Who Are You?
“Um… um, excuse me!”
Akashi blinked and looked up from a piece of paper which contained rough ideas of the training menu that he got from the head coach and Nijimura, since Akashi would be helping them run Teikou basketball club as a vice captain starting next semester.
It was the last day of school before summer vacation started in his first year of junior high school, and even though there would be summer training camp starting next week, Akashi wanted to complete the next semester training schedule before the activity began in order not to get distracted during summer training camp. He should meet Nijimura and the head coach at least two or three more times during week off.
Anyway, there was a boy in front of Akashi. A shorter boy, with auburn colored hair and dark brown irises, in a uniform he hadn’t seen before, and he looked very nervous for some reason.
“Yes?” Akashi leveled him neutrally.
“Um… uh,” the boy visibly gulped and then glanced at behind Akashi. Three taller guys stood there looking at them curiously.
Ah, right. Akashi and the other first year’s first stringers were on the way to have dinner together. Aomine, Murasakibara and Midorima… huh, there should have been Haizaki Shougo as well, but the silver haired boy decided he wanted to play in the game center so he passed on Aomine’s suggestion to a group outing.
“Can I help you?” Akashi asked again, instantly gaining the boy’s attention back since he seemed kind of sidetracked.
“Ah, so-sorry, um… you are… Akashi Seijuurou, right?” the boy stuttered and Akashi nodded silently, raising one of his eyebrows slightly in surprise of how the boy knew his name. Akashi would have remembered if he had ever met him, but he drew blank from his memory.
“I- I’m Furihata Kouki from Sutoyama Middle School. You might not know me, but I… I know you. Uh, my friend told me about you and… uh…” The boy appeared rather panicked as he gestured rather wildly with his flailing hands, like frantically looking for something inside his gakuran pockets. “Ahah!” His face brightened for a moment when he found what he was looking for. “Here!” then he thrust the thing—which in closer look was actually a white envelope— to Akashi, with both hands, and he bowed a little as he said, “Please read this!” before he suddenly straightened his body and then dashed away with a completely red face.
“What was that about?” Aomine quipped in incredulity since no one said a word after a minute of awkward silence.
“Aka-chin… is that a love letter?” Murasakibara surprisingly asked the hard question which was probably in Midorima’s mind as well, judging from his ridiculous expression.
Akashi was still speechless even though his friends probably wouldn’t describe his expression as stunned. He believed it should be more like surprisedsince that was exactly how he felt. He stared at the white envelope in his hand with slight trepidation. He knew that he attracted attention with his family background, and maybe there were a lot of suitors that liked to be his acquaintance, but…
A male suitor, seriously?
“Whoa! A love letter?! From a guy?!” Aomine’s shocked exclaim was incredibly loud and Akashi wanted to chide him from making a scene. Some interested pedestrian actually stopped walking to see what was going on.
“Aomine, have a little tact, will you?” Luckily, Midorima could always be counted on for his rational sense, and his scowl apparently worked to cause Aomine to look a bit sheepish.
“Sorry,” the tan boy said, scratching the back of his neck. “But… wow, even a guy you don’t know has a crush on you, Akashi. What do you say to that?” Now the tone Aomine was using sounded quite teasing and Akashi only let out a deep sigh impassively.
“I honestly have no answer for that question.” He just put the envelope inside his standardized school bag as he resumed walking.
“Wait, you’re just gonna ignore it?” Aomine widened his eyes as he quickly followed Akashi.
“Aomine, cut it out. It’s Akashi’s private business,” Midorima huffed at him, most likely annoyed with Aomine’s nosiness.
“Wait, Aka-chin, why don’t we stop by that department store over there first before getting dinner? I want to buy some Maiubo* to go,” Murasakibara didn’t even comment on the strangeness of what happened just then. He didn’t seem to care one bit, except for his first question whether or not what Akashi received from that boy… Furihata Kouki, right?—was a love letter.
~Akashi x Furihata~
“How did it go?” Sasaki looked at Furihata’s eyes with her own jet black colored ones, shining and full of hope, right after he came back from giving her letter to Akashi Seijuurou.
Seriously, what he would do for her.
Furihata painfully realized that Sasaki already had him completely wrapped up in her fingers. Whatever she wanted him to do he would do it to impress her, even though it was to give her love letter to Furihata’s –technically- love rival because Sasaki was too nervous to do it herself. He just hopped that those guys that were around Akashi wouldn’t see him again since heaven knows what they would be thinking after seeing him, a boy, handing another boy a love letter.
I wanted to die!—Furihata was so embarrassed he might have prayed to every deity for the ground to open up and swallow him up fully right there and then when he had been doing it. Though, he manned up, okay? Well, he ran away after that… at least Akashi and his friends didn’t see him blushing, right?
He wished. Furihata cried inwardly at his own pessimistic thought. He was kind of almost 100% sure that they completely witnessed his spectacular tomato impersonation of a face. He could still feel the heat on his cheeks after all, even until now.
“I did it, Sasaki-chan. I delivered your letter to Akashi Seijuurou,” Furihata nodded, still unable to keep his flushing face under control.
Sasaki’s worried expression immediately brightened and she hugged him right away, causing Furihata to swoon because—Oh my God! Sasaki-chan is hugging me!
“Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU very much, Furihata-kun! You’re such a nice friend!” Sasaki said with a dazzling smile when she released the hug.
Upon realizing that he was totally friend-zoned again by his major crush, Furihata slumped. Well, at least she was smiling so brilliantly. It was totally worth all the shameful, nerve-wracking experience. Besides, Akashi Seijuurou didn’t know who Sasaki was despite her love letter. There was no way he would respond to it seriously.
~Akashi x Furihata~
“So… how on earth has it become this way?”
Furihata seriously wanted to bang his own forehead against the tabletop, but he refrained from making an idiot out of himself in front of the red haired teen who had been sipping mocha latte from his cup quietly, his ruby eyes never straying from Furihata’s feature, which kind of freaked Furihata out a little bit.
“What do you expect from me after you showed such public spectacle of giving a love letter to a guy?—by the way, in case you misread my gender, which was exceptionally foolish if that was really the case,” Akashi calmly replied.
Furihata paled slightly. “Did I just say that aloud?” He wanted to die ten times over now, because he didn’t think Akashi would catch on his thought, which apparently wasn’t exactly a thought because he mumbled it out loud enough to be heard by the Teikou student sitting across of him.
Akashi let out a sigh as he put down his cup. “We need to talk.”
That kind of line never bode well in Furihata’s life. It spelled out Trouble. And yes, with capital letter.
“Uh… did you actually read the letter?” Furihata asked awkwardly.
“No,” was Akashi’s fast reply. “But you are the first boy that actually gave me one,” he added, the corner of his lips tugging up slightly. “It’s kind of fascinating, I admit. I’ve never seen a homosexual before.”
Furihata flushed red instantly at the last sentence. “I’m NOT a homo!” and he raised his voice in a moment of panic, which he realized immediately to be a very stupid move because now everyone at the café were staring at heir table with funny looks.
I’m an idiooot!—Furihata covered his face, wanting to run away and hide and never come out for the rest of his life again after such embarrassing screech.
“Then, why did you give me the love letter?” Akashi didn’t seem fazed by his overreacting.
“It’s not mine,” Furihata muttered, still hiding his face behind his palms. “My friend… a girl, asked me to deliver it to you because she was too nervous to do it herself,” he tried to explain, albeit very timidly.
Akashi was silent for a moment before Furihata heard another sigh from him, a deeper one this time. “And you like this girl, don’t you?”
Furihata looked upward so fast he thought he would get a whiplash. “How do you know that?!” He widened his eyes, very surprised and slightly mortified with the totally dead on guess. Did Akashi read his mind or something?!
“Figures,” Akashi looked the other way, completely ignoring Furihata’s question, and then went quiet for some seconds before speaking, “Even though I know the reason of your action, I still don’t understand the significance of it. Delivering a letter from a girl that you like to another guy… doesn’t it betray your own feeling?”
Furihata was surprised because Akashi seemed genuinely curious to understand his motivation. Though, he still couldn’t answer that because he was too busy gaping and staring at the red head.
“Flies are going to enter your mouth if you keep hanging your jaw like that,” Akashi raised his eyebrows in an amused look and Furihata snapped his mouth shut in reflex to his soft reprimand. “Are you going to answer any of my question at all, Furihata Kouki?”
Furihata blushed hearing his name from Akashi’s mouth, spoken with such tone that was bordering into playful, but still regal enough to be polite. How Akashi do that was beyond him, really. “You really are like… a prince,” he unconsciously repeated Sasaki’s word (or was it a squeal?) when she told Furihata about Akashi while showing him his picture in some kind of featured magazine. It even wasn’t a basketball magazine, but more like some kind of magazine for business men. Akashi was featured there as the sole heir of Akashi Corporation which would inherit his family wealth and giant company in the future.
“I am not a royalty though,” Akashi responded to him, still wearing an amused face.
Upon realizing that he had spoken his thought aloud again, Furihata blushed harder. “S-sorry, that’s not what I-…! I mean your mannerism! You act and behave like a proper prince…” He didn’t know what prompted him to be that honest. But man, seriously… Akashi was very beautiful for a guy, like a painting.
Akashi chuckled lightly, seeming to appreciate the compliment. “Thank you.”
