Warnings: AU Universe. OOC. Gender swap. Nice Akashi. Assassin Generation of Miracles. Violence. Gore. Character deaths.
Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroko no Basuke and any of the characters, but the OC characters belongs to me
Chapter Three: Vigilantes
"Assassination is never a pretty business." - Kuroko Tamaki
Izuki Shun was too terrified to even move before his vision suddenly went dark, and he then realised that he had just been blindfolded, with his mouth gagged. Then before he even knew what is going on, he was thrown over someone's shoulder, and thrown into a moving vehicle—probably a van or something.
The gag in his mouth stopped him from saying anything or even screaming, and it wasn't too long before the vehicle stopped. The door of the vehicle opened just then, as Izuki could hear the sounds of the crickets in the night. A pair of hands picked him up easily—almost like he weighed nothing, before he is placed over someone's shoulder again.
A pair of gentle and careful hands placed him down onto a chair before the gag and blindfold were removed. With his eyes covered for several minutes, the sudden light that suddenly entered his vision caused Izuki to become dazed for several moments, and he blinked several times in an effort to clear his vision.
When his vision cleared, he was slightly startled to see that he's in a shop of some sort—probably a restaurant or a café or something, being seated at one of the cubicles closest to the counter seats. And five pairs of curious eyes were staring back at him.
Three of the people, Izuki had never seen before in his life. But it is the other two whom Izuki knew.
His eyes widened. "…Tamaki? Kise?"
The two mentioned exchanged looks with each other before Tamaki took a step backwards from Izuki—along with the dark skinned teen with short dark blue hair, she is the only one standing, with the other two teens seated on chairs at the counter seats, with the last person who seemed to be the oldest standing behind the counter—presumably the owner of the establishment.
For several moments, no one said a single word.
"Uh… Where am I?" Izuki asked, honestly confused over everything right now. "And what is going on?"
The four teens in the shop exchanged looks with each other before the green haired teen pushed his glasses up his nose. "This is Ashiya's—a café that functions as a bar at night—located in downtown Tokyo," he said. "We brought you here."
"W-What do you want with me?"
The four teens in the room exchanged silent looks between themselves once more—a silent message conveying between each other with glances alone. Finally, Tamaki turned her attention back towards Izuki. And now that the black haired teen had enough wits about him to take in his surroundings, he saw that the four teens in front of him—Tamaki included, have on dark clothing.
"Earlier tonight… You saw what happened, didn't you?" Kise asked when it looked like the rest of his companions wouldn't speak. Gone is the almost childish personality when Seirin had first met Kise two weeks ago. There is an almost cold gaze in his eyes right now—almost like that of a predator's as he eyed Izuki. The blonde narrowed his eyes. "Underground Shinjuku. The alley."
Izuki's eyes widened when he remembered the murder that he'd witnessed in the alley earlier that night. Underground Shinjuku had always been a dangerous place. Everyone knew that. It became particularly dangerous when night falls. Murders and crimes take place in that part of town almost every single day.
The dark skinned teen who is leaning against the counter seat raised a brow. "So you mean that this guy is the one who saw…?" He trailed off slowly, alternating his gaze between Izuki and Tamaki.
"He was at the shrine." Tamaki said, speaking up for the first time ever since bringing Izuki here, and the latter widened his eyes in realisation—finally remembering where he'd heard that voice. So that means the one whom he had met at the shrine earlier must be… Tamaki placed down the plaque that Izuki had written on at the shrine earlier onto the table in front of him. The words written in black marker could be seen by everyone. "He's made a request."
Request…? Then that means… They are… And if so, Tamaki is also…!
Izuki swallowed his fear and confusion. "Are…you guys the ones in the rumours? The vigilantes?" he asked, keeping his eyes on Tamaki's face rather than on any of the others.
"Yes, we are." The green head answered carefully. "Our leader isn't here right now, along with two of the others. So right now, it is mainly Tamaki who is running things. I'm Midorima Shintaro."
"…Aomine Daiki." The dark skinned teen grunted.
Izuki's eyes almost bulged out of the sockets. He recognised those names immediately.
