(0_0)/ Hello! Thank you all for waiting! I made this chapter a little bit longer than normal because there was a lot I wanted to cover. Please review, I love reading them! Enjoy!
"Teiko Middle School basketball club. An incredibly strong team with over 100 members and three consecutive championship wins. Within their brilliant record, the generation of five prodigies was known as the 'Generation of Miracles.' However, there was a strange rumor concerning the Generation of Miracles. Despite being relatively unknown and lacking a game record, there were two more players recognized by the five prodigies. An all-rounder, and a phantom sixth man."
The first day of high school was going well for Kuroko Tetsuya. There he was, at a no-name school where he could mold the basketball team to fit his needs. He would topple the tower created by the Generation of Miracles and show them that teamwork does pay off, no matter what it took. And he would use Seirin's basketball club to do it.
The grounds outside the school were crowded with people looking to join one of the various clubs. Effectively invisible, Kuroko had managed to sway through the crowds and end up at the booth for the basketball club. He grinned to himself as he slipped the application form onto the table and took his leave- all without being noticed.
Good luck on your first day! Show those Miracles who's boss!
Thank you, Hinata-kun.
I will do my best.
The short text conversation he had shared with Hinata that morning replayed in Kuroko's mind like a broken record. The two had texted intermittently during the winter break, once Kuroko had finally mustered up the courage to do so. He was glad that he was able to salvage that friendship, although some topics still seemed to be taboo between the two boys. Topics like their former friends, for instance. Or their dwindling friendship during second year. Things like that remained in the no-no square.
They briefly touched on the subject when Hinata was made aware of Kuroko's plans to win the national tournament. Hinata supported the idea, saying that "those motherfuckers need a wake-up call," and wishing Kuroko (and Seirin) the best. Kuroko couldn't see Hinata's face during the conversation, but he believed it would have soured when he mentioned basketball.
Conversations with Hinata were a little bit awkward for Kuroko, despite Hinata's friendly and extroverted personality. It was like they were walking on eggshells, avoiding any of the topics they bonded over before. The tension did nothing to ease Kuroko's guilt over how he had treated the orange-haired ball of energy, and Kuroko wished he could just see Hinata face-to-face. Perhaps it would be easier to smooth things over if they were in the same room?
The problem with that was: another taboo subject of theirs appeared to be the location that Hinata had moved to in their third year. He kept that information close to his chest, like he didn't trust Kuroko with it. It irked Kuroko considerably, but he had no choice but to wait. Hinata would visit when he was ready.
And when Hinata did visit, Kuroko would be ready too.
"A high, high wall stands in front of me, blocking my way. I wonder what the view is like on the other side? What does it look like? The view from the summit… It's a view I will never be able to see alone. But if I'm not alone…"
May 12th, 2009 - 7:24 P.M.
Hinata-kun? This is Kuroko Tetsuya.
Kuroko? I see you got my present :)
I was wondering when you'd text
'Why is this guy at Karasuno?'
Shouyou's thoughts ran rampant as he gazed upon his newest enemy, Kageyama Tobio. Why was he there, in the gym at Shouyou's dream school? Didn't he have anywhere else to be? A stronger school, maybe?
Kageyama paused in his serve. "You're that guy from last year. I don't know your name."
Shouyou was taken aback. "M-my name is Hinata Shouyou! I doubt you even remember a team you beat in one game!"
"I fully remember you, you klutzy piece of shit!"
Oh no he didn't-
"D-don't you make fun of me! I won't lose next time!"
The argument between the two boys spiraled out of control. They didn't stop, not until the seniors walked in.
"You must be Kageyama."
'That must be the captain. He has this authoritative aura around him.'
Shouyou stared dumbly at the group as they ignored his presence in favor of his enemy. This scene was all too familiar, and it was making him angry. It was just like middle school all over again. Shouyou was not about to let that continue.
He would show them his value.
"Hey, it's you!" The guy with the shaved head shoved his finger so far into Shouyou's face. How rude. "The number 1 shorty!"
"Do you mean that the other applicant, Hinata, is you?"
The captain looked down at Shouyou's application, appraising it. He seemed to pause, then look up in shock.
"You went to Teiko Middle School?!"
If anyone asked, Shouyou would say that his first month at Karasuno went swimmingly. Sure, he got into a major fight with Kageyama on their first day which resulted in their temporary ban from the gym. But! They had a match against their seniors on that Saturday! Things were looking up!
Shouyou's classes were going well. He was in the preparatory class, but somehow the coursework seemed to be relatively easy for him. Was Teiko's curriculum really that advanced?
While the classes themselves weren't difficult, some of Shouyou's classmates were difficult instead. It seems that some of them were from the basketball team. And while Shouyou didn't think he made that much traction in the basketball world, his classmates seemed to differ. It didn't help that they had gone against each other in middle school.
These classmates of his weren't mad at Shouyou for their losses. They actually really liked him. A lot. Too much. Every chance they got, they attempted to recruit him for the basketball club. He would brush them off every time, say that he didn't play basketball anymore, that he preferred volleyball. But they just. kept. coming.
