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Title: Dating (the hard way)
Rating: PG
Prompt: The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. – William Arthur Ward
Fandom/Series: Kuroko no Basuke
Word Count: 1258
Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, profit from the story and all creative rights to the characters belong to their original creator(s).
Summary:
It's not that Tetsuya doesn't believe in Aomine's ability to plan an acceptable date, it's just that the evidence so far would suggest such trust is misplaced.

Aomine and dating don't seem to be something that Tetsuya can enjoy together.

 
*~*~*~*
 
Dating (the hard way)

It's a disaster.

Tetsuya can't really think of any other way to describe it.

A startled flailing arm and a conveniently placed glass of water (the same arm that had knocked the candle over in the first place) have just put out the fire on their table. Before Aomine demonstrated an unusual lack of coordination and set fire to the place, Tetsuya hadn't been aware quite how flammable tableware could be.

Fortunately, they haven't managed to order yet since the red faced waiter bearing down on them with his fists clenched seems a sure sign that their time in the restaurant is at an end. Thinking to share a commiserating smile with his date, he finds that Aomine is absolutely refusing to look in Tetsuya's direction.

After paying an exorbitant amount of money to replace a white sheet, the waiter escorts them firmly from the premises. Away from the drama, Aomine is looking worse than when he set the place on fire. More importantly, he's still refusing to look in Tetsuya's direction.

The date is a disaster, but then Tetsuya shouldn't have expected anything else after the debacle that was Aomine's confession. He'd had trouble deciding whether he should look into Aomine's eyes, or keep a close watch the latter's flailing arms for his own safety. Alongside Aomine's stated desire to date Tetsuya he'd managed to slip in his reproachful acceptance of Tetsuya's lack of Horikita Mai's rack. Aomine had faltered visibly before swiftly backtracking while waving his arms wildly in denial. It was not precisely the heart-warming confession expected when asking someone out, but oddly enough, it had touched Tetsuya all the same.

He must really like the idiot if he was willing to give him a chance after being criticized for lacking breasts.

Tetsuya nudges his elbow into Aomine's side to distract him from his moping, as they walk side-by-side away from the restaurant Aomine had attempted to burn to the ground. When Aomine straightens from his miserable hunch Tetsuya reaches over to grip onto the nearest hand.

It is, of course, purely to protect himself from injury by Aomine's unusually uncoordinated limbs.

Aomine's eyes widen and his mouth gape opens completely unattractively, obviously caught completely off guard by the gesture. Tetsuya's heart flutters in his chest at the feeling of Aomine's warm palm against his own.

"Next time, Aomine should consider not taking advice on dating from a woman's gossip magazine," Tetsuya says, carefully not looking at their joined hands.

"Uh," Aomine throat clicks audibly as he swallows, "next time?"

He clenches his fingers around the captured hand, "I knew you were an idiot before I agreed to go out with you. One demonstration of such is not going to make me immediately change my mind."

Aomine returns the gesture, fingers tight around Tetsuya's own, "Sure, Tetsu."

"Also, one should think about who they are dating," he says mercilessly.

"Right, of course," Aomine says reaching with his free hand to scratch sheepishly at the back of his head.

"And not buy roses and chocolates in bulk," he continues.

At that Aomine scrounges up an annoyed look, "Oi, Tetsu, I got it."

"Good," Tetsuya says, "I am not sure even Kagami will be able to eat his way through that many chocolates in a week."

Aomine grumbles something under his breath, quietly enough that Tetsuya can pretend he didn't hear. More meaningfully, Aomine's hand never leaves Tetsuya’s.

x-x-x

Their second date is a ridiculous parody of a shoujo manga failure.

Somehow, the Seirin Basketball team learns of their date and decides to tail them. Also somewhere in there someone must have told Kise.

So Aomine is in a shouting match with Kagami while the rest of the team pretend they're still invisible behind the sparse shrubbery they've chosen as a hiding spot. Or at least that's what they're doing until Aomine says something to set Hyuuga off. Then Mitobe and Koganei are holding Hyuuga back from Aomine, while Riko is in Hyuuga's face trying to shout him down.

Meanwhile Kise has fallen at Tetusya's feet, crying overdramatically and wailing "Kurokocchi" at the top of his lungs while feebly clawing at Aomine and Tetsuya's joined hands.

Then Kise's fangirls mob them.

Aomine and Tetsuya agree to pretend the whole thing never happened.

x-x-x

Their actual second date is going better than their first in that there has been no furniture set on fire and they have not been thrown out of a public venue, yet.

The fact that Aomine had invited Kagami on their date and seemingly forgotten it was a date was its own kind of epic fail.

It had been going all right for a while. Aomine grinning at him as he received a pass, the feeling of connection as they started to fall into their old rhythm, the joy of being on the court with Aomine again instead of against him.

Of course, somewhere in there both Aomine and Kagami forget about their street ball team mates and focus entirely on slamming the ball in over each other's heads.

Tetsuya bows out at that point rather than risk injury.

He collapses on the grass and tries to regain his breath. He's currently very unimpressed with the idea of dating Aomine.

He's just contemplating the etiquette of abandoning your date when they've clearly forgotten you exist when Aomine drops down on the grass beside him. His skin is glossed with sweat in a manner that is unfairly attractive, especially since Tetsuya knows he's a damp rag at this point. He doesn't even have the decency to appear out of breath after going head to head with Kagami for 15 minutes.

Aomine rolls onto his side, in a very close imitation of one of Kise's magazine spread poses, and tries a cocky smirk in Tetsuya's direction.

In return, Tetsuya quirks an unimpressed eyebrow in Aomine's direction.

Aomine flops onto his back and drops his arm over his eyes. "I know, I know. I'm a total loser boyfriend," he groans.

"Totally true," Kuroko says evenly, "you are fortunate I am strangely afflicted to like you in spite of your failures."

Aomine rolls over to grin at him, "Tetsu, our next date will be amazing."

"Try for a date that is not a complete disaster first," Tetsuya replies.

"Amazing," Aomine repeats, grinning.

Tetsuya pokes him sharply in the shoulder to push Aomine off balance and get the grin out of his face, ignoring Aomine's feigned yelp of pain.

x-x-x

It's not that Tetsuya doesn't believe in Aomine's ability to plan an acceptable date, it's just that the evidence so far would suggest such trust is misplaced.

So really, it is that he does not believe that Aomine is capable of planning an acceptable date.

Tetsuya gives in and messages Momoi for help.

The thumbs up smiley face is the most reassuring reply he's ever received.

x-x-x

Aomine's plans for their third date, unknown to Aomine himself, have traces of Momoi all over them.

They spread out on Aomine's couch in front of a pre-recorded game of basketball with junk food and milk shakes ready to hand.

Aomine is relaxed and enthusiastically pointing out plays he's absolutely going to improve on, their elbows bumping gently with every excited twitch from Aomine.

The perfect date, Tetsuya thinks, and all it took was a little outside steering.

Hopefully, they'll be able to manage something similar on their own with some practice. Or alternatively, that Momoi will remain available to subtly nudge Aomine in the right direction for their future dates.

x-x-x

................................................................................................................................

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