Manga: Kuroko no Basuke
Creator: Fujimaki Tadatoshi
Chapter Forty-Two: Sugar and Spice
~ * 'You're beautiful and wonderful and sensual and a strong golden fawn, she says, followed by that was supposed to say "my best friend", but my phone… ' * ~ Emily Henry.
"Um… Taka?" Takao questioned softly, slowly peeking his head over the back of the couch, No.2 resting on his head as the two stared at the blue haired female. Said girl angrily punching a pillow into her floor.
"Are you sure you don't want to tell me what happened…?"
"I'd rather not." She said bluntly, taking the pillow and roughly throwing it against the wall before grabbing another pillow and screaming into it. Takao slowly nodding before dripping his head back down the back of the couch.
"Ah… Okay then…" He muttered, No.2 softly whimpering at his master's behavior. Something had 'definitely' happened in the park and Takara wasn't budging on what it was. If only he could ask No.2 what happened… With a sigh, the black haired male pulled the husky pup from his head and scratched him behind the ears, wondering if there was anything that he could really do to help his friend. Cause this Takara he was seeing right now was freaking him out a bit…
"Achoo!" Aomine suddenly sneezed, shocking himself out of his thought bubble and tumbling off of a couch with a loud 'Ow!' .
"Tch… Damn it!" He growled, rubbing his head as he lifted his head from the ground. Already wanting to to find and kill whoever had been thinking about him and causing the sneeze…
"You alright over there?" Naoki called from the other room, stepping into the living room with wet hair and a towel over his head. His brow arching when he saw his best friend lying on the floor of his living room.
"...Should I even ask?"
"Okay, I think I am good." Takara suddenly said, Takao quickly peeking back over the couch with No.2 balancing on his shoulder. The two noticing that she was taking deep breaths and her hair was messy, but seemed to be much, much calmer than before.
"I needed to let that out." She continued, picking up one of the pillows and fluffing it back up before tossing it onto the couch like nothing happened. Takao sweat dropping at the scene… With a hum of satisfaction after cleaning the rest of the living room, Takara stood up and walked around the couch to the kitchen, ready to finally cook something for dinner. All that punching made her hungrier than before.
"What are you going to make?" Takao soon asked, a grin appearing on his lips as he moved over to the kitchen counter, sitting down and watching her curiously as she pulled out a few different pots and bowls.
"I was thinking about making a curry." She said, Takao humming happily.
"Sounds good! I haven't had curry in forever!"
"Then it seems like the right choice to make." Takara told him, grabbing a bag of rice and setting up the rice cooker. No.2 sitting on the floor next to her ankles and watching her curiously as well. Hoping that he could maybe get a treat out of her being in the kitchen. With a small smile, Takara did exactly like the pup wished and gave him a small bone to chew on, the husky pup happily running into the living room to munch on his bone. Earning a low chuckle from Takao.
"You spoil him."
"If I spoiled him, he'd be fat."
"Ha, I guess that's true." He said with a grin.
"With all the food you cook around here, he would be fat if you fed him what you cooked all the time."
"Exactly why I try not too. But he is alway happy with a bone or a walk."
"That's true." The black haired said, leaning forward and pressing his chin over his folded arms. Watching his friend silently as she prepped to cook, his thoughts going back to earlier when he found her in the park, looking so lost and confused… What 'really' happened with Aomine Daiki, and why didn't she what to talk about it. With a soft groan, Takao buried his head into his arms and thought back to what had happened before he found her and only one thing could now be found floating around his head… Kise Ryouta was going to kill him.
"…Are you sure you don't want to tell me what happened tonight?" Naoki asked when he flopped on the other side of the couch, his best friend groaning in annoyance when the pink haired male kicked his feet off the cushions.
"There's nothing to talk about."
"I beg to differ." Naoki said with a scoff, opening up a water bottle and taking a sip as he finished drying off his hair.
"No offense, but you're really bad at hiding your emotions."
"That's also you're go to answer to everything."
"I will kill you-"
"You haven't moped around this much since the match with Taka." Naoki explained bluntly, seeing Aomine flinch at her name from the corner of his eye. His blue eyes narrowing suspiciously at the movement.
"…Did you see Taka?"
"…And what if I did?" Aomine growled, glaring over at his friend.
"It's not like Taka just belongs to 'you'." He continued, Naoki growling back.
"I never said she belonged to me-"
"Oh please, throughout middle school all you wanted was the team to know that she was 'your' girlfriend. You barely let her out of your sight, don't think it just pissed off the others, dude. She was my best friend first." Aomine snapped, his dark blue eyes glaring over at his best friend, the pink haired male not backing down.
"And you took her from me."
"Oh please." Naoki scoffed, leaning back on the couch.
"I didn't take her from anyone. She is the one who said yes to me asking her out. If you were all gonna be so pissed about it, maybe you should have asked her first. But did any of you? No. So this petty grudge you all seem to be holding against me is stupid and you all know it." Naoki growled, standing up from the couch and slamming his water bottle on the table.
"And for future reference, if you want Taka to trust you again. Or even want to look at you again; you better fix up your act. Because the others are beginning to move in." He said, about to walk away and head back into his room, only stopped when he felt Aomine gripping onto his wrist.
"What do you mean 'moving' in?"
"I mean, dipshit, that they are starting to make their moves. We all don't go to the same school anymore, I'm not around and neither is Akashi to keep the others from moving in on Taka. And Midorima seemed to be doing just that this evening."
