Title: Sk8er Boi
Genre: Romance
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: yaoi (and so I scared them all away ...)
Warning: Er ... might be OOC and slightly AU? Not edited. No-plot(?!) songfic.
Notes: Knowing me, this is bound to be written. I got the idea as I was watching (and singing shamelessly along) the video, Avril looking cute and all that ... it just struck me as absolutely brilliant. I've always liked to write a fic about the future of the SD characters ...
The song (Sk8er Boi) is by Avril Lavigne [Let Go]. I kinda twisted one itsy-bitsy word ...
This is the second draft, as my beloved Muse-san requested a change of characters ...

Try listening to "Sk8er Boi" while reading ... *lol*








[Waku Junior High]


A typical barely-after summer afternoon at Kanagawa. There were only three kinds of students at school that day: those who still have classes, those who have been dismissed early, and those who were cutting.

The rooftop was bedecked with loitering students minding their own businesses. A group of students were heartily starting a Truth and Dare session, to the amusement of the onlookers, and annoyance of those who do not wished to be disturbed.

He ran a hand through his newly-cropped hair as he descended the fire exit to the school building. It took him but a short while to arrive where he wanted.

"Oi! Hanamichi!"

A tall redhead cocked his head, turning to face the one who addressed him. "Nan datto, Youhei?"

He, the one addressed as Youhei, merely smiled furtively. "Ah." He motioned to the direction of the ballet studio, which was a stone's throw away.

"Yoko-san ... ka?"

"She's at ballet practice. They have a recital in two weeks time."

"Sou ka." Youhei raised his eyebrows. "Na, Hanamichi. It's the weekend. The others are waiting at Danny's. You mind?"

Stealing one last glance at the studio, the blushing Hanamichi walked ahead, shaking his head. "Iie." He went floating into la-la world, as Youhei caught up on his easy strides, heart-eyes and all. "Yoko-san wa kirei da ne ..."

He's at it again ... will Yoko make the 50th ... ? Instead of blurting his thoughts aloud, he spoke. "You do know that we still have English, don't you?"

Hanamichi grinned, devil-may-kiss-my-ass style. "Why the hell should I care?"


He was a boy, she was a girl
Can I make it anymore obvious?
He was a punk, she did ballet
What more can I say?


[Waku Junior High]


"Really, Sakuragi-kun," Yoko said, flushed. "You don't have to carry all my stuff ..."

"I don't mind at all, Yoko-san!" Sakuragi exclaimed in reply to the distressed statement. He flexed his muscles for show, then pouted. "Unless you hate my carrying of your things ..."

She looked up at him, now also red at the tip of her ears. "Iie! It's not that. Are you sure ...?" She eyed her bag at Sakuragi's arms, forehead wrinkling cutely. "It's not heavy, is it?"

'Yoko-san wa yasashii ...'

Sakuragi flashed her a dazzling smile. "Anything for you, Yoko-san."

*******

"You actually like that ... punk?" Kawashima Hisoka, Yoko's ballet classmate and friend, asked her incredulously after Sakuragi has left. "You truly, sincerely care for ..."

"Sakuragi-kun," Yoko supplied.

"Yeah, him," Hisoka said dismissively, rolling her eyes. "So, do you?"

She shrugged, pouting. "But that was so sweet of him! Carrying all my things and all that ..."

"I'm telling you," her friend cut in hastily. "Oda-kun ... remember him?"

She nodded. "Un. He's your childhood friend, isn't he? The cute tall one with brown hair —?" Hisoka nodded approvingly. "Yeah, the same. Anyway, Oda-kun is so much better than that Sakuragi. I mean — he's in the basketball team." She nodded in emphasis. "And he doesn't fail in his subjects ... you know, the A+ kind of student ..."

Yoko's pout turned into a frown. "Oda-kun is fine ... demo ... I don't see anything wrong with Sakuragi-kun. True, he cuts classes and fights all the time, but if I try to talk him out of it ..."

Hisoka shook her head, bouncy black hair responding to her every movement. "Uh-uh. A troublemaker once is a troublemaker for life. And look at his hair! And ... anou ... the way he dresses! Yeah, his get-up. It looks so ..." she grimaced. "... so ... avant garde," she finished with a snort.

