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Softer than Before (All the Second Chances)

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Taiga finds Aomine on the court outside their apartment building. He hears him before he can see him -- the rhythmic thock... thock... thock of a basketball against hard ground, a sound Taiga will forever associate with Los Angeles streets, the relentless heat of midsummer asphalt baking right through the soles of his high-tops if he stands still long enough.

Aomine is mid-throw when Taiga emerges onto the court. He notices Taiga, still makes the shot, and runs to retrieve the ball as it bounces away towards the fence.

"How about a one on one?" Aomine asks, passing him the ball. "We haven't gone at it in a while."

Taiga catches the ball but doesn't move. "Are you going to quit the team?"

Aomine shrugs. "We'll see. Are you game or what?"

"Later," Taiga says, returning the ball. "It's my mom's birthday so I have to call her before I forget." We'll see? Is he really that hung up on his lone-wolf play style? The coach was right; we aren't kids any more.

Upstairs, Kuroko's lying on the sofa with his legs slung over the back, leafing through a science fiction magazine. Nigou bounds up to greet Taiga, or maybe just to drool on his shorts; Taiga doesn't understand dog psychology.

"He's taking it pretty well," Taiga says, scratching Nigou behind the ears. "I thought he'd be stomping around the apartment yelling about being the best thing since fried tofu."

"You don't give Aomine-kun enough credit," Kuroko says, setting the magazine aside and looking straight at Taiga. His face looks really weird upside down. "He just likes to push people to their limit to find out where it is."

"What's your relationship with him, really?" Taiga asks before he can think. Oh, shit.

Kuroko eases his legs off the back of the couch and sits up straight. "What do you mean?"

"I mean, uh. Remember how you said to have a look at his box of porn? He's got photos of you in it. A whole album." What the hell am I doing? "They looked like private photos, so I only saw a couple." I am also a fucking liar.

"He still has those," Kuroko says, no longer looking at Taiga. There's that tiny, secret smile that Taiga wishes would appear when Kuroko thinks about him.

"I'm sorry. It was none of my business," Taiga says, retreating to the bedroom to make the call to his mother and nearly tripping over Nigou, who gives him a sardonic sort of look.


When he comes back out, Kuroko's no longer on the couch. Relieved, Taiga goes out on the balcony.

He means to just check if Aomine's still there before joining him, but instead he is spellbound, watching Aomine score basket after basket. The sun has melted into dusk, and sometimes Aomine's dark-clad figure disappears in the shadows of the trees. Then the ball sails out of thin air and clears the basket every time. He's so fucking good at this.

The automatic playground lights buzz into life, vanishing the shadows from the ground. Aomine dribbles out to the far end of the court, tenses and shoots across the blacktop. The ball rebounds and Aomine sprints for it, legs gleaming with sweat, gaze focused. He's a bullet, relentless and sure, and he jams the ball back into the basket with time to spare. He's so fucking hot. Taiga's mouth is dry, his heart rate's up, and he can't stop staring.

"You like watching Aomine-kun, don't you?"

"When the hell did you get here?" Taiga splutters at Kuroko, who's right beside him. It's been a while since this happened.

"I've been here the whole time. I like watching him, too."

Taiga watches Kuroko's pale blue eyes following Aomine and recognises the expression far too well. His heartbeat stutters. "Kuroko?"


"Do you remember our high school graduation party?" He's panicking. He's totally panicking, because as much as he wants them both, he doesn't want to lose Kuroko to Aomine. Why did I have to bring up those stupid photos?

"How would I remember that? I got illegally drunk and passed out on your couch, Kagami-kun. Sorry again for the trouble."

"No, that's not how I meant it. I wanna tell you about something that happened--"

"Yo, shitheads! Come down here, let's have a two-on-one," Aomine calls, waving.

The conversation is immediately over, because what Aomine wants, Aomine gets; Taiga and Kuroko have endured far too many of his foul moods to deny him anything except a break from dish-washing. Taiga does it because no matter how much they fight, no matter that nothing he does will ever make Aomine smile, he's in love with Aomine. He's never been sure why Kuroko did it, but now he understands.

It's kind of killing him.

He and Kuroko lose badly to Aomine, and Taiga knows he can't go on like this. It's the first time his feelings have interfered with the game; he had no focus, no drive, just intense desire to stand in the middle of the court and shout I love you both, you fucking bastards at the sky like some hackneyed manga character: tall, dark, and desperate.

