Fandom: Kuroko no Basket (The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays)
Characters: Aomine Daiki, Kagami Taiga, Kuroko Tetsuya
Pairings: Aomine/Kagami/Kuroko, Aomine/others
Disclaimer: Fujimaki owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Length: 6000 words
Summary: Aomine Daiki doesn't have the patience to keep a diary, but if he did, it might look something like this.
Beta: None. u_u
Note: This story is about a polyamorous (triad) relationship and takes place in the setting established by Softer than Before (All the Second Chances) (though it can maybe work as standalone if you have really low setting-establishment standards ^^;;).
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
Akashi told me that Tetsu quit the team. I guess he only liked basketball as long as he could play with me. That's the wrong reason, so I don't care.
So Tetsu dumped me, I think. I haven't seen him since he quit the club, and whenever I go by his class he's never there. I never asked him what high school he's going to. I could call him but what's the point? I don't need him.
All these schools with their naive as fuck coaches and rah-rah go team bullshit are getting on my nerves. If this Touou place doesn't pan out tomorrow, I'll have to start looking in Saitama or even Gunma. Mom will just love that.
I guess Tetsu didn't quit basketball, he just quit Teikou basketball. Or me.
Both options really piss me off.
It's his funeral, going to a school that only opened last year. How good of a basketball club can it have?
Tetsu's new partner ain't shit. Only an overproud idiot agrees to a one-on-one against a stronger opponent despite an obvious injury.
It's good that the injury didn't get worse but it wouldn't be my fault if it had.
I really hate Kagami. He has no finesse. What the fuck does Tetsu see in him? I guess they're fucking or something. He is kind of good-looking if you ignore the stupid face.
Didn't take Tetsu very long to find me a replacement. I guess all that stuff he used to say to me was just sweet talk. It's a good thing he never touched Satsuki. I would kick his face in if he told her a bunch of lies and then left her alone.
I hope Seirin fails to qualify for the Winter Cup so I don't have to look at Tetsu fawning all over Kagami. He's obviously got it in his head that Kagami can beat the Generation of Miracles. Whatever. I think Tetsu's just desperate to get revenge on all of us for leaving him behind.
These two ridiculous idiots actually challenged me at the onsen my team went to. Kagami acted all high and mighty, like we're friendly rivals. I was tempted to start making out with him just to get a rise out of Tetsu. I hate that I can't tell if they're fucking or not.
It annoys me that Tetsu believes in him enough to have no fear of facing me. They'll never beat me.
I thought I was done when I lost but then Kagami said he'd wait for me and I was really done. To think I found someone I can lose to even while playing at my best. Tetsu sure knows how to pick a partner.
I want Kagami. I guess I wanted him from the start. I've seen how he looks at me, but now that I've started paying attention, he looks at Tetsu the same way.
Want isn't the right word, either, but it's ridiculous to say I like someone I don't even know, isn't it?
Tetsu called me for the first time since middle school. I thought he wanted to screw now that we've patched things up on the court, but he just wants me to teach him how to shoot. I guess it would be weird to just pick up where we left off at Teikou. Not that we can ever be like that again after leaving each other behind.
Before Tetsu went home, I asked him if he was doing Kagami, but he told me to mind my own business. Which means he isn't, but wants to.
So Kagami is Tetsu's territory and I guess I'm not about to fuck around with that. I just wish Tetsu would hurry the fuck up and decide which one of us he wants. A guy can only take so many mixed signals before he gives up.
I've decided to give up. Tetsu and Kagami just do my fucking head in. When I'm around either one or both of them I feel like I'm playing against an unbeatable opponent. I get too excited and can't think at all. Neither of them seems to have a fucking clue about what they want.
I have to learn to let go, or I'll be carrying so many torches by the time I'm a geezer I'll end up an alcoholic like Uncle Tamegoro.
No, you know what, fuck letting go. I've lost count over all the people I've slept with in the last two years but none of them can hold a candle to how Tetsu made me feel. And how much better will it be now that we aren't fumbling junior high schoolers? Just thinking about it makes me excited. I'm gonna find out where Tetsu's going to university and I'll follow him there. I want my partner back.