Akashi’s small genuine smile that graced Furihata’s life at that moment moved him in a way that he couldn’t explain and understand. For some reason his heart started to pick up pace and he became even more flustered. “Y-you’re welcome…”
Furihata looked at the hem of his long sleeve, feeling like fidgeting in full awareness that Akashi was still watching him. Attempting to strike another conversation (because he didn’t want to feel another weird awkwardness), he suddenly remembered something important that he had been dying to ask until before Akashi distracted him with his words.
“Akashi-kun is fine. Yes?” Akashi lifted his eyebrows.
“Oh, alright, Akashi-kun then… um, how did you know where I live?”
~Akashi x Furihata~
Akashi was in his room, studying.
Well, he wanted to study, but his mind was slightly occupied by the letter in his school uniform pants pocket. He decided to take a five minutes break before his distraction could do some real damage to his study session. After all, he had to concentrate fully if he wanted to cram the knowledge his history text book spew.
He stood and went to take out the letter and then proceeded to stare at it for a few seconds before turning it over in his hand. There were only letters ‘For Akashi Seijuurou-san’ printed there in nice cursive of hand writing, nothing of the sender’s name. He remembered the boy who gave it to him. Furihata didn’t look like a guy who would write with such nice and neat style. He looked ordinary. His body was shorter than Akashi, smaller and probably slenderer as well judging from the slightly too big uniform that he wore.
“Please read this.”
Akashi remembered his shy face when Furihata said that line. It was slightly adorable, he admitted. He was tempted to read the letter, but… well. He felt that would be unfair to his all admirers. Oh yes, he had those people that called themselves his fans club. Akashi wasn’t blind. Thank you very much. However, he always tried to treat them all equally, whether it was a girl or a guy. He received a lot of love letters since he entered Teikou from his suitors, although it was the first time that he got it directly from the source (or from a guy), unlike the others that left those letters in his shoe locker.
“Alright, this can be a bit special, since he was the first and the bravest one,” Akashi determined. Though, he was too late to actually open it up and read it since his five minutes break was over, signaled by his phone alarm. Akashi sighed. “I guess I can read it tomorrow.” He kept it in his studying desk drawer when he went back to sit down. Then he started his reading again with a small smile on his face.
The next morning, Akashi forgot about the letter because his father summoned him to have an early breakfast together, since he would have to leave the house for a week to do a business trip at 7 o’clock. As always, father lectured him about being a proper Akashi’s, how he should act and behave and of course, his accomplishment.
His mother just smiled ruefully at both of them when Akashi said, “Yes, father,” like an obedient child he was. As soon as his father left, mother inquired him of what his plan for the day since it was the start of his summer vacation. Akashi just smiled and asked her to accompany him to his favorite street basket court near the house.
Akashi couldn’t be more surprised when he saw Furihata play in that court which Akashi frequented when he had free time in his hand. He glanced slightly at his mother when she seemed to notice his revelation as he stopped all movement.
“Is something wrong, Seijuurou?” She tilted her head aside with wondering look as she peered at him.
“Um,” frankly, he didn’t know what to say. Usually, he was always able to confide with his mother about anything at all. But right now, he wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to tell her that he had received a love letter from a boy… a boy that was playing basketball in front of them at that moment.
Akashi couldn’t possibly lie to her though, so he cleared his throat quietly so as not to be noticed by the party on the court and spoke the truth. “I have a confession to make,” he started.
“You sound like you’ve done something wrong, Seijuurou,” his mother chuckled at his slightly odd starting line, which was indeed strange because he hadn’t done anything remotely wrong all the time.
Akashi chuckled as well. “You’re right. That wasn’t a… proper opening,” he admitted, slightly bashful. “Alright, hypothetically speaking, what would you think if your son received a love letter from another boy?”
His mother blinked once. And twice. And then she started to giggle hard, her shoulders shaking in her effort to hold down an inelegant hilarity if she wasn’t the wife of an Akashi. Though, his mother always looked regal no matter how ludicrous she made her expression. Akashi couldn’t help blushing slightly in embarrassment for causing such mirth in his mother day.
“Oh Seijuurou… hypothetically speaking?” She still tried to give him serious response despite her occasional giggle then. “I think my son should know the boy better if that boy could actually give him such difficulties to react to an affectionate gesture.” She ruffled Akashi’s hair fondly.
“You didn’t mind it at all?” Akashi immediately felt like a fool after asking that question. It was his mother. Of course she wouldn’t make a deal out of a single love letter. He saw the same thing as she just shook her head, still smiling in amusement.
That was how Akashi decided to look for Furihata’s name in Yellow Pages. He surely lived near Akashi Residence if Furihata played stobas at the street basket court near Akashi’s home. Some way or another, he entirely forgot to read the letter and decided to just get to know the person that wrote it personally.
In the afternoon Akashi visited Furihata’s home, much to Furihata’s look of horror, to ask him out on an outing to start to satisfy his own curiosity.
~Akashi x Furihata~
Akashi and Furihata became friends… short off. Akashi couldn’t help feeling that Furihata felt intimidated by him, even though Akashi didn’t mean to act intimidating towards him.
“Uh, it’s not you. It’s me,” he said, looking down at the ground when they talked while they took a walk along the riverbank that divided the neighborhood between Akashi’s elite complex and Furihata’s common suburb. Seriously, they lived across of each other, only separated by a -five meters width and three meters depth- river, which could only be crossed through the bridge 200 meters to the west from their home.
“You?” Akashi raised his eyebrow, wondering.
“I’m just… not confident enough to be your friend.” Furihata scratched his cheek with his forefinger, his cheeks reddening slightly and his eyes averting their gaze from Akashi’s.
“What makes you think you’re not good enough to be my friend?” Akashi couldn’t understand that logic.
Furihata shrugged. “Well, you’re… you’re classy, a-and handsome, rich; a prestigious Teikou student. And I am just… me, an ordinary boy.”
“What’s wrong with ordinary?” Akashi frowned slightly. Furihata didn’t make any sense.
Though, the other boy only looked surprised when Akashi asked that question, like he didn’t believe that Akashi himself mentioned the issue. “We’re too different, aren’t we?” Now he sounded confused and a bit unsure.
“Differences make complements, Furihata.” It was honestly Akashi’s belief. Difference didn’t make something a disparity; it made it a complement to the others. Like basketball players with their different skills and different roles on the court, they created harmony in a team with singular purpose: to win the game. “Each person has their own good and bad things. You have weakness, sure, and so do I. What you’re good at might be what I’m bad at. Which means you can cover my weakness with your good aptitude and vice versa.”
Furihata looked absolutely astonished at that. “B-but you’re good at everything!” he complained, more flushing for some reason.
“Not true. I seldom play video games. You’re better at it than I am.” Akashi chuckled as he argued while Furihata continued his protest that video games didn’t count because it wasn’t a necessary skill to survive in this occasionally cruel world.
Akashi just thought that this, this ordinariness -arguing and bantering with a friend, having fun by doing nothing but conversing, walking along the river- that seldom happened to him, was actually what he needed most as an Akashi, to balance his responsibility to his family and his need as a person, a growing child.
~Akashi x Furihata~
“Akashi-kun…” Furihata couldn’t help sweating bullets as Akashi stared at Furihata’s hands speculatively from across the coffee table in Furihata’s living room.
“Yes?” He didn’t even avert his scrutinizing gaze as he responded to Furihata’s call.
“What are you doing?” Furihata felt rather uncomfortable with the way Akashi stared. He thought there was some dirt on his hands, which wasn’t there when he checked just then.
“I’m just wondering…” Akashi brought his right index knuckle in front of his mouth as his ruby colored eyes narrowed slightly at Furihata’s perspiring hands. “You have peculiar hands,” he said.
“Eh?” Furihata looked at him absurdly, totally baffled.
“May I?” Akashi offered his hand and Furihata was a bit hesitant as he looked at Akashi’s smooth looking palm. He didn’t know why Akashi wanted to borrow his hand. There was nothing special with his hand. But then, when Furihata almost said that, he looked upward only to meet Akashi’s expectant look. Now Furihata wondered what could go wrong giving Akashi his hand if only he wouldn’t betray that expectation. In the end, he reached out to grasp Akashi’s.
Akashi gave him a tender smile as he brought Furihata’s hand closer to inspect it some more. The way Akashi held his hand was… gentle for the lack of operative word, like he was holding something delicate. It was rather funny since Furihata wasn’t a girl. Then again, Akashi seemed to play with it, touching the inside of his fingers; the cleft between them, the sensitive tips. Then the way he caressed his skin at the back of his palm was also making Furihata squirm a little. He didn’t know that his hand could be that ticklish.
“As I thought,” he said a moment later, to Furihata’s innate surprise. “You have a nice hand.” His smile widened slightly as his fingers entwined with Furihata’s, clasping firmly.
Furihata promptly blushed and gaped. He didn’t know why, but it was rather mortifying for some reason. Anyway, he was just complimented by Akashi about his hand, his supposedly ordinary hand. What did Akashi even see there? Furihata couldn’t comprehend it at all.
Akashi just chuckled at him. “It’s a hard working hand,” he explained further, apparently reading Furihata’s bewilderment as clearly as day on his expression. “I like your hand, Furihata.”
If Furihata had been able to spontaneously combust, then it would have been the perfect time to do just that. He could feel the heat on his entire facial skin spreading to his ears and neck. His heart started to pick up paces and wow. Now he understood why Sasaki could be in love with Akashi Seijuurou aside from his beautiful exterior. He was like… the smoothest guy in the entire universe which Furihata had ever met. He didn’t even look remotely embarrassed as he said such embarrassing line.
