pika318: So after the chapters in Inter High School Camp, there were some people who wanted to know some more background on Kuroko and Akashi's circumstances. It look me a while to put everything down in writing, but here it is! This fic will be told from the point of view of Akashi's mother, the common point between Akashi and Kuroko. I hope everyone enjoys this.

One shot: A Tale of Two Mothers

She knew that her chances were slim, but when the judge announced his verdict, she was still thoroughly disappointed.

"The custody of Akashi Seijuuro will be awarded to Akashi Katsuo."

After the proceedings, she stood outside the courthouse, wondering what her next step should be, but came up with nothing. She had banked on the chance that the custody of the child would be automatically awarded to the mother upon divorce. However, the complications came when her former husband stepped in and proved that he was more than financially able, had ample resources, and expressed that he was more than willing to take care of their son. The courts had made an exception based on the fact that her former husband is rich and powerful.

Take care of Sei-chan? You just want to keep your heir. In the end, you're just going to have the servants take care of him instead.

She couldn't hide the despair on her face. How was her son going to react to the news that he couldn't live with her anymore? Especially after she made him so many promises that she would take him away from that house while comforting him as he cried after being punished by his father.

Thinking back to the punishments, she recalled how she had tried to accuse her former husband of child abuse during the court proceedings, only to be shot down by his lawyer, who somehow produced a report from a child protection officer, which said that there was no evidence of such a thing when the officer visited the house. Her protests had fallen on deaf ears, which lead to the final verdict.

Hearing footsteps behind her, she erased all traces of disappointment on her face and turned to face the person behind her. As she expected, it was her former husband, flanked by his lawyer.

"Did you come to gloat or something?" She asked, not hiding the venom in her voice. Her former husband did not react to her question at all. Instead he said,

"I hope you are aware of the rules of the Japanese society."

"What is that supposed to mean?" She asked, immediately on the defense.

"After a divorce, it is understood at the parent without the custody of the child no longer exists. On that note, it means that I don't expect you to see Seijuuro again. Please remember that."

"You-!" She started to say, but she was ignored once again as he walked off, having said what he needed to say. She could only stare daggers at his back as he walked down the courthouse stairs and into a waiting car. It was only after the car drove out of sight did she allow the tears to stream down her face.

The house was too big.

She gradually became aware of this fact as time passed after that trial. She had bought the house not long after she moved out because there was enough space for her son and herself. Now that her son could no longer live with her, there was too much space. Yet she couldn't bring herself to sell it and buy a smaller one, selling it meant she had accepted that her son was no longer coming back to her, and there was no way she would give up. She'll continue to find ways to get her son back, no matter how long it would take.

Ring ring!

She almost jumped up in fright as the sudden noise. Calming herself down, she made her way to the phone and picked it up.


"Madam, it's Mika."

"Huh? Mika? What are you calling for?" She asked, confused. Mika was one of the maids working at her former husband's estate.

"Erhm…" She could hear the nervousness in Mika's voice.

"Mika, what's wrong?"

"Young, young master wanted to talk to you…I'll pass the phone to him now, please wait a moment."

Before she could get over her initial surprise at what Mika said, she heard a very familiar voice over the phone, causing her to grip the handset tightly as she sank into the nearby sofa.


It was really her son, her Sei-chan. She was instantly flooded with happiness at hearing his voice.

"Mother, are you still listening?"

"I'm here. Are, are you alright?" She replied, her voice trembling slightly from the magnitude of the emotions she felt currently. There was happiness, as well as sadness, and guilt.

"I miss you." With those three words, she felt as if she had been thrown into hell.

"I miss you too." She admitted.

"Father told me that I can't see you again because you no longer have custody of me. But I can still call you, right?"

"Of course." She agreed. What else could she say?

And that was how she started having regular conversations with her son over the phone. Most of the time, they had ordinary conversations, with him telling her what he had been doing lately, and with her praising him over his achievements when her former husband did not. She always enjoyed these conversations and looked forward to this type of calls.

