An ordinary day in Seirin where spring is slowly tuning into summer, days get longer, the heat is growing, the cicadas starting to become noisier. Kuroko, now a second year, calmly walks along the corridors of their school to his classroom. A totally ordinary day.
It was of the same time as when he met someone, and eventually the two of them getting closer and closer with each other.
Shuutoku and Seirin had to share the same place for a summer camp in the previous year. It was a very crucial time for Kagami to mature as an athlete, and save for the meals they had to (
suffer) eat thanks to Coach Riko, it was a very good summer camp.
Kuroko walks among the busy flow of people, still the usual unnoticeable shadow that he used to be since middle school. He gets to the shoe changing area and changes into his indoor shoes.
He wasn't particularly spacing out. But he wasn't not thinking of anything at all, either.
The day went by so slowly. Soon it was time to practice.
They were dismissed very early, since everyone had stuff to do.
He slowly walked home, and passed by the same deserted pathway... that he used to walk on... hoding hands... with someone...
He and Takao became buddies thanks to the time when Takao took his number from Midorima's phone. Yes, Takao was such a very intrusive, impulsive person who texted him with a simple "Hello", complete with emojis and stuff to decorate such a simple text message.
He didn't know who it was.
"May I know who is this, please?" He politely texted back.
"Oh, there's no need to be that polite!" The reply sounded too casual and playful.
Even his perceptive abilities couldn't deduct it. And after so much avoidance to answer the question, Kuroko finally threatened politely, typing "if this person isn't going to introduce themselves, may you as well consider this my last text message to you."
A very long pause. Very unusual, because the person before was very swift in sending back replies to him.
After what seemed like eternity, the person texted back. "Hai, hai... this is me, Takao. You can save my number if you want. Yoroshiku~!"
"Oh. you." Kuroko replied back. He did think twice but he ended up saving Takao's number anyway.
They swiftly became texting buddies. Kuroko wouldn't look like someone who would be very touchy and extroverted, but he was in their written communication. Though, he was still ultimately polite.
Takao totally was interested in Kuroko. He's that unnoticeable shadow that only he, with the Hawk Eye, would detect without even having to turn his head.
But his motive was simple.
He wanted to forget Midorima.
The one he really liked.
That person who defeated him in middle school.
That guy who gracefully shot his way to their defeat.
That guy he totally couldn't forget until his retirement in the middle school basketball club.
That guy who became his motivation to work hard even after retirement.
That guy he thought he was fated for, because they both ended up getting enrolled in the same high school.
In that particular one day in their summer camp, it was the second to the last day of the summer camp... it was very physically tiring for the entire Shuutoku team. Thanks to him, Nakatani-sensei got a bit too pissed off and gave them all a very strenuous regimen for that day.
He couldn't count how many times he stole glances towards their ace, who was excessively sweating, his glasses fogging up and he couldn't help but have to wipe it up.
'This is bad... I really might fall into temptation...'
On that night, everyone was sleeping soundly. Even their innocent-looking ace-sama. They were beside each other that night. He turned his head to have a look at the green-haired teen.
Those very tender-looking, half-open lips... I wanna taste them...
He slowly got up.
I don't know what I'm doing anymore.
He slowly approached those lips.
Slowly, the distance closed.
He kissed him.
Suddenly, Midorima's eyes opened. He was actually awake, and he let out his voice in a whisper. "What do you think you're doing?"
Takao, shocked, brought himself back to his beddings, and while stuttering, he tried to explain in a low tone. "I- ah- uh- um... I-"
Midorima, knowing the other guy was obviously panicking, looked at him and said, "what's the meaning of that?"
Takao, knowing he couldn't hide anymore, mustered his courage to say "Shin-chan... I li-"
"I am very sorry I know I couldn't reciprocate those feelings of yours. Now good night." Midorima said in a soft tone and proceeded to lie back down.
"Y- you wouldn't even let me explain it all?" Takao said, his voice cracking a little bit.
"Better keep that to yourself, than be rejected even if I knew everything." Midorima just said, turning his back away from Takao. "Don't get caught while crawling on sleeping people. Good night."
Takao knew he was badly hurt by then. He preferred that he would be heard out before he was outright rejected. He cried himself to sleep. But he has no choice. He knows Midorima. Their stoic ace is self righteous, he will never budge even if he confessed in public so he could at least be pressured to say yes and give him a chance.
