A Twist of Fate

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Chapter One: The Third Year

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"Yukiko,"

"Yes, uncle?" Yukiko turned, her blue-grey eyes landing on the large frame of her uncle.

Takeuchi Genta, more of a family friend. He was very close to her father, so she had always called him 'Uncle' since she turned four years old, all those years ago. He was also the Coach of Kaijou High's basketball team; and the reason that she was allowed to join the team in the first place.

Of course, she wasn't allowed to participate in games, obviously because of her gender, but she changed that, too. She cut her hair during her first year. Her hair stuck out at short awkward angles, and the constant teasing didn't make it any better.

Still, nobody really said anything, because it was her skill and love for the sport. She was better than the others, and they hated her for it. They bullied and harassed her, but she wouldn't give up on basketball.

In her second year, things were beginning to look up; three more boys - her age, joined, along with some other new boys. Yukiko would have thought that they would also join in on the teasing, but it had shocked her when one day, the one named Kobori Kouji, defended her.

They quickly became friends, along with Moriyama Yoshitaka. They were different, she decided. Her protectors, in a way.

She hated the fact that she was weak and had to rely on them for a certain period of time. Half-way through the year, a transfer student joined the team, along with another first. Both were first years, named Nakamura Shinya and Hayakawa Mitsuhiro. She had also befriended them.

Though being so close to them, she had adapted into using 'ore', instead of 'watashi' or 'atashi' to refer to herself, making her seem more masculine than necessary, although she didn't mind.

They five of them worked hard, slowly but surely building their way to the top, and soon enough, Yukiko was awarded with joining the first string.

It was during a game in the preliminaries of the Interhigh, which she had messed up. Yukiko blamed herself for the hard loss, telling herself that she'd quit. She hated the blaming and guilty looks she received from her sempai, and was about ready to leave the club, until, Takeuchi made her Captain.

Shocked, she didn't know what to say. Yukiko frowned, and asked why he chose her, of all people.

Her sempai didn't say anything, not even when they graduated and went off to find jobs or go to college. Yukiko's heart ached, as she left her second year and continued onto her third. Knowing that as soon as it started, it would be over, as if in a flash.

"Yukiko," Takeuchi's voice pulled her from her thoughts, and she focused on him again, smiling sheepishly.

"Sorry, uncle." She apologized, now giving him her full un-divided attention. Takeuchi gave her a look, before shifting on his feet.

"I managed to recruit someone really good this year. He'll be here after school, as usual, with the other new-comers.

"Alright. Thank you." She bowed her head, and turned back to the task at hand. She clicked the end of her mechanical pencil, going back to writing out plans for future games. She was thinking, after the newbies would get settled in, they should have a practice match. But, with what school...

The bell rang, jolting her from her thoughts. She stood, collecting her things, before slowly making her way back to class.

"Oi, Kasamatsu." Yukiko halted her steps, an invisible shudder running down her spine. She turned slowly, and blinked at the group of girls that approached her.

"H- Hey." She offered them a smile, but regretted it when one of them gave her a dirty look.

Sure, men could be mean, but it was the girls that were the worst, she thought.

The girl who called her out was a classmate, one she's been stuck with since her first year. The very one who has always bullied and tormented her, Sayu.

Yukiko's grasp tightened on her notebook, casting an annoyed glare to the ground. Why, oh why, did she always have to freeze up in front of the female population?

Hachiko, a different girl, from a different class, walked up to her. She put her elbow on her, as if for support, as a lazy grin appeared on her face. "Ne, Yukiko, do you think you could be any more manly?"

"Yeah, look at that hair. It's still as short as ever." Another commented, snickering. Hachiko ran her fingers through her short hair, in a mocking way. She pushed herself off of Yukiko's shoulder, shoving her into the wall in the process. The five girls shared a laugh, making Yukiko cringe in anger.

There were those few times when she 'dared' to stick up for herself, but it always ended badly, most of the times with a couple bruises or scratches.

"Oi, don't you have class?" Yukiko blinked, her anger forgotten as soon as she heard Kobori's voice. He, along with Moriyama walked up. Hayakawa wasn't with them, as he was already in class.

"Well, we'll see you in class, Kasamatsu." Sayu sneered, her and her followers leaving Yukiko, Moriyama, and Kobori in the otherwise empty hallway.

Silence sliced through the corridor, making Yukiko tense up as soon as Moriyama spoke softly.

"You shouldn't let them bug you-"

"It's fine. I'm used to it, anyway." She shrugged nonchalantly, managing to push herself up from the wall. She grabbed her notebook and pencil, realizing only now that she had dropped them during her fright. Kobori and Moriyama shared a look, knowing not to push it, and only silently left with her to their class.

"I heard from Coach that we'd be getting someone strong this year." Kobori said offhandedly, turning all their thoughts about the previous situation away carefully.

It seemed to work, because it only caused Yukiko to snort. "Yeah. I hope it's not another idiot." She scoffed.

"Hey, you better not be referring to us." Moriyama smirked.

Yukiko shared the smirk, "Maybe, maybe not." She answered, a hint of optimism held in her voice.

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School ended sooner than anticipated, but it was all good for Yukiko. She stood, once again grabbing her things. She organized it, before either putting it back in her desk or putting it in her bag.

