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When We Beat Together

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In his experience, Kagami had never known someone who got quieter when drunk. And while it was true he neither drank a lot nor went near others while they were drunk, he did have a lot of classmates (in America particularly) who discussed the kinds of things their older siblings did under the influence. The red headed teen had heard enough “last friday night" stories to be quite content with never touching alcohol.

 

In Japan not many of his new teammates made habits of drinking, but it was hard to ignore them all insisting that Kagami come along to end their celebration shopping trip over their victory earlier that day; which was (not to toot his own horn or anything) mainly due to himself and Kuroko’s excellent duo work.

 

“Guys, really, I’m going to pass.." Kagami tries to casually blow them away and waves his hand. Coach and a few of the others groan and start off in excited protests again, most of which he can’t even begin to understand, but he gives them what he hopes is an apologetic grin.

 

“Kagami-kun should come."

 

The soft voice almost catches Kagami off guard until he remembers that Kuroko did spend the day with them instead of going home as he had originally planned. The short boy had been hanging back for the most part; tired from the game but also uninterested in the other’s fawning over each other when the group had taken over a whole dressing room for an impromptu fashion show.

 

In fact, until now Kagami wasn’t sure he had even spoken all day. He raised an eyebrow and fixed narrowed eyes down at his partner’s big ones. “Are you?" he jerked his chin towards the others. “Going with them, that is."

 

Kuroko blinks. He’s got that look on his face that somehow tells Kagami his whole answer- which boils down to just 'yes' and the redhead clicks his tongue. Somehow the idea of leaving Kuroko as the only sober one makes him uneasy. And a drunk Kuroko makes him even more so.

 

“Fine, fine." He sighs after a moment. “Let’s go. But if anyone throws up I am not cleaning it up."

 

And that was how one Kagami Taiga found himself rubbing his forehead as the second years reenacted a Lady Gaga music video and the freshmen took shots every time someone said don't do it on whatever TV show they were watching in Hyuga's living room.

 

He groaned again when he also realized he had lost Kuroko. Again.

 

"Guys," he called out above the music. "Where's Tetsuya?"

 

Riko flopped backwards on the couch, half managing to fall off, and waved her hand towards the ceiling. "Think he wen' upstairs." She answered vaguely. Kagami circled the furniture and situated her safely onto in.

 

"I'm here,"

 

Kagami looked over his shoulder. Kuroko was curled up on his side on the fireplace around several shot glasses and one half empty bottle of unidentifiable liquor. His eyes were closed and he looked a little paler than normal, save for the rosy colour all over his cheeks. The red haired boy gave Riko another check to be sure she wasn't about to roll off the couch before standing and approaching Kuroko. "How much did they give you?" He asked.

 

Kuroko shook his head in indication that he didn't know. A faint noise passed his lips. "Head hurts." He slurred out under his breath. His right hand was curled around the back of his neck but his left reached out towards the red head blindly. When his fingertips brushed over Kagami's sleeve of the shirt under his jersey he curled his grip around it and tugged lightly.

 

Kagami's eyes followed the movement curiously. "...Right. Do you want some water?" As he speaks he reaches over to pull the overflowing Pokémon shot glass out of Kuroko's other hand just as he presses it to his mouth. When had he even picked it up? "You need to stop." He grumbles to the smaller boy. Kuroko fixes him with a stare finally and it takes a moment to regain himself after the creepy, glassy way his blue eyes look due to the alcohol.

 

Kagami huffed a breath and stood. He stooped over and snatched up the bottle before his drunk friend could and took it into the kitchen to hide. "Guys, try not to pass out or kill anyone." On his way back to the fireplace he took the alcohol from everyone and hid it away, then turned off the stereo and lowered the television volume. After that his teammates were easy to chase into piles of blankets and pillows. Needless to say they remained noisy- laughing impossibly loud and commentating on every little thing on TV- but he viewed it as a victory anyway and sighed heavily as he collapsed into an armchair beside the fireplace.

 

"Kagami-kun,"

 

Kagami grunted. Something poked his arm and face alternatively. "Kagami-kun."

 

"What?" The red head bemoaned. "I've been dealing with these idiots all evening. I'm tired." His head lolled to the side.

 

A warm puff of air hit his face and he heard someone swallow. "Carry me home."

