Five Times the MiraGen Accidentally Flashed Momoi...
When a round of end-of-practice horseplay got completely out of hand and ended with Dai-chan's shorts and underwear down around his knees at precisely the moment Satsuki came around the corner looking for them, everyone expected the worst. Satsuki glanced up from her clipboard and took in the little tableau—Dai-chan with his arm locked around Kise's head while he scrubbed his knuckles against it, Midorima scolding them both, Murasakibara looking on with phlegmatic calm, and Tetsu-kun wisely nowhere in evidence—and stopped short upon being confronted with full-frontal Dai-chan. The boys froze in horror, apparently waiting for her to shriek.
Satsuki raised her eyebrows just a bit. "Dai-chan, for pity's sake. Put little Dai-chan away, no one wants to see him."
Dai-chan, showing no self-consciousness whatsoever, gave Kise's head one more knuckling for good measure before turning him loose and reaching down to haul his shorts back up. "Please. Who are you calling little?"
Satsuki rolled her eyes. "Don't flatter yourself." She looked around at the rest of them. "Are you guys about ready?"
They shuffled their feet, faces varying shades of pink, and fell in with her. As she turned to lead them towards the meeting Akashi-kun had called, she heard Kise say in what was probably supposed to be an undertone, "Momocchi took that awfully well, didn't she?"
Dai-chan snorted. "What, you think that's anything she hasn't seen before?"
Satsuki closed her eyes as the resulting speculative silence of the boys got very loud indeed, slowing her steps until she fell in with Dai-chan. She smacked him. "Don't say things like that, you'll give people the wrong idea!"
Dai-chan just grinned, utterly unrepentant. "But it's true!"
Satsuki hit him again. "It was true when we were seven, you jerk."
"Still doesn't make it not true," he pointed out, while the rest of the boys relaxed and exchanged relieved glances.
Satsuki just sighed and rolled her eyes to the heavens, because honestly, sometimes having Dai-chan for a best friend was much more trouble than it was worth.
In her defense, Satsuki never intended to walk in on any of the boys changing, least of all Midorima. She had supposed him to be at practice with the rest of the team and had therefore had no compunctions about ducking into the locker room to plant a particularly juicy (in so many senses of the word) volume of BL manga in Dai-chan's locker, where he would be sure to find it at the end of practice and would probably have to explain its presence to the rest of the team. She'd warned him not to bring his stupid gravure magazines to school with him, but he hadn't listened, and frankly she was getting tired of the way none of the other boys could stay focused during practice. If Dai-chan wanted to share his reading material with the boys, well, she'd just have to make sure that he had something worth sharing, right?
She hadn't counted on Midorima's being late for practice, however, and it wasn't clear which of them was more shocked when she strolled into the locker room and got an eyeful of his bare ass.
Satsuki couldn't help the little screech of surprise she made, which in turn made Midorima jump and turn around and then squawk himself as he flailed to cover himself up. He went bright red—the color traveled quite a bit of the way down his chest—and Satsuki dropped her manga to press her hands against her hot cheeks.
They stared at each other in mutual mortification before Midorima said, voice strangled, "Momoi-san, do you mind."
Satsuki squeaked and turned around and immediately heard the noise of cloth rustling, as of a basketball uniform being hastily donned. "Sorry, Midorin!" she said, her voice quite a bit higher-pitched to her own ears than was usual. "I didn't know you were in here!"
"Obviously." Midorima still sounded pretty strangled and sort of out of breath; the rustling noises continued until he said, "What are you doing in here?"
Satsuki looked up at the ceiling, thinking about how to answer. Midorin was probably the most straight-laced of the boys, and yet... "I had something to put in Dai-chan's locker."
Midorima didn't say anything to that right away. He sounded almost resigned when he finally said, "Do I want to know what?"
Satsuki nibbled her lip. "It would probably ruin the surprise later if you did." For him, anyway, assuming he didn't rat her out to Dai-chan.
"I think I've had enough surprises for one day."
Satsuki couldn't help herself; she laughed. "Sorry, Midorin. I really didn't know you were in here."
"The class representative held me back to talk to me." He sounded disgruntled about it, too. "I would have been on time if she hadn't."
