Mayuzumi Chihiro had seen him multiple times.
That boy with teal hair and blank smile, the one who would sit quietly by the corner and watch, the one who reminded him so much of himself.
But he never knew his name.
He also noticed that the kid always seemed to catch him in the crowd as well. Slate grey will meet with brilliant azure in a glance that seemed intimate to them both before they got averted elsewhere, back to their own lives.
He noticed me.
Normally, it would have meant nothing to anyone else, but it meant the world for Mayuzumi.
He wasn't desperate for someone to remember him, but he sure appreciated people who did.
The national library had been the place Mayuzumi seemed to catch him at.
He would read philosophical books quietly on the corner in each and every weekend Mayuzumi went. And the library had been particularly crowded that day because a national mock-exam would be held tomorrow Monday. He had hoped to get some studying done, since he sucked on Humanity subject. But even though he managed to get the book he wanted, he didn't manage to find a seat to actually sit on.
Sans for the normally forgotten corner where the boy with teal hair always sit on.
Today was a difference then, a start of something Mayuzumi would never trade for the entire world.
It had been simple enough.
None of them seemed to acknowledge that they'd been engaged in staring contest for a few times in the past two weeks. Mayuzumi touched the seat's back with his hand and stared at the teal-haired boy intensely. "Yes?" Monotonous voice chimed in a perfectly calm question. Mayuzumi smiled.
"I want to get some studying done for the national exam, but other seats are full. May I sit here?"
A simple nod, that was it.
And they both spent the afternoon in amiable silence.
Nobody bothered them for their ongoing meetings for three weeks.
Nobody seemed to notice that they were there, making an awkward glance at one another whenever they think that the others weren't looking. They didn't even know each other's names, only their silence and the fact that they both would occasionally smile at one another, as if appreciating the fact that they still have each other's presence...
Mayuzumi stared at the expressionless boy and smiled.
As opposed to the normal weekend visit, Mayuzumi came on Friday to get some studying done.
After all, he had already resigned from basketball club, giving him more free time with his light novels and studies. His mind was still replaying the scene of his meeting with the captain of the basketball club, Akashi Seijuurou.
He still haven't decided if he was going to actually show up for practice or not, though.
Mayuzumi instinctively went to his usual corner only to find it empty. Well, what did he expect? This was a school day and it wasn't like he knew that teal-haired boy. So it shouldn't have shocked him to not see him there...
But he'd always been there for as long as Mayuzumi remembered, it was rather lonely to sit by their usual spot alone.
Rain was falling hard outside that Mayuzumi was glad that he decided to come here early.
He sat back to listen at the low murmur of other people in the library meshing in a perfect harmony with the sound of rain outside. He leaned to the back of his seat, his head slightly tilting backwards in an attempt to relax.
But then, he found a soaked figure staring right back at him, his body slightly trembling and his lips almost blue.
Mayuzumi didn't know if it was real or not, but the teal-haired boy smiled upon realizing that he was there.
He was wearing a black gakuran with blue trims on the edges of his sleeves and collar, and it clung to his body frame as it was wet. But he seemed to paid it no heed as he sat down on his usual spot in front of Mayuzumi, reading a classic novel of Heian era.
Mayuzumi tried to get back to his studying, somehow happy that they get to share their usual silence. But the sound of small coughing and sneezing eventually led him to stand up and made his way to the vending machine.
He didn't know what the boy liked, though, so he just bought him a warm vanilla-flavored milk tea and a coffee for himself. He sat back down on his seat and offered the boy his drink without any words, just a single stare of 'I'm actually worried, get well soon'.
The boy looked genuinely surprised, but thanked him anyway with a brilliant smile.
And Mayuzumi's heart skipped a beat.
The next day, the teal-haired boy came wrapped up with sweater and jacket.
His face was also a bit red, but he seemed to be stubbornly glued onto his seat. Was he sick?
But Mayuzumi didn't say anything and opened his reference book like normal, until the teal-haired boy collapsed right on top of his book, panting shallow breaths in a feverish murmur.
Mayuzumi instantly put his hand on top of the boy's forehead. It was a rather high fever. Panicking, he called an ambulance and actually went to the hospital with him. His phone rang a couple of times, but he ignored it in the favor of listening to the doctor speak about the boy's health. And he would need to stay overnight because it was a forty-degrees Celsius fever...
Mayuzumi skipped the Saturday morning practice to stay in Tokyo with the teal-haired boy.
His name was Kuroko Tetsuya.
His parents had come on the evening the day before, thanking him for bringing their son here. Mayuzumi didn't really know how to react, seeing that he was meeting some stranger's parents, but he found out that he was happy about it.
And this morning, he had been woken up by a light feathery touch on his ashen-colored hair. Kuroko Tetsuya was awake.
"Thank you very much." He bowed his head in genuine gratitude, it made Mayuzumi smile. "You scared me, Kuroko-kun." The tealhead seemed surprised that Mayuzumi knew his name, but he immediately regain his composure. "I apologize, um-"
"Mayuzumi," He offered his hand. "Mayuzumi Chihiro." A smile graced the boy's pale lips as he took Mayuzumi's stretched out hand. "I apologize and thank you, Mayuzumi-san." A polite kid, total opposite of Akashi Seijuurou...
Mayuzumi ended up not going back to Kyoto for another day.
Mayuzumi thought that it was odd, actually. They had known each other for three weeks before they managed to sit in front of one another, and then it took another month for them to even know each other's names, but only a week for them to actually go on a date.
Kuroko had asked him what he would like in return for bringing him to the hospital. Mayuzumi had rejected his offer at first, thinking that it wasn't necessary. But Kuroko had insisted and he jokingly asked him to go on a date with him in Kyoto.
Kuroko accepted, and now here they were, sitting in front of one another in Maji Burgers just outside of Rakuzan High School.
As usual, nobody noticed them, though. Nobody noticed that their hands had been linking on top of the table for moments now, nobody noticed how they exchanged banters here and there, and nobody certainly noticed the indirect kiss they shared over the vanilla milkshakes Kuroko seemed to extremely adore.
It was calming, and Mayuzumi had never felt this happy before.
They thought they could spend their first date calmly without any sort of interruption, but then the consequences of his alarmingly often practice-skipping caught up to him in the worst possible moment.
He was about to kiss Kuroko and end their first date before a certain redhead with mismatched eyes found them on the park just a few meters away from Rakuzan High. But those heterochromatic red and gold weren't directed at him.
"What are you doing here... Tetsuya?"
His face showed longing and sorrow barely concealed under a faux unconcerned expression. Mayuzumi could practically hear surprise all over Akashi's voice and the small hint of lingering affection as he said Kuroko's first name.
But Kuroko, face looking as if it was made out of rock, sat even more rigidly, his eyes fluttered down in a mix of obedience and disappointment.
"Akashi-kun," there wasn't even a long time no see exchanged between the previous phantom sixth man and his captain as the cold wind blew between the three of them.
Mayuzumi seriously wanted to disappear from this earth at this very moment.
Oops, it ended up long... -,-