Disclaimer: Kuroko no Basuke belongs to Fujimaki Tadatoshi.
Someone You Once Knew
"Hurry it up, Aomine-kun! We're going to be late for Shizu-chan's game!"
Asagi locked the door securely, turning the knob for confirmation before adjusting her spots bag into a more comfortable position. The loud sound of the two childhood friends bantering resounded throughout the hall, and it was a miracle that none of the neighbours have complained yet in the past twenty minutes. The door of Aomine's apartment was left ajar, which didn't help blocking the disturbances from being heard outside.
Sighing, she poked her head into the foyer, and spotted Momoi dragging a bedraggled Aomine towards the living with a toothbrush still hanging out of his mouth. He turned his head in her direction and blearily blinked the sleep out of his eyes as his focus suddenly sharpened.
The atmosphere between the two of them weren't as tense as it was during their first meeting, but it was a little weary, if not awkward. It sometimes seemed as if Aomine was considering philosophical thoughts whenever she was within a ten meter radius (which is kind of creepy), but other times he acknowledged her as he would anyone else, with no negative nor positive attitudes specially reserved for her.
Asagi supposed that it had something to do with Kuroko Tetsuya. She figured that the other powder haired boy must have had something terrible happen to him for his friends to react the way they did. There was a thought, a guess in the back of her mind that she refused to think of, but to tell the truth, it was a possibility.
"Let go, Satsuki, jeez," Aomine snapped, and Momoi released him quickly all the while glowering at him as she rummaged through her bag for breakfast. She tossed the boy a bread wrapped in plastic, and Asagi caught the black ink on the packaging reading 'Hokkaido Milk Bread'. It was a relief that she didn't have to deal with any accidental death today, because just the day before Momoi had brought over omelettes she had made with a new recipe, and boy did it look like dark matter.
Momoi stuffed half of a new piece of bread inside her mouth and began to chew furiously. Aomine yawned, taking the toothbrush in one hand while the milk bread stayed untouched. "Why don't we just eat on the way there?"
The pink haired girl swallowed and had to catch her breath before chiding Aomine. "It's rude to eat while walking, you idiot! Now eat!"
After being scolded for the umpteenth time ("That bedhead, Aomine-kun! Brush your hair! You're not―"..."Aomine-kun, zip your jacket up, you'll get a cold."), the trio somehow made it to the streets outside without Momoi storming off in anger at the Touou ace's disinterest at her concerned but lecturing. Asagi was getting quite used to their antics, even though it hasn't even been a month since they had met.
She stole a glance at Aomine, whose expression told her that his mind was elsewhere, and she turned back to frown at the sidewalk beneath her feet, wondering if it was because of her, if it was something connected to Kuroko.
Asagi's absorption in the powder blue haired boy as well as basketball had, if anything, increased. The 'phantom sixth man' of the Generation of Miracles sounded almost enchanting to her, and Sayuri had cocked her head to the side when Asagi had inquired about the boy. The former had been surprised to learn that such a player actually existed, but apparently he had kept such a low profile that people weren't sure if he was just something fabricated in others' minds, and that made it even harder to disclose which high school he had gone off to.
That is, if he had gone off to high school.
"―chan! Shizu-chan! Look, it's snowing!" Momoi whacked Asagi on the arm, snapping her out of her thoughts. Blinking owlishly, the teal haired girl watched a snowflake dance across the bridge of her nose. The other girl was admiring the intricate designs of the crystals on her jacket sleeve, musing, "how pretty!"
Letting her lips quirk up into a small smile, Asagi held out a hand to trap a few fluffs in her palm, feeling it melt into cold drops of water upon contacting her skin. Aomine was scowling as he pulled his scarf around his face more snugly until his expression couldn't be seen anymore.
It was at the entrance of the stadium where the three separated to go their own ways, Asagi to the changing rooms and the others to the seats. However, their journey was disrupted by an unexpected encounter.
"Ki-chan? It is Ki-chan! How are you?" The girl bounded over to a familiar blond while Aomine strolled after her at his own leisure. He wasn't looking forward to talking with Kise, especially not after Kaijou's defeat during Interhigh, even if the other currently looked as cheerful as he had ever been. Their conversation before and at the end of the match had been something that troubled Aomine even more than the actual game, filled with something like guilt for not helping Kise up after he had fell and disappointment that he had won. No, not disappointed at Kise for losing, but disappointed at himself for winning.