"What should I do, then?" she sighed wearily, defeated, knowing that Hisoka will win at the end.

"Dump him, Yoko-chan." She looked at Yoko's eyes seriously. "Trust me."


He wanted her, she'd never tell
But secretly she wanted him as well
And all of her friends, they stuck up their nose
They've got a problem with his baggy clothes


[Waku Junior High]


"That Hisoka looks like a hurdle for you, Hanamichi," Youhei said out of the blue, as Hanamichi and the Gundan were chilling at the school rooftop during their Science class. One week has passed since Sakuragi had walked Yoko to ballet. "Even those other friends of hers, Kuromori Kiri and Chan An Mei."

"Why should I care? It's Yoko-san that I like —"

Takamiya squirmed farther away from Hanamichi. "Kiri, An Mei, especially Hisoka can badmouth you! Not that there's anything left to badmouth."

Noma pitched in. "Un. She probably knows everything!"

"NANI?!"

"Yeah, skater boy," Ookusu taunted.

Youhei had to smother a chuckle. Hanamichi had been dared to skateboard by some high school thug who he had beaten unmercilessly to pulp. Bragging that he can do anything, the ineffably foolish redhead took the challenge. Not only did he humiliate himself in public, he fell flat on his face for three times. He got it at the fourth try, though, and earned himself a couple thousand yen, not to mention a large bruise on the ass when he tried to skate home, courtesy of his larger-than-life ego.

It was definitely on of those experiences better left forgotten for Hanamichi, and the gundan received an extra-strong head butt.

"You know, I think Yoko-chan has an eye on that Oda of the basketball club," Ookusu commented off-handedly a few minutes after he regained consciousness.

"Yeah," Takamiya waved his hand. "I think she'd rather go out with him than with you."

Instead of an expected tirade consisting of curses, the redhead just snorted. "Yoko-san and I have a date tomorrow. A movie date," he told them smugly.

Jaws touched the floor. "NANI?!"

He stuck out his chin. "Hah! Take that, you morons! She likes me! Nahahahahahahahah ..."

"Not if I have my say on it," Hisoka muttered to herself as she slinked down the stairs from the rooftop. She had heard everything, and she is determined more than ever not to let Sakuragi near her best friend.

Over my dead bootylicious body! No way would she be with a punk like you. You don't deserve her!

"Yoko wouldn't mind if she went out to see a movie and eat lunch with Oda-kun, now, would she?" Glaring at an image of Sakuragi in her mind, she cackled softly. "I'm her best friend after all ... and she wouldn't disappoint me ..."


He was a skater boy, she said, 'See you later, boy'
He wasn't good enough for her
She had a pretty face, but her head was up in space
She needed to come back down to earth


"Shh ..." Yoko whispered as she lay her son, Kenren, down to the crib. Breathing evenly, the baby slumbered on peacefully, nestled in blankets.

She sighed wistfully as she straightened and sat over at the plush couch near the crib.

How quick the time flows. Had it only been five years since she and Oda started at the university, with youthful promises still kept until now? She gazed at Kenren, marveling how he looked almost like his father; the healthy pallor, soft brown hair, large expressive brown eyes ...

Has that long passed? She glanced at the desktop, where a small framed picture was situated. She's graduated, married, a part of an ideal family. Oda Yoko.

She shook her head suddenly. Why all the sudden reminiscing? She suddenly missed her husband, who was working at the office full-time. He still haven't forgotten about his basketball career, but it was his goal that he first establish a firm base for his small family.

Kenren gurgled softly, turned, and went back to sleep.

Yoko smiled. My baby ...

Yawning, she stretched, plopping down the couch gracefully. Taking care of Kenren was a draining job, but a fulfilling one. Still with a smile, she then reached for the remote, rubbing her aching limbs. Finally ... some quiet time alone while Kenren was sleeping ...

... itsu no ma ni ka hitomi [Then, you caught my eye]
ubawarete hajimatta [Before I knew it, it began]
hanasanai yuru ga nai [I won't let you go, I won't have doubts]
Crazy for you [(I'm) Crazy for you] ...


Yoko froze on the spot. That voice ... I know that voice ...

