Okay, first and foremost, TANJOUBI OMEDETO AKASHI! We love you so much~ And I love you so much too so I decided to write this fic a week ago! This fic is dedicated to CHII (GET WELL SOON YOU HEAR ME), all my loyal fans and friends especially those back at the AkaKuro group in FB! You guys rock! And they were actually the ones responsible for urging me to write this. This fic is also based on this BEAUTIFUL fanart of oyakorodesu from Tumblr~~~ (remove the brackets)


Alright, get ready for fluff and sarcasm that will make you wonder how funny and fitting sarcasm is for our little fox! Happy reading! \^O^/

(It turned out longer than it should...And I wanted to write something plotless for once but... I just...can't... FAHK...)

The Nine-Tailed Fox


"You have committed a grave sin."


"I was trying to end her suffering!"


"Your reasons matter not."




"Suffer your punishment."


The day a human died by immortal hands was the day the red nine-tailed fox was stripped off its supernatural abilities.

"Kuroko! ...Kuroko! ...Kuroko, where are you?!"

A pair of fox ears twitched at the shouting. Akashi sighed. If he wasn't disturbed by his self proclaimed group of friends, then he was definitely not getting any sleep around humans either. Akashi had travelled a few forests to finally perch comfortably on a branch of a fruitful peach tree. He then saw the human that had disturbed his sleep. The human was tall and the scowl on his face would have chased dozens of small fry ayakashis away for sure. Akashi watched as the human frustratingly pulls his own hair while shouting, "Goddamnit Kuroko!"

The human left soon enough, stomping his feet deeper into the forest they were both in. Akashi sat back and leaned on the tree bark with his arms behind his head. He casually hummed a simple tune before he heard rustling of dry leaves. Akashi peeked one eye open in the direction of the silence breaker. A small boy came out from the bushes, looking left and right. Akashi was fully awake, eyes focused on the small figure that he surprisingly did not even notice during his sleep. The red head thought back to the name he heard the other human shouting, "Kuroko..." he whispered, the name rolling off his tongue without him realizing.

The boy suddenly looked up at him. Akashi was surprised for a moment before his tensed muscles relaxed, "There is no way a normal human can see or hear me." Akashi finally decided that maybe Kuroko had caught sight of a ripe delicious peach dangling above Akashi's head. The red head elbowed the tree bark behind him; the vibrations dropping the perfect peach onto the ground. Kuroko's eyes followed the peach. The small boy finally trotted closer to pick it up with his small fingers, the peach almost too big for his grasp.

Akashi jumped down, landing gracefully behind Kuroko. The red head thought, 'I should go find somewhere else to take a nap. Shintarou might know some really good-', his trail of thoughts were cut off when he felt something tugging one of his tails. He turned around only to look at a very wide-eyed Kuroko; his fingers had disappeared in the fluffiness of Akashi's sixth tail. (No one could actually tell which of Akashi's tail was which) Akashi's eyes widened, "You can see me?"

Kuroko continuously and experimentally gripped his fingers around the base of Akashi's tail which would actually anger Akashi but at that moment the red head was just too shocked that a human child could see him. Of course, some had the ability to see him but that 'some' was a in a million chance. Akashi snatched his tail from Kuroko's hands and glared down at him. The red head's eyes narrowed and his stare was intense, vicious. It had multiple times brought his enemies to their knees in submission. However, today was just not his day.

Kuroko threw his arms up at Akashi with beaming eyes, "Kitty!"

There was an invisible tick at the side of Akashi's head as he visibly flinched at the word. He wasn't very fond of cats, neither was he very fond of being referred to as one. Nevertheless, Kuroko seemed to ignore Akashi's scowl as he ran behind Akashi to grab onto his tails. Yes, they were fluffy. Akashi facepalmed when Kuroko literally clung onto them. The nine-tailed fox swung his tail to shake Kuroko off of him but to no avail as that only made the boy cry out with glee. The red head sighed in defeat as he sat on the forest floor. He entertained Kuroko for what it was worth. Akashi expertly moved his tails around while Kuroko climbed onto them, stuffed his face in them or let Akashi's fur tickle his body. Akashi didn't mind. Children always feared him. At least, most children that could see him did. Be it human or ayakashi. Somehow, Kuroko's lack of judgement on him made him feel better about himself.

At one point, Kuroko sat on Akashi's tail (which was hovering mid air) as the red head forced more peaches to fall to the ground. They both ate silently together. Kuroko didn't say much but his laughter was proof of what a great time he was having. Akashi's original idea of napping was taken away from him as he played with a...3-year-old? When the Sun buried itself deeper into the sky, Akashi felt Kuroko climbing his back clumsily. After spending a few hours with him, the red head was actually used to the kid's mischief, "What are you trying to do Kuroko?"

