THANK YOU FOR 50 REVIEWS!

AND WE'RE BACK FROM OUR END-OF-YEAR BREAK!

My thanks always goes out to those who review: hitomi65, MiraclesVeemon, Yui Kagamine, Infinite Skye and BrokenBlackCat

Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroko no Basket and its franchise.


Parallel: From the Beginning

Chapter 12

The Transfer Student from Senegal

"So this is Shinkyou High School… It's rather quiet and peaceful here, isn't it?"

Everyone watched as two girls in a different school uniform made their way through the compound of Shinkyou High School, located in one of the quieter areas in the busy city.

"Sorry to have you accompany me today, Kikumi-chan; especially when you've just joined us."

"It's fine! Scouting is one of my jobs as a manager. Will the rest of the team be fine on their own?"

"They'll be okay. They know better than to slack on practice."

"But is it alright for me to skip out on it? I mean, I did agree to be a reserve player in addition to being a manager. The least I should do is practice alongside them."

"It's fine. We didn't have a manager before you joined us, so they should be able to survive on their own."

"I wonder how Shinkyou will fare against us… Are they strong?"

"Well, we have never played against them before, but from my research, they are quite decent in basketball. If I had to gage their level, I'd say they're in the middle: They aren't as strong as schools such as Kaijou, but they're not weak either. It won't hurt to check them out, though."

"Hey, Coach… That player…" Kikumi tugged onto the older girl's sleeve, directing her attention to a certain player who had just walked into the gymnasium. "Isn't this going to be bad for us?"

"You're right… But they're completely different from last year when we watched their match."

"Even though biggest challenge is Shuutoku, where Midorima Makoto-chan is attending now; we'll lose our first match if we can't handle this problem. What shall we do, Coach?"

"We'll think of something. Come, let's get back to Seirin. Did you make the copies of the preliminary bracket like I had asked you to?"

"I did. I couldn't find Hyuuga-senpai before I left, so I passed them to Fukuda-kun instead."

"That's good. I already told Hyuuga-kun to brief them about the preliminaries, so they should be informed by the time we get back."

"I trust you have a plan in mind?"

"Well, something like that."

XXX

"We're back," Riko sighed, looking a little frustrated.

"Speaking of the devil…"

"Tetchan! I missed you!" Kikumi ran ahead to hug the teal-haired girl."How was practice? Was it hard? Shall I give you a massage later?"

"Oi! Why do you have to keep clinging onto her?"

"Got a problem with that, Kagamin?"

"K-Kagamin?! Don't force nicknames onto people!"

"But why? It's cute!"

"Kikumi-san, can you let go of me? You're suffocating me."

"She was skipping during the time we had to play against Kaijou, but she's not doing it now."

"Coach, you're not skipping this time?" Furihata asked, curiously.

"Like I will!"

"I-I'm sorry I asked!"

"Moron," Hyuuga scolded. "She won't do anything silly like skipping if it's an official match. But you do seem rather bothered. So did it go?"

"You'll be in for a surprise," Kikumi commented with a sigh.

"Huh?"

"We shouldn't be worrying about facing Shuutoku… when our first match isn't going to be looking good."

Almost everyone let out a gasp of surprise.

"What… do you mean?"

"Let's just say… one of their players is going to give us quite a bit of trouble."

"We'll watch the video later. Take a look at this, first."

Riko handed her cellphone to Hyuuga, who looked at the picture that was now displayed on the screen. Everyone else had gathered round to catch a glimpse of it.

"T-This is…!"

It was a picture of a kitten.

Not to mention that it was a super adorable one, too.

"C-Cute, but…"

"Ah, sorry about that. It's the next picture."

"Kuroko, did you just squeal?"

"It's your imagination, Kagami-kun."

Everyone gasped again as they were faced with a picture of a tanned foreigner wearing the Shinkyou jersey.

"W-What is this?"

"His name is Papa Mbaye Siki. Two meters tall and weighs 87 kg. A transfer student from Senegal."

"Senegal? He's huge! T-Two meters?"

"He's a giant!"

"Are they allowed to do that? I mean, bringing foreign students…"

"I'm sorry, but… where is Senegal, anyway?"

"It's a place in Africa, if I'm not mistaken."

"Oh."

"He's just big," Kagami stated nonchalantly, a contrast to the rest of his team.

Even Tetsuya looked slightly worried.

"This Papa Mbaye… what was it again?"

"Papanpa?"

"It's Papa Try-Hard, isn't it?"

"Koga, that guess of yours is way off."