If Mom knew I invited myself to live with them, she'd yell at me until morning, but there's no way I'm getting Tetsu back if they live together. They're obviously still mooning after each other. Left alone, they'd be sleeping together in a week. I hate to be the cockblock but I hate the idea of the two of them together even more.
I'm amazed that Kagami didn't refuse. On a related note, I keep getting distracted by the way Kagami does everything, which is gonna be a problem. I thought I stopped looking at him that way long ago.
I wish he would have stayed in America instead of going to Seirin and stealing my partner and being good enough to beat me.
Daiki had meant to show up, scrawl his name across the basketball club application form, and go home to sleep. Instead, he found a perfect napping spot on a sloping grassy hillock across the walkway from the sign-up table. From here he could see everyone who came to sign up but a hedgerow in front of the path hid him from sight.
It was rare for him to go unnoticed in a crowd, so instead of napping, he watched people and tried to figure out what Tetsu found so fascinating in this pastime. People were stupidly boring and predictable, so what was the point of observing them?
The constant thwocking from the archery dojo made for a strange soundtrack to Daiki's early afternoon.
He spotted Kagami approaching from the main campus walk and sat up slightly. Kagami looked confused -- which wasn't anything new; he always looked confused because he was kind of an idiot -- but there was a boyish hesitation about him that made Daiki's heart flutter in the same way it did when he thought about Tetsu back in the day. A nostalgic feeling, a longing to know what Kagami was like as a boy. These kinds of thoughts made Daiki irrationally annoyed.
Kagami fussed with the pen and exchanged a greeting with the manager -- pretty, but not Daiki's type. When Kagami smiled at something she said, Daiki's jaw clenched tight. He had just discovered he didn't like it when Kagami smiled at anyone other than Tetsu. Or Daiki, though he didn't think Kagami had ever smiled at him like that. It was a smile you could only love: disarming and stupidly honest. Like its owner's eyes.
Kagami began looking through the sign-up forms, and Daiki wondered if he was looking for Daiki's name or Tetsu's. Or both. He'd never had any confirmation of how Kagami felt about either of them except for the way Kagami looked at them, so he wished he could hear what Kagami was thinking. For all Daiki knew, he was looking for someone completely unrelated -- like that guy from Yousen, what was his name? Homura? Himura? Something like that. They had a complicated history, or so Tetsu had implied once.
Kagami gave a tiny, exasperated shake of his head and handed the binder back to the manager. Didn't find who he was looking for, after all, and probably not looking for Daiki. Kagami had no reason to look so irritated over not finding Daiki's name. He already knew Daiki was going to join the club, after all.
"The first club meeting is in a week," the manager called after Kagami as he started to leave. Daiki could tell she wanted him to linger: she leaned across the table towards Kagami, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "You can find the details online."
"Yeah, thanks." Kagami walked away without looking at her, which made Daiki feel darkly pleased. He had already become used to Kagami only having eyes for him and Tetsu. Seeing him ignore blatant flirting that any red-blooded guy would notice was a kind of confirmation that all those long stares, promptly quelled when Kagami saw Daiki looking, weren't just Daiki's overly active, self-serving imagination.
He watched Kagami melt into the throng headed to the centre of the campus and thought about catching up to him, but couldn't be bothered to get up. Idle thoughts, idle self-talk. Daiki enjoyed Kagami's attention but had no plans to do anything about it. He had come to Tokai for Tetsu.
Daiki laid his head back on top of his book bag and settled down for a real nap this time. No sense watching for Tetsu. His name would be on the first page of the forms already. Tetsu didn't like wasting time when it came to basketball.
What I hate is not the idea of Kagami and Tetsu together. I hate the idea of them together without me. I've never been into any fringe stuff when it comes to sex. I don't even like toys. But now that things have become like this, I keep thinking about a threesome.
It wouldn't work, though. If it's fucking, I can get that anywhere. A relationship with three people is impossible. Maybe Kagami will be interested in joining me and Tetsu sometimes, as a sex friend. He doesn't strike me as a relationship type anyway.
But then Kagami might find someone else. Thinking about him with some stranger really pisses me off.
I can't do it. I can never get Tetsu alone, so I can't talk to him about anything private. I tried finding him on campus, but he's not an easy person to find. And when Kagami's home I just want to stare at him forever, especially if he's hanging around Tetsu.
