Title: Two to Love

Author: TNSxBunny

Pairing(s): AoKuro, AoKaga

Rating: T

Summary: Kagami Taiga had spent years, playing best friend and rival to a man he could never have. Aokuro & AoKaga.

Disclaimer: Kuroko no Basuke is the property of Fujimaki Tadatoshi. We are merely humble writers adding to the fanfiction collection.

Warnings: Character death. Angst. With a happy ending.

Notes: To DMW readers, TNS is currently having writer's block so there will be no updates until she can kick her muse into gear. (TNS: I'm really really sorry!) Meanwhile, please accept this fic as a peace-offering!

Two to love

It was one thing to watch the person you love be happy with someone who wasn't you. It was another, to watch as that same person tore himself up, trying to preserve a memory of a person who wasn't alive anymore.

Kagami Taiga had spent years, playing the best friend and rival to a man he could never have. Was it a little selfish to hope that someday, a little piece of that heart could belong to him?

The Aomine he knew from before was not the same right now. Dishevelled, dirty, unshaven. He clutched at the funeral photo of his lost love, sitting himself before the family altar. Never moving, never once stopping his sweet and comforting murmurs to the white porcelain urn before him.

"Tetsu...are you keeping yourself warm where you are?"

"Tetsu, you can't bargain with them for vanilla shakes."

"Tetsu...Tetsu, I miss you."

The redhead tightened his grip on the doorframe as Aomine smiled to himself, as if imagining a reply from the blue-haired male himself.

Watching someone fade away in front of your very eyes was never easy, but it was worse when you knew that the same someone wasn't fading away alone.

It was pure torture, those last few weeks they had spent by Kuroko's bedside. Kagami could see it - see it in the slump of Aomine's shoulders as he stood outside Kuroko's door, hand shaky on the handle. He saw it each time the dark-skinned male closed his eyes, sucking in a deep breath and forcing that same stupid, brave smile before he opened the door to Kuroko's hospital room, pretending to be strong around Kuroko. Most of all, he saw it whenever Aomine came knocking on his door in the middle of the night, breath stinking of cigarettes and alcohol, slumping over his bed and crying himself to sleep.

It was pure torture when you were so deeply in love with the person and you could only stand by and watch.

Kagami watched as Aomine left the room on the excuse of getting drinks, but he recognised Aomine's mannerisms. Aomine's shoulders were tense, his form rigid as he excused himself. His eyes never left the door, and Kagami longed to follow the other man to comfort him.

"Kagami-kun, you should tell him," Kuroko said, his voice soft and weak, but still firm. The blue-haired Kindergarten teacher was propped up on his bed, looking almost as pale as the sheets he rested tubes ran from his wrists as the machines reflected his weak vitals. Kuroko's illness was at its terminal stage, and there was nothing the doctors nor modern medicine could do to save him.

Kagami froze, averting his gaze to the floor. His fingers dug into the palms of his hand and then relaxed as he raised his eyes to meet Kuroko's blue ones.

The redhead laughed, forcing a grin to his face. "Tell him what?"

Kuroko's eyes bore into his, and a multitude of emotions rushed into his chest as he realised something. Kuroko had known. He had always known.

"Kagami-kun. You love Aomine-kun too, don't you?"

Blunt as always.

That was the Kuroko he knew.

The next words that left his lips were clipped in anger - not directed at Kuroko, but himself. He was embarrassed, angry, sad and happy all at once, and the emotions rumbled deep in his chest. "How can I?"

"How can I tell him that I love him when it's always you he was looking at?"

The pale-haired male smiled.

"Kagami-kun. I never regretted my decision to spend my life with Aomine-kun. But I can't keep him with me always."

A cold hand rested on top of his, and Kagami pretended not to notice how frail and lifeless Kuroko's hand was.

"How was I supposed to ever compete with you, his Tetsu? And now...I can't even tell him now. I'm not you, I can't be like you," Kagami explained in a rush, his shoulders squared as he looked away from Kuroko. He was ashamed of his confession and jealousy.

"Why would Kagami-kun want to be me? Kagami-kun's strong and has a bigger heart than anyone I know. Kagami-kun smiles, even though it's painful to watch the person you love with someone else. Kagami-kun quarrels with him all the time, but if he ever needs someone to have his back, Kagami-kun's the one person he would look for."