"…The Generation of Miracles?"
The four teens exchanged looks. "Well… Yes." Tamaki said at last. "It's a bit of a long story, but the vigilantes as you know us as are all members of the Generation of Miracles, along with one other. We're also known as ICE to the underground. And that over there is Ashiya Ayase, the boss of this establishment."
Ashiya Ayase nodded to Izuki solemnly, but otherwise acted as if nothing is happening at all—almost like he didn't have four teens in front of him who are also killers.
"Ayase?" Izuki had a funny look on his face at that. Isn't that a girl's name?
Midorima coughed into his hand. "Despite his name, he's definitely a guy," he said solemnly. Clearly, this is a common reaction for those who have met Ashiya Ayase for the first time.
Ayase shrugged. "It's just that when I'm a kid, my parents believed that boys with girls' names tend to grow up strong, so they named me 'Ayase'," he explained. "Everyone here calls me 'Yase' though."
"So." Aomine turned towards Izuki, bringing the conversation back to topic. "You had a request?"
Izuki nodded, staring at his clenched fists on the tabletop, wondering where to start. "My parents… They were murdered…by a man my father addressed as 'Shiranui'."
All five in front of Izuki stiffened, and Tamaki frowned. "…Shiranui? He's in the force. In Metro PD," she added for her friends' benefit. "Ishigami has mentioned him once to me." She then turned towards Izuki. "We got a pretty good idea what had happened. You're Lieutenant Izuki Shinsuke's son, aren't you? Member of Public Security." She added, and Izuki's eyes widened, nodding.
Many people knew that his father is a police officer. Most just never knew that he worked in Public Security, and hence, is also kind of responsible for the security and safety for the Prime Minister in a way. Also, the way that Tamaki had addressed his father…
Just…who is she anyway? Who are they?
"Um… I get that you're the vigilantes and all. But… How do you know my father?" Izuki asked at last. "Tamaki… Who…are you?"
Tamaki glanced at Yase who said nothing for several moments as he cleaned the wine glass in his hand with a white cloth. "…You might as well tell him, Tamaki," he said at last. "He's going to find out eventually. Ishigami must have a reason for asking you to bring him here."
For several moments, there was nothing but silence—even as everyone in the room stared at Tamaki, wondering what the teal head will do. With Akashi not around, the teal head is the one calling the shots for ICE right now—or at least, just for the members of ICE present in Tokyo.
Generally, the leaders of ICE are Akashi and Tamaki. Akashi plans the operations, though Tamaki steps in if needed, as she is the team's tactician. Her skills over strategising and tactics don't just apply to the basketball court after all. It's just that Tamaki generally handles the behind the scenes work before ICE moves in on their target—gathering information on their target, performing the background checks, mapping out the routes, laying out plans for the assassination, and even doing the computer hacking if their target is in a place with a security system. Ogiwara Shigehiro normally assists her with those areas, as apart from Tamaki, he is the only other person in ICE with decent skills in hacking. However, there is no one better than Tamaki for slipping into places unnoticed—except for perhaps Kise.
"We work for the government." Tamaki said at last, slipping onto the counter seat in between Kise and Midorima—back facing the counter and Yase, and facing Izuki, making sure to keep eye contact with the black haired teen. "As a kind of secret unit. Only a few people knew of our existences—the Prime Minister and a few of the men that worked close with him included. Your father works with the unit that keeps regular correspondence with us—basically, they are like the go-betweens or the messengers between the Prime Minister and us as we can't be seen going in and out of the Prime Minister's residence all the time." Tamaki glanced at Yase before shifting her gaze back towards a stunned Izuki. "Basically, we are kind of a secret assassin unit for the Prime Minister and the nation of Japan. The Prime Minister order, we kill, or do whatever we need to in order to secure the safety and security of the country."
"Needless to say, we are the country's best kept secret." Aomine grunted, taking out his dagger and sharpening it with a wet stone—unknowingly making Izuki very nervous at seeing the unusually sharp blade, with the black haired teen having a pretty good idea what Aomine used the dagger for. "Only a mere handful of people knew about us and what we do, and for good reason too." He glanced sharply at Izuki. "If the nation ever knew that the Prime Minister and the one before him, and even the ones after him employs the services of assassins—there to take out the threats to the country that couldn't be done by legal means, there will be a civil war at best."