The rubber of his sneakers didn't make any sound against the floor, so she didn't realize he'd moved until his hand appeared over her shoulder, holding the volume of Inferno of Love between two fingers. Satsuki took it from him and peeked carefully—no, he was definitely dressed now, still rather red. "Thank you, Midorin."
He watched her scamper over to Dai-chan's locker to switch out his gravure magazine for the manga. "I see," he said as she rolled up the magazine; Midorin was very serious, but Satsuki thought she detected the faintest hint of a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth.
"You won't say anything, will you?" Satsuki gave him her best innocent smile. "Please, Midorin?"
Midorin adjusted his glasses. "Considering the circumstances, I could hardly say anything, could I?"
Satsuki grinned at him. "You're such a nice boy," she told him, gesturing at the door. "Now hurry up, you don't want to be any later for practice."
That got him moving, as she'd expected it would, and she gave him a few minutes to get well ahead of her before following. It was just as well, really—that gave her plenty of time to get the giggling out of her system.
Poor Midorin; it was going to be ages before she was going to be able to look him in the eye without remembering the expression on his face when he'd realized she was standing there.
Training camps were all very well and good when it came to sequestering the team from the world for the purpose of relentless practice and drilling, Satsuki reflected, but they did have one major drawback: the team still comprised a pack of teenaged boys. Teenaged boys taken individually tended to be pretty stupid; put into groups they actually lost intelligence, in her experience, and basketball prodigies were no exception to this rule. It was three days into a five-day camp and she'd already lost track of the number of pranks she'd seen, both successful and unsuccessful, and both Dai-chan and Kise seemed to be in a competition to see which one of them could be assigned the greatest number of punishment laps. Dai-chan currently had the lead, but Kise seemed determined to beat him in this, too.
The other problem with training camps was that the boys made an awful lot of work to look after, and that particular burden devolved squarely onto the shoulders of the team managers. Not that she was complaining—much, anyway—but sometimes Satsuki wondered just how fair it was that the boys didn't have to worry about cleaning up after themselves or getting up their own meals or any of the little domestic details that made life tick along smoothly. Of course, they were Teikou's first string and a pack of miracles besides and the training camp was all for their benefit, but even so, she couldn't help feeling that there was a certain disparity in, say, her role and Dai-chan's role.
At least the club had a surplus of girls willing to help manage the boys now that Kise had joined them.
Satsuki was bringing a stack of futons back to the boys' room and meditating on the differences between her experience of this training camp and the boys' experiences when Kise came streaking down the hallway without a single stitch on him.
She stopped dead in her tracks, startled and not a little bit amused. Surely all that flopping around had to be painful?
Kise skidded to a stop when he realized that he was not alone in the hallway. His moment of indecision was as naked as he was—should he try to cover himself up, or play it off?—and he was dripping water. After a moment he seemed to decide that it wasn't worth bothering if she wasn't going to make a fuss and let his hands drop. "Um, I can explain—"
"Let me guess," Satsuki said. "Someone stole your clothes while you were in the bath."
He immediately fixed a piteous gaze on her, which was sort of undermined by all the sheer shameless nakedness of him. Not that she was looking. Much. "Momocchi, they're so mean to me!"
"And you're just as mean right back to them," she said, because the incident with the hot sauce was still fresh in her mind, as were Dai-chan's howls of mingled outrage and agony.
Kise pouted and batted his eyes at her. "But they stole my clothes! And my towel!" His voice rose as he started to get into the spirit of things. "And my virtue!"
Satsuki was momentarily diverted by the mental images that suggested, then she shook her head vigorously to clear it. There were some things that she did not want to speculate about, not if Dai-chan happened to be involved. "Not only am I not sure that you ever had any virtue to steal in the first place, I'm pretty sure that no one has had time to steal it, Ki-chan." The coaches certainly kept the boys working from morning to night.
He pointed at her, dramatic. "No, you've stolen it!" He waved his hands around, maybe to underscore the seriousness of his point. "I don't have any secrets left, Momocchi—no honor, either! You're going to have to marry me now that I've been compromised."
