For some reason, I thought I was the only one in my family who wouldn't get the stomach flu. Looks like I was wrong, though. My tummy feels like its on a riot.
My thanks to BrokenBlackCat, Xxdreamergirl95xX, hitomi65 and Yui Kagamine for reviewing the previous chapter!
Just a note, the next chapter of Parallel FTB will be out on the 13/14th of January and the following chapter later in the same week. After that, I'm calling it a break until end of February so I can focus on my mountain of schoolwork. And if I have the time, I might do something short for Kuroko's birthday.
Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroko no Basket and its franchise...
"Sample text" - Kagami speaking English.
For those who had forgotten the difference between my usage of XXX and -x-, refer to the Kaijou practice match.
Parallel: From the Beginning
Let me tell you two things
"Let the match between Seirin High School and Shinkyou High School begin!"
"Let's have a good match!"
"It's starting," Kikumi sighed under her breath, clipboard in hand.
"Somehow, I'm feeling really nervous," Furihata, who was seated next to her, mumbled under his breath.
"You're not even on the court, yet you're nervous?" Riko gave him a glare through narrowed eyes.
"You don't have to be," Kikumi gave him a pat on the shoulder "I'm nervous too, but more worried than anything else."
"Well, we did what we could," Riko directed her attention to the center of the court, where the players were preparing for the tip-off. "Let's see how much of a chance Dad stands against us."
The blow of the whistle signaled the tip-off; and Shinkyou easily managed to get the ball in their possession.
"Kagami lost to that guy in height?" Hyuuga muttered under his breath.
Tanimura, upon catching the ball, passed it to Papa, who was already near the basket.
Kagami was ready to block him, but his efforts were futile.
"A jump-shot without a fake?" Kagami growled under his breath. "This guy… is he underestimating me?"
"Oh dear. Kagamin looks mad."
"Just how hot-headed can he get?" Koganei muttered, watching grimly as Shinkyou scored their first basket.
"Well, I won't blame him for getting angry," Kikumi muttered as she scribbled something onto her clipboard. "I know how it feels, too; to have someone score over your head just because they're waaaaaaaaaaaaaay taller than you are."
Every male on the bench sweat-dropped, not knowing what to say in reply to her statement.
"Well," Riko folded her arms. "Let's just hope he doesn't forget to use what he learnt with Mitobe-kun."
"Too easy!" Papa snickered as he ran back to his position..
"Don't mind about that!" Hyuuga called, passing the ball to Izuki. "Let's get them back!"
Izuki ran with the ball, passing it quickly to Mitobe, who in turn passed it to Hyuuga.
"It's free!" Hyuuga smirked, shooting the ball. "I got this!"
Much to everyone's surprise, the tall transfer student leapt up, catching it while it was still in mid-air.
"As expected, this is ridiculous," Furihata mumbled to Kawahara. "Looks like this really isn't going to be easy."
"But it isn't fair, isn't it; having a foreign student in their team."
"Hey. Don't be so rude," Riko and Kikumi scolded at the same time.
"I'll have you apologize to them later," The former added with a glare. "After that, I'll teach you something called manners."
Tanimura scoffed at Kawahara's comment, of which she had overheard.
"Seirin is one of those teams that work darn hard, right?" She spoke to Hyuuga, who happened to be behind her.
"We see a lot of teams, you know; saying that it isn't fair having a foreign player on our team. It's not like we're breaking any rules."
"Well, it is true that you can have up to two of them on your team."
"Isn't that right? Is there a problem with a team getting strong players? It makes things easier for all of us: all we have to do is pass the ball to him and we'll score. It's not like it's something in our control, per se."
"Well, I don't know how easy it is. But if that is your policy, then you better not complain."
"We have some of our own players too; if we're referring to the ridiculous ones. We didn't have to invite them to come to us, though."
"What? I don't exactly get what you mean by that, but…" She continued, examining Hyuuga carefully. "You're in your second year, right?"
"So what if I am?"
"Now that I notice, you're actually rather cute. Just my type. It's a pity that you're younger than me, though."
She dismissed him with a wave of her hand, running back into position.
"H-H-Hah?" Hyuuga's eyelid was twitching.
Did that girl just…?
Back at the Seirin bench, Riko was on fire.
Well, not literally, but one could see that she was fuming mad.
