Chapter 1: Prologue
It didn't make sense…
Was somebody playing with him?
No… that doesn't sound like the right question, coz he already kne the answer to that… yes, somebody was playing with him. Five somebodies, to be more exact. And, well add three more to that number. So that makes it eight somebodies…
The right question is:
Was- No, IS fate playing with him?
Is he being tricked again?
Well, he doesn't know…
And he sure as hell knows he's not going to find out anytime soon.
Not with this flow.
Not with that mocking score…
111 : 11
Not with everything said up until now…
"The only one who can beat me is me."
"I've… already forgotten even how to recieve your passes."
"This emotion of 'liking'… is it necessary in order to win?"
"A plate can never be fully restored once it has a crack."
And certainly NOT with him breathing down his neck.
His new tormenter.
After being kicked out of the basketball club, the gray haired teen was set on getting payback from the Generation of Miracles in any way possible.
To him, tormenting the weakest of the bunch was-is, bound to at least get a reaction from them.
How wrong he is.
They don't even notice the shadow anymore. They don't even look at him…
And he doesn't want them to find out…
All Kuroko Tetsuya has to do…
Is keep that damned poker face on and everything will be fine.
But it doesn't work that way, does it?…
Chapter 2: 1
"Oh, doll face!" Someone yells behind me, signaling me that they saw me.
Who are they? Haizaki and his two goons of course.
I just finished school for today. Right now I walking out of school and started heading home on my own.
Of course I'm walking home alone. Who would I walk with? Aomine?
No, he left me on my own.
My so-called best friend turned his back on me.
I don't blame him though.
Even I can't stand how weak I am.
Anyways. My almost nonexistant existance is sneaking out of the front gate.
You see, I have a problem.
Called Haizaki Shougo. My new bully. My only bully, as a matter of fact.
Me getting myself injured in a basketball game cought his attention. And since he was kicked out of the basketball club, he wants payback.
I don't know…
"Oh, doll face!" Someone yells behind me, signaling me that they saw me.
Who are they? Haizaki and his two goons of course.
This would normally be a headstart for me, but instead of running, I foolishly turn around and face them. Running will only entertain them. I want them to get bored with my stubborness and poker face. They'll live me alone eventually, right?
"Where were you today, you forgot to visit me at lunch." Haizaki says with a sickening sweet voice as he nears me. "If you do that again, I'll get mad." He's right in front of me now, leaning down so that we're face to face.
"And you know what happens when I get mad, don't you?"
I can't tell you how my heart is clenching right now but i make sure that my face stays blank. I can't give him what he wants even if it kills me.
And apparently, it works because his face changes into a scowl and he grits his teeth.
"Answer me you little shit!" He puches me sending my body to the wall. I can feel my back burning and I know I'll have to bandage it. My head feels like it's spinning, making doubles of everything for a moment or two.
I want to protest about all of this, but no sound escapes my mouth and my eyes betray that thought.
As soon as my vision clears, Haizaki delivers a powerful kick to the side of my head and I soon kiss the ground for the fifth time this week.
Something warm makes it's way down my forehead and my vision blurries. Great, just perfect!
Yes, that was sarcasm.
"You're weak! And you're dumb! You should have been kicked out of the basketball club, not me!" My ex- teammate starts kicking my stomach along with his goons.
"AND YOU KNOW WHAT? YOU'RE JUST A TOY THAT'S ONLY MEANT FOR ENTERTAINTMENT! EVERYONE'S TIRED OF YOU! YOU SHOULD DIE ALREDY!!!" With one last kick, he started laughing with the two other boys and walked away.
It takes me some time to get up. Could you blame me? Those kicks of his can make even some of the teachers feel pain, let alone me, whose body is even weaker than it should be.
My everything is on fire! Even my insides are screaming for help!!!
I manage to walk properly with some support from the wall. My face is as blank as a white sheet of paper, just in case someone see's me.
I am feeling like someone's watching be, but that's absurd right?
Deciding to get home as soon as possible, I push these thoughts in the back of my head and keep walking forward.
Big mistake on your part though…
You might've noticed me…
Chapter 3: 2
"What did you see?"
"What I saw isn't the issue here, Tetsuya. The issue here is you. What are you hiding?"
???'s POV (though I bet you already know who it is...)
I can't get the image of a beaten Tetsuya out of my mind. I did hear some shouting but I didn't pay attention to it as I could never expect to see Tetsuya to have anything to do with it. Could he be bullied?
No it can't be, he's practically invisible...
But there is no other explaination to this, Tetsuya has been acting strange lately as well. .
But who could possibly bully him of all people?
As I was about to ponder more about this, the door of the gym opens and in comes a familiar bluenette, stopping me from doing so. Or is he familiar?
I've never seen Tetsuya like this before. There were bags under his eyes, his hair still looked as messy as it could ever get, his clothes were dirty and one of his sneackers had it's laces untied. He was also out of breath, which told me he'd been running to get here, and leaned on his knees trying to talk while regaining his energy. "Sorry... I... late... some... came... u-"
All eyes were on him now, Ryota and Shintarou all but ran over to the smaller male,suffocating him even more, asking all kinds of questions. Well, Ryota did, Shintaro kept his calm posture and asked only the really important questions.
"Kurokochi~! Why are you so dirty? Your hair is a mess!!! Are you feeling ok?"
"Kuroko, what happened?"
With a last inhale and exhale, Tetsuya stood up straight and looked at them with the usual blank face.
"I'm fine, Kise-kun, Midorima-kun. I just overslept and had to run all the way here. I tripped a few times, as you can see." Shintarou gave a face but didn't coment on it, while Ryota gasped dramatically.
"Kurokochi needs my help then! Let's go and fix your hair and clothes!!!" With that, the irritating blonde starts dragging him to the changing room, leaving Shintarou behind.
A sigh made it's way out of the greenette's lips as he rubbed his temple.
"Akashi won't like this."
Oh I'm sure he won't.
"Did you believe it, Shintarou?" I ask, making my way to him. A smirk formes on my lips as I watched his shocked expression.
"Did you?" He scoffs at my words and looks at the direction where Ryota dragged Tetsuya.
"No I did not. His timing is perfect and he's always been on time, if not early."
For a moment I thought if i should tell my theory to him. However i knew better.
"But, he is human. Even he can slip every once in a while."
I had to solve this on my own.
Classes have long since ended, practice was over as well five minutes ago. But as always, one figure remained behind. Training and practising. Normally, he'd be faster and enthusiastic, but he didn't look like normal at all. He was slow. Slower than usual. And worry plastered over his face. It felt as if he really was a ghost. A phantom.
Which he was.
I stood there. Watching him like a hawk, as you would say. I had been right. There was something off with Tetsuya.
If the way he moved did't give the hint, then the wincing and slow reactions every now and then would. The skin that showed beneath his shirt was also darker. It looked as if it had been for a while.
And still. He managed to hide it from me. I was angry. No, i was furious! I'm an Akashi, for heaven's sake!!! This things shouldn't- couldn't slip pass by me without me noticing!
The basket ball bouncing off the hoop, brought my attention back to the baby blue haired boy. Another failed shot, I thought, it's not suprising. At all.
"You seem to be somewhere else Tetsuya." The boy's head shot up at my direction. Eyes wide in shock, as this was his thing not mine. "You're playing, but you're really not." I follow his movements, again watching every single reaction that came from him, as he goes to pick up the basket ball in the opposite direction.
"Is there something wrong?" I ask following him, seeing his eyes widden for a moment then go back to the normal blank again in the next, as if it never happened.
"Could Akashi-kun explain, I don't quite understand what he's talking about." He says, finally facing me, his eyes staring blankly at me, but never meeting my gaze. Another hint.
"So you want me to go straight to the point?" A chuckle escapes my lips. He's truly trying to lie to me. "Very well. You're late, you're slow, your skin is darker at some places and also you're a lot paler. You wince every now and then. You don't meet my gaze anymore." I smirk as his eyes widen again and he gripps the basket ball tighter in his hands. His explenation, however, made me frown.
"I explained my reason of being late today, Akashi-kun. I tripped on concrete floor, I was bound to be bruised. I also didn't eat breakfast for I didn't have the time to. I'm having a headache and loud sounds don't help. As for meeting Akashi-kun's gaze, doesn't Akashi-kun always say that I shouldn't? I have learned my place on this team, Akashi-kun.
So please, could you stop with this nonsense?" His eyes looked down to his feet.
Fine then Tetsuya, your choice.
"Then how will you explain last night?"
Let's see how you'll get out of this.
His grip on the orange ball got even tighter, if that was possible, and I'm sure his eyes were too wide and hopeless, even though I couldn't see them.
"You're not the only hardworker here, Tetsuya."
"What did you see?"
"What I saw isn't the issue here, Tetsuya. The issue here is you. What are you hiding?" I think my eyes are playing tricks on me; Tetsuya's become smaller and more invisible by the second. It feels like he's see through, like he's not here at all...
"It's not your problem anyway..." His response makes me blink once, then twice, and he wasn't shrinking anymore. He was there, still looking at his feet, but he dropped the basket ball, his hands now trembling at his sides.
My eyebrows narrow.
'Not my problem'?!
"Really? That so? Well then, it is the team's problem. If you start falling behind, you might drag the team down. No way would I let you drag the team to defeat." His head raises a bit, enough so I could see his shocked blue orbs.
"Now then, will you state your problems to me, right here and now, or should I tell the others to keep an eye on you as well?" This would silence all his protests, Tetsuya might be weak, but his pride and will overcome that, he wouldn't want to trouble anyone.
This had to work.
If Tetsuya didn't go beyond my expectations once again.
"It's not like my presence in the team changes anything. Even if I did fall behind, there was no way this team would stay behind with me." Then his head raises completly, for a moment there, our gazes met, and there was confidence in his eyes. Confidence to keep this secret of his.
"Tell the team if you want, it's not like it'd matter in any way."
I was enraged, but Tetsuya left, not giving me a chance to threaten him or to pursue him further into telling me.
For some moments i stood still, alone in the gym, the basket ball Tetsuya had dropped, near me, becoming the target of my anger.
With a strong kick, I sent the ball flying at top speed in the other direction.
Damn it Tetsuya!
I will find out what's going on!
Chapter 4: 3
"What is this?!"
"I'm quitting basketball."
How? How did he find out?
Why did he even notice?
... why would he even care?...
Some phantom I turned out to be, I can't even hide my pain anymore!
Maybe, maybe I should quit.
Haizaki is getting harder to deal with. He really did it that morning, I was late for practice. Now I have to think of how to deal with Akashi-kun too. Just the thought of it gives me a migraine.
But it was to be expected anyways, it is Akashi-kun after all, but never so soon.
"Kurokochi~!!!" I didn't even have time to comperhand that as air left my body once I collided with the ground, the force over me squishing me underneath.
"K-Ki-Kise-kun! Ah, you-you're crushing me!!!" I have to stop zoning out like that. Kise-kun might crush me for real other-wise.
"Ah, sorry sorry Kurokochi!" The annoying blonde gets up, allowing me to finally breathe again. He, wisely, held out his hand for me to take, which i gratefully took.
"Nee, Kurokochi, you heading to the gym?"
"Yes I am." Unfortunately.
His eyes sparkle with stars in them and his shining teeth almost blind me.
"Great! I'm heading there too! Let's go together Kurokochi~~!!!" I want to ask 'why?' but I know I can't because that'd be rude.
"Why not Kise-kun?" I gave him a light smile, but instantly regreted it as he squealed and trapped me into his bone-crushing hugs.
"K-Kise-kun! C-choking m-e!!
"Gah! Sorry Kurokochi~!"
The walk to gym was short but I have a bad feeling. Aside from Akashi-kun, there seems something's wrong with Kise-kun as well. He feels strange, like he's trying so hard to understand something- Could it be he knows something?!
Not paying attention, I bumped with someone.
An "Oof!" Sound escaped me as I hit the ground. Hard.
"Oi! Look where you're- Tetsu?!" Aomine-kun?!
"Aomine-kun?! Sorry I didn't see where I was going." He lazily scratched the back of his head and even more lazily rolled his eyes.
"Yea whatever, just watch it next time." I stood there awkwardly in between Kise-kun and Aomine-kun for a few minutes till something felt wrong, no off.
"Aomine-kun? What are you doing here?" Akashi-kun was nowhere to be seen as well.
"Oh that," he yawned and crossed his arms behind his head. "Akashi called me here. Said there was something important to discuss or whatever."
"I see." Is he really going to make his move?
"Nee, nee, there must be something really important if Akashichi called all of us here. Right Kurokochi?" I can't help but eye the annoying blonde next to me. His tone is wrong. His eyes are also wrong. Just as I'd reply to his question, Midorima-kun called for everyone's attention and informed us that Akashi-kun was busy and wouldn't be attending practice today.
"Important my ass! He's not even here himself!" Aomine-kun's voice complained and I can't help but agree.
What are you planning, Akashi-kun?
"Whatever. I'm outta here." I watched my friend (am I even allowed to call him that anymore?) try to leave but was stopped by Midorima-kun who took him and Murasakibara-kun, who was about to leave as well, aside and discussed something with them.
"Kurokochi~! Let's practice together, ok?" Kise-kun suggested.
"Ok. Let's." I say and pick up a basket ball.
"Mind if we join?" A lazy voice called behind me and before I could react, a tanned hand took my basket ball from behind. I turned to see Aomine-kun shoot it.
"What are you doing here, Aomine-kun? Murasakibara-kun?" The shot made it and two pairs of eyes landed on me.
"I told ya," Aomine-kun said taking another basket ball, "Akashi called me."
"Same here~." Murasakibara-kun added taking a bite from his mauibo.
"I know that, but I thought you were leaving."
"I'm here already aren't I. Since I am I might as well stay for a bit." He said taking his gaze off me.
"Everyone split in two teams. We're having a match." The coach yelled and blew his whistle.
Everyone did as they were told and soon I found myself facing Haizaki's goons, their smiles sending shivers down my spine.
Taking shaky breaths every now and then, I tried my usual, but it wasn't long till they decided to toy around with me.
It was halfway through the game when one of them brutally crushed my foot. As expected, it went unnoticed. From then, they became more brutal.
But of course, it wouldn't be only like that. The game's about to end and everyone's trying their best to win, except those two. One of them finally got the ball and passed it towards the other who dribbled it for a few. Then in a blink of an eye I felt the air leave my body as I crashed hard onto the ground.
Shouts passed by me, concerned voices surrounded me but I couldn't hear anything but the sound of my heart dancing in my throat. I'm pretty sure I'm bleeding.
"TETSU! OI TETSU!" Aomine-kun?
"Aomi-" coughs escape my mouth repeatedly, not letting me talk.
"Aomine, move!" Midorima-kun took Aomine-kun's place and started checking on me. Kise-kun as well took a place beside me. Why were they so worried about?
"Oi, what was that?!" Aomine-kun's voice boomed all over the place.
"What was what? It was his own fault for just standing there! I didn't even see him!!" I wonder if any of those two are insane to backtalk Aomine-kun when he's like that.
"Why you little-I'LL KILL YOU!!!" Kise-kun got up and along with Murasakibara-kun tried to keep Aomine-kun from killing anyone.
I willed myself to come down and tried to get up and help, but Midorima-kun wouldn't let me.
"Kuroko! Stay down! You're bleeding!"
"I'm fine Midorima-kun, let me get up!" I finally break free from him and try to stand on my shaky two feet.
"Aomine-kun." I know I'll fall down if I try to walk, so calling out to my tanned friend and hoping he hears me is my only option. Taking a deep breath, I try it one more time. "AOMINE-KUN!"
It worked this time as he-and everyone else- is now looking at me.
"Aomine-kun it was my fault."
"Are you fu-"
"I DIDN'T REACT FAST ENOUGH!" This time, my voice boomed over the place. "It was an accident."
I expected the whispers. I did. But I didn't expect a forced ironic laugh. Especially from someone who wasn't supposed to be there.
"Akashi-kun?!" He walked towards me with a smile on his face, but eyes screaming death. There isn't any doubt; he's angry. Mad even. Anyone could tell by the way he didn't even hear me.
"An accident you say, hm, Tetsuya?" Bending a little to my eye level, the red haired captain locked his gaze into my eyes, quieting- no, crushing whatever lie I said before, taking away my ability to talk or move and silently pleading for the truth that would never come. "Tell me, when could this accident have started, hm? When they purposfully hit you with the basket ball?"He straightens up again and starts walking towards the two devil assistants. "When they secretly elbowed you?" He stops infront of the them and his smile widens more. "Or when they not so secretly 'stepped' on your foot?"
"Akashi-kun, you've been here all along?" You planned this didn't you?
"Why, I've only been here since the beggining of the match." Of course I did. "I finished everything I needed to do and decided to come see how everyone was doing. And then I was faced with this 'accident' of yours.
"So then gentlemen, will anyone volnuteer to tell me who put you up to this because I'm sure, airheads like you could never even notice him in the first place." He stared down at the two, who werr probably insane because they just as confidently stared back.
I don't like this. I knew there was something going on here and I played along.
But this has to stop. Before someone looses his eyes, or worse, his head.
"Yes, Tetsuya?" He turns to look at me, knowing smile on his face. Waiting for the truth of course.
"Can we talk?" But he's about to be very dissapointed, I have another card up my sleeve.
"Of course." He followed me to my bag, where, with unnoticable trembling hands, I pulled out the sheet that'd end my life, figuratively that is, and handed it to him.
My heart felt heavy as I waited for his reaction and the yelling about to start. His eyes widden and his hands tremble and grip the sheet harder, almost to the point of tearing it. He quickly reads the rest of it before looking at me with betrayal.
Can I break down right here and now?
Of course not.
I have to be strong.
"What is this?!"
I have to be strong.
For all of us.
"I'm quitting basketball."
Chapter 5: 4
The poor guy was suddenly in my death grip. I think Satsuki's trying to calm me but all i can think of right now is killing those fuckers for messing with Tetsu.
LANGUAGE BECAUSE, AOMINE. AND ALSO BECAUSE ME.
I wish I didn't have to be here. I wish I could've just slept under that brigde again and ignored my beeping phone. I wish Akashi didn't call me. I wish he didn't have a plan. I wish I didn't have to see this.
I wish I didn't have to hear that.
I wish I had listened to Kise when he said there was something strange going on with Tetsu and our devil of a captain!
"What is this?!"
It's the first time I see Akashi so... defeated...
"The truth." How can Tetsu be so calm right now? "I'm quitting basketball."
Why?! Why Tetsu?
I can feel everyone hold their breath- I know mine left me- as Akashi's eyes became murderous. The air suddenly felt cold and suffocating.
"Sate them!" Why do I feel like even the birds stopped flying at that deadly voice?
Tetsu inhaled then exhaled, before calmly- so CALMLY- replying.
"I've got tired of basketball. I can barely keep up with you, or anyone really."
"Barely being the key word. You're still needed in the team, you have a job to do!" Tetsu isn't making eye-contact anymore, why the heck is he smiling!?
"Needed? That's such a huge lie, Akashi-kun.
"I'm quitting. That's that. Thank you."
"I don't accept this Tetsuya!" The devil spoke, tearing the papers apart. "You're not quitting now!"
"That's your problem Akashi-kun, I quit." He turned and walked away from, all of us really, saying he'd come and empty his locker tomorrow.
Akashi was left there with a murdering aura surrounding him, Midorima and Murasakibara were shocked at what they just heard, Satsuki was crying behind her hands while Kise went after my best friend.
I was about to follow when I heard those two bastards talk about him.
"So he finally quit huh? See we broke him! This is perfect!!!"
"No you idiot! We weren't suppossed to! How the hell can we destroy them now?! He won't like this at all!!!" Bastards. Bastards! Bastards!! BASTARDS!!!
"YOU BASTARDS!!! WHO PUT YOU UP TO THIS HUH? ANSER ME!!!" The poor guy was suddenly in my death grip. I think Satsuki's trying to calm me but all i can think of right now is killing those fuckers for messing with Tetsu. For even daring to come close to him!
"Aomine! That's enough!" The coach is in between us, keeping my prey away from my clutches. Murasakibara and Midorima are holding me back.
"Let go of me!!! Screw all of you!!!" Finally escaping from them, I run out of the gym wanting to see Tetsu.
Where are you?
"Tetsu!" I found Kise standing at the school gate by himself. "Kise!"
