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"I apologise, Tetsuya, but this would be the last time I'm coming over to study with you."

From his textbook, Kuroko Tetsuya looked up at the red-haired boy sitting across him on the small worktable in his room, his neutral expression never changing. "Why is that, Sei?" he asked, not really sure if he heard the redhead right.

"A new business opened in Shanghai and father flew over to take care of it personally until it is stable. He left me to take care of the Tokyo branch until he comes back. He said it's part of my training," the red-haired teen, Akashi Seijuurou, explained. "Plus the university entrance exam will be in a month and I have to manage my time properly."

Kuroko regarded Akashi for a moment before he spoke again. "Is Sei implying that I'm a waste of time then?" he asked as he brushed off the unpleasantness he felt by the question.

Mismatched orbs of bloody crimson and liquid gold widened marginally as Akashi panicked lightly. "No, Tetsuya. You're not a waste of time at all. What I meant was I might be very busy with the company so I won't be able to study together with you anymore." He then looked at the bluenette with a subconsciously pleading expression. "Don't be mad at me."

Aww, cute, Kuroko mused before he smiled softly at Akashi. "I know what you mean, Sei. I was just teasing you."

"Then stop it, Tetsuya," Akashi said as he looked away while covering his mouth and nose with his left hand, effectively hiding his blushing countenance. He looked so beautiful when he smiled. Damn it.

"I apologise, Sei," Kuroko replied, the smile still intact on his face. "But we'll study together again, right?"

"Of course, Tetsuya. That's a promise."


 

A month had passed since then and the university entrance examination was over. Kuroko and Akashi decided to go to the same university while their other friends chose schools that would help them with their chosen professions. Midorima applied to a medical school, Aomine decided that he would study criminology along with Kagami. Murasakibara applied to a culinary school while the biggest shock of them all was Kise who took up the entrance examination for an aviation school. None of them were able to foresee the blond's actions, not even Akashi who was quite surprised as well. Obviously, they all thought that Kise would continue his modeling career after high school.

Kuroko was a bit sad and nostalgic at the fact that in a few months time all of them would have to go their separate ways. Though he knew that they would still see each other, he knew that it wouldn't be exactly the same. Good thing he and Akashi are going to the same school. He's taking up education while the redhead's taking up economics.

But was it really a good thing?

The bluenette sighed deeply as he shook his head, clearing his mind from his train of thought. Ever since last month, Akashi have changed. It was a gradually subtle change but still highly noticeable for someone who's very observant and knew the redhead very much. Ever since he stopped having study dates with the bluenette, Akashi have changed. He's become cold to Kuroko, constantly avoiding him. The bluenette tried to talk to him about it but the redhead would always find a way to stall him or just leave him. Eventually, Akashi stopped talking to him altogether.

And Kuroko Tetsuya doesn't like it one bit.

"Sei," he called as he approached Akashi who was typing in his laptop. The bluenette saw the redhead alone in the library so he decided to talk to him. If he noticed how Akashi stiffened a bit for a moment, he didn't let it show. "Your father is back, right? Are you coming over to study later?" he asked, hoping against hope that everything would be back like the way they were before.

But looking back, he should've known that promises are meant to be broken.

"I'm sorry, Tetsuya. I'm busy right now," Akashi said without looking up. He just went on typing in his laptop as if Kuroko wasn't worth his glance. "In fact, I don't think we should be studying together anymore. We'll be graduating soon and we're going to different departments albeit it's the same university. Let's get used to being alone starting from now on."

Kuroko couldn't believe what he was hearing. Did Akashi just told him they won't be seeing each other anymore? "Did you..." he heaved a deep breath to steady his footing. What's going on with Akashi? "You mean that we won't be f-friends anymore?" Just the thought of it was unbearable for him.

Akashi shrugged nonchalantly. "If that's how you call it, Tetsuya," he replied, his tone having a small hint of irritation now.

"Why?"

Cold, mismatched eyes stared up at painfully baffled baby blue ones as Akashi opened his mouth to answer. And when he did, Kuroko wished that he didn't ask in the first place.

"You're a total distraction, Tetsuya. I would really appreciate it if you don't talk to me anymore."


 

One week later...

Kuroko was scanning one of the shelves in the library for a book that he would use for their history project when he heard noises on the other side. Slightly miffed at being distracted, he pulled two books away so he could tell whoever it was on the other side of the shelf to keep quiet. Such was his intention that when the two books were taken off and revealed the other side of the shelf, he was left gasping at the sight in shock. Why? What did he see?

