Title: Dunked Confession (FoR/SD Crossover)

Author: Haze

Disclaimer: I don't own Flame of Recca and Slam Dunk so please don't sue me.

Dedication: This is to all those who had stuck by this story no matter how less than average it is. I would name everyone but the reviews were wiped out for the reasons in my notes on the end of this one. But anyway, you know who you are.

Summary: Fuuko, the tomboyish-and-never-will-be-liked-by-any-guy type of girl according to the girls in school (Mikagami's fans), has aces in her hands. This causes outrage among the aces' fans and friends and among people who knew her since they saw Fujima and Rukawa around her. Something weird is up though.

Rukawa, who was just her best friend from long ago, seems to have a change in him. What will happen when a best friend finds himself falling for the girl who seems to see him only as a best friend and nothing more?


Chapter 1:



"Woohoo~" Domon yelled. "I can't believe that we're actually going to do something different today. Er… what are we going to do again today?"

Everyone sweatdropped. Domon just looked at them, scratching his head.

"We going to watch what the rest of the students in Tokyo are crazy about." Recca informed Domon with a big sweatdrop still hanging at the back of his head.

"I wonder how the game would be." Fuuko muttered.

"I'm sure it's pretty exciting." Yanagi smiled.

"Yeah. Kids of our age wouldn't bother to watch it if it's really not that worth watching." Recca agreed.

"I hope it's good." Ganko commented.

"And I hope Mikagami-niichan could have come with us today." Koganei muttered, sighing.

"Well, you know Mikagami." Recca smiled. "Look on the bright side. At least we wouldn't be hearing his snide remarks on how we would cheer."

The six continued walking while talking and stopped in front of the venue of the Inter High Basketball Tournament.



"Man! This place is packed." Recca whistled as they looked around from their seat. "Look at all the people here."

"Yeah." Ganko and Koganei nodded.

"It's a good thing we managed to get some seats." Fuuko smiled and looked at Domon. "Thanks to Domon here who just scared the people sitting here."

Domon grinned sheepishly. "I couldn't help it, okay? They were looking weirdly at us as if we have extra heads."

"Correction." Koganei interrupted. "They were looking at you… and your hair."

"Why you!" Domon glared at Koganei who was laughing like mad.

"Um… please stop… the people are looking at us already." Yanagi said while blushing real hard from embarrassment.

The mayhem continued even though the game was already starting and the tough part was that Fuuko and Recca joined in.



"Who won?" The mayhem-causing foursome looked at Yanagi and Ganko.

            Yanagi and Ganko sweatdropped. "Huh?"

            "You mean," Fuuko began to grin.

            "We… we couldn't exactly concentrate while you four were fighting and arguing in between us." Yanagi explained.

            "Yeah." Ganko nodded her approval. "Besides, we… um… nothing." She smiled sheepishly and Yanagi blushed.

            The four looked at each other confusedly and then shrugged. "Whatever."



            They were walking out of the venue when Fuuko excused herself to go to the Ladies Room.

            "Can't you hold it?" Recca asked impatiently.

            "Duh!" Fuuko snapped. "But you guys can go ahead. I'll just catch up."

            "But it is fun going together." Yanagi reasoned.

            "Yeah but your ninja is getting impatient so you guys go ahead and I'll catch up."

            Before Yanagi could reason out, Fuuko dashed back inside the venue to look for the CR.



            "Where the hell is that room?!" Fuuko looked around. "They should give out a map to this blasted place."

            She continued walking while looking back and forth and everywhere else except where she was going. A few minutes later, she rounded a corner and bumped hard thus falling on the floor on her butt.

            "Damn!" Fuuko muttered and looked up.

            A hand was in front of her. She ignored it and stood up to face off with the person who bumped into her or rather the person she bumped into. But she found out that he was practically towering over her.

            "Gomen." A short, spiky-haired bishounen muttered apologetically.

            "Oi, Mit-chan!" A red-haired guy walked up to them. "You're girlfriend?"

            Fuuko and the guy she bumped into both blushed at the same time with the same reason - anger and embarrassment.



^^^
            News Flash!!!

            This is your Correspondent Tom the Reporter, reporting live in NASA!

            A new object had been detected in the Earth's atmosphere. The authorities are alarmed as it was suspected to be an alien from outer space. Uncannily, it resembles a merge of a redhead human and some kind of a monkey. It has two lump-like antennas in its head and is currently shouting while orbiting the Earth.
^^^



            "Urusai!" The guy muttered and turned back to Fuuko who like him is now removing her fists from its balled state. "Gomen. er…"

            "Fuuko." She heard herself mutter.

            "Oh… gomen Fuuko-san."



^^^
            Update of the News Flash!!!

            This is your Correspondent Tom the Reporter, returning live on the scene!

            The unidentified flying object has disappeared from the orbit. NASA is suspecting that an invisible laser beam had beamed the alien back to its mother ship. The authorities are now collaborating with NASA to find the possible whereabouts of the mother ship.
^^^



            "Mitsui… hey… who is that?" A curly-haired guy muttered and walked up to them.

            "Mit-chan's girlfriend. Nyahahahahaha." The redhead muttered as he magically got back from his orbit on the Earth's atmosphere.

            "Oh. Introduce us to your girlfriend Mitsui."

            "She's not my girlfriend, BAKA! We just bumped into each other, OKAY?!" The guy glared.

            "Yeah, yeah, whatever." The curly-haired guy smiled and then turned to Fuuko. "Hi there. I'm Miyagi Ryota. This is Sakuragi Hanamichi. Gomen. if we happened to intrude on you and Mitsui here."

            "Intrude?! What are you talking about?! We just bumped into each other okay?!" Fuuko couldn't help but snap.

            Miyagi and Sakuragi merely shrugged at her. "We won't spread this around. Relax."

            "Ugh! Never mind them. By the way, since they happened to introduced themselves to you, I'm Mitsui Hisashi."

            Fuuko turned her attention back to the bishounen in front of her. He was smiling warmly and she couldn't understand but she blushed.

            "You lost or something?" Mitsui asked.

            "Well yeah." Fuuko admitted, embarrassed.

            "Maybe we could help you, Mit-chan's girlfriend." Sakuragi laughed like mad.

            Fuuko and Mitsui glared at Sakuragi. Miyagi laughed and shook his head. "Denying too much."

            "Cut this out, will you?!" Mitsui snapped then turned to Fuuko. "I'm sorry about their behavior, Fuuko-san. What can I do to help you?"

            "I was looking for the… um…" Fuuko colored again at having to ask this guy where the Ladies Room was.

            "Mitsui senpai." A pretty girl walked up to them. "Akagi senpai is looking for you in the locker room." The girl soon diverted her gaze to Fuuko.

            "Mit-chan's girlfriend." Sakuragi introduced.

            "Yeah, Mitsui's girlfriend." Miyagi smiled.

            "Oh. Nice to meet you, um…" The girl smiled.

            "She's not my girlfriend." Mitsui snapped at the two laughing guys. "Ayako, this is Fuuko-san. She happened to be lost and bumped into me."

            "Oh." Ayako said, sounding disappointed. "I thought that---"

            "Could you just tell me where the Ladies Room is?" Fuuko decided to scram before she could beat up anyone for embarrassing her like this.

            "The CR… it's this way." Ayako said, pointing to the hallway behind Mitsui and his friends.

            "Oh. Thanks. Well, nice meeting you people. Gotta run." Fuuko plastered her grin and walked past Mitsui with her head turned to their direction for a last parting smile when she collided with something yet again.

            Before she could fall, she grabbed the thing she had collided with.

            "Nani?! You're the kitsune's girlfriend?!" Sakuragi yelped.

            Fuuko turned to what she was holding and jumped back. It was a person - a sleepy bishounen to be exact. Fuuko colored again.

            Why is this happening to me?! I should have went with them and waited to go to the Ladies Room. Damn it! Fuuko thought as the bishounen opened his eyes and glared at her.

            "Idiot!" Rukawa muttered as his glare blasted Fuuko.

            "Rukawa! Be nice." Ayako reprimanded.

            "Rukawa?!" Fuuko said in shock.

            "Oh boy. Not another one of Rukawa's girly fans puh~leez." Miyagi rolled his eyes.

            "Is that really you?!" Fuuko peered at his face then shook her head. "Can't be. Must be a mistake. Yeah. Mistake."

            "You know each other?" Mitsui raised a brow.

            "Huh?" Fuuko looked at Mitsui and looked at Rukawa again. "Nope. Just that I know someone who has the same name but he was not this tall. He was at just about till my eyebrows." She then laughed to cover her embarrassment of mistaking someone else to be her friend and to cover her embarrassment for being mistaken as a girly fan. "Well gotta run."

            Rukawa squinted his eyes more at the girl. She walked past him but his hand shot up to hold her arm and pull her back in front of him. Fuuko's hand balled and she was about to hit this Rukawa guy who had the nerve to grab her and pull her like that when, "Fuu-chan?"

            Fuuko's eyes widened. "How - how did you know that - that nickname?"

            "Fuu-chan, is it really you?" Rukawa's cold eyes blazed with warmth and affection.

            "Kaede?!" Fuuko muttered with shock. "Is that you?!" She said and began poking on Rukawa's rib. "But… but you were so… so short and not to mention thin like a toothpick! And now… you've grown over six feet or something… and…" Fuuko poked again and again. "Not to mention firmly built."

            Rukawa's lips tugged at a corner and he lifted it up to form a smile. "It's really you, Fuu-chan."

            The rest had their jaws sticking to the floor of shock.



^^^
            News Flash!!!

            This is your Correspondent Jerry the Other Reporter, reporting live in Tokyo!

            Rukawa Kaede, the Ice Prince of Shohoku High and Kanagawa, smiled! His teammates are now in a state of shock with their jaws hanging impossibly low to reach the floor from witnessing this once in a lifetime phenomena.
^^^



            "Kaede! I can't believe this!" Fuuko hugged Rukawa with all her strength.
 

            "Me neither." Rukawa replied, still smiling and then hugged Fuuko back.



^^^
            Another News Flash!!!

            This is your Correspondent Jerry the Other Reporter, returning live on the scene!

            Rukawa Kaede, the Walking Iceberg, hugged a tomboyish girl in the middle of the hallway. This had caused a massive fainting spell in the entire territory where this phenomenon is viewable. The fainting spell has intrigued all the doctors of every hospital in Tokyo where the patients, who are all girls - young and old, since the cause is still undetermined. Some patients are now in a coma as they fainted while they were descending the stairs.
^^^



            "It's been so long." Rukawa muttered, still not pulling away from the hug.

            "Yeah. How have you been?" Fuuko smiled.

            "Not so well. Even in basketball."

            "Oh?"

            "Someone is still better than me."

            "He wouldn't happen to be someone I know, would he?"

            Rukawa frowned and pulled away.

            "Oh. Bad mood. Oh well, are you staying in Tokyo for good?" Fuuko decided to change the topic.

            "Nope. Inter-high games. That's why I'm here. But I could come and visit you or give you a call. You never really sent me a letter after sometime and you never replied on my later letters."



^^^
            Still Another News Flash!!!

            This is your Correspondent Jerry the Other Reporter, returning live on the scene again!

            Rukawa Kaede, the cold major bishounen of Kanagawa, has spoken so many words. And the amazing part is that there seems to be an affection directed towards the tomboy. Authorities all over the globe are now alarmed that an imbalance had occurred in the world and that it may now be coming to an end as this sign emerged with the flying of pigs in the sky.
^^^



            "Well, we moved." Fuuko began. "When I wrote to you, all my letters came back unanswered."

            "Oh." Rukawa blinked and then colored slightly.



^^^
            Still Another News Flash!!!

            This is your Correspondent Jerry the Other Reporter, returning live on the scene again!

            Aside from pigs flying, icebergs in both the North and South poles are now glowing red from the inside. It is prophesized by many 'psychics' that the icebergs will melt and will flood the world.
^^^



            "We moved, too." Rukawa reasoned.

            "Oh. So I guess it means it wasn't both our fault then."

            Suddenly, Fuuko remembered that she had to catch up with her friends. And knowing Yanagi, she surely would have insisted that they wait for Fuuko. "Kaede. I would love to stay here but, I need to go now. Want to come?"

            "I can't. We still have to settle matters here."

            "Oh. Then…"

            "Just give me your number and address." Rukawa suggested, pushing a piece of paper and a pen he grabbed from the floor where a fan had fainted in shock (just as the news flash had said).

            Fuuko scribbled down the needed information and handed them to Rukawa before running off to the Ladies Room.

Chapter 2:



      "Where the hell have you been?!" Recca muttered irately. "We've been standing here for a long time now."

      "I got lost and saw an old friend and we sort of chatted for a while before I-" Fuuko began.

      "An old friend?" Domon asked curiously.



^^^
      Action!!!

      "Hi, Grandpa!" A chibi Fuuko smiled to an old man with a cane.

      "Oh, my dearest granddaughter. Ho, ho, ho." The Grandpa answered back with a smile.

      "How have you been doing Grandpa?"

      "Just fine. Ho, ho, ho."

      *OK. I have enough of this guy's imagination. Is he supposed to be Santa Claus or Fuuko's friend?

      *I don't know, Director. It's his imagination so we should just execute into mode the images he is making in his mind.

      *Mind??? You call this place a mind??? Then, I've had enough of his mind. I'm packing!!!
^^^



      "Someone we know?" Domon asked again.

      "No, a friend even before my family moved near Recca's place."

      "I bet your friend is nice." Yanagi smiled.

      "Yeah because you're nice, Fuuko-neechan." Ganko said lovingly.

      "Whatever. Could we eat now?" Koganei interrupted.



      "Oi, kitsune! Fuuko-san is Mit-chan's girlfriend you know." Sakuragi poked Rukawa.

      Rukawa's eyes flashed dangerously at Sakuragi before blasting Mitsui with his trademark Ice Glare®.

      "I didn't say anything, okay? The baka just put the idea on his head." Mitsui said defensively.

      "Yeah, yeah, Denial King." Miyagi murmured as he passed by.

      "Miyagi!" Mitsui yelled after the point guard. "Could you quit all this?!"

      "Sure." Miyagi yelled back. "If you quit being such a Denial King."

      Mitsui looked at Rukawa and gulped. Uh-oh. Mitsui thought. Something tells me this is not going to be good on my part.



^^^
      News Flash!!!

      This is your Correspondent Droopy the Doggy Reporter, live from the Tokyo's weather station!

      A strange occurrence in the weather had been detected in some part of Tokyo. The skies were darkening and the temperature dropped in an instant to zero degrees. The reason has yet to be discovered.
^^^



      "Let's rush him to the morgue!!" Sakuragi yelled. "Let's hurry!!! Before he dies!!!"

      "Yeah!!" Miyagi panicked. "Mitsui could die of cold and lack of air from being frozen into an ice sculpture by Rukawa's Ice Glare®. Quick!!! Call the Morgue!!"



^^^
      Another News Flash!!!

      This is your Correspondent Spike the Bulldog Reporter, reporting live in Tokyo Hospital!

      A group of teenagers had been brought here with a weird and unknown sickness. The doctors said that they were severely dehydrated. But what made the sickness weird was that it has been found out that the teenagers had a perfect diet and were drinking a lot of water making it impossible for them to be this dehydrated.

      Another teenager that was brought with the dehydrated boys is strangely frozen. He is now in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

      The people here are linking these events to the earlier sightings of UFO and are now panicking as to what the future holds for everyone.
^^^



^^^
      Author's Gracious Insertion:

      Ehem. Gracious. ducks from the thrown appliances and cars Okay. So it's not gracious. Anyway, if you were wondering why I'm interrupting, I just want to tell you what happened.
     

      Action!!!

      Mitsui looked at Rukawa and gulped. Uh-oh. Mitsui thought. Something tells me this is not going to be good on my part.

      Rukawa blasted Mitsui with his famous Ice Glare®. Mitsui froze painfully slow as Rukawa had wanted until he was nothing but a (A/n: handsome, sexy, and not to mention drool-worthy) sculptured block of ice.

      Their teammates panicked as Anzai-sensei, Gori (A/n: faints as Akagi bashes his fist on her head), and Ayako wasn't around to help Mitsui. They were afraid that they'd end up in the same fate as Mitsui. Rukawa left after glaring at Mitsui for the last time to make sure that he is really frozen.

      "Let's rush him to the morgue!!" Sakuragi yelled. "Let's hurry!!! Before he dies!!!"

      "Yeah!!" Miyagi panicked. "Mitsui could die of cold and lack of air from being frozen into an ice sculpture by Rukawa's Ice Glare®. Quick!!! Call the Morgue!!"

      Everyone looked at Miyagi and Sakuragi and suffered from massive sweatdropping at what the two had been hollering on everyone around the hotel.

      When Sakuragi and Miyagi went back, Mitsui was still frozen AND their teammates lay sprawled on the ground - apparently dehydrated.

      *Cut!!! Okay. Pack up everyone!!!

      *Yes, Director, Sir!!!


      Okay, your intelligent author here. I just recovered from Go- I mean Akagi's bashing. So, where were we? looks around and sweatdrops Erm. Where is everyone?
^^^



      "They both are definitely so cute!"

      "Absolutely gorgeous!"

      "Did you see their play?"

      "Yeah. Besides, there were also their fan clubs."

      "My gosh! We should really always watch! There are so many bishounen back there."

      "Yeah, even on the audience!"

      Girls everywhere were talking about the same thing - bishounen people back at the Inter High Basketball Tournament which had been over for about two days now.

      "Did you see how cute he was when he stared up at the ring?"

      "Yeah. I could just die if one of them looks at me!"

      "Yeah, especially Rukawa-sama from Shohoku!"

      "There was also this guy with spiky hair in the audience. I heard he's a great basketball player too though his team didn't get to play."

      "Well, I would wish that Sawakita-sama would notice us! Especially me!"

      "Sawakita? He's considered the number one high school player in Japan right?"

      And so, the rest of the day was usual - conversation about bishounen people for the girls and conversation about the cool moves of basketball for the guys.



      "Man! Everybody is really talking about it." Fuuko sighed.

      "Yeah. Too bad, we didn't watch it when we were there." Recca scratched his head.

      "It's because of Koganei!" Domon rolled his eyeballs. "If he didn't tease me-"

      "Perhaps next time we could watch it for real." Yanagi smiled.

      The rooftop's door suddenly opened, and in came Mikagami with his lunch.

      "Fan girls." Fuuko grinned knowingly.

      "I'm sure they already froze to death with Mikagami's mere aura." Recca couldn't help but tease as his dream bubble widened.



^^^
      Action!!!

      "Oh Mikagami-sama!"

      "Here's something from me!"

      "You're so cool!"

      Girls were swooning and throwing themselves at Mikagami as he walked out of his classroom. And as irritating as these girls could get, Mikagami's patience couldn't hold much longer.

      He looked at them. Suddenly a blue aura emitted and everyone, more like everything, was engulfed in ice and permanently froze.

      Mikagami walked away towards the rooftop with a satisfied smirk in his face.

      *Ok cut!!!
^^^



      Monkey." Mikagami snorted at Recca's comment and not to mention at the big dream bubble looming over his head.

      "You're just guilty, Iceman!" Recca shot back, sticking out his tongue at Mikagami.



      "Are you sure about this?" Ryota looked at Sakuragi.

      "I can't believe that you two dragged me into this!" Mitsui muttered irately.

      "Mit-chan, you should be thanking me and Ryochin here for watching over your girlfriend." Sakuragi grinned.

      "How many times do I have to tell you two idiots that she's not my girlfriend?!"

      "Oi, oi, you shouldn't get irritated you know. We're helping here." Sakuragi continued grinning as Mitsui was still fuming at being dragged along in the mess.

      Rukawa will really finish me off this time. Mitsui rolled his eyeballs. I do hope he doesn't find out that I'm with these two troublemakers following his girlfriend around like some bunch of idiots.
     



      Ganko walked towards the house where she had stayed after she was taken into the Hokage. When she was near it, gangsters came her way.

      "Hey girl, watcha got there?" One of them asked.

      "Care to hand them over?"

      "Yeah, with your money?"

      Ganko looked at them and was terrified. She started to run for the door but one of the gangsters grabbed her.



      "Why those low-lying bastards!" Mitsui fumed as they turned in a corner and saw a little girl being cornered.

      "They're history!" Miyagi also fumed.

      "I'm going to bet them into a bloody pulp!" Sakuragi joined. "Bullying a little girl!"

      They started to go nearer and heard the girl.



      "Let me go!" Ganko squirmed to be let go. "I'm going to tell Fuuko- neechan!"

      "Oh. Booboo! She's going to tell her older sister."

      "Hey, kid! It's not like your sister can do anything about this even if she's around!"

      "Let her go!"

      The eight gangsters turned and saw a girl with purple hair going near them.

      "Oh, neechan is here!" One gangster mocked.

      "Fuuko-neechan-" Ganko was glad that Fuuko came.



^^^
      News Flash!!!

      This is your Correspondent Tom the Reporter, reporting live in NASA (again)!

      There have been new mysterious sightings of unidentified flying objects or UFO in the Earth's atmosphere. They had appeared in the atmosphere exactly one minute ago. The authorities here are apprehensive about the event as eight supposed aliens are suspected to be messengers to probable invading aliens.

      The NASA is now trying to establish communication with the aliens in the hopes of discovering the intention of the UFOs in coming in the Solar System.
^^^



      "Hah!" Fuuko grunted as she relaxed from her fighting stance. "That takes care of those gangsters. I hope they don't come back from wherever they are right now."

      Ganko sweatdropped and felt a wee bit sorry for the gangsters who were punched and kicked by Fuuko to somewhere out there beneath the pale moon light. (A/n: Hehehe grins sheepishly I got carried away. I thought I was signing. Sowi)

      Ganko looked up and saw Fuuko standing next to a major bishounen - a bishounen she and Yanagi had spotted at the Inter High games.

      "Are you alright?" Fuuko bent down at Ganko.

      "Hai." Ganko replied, her eyes glued on to Rukawa's face.

      "Good. Those idiots!" Fuuko muttered angrily before staring at the bishounen. "Thanks, Kaede! Never knew you could fight now."

      "No problem. Glad to help and repay you back." Rukawa smiled and gave Fuuko a peck on the cheek before hugging her.



^^^
      News Flash!!!

      This is your Correspondent Jerry the Other Reporter, reporting live in Tokyo!

      Three people (A/n: Sakuragi, Miyagi, and handsome Mitsui Ü) were turned to stone at a corner of one residential neighborhood. The reason is yet to be discovered. People are speculating that they may have seen a ghost.
^^^



      "I thought you wouldn't visit me." Fuuko murmured, still in Rukawa's embrace.

      "What made you think that? I wouldn't leave Tokyo without coming to see you again."

      "Oi Kaede! You know I'm not the girly type so cut that crappy talk."

      "Whatever you say, Fuu-chan."

      Fuuko pulled away and smiled back into the bishounen. "I really, really missed you."

      "Same here. So, you still didn't change your ways. You're still the fighter you used to be and you still get into fights to protect others."

