Series: Kuroko no Basket
All original characters belongs to Fujimaki Tadatoshi. OC characters belong to me.
Kuroko Tetsuya hated his job.
The boy shifted the weight of his body onto his other leg.
The day was dark, all covered in gloomy clouds. The sun was trying to get through the gray paper, but it was useless. The wind was blowing through naked trees and picking up leaves that had fallen down a few months ago.
It was cold. Winter had just started. It rained almost every day. People were covered in clothes so thick that it made them look bigger than usual. Little frozen clouds were coming from their mouths.
It was one of the most frigid winters nowadays.
The bluenette smartened himself up and covered his neck from the wind that was now blowing into his eyes, which made them teary with every second. His vision was blurry. He shivered, feeling some of the cold air brush his cheek. He tucked his chin into the scarf.
His pace was slow. And yeah he knew that he was pretty late, but he couldn't move his legs properly. His body ached and he felt like he would freeze any minute now. Not to mention that his head felt like it was going to blow up, like a balloon with too much air in it.
He only prayed that this wasn't the first symptom of some illness. He really didn't have time for that kind of problem. He had different things on his mind.
When he started to calculate a 'to do' list in his head, he felt the ground start to tilt. He shook his head.
Someone bumped into him. He turned to look at the boy in the same Seirin uniform as him. The boy didn't even stop and turn, he just continued running forward like his life depended on it.
Kuroko quickened his pace. He clenched his fingers around the bag on his arm and he breathed bitterly cold autumn air.
When he got to school, there were some students just like him who were late to their morning classes. He walked inside and stopped near his locker to change his shoes. His movements were slow as his hands trembled. Somewhere behind him, he could hear the footsteps of students running to class.
He locked the door and slowly stepped on the landing.
He had never been so happy that his first class was on the first floor.
Kuroko slowly pushed aside the white door and stepped inside the classroom. Just as he expected, no one noticed him. Nobody turned his head at him, not even the teacher. He walked to his desk at the back of the class and sat on his chair.
In front of him, Kagami turned to face him. His red irises were looking straight into his blue orbs.
"Why were you late?" he whispered.
"I overslept..." mumbled the boy and removed a pencil from his bag and put it on the desk.
Kagami was still looking at him even when the teacher told them to note what he was saying.
Kuroko shifted on his chair and opened his notebook.
"Are you feeling...?"
Unfortunately, he didn't have time to finish his sentence because something thin hit the back of his head right in the middle.
The boy whined and turned, touching his aching head.
"Pay attention in my class!" shouted the teacher.
Kagami mumbled something under his breath about the "violence" of Japanese teachers and started to write something in his notebook.
Kuroko liked being invisible sometimes.
Everyone started to run around the court. Riko just ordered them to run 30 laps with an evil smile on her smile. It meant that she wasn't in good humor. She had actually hit Izuki with her fan even if he hadn't yet finished his lame joke. So that was one of her bad days.
The coach looked at the moving muscles of the running boys in the gym. In her head, she saw numbers. She started to calculate. Riko need to change the training a little bit in order to build up the stamina of the basketball players. The Winter Cup was just in few days and they can't allow themselves to be sloppy and get destroyed in the first match.
"I'm sorry I'm late..."
She turned hearing a male voice behind her.
In the doorway stood Kuroko, wearing his sports t-shirt and shorts. He walked to her and bowed.
"Okay, join rest of them and run 45 laps..." she stated.
Kuroko nodded and slowly jogged to his teammates.
And yes, this was their very own phantom player.
Riko stared at the moving calves of the smallest boy. She sat on the bench and stared at them.
She heard the loud panting of tired sportsmen, the sound of shoes tapping on the gym floor, and the rustle of clothes when their bodies moved.
Kuroko stumbled. He stopped and put his hands on his knees. He breathed slowly in and out and after he rested he came back to his laps.
Aida took out her notepad that she always had in her bag and opened it. She reread all the stats of the little player from a while ago.
She was now sure. He's gotten worse.
Riko noticed it a few days ago when his stats suddenly went down. He got extra exercises to bring them back up but somehow that didn't work and he started to get worse and worse.
