Chapter 1: Graduation
A female homeroom teacher was standing together with her dear students, occasionally wiping away tears of joy. It had been a rough year. It was the time to let go another year of students. They had been prepared for this moment. And many of their peers would go on their separate paths. For their own future. And the dreams they long for. Every one of them appreciated the time they spent during their three years of high school. Sad things, happy things; they made into who they were today. Among the students that would be leaving the grounds of the school were three exceptional geniuses. The uprising basketball genius, Aomine Daiki; a renowned actor and model, Kise Ryouta; and their childhood friend, the silent artist, Kuroko Tetsuya.
"C'mon, Kurokocchi! Just this once!"
The owner of the voice spoke. His voice was loud, infuriating and was a nuisance. He had an appearance that attracted intermittent public attention, much to his boyfriend's displeasure. Much like his name, he had golden hair. Due to his work as an actor and a model, he often walked around in lavish designer clothes with dazzling pheromones. It often caused his boyfriend, Aomine, and their childhood friend, Kuroko, a great number of misfortunes.
His boyfriend had a soft tuft of navy-blue hair. He was a total opposite of his dazzling boyfriend. He was often seen wearing sweaters and jeans. A basketball junkie and was extremely talented at it. His skills had stirred commotion of his own due to his breathtaking skills and magnificent play. A national-class player at such a young age was unheard of. Kise had often teased his boyfriend during their school years together. The pair definitely would miss the good times they were together. Their childhood friend that would be leaving their care soon, it was their greatest regret.
The poor childhood friend of theirs had sighed. It must have been fate that the trio were stuck together since their elementary school days. Whispers were on their trails as the pair dragged their childhood friend along the busy streets as they bantered without a care in the world. At times they were infuriating. At times they bring exuberance. Despite everything, the promising stars were his dear friends. This was the beginning of the young artist's university life, and signalling the end of his peaceful days.
It was one evening when his childhood friends, Aomine Daiki and Kise Ryouta had showed up at his doorstep. Kuroko's home was an apartment which he had lived alone since that incident during their elementary school years. No questioning and security guards, Aomine and Kise had sneaked into Kuroko's floor. Kuroko's childhood friends were a perfect manifestation, analogous to a maelstrom that comes and goes like a stray cat. Kuroko recalled only a few days ago they had their high school graduation ceremony. Impatient as they were, Aomine and Kise had dragged Kuroko onto the busy streets. They were gigantic morons that did everything at their own pace. And poor Kuroko was left to tolerate and suffer at the hands of his two childhood friends despite his protests. They were inseparable.
Panting and huffing, he had reluctantly trudged after his childhood friends. Kuroko had found himself standing on the grounds of the questionable cafe Aomine and Kise frequents. It didn't take them long before Kuroko found himself inside the shady teahouse. He was pulled into a seat at a long table which was connected to the bartender station. The blast of the music was tremendous that Kuroko could hear even distance away from its source. Kuroko could tell with one glance. Ah, it's that kind of place. Afterall, he wasn't an idiot.
Kuroko sighed. It was a pub.
"Give it up, Tetsu!" Aomine grinned. "Relax! You deserve a break. It's your hard-earned freedom." You're powerless against Ryouta's antics, Tetsu. Not once, since our first meeting. He shoved an alcoholic drink into Kuroko's pale, delicate hands. Kuroko stared at the drink placed in his hands. It was a cider. Kuroko was appalled. Never in his wildest dreams he would find himself sitting in a pub. He stared at the sake that his friends had ordered, for the fun of infuriating Kuroko. After all, pubs have a reputation of their own.
The appearance of the pub was extremely impressive and resplendent. Kuroko was surprised that his moronic friends had found such a magnificent pub hiding in a corner of the streets. It was shrouded by long rows of tea houses and confectioneries. The location of the street was away from the eyes of the public, and it was barely filled with people during the day. Its name was meticulously carved by veteran professionals. The intricate design was adorned on the refined wooden mahogany banner. It was evidence that indicated had customers arrived at the established destination.
"Good evening, Kise-kun, Aomine-kun!" The bartender waved at them. His face lit up at the sight of his regular customers. "You're here again."
Aomine and Kise waved to the bartender. "Yo, Tatsuya. Are you on duty today?"
Kuroko observed the interaction they shared. The bartender named Tatsuya had a foreign accent. He had a Stygian-colored hair that fell over his left eye and a mole below his right eye. He was wiping the glasses at his station before Aomine and Kise had walked into the bar that was dim-lit with lamps and candles. The fragrance was comforting, and smelled like home. It was the smell of vanilla, Kuroko realized. It was Kuroko's favourite scent.
"That's right. Atsushi won't be here until later tonight." It was only a little past dinnertime. Tatsuya examined Kuroko with a new surge of curiosity. "And? Who is this? An interesting person who have here. What's your name?" He possesses the observant eyes of a detective. Deliberately, meticulously and silently gathering pieces of evidence he could learn about the newcomer Aomine and Kise had brought.
Kuroko fidgeted in his seat, his delicate and slender hands were nervous from the growing trepidation of anxiety. Tatsuya sighed. "It's fine if you don't want to answer. Just relax. This is that kind of place." I pity the child those animals had harassed into coming. He gave one last stare at the trio and winked at Kuroko before leaving the trio to themselves. Aomine and Kise wore an expression that says I don't know what you're talking about. He resumed his duties and busied himself with orders from his customers. Aomine and Kise vigorously nodded, completely agreeing with Tatsuya.
"Aominecchi! Let's dance!"
