Series: Kuroko no Basket
All original characters belongs to Fujimaki Tadatoshi. OC characters belongs to me. May contain some OOCness.
Warning: This chapter is not beta-read. English is not my native language, so I must warn you that this chapter contains mistakes. Sorry!
Everything went slowly back to normal after that.
Hyuuga returned to school. Of course, he got plenty of work due to his absence, but he was grateful that the principal didn't kick him out. For first few weeks he almost didn't have time for himself as he had to divide it between rehabilitation and catching up in school.
Also he returned to the basketball team. It took some time for Hyuuga to find the strength in his limbs to even run one whole lap, but step after step it became easier to participate in trainings.
Everything seemed almost like nothing happened – like they time traveled to times before it all happened. Well, almost everything.
Because whenever Hyuuga stepped into the gym he could sense the lack of something – someone very important. It was like staring at a painting and knowing that it was missing something.
He knew who it was. Everyone knew, but no one spoke out loud about it.
Hyuuga often spent free time at Kuroko's new house. It was small, but very comfy and warm. Ruri took all responsibilities on her shoulders – from working part-time jobs to cleaning the house. Of course, the twins tried to help her as much as they could, but sometimes they still made more mess than had been there before they had started cleaning.
Whenever Hyuuga could he often helped her – sometime with shopping, sometimes with learning, to even buying them dinner from time to time and helping with repairs around the house.
Kise spent a lot of time with them too – like whenever he had a free hour or so, he magically appeared in their household. And slowly, the flat began to become their place where they all were meeting. Their own asylum where no one had to pretend and hide anything. They often apologized to Ruri for spending so much time here, but she didn't mind.
Hyuuga didn't meet with Hwan. Few times he wanted to go to the company building, but every time something stopped him. He wanted to thank the Korean somehow for what he had done, yet… Hyuuga never even got close to that place. Maybe later…
One night Hyuuga drank vodka with Kise in Ruri's house. Maybe it wasn't the smartest or nicest thing to do, but to tell the truth they had a great time back then. No boundaries, no stress, no overwhelming feeling of world pushing them down. A little drunken paradise.
Hyuuga had almost a happy life. Almost. The matter of Kuroko was still on their mind.
Ruri occasionally got letters from hospital with description of patient's behavior and state. She often tried to visit him, but they never let her in.
Few times Hyuuga caught himself thinking that maybe they will never see him again. That he will forever be a shadow of a person they had once rescued – someone hidden behind hospitals' wall. A person who was close and far away both in the same time.
Hyuuga couldn't talk about Kuroko with just anybody. That's why he spent so much free time in Ruri's house. Because there it was possible. Because there it was normal. Because there no one pretended that person named Kuroko Tetsuya simply disappeared.
That was probably the reason Kise did that too.
Seirin team lost in one match and didn't advance in Winter Cup. Hyuuga was sad, but not as much as he thought he would be. He still loved basketball – it was a huge part of his life and heart – but his outlook on life changed.
Days passed. Winter soon turned into a spring and spring jumped fast to the summer. The time was inexorable moving forward and so did they. They got used to their current different-yet-not life.
On lazy days he wondered if the situation would ever change. He hated to think about it like that, but it was inevitable question from which no one could run away. And no one really knew the answer.
This day… this day was like any other day. At least Hyuuga thought so, until Ruri called him. She was a stuttering mess on the phone. Hyuuga couldn't understand a single word she was speaking, so calmly he asked her to repeat the message.
She did, still tripping on words, but this time Hyuuga understood her completely.
And then he felt his heart stopping.
They were allowed to see Kuroko.
Hyuuga was nervous to this point his stomach was making somersaults and almost threating him to spill its content on the floor. Fear and happiness were mixing inside of him like crazy and he didn't know what he felt more at some point.
Ruri, next to Hyuuga, couldn't stand in one place. Her legs twitched in anticipation. Few times she made few steps forward, but then quickly came back.
The twins were sitting on plastic chairs and talked about something in shushed whispers between each other. They didn't know what was really happening around them.
For Hyuuga it still felt like a dream. After such long time they were finally allowed to see Kuroko.