Kuroko merely wrapped his legs around Akashi's neck before resting his chin on Akashi's head, burying his hands in blaring red hair. The red head's ears twitched at the foreign feeling of something groping his head. It twitched again when Kuroko poked them simultaneously. Kuroko giggled gleefully as he pulled and pinched Akashi's ears. It took a lot of self-control to not just squish Kuroko's tiny hands just to make him stop toying with Akashi's ears. After awhile, the pokes lessen down and Kuroko was leaning his whole head on Akashi's. The red head could tell by Kuroko's breathing that the brat was definitely dozing off to dreamland. The nine-tailed fox sighed, "You could have said you wanted to sleep or something."

Akashi's tails went to work. Two of them wrapped gently around Kuroko's torso and slowly pried him off Akashi's shoulders and head. Kuroko grumbled at first as his fingers gripped tightly on some of Akashi's hair. The red head pursed his lips. The kid was as stubborn as Aomine in an argument about boobs. Despite Kuroko's semi-consciousness, Akashi said dejectedly, "I promise you that you'll see me again." not expecting Kuroko to let go a few seconds after. His tails smoothly brought Kuroko to his arms where the small boy curled himself closer to Akashi's stomach, seeking warmth. Akashi sighed again. He was getting too old for babysitting but he deemed himself a very good babysitter as Kuroko slept soundly in his arms.

He tightened his hold on Kuroko's light body as he leaped into the air, onto the tallest branch he could see. From there, he spotted the village Kuroko was from. Again he leaped, his tails beautifully tucked behind him. He landed softly next to the entrance of the village. He leaned his head down and rubbed his nose into Kuroko's hair. He took a whiff of Kuroko's scent before he stretched his neck up. The red head finally detected a similar scent at the edge of the village, near to the entrance of the forest Akashi was trying to sleep in. 'No wonder he wondered off...'

Akashi sneaked into the connecting houses, absolutely certain that no one could see him or Kuroko for that fact. Finally, he found the room that only smelt Kuroko. It was a spacious room with a few wooden toys on the floor. Yup, definitely Kuroko's room. Akashi gently placed the sleeping human child on his futon on the floor. He then got up and quietly closed the doors. But not without leaving some peaches in Kuroko's room. It was all he could do to make sure that Kuroko didn't think he was just a dream. He wanted Kuroko to remember him. He wanted to see the boy again. Yet, it was time he left the premises. Akashi was about to leap when he realized someone was looking straight at him.

The red head turned to meet a pair of surprised human eyes. The human sounded almost choked, "S-Seijuurou?"

Akashi returned to his normal stance, "Nijimura."

Nijimura smiled as he ushered Akashi to sit across him. Akashi politely sat down, his tails curling inwards behind him. Who knew that Akashi had reached a village of an old friend? He had rescued Nijimura decades ago when Nijimura was still a child. He was an orphan from the results of neighboring wars between villages. Akashi rescued him along with a few more survivors before dumping them into a clear space of the forest. Akashi helped the young boy to rebuild his village and stayed by Nijimura's side until he was ready to lead the village without Akashi. Nijimura was the only one who could see him but he made everyone believe in Akashi's existence as he was the fox ayakashi that had saved them all. Of course, that was all before Akashi lost his powers.

Beside Nijimura was the same human who was looking for Kuroko earlier in the forest. He...couldn't look at Akashi properly though. No, he couldn't see Akashi at all actually. He was just...scowling at air. Yes that was most definitely what he was doing. Nijimura cleared his throat, "So, I see Kuroko has found a new friend."

"He certainly 'found' me if that is what you are trying to imply." Akashi didn't miss how Kagami's eyes had somehow managed to look his way.

Nijimura chuckled at Akashi's quirked eyebrow, "Kagami here can only hear ayakashis. He cannot see them. He is also Kuroko's current playmate."

That last statement drew a sneer from Akashi, "Playmate? Nijimura, you're joking right?"

"I don't see the problem with age. You seemed to have entertained the child despite your...aged self." joked Nijimura with a wave of his hand.

Akashi smirked, "I wasn't referring to age. Besides, I look younger than him anyway. It's the face I'm talking about. Look at him, does he even smile?"

Nijimura turned and studied Kagami's stressed face, "Actually, he used to smile a lot before Kuroko started getting rebellious. Then again..." he turned back towards Akashi, "..you weren't much of a humble ayakashi either. I remembered the first time you glared down at me. It sent shivers down my spine."

"Believe it or not, I tried glaring at the kid. It didn't work."

Nijimura laughed heartily, "I'm honestly not surprised! Nothing scares that boy... It's worrisome. Especially since he has the 'sight'."