"…What? Midorima?" Aomine began slowly, his brow arching at Naoki's words.
"Glasses boy is too chicken to do anything."
"Yeah, well, he went into a pastry shop and bought a small basket of sweets."
"Oh please, that could be for anyone."
"The only two people we know who love chocolate are Taka and Murasakibara. And I think you and I both know that Murasakibara would 'not' be the one receiving that gift." He explained, silence enveloping the two at the thought. Midorima wouldn't make a move. He couldn't. It was 'he' who made them all swear to never hurt their treasure or do anything to make her change her mind about the others.
"We aren't around each other anymore to keep an eye one another. All of us are separated, and none of us keep in contact and you know it. When was the last time you even spoke with Kise? Or Midorima?" Naoki demanded, his eyes narrowing when he heard the small growl coming from Aomine's throat.
"Exactly. You don't know. For all we know Taka could be with Midorima right this minute and who are we to tell him he can't?"
"He should know-"
"No, Daiki. He shouldn't have to do anything we say, not anymore. This isn't middle school, this is our reality and right now, you and I both don't have Taka anymore. We aren't the closest to her anymore and slowly but surely we are going to get pushed behind the others."
"Taka would never-"
"Would not what, Daiki? Forget us? Leave us? That already happened, but instead of her leaving us it was us leaving her." He snapped angrily, tugging his wrist out of Aomine's grip.
"Nothing is butterflies and rainbows. This isn't sugar, spice and everything nice. This is the harsh reality that we have created for ourselves and if it continues, we are going to lose her, for good." He shouted, taking deep breaths and having to step away from his best friend, Aomine's eyes already falling to the ground.
"I don't know about you, but no stuck up shooter and empty-headed blonde are going to keep me away from her. And neither are you." He said bluntly, running his hand through his bangs and allowing his blue eyes to linger.
"You may be my best friend, but you're the reason that I lost her. And for that I will never forgive you." Naoki told him, turning around and making his exit from the living room, Aomine slowly sinking his body back onto the couch and placing his head into his hands. Heavy and shaky breaths living him as he thought about what Naoki had told him… Neither of the males realizing that Satsuki had been leaning against the wall in the front hallway, her pink eyes wide and watery and her lips trembling at what she had heard.
'Naoki… Aomine…' She thought, having to cover her mouth to hold back her tears.
After dinner, Takao helped Takara clean up the kitchen and the two were now sitting on the couch playing with cards that he had brought from his place; No.2 still working on the bone that Takara had given him.
"You're really bad at this." Takao said with a smirk, laughing at her puffy cheeks.
"I'm getting better." She responding, pulling a new card from the deck.
"Eh, I guess." He agreed, laughing when she through a pillow at his face.
"Hey! That's cheating!" He shouted, moving the pillow away.
"You did that to see my cards!"
"No, I didn't." She said innocently, little devil horns resting on her head.
"You so did! Ooh, I'm going to get you!" Takao taunted, tossing his cards over his head and reaching over the other cards to get Takara, the blue haired girl giving a small squeak of surprise before moving out of the way and watching him fall into the cushions, a soft giggle leaving her lips. The black haired male hitting his fists against the pillows in anger of missing her, No.2 curiously staring down at him from the back of the couch.
"Have to be faster, Takao."
"Whatever! So mean, Taka." He whined, lifting his face from the pillows, earning another soft giggle from Takara. With her suddenly distracted, a sly smirk appeared on his lips and he reached out to her, grabbing onto her wrists and pulling her forward.
"A-ah!" She let out, falling on top of her friend and startling No.2, the husky pup dropping his bone in surprise. The small bone hitting Takao on top of the head, much to his bad luck and displeasure.
"You deserved that." Takara said, looking up at him from his chest, a bright blush spreading across his cheeks.
"N-no! I so didn't!"
"Don't 'Taka' me. You're the one who accused me of cheating."
"But you did!"
"Did not." She said, once again the little devil horns appeared on her head. Takao's eyes narrowing at her blatant lie, but a smirk soon appeared when he wrapped his arms around her waist and started to tickle her. The blue haired girl's eyes widening with alarm before small bits of laughter began to leave her lips, trying to, and failing, to get Takao to stop tickling her.
"T-Takao! S-stop!" She giggled, swatting at his hands.
"Nope! Not until you admit you were cheating!" He said with a grin, continuing to tickle her while she giggled in his arms. Neither noticing the sound of the front door opening…
"N-never!" Takara told him, reaching to his head and grabbing his hair.
"Hey! No hair grabbing! More cheating!"
"S-stop tickling m-me then!"
"Nope! This is too much fun!"
"If you don't want to lose your hands, I suggest you stop now." A angry voice snapped, the two friends immediately freezing in their play fight and turned to the entrance of the hall way where she saw both Satsuki and Midorima standing. The pink haired girl holding a hand over her lips with a blush and Midorima looking like he was ready to kill his partner… A nervous laugh leaving Takao's lips at the sight of the two Teikou veterans.
"Uh… Hi, Shin…"
10 Minutes Earlier…
With a heavy sigh, Midorima leaned his forehead against the stone gate pillar, softly banging his head against it as he stood outside of Takara's house. No longer sure if he should knock and visit her like he had wanted… He knew, much to his annoyance, that Takao was inside the house with his treasure, and he also knew that no matter how much he pushed, the black haired teen would stay put.
