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E.M.S.

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It all started with a strange message.

I need your help.

When someone texted stuff like this, the first thing that came to mind-to his mind at least- was, something bad had happened. So naturally, he was alarmed.

Which only lasted for a second because that alarmed state was instantly upgraded to super alarmed as he realized who the sender was.

Akashi Seijuurou.

Now, let’s be real here. Whatever Akashi needed help for? And not just any help, his help. He couldn’t think of anything that Akashi couldn’t do, anything that required his help.

No clue whatsoever. He could only hope it wasn’t something bad like a.. a criminal offense, or something. Even if he knew how to hide a dead body (from a novel, not from personal experience, God no), he would rather not do it, unless..

No! He wouldn’t hide a dead body for Akashi, or anyone, for that matter.

His phone buzzed suddenly, interrupting his (admittedly wild) thought. There was another message from Akashi.

I’m in love with your friend, Furihata-kun. I want to court him. Please help me win his heart.

Huh?

And then there was another message.

“Win his heart” I can’t believe I just said that.. But I’m serious. And I need your help, Kuroko.

Kuroko, finally registered what exactly was happening, could only repeat his earlier reaction out loud. “HUH??”

 


 

“So.. this is the ramen shop Furihata-kun works for,” Akashi said calmly, observing the restaurant before him.

Kuroko looked at his former captain from the corner of his eye. He might appear calm on the outside but Kuroko could feel the excitement that was practically oozing from him.

All because of the possibility of meeting Furihata.

Kuroko still couldn’t quite believe it.

After that strange message he received about two weeks ago, Akashi had been texting him constantly. Telling him that they needed to devise a plan to make the courting process successful.

When they were not talking about the plan, Akashi would talk about Furihata. In between that, he would tell Kuroko about the reason why he thought Furihata is the best ever. Kuroko had a feeling that he didn’t mean to spill that much information about his feelings but got carried away in the end.

That was how Kuroko knew basically everything now. And at this point, accepting this whole.. unpredictable situation was honestly his only option.

Still unbelievable but there was no denying it was a fact, is all he was trying to say.

Kuroko opened the restaurant door, followed by Akashi. They were greeted by a staff that was not Furihata, and Kuroko saw how Akashi looked a little disappointed by that, his eyes immediately scanning the area, looking for a particular brown-haired boy

“You need to focus, Akashi-kun,” Kuroko said, almost whispering. “Furihata-kun is here, and he will be the one to serve our table, so don’t worry. Just act normal, please.”

Akashi nodded obediently.

If someone had told Kuroko a long time ago, that one day, the great Akashi Seijuurou would listen to his order like this, Kuroko might have laughed at their face and asked them what they were smoking to be able to say such absurd things (he’d never actually do that to anyone, obviously, but you got the idea).

But it was happening right now, and what a time to be alive, this was.

Akashi had been strangely obedient throughout the whole ordeal, agreeing to whatever he said about the plan, and Kuroko was more than a bit stunned.

The guy was absolutely smitten with Furihata, wasn’t he? Kuroko couldn’t help but wonder.

But also, it showed how much he trusted Kuroko.

It was kind of touching, somehow.

They navigated to a table near the window and decided to sit there. Not long after, the guy that was the very reason why they were there in the first place arrived with a menu in hand.

Furihata smiled at them. “Good after- Kuroko!” He brightened up instantly upon realizing who his customer was. “Thanks for dropping by, you-” and shut his mouth just as fast upon realizing who his friend’s companion was.

“Good afternoon, Furihata-kun.” Akashi greeted, all polite and warm.

Furihata looked nervous as he forced himself to nod. “G-good afternoon, A-Akashi.. kun.”

Akashi gave Furihata a friendly smile, obviously trying to calm him down. Furihata took a breath at that and clenched his fist, probably thinking he was being rude to a customer, because he suddenly looked determined, somehow.

“Here’s the menu,” he said while giving Kuroko and Akashi a small booklet. “Our specialty is chicken ramen but other stuff is also worth trying.” He finished with a small nervous grin.

Kuroko flipped the pages of the menu slowly before going back to Furihata who was waiting. “Thank you, Furihata-kun. I think two chicken ramen for us then?” He looked at Akashi for confirmation. Akashi nodded. Kuroko then gave back the menu to Furihata. “Two bowls of chicken ramen please.”

