The Oldest King
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Pairings: Shigehiro/Tamaki. One sided Aomine/Tamaki.
Warnings: AU Universe. OOC. Gender swap. Nice Akashi. Overprotective Generation of Miracles.
Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroko no Basuke and any of the characters, but the OC characters belongs to me
Chapter Two: The Oldest King
Kyoto always looks its best during spring, particularly with the cherry blossom trees all in full bloom, their pink petals fluttering like pink snow to the ground.
As one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the country, Rakuzan High School looks its best when school had reopened for the new school year.
It had taken both Tamaki and Shigehiro nearly an entire month before they could decide on a high school that they're both pleased with. It wasn't until Akashi Seijuro had placed down a pamphlet and a booklet of his chosen high school before them and told them both very plainly that they're coming with him to Rakuzan High before both relented.
Every school year, Rakuzan High School gave out ten scholarships to the nation's top ten students. And every single year without fail, nearly half of those scholarships would go to students of Teiko Middle School – since they're basically the middle school version of Rakuzan High. And that year, Tamaki had been one of those alongside her cousin who had gotten a scholarship from Rakuzan High.
At the very least, the teal haired girl doesn't have to worry about her school fees and living expenses, as it is all covered in the scholarship. The only thing that Tamaki had been concerned about had been her aunt. But to her credit, Aunt Yuki had literally all but pushed Tamaki into Kyoto, stating that if her brother had still been alive, he would want Tamaki to go to the best schools possible, and that just receiving the occasional phone call or email from Seijuro and Tamaki would be enough for her. Before both cousins have left for Kyoto however, they have promised to return to Tokyo every weekend.
Shigehiro had been with Tamaki and Seijuro when they have arrived at Kyoto a week before school had reopened, having to see to the paperwork and dorm reallocations and everything. Students of Rakuzan High stayed in the dorm rooms, as is the case with the three of them. Thankfully for their sakes however, they do not have a dorm mate, as is the case with most schools that offered dormitory housing.
The facilities of Rakuzan High are large even for a prestigious high school. It is more comparable to that of a college. Being one of the oldest high schools around, Rakuzan High had a more traditional Japanese feel to the buildings as compared to most of the western-style buildings that most high schools in Japan had adopted recently.
There were three main buildings in the school grounds alone – with one building set aside for the dormitories, another for the classrooms and the last for the sports facilities. There was even a large stone courtyard that the three school buildings surrounded – and it is obvious to the trained eye that the courtyard was a recent addition, as it has a more western feel as compared to the rest of the school. There was even a fountain in the middle of the school courtyard, with cherry blossom trees decorating the sides of the courtyard.
Rakuzan High's uniforms however, reminds Tamaki of the uniforms of Teiko Middle School. The colouring is definitely different, as unlike Teiko's aqua green and white uniforms, Rakuzan High had a white blouse with a black blazer with silver buttons for the guys and girls, though with different cuttings. The school tie was in the colour scheme of black as well, with red and white stripes on the top half of it, with the school's emblem at the bottom. The boys wore black trousers and shoes to go with it whilst the girls had a black and white checkered skirt. Unlike the school tie that the boys wore however, the girls had a red neckerchief around the neck of the blouse.
The first day of school was pretty uneventful, unless one counts the fact that Akashi, Tamaki and Shigehiro found themselves sharing the same class. Thankfully, their teachers weren't cruel enough to give homework on the first day of school. Like with most schools, the first school week was mostly used for the students to get used to the school routine, and for them to get to know their classmates.
The moment that the final school bell for the day had rung however, Tamaki somehow found herself whisked off to the gym where the basketball club held their practices by an excited Shigehiro and an amused Akashi. It was only later when Tamaki found out that Akashi had been offered the position of captain by the basketball coach Shirogane Eiji when he was first scouted. Much like with Akashi, Tamaki was actually approached by Shirogane when she was still in Teiko, but at that time, as she was still pondering over her high school choice, she couldn't give him an answer yet.
Tamaki could only imagine the sheer glee and joy that the normally solemn and composed Rakuzan coach had emitted when she had given him her reply a month before the new school year.