      "Well," Fuuko grinned. "I guess so. But then you've changed; changed so much."

      "I have?"

      "Cut the crap, Kaede."

      Rukawa's smile faded and he sighed. "Yeah, I have."

      "But one thing about your change that's okay is you've got firm muscle now." Fuuko grinned and poked Rukawa's abs. "Wow! Never knew you could have such a great body."

      The corner of Rukawa's lips tugged again. "So you weren't talking about attitude?"

      "Huh? What attitude?" Question marks hovered around Fuuko's head.

      And I thought I was done for. Rukawa sighed in relief. She'd never let me hear the end of her ranting if she found out I froze everyone within a mile radius of my coldness.

      "Let's go inside. By the way, this is-" Fuuko began.

      "Still fighting bullies?" A voice interrupted.

      Fuuko, Rukawa, and Ganko turned their gaze to the owner of the voice.

Chapter 3:



      Fuuko, Rukawa, and Ganko turned their gaze to the owner of the voice.

      "Kenji!" Fuuko jumped into the other bishounen's embrace.

      "Fuu-chan-" Fujima smilingly gave Fuuko a peck on the cheek and looked at Rukawa before looking back at Fuuko.



^^^
      Another News Flash!!!

      This is your Correspondent Droopy the Dog Reporter, returning live from the Tokyo's weather station!

      Another strange occurrence in the weather had been detected in some part of Tokyo. A new storm is visibly brewing from a residential area in Tokyo. Experts are wondering at the sudden formation of this disturbance.
^^^



      Fujima's smile widened. "Am I even allowed to hug you?"

      "What are you talking about?"

      "Rukawa is here you know."

      "I know. So?" Fuuko turned her gaze to the brooding Rukawa and slowly untangled herself from Fujima's embrace. "Are you alright, Kaede? You look weird."

      Rukawa merely shrugged and continued brooding. Fuuko turned her attention back to Fujima. "It's nice to see you again. How long has it been?"

      "Three years to be precise." Fujima answered.

      "Hmmm. You were kind of busy with your basketball career. But then again, you had a reputation to keep, right?"

      "Perhaps. I really apologize for not coming to visit you. I didn't even go to the reunions we used to have in France."

      Fuuko smiled. "Well, don't bother apologizing. I'm not complaining. The first year you got so very much busier with basketball, I got the hint that you wouldn't be going so I stayed here and refused to go with my parents to the yearly vacation to France."

      "I did give you phone calls and e-mails, didn't I?"

      "Well, to see and feel is much better than just to read and hear."

      "I do agree but there are things in life we cannot always have." Fujima looked at Rukawa. "Seems like Rukawa got to visit you first."

      Fuuko nodded. "Oh. I almost forgot." Fuuko looked down. "This is Ganko, my little sister. Ganko, this is Kaede, and Kenji."

      Ganko nodded and was in a state of shock. She could hardly believe that two of the major bishounen that Yanagi and her noticed and fussed about at the game was actually in front of her and Fuuko.

      "She's cute. But since when did you have a sibling?" Fujima asked.

      "Long story."

      "Tell me about it." Fujima smiled again and slung an arm on Fuuko's shoulder. "Are you even drinking your milk?"

      "Hey! I grew if that's what you are hinting at!"

      Rukawa rolled his eyeballs skyward. This is going to be a long day. Why can't he just visit Fuu-chan some other time? Rukawa thought silently and followed Fuuko, Fujima, and Ganko inside the house.

      Somewhere near the house, three statues turned back to flesh only to blink at each other with curiosity and surprise as to what was really the catch with all this.



      "I'll see you later, okay?" Fuuko smiled at Ganko before turning to walk to her school.

      "Okay. See you later, Fuuko-neechan." Ganko answered, watching Fuuko walk away before entering her school and indulging into her own thoughts about two major bishounen that she and Yanagi had had a crush on back at the games.



      "Oi, Fuuko!" Recca called.

      "Ohayo, Fuuko-chan." Yanagi smiled.

      "Where's my kiss, Fuuko?" Domon puckered his lips.



^^^
      News Flash!!!
      This is your Correspondent Tom the Reporter, reporting live in NASA (again)!

      Another unidentified flying object had been spotted in the atmosphere! The frequent alien sightings are really scaring the people and have cause a massive panicking in several areas in the world.

      The World Organization is now discussing about the matter.
^^^



      "You know, if you really want Domon to stop, I guess you should get yourself a boyfriend." Recca smiled mischievously. "You still have Fujimaru."

      Fuuko glared at Recca and was about to send him to space when Yanagi kindly interrupted to save her ninja.

      "He was just kidding, Fuuko-chan. Please don't do anything rash."

      "You're lucky that Yanagi is here or else!" Fuuko glared for the last time.

      "Well, you should start quitting being a tomboy." Recca grinned cheekily. "The girls in school are talking about how dislikeable you are. They were even saying that no boy in his right mind would ever like you. That figures why Domon and Fujimaru likes you."

      Before Fuuko could bash Recca, Yanagi interrupted and walked in between the two.



      "What a bitch!"

      "Yeah. That conniving tomboy!"

      "Hah! Pretending to be a tomboy but she's really some pathetic bitch!"

      "Look at how she hangs around Mikagami-sama."

      "That bitch!"

      Yanagi walked alongside Recca on the way to the rooftop to eat their lunch.

      "Recca-kun, don't you think they're being too much on Fuuko-chan?" Yanagi whispered.

      "It's not like Fuuko minds them, but yeah, they are." Recca sighed. "Maybe she should find herself a boyfriend to make them all stop thinking that Fuuko's going to take the Fridge Boy from them."



      Fuuko felt her stomach growl as she walked towards the rooftop. But while she was passing through the hallway, she spotted Mikagami.

      "Maybe I should bother him. He needs to loosen up." Fuuko muttered and walked to Mikagami. "Hey, Ice Man!" She chirped cheerfully and gave Mikagami a 'friendly' swipe at the back.

      Mikagami glared at Fuuko while trying to ignore the pain that stung at his back.

      "Aw, loosen up, will you?" Fuuko grinned. "Want me to tell you a joke?"

      Mikagami continued walking and ignoring Fuuko.

      "Okay, Mi-chan. Here's the joke."



^^^
      Action!!!

      A man needed a heart transplant. He went to his doctor.

      "What do I do now? Where would I find a heart?" The man said, looking forlorn.

      "Well, we still have an experiment on using other animals' heart. So far, the results are good but we still are not too sure."

      "Doc, I am willing to be part of the experiment as long as I have the transplant soon." The man begged.

      "Very well, but the only heart available is the heart of a sheep."

      "I agree to be transplanted with it. When can the operation be done?"

      And so, the man went under heart transplant. A few days after the transplant, the man came back to his doctor for checkup.

      "How do you feel?" The doctor asked, looking expectantly at his patient.

      The man smiled and replied. "Not BAAAAAAD!"
^^^



      Fuuko howled with laughter. Mikagami sweatdropped. "How lame." He couldn't stop himself from commenting.

      "Come on. I was only trying to make you laugh." Fuuko giggled.

      "What a bitch!"

      "Yeah."

      "I wish she'd just disappear."

      "How dare she! She's not even likeable enough and she's forcing herself on Mikagami-sama."

      Mikagami sighed inwardly at the voices that buzzed in the background. He looked at Fuuko and saw something else.

      "Let's go." Mikagami suggested in a more of a command tone.

      Before Fuuko could say anything else, she was being dragged outside the school to a coffee shop near the school. They took the corner table and sat quietly for a few minutes.

      "I'm not bothered." Fuuko smiled.

      "I wasn't asking you anything yet."

      "Oh."

      "But you just confirmed my suspicion."

      "What? I didn't steal anything! I don't cheat! I-"

      "That's not exactly what I'm talking about." Mikagami replied, feeling little sweatdrops behind his head.

      "Oh. So want another joke?"

      "Maybe next time."

      "So, why the sudden niceness? Yanagi talked you into it?"

      "No."

      "Then why?"

      Mikagami smiled slightly. "It's time for me to move on, that's all."

      Fuuko grinned. "I think I'd declare this day a Special Mikagami Melted Day."

      "Some other time. You're bothered."

      "By what?"

      "Their words are hurting you."

      "Not really."

      "Oh? Then why did your smile falter back there?"

      "It did?"

      "See? You just admitted that you are really affected."

      "It wouldn't matter. I'm tough. Words can't hurt me."

      "But they just did."

      Fuuko stared at Mikagami for a long time, looking for assurance that this was not some twisted joke and she found what she was looking for.

      "Yeah. The words did hurt. But it doesn't matter. As long as I know that I did what I have to and I tried my best to cheer up a friend, it wouldn't matter how much it hurts. I'd do this for everyone I deem important to me."

      Mikagami kept quiet for a few minutes. "Thank you."

      "Huh?"

      "For trying."

      Fuuko grinned. "No problem. So, want another joke?"

      Mikagami sighed resignedly. "Sure."



^^^
      Action!!!

      A young woman went to her doctor to complain about the pain she had been feeling ever since she fell down the staircase that morning.

      "Tell me which part in your body hurts." The doctor said, assessing the woman from head to toe.

      "It hurts everywhere." The woman replied, teary-eyed. "You have to help me. I don't want to die! Please!"

      "Everywhere, you say. You arm hurts?"

      The woman touched her arm and grimaced. "Yeah."

      "Your cheek?"

      The woman touched her cheek and again grimaced. "Yeah."

      "Even your hair?"

      "Yeah." The woman replied after touching her hair. "Am I going to die? Even my hair hurts a lot! Please, tell me what's wrong." The woman begged.

      The doctor looked at her for the final time. "Don't worry. You won't die."

      "Then why does my body hurt when I touch it?"

      "Because you have a broken finger."
^^^



      "Where did you go this lunch period?" Yanagi asked worriedly over the phone. "You didn't even walk home with us."

      "Relax. I went home immediately after dismissal because I had to see some people off so I went to the train station."

      "Oh. Um, Fuuko-chan, Recca-kun and I have been wondering about something. You know, like what the girls in school are saying about you. And what they've been calling you and all."

      "Don't mind them."

      "It's hard not to, Fuuko-chan, especially when it's all around school and it's getting worse each day. So, um, we thought that, um, would you want me to give you a make-over and help you find a boyfriend?"

      "NANI?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"



^^^
      News Flash!!!
      This is your Correspondent Jerry the Other Reporter, reporting live in Tokyo!

      An earthquake has occurred in a residential area in Tokyo. The good news is that it did not damage any property. But an unfortunate effect had happened.

      Most of the residents are still in shock and all of them, strangely, have damaged eardrums. It is still unknown as to what factor in the earthquake could have caused the damage.

      But some witness had mentioned hearing a very, very loud sound before the earthquake. It is suspected by the police here in the scene that a sonic wave attack from the aliens had been the cause.
^^^



      "So, how did it go, Hime?"

      "Huh?"

      "You know; the phone call you were supposed to give Fuuko?"

      "Well, it didn't go that well." Yanagi smiled weakly.

      It was pretty lucky of Fuuko's parents for being abroad and pretty lucky of her and Ganko that she have healing powers. But then, it was very much unfortunate of the people within at least a mile radius near Fuuko's house. Fuuko's reaction had caused an earthquake and damage on everyone's ears.

      "Do you think we should ask Mikagami-senpai to help us?"

      "Hah! And pigs will fly!"

      "Recca-kun! Don't be so mean."

      "But, Hime, you know that he wouldn't even lift a finger to help us especially with this kind of thing!"

      "Then what should we do?"



      "My stomach doesn't feel too good." Fuuko grumbled as she walked Ganko to her school.

      Ganko paled. "Fuuko-neechan?"

      "Yeah?"

      "You didn't eat the food in the cupboard, did you?" Ganko asked nervously.

      "I did. Why?"

      "Uh-oh."

      "What do you mean 'uh-oh'?"

      "Well, um, Hehehe, I, you know, erm, I placed the food there for the rats to eat them and, hehehe, get poisoned with the rat killer."

      "You did WHAT?!?!?!"

      Ganko swallowed and answered without breathing. "I put rat killer on the food in the cupboard."

      Fuuko's eyes widened and she stumbled back in fear.

      "Watch it!" An icy voice said.

      Fuuko ignored the man and continued staring at Ganko.

      "Fuuko?" The icy voice warmed.

      "Mikagami-niichan, you've got to help us." Ganko pleaded.

      "What happened?"

      "She ate the food that had a box of rat killer and now-"

      "Go to school. I'll take care of the rest." Mikagami said calmly and hailed a taxi.



      Fuuko was rushed to the nearest hospital. Mikagami had to be absent from school to be there in case there was something that Fuuko needed.

      The food was forced out of Fuuko's stomach and she had to take laxatives to remove the food that may have now been on her large intestine. Samples of her blood were also needed to determine the poison that might be present already. Many more treatments and examinations were done on her.



      Mikagami sat on the side of Fuuko's bed, watching her as she slept. She had to stay in a ward for the hospital was full.

      "It's been a long day." Mikagami whispered as he looked around and saw a man entering the ward and rushing to the doctor beside the bed of where Fuuko was sleeping.

      "Doctor, help!"

      "Have you registered already? What's wrong?"

      "You've got to help me!"

      "What's wrong?" The doctor repeated.

      "I can't stop my hands from shaking!"

      "Do you drink much amount of coffee?"

      "Not exactly - I spill most of it." The man replied, looking at his shaking hands.

      "Oh."

      "But I did happen to eat thousands of pure coffee candy."

      The doctor sweatdropped and walked the man out of the ward while telling him something.

      Mikagami shook his head. Just then, the man on the bed beside Fuuko's bed woke up. Another doctor came to the patient.

      "Are you now prepared for the operation?" The doctor asked.

      "Huh? Yeah. Um, Doctor, before anything else, do you think I could play the piano after the operation?"

      "Of course!" The doctor assured.

      "Oh." The patient smiled. "This is great! I never could play the piano before."

      The doctor and even Mikagami sweatdropped.

      "Perhaps you need to rest more before the operation." The doctor said before leaving and muttering something about drinking plenty of water as not to be dehydrated from massive sweatdropping.

      "Are everyone her with loosened screws in their heads?" Mikagami whispered to himself as he again overheard someone near them discuss with the doctor.

      "Doctor! What is wrong with me?!" The patient cried as he rushed to the doctor.

      The doctor looked at the patient and replied. "You don't eat properly."

      Mikagami turned to the direction of the conversation and saw what the doctor had meant. The man had an eggplant stuck on his left ear, a radish on his right ear, and a carrot on his left nose.

Chapter 4:



      "How is she?" Yanagi asked worriedly.

      "Fine." Mikagami replied.

      "Oh, my Fuuko darling." Domon muttered, teary-eyed.

      "It's not like she'll die, okay?" Recca glared at Domon. "So quit being like that. You're scaring me."

      "So that's it." Domon argued. "You're scared."

      "Stop it you two. Fuuko-neechan is sleeping." Koganei interrupted but the two continued their argument.

      "Oh come on. Someone is trying to sleep here." Fuuko murmured irately.

      "Fuuko-neechan." Ganko instantly ran to Fuuko's side. "I'm really so sorry about what happened to you." She said, tears threatening to spill from her eyes. "I didn't know that you'd eat the food that had rat killers in it."

      Fuuko sweatdropped. "Do you really have to rub it in? It makes me seem so dumb."

      Ganko smiled sheepishly. "Sorry."

      "Oh well. What's done is done." Fuuko sighed. "I bet the girls in school are rejoicing at the fact I've eaten rat poison."

      "They are." Mikagami stated flatly.

      Fuuko sweatdropped again. "I thought so."

      "Don't mind them, Fuuko-neechan." Koganei smiled.

      "Yeah. You have us to find you a boyfriend." Recca grinned while Domon fumed and tried to strangle Recca.

      Fuuko glared at Recca and Yanagi stepped in the middle of the glare to save her ninja. "We were just, you know, trying to think of ways to make them stop being cruel to you, Fuuko-chan."

      "You wouldn't have to find Fuuko-neechan a boyfriend." Ganko informed Yanagi. "Because she already has one."

      Mikagami looked at the frozen bunch of unruly teenagers. Ganko obviously struck a sensitive string.

      Domon and Recca stopped bickering and looked at Ganko with shock. Koganei's jaw was hanging impossibly low. Yanagi looked dazed. And Fuuko - she looked like she'd die of shock and embarrassment.

      "What did I say?" Ganko asked innocently.

      "What - what - what are you - you talk - talking about?" Fuuko sputtered.

      "You have a boyfriend, don't you? Though I'm not sure which one of them, you have. Two of them came for a visit, right? And when we went to the train station, Sakuragi-san and Miyagi-san said that you're Mitsui- san's girlfriend. Rukawa-san froze Mitsui-san remember? And then Fujima-san came to talk to you before he also went away with his friends."

      Every eye diverted to Fuuko who was blushing of embarrassment. "I DON'T have a BOYFRIEND!!! I don't know what you're talking about."

      But eyes still bore to her; some mischievously, some curiously, and some hurtfully.

      "It's NOT what you think! I DON'T have a BOYFRIEND!" Fuuko tried to cover her embarrassment. Why does she have to say things in a way that sounded so different that it makes other people think of another thing? Fuuko thought with much frustration as wished that she really had died of the rat poison.



      Why are they staring at me like that? Fuuko thought as she walked through the hallway to go to her classroom. They look like they haven't eaten their breakfast and they want to eat me. Uh-oh. Don't tell me that they're planning to poison me with another dose of rat poison.

      "Fuuko!" Domon skipped happily towards Fuuko.

      Fuuko sweatdropped. Uh-oh. I think I would prefer another dose of rat poison.

      "Hah! I'm really so glad that what Ganko had been saying wasn't true. I thought it would mean my end." Domon grinned.

      Just then, the bell rang. "That's the bell." Fuuko grinned. Saved by the bell.



      "School break is coming." Recca said thoughtfully, as he stared into the sky.

      "What do you plan to do, Recca-kun?"

      "I don't know, Hime. Maybe I'd just sleep and of course be with you."

      Yanagi blushed. "Oh yeah. What are we going to do with Fuuko-chan? Do you think that what Ganko had been saying is true and that Fuuko-chan is just denying it?"

      "Maybe. But to see is to believe you know. Because as I can remember, when we asked Ganko who she thought was Fuuko's boyfriend, she mentioned three names – Rukawa, Mitsui, and Fujima. And as far as I know, every girl in Tokyo has them in the top bishounen list from the Inter High Basketball games."

      "So, what now?"

      "Hey." Recca grinned with mischief. "Maybe we should snoop around Fuuko this school break and see what will happen."

      "But what about Domon-kun?"

      "Maybe we should first find him a girlfriend before we snoop around Fuuko."

      The two smiled at each other.



      For the remaining weeks of school, Recca and Yanagi had been snooping around trying to find the girl for Domon. It was hard work of course but with the help of Koganei, Ganko, and (ehem - guest appearance) Joker, they managed to find someone for him.

      The girl was none other than Aki, as in Aki the little sister of Neon. It was tough to pair the two of course but after 'some' twist and turns on every situation here and there, the two fell in love. (A/n: Don't ask me for the details. I don't know how they did it, too.)



      "Damn! I'm glad this day is finally through!" Recca muttered as they sat under a tree in the park.

      "I know what you mean. It was pretty rough today!" Domon whined.

      "Hah! Talk about having a tough day!" Fuuko agreed.

      "It was pretty hard on us today, too." Yanagi sighed.

      "My teacher was weird today." Koganei commented.

      "Mine is pretty okay." Ganko thought. "How about your day Mikagami- niichan? Everyone seems to have a not so good day."

      "Just the usual. No fuss." Mikagami answered.

      "Oh." Ganko said before turning to Recca. "What happened in your class, Recca-niichan?"

      "Well, it goes like this." Recca started.

      Everyone looked expectantly at Recca who sweatdropped after a long time. "Ehem."

      (Author: singing Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water-)

      "Ehem." Recca cleared his throat.

      (Author: Jack fell-)

      Recca began to heat up. "EHEM!!! QUIT SINGING AND BEGIN THE ACTION!!!"

      (Author: fine!! singing Jack fell down and DIED!)

      Everyone sweatdropped. Recca looked up the sky, still with a big sweatdrop hovering at the back of his head. "That's not exactly the action I was talking about."

      (Author: Oh. sweatdrop Aha! I got it! The action of your day's event. Oh well, coming right up.)



^^^
      Action!!!

      "School break may be only be a week from now but -" The teacher eyed his students. "It doesn't mean that I'm going to give you all a break. Remember, you still have the final exams to prepare for. And I will make sure that you all will have a hard time on it."

      The students groaned. Their teacher can be so, so mean. And to think it was a Math subject.

      The lesson dragged on. Then, the teacher spoke softer and softer and suddenly pointed to the almost dozing Recca Hanabishi. "YOU! WHAT DID I JUST SAY?!"

      Recca sprang up, apparently startled by the sudden outburst. He sweatdropped as student eyed him expectantly and sweatdropped even more at the evil and mischievous glint in the teacher's eyes.

      Damn! He just wanted to embarrass me again. Recca rolled his eyeballs.

      One student snickered. The teacher turned to him and "Why don't you try lecturing, Mr. Smarty pants?" The teacher smirked. "Or rather, why don't you tell me the answer to what I had just asked Mr. Hanabishi?"

      The student paled.

      "So you get the clue that you'll get detention today?" The teacher grinned evilly.
^^^



      "Man! The teacher is really getting back on our class for being sleeping on his class." Recca sighed exasperatedly.

      "How about you, Domon-niichan?"

      "Oh. Wait. Haze, please set my crew into motion." Domon looked up at the sky.

      (Haze the Author: I, well, your crew has resigned.)

      "Since when?!"

      (Haze the Author: Since chapter two. Wait. I think I can get Mikagami's acting crew to act your experience. Hold on a second.)



^^^
      Action!!!

      "Okay. I assume you all want to be through with your exams the soonest and quickest time possible. So now, I have decided to grant everyone's wishes." The teacher's eyes glinted evilly.

      The students and especially Domon held their breath. Their teacher would do ANYTHING to get back at them for being so unruly the entire school year.

      "Your entire final exam grade would be based on a single oral question." The teacher smiled.

      Everyone's face fell and it seems like it was already the time when aliens would attack and destroy the world.

      The teacher grinned even more as he thought about something. This is going to be SO great. "Oh yeah. This could happen at any moment within school time."
^^^



      "He obviously hates us." Domon sighed. "I'm sure to fail. How's your day Fuuko?"

      "Um, Haze?"

      (Haze the Author: Don't worry. Your crew is still with you.)

      "Oh good. So anyway, it goes like this."



^^^
      Action!!!

      "I know that the school break is only away by a week to be exact but I am sorry to inform you all that your nice teacher has taken his vacation earlier as he is sick. So now, I am going to replace him." The sinister- looking substitute teacher announced. "And I will make sure that before you all leave for your summer break, you will all be needing this."

      The substitute proceeded to write on the board. Fuuko held her breath and the rest of the students' face dropped as they saw the start of the written information.

      SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE NUMBER
^^^



      "And yours Yanagi?" Fuuko looked at the healer.

