Published: September 09, 2012

Disclaimer: Happy birthday to EzMouse! Belated, but meh. And a lot of fluffy Izaya love to jAyesque for staying up late to edit my crazy talk. Kiseki no Sedai as children. My AU has them as childhood friends, okay? I thought it was unfair of Momoi to have Aomine to herself for some time. I hope I didn't just murder Akashi's character, haha.


o1. The World in His Hands

Akashi Seijuro ruled the world, but before that, he ruled the playground.

:+:

The next playground they visit is a small one; situated between a sushi restaurant, a thrift store, and a shabby hair salon in one of the lower downtown districts of the city. It wasn't one of the most ideal spots to put a child's playground, however, considering the state of the neighborhood, it was the best place there was, as the restaurant, thrift store, and a wooden fence acted as sufficient boundaries, preventing the children from wandering off. Moreover, while the children played, their guardians could have a snack and rest under an air conditioned roof. So, believe it or not, there were parents who left their kids in the playground.

Rainfall over the past few days caused dozens of puddles to materialize and some drainage systems to overflow. The streets were damp and the skies were gloomy, and the recent dreadful weather kept the people in and under roofs. Even still, there were some people who listened to the day's weather forecast and knew that dry skies were promised. These were the people that dared to venture out (albeit, some of them brought umbrellas - just in case).

Akashi Seijuro was proud to say his mother was one of those logical people. When a fine day was promised, how could one spend it inside? Besides, if the forecast was proven wrong, then they could just beat those sorry bastards, couldn't they? He couldn't imagine letting an opportunity like that go, and was glad his mother took him out that day.

He'd just been kicked out of the playground closest to the building his father worked in- actually, he'd been kicked out of all the nearby playgrounds already, and his mother was lucky to even find a place that was willing to take him in, even if the place was a sorry dump and definitely on the wrong side of town.

"Thank you so much and I really apologize for dumping him on you again, Takeshi-san," his mother says, fumbling around in her purse for her wallet or phone or whatever mothers have in their bags. He didn't get mothers and their big bags - he didn't understand what they put in those things. In his Naruto! knapsack, he only had his milk, snacks, towel, and toys - and those were all the things he would ever need!

"No worries, Akashi-san! I live right across the street, so I can watch him all the time! Haha! He can even come in for some food if he likes!" Takeshi laughs, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. And here's another mystery: Akashi knows the tall boy who regularly watches (because babysit is such an awful term) him is anything but a sheep, yet he acts like one a whole lot. Is this another one of mother nature's tricks? Disguise a wolf in sheep's clothing so prey comes easier? Akashi notes this in his head, reminding himself to try it out. Smile and act nice- don't bare the teeth until the last moment; always have a trick up the sleeve.

Akashi's mother gives him a peck on the cheek and examines him from head to toe, wiping off the patches of dirt she finds. Sighing, she said, "Well, try to make friends this time, all right Sei-chan?" She scuffles his hair before turning to Takeshi. "You have my number, right? I'll be in the office all day long today, so you should try ringing my secretary if you can't get through to me on my cell." She scuffles the little boy's hair before rushing off into a cab and waving to the two of them through the backseat window.

"Well, your mom's gone now, Sei-chan. Here, I'll introduce you to some of the other kids 'round here," Takeshi says, picking Akashi up and walking towards the shabby playground. "No fooling 'round this time, 'kay? Really caused your mom a whole lot of trouble last time." Takeshi lowers his voice before continuing. "Besides, you can't fool 'round with the other kids in here. They're not the type to be bullied - thing is, they'll probably be bullying you if you're not careful."

Akashi scoffs, he didn't think it was likely.

Takeshi lets him down and he surveys the area. A metal slide, slightly damp from the rain, was right beside a swing set that didn't look very safe with the rusts on the chains. There was a monkey bar next to a seesaw and three of those plastic horse things that looked like one-person seesaws were parked next to a sandbox.

Ah, the sandbox; his domain. His eyes latch on to a green haired figure playing with the sand from outside the box. What was this idiocracy now? Playing with the sand outside the box? Preposterous!

Takeshi notices him staring at the boy and says, "That's Shintarou-chan. He doesn't talk much, and he's pretty weird, but he's a good kid. Really smart and I hear he's extremely lucky." Akashi tunes his caretaker out, opting to check out the other kids there.

There was a dark skinned brat lying on top of the monkey bar, (show off, Akashi sniffs). A pink haired girl squatted right beneath him, playing with some weeds and flowers. A blonde idiot sat alone on one of the two-kid seesaw, lifting himself up and crashing down in. Akashi would have thought he was enjoying playing with himself if he didn't catch sight of the longing looks the blonde boy sent to the dark skinned brat and the pink haired girl.