There was a huge chance that Kuroko won't recognize them. Since the operation (and maybe even earlier) he had problems with remembering his previous life – like there was a huge, hollow gap inside his brain. Doctors and nurses tried many medicines, many chemicals and many therapies on him, however nothing worked. At least this was what the doctor had told them
There wasn't a big chance that meeting with his family would help Kuroko, but it was better than nothing at this point.
Hyuuga actually had seen Kuroko in that state. He knew the feeling – the sinking sensation when he had seen no recognition in these familiar blue eyes. He remembered the sadness and emptiness that had overpowered his body after that. He knew it too well.
Kise was with them too. He was sitting next to the twins, occasionally tickling them and answering some question when they asked him. It looked like Kise wanted to get his mind off this topic, this place, this everything around him. For few more seconds pushing away the inevitable. He was simply scared what would happen. No one really could blame him for that.
Hyuuga turned to Ruri, who was staring blankly at the door in front of them.
He really wanted to comfort her, tell that everything will be alright, but he couldn't do that. It was better to be prepared for the worst, than awaits the best. Right now, everyone was getting prepared for the worse possibilities.
Finally the door opened and a nurse came out to allow them to enter the room behind her.
There wasn't many things inside. Only a white table with four chairs – not enough place for all of them to sit – and another door on the opposite wall. The walls were painted in faint green color, but beside that there was nothing catching the eye inside. The place seemed almost… cold and heartless.
"Please don't shout or raise your voice near him. Please also to refrain from making sudden movements. I'm sorry, but you're also forbidden to hug him, although small touches are allowed." The nurse said, glancing at them with pained look in her eyes.
They all nodded in confirmation.
This few minutes spent in silence when they waited for the other door to open were the longest and hardest minutes of Hyuuga's life. It felt like they were standing there for hours before… before…
The door opened and two people stepped inside.
Kuroko didn't change that much as he was looking painfully almost as the old him. A little bit longer hair fell on his forehead, two big blue eyes filled with wonder stared at them from the other side of the room, clothes hung on him, but not as much as they used to.
Kuroko looked like nothing happened - like his disappearance didn't happen, like he hadn't been just few steps away from crossing the death line. And to tell the truth, he looked healthier than ever Hyuuga had seen him.
Yet, Kuroko didn't look the same. Hyuuga knew that look – blink, dull spark, twinkle – in his irises, that slightly opened lips – with no words coming out – and Hyuuga knew in that moment that he did well. He shouldn't get his hopes up in the end.
Hyuuga heard shrieks coming from behind him. In the corner of his eyes he saw as Kise caught twins' shoulders and prevented them from jumping forward.
The second person who had entered the room was a doctor. His lips twitched, maybe in annoyance, maybe in tiny try to give them reassurance – Hyuuga wasn't sure. He couldn't read signals so good right now.
After that the doctor cleared his throat and turned to Kuroko, who was still gaping at them, but doing nothing.
"Tetsuya, those people are your family and friends. Can you tell me if you recognize anyone from here?" His voice was kind, soothing and above all calm, yet calculating and wary.
Hyuuga was prepared for that, for the small movement that definitely would follow. Or at least he thought he was prepared, that he would be able to contain any bad emotions that would spurt inside his heart.
And yet when Kuroko slowly shook his head, Hyuuga felt like the whole world trembled.
Hyuuga quickly turned to his companions. Kise looked down at the twins who were clenching their trousers like it was their lifebuoy while staring at their brother with pained feelings painted clearly on their childish faces.
Ruri, on the other hand, was looking almost calm. Trying to look like it didn't affect her.
And maybe if Hyuuga didn't know her, he would think that she really felt that way. But the small signs all around her body were telling Hyuuga the honest truth – from the sudden blink of her eyes to the nervous twitch of her knees.
The doctor looked at them apologetically.
"Are you really sure you don't recognize them as your family or friends?" He repeated the question.
Kuroko looked at everyone one more time, but still shook his head. He made a step back and found a doctor's hand preventing him from moving further.
All Hyuuga's muscles tensed at this sight.
The nurse walked to them.
"I'm sorry, but I need to ask you to leave right now." Her voice was soft, but somehow it irritated Hyuuga now more than ever. "Maybe after some other therapies..." She continued, but no one really listened to her.
Hyuuga turned to Ruri. She was still looking at her brother, but now her eyes were blank, empty of all the light it always used to have. The spark of hope was brutally killed, leaving only a thin trail of gray smoke.
