Fandom: Kuroko no Basket | The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays
Characters: Aomine Daiki, Kagami Taiga, Kuroko Tetsuya
Disclaimer: Fujimaki owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Summary: Kuroko and Aomine attempt to bully Kagami into yet another English lesson. When that fails, they turn to grammatical constructions as instruments of psychological torture. That doesn't really work, either, because Kagami isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Note: Written for Short Precarious Anecdote Month. I've set off words spoken directly in English using a different font to separate them from the (theoretical) Japanese they're speaking normally.
Kagami Taiga sat at the low table in his living room and wondered what he'd done to anger the gods above.
Kuroko and Aomine had shown up at his place about a half hour ago, demanding Taiga help them study for their English midterms. He had thought that once they graduated high school, these unannounced visits would cease, since all three of them had gotten into different universities, but it was already the end of the first semester, and he still saw the two of them about as often as he had during their third year of high school.
How the hell was a guy supposed to get over a person -- or, in this case, two people -- if they wouldn't stop pestering him?
"Kagami-kun, what's a
phrasal verb?" Kuroko asked.
"How should I know?" Taiga replied. "Sounds like a verb that's in a phrase. So just a fancy term for a verb, I guess."
"You're practically a native speaker of English, you should know these things," Aomine said. "Bakagami."
"Speaker being the key word," Taiga returned. "I can speak it; I am not some kind of grammar expert. Ahomine."
"Never mind, I'll look it up online," Kuroko said, picking up his phone and punching buttons. "Ah, here -- it's a sort of idiom that uses a verb and a preposition to make a new verb. Only you can't necessarily tell what the meaning is by just knowing the words. The example they give here is
Jack turned on the television: that means Jack switched the TV on."
Aomine peered at Kuroko's phone. "Preposition, that's like on and under, right?"
Kuroko nodded. "Right."
"There you go," Taiga said. "No need for my expert opinion." Now get the hint and go study somewhere else.
"There's a glossary of phrasal verbs here," Kuroko said, ignoring Taiga. "Did you know turn on can have different meanings depending on how it's used? If you say the dog turned on the cat that could mean the dog started to attack the cat, or it can mean the dog got the cat sexually excited."
Taiga snorted. "Dogs don't do that to cats, dummy. It obviously means the dog attacked the cat."
"Isn't that basically the same thing, though?" Aomine asked. "If you attack someone, that can be a sexual thing too."
"Only in your dirty magazines, Aomine-kun. Attacking people is called assault. That's a crime."
"Is this a Japanese lesson now?" Taiga asked, but neither of them were paying attention; they were glaring at each other for some reason. Did I miss something?
"I'm telling you we should just do it," Aomine said.
Kuroko shook his head, his lower jaw sticking out. "No, your way of doing things is too unsubtle."
"Yeah, well, it gets results."
Taiga really didn't like it when they did this telepathy thing and left him out. He suspected Aomine liked it even less when Kuroko and Taiga did the same, but still. "What the hell are you losers on about?" he demanded, smacking the table with his palm.
"English," Kuroko said.
"Sex," Aomine said.
In the kitchen, the oven beeped. "Pizza," Taiga said.
He got up to attend to it. How the hell does English grammar turn into sex?
When he walked back into the living room, bearing the pizza on a tray in one hand and balancing three plates in the other, Aomine and Kuroko were kissing.
"Oi, do that somewhere else," Taiga said, setting the pizza down on a relatively uncluttered part of the table as they pulled apart, both looking sheepish. Two pairs of blue eyes, light and dark, that he really needed to forget about.
He had suspected for a while that the two of them had something like this going on. Seeing it confirmed made him sad and happy; sad because he really liked them both, happy because at least he no longer had to try and decide which one of them he liked better.
"You could act more surprised," Aomine said.
"Surprised about what?" Taiga asked, settling back down on his cushion and pulling a slice of pizza onto his plate.
"Are you a robot?" Aomine leaned across the table and knocked on Taiga's forehead as though it were a door.
Taiga ducked down to escape further knocking. "Why, because I don't freak out about a couple of guys sucking face?"
"Weirdo. You hang out in Nichō on weekends or something?" Aomine looked upset -- as though he'd been expecting a tough opponent and instead had to face a complete greenhorn on the court -- which bewildered Taiga. Shouldn't he be happy that I didn't, I dunno, call them names and throw them out for doing homo stuff?
