Mia

9. The Beginnings of a New Sunrise I

Takagi Mia has always been passive about the things that have happened around her. Midorima even once told her in middle school that according to her star sign, Aquarius, she always has a high focus on intellectual exploration instead of reality.

Sixteen years old, high school first year, Teiko Basketball Team's Ex-Strategist and Seirin Basketball team's manager-to-be, Mia thought that she had finally seen it all when it came to the world of sports.

Seeing her coach's black Sedan parked in front of her apartment was most definitely not what she expected to see when she woke up that morning.

"How come you're not ready yet?!" Riko shouted in the ear piece of Mia's white flip phone.

"I didn't know you were coming!" She defended, standing on her balcony as she saw the female coach angrily stomp her foot on the street below her.

"I ASKED YOU WHERE YOU LIVED YESTERDAY!"

"I DIDN'T KNOW THAT MEANT YOU WOULD KIDNAP ME!"

"WELL IT DIDN'T MEAN I WOULD PICK YOU UP FOR A TEA PARTY!"

"YOU STILL COULD HAVE WARNED ME BEFORE HAND THAT YOU WERE COMING! I ALREADY BOUGHT TRAIN TICKETS!"

"WELL CANCEL THEM!"

Normally, the first year would have let this slide, gotten ready quietly and accepted the fact that her coach was abducting her in peace. However, considering the fact that it was five in the morning and it wasn't even light out yet, the ebony haired girl glared at her coach's tiny figure with as much intensity as she believed the second year girl was giving her. There was so many things she wanted to say over the phone that moment, but with the little sanity she had left, she held them all in.

That and the loud banging of her door told Mia that she had already disturbed her neighbors and that she was this close to having them call the police on her.

"There's stuff we need to set up at the beach before the boys get there." Riko explained, her voice a lot more calm than what it was a minute ago "It takes about an hour to get to the beach and probably another hour or two to set everything up. If we don't leave soon, then our training camp of hell won't be there before the boys are."

Eyes half lidded and still glazed over with sleep, Mia looked at the scenery ahead of her instead of at Riko, something that pissed off the brown haired girl slightly. Finally, Mia sighed. Leaning against the door frame she ran her hands through her messy black hair before responding through her phone.

"Give me five minutes." She said before she pressed the end call button and snapped her phone closed.

The sudden sound of the line being disconnected startled Riko. Looking back up at the now empty balcony, the coach smiled and turned back to her father who was sitting in the driver's seat.

"Is she coming?" Aida Tora asked with a yawn, his black sunglasses not hiding the fact that he was tired.

"In a bit." Riko answered with a slight nod. Opening the door, she hopped into the seat next to her dad and leaned her chin on her hand as she looked out the window.

"My baby girl is finally hanging out with females!" Tora gushed, his overly-loving-father side being activated before his daughter slapped him across the face.

"What the hell are you talking about?!" She screamed "I've hung out with girls before!"

"But you are always thinking about and hanging out with those basketball boys a lot more! Papa just doesn't want them taking away your purity, Riko-tan!"

"Wha?! Purity?!" At this point Riko's face had turned so red that most people would have mistaken her for a tomato if they didn't know any better. "AND STOP CALLING ME THAT, OLD MAN!"

"Riko-tan~!" Said Tora as he launched himself at his baby girl, receiving a loud scream of horror from his target.

"GET AWAY FROM ME!" She shouted, punching him. Instead of falling down properly, the ex basketball player shot back up and tried again, creating a rhythmic pattern of him attempting to pounce and Riko successfully hitting.

"Oh my god, can you be quiet?" Another voice spoke, surprising the two members of the Aida family as they paused mid-scuffle to look out the window.

Donning a pair of black, thick rimmed sunglasses on the bridge of her nose, Mia wore a white shirt with a black jersey jacket and black yoga pants that fell to her knees. Her foot tapped impatiently as she silently glared at the coach and her father, contemplating whether or not it was alright to cuss at her senior for being so damn noisy first thing in the morning. She prayed to whatever God created this world that the boys would at least try to be quiet in the morning.

Keyword: try

"Hey!" Riko cried out, making Mia place her hands over her ears "Why aren't you in your school uniform?! We need to let the people at the lodge know what school we come from!"