Kuroko felt his body tire, as if his very speech had drained the remaining life of him, but the pale-haired male persevered and forced his eyes open. He had to get his point across his former team-mate's thick bakagami skull.

"If it's Kagami-kun, I'm certain that I could entrust Aomine-kun's heart to you."

Kuroko tightens his grip around his former light's and best friend's hand.

"If it's Kagami-kun, you could give Aomine-kun the world."

Kuroko smiled.

"Take care of that big idiot for me, won't you, Kagami-kun?"

Kuroko's words rang in his ears, even when Aomine had re-entered the room, eyes puffy and red as he took his usual spot by Kuroko's bedside. He remembered how they all fell into their familiar banter, laughing and smiling. For a while, they managed to pretend that everything was okay, that his best friend wasn't dying; that Aomine wasn't just pretending to be okay.

Kagami had left the room to give the couple some privacy, having seen Aomine's fingers reach for Kuroko's, and give Kuroko that look - the one that made him wish he was the one in the bed instead of Kuroko, just so that Aomine wouldn't be hurting the way he was. Aomine's dark blue eyes reflected so much passion and intensity and love for Kuroko, and Kagami could see that the other man was hurting so fucking much inside and how broken Aomine would be if Kuroko died.

Then everything went to hell.

Kagami could still remember running back into the room as he heard the screeching monotonous ringing just in time to see the pale-haired male's grip slackening in Aomine's hand while the heart-monitor flatlined. He remembered moving forward, denial and grief swirling in the pit of his stomach as the doctor and nurses came rushing into the room, urging Aomine and Kagami aside as they tried to save Kuroko.

He remembered Aomine shouting for Kuroko, his voice thick with pain and denial while Kagami stood by him, crumpling to his knees. Time slowed, the heartache rose and exploded, painting the world blue with silence. In his mind, that moment was sealed - all he could see was Aomine by Kuroko's bedside, burying his face in the smaller man's chest, while his usually strong, broad shoulders shook with sorrow.

After all that had to be said was said, Kuroko Tetsuya had passed away with a peaceful smile on his lips. But Aomine's smile died along with his lover that very day. Aomine's world was still stained blue.

Because for each death, there were always two.

It didn't take long after Kuroko's death before Aomine's lifestyle took a sharp decline. Instead of a few times a week, Aomine began knocking on his door every night after an entire evening spent in vice.

There was nothing Kagami could do to ease his pain. All he could do was pat Aomine on his back and whisper soft words of condolence.

The redhead wanted to do more. Wanted to hold the grieving male in his arms, to rock him and console him with gentle promises that everything will be alright.

More than anything, he wanted to tell Aomine that Tetsu had given them his blessings.

Aomine came to his house again in the wee hours of the morning, his insistent bangings on his door rousing him from his sleep. It had became a habit, a routine to open the door and help the tanned male into his house and on the couch. He would let Aomine sleep over during the night, and by daybreak, his nightly visitor was gone. As if he never came at all.

When Kagami answered the door this time, Aomine barged past the redhead, reeking of booze and carrying a plastic bag from the convenience store nearby, the sound of cans rattling inside. The dusky-skinned male set the bag heavily on the coffee table and dropped comfortably onto the couch.

"I brought beer," Aomine announced, tearing apart the first six-pack and opening the first beer can with a dull crack. He chugged down the brew thirstily and was about to open another when he realised Kagami was still standing by the door, eyebrows pulled together in confusion.

"Oi. I said, I brought beer. So you can either get your ass here and drink with me, or you can watch me get drunk."

"Oh," Kagami answered lamely, to which Aomine rolled his dark eyes sardonically and downed his second can of beer.

Well, this was different. Usually Aomine would get himself drunk before stumbling over to his place, but now he was asking for a drinking partner?Shaking his head, Kagami crossed over to the side of the coffee table and folded his legs beneath him, deciding to offer his entire couch to his guest and settle on the floor instead.

"Stop drinking so much, idiot. It's not good for your health." The redhead muttered, raising a hand to muss his hair, wanting to return to bed. He still had his morning shift at the fire station and he wanted nothing more than to get into bed to catch as much sleep as he could. But deep down inside, he was glad Aomine had decided to come to him again. If this was the only way he could offer his comfort to Aomine, he would gladly do it again and over again.

