First Games

Summary: Kuroko realizes that the convenience store he and Kagami are in is about to be held up. Kagami realizes that Kuroko has an incredible gift.

(This fic is set in an AU where Kuroko's hobby of people-watching has evolved into the ability to do Sherlock Scans and notice details that the majority of the world would overlook. His own moral code forces him to act when he sees something wrong happening, and the boatload of psychological issues he's been carrying since middle school have been twisted too, causing him to take dangerous risks and act self destructively at times)

"Kagami-kun. Please listen."

The tone that Kuroko used, more than his words, got Kagami's attention. He would have paid attention to what Kuroko was saying anyway. He and Kuroko were getting to be good friends, and he'd come to realize that the boy who'd promised to be his shadow and help him defeat the Generation of Miracles was grotesquely overlooked in day to day life, by the world at large. Kagami made it a point to hang out with Kuroko outside of school because it was clear the kid had no one, and Kagami intimidated most people to the point where he didn't really have anyone either. But if Kuroko was specifically asking for attention, he would obviously give it to him. But his tone was now urgent in a way Kagami had never heard Kuroko sound before. It was similar to the one Kuroko used when he had something important to say on the basketball court, but way more intense.

Immediately, Kagami's guard went up. "What's wrong?"

"The man in the black hoodie is about to hold up this convenience store with a fake gun. Please go punch him in the face and stop him."

Kagami couldn't help it. He stared dumbly at Kuroko and tried to make sense of the words. "Sorry, Kuroko, my Japanese is rusty. I don't think I understood what you said right."

"The man in the black hoodie." Kuroko motioned toward him urgently. "He's a failed manga artist who's on the verge of being evicted from his apartment if he misses another payment, and he's about to try to rob this convenience store with a fake gun. So please go punch him in the face and stop him."

"Say that one more time," requested Kagami.

"There's no time!" Kuroko's expression changed as he tracked the guy he believed was about to rob the convenience store. The man had just started toward the registers, after the last customer in line had checked out, and Kuroko's expression changed to one that said he thought he was going to have to do this by himself. He, as well, started toward the registers.

Kagami didn't know what to do. On the one hand, Kuroko wasn't the kind of guy to fly off the handle and make something like this up. On the other, how could Kuroko possibly know any of that?

"Open the register! Give me all your money!"

Kagami gawked.

What Kuroko had just predicted was going to happen had just happened.

Behind the register, the cashier stood frozen. The gun that was trained on him looked very, very real. Kagami wouldn't put bets on it being fake. And Kagami knew what guns looked like. He'd grown up in America. He'd seen real guns before. Hell, he owned one, even though handguns were illegal in Japan. And if this one was fake, it was a very, very realistic fake.

"Please stop."

"Whah!" the robber jumped as Kuroko seemingly appeared right next to him out of nowhere.

"It's wrong to take other peoples' money," said Kuroko in his usual deadpan.

"Sh-shut up! Or I'll blow your brains out you stupid kid!" the man shouted, turning his gun on Kuroko.

"You won't," said Kuroko. "You can't. Your gun is an artist's replica."

"It's not a replica!" shouted the robber. "It's a real gun."

"It's not," Kuroko said.

"It is!"

"Then please shoot me."

By this time Kagami was grinding his teeth, but afraid to move forward with that very real looking gun aimed right at Kuroko's head. His heart was beating out of control and he just knew that he was going to have nightmares about this, whether Kuroko survived this or not.

The robber stood frozen except for his shaking hands, and shaking gun, which he still had pointed at Kuroko. He didn't shoot him, thank God, but you could see the desperation building in his eyes.

Kagami realized what the robber was going to do a second before he did it. He lunged forward, but he was too far away. The robber pistol whipped Kuroko across the face. Fake gun or not, it still seemed very solid, and Kuroko went down.


Kagami crashed into the would-be robber, slamming into him and knocking him right into a snack rack. Their momentum and combined weight toppled the snack rack, and the magazine rack on the other side of it. The gun fell from the robber's hand, and Kagami knocked it out of both their reach, then proceeded to lay into the man with his fists, pummeling him furiously, taking revenge for his shadow.

"You don't touch him! You don't point a fucking gun at him! Not my friend, you bastard!"

"Kagami-kun . . . I think that's enough, Kagami-kun."

Kuroko's voice snapped Kagami out of his rage. He looked up and saw Kuroko on his feet. He had his hand held to his forehead, over his right eye. Blood was dripping down his face, giving Kagmi an infuriatingly worried feeling of déjà vu.