Kise dragged Aomine onto the dance floor. Kuroko was left alone to fend for himself in a den of wolves. Kuroko sighed, debating to himself that he should ditch his so-called buddies or wait for them to be done. His best friends were species of the same world, possessing the same momentum. After all, they were a couple that could put up with each other's preposterousness. They had often spoken of ridiculous schemes with great confidence, much to their teachers' dismay and distaste. Kuroko only had himself to blame. Even after walking on one of his best friends' tryst sessions during middle school, he had never learnt his lesson. He should have protested with all his might, despite being constantly swept away at their pace.
A customer of the bar walked through the grand entrance and settled himself in the seat next to Kuroko. He had striking features Kuroko had considered as breathtaking. He was dressed in a suit, and a black coat. Subconsciously, he had felt that this man before him was a special existence. He possessed vermillion-colored hair, and the most alluring facial features Kuroko had ever seen. Before he could stop himself, his mind was filled with thoughts of the man before him. An extremely observant person like Kuroko was broken down. His mind had gone blank.
"A martini please,"
The new arrival had made his order. The bartender gave the red-head customer a gentle grin. The growing feelings exploded from the depths of Kuroko's heart which he harbored within that small body of his was tinkling, hazy and mysterious. The tone of his voice was gentle and enticing. Kuroko felt this man was similar to that man of his distant past. It had been over twenty years. He should possess a matching appearance like the man before him if they were to reunite once again. Kuroko shook his head. What's the point of recalling a man whose face I can't even remember? Kuroko noted that he must have been from a distinguished background.
For a brief moment, their eyes met. Kuroko blushed, the erubescent colored tinted the surface of his cheeks. Kuroko found himself staring at the man before turning away, trying his best to ignore the stranger. The red-head found himself chuckling at the sight of the little child. He had found Kuroko's expressions extremely amusing, and adorable.
"You seem lost. Can I buy you a drink?"
Kuroko turned around, astonished at the red-head's words. The man had asked, staring into Kuroko's blank expression. Kuroko was puzzled. For the first time, he was overwhelmed by the red-head's aura. His invisibility which had often worked on people, even his best friends occasionally had trouble looking for him was breaking down. His skills were deemed useless before the eyes of this mysterious man. He had easily tore down the unyielding walls Kuroko had built around himself. Kuroko's intuition had felt that this man was different.
"Why would you do that?"
The man had hummed. "If I were to answer, maybe I was entranced by you? You don't seem the type to come here alone." He gave Kuroko a gentle smile. "This must be fate. Because I get to meet such a beautiful person today."
Kuroko had flushed, had turned away from embarrassment. The growing heat burning through the surface of his cheeks were becoming more evident and real. He knows better than taking a stranger's words to heart. The growing feelings kept at bay was beyond his restraints. "We just met. Do you say that to every stranger you come across?"
The red-head chuckled. "Then, would you agree if I gave you my name?"
Kuroko huffed, took a sip from the cider Aomine had shoved into his delicate hands. "I'll think about it."
"My name is Akashi Seijuurou." The red-head replied. "Does that meet your requirements, my princess?"
Kuroko gave his name. He had found it extremely unpleasant with the red-head's amicable complying behaviours. Kuroko clicked his tongue. It was his loss. The pale lips of the man named Akashi had curved into a smirk. His long arms extended, the palms of his hands began caressing Kuroko's burning cheeks and fallen strands of his pastel cerulean hair. It was Akashi's victory.
"You look beautiful tonight, Tetsuya-kun." Akashi had a gentle smile etched upon his alluring expressions. He leaned nearer to Kuroko, invading Kuroko's comfort zone and slowly closing the gap between them. "It's such a pity that you're left alone in a wolf's den." They were barely millimeters away from each other. Kuroko could feel Akashi's breath tingling down the pale skin of his neck.
Kuroko protested against Akashi's advances. He pushed his slender and pale hands against Akashi's broad chest. Kuroko tried his best, and resisted Akashi's advances with all his might. It had appeared to be impossible, with a delicate body Kuroko possessed.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Kuroko muttered, expertly avoiding Akashi's intense stare like a second nature. Akashi had to admit that Kuroko's name had sounded familiar. He had a slight frown, the sudden inability to recall the origin of the family name 'Kuroko'. It felt like home.
"Hoho, is that so?"
Akashi was amused. He gradually closed the proximity between them, caressing Kuroko's pale, sensitive skin. Akashi's slender fingers trailed along Kuroko's collarbone to the nape of his neck, and finally pulling Kuroko into a passionate kiss. Kuroko shivered from the foreign touch of the stranger before him. The trepidation of stirring his mind into a mess. Kuroko felt that he was weak at dealing with people like Akashi. He was bad at dealing with that type of person. He gently bit Kuroko's lip, making him gasp and moan in surprise, granting him entrance into his territory. Their tongues had battled for dominance, Akashi undoubtedly had been victorious of their battle. He explored every nook and cranny of Kuroko's moist cavern, stirring pleasures within. It was then when Akashi had released his grasp on Kuroko, Kuroko was breathing hard, gasping entailing the sudden lack of air.
Kuroko was powerless against Akashi. Being granted the fleeting pleasure, Kuroko capitulated to Akashi's wishes. Kuroko melted under the gentle touch of his captor. His touch had felt familiar. Although it was foreign, Kuroko felt the evident warmth. It brought back memories of the distant past. Kuroko decided it was just a coincidence. A promise of the distant past, he was certain that boy would have forgotten about it. After all, it has been many years.
"This is my number. Please contact me."
Akashi had grabbed Kuroko's smartphone from the table and registered his own contact number into Kuroko's electronic device. He returned Kuroko's smartphone with a victorious smirk etched on his face. Akashi released Kuroko from his grasps, the crimson dress shirt and black blazer disappearing into the crowd of people. Kuroko watched as Akashi's figure slowly vanished from sight. He recalled his last words before leaving his side.
"We'll definitely see each other again, Tetsuya."
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