      "Well, it's like this." Yanagi began.



^^^
      Action!!!

      "Today, we are going to have a recitation to see if you all listened to my discussions last week or you were just daydreaming on what to do this up-coming school break." The teacher announced HAPPILY.

      The students groaned simultaneously. The teacher smiled. "I knew it!" He said triumphantly. "Now, shall we begin?"

      Before the students could answer, the teacher pulled out a stop watch and his grade book. The students looked at each other and swallowed. Something told them that this isn't going to go so well for them.

      The teacher picked random students and asked them questions that could blow their brains. He timed how long each student took to answer his questions with his stop watch. And each time he wrote in his grade book, he was muttering 'tsk, tsk'.

      "Ms. Sakoshita! Your turn."

      Yanagi paled and stood up and awaited her doom.
^^^



      "At least mine is not as bad as you all experienced today." Koganei said. "It was just pretty weird."



^^^
      Action!!!

      The teacher went inside the classroom. He looked at his students for a long time before starting the lecture.

      "Now, any questions?" The teacher asked after a long time of lecturing.

      A student raised her hand before the teacher nodded towards her direction. The student stood up. "Sir, is it possible that the moon would change its orbit from elliptical to circular?"

      The teacher looked at the student before getting something in his bag. He pulled out a puppet and inserted it into his right hand before again turning to his student.

      "The Teacher can't hear you, so you'll have to ask *me*, Little Snow Mermaid Riding Cinderella." The teacher answered in a high-pitched voice.
^^^



      Everyone sweatdropped.

      "Are you sure your teacher didn't break loose from a mental asylum?" A feminine voice interrupted.

      They looked at Aki as she stood there looking at them amusedly. She smiled and gave Domon a peck on the cheek. "I've been listening to your experiences behind the tree. I've got to admit that it shows one thing in common except for Koganei's."

      "I agree." Mikagami said.

      Everyone looked at Aki and Mikagami. "Well? Tell us." They chorused.

      "It seems that the teachers talked among themselves to get back at students before the school break comes." Mikagami informed.

      Recca, Fuuko, and Domon looked at each other. And as if they were having mind conversations, the three smiled mischievously.

      "What are you three planning to do?" Koganei grinned, somehow getting the idea.

      But the three teenagers just looked at everyone and grinned. Tomorrow is the day. They thought happily.



      "What if they find out that we're snooping around?" Domon whispered as they hid under one teacher's desk in the faculty room.

      "Shhh. They're not going to find out if we keep quiet." Recca whispered.

      "Shut up. They're coming." Fuuko hissed.

      A few seconds later, the teachers of first year students in their school came to the faculty. They were chatting and laughing.

      "You should have been there." One teacher chuckled. "They looked so pale yesterday. I can hardly wait for the timed recitation today."

      "Oh? What did you do?" Another faculty asked.

      "Nothing really. Just asked them hard questions and pretended to time their responses. I also pretended that they're graded and that they got the worst grades after their answers."

      They laughed for a while before proceeding.

      "How about you?" Still another faculty asked.

      "Well, I just announced that they're final exam would be a single oral question and that it could be given anytime."

      They laughed again and longer this time.

      "Nice one. Mine, I spoke softer and softer and made sure no one would hear me and then surprised this sleepy-head Hanabishi by asking him what I said. I was dying of laughter inside as he seemed so lost."

      The teachers snickered. "And then I asked a student to lecture and called him Smarty pants."

      "Hehehe! Smarty pants? Why didn't you call him Smarty underwear?"

      They laughed and guffawed as they continued talking. Then, the door opened and another teacher came in - the substitute teacher of Fuuko's class.

      "Seems like we're having fun here." He commented.

      "Yeah. We were just talking about how we are getting back in our classes for being such brats the entire school year."

      "Oh? Hmmm, I've really no plan of making fun of them. But I made sure that they all get the impression that I'm going to torture them before the break."

      "How did you do that?"

      "Simple. I just wrote the suicide prevention hotline number."

      "We should have been in each others class to see their faces."

      Then, the other teachers came and related what they did to their students the previous day and they were soon discussing on plans to get back at their students for the rest of the week before the bell rang and they had to go to their classes to lecture or rather to get back at their students.



      "Aha! So that's their plan!" Domon muttered.

      "Want to scare us, eh?" Recca's said as his eyes glinted with mischief.

      "Well, let's get back at them, shall we?" Fuuko grinned. "Repay our KIND teachers for their prank-"

      "With one of ours." Domon and Recca chorused.

      "But don't you think it'll be more fun if we work as a team?" Fuuko grinned.

      The two boys looked at each other and nodded with a grin.



      After being tortured to fear, they passed notes to their classmates informing them of what the teachers were planning and doing and asking them if they're willing to get back at their teacher for torturing them.

      Every class involved in the 'torture' of course had an automatic answer - yes! And when dismissal came in the afternoon, notes were passed.



^^^
      Unwanted Interruption!!!

      This is your Author Haze, reporting live from the brains of the students!!!

      I will just give you the overview of what the passed notes are all about.

OPERATION ANNOY THE TEACHERS

      CHOICES OF WHAT TO DO IN CLASS TO ANNOY THE TEACHER:

            ASKING OR ANSWERING QUESTIONS

      Use a trumpet when asking or answering a question.

      Hold a light bulb over your head whenever you have an answer to a question.

      Questions are to be asked in a foreign language that you are POSITIVE that the teacher doesn't know and then act annoyed when the teacher doesn't understand you.

      When you don't have an answer to the teacher's questions, mumble incomprehensively. Record how long before the teacher stops asking you.

      During English class, ask about the relation of the Theory of Relativity with Literature.



            TAKING DOWN NOTES

      Use a small chalkboard and borrow the teacher's chalk.

      Use a typewriter.

      Use a canvas and a colorful paint set.
     

            DISTRACTING COMMENTS DURING THE LECTURE

      Constantly ask the teacher to make his voice louder.

      Be sure to call the teacher "Your Highness" or "Your Majesty"

      Say 'Ohhh' or 'Ahhh' at every point of the lecture.

      Ask questions out of the blue.

      Laugh energetically while snorting at the teacher's comments about anything.



            SIMPLY DISTRACTIONS

      Have a picnic basket in the classroom with the reason that you haven't had the chance to eat breakfast.

      Take class pictures once in a while using a very bright flash.

      Use a fishing rod to 'fish' for things on the teacher's desk.

      Play a tape of thunderstorm in a hidden side of the classroom and inform the teacher after a few minutes that the place is cursed or play a tape of the school bell every few minutes.

      Bring a loudly ticking clock and tape it under the teacher's desk to make an impression that there's a bomb somewhere.

      Pretend to have a stroke and when the paramedics come, pretend as if nothing had happened.

      Talk to your desk.

      Look at your teacher through binoculars.

      ** During roll call of attendance, shout "THAT'S ME~! Oh, (remember to grin sheepishly) sorry, not me."
^^^



      "My students are acting weird lately." One teacher commented as they entered the faculty room.

      "Mine, too. I mean two of them are looking at me through binoculars while the others are doing things that are either distracting or simply annoying."

      "Same here. I wonder what is going on. Do you all think that they've seen through us and decided to fight fire with fire?"

      "Perhaps."

      The teachers kept on talking while Recca, Domon, and Fuuko tried to contain their laughter as they listened with their ears sticking on the faculty's door.



      "How is it going?" Koganei grinned.

      "Pretty well." Fuuko smirked.

      "Wait. We still have two more days. The teachers are getting worse by the minute." Domon whined. "I think they're also fighting back HARDER since the plan went into action."

      "Then maybe we should change tactics or rather change into something more drastic." Recca said, thinking about something.

      "What are you planning, Recca-kun?" Yanagi looked at her ninja.

      "Hmmm-" Fuuko and Domon muttered, joining Recca's thoughts. "Let's have a meeting."



      The substitute teacher of Fuuko's class walked down the hallway cheerfully - already having his come-back plan in his mind.

      He spotted some of his students who were whispering and looking at him. When he came nearer, he saw that they were sharpening Swiss knives and muttering while looking at him, "Soon, soon, very, very soon-"

      Is this all bluff or what? He asked himself nervously.

      But as he reached his destination, he saw that some of his students were reading the same novel - "STANLEY'S MURDER COLLECTION: Murder in the School"

      They were highlighting some parts while murmuring distinctly, "That's simple enough to do."



      Recca's teacher entered the classroom. When he walked to his desk to place his things, he saw notes in red ballpen saying, "I know what you did last winter", "You can't fool me - I'm watching you, so watch your back".

      When he looked at his students, they were smiling at him. He shrugged and started the lesson but he noticed that they were staring and smiling at him - all the time.



      Another teacher came in and saw that his students were doing arts. Some were painting and comparing it to each other.

      "Look at my painting."

      "Ohhh. Nice abstract painting. I absolutely love it. It doesn't look anything in particular but I think it's better called as 'Teacher Falling Down the Staircase'."

      "No, I think 'Falling Teacher from the Rooftop' sounds even better."

      And students kept on saying how much they love the painting while suggesting other names which all had the word teacher plus anything gruesome happening.

      There were also other students who painted faces on big potatoes and gave them names. One of them was given the teacher's name. To the teacher's utter fright, one brought out a mini oven toaster and baked the 'Teacher Potato' in the oven while explaining, "It had to be done. He was just too evil that he didn't fit in."

      The other students nodded in agreement.



      A student was skating through the hallway to make it in time for his class when he crashed into his teacher.

      "Gomen, sensei. I thought you were 'THE ENEMY'." The student muttered but added in a whispering tone. "Which you really are."

      Together, they silently walked towards the classroom. Upon reaching it, the student skated to his seat and sat down.

      The teacher looked around and saw a snap shot of him in a wall while students were throwing darts on his picture. The students turned to him after a long time and chorused, "Oh, nice to see you alive and doing well, sensei."



      Another teacher walked towards his classroom and decided to see what his students were doing before the class starts. The students were dancing.

      "Hey, man! Can I have more of those?" One student asked another student while pointing to a can with a label - 'DANCING BEANS'.

      "Sure. And you guys want to try this, too?" The student asked, bringing out a can with a label - 'SINGING BEANS'.

      Soon, the students who ate the singing beans were singing marvelously. Other cans of beans were brought out and true enough to the labels on them; they had the same effect on the students who ate them.

      Just before the teacher entered, a can was passed around. When the teacher came in, he noticed his students smiling at him. The teacher looked around for the last can passed and saw that the label was - 'Killing the Mean Teacher Beans'.



      Still another teacher walked towards his classroom and peaked at what his students were doing.

      "Oh, how are the white rats that we bought?" A student asked.

      "Well-" The student sniffed.

      "Oh. You mean they-" Another student joined the conversation.

      "Yeah."

      "I told you not to call them by our teacher's name."

      "Yeah."

      Other students joined the conversation.

      "I don't understand it really. How come they all died after ten minutes of naming them after our teacher?"

      "You mean after the first one who had the name died, you gave the name to another who again died, before giving it to the others who also died?"

      "Yeah. What could this mean?"

      The students looked at each other and sighed. "This is a sign."

Chapter 5:

      "Woohoo~" Domon cheered. "School is finally over!"

      "Yeah. I thought we would never finish it!" Recca agreed.

      "But school was fun while it lasted, right?" Yanagi giggled as she recalled the teachers' reaction when the students changed tactics from 'ANNOYING THE TEACHER' to 'TERRORIZING THE TEACHER'.

      "Oh, well so shall we start our fun?" Fuuko asked.

      Aki was waiting for them in the mall with Koganei and Ganko. They were going to the arcade and then they're going to watch the movies.

      Mikagami was gone the instant school break started. Of course they understood Mikagami's plight. He would surely be run over by his annoying fan girls.

      When they reached the mall, Aki, Koganei, and Ganko were already there.

      "It's about time." Koganei smirked.

      "Yeah." Aki grinned. "We've been having a hard time keeping Koganei's fan club from running us over."

      Ganko nodded. "Where's Mikagami-niichan?"

      "Somewhere out there – hiding from fan girls, where else?" Fuuko answered simply. "Now let's start having fun, shall we?"

      And with that, they started enjoying very minute of their stay at the mall.

      A week after school break had begun, Mikagami was still nowhere in sight.

      "I guess he really wanted to get away badly huh?" Koganei muttered.

      Domon had been staying over with Koganei at Mikagami's place to keep the fanged boy from getting into trouble.

      "Oh well, let's play." Fuuko suggested.

      "I think I'm staying here for a while." Recca announced, sliding an arm on Yanagi's shoulder.

      "Same here." Domon grinned, inching closer to Aki.

      "Guess it leaves the three of us?" Ganko looked at Fuuko.

      "Yeah."

      Koganei, Ganko, and Fuuko stood up and left the love birds to sit under the tree in the park and continue their picnic in a lovey-dovey way.

      The three went off to play soccer – kicking the ball here and there while the others catching it.

      "Hey Fuuko-neechan! Try catching this one!" Koganei yelled as he kicked the ball as hard as he could.

      "You can do it, Fuuko-neechan!" Ganko cheered.

      The ball sped away with Fuuko running after it. She caught it perfectly but with an incident. She crashed into three people.

      "Hey! Watch it!"

      "Sorry." Fuuko muttered.

      "Kiyota~"

      "But Maki, she was the one who crashed into me!"

      "But you shouldn't go yelling at her. Now apologize."

      "Maki is right."

      "Aw, not you too Jin."

      "I wonder what Takatoh-sensei would do if he learned that you're staining our name here in Tokyo."

      "Alright, I'm apologizing okay? Sheesh. Jin, you didn't have to go reminding me of that." Kiyota faced Fuuko. "Sorry okay?"

      "Yeah, sure. I should be the one apologizing."

      "Yeah."

      Jin and Maki looked at each other. Kiyota is really going to get it. After the introductions and the apologizing, they parted ways.

      Fuuko began to walk back to Koganei and Ganko when she heard someone call her.

      "Fuu-chan."

      Fuuko looked around and immediately smiled. "Kenji!"

      Fujima walked to Fuuko and gave her a peck on the cheek.

^^^

      News Flash!!!

      This is your Correspondent Jerry the Other Reporter, reporting live in a park in Tokyo!

      A strange aura radiating from girls is giving strange disturbances. The birds are all flying away. It is suspected that the girls may have been infected by alien virus enabling them to give off an aura that was suspected to give of a sonic wave attack that only animals can hear.

^^^

      "Do you know the people you just met today?"

      "Huh? Maki-san, Jin-san, and Kiyota-san."

      "They just happen to be the main players of Kainan."

      "Kainan? You mean the team that always manages to be in Japan's top four?"

      "The one and only. Wow! More girls are going to hate you now." Fujima teased.

      "Very funny!"

      "Just stating the truth, Fuu-chan."

      "Stop teasing me. You're getting annoying."

      "You know, my fan girls are going to hate you for that." Fujima continued to tease.

      "As if I care. You know I'm accustomed to being hated. I told you that."

      "Well, yeah. What can I say, Fuu-chan, you're simply the favorite of luck that you manage to bump into almost every popular guy."

      Fuuko grinned. "Uh, Kenji, I think your fans are beginning to shoot daggers at me again. And other girls are beginning to stare too."

      "In case you are wondering about the other girls, look who's here."

      Fuuko looked around and her smile widened. "Kaede!"

      "Fuu-chan."

      Rukawa could've smiled but he didn't. Instead, he just walked towards them and gave Fuuko a peck on the cheek.

^^^

      Another News Flash!!!

      This is your Correspondent Jerry the Other Reporter, returning live on the scene!

      Another aura had been detected on another set of girls. The new aura was said to have added to the previous one. It is suspected that the two auras had combined and is the one causing disturbances on the weather.        

^^^

      "I'm so glad to see you too!" Fuuko grinned. "So, my friends and I are having a picnic, want to join?"

      Fujima looked around casually. And his suspicions were right. The more they stayed here, the more girls would hate Fuuko, and the more it would increase her chances of getting strangled or the like. However he would want to spend time with her today, it seemed that it was impossible, that is if he wanted to see her out the grip of the angry mob of fan girls.

      "I would love to join. However, there are more pressing matters that require my attention." Fujima explained. "But it would be alright. I have the whole school break at my disposal and I would be staying here in Tokyo."

      "Shoyo." Rukawa hinted.

      "Oh. Well, I have settled that, too. Our school has an affiliate sports training camp here. That's the main reason that I accepted the offer to help train them even if I am no longer with the school."

      "So you're not here to visit me?" Fuuko pouted.

      Fujima smiled making girls drool. "Of course not. I came here to visit you. Before I left, I was asked to train the newcomers. But of course I have to make up for my neglect on you. So I declined. But when the school found out that I was going to Tokyo, they proposed that I could train them in the training camp here. That way, I can visit you and still train them."

      "Oh."

      "Not to worry. Rukawa is there to keep you company on my lapses on you when I train them. Besides, your friends are around."

      "You have a nice deal. I'll make sure that you keep it."

      "Be my guest." Fujima smiled and looked around casually again. "I really need to go. Perhaps I'll just see you later and take you and Ganko to dinner?"

      Fuuko grinned. "Of course!"

      "Just like you. Not able to resist free food." Fujima laughed.

      "Well, it's a nice deal. We get free dinner and I get to spend time with you. It's like hitting two birds in one ball."

      "Stone." Rukawa corrected.

      "I think I prefer ball. It's big and has higher chances of hitting two birds flying side by side."

      Rukawa sighed while Fujima laughed. Just like Fuuko to say something like that.

      "Anyway, I better get going." With that, Fujima kissed Fuuko on the cheek and left the park.

^^^

      Update on the News Flash!!!

      This is your Correspondent Jerry the Other Reporter, returning live on the scene again!

      The first aura is now radiating even more. It is suspected that this is causing the further imbalance in the weather. People are speculating that this is a sign of impending attack of alien virus.

^^^

      "So, want to join, Kaede?"

      Rukawa looked around and noticed that the girls with his name on their headbands are steadily increasing.

      Damn! Rukawa thought. They followed me here. Now what?

      Fuuko noticed Rukawa's uneasiness. Her eyes darted everywhere casually. "Fan girls?"

      "Uh, yeah."

      "So, what now?"

      "I can't join the picnic. But could you just come with me?"

      "Are you kidding? As in now?"

      "Yeah. Is something wrong with that?"

      "Something is SO wrong with that. Do you even have an idea on what's brewing in your fans' minds? I mean they are probably thinking or ways on how to skin me alive for standing at least a couple of inches away from you!"

      "How do you know that?"

      "Girls at school think that way of me because I bother their oh so great master or something."

      "Fan girls?"

      "Yeah."

      "A bishounen then?"

      "Well yeah and he just happens to be the number one student there. Oh boy. Why are we even talking about him? Forget it. Anyway, here's a deal. I'll just meet you up at the park's exit in a couple of minutes. Would that be okay?"

      "Alright."

      "And uh, Kaede, could you try losing your fan girls first before you show up?"

      Rukawa nodded and gave Fuuko a peck on the cheek before leaving.

^^^

      Update on the Update of the News Flash!!!

      This is your Correspondent Jerry the Other Reporter, returning live on the scene again!

      A ramble had just risen. Girls are now wrecking havoc in an area in the park. The police nearby are now trying to stop girls from causing further destruction in the park.

      On the other news, few minors nearby with ages ranging from nine to sixteen have contracted a weird illness with their jaws hanging impossibly low that it is now reaching the ground.

      The minors were said to be just having a picnic when suddenly their eyes became as wide as plates and their jaws dropped impossibly low. It is suspected that the emitted aura which is suspected to be from an alien virus had an effect on the minors.

      Case is still under investigation.

^^^

      "Erm, guys?" Fuuko waved her hand for the umpteenth time in front of her friends.

      She didn't know what had happened. But when the girls started to divert their anger on the surroundings, she decided to scram. When she came to her friends, they were daydreaming in a weird sense of way – eyes as wide as plates and jaws hanging impossibly low.

      "Erm, hey, wake up."

      But to no avail. She looked at her watch. "Oh damn! Erm, alright. If you all want to daydream, I'll let you. But I just want to inform you all that I have to meet up with someone, alright?"

      No response.

      Fuuko sweatdropped. "I'll take that as a 'yes'."

      And after that, Fuuko dashed to the park's exit hoping that Rukawa was still around. After all, she did spend at least an hour and a half on trying to bring her friends back to reality from wherever dreamland they were.

      "Damn! Too late!" Fuuko hissed to herself when suddenly, she saw an agent approaching her.

      "Fuu-chan."

      "Kaede?"

      "Shhh. You'll blow my cover. I'm sorry to have made you wait. I took this long to lose those girls."

      Fuuko grinned. "Still can't get rid of your bishounen aura?"

      Rukawa seemed distracted as he looked around cautiously. "Fuu-chan, could we just talk somewhere else?"

      "Oh yeah sure. So where to?"

      "The hotel nearby."

      "What?! Damn you're burning money. That hotel is a five-star hotel."

      "Later, Fuu-chan. Let's go."

      When they were in the hotel's dinning room and had their orders served, it was only then that Rukawa shed of the hat, sunglasses, and trench coat he was wearing.

      "Strange." Fuuko began.

      "What?"

      "It was only now that I noticed. Do you even expose yourself to the sun?"

      "Huh?"

      "You look so pale like someone I know."

      "Someone?"

      "Yeah. Mi-chan."

      Mikagami relaxed more. He had managed to get away from pesky fans for a couple of days now.

      He went to the park two hours ago. It was a good thing though that he decided to just quit the idea of relaxing there as he saw girls there and as he remembered that his friends would be having a picnic and would surely bother him to annoyance.

      He straightened the newspaper he was reading. At least here he could concentrate and could have peace and quiet. There would be no one bothering him.

      He continued reading until he heard a familiar female voice call him. He looked around and saw Fuuko with one of the two bishounen he saw with her at the park earlier this day.

      Curiosity killed the cat. But today, curiosity got the better of him.

      Rukawa's jaw tightened without him noticing it. "So, Mitsui-senpai came to visit you then."

      "Mitsui-san? Oh no. I wasn't referring to him, silly."

      "You mean you haven't seen him yet?"

      "Nope."

      "Then who were you referring to?"

      "My friend Mikagami."

      "Just a friend?"

      "Yeah. Why?"

      "Nothing."

      Fuuko grinned. "A co-member of the Federation of Bishounen?"

      "What are you talking about?"

      "You know, the association of bishounen. List of boys whom girls would have a fan club for."

      "Don't remind me of fans." Rukawa complained sullenly.

      "Oh? What's wrong with fans? They're absolutely die-hard to follow you around you know."

      "Stop teasing. It's not just about following me around. They're practically stalking me."

      "Ohhh, touchy, touchy." Fuuko teased. "Look on the bright side. At least you have a wide variety of girls to choose from. You get to have ANYONE you want to be your girlfriend."

      "You have no idea on what you're talking about."

      "Me? Hey there. It doesn't mean that I'm only second to you in everything that I have no idea on what I am saying. I may just be the second best to you in sports and academics but it doesn't mean that I am THAT brainless."