Akashi nodded in agreement. Kagami shifted his position, "You are Akashi Seijuurou, the nine-tailed fox."

"No, I'm a fire-breathing chicken monster. Who invited him anyway?" asked Akashi in a sarcastic undertone.

Before Nijimura could say anything, the thin walls behind Akashi tore open with a loud crash. On Akashi's right was a wolf and on his left was a leopard; both growling at Nijimura and Kagami. The two humans looked frightened especially Kagami who only saw flying pieces of his home. Akashi simply sighed. Behind him, on the open hallway, landed a half human half bird creature alongside a lazy looking sloth. Akashi facepalmed, "Shintarou. What is the meaning of this?"

Midorima, the half human half bird creature sighed with a defeated look, "Trust me, I tried to stop the 'Stupidity Overdrive' but these two were on autopilot."

The red head gripped the wolf and the leopard's neck, "Shift back before I rethink of sending you two to your afterlife."

At hearing the threat, the two ayakashis shifted back to two human looking creatures. The shifted wolf turned towards Akashi, "But...! You are being held up in this human torture chamber!"

The shifted leopard joined, "When the human scent covered yours, we rushed here to your aid!"

Nijimura paled at Akashi, "What do you feed their brains with about humans?!"

The red head was still facepalming, "I swear to the heavens that every fruit they eat makes them stupider with each bite."

Kagami tilted his head in confusion, "Ayakashis eat fruits?"

At hearing that statement, Akashi felt like going into hibernation for the next few decades, away from the world's idiocy, "No dumbass, we eat virgins."

Perhaps the sarcasm had to be toned down a bit as Kagami turned pale white. Behind all the commotion, the sloth transformed into a human-like creature, "Well at least we know he is one."

Akashi was sitting on the peach tree again. This time, along with his various companions. He couldn't forget the chaotic reunion he had with his old human friend. The meeting they had with Nijimura was moved to another room. Nijimura finally got serious and told Akashi of the readings he had made. The man could read stars and signs as easily as anyone could read a book. It wasn't a surprise that Nijimura had the 'sight'. He further explained how Kuroko's star, a small sparkly diamond in the sky, was in danger. The boy's light was dimming and could either be restored to its former light or diminished forever. It literally meant in the near future, Kuroko would either die or live. Kuroko was an orphan and was found as a baby by the uphill river flowing through the village yet he was stronger than any child his age and his sight far better than any priest or spell casters and even onmyoujis. Kuroko was the future of the village. And yet, trouble always found the boy despite the safety Nijimura provided for him. That just proved Kuroko's mischief. Even Kagami had a hard time keeping up with the boy's devilish acts of running off alone into the forest.

Nijimura begged Akashi to watch over Kuroko. The village couldn't lose such a child with such potential. Nijimura needed Akashi's help because the forest were the humans' limit especially when trying to search for a boy who was so small and so sneaky. The red head took it as a favor of their long friendship and accepted the job. He didn't have to babysit everyday when all his companions had decided to travel with him. For once, he thanked his idiotic companions' stupidity. And so, there they were, hanging around the area with Akashi. The red head's right hand man was Midorima Shintarou, a normal looking ayakashi with wings for hands and amazing sight, green hair and matching emerald eyes. The sloth was Murasakibara Atsushi, a sweet tooth most of the time and great in offense during battle. The leopard was Kise Ryouta, his human form having the prettiest features, his leopard having the most speed and his jump higher and further compared to the rest of them. The last of Akashi's loyal companion was Aomine Daiki, a black and brown wolf, size matching his brute strength.

Akashi had personally requested for Nijimura and Kagami to just let Kuroko be. They could all sense his presence especially Aomine whose wolf senses could track Kuroko's scent, heartbeat and inner thoughts. It was around mid noon when Akashi saw Kuroko trotting towards the peach tree, smiling widely at Akashi. The red head leaped down and sat cross-legged on the forest floor, leaning on the tree bark again. He beckoned Kuroko to his lap to which the small boy complied without hesitation. Kuroko sat in between Akashi's legs, his back to the red head's front. The boy leaned into Akashi as he looked up to meet a pair of red eyes. Akashi couldn't help but to ruffle Kuroko's hair. When Kuroko caught sight of the many peaches above him, his mouth opened to form a small 'O'.

The red head looked up too, "Of course. What's a playdate under the peach tree without peaches?"

Akashi elbowed the tree bark again, apologizing in his heart for literally abusing the helpless bark. This time, dozens of peaches fell on them but nine red tails shielded Kuroko from the raining delicacies. Kuroko grumbled childishly, futilely trying to push the tails away. When it had all come to an end, Akashi moved his tails to let Kuroko behold the sight. The small boy's anger seeped away when he saw the array of peaches of different sizes all around them. He squealed happily and clapped his hands. Akashi brushed his hand over Kuroko's forehead, gently tilting the boy's head to face him, "We can't finish all of these fruits can we?"

