Disclaimer: The only thing I own is the story idea and only some of the witty remarks. I own so little; so please don't steal.
Background music: -
The fire truck screeched to a stop in front of the kindergarten. Kagami leapt out and scowled, his expression more frightening in the daylight. The children that had gathered around the truck quickly backed away at this terrifying fireman. He was slightly relived; he was terrible with children. The last time he had tried to save a child from a house that had begun to fill with thick black smoke, the child had been too afraid at his barking orders to come any closer and Himuro had to come gently coax the sobbing youngster out of the house. This whole job was right out of his element and he couldn't help frowning.
"Don't frown like that," Himuro said, smiling amusedly at him from the other side of the truck as he began getting the gas masks. Their station had gotten a frantic call from one of the teachers at the kindergarten of smelling gas and was told to evacuate the building. The colorful building with flowers taped to the windows now was silent and motionless, with a mass of kindergarteners crowded outside chattering and looking longingly at the sleek fire engine. "You'll frighten them."
"Shut up," Kagami muttered, suiting up. A little boy ventured forward, bravely daring to come closer to the fire engine. Kagami turned to him, about to say kindly that he should only look from afar, but the scowl on his face did the job for him and the boy scampered away squealing. "Shut up," he grumbled, when Himuro shot him a look.
The kindergarten was still lit, although the lack of children in such a friendly-looking place was eerie. Chairs were still scattered and papers were strewn across the place, indicating that the evacuation had been abrupt. Kagami was ready to begin searching the place, but Himuro calmly made his way to the kitchen.
"This is a kindergarten," he explained, as Kagami trailed after him sputtering about the rest of the building. "They would not let the children have access to the gas lines so I doubt that an accident could occur in that kind of central location." As they entered the kitchen, a cozy space with a stove and a neat little island in the middle, Himuro pinpointed the problem right away, pointing at the kettle on the stove. In the silence, Kagami could hear the sound of gas escaping. The knob was just pointed beyond its off setting; the perpetrator must have thought the stove was off as there was no flame, without knowing that gas was escaping still the same. Himuro switched the stove off.
"I'll check to see if there's any problems elsewhere. You go tell the teachers outside what happened." Kagami grimaced. This would make it a countless number of times Himuro saved his ass at work already. His personality was one that leapt right into things without really looking around, and he probably would have continued racing around the building as the gas kept leaking. Leaving in a huff, Kagami stormed back outside.
The teachers had somehow managed to corral the kindergarteners to sit peacefully in the shade, distracting them with word games and telling stories. Asking around (and putting on his most amiable face, although the kids still shied away), Kagami was able to find out that the teacher that had sounded the alarm was currently being questioned by a police officer that had showed up on the scene. The only police officer Kagami could spot was an equally unfriendly looking guy, dark-skinned with a perpetual frown, standing next to a tree and writing. He did not seem to be talking to anyone at the moment. Kagami figured it would be good to ask the officer where the teacher had gone so he could assure him it was all right.
The officer did not seem to notice Kagami coming closer. "What were you doing when you smelled the gas?" he asked to no one in particular.
"Excuse me," Kagami said, interrupting and getting a disgruntled look from the officer. "I was wondering if you knew where the teacher who called in the emergency was at."
"That would be me."
Kagami yelped and jumped away. A mild-looking young man had seemingly appeared in front of him in a sienna red apron. Suddenly the grumpy officer didn't seem to be talking to himself after all. Kagami clutched at his heart and vaguely heard the kids around him giggling at him. "Where did you come from?" he yelled despite himself.
"I was always here." The teacher stared at him with interest. He extended a hand. "My name is Kuroko Tetsuya. I'm one of the teachers at the kindergarten." He had an unassuming face, but his eyes were focused on Kagami.
Kagami took his hand after a moment and shook it briefly. "Kagami," he said, not knowing why he bothered to introduce himself to someone he would probably never see again. "Just wanted to tell you that the stove was leaking, that's all. Someone didn't turn it off all the way."