"Damn you, Takao." The green haired male cursed, stopping his bashing and adjusting his glasses. All he wanted was to spend some time with Takara and it always seems to be disrupted by his partner. A low growl leaving his lips as he remembered how much Takao loved to talk about the small Seirin girl. Tightening the grip on his gift, Midorima took another deep breath and decided to take the chance and walk up to the door. Deciding to knock out his friend if need be for alone time. But before he could open the gate to her house, he heard a small gasp to his left, glancing over his shoulder and blinking with surprise at who he saw.
"Satsuki." He greeted, the pink haired female nodding quickly and starting down at her shoes nervously.
"Midorin…" Satsuki greeted back softly, hiding herself in her scarf. She hadn't expected to see him at Takara's house… Though… After the conversation she had overheard from her brother and Aomine… She couldn't help but be surprised. I mean, he did buy a gift for her.
"Is that for Takara?" She asked, her pink eyes moving over to the red bag he held in his hand. A scoff leaving his lips, casually brushing his fingers through his bangs.
"It is. I decided to bring her some chocolates, she has been down lately." He said, wondering if she was here because Naoki had told her they had run into one another. But none the less, he liked the female Momoi much more than her brother and knew how close she was to Takara.
"She has?" Satsuki asked with surprise, not expecting that.
"But… But Takara is usually so lively!" She shouted, Midorima sweat dropping at her words. Were they talking about the same Takara?
"I will come with you to deliver them! I have to see her myself!" The pink haired female declared, grabbing onto Midorima's wrist and pulling him through the gate and up the stairs. The green haired male not enjoying being dragged…
"Satsuki! Hold on a second!" He called, sighing heavily when he knew he was being ignored, watching as she reached down to grab a key from inside a plant pot.
"Good! Still here!" She said happily, Midorima's eyes widening at the hiding spot.
"She has a spare key…?"
"She always has! Didn't you know? Everyone did!" Satsuki said casually, Midorima falling silent and into a black abyss. He had not…
"Well come on! I don't want her to feel down anymore!" She announced, pulling Midorima inside and quickly slipping off her shoes, her body stopping when she heard laughter from the other room. Blinking in confusion and letting go of Midorima's wrist, which he happily accepted back, the two made their way down the hall and peeked into the living room. Their eyes widening when they saw Takara sitting on top of Takao with the black haired male tickling her sides, the two laughing as they play fought. No.2 casually watching from the top of the couch.
"N-never!" Takara had suddenly said, reaching to his head and grabbing his hair.
"Hey! No hair grabbing! More cheating!"
"S-stop tickling m-me then!"
"Nope! This is too much fun!"
"If you don't want to lose your hands, I suggest you stop now." Midorima suddenly snapped, not happy to see the scene in front of him, the two friends immediately freezing in their play fight and turning to where he and Satsuki stood. The pink haired girl holding a hand over her lips with a blush and Midorima himself looking like he was ready to kill his partner… A nervous laugh leaving Takao's lips at the sight of the two Teikou veterans.
"Uh… Hi, Shin…"
"Shin, Satsuki." Takara greeted with surprise, sitting up from Takao's lap and gently brushing down her clothes of wrinkles, Takao continuing to chuckle nervously at the two harsh glares that were now pointed his direction. Dread filling him at their stares…
"S-Shin… What a pleasant surprise… And Momoi-chan as well…"
'I am so DEAD…' He couldn't help but think, Takara ignoring his inner conflict and moving over to her two friends. Not surprised to see them, but more surprised at the fact that they had arrived together.
"It's different to see the two of you together." She commented, Satsuki laughing nervously while Midorima adjusted his glasses with a frown.
"We saw one another outside, we arrived around the same time."
"Oh, I see." Takara said, giving a small smile to her friends.
"It's good to see you both." She said, both suddenly turning red at her smile. Takao chuckling as he watched the two with interest. Wondering how they would react to her words. After the lunch he had with the Momoi twins, he knew that the female of the two had a crush on the little blue spit fire, so he was curious to see how she would act around her. And with Shin… Well, he also just loved watching Shin get all flustered.
"Ta…Ta… TAKARA!" Satsuki squealed happily, pulling her best friend into her arms and rocking back and forth with a grin. Takara herself pressed into her friend's large chest, Midorima's cheeks growing even redder at the sight.
"I'VE MISSED YOU SO MUCH! I HATE BEING AWAY FROM YOU FOR SO LONG!" She cried, pressing the smaller girl more into her chest, Takara placing her hands on her friend's breasts to try and push away, instead earning a moan from the pink haired female. Both males twitching at the sound and growing redder and redder by the second…
"Satsuki, can't breathe."
"TAKARA WHY MUST WE ALWAYS BE APART?!"
"Satsuki, I really do need to breathe."
"CRAZY WOMAN LET HER BREATHE!" Midorima snapped, tugging the blue haired girl out of Satsuki's arms and into his own, Takara taking a thankful long breath of air now that she was free. Takao himself no longer able to control his laughter at the situation and falling back onto the couch.
"If you're going to hug her, try to at least not kill her!"
"Bu… But… WAH TAKARA I'M SORRY!" Satsuki cried, Midorima letting out an annoyed groan while Takara moved over to her best girl friend and gently patted the top of her head, the pink haired female looking up with watery eyes.