He's not yet sure if he's going to follow Aomine and Kuroko into professional basketball after university or do what his old man expects and manage the family business in Japan, but either way, nothing is allowed to come between Taiga and basketball. Not even these two.

He wishes he could be a person whose affections aren't equally split between two very different people. He wishes he didn't choose to live with these particular people. But he's a grown-ass man and he can take responsibility for ridding his life of childish fantasies. Those have a way of disappearing if they're not entertained or if a different outlet is found for them.

In other words, it's time for Taiga to find a real boyfriend.


The next day, Taiga awakens after a nice Sunday nap and gets up to grab a drink, but when he's about to step into the hallway, he sees Kuroko and Aomine in the living room. Aomine's embrace is practically lifting Kuroko off the floor, and they're obviously about to kiss.

Taiga ducks to his left, out of sight, presses his back to the wall and quietly inches towards the corner of the room so his shadow doesn't fall across the entryway. Why the fuck did I tell Kuroko about the photo album?

He's not even jealous. He expected to be, but all his bitterness is because he's not with them, not because they're together.

For all the years of secretly, pathetically wanting them both, until yesterday he never thought about what would happen if the two of them got together without him. It never seemed relevant, not even after he found the album. Aomine slept with everything that moved, and Kuroko had Momoi, at least until she left for the Philippines last month. Whatever happened between the two of them in middle school had to be in the past, or why would they bother with anyone but each other?

"What is it?" Aomine asks, his voice gruff. "Didn't you just tell me you wanted this?"

Taiga shrinks deeper into the corner and considers tiptoeing along the adjoining wall to return to the futon and feign sleep. But then he won't hear them clearly, and he really wants to, even if he's sure they're going to break his heart. Maybe because he wants it broken.

"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."

Taiga's heart begins to pound so heavily that he moves away from the wall so it doesn't reverberate. Did Kuroko just say what I think he said?

Aomine snorts laughter, and Taiga's stomach churns in anticipation of crushing disappointment.

"Are you kidding?" Aomine murmurs. "I've wanted him since I met him."

Taiga's pretty sure his jaw has hit the floor because he can't feel it.

"... surprising," Kuroko continues a sentence Taiga missed. "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."

"Like Momoi-san?"

"Like you."

They fall silent. Taiga hears whispers of cloth, soft wet noises, little moans. And now he's jealous, maybe even jealous enough to walk out and put a fucking stop to it.

Nigou pads into the room and up to Taiga, wags his tail with a doggy grin, and barks a greeting.

"Traitor," Taiga mutters, sinking down to the floor in his corner and hiding his face in his hands for a moment, wishing he could disappear completely.

"Kagami-kun, listening at doors is a very bad habit," Kuroko says as he pokes his head through the doorway. Nigou barks again and trots over for a pat on the head.

"I wasn't intending to listen, you jerk," Taiga says, looking up at Kuroko. "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?"

Kuroko doesn't answer his question. Instead, he says, "It's a good thing you heard us; that makes everything easier. Aomine-kun is bad at talking about his feelings."

"Stop speaking for me, Tetsu, it's annoying. As if I have feelings for this asshole." Aomine steps around Kuroko and leans against the wall, glaring at Taiga, who is still on the floor.

"You talk big for someone who just admitted he's wanted me for years," Taiga snaps, glaring back as he rises.

"You must have a really shitty love life if you think wanting you means I have feelings for you," Aomine snarls. "Tetsu's the one I--"

"That won't do, Aomine-kun," Kuroko interrupts him, moving out from behind Aomine's back. "If you won't be honest, I don't think we should get involved like this."

"Fine! Then we won't. See if I give a fuck."

Aomine starts to walk away, but Taiga grabs his T-shirt and forces him around. "I've been in love with you since high school." He looks at Kuroko. "Both of you."

Before he can register Kuroko's reaction, Aomine slams Taiga's back against the wall and takes his free hand, lacing their fingers together. "Why," he breathes, his lips moving against the side of Taiga's face, "would you keep quiet about something like that, huh?"

Taiga doesn't know what to say, but Aomine seems to want no answer; his mouth is already on Taiga's mouth, and there's none of Kuroko's sweet patience here -- Aomine's tongue pushes and slides against Taiga's tongue; the sensation is electric, terrifying, berserk -- it's everything Taiga imagined. Taiga's grip on Aomine's shirt tightens until he thinks he might rip it, but he doesn't let go.

