A dark-haired youth walked down the tarmac sidewalk, humming a tune as he did so. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and he was glad that he didn't have weekend practice. It was just yesterday that they had lost to Seirin in the Inter-High Preliminary Final and honestly, none of the boys at Shutoku felt compelled to practice. After all, that wound is still fresh.
"Man, I wonder what Shin-chan's doing right now?" Yes, Takao Kazunari he was. He chuckled slightly as he remembered Midorima's face. To be honest, he was appalled at the shooter's reaction when they had lost, but more so, he was shocked at Kagami's freakish jumps. Never before has he seen anyone jumped high enough to stop Midorima. After all, the shooting guard is already tall to begin with.
It was when he had reached a cross-road that he heard a message come in. Pausing, he opened it up and saw that it was a notification from a site ―Seimei that he uses in his spare time. Apart from basketball, he really loved singing even though he does a little rapping sometimes. So, in his free time, he usually makes song covers and posts them there. When he read the message, his face lit up like a light-bulb.
"This would be so awesome!" he said with glee. But he deflated in an instant. "Where am I going to find four other persons willing to do this with me?"
Takao felt sullen. The message he got outlined a competition that in groups of five or more, persons are to do a cover of any song of their choice or an original piece. They may add dance moves to their performance; for those doing the cover, they may change the musical composition (but not too much that the song is unrecognizable). He really wanted to enter this competition, but he just couldn't think of anyone who would be willing do this.
He couldn't ask the third years as he knew that they would say something along the lines of:
"If you have time to even think about this, then you aren't practicing hard enough," that's what Otsubo would probably say.
"We can't help you. We have entrance exams to prepare for plus the Winter Tournament." That would probably be Kimura.
"Kimura! Give me a pineapple to knock some senses back into this boy!" Yep, Miyaji would definitely say and do that.
Sadly, there was no one that the hawk-eyed boy could ask. He then walked past Maji Burger and right at the window, he spotted Kagami with a ton load of burgers in front of him. His eyes then shifted across to spot Kuroko, who only had a milkshake sipping on.
An idea then popped into his head and he prayed that this will work…that they will agree. Without any further ado, he entered the establishment and swiftly took a seat beside Kuroko.
"Hello!" he greeted with a beaming smile.
"All right! Good work boys!" Riko's voice echoed inside the gym. As soon as she said this, there was a unison groan coming from the boys present. They all collapsed onto the floor, panting for air.
"Damn it," Kagami said seeming as though he was struggling to breathe. "We played two matches against two kings yesterday! How could she do this to us!?"
"Shh," Koganei said with a finger on his lips. "Be careful. She may hear you."
"I'm sore. I'm beat. I can't move. I feel like I'm going to get arthritis." Izuki groaned in agony. "How am I going to reach home? I can't walk."
The others nodded their agreement.
Soon after, they then managed to crawl their way to the locker rooms where they freshened up and each went their separate ways. But, as per usual, Kuroko and Kagami didn't. They always went home together, being that their houses are in the same direction.
Hearing Kagami's stomach growls, Kuroko then decided to go to Maji Burger, plus he absolutely loved their milkshakes. After walking and talking about nothing but basketball and the Generation of Miracles, the duo reached their destination. A grin formed on Kagami's face as inside wasn't as full as it usually was on weekdays, and this time, he won't have to join any long lines to be served.
Kuroko went to secure their seats by the window, the small teen loved to gaze outside whenever he feels like. It was a habit, he mused, but he loved it anyway.
After a few minutes, Kagami then arrived with his order and Kuroko's milkshake. They then continued their conversation from earlier, of course, it centring on basketball. They were so engrossed in their conversation that they hadn't noticed when someone had slipped in beside Kuroko.
"Hello!" he chirped.
Kagami promptly choked and proceeded to hit his chest.
"Takao-kun, what a surprise." Kuroko said, totally ignoring Kagami.
