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 Four: Past Friends
"Who was it that gave up? Me or you?" - Kuroko Tamaki
The saying 'you could almost hear a pin drop' could be best applied to the current situation at hand, was the thought that Ogiwara Shigehiro had in mind as he eyed the entire court of Touou players that had fallen remarkably silent whilst looking from a still Kuroko Tamaki to Aomine Daiki.
Tamaki had never said anything, but Shigehiro knew that her third year at Teiko had ended badly. Seijuro had said as much.
The redhead wasn't all that happy with how his team had acted during their third year of Teiko either, but there wasn't anything that he could have done. Being the captain doesn't mean that he automatically has magical powers. The same goes for Tamaki. If there is anyone at fault for the team having turned out the way they did during their third year, it is the school system.
Shigehiro had always been closer to Tamaki. She is the one that he had emailed or texted nearly every week after they've gotten their first phones back in middle school. Before they have gotten their phones however, they have written to each other almost weekly. Not to say that he isn't close to Seijuro too. But Tamaki is the one that Shigehiro is closer to.
Hence, he knew, even without Tamaki needing to say anything, that of all the members of her old team, it had been Aomine Daiki who had hurt Tamaki the worse. It had been Aomine Daiki who had made Tamaki cry the way that she did when she had called him months ago just before they have graduated from middle school. It is Aomine Daiki who had caused Tamaki to almost walk away from basketball forever.
Seijuro had also told him in confidence once just after their middle school graduation when they were still debating over their choices of high schools that if the club and Seijuro himself hadn't needed Tamaki as much as they did back then, with the mess that the club had been in after that disastrous match, then she would have probably walked right out of the club without a word right after the end of the championship league.
Tamaki was angry with the entire team for a whole month after that, and barely spoke more than two words to anyone that isn't Seijuro, their manager or even the coach.
That is part of the reason why Tamaki had never tried to find out which schools that her old teammates have gone to. She much preferred to pretend that she never knew them, particularly Aomine Daiki. She would rather pretend that her time in middle school had never happened.
But now, as Shigehiro looked from the stunned expression on Aomine's face to the stiff and frozen expression on Tamaki's face, he started to wonder if maybe the fact that Tamaki had never tried to find out the schools that her former teammates have gone to is a bad idea.
Momoi Satsuki was the first one to break out of her shock.
She had known all along—even before they have started high school that her best friend had gone to Rakuzan with her cousin. They are one of the few students in Teiko who have gotten the scholarships that Rakuzan had offered that year after all. It is just that Momoi wasn't expecting for Tamaki to show up at Touou out of the blue.
The pink haired analyst had known all along that even though officially, Tamaki would be on the regulars of Rakuzan, she would most probably not be playing in matches as she's still undergoing rehabilitation for that injured wrist of hers. Akashi would never allow her to tax her wrist the way she did whenever she played basketball.
Even if Tamaki does play in matches, at most, it'll probably be about two quarters or so. She might be as good as any of her old teammates—she didn't get to be the vice-captain of the Generation of Miracles just because of her tactical skills—but her true skills lies in her tactics and plans.
She is equally dangerous even when off court.
Satsuki let out a high pitched squeal that almost caused every single person in her vicinity to cover their ears with their hands, particularly Imayoshi Shoichi and Harasawa Katsunori who were standing near her, and before anyone even knew what is going on, she had wrapped her arms around Tamaki's neck, hugging her tightly.
"Tamaki-chan! I missed you so much!" Satsuki squealed. "What are you doing here?"
"Well… I came to visit my godfather." Tamaki smiled uneasily at Satsuki, eyes flickering towards the Touou coach. "Shige-kun came with me." She gestured towards Ogiwara Shigehiro who nodded to Satsuki tentatively. The pink haired analyst's eyes widened slightly when she recognised the teen.
"'Lionheart', Ogiwara Shigehiro of Meiko Middle?" Wakamatsu Kyosuke spluttered, wondering why he'd never realised that the teen is in fact one of the few basketball players out there that is on par with the Generation of Miracles.
The disastrous championship league match last season had been one of the reasons why Meiko and Ogiwara have gotten so famous too. There were rumours after that that Teiko's Generation of Miracles had a falling out because of that match.
Shigehiro looked annoyed, and his eye only twitched when Aomine approached Tamaki and Satsuki. Tamaki shot Shigehiro a look and he nodded, staying where he was—leaning against the doorframe of the gym. He'll trust Tamaki to handle herself, and he will only step in when needed.
"Hey Tamaki." Aomine greeted, acting as if nothing had happened at all, completely missing the almost murderous look on Tamaki's face. "Did you come here to find me?"