Aomine pulls back and looks at Taiga with the air of a small child admiring his very first drawing. He prises Taiga's hand away from his shirt and moves it down, presses Taiga's palm forcefully against his crotch and grinds against it.

"Doesn't take much, does it?" Taiga says with what he hopes is a condescending smirk worthy of Aomine himself, but his heart is racing at the feel of Aomine's hard dick beneath the thick fabric, and he wants to see about getting rid of the material.

"Like you're any different," Aomine says with a snort, glancing at the bulge in Taiga's shorts.

Kuroko steps between them, and Taiga's hand drops to his side, palm still full of Aomine's warmth. His other hand remains linked with Aomine's.

"Kagami-kun," Kuroko says, gazing up at Taiga, and Taiga bends his head to kiss him, finally, after months of agonising total recall, and it's every bit as amazing as he remembers. Kuroko puts his hands on Taiga's neck, pulling him down, his kisses deeper with every breath. Taiga drops Aomine's hand, puts both his arms around Kuroko, lifts him off the ground, and returns every kiss with the passion he didn't dare show him that drunken night.

He's vaguely aware of Aomine kissing the top of Kuroko's head, then Aomine gets behind Taiga, slides large warm hands under his shirt, tugs casually at the drawstring knot on his shorts, smooths the fabric down his thighs, presses both thumbs underneath his buttocks -- teasing, fleeting movements, relentless and unpredictable like Aomine himself.

Nigou barks happily, bouncing around their legs as if this is all a fun new game and he's the key player.

"Oh, that won't do at all," Kuroko says, extricating himself. He picks Nigou up and carries him into the hallway, sliding the door closed on an outraged series of barks.

"It's not a good idea to let your pets watch you having sex," Kuroko explains, removing his T-shirt.

"Sex?" Taiga blurts. "Right now?" Behind the door, Nigou gives a weepy little whimper as if he knows what sex is and is very sorry to be missing it.

"Why, do you wanna swap diaries for a few weeks to see if we're compatible?" Aomine asks, stripping off his own shirt and tossing it backwards. It lands on top of the dresser.

He whips Taiga around by his shoulders and lifts Taiga's hand to his bare chest. His heartbeat races through Taiga's fingers, a soft staccato. Taiga flushes, and Aomine grabs his ass, pulls him in, kisses him, moving against him in a slow grind that sets Taiga's guts ablaze. He then flips Taiga the other way around and presses up against his back, powerful arms locking across Taiga's chest.

Kuroko's in front of Taiga again -- when did he get there? -- and he places Taiga's hands on his shoulders and rises on his toes for a kiss, all tongue and no nonsense, slim fingers sliding down Taiga's forearms, trailing gooseflesh in their wake. Taiga's sure he's dreaming. Aomine's chest is snug against his back, his hands firm on Taiga's hips as he rocks forward. Aomine's erection against his buttocks makes Taiga gasp against Kuroko's mouth, and he squeezes Kuroko's shoulders reflexively.

"Aomine-kun," Kuroko says in a steely tone. "Control yourself."

To Taiga's astonishment, Aomine subsides; he reaches around Taiga's midsection to tug Kuroko closer until he's right up against Taiga. Kuroko's hair smells green apple-y, like that stuff he uses to tame it. Kuroko jerks Taiga's shirt up to his neck and lets Aomine take it from there while he presses open-mouthed kisses to Taiga's chest, pushing his belly out against Taiga's dick, rubbing against it, his hands curled softly against Taiga's sides, right up against his ribcage, just on the edge of a tickle.

Aomine tongues the side of Taiga's neck and Taiga tips his face towards him, meeting that smirking teasing mouth in an awkward sideways kiss that's just south of overstimulation. Taiga fights back a moan, and Aomine relents, but then Kuroko scrapes the skin beneath Taiga's left nipple with his teeth, and Taiga does moan, thrusting against Kuroko's belly, forgetting whose hands are where, eyes shutting, head falling back onto Aomine's shoulder, burying his fingers in Kuroko's hair and groping blindly with his other hand until he finds Aomine's hip and tries to pull him even closer.

Aomine mouths at Taiga's earlobe for another shock down his spine. "I want you in me." It's half a growl, deep in his chest, and Taiga shivers. In? As in, inside his body? Aomine wants me to--?

