Fragments

you'll see something amazing


[INTRODUCTION ARC]

May 4th

It's been since a week that she had arrived and she began to get used to live there. She wanted to have her surgery as soon as possible but first, she had to find a good orthopedist. That wasn't easy because compared to where she used to live, Tokyo was so big. And Taiga wasn't helping at all since he too was confused by this city, to a lesser extent though.

"Masuko-chan, Kagami-kun told me you were looking for a good orthopedist. I looked at the stats of all of them, and Osawa-sensei is the one that operate on anterior cruciate ligament tears the most this year."

Taking the calling card Coach was giving to her, she bowed, feeling really grateful for her help, "Arigatō gozaimasu, Coach !"

"Don't need to be so formal with me, Masuko-chan, you're part of the team now !"

Miyuki was now Seirin's manager. She wanted to stay close to Taiga to watch over him and simply to spend time with her best friend again. She didn't plan to do this at first, her focus mainly on her injury but after seeing the passion of Taiga and his teammate, Kuroko-kun, she asked to be manager. Surprisingly, their Coach, Aida Riko, who was a second year, accepted immediately.

"Gomen nasai, I'm not used to Japanese culture yet."

"It's okay !", she said, a reassuring smile on her lips. "Masako-chan, did you take notes of your observations ?"

Finishing to write a sentence, she gave her the sheet of paper, "Hai ! Here."

Riko-san – she insisted to be called like that – read it and she saw her eyebrows raising. She took notes about everyone, in particular Taiga, though she already knew how he played and Tetsuya, who had amazing passes although she didn't understand how he did that. And also Hyuuga-senpai... it might be why Riko-san was surprised.

"Masuko-chan, you wrote a lot about Hyuuga-kun's game... Is there a reason for it ?"

She went quiet during a few seconds, watching him landing a throw before replying softly,"Hyuuga-senpai is the captain. So I thought my observations could help to organize the offensive around him along with Taiga and Kuroko-kun, to strengthen the run and out. And... Just looking at him, it reminds me of myself when I played football. I'm a wing-back. In basketball terms, I think it's the mix a shooting guard and a small forward because we have both to be strong on offense and defense. And I think his love for basketball is really inspiring, after all." She also saw something in him, a great potential but she didn't know the extend of it.

She felt Riko-san's gaze while she was still observing Hyuuga-senpai. She was probably surprised to hear her talk. It wasn't like she didn't talk at all but it was the first time here she talked that much to someone that wasn't Taiga. She was more of the silent type, watching, observing and keeping her thoughts to herself... Or more like she didn't open up easily to people. But she admitted to herself basketball training reminded her of her own passion and that was heartwarming.

All thoughts were cut by a noise coming from the other side of the gym "Taiga, please don't break the hoop."

"BAKAGAMI !"


May 14h

It was English class and Taiga and Kuroko-kun were sleeping.

Again.

She perfectly understood since she saw the hell that was Coach's training. They were lucky she took notes for them everyday otherwhise, Taiga's already catastrophic marks would get worse – if it was possible –

The bell rang, meaning that she had to wake up her two friends. Socializing wasn't really her thing, but she quickly got attached to Kuroko-kun. He reminded her of her own little brother and also his eyes...

"Kuroko-kun, here are your notes," She searched something else in her bag. "Ah, I almost forgot, I give you back your book. Arigatō for borrowing it to me !"

Two days ago, she discovered Kuroko-kun also loved reading when a detective story fell of his pocket. She was delighted to finally find someone that loves reading too and became all excited about it, at Taiga's expense who always had suffered during hours because this. Kuroko-kun told her about the school's Library Committee and when he asked if she wanted to join it, she immediatly accepted it. She even learnt that Furihata-kun was there too after telling her the day of the next reunion.

Her knee still swollen, Osawa-sensei said she would have her surgery in less than a week. She couldn't help but be stressed. After all, it was her entiere future career as a football player that would be decided. Still, she tried not to think about it and worked with the team since the first game would be in two days.

