He is so big you would think his monstrous feet even bigger than Aomine Daiki's would make more noise as he walks. If not from the sheer size of his feet, then from the weight of the ridiculously tall teenager they carry. Yet, ironically enough, he can be almost as quiet as a shadow when he walks.
He is so lazy you wouldn't think he would have a care in the world, no aspirations nor any particular beliefs to stand by. Yet, ironically enough, he is the most loyal and steadfast person most people would meet. He fights for what he believes in and what he has learned in life harder than anyone would ever dream someone could.
He is so gluttonous you would think he would have weighed one thousand pounds by now just from what he had eaten in the last twenty-four hours. Yet, ironically enough, he is one of the thinnest and gangliest boys most will ever lay their eyes on in person. When he sucks his stomach in, three of his lower ribs on either side are so clearly visible you could tap on them and play a little tune. His metabolism is something of a marvel.
He is so lethargic you wouldn't think he could move a finger any faster than an inch a minute. Yet, ironically enough, he could probably break the record for the fastest hundred meter sprint at any school in the country of Japan with those long, surprisingly speedy legs of his. He could chase down anyone or anything he wanted, when given the motivation to.
He is so intimidating you would think him to have not a single fear in the whole wide world. Yet, even more ironically than any other statements previous, a mere sound can cause this titan of a child to go cowering. That sound is the crashing bark of thunder, the sound which rolls through the cloud-heavy sky after bright flashes of electricity that wouldn't make him even flinch if not for that crackling roar sure to follow after. Even more ironic due to the fact that his finishing move in his favourite sport- basketball- had been dubbed Thor(the god of thunder)'s Hammer.
He gets so scared you wouldn't think anyone smaller than him could do anything to chase away his panic inducing and heart stuttering fears, caused by such an overwhelmingly huge sound. Yet, ironically enough, the smallest of all his friends is the only one who has ever consoled him through his phobia.
Ever present and ever quiet Kuroko Tetsuya is a tiny little blue fairy-looking child in comparison to his huge companion. He looks rather usual otherwise, however ridiculous they both may seem when standing side by side. Over a very short time of being together in the basketball club, only a few weeks, Kuroko had already learned all of Murasakibara Atsushi's ironies. Almost all of them, at least.
It wasn't until a late day after their fourth official game they had all won together. Back then, before discouragement from rapid blooming into greatness, the regulars would all still celebrate together. It had started raining halfway through the fourth quarter, but the scuffs of shoes and cheering of spectators had drowned the sounds of the rapidly growing harsh rains. Murasakibara wasn't even aware of the chill in the air until he was left alone in the change room.
Kuroko- along with the other regulars; Aomine Daiki, Haizaki Shougo, Midorima Shintarou, and Akashi Seijuurou- was waiting out in the entrance of the large gymnasium facility. They would have waited for their last missing piece outside, if not for the rain. All of them still planned to go out to eat and for ice cream together before going home, even with how exaughsted some were (namely, Kuroko). However, with their lilac coloured friend taking far longer to join them than usual, both Aomine and Haizaki were getting upset from waiting so long for food. Midorima, in turn, was becoming more irritable thanks to their incessant whining. Akashi didn't look bothered very much, just curious as to what was taking so long. Kuroko seemed to be the most worried of the bunch, and offered to go and see whether or not Murasakibara was alright or just lost. Akashi gave him the go ahead, and he got up from his chair to walk quickly down the hall. Aomine and Haizaki both called out to him, but because they had yelled over each other, Kuroko only managed to gather that they wanted him to be fast about bringing Murasakibara to their meeting point without getting the details of what was specifically said.
When he arrived at the changing room for their gym, he found Murasakibara sitting on the bench in front of his locker. His back to the door, Kuroko could see he had only changed into his pants. He was hunched over and shirtless, his jersey stretched to cover the back of his head and be held in bunches over his ears with hands propped up by the elbows on his knees. Kuroko could also see he was shaking.
Carefully and as quietly as always, Kuroko approached the obviously frightened teammate with a soft hand on his bare shoulder and an equally soft call of his family name. A loud roar ineffectively drowned out the sound, and Murasakibara jumped in his seat. For a moment, Kuroko didn't know if he had been the one to scare Murasakibara.
Murasakibara turned his head when Kuroko kept his hand on his shivering shoulder, and the smaller was shocked to see tears on the tips of his eyelashes. His voice far too timid for his usual self, he called out his nickname for the companion, "Kuro-chin...?"
