A/N: hi! just to warn you, there will be oc's, and this fem!kuroko is not very kuroko or tetsuya-ish, and technically it's not fem!kuroko but it is...i don't want to explain.
Kuroko no Basuke belongs to Fujimaki Tadatoshi.
Someone You Once Knew
She blinked, and tried focused on the ball that was hurling towards her at an alarming speed, faster than she had expected. Reflexively, she ducked her head and held out her arms in front of her face protectively.
The ball hit her squarely on the top of her head, and she flinched as it bounced off, cringing at how comical it must've looked. Consequently, the team to burst into laughter.
It was the punishment for spacing out, though, so she really had no right to complain.
"Pay attention," the captain barked at Asagi, who tried to keep her expression as impassive as possible as she nodded and winced, rubbing her head. She paid the price, alright. This was definitely going to give her a bruise.
At least this showed that the team's spiking was improving. Well, except for her. She sucked.
The giggles died down as the girls resumed practice. Asagi could feel the captain's sharp gaze as she tried to concentrate on the rally.
Her eyes kept averting to the basketball hoops today, trying to recreate the image of a certain boy dunking a ball in.
She watched as one of her teammate's hands made contact with the ball, sending it flying at the ground, and Asagi automatically dived. A perfect pass to the setter. Still, her mind wasn't exactly centered on her surroundings.
Basketball was her class's current module in gym right now, and although she held no initial interest for the sport, she could only be amazed at the obvious talent a redhead displayed. Kagami Taiga was his name, to be exact - the first name that she'd really remembered in this school - the boy who sat in front of her in homeroom, the one who had shrieked like a little girl when Asagi had first introduced herself to him. Of course. No one noticed her unless she spoke up.
Asagi recalled the first day of school. Kagami was a returnee from America, and she had been surprised at his fluent Japanese. Although he had no understanding whatsoever of literary Japanese at the beginning, he was now gradually improving. He seemed to not have any friends, and so Asagi had tried to keep him company. To be honest, she had no friends either at the time, but that was because she was so introverted, as opposed to the intimidating aura the boy emitted. Compared to him, she had no aura at all.
Sometimes, Asagi could feel an unfamiliar stare at the side of her head from the direction of the gym doors during practice. Those were the days that the basketball club needed the gym right after them. She would turn and see spiky red-black hair peeking out from around the corner.
Asagi and Kagami ate lunch together often, sometimes on the empty rooftop, sometimes sitting on the staircases, sometimes in their assigned desks. They faced each other, but didn't talk much, since she wasn't very talkative, and Kagami was too awkward with her, not knowing what subject to converse about. Even so, it was nice, sitting together like that.
She'd liked to think that they got along pretty well, possibly similar to the way friends do. He even passed the ball to her a few times in gym, probably knowing that she didn't have a clue of what to do with it afterwards, even though no one had been guarding her. (More like they hadn't even noticed her, but even then, she still wasn't very good with sports.)
"Shizuka-chan! Nice dig!" Sayuri, the manager, called out from one of the benches as she climbed back up to her feet, watching the ball travel back over the net. Her friend's voice had shocked her back into the game, and Asagi was glad that the seniors didn't catch her mind wandering again.
Asagi couldn't spike well, wasn't the best setter, and wasn't very tall. Her serving was only average. The only reason she had gotten into Seirin's volleyball team was because there were no cuts - the club welcomed everyone. But the captain had discovered her talent at passing, and put her into the libero's position.
There was a thud as the ball landed on the floor, and Asagi's eyes reverted to a girl flat on her stomach, lying on the floor with a stunned expression.
"That's it for practice today!" The captain announced, glancing at the clock. "Asagi! Help Nakamura with cleanup!"
As the rest of the team filed into the change rooms, Asagi started to take down the nets. Sayuri seemed to be in a good mood today, humming as she helped fold the net up.
"Hey, Shizuka-chan?" Sayuri lifted one of the poles from its position, raising an eyebrow at Asagi, who was struggling to move the heavy metal pole. "Want to go watch a basketball game today?"
It was as if Sayuri had read her mind. She almost dropped the pole. "Who's playing?"
Sayuri grinned. "Our school versus Kaijou High! It's just a practice match, but do you know Kise Ryouta?"