Aomine growled in response, crushing the beer can and setting it down on the table with a dull thud.

"Shut up, dumbass. This pathetic amount of beer isn't even enough to get me drunk." The tanned-skinned male drawled and took another lazy swig before shaking the can tauntingly at the redhead. "Big men drink, only pussies don't."

Kagami scowled, feeling his irritation with the cocky male across him rising. Even half-drunk, the asshole could still piss him off better than most people could. The redhead narrowed his eyes when Aomine smirked provokingly as he reached for another can of beer. Bastard!

"Give me a can..." He replied and snatched a new can from the table, flipping the metal tab open and taking a long swig.

Aomine grinned and downed the rest of his beer before slamming it on the table, sliding off the couch and crawling towards the redhead who was cleverly avoiding him by sitting on the floor.

"Oi..." the dark-haired male called out, trying to draw Kagami's attention back to him. Kagami turned, nearly jerking back in shock as he found Aomine's face mere centimetres away from his own. The other man sidled in closer, his breath reeking of alcohol as he raised a large hand, patting Kagami's head drunkenly as if he was a well-behaved puppy and laughed.

"Good boy..."

Kagami resisted the urge to punch the other man right in the face, instead shoving Aomine back against the couch with a roll of his eyes. "I'm not your pet dog, asshole. Go back to your beer," he bit out, hoping Aomine hadn't noticed the slight tremor in his tone. Having Aomine touch him, even if it was in a drunken-stupor, made his chest tighten and his heart start beating rather furiously.

The dark-skinned man chuckled darkly and reaches over to grab another can. "Whatever," he spat out, leaning his head on the seat of the couch, the ceiling lights spinning in his vision. He was clearly drunk and that very realisation made him laugh out loud to himself.

Kagami sighed and sets his can of beer on the table. It was clear that Aomine was drunk and needed to be led to his bed again. Throwing a limp arm over his shoulder, Kagami helped the very drunk, very heavy man to his feet and walked him slowly back to his bedroom before dropping the idiot onto the bed. The redhead sighed again as Aomine laid eagle spread on the mattress, and ran his own fingers frustratedly through his messy red hair.

Crimson red eyes roamed over Aomine's features- damn it, even asleep the bastard looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders - and Kagami curled his hand tighter into a fist, his fingernails digging into his callused palm. The redhead made to leave, stopping short as he heard a small broken sound coming from the dusky-skinned male on the bed.

"Tetsu...don't go..."

Kagami froze as a hand shot out to grasp his wrist, the deep sluggish voice repeating those same words again that sent a jolt of pain through his heart. Aomine was staring at him, no, staring past him and seeing a smaller male with light blue hair instead.

"Tetsu...Tetsu, please..."

The redhead sighed before sitting down on the edge of the bed, shifting Aomine's head onto his lap and using his free hand to stroke Aomine's midnight-blue hair. Kagami knew that pretending to be Kuroko was stupid, but his chest tightened with a familiar ache at the forlorn expression on Aomine's face. Where was the once cocky bastard he knew from his high school days?

Kagami murmured Aomine's name softly, his voice soothing and comforting as he ran his fingers lovingly through the other man's soft locks. The redhead took this moment to observe Aomine's features - from the dark rings under his eyes and the way his entire face was softer while he slept, the dark-haired man seemed calmer and more approachable when he slept.

He didn't realise how close he had gotten until Aomine opened his eyes. Dark, intense blue eyes stared back at him and all of sudden, Aomine reached for the back of his neck, dragging him down and slanting his lips over Kagami's in a sloppy kiss.

Kagami's eyes widened as he realised that Aomine - the same Aomine whom he'd been in love with for years - was kissing him, lips locked against Kagami's in a desperate kiss. Red eyes fluttered shut as Kagami savoured the feeling of being thoroughly kissed, but only for a second before that same fact finally sunk inand he tried to rip away from Aomine's strong hold.

As if broken from his life-saving connection, Aomine dropped back onto the bed, a choked whimper escaping his lips as he curled in on himself again.


