Kuroko no Basuke: Kage Koi/ 黒子のバスケ : 影恋
(Kuroko’s Basketball: Shadow Love)
Written by Merula Aeolus
Illustrated by (Accepting Submissions)
He was supposed to be dead. Kuroko Tatsuya stared in shock at the mirror before him, he looked nothing like what he used to. His hair is now down to his shoulders and wavy and his eyes were a navy-blue so dark they were almost black. He is short and skinny, but has a wiry build. He has a honey-golden complexion. His memories were jumbled. Two sets of memories floated around in his mind, one he was far more familiar with than the other. In his former life he was Kuroko Tatsuya, the phantom player of the Generation of Miracles and later a member of Seirin High. He was best friends with Kagami Taiga.
In this life, he was Kuroko Tetsuya was a talented and secret basketball player on the streets, called the Whirlwind and the victim of bullying by the six-man Generation of Miracles team composed of Akashi Seijuro, Murasakibara Atsushi, Midorima Shintaro, Aomine Daiki, Rise Ryota and Kagami Taiga. However, from a far more mature perspective Tatsuya laughed at Tetsuya’s belief that the Generation of Miracles’ hated his guts, more like they couldn’t stop flirting with him. Thankfully the Generation of Miracles never became the arrogant basketball stars they had been in his reality.
So instead of enrolling in Seirin High to get away from the Miracle six like he had originally planned and then to challenge them for the Winter Cup; Tetsuya (as he was now) enrolled in Rakuzan High to join them. Tetsuya had begun merging his two styles over the summer break– the Phantom player’s style and the acrobatic and incredibly fast Whirlwind style into what the other Street players called the Shadow Demon style. It is fast, agile and dirty. Tetsuya couldn’t help but to compare himself to the rest of the Generation of Miracles at their best and he thought he might just be able to beat them in a one-on-one game.
Kuroko Tetsuya adjusted his Rakuzan High Uniform nervously and he carried his book bag over a shoulder. As he approached the school. From a distance Tetsuya caught sight of Murasakibara Atsushi, towering over the other students at six feet and ten inches tall. He had certainly grown that summer. Near him was Kagami Taiga, who was laughing along with Rise Ryota. Taiga’s laugh sent shivers down Tetsuya’s spine.
Daiki caught sight of Kuroko Tetsuya in the crowd, his breath caught. What was Tetsuya doing here? He had sincerely regretted giving Tetsuya a hard time in Middle School, but he had a hard time communicating what he really felt to the smaller, pretty boy. Last he had heard of Tetsuya, he had planned to go to Seirin. Tetsuya looked up and found him staring. Tetsuya blushed and looked away. What was that? Didn’t Tetsuya hate him?
Rakuzan’s Gym – 6 hours later
The Generation of Miracles stood comfortably among the other students assembled to participate in the High School Basketball tryouts. The other students eyed them warily, even as the team Coach, Aida Riko, and Manager, Shirogane Eiji approached. “Alright, shirts off.” The Coach’s voice startled the potential players.
“What?” Someone exclaimed, “Are you joking?”
“No,” Manager Shirogane said sternly, “The Captain has a gift for evaluating potential talent – Shirts off!”
Reluctantly, the students did as directed, “Alright, line-up.” The group fell into a single line. Quickly Riko wrote down their numbers, mumbling as she did so. As she proceeded down the line she stopped briefly to take extra notes on the Generation of Miracles. She asked for their names and wrote them down with their scores. She paused a little longer in front of a black-haired freshman wearing glasses, “Name?”
“Hyuga Junpei.” The freshman drawled. Writing down his name, Riko continued down the line.
“Name?” Riko demanded just out of view of Generation of Miracles.
“Kuroko Tetsuya.” Tetsuya said softly. Daiki and his teammates froze, since, when did Tetsuya play basketball, and what about him, had caught the coach’s attention?” Riko continued down the line, before finishing her notes. She made her way over to a bench and grabbed a seat. After several minutes of silence Riko spoke up, not looking up from her data.
