Seeing Akashi’s eyes open to reveal two red irises and a kind smile on his face, you gasped, letting out a happy sob as you felt Akashi’s hand gently caress your cheek, wiping the tears away.
“I’m sorry (___), I’m back now” Akashi apologised, smiling as you felt a happy smile form on your own face.
“Hey, can someone please explain what’s going on?” asked a member of Akashi’s team, voicing his confusion. Akashi sat himself up a little, smiling at his teammate apologetically.
“My apologies Kotaru, Mibuchi, Nebuya, Chihiro… I’m alright, and I’ll explain it all later. We have a game to play after all” Akashi explained, smiling gently at his team mates. You couldn’t suppress your happiness any longer, tackling Akashi in a tight hug. Akashi froze, wondering what had tackled him tightly but let out a light chuckle as he wrapped his spare arm around you, holding you reassuringly as your trembles began to fade away.
“It’s alright (___), I’m here, I’m not going anywhere…” Akashi reassured you, pushing himself up so he was sitting, then began to gently run a hand through your hair. You sniffed, trying to hold back your tears.
“I’m so sorry… about everything that happened… I never wanted any of it to happen…” you apologised, whimpering a little. Akashi let out a light chuckle, a smile on his face as his team mates watched in confusion, unused to such a sight.
“(___), fear not, let’s put it behind us. Come now, we should be returning to the game” Akashi reassured, pulling you gently by your shoulders back, smiling. You smiled back down at him, hearing Kuroko step beside you. Looking up at him, you flashed him a bright, tear filled smile as he offered you a hand up. You grabbed his hand, feeling him pull you to your feet. Akashi stood up a second later, smiling at Kuroko kindly.
“Tetsuya, I leave (___) in your care for the match, take care of her for me” Akashi stated, earning a nod from Kuroko. Kagami stood behind you, chuckling to himself with a big grin plastered on his face.
“I promise Akashi-kun” Kuroko answered, smiling happily back at his friend. The coach approached Akashi, looking at him in concern.
“Are you alright to continue?” the coach asked. Akashi turned to look back at him, nodding.
“Yes, I apologise for the scene. I will explain everything after the match. But I am okay to continue. I look forward to finishing this match against Seirin” Akashi explained, bowing his head in apology to the coach. The coach and all his team mates looked shocked from seeing this behavior from Akashi.
“(___)!!!” yelled a voice from the crowd, making you turn to see Aomine, Kise, Midorima, Murasakibara and Satsuki all leaning against the railing and looking at you in a mixture of disbelief and happiness. Satsuki was waving madly with Kise, Murasakibara gave a small wave while Midorima pushed his glasses up his face, a small smile on his face. Aomine was grinning madly, the beginning of what looked like tears running down his cheeks. You smiled brightly, waving to the group as they chatted excitedly to each other. Riko walked up to you, smiling as she offered you her hand. Smiling, you took it and began to walk back to the Seirin bench.
In a matter of seconds, the second half of the match continued. You sat on the bench, watching happily as both teams began playing for the ball.
“GO SEIRIN! GO RAKUZAN! DO YOUR BEST!!” you shouted, cheering from the side lines. Riko giggled alongside you, knowing that you weren’t going to pick a side. You were practically on the edge of your seat, watching in suspense as the match continued until the final seconds. If Seirin didn’t manage this score then Rakuzan was going to win. You held your breath, seeing Kuroko about to make the final shot. Akashi jumped up, attempting to stop Kuroko’s shot.
“It’s over Kuroko!!” he shouted, glaring down as Kuroko smiled up at him.
“Not yet. I am a shadow” Kuroko stated, shooting the ball up and over Akashi. Kagami jumped up, catching the ball and shot it into the basket, performing an alley-oop. You gasped in shock, everyone else equally shocked as the buzzer sounded, Seirin’s score only one point ahead of Rakuzan.
“WE DID IT!!!” shouted all members of Seirin as Kuroko and Kagami, and everyone else, began cheering and screaming loudly, tears in their eyes. Riko and the others on the bench jumped up to their feet, running to the team as the group formed a large tackle hug, celebrating and cheering happily. You watched from your spot on the bench, seeing the defeated faces of the Rakuzan team members. Akashi had the beginning of what looked like tears forming in his eyes, clutching at the front of his shirt. You smiled sadly, standing from your spot and walking to him. You gently took his hand, placing it on your hand and gently placed your other hand over it, holding him as if he were a fine piece of China. Akashi looked up at you, looking puzzled as you smiled kindly at him.