I run over to him only to see him wiping away some tears. Real tears.
"Aominechi... I-I couldn't stop him, I'm sorry!" Bastard, what are you saying?
Damn it! Where's that dumbass, he's late!!!
It's evening now. I told that damn Kise to meet me after school but now I'm the one waiting for him!
I didn't find Tetsu. I looked for him everywhere! But he just- dissappiered! Like-like a ghost!
So then I went back to the gym with the intent to kill, but those lucky shitheads were already gone! Kise dissapiered as well, leaving me on my own, and since my mind wouldn't stop thinking, I came up with an evil plan. Later I told Kise to meet me after school so we can 'talk'.
And also spy on those dumbasses.
But as I said; I'm waiting for the annoying blonde to arrive.
Man, I look like one of those idiotic idiots who're waiting for their big boobed girlfriends. Though I wouldn't mind being one of those idiotic idiots, Kise has no boobs at all, let alone big ones, and he's a guy- not a girl that I'd be happy to wait for. Even if Kise did somehow have big boobs, I'd rather wait for a no boobed Tetsu than him.
Wait, I wonder what kinds of boobs Tetsu'd have. Would he even look it?
Crap! Why am I thinking this?!
"I'm straight!!!" I yelled at the blonde coming my way.
"E-eh?" Crap! "Aomine-chi, you're red in the face. Is something wrong? Wait! Let me see if you have a fever!"
"N-no! I'm fine I'm not red in the face!" I say covering my mouth from damn embarrasment. "Shut up!" I am never staying alone with my thoughts ever, EVER, again!
"Erm, ok then?" The last bit of my nonexistent innocence is gone!!! "I wasn't late, was I?" I'm gonna kill you!!!
"So about Kuroko-chi's case."
"Huh? Oh, right. What'd you find?" A grin made it's way on my face. There's no doubt, someone's going to miss a few limbs tonight.
"Those guys are the same year as us, but attend different classes. Apparently, Haizaki attends some of those classes as well. He's beaten a bully once for them, now they're willing to do anything he asks them to." Oh so he's using them.
"Well that's not good. At all."
"Ha, why Aomine-chi?" He looks at me as we head towards the gym.
"Eh?" Did I say that aloud? "What? No forget it, it's nothing." But it is something.
Just as we're about to turn the corner we hear voices blabering, stopping our movements.
"The idiot quit! Just as we were getting to the fun part!"
"Yeah sorry~ sorry~! Please forgive us!"
"Forgive you? FORGIVE YOU?! YOU'RE DEAD MEAT YOU IDIOTS! HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DESTROY THEM NOW?! AH?"
Haizaki you damn bastard!!!
Ki-chan! Dai-chan, please don't do anything rash!
Chapter 6: 5
He should've gotten the message- everyone should've gotten the message.
Tetsuya needs a break.
I screamed at nobody, making the wall bear all of my frustration. I have a good reason to act like crazy.
He- God damn idiot!!!
How could he act up against me?
I created him! How dare he repay me this way? I would've expected it from anyone else but him!
"How could he?" A sigh escapes my lips, the chair creaking under the new-found pressure, which reminds me, I'll have to get a new one.
My gaze shifts to the torn papers once more, for the 58th time to be exact, the wish to rip it to shreds even more growing impossibly strong. What am I saying? Tetsuya doesn't need anymore reasons not to talk to me.
Okay, there's definetly something wrong going on. Today's practice proved it after all. Now, all I have to do is find the real threat to Tetsuya.
"Just who could have been observant enought to do that?" Any of the senpais who disliked him enough to resort to doing something like that were out of Japan, far, far away. The kouhai all respect him, and even those who don't, don't have the guts to go against a miracle, the regulars as well, the teachers don't even remember his existance and it couldn't possibly be students who don't play basketball either…
"Unless…" unless they were in the basketball club and resigned. But all the ones who did, didn't have a grudge against him.
No, no proof whatsoever, yet all the leads point to him.
The two students he 'befriended '…
His unusualy calm posture…
His demonic smile he's taken to another level.
"Heh." A chuckle pasts my lips as my bangs cover my devilish eyes, the room darkening as if allowing my presence to dominate- to terminate all that stands in my way. "Oh, Shougo… You have no idea what you just brought upon yourself…" The gods themselves would bow for mercy at my cold unforgiving gaze, and Haizaki, he's dust shivering away from my touch.
He can't escape.
Nothing escapes me.
He should've gotten the message- everyone should've gotten the message.
Tetsuya needs a break.
I went too hard on him, so, in order for him not to break, in order for him to maintain those loving blue eyes, he needed to be left alone.
Even Aomine understood that and didn't push him. Even Midorima didn't make anything to bother him in anyway.
But Haizaki, he should've left him at that. He should've… but he didn't.
And if Tetsuya breaks… Haizaki will as well… just, a hundred times more. No- billions of times more.
And I truly hope, for his sake, that Tetsuya is strong enough to not to.
His and mine both…
It'll be as if I've lost her again…
"What the-?!" My eyes widen. The room seems to suddenly spin.
Why did I think that?
Why would I even think that?!
Eerie silence takes over, swallowing me entirely, messing my thoughts and confusing them with entirely different matters.
Her and Tetsuya. She and him. Him and her.
"AKASHI-CHI!" A loud annoying voice, followed by a loud bang of the doors and footsteps hurridely making their way to me before the worried faces of Ryota, Daiki and Satsuki greet my eyes.
Instantly, the point of their 'visit' is crystal clear.
"Haizaki is the one bullying Tetsuya." The words left my lips before they could even breathe. I can't lose it now, not infront of them, not infront of anyone.
Daiki was, suprisingly, the first one to snap out of his stupor.
"How did you- Nevermind! We gotta find Tetsu! Now!" I raise an eyebrow at his sudden outburst.
"Oh. And why's that?"
"We followed those jerks and they led us to Haizaki. He said he had a plan and that he needed to find Kuroko-chi first. He'll hurt him Akashi-chi!" Ryota answered instead.
Well this is interesting…
"And you didn't teach him a lesson right there and then?" A pointed look went to the tanned male in the room. He noticed my amused stare and nervousness took over his features.
"I-I was goona…" He started, sending a look at the only female in the room, who in turn glared right back at him and there was nothing more that needed to be said. Satsuki had stopped him from doing so.
"Very well then." They took some steps back as I rose from my seat. "Let's go."
There was nothing they more they needed to say.
This 'game' is set.
And the winner is clear.
He will regret ever messing with him.
He will regret messing with us…
Or will I?
Chapter 7: 6
Nobody wanted to see their precious phantom get beaten to a pulp, or worse, but at their captain`s command they stood in hiding and watched, deeply regreting it when thing got out of hand in a blink of an eye.
Blue eyes glued to the floor, a tall figure looming over him…
That's how we found Kuroko-chi...
That Haizaki! How dare he hurt Kuroko-chi?! We'll show him!!!
That's what I wanted to do…
Akashi-chi wanted to wait, so… we're waiting… but, I can't understand why or what! Kuroko-chi's in trouble, we should be helping!
"Kuroko-kun~!" The bastard's voice rung in my ears. Judging from the way Kuroko-chi is trembling now, he just had the same sensation as me.
Nevertheless, Haizaki continued his endless ranting, oblivious of our thoughts and feelings.
"A little birdie told me you tried to quit basketball, is that right?" None of us missed the way his eyes clashed with those of the other students.
Kuroko-chi was quiet, still, so still that it looked like he wasn't even breathing, and maybe, just maybe, he wasn't. The fact that my dear mentor was silent, I don't know why but, it made me happy and proud. Maybe it was because it looked like he was finally fighting against the silver head.
This, of course, didn't satisfy Haizaki, it made him irritated in fact.
"Well?" He asked, tapping his foot against the concrete rapidly.
For a few more moments, our teammate was quiet, then…
"………" We couldn't hear what he was saying from our hiding spot… Aomine-chi's eye twitched a little, from annoyance or Haizaki's face, I couldn't tell. Akashi-chi seemed to know what he said though as his eyes narrowed dangerously. Just as I was about to ask him, Haizaki spoke;
"Haaaah? What are you saying? Could you repeat that, a little louder this time?" Haizaki spoke, for the first time making me glad, I don't wanna die from Akashi-chi's glare!
The tealnette shook, his clenched fists trembeling with what we could only assume was restricted rage.
Becoming unmoving once more. Like a true ghost.
His chest heavied from a sharp intake of breath. His fist unclenched and his hair swayed a bit from a gust of wind.
"I will be honest with you Haizaki." We all noticed the missing -kun of familiarity that Kuroko-chi adds to all of those he knows. "I hate you and your little game." His blue eyes battled with Haizaki's dark ones. "Never in my life have I ever hated someone as much as you. You caused me pain, not only that, but because you're too much of a coward to man up and fix your mistakes. I dislike cowards. I hate the one standing in front of me! I-"
"SHUTTUP!!!" The silver head's fist gripped around the smaller male's throat, interrupting his speech and lifting him like he weighed nothing. Then his other fist was brought down on his fragile, pale face, sending him flying in concrete floor.
The small phantom released nothing. No sound came out of his now bruised throat. No reaction either. Still as a rock. He just lied there. Not making any attempt to get up even when Haizaki's shadow loomed over him once more.
I don't understand! Why am I just standing here? Why isn't any of us moving to stop that bastard?! How can someone be so cruel?
He grabbed Kuroko-chi and slammed him against the wall, repeated punches digging in his stomach.
"Care to repeat that?! Huh?! Who's a coward?! Who?!" Like a true punk, he kept rambling on stupid things in a fit of rage. And yet no sound came out of the tealnette.
What we never expected was for Kuroko-chi to fight back. He suddenly pushed the silver head back a few steps. He started shaking once more, Haizaki stood there shocked. Then he laughed like the maniac he is as Kuroko-chi tried to stop his shaking by wrapping his arms around himself, making it look like he was cold instead of freaky. I feel weird, Kuroko-chi's acting strange. I don't like it one bit.
And I don't wanna just witness this! I want to help damn it!
Why can't I help him?
"Now where do you think you're going?" Haizaki asked as Kuroko-chi tried to leave, still shaking like a leaf. "The fun is just starting!" Every word was drawn out lazily, like this was just a simple game to him.
"OUT OF MY WAY HAIZAKI!!" Came the horrifying voice, followed by a cry of pain.
Haizaki was standing at the trembeling tealnette's feet, groaning in agony. Not pain, AGONY!
He made a move to leave once more and one would think he made it this time, but the maddened bastard pushed him painfully forward, making Kuroko-chi fall on the hard asphalt of the road, a horrid swish was heard, letting us know the painful contact of his body and the hard street.
Slowly, painfully, he stood up on shaky feet, blood pouring down his pale(r) face, one arm holding his side as he made a few small steps before a bright light sorrounded his figure, blinding him. Not litteraly of course.
He put his shaking hand in front of his eyes to protect them.
Just in time to see the damned car moving in a fast pace toward him.
Oha Asa predicted terrible luck for Aquarious today, nanodayo…
Chapter 8: 7
When the situation is handled, slightly... frightening consequences are to be taken.
"Tetsuya!!!" I yelled, just partly hearing my teammates cries as Tetsuya's life was about to be taken right in front of my eyes.
Despite the situation, I should've been able to move. Why was I just standing there! Why was I frozen just when my teammate needed me most?
I had promised myself. I swore I'd be strong no matter what! So why? Why damn it?
Time slowed down, everything moved in slow motion in those moments, allowing me to, despite the blinding light, see Tetsuya's eyes.
And I didn't want to see them.
Not with that expression.
Not when instead of fearing for his own life, he worried about ours.
Not when he felt guilty for making us see such a scene.
You damned innocent soul!!!
A loud thud made me blink twice, my heart swimming in relief when Tetsuya stood- sat, a few feet away from me. Daiki a few feet in front of him, gripping the street light's structure for dear life with his right hand, fear filled eyes glancing dumbfounded at the trembeling tealnette.
Daiki had finally snapped out of his frozen state just in time to save his, once partner, in basketball.
I'll have to reward him later.
Right now though...
"Tetsuya!" We all ran at his side checking of he was fine, which he was obviously not. Aside from the damage that Haizaki and the impact with the street caused, he was in shock from the whole thing.
He was shaking uncontrollably and his eyes were opened wide with new-found fear and confusion.
He looked pathetic honestly, if it wasn't for how long he'd gone through with Haizaki's tormenting, I would've told him to get it together, even if he didn't need to be told that. He was obviously trying to get it together himself. Trying to talk and stand on his own, he had no idea he looked like a lost child about to cry.
"Tetsu..." came a whisper from Daiki, who, himself, was shocked as well. His eyes desperatly wanted to not have seen all that, desperatly wanted his friend- no, best friend, to answer him and to act normally. This wasn't normal, he realized as his fist clenched and his teeth gritted against each-other. His body shook violently, turning towards a very stunned Haizaki Shougo, with the intent to kill.
"You-! You son of a b-"
"Daiki!" I stopped him, before he could actually kill him.
I got up and walked up to the young 'man' who was now grinning stupidly like a maniac.
"Haizaki Shoug-" He started laughing and pointing at me- no he was pointing at us, interrupting me.
Not of to a very good start Shougo.
"Hahaha! YOU! HAHAHAHAH! You should've seen the look on your face!!! HAHA! PRICELESS!!! HAH! I guess I really found your weakness! I don't have to get him to re-join the basketball club to destroy you! Haha-Ugh!!" I grab his collar- hard!- and give it a yank so then we were eye-to-eye, maybe even have him lower than me, and give him a nice, friendly talk.
"Do not interrupt me when I talk, Shougo." I said looking down upon him. "It really isn't good for your health." Giving him a 'warm' smile, which more or less told most people (the ones that know me) how serious the situation is, I give him no time for useless talk and continue with what actually matters here.
"Now then, let's begin our bussines with you, shall we?" Dragging him to the side of the street, my 'smile' never left me. Oh yes, I was enjoying it more than neccessary.
"Whoa! What the fu-!" The older teen bellowed in frustration and, of course, fear. Yet again, a yank of his collar silences him completely.
"Silence you disobidient dog!" I drag him in front of me with untamed force, letting him hang a bit backwards so that his body is leaning more on the street than the side-walk.
"You were preapared for the incomming consequences of your actions, were you not, Shougo?" His forehead was already covered in sweat, his figure shaking like a leaf while his hands clawed at mine, begging me to let him go.
"A-Akashi! Oi!" Daiki's voice held fear in it.
"What is it Daiki? Do you not see that I am currently punishing him for what he did?" An image of the tanned male shaking his head made it clear he didn't like what I was doing.
"That's not what I meant! Y-you're taking it too far!!!"
"Are you questioning me Daiki?" For the first time glancing at him, I noticed how he paled a bit and backed down immidietly.
Good for him.
"Now then," I turn once again to the pale idiot in front of me. "Let's see how much luck you will have dodging incoming cars. Tetsuya was lucky indeed wasn't he?"
"NO! ARE YOU CRAZY?! LET GO OF ME!!! AKASHI YOU BASTARD!" Struggling. How stupid.
"Struggling is futile. Kindly stop or else I will have your chances of survival lowered. How about making you stand in the middle of the street. Would you survive there? Would you be as lucky as to be saved by your little 'friends'?" His eyes grow wide in fear, so wide you might even say they were going to pop out of their socets.
"Oh so you don't want that to happen?" He shook his head no. "Good that's good. I can stop if you want me to, you know. You just have to do one little thing for me then."
"I'll do it!!! I'LL DO IT! JUST LET ME GO!!!" Right on time as well.
A car was speeding down the street, much to Shougo's horror.
"Good! You will beg on your knees for forgiveness to Tetsuya."
"WHAT?! FORGET IT!!!"
"Hm? Very well then. So be it." A loud horn begun blowing, obviously signaling us to step away. Something which I intended not to do. Not without having Shougo agree that is.
"Oi!!! NONONONO!!! LET GO DAMN IT!!!LET GO!!!" Any time now. "I WON'T DO IT!!! I WON'T!!!" Almost there.
The horn was even louder now.
Sure enough, he will give in right...
"Akashi-kun!" A force I knew all-too-well dragged me backwards, Shougo along with me, the car whizzing past us, not bothering to stop since we were on safe grounds, but still not forgetting a: "Get outta my way idiots!!!"
Shougo panted repeatedly beside me, thanking all gods he knew for being alive.
"Tetsuya!" I would've succeded!
"Are you an idiot Akashi-kun?!" He snaps at me, his body trembling from pain and anger, blood tricled down his right chin from the impact he had not too long ago, making him look more weak and child like than he already was. He bit his lower lip as he looked down on me, wanting to say more but not finding it in him to.
Slowly, I get up, ready to give him a scolding of his life, when the madman finally started laughing.
"Hahahahahahah! Ahahahaahahaha!!!" Bastard! "I'm alive!!! Hahahahahahahaha!!! You-you failed!! By your own teammate no less!!!" He started laughing once more, frightening the poor students that didn't know what to do anymore.
"S-shut up!!!" He froze. We all froze.
Shougo, one hand on his stomach, the other on his eyes, revealed them to look at the phantom. "Haaah? What are you on about now?"
"Don't you get it, shrimp?" He slowly walked towards Tetsuya but stopped when I stepped in front of him. "I won! I got what I wanted and I'm not done yet! I will have my r-" He stopped talking.
He did good!
After all, I made sure to sharpen my scissors well before stopping them in front of his eyes.
I felt Tetsuya stiffen behind me and I knew I should finish this quick.
"Enough of this Shougo!! I would rather have this solved peacefully. If you so much as look at Tetsuya one more time, I will not hesitate to destroy you. Take that warning to heart and leave before I change my mind." He was too shocked to move. For a moment I thought I'd have to repeat myself, but one of the other students gently tugged him back and he left with a glare full of hatred.
I cought him as his body slumped against mine.
I'll make you pay for this, Akashi!!!
Chapter 9: 8
One shadow is as stubborn as one hundred shadows and disobeys the one who many can`t even look at.
Akashi's P.O.V (there's a lot of these now a days)
I cought the seemingly lifeless body of my teammate, making me stumble back before regaining my composure and getting him on a more comfortable position. I put his arm over my shoulders, looking now into his dull eyes.
A black out then.
I let a sigh escape me, showing how displeased I was with the situation before deciding what to do.
"Ryota, Daiki, Satsuki, go home. I will accompany Tetsuya to his and tend to his wounds."
Silencing both Tetsuya's and the others' complaints with a hard glare, I indirectly tell them to do what I said before consequences follow.
With that done, Tetsuya and I walk a bit further away from the school's grounds, to where my driver picks me up, all the way, supporting Tetsuya and muting every complain he'd throw at me.
After that, silence took over.
But of course, that didn't mean I wasn't raging inside.
Looking at the smaller (and also younger) tealnette didn't help. It didn't feel like it was him I held straight.
It felt like demons had taken over him.
His eyes were unfocused, gazing at nothing on the ground with no light in them whatsoever.
His pale skin looked like a light gray with shadows looming over him every now and then.
He stood still, aside from walking, no movement came from him.
To sum it all up, he looked like a poor soul that had surrendered to dark chains.
This made me tighten my grip on him, albeit unaware of it, it felt like he'd slip away at first chance he'd get.
Arriving at the pick up place, my chauffer was already waiting for me. He threw Tetsuya a questioning look but opened the door for us never the less. Putting Tetsuya and going in after him, I noticed he looked tired.
More than tired.
Well the faster I take him home, the better.
"Not to the mansion Takashi. Tetsuya." Said person raised his dull, yet fearful eyes to look at me. "Give him your adress." I never even learned his home adress...
He didn't look too pleased about that, as the clenching of his fists showed, but complied anyway.
Good. I don't have to take care of disobidience.
As the limo went on the move, I couldn't help but to wonder what Tetsuya's home was like. He's never talked about his home or family before.
Would his parents be as well mannered as he is?
What is this bad feeling?
"Why didn't you tell us?" I questioned him, of course, demanding the answer. "Don't you trust your teammates?"
"..." He didn't answer right away, which irritated me a bit, but I wasn't going to snap at him. That wasn't what he needed.
"I wasn't looking for the help of my teammates." Came his soft reply. Despite not wanting to, I almost snapped at it.
"And what's that supposed to mean?" My anger was visible through my ice cold voice enough.
"It means what it means. I figured he was going to get bored with me eventually, his kicks didn't do that much damage, nor did they hurt a lot, so I decided to let it be."