She turned around like a robot or maybe like her body didn't belong to her anymore. Hyuuga saw as she bit her lip hard, but one tear rolled down her cheek anyway. She put her hand to her mouth, preventing herself form making a sound, but her sniffs and sobs escaped that poor prison anyway.
And maybe it was just his imagination, but Hyuuga could swear he saw Kuroko twitching. Well, maybe it was natural to do so in this situation, when someone unknown to you cry near you, but something was different here. Or at least this was what Hyuuga was telling himself.
The doctor glanced at him, nodded, then put his hand on Kuroko's shoulder and turned him to probably make him walk away.
Hyuuga did the same, but he put his hand on Ruri's shoulder. She was shaking under his palm and Hyuuga couldn't blame her for that.
The nurse walked to them and showed with her hand the door. But before they even managed to make one step in that directions, the shouts resonated in the tiny room:
"No, we don't want to go! We want to stay with nii-chan!"
Hyuuga gaped as Kise held the twins palms and tried to pull them to the exit, lightly enough to not hurt them. However they were standing hard on the ground, trying to pry their hands off.
"No! We want to go with nii-chan!"
Hyuuga could only glance at Kuroko, curious of his reaction.
He was still standing there, looking at the twins with eyes wide open like he was seeing some things for the very first time in his entire life. The doctor next to him, tried to turn him around, but the boy didn't budge from his spot.
The nurse glanced between everyone, furrowing her eyebrows angrily. Then she ran to Kise and pried Maru away from his unsuspecting hands. She held his hands firmly in her own ones. With pissed look on her face she glared at Kise, ordering him with the look to do the same and stop playing with the kids. She turned around, pulling Maru to the exit with too much force needed.
Kise didn't make a move in the direction of the door.
"No, let me go!"
Miri escaped from Kise's grab and run to her brother. She tried to rescue him, by trying to loosen the hold the woman had on her brother. But the nurse wasn't giving up as she turned to them with furry starting to spark inside her eyes.
She let go of one Maru's hand and grabbed Miri's arm.
"You're both going out!"
And it was all too much when she pulled them so hard they fell down with yelps of pain leaving their lips.
Hyuuga made a step forward (with Kise doing the same), but was stopped by Ruri who literally jumped to the woman, trying to help her siblings.
Everything happened so fast.
The nurse probably didn't want to do that, it probably was just an accident, but she pushed Ruri away quite brutally as she tried to keep a hold on the kids trashing on the floor. Ruri lost her balance and crashed into the table behind her. Maru and Miri screamed in unison, helpless eyes following their sister.
"No, let us go! Nee-chan! Let us go! Nii-chan! Help!"
And it just… happened.
In the blink of an eye Kuroko was next to the twins, holding their hands and pulling them to his own body.
"Let Maru and Miri go!"
It took Hyuuga few seconds to understand what the boy just said.
The nurse shared the same look of surprise as Hyuuga. She instantly loosened her grip on the twins' wrists, allowing Kuroko to free them.
But Kuroko smiled at his siblings as their wrapped their tiny hands around his middle. Then he turned around when they all heard a groan. Ruri was slowly lifting her body with her eyes focused solely on her brother.
Kuroko moved to her with the twins following them, loosening the grip on his body, but keeping close.
"Are you alright?" Kuroko asked, kneeling and taking Ruri's face in his own palms.
His voice sounded just like Hyuuga's remembered it – calm, monotone, blank, yet with pure warm and concern hiding behind some syllables.
Ruri blinked few times rapidly, brushing away the tiny tears which gathered at the corners. Short breathes heaved through her chest. Her mouth was partly opened, with bottom lip trembling. She finally sucked air in and asked:
"You... remember me?"
Now it was time for Kuroko to blink. His lips were already moving, forming an obvious answer, but stopped. His eyes suddenly widened. His head moved frantically from one side of the room to the other. For a split second his gaze stopped on Hyuuga, then Kise.
His eyes jumped to the doctor, then to a nurse, only to soften while glancing at the twins and finally to land on Ruri.
Everyone ran to him when Kuroko fainted on the spot.