Maybe next year Kagami will have a late class or something. Or Tetsu will. Fuck this, it's too complicated for me. How am I supposed to choose one over the other? For now I'm going to distract myself with other people. The basketball club is a joke anyway so I have free time.
Tetsu got pissed off at me. It's supposed to be about the dishes but obviously it's about basketball practice. I can't help that I'm better than them. The last thing I want is going all out against those jokers and having them lose their nerve before the season even gets going. Kagami's the only one who can challenge me, especially if he's with Tetsu.
I wish Kagami would stop staring at me like I'm dinner. It makes me wanna stare back the same way. Thank fuck it's almost summer break time, or I might do something stupid.
They fucking third-stringed me.
Tetsu was the whole point of coming to this crappy school anyway. So I'm just gonna go after Tetsu.
"What do you want, Tetsu?" Daiki asked, stretching. "Don't tell me you're after the couch. It's too early for Thursday Theatre."
"It's Sunday," Tetsu said. "And I don't want the couch. I want you. And--"
Daiki was off the couch and wide awake in less than a second. He gathered Tetsu up in his arms and went to lift him off the floor, but Tetsu shook his head and turned aside.
"What is it?" Daiki asked. "Didn't you just tell me you wanted this?"
"I wasn't finished talking when you grabbed me. If you want to have this kind of relationship with me, you have to want to have it with Kagami-kun, too."
Daiki stared at him for a moment, then snorted. Unbelievable. Only Tetsu could cut through the bullshit and propose what Daiki could only imagine. Only Tetsu could make it seem like a completely normal arrangement. "Are you kidding?" he murmured. "I've wanted him since I met him."
"That's a relief. Though I find your restraint up until now surprising," Tetsu said. "You went through the entire Interhigh star line-up in your third year, including the women's league. I know Kagami-kun wasn't one of them. I would have noticed."
"He's different," Daiki said. Tetsu was just about the only person he could admit this to.
Tetsu placed a hand on Daiki's chest. "Like Momoi-san?"
Daiki gazed into Tetsu's eyes, feeling every bit as lovelorn as he probably looked. "Like you."
Tetsu's kisses filled his mind up just the way they always had, and Daiki even forgot about Kagami for once. He had his arms full of the first person he ever loved, and Tetsu fit into them just as perfectly as before. Daiki tried to get closer, his body reacting not with the violent shudder of lust he had become used to with others, but with a rush as gentle as Tetsu's hands on his face.
"Arf!" said Nigou from the bedroom.
Tetsu drew back. "Kagami-kun," he mouthed, and though part of Daiki flared up at the thought that he would have Kagami and Tetsu both, the rest of him was pure seething resentment.
Tetsu went to the bedroom door and put his head in. "Kagami-kun, listening at doors is a very bad habit."
"I wasn't intending to listen, you jerk," came the muffled reply. "I was going to the kitchen and accidentally saw you guys. How was I supposed to know what you were up to? What the hell are you up to, anyway?" Voice low, tone cautious. Daiki wondered how much Kagami had seen.
"It's a good thing you heard us," Tetsu said. "That makes everything easier. Aomine-kun is bad at talking about his feelings."
Daiki had had enough. "Stop speaking for me, Tetsu, it's annoying. As if I have feelings for this asshole." He stepped around Tetsu and leaned against the bedroom wall, glaring down at Kagami sitting in the corner like a naughty child. Daiki didn't know why he couldn't just be honest at a time like this.
"You talk big for someone who just admitted he's wanted me for years," Kagami bit out, rising.
"You must have a really shitty love life if you think wanting you means I have feelings for you," Daiki shot back. "Tetsu's the one I--"
"That won't do, Aomine-kun." Tetsu stepped out from behind Daiki's back. "If you won't be honest, I don't think we should get involved like this."
Daiki wished he could make them both understand, but it was useless. He was beyond words, his mind in self-defense mode to cover up the panicky fear of revealing weakness. He trusted Tetsu, but he didn't know Kagami enough to trust him.
"Fine! Then we won't. See if I give a fuck."
He began to walk out, cursing himself for a complete loser, but Kagami grabbed his shirt and made him turn back around, his face as serious as Daiki had ever seen it. Honest, guileless eyes you could only love.