The melodrama of the moment was sort of ruined by the way he couldn't quite keep his lips from twitching.
Satsuki rolled her eyes, because clearly Ki-chan had been reading the wrong sorts of novels. "You're just lucky that it was me who caught you," she told him. "If it had been Ayame-chan, you really would have ended up compromised." She shoved the stack of futons at him. "Here, take these in and keep a better eye on your clothes from now on. I have to go find Dai-chan."
Kise blinked down at her, clearly diverted from the melodramatic opportunities by his curiosity. "Aominecchi? What for?"
Satsuki couldn't help glancing down, though his armful of futon obscured the pertinent bit of his anatomy. "I have to offer him my condolences that little Dai-chan is smaller than little Ki-chan, of course."
She would have sworn that the sparkles were actually visible in the air around Kise as he beamed at her. "I really would marry you just for that," he told her. "You're the best, Momocchi."
"And don't you forget it," she said; he was still laughing when she turned the corner and tripped over Dai-chan and Tetsu-kun.
(The naked despair on Dai-chan's face was totally worth it, even if he did spend the next week pestering her to reassure him that no, really, Ki-chan's dick wasn't bigger than his after all.)
The beach trip was all Dai-chan's idea, but Satsuki endorsed it heartily because celebrating his birthday with something that was not basketball was a habit she wished to encourage. She hadn't quite expected him to coax Tetsu-kun into joining them, but the more the merrier—even if Kuroko seemed a bit baffled about the invitation.
That was Dai-chan's problem to deal with, not hers, and so Satsuki ignored it in favor of what really mattered: sun, sand, and water. She had a cute new bathing suit, too, and the figure to show it off to best advantage; school wasn't going to start up for another few days, and Teikou had just swept the Interhigh again. Not even Tetsu-kun's grim prediction that he would be the color of a lobster after just a few minutes in the sun was enough to dim her good mood. She simply tossed a bottle of SPF 100 at him and supervised while Dai-chan assisted with its application.
(Satsuki never had claimed to be a good person, and besides, by the time Dai-chan had finished up, Tetsu-kun was in a markedly better mood.)
After that, there was the ocean to play in, cool water to splash around in, and plenty of boys who tended to trip over their own feet whenever they found a reason to wander past her. There was also Dai-chan to shriek at whenever he decided she'd spent too much time preening and needed to be dunked again, and Tetsu-kun to laugh at them both equally. Satsuki wasn't the least bit surprised to find that Tetsu-kun fought pretty dirty in the splash fights, at least until Dai-chan teamed up with her against him. While she distracted Tetsu-kun, Dai-chan slipped underwater and came at him from behind to drag him beneath the waves.
Tetsu-kun thrashed quite a lot as a result of that, churning the water into a froth while he and Dai-chan wrestled with each other. Satsuki retreated from the two of them, finding a safe distance and keeping an eye out in case Dai-chan tried to repeat the trick on her. She was therefore the first person to notice something peculiar: one of the things all that thrashing had turned up seemed to be a pair of dark blue swim trunks... trunks that looked very much like the pair Tetsu-kun had been wearing.
By the time Tetsu-kun and Dai-chan came up for air again, Satsuki had retrieved the trunks in question and had retreated to shallower water with them. She lounged there, watching with great interest as Tetsu-kun shook the wet hair back from his face and then seemed to realize that he was missing something. His consternation was immediate and obvious: "Oh, no."
Satsuki bit down on her lip to keep from giggling out loud and giving herself away too soon.
Dai-chan wallowed in the water. "What?"
She was pretty sure that it wasn't the sun that had put the color on Tetsu-kun's face. "I—um. Seem to be missing something."
"Huh? What?" Dai-chan blinked, looking confused until Tetsu-kun made a tiny, discreet gesture to illustrate his point. "Oh. Ohhh. Um, shit."
"Help me find them," Tetsu-kun ordered.
Satsuki watched the ensuing charade with great amusement, not least since they both seemed to have forgotten her presence for the moment. She'd give them a few minutes to panic, she decided, and then, if they hadn't remembered... no, Tetsu-kun surfaced again, sputtering, and caught sight of her there in the shallows. "Satsuki-san..."