"I could say likewise." He grinned.
"Takao!" Kagami shouted in shock after he recovered from his coughing fit. "Where'd you come from?!"
"Outside." the hawk-eyed boy replied in a matter of factly.
"What brings you here?" Kuroko then asked. "Are you getting something to eat?"
"Ah, no." He said. "I'm here to ask you a favour."
The Light and Shadow pair exchanged glances with each other. Then Kagami spoke, "Please don't tell me it's something involving Midorima."
"No it's not." Takao said, waving his hands in dismissal. "It's actually ―"
The three boys turned around to see Kise and Kasamatsu heading towards them, each with their trays. Takao could have sworn that he heard Kuroko groaned in what seemed to be agony, and the look on Kagami's face was priceless. Do they hate Kise that much? But then, a bright idea entered his mind. He looked at the table. Kuroko, Kagami, Kise, Kasamatsu and himself.
He grinned. The gods are smiling down on me today!
"Umm, guys." he started without wasting any time. "I'd like to ask a favour."
"Huh? I thought it was just us." Kagami said. "You're involving that blond too?"
Takao nodded. "I know that I'm not close to you guys, but please, I want to enter this competition." he then took out his phone, and showed them the message. "But I need four other people to enter. Would you guys be willing to?"
"Well you're right about that. And..." Kasamatsu started as he read the message. "...this is a singing competition. Will ―" But he didn't get to finish his sentence.
"Of course!" Kise perked, totally cutting off his captain. "It'll be fun! I do karaoke all the time so this will be easy!" he then turned to Kasamatsu with pleading eyes. "Pwease, Senpai," he then batted his long lashes at the older boy. Kasamatsu inched away from the blond in disgust. "If you do this, I promise that I'll do anything you ask me to!"
This was a very good temptation for Kasamatsu which he'll never pass up. "Sure. It's a deal." He smirked. "Everyone here is a witness to this. You ought to remember this moment well." He sounded a bit threatening here.
"That just leaves the two of you." Takao said, looking in Kuroko and Kagami's direction. He put on a pleading face.
"Sure, I don't mind." Kuroko answered quickly. He had a feeling that Kagami would have declined. "And I'm pretty sure that Kagami-kun won't either. Don't you?"
"What?! I never said ―!" He never got to finish that sentence as Kuroko promptly jabbed him in his side. "You little bastard!"
"Kagami-kun says that he will." Kuroko said. But everyone there could see that the redhead hadn't indicated what he'll do.
"But, there's something bothering me," Kagami then said. "This is a singing competition, so can everyone here even sing?"
They were silenced.
They then looked around at each other, waiting for someone to say something.
"Well, my voice is okay, I guess." Kise shrugged. "It just doesn't have glass breaking capabilities."
"Same here." Kasamatsu added.
"I can say that I have a good voice." Takao said. "I just need some proper training, and I rap too."
"Same." Kuroko said. "But I don't rap."
"I rap. I don't sing." Kagami said. "Ever."
"Taking the easy way out Kagamicchi," Kise chuckled.
"Sh-shut up! I really can't sing!"
"Well with a voice as coarse as yours, I shouldn't have been surprised."
"You little shit!"
"Now that's decided, what will we do?" Kasamatsu asked as he took a bite of his burger. He totally ignored the two arguing idiots. "Just to let you know, I can't dance. I'm as stiff as a ply board."
"Oh, right, the message did say we could add dance and other things to the performance." Kise said while tapping his chin in thought.
"Why can't we just sing and get it over with?" Kagami then asked.
"You must be joking." The other four said in unison.
"We need to add spice to our performance!" Takao shouted with vigour. "I want to win!"
"I can help with that." Kuroko then said.
"How?" the others came out and said.
"My father is a dance instructor."
Cue the choking fits. The hacking continued for some minutes, Kuroko could only look at the choking boys; but for Takao, he was staring slack-jawed at the boy.
