorry, but this is going to be a little longer than usual just because I have a billion things to say and a couple questions to answer. Please bear with me.
This piece was completely unplanned and very random, I know. I had the phrase 'In a different life' stuck in my head and then this happened. It's just an experimental piece because I wanted to write something in present tense. It's basically Aomine unknowingly returning the favour and helping Kise find closure. Please let me know what you think!
So according to quite a few readers, Yellow really took off on Tumblr. Totally unexpected, and it blew my mind away. Thank you so, so, so very much to everyone who blogged about Yellow!
Special thanks to Waka Baka and Serebryanaya for offering to translate it into Russian, Nami-la-folle for offering to translate it into French, and FujoshiKira for creating an amazing piece of fanart for it!
Will there be anymore KuroBasu fics? After this happened, I have no idea. As I've told some of you—blame Star Trek and original stories for taking over my muse!
I'm always happy to answer any questions you may have, so just ask!
Thanks a lot for reading and enjoy!