Standard Disclaimer: Slam Dunk IS MINE!!! Just kidding... 

Author's Note: I'm back!!! Finally, after a long break, I'm writing again. There were other reasons why I haven't been writing other than writer's block, but they are now all solved, so hope to bring more fics from now on…hehe

Phantom Pianist

It was getting late, 9pm to be exact, and everyone had left the court, except for a certain raven-haired basketball player. It was usual though for him to be still around when everyone had left, why do you think he became known as the Basketball Ace. Rukawa Kaede was the best since junior high and that had not changed when he entered Shohoku High. There were other characteristics of his that had not changed, like the fact that his 'other' hobby is sleeping in class and provoking the teachers, and that he is also known throughout the school as the Ice Prince because of the fact that he hardly says a word and even if he did, it's monologue.

Yet tonight, without his pre-knowledge of what was to happen, something was about to change, and it threatened to change him as well. The night was silent, with the occasional thumping of the ball on wooden floor. The court's atmosphere was quite stuffy, but outside it was cool and the moon was out; round, full and bright. So bright, it gives the impression of an enchanted aura bestow upon mankind by the Goddess of Love herself; beaming down in bright rays of light, enveloping the world with a soft silvery magic. But Rukawa did not notice any of it, so concentrated on developing and improving his basketball skills that such beauty went unnoticed. Yet he had to eventually stop to take a breather, go home and prepare for another day of boring routine, so after a while longer, he stopped his practice. After a quick shower, he was about to leave the court with his gym-bag over his shoulder when he heard a sound.

It was not a loud noise; on the contrary, it was soft music, floating through the air like a gentle breeze; a light whisper in the night air. Though it was the faintest of sound but he heard it all the same. It was a tune he had never heard before. It had a melodious yet melancholic tune, a sad and lonely song, sung by a lonely child. Accompanying that song was a voice, of an angel sweetly singing a heavenly hymn; like a nightingale singing a lonesome midnight song to soothe the souls of lonely lovers. The song was sung in English (The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocealli), a language that he had been failing throughout his first year, yet when being sung by this angelic voice, he began to appreciate the language which had never managed to for a whole year.

I pray you'll be our eyes

And watch us where we go

And help us to be wise

In times when we don't know

Let this be our prayer

When we lose our way

Lead us to a place

Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe

He began to wonder from where that song was coming from. The most likely place was the music room where the music students usually practice their orchestra, but it was locked every night by the janitor at 6 in the evening because practice would have ended by then, so there couldn't be anyone there at this late hour. Where else could anyone use a piano at this time? The great hall! Curiosity got the better of him, and so he went in search of the source. Questions were running through his head…who was this person? Does he or she know that it's getting late and it was weird to play the school's piano at this ungodly hour? But most importantly, why was he wasting his time trying to find out such trivial things that doesn't concern him at all. Something was pulling him there like a magnet and he hasn't got a clue what. All he knew was that he had to find out before it distracts him and drives him crazy.

The corridor to the hall was bath in the silvery light of the full moon outside, paving his way silver towards his destination located right next to the basketball court. He reached the door to the hall and he hesitated. Should he interrupt such a beautiful song and shock the poor musician? He had never interacted with the music students of his school because obviously music was not his kind of topic. Yet now he was mesmerized by the tune being played right now. He wanted to know badly yet he didn't want to scare the musician. His hand turned the knob ever so slowly, making not the slightest squeak of a sound. He peeped in and a mysterious sight met his view.

Around the hall all was in darkness, only the stage was bath in golden light from the headlights above. The grand piano was partially hidden by the curtain and so was the pianist. All he could see was the back of the pianist. From what he could see, he could make out that the pianist was of small built, slim and slender. Long dark brown hair flowed to the pianist's waist, and graceful pale arms and hands were running across the keys of the piano flowingly, making the most beautiful music he has ever heard. "Who is this pianist?" thought Rukawa silently to himself as he began to edge forward inch by inch, for he wanted to get a better view of the pianist, but as if he was emitting such a strong presence that could be felt from miles away the pianist suddenly stopped the song halfway and turned towards his direction. He was too far away to see the face clearly, but even in the dark he could imagine shock streaked across the pianist's face as the figure began hurriedly packing away manuscripts and making its way towards the backstage door that led to the dressing room behind.

His quick reflexes enabled him to move quickly and he reached the stage before the figure disappeared behind the backstage door. He made for the door and opened it…and found no one within.

Author's Note: Cut me some slacks…I've just return from rustiness. So give me a break…for a while…