Kuroko hauls Aomine to Seirin, and Momoi comes with them. The team is delighted, if a little taken aback by Kuroko’s unnoticeability and Aomine’s lack of condition. Kuroko is all the more convinced he’s brought them to the right place after he meets Kagami, and sees the challenge he has the potential to offer Aomine.
The door of Tetsuya’s classroom slammed open and Aomine stood glowering in the doorway. “Tetsu!”
Ah. He’d finally heard. Tetsuya put down his sandwich and waited while Aomine stalked through his scattering classmates to slam a piece of paper down on Tetsuya’s desk. The header, as much of it as was visible under Aomine’s hand, said Sei. “What the hell is this?” Aomine demanded.
“A letter,” he observed, just to get things rolling properly.
Aomine is increasingly annoyed by the attention Kuroko is paying Kagami, and for that matter everyone else on the team, and annoyed by the restraints Aida puts on him, but Kagami does pique his interest a little.
Daiki had thought he’d gotten used to just how ridiculous it was that Tetsu had dragged him to this no-name school and dropped him into a basketball club that apparently had nothing going for it but enthusiasm. But this was where he put his foot down. The very idea of ‘announcing his intentions’ during morning assembly in order to ‘prove’ himself for this new team was laughable. He was the ace of Teikou, he didn’t have a damn thing to prove to a team that couldn’t even get to the Interhigh.
Kagami is pleased with his new team and his new challenge, though puzzled by the tension between Kuroko and Aomine. A practice match against Kaijou tells him at least a little of what the tension is over, and also gives him his first taste of working with Kuroko in a real game.
Taiga swatted his alarm clock into silence, rolled over, and smiled up at the ceiling. He woke up with a smile a lot, lately.
Okay, so his strongest teammate was a total jerk, and he honestly thought Kuroko liked scaring the liver out of people by popping up out of nowhere, and their coach was clearly some kind of demon. He could deal with all of that and more, because basketball was interesting again. A challenge again, and more than a challenge. A bone-cracking, tendon-snapping, nerve-burning hurdle to get over, like it hadn’t been for over a year since he came back to this country.
Momoi knows that the problems between Aomine and Kuroko and Kagami have to be ironed out before they start the Interhigh preliminaries, and she has a plan. That doesn’t make it easy, though.
Momoi Satsuki liked Seirin. They were a challenge, and she liked a challenge to her skills just as much as any of the boys did.
Aomine plays against Seihou, and the team that surprises him the most is his own. He watches Kagami and Kuroko play against Shuutoku, and understands some of what went wrong the previous year.
On the second day of the Tokyo preliminary finals, Daiki’s heartfelt comment was, “About damn time.” He shrugged off Satsuki’s admonishing look. “Oh, come on, I’ve been bored out of my mind. Shinsenkan was pathetic, and even those Touou guys weren’t exactly a challenge.” Which had been a great disappointment, after he’d hauled himself through the whole month of A-block matches on the hope that the ‘Kings of the West’ would be at least a bit of fun. Or at least that their first match in the final block would be. But no, not so you’d notice. If it hadn’t been ridiculous to imagine, he’d actually have thought Touou was holding back against him.
Kuroko gets a chance to play the way he wants to, again, with Aomine against Kaijou. When he has to play without his partners against Touou, though, he finds himself hitting a wall.
“All right,” Hyuuga-san called, waving them to gather close. “We’ve played Kaijou once, but don’t let that make you overconfident. I doubt they were going all out, not in a practice match, and Kasamatsu knows what we can do, now. Stay sharp.” He nodded as everyone chorused agreement, and then reached up to wrap a hand around the back of Aomine’s neck. “Except for you,” he added. “You need to calm down.” He shook Aomine a little, holding his rather startled gaze. “Kaijou isn’t running away, and you don’t need to hunt them down for pity’s sake. Breathe.”
Tetsuya was actually the one who followed that order, breathing out as one thread of tension uncoiled down his back. He had been right, so right, to bring Aomine to Seirin.