It was a popular Japanese music channel.

She gasped.

And the one singing in the video was ... Sakuragi Hanamichi.


Five years from now, she sits at home
Feeding the baby, she's all alone
She turns on TV, guess who she sees
Skater Boy rocking up MTV


"I can't believe it either when I first heard it in a site dedicated to memorable High School players from Kanagawa," Hisoka was saying as she chatted with Yoko as they both watched the video. "I mean I was looking for whatever they had to say about Oda-kun — by the way, that site is always clogged of rants about Rukawa's NBA career —"

As if she can see her, Yoko nodded, staring fixedly at the redhead singing on the screen.

"... He's a rock star now! He still plays for Japan, but almost all of his time are for his singing career ..." Hisoka snapped her fingers. "I have an extra concert ticket for his show next week Friday, I'll be going there. Want to join me? Kiri and An Mei will be there."

"Huh?" Yoko was suddenly jolted out of her silence. "He's having a concert here at Kanagawa?"

"Yeah," Hisoka asserted. "Fade, the name of the band, is promoting an album ..."

Yoko, for the lack of better words, was awed beyond belief. "Sugoi ... anou ne, Hisoka-chan ... how come you know this much about Sakuragi-kun ...?"

Just the very question I so much avoided.

She giggled nervously, thankful that Yoko could not see the blush that had crept to her cheeks. "Uh — weakness for rock ...?"

*******

"In retrospect," Hisoka hollered over the music pounding out of the large speakers as she dragged a frantic Yoko to their places near the stage. "That redhead looks hot ... I mean, way better than in junior high."

Yoko smiled in assent. Upon reaching the stage, she felt her knees buckle, legs turning into jelly. She could only stare. There, in front of her, more enticing in the flesh, was the lead vocals of Fade, Sakuragi Hanamichi. It was supposed to be the same guy she dumped for some basketball player hunk; the years have tolled on him, altering him somewhat.

Gone were the hopeless curls and waves of his hair. His flaming red tresses were now long and straight, layered, the longest consisting of chin-length strands while the shortest reached his cheekbones, complementing his features exotically. His figure, lean and slim, was clothed superbly in black and red, the very epitome of 'cool'. His honeyed hazel-brown eyes shone with vigor she had subconsciously missed for many a time.

tada kimi wo aishitai [I just want to love you]
tashika na mono nado nanimo nai keredo [Although I can offer no proof of that]
sou chikau yo [I swear it]
nandomo tomadoi kabe ni butsukari nagara [The doubts & hardships don't matter]
motomeau futari dakara eien ni [We long for each other forever]


"Steady, Yoko, steady ..." Hisoka was cradling her. Her knees had buckled, refusing to support her weight. "It's just Sakuragi Hanamichi."

"Yoko-chan! Hisoka-chan, what's happening?" It was An Mei and Kiri, who seemed to pop out of nowhere.

"Yoko-chan ... take a hold of yourself ..." An Mei was saying. Or was it Kiri? "Look, It's Sakuragi-kun, he's waving at you..."

It took all of her willpower not to break down then and there.


She calls up her friends, they already know
They've all got tickets to see his show
She tags along and stands in the crowd
Looks up in the man that she turned down


"Saa, Sakuragi-kun ..."

Hanamichi smiled at her. "Yoko-san." He held out his hand to shake hers. "Omedetou about your marriage and your son. What's his name? Probably a sweet kid when he grows up, just like his mother."

She flushed, and took his hand, squeezing it lightly. "Kenren."

"Yokatta."

They were by the van, after the concert, the crew packing up the equipment. It was the only free time Hanamichi can spare at such a short notice.

Hisoka, Kiri, and An Mei had already gone ahead, profusely apologizing. They still had to wake up early the next morning for work.

"Sou. How's life? You? Oda? Everything?" It seemed as if Sakuragi was too casually formal with her. And he had developed the skill of smiling naturally, which made him look happy all the time. With a blush, Yoko thought that it added to his appeal.

"Everything's fine. About Oda-kun? Well ... he works at a company — he still plays basketball, though. Why don't you — ah, mou. I forgot, you can't come over to our house; you're too busy. But he would be glad to hear from you."

