A/N: This fic was originally a oneshot, but after a few requests I decided I would continue with it, and now I've finally uploaded the entire thing here. This is my two cents on why Hanamichi was so freaked out after that one-on-one with Rukawa… It just struck me as being really weird, the way Hanamichi reacted, going all silent and wide-eyed… and then the hentai in me took over heh heh heh…
Warnings: This fic contains SPOILERS for the anime and manga after the anime ends... This first scene takes place towards the end of the anime, right after Rukawa has just finished his one-on-one with Mitsui after practice. Earlier he has told Anzai-sensei that he would follow his advice to become a better player first before going to America.
"I challenge you to a one-on-one!"
"Hn." and with that almost imperceptible sigh, the super rookie accepted the self-proclaimed tensai's challenge.
Mitsui and Ryota paused to look at each other, matching raised eyebrow for raised eyebrow. Kogure just looked downright frantic as usual. And then the three senior boys collectively sprang into action, ushering the rest of the juniors out of the gym and barring the doors behind them, ensuring that none would disturb the confrontation between the two remaining freshmen.
Hanamichi still stood rooted in the same place, stunned that the kitsune had actually accepted without any argument. No disdainful "do'ahou." No arrogant turn of the back. The kitsune was actually standing in starting position, waiting for him step up to the line and make good on his challenge.
And then the super rookie spoke...
"Well?" he said in his low monotone, not even a trace of impatience tinting the syllable, just simple stubborn determination.
Hanamichi shook off his temporary shock and stepped up, his fighting spirit returning to full power in an instant, rivaling that cold determination.
"Prepare to be amazed, amateur." Hanamichi taunted.
Rukawa's only reply was to crouch into a ready stance.
Hanamichi narrowed his eyes, and matched the other boy's movements.
The kitsune passed him the ball, he passed back... and it began.
But before the redhead even realized what was happening, Rukawa had eluded him and had executed a perfect lay-up.
The redhead fumed, but said nothing. He simply took the ball and dribbled back to starting position.
Hanamichi passed the ball, Rukawa passed it back to him... and then suddenly the ball was taken from his hands and was swishing through the hoop.
Stunned, Hanamichi watched as Rukawa retrieved the ball and began to dribble back to starting position. When the redhead did not step to the line, Rukawa stopped bouncing the ball and looked up at him.
"What?" Not even a trace of the usual mocking scorn.
Hanamichi didn't like it. Not one bit. There was something weird going on with Rukawa today. And he had a feeling it had something to do with the little scene he had come across earlier between the kitsune and the old man. And then during practice, the raven-haired boy had been so serious, playing with a fire that Hanamichi had never seen before. And no matter how loud he got, no matter how many times he taunted the foxy-eyed boy, Rukawa ignored him like he didn't even exist.
How dare he.
And then challenging Mitsui to a one-on-one...
Something had to be done.
"Have you given up?" the raven-haired boy suddenly asked, but not to needle the redhead as he usually would. The question was merely a request for information, as if he wanted to know so he could get on with more important things.
That was the last straw.
"NANI?! The tensai never gives up, kitsune! I'm just... taking my time, yeah... I want to enjoy every minute of you losing to me, NYAHAHAHAA!"
"But I'm not losing." Rukawa replied matter-of-factly, bringing an abrupt end to the redhead's egotistical laughter.
"Teme kitsune, I'm just getting warmed up." Hanamichi seethed. "And it's just taking a little longer since your pathetic abilities are boring me."
A dark eyebrow raised a fraction.
"If it's motivation you want, why don't we make this a little more... interesting?" The raven-haired boy said.
"Eh?" Hanamichi was momentarily stunned. Did Rukawa just speak a full sentence?
"How about a bet?" The other boy continued.
There was definitely something strange with Rukawa today.
"Loser has to do whatever the winner says."
"You're on." Hanamichi agreed instantly, images popping into his head that were too good to resist; "Soon the whole school shall see you bowing down to me as the true ace of the basketball team... and then Haruko-san will know that I am truly the tensai!" the redhead tittered to himself.
"Is that what you really want?" the raven-haired boy asked softly, looking at the floor of the court as he slowly dribbled the ball.
"Whatsa matter kitsune, scared?" the redhead jeered.
Rukawa stopped dribbling the ball and looked up...
"Just remember what happens if you lose. Then you have to do whatever I say."
The smirk vanished off of Hanamichi's face. That possibility amazingly hadn't occurred to him before he opened his big mouth.
Slowly the raven-haired boy stepped closer to the redhead... a strange glint of determination in his eyes... closer... until they were barely inches apart. And then...
"What's the matter Hanamichi... scared?" the super rookie asked, voice barely a whisper.
Hanamichi stood transfixed, drowning in the icy blue of Rukawa's eyes.
The redhead hastily took a step back.
"The tensai will never lose to you kitsune. Play." He sneered. Perhaps a little too spitefully.
Rukawa turned his back, dribbling the ball back to starting position, every bounce echoing loudly through the silent gym. Then he turned around, game face back in place, and waited for Hanamichi.
The redhead strutted to the line proudly, ignoring the cautious tension he felt dancing in his gut. Caught the ball, passed back, and then... swish... the super rookie threw a quick three pointer that even Mitsui would have envied...
" " "
"I know!" the redhead snapped. He was tired, he was frustrated, his ego bruised beyond recognition. And he didn't need to be reminded of something that he was completely aware of. He couldn't work out what the hell was happening! He hadn't scored a single point against Rukawa! How was it possible? How could the tensai fail?
But even though he was losing miserably, he still had his pride. He fought as hard as he could every second of the way. And even now, when it was nearly over and the outcome painfully obvious, he was still going to put up a damn good fight.
Rukawa passed him the ball, he passed back, and immediately went into a defensive stance.
Rukawa dribbled evenly, pacing, waiting, looking for a way through his opponent. He found an opening, but the other boy instantly closed it, forcing him to pull back. The redhead had learned a lot during the span of their game.
He pushed another opening, but the redhead blocked him again. Hanamichi had him covered.
The two freshmen faced each other, panting from their long, hard confrontation, each one more stubborn and determined than the other.
Time seemed to slow down... come to a halt...
There was only one thing left to do.
Suddenly, Rukawa forced his way, pushing Hanamichi back until he felt he was close enough to the ring. Then abruptly he turned, let the ball fly... and watched it arc gracefully into the hoop.
