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Chapter 6 – An Old Enemy

"Well, well Aka-shi-kun. Long-time, no see." The man said slowly as he smirked.

The red head wore a grim expression. "What the hell are you doing here Hanamiya? I thought we made it clear that you are not welcome in this area." Akashi practically snarled.

"Oh, so is that why the CCG were on my tail for so long. Did you and your buddies tell on me after our little fight?"

Flashback:

The ghouls of the coffee shop had heard about the ghoul group 'Kirisaki Daichi' from Kiyoshi Teppei. When Kiyoshi was younger, his own mother had taken in a ghoul who would one day become the group's leader, Hanamiya Makoto. No matter how much they had tried to teach him to accept humans and live alongside them, Hanamiya would never listen, instead seeking to make them suffer. After a year of staying with the Kiyoshi family, Hanamiya ran away. Soon after Kiyoshi's mother died in a tragic accident leaving the tall brunette alone in the café.

The two did not encounter each other for several years after that. By the time they did, Kiyoshi was 25 and had employed the six male ghouls he had found in need of help. Akashi and Aomine were the only two who actually lived with him at the time, both about 16, but Kiyoshi was rather protective of all of them. The other four ghouls each shared apartments with slightly older ghouls whom they considered friends – Miyaji Kiyoshi, Kasamatsu Yukio and Himuro Tatsuya.

Hanamiya showed up one night in the cafe, Kiyoshi was downstairs cleaning when they confronted each other. "It's been a long time Kiyoshi-kun." Hanamiya smirked at the taller man.

"Unless you have come here to change your ways, you are not welcome here anymore Hanamiya. I know what you've been getting up to these past few years. I've left you alone because I do not wish to see you hurt, but do not bring your business to my home." Kiyoshi spoke seriously. He knew that Hanamiya had become the leader of a notable ghoul gang, and that he had been attacking and torturing innocent humans.

"Aw, I thought we were friends Kiyoshi-kun." Hanamiya mockingly pouted.

"We could have been. But we both know that what happened to my mother was not an accident. Now leave."

Neither of the two ghouls noticed a young Akashi, eavesdropping from the backroom. In the 7 years the boy had lived with the man, Akashi had never heard Kiyoshi sound so serious.

Hanamiya laughed at the brunette's words, which only served to make Kiyoshi angrier. Kiyoshi's mother had definitely been killed by a ghoul. Whilst he could not prove it, he was sure it was Hanamiya. Rumour had it that members of the Kirisaki Daichi must pass an initiation test before being fully accepted into the gang. This involved killing someone close to you to prove your devotion. Whilst Hanamiya had not been particularly close to Kiyoshi's mother, she was the closest thing he'd ever had to a family.

"Hmm." Hanamiya took a deep breathe in through his nose. He paused before glancing towards the backroom. "I think we have company Kiyoshi-kun." He said. Akashi knew he had been sussed out as he listened to the older two ghouls talk. Kiyoshi looked worriedly at the door which Akashi was hiding behind.

"Why don't you come on out kid?" Kiyoshi turned to stare threateningly at Hanamiya. He still did not know why the thuggish ghoul was here, and there was no way in hell he'd let him hurt his family ever again.

Akashi stepped out confidently. Though he was young, he was strong. So was Kiyoshi. He was not afraid of a single ghoul.

"He's cute Kiyoshi-kun, how old is he?"

"Leave." Kiyoshi said forcefully.

In all honesty, Akashi was slightly concerned. He had never seen Kiyoshi so severe and angry. He was usually the first person to make light of a situation yet clearly that was not the case tonight.

"But I haven't got what I came for Kiyoshi-kun."

"What do you want?" Akashi asked, standing a few feet behind Kiyoshi.

Hanamiya looked at the red head before answering wildly. "His suffering."

At that moment another three ghouls, minions of Hanamiya, broke through the door of the café.. All four ghouls from Kirisaki Daichi then released their kagune, ready to fight.

Kiyoshi's eyes widened in fear. He quickly snapped out of his panic before turning to Akashi. "Get Daiki and run! I'll hold them off as long as I can."

Akashi was rooted to the spot. How could Kiyoshi ask him to leave? To leave him there alone with four hostile ghouls? Akashi came back to his senses, a strong look on his face.

"No I will not leave you here Teppei-san. We can take them." He said confidently.

Hanamiya laughed at that. "Good one kid. But I'm afraid we're gunna kill you first." Two of the Kirisaki Daichi ghouls ran at Akashi. Kiyoshi was able to stop one of them, quickly releasing his koukaku kagune from his shoulder to use as a weapon. Akashi also let out his kagune, ready to fight. He was always worried something like this would happen. He'd prepared himself in case it ever did, training every day in the basement with Aomine to make sure he was fit and able to fight if need be.

Akashi dodged the first strike from the offending ghoul. The ghoul's bangs were so long that they covered his eyes but he could still see somehow. Akashi ducked under another swing of the taller ghoul's fist, before striking out himself. His kagune lashed out at the assailant knocking him backwards slightly. At that moment, Hanamiya appeared in front of Akashi, an insane grin across his face.

