"So you mean you can attend our gathering this Saturday??"
Momoi asked with a cheerful voice. It had been 2 months after the final match of Winter Cup, the holidays were coming, and the former Manager of the Generation of Miracles thought it was the perfect time for the group to meet up once again.
"Of course Momoi, I wouldn't miss it."
It had worried her the most when it comes to Akashi for their first get together after a long time, due to the great distance between Tokyo and Kyoto.
And even though the old Akashi was back, and had assured her with the most sincere smile after the Rakuzan - Seirin match that he'd be more than happy to gather with the rest of the gang for a reunion, something else happened during the match kept her unsettled about the matter. Something that none of them had brought up until now.
"This is great! Mukkun will be here tomorrow due to winter break in Akita, it's such a good opportunity! Thank you Akashi-kun!"
"I am pleased to hear. It would be very difficult to have Murasakibara travel the long distance to meet us." Akashi smiled, remembering their big baby of a friend.
"You don't know how much trouble that saves me from. Well then, see you this Saturday Akashi-kun!"
"Certainly. See you soon." And with that they ended the short conversation.
Akashi let himself breath out from content.
A meeting, huh? It surely have been quite a long time.
It was a mixture of feeling to finally face his former teammates after all the roller coaster of events. But he treasures them enough to put all of it behind, or so he tried. After all, Akashi himself is not completely free of guilt from how things turned out to be, if not the opposite.
And so a few days later, Akashi found himself wandering on the cold streets of Tokyo, looking for the Coffee shop Momoi had told him. His gloved hands holding the small piece of paper with the address of the place, rustling in the winter breeze.
His eyes caught sight of the pretty little shop at the corner of the street with the name 'Memory Stop'.
He took his time walking towards the location, breifly thinking what his friends would be like after a year of speration.
Aomine would still look moody and bored to death, but starts to hype up whenever they talked about basketball (Akashi was glad that their ace had found joy in basketball again). Midorima would take his share in nagging them around. But Akashi did notice through the eyes of his other self, that said green head had soften up a tad bit under the care of a certain raven hair of Shuutoku.
Kuroko would still be invisible, throwing in little interesting regards with enormous impact everytime he opens his mouth. One thing definitely wouldn't change, and that is Kise's forever bright (and utterly anoying) smiles, which would soon turn into crocodile tears from being ignored (another thing that instantly lightens Aomine up).
And finally Murasakibara, who would still be eating most of the time (Akashi wouldn't admit it, since he's concerned of the other's health, but he feels rather fuzzy when he gets to spoil this friend with snacks from time to time).
Akashi let out a soft chuckle, for he couldn't imagine them being anything else than how he had always seen them. They could be in different high schools, but whenever he look at those colorful mops of hair together, his insticts still calls to look after, to lead, to care.
Akashi was not sure if the feeling is suitable anymore. At least, he hoped they wouldn't mind a little extra nagging than Midorima's.
With that, Akashi entered the shop. A warm aura and the calming scent of coffee embraced him as soon as he opened the door. He looked around, searching for the group. The shop was decorated lovely, very much like its name, a little girly for Akashi's liking, but still better than most coffee shops.
"Akashicchi!!! We're hereee!"
It was pretty much impossible not to make out the outstanding group full of guys in this kind of place. Akashi strode to their direction, it came to him as a surprise that he'd actually missed Kise's infamous smile in every damn situation. So he let it slide when the other was being unecessarily loud, again.
"Akashi-kun." was the first greeting from the teal head boy when he reached the table.
"Welcome Akashi-kun! Thanks for coming!" Momoi cheered in satisfaction, now that the group is complete.
"Aka-chin is here~"
"Yo. The last to arrive as always."
"Hello everyone. It's nice to see all of you here." Akashi smiled, as a certain green haired simply nodded towards him.
"Heh, this takes me back to our other reunion, that Bakagami of yours got a slit accross the face. Man that feels glorious to look at." Aomine grins at Kuroko.
"EHHH?? How come I didn't know about that??"
"Think before you speak, nanodayo. This topic is not that pleasant."
"Momocchi was not there when it happened. And Aomincchi, you're so thoughtless-ssu!"