So he did try to divert his attention.
Kuroko would be a very good person to learn to love to, he thought.
The two of them became so very close, but they had to keep it from everyone. Takao told Kuroko to just keep it since they are rival schools, but the truth is, Midorima will obviously chide him with a 'so you're finding a new prey knowing you couldn't target me na no ka?'.
They've been together in so many events in each other's lives.
They both wore a yukata during a summer festival at the end of August.
They both happily celebrated Takao's birthday.
They were secretly 'officially dating' by December.
They mostly communicated via mobile messaging, but they also met up on weekends.
They always passed by a certain deserted pathway connecting two roads. And there, they would casually reach for the other's hands, and it felt like they were holding hands in public (well, as Kuroko innocently sips on his favorite vanilla milk shake).
Takao didn't intend to do it. But he kissed Kuroko one time in late fall. It was a weekend and they both went shopping and eating.
They were lazily sitting in a pair of swings in a nearby abandoned playground before they departed that day. The red-orange light soaked the two of them, the trees surrounding them are now very bare.
He started bidding Kuroko goodbye thinking it might start to get dark sooner.
"Jaa, I'm going ahead." He said, standing up.
"Me too, I'm also going home. I had fun today, Takao-kun." Kuroko said, with a faint smile on his face.
Takao was still fixated at looking at Kuroko, and with a sudden impulse, he grabbed Kuroko's shoulders and put his own lips on Kuroko's.
A short kiss. Then they departed. He was looking at Kuroko's eyes. Kuroko was just silent, looking surprised.
"S- say something... d- don't you... like it?" Takao said, with a mix of nervousness.
"Not that I dislike it, nor did I say I liked it." Kuroko said, his face going back to plain.
Another moment of silence, and staring, has ensued.
"Since-" Kuroko started, "-it was so short."
"K-Kuroko..." Takao said. With one swoop, he kissed Kuroko once more, this time their lips locked into each other's, tongue against tongue.
Takao nervously bid Kuroko goodbye on that day.
Kuroko was blank faced as usual.
And when Takao finally got to his house, he was ecstaticly jumping up and down in his room, giggling as silently as he could, knowing his sister might pry in if she heard his very unusual laugh.
Kuroko, likewise, couldn't help but touch his lips. I'm... not dreaming, right? He thought.
Their first kiss... a pivotal moment where they got closer and closer.
Since then, Takao would start suggesting Kuroko would visit his house or him visiting Kuroko's house. He looked like an excited dog wagging his tail, as Kuroko would describe it.
And Kuroko would reply 'quit joking' every time.
But one day, Kuroko finally agreed to have Takao visit his home. Only because he was having trouble in English and he needed help. Kuroko's parents were around that time.
"Oh, my. Welcome!" Kuroko's mother welcomed him. "It's unusual for my son to bring a friend home so please do feel at home."
"Pardon for the intrusion." Takao said.
"He's from Shuutoku, Mom." Kuroko explained. "I need a bit of tutoring in English and he happened to have time to teach me."
"Oh, is it so? Thank you very much for helping my son." Kuroko's mother said.
"No, it's just my nature to be helpful..."
Kuroko led him to his room. A very neatly kept room. It was so simple, only a bed, some cabinets and a small table where they could place some books was there. There was also a window with very thin curtains that showed the outside was turning dark, leaving an indigo shade.
The just sat on the floor. Kuroko's mother brought them snacks, and they both started studying.
Takao suddenly showed his motives by getting unusually close to Kuroko.
"Takao-kun, if you want something just tell me."
"Then, can I kiss you?"
Kuroko hesitated. "No, please let's just study peacefully."
Takao tried to persuade him. "Like, come on, we haven't really progressed since that day."
A moment of pause.
"F... fine." Kuroko sighed. Although inside his head, he was so eager, since he knows he wanted to experience again that very... warm feeling he had on that day.
They kissed. Their lips interlocked with each other.
After a few moments they both departed from the contact.
"How about that?" Takao asked him.
"Somewhat... it's a bit... lacking..."
"I think it should be something like this-" Kuroko said, suddenly grabbing Takao's necktie. Their lips interlocked once more, but this time, their tongues touched each others.
They departed, and kissed again... they wordlessly, and seemingly hungrily, repeated this so many times until they could get enough.
Kuroko's heart beat so fast. He didn't feel this nervous before.