"Ah, that is Daiki-kun and Satsuki-chan. Daiki-kun's the one you should be watching out for. He doesn't take too kindly to newbies but if you get him to open up a little, he's a great friend! Why, take a look at Tetsuya-kun - he's not usually here at this time - but Tetsuya-kun only just recently frequented this place and Daiki-kun didn't like him very much at first but now they're best friends!" Satsuki-chan's nice too, but she's got a mean punch for kids she doesn't like, so be sure not to cross her," he says, ruffling up Akashi's hair some more. It takes a lot of will power not to bite him.

"That," Takeshi says, pointing to the blonde boy on the two person seesaw, "is Kise-kun. Be nice to him, okay?" Takeshi shudders as he adds how the boy's mother scares him. "Lucky you're my charge today, Sei-chan!"

Takeshi bends down to his level and waits for him to make a move. Akashi only crosses his arms and looks at him blandly. Takeshi laughs and pushes him into the playground. "Go on, then, little tyke! Play nice! I'll be watching from next door! Come in when you feel like it, okay?"

:+:

'I am not afraid', Akashi tells himself- nor is he shy. He just doesn't like the look of the place, that's all. He hesitates because the place looks shabby, and if the place looks shabby, then the kids were shabby as well. He couldn't have that. Sure, they were the easiest to manipulate, but where's the fun in that?

Surveying the place once more, he decides he'd to join the green haired boy - Shintarou-chan, as Takeshi had pointed out earlier - in the sandbox. The sansbox was his territory. No matter which playground, the sandboxes were where he felt most comfortable in. He would conquer this sandbox, and then he would assert his domination seamlessly.

As he approaches, Shintarou looks him over, as if trying to determine whether he was friend or foe.

Akashi does not enter the sandbox like he'd originally planned. It was wet and muddy, and he didn't think it was fit for someone of his status. Instead, he settles for bending over the box next to Shintarou.

"What's your sign?" says Shinatarou as soon as Akashi gets comfortable. He still can't tell if Akashi was a person worth his time or not. It all depends on his answer. Shintarou unconsciously narrows his eyes, scrutinizing Akashi.

Akashi tilts his head and raises a brow, meeting the other boy's stare head on. "Sign?" he asks coolly.

"Yes. Sign. Horoscope. For example, mine's Cancer." They do not break eye contact, however, Shintarou is feeling just a little worse for wear while Akashi keeps completely composed. By the way things were progressing, Shintarou guesses the red head's answer before Akashi could say it.

"Sagittarius," Akashi says, confirming Shinatrou's suspcions.

Shintarou scowls and looks down on the ground, finally breaking eye contact and Akashi is just a little bit triumphant. "Tch. According to Oha Asa, we're not a good match for today. Would you mind leaving?"

This catches Akashi's attention, and both of his brows rise. "Oh? But what if I don't want to leave?"

Shintarou furrows his brows and looks at Akashi quizzically, unconsciously pouting his lips. "B-but why?"

"Because I like it here."

Shintarou purses his lips. "But didn't you hear me? We're not a match today! We can't be near each other! We'll both get bad luck!"

"So why don't you leave, then?" Akashi says, his eyes dancing with mirth at the sight of a frustrated new friend.

Shintarou tilts his head. "B-but I was here first...?"

"Oh, that's fine too," Akashi says offhandedly. "Hey, if being near each other is bad luck, what happens if I touch you? Do you die or do you just bleed?"

Shintarou jumps and backs away from the boy, incredulous. "W-what?!"

"Hey, want to try it out?" Akashi says with a manic glint in his eyes, reaching out towards Shintarou.

Shintarou stumbles as he moves away. "Y-you're crazy!" he says, pointing a finger at Akashi.

He gets up and moves nearer to Shintarou. The bespectacled boy is horrified, and runs away, tripping on his feet more than twice in his haste to get as much space as he can between them. Akashi follows and the both of them run circles around the square sandbox (Shintarou stubs his toe on the edge more than once, really hating how Oha Asa's always right).

Fortune intervenes in Akashi's fun as the pink haired girl- Satsuki- begins running over to them. Shintarou collides with her at a turn and they fall to the ground.

"Ah! Sorry about that Midorima-kun!" she says, getting up and going over to Shintarou. His glasses were crooked from the impact and he was panting from the chase. "Are you okay?" she asks, completely perturbed at the sight of him.

"Yeah," he replies, fixing his glasses and righting himself. He looks behind himself and sees Akashi standing a few steps behind, watching the both of them with interest.

Shintarou sees Akashi move forward and shouts, "Stop! Stay right there!" and points a finger at Akashi.

