disclaimer: kuroko no basuke belongs to fujimaki tadatoshi. seven days belongs to tachibana venio and takarai rihito.
The sun was shining brightly high up in the sky, a contrast to the previous days' cloudy skies and gloomy weather, and the autumn leaves continued to flutter down gently without hinder. The school grounds were littered with various arrays of brown, yellow, orange and red. Many students admired the scenery as they walked towards the school building, while others remained in the courtyard and decided to chat away until the bell rang.
Overall, it was a beautiful day.
In contrast, for one certain brunet boy who had recently experienced the best three days of his life, the day was anything but beautiful. If anything, it looked like the end of the world had came early for him.
As he released a deep sigh, another brunet with hair a darker shade than his own approached him, followed by a slightly shorter boy with short, cropped black hair.
"Why the long sigh, Furihata?" the shorter of the two newcomers asked, an easy grin on his lips.
Furihata raised his head from his crossed arms, looking up at his friends with a small hopeless smile. "Nothing much, Kawahara. Just got dumped." He said it in a tone as if it were to be expected—as if he weren't good enough.
"Ah, sorry to hear that, man." Kawahara reached over to ruffle his hair, messing up his tuffs of brown hair. Furihata slightly pouted at this before reaching up to fix his hair. His friend had said it in a half-hearted tone, but Furihata knew the other truly was sincere; his eyes told him everything he needed.
"I know how you feel," the tallest of the trio chimed in from Furihata's other side, nodding his head sagely with his arms crossed, as he chose to lean against the window that overlooked the school courtyard instead of sitting on another student's desk like Kawahara had done.
"Oh, that's right. You were also in a relationship before, weren't you, Fukuda?" Kawahara asked, seemingly to have forgotten that little detail. It was more of a rhetorical question if anything, as he continued without pause, "The girls in this school are hard to please."
Both Furihata and Fukuda nodded at that.
"Well, you can't blame them," a higher-pitched voice added. The trio turned around to see a girl with long waist-length, peach-coloured hair and eyes of the same shade approach them.
"Momoi," Furihata greeted with a nod of his head and a smile, his friends following his action and doing the same.
The girl merely smiled in return before continuing, "This school was previously an all-girls school until this year, in which it turned co-ed. Naturally, girls still dominate the greater majority of the school population. They were taught that men, or their lovers in particular, would be like princes on white horses."
She ended her explanation with a laugh that seemed to tinkle in Furihata's ears. He admitted he had a crush on her when he first entered Rakuzan High, but so did most other males in the school, if not all. She was a beautiful woman, and Furihata was surprised she noticed him. He thought he might have had a chance with her, but soon found out that she'd never look at him that way. Now, he could safely say he was satisfied with simply being friends with her. He never was one to dream of something he couldn't reach.
"But I'm nowhere near prince-like..."
"Ah, but Furi-kun," Momoi interrupted, "a few girls have said you're cute."
Furihata blushed at this, in which Momoi giggled at. He really was a cute boy, or at least his reactions were.
Fidgeting, Furihata looked down and mumbled, "I know, but... in the end, after they get to know me, they say I'm boring."
At least, that was the case for his most recent break up. The girl had confessed to him and Furihata was elated. He never dreamed of a day that he would be confessed to. He always thought he'd be the one chasing after someone, so it was honestly surprising for him to be on the receiving end. Furihata accepted her in a heartbeat, and maybe his feelings weren't entirely sincere. Perhaps he was simply caught up in the feeling of being loved but not loving. He truly did feel like he came to like the girl within those three days they spent together, though, but that morning while walking to school together the girl had broke it off, saying that Furihata wasn't what she thought he was—that he was boring.
Her words still rung in his head, of course, and it stung. Sighing, he supposed he'd get over her in a few days or maybe a few weeks. This wasn't a new occurrence; it happened with many of his relationships in middle school too.