"It's okay, Satsuki. I'm sorry that I haven't called or texted lately. I have missed you as well. Can you forgive me?" She asked with a soft smile, the taller female sniffing with a nod and calmly pulling her friend into a hug.
"Aw, now isn't that cute?" Takao asked with a grin, leaning into his hand from the back of the couch. His dark eyes staring over at Midorima who watched the two in silence, Takao suddenly feeling a deep shiver run down his back and a dark, killing intent filling the room… Uh oh… Soon, the green haired male was standing in front of Takao, a twisted smirk resting upon his lips.
"I think it's time for us to talk about what you were doing with Takara when I arrived here." Midorima said, Takao's soul crying out in fear from inside of his body.
'NO! I DON'T WANT TO DIE YET! I HAVE SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR!' His mind cried, trying to escape from Midorima's hold, the taller male having grabbed the back of his shirt and began dragging him into the other hall, calling over his shoulder to tell Takara they would be in the guest room. Takao reaching out with tears streaming down his cheeks as he tried to get Takara's attention, Satsuki noticing him instead over her best friend's head.
"HELP. ME!" He mouthed in fear, his jaw dropping when Satsuki instead smirked darkly and wrapped her arms tighter around Takara's body, leaning her head against her blue locks and mouthing back "No. Chance." before sticking out her tongue. Takao stuttering as he tried to make out words and process what had happened…
"TRAITOR!" He mouthed back in anger as he gripped onto the walls of the hallway arch, glaring back at Satsuki who only continued to smirk at his misfortune.
"THIS MEANS WAR!" He vowed, crying out when Midorima's hand gripped the top of his head and pulled him into the hall, the two girls hearing the sound of a door slam and then silence.
'Hmph! Take that you stupid Hawk Eye! Takara is mine!' Satsuki thought, sticking out her tongue again like a child, not noticing that Takara was looking up at her with an arched brow. Wondering what her friend could be thinking about.
"Come on, Takara! Let's make some tea and chat! It's been a while since we've had some girl time!" Satsuki said happily, grabbing onto her friend's hands and bringing her over to the kitchen, her body soon freezing though at the smell of what sat on the stove…
"Oh, shoot. Sorry, Satsuki. There's curry here." Takara said softly, moving around her friend and bending down to grab some tubber ware to pack up the food.
"I forgot you can't stand the smell of curry."
"It… It's okay." The pink haired woman said, hiding her nose behind her jacket sleeve, now feeling bad that she had to make Takara put everything away…
"I still don't know why curry makes me so sick…"
"Don't worry about it. You're here as my guest and I want you to feel comfortable."
'Takara…' Satsuki thought in awe, a small smile appearing on her lips hidden from view. Oh… How much she loved this girl… Once the curry was safely in the fridge and Takara stood in front of the cabinet putting away her now clean dishes, Satsuki couldn't help but sneak up behind the blue haired girl and wrap her arms around her waist. A soft gasp of surprise squeaking out from between Takara's lips.
"Sorry, Takara. I just… I just wanted to hold you." She said truthfully, her voice deepening from her normal happy and quirky tone to a more mature and sensual one. Takara only having heard this voice when the two were at the hot springs a few months back when she had… A small blush appearing on Takara's face as she remembered the kisses they shared, the sixteen year old glad that Satsuki couldn't see her face.
"Y-yes?" Takara softly responded, soon feeling relaxed within Satsuki's arms.
"Did you see Aomine tonight?" She asked, her arms tightening when she felt Takara flinch against her. Not happy to have felt her body react that way to her childhood friend's name…
"Did something happen?" She questioned next, hearing a shaky breath in return.
"Takara?" Satsuki started, hoping what had happened wasn't bad…
"He… It was strange." Takara began, reaching up with one hand and placing it onto Satsuki's arm, her eyes glancing away from her expression in the fridge's reflection.
"He apologized, for what happened at Nationals." She said, Satsuki's pink eyes widening at the news. He… What?
"He said that had never meant for me to get hurt and that he hated the suffering that it had caused… and how much he wished he could take it back… how he could take everything back…" Takara explained, feeling tears well up in her eyes at the memory.
"And… and… that was all I ever wanted…" She stuttered, giving a small hiccup as the tears started to slide down her cheeks…
"All I ever wanted was to hear those words… and now that I have… I don't know how to feel…" She said, lifting up both her hands to cover her eyes and feeling Satsuki's arms tightening around her once more.
"I want so badly to forgive him… And I knew that if we hadn't seen one another or played against one another since Teikou… If seeing him tonight was the first time since Nationals I would have… But now that we have continued to run into one another time and time again and I can see how much being Teikou's Ace has destroyed him… I just don't know if I can…" She admitted, finally being able to reveal how she truly felt about about her relationship with Aomine Daiki. It was what she had been trying to hide the most from her friends since Teikou, and she felt so much better admitting it. But at the same time… Satsuki was his childhood friend… Should she even feel this way? Is it okay to not know whether or not she could forgive him? Now she no longer knew…
"…Takara." Satsuki began, said female wincing at the harshness to her voice…
'I knew it… She is mad…' She thought, feeling more tears in her eyes.
'She's going to hate me…'
"I am going to say this once, so you better listen."
'Why am I such a horrible person…'
"I want you to promise me that you will never, ever, keep something that like to yourself again."
'I just need too- Wait, what?'
"What…?" Takara began brokenly, Satsuki sighing and twisting the blue haired female in her arms. Leaning her head on top of her friend's blue locks.
