GOSH SCHOOL IS KILLING ME- /shot

Sorry for the late update guys ;;w;; As I'd mentioned in the previous chappie, my school year started right after new years, and I've been struggling to settle down since then. I was so tensed that I had some trouble focusing on writing =u=''. I didn't really want to give you guys too much of a halfassed work, so I took my time ;u;. I can't say that this is too much of a success either so...

OTL OTL

ughhhhh. I'm so sorry again if this wasn't satisfying. it'll take some time again, but I'll try my best in the next one!

KuroBasu is not mine. Feel free to comment on anything ouo. Thanks in advance for reading!


Akashi's plan was simple: let themselves be captured and led to the Prime Minister's residence. It was definitely easier compared to having to force their way through a bunch of armored guards with dangerous-looking weapons, Kagami had to admit. Not to mention that they get to save more energy, too.

Kagami glanced around as he and the others were marched past the busy streets of the main city, his dislike towards the place growing more and more with every step he took. The people there all looked healthy and well fed, unlike the villagers who were all barely scraping by. In fact, as far as Kagami could see, the citizens were even wasting the food they have. More than once he'd spotted perfectly good conditioned fruits and whole packets of rice in rubbish bins. The huge houses and mansions did not make things any better. The smallest house he saw was at least three times the size of the huts back at the village.

Kagami now knew why Akashi had been so obsessed with facing the head of the country about the matter. Conspiracy was written all over the place.

Citizens pointed and stared as they were marched through the streets, some in disbelief, some in distaste, some in triumph. Kagami bit his lip, and forced himself to ignore them and not glare back. What they thought of them was none of his concern.

Kagami looked ahead as they approached a mansion much bigger than the rest. It was huge, with a pair of long wings of rooms stretching out from either side of the main building. Kagami couldn't help but stop and stare. It was the first time he'd seen a residence so gigantic. Even the richest guy in his hometown did not own something as hardcore as this.

"Keep walking," the guard behind him ordered, shoving him roughly from the back. Kagami gritted his teeth, and willed himself to resume moving. He was definitely going to make all this worth his time later. They were led through the gates and towards the main entrance, where they were stopped by more security staff.

"Stop," a man in uniform said, hurrying towards them. "What are you-"

He trailed off, noticing the other six boys behind Kagami. A look of recognition passed across his face upon seeing them. He turned to the guards that had brought Kagami and the others there, his eyebrows disappearing under his fringe.

"Don't tell me you guys caught them," he gaped, sounding incredulous.

"Who else do you expect then?" the one standing near Aomine huffed. He sounded proud for someone who was lying.

Kagami was sure Akashi was almost laughing out loud. Caught? These men could spend their whole lives chasing them down and not catch them if they hadn't decide to willingly show up themselves. Being caught was not an option when being a member of the Generation of Miracles. Akashi forbid it.

"You letting us in or not?" the guard behind Kagami grunted impatiently.

"The Sir is currently entertaining some guests," the one in charge of the entrance said.

"We'll just lock them up somewhere until he's done then," the other said indifferently. The entrance guard considered this for a moment before wordlessly stepping aside to let them through.

For the umpteenth time, Kagami thought it was unfair. Just the foyer itself was at least four times the size of Kuroko's small home. Large glass chandeliers hung low from the ceiling, casting a sort of fractured light across the whole place. A set of ornate stairs was built right at the opposite end of the entrance, leading to more corridors upstairs. Kagami felt the ground soften under his feet when he stepped in. He glanced down, and realized that the floor was covered with a plush carpeting.

Kagami was feeling slightly mischievous. He made it a point of drag his feet when he walked.

The group was not led upstairs. They turned right at the ground-floor, heading towards a dimly lit hallway. Kagami glanced around curiously, but he wasn't just gaping mindlessly over things that he was seeing for the first time in his life. He had to remember everything to prevent from getting lost when the time comes. It was all part of the precautions of Akashi's plan.

The guards ordered them to descend a flight of stairs that led somewhere underground. Dungeons? Kagami suspected so. Despite its modern outer appearance, the Prime Minister's residence had some medieval designs in its architecture as well. Kagami and the others silently made their way down, their footsteps echoing against the stone steps. It felt like a long time before they reached the bottom.