Satsuki looks at Shintarou with astonishment. She has only seen Shintarou break his composure around Ryouta, in all the time they've known each other (because who could stay composed when you have idiotic friends like Ryouta and Daiki hanging around you?)

She gets up from the ground and raises her arms, shielding Shintarou from Akashi. "You're not allowed to bully my friends," she says, narrowing her eyes at him.

Akashi blinks and tilts his head innocently. "Do to him? Nothing. I just asked him a question, that's all."

"Then why were you chasing him around, huh?" she asks, putting her hands on her hips.

"We were playing." He shrugs. "That's all."

"You're lying! Liars are eaten by demons, don't you know?"

Akashi looks hurt. "I don't lie..." he whispers, loud enough for Satsuki and Shintarou to hear.

"You did! We weren't playing at all!" Shintarou exclaims.

"...but I don't!" Akashi says, still in a whisper.

With a temper that can only be expected of a child, Shintarou throws a tantrum. "You do! You do! You do!" he shouts, utterly frustrated at Akashi's denial.

Daiki chooses this moment to join them. Of course, he goes over to Satsuki. "Hey! Is this guy bothering you, Satsuki?" he says, narrowing his eyes at Akashi.

Satsuki crosses her arms and gives Akashi a superior smirk. "No, but he's bothering Midorima-kun," she says slyly.

Daiki steps towards Akashi threateningly. "Who do you think you are, newbie?"

Seeing the commotion and feeling fed up about being excluded, Kise stomps his way over to the group. He is angry at first, for being left out again, and was about to complain when he sees Shintarou seething.

"Midorimacchi?" he says, tentatively reaching out to touch Shintarou. The boy bats his hands away though, and Ryouta is hurt. He glares at Akashi. "What did you do to Midorimacchi?!"

Akashi's lower lip starts to quiver. "B-but I didn't d-do anything to him!"

"You did or he wouldn't be like that!" Daiki retorts, pointing a finger at Shintarou.

"B-but I really didn't!" Akashi wails, and everyone is freezes when they see tears fill his red eyes.

By then, Takeshi has noticed the group and approaches them. With him is a violet haired boy carrying a bag of chips and a blue haired boy - a lighter shade of blue than Daiki's dark - with a placid look on his face.

"Hey, what's going on here?" Takeshi says. The group shuts their mouths, looking down and fidgeting. Takeshi bends over to their level and pats Akashi on the head. "What's wrong, Sei-chan?"

To the group's surprise, Akashi remained silent.

Seeing that he's not going to get an answer from his charge anytime soon, he claps his hands and turns to the rest of them. "Well? Is anyone going to tell me what's going on?"

"He was bullying Midorimacchi!" Ryouta says, pointing an accusatory finger at Akashi and Daiki, Akashi, and Satsuki resist the urge to slap their face with their hand. "And he keeps denying it!"

Takeshi raises a brow. "Really?"

"I was not!" Akashi says, and the tears start flowing. "I was not! I was not! I was not!" he wails. "I'm not a liar! I don't want to be eaten by the demons!" he cries.

"Aw shit. Shit. Shit, don't cry!" Takeshi says in a panic, trying to calm the boy down.

"I'm sorry! I don't want to be eaten by demons! I don't want to leave my mommy!"

Takeshi scratches his head, trying to find a way to calm him down. "Who said you were going to be eaten by demons?"

"Liars are eaten by demons!" Akashi sniffs, "I'm not a liar!"

"Who said that?" Takeshi says, feeling relieved that Akashi stopped shouting.

Satsuki holds her breath as Akashi sneaks a look at her. "N-no one," he sniffs and Satsuki is relieved, feeling grateful he did not bring her into it. She's been in enough trouble already and another one would get her punished. Or worse, her mom might think the guys are a 'bad influence', whatever that means, and stop her from playing with them.

"Well, you're not going to be eaten by demons, okay? It's just a legend. It's not actually real," he says to Akashi, patting the boy's back.

Daiki notices Ryouta open his mouth and nudges the blonde with his elbow, silently telling him to shut up.

To Shintarou, Takeshi says, "He's new around here, Shin-chan. He's not used to you guys. He might have said something that you didn't understand and you misinterpreted it."

"Misinterpret?" Ryouta asks.

"Yeah. Like misunderstand. Like, when you say "I don't want to eat!" and I understand that as: you don't want to eat forever. It's not the same right? You meant you didn't want to eat now and I thought you meant forever."

Ryouta nods his head in amazement. Misinterpret. He learned a new word today! Darn, his mommy was going to be so proud of him when he used that in a sentence! Such a big word! Wow!

"I-I'm sorry," Akashi sniffs, "I'm new here so I don't know how you guys are... I'll try not to say things that you might misinterpret." For good measure, he blinks his eyes innocently and keeps his head low.

