I haven't written anything in so long it feels rather surreal. Then again, I should clarify that it is stories I haven't written. School papers are a weekly or bi-weekly occurrence right now, so I don't have time to be writing for fun! Oh well.

This story came in a dream, or at least part of it did. I hardly ever dream about characters from fiction, so I decided to put this to paper after telling a friend about the idea. She said it'd make a cute one-shot. Thus, here it is!

I don't own anything. This has not been looked over by a beta-reader. Sorry!

Also, I am not sure if Kiyoshi uses –kun with Kuroko in the series, nor if Kuroko uses –senpai, but due to where they are, I believe honorifics would be used in that case as both are polite enough to utilize said honorifics while in such a situation.


We Won't Lose You

Never let it be said that beautiful, cool days were not the best. When the sun was hidden, lazily behind the clouds, and a slight breeze kept the leaves blowing ever so slightly in the trees or on the sidewalks, it was the perfect day. Kiyoshi Teppei just smiled as he took in the sights and the sounds of the children laughing along with his teammates. Granted, it was not his first choice of, what many would call community service, but when Riko had insisted on the whole team helping at a summer basketball camp for the local elementary school, he couldn't turn it down, and their benevolent coach would have castrated anyone who declined.

Teppei had been put in charge of a group of fourth grade students who were currently with the third graders learning how to dribble the ball on the sand. Hyuuga looked to be doing his absolute best not to turn into a bear with the ridiculousness of the activity. Yes, it had been beneficial to their team to use the sand as a way to stick, but to make a group of nine and ten year old children practice on something was ridiculous. Coach Riko may have been a genius at some things, but she was the most hopeless individual when it came to others. Basketballs don't bounce on sand, end of story.

A smile graced the center's eyes as balls rolled away from the stuttering children who were trying their best to bounce on the sand. He could tell the kids were either having fun at the attempt or coming undone by the frustration. Whether they were having fun or not, they kept at the task and continued to do the improbable.

On the outdoor basketball court was another comical sight. Coach Riko was probably in sadist-mode when she put Kagami in charge of the second-grade group. The tall redhead was currently standing in the center of a mass of diminutive people, who were trying to claw their way up his legs to reach a ball he had held over his head. The scowl on the boy's face was priceless, but the children were giggling gleefully, so there was not a care in the world, unless the power forward broke, then all hell might break loose. Luckily for Taiga, his partner, and the one in charge of the first grade students was Mitobe, so the duo (albeit strange) was a perfect combination for the rowdy youngsters.

"That's enough!" Hyuuga roared, causing the Kiyoshi to stop his musings and look at his current partner with raised eyebrows. "We're taking this practice into the canteen," the captain growled.

Teppei could hear his friend mumbling under his breath while the group of fifteen children took hold of their balls and followed the bespectacled man into the nearest building. Kiyoshi made to follow, but stopped short when he saw the sixth grade group, four boys and three girls, walking slowly around the edge of the second building with confused looks on their faces. The eldest students in the school were Kuroko's responsibility, and the short, blue-haired teen was following behind with a blank look on his face.

"Are you lost?" Kiyoshi asked once the group was within ten feet of him.

"No," one of the boys commented, looking around in confusion, "but I think Kuroko-nii-san is because we can't find him."

One of the girls, a little thing with pig-tails and glasses spoke next. "He vanishes all the time and then pops up out of nowhere. It's kind of scary." Her friend put an arm around the girl and gave her a squeeze.

Kiyoshi made eye-contact with Kuroko, who didn't seem to be bothered by the fact that his group kept misplacing him, but the older boy could tell the other was slightly distressed.

"So, you're telling me that you have a hard time keeping track of your nii-san?" Kiyoshi asked, eyes twinkling. Seven heads nodded in tandem, while a few answered vocally as well. "Kuroko, I have no idea how you intend to be a kindergarten teacher if you can't keep your presence known at all times," the taller boy chuckled, reaching over and patting Kuroko on the head.

