Title: Seirin Elementary
Disclaimer: Don't own.
CHAPTER TWO ;
of bullies and friends.
After clearing up the misunderstanding with Kagami, although the red head still seemed disbelieving, Kuroko headed towards his classroom. 'I should probably clear that up with Momoi-san,' he thought. Nodding , Kuroko decided he'd talk to Momoi about the situation. Upon opening the door, however, he was met with a sight he was much too tired to deal with. He braced himself, though, and marched towards the pair, firmly ripping the taller boy off the other.
Sternly, Kuroko scolded the boy. "Haisaki-kun." His lips were pulled into a tight frown, the disapproval apparent on his face. Although it was a small action, Haisaki immediately noticed the change in the stoic man.
Turning his head away from his teacher, Haisaki glanced down at the boy by his feet. His grey side bangs casted a shadow from his forehead to the bridge of his nose, making him look sinister. His eyes narrowed as he laid eyes on the pathetic sight in front of him, and a dark smirk made way to his face as he noticed all the other children forming a circle around them; all of them looking at him with fear, albeit some had a mix of respect, he noted.
Harrumphing, Haisaki turned and walked away, the smirk still etched onto his face. He only managed to take a few steps away before Kuroko's voice rang out again. "Haisaki-kun." Slowly, he turned back to look at his teacher. Once Kuroko's eyes made contact with Haisaki's, he continued. "Please apologise to Kise-kun."
The child glanced between the expressionless man and the blond tearing up on the floor, seemingly considering his options. Finally, he apologised. "Sorry, sorry." However, it was said mockingly and Kuroko immediately knew the boy wasn't sincere at all. He was about to reprimand the grey-haired child again when Kise started bawling. Haisaki took that as his chance to escape to the side, casting one last sneer at the blond, and the other children backed away from him as he approached. That was okay, though, Haisaki felt as if they were paving a path for him alone.
Warily watching the troublemaker from his peripheral vision, Kuroko kneeled down and pulled Kise into an upright position. "Are you hurt?" he asked as he felt up his student's body, looking for any injuries that may have been inflicted upon him. It was only when the blond shook his head, did the man cease in his ministrations.
The moment Kuroko let go of the child, nearly the entirety of the female students in the class approached the latter, asking him whether he was all right or not. Kuroko stood off towards the side, observing his students for a moment. He noticed Kise's smile seemed strained as he answered all the questions directed at him, but he waved it off, perhaps the child felt ashamed that everyone had seen the little dispute between Haisaki and him.
He was snapped out of his musings when a feminine 'Kuroko-sensei' was cheerfully spoken. Kuroko turned to the source of the sound, his features softening at the sight of Momoi Satsuki, his new friend. In comparison, Momoi's face lit up once she had her teacher's full attention. She tottered over towards him and Kuroko kneeled down so that they were at eye-level.
"Hello, Momoi-san," he greeted. "How are you today?"
The reply was immediate. "Great! And you, Kuroko-sensei?"
Kuroko had to stifle a laugh. The female looked so eager for his response, her eyes lighting up and grin stretching wide. "I've been good. Thank you for asking, Momoi-san." If anything, her grin seemed to widen even further upon his reply. Briefly, Kuroko wondered if her cheeks must've hurt. Suddenly recalling something, the temporary teacher started rather hesitantly, "Umm…"
"Yes?" Momoi's expectant look further diminished any confidence he had. He knew he should confront her in regards to the matter about their 'marriage', but seeing the latter's face like that... Kuroko didn't have the heart to see that cheerful expression fall.
Thus, he changed his original topic. "You should probably head to your seat now, Momoi-san. Class is about to start." Concluding the conversation, Kuroko gave her a pat on her head.
Turning to the rest of the class, he loudly cleared his throat, gaining the attention of all of the children. "Today we'll be drawing pictures of things you like or want," he was interrupted by many shouts of excitement, "but first let us take the roll call."
Kuroko watched as the students filed to their seats, noting that Momoi and Haisaki, despite sitting with other children, were still isolated. He'd have to do something about that.
Well then, let the day begin.