"Do you know how much it hurts me to see you in pain like this?" The taller girl questioned, her pink eyes narrowed as she slowly rubbed the back of Takara's head.
"Every day I would wonder how you truly felt, about everything. You would always tell me you were fine, that everything was okay and I would believe you. But then, you disappeared. You disappeared on everyone and we couldn't even find you during graduation. Do you know how scared I was? I thought you might have been in an accident, and when you didn't even answer your cell… What else could any of us think? You just… Vanished." She trailed off, Takara's grip on her back tightening when she heard how her best friend had felt.
'I did disappear… I went into the shadows…' She thought to herself, remembering the moment she decided to break away from the harsh light that the 'Generation of Miracles' had created. But back then… she didn't think about how it had effected the others, especially Satsuki… Sweet, innocent, Satsuki…
"…I'm sorry, I never meant to hurt you."
"I know. I know you didn't."
"I ended up putting you in the same category as the 'Generation of Miracles' themselves and you didn't deserve that… I shouldn't have hid away from you like I did the others… I am so sorry, Satsuki." Takara cried, wrapping her arms tighter around the pink haired female, not wanting to let go of her truest friend…
"Please forgive me."
"Takara… Please, stop crying…" Satsuki begged, feeling tears forming in her own eyes at the sight of her broken friend.
"I hate when you cry…" She cried, the two women holding onto one another as tightly as they could, wanting to know that the other was there and not going to disappear… Neither girl noticing that Takao and Midorima had returned for their own little 'chat' and were watching the girl's in silence. Takao placing his hand on his friend's shoulder, knowing that he himself couldn't stand to see Teikou's treasure cry like that… And sadly, it seemed that was the only thing Midorima had seen of her lately… Crying.
He was about to say some encouraging words to his best friend and partner, hoping to help him feel better, but his own words were interrupted when he ended up sneezing, and loudly. Satsuki and Takara freezing at the sound and an annoyed sigh leaving Midorima's lips. Of course something like this would happen. Silence echoed throughout the walls of the house and Takao couldn't help but sniff and wipe his nose after the sneeze, a frown on his lips.
"Sorry about that, Shin. I didn't mean too-"
"You…" A voice began, another deep shiver running down from Takao's spine.
"How dare you ruin my moment with Takaraaa." The voice continued, the black haired male turning around to see that Satsuki had somehow moved all the way from the kitchen and directly into his face, Takao crying out in fear at her expression and the killing intent that surrounded her…
"WAH! I'M SORRY!"
"YOU WILL PAY!" She shouted, Takao screaming and running out of the room with Satsuki hot at this heels, Takara blinking at the two and slowly glancing up at Midorima when he walked over to her side.
"Don't even ask." He said and she nodded, a low chuckle leaving her.
"I guess Satsuki does have a little spice to her." She said, Midorima's brow arching at her words.
"She always seemed the sweeter twin." He said, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Hmm. Yeah. Sugar, spice and everything nice. That's what girls are made of, right?" Takara recited, remembering the old quote and hearing a scoff from Midorima.
"She sure isn't 'everything nice' now." He said, another low chuckle being heard from Takara, the blue haired girl soon using her sleeve to wipe the rest of her tears from her eyes. Midorima's green eyes softening at her vulnerable form.
"I'm sorry you keep having to see me like this, Shin."
"No. You never have to apologize to me about how you feel." He said, gently rubbing his hand on her cheek. A small smile growing on his lips when she tilted her head into his hand, happy to know that she still felt comfortable around him. Maybe Naoki was wrong, but, he could never be too sure.
"Here, I brought you something." He said, reaching into pocket and pulling out the red bag of treats, smirking when her blue eyes sparkled at the sight.
"I thought that chocolates would make you feel better."
"I do love chocolate."
"I know." Taking the bag, Takara happily peeked inside and wrapped her arms around Midorima's waist, his cheeks heating up at her bold hug.
"Thank you, Shin. I love it." Although embarrassed, he wrapped his arms around the smaller female and sighed contently at the feeling of her in his arms. The green haired male twitching when he soon felt a new wave of thunder seeming to hit him in the back… The sharp shooter glaring over his shoulder at Satsuki and Takao, who were now glaring at him from the hall archway.
"Now I just need the tiger and I'll have a trio of idiots…" He said under his breath, not feeling the sudden twitch of Takara at the name 'tiger'… With a sigh, he let go of Takara and rubbed the top of her head before turning and walking over to the other two, Satsuki and Takao squealing in fear and running back into the hall, ignoring the calls Midorima sent their way. Once the three had vanished, Takara soon felt a new anger invading her chest… Her fists clenching at her side as Kagami's face started to dance within her mind. She may have thought of forgiving Aomine tonight, but that didn't mean her light would be getting the same treatment.
"…Is it just me or Takara just seem… Angry?" Koganei questioned the next day during practice, the others on the Seirin team all nodding slowly in agreement. Watching the blue haired girl throw one of the basketballs at the headboard, nodding contently when it slammed against it and roughly bounced back.
"And isn't that one of Kagami's favorite basketballs…?" Tsuchida asked next as he watched her go to fetch the beaten up ball, the group all shivering at the thought. Wondering if Takara was thinking that the ball was his 'head'…
"Nah, I don't think Takara is that mad at Kagami." Kiyoshi said with a smile, his smile slowly drooping when everyone watched Takara pull a sharpie from her pants and write 'Tiger' on the ball, angrily squeezing it between her hands with a dark aura surrounding her small figure…
"Or maybe she is…" He muttered with a gulp, backing away from the 'killing intent' that she was projecting along with the others.
