Author's Notes: Half of this story is based on true-to-life experiences, and half are not. This is an angsty MitKo fic, which is mostly on Kogure's POV. Kogure and Mitsui are OOC here. And so is Rukawa.

Disclaimers: Slam Dunk isn't still mine, unfortunately. Though I'm still planning on how to steal Kogure. ^_^v

Dedication: Thank you to Michelle-chan, Jobel-chan, and to kaachan for always being there for me and for keeping me sane when I'm in the brink of insanity. This is for you, Hikaru.

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"There's a thin line between Love and Hate. And I think I just crossed it."

Love and Hate

It wasn't the best days in my entire life, that I could say. There was a power shortage in the whole of Kanagawa since this morning and the power was only restored this afternoon. I wasn't really in a good mood, but I had to smile for the rest of the team as I had always done.

"Hey, Min-kun!"

I turned around and saw you walking towards me. It took me by surprise that you called to me for you have been avoiding me since we ended our relationship months ago. It was unnatural, yet I was ready to thank any Deity that may have caused this change in you.

"Hisashi," I said with a smile, acknowledging your presence.

You returned the smile, though rather awkwardly. You opened your locker and began to dress up for today's practice.

Hey, Min-kun… was that all? Nothing more?

"I was surprised to see your name on my inbox yesterday when I received your e-mail."

"Oh. And, did you read it? How did you find it?"

For the past month, I had been angry with you, almost crossing that thin line between love and hate. I was angry with you for the fact that you only contacted me when you needed me and nothing else. And so for the past four weeks, I did nothing to communicate with you, even in court. The only time that I did communicate with you was when I sent you that chain letter yesterday.

You put on your shirt and snickered. "Thanks for the sucking e-mail. I hate chain mails like that, y'know. But what can I do? You already sent it…"

Sucking?! That chain mail was sucking? How could it be sucking when it was so damn sweet and nice?!

I glanced at you sharply and heard you even whistling. My eyes narrowed.

Now that was the last straw.

I slammed the door of my locker and turned to you sharply.

"Sucking?! How could it be sucking when it was so damn sweet and nice?! How could seizing the day be sucking?!"

You faced me, your face expressionless. The blank look on your face almost rivaling Rukawa's. "I hate chain mails like that."

"Did you bother to even read it and understand what it says?"

Really now. I was losing it.

"I read it. But as I said, I hated it."

"Well, Mitsui Hisashi," I said, my voice dripping with venom, "There's a thin line between love and hate. And I crossed that line a month ago. But I still considered you as my best friend. And yesterday, I was willing put down my pride, because it causes me nothing but pain. But what did you do? You remained as cold as ever. Why? Why are you so cold to me?"

"I know that you were angry. Maybe what happened had to happen. I treated you coldly for you to get angry with me. For you to hate me! Everything just so that you get mad at me because I'm not the best for you."

I hung my head down. I was gripping the my shirt tightly, wanting the tears in my eyes not to fall. But it was too late. The hurt in my heart was too much to bear. You knew, Hisashi. And yet you did nothing. Was sorry so hard to say? Was it? I wanted to ask you that, but I did not say anything.

"I admit that I've been stupid lately. I admit that I took you for granted. I admit all my mistakes and you don't deserve to have me as your best friend since all I did was make you cry. I'm sorry, Min-kun."

"You don't deserve to become my best friend?"

A nod.

"Why? Do you consider me as your best friend? Am I still that important to you to rank me as a best friend?"

"I don't want you to consider me as your best friend since all I did was make you cry," you said exasperatedly. "And I admit, your importance isn't the same as before. I'm sorry."

You've been saying I'm sorry and yet I don't feel the sincerity in your voice. You're still cold. Even colder than Rukawa.

"Do you know why I'm crying, Hisashi?"

I heard you sigh. "It seems that you're giving up on our friendship… am I right?" Another sigh. " Why do you cry?"

I faced you once again, the expression of my eyes changing from one emotion to another: anger, love, and curiosity.

"If I were giving up, I wouldn't even talk to you," I said, pausing for a while. "Why do I cry? Because you are still important to me. I crossed that fine line between love and hate, but do you know why I hate you so? It's because I love you. You can't even tell me you love me. Why? Are you afraid I'd misunderstand you? That I'd think you want to get back with me? I've dealt with that past and have accepted that you and I won't work! Why, Hisashi?"