“I-I-… uh, thank you, Akashi-kun, but… you should really keep such kind of compliment to girls… it will make them swoon,” Furihata laughed sheepishly while on the inside he was swooning as hard as he was capable of.
Akashi huffed out a small laugh. “It’s not just your hand that I like, though. I like your voice and the way you blush at the smallest teasing too,” Akashi added, laughing some more.
Furihata just blushed harder as he realized that Akashi was just teasing him. “Akashi-kun!”
Akashi jus continued chuckling as he protested in righteous indignation that Akashi only liked making fun of him.
~Akashi x Furihata~
The sound of the whistle signaled the end of basketball practice.
“Alright! Everyone, gather around!” Nijimura shouted at all first stringers, including Akashi and his extra-ordinary group of first year.
After All Middle tournament in Akashi’s first year a month ago, the third year officially retired and Nijimura, second year, was nominated to be the next captain. The head coach and assistant coaches all agreed that he would make a fine leader, but Akashi couldn’t help feeling that Nijimura was slightly distracted this past week. He hadn’t said anything though, but there was an inclination that he would possibly turn down that responsibility.
As everyone was done shuffling in a perfect line around the bench which was occupied by the coaches, Nijimura nodded at them in satisfaction. “Alright, I have an announcement to make,” he said before he turned his head around slightly to look at the head coach and he gestured at him to continue, Nijimura faced his fellow players once again. “Some of you might have heard about my nomination to be the next captain. I’d like to clear out the rumor. I won’t be the next captain due to personal issue,” he said as some of the guys started murmuring in surprise.
See?—Akashi gave himself a pat on the back mentally for guessing it right. His observational skill was superb after all. He already proved it by finding Kuroko’s hidden talent and raising the shadow to the first string directly from third string.
“But I nominated the next guy who’ll become the captain and lead Teikou to continuous victory,” Nijimura smiled here and focused his gaze on Akashi who was a little bit taken aback but had kind of expected the development since the run in at the corridor outside of the teacher lounge the day before. Nijimura kind of implicitly told him that he would take the next baton of the title after all. “Akashi Seijuurou will become the next captain starting next spring. If there’s any objection to this decision, I’d like you to speak up now and state your reason.” Nijimura spoke in serious tone as his eyes raked on the lines of players in front of him.
As expected of our senior. He commands respect perfectly even though he isn’t a captain—Akashi thought fondly. He really did admire him, Nijimura Shuuzou. He was a remarkable person.
Akashi had a confidence that everyone agreed with his opinion. Even the guy as wild and rebellious as Haizaki listened to Nijimura, though the threat of bodily harm played a lot in his submission to their senior. He was strict to his juniors and himself. Besides, he had that aura that made people want to follow him willingly. Akashi was a bit like him since he made Nijimura as an example to his leadership skill. Though, Akashi’s way was probably a little bit more thought out and sneaky.
No one had any objection to Akashi’s nomination for the captain position. His fellow first years gave him a nod of approval and a look of admiration. Aomine whistled slightly in awe and Midorima’s eyes glinted proudly. Only Murasakibara didn’t seem to care and though Haizaki snorted derisively, he didn’t verbalize any complaint.
“Alright, if there’s no objection, it’s official,” Nijimura nodded in satisfaction before he turned to the coaches. “Coaches, do you want to add a thing or two before I dismiss the players?”
“No,” the head coach nodded at him approvingly and with another exclamation that they were dismissed, everyone started to scatter around to shower and change.
“Akashi,” Nijimura stopped him from leaving though. “I need a word with you if you can spare a minute.” It seemed urgent so Akashi nodded.
“What can I do for you?”
“About Kuroko’s participation on the next practice match…” Nijimura voiced his doubt that the newly made first stringer’s ability. Akashi liked Nijimura because he didn’t sugar coat his words and was very honest with his intention. Surely, he worried for the team, but Akashi was a little hurt that Nijimura doubted Akashi’s plan and his future-seeing ability. He didn’t show it in his expression, and he chose his words to placate his senior that Kuroko was necessary for the team that he intended to create as a captain. He already had it all in his head and he was pretty confident that it would be the best team in Teikou’s basketball club history.
Akashi didn’t actually see that they would become the Generation of Miracle, but it was a close thing.
When he was done talking with Nijimura and was about to go home, Akashi was surprised finding someone waiting for him at the gate.
“Akashi-kun,” Furihata Kouki waved at him.
“Furihata?” Akashi approached him, a bit mystified. “What are you doing here?”
“Um,” Furihata hesitated, his index finger scratching his cheek. “Um, I brought… I brought my friend,” his expression was a bit pale and a puff of white fog visible from his breath.
“How long have you stood there?” Akashi was a bit concerned and purposely ignored Furihata’s words. It was quite chilly at night at this time of the year and Furihata was only wearing his autumn uniform without any scarf.
“Oh, I’m fine. I was just done with my practice before I got here, so I’m still warm,” Furihata’s cheeks flushed slightly either from the cold or embarrassment. “You see… my friend wants to meet you,” he repeated and Akashi had a niggling feeling that he was talking about his not girlfriend that actually wrote the love letter which Furihata delivered to Akashi some months ago.
Akashi let out a deep sigh. “Alright,” he nodded. He wasn’t in a hurry. Besides, it was weekend. He had day off tomorrow anyway. “So, where’s your friend?”
“I like you, Akashi Seijuurou-san!”
Sasaki put her best effort to confess her love. Furihata could see it from the way she trembled and her high voice. She must have pulled massive effort to get the courage to present her heart like that on silver platter to Akashi.
Furihata was worried. Well, he didn’t like it one bit that she decided to verbally confess her feeling since there was no response whatsoever from Akashi about the letter. She asked Furihata about it all the time after she learned that he and Akashi short of became… friends.
Akashi was a great person. His first impression didn’t do him any justice at all. At first Furihata thought that Akashi was unapproachable with his status and his… his cold impression. He had never thought that Akashi would be the one that sought him out and declared that they were friends. He still disbelieved that he could be Akashi’s equal as a friend, but Akashi had made it clear that Furihata’s ordinariness wasn’t a bad thing.
Akashi said he needed such ordinariness as a growing boy. Furihata couldn’t help thinking that Akashi was too mature for his age. He never complained about anything and he always reassured Furihata that he was just fine the way he was. Honestly… Furihata liked Akashi. If Akashi decided that Sasaki’s ordinariness was attractive too and wanted to become her boyfriend, Furihata didn’t know how he would feel. He would be jealous of course, only… he wasn’t sure of whom.
Furihata started to question himself if his crush on Sasaki was just that… a crush. His friendship with Akashi was very important to him. He didn’t want something like girlfriend got in the way of that. He enjoyed spending time with Akashi a lot more than he thought he would. He was comfortable with Akashi, even more than when he was with Sasaki.
It was… weird. Furihata still liked Sasaki a lot. His heart still throbbed hard at the thought of her smile, her laugh, her delicate fingers brushing his own. But Akashi was… Akashi was different. For some unfathomable reason, he always felt warm when Akashi was around. He was happy when he was with Akashi. He still wanted to date Sasaki, but the thought of losing his time with Akashi burned sharper in his stomach.
Furihata was confused. If he had to choose between the two of them, whom would he choose? Though, it was kind of moot either way because he wasn’t in the position to choose. The one Sasaki loved was Akashi and not him and even though he liked both Akashi and Sasaki equally, if by any chance Akashi said yes to her, he would lose them both.
“I am sorry. I’m happy for your feeling, but I can’t return it.”
Akashi’s voice jerked Furihata out of his inner musing as well as relieved him from his pointless worry. Of course he would reject her. What was he thinking, actually contemplating what would happen if Akashi said yes?
He looked upward to Akashi who didn’t change his expression from the first time he arrived at the park where Sasaki had waited for him. Furihata stayed rooted on his spot since Sasaki asked him to stay throughout the confession. It was kind of thoughtlessly cruel because Furihata liked her, damn it! But she… she didn’t know that, did she? Because if she did… well. Furihata didn’t want to think about what that meant.
“Oh, I- I understand,” she said, looking down, her hand shakily played with her hair beside her ear, a sign that she was stricken and shocked. How she could be shocked was beyond Furihata because she should have expected that. Akashi didn’t know her after all. Besides, first love never worked…
Err… that possibly happened to mine as well…—Furihata sighed deeply. He would be the one to console her broken heart after this. He hoped she wouldn’t cry so much then. He never figured out how to act when she cried.
“Also… I have a favor to ask you,” Akashi spoke again and Furihata whipped his head to look at him in alarm, especially when Akashi glanced at him for a moment before his eyes was focused back on Sasaki, completely ignoring Furihata’s frantic cut-throat gesture to stop him saying whatever it was he was about to say because he had a bad feeling that it would cost Furihata somehow.
“Yes?” Sasaki looked curious.
“Would you please stop giving mixed signals to your friend if you never have any intention to reciprocate his feeling for you? Maybe you think it is okay to keep him as a close friend by encouraging ambiguity as normalcy, but in my perspective, it is selfish and unkind to keep stringing along people that seriously like you,” Akashi explained honestly and Furihata wanted so badly to shout at him to shut up as he heard Sasaki’s gasp.
She looked seriously hurt and Furihata was angry with Akashi for being so rude to her. He said it as much with loud voice and though Akashi didn’t even flinch at his indignant protest, Sasaki looked doubly stricken after he was done yelling.
“I’m sorry, Furihata-kun… I didn’t think…” she said, her face almost crying and Furihata just realized that Akashi’s guess was actually dead on again. She had known. She knew Furihata liked her like that, but she just wanted him as a normal friend, so she pretended not to notice.
