AU : Kagami and the Kiseki work for Fujimaki Tadatoshi, where he based his manga from the interaction of his assistants.
Initially I did this as a oneshot for Aokaga ( A Man Worthy for Aomine Daiki) but a lot of people wanted more...so, here it is, Akafuri version of this AU. You don't have to read that one to understand this, though.
Well, enjoy the ride!
The sound of ear deafening alarm going off sent Furihata scrambling to his feet; groggy, staggering and unsteady footing from the sleep that hadn't let him go yet despite the sun that was already peeking through the window. Rubbing his eyes, he slowly strolled towards the alarm clock he placed on top of the study table across the room; purposely placing it far out of reach from his bed so that he wouldn't slam it shut and goes back into the slumber land. As the sound died down at one small touch on the snooze button, he eyed the time on it. 6.15 am. The brunette's pace quickened, disappearing into the bathroom to get himself ready for work.
It had been two years since Furihata finished high school and a lot of things had happened; good and bad, but he had been unlucky in terms of everything. Terribly unlucky, so the bad things overwhelmed the good ones. He wasn't keen on continuing his study in college as studying wasn't his kind of thing, therefore working was the only other choice he had. But he wasn't doing well in that department as well. The brunette often found himself unemployed rather than employed – changing jobs more than a model on a runway change clothes during an extravagant fashion show. He wasn't a bad worker, just a little bit slow in learning and quite a klutz. It wasn't causing a big enough trouble, but however small problem it was to the brunette, it was a big enough reason for his employer to fire him.
Making it on his own in Tokyo as his parents decided to return to their hometown far in Hokkaido, the brunette had been working his ass off to barely make ends meet – paying apartment rent, bills and foods, jumping from one part time job to another. He was a freeter for two years, until a fateful meeting with a small familiar face back in high school two months back changed the course of his life. Kuroko Tetsuya, a friend since they were in a freshman in Seirin offered him a job opportunity at the place he was working at. Being one of the assistants that worked alongside Fujimaki-sensei, the creator of 'Kuroko no Basuke', Furihata was told by Kuroko that they were short on staff to help around doing odd jobs at odd hours. As the manga gained popularity, the workload substantially increased, making it hard for Fujimaki-sensei and his assistants to maintain the tiny apartment they used as their base by themselves.
There wasn't any official title for the job he was doing, but they all call it as 'the runner.' It was a constellation of odd jobs alright – cleaning the apartment, making coffee and getting lunches for everyone, ensuring that they have enough supply of stationeries for drawing and inking and coloring, also going back and forth between the apartment and WSJ main building on weekly basis to deliver documents from and to Fujimaki-sensei. It was a tiring job, but it an 'okay' from his side from the get-go because he couldn't handle the unstable life of a freeter anymore. Even though the pay was barely enough for him to make a living, he was glad to finally settle with one job that consisted of a good sum of working hour and steady payment every month. A plus on his side too as he could steal a quick glance over the latest chapter of his favourite manga before it was released.
It was a quarter past seven when Furihata left his house. Rushing downtown riding the old bike he had since back in the days, he'd go along the line by the road heading down the hill, cycling vigorously despite the gravitational pull, doubling its velocity, loving and enjoying the splash of cold morning wind on his face. But however fast the brunette went, he would slow down at one particular point of his journey, simply because he wanted to sneak a glance at one beautiful creature that took form as a red-haired male; waiting for a bus at seven o'clock sharp, every day, without fail.
This was not the same redhead that went to school with him; he was an entirely a different being. Crimson red instead of bloody red, petite instead of gargantuous, graceful instead of uncouth. He was comparable to a majestic doll with a breath-taking sight, one that people would place on a stand, high above everything else and somewhere special, away from dirty hands of unrefined human touch. One that was only for admiration and adoration from afar. That was what Furihata did.
