A/N: Thank you for all your reviews, faves and follows! Sorry for the late posting, I had totally lost my inspiration for this story.

Enjoy!


Chapter 34

...

"Shou! Step on the gas!" Yukio screeched. "We're already five minutes late!"

"I know!" Shouichi responded. "Kazunari, are there any patrol cars nearby?" He then asked. Tanaka wasn't there with them this time since he had decided to prepare for Tatsuya's arrival. So, Shouichi, Yukio, Kazunari and Kotarou decided to pick up the boy at the airport while Shige, Shuuzou, and Tetsuya stayed home to help Tanaka. All this was after the semi-final matches, which meant that Shouichi and Kotarou were still clothed in their sweaty jerseys.

Kazunari had been made to watch out for patrol cars so that Shouichi will know when to slow down since as of this moment, due to his excitement, he's exceeding the speed limit. Add to that, Yukio just barked at him to drive faster.

After some more minutes of taking shortcuts and going through traffic signals, the boys have finally reached the Tokyo International Airport.

"I spot him!" Kazunari shouted gripping onto his pair of binoculars. "He's right at the front entrance!"

"Yosh!" Kotarou cheered.

Kazunari then chuckled. "He looks so lost though. Poor thing." The others roared with laughter. Soon, the car reached at Tatsuya's feet, startling the black haired male.

Kotarou hopped out of the car so fast, Tatsuya couldn't react. The blond tackled the boy to the ground, screaming out his name. The others in the car only laughed at Kotarou's antics, but not long after, Tatsuya and Kotarou were heading to the car. Shouichi opened the trunk so that he could put his luggage in, after which he entered.

"Welcome back Tatsu!" Kotarou perked.

"Ah, it's good to be back." He laughed. "I'm so red with jealousy at you all playing street-ball that it makes my blood boil."

"Seriously?" Shouichi asked as he drove off.

"Of course!" Tatsuya replied. "So are there any competitions? I'll be staying with you until mid-August."

"WHOO!" the car was engulfed in manly shrieks, Shouichi had to step on the brakes to avoid any accident. Tanaka would kill him should anything happen to his car. But after they regained themselves, Yukio said,

"Inter-High is still going on. After the finals, then I guess they'll resume."

"How long until Inter-High ends?"

"A day. The finals and third place match are left and those are played on the same day." Kotarou answered. "Shouichi and I are in the finals. I wonder how he'll fare against Akashi, though." He then snickered.

"Obviously I'm going to be destroyed by your captain." He replied with an eye roll.

Tatsuya sighed. Kotarou usually complains to him about the redheaded boy as well. "Have faith in yourself, Shouichi. Akashi needs his ass to be kicked, right?"

"Yes he does, but I doubt that I'm the right one for the job." He let a chuckle.

The drive to the dorm continued with chatter and laughter and even singing. Everyone was just so happy that Tatsuya is finally back in Japan, which meant that until he leaves for Akita, street competitions are going to be on the top of their to-do lists.

Nearly an hour or so later, Shouichi pulled up in the driveway and the five boys exited from the car, Tatsuya and Kotarou hauling the luggage along. The moment they entered the house, Tatsuya was greeted with cheers. There was a banner which said "Welcome back Tatsuya!" and confetti raining down. The raven haired boy was deeply moved and upon seeing their happy faces, he almost broke out in tears of joy.

Before Tatsuya could even say anything more, Kotarou gave out, "Can we go to the street court? I wanna see Tatsu in action!"

"That's not a bad idea." Shuuzou agreed quickly. "Trust me; you're all in for a surprise."

"Hoh?" Shouichi smirked. "Well, how about a four-on-four? That should be fun."

With a smile, Tanaka only said, "Don't stay out too late until dinner gets cold."

"Hai!" they chirped. And with that, the eight boys dashed out of the house and to the street court two minutes away. Upon reaching the street court, they used a raffle to decide the teams. Each boy would draw a number either one or two. After that was done, Shouichi, Shige, Kotarou and Yukio were on one team ―Rim, while Fire consisted of Tatsuya, Shuuzou, Kazunari and Tetsuya. Of course the boys of Rim were upset at this combination, but they couldn't do anything about it since it was a lottery that decided their fate.