"Hontou?" That melting smile yet again. "That's good."

"How about you?" She raised her lowered eyes to meet his. "Do you have any girlfriend ...?"

He shook his head. Yoko released the breath she didn't realize she had been holding. "Oh." She chanced on glancing upon her wristwatch. "Oh ... it's late ..."

"Do you want a lift home?" Sakuragi asked immediately, concerned.

Yoko opened her mouth to protest. "I insist, Yoko-san. At least I owe Oda to see you home safely, ne?" Soft chuckles, a slight hint of self-mockery that Yoko didn't notice. "I'm not going to forgive myself if something bad happens to you on the way home."

"Demo, Sakuragi-kun ..." she was totally red now.

"Iku yo." Sakuragi ushered her towards the waiting Honda Civic.

Is this really Sakuragi-kun ...? She shook her head. He's changed ... she blushed.

What's with me ...?


He was a skater boy, she said, 'See you later, boy'
He wasn't good enough for her
Now he's a superstar, slammin' on his guitar
Does your pretty face see what he's worth


"That," a finger pointed accusingly at the television screen, where Fade's Endless Chain was being played. "is Sakuragi Hanamichi of Shohoku?!"

"Relax, Hiro-kun," Sendou cut in, halting the tirade smoothly. "Please have mercy on the poor TV." He gently pried it away from Koshino's strangling hands. "I was there at the concert last night. It's Sakuragi." He flashed his patented smile. "Hana-kun looks nice, really good. Nice rock-hard washboard there ... uh-huh ... six-pack ..." He smiled in a titillating way. "I wonder if he's ...?"

"Don't even think it, Akira." Koshino rolled his eyes. And you wonder why they branded you pervert since the day you were born.

"Why shouldn't I think that Hana-kun doesn't have a girlfriend?" He blinked innocently. "Or a boyfriend, at that," he added at an afterthought.

"Zip it," Koshino snapped. Then he remembered something. "Why didn't you tell me that you went to see Fade last night? Some best friend you are," he muttered.

"Would the phrases 'shut up', 'I don't give a damn about some trying-hard rock band' and 'I can't be disturbed' stir any memory?"

Koshino sighed. "Hopeless. Totally hopeless."

"It was really too bad, you know," Sendou continued, chewing his lip thoughtfully. "I didn't get to ask for a signed CD. Do you know that the inlay has a shot of him chest-naked?"

"Argh!" He stomped out in frustration. "I don't need to be dragged in to your gutter excursions!"

Sendou shrugged, then, as the TV was still functioning, continued to watch "Endless Chain". Koshino reappeared suddenly and grabbed his arm.

"Missed me already, Hiro-kun?"

"I want a no-shit answer, Akira," he said seriously that Sendou sobered up. "Are you hiding anything from me that I should like, want, and needed to know, being your best friend?"

Uh-oh ... Smile your way through this, Akira. You're not labeled 'Smiley' by Hana-kun for nothing ... Sendou grinned. "Hiro-kun ... Nothing, I swear ... I swear on ..." He bit his lip. "I swear on my rubber duckie!"

Koshino rolled his eyes. "I give up."

"Well, it's the only one that sees me naked in the shower, Hiro-kun ... unless ..." he winked suggestively, the smile never leaving his handsome face.

"Eurgh!!!" He bonked Sendou, literally, and ran out of the room with his ears covered. "Sendou Akira, hentai!!!"

*******

"Amazing," Mitsui shook his head. "That baka ..."

"To think that he was the one who sang that stupid 'Ore wa Tensai' tune," Miyagi added. He grimaced.

"Ne, minna!"

Everyone looked up to see Ayako approaching them. Kogure stood up from where he was sitting beside Mitsui. Akagi crossed his arms across his chest.

"Aya-chan ..." Miyagi drooled.

It was a day after the concert, wherein Shohoku Basketball Team (of Sakuragi's time) attended. They are now lounging at Kogure's house, discussing last night's performance.

Fade would be staying for a week in Kanagawa before going to their next destination, Shizuoka.

"I've got good news," Ayako gave them a thumbs-up. "Sakuragi Hanamichi's inviting us at this apartment he has on the seafront two nights from now for dinner."