Akashi Seijurou was one of Fujimaki-sensei assistants working alongside his former school mates Kuroko Tetsuya and Kagami Taiga, as well as other famous figures he used to know during his years in school. Having had a minor encounter with the beautiful male one fine winter afternoon, Furihata had been entranced by him since then. Akashi was insightful, he was feared. There were no lips that speak of his name without having the least amount of respect he deserved. Coincidence brought Furihata to Akashi once again, and he was glad. But being the biggest coward in the league, watching from the sideline was more than enough for the former Seirin High brunette. He too, knew that the enormous feelings he had for the other male was not socially acceptable, knowing that it might raise disgust in Akashi if he ever learned how Furihata felt about him. This was the best decision he opted for their situation, even if caused him occasional pain, pricking holes in his heart.
The fifteen seconds of when Furihata passed by a bus stop with blue roof at the outskirt of the town always lit up his day, eyeing the redhead from the corner of his eyes who would be engrossed in his reading while waiting for the bus. The brunette would smile to himself as he passed by, breathing in the view and imprint it at the back of his mind. It was his only chance to take a good look at Akashi; although from a distance, it was enough. At their workplace, they'd be too busy with work other than exchanging a quick hello, thank you and goodbye; Furihata would drown himself with paperwork and clerical jobs if he hadn't gone out for despatching work in bedroom-turned-office in the apartment, whereas Akashi would be in the living room with the rest of Fujimaki-sensei crews, sketching and drawing their hands off in a race against time for manga printing.
After those fifteen seconds of pure blissful scenery in his eyes was up, the dash towards the office apartment began again.
Rudely stretching, overextending his back, Furihata leaned back on his computer chair, letting out a half-assed yawn. Eyes half open, he eyed the clock on the wall of his office room. 8.30 pm. His stomach was growling, his body was aching. Today was another hellish day for the brunette. His morning was all about coffee, bills and paperwork, whereas his afternoon after a late lunch was a race towards the publisher office, sending the latest manga chapter that was completed way past the deadline. Fujimaki-sensei's editor, Midorima suddenly fell sick and couldn't make it to their office to turn the final product in, thus the responsibility fell onto his lap. He wasn't the only one affected by it as his assistants had to bend over backward to get everything done as soon as possible. Sometimes he wondered if everybody should all chip in to send Fujimaki-sensei for a time management course so his habit of procrastination wouldn't jeopardize other people's health.
Finished doing a final check in the empty office, making sure that it was squeaky clean and nobody was inside, he turned off the lights and locked the door. Strolling towards the lift, Furihata's stomach churned for an entirely different reason as his amber eyes fell upon a mismatched crimson red and golden orb. He tried to reach out, but the words never did get beyond his throat. It was the smaller red-haired male in front of him that made it through, shattering the silence that settled around them as they waited for the elevator.
"Y – yes?!" The brunette's response was jumpy for reasons.
Akashi held out a straight face that was neither aloof nor expressive, strain of words gracefully left his lips. "It's pretty late. Have you had your dinner yet?"
"Y, yes, I mean no – yes it's late and no, I haven't had my dinner yet, I'll probably drop by a convenient store and get something there," stuttering, Furihata turned away from the smaller male line of sight and beat his chest with a fist, telling himself to get a grip. He took a deep breath and exhaled. "What are you doing here, Akashi-kun? I thought everybody left after Fujimaki-sensei turned in the finished manuscript in the afternoon." Of which he had to cycle halfway across town to get it printed and only got back to the office at seven in the evening to a messy, empty apartment office, but he refrained himself from saying it, afraid of sounding bitter about the matter.
"All the guys wanted to have a get together to celebrate the completion of the fully coloured pages chapter this week. We waited for you until 5pm but Aomine couldn't tolerate his hunger anymore so we just went ahead. What took you so long?"
Furihata stared at the indicator above the lift door, avoiding eye contact with the male next to him as he talked. "Oh, that. Do you know Takao-san? He manages the printing for Fujimaki-sensei's Kuroko no Basuke. He was the one giving me trouble with questions about Midorima-san, of why he's not around and how did he get sick and stuffs. It was really troublesome," the brunette sighed as he rubbed his tired eyes. "But thank you for the thought. It was nice for all of you to wait for me even though I am not a part of the team."