"Kuroko-kun, do you want to come with us at Maji Burger after training ? Taiga is treating us."

"WHAT ! But I didn't –

"Kagami-kun can be nice sometimes. I will come with you."

"Great !"

She heard Taiga yell in despair. Serves him right for rolling my wheelchair too fast.


May 16th

The first game of the preliminaries was going well, so far for everyone. Miyuki watched with awe her best friend jumping higher and higher against Papa who was now powerless. He was becoming better and better at an impressive speed. However, the way he acted bothered her.

"– But don't you think he's trying too hard ?" finished Tchuchida-senpai.

So she wasn't the one who noticed something was wrong. She looked at Kuroko-kun who was on the bench with them. He seemed lost in his thoughts.

"Kuroko-kun ?"

She gained his attention, her voice more worried than usual certainly "Masuko-san."

"Are you thinking about Taiga and his way of playing ?"

Kuroko-kun took a few seconds to answer, "Hai."

"I think I know what you're thinking." Kuroko-kun made a starled face though he wore his blank stare. "Don't worry, I won't let Taiga become a selfish player. I'm his best friend after all. I have to keep checking on him."

Silence again. She was then surprised to see a knowing smile on his face "I know." Maybe her words meant something more to him than she thought.

Kuroko-kun went back for the last 5 minutes of the game, leaving her alone to think about her best friend. From the e-mails she had from him during the past years, she knew that one day, something like that could happen. He was getting stronger and stronger and she already saw how being too strong could destroy team play.

The sound of whistle told them the game was over. 79-67 for Seirin, meaning they successfully made it through their first game of the preliminaries. As the players were greeting and thanking the other team for the game, she saw a flash of green on the balcony.


Like every morning, Taiga picked her up to make the road to Seirin together. It was the fourth round of the Inter High preliminaries against Meijo Academy and as manager, Miyuki went to every game. Greeting everyone, the team greeted her back, calling her 'Manager' or 'Masuko-chan'. They then went the gymnasium where they would be playing.

"Huge... Is this really a school's gymnasium ?"

"It's one of the foremost mammoth schools of Tokyo. Thanks to that, today, we'll see something incredible," Riko explained.

"Huh ?"

As the Captain, Hyuuga-senpai continued to explain to the first years and her "The three schools tha are chosen as Tokyo's representatives in the Final League have always been the same three for the past ten years. The King of the East, Shutoku. The King of the West, Shen-Shinkan. The King of the North, Seiho. The first place changes every year, but they're so strong that they never got the fourth place or lower. They're the three unshakable Kings of Tokyo. There are matches on the two courts here today. On the other court, a seeded team that usually play somewhere... In other words...," Hyuuga-senpai paused, giving a glance at Kuroko-kun "The team that has Midorima Shintaro of the Generation of Miracles the King of the East that plans to conquer the West and the North this year, Shutoku will play here...!"

After hearing the words 'Generation of Miracles' again, Miyuki saw the team's reaction, especially Taiga's and Kuroko-kun's. She knew they were strong players that both of her friends wanted to beat, but that was all. She could feel there was a story behind it, there always was. She didn't want to ask Kuroko-kun because it was obvious to her it was a sensitive topic to him and asking

Taiga or someone else was out of equation. She respected Kuroko-kun and decided to wait. She knew Kuroko-kun wasn't someone who trusted nor confided easily to people, just like her.

Kawahara-kun as the rest of the first years was feeling uneasy at the mention of Shutoku "But... You and the other sepais made it to the Final League last year, right ?"

Sadness was painted on the senpais and Riko-san's faces "Well... We didn't stand a chance at all, though."

It's not like our senpais are weak but...

"The three Kings..."

Seeing the gloomy mood, Hyuuga-senpai's tone changed, "We've spent the whole year practicing for the sake of getting our revenge ! On top of that we even have new fire power ! We'll definitely take them down this year ! But most importantly, we have to focus on the opponent in front of our eyes..."