From what a nurse told them the next day, Kuroko had woken up in the afternoon. He still had had a lot of blank spots in his memory, but not as much as he used to have. He started to recognize places he had seen and faces of his close ones. With a therapy he could be able to remember almost all of his past life – or at least with this the nurse ended her call.
Even after almost full day Hyuuga still felt like it was all just a beautiful dream.
Because he still couldn't believe that it was true. After such long time, after so many months of waiting, it really happened. And because of this time – the time that was separating the today from the horrible past – Hyuuga was scared, almost mortified to believe it. He had seen it with his own eyes and yet...
Hyuuga hadn't been able to sleep the previous night.
Doctor didn't allow them to visit Kuroko the next day, but he said that it should be okay for his family to visit Kuroko tomorrow.
And when the next day came Hyuuga couldn't sit in one place in school. He was curious to know how the meeting went, if Kuroko remembered more from his past, if there was a chance of fast recovery. The clock moved forward, ticking away passing seconds, then minutes, even hours. But it still felt like time was standing in place.
Even Riko, Kiyoshi and Izuki asked Hyuuga about his behavior, but he told them he was anticipating some package. He couldn't tell them the truth. Not yet. Kagami asked him too. For few seconds Hyuuga fought and argued with himself whether he should tell him or not, but he decided against it in the very end.
When the afternoon practice finally ended, Hyuuga literally ran to Ruri's house.
She wasn't at home, but the twins opened the door for him. Kise was already inside.
"Nervous much?" He asked with small trembling smile on his lips, as Hyuuga sat on the chair in front of Kise's one.
"Yeah, like I've never been." Hyuuga confirmed.
They tried to talk about small, unimportant things, but both quickly understood that it was impossible. But they busied themselves while helping Maru and Miri with their homework.
They waited for almost an hour.
The sound of unlocking door startled everyone, even though they expected it to happen any second. Ruri stepped inside, welcoming everyone and not looking even a little bit surprised by seeing Hyuuga and Kise there.
Even though the curiosity was eating them from inside, they remained near the twins, finishing the last task in the textbook. Ruri got rid of all her additional clothes and stomped slowly into the living room to slump down on the pillow next to Miri's one.
"So?" Kise immediately asked.
Ruri pushed one lone lock of her hair behind her ear.
Hyuuga's own heart was hammering inside his chest while he waited this few seconds for a reply.
But then her pale lips stretched in thin, hesitant, but relieving grin.
"There's still some gaps, but he's starting to remember us all and what happened."
It still felt like a beautiful dream.
Then her mouth twitched and she blinked furiously when glimmering tears appeared in the corners. The emergency light bulb turned on in Hyuuga's mind. He was next to her in an instant, hands levitating above her shoulders.
But Ruri only brushed the tears away.
"It is finally getting better..."
This one sentence just few hours ago would sound unrealistic. Now it was different.
Then Ruri started to laugh. In any other situation this sound would seem weird or inappropriate. Her hands moved to her eyes, where she brushed away the still unshed tears.
Hyuuga felt like someone just cleared up his mind, getting rid of all the fog it had until now.
"So we… did it?" Kise asked, glancing at them both.
It took Ruri some time to calm herself down, but between giggles and soft sniffles, she finally responded:
"Yeah, we did it."
Hyuuga didn't know if he ever lived through happier day than this one.
But it still wasn't the end of their journey.
For few weeks only family was allowed to visit Kuroko. Hyuuga of course was mad, but understood the reasons behind the doctor's decision.
Kise took the information a little bit worse than Hyuuga. More furiously. Hyuuga had seen Kise sometimes whispering something under his nose – usually how it was unfair that they couldn't see Kuroko if they were the ones who had rescued him. But Kise held strongly, trying hard to remain calm and collected, patiently (sometimes not) waiting for the permission to visit.
The old Kise would sulk in the corner or maybe start yelling. But the new one wasn't like that.
Kise changed a lot too. Hyuuga wondered if Kaijou team also noticed it. Seirin probably did, but they weren't asking Hyuuga about it. It was better this way in the end.
Hyuuga was happy, but the next few weeks he spent in agony, waiting for a consent to visit the patient.
It felt like ages when Ruri finally confronted them and told that the doctor said that it should be okay for one of Kuroko's friend to visit him.