"Furi's perfectly capable!" Kawahara shouted, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Those girls just have too high an expectation! What's the chances of a prince existing anyway?"
"Ah, but there is that one guy," Fukuda distractedly added.
"Oh, you mean Akashi-kun?" Momoi questioned, seeming to immediately know who he was talking about. Then again, Furihata supposed everybody in the school would know who Rakuzan's 'prince' was.
"Yeah," Fukuda confirmed. "Honestly, I don't know why the girls like him so much. He goes out with a new girl every week and then breaks up with them, without fail, on every Sunday evening. Doesn't he seem like a jerk?"
"I heard about that!" Kawahara chimed in. "It seems he accepts to go out with the first girl who confesses to him on Monday, regardless of who it is. That's pretty low, in my opinion, but apparently none of the girls he rejected hold any ill will towards him."
Furihata pondered about that. He honestly couldn't see why Akashi was so popular. True, he had the face and the brains, and even the money (which Furihata lacks greatly in; though, in all honesty, he lacked in all areas Akashi excelled in), but surely there had to be some animosity if he was playing around with a different girl each week, right...?
"It may seem that way," Momoi cut in, "but Akashi-kun's actually a real gentlemen."
Whipping his head around to Momoi, Furihata recalled something. "That's right, you went out with him before, didn't you, Momoi? You don't hate him?"
The girl let out a somewhat nostalgic and, at the same time, melancholic smile at this. Furihata had to wonder what she was feeling at that moment; she looked kind of sad, but it was gone as quick as it came.
"We went out, but I don't hate Akashi-kun at all." There was something in her eyes that made it seem like she knew something that they didn't, and perhaps that really was the case; she was the one who dated Akashi Seijuurou, after all. "Akashi-kun and I went to the same middle school. Near the end of our third year, he suddenly started this uh," she paused, trying to find the word, "routine?"
It sounded more of a question with how Momoi said it, and Furihata was once again left wondering what was going through her head as a mix of emotions seemed to flit across her eyes.
"The point is," she suddenly raised her voice, sounding more determined than before (but for what, Furihata didn't know), "Akashi-kun treats all the girls he dates with care and does everything we want, as long as it doesn't cross certain boundaries like physical contact."
"So he doesn't take advantage of the girls?" Fukuda asked disbelievingly. That Akashi guy really did sound like a prince, he begrudgingly had to admit.
Momoi shook her head. "I guess that's why us girls don't dislike him. Besides, seven days is enough to dream."
And it was back again, that melancholic expression.
Furihata was about to question Momoi about it, but the bell rang, signifying the start of class. His friends gave him a quick good bye before they separated and made beelines to their respective seats. Looking out the window to his left, Furihata watched as the students in the courtyard quickly filed into the building and headed to class. He was about to turn back to the front of the classroom, expecting the teacher to come in at any moment, when a black limousine pulled up to the entrance of the school and a boy with crimson red hair stepped out of it.
Speak of the Devil. It was Akashi Seijuurou himself.
There was something charismatic about the redhead, if Furihata had to say. Somehow, his eyes just drew towards him, as if hypnotised, and would trail after him until the boy was out of sight. It happened even when Akashi passed him in the hallways or when he made speeches in front of the entire school. This time was no different. Furihata's eyes followed Akashi's figure until it disappeared as he entered the school building.
For a reason he was unaware of, Furihata let out a sigh.
The moment his teacher came in, she called upon Furihata to pick up a few materials from the storeroom, which she conveniently forgot before heading to class. Furihata was certain she was out to get him, merely because he fell asleep in her class the last time. It wasn't his fault that modern history was so boring.
And so, here he was, standing in front of the History faculty's storage room.
Sighing, he brought a hand up to rub at the back of his neck. Well, his teacher couldn't blame him if he casually—slowly—walked back to class, right? He supposed this was what you could call killing two birds with one stone. He was certain that even if he were in class, his teacher would just continuously call on him to answer questions or read paragraph after paragraph from the textbook. At least this way he was avoiding her torture, and killing time until the next class.
