Disclaimer: Kuroko no Basuke belongs to Fujimaki Tadatoshi.
― a pause; holding a note or rest longer than written
For a duration of Takao Kazunari's childhood, his family had constantly moved cities due to his parents' jobs. He never got the chance to make any close friends until middle school, when he joined the basketball club, when they finally settled in a house that Kazunari had called 'home' ever since. Well, except for once, in grade one, but that lasted briefly, and it was not even up to a month when Kazunari moved again.
It had been a rainy day, the first storm of spring, and in a way it had been quite refreshing to hear the pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof, the windows of the school. Kazunari stuffed his math books into his schoolbag and heaved it up upon his slight shoulders, exiting the classroom to walk in the direction of the staircase. He was relieved that school was over and that he didn't have to make any more efforts to drown out the teachers' voices anymore for the day.
He took his time walking, enjoying watching the rain splash against the cement under his feet when he got outside and lifted his umbrella away from himself to feel the cool drops of water run down his face.
It was only when he was in front of the entrance gates outside that he remembered the pencil case he had forgotten back in the class.
The raven haired boy tore back to the classroom, folding up his umbrella on the way, through the hallways which were void of students as they had already gone. Surely the door wouldn't be locked yet, as someone should be on cleaning duty, though if they were fast enough they'd be finished with the classroom by now. Kazunari desperately pushed the sliding door with all his might, but it only rattled a little under the force of his arms.
Sighing, he dejectedly began to head back the way he had come, droplets of rain dripping from strands of his wet hair. However, he froze mid-step when he heard the echo of a piano note sound from the other side of the hallway, where the music room was located. The single note was soon followed by many others, chords and triads and scales. A classical song's melody melted in with its steady left hand accompaniment, reverberating against the walls of the corridor.
Enchanted, Kazunari found himself moving towards the sound, forgetting about going home, about his pencil case. The black haired boy peeked into the windows to see the back of a green haired boy sitting in front of the grand piano inside the room cluttered with music stands and chairs. It was Shintarou, the intelligent bespectacled boy that always seemed to know the answers to whatever questions that were thrown at him, the one that always paid attention to whatever boring drone the teachers had coming out of their mouths.
(It was also the boy that he attempted to copy off of once during a math test, when Kazunari had the good luck to be placed next to him, but he didn't succeed, so it didn't really count as cheating. His mother didn't need to know about that.)
For a while, Kazunari stayed there standing by the door, listening to the way the complicated sounding arrangements of notes and the soothing sounds of the falling rain blended together. The song eventually ended, and when Kazunari peered in through the glass again, he spotted Shintarou lowering the piano lid, signalling for him to run away before he was caught. Though he wouldn't get in any trouble for it, he felt a little guilty for...spying on Shintarou.
The next day in class, Kazunari was chewing on the eraser end of his pencil and swinging his legs under his desk when Shintarou approached him. The first thing that came to mind was that the emerald eyed boy had somehow noticed him the day before, but all thoughts of that vanished when the boy held out his pencil case.
Kazunari eyed it with obvious shock, not even bothering to take it or say thank you, and Shintarou placed it on his desk after a minute or so of the ebony haired boy just staring at it.
"I found it on your desk yesterday after school," he adjusted his glasses, and when Kazunari finally snapped out of his daze did he notice the other holding a music box in his left hand. "Remember to take it home with you next time."
"What's that?" Kazunari pointed at the item, ignoring Shintarou's chiding, curiosity colouring his tone as he bent to examine the elegantly designed box.
It earned a scoff from Shintarou. "It's a music box, see?" He opened the lid, and a string of notes tinkered out, playing out something that sounded like what Kazunari remembered vaguely as being called Canon in D Major.
"I mean, I know what it is, but why do you have it at school with you?" Kazunari inquired, blinking innocently as the box lid slammed shut, and he glanced up at Shintarou's towering form. (They were actually about the same height, but since Kazunari was sitting it created a gap between the two of them.)
"It's my lucky item for today," Shintarou explained as if it was an obvious fact that everyone should have known. "I need it because Oha Asa said that I'd come across something new or strange today, and that it will become a big part of my life sooner or later."