“I know it’s painful now, but there’s always next time? The good thing about basketball, and anything really, is that no one stays at the top forever. The best at the game this year could be the first team knocked out next year, it always changes as the team practices and grows stronger” you stated, seeing him look shocked before a smile formed on his face. You nodded, knowing he was going to be okay now. Stepping aside, you let Akashi’s hand slip from yours. He walked forward, heading to Kuroko. Kuroko watched him, seeing Akashi hold out his hand for a handshake.
“Congratulations. This was your, no, your team’s win Kuroko” Akashi congratulated. Kuroko smiled back, taking his hand and giving it a firm shake.
“Right. I look forward to facing you again next year Akashi-kun” Kuroko replied, a warm smile on his face. You giggled happily, watching the sight.
“Hey, excuse me? But, can I ask how you know our captain?” asked an uncertain voice behind you. You turned, smiling at the blonde.
“Certainly. I’m (___) (___), I’m a childhood friend of Akashi’s. You’re a team mate of his right? You’re the one he called Kotaru, right?” you replied, seeing his eyes sparkle excitedly.
“You remembered me? I’m honored miss!” he exclaimed, almost looking like a dog with his tail wagging happily. You giggled, smiling as the other team members walked up to you.
“You’re a very pretty little thing, but you look sickly, are you alright?” asked an overly feminine boy with black hair who you learnt was called Mibuchi.
“T-Thank you… I probably look a bit sickly because I’ve actually been in a coma for three years recently. I was hit by a car and I only just woke up not long ago” you answered, seeing them look shocked.
“Was the driver charged?” asked the silver haired boy called Chihiro. You thought to yourself for a second.
“I haven’t heard anything about it. My guess is it was dealt with while I was asleep. They weren’t actually sure I was going to wake up for a while apparently” you replied, earning a laugh from the big black guy called Nebuya.
“At least you’re here now!” he exclaimed, swinging his arm, hitting you harshly on the arm, sending you flying a little. You didn’t feel the floor though, only feeling arms catch you and hold you steady. You glanced up to see Akashi looking at you worriedly.
“Are you alright? I know Nebuya can be a little uncontrollable…” he asked, glaring quickly up at Nebuya who flinched, looking apologetically at the ground. You giggled a little, standing on your own and letting Akashi talk to his teammates. You couldn’t help but feel overwhelming relief and happiness flow through you, watching Akashi talking with his teammates with a smile on his face. A genuine smile, not the false ‘emperor’ smile he’d been wearing at the beginning of the match. Turning to see Kuroko talking with his Seirin teammates, you smiled to yourself as you slinked off, exiting the court and heading over to meet up with the other generation of miracles. They must’ve wanted to catch up as well, so you wasted no time trying to get to the auditorium.
After you’d gone down a few hallways, you spotted someone out the corner of your vision. You froze to the spot, seeing him freeze equally to the spot, staring at you in shock and horror. Masaomi Akashi, staring at you in horror and as if he were holding back the urge to strike you.
“You…” he hissed, his shock fading as his expression turned into pure rage. You gasped, stepping back. To him, three years had passed, but for you, it felt like only a few months since you’d last seen him, so the fear was still fresh. He took a step towards you, making you turn on your heel and begin a mad dash for the auditorium. He couldn’t do anything in a crowd.
“Get back here!!” Masaomi shouted after you, running after you as quickly as he could. You hadn’t even spotted Akashi who’d come out looking for you. He spotted your figure running away as he saw his father run after you, freezing in shock.
“(___)!” he shouted, running after his father. He had to get to you before his father did!
Turning a corner and running up the stairs as quickly as you could, you burst into the auditorium and spotted the Generation of Miracles all chatting in the stands.
“Guys!” you shouted, catching Aomine’s attention first. He turned, spotting you running to them. He smiled, lifting a hand to wave before pausing at your expression. Seeing Masaomi hot on your heels, he gasped, standing to his feet.
“Oi! Murasakibara!” Aomine shouted, making Murasakibara look up sleepily. He turned, spotting the scene before standing, walking so he was standing directly in your path. You didn’t have time to stop, bumping into him, but he caught and supported you. Shifting you so you were now behind him, he glared down at Masaomi who had stopped in his tracks, but was glaring. Aomine took your shoulders from behind, looking down at you in concern.
“(___)! Are you alright?” Satsuki asked, rushing up to you in concern. You nodded shakily, exhausted from running.
“Ehh…? What’s Mr Aka-chin doing chasing (___)-chin? I won’t forgive you if you hurt her again…” Murasakibara asked, sending a sharp glare at Masaomi. He growled under his breath, unshaken by Murasakibara’s words.