With a renewed positive mind, Furihata slid open the door of the storage room with a relieved smile plastered on his face...
...which was immediately wiped off when he saw who was inside.
There, in all his glory, stood a red haired boy. Like the rest of the male population of students, he wore a dark grey button-up shirt under the school's blazer, which was a lighter shade of grey; a black tie was wound around his shirt collar; and he adorned matching trousers the same shade as his blazer. He was slightly taller than Furihata and when he turned around, alerted to the opening of the door, the brunet had the privilege to admire the most gorgeous set of eyes. One eye was a red shade of ruby and the other an amber colour like topaz.
The only person who had such unique features, at the very least from Furihata's knowledge, was Akashi Seijuurou.
For a moment, Furihata's breath was caught in his throat.
The two continued staring at each other until the redhead said, "Good morning."
Furihata stuttered out a short, "M-morning," before walking into the storeroom with shaky legs. He busied himself with looking for the materials his teacher wanted, intent on not talking with the school's most popular student. For God's sake, he was too nervous simply being in the presence of the redhead, let alone conversing with him.
He was too engaged in his internal turmoil to notice the other was talking to him. When he felt a hand on his shoulder, he flinched and let out a squeak. Whipping around, Furihata saw the other looking... amused.
Was Akashi mocking him?!
Letting out a chuckle, Akashi removed his hand from the brunet's shoulder. The moment he did so, Furihata took a step back and his back came into contact with the shelf, yet he made no motion to rectify this situation. He probably looked weird glued to the bookshelf, but Furihata didn't want to be any closer to Akashi than he needed to. Somehow, the redhead gave off the aura of being untouchable and Furihata was always one who followed his instincts.
"S-sorry, what were you saying?" He could only hope that came out naturally.
If Akashi noticed anything off about him, he didn't say anything about it.
"I was merely asking what you were looking for, Furihata."
Furihata's head snapped up at this, opting to stare at the redhead in something akin to shock or surprise. "Y-you know my n-name?"
"Of course," the other replied without a single pause. There was confidence in the way he spoke, Furihata noticed. "I know the names of every member in my basketball club."
"O-oh, I see." He was beyond incredulous at this point. The brunet didn't understand why it was necessary to remember the names of approximately a hundred students, regardless of whether Akashi was captain or not. It wasn't like the redhead would've talked to all one hundred members, right?
Furihata decided it was better not to try and figure out how Akashi Seijuurou thought. The redhead was out of his league anyway.
Remembering the other had asked him a question, he quickly replied, "My teacher asked me to collect a few textbooks she needed." It was better not to let the awkward silence stretch for longer than necessary. "Ah, but I think she did it because I'm on her bad side," he added, just for the sake of something to talk about.
"Oh?" Akashi sincerely sounded amused. "Then we're on the same boat, it seems."
Now this had Furihata surprised. "Eh?"
Despite the brunet's unintelligent reply, Akashi elaborated further, noticing Furihata's confusion, "I was a few seconds too late to class. As punishment, Nakamura-sensei sent me to collect a few textbooks he needed."
Hearing Akashi's explanation, Furihata then understood. When he watched Akashi arrive at school earlier that morning, he did wonder if the redhead would make it on time for class. It was no surprise the other was late if he arrived a moment after the bell rang. What was a surprise, however, was that the other was late in itself.
Akashi seemed to have read his mind or something because, the next moment, he was explaining himself again. "I merely wanted to have a quiet morning." There was something enigmatic about his smile at that moment.
"Were you avoiding your admirers?"
All was silent for a while. Furihata hadn't known he had asked the question out loud, intending to have only thought it in his head, until he noticed Akashi's rather startled stare. Obviously he wasn't expecting Furihata to have asked that.