There was a musty scent in the air, Kagami noticed. He figured the place probably hadn't been used in a while. He did not have much time to ponder over the thought. Before he knew what exactly was happening, he was pushed hard from the side. Kagami turned, nearly losing his temper with these men when a barred door slammed shut inches from his face. An automatic lock promptly clicked into place.

Kagami took in deep breaths. He did not want to bother making it a show by demanding to be let out. He already did that the first time they had their hands cuffed. Instead, he chose to glare at the guards who brought them there, putting as much hate as he could into his gaze. It wasn't hard. At that point, Kagami loathed the main city and its citizens so much, he wanted to wring the necks of every one of those in charge.

He listened in fuming silence as six other cell doors slam shut, followed by the footsteps of the guards. Kagami waited until the footsteps have faded before letting out his anger in a loud, deep sigh. He allowed himself a minute's rest to gather his thoughts. The slamming of the other cell doors did not sound far away, which was a relief. Akashi had discussed what measures would be taken if they were to be separated too far off from one another, and Kagami was praying with all his life for it not to happen. Having to sneak around alone in such a big place was scarier than having to walk through a seemingly endless forest in its own way.

They had been patted down right after they were handcuffed to make sure they weren't carrying anything that could be used as a threat or weapon. The guards found nothing, of course. Akashi had carefully devised everything. The Generation of Miracles were thieves, not assassins or anything of that sort. They take what they want when they want it.

Handcuffing them from the front was the first mistake the guards made. Kagami bent down to examine the lock, yawning as he did so. His lack of sleep was finally starting to take a toll on him. Kagami shook his head in an attempt to push the drowsiness away. He reached towards his hair, and pulled out a thin, black bobby pin cleverly hidden under layers of dark red locks. He held up his hands before him, looking for the keyhole in the metal cuffs that bound his wrists.

The second mistake was the placement of the keyhole. Kagami wasn't sure what to think of the person who made the thing; careless or just plain stupid. It was right there on the base of the wrist, which Kagami could easily reach once he bent his long fingers. He inserted the pin into the hole, and jiggled, straining to hear the click of the mechanism.

Lock-picking was never one of Kagami's specialties. He'd broken many locks and pins from his earlier attempts back at his family's sweet shop before he could get the hang of it. Hey, a kid can't be too desperate for candy, can he?

Kagami was appreciating his past efforts now. At least he didn't need to worry about one more thing during the preparations of what he was currently doing.

Something clicked into place, and Kagami was free from his handcuffs. Kagami took several seconds to rub his sore wrists before running the back of his hand over his forehead. He was sweating up a storm, and was tempted to roll up the sleeves of his shirt. He decided otherwise, instead proceeding to unlock his cell door. It took a little longer than his handcuffs, but he got it done without much problems. Seeing that the coast was clear, he pushed the barred door open, and slipped out, his nerves on high alert mode.

"Took you long enough," Aomine commented in a drawling voice once the redhead stepped out of his cell. He snorted when Kagami almost jumped from surprise. He got it easy. He probably did this almost every day for the last few years.

"Shut up," Kagami retorted back. Then he realized that the whole world was waiting for him, and had to resisted the urge to feel embarrassed. He will not compare his skills to those of thieves.

Akashi swept his gaze around before nodding approvingly. "Looks like everyone's here."

Kagami glanced around. He then raised his eyebrows. "Where's Kuroko?"

"I'm right here," Kuroko said, materializing at Murasakibara's side. Kagami nearly stopped breathing for five seconds. How long has it been since this happened?

"Kagami-kun looks strange," Kuroko observed, tilting his head aside. "Is something wrong?"

A very unnecessary memory of what happened the night before surfaced in Kagami's mind, and he had to work hard to keep a straight face and not blush.

"I'm fine," he managed to say.

"You better be. It'll be a bother if you're not, Taiga," Akashi said in a light tone. Kagami did not really see what was the problem, but the rest of the Generation of Miracles visibly flinched. They knew Akashi. The more indifferent he sounded, the more threat there is. "Now let's get going. There's quite a lot to do."

He did not receive any objections.

xXx

Finding their way back to the foyer was easy.

In fact, it seemed too easy. All they had to do was go up the stairs and turn left. Kagami was expecting some hi-tech heat censor cameras or something to be installed at every corner, but there was nothing of that sort. No traps sprang to life. No chasms opened under their feet. No alarms blared to life. Heck, there weren't even guards in the place. Kagami had this ridiculous feeling that his gang was being expected, but he knew it was impossible. Suppose the security of the mansion was just that bad.

