Disclaimer and Warning: See chapter 1!
A/N: HAPPY BIRTHDAY KUROKO TETSUYAAAA (31/1). Yaah, it's been awhile minna-san… I know. Uh, lot of stuff to do (lies). Anyway, thanks a lot for the comments for previous chapter, also the faves and alerts… always make my day. So~ without further ado, please… ENJOY this new chapter!
Chapter 12: Turbulence
There was a vague sound of dripping water.
Tic… tic… tic…
It was slow… steady… like it was a leak from a pipe, drop by drop of rivulvet hitting the ground.
As soon as he was aware, the throb started, so suddenly, unmercifully. It caused him to groan. His head was pounding and he tried to open his eyes, yet something was obstructing his sight. He didn't know what it was, but it was dark, itchy on the skin around his eyes. And his mouth…. God, his mouth felt like sandpaper. So dry… so… scratchy. His throat hurt a little.
After that the nausea hit him like a ton of brick. Kagami tried to move his hand to his mouth before he could start to heave, but found that he couldn't move his limbs. Something restrained him on his wrists and he couldn't break free from it. He knew he was laying down on his right side, since he could feel the cold, hard pavement on his right cheek and any part of his hand that touched the ground. He couldn't hold down the bile that was rising very fast on his throat and threw up, face scrunched up at the bitter taste of acid from his empty stomach, and gagged some more.
Luckily he was facing down enough not to choke on his own vomit. He tried to move his legs then, to rise up slightly so he could move a bit, away from his puke on the ground. He could bend his knees, but his ankles were restricted as well, bound with something that clanged, like… like chains.
Why the hell was he chained, tied like some kind of animal? Why was he blindfolded? What the hell happened?!
Kagami had a difficulty in remembering how he had ended up in this kind of situation. He tried to recall what happened, but his memory was blank. The dread started to sit low in his stomach. He thought he might feel sick again.
What's going on? I don't understand…!—Kagami desperately tried to calm himself down with breathing exercise Yamamoto had ever taught him, but found it impossible because he started to hyperventilate in panicky. Somebody…!
There was a clicking sound and Kagami tried not to gasp or yelp in surprise as he could make out the noise of some kind of metal door sliding open against the asphalted ground. He held his breath and stayed very still, clenching his eyes shut in irrational thought of feigning unconscious, even though he didn't have to. He was blindfolded, so whoever it was that opened the door wouldn't see his eyes open at all.
There were hushed whispers, voices speaking lowly that were very unfamiliar for Kagami's ear. He didn't recognize their voices, but their language… they spoke in English instead of Japanese. Kagami's heart pounded wildly. He didn't know why, but the memory of that fated night in LA started to resurface, the wound in his left leg which was supposed to be already healed began to ache, and he clenched his fists, gritting his teeth hard while prying for them not to start chattering against his will.
Kagami grimaced slightly. The fear was absurd, like he was suddenly claustrophobic even though he had no such qualm against closed space.
His doctor once said it was psychological because of what happened before, even though this had nothing to do with the accident. Still, he was bound, helpless, and there were some people speaking in fast, clipped, English that he couldn't make sense because of the missing words.
Eventually, then the room went still; Kagami's labored breath was the only clear sound and he hoped against hope that they still thought him unconscious, only to choke slightly when he felt a hand fisting on his hair, yanking it up none too gently.
"Well, well… it seems that our guest has come to the living world once again." Someone said in strange accent of Japanese, his tone sneering, sounding amused. Definitely a foreigner.
"W-who are you…?!" Kagami rasped, still breathing unnaturally shallow and fast and he couldn't seem to get enough oxygen to calm his burning lungs. Cold sweats broke out of his entire skin, though the pounding pain had lessened slightly into a dull throb at the base of his head.
"Ah…that's a need-to-know basis, and you're certainly not privileged enough to know the answer, boy." He tightened his fist around Kagami's hair and it hurt, but Kagami bit his lips down, not wanting to whimper or to show weakness to his captor, whoever he was. Certainly, he was a bad guy because he abducted Kagami against his will and even though Kagami had no idea how or why he was kidnapped, he had a strong inclination that he wasn't the direct target of this… this criminal act.
"What… what do you want, then?" Negotiation was always a good start to make a connection of action and motive from a criminal. Crimes happened all the times in America and Kagami had been taught since a child, that to preserve his own life when it came to that was a priority over everything else. Build communication first and figure something out later. Make the culprit think he had the upper hand, that Kagami was at his mercy, and he could get what he wanted with minimal damage to Kagami and them, especially them.