Too lazy and tired to use words, Mia lifted her jersey aside to show the Seirin High logo on her white shirt.

"This should be fine, right?" She asked, opening the car door and tossing her large duffle bag inside "If it gets to the point where I have to wear my uniform, I always have it in my bag."

As Tora turned the key in the ignition, starting up the car once more, Mia jumped into the backseat of the car and closed the door behind her, not even caring about a seatbelt as she fell on top of her bag.

"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna take a nap." She yawned "Wake me up when I'm needed."

Before Riko could get one word of complaint out to the girl, a small snot bubble began to form out of her nostril. She was already out like a light.

"Man!" Riko sighed using her normal tone of voice. She didn't care about disrupting her underclassman "I can't keep up with this girl's attitude at all!"

First she barges into practice and slaps one of their most important players, then she comes back and begs on her knees for the manager position, then she starts snapping at her upperclassman with no manners whatsoever! Although Riko admits that the last one was mainly her own fault, she still made a point.

"I don't know." Tora said "I think she is pretty interesting."

"What?" The coach glared, getting her fist ready for whatever weird comment her father had to say next.

"Well I can only make assumptions with the small description you gave me, but even with that she seems impressive." He explained. Out of the corner of her eye, Riko could see small rays of light as the sun slowly came up, lighting the sky with brilliant blues, reds, and pinks.

"You said that she is able to make strategies based on the other team's abilities, right?" Her father continued "I haven't seen it myself but that is one hell of an ability."

'Even though she won't even show me any of it.' Riko thought grumpily as she remembered how Mia refused to show the coach her notebook.

"But don't worry! Riko-tan is the only cute one to me!" Tora gushed once more, whipping his head to face his daughter with hearts on his eyes.

"NO ONE CARES ABOUT THAT! AND KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD OLD MAN!"


"Takagi."

Midorima's deep voice filled Mia's ears as she sat in one of the many seats in the classroom, making her stop her scribbling and turn her head slightly to see the green haired male enter. His agitated expression kept the girl on high alert.

"Yes, Midorima-kun?" She asked, setting down her pencil on top of her notebook to fully face her companion.

Practice had already ended about thirty minutes ago and the ebony haired girl had escaped from the loud commotion of the basketball team for the day so that she may finally enter her data that she had received. Needless to say she was very surprised that someone actually knew where she was and had chosen to see her instead of the rest of the team.

"...Are you writing down everyone's performance for the past several days?" Midorima asked, a little hesitant with his question.

"Yes." Mia answered immediately.

Knowing the basketball player in front of her was starting to get impatient, she watched him take a deep breath and push his glasses up the bridge of his nose before looking back at her once more.

"So?"

"...'so' what?"

"How did I do?!"

She had to admit, she was expecting some kind of outburst from the man since he was rigid and tense from the first moment he came into the classroom, but this was certainly beyond Mia's expectations. Arching a dark eyebrow at Midorima she began to wonder if his luck was in the bottom five.

...Actually, maybe it was in the bottom ten. Either way, she knew he never worried about how he played unless it had to do with Oha Asa.

"Well for the first few days of the week you have shown slight signs of changing, each day having a .68% increase of ability and making your shots almost at a 124% chance of scoring perfectly out of 125%. However, your performance level today did suffer a .590% decrease. Luckily, it has not affected any of your total percentages."

As she finished with her calculations, Mia slowly looked back up at Midorima. Immediately the girl blanched at the sight of Midorima's defeated figure, his shoulders and head slumped forward as he sighed.

Not knowing what exactly she was supposed to do now, Mia looked back and forth from the green haired teen to the classroom door which was left ajar. If she timed it perfectly, she would be able to escape this situation which had turned sour rather quickly. Taking in the pitiful sight of Midorima Shintarou actually sulking, the young assistant manager's right eye twitched before she let out an exasperated sigh and began to rapidly flip through the pages of her notebook.

Once she had finally found the correct notebook page she had been looking for, Mia lightly cleared her throat and spoke.

"Sunday: tambourine, Monday: maracas, Tuesday: bongo drums, Thursday: a recorder..."