When he looked down at the man he was pummeling, Kagami saw that the would-be robber seemed to have lost consciousness. Kagami made a disgusted noise and punched him once more before letting him fall to the floor. Then he stood and moved toward Kuroko.

"You're hurt."

"I'll be alright," said Kuroko.

"You're going to the hospital."

"I don't need –"

"That's the second time this month you've been hit in the head. You're getting checked out for it," growled Kagami. He tried to remember what Coach and Captain had done when this happened before. Then there was the extra factor of the robber to be taken into consideration. He turned to the convenience store's employee. "Call the police. Then get a first aid kit."

"I think the robber got off worse than I did," said Kuroko.

"He got off easy," Kagami growled. Nobody touched his friends and got off free.

They stuck around until the police came. Then they had to answer some questions. The security footage confirmed everything they told the two detectives had happened. The detectives watched it on the premises and made a copy of it for evidence to be used at trial. That should have been the end of their involvement, but after watching the security footage, the younger of the two detectives came back to address Kuroko.

"You were moving to intervene before that man pulled his gun."

Kagami and Kuroko had both left out the fact that Kuroko seemed to know beforehand what was going to happen. Kuroko had only told what happened after the man pulled the fake gun. Not that he'd known beforehand and tried to get Kagami to stop him before it could happen. Kagami hadn't revealed that either, since Kuroko hadn't. He'd planned on asking Kuroko about it later but it seemed he'd be getting his answers now.

"Yes. I was," deadpanned Kuroko.

"Why?" asked the detective, who'd introduced himself as Detective Yagami, seeming unphased by Kuroko's short answer.

"Because I knew he was going to pull out a fake gun."

"How could you have known that?" demanded Yagami's partner, one Detective Matsuda. "Unless you were an accomplice?"

"No," Kuroko said immediately, and Kagami only knew he was worried because he was starting to get to know Kuroko.

"If you confess everything you know –"

"Let the kid speak, Matsuda," Yagami cut him off. "Kuroko-kun, can you tell me how you knew what was going to happen?"

Kuroko stared at Yagami for a moment, his eyes intense. Then he spoke. "I realized that the suspect was an out of work manga artist on the verge of being evicted from his apartment if he missed another payment, and realized that he intended to rob the convenience store to try to prevent that. So, I wanted to stop him."

"How could you possibly know that unless you were in league –"

"Kuroko-kun, please tell us how you knew this," Yagami said, cutting his partner off again.

"His hands gave him away as a manga artist," said Kuroko. "He had pressure calluses on his right hand, in the right places for someone who spends a lot of time drawing, and a scrap of screen tone stuck to his wrist."

"A bit of a giveaway," Yagami agreed. "But very observant of you to notice. And how did you know he was about to be evicted?"

"His eviction notice was sticking out of his back pocket. I saw it. I read the visible part of it. That's all," said Kuroko.

"And the gun?" Yagami asked. "Or rather, the fake gun?"

"The sticker was stuck to his shoe."

"What sticker?" asked Matsuda.

"The one that comes with artist replicas of weapons," Yagami answered him. "They hasten things along a little bit when they're checked by security at customs, or conventions, or anywhere else they might be sold. You should know this, Matsuda."

His partner colored, clearly embarrassed.

"And you noticed all that?" asked Kagami, a little amazed. "And you put it together . . . that's how you knew?"

"I didn't do anything wrong," said Kuroko.

"No, you didn't," agreed Yagami.

"Actually, yes you did," growled Kagami. "What the hell were you thinking, confronting someone twice your size? Again?! At least there was only one this time, but still, do you have no self preservation at all?"

"I couldn't stand by and do nothing. That would have been wrong," said Kuroko.

Kagami grimaced. "That doesn't mean it's alright to confront a full grown man twice your size! Don't do that again!"

"I have the feeling you're the kind of person this is going to happen to again, Kuroko-kun," said Yagami.

Kagami glared at the detective. "Don't encourage him!"

Yagami gave Kagami an amused look, then handed a business card to Kuroko, who took it, his expression still blank, but Kagami sensed he was confused. Yagami must have sensed so too, because he explained, "In case you notice anything else."

(this fic is set in the same universe as the "Kuroko no Sherlock" oneshot, which is Chapter 3 of my oneshot collection fic, "A Different Side of Me,"
so if you liked this, please check that out too)

(Detective Yagami Light and Detective Matsuda have been borrowed from Death Note because they're convenient premade characters, and I fail at OCs. No Death Notes or incarnations of Kira will be appearing in this fic.)

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