Kuroko's face, made for blank looks and poker expressions, fell. "No one should have been in the kitchen at the time…and none of the children are allowed to go into the kitchen without a teacher…"
The police officer made a disinterested sound. "We'll go question the other teachers," he said gruffly.
"Aomine…" Kagami didn't miss the hurt look Kuroko shot at the officer for a second. So it seemed this teacher knew the officer. It did not concern him. The officer annoyed him for some reason. Like repels like, he could almost hear Himuro say.
A couple of kindergarteners nearby had grouped around a little girl, who was looking sheepish with the demeanor Kagami knew well of someone who had done wrong. She came forward hesitantly, before reaching out and tugging weakly at Kuroko's apron. Kagami realized he was still holding Kuroko's hand when the teacher let go and knelt down to speak to her. Aomine the officer shot him a dirty look. "Sensei," the girl whimpered, looking close to crying. "To be honest…"
"What's wrong? You can tell me."
The girl stared at the ground guiltily. "I heard Koga-sensei say he wasn't really well…so…so I thought maybe…my mommy says that…when she feels bad, a cup of tea makes her feel better so…"
"I told Mimi-chan that we shouldn't be in the kitchen," her friend piped up, looking a little defensive for a four-year-old. "I told her we should ask a teacher before. When Koga-sensei called for us we just left but we made sure to turn the fire off…!"
"Just because the fire is off doesn't mean the gas doesn't come out," Kagami explained. A group of curious faces suddenly turned up at him. "I mean." Children and small dogs were the bane of his existence.
"Gas is what makes the fire appear on the stove," Kuroko explained, saving Kagami from a sure disaster. "But if you breathe in too much gas, you can get sick. The thing about the stove is, if you don't turn it off the entire way, even if the flame goes out, the fire can still come out and that's a bad thing." Mimi nodded tearfully. "It's okay. It was just a mistake. Just remember not to do that again without an adult, okay?"
Mimi ran off to confess to Koga-sensei, a cattish teacher who was currently being used as a jungle gym for several of the boys. Kuroko straightened up and bowed respectfully at Kagami and Aomine. "I apologize for the trouble," he said.
"It should be cleared up in a bit," Kagami said, turning away when Kuroko looked at him again. "I don't know if you want to send the kids home, but if not, I'd advise to leave the stove alone for the rest of the day."
"Thank you, mister firefighter." Kuroko turned to Aomine, who had stopped writing. "Do you need anything else for the police report?"
"I'm fine," Aomine said shortly, giving Kagami another angry look. Kagami did not know why the officer had such a beef with him. He had never spoken to the guy before. "If there's any problem, Midorima would be glad to deal with them. I doubt he really has anything to do anyway, the four-eyes. Having his clinic in the middle of a residential district." Kuroko nodded and Aomine turned back to the cruiser. "Take care of yourself, Tetsu."
Kagami wondered why he had not walked away before, after watching Aomine drive away and having Kuroko turn back at him attentively. "So," he started eloquently, looking everywhere else than Kuroko's face. The ninja teacher was somehow making him flustered for no good reason. "That's that, so…"
"Everything should be fine," Himuro broke in, walking up to them and grinning. "I opened all the windows so after about half an hour or so, the gas smell should be gone. There wasn't any other damages so the building should be safe for the rest of the day." He smiled at Kuroko, patting Kagami on the back. "I see you've met the resident grump. I apologize for him for scaring the children."
"He's no problem," Kuroko replied, before introducing himself. "I was actually wondering," he continued, glancing at the group of kindergarteners under the shade, who were all becoming restless, "if it was convenient for you, would you mind staying a while? I know this is sudden and I know you both probably have a lot to do, but it would be great if the children could look at your fire engine for a bit. I know a lot of them were interested." He quickly backtracked when neither of them answered. "Only if it was appropriate…I know it's probably a stupid request…"
"It should be okay," Himuro said after a moment, looking at Kagami. "It's only the two of us…and we can always go if they need us…oh I forgot, I'm the only one between us who likes children." He smirked when Kagami glared at him. "That's alright with us," he decided loudly. "Bring on the children."
