Note(s): Mildly AU. As per request from my fudanshi friend. Steve, this is for you. Readers, too. Forgive my grammar mistakes; English is not my mother tongue (and past perfect is torturing me!)

Disclaimer: Belongs to Fujimaki-sensei.

Enjoy~


For the first time in Kagami Taiga's life, he turned pale at the sudden confession exploding out of his soul mate's mouth.

..

"We are each of us angels with only one wing,
and we can fly only by embracing each other."

Kagami first had stumbled upon this quote when he was in primary school; one of girls in his class was twittering in a cut-glass English accent on soul mate and love, as though she was a professor or sorts.

Of course he'd paid no heed to them, head slowly dropping to the cool table as his lashes had fluttered close, getting few minutes of desperately needed sleep. The math quiz sure had squeezed his brain hard that his head throbbed.

After all, does it matter when eventually—whether you like it or not—you'll know who your soul mate will be?

The universe has a very unique way to help you find your own soul mate. When you finally hit puberty, your soul mate's name will appear on the back of your hand. Then, it depends on you and the fate how you will meet your significant other.

Probably, that's why Kagami never cared about it.

Then came Himuro Tatsuya into his life, introducing basketball to him. Frankly, Kagami had thought Tatsuya would be his soul mate; he even told Tatsuya about it—after all, Tatsuya had given him a brotherhood ring (in teenage days, whenever Kagami reflected again on Tatsuya being his soul mate, he'd shudder and blame on his naivety).

However, Tatsuya had just smiled at him and told him it was impossible, because he only loved and saw him as a brother. And Tatsuya assured him he'd find someone far better than him.

Meeting with Alex had filled Kagami with dread. Not because she was fierce like a lioness when they first had met her, but he'd found out there was no name written on the back of her hand.

Out of pure curiosity, Tatsuya had asked her about it.

They'd learned Alex's soul mate had died in a tragic bus accident and she was the only survivor. Then, the name was magically erased from her hand.

Tatsuya had managed a steady face, though she could see sadness flashing in his black iris. Meanwhile Kagami, he'd bawled his eyes out. He might be a harsh kid, but he had a pure, kind heart—though Kagami never admitted it.

And so Alex had given them a crush hug and said with a warm smile on her face;

"Who needs a soul mate when she already has two pure souls in her life?"

Regardless of her assuring, Kagami was daunted by living alone, without a soul mate by his side.

Ever since then, Kagami would kneel down next to his bed and whisper prayers to the stars blanketed the night sky his soul mate was still out there waiting for him.

However, as he grew older, taller even, his prayers had lessened and his hope had faded away without him realizing of it.

Until one fine day with an endless, translucent cornflower-blue sky above him, while he was traipsing around LA with his boisterous basketball friends, a sharp pain had shot up his hand.

It was his soul mate's name, written in kanji.

And, unfortunately, he couldn't read kanji (he secretly thanked to his father that had taught him the strokes of his name until they etched to his hand—or else he wouldn't know how to write his very own name in kanji).

But, at least it'd provided him a good reason to swivel his friends' attention from his love life.

Later, as the night had come greeting the world, Kagami had checked it on the Internet and discovered his soul mate was a guy—though, to his disappointment, he couldn't find who he exactly was.

Oh well, Kagami thought he still had a very long journey ahead before finally crossing paths with his soul mate.

In the meantime, he'd just wrap his hand with a bandage like everyone did and live his own life.

Moving drastically from LA to Japan wasn't easy for Kagami; alone, no less. Learning Japanese was really a pain in the ass—he had an avalanche of Japanese books and dictionaries in his lap that had several flight attendants and passengers turn their heads to him.