Kazunari tilted his head to one side quizzically, making the green haired boy sigh loudly. "I need it because I might have bad lucky today. This is to ensure that whatever will affect me so greatly has a positive influence."
The boy nodded slowly, even though he still didn't understand half of the things Shintarou had just said. He really needed to tone down his genius-ness and simplify his language a little. "Thanks for bringing me my pencil case."
"So now you thank me?" Shintarou scowled, and it made Kazunari's lips stretch into a wide grin at his seemingly cold attitude, which was totally a sham considering that the boy with the strange pine coloured hair had taken the trouble to return his pencil case. This seemed to annoy the other, which made it all the more fun. They ate lunch together, and Kazunari felt like he had just made a friend, someone who didn't just politely talk to him out of obligation.
From what he had noticed, Shintarou's tsundere personality didn't get him many friends, either.
At the end of the day, when the two were walking together across the courtyard of the school towards the gates, Kazunari jumped into one of the puddles left by the shower the day before, and left the right side of Shintarou's shirt soaking wet. Which then meant that he had to dodge a copious number of random flying objects aimed at his head to avoid a concussion.
After helping Shintarou pick the books and other stuff that he had thrown up from the ground, it made the green haired boy even madder when Kazunari drawled out, "see you tomorrow, Shin-chan!" before running away at top speed without another backwards glance.
It was a week later that Takao moved cities, and he lost the slip of paper containing Shintarou's phone number before he even reached the doorsteps of his house on the last day at that elementary school.
Almost everyone had dubbed Teikou Middle School's regulars at the time Kazunari entered the basketball club the "Generation of Miracles" ― the extraordinary players that had somehow all ended up in one school, on one team. Rumours had spread about the players' extraordinary abilities, and although it seemed exaggerated, he couldn't help but be envious and awed at the same time.
But Kazunari hated the way his coach had given the team his speech and the hidden message he tried to inconspicuously conveyed. "It doesn't matter the outcome, as long as you've tried your best, and I'll be proud of you guys," the coach looked Kazunari in the eyes, and he had to keep himself from fuming too obviously. "Because I know you all love basketball."
However true that was, it still didn't alleviate the bitterness Kazunari felt after their school's crushing defeat, and to make it even more humiliating, Teikou didn't even seem to care. They merely followed the procedures of post game etiquette like robots, and shuffled off the courts without so much of a smile on their faces.
"Because I know you all love basketball" was something that didn't seem like it could be said to the Teikou players, and in a way that did make Kazunari feel sorry for the Generation of Miracles, for their talents must have taken the fun and adrenaline out of the sport they all should have loved.
Sharp ice blue eyes followed Teikou's shooting guard, a green haired boy with black rimmed glasses that made shots that swished through the nets following an impossibly high arc. He wondered if it was Shintarou, because no one else he had ever met in his life did someone had green hair like that.
He never got to know, as the two teams didn't bother to interact any further, not even the coaches, other than a curt handshake with each other. The only thing that he found out about the shooter was from one of his teammates' praises, which the boy arrogantly 'hmph'-ed at, which made Kazunari all the more inquisitive about whether the other was Shintarou or not.
"Amazing shots as always, Midorimacchi!"
Midorima was a name that Kazunari never forgot, and he swore that one day he would become so skilled in basketball that Midorima would be forced to look at him and remember the name Takao Kazunari as well.
Like that fateful day back in elementary school, it was raining, and Kazunari had forgotten his pencil case in the classroom again, the same pencil case from all those years back. It was the first day in Shuutoku, but he was already slacking off and didn't hear who the heck was on cleaning duty. In fact, most of the teachers were actually just going on about introductions, so he fell asleep a bunch of times during class. It was better to relax as much as he could before the real torture came. And since no one was familiar with their own seating arrangements yet, let alone other people's, he doubted that another Shintarou would come to return his pencil case to him the day after.
(To be honest, he didn't even know what most of his classmates looked like, because he hadn't bothered to really look.)
Strolling idly down the hall without much resolve or hope of the classroom being unlocked, it was surprising when it was the opposite of what he had initially assumed as the door slide open easily to reveal an empty room. However, the pencil case was no longer there even though the blackboard was still filled with chalk scribbles and the desks were still out of place from the students' stampede on their way out to the door.