"It might be a bit of a shock for you to hear, but not everything that I do revolved around you, Aomine-kun." Tamaki almost hissed, a bit of venom in her words. "I would rather not see you again if I could, thank you very much."
The Touou players exchanged looks with each other, and the Touou captain looked particularly interested too. Only a fool wouldn't recognise Ogiwara Shigehiro of Meiko Middle or the vice captain of the Generation of Miracles, 'Mirage' Kuroko Tamaki. You had to be living under a rock for the past three years if you have no idea who they are.
When Aomine and Momoi first came to Touou and the rest of the club had met them for the first time, it was then when the sharper members of the club realised that the dynamics of the legendary team isn't that good, and just maybe, the rumours of the Generation of Miracles having a falling out might just be true. After all, there is always a grain of truth in rumours.
Aomine looked taken aback at Tamaki's words for a moment before he turned his attention towards Shigehiro who is almost glaring at Aomine. The latter hadn't forgotten just how he and the other Teiko regulars save for Tamaki and Seijuro as the two weren't even playing in that match had treated his team.
"I'm surprised that you're still playing." Aomine sneered at Ogiwara. "I thought for sure that you wouldn't even go near basketball after that, just like the rest of your weakling teammates. Why don't you just give up and save yourself the embarrassment, since you can't beat me anyway?"
Ogiwara looked murderous.
"It's almost a surprise." Tamaki glared at Aomine.
By this time, all of Touou were looking from Tamaki to Aomine and back again like they're watching a tennis rally.
"You talking about giving up." Tamaki said, looking at Aomine with cold eyes—the same eyes that she started walking about with ever since the end of the championship league match. "When it was you who gave up on the team long before any of us did. Tell me then, Aomine-kun. Who was it that gave up? Me or you?"
Aomine choked down the slight guilt. "Whatever. No one can beat me anyway. The only one who can beat me is me alone," he declared. "Whatever mediocre team that you go to can't even hope to reach my feet."
"Hah!" Shigehiro snorted in laughter, almost like Aomine had just said something amusing.
Imayoshi narrowed his eyes. Sure, Touou isn't exactly the strongest team out there, but they are still at a level that is comparable to any of the three Kings, and with Aomine's addition that year, their power level had only gone up.
"We'll see about that." Tamaki narrowed her eyes. "If we ever meet on the court in a match, it'll be at the Inter High finals. Rakuzan and Touou are in different districts, and thus, in different blocks."
There was a deadly silence.
"R-Rakuzan?" Susa said at last, going pale. "Did she just say 'Rakuzan'?"
"…The strongest school… The Emperor, Rakuzan High School." Sakurai muttered, face pale.
"Rakuzan is first seed. The only way that you will face us in a match at the Inter High is at the finals." Tamaki stated.
"Well, that is assuming if you can even reach it." Shigehiro said dryly.
Aomine was speechless for a long time, staring at Tamaki like he is seeing her for the first time, and in ways, that might just be true. "…What has happened to you? You never used to be like this."
"Why don't you tell me?" Tamaki said sharply, and Aomine recoiled in confusion. "Never mind. What's done is done." She shook her head. "When you meet Rakuzan in a match, we won't show any mercy. Then maybe you will realise that as much as you think you are unbeatable, you are not. And if you still think so, then press on ahead." She narrowed her eyes. "And we will grind you into the dust."
Tamaki was in an extremely foul mood for the next two days after her scouting mission at Kanagawa and Tokyo respectively.
As such, when Monday rolled about and their vice-captain's mood doesn't seem to be improving in the slightest, the entire Rakuzan team groaned as one as they got ready for practice that day, knowing that practice that day is going to be torture.
All of Rakuzan had learned by now that whether they'd be in constant pain after practice or not depends on their vice-captain's mood.
"The Inter High is in less than a month." Akashi announced during the short briefing session that he had called for with the regulars that day in the first string changing room before practice can begin. "Like every year, it always starts with the preliminaries first to weed out the weaker teams. But as Rakuzan is first seed, we aren't participating in the preliminaries. We'll be going straight to the championship league."
"This year, the most dangerous opponents are mainly from the Tokyo region." Tamaki said next, referring to her clipboard every now and again. "Not to say that the other teams in Kyoto aren't dangerous. We just don't have to worry as much about them as we have to worry about some of the teams in Tokyo."
"But from past experience, they shouldn't give us that much trouble." Nebuya grunted. "We simply breezed through the Inter High last year."
"That's last year." Akashi's eye twitched. "The level of high school basketball is going to be vastly different this year." He pointed out.