Recognizing the list which she was reading off of, Midorima's head whipped up to watch Mia with wide eyes as she continued her list with her chin in her palm.

"What!? Why are you reading off my lucky items I had for this week?!" He shouted, making Mia's eyebrows furrow slightly at the interruption despite her attempt at trying to help him.

"I always have a list of lucky items you're supposed to have for the month." She answered, brushing a strand of black hair behind her ear as she spoke. She was contemplating on whether or not to get a haircut after Satsuki's comment on how it was getting longer. "It was made as a precaution just in case you had an outrageous lucky item and you needed some assistance in retrieving it. However, you always seemed to manage on your own somehow so I haven't checked it in weeks."

Once her eyes landed on today's date, however, Mia sucked in her lower lip, biting on it hard to keep herself from laughing loudly at Midorima's misfortune.

"It seems like I have made an honest mistake in not checking." Mia stated calmly. She covered her head in the nook of her elbow to hide the smile that was about to burst on her face from Midorima.

Friday: a four leaf clover

A tick mark appeared on Midorima's forehead as he saw Mia's shoulders shake slightly from her failed attempts of hiding her laughter. Putting one hand into his pants pocket, he stomped over to Mia's desk and slammed his hand on the surface, startling the girl. When the tall man's hand lifted away, a small, shiny four leaf clover keychain laid in its place.

"Ah, so you did have it after all." Mia said, returning to her stoic form once again. Lifting the keychain with her thumb and fore finger, the girl watched as it twisted and turned at the sudden loss of gravity, the light from the sunset outside reflecting off the little trinket beautifully. "So what's the problem?"

"I wish I knew!" Midorima growled, crossing his arms across his chest "It just doesn't make any sense!"

"You're right." Mia agreed. Setting down the keychain, she looked back down at her monthly list of Midorima items and began to scratch her head in confusion "Why would Oha Asa want you to become a one man band for the beginning of the week?"

"Not that, Takagi!"

"Ah, sorry."

Slamming her notebook shut and placing her hands in her lap, Mia faced Shintarou and watched as he glared at the wall behind her.

"I had an inkling feeling that Oha Asa was referring to a living four leaf clover as my lucky item for today, but since this small keychain seemed to have done the trick, I ignored it. However, if it has affected my practice level this much, then a real four leaf clover must have been the correct lucky item!"

"I still do not see the problem, Midorima-kun." Mia spoke up "If the keychain kept you lucky for most of the day then it shouldn't matter what you're performance level was. Besides the day is almost over, so it doesn't really make a difference."

The green haired shooter stared at Mia with his mouth slightly open. The gaping expression he held confused the female and slowly, she felt her face heating up at the possibility that she may have said something not worth saying. Turning her head so that she once again faced her data notebook, Mia hid her face from Midorima. Now she really wanted him to leave.

"Tch. I should have known you wouldn't understand, Takagi." Shintarou said in a low voice. Fixing his glasses on the bridge of his nose, he snatched the keychain roughly from Mia's desk, surprising her.

"Thank you for the information, but I would prefer it if you wouldn't spout out your opinions about such a thing." The way he leaned forward until their faces were inches apart froze Mia in place; the deep tone that came out of his mouth with each word he said made the hairs on the back of her neck stand. However, before the girl could retaliate about how rudeness wouldn't get the teenager anywhere in life, he quickly turned on his foot and left the room.

Although the room was once again quiet, the feeling of emptiness that filled every corner disrupted the strategist more than ever before.


"TA-KA-GI-SAN!"

The high shrill of a person screaming startled Mia out of her slumber. Attempting to sit up quickly and identify the source of the voice, the ebony haired girl knocked her forehead against the roof of the car, knocking her back down and bringing her foot up to meet with Riko's chin.

"OW!" Both cried out in pain as they held their respective sore spots.

"What the hell?!" Riko continued while Mia just curled herself into a ball and counted the seconds until the migraine went away.

"I'm sorry." She said "I wasn't quite prepared for that."

"Yeah, I noticed." answered the coach as she stood up from the spot on the hard ground. "But that doesn't matter right now. We're here."

Making sure that she wasn't about to hit anything else, Mia slowly climbed out of the black car and witnessed what was going to be the destination of their first training camp.