“Okay, to get a feel for your skills and talents, I’m going to put you into teams and we are going to see how you play.” Riko said, before beginning, “Team One will be our regulars – Hayama Kotaru, Mibuchi Reo, and Kiyoshi Teppei, along with Kagami Taiga and Rise Ryota, versus Team Two – Aomine Daiki, Midorima Shintaro, Murasakibara Atsushi, Akashi Seijuro and Kuroko Tetsuya. Team Three will be Hyuga Junpei…” The names continued as the students broke off into teams.
Team one and two student looking awkwardly at each other before Taiga broke the silence abruptly, “When did you start playing basketball, Kuroko-Chan?” Tetsuya sighed.
“I’ve been playing since I was six years old.” Tetsuya said truthfully – well at least Tetsuya had played that long, but Tatsuya had only played since Middle School. He scratched the back of his neck thoughtfully, “I prefer small forward if that is okay?” Team Two nodded dumbly.
“Wait, you’ve been playing since you were six?” Ryota asked, “Why didn’t you join the Teiko Middle School Team.” There was a brief staring match between Ryota and Tetsuya before Tetsuya sighed again.
“I didn’t like the school motto – winning is everything. Basketball is supposed to be a team sport, it’s not for glory hounds.” Tetsuya said with a shrug. He was lying of course, Tetsuya hadn’t played because of his-would-be teammates, the Generation of Miracles, teasing.
“Teams three and four – on the court!” Riko said, they teams hurried onto the court. The game began. The teams displaying the typical skills of practiced basketball players, with minimal talent, but a good string of players. The only one who possessed any notable talents was the boy called Hyuga Junpei. Tetsuya smirked as Riko circled Hyuga-san’s name. Apparently Riko intended to keep the best for last, so this gave Tetsuya time to decide which style he would use – Phantom Player, Whirlwind or Shadow Demon. Shadow demon was his most powerful skill level and he needed to be noticed for team placements, so Phantom player was out. However, he really didn’t need to go all out. Ultimately Tetsuya decided on Whirlwind.
“Teams one and two! Court now!” Riko demanded, nervous twittering filled the spectators – other students who had tried for positions and stayed behind to watch the most sought after players and basketball fans from the main student populace.
The two teams filed onto the court looking at each other uneasily as Rise took Small Forward, Kagami took Power Forward, Hayama took Point Guard, Mibuchi took Shooting Guard and Kiyoshi took Center. Facing them Aomine took Power Forward, Akashi took Point Guard, Midorima took Shooting Guard, Murasakibara took Center and Kuroko took small forward. “Begin!” Riko called.
Rise had never played against a Small Forward whom he couldn’t copy, but it was clear to both teams that not only was Kuroko well practiced, but extremely talented. Like Aomine he obviously played street ball. He was in full control of the ball when dribbling and passing. His moves were fluid, agile and faster than anyone else’s, which is why Ryota couldn’t copy his natural agility and grace. Kuroko spun, ducked and weaved between players, but rarely went for the basket when he could pass. At first team one believed that to be his weakness. As team one began to slowly lose, they decided to focus on blocking all other players except the obvious poor shooter. The buzzer sounded when to everyone’s surprise, Kuroko made a basket, with the precision and distance of Midorima-Kun’s skills, but off the backboard, shattering it and sending plastic everywhere. “Holy Shit!” Aomine swore, as teams one and two, along with Riko and the spectators watched in stunned silence.
“And that is why I don’t shoot.” Kuroko said calmly, heading towards a pile of towels and toweling off. Soon excited chatter filled to court. The others joined Kuroko in toweling down, each giving Kuroko a careful examination. Kuroko ignored their roving eyes.
“You don’t look like much squirt, but man can you play. Good Job.” Kiyoshi-San congratulated Kuroko. Kuroko couldn’t help, but blush… no one had ever said that to him. Someone growled jealously from the team of Miracles, but Kuroko couldn’t pinpoint who.
To Be Continued