I’ve been laughing at this ask for 15 minutes straight I’m so sorry.
They lost. Just like that. It wasn’t something hard to grasp. They didn’t win. They didn’t even get to top three. They lost. Seirin and Shuutoku were better. Just like that.
Kasamatsu didn’t cry. At least Kise didn’t see any traces of tears on his cheeks when the coach, Kasamatsu and other third years gathered on one side of the room, facing the 1st and 2nd years. Their captain stepped forward and gave a speech, so very Kasamatsu-like. Short, encouraging, every word soaked with pride. “You’ve done well. I’m proud of you. I’m proud to have been called your captain” Have been. Kise knew it was coming. Of course, there was no way it wouldn’t. Winter Cup was over for them. For the third years, it was the end of the adventure with the basketball club. He knew. He knew that. And yet still, when Kasamatsu told Hayakawa to step forward, when he wiped away Hayakawa’s tears with a gentle smile, whispered something that only made the 2nd year cry harder, pulled off Hayakawa’s shirt and then his own, before handing him the jersey with number 4 and said “As of today I am no longer your captain. As of today, we, third years, have graduated, and you guys, along with Hayakawa, your new captain, are the new Kaijou basketball team”. Kise knew this was coming. The end of his time with Kasamatsu. And yet. And yet he hoped it would last longer. He hoped, in the little time they have been given, in the short amount of one year, he hoped that he would be able to make Kasamatsu laugh, smile and taste the feeling of victory he oh so deserved. But it turned out to be just a dream, and it ended. Just like that.
They kept in touch. Kise texted him sometimes; not always, not every hour. He didn’t want to be a bother. Kasamatsu was gone from Kaijou, gone from the prefecture. Not exactly gone from Kise’s heart. But saying that would be weird and creepy. They didn’t break up, not officialy, but Kise assumed it would be over as soon as the other was gone. It’s not like they were ever officialy together anyway. It’s not like either of them said “I like you”. They just kissed, now and then. Held hands and hugged, now and then. Nothing more. Haven’t even switched to first names, like Kise was used to doing with all the girls’ he’s dated in the past. But Kasamatsu wasn’t a girl and he was unlike anyone Kise had ever dated. Perhaps because they weren’t dating in the first place. Perhaps because he was the only one to make his heart race so much. But they were over. Probably. Kise wasn’t used to being afraid of asking of such important things, of saying “I like you”, but it was hard to find a moment to be alone during the graduation, all the juniors crying and bidding farewell to their seniors. Kise wanted to pull him to the side, confess properly, but Kasamatsu was smiling easily, as if he was letting go of some terrible burden, and Kise was a bit afraid that burden might have been him. It’s not like they were going out. There was no point in troubling Kasamatsu over such a thing. They weren’t a couple.
Except maybe they were, after all, because when Kasamatsu came to visit with Moriyama and Kobori, he pulled Kise to the side where no one could see and gave him a light peck on the lips, a reluctant “I missed this” escaping his lips. And maybe they were a couple, after all, and maybe Kise should have never assumed that they weren’t, maybe he should have visited Kasamatsu during all of his weekends and make up for the kisses they couldn’t share during the weekdays.
Kaijou won the Inter High and placed 3rd during the Winter Cup when Hayakawa was the captain. In that year, Hayakawa has unexpectedly matured. Not to the point of being taken seriously 100% of the time, but he definitely felt more mature than a year ago. And just like last year, when it was Kasamatsu standing in front of Kise and the others, Hayakawa, Nakamura and the remaining 3rd years were facing them. Just like that, Kise’s name was called by Hayakawa and a jersey pressed into his hands. Number 4. The one Kasamatsu used to wear. Not the same one, but it was Kaijou’s, and it was number 4, and while Kise liked Hayakawa and thought of him as a friend, his only captain was Kasamatsu. And that jersey, even though it belonged to him now, would always, always be Kasamatsu’s in his eyes.
In the spring of his 3rd year, Kise met Kasamatsu’s younger brother for the very first time. They definitely were brothers and it’s not only the surname that would make it impossible for Kasamatsu to say otherwise. They were similiar. Not identical, but similiar.
“Take care of him, captain” the text from Yukio read and Kise felt he wasn’t sure how to face his possibile future brother-in-law.
It appeared the little brother had known for a long time. As did the rest of the Kasamatsu household, apparently.
“Yukio’s told us a lot about you. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person”
Kise wanted to ask what exactly Kasamatsu was saying about him, but he simply turned to his boyfriend and whispered
“A lot?” and tried not to laugh when his foot was stomped on
Kaijou won both the Inter High and the Winter Cup during Kise’s captaincy. As the captain, he couldn’t just leave the team and rush to Kasamatsu, just as Kasamatsu probably woulnd’t rush to him, leaving Moriyama and the others behind. But god did Kise hope he would.
He didn’t, and the team went to change. He gave the speech he wasn’t sure he could pull off, but did anyway and passed the captaincy. With that, he was no longer the captain of Kaijou, and it felt just a bit empty. He looked at all the guys starring at him and realized that, if Kasamatsu, Moriyama and Kobori had walked in there, they wouldn’t know anyone. They’d recognize them, but they wouldn’t know them. They wouldn’t know Kashiwagi hated onions and Satou was terrified of cats. Just like the people in front of him would never know that Moriyama was terrible at picking up girls, and Kobori always carried headache medicine, and Kasamatsu was the Sun. They were a new generation, and he felt so many things watching them. Was this how Hayakawa had felt last year? Was this how Kasamatsu had felt the year before last? He wasn’t sure.
But he walked out from the locker room, for the last time and-
“That last play was amazing!”
Moriyama was holding his head in a headlock, Kobori was grinning at him, Nakamura was smiling, Hayakawa was bawling and flying towards him oh GOD
Nakamura forced Hayakawa to roll off of him, Moriyama was laughing so hard Kise was almost sure he was crying, but all he could see was a hand extanded to him.
“Good job, ace” Kise’s grin reflected Kasamatsu’s own, and he took the hand gratefully.
Being Kaijou’s captain was an honour, but being Kasamatsu’s ace was a bigger one, he thought but never ever told it to Kasamatsu, who was sure to kick him from the highest floor.
Moriyama appeared unbeliveably grateful when Kasamatsu said Kise wouldn’t be moving in with them, but that he would be moving out and moving in with Kise, because he honestly wouldn’t be able to live with lovebirds under the same roof. Seriously.
Kasamatsu became a teacher in Kaijou and co-advisor of the Kaijou basketball club and Kise pursued his career in modelling before retiring and becoming one of the most famous japanese hairdresser’s. They weren’t really a captain and ace anymore, weren’t really a senpai and a kouhai anymore. But Kise dared say they were something even better now.
(Kise kind of hated the kids Kasamatsu was coaching because they definitely looked at him with too much adoration, but at the same time they were from Kaijou and he couldn’t exactly hate anyone from Kaijou and it was really complicated and when he told Kasamatsu, he had a feeling he was being judged really hard. So hard, in fact, that his husband didn’t even comment on it. And he always commented on Kise being stupid. Unless he was being too stupid)
(they weren’t officially married, by law at least, but they wore rings and had lived together since Kise moved to Tokyo, and everyone considered them married, so honestly, who cares what law thought)