at least, that’s what you’d always been told, that’s how the generation of miracles did things. they won. and you helped. you’ve never been the best out of the 6 of you, the other four aside from kurokocchi...they had their specialties and they were truly ferocious. you’re a copycat, and yet? those four? you can’t copy their skills. not yet, at least. so in a way, when middle school is over and you all go your separate ways, you’re happy that you’re no longer in their shadows. then again, you don’t even think you can say that properly, because let’s face it. you’ve never really been the shadow.
you see him when other people don’t. that’s how it starts.
he’s used to being overlooked, it’s a trait that he’s been able to use to his benefit, but you don’t know how anyone can overlook someone as impressive as kuroko. it’s not like he’s tall and intimidating, he doesn’t demand respect aloud when he walks in, but there is a tremendous quiet strength inside that small little blue haired shadow and you hone in on it immediately. you’re supposed to learn from him, and before you know it, he’s your best friend, and when all is said and done, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
but you’re flighty and flirty and you don’t realize that sometimes you turn that flirtatious quality on your best friend, and you shouldn’t have been so blindsided by kuroko telling you his feelings for you were more than just friendly. you’d just been broken up with, you were in junior high--you were stupid and impulsive, and you’d just lost a game to haizaki and your ex was only dating you because of your status as a model and you were....too quick to awkwardly say ”i don't like you like that kurokocchi, i'm sorry!”
you don’t tell people about your loss to haizaki. maybe if kuroko knew what you were going through in that very moment, he would’ve understood. but the generation of miracles was breaking apart, aomine was getting too arrogant, he was drifting away......it was a lot. not to mention you’ve never excelled in your classes and your grades were falling behind.
you know now that if you could turn back time? you would’ve taken kurokocchi with open, eager arms, because he was the only person who ever really loved you, wasn’t he? you thought aomine might’ve, at one point. but he’s too focused on basketball to notice you. kuroko always noticed you, and now? he’s at seirin academy and he’s found himself a new person to shadow, no longer aominecchi, but kagami, and you are jealous. they get along well, you can see immediately that kurokocchi feels happy on the team, and when he turns your offer to join your team down, that’s what really seals the deal.
he’s bitter. and so are you.
and you don’t blame him, you couldn’t blame kurokocchi, but it still hurts you and you’re challenged by seirin and you’re excited because you know you’re going to be difficult to beat. it’s the first quarter, the first three minutes of the first quarter, and already you’re running ragged and kagami and kurokocchi are no different. each time they score? you score. you copycat kagami’s moves and use them against him, switching them up to make them your own, to make them even better, and it’s during that practice game that you hurt him.
your arm goes flying and to see it hit kuroko put you in shock as he collapsed to the floor, blood trickling down the side of his head.
you don’t even get a chance to rush to his side before his team is doing exactly that, and you’re stunned and guilty, and you hurt kurokocchi and it puts you in a real bad mood for the rest of the game. you’re not sure it’s something you can come back from, and you watch as the blue haired shadow gets laid down on the side of the court and while you want to win, you also want to stop everything and sit at his side and reminisce about the good days when you were on the same team and worked together so well.
you’re still bitter though. bitter that through it all? kuroko left, he disappeared and it was frustrating because the only really good thing left in your life had vanished. you’re a famous model, you’re a star athlete, it’s true, and you don’t diminish those achievements, but having kurokocchi as a friend was one of the most important things you had in your life and to lose it? to have him treat you with a chilly, cold demeanor? you should’ve said yes.
you should’ve absolutely said yes.
it took telling kurokocchi that you didn’t feel the same way, that you didn’t like him like that for you to realize that your words were a big fat lie. but it was too late now, kurokocchi looked at kagami the way he used to look at you and you realized you lost your only chance. if you told him the truth, if you told him how you felt, would he just deny you again? would he continue to be bitter? yukio always kicks you whenever you space out during any game or event, he’s your captain of kaijo academy’s basketball team and he tries to pull you back to reality with violence which....works, but it’s still mean.
it takes losing to seirin for you to really come to terms with the fact that maybe basketball isn’t really all about winning. kagami is strong, he’s talented, but you’re worried, because he reminds you too much of aomine. kurokocchi is getting attached and you’ve seen it happen before, and you want to apologize for hurting kurokocchi but you also feel its important to point out the possibility of what kagami could become. one day, he’d beat all of the members of the generation of miracles, the 5 other players who’s skills up to that point would’ve been unmatched. kurokocchi would help kagami, and then? he’d abandon kuroko. you can see it happening and you don’t want it to happen.
is was your friend too.