"Clever boy." Kagami could hear the triumphant smirk from his sickeningly sweet tone. "You see… we don't actually have a problem with you. However, your father is another thing."
Kagami gulped. "Dad…?" He croaked in disbelief, while trying to get some more information even through his shock and confusion.
"Yes, your daddy… his business, to be precise," there was a suppressed anger and loathing in his voice and Kagami couldn't even imagine what his father's business had done to earn it such open hostility. As far as Kagami knew, his father was a successful business man. He owned some trading companies in LA and some other states. Though, Kagami had to admit he knew nothing of what kind of goods his father traded in his business. He assumed he would know if the time was right, much-much later, so he didn't ask. Besides, he didn't think he would inherit them someday because he was dead set on being an NBA player when he grew up.
"T-then… what will you have me do?" Kagami offered assistance to know where he stood. Although, he was sure that he was some kind of a hostage at this point, but his father wasn't in Japan at this moment. He didn't know what kidnapping Kagami would acomplish to whatever his captor was planning to do to his father's business.
"Nothing. Just be a good little boy and stay right here. No worries, we won't hurt you… much, anyway." There was a freaking giggle before he started to laugh loudly, like a maniac and Kagami feared that he might be dealing with a psychopath instead of sane person. "Ah… right, maybe we will cut your little finger to show how serious we are with our demand," and Kagami shuddered at the thought. He bit his bottom lip once more to stop himself from making any embarrassing -freaking out- noise.
"Wh-what is it that do you want?!" Kagami raised his voice slightly, wanting to distract himself from the frightening idea of being fingerless just because his captor wanted to make a point.
"We want your father to shut down his business, of course… because his business eats ours!" He snarled and yanked Kagami's hair upward again, farther and higher until his neck craned in a very uncomfortable, painful, position.
"What… what business are you talking about?" Kagami gasped for air and coughed at his effort to ease the pain in his breathing passage.
"Oh fuck… you really have no idea what he's been doing with his money, do you?" there was a hint of astonishment in the way he spoke. "Well, I guess you don't have to know how dirty your father is to live of his wealth. It doesn't concern you, of course." It was a mocking, disguised in understanding and Kagami clenched his fist behind his back, wrists still tightly bound together with some kind of rope that bit harshly at his skin when he tried to pull them apart.
Dirty…? What is he talking about?—Kagami felt the lump at the base if his troath. He really didn't have much of knowledge on anything that his father might have been doing in his trading company, but surely, his father couldn't have done something awful like… like…
Kagami couldn't even find any illegal thing that could be bad enough, except maybe drugs, but it was impossible! His father despised drugs. He always lectured that if only drug traficking was stop, then misguided youths could be saved more and more each years. He even donated part of his fortune to the drug rehabilitation facility each year!
"My… my father isn't dirty," Kagami growled, fury and resentment suddenly flaring deep in his heart that it affected his judgement. He got decked in his jaw for that and he yelped and groaned in pain after that, blinking back the sting in his eyes.
"Of course, otherwise you'd never be in this situation," the sarcasm was thick and Kagami could only grind his teeth in frustration. "Nevermind. Soon enough the word that you've gone missing will reach him, and let's see how he panics this time," the guy cackled again merrily before he and his goons left Kagami alone. Of course, at that point, Kagami was convinced that he was indeed, crazy.
Oh god…! How many hours have passed actually?—Kagami had no idea how long he had been unconscious earlier. He was starving for once, so it must have at least been over five hours since he was snatched. But then, it didn't rule out the possibility that he had been kidnapped longer.
Soon after, it suddenly hit him square in his brain. "Of crap! What day is it?!" Kagami instantly panicked. He had a match on Monday. And he was sure he had still been in a date with Kuroko in Sunday.
Holy shit! Kuroko! What happened to Kuroko?!—now as bits and pieces of memory slowly came back to him, he tried to dig further into his brain to gain information of how he could end up being kidnapped in the first place.
Many hours before—
Kagami was still holding Kuroko close in his embrace, relishing in his happiness that his feeling was reciprocated, when there was a warning cough behind him. Startled, he released Kuroko and stepped back, turning around slightly to meet a pair of red disaproving eyes.
Who?—Kagami almost asked, but Kuroko beat him to it.
"Akashi-kun?" Somehow, Kuroko's voice sounded strange, his face paling slightly.