"Nonsense. It doesn't matter if you're doing the clerical jobs and we're assisting Fujimaki-sensei. We're all working together. That makes us a team," firmness entwined itself around the redhead's words.
"Y – You're right," the brunette scratched the back of his head, smiling apologetically straight ahead at the machinery door that opened up, although it was directed to Akashi. "I'm sorry...I guess."
"It's good enough that you understood," breathed the redhead with a small smile that wouldn't be visible to untrained eyes as they both stepped into the lift. Catching the glimpse of it by the corner of his eyes, Furihata felt his heart beat steadily increasing at a more diabolical speed that it already had been, simply by having a conversation with the man next to him.
The lift ride down nine levels never felt this long to the brunette, and he couldn't help but relate it to Einstein's theory of relativity in that instance. Furihata cursed himself; he was supposed to come up with something, anything at all to fill in the awkward silence between the two of them, the only passengers in this current lift ride, not came up with something smart and brainy that was unlike of him.
He was about to steal another glance at the red-haired male when there was a loud sound of steel from above and the floor rattled underneath him, shaking and throwing them off their feet as two of the four bulbs blinked before going out. A few seconds of zero gravity with a sudden halt almost caused Furihata's heart jump out of his chest. As the sound of metallic clashing against one another died down and no more unexpected movement from mechanical machinery they were riding in, he glanced at Akashi, still calm and composed. His face fumed, ashamed at how uncool he was to let out a weak, girly shriek.
Akashi got up on his feet and dusted his knees before taking a step towards the controller, pressing the emergency bell button to call for help. Only after the bell rang for the tenth time it alerted the security officer that was in-charge that night.
"I'm humbly sorry for the delay sir, I just got back from a toilet break. I'll get help as soon as possible, please hang in there!" the hoarse voice at the end of the line disconnected from the communicator almost instantly. Exhaling a low sigh, the redhead strolled to one corner of the elevator, settling himself as he sat down with legs crossed. Furihata scooted to the other end of the corner, hiding his face as he hugged his knees, wallowing in his own dark thought.
So close yet so far was really a cliché expression, but that was how the brunette felt as the reality of the situation sank in. He was trapped in an elevator with Akashi Seijurou. The gap between them was vast. If he was the earth, Akashi would be higher than the seventh layer of the sky. Their initial reactions toward the incident was like a yard stick for Furihata, also a hard reality bitch slap, for him to realize how different they were, of how unfit he was for the graceful creature he had a crush on. A little part of his heart died at that moment. The littlest spark of chance he thought he had with Akashi disappeared.
Deafening silence settled in that small confined space for a while before words in the air clashed in unison.
"A – Akashi-kun, I'm – "
"That's right, I haven't – "
Both stopped and sound died down as they exchanged a look, gaze bore deep into each other. Furihata was the first to back down, staring at his feet as he hugged his knees tight. Imitating the act of the brunette, Akashi rested his head on his knees, turning sideway to face the man sitting few meters apart from him.
"What was that you about to say, Furihata-kun?"
"I – Its okay. I mean, you were in the middle of saying something too, so please say it," nails dug into his skin. "It was just something stupid – "
With a gaze that borderlines a deadly glare, Akashi retorted. "Let me be the judge. Just say it."
Like an order from a royal, Akashi's order sounded absolute in Furihata's ear. He faltered, and muttered his words low, trace of confidence none.
"I...I just wanted to say I'm sorry. For getting you into this trouble. If it wasn't because of me, you wouldn't have to go through this terrifying experience."
"I'm not sure I follow."
Folding a fist, he swallowed the lump in his throat. "I...I brought bad luck. If you were to ride this elevator alone, if I were to come out of the office just a few minutes later, after you've ride it down on your own, you might have been spared from this trouble, Akashi-kun." Silence stretched for a fraction of second before the brunette opened his mouth again. "I'm sorry."
"Furihata-kun, it's all about perspective. It has nothing to do with luck and such," uttered the redhead, not scolding, not nagging. It was more of him pointing out the truth. "If anything, it was fate."
