Warnings: Possible OOCness, angst, (more or less one-sided) AkaKuro. This is a boring filler chapter, sorry. OTL

During summer, Akashi would often go to Kyoto with his parents. His father's parents have a traditional Japanese house there, complete with a well-tended garden, and Akashi remembers spending time throwing bread at the carps in the pond with his cousins.

And the laughter of the child he used to be – the laughter of someone free.

He hates Tokyo because of all the memories of being locked up in his room, as well as the unsuccessful suicide attempts. Kyoto, on the other hand, actually holds some pleasant childhood memories.

Which is why he wants to take Tetsuya there. Osaka is close to Kyoto, after all, so taking a day trip there should be fine. It can be a sort of a thank you to Tetsuya for letting him stay.

It's summer when they get there and Akashi can't help but wonder a little – wasn't his birthday just coming up? Where did all those months go?

The streets are strangely empty; there's not a soul anywhere. It's definitely weird but the serene smile on Tetsuya's face more than makes up for it. Akashi finds his hand reaching for the bluenette's and entwining their fingers, and thinks that it's only natural to do it.

(Hold on, we just met…)

The subtle blush on Tetsuya's cheeks makes him smirk to himself.

They walk like that, holding hands, until they arrive at Akashi's grandparents' house. It looks exactly how Akashi remembers although he hasn't visited Kyoto for some years now. He pulls on Tetsuya's hand, intending to… what?

(Kiss him?)

They get interrupted before anything happens, however. From the corner of his eye, Akashi spots two people exiting the house and coming into the garden. He gasps when he recognises them.

How could I be so stupid? Of course they'd find me from here.

It's his parents who are standing there, staring at him accusingly. "You betrayed us, Seijuurou. You left without our permission. It's such a shame our only son has to be such a disappointment."

Akashi's eyes harden as he regards his parents. "I don't care what you think, I left exactly because I wanted to get away from you."

"We're still willing to forgive you, though. Come back now, and we'll forget this whole incident." They both extend their hands towards Akashi, resulting in him taking a step back.

Akashi keeps retreating and shaking his head as he goes. "No, I'm not going back and you can't force me. I'm not ever going back, hear me? I despise you two."

His mother's mouth pulls into a wry smile. "If you don't come back, you won't have a family. You won't have anywhere to go, is that what you want?"

"I do have a place to go to, Tetsuya said I can stay with him."

His father smiles and it's somehow really creepy. "But Seijuurou, this 'Tetsuya' isn't here, is he?"

"What? He's right here, don't you see?" But just as Akashi says it, he knows Tetsuya isn't there anymore. Where did he go and when?

"Don't you understand, Seijuurou? We're the only ones who care. Come back to us and you'll be fine…" Her voice is soft and gentle but it's all wrong in a way Akashi can't explain. "Come home…!"

Akashi blinks in fear as his parents suddenly start transforming. It's as if they're melting; they still look human, just somehow deformed and bent at weird angles. They approach him, reaching out their crooked arms as they get closer, and Akashi realises he can't move –

Akashi opens his mouth. A deafening scream pierces the air.

It takes him a moment to realise it isn't him who's screaming, and then another to remember where he is. Obviously it can't be his room because there's someone else in there, screaming and crying –

Akashi sits up and throws the cover off of himself, moving closer to the bed. How could he have forgotten?

"Tetsuya, what's wrong?"

The bluenette keeps trashing around, holding his head and screaming, screaming, screaming until it feels like Akashi's head is splitting in half. What the hell's going on?

He leans over the other boy, grabbing his flailing arms with one hand, and uses his other hand to gently slap Tetsuya's cheek.

"Wake up, Tetsuya, it's okay. I'm here, you'll be fine."

As he tries to wake Tetsuya up, Akashi registers footsteps coming closer and closer until the door flies open. There's a click and Akashi freezes when the room suddenly fills with light.

"…who are you?"

Well isn't this just the best possible situation to meet a friend's father for the first time. The redhead is frozen in place, his back facing the door. Tetsuya's stopped screaming; now he just lies there moaning quietly, face pale and covered in cold sweat.

"Hey, I asked who you were!" Akashi counts slowly to ten and turns to face the man standing in the doorway – Kuroko's father, obviously.

"I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to introduce myself, Kuroko-san, but you hadn't come home by the time we went to sleep so I –"

Suddenly, Tetsuya draws a loud, uneven breath. The other two whip their heads around to look at him.

"Are you all right, Tetsuya?" they ask at the same time and glance at each other, Kuroko's father in surprise, Akashi mildly annoyed.

(People speaking at the same time as him is one of the things he really hates.)

The bluenette groans slightly and holds his head.

"…can we talk about this in the morning, please?" he finally requests in a weak voice.

Not having this without a doubt awkward conversation in the middle of the night sounds reasonable, and Tetsuya's father leaves the room even though he casts suspicious glances towards Akashi before switching the lights off and closing the door.

Tetsuya grabs a few pills from his night stand, swallows them and goes back to a somewhat restless sleep. It takes considerably longer for Akashi to calm down enough to get some shut eye, the twisted forms of his parents still lurking at the back of his mind.

Akashi fiddles with the cup in his hand, stealing glances at Tetsuya and his father. They don't really look that much alike, he notes. Maybe Tetsuya takes more after his mother?

