Title: Taking things slow

Beta: Anonymous

Pairing: Kagami Taiga/Kise Ryouta; past Kagami Taiga/Kuroko Tetsuya

Rating: PG-13 (may change)

Warnings: nothing serious; a bit of angst

Summary: There is always a chance to make things better. You only have to use it right.

Chapter 1

Their meeting is accidental.

Kise's just come back to Japan from his latest photo shoot in Italy. It rained almost the entire time, so he happily welcomes Tokyo's sunny weather. Its air, as well; there is something that only Tokyo's air has. Something that puts a smile on Kise's face. The man often thinks this "something" is "home". Sure, he loves to travel, and being a model and part-time actor allows him to do so, but he loves his hometown more than he admits.

His chauffeur is waiting for the green light when a blur of familiar red hair catches Kise's attention. He turns his head quickly, pressing his nose to the car's window. Just as he thought: there is Kagami walking down the street with two bags in his hands – Ryouta chuckles at this sight. Knowing Kagami, these bags are full of food he will probably devour in less than a day.

But something else catches the model's attention, too. Maybe Kagami isn't the happiest person is the world, yet… Kise has never seen him looking so sad. Doesn't the red-head always hide emotions other than "excitement" and "anger"? Has something bad happened? Wouldn't he have heard about it? They haven't talked for… how long exactly? Two years now? The last time they saw each other Kagami was really happy; he was about to graduate from his college in two months, Kuroko was by his side, looking at him with love so big it hurt. 'Maybe they had a fight?'

He leans forward, putting his hand on the chauffer's arm and pointing at the supermarket on their left. "Park there and wait for me," he says and then opens the door, completely ignoring 'Mister Kise, you cannot −'. Kagami isn't far away; he would probably hear Kise calling, but the blond doesn't want to draw attention to himself. There aren't many people on the street right now – the temperature is way too high plus it's dinner time – but better safe than sorry. As much as Ryouta loves his fans, he doesn't want to get interrupted by them. He jogs to his old friend – noticing that dress shoes aren't made for running – and puts his arm around the other's man neck, bringing him down a little. When did he get so tall? "Kagamicchi! Long time no see," Kise smiles and quickly takes his hand away, noticing how Kagami's eyes are narrowing and his fist is raising. Huh?

"Idiot, I almost hit you," Kagami huffs, pointing his finger at the blond. "You can't just attack people like that!"

A perfect pout appears on Kise's face, making him look like a kicked puppy. "I didn't attack you ~~ssu." He wants to add something more, but notices dark circles under Kagami's eyes along with his slightly crumpled clothes and stops himself. Definitely a fight. "Do you need a ride? My car is nearby and we could bring your groceries to your house, and then talk a little ~~ssu. You, me and Kuroko…"

Just when the word 'Kuroko' rolls off his tongue, the ex-Seirin ace's features become darker, his gaze full of pain before it hardens. He shoves Kise aside, murmuring "I'm not in the mood."

Kise is completely lost. Did something happen to Kurokocchi? Why had no-one told him? True, he didn't really keep in touch with all his old friends, but he often talks with Kasamatsu-senpai, and doesn't Yukio work with Kurokocchi?

"Kagamicchi, wait!" He grabs the other man by the arm, stopping him and turning Kagami to face him. "Kurokocchi isn't okay? What happened?"

"Fuck, Kise!" Kagami grabs his wrist hard – Kise mentally winces, feeling there will be a bruise – and continues in a low, dangerous voice: "Stop pretending you don't know! Even that bastard Midorima knows!" The red-head is breathing hard, obviously pissed and thoughts start to materialize in Ryouta's head. But they… They couldn't, right? They have been in love since their second year in middle school! After eight years, would they…?

Kise's blank stare and confused expression is enough for an answer. "You don't know," Kagami releases his wrist and rubs his face, suddenly looking very tired. "We broke up last year. He is in the USA now."

"In the USA? Isn't there…"

"Yeah, with Aomine." That "with" was said with enough force for Kise to realize that Kagami didn't mean it in a "sharing a flat" way. Shit. No surprise Kagami is so sad. But why today? A year is a long time to heal wounds. Not all wounds. Yet, the worst should be over now. "So if you don't mind…" Taiga takes up from the pavement the bag he dropped when he caught Kise's wrist. "I want to be alone." Quietly he adds "Today it would have been our eighth anniversary." He starts walking again.

Kise Ryouta may be a little egotistical, may forget about replying to e-mails, may not talk to his friends for more than a year, but he'll be dammed if he'll let Kagami go now. Not when his heart squeezed painfully when he heard those quiet words; gods, no wonder why the red-head is so sad.

"You must be kidding me," growls Ryouta in a tone he only uses on the court or when he is dealing with his manager.

Kagami stops and looks at him, annoyed. "No-one is kidding."

"You," Kise points at Taiga just like the other man pointed at him few minutes ago "are kidding. Honestly, I'm not the best person, but I won't let you get drunk…" Being close to each other Kise notices that both Kagami's bags are filled with liquors. "… at least not alone. So shut up and come with me."

They stare at each other for few long minutes. Kagami's hands are trembling and he is snarling, but Kise isn't intimidated by his alpha behavior. He's dealt with worse. Also, he may be "rainbows and sunshine" like Momoi pointed out once, but he is a man too. A man, who played basketball with players so dangerous that other teams were afraid of even standing on the same court with them. Funny thing, Kagami was one of those players. His wild, energetic basketball was something Kise always admired. That raw strength and personality full of confidence…

"Fine," mumbles Kagami and Kise almost says 'what?', deep in his thoughts. "But don't expect me to cry on your arm."

Ryouta laughs then and takes the red-head's wrist, squeezing it only a bit too hard. "Let's go then!"


And this is the end of the first chapter! At first I wanted to make it an one-shot, but after I started writing I realized that this story would be better if I wrote few chapters instead of one.

I hope you like this. I know it was short, but I promise the next chapter will be longer :) Also, I know that the title isn't the best, but I couldn't think about better one. If you have have suggestions, you can write them.