"I've been in love with you since high school," Kagami told Daiki, and then turned to Kuroko. "Both of you."
I take it back: having a relationship with two people isn't impossible. It's just twice as annoying.
Also twice as good.
I never really understood what people meant when they said they were crazy about someone. Even with Tetsu, I always had defenses. Now, though, it's all I can do not to lock the apartment from the inside and flush the keys so they'll never leave. Sometimes the only thing that stops me is basketball.
Also, the dog does need walking.
I hate to admit it but team play really is more effective than any individual style. Sure I can win every game by getting the ball every time, but then it's not a game any more, it's just me dodging obstacles in motion. That's why it stopped being fun until Kagami came along.
Imayoshi was right when he said I secretly wish I could lose in each game despite total confidence. Team play lets me have that. If I just pass the ball, the score is out of my hands, but if the team loses, it's still my fault for letting go of the ball. This is probably not what all those stupid coaches wanted me to realise but it's the closest I'll get.
Basketball isn't basketball if you're alone. That was why I grew bored with it. But now I feel like I can never be bored with it again.
Daiki woke from a dream about running along a disused athletic track, away from a giant basketball that would crush him as it rolled if he slowed up even for a second. His heart raced. The bedroom's silent darkness fed the scream-shaped terror that lingered in his throat.
He checked his phone. Three in the morning.
He glanced to his left, where Kagami and Tetsu slept like newborn puppies. Daiki's mouth turned down as he thought back to that morning a week or so ago, when Kagami saw him watching the two of them and patted the space beside him sleepily.
I told you, I don't like that kind of stuff, Daiki had said.
Suit yourself, Kagami had mumbled, and by the time Daiki looked again, he was snuggled up to Tetsu, eyes closed, conversation over.
Daiki wished he could un-hear the faint dejection in Kagami's voice, wished he could explain how hard it was for him to give up the illusion of independence he maintained by avoiding non-sexual affection. Basketball was all that was supposed to matter to him. Sex was nice but not required, and keeping relationships centered around sex allowed him to believe that he could end things any time.
But that wasn't true when it came to Kagami and Tetsu. If the two of them approached him tomorrow and suddenly told him they were leaving for a deserted island with nothing but the clothes on their backs, Daiki would go with them without complaint or regret. Even if he never got to play basketball again, as long as he could be with them, everything would work out. That was how he felt.
A few nights ago, they had rented some generic American superhero movie. Kagami had made popcorn on the stove using some stuff he had bought at an import store. Daiki had remarked it would have been way easier to just buy pre-made, but Kagami had claimed it didn't taste right out of a bag. Tetsu had sat in Kagami's lap and the two of them had munched popcorn amiably, murmuring to each other in voices too low for Daiki to hear over the movie soundtrack, occasionally sharing fleeting kisses that had nothing to do with sex. Kisses just because.
Daiki had kept glancing at Kagami's free hand that had rested on the couch, palm up and open, as if waiting for Daiki to take it. Daiki never had. He had continued eating his popcorn in silence, feeling painted into a corner, angry that he couldn't do anything to get out of that corner without losing face. His reasons for avoiding affection had made perfect sense at the beginning, but now they seemed childish and unreasonable.
He wanted Tetsu in his lap. And Kagami. Maybe at the same time, somehow. He wanted to wake up to the shared warmth of their bodies. He wanted to take day-trips to Odaiba and stroll about the boardwalk holding hands with them. He wanted getaways at private onsens like in his mom's more risqué dramas, New Year's shrine visits together, sharing one umbrella in the rainy season, and kisses just because.
In other words, though he had tried his hardest not to turn into a total sap, he had turned into a total sap.
"And since it's come to that..." Daiki murmured, dragging his blanket across the floor towards the two of them.
It's weird, what we're doing. There are things you learn growing up about how relationships are supposed to be, but it's always about two people, man and woman. Plus a lot of weird stuff about how women are the ones who run the household and men are the ones who bring money in. But we're all guys and we're not even proper members of society yet. It feels like we're playing house, like Satsuki and I would do when we were brats.