The rest of the team stopped in front of the bench and took the bottles of water that stood on it. They wiped their foreheads and necks with towels.
"Kuroko is still running?"
Riko looked at Izuki who stood next to her. He had his hand on his hip. His eyes were moving just as the point that was still running.
"His stamina seemed low, so he needs to do extra laps..." said Riko and contorted back.
Gray eyes looked at her and one eyebrow went up. Then Izuki wiped away the sweat that was trickling down from his forehead.
"I do not know if this will help him. He'll sooner faint than finish your 'extra' lap," murmured Koganei, who sat next to her and was now sipping on his drink.
Aida glared at him. He shivered.
She opened her mouth to say something but a loud 'thud' stopped her. Her eyes traveled to the source of that noise.
She saw that their smallest player was now struggling on the floor, trying to get up again.
Everyone in the team ran to their friend that was now on his knees and touching his face with a trembling palm. They gathered around him, asking him if he was alright or if he was hurt somewhere. Kagami crouched on his one side and Hyuuga on the other. They were trying to get Kuroko's hand away from his mouth.
"Move aside!" ordered Riko.
Everyone moved a few steps back, still looking at the boy.
Riko kneeled in front of the boy.
He had a few bruises and scratches on his elbows and knees. But that wasn't what had caught her attention.
Kuroko still held his palms in front of his face. He was breathing hard.
"Remove your hands…" ordered Riko.
The boy lifted his gaze to his coach and slowly removed his hand.
His nose was blue and a stream of crimson blood was coming from it fast and dripping on the white shirt of his. His lips were cut on the left side.
She gulped and put her hands on the cheeks of the boy. She slowly turned his head to one side and then to the other.
"Get some tissues!" she yelled.
But she didn't have to do that. Tsuchida was running back with a packet of tissues in his hands. He handed it to her.
Riko took out two of them and put it near the boy's nose, but not too near so she won't hurt him.
"Bend down..." she murmured.
Kagami and Hyuuga, who were still behind him, lifted him from his position so he was now standing.
"Kagami-kun go with him to the nurse's office."
"Yes ma'am..." the boy mumbled and wrapped his arm around his partner's shoulders and they slowly walked out of the gym.
After their exit, everyone stood there, not talking. On the floor where Kuroko was kneeling, they could see a few drops of blood.
Riko swept her fringe behind her ear and she looked at her team.
"Some incidents like this happens. Now go to your training. Split up into four groups and do one hundred shots for each of you..."
They looked at her with big eyes and gulped, but they slowly went to the cart of basketballs.
The captain of the team turned to her and lifted his eyebrow. He pushed his glasses higher with his right hand.
"Come with me for a while outside..."
They walked outside the gym where they could hear the dribbling of balls on the gym floor and the squeaking of shoes.
The corridor was dark so they fumbled around while exiting it. They walked to the boys' locker room and went inside.
All the noises stopped when Riko closed the door.
Junpei sat on the bench and hunched up with his elbows on his knees. Aida leaned on the wall just next to the door. She stared at the captain of the team.
"What did you want to talk about?" asked the boy while pulling his glasses off.
The coach watched as he wiped it with his shirt and put it back on his face.
"It's about Kuroko-kun..."
Hyuuga blinked a few times, not understanding what his friend meant so he kept silent until she continued.
"I'm getting worried about him. Lately, his stats have gone down as well as his strength. You saw what happened today..."
The boy nodded.
"Can you talk with him?"
Hyuuga opened his mouth, then closed it, then opened it once again. After a few seconds, he ran his hand through his hair.
"Yes, I can. But I don't know if he'll tell me anything... and wouldn't it be better if Kagami asked him? They're pretty close to each other..." he mumbled, staring at his coach.
Riko crossed her arms over her chest.
"Kagami is too stupid. He can't be patient and if Kuroko won't tell him what he wants, he will just get angry..." she said, smirking slightly.
Hyuuga sighed loudly. His arms and shoulders slumped.
"So you want someone who can... get information out of him without getting into a fight?" he asked.
The girl grinned at him with this cute smile (that Hyuuga knew to mean evil).
