Huh, I forget to put an author's note on this fic, opps. Ah well its pointless now yeah? See ya at the bottom!
Disclaimer I do not own.
It was pouring, and that was putting it mildly. I grumbled to myself. I had forgotten my school satchel at school and I needed it for my homework. While I had an umbrella the rain was coming down so hard that it would splash off of something and get me wet. It was cold, and I was hungry. So needless to say I wasn't in the best mood.
Approaching the gym, I was thankful to find that the door was open slightly, while I was curious I decided that I didn't want to dwell on good fortune.
I left the umbrella by the door and headed towards the locker room, wondering why most of the gym lights were on and basketballs were scattered sporadically all over the place.
Is the gym haunted? I paled at the thought. I was sure that the team and I had picked everything up, coach would kill us if we left the place messy.
I hurried towards the locker room, not wanting to be the target of a ghost. Once there I also found that this door was ajar. I frowned in puzzlement. Still walking into the familiar space, I saw that everything was in its place, I headed to my locker, relieved to find that this was in fact where I left the bag.
Turning around I spotted something that I hadn't before. Over in the corner Number Two was curled up on a pile of spare t-shirts, sleeping soundly.
I swallowed and tiptoed passed the secret demon to hurry out of the room. Once I was safe, it finally registered with me that Number Two was still in the locker room. That dog was never any place that Kuroko wasn't. The gym was also in a state of disarray.
He's not still here is he? I wondered. I knew that my shadow tended to practice longer and harder than the others, but he never did it alone.
I felt a slight sting of hurt at the thought of Kuroko practicing with someone else. We had practiced together since practically day one, I had thought that it was our thing. Other than the title of First Year Duo.
I pursed his lips, glancing around to see if I missed the other, like I was prone to do. Finding no trace of the other, I shrugged. I assumed that Number Two just didn't want to leave, and maybe someone had wanted to practice basketball but got scared and left in a hurry.
I liked those explanations better, so slightly comforted I headed towards the door. Pulling out my phone as I went.
I quickly typed in the address I wanted to email and sent a brief message.
Where are you?
It wasn't but three seconds after the 'Message Sent' alert flashed across my screen that I heard a familiar ring tone. My eyes and ears located the location of the tone quickly as it was the only other thing in the gym that could make noise.
The pocket of a school uniform jacket was blinking with the alert of a new message. Dreading what I was about to find out he headed towards the pile. As I expected, I found Kuroko's discarded uniform, school bag, and gym bag.
That idiot! Where is he though? I groaned inwardly.
Once again my eyes scanned everywhere in the gym making sure that I didn't miss Kuroko if he was there. But I was sure that if the other was in the gym he would've made himself known by now. I was a little concerned at the fact Kuroko's stuff was in the gym but the phantom player was nowhere to be found.
I didn't know how he would find the other. Sighing to myself, wondering how my life got so complicated that I would have to track down someone who has no presence in the middle of the night. I was sure that Kuroko could handle himself, but I had a feeling that I wouldn't forgive myself if something had really happened, like the smaller teen actually got injured somewhere and couldn't walk.
I couldn't imagine what coach and the rest of the team would say, then it wouldn't take much time for the GoM members to find out, and I really didn't want to deal with those weirdoes yelling and scolding me.
Heading towards the door I grabbed my umbrella and headed out. The rain hadn't lessened any, which annoyed me further that I had to go search for the missing shadow in this weather.
I stood outside the gym scratching my head, deciding where I should began my search. Shrugging I began to head towards the school track, figuring I would wing it from there. The rain was coming down so hard I was surprised that I could even see past the circle of protection my umbrella provided me with. Thankfully I knew the way to the track by heart.
Walking down the pathway onto the actual track it began to look like there wasn't another soul out here, any sane person would be inside a building. I liked to consider myself a sane person looking out for my slightly unstable friend. I was convinced that everyone that played on the Teiko team with the Miracles was insane. I hadn't met a single sane person from the era.
Almost ready to head back I heard footsteps. It was impressive considering the loudness of the rain, but my ears were specifically geared to listen for any signs that broke the monotone of the rain. Joining the footsteps was ragged breathing.
Are you kidding me? I yelled in my head, when I finally was able to make out the owner of the footsteps.
"Oi! Kuroko!" I called out loudly.
The phantom player turned towards him, jogging his way.
"Kagami-kun?" Kuroko panted.
I confirmed what I had thought. Kuroko was training. In the rain, alone, and in nothing but his workout clothes (which was a light t-shirt and basketball shorts.)
"What the hell are you doing?" I said slowly.
"Jogging." Kuroko responded bluntly.
"I can see that." I exhaled. "But why in the rain so late at night?"
"It wasn't raining when I started." Kuroko replied.
I blinked. "Haa?"
It had been raining constantly since almost 6:30. That was three hours of this. I knew Kuroko's endurance wasn't that good, so I figured that the other hadn't been running for that long, but this was ridiculous.
Kuroko tilted his head. I noticed that I wasn't able to tell which was sweat and what was rain. The phantom player was visibly shivering from the cold. I face palmed.
"Are you an idiot?"
Kuroko looked irritated. But I cut him off. "It's pouring, and you're out here running laps? In nothing but light clothes. You're completely drenched! What the hell are you thinking?"