"You-- you like that?" he asks lamely, not sure what the technical term is. "I thought you'd want to um, put it in." He cranes his neck to look at Aomine, whose mouth hovers close to Taiga's shoulder, not quite touching it.

"Why would I want to do the same thing with guys that I do with women? That's boring," Aomine says, and a slow smirk blossoms on his lips. "And if I didn't like it, I wouldn't do it. So how about it?"

Taiga nods weakly, and Aomine sinks his teeth into Taiga's skin, not deep enough to hurt but hard enough to make him whimper. Kuroko steps back and stares at the tent in Taiga's shorts. Please don't touch it; I'll come if you touch it and that will be so embarrassing.

Kuroko touches it.

Taiga doesn't come, but it's a near thing.

"I think we'll have to do something about this first," Kuroko says, cupping his palm over the head of Taiga's cock, squeezing his foreskin over it right through the shorts. "Wow, I can feel how wet you are, even like this."

Taiga draws back with a sharp intake of breath. "Is the narration really necessary?" he mumbles.

"Piece of advice," Aomine whispers to him. "Don't contradict him when he's like this. He'll make you cry."

"Not today," Kuroko says distractedly, easing Taiga's shorts and boxers off, letting them drop to the floor.

Aomine leans over Taiga's shoulder to look down at him. "That's a nice colour on you," he says, squeezing Taiga's hips with both hands. Taiga's face burns; he's never felt this vulnerable. Aomine's cock is pressed up between his ass cheeks, hot even through his cargos, and Taiga rocks backwards into him, delighted as a tiny gasp flies from Aomine's lips.

"Oh, is that how you want it?" Aomine murmurs, regaining his composure and pushing harder.

Taiga's silent -- he does want it, his every fantasy's been full of it, full of Aomine fucking him, but the idea of fucking Aomine has already found a comfortable place inside his lizard brain; he doesn't want to give it up. But he's never gone past heavy petting, plus that confused blow job at fifteen -- what if he's awful, what if he hurts Aomine?

In the meantime, Kuroko has unbuttoned his own pants and folded them by the door, with his T-shirt. His boxers follow, and when he turns around, Taiga can only stare. It's not that Kuroko's big when erect -- he's about the same size as Taiga, but Taiga's height approaches two metres and Kuroko's, well, doesn't. He was packing that all along? "How do you even keep that thing upright?"

Kuroko flashes him one of those secret grins. "Aomine-kun," he says in a low voice.

Aomine's left hand slips forward on Taiga's hip, his fingers curl around the base of Taiga's cock, gripping him tightly between thumb and forefinger as the rest of his fingers trail down over Taiga's balls in soft, lazy strokes. Taiga clenches his jaw and sucks air through his nose, looking away: if he looks, he'll be lost.

Something sticky-wet brushes against his thigh, and then Kuroko presses close to him, his skin cool against Taiga's. His hand joins Aomine's on Taiga's dick, working the head while Aomine does the root, and Taiga would come but Kuroko's grip is too tight. Taiga remembers that he has arms -- which currently hang slack at his sides -- and forgets them again as Kuroko's tongue flicks against his left nipple. Taiga moans.

"Looks like you found something interesting, Tetsu," Aomine says over Taiga's shoulder and lifts his free hand to tweak his other nipple, brushing his thumb across it as hardens. Taiga's spine runs hot then cold as Kuroko comes back for another lick. Taiga tries to move, but Aomine's trapped him; he makes a noise eerily similar to Nigou's earlier whimper.

Kuroko's blue eyes meet his, and the bastard is smiling.

"Told you he'd make you cry," Aomine breathes.

Taiga doesn't have time to react; Kuroko drops easily to his knees, bats Aomine's hand away, and draws Taiga's dick into his mouth. It's half in before Taiga remembers that breathing is a thing required of him, and then his breath rushes out as Kuroko's tongue works over the head of his cock before he moves again, taking Taiga deeper this time, his lips tight and tongue now flat, now curling against the underside of Taiga's cock.

Taiga can't look away. The fierce look in Kuroko's eyes demands his full attention, and everything fades -- whatever neighbours might be listening, that this has changed everything, the room, the building, the campus beyond, the entire damn town. All that exists are Aomine's firm chest against his back and his steadying hands, and Kuroko's warm mouth and clever tongue and unrelenting eyes. Aomine's teeth graze Taiga's ear as he whispers, "Let go."

