Warnings: angst, possible OOCness. Another filler-ish chapter, so it comes with a large serving of tears of self-loathing from yours truly /throws self down the stairs (also, beware of the mammoth-sized author's note o_O)

The front door opens and closes. There's shuffling of clothes, shoes being removed, and then footsteps approaching his room.

A knock on the door, followed by the words 'Tetsuya, I'm home.' He curls up into a ball and presses his eyes shut.

(Maybe he'll go away if I don't respond.)

"I got off early today so I was thinking we could have dinner together for a change."


"Or have you already eaten?"



(Go away…)

"I'm sorry, all right? I'm sorry Akashi-kun left but I honestly think it's better for him to be home with his parents and finish school than be here with nothing. And it's not like you can't ever see him again, I'll buy you a ticket to Tokyo myself so you can go see him."

(Go see him? You don't know anything.)

"…well, if you get hungry I'll make enough food for the both of us, okay? Don't stay cooped up in your room like that."

"…nngh." He's tried so hard, he really has, but finally the tears start falling. He misses Akashi so much and nothing his father can say or do will ever fix that.

Crying won't fix it either but what can he do, the tears just keep coming.

Maybe he'll just stay in his room and cry until he drowns in his tears then.

Akashi tunes out most of what his parents say to him once they're back home. Something about him being under closer surveillance than before and then 'we just want you to be safe' or some such and 'you're the heir of the family' and blah blah blah.

He ignores every word, just wishing he could be someone else far away from all of this, preferably in Osaka with Tetsuya. But no, he's Akashi Seijuurou and he's stuck in this hellhole his parents call home.

Back to square one, huh. Being confined to the room stripped of everything save for the bed; the familiar view to the room that used to be Tetsuya's.

The biggest difference is that Tetsuya isn't there anymore.

And damn Akashi misses the boy so much. The wide blue eyes, the way Tetsuya relies on him, the way Akashi can feel comfortable around the bluenette, everything.

Now, it all feels rather like a dream. Something like that happening to him is too good to be true; as if he could ever actually get away from his parents' clutches.

What if he did dream the whole escape to Osaka? What if he's just spent so much time alone in his room that he imagined meeting Tetsuya?

It could be.

It really could be that way but Akashi wants to believe it was real. That way he has hope of someone waiting for him out there, someone missing him as much as he misses Tetsuya, whether he's real or not.

Then again, if it all turns out to have been only his imagination, he might as well just spend the rest of his life in a mental institution.

Or die young; whichever works just fine for him.

It's boring. Akashi's parents have hired a tutor for him so every day is filled with studying, studying and some more studying. Or at least the guy's supposed to be a tutor but really what he's doing is making sure Akashi doesn't try to run away or hurt himself.

As if he would do anything like that. At least not before he's found a way to verify Tetsuya's existence.

He's barely listening when his tutor tells him that they're done for the day. The man leaves, locking the door after himself.

Finally some time alone to think. Or maybe not, he's actually feeling really tired.

Akashi throws himself on the bed, intending to just try to sleep. Something hard in his pocket, however, distracts him. He never keeps anything in there so what on earth -

Wait. It couldn't be the phone Tetsuya bought him?

Akashi sits up and reaches into his pocket, his fingers trembling slightly. Just the prospect of being able to get in touch with Tetsuya, to hear his voice, gives him strength.

And there it is, the proof that he really did meet Tetsuya and not just dream it: the phone with Tetsuya's number saved on it.

Akashi holds the device in his hand, still a bit incredulous. How could it be there? Surely his parents would have done a body check on him and found it? And how didn't he find it earlier himself? But if it isn't the phone Tetsuya gave him, how could it have got into his pocket?

Just to make absolutely sure, Akashi opens the list of contacts. There's only one name saved in there.

Kuroko Tetsuya.

For a moment, all he can do is stare at the name. It's really there, in neat writing, and all he has to do to hear Tetsuya's voice again is make a call. So that's exactly what he does.

Akashi notices his hand is shaking as he presses call and brings the phone to his ear.

Please, please pick up…

His heart beats way too quickly. Time passes, the line beeps, and Tetsuya won't pick up. Maybe he's sleeping? Or maybe he's out somewhere and can't hear his phone ringing? Whatever, as long as Akashi eventually gets to talk with Tetsuya it'll be fine.

After what feels like an eternity, the call finally gets answered.

"…hello?" Tetsuya's voice is shaky and unsure.

It hasn't been that long since they were separated, only a couple of days, but Akashi is flooded with emotions. He wants to be right next to Tetsuya, see the expressions the bluenette makes, feel the warmth of his body – he doesn't care what they are to each other, he just wants to be with Tetsuya again.

He wants to convey all these emotions, but somehow the words get stuck in his throat and all he can do is offer a stiff greeting that makes him want to die. "Hello, Tetsuya."

"Is it… is it really you, Akashi-kun?"

