Chapter 8 – Visits
The next morning, Akashi wakes up confused. He immediately realises he's not in his own room and bolts upright. However, after taking in his surroundings he quickly remembers the situation.
"You can sleepover if you'd like. I only have a single bed but you can sleep on the sofa." Kuroko suggested. The two had fallen asleep in their embrace with Kuroko sat on Akashi's lap, waking up a few hours later.
"Thanks that would be good." Akashi said drowsily as he buried his face back into the nape of Kuroko's neck. The blue haired man gave a small gasp at the action before he pulled away, starting to stand up. "I can get you some of my pyjamas, they're baggy on me so they should fit you just fine." Kuroko said, rubbing away sleep from his eye with a fist.
"So we're already jumping to sharing clothes and sleeping over are we?" Akashi teased.
"Aka…Seijuro-kun, I'm just trying to be helpful." Kuroko blushed. "You're tired and you shouldn't be walking about at night, no matter how strong you are."
"Yes, yes." Akashi said, standing up. "Don't you find it rather ironic that you're concerned about a ghoul's safety?" The thought made Akashi laugh, though he was still amazed by the human's tendency to trust him so wholly.
"I don't care what you are Seijuro-kun, I care about who you are, so no I don't find it all that ironic. I don't want you to get hurt." Kuroko said blankly before he then left to get pyjamas for Akashi. When he returned, he passed the white and grey striped clothing to his new boyfriend. "I'll be just upstairs if you need anything, and the bathroom is the first door on the left once you climb the stairs."
"Thank you Tetsuya. I appreciate it." Akashi leant over to cup Kuroko's face and to give a delicate kiss on Kuroko's cheek.
"I'll see you tomorrow morning, sleep well Seijuro-kun." Kuroko said looking up to the red head with a small smile.
"Goodnight Tetsuya." Akashi said fondly.
Akashi stretched his arms before slipping off of the sofa. Looking at the silver clock on the wall he saw that the time was 7am.
The ghoul walked into the joint kitchen and found Kuroko sat at a small table eating a light breakfast.
"Good morning Seijuro-kun." Kuroko said once he noticed the taller man approaching.
"Good morning Tetsuya. I'm sorry, but I better get ready to leave. I have organised to go out on business at 8 o'clock."
Kuroko was a bit disappointed that his newfound partner had to leave so soon. It was now the weekend so Kuroko had the whole day off, but he couldn't really criticise the ghoul for having to leave seeing as Kuroko had already received more time with him than he had thought he would. "Okay. Feel free to use my room or the bathroom to get changed."
After Akashi had finished freshening up and changing back into the clothes he'd been wearing the evening before, he said his farewell to Kuroko with a brief but passionate kiss, promising that he would contact him soon.
"So where the hell were you last night?" Aomine spoke bitterly to Akashi.
Aomine was driving them out of town in their small van. They had decided to go out early so that they may go talk to Himuro before driving a few miles out of town to get some food. The two additionally wanted to check on Kiyoshi and catch up with him.
However, when Aomine had woken up that morning to find his brother not at home he had been very worried. Fortunately, it was not long after his awakening that Akashi arrived home.
"I stayed over at Tetsuya's. Did you not get my text last night?"
"You what?! Why were you at Tetsu's?! And no I didn't….I may have…lost my phone..." Aomine said, mumbling the last part.
"He invited me over and then it is your own fault that you did not know where I was."
"Oh… so why did he invite you over?"
"I believe his reason was that he wanted to get to know me better."
"So he really is okay with you being a ghoul then huh? Anyway, I wanted to say to you, Tetsu isn't usually one to make friends, people barely ever notice him, but he seems to really like you so don't waste this chance at happiness or mess around with his feelings okay." Aomine felt like he was acting more like Kuroko's big brother than Akashi's brother but he wanted to be sure that Akashi was not just using Kuroko.
"It's fine Daiki. Although I should probably tell you…"
"Tell me what?" Aomine said with concern.
"I do believe Tetsuya and I are now dating."
"WHAT?! THE HELL DO YOU MEAN 'DATING'?!" Aomine nearly choked at the revelation. Akashi chuckled at Aomine's reaction whilst the dark-bluenette became flustered.
"You're kidding right…there's no way…Hey! When you said you stayed over you don't mean…?!"
"No, no. It wasn't like that Daiki. I was just tired and Tetsuya was being polite. Now concentrate on driving."
The navy haired man shut up after that. Staying in his own head, pondering how the hell his brother had managed to get Kuroko to go out with him so easily. Sure, he had noticed a bit of chemistry between the two but he did not expect it to escalate that quickly.