Busted. Satsuki gave him her most innocent smile. "Yes?"
Tetsu-kun fixed a dour expression on her. "May I please have them back now?"
Satsuki batted her eyes. "What do you mean?"
The flicker of irritation that crossed his face probably meant that she'd let herself in for retaliation somewhere down the line. Oh well. "My swim trunks," he said, paddling a little closer to shore. "May I have them back, please?"
"Oh, you mean these?" Satsuki fished them out of the water and dangled them from her finger; Dai-chan laughed until he forgot to pay attention to staying afloat and went under. "Sure, come and get them."
Yes, she had definitely volunteered to take part in the next round of the eternal Teikou prank war. Tetsu-kun set his jaw as Dai-chan surfaced again, still grinning. He glanced around to see how closely they were being observed, and waded closer.
She'd judged it pretty well. The water she was sitting in wasn't quite waist-deep, at least for her. It hit Tetsu-kun somewhere closer to mid-thigh when he finally came close enough to lunge for his trunks. He snatched them out of her fingers and immediately retreated to deeper water to put them back on.
It wasn't much of a glimpse, but then, that hadn't really been the point. Satsuki lolled in the water, laughing.
There. Now Dai-chan couldn't say that she'd never got him anything nice for his birthday.
It was a perennial sort of problem with Murasakibara that he was often really kind of lazy. Or perhaps that wasn't quite the right way to characterize him, Satsuki thought. It was more that he was often indolent because he simply lacked the motivation to care very much about being active. Unless something happened to rouse his interest, and there were relatively few things that did that, he tended to move through life at half-speed. After a year and some change, it was simply one more facet of life at Teikou and one that she generally remembered to account for. After all, centers the size of Mukkun didn't grow on trees; one could put up with a few quirks from him in exchange for that.
Goodness knew that it wasn't as though they didn't put up with quirks from the rest of the starters, anyway.
Mostly it was a matter of allowing Mukkun a little extra time for anything that wasn't something important, and making sure there was an adequate supply of snacks on hand in case he needed to be persuaded into thinking something was important. That was certainly less trouble than Midorin's lucky items could be, or Ki-chan's army of devoted fans. All things considered, Mukkun was relatively low-maintenance, especially after Satsuki managed to get Akashi-kun to put a line item in the club budget for his snacks.
The afternoon of the match against Hosei, Satsuki made what she assumed was a perfectly reasonable time allowance before sailing into the locker room in order to tape up Tetsu-kun's ankles per the coach's direction. The boys generally weren't slow about getting changed, at least not when they were visiting another school's campus, so she'd figured they'd all be decent or getting that way by the time she came in.
What she hadn't counted on was Mukkun being in a particularly slothful sort of mood that afternoon, annoyed for some reason with Hosei's enthusiasm for the match. She got three steps into the locker room and Ki-chan cried, "Momocchi, no—!" and Midorin made a garbled noise like a dying duck.
And Mukkun, all two hundred extremely naked centimeters of him, turned around with a bored, puzzled expression to see what the fuss was about.
Satsuki blinked a bit upon being confronted by this. "Why aren't you dressed yet?" she said. "Honestly, Mukkun, hurry up." She looked around—ah, yes, there he was. "Tetsu-kun, Coach wanted me to tape up your ankles." She took a step in his direction; Midorin made another of those expiring duck noises as Dai-chan slid down a locker, laughing helplessly.
Mukkun merely turned back around and began to get dressed, not noticeably hurried.
Akashi-kun cleared his throat. "Perhaps you could do that outside the locker room?" he suggested.
Satsuki made sure her expression was as innocent as possible as she glanced his way. "Oh? Well, okay, if you insist. Come on, Tetsu-kun!" She beamed at the boys and went back out, allowing herself a silent giggle as she went.
Really, proportionality was an amazing thing.
(...and the one time it was on purpose)
The thing was, Satsuki was a darn good data analyst. It was what made her such a good team manager and an asset to the team, even if she did say so herself, and was probably going to serve her better in the long run than any ability to run up and down a basketball court in pursuit of a ball. Not that she ever mentioned that out loud, of course.
