Characters: Bikky, Ryo, Others.
Setting: Before and during the manga, all the way to Like Like Love.
Summary: No one who knew him had thought Bikky would ever make anything of himself, not until Ryo took him in.
Written Using: The dw100 prompt ‘Improbability’.
Word Count: 1040
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
As a kid, growing up without his mother and with a dad who was at best a petty criminal and drug mule, Bikky was keenly aware that his teachers, and most of the other kids’ parents, thought he’d follow in his father’s footsteps and come to no good. If anyone had ever asked him, and if he’d answered them honestly, he might have agreed. It was so much easier to live down to other people’s expectations than to try to rise above his roots.
It wasn’t that he wanted to be like his dad, but what chance was he ever likely to have of making a better future for himself? It was a minor miracle that his dad wasn’t already serving time, leaving Bikky consigned to the dubious stability of foster care.
Then his father was murdered and as Bikky had no other family to take him in, suddenly foster care or an orphanage became his only choices. Not that a ten-year-old mixed race kid would be given any say in the matter; he’d be sent wherever social services said he had to go, whether he liked it or not. It was either that or running away and living on the street, which wouldn’t be much better, stealing just in order to survive. In a few years’ time he’d probably either be in juvie, or dead; a life of petty crime didn’t hold much promise for a happy future.
But someone up there must have been watching over him, perhaps his mom looking down from heaven, because instead of getting shunted into the system, one of the cops investigating his dad’s murder had taken an interest in him and had volunteered to foster him. Luck had been on his side and before he knew it he had a home where he was loved, and cared for, and set on the right path. If he stepped out of line Ryo came down on him like a ton of bricks, but Bikky found he didn’t mind that too much because for the first time in his life, someone actually believed in him and thought he could have a promising future if he was willing to obey the law and apply himself at school. Ryo told him he could do whatever he set his mind to; he just needed to believe in himself.
So Bikky had tried, and although he did his share of rebelling against Ryo’s strict rules he worked hard; he stopped skipping school, his grades improved, and so did his behaviour. His teachers and the parents of the other kids started to look at him differently. He was welcomed at sleepovers where before no one would have invited him for fear of him making off with their valuables. Bikky’s whole life had turned around because of Ryo; he’d gone from budding juvenile delinquent to normal, fairly well adjusted kid, all in the space of a few months. Best of all, his improved grades ensured he could try out for the basketball team. Getting picked was a dream come true.
Back when his dad had been alive, everyone who knew Bikky would’ve said his chances of graduating high school were slim to none, and that in the unlikely event he did manage to graduate, it was highly improbable that any college would be willing to offer him a place. Well, he’d shown them! He’d graduated successfully, not with honours but with solid grades, just squeaking into the top third of his year. On his report card his teachers had called him a competent student, hardworking and willing to learn. After being put down for so long, to Bikky that felt like high praise indeed. Suddenly everybody was more optimistic about his future, not just Ryo.
They were right to be, because the letter had arrived just this morning, offering him a full scholarship at U.C.L.A. to play basketball! It felt like everything was falling into place for him; he was so excited that he’d dashed straight out of the apartment wanting to tell everyone he knew. It wasn’t until he got home again that evening that he thought to ask Ryo if it was okay for him to accept the offer. Ryo just laughed and said of course it was, he’d earned it.
“I’m proud of you, Biks; you’ve come such a long way, and now this scholarship! As long as you continue to work hard, anything is possible. Playing at college level will bring you to the attention of all the right people. Just don’t get overconfident; not every college player makes it to the big leagues.”
“I know, and if I don’t…” Bikky paused, giving that some thought. “If I don’t it’ll be disappointing because it’s something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember, but it won’t be the end of the world; maybe I could go into coaching instead, or work with disadvantaged kids or something. There are always other options; I’ve learned that from you. I’m still going to give it my best shot though.”
“I know you will; you always try your best.”
“Only because you taught me to. Without your support I know I wouldn’t have come this far. I can never thank you enough.”
Ryo shook his head. “You don’t need to thank me, Biks; you did it all yourself by working hard and never giving up. You just needed a nudge in the right direction. If your parents could see you now… I know they’d be as proud of you as I am.”
Bikky grinned, knowing that was true. His dad may have been a petty criminal, but he’d been a basketball fan too; he’d have been thrilled at the prospect of his boy playing at college level.
It felt good knowing he’d proven wrong all the people who used to say he’d never amount to anything. All it had taken was hard work and determination, and the unwavering support of the best foster father ever. Even though Ryo had warned him not to get his hopes up too much, Bikky couldn’t help it; he was well on his way to making his long held dreams of playing pro basketball a reality. Surely no one was going to stop him now!