"It was for your sake," Himuro insisted afterwards as they were driving back to the station and Kagami was grumbling at him under his breath. "I saw you as I was going to open the windows. It was too bad that little girl had to break off your moment."
Himuro sported a brilliantly blue bruise on his cheek back at the firehouse but he wore it proudly and no questions were asked.
Himuro woke him up rudely from a very comfortable nap to tell him nightmarish news. "Bakagami, get up. Don't you remember the notice from the chief that the children job visit was today?"
Kagami rolled over. "If I stay up in the rooms, they won't come up here, it won't be a big deal at all. Go away."
Twenty minutes later, Himuro had managed to get Kagami dressed, tidied up, and downstairs to greet the children who were coming to visit the firehouse. The other members of the firehouse had long since stopped questioning Himuro's supernatural abilities at Kagami wrangling. "Stop frowning," Himuro said at Kagami's griping. "It ruins your handsome face."
"That's disgust…" Kagami grumbled, before stopping at Himuro's knowing look. "What?"
The children flooded into the firehouse like so many ants. Kagami wished to sink into the wall; he could already see their lighted faces and how they followed you around and asked you a million questions like puppies – which he also did not get along with. The teachers that came with them hurried in to prevent them from making too much of a mess, but the children obediently merely stared glossy-eyed at the shiny fire engines and were looking around too much in awe to really cause a fuss.
"Excuse me," said a voice that made Kagami jump and Himuro smirk at him. "I was wondering if I could talk to someone about a possible schedule for the children?" Kuroko blinked when he spotted Kagami, determinedly scowling at a spot on the ceiling. "Oh…Kagami-san."
"He remembers you!" Himuro snorted, voicing Kagami's frenzied thoughts with more teasing than wanted. "Of course, sensei," Himuro said loudly, dragging Kagami over. "Kagami would be more than happy to figure out something for the children."
"I don't," Kagami started, as Kuroko gave him a small smile. "I mean. Wouldn't it better for someone in charge to determine…?"
"Don't be silly," Himuro said, shoving Kagami at Kuroko and striding away quickly. "I'll look after the children; don't worry about it!" Kagami swallowed and made a fist. It was no big deal; he'd dealt with billowing flames and tricky spots. He would have no problem dealing with a simple kindergarten teacher, even if that kindergarten teacher had been occasionally slipping into his mind at times.
"So Kagami-kun," Kuroko said, smilingly, the way he spoke Kagami's name making the firefighter's stomach lurch. "I was thinking…the children brought their own lunches, and I was wondering if we could eat them picnic style on the field outside? And perhaps you or one of your friends could come with us and tell the children about what you do and answer their questions?"
"That's," Kagami mumbled, frustrated at his apparent disability to speak actual sentences. "That's alright, I guess. I can ask around…" Although the way Kuroko had stressed 'you', he figured he should volunteer. His discomfort toward children aside, he wasn't sure if he could manage to eat lunch with Kuroko without being extremely awkward. Damn Himuro – this was all probably going according to his plans. "I can probably manage," he finished weakly, watching Kuroko's face brighten. "And maybe Himuro…that bastard…"
"The four vans outside are parked illegally," Aomine announced, barging (rudely, in Kagami's opinion, bursting into the building when he wasn't wanted) into the fire station. The officer blinked when he saw Kuroko and Kagami. "Tetsu? What are you doing here?"
"Field trip," Kuroko said.
"What are you doing here?" Kagami shot back, not too defensively.
"I make my rounds around here," Aomine sniffed, not too haughtily. The hateful look exchanged went right over Kuroko's head. The kindergarten teacher did not seem fazed.
"Sorry," he said, "that must be us. The children were so excited we didn't adequately look for a place to park. I'll go move them right away. That won't be a problem, will it?"