Kuroko shook his head silently.

"Want to share it with my friends?"

The question made Kuroko beam with excitement. He even got on his feet and turned towards Akashi, nodding enthusiastically. The nine-tailed fox chuckled, "Alright alright." He looked upwards, "Come on out guys."

The first to show himself was Midorima. The green head landed in front of Akashi, wings spread elegantly, eyes meeting Kuroko's wide blue ones. The boy dazedly stepped off Akashi and walked slowly to Midorima. His hands tapped the green head's feathers before he smiled warmly. Then, came a huge wolf and leopard from the bushes behind Midorima. Frightened, Kuroko ran back to Akashi teary eyed. The red head welcomed him with open arms before glaring at Aomine and Kise. The two transformed immediately. They had forgotten how young Kuroko actually was. Akashi nudged Kuroko, "There see? They mean you no harm at all."

Kuroko turned to see Aomine and Kise laughing sheepishly. They squatted down to reach the same eye level as Kuroko who was already stumbling towards them out of fascination. Kise smiled at Kuroko, "Nice to meet you Kurokocchi!"

The boy smiled at the blonde and then looked at Aomine. The wolf ayakashi tilted his head, "Me?"

"..." was Kuroko's response but Aomine seemed to understand.

"Aomine Daiki. I'm a wolf. This guy is Kise Ryouta. Leopard." he said as he indicated his head towards Kise, "And that glasses bird is Midorima Shintarou." he said pointing to the frowning green head. Suddenly, a sloth fell from a tree branch. Aomine pointed to the lazy ayakashi, "Aaaaaaand that would be Murasakibara Atsushi. A sloth."

Kuroko ran towards the sloth and jumped on its back. Before he realized it, he was sitting on a large man's back. Kuroko could only stare with awe. Murasakibara turned around and easily picked Kuroko up by grabbing the back of the boy's clothes, "So small~"

"Don't eat him." teased Midorima who sat comfortably around the fallen peaches.

Akashi turned towards Aomine, "He speaks to you?"

"Hmm? Yeah only a few words though. But I can hear him, his thoughts at least."

The red head then questioned, "He didn't ask for my name?"

Aomine shook his head, "He already knew."

After running around with Kise, playing with Aomine's tail, forcing Midorima to take him 'Up! Up!' and practically trying to climb a standing Murasakibara, Kuroko finally crawled sleepily into Akashi's lap. The red head had merely watched all the commotion with a peaceful face. When Kuroko came towards him, the red head's nine tails acted on impulse, twisting and positioning themselves on Akashi's lap to make a soft, furry nest. By the time Kuroko climbed on, he was already on the best bed in the world. The boy curled his body as he hugged one of Akashi's tail like a bolster. Two seconds later, light snores were the only noise around the peaceful peach tree. Akashi caressed Kuroko's hair lovingly before his eyes fluttered close as well.

Akashi's four companions watched as the nine-tailed fox slept with a human child. Kise was the first to whisper, "I never thought a kid could have such an effect on Akashicchi..."

Aomine scoffed, "It's Tetsu. He sorta gives an effect towards everyone around him."

Midorima glanced questioningly at Aomine. The wolf ayakashi rolled his eyes, "Wolf senses okay?"

"But Aka-chin rarely let's anyone in~" chimed the purple head.

Midorima watched the red head silently. They've all known each other too long and it was obvious that Akashi was truly deep in his sleep. His chest went up and down in sync with Kuroko's. They were breathing at the same rate with the same peaceful expression. The four had never seen Akashi sleep so peacefully for years so they decided to leave the two to their own little slumber. Later in the evening, Akashi awakened and returned Kuroko back to his room. On his way back to the forest, he sees Nijimura preparing a holy barrier. Nijimura was a talented fortune teller and could read the stars with absolute accuracy but barriers weren't his forte. Still, it was a bloody good effort in Akashi's opinion.

The red head had instructed his four friends to scout the forest and to make sure there were no threats towards Kuroko or the village. And just like that, it became a daily routine for the five ayakashis. They would spend the day with Kuroko (depending on Kuroko himself) and when night came, they all went for their usual rounds. Days passed. Three weeks passed. Nothing happens. Surprisingly, Kuroko doesn't get tired of the ayakashi guardians he had acquired. They all warmed up towards the boy too, especially Akashi whom Kuroko would always crawl to at the end of the day. The red head always had his fluffy tail-bed-nest-thingy prepared for a drowsy Kuroko by sunset.