They headed outside to the school's equipment storage room. "Who's that?" She inwardly sighed at how flat her voice sounded.
There was an exaggerated gasp, and Asagi kept walking, not waiting for Sayuri who had stopped abruptly after hearing her answer.
"Shizuka-chan! Don't tell me that you really don't know him?! Kise Ryouta! The famous model?" Sayuri squeaked, and Asagi covered her ear with her free hand. "You really don't?! Pretty boy Kise? You don't?!"
Asagi turned the doorknob to the small shed, and she dragged the pole inside. Sayuri came in seconds later, squinting at Asagi and leaned in towards her until their noses almost touched.
"I know that you're pretty ignorant of the outside world, but come on! Kise Ryouta? Never heard of him?"
Asagi's brow involuntarily twitched, slightly irritated, but it was probably subtle enough for Sayuri not to notice. "Are you suggesting that I'm exhibiting hikkikomori symptoms?"
Sayuri rolled her eyes, and backed out of the dimly lit room. Asagi followed, glad to have her personal space back.
"Well, Kise Ryouta's apparently on Kaijou's basketball team. I heard that he was their best player, too," Sayuri explained. The late afternoon sunlight made her eyes seem to glitter. Asagi wondered if Sayuri knew just how lovestruck her tone sounded.
The locker room was empty when she entered, and she sat for a while, after changing, contemplating whether she wanted to go see the basketball game or not.
Kise Ryouta did sound familiar, the name attached to memories of magazine stands near cash registers.
The humming of air filtering system pulled her into a trance, and really, why not? It wouldn't hurt to go and support her school. She slung her bag over her shoulders. Sighing, Asagi began the trek towards the Seirin's entrance.
Sayuri was waiting for her by the school gates, making a show of tapping her foot. "Come on! We're going to Kanagawa!" She exclaimed, and swung her arm around Asagi's neck, almost dragging her along the sidewalk, earning curious looks from passerby's.
Asagi felt the corners of her lips being tugged skywards as they neared the train station. I wonder if Kagami-kun will be there.
The gym was crowded, considering it was only a practice match, but Kaijou seemed like a school that valued athletics from the numerous gyms they had, along with the brand new looking equipment. The floor was so shiny that it showed people's reflections, and it seemed as if Kaijou was a newer school than Seirin by the looks of it.
The match had already started by the time the two girls had gotten there, and puzzlement took over as she saw that the gym was divided in half. On one side, the game was progressing, while on the other, it looked like they were having a practice.
Sayuri wrapped her fingers around her wrist and pulled her up a flight of stairs to a platform above. There were already many people viewing from up here, and Asagi noticed that the majority of them were females.
Well, Kise-kun is here after all. She scanned the players, and was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar red-haired boy. Her eyes followed his movements - his dunk, his arms as he ripped the hoop away from the backboard.
The entire gym fell silent, as Kagami let out a loud 'whoop'. Sayuri was gaping like a fish beside her.
Kaijou was forced to use the full length of the gym.
She leaned against the railing, cheek in her palm, as she watched the game go on, watched as a blond boy step out onto the court, wearing a Kaijou jersey. From the dreamy sighs and the squeals (and a tidbit of slightly insane laughter) from the girls around her, Asagi took that the boy was Kise Ryouta.
"Shizuka-chan, have you ever heard of the Generation of Miracles?" Sayuri gazed at Kise longingly before sliding her eyes over to her. "Kise Ryouta is one of them. A group of talented basketball players. They come once a generation, people say."
Asagi didn't move or speak, and eventually, the other girl went back to watching the game instead of staring at her.
"There were five of them, and they're all in different schools now. Same age as us, first years. But some rumours say that there was one more member..." The way Sayuri had insinuated those words somehow seemed ominous.
"Please don't make this into a horror story."
"No one knows who he is, or where he went for high school...or if he even existed at all."
A shiver ran down Asagi's spine at the last part of the sentence.
Kise Ryouta was talented, and even without playing basketball, Asagi could observe that he had a specialty for copying movements - in short, a fast learner. Kagami was like an unrefined piece of jewelry, someone with potential but hasn't had enough experience to make full use of his skills yet. She thought that the outcome of the game was painstakingly obvious, because between the two best players, it was clear who was better as of now.