Their game began with Rim's ball, Yukio acting as the point guard. He ordered his teammates to get into place and not before long, they were all in an all-court man-to-man. Yukio made a chuckle, since he knew that Tetsuya was somewhere lurking about. It made no sense to try and find the boy, but he could faintly discern where he would be. Playing with the boy for so long, he knew some of Tetsuya's tendencies by heart.

He then looked in Shige's direction and made a nod to the centre. As if he could read Yukio's mind, Shige turned in his direction, seeming to prepare to receive the ball. Yukio made a bounce pass to the tall brunet, and he received it with ease.

Pivoting on his heel, Shige dashed towards the net, however, he was halted by Shuuzou who wore a devilish smirk. Shige halted in his tracks and glanced around for any available options. Shouichi was free, so swiftly he passed him the ball.

Or rather, tried to.

Without hitch, Tetsuya intercepted the pass and dashed to the other half of the street court with his teammates following. With a click of his tongue, Shige gave chase, but by the time he caught back Tetsuya, the light-blue haired boy passed the ball to Kazunari, who with his hawk eyes, made a no-look pass to Shuuzou.

The power forward grabbed the ball and sprinted to the net while Tetsuya and Kazunari lagged behind. Upon reaching the net, he jumped to make a shot, but Shige jumped as well for the block. With a smirk, Shuuzou slammed the ball against the backboard, causing it to ricochet back to the court into Tatsuya's direction.

The boy caught it with ease but he was then blocked by Shouichi. He dribbled the ball on the spot, before making a crossover to the left. Shouichi matched his movements as well, however, Tatsuya had faked.

He escaped Shouichi on his right, leaving the bespectacled teen in surprise. Shuuzou was grinning uncontrollably, as back in America, Tatsuya was famous for his realistic fakes. Breaking free of Shouichi, Tatsuya made the shot.

"Tatsuya...what was that?" Shouichi asked in shock.

"Back in America he was called the "Faking Bastard"." Shuuzou laughed.

"Shuuzou!" Tatsuya shouted at the boy.

"What?" the raven-haired teen asked with a shrug. "I'm just saying."

Yukio was not amused. "Restart guys! Let's get back our points!"

"Yeah!"

Shige retrieved the ball and gave it to Yukio while he and the others headed off to the other half of the small court. Yukio stayed at the top-of-the-circle, while Shige and Shouichi were at the left and right wings, Kotarou was in the paint.

Kazunari blocked Yukio's path, but even though Kazunari had the hawk-eyes, Yukio had more experience. With a smirk, Yukio made a crossover, which prompted the younger boy to follow. The moment Kazunari moved, Yukio made a bounce pass to Kotarou.

The blond caught the ball with ease, and made a pivot on his feet to face Shuuzou. He grinned, and maxed out his Lightning Dribble to five fingers. Upon hearing the loud dribble, Shuuzou knew what was coming. He still hadn't figured out a way to counter this obnoxious dribble, but he tried his best.

Sadly, Kotarou blitzed passed him but ended up driving directly into Tatsuya.

"Well, well, well," Kotarou started. "Let's see how much you have grown."

"Right back at you." Tatsuya smiled.

Breaking out a crossover, Kotarou used his infamous dribble in an attempt to pass the boy. Tatsuya knew he couldn't stop the boy while dribbling, but he knew that Kotarou can't dribble forever. As soon as he neared the net and jumped to make a shot, Tatsuya jumped as well from behind, in order to knock the ball from his hands.

However, Kotarou is far too agile to be stopped.

With swift movements, he made a pass to Shouichi who had run up when he saw the danger. Quickly, he made a shot and gave Kotarou a high-five. But their celebration didn't last long. Tatsuya got the ball and dribbled twice before passing it to Kazunari. Yukio came up for the block but at that moment, he made a pass behind him and the boys of Rim knew what was coming next.

Tetsuya.

Within a blink, the ball flew from the centre of the court, and straight to Shuuzou's hands. Laughing at how they were caught off guard, Shuuzou dunked the ball hard, seeming as though he wanted to rip the hoop from the backboard.