And Ryouta is impressed that Akashi could use misinterpret in a sentence right away. He must be really smart, he muses.

Shintarou looks at him and purses his lips. "I-it's fine."

Following the lead, Satsuki says, "I'm sorry too!" and then Daiki and Ryouta's apologies followed.

"Well that was easy! Whew." Takeshi says, relieved that the problem resolved itself quickly.

The two new arrivals quietly watched the scene unfurl in the sidelines, glad they weren't part of the fray. However, it did not take Daiki long to notice the stare of the expressionless boy, and when he did, his face lit up. "Tetsu!" he exclaims.

"Ah yes," Takeshi says, remembering the two boys. "This," he says, placing a hand on Tetsu's companion, "is Atsushi-kun. He's your Kyouya-nii's new charge."

"Hello. Nice to meet you. Please take care of me," Atsushi says, munching on his chips all the while.

Takeshi places his other hand on Tetsu. "And this," he says to Akashi, "is Kuroko Tetsuya-kun."

"Well, I gotta go help pops make some sushi now. You all have fun and come in when you're tired or hungry, okay? Atsushi-kun, there's some more candy in the shop if you want." Takeshi says, waving them a goodbye.

"I'm Akashi Seijuro. Please also take care of me," Akashi says, bowing.

"As Takeshi-san said, I'm Kuroko Tetsuya. And I'm sorry if those idiots there bothered you. You'll have to excuse Aomine-kun, especially. He hasn't learned to use his head yet," Tetsuya says, eliciting an aggravated 'Hey!' from Daiki.

"Ryouta's the idiot! Why's it always me?" Daiki whines, and Satsuki hits him on the head.

"Because you're Ahomine, that's why," she says.

"Your logic makes no sense! And you had a part in it too! Tetsu, I barely said anything! Swear!" he says, trying to fix the image of him in Tetsuya's eyes. 'The world can hate him,' he thinks, 'just not Tetsu.'

"Ah, no. It's fine. He didn't do anything," Akashi says, and Daiki is thankful. "It was just a misunderstanding. More fault on my part. I'm sorry for causing trouble." And Ryouta, too, is in his debt.

Ryouta skips to Tetsuya and clings to the boy. "Kurokocchi! I'm an angel too, see? Love me too!"

"Ack! No! Get off him Ryouta!" Daiki exclaims, trying to pry the blonde from his best friend.

"Yeah! He's mine, Kise-kun!" Satsuki clings to Tetsuya's other side and helps Daiki try to pry Ryouta from Tetsuya.

"What! No! You get off too, Satsuki!" And the three of them proceed to bicker with each other while Tetsuya remains completely emotionless even when sandwiched. Just an ordinary day for him, nothing new there.

:+:

Later, Akashi and Atsushi sat down on the swings and observed the rest of the playground's regulars. Tetsuya's sitting beneath a tree and reading big story book, Satsuki and Shintarou are busy looking for their own bugs, and Daiki chases a fearful Ryouta around the tree with a bug in hand and an evil look on his face.

"Ne, this is a nice playground, isn't it, Aka-chin?" Atsushi says, eating his third pack of chips.

Akashi surveys the shabby playground and its occupants and smiles. "Yes, yes it is, Atsushi."

"Are you going to transfer again soon?"

Akashi muses over this before saying, "No, I don't think so."

Atsushi reaches into the bag but finds nothing there. He flips it over his mouth and a few crumbs fall out. He tsks and crumples the bag and stuffs it into his backpack.

Akashi opens his own and pulls out a pack of gummy-worms and gives it to Atsushi who receives it happily. "Is that why you did what you did earlier?" he says, opening the pack easily and smiling as he sees the contents. He loves it when Aka-chin gives him food because Aka-chin always picks out the best ones.

Akashi smiles. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Wasn't the last playground better, though? They followed everything you said so easily. And the sandbox was great too."

Akashi reaches over for a gummy-worm and Atsushi lets him. "It's because they gave in to me too easily. They're weak. Where's the fun in that?"

:+:


A/N: Akashi met Murasakibara already, in a different playground and he's been following Akashi. I tried making Akashi manipulative and a good actor, but it sort of just looked like he was genuinely a wimp. Darn. And, this is part of a series that stars Akashi, but I'll have this as a one shot till I finish the others.

To Nikki: I tried hard to resist AkaTsushi but I couldn't help the ending. Hihi. But, I insinuated the ship I rule 58-ed for you, so that cancels it out. Mido hasn't met Takao yet here, so I can go ship KiseMido all I want. And of course, I couldn't resist the AoKuro. I feel so bad for Midorima though, OTL.