"Papa?" Izuki looked as if he had suddenly gotten a burst of inspiration, whipping his notebook from out of nowhere. "Papaya Ito…"

Riko sighed, folding her arms.

"This is not going to get anywhere. Kuroko-chan, please come up with a nickname for him."

"How about 'Dad', then?"

"What's with that a terrible naming sense?"

"As expected of my Tetchan!"

"That wasn't a compliment, Kikumi-san."

"Dad? Dad's company is a dud…"

"Oh! Nice one, Izuki-senpai!"

"Thanks!"

"So, for this Dad-person, we'll have to…"

"I thought it was lame."

"But you're laughing too!"

"Listen!" Riko yelled, commanding attention.

Everyone stiffened, holding in their laughter with straight faces.

"He's not just tall, you know. His arms and legs are long as well. To summarize, everything about him is big. It's not just Shinkyou, but more and more schools are inviting foreign students to study just to increase their power. Even though they were a middle-tier school last year, the addition of this one foreign player made them a completely different team now. And it is only because no one can reach him, they can't stop him."

"But we can't just do sit around and do nothing!"

"Don't jump to conclusions, Kagamin! Seriously, this is why you're such an idiot."

"Did you just insult me?"

"Listen up! Kuroko-chan and Kagami-kun; I'll put the two of you on your own special programmes from tomorrow onwards."

"Yes madam!"

"I understand."

"The preliminaries start on the 16th of May! We only have about three weeks to train for this. It may seem like a lot of time, but in reality, it's not. Be prepared to be driven hard till' you're half dead!"

"E-EH?!"

"What was that?"

"Y-Yes, madam!"

XXX

"What… is the meaning of this?"

Kagami's eyelid was twitching.

"My, my; have you gone deaf, Kagamin? I said that we were going to work on how to handle Dad; and that I'm supervising your training."

"I did hear it the first time! Do you always have to insult me?"

"But it's fun to, since you always react to it in such an amusing way."

"You little—"

"Anyway, you will be working with Mitobe-senpai here. According to the Coach, he's the best in defense that you can find around here. Why, you could call him a veteran in the field."

"Uh huh… So?"

"So, you'll be practicing with Mitobe-sensei every day until the start of the preliminaries. You will learn first-hand how to stop a player that is bigger than yourself. Coach's words exactly."

"Bigger?" The red-head frowned, looking confused.

"Listen; here's some advice that comes from someone who happens to be the shortest person on the court—"

"You are referring to yourself, right?"

"Don't interrupt me. Did you know that blocking is not the only way you can stop someone from shooting?"

"It's not?"

"Let me tell you a smarter way that is a lot more fun: you can make them miss. Not only does it make them pissed off, it drops the team morale, too."

"You… You're such a sadist."

"Is that so?"

"…"

The senior looked as if he was trying to tell Kagami something.

"Mitobe-senpai says that it's not something that is easy to explain, so why don't you start by playing one-on-one with him? The best way of learning is through experience."

"Got it."

"Here you go," Kikumi tossed him a ball. "Senpai, are you ready?"

"…" Mitobe gave a nod.

"Let's start, then. Begin at your own pace, Kagamin!"

"I don't need you to tell me that!"

Kagami held the ball in both hands, with Mitobe behind him.

It may seem like a normal one-on-one match, but it wasn't as easy as it seemed.

Kagami moved his foot, trying to make a break for it. However, he couldn't.

"I can't get past…!"

Kagami gritted his teeth, annoyed at how tight his senior's defense was.

He wasn't going to let him get to the inside at all; not to mention that his frustration was already building up.

There was no choice but to just shoot from where he was. Even though his current distance is not what he's usually comfortable with… there was nothing else he can do right now!

Turning around quickly, Kagami jumped and shot the ball, which bounced off the rim of the hoop.

"I… missed? From this distance?" Kagami gasped.

He exchanged a look with Mitobe, who did not seem to be 'saying' anything in return. The senior picked up the ball and tossed it back to him.

"Well, have you figured it out yet? Or are you utterly shocked at how much you actually suck?"

"Do you have a grudge against me or something?"

"Well, I guess you could say that I hate guys like you. That aside, has anything got into that brain of yours yet?"

"Not yet! But I'll get it… eventually."

"We don't have all the time in the world, you know. Hmm… but it is a bit too much to expect you to understand with just one try. Shall we give it another try?"

"Fine by me!"

"…"

"Give it your all, Kagamin! We're rooting for you!"

XXX

After three weeks of relentless training, it was finally the 16th of May.

