Here you go, a part 2!
The next day came quickly. Your mind, occupied with thoughts for the whole night, didn’t let you sleep that well but you were still ready for the new step, both excited and nervous. You now knew Akashi, or at least talked to him and knew what to expect. But it was obvious today he wouldn’t be in the gym alone. He invited you there after classes for their practice.
Thinking of the intimidating people that were the team members, you also started overthinking your role. Will they be harsh to you from the start? Did they have high hopes for you and you’re about to destroy them? Well, you had no choice but to go there and find out.
Heading to the gym, you could hear that it was already much louder in there than yesterday, when the area was empty. Loud banging of the ball hitting the floor panels and shoes squeaking, mixed with several voices shouting between each other, you realized the team’s practice has already started. With a deep breath, you entered the room and took a second to notice what was going on.
As you expected, the whole team was there playing, some very serious, some others smiling but all of them visibly focused. You recognized Akashi who was also taking part in the practice game. He too noticed you standing in the entrance and quickly stopped the others, telling them to gather by the bench. Upon hearing the command, their eyes landed on you.
“Ooh, is that our new manager? I never thought you’d find someone so fast, Akashi” one of them looked at you with curiosity and smiled brightly, seeing your nervous expression.
“It’s not decided yet” Akashi replied. “First we need to see if Y/N-san is really as worth being here as she thinks”
Those words seemed like he wanted to provoke you but he said it with a straight face, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. You raised a brow but then decided to focus on the others, bowing and introducing yourself. After that, they all also told you their names and you found out the person who spoke up first was Hayama.
“Good luck proving your worth, Y/N-san” Mibuchi said, his tone sounding friendly but also hinting some amusement, as he locked eyes with their captain.
Soon they resumed the game and you sat on the bench, watching each of their moves closely. As much awkward and nervous you still were, it made you amazed how great their play was. Of course you realized Rakuzan team was known for being the best and so there was much to notice. After few minutes, you took out a notebook and started making notes. It was truly fascinating.
Even though you weren’t aware, Akashi kept observing you. He knew your abilities and wanted you to feel comfortable enough to showcase them. He could see the potential and the others trusted him with it. Akashi realized you didn’t seem that special at first glance, but he was sure about his decision.
After a while, a short break was announced and the players surrounded you again, this time focusing on themselves. Though they seemed tired, the energy didn’t leave them for a second and you couldn’t help but smile seeing them bicker.
“We must sound really pathetic right now” Mibuchi sighed and rolled his eyes at Nebuya and Hayama arguing playfully.
“Speak for yourself” Mayuzumi replied quietly, visibly not taking part in the scene. You smiled at their comments and decided to speak up, still not sure about your task.
“It’s obvious you’re not ready to become a real manager yet, Y/N-san” Akashi explained. “You still have a lot to learn and that’s what you’ll be doing for now”
“So… should I just sit here and watch?” you asked, raising your brows. You remembered exactly what he said to you the day before, which sounded completely opposite.
“Not just sit and watch. You need to learn our tactics, our movements, our plays. The whole structure of the game. All of the rules” Akashi told you and smiled at your confused expression.
“Don’t worry, Y/N-san. It just sounds hard but we’ll help!” Hayama sneaked his arm around your shoulders.
“I mean… it definitely won’t be just fun and games but it’s not a prison either” Mibuchi shrugged and the others nodded.
When the break ended, the members came back to practice. Akashi stayed with you for a while more, trying to explain some of your additional tasks. You still seemed a bit worried and started to wonder if it’s really a good idea for you to be there, of all the people.
“Listen Y/N-san. I didn’t just choose you on your say-so, I chose you because you have the potential to be a truly useful manager” he said. “It might not seem like it now but I know how smart you are. And I’m sure you’ll find yourself in here and help us”
You looked up to meet his eyes but quickly turned your gaze away, still thinking. After a while you sighed.
“I guess you know your way around it better than me. So I have no choice but to trust you and do my best to help”
“That’s right” Akashi replied and got up from the bench. Your eyes followed his back as he joined the rest in their practice. You realized how much he knew about basketball. He was the captain of the best team out there and for sure knew exactly what’s best for them. So to choose you for this seat was a conscious choice of his. Maybe you did have some potential hidden somewhere.
Once again, there was no other way to find out than to stay.