"Public Security—or to be more specific, Ishigami-san's team knew about us because they are the ones performing the cover-ups in the event if a police officer within Metro PD stumbles upon our handiwork, or if they should learn about things that they shouldn't." Kise added. "Of course, apart from Ishigami-san's team, the only other officers who knew about us are the Prime Minister's personal bodyguard team."
Izuki hesitated. "What…if someone learns about…ICE?" he asked, remembering that 'ICE' is what they called themselves.
Midorima sighed. "I doubt that you want to know," he said at last. In the event if anyone—civilian or otherwise, stumbles upon the true nature of their existences, they are to be…erased. And often by members of ICE themselves.
It might sound cruel, but it is necessary—because it is a cruel world that they lived in.
Izuki stared at the tabletop of the table that he is seated at, not knowing what to say for several moments. "So… My dad knew about you and…protected you?" he asked unsurely. Tamaki nodded in response to his question. "So… You know him too?"
"Not as well as we do Ishigami, Goto and even Yase here, but yes, we know Izuki-san." Aomine grunted. "By the way, Yase is with Public Security too. Unlike your dad and Goto, he's more of an intelligence agent." He explained, much to Izuki's shock, tilting a thumb backwards to point at Yase. "He's…kind of our handler, I guess?"
"Back to your request." Tamaki interrupted before Izuki can open his mouth to ask some rather uncomfortable questions. Ishigami's request or not, even there are things that Tamaki and the other members of ICE wouldn't feel comfortable with telling a complete stranger that had never been through what they did. "You want us to kill Shiranui."
Izuki nodded. "Yes. Please accept my request." He looked at Tamaki straight in the eye, never breaking eye contact with her, pure determination shining in his eyes.
Unknown to the black haired teen, the other members of ICE currently present in the bar were pretty impressed, as not many people could hold eye contact with Tamaki for long without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. Even though the teal head looks meek and looks as if she wouldn't hurt a fly, she just has this way of looking at you that makes you feel as if every single secret and thought that you ever had is laid bare to her.
Much like her cousin, Kuroko Tamaki just has this presence about her. Unlike Akashi who gives off an intimidating aura, and hence, is also the most well known assassin amongst ICE in the underground, Tamaki works from the shadows. And though most thought that it should really be Akashi that they should be wary of, the more dangerous of the two is actually Tamaki. Those two are the leaders of ICE for a reason after all.
Finally, Tamaki gave a huff. "Well, you look determined enough at least," she commented. "But… There is a slight…complication with your request and our current situation."
Izuki was confused. "Complication?" he echoed.
The members of ICE exchanged annoyed looks with each other, which must mean that they are privy to the situation at hand as well. Kise was the first one to answer, turning back towards Izuki.
"There is a reason why we managed to locate you so soon after your parents' deaths, and when you'd headed to the shrine." Kise explained, and Izuki straightened, looking startled. Now that Kise had mentioned it, it does seem rather strange that Tamaki had managed to locate him so soon. "Goto-san of Public Security—Ishigami-san's subordinate and also your father's co-worker alerted us to your parents' deaths mere hours ago when they received a distress signal from your father."
Izuki then remembered what his father had given him, and he pulled out the crystal CD case, handing it to Tamaki. "My father wants me to hand this to Ishigami-san," he told the teal head. "I don't know what's in it, but my father protected this with his life. So I can only assume that it's something important."
"It is." Midorima murmured, watching Tamaki accept the crystal case from Izuki, murmuring a silent prayer beneath his breath for the Izuki couple.
"Back to topic," Tamaki interrupted, and the eyes of everyone were on her immediately, "Due to the…work that Ishigami has your father working on for him, he made quite a few enemies along the way. Ishigami is worried that your father's enemies might come after you, so he asked us to protect you until the entire situation is cleared up."