Being a good analyst depended upon have good data, naturally, and when it came to her data, Satsuki found that she was something of a completist. There was, she had found, no such thing as too much data, whether the data concerned Ki-chan's assist to turnover ration or the percentage of free thows Midorin completed or the training schedules of opponent schools and how that affected their players' progress. After the match against Suginami, it became clear that data not directly connected to the game could also be useful; that game made a great deal more sense after Satsuki found out that their center's girlfriend had just dumped him to date one of Ki-chan's modeling coworkers. No piece of data was too small or insignificant to be considered in terms of its potential impact on Teikou's march towards absolute victory.
Well, that's what Satsuki told herself when she was in the mood to rationalize her various attempts at catching Akashi-kun in a state of undress. When she was feeling inclined to be honest, she was willing to admit that it was purely down to a certain amount of prurient interest combined with the niggling sense of having left a task undone. After all, circumstances had conspired such that all the boys but Akashi-kun had accidentally managed to flash her. She couldn't help it if her natural sense of inquisitiveness demanded that she complete the data set, could she? Of course not. Really, her curiosity was practically scientific.
Or, okay, it could have just been how much it appalled some of the boys any time she accidentally got a look at their junk combined with the fact that she still had yet to see Akashi-kun discomfited.
Unfortunately, it was beginning to look like her curiosity was going to have to go unsatisfied, because her miscellaneous attempts at getting a proper look at Akashi-kun, as it were, were each unsuccessful. Bouncing into the locker room at odd moments meant that she saw a lot of skin, especially from Ki-chan (who didn't seem to have much body shame at all), but somehow Akashi-kun always seemed to be at least half-dressed. The steam room wasn't much good, either; Akashi-kun preferred to keep his towel decorously wrapped around his waist. The onsen trip was a wash from start to finish; the measures that kept the boys from peeking into the women's side worked just as well in reverse. It was all very frustrating, and to compound matters, Satsuki couldn't help feeling that Akashi-kun was perfectly aware of what she was attempting to do and was quietly laughing at her.
Matters finally came to a head, so to speak, in the lead-up to the Winter Cup. Akashi-kun chose a moment to speak to her at the end of practice, directing her into the club office for a conference about their first prelim opponent. Once there, however, he shut the door and looked at her calmly. "Momoi-san, don't you think this has gone on long enough?"
Satsuki figured it was worth the effort to play innocent, so she blinked at him and smiled. "Beg pardon?"
Akashi-kun was not moved by this. "I wouldn't say anything because you seem to be enjoying yourself and the rest of the team doesn't really appear to be bothered by it, but you are causing Shintarou a certain amount of distress on your behalf, and I need him to be in good form once the tournament starts."
Satsuki sighed. "Poor Midorin. You'd think he'd have noticed that he's the only one who's bothered."
"Shintarou is a proper, well-bred young man," Akashi-kun said, reproving.
Satsuki giggled at him. "And I'm not a nice girl," she said. "I did grow up with Dai-chan, you know."
"Yes," Akashi-kun said, dry. "It's generally clear."
He never had been particularly swayed by her dimples, but Satsuki flashed them at him anyway. "Well, for Midorin's sake, I can stop for the duration of the tournament."
Akashi-kun gave her a very long look, one that stretched out for several ticks of the clock on the wall. Then he sighed. "Nijimura-san never warned me about these kinds of situations," he said as he unbuckled his belt and unfastened his slacks. "I can't imagine why it never occurred to him."
Satsuki pouted at him as he shoved his slacks and underwear down. "This is unsporting, Akashi-kun. You're taking all the fun out of it."
"Yes, that was the point," he told her.
Satsuki huffed at him and flapped a hand at him. "Okay, okay. You win."
Akashi-kun pulled his slacks back up and began restoring himself to order. "Of course I win," he said, smiling. "I always do."
Satsuki stuck her tongue out at him and headed back to the gym. As the door swung shut after her, she caught an exasperated mutter from behind her: "The things I do for this team, I swear."
She kept her giggles to herself, because even if Akashi-kun had won the game by circumventing all her attempts to catch him out, she had gotten the complete set of data after all, and had not lost.