On very rare occasions, these calls made her feel worse instead, just like the one she was having right now.

"Sei-chan, please don't take what your father says seriously. They're not true."

"But I…" She heard him say in a broken voice. He had stopped crying some time ago, and she was trying to bring up his spirits.

Honestly, she wanted to rush to his side to comfort him. But being unable to do so, she could only do it like this, over the phone. Instantly, she felt a rush of sadness at the realization, but pushed it down. She can be depressed later, not now.

"They're not true. You can trust me on this, okay?" She said, forcing a cheerful and encouraging tone into her voice.

"Alright." Came the reply from the other end of the line. She then heard Mika's voice in the background, then her son said,

"I have to go now, I'll talk to you again soon."

"I'll look forward to it." She said, then the call ended.

It was only when she returned the telephone back to its place did she realise that her hands were shaking. Instead of the punishments like last time, her former husband had moved on to psychological hurt instead. Or maybe even a combination of both, she didn't know.

This can't go on.

She thought to herself. But confronting her former husband directly would only reveal that she had been communicating with her son, and she might not be able to talk to him again.

What should I do…

As usual, she had no answer.

The fateful call came two months after she started talking with her son over the phone.

When the phone first rang during the time when her son normally called, she had picked up the phone, fully expecting to hear her son's voice. Instead she heard the voice which she disliked the most.

"Did you forget what I told you at the courthouse?"

She drew in a sharp breath at the voice. Many thoughts ran through her mind. How did he find out? Did her son get into trouble over this? But she quickly calmed down. She would not back down now.

"I didn't. But that doesn't mean I have to listen to you. Just because it's not socially acceptable to keep in contact, doesn't mean that I can't do it. It's not as if I'm doing anything illegal." She said, feeling especially rebellious.

"It is now."

"What?" She asked, dumbfounded.

"I thought you might do something like this, so I prepared something beforehand. I didn't want to use it, but you leave me no choice. From now on, you are forbidden to have contact of any kind with Seijuuro."

"You can't just tell me what to do!" She shouted into the phone.

"Yes I can. You'll receive the court order soon. If you do not wish to get into trouble, I suggest you heed it."

"What… what right do you have to deprive a child of his mother? The court will never approve of it." She said, keeping her voice steady.

There was silence on the other end of the line. Then he spoke again,

"If you haven't realised it yet, it was your fault all of this happened in the first place. If you were more accepting, we would still be one family, but in your narrow-mindedness, you asked for a divorce and left the house, despite how reluctant Seijuuro was to see you go. You're the one who broke up this family and left him alone."

"You were the one making his life miserable! Why can't you just love him the way he is! He is already working so hard to please you, and yet-"

"Now that I think about it though, it's good that you decided to leave, you're being a bad influence on him. With you out of the way, I can concentrate on grooming him to be a proper successor. First things first though, I would have to remove whatever ideas you put into his head."

"Don't you dare hurt him anymore." She said, fully aware how empty her threat sounded.

"That is not for you to decide."

And the line went dead, leaving her to stare blankly down at the phone.

"Miyuki, you should stop drinking." One of her friends, Hana, said as the glass was pried gently out of her hand.

"Leave me alone… I feel miserable…" She said rather incoherently as she looked roughly in Hana's direction.

"Look… I know it's difficult time for you now, but drinking yourself silly isn't going to help you. Erhm, why don't you study the family law or civil law or something? Maybe there's something in there you can use against your ex-husband?" Hana suggested.

"Like that is going to help me any… I swear he bribed the judges or something, that despicable man…" She slurred, reaching out for her glass. Rather quickly, Hana moved the glass out of the way and quickly asked for the bill.

"I'm taking you home." Hana said firmly. "When you're more sober tomorrow, then we'll talk about the options which can help you."

Honestly, she felt like crap.

I should not have drunk so much last night.