"…" With a heavy sigh, Riko scratched the side of her head before blowing her whistle to call the team over for a huddle. After a few seconds the team surrounded their captain and she placed her hands on her hips.
"As you know, the Winter High is coming up quickly. A little too quickly…" She huffed, letting her brown orbs trail along each of her friends.
"Next week to be exact." Riko told them, all of their eyes widening at the news.
"WHAT?!" They all shouted, what she was expecting…
"I thought we had more time than that!"
"And Kagami isn't even back yet!"
"What are we gonna do?!"
"QUIET!" The brunette snapped, trying to reel her players back in.
"Like I said, the Winter Cup is next week and everything that we have been practicing for, will be decided during our first match." She said, a soft smile appearing on her lips when she saw how freaked out the boys were.
"But… I believe in you guys. You have all grown so much and I'm… I'm proud to be your coach." Riko led off, twitching back when she noticed that all the boys were starting to get emotional…
"WE KNEW YOU LOVED US!"
"DON'T MAKE ME TAKE EVERYTHING BACK!" She shouted, huffing with annoyance as the boys laughed together and started to make jokes. Seeming to go back to normal and no longer freaking out like before. Slowly, Riko let her eyes trail over to Takara and she was surprised to see the blue haired female looking down at the ground, her bangs covering her eyes. But what stumped her was that her body was trembling and her fists shaking against her legs…
'Takara?' Riko thought with worry, a frown appearing on her lips.
'One week… Just one week…' Takara though, swearing under her breath at the news. Even she herself had thought that she had more time… With everything that had been happening with the boys, she had lost track of time. And not only that, she had been avoiding the gym and park for almost two weeks.
'One week isn't enough to finish up my play… I'm not going to get it done. But I have to! I just have to! Especially if it's against Daiki.' She thought, a low growl leaving her lips at the thought of her old light.
'I'll just have to work harder. And without Kagami.' Takara vowed, pushing the image of her red haired partner to the back of her mind. If she only a week left and he still wasn't speaking with her, then she would not let him keep her from improving. It looked like she was all on her own… With a low sigh, Takara brushed her fingers through her bangs and let her eyes trail up to her coach, blinking when she saw Riko staring back at her with an arched brow.
"Alright boys, hit the showers." Riko told the others, her brown orbs moving back to Takara, who seemed to flinch back at the stare of her coach. It seemed that Riko wanted to talk and the Teikou veteran couldn't help but be nervous.
"Are you sure that you're alright?" Riko asked, crossing her arms as she stared at the blue haired girl, said female changing out of her practice clothes.
"I am fine." She said, the brunette rolling her eyes.
"Don't 'I am fine' me. You are not fine. Everyone knows that something is bothering you." She continued, Takara putting on her school uniform and placing her other clothes in the locker silently.
"Especially with how you were treating Kagami's ball." Riko finished, the locker door being shut at the end of her sentence. Silence enveloped the two females and Riko gently tapped her fingers along her arm, waiting for her smallest player to spill the beans. After a few more seconds of silence Takara sighed and brushed her bangs from her face, slowly letting her eyes lift from the floor.
"You really want to know what is bothering me?"
"I do. I know that there is something going on that isn't just Kagami related."
"Come on, Takara. I may be your coach, but I'm also you're friend. I thought you would have figured that after that night at Lotus." Riko huffed, puffing her cheeks. Remembering the night that she was dragged into by the blue haired female and the busty manager of Touou. With another sigh, Takara turned around and let her blue eyes met the brown eyes of her couch. Her mouth opening up to explain that truly had been bothering her.
"WHAAATTTTT!" Riko screamed from the girl's locker room, all the Seirin boys jumping in shock in their own locker room as they changed back into their uniforms. Their eyes all shooting to the wall that separated both locker rooms from one another.
"What the hell was that?!"
"Was that coach…?"
"Did Takara tell her what's bothering her?!"
"…" Quick as lightening, the boys all shoved themselves up against the wall in hopes that they could hear what the two girls were talking about… If it caused Riko to scream 'that' loud then it must have been something good.
"And you just…"
"…Yes, coach." Takara deadpanned, watching as her coach fell to her knees in shock, her soul slowly fluttering through her lips. A sweat drop appearing behind the blue haired girl's head at the sight.
"Uh, coach…?" She called, the brunette quickie shooting up from the floor and racing over to Takara, her blue eyes widening in surprise when her back hit the lockers and Riko stared deeply, and creepily… into her face.
"When." She demanded. Takara blinking at her question.
"When did these happen?!" She demanded with a screech, fangs suddenly in her teeth and her eyes burning like fire. Takara blinking in confusion and slowly slipping down the lockers to get away from her crazed out coach.
"Kise was first. About two weeks ago in the park."
'Of course it would be the blonde.' Riko thought with a huff, waiting to hear more.
"Shin was next, he and Takao were over at my house-"
"Wait, Kazanari was there too?"
"Yes, the two had helped me after I fell into the river-"
"WAIT, WHAT?! TAKARA!"
