lacewood: (Default)
Pei Yi ([personal profile] lacewood) wrote in [community profile] toxicskyremix2012-11-11 11:03 am

kuroko no basket - like minds

Vague spoilers for Winter Cup.


Match days have always been exhausting, but this Winter Cup, it feels like they’ve more draining than ever. It’s just after 8 when Riko gets home after the Kaijou match, but she’s so tired it feels like it must be later - and she wasn’t even the one standing on the court.

Her phone beeps as she drops her bag on her bed, and she sighs. It’s probably just a message from Hyuuga about tomorrow’s meeting, but she doesn’t put it past the team to get themselves in trouble at the worst possible time, so she checks anyway.

Can you come down for a minute? the message asks.

She blinks. She has the numbers of everyone on the team and most of her friends saved, but she doesn’t know this number.

Who is this?

Look outside your window ^_^

She stares at her phone. What is this, a stalker?! Then she gets up and marches to her window because any idiot stupid enough to think this is funny deserves what’s coming to them. She throws the window open, ready to yell, and instead gapes at the girl standing on the pavement below.

Momoi flashes a v-sign up at her. “Hi.”

“What are you doing here?” she demands, disbelieving.

“Why don’t you come down and find out?” Momoi says.

Riko twitches. Doesn’t she have anything better to do, like stalk Kuroko instead? It would serve her right if Riko ignored her and left her out in the cold. But Momoi’s not a total idiot, so there must be some sort of reason she’s here. In the end, Riko heads downstairs to open the front door.

“Come in,” she orders, because she has no intention of going back out into the winter cold.

Momoi follows her into the dining room and after a brief wrestle with her conscience, Riko asks, “Tea?”

“If it’s not too much trouble...” Momoi demurs without actually looking apologetic about it.

“You’re already troubling me,” Riko points out and gets the kettle out. Five minutes later, she sets two steaming cups of green tea on the table, sits down and folds her arms. “Well? What is it?”

Momoi pulls a folder out of her bag and slides it across the table. “A present before your next match,” she says and dimples.

Riko doesn’t trust that smile any further than she can throw it but she flips the folder open anyway. She stares at the first page, then turns and keeps turning until she’s skimmed the contents of the entire file. She looks back up at Momoi.

“This is Rakuzan’s data,” she says. It’s every single member of the Rakuzan team broken down into names, pictures, records, spreadsheets, with a couple of DVDs tucked into the back with what must be videos of their practices or matches.

Momoi nods. Her smile still hovers in the corners of her mouth but the eyes fixed on Riko’s face are watchful.

“Why are you giving me this?” she asks, eyes narrowed. Information about an opponent is always valuable, but data like this, on the level that Momoi is handing her, is priceless. Numbers on a page might not seem like much to a layman, but Seirin will need all the edge they can get against Rakuzan and this could make a difference. This could make the difference.

But at what price?

Momoi’s smile quirks up again. “Suspicious? Don’t worry, I’m not asking for anything in return.”

Riko just frowns at her. “Does Touou know you’re here?” she asks.

“No. But Touou’s out of the tournament, so we won’t be able to use this anyway, right? So of course I’ll be on Kuroko’s side now!“

The words are light but there’s something in the way Momoi won’t meet her eyes. Riko doesn’t really know what happened at Teikou - Kagami might know more, but she’s pretty sure even he doesn’t know the full story. Maybe no one truly does. But Riko remembers what she saw of Aomine, and the expression on Momoi’s face when she ran to Seirin in the rain.

What she guesses is something made the Generation of Miracles, and maybe... the same something fractured them.

“You... don’t like Akashi, do you?” she says.

Momoi looks down at the table, her fingers curling around the cup in her hands. “It doesn’t matter whether I like Akashi,” she finally says. “He’s never been wrong.”

“And yet you’re giving us their data. Not Kaijou. Not Yousen. Only Rakuzan.” When Momoi doesn’t answer, Riko looks at the folder again and says, “You didn’t give this to Kuroko. He doesn’t know you’re here either.”

She shakes her head and looks up at Riko through her lashes. “You don’t have to take it, if you’d rather not.”

Riko glowers. She does not need Momoi to make life more complicated for them right now. But she’s not too stupid or proud to recognise that Seirin is going to need everything they have and more. Much more.

“I’ll take it. And we’ll win.” She stand and slaps her palm on the table, looking the other girl in the eye. “That’s my bargain. No debts, and we owe Touou nothing, got it?”

Momoi cocks her head to the side, and smiles her knowing smile again. “Of course.”

“Good,” Riko says, and offers her hand across the table. She’s not going to thank her for this, and this doesn’t change the fact that Momoi is still the Enemy. But she’s an enemy worth having.

Surprise flickers across the younger girl’s face and for a moment, her smile deepens into something that might even be genuine. Then she stands and shakes her hand, her grip firmer than Riko would have thought.

“May the best team win, Coach.”


September 2012