"What?" Kuroko asked seeing how much they were staring at him.
"Kurokocchi, you can dance?" Kise asked as he was the first to recover.
"Yes, is that so much of a surprise?"
"Of course! Don't you suck at everything that requires physical exertion?" Kagami asked.
Cue the spluttering fits. Kise and Kagami were the most shocked, Kasamatsu and Takao not so much, since they aren't around the boy like the two former. Kise had then tried to say something, but nothing would come out; Kagami just stared.
"So…" Kasamatsu started to get the atmosphere back to normal, "...how long have you been dancing for? And what kind of dance do you do?" he then asked Kuroko.
"Ever since I was little." He answered with nonchalance. "I can dance practically anything."
"Even b-boying? You can do those bone-breaking acrobatics and stuff?"
"Yes." He responded. "And they aren't bone-breaking. Anyone can do them if they're flexible enough." Kasamatsu could only look on at the boy in shock.
"But why do you lack stamina so much and you're a dancer?!" Kagami asked.
"Kagami-kun, I don't dance professionally. Obviously, I'm not going to have the stamina and energy needed."
"Well, then, enough of this." Takao then joined. "Why don't we go see your father, Tetsu-chan?!" he perked.
"Tetsu-chan?!" Kise then shrieked. "You've met him once before this and now you're calling him by a nickname? From his first name no less?!" his voice rose higher. "This is an outrage! I have my rights too! Kurokocchi, I demand that I call you Tetsucchi!"
Kuroko looked at him with a blank stare but for those who knew him, they could see a hint of annoyance hidden within. However, Kuroko didn't respond, instead he continued to sip on his milkshake, seeming to ignore the blond.
"Are you ignoring me, Kurokocchi?" he then whined.
"So after Kagami-kun finishes eating we'll go see Dad, then." He then said while looking in Kasamatsu's direction.
"You really are ignoring me!"
They had left Maji's right after Kagami had finished eating since he had the most burgers. But, in the meantime, they continued to discuss about the competition, brainstorming their choice of songs. Takao had suggested an upbeat song, but Kasamatsu quickly shot down that idea.
"We need a song that doesn't show us up." He had said. "Singing that song will be our downfall."
The others had ended up nodding in agreement. Once again, they started over, but none of the boys could think of something that has an upbeat tempo but at the same time with manageable vocals and if possible, a rap part for Kagami.
After some minutes, they were still empty handed. But due to them being so engrossed in trying to find a song, they had made it to the train station without even realizing. They could have taken the bus, but Kuroko insisted that the train would be easier.
"Ah, I didn't even know choosing a song would be this hard!" Takao whined when he had sat down. "Man, and I know that you can't think of choreography without knowing the music you'll be dancing to."
"Don't worry about it," Kagami said. "I'm sure we'll figure out something." At that time, Kise's phone rang out. But the ringtone that he used was a dubstep version of a popular song. That gave Kuroko an idea.
"Why don't we do a song with a beat like that, then?" he then asked.
"I mean a song with an electronic beat. Usually, the singers tend to sound monotonous like they're mimicking robots. That way, we won't have to hit any high notes, or do too much fancy dancing." Kuroko replied.
"That's right," Kasamatsu nodded. "An EDM song is perfect for amateurs like us."
"But the problem is which EDM song?" Takao asked.
After Kise was done with phone (it seemed that he was reading a message), he looked at the others with a grin on his face. Kagami shivered upon seeing Kise make a face such as that, but ignoring the action, the blond then said, "I have the perfect song, one that doesn't have too many insane high notes, and a rap part for Kagamicchi."
"Really?!" they all chorused, causing the other passengers to either jump in fright or stare at them menacingly.
"Of course, but I'll rather not play it here, people are staring." Kise said as he slumped into his seat.
"Right," After that, the boys endured the remainder of their journey in complete silence.