Akashi? Akashi Seijuurou, one of the GoM members?—Kagami blinked, staring slightly at the red haired teen who hadn't said anything yet to greet them. However, his narrowed eyes clearly showed his displeasure, and wow did he look scary.
"Explain," was his simple command, his tone calm, but there was an underlayer of threat in it. Still, what bothered Kagami was he didn't even regard Kagami and only addressed Kuroko with authoritative gaze.
Kagami was taken aback. It was the first time that a person deliberately ignored his presence to his face. It was as if Kagami wasn't even in his line of sight and Kagami was bigger and taller than him.
"There is nothing to explain, Akashi-kun," Kuroko was also calm when he replied the 'order', his expression devoid of feelings and it disturbed Kagami because even though it was usually hard to read Kuroko's facial expression, Kagami had never seen Kuroko closed off so… calculatingly like that. It was as if he wanted to hide his feelings on purpose, and it wasn't like the usual Kuroko.
Akashi and Kuroko stared at each other for the longest of time possible. Well, alright, it was probably only a minute… or two. Kagami wasn't sure, but the tense silence was palpable enough around them to cut with a pair of scissors.
"I see…" then Akashi let out a sigh before he turned his icy eyes on Kagami's surprised ones. His gaze was scrutinizing and measuring. It was seriously very disconcerting since he looked at Kagami as if he was some kind of insect instead of a person. "I'll remember your face," he lifted his chin haughtily before he turned around and walked away.
What. The. Hell.
Kagami turned to Kuroko who raised his hand to his face and ensued temple massage with his thumb and middle finger. Somehow, he looked exhausted even though there were barely words spoken between him and Akashi earlier. He wondered if they got some kind of private language to communicate silently with their eyes only.
"I am sorry, Kagami-kun," Kuroko started, looking upward slightly at Kagami who was still rather confused at what happened earlier.
"For what?" Kagami didn't even know if Kuroko had done something worth apologizing for. After all, all he did was confessing his feelings and Kagami couldn't be happier than anything. Kagami liked Kuroko too and now he knew that there was nothing between Kuroko and Aomine, it was totally alright to give it a try.
"It is Akashi-kun… ah, Akashi-kun is my-"
"Captain, yes. I know. What about it?"
Kuroko was silent for a moment. "Akashi-kun is… rather unstable and very protective of his team," he mumbled quietly. "Honestly, I do not know what will happen because I did not plan to tell him about this, but… we should be careful around him. He can be frightening sometimes."
It was very vague, the way Kuroko explained it. Kagami was left with more questions rather than answer, but to hell with it. He didn't really care because he didn't plan to hurt Kuroko at all. If Akashi was protective of his friends, Kagami just had to show him that he could make Kuroko happy.
"Well, I am okay with your friends being protective of you. It means they care about you a lot, right?" He gave Kuroko a confident grin and Kuroko visibly sighed, probably in relief that Kagami didn't have a second thought in dating Kuroko.
"In a way… yes, yes they do," a small smile adorned Kuroko's face and Kagami couldn't help staring, because he was so damned cute it was almost illegal.
Crap, Kagami was so done for.
"Hey, do you want to continue our date?" Kagami grasped Kuroko's smaller hand, looking at him gently and Kuroko's cheeks pinked slightly at that.
"Yes," he squeezed Kagami's fingers. "Yes please."
And for the rest of the day, Kagami and Kuroko enjoyed their time as planned. They went to amusement park, just the two of them playing around, riding jet coaster and the other plays, experiencing 4D movies, enjoying warm chocolate milk and eating lunch together. And at the end of the day, they rode the Ferris wheel, looking at the sunset from the top of the giant wheel car and generally having fun.
When the amusement park was closing, Kagami offered to take Kuroko home.
"You do not have to."
"I want to." Kagami insisted, because he wanted to make this date a proper one and Kuroko seemed happy because he nodded and held Kagami's hand all the way to the station.
It was the time when people got off from work, so the train was very crowded and Kagami dutifully shielded Kuroko from the other overflowing passangers even though Kuroko already told him he would be fine by himself. Kagami just didn't want to take that chance.
"It will be bothersome if I lose sight of you," Kagami didn't really meaning anything special by it at first, but a few seconds later, he couldn't help blushing because he sounded very… dear God, he was such a love-sick puppy. It was almost creepy.
Kuroko though, only chuckled slightly, looking content, so maybe it was worth embarrassing himself a bit because the sight of his smile was very lovely.