      "Who's touchy now?" Rukawa smiled. "I didn't say that. You're jumping to conclusions."

      "I am not. You were implying."

      "Ohhh, touchy, touchy."

      Fuuko and Rukawa laughed.

      "Alright, let's have a recap. How has everything been?" Fuuko asked.

      Rukawa stared at his plate. What is he going to tell Fuuko anyway? He can't lie to her. But what?

      "I broke the promise we made before we parted."

      "You did what?!"

      "I couldn't help it, okay? It was hard enough that every boy hates me for my looks. It was hard enough that I'm stalked. It was even harder when my parents got divorced and I didn't have you, the only one who understands me, by my side."

      "I didn't ask for your reason!"

      "Alright. I said I broke the promise so I'm kind of just flunking every exam, sleeping on class, snubbing everyone, and bickering with Sakuragi."

      Before he could say anything else, Fuuko was already strangling him to death.

      Rukawa sighed. Man! His imagination is certainly running away too far.

      "Ehem. Am I talking to myself or what?" Fuuko kidded. "I asked how everything has been with you."

      Rukawa looked at Fuuko. Would she strangle him like in his imagination?

      "Talk. What's wrong? Did you lose your voice or something?"

      Rukawa shook his head. "No."

      "Ohhh. What's with the instant silence or the instant monosyllabic answer?"

      "Nothing."

      "Oh boy. Don't tell me that there's a new syndrome called Monosyllabic & Monotonic Syndrome and that you happen to have one."

      Rukawa sweatdropped and nodded.

      Fuuko blinked. Was he joking or what? She'd better surf the net and research about this new syndrome later. What if she gets it?

      "Hi Fuuko!"

      "Hi."

      "Are you okay?"

      "Fine."

      "Where are you off to?"

      "Mall."

      "Are you hungry or what?"

      "No."

      "Then what's wrong with you?"

      "Nothing."

      Fuuko sweatdropped. She couldn't stand being like that. Oh no. She shook her head to clear away her imagination. "So, how are we going to relate now?"

      Rukawa sighed. "I need to tell you something."

      "Cool."

      Rukawa sweatdropped. "What?"

      "I said 'cool'. I mean the effects are only temporary and at certain times. I thought we'd have to talk in monosyllables and monotone the entire time and I thought that I would have to throttle you to help you get your words out. So, what do you need to tell me?"

      "You wouldn't strangle me, would you?"

      "Why would I do that?"

      "Remember before we parted that we promised that when we meet again, no one will change for the worst?"

      "Well of course. Why?"

      Rukawa sighed. "I broke it." He closed his eyes and awaited his doom. But nothing happened. He opened them and stared at Fuuko. She was smiling at him. "Did you hear me right?"

      "Don't worry, I did. But I suspected that since the time I bumped into you back at the Inter High Tournament."

      "You did?"

      "Well, yeah. From the reaction of your friends and from the way you glared at me and all that, I concluded that you became indifferent or something in the line of cold."

      "And?"

      "And I'm going to straighten you up before the break ends. After all, a blank or cold expression doesn't suit the once so cheery little boy I hold dear." Fuuko smiled. "Remember? You were the cheery one and you contaminated me with your cheer. So now, it's my turn to repay you. But I can't exactly do that if you don't tell me anything, right?"

      "I was going to tell you."

      "Good. You know, somehow, I'm surprised that you didn't imagine me strangling you."

      Rukawa sweatdropped. "Actually, I did."

      "So that's what you've been doing a couple of minutes ago."

      "Well, yeah."

      "So shall we start?"

      Rukawa smiled. Fuuko always knew how to understand him. She always knew how to make him feel at ease. "Alright. In school, I've been sleeping so–"

      "So you flunk every subject?"

      "Yeah." Rukawa sighed. "In the social part–"

      "You ignore everyone, you manifest signs of worst M&MS and give them a CST©."

      "M&MS? CST©?"

      "Monosyllabic & Monotonic Syndrome and Cold Shoulder Treatment."

      Rukawa sweatdropped. Just like Fuuko to be so inventive with her words and name calling.

      "Well, yeah. How'd you know?"

      "I have had first hand experience with a friend except for the flunking part and the M&MS part. At least he just shows that he has M&MS sometimes. What he has worst in the speaking department is the SRS."

      "SRS?"

      "Snide Remarks Syndrome."

      Rukawa looked at Fuuko who was trying to prevent herself from smiling at her own words.

      "You're taking this lightly."

      "Of course, I'm more mature now. Besides, I had first hand experience with someone."

      "But we made a promise."

      "I guess we did. But do you want me to strangle you?"

      Rukawa sighed. "No."

      "I may be taking it lightly, but the fact remains – you broke one of the promises. So, I hereby sentence you to–"

      Rukawa sighed as he looked at the free surroundings for the last time. He then walked towards his prison – his world for the rest of his life.

      A sad music played in the background as he walked and finally as the bars of his jail closed on him for the rest of his life.

      "Oi, Kaede. You're zooming out on me." Fuuko poked Rukawa's arm again and again with her fork.

      Rukawa shook his head. His imagination ran away again. "What was it that you were saying?"

      Fuuko rolled her eyeballs. "Oh boy. You're going to be a tough job."

      "The sentence, Fuu-chan."

      "Lifetime payment."

      Rukawa smiled. Who cares? Lifetime payment is nothing as long as it was Fuuko who he has to spend time with. "And what does my Fuu-chan want?"

      "Let's see. Can I order more food?"

      Rukawa laughed gently. "Sure. What's new?"

      Fuuko giggled. "Nothing, I guess. So, where is Mitsui-san anyway? Is he with Sakuragi-san and Miyagi-san?"

      "Why do you want to know? You don't happen to want to do something with them now, do you?"

      "What if I say I have?"

      "Oh please let me die first. If you fall in love especially with that do' aho Sakuragi–"

      "Hey! Of course I wouldn't fall for Sakuragi-san."

      "Oh good. I thought for a minute there I would have to commit suicide. I mean you being with HIM? Of all people."

      "Yeah, you have a point. I would rather fall for Mitsui-san."

      "Excuse me? Could you run me on that again?"

      Mikagami knew that it was not good to eavesdrop on other people's conversation but he couldn't help it. He could still remember everything clearly especially Rukawa's reaction about Fuuko falling for a Mitsui guy.

      Rukawa's eyes narrowed and his jaw tightened. In his eyes were a storm of annoyance and something else that looked so much like jealousy. Fuuko was obviously oblivious to Rukawa's change of mood as she just laughed.

      Could it be that Ganko was telling the truth?

      Mikagami fell asleep, thinking of what he saw and heard earlier that day.

Chapter 6:

      It was still pretty early but Rukawa was already walking to a certain place.

      Ayako-senpai had better be right about this place. He thought as he knocked on the door.

      It was about twenty more minutes before a sleepy Miyagi opened the door. "Rukawa? What are you doing here?"

      "Mitsui-senpai."

      "Oh." Miyagi replied as he let Rukawa in and went to wake Mitsui up.

      A few minutes later, a pajama-wearing Mitsui descended the stairs. "Hey. It's still six am. What's up? How'd you know where my Tokyo apartment is?"

      "Ayako-senpai."

      "Oh. So what's up?"

      "Fuu-chan."

      "Huh?"

      "Stay away from her."

      Mitsui blinked many times. Did he hear Rukawa right? He looked at Rukawa – expressionless as usual. But something in him told him that he did hear Rukawa right. That something was his experience in becoming an ice sculpture back when they were here for the Inter High Tournament.

      "Oh. Sure. No problem."

      "Good."

      Rukawa left. Mitsui blinked many times as he stared at the door. Was he just dreaming?

      A few minutes later, he smiled. Looks like there's going to be something interesting going on. It was a good idea for him, Miyagi, and Sakuragi to take their break in Tokyo.

      "Come on. Wake up."

      "Go away." Fuuko mumbled irately under the blanket.

      "But Fuuko-neechan, I can't. Wake up."

      "It's school break already!"

      "I know but Fuuko-neechan–"

      "Go away."

      Ganko sighed. "But someone is waiting for you downstairs."

      "Tell him to go away."

      "But Fuuko-neechan, I can't because he's–"

      "Tell him to go away!"

      Ganko sighed for the umpteenth time before leaving. When Ganko had left, something in Fuuko told her that she needs to go down this instant.

      "Oh damn!" Fuuko hissed as she tumbled out of bed. "I totally forgot!"

      "She wouldn't wake up."

      "It's alright. I'll wait."

      "But you've been waiting for half an hour now."

      "It's alright."

      Ganko sighed. This bishounen certainly is patient. How dreamy! But Ganko's thoughts were interrupted by a sound.

      They turned to the staircase and saw Fuuko tumbling down – literally.

      "Fuuko-neechan."

      "Fuu-chan."

      But before any of them could move a muscle, Fuuko was already within a few inches away from them.

      "Kaede! I am SO sorry! I forgot! I overslept! I stayed late last night! I–"

      "Okay." Rukawa cut her off, distractedly twirling Fuuko.

      Ganko sighed. How dreamy! Rukawa was twirling Fuuko and inspecting her for any injury.

      "Gee, Kaede, you don't have to act like an inspector you know. I'm alright."

      "Uh-huh." Rukawa replied, still distracted.

      "I said I'm alright. Are you even listening to me?!"

      "Uh-huh."

      "Kaede! You're not. I'm talking to myself again!"

      "Uh-huh."

      Ganko sweatdropped.

      "What?! Kaede! You're not paying attention!"

      "Uh-huh."

      Ganko smiled. They were so romantic with Rukawa twirling Fuuko around and inspecting her for an injury and Fuuko ranting and fuming at Rukawa.

      Alright. Maybe the Fuuko ranting and fuming at Rukawa part was not romantic. But hey. They could still pass for a couple having a petty quarrel with the guy trying to soothe the girl.

      Ganko smilingly sneaked out as gently as she could so as not to disturb the two.

      Recca, Yanagi, Domon, and Aki were having a double date at the mall. They have just finished watching a romantic movie and were now on their way to eat at a fancy western restaurant in the mall.

      After they seated themselves comfortably they ordered their food. When the waiter was gone, conversation started again.

      "This place is sure nice." Domon commented.

      "Yeah." Recca agreed. "You saw the prices on the menu? They were practically soaring."

      "Are you sure it's alright for you, Aki, to treat us?" Yanagi asked.

      "Yeah. Don't worry."

      "Kurei sure does provide his people with enough money." Domon sighed.

      "Hey, look over there."

      Yanagi, Domon, and Aki followed Recca's line of gaze to a table not so far from them.

      "So, after I met Recca, I decided that if I could defeat him, then there would be the two of us protecting you. And so, gradually my academics lowered. But at least I didn't turn to an iceberg, right?" Fuuko grinned.

      "Quit rubbing it in." Rukawa mumbled.

      "Oh boy. I wouldn't rub it in if you hadn't broken your promise."

      "That's why I'm already trying to make up for it, right?" Rukawa replied with mild irritation.

      Fuuko grinned. "I just love teasing you. You're so cute, you know that. Absolutely cute."

      Rukawa blushed. Fuuko can draw such a reaction from him with just simple teasing. How can she be so annoyingly pesky and lovable at the same time?

      "Blushing eh? Oh my gosh. Pigs must be flying and the world must be ending." Fuuko grinned. "The iceberg is melting."

      "Rubbing it again." Rukawa rolled his eyeballs.

      "Just teasing, alright?" Fuuko giggled. "It's a good thing you never thought of filing a law suit against me for bugging you all the time."

      "How can I? You're my best friend. You're my protector." Rukawa smiled. "I can still remember that you took up martial arts with Fujima-senpai because you weren't strong enough to protect me the first time around."

      "Well, we became friends that way, right? I just couldn't take it when I saw a thin boy being bullied by others just because he happens to be the best and everyone happens to like him more."

      "But our parents got called to the principal's office with the other boys' parents because of that fight."

      "Who cares? It was fun anyway." Fuuko laughed and then looked at her food. "Gee, I think I'm sick."

      Rukawa smiled. "Yeah. Your voracious appetite seems to be in a turned off mode."

      "Hey. Want to have a race? First one to finish eating his food will get to decide tomorrow's game plan."

      "Unfair. You have the ability to gobble up your food in a snap and I don't."

      "Start!"

      "I didn't agree yet!" Rukawa complained but Fuuko ignored him and continued wolfing down her food. "Oh well. I might as well."

      A few minutes later, Fuuko smirked. "I'm through!"

      Rukawa immediately choked. "You're *cough* through *cough cough* already?"

      Fuuko nodded and handed Rukawa a glass of iced tea. "Take it easy, Kaede. There's always next time."

      "Yeah, I suppose." Rukawa answered as he put down the glass and reached out for Fuuko.

      Fuuko's eye brows shot up as Rukawa was wiping her mouth and the areas surrounding it with a tissue.

      "You have spaghetti sauce all over you." Rukawa explained as he saw Fuuko's reaction.

      "Gee thanks but you could've just told me you know. I could've managed."

      Rukawa smiled. "I've been doing that since we were kids. Don't tell me you're embarrassed by that now."

      Fuuko nodded.

      "Fuu-chan has decided to be a girly girl?" Rukawa teased.

      "Oh boy. You're hitting below the belt!" Fuuko retorted as she blushed hard.

      "You're cute you know that? So cute."

      With that remark, Fuuko and Rukawa burst into laughter.

      The double date turned into something else. Recca, Yanagi, Domon, and Aki were now snooping around and spying on Fuuko and her bishounen companion.

      They were now in the arcade, trying to play casually while spying on Fuuko and her bishounen companion without being noticed.

      "Woohoo~" Fuuko yelled. "I'm winning."

      "Don't be too sure." Rukawa said as he concentrated on the moves of his character. "We'll see."

      After a many rounds at the arcade, Fuuko was whining big time. "You're so unfair!"

      "Oh? Why? Because I managed to win every game?"

      "Whatever. You're just unfair!" Fuuko pouted.

      Rukawa sighed. "Alright. What can I do to make it not look unfair in your view?"

      Fuuko immediately grabbed Rukawa's arm and smiled. "Treat me."

      "What's new? I always do the treating. What do you want? Ice cream?"

      "Yeah. Um, can we go ice skating afterwards? There's an ice skating rink at the top floor."

      "But, Fuu-chan, you always end up having a sore butt whenever we go ice skating."

      Fuuko sweatdropped. "So?"

      "So, don't you think it's time to drop your illusion of being an Ice Skating Queen?"

      "Oh boy. Come on. You're there anyway."

      "Yeah, like you would let me teach you anyway. I mean you've always been keeping me off."

      "I just wanted to beat you okay? You're always better than me – always winning in everything."

      "You have no idea what you're talking about. You always get to decide everything."

      "Yeah, whatever. So, can we go skating afterwards? I'll let you teach me, promise."

      "Fine, whatever you say."

      "Isn't that Rukawa?" Miyagi pointed to the skating rink.

      "Oh yeah. And he's with your girlfriend Mit-chan." Sakuragi informed.

      Mitsui sighed and looked at the beautiful girl beside him. She was smiling amusedly at him. "How many times do I have to tell you that she's not my girlfriend? I just introduced you to my secret girlfriend, right?"

      Sakuragi grinned with embarrassment and looked at the attractive girl standing by Mitsui. "Sorry, Chiharu-san."

      "It's alright." She replied and then looked at the rink. "They look good together. They really do."

      They watched as Rukawa and Fuuko skated around with Fuuko's hand held on tightly by Rukawa.

      "I wish Aya-chan was here and that I could hold her hand like that." Miyagi sighed.

      Mitsui stifled his laughter as Chiharu gave him the look that told him plainly 'It's impolite to laugh at your friend's plight'. But Sakuragi was just too dense.

      He laughed at Miyagi. "Dream on! *guffaw* Ayako would just whack your head off *chuckle*."

      "Hah! As if you're not wishing that it would be like that too with Haruko and you!" Miyagi shot back.

      Mitsui slung an arm around Chiharu's shoulder and ignored the bickering Miyagi and Sakuragi. "We also met in a skating rink remember?"

      Chiharu giggled. "Yeah. And after a few months, we were in a secret relationship."

      Mikagami walked steadily in the middle of Ganko and Koganei. It was nice having the two kiddos around. At least it kept his fans from bothering him.

      "Hey look. There are so many people there." Koganei pointed at a swarm of girls.

      "Yeah. Let's take a look." Ganko suggested.

      "Yeah. Come on." Koganei agreed.

      Mikagami sighed. He had no choice but to follow the two because they were the only ones that made his fans stop bothering him.

      They squeezed through to the front. They looked at what the people were staring at but there were many people skating.

      "That conniving little imp!"

      "She's stealing Rukawa-sama away from us!"

      "I want to strangle her!"

      Mikagami got the clue. They should be looking for a girl with a bishounen in the rink.

      "Isn't that Fuuko-neechan?" Koganei and Ganko chorused as they pointed to the rink.

      Mikagami looked closely. "It is." And somehow, he got to the conclusion that these girls are talking about Fuuko.

      And as time ticked by, more girls hated Fuuko. Rukawa was now skating backwards and holding both Fuuko's hands in his.

      "This is fun, Kaede." Fuuko smiled.

      "Of course."

      "Oh boy. If I had known that skating without falling is great, I wouldn't have been too stubborn in insisting that I could beat you on my own."

      "Better late than never, Fuu-chan."

      "This is so great. Oh boy. I wish I could be so great like you. I'm always just second best."

      "You have no idea what you're saying." You'll always be the best for me. Rukawa mentally added.

      "Well, I suppose you're right. I always have no idea on what I say. I just blab about nothing."

      "No. You're just talkative."

      Fuuko looked up at her best friend's deep blue eyes. It never ceased to amaze her how such cold-colored pair of eyes could be so perfectly and comfortingly warm.

      Rukawa stared back at Fuuko's eyes. He realized that he missed doing that. That he missed being with Fuuko.

      They didn't realize it but they have stopped in the middle of the skating rink, staring at each other's eyes while Rukawa's hands were still holding on to hers.

      "They were so romantic!" Ganko gushed.

      "Yeah. Even Recca-niichan and Yanagi-neechan wouldn't have the guts to be THAT romantic in the middle of the mall's skating rink." Koganei agreed.

      Mikagami shook his head. Girls were ready to strangle Fuuko. Had she and the bishounen parted after skating, the girls would've murdered Fuuko right on the spot.

      Ganko and Koganei continued discussing about Fuuko and the bishounen. Mikagami looked at the time on the wall clock. They just couldn't leave Ganko alone in the house so they would have to wait for Fuuko.

      Apparently, Fuuko and the bishounen seemed to be enjoying their date way too much.

      "Eleven pm." Mikagami mumbled to himself.

Chapter 7:

      "It's kind of late for you to walk back to your hotel. Want to stay here?" Fuuko asked as she entered the house and pulled Rukawa along. "I mean gee we've been having sleepovers before."

      "And Ganko?"

      "What about her? Oh. She wouldn't think of this as something else. Where is she anyway?"

      "Tucked in bed." Mikagami informed as he descended the stairs. "She wanted to wait for you but it is way past her bedtime." He stared at the wall clock before looking back at Fuuko. "Three am."

      Fuuko stared at the wall clock. "Oh yeah. How time flies. Anyway, thanks for staying with Ganko."

      "Koganei is also asleep. I'm sure you wouldn't mind keeping him here till morning." With that said, Mikagami walked towards the door. "Good morning."

      "Yow Mi-chan. It's wee bit late for you to go walking home. You can use one of the rooms upstairs."

      Mikagami looked back. "I may be disrupting something."

      Question marks hovered over Fuuko's head. "Huh?"

      Mikagami sighed. How can Fuuko be so dense to implications? He looked at Fuuko and then looked at Rukawa who just stood there almost expressionless overall with the exception of his eyes which were scrutinizing him suspiciously.

      Fuuko followed Mikagami's line of sight. She smiled sheepishly. "Oh, I forgot. This is Rukawa Kaede. Kaede, this is Mikagami Tokiya."

      Rukawa and Mikagami just nodded at each other as a sign of acknowledgement. Fuuko shrugged. "Alright, Mi-chan. Up you go. Koganei would never talk to me if something happens to you. And no, I am definitely not taking a 'no' for an answer. I'm not taking chances on you. You look too much like a pretty girl to be allowed to walk home at this time."

      Before Mikagami could open his mouth to argue with Fuuko, she was already dragging him towards the stairs.

      "Alright. But could you just stop dragging me?"

      "Oh. Sure." Fuuko let go. "Oi Kaede, what are you standing there for?"

      "Nothing."

      "Oh boy. Don't tell me your M&MS has kicked in again." Fuuko sighed. "You're going to be a tough job you know that?"

      Rukawa shrugged, thinking of something. Mi-chan? Why? Who is that silver-haired guy to her anyway?

      "Giving me a CST©, eh?" Fuuko raised a brow.

      Mikagami sweatdropped at the sight of Fuuko and Rukawa engaging in a wrestling match on the floor. "I need rest – badly." He muttered to himself. "I'm sleeping, Fuuko."

      "Sure. Go ahead." Fuuko called back, still busy in the wrestling match.

      Mikagami looked back for the last time. Fuuko was laughing while pounding Rukawa. How sadistic. Rukawa was smiling and trying to protect himself from Fuuko. How masochistic.

      "I told you breakfast is ready."

      "Already?" Fuuko whined.

      "For the umpteenth time – yes. Now get up and fix yourself."

      Mikagami overheard this as he walked the hallway and found Rukawa standing by Fuuko's opened door.

      "Ten minutes, Fuu-chan. Start moving or you'll end up rushing again. And then you'll tumble down the stairs again."

      "Sure, sure."

      Rukawa sighed and went inside. He jerked the blanket off Fuuko. "Get up."

      "What's the big idea?" Fuuko mumbled, covering her head with a pillow.

      "I am running late, Fuu-chan."

      "Then go."

      "I thought you wanted to come to my training?" Rukawa stared at Fuuko, still sprawled on the bed.

      "I'll wake her up."

      Rukawa looked at the doorway and saw Mikagami and Ganko standing there.

      "I'll wake her up." Ganko repeated. "She's always like that."

      "It's alright. I'll do it." Rukawa answered and again looked at Fuuko. "Fuu-chan, I prepared LOADS of food. You wouldn't want it to go to waste now, would you?"

      A few minutes of silence passed. Then, what Rukawa said sank in. She jerked up so suddenly that she ended up falling off her bed. Rukawa immediately squatted to help her. "Are you alright?"

      "Expect me down there in less than ten minutes." Fuuko muttered before rushing to her bathroom.

      "That was quick." Mikagami commented.

      Ganko smiled. "Of course. Food. Fuuko-neechan would never think twice when it comes to food."

      "What's going on?" Koganei walked up to them, rubbing his eyes.

      "Breakfast is ready." Rukawa informed, eyes still glued on the bathroom's door.

      "You're still a very good cook! This is good." Fuuko mumbled as she stuffed more food into her mouth.

      "Yeah. Rukawa-niichan, this is so good." Ganko praised.

      Koganei nodded. Apparently, his mouth is too full to even say something. Mikagami kept quiet, eating his breakfast as carefully like the usual.

