Disclaimer: I do not own KnB!


Chapter 74


"BOW! Let's have a good game!"

As both teams begun to take position, Kagami went up to Kiyoshi. "You got a sec?"

Kiyoshi turned around, "Would you mind if I take the jump ball?" asked Kagami.

"Eh?" blinked Kiyoshi. "How sudden…it's true that you have the height advantage….but I'm more experienced with the timing."

Kiyoshi looked at Kagami as he said "…please." Kiyoshi was silent before smiling slowly. "Got it. Then I'll leave it to you!"

Misaki merely looked at Kagami before sighing and smiling tiredly. Nebuya was a bit surprised as Kagami stood in front of him.

"Huh? Kagami's taking the jump ball?" asked Koganei.

"Wasn't the plan for Kiyoshi to take it?" asked Tsuchida. "Then Kuroko and Kagami were gonna go with a fast break, right?"

"Is…this okay, coach?" asked Kawahara.

Riko thought as she spoke a minute later. "I'll leave it up to the judgement of the players! If he didn't think Kagami-kun could handle this, Teppei wouldn't have let him…on the other hand, I have a feeling this will work out for the better." She said.

Hyuuga widened his eyes a bit. 'This feeling Kagami's giving off…I recongize it. He's calm yet full of fighting spirit. I'd even say that mentally, he's in the best possible condition.'

"….If that's so, there's possibility, isn't there?" asked Himuro.

"…maybe," said Murasakibara. "If you can get one over to Aka-chin. Can't imagine it, though. It'd have to start with him, right?"

"More like…" said Misaki as everyone looked at her. "Taiga feels like he should be the one doing this and wants to do the best he can for this team."

Everyone stared at her as she continued. "Also, we've been using the fast break a lot for these past days and Rakuzan probably knows this, so I guess this is a good idea." She said.

Everyone sweat dropped as Misaki watched the court. The room begun to fall silent as they waited for the referee to throw the ball into the air. He threw it to the air and blew the whistle as both teams jumped for it.

"FINAL TIP OFF!"

Everyone held their breath as they watched which team would reach for it first. Misaki smirked as Kagami got to it first as Nebuya clucked his tongue. Damn…as I thought his reach is good.

"Seirin's ball." Kagami threw the ball to Izuki as Hyuuga ran. Izuki threw the ball to the side as Kuroko used Ignite Pass Kai.

Misaki widened her eyes as she face-palmed herself. Hyuuga widened his eyes as the ball was smacked out of his hand as the ball bounced under the net. "TOO MUCH POWER, TETSU!" yelled Misaki.

Hyuuga got the ball as he did a lay-up to only to be knocked out by Reo. The ball was passed over to Akashi as Izuki went up to him for only, to be passed to the side. Kiyoshi was blocked as Nebuya begun to dunk it.

Kagami knocked it out as Seirin cheered.

Kiyoshi got the ball as Kagami yelled. "OVER HERE!" he yelled.

Everyone gaped at how fast it was going as Akashi stood in front of Kagami. Hayama smirked. 'Akashi has the Emperor Eye. It doesn't matter how high he can jump! The instant before he does, he'll have the ball taken from him!'

Kagami let out a breath as he thought. 'Last night, after talking to Kuroko, I though, if I were in his position…what would I have done? Even though I said it was your fault, that wasn't the only cause. And though I said I'd just beat them up, even if I did, it probably wouldn't have changed anything. In the end, I couldn't find an answer and it pissed me off. Anyway, I knew I need to shake myself out of it. So I jumped, and took a ride on the feelings surging through me.'

"Wha-" Already? This couldn't be…

Everyone gaped as Kagami was high in the air as he threw his arm down. It went in as Akashi was shocked. Misaki merely sighed and grinned; she couldn't do anything to change his mind now.

"Dai-chan…." Said Momoi as Aomine caught what he was doing.


Flash Back


"I'm only gonna say this once, so listen up, idiot." Said Aomine.

"What'd you call me?!" yelled Kagami.

"Who cares? Shut up and listen. I'm gonna tell you a little but about the zone."

Kagami widened his eyes as Misaki looked at him. "Everyone has a different trigger for entering the zone. When someone is in aideal state of mind and is 100% focused on their play, they can pull that trigger and enter the zone. "

"Uh…."

"Just knowing your trigger doesn't mean you can pull it. But knowing it won't hurt." Said Aomine. "For you, your trigger is…"


End of Flash Back


"I can't believe he entered it right away." Said Aomine as he grinned a bit.

"…Interesting." Said Akashi.

"The Will To Fight For your Friends."

"The Zone, huh?"

Everyone gaped as Misaki merely blinked. "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! TO THINK THAT KAGAMI SUDDENLY…"

"WOAH!"

"IS HE REALLY ABLE TO GO INTO THE ZONE NOW?!"

I remember now….the atmosphere I sensed around Kagami, before the match started…. It was like the time when he first entered the zone in our match against Touou….! Thought Hyuuga.

"…Kaga-mi-…kun." Said Kuroko.

"What should we do, Coach?" panicked Koganei.

"I DON'T KNOW YET, GIMME A SEC!" panicked Riko.

"HUH!?"