What the raven-haired boy didn't see was how Hanamichi slipped when he turned to shoot, the sudden release of pushing force causing the redhead to topple backwards. And perhaps due to the strain their game had put him through, the redhead couldn't stop himself from falling to the floor.
But what the raven-haired boy did see was that he was going to land right on top of Hanamichi, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.
Rukawa tried to twist his body in mid-air to make the coming collision less painful, and ended up sprawled across the other boy, face down against a hard chest.
"UNH! Ite..." complained the redhead.
Rukawa pushed himself up to get off the other boy, but suddenly froze, hovering inches away from the redhead's face.
Hanamichi regained his focus, and found himself lost in icy blue depths again. Icy... but heated... was it possible to be both at once? How come he had never noticed it before?
"Get off me." he said as he pushed the raven-haired boy off, hastily sitting up and turning away.
What was happening to him? Why was he feeling so... flushed?
Must be the adrenaline from the game...
"So... um..." Hanamichi attempted.
"What do I have to do?" he asked, voice uncharacteristically defeated. There was a moment of tense silence, and then...
"Don't move." was the raven-haired boy's soft reply.
"What?" Hanamichi demanded, turning to look at Rukawa in confusion. And he was again faced with eternal blue pools, inches away from his face. Somewhere in the back of his mind he wondered how they got to be sitting so damn close to each other.
"Don't move?" the redhead repeated, barely even hearing his own voice.
"And close your eyes." the raven-haired boy commanded.
Spellbound, Hanamichi's lids began to shut. His mind was screaming not to, but when had he ever been one to listen to his head?
Nothing happened for a few seconds, and Hanamichi tensed in anticipation as he waited, knowing and not knowing at the same time...
His heart began pounding...
His breathing capability left him...
And then he felt it...
A slight movement of air and then a light pressure on his lips... soft... wet...
Fingers trailing up his arm and then a hand on the back of his neck... firm... but so gentle...
Like nothing he'd ever experienced before...
And he must have liked it because he suddenly found himself sighing contentedly...
At which point a wet tongue entered his mouth.
His first instinct was to pull back, but the hand on the back of his neck held him firmly in place.
And then the soft appendage began exploring the waiting caverns of his mouth, caressing wet insides, massaging his own tongue... Hanamichi moaned involuntarily... and the tongue became more insistent, lips pressing harder, another firm hand encircling his back and pulling him closer...
A warm chest pressed against his own, and Hanamichi was strangely exhilarated by the contact, his breathing becoming more ragged as his sudden craving for more overruled his need for air. Before he even realized it, his shirt had disappeared, and hungry hands where roaming over his heated skin as thirsty lips reconnected. His world began to spin around him, and he allowed it, releasing himself completely to the embrace.
But then his back came into contact with the cold floor of the court and he yelped in shock.
Suddenly Hanamichi remembered where he was.
He panicked, abruptly pushing the raven-haired boy away and standing up.
"You..." the redhead stammered, not noticing the flash of pain in Rukawa's eyes as he backed away.
"You... you got what you wanted already…" the redhead spat out in between shaky breaths. "You won... You got your prize."
Suddenly pain was replaced with anger, and Rukawa stood up, closing the distance between the two of them in an instant, connecting his fist with the redhead's jaw harder than he had ever done before.
The redhead staggered backwards, clutching his cheek in amazement.
"What I wanted was to go to America and play basketball." Rukawa burst out. "Maybe I could get away from this... from you... But Anzai-sensei told me I have to stay if I want to succeed... that means I'm stuck with you..."
The raven-haired boy stepped closer, close enough for Hanamichi to see the myriad of emotions subtly tormenting his features.
"Stuck having to hear your annoying insults every day... having to see that bright red hair everywhere... your face... those eyes..." The raven-haired boy spoke in a barely audible whisper, as if speaking more to himself...
"... there's no escaping you now Hanamichi..."
Then Rukawa stepped even closer, raising a hand to touch the redhead.
Hanamichi flinched, shocked and afraid. Of what, he didn't know right now.
Rukawa let his hand drop. Resignation in his eyes.
"No more games Hanamichi. You know I want you. And by the way you responded to that kiss... I think you want me too. So it's up to you now, whether or not you can swallow your pride and admit the truth to yourself."
Hanamichi stood frozen, eyes wide, speechless.
Rukawa turned away, walked towards the doors.
But before he left the gym he stopped, turned his head slightly over his shoulder...
"I'll be waiting Hanamichi."
SCENE 2a: This scene takes place after the game against Toyatama at the IH, during which Rukawa was elbowed in the eye by the opposing team's captain Minami.
Hanamichi lay awake, motionless, frowning at the unfamiliar ceiling as he replayed the day's events in his head. He should have been happy, they had just defeated Toyotama after all, but instead... Damn kitsune. Black eye and all, the raven-haired boy could still play, still shoot- with both his fucking eyes closed he could probably still shoot. Hanamichi hated to admit it, but he had a long way to go before he'd be able to do that. But even more difficult to admit to himself was that he couldn't even hate Rukawa for it anymore, that he was slightly... awed. The determination Rukawa had played with, it was amazing, intense... like that day when they'd played that one-on-one back at Shohoku.
It was all such a blur... he had barely been aware of what was happening, could barely remember how the events had played out... He remembered Rukawa showing off during practice, ignoring him and playing a one-on-one against Mitsui, and how pissed off that made him... Then he had challenged Rukawa to their own one-on-one, and had played with everything he had, but had still lost... And of course there was Rukawa's stupid bet he'd had to fulfill... and Rukawa's stupid eyes... and that's where everything went hazy, because then there was Rukawa's stupid lips, hands, arms around him... How had he let it happen? Yes, he supposed that was the problem really, how had he let it happen? The hardest thing he had to admit, that he had come to realize, was that deep down, he probably knew what was happening all along, knew what Rukawa wanted... and how easily he could give in to it... almost as if he wanted it to happen.
Hanamichi shook his head furiously to rid himself of that last thought. He didn't like thinking about it. Not at all.
And he shouldn't be thinking about it. He should be concentrating on the tournament and the upcoming game with Sannoh. But it was difficult when all the things he should be concentrating on also involved... him.
Gah. Damn kitsune.
Hanamichi shook himself again and got out of bed. He needed to take a walk, get some fresh air, maybe that would clear his head.
But Hanamichi hadn't gone very far before he ran into the very thing he was trying to avoid. He stopped in his tracks upon hearing Rukawa's voice, looking up to see the raven-haired boy talking with... Minami? What?! What was Rukawa doing with that snake?