After minutes of riding the train, they dismounted before making their way to a beautiful building. It was about a five minute walk from the station, which the boys were glad for. The building had about four stories, painted in silver and black. The windows were all closed and covered with dark tints, and somehow, the boys felt as though they were about to enter a multi-million dollar business complex run by some scary tycoon.
Kuroko moved off, prompting the others follow behind him. When they entered through the revolving doors, the first thing that they noticed was that there were a lot of people scurrying about, some in office attire, some in what seemed to be casual attire.
"Seems like they're busy today." Kuroko said out loud as he looked about. He then walked up to the receptionist and with a simple greeting (even though she was frightened as she didn't notice him), Kuroko and company walked towards the elevator that was nestled to the left of the lobby.
When they entered, they exhaled a breath for some reason, Kuroko pushing the button for the third floor.
"But man, this is some place." Takao started. "Tetsu-chan, just where are we?"
"My father's dance studio." He replied with nonchalance.
"This entire place?!" they screeched.
Just then, the door opened and revealed a marble hallway with multiple doors along the stretch. Yet again, they followed Kuroko and after they passed four doors, they finally stopped at the fifth. It was a white door, with a golden plaque on it. What shocked them was that Kuroko's name was on the plaque.
Opening the door, they stumbled upon a handsome light-blue haired man who was sitting in a chair close to the left wall. He was dressed in black baggy pants and a grey sweatshirt.
"Hi, Dad." Kuroko greeted as he went to give him a hug.
"Tetsuya," the man grinned as he opened his arms to receive his son.
"His father doesn't look his age." Kasamatsu whispered. "Is he really his father and not some older brother?"
"I know right," Kise agreed. "He's so affectionate. Look at how long he's hugging Kurokocchi for."
Takao and Kagami could only nod as they gazed at the tall male. Just then, they saw Kuroko spun back around to face them before introducing them. Each time their name was called, they bowed and greeted him with a 'please to meet you'.
"You can call me Hikaru," he smiled at them. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
Kuroko then spoke, "We want to enter a competition but my friends here are all stiff as ply boards."
Hikaru chuckled at what he said. But, the man got the message as clear as day. "So when is this competition?"
"Exactly two weeks from now." Takao replied.
"Hmm, two weeks, huh?" he tapped his chin in thought. "And you're all stiff as ply boards." He continued, ignoring the embarrassed faces of the boys minus his son. "How long should this video be?"
"Two minutes minimum." Takao replied. He was sure as hell not to make this longer than that.
"Okay," he then clasped his hands together with a smile. "Have you decided on a song yet? I can't help you with choreography if you don't know which song you're going to sing."
"Yes we have!" Kise perked. He then whipped out his phone and played the track. They realized that the song really wasn't hard, and there was not that much of insane high notes. Even the note for the rap part seemed to match Kagami's voice perfectly.
"Kise, you are a life-saver." Takao said with a pat on the boy's shoulder.
"I have songs for every genre. If you need anything, you can always ask me." He smirked.
"Okay, I can imagine what you can do for your choreography. But that song was more than three minutes…where do you plan on cutting it off?" He asked.
"We haven't decided that yet." Kuroko said. "We actually have to both sing and dance in this video."
"Oh…I see." Hikaru then nodded his understanding. "Then, before I can actually help you with your performance, you have to tell me which parts of the song that you'll be doing."
"Yes Sir." They all said in unison.
"But for now, I'll have to loosen you up a bit." Here, he looked a bit evil, as within a moment's notice he snatched Kasamatsu and pulled him close. He examined Kasamatsu's muscles and tested his reflexes by simply kicking him in the knee, and jabbing him in his side. Seeing the jab, Kise and Kagami now realized where Kuroko got his habit from.
"See that door over there?" he then asked as he pointed to his left. The boys nodded. "There are some spare clothing there, you can go get changed."
At this, the boys looked at each other and then back at Hikaru. When he gave them a look, without hitch, they then dashed to what seemed to be a closet. Without even sorting through the clothes, they snatched up whatever they got their hands on and quickly changed. After they were done, Kuroko went in last and changed his clothing as well.