"Right from the beginning…even I didn't think he'd do that!" said Riko. To be honest, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting Kagami-kun to enter the zone…but…

"Well…this was to be expected actually." Said Misaki, as she dead-panned.

"WHAT?! If you did, why didn't you tell us?!" they yelled.

She turned to them. "Even if I did, what good would that do? He was going to do it one way or another. Although…I must say, it was very much like Bakagami to do."

Everyone sweat-dropped at her. Kagami had done another Meteor Jam as everyone watched him.

"TAIGA! DON'T USE THAT MUCH STAMINA ALREADY, YOU IDIOT! YOU'LL FALL OVER!" yelled Misaki, in a dead panned voice.

Kagami looked at her for a second as he nodded.

The others looked at her. "You know…you sound pretty calm and dull, Misaki." Said Tsuchida.

Misaki scratched the back of her head. "Well, what do you expect me to do? If I panic, I wouldn't have enough energy when I go on and what's the point?" she said, flatly.

Everyone backed up a bit as they sweat-dropped. The points were 4 to 0 and there was about 8 minutes and 35 minutes left on the clock.

Misaki looked at her coach, "Coach." She said.

Riko was silent as she gulped and nodded. "…All right. I've decided! Mitobe-kun, I'll be subbing you in!" said Riko.

"Eh? Coach?"

"In the first place, the zone isn't something you aim to enter unless you're Aomine-kun. It's an unexpected result…a godsend of a power-up." Said Misaki. "However, once you've entered the zone, it would be a waste not to use that power."

"Rather than just clumsily trying to hit the brakes, I'd rather go with it!" said Riko.

"Since Taiga is focusing on playing offense and defense right now, he's going to drain his stamina quickly." Said Misaki.

"So I'm going to boost the defense by putting our second year main players on it. So Kagami-kun can devote everything to offense!" said Riko.

"The second year main players….you mean…"

The ball went off to the side, as an announcement went off. "Substitution for Seirin!"

"Kuroko-kun, Substitution!" said Riko.

Kuroko snapped his head to the side as he jumped. "EH? Why?"

"Kuroko is being subbed out for Mitobe?" said Izuki.

"…Oh, I see. If it's defense, Mitobe is the better choice all around." Said Kiyoshi.

Kuroko walked over, completely depressed as Misaki giggled. "Even though I went out on the court full of fighting spirit….it hasn't even been two minutes and I've been subbed out."

"He's completely depressed!" said Koganei.

"What, they're subbing him out already?"

"I wanted to watch him play some more."

"The crowd wants to see more of you, so I'm sure you'll be out there again soon." Said Koganei.

Misaki widened her eyes as her stomache turned upside down. A cold wave over came her as she stared at the crowds. 'The crowd wants to see more of Tetsu…..?'

"That's tight! There's a reason for me to preserve your strength, too! So just rest up a bit for now!" said Riko.

Kuroko wiped his face with the towel as he nodded.

The ball was passed as Izuki went up to Kagami. "So anyway, Kagami. You understand the plan, right?" he asled.

"Leave the backcourt to us and you go all out!" said Hyuuga.

Kagami nodded. "Got it!"

As the game proceeded, everyone thought he was going for his third Meteor Jam. Hyuuga gaped. "KAGAMI?!" I know I told him to go all-out. But don't over use the technique that puts the most strain on your legs!

"How many time do you think we're going to let you use the same technique on us?! If we know it's coming then…we'll break you before reach the peak of your jump!" yelled Nebuya as he and Reo jumped.

Misaki merely stared at them blank as she smirked. Kagami had jumped but only to dart around the them. The two Rakuzan players widened their eyes, as Kagami did a lay-up.

He used Meteor Gam as a decoy…thought Himuro. "Awesome…!"

"Hah! That's sure to piss them off." Said Hanamiya,

Hyuuga sighed. "Jeez, even we fell for that."

"ALL RIGHT! DEFENSE!" yelled Misaki.

The rest of them stared at her as she was grinning like she knew something they didn't. "You knew he id would do that, didn't you?" Tsuchida.

Misaki smirked. "The best to surprise your opponents is to also surprise your teammates." She said as she turned to them and rose her index-finger up, as a gleam appeared in her eyes. "I did tell him not to use too much of his stamina, remember?" she said.

Everyone stared at her like they couldn't believe her.

Hyuuga and the others begun to block the other team as Hyuuga yelled. "Don't think that Kagami is the only one on Seirin!"

This is bad…even the second years are starting to get into it…! thought Reo.

With less than 7 minutes left, it was now 11 to 2. Seirin was in the lead.

On Rakuzan's side…

"Coach, I think we should take a time-out…"

"No need. It is a little unexpected, but our no.4 doesn't look shaken at all."

Akashi let out a breath as Nebuya gritted his teeth. "Shit..Kagami….once he's entered the zone, he's even better than Midorima…?!"

"There's nothing we can do…!" said Reo.

"We'll go on the offensive like this." Said Akashi. "However on defense, Kotaru, you'll changing marks. If he's even better than Shintarou, then I suppose there's no other option, is there."

Kuroko shivered as Misaki looked at him. "You feel it too, right?" she asked. "So if you, Seijuro, are interested in Taiga."

"I'll be his opponent." Said Akashi as he looked at Kagami.