lacewood: (Default)
Pei Yi ([personal profile] lacewood) wrote in [community profile] toxicskyremix2015-03-08 08:55 pm

kuroko no basket - perspectives

For [tumblr.com profile] half_sleeping

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Seen from a certain angle, Midorima’s eccentricities are bizarre, but completely predictable. You could even call them logical - the daily quota of three selfish requests was clearly carefully bargained to allow for (1) accommodation of whatever weird lucky item he’s lugging around for the day, (1) request that he have the showers and lockers entirely to himself at the end of practice, and (1) extra left over for “just in case”.

Very prudent. Perfectly logical. All you need is the right point of view.

Of course, Takao’s guess could be wrong. He’s only known Midorima for two weeks and they’ve barely had one full conversation in that time. But he’d like to think this isn’t just about idle curiosity.

In the distance, he hears a shower stop. For a moment, water gurgles noisily down the drain, and then footsteps slap across wet tile.

Funny, how those don’t quite sound like... human feet.

The door linking the showers to the lockers swings open, and Midorima stops. Freezes.

Takao looks up from his phone. “Yo.”

Midorima stands in the door, towel around his waist, water dripping from his damp hair, puddling around his webbed feet. Under the merciless glare of the locker room lights, his scaled skin gleams with a murky, green-blue iridescence.

What are you doing here?” he demands, having visibly cycled through shock and panic and landed on outrage.

Takao shrugs. “Nothing much? Just hanging around,” he says.

Midorima splutters. “Nothing?! Look at yourself! What are you doing?!”

Takao looks down. The bench is a metre below him, shit, he must have gotten distracted. He lands with a thump. “There, that better?” he says, and unfolds his legs to plant his feet back on solid ground.

Midorima just gives him a look of horror, then sweeps the room with a belated glare, as if he half expects the rest of the team to be lying in wait.

“No need to panic, I’m the only one here,” Takao says. “I just thought maybe this’d make you feel a little better.”

“Feel better?” Midorima echoes, baffled. “To know that--”

Takao rolls his shoulders into a ripple of air - and black wings fill the cramped confines of the locker room. He tucks them back so they take up less room, and looks up into Midorima’s gaping face.

“To know that you’re not alone? Sure. It made me feel better. That’s part of why I came to Shuutoku. You really didn’t know, did you? Didn’t Coach say anything?”

He briefly entertains the mental image of Coach interrogating Midorima with ‘Are you a kappa? Were your parents kappas? How do you feel about drowning people?’ and cracks up. “Okay, maybe he wouldn’t have. But you know how they say Shuutoku has a lot of history? It’s not all human, that’s all.”

After a moment of silence, Midorima heads for his locker. His scales are fading, more a faint green tracery under his skin than anything obvious now, but his bare feet are still wider and flatter than a human’s should be. He pulls on his school uniform, puts on his glasses, and turns to study Takao.

“You’re a tengu,” he finally says. Takao nods, and with another twist of air, folds his wings back into himself. Midorima still doesn’t say anything, just sits on the bench, lifts a foot and glares at it until it returns to something resembling human size, and then pulls on his socks and shoes. To all appearances, they are nothing more than a pair of ordinary high school boys now.

Midorima says, “Coach Nakatani mentioned - nothing - during my interview. But he told me that - I would be welcome here, whatever my doubts.”

He stands, faces Takao full on, and says, with stiff formality. “I see that he was correct. Thank you.”

Takao raises his eyebrows and doesn’t smile, because Midorima looks so serious he might take offense. “Nothing to thank me for. We’re teammates, right?”

He blinks. “Yes.”

“I’ll try not to barge in on your privacy like that again. Just thought things would be easier to explain this way.”

Midorima hesitates. “The rest of the team....”

“I won’t say anything, if that’s what you’re worried about. But some of the others might have guessed anyway. We’re probably not the only ones, you know.”

“I... see,” Midorima finally says. “I will... take note.”

Figuring that he needs some time alone to process everything, Takao picks up his bag to head for the door.

“See you tomorrow,” Midorima says, unprompted, for the first time in their acquaintance. Takao flashes him a surprised look over his shoulder and quirks a smile.

“Tomorrow,” he agrees.



end

July 2014

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