Taiga does, shuddering as he comes, pulse after pulse that seem endless for one magical instant. Aomine hooks his forearm around Taiga's neck, palms his cheek and kisses him as Taiga gasps wetly, knees buckling, legs trembling with the effort to remain upright as Kuroko's mouth coaxes the last of his pleasure out of him.

"You just made the hottest face," Aomine says, his voice a slow drip of honey through the chaos in Taiga's mind. "I want to be the one to make you show that face next time, so let's have you fuck me, after all."

Taiga swallows, exhales, and trips over his shorts towards the wall, where he sinks down with his back against the mercifully cool wallpaper. "Give me ten minutes, will you? Damn."

"Oi, Tetsu, you took such good care of this guy that he forgot how to speak Japanese."

Taiga looks up with a start. "Did I?"

Kuroko sits down next to him. "You spoke English just now. Is ten minutes all you need?"

Taiga stares into Kuroko's lap, at the head of Kuroko's cock peeking out from beneath his foreskin, wills his body to react, but it's useless. His thighs feel like soup; he doubts he can even walk. "I guess," he says. "Maybe fifteen."

"Make it five and I'll give you a blowjob too," Aomine says over his shoulder. He's gone over to the dresser and is rummaging in his drawer. "I knew it was here somewhere."

He saunters back to them and drops what he found next to Kuroko: a clear bottle of pink liquid -- or a pink bottle of clear liquid, Taiga can never tell the difference -- and a pack of condoms. Let's have you fuck me. Taiga's knees tremble though he's sitting down.

Aomine stands in front of them and undoes the top button on his pants, then the zipper.

"Oh, did you learn that trick with your hips?" Kuroko asks. "Where you shake them and your pants fall off?" Taiga looks at him, a little disbelieving -- his expression and tone are flat as usual, as if he isn't rocking a massive hard-on and didn't just bring Taiga off with that mouth.

"Idiot," Aomine says. "Like I'd actually learn something like that." He pushes the cargos down with his plain old hands and tosses them aside. His boxers follow; those land at the head of Taiga's futon.

Aomine's cock has a slight curve to it, so it makes a slight C shape outward from his belly. Taiga's groin tingles, but he can't be sure if it's new lust or afterglow. He is sure that Aomine is even hotter than he imagined. Most people look kind of funny and a bit pathetic when they're naked, but not Aomine -- he's as arresting as on the court: masterful, graceful, beautiful.

Taiga glances at Kuroko, whose indifferent expression has morphed into a glaze-eyed stare.

"Aomine-kun," Kuroko says, beckoning, and before Taiga can blink, Aomine's on top of Kuroko, kneeling between his legs and pushing his knees farther apart. Kuroko puts a hand on top of Taiga's on the tatami, squeezes it, and draws Aomine in with his other hand.

Watching them kiss gives Taiga a complicated, unnamable feeling. Eighty per cent of him relishes the sight of their mouths joined, at the way Aomine occasionally pulls back and has Kuroko suck the tip of his tongue. The other twenty per cent feels left out, sullen; it wants desperately to try and join them, though it's pretty much impossible for three people to share one kiss. I'll never know until I try, right?

Aomine licks Kuroko's neck, kisses a path down his chest, then scoots backwards a bit and dips his head down to Kuroko's dick, planting sloppy kisses on top of it then teasing the foreskin down with just his tongue. He's moved his hands down Kuroko's thighs, laying him open; one of Kuroko's knees is pressing up against Taiga's side.

Kuroko's breathing grows heavy, his eyelids droop, and his hand on top of Taiga's squeezes and lets go in a rhythm that matches the movements of Aomine's mouth. Taiga's throat dries and his heartbeat quickens; it hasn't even been ten minutes but he's stiffening -- his groin is vaguely achy in protest, not ready, but he can't help it.

He's fascinated by Aomine's every move: the way his tongue curls slick against Kuroko's cock, the way his shoulder muscles play beneath his skin, the way his ass rises every time his head lowers, the way his fingers dig into Kuroko's soft thighs. Aomine lifts his head to look at Taiga, and he wears the look of a big cat disturbed at feeding time; his eyes sharp, his mouth shining wetly as he licks his lips.

"That was quick," Aomine says, noticing where Taiga's hand is, and his voice turns growly again. "I think he wants some of this, Tetsu." He looks at Kuroko for confirmation and gets a tiny nod.