That night, before Takao went home, he accompanied him out, just the two of them, and gave him a kiss in the cheek.
Takao smiled. "You sure couldn't get enough, huh?"
"It was supposed to be just a goodbye kiss." Kuroko replied, with a dropping tone.
"Hai~ hai~ jaa... till next time..." Takao said, smiling at Kuroko.
"Okay." Kuroko said.
Takao turned his back and started walking. When Takao was considerably far away, Kuroko, in a low voice, said "I love you", thinking Takao wouldn't hear it. But Takao, without turning back, said a loud "me too". Kuroko was flustered, then remembered that he mustn't underestimate the Hawk Eye. He silently smiled to himself and went in.
They weren't able to see each other because of the examination week prior to the winter break.
And after the winter break, Kuroko's test results were out. He had excelled English, thanks to Takao. He had to urgently see Takao.
'Takao will surely be amazed and glad...'
He went to Shuutoku, even though Takao discouraged him to. He patiently waited at the gate, knowing that Takao would stay late that day.
Midorima, who was starting to walk home already, saw Kuroko from a distance. Slowly, he approached his former teammate, who was outside the school gates, obviously wearing a different uniform than theirs but still not getting attention from anyone.
"Kuroko? What are you doing here nanoka?" *
"Ah, Midorima-kun. It's been a while" Kuroko said as he bowed politely. "Ah, I'm... waiting for Takao-kun."
"Hmf," was Midorima's only response as he gets into deep thought. His eyes widen as he realizes something, then said a blatant lie to Kuroko. "Kuroko. Takao has already gone home nodayo." *
"What? But I thought-"
"He was hurrying earlier when he told me he'd go ahead that's why he can't drive the cart today nodayo." Midorima said with his usual matter-of-fact manner of speaking.
"I-is that so? Then, I'll be going home then, Midorima-kun. Thanks for informing me." Kuroko politely said with a smile as he turned his back from Midorima.
"You're welcome nodayo." Midorima said as he backed out from the gates and now waited for someone inside the gate.
'I know Midorima-kun isn't the type to lie but... I was sure Takao-kun would stay late today... so I'll just pretend to go home...' Kuroko thought to himself.
Kuroko, after feeling that Midorima went back inside the school gates, slowly went back, very close to the wall so Midorima wouldn't see him. In a few minutes he was able to hear Takao's usual noisy and happy voice.
"Shin-chaaaan~" Takao said when he saw Midorima. "Don't tell me you waited for-"
Takao's voice was cut off. A loud... slap?... was heard. Everything is happening in Kuroko's hearing distance, just behind the walls.
"So you're targeting Kuroko this time nanoka?"
Silence. A silence between the two amidst the noisy high schoolers going home.
"Answer me!" Midorima demanded.
Takao's voice began to crack, but he could be heard giggling. 'Is he crying... while also smiling?' Kuroko thought to himself.
"So what business have you got with me, huh?" Takao said, his voice obviously weird. Kuroko's assumption was right. "You're rejecting me without even hearing my entire confession? And you expect me to be over it that easily? Shin-chan are you a fool?" Takao said, now a bit sobbing.
Kuroko was shocked with what he heard. 'Confession...?'
"I won't be able to reciprocate your feelings nodayo."
"Then at least... help me get over you, Shin-chan!" Takao said, now shouting.
A long pause between the two.
Kuroko couldn't move from where he was. He could feel that he was like rooted to the ground.
"I... I still love you... and being with Kuroko doesn't help me. I thought I would be over you if I loved someone else... but no... Shin-chan, you're still the one..." Takao said, now in between sobs.
Kuroko couldn't see Takao's face, but he knows that his tears surely are flowing right now. With just his eyes widened, tears started to form at the sides of his eyes.
"A- are?" Kuroko realized, when tears flowed down his cheeks, tickling him, bringing him back to his senses. The two behind the wall were still in a long moment of silence.
No. He doesn't need to hear the rest. He started walking away. His pace went faster. Then he started dashing towards the train station. He wanted to hurry to go home instead. He doesn't care if people see him crying, he just needed to go home and retreat to his room.
And as he arrived, he hurriedly entered his room and locked the door, careful to not bang it so his mother wouldn't hear it like he's not in good spirits. No, he can't have his parents worry over his secret affairs.
He silently sobbed. Cried. Wept.