"Yes, it is. I'm sorry I haven't called earlier, I just found the phone. I've missed you, Tetsuya."

Tetsuya gulps loudly. "Me too, but – Akashi-kun, I'm so sorry. I'm really sorry…"

"You've done nothing to apologise for, Tetsuya."

"But I was your only hope to escape from your parents, right?" Tetsuya draws a shaky breath and Akashi can almost see the way he fights against the tears that threaten to fall. "I really wanted to help you. I'm so sorry…"

The line fills with Tetsuya's quiet sobbing. Akashi racks his mind, desperate to find something comforting to say, but comes up with nothing as some part of his brain registers footsteps approaching the door.

"Tetsuya, don't cry…" Wait. Footsteps? "I have to go, I'm sorry…!" Akashi ends the call and slips the phone under his pillow with astonishing speed.

"Seijuurou? Are you talking to someone?" Akashi makes a face at the door before answering.

"How could that be, mother? I'm all alone." Just like I've always been.

"All right then. Remember to go to bed early, you need energy to study tomorrow."

"Yes of course, thank you for reminding me," Akashi replies in a monotone, not really even listening anymore. All he wants to do is to talk with Tetsuya and his mother is obviously preventing him from doing that.

(Why does it have to be so difficult? If only I could get out…)

He waits until she's gone before taking the phone out again.

Sorry, I can't talk anymore, my parents will hear. I'll call you again when they're not home.

Akashi lies back on the bed and closes his eyes. Their conversation was cut short and that annoys him. But at least now he knows he's not crazy. No matter what it takes, I'll break free from this place. I owe it to you, Tetsuya.

Akashi calls Tetsuya again the following day.

And the one after that.

Just like when they were together in Osaka, they talk about the most irrelevant things, never daring to address the fact that Akashi currently has no way of getting out.

"Oh, by the way, Tetsuya. Did you know someone moved into your previous flat?"

"No, but it's not really any of my business."

"It's not that interesting to me either. I just spend so much time in my room with nothing to do, I start paying attention to the smallest details. Besides, I can see right into the room that used to be yours, remember?" Akashi smiles with a bittersweet sting of nostalgia tugging at his chest.

"If it weren't for that, we would never have met," Tetsuya replies after a moment's hesitation.

"Right…" A comfortable silence falls between the two.


"What is it, Tetsuya?"

"We're friends, right?"

"Yes, we are."

"…thank you…"

"Akashi-kun, I'll be in Tokyo tomorrow," is the first thing Tetsuya says when Akashi calls him. The bluenette's voice sounds weak but there's still the hint of a smile. Akashi smiles too, although he feels bitter. Tetsuya's clearly gaining freedom, commuting between Tokyo and Osaka, getting to choose the school he's applying to, while Akashi can't even leave his room when he wants to.

To be honest, he's a bit jealous. But that's something he'll never tell.

"How nice. Could you maybe walk by your old house? I could see you that way."

"I wish you were here, Akashi-kun…" The way Tetsuya's voice cracks in the middle of the sentence breaks Akashi's heart.

How could he be jealous of someone who's in just as much pain as he is?

Me too… "Don't worry, I'll find a way to get out. I did promise I wouldn't leave you alone, right?"

As Tetsuya tries to find his voice, Akashi stands up and walks to the window. The window sill is cold and rather uncomfortable but he settles there nonetheless, pressing his head against the window. It's raining and he can't clearly see to the other side of the street.

Not that there would be anything worth seeing anyway.

"I don't care whether we're friends or something else, I just want to see you." The glass is cold against his forehead. "Tetsuya… don't give up, okay?"

Tetsuya cries into the phone again.

A/N: I DID IT an update yoooooooooooooooooooooo I think I'm gonna lose my mind writing this, it's fun but it's also so angsty… nevertheless, I'm really grateful for all the feedback and support ;u; aahhhh I think I can die happy now since my story made someone cry and yeah just you guys are too good to me ;A; (Evan the socially awkward creature strikes again pfft)

Oh and to the people who are waiting for Akashi to fall for Kuroko: I really like the idea of Akashi being aromantic and asexual, it just really fits him imo. Buuut I also like the idea of Kuroko being his only exception so have patience while I try my best to steer the two towards something even remotely happy of an ending. :''D

This chapter was not supposed to be so dialogue heavy, quite the opposite actually? Whaaat seriously I have no fucking idea what's going on half the time when I'm writing ahahhaahah

Also since this story is probably gonna reach 10 000(! You guys have no idea how big of a deal this is for me omfg) views after this chapter, I was thinking I could write a little extra chapter to celebrate. We shall see how it turns out but I'm planning for it to be rated M B) (I suck at smut tho so please bear with me if it's absolutely horrible /hides in a corner as a precaution)

Btw, don't ever listen to Den romantiske tragedien by Kaizers Orchestra while writing, it'll make you write depressing shit ahafbafbjasjksvsdha