She was lucky that Hana was a good enough friend to know when to stop her. The hangover was still there, but fortunately for her, it was a weekend, so she had the rest of the day to recover.

Ring ring

Her cell phone was too loud.

Ring ring Ring ring

In order to stop the sound, she felt for her phone and pressed the answer button, before dropping it back on the dresser beside her bed. For a while, there was only silence on the other end of the phone. Just when she expected the other party to hang up, she heard a voice which she had not heard in years.

"Miyuki, are you there?"

Making a grab for her phone, she spoke, unable to hide a surprise in her voice,

"Miyako?! Where have you been?"

"You just need to know that I'm alright. You don't have to worry."

"You left the house more than 10 years ago because of a guy and didn't return any of my calls. I don't even know if you received my new number when I texted it to you, and now you're telling me that I don't have to worry? Do you know how much our parents stressed over you-"

"Never mind that. Listen, I have a request." Miyako said hurriedly, cutting her off in the process.

"A request?" She repeated, wondering what her sister wanted.

"I need to go somewhere far away for a while. The problem is, I had to leave something behind. Can you go and help me take care of that? I'll mail you the address." Her sister, Miyako sounded even more anxious now, barely pausing in her sentences until she finished.

"Wait, what exactly is -", she started to ask. As she was halfway through her question, she suddenly heard the voice of another person in the background.

"Hey, are you done yet? Help me with this luggage. We need to get on the train already." The voice was deep, a man's voice.

"Miyako, who's that?" She asked.

"Just go to my old house later." Miyako said, and the call was suddenly cut off. As she was about the press the redial button, her phone vibrated again, and this time it was a message containing an address. After that, no matter how many times she called, she couldn't connect at all.

She didn't have any idea what her sister wanted her to take care of, but since her elusive sister actually called her about it, she assumed it was important.

Guess I have to find the answer for myself.

Pulling herself out of bed, she washed up, changed her clothes and went to the kitchen to get some hangover medicine. Once she felt better, she went to her car and drove her way to the address in the message.

One hour later, she reached her destination, a simple looking building which contained many small apartments.

Third floor, fifth unit…

Making her way to the apartment indicated in the address, she knocked on the door but there was no response.

Miyako did say she was going away, of course there won't be anyone in the house, maybe I should look for the landlord to open the door for me?

"Are you looking for my mother?"

Hearing the voice of a child, she looked around her, but found nothing.

"Over here."

Following the voice, she suddenly saw a child standing in front of her. She jumped back slightly, unable to suppress the yelp which escaped her throat.

"Sorry, did I startle you?" The child spoke once again.

"No, no, it's my fault for not noticing you." She said hurriedly, taking deep breaths to calm herself down. Then she noticed,

Wait, did he just say 'mother'?

"What's your name?" She asked the child.

"It's Tetsuya."

"Okay, Tetsuya… just now, you asked if I was looking for your mother?"

"Yes, she lived here with me, but I don't know where she is right now."

"Okay…" She answered. She thought about the sudden phone call, the address given by her sister, and the request. Suddenly, everything made sense.

"Would your mother's name happen to be Kuroko Miyako?"

The child's answer confirmed her suspicions.


Oh god.

The 'something' her sister had talked about was a 10 year old child. Without her knowing, she had become an aunt.

Almost immediately, she whipped out her cellphone and dialed her sister's number, putting the phone to her ear.

Pick up, pick up, pick up…

But no matter how much she prayed, she couldn't get through at all. She tried a few more times, but none of her attempts succeeded. Finally, she kept her cellphone in defeat.

She turned to face Tetsuya. He was still standing at the same spot where she first saw him, with the same expression on his face. He was staring at her though, as if he was waiting for her to do or say something.

She tried to think of something to say, but was filled with too many thoughts to sound them out coherently. Would introducing herself as his aunt be too sudden? How was she supposed to explain to him about his mother? Clearly, she had just up and abandoned him!