She didn’t want to hurt him by rejecting him, but that… not acknowledging his feelings hurt more than being rejected.
Now Furihata knew he couldn’t be with her fully. No hope. And so… he could let it go.
“I’m still angry with you,” Furihata pouted as both he and Akashi went home together since their houses were at the same direction.
“I expect as much, but I won’t apologize,” Akashi replied, not cold or heartless, but more like resigned. “It was the right thing to do. I want to look out for you as your friend. It might hurt you, but I suppose it would hurt less if you quickly knew before you fell in too deep,” he reasoned.
“What would you do if I decided we couldn’t be friends anymore after you ruined my chances with my crush?” Furihata huffed, feeling a bit childish and petty, but somehow he wanted to hurt Akashi too after causing that much damage to his heart.
“Then I guess that’s how much you treasure our tentative friendship and I’d just quietly look after you from afar,” Akashi replied softly, not looking at Furihata, but the light in his ruby colored eyes dimmed slightly and although there was no change in his tone, somehow… Furihata felt a pang of unexplainable regret.
Furihata went quiet and brushed Akashi’s shoulder with his own, an unspoken apology for his inconsiderate words. Akashi was only looking out for him. Even though he knew Furihata might hate him for stating the truth… for doing something right, he still risked it because he didn’t want Furihata to get hurt further in the future.
“Thank you,” Furihata said instead, smiling appreciatively, his anger evaporating completely and he grinned more widely when he noticed a small smile tugging up the corners of Akashi’s soft pink lips.
~Akashi x Furihata~
“Furihata,” Akashi looked at his friend, his supposedly ordinary best friend. But somehow, lately Akashi thought that Furihata might be a bit more than just best friend. Since he knew the brunet last year, he got to know him more and better, and the more Akashi knew him, the more he wanted to spend time with him. Even though Akashi was busy with his basketball club practice, his study and other activities as an heir of Akashi Group, he always made time for Furihata, no matter how inconvenient it was.
“Yeah?” The said brunet was slurping a chocolate ice cream cone beside Akashi on the bench in one of their outing during summer vacation at their second year in middle school, looking at the red haired teen back with an innocent look.
“You’ve got a…” Akashi raised his hand, actually quite distracted with the way Furihata licked the cream on the rim of the cone, reached out and wiped away the stray cream that managed to land on Furihata’s lip corner, with his thumb.
“Oh,” Furihata’s cheeks pinked slightly apparently embarrassed with his own clumsiness. “S-sorry about that… thanks.”
Akashi couldn’t help feeling a sudden rush of affection in his heart seeing such adorable look. Really, he was quite confused with his own feeling at this moment. Should an ordinary best friend be this endearing to him?
Akashi thought of his closest friends at Teikou. There was Kuroko who was surprisingly funny and witty with his dry comment and his polite manner, Kise with his rather innocently annoying pretty face and loud complaint whenever he was teased by his fellow friends, Midorima with his odd quirks and his tsundere personality, Murasakibara with his slow speech and his love for sweets, and Aomine with his bright smile and his brash character… He had grown closer to them as well as their captain, Kise being the recent addition to his dream team after he suggested Haizaki to quit because Akashi was fed up with that silver haired guy’s bad habit and violence.
It was good that Haizaki listened to him the first time Akashi encouraged him to get lost or else. Akashi felt that there was something changing within him. Sometimes he felt that he wasn’t in control. At times he felt that he wanted to be free of all obligations and his father’s demand of his effort was getting more and more unbearable. His only solace was playing basketball with his chosen team, talking with his mother and spending his off time with Furihata. He didn’t want to lose any of it. If only he could make Furihata’s presence more permanent in his life…
Akashi brought his thumb to his mouth and licked the cream off of it. Furihata’s eyes were wide, his sight following Akashi’s gesture in fascination and Akashi instantly realized that he wanted Furihata’s eyes always on him, never straying. He wanted Furihata’s attention more, his time, his devotion, his… everything.
“Furihata,” Akashi called again and now Furihata looked upward right into his eyes and Akashi made a decision. “Go out with me,” he said, because for once he actually didn’t know how to ask if Furihata wanted to be together with him. They were always already together whenever they could be, but Akashi wanted more. He knew feeling greedy was not good, but he just couldn’t help it. He just… wanted, more… more of Furihata for himself.
Furihata was silent for a long time, his eyes widening larger and rounder. His mouth was open, gaping, his jaw almost dropping literally, and his overall expression was ridiculously shocked. Honestly, in normal perspective people would feel a bit of a pity and maybe laugh at Furihata’s very funny look at the moment, but for Akashi… well, mostly he just thought Furihata was cute.
Love is blind, huh?—Akashi never thought that he would think of that. He always inwardly mocked that phrase before, but now… maybe he could understand a bit about the feeling of the person that invented that belief.
“G-go out… where?” Furihata asked after several minutes of agonizingly awkward silence, his face contorted in adorable confusion after several times changing from shock, doubt and hesitation. Akashi just couldn’t help but chuckle at how painfully oblivious the brunet was or at the fact that he couldn’t interpret Akashi’s intention despite his clear wording.
“Go out with me, as in… be my boyfriend.” Akashi cleared it up and after a second of pregnant silence, Furihata’s face exploded in interestingly crimson color.
Akashi’s smile widened slightly as the realization dawned on Furihata’s look.
“A-Akashi-kun… if it is just a joke…” Now Furihata seemed a bit apprehensive and Akashi just couldn’t watch it any longer when he grabbed Furihata’s hand and pulled the brunet closer to him, before he kissed him on the lips.
Furihata gasped in a stun, his ice cream dropped on the ground as his hand seemed to instinctively plant itself onto Akashi’s upper arm. Akashi didn’t quite know whether Furihata was trying to pull him in or push him away, but he didn’t want to give him the latter option, so Akashi used his other hand to hold Furihata’s nape, pulling him even closer into Akashi’s personal space, keeping their connection unbroken.
It was a few seconds later before Akashi pulled back. He kept his kiss chaste, but strong enough for Furihata not to doubt his feelings and intention. “I will never joke about something like that to you, Furihata.”
Furihata’s face was very red and he looked at Akashi with such hopeful look that Akashi knew he had made the right decision. He wanted to have Furihata in his life more permanently and Furihata’s must have mirrored his feelings because the brunet seemed to totally forget about his surrounding and jumped forward to hug Akashi in a bear hug.
Akashi smiled gently as he closed his eyes and held Furihata back, feeling very content and warm in their affectionate embrace.
~Akashi x Furihata~
Akashi stared at the grave blankly.
His mother passed away. One of Akashi’s heart pillars had just crumbled and left him. He felt bereft, his world tipped off, unbalanced. The still wet ground looked very cold. It didn’t suit his mother’s warm beauty at all the last time Akashi had seen her. Even in her eternal sleep, his mother was regal and elegant and this cold, unforgiving soil that swallowed her body didn’t even feel remotely welcoming.
His mother was alone six feet under and Akashi got an insane urge to dig up the ground to try to free her from it. It was silly and completely irrational, but he just didn’t want his mother to be lonely in there.
“Come. Let’s go, Seijuurou.”
But of course his father was there to be a shackle to his irrational thought. His big hands on Akashi’s shoulders steered him to move and Akashi was helpless to fight the feeling of getting caged up. Even though his father’s presence should have comforted him, because he was Akashi’s father, the only family he had left after his mother was gone. He still had his father. Akashi wasn’t alone.
But… why did Akashi feel like his fate was sealed instead?
That night Akashi didn’t eat dinner. He ignored the maid and the head butler that was sent to get him because his father needed his presence at the dining room. He didn’t answer his cell phone despite it ringing non-stop since awhile ago. Akashi just wanted to be left alone in peace. He needed to think and everybody was apparently determined to bother him.
After awhile, the ringing of his cell phone stopped. His battery was possibly dead. The maid and the head butler didn’t knock on his door anymore, probably thinking he was asleep and Akashi just lay silently on his bed, looking at his high ceiling vacantly.
Akashi thought. No, he couldn’t think. His head was in such jumbled mess because he had no idea how to act in this situation. His mother had always given him advice when he had a problem. However this time, his mother had become his problem. His mother was no longer there beside him and Akashi didn’t know what to do about it.
As Akashi continued trying to unravel the tangled strings in his head, he heard a knocking sound from his window once.
Akashi ignored it at first, thinking that it was maybe only hi imagination. However, after a minute or two, the knocking noise came again from the window. Akashi really heard it this time. He still didn’t move from his bed, though. Akashi waited on purpose for the knocking sound to repeat again when he finally heard something else.
A rustling of leaves from the tree outside his window.
Akashi sat up this time, intrigued. He stood up off his bed and walked over to the big window across of him. There was a small veranda outside his window and a branch of the tree reached over the threshold of his veranda. Akashi opened the closed curtain of the window and peeked outside. What he found there honestly surprised him.
Furihata seemed to immediately notice Akashi and smiled sheepishly at him from his spot. The brunet was hanging on the branch that went over the threshold of the veranda and he struggled to move forward so he could jump down and land on the veranda safely. “Hi,” he greeted Akashi in a little wave right after.
“What are you doing here?” Akashi opened the big glass window and let the slightly chilly breeze inside his room along with Furihata that approached him as well.
Furihata didn’t answer his question immediately. Instead, he gave him a melancholic smile and asked, “Can I come in?”