I don't know why Taiga doesn't trust me, but he's cagey and wary when we're alone. I try not to come on too strong. He's not like Tetsu who can tell when I'm being serious and when I'm just getting a rise out of a person. Taiga's really independent-minded. He'd probably run for the hills if I said something like I want to hold hands at Odaiba.
"Don't you fucking dare say my name any more. I'll die happy if I never see your smug face again."
Taiga was gone before Daiki could think of anything to say.
That wasn't the reaction he expected. He did expect Taiga to deny everything. Cheaters always did. But saying those things, that was just too much. Daiki hadn't meant for everything to just end over something like this. He loved Taiga so much that he could forgive him even for cheating.
He wasn't sure if Tetsu felt the same way. Back when Daiki and Tetsu had first started fooling around, Tetsu had been pretty clear that if Daiki wanted to do it with other people, they had to break up first. But that kind of arrangement felt hypocritical to Daiki now. If all three of them fell for two people, what stopped either one from falling for a third? A fourth? Three wasn't a couple, so they had to figure this stuff out as they went along, didn't they?
Daiki fished out his phone. Thought about sending Taiga a hey-let's-talk-about-this mail. Remembered the expression of pure hurt on Taiga's face. Put the phone back. He hadn't pegged Taiga for a manipulator, but that was some grade-A acting. Saying he'd die happy if he never saw Daiki again, when he was the one at fault.
No, he wasn't going to give in. He'd go eat the soumen he came to the shopping arcade for, go to work, come home, and the three of them would discuss what happened. That was what adults did. Discuss things.
"It must have pissed you off real bad to force yourself to play along with Tetsu all this time."
Where the hell had that come from? What did it even mean? Daiki shook his head. Brooding about it wouldn't help, so he was going to put this out of his mind until they could talk.
"I'll die happy if I never see your smug face again."
Taiga hadn't meant that, of course he hadn't. Daiki would see him at home tonight, and Taiga would apologise. Besides, Daiki's face wasn't smug. It was confident.
As Daiki moved towards the mirror above the sink to make sure he didn't look as weird as he felt, he stepped on Taiga's stupid ring, which had rolled away after Daiki tore the chain still in his fist.
Daiki thought about leaving the ring there, but couldn't bring himself to do it. Taiga might've been a cheating asshole, but he had worn that thing since elementary school. He slipped both ring and broken chain into his cell phone pocket and headed out.
When he got home after work, the lights were out, and only Nigou came to greet him at the door.
"I'm home?" he called out, removing his shoes. The dog promptly picked one up and carried it into the living room with his tail held high.
"I'm in here," came Tetsu's voice from the bedroom.
"Where's Taiga? It's late." Daiki stepped into the room, dark but for the bedside lamp. Tetsu was seated with his back against the headboard, a book in his lap. He looked so tiny all alone in that bed.
"Gone," Tetsu said, bookmarking his page and leaning down to place the book on the floor. "Tai-kun's gone."
"You want me gone, I'll get myself gone. I never meant to be in your way."
Daiki's stomach dropped. "Gone? What do you mean, gone? Gone where?" He switched on the lights, just to give himself something to do.
"Come on, Tetsu, that's not funny."
Tetsu looked at him, and Daiki recoiled. Tetsu was absolutely furious. He had never seen Tetsu's eyes so cold. "Do I look like I'm trying to be funny?"
Daiki realised belatedly that Tetsu had been using informal speech this whole time, which placed him much further off the angry scale than Daiki had ever experienced. He killed the lights just so he wouldn't have to see Tetsu's face so clearly.
"I don't-- Tetsu, he cheated on us. I confronted him about it and he stomped off dramatically instead of fucking dealing with it. Why are you mad at me?"
Tetsu's expression didn't seem to change. "What made you believe he was cheating?"
"I saw him! With that Homura, from Yousen?"
"Whatever. They were at the shopping arcade. Being all touchy-feely with each other--"
"They were being sexual in public?"
"No, of course not, but--"
"What?" Daiki snapped, irritated at the constant interruptions.
"Did it not occur to you that if Tai-kun were to do something like cheating, I would have noticed it long before you did?"
"I--" Tetsu was right. He was practically telepathic when it came to either Daiki or Taiga. "You're saying I overreacted?"