Just as she was frantically trying to organise her next plan of action, he suddenly spoke, as if to save her from her ordeal.

"Are you looking for my mother?" He asked, repeating the question from before. It was then she realised that she didn't actually answer his question directly.

"Yes… wait, no, not really." She answered. It was true that she really wanted to get in contact with her sister to demand answers from her, but in the first place, she had come here to take care of the business her sister had left behind, which would be Tetsuya, so technically, she was looking for him and not her sister.

In response to her conflicting answer, Tetsuya only looked confused, tilting his head slightly, as if he was asking, "So which one is it?"

Argh, I don't know either!

Just as she shouted this in her mind, she heard a voice behind her.

"Would you be related to Kuroko-san?"

Turning around, she saw an old man standing behind her. By Kuroko-san, he must be referring to her sister. Quickly, she answered,

"Uh…yes, I'm her sister. My name is Kuroko Miyuki. Nice to meet you." She bowed slightly. The old man bowed as well, speaking,

"I'm the landlord of this apartment, you can call me Tsujimoto." As he spoke, she noticed he looked rather troubled. He continued to speak.

"It's good that you're here. You see, when I checked my mail this morning, I found the keys to Kuroko-san's apartment in my mailbox. Taking the keys, I went into Kuroko-san's apartment, but she wasn't around, only Tetuya-kun was inside. When I asked him about the keys and his mother, all he did is show me this note here."

Tsujimoto passed her a piece of paper as he said this. Taking the note, it didn't take her very long to read the message on it. After all, it only consisted of two words.

I'm moving.

"I've been trying to contact Kuroko-san since then, but she's not picking up any of my calls. Since you're here, did she call you at all?"

She thought back to the call from her sister. When the call came, it was close to noon. Miyako must have left early, and judging from the call, Miyako only bothered to call her when she reached some train station. Unfortunately, the call did not last long enough for her to hear any hints about which train station Miyako was at.

"She called me about an hour ago." She answered. Immediately, Tsujimoto's back straightened attentively. "Did she tell you anything?"

"She told me she had to leave something behind and asked me to take care of it. It was only after I arrived did I realise it was actually…" She trailed off. Tsujimoto gave her a knowing look, discretely looking in the direction of the small boy.

"Did she tell you anything else?" Tsujimoto asked.

"Unfortunately, no." She answered, shaking her head.

He sighed. "I expected as much. She had always been…" he lowered his voice at this moment, making sure that only she could hear, "…an irresponsible mother. You know, even if she owed me rent, I always gave her chances because Tetsuya-kun is still so young. But instead of saving up money to take care of him, she's always playing around with other men, amongst other things. Now that she's gone, do you plan to take Tetsuya-kun in?"

She gave a look of surprise. Until now, she had been so preoccupied with contacting her sister that the thought of taking care of her son had not crossed her mind.

"I would like to do so, but at my age, it would be rather difficult for me. And I think he would rather stay with someone that he's actually related to." Tsujimoto said, strongly hinting at her to take up his proposal.

She glanced in Tetsuya's direction. He had made himself comfortable on the front steps of his apartment, reading a book. It seemed like he was waiting for the both of them to finish talking.

Her sister was gone, leaving Tetsuya, her nephew behind. He didn't have anywhere to go. She had a stable job, and was more than capable of supporting a child. In addition, she also had an extra room in her house, so it wouldn't take much effort to accommodate him.

In short, she had no reason to refuse the landlord's suggestion.

Now the issue is, would he be willing to come with me?

She moved towards Tetsuya, standing in front of him. As she approached, Tetsuya looked up from his book, watching her with a questioning look.

Bending her knees, she squatted down so she was at his eye level. Then she spoke,

"My name is Miyuki. I'm your aunt."

In response to her introduction, Tetsuya suddenly stood up and bowed, "Nice to meet you, Obaa-san."

Such a polite boy, kind of like Sei-chan.