The dark haired man had been waiting a long time for this. He was sadistic in nature and wanted to see others suffer. He wanted to see Kiyoshi suffer. He wanted the brunette to realise that ghouls can't play pretend and lead 'normal' lives. That to do so was against their very nature.

Akashi managed to defend himself against Hanamiya's flurry of attacks, but he was losing ground and the other ghoul was beginning to sync his attacks with Hanamiya's.

Somewhere behind them, Aomine crept into the room, still drowsy from having been woken up by the noise and shouting. As soon as he saw what was happening he was hit with a shot of adrenaline, running to help his family. He started by assisting Akashi, the two managed to work together and beat Hanamiya's lackey into unconsciousness. However, at that moment the other two Kirisaki Daichi ghouls joined Hanamiya in attacking them, after greatly injuring Kiyoshi, leaving him unable to fight. The tall brunette was losing consciousness, but he saw Aomine and Akashi fighting against the other ghouls. Sure, they trained, but practising among friends and actually fighting for one's life are completely different experiences. They were going to lose.

Aomine was thrown to the back of the room leaving Akashi to fight the three ghouls on his own. He was already losing strength, having sustained a number of cuts and a stab wound to the leg. But he had to keep fighting.

Kiyoshi saw that Akashi was losing. He didn't care if his body screamed for him not to, Kiyoshi stood and lunged across the room. With the little energy he had left, he stabbed his kagune through Hanamiya's other two lackeys, throwing them away from the boys and leaving them to bleed out on the floor. Hanamiya looked to Kiyoshi before turning back to the red haired boy in front of him.

Akashi was not in good shape, kneeling on the floor, panting and looking as if he were about to pass out from his beating. Hanamiya was about to deal a fatal blow when Kiyoshi barged into his side and forced Hanamiya's attention back on him.

Aomine rushed over to his brother's side, helping him to stand. They both looked over to Kiyoshi. What they saw terrified them.

"Teppei!" both boys shouted as Hanamiya's kagune pieced Kiyoshi's spine from behind, stabbing all the way through his lower torso. A gut wrenching sound was made as the tentacle-like protrusion tore Kiyoshi's flesh and broke through his backbone. Hanamiya knew he was beat now that his subordinates were useless. The two younger ghouls were strong. Even injured, the two of them were too strong for him to finish alone right now, so he took satisfaction in hurting Kiyoshi more directly instead.

The dark haired ghoul dashed out of the coffee shop, leaving Aomine and Akashi to deal with Kiyoshi.

Ghouls heal quickly, sure. But injuries caused by kagune take far longer to heal, and Hanamiya had done some serious damage.

Aomine sat on the floor of the coffee shop, next to the only man who had accepted him and had helped him when he most needed it. The man who was now bleeding out, creating a pool of crimson. The blue haired boy took Kiyoshi in his arms as Akashi went to call Miyaji, the unofficial physician who Midorima and Takao lived with.

When he returned to Aomine and Kiyoshi, he noticed that the bigger man was still conscious.

"A-are you two, o-okay?" Kiyoshi stuttered out, blood leaking from the side of his mouth. Aomine held his body tightly.

"We're fine thanks to you Teppei-san." Akashi answered in a whisper. Both looked down at Kiyoshi with a pained look on their face.

"Good." Kiyoshi replied, a tiny smile crept onto his face before he lost consciousness.

End flashback

It had been Midorima who spread the anonymous rumours to the CCG of the Kirisaki Daichi's horrific activities. Hanamiya had been run out of town by the amount of ghoul investigators searching for him.

But it appeared that the sadistic ghoul had returned and now stood before Akashi. "So what if we did report you. You deserved it after all. Just be glad we didn't kill you." Akashi said viciously. In truth, the only reason he had not killed the tall ghoul stood in front of him was because Akashi knew it would only cause more problems than it solved. The ghouls of the Kirisaki Daichi gang would surely seek revenge for their leader and reek more havoc than ever.

"Well, just don't be surprised if I decide to get a little revenge."

'Revenge' Akashi thought. He wanted to punch the man for using that word. What they had done to the ghoul had been nothing but self-defense whilst what Hanamiya had done to Kiyoshi was simply cruel and psychotic. Akashi scoffed at his comment before replying. "Like you can threaten me. We both know I'm stronger now. You may have a lot of underlings, but they are weak. We could easily take them on."

Hanamiya gave a small laugh. "Perhaps you could Akashi-kun…" Hanamiya then leant in closer to Akashi before whispering. "But do you think that sweet smelling, light blue haired human of yours could take on even one of my subordinates?"

Akashi stiffened at the question. How the hell does he know about him? Kuroko only just found out about me being a ghoul, have I already put him in danger? Akashi pulled himself together, stepping away from the initial fear the question had caused him, instead seeking to play ignorant and careless.

"Who?"

"Don't play dumb with me kid. I saw you two today, hugging outside the café. So cute~."

"Oh him? He hugged me. He can be rather over familiar like that, but he means nothing to me." Akashi said coolly.