"Didn't work out as planned did it?" His soft dull eyes turned cold at my question. He probably was right to be mad towards me, I did fail him after all, but his reason was overcome by tiredness as well.
"Not my fault now is it?" And yet I can't help but snap at him.
"And what is that supposed to mean?"
"Just that! If you hadn't shown up I wouldn't have to deal with him anymore!
But you just had to step in!"
"You wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for us." I said, slightly aware of the distress my driver was emmiting, an angry me wasn't good news for him after all.
"You have no idea of knowing that!"
"There was a car heading for you!"
"So what?!" He burst out, tone mixed with emotions I couldn't fully understand. "Huh? I don't get why you're so cought up with, whatever this is!" The car came to an abrupt stop.
"Takashi!" He sweat dropped before nervously replying.
"I-I'm sorry sir, but there is traffic up ahead." Before I even had time to reply I heard the door open and slam, the place where Tetsuya was obidiently sitting empty.
"T-Tetsuya!" Moving faster than I ever thought I could, I got out of the car, grabbed the tealnette's shoulder and turned him so that we could be face to face.
Or so I wanted it to be.
Why is he denying me the right of looking at him in the eye now?
"What...? What now?" He said, monotone, perhaps even more emotionless than ever before, shrugging of my hand on his shoulder while his right hand clenched tightly against his school bag's straps. And even though making the questions that he wanted answers to so badly, he still gave me no time to talk. "Just leave me alone." Turning around once more, this time, making himself even more invisible than before he said the words that would haunt me for the rest of my life, even after all this mess had been cleared.
"You can finally rest assured you are free from this useless phantom, captain..."
He left me with no words to say...
Funny how just seconds ago I was ready to burst out a tornado of all I wanted to say.
And there I was, I, the Akashi Seijuro, the perfect heir... speechless.
"You never even... let me answer you..."
This isn't over...
Chapter 10: 9
He can`t tell him, he`s just too scared to. So he fights himself and hides his true feelings.
The doors of the gym opened and then a silver haired guy came in. Not noticing that the was one more person in 'his territory' he yawned once and laid down on the floor, seemingly having a nap.
The other boy, tilting his head in the side, very curious about the other chose to approach him.
As all the sounds outside the gym kept going on, he stood, bent, over the punk-looking boy's head, observing it and him altogether.
When he suddenly opened his eyes, possibly bothered by the new-found shade over his face, more likely expecting someone else by the look of irritation he shot him at first.
Then after two seconds of a staring contest, the silver haired teen shot up, yelling in suprise.
That was their first meeting.
Not a pleasant one and definitly not normal…
But it was ok…
It was fine as long as he got to have a friend.
As long as he got a shoulder to hold on…
As long as he had support…
I never told anyone, it never came up, so I let it be…
But I never thought…
You were there first Haizaki-kun…
Why were you the first to leave?
You were always there to help…
Where did you go?
"Just leave me alone." I told him.
"You can finally rest assured you are free from this useless phantom, captain…" Regretted every word, but it's ok…
It's ok, because, because I won't have to suffer anymore… I won't have to deal with being forgotten because I won't know…
I'll be ok…
So… I just have to…
The tears are ready to fall down now… but I won't let them.
Not in front of him.
I'm the one hurting everyone, I shouldn't be crying.
But what can I do…? His murmuring's getting louder… too loud…
"Tetsuya!!!" His voice, colder than ice, stops me from taking another step, while he moves forward, nearer than he should.
"This…" He started, halting just a step away from my shaking shoulders. "This isn't over!"
I am aware my whole body is trembling, my teeth gritted against each-other and my bangs hid my expression.
"I don't know why you're suddenly thinking like this… But I will find out! And I will save you!"
"Suddenly…?" I asked over my shoulder, not turning to see him. "How would you know that, Captain?"
"You wouldn't know… never, ever would I let you know either."
I didn't turn to see him, but I was almost too sure his expression wasn't the usual stoic one.
"Hehe, you have no idea, how much, I've thought like this… no idea…
And, you never will." I take a few more painful steps when his voice booms over the place.
"Fine then! But I will save you Tetsuya!"
"Why would you do that?" I ask, a few tears already streaming down my cheeks, mixing in with the blood that poured down my face from the impact earlier. "Why do you even care now?"
"What are you talking about, Tetsuya?" He sounds impatient, worried even, for… for someone as useless as me… And I'm about to hurt him.
"You said you wouldn't stop me… you said it didn't matter if I quit. What's bothering you now?" I want to stop. I want to turn around and apologize for everything, I want to tell him, my first hope, how none of my words are true… but I won't.
It'll be better this way…
"Or are you finally bored again so you decided to play with me once more?
What will you do after you're finally satisfied, huh? Leave me to break in the shadows?" Please forgive me…
"Just go away. And don't ever talk to me again."
I didn't wait for his response.
I left as soon as I said my last words.
I don't want to feel his hurt. I don't want to hear him break…
I just want them to be ok.
Even if I'm not…
I'm sorry… everyone…
I'm just not good enough.
I''m not strong enough.
A stupid, weak , shadow …
I can't live in your lights…
Kuro-chin, don't you trust us?
Chapter 11: 10
A heart-to-heart can shock you to the moon.
Akashi's P.O.V (again...)
The familiar mop of teal hair dissappeared in the crowd, leaving me there yet again.
Did he truly think I'd follow through with his requests? Oh he's so naïve and stupid sometimes.
"Takashi!" I said making my way towards the limo.
"Yes sir?" The answer came immidietly as he opened the door for me.
"Continue to where we were going."
I can't believe it...
Your house is smaller than my bathroom!!!
"U-um... sir? Is there something wrong?" Takashi asks behind me, worry dripping his voice.
Who wouldn't be worried though...
This is the first time I am so stunned. My mouth could be touching the ground now for all I know!
With a twitch of my left eye, I compose myself and answer with a 'no' before telling him to wait me in the car.
So small... The house, if anyone can call it that, consists of two rooms. TWO! One is a tiny bathroom, the other is his excuse of a living room.
The walls are even smelly... wait does water get inside when it rains here?
"Damn it, Tetsuya, why haven't you ever said anything?" Just how much could he be hiding?
Yet the place seems welcoming and warm despite the poor conditions.
That's something only Tetsuya can do.
Suddenly a loud crack erupted all over the place and the lights went out.
"What the?" The walls are leaking. Oh, so it's raining...
The door slams open to reveal a panting, completely drenched tealnette.
"Tetsuya?" He freezes and locks shocked orbs with my mismatched ones. Then he quickly looks away and puts on his emotionless mask.
"What are you doing here Akashi-kun?" Closing the door behind him, he takes of his shoes and proceeds to throw his bag on the couch then takes off his uniform jacket and throws it somewhere inside the bathroom.
"Checking on you. I said I would tend to your wounds didn't I?" I said as he moves to a closet in the room, and kneels in front of the end drawer.
"And I said I could do it myself." He takes out some fresh clothes and goes to the bathroom.
"This isn't a place for you." He mutters. It probably wasn't meant for me to hear it but my ears cought it.
"This isn't a place for you either Tetsuya!" I yell so he can hear me.
Well, I might as well look around for his first aid kit while he changes.
I can't help but to remember Tetsuya's words to Shougo.
"Funny how you'd say that to someone you once befriended..."
What did that mean? Had Shougo gotten along with Tetsuya?
No, they never even talked much to each-other.
Ah, found it!
"Tch. Everything here seems to be minimized." Tetsuya's fist aid kit is smaller than it should be.
Well, we'll use what we have.
Turning to the crack of the only door exept for the entrance of the house, I take a glance at Tetsuya, who seems rather dissapointed to find me still here, then raise his first aid kit.
"Found this mini first aid of yours. Make yourself comfortable."
A sigh escapes his lips as he did what I told and sat on the couch where I started to inspect his injuries.
"You shouldn't have left like that." I tell him as I clean the wound on his forehead, making him wince in discomfort.
"You shouldn't have come here." He glares at me through one open eye as the other was closed from pain..
"You shouldn't be telling me what I should and shouldn't do when you don't even do what you should and shouldn't do." I retort with a smirk.
"... look who's talking..." He said, admitting defeat. Wise move.
The rest of the time was spent in silence until I finished treating his wounds.
He stood up and walked over to the 'kitchen'.
"Would you like anything Akashi-kun?" He said as he grabbed a few ingridients.
"I thought you wanted me to leave?" I ask with a smile.
"I do. But doing so without treating you for your kindness would be rude." Same old Tetsuya.
"No. I have no preferences." I said, accepting a hum in return.
I relaxed in the couch while Tetsuya prepared something. I can't help but ask him though, I'm curious.
"Where are your parents?" The sounds coming from the kitchen stopped, making me look over in worry.
"They're... well, mom's dead..." my eyes widden in suprise. "And dad's... out of town." He said, turning to me with a tray in hand.
"Why is that?" He puts the tray down and I see he prepared tea with cookies.
"Living conditions. He's working to bring money home..." he shrugs and doesn't meet my eyes, instead he grabs his teacup and starts drinking it. Is he lying to me?
"I see..." I copy his actions and look at him once more. "I'm sorry for your mother."
"It's okay... she, left when I was very young so..." So what? You miss her just say it Tetsuya!
"I see..." I put down my unfinished tea and get up. "I should get going."
"I'll escort you." Tetsuya said, making me want to laugh. Escort me where?
"Sure-" But as soon as I make a move to turn around, I catch sight of a picture, no, photo of a younger Tetsuya and a woman.
He seemingly saw where I was looking and answered my unvoiced question.
"My mother. We were at the park that time." He seems to be relieving old memories while I'm stuck in a nightmare.
Why you ask?
The woman in the photo...
Is my mother .
Nee, Tetsu-kun... are you really you?
Chapter 12: 11
For better or worse, they`re trying to fix things.
"Oi Akashi!" I yell out my childhood friend's name as soon as I walk into the noisy classroom with some idiots in tow.
I hadn't been worried about Kuroko. I just so happened to listen to the blue haired ganguro and the annoying model's conversation as they wouldn't leave me alone.
They said something about hoping the tealnette was ok and ended up telling me what happened last night.
I don't care if he was hurt badly but I don't want to be distracted today so I want to hear everything from Akashi.
I found him in his usual seat, where he had already opened everything needed for the lessons, but unlike usual, not that I see how he usually is, he looked… distracted, as if in a daze.
"Oi!" I had the courage to slam my hand on his desk, effectively snapping him out of his stupor as he turned to look at me.
"What is it, Shintarou?" His eyes glinted dangerously, as he was, clearly, not happy, making me hesitate a little. I take a gulp before talking.
"Kise and Ahomine say that Kuroko had an accident last night. Not that I care or anything, I'm just asking to confirm it since these morons spurt nonsense all the time."
A long minute passes before his cold mismatched eyes blink and he crosses his arms over his chest.
"Yes, it is true. Haizaki went too far last night." He says looking ahead. "Tetsuya also refuses help. He says he doesn't need it."
"But we'll still help him," Kise decided to pipe in. "Right Akashi-chi?"
A nod was his response. Akashi looked at the three of us with murderous eyes. "Of course Ryota, Tetsuya isn't on his right state of mind to decide for himself right now."
"Akashi-" The bell rung, signaling the start of classes today and cutting whatever bull Ahomine had to say.
"Get to your classes. We'll discuss this later."
While the two idiots took their leave (running like crazy), I sat in my seat beside Akashi.
"You're planning something already, aren't you?" Truthfully, it was more of a statement than a question.
"Of course." Was the only answer I got before the teacher got in.
The classes passed and it was at last lunch time. Akashi and I met up with the others rather quickly (the morons appeared in thin air) and were set on a 'phantom hunt' as Murasakibara so gracefully named it.
As the morons headed off into different directions, I stayed with Akashi. I really want to avoid getting affected by those guys' stupidness.
"Where to Akashi?" I ask. He seems a little annoyed, I think because of those idiots.
"The library. Tetsuya is most likely there." I nod and follow after the red head. The library seems like the best guess, Kuroko is a bookworm after all.
And the library was the right guess too. We found Kuroko on the farthest corner reading some mystery book, which is a big suprise that we managed to notice him, but really not since this is Akashi we're talking about.
"Tetsuya." Akashi said, gaining the tealnette's attention.
"A-Akashi-kun?!" Kuroko really doesn't look that happy to see us. "What are you-"
He was cut off though, by Akashi who asked- ahem, demanded that he come with us, while I left before hand to text the others to meet us at the cafeteria.
"Akashi-kun!!! Please let go of me!" The phantom's cries were ignored though as Akashi approached me, dragging the poor boy by his left wrist.
"Did you tell them, Shintarou?" He asked me as we now moved in a steady pace.
"I did." I confirmed and glanced over at Kuroko who in turn looked over at me.
"Please help me! I don't want to eat lunch right now. I just want to read!" He squirmed and struggled against Akashi's firm hold in futile atempts.
"No one is forcing you to eat Tetsuya. We just simply want to talk." Akashi answered in my place.
"As if! We can also talk later Akashi-kun, if you're in such a hurry it must mean trouble for me."
"True, so-" The red headed devil abruptly stopped, eyes fixed on Kuroko, rather, on something on Kuroko.
"Akashi, what's-" He pulls Kuroko closer and grabbes his right wrist, which made the teen wince.
I was… speechless...
His wrist was bandaged, with some red liquid- BLOOD- staining the cloth in some places.
It was barely noticable to be honest, but you could notice it if you paid attention.
Before the phantom could react, the young captain started unbandaging it and revealing his wrist- his sliced wrist.
"How could you?" Akashi's hold on his wrist got a little tighter and his eyes bore into Kuroko's hidden expression.
His bangs fell on his face, hiding whatever emotion he was feeling at the moment.
Akashi frowned at his lack of response, but didn't pry further. "We will return to this topic later." He said, holding back a sigh. "For now, let's go. The others are waiting."
And so, no more questions were asked on the matter.
The little 'meeting' we had with Kuroko turned out to be a mess.
A lot of questions were thrown his way and a lot were dodged.
Most of our questions weren't answered and the phantom ended up yelling at us and leaving the place. Most importantly, he didn't even eat anything.
Akashi seemed content though for some reason.
"Why are you making that creepy smile, Akashi?" I asked when we were walking home.
"Hm, oh I just got some information I needed that's all, Shintarou." He answered.
"Information?" The mood turned serious for some reason.
"Yes. There was something… suspicious- no, merely, a weird relavation I found out in Tetsuya's home." I did not miss how his eyes sharpened at the 'weird relavation' or the pressure put on the word 'home'. "I told someone to do a little background research and I got all the information I wanted. Plus, Tetsuya's outbursts helped today."
"How is that, nanodayo? And I assume you'll let us in on this little relavation of yours?"
A chuckle was my reply.
"Patience Shintarou, I'll tell you once I get to the bottom of this."
Please don't, Akashi-kun.
Chapter 13: 12
A little investigation leads to the truth everyone Akashi`s been waiting for.
This is interesting…
As soon as I returned home from school, I immidietly went to my room to check on the information I requested.
What I found was rather stunning.
Kuroko Tetsuya doesn't exist.
But after that was another name; Kuroko Reji.
Someone powerful as well.
It kind of irks me.
Has Tetsuya lied to me about his identity?
No… it can't be. The only times I've detected lying from him was when this deal with Haizaki started and when I asked him about his father.
So what's really going on now?
"Let's make some research on Reji then."
I take my laptop and type the name to find many websites that have written on it.
According to these, Kuroko Reji owns a lot of companies and buildings in and outside of Japan. He's almost as powerful as my father.
"Hm. Almost as powerful as Akashi Masaomi huh? Weird to say that when I've never even heard of him." Weird indeed. "Oh…"
"What could this be?"
Beside all the other webpages is a link with the name: Kuroko Reji, not the trustworthy person the public nows.
I click on it a few times, only to recieve a table saying the page is 'unresponsive'. How annoying!
I tap a few buttons and try to hack in to it but a knock on the door interrupts me.
"Seijuro-sama, your father requests your presence." Came the unwanted voice.
A sigh escapes my lips as I already feel a headache coming.
"Of course, I'll be right there. Tell him."
As the footsteps echoed away, I lazily closed my laptop and hid my documents on the case.
Tetsuya, what are you hiding?
I get out of my room and close then lock the door behind me.
Something tells me this will be a long meeting.
Whatever my father wants, it's not good.
While I take long strides towards my father's office, my mind replays the earlier GOM's meeting.
"Kuroko-chi, you should eat something."
"Arigatou, Kise-kun, but I'm not hungry. I really want to finish this quickly so I can get back to reading."
"Fine then, how long has this been going on?"
"For about 20 minutes if I recall right Midorima-kun, 15 exluding the time it took you to get me here."
"Phaahahahahah!! You rock Tetsu!"
"Be quiet Daiki, this is serious. Tetsuya, how long has Haizaki bullied you?"
"I refuse to answer that."
"You will answer."
Father's office door came into view, cutting my train of thought in the middle.
I knock twice then, after recieving approval, walked in.
"You wanted to see me, otou-san?" Annoying question, I wouldn't be here if he didn't.
"Yes I did. I have some questions for you, Seijuro." I raise a brow. Questions?
"What is it, otou-san?" I let myself take a seat across from him as he stares at me with cold eyes.
"I'll get straight to the point. Who did you seek information on, Seijuro?" He asked, meaning: either someone told him, or he just noticed. Either way, I'll be needing a new informant.
"Why would you ask, otou-san? Am I not allowed to ask information on people?"
"Answer me Seijuro!"
"On Kuroko Tetsuya, otou-san." For whatever the reason, his calm and cold composure dropped for a moment, replaced by shock, worry and… longing?
Does he know him?
"Where have you heard that name?!" He interrupts me, confusing me even more. Father was always cold, but he would always listen to what I had to say.
"So you do know him?"
"Answer me!" Whatever patience he had left, flew out of the window as his anger took the best of him.
"How do you know him?"
"What's he to you?" He shook like a leaf as he stood from his chair and slammed his hands on his desk.
"WHAT WAS HE TO OKAA-SAN?" My patience ran out as well as I copied his movements, rage filled my eyes as I looked at the pale face of my father.
"Twin…" He finally muttered, an action not fitting of an Akashi, yet, an action that managed to shatter my world in a million pieces.
"What…?" An action I couldn't help but to make at that moment.
"He's your younger twin brother." My father said, whispering softly as he stood up straight, looking at me as if waiting for an answer.
"You abandoned him!?" My eyes widen in horror as it struck me harder than lightning.
It's a good thing he's not the one in charge right now, he would surely break down at the news.
"No! Heavens, no, Seijuro!" He quickly denied. "Tetsuya was taken."
"At first we thought it was for ransom, but the one who took him was my rival. Kuroko Reji. He wanted… he…"
"He what, otou-san?" I can't even listen to him right now, all I want to do is find Tetsuya and make sure he is safe and secure.
"He…" He hesitated before saying: "he loved your mother. That's why, he took Tetsuya, claiming he'd kill him if your mother didn't agree to his… conditions."
"Conditions?" My father nodded his head and heavied a sigh as he sat down, motioning for me to do the same.
"He said he wanted 'at least a chance to win your mother's heart' so he sent dates and times on when and where they would met."
"And you put up with that?" I questioned as I took my previous seat. A shake of his head was my answer.
"I would never. I attacked him whenever I could, until Tetsuya got cought up in it and injured himself. He was about three months old at the time so he was lucky to have survived."
"So why have I never heard of this before?" I will never forgive you if you kept this from me because-
"I thought he was dead." All color drained from my face at that moment.
"After your mother died," His eyes turned murderous. "He came to me and said:
'I have no use of the child anymore, I'm killing him now.'
Apparently, he threw him in the streets."
"Then, if you'll excuse me," I stood from my seat and walked away. "I'm leaving. I'll have to tell Tetsuya everything. I'm going to have to be careful about this." As I was going to close the door behind me, my father's voice stopped me from leaving.
"Seijuro, where did you meet Tetsuya?"
"He's a… very valuable teammate of mine in basketball."
Just what's going on here, Akashi?!
Chapter 14: 13
Rough times bring down even the strongest person.
What's up with them?
A sigh escapes me as I walk down the pathway to my home.
Can it even be called that?
It's cold and lonely there... it's dark and uninviting.
I hate it there!
But it's all I have...