Getting to know Kuroko Tetsuya almost had him stereotype Japanese people had a very weak presence—minus himself, of course, then the thought was shattered by Kise Ryouta's debut (the blonde's presence was too strong that it annoyed Kagami). The powder blue haired boy never failed giving him mini heart attacks (Kagami sometimes pondered if Kuroko's weak presence would be his C.O.D. one day—or it had killed someone already without Kuroko knowing it). By a bizarre twist of fate, Kuroko had ended up becoming his shadow and his best friend—along with his freak Kiseki friends; though they were more likely Kagami's rivals.

However, when his soul mate's name had spilled out grimly of Midorima's mouth, Kagami had almost choked on his okonomiyaki. Fortunately, it'd gone unnoticed by Midorima and Kise.

Kuroko, too—perhaps (Kagami had crossed his fingers).

All Midorima had said was;

"Well, do your best."

At last, he'd met him, his soul mate.

And it didn't go very well—a disastrous meeting, actually.

Instead of sparkles or warm, gentle atmosphere or stirrings of love, kind of feelings people write novels about—not even a smidgen of 'doki-doki' feeling—he'd felt sick and hatred bubble up inside him just by listening to him chatter in a deep voice, fruity and ripe with innuendo.

Even worse, he'd lost one-on-one to him that day.

Kagami had begun to believe his life was actually a comedy show in the fate's eyes.

As though opened up the old wounds, his team, Seirin had lost to Touou, Kuroko's former light back in Teikou days, Aomine Daiki's team—even after Kuroko had promised his (self-proclaimed) girlfriend, Momoi, to beat him.

His journey had become so dark, so did Kuroko's. But, Kuroko wasn't fine; he was worse—there was no exact vocab in Kagami's dictionary to express how far from fine Kuroko was. Despite the unreadable expression, Kuroko was broken inside.

Kagami had figured he himself must recover first before wrenching Kuroko out of his solitude bubble he'd created himself.

Time to get up. Period.

-x-x-x-

It was another sweltering summer day. Cicadas' sounds had droned through the scorching afternoon as Seirin members was jogging down the beach. Kagami had slowed down his pace to Kuroko's pace and asked him;

"Ever seen Aomine's soul mate's name?"

Kuroko had looked up at him, brows slightly narrowing.

"No. Why?"

Stuttering, Kagami had managed to answer;

"Just… curious. Wondering who the unlucky person will be."

Kuroko was silent at first.

"Careful, Kagami-kun. It might shoot back to you."

He'd contemplated Kuroko's subtle warning for a moment. He'd opened his mouth and turned his head for an answer; instead it'd gone out without voice in deep shock seeing Kuroko already lay face down on the asphalt.

Seriously, Kuroko… Kagami had mentally sighed.

-x-x-x-

Wading through the Winter Cup preliminaries wasn't easy for Seirin.

Josei, Sheshinkan, Shuutoku, and Kirisaki Daiichi; they were against a bunch of professionals.

Renown as a full team play, Seirin had managed to win over them (except Shuutoku, it was a tie), albeit not very smoothly and filled with Kiyoshi-senpai's blood.

The third encounter with Aomine at the onsen had convinced Kagami Aomine was a fucking jerk. Every little movement Aomine made—even his smirk—practically screamed 'move-aside-weaklings!'

If Kagami were granted one wish, it'd be punching Aomine in his fucking face.

However, something more interesting had come up than making Aomine a punch bag. Another match against Touou. The fate sure loved Kagami.

And this time, Kagami had vowed to take his revenge and defeat Aomine.

Aomine had smirked at his declaration of war and walked away.

Kagami had discreetly slid his gaze down to Aomine's bandaged hand, wondering the name hidden under it.

But, Kuroko's cough had riveted Kagami's attention away. And his knowing smile had given Kagami goose bumps all over his body.

Damn that smile, he had thought.

-x-x-x-

The match against Touou was a sheer purgatory for Seirin.

Furthermore, Aomine was truly a monster.