Kise had always been surrounded by people since he was born. He didn't think that was unnatural; he knew about his looks and knew that people only liked him because of it. That's why, when the bell signalling lunch break rang out and the girls in his class immediately turned to him, asking him to play 'House' with them, he immediately went into hiding. The blond disliked seeing the girls fight over who should be his girlfriend or wife. It wasn't good for his ears either, all that screeching and screaming. Why couldn't they just get along?
He didn't have much of an answer to that question either. Kise knew he wasn't well liked by his own sex. The boys often sent him looks of jealousy and envy. It wasn't his fault that all the girls crowded around him; Kise never asked to be blessed with good looks. There was a time where he thought he finally made a true male friend who he could trust. The boy was nice enough and Kise always had fun around him, but one day the latter overhead the former backstabbing him. His 'friend' had been badmouthing the blond to their other male classmates while Kise had been standing outside their classroom door, overhearing everything that had been said.
Naturally, the boy hadn't been able to trust others so easily after that. He had been exposed to the darker side of human nature at a young age and begun to distrust those around him, including the girls that flocked around him. At first he thought they were also friends, but after that incident he realised they were only after his face.
"Heh, look who it is." Kise snapped his head up at that, unaware that he was no longer alone. "If it isn't Ryouta. What'cha doing out here alone?" He knew who that voice belonged to, and he couldn't particularly say he liked said person either.
"Haisaki," Kise gritted out. His normally cheerful face suddenly turning dark, lips pressed into a firm line and eyes narrowed. Haisaki's own eyes narrowed, too, at the shorter boy's sudden change in behaviour, not liking it one bit.
"What's with that tone?" the grey-haired child spat out, mockingly.
Kise plastered a smile onto his face, trying to remain cool before the bully in front of him. "No, nothing," he drawled. "Just wondering why you're also alone." He nearly smirked in victory when the grey-haired child flinched.
Growling, Haisaki stomped over to the blond, towering over him by mere centimetres; the height of his body casting an ominous shadow over the latter. Seeing his bully that close upfront nearly had Kise gulping in fear, but he somehow managed to maintain his stance.
"Unlike you, Ryouta," the taller of the two began, "I prefer being alone."
"Don't call me by my name!" Kise grounded out. "You have no right to use it!"
The bully sneered at that. "It's just a name."
"Well then, Shougo—"
The blond never got to finish his sentence as Haisaki grabbed onto the lapels of his jacket. This time Kise couldn't help but gulp, suddenly realising his situation. Looking at his attacker, Kise felt a spark of fear run down his spine. Haisaki looked murderous, his teeth were clenched together and Kise swore he could hear them grinding together. To the latter's ears, it was as if the sound signified his upcoming doom.
"You don't call me by my name." The words were harsh, and a fist was raised into the air. Kise clenched his eyes shut at that, expecting a blow to arrive at any moment.
However, he definitely wasn't expecting this.
"Stop this at once!"
He fell. Embarrassingly enough, he fell onto his backside the moment the demand was uttered. Kise didn't know what had happen. One moment Haisaki was about the punch him and the next the bully had let him go. Slowly opening his shut eyes, Kise turned to his saviour. His mouth hung open, the words unable to escape, when he saw who it was.
It was Kuroko-sensei, the new teacher who replaced his dear Maika-sensei. He didn't dislike the new teacher, though. The man didn't seem as friendly as his previous teacher, but he wasn't a bad person, Kise thought as he recalled the man helping him two times during the past three days.
Kuroko wasn't sure what was happening either. He was just asked by Riko to bring in a few plants from the garden to freshen up his classroom. "It's good for the children and it adds colour!" she had said. The stoic man had shrugged it off, just following his senior's orders like he did in high school. He had to agree that flowers may have made the room seem more welcoming, though, and thus he had set out to the garden with Momoi tagging along. Nevertheless, he certainly wasn't expecting to see the same pair from that morning in another fight on his way there.
Approaching the pair, Kuroko pushed himself between the two, standing protectively in front of Kise. "Haisaki-kun, why do you always pick on Kise-kun?" From the corner of his eyes, he could see Momoi finally catch up to him. He shook his head at her, indicating not to get involved. Ever the good girl she was, the female stood off to the side but not without casting a worried gaze towards her teacher.
Haisaki, upon seeing his teacher protect the weakling again, muttered out a 'tsk' under his breath before looking at him evenly. "No reason, really." He continued, "It's just fun to take away the things people love."
