First Foot In The Door
Summary: Kuroko attends his first day of Teikou Middle School feeling like he'd already been there before. He's not entirely wrong. Canon Divergence like whoa, GoMxKuroko. AUish. Possibly OOC.
It was an endeavour doomed to fail from the start. Kuroko Tetsuya, while many things, was not discrete. While very sure the dream he'd had, while vivid, was still a dream, it was hard not to stare at vaguely familiar faces, his body moving in strange ways that belied his normal reactions, his presence smaller than normal and it was then he began to wonder.
Having been bumped into by Aomine on the walk into the school grounds, a murmured apology on his lips, he'd stood still and stared at the backs of Aomine and Momoi's heads, not even twitching as the dark skinned boy turned in a jerky motion, eyes scanning the crowd and completely bypassing Kuroko as he searched for who he had bumped into.
The déjà vu sensation was strong enough to make him sick as he traversed the opening ceremony with more grace than his roiling stomach suggested, book tucked away as he caught flashes of faces he knew he should remember but didn't know why.
Now that he was looking, he could pick out the most prominent – Murasakibara lazily walking through the crowd, people parting for him without protest, Midorima hunkered in a defensive position, nimble fingers wrapped tightly around a stuffed animal.
Kuroko had already lost Aomine to the crowd, but finding him was as easy as finding the splash of pink in a sea of black and brown and Kuroko wondered, once again, why he could pick names easily from his memory when this was his first day of attending Teikou Middle School.
He had been standing there, knowing there was something he had to do – he had yet to sign up for the basketball club after all, it was something he wanted to do, had done? – when he was bumped into once again and, all at once, there was deviance from what he had seen in his too vivid dream.
"Ah, my apologies," was murmured to him, graceful pale hands reaching at the same time as Kuroko to gather the spilled contents of his bag. "How curious, I didn't quite see you there."
Seeing Akashi Seijurou in the flesh, young and almost carefree was enough to make the breath catch in Kuroko's throat, almost knowing eyes lifting to meet his as the other middle schooler pushed books and paper alike into Kuroko's lax hands.
"I didn't mean to bump into you," Akashi offered his hand to help Kuroko stand as he lifted smoothly from his crouch. Kuroko didn't know how to deny him without being rude and curled his fingers over a delicate palm as carefully as one would touch a flower.
"That's alright," Kuroko found himself replying evenly, "I find it happens quite often." He made to withdraw his hand but Akashi closed his fingers in a vice like grip over his and Kuroko felt his pulse leap into his throat.
"How strange," Akashi replied, voice soft and face unreadable, "That you have very little presence. I feel as if I were to look away I would lose you to the crowd."
Please do, Kuroko thought. Out loud, he merely blinked, trying to calm his racing heart as he said, "That is often the case."
Akashi's eyes lit up with something that looked suspiciously like he was taking on a difficult challenge.
"My name is Akashi Seijurou. You are…?" His tone brokered no argument, and Kuroko was abruptly reminded of how commanding this unassuming looking person could be, how he could be overlooked for his short stature, his slight limbs, when inside he hid the power of a raging inferno.
"Kuroko Tetsuya," his lips felt numb but he kept his voice level, his face even, and let his hand fall back to his side when Akashi let him go, unnervingly bright eyes still on him.
He was sure Akashi would have continued questioning him if he let it get to that point but, thankfully, the modulated sound of someone speaking over the intercom allowed for distraction enough that Kuroko slipped into the crowd, bag clutched to his chest and heart hammering wildly.
Fervently, he was wishing that he was the kind of person to have kept a dream journal. If he had written this down while it was fresh in his mind, he could recall details and see if it truly was happening, or if he was just going crazy.
Having a dream that recounted nearly five solid years of life, day after day, wasn't normal after all.
Despite not remembering every exact detail, Kuroko knew this was different, almost instantly, the strangeness of it settling into the pit of his stomach like a deadweight.
Kise had never been diagonally in front of him, Kuroko's customary place by the window in an unassuming spot where he was hardly ever spotted.