The rest of the team looked confused for a moment. It is Shigehiro who is the first one to realise why. "The Generation of Miracles," he said at last, and Tamaki nodded. "They're all in high school this year, and as a result, the level of high school basketball is going to change." He pointed out.
"Got it right in one." Tamaki nodded. "Several teams and schools have already been recruiting from overseas aggressively, getting players that are much taller and larger than the normal high school player." She gestured with the pen in her right hand, drawing several patterns in the air as she did so. "Generation of Miracles." She pointed out. "Can you blame them?"
No. No one could. The Crownless Generals have all faced Teiko at least once during their middle school careers. They knew how formidable that team had been. Teiko's strength isn't to be underestimated. It is almost a miracle that Akashi and Tamaki could form a team like Teiko in just three years when before their appearances, Teiko isn't exactly a strong school in basketball.
"So what are we going to do for the one month before the Inter High begins?" Mibuchi asked. The effeminate second year almost regretted that question when he spotted the identical glints in the eyes of the captain and vice-captain.
"I'm glad that you've asked, Reo." Akashi said smoothly. "I've seen the video of the practice match that the second string had with Miyamoto High School. It is true that we've won, but I'm not that happy with their standard. Hence, I'll be doubling up their training regime. And that of the third string too. Just because they won't even get to sit on the bench during matches doesn't mean that they should slack off on their training." The frown on Akashi's face told everyone present that clearly, their captain had seen the notes and stats on the players from the lower strings that Tamaki had made, and he isn't happy. "Double training regime. For all of them."
Mibuchi winced, feeling sorry for them. In Akashi's dictionary, a double training regime is enough to kill anyone. And if it is their vice captain who is taking over the training of the lower strings… May God help them.
"I won't be helping with their training directly." Tamaki said almost as if she had just read Mibuchi's mind. "The managers of the second and third strings will be doing that. I'm just supervising and telling them what to get the second and third strings to work on. The coach told me specifically to assist with the training of the regulars and the first string, especially with the tournament season coming up. So…" Tamaki referred to her clipboard. "You're going to be working on stamina, muscle and coordination play today." She announced. "Double training regimes for all of you." Hayama squeaked in shock, and Nebuya looks as if he'd just swallowed a lemon. "All of you, lead blocks on before you go." Akashi nudged the carton box that contained all the lead blocks with his foot. "Fifty jumping jacks and sprints as warm ups before an additional ten rounds around the school." This time, even Shigehiro looked as if he is about to die. "If you can't finish all that in two hours, then there will be a weight increase."
That was the wail coming from all the regulars.
"Tama-chan, are you TRYING to kill us?" Hayama wailed, almost in tears at the thought of the insane training regime lined up for them. He'll be lucky if he can still move after practice that day. "Noooooo! I don't want to die that early!"
Shigehiro's face was pale at the thought of the regime that day waiting for them.
"We'll be going through the same thing too, so I don't want to hear any complaints." Akashi lectured with one hand on his hip. "We went through the same training regime back in Teiko. If we can survive that, then you can."
He neglected to mention the fact that Tamaki had already watered down the training a lot, as it's the team's first time going through that training regime. Their Teiko coach is insane when it comes to their training. There are times when Akashi had wondered if anyone had ever sued their old coach for child labour.
"…If we can somehow survive this, then we'll no doubt grow stronger." Mibuchi muttered, pale in the face. "May God be with us…" He prayed.
Tamaki rolled her eyes slightly with the antics of her teammates, being reminded of the reactions of her old team when their coach had first presented them with their training regime back during their freshman year in Teiko.
"If you have the energy to complain, then you have the energy to train. Come on! Everyone out!" She pointed at the door of the locker room. "I want you all on the courts in thirty minutes!"
With loud groans, the team filed out as one, all looking as if they were about to head to the executioner's, leaving Akashi and Tamaki behind in the suddenly quiet changing room, the door swinging shut slightly.
The two cousins eyed each other contemplatively even as Tamaki sat on the bench in the middle of the changing room, flipping through one of her files that she had data on all possible opposing teams that they might go against in the near future.
"They'll complain, but they'll thank us for it soon enough." Akashi told his cousin.
Tamaki said nothing for several moments before she looked at Akashi. "Did you know that Satsuki and Aomine-kun are in Touou?" she asked, and Akashi nodded. "Why didn't you tell me that?"
"Because I believe that you're strong enough to overcome whatever issues that you have with Daiki." Akashi said smoothly. "I know you, Tama. You're not that weak. And neither is Shige." He then sighed. "Onto other matters… About that senior that we've been talking about all week… Are you certain that he'll turn up?"