The man looked confused at those words, but Kise understood better. He knew whenever the taller child bullied him, the girls in his class were stricken by fear and worry. Kise, although unsure, assumed Haisaki enjoyed seeing those expressions on their faces. Who better to hurt than the most popular child in the class?
"Haisaki-kun, that's not true, is it?" All three children startled at that. Haisaki was known as the biggest bully in the kindergarten and no one had ever assumed otherwise.
"Heh, whatever do you mean by that, Sensei?" The word was uttered out insultingly, but it did nothing to deter said teacher.
"I think," Kuroko began, "Haisaki-kun is just lonely."
The reactions of each child present differed at Kuroko's words; Haisaki flinched before irritation bubbled within him, causing him to glare at his teacher, Kise looked sceptical and Momoi was just amused, eyes flitting back and forth between each male. Kise's reaction was warranted, though, he tried to convince himself. The boy who had been picking on him since his entry into Seirin Elementary was actually a child craving for companionship? Really? Kise just couldn't believe it. He had associated Haisaki with some menacing character, like the Devil, since his first few encounters with the boy.
And the grey-haired troublemaker didn't fail to prove him wrong as he continued glaring daggers at Kuroko. He continued glaring and glaring that Kise thought there'd be holes in his teacher soon if the boy didn't cease doing so. Fortunately, Haisaki finally stopped as he scoffed before retorting, "This isn't worth my time." He then proceeded to shove his hands into his pockets before stalking off.
Kuroko wouldn't have any of that, though, and once again intercepted him. "Haisaki-kun, if you continue like this, I'll have to speak to your parents."
"Go ahead," was the child's swift reply. Kuroko jolted at that. As much as he disliked doing so, he was aiming to be rather intimidating. However, Haisaki seemed to be fearless.
When the teacher came back to his senses, the grey-haired child was already gone from his sights. Sighing, Kuroko turned his attention back to the blond child. Momoi was already by Kise's side as the latter patted down his pants, ridding the dirt stuck to it from his fall.
Approaching his most popular student, Kuroko asked, "Kise-kun, why were you alone?" The mentioned looked up at his teacher, his hands suddenly clenching the material of his pants in a vice-like grip before looking back down at his feet in embarrassment. "You should stay with your friends so that Haisaki-kun won't come to you." Kuroko did his best to use words easily understandable to children of their age.
"You're wrong." Everyone was surprised at that, especially Kise himself when he realised it was his voice. Nervousness overwhelmed him when two pairs of eyes directed towards him. Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he continued. "They don't see me for who I am."
Upon seeing the sad expression on the child's face as he finished his sentence, Kuroko found his features softening further. These children seemed to have a skill in bringing out the protective urges within him. Was this what it meant to be a kindergarten teacher?
"Momoi-san." The only female within the vicinity perked up at her name, switching her gaze from Kise to her teacher. Kuroko moved to stand behind the female, placing his hands on her shoulders and presenting her before Kise. "Momoi-san also has no friends." The blond stared at the peach-haired girl, wondering where their teacher was going with this. "Like Kise-kun who is surrounded by girls who like him and boys who don't, Momoi-san is surrounded by boys who like her but girls who don't."
Momoi looked crest fallen at that, but brightened almost immediately as a thought came to mind. "I have Kuroko-sensei now, though!" Kuroko hummed in agreement, a tiny smile adorning his face.
"Yes, but wouldn't it be great to have friends your age too?" She seemed to consider it, her eyes slowly flitting between both males.
Kise, in turn, stared rather stupidly at her before advancing towards them. Extending his hand out, he gave the female a small smile. "Then, um… Friends?" he finished rather lamely, his face turned slightly red when words seemed to fail him.
Despite the rather ineloquently asked question, Momoi brightened up, her smile stretching wide. "Yeah! Nice to meet you, Ki-chan!"
"Ki-chan?" Kise repeated, distractedly. The pink-haired child nodded her head frantically, the excitement of a new friend suddenly energising her. "Then you're Momoicchi!"
As the two chatted about with each other, Kuroko thought about what to do with a certain grey-haired troublemaker. He truly thought Haisaki was just lonely. Kuroko remembered skimming through all the drawings the children drew earlier that day. Although Haisaki didn't draw anything at first, after much encouragement from Kuroko the child finally picked up the crayons and made an attempt. He didn't allow anyone to see what he was drawing, though. In fact, he didn't even write his name on it when handing it in. However, it was not difficult to determine who the owner of the drawing was when everyone else wrote their names on theirs. Kuroko could say he was very much surprised when he saw the child's drawing.