Kagami followed Akashi's lead as they silently slipped through the numerous corridors to track down the Prime Minister's location. Kagami was grateful for his worn, comfortable leather boots, for they made no sound as he moved around. He wasn't really keen on going all over the place barefoot and holding his shoes in his hands. He and the others carefully trailed behind the shorter redhead, alert of any type of security. As far as he knew, Kagami still saw none.

After a while, Kagami started noticing trivial things. The Generation of Miracles looked so confident in what they were doing. Their movements were fluid and natural, like they were just strolling in the streets rather than sneaking around in an important guy's home. In short, they looked absolutely unbothered by the fact that they might just be caught any time soon.

Kagami, on the other hand, was starting to feel more paranoid than normal. He tensed at the slightest sound. His eyes kept on darting around his surroundings. He wondered if this was how Kuroko and the others felt like when they first went to steal from the city. It must've been hard for them. A group of ten-year olds probably wouldn't have stood a chance if caught.

Akashi suddenly stopped in his tracks, raising a hand in warning. "Hide," he ordered in a whisper. He ducked into the nearest unlocked room, the other's following suit without question. Quickly without a sound, he shut the door. From behind the mahogany, voices and footsteps could gradually be heard. Kagami held his breath as the footsteps became louder and louder, heading their direction. He was sure whoever those people were would hear his heartbeat even from that far away.

"..no way," a muffled, unfamiliar voice was saying. "They actually caught them?"

Another voice snorted. "Yeah, right. It took them forever to just catch one of them, and that was because the guy wasn't paying attention to what he was doing. Do you really believe in crap like that?"

"I heard that there's a foreigner with them. I knew there were rumors around, but I didn't think it was true," a third voice said. "Anyway, why don't we go down to the dungeons and see for ourselves? It'll be hilarious if those guys made a stupid mistake by capturing the wrong people. Sir will not be impressed."

The three men walked right past, too immersed in their conversation to bother to check. Kagami did not resume breathing until the voices and footsteps had completely faded. Akashi motioned them to wait, and they did. Five seconds, ten seconds..

Akashi nodded to Kuroko, who was closest to the entrance. Kuroko pressed his ear against the wood, listening for any sounds. He then slowly twisted the doorknob, and pushed the door from its frame, carefully peeking outside as he did so. The corridor was as silent and abandoned as before. There were no signs of any living things other than his group.

Kuroko stepped outside, and silently waved for the rest to follow. The coast was clear.

Kagami let out a breath that he'd been unconsciously holding as he walked out. Damn, that was scary. Kagami couldn't help but think how much of a failure he would be if he were to decide to walk the path of a thief after all that.

"Tch."

Raising his eyebrows, Kagami glanced at Akashi. He immediately flinched upon seeing the shorter redhead's face. Akashi was glaring at the direction where the guards went with so much killer intent that Kagami actually felt goosebumps rising on his skin. He noticed that the others were having the same reaction too.

"We have to hurry," Akashi said, turning back to them. He looked extremely annoyed, which was rare. "It will not take them long to discover that we've escaped."

"Who knows? With luck, they might just lock themselves inside the cells," Kagami couldn't help suggesting. It sounded more like he was assuring himself, but he didn't really care. Panic was rising in his chest, and that was not a good sign. At this rate, he might just forget all the stuff that he'd painstakingly memorized when the time comes. Kagami shuddered at the thought. He forced himself not to think about it.

"Maybe," Akashi said, sounding doubtful. "At any rate, let's hurry up and find the man before he leaves or something. I do not fancy wasting my efforts in here."

"Which way, Akashicchi?" Kise inquired. Kagami realized with the start that most of them had not spoken at all the whole time they were there. Kise seemed like a completely different person now. He'd lost the silly cheeriness that usually surrounded him. The look in his golden eyes were dead serious. "Or rather, which room?"

Akashi pursed his lips in thought. Judging from where they were now..

"One more corridor," he said. "That's the Prime Minister's quarters. If he's still entertaining his guests, then he'd probably still be there."

No one bothered to even ask how could he be so sure about it, not even Kagami. This was Akashi in question. He was always right. Kagami figured the guy must've somehow gotten his hands on the mansion's floor plan or something.

"Now come," Akashi beckoned, walking first. "Let's get this over and done with."

