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Day #9 -

Title: Capture and Count
Fandom: Kuroko no Basket
Characters: Akashi, Midorima
Rating: G
Words: (+/-) 546
Summary: Midorima changes the game.

Akashi studies the board before him. It isn’t his usual shogi board and he doesn’t like it. He makes this apparent as he raises his mismatched eyes to scrutinize Midorima. “If you’re going to challenge me,” he says, deliberately precise, “pick something worth my time.”

There is no response from Midorima. The boy continues counting out stones as if he doesn’t hear a thing. Akashi gives the game board another speculative glance. There are two rows on the wooden board, with twelve pits each, and if the stones are the game pieces - he guesses they are playing endodoi. A capture and count game, then. He thinks Midorima couldn’t have picked a more foolish game to use.

It’s a little amusing too, so he decides to humor his teammate and counts out his own start pieces.

When the game begins, the pace is faster than he expects and he struggles to keep up - but he can afford to sacrifice the first round. It’s more important to see the goal ahead than the minor mistakes in the beginning. Not that Akashi makes any mistakes; he’s just thrown off by the speed at which Midorima makes his moves.

The first round goes to Midorima, as he thought, but his vice captain isn’t smiling. There is a determination to win reflected in the way his eyes are trained on the board and how he impatiently taps his bandaged fingers on the table they are using. Around them is silence since the school library is empty this evening. He wonders how long it will stay empty; how long it will take for their teammates to find them. He wonders if they will arrive before he crushes Midorima merciless.

He has no doubt he will win. The game is too easy. He has gotten use to the pace. There is nothing left but for him to win. Midorima doesn’t seem to see what he sees, or maybe he chooses not to, and struggles on.

Five rounds later, the score is four to one and Akashi isn‘t amused anymore. “Is there a point in continuing?”

Midorima glares and moves two pieces forward, capturing one of Akashi’s stones in the process. He hasn’t answered once, but Midorima proves he hasn’t given up with that move. He has shut down any further moves from Akashi, securing his second victory. It isn’t so much surprise that Akashi feels, rather it’s pity. No matter how hard Midorima struggles he cannot win against a power he cannot see.

He wins twice more before telling Midorima, “You lose.” And he no longer feels anything. Games like this disappoint him, again and again.

He doesn’t understand Midorima’s intention for playing it until the vice captains explains, “But you had to lose to win.” Then he pushes the chair back, the sound a sharp screech in the emptiness, and leaves.

Akashi rolls a stone between his fingers and considers that. What is it he lost? He imagines the answer is simple, much like their game, and he thinks he already knows.

If this is what it feels like to ‘lose’, Akashi decides he will keep on winning. No matter the cost.

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off on an adventure

August 2012

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