On the first day of a chilly autumn, Kuroko didn't seem very excited to see any of the ayakashis except Akashi. Actually, the small boy only seemed to want Akashi. The red head was leaning on the bark of the peach tree as usual when Kuroko suddenly appeared through the bushes. Everyone greeted him but he seemed to ignore them and dashed straight towards Akashi. Kuroko sat in between Akashi's legs in his favorite position; his back to Akashi's front and simply stared away into oblivion. He didn't pay any attention towards Kise's tempting offer of playing hide-and-seek, Aomine's offer of a ride on his back in his wolf form, Midorima's offer of flying high in the sky or Murasakibara's light yet sweet snacks. Akashi tilted Kuroko's chin to face the boy and was shocked to see Kuroko's solemn eyes, "Kuroko, what's wrong?"

Kuroko stared at Akashi before turning his body around and stood on his toes as he hugged the red head, burying his head in Akashi's chest. The red head returned the hug and wrapped all his tails around the boy's small body. The nine-tailed fox placed one hand under Kuroko's butt and lifted him into his arms, "I'm right here, Kuroko." When Kuroko was comfortable and engulfed in the safety of Akashi's tails, the boy fell asleep, right cheek pressed comfortably on Akashi's torso. Akashi brushed his hand over the sleeping human's cheek, enjoying the soft sensation of Kuroko's skin. The four who just stood and watched throughout the entire ordeal finally came closer.

Aomine was the one who asked, "How'd you know what to do?"

Akashi replied softly as to not awaken the boy, "What do you mean?"

The wolf continued, "Tetsu said he had a nightmare. When you asked him what's wrong, he said you died in it. And then you just wrap him in a cocoon and comfort him like you knew what he sai- Oh my god, you didn't know what he said did you? Should I have said that?"

Kise shrugged, "Kinda invading Kurokocchi's privacy but he doesn't say much anyway..."

"Didn't take him to say anything for Aka-chin to understand~"

Midorima looked concerned, "Do you guys think his dream meant something?"

Everyone flinched. It was truly dangerous when someone powerful has a nightmare. An onmyouji's dream could be a premonition and so on and so forth. Kuroko was definitely qualified. The kid had sight sometimes stronger than any of them, his spiritual energy powerful and distinct but his vulnerability endless. Akashi tightened his tails in a protective manner. In truth, after being stripped off his powers, Akashi was nothing but a regular fox ayakashi. He felt powerless towards Kuroko yet the boy trusted him the most, expected him to protect him from harm. But Akashi couldn't. Yet, he couldn't let go of Kuroko either. That night, everyone felt a little uneasy especially after Kuroko's broody attitude; preferring to simply sleep it off against Akashi.

As usual, Akashi returned Kuroko back home and went off to check the perimeters. The half moon shone its light onto the forest and the village as the five ayakashis kept a close watch around the village. Something felt wrong. It was Aomine who first caught the scent of a foreign stench. He immediately ran to Midorima and told the green head to get an overview from above but Midorima saw nothing. Then again, the forest trees were too thick and the night was too dark to see anything at all. Suddenly, they heard Aomine howl long, loud and in pain. It was enough to set all of them off. Akashi, Kise, Murasakibara and Midorima rushed to their friend's aid. When they got there, it was too late.

Akashi had slid the door of the room close after tucking Kuroko in his futon. The red head left soon after, not noticing the lingering darkness near the edge of the forest. Something crawled in the shadows, drawing itself closer towards the sudden abundant source of spiritual energy. The barrier around the house had weakened due to Nijimura's incapability to restore it well enough. The creature in the dark pushed itself against the barrier; it's power overpowering the weak shield, slowly shrinking it. When the creature of the dark reached the floorboards, it snickered cruelly.

Kuroko stirred awake when he heard an endless sound of nails scratching the floorboard outside his room. The boy got on his knees and stared at his screen door. Kuroko's breathing hitched when he saw the shadow of a huge creature on the open hallway right behind his door. The scratching sound got louder and louder and finally, a face plastered itself against the screen, a smiling face, horrifying and scary. Kuroko gasped, eyes wide with fear.

The sliding door burst open accompanied by Kuroko's scream. The barrier around the village had not only been broken but Kuroko was also taken. The boy was engulfed in darkness as he felt himself being swept away. He couldn't speak, he couldn't scream, he couldn't move. They were moving fast through the forest. When the creature came to a stop, Kuroko opened his eyes. He was in the creature's arm, hovering a few feet above the forest floor that was filled with ayakashis; small ones, big ones, scary ones, all looking at him. Kuroko then saw Aomine surrounded by a group of the ayakshis. He saw the anguish look on Aomine when the wolf saw him. Kuroko reached his arms out to the wolf. Aomine growled dangerously at the creature carrying Kuroko before an ayakashi pierced his side with its arm that looked like a long katana. The wolf whined and fell on his side. Kuroko had tears in his eyes as he watched Aomine writhing in pain. The fallen wolf panted before it howled into the sky.

