Standard Disclaimer: I OWN SLAM DUNK!!! not… TT

Author's Notes: Finally! I'm back from a long break of writer's block…! Hope this time I've improved on my writing and will be able to satisfy your hunger for imaginative stories!

Distant Relatives

It was a boring ball, as always, to Lord Rukawa Kaede. Every ball was the same. Same old faces, same old topics (which included politics for the men and handsome young men for the ladies), same old dancing tones (waltz and the sorts), etc… Why do balls have to be so pathetic?! He has so far been to FIVE balls within a week and they were all the same… He was told by his Aunt Ayako that every ball was something special, and that today was even more special. The reason being that the king was about to be amongst the presence of all his noblemen and ladies, and this was considered a treat to those who were fortunate enough to be invited to live within the compound of the palace. Well, Aunt Ayako maybe jumping for joy at the expectation of the event, but HE was definitely having one helluva boring evening.

But out of the corner of his eyes, he noticed someone approaching him. Who could it be? The young man was dressed to kill in an elegant red coat and expensive white silk leggings (imagine 16th century costumes…). His hair was black, quite long, and spiky. How in the world did he manage to cement his hair that way Rukawa would never know, but one thing he knew was that whatever the reason the young man was approaching him for he did not like it one bit, not even the friendly smile he had emblazoned on his face. He hated company and would prefer to be left alone. Then again, this was a public ball and everyone was expected to mingle around with the crowd.

"Are you cousin Rukawa Kaede?" asked the young man.

"I am. And WHO may I ask are you?"

"Why, it's me cousin Rukawa! Your favourite cousin, Sendoh Akira!"

"I don't know you. I have never known a cousin by that name, and I certainly don't think that you are MY favourite cousin either." Rukawa answered coldly.

"What is going on here? Rukawa, I thought I told you to…oh!" exclaimed Lady Ayako as her eyes fell upon the sweet darling face of Sendoh.

"Aunt Ayako, my darling aunt. What a pleasant surprise to see you here! You still do remember me don't you, dear aunty?"

"As a matter of fact, I do, Sendoh. A pleasure to see you again after all these years. How long has been, hmm? 12 years?" said Lady Ayako, her tone filled with sarcasm.

"About so. So, what brings you here today? Paying due respect to your beloved king, I suppose?" a glimmer of amusement mingled in his voice.

"Obviously. I have been his caretaker when he was taken ill years before. How could I not be invited to this auspicious event!" exclaimed Lady Ayako, quite shocked.

"Ne, Aunt Ayako. What in the world is going on here?" questioned a bewildered Rukawa.

"Nothing to concern yourself with my dear. Come, let us return to the ball. The King would be arriving soon." And with that, Lady Ayako led a confused Lord Rukawa away from a strange meeting with a distant relative.

As Sendoh watched them move away, another young man came up to him. "And may I know why are you so persistent to gain their attention? You know that Lady Ayako would have nothing to do with you after your father had betrayed her trust and ran of with two third of the fortune due to her."

"Ah, but you see Koshino, Lord Rukawa is a distant relative of mine who will provide me with the necessary fortune that I seek. You see, his brother was heir to the famous Rukawa mansion and fortune. After his brother's death, naturally he became next in line. If I can get near him enough to ruin him, I could be next in line to the fortune. See how easy my plan is?!"

"But I thought that there was another distant relative before you, if the Rukawas were no longer in existence?"

"How did you know? And who could it possibly be?" asked Sendoh as hope suddenly died in his chest.

"Haven't you heard about the Rukawas' will? It was stated that if anything should happen to them, the fortune should go to the only sister of their late father who married a Sakuragi. You're mother was only the adopted sister of the late Lord Rukawa, of course you're not as close as the Sakuragis." explained Koshino.

"Damn it, this can't be good…" mussed Sendoh.

"Unless…"

"Unless what…?What is it, Koshino?"

"Do you want to know my plan of getting the Rukawas' fortune, Sendoh?"

"With pleasure…" and a mischievous smile crept over Sendoh's handsome face.

Author's Notes: So what's their plan? Keep guessing…