      Rukawa sighed. Somehow, he missed having breakfast with someone. He stared at Fuuko who was still gobbling her food down. "Take it easy. You'll–"

      *cough cough cough*

      "Choke." Rukawa finished, passing Fuuko a glass of water.

      "Thanks." Fuuko smiled after drinking the water, eyes watery from all the coughing. "So, are you sure people at the training camp wouldn't mind me coming along?"

      "No."

      "What if they do mind?"

      "I don't care."

      "Oh boy." Fuuko sighed.

      "You're always saying that."

      "What do you want me to do? Change it to something like 'oh my gorilla's bananas'?"

      Rukawa lips tugged at the corners but he prevented himself from smiling, not wanting to make Fuuko blow up.

      "What?!" Fuuko asked irately as she saw that everyone was trying to stifle their laughter.

      "Oh my gorilla's bananas." Koganei repeated in an annoying tone.

      "What is wrong with that?!"

      "Oh my gorilla's bananas." Koganei repeated again.

      Ganko and Koganei burst into laughter. Mikagami smirked. "It's lame."

      "What?!" Fuuko glared at Mikagami, Koganei, and Ganko before looking at Rukawa who was red from stifling his laughter. "What?!"

      Rukawa shook his head. "Nothing. Excuse me."

      Rukawa walked outside the kitchen. A few seconds later, they heard him laughing hysterically.

      *HA HA HA HA. OH MY GORILLA'S BANANAS? HA HA HA HA HA*

      The four sweatdropped as this phrase continued on for another ten minutes.

      *RUKAWA! RUKAWA! L-O-V-E  RUKAWA!*

      Fuuko sighed. It was getting annoying. For the past hour that she and her friends had been watching, they hear nothing but that chant. And to make it worse, the cheerleaders were also complete with pompoms and action cheers.

      She didn't want to admit this but she wished she just went to Shoyo's training camp instead of Shohoku's. Girls from that school are so die-hard in cheering for the Shohoku players that their eardrums are getting damaged big time.

      "He's really so popular." Ganko sighed. "He has his very own cheerleading team. I can still remember them from the Inter High Games."

      "Who cares?" Fuuko mumbled. "They're so annoying!"

      "Jealous?" Koganei grinned.

      "Why would I be jealous?!"

      Mikagami shook his head. Somehow, he was still wondering how he got into this place with the others.

      *AAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!*

      They covered their ears. Damn! Every time Kaede does something cool (which was more often than not) the girls would go screaming their heads of.

      "His fan girls are even more annoying than that of Mi-chan's." Fuuko whined. "I don't blame him if he gave them the CST©. They're just too–"

      *AAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!*

      "Kaede, I–" Fuuko immediately began when Rukawa approached them for break.

      "I know. They're annoying." Rukawa supplied sourly.

      "Rukawa-niichan. You're so COOL." Koganei grinned.

      "Yeah. I can still remember how cool you were back at the Inter High." Ganko gushed.

      Fuuko looked at Ganko. "You mean you don't know who won the game because you were sight-seeing for bishounen?"

      Ganko blushed. "Uh, well---"

      "It's alright." Fuuko smiled and turned to Rukawa. "I guess you can't blame all those girls for running after you. See? Even my little sister thinks that you belong to the bishounen class."

      "Oi, Fuuko-san." Miyagi and Sakuragi waved.

      "Hey!"

      Rukawa groaned inwardly. Great. Now two more troublesome people. Good thing Mitsui was already a graduate and wouldn't be here to bother them.

      After the needed introductions, they were all talking as if they knew each other long before. Well except for Mikagami, who didn't feel like talking, and Rukawa, who was plainly irritated with his fan club.

      After training for a long time, they were finally given the liberty to go. Rukawa of course immediately headed for Fuuko to tell her he's just going to shower for a while.

      Miyagi and Sakuragi of course came to bug Rukawa about melting. The reaction was immediate. He immediately had the worst case of M&MS and was giving them the CST©.

      When Rukawa, Sakuragi, and Miyagi had gone to join the rest of their teammates, Ayako came to have a little chat since she was too busy a while ago to have it.

      "Hey, Fuuko, how has everything been?" Ayako began.

      "Okay, I guess, except that my eardrums are a bit shattered."

      Ayako smiled. She knew what Fuuko meant. After all, she had to put up with that everyday that the team had practice or even when Rukawa was simply passing by.

      "By the way, my friends, Ganko, Koganei and Mikagami." Fuuko introduced. "This is Ayako."

      "Hi." Ganko and Koganei chorused.

      "Nice to meet you, Ayako-san." Mikagami said.

      "Same here. I hope you weren't THAT bothered by Rukawa's fans." Ayako smiled.

      Fuuko snorted. "I can't believe Kaede has to put up with all this."

      Ayako's curiosity was triggered once again. Since the Inter High Tournament where she first saw Fuuko with Rukawa, her curious mind had always been thinking. And now, once again her curiosity was beginning to go out of control.

      "I hope you wouldn't mind me asking." Ayako said tentatively. "But I want to ask you something about Rukawa."

      "Oh. What's that?"

      "How come he treats you differently? Are you two in a romantic relationship or something?"

      Fuuko blushed as she saw that even Ganko and Koganei were looking at her closely. "No! Of course not! Why would we be in that thing? We're just best friends. You know like childhood close friends."

      "Oh." Ayako said, trying to hide her disappointment.

      For a minute there, she thought that something was really up that's why she went bold enough to ask whether they were romantically linked or something. I mean who wouldn't think that way if they see that the Ice Prince would always be totally and absolutely out of character whenever Fuuko was around.

      What's with all the talkative and smiling Rukawa? The sweet and simply caring guy? The wide awake and very attentive bishounen? He practically morphed into someone they didn't know. Of course that would get a hold of ANYONE'S attention and curiosity.

      "Hey." Fuuko waved her hand in front of Ayako's face. "You're day dreaming, girl."

      Ayako smiled. She liked Fuuko. And obviously, Rukawa does too, in a different way that is. His fan girls would surely die of jealousy, provided that Fuuko doesn't die first in their hands.

      Ayako's eyes went to Fuuko's companions particularly to a silver-haired bishounen standing calmly near Fuuko's back.

      She wondered how Rukawa handled this guy. And she even wondered if this was Fuuko's boyfriend and Rukawa was really just a best friend and nothing more.

Chapter 8:

      "Why doesn't it go in?!"

      Fuuko was really annoyed now. She had been trying to shoot a ball through the hoop for the past hour and not even a single ball went in.

      "You're too tense."

      Fuuko ignored Fujima as he went to her side.

      "Relax. You're letting your annoyance get into your concentration."

      "I wasn't annoyed an hour ago!"

      "Maybe it's because of the way you throw it. Too much force. Here. Let me show you."

      Fujima got another ball from the rack and showed Fuuko how to shoot a proper two-pointer. The ball went inside the hoop perfectly.

      "You know. If you really want to brush up on your basketball skills, maybe you should join the practice. It'll start in an hour."

      Fuuko just nodded and continued trying to shoot the ball.

      "You got yourself into a dare?" Fujima smiled knowingly. "Rukawa is not a very nice opponent on court you know."

      "I know! But it's not him that I've to deal with."

      "And who is it then?"

      Fuuko just blushed.

      Fujima raised a brow. "He's here?"

      "Duh!"

      Fujima smiled. Knowing Fuuko, she was obviously serious about the dare to have her snapping at him. This must mean that either the stakes are high or she's carrying someone's reputation on her back.

      "Alright. What have you gotten yourself into this time?"

      Fuuko pouted and sat in the middle of the court, sulking. "I was just teasing Kaede that he has plenty of girls in his hands because of his basketball skills."

      "And?"

      "And Sakuragi-san said that Kaede must have hypnotized all those girls."

      "And?"

      "Of course I jumped into Kaede's defense. We were arguing a few minutes later and it ended up with Sakuragi-san challenging me into giving him a proof of Kaede's real skills. I retorted that Kaede's so great that he managed to teach me into beating anyone."

      "So how did HE get into the picture?"

      Fuuko again blushed. "I asked Kaede to treat us to the mall's food court. So, we were arguing there. Unfortunately, HE seemed to have decided to eat there with some of his teammates!"

      "So, he came over to greet you and Sakuragi ended up challenging you to beat him?"

      "Yes! And I was so stupid to say 'Bring it on!' Argh!"

      "So how is the set up?"

      "If I win, Sakuragi-san would have to stop throwing stupid antics on Kaede. If I lose, Sakuragi-san would have the right to say ANYTHING against Kaede." Fuuko ranted while glaring at the shiny floor.

      "That's not all, I know. You wouldn't be this upset."

      "Alright! I'm telling. Every time I go to see Kaede with his practices, Sakuragi-san and Miyagi-san would be teasing me about being Kaede's girlfriend."

      "And?"

^^^

      Action!!!

Fuuko: Bring it on!

Sakuragi: Nyahahaha. Oi, Kitsune, you're girlfriend is really so head-over-heels for you! You must've used a bulk of your hypnotism on her to have her defending you like that!

Miyagi: *snickers*

Kaede: *glares hard at Sakuragi and Miyagi*

Ayako: *gets her fan and swipes at Sakuragi and Miyagi's head*

The Unknown 'HE' guy: You mean Fuuko is Rukawa's girlfriend?

Sakuragi: *rubs the back of head* Duh! Can't you see the proof? She's defending him too much.

The Unknown 'HE' guy: *turns to Fuuko and raises a brow*

Fuuko: *glares at Sakuragi before turning to look at the unknown 'HE' guy* It's not what you think!

The Unknown 'HE' guy: *smiles* Really?

Fuuko: Really! *elbows Rukawa* Right?

Rukawa: *stops glaring at Sakuragi to look at Fuuko* Huh?

The Unknown 'HE' guy: *suppresses a laugh*

Fuuko: *fumes* How can I prove it?!

Miyagi: *light bulb appears on his head* Aha! Since Fuuko-san is having a game, why don't we make the stakes higher? If Fuuko-san loses, this means she has to date the person she lost to for a whole week. That way, she can prove that she's not Rukawa's girlfriend.

Sakuragi & Fuuko: *question marks hovers around them*

Rukawa: *glares at Miyagi*

Ayako: *looks interested enough to not whack Miyagi in the head for his idea*

Miyagi: If Rukawa doesn't get jealous, then Fuuko-san is not his girlfriend.

Fuuko: What if I win?

Miyagi: You won't have to prove anything about you and Rukawa not romantically linked.

Rukawa: This. Is. STUPID.

Sakuragi & Miyagi: *grins evilly* If you've got nothing to hide, you wouldn't be so touchy about this.

Ayako: I agree with them, Rukawa. Fuuko-san, denying is also like admitting guilt.

Fuuko: Fine! I agree to the additional stake then!

Miyagi: It's settled then. If Fuuko-san wins, we'll let you two off the teasing and Sakuragi will stop bothering Rukawa. If Fuuko-san loses, she'll have a date for a week and we get to bother Rukawa more.

Sakuragi: *grins evilly at Rukawa*

Rukawa: *glares hard at Sakuragi*

The Unknown 'HE' guy: *shrugs* Well, whatever. I'm going over to my friends now. See you all at the game then. *looks at Fuuko and smiles challengingly before looking at Rukawa and then Fuuko again* Prove whatever you want to prove to me, Fuuko.

^^^

      Fujima smiled. "Tough one, Fuu-chan. If you win, you won't let Rukawa down. On the other hand, you'll be letting the chance down to date your childhood crush."

      Fuuko blushed. "That was a long time ago!"

      "Oh? How come you still kept on asking about him before the Inter High Tournament?"

      "I was just asking! Argh! Why am I even wasting my time?!"

      "Fuu-chan, you have to loosen up. If you're too hot-headed, you wouldn't accomplish anything. Since this is because of Rukawa's skills, why don't you ask him for help? This is the root anyway."

      "I can't! They're also going to be practicing. If I practice there, it would prove that I'm still not good enough to still be in need of Kaede's help."

      "Does Mitsui know of this?"

      "How did he enter the picture?" Fuuko's irritated look was replaced by a puzzled expression.

      "He may be able to teach you his signature three-pointers. Three-pointers would be a good help for you in the game. I could teach you the others."

      "Can't you teach me your three-pointers?"

      "I can. But Mitsui's is really a good one."

      "I don't know where to find him. He never comes to Shohoku's practices."

      "Hold on. You know some of the main players of Kainan right?"

      "I don't know where to find them."

      "Their affiliate training camp here would be a good place to start looking."

      "I just bumped into them, okay?"

      "Yes. But maybe you could interest them into teaching you if you'll give a good game. Jin's three-pointer never misses. Besides, Maki is the MVP of Kanagawa."

      "Really? Cool. Come, Kenji. Help me look for them."

      Fuuko proceeded to pull Fujima out of the gym.

      "In case you've forgotten, I'm still going to train players here."

      "Couldn't you excuse yourself for a day? Come on. Help me out here, okay?"

      Fujima looked at Fuuko. How could he say no when Fuuko was already giving him her lost puppy look? How can he say no to Fuuko when she's like his little sister since they were little kids? How can he say no to his favorite cousin?

      "Alright." He sighed.

      "Woohoo~"

      Fuuko jumped like a little kid who is excited about something like a roller coaster.

      "I see." Maki nodded while looking at Fuuko and Kiyota as they nodded to each other while talking about something.

      "Would you be willing to help?" Fujima asked, also looking at Kiyota and Fuuko in the middle of the court.

      "It would be interesting to see that girl try beating Sendoh. And much more interesting to see how Rukawa would react on whatever outcome there would be."

      "So, you'll help?"

      "Of course. But we can't practice here. It would be bothersome for the rest of the players. I would ask for a few days leave and I'd have to excuse Jin."

      "I think you should include Kiyota. Fuu-chan seems calmer now that she's talking to him. I wonder what they're talking about."

      "That redhead monkey is sure annoyingly stupid!" Kiyota proclaimed.

      "Loud mouth!" Fuuko added.

      "I'm sure you want to strangle him for getting you in this predicament!"

      "Strangle? Are you kidding? I want to pound his head till he's six feet under the ground!"

      "I'll help you if you want."

      "Sure. I would really appreciate your help. And oh, could you help me on Miyagi-san, too?"

      "Curly?"

      Fuuko laughed. "Curly? You call him curly?"

      "He's curly anyway."

      Everyone in the gym stared at two laughing lunatics in the middle of the court. They were practically laughing like there would be no tomorrow.

      "I think you're right. Kiyota should be of help in easing out her irritation every time she's annoyed at something she can't do."

      Fujima smiled. "So, Kainan asked you to teach the team."

      "Yes. They said it would be of great help."

      "I'm sure you'd be of great help on Fuu-chan, too."

      "Oh my gorilla's bananas?" Kiyota asked with lips quirking upwards by each second.

      "Yeah. Something wrong?"

      Kiyota was laughing his head off. Being with Fuuko was one funny experience. They've been exchanging knowledge on pranks and anything. And he's been learning a lot of expressions.

      "That is SO stupid!" Kiyota chuckled. "But I've got to hand it to you. I like it! Can I use it, too?"

      "Sure."

      "Maybe I could change mine into 'oh the stupid red monkey's bananas'."

      Fuuko grinned. "Yeah. Or maybe we could change it to something like 'oh curly top' if we're going to annoy Miyagi-san."

      "Yeah. What else is there? It could be on Rukawa."

      "I told you. He's off limits on anything stupid."

      Kiyota sighed. "I almost forgot. Never mind. I could always content myself on tormenting that redhead monkey."

      "They seem to be getting along quite well." Jin noted as they continued eating their lunch.

      "Good. It makes the session easier to handle." Maki eyed Kiyota and Fuuko on the next table.

      "And it makes Fuuko less upset about the game Sakuragi set." Fujima added.

      It had been a week with the four of them teaching Fuuko. Actually, it's more of honing her skills as she knows basketball to begin with. Her abilities just needed to be reawakened.

      The training session had been a top secret. They've been practicing back in Kanagawa – in Shoyo's gym to make sure no one knows.

      And as far as they were all concerned, the training was successful. Today would be the last day.

      "Nice, Fuuko!" Kiyota yelled as the last ball went in.

      "Woohoo~ We're through!" Fuuko yelled happily.

      "Congratulations, Fuuko-san." Jin smiled.

      Fujima and Maki patted Fuuko's back, all the while congratulating her.

      "So, can we eat now?" Kiyota and Fuuko both asked at the same time.

      Fujima sighed. Kiyota and Fuuko were always excited about the rewards at the end of the practices. And now, they're at it again.

      "Honey, you are so beautiful tonight. No~ not only tonight. You're always so beautiful."

      "Thank you."

      The two lovebirds were in a romantic dinner. Candle lights, soft music from the violin, table by the veranda, and restaurant by the sea.

      "It's not a compliment. It's the truth. You're so beautiful!"

      She giggled at her lover's compliment. She covered her mouth and nose femininely while laughing. Minutes later, she removed her hand.

      He stared at her and looked slightly uncomfortable. "Uh, honey, you have rice near your nose."

      "Oh really?" She replied, reaching for the rice and popping it inside her mouth.

      Fuuko and Kiyota dashed towards the direction of the comfort rooms of the restaurant. They were resisting the urge to puke.

      After minutes of puking everything that they have ingested that night, they went back to the table near the veranda and sat there looking so sick.

      "That's what you get for minding other people's business." Maki pointed out.

      "We can't help it." Kiyota whined. "They were just too cheesy and all."

      "Besides," Fuuko backed up. "How are we supposed to know that she was going to eat the 'rice'?"

      "Ugh!" Kiyota rolled his eyes. "Do NOT remind me about it!"

      Fujima and Jin smiled. Fujima had decided to treat them to a posh restaurant by the sea. Kiyota and Fuuko were minding a couple's business and they ended up being so sick at what they saw.

^^^

      Action!!!

      She giggled at her lover's compliment. She covered her mouth and nose femininely while laughing. Minutes later, she removed her hand.

      He stared at her and looked slightly uncomfortable. "Uh, honey, you have rice near your nose."

      "Oh really?" She replied, reaching for the rice and popping it inside her mouth.

      The guy looked sick.

      Apparently, she had giggled too much that her 'boogers' had managed to escape her nose and stuck just below her nose's cave.

      When he pointed it out in a nice way by saying 'rice' instead of 'snot' or 'boogers' or 'cliffhanger' or whatever one can call a dried nasal mucus, she got it and ate it.

      And now, he was absolutely reaching his tolerance of not puking right there and then.

^^^

      Rukawa sighed. Fuuko was really beginning to worry him. He wanted so much to pound Sakuragi and Miyagi. It was their fault that Fuuko had to go through this. And now, Fuuko may be sick.

^^^

      Action!!!

Rukawa: *looks worried* Are you nervous about the game?

Fuuko: . . . *stares at her food*

Rukawa: Don't be. You can do it.

Fuuko: . . . *stares particularly at her rice*

Rukawa: If you lose, I'll just challenge Sendoh to play with me instead.

Fuuko: . . . *stares at the rice like it's really so disgusting*

Rukawa: Fuu-chan?

Fuuko: . . . *busy staring at the 'disgusting' rice*

Rukawa: Fuu-chan?

Fuuko: . . . *still busy staring at the 'disgusting' rice*

^^^

      "I'll play for you." Rukawa stated.

      Fuuko looked at Rukawa. "What?"

      "I'll play for you."

      "I can do it."

      "It's alright. If you're too nervous, I–"

      "Me? Nervous? Come on! What made you think that I'm nervous?"

      "You didn't even eat your food. You were just staring at it especially the rice like it's some kind of a disgusting thing. And you never did that to FOOD."

      "Oh. Rice?" Fuuko turned green. "Excuse me a moment."

      Fuuko ran to the comfort room with Rukawa following her.

      "What happened to her?" Kiyota asked Miyagi as Fuuko sped past him.

      "I think it's something about the food." Miyagi explained.

      "Oh curly top." Kiyota cooed as if it was saying 'Oh my gosh'.

      Miyagi's eyes narrowed.

      "Nyahahaha. Oh curly top! That's so funny." Sakuragi laughed.

      Miyagi glared at Kiyota.

      Kiyota grinned. "So what about the food?"

      "I don't know. But Rukawa did mention something, particularly the rice." Ayako explained as she reached for her fan to swat Sakuragi and Miyagi who were now engaged in a wrestling match.

      Kiyota turned green. "Uh, I need to do something."

      Kiyota ran to the comfort room.

      Miyagi and Sakuragi stared at Kiyota's running form after they got swatted in the head. "What was that all about?"

      Sendoh was in the lead.

      The game's winning regulation was simple – first to score fifty points wins.

      Fuuko was dribbling the ball. Sendoh was hard to beat. She could hardly pass him without having the ball getting swiped away from her. She was desperate. She stepped back and jumped to shoot the ball.

      It traveled in a perfect arc and went through the net effortlessly. A perfect three-point shot.

      Jin smiled. Fuuko was really a fast learner.

      "Nice one." Sendoh smiled.

      Fuuko nodded and the game proceeded.

      Fuuko sat on the floor, staring at Sendoh.

      "It was a good game, anyway." Sendoh commented. "35 is an okay score taking into consideration that you haven't been playing basketball for a long time."

      "I still lost." Fuuko stated flatly. "Besides, I trained."

      "Nyahahaha. Rukawa does suck in teaching!" Sakuragi's voice echoed in the gym.

      Rukawa glared at Sakuragi before glaring at Sendoh. "A game." He paused as he helped Fuuko up. "With me."

      Sendoh smiled even more. This is quite interesting. Rukawa getting upset over such a thing as this. But of course, Rukawa is Fuuko's best friend way back then. However, there is also this thing Sakuragi and Miyagi had been blabbing about.

      "I'm really so sorry, Kaede!" Fuuko apologized.

      "It's alright."

      "I'm really SO, SO, sorry. Don't worry. I'll try making it up by another game." Fuuko turned to Sendoh. "Another game?"

      "Some other time. Rukawa and I still have a score to settle."

      "But wouldn't it be unfair? You've been playing with me and then Rukawa? He's not even sweating yet." Fuuko reasoned.

      "That's what I like about you, Fuuko. You're a very fair person." Sendoh complimented albeit Rukawa was glaring hard at him. "Perhaps some other time then." He shook Fuuko's hand. "Nice game. I guess I'll have to ask for a week's leave from practice. See you tomorrow, Fuuko."

      With that, Sendoh left.

      "It was an interesting game." Maki commented.

      "I think so, too." Jin nodded in agreement.

      "I hope Fuuko doesn't take her loss too seriously." Fujima sighed. "I wouldn't want to have to pacify a cyclone like her."

      "I can pacify her." Kiyota interjected. "We can go annoy the stupid red monkey."

      Ayako, Sakuragi, and Miyagi approached Fuuko and Rukawa.

      "Good game." Ayako praised. "I didn't know you could play with Sendoh like that!"

      "Aya-chan is right."

      "Too bad you didn't let the tensai teach you. Maybe you could've won."

      Ayako whacked Sakuragi with all her might. "Stop saying stupid things!"