All I've ever had. I should be grateful I ever had anything.
Garbage like me don't live in such a place.
What's worst, Akashi-kun even saw it.
He must be disgusted. So disgusted he'd have to leave me alone.
At least, I thought so.
He's even more determined to 'help' me now.
I can't say I'm suprised though, Akashi-kun is a good person.
The best I've ever known, but... he shouldn't have to deal with me... I'm such a bother anyway. I only want to help people, not give them more worries, but it seems that is all I can do.
"How long have you known Haizaki?"
"When did he start bullying you?"
"And what about your father Tetsuya? Why did you lie about him?"
"What about him, Akashi-chi?"
"Yes, what about him, Tetsuya?"
Please, minna, please stop!
I don't want you to worry, I'm fine...
"I'm fine... right?"
Hai... I'm fine.
Walking up the steps of my home, I greet myself, a habit I picked out of sheer pity.
A habit I used to make so I could feel like someone.
But it doesn't work anymore.
"Hello okā-san. I'm back." I kiss my mother's photo and continue taking off my shoes, wincing in the proccess as Haizaki's punches hurt.
I ran into him earlier... he, wasn't happy. At all.
"Pft, as if he ever is..." not anymore at least.
He had that grin on his face. Like he'd won the lottery. Grabbed me from the collar and pushed me hard against the wall. He started his taunting words and iron punches to go with them.
I hate this...
I went straight to the bathroom to take a shower, to clear my head and see my situation through.
I'm running low on cash. Perhaps I should stop buying food in the cafeteria.
After I graduate, maybe I'll drop out of school and find a job. Yeah, maybe. Not happening. I'll get a part time job. I still have to bring them back.
Now then, Haizaki shouldn't be much of a problem. My low presence and misdirection could keep him away for at least this last week of school.
And Akashi-kun, he shouldn't be able to find anything on me... but maybe my otò-san...
We look nothing alike, he might think it's merely a mistake or something.
Yeah. I might just be screwed right now. Akashi-kun will know.
He'll know and he'll definetly not letting me go without answers.
What do I do now?
Haizaki is enough of a bad problem, but I have to deal with the GOM and their devil of a captain as well?!
I feel a massive headache comming and get out of the bathroom in fresh clothes.
My head's pounding so much I almost trip.
Luckily, I make it to my old couch without falling.
Sleep takes over as soon as I hit the pillow, dragging me into an endless, restless rest.
The sound of a doorbell ringing woke me up and sent me on stumbling feet.
I made a step or two before my knees gave out under me, making me crash head first onto the tiled floor of my bathroom.
Wait, bathroom ? What am I doing in the bathroom? More importantly, when did I get here?
Brushing these thoughts aside, deciding to think later, I slowly walk towards the door, careful not to trip and open the door to see the unmistakable red hair of Akashi-kun. The one person I'd rather not see.
Why do I feel so weak and... cold ...?
My vision blackened out as my consciousness fades away, leaving me falling into the warm arms of my friend.
Chapter 15: 14
Worry can save lives.
Walking to the school's front gate, I find myself looking forward to today, a quite suprising fact to be honest.
Well, it's not like I don't look forward to school days other days, I really enjoy torturing some souls, but it's different today.
Perhaps it is the fact that I found out Tetsuya is my younger brother, twin.
It makes me happy to know. Tetsuya was always there for me, regardless of the situation.
The fact that I was able to crack the web page open makes me even more content.
Kuroko Reji is accussed of murder.
I investigated the fact a bit more and it turned out he actually did murder someone.
Quite an interesting fact to know for future possibilities.
“Akashi!” Turning to the source of the voice, I let my thinking stop for a moment.
“Shintaro.” I give my childhood friend a curt nod, signaling him to speak his thoughts.
“I think there's something wrong.” Wrong?
“Hm? Why's that?” I notice the way he grips his lucky item, a Cupid toy, a bit harder than before and I suddenly get the feeling this has to do with Tetsuya. “Shintaro!” I say when he hesitates for a bit.
“I… Oha Asa predicted bad luck for him today. The worst, nanodayo.” For a moment there, I would've thought it was nothing. But the green haired megane continued.
“I checked his classroom to give him his lucky item for the day (not that I was worried or anything), since he's usually early, but he wasn't there. I think something might have happened to him.” While he was in the middle of his worries, rambling them out to me, I quickly checked my watch to see what time it was.
Just about time for lessons to start.
Tetsuya's never late. Never.
But if he's not there…
“Did you make sure he wasn't there?” Shintaro gave a nod.
Just as I was about to demand- suggest, we look for him once more, the bell rung, forcing us to go with the plan later.
Oh, the school had to get a new bell at the end of the day.
No sign of him.
Tetsuya is nowhere to be found today. We checked his classes for about five times by the end of the lessons and he was absent.
This leads to three possibilities:
- Haizaki might loose some body parts.
- Someone else might loose some body parts.
- Tetsuya might get a whack on his fragile head.
Either way, I am not happy with the results.
I told the others to head home, while I checked Tetsuya's.
I walked up the dirty steps of his house and ringed the bell.
Twice. There was a thud.
Thrice. Soft mufled pats came from inside.
The fourth time, the door opened to reveal a very pale looking tealnette.
His cheeks were slightly pink, his eyes were unfocused and swollen and his thin white T-shirt was colored red.
Coming from his sliced wrists…
Before I could fully procces the information, his body started falling, his eyes dropped and his breathing came uneven.
I cought him immidietly and changed him into a more comfortable position, with his head leaning on my shoulder.
Checking his temperature, which was really high, with one hand, I dialed the first number in my contacts, my father, to send me a car as soon as possible, rather in five minutes.
With that done, I carried Tetsuya inside and quickly bandaged his wrists. Just as I finished bandaging them, a car honk blew outside, meaning someone does his job right.
“Let's go Tetsuya. Hold on!” I carried him outside, feeling his shivers when the cold air hit him, and into the car.
“Turn on the heater.” I ordered the driver, laying my brother in the cushions, with his head on my lap. “We better have arrived to the mansion in five minutes or else.” I grit my teeth as I feel Tetsuya's warm forehead, he definetly has a serious fever.
Yes, Tetsuya will surely get a whack on his fragile head.
A really strong one at that.
Chapter 16: 15
Surprise, surprise fated meeting.
I found myself walking down the city streets. Again.
It helps me think clearly and it's quite calming despite the noises in the background.
I hadn't done so in a while because I've been busy with studies and everything that's been happening lately…
“Ah, welcome to the world of living Tetsuya.”
“The doctor that treated you saw some new bruises.”
“Cutting while you have a fever Tetsuya?”
“What are you hiding, Tetsuya?”
Akashi-kun, I don't even understand myself.
I don't remember what happened.
I can't remember waking up and going to the bathroom, let alone cut.
All I know is that I didn't feel well.
Then again. It's been quite a while since the last time I really felt well.
But it's also been some time since I found myself in this much trouble.
“You haven't been paying rent for the last two months.”
Having to deal with Haizaki, I totally forgot about that.
It's just a week more before school's over.
Just a week to find the amount of money needed to pay my living.
A sigh escapes my lips as the chilly night air hits my face, causing my eyes to blink a few times and trip on my own two feet, bumping into a stranger's stone built chest.
“Whoa, easy there kid!” Shrieked a slightly familiar voice.
A very, familiar voice.
“Ah, forgive me… Ninjimura senpai?” I look up to see that my guess was correct.
He hadn't changed much, slightly better built than before, also taller (how could one get so tall in that age?) and he looked like an actual adult now.
“So you remember me.” I comment, getting out of his strong(er?) grip and bow in a sign of thanks. He did catch me after all.
“Tch. Why wouldn't I remember you?” I chose not to answer and he chose to forget about it.“Still as polite as ever I see. What are you doing out in this time of night?” his black eyebrow rose as he stared intently at me.
“Senpai is also outside, what's wrong with me going out?” I couldn't tell him ‘Oh, I'm just getting my mind off of things. Finding solutions to my miserable life problems.’ now could I?
He heavied a sigh and put his hands in his pockets, but not before making a gesture with his hand while he said in a bored tone.
And I did.
Going towards Maji Burger, I found out that senpai was on vacation for a week. He missed his old place and took a walk downtown.
What a coincidence.
“So, what do you want, Kuroko-kun?” The raven haired teen asked me, taking out his wallet while we took our seat.
“There's no need for that, senpai. I can pay for myself.” I'll risk getting two part time jobs but I will not let senpai pay for me. It's rude. I don't do rude things.
Although, his eyes narrow to the point one can say he's bored, but I know that's a cue to agree or else.
“Let me rephrase that. What am I going to buy you, I wonder?” A jolt of shivers made me break eye contact, and suddenly memories of the demon ancestor of Akashi-kun feeding me burgers and pizza came flooding back.
“Uum… well then-”
“No vanilla milkshake.” He says with his famous authorative tone, crushing any hope I had left.
“A burger then. Please.” He gives a soft hum.
“Or would you rather three?”
“…two…” He let's a soft smirk, ahem… smile , grace his features as he gave a nod, heading to the counter to give our orders.
I sigh, thinking how Ninjimura senpai always won.
Senpai deserve's it though. He works hard on everything he does and he's a great leader.
I can almost see him leading a prestigeous company sometime in the future.
“What are you smiling at Kuroko?”
Blinking in suprise, I turn to look at the center of my previous thoughts. “S-smiling?” Gulping suddenly became hard, seeing the curious look he gave me.
No way am I going to tell him that!
It'd be too embarrasing and he'd never let me live tomorrow.
I shudder at the thought of a very happy Ninjimura strangling me in what he'd call a hug and look around to try and find a distraction.
Luckily for me and not so luckily for him, my eyes landed on something on his tray.
Alongside four burgers, stood proud and tall the very source of my happines.
A vanilla milkshake.
“V-vanilla shake…” My hand moves on it's own accord across the table to grab it, but it was immidietly slapped away, making me frown.
Not pout. Frown.
“B-but-” I try once more to take it away from the demon's hands, but fail to again.
“Nu-uh, you'll finish your burgers first. This will stay here until then.” He commands, pushing two burgers in my two open hands, that were definetly not waiting for them.
“How mean of you senpai. Buying me a vanilla milkshake just to get me to eat these.” I try my last trick, my puppy face, as Aomine-kun and Kise-kun called it.
“You should be grateful I'm not the one feeding you instead.” He says, I silently agree as it was never a pretty experience, but notice him looking away and taking his first bite.
That's cheating senpai…
My head bangs on the table, I felt like throwing a tantrum. I had a vanilla milkshake right in front of me, yet I couldn't reach it. “Demon.” I mutter. And as if waiting for that particular comment, he asked in a very amused and sweet tone, making me straighten up immidietly.
“What was that~?”
“N-nothing, senpai! I'd better get started then.” I say stuffing my mouth with the first burger.
After that, silence followed.
As I finished my burgers I felt myself looking outside, until senpai spoke again.
“So how's Akashi and the others?” I somehow felt it was comming, but I still wasn't prepared to hear the question leave his mouth.
I didn't know how to answer it as the man asking it was the one who created the GOM, the one that made everyrhing happen.
The one that stood proud watching us play and the one who'd break the most if he were to know the answer.
“Good. They've improved a lot.” I say, taking my last bite. He hums and leans on the palm of his hand.
“And you?” With nothing to hide behind, I found myself looking at my hands as if they were the most interesting thing in the world and shrugged.
Perhaps if I was looking at him in the eye, I might've cought him raising a questioning eyebrow at my behaviour, but I wasn't, so I didn't know if that was his reaction.
“I see.” He said in a strange tone of voice. “Well then, what about-”
“Vanilla.” I interrupt, what I assumed was a question about Haizaki, as he always asked about the silver haired teen for some reason, streching my hand to him expectantly, also having the opportunity to see his cute confused and lost face.
I could almost see black dot's behind him, his face that of a child learning something new.
“I finished my burgers. I want my vanilla milkshake now.” I demand in an Akashi way and watch as he takes a moment to fully proccess the request before breaking to a wide grin and then burst out laughing, attracting some attention.
“Why, Kuroko-kun…” He said once he calmed down. “Who said I bought this for you, huh?”
“Senpai said that-”
“I said the shake would stay here until you finished your burgers.” He said, making my eyes widen at the sudden relization. “I didn't say you'd get to drink it.”
I frowned as he shook the vanilla shake in a tempting way before moving to take a sip.
He ended up taking a blow to his stomach, therefore, giving me my well deserved vanilla milkshake.
Just what are you hiding, Kuroko?
Chapter 17: 16
Late night stroll shocks the poor teens to the point of murder intent.
Me, Momo-chi and Aomine-chi were going home.
It was quite the lively talk if I were to say so myself. Mainly, on my and Momo-chi's part. AHOmine-chi just grumbled under his breath every now and then.
“Ne, Momo-chi, Aomine-chi…” I started to get their attention.
Well, only the pink haired manager's since Aomine-chi ignored both of us (Aomine-chi mean, ssu!!!). “What do you think of Nijimura-senpai's appearance?”
The black haired captain, or uh… ex-captain of the basketball team suddenly showed up, scaring the hell out of me and Momo-chi. The midnight blue haired teen, well… he hit a wall trying to run from Satan.
We just got out from Maji burger when we received a text from Akashi-chi, saying our phantom friend was okay and had a slight fever.
Momo-chi and I hugged each-other, jumping up and down like ‘boobless girls that won over a mindless baka’ from Aomine-chi's point of view. He might not have shown it, but he was also happy.
“Well what's going on here, huh?” Said a voice behind us. “O, it's just my two brainless kouhais and the genious prodigy.” We turned around in light speed to see who it was, only to meet an evilly amused smirk. “What, no hello's or anything?”
“Nijimura-senpai!!!” Momo-chi screamed and ran up to him, lightly punching his chest, before hugging the raven head.
“What's up?” He turned to look at me, making me feel kind of nervous.
“Hi, senpai!” I just realized, Aomine-chi was quiet. Too quiet.
“Aomine- AOMINE-CHI!!!” I screamed at the limp figure of my dark skinned friend that was lying across the side walk.
“Oh, yeah. It was quite unexpected.” Momo-chi said, a thoughtful look on her face. “It's weird how he kept asking us on basketball club's latest.”
“Tch. Whatever. That guy doesn't have to know anything. It's not like he can do anything about it. Or actually figure it out.” The dark skinned ace commented behind us, a grumpy look on his face. “He really doesn't even have the right to know anything anymore so just let him be.” With that he picked up his pace, moving two steps ahead of us.
The pinkette beside me stiffled her laughs.
“Dai-chan's just mad coz he made a fool out of himself.” She whispered to me, but not low enough for the ganguro because he froze in spot.
“I think you're right Momo-chi. Aomine-chi is a scaredy cat.” By now, his ears were blowing smoke and his built body trembled in anger.
“ENOUGH ALREADY!!! I AM NOT, A SCAREDY CAT, YOU HEAR ME? STUPID KISE!!!” He interrupted me and Momo-chi's teasing, turning to us with a red angry face.
I luckily made it out of his death grip and we resumed our normal talks, with Aomine-chi fuming on front of us.
Suddenly, he stopped.
“Um, Dai-chan?” We looked at him worriedly as he looked around as if trying to pinpoint something. He breathed through his nose heavily, finally setting his eyes on the alley way just a little behind us before disappearing in it.
“D-Dai-chan!!!” Momo-chi called out to him but Aomine-chi gave no response. Just as I was going to call his name as well, he ran out, bluring in the crowd, forcing us to hurry to catch him.
We didn't exatly reach him, as he was much faster.
But we did see something… no, someone, in his arms.
A very bloody someone.
A very familiar someone.
A very, very, very kind someone.
You've done it now, Zaki-chin, I'll crush you!!!
Chapter 18: 17
He never complained no matter how hard it was for him.
No matter how upset or lost he felt...
Never once did he bother the man.
His happy days were few.
Spent only with his mother.
When she came back from her long business trips was the time his little heart truly beat the way it was suppossed to.
He was happy as long as they were both there.
If they weren't…
He didn't even look at him.
She had no way of contacting him.
He couldn't turn to anyone for help.
He loved his life the way it was.
And he couldn't ask for more.
But he didn't want to give anything from it either.
He never wanted his mother to leave.
He didn't want her to go.
However, life didn't ask…
She died, leaving him with the man he was suppossed to call father.
No. Not even with him.
She left him all alone.
Crushed his heart into millions of pieces by her wordless departure and threw him in hell.
Of course, she didn't mean any of it.
His mother was an angel, the purest of all in heaven.
The same couldn't be said for the man.
The boy's dull teal eyes glanced at his father's focused black ones as the car stopped in front of a building.
With his early reading skills he could make out the words 'Juvenille' on it. He would only later on learn it's meaning, but as of then, his heart trembled at the scary place.
“Why are we here otò-san?” He questioned in a meeky voice.
The answer he wanted never came, his father got out of the car instead, signaling for him to do the same.
Taking the bag filled with his clothes, the purpose of it unknown to him, as his father never let him go anywhere, let alone let him have a vacation or something.
The wind gently ruffled his hair while freezing his skin.
It was as if it wanted to protect him, yet… hurt him.
Kind of like his father, he concluded, even though, he wasn't sure.
“Be quiet.” Came his response. Stern and cold. Whispered as if it would explode and burn everything around if heard by other than him.
His father left him there that day. And never came back, no matter how much he prayed he would. No matter how many times he begged him in his mind to. He'd never come back for he couldn't care less if he was burning in hell, which he was.
Or was he being tortured by heaven?
The kids there were terrible. And the grown up horrible. He'd get broken bones weekly and bruises daily.
But it didn't matter to anyone.
It was then he realised; his father wasn't like the wind.
His father was like the deep ocean water.
Luring you in with it's beauty, and murdering you with it's power.
He was like water.
I remember those days as if they happened just hours ago.
But it wasn't his fault.
It was mine.
I put blind trust into him when I knew I was going to heal sooner or later and see the truth.
I was blind. He healed me.
And became blind once again.
Because I never learn.
I put my trust to a lot of people and healed over and over again even if I insisted to be blind and that it was better that way.
I put my trust high.
And it came crashing down upon me.
Trust will be my fall and my death.
Why do I say that? Why did I mention death?
That's because I
I shouldn't have…
Now I can feel… no… I can't feel anything at all right now.
Am I finally dying?…
Chapter 19: 18
Time for the plan to be put in motion
“Oi Akashi!” I heard the annoyed tone of a certain greenette and turned to it's owner a few feet away from me.
“Shintaro. You're late.” We agreed to meet up to discuss about Tetsuya's situation.
It took him some time to stop rambling on about how he didn't care but he had nothing better to do, but at least he's here now.
“I-I am not! We were going to meet up at-”
“7:45.” I interrupted. “It's 7:46.” Heaven knows how much I'm trying to hold back a smirk at his panicked face.
“It's a good thing this is about Tetsuya and we have to finish sooner rather than later, or I would have had you running 60 laps around the school for each second of tardiness.” A sigh escapes me, while he slowly makes himself comfortable at the couch opposite of mine.
“Why are we here, Akashi?” The greenette asked.
“Why, didn't I just tell you why?” A fun fact: despite the situation, I can never stop teasing Shintaro. Watching him hold back his anger is way too amusing.
“I mean the club Akashi!”
“I don't like that tone of yours, Shintaro. Change it.” I watch him with stern eyes as he bit back yet another sarcastic reply, before answering him. “My father is here. He had some business and wanted me to tag along. Don't worry, we'll be out of here in a matter of minutes.”
The loud music boomed through the place, bodies moved to the beat while I and Shintaro discussed about our next move.
“I still don't get why we're not reporting this to the headmaster instead.” He said. “He'll get expelled and this thing is over and done with.”
“It won't work. The possibility of the bastard leaving Tetsuya alone is low.” I reasoned. “He doesn't care about school, he's hell bent on revenge.”
“He needs to be taught a lesson Shintaro.” In the first time ever since I took control, the both of us agree, Shintaro and everyone else can go to hell if they want to, but we're not going to stand still and let the bastard get away with hurting our brother. “We'll fight fire with fire.”
Look out Haizaki.
“This just got personal.”
Not even the booming music could scare away the silence that took over. But my friend however, he could. And he did.
“…What's going on Akashi?” He asked. “This feels weird.” I let a smirk take oved my features as Shintaro looked at me with that look.
