Primarily a dialogue piece, featuring Midorima and Takao, taking place after school a day or two after the Seirin-Yousen match. My original comment mentioned that this was unedited and might be difficult to read, but some kind reviewers let me know that due to a formatting mishap, it was entirely nonsense. Thanks for letting me know; hopefully I don't mess up this time.


"Hey Shin-chan! Why don't you ever go into the Zone? Seirin, Touou, and even Yousen have aces that can get there in a pinch. I'd never say I was embarrassed that Shin-chan's our Ace-sama, but you know..."

"The Zone is a waste of energy. It is more productive to simply train to the point of excellence without relying on such a crutch. I believe Seirin learned that last point quite brutally."

"Oh, I would never imply that Shin-chan needs any crutches when it comes to basketball." He grinned, staring pointedly at the polka dot umbrella Midorima was carrying. "It's just a bit of pizazz. We don't get any cute girls for cheerleaders, so we have to pump up the team somehow."

"Please refrain from comparing me to such frivolous women. The lack of such distractions was a major benefit in Shuutoku's favor when I was selecting a high school."

"Girls are just a distraction to you, Shin-chan? You're so tsuntsun today. That's probably why you can't enter the Zone- you're so grumpy that it rejected you!"

"What nonsense are you spouting? Of course I can enter the zone. It's but the right of one who properly respects his responsibilities."

"What, really? You can enter the zone? Waaaah, I wish I could see it."

"Takao. I already told you it's a waste of energy. I will not enter it just to 'pump up' a brat like you."

"It's not like you can control it anyway, right? It sort of falls into place when you need it. At least that's what Kasamatsu-san told me."

Midorima narrowed his eyes. "You should also refrain from fraternizing with the enemy, whether under the guise of learning from a nationally renowned point guard or otherwise. But you are, once again, mistaken. I can enter the Zone at will; it's simply a waste of energy."

"REALLY?! Shin-chan, Shin-chan, you gotta show me! And don't say it's a waste of energy again, I get that. We already finished practice for today. Right? Besides, I totally read Oha-Asa today, and it says Cancer should be nice to his teammates if he's on a basketball team."

"It most certainly does not. Do not confuse Pisces with Cancer."

"It's pretty close, right? They're both watery little animals." Takao started waving his left hand like a fish tail and snipping with his right hand like crab pincers.

"They are not close. However, Cancers are supposed to be generous to the underprivileged today, particularly to the mentally infirm." He smirked. "Therefore, I will give you a small demonstration."

"Score! Should I call Kuroko and have him bring the tiger over? I don't know if I could fully appreciate the sight if I'm the one playing against you."

"My comment concerning your mental faculties was intended to be a joke, but you continue to make unfounded assumptions. I can demonstrate the Zone to you without a partner. After all, my personal prowess is not aimed toward butting horns, unlike the trio of dunking idiots. Now please be quiet so I can concentrate."

"Afraid you'll get distracted and fail? Not that Shin-chan would ever fail at something, but-"

"Be quiet. And no, you will not perturb me. I will soon be unable to respond to you due to an exceptionally high level of conscious focus. I simply was being generous to the mentally infirm by informing you that I wouldn't respond."

That's not what you said at all, Takao thought. But this truly was a rare and valuable chance, so he didn't want to risk messing it up by distracting Shin-chan, regardless of his claims of non-perturb-able-ness or whatever. Shin-chan really was using some odd words today.

As they arrived at the court, Takao pulled out his phone and got ready to take a video. Midorima picked up a basketball off the ground, then walked to the center of the court. He closed his eyes, stood on his tiptoes, and then spun around a few times. He opened his eyes, and they started glowing brightly. Takao thought it was pretty creepy, and what was up with the whole ballerina thing anyway? Was he just showing he could concentrate so much nausea wouldn't hurt his shot? But he was only at half-court, so...

Takao realized that Midorima hadn't changed his orientation after his spinning stopped. He was still at a 45 degree angle away from the basket, not even turning his head. Then he smoothly transitioned into a shooting stance for a jump shot. Not sure where Shin-chan was aiming at, Takao decided to simply watch the ball.

It left Midorima's hands with a higher speed than normal, and the arc was even higher than his full-court shots. It just kept going up and up and up, and then it hit the ceiling right before it would have naturally started falling again. It hit a diagonal beam in the ceiling, and then rolled down it until it landed on a long, flat cross beam. Its momentum kept it slowly rolling along that beam without falling off, away from the door they'd entered from and toward the other side of the court.

Takao heard footsteps, and he saw Midorima walking away towards another ball on the ground, but he kept filming the ball on its path across the ceiling. It rolled into a suspension cord for the beam, at which point it was deflected toward the side wall and started to fall. It hit the bottom edge of a window sill, which ricocheted it back towards the court. It was actually heading for the hoop.

The ball WHOOSHED through the net, not even clipping the rim.

Takao started laughing. It got so hard that he was bent over clutching his stomach in pain and tears started forming in his eyes. He heard a bumping sound from high up, so he looked up again and saw two more balls following different paths throughout the upper half of the gym. Both fell through the basket as perfectly as the first.

"Shin-chan! That was amazing! You could quit school and join the Harlem Globetrotters right now! Wait, is what you did even legal? I know the ball can't touch the ground out of bounds, but... that was like... a window... And the third ball you shot knocked the second one into the basket! I don't... this is too much... You really are a miracle..."

Midorima turned to face him, and he pushed his glasses up on his face. His eyes had returned to normal, but his voice when it came out had less force than normal. "I take it from your reaction that you are suitably impressed, as well as suitably educated as to why the Zone is a conditionally appropriate tool at best." Thunder pealed outside, followed quickly by the sound of harsh rain. "Now please ready the rickshaw. I must return home," he commented as he pulled out and opened up his umbrella.