Still, he put on a look of surprise and affected his best Valley Girl Japanese. "Oh my gawd, like, you were making out, and stuff? How totally wild?"
Aomine glowered at him. Taiga glowered right back and bit into his pizza slice.
"Let's practice phrasal verbs," Kuroko said, turning to Taiga. "Kagami-kun
turns me on."
Taiga would have choked, but luckily, he'd taken only a little off the sharp end of the slice. "Don't address me by my name when you're talking directly to me; that's not how you do it in English. Use a pronoun." And what the hell do you think you're saying to me right in front of Aomine?
turns me on," Aomine said to Kuroko. Then, to Taiga: "That's fine, right? Since I wasn't talking to you."
"Don't talk about me like i'm not here -- that's rude." Aomine too?
"American speech etiquette is so confusing," Kuroko commented.
"Stop talking about me in the first place," Taiga grumbled. "Just talk about Jack."
I don't know Jack," Kuroko said in a weird British accent.
Taiga tried not to laugh at his straight-faced expression and promptly coughed around a mouthful of pizza. Swallowing, he amended, "I meant Jack who turned on the television. In that example you found earlier."
"Kagami's making an evil face," Aomine observed. "You just said something funny, Tetsu."
"What? What did I say?" Kuroko pulled on Taiga's T-shirt sleeve.
You don't know jackmeans you don't know anything," Taiga explained. "People don't usually say that about themselves, though, so it was funny."
"So Jack also means nothing? Isn't it a name? Why would they call a person Nothing?" Aomine wanted to know, helping himself to pizza.
"Seems pretty harsh," Kuroko agreed.
"Jack doesn't mean 'nothing' -- I have no idea why people say that. It's just an idiom. An idiom!"
"Like phrasal verbs."
Jack does not turn me on," Kuroko said. "
Because I don't know Jack."
Taiga cuffed him upside the head. "Are you Izuki? Eat your pizza before it gets cold."
Finally able to have some peace and quiet -- nothing shut troublesome people up quicker than food -- Taiga turned back to his Human Biology review sheets, but he couldn't focus; he kept thinking about the way Aomine and Kuroko had looked, kissing: comfortable, casual, as if they'd done it lots of times before. I never really had a chance in the first place. They've been pretty close since middle school; I was always going to be a day late and a dollar short.
"We should get going," Kuroko said after eating half a slice of pizza and pushing his plate aside with the look of a man who'd eaten enough to last him three weeks.
Taiga saw them out; they thanked him for his hospitality and he shut the door behind them, telling them to come back whenever, really not meaning it this time. He wanted them to stay away at least until he stopped feeling like someone had carved a hole in his chest with a rusty chainsaw.
Unable to help himself, he watched them walk away through the peephole on the door. He was expecting them to hold hands or start kissing again or something, but they just stood side by side, waiting for the elevator, and talking -- their voices were low, but sound carried well in the hallways of Taiga's building, so he heard every word.
"Let's just kiss in front of him!" Kuroko said in slightly mocking tones. "He'll be shocked and drop the pizza and we can accidentally on purpose tackle him while we help him clean up! Great plan, Aomine-kun. Now he thinks we're going out."
"Like your plan of trying to talk dirty in English was any better."
"I think he really wishes we wouldn't come again, after what you did."
"What I did? You didn't have to kiss me back."
"You know, maybe we were wrong and he's not actually interested."
"I'm interested," Taiga whispered, his face really hot. He wished he had the courage to say that to them, maybe after flinging the door open dramatically, but then the elevator arrived with a ding, and the two of them left.
He didn't know what to do with himself for the rest of the night. He had an eight-thirty class and a mountain of reading to finish, but instead of studying or going to bed, he sat on the couch, eating cold leftover pizza and staring blankly at the dark TV screen.
Jack turned on the television.
turns me on.
turns me on
Taiga took the empty oven tray and plates into the kitchen, washed them, loaded up the rice cooker and set it for the morning, turned off the light.
Jack turned off the light.
Taiga brushed his teeth, put on pyjama pants, set the alarm on his phone.
Brought up Kuroko's number in his address book, punched the call button.
"Kagami-kun?" Kuroko's voice was sleepy and adorable.
"I heard you in the hallway," Taiga said, not bothering with preliminaries; he didn't trust himself not to say something extremely embarrassing.
"You see? Is that all?"
"For whatever you're angry about."
"I'm not angry."
"No. So come over tomorrow and bring the other idiot with you. Good night." Click.