Yes, Aida Riko was sometimes a devil in human form. She tapped her palm on her arm, still smiling.
"Okay, I'll do it!" he stated and massaged his temples.
How can he talk with an untalkative person?
When they reached the nurse's office, the tissues were all red so the blood was now dripping onto Kuroko's palm.
The nurse jumped from her chair when she saw both of them and ordered the boy to sit on the bed. In the meantime, she searched her locker for medicines and bandages.
Kagami stood next to his partner, looking at the changing face of his. He was biting his lips and blinking from time to time while looking at the tissue.
The woman put a chair in front of him and he sat on it. She put the boy's hands away from his injured face and started to examine it. With her finger, she gently touched Kuroko's nose.
He hissed quietly at this touch.
Then from the first aid kit on her lap, she got out some gauze and arranged it into a square. She placed it in front of his nose. She ordered him to hold it and at the same time she put a cold compress in a medicine packet. Kagami offered to hold it against the violet bruise that was forming on Kuroko's nose. The nurse smiled softly at his help and watered some snowy cotton with hydrogen peroxide in her hand. Then she slowly started to disinfect all the injuries on boy's body.
When she got to his nose, he hissed but put the gauze away. She slowly wiped the places where she could reach, but Kagami could see a grimace of pain on his mouth.
After few minutes that almost seemed like an hour, the woman changed the gauze and ordered Kuroko to sit in this position for a while. She, in that time, went to the teachers' office to fill up some documents of injury.
When she went out, Kagami fell onto the bed next to his partner, still holding the compress to the boy's nose.
"Mou, you're so weak..." he said.
The boy glared at him.
'Ihm noth weagh..." the boy mumbled from his gauze.
The redhaired boy smirked, looking at the face of his friend that he knew so well. But then, his smile faded away when he looked into his blue orbs.
"If you weren't feeling well, why didn't you tell us sooner?" he asked.
The smaller looked at him and blinked.
"Ihm arr whairt..."
"Yeah, especially your nose..." murmured Kagami with this playful smirk on his lips.
At the same time, Kuroko hit his ankle. Taiga whined at this unexpected pain. He growled
"Why did you do that?"
Kagami felt his cheeks become red from anger that was bulging inside him.
But Kuroko was still looking at him with those blue orbs showing no emotion.
Suddenly, he lifted his head and looked at something behind Kagami. Slowly, he stood up and walked there.
Kagami turned to him with the compress in his head.
The boy was walking to the mirror that hung in the corner of the office.
He stopped in front of it and started to look at his pale face. He then took out the gauze and looked at his violet nose from every angle. With his clean finger, he touched it and then it slid to the cut on his lip. His eyes examined it with curiosity. He brushed his cheek with his thumb.
"Mhy faish looks therible" he mumbled once again looking at his injury.
Kagami put the compress next to him on the bed.
"It will recuperate in few days..."
Kuroko put the white material back in its place.
"Ah hoph sho..."
Hyuuga stared as Kagami and Kuroko entered the gym. The smaller had gauze plastered to his nose. It had stopped bleeding but he still had bruises around the injury.
Every member of the team stopped what they were doing and ran to them. They circled them again and started asking questions if Kuroko was all aright.
"His nose is just barely battered. Nothing really dangerous..." stated Kagami.
Everyone looked at him with doubt in their eyes, but said nothing. They questioned the smaller boy if it hurt and if so if it ached a lot.
Kuroko slowly answered all the questions, making his friends laugh at his voice. He still mumbled a little.
Kuroko sat on the bench until the end of training and only watched the others practice. From time to time, he touched the material but after that he went back to observing his teammates.
They all went to the showers to wash the sweat from their bodies.
The phantom sixth player stayed in the locker room.
Hyuuga went out last. He looked around and spotted the boy in the corner who took his uniform's shirt from his locker. He walked to him.
The said boy lifted his gaze to his captain.
"Yes?" he mumbled.
"Can I walk home with you today?"
The face of the boy didn't change. Maybe his eyebrows went a little bit higher than usual, but Junpei wasn't sure.
"So wait for me at the front gate."
The boy nodded. After that, Hyuuga went to the shower.
