"Kotone-chan! I'm thirsty~!" Kotone sighed and looked up. She was not at all surprised to see Hayama making his way over to her seat on the bleachers, a big grin on his face as usual. "Did you buy the waters I asked for~?"
Kotone nodded and reached into her bag pulling out a bottle of cold water and handing it to him. Much to her chagrin, Hayama just grabbed the bottle, opened it and started chugging.
"Wow, thanks Kotone-chan. You're great…" She sighed, underhandedly trying to get Hayama to thank her. Though the person in question just laughed and continued to drink his water.
Kotone was not at all bothered when Reo and Nebuya eventually wandered over in search of their drinks and started bickering with each other as per usual. It had been a few days since Reo had suggested that she become the manager. Although she hadn't accepted the proposition or even mentioned it to Akashi, she was starting to feel like she was. It had started with Reo giving her money to get him water while they practiced. Pretty soon Nebuya and Hayama had picked up the habit too. By now it felt like almost second nature for her to do so.
By now she was more seriously considering asking Akashi about becoming the manager. As of now, she practically was. The redhead hadn't said anything about the behavior of his players and even now as Kotone watched him he didn't seem to be fazed by the occurrence. He was just casually making shots from the free throw line even though it was still break time.
More and more watching them play basketball began to interest her. Especially when Akashi actually joined in instead of observing and critiquing from the side. By now she was watched long enough that she had picked up on all the various rules and fouls of the game. Not only that but she was getting a full appreciation for how good Akashi actually was. The other players were all hesitant to play with him if not flat out scared. Even Kotone could tell he was a formidable opponent. Grudgingly, she could admit he was truly extraordinary.
She was brought out of her thoughts by Reo waving a hand in front of her face. "What?" She lazily swatted his hand away before turning away from the court.
"Do you see something particularly interesting, Kotone-chan?" Kotone's face flushed a little bit. Although Reo was smiling angelically she knew exactly what he was insinuating.
"Not really." She muttered as she ducked her head and ignored the muffled peals of laughter coming from the regulars. Jesus, they were perceptive.
"Akashi-san, I did the last of page 16." Kotone slid her sheet over to Akashi and turned to stare out the window while he checked over the answers.
"Good." As usual, Kotone felt that twinge of satisfaction she always did when Akashi admitted her work was good, "So we've finished."
Kotone looked up, blinking back at him at this information, "What?"
"We have finished." Akashi glanced at her as he quietly pushed his chair back, "We only have the class discussion left."
Kotone quickly shuffled through the packet on her desk. He was right; every page of the packet had been completed. They were finally done with the packet. They were done with this crappy project that had taken a whopping month just to finish all the preparations for the discussion.
Kotone knew she should feel excited -exhilarated even - but she felt none of that. In fact as she watched Akashi pick up his things, cast her one last glance and start out the door, she couldn't help but feel disappointed.
Somewhere in the last month she had grown too accustomed to these quiet times after school. She hadn't really noticed until just now but she'd started to like, even look forward to, the quiet moments together. Though they didn't talk all that much, she didn't want it to end.
Kotone stood up quickly, the desk clattered as her legs slammed into it. But that wasn't her concern, what she was focused on was the red head turning to face her in the doorway. He had an impassive look on his face as always, almost as if he was expecting this to happen. She flushed slightly under that stare, it was as if he could see through her.
"What is it?"
Kotone opened her mouth to speak but closed it after she realized she didn't know what to say. She thought quickly, searching for something to keep him from leaving for the time being.
Suddenly, Reo's offer popped into her head. Right now as she had his full attention, this seemed the right time to speak up.
After a second she steeled her resolve and spoke, "I want to be the manager for the basketball team."
There was silence for a second as Akashi raised his eyebrows, obviously surprised by this news.
"Why?" Was his first question much to her surprise.
"Well, I was talking to Reo and he was saying he was tired of Hayama-san and Nebuya-san's pickiness. And I don't really mind that much, so I thought…" She trailed off, suddenly unsure if this is the right answer.
"Is that all?" Akashi's low voice prompted her to continue.
She sighed, and glanced anywhere but at him, "And also, I like watching practice. It's fun to see you guys play so I'd like to continue."
Akashi nodded at this, "That's acceptable. You can have the position."
"Eh?!" Kotone gaped at how easy it was to convince him. "That easily?"
"You have your freedom. If you want to pursue something then I won't stop you." Akashi leaned against the door, "However, there's a condition."
Kotone narrowed her eyes, a little wary now. "What is it?"
Akashi casually walked towards her, she backed up a little when he finally reached her. His eyes were slightly wide, almost crazed as he spoke. "You must complete every task to satisfaction. Or I will remove you from the team."
Kotone flinched a little at the severity in his voice, still she wasn't one to back down from a challenge. Especially not one posed by Akashi. She would do it. And she would give him no reason to doubt her competence ever again.