 

"Seriously, Tetsuya?"

 

"Yes. Kagami-kun is strong."

 

And that was when Kagami decided that Kuroko was the only person on the planet who talked less when full of alcohol. If this had been a sober conversation then the blue haired boy would have elaborated a bit. He rolled his eyes open, only to let out a squeak. A, mind you, very manly squeak. Kuroko's huge blue eyes filled his vision and he had to lean away so he could see his whole face. "You want me to take you home?" He clarified, now at a safe distance. Kuroko lazily nodded before sprawling on the arm rest. "Whatever." Kagami groaned. He pushed himself up. At least it would be quiet and much less of a headache to deal with just Kuroko than all of them for the night. "Guys I'm taking Tetsuya home. He's way drunk and I don't trust him here with you guys." He bent over and grappled at Kuroko's arms until he had enough of a grip to pull him up. The blue haired boy was jelly legged though and the whole thing turned into a rather amusing ordeal. When they finally were standing Kagami had just enough time to hear Riko and Hyūga exchange bets on if they were gonna end up in bed together before he threw open the door and then bent down to knock Kuroko at the waist over his shoulder. He called an irritated 'I'll call you guys to make sure no one died' before shutting the door behind him.

 

Kuroko mumbled some protests against the action as they made their way down the street but none of them were very intelligible, so Kagami ignored him and continued on. As the impaired boy’s house came into view, Kagami lowered him onto his own feet and asked him to dig out his keys so they could get in. Kuroko boredly did as told.

 

The front foyer was as neat as ever, until they stumbled in and the blue haired boy tried to slip off his basketball shoes as loosely as he normally would, only to end up flat on his face on the rug moments later.

 

“You know you’re useless as a drunk, right?"

 

“Everyone is." Kuroko mumbled into the plush. Kagami rolled his eyes.

 

“Whatever." And Kagami is left once again prying his teammate off of the floor and up to his feet, before proceeding to drag him towards the stairs.

 

"Wait, Kagami-kun." The words are soft and lazy and drunk but the tenderness there surprises Kagami enough that he leans back and stares down at the other boy. "Kaga.." Kuroko swallows. He slumped against Kagami. "Wanna be carried."

 

The red head arched an eyebrow; face screwed up in confusion. "Huh? Why?"

 

Kuroko grabbed at Kagami's shirt. "Carry me."

 

"Hey, hey!" The taller boy fights with the other's fingers until they end up in a mess. "Stop it. Why do you want to be- carried?"

 

The blue haired player pauses and blinks. "Kagami-kun is tall."

 

And slowly Kagami gets what Kuroko might be saying and he purses his lips. "...okay. Fine. You'll never make it up the stairs anyway." Kuroko's eyes sparked at his words, so Kagami feels bad for considering not doing it and crouches before he can change his mind. When the short boy hesitates he waves his hands in a gesture to his back. "Come on. I'll carry you up."

 

Kuroko climbs up, as instructed, and drapes his arms around Kagami’s shoulders for support when the taller boy stands up and grabs at the backs of his bare knees; under his basketball shorts so his fingers wouldn’t slip. He’s not surprised at how warm his partner is, given the amount of alcohol he consumed, but if his suspicion is correct the blue haired boy will probably be asking for a blanket soon anyway. Standing as well he can with someone on his back, Kagami begins to make his way up the stairs and down the hall.

 

“Always liked being tall."

 

Kagami raises an eyebrow curiously. “You’ve never been tall. Even if I threw you into a crowd of kindergarteners we would still lose you."

 

Kuroko’s arms grip slightly tighter around his shoulders. “Used to be. Sometimes.." he murmurs back; half asleep and half incoherent.

 

“You mean before everyone had growth spurts?" the red head teases under his breath.

 

“No. EKuroko sighs. “Aomine-kun."

 

And something about the way he says it makes the pieces click and Kagami draws his lips back in an expression of irritance. Seemed like everything somehow came back to that guy. All of Kuroko’s ticks and habits; as well as some of the things he liked and disliked. Aomine-kun showed me this. Aomine-kun makes eggs like this. They were stupid things to be jealous over, but sometimes Kagami can’t help the flare of possessiveness when Kuroko drops a simple line about Aomine without even batting an eye. He knows the short boy doesn’t do it on purpose, or to be malicious or anything, it just happens, but Kagami wishes Kuroko would understand that obviously Aomine didn’t still care about him the way Kuroko seems to.