"That basically means that you're given the go ahead to join us." Aomine grunted with a scowl. "Honestly, now that you've seen our faces and where we work, we can't exactly allow you to walk free either. So either way, even if Ishigami didn't ask this of us, we would have asked you to join us too."
Izuki nearly sweat dropped. Why does he feel like he doesn't really have a choice in the matter?
"Does…this mean that I have a chance to avenge my parents with my own hands?" Izuki asked, looking from one person to the other.
"If that is what you desire, yes." Tamaki nodded before she paused, glancing at Yase before turning her attention back towards Izuki. The teen nodded with determination in his eyes, eager at the thought that he could avenge his parents' deaths and honour with his own hands. "Also, one week from now, try to get two weeks off from school. We'll build a cover story for you for school and the basketball club. You'll be coming to Karuizawa with our leader and me. We're going to teach you how to be an assassin." She announced, much to Izuki's shock. "If we're going to do this, then the least that we could do is to give you the tools needed for you to survive. Assassination is never a pretty business. It is a pretty dangerous job." She warned.
"One of us is also going to have to guard you 24/7." Midorima added, polishing his gun. "And as both you and Tamaki are in the same school and in the basketball club furthermore, we've decided that your 'handler' of sorts will be her. Also, you don't have anywhere else to go, do you?" He asked Izuki carefully, well aware of the situation from Ishigami and Goto when they've rang Ashiya's when Tamaki and Aomine are out in the streets earlier, searching for Izuki.
Due to the sensitivity of the entire situation, and not to mention the work that the Prime Minister had Ishigami and his team working on, there aren't a whole lot of people whom the team could trust. ICE are merely one of the few whom Ishigami could trust not to harm Izuki, and hence why he'd asked them to guard the teen, knowing that he had also basically given the go ahead for the teen to join a group of assassins. Likewise, Izuki's house will likely be watched by people out to bring him harm, and they have no idea whom they could trust.
"No." Izuki said glumly, remembering everything that had happened just hours ago. "I can't really go home either. No doubt that my father's enemies will likely be watching the house."
Midorima raised a brow. "Well, you're not stupid at least," he commented, impressed that Izuki had actually managed to deduce it for himself without Tamaki needing to explain it to him.
"I don't mind if you stay here actually." Yase interrupted, joining the conversation for the first time. As a rule, he normally stays out of ICE's affairs. His role there is to watch over them and make sure that the former Black Sun members doesn't find them or even that others don't stumble upon their identities. Nothing more. "There are bedrooms on the second level that the members of ICE uses whenever they are too tired to go home. There are enough rooms for everyone. It's just that as Tamaki is supposed to watch you, it wouldn't be a good idea for you to stay here, as her house is pretty far from here."
Aomine sighed. "No choice then. You'll have to put up at Tamaki's house," he said.
Izuki is pretty certain that he isn't the only one who had voiced his disbelief in that particular statement. Kise is staring at Aomine like he had grown two new heads, and Midorima seemed to be considering using the gun he is polishing to put a hole into Aomine's head. Tamaki on the other hand seemed to be trying to decide between killing Aomine or Izuki.
"We don't have much of a choice, do we?" Aomine argued defensively. "He can't put up at Ashiya's, and as Tamaki is supposed to be his handler of sorts, it only makes sense that he put up at her place. They both go to the same school furthermore, and are also in the basketball club. Is there a problem?"
Apparently, it seems that Aomine is a little too used to sharing the same room with Tamaki like how all the boys of ICE have done when they were young and are forced into servitude as child assassins to Black Sun, as he honestly couldn't see what is wrong about his suggestion.
"There are millions of problems!" Tamaki said, annoyed, answering before either Izuki or the other two boys could. "To start with, I live alone. And all of you have been to my place before—my house is barely big enough for one person, let alone two! I can probably squeeze another bed or something in there, but it'll be a pretty tight fit! Furthermore, no matter how skilled I am, and can probably kick your ass in a fight, in case you've forgotten, Aomine-kun, I am still a girl."
Izuki had a faint blush on his face at that. "I…don't really mind actually," he said hesitantly, stopping all arguments, and Tamaki groaned.
"You're going to be the one to explain to Akashi this weekend when he and the other two return why a boy is living with his cousin." Midorima told Aomine who paled.