And so, back and forth the two teams went, caught in a heated match. For Fire, Kazunari and Tetsuya made a nasty duo, circulating the ball at a frightening pace. In addition to that, Tatsuya's fakes were so real that Rim had fallen into his traps many times. He was a severe pain in the ass, and Yukio nearly thought that he was cheating or something.

"Oh shit. Not only do they have a phantom, they have someone with perfect fakes, someone with the hawk eyes, and the ex-captain of the Generation of Miracles." Kotarou sighed. "How unfair is this?"

"I know, right?" Yukio agreed. "I demand a re-shuffle!"

So, a couple minutes later, they re-picked teams, and everyone was a little bit satisfied. This time, Rim had Yukio, Tetsuya, Kotarou and Tatsuya while Fire had Shouichi, Shige, Shuuzou and Kazunari. Neither of the boys complained, and without hitch, their match carried on with just as much intensity as the first (or probably more).

Like always, Tetsuya coordinated well with his teammates, driving the other team up the wall. At one point, Yukio was dribbling towards the net but when he was blocked by Kazunari, he quickly passed the ball to Tetsuya who with perfect precision, sent it to Tatsuya, which of course, left the raven-haired boy in awe. He's never met a basketball player with such frightening precision before, and was pretty upset that he'd be living in Akita. He'd love to stir up teams with Tetsuya.

Yukio, putting his experience to good use, made lots of shots and deterred his opponents. Add to that, he was extremely fast, so many times, although Kazunari knew what he was going to do next, Yukio was too fast for him to stop.

And of course, Kotarou.

His Lightning Dribble continued to annoy his opponents, and his many other dribbling techniques. And no matter how Shige or Shuuzou think that they got him cornered, especially when he's making a shot, he breaks out his Double Clutch and evades them with ease.

But, that didn't mean Fire couldn't stand up to them as well.

Kazunari's hawk-eyes never missed Tetsuya, and as such, the light-blue haired teen had to discard misdirection and rely on his newly developed skills. In addition, Kazunari's point guarding was incredible, Yukio and Shouichi praising him almost every time.

Shouichi's threes were becoming more and more dangerous, and at one point, both teams seemed to be locked into a shoot-out between him and Yukio. And knowing the latter's personality, Yukio wasn't going to stop until he emerged the victor.

Shige wasn't to be forgotten, as he did his best to hold up the defence. He did a pretty good job under net and as the centre, he made sure to halt Rim's offence on numerous occasions. What is more, he coordinated with Shuuzou, in an attempt to stop Tatsuya and Kotarou.

On that note, Shuuzou was relentless.

While Tatsuya knew of his play style since America, he still couldn't stop him nor could the others. His drives were fast, his dribbling was tricky, and his dunks were extremely powerful. Worse, Rim only had Tatsuya who had a suitable height, the others couldn't stop him whenever he was near the net and wanted to dunk. Every time the boys saw Shuuzou play, they knew that he was more than worthy of being the Miracles' captain.

Many minutes passed with the boys continuing their game, reshuffling as they went along. However, Shouichi's phone rang and when he saw that it was from Tanaka, they knew they had to stop since dinner would be ready. And from that very thought, all except Tatsuya were drooling uncontrollably.

"Guys, what's the matter? You can't be that hungry for you to be looking like starving beasts." Tatsuya said. He was really curious as to what Tanaka's cooking was like, as given their attitudes, it must be heavenly.

"Oh, Tatsu," Shuuzou said in pity as he placed a hand over his shoulder. "You'll soon understand."

Leaving the street court, RimFire dashed home and nearly ripped off the front door. As soon as they entered, a fragrance evoked their appetites, causing their stomachs to rumble violently. The aroma was bewitching, and even Tatsuya started to salivate. They walked briskly (more like sprinted) to the kitchen and were greeted with a table full of food.

Tanaka was sitting in his chair, awaiting their arrival. With a smile he said, "Itadakimasu."

Flying into their seats, RimFire took up their chopsticks and grinned, "Itadakimasu!"

The first thing that they aimed for was the meat. Each boy wanted to taste it, as it looked so tender and juicy and they couldn't resist its alluring fragrance. Taking a bite out of it, they shuddered with delight. The moment the meat passed their lips, there was a faint sweetness that blossomed in their mouths. Biting down, like a bomb that just exploded, the flavour of the meat engulfed their tongues, sending their taste buds into heaven.