"A seafront apartment?" Mitsui gave a low whistle. "Bling-bling.*"

Akagi stood up. "That baka owes us explanations."

Kogure chuckled silently. Translation: We missed him.

"Yeah, to some things along the lines of 'what happened to your basketball career?!'."

"We'll be picked up at Danny's, since it's close to our houses, six o'clock."

Miyagi shrugged. "Sure I'll go. I mean, we all are, right?"

"If that baka calls me 'Gori' ..." Akagi threatened.

Mitsui laughed. "Well ... This is going to be interesting."

I wonder if he changed at all ...

*******

"Sugoi ..." just about summed up all of their thoughts as they entered the seafront apartment that early Sunday evening.

They have been fetched by a chauffeured Benz, which, they later learned, was for the band's use, to shows, interviews, promotion, the like. They have their own cars, of course.

Miyagi could only gape like an idiot at his surroundings. Everyone got used to Mitsui whistling and muttering at how damn fine everything was. He wasn't bitter, just plainly appreciative. Kogure was marveling at the contemporary pieces decorating the place, and was now scrutinizing the display of recognitions Fade has received, not only in Japan, but even in some parts of Asia, especially Taiwan. Akagi was astounded, to say the least. Of course, they expected something like this, but seeing it was a different matter.

Ayako was smiling to herself, looking around approvingly. Now, if only Rukawa were here ...



He was a skater boy, she said, 'See you later, boy'
He wasn't good enough for her
Now he's a superstar, slammin' on his guitar
Does your pretty face see what he's worth


"Sakuragi-kun!" Haruko bolted and immediately attached herself to Hanamichi, an excuse for a hug. "I missed you so much!" She squealed, burying her face in Sakuragi's chest. Akagi was rather ashamed of his imouto. Hn. How low could my sister get?

Sakuragi was standing by the door, Haruko stuck to him like a leech. His chin-length red hair was slightly mussed, and he ran a hand through it. He was wearing a white muscle shirt and a pair of stonewashed denims, managing to stand straight although a certain past-crush was clutching his arm shamelessly.

"Haruko-san," he nodded politely, a smile on his face. "Ah, minna-san!"

"Hanamichi!"

"Oi, Sakuragi ..."

"Megane-kun! Micchy! Ryocchin! Ayako-san! And Gori!"

"Yarou!"

"Heheheheheh. I bet you all missed nicknames given to you by the tensai!"

"I don't see any tensai ..."

"Teme!"

"Maa, maa, Sakuragi-kun ..."

It was true; they had missed the redhead, terribly, at that. Even the stupid nicknames. And it was like the old times ... if only ...

*******

"Ne, Sakuragi-kun," Haruko ventured after dinner. They were at the den, where the other band members, whenever they are at Sakuragi's apartment, usually hang-out and chill.

"Haruko-san," he prompted.

She blushed. "Anou ... I was just wondering ..."

Silence. All were curious about what Haruko has to say.

"Sakuragi-kun ... do you have any girlfriend?" she blurted.

Pause.

Everyone fell off their seats, laughing their asses off. Sakuragi Hanamichi and a girlfriend. Yeah right.

Sakuragi frowned slightly. "Iie. My career is more important ..."

Yokatta. She sighed.

"Why?"

"Nandemonai." She hid a smile. Yosh'! Maybe I have a chance with him ... She blushed. Sakuragi-kun ...

Well, it's about time Sakuragi Hanamichi matured, Ayako smiled. He certainly changed a lot ... he doesn't blush madly whenever Haruko talks to him ...

Her gaze traveled across the room lazily. A narrowed-eyed Mitsui looking at Sakuragi's direction questioningly caught her interest; she, too, looked at the redhead.

"Sakuragi-kun," Haruko was saying playfully. "Are you open for candidates? You know, a date, or something?"

"Oh, yeah," he replied, rather distractedly. "I date." Only one person ... he silently added.

Ayako understood the hesitant answers, and so did Mitsui.

I think Haruko asked the wrong questions ...


Sorry, girl, but you missed out
Well, tough luck, the boy's mine now
We are more than just good friends
This is how the story ends


"Some of the fans are ... I don't know," Sakuragi was saying. "I have a closet full of gifts, mail ..."