"…Fine." Tamaki sighed, giving in at last since she doesn't really see a way out of it. "But if I'm doing this, one of you is coming with me tomorrow to help him shop for clothes and also to get his weapons from Akifusa. Kise-kun, you're coming with me tomorrow."
"Roger." Kise nodded with a grin on his face, pleased at the thought that he can spend the day with his most favourite person in the world.
Shopping is his forte after all. Hell, his entire wardrobe is larger than all the members of ICE put together, with his wide collection of clothes. Murasakibara had even wondered at one time if Kise even wears the same clothes twice. With the blonde's specialisation in disguises and infiltration, no one is really surprised that he had so many different types of clothes from all kinds of styles. Though the blonde's extensive knowledge in makeup and styles is better than even that of Tamaki's for some reason…
"I…don't have any money." Izuki spoke up hesitantly. "And I can't possibly continue leeching from you—"
"You do have money." Yase interrupted, looking at Izuki. "I doubt that your father ever told you, but all officers serving in Public Security and as a bodyguard all opened a special bank account, with part of their salary each month going in there just in case something happened to them. That way, their families could still manage to feed themselves. Izuki-san draws a pretty decent salary each month—all those who serve in Public Security do. You won't go hungry—don't worry. You can at least last long enough on what your father had left you until you start earning your keep once you start going on missions with ICE. All the members of ICE have Swiss bank accounts—the money they get for their missions all go in there as it isn't traceable by normal means. You'll be getting one of your own soon once Tamaki go through all the necessary procedures with the Prime Minister, as you'll be working with ICE from now on."
"Oh." Izuki mumbled, not knowing quite what to say.
"It's been a long night. We should go." Tamaki announced, getting to her feet. "Kise-kun, I'll meet you at Shinjuku Station tomorrow after school."
"Okay. Have a good night." Kise nodded. "And Izuki-kun? Don't think too much about things."
Izuki smiled weakly before bowing to them politely, and leaving Ashiya's with Tamaki. Silence then fell in the bar for several moments before Aomine, Midorima and Kise exchanged concerned looks with each other.
"…Is this a good idea?" Kise murmured, reaching for his drink. "There are dangerous people after us, you know? It's the reason why the Prime Minister set up new identities for us four years ago—to prevent whatever survivors there are from finding us. Won't Izuki-kun be caught up with it too if he joins us? What the hell is the Prime Minister and Ishigami-san thinking?" He wondered. "We have enough problems of our own to worry about."
"Well, if I know Tamaki, she'll get Izuki up to speed in a month tops. Chances are that Akashi will likely be involved in his training too." Aomine grunted. "Though I don't know how much they can do in just two weeks—turning a mere civilian into an assassin."
"No. I don't think that Tamaki will train him in assassination techniques." Midorima shook his head, much to his two companions' surprise. "It'll take way too long for him to be proficient in assassination techniques for Akashi and Tamaki to even consider sending him out onto the field with us." He pointed out. "Probably, Tamaki will teach Izuki how to hack into computers and all that. Due to Ogiwara heading to Kyoto with Akashi, Tamaki hasn't been on the frontlines much as she's the only hacker and intelligence agent that we have in Tokyo right now. Assassination training takes a long time. Tamaki will need Akashi's help for that part in the training—they're the top two amongst ICE. They're going to have to take off from school for about two weeks, I guess."
Aomine grunted as he recalled how tough both their leaders could be when it comes to training. He still had the scars and the memory of the pain from his bruises and injuries to prove it. Those two demands perfection, and for good reason too. If you're not skilled as an assassin, you could end up getting killed by your target instead.
"Damn." Aomine shook his head in amusement. "I don't envy him in the least."
A/N: Those who've guessed the references to Voltage and the game Ninja Assassin, you've gained a cookie! I did get the idea of this story from Ninja Assassin, but the chapters from here on will be purely original. So shopping trip next chapter, and Izuki will gain more of an insight into ICE's job and also a little peek into their pasts.
Anyway, I hope that you like this chapter, and please read and review! Reviews give me inspiration to update!