Hyuuga turned to Kise and saw as the teen was opening and closing his mouth like a fish out of water. Kise's body was fully tensed and ugh… Hyuuga knew he had to do it. He knew he couldn't be selfish now, when the anticipation, fear and love was clearly visible in Kise's eyes.
So he did the only logical thing.
"You can go visit Kuroko first." Hyuuga said when he and Kise were walking home.
Kise looked at him, clearly surprised by the words he just heard. It was so easy to read emotions form his face. Heh.
Hyuuga was almost sure Kise would agree in an instant.
"No, you go first." Kise instead murmured. "You did more than me. I think you deserve this."
Well, Hyuuga didn't expect that kind of an answer.
To be honest, he really wanted to see Kuroko, to talk and spend time with him, to regain a little bit of the calmness that was forgotten by his mind. He missed Kuroko – his voice, his presence, his kindness, his honesty, even his emotionless face! But Kise… Kise probably wanted to see Kuroko more than Hyuuga. It was easy to notice what kind of feelings he harbored for the smaller teen.
"You really changed." Hyuuga said.
Kise smirked at that.
"Everyone is telling me this."
In the end Hyuuga somehow managed to convince Kise to be the first one to see Kuroko. So he did, the very next day.
Hyuuga and Ruri spent this day at her house, both of them doing homework for school. The mid-semester exams were just around the corner and well… Hyuuga was already in his third year.
Kise returned pretty late in the evening, smiling like he was the happiest person in the whole world and well… Hyuuga could understand that. But this didn't stop him nor Ruri from interrogating Kise about his day with Kuroko.
Hyuuga was allowed to see him a week later. He took the opportunity with happiness and fear mixing inside his chest.
Hyuuga took one free day at school to visit Kuroko. Well, more like he never went to school that day, so he practically was a truant, but he didn't really care right now.
A nurse welcomed him at an entrance and asked him to follow her.
Hyuuga could literally heard his heartbeat in his ears, in a messy rhythm with their steps.
When he stopped in front of that door, he felt like he could collapse any second now. All strength flew from his body, leaving him like this – empty and yet more full than ever.
His hands were a sweaty and trembling mess when Hyuuga finally put his palm on a doorknob.
It was now or never. He waited long enough for this moment.
Hyuuga slowly pushed the door, stepping inside and quickly looking around, trying, needing to locate the patient.
Kuroko was here. In the room. With Hyuuga. He was standing in front of the opened window with his back on the door. The wind flowing into the room was swaying the blue hair and clothes. The picture looked so serene, so calm, yet somehow out of this place. It wasn't something Hyuuga expected.
It looked so normal, like nothing happened.
Hyuuga closed the door slowly, which locked with a barely audible sound. It looked like Kuroko still didn't notice him. So he stood there, staring at Kuroko's small posture, as he slowly brushed his arms when a particular strong gust found its way inside, as he leaned onto the window frame and sighed loudly.
For some time they both listened to birds chirping outside, to voices of other patients and visitors seeping into the room and far away honks and roaring engines.
Hyuuga unclenched and clenched his fist like a dozen times already. His throat was closed and he couldn't muster even one word to leave his lips. His heart was still hammering inside his chest, making it almost painful to just stand here and do nothing.
Then Kuroko reached and grabbed the handle of the window. He tugged it to himself, trying to close the window, but froze when Hyuuga found Kuroko's gaze reflected in the glass.
Kuroko turned on his heel, letting go of the knob. His eyes were wide, like a never ending ocean, but directed at him. And at first, there was still some fear whispering behind his ears that it was a mistake, that Hyuuga shouldn't be here, that it would never end…
But then Kuroko smiled and simply said:
And everything inside of Hyuuga crumbled down and was rebuild in one second. It felt like an earthquake that revealed something beautiful. It was a sudden breath of clear and fresh air after drowning.
Hyuuga simply couldn't hold it any longer. He covered his eyes, like it could prevent the sudden tears, but it didn't work. No matter how hard he gritted his teeth, it happened.
When was the last time Hyuuga really cried?
"Hyuuga-san! Please don't cry!" Hearing this voice, his name, the concern wasn't helping him stop the waterfall suddenly spurting form Hyuuga's eyes.
Hyuuga glanced at his friend from between his fingers and he almost wanted to laugh at the sight in front of him.