It was Akashi and another senior that was from another class. Mayuzumi, was it? The bluenette wasn't sure of the other student's name but what he was sure was that the two were kissing. He took a step back and closing his eyes, he ran away.

Akashi and the other guy must have heard him for the two stopped what they were doing and turned to look at the source of the noise but all they could see was a shelf with an empty space alloted for two books and nothing else. The redhead sighed as he ran a hand through his hair before he turned to look at the guy he was just kissing a while ago. "Don't do that again, Chihiro," he warned.

Mayuzumi Chihiro let out a small smirk as he placed a hand under Akashi's chin as he leaned forward, stopping only when their noses were almost touching. "Why won't you try me, Akashi? I look like him so it's fine, right?"

Akashi stared coldly at Mayuzumi as he slapped the latter's hand away. Then with a withering stare, he turned to walk away but not before saying, "Nobody can replace Tetsuya, Chihiro. No one. Remember that."

"Then why were you avoiding him?"

The redhead halted in his steps at the question making Mayuzumi smirk. "Do not question me, Chihiro. Know your place." Then without waiting for any replies, he walked away.


 

It was already dark when Akashi decided to go home. After the encounter with Mayuzumi at the library that afternoon, he locked himself up at the student council office intending to finish some paperworks though they weren't due until next month. He needed something, a distraction, from his thoughts.

"Then why were you avoiding him?"

Mayuzumi's words continued to echo in his mind even as he kept himself busy that he ended up trying to find solace in sleep but also failing in the end. Seems like he couldn't really do anything productive until he confronted the source of his angst.

Why was he really avoiding Tetsuya?

He shook his head as he went on walking. He'd contemplated about it for hours until he was able to reconcile himself that he was, indeed, in love with Tetsuya.

"Akashi-kun?" He was pulled out of his musing when he heard a very familiar voice call his name. From staring at the floor, he looked up and saw none other than Kuroko Tetsuya standing by the entrance of the seniors' building, looking as if he was waiting for someone.

"Tetsuya, why are you still here?" the redhead asked when he got near the bluenette, not liking the way Kuroko addressed him. "It's already late."

"I'm waiting for you, Akashi-kun," Kuroko replied directly, his baby blue orbs staring at mismatched ones. "I have something to ask you."

"What is it?" Akashi asked as he walked past Kuroko and went out of the building without looking back, fully knowing that the bluenette would be following him. And he was proven right when he heard footsteps from behind. "Couldn't this wait tomorrow, Tetsuya? I really have to go home."

"Are you and Mayuzumi-kun together, Akashi-kun?" Kuroko asked which gave Akashi a start though he didn't show it. The bluenette's really blunt, wasn't he?

"Why are you asking me that, Tetsuya?" Akashi asked as he kept on walking. He doesn't have any intention to stay with Kuroko longer for he didn't know what he might do to the latter now that he's able to come to terms with his feelings. Mismatched orbs then widened marginally when the redhead realised something. "It was you at the library a while ago." The words came out as a statement, not a question.

Kuroko nodded albeit Akashi wasn't looking at him. "I didn't mean to," he murmured then he stopped walking and stared directly at Akashi's back with tears beginning to blur his vision. "I don't care if Se... If Akashi-kun and Mayuzumi-kun are together. I don't care if you like a girl or a boy. I don't care who you love. I just..." Tears began falling down the bluenette's cheeks but he hastily wiped them away. "I don't want Akashi-kun to avoid me."

"Tetsuya..." Akashi have stopped walking, too, though he still had his back to Kuroko. And albeit he wasn't looking, he knew that the bluenette was crying. "Tch," he clucked his tongue as he turned to the smaller male and pulled him in his arms. "Hush, Tetsuya. Don't cry," he soothed as he cradled the bluenette's head against his left shoulder while slowly rubbing his back. Oh, how much he missed this guy.

"Y-You promised that we would study again together, that we would be friends forever..." Kuroko mumbled, his voice slightly muffled by Akashi's uniform. "I want to be friends with Akashi-kun forever."

Akashi softly winced at Kuroko's words. Did the bluenette just friendzoned him? And he didn't care who he loves huh? Let's see. "You want to be friends even if Chihiro and I are-" he wasn't able to finish what he was about to say for Kuroko suddenly covered his mouth with his hand. "Hn."