A loud crash following too closely to the last made him jump again before he could get out the last syllable properly. He curled in on himself, away from Kuroko, and pushed the jersey fabric impossibly hard against his ears. A frown barely curled Kuroko's lips, and he reached out to try and console the boy who looked far too small in such a state. Murasakibara didn't flinch back from his touch, and Kuroko knew it wasn't him who had scared the other a moment ago.
"Murasakibara-kun, are you afraid of thunder?" he asked softly, leaning in close to Murasakibara's ear to make sure he was heard through the ineffective blockade. Murasakibara did not answer, his stubborn silence broken with a whimper instead of words when a quieter rumble than the last permeated the air.
Kuroko did not ask any more questions, he merely moved to sit down next to his friend. Murasakibara had squeezed his eyes shut tight, as if that would help block out the existence of sound, so if he noticed Kuroko hadn't left yet he made no hint at such knowledge. Kuroko folded his hands in his lap, because he wasn't sure what to do in situations like these. He had never guessed that Murasakibara would be so deathly afraid of that part of a storm; or any part for that matter. So, with no knowledge of this matter to use to help, he merely waited beside the giant through two more loud strikes. Each one made Murasakibara curl tighter into himself and racked his body with shudders, as if he had been physically struck by a ten foot man and was afraid of being hit again.
By the third strike, he was folded practically in half and Kuroko was worried about whether he could even breathe right like that. He could not, and when the thunder rumbled away Kuroko could hear his breathing had turned into erratic wheezes induced by panic. Kuroko's eyebrows furrowed, and his frown deepend with concern. With a firm grip, he grabbed Murasakibara's left shoulder with his left hand and his right bicep with his right hand to force the tiny looking giant to sit upright again.
Murasakibara did not budge, only whimpered through his haze of what could barely be called breathing, until Kuroko spoke up next to his ear again. "It's only a sound, Murasakibara-kun. It cannot hurt you. Sit up straight, you can't breathe like this." It seemed the only reason Murasakibara had not moved was because he truly hadn't registered Kuroko was still there until he heard his voice again. He didn't sit up straight like asked, instead he only buried the right side of his head against Kuroko chest with another pathetic sound Kuroko already knew he would never tell anyone about for the sake of Murasakibara's pride.
"Murasakibara-kun..." Kuroko sighed anxiously. He knew the others must be wondering what's taking so long, but he couldn't do anything while the lilac coloured head of hair was trying to find safety and comfort in him. The hand on Murasakibara's shoulder moved to start rubbing his back, and the other moved to cover the much larger one still holding the shirt over his ear when another crescendo of thunder struck Murasakibara's very being. He could hear the giant's nickname for him being whimpered again. That's all Murasakibara seemed capable of at that moment, whimpering in the face of a grandiose boom.
Never had Murasakibara seemed more like a child than he did then.
Kuroko still had no idea what he should do, so he did the only thing he could. He held his friend tighter against his small frame and hoped that his scared but steady heartbeat would be enough to drown out the apparently terrifying thunder claps.
"Shhh, I'm right here. It's okay, really, Murasakibara-kun," he said, though he didn't know if he could be heard through heavy breathing and possible over-stimulus Murasakibara might be dealing with. His voice did seem to calm the boy in his arms though, and so he tried humming.
The vibration of the gentle tune in Kuroko's chest leaked through Murasakibara's sound-proofing attempt, this rumble being a welcome one. Though it took a few minutes, the scared boy was calming down rapidly. Kuroko could hear it hadn't stopped raining, and anticipated another crash of thunder. When it did come as expected, Murasakibara shook again, but was soothed by the unfaltering song radiating through the near-empty room.
Almost eight minutes passed like that before Kuroko got a text message. By then, Murasakibara's breaths were only shuddering, like he had been crying. Kuroko wondered if there would be a wet spot on his shirt if he peeled his friend away from his chest. He didn't try, instead removing his hand from the side of Murasakibara's head to take his cellphone out of his pocket and check the message.
Another clap, another hiss, and Kuroko kept humming.
The message was from Aomine, expressing his confusion as to what was taking them so long with a warning that they would be left behind if they didn't show up soon. Kuroko replied with one hand, typing out a message telling him they could go ahead and leave. He didn't bother answering the first question, instead hitting send with just that and returning his focus to Murasakibara.
When he did, it became apparent that Murasakibara had fallen asleep against him to the sound of his voice. Kuroko felt a wave of annoyance, but didn't bother waking him. It was better than seeing him that scared again. Kuroko never wanted to see Murasakibara so scared ever again.
That was the day Kuroko Tetsuya knew all of Murasakibara Atsushi's ironies.