"He will." Tamaki nodded with confidence. "I can see it in his eyes that day. He's still got some fire and fight left in him. He's like us. He doesn't know how to give up. He is hungry to win. And it is someone like that that I want on the team. Rakuzan is going to take the basketball world by storm this year. And this time… I won't make the same mistake that I did back in Teiko." She closed her eyes briefly. "Never again."
The bodies of the first string regulars could be seen sprawled all over the court nearly three hours later after practice had commenced, looking as if they're dead.
Ogiwara Shigehiro was lying with his back flat on the ground, wondering if anyone would mind if he just spend the night here since his muscles are already groaning, and he really doubts that he would be able to drag himself back to his dorm room. Nebuya was muttering something whilst hugging a ball to his chest. Mibuchi is the only one still able to somehow remain standing, though he is currently hunched over on his knees, panting heavily. Hayama on the other hand was moaning incoherently, his body twitching slightly, with his fingers even more so. He seriously doubts that he will be able to use his writing hand for class tomorrow or even do his homework that night.
"…Kotaro, you still alive?" Mibuchi panted, looking over at their Small Forward, resisting the urge to just crumple onto the ground.
"No…" Hayama moaned, groaning in pain. "…She's a demon…"
"That confirms it." Nebuya moaned, rolling over so that he is lying on his back, staring up at the ceiling of the gym. "Akashi and Tamaki are not human. There is no way that anyone could have completed that insane regime!" He complained loudly.
"Keep complaining and they're going to increase your training regime." Shigehiro groaned, forcing himself into a sitting position, ignoring his groaning muscles. He knew his two childhood friends well. They might be hard on the team, but he knew that they're even harder on themselves. It wouldn't surprise Shigehiro if Akashi and Tamaki's training regimes are two times harder than theirs.
"Well, don't you lot look tired?" Akashi teased as both the redhead and Tamaki entered the court. The two cousins looked tired, but not as much as their teammates. He only received a low groan from Hayama. "I'll give you thirty minutes to rest. Congratulations on managing to complete this much. I'll give you that at least. Back in Teiko, it took the rest of our team nearly six months before they could manage to complete their training regime."
"…I can see why they call Teiko a monster team now." Mibuchi groaned, dropping himself onto the ground as well, not caring about appearances any longer. "If you have to go through this for three years, you're bound to be strong."
Tamaki was about to say something, but she was interrupted by the sudden appearance of the second string manager, Fujiwara Reiya. "Sorry to interrupt." The freshman manager interrupted, looking rather startled at the sorry states of the regulars. To her credit, she chose to ignore it however, and turned towards Tamaki. "Vice-Cap, a senior by the name of Mayuzumi is here for you."
Tamaki raised a brow. That took him faster than she'd thought. She then nodded in thanks to Fujiwara. "Thank you. You should return to the second string players."
"Yes." Fujiwara bowed politely to Tamaki and Akashi before leaving to return to her duties by overseeing the training of the second string players.
"Well, that didn't take him long." Akashi said, amused. "I'll take over the training from here. Go and see to him, Tama. If your plan works out, we don't have to worry so much about putting you in matches whilst you're still in rehabilitation."
"Yeah." Tamaki nodded. She then picked up a stray basketball at her feet before turning and leaving the first string gym. Mayuzumi Chihiro was just standing outside the doors of the first string gym, peering inside curiously. "Are you ready to try again?" Tamaki asked Mayuzumi the moment she closed the doors of the gym behind her.
Mayuzumi nodded. "I don't know how far I can go, but I'm willing to give it another go," he said. "It's my final year of high school after all. I don't want to leave behind any regrets."
"I understand." Tamaki said, nodding solemnly, eyeing him from head to toe. "You have good hand to eye coordination. I can see that from the moment when I've first met you. And as a Power Forward, you already have some fundamentals in the basics. I'll teach you to max out those skills, and also to help you with the potential that you have in spades, but have no idea how to use." She paused. "I'll help you, Mayuzumi-sempai. We won't make it in time to ready you for the Inter High. But you'll be ready once the Winter Cup arrives. I'll make it so that you can stand with the rest of the regulars on the court."
Mayuzumi smirked at Tamaki. "Please go easy on me."
A/N: I apologise if it seems a tad bit rushed. Also, do you want me to skip right to the Winter Cup or go into detail about the Inter High? And sorry to all Seirin fans, but they won't be appearing much in this story. Anyway, I hope that you like this chapter, and please read and review! Reviews give me inspiration to update!