From left to right, and probably several miles past that, all the newbie could see was ocean. It was as dark as the night sky itself and yet already reflecting the beginnings of a wonderful sunrise. No one else was at the beach this early in the morning, so all you could hear was the splashing of the waves in front of them.

It was peaceful.

"Alright!" Riko yelled, ruining Mia's "peace", "The boys will be here in a couple of hours so let's get this training camp from hell started!"

"Yeah!" Both Tora and Mia yelled back, their arms in the air. Of course Mia was a lot less enthusiastic as the other two family members.

"Takagi-san, you get the luggage." The small coach ordered, pointing at the manager in training, "Papa, will guide you to the hotel we will be staying at."

"Aye aye, Captain." Said Mia, saluting for emphasis. She actually didn't mind having to take the luggage to the hotel. It beat setting up any basketball equipment by a long shot.

The walk back to the black Sudan, although a very short one, felt like an eternity with the amount of silence between the two of them. It was as if none of them knew what to say.

"So…" Started Tora, believing that it was his duty as a father to talk with those who hang around with his Riko, "Are you one of Riko-tan's friends?"

Mia automatically chuckled at the thought of calling someone who slaps one of their players, demands the manager position, and yells at them at five in the morning a "friend".

"Something like that." Was all she was capable of saying. There was no need to go into detail.

"It's so nice to see Riko-tan making more female friends!" He continued, filling his hands with plenty of Riko's luggage. Just how much stuff did she need for this hell camp?! "She's always focused on helping out the basketball team that she refuses to go out and hang out with all of her other classmates."

"Well then, she probably gets that from you, Aida Tora." Mia simply stated, grabbing her own luggage which consisted of just one bag. "Basketball runs in her blood now."

She wasn't trying to impress anyone or scare anybody with her knowledge, but when Mia looked up to smile at Aida Tora, she jumped at the sight of all of Riko's bags scattered on the ground while he stared at her with wide eyes.

"Y-you know who I am?" He stuttered, "An old guy like me?"

"Y-yes. Who wouldn't? You did have an overall performance level of 99.980% out of 100. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you were to be measured out on a scale of 150, you would've reached 138.25%. Your lack of intelligence led you to use more reckless moves, but most of the time those same reckless skills helped your team win tournaments and championships."

"Incredible!" Hollered Tora, his arms moving so quickly to pick up the bags on the ground that Mia thought for a second they vanished completely. Before she knew it, an arm wrapped around her shoulders. "You're going to be the best choice as my daughter's best friend! I can just see it n-!"

A flash of light zoomed past Mia's face and planted itself into Tora's cheek, surprisingly knocking him down and scattering all of the bags once more.

"Don't go doing perverted things to other people, weirdo!" Riko yelled accusingly behind the ebony haired female. Her thoughts were still circulating around what just happened. And since she looked down and saw that the weapon used was a pink whistle, Mia began thinking that pissing off the coach from now on wouldn't be a good idea.

Relieved that the victim wasn't herself, she bent down to pick up the whistle and hand it back over to Riko. What stopped her, however, was the brush of her arm over her bag. Her blue eyes widened and slowly her breathing began to grow harsher and harsher as she sent her hands searching for something of the darkened road.

"What's the matter?" Riko asked, obviously coming over to grab her pink weapon which was now abandoned in the ground.

"It's gone." Answered Mia, "It was on my bag when we left I know it was! Now it's gone!"

A little startled by the girl's sudden change in demeanor, Riko looked down to where she was searching frantically and noticed a shiny object reflecting the continuously rising sun and picked it up.

"Is this what you're looking for?" Asked the upperclassman as she held up a small four leaf clover keychain, the trinket dancing in midair as she held it with her index finger and thumb. "It may have gotten whisked away when my dad went down."

"Sorry about that, Mia-tan." Tora apologized as he stood.

"Don't call her that too!" And down he went again "That's disgusting!"

"Thank you." Mia said, showing her gratitude after snatching the keychain out of Riko's hand. "Thanks."

"What's so important about that anyway?" Riko asked while keeping her foot on Tora's back, grinding it in. "Is it a family heirloom?"