A sly smile stretched over Hanamiya's face. "Liar. I know you Akashi Seijuro. If you did not want someone to hug you, you would stop them." There was a short silence before he continued. "Perhaps I should have a talk with him and see how he feels about you, heh Akashi-kun?"

Akashi began to shake with rage and his hands balled up into fists at his sides at the underlying threat in Hanamiya's words. He would not let this monster close to Kuroko. This demon was known to torture humans, both physically and mentally, before finally killing and eating them.

"Stay away from him." He stated murderously.

"What are you gunna do, fight me?" Oh how Akashi wanted to kill him right there and then. Eliminate the threat in front of him and be done with it. But he knew better than that. If Hanamiya was planning some sort of revenge, he would have a back-up plan. The danger would never really be gone even if Akashi killed him now. Though it is tempting… Akashi thought.

Hanamiya chuckled at the shorter man before starting to walk off. He threw a hand up in a wave and turned to look over his shoulder at Akashi.

"See you around Akashi-kun."

And with that, Akashi was left in the middle of the pavement seething with rage and consumed by the darkness of the night.


The next afternoon, Kuroko was once again sat in the coffee shop at the counter. Akashi was not working today, instead the kindergarten teacher was greeted by Kise.

"Hey Kurokocchi! How are you today?"

"I'm good Kise-kun. How are you?"

"I'm great! You want the usual?"

"Yes please."

"Coming right up!"

Kuroko brought out his book, though he'd recently discovered that the blond no longer worried about bothering him as he read, instead choosing to freely talk with Kuroko. Although it was usually a rather one-sided conversation.

Kise soon brought over his drink and quickly got to talking to Kuroko. Apparently Kise had little sense of privacy as he started with "Kurokocchi, I saw you with Akashicchi yesterday! What were you two talking about?"

Kuroko had to think about his reply. He didn't want to lie, but at the same time he could hardly tell the whole truth. "I wanted to ask him why he hasn't been speaking to me much. Everything's okay now though." I think Kuroko mentally added.

"Aw, glad to hear it Kurokocchi! He'd kill me if I said it to him, but he could really do with more friends. He barely talks to anyone unless its about business, he must really like you a lot to want to be your friend." Kise said with a friendly smile.

"Really?"

"Yes!"

Kuroko pondered Kise's words. For some reason, hearing that he was somewhat special to have gained Akashi's attention filled him with a sense of joy and pride.

"Hey, Kise-kun? Is Akashi-kun here today?"

"I'm afraid he isn't Kurokocchi. He went out on business an hour ago. Sorry." Kise had heard Aomine mention that the manager had gone to speak with Momoi a little while ago and probably wouldn't be back until late.

"I see…" It saddened Kuroko that he would be unable to see Akashi that day but he had a back-up plan.

"Um, Kise-kun? I was wondering…could you please give me Akashi-kun's phone number? He isn't here today and I really wanted to talk to him so…" Kuroko's sentence began confident but it tailed off towards the end. He had been wanting to speak to Akashi all day and seeing as he must be busy right now, Kuroko saw this as the best solution.

Meanwhile, Kise was having an internal battle. He really wanted to give Kuroko Akashi's number, but at the same time he knew Akashi would scold him for giving away his number so easily. It's not like Kurokocchi's a stranger though…and Akashicchi would probably be secretly grateful if I gave it to him…

"Ah, sure thing Kurokocchi! Let me go get some paper and a pen to write it down for you." He said walking away from the counter.

A moment later, Kise was handing Kuroko a small piece of paper with a phone number on it.

"Thank you Kise-kun." Kuroko looked up at the blond, giving him a subtle smile.

So cute~ Kise thought. "You're welcome Kurokocchi! Er…but could you maybe not tell Akashicchi it was me who gave it to you? He probably wouldn't be happy about it." Kise shifted on the spot nervously remembering the last time he had annoyed Akashi.

"Okay Kise-kun. I will do my best."

"Thanks Kurokocchi~"

The two exchanged small talk for another few minutes before a giant, purple haired barista lumbered over.

"Mido-chin says you need to get back to work Kise-chin."

"Aw, but Murasakibaracchi, I'm entertaining a customer, surely that counts as work."

At that moment Midorima joined the three. "Bothering Kuroko with your constant babbling does not count as 'entertainment'. Now get some actual work done." With that Midorima and Murasakibara left to attend to customers and Kise said goodbye to Kuroko before moving to clean some tables.

Kuroko read for a little while, sipping his coffee, before he left the café to walk home.

There was actually a specific reason Kuroko had wanted to talk to Akashi. The light blue haired man had been thinking that the two still knew rather little about each other and Kuroko wanted to invite Akashi over to his house for a movie night in order to get to know him better.

As he was walking home he pulled out his phone and typed in the digits Kise had written down for him. After a couple of seconds the call went through.

"Hello who is this?" Akashi's voice sounded through Kuroko's phone.

"Hello Akashi-kun, its Kuroko. I have a proposal for you."

END OF CHAPTER