He didn't understand but he felt nervous. He couldn't wash his hair properly and he got some of the shampoo in his eye and he hissed at the sharp pain. Then he couldn't put his leg into his trousers.
When he was all done, there was no one in the changing room. He slowly took his things and went out. He walked along the dark corridor, looking at the floor.
How was he supposed to start their conversation? If Kuroko was going to answer his hidden questions? He didn't know if he could play long enough to make him answer. Is he calm enough?
He stopped and looked at the boy that leaned on the gate to the school.
Hyuuga caught up to him and patted his arm.
"Did I make you wait?" he asked.
Kuroko looked at him and blinked.
"No, not that much..." he murmured.
Hyuuga wanted to facepalm himself. He was the last to exit the gym. Of course he made him wait!
They turned and started to walk.
The only thing that occupied the boy's head was this conversation. He opened his mouth like three times but no sound came out.
Time flew. Many different people walked past them, but not even one glanced at the boy with dressing on his face. Kuroko was invisible, even in a crowd. It seemed that that didn't really bother him. He was staring straight forward with his empty expression and it almost looks like he wasn't thinking about anything, but from time to time his orbs disappeared behind the curtain of uncertainty.
The boy gulped.
"How is your nose?" He decided to start with the obvious problem.
Tetsuya looked at his companion.
"Good. It doesn't hurt now..."
His voice was barely audible so Hyuuga needed to step closer to him.
"It really scared us when you fell down..."
Kuroko didn't respond at once. He swallowed his saliva with a little bit of difficulty.
"I'm sorry..." he murmured.
His eyes clouded over. He stared at the concrete under their feet. His nostrils moved like he was trying to breath through them.
"Do not worry so much. We're your teammates. But care for yourself more!" He wanted to put a lecturing tone into his sentences. It looks like it worked.
The boy looked at him, blinking a few times. He wasn't sure, but maybe, just maybe, a corner of his lips went a little higher.
He was on the good road to victory.
"Are you even eating properly?" he asked, trying to sound kind. His eyebrow twitched.
Kuroko stared at him, still walking.
"I eat enough..."
This answer was neither good nor bad in Hyuuga's opinion. Just, he should've known that Kuroko would answer in that way.
"But you're small!" the captain pointed out.
Kuroko glared at his Captain with his blue orbs that seemed like a deep ocean.
"I'm not short. I can almost reach the highest shelf!"
Hyuuga caught his last two words. This was a mistake that Kuroko made, and it was his chance, he couldn't let it slip past.
"Highest shelf?" he repeated.
The blue-haired boy turned his head to the road in front of him.
It looks like Junpei hit some kind of invisible wall in the phantom player's character. He scratched the back of his head.
They stopped at the traffic light.
Kuroko still didn't look at him. With this bored expression of his, he stared at the pedestrian crossing.
Hyuuga decided to wait. They passed the road. They listened to the chattering of other people, their laughter and whispers in ears.
After a few steps, they walked into one of the silent alleys in the town. Almost all shops at this street were closed and only one or two people walked near them.
"Do you have a part-time job?" he asked.
The boy lifted his head a bit and after a few seconds, he slowly nodded. It was almost imperceptible, but Hyuuga was sure he had seen it.
"Working is prohibited by our school..."
Junpei didn't believe it. He actually made Kuroko tell him something.
"Where are you working?" he asked.
Tetsuya aimed his gaze at the glass windowsd of the shop on the opposite street.
"In this convenience store near the railway station..."
They reached the crossing of the two streets. They stopped.
"I'm going here..."
Kuroko nodded. He then looked straight into Hyuuga's eyes. It made him feel uncomfortable. Like these cunning eyes were looking right into his mind. He couldn't run away from that pressure.
Junpei put his hand in front of Kuroko's mouth.
"Don't worry. I won't tell anybody about it. If you're working, you mean you have your own reasons. Just have it as a secret. We don't want you to leave our basketball team."
He wasn't sure but he saw relief painted on his face. But as suddenly as it appeared, it mysteriously disappeared.
They said to each other their goodbyes and walked opposite wayst.
Hyuuga adjusted the strap of his sports bag and looked at the cloudy sky above him.