When this thought came into her head, she immediately tried to get rid of it. She can't start comparing Tetsuya to her son, it would be unfair for Tetsuya. She will not take him in with the intention of seeing him as a replacement for her son who couldn't be at her side.

"Ah…it's nice to meet you too, Tetsuya." She replied distractedly, while trying to think of ways to break the bad news to him. However, as if he could read her thoughts, Tetsuya was the one who spoke first.

"My mother isn't coming back, is she?" He asked. His voice seemed calm, but she could see the sadness in his eyes.

"She… the thing is, Tsujimoto-san and I tried to call her and she isn't answering any of us. She might come back in the future, but for now… I think she won't be returning in the short term…about that, before she comes back, do you want to live with me instead?" She asked.

Tetsuya looked at her, clearly surprised. It was obvious that he had not expected her to offer at all. Suddenly, she found herself wondering what Tetsuya would have done if she hadn't come along. Would he continue to wait at his apartment until his mother returned? Or would he end up living with Tsujimoto-san instead?

Silence fell between them as the small boy processed her question. Even Tsujimoto seemed to be holding his breath. Eventually, he spoke.

"Are you really alright with me staying with you?" He asked, uncertainty in his voice.

"Of course I'm alright with it. I have an extra room in my house, you see. And Obaa-san here is really lonely living by myself. I could use some company." She answered with a smile.

"I see." He answered and looked back into his apartment. Seeing his actions, she asked.

"Do you want to get your things?"

"Yes." He answered.

"Do you need help?"

"It's alright. I can do it on my own." And with that, he turned and walked quickly into his apartment. From outside, she could hear the door opening and various sounds as he gathered up his things.

"Polite and independent, isn't he? Didn't have much of a choice, seeing that his mother neglected him a lot." Tsujimoto commented.

She didn't say anything, but patiently waited for Tetsuya to reappear. 15 minutes later, he was back, carrying a small bag.

"Is that all?" She asked, surprised at the bag's small size.

"Yes." He answered.

"I see…then since you're ready, I guess we better go." She said to Tetsuya. Then she turned to Tsujimoto, saying,

"Thank you for your help, I'll be taking Tetsuya now…and on behalf of my sister, I apologise for the trouble she has caused for you."

"No, there's no need to apologise, it's not your fault. Take care of Tetsuya-kun. If you have any troubles, you can come see me anytime." Tsujimoto said kindly.

"Thank you again." She bowed and at her side, she saw Tetsuya doing the same. After bidding Tsujimoto goodbye, she turned to Tetsuya and held out her hand. He looked surprised, but took her hand anyway. Holding his hand, she brought him to her car, beginning the journey back to her house.

The first few days were rather chaotic. After the initial scramble of getting all the extra supplies for a new addition into her home, both of them were trying to get used to each other. Even though they were supposed to be related, he was still so polite to her and didn't talk unless she spoke to him first. In order to appear from approachable to him, she had taken to calling him Tetsu-chan, and even though he had looked troubled the first time he heard his new nickname, he didn't object to it.

One of the first few things she noticed is that he didn't eat a lot, and no matter how much she tried to coax him into eating more, he wouldn't, or couldn't do it. Concerned about his health, she took him to the doctor.

"About your concerns, I believe that his poor appetite isn't due to any illness, so you don't have to worry about that." The doctor said. Having finished his examination of Tetsuya, the doctor had asked the nurse to bring Tetsuya out so he could talk to her alone.

"However, I suspect that there are other more serious reasons. You said that he only started to live with you recently?" The doctor asked.

"Yes, he was living with my sister before." She answered.

"I see. How should I put this? When I was examining him, I noticed that there were faint bruises on his body. From my experience, I have reason to suspect that your sister, meaning his mother, had been hitting him."

She drew in a breath. So not only was her sister neglecting his needs, she was physically abusing him as well?

"If that is how his mother treats him, it is possible that the cause of his poor appetite might be something psychological. For example, his mother might tell him that he's not worth anything, refuse to feed him a lot and might even get angry if he asks for more, so even if he is not living with his mother anymore, he might still fear the repercussions of eating the amount he should for a boy his age."