'I almost thought... I finally found someone... I'd really love...'
He cried and cried until he was content. Until dinnertime came and he had to not show his parents he was crying.
Takao had so much texts that night, but he didn't bother to reply to any of them.
Five days later, after ignoring Takao's texts and calls, Kuroko finally texted Takao with a simple yet very heavy message.
"Let's break up".
The next day was a cloudy day. So cloudy that it totally seemed that it would rain that afternoon. So Kuroko didn't forget to bring with him his red umbrella.
He was spacing out a lot.
The day went fine. And then without even realizing it, it was already dismissal time.
And as he fixed his indoor shoes and changed to his outdoor shoes, the rain slowly fell outside. At first a drizzle, then it gradually increased in intensity.
"Oh, good thing I brought with me my umbrella", Kuroko mumbled to himself.
And as he stepped outside, among the what he could blurrily see in the distance was, at the school gate, a person in black was there, seemingly waiting in the rain.
A very familiar gakuran.
It dawned to him.
It was Takao.
He hurriedly opened his umbrella and went to that person. Sure enough, it was Takao, soaked in the rain.
"Kuroko!" Takao exclaimed, grabbing Kuroko by the shoulders with his wet hands, his uniform dripping with rainwater. His eyes totally looking like demanding, amidst his shivering in the middle of the cold winter rain.
"Takao-kun... let's go to a shade first..."
"WHY ARE YOU BREAKING UP WITH ME?!" Takao shouted, so Kuroko would at least hear among the sound of the rain heavily pattering on the surroundings.
"T-Takao-kun... you love... Midorima-kun, right?"
Takao gasps faintly.
"If you still love him, don't force yourself into me, okay?"
"H-How did you kn-know about that?" Takao stammered and stuttered.
"I... I heard you and Midorima-kun the other day..." Kuroko said, his tears now starting to form at the sides of his eyes. "I-I didn't mean to, but Midorima did lie to me... that you already went home..."
"T-That was... um... no, Kuroko... I can explain..."
"No Takao-kun. Enough."
"Takao-kun stop it!" Kuroko shouted back, which was so unusual of him. Takao was silenced.
"D-do yourself a favor please. If you want to forget Midorima-kun that badly... please don't play on my innocent heart..." Kuroko said, now crying, his tears streaming. "Go away. Because it hurts me so much. B-because honestly... I did... love you...!" Kuroko said, with a pained voice, dropping his red umbrella and running away from Takao, not minding if he gets soaked.
"K-Kuroko!" Takao shouted, running after Kuroko.
Kuroko didn't care anymore. His tears or the rainwater, he couldn't distinguish them anymore. He just kept on running away. Away from Takao. At least he was able to properly tell his feelings. He didn't care anymore. He just ran and ran.
Takao was running far behind Kuroko, in the sidewalk. Both of them are clearly dripping wet from the rain. He kept shouting Kuroko's name. Until a familiar green light has turned red.
The pedestrian lane light.
...as Kuroko runs to cross the street...
...with a grey car at a close distance clearly overspeeding in the rain, complacent that there are no pedestrians that would cross in such a heavy rain anyway.
Takao could see it all, but he's too far from Kuroko.
He could only shout. But he cannot do anything.
There was a loud sound of a body bumping on a hollow piece of metal body, tires screeching, and a loud thud, as a certain blue-haired person slowly bounces from the impact... and hits the ground... head first.
Takao reached the side of the road, witnessing it all in front of him.
There was blood.
And a motionless body lying on the asphalt.
Kuroko, knowing he was bumped on, was slowly dozing off.
'No... this can't... be true...'
He could feel a warm fluid near his head.
And he could feel water from his eyes flowing slowly on the sides. He couldn't figure out anymore which are tears or which are just rainwater. He slowly... fell... into a deep slumber.
Takao was still traumatized by the sight of it, the sound of the ambulance siren, the sound of the rain... everything.
Kuroko was brought to the nearest hospital via ambulance. He luckily survived the impact; however, he fell in a comatose.
Takao was anxiously waiting outside the hospital room. He couldn't help but blame himself for that accident.
"T-this is all my fault... this is all my fault..." Takao kept mumbling, as Midorima, who hurriedly went to the hospital upon hearing the news, was just silent beside him. He doesn't know what to do, himself, nor does he know how to comfort Takao.