"Now that everyone's ready, let's begin!" Kagami and Kasamatsu inwardly groaned, thinking that he may be too chirpy doing this kind of a thing.
"Wait, what are we going to be doing?" Kise then asked.
"Basic stretches." He smiled. "I can tell that you lot aren't flexible at all and that's the first thing apart from stamina that you'll need in dancing."
"But if we're going to be doing an electronic song, why do we need to be flexible?" Kagami asked. "Won't we be mimicking robots or something?"
Hikaru sighed. He then turned to Kuroko, "Tetsuya, would you like to demonstrate why you'll need to be flexible?"
Kuroko made a smirk. "Hai."
He then walked away from the group, reaching in the middle of the room. Hikaru then took out his phone and found a dubstep track and played it. What happened next, floored the rest of the boys.
Kuroko stood normally but as soon as the music started, he smoothly slid his feet to the left seeming as though he was gliding on ice. Matching the beat, he then came to an abrupt stop, but suddenly started up again moving his entire body as though he was having muscle spasms. From his right foot, there seemed to be a ripple that travelled up to his chest and then to his arms. Following this, Kuroko then leaned forwards slightly after which he moved his arms in what seemed to be a wave-like motion.
When the track changed to this rhythm, Kuroko stopped the waving but used his chest to match that beat. As he was doing so, he twists his upper body in a way that mimicked a robot; his left hand was bent in a ninety degree angle upwards, his right hand was going downwards. He twists his lower body to align with his upper, his feet once again seeming as though he was gliding. But as he was about to make another move, his father stopped him.
"That's enough Tetsu-chan," he said as he clapped his hands together. He then turned to the rest of the boys. "Now do you see why you need to be flexible?"
"That's not being flexible," Kasamatsu said in awe. "That's not having bones."
"So true. Kurokocchi, where are your bones?" Kise asked. "They're still there right?"
Kuroko chuckled. "Of course they are."
"I don't think I can do that. Ever." Kagami said. "That looks extremely difficult!"
"You won't." Hikaru said. "It'll be impossible for you to be that good in two weeks."
They exhaled a relief. Hikaru nearly bust with laughter at seeing their expressions. But, he knew that these two weeks are going to get quite…frustrating. Hearing his son compare them to ply boards meant that they basically cannot dance. And he has to get them to be convincing in two weeks. He smirked at the challenge.
"Let's get down to business."
"Since it's a Saturday, I expect you guys back here tomorrow and Monday." Hikaru said as he looked at the panting boys on the floor before him. "And make sure you decide on which parts of the song you'll sing as quickly as possible. After that, you'll be practicing your choreography."
Hikaru then dismissed them and allowed Kuroko to show them where the showers and baths were. But since they had arrived completely empty-handed, they were provided with the necessities that they'll need.
After they were finished, they quickly got dressed and left the building. They took their own time walking back to the station, their legs trembling from the exhaustion. Their conversations were kept at a minimum due to the fact that they were exhausted.
Takao was actually counting his blessings, since earlier today he was at a loss at who he would have formed a group with to do this. But as luck would have it, he encountered these four boys; in addition, Kuroko's father is a dance instructor. Happy would be an understatement to describe how he feels. But then, he realized something. Isn't Kasamatsu a third year?
Takao then stopped the older teen.
"Thank you," he said. He realized that he may have been a bit too out of character and sudden.
"For what?" Kasamatsu asked. He was really perplexed at this, as why thank him and not the others too?
"It's just that you have university entrance exams to study for and here, you're doing this ―"
"Pfft!" Kise bust with laughter, as he was hearing their conversation. "Seriously, Takaocchi? Entrance exams?"
"What? Isn't he your captain?" the raven haired boy then asked. "Third years are supposed to be preparing for such right?"