But still, that doesn't explain why and how Tamaki somehow found herself holding the post of vice-captain and manager for the Rakuzan basketball team. Miraculously, none of the other regulars minded that two freshmen would be leading their team. After a round of tryouts, Shigehiro had found himself holding jersey number 9, being given a place with the regulars, with Akashi and Tamaki holding numbers 4 and 5 respectively. Though naturally, unlike the other five, Tamaki wasn't a starter.
Coach Shirogane had later explained to her that he actually needs her tactical and analyzing skills more than actually having her on the court itself. Though if the need arises, he will put her on the court, especially after having watched how Tamaki and Shigehiro had coordinated their play during the tryouts.
It is a little difficult to believe that Tamaki and Shigehiro hadn't played together for years, as their coordination play and their teamwork is as good as before that it's almost like they have never been apart before.
Like what Akashi had later told the Rakuzan regulars, they are the original 'light' and 'shadow', the 'Sun' and the 'Moon' – boosting a type of coordination play that far surpasses the one that Tamaki had used with Aomine back in Teiko Middle School.
The regulars of Rakuzan really remind Tamaki of the Generation of Miracles themselves, though not in a bad way. Mibuchi Reo had been a rather effeminate and gentle teen, being more 'feminine' than any guy should have any business being. Tamaki had taken a liking to him immediately, and he is kind of the third in command if Akashi and Tamaki couldn't be around, rather like how Midorima had been back in Teiko.
Nebuya Eikichi kind of…scares Tamaki, frankly. He is tall even for a basketball player, and wide – almost like a wrestler. But despite his size and height, he could move really fast on the court. Shigehiro had gotten along well with his new teammates, even the club as a whole, despite his odd habits of hugging anyone that he likes which oddly reminds Tamaki of a certain blonde. But despite that, the basketball team seems to like him enough.
As for the last regular…
Tamaki let out a low groan as someone immediately glomped onto her from behind, and she turned, tearing her gaze away from her clipboard where she had been noting down details of the regulars and the other players that she had noticed. A second year with short light hair grinned at her, currently dressed in a white training shirt and basketball pants and shoes.
"Hayama-sempai, this can be considered sexual harassment." Tamaki told Hayama Kotaro bluntly.
Hayama Kotaro grinned at her, and the other members of the club watched on in amusement before going back to their training. This had became a normal occurrence ever since the entire basketball club as a whole have met their new captain and vice-captain slash manager nearly a month ago, and Hayama Kotaro had taken an instant liking to Tamaki and hugged her every chance he got, rather similar to a certain blonde model.
While the other club members and even their COACH found it amusing, Ogiwara Shigehiro always had murder in his eyes whenever Kotaro hugged their teal haired manager.
"It's all right, isn't it, Tama-chan?" Kotaro grinned, still not releasing his hold on Tamaki. The small girl only sighed and went back to her job of surveying the game going on between some of the first stringers and second stringers, acting for all in the world like she doesn't have someone holding her. The teal haired girl scribbled something in the clipboard that she had with her. The moment that she'd finished writing, she paused. "Hayama-sempai, if you don't get off me and get yourself to the court now, I'm going to triple your training menu."
Kotaro paled, and before Tamaki even knew what is happening, the light haired teen was already on the court where the regulars always practiced, diligently practicing his dribbling, acting for all in the world like he hadn't stopped training at all.
Tamaki sighed. Upon sensing several pairs of eyes on her, she glanced up only to see the interested gazes of the other stringers. Her eye twitched. "Is there anything interesting to see?" she asked coldly. "If so, get back to training please."
The 'or else' could almost be heard, and the players immediately got back to training. They knew by now that even though their manager looks petite and frail and looks almost as if she wouldn't hurt a fly, she is one damn harsh taskmistress. At the end of their first week with her, any player who isn't a regular is ready to just drop dead. And much like her cousin, Kuroko Tamaki means what she says. If she threatens to double or even triple your menu, she will do it.
Coach Shirogane had basically all but placed the training of the regulars and the first string into Tamaki and Seijuro's hands, choosing to focus more on the training of the third string and second string instead. He'd explained that they're going to need replacements for when the current second year regulars graduate, but right now, none of the non-regulars even meet the requirements for a regular position.