Again Aomine moves faster than Taiga can react; before he can protest that he isn't ready for anything major yet, Aomine's mouth is on his; Taiga tastes the sticky wetness on his tongue -- Kuroko -- and his cock grows harder. Aomine rubs the head between two fingers, and it's Taiga's turn to squeeze Kuroko's hand.

"Tetsu, make me ready," Aomine grunts, tearing his mouth away from Taiga's.

"Ready?" Taiga asks stupidly. Oh. The lube and stuff.

Kuroko pauses in picking up the pink bottle. "Kagami-kun, you're a virgin, aren't you?"

"What's that got to do with anything, stupid? Of course I'm not," Taiga says, blushing. Just because I've never done anal doesn't make me a virgin. Lots of guys never do that at all.

Kuroko crawls over and sits a little ways behind Aomine. "You're a terrible liar, Kagami-kun."

Aomine licks his lower lip and leers at Taiga. "That makes me even more excited for some reason."

"You just enjoy corrupting people," Kuroko remarks. "Get closer."

Aomine obediently moves backwards so his face is level with Taiga's dick, which has in the meantime achieved full lift-off. "Whose fault is that?"

"Yours, obviously," Taiga says. He's seen enough to understand who's in charge, but his loyalty to Kuroko is too strong to be swayed by evidence.

Aomine looks up from studying Taiga's cock up close. "Hey, you don't know anything about this guy. He--"

"Can it, Aomine-kun," Kuroko says sweetly, grabs Aomine's hips, tugs him up, spreads his ass and leans in. Taiga can't see clearly what he's doing, but he can guess from Aomine's contented moan as he buries his face in Taiga's crotch.

"Fuuuck, Tetsu," Aomine moans again, craning his neck to try and look.

Kuroko reemerges, picks up the lube and pours a generous dollop down Aomine's crack. He's half-smiling in that impish way again, and Taiga's actually a little intimidated. Then Aomine presses his lips to the side of Taiga's dick, distracting him.

"Ugh, Aomine-kun," Kuroko's voice is muffled. "This stuff tastes like fake strawberries."

Aomine and Taiga are engaged in a staring contest while Aomine does unspeakable things to him with his tongue, lips, and even teeth. "I'll buy you whatever flavour you want next time," Aomine breathes, pressing the tip of his tongue against Taiga's slit. "Just don't stop." He swallows Taiga's cock and that's the end of the staring contest; Taiga throws his head back as his hands seek purchase; if Aomine keeps this up, Kuroko might have to step in for Taiga on the fucking front.

As requested, Kuroko doesn't stop, and soon Aomine takes on a desperate, hunted, wild-eyed look; he's no longer playing with Taiga's dick, he's sucking it, sloppy and uneven, as though he can't focus. He bites into Taiga's thigh, sending a shiver through Taiga's whole body, blindly paws at the ground next to Taiga until he finds the condom packets.

He rips one open with his teeth. "Tetsu, no more." There's command in his voice now, urgency, and as he slides the condom onto Taiga's dick, he's got Zone eyes. How the hell am I ever supposed to play seriously against him? I'll never be able to forget this.

Aomine kneels on either side of Taiga; Kuroko's hand pinches the condom ring at the base of Taiga's dick, steadying it while Aomine lowers himself onto it, watching Taiga's face greedily. The pressure and heat of him are unbelievable; it takes all of Taiga's willpower not to move, to let Aomine set his own pace -- he's no biology major but this has to be painful. Then Aomine's all the way down, and Kuroko pushes Taiga's knees up to support Aomine as he leans back.

"Shit, it's been a while," Aomine says with a shaky laugh, wiping sweat from his face. He rises slightly, back sliding against Taiga's thighs, sinks down again for a thrust that's shallow but enough to make Taiga squeak. Aomine's supporting himself with his legs alone; his arms can't brace against the floor comfortably. How do guys who aren't in top physical shape even do this kind of thing?

Taiga holds out his forearms for Aomine to grab onto; Aomine accepts the left but guides the right towards his own cock. Taiga folds his fingers around the soft damp skin and squeezes, drawing a new kind of moan from Aomine's throat. Taiga stares at Aomine's powerful leg muscles working as he rises off Taiga's cock, a little higher this time, and back, and again, until they find a rhythm and Taiga's composure begins to crumble.

"Tetsu, come here," Aomine rasps, turning his head to the right. "I want your dick."