Mitsui smiled wryly. "Nice change, isn't it, not having to rely on your poor imagination?"

"Hate mails, stalkers, death threats ..." Miyagi intoned.

"Teme!" For some miracle of heaven, Sakuragi didn't show any physical violence at being ridiculed.

"Sakuragi," Akagi spoke. "What happened to your basketball career?"

"Ah." He smirked. "I'm still an official member of the National Team, since I'm the Tensai. But since it's off-season, and we're putting more emphasis on the newcomers in the team ..." he shrugged. "I was discovered by this talent manager — or was he an agent? — in a karaoke bar after a game." He shrugged. "And here I am now." He flashed his Tensai pose.

"Hn. Baka saru."

Miyagi shook his head. "Yare yare."

"I've talked with the others — Nozaru, Megane, Ji, Fuku-chan, etc. —, you know, Smiley the most recently. They're all fine, by the way. Anyway ... what about you guys? How are you faring?"

"Heiki, heiki."

"Ne, Haruko-san, do you have a boyfriend —?"

"Do'ahou."

What the —?!

Oh, Gods ... is it him?


I didn't imagine that, did I? Kogure thought frantically as he looked around for the familiar cold voice. His jaw dropped.

"Rukawa?"



Too bad that you couldn't see
See the man that boy could be
There is more than meets the eye
I see the soul that is inside


"Do'ahou."

"Oi, kitsune, what took you so long?" Sakuragi asked his former teammate in a congenial manner. "You had dinner?"

"I was finishing 'For Real'."

"Ah, sou. How is it?"

Rukawa showed him a couple of guitar chord sheets.

"What about 'Still Time'? The lyrics —"

He handed him a sheet of paper. "Hn. There's no score yet. Do'ahou," he muttered softly.

Sakuragi smiled. "Arigatou, kitsune."

"What the hell is going on?!" Miyagi demanded along with Mitsui.

"Hisashi-buri desu, Rukawa-kun," Kogure said amiably, as Akagi could only stare blankly.

It registered dimly to Ayako that Haruko had fainted but she couldn't care less as she took in the sight of Rukawa Kaede, who was apparently living with Sakuragi Hanamichi.

Nothing changed much about Rukawa, except, maybe, his clothing. He still has the same taut lean body, flawless milk-white porcelain complexion, immaculate black hair, fox-like eyes of deep sapphire, and that unmistakable icy voice. Even the way he held himself had not altered much. Only, now, his to-die-for features were flaunted by a blue nylon-mesh top, and light khaki skater pants, whereas he couldn't have cared less before.

After a few minutes of utterly uncomfortable silence, Sakuragi broke the ice. "Uh — anou ..."

"What are you doing here in Japan, Rukawa, I thought you were at America?" Miyagi put in bluntly.

Rukawa shrugged. "It's off-season at NBA."

And so you're here, with Sakuragi, of all people, rather than stay in your own house or in a hotel? Mitsui raved silently.

"He composed some of our songs," Sakuragi explained, as he rubbed the back of his neck, reminiscent of Sendou.

Rukawa raised a finely-shaped eyebrow at Sakuragi, then moved out of the room. The redhead stood up.

"Ne, minna, let's go to the rec room ... kitsune's going to play ..." He waved the chord sheet. "And the tensai is going to sing! Hayaku!"

*******

Rukawa was testing the electric guitar as they entered the room.

Without further ado, as they sat down to watch, he began to play, almost forgetting that a crowd was watching him; he was one with the music.

... nani wo mitsukete yukou [What are we going to see]
jikan wo kirisaite [By shredding time]
kimi no soba ni iru yo [I will be by your side]
sore ga yasashisa nara [If that is gentleness]

nani wo mitsumete iyou [What are we going to set our eyes on?]
sono te wo sashidashite [The truth that you grabbed]
tsukanda genjitsu wo [By extending your hand]
Let it go
shinjiyou [Let us trust each other]

tooku wo mite'ru sono manazashi wa
[The way you gaze at a spot far away]
kokoro no naka no koe wo kiite'ru
[means you're listening to the voice of your heart]
mada aoi tsuki wo dakishimete [and still holding the blue moon]

hashiri tsuzukeru kimi no tsuyosa ga
[Your strength, shown in your will to keep on running]
mata atarashii tobira wo hiraku
[Will open yet another new door]
sugu akeru yoru wo terashidase
[Light up the night which will soon go]

tatoe hitori demo kimi no koto shinjite itai
[Even if I am alone, I want to believe in you]
sonna shunkan ni kono sekai wa ugokidasu
[In that very moment this world starts to go round]

nani wo mitsukete yukou [What are we going to see] ...