Momoi's ridiculous information, four-eyed sly fox's (Imayoshi) sharp thinking, sorry-ass-mushroom's (Sakurai) quick release, Aomine's Zone, and even his own Zone (it irked Kagami so much how ridiculously similar they were, from their height to their talent); things that Kagami couldn't fathom, yet his body had been doing it.

Miraculously as it had seemed, they'd won the match—but Kagami thought it'd be impossible without Kuroko's help and trust. 'Surreal' had sounded more realistic when juxtaposed with 'reality' judging from the situation given, but looking at his teammates' joyful faces, Kagami had nothing to complain.

Kagami's gaze had migrated from his teammates to Aomine. In a brief moment, he'd thought he saw despair flash across Aomine's face.

And he felt a strong, weird feeling clench his chest at the sight, stomach cramping with dread. Nonetheless, he'd swallowed down the feeling thickly and managed a stern face, helping Kuroko stagger to Aomine.

He'd just watched bitterly as they'd bumped fists.

-x-x-x-

"You know, Kagami-kun, there is nothing special between me and Aomine-kun."

Kuroko had suddenly told him while they were trudging down the street to his place right after their match had ended. Kagami had shot Kuroko a quizzical look.

"Where's the fire?"

Kuroko had hummed before replied;

"Then, mind telling me why you looked so grumpy when I bumped fist with Aomine-kun?"

He was taken aback by Kuroko's unexpected question; meanwhile Kuroko had just smiled at him, glancing down to his bandaged hand then up to his eyes from behind the light blue fringes.

Crap, Kagami had thought to himself. He knew.

-x-x-x-

A deep kiss from Alex had Kagami jump out of his skin—in front of his teammates, too. But after struggling to give them a reasonable explanation to clear their cloudy mind, the understanding finally had dawned upon them (but, he'd still received some suspicious looks from his teammates—come on, a half-naked voluptuous blondie sleeping in your bed? Like receiving an early Christmas gift straight from the gods).

While Kuroko was talking to Alex—digging his past, Kagami would call it—a sudden knock on the door had ceased the conversation.

Kagami had ambled across the living room to the door, cursing under his breath at the unexpected guest.

And when he'd flung it open, Kagami didn't expect to see a very familiar tanned male resting his arm against the door frame, sculptured face in shadow, midnight irises staring at him sharply—slightly panting as well.

It was Aomine Daiki, who he'd beaten few hours ago (from the look Aomine was wearing, Kagami had reckoned it was probably not a right time to brag about it).

Before Kagami could react, a tanned hand had already reached out for his bandaged hand and gripped it tightly. He'd turned pale and fallen into stupor as Aomine had adroitly unwrapped the bandage.

The long white cloth had fallen to the floor and veiled Kagami's foot. The soft contact had nudged him out of his stupor and Kagami had harshly pulled his hand away from Aomine's grip.

But, it was too late.

Aomine had seen the name, the name of his soul mate.

Aomine had snickered in his deep voice and raised his hand up to Kagami's line of sight. Kagami could recognize the kanji written on the back of Aomine's name. Hell, no way he could forget those strokes. He'd been scolded every day by his father when he was young just to get those strokes right.

It was his name; Kagami Taiga.

"Looks like I've been right after all. We're meant to be together, Kagami Taiga."

..

Which brought Kagami to the end of his fast-forward trip down memory lane—he turned pale at the sudden confession exploding out of his soul mate's mouth—Aomine's mouth.

Yes, Aomine's claim was irrefutable. It was indeed Aomine's name written on the back of his hand.

Aomine Daiki was his soul mate—though he'd been trying so hard to deny it.

You can run, but you can't hide, an evil whisper came into his ear. Aomine's Cheshire grin grew wider and wider. Kagami grunted.

"Shit," he spat.


Wow, that's quite long for a prologue. Though I did mention this is for my friend, but seriously I have no idea how should I continue this (well, it's on a whim, I blame on the plot bunny). I'm torn between two... should I continue it or not? Dunnoooo~~~ O...TL