      "I was telling the truth!"

      "I said stop!" Ayako whacked Sakuragi again.

Chapter 9:

      Fuuko was trying hard to act like nothing is new. But she never knew that it would be very difficult. She just discovered now that her childhood crush still has a huge impact on her. No wonder she had been asking about him having a girlfriend.

      Sendoh was still gorgeous. Actually, more gorgeous than ever. And he has this suave way. Almost identical to Mikagami only his suaveness was leaning on the friendly side.

      "What?"

      "I didn't say anything." Sendoh defended.

      "Why are you staring at me?" Fuuko asked, trying not to be uncomfortable under Sendoh's constant look.

      "I was just wondering when you'll tell me."

      "About?"

      "About you and Rukawa."

      "What about us?"

      "He's your boyfriend?"

      Fuuko blushed. "Of course not!"

      "Then why were they saying that you are?"

      "I don't know. It must be because–"

      "Rukawa treats you differently."

      "Right."

      "Well, who knows? He might really be falling for you."

      "What?!"

      "It's not far-fetched. He's without his shell when his with you. It would be easier for him to fall for your charms."

      Fuuko choked on her drink. "Charms? What charms?"

      Sendoh smiled. "Still innocent? Look around casually."

      "Why?"

      "Just do it."

      Fuuko did for a few minutes before looking at Sendoh. "So?"

      "What did you see?"

      "Uh, girls are sending dagger looks at me."

      "And?"

      "Guys are glaring at you."

      "You know why the guys are glaring at me?"

      "Uh, because girls like you?"

      Sendoh's smile widened. "Rukawa's really going to fall for you. You're just so different from the girls he ignores. And that's what makes you so attracting."

      "Huh?" Question marks hovered around her.

      "See?" Sendoh laughed. "Alright. Guys are glaring at me because I'm with you."

      "Er, so?"

      "You still don't get it?"

      Fuuko shook her head.

      Sendoh was amused. "They like you."

      "Why would they like me?"

      "I'll show you why after you finish your burgers."

      Fuuko proceeded to swallow her burgers.

      "So?"

      "What do you see?"

      "My reflection and yours. Duh!" Fuuko looked puzzled. "What about it anyway?"

      Sendoh smiled amusedly. "If you don't stop being so oblivious, I'd probably start liking the idea of keeping you for myself."

      Fuuko blushed and felt her stomach twist.

      "I think I'm beginning to realize what Rukawa must have realized."

      "You know, you are so confusing. Never mind. Can we go to the arcade?"

      "I think I'll be enjoying this whole week. It's rare to find a girl who'd sincerely want to do what a guy wants to do. And if there's something that's really likeable about a girl – it's their sincerity that makes them so innocently beautiful."

      "You still have a flowery way of speaking, Akira." Fuuko grinned. "I guess that's the reason girls like you. Though I have to say, you're good at basketball."

      "Keep up with that, Fuuko, and sooner or later, you'd be attending my funeral." Sendoh smiled. "Rukawa is really going to kill me if I get too close."

      "What is wrong with Rukawa?" Ayako tapped her foot impatiently.

      "He must be following Fuuko-san and Sendoh." Miyagi said thoughtfully.

      "Nyahahaha. He really is Fuuko-san's boyfriend." Sakuragi laughed.

      "Who?" Another voice interrupted.

      "Mitsui!"

      "Mitsui-senpai."

      "Micchy!"

      "Who?"

      "Rukawa." Ayako, Miyagi, and Sakuragi answered.

      Mitsui smiled. "I thought so. I mean the way Rukawa moves around her, he's obviously mad about her."

      "Who?"

      "Governor."

      "Akagi-senpai."

      "Gori!"

      Akagi's fist made contact with Sakuragi's head. "You still haven't changed!"

      "Isn't that Rukawa-niichan?" Koganei pointed to a person walking in the mall.

      "Oh yeah!" Ganko smiled. "Let's go to him."

      "I don't think he'll like that." Aki interrupted.

      "Why not?" Recca asked.

      "How come Fuuko-chan is not with him?" Domon looked at Ganko.

      "Because Fuuko-neechan is dating Sendoh-niichan." Ganko explained.

      "Another guy?" Yanagi smiled.

      "Hai."

      "This is interesting. Our tomboy Fuuko seems to have her hands full of boys."

      "You're right, Recca-kun."

(Rukawa's POV)

      Idiot moron! Why does he have to smile like that all the time? I want to wipe that stupid smile off his face!

      Was he born with an abnormality?

      Sure, dimples are abnormalities but they're pretty tolerable. But that always quirked up mouth is really so annoying. And those stupid spikes on top of his skull look pretty pathetic. All he needs is a collar on his neck and a bone in his mouth and he could be legally called Spike the Dog and just Spike because of the hair.

      I wonder what girls find in that abnormality to go crazy about him. And I REALLY wonder what Fuu-chan finds in him.

      She seems to be enjoying his repulsing presence. And HE seems to be enjoying this!

      I am really going to have to squeeze the life out of those idiots who suggested all this! That do' aho. And here I was thinking we'll be okay after the IH Tournament. And Miyagi. That troublemaker had to join up with the red idiot to gang up on me. What's worse? Ayako-senpai agreed with them on this dating thing.

      After this, my first goal would be amputating every limb in the red idiot and the curly idiot. And the second, it's either I suffocate or decapitate Sendoh.

(Mikagami's POV)

      It's nice to be out of any annoying person's grasp. It's amazing how things had changed ever since those basketball players appeared on the scene earlier this break.

      I suppose that they are blessings in disguise. Fuuko's bothersome antics to make me join the monkey family are no more. Not that I mind much. But I must admit that it does change something in my daily living since I have grown accustomed to her always popping out of nowhere to bother me.

      Perhaps if I didn't have a reputation to uphold, I would have openly admitted this. And perhaps I would even have given myself even a leeway to feel something for her. But of course, I can't. I am still Mikagami Tokiya, the Iceman of Hokage.

      It's too bad then for me that I cannot break down this incorporated high pride on my ability to stand alone. Because it's the only thing that's been keeping me from truly reaching out.

      But I wonder what keeps Rukawa from reaching out completely. He seems to like Fuuko but there is something that keeps him from saying so. Of course, there is this fact that Fuuko had mentioned about them being childhood best friends before she moved here in Tokyo. But that is not a big hindrance should he want to confess. It could even add more to his advantage.

      I feel sorry for him somehow. He is in a more safe position than I could ever be had I felt the way he felt for Fuuko.

      Even if it's none of my business, it's been bothering my thoughts just as the Hokage does. Perhaps it's because it's not very normal to see a guy like Rukawa not being able to say anything to a girl *ehem* I mean a tomboy like Fuuko. It's not like Fuuko is not pretty because honestly she is attractive and pretty even if she's a tomboy brat.

      It's really an interesting thing to see on what would transpire between the two of them. But what is this? Is that really Rukawa stalking someone? Let me see. Oh, that someone is Fuuko.

      But who is that other guy Fuuko is with? Seems like the Hokage's tomboy is really proving to everyone, including my annoying fan girls, that she's got what it takes to have popular pretty boys follow her around.

      The meeting was absolutely tiring for the Rukawa Brigade.

      The members had talked about ways of making Fuuko stay away from Rukawa. But at every angle, any suggestion looked hard to implement.

            i.e. Kill Fuuko. - Rukawa would attend her funeral and mourn for her for a long time if not for his lifetime.

                 Poison Fuuko temporarily (like Snow White) or put her in a coma - Rukawa would act like Prince Charming and would most likely hover around her all the time. *shakes head*

                 Ask her to join the Rukawa Brigade and share Rukawa - Rukawa might hate them. Definitely a no, no.

                 Keep her out of Rukawa's eyes at any cost - Rukawa would go on a search for her and when she is found, he would stay with her for good. *sigh* No way.

                 Make her hate Rukawa - Rukawa might be hurt and would withdraw more to himself making him harder to attract. Tsk, tsk.

                 Ask or threaten a guy to court her - Rukawa would kill that guy and he might be sent to jail. *cries* They'd die if that happens.

      The list of suggestions and consequences is very long. From the spying they've been doing ever since Rukawa and Fuuko crossed paths this year, the facts shows that Fuuko had caught Rukawa's elusive heart. And whether they accept it or not, Rukawa is visibly very attached to Fuuko.

      It was also obvious that while Fuuko and Rukawa are very affectionate towards each other, the two are oblivious to each others' feelings.

      Aha! Since the two is still oblivious, they could always try to gradually make them drift apart. The best way is to make each other busy with something else. Rukawa could be preoccupied with basketball. But then, it is obvious that he'd choose Fuuko over basketball.

      Maybe Fuuko could be easier to distract. And they just saw the perfect opportunity.

      Fujima or Sendoh.

      Make her fall for someone else. That's it! But there is always the danger of having a war with Sendoh's fan club or Fujima's fan club.

      Hmmm. War with other brigades? Or have Rukawa back?

^^^

Episode Title: Disturbing a Stalker

Scene: sighting Rukawa

Take: 1

Action!!!

Girl 1: Oh my gosh! He's gorgeous! *drools*

Girl 2: Isn't that Rukawa Kaede? You know, one of the players in the Inter High Tournament of Basketball?

Girl 3: *nods* He is. And he's absolutely a hunk!

Girl 4: Do you think we can come over and talk to him a bit? *starts imagining Rukawa flirting with them*

Guy 1: Who the hell is that guy? *points at Rukawa*

Guy 2: *snorts* That jerk is really a show of.

Guy 3: Yeah! The nerve of him taking every girl's attention! *frowns big time*

Guy 4: *starts crunching his knuckles* Let's teach him a lesson.

Girls: *starts walking towards Rukawa when they saw guys reach Rukawa first*

Guy 1: Hey bud! *pokes Rukawa's chest*

Rukawa: *glares before looking around*

Guy 2: Aren't you a tough one. *sneers*

Guy 3: You're in no position to scare us so stop glaring.

Guy 4: Yeah! *grins* But oh well. It's not like we're not going to teach you a lesson.

Rukawa: *continues looking around to discover Fuuko and Sendoh missing*

Episode Title: Aftermath

Scene: after Rukawa walks away

Take: 1

Action!!!

Girls: *walks closely to the sprawled boys* Uh, excuse me?

Girl 1: *bends down to poke one guy*

Poked Guy: *eyes still swirling*

Girl 3: *looks at Rukawa's retreating back*

Girl 1 & 3: *looks at each other* He is such a knock out!

Girl 2 & 4: *nods in agreement*

^^^

      "Goodnight, Fuuko."

      "Goodnight, Akira. Do you want to come in?"

      "Never mind. It's a bit late. I'll just see you tomorrow, okay?"

      "Okay."

      Sendoh smiled and thought of something that he would like so much before he goes home.

      "You're going to go now, right?" Fuuko asked, wondering why Sendoh isn't even moving for the past ten minutes.

      "Well, yes. But there is still something else."

      "Huh?"

      A dozen question marks floated over Fuuko's head. Sendoh couldn't help but smile wider at Fujima's cousin. How absolutely innocent about certain things that girls usually have an idea about.

      "We've just been on a date."

      "So?"

      This girl is really so innocent. Sendoh thought. Fujima, I think you and Rukawa have been shielding her too much from suitors. "Is there not going to be a good night kiss?"

      Fuuko blinked again and again while a steady blush occupied her cheeks. "Uh, is it necessary?"

      Sendoh resisted the urge to laugh while thinking how cute Fuuko looks when she's blushing. Well now that he got what he wanted, he was going to go home with something to think about. Maybe he should tease her more often to see her blush.

      "Never mind. I'll just see you tomorrow, okay?"

      "Uh, okay." Fuuko answered, blush now dying down.

      Sendoh smiled and walked to his car and drove away. Seconds later, Fuuko entered the house, not noticing a figure at the opposite side of the house.

(Rukawa's POV)

      What the hell does she see in him anyway?

      Well of course, she can see big eyes, weirdly spiked hair, and an abnormally quirked up mouth. But what is so damn attractive in those anyway? Of course I've noticed other girls stare at him. But Fuu-chan is not one of those girls who strangely find Sendoh attractive.

      I can't understand why she had a crush on him before. And I can't understand why she still has that damn crush on him.

      What is wrong with my best friend?

      I really do need to follow her and protect her. She's my best friend and had always been the most important girl in my life.

      There is no way I would hand her to Sendoh or anyone. For all I know, they might make her cry.

      Sendoh had better watch his moves well. I'm really going to level his spikes and beat him up even if it's the last thing I do.

      Rukawa stared at Fuuko's window – all dark. It's been one long day. And this week, he's sure that everyday would be a long one. With Sendoh and Fuuko having a date, he'd have to stay wide awake and keep an eye on them.

      With a last look, he whispered his 'good night' to the wind and left.

Chapter 10:

      "You look beautiful, Fuuko." Sendoh complemented.

      Fuuko blushed. "I do?"

      "Of course." He said, smiling as usual. "So, how are we going to spend the day?"

      "I don't know really but we could play soccer."

      "I have a better idea. Let's play basketball."

      "But I'll lose anyway." Fuuko protested all the while frowning at Sendoh.

      "You are such a sore loser."

      Fuuko raised a brow. "Oh really?"

      "Yeah."

      Without warning, Fuuko had launched into Sendoh with every intention of beating him up. Unfortunately, she tripped on her own feet and ended up crashing on top of Sendoh on the floor of the Kirisawa living room.

      Fuuko's hands were on Sendoh's chest while his hands were clutching on Fuuko's slim waist. They stared at each other and soon, one of Sendoh's hands moved to the back of Fuuko's neck.

      He pulled her slowly and made her lips touch with his.

      "What's wrong with him now?" Miyagi asked, pointing to a brooding Rukawa.

      "Do you have to ask?!" Sakuragi asked angrily. "There's always something wrong with that damn fox."

      Ayako stifled a giggle. Almost two hours ago, they barged into Rukawa's room in the hotel after terrorizing the management staff.

      They were there to make sure that Rukawa would attend the practice as he had been skipping it for five days straight. Of course that shouldn't be tolerated. He is one of the main players of the team and now that Mitsui and Akagi are not on the main five players, they couldn't afford to have an absentee Rukawa.

      They tried to wake him up for more than half an hour but he seemed to be concentrating in his dream. His usual expressionless face was a perfect candidate for 'Frowning Face of the Year'.

      Then without warning, he sat up and punched the nearest person to him. Fortunately for her and Miyagi, they decided to prepare the tub where they'll sink the sleeping bishounen to rouse him.

      However, Sakuragi wasn't as lucky as he was the one who was about to drag Rukawa out of bed.

      "Oi, Rukawa. Quit moping around. Practice starts in ten minutes." Miyagi yelled, snapping Ayako out of her reverie.

      Rukawa seemed oblivious as he merely continued to glare angrily at the floor.

      Ayako sighed as she turned her attention to Sakuragi who was glaring at Rukawa whilst pressing an ice pack on his right cheek bone.

      "Oi, could you stop zooming out and pay attention?!"

      Rukawa didn't even move an inch. He stared at the floor, glaring at it for who knows how many times that day.

      Miyagi sighed with much frustration. How he would love to pound Rukawa at that moment. They weren't getting anywhere with Rukawa's constant zooming out to who knows where.

      Usually, he had more patience since he was named captain. But Rukawa was really testing him. It was even better when he wasn't around. At least the practice could flow more smoothly.

      "No way!"

      "What's wrong with wearing this?"

      "THAT is a DRESS." Fuuko glared at the dress that Sendoh was holding out.

      "So?"

      "A DRESS is something I can NOT wear."

      Sendoh may have been her crush and may still be her crush, but wearing a dress is definitely, absolutely, positively OUT of the question.

      "And why is that so?"

      "Because I am FUUKO and THAT is a DRESS."

      Sendoh stifled a sigh. Fuuko was sure giving him a hard time. They had been arguing over the dress for more than three hours now. Fujima was right. It would be easier to fish a shark than make Fuuko wear a dress.

      "Please?"

      "No way!"

      "What's wrong with wearing this?"

      The shop owner groaned in the background.

      Here they go again.

      But at least business has been better than ever since three hours ago. What's with all the girls hovering around buying something while straining to listen and look at the couple who has been arguing about a dress?

      "Dismissed!" Miyagi announced.

      Miyagi asked as he noticed Rukawa glaring at the floor again. "Oi, what are you standing there for?"

      "Don't ask him. I think he lost his mind." Sakuragi hissed. "How would you explain him punching me to make me lose my handsome face?!"

      Ayako nearly rolled her eyeballs but decided otherwise. There were some matters at hand to take care of rather than adding to Sakuragi's annoyance which in turn would annoy her till she would whack him to Mars.

      "I think it was a bad idea to drag him here." She said, looking at Rukawa as he snapped back to reality and looked around – probably looking for the other players he was supposed to be playing a game with.

      "Yeah." Miyagi agreed. "Maybe we should have waited for him to come. But when will he come anyway if we didn't drag him here?"

      "It's obvious! He'll attend after Fuuko-san and Sendoh had finished their week's date." Sakuragi butted. "Hmph! It's obvious that he's jealous that he can't stop thinking about them."

      "That's it then. It was very wrong for us to start that date bet."

      "But Aya-chan, it had been fun."

      "How fun is this?" Sakuragi glared at Miyagi while pointing to his badly bruised cheek.

      "And how fun is that?" Ayako pointed to Rukawa who had resumed glaring at the floor.

(Mikagami's POV)

      That's Fuuko. In the mall with him again.

      I wonder where Rukawa is hiding. He must be here somewhere.

      These people are definitely oblivious. Fuuko looks like she has a crush with this guy. While Rukawa has his eyes set on Fuuko. On the other hand, Fuuko's crush seems to be getting into something. I wonder what.

      This looks interesting enough. What if Fuuko's crush happens to be running after Rukawa who is running after Fuuko who at the same time is running after the spiky-haired guy?

      This issue is sure amusing. I never knew that Fuuko's life could be so entertaining.

      That reminds me. I have nothing to keep me preoccupied this summer. And it would not be good if I have nothing to be busy about.

      I mean I can't study because of those annoying girls who kept following me around. And I can't exactly hang out with the monkey gang. And moreover, I can't get the idea of freezing those girls out of my mind.

      It's not good. Ice sculpting of real people during summer is not something ideal for a person such as me.

      Maybe I'll just keep an eye on Fuuko's life. Who knows, I might find some motivation to actually step my foot in the business. Not that I'm a busybody but if it would help me from killing anyone out of annoyance and if it would provide me entertainment, it sure is worth everything.

(Rukawa's POV)

      Damn it! Damn it all to hell!

      What happened with them today?

      If only Ayako-senpai and the two idiots didn't come to drag me to the practice! Argh! And if only they didn't start this damn bet thing on the date!

      I don't care what happened in practice today. But it sure is strange that Miyagi wasn't drilling us hard today. Not that I care. But I can't remember him reacting or something.

      I did think about Fuu-chan and Sendoh the entire day and I'm sure that I wasn't paying attention to whatever activity we were supposed to do.

      Damn that dream!

      If Sendoh actually did that to Fuu-chan, he'd be so damn sorry. I'll make sure of that!

      What happened to my dream anyway? Why did I have to dream of Fuu-chan kissing Sendoh?!

      Is this some kind of premonition? If it is, I will really, really squeeze the life out of Sendoh!

      Argh! Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow. I'm going to follow them and I'll punch anyone who'd drag me to practice.

      Speaking of punch, I wonder who I punched when I woke up this morning. I was punching Sendoh in the dream but I'm pretty sure my last and hardest blow was made when I woke up.

      Hmmm. I wonder who flew out of the window this morning.

      The entire last date of Sendoh and Fuuko was under the supervision of Superintendent Rukawa Kaede.

      He kept stalking them, completely oblivious to the drooling females.

      To his relief, Sendoh did not even attempt to kiss Fuuko. But it still doesn't mean that the urge to squeeze Sendoh's neck was gone.

      Rukawa was too busy with his spying that he didn't notice someone else stalking him, Sendoh, and Fuuko.

      "I had a good time!" Fuuko beamed at Sendoh as they stood outside Fuuko's house.

      "That's great." Sendoh smiled back. "So I guess this is the end of the date."

      "Yeah."

      "Well, I will have another chance to date you right?"

      Fuuko blushed. "Um, yeah."

      Sendoh smiled more inwardly. Rukawa is sure going to have a hell of time. And he with the rest of his friends would have something to smile about the whole of summer or even beyond.

      "So I think it'll be best if you'd go inside now. It's rather late."

      "Uh, yeah. Don't you want to go inside for a moment? You know, just to have a little rest."

      "No thank you. Rukawa would not exactly like that idea. And I think he wouldn't like the idea I have in mind now."

      "What idea?"

      "A goodnight kiss."

      "Oh." Fuuko said, blushing hard.

      "So, can I have one?"

      "Uh, is it really, really THAT necessary?"

      "Of course not. I wouldn't want Rukawa to be scandalized now, would I?" He asked as innocently as he could.

      Fuuko stared at Sendoh for a long time. "You've been mentioning Rukawa ever since the first day of our dates. I can't seem to understand why."

      Sendoh smiled. This girl is sure pretty clueless like what Fujima mentioned about. Well, some things just don't change.

      "Why are you smiling like that?"

      "Let's just say that you really amuse me."

      "Do I look like a clown to you?!" Fuuko started to feel annoyed.

      "No." Sendoh laughed. "Well, I'd better get going. Rukawa might check on you and see me still hovering about you."

      "Why are you so afraid that Rukawa might see you with me? It's not like you two have a relationship, right?" Fuuko grinned with mischief. "Oh my gorilla's bananas! Are you two–?"

      "What?!" Sendoh yelped.

      "Oh my gorilla's bananas! You sound so guilty and defensive! It must be true!"

      "No way!"

      "Oh come on, Akira. It's not like I'll tell." Fuuko grinned evilly. "Well, I wouldn't if you'd agree to ANYTHING I'll say." Hehehe. Great. I can blackmail them. Fuuko thought, laughing inwardly.

      "There's nothing between us."

      "Oh? Come on. For all I know, you could've been dating since Junior High and have just been keeping your homosexual relationship so well that no one noticed."

      "You are out of your mind."

      "Oh? Hehehe. You're being too defensive. Well, well, well. I guess I discovered something I shouldn't know of. Goodnight, Akira."

      Before Sendoh could deny Fuuko's accusation again, she closed the door and leaned on it while grinning evilly.

      "You're back."

      Fuuko jumped and grabbed the nearest thing she could get her hands on because of the voice that penetrated her ears at the same time she opened the lights.

      "Uh, what are you doing here?"

      "Waiting for you obviously."

      "Oh." Fuuko grinned sheepishly as she placed the baseball bat against the wall. "I thought you were some burglar and I was going to beat the hell out of you."

      "Try doing that to Sendoh."

      An idea immediately entered Fuuko's brain. She simultaneously grinned impishly.

      "I wouldn't want to hurt him." Fuuko baited.

      "Same here." Rukawa replied sardonically, sarcastically, ironically, etc.

      Aha! She's getting somewhere.