Kuroko's already there, using one hand to keep Aomine's head steady and the other to guide his cock into Aomine's mouth. Taiga's lower body quakes; he's not going to last this time, either -- it's too much at once, being ridden and watching Aomine suck Kuroko off in that same sloppy, messy way he was sucking Taiga earlier. The thin cord of muscle that rises on Aomine's neck, Kuroko's dark-flushed chest, the heavy warmth of Aomine's cock in Taiga's hand -- Taiga shuts his eyes but can't keep them closed; he wants to see everything.

His eyes meet Kuroko's but find glossy distance. Aomine's breaths are ragged; he's having trouble keeping Kuroko's cock in his mouth as he begins to lean forward so Taiga's hand puts more pressure on his cock.

"Kuroko," Taiga says, half the name swallowed in a gasp as he slides into Aomine again. "Let me do it."

Aomine's bracing hand tightens on Taiga's forearm as if in protest, but Kuroko steps over Taiga, facing him, and pushes his cock wordlessly against Taiga's lips. Taiga's got no hands free to steady it, no control, but he trusts Kuroko, and besides, he's only done this once before unless that one time with the banana counts, and it's better if Kuroko calls the shots. He opens as wide as he can, and Kuroko leans in slightly, supporting his weight on the wall with one forearm. He groans softly as he fucks Taiga's mouth with short, shallow thrusts, his movements growing jerky and frantic.

"Aomine-kun," Kuroko gasps. "Kagami-kun -- I'm -- I can't!" His cock pulses against Taiga's lips, and Taiga's mouth floods with bitterness.

Taiga loses it. His body goes rigid and he squeezes Aomine's cock hard as he comes with so much force that his ass arcs off the floor and drives him deeper into Aomine, who hisses and quickens his pace. Moments later, as Taiga's entire body is buzzing with the aftershock, Aomine gives a low moan and his come slips warm and viscid over Taiga's knuckles. He slides forward, off Taiga's dick, and throws his arms around Kuroko's waist to steady himself. Kuroko puts a hand on Aomine's forearm, and then his knees give and he eases himself down into Taiga's lap, rests his head on Taiga's chest. Taiga can't tell how long they stay like that, but he wishes they would forever, at least until his legs begin to fall asleep.

"You guys are heavy," he says into Kuroko's hair, gazing into the corner where less than an hour ago he sat listening to their kisses and feeling sorry for himself.

"Wimp," Aomine complains, rising on his knees and lifting himself upright. "I'm gonna have a nap."

Taiga watches him totter to Taiga's futon, thinks about complaining, but decides that making Aomine get his own futon out of the closet would be cruel. Bedding covered in bodily fluids is a small sacrifice for the best sex of Taiga's short life.

"Don't take it personally," Kuroko murmurs. With Aomine gone, the weight across Taiga's lap is negligible and his leg muscles are no longer stinging. "He always gets sleepy right after."

"It's okay," Taiga says. "I'm not twelve; he's not hurting my delicate feelings." He always gets sleepy, huh? He wishes he had the courage to ask about their past.

Stretched out on Taiga's futon, Aomine grumbles something indistinct, and then he's asleep. Taiga gets up with some difficulty and goes into the bathroom to wash Aomine's come off his hand and lower belly.

When he comes back, he sits back down next to Kuroko, who looks up into Taiga's face and gives him that private, slow smile again. Taiga puts an arm around his neck and pulls him close, pressing Kuroko's sweaty cheek against his chest. He wants to say something, but can't think of anything good.

He meets Kuroko's eyes. "How long have you known? About me, I mean." It's so obvious to him now that Kuroko knew all along; he wonders how he didn't realise it sooner. Kuroko understands people; of course he would have noticed Taiga mooning after him.

"Since second year," Kuroko says. "I always wondered why you didn't say anything. I wanted you to." He peels his face away from Taiga's chest and relaxes against the wall with Taiga's arm supporting his neck.

"Why didn't you say something?" Taiga asks, tilting his head to the side so he can see Kuroko.

"I wanted to but it never felt right. Then, at the graduation party--" Kuroko stops speaking abruptly and averts his eyes.

"Did you lie about not remembering anything after the graduation party?" Taiga has suspected this since their aborted conversation on the balcony last night.

Kuroko sighs. "I did."

"Why?" Taiga leans closer, reaches to tilt Kuroko's face toward him and gives him a slow kiss. "It was nice."

