Chapter 5

As Seirin was exiting the steak restaurant, Kagami couldn't help but grumble, "Yeah… I think I've eaten too much…"

His teammates still had incredulous looks adorning their faces. The owner of the restaurant was yelling something about never coming back, but no one paid him any attention. Riko was grinning from ear to ear.

"Okay, let's start heading back then! Is everyone accounted for?" The brown-haired coach asked. Everyone looked around but no one was able to locate their teal-haired manager.

"Huh? Where's Kuroko-chan?" Koganei exclaimed. Kagami waved his hand dismissively, stating that she was probably somewhere near the back of the group. However, they could still not catch sight of her.

"Oh, she's seriously… not here."

"Then where is she?"

"Ugh, hurry up and find that girl! We need to go before we miss the next train!" Riko ordered and her boys scrambled to do her bidding. No one wanted to be on the receiving end of her wrestling moves.

"So what did you want to speak to me about, Kise-kun?" Bright blue eyes unblinkingly gazed up at the blonde model. He found her behaviour endearing and wasn't afraid to let her know through a hug.

"Oh, Kurokocchi, you're as cute as always!"

Kuroko felt she could literally see doggy ears upon his head and a tail wagging happily behind him. Sighing, she marginally pushed her old schoolmate away to give her some personal space, to which the male relented.

"First, sorry about injuring you!" Kise clapped his hands together and bowed.

"I am fine, accidents happen." Seirin's manager shrugged off the incident.

Kise and Kuroko ended up in an area near a basketball street court with a couple of benches. The model casually took perch on the backrest of one of the benches, facing his former teammate.

As he ran a hand through his hair, he commented, "Speaking of which, I met up with Midorimacchi earlier."

"Oh… I still cannot get along with him that well." Kuroko admitted, looking slightly sheepish.

"Despite his quirkiness, his left hand is no joke, especially on good days for Cancers."

"… Yes. Did Midorima-kun come to watch the match?"

"Yeah… More importantly, Kurokocchi dumped me and I lost the match today… It's just one thing after another these days!"

"First of all, Kise-kun, I did not dump you."

"But you always refuse anything from me! What else could that mean?" Kuroko sighed and ignored his questioning look. "What I'm truly curious about… is why did you leave so suddenly from Teikou?"

Kuroko stared at the blonde model for a moment before replying, "Well, I felt as if my presence was no longer necessary, so I did you all a favour and left."

Kise appeared shocked at her blunt response, "Kurokocchi, that's not true~ You're the glue that keeps us together!"

"You may think so, but no one needed my passes anymore. Tell me, when was the last time you remembered any of them asking for my passes?" Kuroko rebutted. The tall male looked pensive for a while, before his face scrunched up and his mouth turned down into a frown. "See? Even you cannot remember. Aomine-kun was even before that."

"I should've known it was Aominecchi's fault you left! He should have been more considerate seeing as you guys are partners!"

"It was not just him. All of you became just like him." Honestly, it was quite a relief to get at least some of her frustrations out to Kuroko. She had been holding on to this for such a long time.

"But then, you should prove to us that your basketball can surpass ours by playing yourself! What good do you think you are from the sidelines at Seirin? I know you were part of strategy making back in Teikou, but your real strength is playing. And you know that too." Kise's golden eyes narrowed as he explained his thought process.

"Huh, so even Kise-kun can say intelligent things now and then…" Kuroko gave a small smile, to which the other basketball player melted at, before realizing what she had said.


They never noticed that Kagami had been just behind them listening to the last part of their conversation until he interrupted.

"Oi, this is where you've been, you crappy manager! We need to go home!" The redhead growled.

"… Kagami-kun, how long have you been standing there?"

"That doesn't matter! But if you're good at playing basketball, you should play instead of being a manager!" He unknowingly gave away the answer, causing Kise to snicker at his stupidity. "AND YOU, STOP LAUGHING, IKEMEN!"

As the blonde continued laughing, the two male teenagers failed to realize that Kuroko had slipped from their sights, after seeing a couple of guys being bullied on the nearby basketball street court.

"Wait, where'd Kuroko go again?!" Kagami shouted out of frustration. He always felt like pulling his hair out when he was forced to deal with Seirin's manager. The model was pointing at the court, then he hit his face with his palm gently.

"Ah, crap, not again…"

There were three much bigger guys than Kuroko towering over her as she bravely (or stupidly?) stood up for the other males cowering on the court.

"Five on three? How is that being fair exactly? Your basketball is the kind that nauseates me." The blue-haired girl frowned slightly.

"HAH?" One of the delinquents yelled, practically spitting on her face. "What is a little girl like you doing here? Go to the mall with your friends or something."

Suddenly, two large hands clamped down on the stranger's shoulders, causing him to spin around out of surprise. He saw two giants scowling threateningly down at him.

"You really shouldn't talk to Kurokocchi like that." Kise's eyes were aflame with ire.

"How about you pick on someone your own size, hah? Let's settle this on the court!"

"Us three against you five, should be fair enough, shouldn't it?" Kise smiled angelically as he suggested a game.

"With that little girl on your team? Hahaha, sure thing!"

He would most definitely be made to eat his words. And pavement. Sweet revenge.

"What the hell, Kuroko?! You can play that well?!" Kagami grabbed the girl's head with a single hand and ruffled her hair. She kindly responded with a strong jab to his stomach. Too bad for the redhead that it was his weak spot; he hunched over in pain. Damn that girl is stronger than her frail frame suggests!

"Please avoid touching my hair, Kagami-kun. I truly detest it." She glared at the taller boy.

"Ahh, that was amazing, Kurokocchi! It reminded me of the old days~ Let's play together sometime again!" With that, Kise waved goodbye as he skipped towards his home, smiling widely.

"Coach is going to kill us…" Kagami muttered, looking quite afraid, especially since he could see her stomping down the sidewalk towards them. Kuroko paled at the sight too.

"KUUROOOOKOOOO!" Riko let out a hefty war cry before grabbing the girl and twisting her body painfully.

"I am very sorry, Riko-san… I-it will not happen again…" Kuroko choked out when she could grab a breath every now and then.

AN: I'm really, really, really sorry for how late this chapter is and also how short this is! (╯ಊ╰) I don't really have a solid excuse, but I've had a lot of things going on in my personal life. I hope you can forgive me. """OTL

But what's important, is that I updated, right? *crickets chirp*

Anyway, please leave a review~ I love hearing from you guys. \ (* v *) /