More disconcerting was, after setting his bag down and leaning on elbow on the desk, there had been a prickling of sensation down his spine, and he had turned his head just in time to see Akashi drop fluidly into the desk next to his.
But, he reasoned quietly to himself, brow furrowing just slightly, this meant that the dream had no merit, right? True, he knew more people by name than he ought to but perhaps it was just some sort of freaky coincidence.
A tiny part of him mourned the loss of boisterous Aomine in his class, but he swallowed the disappointment and quietly counted the seconds it took for Akashi to notice him.
Four hundred and thirty two seconds later, Kuroko heard more than saw Akashi startle in the seat next to him, the weight of his eyes landing on Kuroko, who had his head ducked down, intently reading the book he had pulled from his bag.
Before Akashi could come to a decision, the teacher breezed into the room, dropping the binder they held onto the front desk and facing the class.
"Good morning everyone, and congratulations on your entry into Teikou! I'm going to do rollcall, and then we'll discuss how your first year at this school will be like!"
Kuroko drowned out the teacher, finding he could almost recite her speech word for word, pursing his lips at the absurdity of it all. When she called his name, he curtly replied, "Present," and wasn't at all surprised when she glazed right over him.
"Kuroko Tetsuya?" she called again, eyes scanning the classroom. "Is Kuroko Tetsuya present?" As she strode down the aisles, eyes flickering to the seating chart in her hand, Kuroko resisted the urge to sigh. When she called his name again, a scant foot from his desk, he cleared his throat.
The reaction was a little unexpected, a high pitched shriek and the swinging of her clipboard round, that very nearly crashed into the side of his head but, almost expertly, Kuroko leaned back in his seat and the clipboard 'swooshed' through the air in front of his face.
"Kuroko!" The teacher gasped, startled. "Next time, answer your name when called!"
Kuroko was content with nodding and eased back into his seat, eyes flickering to the side as he watched Akashi's expression twist strangely, as if the redhead was ready to stand in defence for him. They briefly made eye contact and Kuroko tried to keep a straight face as Akashi stared dead on at him.
"You've been sat there the entire time," Akashi commented, as if talking about the weather, his tone mild. "From before the teacher walked into the room."
"Yes," Kuroko replied, returning to his book, and thumbing the pages thoughtfully. He was close to the end and would have to get the next in the series soon, if he continued at this pace.
A glance at Akashi showed a thoughtful, if not slightly annoyed face, Akashi still staring at him. Kuroko acted as if he hadn't caught Akashi staring at him and instead focused on the paragraph before him, ignoring the prickling sensation on his skin.
Finally, and seemingly sacrificing his pride, Akashi asked, "How long – "
And before he could finish his question, Kuroko answered, voice quiet, "Just over seven minutes, I was sat here, before you noticed me, Akashi-san."
"You can call me Seijurou," came the immediate reply, and both boys looked shocked at the revelation, Kuroko sharply lifting his head and Akashi blinking a few times in surprise.
"Ah…" Kuroko began, feeling a little put on the spot. "A-Akashi-kun, perhaps?" he winced internally at the stutter, but his peace offering seemed snatched up easily, Akashi easing back into his seat and still intently watching the other boy.
"Then, what can I call you?"
Kuroko almost swallowed his tongue, sweat beading on the back of his neck. Eventually, he went with the ambiguous answer of, "Whatever you feel comfortable with, Akashi-kun."
"Tetsuya," Akashi replied immediately, and Kuroko had to fervently remind himself not to blush or show weakness or…or…but then the teacher was raising her voice again, to take command of the class and, as she waxed poetic about how much Teikou was all for winning, for success, Kuroko couldn't help but feel as if he'd fallen into some sort of trap.
Escaping Akashi during the lunch period was much easier than he expected. Kuroko almost had the feeling that Akashi had let him free but, after catching the frustrated glance the redhead gave his empty seat, he counted his escape attempt as a success.
Being sat on by Murasakibara was not an even trade off, however.
