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Pei Yi ([personal profile] lacewood) wrote in [community profile] toxicskyremix2015-03-08 07:01 pm

kuroko no basket - postscript

Vague spoilers for the end of the manga.

-----

The facts have presented themselves, cold, hard and undeniable: Aida Riko is a traitor.

This is the only possible explanation for why Hyuuga is standing in his old man’s shop at 8.30pm on a Friday night while Kiyoshi sits expectantly in the barber’s chair before him. The shop is empty - there were no customers when Riko dragged them in, and Hyuuga’s lazy-ass father took their arrival as his invitation to toss Hyuuga the keys, tell them to lock up when they were done, and skive off to the pachinko parlour down the street.

Riko sparkled her thanks and flipped the door sign to “Closed”, leaving him trapped with the two of them and no escape route.

“Why do I have to do this?” he demands, because resistance might be futile but Hyuuga Junpei has never believed in going down without a fight.

“Why not?” Riko asks, sliding into the chair beside Kiyoshi. “You do it for me all the time, and weren’t you the one complaining about how horrible his last haircut looked? This is your chance to fix it!”

“Yeah, what if I go back and they make it even worse this time?” Kiyoshi adds, pulling a sad face at him in the mirror.

“It’s not my problem if you’re too stupid to change your shitty barber for a better one,” Hyuuga says.

“But that’s exactly why I’m here!”

Kiyoshi beams. Riko joins in. Hyuuga is never opening his big mouth in front of them ever again. Of course, after tomorrow, he won’t have to worry about talking to at least one of them because Kiyoshi will be on the plane to America and no one knows when he’ll be back - dammit, he was trying not to think about that.

“Fine,” he grouses, turning away before they can read anything in his face. “But just this once, got it?” He rattles through his father’s equipment in the back of the shop, collects what he needs into a spare toolbelt and slings it over his shoulder.

Hyuuga pulls the gown over Kiyoshi’s broad shoulders, scowls at the back of his head and wonders, for a minute, how long it would take him to notice if he tried to shave him bald. Then Riko clears her throat in the next chair and he meets her pointed stare in the mirror and reluctantly abandons the thought.

Reaching out, he runs his fingers through Kiyoshi’s hair.

It hasn’t gotten that long yet, just enough to look shaggier and messier than usual, not helped by the shittiness of his previous haircut. It doesn’t really need more than a little trimming back into proper shape. If he focuses on that, he doesn’t have to think about how - weird - this feels. It’s just hair, he tells himself irritably, and remembers the first time Riko got him to cut her hair. It was a miracle he hadn’t messed something up and gotten himself killed that day. How had he survived that? Oh, right, by stubbornly pretending he wasn’t thinking about it too.

Some things don’t really change, do they? The tension in his shoulders eases a little and he takes a deep breath, lets it out in a huff.

Kiyoshi has never bothered with product, so at least he doesn’t have to worry about washing any gunk out. His hair is thick and springy, softer than it looks, but Hyuuga doesn’t let himself dwell on that, just drags a comb through with quick, brusque strokes. The only thing Kiyoshi says is a low “ouch” when the comb snags on a knot, and he mutters a half-apology in answer. Then, tangles smoothed, he prods the back of his head until he tips it forward to the angle he needs, and starts cutting.

The shop is quiet. Noise from the street outside filters in, but it’s muted, distant, so that all Hyuuga really notices in their silence is the buzz of the clippers and the soft snik of the scissors, the cutesy beeping of the mobile game Riko plays while she waits. Hyuuga can almost forget that it’s Kiyoshi sitting in front of him, but even without looking in the mirror, he can feel him watching, a tangible weight prickling down his spine.

Finally, he examines the neat line where Kiyoshi’s hair meets the nape of his neck, runs his thumb along the edge of it without thinking and feels Kiyoshi shiver at the touch. He yanks his hand back, too quick to be casual, and snaps, “There, it’s done,” even as he feels heat curl up the back of his neck.

Kiyoshi meets his eyes in the mirror and says, “Thanks, Junpei.”

“Shut up,” Hyuuga says, and very seriously asks himself why he didn’t just stab him with the scissors when he had the chance. He knows he’s turned red, even as Riko looks up and gives him a knowing look.

But all she says is, “Let me see.”

Hyuuga swivels the chair to face her and they obediently await her verdict while she studies Kiyoshi, head cocked to the side.

“Much better,” she decides, then stands and reaches out to ruffle his hair lightly. “All ready for America now,” she tells him with a small smile.

“Like the doctors will care what his hair looks like,” Hyuuga grumbles as he yanks the gown off Kiyoshi to shake the hair clippings from it.

“Who said I’m worried about the doctors?” Riko says.

“I’ll help,” Kiyoshi calls as Hyuuga retreats to the back to clean up for the night.

Hyuuga waves him in the direction of the brooms and dustpans, and Riko makes a circuit of the shop, picking up stray mugs and magazines and ash trays to put them away. This could still be any other Friday night. There’s a shape to their quiet though, of the things they haven’t said because they agreed they didn’t need to be said. It’s not like they’re really saying goodbye or something, right?

That’s what they decided. Sure, they’ll be waiting, but time will pass fast enough in Tokyo, with the new school year coming, and new first years and matches to get ready for. The months will pass, and Kiyoshi will come back, and then there will be time enough for them to figure all this out.

The three of them, together.



end

September 2014

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