Meanwhile Akashi was pondering the fragility of humans. Last night, he had accepted and reciprocated Kuroko's feelings, giving in to his own desires and offering a deeper relationship than simply friendship. However, now that he was thinking clearly again the nagging sensation of worry built in his mind. If being friends with a human is dangerous, how bad would it be to be going out with one…? He thought. But he came to the conclusion that he would just have to do his best to protect Kuroko from any potential threats, and that started with finding out more about the Kirisaki Daichi from Himuro.
Unfortunately, Himuro had little extra news about the Kirisaki Daichi. Although he did tell them about an interesting rumour that the binge eater was actually a part of Hanamiya's gang.
The thought made Akashi more anxious. Whilst there were a number of fairly strong ghouls in the Kirisaki Daichi, there was only one S-rated one he knew about – Hanamiya himself. If they had the binge eater as well, they would be much more difficult to eliminate.
He decided to not think about it for a while, it was just a rumour after all. Though Himuro-san's 'rumours' tend to make a habit out of being true… The red eyed man thought.
Soon the two ghouls arrived outside of an apartment after over an hour of driving. Aomine knocked on the door in front of them.
Hyuuga Junpei answered, opening the door. "Hey you two! I wasn't expecting you…" He said, surprised to see the two younger ghouls.
"Sorry for not calling in advance but we wanted to drop round to say hello." Akashi said respectfully.
"Well, Teppei's in the living room with Riko, go on ahead." Hyuuga told them, tilting his head in the direction of the living room. With that, he let the two in before closing the door and heading into the kitchen. The two younger males walked towards the living area.
Kiyoshi and Aida were talking and joking with one another when Aomine and Akashi walked in, however once they noticed the two younger males, Kiyoshi stopped, his eyes lighting up.
"Daiki-kun, Seijuro-kun! What a nice surprise, I didn't know you were coming today." Kiyoshi said with a grin spreading across his face.
"Hello you two!" Aida greeted.
"Hey Teppei-san! Aida-san! How's it going?" Aomine beamed.
Akashi said a simple hello with a small grin, glad to see Kiyoshi's kind face again.
The two young men strolled over to sit by Kiyoshi, who himself was sat in the wheelchair the two ghouls had bought him a few years ago.
When Hanamiya had dealt the devastating blow on Kiyoshi, he had caused some irreparable damage. Whilst Kiyoshi's legs were not completely paralyzed, they were extremely unreliable. He'd originally insisted on not needing a wheelchair, arguing that his walking would only be able to improve with practice. However, after he fell over a dozen times in one day the others decided it would be best to get a wheelchair.
"I'm well Daiki-kun. Junpei and Riko have been taking good care of me. How are you two though, I haven't spoken to you in weeks! How's everything at the café?" Kiyoshi asked the two.
"It's been running fairly smoothly at the café. As for myself, I am doing well." Akashi responded.
Kiyoshi noted that Akashi truly did seem quite happy, though he also detected a hint of anxiousness in his body language.
"I'm good too Teppei-san."
"I'm glad. What brings you two here today anyway?"
The smile Akashi had been wearing faltered. "We wanted to come see you of course, but I also wanted to tell you about something I recently discovered."
"Eh? What's that Seijuro-kun?" The taller brunette asked, uneasiness beginning to leak into his voice.
Akashi's smile was now completely replaced with a bitter frown. "Hanamiya has returned to our ward. I'm worried that he may be planning something, so please keep your heads down."
The mood in the room had become rather dark. After a brief silence Kiyoshi spoke up. "Thank you for the warning Seijuro-kun. Make sure you guys stay safe too for me okay?" He said, worried that Hanamiya would make another attempt to take one of their lives. "Now why don't you tell me more about what you two have been getting up to these past few weeks."
The conversation moved on as the four people in the living room began gossiping and making small talk for the next few hours. Aomine would have taken great joy in teasing Akashi by telling Kiyoshi about the shorter ghoul's new boyfriend, if said boyfriend were not Aomine's best friend that is.
Kuroko decided to do his work at the library today, in search of a change of setting. It was a Saturday so Kuroko did not have to go into work and after Akashi left, the teal head had lazed around the house the whole morning before idly getting ready to go out in public.
He reflected on the previous night's events. He had been so nervous to confess to Akashi, but he had felt like it would be wrong to lie to the crimson haired ghoul. Especially after how Akashi had trusted him with such an important secret. Whilst Kuroko would have been satisfied with just friendship, he had realised his heart yearned for something more, and Akashi had graciously allowed him a piece of that closeness he wanted last night.
He stopped off at Maji burger to grab a vanilla shake on his way to the library. The time was now 2pm and Kuroko was sat in the local library marking the worksheets the children had done throughout the week. He enjoyed being in the library. It was a peaceful place and the nostalgic smell of books filled the air, serving to relax the cyan haired man.