you’re emotional and you cried when you lost, but you also cried when aominecchi left. you cried when kurokocchi left. you can’t help it. but kagami is worth your respect, and when you bid him farewell, you add your little signature ‘-cchi’ onto the end of his name and walk off with a smile and a wave. it’s hard to smile when you know the person you love is enraptured by someone else. especially someone like that. you lost your chance, you figure that much is evident, but you’ll never give up on kurokocchi. you will always see him, no matter what, you will always side with him and support him and you will never let him feel like less than he is, which is absolutely amazing. and kagami’s helping him show his talents even more, so you can’t be too upset at the two of them. still bitter, you suppose, but there are more things important in the world than being bitter because you fucked up your own chances, so you let it pass.
supporting the seirin team is important to you now, especially since kagamicchi’s goal is to take down each member of the generation of miracles, one game at a time in the preliminaries, and the crazy thing is that him and kurokocchi? they’re actually doing it.
you’re at their games, watching alongside yukio, then alongside midorimacchi--analyzing their every move in wonder and excitement. you want them to win, and when they’re up against aominecchi...despite the fact that you care so deeply for aomine, you still want him to lose. you remember seeing him for the first time, watching aomine in action is like watching a masterpiece and seeing kurokocchi and him challenge each other brings back all of the feelings you have, you want to be close with them again, more than anything. you wish that the generation of miracles hadn’t parted ways, you wish that the 6 of you had learned to be a real team, and not just 6 individuals with exceptional skill. it sucks.
and seirin lost. horribly. destroyed by aomine, and you worry about kurokocchi and how he’ll handle it, how he’ll bounce back from going up against his past.
it’s your turn to go against touou, the inter-high games--and you’re nervous to go up against aominecchi, you used to play one-on-one with him all the time, and you never ever won. you know he must be excited, he wants to crush you, and you want to give him a proper challenge. you’re not so easily crushed.
”i’m just hoping to beat aominecchi for the first time! i’ll win, even if it kills me.”
you’re beating him by the end of the first quarter. 18 to 13. you’re not going to get cocky, aomine gets better as the game goes on, and you’re worried. you don’t let kaijo get ahead of themselves, you haven’t won yet. you know aomine better than anyone, but aominecchi knows you better than anyone, and his agility is out of this world--the second quarter starts and you know you’re in trouble.
damnit. he’s so freaking cool.
once you look up to someone, you can’t overtake them.
that’s why you can’t copy his move. and while you wanted to win, ....you also...didn’t want aominecchi to lose. that’s why, it seems so simple now--you just had to stop looking up to him.
kurokocchi sees you outside during half time, you want him to be there to cheer you on, but he’s not cheering you on in the same way you did for him, you think. but he smiles softly at you, "as long as you don’t give up, anything could happen. and i don’t think either of you will give up. so....i don’t think it would be strange if either of you won.”
his words and you dropping your idolizing of aominecchi works. you give up on looking at aomine’s skills as unattainable, and you’re picking up everything he does, every little motion, every turn of his foot, and you’re beating him. the only one who can beat me, is me. but you’re that ‘me’, he’s talking about. you’ve got to be. but he’s got four fouls and you didn’t want this to be the way you got ahead. in the score, kaijo is still behind, but only by 9 points and you look at aominecchi with sadness in your eyes because this doesn’t feel fair anymore. he can’t play as aggressively anymore, he’ll be taken out of the game and that’s not a victory you want. and you feel like you’re finally part of a team, you’re finally understanding what kurokocchi had been saying all along, and you want to win but.
you have too many weaknesses. kurokocchi. aominecchi. it’s hard to win when you’re rooting for them too.
but aominecchi isn’t the type to give up, kurokocchi said it himself too. so when aomine’s attacks are no less aggressive than they’ve always been, and he blocks you from slam dunking--you smile. you want a fair fight. you don’t want him to go easy on you. he tells you to not be so concerned for him, and you feel like this could be it. you could actually beat him, once and for all. in front of a stadium of people, at the inter-high, in front of kurokocchi, kagamicchi--seirin who’d lost against aominecchi a few days prior.
but you lose.
you did everything you could, each time aominecchi scored, you did the same; but it was too late. aominecchi pushed you to the ground after scoring his final slam dunk and you couldn’t even bring yourself to stand. you were weak. you’ve always been too weak. and you felt tears forming and fall down your cheek as your captain lifted you up and helped to walk you off the court. you’d failed.
and yet, you'll see aominecchi again in the winter cup. and you’re a quick learner. luck wasn't on your side, but winter isn't that far off. and in the end, you think aominecchi is wrong. basketball isn't all about winning. it's about working together with a team, it's about having fun and enjoying yourself. he's wrong.