A/N: Thanks to ArrowHawk for introducing me to this anime/manga series :D It really is awesome. I hope you guys enjoy this fic J
Edited: 9 November 2014
A/N: This chapter has been edited. Please reread.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything except Hikari and she is not in any way related to Eiji or Kozo Shirogane.
Shirogane Hikari stood a little ways away from the booth as she watched her cousin place their sign-up forms for the Seirin High School's basketball team right infront of the girl sitting at the booth, without her noticing at all. She had applied to be manager of the team if they did not have one already. She stared idly at the bustling school grounds, wondering how the students could actually not notice Kuroko.
To be fair though, she had spent the past 14 years with him, making it much easier to feel his presence. After her parents had died in a car crash when she was two, Kuroko's parents, her mother's sister and her husband, took her in. She'd been with Kuroko ever since.
Her cousin returned to her side, and she said in a deadpan voice both her and Kuroko were known for, "Do you think we'll get in? I hear Seirin's basketball team isn't bad. They even made it to the final league of the Inter-High preliminaries last year."
"I think there's a fairly high chance of it. But I'm not too sure," came his reply.
Hikari gave a small noise of agreement. The pair just stood there, unnoticed by other students, a soft breeze ruffling their hair, and just enjoying each other's company. A flash of red caught the white-haired girl's eye.
Tilting her chin in the booth's direction, she said, "Tetsu-nii, look."
Kuroko's teal eyes swiveled towards where Hikari was indicating, and saw a tall redhead holding one of the upperclassmen by the collar. He then sat down and filled out a sign-up form. His large frame looked to be very muscular, much like-. Hikari halted that line of thought and shook her head to get rid of the mental image forming in her head.
As soon as the redhead left, the upperclassmen at the booth seemed to have noticed Kuroko and Hikari's sign-up forms.
At the booth…
"Manager?" Aida Riko questioned, looking at one of the forms which had mysteriously appeared on the desk, "Do we need one?"
"Ne Riko, with you working as both manager and coach, it must be tiring for you. Don't you think with someone to help out with the manger duties, you can focus more on coaching?" Hyuga Junpei, team captain pointed out.
Rubbing her chin thoughtfully, Riko mused, "Hm… That's actually not a bad idea, Hyuga-kun."
"Well, we'll see tomorrow, when this Shirogane Hikari shows up," Riko set down that form and picked up the other form.
Her chocolate orbs grew wide as they took in the middle school of the applicant.
"Regular of T-Teiko?! Since this guy is a first-year, he could be one of the Generation of Miracles!" Riko exclaimed, causing both Koga and Hyuga to look at the form as well.
"Why didn't I see this golden egg?!" the petite coach wailed.
Hikari giggled softly as she and Kuroko watched the brunette freak out. Even Kuroko cracked a small smile. Beckoning to the girl, Kuroko said, "Come, Hikari. Let's head to class."
At the tryouts the next day…
A handful of first-years stood infront of the basketball team, each filled with excitement. Hikari stood to the side, watching yet again as Kuroko went unnoticed.
"Alright, you are all here to try out for the basketball team. Do you have what it takes to be on the team?" Hyuga shouted to the group of hopefuls.
Soft murmurs came from the first-years, some tittering about Riko being the manager; those were quickly corrected by Hyuga. Riko smirked evilly and stepped forward, blowing sharply on the whistle hanging around her neck, calling the attention of those before her.
"Take off your shirts!" she commanded.
The boys' eyes grew large and their mouths gaped. Was she serious?
"Coach's father is a personal sports trainer. She grew up learning to see every capability of a body just by looking at it. She can determine the height, weight, strength, speed and flexibility, plus the faults and strengths of your separate body-parts, for example your legs, which is useful for her to figure out how to best improve on your abilities. So take your shirts off now!" Hyuga explained.
Within a couple of seconds, the muscular or not-so-muscular bodies of the basketball hopefuls were 'presented' to the analytical eye of Riko. She surveyed them, a mental image of their stats appearing in her mind. She gave some tips to each one as she made her way down the line. They weren't bad, but they could use some training…
Riko stopped infront of the last guy in line. He had dark red hair and menacing crimson eyes that stared straight at Riko. Her mouth fell open as she saw his toned, muscled body. Such raw strength! He must have worked out a lot… Images of what kind of training she could put the rest of the team under to get this kind of body ran through her brain, Riko started to drool, Hyuga's concerned "Coach?" only managing to snap her out of her trance.