The bench had been secluded, empty, and Kuroko had heaved himself into with a put on sigh, feeling exhausted already by the day's events and because of waking up bleary from his dream.
Apparently, shortly after he'd chosen his seat, Murasakibara had also decided it was the perfect place to throw his large body on, not even hearing the squeak of breath leaving lungs as he tore open his recently acquired packet of snacks.
In fact, the only motion he made, aside from munching on crisps, was to swat at the annoying thing that was tickling his side. A few moments later he made the connection with a dull, "Ah," and realised what he had swatted was a hand.
Then, there was a muffled, "Please stand up, you're crushing me."
Murasakibara shuffled over several feet with great reluctance, lazy eyes drifting to the place he had recently been perched.
Kuroko clutching his bag tightly to his front tried to remember how to breathe and dolefully looked at Murasakibara who simply waved a dismissive, no doubt sticky hand, with a muttered, "Sorry, sorry. Didn't see you there."
Kuroko eyed him nervously, as if he were a wild animal, and then simply let his breath out in one big sigh, face impassive as he pulled his slightly squashed lunchbox from his bag, trying to ignore the loud crunching to his left.
"Ehhh, you're pretty tiny, huh?" Murasakibara finally said, in the middle of wiping greasy fingers on his slacks in order to get a better grip on the foil wrapping of his next snack.
Kuroko resolutely attempted to ignore him, offering quiet thanks for the meal and then picking at the meagre contents of his lunchbox. Despite the scarcity of the food available, he always filled up quickly and, when he was about to replace the lid, he was stopped by a larger hand covering his.
"Whoa, what's that there?"
Instead of explaining the contents of his lunchbox to a veritable stranger, Kuroko simply replied, deadpan, "Would you like the rest?"
It was a little alarming, the awestruck look he was given in return, large hands strangely delicate as they handled the plastic box and perused the insides.
Kuroko hadn't actually expected his offer to be accepted and just watched, almost alarmed, as Murasakibara made short work of his lunchbox, smacking his lips exaggeratedly as he finished it down to the last grain of rice.
"Oowah~ that was good!" Murasakibara declared, licking his fingers clean almost obscenely, before peering down at Kuroko.
"My name's Murasakibara Atsushi. That food was real tasty!"
"…Kuroko Tetsuya," Kuroko replied quietly, accepting the lunchbox back with a muffled thanks as to the apparent edibility of his food.
"Kuro-chin," Murasakibara declared promptly in return, before yawning widely and staggering himself to his feet. "Thanks for the food."
Kuroko just watched, feeling slightly bewildered and almost cheated, as Murasakibara stumbled away, scaring a group of smaller students as he wandered by, hand already digging into a newly opened bag of treats.
It was very difficult not to question the chocolate bar Murasakibara had very, very obviously left behind.
"You're very difficult to find," Akashi said to him over mathematics problems that afternoon. Teikou, being a school of great ambition, did very little to ease students in, even on their first day.
Kuroko felt the tiniest bit unnerved that he recognised the formulae needed for the set of questions, but worked through them as methodically as he could.
"It is a recurring problem, Akashi-kun," he blithely replied. "People tend to lose sight of me."
"So you've said." There was a strange curve to Akashi's mouth that Kuroko didn't want to question and, instead of answering, he flipped to the back of his book to double check his answers.
When Kuroko refused to give him an answer, Akashi just hummed thoughtfully and turned back to his own work. In front of Akashi, Kise was groaning at the sudden complexity of question six compared to the five before and Kuroko suddenly found himself hard pressed not to smile.
"Should we compare answers, Tetsuya?" Akashi asked after a few more moments, and, as if the word 'answer' was a trigger, Kise whipped around in his seat to face Akashi, face lighting up with hope.
"Compare with me too, huh? Please, please." Kise begged and then paused, blinking owlishly. "Wait, who were you going to compare with?"
"With Tetsuya," Akashi replied, cordial, charming smile in place, and when Kise squinted at him suspiciously Kuroko found it in himself to lift a hand slowly and mutter, "With me."