Akashi was a bit mystified, but he nodded and moved allowing Furihata to hop off the windowsill into his room. “You should use the front door, you know. It’s not as if my butler wouldn’t let you in,” he admonished quietly when he slid the window close and Furihata’s reflection on the glass blushed slightly in a rather guilty look.
“Sorry… wasn’t sure you’d want to see me,” Furihata scratched his head, looking rather hesitant and Akashi turned to face him properly this time, slightly puzzled.
“Why wouldn’t I want to see you?”
Furihata looked upward at him, his dark brown eyes turning like amber reflecting the dim orange light of the room. Akashi didn’t know what Furihata was thinking at the moment, but his eyes were grave and somber. “I’m… sorry, about your mother…” he slowly said with low voice and although Akashi was quite taken aback with the sudden show on condolence, he didn’t avert his gaze from Furihata.
“Me too,” Akashi replied calmly. He turned away then, to walk back towards his bed, and sat down on the bedding. “Thank you for coming here to say it personally. I appreciate it, Furihata.”
Furihata hadn’t moved from his spot. He observed Akashi intently until Akashi felt a bit unnerved at being stared at so blatantly like that. “If you’re done with it, would you please leave? I want to be alone for awhile.” Akashi knew he was rather cold with his words, but this wasn’t a good time for him to be mindful of his words towards his lover.
Instead of moving away to go, Furihata approached him. “I don’t think you want to be alone right now.” He said as he sat down on the bedding beside Akashi.
“You can read my mind too now?” It was sarcastic even though Akashi’s tone didn’t imply sarcasm.
Furihata looked at him more carefully. “What are you thinking, Akashi-kun?”
“I don’t know what I think about!” Akashi raised his voice involuntarily and he himself was surprised that he could snap like that. He had never thought he would be getting emotional enough to show his feeling so transparently, so verbally. He immediately felt bad because Furihata didn’t deserve that anger. He was just worried and Akashi instantly realized why he wanted to be left alone then.
Akashi was in the verge of breaking down. He was emotionally unstable at this moment and he didn’t have any confidence to pull himself together, to maintain his mask of indifference, and he certainly didn’t want anyone, not even his father, to see him like that, losing control of himself, showing off his weakness; much less Furihata. He didn’t want to lose that control and have witness over it.
“I’m sor-” Akashi was about to apologize and forced Furihata to leave before he could say anything more that would surely hurt the brunet, but he didn’t have any chance to finish his line because Furihata took the matter into his own hand and hugged Akashi instead. “Furi-…”
“It’s alright,” Furihata said slowly, tightening his hold on Akashi’s body. “You’re allowed to get angry, or-or to feel sad. You can shout at me if you want to, just… don’t hide it from me,” he loosened his hug a little and pulled back, looking right into Akashi’s eyes with his teary ones. “I’m still here. I’ll always be here, by your side. I’m not going to leave even though you show me everything, so… it’s alright, Seijuurou.”
Akashi widened his eyes slightly as he heard his name being called so softly, so…lovingly by Furihata.
“I love you, Seijuurou…”
Akashi heard his mother’s voice calling his name from his memory. Her gentle smile and her soft voice… and something seemed to break inside of him. Akashi didn’t know what it was. Maybe it was his heart, he wasn’t sure because when he realized what was happening, his eyes were wet and he buried his face in Furihata’s nape. His hands were on Furihata’s back and he held Furihata so tightly like a life-line.
Furihata held him back as strongly, comfortingly. He didn’t say anything, only making a soft soothing noise, caressing Akashi’s hair gently, peppering his head with tender kisses and being with him physically and emotionally because even though Akashi wouldn’t admit that he might have cried in Furihata’s warm arms, he could hear Furihata’s shaking breath, could feel the warmth of Furihata’s own tears that seem to fall down like a shower of rain.
It eventually calmed Akashi down. His feelings felt lighter somehow and he felt a lot better than a minute or so ago.
However, Akashi didn’t know why Furihata was crying. Akashi had a reason to cry because he just lost his mother, but why did Furihata cry as well? What had made Furihata sad? Did Akashi make Furihata cry? Was it somehow his fault?
“Yeah?” the croaking voice that answered Akashi alarmed him a bit.
“Are you alright?” Akashi asked, loosening his hold and he was surprised when Furihata snorted out a surprised laugh.
“That should be my line, Akashi-kun,” Furihata smiled at him ruefully. His face was still wet because of his tears and Akashi reached to wipe them away because Furihata shouldn’t have cried at all, not for him and not because of him.
“I will be alright,” Akashi said softly, wanting to reassure Furihata with a small, genuine smile even though it was a bit difficult to pull that out. Still, Furihata’s affectionate gaze made him want to smile for him. “As long as you’re here… I’ll be alright.” He leaned down and kissed Furihata’s inviting plump lips.
Furihata kissed him back almost eagerly, looping his arms around Akashi’s neck and pulled himself closer to Akashi’s body. Akashi held Furihata’s jaw and nape, positioning his head to find an angle so he could align their lips better and deepen their kiss. He didn’t think about anything as he wanted to feel more contact with Furihata’s body, more warmth and softness that comforted his feelings. He pushed the slenderer body to lie down on his bed, never breaking their kiss and when he did pull back a little, he found Furihata’s disheveled appearance, kiss-bruised, pliant and keen, very appealing.
Furihata looked upward at Akashi dazedly at first and then he widened his eyes slightly as his gaze met Akashi’s, like he was amazed about something. Akashi was puzzled for a moment before Furihata’s face turned interestingly red as he blushed shyly and Akashi felt another surge of affection so strong that he was afraid of the repercussion in having him so thoroughly.
Losing his mother was hard enough, if Akashi ever lost Furihata…
Akashi shuddered inwardly at the horrible thought, unable to imagine a world where he could survive such scenario, and he surged forward to hold Furihata down on his bed, pinning his wrists above his head while giving him another hard kiss that might have showed such strong possessiveness because Furihata gasped in surprise and his slightly open mouth was like an invitation for Akashi to explore his inside, which he definitely couldn’t pass up.
It got kind of out of hand because Akashi wanted to touch Furihata more, not just through clothes, but also beyond that, skin to skin. Furihata’s autumn uniform was too thick, he wanted those off. He pulled and pushed and tried to remove the articles that hindered his sight and sense of touch from Furihata’s bare body. He wanted to feel Furihata’s heated skin directly with his palms and fingers and Akashi had never known he could feel this greedy about someone else.
That heat… that passion… those unbearable want and need…
“A- ah!-Akashi-kun…!” Furihata called him with quivering voice, his breath fast and shallow. His body trembled under Akashi’s fiery stroke in such a way that showed vulnerability and trust and Akashi felt like he couldn’t control himself any longer. He wanted… he wanted everything that was Furihata and he didn’t know how to get that.
“Call my name… Call me, Kouki.” Akashi wasn’t really sure why he did that, calling Furihata by his first name, but he just wanted to, and Furihata seemed to appreciate it as he moaned rather loudly when Akashi bit his neck, sucking and marking him as Akashi’s.
“Nnh! Seijuurou!” Furihata’s body went taut and stiff, his back arched delightfully when it bloomed fully under him, releasing sweetness and fervor that was so beautiful Akashi was torn between watching in fascination and doing something to unravel his own desire for release.
Akashi claimed Furihata’s lips again as the boy’s body dropped limply on his bed, like a marionette with its strings cut. He was still panting heavily, his hot breath touching Akashi’s lips raggedly and Akashi just wanted to hold him for eternity like that. Always… always…
Furihata sighed contently and reached up to hold Akashi back, snuggling closely at him. “I love you, Seijuurou…” He whispered tenderly and Akashi tightened his embrace on Furihata’s body even more. He wanted to respond to his confession, but when he loosened up to answer back, Furihata already closed his eyes, asleep.
Akashi gazed at Furihata’s sleeping face fondly. He combed Furihata’s slightly damp hair with his fingers, moving his fringe aside so as not to bother Furihata’s eyes and then gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead. He pulled back, went to the bathroom to fetch a face towel, soaked it with warm water, wrung it and then went back to Furihata’s side to clean his body a little.
Akashi checked up the bruises he left on Furihata’s neck and collarbone, and then inspected the slightly bruised part on his wrists. Akashi had held him down so strong it left fingerprints there. He lifted one of the supple limbs and kissed the mark he had left. “I love you too… Kouki.” He whispered, feeling free and happy and even though it would be hard dealing with his father’s expectation from now on, as long as he had Furihata, he surely would be alright.
~Akashi x Furihata~
After Much-Much Later…
Akashi didn’t know what went wrong with his life.
He already had everything. Looks, wealth, people’s respect, his mother’s love, his Kouki’s love, his family-like teammates…
Why has it happened like this…?
Akashi was in the verge of losing from Murasakibara. In that challenge that was issued after his lazy friend’s talent woke up and apparently he didn’t want to submit to a person that was weaker than him, Akashi pondered hard.
What went wrong when I wasn’t looking?
Did he? Did Akashi turn a blind eye before? He had watched hard, hard enough to know that Aomine was hurting because his skills grew up too fast, Midorima’s three points shoot became ridiculously impossible and yet the green haired teen grew colder and colder towards his surrounding, Kise had looked slightly bored over the practices and matches and now… now Murasakibara was rebelling.
Did Akashi do something wrong somewhere along his captaincy? Only Kuroko looked incessantly worried and now this… Akashi had done everything he could to patch up their slightly breaking team after what happened in the All Middle Tournament last year. He had done his best, and yet…
It’s not enough?