Not to mention, it bothered him quite a bit that Kise was greeting Momoi so ecstatically while he was still wallowing in the misery of the past.
When he caught Kise taking a peek at his face, the other narrowed his amber eyes at him, before averting his gaze back the Touou manager, sporting a grin on his face as a response to something Momoi had said.
"I met this girl the other day," the small forward started as Aomine arrived with a bored expression, leaning against the wall outside of Touou's locker room and not addressing the latter in his usual peppy way, but it was in sorts, a relief. But when Kise had such a solemn demeanor on his face, the news could never be positive.
"When do you not meet girls?" Aomine retorted, intent on passing him to the change room, but Kise held an arm out to block his path. Their relationship, no, everyone's relationship had been a little tense ever since it had happened. Though he didn't like this awkward socializing situation, because he was kind of anti-social these days, he had to admit that he was just a bit jumpy to get the match started. Against Kise, there had to be a challenge waiting, had to be a one-on-one intense enough to get Aomine's heart beating, making him sweat.
Something to distract him, if just for a few seconds at a time.
Kise pouted, but didn't let Aomine through nonetheless. "Well, this girl isn't just any girl. She―"
"Isn't Satsuki the one you usually go to for your girl problems?" The tanned player stepped forward menacingly, but Kise didn't budge and instead moved his entire body to the front of the doorway. "She's probably just playing hard to get or something, model-san. Now shoo." Aomine indicated with his arms for Kise to go back to Kaijou's own territory.
"No, Aominecchi, hear me out," Kise's tone turned even more serious, and Aomine stopped in the middle of a protest. "This girl, she looks exactly like Kuro―"
"Ah! Aomine-kun, there you are!" Momoi's angry voice echoed down the hallway, and Kise's facial expression abruptly changed into his innocent angelic smile. It made Aomine want to throw up a little at how fake it looked. Kuro..."You didn't answer my calls! The coach wants to go over our plays!"
The power forward immediately waved her off nonchalantly. Kuroko? None of his middle school teammates mentioned that name much anymore, or at least to him anyways, except for Momoi, but even that didn't last long. "We won't need any plays. Just pass the ball to me."
He didn't know what was wrong with the other two, the hint of hurt in Momoi's eyes and the brief fury that flashed across Kise's face at his words. Were they thinking back to their middle school days? Those were the simple times, where nothing was wrong and there was nothing to worry about except to push themselves harder.
It wasn't his fault that he had gotten so good, that he wanted the ball so that he could play against Kise.
Momoi huffed and pushed him into the locker room, which he didn't struggle against because after all, he had been trying to enter since five minutes ago. The room was empty, and the clang of the locker doors shutting echoed through the empty space.
Aomine and Kise didn't have another chat until near the end of the game, when the tricky pass Kise had been trying to make to Kaijou's captain was smacked away. Kise depended on others too much, and when Aomine had told him as much, the blond replied, robotic, "you can't play basketball by yourself, Aominecchi."
The look Kise sent him reminded him of Tetsu back in their third year at Teikou.
Kise had changed, and had grown, matured in matters other than basketball. Aomine could only think of that as he walked home by himself, because he was now getting left behind, still standing at the exact same spot where everything had gone wrong.
A large bear plopped down on the seat beside Aomine, and he watched Asagi attentively on the volleyball court, because if he lost sight of her for a mere second she would disappear. It was the only thing that diverted his attention from his thoughts of how boring the game was.
('He used to watch Tetsu the same way, the way the short boy would materialize out of thin air on the basketball court')
Wait. A bear? A bear can't plop down into a seat by itself. Aomine whipped his head around to a certain green haired shooting guard, who was apparently glaring at the side of his head. "Midorima! What the hell, are you trying to burn a hole through my head or something?"
"That's not how you greet an old teammate," Midorima scoffed, adjusting his glasses with his bandaged hand, narrowing his eyes. "Are you here to be a creep? I can't imagine any other reason why you'd be at a volleyball game, of all places."