Sugoi, thought Kogure, while listening to Sakuragi, eyes closed, singing softly as Rukawa played with deeply-etched passion. Subarashii ... the two of them ...

Ayako beamed at Sakuragi. "Naruhodo ..."

*******

Haruko blinked. "Where am I? What am I doing on the floor? Mou ..." She heard the strains of guitar, and she followed it; it lead to the rec room. She opened the door, unnoticed.

*******

"That was lovely, Hana," Rukawa purred as he shrugged out of the strap of the electric guitar. He approached Sakuragi and kissed him tenderly on the lips.

Everyone's jaws smashed to the floor, except for Ayako's and Mitsui's. Both were grinning smugly.

Sakuragi Hanamichi had just subsequently acknowledged, and allowed intimate contact, from Rukawa Kaede.

"So are you, Kaede," he whispered, worshipping his lover's neck with his lips.

Finally, they seem to notice the presence of other people in the room with them. Rukawa merely stood there, an arm around his koibito's waist, giving them a clear sign that said 'he's mine, only mine'.

Sakuragi was having a hard time breathing, tears were coming out of his eyes as he guffawed. "Look at your faces!" He resumed laughing again.

After recovering, he wiped his eyes and turned to them. "I invited you over today ... because we," he squeezed Rukawa's hand, which they noted were entwined with Sakuragi's. "We want you to know that ..."

"We've been together for two years now."

"And tonight is our anniversary," the redhead concluded with a smile.

THUD.

They all turned to look at the sound.

Haruko had swooned again, by the doorway, but not before uttering a barely coherent statement.

"Daisuki ... Sakuragi-kun ..."


He's just a boy, and I'm just a guy
Can I make it anymore obvious?
We are in love, haven't you heard
How we rocked each other's world ...


"No, we're still continuing with our careers," Sakuragi was twirling a ball on his right forefinger, flashing a heart-felt smile at his koibito. He chewed a spoonful of lemon meringue pie before continuing. "After he finished composing another song for our next album, he'll come back to play for NBA."

They were back at the den, served with deserts and beverages. Haruko was left to rest on a guest room, after Sakuragi apologized profusely.

Miyagi took a gulp of his Pepsi Blue. "What team do you belong to?" he asked Rukawa.

"Wizards."

A murmur broke through the chitchat. Word has not come to them that he had changed teams; he was originally with the Timberwolves.

Rukawa, paying no attention, ate his strawberry cheesecake primly, administrating eye-contact with Sakuragi. He licked the cream from the spoon, and the stray crumbs on his thumb, fox-eyes never leaving the large brown ones.

Sakuragi pouted and turned mockingly away. He raised an eyebrow gorgeously roguish. A smile curved his lips, lighted his eyes.

"Do'ahou."

Curious at what had commenced while they were busily discussing about Rukawa, Ayako turned back to them.

"Kitsune ..." he warned.

"Killjoy do'ahou," he replied to Sakuragi.

"Hey, get a room, you two!" Ayako told them playfully.

Rukawa only shrugged, a slight smile still not leaving his face, as he sipped his strawberry milkshake. Sakuragi was blaming him, good-naturedly jabbing his arm.

"What about you, Sakuragi —" Akagi turned and saw the pair, now playing with the icing on the cake, smearing it on each other's faces and licking it off afterwards. He rolled his eyes. And I thought Rukawa and Sakuragi becoming even friends would be impossible ...

"So, what are you going to do after the tour?" Mitsui rudely stopped the full-fledged flirting.

Nice one, Mitsui-sempai, Ayako thought as she watched Rukawa take a seat next to Sakuragi.

The redhead shrugged. "We'll be shooting another video, then, I'll come back to the National Team."