"Is there anything I can do?" She asked.

"The best medicine for this would be patience. You need to earn his trust. Once he knows that you won't harm him, perhaps he would be willing to eat more."

"I see. I'll try my best then."

"If the situation doesn't improve, perhaps you might want to get some vitamins and other supplements to make sure he's getting the nutrients he needs. I wish you all the best." The doctor said and showed her out.

Two weeks later, she was still spending quite a considerable amount of time trying to get him to eat more. She only partly succeeded though, but decided that it would be best to take it slowly.

I just need to be patient, he'll open up when it's time.

It happened during dinner time.

The two of them had been eating at the dinner table when he suddenly spoke.

"She really isn't coming back, is she?"

It took her quite a while to realise that the 'she' meant his mother. He continued to speak,

"When she was still around, she didn't care about me at all. I remember having to find my own food because she didn't bother getting any for me. I also remember thinking that it wouldn't make any difference if she was there or not. But now that she's gone, why does it hurt? It doesn't make any sense."

Because he had said this so suddenly, she had to take some time to even process what he had said, let alone react.

"It doesn't make any sense…" He repeated in a choked tone. That was when she realised that he was crying.

Immediately, she got off her chair and ran to the other side of the table, enveloping him in a hug.

"It's alright to feel hurt, Tetsu-chan. Just let it out." Now that she thought about it, any child would be crying if their parent had left them. It had just taken Tetsuya two weeks to show it.

"Did I do something wrong? Is that why she left?" She heard him ask softly.

"No, you didn't do anything wrong. In fact, you're the best child anyone could ask for." She answered.

"Then why?"

She didn't have any answer, so for a long while, she knelt there, letting him cry into her shoulder. When she felt him calm down, she said, "Obaa-san will always be here for you, so don't worry, okay?"

She felt him nod and gave a small smile in response.

After that episode, he was still polite to her and was still a quiet boy. But when she talked to him, he was more willing to give longer answers and give his own opinions, which was already a huge improvement from before. It was a major step in the strengthening of their bond.

Three years later

"Madam, it's Mika."

"Mika? It's been a while since you called, did something happen?" She asked worriedly. The only reason Mika would call would be because of Seijuuro. She hoped nothing bad happened this time.

"No, nothing bad happened. I just wanted to tell you that Young Master is entering Teikou Middle School in the new school semester."

"Teikou Middle School? That prestigious private school? Well…not that I'm expecting anything less, knowing him."

"Yes, that one. It's also well known for its national level basketball club. And just between you and me, I think Young Master wants to join it."

"Does he? I'm so happy!" She said, not bothering to hide her excitement. After all, she was the one who introduced him to basketball.

"I thought you would be." She heard Mika reply, and could imagine the maid smiling on the other end of the phone. "I need to go back to work now, Madam. If there's anything else, I'll call you again."

"Thank you for everything, Mika." She said gratefully. It was true that have Tetsuya around did alleviate her loneliness by a lot, but in the end, she would still want to hear some news about her son. Mika was her primary source of information for such a thing.

"It's nothing, Madam." Mika answered and hung up the phone.

Putting down her phone, she remembered the stack of papers on her table. Tetsuya had brought it back from school, saying that it was given by the teachers to help the parents choose a middle school for their children.

Just maybe…I might have enough funds to send him there as well…

Standing up, she walked up the stairs to Tetsuya's room and knocked on the door. After a while, the door opened, revealing her nephew.

"Obaa-san, do you need anything?" He asked.

"Tetsu-chan, what do you think about going to Teikou Middle School? I heard the basketball club there is really good. You might like it there."

pika318: And that's it! This sums up what I have thought about for Kuroko and Akashi's family circumstances. I think this might possibly be the longest KnB one shot I've written. I hope it was an enjoyable read for everyone.