Everyone was up bright and early, looking as if they were about to fight a war. The only exception was Kagami, whose eyes were bloodshot again.

"Kagami-kun, you could not sleep again?"

"Shut up."

"Kagamin is just like a little kid! That's so cute!"

"You shut up too!"

"By the way, Kagami-kun, do you have time after this match?"

"I do, actually. Why do you ask?"

"My, Tetchan; you're asking Kagamin out? How bold of you!"

"Hah?"

"That's not it, Kikumi-san."

"Oi! If you have so much time to gossip, how about warming up, huh? Think we have so much time on our hands?"

"Sorry, Captain!"

"Coach! We have all the water bottles and towels ready!"

"Thank you; Kikumi-san, Furihata-kun, Kawahara-kun and Fukuda-kun! Why don't you go warm up with the rest?"

"Yes madam!"

"By the way," Hyuuga noted after examining the Shinkyou team. "Dad doesn't seem to be here."

"Now that you mention it, you're right."

It was then a loud bang from the entrance of the gymnasium caught their attention, followed by the sound of someone grumbling in pain.

Their eyes widened to spot the dark-skinned foreigner, who had his forehead collided into the wall above the door.

"Everything's so short in Japan," He complained, holding his sore head as he walked over to his team.

"H-He's huge!" Izuki mumbled under his breath "And kind of… long?"

"What are you doing?" Scolded Shinkyou's Coach. "Step on it already!"

"I'm sorry I'm late!"

"Why is that sentence the only thing you can say fluently?" Tanimura Yuuka, the Captain of Shikyou, snorted before she felt something tap the back of her foot.

"Oh! Sorry about that!" Hyuuga apologized as he ran over to retrieve the ball that had rolled away.

"Speaking of which," The girl turned around, placing a hand on her hip. "Did you guys really defeat Kaijou?"

"Well, it was just a practice game…"

"Seriously? I guess the Generation of Miracles aren't such big a deal as we thought they would be."

Hyuuga frowned at the smug comment.

"The Generation of Miracles lost?" Papa mumbled, shrugging his shoulders. "Even though they brought me here to beat them… I'm disappointed that they're so weak."

He turned to walk towards the changing room, only to bump into someone as he was near a glaring Kagami.

"Eh?"

He looked around, wondering who was the person he had bumped into.

When he looked down, he was surprised to see a girl with light-blue hair and eyes looking up at him with an unreadable expression.

He lifted her up, staring straight into her eyes.

"That's no good, little one. Children aren't supposed to be on the court."

"Tetchan!"

"Oi! Don't go about touching her so freely, you!" Kagami started to glare daggers at him, but was ignored.

"Papa! What are you doing?" His captain yelled from a distance behind him when she realized what was going on. "She's a player!"

He put her down, feeling a little embarrassed that he felt something that he shouldn't have. He shook it off quickly, snorting as he walked away.

"They lost to a team with a little girl like her? Are all the Generation of Miracles actually children?"

The Seirin team tried their best to muffle their laughter.

"You have a girl on your team too, you know," Izuki stated between giggles.

Kagami, unable to control himself, was practically pounding on the floor as he started to let out little sniggers that did not go unheard.

"Tetchan!" Kikumi ran over to her childhood friend. "Are you alright? Did he touch you anywhere he shouldn't? I'll sue him for sexual harassment!"

"He didn't. But to be frank, I'm starting to get annoyed."

With this statement, no one dared to let out another chuckle. Well, except Kagami.

"You have a side that doesn't like to lose too, huh?"

"Everyone!" Riko called out. "There's another five minutes until the match starts! Finish with your warm ups and get ready!"

"Let's show good ol' Dad why he shouldn't piss off kids, shall we?"


Q&A TIME!

(Note: This is a new segment to answer all your burning questions!)

Question by Muri (anonymous): What kind of dere is Kikumi-chan?

Answer: If Midorima is Tsundere and Kuroko is Dandere, then Kikumi is Himedere. Suzumiya Haruhi is the closest character comparison I can make. (But if you ask me, Haruhi is kamidere.)


I'm rethinking about whether I should really write as much as I do. Because I just got 20/40 for an exam (which never happened to me) and I'm in a bit of a shock. I really want to get to university; but with my results now, I think even getting my diploma is a challenge...

And thanks to my work load, I'm not sure if I even have enough time in a week for this...

I need to go for my next lesson soon, so see you next week!

Cheers,
Dreams of the Future

Next chapter:

Let me tell you two things