"No." The underclassman said. Doing so as she did in the past, Mia held up the clover in her fingers, allowing the sun's rays to bounce off every curve, every scratch, every memory…

"It's nothing."

It wasn't broken. She could've easily place it back on her bag where it was before.

But instead she just stuffed it into her pocket.

"Well then." Said Mia as she faced the two still bickering Aidas. "Let's get started."


The very first train of the day slowed to a stop in the station, its wheels created the loud and yet familiar squeaks of yielding. Once the doors slid open, several high school boys scrambled out, all of them excited and still very scared to be getting their training camp started. Knowing their coach, she will be able to provide them with a good amount of space to grow in both mental and physical performance. But that also means that they may die in the process...

"We're here!"

"Is this real life?" Izumi asked, confusing everyone who was still willing to listen to the pun master "Or is it just a Fanta sea?"

"Where's the coach?"

"There were a lot of things to carry so she took the car." Answered Hyuuga "Also, shut up, Izuki."

Kuroko and Kagami walked beside each other as the group of Seirin boys marched out of the station and into fresh air, the smell of the sea hitting their noses. The blue haired teen, however, looked around the bustling groups of people around him for signs of his middle school friend. She did say that she would be riding the train with them, but when she never made it on time, Kuroko couldn't help but worry.

"What's up, Kuroko?" Kagami asked once he realized that his teammate was falling behind from the rest of them.

"Nothing." He said "Mia just wasn't at the meetup so I'm wondering if she got her earlier."

"Tch. Knowing her, she probably just slept in late and is rushing over here now."

"But that's the thing, you don't know her."

Kagami gaped at Kuroko's back which just suddenly seemed to have turn on him. How could he say that?!

"Well it's not like I want to know her anyway!"

"...Kagami-kun, I think you should be a little nicer to Mia."

"What?! But she's the one who keeps starting it!"

"And you're the one who keeps turning it into a fight."

"But-!"

"Kuroko! Kagami!" Koga called over, waving his hands excitedly at the duo, "Come check it out! It's the ocean!"

Looking back down to continue his conversation with Kuroko, Kagami found the teal haired male had already disappeared! Whipping his head in the direction of Koga and the others, he saw the missing man already halfway down the road. How the hell does he do that?!

"This is a really nice place!" One of the other freshmen said in awe, watching the clear blue waves rise and crash over the surface.

"It'll become hell in an instant though..."

As if on cue, a familiar (and terrifying) black Sudan pulled up in front of the basketball team, halting so close to them that they were able to fully see their reflections in the Windows.

"Right on time!" Riko announced, stepping out on the other side and facing her team members. "Everyone's here right?"

"Yes!" Everyone chorused after making sure that Kuroko was in sight.

"So Riko, I'm gonna leave the rest up to your friend over there okay?" Tora spoke as he lowered the car window. As he spoke he eyed every member on the team through his black rimmed sunglasses.

"She's not my friend." Riko insisted, her smile forced in her face "But thanks, Papa."

"Alright, good luck brats!" He waved, starting the engine once more. "Ah but, if any of you lay a hand on my daughter, I'll kill you."

"YES!" Everyone chorused once more. There shoulders stiff with fear.

"He's scary as always..." Hyuuga commented while watching the car pull away.

"Don't just stand there!" Commanded the devil coach "Let's go!


The beach was empty. They've only been out and about for five minutes, ten minutes tops, and already the wonderful area with a beautiful oceanic view was completely vacant from tourists and other guests. All that was left, were two very large best all hoops and a sand drawn basketball court.

"This section of the beach is for private use only. That's why there aren't any people to get in our way when we train." Riko explained, taking of her shoes and stepping into the sand. It was warm but not too hot for these bunch of babies.

"Coach, don't tell me..."

"Yup!" She responded too cheerfully, "We're playing right here."

"How did you even manage to get all of this put together?" Kagami asked as he took off his shoes with the rest of the players."

"Be grateful." A raspy voice spoke behind him.

"WOAH!" The redhead yelled, jumping away from the surprise guest and crashing into several of his upperclassmen. "TAKAGI MIA?!"

"Yes?" Mia answered, confused. It was obvious that she didn't know that her voice was the cause behind the sudden scare.