Getting off the train, they walked for awhile until they entered residental area. Soon, they arrived at the park near Kuroko's house (according to Kuroko), and Kagami couldn't help asking. "Are your parents home, Kuroko?"
"No. Both my father and mother work. They usually come home around seven if they do not work overtime." Kuroko didn't elaborate further, so Kagami didn't ask in fear of intruding too much. He couldn't ask if he could spend more time with Kuroko in his house either. He didn't want to freak Kuroko out since it suggested very much like… he wanted to… yeah, not going there. Kagami blushed as his brain turned at the inapropriate direction. He had to shake his head slightly to chase out the naughty image from his mind.
When they reached a lovely house with a small porch, Kuroko stopped, right in front of the gate. "I live here," he pointed at the house and at the name-plate on the wall at the gate right side.
"Oh, right… so," Kagami suddenly felt awkward. He didn't know how to say good bye and how far he could… he meant, it was the first time he dated someone, so he wasn't sure what to do in this kind of situation.
"Do you want to come inside?" Kuroko offered and Kagami's heart soared at the chance, but he didn't want to rush anything either, so he shook his head slightly.
"Maybe next time," Kagami sometimes cursed his own stupidity. Seriously, why did he hesitate for god's sake?! Kuroko invited him, damn it!
"Alright, next time then," Kuroko gave him a small smile and Kagami decided he should be bold before he leaned into the smaller boy slighly to give Kuroko a light kiss on the corner of his mouth.
Kuroko flushed in immediate reaction and Kagami thought he wasn't in better shape when he pulled back. "See you tomorrow."
"Um, ye-yes, see you…"
Kagami felt giddy when he left, because Kuroko looked stunned and dazed and his expression was priceless after he gave him the kiss. Well, it wasn't quite 'the first kiss' yet because he barely touched the lips, but it was almost there.
Maybe he could have their first kiss after the bas—
Kagami's thought was abruptly cut when something unexpectedly covered Kagami's mouth and nose, probably a cloth, drenched with strange, sweet smell and he even didn't have time to react in surprise since his eyes instantly blurred for a second before it went completely dark.
Now Kagami remembered. He had been ambushed right after he escorted Kuroko home. Thank god… Kuroko is safe…—but, now was the big problem. He didn't know how long he had been missing. The All Middle Tournament… he didn't know if he should be worried about it over his own dire situation (being kidnapped and all), but… damn. He really wanted to play in the game.
"What should I do…?"
~Kagami x Kuroko~
Kuroko stared at the teams that would play after Teikou and Kamizaki in the asembling ceremony. Aomine was visibly giddy and excited because Kamizaki was Teikou's rival and there was Inoue who was on par with Aomine in last year tournament. Apparently he couldn't wait to playing because he couldn't sit still in the briefing afterwards, thus opted to 'cool his head' outside. The head coach let him and Aomine pulled Kuroko along to accompany him. Even Akashi was unusually quiet, didn't spare Kuroko and Aomine any glance as they walked out of the locker room to Kuroko's wonder.
Kuroko wanted to see Kagami first before his own match started, yet he couldn't find him between Shōei players after he lost Aomine on the way of his 'cooling down'.
Huh…? Is Kagami-kun running late? Or is he in the restroom?
Kuroko waited for awhile for Kagami to show up after he texted him, but the red head didn't reply. And Kuroko was entirely distracted when the speaker announced that it was time for Teikou and Kamizaki to play their match. Kuroko sighed and texted Kagami again to call him after his match and then ran back to Teikou's locker room. He ran into the slightly fuming Aomine on the way (because Kuroko wandered off wthout telling him again). When they reached the locker room, the briefing was over and the first game would start in fifteen minutes.
Kuroko didn't have time to wait Kagami's reply or to make a call himself since they had to warm up before the game, and it wasn't until the end of Teikou v.s. Kamizaki game where Aomine ditched his and Kuroko's partnership after Inoue so obviously resigned to his fate of not being able to keep up with Aomine's progress that Kuroko got his hand on his phone again.
Kuroko was very upset with that match. Sure, Teikou had won, but it costed him and Aomine their partnership. He didn't feel like winning at all. He needed to talk to Kagami now. He needed to hear Kagami's voice. However…
Kuroko dialled Kagami's number, but it wasn't connected. Maybe Kagami was busy with warming up… though he didn't see his nose at the ten minutes recess after their first-half ended. Morever, during Teikou's match, Kuroko noticed Shōei players on the bleachers, and yet he didn't see Kagami at all.