Akashi couldn’t deal with this. Somehow, somewhere along the way basketball had become a burden and obligation instead of a fun activity. He didn’t want to do this kind of basketball. It was stressing. He wanted to run and hide and be done with everything.
Still… if he really was done with everything… what would happen to his carefully planned life? What would his father say? He could not lose there. Akashi didn’t know how to lose. He couldn’t afford to lose. Losing was bad. Losing felt like how he felt when he lost his mother.
If Akashi lost here… he would lose Murasakibara’s respect, his father expectation, his own pride and…
Kouki will be disappointed.
“Do you want me to take over?”
Akashi widened his eyes in shock as he heard another voice in his head.
“‘I’ could finish him in one blow, you know. As long as you unchain ‘me’ and let ‘me’ loose afterwards.”
Who are you?—Akashi thought he went crazy at that moment, because… why would he speak to himself? It was his inner thought, right? Akashi was still holding himself back because it wasn’t the time for his talent to bloom. He hadn’t been able to perform 100% yet. His body wouldn’t allow it.
“‘Me (boku)’…? ‘I’* am you, of course, but stronger, crueler, greedier, and more… Didn’t you feel me when ‘I’ made you do everything that you usually wouldn’t do?”
“That insane urge to touch and claim and possess…”
Akashi widened his eyes as he remembered what he had done to Furihata some months ago.
That…! That was you…?!
A manic laughter echoed in his mind.
No… it-it couldn’t be! That was…! That was me (ore)! I was in control!
“Doesn’t mean ‘I’ didn’t encourage you to do it,” ‘Boku-shi’ replied with a hint of smirk in his mind tone. “It felt good after that, right? Just like how it felt after you ‘suggested’ our dear Haizaki to quit basketball and he relented… It felt… relieving and refreshing, don’t you think?”
Akashi paled slightly at the implication of what his other self had said.
That’s… that’s a lie! I… Kouki isn’t just a stress reliever! He’s… he’s my…!
“Don’t confuse your body’s need and your feelings, Ore-shi. It was merely a biological response to stimulation. Something like that can be obtained anywhere as long as there’s a warm willing body around you.”
Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!
“Anyway, isn’t there a more pressing matter here?” Boku-shi reminded and Akashi was painfully yanked back to the emergency situation where he was about to lose to Murasakibara and he really couldn’t afford that if he didn’t want to lose everything.
“Come on, Ore-shi. Give in to me. I can make all these petty problems fly away. You’ve done enough with this. It’s time to let me take over and relieve you from that entire depressing obligation.”
Stop…! Stop it! I…!
“If you are stubborn about it, you’ll end up broken entirely, Ore-shi. Take a break already.” Boku-shi spoke more somberly after that. “Or else, you’ll end up hurting Kouki too.”
At that Akashi gasped, remembering how he had snapped at Furihata even though it wasn’t his fault that Akashi was in the verge of emotional breakdown. At that time, Furihata was able to calm him down but what if it happened another time, in the future? Could he be confident that he wouldn’t hurt his lover when he was like that?
Akashi didn’t want to hurt Furihata.
He would never mean to hurt Furihata.
During a moment of this confliction, something snapped inside him and Akashi realized that he had given up his control to the other him when he felt like drowning, sinking do deep into the sea of his dark consciousness. At that time, he only hoped that the other him, ‘Boku-shi’ as he referred himself, had the same feelings as him about Furihata, that he loved him, wanted to protect him, would never hurt him.
Still… Akashi knew instinctively it was just wishful thinking, because he knew himself.
Something raw and sinister which should have been chained down and controlled tightly inside him had been let loose. And that, that couldn’t be good.
“Who are you?”
It started with Kuroko’s look of horror as he realized that Akashi was no longer just Akashi.
“Akashi Seijuurou, of course. Te…tsu…ya.” One of Akashi’s eyes glinted in amber color while the other stayed red.
Furihata must have witnessed it too… the change at that time… when he looked amazed as he gazed at Akashi’s eyes before Akashi ‘attacked’ him on his bed.
But then… why didn’t he say anything?
“I love you, Seijuurou…”
Who… are you saying that to, Kouki?
~Akashi x Furihata~
‘After’ After Much-much Later…
Furihata didn’t understand when Akashi said he no longer wished to see him through his phone. Akashi just suddenly cut all ties and contacts to him and no matter what Furihata did, he just couldn’t see him. Akashi’s butler wouldn’t let him enter the house and when he went to Teikou, Akashi was either already in his car on his way home or he hadn’t finished with his practice.
Either way, Furihata was annoyed and frustrated because Akashi wouldn’t give him any explanation. Did he expect Furihata to just say yes and be content with never hearing anything from Akashi again? What he did take Furihata for? He was worried damn it!
Furihata thought that Akashi was getting better after what happened in his room some months ago. True, he hadn’t touched Furihata again after that, but that was because there was never time to be alone and Akashi was extra busy because in his third year after that, his father increased the times for his private lesson because he wanted Akashi to… to…
Furihata sighed deeply, dejectedly.
Akashi was going away to Kyoto… his school choice… no, his father’s choice of school for him. Akashi said it was his father’s school when he was in high school and the basketball team had been unbeatable for the last twenty years or so. Akashi thought it was logical choice, but he had expressed his wish not wanting to be away from home… from Tokyo… from Furihata. He had said it during their date a month ago and Furihata had been very happy about it.
But now… what happened? What was Akashi thinking? It was always hard to guess Akashi’s line of thought before, but usually Furihata got by so-so, but now… now he really couldn’t comprehend him. Was he angry or something? Had Furihata done something that irked Akashi somehow? Furihata didn’t think he had done anything worth resentment from anyone, but maybe he had said something insensitive or stupid.
Furihata didn’t know. Akashi didn’t even let Furihata discern the reason if indeed it was him that screwed up.
“I don’t need you anymore.”
Furihata’s heart hurt when Akashi said it over the phone.
“Your presence will only hinder my future.”
That, that couldn’t be the real reason, because Akashi’s voice was too indifferent to be normal, and he had sounded like that after his mother’s funeral as well.
“You don’t know me and I don’t know you. Farewell.”
Furihata buried his face in his hands. He felt like crying, but he was too baffled to cry. Why would Akashi suddenly say something like that without preamble? Furihata didn’t see this coming at all after the last time he saw his boyfriend in their date.
What happened in the one month they hadn’t seen each other?
Furihata wished someone would answer all his questions. But in the quiet night of late summer in his third year of middle school, no one paid him attention more than a fleeting glance and in the middle of his confused, broken-hearted feeling because his boyfriend just broke up with him through phone call without explanation, Furihata cried silently, trying his hardest to make sense of everything that didn’t seem to add up.
Furihata really should talk with Akashi. They had to clear this up. Furihata wasn’t above begging at this point because he just couldn’t lose Akashi this way. Not without a fight!
~Akashi x Furihata~
Later, Later, Later…
The sight of Generation of Miracle team from Teikou destroying another team on court was incredible and terrifying at the same time. And they seemed to do it so effortlessly that Furihata couldn’t help feeling despair at how one-sided the match was.
Even so, the opponent’s team didn’t lose their spirit till the end, when out of nowhere, Murasakibara suddenly shot on his own ring to make the score 111 V.S. 11 for Teikou’s win. At that time, Furihata realized how cruel the Miracle team was, and the leader of the team… Akashi Seijuurou, his ex-boyfriend said it was their inside bet to spice up the game a bit or else it wouldn’t be at all interesting to play.
Furihata even witnessed one of GoM’s own teammates, the one with pale bluish hair that was injured in semi-final there, on the spectators bench, crying over how ridiculously merciless the match was. Not the score, but those Miracle Geniuses’ attitude towards their opponents. They didn’t laugh at them or anything, but in away… such indifference that they didn’t even play seriously must have hurt more.
At that time Furihata no longer knew who ‘Akashi Seijuurou’ was.
This guy… he wasn’t the Akashi that Furihata knew two years ago. Heck, he wasn’t the Akashi that he knew three months ago. And those eyes… the glint of insanity in them was very demoralizing, and yet Furihata saw Akashi’s eyes there, even the amber one that sometimes resurfaced when Akashi wasn’t totally in control. Furihata had loved those eyes of his.
But this… this Akashi needed an intervention.
Furihata hadn’t known what happened to turn Akashi this way, but he refused to give up on him. Akashi was misled by something. He snapped and he became weird, but Furihata couldn’t give up on him.
Will never give up on him!
If the only way to kick some sense into Akashi’s head was beat him, then… Furihata had just to do that. Beat him… in something.
Now, Furihata waited. It was already too late in middle school year, but when they were high school…
“Wait for me, Seijuurou. I’ll be there. I’ll never break my promise to you, so just… hang on.”
That day, Furihata vowed to himself that he would beat Akashi Seijuurou’s basketball team and take him back to the Akashi that he knew and loved.
~Akashi x Furihata~
In High School, Winter Cup Opening Ceremony…
“Who might you be?” Akashi had looked down at Furihata from the stairs case and there was no recognition in his face. If Akashi had faked that, it was at professional actor’s level that Furihata couldn’t tell.
Akashi had become so scary, even scarier than since the last time Furihata saw him. Would his Akashi really still be there when he fulfilled his promise? Furihata trembled in fear thinking about being already too late and losing Akashi completely. He felt intimidated by those mismatched eyes that seemed to dig into his own, coldly dismissing him.