The sound of new voices cut him. Speak of the devils. "Hey, today's opponent is Seirin, right ?! It's gonna be easy. They were crushed in the Final League last year, right ?"

Another player of Meijo loudly answered "Even with the Kings as opponents, that was still crazy !"

"They just won their way through because of the beginner's luck !"

Miyuki saw Taiga sweatdropping at the sight of the other team as he muttered something like 'Hmmm...?!'

"So that it doesn't become the same thing this year, we will..." The player of who talking smashed into Taiga and his smug look was now gone, replaced with a scared one.

"Yo. So we meet again."

"Konnichiwa." Now the whole team seemed on the verge of dying. Kuroko-kun could be more frightening than he looked.

Curious, she asked, "Kuroko-kun, Taiga, do you know them ?"

It was Hyuuga-senpai's turn to sweatdrop "Wait, why does it seem like we've won already !?"

This round went pretty well, maybe too well since it looked like the opponent wanted to run away, making them win 108 to 41.

"Look. They're here."

Everyone turned their heads, a serious look plastered on their Coach and Captain's faces. "It's better to see something for yourself than hear about it."

The King of the East Shutoku High, finally made their entrance. Screams can already be heard from the supporters' area.

Riko-san stood up "First years, prepare yourselves. You'll see something amazing today. They're supposed to be even more amazing this year."

Taiga began to walk towards them, a smug smile on his face. She nicknamed this smile the 'Taiga is going to cause trouble again' smile. "I'm going to say hi."

"Sure" Hyuuga-senpai was clearly not really paying attention. Realizing his mistake too late, he tried to protest "Oi !"

Taiga was more than impatient to clash again with another member of the Generation of Miracles. She just sighed. If he considered them as rivals, that would means he was going to do something reckless to make a strong impression on them whether good or bad one, although it was always the latter – of course –

"Coach, Captain. Could you let me handle Taiga, please ?"

They probably knew she was the only one with Kuroko-kun who could handle him without too much anger or violence, so they let her go. "Fine, just do something."

Moving closer, she could hear Taiga ask "Yo. You're Midorima Shintaro, right ?"

She saw the said 'Midorima Shintaro' looking at Taiga, unfazed by his cockiness. He was really tall, even taller than Taiga with green hair and green eyes and – she couldn't help but notice – very long eyelashes and he was holding a plushie on his bandaged hand.

"Yes, but who are you ?"

As she stopped, she saw another player behind him laughing, then Taiga streched out his arm towards him. "You want to shake hands ?"

Miyuki continued to roll her wheelchair, after finally being noticed by Midorima Shintaro's teammate who watched her curiously. Well, a girl in a wheelchair in the middle of a basketball court standed out. Meanwhile, as expected, Taiga did something stupid: writing his team name, number team and name on Midorima-kun's palm. "Wha..!?"

"Because you look like a guy who'd say 'I won't remember it anyway' to someone who tells his name. I have to make you remember the name of the guy who will take the revenge for our senpais."

Finally deciding to speak, she lectured him "Taiga... What did I tell your behaviour when meeting new people ?"

"UGH ! But –

She interrupted him, still calm as ever "No 'but', Taiga ! You should listen to me because you have to know it was supposed to be Coach and Captain to come to scold you."

He looked frustrated – but probably slightly relieved it was her instead of his Coach and Captain there as well –, and she could hear him grumble 'this girl...' '...why' '...always nagging me like my mom' although she didn't show it. Looking at the two Shutoku's players, she bowed on her wheelchair. "I'm Masuko Miyuki, Seirin basketball team's manager. Ajimemashité."

Both makes looked now puzzled – they had the 'Seirin has a manager ?' look players had everytime they asked her who she was – but the raven haired one started to talk. "Hey ! I'm Takao Kazunari and this tsundere here is my teammate, Midorima Shintaro."