Hikari had to admit, that last guy really was something. For a first-year to have such a body was rather impressive. She was willing to bet that the other guys on the team didn't even have such muscle definition. Of course, he couldn't beat- Hikari shook her head, a few ivory strands escaping from their place in her braid. Why did she keep thinking about him?
She returned her attention to the tryouts, only to see Kuroko scare the living daylights out of Riko as he seemingly appeared out of thin air. The usual reactions followed. Bulging eyes, a yelp of surprise or two, and the fly-catching mouths. After that, he took his shirt off as well.
Riko narrowed her eyes as Kuroko's stats appeared. How was this guy even a regular? His body looked so weak! He only had the lightest layer of muscle covering his body, not what one would expect from a member of the Generation of Miracles. All hopes of him being the phantom sixth man went flying out the second-storey window.
"Shirogane Hikari! Are you here?" Riko called out, looking around and praying fervently that the girl wouldn't pull a Kuroko and pop out of nowhere.
Sadly, her prayers went unanswered. Riko felt a tap on her shoulder, and heard a smooth voice say, "Sumimasen, I'm here."
There was a moment of silence.
"Ahhhh! When did you get here?" Riko screeched, pointing at Hikari.
Eyes that seemed to be different shades of blue swirling around stared at her through the girl's bangs, long white hair fell almost to the small of her back in a neat braid, the girl's curvy figure was prominent in the school uniform, her generous bosom straining against the stiff fabric of the white shirt since the girl had forgone the black sweater, causing Riko to subconsciously cross her arms under her small chest. The girl was quite tall, towering over Riko at about 165cm.
"Ano, I was here since the very beginning…" All those present simultaneously sweat dropped.
"Are you and Kuroko related or something? Both appearing so suddenly…" Riko mumbled to herself.
Giving Riko a sheepish smile, Hikari answered, "Yes actually," Riko's head snapped up, "we're cousins."
"Oh. I see." Riko paused for a moment before she continued, "So, you applied to be manager?"
Receiving a nod in response, Riko smiled almost evilly and said, "Okay! You're our manager now."
She then set a stack of papers in the unsuspecting girl's arms.
"You can go settle these now," the petite coach grinned at the shocked Hikari.
Hikari was flabbergasted. She was just going to let her join? Just like that?! Even Satsuki had to go through an interview first before she could become manager! Barely managing to give the coach a small nod and an almost unheard "Thank you Aida-san", Hikari grabbed the papers and went off. The rest were dismissed.
Sitting at her desk at home, Hikari found a huge mess of accounts, member data, training schedules and other things all shoved into the stack of paper. She sighed as she began sorting Riko's messy paperwork. Riko really should have gotten a manager sooner, wasting the precious time that could have been used for training on doing paperwork. It must have taken a toll on Riko's body.
A soft 'thunk' on her table roused her from her paperwork-induced haze; Hikari looked up to see Kuroko standing beside her, a glass of warm milk sitting on the desk. He had been quieter than usual after encountering the redhead, Kagami Taiga earlier that evening at the basketball court near their home.
He'd challenged Kuroko to a one-on-one and had obviously won in the end. Then he went on to give a 'speech' on the strong and the weak. That conversation they had must have really affected Kuroko a lot.
"Hikari-chan, go to sleep. It's getting late," Kuroko's brow furrowed as he took in Hikari's tired face.
Said girl yawned and raised her arms above her head, getting rid of the kinks in her back that had formed due to her sitting down for so long. Turning to her concerned cousin, Hikari gave him a small smile, "Oyasumi, Tetsu-nii."
The door shut quietly as Hikari sipped at the milk Kuroko had left for her, the warm liquid giving her a rush of comfort. Setting the glass back on the table, she completed her nightly hygiene ritual before checking her phone. To her surprise, there was a message.
Hey babe, this is my new number. How was your day? Mine was boring.
Hikari's lips quirked up a little.
I'm the new manager of the basketball team. If you'd pay more attention in class, then it won't be so boring.
Hikari put down her phone and climbed into bed, letting the curtain of darkness wash over her mind.
Bored blue eyes stared out the window, watching as the raindrops raced their way down the glass panels. Hikari was seated on one of the window ledges, with a pile of completed paperwork next to her. Riko had taken advantage of the rain to put up a match between the first and second-years, it seemed to be going well. Kagami was playing well; stealing the ball from the second-years with relative ease and dunking it straight in the hoop. Kuroko had yet to 'make an appearance'.
Looking away from the game, Hikari stared out at the stormy sky. It was her kind of weather, perfect for staying at home and reading, or watching a good movie. Warm milk would be good too. Her mind wandered to a scene from long ago…
"Ne, Hikari. What are we watching?" he asked from the couch.