Akashi asked Furihata to leave and he was about to say something before Kagami interrupted them. It went as bad as it could get with the scissors incident and Akashi’s audacity to really try to hurt someone without any hints of remorse in his expression.
Is he too far gone already?—Furihata was very worried about that. Even so, he just couldn’t let him go. Not yet. Until Seirin beat Rakuzan and if his Akashi still wasn’t back, then…
But now, not yet…
~Akashi x Furihata~
During Seirin V.S. Rakuzan Match...
Look at me. I’m right here!—Furihata wanted to speak to him, wanted to shake him and yell at him so he would take Furihata more seriously when he tried his hardest to mark him. And yet, even though there was a surprise in Akashi’s eyes at first, there was no more than an indifferent glance after he broke through Furihata’s defense again and again and again, until Furihata felt exhausted just by standing in front of him, but Furihata refused to back down, damn it!
Look at me, Seijuurou! I’m right here!
However, no matter how desperate Furihata tried to communicate with Akashi through his eyes, Akashi remained unmoving, cold, heartless, even abandoning his own teammates to get inside the zone.
Is it really too late to take him back?
Furihata closed his eyes, no longer able to watch his teammates (and Akashi’s own) getting destroyed on court.
As the match went closer to an end, Furihata had half given up on his wish of ever returning Akashi back to the way he was. He was rapidly losing all hope and he mentally prepared himself for the worst while praying for a miniscule ray of miracle from all deities that would deem all his effort enough to hear him.
And… god seemed to hear Furihata’s prayer because miracle indeed happened.
In the name of Kagami Taiga and Kuroko Tetsuya, Seirin’s personal light and shadow players, through their combination play and their tenacity to never give up, supported wholeheartedly by all the Seirin team’s members… the pair had finally stopped Akashi, breaking his zone apart and Akashi seemed very confused for the first time in his entire life.
Furihata saw it in the glimpse of change in Akashi’s nature, his distracted movement, he was changing. Akashi was changing and-
After the time-out from Rakuzan, Furihata finally, finally saw the real Akashi Seijuurou.
“Sorry for making you wait,” he said to Seirin team in general, but a fleeting glance to Furihata on the bench informed him enough that that was for Furihata, mostly.
Akashi smiled gently at him and Furihata wanted to cry in relief because there, right there was Furihata’s Akashi, his Seijuurou.
In the last minutes of the match between Rakuzan and Seirin, Furihata shouted his yell-yell for his team with loud voice, with all of his heart because he still wanted his team to win no matter what and even though it was against his Akashi, there was no greater honor than to welcome his return with an all-out match using their hardest effort to win.
Akashi would definitely approve because that was his Akashi Seijuurou.
Furihata’s beloved Seijuurou.
~Akashi x Furihata~
After Winter Cup Award Giving and Closing Ceremony…
“Sei-chan, let’s go.” Mibuchi called Akashi from the door of the locker room. All the Rakuzan’s members were already outside the dome, ready to go home to their respective hotel after the award-giving and the closing ceremony of Winter Cup Basketball Tournament.
“Just a moment, please.” Akashi was still a bit dazed after he took control once again in the middle of the final match. He didn’t know what happened to ‘Boku-shi’, but he guessed that guy would be hiding for awhile because of the shock of getting beaten down for the first time in his life.
Surprisingly, Akashi was more relieved rather than angry about that fact. The loss didn’t actually feel like his loss when his mother passed away. It was… refreshing, to be honest. He knew he needed to taste defeat once in awhile to grow up, but he never thought that the need was so dire that he decided to let ‘Boku-shi’ in control so his friends would defeat him.
I guess trusting them was the right move all along. After all, Boku-shi’s existence is the product of my own weakness. My weakness… that I so desperately tried to hide from Kouki…
“I love you, Seijuurou…”
Akashi remembered the first time Furihata spoke his feelings for him. At that time… Akashi was still not sure which Akashi Kouki had seen. He seemed to realize that it was the other Akashi if his reaction was to go by. But…
Kouki’s affection doesn’t really change…
Akashi blinked back from his train of thought in response to Mibuchi’s call on his name once again. He sounded puzzled because apparently, Akashi had been standing in silence for far too long while looking at his own hands inattentively.
“Coming,” Akashi replied calmly. He put on his jacket and retrieved his already organized sport bag from his designated locker and then moved out, following Mibuchi who was two steps ahead in front of him.
All the Rakuzan members had been surprised when Akashi apologized to them for being a burden after Bokushi’s ass was handed to him by Kagami and Kuroko’s splendid combination play before he took over—as always, that light-shadow pair was unpredictable till the end. Akashi was lucky that he could be acquaintance with them. They would always be interesting to spice up Akashi and the GoM’s basketball life.
Still, even though his current teammates and coach accepted the real Akashi without much fuss, they didn’t seem exactly understand how Akashi’s personalities’ worked.
Ore-shi and Boku-shi… we’re two sides of the same coin. Though our differences are subtle enough to go by as one person, both ‘Boku-shi’ and ‘I’ really exist together as separate personalities. I guess, this is a kind of personality disorder… but I’m aware of his existence just like he’s aware of mine.
Boku-shi is the manifestation of my extreme dependence on perfection… Even though I already decided that I need ‘ordinariness’ to grow up normally, after I claimed Kouki, somehow I subconsciously wanted to be perfect for him, hence unable to accept defeat in any kind of form… The stress must have aggravated Boku-shi, because he is like a defense mechanism to protect our emotion from total meltdown even though he is rather insane.
So… sometimes he will show up to give me a hand if I feel threatened or cornered enough. My… enormous feelings for Kouki must have alerted him to put a stopper, because if I became obsessed… there was no telling what I would do to Kouki. I’m glad that ‘he’ decided that ‘we’ had to distance ourselves from Kouki then… because Kouki didn’t deserve this madness.
Akashi felt depressed when he thought about Furihata. Boku-shi had ended their relationship without proper explanation because he couldn’t tell Furihata the real reason to protect Akashi’s feeling. But now… after he caught Furihata’s eyes from the bench and realized that Furihata had still been searching for him, all this time without giving up… he wished he had told the brunet everything.
Akashi wasn’t sure if Furihata would ever forgive him for what Boku-shi had done to him a year ago. However… if Akashi was given a chance to properly apologize, would Furihata at least let him be back to be his friend?
Akashi was still mulling over that thought when he and Mibuchi finally stepped outside the dome and they were on their way to the buss when Akashi caught a glimpse of auburn hair along with white and black colors which were easily identified as Seirin’s jersey colors, behind a tree in the parking lot.
Akashi stopped and stared at that person. Judging from his height, which was slightly shorter than Akashi, and the way he pointedly peeked shyly at Akashi from the shadow, it couldn’t have been anyone but the person that Akashi wanted more than anything in his life. It increasingly made Akashi’s heart beat rather hard and fast thinking that maybe… maybe...
Kouki is… looking for me?
Akashi couldn’t help feeling hopeful at that. He didn’t want to wonder in silence if there was any hope to salvage their friendship.
“Mibuchi,” Akashi called the taller teen in front of him, but not making effort to release his gaze from Furihata. “There’s something I need to attend to urgently. Please tell the coach that I will probably be back late tonight.” Akashi moved.
“Wait, Sei-chan?!” Mibuchi seemed surprised and very perplexed.
“If it goes well, I probably won’t be back at the hotel until morning.” Akashi smiled slightly, his steps purposeful and determined because this time… this time was his turn to take Furihata back, to restore his position in Furihata’s life and Akashi would fight for it.
Because Kouki is worth it.
“Akashi-kun…!” Furihata sucked in a sharp breath in surprise and anticipation as he noticed Akashi change direction to stalk over towards him. He thought Akashi didn’t notice his presence there earlier, but when he peeked out, Akashi was looking straight at him and he hadn’t release his gaze since.
Furihata’s heart beat harder and faster when Akashi was approaching his hiding spot with steady gaze. Mibuchi Reo who had been there as well now moved away to the direction of the Rakuzan’s buss and even though he looked rather bamboozled, he didn’t spy on Akashi or him. Well, it probably…no, most likely was because Mibuchi didn’t see Furihata there.
As Akashi was getting closer, Furihata straightened his back, anxious, nervous, and he honestly had no idea what to do when Akashi stopped right in front of him, regarding him silently with his pair of beautiful recognizing red orbs. It wasn’t that strange though, he had met Furihata more than twice directly during the Winter Cup alone, so… but Furihata wanted to cling on that hope that Akashi knew him from before.
There was so much Furihata wanted to say at once, but somehow they were stuck in his throat. His mouth refused to speak, his tongue felt numb and he couldn’t, for the life of him, look away from Akashi’s gaze.
As the silence grew unbearable, Furihata finally couldn’t take it anymore and, “Aka-”
“Kouki…” Akashi’s whispered, heartfelt sigh made Furihata’s breath hitch and he wasn’t prepared when Akashi suddenly moved forward, eliminating the distance between them and enveloping Furihata’s slightly smaller with cordial embrace.
Furihata was frozen on spot, not taking in what just happened for a second because he was in shock and when Akashi said “I missed you so much” did it finally dawned on Furihata’s mind that it was really his Akashi that held him and-
Furihata felt it first, the warm liquid that gathered in his eyes, more and much more until it was overflowing and he realized that he was crying, crying hard, whimpering and desperate as he reached his hands up to hug Akashi back, to wrap him in his own arms, to be close to and feel him once again, more, to right his own place inside Akashi’s life.