      "It really hurts to hurt someone you love." Fuuko sighed to get more reaction. "You know, like Akira."

      Rukawa rolled his eyeballs. "Yeah." His voice was practically tone-deaf.

      Aha again! He sounds flat meaning he's upset about his boyfriend dating a girl.

      "But you know, you can't hold on to feelings at times. Example is when you see someone with your loved one and you feel like wanting to kill that someone."

      "I know how you feel."

      Aha again and again! She's getting warmer.

      "I guess you know huh." Fuuko again sighed and sat down beside Rukawa on her bed.

      "Yeah."

      "So, why are you waiting for me?" Can't wait to tell me that you want Akira back? Fuuko added in her mind while preventing herself from giggling.

      "I was. . ." What? Worried? Upset? . . . Jealous? Rukawa fumbled for the proper thing to say.

      Fuuko raised a brow, trying hard to keep herself from smiling and laughing. Rukawa sure looked like he can't find the proper word to say what he feels about this whole dating business and Sendoh.

      "Well?"

      "Uh, I was. . ."

      If Rukawa doesn't stop looking so lost, she'd be laughing her head off soon.

      "I was, uh, I was. . ."

      "Never mind, Kaede. Never mind. Just tell me when you're ready okay?"

      Take the easy way out. I have nothing to say anyway, Rukawa thought as he nodded. "Okay."

      "It's pretty late." Fuuko noted after some time, already feeling sleepy.

      "Yeah." Rukawa agreed, adding something else in his mind like 'Pretty late to be staying out with a guy with an abnormally quirked up mouth'.

      "Well, it wouldn't be nice to let you walk back to your hotel. You can use the room you used the last time." Fuuko stood up and walked to her closet. "How'd you get in anyway? Ganko is in Mi-chan's so she couldn't have been the one who let you in."

      "You gave me a duplicate key."

      "Oh." Fuuko looked back at Rukawa. "So that's where the other key is. I've been looking for it for a whole week. I thought I flushed it or something."

      "You are so forgetful."

      But there is something that I wouldn't forget. Too bad for you and Akira. Fuuko thought as she unconsciously grinned.

      What is she thinking now? She's grinning like a lunatic. That Sendoh! Now Fuu-chan has his abnormality. Then, could this mean that it's not an abnormality but a disease? Uh-oh. I've no plan of having that stupid infirmity. "Uh, Fuu-chan, I think I'll go now."

      "Back to the hotel? It's late."

      "No. To the next room."

      "Oh, okay. You want me to accompany you there?"

      "No, thanks. It's just next door."

      Fuuko stared at Rukawa while thinking. What is the matter with him now? He really is hiding something from me! And I'm going to find out. I'm not just your best friend for nothing Rukawa Kaede! "Okay." She said, walking to the door and opening it.

      Rukawa walked towards her while seriously considering things. What if I get the stupid disease if I kiss her good night? I don't want to end up grinning like an idiot all the time.

      Fuuko tiptoed and planted a kiss on Rukawa's cheek. "Good night, Kaede. I'll see you tomorrow."

      Rukawa nodded and walked out as fast as he could. For some reason or another, his face felt very warm as if he was blushing. When he reached the room, he stared at the dresser's mirror and to his utter amazement, he was blushing.

      "Why would I blush? It's just my best friend's kiss." He muttered to himself while wishing Fuuko hadn't seen this silly red color on his face. "She's Fuu-chan. Not any girl. Why would I blush?"

      Fuuko bounced out of bed early the next day to go to Rukawa's room. She had been awake for almost the entire night, thinking of ways to catch Rukawa red-handed. And before she drifted off to sleep, the perfect idea came to mind.

      She was going to ask Rukawa casually and pay attention to his every slip-up. And the only way she could do that was to spend the entire day with him.

      So now, she was going to ask him and do everything she can to make him agree to spend the whole day with her.

      She carefully but deliberately walked towards Rukawa's bed. She stared at him sleeping with a slight blush on his face which made her smile evilly.

      It was sure obvious that Rukawa was dreaming of his one true love – Sendoh.

      Very carefully, she sat on the bed and leaned over to stare at Rukawa's handsome face. Her evil smile was replaced with a tender one.

      This was Rukawa. Her best, best friend since she was a very little girl.

      Her fingers traveled gently on his slightly flushed cheeks. And she continued to smile as memories rushed back.

      Minutes later, she snapped out of her reminiscence and recalled the plot she had in mind.

      Her tender smile lingered for a few more seconds before it was back to the evil smile. Her fingers traveled permanently to his cheek bones. And smiling more evilly, she pinched and pulled as hard as she could.

      "Now where the hell is he?!" Miyagi's foot tapped impatiently on the floor. "I thought once the date thing was over he'd be bringing his butt to practice."

      "He obviously is just guilty about punching me!" Sakuragi said triumphantly. "I always knew that he knew that I am the King."

      Ayako whacked Sakuragi to reality. "Stop dreaming and continue practicing."

      Mumbling, Sakuragi walked away to continue his practice as Ayako had so kindly suggested.

      "Where do you think is he?" Ayako asked, turning her attention back to Miyagi.

      "Do you think he's out trying to kill Sendoh for taking his girlfriend?"

Chapter 11:

      Rukawa's scream shattered Fuuko's eardrums but that wasn't the bad part of Fuuko's wrong technique of waking him up, for Rukawa's hands found their way to her neck and before she knew what happened, he was actually squeezing the life out of her.

      From the look of Rukawa's tightly shut eyes and the flush of anger on his face, he definitely is dreaming about killing her because she probably interrupted Rukawa's date with Sendoh in his dream.

      Fuuko pulled harder but to no avail.

(Mikagami's POV)

      Ganko and I had just entered Fuuko's house. It was quiet enough and I can assume from that that the tomboy brat must still be in her dreamland. But then, a loud and ear-shattering scream resonated throughout the house and from my suspicion, throughout the entire neighborhood.

      Now what is that monkey up to now?! I mean heck I don't want to have devastated eardrums.

      But then again, the scream didn't sound even a bit like Fuuko's voice. It was a male's scream. And it came from upstairs. Could this mean that Fuuko actually brought home the guy she had been dating lately?

      Goodness! I never thought that she would actually do that. Fuuko is very different from any girl and she must have a very, very good reason for doing this.

      Ganko's scream followed suit. I guess what she found must be really disturbing to have her screaming again and again.

      I went upstairs to check it out. Maybe Ganko found Fuuko in bed with the guy? Both naked? And in each other's arms? Hard to tell. Fuuko's a tomboy. But then, she could have been pretending to be one. Who knows? I think I'll just have to see for myself.

      But when I came to the doorway where Ganko stood, I could almost picture myself looking very, very shocked. I mean I was there expecting to see something way out of Fuuko but what I saw was something so. . . so unexpected. Sure it was way out. But not in the sense that I had been thinking of.

      I was standing there gaping. Yeah, gaping at the sight of Fuuko being strangled to death by Rukawa who was probably the only guy in the world who I thought would never ever hurt even a strand of Fuuko's hair even if the world turned upside-down.

      Fuuko was practically blue from lack of air and Rukawa's cheeks were probably going to droop to the floor from Fuuko's pinching and pulling. Well, it is self-defense either way. But this is probably the most stupid of all the exchange of self-defense techniques I have ever seen and will ever see.

      I felt Ganko tugging at my hand and when I turned to her, she was very much hysterical while pointing to the bed probably indicating that I go and separate the two stupid animals.

      Yeah, animals. One monkey and one fox. At least in my opinion.

      I made my way towards the two wrestling animals. Deciding that Fuuko is in more need of my help, I was trying to get Rukawa's hands away from her neck. After all, there are many people dying of suffocation and she might add to the list. And as far as I know, no one died of having been pinched and pulled at their cheeks yet.

      But then, removing Rukawa's hands from Fuuko's neck was not easy as I had thought it would be. No wonder Fuuko couldn't do anything but just pinch and pull on the guy's cheeks. He had an unyielding grip and unfortunately for Fuuko, it was on her neck that this fox actually had his grip on. I wonder what Fuuko did to have him strangling her like this.

      I might as well cut off his hands to save the monkey from suffocating to death. Unless of course I could rouse him with water.

      Maybe I would have to settle for cutting his hands off. Who knows he could be a serial killer in the future who enjoys strangling his victims to death.

(Ganko's POV)

      Mikagami-niichan wasn't doing anything helpful and I don't want Fuuko-neechan to die. So I decided to just do something I can.

      From what I saw, Mikagami-niichan couldn't remove Rukawa-niichan's grip on Fuuko-neechan's neck. And since he looked as if he was really bent on cutting off Fuuko-neechan's breath supply while sleeping, I decided that he needs to wake up very, very soon to realize that he was practically killing his so-called best friend.

      So-called? Well, I think so. Because he sure does treat her differently like he's not even aware that he's attracted to her. Yeah, attracted. I just know so.

      Anyway, I ran towards the dresser and grabbed the vase that's been sitting there untouched for three straight months. I grabbed it and ran to the bed where to my horror Mikagami-niichan was actually holding a Swiss knife and was eyeing Rukawa-niichan's hand as if he was getting ready to cut it off.

      Before Mikagami-niichan could do something damaging, I spilled the vase's contents on Rukawa-niichan's face. Well, I can't exactly say that the water looked clean but at least it did something to wake him up. Well, at least the smell of it that is.

(Fuuko's POV)

      I thought I was a goner. Kaede was really going to strangle me to death. I couldn't breathe. But when he released my neck, the first air I sucked in was actually going to send me six feet under the ground.

      Eeeeeeeewwwwww . . .

      Instead of coughing and gasping for air, I ran to the CR and threw up as if I was intending on vomiting all my internal organs.

(Mikagami's POV)

      I can't take this.

      I went to the CR to find Fuuko vomiting as if she wanted to vomit all her internal organs. Can people get so disgusting so early in the morning?

      Goodness! First, the smell. And now, the sight of seeing someone vomiting her heart out.

      I went downstairs to the kitchen and headed for the sink.

(Rukawa's POV)

      What the hell is that smell?! Great! I think it is actually me who stinks! And I am damn wet! And what more? What's with all that noise of people running out of the room?!

      I've been dreaming again. I guess I better open my eyes. . .

(Ganko's POV)

      Great! Fuuko-neechan ran to the CR. And I bet Mikagami-niichan is looking for a place to vomit his breakfast. And me? I can't exactly vomit on Rukawa-niichan but I can't help it. . .

      Just as Rukawa opened his eyes, Ganko released her half-digested breakfast straight on the bishounen's face.

      The icky, gooey stuff splattered and the foul smell mixed with the three-month stagnant water's aroma, creating the prefect mixture for a perfume so 'heavenly' you'd probably die on the spot for inhaling it.

      "Oi!!!!" Miyagi pounded on the bathroom door. "Did you drown in there or something?!"

      Miyagi continued to pound on the bathroom door for the next fifteen minutes until Rukawa opened it and crashed his fist on Miyagi's face and then slammed the door shut.

      Ayako sighed from below while continuing to rub Fuuko's back as she threw up on the kitchen sink. Soon, Sakuragi came rushing in, carrying Ganko who was ready to throw up.

      In the living room, Mikagami was still a bit green. Fujima sat across him, trying his best to look impassive although he knew he was failing miserably. He just wanted to laugh till death at what he had came across at least two hours ago.

      When he had entered the house to check on Fuuko after her week's date with Sendoh, what greeted him was something so out of the picture. He had thought that Fuuko would be there in the kitchen, eating her breakfast. But what he saw was that of a silver-haired bishounen, vomiting his breakfast on the kitchen sink.

      When Mikagami had recovered, he had asked where Fuuko was. The silver-haired bishounen looked at him with disgust still lingering on his face before telling him that Fuuko must still be in the CR upstairs – throwing up all her internal organs.

      When he went upstairs, Fuuko had her face in the toilet bowl. He was asking her what was wrong while rubbing her back worriedly. She pointed to the room across the CR and when he went to check out what exactly she was trying to tell him, he was met with a fragrance of a perfect death-sending perfume and the sight of Rukawa being used as a toilet bowl or a sink by a vomiting Ganko.

      "What is so funny?!"

      Fujima and Mikagami's eyes were drawn to the newly entered Fuuko, who was glaring hard at Fujima.

      "What is so funny?!" She repeated as her eyes bore through Fujima.

      "I didn't say anything." Fujima said defensively.

      "You didn't! But you were smiling and I bet that it's because of what happened earlier!"

      "Calm down, Fuuko-san." Ayako soothed. "Let's just forget about all this, shall we?"

      "Hmph!" Fuuko grunted as she sat beside Mikagami to avoid killing her cousin who was still smiling.

      Ayako tried to lighten up the mood. "I think everyone wants a new breakfast."

      Before anyone could say anything, Ayako had gone to the kitchen.

      Fuuko rolled her eyeballs, distaste written all over her face. "I think I prefer starving myself for the next two hundred years."

      "That's something new." Fujima teased.

      Fuuko stood up, not exactly wanting to do anything damaging to her beloved cousin. "I'm going for a walk to get some fresh air. Tell Ayako that if she asks where I am. And tell her not to offer me any food for the next two hundred years."

      Fujima laughed lightly when Fuuko had left. He couldn't help it. "It looks like Destiny is trying to help Fuuko lose even a part of her voracious appetite. This is actually the second event that made her lose her appetite."

      "The first being?"

      Fujima contemplated for a while about why this bishounen had an interest to know. Of course he was Fuuko's friend but could there be more? Fuuko did mention to him that this silver-haired bishounen was an ice man. But then, Rukawa is the ice prince of Shohoku High and he sure does gives a damn about Fuuko, so could it be possible that this ice man also gives a damn about Fuuko the way he and Sendoh had so suspected about Rukawa?

      "Well?"

      Impatience. That was what Fujima noticed. Perhaps there could be more?

      "Oh, I had a sudden thought. Sorry." Fujima said apologetically and proceeded to tell Mikagami about the 'rice' incident back in Kanagawa not so long ago.

(Fuuko' POV)

      What the hell happened anyway?! I was just going to ask Kaede to spend the whole day with me so that I could have some proof about him and Akira. And then, he goes strangling me like he'd get the world's money if he'd managed to crumple my neck into an atom.

      Oh my gorilla's bananas! I've always been waking him up like that but he never did squeeze me like some invincible rubber ducky in his tub. Argh!

      This day is definitely such a strangling and disgusting day!

      How was I supposed to know that Kaede's going to kill me if I disturb his dumb dream about him and Akira dating?!

      And Mi-chan! I just really love to get my hands on him. He was just pretending that he's actually removing Kaede's hands from my neck! I'm sure that's actually enjoying seeing me getting squeezed like some rubber ducky!

      And Ganko! Oh curly tops! Does she have to dump that whatever greenish liquid?! Wherever did she get that disgusting liquid anyway?! In the septic tank?!

      Are they all trying to get rid of me?!

(Rukawa's POV)

      This is all Sendoh's fault! If he didn't date Fuu-chan, I wouldn't be haunted with a dream of them every night or every damn time I close my eyes.

      Earlier, I had just almost murdered the only girl I thought I could never ever hurt even if the world turned upside-down. And it is all Sendoh's fault.

      He was kissing Fuu-chan in my dream again. When I tried to stop him, he didn't even budge and when I lost my temper, I slammed my fist on his cheek. Then we ended up wrestling and then he pulled my cheeks like it's made up of rubber.

      Who the hell does he think he is thinking that I've a rubber face?! And heck! I think he's actually a faggot to even pull my cheeks when we are in a wrestling match.

      I couldn't help it so instead of just punching the faggot, I squeezed his neck like it's my rubber ducky in my tub back at home.

      And then, Koshino was taking my hands off of Sendoh's neck. I ignored him and tightened my grip. And then, I don't know who did it but someone drenched me with some foul smelling fluid. And then I realized that I was just dreaming. And I decided to open my eyes. Then what happened next was so . . . uh . . . repulsive.

      Can this day get any nauseating or what? And who called Miyagi, Sakuragi, and Ayako-senpai here anyway? Maybe it was Fujima. Ah, who cares?

      As long as no one disturbs my bath again. I hope the punch I dealt Miyagi with was enough to make him not bother me for the next couple of hours while I take my bath.

      Great! Is it just me or the weird smell of the fluid and the digested breakfast wouldn't leave me?

      "How was yesterday?" Mitsui asked, smiling widely. "And more importantly, what happened to you?"

      Miyagi scowled. "Do NOT even remind me of–"

      "Your black eye is kind of swelling. What happened? Can you still see?" Sakuragi asked with a tinge of concern and amusement as he walked towards them.

      "Why you–"

      WHACK!!!

      "Stop it! It's still early in the morning!" Ayako huffed.

      "Aya-chan. . ." Miyagi whispered, tears cascading like waterfalls from his eyes.

      Mitsui and Sakuragi sighed. It was obvious that Miyagi would start his Aya-chan drama again and yet it is still too early in the morning.

      Ayako walked off towards the other gathering players followed by a Miyagi who was beginning to drench the floor with his waterfall tears.

      "So, what happened yesterday? I hope it's worth listening to. My girlfriend and I spent our date training the team so that you could go and help Fujima on whatever there was in Fuuko-san's house."

      "Oh you're going to like this. Believe me." Sakuragi grinned and began his recount on the previous day's event.

(Rukawa's POV)

      "Fuu-chan, I–"

      She shook her head and turned to me, eyes smiling as well as her lips. "You know, I should have counted how many apologies you've been giving me. It might get me featured in Ripley's."

      How can she find everything amusing? I almost killed her and to think I'm her best friend. And she's finding my apologies worth making a joke about."

      "You are so serious, you know. Lighten up."

      "I just strangled you and you expect me to lighten up?"

      Fuu-chan looked at me strangely. I think my reply have something to do with it. Then, she was smiling more to herself than me. Great! I think my best friend just lost her mind after her traumatic experience with me strangling her, and then with the septic tank water.

      "Fuu-chan?"

      I poked her arm again and again but she was just smiling. She's actually beginning to scare me. I think I might need to call the mental institution before she goes berserk and starts chewing on me like I'm some dog bone.

      "Kaede?" She suddenly asked softly.

      I looked at her and raised a brow. She's up to something. I can feel it and from the glint in her eyes, she's really up to something big. I just can't seem to guess what.

      Damn it! Is this the effect of her spending too much time with Sendoh?

      She's practically scheming something. And everything in me is practically screaming at me that the scheme involves me. And with that kind of glint of mischief, I think I wouldn't like any bit of the plans for me.

      "Dismissed!" Miyagi announced.

      Mitsui smiled. "Looks like Rukawa have his hands full with Fuuko-san."

      "Yeah." Miyagi agreed. "He didn't even show his butt in here."

      "What?!" Sakuragi spewed out his just taken in water. "Are you some kind of homosexual, Ryocchin?!"

      Miyagi turned to Sakuragi, eyes blazing. "What do you mean by that?!"

      Mitsui laughed, getting Sakuragi's drift at the pun made by Miyagi earlier. "I think Sakuragi means–"

      "You seemed worried not seeing Rukawa's butt here. You mean you've actually seen his butt?" Sakuragi interrupted disbelievingly. "How long have you two been in a relationship?"

      Mitsui was sure that Miyagi would murder Sakuragi right on the spot, but before Miyagi could do anything, the dreaded weapon of Ayako made contact with Miyagi and Sakuragi's head thereby sending them both to Mars.

^^^

      News Flash!!!

      This is your Correspondent Tom the Reporter, at LONG last returning to the scene to report about the update here in NASA!

      Two unidentified flying objects or UFOs were sighted a couple of minutes ago. The direction of the UFOs was away from the planet. According to calculations, the UFOs were headed to the direction of Mars. Speculations of life forms living in Mars are currently increasing. Scientists are now reportedly doing more of their research to prove it.

^^^

      "What?" Mikagami impatiently answered his hand phone.

      "Uh, Mi-chan, can Ganko stay with you?" Fuuko asked, voice straining to sound sweet. "Please?"

      "What am I? A babysitter?"

      "Oh come on. I need to do something really important you know. The least you could do is help me out."

      "And why should I?"

      "Because I'm your friend."

      "Oh? Who says that?"

      "Me."

      "Look, monkey. I am busy."

      "With what? A girlfriend?"

      "None of your business."

      "Fine. But just help me out."

      "What are you up to anyway?"

      "None of your business." Fuuko replied with the same irritated tone Mikagami had been using.

      "Unless you tell me, I will not even consider helping you."

      Fuuko huffed on the other line. She could feel her blood boiling at the stubbornness Mikagami was displaying. Knowing Mikagami, he sticks to his words.

      She can't have Ganko alone at her place. Or at Recca's because of Kondo's attitude in playing with something he shouldn't touch. And with the fireworks there, Tokyo is sure in store for an instant fire works display.

      She couldn't have Ganko at Yanagi's. Her parents would freak in seeing a toy fox acting like it's really alive. They'd probably imagine that he's some fox version of Chuckie from Child's Play. She couldn't also have her at Domon's. Oh the havoc that Kondo and Domon would brew will make Domon's mom kick Domon to Pluto or even out of the Milky Way.

      So where would she stay but at Mikagami and Koganei's place?

      "Oh alright!" Fuuko sighed. "My outing with Kaede might end late and I might even sleep at his hotel room."

      Mikagami could feel irritation making its way into his being. Fuuko would actually leave Ganko just to date her ice man of a best friend. And she might even sleep at his place? Fuuko is sure going over board because of this blue-eyed fox who suddenly popped into Fuuko's life after years of being out of it.

      "Well?" Fuuko's impatient voice persisted Mikagami's thoughts.

      "No, she may not sleep in my place."

      "Why not?!" Fuuko sounded outraged.

      "I don't have to explain to a monkey like you."

      "Mi-chan, please."

      "No."

      "How can you be so heartless?!"

      "How can you act like a flirty tomboy who's desperate enough to run after a fox?!"

      "How dare you call me a flirty tomboy who's desperate! And who are you calling a fox?!"

      "Who else are you running after, monkey?!"

      "I am NOT running after anyone mind you! I am sitting here in front of Kaede!"

      Goodness! Mikagami thought. Can't she be even stop being so literal and start interpreting things the way it should be interpreted?

      "I am not playing jokes, monkey! So stop being so stupid!"

      "Oh so now I am stupid!" Fuuko retorted on the other line. "As if you didn't just act stupid by assuming I'm running after a fox!"

      "I didn't mean literally you idiot!"

      "What?! So now I'm an idiot! You're the idiot! There isn't even any fox in the city, ice man!"

      I'm going to kill her. Mikagami hissed in his mind. I'm REALLY going to kill her. I don't know if she's acting stupid to annoy me or if she's really so damn stupid about all this fiasco about her damn love life.

      "You are impossible, Kirisawa." He answered in a voice returning to its normal volume.

      "What's that supposed to mean?!"

      "It means that my decision is final and still you refuse to accept it and you even dare argue with me when you want me to do a favor."

      Fuuko suddenly became quiet and Mikagami wondered if a concerned citizen phoned a mental asylum to fetch the raging monkey.