So that was why Kuroko was so tired. Because he was working in a shop. Of course he must do it in the nighttime so he can't have enough sleep. But something didn't quite fit too well in this thesis. Like... he was lacking some of the puzzle pieces.
He tried to remember the changing orbs of the boy, the movements of his head when he answered him, the things which he was looking at.
He stopped and put his finger to his mouth. He understood that this wasn't the end of his job.
The boy slowly climbed the metal stairs that creaked under his weight. From his bag, he got out his keys and started to spin it in his palm. He walked and opened dirty doors with the smallest key and walked inside a faintly lighted corridor. He heard talking voices coming from every door that was in this place.
He walked on the dirty green carpet that was lying on the floor and stopped at the third door on the left. He slowly opened it and walked inside.
What he saw were kids sitting on the floor in his living room and staring at the old TV that was switched on and was showing some kind of cartoon.
When he closed the door, all the small faces turned to him. And it was like a wave.
All the kids stood from their position and ran to him, throwing themselves at his legs and hugging them.
They started to shout at him and smiled. He kneeled and greeted each one of them, ruffling his hair or brushing his nose. They started to ask about his injury all at the same time so he could only smile and respond.
Then from the living room came a girl. She was smaller than him, had unusual long blond hair and eyes. Orbs were so warm and energetic; it reminded him of leaves that are coming out in the spring. He has some t-shirts and used light jeans.
"Welcome back nii-san!" she said, smiling a little.
"I'm back..." he responded, nodding at her.
Some kid tugged on his sleeve so he looked down. A boy with short brown hair showed him a picture.
Kuroko looked at the amount of cordial colors that were splashed onto the paper and he smiled.
The boy grinned and ran back to the living room.
The blue-haired boy looked at the children that were still near his legs. They were gaping at him with these big shining eyes.
"I'll make dinner..." he stated.
They all shouted in happiness and ran back to the living room.
The boy turned to the kitchen.
They only had a gas cooker, a sink, and a little devastated table. Above it, there hung shelves with all the needed equipment. In the corner of the kitchen stood a fridge that was making some kind of buzzing sound.
Kuroko looked into the haversack only to find the half of yesterday's bread. He sighed.
"What happened to your nose?"
He didn't have to turn to recognize the voice of the blond haired girl. She slowly stepped inside the room and walked to the fridge to take something from there.
"I just fell down during practice..." he answered.
He felt the girl was looking at him. He took the bread out and put it on the table. Soon, the girl approached him and started to make sandwiches with him.
They didn't talk, only their hands moved almost in the same rhythm, making a pile of bread. When they finished, there were two plates filled with food. They both took it and walked outside.
When they were in the corridor, they heard a knocking at the door.
The boy looked at the girl. She took the plate from his hands and nodded, walking to the living room.
Kuroko slowly stepped towards the door and listened to the knocking. It wasn't too loud and it was echoing in a regular sound - three in a row.
He opened the door.
Before him, there stood a woman with her long brown hair falling on her arms and almost touching her elbows. In her arms, she cuddled a little girl.
"Ah, welcome back." she greeted him warmly. Her long black eyelashes fluttered when she blinked a few times.
"Good evening," he nodded.
The woman smiled. Her lips were covered in red lipstick. She put the little girl on the ground and kissed her forehead softly.
The girl ran inside the house, leaving her mother in the doorway.
"Sorry to bother you all the time..." she whispered, looking at the boy and adjusting the tight-fitting shirt on her chest. Her eyes went somewhat sad.
"No problem. It's better for them to be in one place under the cunning eye of Ruri at night..." he stated simply.
The woman smiled at him and brushed her eyes with her wrist. Then she blinked a few times.
"Ah, Master wanted to see you earlier today..." she whispered.
Kuroko stiffened at this news. Then he slowly breathed in and out.
"Thanks for the information, Eme..." he said.
The brunette lifted her gaze so now her emerald eyes were looking into the cerulean of the boy's.
"Just look out today..." she whispered.
The boy nodded and thanked her. Then they said goodbye.
He felt his heart beating faster. He slowly walked inside the living room where all the children stared at the moving screen of the television.