So the end of the match was fairly shocking, though pleasant.
"The winner is Seirin! Players line up!"
As prideful as one could be for her school's victory, Asagi's eyes were keen enough to recognize how distracted Kise looked. His name slipped from her mouth, and she slapped a hand over it.
Kise heard his name from the spectator's platforms, and he glanced up briefly. A tuft of powder blue hair, and he swore his heart really stopped for a moment. It was something he really had thought he wouldn't ever see again, save for old photos and videos.
Blinking, he shook his head, trying to clear his mind. Probably low blood sugar messing with his head. When he looked up again, the blue among the sea of black and brown had disappeared, as if it had never existed.
He looked at the winning team again, looking at their players tackle each other with wide grins on their faces. Nostalgia bubbled up in his chest, and Kise found something wet trailing down his cheeks. Blue like the sky, like lake waters, sapphire blue, blue, blue.
They kept flowing, and it didn't help when he rubbed at his eyes with the heel of his hands. His chest was so tight, like it was filled to the brim with tears that found no place to exit other than his eyes.
"...is he crying?"
"It's just a practice match, why so worked up?" But maybe it would hurt less to cry for a reason like that.
"You idiot!" Kasamatsu's yell seemed to vibrate in the air, and Kise braced himself for a kick that never came. Instead, there was only a gentle slap on the back of his head, which felt more like a pat than anything. He glanced up into eyes that contradicted Kasamatsu's rough voice and sharp glare, and when he added softly, "stop crying", it only made it worse.
Because Kise thought he understood now, what he had said back then about the feeling of being a team. Seeing it in Seirin, and seeing in Kaijou. (What had he been doing for the last few months, forgetting the feeling of being part of something and taking it all for granted like it would last forever?)
Kasamatsu proceeded to give a lecture about winning and losing and not giving up, and Kise attempted to pay attention, or at least look like he was. After the captain's mouth had stopped opening and closing, Kise tried to give a convincing smile, along with a nod, and let him believe that he was only upset about losing to Seirin after those two years of never being defeated in middle school.
He remembered a time, almost too distant to be in this lifetime, when his world was filled with vibrant colours every way he had turned. It was only when those colours had faded into monochrome shades did he really appreciate the days before. And he missed it.
(Shadows of the past smothering, burying them.)
Kise drifted over to Kaijou's bench, reaching down for his towel. He draped it over his head, ignoring the strands of hair that stuck to his perspiring forehead as he concentrated on making it hang in a way so that no one could see his face.
"Congratulation, Kagami-kun," a monotone voice softly stated, and he subconsciously lifted his head towards that voice. The voice was too high-pitched, but gut-wrenching nonetheless.
He froze, though adrenaline rushed through his system as he did, and took in the scene before him.
The short girl, looking up at the ace of Seirin with a hint of the tiniest smile on her lips. The deceptive blankness of those azure eyes, the powder blue hair that had always been a target of teasing in training camps, the way it stuck up messily when the Seirin ace ruffled her hair gently.
The look of annoyance as she reached up to fix her stubborn locks.
(Sometime long ago, in a different time, a different school, a different ace.)
The name tumbled out of his mouth before he could stop himself - the one that had been unspoken for so long that Kise had almost forgotten the sound of it.
A/N: KK HERE'S ANOTHER NOTE LOLOL. I'm really sorry about all the rambles about volleyball at the beginning, this fic is kinda for me to pour out all my feelings about SPORTS I MAY NEVER PLAY AGAIN. (though I just sorta got the idea from the in another life thingy idk) but seriously, basketball season is coming to an end and I'm regretting not doing so many things...haha.../cries.
And I hope that Sayuri isn't too annoying. Or Asagi. haha..sorry about not writing happy things i promise i'll stop after this one...maybe.
I was really indecisive with Asagi's name, so basically screw it all I just randomly picked two.
Asagi is a pale blue (sometimes pale yellow)
Shizuka is just a name that meant calm or quiet, which I think fits the personality pretty well ^^;
Oh, and hikkikomori is someone who shuts themselves in their rooms and are pretty anti-social (LOL so basically, me)
Thanks for reading til the end! /SMOOCHES.