"I'll catch up." Yukiko announced to Moriyama and Kobori. Both nodded, as they made their way out of class. Yukiko held her bag close to her as she made her way through the busy hallway, keen on getting to her locker as soon as possible.

She dodged most of the girls, managing to stick to the shadows of the guys, before finally making it to her destination. Yukiko sighed and opened her locker before cramming her bag into it after taking her duffel bag out. She switched shoes, and closed it, before setting a new destination, the gym.

Once she arrived, Yukiko slipped into the girls' changing rooms unnoticed. She changed into a simple no-sleeve white t-shirt and loose-fitting dark grey shorts. Pausing, she pulled her normal knee-high socks off, and replaced them with her other ones. The socks she wore during practice, games, and the like. They often supported her muscles just fine, loosening the burden.

Taking a deep breath today would be the first practice to kick off the new year. Her final year. Yukiko walked out from the girls' changing room, thankful that no one had seen her do so. That'd be embarrassing. Especially if she had to explain. Of course, she'd need to explain eventually, as they'll find out she's a girl one way or another. But, introducing herself in front of the rookies was always hard.

She calmly walked up to Moriyama, no sign of Kobori or Hayakawa in sight. Nakamura was standing off to the side, chatting to one of the other second years. Yukiko nodded, mostly to herself. Things were going to be good this year; she could feel it.

They'll make it far, and she'll definitely not drop out from the preliminaries. She'll lead her team to the Interhigh; she'll lead them to victory. Her mind was set on it. That much was sure.

Her fingers curled into fists as she waited for the new guys to all group together. She cleared her throat, and spoke up, catching all their attention. "Alright, listen up! I want your name, middle school, and the position you'd like!" She made sure to speak loud and clearly, ignoring some of the surprised faces she received. "We'll start with you!" She pointed to the nearest boy, a freshman, by the looks of it. He stuttered, and began speaking.

Finally, they were on the last man standing. He had bright yellow hair, and golden eyes that shined with certainty. Yukiko twitched, her grip tightening on her shorts as she waited for him to speak up.

"It's my turn, hm?" His voice seemed to pierce through her heart, but she quickly shot the shiver away. "Alright, since you've saved the best for last..." That made her twitch again, definitely gaining her attention, as well as the other third and second years.

"I'm Kise Ryouta, a freshman! My hobby is basketball and my specialty is karaoke Ah, wait a second, I got that backwards! I'm from Teikou middle school, and I'm okay with any position! I also work as a model, so I might not be able to make every practice, but I'm looking forward to playing with everyone~!" Silence filled the gym.

"So, that's the guy from the "Generation of Miracles"..." Yukiko could hear someone say, she couldn't place her finger on it, as her mind was filled with insults at the blond haired boy's happy-go-lucky smile he was flashing everyone.

Suddenly, acting by pure instinct, she ran up to him and kicked him on the head.

"Shut up! I only asked for your name, school, and position!" She could hear his cry of pain, watching him topple to the ground in a heap. "Answer only what you've been asked, you shallow little twit!"

"Hey! I'm the awesome rookie you guys scouted! What's with this treatment!?" He sputtered, holding his cheek as he sent a teary glare at her.

"Like I care! You're just a freshman, either way!" Yukiko replied with just as much malice, the urge- no; need to hit him again filling her veins. She only felt more anger at the glare she got from the 'model'.

"When a sempai gives you an order, a freshman like you has no right to talk back!" She elaborated, crossing her arms.

Yukiko watched him slowly stand up, his bangs falling into his eyes. "... You know, I really don't like stuff like that... Formalities and the like. I mean, what's so great about being born one or two years earlier?"

"And anyways, when it comes down to basketball, I'm probably better than you." Yukiko was silent for a few seconds, formulating a response in her head.

"I'll tell you what's so great about it," She spoke quietly at first, her glare never hesitating to leave his eyes. "Before you even include good or bad, this is Kaijou High's basketball club. It's not just because we're born earlier; it's just that we've been working hard on this team longer than you have."

Yukiko knew her words must have struck something inside of Kise, as his eyes had widened slightly. "I'm telling you to have more respect for that experience." She continued. "It doesn't matter if you're from the Generation of Miracles, or anywhere else. You're now a first year at Kaijou, Kise Ryouta. And I'm a senior here. The Captain, Kasamatsu Yukiko." And just for good measure, she added, "Got any complaints?"

Kise's widened gaze lingered a few moments. "Kasamatsu... Yukiko. Yukiko... Yu... Ki... Ko. Yukiko. YUKIKO!?" His voice rang in the gym, staring at the older girl in shock.

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Ahhaaaa~ The idea (and thought) of a fem!Kasamatsu intrigued me so much that I had to start writing this. I wasn't originally planning to start this so soon. I thought I'd wait awhile... But... Yeah. :P

Lol, I still like how Fem!Kasa is still scared of girls. Although I don't blame hi- er, her. Stupid mean-jerk-bully girls are stupid. ; u;

The last scene (with Kise introducing himself) is taken from the manga (chapter 192), just altered a bit to my liking. ;D

Ah, also, if you didn't know:

Boku, Ore; used by men, referring to yourself, or 'I'.

Atashi, used by females, also a way of referring to yourself.

Watashi can be used by both.

~Love me or Hate me~