Kise's resulting screech was high pitched and reverberated loud enough to make Kuroko wince, the blond whirling on him in absolute fright and ignoring the teacher's call to him to be quiet, Kise-kun, please.
"Remember to breathe," Kuroko advised his screaming classmate and then, reluctantly yet agreeably, shuffled his desk together with Akashi's so they could look at each other's answers.
"W-Where - !"
"I have always been here," Kuroko interrupted, noting absently that, despite the fact he had achieved the correct answer for number seven, he'd used the wrong equation, and made a neat note in his book to rectify the matter.
"Fascinating," Akashi murmured, and Kuroko had the distinct feeling he wasn't talking about mathematics. Still, the quiet boy let Akashi lean in close to discuss answers and, when Kise had gotten over his shock, he scooted his chair around, notebook balanced on his knees to converse with them too.
Eventually, Kuroko said, "It wasn't my intention to frighten you, classmate-san."
"Eh, no, it's okay." Kise laughed sheepishly. "I didn't see you there, so, really, it was my fault!"
Kuroko blinked slowly at him and gave into the tug at the corner of his mouth, smiling quietly in return before he deadpanned, "Number four is completely wrong."
Kise startled, having seemed engrossed in something on Kuroko's face, and abruptly dropped his head to stare at his work, cheeks glowing pink in embarrassment.
After another silence, Kuroko decided to indulge, and quietly said, "My name is Kuroko, Kuroko Tetsuya."
"I am Akashi Seijurou," Akashi added, as if needing to assert himself in the conversation. "You're Kise Ryouta, am I correct?"
"Y-Yeah, how did you – ?"
"Unlike others, I paid attention during rollcall this morning," Akashi replied, a coy tilt to his head, eyes calculating. If it weren't for the fact he hated that gaze on himself, Kuroko might have interrupted. However, from the sidelines, it was almost funny to watch as Kise trembled just from a single look, doing his best impression of a scolded puppy.
"It's nice to meet you, Kise-san," Kuroko said quietly. "Numbers five to seven are also completely wrong."
"Eh?" Kise made a noise of despair, breaking eye contact with Akashi and looking like he'd just remembered how to breathe. "I don't like mathematics at all!"
"Please be quiet, Kise-san," Kuroko replied, trying not to sound annoyed.
"At least call me 'Kise-kun', huh?" Kise interrupted, immune to the blank stare on Kuroko's face.
"Kise-kun," Kuroko impassively responded. "We have fifteen minutes left of the class, and over half of your answers are incorrect."
Kise made a despairing noise, staring down at his notepad with a look of utter horror, fingers curled tightly around his pencil.
Kuroko turned back to his own workbook, comparing with Akashi's neat handwriting and, when satisfied, he made the final change in pen and thanked Akashi quietly, receiving an incline of Akashi's head in return.
"Kise-kun," Kuroko said quietly as he shuffled pages around on his desk. "If you bring your chair closer, I can show you where you've gone wrong."
Kise looked up with such delight on his face that it threw Kuroko a little off balance, the blond wailing, "Kurokocchi!" dramatically as he gathered his notebook and pencil case in one arm, free hand curling around the edge of his seat.
"Ryouta," Akashi very suddenly and sharply said just before the blond settled in. "I will help you instead. Tetsuya has far from perfected his numerical method and needs to refine his work."
"B-But…" Kise stammered, looking as if he was about to be thrown into the lion's den. "K-Kurokocchi already offered?"
"If Akashi-kun wants to help, I should let him," Kuroko said, not unkindly as he rearranged his desk again. "I'm certain he will be a better teacher than myself."
"I might die," Kise whispered to him dramatically as he dragged his chair reluctantly towards the other middle schooler, notebook clutched desperately to his chest.
The only indication Kuroko gave to hearing him was a heavier than needed exhalation through his nose.
"So you're trying out for basketball," Akashi said victoriously as he sidled into the space beside Kuroko, managing smugness without moving a facial muscle. Kuroko simply regarded him from the corner of his eye and then gazed out across the court, waiting for his name to be called for a team.