      "Okay I'm sorry." Fuuko chocked out the words. "But could you please, please, please have Ganko at your place tonight? I know it sounds outrageous that I'm asking you that when she's my legal sister now. But I'm just in the middle of something important."

      "So you just realized one morning that you needed a boyfriend as soon as possible." He replied sarcastically.

      "It's not about that. I'll tell you soon but not now. So please, Mi-chan, do me this favor."

      Normally, he would just end the call to stop Fuuko from convincing him. Not that there was a possibility but there was just something in him that told him this was going to be amusing in the end. And as he needed a diversion from the temptation of freezing his fans, he might as well amuse himself with Fuuko.

      "Let's make that a deal."

      "So you'll keep Ganko tonight?" Fuuko's voice sounded relieved.

      "If you tell me what's the real catch here."

      "Since when were you so interested in other things not involving yourself?"

      "Look, if you want the deal, I suggest you stop provoking me." He cautioned, voice containing irritation.

      "Oh, alright. It's a deal then."

Chapter 12:

(Rukawa's POV)

      The receptionists in the hotel had looked at Fuuko half-approvingly and half-jealously. And when they turned to me, I just knew what they were thinking.

      Goodness! Why do people always think of perverted things whenever a boy and a girl go to a hotel or whatever together?

      If any perverted gossip comes out because of this, Fuu-chan will most likely kill me. I'm sure she's not going to spare me especially after I almost choked the life out of her. It would be like hitting two birds in one stone for her. Revenge on the choking thing and the gossips.

      The mark on her neck is still pretty obvious even with her wearing a chocker necklace. I wonder what's going on in the minds of the now growing 'hotel guests'.

(Hotel guest #1's POV)

      Oh my goodness! Kids these days are so aggressive. These two children are already going off and trying things like--- I don't even want to think of it! How perverted kids are these days. If one of them was my child, I'd chain the child to bed!

      Good thing my daughter is not perverted. At least she's straight. She just has a crush and she doesn't go throwing herself at the guy's feet or go waving pompoms for him publicly. What was the name of her crush again? Lugawa? Lusawa? Lumawa? Rugawa? Rusawa? Rumawa? Ru--- Ah, whatever! He goes to Shohoku and is the ace there! That's it!

      Che! These two kids. How perverted!

(Hotel guest #2's POV)

      Hmmm. I bet their parents are going to freak once they discover that their children are actually having *CENSORED* in a posh hotel like this. I mean, *CENSORED* is alright. But in a place as expensive as this? They must be out of their minds.

      Kids these days. They are just too much of money-throwing problems! Do they not even realize that money is not so easily earned? Don't they even have a cell of practicality in themselves? There's always a motel. Why do it in a five star hotel?

      If they were my kids, I'd drag them off to an alley so no money would be spent on their *CENSORED* spree!

(Hotel guest #3's POV)

      I wonder what these two are going to do. Project? Assignment? Tutorials? But whatever schoolwork they are going to do, they sure do spend much on the place to do it. I mean, can't they do their schoolwork in the library or something?

      Kids these days. They are so grade conscious but are such money-spenders! Their parents already spend much to send them to school, and yet, they spend additional money for school works that can be done at home or in libraries. If they were my children, I'm trudging them off to the nearest library! I wouldn't want to spend more money than I already do on their tuitions and other school fees.

(Hotel guest #4's POV)

      Which one of them is not straight? Either the boy is a gay so he can gossip with this girl about boys over a sleep over in a hotel, or the girl is a tomboy so she can have a man's talk with this guy about their latest chick.

      There are so many dual gender kids these days. A good example is these two. Either one is gay, or one is a tomboy. Good thing my children are straight. Not that I have something against gays and tomboys, but it wouldn't look too nice on our reputation. Especially when I am a Major. What would other people think if these two became my children? I do not even want to think about the shame and disasters!

      I just hope that these two would be able to conceal their dual genders from everybody. It's such a shame that they are not straight. They are both so good-looking. Heck! They even look good together. Such a shame, such a shame.

(Hotel guest #5's POV)

      Isn't this my sister's crush? Isn't this Rukawa? Wow! He sure does have some taste! No wonder my sister has the hots for him. He's suave enough to have a babe like this one. I wonder if I could get some tips from him on how to fish for more than hot babes.

      Wait a sec! S***! I forgot! I'm supposed to be angry that this Rukawa guy doesn't like my sister. Then again, my sister may be one of the pretty girls in school, but this purple-haired babe is sure more than a pretty babe. She's got to be one porn actress or a model! I wonder where I can get some of her videos or pictures. F***! This Rukawa guy sure rocks. Lucky guy. I would trade places with him to sample this babe.

(Hotel guest #6's POV)

      This sure is a good-looking guy. Lucky girl. She doesn't even have an inch of my beauty and here she is with this gorgeous guy. Che! I bet I have bigger butt and boobs than her. I wish I could trade places with her. I'm really going to send him to heaven.

(Rukawa's POV)

      "Well, I'm off to sleep," Fuu-chan announced the moment she jumped on to the bed.

      "I'm really sorry that I can't get you another room. I didn't expect too many people to have reservations and all."

      "It's okay," she mumbled sleepily already. "Anyway, I'm going to sleep already. Just feel free to hop in when you're tired coz this is your bed anyway."

      "Uh, Fuu-chan---"

      *snore* ZzzzzzZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz *snore*

      I could almost imagine myself with a big sweatdrop on my head. She never even bothered to remove her sneakers. Good thing she didn't put all her body within the bed. I wouldn't want to sleep with a dirty bed sheet. Wait a second. I am going to sleep with Fuu-chan?! Beside HER?! Sure, we used to sleep side by side during sleep overs. But we were kids for crying out loud! Not that I'm having malice now, but still I just couldn't sleep BESIDE her.

      Now what am I doing pacing the room like some moronic imbecile?! Have I lost my mind?! It's not like I'm going to have *CENSORED* with my best friend. So why am I feeling so uncomfortable and why am I still pacing the room?!

      Damn it! What is WRONG with ME?! This is my Fuu-chan. I am her Kaede. What happened to make me feel so damn hesitant?! Argh! Whatever!

*****

      What the heck?!

      I opened my eyes and saw Fuu-chan's head on my chest. There's actually no problem on that but she's drooling on me. DROOLING. Yuck! Of all the things to do so early in the morning. What's this? Some kind of a new 'in' thing? Drool on your best friend? Not that I can see her drooling because her hair is actually all over my face, but damn I can feel something wet and sticky on my chest! And her hair is actually suffocating me! Another new 'in' thing? Feed your hair to your best friend?

      "Uh, Fuu-chan," I began as I rubbed the arm she had draped on my waist.

      She wouldn't even budge. Not that I mind, but the drool is grossing me out. Oh bananas!

      Uh. Did I just say, I mean, think 'oh bananas'? Did I? DID I?! I'm losing my mind!

      "Fuu-chan," I whispered, almost choking on her hair. I blew at it to make it fly away from my face. "Fuu-chan,"

      My voice sounded desperate. Oh bananas! Uh-oh. I think I'm really going nuts. Then, I saw something crawl from her sling bag beside me on the bed. It crawled towards me. It was a black, hairy thing. And I think it's---

      "Fuu-chan, please,"

      I continued rubbing her arm while calling out her name in a panic-ridden voice.

(Fuuko's POV)

      Can't he be just quiet for a while and let me sleep?! What is wrong with him?! It's so damn early and he's calling me again and again like he's panicking over something. What? Is a big comet going to land on us?

      "What?" I mumbled; my eyes still tightly shut.

      "Uh, Fuu-chan,"

      "What?"

      "Get off."

      "Okay."

      I continued to drift off to dreamland but then it hit me. GET OFF?! Did Kaede just tell me to GET OFF?! What am I? Some phlegm-covered fungi that he's actually panicking while telling me to get off?! Some best friend he is. Che! Why can't he just slip off?! Did he really have to bother me just so he can do whatever he wants away from bed? Jeez! If he needed to use the toilet or something, he could've just slipped off instead of making it sound like I'm some phlegm-covered fungi!

      I sat up and glared at him only to find out that he was even paler than usual, if that was even possible considering the fact that he's like the male version of Snow White. But then, he had this stray mass of hair on his neck. Since when did Kaede shed a hair ball on his neck? Or more like, since when did he actually grow a fur ball on his neck?

      "Uh, Kaede, since when did you have a hair ball of a beard on one side of your neck?" I asked curiously.

      He paled even more and he looked at me with frightened eyes. Now what?! Do I look like some two-headed werewolf or something?!

      "What is wrong with you?!"

      He continued to look at me in the same manner. And soon, I noticed that he was shivering slightly. Tremor comes from too much neurotransmitter substances that triggers muscle contraction. And extra neurotransmitters come from medicine with the same action as acetylcholine in the muscle like nicotine. Since when did he smoke?

      "You smoke?"

(Rukawa's POV)

      What is wrong with her?! Can't she even see that there's a *THING* on my NECK that I am so petrified to remove?! She was supposed to be my protector not my accuser of things I do NOT do and do NOT have any plans of doing!

      I have to think of some way to inform her of my predicament before I actually die of fear.

(Fuuko's POV)

      Ever so slowly, he moved an arm and reached for my hand. He placed it in my lap and he began to trace letters into my palm. I can't believe that he actually lost his voice so early in the morning!

      Th-e-re-s-asp-i-de-r-cu-rle-dl-ike-a-b-all-i-nm-yn-eck-!

      "What?"

      Th-e-re-s-asp-i-de-r-cu-rle-dl-ike-a-b-all-i-nm-yn-eck-!

      "Uh, one more time."

      Th-e-re-s-asp-i-de-r-cu-rle-dl-ike-a-b-all-i-nm-yn-eck-!

      Let's see. Th-e-re-s-asp-i-de-r-cu-rle-dl-ike-a-b-all-i-nm-yn-eck-! I think I know!

      "Oh I got it!" I announced triumphantly. "There's a spider curled like a ball in your neck!"

      I was grinning like an idiot, happy of my success in guessing what he wanted so desperately to inform me. I was about to gloat about my high intelligence when the meaning of the information he just passed to me registered on my mind.

      "You've got WHAT?!" I yelped and flew out of the bed in fear.

      He looked at me pleadingly.

      "But I'm also arachnophobic!" I exclaimed. I wasn't before. But after my battle with Gashakura, I pretty much avoided any spider contact and in time, I developed the phobia for spiders – small or big, hairy or not, hazardous or harmless.

      But the way he looked at me, I can't help but feel that I need to help him somehow. So grabbing my sling bag from beside him, I proceeded to whack the big, icky, scary, black, hairy spider on his neck.

(Sakuragi's POV)

      I resisted the urge to laugh my heart out! Nyahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Nyahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Nyahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      The kitsune's girlfriend just whacked his voice out of him! Nyahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Now, he couldn't even speak even one word. Not even yes or no, or even his favorite word: do' aho.

      Nyahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Serves him right for punching the tensai!

(Fuuko's POV)

      Oh my gorilla's bananas! I can't believe that I actually just whacked Kaede into losing his voice. What will he think? That I'm trying to get back on him because he strangled me? How do I make this up to him? Hmmm… maybe I could make him reconcile with his Akira. Oh curly tops! My best friend and I actually have a crush on the same guy. The difference is just that Akira was Kaede's boyfriend before I made them fight because of the dumb dating scheme the red monkey and the curly monkey made!

      The only thing I could at least do as a best friend who whacked Kaede and who made him have a fight with his boyfriend is to piece back what I can. I'd reconcile them both even if that's what I'll be doing this entire school break! But I'll probably need help.

      I can't tell Kenji about this. I doubt that he even knows that Kaede and Akira are actually *ehem* lovers. Besides, he might freak out if I tell him. Bananas! I couldn't exactly imagine the sight of Kenji freaking out. I mean what the heck would that make the world if Kenji, the ever serious and mature cousin of mine, freaks out like some deranged gorilla or something?! Oh yeah! Maybe I could ask for Kiyota's help. That's right! I'd ask for his help. He'll help me on this one, for the fun of it all.

      But I'm still wondering… how in the tree of all gorillas' bananas did that big, icky, scary, black, hairy spider end up in Kaede's neck? Okay, so Kaede did mention that it came from my sling bag, but how in the name of all curlers of curly topped people did it end up in MY sling bag?!

^^^

Episode Title: The big, icky, scary, black, hairy spider

Scene: Fuuko in a pet shop with Rukawa

Take: 1

Action!!!

Fuuko: *stares closely at an aquarium of carps*

Rukawa: *stares fearfully at a nearby container of big, icky, scary, black, hairy spiders*

Fuuko: *points at one stationary carp that's in truth, just sleeping* Look!! It's dead! Oh curly tops! What a poor thing!

Rukawa: *still stares fearfully at the container*

Fuuko: *excitedly points at the "dead" carp* I want that carp! But it's dead! I can't believe they sell dead carps! *continuously pulls Rukawa's arm while keeping her eyes on the "dead" carp* Do you think they do that because they have customers who buys dead ones for sashimi?

Boy 1: *goes near the spiders' container* I think I'll get that one.

Pet shop assistant: Alright. Just one?

Boy 2: No. Make that two. *points to two really BIG spiders*

Pet shop assistant: *gets one big mayonnaise-like bottle and starts capturing the chosen spiders*

Rukawa: *pales more than possible and starts getting dizzy while looking at the pet shop assistant's work*

Fuuko: *looks for wallet in her sling bag* Now where did I put my wallet?! *light bulb appears on her head* Aha! I think I left it near the hamster cage! *hands Rukawa her still open sling bag* Hold this for me while I get my wallet. *walks away*

Rukawa: *gets the sling bag absently while still staring fearfully and disgustedly at the spiders*

Fuuko: *yells from the far side of the pet shop* Hey! Do you think this looks nice? *holds out a hamster*

Rukawa: *turns to Fuuko while shouldering the bag*

Fuuko: Well?

Rukawa: You have a cage?

Fuuko: *looks thoughtful* No. Never mind. *turns away*

Boy 2: *whispers to Boy 1* That guy looks scared of spiders. Let's play some prank!

Boy 1: *smiles evilly* Sure. *creeps up to Rukawa and places one spider inside the bag before zipping it gradually close*

Rukawa: *walks towards Fuuko before the boy closed the bag completely* I think we should go. It's late and I'm beginning to get creeps from the spiders they sell here.

Fuuko: *looks at the tank of spiders and shudders unnoticeably* I guess you're right.

^^^

(Kiyota's POV)

      I would have died on the spot for trying so much as not to burst out laughing from what Fuuko told me. I mean Rukawa and Sendoh?! Lovers?! L-O-V-E-R-S?! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

      That's the funniest and most shocking thing I have ever heard of! Second to that is the fact that Fuuko actually convinced me to help her bring the two lovebirds back. I don't know if that's disgusting or funny. But whatever it is, it would be for big laughs in the end. Fuuko and I are after all, fun-loving people.

      Now, I wonder what plan I could suggest to have Rukawa and Sendoh together…

      "Watch it!" Fuuko snapped and turned to glare to the one stupid enough to bump into her. "Mi-chan?"

      Mikagami blinked as if he just woke up from a trance and raised a brow at her. He was about to launch into an insult when the important thing he had been thinking about knocked into his head. His brow lowered and he tried to smile at her.

(Fuuko's POV)

      Bananas! I think I need to call an exorcist! Mi-chan had just lost his sanity to some crazed, lost, evil soul. And now, he's actually leering like he is planning to make a human sacrifice out of me. Oh no! I'm too good to be torn apart limb by limb by some spirit-possessed ice man.

      Ahhhhhhhhh. I don't want to die. Maybe I could make him chase me into a church and I could get him exorcized!

(Mikagami's POV)

      Great! I think the tomboy brat had just lost her mind. Not that she had one from the beginning. Drats! Why am I stuck with brainless creatures that had been left behind by evolution? Now here she is; running off like one wild psycho on the loose. What does she expect me to do anyway? Bite her like some rabbis-infested mutt?

      Drats! I wish I'd just get struck by lightning so that my misery will end. Oh wait. I mean, I wish they'd just get struck by lightning so that my misery will end. More like it.

      Now what? Oh never mind. I guess I'll have to chase her so I could keep my part tied neatly. How did I ever manage to involve myself with all these inferior-minded freak of nature? The things that I do to prevent myself from freezing my ever ardent fans are sure killing me more than anything. Now where did that tomboy brat of a monkey go?

      Fujima raised a brow at the sight of Fuuko running out of the mall like some grotesque monster was out to kill her. He intercepted her before she could leave the mall's vicinity and decided to investigate what was wrong with his favorite cousin.

      "Fuu-chan," he acknowledged and latched his hands on her shoulders.

      "Get away! Mi-chan is possessed and he's going to tear us limb per limb to be human sacrifices!"

      Sometimes, I can't help but wonder if THIS is really MY cousin. She's almost insane. He thought amusedly. But then again, I still love her. That's why I have to make everything work for her.

      "Fuu-chan, Mikagami may just be trying to be nice."

      Had my eyesight gone bad? Or Fuu-chan actually paled even more and looks as if she's petrified to her very bone marrow. "Fuu-chan? Is something wrong?"

      "Uh, did you say trying to be nice?"

      He nodded and was confused even more when she started to panic. "What's wrong?"

      "Oh curly tops! He's really possessed! Mi-chan? Trying to be nice?! Oh my gorilla's bananas!" She exclaimed fearfully. "We have to get him to someone who could drive away the evil spirit that got him!"

      He sighed with much frustration. "I think there wouldn't be a need for that. He's trying to be nice because he LIKES you."

      Fuuko paled even more and was even more panic and fear-stricken. She was trying to break loose of his hold and was very much like some mental patient on the loose. He was having a hard time in restraining her. And what more? They were drawing attention – too much attention. He was just about ready to give up on his cousin when Mikagami arrived on the scene and helped him carry a struggling and screaming Fuuko to his car.

      They had to gag her and tie her up before shoving her inside the car and driving away. But when they shoved her in, she bumped her head on the other door of the car and got herself knocked out.

      "I hope the people back there doesn't think we've kidnapped her." Fujima said hopefully. "I wouldn't want to go to jail for trying to save my cousin from more humiliation."

      Mikagami snorted. "They'd just probably think that we were doing them a great favor. We did save them from a loose lunatic."

      Fujima sighed. "Are you sure you are going to help me?"

      "I gave my word, didn't I?"

      "Yes but you seem to almost hate my cousin way out that you call her such names."

      "Call it my way of showing affection."

      The former Shoyo captain almost had a massive sweatdrop attack. My cousin is weird because she moves with strange people. "Ah, okay. Whatever you call that, that's for you alone. Anyway, what happened?"

      "Nothing really. I was just thinking of the talk we had about this and I didn't notice where I was going. I bumped into her and so I tried to be nice instead of just insulting her for being in my way."

      "And what exactly did you do?"

      "I tried to smile."

      Fujima almost choked on his saliva. The last time he had one from the Ice Tribe trying to smile, he almost developed a heart problem from fear. It was one of those times when he had Rukawa come to one of his party in Kanagawa. It was his birthday, and he managed to bribe Rukawa into trying to smile for the girls by mentioning Fuuko. And when Rukawa actually put all his effort into smiling, he was scared to the core. He looked like some crazed lunatic planning on murdering everyone.

      And now, he could understand why Fuuko was so scared. Mikagami was certainly from the Ice Tribe. And a Mikagami trying to smile can be equated to a Rukawa trying to smile. Therefore, it would look scary on him, too. The smile to be precise.

      "I think we should just leave that smiling part out until you can do it sincerely. But are you sure you'd help us?"

      "Yes. Her life is interesting enough especially with her reserved boyfriend around. And manipulating them would be good diversion so I wouldn't end up locking my fans in a walk in fridge."

      "No offense meant, Mikagami. But Fuu-chan may be right about you being a fridge yourself. Locking them up wouldn't dampen their spirits."

      "Yes. But it would certainly end me up in a mental asylum."

      The former Shoyo captain laughed. "I suppose you're right. But at least you don't have Rukawa's fans. They have cheering routines and even uniforms and pompoms."

      The Hokage ice man raised a brow. "No wonder he's monotonic and monosyllabic. He had most likely lost his mind."

      "Perhaps. But not with Fuu-chan around him. Anyway, shall we go over Sendoh's apartment here? Or shall we bring Fuu-chan home first?"

      "Second choice. I wouldn't want to have her prancing around us and knowing what we have in store for her. She could be VERY violent when something she doesn't like happens to her because of someone."

      "You seem to know her well."

      "Long story."

      "Oh? But honestly, do you like my cousin?"

      "I wouldn't be able to tolerate her if I didn't."

      At this Fujima's brows furrowed. "Then why are you helping us?"

      "I didn't say I like her the way Rukawa does. She's more like an annoying bratty sister."

      "I see. Since you mentioned about tolerating her, how come your other friends seem more careful with you?"

      "I'd slice them if they as so much as annoy me more than they usually do. Fuuko is already enough of a strain on my patience and I don't need other monkeys to add to it."

      The jovial laughter of Fujima filled the car as they drove through streets to bring Fuuko home. "Now I know how Rukawa would be if he just liked Fuu-chan as his sister." He paused a while and stole a glance at Mikagami from the corner of his eye. "And now I know how YOU would be like had you liked Fuu-chan as a girlfriend."

      Mikagami would have sliced Fujima at any other given time. But not now when he, the ice man, himself saw the truthfulness of what Fujima had said. "Good thing that I'm not in Rukawa's position then. I wouldn't want to look like a fool who doesn't know what he wants."

      "But he will soon enough. Thanks to us."

      "Yes. Thanks to us."

      "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH."

      Sendoh's face cringed at Fuuko's eardrum-shattering scream. Mikagami looked at the wall clock and raised his brow. "Fujima isn't here yet."

      A second after he said that however, Fujima opened the Kirisawa front door. It was in perfect sync with Fuuko's next scream. Rukawa brushed past Fujima and ran upstairs. Fujima broke through the living room and looked at Mikagami and Sendoh. "It's show time."

~tbc if…~

Author's Note: Okay… I know it has been a long time. Actually, I was about to update this when I realized that it had been removed from the site for the reasons such as chat, interactive, real person based and mst (copying a story word per word with comments inserted)  which I want to bluntly say I don't think quiet applies to my story. Then, it got me upset so it took me a while to decide if I should repost it and not visit the category ever again to help me forget what happened. I mean hell where did that come from?! Gods! It's so annoying that I just can't seem to write anything that's not trash (not that my stories are not trash but still it became even worse than trash). But to be fair to those who wanted me to finish this one, I reposted it. I'll continue this with the best I can although I'm quiet sure there wouldn't be any much humor in it. I really apologize for that but at least I'll move on with the plot and hopefully I'd be able to wrap this up soon. I placed the 12 chapters here and the next update would be the real addition to the previous ones. But it'd take a couple more days for me to improve it a bit with my mood these past times.

I apologize for the long and a bit heated rant but do understand I need to release a bit of fire. Thanks for the support and everything especially to those who so loyally stuck by this story and even put this one in their fave stories before it was removed. Well, I hope I'll continue to make people like this one. Thanks again.