Grumbling in annoyance, Kazunari backed out into the hallway, contemplating his course of action because he deduced that whoever was supposed to be erasing the blackboard was still in the building, when he heard the faint playing of piano somewhere in the distance. Blinking, he wandered around, trying to follow the source of the captivating music, cocking an ear as he went. Finally, he passed a door with the sign that indicated that it was the music room, a muffled baroque piece ringing out with precise and clean notes.
He leaned against the wall, lightning flashing across the grey sky before a boom of thunder sounded, causing whoever was playing to stumble before resuming his /her initial place, continuing with the song. Kazunari closed his eyes, imagining that he was seven again, standing outside his former elementary's music room listening to Shintarou play.
Suddenly, the door opened, making Kazunari flinch as he whirled around. He hadn't noticed that the playing had stopped while he was in another world, daydreaming.
His eyes widened at the same time as emerald green ones did, and the two stared at each other without blinking. The only sound present was the wind and the rain outside, splattering against the windows, creating intriguing patterns of shadows over Midorima's face. Seconds ticked by, and it got more and more unnerving.
Due to that, Kazunari was the first to break the silence. "Uh, haha! Sorry, I just thought that your piano playing was really pretty sounding, so I..." He trailed off as the other's gaze on him intensified, still rubbing the back of his head sheepishly.
It was another moment before the shooting guard spoke. "Kazunari?"
The raven haired boy froze, and he took in once again Midorima's viridian hair, his glasses, the strange box that the other held in his bandaged left hand, an item that he would have never needed to bring to school. The piano playing.
"I need it because Oha Asa said that I'd come across something new or strange today, and that it will become a big part of my life sooner or later."
A nervous laugh tumbled out of Kazunari's mouth. "Eh? You know me? We've only met on the basketball court, though." There was no way, right? Midorima couldn't have known his name. They didn't even speak to each other during the match, although...could it actually be? Who else would call him that, other than his family?
A funny looking expression appeared on the other's features, as if he just had a flashback to that match in middle school, though there was a low possibility of him actually remembering a game that insignificant. Midorima's eyes narrowed, and his mouth opened, and closed, and Kazunari wondered what he had been prepared to say. The other shoved something at him, and Kazunari looked down to see the pencil case.
Just like all those years ago.
Midorima was looking at him expectantly with a raised eyebrow when he reverted his attention back to the other's face. He must have seen the shock the black haired boy wore on his face, because he seemed to have known exactly what had been running through Kazunari's mind. "You still have the same pencil case. Didn't I tell you last time to not forget to take it home with you?"
Kazunari felt a familiar smile spreading across his own face, and took that nostalgic pencil case from Shintarou's hold before flinging himself into the other (who had grown to be a lot taller than Kazunari, much to the ebony haired point guard's chagrin) in a slightly impudent moment of giddiness. Instead of being pushed away, like he had expected considering the other's personality from what he remembered, Shintarou wrapped his arms around Kazunari as well, albeit reluctantly.
Laughter drowned out the rain. "I missed you, Shin-chan!"
Although there were no verbal response, by the way the shooting guard tightened his embrace around Kazunari, he guessed that Shintarou had felt the same as well.
A/N: omg no one died I think I'm on the road to recovery LOLLLL
I wrote this on a whim though, cuz I'm procrastinating again (this time on that Kuroko bday fic and many many drawings pfft) and idk, i have a love hate relationship with piano and songs LOL.
Uh. kk in case you're confused:
Let's say that they didn't know each others' last names. Takao and Midorima became friends when they were little, and then lost contact because of Takao's idiocy, and then met unknowingly in middle school because you know, you look kinda different and you're not really sure it's them after a long time of not seeing them .
Midorima wouldn't have recognized Takao if it wasn't for the pencil case, because he was just wondering sort of and it turned out to be right. LOL KK THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE DOES IT? IDK (I think all midotakas in my brain come out when I'm half asleep) aghh sorry for any mistakes cuz I'm sorta half dead here ahahaha :'D
Thanks for reading til the end! ^^