That's how Sugawara found out about his basketball background. The setter was teaching Shouyou how to receive during lunch, when a member of the basketball team approached him. He was an upperclassman, and he had a gift for Shouyou. Evidently, he had planned on bribing Shouyou in order to sway his decision not to join the team, but he too was brushed off.
Sugawara remained silent during the exchange, confident that Shouyou could manage on his own. He had a load of questions, but he would ask them at a better time. They needed to get Shouyou's receives up to snuff, and unnecessary drama didn't really help.
"Oi, Satsuki! Watch where you're going!"
Aomine's arm wrapped around Momoi and maneuvered her around the lamppost with ease. They were on their morning commute, and Aomine couldn't help but notice that Momoi seemed a little bit… quiet. Well, compared to how she normally was.
"Ah! Sorry, Dai-chan!"
Aomine waited for her to tell him what was wrong. She'd talk, eventually. She wasn't very good at keeping quiet.
He didn't have to wait long.
"Ah~. I was up late last night doing research. Since graduating middle school, I've had to start over completely in my search for Shou-chan. Gah! I was so close too!"
Aomine's gaze turned into a glare at the mention of his nickname. Hinata Shouyou. The kid who was average at everything, but could jump high. He was annoying, always overenthusiastic and easily offended. But Tetsu liked him, so Aomine put up with the kid. Why did Satsuki care so much about finding him? As far as Aomine knew, she wasn't close with Hinata. And it's not like he said anything before he left. Why was she suddenly so obsessed?
Women were confusing.
They were practicing outside. Teiko Middle School or not, Shouyou's receives sucked. Who could blame him? He was practically forced into the basketball club by an intimidating redhead and his former best friend. So he sucked at receiving. His new team knew this. He also sucked at spikes, but they didn't know that. And that was okay.
What wasn't okay was the tall ass blonde guy and his friend who decided to ruin their day.
"Wow, you're really practicing outside. Are you the first-years that made trouble on their first day?"
Damn that guy was tall. So tall, in fact, that Shouyou had to jump to reach the ball.
"G-give that back!"
The lamppost only held the ball higher. "Shouldn't elementary school kids be at home at this hour?"
Oh hell no.
"Who the hell are you guys?!"
"Are you the other first-years joining the club?"
After a small sidebar with his friend, the blonde spoke. "You're Kageyama from Kitagawa Daiichi. What's an elite player like you doing at Karasuno?"
Again. Why does everybody ignore Shouyou? It got old really fast. Confrontation seemed to be in order.
"OI! I'm here too!"
The blond blinked slowly, as if taking in Shouyou's appearance.
"Wait, aren't you from Teiko?"
"What are you doing here in the country, gracing our little school? Shouldn't you be at a school in Tokyo, playing basketball? You are a Miracle, aren't you?"
Kageyama looked over at Shouyou too, a question on his lips. And Shouyou wouldn't be lying if that was a question he didn't want to answer.
"Why did you leave basketball?"
Shouyou had only been answering that question for a couple years now. Mans was tired.
"Guys! Look, I found this old magazine that did a feature on Teiko's basketball team two years ago!"
Koganei's voice rang throughout the clubroom as he ran in, carrying a sports magazine. He set the magazine down on the nearest bench, where Hyuuga picked it up and began leafing through it. As he did so, the other seniors on the team gathered around to see.
"Huh? Kuroko, how come you're not in this feature?"
Kuroko's head popped out of the shirt he was putting on. He looked over to where they were gathered on the bench. "They forgot to interview me."
Everyone held looks of disbelief.
"Kuroko, you really struggle, hu-"
"Hey, who's that guy?"
All heads turned to see who Izuki was pointing at. It was a picture of a guy with wild orange hair. He was shorter than the others on the team, but he was smiling brightly.
"Huh, I don't remember hearing anything about that guy…"
Kuroko smiled fondly. "That's Hinata Shouyou. He played small forward, although he could sub for every position. We joined the first string together."
(Somewhere else in the world, Shouyou sneezed.)
"He was a regular?"
"What do you mean he could sub for every position?"
Kuroko was a little overwhelmed with the onslaught of questions. He paused for a moment to think.
"... I guess he was kind of like Kise, but a little different. He could copy the moves he saw, but only if he practiced them a lot. He just learned them quicker than most players. He could also copy some moves from the Generation of Miracles, which Kise couldn't do."
"... I think that's the longest we've ever heard you talk."
Hyuuga looked back at the magazine.
"How come we haven't heard of him?"
How much was Kuroko allowed to tell? Should he tell them that Hinata was pushed to the side by everyone, himself included? Should he tell them that Hinata never even wanted to be there? Eventually, Kuroko elected to tell them the truth.
"... he doesn't play basketball anymore. I don't think he ever wanted to play basketball either. I was the reason he joined."
Word Count: 1958