“So you noticed.” The greenette in front of me opened his mouth to ask more, but never got the chance as I continued. “Tetsuya and I are deeply connected to each other. The Akashi blood doesn't lie, Shintaro.”
And with that, silence scared any words away for the rest of the night.
“Are you going to tell the others?” He asked as the city's air filled our lungs. After getting out of the club, we silently made our way to Tetsuya's ‘house’. Having to attend to some business matters, I couldn't further interrogate that man.
“Tetsuya, wait!” I followed after the running tealnette.
“Akashi-kun, thank you for taking care of me, but please leave me alone. I have to take care of something.” Tetsuya panted out his words.
“Tetsuya!” I grabbed his wrist, stopping him from going further away. We were out of the mansion now, a few feet away from the front door. “You're sick! You need to rest.”
“I'll rest later, I can take care of myself!”
“With all that I've gathered, no! You can't!”
“Let go, Akashi-kun!” He yelled, wrigling his wrist out of my hold.
“Fine.” I said, crossing my arms over my chest, stopping his movements from confusion.
“Fine, I'll take you home myself.” With that, I went on ahead, leaving him stuttering behind me, trying to refuse.
In the end, as expected, I won and we were inside the limo on the way to his house.
The ride was quiet. He kept avoiding my gaze as millions of questions rose in my mind, but I knew he wouldn't answer any. Not yet at least.
The driver stopped infront of his house, Tetsuya hurried to get out even before we had fully stopped. A man was waiting in front of his door, leaning against it to be exact, arms crossed over his chest, mixed emotions on his face; amusement, anger, confusion and excitment.
I wouldn't like the man, I decided.
“Kuroko-kun. You're finally here.” He said in a low pitched voice, as if trying to sound threatening and, maybe he did, to Tetsuya, as he stuttered over his words while I closed the door a little too hard.
“I'm s-sorry fo-r be-being late, s-sir.”
“You think I care? Your time's up. Where are my money Kuroko-kun?” He questioned, making Tetsuya flinch.
I really, really didn't like the man.
“P-please, giv-give me a bit more t-time. I-I'll pay yo-you I promise.” My brother begged him, making the guy even more amused than he already was.
“More time? MORE TIME?! I'VE GIVEN YOU MORE TIME SINCE A MONTH AGO, KUROKO! WHERE ARE MY MONEY, HUH? WHERE ARE THEY?” He yelled, grabbing Tetsuya's wrist and squezing it tightly, making the small teen yelp and cry out in pain, waking a sleeping beast behind him. Namely, me.
In a blink of an eye I was on top of him, twisting his hand behind his back and ignoring his demands. No one orders me around after all.
“You dare hurt him, you filthy piece of garbage, you dare?!” All I saw was red, so much red that even Tetsuya couldn't stop me as I was ready to break his arm.
Suddenly, a force collided with my side, catching me off guard and making me turn to the ome responsible for it.
“Teysuya.” As I was there, still on top of the man, I knew immidietly that the best course of action was to retreat as lighting seemed to flash it his blue eyes. Hesitating, I got off the man, glaring guns at him.
Whatever Tetsuya said next went unheard by the two of us, our eyes clashing with murderous intent.
“Kuroko-kun, I need those money you know.” He said, eyes still locked in mine.
“I know but-”
“Of course. How much?” Moving in front of my little brother, I glared up at his face.
“Hahaha, what? You gonna pay his rent or something?” So that's what's going on, I thought as he interrupted Tetsuya once more.
“Pay his rent you say?” My smirk grew large enough to rival a cheshire cat's. “I'll buy the house. Just state the price.” His yellow teeth shiwed through his smile.
“One billion.” He said.
That's more than what the school is worth and he's comparing this piece of garbage to it.
“ENOUGH!!!” Before I even knew it, my foot slipped and I fell on the ground, my cheek stinged as I stared up at the one person I was ignoring this whole meeting.
Before I could even utter a word, he beat me to it.
“That's quite enough Akashi-kun! I'm begging you, just leave!!” His fists clenched at his sides, his lips quivering. “Please leave.” Not giving me room to protest, he turned to the man. “Sir, let's talk inside.”
I got up as the door closed behind them, ironically, keeping me in the dark.
How I wanted to get inside and finish what I intended to do earlier and, I might've, if my phone didn't ring at that moment, signalling I had to leave for my father's meeting.
That punch threw me way off guard, I thought putting my hamd on my cheek.
“Oi, Akashi.” The tsundere greenette called me back to reality, reminding me that I had to give an answer.
“I don't know yet. I might.” I answered. “It'll be official soon anyways.” He hummed in understanding.
“And why did you tell me?”
I let a smile form on my face, pondering on the question for a bit as even I didn't quite understand the reason behind it.
“Shintaro.” I said. “You are my childhood friend after all. I trust you.”
“…Never say something like that again. It's weird nanodayo.”
“Really captain Akashi, even I'm weirded out.” said a voice behind us, suprising me a bit.
“What a suprise.”
Chapter 20: 19
Death sentences shouldn`t be thrown around like mere basket balls.
I always had a feeling that the past would remain in the past. I knew that the generation of miracles wouldn't stick to each other, but I never thought I'd see a ghost of our past again.
"What a suprise." I said, a smile on my face. "Ninjimura senpai."
"Yo, Akashi, Midorima. Am I interrupting anything?" The black haired teen asked in a casual way as he came closer, hands on his pockets.
"Not at all, senpai." Now that he was closer, he looked more irritated and tired than casual.
"Good, coz I don't have time to deal with you brats' crap." Before I could raise a brow at that statement, he put his hand on my shoulder and started dragging me by it.
"O-oi, Nijimura!" I heard Shintaro yell behind us.
"Stay out of this brat, I got business with him, so unless you wanna join in, scram!" Was his reply and warning and I have to admit, it was amusing.
"You've got guts, senpai." I said to him, watching Shintaro follow us in the corner of my eyes. "But are you sure you're ready to lose them?" The raven head grunted and released me a little too harshly as we reached a deserted street.
"Don't you start threatening me now Akashi!" He pointed a finger at my forehead, poking it a few times as he continued. "What the hell have you guys done, huh? Answer me or else!"
"Whatever could you be talking about, senpai?" His expression was that of a Haizaki nerved out, like he was ready to murder the silver head, just like in the old days.
"You know what I'm talking about, idiot. The basketball club!" He yelled in my face.
That statement was shocking I must admit. Does he know anything?
I turned to look at Shintaro but he was even more confused than I was.
It didn't have to answer however, as he kept talking not even a second after.
"You've all been either ignoring, avoiding or half answering my questions!"
"Yea, you all! I met all the others and even that Kuroko-kun brat refused to talk about his oh so precious basketball! Murasakibara even dropped his snacks and ran away from me!!!" Oh, so that explains it.
"Atsushi did? My, what a reaction..." I said, trying not to think about it, as Atsushi leaving his snack behind seems way to exaggerated. "You met Tetsuya?" His face turned to one of complete annoyence.
"Yes. And he Ignite passed me only to get away from the topic." Now that I could imagine.
"Typical Tetsuya." A sigh left his lips as he rubbed his forehead while Shintaro behind him huffed and pushed his glasses up, turning his head away to most likely hide an amused face. "As of your question." I said, gaining both of their attention. Shintaro looked at me with a suprised expression and other unreadable emotions on his face. Although he'd never say, I knew he always felt bad about the basketball club.
"The generation of miracles has failed you, senpai." Was my answer. "And I as it's captain have failed you more."
The rest of our discussion I told him everything in an undetailed description. Shintaro had to keep him back from punching me a few times. Not that I'd ever let him touch me.
"And what does Haizaki have to do with you?" He asked once I told him everything from Aomine's change to Teiko-Meiko game.
"Why do you ask Nijimura?" Shintaro asked, now by my side.
"Everyone's tried a little too hard on avoiding the question." He deadpanned, and I had a feeling that question was the best part of his encounter with the others. "So?"
"I kicked him out of basketball club."
Our eyes met, creating an unneccessary cold aura as silence engulfed us all. His sharp dark eyes seemed to be reading my very soul, deciding whether to praise me or not. Maybe, he was suprised and dissapointed. Haizaki did have potential of becoming a great basketball player after all, his behaviour put aside.
"And now he seems to be after vengeance."
His black eyebrow rose, my que to continue.
"He's hurting Tetsuya in order to hurt us. Or rather, me, the one that ruined his future." As if. I thought, I didn't ruin it, if anything I saved him from the humiliation of defeat.
Ryota will overpower him in more than one aspect.
"Haaaa?" Senpai made a very funny face. "What do you mean that brat is hurting Kuroko-kun? I just saw him, he was totally fi-"
"Oi Akashi! Midorima!!!" Came a shout, followed by others behind us.
There was Daiki...
Holding a bruised and beaten Tetsuya...
Fine my ass.
Shougo better run for his life because I'll make him pay if he has anything to do with this.
Trust will be my fall and my death.
Why do I say that? Why did I mention death?
That's because I jumped in on one of Haizaki-kun's fights.
I shouldn't have...
Chapter 21: 20
The strong survive, the weak are defeated.
Which one is he?
Where am I…?
It hurts …
“Hurry Daiki!!!” Akashi-kun... “Shintaro,”
“I called.” What's going on?
Why does it hurt?
“I'll murder that bastard!!!” Bastard…?
I was walking home when I heard cries and pleas for help from an alleyway.
“Stop! Please, please someone help!!” I stopped as the voice that followed after those pleas was one I knew well. A deep, gruff voice with a hint of annoyance and uninterest in it.
“Be quiet brat! Take the hint, no one's coming to help you, nor would they ever even care if you just died today.” Why do you do this? I thought, can't you give me at least just one reason to hide your wrong doings?
I knew I should've just walked away.
Yet I couldn't help but walk in on that tormenting alley when I heard how the other was suffering.
“Please stop-” A punch was thrown at his face to shut him up.
“Shut up. Don't you tell me what to do yo-”
“Haizaki.” ‘Kun’ was lost at the back of my throat as I stared at his suprised, yet excited eyes. Hungry for pain.
It was way too late to run away from them now. I had to face the incoming wrath about to explode the moment I disagreed with his intentions.
“Haah, well if it isn't the doll face!” He said, looking back at his prey and hitting him one more time before getting up and walking up to me, hiding me in his shadow. “What do you want?”
“I want you to stop this.” I said gesturing to the boy behind him.
The air turned cold filled with his maniac laughter. “What? Ya think I'll just, let him off the hook or somethin'?” He asked, inching closer to me. “That's what you think, doll face?” Standing now in front of me, he grabbed my hair, forcing my head up and earning a cry of pain from me. “Well guess what?” He let go of me, drawing his arm back and bringing it back down on me, sending me to the nearby wall. “You're wrong.”
Of course, I thought as I watched the boy scram for his life, while mine faced the wall repeatedly.
Ironic really, I didn't know who the prey was anymore.
As my vision faded to black, the curse river that flew out of his mouth filled my head, messing up my thoughts like Aomine's and sending me into a deep black ocean filled with hate.
(I didn't even finish the vanilla milkshake and now it's wasted on the floor. Haizaki, you're a devil!)
Chapter 22: 21
Insecurities in plain sight.
I covered Akashi with a blanket the best I could, then took a seat on the couch in the far corner of the darkened room and watched the two brothers sleep.
Akashi on the chair next to the bed, dark circles under his eyes.
Kuroko slept on the hospital bed, his head and wrists wrapped in bandages, machines and wires on his arms.
Father said that Kuroko's injuries were healing well and all we have to do now is wait until he wakes up.
“Ngh...” Well nevermind...
Seeing the shadow move, I rushed to his side, careful not to disturb Akashi and the wires on him.
“Kuroko.” I called, but it seems that he didn't hear me for he didn't answer. His pale hands gripped the sheets tightly, sweat dripped down his face while his lips trembled. “Kuroko, hey?” Finally, his teal eyes opened, darting around in different directions before landing on me.
I thought he'd spurt out some nonesense, greeting or ask where he was, but what I never expected was for his reaction to be pure panic; his eyes went wide, in a blur his body moved in a sitting position, making all the wires attached to him detach themselves. Had I not stopped him, he would've gotten off the bed as well. “Oi, Kuroko!” I called, gaining his attention as his breathing became uneven.
“Midorima-kun, let go of me, please.” He muttered, pale hands gripping mine on his shoulder.
“As if, baka!” I yelled, forgeting all about Akashi sleeping just behind me, holding him firmly. “You're hurt, nanodayo!”
Finally settling down, he stared at his bandaged wrists and felt his head.
“I'm not.” He said.
“What?” I honestly didn't understand. He sighed, gripping the bedsheets tighter.
“I-I'm not that hurt…” came his weak response in a trembling voice that seemed to quiver it's way to emptiness.
Scoffing, I pushed my glasses up, glaring daggers at his lowered head.
“Of course not,” I said. “Since you had time to heal over the week.”
I watched as his head snapped back at my direction, his eyes wide with pure terror, before they closed and a ghost of a smile made it's way on his face. “Please do not joke like that Midorima-kun.” His voice seemed to almost beg me. But I wasn't joking…
“I'm not joking, Kuroko.” I answered his silent questions, my tone softer than before, it wouldn't do any good for him to be yelled at, after all. “Your injury was so bad that you experienced a mini coma. We even had to give you blood to replace the lost blood.”
His eyes watered a bit, hands as white as the sheets he was gripping and breathing barely there.
I sighed once more.
“You've been out for eight days, Kuroko.”
The more I looked at him, the more he trembled.
I knew why he was like that. Akashi gave me a brief explanation that night. He was worried about paying rent.
I wanted to yell at him, shake him until he came to his senses. He almost lost his life, damn it! He should be thankful that Aomine found him, thankful that he's alive, not worry about rent!
“Oi, Kuroko!” I started to say, but was interrupted as a hand fell on his clenched fist, just moments later, the owner called his name.
“Tetsuya.” The red haired called, gaining the shadow's attention. It might've been my imagination, but he flinched slightly and squirmed away from his intense gaze. I looked at Akashi, who now stood next to me beside Kuroko's bed, silently nodding at the glance directed my way.
“I'll go tell my father you're awake.” I told the bluenette and left the room.
Once outside, I texted my father the news, leaning against the door so I could hear what the two inside were saying.
I know, it wasn't any of my business but for once, I wanted- no, I longed to know how I could help my friends… ahem…
Well… soon to be former teammates.
And I was only doing it as a last favour!
Chapter 23: 22
The fall of the emperor and the peasant`s lies.
When I saw my brother beaten to a pulp in Daiki's arms, I swore I'd murder someone. But I also feared for his life. Shintaro's father confirmed that he was indeed lucky; the injury on his head was serious, had he been brought to hispital a minute later, he might've not made it.
He explained that the coma he experienced was all we could hope for for his survival.
But looking at him now… he's anything but ok.
“Tetsuya.” I called once more. His head was lowered and his fists gripped the sheets at his side.
“Hai.” He responded in a meek voice, the broken tone crushing me with it's weight.
“Who was it?” However, I couldn't waste time trying to comfort him and explain him everything (I wasn't that good at comforting anyways), somebody out there hurt my brother and I will return the favor ten times worse. If you were thinking that would kill him, then that's what I was hoping for. I did say I was going to murder someone, didn't I?
His head lowered even more, if that was possible, and he looked at his lap like it was the most interesting thing in the world.
“No one.” I gritted my teeth at his response. ‘No one’? Who do you think you're kidding Tetsuya?
“Is that so?” I asked. “Then would you care to explain how this-” I gestured to his crumpled form on the bed, knowing full well that he could feel all my movements. “-happened?”
He flinched slightly, but didn't say anything. I sighed, got up from the chair I sat on then made my self comfortable on his bed, ruffling his hair softly. My fingers brushed against the bandages on his head, which didn't help me with my nerves, causing me to grip his head a little tighter. Tetsuya whimpered but didn't protest, not that he should've for I let go in an instant.
Calm down, I told myself, he doesn't need anymore pain or… practically anything that worsens his condition. He didn't need it in the first place, nor should it have been inflicted on him.
“I'm sorry, Tetsuya.” Said bluenette still didn't look at me. “I, I just want this to end alright?” My words spoken in a soft tone didn't really help me much, but I knew he was secretly grateful for it. “But you need to tell me who caused this. Please, Tetsuya, tell me.”
It may be suprising just how powerful family is. It may also be scaring just how much it affect you, in this case, me. I just apologized and begged a person, who happens to be my twin brother, less than in two minutes.
Everybody knows that apologies, beggs and I do not in any way fit into a sentence together.
But when it comes to Tetsuya, it matters little, no, it matters not.
Tetsuya is even worse than my father, he is able to manipulate me without actually trying or doing anything. He just needs to stand there and I'm on my knees like a loyal knight. I hate it.
But, it doesn't mean it's wrong.
Perhaps it's because our bond is stronger than anyone's, even though he doesn't know it yet.
I grabbed his trembeling hands and held them tightly, as if it would solve everything, urging him to say his answer.
“...mob…” was whispered among other words that I didn't hear. I gave his hands a squeze.
“What is it, Tetsuya, I didn't hear you.”
He shivered and breathed in heavily.
“I-I interfered in a mob fight…” was his answer. My eyes narrowed, something seemed wrong, however as I scanned his face for any sign of lying, I didn't find any.
“I see. Did you see their faces, at least one?” I asked, almost desperate at this point, but he shook his head no. “The mob's name?” Again a shake of the head was my answer.
Well that throws my plans out of the window.
I sigh, releasing his hands from my grasp. “Anything that could give us a clue as to who they are?” Now I was really, really desperate.
“I don't know.” Was the reality I was met with.
“Alright.” I gave up. There was nothing more Tetsuya could tell me.
Father will be comming soon, I thought, should I give him a head start?
Who knew how Tetsuya would react? He's like that, throw a bomb at him and he'll look at it like it's something that could happen everyday.
I opened my mouth to tell him he'd have some company soon, but then thought better of it. Tetsuya can handle himself.
A knock on the door broke the silence that had fallen on the room and Shintaro's father came in.
“Hello, Akashi-kun, Kuroko-kun.” He said, closing the door behind him, hiding a red faced Shintaro (I'll have to punish him later for evesdropping on us). “I'm not interrupting anything, am I?”
“Not at all, Midorima-san. I was just leaving.” I answered. “Please take care of Tetsuya.”
He nodded, assuring me it'd be ok.
I got out in the hallway, smirking at Shintaro's embarrased face, before we both left for the cafeteria. Half way there I remembered I forgot to ask Tetsuya if he wanted anything, he hadn't eaten properly for a week after all, but then shrugged it off and deciding I'd just buy him a vanilla milkshake for starters. I'd tell father to bring a proper meal later.
Had I known Tetsuya wouldn't be there when I returned, I wouldn't have left.
Chapter 24: 23
One step away from the edge, but will he take it?
I let the doctor, a relative of Midorima-kun's if I'm correct judging from the appearance, check if I was alright. I barely listened to him since it didn't matter anymore.
So there was nothing ok with me, I already knew.
It didn't matter anymore. It didn't...
"Your injury is healing nicely, however we need to keep you here for today just to be sure it won't cause you problems ok?"
I didn't answer, there was nothing I could say anyway. I was too busy thinking just how much it cost to have me fixed and how I'd get out of this one.
It was an easy way out...
My mind made up, I changed in my clothes that were still bloody from when this whole thing started and snuck out of the room, then the hospital and it wasn't long before I was on the streets, making my way downtown.
The streets were quiet, with few people chatting away on their phones and talking to friends under the starry sky.
Quite a nice evening if i were to say, but there was nothing nice enough to make me stop and gaze at it, to distract me from what I was about to do.
I didn't allow myself the luxury of rest because I knew I'd probably be found out and talked out of it. I knew I was going to cause trouble to a lot of people when I did what I was about to, however I'd be even more trouble if I stayed.
Finally reaching my destination, I let a sigh of relief, my bangs falling on my eyes as I silently apologized to everyone.
But I wouldn't back out now.
Standing just over the edge of the bridge, my body trembled. Whether from the cold or something else I don't know. All I know is that I was crushed with the weight of what I was going to do.
Flashes and images filled my blurry eyes, blinding me with their warmness and love as my mother smiled down on me, my friends reached their hands to me... like they used to... and my father... well, he stared at me with soft eyes.
If only, I wished, if only those images could be real! If only none of them left me...
Who was I kidding...?
They were right to leave.