"You did. No wonder Tai-kun got so upset. He's always been insecure about where he stood with both of us, because of our past. But he especially worries about what you feel for him."
"I'll get myself gone." Shit. "Why would he worry about something like that? He knows how I feel about him."
"Evidently not," Tetsu said. "You might have tried telling him at least once, but I don't think you did."
That was true. Daiki had never told Taiga anything, but he hadn't thought he needed to. He had thought it was obvious.
"Well, where is he?" he asked. "Let's go bring him home and I'll tell him. I'll tell him as many times as he wants."
"I told you, he packed up most of his stuff and went to the airport."
"I never meant to be in your way." Taiga hadn't been acting at all. And Daiki never did send him that mail. Shame flooded his mind, and his restraint snapped.
"Why the fuck didn't you stop him?" he shouted. "Is this another one of your weird social experiments where you sit back and watch people react naturally or whatever the fuck you call it? Huh?"
"Are you finished?" Tetsu asked, and his calm hit Daiki like a punch in the face.
"Shit, Tetsu, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to lose my cool like that."
"You're losing your cool a lot today, it seems," Tetsu said, but he was back to his normal way of speaking. Daiki exhaled in relief. Hearing him use informal speech was unsettling and creepy, like talking to a stranger who knew all your secrets.
"How long ago did Taiga take off?" he asked.
Tetsu glanced at the alarm clock. "Fifty-eight minutes."
"That means he's just getting into the airport now," Daiki said. "If we hurry, we can catch him before he leaves. Let's go, Tetsu."
Tetsu didn't move. "That's a terrible idea. First of all, we don't know if he's gone to Narita or Haneda--"
"So what? We'll split up. You go to one and I'll go to the other. Don't you want to bring him back?"
"Of course I want to bring him back," Tetsu snapped. "But chances are it's pointless -- he didn't have a ticket, so he'd need a service counter, but those are closed by now. So he's likely at a hotel."
"We'll call every hotel in those areas and find out where he's staying," Daiki said, undaunted. "Then we can go and meet him. It's summer break, we can stay out as long as we like. Where's the phone book?"
"Here's an idea: why don't you call Tai-kun directly instead?"
Daiki's renewed hope evaporated. Call Taiga? And say what?
"Hey, sorry I accused you of cheating because I'm too fucking paranoid to be allowed in public without Tetsu to keep me in check?"
"Why don't you come on back home and I'll apologise, except I'll probably say something stupid while apologising and make everything even worse, like I always do?"
He sat down on the edge of the bed and stared at his hands. He was no good on the phone unless it was meaningless chatter. And even in person, what could he say? Sorry didn't seem like enough, given what Tetsu just made him understand. If he reflected on his behaviour, he'd treated Taiga like an outsider. He'd intended to avoid seeming too eager, too pushy, but that didn't make a difference, did it? Not if Taiga didn't know how Daiki felt.
Tetsu crawled over and patted his shoulder. "We'll bring him back, Dai-kun. But I think you shouldn't see him when you're this upset. Tomorrow is another day, so why don't you get some sleep?"
Daiki got no sleep at all. For the first half of the night he kept wanting to creep out of bed, find the phone book, take Nigou down to the riverside and call all the airport area hotels until he found Taiga.
But even if he found him, what would he say?
And what if Taiga had stayed at a hotel somewhere on the way to the airport, like Shinjuku or Shinagawa? What if he was still right here, maybe at the Grand down the street or one of the inns north of the campus? No one could call them all in one night.
What if Taiga didn't want to come back? If he had been with them for so long while secretly thinking Daiki didn't care about him, what was this relationship worth to Taiga, really?
For the rest of the night, Daiki dragged out memory after memory to try and understand why Taiga convinced himself that he didn't mean anything to Daiki, but he couldn't figure it out.
Daiki didn't understand why he had to declare his feelings or whatever. How could Taiga believe Daiki felt nothing? Even if Daiki wasn't the most affectionate person on the planet, even if he did dial it down around Taiga -- they were good together, weren't they? Not just in bed, either. Why were Taiga's trust issues supposed to be Daiki's problem?
Beside him, Tetsu stirred, freed his arms from under the blanket, stretched.
"Good morning," he said. "You didn't sleep at all, did you?"