Shouichi threw his head back on the chair, Tetsuya, Kazunari and Yukio looked enlightened, Shige trembled with excitement, Shuuzou looked a bit drunk with ecstasy, Kotarou tore up and Tatsuya...he couldn't believe the food before him. Never before has he ever tasted anything so profound.

"Ta-Tan-Tanaka-san," Tatsuya managed to call out.

"Hmm?" Tanaka looked up to meet the boy's sparkling eyes.

"How does this taste so good?"

Tanaka shrugged. "Because it's made by me."

Without another word, Tatsuya refocused on his dinner and joined in the battle. The other boys started to pick and choose from the other dishes on the table, and soon, fights started to break out.

Tatsuya was frightened at this, but remembered that humans have had a long history of creating serious wars over food, so this shouldn't be surprising. Plus, Tanaka's cooking isn't ordinary.

Trying to ignore RimFire's bickering and death threats, Tatsuya stretched to pick up a slice of meat that was left in one plate across from him. As he stretched for it and his chopsticks touched, he felt a murderous intent directed at him. When he looked up, he saw dark auras seeping out of his friends' bodies, and seeing Shuuzou's face made him yelp like a frightened animal.

"You're a dead man if you dare touch that meat..." Shuuzou snarled. Flinching back, Tatsuya withdrew his hand immediately, if anything he remembers from his time in America, it would be always listen to a pissed off Shuuzou.

But seeing how scared Tatsuya was, Tanaka decided to save him. He said to the boys, "You know, there's plenty more in the kitchen. You can get seconds and thirds."

With what seemed to be magic, their auras dissipated and they shooed Tatsuya, "You can have that then."

Tatsuya gawked at them in horror. This was unbelievable. Not too long ago, he thought that he was going to be killed and just like that, they returned to normal? It was almost like magic. However, Tanaka caught the look on Tatsuya's face and said,

"You'll eventually become like that too. Look at Shuuzou."

Tatsuya nodded his understanding. Whatever that was in this food was so intoxicating that it'll reduce smart, young men to this. Strangely, he couldn't wait to see what else was in store.

After dinner and they had washed up, Kotarou, Shuuzou and Tatsuya were in the living room, while Shouichi and Yukio headed up the stairs. Tetsuya, Shige and Kazunari had disappeared elsewhere, leaving Tatsuya to wonder what was happening. But not too long after, the two eldest teens returned behaving suspiciously. As if on cue, the young trio came, and they too, were behaving suspiciously.

Then…

"Welcome to RimFire!" they all screamed at him. Shouichi and Yukio held up his RimFire uniform, Tetsuya, Shige and Kazunari pulled a cake from behind them, which read "Let's burn up the courts, RimFire style!"

Yet again, joy overwhelmed Tatsuya and this time, he actually broke out into tears, frightening the others present. After he calmed down, they all embraced him in a bone crushing hug, and had him cut the cake first. Following that, as they ate cake, they played couple card games ―"Old Lady", "Go Fish" and "3-A Card".

Shuuzou was even evil enough to show Tatsuya the video of them and the tarantula, which had the raven-haired boy roaring with laughter and the others red with embarrassment. But then, they realized something:

"Guys, did the tarantula actually leave our yard?" Tetsuya asked. All eyes turned to look to Tanaka for an answer.

"Nah, I think it's somewhere out there in the grass." he replied with nonchalance.

RimFire immediately blanched.

"Boys, calm down. It won't hurt you if don't go looking for it." Tanaka tried to soothe. "As long as you go out and pretend as though it isn't lurking somewhere, you should be fine."

"I can't go out there! I might be killed by that beast!" Shige screeched. The others nodded in agreement. But for Tatsuya and Shuuzou, they were enjoying their reactions, as for teenage boys, they were behaving like four year olds who were afraid of the dark. They continued to argue about the spider, and were even cooking up strategies to enter and exit the house without going into the yard. It was quite funny, and Tatsuya could only watch with amusement.

"They are something else." he laughed to himself.


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