"YES, I'M AFRAID YOU'D MISUNDERSTAND ME! I decided to act nonchalant and cold because I want you to HATE me. I'm not the same person you knew, Min-kun. This is the other side of me after that past."

That past?! Are you telling me you're regretting every single moment of those moments? Why? I didn't.

"YOU WANTED ME TO HATE YOU? WHY? WHAT ARE YOU ESCAPING FROM? Aren't you going to regret all those moments?"

You turned your back against me, facing the door. So you wanted to finish the conversation and leave. Was that what you wanted?

"Regret? I have no room for regret. If this current friendship won't work, then we'll just have to start all over again. If that's the only way, then so be it…"

More tears flowed from my eyes. Why didn't you even care that I was crying in front of you?

"Start all over again with what? Will your nonchalance be the foundation? You're the one giving up on this friendship, NOT ME!"

You glanced at me one last time. "I'm sorry."

And with that, you left. And I broke down, crying on my knees.

I don't know if you were just leaving the room, or leaving our friendship.

Or leaving my life…

Forever…

Why, Hisashi? All I wanted was our friendship to remain as it was before we even became a couple. You promised me you'd always be there for me, right? I wished for no more than that. I thought you'd keep your promise to me.

But I was wrong.

We're not singing the same tune, not dancing to the same old song. Many have changed since that time. I have. You have. But I did not expect your change to be as drastic as this. No. I have never dreamed that you'd be like this.

I heard the locker room door open, and yet I made no move to stand and wipe my tears away. I had no strength to masquerade today.

"Sempai?"

Even without me looking, I knew it was Rukawa. I wanted to look up and acknowledge his presence, but I could not. Not with these tears staining my face.

"Are you crying?"

There was concern in his voice, one that I had rarely heard. I had only seen concern in those eyes of his. But never in his voice.

I heard him come closer.

"Sempai?" he asked again, brushing my brown hair off my face. "Why are you crying?"

My eyes remained closed, and tears still streamed down my face. Without even thinking, I threw myself at him and cried on his shoulder. He must've been surprised, as I have. But, I needed someone to cry on now. I needed a friend. And I know that though Rukawa might not be the most verbally expressed person in the world, he'd be there to listen. As he always did.

Now, I think I understand why he's always so quiet.

Because he just listened.

"I want to hurt him to make him feel how hurt I am. One side of me is approving that, yet the other side is holding me back. I want to understand him, and just let him go, but how can I? I can't even understand him."

I can feel Rukawa run his hand hesitantly through my hair. He's comforting me, and I was thankful.

"I'm so tired, Rukawa. So tired of smiling when I'm so hurt inside. I can't masquerade as someone else anymore. I'm sick of it. And yet, that's the only way I know how to keep this pain from resurfacing.

"I love him, Rukawa. So much that it always hurts."

I wanted to stop crying. But the tears just kept on flowing.

"Just let it out, sempai. I'm here."

I'm here…

I'm here…

Thank you, Rukawa.

And I cried even more. No matter how much I hate you, Hisashi, I will always love you. You will always be important to me no matter what happens. And if it will make you happy by disconnecting all my ties to you, I will do so. If saying goodbye will give you peace, then so be it. I'll accept it. I will try.

Hisashi, ai shiteru…

Sayonara…

Sayonara…

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

(This was the e-mail sent by Kogure to Mitsui)

Around the corner I have a friend,

In this great city that has no end.

Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,

And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friends face,

For life is a swift and terrible race,

He knows I like him just as well,

As in the days when I rang his bell,

And he rang mine if we were younger then,

And now we are busy, tired men.

Tired of playing a foolish game,

Tired of trying to make a name.

"Tomorrow" I say "I will call on Jim"

"Just to show that I'm thinking of him."

But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,

And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner! - yet miles away,

"Here's a telegram sir" "Jim died today."

And that's what we get and deserve in the end.

Around the corner, a vanished friend.

Remember to always say what you mean.

If you love someone, tell them.

Don't be afraid to express yourself.

Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you.

Because when you decide that it is the right time, it might be…

…too late.

Seize the day. Never have regrets.

And most importantly, stay close to your friends and family,

for they have helped make you the person that you are today.

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Author's Notes: Now that was a sad story. Thank you for those who will review this fic, just please don't flame me that much if you don't like it. I couldn't find any suitable person to come in the locker room, so I chose Rukawa. And he's still quite in character here, excluding the comforting part. Anyway, please read my other fics and I hope you like them!

Disclaimers: How many times do I need to tell you? Kogure is mine! Bwahahahahaha!

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