“It would be wise if you left Mr Akashi… You wouldn’t want to face us all” Kise declared, stepping around the three of you and standing beside Murasakibara. Midorima stood from his seat, smirking as he adjusted his glasses on his face.
“I agree with Kise… For multiple reasons, including the one behind you…” Midorima stated, smirking as Masaomi raised a brow, turning before gasping to see Akashi standing behind him, a dark glare on his face.
“Seijirou… Is she the reason you lost today!? You’re an Akashi! You are not allowed to lose, otherwise you are unworthy of being an Akashi!” Masaomi declared but Akashi’s glare didn’t fade.
“Father… Are you the reason for what happened three years ago? Are you the reason she tried to leave? You’re the reason she ran out blindly and ended up getting hurt? You must’ve been thrilled the moment you heard of her condition, and that’s why you told me to forget about her! You told me she wasn’t going to ever wake up and that I should just move on with my life! Why father!?” Akashi shouted, his glare dissolving into an expression of hurt. Everyone watched in shock, this being one of the first times they’d ever seen such an expression on Akashi’s face. Masaomi glared, balling his hands into a fist.
“I did it for you! You are an Akashi! We are absolute! We only marry or socialize with only the very best! These misfits are only dragging you down!” Masaomi yelled, his expression one of pure rage. Akashi lowered his head, staring at the floor.
“Wasn’t Mother one of those misfits though?” Akashi asked. In a matter of seconds, before anyone had time to react, a loud smack was heard and Akashi’s face had been turned, a red mark on his cheek. You gasped, raising your hands to cover your mouth in shock. Akashi didn’t react though, he just raised his head to look up at Masaomi.
“I’m right, aren’t I? You couldn’t handle Mother’s passing, so as a form of grieving, you pretended she never existed. That might’ve worked just fine for you, but as a ten year old child in the fifth grade, that method of grieving doesn’t work! It only damages them! I ended up broken, my personality began to warp to cope with the pressure and pain. I finally found refuge in basketball, then (___) came back into my life. I felt like I could handle anything life threw at me then, but you just had to ruin that too, didn’t you? You took (___) from me, then slowly I began to lose basketball. I lost it and turned into someone completely different. I ended up hurting all those that I love, I even hurt (___) when she returned… But I’m back now, and I don’t intend to let anyone hurt (___) ever again!” Akashi declared, raising his head and glaring at Masaomi in determination. You watched in shock, hearing everything from his side of the story, tears forming in your eyes.
“Why…? Why is this one girl so important to you Seijirou? There are thousands of other people out there” Masaomi asked, his voice finally calm. Akashi closed his eyes, as if preparing himself, then looked up at his father with a gentle smile.
“Why…? Because I love her of course” Akashi stated, making you gasp and freeze to the spot. Masaomi gasped in shock as well as you heard the other Generation of Miracles gasp at the sudden declaration. Masaomi was the first to recover, his shoulders slacking.
“I see… It’s like when I was young, and I fell in love with your mother… I apologise Seijirou… I lost myself, and I never realized how much I was hurting you. I know words can’t fix the past, but I’ll leave you be. Come see me later and we can talk more” Masaomi apologised, bowing his head for the first time to Akashi. Akashi blinked in shock, silently gasping as he watched Masaomi turn to you, bowing in apology as well. He raised his head, turning and exiting the auditorium. You were still frozen in shock, unable to process what had just happened.
“(___)” Akashi stated, walking up to you and looking you in the eyes. You felt Aomine’s hands on your shoulders slacken as he backed off, dragging Satsuki back with him. She squirmed, trying to get away, but Aomine just laughed.
“Oi, (___), you better come hang with us after you’ve finished talking to Mr Bossy here, okay?” Aomine declared, laughing as he grabbed Satsuki. She squealed, yelling insults at him which earned laughter from the group as they left. You turned your attention back to Akashi, seeing the kind smile on his face.
“I know my declaration probably caught you off guard, so I don’t expect an answer straight away-…” Akashi began to say before you’d recovered from your shock. Tears began to fall down your face, making him stop mid-sentence. A huge smile formed on your face as you suddenly tackled him in a hug, wrapping your arms around his neck as you buried your face in his shoulder.
“Me too!” you replied, feeling him freeze before he wrapped his arms around your waist, pulling you in closer for a tight hug. He buried his face into your hair, one hand rising to gently stroke your long hair.
“(___)… Thank you… I swear I will make us happy…” Akashi vowed, earning a giggle from you. He paused, confused by your laughter.
“Silly Akashi… It not you that had to make us happy, it’s the both of us” you corrected him, smiling happily. You couldn’t see Akashi’s face, but you could tell a content smile had formed on his face as he snuggled his face into your hair.