…speaking of which, the woman Akashi saw pushing Tetsuya into his room was the step-mother, right? And oh, he knows it's rude to pry, but he can't help but feel curious about Tetsuya's real mother.

"I'm sorry, father. I was going to introduce Akashi-kun to you but you were working late so I couldn't." Tetsuya bows his head with an apologetic look. His father smiles and ruffles his hair.

"It's fine, I'm really glad you've finally made a friend. You could've just sent me a text to let me know, though." The word 'friend' makes Tetsuya jolt and glance in Akashi's direction. The redhead raises a brow in question but Tetsuya's eyes shift quickly back to his father.

"…um, would it be all right if Akashi-kun came to Osaka with us?"

The man looks surprised. Akashi decides to offer an explanation himself.

"I had a fight with my parents and they threw me out. Now I have nowhere to go so I'd really appreciate it if I could stay with you… at least for a while." The ease with which the lies fall off his tongue surprises Akashi. Sure, he's always been good at manipulating people and making up stories but still, this is on a completely different level.

The situation is quite the opposite actually, after all, since he's the one who ran away from home.

But who cares about that? All he has to do is convince Tetsuya's father to take him to Osaka. He'll be a little safer there, and him and Tetsuya can –

Suddenly he remembers that dream he had before Tetsuya woke him up with his screaming… that was definitely weird. Holding hands? Even almost kissing? Akashi's never had dreams like that before so it's troubling him. Does this mean he likes Tetsuya?

No, how could that be. They barely know each other and looking at the bluenette now, in daylight, Akashi feels nothing akin to sexual attraction towards him. Just vague affection, the kind he imagines siblings might feel.

"Akashi-kun?" A hand waving in front of his face brings Akashi back to the kitchen of the Kuroko household.

"I'm sorry, I was lost in thought." He smiles at Tetsuya and watches with some amusement as the boy goes red and turns away from him. Tetsuya's father coughs, getting both of the teenagers attention back to him.

"Well, honestly I think it would be better if you tried to reconcile with your parents, Akashi-kun. I have nothing against having Tetsuya's friend staying over for a night or two, but moving to another town…" He shakes his head. "I don't think I could do that. I'm really sorry, Akashi-kun."

"B-but…" Tetsuya's voice is pleading and there are almost tears in his eyes.

His father looks even more apologetic than before. "Surely your parents regret throwing you out already? You should call them to let them know you're safe."

"I don't have a phone," Akashi says bluntly.

"Eh?" The other two stare at him in surprise.

"My parents never wanted to buy me one, so I don't have a phone." Akashi stretches his back and gets up with a resigned sigh. "Well, I think I'm just going to get my stuff and leave then. If you're sure about not taking me with you."

Tetsuya's eyes are full of despair when Akashi reaches his gaze with a reassuring smile. "I'll think of something so you don't have to look like that, Tetsuya."

But what is that something? It's not like he has money or a place to stay at. If he can't go to Osaka, he'll have no choice but to go back home.

…no way. He's not going back to that place. No, he's going to Osaka with Tetsuya because somehow he feels like the boy needs him as much as he needs Tetsuya.

The only problem is the father.

Akashi steps into Tetsuya's room and instinctively glances across the street. His room is empty and the door's open. A wry smile pulls at his lips.

I wonder what they've done to find me… they've probably called the police and hired a detective or two. Hah. If I go out, I'll surely get caught, unless I disguise myself.

Akashi jumps in surprise when Tetsuya suddenly starts talking right by his side. "You can still come, Akashi-kun. I'll buy you a train ticket and all, and then I'll come pick you up from the station. Father's at work most of the time anyway, he won't even know the difference… it would work, I know it would."

"You don't have to go that far for me –"

"I want to help," Tetsuya says firmly, not leaving Akashi any room to argue. The redhead chuckles and reaches out to ruffle the bluenette's hair.

"You're really wonderful, Tetsuya. I can't understand why your stepmother treated you like trash, even if you start screaming in the middle of the night."

Tetsuya goes red once again and slaps Akashi's hand away. "I – I can't help that, I have horrible nightmares all the time."

"I can even buy you a phone if you want. Akashi-kun, I really want you to come to Osaka with me." Tetsuya closes his eyes. "Please."

How heartless would Akashi need to be to be able to say no to that?

In the afternoon, Tetsuya goes out to do arrange some things. His father has a day off, due to his transfer, so he spends the day packing, Akashi giving him a hand when needed.

Tetsuya comes back a few hours later and shoves a ticket to Akashi's hand. One way to Osaka.

He also pulls a mobile from his back pocket and gives it to Akashi. The redhead stares at the device in wonder.

"It was really cheap so you don't have to worry," Tetsuya says and adds, "I already added my number there."

Akashi smiles and puts the phone in his pocket. "It kind of feels like we're lovers on the run or something," he says and laughs.

He turns around to pull some clothes out of Tetsuya's wardrobe to help him pack, completely missing the mixture of horror and embarrassment on the bluenette's face.

A/N: Took me a million years to update, gomen! I suck & stuff. (motivation, where are you?)

I really feel like I should stick to writing in Finnish because English gives me a headache. I don't know all the words, damn it TAT Also the dream sequence in the beginning… damn it would've come out better but I seriously didn't know some of the words I wanted to use so yeah, I suck big time. Or my English does anyway.

*cough* Anyhow, feedback is always welcome. (and thanks for the support so far ;u;)