This Used To Be My Playground
by Hikari Takaishi


Disclaimers: No, I don't claim to own "This Used To Be My Playground," it's Madonna's song. But I do own the idea of the story. ^-^ Plus, I don't own Takeru or Ken. Go figure. Ishida Takeru- Enjoy, a tearjerker Kenkeru/Taken. ( * * *'s mean flashbacks.)


Takaishi Takeru glanced outside. It was dark outside; no moon, only stars. He was laying on his bed with his arms under his head, thinking of what has happened the past few weeks. When his mind set upon one faint memory, he sat up from the pain in his heart. Such pain also caused him to stand up and exit the bedroom.

It was almost midnight, his mother was asleep in her bedroom. She didn’t even know what kind of things her son was going through. He was fully dressed from the day; too lazy to change out of it. Or maybe he just didn't find a reason to do anything anymore. Two weeks ago, he was bouncing off the walls from being so busy. Now he was nearly dead.

Not only his personality changed, but his looks did as well. His bright blue eyes were still bright blue, but it didn't blend well with his colorless skin. Dark, black rings were under his eyes from lack of sleep and from shedding tears. While he was still tall, he was getting weaker from reducing his sports and physical movement intake. Frankly, all he did was to get up and go to the bathroom, then he would fall back onto his bed and think of what had happened--what he did.

Tonight, however, he had gotten out of bed and left his apartment. He stumbled down the stairs and out of the building. The night air was warm and comforting, but he paid no attention to it at all. His eyes were always glossy but never let out a tear. And just as he was going to release one, he found himself back at the scene of the crime.

He was back at Odaiba Elementary.




This used to be my playground
This used to be my childhood dream
This used to be the place I ran to
Whenever I was in need
Of a friend
Why did it have to end
And why do they always say…


* * *


"Back again?" the most angelic voice ever questioned from the top of the jungle gym.

Takeru tilted his head up and saw his best friend swinging his legs from the bars. A smile stretched across his face, "As I remember, I called a rematch."

"Only because you lost."

"I lost because you cheated, Ken."

"Ha! Ever aspire to become an actor? You'd make a good one, you know."

Takeru pulled himself on top of the bars and snatched the basketball that was on his friend's lap. "Ever dream to become a comedian? You'd make a fool of yourself, you know."

Both of them chuckled and leaned against each other. Every night they would come to Odaiba Elementary, just to get away from it all. Since it was their summer break, they met each other near midnight. Call it a must of friendship. It never really mattered what they talked about, they just talked. Ken had always been there for Takeru when he was struggling and vice versa. They had become very good friends through the past months.

"My mom told me I should stop sneaking out of the house," Takeru announced.

"Maybe you should."



"I like coming up here to talk. It's better than playing basketball--I don't get smacked onto the floor by other players."

Ken grinned, "Why do you like talking to me so much?"

The fair-haired youth trailed his fingers along the basketball. In his mind, the words of truth were screaming at him. But he answered with a false, "I don't know."

The other looked disappointed. "Truthfully, now."

"Because." He tilted his chin to his chest and stared at the ball. "I don't know… I can just trust you, you know?"

"Want to know why I like to talk to you so much?" Ken glanced away, his feet still swinging childishly.


"Because I look at you as a friend," he paused, "possibly more."

Takeru looked at Ken through the corner of his eye and felt his cheeks turn crimson. "Do you mean what I think you mean?"

"If you think what I think I mean, then I think I do mean what you think you mean."

There was a moment of silence before both of them started to laugh. As it died down, Takeru turned his head to look at Ken. To his surprise, he was looking back.

"So do you mean that you," Takeru struggled with the words, "l-like me, like me? Or uh, am I throwing the ball over the hoop?"

"Swish…" Ken replied almost silently.

He found himself blushing again and he scratched the back of his neck. "I-I guess I feel the same way."

"Guess?" Ken echoed, looking away.

Takeru winced, "I mean I-"

"It's fine, you know," Ken jumped off from the bars and landed on the ground with a near soundless thud. "I kind of y-you know, just… you know."

Takeru never heard Ken fumble for words before. He watched as the other turned to walk away. Without hesitation, he slipped off and reached out for Ken's arm. Giving a slight tug, Takeru urged the other to look at him. Something was in Ken's eyes that he hadn't seen for a long time.

"Tears?" Takeru asked.

"It's nothing," Ken looked away. "You should listen to your mom and not come here anymore."

Again, he turned to leave but Takeru wouldn't let him. Another tug and Ken was face to face with the blue-eyed blond. This time, before the Ichijouji genius could leave, Takeru pushed his lips against his for only a brief moment.

"I gotta go," Takeru dropped the basketball and ran out of the playground area. Ken watched him leave without anything to say.


* * *


Don't look back
Keep your head held high
Don't ask them why
Life is short
And before you know
You're feeling old
And your heart is breaking
Don't hold onto the past
Well that's too much to ask…




Takeru rubbed his eyes with the back of his hands. His friends had told him to keep on moving ahead in life; that he had so much more to live for, that the past was behind him and he couldn't do anything more about it. But his heart told him otherwise. It told him that he couldn't move on without thinking of the past.