The serene atmosphere was shattered when he heard a loud, excited "Kurokocchi!" across the large room.
Kuroko looked up, although he already knew who had called out his altered name. He saw the blond walking over to him, a beaming smile on his face. However the smile quickly disappeared when a librarian came over to scold him for his loudness. The ravenette, who Kuroko recognised as Takao, that was accompanying Kise continued walking in his direction though.
"Heya Kuroko." He whispered as he took up a seat next to the human.
"Hello Takao-kun. What are you two doing here today?"
Takao looked away nervously. In truth, the two had been stalking Kuroko all day and neither had ever set foot in a library until that afternoon. "Um, we came here to sit and read for a while…."
Kise sauntered over at that point, looking rather dejected after being reprimanded. Though his mood perked up as he sat on the other side of Kuroko. "Hello Kurokocchi! What a coincidence, I didn't think we'd meet you here!" He whispered excitedly.
"Hello Kise-kun, it's a surprise to see you two as well. I'm sorry, but I can't chat too much, I really need to get these marked."Kuroko said, gesturing to the papers in front of him.
"Ah, it's fine Kurokocchi, Takao and I will get on with…um…reading."
With that the two ghouls got up and looked for a decent book to read before settling back down in their seats. Neither of them particularly enjoyed reading, mainly due to the fact that neither had learnt how to until their early-teens when Midorima, Kiyoshi and Akashi had taken it upon themselves to teach them how. Instead each preferred more active hobbies such as basketball or running. But they did not complain about the situation, knowing that if they left Kuroko alone and something happened to him there would be hell to pay from Akashi.
Unfortunately for Kise and Takao, Kuroko spent four hours in the library, marking papers and reading all the while. Both ghouls had nearly nodded off on multiple occasions throughout the afternoon. Their mood finally picked up when Kuroko began to stand up, announcing that he was heading home for the evening.
"We can walk you home Kuroko, seeing as we live close by!" Takao said cheerfully, glad to finally be able to leave and stretch his legs.
The three walked home together, chatting as they went, although Kuroko did very little talking as the other two kept up the light conversation. Kuroko found himself becoming rather fond of the two. They had much more of a knack for socialising and were both energetic and chatty, unlike Kuroko, yet that seemed to put him at ease around them as he did not have to worry about carrying a conversation, instead just enjoying their company.
Soon, they had arrived outside Kuroko's house.
"Hey Kurokocchi, would you mind if I used your toilet? I really need to go."
"Sure Kise-kun." Kuroko said as he put his house key in the lock, opening the door. The two ghouls followed the blue haired man into the hallway, but as soon as Kuroko closed the door behind them they both bristled.
Kuroko turned to look at them and noticed a change in their mood, suddenly the two baristas had become serious looking.
"Um…is everything okay? The toilet is just upstairs Kise-kun if you still-"
"Well, well you're finally home." A new voice came from the doorway to the living room. A shiver ran down the bluenette's spine. He recognised it as the voice which belonged to the grey haired ghoul he'd met over a fortnight ago.
Kise and Takao immediately went on the defensive, keeping Kuroko behind them. They told Kuroko to run back out of the front door and head to the coffeehouse. Kuroko began to do as they said and opened the door but was unfortunately greeted by another ghoul.
"Now, where do you think you're going?" It was another man with grey, almost purple, hair. His bangs were so long they covered both his eyes.
"Tch." Takao moved to stand between Kuroko and the new aggressor. It was another ghoul, he could tell that much. In fact, Takao could swear he recognised him from something. Then it hit him. It's Kazuya Hara, that high ranking ghoul from Kirisaki Daichi…
"What do you want?" Kise said threateningly.
"Eh, we just wanted to visit your little friend here and say hello, it's Kuroko Tetsuya right?" Haizaki said.
Kuroko's eyes widened. Why in the world would they want me? I haven't done anything, so why? He thought. Kise very nearly growled, recognising the unfriendly tone of the opposing ghoul and lunging forward to attack the binge eater. However he was surprised when yet another ghoul joined the fray.
"Ki-chan!" Takao shouted in an attempt to warn the blond before the new ghoul could land a hit, but he was too late and whilst Takao was distracted, Hara, the ghoul with long bangs stood in front of the raven haired man, took advantage and began to attack Takao.
Kuroko was stuck between the two fights, his hallway now feeling even more cramped than usual. He was terrified. Not just for himself, but for Kise and Takao, who were so bravely trying to defend him. It suddenly occurred to him that perhaps it was not a coincidence that they had accompanied him that day. Perhaps they suspected something would happen, but why? And how can they fight ghouls…? Kuroko was brought out of his thoughts when he saw Kise release a colourful wing like kagune from his shoulder.