The familiar ache returned full force at the sound as Kagami stared at Aomine's back. The strong, broad shoulders that he had admired was now hunched, and Aomine looked so damned lonely and before he knew it, Kagami found himself reaching for Aomine yet again and fuck, was he really about to do this to himself?

Kagami was aware that the both of them were drunk, Aomine obviously more than him, but he was still in control of his own mental faculties. The rational side of him argued that whatever he was contemplating was foolish, but the hopeless boy in love screamed that he would never get another chance to embrace Aomine. But even as he drew his hand back, he could feel his resistance slipping, the scales of his mental debate tipping in favour of his romantic side because Kagami could not ignore the lonely whimper escaping the broken figure on the bed.

This was it - even if it was stupid, even if this was the booze talking and even if it ended badly the next morning with Aomine punching him and walking out of his life completely, Kagami was going to give himself over to the other man because...

Because Aomine deserved to be happy.

Even if it was only for one night, and even if it ended up breaking Kagami's heart.


His voice was soft as he murmured Aomine's name, cupping the dark-haired man's cheek lovingly.

With one quick movement, Kagami found himself pinned to the bed on his back, the breath knocked out of him. The dark-skinned male loosened his grip on the redhead and drops his head to nuzzle Kagami's neck.

"Tetsu, you came back..." Aomine whispered hoarsely, planting small kisses along the length of the man's throat. Kagami shivered, pretending that Aomine calling out for Kuroko didn't feel like a stab to his heart, and instead wound his arms around Aomine's neck, drawing him closer.

Dark midnight blue eyes stared back at him, and Kagami was lost.

For once, he was on the receiving end of Aomine's passionate gaze, and the hot, steady gaze burned a slow, raging fire through him. His lips met Aomine's in a wild kiss, tongues and teeth clashing in a frenzy as their bodies melded together desperately in raw need. Every moan, every soft pleasured gasp was lost into the night as Kagami gave himself to Aomine without holding back.

He could pretend to be Tetsu.

Just for one night.

Dark red eyes stared wistfully at the ceiling above him, gaze flickering to the sleeping man next to him. His entire body ached; the good kind of ache after an exciting basketball match, or in this case, a few rounds of hard, steamy love-making with the man he longed for in his dreams. After the second round, Kagami had almost been able to pretend that all of Aomine's sweet murmurs of endearments and love had been for him. But as blissful as the experience had been, hearing Aomine murmur Kuroko's name over and over and over had been enough to jerk him back from the lure of fantasy.

The redhead pushed himself off the bed, using the thick covers to cover Aomine in some semblance of modesty before heading towards the bathroom, limping slightly as the aftermath of their passion trailed down his inner thighs. Aomine hadn't been exactly gentle, seeing that he was drunk and unaware he was not fucking his dead lover, but he had been exactly how Kagami had imagined the other man to be.

Aomine was wild in bed, ruthlessly taking what he wanted and giving back just as much in return. His kisses had been deep and unrestrained, plundering every inch of Kagami's mouth as he bit and sucked at the redhead's tongue and lips. His hands were restless, expertly sweeping over Kagami's body and the ripples of taut, sinewy muscle to pleasure him.

Kagami blushed as he stood in front of the bathroom mirror, examining the evidence of Aomine's passion. The dusky-skinned man had left red marks all over Kagami's sunkissed skin, some of them already bruising and turning a dark shade of violet. Running a hand through his mussed-up hair, Kagami turned away from the mirror and stepped into the shower,sighing as the cold spray washed off the traces of bodily fluids and the memory of their lovemaking earlier.

Sometimes he wished he had been able to tell Aomine how he really felt, but when he remembered the way Aomine looked at Kuroko, the knot in the pit of his stomach tightened, and he would push the wish away.

He was not Kuroko.

Never was and never would be.

Midnight blue eyes opened, vaguely registering the light streaming from behind closed doors of the bathroom. Grunting, he shoved the covers aside and cradled his pounding head. He felt like crap, like he always did after a night of drowning himself in alcohol.

Aomine squinted through his buzzing headache, taking in the familiar room - Kagami's bedroom. Fuck. He vaguely remembered knocking on Kagami's front door in the middle of the night and then provoking the redhead to a drinking contest - Kagami was definitely going to chew his head off for that one later. Cursing softly, he stumbled out of bed and almost fell over as the sheet tangled with his legs.