Who would want to stay with a useless person like me? I can't even take care of myself! I can't even pay rent and I can't deal with bullying!
Useless is even an understatement compared to what I am!
I bit my lip, choking on screams that threatened to slip and salty tears.
I shivered, bringing my hands up to wipe my eyes in a fast manner, letting few reside there. For a moment it was quiet. So quiet that my heart felt like exploding from the pain of it. It hurt how the world kept spinning while I was about to take my life away.
Taking deep breaths, my body inched a bit forward; I was curious to see: just how high my fall would be, and regretted it instantly. I felt like vomiting at the height I'd close, but what made me tremble even more was the speed that the water was moving.
Would I even have a chance of avoiding the rocks under there?
Course not... perfect.
My sight turned all grey, a melody surrounding me, humming softly in my ear, just barely mufling the whispering voices in the air.
"Tetsuya..." I heard. "My child."
"Don't do it."
It all sickened me, made me want to finish it faster, as I should have. But something held me back, made me stay glued over the edge with wavering confidence. I soon realised, I was just afraid.
I couldn't bring my feet to move, not on my own at least.
I needed a slight push and the loving voice of my dear mother just seemed to fuel my determination.
Anything to see her.
But lady Luck was against me.
Just as my foot managed to move, I felt vibrations comming from my pocket, soon understanding that it had been my phone breaking the intense atmosphere.
Taking it out rather lazily, I saw the caller's ID, wondering if I should answer or just throw it away and finish everything.
Seeing as I had caused so much trouble, I decided I owed him this last conversation.
"Tetsuya!" The emperior talked in a rush, distant noises in the background. "Where are you?" A door slamed shut and the call settled into a quiet but tense atmosphere.
I thought about it. I couldn't just tell him I was standing over the edge of the bridge.
Fortunately, I didn't have to answer as he continued. "You're going home right?"
I was. I was going home, to mother.
"Hai," I answered. "I'm coming home." I reassured both myself and my mother.
A sigh of relief was heard on the other line and for a moment I almost felt bad. Akashi-kun said something I couldn't quite decipher, before stating.
"I'm going there right now. Where are you?"
I knew my answer this time. "I'm going down the bridge." Another mutter.
"You're not that far away from your house then, I'll wait there. And Tetsuya?"
"...Forgive me..." He said, for once suprising me.
"Whatever for?" Silence met my ears, disappointing me. "Well I-"
"...I'll tell you in person." He interrupted. "I'll tell you once we meet."
I didn't answer. Instead, I brought the phone down to glare at it before ending the call. It angered me how he got my full attention, I was even curious on what he wanted to apologize now.
I've let myself get distracted for so long. I can't afford to lose anymore time!
But... I just couldn't bring myself to either walk away or jump to my death.
I stood there, angry tears falling down my face as I clutched the phone for dear life.
I don't know how much time passed while I emptied my heart out.
All I know is that I was finally ready.
Somewhere at my last moments, my phone vibrated again. Mindlessly, without knowing it, I opened the call but never brought it up to my ear. I just listened to the almost nonexistent screams of my friends, telling me to stop.
I had made my decision.
The phone slipped from my hand, disappearing from my view in the chaos below.
Looking back on it now, I think I lost my heart while trying to fix it.
I turned slowly, letting a smile form on my lips as I let my body go limp and fall on it's own.
It slipped from my fingers so I had to fall to catch it.
In the end, I did get a hold of it.
It was too late.
Chapter 25: 24
Desperation and hopelessnes weights on their shoulders.
I dropped the cups of shake when I heard the news. Shintaro's father had come to us, claiming Tetsuya was gone.
“Look everywhere, find him!” I ordered my friends, who just arrived, and we went in different directions, they looking at every room, in and outside of the building, while I quickly informed my father then checked Tetsuya's room once again for possible clues.
There weren't much, if at all, but they helped more than what I could've thought.;
His clothes were gone, which meant that he wouldn't be here in the hospital, then a note on his bed cought my attention, it read:
But I have to end this.
Thank you, for taking care of me.
With that, I bolted out of the room, running into numerous people but I didn't care. Shintaro saw me, with just a look, understanding that we had to look outside.
“Do you know anything Akashi?” I handed him the note, forcing myself to go faster.
We kept our eyes and ears open for Tetsuya, checking every street further and further away from the hospital. By the time I finally remembered that Tetsuya's phone was with him, it was late at night and the streets were empty.
“Shit.” I cursed, bringing all the attention on me, as I hurridly pulled out my phone, calling Tetsuya while my legs moved on their own.
They knew what to do, father had sent us a chauffer to help fasten the search.
On the damn tenth ring someone answered.
“Akashi-kun.” It was Tetsuya.
“Tetsuya!” I yelled in relief, spotting our car, not too far away, heading in our direction. The others after me, I signaled the driver to stop and we all got in, me in the passanger's seat, the others in the back. “Where are you?” I asked slamming the door shut. “You're going home right?”
All stopped breathing, waiting in anticipation for his reply as I put the call on speaker.
“Hai,” he said. “I'm coming home.”
I sighed, with a weight lifted off my shoulders I told the adress to my driver, seeing the others holding back tears and screams of joy, Shintaro excluded for he only smiled, from the mirror.
“I'm going there right now. Where are you?”
The pounding of my heart clearly didn't match the mood his words had created. Something was wrong.
“I'm going down the bridge.” Ba-Dum!!!
“What the…” My chest hurt, what's up with that?
Remembering that I still had to answer Tetsuya, I quickly said. “You're not that far away from your house then. I'll wait there. And Tetsuya?”
“Hai.” I couldn't help myself. I had to say it.
“…Forgive me…” He went quiet. It seemed that the others in the back lost their breath as well before he answered.
“Whatever for?” What do you mean ‘whatever for’? For hurting you, for ruining your dream, for not protecting you. For everything!
There were so many things I had to apologize for, I didn't know where start.
“Well I-” I interrupted.
“...I'll tell you in person. I'll tell you once we meet.” I said, hoping I'd be ready to tell him then.
Silence greeted us before a ‘beep’ signaled the end of the call.
I sighed in both relief and frustration, something kept eating me in the back of my mind, warning me that something was wrong, something very obvious. So obvious I couldn't put my finger on it.
“Damn it! Go faster!” I ordered, the vehicle gaining speed and soon enough we arrived at Tetsuya's house.
“It seems deserted. Shouldn't he have been here already? The bridge isn't that far.” Aomine commented, raising my worries to an extent I couldn't hide them anymore. I started pacing around, hands occasionally pulling my hair and eyes darting around in every direction.
What wasn't adding up?!
“Why is this happening? Why?” I mumbled, just barely processing the fact that Midorima was practically yelling my ear off by now.
Then it suddenly clicked. I froze in place, everything crashing down at once.
“He'll jump…” I muttered, just enough for Midorima to hear, before bolting down the street in the direction the bridge was, my phone already in hand, redialling my brother's number. It rang a few times, the pit in my stomach growing bigger with each ring, as anxiety clawed at my insides.
“Oi Akashi!” Shintaro's and Daiki's voices were the only thing ensuring me that they were with me. “Wait up.” Suddenly Aomine was at my side, keeping up just fine, managing to even get a few steps ahead.
I turned to look, seeing that Kise and Momoi were behind Midorima, Murasakibara gaining speed with each step he took and my childhood friend just a step behind me.
I didn't know what to do anymore, my chest hurt from the reality of it all, but it also swelled with pride and hapiness from the fact that my friends were there as well. I felt like crying and thanking them at the same time. I wanted to rip open my chest, I wanted to get to my brother.
“Damn it, we won't make it!” I yelled, the phone in my hand almost getting crushed from my desperation and frustration.
When I finally noticed; he'd answered. Tetsuya had answered the phone call.
“Tetsuya!!!” I yelled, desperation filling my voice. “Tetsuya, stop! Just wait for us, we're on our way!!”
“Tetsu!” Daiki started yelling as well. “Damn it! Take one more step and I'll be sure to drag you to back here and then I'll make you regret every fucking step you took from the hospital there! Understood?!”
“Oi!” Midorima joined in. “Kuroko, think about this! It's not the right thing to do!”
Soon we were all shouting pleas, begging him to stop.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
The line went dead.
“It- it went dead. Hurry!!!” We ran as fast as we could, hoping we wouldn't be too late. My heart ached like never before while my mind blew with thoughts of...
“We're almost there!” Shintaro yelled, as if noticing my panic, which, judging by the coldness that dripped from my forehead, my warm, but at the same time cold, hands and how my eyes felt warm enough to cause my vision to blurry, it must've been pretty damn obvious. I nodded, not trusting my voice at this point and forcing my limbs to move faster, the sensation that of a thousand needles striking at once.
We turned left, I could finally hear the sound of flowing water, a sound which I'd hate for the rest of my life from that moment on.
Another corner, then another and my brother filled my line of vision.
Immidiate relief washed upon me, my chest lighter than ever for he had not given up. Not yet at least.
As I was about to call out to him, he slowly turned, a blank eye, a blind like eye was enough to show me; it wasn't over. He held so much misery in his eyes, it seemed to affect the atmosphere around him as well, a cold mist seemed to adore his skin. A smile that could scar one for life plastered on his face.
Too cought up in the sight that greeted me, I didn't notice where I was going, tripped and fell. My phone falling somewhere a few feet in front of me, just like my brother…
He didn't even let us protest. Just turned around, gave his last smile and let his body fall limp. I watched it all in slow motion, my eyes widening so much they were about to fall out of their sockets, he didn't spare us a glance, or better said, he watched right threw us, as if we weren't there.
The shock of what happened was chased away by that shout, just in time to see Daiki jump after Tetsuya.
Within a blink of an eye, I did the same.
Chapter 26: 24 part 2
Fight for survival.
Can anyone find out what`s wrong with Akashi in these last chapters?
The water burned my eyes, the night didn't help my sight at all and neither did the speed the water was moving. I blinked a few times, trying to see in the chaos of darkness, my feet gritting against the rock-filled land, trying to maintain my balance.
Never the less, the current dragged me in it's flow, making it hard for me to spot Tetsuya or Daiki.
Perhaps they got out?
But no, my mind new it wouldn't've been that easy. Daiki covered Tetsuya's body so he wouldn't get hurt, but Daiki himself did.
They were still down here, Tetsuya wouldn't be able to help himself, let alone Daiki in this situation. He doesn't even know how to swim!
Balanicing myself for a moment, I closed my right eye, focusing only on my left to find the two. One moment was all I needed before the water carried me away another time. I didn't lose sight of them however, and did all I could to swim to them.
Tetsuya was obviously terrified. He thrashed around, trying to shake the tanned teen awake, feet moving in a fast manner in attempt to swim to the surface.
All was in vain for all he did would only make it easier for the flow to take them.
I swam as fast as I could toward the paler teen, he now seemed to shine in that dark pit, letting the water help me as well while desperation started to kick in, the harsh reality of the situation burning every inch of my body, making it harder to hold my breath. I wanted to scream, freeze the earth's rotation with my fury, since I knew: I couldn't save them both, I had to choose who would live and I believe many of you guessed my choice.
Call me a killer, stone hearted, pathetic, a desperate human being. You'd be right...
With the attitude of an emperior and the mind of a god I killed many hearts' dreams and will. A perfect heir for the Akashi bloodline, such useless things as emotions have no place in my heart, therefore, it's made out of stone. The fact that I am in fact down here makes me pathetic. And being so hopeful that Tetsuya would accept me makes me desperate.
I was desperate for love, affection. I was desperate for someone who'd understand.
And so on… any insult you'd find would fit me, because I am absolute in many ways, even in imperfection.
The slow movements of my brother had me out of my thoughts in an instant, alarms going on in my head. That's right, you can hate me later. Right now, I needed to save my other half.
I made up my mind, forcing my limbs to move faster, I finally had a hold of Tetsuya's cold arm. But by the time I did that, his eyes were closing and he wasn't holding his breath anymore, legs gone limp.
Panic erupted in flames, so big that even the water wouldn't put them out. I put my feet on the rocky ground, then pushed away from it with as much energy as I could, attempting to get our heads out of the water, well at least Tetsuya's.
My plan half worked, half went to hell.
I managed to get us over the surface, but only for less than a second. As I breathed in the much needed air, another wave came crashing onto us, sending us back into the water and filling my lungs with it as well. I chocked, the little breath I took long gone.
For a moment I almost lost my grip on Tetsuya as we crashed into an enormous rock.
Most would've given up at that, it was almost obvious we wouldn't make it, but not I, I couldn't give up when Aomine did all he could to let Tetsuya live, not when I had this one chance to finally save my brother from his misery. I couldn't let us die when he jumped thinking we didn't care, I had to fix that. And to do that I had to live, for if we died I wouldn't have a chance to since I was sure I'd end up in hell and he in heaven.
I wouldn't let our roads seperate there.
I pushed against the rock and swam up and to the side so we'd be able to reach land this time.
We almost made it, almost...
The surface was reachable, the land, however, scraped by. My fingers merely brushing against rocks, dirt and grass but I couldn't get a grip strong enough to pull us out of the water.
It was frustrating, hopeless even. We were so close, yet so far from the ground's safety.
I could feel my energy draining, in a desperate attempt, I tried to get a hold of a passing rock.
I didn't catch it, however something cought me.
In the darkness of the night I could make out a large hand, looking up I saw that it belonged to my friend, Murasakibara. He had that same old bored look in his face but I could see worry in his eyes as he pulled us up. I also noticed his hair was wet and Aomine laying not too far away from his side, meaning he must've jupmed after us. Perhaps he thought we were weak, perhaps he was smarter than I thought or he just cared for us, but I couldn't ponder about it for long.
I coughed water as my limbs finally touched safe ground, immidietly laying Tetsuya before me, putting my ear on his chest, checking for a heart beat. There was none.
My heart raced while my hands worked on pumping his chest, tears filling the corners of my eyes. I was barely aware of Murasakibara doing the same to Aomine.
I was very much aware when the tanned male coughed and breathed heavily and it angered me.
“Come on Tetsuya! Come on, come on! Don't you die on me!” It wasn't fair, nothing was fair in this world but it was even worse on Tetsuya. Why do all the best people suffer the most? “Don't give up Tetsuya! Come on! Breathe damn it! Breathe!!!” Tears ran down my face, falling onto Tetsuya's. I hurridly wiped them away, I was still an Akashi damn it! “Tetsuya!!!”
What in reality might've been minutes, felt like hours to me. Finally with one strong push, my brother coughed out water, his eyes wide open and chest moving up and down.
I breathed a sigh in relief, my heart finally beating normally, even though, I was secretly hoping it was in sync with my brother's.
“Thank god.” I muttered, watching my brother lock eyes with Daiki, the latter shakily holding his arm up for a fist bump. A wave of nostalgia hit me as my brother also raised his arm, moving it to Aomine's. But my heart sank when his energy left him and the arm fell, not touching the ground as Murasakibara's hand cought his midway and bumped their fists, a small smile on his face. We all smiled, Tetsuya's not as noticable but still there.
We stood there, letting the night air hit us until Tetsuya's eyes dropped and he was out cold. We stood there until shouts were heard in the distance.
We stood there, drained of our energy, but content.
We made it.
Chapter 27: 25
Memories never fade.
I blink my eyes a few times, a blinding white made it hard to see, but I recognised the place.
In just a few moments I would be given the worst news of my life. Well, his life.
See, there in the corner a little boy is doing his homework in peace. That boy is me, I was perhaps 7 or 8 when this happened.
I closed my eyes, trying to make the dream disappear but it was no use as I was still looking at the same room, same boy and same door that would soon open.
I was right as after a minute or two the white door opened to reveal a man, my father… his father.
“Tetsuya.” He called, his voice sending shivers down my spine. It was so cold it froze my insides.
“Hai, otò-san.” I… he answered, looking curiously at the man. My chest hurt, I felt the need to hug the man I called my father. But I also wanted to strangle him. I wanted to stop him from delivering those news, the fact that I was seeing the moment when I was told my mother died just made me want to throw up.
I didn't want to hear it, not a second time at least. Not ever again.
It still made me cry in my sleep.
The man opened his mouth to speak, only, no sound came out. A ringing in my ears carried his voice away like wind, but nothing went on in the room. It seemed like my wish was fulfilled, the man rambled on but his words were only heard by the past me.
I felt relieved and sad at the same time for I knew what the other was feeling, I knew what he was hearing.
I remember this, I broke down.
Crying for her to come back, for someone to comfort me.
But no one did.
No one cared enough.
Or at all.
Apart from mom, no one ever tried to talk or actually notice me. And I was fine with that, as long as mom was there.
But she was gone. My life gone with her.
And with my father's betrayal, I was just an empty punching bag for the kids that noticed me in juvie.
The scene changed, showing a burial instead. I believe you can guess who was being buried.
I noticed that I had reversed to my younger self, watching now through his eyes. In the back of my mind shadows whispered.
“It's all your fault.”
“She never loved you.”
Now you might think I'm exaggerating, but with the atmosphere you'd think that was the least of my worries. A lot of people were crying their eyes out, a lot comforted each-other. There was an eldery couple holding a child tight in their arms as the sorrowful cries seemed to deaf anyone near.
At the back of my neck a hand was placed, gripping it tight, daring me to utter a sound.
How I hated it.
The world seemed so black and cold without mother's light guiding me.
“Okā-san…” I whispered, tears threatening to fall from my eyes while the hand nearly choked me. But I didn't cry out, there was nothing good coming from that. Just pain.
Suddenly the people all vanished. We, my father and I, were a few feet in front of a grave now. Her grave.
But a boy stood there as well, almost shielding her picture.
“Goodbye mother.” I heard him say.
My world shattered even more, I built up the strength to speak, despite the man's hand tightening around my neck. “B-but she's not…”
I never had the chance to finish what I wanted to say for at that moment everything blacked out. I remember now.
I passed out from all the emotional stress.
I never met the boy again.
It's funny how I forgot about something so important. And I have to remember only from depression.
Yeah my life's great isn't it.
“Enough already.” I yelled at the dark pit around me. “Just let me out now!”
“I don't want to see anymore!”
“I just want to get out.”
“Let me out…” My knees gave out underneath me, I was a crying mess and the dark seemed to darken even more.
A sob escaped my throat, followed by many more afterwards.
I understood my weakness, that's how I knew to be strong and emotionless. However, this time I was exposed to it so I broke.
Weak, my mind wispered, you're weak.
Someone called me, the voice booming and bouncing from the unseen walls with a melodic echo. The voice itself was undescribable, soothing and yet it held panic, comforting but so far away.
“Where…?” I muttered.
“Tetsuya!” It shouted again, only this time it seemed to be fading. No, no!
“No! Please don't go!” I hurried to get on my feet, to chase that voice.
“Tetsuya.” It was becoming a whisper once more. “Tetsuya…”
“Please wait. Wait for me please! Please!!” I tripped a few times, losing the voice for good now. The darkness filling my ears once more. “Please… please I'm begging you.”
Tears ran down my cheek, I hugged myself, shrinking so down my forehead touched the dark floor beneath me.
The only sound bouncing off the walls now was my whimper and cries. I closed my eyes, losing all hope, the hope that I might not be alone.
But I was.
I was so vulnerable in that position, even though nothing could really happen to me in a dream, so desperate on waking up that I didn't notice a light forming in the distance until it chased the dark away completely and that soothing voice filled my ears once more.
Slowly, I raised my head, just to make sure that it wasn't my imagination, that I was really hearing that voice hum a soft, familiar melody. I stood listening to it, too captured in it's magnificent tune to pay attention to the changing surroundings.
My vision became dark once more, then blurry to finally clear to a familiar white room. I was awake…
“Ngh.” I groaned, my limbs aching all over when I tried to move them.
The sound however cought the attention of a redhead I hadn't noticed was there till he was all over my sight, asking if I was ok and where it hurt.
I could only groan as a response, for a massive headache suddenly hit me along with a wave of memories from the… well...
Tears brimmed the corner of my eyes for I had done it again.
The only thing I'm good at is causing trouble after all.
“Tetsuya.” A hand held mine, I hadn't noticed how cold it was until it's warmth soothed me.
And for a moment, just for a moment, I relaxed, knowing that someone was by my side.
Chapter 28: 26
A friend`s words bring him back to reality.
Dèja vù. That's what this is...