Hanamichi's fist clenched, suddenly feeling the urge to punch something. Vaguely he remembered having a similar urge when the Toyotama player had elbowed Rukawa in the eye during their game. He almost snarled as he recalled the incident, but at that very moment Rukawa looked up, and locked eyes with his.
Hanamichi's growl died in his throat, suddenly feeling like the wind had been sucked out of his chest. For a moment he stood frozen, trapped in the intensity of that sudden connection... but then he gritted his teeth against the unwelcome feeling, and glared at the raven-haired boy.
" " "
Rukawa stared at the empty space where Hanamichi had gone. Had they talked? Exchanged insults like they usually did? He couldn't seem to remember. Looking into those honey-brown eyes, time seemed to slow down, everything became a haze... it felt like a million words had been said, and none at all. He didn't know. Didn't care. Didn't matter. It always ended up the same... with him being alone, left with nothing but the lingering traces of Hanamichi's presence, full of hunger and harshly empty, his chest caving in because his breath had followed Hanamichi... away.
"It's hard isn't it?"
Rukawa blinked at the voice, suddenly aware of Minami's presence again.
Minami paused, looking in the direction Hanamichi had left before he replied, his gaze dark and knowing.
"Wanting something so much it drives you insane."
Rukawa narrowed his eyes.
"What are you talking about?"
"The way you looked at him was unmistakable." Minami replied.
Rukawa narrowed his eyes further, bristling.
The older boy's expression softened, turned wistful.
"I know what it's like." Minami said.
Rukawa frowned slightly. The older boy sounded almost sad, resigned, and somehow Rukawa got the feeling that the older boy did understand. He sighed, and found himself again gazing in the direction Hanamichi had left. A hand rested on his arm, calling his attention, and he pried his eyes away, returning them to the boy in front of him.
"Listen, that eye ointment I gave you is a bit difficult to deal with on your own..." Minami started, his hand sliding just slightly up Rukawa's arm, "so why don't I give you a hand?" the boy finished, his gaze darkening with suggestion.
Rukawa blinked down at the other boy's hand, taken aback by the sudden turn of events. He wanted to pull his arm away, but the hunger, the aftermath of Hanamichi was too great. And the touch felt so warm, so good, minimal as the contact was... He wanted- needed more.
The next thing he knew he was inside his room, lying on his bed with his pants caught at his knees, a very warm, wet mouth working his aroused flesh. He reached down to grab a fistful of Minami's hair, closed his eyes, and imagined that the strands in his fingers were red.
SCENE 2b: This scene takes place after the game against Toyatama at the IH, during which Rukawa was elbowed in the eye by the opposing team's captain Minami.
For the third time that day Hanamichi wanted to punch something in, hard enough to make his knuckles bleed. He had just returned from his walk, his head a little clearer after having spent some time with his teammates talking about the game tomorrow, when he saw something that made his stomach turn...
Minami. Leaving Rukawa's room. Looking all too satisfied with himself as he smirked at Hanamichi on the way out.
He stood seething, glaring at Rukawa until the Toyotama player had left, and then he finally snapped.
"What was that?" he hissed, storming up to the raven-haired boy.
"What?" Rukawa replied, seemingly nonchalant.
"What was he doing here?" Hanamichi ground out through clenched teeth. Rukawa's eyes narrowed as he glared back at the infuriated redhead.
"Giving me some ointment for my eye." he replied.
Hanamichi growled and shoved the raven-haired boy into the room, slamming the door behind him.
"Don't lie to me Rukawa, I can see the bed, I can smell- "
"What's it to you?" Rukawa interrupted angrily. "Why do you care?" he yelled.
Hanamichi blanched for a second, shocked at the other boy's sudden outburst, but he quickly remembered his anger and retaliated.
"So I guess you were just playing with me then huh? You don't really want me, you just want any piece of ass you can get." he snarled.
Rukawa's eyes flared dangerously before he slammed the redhead up against the wall.
"Shut up you idiot, you don't know what you're talking about." Rukawa hissed. "It's always been about you. I'm going crazy here waiting for you and he just offered me some... relief. But it's still you I want. Only you. Always you!"
"Let go of me you bastard." Hanamichi rasped out.
"No." Rukawa replied, and the next second he brought his lips down angrily against the redhead's, kissing him hard and desperate. Hanamichi froze, stunned at the sudden turn of events, and before he had a chance to pull himself together and react, the other boy pulled away. Rukawa glared at the redhead, his eyes a furious blue and his chest heaving from lack of air and anger combined.
"What are you so pissed off at Hanamichi? Me? Or yourself?"
"Fuck you." Hanamichi hissed.
Rukawa snarled, pressing his lips hard against the redhead's again. Hanamichi whimpered into the kiss, clutching at the back of Rukawa's shirt and pulling him closer as he devoured the raven-haired boy's lips with equal ferocity. Rukawa groaned, drowning in the redhead's taste, kissing him like he was his only source of air. But eventually the reality of his screaming lungs won again and he pulled away. Panting heavily, he locked his eyes onto the redhead's, daring him to see the truth. Hanamichi's eyes widened when he realized what he'd just done, and he looked away, unable to meet the raven-haired boy in the eye.
"Admit it. You want me too. You want me!" Rukawa growled. Hanamichi flinched at the words, seemingly lost for a moment as he stared at the wall. Then finally the redhead's gaze focused, steeled as he returned Rukawa's glare.
"So what?" he seethed. "So I should just give in and let you have your way with me? Let you ignore me or insult me whenever you want and then let you use my body to satisfy your twisted cravings? Forget it!"
Rukawa slammed Hanamichi against the wall again. "You idiot!" Rukawa yelled, "I don't just want your body! I want your mind, your heart, your soul. I want everything." Rukawa sighed in frustration before continuing in a harsh whisper. "I want to feel you, know you, breathe you inside and out and own you... like you were a part of my body... inseparable... essential."
The redhead was silent, his face eerily blank as he stared back at the raven-haired boy. And then finally Hanamichi opened his mouth to speak.
"And what do I get?" the redhead asked softly.
Rukawa blinked, stepping back in confusion and loosening his hold on the other boy.
"You expect me to give you everything, without anything in return?" Hanamichi said, his tone challenging, but a needy uncertainty flickering in his eyes.
Rukawa stared back at the redhead, stunned at the question.
Still Rukawa was silent, bewildered that the other boy didn't understand.