The other one immediately reacted at the mention of the word 'tsundere' "Shut up, Takao."

"Come on Taiga, just come back and sit down. Focus on our next game before thinking about 'revenge'."

Adjusting his glasses, the tall young man looked at her in disdain. "'Revenge'. Aren't you saying some reckless things..."

"I have faith in this team. They will make it."

"Didn't you hear anything from your senpais ? Last year, against the three Kings in the Final League Seirin got crushed by triple the points each time, you know ?", said Shutoku's number 10. He wasn't that tall for a basketball player, probably around 1,75m so she deducted he was either point guard or small forward.

She saw Taiga's eyes widening while she stayed completely unfazed by this information. Being manager of the club, Riko-san told her about it while they were both planing the training schedules and she didn't want to say it to the other for her senpais' pride.

"It's your right to get worked up, but the difference between you and us is overwehlming. Even if you make it to the final history will only repeat itself."

Oh she knew that tone. The one full of arrogance given to those who were considered like nothing. She had heard enough of it.

"You should never look down on your opponent... " She could feel her usual calm one turning into something that could be associated to a frightening one. She didn't know she still had all this anger in her but she finished, hissing in a low voice, "...Because sometimes, those who you thought to be at your feets would take you down."

Midorima-kun dropped his plushie, probably destabilized by her sudden change. Miyuki saw it and gave him back, feeling her calm coming back. "... You have dropped something."

"Ah..."

"I think Kuroko-kun agrees with me, right ?", she said turning back to look at him.

The other did so to see that Kuroko-kun was indeed standing with them there. "Hai. The only thing you can do with past results is a prediction. I think you cannot know how the match will turn out until we have played it, Midorima-kun."

"Kuroko. It seems... I just can't get along with you. Especially with those eyes that won't show what you're thinking... There is a lot I'd like to say, but it'd be pointless to do it here. Come to the final first."

Takao-kun had now his hand casually wrapped on Kuroko-kun's shoulders. "Yeah ! Well said ! You're that guy, right ? The one from the same middle school as Shin-chan ? Don't worry about that guy, he's just a tsundere ! The truth is that he's seriously focusing on you, you know ?"

Miyuki began to understand... They used to be in the same middle school. That means they were probably teammates.

Midorima-kun immediately said a "Stop making up things like you usually do, Takao." The shout of another player from Shutoku calling them for the match interrupted them.

Midorima-kun turned back and looked at Kuroko-kun. "...Kuroko, look well. I'll teach you how overly optimistic your thinking is."

A heavy silence could be felt at this moment until she decided to talk again "Well, have a good game."

Takao-kun answered her with a smirk, "We will." before following Midorima-kun.

Kuroko-kun pushed her wheelchair with Taiga on her left and she could feel Takao-kun watching them. Kuroko-kun stopped for obvious reasons.

"Taiga, wait ! I can't go there."

Taiga, still as oblivious as ever asked her, "Huh ? But don't you want to see the game ?!"

"Kagami-kun can really be dumb sometimes. The team is sitting on the balcony seats and Masuko-san can't go upstairs."

She sighed, "Taiga, you're way too distracted by basketball sometimes."

"Kagami-kun is a basketball idiot."

"I AM NO –

"Guess who's gonna carry me ?!", she said in a teasing tone.

"Wha – Why not Kuroko ?" A few seconds of silence followed that sentence and Taiga probably realized how stupid this suggestion was.

"Fine !" he said before he slowly pulled her up to carry her. Of course he would do that though he said he wouldn't.

"I'll say Coach to not double your training schedule like she planned !"

Kuroko-kun took the now empty wheelchair, his eyes slightly reflecting a hint of amusement "I didn't know Kagami-kun could be a gentleman."

"WHA –

"Yeah, I'm surprised too since I'd have expected you to carry me like a potato bag."

"Not you too Emilie !"


38-8 at the second quarter time. Miyuki had to admit it was really impressive. They were already 30 points ahead and she knew they didn't show the true extent of their powers yet.