"That bitch… just because she's older, taller, prettier, has a C-cup sized chest… Quite the nerve she has, flirting with our precious Captain during the match. If those guys out there don't beat up that team… Hmm, what should I do, then…"
"C-Coach is going ballistic!" The freshmen-trio almost screamed in fright as they watched the older girl chuckle menacingly.
"Wow," Kikumi whistled. "I guess this is what they call a woman's jealousy?"
"You're a woman, too!"
"Hey, check out Kagami!" Tsuchida's call brought everyone's attention to the red-head, who had his arms raised in defense.
"Isn't that what Mitobe-senpai usually does?"
"He's not letting Dad make any moves! He's got him in a bind!"
"What pressure, too!"
"Ah! Dad's going to shoot!"
"Don't worry; that shot won't go in," Kikumi murmured as she watched with an amused smirk.
"S-She's right! It didn't go in!"
"Looks like that idiot's starting to put his training to good use; and about time too."
"You mean… this was part of his special training programme?"
"Yup! Took him long enough to realize, though."
"Hey! Dad missed another shot!"
"Get the rebound!"
"Nice one, Mitobe!"
"Anyway, as long as Kagamin's on his mark, it won't be so easy for Dad to score."
"Huh? But why?"
"That is simple. That's because Kagami-kun is not letting Dad make his plays."
"Coach! You're back to normal!"
"What do you mean by 'plays', Coach?"
"Even though it's almost impossible for him to reach, there is still one way of preventing him from scoring: Mitobe-kun's way."
"We spent the last three weeks on that. He's able to do it rather decently now; not that it's his cup of tea."
"But why isn't he able to score?"
"The basics of Mitobe-kun's style is to restrict the opponent's movements. By not letting him do what he wants to, not letting him go where he wants to; he will be pressured to come out of his comfort zone. This way, he can't shoot as easily or as comfortable as he usually would."
"Not to mention that it affects their morale, too. Look: he's been missing every shot he made for the past two minutes or so—"
"He can't make any shots," One of the spectators scoffed loudly, interrupting Kikumi. "This foreigner's not such a big deal after all."
"Saying things like that… that's too much," Tsuchida shook his head in disapproval.
"Tsucchi-senpai is right. The court is not for the weak-hearted; there's always tons of pressure weighing us down."
"I-I guess that's true," Furihata paled in horror, imagining himself having to play on the court.
"And what's even better is that Kagamin's there. That guy has a glare so intense and so focused it can kill. It was the same when he played one-on-one with me. It's scary to most people, but it's a good look."
Kikumi paused, watching as Kagami jumped again in an attempt to block a shot. She frowned, as if she had noticed something odd.
"Kikumi-chan?" Riko asked, noting her change in expression. "What is it?"
"It's nothing… I hope."
"What the hell is this?" Papa complained, wiping the sweat off his chin. "I'm pissed!"
"Don't let it get to you," Tanimura gave him a quick pat on the shoulder. "I'm not sure what he's trying, but he's definitely not blocking you."
"Hey, this method is not sitting well with me either, you know," Kagami muttered under his breath, one eyelid twitching. "Just preventing him from scoring is not enough. I got to take him down more directly: I'm going to do it my way!"
"But you've done well. Keep up the good work."
"Gah!" Kagami turned to his left. "K-Kuroko! Don't scare me like that!"
"You better get into position. Otherwise, you'll let him score."
"And don't be too rash."
"Whoever said I was?" Kagami rushed back into position, taking several quick steps backwards as he stood by his opponent's side. "Hey, since I'm such a nice guy, let me tell you two things."
"Hah?" Papa narrowed his eyes, already annoyed from not being able to score earlier.
"First, I'll block one of your shots in this game. You can count on that."
"That will not be possible. I refuse to lose to a team with a child on it."
"And the next thing is…" Kagami turned around to run towards the next, leaving his opponent unguarded.
Izuki passed the ball towards the red-head's direction, which seemed like the stupidest move in the world… until a teal-haired girl appeared out of nowhere.
Tetsuya quickly tapped the ball, sending it towards Kagami. He caught the ball and jumped, sending it into the net with a powerful dunk.
"… This kid here may give you quite a bit of trouble!"
"Would you stop referring to me as a child?" Tetsuya narrowed her eyes at him. "I do not appreciate it one bit."