Somehow I ended up watching after these two sleep once more. As if I don't have better things to do. Not like I care about them or anything. And it's not like I would stay if Oha Asa didn't say to stay close to the colors blue and red.
It's been two days since Kuroko (or should it be Akashi from now on?) woke up. He's been... well... kind of bothersome actually.
He woke up in a fit, crying and holding on to Akashi for dear life. He wouldn't even let the redhead go so he could call a nurse, or a doctor to check up on him. He's actually never let Akashi go ever since. The younger interwined their hands and didn't untangle them anymore.
Even now he's holding onto his brother's hand so tight his hands turned as white as a sheet. Whenever Akashi would try to move just a bit away he'd tighten his grip.
All in all. He's a mess, nanodayo.
(One thing I can't help but wander is if the demon has gone to the bathroom these last two days.)
I was (thankfully) pulled out of my musings by a slight whimper voming from none other than the center of my worries. Ahem, not that I worry about him. I was merely just thinking, nanodayo.
As informed by my father, and from what I could see in his eyes, he was awake to make sure his red trophy was still there. His eyes, despite sleeping a lot more than usual, were glazed and tired, ready to close at any moment again. And they almost did, had I not called him.
"Kuroko." I watched his half way closed eyes shoot open and dart over to my direction, on his left side of the bed. As soon as they did, I felt my body go tense. Sure I had seen his eyes before, but they were so... lifeless now. Adding the lack of sleep and it's marks only made direct eye contact worse. Holding myself from flinching, I fix my glasses and greeted him, double checking the tone of my voice. "Hey. How are you feeling?" It was a stupid question, but it was basic for starting up a conversation.
It took a while but he did answer.
"Tired..." He slurred out slowly, with a scratchy voice. I fought back a chuckle and instead gave him a smile.
"I figured as much and I'm sorry to keep you awake like this but it'll be quick alright?" A nod. "Then. I meant as in, do you have any pain?" He shook his head no after a while.
"Just sore..." Not letting me say anything, he continued. "C-can I go home, Midorima-kun...?"
Had it been any other person, I would flat out tell them no, that they need to get better, but with his eyes looking at me, holding so much hope in them, I wanted to agree instantly. But I couldn't...
He had to stay in hospital for a couple days more.
I sighed through my nose, pushing my glasses up again. "I-I'm sorry Kuroko. But you can't yet." I noted how his hand seemed to grip the fast asleep teen's even more. Irritation seemed to come at me in waves, I couldn't hold in the following words.
"Besides, where will you go when you get out of here? How will you take care of yourself if you're so scared to even sleep by alone? When you're depending on others so much?" I didn't mean to scold him like that or raise my voice, but the need to bring the real him back pushed the guilt in the back of my mind, for the moment.
"Let him go Kuroko, he won't go anywhere. The fact that he risked his life to save yours should be proof enough, nanodayo."
"But..." He started, however I wouldn't let him. If Kuroko speaks his opinion against yours then it's your loss, that's what I've learned from all this time together, so I couldn't let him do that.
"And if not him then Aomine or Murasakibara will surely stay with you. After all, mot only one idiot, but three idiots came after your sorry ass. So don't you dare let them down by drowning in this miserable state! Or will you seriously make their act useless? Just because you gave up on yourself doesn't mean everyone will." I sighed. "Kuroko. Listen, just let Akashi go. If he does leave it'll only be for personal needs, he'll always return afterwards. You are only torturing yourself like this."
After that, I waited for what felt like an eternity before he answered. Well, responded to my words. Albeit reluctant, he slowly untangled his hand from Akashi's, whimpering just a bit as he did so.
He rested his hand by his side, muscles tensing at the loss of physical touch. A smile made it's way on my lips as I watched him doing his best in keeping his hand there.
Such a child.
"Just rest Kuroko. You'll need it if you truly wish to get out of this place. We'll be here nanodayo."
But he didn't sleep, even though he wanted to. Instead, his eyes travelled to meet mine once again. "Where-where is Aomine-kun, Murasakibara-kun, Kise-kun and Momoi-san...?" As he asked that, some sort of panic settled in his eyes.
He might be thinking that something had happened to them, I thought.
"They're fine Kuroko, so don't worry. And to answer your question, they are currently resting in another room. Who wouldn't be, after annoying each-other to death they'd surely need a good rest." Especially that Aho idiot. "Which you need too. Rest up."
With that, the rest of the night was uneventful as I babysat the sleeping males. Honestly though how can those two sleep like that?
Akashi will most likely have sore muscles in the morning.
Not that I care nanodayo.
Chapter 29: 27
The truth is finally told.
I honestly hate sleeping.
There's always the possibility that you may never wake up, the fact that you're resting while someone may need your help that instant, and there's the dreams and nightmares. Haunting memories and sickly fears that your soul reveals.
I've read once that dreams are feelings you push in the back of your head, forget or just ignore being delivered to you by the depths of your being, telling you the things even you didn't know you feared. Or something like that, I think.
Nightmares give me headaches and overwhelming feelings like anxiousness, nervousness and paranoia. It makes my day unenjoyable and awkward, not to mention idiotic.
While memories confuse me, putting aside the fact that I don't really like to remember, they have me thinking why am I reseeing things, why do I have to think hard on some details. What am I missing?
All in all, sleep is dangerous. Especially for an emotionless person like me.
It disrupts my so-called proffesionalism in acting and the way I think. It makes me alert.
Like now for example.
The dream realm has brought me back to my mother's grave. Back to that boy.
It's all I've been seeing in my sleep ever since I woke up two days ago.
I am kind of happy that I'm not seeing the news of my mother or how her burial went, but I'd rather have a dreamless sleep over a confusing one.
What's more, the red haired boy looks very, and I mean very familiar.
I have his name at the tip of my tounge, yet I don't know it. It annoys me.
'Mother...' The word repeats itself on the redhead's lips all over again. Why...?
'Who are you?' He turned around.
'She's not your mother.' Authority dripped from his voice.
'She's mine!' Red eyes burned holes in my skull.
I opened my eyes slowly, the white ceiling regreeting me once more. Blinking a few times, I noticed that the mop of red heir wasn't beside me like last time.
So he left, a sad smile formed on my lips.
Of course he would...
Shuffling cought my attention and from the corner of my eye I was aware that the light coming from the window was being blocked by something.
"Akashi-kun..." Wincing at the hoarse voice I had, I waited for his response.
And to say the least, I was shocked from his eyes.
Same colors as...
"Tetsuya, good morning." He greeted, cutting off my thinking, but not the panic that came in waves, one thing he seemed to notice. Akashi-kun advanced towards me, grasping my shoulders in a firm grip, telling me to take deep breaths as it became a lot harder to breathe.
How had I not noticed it before?
They're the same person...
"Tetsuya hey, can you hear me?" I weakly nodded, slowly catching my breath. "Good. Are you ok? Does it hurt anywhere?" A shake of the head and a few more were answers to his questions before I was as calm as I could get (with the new information in mind). "Here." A glass of water was handed to me and I nodded in thanks before gulping it down in one go. The cold liquid did wonders to my dry throat and I couldn't help but to sigh in content which earned a chuckle from my usually stoic and serious friend. I handed him the now empty glass, secretly observing him.
He looked like an actual human,unlike before, well dressed and properly cleaned. The bags under his eyes nearly invisible, his emotions seemed genuine. As I realised that, I also realized that I was the cause of him straining himself before, making it hard not to frown.
He was also observing me, seeing if I was really ok or not, a gleam of disapproval in his eyes from time to time. I must've looked really, really bad. Oh well...
"...Did you... Did you have a nightmare?"
The team captain questioned, opting to look ahead of him instead of looking at me. Feeling the questioning look I was directing at him, he let out a small smile and explained. "You were tossing and mumbling in your sleep. I tried to wake you up but you were too stubborn to. You slept peacefully after a while though, so I didn't pester you much." He looked at me expectantly. "So?"
I sighed through my nose, looking down at my lap.
"You could say that I guess..." Before the redhead had a chance to ask what, I asked him my own question.
"Akashi-kun... Is... is there something I should know?" Our eyes met, there was a hint of suprise and panic in his crimson ones. "Something you're not telling me?"
"Why the sudden question?" He asked after a short period of silence.
I told him about the boy, explaining as best as I could and telling him about their similiarities, how I thought they were one and the same.
He smiled in the end, the one thing I didn't expect. "That's because we are." He said, confirming my suspicions. But... "How...?"
"We're twins Tetsuya."
The words flew out of his mouth like it was a normal thing to tell a friend of yours that you two are twins.
We're not! How could that be possible?
"Pfft! Hahahah!" I let a few giggles escape me for indeed he got me there. "Akashi-kun, that was a good one indeed!"
"What... what are you talking about, Tetsuya?" His eyes looked at me as if I'd grown a second head, looking completely lost on what to do.
"You made a joke. And you say you have no sense of humor." He kept looking at me funnily. "You were joking... Right?"
It was his turn to sigh it seems, letting me know he was really not joking. "You... you're not... but..."
It was his turn to explain. And he did so in detail. He told me how the man I called my father was not even related to me. He told me how their... our family suffered because of his plans and obsession. How he only found out a few weeks prior...
And he welcomed me with open arms, offered to take me out of my miserable life of shadows.
Gave me a home.
A real home...
Chapter 30: 28
Reactions are exaggerated when it comes to a certain ganguro.
“What the actual FUCK!!!”
You might be wondering why I'm cursing now. Well let me explain.
A certain someone just told me he has a god damn twin! Which we somehow know!!!
And we've been playing with him for two years now!!! Who's also my best friend?!
“What the heck Akashi!!!”
It's not like I'm complaining. Hey I don't mind seening Tetsu so happy and peaceful in his ‘brother's’ arms. But… “Why are we finding out about this just now?!”
We're all bundled up in Tetsu's room, Akashi just gave us the oh so shocking news that he and Tetsu are bros.
And we go back to where we started. What the heck!!!
“We only found out a few days ago Daiki, we didn't know about it either.”
“I'm sorry.” Came their reply at the same time, Tetsu's apology ticking me off even more than I already was. I mean, what is he even apologizing for?
“You shut up!!!” I yelled, pointing at him. “What are you even apoligizing for?! Gah!”
I winced at the pain in my arm, the damn pain cutting off my on the spot speech, something the tealnette of course noticed.
“Don't!” I said, patting my casted arm. “If you're really sorry then never, and I mean ever, do that again.” Seeing Satsuki smile beside me, and Akashi giving me a look that, well, a non-threatening look, I lost all my confidence. Like, if the all mighty Akashi gives you a look, you better be thankful it isn't threatening and thank all the gods above.
“Oh you needn't worry about him so much Daiki.” The devil said, patting Tetsu's head. “He and I made an agreement. He'll tell me whatever bothers him and we'll solve it together. Right, Tetsuya?” I watched him nod his head twice, looking down at his lap as if it was the most interesting thing on the world. Akashi sighed and leaned towards the tealhead, causing him to flinch at his words. “And now you're breaking it?”
You're not fooling anyone with a response that weak!!!
Before I could voice my thoughts Kise's annoying voice blew my ears off.
“Kuroko-chi!!!” The stupid blonde practically took the life out of him with a hug that strong. “Kuroko-chi, please, please forgive me for everything I've done wrong, forgive me for not noticing your suffering! Please talk to me like you used to!!! Gah!!!” He let go of Tetsu when the other was having trouble breathing. “I'm sorry Kuroko-chi, what I meant was; please let's go back to how we used to be! I swear I'll never-”
“Shut up already!!!” I could swear I saw Midorima drop his lucky item for the day, a mummy doll (something not breakable at least, or I'd never hear the end of it), when I punched the blond's head. “You're making everyone deaf with your annoying voice!”
“So mean Aomine-chi!” His hands flew up on his head, brushing the bump I caused as he looked at me with those crocodile tears in his eyes. “I was trying to be helpful!” I could already feel my nerves rising, the need to strangle the model too strong.
And I was about too, our heads so close, fingers itching to curl at each-other's throats… then all of a sudden a pain spread from my side, making me fall on the huge bed, crying out in pain, because damn it felt familiar.
“T-Tetsu, teme!!!” I said, holding my side. “That freaking hurts!!!”
“Kuroko-chi that's mean!!!” Kise whined, I'm pretty sure he would've continued spurting out nonsense had a meek voice not stopped him.
“Why…?” the tealnette whispered, shaking like a leaf. His expression was hidden by his locks. “Why are you asking me to go back to how we were when we already are?” He looked up smiling with tears on his eyes.
“K-Kuroko-chi! Why are you crying?! Don't cry please!!! I'm sorry suu!!!” The blond model started tambling on and on again, I would've joined him, but I realised that Tetsu wasn't sad anymore, he was happy seeing us like this. All bundled up together like we used to.
“Oi Kise! Lay off Tetsu would ya? You're only going to make him cry again 'coz you're so dumb.”
“Aomine-kun.” As always, count on Tetsu to stop incoming headaches.
“Yeah?” I looked at him. He bit his lip in hesitation, before softly asking.
“Does… does it hurt?” Looking down at my arm, I couldn't hold back a smile.
“Nah. I mean at first yeah, but I'm fine now. 'Sides…” I ruffled his hair, making it go wild, the pout was so worth it. “A 'lil brat like you should worry 'bout himself more, don'tcha think?”
“Agreed.” Midorima said, fixing his glasses. “That said, you should try relying a bit more on us as well. We're… we'll be there.”
“Mido-chin tsundere…” I snickered at that, because, damn right he is!
“I am no such thing, nanodayo!!!”
“Are too Midorima-chi!”
“Alright, alright, visit time is almost over. Tetsuya needs to rest.” The red haired devil spoke, ruining our fun. But he was right though. Tetsu needed his rest.
“Awwwww!!! But I wanted to stay with Tetsu-kun more!” Satsuki wailed, clinging to the said person's arm, who in turn patted her head.
“It's ok Momoi-san. You can come tomorrow again.”
She nodded tearily, not letting go just yet. One by one we said our goodbyes, some of us hugging him stronger than needed and slowly got out of the room, untill we were finally just me, Tetsu and Akashi in the room.
“I want to play basketball with you when you get out of the hospital.”
He smiled a smile that I'd almost forgotten.
“If you've healed till then that is, then yes, I would like to play basketball with you as well.”
“Alright.” We fist bumped like we used to, Akashi made him lay down and rest properly before following me out of the room.
“Say Akashi…just how long did you really know about this whole thing?” I looked at him as we got out.
“Not long. Just the day before he got sick and didn't come to school.” I hummed, suddenly I didn't feel as mad about it anymore.
“Take care of him alright? He needs it.”
“Need you really ask me that?”
“No. I guess not…”
Chapter 31: 29
A father`s love.
???'s P.O.V (guess who?)
“So we finally meet again, Tetsuya.” A small smile made it's way to my face as I caressed his pale cheek. The poor boy was still resting, fortunately a peaceful sleep as showed by his at ease features.
His breathing couldn't be heard at all, however his chest's rising and falling kept me from worrying too much. “You're nothing like I imagined you to be, but that's understandable after all you've been through.”
The hand I was holding gave a twitch, suprising me a bit, as if to signal that he was listening and didn't really like what I was saying. I chuckled, kissing his little hand.
Honestly, how could someone be so small and fragile?
“M-mommy…” he mumbled in his sleep, tightening his hold on my hand.
“What?” I laughed silently, a slow rumble echoing in the dim room. “Silly boy, I'm anything but a woman.”
A slow upturn of his lips accompanied by a barely audible chuckle, widened my own smile. “It seems you feel better when I'm talking to you.”
Ah, I might spoil this one. “I wonder what you're dreaming about… could it be something related to Shiori?
“Stupid me. Of course it is.” I tangled my fingers in his soft blue locks.
Tetsuya looks so innocent, one wouldn't ever guess of his dark and painful past.
I got up from the chair and sat on the bed, now letting Tetsuya rest on my lap. “I'm so sorry Tetsuya, I'm sorry…”
The memory of Shiori crying for our dear child still fresh, etched forever in the back of my mind, always reminding me how much of a failure I've been as a father and a husband.
After Tetsuya's disappearance the household was tense, waiting for ransom calls, anything to tell us the baby was alright, we never expected Reji's taunting e-mail,
the man shamelessly asking for my dearest's love.
Leaving out the traumatizing events of having your 4 months old baby kidnapped for blackmail, the ordeal in itself was even worse with the tealnette involved;
Tetsuya has always been weaker than normal and for as long as he was breastfed, he'd only drink from Shiori.
And for a sickly baby, he was quite stubborn, throwing tantrums whenever he didn't get things his way, trying so hard to change our minds, going as far as trying to crawl and kicking (I will forever be proud of his resistance towards Reji, the bastard's face got what it deserved, but that's another story).
Looking at him now, the same pale skin and small frame, I can't help but be amazed at his survival. Had it been anyone else, they would've given up. As Seijuro's mentioned, he's exceeded my expectations.
The door creaked open, revealing a familiar mop of red hair and curious crimson eyes staring at me.
“Father…? What are you doing here?” As suprise faded from his eyes, he closed the door behind him, silencing the hospital noise once more, never breaking eye-contact.
“Why, can't I come visit my son?” My hand went on Tetsuya's head on instict as I said those words and I began patting it. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my elder son shaking his head.
“No, of course not. It's just that I was not informed of your arrival.”
“Always the careful one, Seijuro. Fear not, I am not of any threat to you, or to Tetsuya.” I said, moving the lithe body of my lap in order to stand up, adding before he could say anything: “And yes, I know you did not mean it that way. Forgive my poor sense of humour.” After having gotten up, I made sure that Tetsuya was tucked in nicely and in a comfortable position, kissed his hands once more before turning to face Seijuro.
“How has he been coping?”
“Well. He will be released soon, but I assume Midorima-san already informed you of that.” I hummed, nodding in response. “He's nervous though.” This cought my full attention. The teen murmured incohorently, sighing as he scratched the back of his head. “With depression, the suicide attempt and his overloaded pride, the news of a twin brother and a new home seem kind of too much.”
“But he will come home, right?”
We moved closer to the door, opting to let the tealnette sleep peacefully.
“Yes. He's determined to give you a chance. Although,” A small chuckle escaped the red head's lips, making me frown on whatever mischief I was going to be played at. “He made it clear he'll run away if you, and I quote, ‘don't reach his expectations’. I warn you father, be very careful on your moves from now on, Tetsuya is done taking crap from the world.”
Although his voice was filled with playfulness, there was a hint of seriousness. Tetsuya's state of mind was something to be careful of, I had realised that already, but the matter at hand seemed to be far worse than expected. “You speak as if I am aiming to manipulate him like a chess piece, Seijuro.”
He scoffed, any evidence of the earlier easiness gone.
“As if you won't try. I am telling you father, don't even think I'll let you get away with it.” I winced internally, the hospitality in his voice showing just how much of a bad father figure I've been. I realised I was wrong and I feared it was too late to fix it. Seijuro had turned into the perfect heir, powerful and heartless.
“Mmm.” Tetsuya moaned, stirring in his sleep as he struggled to wake up.
“We will continue this another time. For now, I have to leave.” I hurridly said, hugging my son in the way I used to hug my beloved back then, when she wasn't expecting it. I suppose I will get back to those once more.
Getting out of the room before the redhead could protest, I closed the door just in time to not be seen by the younger twin.
“Akashi-kun…” His muffled voice just barely made it to my ear. “Who was that?”
“N-no one Tetsuya. Forgive me if we woke you.” Knowing Seijuro wouldn't tell him I'd been there, I left the place, only hearing the start of a brotherly argument, where Seijuro wanted to be called ‘nii-san’.
I walked away with a smile on my face, knowing I had a few calls to make.
Chapter 32: 30
One brother`s protectiveness, is enough for one hunderd brothers.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
"Do you have everything?" I asked my twin brother, hiding my amusement at his over excited face. Even though everybody else would say he was just like normal, Tetsuya could never fool me; his eyes gave everything away.
It was finally time for him to be released from hospital and the tealnette has been talking nonstop about it since the begining of the week.
"Hai, we're good to go." He answered impatiently, I could tell he was holding himself back from running ahead and getting lost in the crowd. I chuckled, throwing his bag over my shoulder, leading the way out and ignoring his protests of wanting to carry his stuff on his own. I could only thank the gods for his excited aura.
All that excitment, however, was replaced by a strange fear as we got out. He suddenly shrank to himself, keeping his head down... like some sort of slave.