Seven children turned and gaped as Kuroko seemed to materialize out of thin air. "See!" the pig-tailed girl shouted. "I told you he was a magician!"

"He isn't a magician, he's a basketball player," another child replied. "There is a difference."

"But how can he disappear and reappear so suddenly?"

The two high schoolers watched the younger students get into a friendly debate about Tetsuya's disappearing acts. Kiyoshi listened with a grin on his face, even though he could easily tell how terrible his teammate felt regarding the whole situation.

"Can I tell you a secret?" Teppei asked, when the elementary school students finally decided that Kuroko was not from Hogwarts, nor was he carrying the One Ring in his pocket. Eight pairs of eyes were instantly trained on the brown-haired teen. "I had a hard time seeing Kuroko, just like you," Kiyoshi stated with a grin that cut his face in two. "I had to come up with a way to keep an eye on my junior because he likes to disappear!"

"Kiyoshi-senpai, I don't think it's right to…" Kuroko started, but was cut off when a hand covered his mouth, causing his eyes to bug out.

"Relax, Kuroko-kun. I am going to tell them the secret to keeping an eye on you!" Teppei said, with a smirk in his eyes. The center turned back toward the waiting children, who were eager to hear the story. "See, when I started to work with Kuroko I noticed that in order to keep an eye on him I realized I needed something on which to focus. Kuroko has such a weak presence that it's hard for everyone to keep track of him."

"No kidding!" shouted one boy, which caused the others to nod and agree. "I swear he's related to Bilbo Baggins!"

"I don't think he is, but it's a funny idea," Kiyoshi giggled. "We can start calling you Precious, right Kuroko-kun?"

"That is not funny, Kiyoshi-senpai," the one in question mumbled behind the hand still on his face.

"Anyway, back to the matter at hand," Kiyoshi rambled. "One day Kuroko-kun came into practice and I noticed that there was a black mark, maybe from a dry erase board, right above his posterior." The taller boy pointed to his own rump without a care in the world. "That was when I realized if I focused on his bottom then I could keep an eye on him."

Kuroko coughed and pushed Kiyoshi's hand away before sputtering in an almost scandalized tone. "Kiyoshi-senpai, please do not tell the children such unnecessary things." While it was said as monotonous as normal, Teppei could hear the slight difference in intonation. In truth, he hadn't even thought of how it would sound to admit he'd stared at the shorter boy's buttocks for an entire practice as a way to keep an eye on him.

Completely composed, Kiyoshi continued, "The point is, we need to give them something on you to focus on."

One little girl raised her hand, face red. "I don't know if I want to look at nii-san's bottom to make sure I don't lose him, though." A few of the children giggled, while a few also turned a little flush.

"You won't have to look at anything other than his chest, right here!" Teppei stated proudly, as he pointed to the spot right above Kuroko's heart.

"There's nothing there," a boy with blond hair pointed out.

Kiyoshi reached into his pocket and produced a hot, pink balloon, which he fastened onto Kuroko's shirt with a clothespin. "There is now!" he gushed, jovially. "Now all you have to do is keep track of the pink balloon and you'll never lose your nii-san."

Smiles spread across the younger crowd's faces as excited chatter overtook the sixth grade students. Kiyoshi put his arm around his teammate's shoulder and give him a slight hug. The children looked much happier with the idea that they wouldn't lose Kuroko again for the umpteenth time.

"Kiyoshi-senpai is very observant," Kuroko commented.

"I keep that balloon and clothespin around in the event I feel that I am going to lose you, then I had every intention in placing it on your back or something," the older male commented nonchalantly. "It's good to lose you in a game, Kuroko, but we don't want to lose you outside of the game, now do we?"

"Thank you," the shorter male replied, walking away from the hug he'd been in for longer than necessary. "I will need to keep this idea in mind."

Kiyoshi watched as his junior herded the sixth-grade students back toward the second building with a smile on his face. We won't lose you, he thought. Even if I have to tie a thousand balloons around your arms.