"And than last night with Aomine, also in the park." Takara finished with a flicker of anger in her eyes, Riko's own eyes shooting open wide at the last name she said… Aomine… Daiki?! Loosening the tight drip on Takara's shoulders, Riko let her eyes once again find Takara's and it was then that she saw the hurt and confusion swirling around her sapphire orbs. With a sigh, Riko finally understood what was bothering Takara and pulled the younger girl into her arms. Feeling her friend twitch at the movement.
"Too bad, you're getting hugged." The brunette said, Takara slowly returning the hug and the two girls stood in silence. Riko's mind swirling with the information that she had just learned. She knew that Takara had almost felt different with Aomine than the others of the Generation of Miracles, so reason she still did not know, but that didn't mean she was never curious… She and the others always were… Letting out a soft sigh, the two girls continued to hug one another until a knock at the locker door spooked the two.
"Sorry, didn't mean to break this up." A male voice said, Takara's eyes widening along with Riko's at the sound, both girls turning to the door only to see a familiar pink haired male leaning against the opening of the locker room.
"Naoki." Takara greeted, Riko blushing that he had suddenly appeared.
"Taka." He greeted back with a smile, his blue orbs trailing over to Riko.
"Sorry, but I need to steal her for a bit." He said, the brunette narrowing her eyes at the Touou healer and keeping her arms around the blue haired female. Although she had seen that Naoki wasn't like his best friend Aomine, that didn't mean leaving the two of them alone after last night would make her comfortable. Noticing this, Naoki's own eyes narrowed and he pushed off from the wall, making his way over to the two girls, Takara's eyes not leaving him.
"Come on, Taka." Naoki called, offering his hand to his old friend.
"She just finished practice, I think she-"
"It's okay, Riko." Takara said, looking up at her coach.
"I'll go with Naoki." Riko was about to protest, but stopped when Takara gave her a small smile and accepting Naoki's hand, the pink haired male giving a final glare to the coach before leading Takara out of the female locker room. Riko, not wanting to stand for it, immediately left the room after them and was about to yell for him to stop, but was surprised to see the Seirin team outside the locker room also watching the two walk down the hall. The brunette seeing the team also looking on edge about letting her leave with the Touou first year.
"Do you think she'll be alright?" Hyuuga asked, the others not sure how to respond.
"I hope so." Riko answered softly, crossing her arms over her chest.
'Before I wouldn't have been so on edge about Takara going with him, but after seeing that strange look in his eyes… Something is definitely going on.' She thought, biting her lip and hoping that Takara would be all right…
Takara allowed Naoki to led her out of the Seirin school grounds, curious on where he had wanted to take her. I guess it didn't surprise her that he would want to speak with her next, especially since his twin had seen her the night before. But the only thing that was eating away at her was… How much did Naoki know about what happened? After ten minutes of silent walking, the two had arrived at the park near her house and the pink haired male gently led her over to the swing set, Takara sitting down on one with him at her side, both slowly swinging back and forth.
"Are you alright, Naoki?" She soon asked, hearing him chuckle at her question.
"After you're meeting with Aomine last night, you're asking if 'I'm' alright?"
"Yes?" She questioned slowly, Naoki continuing to chuckle at her as he held onto the metal chains of his swing.
"You never change." He said, Takara not sure whether it was insult or compliment.
"Although Aomine is my best friend, that doesn't mean it doesn't make me nervous when he is around you alone." Naoki admitted, Takara's eyes widening at his blatant honesty. He didn't trust his own best friend? That was… Strange.
"You two were so close during middle school, sometimes it made me jealous actually even though I was your boyfriend." He said, a low laugh leaving his lips.
"You both were like two peas in a pod and it seemed like nothing could separate you, but then, as we both know, second year started to change everything. He changed, and he became someone that even I could barely recognize. That was no longer my best friend, he was like the shadow of who my best friend was." He explained, Takara slightly flinching at him using the word 'shadow' in a negative light. Since she had been now seeing herself as one…
"When he broke your jaw, all I remember was wanting nothing more than to punch him myself, make him feel the same pain that he had caused you… And I almost did after you were taken away in the ambulance." He admitted, shutting his eyes when he heard a small gasp from Takara. He knew she would react that way…
"We fought, boy, we fought a lot after that. Our relationship was strained, it felt like it was broken and the only thing I do reject was how much it had hurt Satsuki to see us argue all the time. But, I always knew deep down that I wouldn't be able to forgive him for hurting you like he did, accident or not. It shouldn't have even been you to take that blow." He trailed off, scowling at the memory of that day and how Akashi Seijuro had acted, the slap, and the taunts. The pink haired male still unable to let it go and forgive his old captain for that day. Seeing this new side of Naoki was definitely a surprise to the little blue spitfire, he was always so calm, so put together, and so happy… Maybe she wasn't the only one who had been holding in so much…
"As much pain as I was put in by Daiki, I do know it was accident."
"For that, I am able to forgive, Daiki. But, I do not know if I will be able to forgive everything else. He destroyed so many people's love for basketball and I don't think I'll ever be able to forget the utterly broken expressions they would hold after their loss, their eyes empty of all hope and happiness… Looking like their souls had been drained of any love for the game… And how he never felt any remorse for those he crushed." Takara admitted, clenching her fists on top of her legs. Her thoughts trailing back to her old best friend and the heart breaking expression he wore when the 'Generation of Miracles' had demolished his team… Without even bating an eyelash…
"Even though this is how I feel, Naoki. I don't think you should not trust him."