When Akashi saw the amount of ayakashis, he came to a halt and so did his three companions. Midorima was fully transformed but not Kise and Murasakibara. The blonde growled angrily at Aomine's injured body surrounded by threatening ayakashis. Akashi's eyes scanned everyone in front of them and when he saw Kuroko in one of the ayakashi's hold, the red head's tails flared up in rage. Kuroko was sobbing silently, voice muffled by the creature's hand over his mouth.

The dark creature transformed in mid air, black mist morphed, forming a human form. Akashi recognized the creature immediately. The red head's eyes narrowed, "Haizaki..."

The creature was now a man with grey hair, smirking down at Akashi's group, "Long time no see Akashi~"

"What is the meaning of this?" asked a flying Midorima in his complete bird form.

Haizaki laughed, "Always straight to the point.. Oh well. You see, my clan has been hungry for a while now..."

The man's hand moved from Kuroko's lips to the boy's neck. Haizaki drew out his claws, resting them dangerously on Kuroko's neck without breaking the skin. Kuroko whimpered in fear. Haizaki continued, "This boy, his smell is so tantalizing~ So appetizingly delicious..."

Everyone's eyes narrowed at Haizaki including his ayakashis but for a completely different reason. Suddenly, Nijimura appeared through the trees with a panicked face, "Kuroko!"

Haizaki quirked his eyebrow at their new guest, "The more the merrier I suppose~ Bring out Sashoru!"

No one dared move when they knew Kuroko's life was on the line. The ayakashis moved until a sick-looking lion-like ayakashi limped below Haizaki. The grey head flicked his claw at Kuroko's left cheek, drawing fresh red blood. Nijimura's eyes widened, "You bastard!"

"I assure you my parents were married to each other before they had me, human." replied Haizaki, amused.

Kuroko merely flinched before telling everyone with his eyes that he was alright. Haizaki held his hand out and allowed a single drop of Kuroko's blood to spill from his claws. Sashoru opened his mouth and waited till the red liquid was on his tongue. Everyone watched as the ayakashi roared and his body grew in size, wounds healing themselves and lost strength regained. Sashoru lifted his upper body in pride. Haizaki smirked as he licked the wound on Kuroko's cheek slowly, tasting the boy's blood himself, "His blood is amazing~ Imagine what his flesh would do to our body!"

Akashi glared at Haizaki, "You disgusting vermin."

Haizaki's smirk disappeared. He stared at Akashi with a nasty look in his eyes, "Me? Who was the one who killed a human first? Wasn't it you Akashi?"

Kuroko and Nijimura's eyes scrutinized Akashi in question before the red head answered, "Yes, I did."

No one missed the heartbroken look in Kuroko's eyes or Nijimura's gasp of disbelief. Nijimura never bothered to ask why Akashi's presence felt slightly distant from the last time he had seen the fox. There was a common punishment for holy ayakashis who kill humans. Akashi losing his powers explained everything. Nijimura knew something was wrong with Akashi's fox form. It didn't feel complete. He simply brushed the matter off as Akashi wanting to keep a low profile around Kuroko.

Kise stepped up, "Akashicchi did what was right! That woman was dying from her crushed legs, punctured lungs, severe burns and hypothermia! She wouldn't have made it. She begged Akashicchi to take her life! Akashicchi only ended her pain and misery! SO DON'T YOU DARE LUMP YOURSELF WITH AKASHICCHI!"

Haizaki flinched at the raised voice before frowning at the blonde. Kuroko and Nijimura's face soften after hearing the blonde's truth of what had happened. All the while, Akashi was giving out silent hand-gestured instructions to Murasakibara, Midorima and the conscious Aomine. Kise served as the perfect distraction even if it was just for a short while. They all nodded at the red head's orders. Akashi squeezed Kise's shoulder, "It's alright Ryouta." He looked at Haizaki, "I may be a murderer but that won't stop me from preventing you to kill an innocent human."

"So be it." Haizaki raised his hand, "Attack them!"

Kise shifted and roared. The blonde used his claws and speed to take down the ayakashis. Aomine got up and howled, lunging his large body towards the enemies, biting them and slamming them down. Midorima let out his own war cry and flew swiftly through the ayakashis, his blade-like wings effectively depriving them of their mobility. Meanwhile, Murasakibara immediately starting crushing the ayakashis with his bare hands. Akashi used his tails to deflect attacks and even counter blows by whipping his tails. Haizaki started to panic when his group of ayakashis were losing their advantage in numbers. He was too distracted to even realize the arrow pulled against the string of a wooden bow behind him. Nijimura inhaled deeply before he released his hold on the arrow's shaft. The broadhead hit Haizaki's arm that was holding Kuroko. The ayakashi groaned loudly before unintentionally throwing the boy.