Kuroko was covering his mouth with his hands with tears streaming down his cheeks.
"Says who." Hyuuga sniffed, letting his hands fall down to his side.
The small chuckle that escaped Kuroko's lips was simply breathtaking.
In few steps Hyuuga reached Kuroko and hugged him tightly, trying to glue all the broken pieces of the boy that definitely were still scattered around.
But when Kuroko put his hands on Hyuuga's back and returned the embrace, he felt like it was Kuroko who was putting Hyuuga back together.
They talked for almost whole day. Few time a nurse came inside to check on Kuroko, but no one interrupted them beside her.
Kuroko almost fully retrieved his memories. Ruri had filled some gaps, but Kuroko was interested in Hyuuga's side of the story. Hyuuga, of course, complied with the plead, but intentionally missed some parts. It was better this way for everyone.
Kuroko listened to his story with gloomy look on his face. Hyuuga couldn't blame him, but didn't want to see him like this. Especially as they were finally able to spend some time together.
"And your wounds?" Kuroko asked, tilting his head and staring at different parts of Hyuuga's body. "You know... from the bullets?"
"They almost perfectly healed." Hyuuga said, putting on a reassuring smile.
It was almost truth. There were still some pink scars in their places, but it was much better than earlier. Sometimes Hyuuga found himself hissing when the wounds reminded him about themselves, but it wasn't that bad.
Kuroko didn't look that convinced, but didn't push this topic further.
Hyuuga told him about Seirin and what matches he had missed, what teams they had beated and which had beated them. Well he couldn't say much about Winter Cup as Hyuuga too wasn't with their team back then.
The time they had together had passed in the blink of an eye and Hyuuga found himself dreading the end of the day. Talking and spending time with Kuroko was calming him down, was making him feel more alive than ever.
But it was already late. Even the nurse told Hyuuga that he needed to go.
Hyuuga slowly stood up, saying goodbyes to Kuroko like a hundred time already. Before stepping out, he even glanced back one more time and only then he finally went out. But he didn't get far, maybe a step or so away from the door, before Hyuuga turned around and walked back into the room – needing to see that Kuroko was still there, that this wasn't some messed up figment of his imagination, that this meeting really had happened and he wasn't just dreaming some blissful dream.
However Kuroko was still there, not even moving from the same spot Hyuuga had left him maybe only twenty seconds ago.
Kuroko blinked in surprise seeing him and then something like an understatement overcame his eyes. He smiled at Hyuuga.
"I'm not going anywhere anymore." He simply stated.
At this point Hyuuga wondered that maybe Kuroko wasn't the only one who needed to be rescued.
Kuroko was in the hospital for another two months and only then he was able to finally return home – with an order from a doctor to stay there for at least a month.
Hyuuga and Kise visited him everyday. Well Kise almost everyday, as he had his modelling job, but even when it was very late he was coming over just to exchange few words.
Kuroko's house felt almost like his own home – to this point Hyuuga felt there more relaxed and happier than in his own one. Few times he asked if it was okay for them to spend so much time there, but Kuroko said he always preferred houses full of life, than dull and empty ones. Plus the twins adored them and Ruri liked to have someone who could help her with homework and housework.
Kuroko was slowly recovering. Sometimes walking was still a problem to him, but he practiced and trained hard everyday to return to his former self in terms of strength.
The Organization that had helped them (and which cared and provided them with houses and jobs) spoke with the school. Kuroko was allowed to pass one lost year by writing an exam from every subject. There was an option for Kuroko to re-take the first year, but he decided against it.
So they started their hard job at learning and helping Kuroko pass all exams.
It was bound to happen one day. Everyone knew it. But they avoided this topic like it was fire in fear of the consequences. It was actually the twins who spilled the truth to their brother.
When Kuroko found out about Yuzue's death he cried for almost whole night. Hyuuga understood that.
The next day they all visited her grave, where they spent a lot of time cleaning it and praying. Kuroko's eyes were red for few more days.
One day Akashi visited Kuroko. Kuroko didn't tell him about what they had been talking about, but he looked more cheerful than the day before, so it couldn't be that bad.
Kuroko only knew that Akashi helped him, but he didn't know how and maybe… maybe it was for best. Or maybe he already knew.
The day after Akashi's visit, a mailman came to Kuroko's door with a package.