"Oh, nice steal; Kuroko!"
"And Kagami just had to dunk it in again."
"He's been doing nothing but dunks today."
"Relax; it's only the first quarter. But doesn't Kuroko-chan seem… kind of mad?"
"Must be Kagamin's fault. He's the one who kept referring to her a child. By the way, I was the one who taught her how to steal; in exchange for learning how to pass more effectively."
"Did she teach you misdirection as well?"
"I tried asking her, but she refused."
"Nice one, Kuroko; Kagami."
"Thank you, Captain."
"It's not over yet! There's more than where that came from!"
"By the way, Kuroko; are you really that bothered about being called a kid?"
"To be truthful, yes; I am."
"Other than that, it must be what Dad said earlier," Izuki added.
"About the Generation of Miracles being weak?"
"Yeah. It's like her way of telling him not to talk so casually until he plays against them."
"I second that. The match against Kaijou really took a lot out of me."
"But perhaps it's not just that. I'm pretty sure it's... how do I describe it... Like some attachment that she feels towards her old team, I guess?"
"Maybe you're right."
The buzzer sounded, signaling the end of the first quarter.
Seirin was leading by fifteen points.
"Good work, everyone! Here: your water bottles and towels! Make sure you replenish your fluids!"
"Tetchan! Good work as usual! You were spectacular!"
"Kikumi-san, I would appreciate it if you would not hug me now."
"Listen up, you all," Riko knelt down, beginning her briefing. "Good work so far. However, I'll be benching you now, Kuroko-chan. Since you have a time-limit, it would be best to reserve your strength now."
"We may lose some power from here on, but don't let them close the point gap. It's good if you can maintain it; but even better if you could make it even wider. Dad is the only player that we really have to look out for, so it all comes down to how Kagami-kun will and can handle him."
"Just leave it to me."
"Don't screw up, Kagamin!"
"You again? Stop putting unnecessary pressure on me, oi!"
"You better be careful; Kagami-kun."
"Kuroko… you too?"
The buzzer sounded again, and it was time for the second quarter to start.
"Oh? Seirin benched her. Well, that's not surprising, seeing how she still isn't able to last through the whole game," Someone from the audience muttered to himself, jotting notes down on a clipboard as he ignored the stares of the girls in his vincity.
"Hey, isn't that guy there cute?" One girl nudged her friend, pointing towards the boy that was seated about half a row away from her.
"His hair looks so silky! But the colour… do people usually have pink hair?"
"I wonder if it's natural."
"It looks too nice for it to be dyed!"
"But he seems to be murmuring something to himself… maybe he's a coach or something?"
"No way! He's wearing a high school uniform under that green parka of his."
"But there are some teams with student coaches, right? Like that school, Seirin, down there?"
The boy paused in his writing to look over to the girls, who felt their heart skip a beat when his gaze connected with theirs. He gave them a quick wink before continuing with whatever he had been doing.
"D-Did he just…"
"H-He did! He winked at us!"
"His eyes are pink too!"
"They're so pretty!"
"And he's a guy to boot!"
"I'm kinda jealous!"
"I wonder if he has a girlfriend…"
"I bet he has one! Good-looking guys like that are usually the ones who are taken!"
The boy sighed, ignoring the two girls.
He spotted a head of dark green-hair in the corner of his eye and smiled. To think that she had come to watch the match, too… Oh, he had to get back to his data-collecting.
"That brutish-looking guy with red-hair… Kagami Taiga, was it? A transfer student from America… looks like he's as good as Ki-chan said he was. That guy from Senegal is good too… but I would say that he's no match for that Kagami."
He twirled his pen in his right hand.
"It'll be interesting to see how far her new light can go. But no matter how strong he is now, he is still no match for the rest of us… The Generation of Miracles, that is. But my only concern is that," He glanced towards the dark-haired girl who was seated on the bench. "She's in Seirin, too. How… unexpected."
He moved his gaze back to the teal-haired girl.
"This team, as a whole, could turn out to be something dangerous. They may seem ordinary, but their potential… I guess I can tell why she decided to go to Seirin."
He let out a soft chuckle of amusement, his lips curving into a smile.
"As expected of the girl who I had fallen in love with."
And for those who didn't get who the pink-haired guy is, it's Momoi. Yup, he's a guy here.
Have some faith in him