“Akashi-kun…! Akashi-kun…! Akashi-kun…!” He couldn’t help it as he chanted Akashi’s name, over and over again because he had missed him so much, so much it physically pained him to let go again. “Seijuurou…!”
Furihata wouldn’t let go again.
Both Akashi and Furihata sat on the ground, their back against the tree and no one wanted to let go of each other. Furihata had calmed down a bit and Akashi was still holding his shoulder with one arm, his head resting on Furihata’s. The brunet’s left hand was on Akashi’s right one, Furihata’s other arm looping at his side, holding his waist.
“I want to apologize,” Akashi started softly, “-for the way I treated you the night I broke our relationship.”
Furihata didn’t say anything to that, only firming his grip on Akashi’s hand.
“Kouki… if you haven’t realized already, there’s… something wrong with me,” Akashi paused, taking a deep breath to prepare himself to confess about his condition. “I-…”
“There are two of you,” Furihata said, cutting Akashi’s speech and surprising the red head. “I vaguely noticed that… since that night.”
Akashi very carefully let out a deep sigh to avoid flinching because he knew exactly what night Furihata was talking about. Still on edge, he mentally prepared himself for the next question or accusation if that was what Furihata was aiming for.
“I won’t pretend that I understand your condition technically or medically, but when we were together before, sometimes I felt that you could suddenly change, especially when you were emotionally overwrought. I just assumed it was the way you dealt with emotion, since you were rarely showing your feelings… and at times, those repressed feelings must have a breaking point when you’d unleash all of it in one go… and at those precise moments, Seijuurou… the other you would show up. Am I at least close?”
Furihata looked upward at him, no accusation in his tone or eyes, only genuine curiosity and it soothed Akashi’s heart a little. He (Boku-shi) had never given enough credit for Furihata’s observational skill, he really could be wrong after all.
That probably what made it easier to admit it, his flaw, “Yes,” Akashi nodded, another deep sigh escaping from between his lips.
“I see… but I never expected that he could take control for a long period of time,” Furihata looked down, rather sadly.
“Neither did I,” Akashi agreed. “I… should have tried harder to resurface back, but…” Akashi was afraid to face it, to face reality where Boku-shi was right, to face Furihata who knew what kind of person he was on the inside.
Akashi didn’t want to see Furihata hate him.
“But he must have showed up to protect you, somehow… right?” Furihata looked at his eyes again, seeming to search for something and Akashi instantly knew that Furihata wasn’t afraid of the other him, of Boku-shi.
“Why…?” Akashi didn’t understand.
“You become a bit extreme when he is on the surface, but… he is still you, Akashi Seijuurou. It’s alright if you feel the need to release control once in awhile. It’s okay if you feel like hiding and let him out to deal with the world once in awhile. He is you and you are him, so it’s okay to depend on each other, but you must not forget one thing, Seijuurou,” Furihata let go of his hand and reached up to cup Akashi’s cheek gently. “You’re not alone… I’m right here beside you, always, always…” He smiled then, so softly and affectionately before he tilted his head up and kissed Akashi’s lips tenderly.
Akashi didn’t know what came to him, but at that moment he felt… he felt that the other him reared his presence once again, but not to take his place forcefully like last time, not even speaking to him through their special channel in their inner thought. He resurfaced as Akashi’s welling up emotion, such strong desire to welcome Furihata’s affection.
Ah… so even Boku-shi acknowledge our feelings for Kouki… and this encouragement to hold him down isn’t about biological response at all… it’s because I, we, feel this feeling for Kouki…
Akashi kissed Furihata back, deepening it slightly while embracing him closer, relishing in the feeling of love and passion and happiness that he was still given a chance to love and be loved by Furihata as a whole, as Akashi Seijuurou.
When they pulled back, Akashi saw Furihata smile at him, so fond, so loving and gorgeous. “There,” he said gently before he surged upward to kiss Akashi’s left eye. “You’re ‘one’,” he whispered in Akashi’s ear and Akashi imagined that his left eye had changed color again because oh, how big… how deep and overwhelming his emotion at this moment. He didn’t even realize that tears had started to pool on his left eye and when it dropped on his cheek, Furihata just smiled at him ruefully and wiped it away with his thumb.
“I love you. Akashi Seijuurou…” Furihata said, gazing at him sincerely and this time, this time Akashi knew exactly whom those words and feelings were for.
It was for them, Ore-shi and Boku-shi, because they were both Akashi Seijuurou and they were one and the same in Furihata’s eyes.
Kuroko was a bit perplexed when Akashi approached him one afternoon in winter vacation, during his date with Kagami in Ginza to sight see some sport stores.
“Kuroko,” he greeted.
“Akashi-kun,” Kuroko greeted back with a nod. “I am surprised seeing you here,” he said after that because he was curious. Besides, Akashi had come back to his old self before he went all Absolute King, so it would be alright to probe him a little. “Shopping?”
Akashi chuckled in good humor. “You can say that, but it’s more accompanying my date’s shopping.”
Kuroko was silent for awhile, trying to digest the information.
Wait. His WHAT?—If he weren’t Kuroko, he would have gaped, but since he was, he only widened his eyes a fraction.
“Your… date?” Kuroko honestly almost blanked at the thought that- Akashi has a date! Oh my God!
“Yeah… it’s our first date since we rekindled our status,” Akashi informed Kuroko who could only say, “Um,” because honestly, he didn’t really need that information.
“Well,” Kuroko cleared his throat surreptitiously. “Good for you… two then,” he was rather uncertain on how to take that news. Hopefully, his expression was still as expressionless as he hoped to be, so he could at least appear to be taking it in stride instead of panicking like what happened on the inside.
“Yes,” Akashi gave him a kind smile and Kuroko was reminded of how… how gentle Akashi was before his change. “I’d made him wait and caused him pain when I went under and I think I have to thank you that you and your team have taken care of him all this time.”
“Eh?” Kuroko was even more at a complete loss after a pregnant silence as he mulled over what Akashi was talking about.
“Oh,” Akashi then seemed to realize that Kuroko had no clue of what he was saying and chuckled lightly again. “Really… he shouldn’t have been that secretive about his personal relationship.” Akashi shook his head and he looked over Kuroko’s shoulder before the light in his ruby eyes brightened to a level that even Kuroko had never seen before in Akashi despite being his teammates for three years in middle school.
Because at that time, Akashi’s eyes shone so brightly and happily that it was most certain that he had seen something or someone that he adored so much, which probably was his date, whoever that was.
As Kuroko turned around to see who Akashi was seeing, Akashi called him, “Kouki!” and there might be a hint of amber in his left eye, but that was probably just some kind of reflection of the light and-
Holy—! Furihata-kun?!—Kuroko almost, almost dropped his jaw when Akashi ran to a slightly bewildered Furihata, who upon noticing Kuroko’s presence there flushed a dark shade of red, probably from mortification since Kuroko witnessed his date with Akashi Seijuurou, for heaven’s sake!
Kagami would have made a scene if he wasn’t on his toilet break. Luckily, only Kuroko saw the way Akashi relieved one of Furihata’s hands from the shopping bag and then proceeded to take the said hand on his own and kiss the back of his palm, making Furihata blush even harder as he squeaked, completely flustered.
Akashi turned to face him once again, smiling. “See you around, Kuroko,” he nodded before he steered Furihata to another direction where they could walk together hand in hand. Furihata still looked mighty embarrassed, but Akashi looked incredibly content and happy as he spoke softly near Furihata’s ear.
“Furihata-kun… and Akashi-kun…” Kuroko was still in disbelief when Kagami returned to him from his break.
“What’s wrong?” Kagami asked.
“Kiss me and try to say that I am not dreaming,” Kuroko demanded quietly and Kagami blushed, an interesting shed of crimson at that.
“What are you talking about, you idiot. It’s not a dream,” Kagami huffed before he conspicuously leaned down and pecked Kuroko on the lips.
Kuroko went a bit pink at that but he quickly hid his face on Kagami’s chest by hugging him afterward, still feeling rather surreal of his new knowledge (and cosmically happy that Kagami had kissed him).
Akashi-kun and Furihata-kun… Who would have thought?
Tomorrow… no, next spring, Kuroko would drill questions on Furihata, gracefully extracting information of how and why, and then… and then he would initiate another GoM meeting because this… this was worth discussing between them.
For now, Kuroko would let them be… because despite how nonsensically impossible this might be, Akashi and Furihata looked cute together, pleased and comfortable too. They looked like they had been on it for quite awhile and—
Huh?—Kuroko had just realized that they most likely had been, given Akashi’s words that they had rekindled. It implied that they had been together at some point, broke up and then reconciled, right?
Well… Kuroko was really interested, but… he would put that information at the back of his head. Now, he needed to concentrate on his own date with Kagami because he already waited for almost a year for this date. Kagami was so dense he didn’t realize Kuroko had feelings for him before he blatantly confessed his love and kissed him after Seirin defeated Rakuzan in Winter Cup.
It was amusing how Kagami had reacted after that. He was a blubbering, blushing mess, always so funny and interesting, and their teammates seemed to give their new status of relationship their blessing even though Hyuuga sometimes looked at them rather funnily.
All in all, it went well in the end, so… Kuroko wasn’t complaining.
Nope. Not at all.
Who Are You? Fin.
*Here, the other Akashi used ‘boku’ (further will be referred as ‘bokushi’ for easier reading and interpreting) to pronounce himself to separate him from the original Akashi. Akashi always refers himself as ‘ore’ before his change. But after his Emperor Eye awakens, he calls himself ‘boku’.