Looking back at him over her shoulder, Hikari grinned. She plucked out a disc case from her collection and slid it into the player.
"I'm not telling you," she stuck her tongue out at him before joining him.
His long muscular arms wrapped around her instinctively, pulling her closer to him. Nuzzling his face in her hair, he took in the vanilla scent she always had. She reached for the remote on the table, but because she was trapped in his arms, she couldn't reach it. He chuckled and retrieved it with ease, making her pout.
The movie started, inciting a groan from him as he realized it wasn't an action movie, but rather a comedy. But looking down at the girl in his arms, he made himself comfortable as the movie played. The rain pounding on the windows outside only added to the calmness.
A piercing whistle signaling the end of training roused Hikari from her memories, and she got down from the ledge, blinking as a single tear made its way down her cheeks. It was quickly wiped away. Gathering up the papers, Hikari made her way to the court, where Riko handed a few sheets of notes she had made to her.
"Alright, we're done for the day. Don't forget to cool down and stretch out your muscles before you leave. Remember to hydrate yourselves and rest well," Riko gave a last-minute reminder to the players, who headed for the showers.
Turning to Hikari, she started, "Shirogane."
"You can call me Hikari, Aida-san," Hikari cut in.
"Oh, alright. But only if you call me Riko." Riko just sweat dropped at Hikari's formal address.
Nodding, Hikari replied, "Hai, Riko-senpai."
Riko shook her head at the polite girl, but began explaining all the duties she would need to undertake as team manager. Said manager listened with rapt attention, noting down all the important details in a little book.
So, she would need to make sure when the team went for games, they had enough water to drink and food to eat if needed. She also had to arrange all practice games, training venues, etc. Riko and Hyuga would assist her, but she was mainly the one in-charge.
Hikari scrolled through the pictures in her phone as she waited in line for her turn to order at Maji Burger. After ordering, she returned to her and Kuroko's seat, only to find Kagami there as well, a large pile of burgers infront of him, and one in Kuroko's hand.
"Hello, Kagami-kun. What a surprise to see you here again," Hikari greeted, sliding into the seat next to Kuroko.
"Shirogane," was the curt reply.
Scarlet orbs stared at her as she handed one vanilla milkshake to Kuroko and began sipping at her own. An orange wrapped burger made its way from Kagami's side of the table to hers, only to be deftly caught in her slender hand.
"Nice reflexes," Kagami commented.
Hikari nodded in acknowledgement and thanks before she unwrapped the offered burger and bit into it.
"Just how strong is the Generation of Miracles?" Kagami asked on the way home.
Two pairs of blue eyes turned to him.
"If I played them now, how would I do?" he continued, not wavering under the scrutiny of their gaze.
Kuroko replied in a flat tone, "You'd be destroyed instantly."
At the same time, Hikari also said, "They'd crush you."
Kagami sweat dropped.
"Do you have to put it like that?" he asked in an irate tone.
The pair infront of him gave him a look.
"The five prodigies have gone on to play for their own schools," Hikari stated, with a sad look on her face.
Kuroko elaborated, "One of those schools will stand at the top."
"That's great. That's the kind of thing that lights a fire in me," Kagami gave an unexpected chuckle, causing the pair to shoot him sideways glances.
"I've decided," the monstrously tall redhead said with an air of finality, "I'll crush all of them and become Japan's best player."
There was a moment of silence to allow the heavy statement to sink into the already tense atmosphere, before Kuroko said, "I don't think that's possible."
That earned him a loud "Hey!" from Kagami, causing Hikari to quietly giggle at Kuroko's anticlimactic statement. They stood at a traffic junction, waiting for the light to turn green.
Kuroko just looked at the taller boy impassively, "If you had hidden talent, I wouldn't know. But, from what I've seen, you wouldn't even reach their feet."
The unlikely trio crossed the road.
"You can't do it alone." Kuroko said as he stepped onto the pavement.
But he continued, "I've decided."
This incited a "Hm?" from a confused Kagami.
"I'm a shadow. But the stronger the light, the darker the shadow, and the more it accentuates the brightness of the light. I will be the shadow to your light and make you the best player in Japan," the teal-haired boy stared straight at redhead before him with a serious expression on his usually blank face.
Kagami made a noise of surprise, but smirked, "Look who's talking. Do whatever you want."
Smiling, Kuroko replied, "I'll do my best."
That day was the happiest Hikari had seen Kuroko ever since he'd quit the Teiko basketball team. Maybe things would work out. Just maybe.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this chapter! It was more of an introduction than an actual chapter. Stay tuned for the next one!
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