"What happened to your voice?" Kuroko asked, appearing out of nowhere, like usual, and becoming the only person to not be involved in the crash.

"Oh. It's been really dry lately, but after working to set everything up for a couple of hours, it just kind of left me I guess." The girl explained, massaging her throat and coughing to try and get it to clear up. The only thing she got in return was a burning pain down her throat. "I should be fine though."

"That doesn't sound fine to me." Kagami rose back up onto his feet and stomped his way over to the two friends, "And what was that crap about being grateful?"

"You should be grateful." Mia retaliated, her voice making her sound like an old witch the more she talked, "I set everything up so that you guys can train and better the skills you need to defeat Aomine-kun. That was what you wanted right?"

Without letting the giant answer, Mia walked away, coughing and hacking as she did so. All Kagami could do was point at her retreating figure and give Kuroko a look of disbelief, showing that he was right in his previous statement. But with the hard stare that Kuroko was giving him in return, Taiga didn't need words to know that he was saying that he was still right, as well.

"I've already told you this," Riko continued with, hopefully, no more interruptions, "But the goal for this training camp is to overcome your weaknesses."

"Weaknesses?"

"The thing that Seirin needs right now is the improvement of all individual players' abilities."

Mia watched from the sidelines as she took a swing of water to ease her throat pain. The looks of surprise from all of the players' eyes told her that they weren't expecting that one. Guess they still have a long way to go if they couldn't figure that one out from a mile away.

"But don't misunderstand. Even if the team's strength improves substantially, the five people on the team won't become a larger team. We don't want to have a single strength as a team. So we have to bundle our individual strengths together to become a stronger team."

'It's understandable.' Mia thought, circling different sections in her notebook that each player needed to work on to become better. 'At this rate, we would fail 84.695% of our games. But, hopefully, if this training does exactly what Riko-senpai wants it to do, then we would be winning that 84.695%. And with the training at the end of the break, who knows how much we will win.'

"For the sake of winning, we need to be united." Mia's pencil froze in place as she heard those words. It was only a fraction of a second, but to her it felt like eternity. Just how long has it been since words like that could make Takagi Mia smile?

Far too long.

"For shots, passes, and dribbles, in order to improve those skills one by one, the very important foundation we need to focus on are your legs."

"Even so," Kagami started, stomping his feet in the soft sand beneath him in frustration, "Won't we use up too much of our strength here?!"

"But, you see, that why we're practicing on this sandy beach. You're going to do the regular program...three times." The devil coach ordered, revealing her true colors as she stripped off her outer shirt to get better accustomed to the ongoing heat.

"THRICE?!"

"So now, let's begin this training camp from Hell!"

And with the sound of the whistle, every team member of the Seirin Basketball Team ran forward, determination in their eyes.

And the pencil of a certain ebony haired girl began to move again.


'Leg muscles on each player, at this rate, increase about 2.76% in power while performing in the sand.'

"The ball's not going to bounce in the sand, Kuroko!"

'Estimated 1.3% growth in leg strength each day if training is constant. Soreness will surely follow. However, muscle memory will have a 3% improvement in indoor performances.'

"Is dunking the only thing you can do, idiot?!"

'Teppei-nii's overall scoring levels are 5.7% lower than before his hospital visits. In order to grow back into the play he was before...no...in order to grow into an even better player, he must increase both arm and leg strength by 2.43% each day.'

"KUROKO DON'T SLEEP!"

It was very hard to concentrate on mathematical calculations with each player (or mostly Hyuga's) shouts of "encouragement", but nonetheless, Mia found herself smiling while keeping her head low in her book.

"Good job everyone!" Riko called, "Take a break now! We'll be relocating in the gym in the evening!"

"Y-yeah..."

Despite what her coach said, Mia kept her nose deep in her notebook, the small sounds of her pencil scratching paper becoming the only thing she heard.

That was, until a sharp pain in her throat threw her into yet another coughing fit.

Amidst all of the disgusting, old lady noises, Mia felt the sudden cool surface of a water bottle pressed against her cheek, startling the girl out of her fit.

"Yo." Kagami greeted, still out of breath from training. Mia carefully eyed the water and then the giant standing before her before giving in and grabbing the bottle from his large, tan hand. She quickly unscrewed the cap and chugged down about half of the bottle in an attempt to extinguish the fire in her throat.