For two weeks, Takao was out of his usual joyful self. He was totally blank. The senpais tried to understand him (with the vague idea over what totally happened, as safely explained by Midorima) and just let him off for practice, so he could visit Kuroko.
He wasn't able to visit Kuroko for the next other week because of heavy schoolwork and heavy practice. His senpais had to be strict this time.
One Sunday, it was he and Midorima who visited him.
Kuroko's mother greeted them.
"Oh, you're finally back." Kuroko's mother smiled, but obviously with pain. "He's... finally awake... thank heavens..."
"Is it so?!" Takao stammered. Midorima just grunted in surprise.
"B-but... the doctors said he might have suffered a mild amnesia, because we were trying to get information as to what led to the accident... but he couldn't recall a thing othe than he was running away..." Kuroko's mother said, her smile was suddenly tainted with tears at the corners of her eyes. She's still hurt over this, Midorima, thought.
"C-can I see him?" Takao said, sounding somewhat with urgency with his voice.
"Ah, sure! He's awake right now and was allowed to sit down. Luckily he didn't suffer any rib damage over the impact. Maybe it was caused by him falling over the cement, the doctor explaine to us..." Kuroko's mother explained. "Now if you'd excuse me, I'll buy some food outside first so please look after him, okay?"
"H-hai!" Takao said. And slowly knocked on the door. He slowly slid the door open...
Inside was Kuroko, reading on a manga. On the bedside table was a basket of fruits. He wasn't on IV drop anymore. As the door opened, he looked at whoever entered.
"K-Kuroko..." Takao enters slowly, and slowly approaches Kuroko.
Kuroko was looking at Takao with a blank, but curious expression.
"K-Kuroko..." Takao mumbled again as he stood, frozen, waiting for the blue-haired teen's response.
"P-pardon me but, wh-who are you?" Kuroko said with a blank expression on his face, gazing directly at Takao.
Takao couldn't bear it. He felt like crying at that point.
Midorima suddenly enters, and Kuroko seemed to look enlightened.
"Oh! You're Midorima-kun's partner, Shuutoku's point guard." Kuroko said, seemingly finally understanding everything...
"E-e... excuse me..." Takao said, his tears are now flowing from his eyes. Midorima followed Takao after also saying "excuse us" and closed the door behind him.
"I... I'm sorry... I'm so sorry...!" Takao said, as he cried, almost wailing but trying to keep his voice low because it was a hospital. Midorima couldn't help but just rub his back.
Takao couldn't help but just cry at the thought.
'Kuroko... no longer remembers... the 'us' that used to exist...'
But he swiftly wipes his tears and regained composure. He swiftly went back to the room, his eyes and face still red, and with a joyful tone to mask out his sadness, he said, "Kuroko! So you're finally awake~ Shin-chan was totally worried over you! Awww I'm so happy I could cry!"
"Shut up. But I truly am relieved nodayo." Midorima just said, his expression very unclear.
"I see." Kuroko said, faintly smiling. "Thank you for visiting me today! My friends in Seirin were here earlier, I had trouble remembering their names especially my fellow first years... but I hope the others from middle school could also come here and visit me." Kuroko said, still faintly smiling.
"No, Kise would surely fling himself on you for sure nodayo." Midorima said in his usual stoic voice, still trying to observe Takao at the corner of his eye.
Takao and Midorima bid him goodbye about half an hour later, when the sun looked like it was about to set, the sunlight almost making the room filled with brightness that will soon turn to orange.
"We're very sorry we weren't able to bring you anything." Takao said.
"You idiot, you forgot to bring them nodayo."
"Hai hai~" Takao said, with a joyful (but obviously pained) voice.
"We're going now nodayo. Get well soon." Midorima said.
"Thank you so much for even troubling yourself to visit me." Kuroko said.
"Sore jaa, ittekuru wa~!" Takao said and turned his back at Kuroko, and closed the door. Now he won't have to pretend he's not crying. But he can't cry there yet.
"Shin-chan, please accompany me first." Takao said.
"F-fine." Midorima said.
They both went to a park where Takao wept and sobbed, Midorima was totally annoyed, but he tried to heighten his patience more. The sunset was gradually making everything look orange, the bare trees couldn't even neutralize the tint.
"I- it's going to be fine nodayo..." Midorima softly mumbled.
"I- I realized I love him already and I'm ready to forget my feelings for you... when you confronted me on that day you saw him..." Takao said, while in tears.
