Hara only notices the tension in the gym when he strolls in, shirt untucked and inside out, bib tossed over his shoulder.
“Where is everyone-“ he starts to say, but the silence warns him not to continue, and he halts where he’s standing.
“They’ve all gone back to the changing room. I should have told you, Hara,” Hanamiya has a habit of his voice going down low when he threatens, but, usually, there’s a hint of humour in it; today’s there’s not even a hint of a smile, and, when he finishes his sentence, his words are almost a growl, “we don’t have practice today.”
Only now does Hara see their manager - on the opposite end of the court to Hanamiya, with her arms crossed, as if putting on a front, but Hara’s sure she flinches when Hanamiya takes a step forward. Not once have the captain’s eyes moved from her form.
“Want to know why we don’t have practice, Hara?”
Hara says nothing. It’s something unique about Hanamiya - the way he can make your whole body go into some kind of survival state, even when you’re not the one caught in his glare.
“I did what I had to do,” interjects the manager, and there’s genuine sorrow in her voice, mixed with some half-hearted justice, which is trying to keep her fear at edge, “I couldn’t let you continue what you were doing-“
“Of course not.” Hanamiya’s shivering. He’s clenched his fists so hard that, even from the distance, Hara can see how his knuckles have gone red. “Because you’re such an angel, that you couldn’t possibly look away from these bad guys, and how they were ‘dangerous’ - was that the word you used, ‘dangerous’? Or was it something else? My mother may not have been too accurate with your exact terminology when she recounted to me what you’d told her.”
In an instant, Hara understands. And he can feel his own anger rising up too, painful in his veins, like it doesn’t want to be angry at her but knows it has to be.
“But that wasn’t enough, was it, angel-girl?” Hanamiya continues, “no, you just had to tell the school authorities too. And, that, Hara, is why we don’t have practice.”
“You snitched.” Hara murmurs, and his tone rises just a touch, as if he’s asking a question, hoping she’ll shake her head.
“I did what I had to do.”
“It’s funny though.” Seto strolls in, with his hair messy across his forehead, and a cool, unimpressed gaze. Beside him, stand Yamazaki and Furuhashi - Yamazaki’s expression looks as torn, if not more, as Hara feels, whilst there is just malice in Furuhashi’s scowl and narrowed eyes. “I was under the impression, as I believe we all were, that you were one of the team?”
“Please don’t misunderstand,” their manager’s head drops, and her arms fall to her sides, dangling limply, “I did this for you. I saw how it was affecting you - I saw what you were becoming - I knew I needed to save you before it was too late.”
“Save us from ourselves?” Hanamiya mocks, forcing a taunting grin, walking forward again - and, with every step he takes, their manager takes one step back.
“Save you from-“
“And what made you think,” surprisingly, it’s Yamazaki’s tone filled with all that hostility, all that disgust, “that you were in a position to make that call?”
He looks across the gym, then at her again, and then makes as if to turn.
“You don’t know what this place means to me,” he whispers - and it’s only the silence of the gym that makes his voice audible, “you don’t know what it means to us.”
Then, the only sound is his walking away - the clicking of his school shoes against the gym floor, and Furuhashi’s brisk pace beside him, as Seto mutters something to the newly-arrived Matsumoto (with a basketball tucked under his arm, bib already on). Hara finds himself pulling Hanamiya towards the exit, though he can’t find it in himself to look at her - to see betrayal stare so clearly in his eye. He can only hope his avoidance of her gaze makes his warning clear: that she’s not safe around these parts anymore, that the next time they see her, they might not be able to control their anger this well. That, banned from releasing their stress on the court, they’ll just have to release it all on her.
And, as if to prove Hara’s point, as he’s thinking this, Matsumoto tosses the ball. It slams against the wall behind their manager, and ricochets right into her back. She crumples to the floor. No one turns around.
(happy to go into more detail on this, in another ask, but tdlr: there is nothing that could hurt the boys more, i think, than this type of betrayal - it hurts each of them differently, and some more than others, but, in general, this type of blatant backstabbing, where they’ve let the backstabber in, where they’ve spent time with the backstabber, where they’ve thought the backstabber had their back would be unforgivable. especially if it came with a holier-than-thou attitude of “i’m doing this for you”. and i’m not saying that they’d injure the manager, but, if i were the manager, i’d keep an eye open, and, until the worst of the storm was over, i wouldn’t spent too much time alone.)