"Of course not," Aomine said quickly, and Kagami was irritated to find that the bastard cop's weakness was going to be none other than his own.
"There's some space for parking behind the firehouse," he ventured helpfully, and Kuroko hurried out to move the vans. Aomine had plastered a friendly smile on his face, which disintegrated once the teacher had left and he gave Kagami a truly murderous look.
"Tetsu's not interested in meatheads," the officer scoffed. "You can drop your little act already."
"Who's talking," Kagami shot back, responding with an equally terrifying glare. The children understandable stayed away from them. "You don't speak for him. Who do you think you are?"
"I'll have you know I'm Tetsu's friend since middle school," Aomine said, looking down at Kagami as he tossed his head proudly. "One might even say best friend. So I know him much better than you do. So give up already." The children's excited screams around them acted as the crackle of flames between them.
"Does he know you're aiming for him?" Kagami asked, grinning when Aomine was silent. "Some best friend you are. Just because you're hot for that shorty doesn't mean you need to be projecting yourself onto everyone around him."
"You're willing to say you haven't thought about him?" Aomine cackled as Kagami flushed. "You should stop while you're ahead…and this is coming from an officer of the law." He continued laughing meanly as he strode out, not looking back to see Kagami scowling and shaking his fist at him from the door.
This was going to be a well-earned break. Kagami had taken the weekend off (at Himuro's insistence, his old friend had given him a tired look and told him to go home) and was deciding that maybe it was a good idea. He had just bought a convenience store lunch box and a case of beer and was anticipating falling asleep drunk enough to have a slight hangover the next morning. It was raining when he left the store. It didn't matter; a man who dealt with flames was also comfortable in water.
The feeling of rain soaking his clothes was a welcome feeling and he was vaguely telling himself to be careful not to catch cold and ruin his brief vacation when Kuroko rounded the corner and collided into him, shoving a wet dog right into his chest.
After Kagami had finished screaming and fumbling to get the furry pet away from him, he surveyed the scene. Kuroko was equally, if not more, wet than he was, his hair hanging damp around his eyes as he clutched a puppy to his chest. The animal did not seem well, as it wasn't yapping and trying to scratch Kagami's eyes out. "Kagami-san!" Kuroko's eyes widened.
"What's with the dog?" Kagami asked.
"I found him," Kuroko said, looking down and trying to shield the dog from the rain. "He was abandoned. I think he broke his paw. I'm trying to take him to a place I know to get it looked at. He might die!"
To Kagami's knowledge, there were no veterinary places in the neighborhood. But Kuroko was looking anguished and waterlogged. "Let's go, then," Kagami said, nodding. He did not like dogs, but he did not want the dog to die either. It was looking rather ragged and thin.
The place Kuroko was speaking of happened to be a small clinic on a street corner that was closed when they arrived. The receptionist, a mischievous-looking guy, made a face at them at the door. "Well," he said slowly, looking behind him, "I'm not sure if Shin-chan wants to see anyone right now, since it's after hours…and it's a dog, he's a human doctor, remember, Kuroko?"
"Ask him, please!" Kuroko insisted. The receptionist, with the gleaming nametag reading Takao Kazunari, sighed.
"Come in," he said, opening the door wider and ushering them in from the rain. "I'll get Shin-chan and some towels. You guys are going to smell worse than the dog, you know. Shin-chan!" He left them in the reception area.
"It'll be okay," Kagami said awkwardly, now in a contained space with a dog. Kuroko stroked the dog and tried to dry its fur with his shirt, which was also drenched.
"Kuroko." A serious man came out to the reception area, adjusting his glasses. Kagami did not know how Kuroko seemed to be acquainted with all the annoying people who lived in Japan. "This is after hours."
"Sorry," Kuroko apologized, before holding up the puppy at the man. "Could you look at him, Midorima-san? I'm afraid if I left him out there, he'd die!"