"So far today he scored five out of five. Seems like Midorima is in a good day too, huh ?" It was more an affirmation than a question from Taiga.

"Is that so ?"

"Like hell if I know ! Shouldn't you be the one who knows that ?!"

The followed sentence by Kuroko-kun got her attention. "Who knows...? I have never seen him miss one... Sumimasen."

"You've never seen him miss...? Kuroko-kun does that mean..." She couldn't finish her sentence when she saw him shoot beyond the three-point line. What surprised her the most how was how confident he was, the fact that he was getting back for defense defore the ball get into the hoop proving it.

"As long as his shape is good, Midorima-kun will score 100% of the time."

'100% ?!... Impossible.' Even in football, she never saw that. It was always around 50% in basket as she recalled.

"The time until it goes is unaturally long... That also has a deep psychological impact..."

Miyuki silently agreed with Coach. Of all of them, Riko-san looked the most unconfortable at the sight of this match along with Hyuuga-senpai, probably because they shared the same thoughts about Shutoku's game. She decided she would ask Hyuuga-senpai something.

The match ended with the overwhelming victory of Shutoku: 153-21. Midorima-kun threw a glare at the balcony – or rather Kuroko-kun – once more.

"Alright, then let go ho –

Riko-san violently pushed the senpais "NOT ! WE'VE GOT ONE MORE MATCH TODAY ! ARE... ARE YOU GUYS STUPID !"

Hyuuga-senpai managed to say, "We were just kidding ! Trying to lighten the mood..."

"Eh ? Really ?!"

Oh no. "Taiga, I told you this morning !"

Everyone, even Kuroko-kun sweatdropped. That Bakagami was probably lacking of sleep again, was probably everyone's thought.

"There are two matches on the day of the fourth round and on the last day too ! We've got the fifth round at 5pm today !"

"But if you think about it, two matches in the same day is reckless. Even there's some time between them, fatigue still stays."

"The semifinal and the final take place the same day too... Hm? Does that mean we'll have one match before playing Shutoku ?" The look on Taiga's face showed his surprise. "Senpai... The three Kings, they're Shutoku and..."

"Seiho and Sen-Shinkan !" completed Izuki-senpai.

He handed the sheet of paper so the senpais could see it "...Look at that..."

"Coach... That..."

"WAIT ! Do you mean the second years didn't notice it either ?"

This time, Hyuuga-senpai looked embarrassed "No well... Usually, they're always in different blocks so I didn't pay attention..."

She sighed deeply, "Boys..." She wasn't even a player but knew better what match they would play, unbelievable.

"On the last day, the semifinal will probably be against Seiho ! And the final against Shutoku !"

"We face the Kings of the West and the East in a row !", she conclued.

"ARE YOU KIDDING ?! THE SEMIFINAL AT 1PM AND THE FINAL AT 5PM. WE'LL DIE !"

Miyuki could see her best friend getting excited. "Ha ! If you have to play two matches in a day... If both are strong then it's just as a wish."

"That's just talking tough... Right Kuroko !"

"Sorry. I'm a bit excited as well..."

The first years were worried now. "HAA ?! What did you get infected by the Kagami disease too ?!"

"WHAT 'S THAT KAGAMI DISEASE ?!"

"I would hate that."

"Somehow the way you deny is pissing me off too, Kuroko !"

She couldn't help but add, "Don't worry, I was with Taiga for years and it didn't happen to me."

"Emlie, you bastard !"

"But, being it a pinch... Doesn't it fire you up ?" This sentence brought a smirk on everyone's face. She knew this feeling, the excitement before thrilling games.

"Alright, I'm fired up ! I'll go train for a bit..." he confirmed, taking her with him.

"DON'T ! REST !"

"Don't worry Coach, I'll check over Taiga !", she yelled as her wheelchair went faster because of this basketball idiot. Her basketball idiot that served her of best friend.

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