Akashi was panting in mid battle. The sight of Kuroko being thrown immediately caught his attention. The nine-tailed fox leaped without hesitation. At that time, Haizaki came to realization of the chance he was giving the red head. Akashi and Haizaki both knew that Haizaki was too late to recapture Kuroko and Akashi would surely reach Kuroko on time. In the split second before Akashi caught Kuroko, Haizaki's eyes bulged in fury, creating a ball of dark aura in his hand. Kise, Midorima, Murasakibara and Aomine glanced alarmingly at the red head.

Haizaki was no normal ayakashi. He was a strong monster with the deadly aura of darkness. It wasn't a fair fight but it didn't matter. Akashi had just caught Kuroko in his arms when Haizaki flexed his arm. The attack was with no doubt deadly and could lead both Kuroko and Akashi to their death. The nine-tailed fox had no powers to retaliate and his tails weren't strong enough to deflect the attack but the body in his arms did not even make Akashi think of how to fight off the death blow. No, the only thing in Akashi's head was to protect Kuroko. Akashi hugged Kuroko tightly and so did his tails. All of his nine red tails covered Kuroko's small body, protecting him, engulfing him in their warmth. Akashi whispered to Kuroko seconds before the hit, "I will protect you even if it costs me my life."

The contact of the dark aura ball against Akashi's wrapped form created a huge, mute blinding light. Each being had to lift their arms or limbs up to cover their eyes. It lasted a while and when it ended, everyone needed a few seconds to regain their senses. Nijimura lowered his arm and blinked his eyes. His sight and hearing came back slowly only for him to hear a long painful moan. When his sight completely returned, he saw Haizaki on the ground panting on his knees before crying out again. The sound was similar. Nijimura was certain that the ayakashi was the one releasing the pained noises. He stepped closer towards the grey haired ayakashi and saw small traces of blue flames on Haizaki's side and back, burning and etching into his skin. It was so familiar that the human fell backwards on his rear, "It...It can't be..."

Instantaneously, everyone saw something hovering above them. Aomine, Midorima, Kise and Murasakibara gaped at the majestic sight of Akashi in his true form with the return of his powers. The red head was afloat, his tails burning behind him, his eyes having yellow slits in them, his elegant red markings appearing over his arms, above his eyes and around his legs. His whole body glowed a mysterious red and in his right hand lingered a blue flame. In his left arm, he was carrying Kuroko whose face was hidden in the crook of Akashi's neck. The red head was staring at Haizaki's pathetic form. When the ball collided with him, Akashi's body had the sudden urge to simply retaliate with an outburst of his blue flames that he could've sworn was stripped off of him after his judgement was passed on to him. The flames had been the cause of the blinding light; a normal trait for his holy flames. Apparently, the excess flames that had destroyed the dark aura ball dispersed and had hit Haizaki, the closest target.

Akashi nudged his face against Kuroko's head in a caring gesture, "Kuroko, are you alright?"

Perhaps Kuroko had closed his eyes the whole time because when he lifted his head to see Akashi, his eyes that were filled with fear suddenly widened at Akashi's changed features. Kuroko slowly brought his hands to cup the red head's face, "Kitty...pretty..."

Akashi chuckled as he playfully nipped one of Kuroko's right fingers which made the small boy giggle with joy. When he heard Haizaki wheezing on the ground, his hold on Kuroko tightened possessively. The red head looked at Haizaki, "I urge you to surrender right now. Take your clan with you and stay out of my sight."

Haizaki glared at Akashi but he submitted in defeat nonetheless. He was no match for Akashi. The red head was one of the most powerful ayakashi when he was in his true form. Haizaki fisted his hands and let out a struggled exhale of breath. He stood on shaky legs before he took his clan away and left the premises. Akashi lowered himself to the ground soon after all the ayakashis had left. Midorima, Aomine and Kise shifted back to their human forms when a flushed Kagami suddenly appeared, "I saw a light in the sk-...WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!" screamed the red head, pointing towards Akashi.

Nijimura was assisted on his feet by Murasakibara, "Wait... Kagami, you can see him?"

Kagami took a few steps backwards, "Wait... Is that Akashi? Nine-tailed Akashi?!"

Akashi counted his tails playfully, "One, two.. Oh, you're right! I do have nine!"