How it angered me!
"Tetsuya!" I waited for him to catch up to me before taking his hand in mine, holding it gently, knowing that it was all he needed to feel confident in himself. I could feel him tightening his hold every now and then, the hospital scent finally clearing, fresh air chasing it away as we stood at the building's entrance.
Hmph, the new chauffeur is late.
"I've told you before, it's nii-san now Tetsuya." I interrupted. "Or if not that then at least call me Seijuro." He avoided my gaze and muttered incohorently. "I'm sorry, could you repeat that, Tetsuya?"
"No!" Pouting, he covered his eyes, pink coloring his cheeks. "It's embarrasing..." I chuckled, taking his hands in my own, the comforting warmth spreading through my entire body like a heavenly disease, it felt good, however, I didn't let it show in my face for a mischievious smile was firmly put there, it's intention: making Tetsuya talk.
"I won't warn you Tetsuya. You better tell me now if you'd rather not suffer." His eyes widened as he tried to back away but failed for his hands were trapped in my grip, head shaking in lighting speed.
Grinning in delight, I pulled him closer, sneakingly moving my arm so that he was now in front of me, and then I begun my torture; tickling him like no tomorrow. It seemed as if he had weak spots everywhere, uncontrollable laughter escaping him as he gasped desperately for breath.
"S-stopp! Plea-se!" He shouted, giving it his hardest to get away.
"Never!" I replied, going against it, however, when a black SUV stopped in front of us. I let him gasp for much needed air, to glare coldly at my new servant, who bowed his head and opened his mouth to, most likely, make some sort of excuse for his tardiness. "You're late." I stated. "That doesn't leave a good impresion. We need people who are skilled, not lazy idiots who got lucky into getting a well paying job."
The man, who merely flinched at my glare, handled the situation like an adult.
One that was talking to a child, something I am not. "There was traffic young sir, kindly understand that I could not do anything about it." He had some nerve, looking at me in the eye like that.
Acting like that.
This man would get himself fired on the first day of his job, on the first five minutes actually and even less than that. All that, and he still had the courage to look mighty im front of me.
"N...nii-san...?" Small hands grabbed my trembling fist and I turned to see big doe eyes to my right. I must admit, I was suprised once again by Tetsuya, his words caught me off guard. "It's ok, he won't do it again, right?"
I knew he wouldn't come late again, but he would do whatever displeased me.
My brother's begging eyes, however, crumbled all my anger.
"Very well then." I said, burning holes in the man's eyes. "I'll let it slide just this once. But know that you will not get away this easy next time." If looks could kill, the chauffeur would be dying on the ground already, especially if he kept looking at me like someone below him.
I turned to the tealnette, my anger vanishing completely. "Ready?"
The eyes I so loved widened a bit and he gulped, nodding afterwards. The man opened the door for us, his eyes lingering at Tetsuya's figure, studying him, and, once happy with his observations, a smug look made it's way to his face and I gritted my teeth.
Thinking of me as a lowly figure is a suicide attempt, but thinking of Tetsuya as one meant instant death. My fist trembled at my side, ready to show a lesson to the source of my internal anger.
Let me take over.
No, I can't do that!
Come on, I will not kill the guy... probably.
I said no, you'll make a scene.
I won't attract any unneccesary attention. I'll show him his place quietly. So please, let me take over.
Pulled out of my musings, I found myself looking into Tetsuya's worried eyes, my phone ringing and vibrating in my pocket in one of my intimidating tunes*.
"Are you alright, Aka-"
"I'm fine," I interrupted, realising his warm hands were on either side of my face and pulled away. "Get inside, this will only take a moment." I told him, taking out my phone and making some distance between us so I could talk in private but still keep an eye on the tealnette, as well as the annoying grown up.
Checking the caller ID, I answered the call as Tetsuya introduced himself to the chauffeur, bowing a perfect 90 degrees and asking for the man's name; Toshina Osami, he replied with the most uninterested voice ever, respect for his master was not present.
"Father." I will admit, I was not informed of the new worker's name and background. Mainly because neither I, nor father, were the ones to pick the new servants, seeing as we were busy with Tetsuya's case and health, we trusted the task to our head butler. "I hope there is a very important reason for you to call me, otherwise, you would be wasting precious time." The man was around Aomine's height, kind of bulky with short black hair gelled back. His face was round and ugly, actually, everything about him was the opposite of nice and acceptable.
My father's voice greeted my ears, smooth and clear. "I called to ask about Tetsuya's health, you can decide if that is important or not."
"Tetsuya is fine, you needn't worry." I replied. "I would have called to let you know if he wasn't. Is that all?"
"No, I also wanted to know if you are on your way." There was some sound on the background like too many people running around and I got the feeling he... they, were up to something.
"The chauffeur just arrived. We will be leaving the hospital grounds now." My questions remained unspoken as I knew I would find out later on.
"Very well, I will see you soon then."
"Yes, goodbye father." Not letting him reply, I dropped the call, turning around, I saw that Tetsuya was getting inside the vehicle, however, I also noticed that the door was being closed before he was fully in. If he didn't notice, his leg would get hurt, crushed probably.
In a blink of an eye, I was standing in front of the bulky man, stopping the door from closing while repeatedly killing him in my head, for I knew, he had done it on purpose.
Let me out, damn it! I'll show him-
No matter how mad I was, I had to stay calm. For Tetsuya...
I closed the door, seeing as my brother was safe inside and without a word went to sit on the passenger seat, waiting patiently as the newbie hopped in the driver's seat, starting the car and leaving the hospital grounds.
After a few calming moments of silence, I turned to look at my brother on the back seat, a smile on my face.
"How are you feeling?" I asked as I saw him play with his thumbs, clearly nervous. The end of his lips turned upwards, his eyes focusing on me as he tried to hide his worries.
Not meaning to, I looked at him with something akin to pity but didn't pry further and pulled out my phone to play shogi.
Time after time I checked on the tealnette to see he had taken out a book and read in silence. About half an hour of driving in silence, Tetsuya's voice pipped up.
"A-ano, could we stop here for a bit?" He asked with a pleading tone as I turned to look at him once again, following his gaze I saw that we were passing by Maji Burgers.
Craving for a vanilla milkshake, I thought and opened my mouth to agree, however, someone beat me to it.
"Forgive me, young masters," He was not the slightest apologetic, "But we cannot make stops along the way. I have direct orders to bring you straight home." Glaring at the imbecile, my colorful words were (fortunately) cought in my throat, I'd really have to talk with our butler later; Osami was truly... downright idiotic, talking like that. Just because he was someone older than us. Someone had to remind him, that despite that, he was below us. He worked for us to live, he didn't have the right to tell us what we could and couldn't do.
But someone seemed to forget that as they hung their had in a similiar way to a beaten puppy. "Oh, I see. That's, that's alright then." Tetsuya said, acting tough but his tone failed him and trembled.
"It is not. We will stop by, I needed something to eat anyways." I objected, already taking off my seatbelt as both males tried to voice their protests. "No 'but's, we will do as I say and that is final."
So the SUV was pulled at the side of the road, the chauffeur moving to open my door, but I was faster, however, and helped Tetsuya out as well as I could see he felt uncomfortable inside.
"You stay here, Tetsuya. It'll be very crowded inside so it'll take a while to get our orders." His lips parted to say something, but I interrupted, knowing quite well what he was going to say. "And yes, I will not forget to buy you a vanilla milkshake." Pouting, the tealnette nodded and I couldn't help but smile at his cute antics. I ruffled his hair a bit, causing his pout to widen as he slapped my hand away, threw a glare in the chauffeur's direction and walked inside the small (but popular) place to get one vanilla milkshake, two burgers and some fries, not even bothering with the stares I recieved as well as the returned glare from the servant.
As suspected, the line was long and clumsy, at least in my presence. I can proudly say I'm quite intimidating... that, or I'm just too noticable and make people stop and trip over their own feet. After at least 15 minutes later I was finally outside, the loud voices of people all around became louder as I walked back to the car. What I saw made my blood boil, becoming aware of my surroundings, I realized that the voices all around were paniced, directed at the commotion happening in front of me.
Tetsuya was on the ground, covering his ears as tears streamed down his pale face while some inches away stood Osami, his face red in anger as he yelled trash about our family. A guy nearby growled as he attempted to charge in to help, but was held back by his friends who didn't want him to get into trouble. Similiar reactions were given by the other spectators until a woman in my right declared to call the police, but I was faster, putting my order on the ground, charging up to the man, grabbing his shoulder and, after forcefully turning him around, punching his face.
Shocked gasps emitted from the gathering crowd as he was sent crashing on the floor.
Show him his place!
"I'm going to kill you." The scene felt surreal, I let him take over for he could handle the situation better than I. My body moved forward on his command, the chauffeur scrambling to get up, eyes going wide and mouth gaping like a fish out of water. "Put you through so much pain, you'll wish you weren't even born."
My steps halted, I felt something pull my hand, warmth calming the both of us.
We were now both on control, both knowing who was stopping us from giving the man his well-deserved punishment. "Tetsuya."
Said boy was trembling worse than a leaf in the middle of fall, however, in contrast to his posture, his face showed unwavering determination.
"Please, please stop!" He yelled, his grip on my hand tightening considerably as he tried to pull us back, away from the imbecile at our feet. "There's no need to make a scene, let's just drop it ok? He didn't-"
"Silence!" I cut off his rant, recognising his form of expression as one of the many he put on to protect others, even when they didn't deserve it.
"NO!" He defied. "I want to leave, I wanna go home! Right now!" Silence... the order I gave was fulfilled by everyone but the one it was directed to, including me. Nothing could be heard except Tetsuya's sobs.
I couldn't reply, not even if I wanted to. I had no comeback, but more importantly, I was stunned, my brother's words warmed my heart as he chuckled wholeheartedly.
'Home' he said...
"I see." I whispered, freeing my hand from his grip, rufling his hair before turning to the ex-chauffeur who now stood like a child in front of me. Grabbing his shoulder once more, I forced him to sit on the ground and, leaning on him whispered: "Don't worry, I'm not yet done with you but as of now," I raised my voice to let everyone hear. "You're fired."
"Wai- please-" He tried to beg for himself but was cut off by the many people who had enough of his crap that told him off. This might sound over exaggerated but it's the truth, he even ran away from the scene similiar to a dog with his tail between his legs.
Turning to Tetsuya, I smiled fondly when he refused to meet my gaze and walked to get our orders from the ground. Approaching him once again, I took out the vanilla milkshake and held it out in front of his face. His head shot up, his eyes widening as he looked at me. "What?" I asked, raising my shoulders. "I did tell you I wouldn't forget."
Sniffling, he accepted it with a small smile.
"I'll text father what happened," I said, "Do you want to wait for someone to pick us up, or should we just call a cab?"
"...Hm, let's just call a cab, alright?"
The rest of the ride was unevenful (if not a bit awkward from the drivers side) and we soon found ourselves standing in front of the mansion's gate. It felt strange, after so many years, the place felt foreign. It's as if being there with Tetsuya for the first time, started everything anew.
The butler greeted us, he welcomed Tetsuya immediatley and I could tell those two would be good friends. The man told us that father was waiting for us in the dining room and we headed there.
On the way we didn't encounter anyone, no butler or maid, none at all. It indicated that something was up.
Let's see, I begun solving it all, the place is quiet, too quiet. The lights here dim with each step taken and the smell of the chef's delicious cooking filles the air, it seems as if he's been cooking all day as the smell is quite strong. And the butler had this knowing smile on his face.
Could it be...
We stood in front of the dining room's doors.
A welcome party?
I opened the double doors and, as Tetsuya walked in, the room lit immediatley, revealing a well decorated room with presents, balloons, colors and food of all kind. Many, many people, familiar and unfamiliar to me, stood clapping, smiling and whistling to their heart's content.
I turned to Tetsuya, his eyes were wide in suprise, mouth agape as everyone wished him the world's happiness. Out of the corner of my eye I saw father approaching with soft eyes and a loving smile on his face. Stopping right behind my twin, he put his hands behind his back and leaned forward to whisper on the tealnette's ear.
"Is it to your liking?" My brother jumped, startled at the new presence behind him before turning to face the man. His cheeks reddened in embarrasment and he looked down, stuttering as he tried to form cohorent sentences.
"I-I... um, y-yes it-it-it's lovely, s-sir..." What was actually lovely though, was his face; painted tomato red, but his eyes narrowed in attempt to calm himself, he looked like a child trying to hold his tears back. "Thank y-you." As the tealnette tried to bow, father stopped him and gave a smile in response.
"You don't need to thank me, Tetsuya. In fact, it should be me thanking you." Before the teenager could have a chance in interrupting, he continued. "And please, call me father."
The whole scene felt... awkward. For me that is.
I wasn't used to father showing his emotions or expressing himself like this. It was unsettling for some reason, but calming as well.
I knew I didn't have to worry about Tetsuya with him around, as he would tske care of him like a father...
A real father..
Finally got to where I`ve left this story on wattpad.
Tell me what you think.
Chapter 33: Chapter 31
The shadow is in fact the sun in the eyes of others.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
I sigh, stretching my arms as I walked away from the bookshelf, still amazed at the ridiculous amount of books that said boy owned. With all the changes we had made to my, now my and Tetsuya's, room, his, worn out and partially destroyed- but still useful, books took up most of the space on the two large bookshelves. I had to move some vases and trophies to make space for them, not to mention, remove some of my own books and put them on the small drawer of my desk.
The ‘Where did he get all these?’ remained unspoken, because another, more important question invaded my mind; ‘Why does he own more books than clothing’?
While all of the tealnette's clothes easily fit into one, rather small, luggage, his books took up to five- I'm not quite sure, I lost count after four.
Another thing that bothered me was why I hadn't noticed his big, for his economic problems, library during my visit at his so-called ‘home’- now former home, or a sorry excuse of one at least.
Knocks on the door pulled me out of my musings, and with a quiet ‘Come in.’ from me, my personal maid entered with a tray in hand.
“Is the party still going?” I asked, taking the glass of water and a pill from the golden tray once she was close enough, watching as a small smile graced her features.
“Yes,” she replied. “Although, most of the guests have already left.”
Humming, I swallowed the pill and drank the water in one go before setting it down again. “And Tetsuya?” A nostalgic look flashed in her eyes for a moment, so fast that the eyes could have tricked the mind, however, my emperor eye never lied, and I knew the emotion was there, now hidden behind layers of apathy and respect, but there nonetheless.
“He's been busy catchig up with everyone, and also bonding with Akashi-sama. He has asked for your presence a couple of times.” The maid's smile widened in a suggestive smirk, one that I wouldn't pay too much attention to, suggesting I should've been downstairs instead of in our brand new room, eyebrow raising in question. I shook my head, inwardly smiling towards her playful antics, though my face was as passive as it could get.
“My presence is not needed. Tetsuya needs some time to himself, after all, this party's purpose is to let him get comfortable as well as to boost his confidence. Besides, he's had enough of me the last few weeks.” At the last sentence, I let a smile break my straight face, knowing that I had gone overboard with helping the addressed get back on his feet- well, I and Shintarou as well.
(I can only imagine just how many times Tetsuya wished he could lock us in a closet and run away while given the chance.
With all the food we made him eat, and finish everything on the homemade bentos I brought, which weren't normal sized at all, I'm surprised he hasn't gained weight.)
Thanking the woman, I put the empty glass back on the tray and turned to finishing unpacking my brother's belongings.
“The room looks beautiful, Tetsuya-sama is sure to love it.” The maid commented, setting the tray on the nearest nightstand, judging by the ‘thud’ that followed her words, her movements coming closer to me.
“Is that so?” I answered, already unzipping the last luggage and taking out Tetsuya's clothes. “I'm glad. I did change it so it would suit his preferences better, after all.”
Instinctively, I looked around to see if it needed further changes;
The former golden walls, now a beautiful shade of teal were mostly covered by the shelves, and small drawers.
The two shelves covered two opposite walls, creating a sort of grand opening when you walked in. Opposite to the door stood our two queen sized beds, mine with red sheets and golden pillows, his with teal sheets and white pillows. In the middle of the two furniture a medium sized beautiful green colored round table was set, and on the other side of each bed dark blue colored nightstands. Between the beds, just over the table was a closed window, showing the night sky, it's royal purple curtains framing it nicely. Near the entrance door, golden yellow colored wood, covered in baby blue designs, stood a plain brown door that lead to a walk in closet.
It all looked perfect, and I hoped Tetsuya would think so too.
The woman by my side put a hand on my shoulder, albeit hesitantly, making me look up at her. “Would you like some help?”She asked, crouching in front of me, already taking some clothes in her hands. I put my hand over her's, shaking my head in objection.
“That will not be necessary. I started this myself, I want to end it that way.” I replied, taking the clothes from her hands, quieting any form of protest, leaving her with no other option than to nod, take the tray and leave the room, allowing me to continue my work (more like my hobby, for looking after my brother akin to a mother seemed to be so) in peace.
I took my twin's night wear out of the luggage and laid it on his bed, putting all the other clothes back in afterwards. Re-zipping the luggage once more, I pulled it, along with the other ones, inside the walk in closet, setting them down on a small compartment on Tetsuya's side.
The walk in closet was wide, giving us enough space to move around. On the left side the closet was painted light red, while on the right side, Tetsuya's side, sky blue. The floor was light pink to purple while the ceiling orange with black lining. At the end of the closet was placed a brown door which led to the bathroom, a mirror taking up most of it's space. Tetsuya's side of the closet was empty, and I was sure it would still seem that way even after I arranged his clothes, for he barely owned anything.
We'll have to fix that later, I thought, hanging his belongings.
Not two minutes later, when I was putting the tealnette's toothbrushes and shampoos on their rightful place in the bathroom, I heard the door of my and my brother's room open.
“Aka-” I heard Tetsuya's muffled voice call out for me, immediately interrupting.
“'Nii-san' Tetsuya, and I'm in here.” I said, closing the bathroom door and walking out of the closet just in time to see the boy puff out his cheeks in a huff. The tealnette was sitting on my bed, his round eyes half way closed, back hunched as he swayed back and forth, ready to lay down and sleep at any second. “You're such a pain you know that?” He slurred out his words grumpily, a pout evident on his face as I drew closer, smirking at the (cute) state he was in.
“Forgive me my dearest twin brother, but you have to get used to calling me that, one way or another.” Sooner rather than later I preferred. “So, how was the party?”
His eyes shone in happiness, any evidence of the earlier tiredness dissappeared as he rambled on to me how his night went. And I listened, sitting beside him and patting his head.
He listed the people that helped him during his tough days, one by one telling me how precious and irreplaceable they were.
“Akiko-san helped me with my economy the most. She let me work in her library even when she didn't need help. She also gave me all the books that weren't needed or that weren't wanted-” Well, I thought, that certainly explains why he owns so many books. “Koko obaa-san let me help in her kindergarten, the kids were so nice and sweet too-”
During his speech, I realized that while Tetsuya thought of himself as a shadow, he was a daylight star, like the sun.
“And that's how Riniko-Chan learned not to play with every animal she stumbled upon. It was quite the experience, but she learned her lesson I suppose...” He yawned, leaning against me. “They're all nice people…” I noticed his eyes started to close, he snuggled closer to my blue sweater, his own grey hoodie wrinkled at the contact and I decided it was enough chatting for one night.
“Alright,” I said, getting up, careful not to move too fast. “Time for bed.” Pointing to his bed, I helped him up, turning to the walk in closet afterwards to change into my own night wear.
After finishing my nightly routine, I walked back into the room to be greeted by the sight of Tetsuya's messy form sprawled out on the bed.
Chuckling softly, I neared him, pressing a kiss on his forehead.
He reacted to my touch and moaned in content, signaling he was still awake. Well, still conscious enough at least.
“Is the bed comfortable?” I asked, caressing his hair.
“Mhm... Soft and warm…” came his answer, making me smile.
“Is that so?” The tealnette nodded. I made a move to leave, but he opened his mouth to speak once more. “But you know what's warmer…?”
“What…?” I watched as he opened one doe colored eye, his arms moving towards my face, ending up tangling behind my head as he pulled me closer, making me lay on the bed beside him.
“Nii-san…is...” He replied, snuggling closer to me, drifting to sleep in no time. I smiled, once shock faded away, and reache over to turn off the light on his nightstand, ignoring the prying eyes from outside the room's door.
Is this better sophisticatedsophia?