They forged on, Akashi in the lead. This is it, Kagami thought as he walked. It's almost time to do what he was there for. He inhaled deeply to steel his nerves. He could do this.

They soon reached a hallway not different from the ones they had ventured through. In fact, everything - from the placement of windows to the number of rooms - looked so identical, it was scary. If Akashi wasn't the one leading, Kagami would've thought they'd been travelling in circles.

The stretch of rooms was deserted… Or was it? Kagami concentrated on his hearing, and he could vaguely pick up some muffled sounds of conversation from one of the rooms. Apparently, the guests were still there. He guessed they were somewhere about four rooms ahead on him on the left. He watched as Akashi boldly stepped closer towards the source of the sound. The shorter redhead came to a stop before the a set of double doors leading to the room right after the one Kagami assumed to be occupied. Akashi gazed blankly at the polished wood of the doors for a moment before turning to face his comrades. He jabbed his thumb towards the door and nodded.

The rest of the group approached Akashi's spot. Kagami glanced at the closed doors, then at Akashi, relaying a silent question.

Now?

Akashi got the message and nodded once more. They've discussed this before. Things would be in their favor if there were guests present. Akashi had explained why.

Kagami turned towards the polished mahogany, and inhaled, breathing out slowly. It was strange. Now that the moment was so close, he didn't feel that nervous anymore. More than anything, he felt determined to get things done once and for all. And that determination fueled his confidence. He can do this. He will do this.

Kagami reached for the doorknob, and twisted.

xXx

Nothing like a dramatic entrance. Kagami could almost get a cheesy picture of himself throwing the doors open in slow motion, the wind blowing at his hair, him smiling confidently. It was so ridiculous, Kagami almost burst out laughing, despite himself.

Well, all of that could have happened for all he knew. Kagami was only sure that if something like that really did happen, it was promptly ruined as soon as he got a good view at the inhabitants of the room he'd just bombarded.

Kagami had not just invaded the room where the Prime Minister was entertaining his guests. He had invaded a tea party.

Adult men and women dressed in expensive suits and gowns were milling all around, chattering heartily and animatedly with each other, holding delicate glasses of colored drinks in their hands. A big buffet table was set at the centre of the room, countless large platters of uneaten food placed there to be left cold. Soft orchestra music played from a hidden speaker.

Awkward did not even describe Kagami's situation by the least. It took all of his effort to not fidget when around two dozen gazes of important adults turned his way. Too late to turn back now.

"Where is the Prime Minister?" he said with so much demand he surprised himself. He set his face into an angry frown. It wasn't hard. Looking at this luxury infuriated him for some apparent reason. "I want to see him. Now."

He scanned the area, looking for a person that matched the description Akashi had given him before. The gazes staring back at him varied in emotions; surprise, fear, anxiety. Most just looked at him with calculating expressions like 'What's that boy doing here?' or 'Who brought this bug in?'. Kagami did not focus on those for long. He might just lose his temper and screw up.

"And how did you get in here, young man?" A man who looked like he was in his mid-forties stepped out from the crowd after five minutes of silence. Like the rest of the men there, he was wearing a formal suit, but his short brown hair was uncombed and messy. He looked grumpy. "This is private property - not a place for you to be in."

"I will not leave," Kagami insisted, crossing his arms. "Until I see who I'm here to see."

The man narrowed his eyes. "The Sir is occupied at the moment. Besides, not any random person is allowed to talk face to face with someone as important as him." When he saw the determination to not back down in the redhead's eyes, he sighed and added warily. "I'm his secretary. Perhaps you can talk to me instead, though this is probably not the best time and place."

"I will talk to no one but the man himself," Kagami said coolly.

The secretary let out a very undignified snort. "And what right do you have? Just who do you think you are?"

His tone had changed, but Kagami was not affected. Compared to his roleplay sessions with Akashi, this was nothing.

"Very well," the man said with a shrug when Kagami kept his silence. "Then I'll just have to treat you as an intruder and alert security."

He pulled a tiny device from his pocket, and pressed a button. An alarm blared to life, and out of a group of guards suddenly came rushing into the room. Okay, so the in-front-of guest approach did not exactly go as planned. Kagami feigned surprise as he pretended to struggle out of the men's grip. Akashi had thought up of all kinds of scenarios and had trained Kagami on how to act in each one. This was no exception.