"Taiga's the one who overreacted," Daiki said, ignoring the question. "Of course I was going to get jealous if I saw him being so familiar with that guy whose ring he wears. Why is it my fault he reacted in the most drastic way possible? Why am I supposed to go after him when he's the one who walked away? I never told him to leave. He's the one who assumed I don't care about him. Doesn't being jealous prove that I care?"
Tetsu sighed. "If that's how you want to look at it, I can't stop you." Tetsu-speak for you're wrong, but I'm too polite to question your motives. Tetsu shut his eyes again with a yawn and stuck his arms back under the covers.
Daiki reached for him, but Tetsu rolled away with speed that belied his sleepy languor. "I don't want to have sex with you, Dai-kun. I want you to think about what you've done."
This year started out so well but it's all gone to shit. Taiga's gone, Tetsu's angrier than I've ever known him to be, and today the coach implied that I might not make the team even after all the work I've done.
I didn't want to sleep with Mayumi, but Tetsu kept rejecting me, and then she invited me out. I thought I might as well be the bad guy and make it official that we're done. I never meant for Tetsu to see the scratch marks, but he thinks I showed them off on purpose. I just forgot where I was last night and walked out of the shower without the towel. I forgot -- that's how much it meant to me. Not that it meant much to Mayumi, either. She just likes tall guys a lot.
I tried to tell Tetsu all this but it came out all wrong. Made me sound like a callous bastard who takes advantage of a woman's weak point to make myself feel better. He basically said that even if Taiga came back suddenly, it wouldn't change anything any more. I think he meant it and it's making me feel sick.
This is why I should have kept my distance. I would rather stare jealously at the pair of them from my separate futon than sleep in that huge bed alone.
Rejected by Kise. This is really not my year. What's worse, Kise was right. It's like I'm making everything worse on purpose to make Tetsu hate me.
I'm going to try talking to Tetsu one more time. If he still feels the way he did after the Mayumi thing, I'll move home. The commute will be a bitch, but there's only one semester left. For next year I could transfer somewhere else. My grades aren't the greatest but there's always basketball.
Tetsu's going to America to see Taiga. Why didn't I think of that?
Taiga had chased Daiki out of the kitchen for being underfoot, and Tetsu was still absorbed in his video game, so Daiki had gone upstairs to Taiga's room for a nap attempt, which had failed. He lay on the bed, studying the room.
Sparse, not even a desk. This wasn't where Taiga grew up. It was too crisp and characterless. His parents must have moved his stuff in from someplace else while he was in Japan. Daiki had wanted to see the kinds of posters Taiga would put up, pictures of his friends, maybe board games or manga. But the place had the same air as the hotel room where Daiki had waited all day for Tetsu to call. Temporary lodgings.
The doorbell rang. Daiki listened to Taiga's footfalls, the noise of kids playing in the twilit street as the door opened to a woman speaking rapid-fire English, too fast to understand anything but a few words. The way she pronounced Taiga's name made it sound like she was saying the English word for tiger. That was kind of funny, since there was nothing catlike about Taiga at all, but Daiki was willing to bet little Taiga used to get bullied for it all the same.
He heard Tetsu laughing and winced. He hadn't heard that sound in six long weeks. Even if Daiki hadn't slept with Mayumi, he doubted he would have been able to make Tetsu laugh with Taiga gone. He had let go of their past already -- they had been practically children, for fuck's sake, what had they understood about love or relationships? -- but it still stung a bit, knowing that he alone was not enough for Tetsu any more.
Footfalls on the steps, then Taiga walked in. "That was a neighbour," he said. "You forgot your and Tetsu's duffel bags on the porch."
"I was distracted at the time," Daiki said, taking in the sight of him -- loose track pants, ratty jersey, ring hanging down below his collarbone. They had just done it like three times but his blood was up again. "Come here and I'll show you how distracted I was."
"If we do it again tonight, my dick will fall off," Taiga informed him. "Dinner's ready, so come eat and maybe I'll give you a kiss after."
"Three kisses," Daiki said, hopping off the bed.
My mother always says that a successful person should never need second chances, because needing a second chance means you messed up the first one.
She's probably right, but getting a second chance feels really good.