Tamaki surveyed her clipboard, barely restraining a groan as she read all the notes that she'd made and the stats and abilities of every single player in the Rakuzan basketball club – regular and non-regular. She doesn't have much work to do with the regulars, and anyway, Akashi is already in charge of their training. It's the non-regulars that she has to work with, and Tamaki barely restrained a cringe as she read the notes that she'd made on the players in the third string in particular.
This is even worse than what she had to deal with when they'd first rebuilt the basketball club in Teiko! Their stamina is horrible, their teamwork even more so, and as for their footwork…don't even go there. And they don't even know the difference from a dribble to a pass!
"Training not going well?" said a familiar voice from next to her, and Tamaki turned, smiling slightly at a grinning Ogiwara Shigehiro with the smile that she only reserved for Akashi, Aunt Yuki, Shigehiro, Satsuki, and once upon a time, Aomine Daiki.
"I'm going to have my hands full just training the third string!" Tamaki sighed, flipping over the several papers currently attached to her clipboard. "See."
Shigehiro peered over at her clipboard curiously, and he winced when he saw the notes that Tamaki had made, along with the stats and abilities and even the diagrams that she had drawn up. "Oh boy, you're going to have your work cut out for you," he said sympathetically. "Look on the bright side. At least you don't have to worry about the regulars much."
"Well yes, but I do still have a part to play in their training. More specifically, teamwork training." Tamaki stated, rubbing her temples at the incoming headache whenever she broached about the topic on teamwork.
Rakuzan is like Teiko. The players never coordinate their plays and they never bothered with teamwork. Unfortunately for them however, teamwork is the first on Tamaki's to-do list, and she's not taking no for an answer. Even Akashi adheres to Tamaki when it comes to training, as the teal haired girl takes her job as team manager very seriously, and refuses to let any of her players slack off.
Coach Shirogane couldn't be happier with his new manager and vice-captain, and is already seeing the fruits of her labour starting to bear fruit. The regulars of the Rakuzan basketball team had never really been close. But a month with just Tamaki and Akashi, and undergoing the 'Hell' that the two cousins have the guts to call 'training' had shown results in their play, particularly in teamwork.
Now, whenever Nebuya and Kotaro argued, it is more of a friendly banter than anything, and Mibuchi also did his part in keeping those two in line before Tamaki blew a fuse. The teal haired girl is normally very even tempered and always kept her cool. Hence, no one wants to know what it is like when Tamaki gets pissed.
"Yikes, you might have to start from the very beginning when it comes to the training of the third string." Shigehiro said with a grin.
"I knew that I shouldn't have neglected the training of the third string that first month." Tamaki sighed. "I'm going to have to work with them from the very basics." She almost groaned. That means she has to start from footwork, dribbling, drills and the like. She's going to have to draw up food menus for them too, as their current diets and even their bodies don't please her in the least. "Now I understand why Coach Shirogane asked me to be the manager when I had never heard that Rakuzan had one before."
"By the way." Tamaki looked at Shigehiro. "I'm heading to the Tokyo district in two days. Kaijo High had a practice match scheduled on that day, and I'm heading over there to check things out. Do you want to come with me? Because Sei will probably freak out if I go to Tokyo all by myself." She mumbled.
Shigehiro stared at Tamaki for a long while without saying anything. While it is true that their normally solemn and serious captain will freak out on his only cousin heading to the other side of Japan all by herself, the cheerful teen also knows Tamaki well. And he also knows how stubborn and obstinate that the teal haired girl can be. Once she'd decided on something, nothing in the world can make her change her mind. You'll be better off arguing with the wall.
And wasn't it just the other day when he was passing by the clubroom when he'd heard Tamaki and Seijuro arguing about her trip to scout out any potential rivals in the Tokyo district? Seijuro was adamant on either him, Shigehiro or even Mibuchi tagging along with Tamaki should she venture out of Rakuzan. Tamaki had argued back that she isn't some three year old that needs a chaperone.
"Any reason why apart from the one involving Seijuro? Not that I mind going with you." Shigehiro added the last part.
Tamaki was silent for several moments. "I'll be scouting out several of our potential opponents in the Tokyo district," she explained. "This year with the Generation of Miracles splitting up and heading to high school, the standard of high school basketball is going to change as a result. I'm just going to scout out the potential of the basketball teams, and just how much a threat that they posed to us."