"Don't say it, Akashi-kun," the bluenette said as he averted his eyes, piquing Akashi's curiousity. "I'm fine with anything as long as we remain friends. But don't tell me you're going out with Mayuzumi-kun or anyone else for that matter. I don't want to hear it."

Akashi pulled Kuroko's hand off his mouth and had it intertwine with his own, making the latter to look at him in baffled surprise. He smiled softly. There wouldn't be running away now, would it? "But I don't want to be friends, Tetsuya." He tightened his hold on Kuroko's hand when the bluenette attempted to pull away. "Do you want to know why I avoided you?" When Kuroko nodded, he continued.

"I love you, Tetsuya. I think it began when you smiled at me the first time we met. I didn't believe in love at first sight back then but it was what happened to me when I saw you. Ever since then I tried my very best to be close to you and be able to give you everything that you needed or wanted. I'd do things for you that I wouldn't do for anyone else. You made me have these weird feelings whenever I'm around you or when I'm just simply thinking of you. You make me smile, laugh and even make me feel giddy to the point that I think I might have a heart attack. Simply put, you thawed this frozen heart of mine and I got scared of it. It signified that you have the power over me, to hurt me and I didn't want to get hurt so I did what I thought was the best course to take. I ended our friendship and avoided you," the redhead cupped either side of Kuroko's face and made him look up. "I love you, Kuroko Tetsuya," he murmured as he closed his eyes and pressed their foreheads together.

"Why are you telling me this now then, Akashi-kun?"

Akashi sighed then he opened his eyes and stared directly onto baby blue ones. "Because I was in constant denial about my feelings for you. It was only now, when Chihiro asked me something, that I was able to come to terms with it. It made me realise that whether I avoid you or not, I would still get hurt."

"Love hurts, Akashi-kun," Kuroko said. "At least true love does."

"That I agree," Akashi replied then he brought Kuroko's hand, that he was holding, to his left side of the chest where his heart was located. "Do you feel that, Tetsuya? You make my heart beat so fast I think it might kill me one day." He chuckled at the thought then he got surprised when Kuroko pulled his hand and placed it against the bluenette's own chest. "Tetsuya, what-" he stopped himself when he felt the rapid beating of Kuroko's heart against his hand. Eyes widening in realisation, he looked at the bluenette who was by now blushing furiously.

"I don't want to be friends, too, Akashi-kun," Kuroko said while looking away. "Like you, I've fallen in love with you the first time we met. I actually prefer being alone when I study yet when you offered to study with me, I accepted it without any hesitations. That made me question myself and led me to the realisation that I feel something special for you. Eventually, with the several times we spent together, I was able to give a name to that special feeling and that was love." The bluenette looked up at the (slightly) taller redhead, his cheeks still ablaze. "I love you, too, Akashi-kun. Please don't run away from me again."

Akashi was speechless for a moment before a smile found its way on his lips. "We're both idiots," he said then he planted a kiss on the bluenette's forehead. "If we've been more honest with ourselves, we could've saved each other from the pain."

"Yes, we could have. What idiots we truly are, Akashi-kun," Kuroko said in agreement, looking absolutely happy at the moment.

"Tetsuya."

"Yes, Akashi-kun?"

"Before you start getting used to it, stop calling me 'Akashi-kun' and go back to calling me Sei," Akashi commanded. "You sound so cold when you call me Akashi-kun, I don't like it."

"Yes, Aka- I mean, yes, Sei," Kuroko said then he suddenly grabbed Akashi's tie and yanked him down so they would be leveled. The next thing he did totally surprised the redhead for he brought their lips together into a short but hard kiss. "How about a sleepover, Sei? Mom and Dad are out on a business trip."

Akashi smirked at the mischievous glint in Kuroko's baby blue eyes. "How could I refuse?" he asked rhetorically. "I'm all yours, Tetsuya."

"Really?" Kuroko asked, a wide, happy smile on his face.

The redhead nodded slowly as he clutched at his chest, feeling the rapid beating of his heart. "Yes, Tetsuya. Body, heart and soul -I'm all yours."

"I'm yours, too, Sei. Only yours."

You are surely going to be the death of me, Tetsuya, Akashi mused as he watched Kuroko smile once more. Yes, absolutely the death of me. No doubt about that. "I love you."