"Just as silly as ever," Midorima said shortly. He glanced briefly at the puppy. "That is an animal, Kuroko. I specialize in healing people."
Kuroko did not beg, as Kagami thought he would, but merely stared at Midorima blankly, still holding the dog out in front of him. There was an uncomfortable silence as the two stared at each other, with Kagami looking at Kuroko and Takao looking at Midorima, until the doctor sighed exasperatedly and said, "Bring him to the back, Takao, I'll see what I can do."
"Thank you," Kuroko said, handing the dog to Takao, who exchanged for it an armful of towels.
"You two can stay out here," Takao advised as Midorima disappeared into the back of the clinic grumbling. "He won't want anyone to disturb him while he's working." He gave a cheerful smile, one that told Kagami that he had been expecting Midorima's response all along. "Don't catch cold!"
"Sorry to get you caught up in all this," Kuroko said suddenly as Kagami was drying off his hair and wringing out his shirt. The kindergarten teacher was staring at him under a towel over his head. "You were probably busy and I just pulled you off with me. Thank you for coming with me."
Kagami was the kind to gloat when it came to receiving thanks, but he looked away embarrassedly. "You should dry yourself off," he muttered, thankful that Takao had only turned on the light in the backroom so the reception room was relatively dark. Kuroko did not move, so he reached over and began rubbing the towel over Kuroko's dripping hair. The teacher's head was small and delicate under his calloused hands. Kagami glanced down and noticed Kuroko's face was flushed.
Takao came to get them a little while later, and Kagami figured Kuroko was not getting sick as his complexion was fine when Midorima explained that the dog appeared only to strain its paw and they could come get the puppy the next morning, only it should rest at the clinic overnight. Midorima lived in the flat above the clinic, so he could be trusted to care for the dog. Kuroko thanked him again and started flustering around, fishing for his wallet.
"That's going to be okay," Takao said, cutting him off and grinning. "Shin-chan's just a big tsundere and it wasn't like he was expecting you to pay him or anything. You guys are friends, remember? And you've already referred more than enough parents here anyway!"
"It'll come out of your pay, Takao," Midorima huffed, adjusting his glasses and turning away quickly with the pretense of checking on the dog. It had stopped raining by the time they left the clinic. It was nine-thirty.
"You were about to eat dinner, weren't you?" Kuroko said, glancing at Kagami's empty hands. The fireman had dropped his convenience store purchases encountering Kuroko. "Come to my place. I'll make something for you to make up for your troubles."
Kuroko turned out to be okay at cooking and exemplary at slight of hand. Kagami watched him make cards and small things disappear before deciding to take his leave back to his own place. He did not miss Kuroko's thinly veiled suggestion to stay, but he also did not entirely trust his instincts to stay so he didn't.
Kuroko paid him back by bringing the dog over to the fire station the next afternoon and proclaiming that it was to be the station's dog and there was nothing Kagami could do about it.
"It appears it's true what they say about guys with dogs," Himuro said triumphantly as Kagami waved to Kuroko, who was leaving after checking in on the dog, named Number Two ("It kind of looks like Kuroko, doesn't it?" Himuro had said deliberately.). Kagami frowned at him.
"That they use them as chick magnets." Himuro grinned. "How many times has this guy come to see you? Are you sure you two aren't together yet?"
"You're wrong," Kagami insisted, although it wasn't a lie that Kuroko had been visiting him a lot lately, saying he was here to see the dog but his face lighting up when he saw Kagami. This was stupid. It did not miss the notice of Officer Aomine, who had come to cockblock a few times. The asshole was surprisingly skilled at such things.
"You should go for it," Himuro encouraged, smiling at Number Two as it trotted along innocently beside them. "The rest of the guys really like Number Two and they like Kuroko too. Even you're getting more tolerant of dogs, look. Just because you guys get together doesn't mean you have to suddenly start liking children. They're not his kids."
"You don't know anything," Kagami griped.