The bell rang then, snapping Kuroko out of his musings and interrupting the children's conversation. Pouting, Kise and Momoi whined about how short their break was. It seemed the two had become quite acquainted within the past five minutes. Kuroko ruffled their heads before ushering them back to class, all the while deciding whether he should contact Haisaki's parents or not. It was best to do so before anything serious happened, was it not?
Sighing, Kuroko slumped against his office desk. It had only been three days since he started working at Seirin Elementary and Kuroko already felt exhausted to the bone. Thinking back, he probably collapsed onto his office seat at the end of each of those three days. At that thought, Kuroko had to reluctantly agree with Kagami and now understood why the man complained so much about his job.
Kuroko had a legit reason for being exhausted this time though. That afternoon, he waited patiently for Haisaki's parents to pick the child up. However, a buff man clad in a black suit and adorning sunglasses showed up. The teacher had initially thought the shady man was Haisaki's father (and Kuroko had to reluctantly admit he felt slightly intimidated by the much taller and stronger man), but the man introduced himself as the boy's chaperone for the day. Haisaki seemed to recognise him, so Kuroko allowed the shady man to leave with the boy, but not before telling him he wished to speak with Haisaki's parents. The man gave Kuroko a nod and a brief, "I'll tell them," before disappearing with Haisaki in toll.
Slumping deeper into his seat, Kuroko lifted an arm to cover his eyes from the invading lights above. He was troubled. Despite not saying anything about it, Kuroko hadn't missed the pained look on Haisaki's face when he saw the man. It was only for a brief moment, but it was there before it was replaced by the boy's usual arrogance.
He didn't have much time to muse over that particular problem, though, as a large hand gripped onto his head. It felt like déjà vu.
"Kagami-kun." The name rolled off his tongue like second nature. Removing his arm from his face, Kuroko opened his eyes to stare up at Kagami.
"Hey." The other man grunted out before sitting on his seat beside Kuroko's. The teal head did not move even a muscle, however, as he continued to stare at the red head from his slouched position.
The silence stretched on for a while longer. Kagami let out a big sigh as he leaned back against his seat and awkwardly scratched the back of his head. "So... Are you free tomorrow?" Raising an eyebrow, Kuroko prompted the other to elaborate. "Basketball," was all he said.
Recalling his schedule, Kuroko hummed out an agreement when he realised he didn't have anything planned for the next day. He couldn't help but be curious though. "Why so suddenly though?"
"I don't know, you just looked like you were thinking too deeply about things again." He knew he shouldn't have been surprised due to the amount of time they spent with each other, but Kuroko was surprised. Kagami could read him like an open book at times. "Besides, it's been a while since we last played together!"
At the red head's energetic shout and the grin that stretched across his face, Kuroko couldn't help but think it was contagious as a small smile bloomed on his own lips.
Yes, as Kagami said, he shouldn't think too deeply about this. He should let everything play out by themselves before deciding on what action to take. For the time being, Kuroko would just return home and relax while he (not so) patiently waited for the next day to come; a day in which he'd finally be able to play with his ex-basketball-partner again.
At that time, Kuroko had been expecting a tiring but fun day. The next day proved to be much more exhausting than he thought possible, though, as he meets a certain gifted child.
A/N: Don't really have an excuse for why this is so late, ahaha... It's been two months since I last updated... Well, the first two weeks I was really busy as I had eleven essays to write. I promised I'd update on the third week, but in the end I re-wrote this chapter so many times as I couldn't get down Haisaki's character. It was really frustrating. At first, the three children became friends in this chapter, but I figured that would be rushing it as Haisaki isn't such a friendly person in my opinion. Well, at least not so soon. So yeah, hence all the re-writes. In the end, I didn't like how any of it went, so I lost motivation and hence why this is so late.
My exams actually start tomorrow, so I'll be busy again, but now that Haisaki is out of the way... I promise that I'll have weekly to fortnightly updates from now on. Replies to reviews will be slow, if I even have time to reply to reviews... I apologise for the inconvenience.