Hanamichi growled and shoved Rukawa away, punching him in the gut so Rukawa was forced back even further, keeling over as the wind was knocked out of him.
"You're full of shit Rukawa." Hanamichi glared down at the raven-haired boy, then turned to leave.
"You really are a do'ahou."
"Nani?!" Hanamichi yelled, whirling back around.
"You don't get it, do you?" Rukawa gritted out, glaring back up at the red-headed boy.
Clenching his jaw shut, Hanamichi angrily awaited an explanation.
"You already own me."
Silence filled the air as Hanamichi examined the raven-haired boy, his face going blank. Without another word he turned and left the room.
Rukawa remained motionless after the redhead had left, and then finally collapsed, clutching at himself, the wind punched out of him once again.
SCENE 3: This scene takes place after the IH, Hanamichi is staying at a hospital recovering from his back injury and Rukawa is training with the All-Japan team.
"Why do you keep coming here?" Hanamichi asked, his hair ruffling in the wind as he looked out at the ocean.
Rukawa stared at the redhead, wanting to tell him how he went crazy if he went too long without seeing him, even if it was just long enough for the redhead to insult him... but he didn't.
"You know why." he said instead.
Hanamichi didn't reply, continuing to stare out at the ocean. Rukawa thought he saw Hanamichi sigh, but it was so small he couldn't be sure. He continued to observe the redhead, drinking in as much of Hanamichi's presence as he could before the inevitable insult came to chase him away. But it never did. Rukawa frowned.
The redhead turned to look at him, his eyes searching.
"What happened to 'do'ahou'?" Hanamichi asked quietly. Then even more softly, "or even 'Hanamichi'?"
Rukawa stared at the other boy in surprise. Hanamichi shifted uncomfortably in the silence.
"Do'ahou." Rukawa said softly.
"Teme..." Hanamichi replied. But the response lacked its usual vehemence, and soon they lapsed back into silence, broken only by the occasional squawk of a seagull and the distant breaking of waves on the shore.
Rukawa came here often. Ever since that first day when Rukawa had come by and seen Hanamichi here, he'd started coming by whenever his training schedule with the All-Japan team would allow, hoping to see the redhead again. And it seemed that Hanamichi came here every day, because the redhead was always sitting here when he came by. They would share a few quick minutes consisting of the usual exchanged insults or a glare or two, and then Rukawa would be back on his way.
But today was different. Today when he got here, Hanamichi was sitting quietly on the bench, staring listlessly out at the ocean as if he'd lost something out on the horizon. He hadn't even protested when Rukawa sat down next to him. Rukawa frowned and tried again to ask Hanamichi what was bothering him.
"Is something wrong?" Rukawa asked.
Hanamichi sighed deeply.
"We can't keep doing this."
"Doing what?" he asked.
"Fighting each other." Hanamichi replied.
Rukawa frowned again. Of course he wasn't going to fight with Hanamichi anymore, especially not now with the redhead's back injury, it was just too dangerous.
"I know we can't." Rukawa replied. "Do you really think I would risk it?" he snapped, annoyed that Hanamichi could think him to be so reckless.
"No it's not that. I... I don't want to fight with you anymore."
Rukawa blinked, surprised.
"Since that game with Sannoh, I've been thinking about a lot of things..." Hanamichi said. Rukawa thought back to that day. It had been the game of their life. They had defeated the strongest basketball team of the tournament, and they had done it together. They had finally put aside all their bullshit in the game's crucial moments, and had worked as a team. Rukawa wondered what that meant for them now.
"See, I realized some things about myself during that game." Hanamichi continued. "When Ayako told me that my back injury could be serious, that I might never be able to play basketball again, I finally realized how much I love it. I want to keep playing. I want to be stronger. And I want to make Shohoku stronger." Hanamichi paused, looking at Rukawa, "And we need to work together to do that."
Rukawa blinked in surprise again. And then a little smile crossed his face.
"Yeah... We make a good team."
"We do." Hanamichi smiled back. And then the redhead blushed, and looked away.
"Oi." Rukawa said, noticing the strange change. "What is it?" he asked.
"Ah... ah..." Hanamichi stammered, his hand going to the back of his neck as he blushed even harder. Rukawa stared at the redhead in puzzlement.
"Just spit it out do'ahou" Rukawa sighed in exasperation.
"Teme kitsune!" Hanamichi growled, whirling around to face Rukawa again. "Just because we're going to be working together from now on doesn't mean that I will stop challenging you! I'm going to come back even stronger than before and show you this tensai's true abilities! Nyahahaha!" the redhead laughed.
"Yare yare." Rukawa said softly to himself, shaking his head, but he didn't provoke the other boy any further, instead smiling to himself, happy to see the redhead back to being his usual loud self.
"Hmph." Hanamichi crossed his arms over his chest self-satisfactorily. And as they lapsed into silence again Rukawa's secret smile slowly turned into a smirk, because Hanamichi's little tensai rant hadn't included Akagi's little sister for once.
Eventually Hanamichi's bravado settled down, and he uncrossed his arms, laying his palms on the bench again as that almost lost look returned to his eyes. Rukawa's gaze was drawn by Hanamichi's arm, following downwards to where the redhead's hand lay dangerously close to his own. And then Hanamichi spoke, so softly that Rukawa almost didn't believe he'd really said it...
"You'll... you'll wait for me right?" the redhead whispered, unable to look him in the eye.
Rukawa's heart began pounding again, his body buzzing with disbelief and sheer happiness at what those words meant. He suddenly wanted to grab Hanamichi into his arms and crush him close, claiming the redhead's lips and washing away any uncertainty in his mind... but somewhere in his reeling consciousness he realized how inappropriate that would be, in broad daylight with people walking around... and through some amazing feat of willpower he managed to restrain himself from doing so.
And then he realized that maybe it was better this way. He didn't want to scare Hanamichi off like the last few times he'd let his desire get the better of him. No, this time he would take it slow. This time he was going to do it right.
Cautiously he moved his hand over, carefully letting its weight rest on top of the redhead's hand. When Hanamichi didn't pull away, Rukawa closed his fingers around the redhead's, and gently squeezed. Slowly Hanamichi turned to look at him, shy uncertainty and hopefulness mirrored in his eyes. Rukawa smiled softly.
"I've waited this long, haven't I?" he said.
Hanamichi smiled, squeezing back.
"Have no fear, the tensai is here! NYAHAHAAAAA!"