He walked onto the playground with his hands in his pockets. Everything was dark now that his best friend wasn't waiting for him on top of the jungle gym. He pulled himself onto the top of the bars and folded his hands on his lap, leaning forward to look down. As he blinked, a small drop of salty water slipped from the corner of his right eye. Before long, another one fell and rolled down his pale cheeks.

No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't forget how he just sat back and watched death steal his friend. It was his fault. He could have done something to help Ken. But did he?

"God, Ken," Takeru set his face in his hands and released more tears, "I'm so sorry."




This used to be my playground
This used to be my childhood dream
This used to be the place I ran to
When I was in need
Of a friend
Why did it have to end
And why do they always say…


* * *


"I didn't think you'd be here tonight," Takeru dug the toe of his shoe into the ground beneath him. The basketball rolled to his feet and he looked up.

"We have a rematch to play," Ken said dryly but not harshly.

The game went underway and the two youths never said a word to each other. It was killing Takeru just to see him, but not getting enough courage to say anything was more hurtful. Ken was feeling the same way, it was seen in his eyes. When the score was tied, twenty-five to twenty-five, they took a break.

"I thought you were going to end up going to that one party tonight," Takeru managed to say.

"They're just a bunch of drug addicts and drunks," he replied. "And a lot of older teenagers are going to be there. I don't want to be mixed up with them."

"Let's end the game now," the blond picked up the ball.

"Let's make a bet of some sort."

"If I make this shot, not only do you lose, but you owe me…"

"A kiss. Payback for last night."

"…Fine," Takeru weakly shook Ken's hand and centered himself from the hoop on the three-point line. His arms raised with the ball in hand just as he was about to shoot, Ken tackled him. The ball bounced furiously off the court and into the road.

Takeru blinked wildly and turned his head to find Ken sitting on his back, laughing. "Hey, my ball. Go get my ball."

"Tch, all you care about is you and your basketball." He stood up and pulled Takeru to his feet. "You lost."

"You cheated."

"There's that acting again--"

"Ah, shut up." Takeru smirked and dusted himself off.

Ken started to retrieve the basketball, but, just like the night before, Takeru stopped him. "Wha'?" Ken blinked.

"I lost," Takeru said and pushed his lips onto Ken's, longer than he did before. When he broke off, he gave a slight grin and voiced, "Now you can get my ball."

Without a reply, Ken ran to get the basketball. When he was just feet away from the ball, Takeru noticed a car turning sloppily around the corner without headlights on. He noticed it was heading towards Ken… His heart jumped into his throat and choked his words. He barely managed to scream out Ken's name. Ken spun his head first at Takeru, then towards the oncoming car. The youth froze like a deer caught in front of a car's headlights. Only he was the deer and there wasn't any lights.

The way the car veered on the road told them both that the driver was drunk. Takeru started to run towards Ken but the car found him first… The blonde's eyes widened as he saw the basketball fly one way and his best friend the other.


* * *


No regrets
But I wish that you
Were here with me
Well then there's hope yet
I can see your face
In our secret place
You're not just a memory
'Say goodbye to yesterday'
Those are words I'll never say




Takeru swallowed the lump in his throat as the tears burned in his eyes. The image of that night never once left him for a second, and he wished it would. He wanted to forget all about that night. No, he wanted to forget about himself. He wished he could just… disappear. Lastly, he wished he was with Ken.

Ken would have told him how to handle this kind of pain, he did when Takeru needed help. He was always there with words of wisdom. Now Takeru was alone, no one had even known of him and Ken, so how could they possibly help? He was all alone…

The youth raised his head and glanced at the basketball court. For a moment, he could have sworn he saw Ken running out to retrieve the basketball. Tears blurred his vision and he looked away, no longer able to look at the court. All the words his friends said, "The past is behind you"-"Don't keep reliving the past."-"Say goodbye to it all, Takeru." Those words failed to cheer him up. From day one, he knew he could never forgive himself for losing his best friend--the only person he had actually loved.




This used to be my playground
This used to be our pride and joy
This used to be the place we ran to
That in the world could dare destroy
This used to be our playground
This used to be childhood dream
This used to be the place we ran to
I wish you were standing here with me…


* * *


Takeru stood in the middle of the basketball court, watching ambulances drive away with their sirens blaring. But all sounds were drowned out by the echoes of the screeching tires and the agonizing cry for help. He had done nothing but watch… He turned around and glanced at the jungle gym.

"So do you mean that you… l-like me, like me? Or uh, am I throwing the ball over the hoop?"


The Takaishi hung his head low and said through tears, "I never got to say I love you back."


* * *


This used to be our playground
This used to be our childhood dream
This used to be the place we ran to
The best things in life are always free
Wishing you were here with me.




There was another party going on, not too far away from Odaiba Elementary. Most likely, there was going to be drunks willing to drive again. If Takeru couldn't have Ken back, he would join him. Friends forever… right?

Takeru ran his finger under his nose and sniffed. He mumbled something along the words of "I love you" and headed towards the direction of the party. Sure enough, several minutes later, screeching tires filled the night air.




Since I found the newest song I adore, I wanted to write a songfic for it… It's bad, I know, I know. Sorry, 'Shida 'Keru. ::sweatdrops:: Hope you liked it anyway.