"For practice matches?" Shigehiro enquired, watching Kotaro dribble with four fingers on the ball.
"That too. But it's more for the upcoming Inter High that won't be for another month." Tamaki corrected. "Will you come with me?"
Shigehiro grinned. "But what schools do you have in mind to 'spy' on? Apart from the practice match that you wish to watch at Kaijo."
"Well, we can actually count out the three kings of Tokyo." Tamaki summarised, surveying her clipboard. "I can easily get the data that I need from video tapes." Shigehiro nodded slowly. It had taken him nearly two weeks to realise that Tamaki can easily gather any data and analyse it by just merely watching. Shigehiro is starting to think that this creepy observation ability runs in the family, as Akashi is pretty good at analyzing as well, hence why he's known as Japan's best Point Guard. "Probably, the schools of considerable interest and threat, excluding the three kings, are Seiran, Onita, Kamizuki and…Touou Academy." She frowned.
"The three kings of Tokyo, huh?" Shigehiro mused. He then grinned. "I can't wait to play them if they're that strong that they got a name like that! Basketball is getting more interesting!"
Tamaki can't help but laugh at Shigehiro's enthusiasm at facing strong opponents. He's truly like how a certain tanned player had been back in their freshman year before their multiple victories had turned his head. "I don't believe that I'll ever find another person who can grin and smile like that whilst facing a strong opponent," she remarked, and Shigehiro grinned. "Well, if we're going to Kanagawa too, then we can only really scout out one school in the Tokyo district if we want to make it back to Rakuzan before curfew." She remarked. "From my sources, Seiran, Onita and Kamizuki hadn't really changed much in strength and tactics wise. But Touou Academy…" She trailed off.
"I've heard of them." Shigehiro remarked. "They didn't really make such a good showing at matches before, but for the past five years, they've been scouting strong players. Hence, in recent years, they're as good as any of the three kings in Tokyo."
"We should go and take a look at this school." Tamaki murmured, writing something down in her clipboard. "And you should hurry and get to training." She told a grinning Shigehiro. "I want you to practice on your footwork today. So hurry and take out those coloured cones."
"All right. All right." Shigehiro grinned as he walked towards the court where Mibuchi, Kotaro and Nebuya are currently training in whatever that Tamaki had told them to do.
Tamaki shook her head with a slight smile on her lips as she watched Shigehiro walking onto the court, his hands clasped behind his head. She'd never regretted her decision in following her childhood friend and cousin to high school. Just like when they were in elementary school, she likes Shigehiro's basketball. It is bright – just like Shigehiro himself, just like the Sun. Her cousin had nicknamed them the original light and shadow pair – the Sun and Moon.
The cheerful teen is strong, Tamaki could admit to herself. If Shigehiro had been in Teiko with them in middle school as well, Tamaki is sure that Shigehiro would have been named as one of the Generation of Miracles too.
Tamaki had been wary and almost worried in the beginning when Shigehiro had taken on the Power Forward position in the Rakuzan basketball team. He was already so similar to a certain partner of hers in Teiko. And he even took on the same position that Aomine-kun held. What if he ends up like the tanned teen too?
But still, Tamaki had made a promise to herself the day when Shigehiro had asked her to come with him to high school. She swore that she will never let Shigehiro or any of her new teammates venture down the dark path that Teiko did. The fact that the Generation of Miracles and Teiko itself ended up on the path that they did is in part due to her. She had been their tactician, their strategist. All of their plays ever since they're freshmen are psychological plays. Any tactic that Tamaki had formulated is planned to play on their opponent's fears and weaknesses. In the long run, it is bound to change them.
And change them it did. Tamaki had seen it coming ever since the middle of her second year when Aomine-kun had been the first amongst them to change and evolve. She could have stopped it, stopped them from venturing down that path. But she didn't. And she could only blame herself for it.
Hence why the teal haired girl is so insistent on Rakuzan learning team play before learning to execute any tactic that she had formulated. She refused to budge from her decision no matter how much Nebuya had complained. One month later, and Tamaki is pleased to see that forcing them to learn team play had also improved their relationship with each other. Now, the banter between the three Uncrowned Generals is more friendly than anything.