Aomine and Kise's laughter filled the air but Kagami couldn't see them. Akashi answered Nijimura's confused face, "I'm allowing myself to be seen at the moment. That's why he can see me."

The red glow surrounding Akashi dimmed slowly and the blue flame in his right hand shrank but didn't completely disappear. Kuroko was tracing the red markings over Akashi's eyes when the red head brought the small flame close to the boy's wound on his cheek. Kagami panicked, "Wait-!" but he was stopped by Nijimura, "Watch."

Kuroko looked afraid of the flame, shifting away from it. Akashi smiled sweetly at him, "Don't worry, I will never harm you."

The boy stared into Akashi's eyes before closing them tightly, tilting his cheek towards Akashi's hovering hand with permission to proceed. When the blue flame came into contact with the deep scratch, Kuroko sighed with bliss. The nine-tailed fox retreated his hand with the wound healed completely, leaving no scar whatsoever. Kuroko nuzzled into Akashi's hand in appreciation. Kagami could only stare with shock, awe and admiration. Nijimura spoke to him, "The blue flames of the nine-tailed fox is unpredictable. If you are an enemy, the flames will be your death. But if you are anything otherwise, the flames will be a blessing. It can even heal."

Kuroko wrapped his small arms around Akashi's neck, breathing slowly and yawning sleepily. The red head shifted to his normal form and eyed everyone, "Well, someone in my arm suggests that we hit the hay."

Aomine smirked, "You got that right! Man, I don't think you need me to tell you what Tetsu is saying all the time anymore!"

Nijimura and Kagami scrunched their faces, "Wait... He speaks more in his head than actually wording them out loud?!"

Akashi's group rolled their eyes. Aomine sighed, "You have no idea.."

The next day they all spent a nice afternoon picnic at the peach tree. Nijimura joined in too, leaving Kagami to take care of things at the house. The villagers were happy to hear of Akashi's presence again and of how he had rescued their youngest member from a group of dangerous ayakashis. They had spent the morning introducing themselves, all of Akashi's companions revealing themselves to meet the villagers face to face. They all promised to stay and protect the village from harm. In truth, Akashi just couldn't let Kuroko go and the other four couldn't leave Akashi's side. They were raised together and they will stay together. Akashi appreciated their presence. They were always standing loyally behind him, even when he was so weak and powerless.

Kuroko was playing cat-and-mouse with Kise and Aomine as Midorima assisted Nijimura to lay out the picnic feast on the red cloth. Akashi was in his usual sit, leaning on the tree bark, Murasakibara sleeping on the branch above him, snoring loudly. It felt so peaceful again, as peaceful as it was the first time he met Kuroko. The game quickly turned into a bickering session between Aomine and Kise about playing with Kuroko privately. The boy surely enjoyed the attention he was getting. A smile formed on Akashi's face. Kuroko turned and exchanged smiles with the red head. Choosing to leave the two idiots to themselves, Kuroko trotted towards Akashi whose tails reflexively made the fluffy nest Kuroko loved so much.

Kuroko jumped onto the bouncy tails with a small giggle as he clung onto Akashi's shoulders. The red head patted the Kuroko's head before kissing his forehead. Akashi whispered softly after, "I'm happy to have met you, Tetsuya."

The nine-tailed fox watched how Kuroko went rigid, his cheeks turning beet red at hearing Akashi's confession along with the red head calling him by his first name. Kuroko was silent for a while before he broke out into a shy smile. Suddenly, Kuroko leaned upwards and kissed Akashi chastely on the lips. It was Akashi's turn to blush the living daylights out of himself. Everyone was staring at them and the only who didn't seem to understand the situation was the grinning Kuroko.

The red-faced Kise nudged the red-faced Aomine, "What...What did Kurokocchi say?"

Aomine fidgeted, "Um...Something along the lines of... 'I wanna kiss you too'...and...'Let me be your bride in the future'.."

Akashi looked pass Kuroko to see Nijimura's face that was filled with shock, anger and complete disbelief. Kuroko snuggled into Akashi's torso and sighed contently. The red head knitted his eyebrows in slight confusion towards Nijimura and slowly said, "I can explain...?"



Hope you guys had a fun read! ^.^

CLOSURE: Firstly, I won't explain why Kuroko knew Akashi's name without asking Aomine. Secondly, you are free to think of why Akashi got his powers back. Like... Maybe there was something beyond his punishment that he didn't know about. Maybe the woman he saved was someone with magic powers and whatever. Maybe Kuroko was responsible... Maybe... maybe Kuroko was the lovechild of the god that punished Akashi so he decided to protect his son through Akashi or something so he decided to give the nine-tailed fox his powers back. (O_O Oops. Too much? FORGET THAT LAST ONE! XD)