The occupants of Shohoku's gym all turned in the direction of the boisterous laughter to see Shohoku's self-proclaimed tensai making his grand, and very loud entrance through the gym doors.
"Oi Hanamichi! You're back!" Miyagi greeted, followed by similar exclamations as everyone crowded around the grinning redhead. Rukawa lingered behind, surprised by Hanamichi's sudden return. Though he was extremely happy to see that the redhead was back, he also felt a slight twinge of hurt. He hadn't known that Hanamichi would be returning today, and he wondered why the other boy hadn't told him, though they talked as often as possible.
"Oi Ryochin! Still short, I see!" Hanamichi laughed amidst the crowd.
"Ch." Miyagi fumed.
"Oi baka! Don't talk to your new captain that way! Show some respect!" Mitsui shot back, half-laughing himself.
"Mitchy! Shouldn't an oldie like you be retired like Gori and Megane-kun?" Hanamichi grinned. Mitsui's smirk turned into a scowl.
"Welcome back Sakuragi-kun!" a high-pitched voice said. Hanamichi instantly whirled away from Mitsui, his hand rubbing the back of his head as he blushed like a tomato.
"Ha-Haruko-san!" the redhead stammered.
In the back of the gym, Rukawa turned away, gripping his basketball tight.
"Ne, how's your back Sakuragi-kun?" the girl asked.
"I'm in perfect condition! Ready to lead Shohoku to victory Nyahaha!"
"Sakuragi Hanamichi!" another feminine voiced interrupted. "How come you didn't tell us you were coming back today?!" Ayako demanded.
Rukawa slowly turned back around, curious to know the answer himself... and found honey-brown eyes staring directly at him.
"What? Didn't you like the tensai's surprise?" the redhead grinned. Rukawa felt a small smile creep up onto his face.
Hanamichi pushed his way through the throng, marching straight up to the raven-haired boy.
And to the surprise of everyone in the gym, Hanamichi smiled, and the two boys high-fived each other.
Rukawa dressed himself slowly, his arms and legs dragging like lead and moving in what felt like slow-motion. It was finally the end of the week, and he was exhausted. Exhausted and annoyed. Not a good combination. It had been a rough week of training preparing for the upcoming Winter IH, and he was just about at his wits end. Well... it wasn't really the training that was the problem, in fact it had been more satisfying than ever. No, the problem, once again, had to do with a certain do'ahou.
Since Hanamichi had come back, the redhead had spent most of his time in basics training with Ayako, but in recent weeks he'd begun training properly with the team again. There were still some difficult moments between the two of them on court, but for the most part, working with Hanamichi was turning out really well. And deep down, he was proud of the stunning recovery the redhead had made... And he would've liked to tell Hanamichi this, but for some reason, the redhead had stopped talking to him in the last week! Every time Rukawa said something, Hanamichi would blush and stutter, or just stare at him blankly, before turning away and lapsing into silence. It was driving him crazy!
But most of all, he was starting to miss their conversations. True, Rukawa didn't really contribute much, but he liked to think he did where it counted, and he truly valued the talks they shared. He missed Hanamichi's noisy chatter, his laughter, the ridiculous comments he made, and the surprisingly insightful ones in almost the same breath... He missed the way they used to be comfortable in each other's presence...
Rukawa sighed as he heard the showers turn off, sitting down on the bench and waiting for Hanamichi to come out and get dressed. They were the last two in the locker room, as usual, and it had become an unspoken tradition that they would wait for each other to walk home together. But Rukawa couldn't stand the thought of another awkward walk home tonight. He was going to have to do something to get the redhead to talk to him.
Hanamichi rounded the corner wearing nothing but a towel around his waist. When he saw Rukawa he blushed, looked at the ground, and went to his locker. Rukawa frowned in consternation, his usual reaction to seeing Hanamichi half-naked quelched by his frustration at the redhead's strange behavior. He watched as Hanamichi slipped his underwear on under the towel, then his shirt, his pants, the silence thickening in the air as each moment passed without their usual locker-room banter.
Finally Rukawa just couldn't stand it anymore.
He cleared his throat, the sound extremely loud in the tense silence of the room.
Hanamichi stiffened at the sound, then slowly continued tying his shoelaces. Rukawa frowned as he was ignored, then took a deep breath to try again.
"How's your back holding up?" Rukawa asked softly, starting with something easy.
"Good." was the monosyllabic reply, the redhead barely pausing before he went back to tying his shoe.
"How was your appointment last week?"
"Uhh... the usual." Hanamichi replied, quickly standing up to get his things out of his locker.
"What did the doctor say?" Rukawa pressed. Hanamichi tensed.
"Um... he said..." Hanamichi stammered, clutching his bag as he stared into his locker, "he said everything's ready." he finished in a rush, shoving the rest of his stuff in his bag.
"Ready?" Rukawa repeated, confused.
"I mean, okay. He said everything's okay." the redhead quickly corrected. Rukawa resisted the urge to growl at the vague brush-off.
Hanamichi closed his locker door, stiffly turning to face him.
"Let's go?" he said, his eyes flickering nervously between Rukawa and the wall.
Enough was enough.
In an instant Rukawa had Hanamichi pressed against the lockers, arms on either side trapping the redhead, his face bare inches away.
"What's the matter with you?" Rukawa gritted out.
Hanamichi stared wide-eyed at the furious raven-haired boy.
"Dammit. Why won't you talk to me?" Rukawa demanded, slamming the locker door with his hand. Hanamichi flinched.
Rukawa sighed, hurt.
"Did I do something wrong?" Rukawa asked, searching the redhead's eyes for an answer.
Then before he knew what was happening, Hanamichi had flipped him around, slamming him against the locker door, and was kissing him for all he was worth.
Rukawa's eyes widened in shock, but it wasn't long before he responded, wrapping his arms around the redhead's back and pulling him close.
When they finally pulled apart, gasping for air, Rukawa stared at Hanamichi in confusion. The redhead was panting, staring down at his lips.
"You never kiss me anymore." Hanamichi said softly. Rukawa blinked in surprise, dumbfounded, his turn to be speechless.
"Don't you want me anymore?" Hanamichi whispered, looking up at Rukawa uncertainly.
"Are you kidding me?" he snorted. And in the next second Hanamichi was again pressed between him and the lockers, their lips locked together and hands clutching at each other for dear life.
In another moment needy for air, Rukawa pulled back, gasping while planting kisses down Hanamichi's neck.
"I want you Kaede..." Hanamichi whimpered.