Seriously, if Tamaki has to listen to one more argument between Kotaro and Nebuya about how 'Nebuya dropped his chips on Kotaro's hair', she's going to increase each of their training menu by three.
There was a slight vibration in her pocket just then, and Tamaki tore her eyes away from the regulars' training, pulling her light blue cellphone out of her pocket. Akashi had banned all phones from the gyms during training, but only Tamaki is allowed to have her phone with her in case of either Coach Shirogane or Akashi having to contact her for emergency purposes. Even so, the teal haired girl usually keeps her phone on silent so as to not distract the club members from practicing.
Tamaki raised an elegant brow as she saw that it's a text message from her best friend in middle school, Momoi Satsuki.
After she and Aomine had a little bit of a falling out back in middle school, Momoi had been caught in the middle between her best friend and childhood friend. Hence, to prevent Aomine from fighting with Momoi too (as Tamaki knew full well whose side Momoi would take in this matter), Tamaki chose to cut off all contact with Momoi as well. An action that Tamaki knew hurt her best friend a lot, but the pink haired girl had understood her reasoning.
Tamaki knew that Momoi had followed Aomine to high school as well, since in the words of the pink haired girl when they were in their freshman year of middle school – she can't just leave him alone, or who knows what he'll get up to once she take her eyes off him. Akashi had even wondered once if Momoi is not secretly Aomine's mother.
'Tamaki-chan, how are you? It's been almost a month since we've started high school. Aomine-kun is stirring up trouble as usual. On the first day of school, he almost got into a fight with a senior from the basketball club. On the first day of school! Even before he actually played! That idiot is as big of a moron as always! I really wish that you could be here with us to help keep him in line. But I understand why you wouldn't want to come with us.
The basketball season is starting up soon, and from messages from Ki-chan, he'd been training as hard as he could. Midorin too, I'm sure. I'm not so sure about Mukkun. But Aomine-kun is skipping practice as usual. I've all but given up on hauling him to practice. You're the only one whom he'll even listen to. Back in Teiko, you're the only one who can make him attend practice willingly. But I understand your reasons in doing what you did. I've never blamed you.
I miss you. I want my best friend back. I won't ask you which school you're attending, nor will I even try to find out. Just this once, for this matter, I'll respect your wishes. After all, it is Aomine-kun who had hurt you. I am sorry for him. But I guess no matter what I said, it won't matter. After all, the one at fault is Aomine-kun.
Let's meet again in the Inter High. Let's play basketball again.'
Tamaki stared at the message for a long time without saying anything. For once, the message is devoid of all the usual emotions that Satsuki will usually put in her text messages.
The teal haired girl finally sighed, putting her phone back in her pocket, shaking her head to get rid of any stray thoughts. She'd made her decision when she'd decided to follow Shige-kun to high school. Her time with Aomine and the Generation of Miracles is in the past. She had never informed her best friend of her choice in high school, and neither did she even try to find out which school that Satsuki and Aomine are attending.
Maybe she should really investigate and find out which school that they're attending, if so that Rakuzan could be prepared for any team that had the ace of the Generation of Miracles in them, along with their manager.
Tamaki shook her head, focusing on her task as she wrote down a list of the schools that she is going to drop by once she head to Tokyo with Shigehiro two days from now. That means that Mibuchi will be in charge of the training for that day, and Tamaki hoped fervently that Kotaro and Nebuya wouldn't drive him crazy with their constant arguments. She made a mental note to double up the training regimens of the regulars that day so that the two Uncrowned Generals will be too tired to even think about arguing.
The teal haired girl then scribbled down the names of the schools that she'll be checking out two days from now: Kaijo High School and Touou Academy.
A/N: This chapter probably isn't up to my usual standard, I'm so sorry about this! And not much Shigehiro and Tamaki fluff as well. If any of you had been following some of my other stories, you will know that I don't like rushing into pairings. I like taking it slow. So yes, those two might be childhood friends. But they're still friends first and foremost. Romance between those two WILL come, but it won't be that soon.
Anyway, I hope that you like this chapter, and please read and review! Reviews give me inspiration to update!