"On the contrary, Kagami, you used to call me 'big brother' remember? I know everything about you." Himuro had the knack of being a total jerk when he wanted to. "I'm encouraging you, Kagami. Even the dog knows you should do it."
Number Two barked in agreement.
"What's you relation with Aomine?" Kagami finally asked as he was making them dinner one night (somehow he ended up at Kuroko's place and he was in an apron and making food? What the ever-loving fuck even happened?). The stir fry was sizzling loud enough that Kuroko shouldn't be able to notice how he was stirring somewhat erratically, waiting for the answer.
"We went to middle school together," Kuroko said casually, sitting at the table and watching Kagami's broad back. "We've been friends since then. I used to have a crush on him." This, it seemed, was said to see its effect on Kagami, for when the fireman whirled around in shock, Kuroko was looking at him with a wry smile. "That was a long time ago, though."
"I see," Kagami said, hoping he did not give too much away on his face as he turned back to the stove. Damn his personality that was riled up so easily.
Dinner went by very well, and Kagami was clearing the table as Kuroko slipped away to his room. He was in there for a long time and Kagami did not feel comfortable lurking around the apartment without Kuroko so he went to check in the bedroom, where Kuroko was standing there in only a long shirt.
Kagami stumbled back as if Kuroko was a dog or a small, crying child.
"You wound me," Kuroko protested, sticking his lip out, before yanking Kagami into the room and kissing him feverishly. They tumbled onto the bed in a mess of limbs. Kagami was victoriously thinking take that asshole Aomine when Kuroko spread his legs and gave Kagami a prime view.
"Take me," he challenged, and Kagami had to comply.
"Kurokocchi is taking sooo long," Kise whined, restlessly as he bounced in his seat. "Usually he's on time. Gosh! I can't sit still!"
"That's nothing new," Midorima sniffed.
The six of them were sitting in a banquet room at Akashi's reservation for the yearly Generation of Miracles reunion, a meeting where seven friends-since-middle-school met to catch up on each other. While Aomine, Midorima, and Kuroko lived in relative closeness to each other, Momoi was a model that worked on the American runways; Murasakabara worked in French kitchens, Kise flew around too much as a pilot, and Akashi was often away for his shogi matches. Besides being a time to meet with each other, these dinners were also a sigh of relief from their busy schedules. Kise pouted.
"Maybe," Momoi said, suddenly looking gleeful, "he's bringing someone?"
There was an unofficial rule that if during the time of the dinners, any member of the Generation was seeing someone, they were to bring him or her to the dinner for the others to size up. While Aomine had protested and Midorima had yet to bring Takao, Akashi had agreed to Momoi's girlish request. Over the years, they had seen several of Momoi's boyfriends and Kise's many partners, who often dumped him after seeing him lord over Kuroko and Aomine.
"That's not possible!" Kise cried dramatically. "He would have told me! Aominecchi, do you know anything about this? Midorimacchi?"
"Your middle school habits should be dropped," Midorima only said. Aomine scowled. He had not heard of anything from Kuroko, but if that was true…
"Ah," Momoi sighed. "If only I was still in Japan! Then I could be his girlfriend…"
Murasakabara looked up from the snacks he had brought along. "Mine-chin wouldn't like that, right?" Akashi handed him a packet of chocolate for the comment.
"That's right!" Momoi squealed. "Last I remembered, you were totally trying for Tetsu too! Oh man, well, I guess it's okay we didn't work out if we have the same tastes~!"
"Shut your mouth, Satsuki…"
"I'm sorry I'm late." Kuroko apologized as he opened the door. "Someone forgot that he was supposed to meet me at seven." He pulled Kagami, who stared intimidatingly at everyone, in the room. "I'm sorry. But I brought someone."
Kise was the first to yowl in protest, with Momoi following with muffled shrieks. Aomine was staring daggers at Kagami. Even Murasakabara let a chip tumble from his mouth.
"Hi," Kagami said shortly, as the room sizzled with challenge. "Fight me."
Note: Kya a gen of miracle member fite me