"Blaming yourself hardly has anything to do with the course of actions I chose to take at this point of time, Furihata-kun. It was my fate to realize that I left my book in the office right after dinner, not before it. It was fate that I decided to drop by and take it, instead of heading straight home. It was fate that in that instance that I wanted to ride this elevator down, you were there. And it was fate that it decided to break down the moment we're both using it."
The brunette bit his lip, trying to digest the truckload of words that came out of the red-haired male's mouth. Did Akashi just tried to comfort him? He shook the thought out. It must be just an act of pity. As the conversation ran dry, the brunette stay zipped and stilled in his position while Akashi took out a book to read. Although he had admitted the hopelessness of his unrequited feelings, Furihata couldn't help but steal glances at the redhead, by the corner of his eyes and off the reflection on the metal elevator door as they sat there in silence.
"I should charge you for every look you steal, Furihata-kun," muttered Akashi at one point as he uncover his face from the book he was reading, the very same book with red hard cover he read every morning, the one he came back for after leaving it in the office. The brunette jumped at the accusation.
"P – pardon me?"
"Every morning for the past 2 months. The guy on a bike. It was you, wasn't it?"
Anxious, Furihata swallowed hard. "I – I don't know what you're talking about, Akashi-kun."
"There's no point denying, Furihata-kun. My eye sees everything." Indeed, his emperor eyes, the insight it overlooked was the thing that made Akashi special, it made Akashi superior. "Nothing escapes me."
The embarrassment from before was nothing compared to being caught red handed for something he thought he did in secret. Furihata felt like burying himself six feet under would be the only way to put a stop to his shame. "I...I'm sorry. I'll stop."
To his relief, all the light above them blinked and illuminating the room for real as the sound of metal ran above them. They could feel the elevator descending once again. Akashi stood up to dust off his pants, putting the book back into his sling bag as he stepped forward to stand in front of the door.
"I'm not angry or have any other emotions tied to it, but please take responsibilities of your action, Furihata-kun," emphasized the red-haired male before the door opened, stepping out of the elevator."If you have the guts to start it, have the guts to finish it."
Because of the incident, the brunette went home with a lot of questions in his head, trying to churn and process the conversation he had with Akashi. His last words kept on ringing in his ears, playing in his head like a song on a constant loop. He hardly slept that night.
Because of that as well, he woke up late and rushed his way to work without a second wasted. He passed by the usual bus stop with blue roof without a second thought, the first time in two months span he had started working with Fujimaki-sensei. Before succumbing to exhaustion the night before, Furihata had reached a conclusion.
All he needed was the 30 seconds of courage to make his happiness lasts more than just 15 seconds every morning.
Akashi reached the office at exactly ten minutes before 8. Right on time, never later or never earlier since he started working a year ago with the mangaka of 'Kuroko no Basuke.' As usual, he would be the first one among the assistants to reach the office; settling himself, gathering his thoughts together and get everything ready before getting into actions. He wasn't the first one in the office though, as their runner, Furihata-kun would be the first one to open the office and get coffee ready for all of them before disappearing underneath his own pile of work. Again today, he didn't get to catch a glimpse of the brunette boy in the office.
After he was done unpacking the necessary stuff from his bag, Akashi settled on his chair as others started to swarm into the office. He picked up the cup of coffee, already served on his table when he noticed a yellow sticky note stuck behind the crimson red cup. A smile, wily, bordering malice surfaced on his lips as he read the note as, whispering to himself.
"It's about damn time."
"Did you say something, Akachin?" asked Murasakibara who had just got there, sitting on his chair within the compartment next to him.
The redhead unstuck the yellow note from his cup to put it on the table, still smiling. "It's nothing, Atsushi. Rest assured."
Please let me take the responsibilities for my actions. Let's go out for a dinner tonight. I'll be waiting for you at the lobby at six. – Furihata
A/N : Akashi is too complex of a character, I had a hard time coming out with his dialogues because he's just too damn smart! I hope I did it right, Akashi's fans. Don't kill me.
Also, sorry to disappoint any of you who expected some actions in this fic. I couldn't fit any in.
Well, my first Akafuri. I hope you guys liked it. Comments are highly appreciated. Thanks for reading!:)