He bitterly and quietly recounted his dream, wondering if he was destined to be a third stringer at first or if he would get further in his real attempt.
Resolutely, he snapped his sweatband against his wrist and subconsciously straightened his back, watching from the corner of his eye as Akashi leaned back to appraise him fully.
"Ah," Kuroko found himself saying. "It's Murasakibara-kun."
The purple haired middle schooler had traipsed curiously into the gym in his gym clothes, arm still protectively curled around the bag of snacks he had with him as he lazily gazed about the gym.
Akashi turned to face the giant and Kuroko took that as the initiative to move several metres away before Akashi could focus on him again.
He wasn't running away, was just choosing a tactical retreat.
Observing Akashi's exasperated expression at realising the small boy had managed to escape again was almost humorous.
But then the captain, Nijimura Shouzou, and the head coach, Sanada Naoto, were stepping forward and rattling off names. Kuroko found himself in group C, of four groups A-D. From there, his team was to face group A in order for their abilities to be assessed.
It took Kuroko several minutes to get himself noticed, scaring both his team and the opposing team which he was surprised to see contained Midorima, stuffed bear settled safely on the bench at the side of the gym.
"Sorry," he apologised bluntly, feeling as he was regarded both with nervousness and then completely disregarded entirely as he was forgotten about.
Then it was the tip off, group A taking the ball almost immediately, passing with admirable dexterity before the ball reached Midorima, who, without a second thought took stance and, as spectators watched in awe, he launched the ball for a near perfect three pointer, the ball skimming the rim of the basket for just a split second before falling in.
The gym fell quietly before the whistle was blown, the score was changed accordingly, and the game continued.
From there on, team A continued to rack up the points faster than group C could catch up and Kuroko had yet to touch the ball. When it came to the next toss in, he caught the attention of his team with some, perhaps over exaggerated, arm movements and asked, voice serious and quiet, "Ah, if you get the chance, please pass the ball to me."
The other first years grunted dismissively at first but a person that Kuroko briefly registered as Haizaki cruelly said, "Don't lose the fucking ball," before gameplay was stared again.
Kuroko took in a deep breath and nodded to himself as they resumed positions, watching gameplay closely and, eyes scattering between the individual players before they focused on the ball as it crossed hands, was deflected from here, stolen from there, passed to someone else.
And then his moment came when one of his teammates was forced to pass the ball to him lest their team lose it and, without a second thought, Kuroko tossed it over his shoulder, straight into the hand of number six who promptly scored after both sides briefly froze in shock at the sudden trajectory of the basketball.
It continued that way for the rest of the quarter, Kuroko passing as easily as if it were breathing, almost as if he had done it before and had practiced incessantly for this moment when he couldn't previously remember when his passes had been so efficient.
Then came a moment that felt so close to déjà vu that Kuroko almost faltered, an almost straight clear line between himself and the far end of the court where another player was stood, ready to score upon receiving the ball.
Instinctively his stance shifted, hand lifting as he lowered his centre of gravity.
And, despite being entirely sure he had never done it before, the heel of his palm slammed into the ball with a viciousness he didn't know he could possess, the words, "Ignite Pass," falling from his lips as the ball was propelled across the court at a phenomenal speed.
The pass was so unexpected, so powerful, that despite the fact number ten had his hands out ready to catch, the ball smacked into his palms at high speed and spun off, to where it hit the wall and bounced down to the floor, the gym in a silence much more profound than the one where Midorima had scored as the ball rolled to a stop on the far side of the gym.
Kuroko scraped his wrist across his forehead, sweatband pulling away the moisture and, as he lowered his arm, Kuroko came to the realisation that he was very suddenly, and somehow, the centre of attention.
"Ah," Kuroko found himself saying. "Did I do something wrong?"
Right. So this is my first foray into Kuroko No Basuke. Unfortunately, I don't know how to curb my enthusiasm with shipping one person with many people.
So enjoy some OOC Teikou GoM and Kuroko interactions!
My apologies if I get their characterisations really, really awfully wrong.