"Hana..." Rukawa moaned, hugging the redhead close as he finally heard the words he'd waited to hear for so long.
"Kaede... I'm ready... I want to be with you... tonight..." Hanamichi whispered softly.
Rukawa pulled back, almost doubting he had heard correctly. He stared at the redhead, stunned at the sudden turn of events.
"Tonight?" he repeated incredulously. Hanamichi nodded, longing and sincerity in his eyes.
A smile began to creep up on Rukawa's face, his blood rushing with excitement as he fully registered what was happening. He leaned down to capture the redhead's lips again, but then he paused, suddenly remembering...
"What about your back?" he asked.
"It'll be okay... I checked with the doctor." Hanamichi said, blushing. Rukawa stared at Hanamichi in amazement, the redhead's behavior in the past week suddenly making sense now. He brought his lips to Hanamichi's, tasting him deep, relief and happiness and desire rushing through him all at once.
Finally they parted again, eyes locked and intense as they gasped heavily for air. They stared at each other, at the same time awed and almost disbelieving of what they had suddenly decided to do. Rukawa took a halting breath, summoning the courage to speak again.
"Let's go." he said, his voice barely a whisper.
Hanamichi nodded. Slowly they peeled themselves away from each other, disentangling from the spell they were in. They moved stiffly to pick up their bags, suddenly feeling awkward, and silently made their way towards the door- when suddenly a loud sound grumbled through the air.
Rukawa stopped in surprise and looked down at Hanamichi's stomach. The redhead blushed for a moment, then let out a little sheepish laugh as his hand went to the back of his head.
"Anou..." the redhead started.
"Yare yare..." Rukawa sighed and shook his head in amusement, the tension in the air vanishing completely.
"All right. We'll stop by somewhere on the way home and satisfy that other appetite of yours."
Hanamichi blushed adorably again, muttering a shy thanks. Rukawa turned to leave, and the redhead caught up with him, taking his hand as they walked out together.
Rukawa sighed in affectionate exasperation as he sat down next to the sleeping redhead on the couch. Hanamichi must have already been tired after today's grueling practice, and dinner had probably made him even drowsier on top of that, wiping him out the first chance he had to relax.
Rukawa smiled, remembering their dinner... how Hanamichi had kept throwing him quick furtive glances over their food, then would blush and look away. At one point Rukawa had reached under the table and given Hanamichi's hand a quick squeeze... The redhead had jumped at the touch, but then returned the gesture with a soft smile, quick enough for Rukawa alone to see.
After that, the walk home had been silent once again, but this time it was a different silence. The tenseness that had been building up in the past weeks was gone, but now there was a new nervous energy... the anticipation and excitement about spending the night together... Rukawa wondered how he had the patience to sit through dinner when what he had been wanting for so long was now so close. Wondered that he hadn't jumped on the redhead as soon as they were home. And he wondered that he wasn't supremely frustrated now that the redhead had fallen asleep on him! If he'd been in this situation mere months ago, he would've been fighting a losing battle against his uncontrollable hormones. But now...
Rukawa smiled softly and reached forward, brushing a lock of hair from Hanamichi's face. The redhead stirred at the touch, his eyes fluttering open and squinting at the light.
"Kaede?" Hanamichi asked sleepily, rubbing his eyes in an adorably childlike manner. "Gomen." The redhead apologized, looking around at where he was and realizing what must have happened. Rukawa sighed affectionately again.
"Come on." he said, taking Hanamichi's hand and pulling him off the couch. Still holding on to the redhead's hand, he turned, leading the half-sleeping boy to his bedroom. Once they where inside he began to undo Hanamichi's school-clothes, the redhead quietly letting himself be undressed and put into bed, still half-asleep. Rukawa found himself stifling a yawn of his own as he took off his shirt and pants, then crawled into the bed next to the other boy. He wrapped his arms around the redhead, quickly becoming comfortable with the other boy so close to him, so warm against his tired body.
"Goodnight." he whispered, planting a kiss on Hanamichi's forehead before closing his eyes to sleep.
It wasn't long before the redhead stirred in his arms.
"Kaede?" he asked.
"Hmmm?" Rukawa replied drowsily.
"Aren't we gonna- I mean, I thought we were going to-" Hanamichi stammered, "don't you wanna-"
"Of course I do." Rukawa interrupted softly. "But not right now Hana. We're both exhausted, were both barely awake... we can wait until tomorrow."
"But I'm awake now, I swear!" Hanamichi protested.
"I'm sorry Hana, but I'm not. And I want to be fully awake when I make love to you for the first time... so I don't miss a thing." he replied. Hanamichi's mouth snapped shut and he blushed. Rukawa hugged the redhead tighter. "I want to feel everything, every tremble and every shake, hear every moan, see everything, see you... your eyes... your body..."
"Hentai!" Hanamichi gasped. But he definitely sounded more turned-on than angry. Rukawa smiled, cupping the redhead's cheek with his hand and caressing it lightly with his thumb.
"I want to see the sunrise in your hair, shining like fire around your face while I hold you, feel you from the inside and make you mine."
Hanamichi gazed back at him, speechless, then a look of distress crossed his face.
"Mou... How am I supposed to sleep now?" the redhead groaned.
"I don't care, as long as you're awake when I want you."
"Ugh." Hanamichi gave in, dropping his head onto Rukawa's chest.
"Hn." Rukawa smirked, wrapping his arms around the redhead again. Hanamichi heaved a defeated sigh and snuggled in closer. Rukawa grinned, quickly falling into a comfortable sleep.
Rukawa breathed a sigh, dozing contently in that place just outside sleep, not quite ready to wake himself fully just yet. Somewhere in his drowsy awareness, he felt a weight pressing against him, keeping him warm, and it made him want to smile. And then he felt it, the lightest of touches, the same thing that had pulled him out of his dreams a moment ago; a soft caress against his face and brushing lightly against his hair. Unconsciously he turned into the touch, letting it stir him gently awake, his eyelids finally blinking open. The dim light of dawn filtered through the curtain behind his bed, shining its pale blue glow around the face hovering just above his own.
Rukawa reached up, mimicking the others boy's caress, fingertips exploring the redhead's features... solemn, and beautiful.
"Hi." Rukawa whispered, smiling softly at the other boy. Hanamichi returned the half-smile for a moment, before leaning down to place a kiss on Rukawa's lips.
Rukawa sighed deep again, gazing back quietly at the redhead.
"It's still early, we should get more rest."