"Put up a struggle, but let them overpower you and capture you anyway," Akashi had said. "We'll just find a way to get you out again. We can't afford to give them a bad impression of you."

So Kagami let himself be handcuffed and dragged off. Again. Damn, this was embarrassing. He wondered if Kuroko and the rest had been captured again too, since they were nowhere to be seen. He figured there's no need to worry about then. Compared to Kagami himself, they know their way around way better.

It took some effort for him not to sigh when the metal bar door once again slammed shut before his face. Really, all this was so tiring.

xXx

Kagami once again waited until he was left alone before starting to formulate a plan. No guards were assigned to keep an eye on him. Kagami wasn't sure whether to feel offended or relieved. That didn't matter. His main priority was to escape from his cell and reunite with the others. He was more than sure that their missing had already been noticed by security.

Unless they really are that slow and stupid.

Unfortunately, they did do something right this time. Unlike the first time, Kagami's hands were bound behind him, making it almost impossible for him to reach the pin in his hair. Kagami paced the floor as he thought. Didn't Akashi mention something like this some time ago?

He wrecked his brain trying to remember. Yes. The memory was vague, but Akashi did speak of something like this before. The shorter redhead had taught him a way to handle situations like this.

Kagami squatted down, carefully adjusting his arms behind him as he did so. It wasn't easy. Slowly, he brought his hands forward, putting one leg through the loop. When it was securely through, Kagami adjusted his position to balance himself. He then slipped the other leg through, and straightened up again.

Doing this alone took him a while. Kagami had long legs, and slipping them through such a small space without twisting them or dislocating something was challenging indeed. By the time he was done, he was sweating from the concentration and heat. Kagami took in several deep breaths before once again going through the procedure of picking the locks.

Kagami stood back and exhaled when he was done, leaving the metal door unlocked but still closed. He stared at his hands. They were shaking slightly. From what, though, he didn't know. He didn't care. He was busy pondering whether or not to run off and find the others or wait for the them to find him. Kagami considered his chances. If he would to go alone, he would most probably than not get himself lost and all that. Kagami decided to be safe. He decided to wait. After all, Akashi did say that they'll find him if he gets captured, didn't he?

Kagami found a comfortable spot on the floor, and settled down. He closed his eyes and leaned back, a yawn escaping his lips. Should he take a nap? He was exhausted. He was already tired from his lack of sleep the night before. All the running around left him drained. Just a few minutes wouldn't hurt, right?

Kagami had no idea when did he fall asleep, nor did he know how long he slept. The next thing he knew, he was blinking awake to the insistent shake of his shoulders and the call of his name.

"Kagami-kun."

Kagami grunted softly, shifting his sitting position in an attempt to cease the aching on his lower back and neck. He let out a huge yawn before completely opening his eyes. He glanced around sleepily. Who just woke him? There was no one around. Did he imagine it?

"Kagami-kun." He felt a tug on his sleeve. "Over here."

That voice. Kagami braced himself for a jumpscare before turning to his right. Kuroko knelt by his side, his large eyes staring blankly at him. Kagami was glad he delayed his reaction. Otherwise he could've let out a scream so loud it would have echoed through the whole place.

Kagami stared at him. "Kuroko? How did you- " Then he remembered the unlocked cell door, and blanched. "Ugh. Nevermind. How did you find me?"

"There's only one place for them to keep their prisoners," Kuroko said, getting to his feet. He brushed the dust off his clothes. "So Akashi-kun sent me to find you once everything was sorted out. We hid in one of the rooms when you were taken away by the guards. The gathering adjourned not long after that. The Prime Minister is now in his study, but they've tightened the security after finally realizing that the rest of us are gone."

"So now what?" Kagami asked, not exactly liking how it was all going. He stood up, and stretched.

"Akashi-kun has everything figured out," Kuroko assured. "We've plotted out a safe passage for you to go uncaught and undisturbed. We'll make sure you get it done this time." When Kagami remained silent for several seconds after that, Kuroko knitted his eyebrows and asked; "Kagami-kun?"

"Eh?" Kagami blinked.

"You were spacing out," Kuroko commented. "You okay?"

"I.." Kagami trailed off. "Ah, it's nothing. Let's just finish this. I want to go back and sleep."

Kuroko saw the confidence returning to the redhead's eyes, and decided to ask no more. Instead, he held out his hand. "Shall we go, then?"

Kagami broke into a grin, and took Kuroko's hand. "Let's do this."