His feet suddenly seemed like the most interesting thing in the world. Ah, how he wished he could crawl into a hole and hide from the world.
"S-sorry," Furihata stuttered out meekly, still not looking away from his feet, "That was rude of me."
"No, it's fine," said Akashi. "I was simply surprised. I thought you were someone who would not pry into others' affairs."
Furihata twitched at this. In all honesty, he was that type of person, choosing not to involve himself with matters that didn't concern him unless the other person wanted to talk about it.
"But to answer your question, yes, I was avoiding them."
Well, just as Akashi wasn't expecting such a question, Furihata certainly wasn't expecting to be answered.
His confusion was crystal clear as he looked up to stare at Akashi. On a positive note, at least Akashi didn't look offended.
"U-um, would it be rude if I asked why?"
Furihata knew he was pushing it at this point, but he truly was curious. Akashi seemed to ponder over it for a moment; whether it was to answer or not, or what to answer, Furihata didn't know. After a while, he seemed to reach a conclusion as he looked Furihata directly in the eye and said, "I simply don't want to disappoint them anymore."
Akashi Seijuurou was full of surprises, Furihata learned. For one, he didn't think the other would be so easy to talk to; though Furihata was still wary about what he said and how he phrased it. Secondly, Akashi talked quite a lot when given the chance; Furihata didn't think the redhead would even talk to a not-so-outstanding person such as himself, but lo and behold. Lastly, Akashi Seijuurou was not a liar, but he didn't exactly speak the truth either.
Furihata didn't know what it was, but there was something about Akashi's expression when he said that. It didn't feel like a lie—but what was there about Akashi Seijuurou that could be disappointing, honestly—but at the same time it felt like a lie. Furihata didn't know how that worked out because how could something not sound like a lie but sound like a lie at the same time?
Maybe he was reading too deep into it.
"I don't think the girls think you're disappointing, though."
"Oh? Why do you say that?" There was no animosity in the question, simply curiosity.
"Well, the girls are always saying that you're like a prince. You're handsome and you're super smart too!" Furihata didn't even know why he was praising the other, but when he looked at Akashi it felt like the other male had to hear it—and it wasn't like Furihata was lying because he honestly thought Akashi was all these things, too. Not to mention, the fact that Akashi was rich made him seem more like nobility than anything, though Furihata opted to leave that out, unsure of whether the other would be offended by the possibility that others were getting close to him for his money.
"And? What do you think of me, Furihata?"
Did it really matter what he thought of Akashi, the brunet mused. It wasn't like his opinion would matter and it was unlikely the two of them would talk to each other again after this. Deeming that there was no harm in stating his opinion—'cause, really, they weren't going to talk again ever—Furihata decided to be honest.
"I think you're really gorgeous," and it felt really weird to call another guy gorgeous, but it was the truth. "There's something really mysterious about you, and you're really charismatic so it's no surprise the girls flock to you. I'm sure there are even some guys who admire you—"
"Even you?" Akashi cut in, a smirk on his lips.
Now Furihata felt sort of annoyed, but he did his best to keep it bottled up. It would do no good to be on Akashi's bad side; while he was the captain of the basketball club, Akashi was also the student council president. Furihata really didn't want to involve himself more than necessary with the redhead 'cause, really, someone who could be the head of two clubs (and the student council at that!) during their first year was surely someone to be feared.
"Yes, me too," the brunet reluctantly admitted. He won't admit that he's envious of the redhead though. "I-I mean, you're really smart and I also really admire how you play basketball. B-basically, what I want to say is, I r-really respect you." By the end of it, Furihata was simply rambling, unsure what else to say.
"Then, shall we try going out?"
For a moment, Furihata thought he had misheard. Surely Akashi Seijuurou had not just asked him out, right?
He could only stare, aghast, at the other as Akashi continued to smile at him. What unnerved Furihata, however, was how Akashi's smile didn't seem welcoming but, rather, amused. He was definitely playing with him, Furihata thought, irritated.