"No." Hanamichi said, so soft that Rukawa might not have heard him if he hadn't seen the movement of the redhead's lips. "I don't want to go back to sleep."
Rukawa raised an eyebrow, questioning. Hanamichi took in a shaky breath.
"I can't wait any longer Kaede."
Rukawa's breath hitched, his heart skipping a beat at the other boy's words. Hanamichi leaned down and kissed him again, this time with more resolve, imploring him.
Rukawa moaned softly into the redhead's mouth, waking up quickly under Hanamichi's ministrations. This was it. The time for holding back was over. Fully awake now, Rukawa took a firmer hold on the redhead's arms, flipping him over onto his back.
"Kaede!" Hanamichi gasped, and Rukawa trembled at the sound. Looking down at the redhead he was momentarily entranced by the vision that lay beneath him, Hanamichi's eyes dark with desire in the dim morning light. And then Rukawa dipped his head down to the redhead's neck, kissing him in all the places he'd dreamed of kissing, and Hanamichi sighed blissfully, stretching his neck out for him. Fingers slid under the back of Rukawa's shirt, tentatively tracing a path up his back, and Rukawa gasped, shivers running up and down his spine. He reached under Hanamichi's shirt, wanting to feel the skin there too, and the redhead's skin jumped at the touch, stomach trembling against his fingertips.
Abruptly Rukawa pulled back, taking off his shirt and tossing it to the floor. Reaching down he pushed up the hem of Hanamichi's shirt, and the redhead met him halfway, helping him pull it off. For a moment they did nothing, just looked at each other, allowing their eyes to roam free across the planes of the other's body, until finally their heated gazes met again, locked.
Slowly Rukawa lowered himself, resting his weight down on top of the other boy. They gasped into each other's ears as their bared flesh connected, shuddering with eyes wide.
"Kaede..." Hanamichi moaned breathlessly, sliding his hands up Rukawa's back and hugging him close. Rukawa began kissing the redhead's neck again, stroking his palm down the side of Hanamichi's body. Then slowly he stroked back up the redhead's abdomen, his thumb brushing up against a hardened nipple, and Hanamichi gasped at the slight tease. He did it again, rolling the nub with his thumb, and Hanamichi moaned softly, arching his back into the touch.
As the redhead lay panting, Rukawa languidly trailed a path of wet kisses down Hanamichi's neck, crossing his chest, finally reaching his destination with a teasing lick. Hanamichi yelped at the sensation, his body jerking upwards slightly. Then Rukawa licked the nub again, and received yet another yelping gasp out of the boy beneath him. Smiling at the redhead's responsiveness he continued his teasing nips and bites, until Hanamichi groaned out in frustration. Finally Rukawa gave in, his mouth closing down on the nub, gently sucking, and Hanamichi moaned and arched beneath him, breathing heavy and loud in the still morning air.
Roused by the tortured gasps and moans coming from Hanamichi's mouth, Rukawa pulled away, hungry for another glimpse at the redhead's face. Hanamichi looked up at him, his lips parted and quivering as he breathed, and his eyes... pleading for more. Rukawa lost himself in those honey-brown orbs, mesmerized by the passion and need he saw in them, until Hanamichi could wait no longer.
"Kaede!" the redhead choked out, frustrated and urgent.
Rukawa swooped down and claimed Hanamichi's mouth again, plunging his tongue deep into those sweet recesses, biting and licking lips, starved for Hanamichi's taste. The redhead wrapped his arms around Rukawa again, pulling him close, and that was when Rukawa felt the proof of Hanamichi's desire. He groaned at the touch, pressing close, his own arousal quickly growing full as the redhead began to rub against him.
Their kisses grew even more frantic, the hunger to taste each other's skin, to nibble on each other's flesh growing more potent by the second as their hips rubbed hard and slow against each other. Hanamichi slid his hands down the back of Rukawa's underwear, cupping Rukawa's rear greedily before he began to push at the confining material, wanting it off.
Rukawa leaned back, quickly complying with the redhead's demands and pulling his boxers off, exposing his heated arousal to the chill air of the morning. Hurriedly he leaned forward again, wanting the warmth from the boy beneath him, but Hanamichi pushed him back, forcing distance between them.
Rukawa was confused for a moment, worried that he might have done something wrong, but when he saw Hanamichi's eyes hungrily roaming his body he understood, sitting back on his heels and allowing the redhead his exploration. Chest heaving as he caught his breath, Rukawa watched as Hanamichi's eyes devoured him in the pale light of the dawn, his body shivering from the cold and need and trembling desire as he waited for the redhead to have his fill.
"Beautiful..." Hanamichi breathed, his eyes meeting Rukawa's with awe. Rukawa leaned forward again, and this time the redhead did not protest. He reached for Hanamichi's boxers, and the redhead lifted his hips, allowing them to be pulled down his long legs.
Rukawa hovered over the redhead, taking his turn to look now, his fingers tracing the roaming path of his eyes down Hanamichi's stomach, around his hips, up inside his thighs... finally brushing over the waiting arousal there. Hanamichi gasped, twitching against Rukawa's fingertips, and Rukawa gripped him lightly, feeling the redhead's length hot and hard and heavy in his hand.
"Kaede... please..." Hanamichi begged, his voice thick and cracked with need, his eyes beseeching.
Rukawa nodded. He leaned over and reached into his bedside drawer, rummaging around for what he needed. Once he found it, he lay back down alongside the redhead. Hanamichi bit his lip, a flash of nervousness crossing his features, but Rukawa kissed him softly, trying to sooth his anxiety.
"It'll be ok. Just try to relax." he crooned. Hanamichi nodded, his gaze trusting.
Rukawa opened the tube, covering his fingers with the lubrication. When he was done he moved in close to the other boy, lifting the redhead's leg up and draping it around him. Watching Hanamichi's face closely, he reached around, pressing his fingers against the redhead's entrance, and rubbed it softly. Hanamichi gasped in response, clutching at Rukawa's back and wrapping his leg tighter around Rukawa's waist. Slowly Rukawa slid his finger in, watching for any sign of pain before continuing, but Hanamichi's eyes locked onto his, sure in his desire, and as Rukawa continued adding another finger, the redhead's gaze never wavered. Soon Hanamichi was thrusting back on his fingers of his own accord, their erections rubbing together achingly as they moved.
"Please hurry!" Hanamichi urged, gasping. Finally Rukawa pulled away, quickly snatching up the lube again, but the redhead took it from him.