This caused Kasamatsu to start chuckling as well. "I'm a second year." He laughed. "I'm pretty sure that I don't look that old."
"Eh?! A second year as captain?! How'd you manage to pull that off?!"
"Let's just say I have to atone for my sins." He looked a bit distant here. Realizing that this may be a touchy topic, they then left the argument as it is, and then made their way home.
When they had reached home, Kise had sent them the track, and they had to decide which parts they'll sing.
It was a given that the rap would be present, and thus, they decide to let each choose which parts they want to sing. Surprisingly, it had gone fairly smoothly.
And thus, the boys did as they were told. On Sunday, they showed up bright and early at the studio (they had to meet up first), and Hikaru once more 'loosened' them up. Kuroko was exempted from this, but while Hikaru handled this, he thought up of what they would do for their choreography.
But in the midst of that, Kuroko silently laughed at them. He couldn't break out into laughter, as he knows that Kagami would probably attack him, Kise will become a whiny mess…and that's two people he couldn't deal with.
For their exercises, all they were doing were simple stretches, but since they weren't use to it, they kept bawling out.
In one instant, when they were doing the 'ballet barre' stretch, he heard Kagami yelled, "It feels like I'm practicing to become a ballerina! My legs can't go any higher!"
"Is this really necessary?" Kasamatsu had asked.
What they had to do was place their hand (this time it was their left) on the barre. Then they had to lift their right legs onto the barre with their ankle resting on it with their toes pointed.
Kise and Takao took it a little bit better than the other two. Surprisingly.
When Monday came around (and for the rest of the week), it was the same routine; however, they didn't come in the morning as they had school to attend. They had arrived in the evening, and had gone through the drills that Hikaru had given them. He was starting to see the fruits of his labour, and hoped that they would be able to pull this off. But there was another thing that he was glad for, they seemed to be having fun. Minus the arguments between the blond and the redhead, they really were having fun.
But, before they went home, they decided to record their voices singing their song. They had all agreed to take minor voice training lessons (off the internet of course) to improve what they could. For a fact, they wouldn't sound mind-blowing, but they didn't want to sound too terrible.
Their session lasted for some time, since; singing together was proven to be one hell of a task. Kagami's deep voice was extremely rich and almost drowned out Kuroko's soft voice. Kise's voice was too high pitched, and he needed to tone it down most of the time, Takao and Kasamatsu were okay since they already are familiar with the workings of musical notes.
But, after minutes passed, they still couldn't get it together. They were out of tune with each other and it was then that Kagami actually had an idea.
"I don't need to sing, do I?" he said. "I can rap only. In the video, I can always lip sync."
At this, they had brightened at the idea, and it turns out, it actually sounded a little bit better than before. And so, with night falling and sleep creeping up on them, they decided that they'll do it better the next time. However, Takao had used a software to split the song into the parts that they wanted to sing, and then sent it to Kuroko so that his father could hear it.
When Tuesday came around, they continued with their practices, both dance wise and vocal wise, and while they were doing so, Hikaru was listening to the track that Takao had compiled.
It was now the weekend and this is where they start practicing their choreography along with improving their flexibility. Kuroko had reassured them that it's going to be fairly manageable, since they were doing a song with an electronic beat. However, when Hikaru and his team demonstrated it, they nearly fainted.
"Come on guys, this isn't that bad." Kuroko had said.
"Shut up! You can already dance!" Kagami roared. "How isn't that hard?!"
"But that doesn't mean I know the entire choreography. I have to learn it just like the rest of you."
"That's right," Kasamatsu said, "If you think about it Kagami, this really isn't that bad. If we hadn't chosen an EDM song, then that's where we'd be in deep shit. Why not leave the 'difficult' parts to Kuroko then?"
"Agreed." They all said in unison.
And thus, they began to practice.
Thank you for reading! Don't forget to leave a review! And yes, we made Yukio younger than canon. But nothing else about him has changed.