The package contained only a short note and a box of chocolates. Hyuuga knew from who it was immediately after he saw the handwriting. The curly, thin letters couldn't be mistaken. Hwan had sent the package.
They spend that evening eating chocolates in front of the TV.
But something wasn't right in Hyuuga's opinion. Like... only box of chocolates? Even Hyuuga received the bottle of good quality vodka. So yeah, he didn't believe that it could be so simple. Hwan wouldn't just send Kuroko this!
So when they finished the chocolates, Hyuuga offered to throw the box away. Well it was almost truth.
Hyuuga tried to rip the paper as quietly and delicately as possible, not wanting to destroy something that could be hidden inside. He wasn't sure that something indeed was inside, but he got a feeling that it all was too simple.
But his feelings were correct.
The split part of the ripped bottom caught Hyuuga's attention. There was a thin golden envelope hidden in a double bottom. Sneaky, but simple. Not many people would check two times a plain box of chocolates.
Hyuuga wondered if he should give the letter to Kuroko first as it was his present.
In the end it was Hyuuga who opened it and took out a note.
I knew that you would find this.
Please take care of him.
H. and staff
PS: Hope that's enough for now.
The last two words were written by someone else's hand.
Well Hwan wouldn't be himself if he didn't add something from himself. Of course, Hyuuga wasn't even a little bit surprised.
Although he gasped when he took out a cheque with a quite generous sum written on it. This sound and Hyuuga's long absence caught the interest of the rest.
Kuroko was the first to get to him, asking what happened. Hyuuga only passed him the note and cheque. Kise and Ruri glanced at the letter from above Kuroko's shoulder.
The astonished look on their faces was hilarious and beautiful both in the same time.
"But… but I can't take it!" Kuroko shouted and tried to put the cheque back in Hyuuga's hand – like this way it would magically transport to its owner.
"Well, kind of too late. We can't send it back, we don't know the address." Hyuuga quickly fought Kuroko's back, smiling under his nose. It was a lie. Hyuuga knew where Hwan worked and could give the check back, but Kuroko didn't need to know that.
Besides, it would be bad to give the present back.
"Shush! You earned it."
Kuroko looked like he didn't know if he wanted to cry or laugh right now.
Part of the money they put on a bank account, part of it they sent to charity and using the rest they bought medicines and machines for Miri to help her with her disease.
Kuroko passed his exams maybe not with the highest grades, but good ones. Good enough to allow him to pass first year and return to school in spring to start his second year. He would be still one year behind, but it was better than re-taking the first one.
Hyuuga asked Kuroko few times if he wanted to visit Seirin and his team, but everytime he declined it.
Exams were just around the corner for Hyuuga too. The year was almost ending. And with this also his last year at Seirin High.
He still spent most of his time at Kuroko's house, but now learning and not only teaching. His parents had asked Hyuuga few times about it, but he just mumbled some explanation that first popped into his mind.
When the last week of school for Hyuuga and the other third-years came, Kuroko finally found the courage and asked him if he could visit the team on afternoon practice. Hyuuga immediately agreed. This could be his last chance to do so.
During the morning practices Hyuuga told his team that he had a surprise for them. They tried to make him talk about it, to spill the secret, but Hyuuga kept his mouth shut.
Kuroko nodded slowly. He was crumpling the hem of his shirt in his trembling hands.
Hyuuga could heard sounds – voices, thuds of the ball hitting the floor, squeaks of shoes – coming from the gym. It looked like everyone was already there. Hyuuga was late for a reason – but he didn't want them to see the surprise earlier than expected.
Hyuuga asked Kuroko to wait outside the gym for awhile.
When he stepped inside, all eyes landed on him immediately. Hyuuga could see the curiosity beaming from his teammates. It was astonishingly hard to remain strong and keep the smile under control.
In a moment everyone was surrounding him.
"Sooo, what do you have for us?" Riko asked, tapping the pen on her bottom lip.
"Yeah, we were curious for the whole day, because of what you said!" Izuki added as he stopped almost next to him. "It's better be good."
"Yeah, I couldn't focus on classes because of you!" Koganei shouted from the back.
Hyuuga couldn't hold it much longer. He finally turned to the slightly ajar door and yelled.
"You can come in!"