"Let me." he said.
Rukawa let Hanamichi take the tube from him, and watched as the redhead covered his hand. Then Hanamichi reached down in between their bodies, and wet fingers gripped his throbbing erection, rubbing and massaging the cool fluid all over its length. Groaning, he began to thrust into Hanamichi's grip, but all too soon the redhead pulled away, forcing him to settle down.
The redhead waited patiently, placing light chaste kisses on his lips until some sense of awareness returned to his mind. Finally he opened his eyes, locking his gaze onto Hanamichi's, and saw the clarity and readiness there.
"Roll on your side." he whispered.
Hanamichi started to, but then he stopped, turning back to face Rukawa.
"No, I want to do it this way." he said. Rukawa hesitated.
"It... it might be safer for your back the other way."
Hanamichi shook his head.
"No, It'll be ok... I checked with the doctor remember?"
Rukawa smiled, remembering the redhead's earlier confession. He was amazed that Hanamichi had thought about this enough that he'd actually asked the doctor these things. The thought made him feel... warm inside.
"And besides, I want to see you. And... I want you to see me too... remember?" Hanamichi said shyly. Rukawa remembered what he had told the other boy last night.
"Okay." he whispered, wanting it just as much as Hanamichi did.
Slowly he parted Hanamichi's legs, positioning himself in between them and supporting himself on his knees.
"Are you ready?" he asked softly, gazing down at the redhead. Hanamichi nodded silently, pulling Rukawa closer.
Carefully Rukawa leaned forward, placing his arousal at the redhead's entrance, and slowly pushed the tip inside.
Hanamichi gasped, throwing his head back and clenching his eyes shut. Rukawa held still until Hanamichi relaxed a bit, then pushed again, slowly working himself all the way in.
He waited again as Hanamichi squirmed and panted beneath him, letting the redhead grow accustomed to him. Finally Hanamichi looked up at him, his eyes burning for more, and Rukawa began to thrust, slowly in and out of the redhead's body.
Hanamichi trembled with every meeting of their hips, sighing and gasping and biting back sudden moans that kept escaping his mouth as Rukawa's hardness moved slow and deep inside. But as rousing as these sounds were to Rukawa's ears, somehow he still managed to keep his maddeningly slow pace. He wanted to be careful, cautious of Hanamichi's still-healing back. But more than that he wanted the moment to last, to savor every second of the aching pleasure coursing through his body and his soul.
But as they went on, Hanamichi's body began to shake even harder, his moans dissolving into incoherent whimpers as he clutched at Rukawa's back, clawing desperately for more.
"Kaede please..." Hanamichi groaned, burying his face into Rukawa's chest. "I won't break, I promise!" he sobbed, begging for an end to this tortuous pleasure.
Rukawa moaned, unable to hold back any longer at the redhead's agonized plea. He began to thrust harder, his pace quickening, but not enough to sacrifice the depth of his thrusts. His body began to sing with ecstasy, he was getting so close- when suddenly Hanamichi reached up, yanking open the curtain behind him.
Rukawa's eyes went wide as sunlight poured into the room, bathing Hanamichi in gold and lighting his hair up into shining red fire. Rukawa cried out, the sight searing his very soul. It was too beautiful... this moment... this boy beneath him... they way he felt... Rukawa nearly laughed in between gasps, completely overwhelmed... he almost couldn't believe that this was really happening, that this vision before him, this sheer joy, was real...
"I love you... I love you Hanamichi..." he gasped out loud. And in that moment, Hanamichi let out his own aching cry, their bodies shuddering and shaking as they came together.
Rukawa inhaled deeply, his nose pressed into the back of Hanamichi's hair and savoring the redhead's scent as his hand lightly stroked the sleeping boy's stomach. They lay pressed together front to back, length for length, so he felt it when Hanamichi began to stir, coming awake.
"You're awake?" the redhead asked him sleepily.
"Can't sleep." he replied.
"Nothing. I'm just enjoying this too much, the way I feel right now, the way you make me feel." Rukawa said softly.
"Talkative too... there must be something wrong." Hanamichi replied.
"Do'aho" Rukawa snorted. Hanamichi chuckled softly.
Rukawa smiled, wrapping his arms tighter around the redhead, and Hanamichi snuggled into his embrace. They lay together quietly for a while, enjoying the warmth of each other's presence, but then he felt Hanamichi begin to tense slightly.
"Kaede? Did you mean what you said?"
"Hmm?" Rukawa replied drowsily. Hanamichi rolled over, facing him.
"Before... when we were..." the redhead hesitated, as if afraid to bring it up. Rukawa opened his eyes, finally getting Hanamichi was asking about. Looking up directly into the redhead's eyes, he nodded.
Hanamichi bit his lip, his gaze thoughtful as he stared down into Rukawa's chest.
"It's okay Hanamichi. I understand if you're not ready to say something like that to me. I don't want to force you. I... I can wait." Rukawa said.
"No Kaede. You don't have to wait this time." Hanamichi replied, raising his eyes to meet the raven-haired boy's. The redhead took a deep breath.
"I love you."
Rukawa's lips turned up softly, smiling as he reached up to caress the redhead's cheek. Hanamichi leaned into his palm, placing a kiss there before leaning down to kiss Rukawa's lips. He sighed, resting his head on Rukawa's chest.
"I guess that's why I struggled so hard against this..." Hanamichi went on, "because I knew... I knew how deep it went. And I was afraid... especially when I didn't know what exactly you wanted. And then when my back blew out, and I had so much time to think... I couldn't deny it anymore... I had feelings for you, and I may have had them all along." he paused, raising his head again. "I'm sorry I made you wait so long."
Rukawa wrapped his arms around the redhead, assuring him.
"It's okay Hana, it was worth every second. If you hadn't made me wait I may not have realized how deep my feelings for you went. I'm glad it happened this way."
Hanamichi smiled, his embrace tightening as he lay his head on Rukawa's chest, settling in to get some more sleep.
"Don't let me go okay? I like the feeling of your arms around me." the redhead said.
Rukawa hn-ed in affectionate amusement. He had waited a long time for this, had wanted it so much, so now that Hanamichi was finally his, here in his arms... well, he had no plans of letting go anytime soon.
~ owari Oct 22 '04
A/N: The next part I've uploaded is something I wrote seperately for a friend, but can also be read as part of this fic. It takes place bewteen scenes 4 and 5, shortly after Hanamichi returns to Shohoku from the hospital.