Not wanting to have the attention of this crowd, he turned to the left where you could see a curtain. He slowly flipped it open and went inside the coexisting room.
There he saw two little kids - a boy and a girl. They had the same color of his hair and were passionately searching for something in the album that lay on the floor. They lay on their stomachs so their feet were swinging in the air.
When they spotted him, they stood up and walked to him at the same time.
"Welcome back, nii-chan..." they said in unison.
Tetsuya kneeled and hugged them, greeting them back. Then he stood and walked to the little night drawer in the corner of the room. He opened one of the drawers and got some packets and an inhaler.
He stopped in front of the twins and crouched.
At the same time, in walked a girl and sat in seiza near the boy.
"Come here, Maru..."
The boy nodded and walked to her and sat on her lap, looking at his sister.
Kuroko meanwhile took out the inhaler and put it into the kid's mouth.
"Breath deeply, Miri..."
The girl nodded and did as he said. They stayed in this position for a while, the little girl breathing in and out with closed eyes and the boy pressing the bottom. After that, he gave one of the lozenges from the packet in his other hand. The girl put it into her mouth. Her cheeks were bright red.
Taller from them ruffled girl hair and stood. He then turned and opened the old wardrobe that was behind him. He didn't look this sight.
"Are you going now?" asked Ruri, hugging the boy.
Kuroko turned to her.
"I must be early today..." he murmured and kneeled in front of the opened wardrobe.
The girl didn't answer. She still sat behind him with a boy in her lap.
He felt as someone tugged his shirt. He turned to look at the girl.
Her eyes were looking into his own. Her palm clenched around the material.
"Are you alright...?" she asked in that tone of a worrying child.
Kuroko blinked and after a few seconds. he hugged the girl to his chest.
"Of course I am..."
He slowly walked the empty streets of Tokyo in the deep evening. He could feel his breath that was forming a cloud in the cold air. He zipped his jacket up and put his hands in his pockets.
Somehow he managed to cover the big bruise on his nose, as it was almost invisible. The one thing that cheered him up, if he could say that, was that in the dark, nobody was going to see it anyway.
His legs ached, but so did his head. He wanted to go to sleep and cover himself in a pile of blankets. It was his dream, that simple.
He turned on one of the corners and stopped in front of a wooden door. He heard the sound of loud music coming from inside. He looked at the neon of the lights above the entrance. He slowly walked in.
He didn't walked toward where the source of the beating music was. He heard loud laughter coming from this section and the sound of bottles hitting each other.
For them it was fun.
He walked on the stairs on the left of the first floor. Then he put out paper that he kept in the pocket of his pants and in the faint light of the bulb above him, he read the few words. Then he stopped in the front of a door with the number 203. He slowly put his hand up. He reread the paper one more time. His heart beat fast like it wanted to escape from his chest.
He knocked on the door.
From the inside he heard a loud voice that was allowing him to enter.
He gulped and slowly opened the door. He walked inside the dark room. The first thing that he saw was a bed.
He hated it.
Kuroko Tetsuya hated his job.
Yep, yep I'm uploading new fic, and not ending the other ones till now xD! I'm a very unorganised person! But I'm writing this when I have the mood for it. But so much Angst... Why I'm writing angst story when I'm very optimistic xD? I like comment from my friend. He said that he felt sad when he read this chapter even if nothing happened in here... D: Should I be happy or sad?
And this fic... I don't know what this is about in the end xD. Just I like this very suspense story. Maybe thats it.
Ah and the title! "Contra Spem Spero" mean in latin "I believe against hope". We were reading one polish poem ("Contra Spem Spero" Maria Konopnicka) in polish class, and when I heard what it mean I just must made it as a title to this fic. I think it suits it perfectly xD. But it is a latin proverb in the first place.
I think in future it will bloom into KiKuro... but now I don't know in 100%. Anyway hope you'll like it!
And thanks to:
ChocolateFantasies - that she corrected it. xD I know... it was hard work! Thank you.
Mikami - that you corrected it after about... a month xD!
And thank you for reading.
Till next chapter... That I hope I'll update soon! xD