"The fuck..." He swore under his breath and realised he was stark naked.

Why the hell was he naked?

Had he taken off his clothes when he was drunk, or did he vomit all over himself and Kagami had cleaned him up? Either way, he was going to have to explain himself to the redhead. Stumbling towards the direction of the bathroom, he pushed open the door to enter, his mind longing for a nice cup of coffee after a hot shower. He stopped short as he saw Kagami standing in front of the sink, red eyes widened in surprise at Aomine's sudden entrance.

Aomine's own dark blue eyes narrowed as they took in the redhead's muscular frame. A white towel was tucked around his hips for modesty but it didn't hide the distinct marks all over Kagami's tanned skin. Strangely shaped bruises - even some that looked like marks from hands gripping Kagami too tightly - and red hickeys covered Kagami's body.

But even as his eyes took in the marks, Aomine felt his heart drop. His fuzzy memories from the night returned in full force, all the pieces of the puzzle falling perfectly into place. His dream - the one filled with desperate kisses and bruising touches - was real.

Were those marks made by him?

The blue-haired male cursed as the startling realisation finally settled. The hands in his dream were too big, the body too muscular and the moans that filled the room too rough and low-pitched to be Tetsu's. It hadn't been Tetsu.

And somehow...there was a part of him that didn't mind.

Because it had been Kagami.

…It had been Kagami.

Had he forced Kagami?

Had he actually drunkenly assaulted his best friend and used Kagami?

"Fuck...Kagami...I..." Aomine stammered as he took a step backwards, confusion and horror taking over. His body immediately switched into fight or flight mode, and Aomine wasted no time in picking the latter.

It had been purely instinctive, but as Kagami faced Aomine, hundreds of scenarios and words went unsaid in his head. They ranged from confessions of love to pretending that he didn't care, but all his planned speeches flew out of the window as soon as Aomine turned on his heel, making to take off. In that instant, Kagami knew that if he didn't stop Aomine, things would never be okay again.

Aomine might never come over to disturb him in the middle of the night, or drag him out after a long day at work to play basketball together. There might not be any more days of sitting on the couch and cheering as they watched basketball matches together. Things would get awkward, they would stop talking and they'd end up becoming strangers to each other.

Aomine wouldn't be in his life anymore.

The redhead panicked, and reached out, grabbing Aomine's arm.


The dark-skinned man paused in his tracks, his entire posture rigid. Kagami's voice didn't sound angry, it sounded...desperate?

That wasn't right. Shouldn't Kagami be furious?


The bluenette shook in his spot as bitter tears welled up in his eyes, tears of betrayal towards his memory of Tetsu. He raised an arm and angrily brushed them away, laughing brokenly at himself for reverting back into a 5-year old kid.

He was confused. And frightened at what he had done to Kagami.

Realising the slight tremble in Aomine's body,the redhead took a step backwards, giving the grieving man some space.

"Hey. I'm fine, see?" Kagami said, forcing a small grin on his lips as he flexes the muscles on his arms, ignoring the screaming ache in his body. "Everything's cool, you didn't hurt me at all!"

Aomine turned, hesitantly examining Kagami's body with disbelieving eyes. There was no way those fresh purplish-blue marks didn't hurt.

"I didn't mean to do that! I mean, it didn't mean anything, I was drunk, we were drunk... I screwed up and hurt you - fuck Kagami, I forced myself on you!" The dark-skinned male snapped, his anger towards himself mounting with every word he uttered.

"I was an asshole okay? I thought you were Tetsu. But you're not Tetsu. No one can replace him..."

The redhead lowered his gaze to the ground while Aomine rambled on, his crushed heart aching once again. Aomine would never accept him. Never had and never will. For the first time in his life he hated Kuroko for existing, for stealing the man he loved.

"I wanted it to happen, you idiot!" The redhead shouted, losing the calm facade that he had so carefully carved in place. "Why don't you see me? It was always Tetsu this and Tetsu that...Damn it, Aomine, get it through your thick head - Kuroko is dead! I wish...I wish...he never existed!"

Kagami regretted his words the instant they left his lips, and Aomine's next move had never been more welcome. Almost instantly, the dark-haired man stepped forward, his fist lashing out to deliver a sharp blow to Kagami's left cheek.