Maybe he's really running late—Kuroko started to get bothered. He tried to dial Kagami's cell-phone numbers several times in five minustes interval, but there was no connection at all. Did he turn off his phone?
Kuroko decided that he wanted to wait out and see the second match. Actually, Akashi encouraged the starting players to stay and watch because the winner of the next match would be their opponent in semi final, but Aomine was bitterly gone as soon as he was done changing, Momoi running after him in anxiety and even though Kuroko wanted to follow him as well to salvage their partnership very much, his concern for Kagami outweighted his worry for Aomine, so he, Akashi, Kise and Midorima stayed behind while the rest of the team, along with Nijimura and their coach went back.
They were perched on the bleachers looking at the players on the court when the second game started. Kuroko observed Shōei team carefully, but strangely didn't see Kagami anywhere.
Kuroko frowned; didn't understand. Why wasn't Kagami there? It was an important match to decide national four bests. Was he benched? But… he wasn't even on a bench! Kuroko got worried when the game progressed and there was no sign of Kagami until the first half was over and it was time for recess.
"Huh… Shōei is strong as usual, but Seitou… Hanamiya is on mission too. Without Kiyoshi, it must have been hard," Midorima mumbled quietly, but Kuroko was honestly not listening to their analysis and discussion over the game.
Why is Kagami-kun not there? Where is he?—Kuroko was getting restless and decided to leave the team, unnoticed as always via his misdirection, to look for Kagami, or at least ask one of the Shōei's students where Kagami might be.
After all, the Shōei team seemed rather furious when they played. Maybe something happened… an emergency or some short, that involved kagami somehow.
As Kuroko descended down the stairs to go to Shōei's locker room, hoping that he could find someone to talk to, a girl in Shōei jersey ran down the stairs after him, in full speed, not noticing him at all. She was very pale and looked very tense and frightened that she didn't pay attention to where she was running and body-slammed Kuroko when he was about to warn wer. Luckily, they were already at the bottom of the stairs, so their fall wasn't that bad.
Of course, the girl squeaked loudly as Kuroko grunted, bot falling on the ground. Kuroko apologized to her and immediately stood to help her stand as well, but she looked like a mess. Her hair was in disarray and she was in the verge of tears and Kuroko thought she was hurt, and offered her to go to the nearest clinic.
She shook her head and rambled about something that she had to go to her coach and team, and something about 'Kagami-kun' and she practically ran leaving Kuroko to wonder what was going on. Kuroko was very concerned now. He clutched at his cell phone and attempted to call Kagami again, but before he could, someone (or more than one, actually) shouted from Shōei locker room, and it was dead silence for a second afterwards before the door was slammed open and the coach rushed out, together with the girl.
Some players came out as well, their face visibly pale and looking very worried, but one of them noticed Kuroko and ushered the others back into the room instantly, closing the door with a loud bang.
"What's going on…?" A very bad feeling attacked Kuroko suddenly. He didn't know why, but… he just felt that it had something to do with Kagami.
Kuroko immediately punched numbers for Kagami's house. He couldn't contact his cell-phone, but there should be someone at his home. Yamamoto's voice greeted him after the third dial tone and he sounded weary and tired.
"Yamamoto-san, this is Kuroko," he said, clutching his cell-phone hard. "Is Kagami-kun there?"
There was a long pause on the line, like Yamamoto was speaking with someone else while covering the mouthpiece so Kuroko couldn't hear, but when Kuroko got his answer, it wasn't Yamamoto that spoke.
"This is the police," the guy on the other end said and Kuroko's heart sinked at the same time as he continued. "We are in the middle of investigation of a kidnapping at this moment. May I know who am I speaking to?"
Kuroko widened his eyes as the cell-phone slid off of his grip.
"Hello? Hello, are you still there? Hello?"
Who is kidnapped?!
End of Chapter 12
A/N: Ahem. So... happy birthday Kuroko Tetsuya and Daddy (yeah, today 31/1 is my dad's birthday *cough-cough*) and also… I'm very-very sorry for the… long absence… in writing. I- I got lazy… err, ya know, because I have some free time lo laze around, I spend it more with my hubby and… yeah, that *looks the other way* Anyway, this story turns into quite a suspense so suddenly, sorry about that as well. Uh… please do shoot questions if you have one or-or lots, oh, or throw suggestions, yeah, that can do too, so I'll try to reply as many as I can without revealing the plot. So… what do you think? (I don't even know what I am talking about anymore… T^T)