Glaring back at the other ace, he could feel annoyance bubbling up in his chest. "Satsuki dragged me here, ok? Get those dirty thoughts out of your head," Aomine leaned back against the back of the seat, sinking into the soft cushion as he reverted his gaze back to the court. Sea blue eyes scrutinized Seirin's back row and spotted Asagi just as a spike flew directly towards her, her teammates making no move to try for it even as some of the audience started to panic for them. "Why are you here?"
There was no reply, and the tanned player dragged his stare from the match to Midorima's face, his emerald eyes focused on the game. Eventually, the boy opened his mouth, and murmured, "her."
He followed the other's line of vision, and it led him to the teal haired girl, who was getting easier and easier to notice, for him at least. For him who was used to Kuroko, for him who expected for his 'shadow' to always be there.
('That's why it hurt so much more when he turned to his right every time he wanted to complain about volleyball being so much more boring than basketball, and found that it was Momoi sitting there, not Kuroko.')
"Ah, Midorin! I didn't expect you to be here!" Momoi leaned forward so that she could grin at the Shuutoku ace, followed by another mirthful smile from Kise as he greeted Midorima as well. Aomine could feel Kise's stare linger on his face as he pretended to intently watch the second set of the game as a conversation started, carried back and forth between the three with Aomine in the center.
"Don't you think it's ironic?" Midorima's words echoed a little, as if the other was actually standing at another end of a hallway instead of sitting a seat away from him with a stuffed bear between them. To be honest, the bear kind of pissed Aomine off. Or maybe it was Midorima who pissed him off, but then that wasn't uncommon. "She's in Seirin, too."
A nervous chuckle came from Kise, and it irked Aomine to no end. "It's nice watching her though. She's having a lot of fun."
What the Touou ace had deduced was that all of the ex-Teikou team members present had come to see Asagi Shizuka (including himself), for the obvious reasons, though for the life of him Aomine couldn't figure out how Midorima could have found out about the girl. It made him wonder if Akashi and Murasakibara knew.
But it was lonely, because even Momoi ― who he knew had cried every night to sleep until a few weeks ago when she had met Asagi ― was giggling along with that idiot blond and that horoscope freak as a lady started to scream incoherent strings of words at one of the Seirin players for not diving for a ball that sailed right past her, though it was a given that she didn't see Asagi.
Watching the evident smile on Asagi's features grow wider and wider, until she was grinning by the time Seirin had gotten to 25 points, thus winning the match, her happiness was so obvious that he had to tear his eyes away from the figure on the court, digging his nails into his palms to draw blood.
Because that's how Tetsu could have been now, that's how Aomine could have been now.
The only problem was that 'could have' is something that didn't happen.
A/N: Sorry about not answering some of your questions earlier, because I think I'm confusing everyone who read this story LOL so I'll put it here:
fangirling-girl: Asagi isn't exactly a reincarnation of Kuroko haha. What I had intended it to be was that she was sort of the parallel universe version of Kuroko, just in the same world as Kuroko LOL. (that could change thought, possibly, you guys have the best ideas honestly!) But yes, she's dreaming about Kuroko's experiences, though she thinks that it's just something her brain made up based on her assumptions of Kuroko and Aomine's relationship haha xD sorry for making you confused :o
Lady Indecisive: wow I wish I was that creative omg x'D Like stated above, it's not that deep and it's just a parallel version of Kuroko haha...(I really wanna use your idea now my goodness but i have no idea how i'd incorporate it at this point meep ^^; though I do have an idea now with what you mentioned...) I'm sorry if this disappoints you though orz
Rasielis: Thanks for the great idea LOL. I wasn't intending to really reveal what happened to Kuroko at all, and I was sort of on making you guys assume more than having a concrete thing there. But now I guess this could be connected to Calling You; Please Answer Me, if you want? idk haha, I mean it works and all so. xD (genius idea, btw, thanks ^^ and thanks for the constant support!) It's really up to you though, I kind of wanted some open endings in this story /shot.
Thanks for reading, and I apologize for any confusing things in here! But I think I just made it all the more confusing with those replies, so. gomen. orz I'd be happy to hear your thoughts or if you're confused about something, I'd gladly tell you! (hopefully without ruining the entire thing LOLOL)