"And the band's okay with that?" Akagi questioned.

He smiled. "Sure, our manager —"

Mitsui crossed his arms. "Well, what about that ... you know ...?"

Devious grin. "Ah, Micchy?" Sakuragi glanced surreptitiously at his bespectacled former teammate. "The poem that you made for —"

"I've finished the guitar chords for 'Sekai ga Owaru Made wa'," Rukawa informed them, with a meaningful microsmile at Mitsui.

Kogure blushed almost immediately. He had not forgotten a certain poem dedicated to him, back in his third year high school, slipped inside his locker. It had been during his birthday, July 12.

"It'll take a while before we complete the song, though," the redhead was now saying. "But it's okay, isn't it, Micchy, giving it to us, as long as we include the dedications —?"

"Urusai, baka saru!" Mitsui hissed. Kogure only turned a deeper shade of crimson. Miyagi was smirking, Akagi was nodding, and Ayako? Ayako was chuckling in an I-knew-it way.


I'm with the Skater Boy, I said, 'See you later, boy'
I'll be backstage after the show
I'll be at the studio, singing the song we wrote
About a girl you used to know


"It's been two years, Kaede," Sakuragi whispered. It was almost midnight. The group had left just a few minutes ago, promising that they would see both of them off for Shizuoka.

"Hmmm." Rukawa leaned back against the redhead. They were at the bathtub, and, cliché as it may sound, the frothy warm water was generously filled with rose petals.

"I was surprised with you, Hana." Rukawa drank some champagne, then passed it to Sakuragi's mouth, lips lingering as he swallowed the liquor.

"Why?"

"The girl." His voice was low, serious, without being cold. "The two of them."

"Yoko-san and Haruko-san?" Sakuragi pouted. "You're jealous, Kaede? You know you have no reason to."

Rukawa rubbed his back against his chest, closed his eyes, content.

"Now, Akira, on the other hand ..."

Fox-eyes flew open. "Nani?!"

The redhead nibbled at his shoulders expertly. "Aww, Kaede ... you're paranoid, have I told you that?"



I'm with the Skater Boy, I said, 'See you later, boy'
I'll be backstage after the show
I'll be at the studio, singing the song we wrote
About a girl you used to know





Rukawa doubled-over with silent laughter as he watched Avril Lavigne's 'Sk8er Boi', which was playing at MTV.

Sakuragi, who happened to be with him at that time, looked at him questioningly. "What's up with you?"

Gazing at him coldly, regaining his composure, he answered blandly. "Do'ahou."

"Kitsune, teme! Who are you calling a do'ahou?!"

"Omae."

"Yarou! Oi! Matte yo! Don't sleep you baka kitsune!!!"



*******

"Na, Youhei-kun, what are you smiling about?"

Youhei shook his head, eyes still on the two teammates heading for practice. "Nanimo, Haruko-chan." He thought about the song, smiled wider. "Are you going to practice? I'll be heading there, too."

She nodded. "Hai! Arigatou."

He shook his head mentally, looking at the girl beside him, who was chattering about class. Ah, Hanamichi, I think you're going to need help before you notice Rukawa ...














Rukawa: That is what you dedicate for RuHana day?
Rhygell: Un.
Rukawa: Where's the lemon?
Sakuragi: In my pie.
Rhygell: (proud) I put lemon, and it retained its PG-13 rating!
Rukawa and Sakuragi: *sweatdrop*
Sendou: Why am I neglected here?

[hehehe ... sorry for being so autistic ... I like this conversation ... so I'm putting it up ...]

Comments:
*
You know, 'bling-bling' ... money, luxuries, all those material thingies that defines P. Diddy? Anyway ...
The apartment is Hanamichi's. [waah, sugoi ...]

The really boring part:
Kimi ga Suki datto [BAAD], Endless Chain [BAAD], and Sekai ga Owaru Made wa [WANDS] are Slam Dunk property.
For Real and Still Time [both by Tokuyama Hidenori] are Gensomaden Saiyuki property.
FADE, Kawashima Hisoka, Kuromori Kiri, Chan An Mei, and Oda Kenren are mine.








~~~~~~~OWARI~~~~~~~