 

“Well," Kagami starts, now at the top of the stairs. “Is that why you went with them?"

 

The smaller boy just hums in response at first. Kagami feels his forehead on the back of his neck. “Knew you wouldn’t otherwise."

 

“Probably not," Kagami admits, laughing despite himself. He almost hears Kuroko laugh too. “But how about not so much alcohol next time, okay?" His inner voice starts spouting about how he sounds like a mother- never mind how he feels like one- and how he shouldn’t be so concerned, but aside from the fact that Kuroko is a teammate, he’s also probably the closest thing to a friend Kagami has ever had. He can’t just leave him hanging- not after how he has worked so hard (and well) to help him achieve his goal of beating the Generation of Miracles. The finish line for that which is still far off, but they’re getting there.

 

“What?"

 

Kagami’s face burns with embarrassment, realizing he must have said something out loud while thinking. “Nothing." Kuroko wouldn’t remember it tomorrow anyway. He quickens his pace and kicks open Kuroko’s door when he gets to it, then turns and drops the boy onto the bed. “You need to sleep this off and drink a lot of water." he advises, headed back for the door.

 

“Where are you going?"

 

“To get you some water." Kagami explains, as if his teammate should know based on what he just said. “And a pill for the headache that you can take when you wake up." He stands there longer than he meant to, just watching Kuroko’s eyes flutter shut and his chest rise and fall under the white and red uniform. Just as he makes to leave the room, he hears him talk again and pauses- then leans back to peer around the doorframe. “What?"

 

“Stay."

 

Kagami blinks. “You need water, Tetsu.." he trailed off when his partner’s eyes open back up and stare at him, and he groans internally- knowing exactly what he’s asking. “Fine. I’ll get it when you fall asleep." Kuroko’s eyes get bright when Kagami flops into a chair by the bed, though he still looks slightly annoyed. Which is slightly more than he usually let himself look. “What?"

 

Instead of answering Kuroko reaches out a hand and waves it in Kagami’s direction. The red head narrows his eyes suspiciously, but leans forward until he is closer and then-

 

He chokes down some kind of grunt when Kuroko’s fingers jab into his side and then giggles as he rolls away and crawls to the other side of the bed. Kagami smirks and laughs darkly. Bent on revenge for being tricked, he crawled up after him and started to tickle his side- exposed from where his jersey had ridden up. Kuroko stuffed his face into the blankets, which were tangled around his kicking feet and his torso- muffling the giggles Kagami knew he was letting out.

 

After a few more minutes of that, Kagami moved away, figuring he had punished his companion enough, and sucked in a breath to prevent from laughing at how tousled Kuroko’s hair looked as he turned and peeked at him over his shoulder. “Stay." he repeated. His legs curled up slightly. Kagami sighed.

 

“Am I going to be attacked again?"

 

Kuroko shook his head. The taller boy let a smile out and adjusted so he could lay back on the bed beside Kuroko, curling his arms around his torso so he could pull him closer. Figuring he had nothing to lose anymore his fingers brushed up his hair at the nape of his neck and pressed his lips there lightly. He didn’t bother telling Kuroko he was going to stay and just pet at his hair as affectionately as he could bring himself to do. This wasn’t his forte- he doubted it ever would be, but the one he showed it to never complained and so he chose to believe he could be at least a little romantic in times like this.

 

Almost having fallen asleep, Kagami barely felt Kuroko shift a little in his arms a little while later and then the coolness he had learned as the blue haired player’s lips touched the corner of his own. “Thank you." he breathed.

 

Kagami grinned. He kept his eyes shut as he groped for the small of Kuroko’s back and tugged him back against him; head laying into the space just under his jaw. Part of him wanted to say something charming and sweet to send Kuroko off to a peaceful dream, but another part of him resigned to the fact that their relationship had worked so far without him being corny, and he didn’t need to start now (not that he thought he would have been able to come up with what to say anyway).

 

On that note, he managed to shut up his thoughts and pressed into the mattress; legs in a mess with Kuroko’s and not caring about how Riko and Hyuga had turned out to be right (in a way), and fell asleep.