Before Furihata could open his mouth to decline, Akashi continued, "You did just confess to me after all. It's only right I accept."
And that's when the confusion settled in. He? Confessed to Akashi? When? It seemed like something big was going on and the whole world was in on it except him. Everything seemed to freeze as Furihata replayed the scenario in his head over and over. He did not recall confessing to Akashi.
Then, it finally clicked in him.
Akashi had made him state his opinion of him. While it was definitely not a confession, in his opinion, he supposed to another person it could've sounded like a roundabout confession. He bit his lip at this. Akashi asked for it, though, so he should've known Furihata had not meant it that way. Since Akashi came late to school, that would mean Furihata was the first to confess that day... meaning he'd be Akashi's next 'girlfriend' of the week.
Furihata opened his mouth, ready to clarify the misunderstanding, but he was interrupted by the door sliding open. Both occupants turned towards the newcomer, surprised that somebody else was outside of class during class hours.
When he saw who it was, however, Furihata immediately approached him. "Fukuda!"
"Hey," Fukuda greeted, walking further into the room. "Yamada-sensei sent me because you were taking too long."
"Ah, right! Sorry about that!" Furihata then proceeded to search for the materials he originally came for, forgetting about his (not) confession for the time being; Fukuda was quick to help while Akashi returned to looking for his own materials. In a matter of a few minutes, the brunets found the materials they needed.
"U-um," Furihata spoke up, gaining Akashi's attention. Fukuda stepped out of the storeroom first, waiting for his friend outside. "I-I'll be going now. See you, A-Akashi."
He hoped they never saw each other again.
Just before the door slid shut, Furihata was certain he heard Akashi reply back: "Yes. See you, Kouki."
...Akashi hadn't just referred to him by first name, had he?
Furihata was not expecting this. He definitely wasn't expecting this.
After a long day school was finally over, but there was still club activities to attend to. He was in the middle of packing his bag when his mathematics teacher told him to stay back, saying there was something he had to discuss with him. He had said it wouldn't take long, but Furihata told Fukuda and Kawahara to head to basketball practice before him anyway; he didn't want to make them wait.
And as his teacher said, the discussion didn't take long at all so he finished packing his bag before leaving the classroom, intent on not being late to practice. He definitely did not expect—not in a million years—to see Akashi Seijuurou leaning on the wall beside his classroom door, waiting for him.
"Shall we head to practice together?"
Searching his brain for a reason to decline but finding none, Furihata was left with gloomily nodding his head and following behind his captain. He suddenly wished Fukuda and Kawahara were with him now.
At least he didn't have to deal with Akashi during club practice. As Akashi was the captain and also a regular, he was in the first-string. Furihata was in the third-string, so they practised in different gyms.
He had never felt more relieved.
Until Akashi appeared after practice as Furihata was packing up the equipment.
"Get changed and wait for me in front of the first gym."
Akashi was gone as quick as he came, immediately leaving to attend to whatever else he had to attend to. Furihata considered disobeying his order, but decided it wasn't worth the risk.
As he watched Fukuda and Kawahara leave before him, somewhere in his heart he was desperately pleading for them to stay with him or to forcefully drag him away with them.
Sighing, the brunet tilted his head up towards the sky. It was now a beautiful red and orange, much like the autumn leaves that littered the ground. The world looked so beautiful, yet there was a storm brewing within him. Furihata swore there were dark clouds hanging above him. At the very least, he felt like it were so.
When Akashi stepped out of the first gym, locking it up, Furihata watched him from a few meters away. Only one thought passed through him at the time.
Akashi couldn't have been serious about dating him, right...?
(Not once throughout the day did he remember about being dumped earlier that morning.)
six days left.
not exactly satisfied with this chapter, but i did my best. /sobs
just saying it again, but this fic will only be based loosely on seven days; otherwise it'd be too predictable, i think.
23 October 2013