Kuroko looked away, and if I didn't know Kuroko as well as I did then I would've missed the brief flash of hurt in the other's eyes. I really didn't care, I was too pissed at the other's stupidity.
Kuroko shivered harsher this time, and I fully made the connection that we were still in the rain and Kuroko was no longer moving so he was cooling down. Not to mention the sweating he had done, which lowers body temperature.
"Achoo!" It sounded like a shot.
I stared down at the boy. I noticed the thin layer of red crossing the normally pale cheeks.
"Ah, fuck. You probably caught a cold." I grumbled.
Kuroko continued to not look in my direction. Knowing that we wouldn't get anything done, I grabbed Kuroko's small wrist and yanked him under the umbrella. With the brief skin on skin contact I felt that Kuroko was freezing.
"Let's get you dried off." I mumbled, not letting go of the wrist had in my grasp, and dragging my shadow behind me as I headed back up to the gym.
Kuroko stayed silent, dripping wet, and refusing to look at me. It was starting to annoy me, the refusal to make eye contact. I sped up as another tremor wracked the smaller body.
I practically threw the other boy into the gymnasium, once wereached the half open doors. Though it wasn't meant in malice, I just wanted to get Kuroko out of the rain as soon as possible.
Kuroko, for his part, stood motionless. He was dripping so much that a puddle had already started to form underneath where he was standing.
"You're seriously soaked!" I complained.
What the hell has got into him? I sighed as I headed to where the team kept the spare towels.
Grabbing three of the towels I headed back to where I left the other, as expected there wasn't a single sign of movement.
"Kuroko…" I called attempting to get some sort of reaction from the other.
I threw the towel over the other's head, silently prompting him to start drying himself off to stop him from actually getting sick. Still no reaction. Sighing, I draped the other two towels over my shoulder and unfolded the one that was on Kuroko's head.
Slowly I began to rub the water out of the baby blue locks. The towel got soaked quickly, I was about to throw it off to the side to get a new one when I realized that Kuroko was shaking, it wasn't the shivering from the cold.
"Kuro-" I began about to ask if he was alright.
"I really am useless." It was quiet and I wasn't sure I had heard correctly.
I blinked stupidly, my hand still gripping the damp cloth of the towel.
"I can't do anything. I always have to be supported." Kuroko kept the same tone he had used before.
"Kuroko?" Was all I was able to say.
The smaller male turned towards me. He looked up, his face was blank as usual, but tears were slowly streaming down his face.
"I always end up needing to be helped. To be dragged along when I can no longer keep up on my own."
"Where's this coming from?" I was sure that I sounded pitiful, but I wasn't sure how anyone could keep an even tone when their partner was talking so terribly about himself.
"Everyone on Seirin is improving. The other first years, the seniors. Kiyoshi-senpai is working on something, and you! You've improved so much since we first met." Kuroko mumbled. "Then, I'm still unable to contribute anything but passing. Even that's limited!"
I had never heard Kuroko's voice so filled with emotion, he was yelling by the end of his little rant. I had never been good a comforting people, but I had to try for Kuroko's sake.
"But you have your drive and phantom shot?"
"But at what cost?" Kuroko sighed.
I wasn't really sure what he meant.
"They're still limited, and I lose effectiveness in my misdirection when I use them."
I hated the fact that Kuroko was being so self-critical and coming up with things that I couldn't combat because they were true.
"Kuroko look at me." I softly commanded noticing that Kuroko was staring at our shoes.
He didn't comply so I had to gently tilt his head up so that he would have no choice. Out of instinct I bent down and kissed his lips.
"Kagami-kun?" Kuroko eyed me warily.
"So what if you still aren't the best shot, and only have one drive? You have a lot more to offer this team than skills. We have enough of that."
Kuroko looked at me confused.
Words were never my strong point so I had to think of a way for me to explain this while making sense and not making it too awkward sounding. Actio0ns had always spoke louder than words to me, so I went with my plan.
I kissed the top of his head. "You have a sharp mind, that has come up with some great plans when we were in a pinch."
I moved lower, he closed his eyes as I kissed both of them. "Your observation skills are some of the best I've seen, I can't tell you how many times you've noticed something that's helped us win a game."
I moved down to his lips, giving them a slightly longer kiss. "For everything you've ever said that encouraged us, and calmed us down when we got too heated."
I pulled one of his hands to my lips. "You've calmed me down a number of times by hitting me, allowing everyone's words to get through to my thick skull."
With both kind of smiled at that. I kissed the wrist, well the wristband. "For your determination to make it up to your friend who you made a promise to."
Finally I gingerly bent the fingers into a fist, and kissed it. "You've graced Seirin with the shadow-light partnership that helped to make Teiko unbeatable, making us stronger in our team play."
Kuroko looked a little stunned. I blushed becoming fully aware of what just happened. I didn't regret it as a small smile crept onto the other's face. Just before Kuroko sneezed three times in a row.
"Fuck! You really did catch a cold." I yelped, before I attempted to dry Kuroko off. I had completely forgotten that he was still soaked and the gym was cold.
I wondered if I had managed to cure Kuroko of his self-doubt, because if that was the case then a cold should be no problem.
The ending is bearable right? Anyway I did some editing, and may do a sequel, who knows? Later! ~IF