For few seconds nothing happened, to this point Hyuuga almost thought that Kuroko ran away.
"Who are you call-" Riko started, but stopped midway through her sentences as finally (finally!) Kuroko walked through the door having something between worried and happy smile on his face.
The shrieks which escaped everyone's mouths was something Hyuuga heard for the first time in his entire life.
And suddenly Kuroko disappeared. This time not by using his misdirection, but he vanished under the pile of people who jumped and embraced him like there was no tomorrow.
And Hyuuga couldn't blame them.
At first he thought that maybe Kuroko really would use his skills to escape his team, but he… didn't. Kuroko stood there, hugging everybody, while trying to answer all of them.
He looked like he was on the verge of crying, but not in the bad way.
Hyuuga walked to the team – with a warm smile and something growing inside his chest – to try to pry some of his teammates away to allow Kuroko to breathe. However he knew it was more over futile job. They were happy. Kuroko was happy and he…
He was too.
This really was the end of their journey.
Kuroko finished High School and with a help from the Organization, that had taken care of them, he went to University. Kuroko found a decent, normal, a little bit boring job, but the best for him in Hyuuga's opinion.
As soon as Kuroko got his job, they rented an apartment somewhere close to Ruri's University and Kuroko's place of work.
After few years Kise finally asked Kuroko out. Hyuuga interrogated Kise why had he waited so long for this. Kise only replied that he was scared of Kuroko rejecting him. Some parts of Kise didn't change at all. But... well better late than never.
Hyuuga finished University too. After graduation he worked for a year as a lawyer's assistant, but he gave up this job in the end. Kuroko and Kise often asked him why he had done that. Hyuuga knew the answer to this question, but preferred not to share it with them.
This wasn't a job for him. He wanted, needed something else.
As soon as he was unemployed, he rushed to the company building that had become his home long time ago.
Hwan was still there – not looking even surprised when Hyuuga stepped inside the office.
"I knew you would come back." He said with a grin on his lips.
Hyuuga probably knew it too.
Yahoo! We're finally here! At the very end of the story. Congrats to you all who finished it and thank you for amazing journey =D. It took me four years to finish it. Gosh, I was a kid back then. My writing style changed so many times through this time! But anyway I'm happy I managed to somehow finish this story!
And here is the list of few fun facts (or not) about the story:
1. I came up for the story's title during one of my polish classes. We were interpreting a poem and I don't remember if it was the title or the phrase used there, but I immediately liked it! I thought it fitted the story so well!
2. At some point I planned to include all MiraGen members, but decided against it (or forgot – more possible).
3. I wanted to include Kuroko's real father at some point, but couldn't fit the sub-plot in the story.
4. Hehe I actually wanted to end this story with a bad ending. Like I would write everything to this point (without Realis epilogi) and then I would finish it with something like 'And then Kuroko woke up', but I don't know… I felt like it would be so terrible that I decided against it xD.
5. I actually decided to add some KisexKuroko feelings after few chapters, because I felt that this story was missing something. It isn't the main part of the story, but… well it just fits now, I think?
6. I love Hyuuga here. He is so badass and I totally love the duet they make with Hwan.
7. I named the secretary when I was correcting this chapter, so around three years later haha xDDD.
Words: 129 265
And some answers:
Hyuann – Nah, no worries. I understand a lot =D! I'm glad the inspiration is still there. And well, if I can advise something – it is for you to write it anyway! I also write chapters or moments and then, in the end, I don't like them, so I rewrite them. It is a good way to improve writing and write in the way you really want. Sometimes you have to do it few times, but well, usually the results are amazing! I totally understand you. I often feel empty after finishing some fanfics D: Anyway I hope you enjoyed the ending! Thank you for commenting!
Shiroshi.2 – Haha xD I took you by surprise! But I actually love to respond to reviews! And no worries, I'm still writing, but in different fandoms and I don't plan on giving that up! Hope you liked the ending! Thank you!
Hana Riqa-chan – I know, but they are strong characters! They can get through all the obstacles I throw at them! And once again I'm happy and sad that I can make you feel so many mixed emotions (PM was sent)xD. And yeah, this is the end of the story and road D: Thank you for being here with me. I hope you liked the ending!
And thank you Reader for being here with me! You're amazing! Hope to see you in my other stories!