"I only did it because I was jealous of Aomine-kun," Kuroko says, flushing as he eases Taiga's hand away from his cheek. "I didn't realise how you felt about him until he followed us here back in March, and even then I wasn't sure. When he showed up at the party, I saw the face you made when you noticed his woman. I got angry. That's why I drank so much. I thought I was misreading you all along, that when you looked at me you just saw me as someone who can get you close to Aomine-kun. I didn't want Aomine-kun to have you."

"So why didn't you just-- I dunno. Steal me, I guess?" Taiga asks, peering at Aomine, who's snoring softly.

"Because I didn't want to make your decision for you. Besides, I'm not exactly indifferent to Aomine-kun, either."

"I don't think it's possible to be indifferent to him," Taiga observes.

"I guess what I'm trying to say is that I knew it had to be all three of us," Kuroko concludes.

"How can you say that with a completely straight face? Having feelings for more than one person, that's," -- Taiga searches for a concept and can only come up with something he learned in class -- "statistically insignificant! I mean, what are the chances?"

"In that case we're very lucky, aren't we?" Kuroko says.

"I'm not saying we aren't lucky. I'm just saying that it's not normal to be as calm about it as you are."

"I don't think it's statistically insignificant," Kuroko says. "I think many people fall for more than one person, then force themselves to choose because that's what we're supposed to do. If I was interested in doing only what I'm supposed to, with my body type I would've been better off as a train otaku, not a ball player. I think people being meant for each other in pairs is nonsense. Why can a person have ten friends he cares about equally, but not ten lovers he cares about equally?"

Taiga furrows his brow. "Well, friendship is different. Besides, everyone has a favourite friend."

"Who's yours?"

"You," Taiga says without hesitation. Kuroko points at the chain around his neck. "Well, and Tatsuya, I guess, but--"

"See what I mean?"

"I don't see, at all," Taiga protests. "I haven't even talked to Tatsuya in like a year. Last time I heard from him, he sent me a cat video."

"But if you and Himuro-kun met tomorrow, wouldn't you feel like you're talking to your favourite person?"

"I don't have those kinds of feelings for Tatsuya."

"Sure, but he's important enough for you to always wear that ring. So how can you say I'm your favourite friend? I gave you a wristband once, where is it?"

"I lost it," Taiga admits sullenly.

"Were you upset when you lost it?"

"Not really."

"Would you be upset if you lost--"

"Look, I get what you're trying to say, but the wristband wasn't a symbol of our friendship. You just gave it to me to try when I asked you why you wore them all the time. If you gave me something as a token, I'd wear it."

"All right," Kuroko says. "Tomorrow I'll buy you a Rilakkuma mask as a token of our friendship."

"Dumbass, I'd get kicked out of class for wearing something like that. Give me something that doesn't make me look like a lunatic. Anyway, the point is that the way I feel about your friendship and Tatsuya's is different."

"But it's still friendship. Sometimes you feel I'm your favourite, and sometimes, it's Himuro-kun, right? So you don't have one favourite. Your favourite changes depending on whatever goes through your head at the time."

"Yeah, but it's different. You're my friend, but I have, um. Feelings for you." He's not sure why it's making him flustered to talk about it after what they just did, but Taiga was never very good at this kind of thing.

"And you have the same feelings for Aomine-kun."

"Aomine isn't my friend," Taiga objects. "I never once thought of him as a friend."

Kuroko mumbles something that sound suspiciously like Bakagami. Taiga gives him a noogie. "And what was that you said about ten lovers?" he asks as Kuroko squirms away. "Is that how many you want?"

Kuroko's cheeks turn pink. "That was just an example. I am quite sure that two is my limit."

On the futon, Aomine grumbles, yawns, and props himself up on one elbow. "What are you jerks whispering about?"

"We were talking about our feelings, Aomine-kun," Kuroko says before Taiga can think of a lie.

Aomine sits up with a loud grunt and rubs the back of his neck. "I don't care as long as you keep me out of it. Next time, keep your voices even lower; I could've slept for an hour or two. Also, I'm starving," he adds and squares Taiga with a meaningful look. "Do your job and make me something."

"Attitude like that, there's only one thing I'll let you eat," Taiga says, glancing down at his crotch.

Aomine gives him an amused half-smirk. "Really, Kagami? You're giving me permission to chew on your dick?" He starts to crawl towards them, and Taiga's sorry he said anything, not because he's scared of retribution, but because Aomine's wincing slightly as he moves. I hurt him. Shit.

"How about we go out for some food," Kuroko says. "I could use a milkshake."

[to be continued]