“Okie dokie!” Furihata said, with a cheerful tone. Funny how he did a complete 180 between his two customers. Kuroko got a cheerful Furihata, while Akashi got a nervous one.

Kuroko found this fact amusing of course, but a quick look on Akashi’s face told him that they were not on the same page at all.

Akashi sighed, once Furihata left them to serve another customer. “He’s still scared of me.”

“He’s not used to you,” Kuroko commented simply. “And this is what our visit here for, remember? To make things.. more casual, between you two.”

And that really was the whole plan that they agreed on, last week.

----

“Furihata-kun is working part-time at the ramen shop near our school.. and I was thinking, how about we visit him next weekend?” Kuroko fiddled with his earphones as he was video calling Akashi.

“Hold on. Working part-time you say?” Akashi asked, a hint of worry in his voice.

“That’s what I said, yes.”

“Why is he working? Is he struggling financially?” Now his face looked worried too.

Kuroko hummed. This was unexpected. He didn’t think mentioning the whole ‘working part-time’ stuff could make Akashi react like that. A lot of students their age were working part-time. It wasn’t exactly uncommon.

Maybe because it was Furihata, he mused.

“I don’t think so, I think he wants to buy something and just needs extra money.”

Akashi looked a little relieved after that. “I see. Do you know what is it that he wants to buy?”

“No, I don’t know.” Kuroko furrowed his brows. “Quick warning from me. If you happen to know later, don’t buy it for him. In fact, don’t buy him anything at this point.”

“I don’t-”

“You’re thinking about it though, aren’t you?”

Akashi was silent for a moment before he sighed. “Fine, I won’t do that sort of thing.”

Kuroko gave him a small smile. “Good. I just don’t want Furihata-kun to feel overwhelmed. And you’re already intimidating enough as it is..”

Akashi glared at the remark. Which, in a way, just proved Kuroko’s point.

“But! I’m sure it’s going to change next weekend, after we visited him. Just trust me on this, Akashi-kun.”

“I trust you,” Akashi said instantly.

Kuroko was a bit taken aback by this, his heart getting warm. “Next weekend okay? I’ll be waiting.”

“Got it. Thank you Kuroko.” Akashi ended the video call with a grateful smile.

Kuroko closed his laptop then, feeling more determined than ever.

He would definitely make this work.

----

“Here you go.” Furihata placed two bowls of steaming hot ramen in front of Kuroko and Akashi carefully. “Enjoy the food!” He added, looking at Akashi briefly, before ducking his head and excusing himself.

Akashi looked stunned for some unknown reason. Kuroko was about to ask him why, but then, he heard him mumble. “Cute.”

Kuroko bit his lip to prevent any sound from escaping. How adorable. He couldn’t help feeling a little embarrassed himself.

They ate the food in silence until, at one point, Akashi stopped eating and decided to stare at something behind Kuroko. Kuroko followed his line of sight and turned around a bit to see more clearly.

Furihata was serving a table of six girls around their age. Nothing unusual there, Kuroko thought, until he noticed something.

One of the girls was totally flirting with Furihata.

Kuroko took a glance at Akashi whose expression right now was resembling a soldier that was about to go to war.

“While I completely understand how it must feel to be close to someone as attractive as Furihata-kun, this girl’s attitude is really making my blood boil,” Akashi said, his voice strangely calm.

Kuroko looked at the group again and noticed something else.

Akashi was so focused on that one girl that might be interested in Furihata, he didn’t realize that the rest of the group, which meant five other girls on that table were currently looking at him with heart eyes. And they were not exactly being subtle about it.

Kuroko could only shake his head. The absolute state of it all.

Akashi continued to stare. Kuroko decided to just let him and resumed his eating until his eyes caught something on the table.

Chili powder.

Kuroko stared at it, his mind forming an absurd idea.

An elite idea, he chuckled softly, correcting himself.

It was a bit risky, to be completely honest, but it might be better than his original plan.

Without thinking further, he put one spoon full of chili powder onto Akashi’s bowl. And then another. And then another. When the soup was looking like it was sourced from hell itself, Kuroko finally stopped and resumed his eating again, as if nothing happened. He smirked inwardly.

Perfect.