"Thank you." She said finally, not even caring if Kagami had already gone about his business and left her after she grabbed her gift from him. But, when she glanced over her shoulder, she found him still there, continuously squirting water into his mouth like all of the other players.

"Mia." A cool voice spoke behind her. However, instead of startling her, she turned to find Kuroko panting next to her. She left the startling to Kagami who seemed to have spit out his water in shock of the new presence among them. "Are you alright?"

"...Yes?" She answered. Although, her voice was still sounding like she smoked twelve packs of cigarettes a day. "My throat will be fine in a couple of days time. So I'm fine."

"No." The ghostly man insisted, "You seem...tired. Like you haven't been sleeping lately. It's not good to be sleep deprived and in the heat like this. I think you should go ask the coach if you can go inside before us."

She can never really brush anything off without her friend noticing first, could she?

"Testuya, I'm fine." Said Mia, "It's true that I haven't been getting as much sleep lately but I'll be alright. It's not like I haven't done this before. In fact I still need to continue to do my own duties if I want Riko-senpai to hire me as your manager."

Without letting the conversation continue, Mia slammed her book closed and stood up quickly. Dusting off the sand from her bottom, she ignored the stares from the person in front of her and most importantly the stares from the giant behind her. Really, did he not think she would notice the holes he was burning into the back of her head?

"Now if you'll excus-" She began to say, but the moment she took a step forward, her vision began to see double, and oh man, if you thought one Kuroko was bad enough, imagine what two would feel like.

'Maybe I should call Sacchan and tell her that she has to choose between two Tetsuyas now. Wait, why would I call her? I'm trying to stay away from her, away from everyone. Wait no, I was trying to give the team their towels to cool off. They worked so hard today, it would be a shame if I didn't show them that. Shouldn't I have hit the ground by now? I don't know what's happening...'

"...Mia! TAKAGI MIA!" Kagami continued to yell at the limp body in front of him. It all happened so fast, she took one step and just crumpled before them. Luckily, he was able to reach out and hook his arm around her stomach before she hit her head on the concrete. But, god dammit, couldn't she have just been more careful?!

"Kagami-kun, she fainted." Said Kuroko, a tinge of worry in his eyes at the sight of his friend lying between them, "I don't think she's gonna hear you."

"What happened?!" Riko demanded, kneeling next to Kagami and Kuroko to get a better look. At this point, it was up to Hyuuga to force everyone else away to give Mia some air.

"She just stood up and fainted." Kagami summarized quickly. There was nothing else to it in his point of view.

"She hasn't been sleeping well," Kuroko continued "I think that had something to do with her fainting."

Understanding the situation well enough, Riko reached out and placed her palm against Mia's forehead, only to quickly remove it just to strip the girl of her black jacket.

"She has a fever. We need to get her inside."

"Are you sure it's not just the heat from the sun?" Kagami asked, throwing in his two cents.

"I'm pretty sure I can tell the difference between a fever and an overheated body, Bakagami!" Riko scolded, shoving his two cents back down his throat as she folded up her jacket and grabbed an extra water bottle. "Now help me get her inside!"

Without any more need to repeat herself, or to humiliate him, the redhead placed his hands behind the fallen girl's back and underneath her knees and lifted her up effortlessly.

"She better not complain after this." Kagami growled as he made his way to the old run down hotel they were staying at. "I could've easily thrown her over my shoulder if it weren't for the coach."

"The rest of you come inside too." Riko ordered, "We don't want anymore of you to faint before training tonight."

"YES!"


"Geh, this place is pretty old."

"Shut up, Takao."

Large numbers of orange jerseys bearing the name "Shutoku" walked passed locals, gaining their attention at the look of savagery among their players. Of course it's a look the team always received, it wasn't one they had to work hard to achieve.

"Eh?" Takao searched the area for his fellow teammate, wondering how he could lose someone as tall as him. Especially since he had green hair and bandages on his left hand. "Shin-chan?"

Several feet behind the rest of the team was none other than Midorima Shintarou, and in his hand was something that he never thought he would see again...

A small four leaf clover keychain.

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