A long pause amidst Takao's sniffles.
"But it's no use anymore... he totally forgot about... us..." Takao said, with pain in his voice.
Something he can no longer bring back.
Because Kuroko forgot about them with a mere accident like that.
It was also his fault, and he's still blaming himself over that.
But now he couldn't do a thing for his new love.
Just when he thought he was really ready to forget about Midorima and start out a good romantic relationship with Kuroko... here comes the disaster...
'He doesn't... remember me anymore...'
Few months later, Kuroko, on the other hand, is in his second year. He is now actively playing basketball once more. He is back at school, functioning normally.
With the help of Kagami, he was able to catch up with their subjects during his comatose. Kagami, though frequently dozing off in class, struggled to stay awake so he could make notes not only for himself but for his precious partner.
And now, as Kuroko walks home, he passes by a familiar narrow road.
He brings out his phone and scrolls over his messages...
He painfully reminisces. Everything.
A few months back, at the time that he has just awoken from comatose... It was a Sunday and his mother said she's out to buy some food for herself for dinner, when he overheard voices from the outside.
'No. I have... to do this...' It was his firm resolve. 'I've already started putting up a show on my friends at Seirin, there's no point turning back.'
When Takao entered his hospital room, he put on his usual blank face in the court that aids him in his misdirection. And thanks to Midorima being there, his acting went fine.
As Takao hurries outside with tears in his eyes, his heart feels crushed. 'But I have to do this.' It clearly resounded in his mind, and kept his composure.
He could hear Takao's cries outside, even if the door was closed.
He also felt like crying.
'I have to do this. I can't let myself be a mere replacement.'
And when Takao and Midorima left, he let it all out. He cried, his tears falling on the manga he was reading. The sunset sunlight was giving an orange tint on his room. He used his bedsheet to wipe his tears, knowing he can't cry long or his mother will see his eyes red. He must pretend, all for the sake of himself.
"L- like as if I'll easily forget about everything..." Kuroko said, as he continually looked at that usual passageway. The orange-colored sunset hit his skin, but the usual passageway they used to walk at is shadowed by the tall house beside it.
He locks his phone's screen and puts it inside his pocket. He continues walking, avoiding that pathway, looking forward, holding back his tears. 'I have to do this', was totally inside his mind, with a clear resolve to forget about the love that sprung in his first year.
'I loved you, but I guess this is goodbye.'
Chapter 2: -OMAKE-
An additional short chapter.
Kuroko meets Takao and Midorima at Maji Burger because Takao promised Midorima to treat him if he aces his exam with Midorima's help.
And since the Hawk Eye easily spotted the Phantom sitting at the table by the side of the window, he casually called out on him.
An awkward meeting.
'He's forgotten about it. Just smile and act nothing happened.' Takao kept telling himself inside his mind.
'He's under impression I forgot everything. Just smile and act like nothing happened.' Kuroko kept telling himself inside his mind.
"Hi! You alone?" Takao greeted.
"Yes. So I can see you two are really getting close, huh?" Kuroko commented.
"It's not like I wanted to be with him except that he said that he's going to treat me here nodayo!" Midorima swiftly defended.
"Shin-chan is so much of a tsun, right, Kuroko?" Takao said.
"I'm used to that since middle school." Kuroko blankly said as he sipped on his vanilla milkshake.
Time swiftly passed by. Parting time came.
Outside of Maji Burger was the bicycle and back cart was parked.
"Jaa, we're going ahead nodayo." Midorima said as he rode on the cart.
A long moment of silence ensued between the two.
"I-it was nice to see that you were doing fine." Takao said, averting his eyes.
"Thanks a lot." Kuroko said, also unable to look directly at the point guard. Midorima merely observes the two. He gets a hint, but there's no use bringing it up now.
"We're going ahead." Takao said as he rode on the bicycle and started to pedal at the opposite direction from which Kuroko was going home to.
"I-it was also nice to see you two getting along well now..." Kuroko mumbled to himself, when Takao and Midorima were at a distance where he could consider they're no longer bound to hear.
He turned his back from their direction and slowly walks away.
Takao, with a little instinct, manages to try twisting his head a bit to glimpse at Kuroko, who he could see now walking away. He returns his vision to the road.
The two of them... slowly moving away from each other... drifting apart just like that...
There's no chance they would ever know of the other's real feelings after that.