"Take that back, you bastard! Take what you said about Tetsu back!"

Kagami stumbled backwards, hand cupping the red swell on his face. He had to bite back a bitter laugh at his cruel words. He had cursed Kuroko, his best friend and former shadow. Kuroko, whom had been understanding and encouraged Kagami to confess to Aomine, pushing Kagami to get together with his lover while he laid on his own death bed. A choked laugh escaped his lips as he shook his head, self-disgust overwhelming him.

It was as if those very words had broken Aomine's remaining strength. The tanned male found himself dropping to his knees, his head bent forward as his tears streaked down his cheeks and his mouth parted in a silent scream of anguish. For the first time in weeks, Aomine allowed himself to grieve properly, finally snapping out of his denial over Kuroko's death. His sober acceptance came at a heavy price - the realisation that he had betrayed Kuroko's memory by sleeping with Kagami, even if it had been a drunken mistake.

Tetsu, I'm sorry...

Next to him, Kagami had buried his face in his hands, wishing that he could have taken Kuroko's place in death to avoid the mess that they had made of their lives in the first place.

It was a long while before either of them moved. By then, Kagami's hair had already long dried and his legs were numb from sitting too long. The redhead felt, rather than saw, as Aomine finally got up and disappeared into the bedroom. The situation would have been ridiculously funny - because after all, they were two full grown men crying together in the bathroom - but Kagami had already wasted enough tears. He hadn't bothered looking up because this was it; Aomine was going to grab his stuff and leave forever. The redhead could hear Aomine's feet shuffling across the floor, then a moment as silence as he imagined Aomine redressing as quickly as possible. There was more shuffling, and it was only when Kagami realised that the sound was growing more distinct that he looked up.

Aomine was there, standing at the bathroom door with his midnight blue eyes locked intensely on Kagami. He found himself staring back, desperate to unlock the dark pool of emotions swirling beneath the gaze, but - damn him - Aomine had quickly looked away, tossing something at him. Kagami caught the items, looking over the items confusedly- a familiar black t-shirt, a pair of white basketball shorts and his...briefs. Pushing away his embarrassment at having Aomine pick out his briefs, Kagami met Aomine's eyes in a questioning gaze.

"Get off your ass and get dressed, we're going someplace where I can think," Aomine ordered imperiously, leaving the bathroom to allow Kagami his privacy. Despite his confusion, Kagami found himself glaring at the other man but heeded Aomine's instructions nonetheless. When he stepped out of his bedroom fully dressed, he caught sight of the orange ball being tossed around in Aomine's hands. They were going to play basketball at this hour?

Aomine barely gave Kagami a glance before throwing the ball towards him. Kagami reflexively caught the basketball that came flying towards his chest, growling out 'bastard' under his breath as he tailed after Aomine.

It was barely after midnight but the two males were still going strong with their one-on-one match. The quiet night was peppered with incessant chirps of crickets and the steady thump of bouncing basketballs accompanied by the sudden clash as one of them scored.

The redhead got into an offensive stance, feet apart and knees flexed as he lowered his body, sharp red eyes following the tanned male's every movement. He was exhausted after a long day, and wanted nothing more than a warm shower and a good night's sleep, but stubborn eyes narrowed as he lunged forward for a steal, only to miss as Aomine agilely side-stepped and broke through his defence and made yet another slam dunk.

It was impossible to ignore the rush he felt every time he faced Aomine on the court. Kagami found himself falling back on his animal instincts, his entire body moved like a well-oiled machine - powerful and purposeful steps coupled with the intensity and speed of a wild tiger. It was here - that moment when Aomine's dark, mysterious blue eyes saw only him, that instant when he became the sole focus of Aomine's world - that he felt infinite.

A smile spread across his lips as he remembered the very first match they were in together in High School. It was there and then that he had realised he actually harboured some sort of affection towards the other man. Playing with Aomine never failed to set his pulse running high, and since then it had awakened that all-consuming, almost feral need, want and love for that idiot.

Aomine jogged to a stop, tossing the orange ball towards Kagami, cocking an eyebrow as he noticed that the redhead had not been concentrating for the past few minutes. Giving himself a mental push, Aomine forced himself to blurt one of the many questions that had been at the tip of his tongue.

"How long?"