"He may be this way now, but he hasn't always been. You of all people should know that fact." She said, Naoki flinching back at her comment.
"I still believe that with some help, Daiki can be pulled back out of his internal darkness. But he can't do that alone, I wasn't strong enough, but you are. You've known him almost his entire life, you have more power than you think. You and Satsuki are stronger than you both think." Takara said, unclenching her fists and standing up from the swing, Naoki's blue orbs blinking at the sudden movement.
"Thank you for coming to check on me, Naoki. It is always good to see you. But, I don't know if I can be around you right now." She admitted, his eyes widening with shock.
"What? Why?" He demanded, standing up himself and reaching out go grab her wrist, not wanting to let her go after hearing something like that.
"What are you saying, Taka?"
"I want you to believe in Daiki, it's what you should do. I can't stand the thought of someone giving up that easily on their best friend." She bluntly stated, gently pulling her wrist out of his hand.
"Everyone needs someone to be their light, and you are his. So you better start acting like it, because if you continue to act like this and push him away when something makes you mad, then he will forever be lost." Reaching up to touch his cheek, Takara gave a small smile and rubbed his cheek in farewell.
"Until we meet again on the court floor, Naoki. Think about what I said." She told him softly, sadly watching as he shut in eyes in pain of her words, his hand resting on top of hers. Not wanting to let her go… With a shaky breath, he opened up his eyes and glanced down into her blue ones, the truth settling in and that she wasn't going to let him just walk away from Aomine anymore.
"Until next week." He whispered, Takara nodding and giving his cheek one more rub before leaving the pink haired male alone at the swings. Her arms slowly wrapping around herself as she walked, a sad frown forming on her lips. Even though she had cared deeply for Naoki, she couldn't help but think about what Midorima said last night about Satsuki being the 'sweeter' twin. Takara herself had always though it was Naoki, but tonight only proved that even the kindest people could have a hidden darkness…
'If Satsuki is the sweet, then he is the spice.'
~ * 'Don't worry too much about sugar in the blood. Worry about spice on the tongue and salt in the heart.' * ~ Unknown.
End of 'Chapter Forty-Two: Sugar and Spice'
Next... 'Chapter Forty-Three: Chocolate Dreams'
Hello everyone! Cheshire here with the newest chapter! Hurray! I updated before a month! That's a start right? I'm getting better again! You guys have all seriously been so amazing and I love being able to write new chapters for you all! This story is still super near and dear to my heart and I definitely do not want to forget about it again fr so long! I've been in a writing kick lately, so this and a lot of my older stories have been getting lots of love and attention! ca't wait to start posting some of my other stories n here as well as update the old ones. It'll be fun!
Now! Onto the last chapter's reviews! It's really interesting to me because all of you are SO different and have so many different opinions and favorite characters! I love it! Almost no review is the same and that is just so cool to me! Sorry if that sounds at all weird to you guys... But yeah! Just wanted to say it and let you guys know that I really do read all your reviews and comments because you guys are so awesome and so supportive! Anyway! I hope all you Takao voters and fans were happy with this chapter since it once again got some Takao love, I really can't help but have him in so many chapters, I love him so much. So! Since the poll was in his favor, coming up in later chapters Takao will be getting a little 'special' for himself! I think it'll be fun! Hope you guys will enjoy that! Also, I have gotten some questions about what will happen with those who didn't win the poll, do not fret my friends! They are not forgotten! One of them will actually be getting an appearance in the next chapter, and I think with that title you all know who it could be ;) as well as which main character shall be returning. Mw ha ha.
I decided to write this chapter because I wanted to once again bring the Momoi twins back into Takara's life, it has been a while and I thought they deserved some love! Though... it seems that only Satsuki was on the receiving end of the love portion in this chapter. Poor poor Naoki. I don't mean to torture you my sweet little peach tree, I do it out of love. (And character development cough) Also, poor Aomine, not knowing how much Takara wished that pillow was your face. I hope you guys enjoyed the return of Seirin! Although it was short... But free not! They will be back to being main very very soon! Can't wait to play around with them again, my sweet little basketball babies. Also! As a quick note! Some of you may have picked up on some random little 'quirks' that each characters seem to have, Takao with his playing cards and knowing how to back flip, Midorima's closest pervert mentality, Kasamatsu's nervousness around pretty girls and Satsuki's hate for curry. Well! These facts can actually be found in the Kuroko no Basuke character bibles! Just fun little facts about our favorite characters that I just HAD to pull out and use myself! Hee hee, definitely can be fun and add to some great elements! Hope you enjoyed that little bit of knowledge! And now, onto the thank yous!
Thank you so so much to Sylvr Tyz, sakuramatchadesu, ticktock7, Tsukiyomi-Hio, Haruka-Lin-sama, Kay-ciii, absolute-right, Little Ms. Pumpkin, rrrrRANDOMmm, 0oo CagedBird oo0, Anime hotty lover.18, New Procrastination, AliceEverette, Lupa Altre, Littlest1, Kuroshiroyuu, TheVastEmptiness, EndlessChains, Lazyreader288, KChanDreams, yuki22hime, CinamonRolls, ENDragneel, , Hidden Berserker, Lorelei Jacques, and PrincessofMayhem! Seriously, you all are just so amazing! Thanks so much for al the love and support for 'Our Treasure'! Love love! Alrighty well I'll end it here and get working on those next chapters! Until next time!