"What? His face was priceless! Smooth move there Akashi."
"Oh, this is careless of me. Kuroko, please send my appologies to your teammate, though I would personally appologize in person the next time I meet him."
"It's ok Akashi-kun, I will make sure to tell him. But there's no need for it in person, I'm sure it'll just make him feel awkward. You see, Kagami-kun doesn't like to think much."
"Very well then, anything of his preference." Akashi nodded.
"As expected. I'd say the idiot hardly thinks at all."
"Aomine-kun, I think that is one of the few commons between you two."
"HAHAHAHA!!!! You heard Kurokocchi!! Aominecchi is a brainless idiot!"
"Don't think you're any different, Kise." Midorima scoffed.
"Wa! You're mean Midorimacchi!"
The converstion flowed from there onwards without a hitch, ranging from their level of intelligence to the love-hate relationship between Kagami and Nigou, Kuroko's dog. This time, Akashi really enjoyed their noisy bickering. Ocasionally he would even participate in the mess.
Akashi thought it would be ok to act a little incomposed once in a while.
"Wow! That's a really beautiful pair of gloves Akashicchi!" Kise, out of no where, squeeled out.
Attentions shifted to Akashi's hands neatly placing on the wooden table.
"Woah, they really are! I saw them on the internet. If I'm not mistaken, they were hand-sewed by the designer himself, right Akashi-kun??" Momoi said in aw, touching the soft leather material.
"You're right Momocchi! Products from this brand are one of my favourites too!"
Akashi pondered "Is that so? I wasn't aware of those informations, but they are certainly of my taste, so I purchased them the moment I saw them on the counter."
"They look very simple and delicate, I wonder what the material feels like. May I try them on Akashi-kun??"
With that, Akashi's alarm quitely set on. This situation, it was tactless of him to think he could avoid it. What now?
The silence had been going on for 5 seconds already, he should come up with a solution before it reaches 10 seconds. He couldn't possibly say 'No', that is downright rude. In the worst scenario, he could carefully lure Aomine's attention this way and have him distract the two, as the combo can easily get into a bicker. But the chances are too slim, Aomine is not one bit intersted in the subject-
"Aka-chin~ Can you come with me to order seconds?~"
Mursakibara's voice broke the short silence like a savior, and Akashi quickly took the help.
"Of course, Murasakibara. Would you excuse us, we'll be back in a short while."
He tried to hide his relief as he got up, Murasakibara waiting knowingly. With the speed of the conversation, the topic would soon be tossed to the back of their heads by the time Akashi got back. He turned to join the Purple head, not noticing a pair of sky blue eyes glancing his way suspiciously.
Akashi had just relaxed his tensed muscle, as they took a few steps from the table.
A baseball bat suddenly flew right towards Akashi's face, the 'woosh' sound that came from the spinning object tore through the air. Murasakibara, who stood a couple of steps ahead of him, with a tray of empty glasses on his hands, reacted fast as ever. He quickly turned his head, just in time to see his former captain, out of pure instinct, reached out his right hand to catch the object..
The solid hard material hit Akashi's palm accurately. As soon as the rough contact was made, Akashi visibly winced and retrieved his hand, dropping the object which was then caught by Murasakibara. The purple head turned to glare at the culprit in annoyance.
"I'm so sorry! It was my fault for not keeping an eye on my son! Itou Maruki! Come here and appologize this instant!"
The young woman rushed to them hastily, then turned to snap at a small boy who was fidgeting in a corner. The boy, probably around 9-10 years old, was wearing a baseball uniform. On hearing his name being called, the little guy timidly made his way towards Akashi, and bowed his head.
Akashi nodded, and handed them the bat from Murasakibara.
"It was fortunate that we had caught the object before it hurts somebody or damage any property. But now that you know how dangerous it can be, I hope you've learned your lesson and be more careful with it."
The mother thanked them again and again while dragging her shivering child away until they were out of sight.
"Aka-chin, is your hand alright?" Murasakibara glanced at Akashi's hand, examining it with Amethyst eyes.
"I'm fine, let's go-"
"What's wrong with Akashi-kun's hand?"