"Huh?" The redhead snapped out of his thoughts, staring confusedly at the other male.

"How long have you...uh -" Aomine scratched the back of his head awkwardly, "- you know... liked me," he ended lamely, dropping his hand back to his side.

Kagami looked away, mildly discomfited by the question. Grunting, the redhead rummaged through his back for his bottle, taking a long swig from it.

"I don't know when exactly, but I guess when we first met. You challenged me to that one-on-one, remember? I got annoyed by your shitty attitude, but you were amazing. From then, it just...-" Kagami trailed off, hand moving in the 'spiralled-out-of-control' gesture.

Aomine raised an eyebrow, surprised by Kagami's honest answer.

"I've been thinking... "

"Careful, you might break something," Kagami interjected half-heartedly , taking a seat on the ground beside the other male, sprawling his legs out and enjoying the night breeze.

"Shut up, asshole. Let me talk," Aomine growled, running a hand through his sweaty hair. "Just now...what you said. I've been thinking about it. You've been supporting me ever since Tetsu left us."

Kagami blinked, stunned by Aomine's words. He'd seen him vulnerable before, but always when Aomine thought no one was watching.

"What I'm trying to say is ...- " he lowers his hand and turns his midnight blue eyes on Kagami, clear and sober. "I never got the chance to thank you for what you've done, so thank you."

Kagami turned away, overwhelmed by a sudden rush of emotions - mostly embarrassment, and quickly pretended to be engrossed in his shoes only to have long, slim fingers - calloused from years of basketball training and cop work - tilt his chin up. Warm lips pressed hesitantly against his, and Kagami's heart nearly stopped at the gentle press of lips.

"Thank you, Kagami." Aomine whispers, leaning his forehead against Kagami's as he breaks away from their kiss, his eyes serious.

"I'm willing to try and be with you. But it'll take time because Tetsu...Tetsu was my first love so..." The dark-skinned male rattled on, his nervousness getting into him.

"So-..." His words were suddenly cut off abruptly as a rough hand smacked across the back of his head, breaking his train of thought.

"The fuck?" Aomine growled, glaring at the redhead, irritation twitching in his eyes.

But Kagami returned a sheepish grin at him, his eyes brighter than Aomine had ever seen. He bumped his shoulder familiarly against Aomine's, cheeks slightly flushed.

"I'll wait, you idiot. No matter how long you need to take to heal, I'll wait."

Aomine grinned as he pulled Kagami into his sweaty embrace.

"I had no idea you were such a sappy idiot," Kagami laughed out when Aomine finally released him.

Aomine growled at Kagami's words, the redhead scooting away just as Aomine tried to grab him in retaliation.

"You know, if I met you before Tetsu, I might have chased you all the way to Seirin for your ass.'

This time, the growl coming from Kagami made Aomine smirk.

"Oh, so now you're loving me just for my ass? Asshole."

"'You do have a nice ass. It's all firm and toned." Aomine whispered huskily, his tone light and teasing as he approached Kagami. "See?" he joked, giving Kagami's ass a firm squeeze and stepping back just as quickly.

As an exasperated Kagami chased him around the basketball court, Aomine felt happier than he had been since Tetsu's passing. The weight in his chest was fading and in that moment, he knew he could keep moving forward. He could be happy again, and make Kagami happy. He wasn't fully whole, but he was healing.

And that was enough.

They say that time heals all wounds, but being alone will never make the time easier. Sometimes, if you look hard enough, you can find someone who has always been there for you, every step of the way. There will always be someone who's willing to help you through your pain. It may take an eternity to find everlasting happiness with one long step at a time and many sacrifices to be made. However, the pain is all worth it in the end.

Because it takes two to love.

xXxLostBunnyxXx: Hi guys, we are back with a new genre of Aokaga fanfiction. No smut this time.

TNS: Sorry for the angst. But we hope you liked it! We had a bad ending in place actually, but decided to change it to a happy one.

This took us really long to finish (close to...three months, I think) because we got stuck in a few places. But as I wrote the ending, Kuroko's Future Line came up on my iTunes, and motivated me to keep writing it! (: So tell us what you thought!

xXxLostBunnyxXx: Thanks for the continuous support! We'll be releasing another one-shot soon...hopefully...someday..