Kuroko stood stunned at the discovery. Kise-kun is also a ghoul? Then is Takao-kun…? Kuroko turned to look at the dark haired man just in time to see him releasing a tail like tentacle from his coccyx area. Are all the baristas ghouls?! Kuroko thought in shock. He'd suspected that perhaps Aomine was a ghoul or at least knew Akashi was one but he had been given no reason to suspect the others. They had simply seemed to be employees at the coffeehouse. Part of him was thankful though. Thankful that at least they would have a fighting chance against these offending ghouls.
Kise managed to steer the fighting out of the hallway and into the living room. Unfortunately for him, there was yet another two intruding ghouls in the room. Kise cursed. His ukaku kagune was not suited to close-ranged attacks. Kuroko moved into the kitchen area hiding behind the counter, to allow Takao to also move into the living room and assist Kise.
From what Kuroko could see, the two baristas were strong, however he now counted five offending ghouls in his home.
They were outnumbered.
Could they really beat them all?
Kuroko pulled out his phone. He would have called the CCG but they would very likely kill or imprison Kise and Takao which he did not want, so instead he tried to call Aomine, knowing that Akashi was out of town. Of course, Aomine didn't answer. The teal head truly felt helpless. There was nothing he could do to help the two baristas in the room. Even if he punched one of the intruders with all his might, he doubted they would even notice him.
Just then Kuroko noticed a whimpering off to his side. He turned to see Nigou lying on the ground about a metre from where he was hiding. The teal head shuffled over to his dog's side, his face painted with deep concern.
"Hey boy." Kuroko whispered petting his canine companion lightly.
He was given a whine in response.
Luckily, the dog did not seem to be bleeding but he seemed to have been thrown against the wall or floor as his front right paw was twisted at an unnatural angle. Kuroko carefully petted Nigou's head in an attempt to comfort the dog however an offending ghoul chose that moment to come up behind Kuroko, grabbing him by the hair and throwing him over the counter and into the living room.
"Don't touch Kurokocchi!" Kise shouted with a fire in his eyes.
Takao considered telling Kuroko to run, but decided it was a poor plan. The two ghouls could not distract the five intruders long enough for Kuroko to even make it to the door, let alone the café. Not to mention, for all they knew there were more ghouls lying in wait outside.
They only had one option. We have to defeat these ghouls or die trying. He thought.
So far they had only managed to take out one of the ghouls. Whilst that was good progress the two coffee shop workers were already low on stamina. These were not just the everyday, thuggish ghouls found in alley-ways late at night. Haizaki was an S-rated and Hara was an A-rated ghoul, each more ferocious than either of the two baristas.
Takao knew that Kise was at a further disadvantage, seeing as an ukaku kagune is designed for high speed, long-ranged attacks. Plus they lacked any good defence. The black haired ghoul tried to take on as many of the aggressors as possible to remove the pressure from Kise and Kuroko. However, it did not work in his favour. Haizaki distracted Takao with flurry of strikes whilst Hara aimed a stabbing strike at his abdomen.
Kuroko was lying on the floor of his living room as he watched it happen, and tears came to his eyes as he cried out in horror. Hara's kagune pierced straight through Takao's stomach before scrambling the insides of the shorter ghoul. Once the tentacle retracted, Takao coughed up blood everywhere before collapsing to the ground and passing out.
"Takaocchi!" Kise screamed, moving to attack the one who had just hurt his friend.
Kise, realising there was no way he could win alone shouted at Kuroko, telling him to try and run.
Kuroko hesitated. This was all too familiar. He didn't want history to repeat itself, to run away and return to nothing but loss. Yet if he stayed there would be nothing he could do. He considered the possibility of running. On one hand, it would be wrong to just leave Takao and Kise here at the mercy of these ghouls. On the other hand, he could not let them suffer in vain and if he did manage to escape he could seek assistance.
After a split second of thinking, Kuroko looked at the blond with an apologetic look before he attempted to sprint out of the house. Sadly, he was intercepted by the binge eater after entering the hallway. Kuroko felt a rinkaku tentacle wrap itself around him before throwing him back into the living room with great force, causing Kuroko to crash into his side table and the photos that stood upon it.
"You're not allowed to leave I'm afraid. We've got orders from the boss to bring you back with us. We wouldn't want to make the boss angry now." Haizaki sneered.
Kise was doing his best to defend against the other three ghouls, however he was thrown against a wall one too many times. He sank to the ground looking dazedly and frustratedly at Kuroko. I'm sorry Kurokocchi…I'm so sorry. Tears welled up in his eyes before he lost consciousness.
The remaining four assailants lost interest in the now unconscious baristas and moved over to where Kuroko was hunched over. "Knock him out, we need to get going before anyone else shows up."
With that, Kuroko felt a hard blow to the side of his head before he fell into darkness.
END OF CHAPTER