Skin Hunger

By: LateSleeper

Disclaimer: I would soon be rich and I'll buy Hana-chan…just you wait!!! Nyahaha!!! But as of now I'm still poor…so I don't own anything yet…

I love you

Is it just words spoken out of emotion?

Do we really need to hear it?

Do we really have to say it?

Are they really that important?

"Ok. Let me get this straight. You haven't said I love you to your boyfriend…What??? About a month or two." Ryota crossed his arm over his chest rolling his eyeballs in the process. He was so pissed off to hear why Hanamichi was feeling down for the last few days…and the reason was, the ice prince himself: Rukawa Kaede.

"Do aho." Rukawa looked at a very pissed captain nonchalantly. He didn't expect that his teammates would be that…that nosy about his relationship with the do 'aho.

So he didn't gave the do 'aho a gift on Valentine's day…so what? So what if he didn't greet him, say I love you…it didn't matter anyway the do 'aho knows how much he loves him. So why are they acting with a big fuss over that simple-insignificant-thing-formally-called-Valentine's-day?

He didn't give his do 'aho a present on his birthday, new year…well on all occasions but the do 'aho didn't mind. Did he?

"You always sleep and let your boyfriend wonder around alone, you always shove him off, you never say good things about him, never give him gifts…" Ryota walked through and forth enumerating all the things that a boyfriend should do as his teammates followed his every step. "…never hugged him, kissed him, whispered words of endearment…"

"Except when you're having sex." Mitsui suddenly butted in, making every one sweat drop and blush at the same time.

"Thank you for that wonderful statement." Ryota sneered sarcastically at his scarred face friend.

"I'm going."

"Oi! Baka Rukawa. We're still talking here." Ryota fumed and sped off in front of the retreating ace player. Rukawa looked down on the teensy weensy point guard menacingly.

"Fine. Go to your practice. Leave us! You ungrateful bastard."

A loud thud echoed throughout the silence of the night. The dribbling of a ball sounded on the cement flooring of the abandoned basketball court.

"Dedicated aren't we?"

Rukawa looked back over his shoulder to the source of the voice. He wasn't shocked to see the Ryonan Ace after the whole issue erupted. He took back his stare and continued with his practice deliberately ignoring the intruder.

"Priorities! Priorities! Priorities! Is he just the second on your list?" Sendoh mockingly sneered and for this he gained a very icy glare from the infamous ice block of Shohoku.

"He's mine!"

"For how long?" Sendoh smiled menacingly at Rukawa. He was really pissed with this guy. Losing Hanamichi to this moron was one thing but to hear that this particular moron was neglecting his duty to his beloved is another. He can't believe that Hanamichi chose this heartless fool instead of him.

"He's mine."

"You couldn't keep a treasure forever. An angel would always show his wings and people are bound to know he is one. People aren't dense as you are Rukawa."

"Are you talking about yourself do 'aho."

"Me and the many more. Many more you just wouldn't know."

"He's mine!'

"Confident aren't we? Well ja!" He turned his back on Rukawa with his fist clenching tightly.

Rukawa just stared at the retreating back of Sendoh his expression softening. He felt the wind suddenly brush through his hair and he felt shivers run down through his body.

"Do 'aho are you thinking of what they are thinking about me? Am I really a bastard to you?" Rukawa looked up and stared at the enchanting moon.

"Anou…Sakuragi-kun what are you doing here? I thought you were absent for this day."

"Ah Yasu. The tensai forgot something here so I came back to get it." Hanamichi stuttered on his reply. He blushed furiously on being caught on one of his vulnerable moment by one of his teammates. The truth is he was hoping to catch Kaede on one of his practices here, ALONE. It seems like a long time since he and his boyfriend had a moment together.

"Ah I see. So how are you? Are you feeling fine now?"

"Of course the Tensai is feeling fine. NYAHAHAHA!!! Why did you think that the tensai isn't well?" Hanamichi took his famous tensai pose just to show Yasuda that he was fine.

Yasuda looked at Hanamichi searchingly. He walked towards him and put a hand on his shoulder to comfort his teammate. "You don't need to keep it to yourself."

Warm.

So warm.

Hanamichi felt so warm from Yasuda's touch and he couldn't control himself any longer from breaking down. He felt his knees gave way and he slumped down on the floor. Yasuda was suddenly taken aback and suddenly panicked at seeing the power forward at his lowest state. He never imagined seeing the fire boy without light, downcast, dejected.

He did what his first instinct was telling him…he knelt and hugged him tight. And he felt so right in doing so…

Warm. Hanamichi felt so warm. He always wanted to feel that warm. Warmth that he sought years ago. "Yasu.."

"Hai. What is it Sakuragi-kun?" Yasuda look down on Hanamichi's hair.

"Nothing…I just want to hear your voice…"

"My voice?"

"Hai. Your voice is soothing…it calms me down."

Yasuda was shocked on Hanamichi's childish outburst. It might sound so childish but he felt a tug in his heart and he couldn't help but hug the redhead tighter. He leaned closer and felt Hanamichi's hair touched his nose. He's never been this close to the redhead and he never knew that Hanamichi smelled like a child. 'child…that's what he is, a precious child.'

"Yasu…are you disgusted with me?"

"Huh? Why would I be?"

"Aren't you disgusted with me when you learned that I'm gay?" Hanamichi looked up to Yasuda with his brown orbs glistening with emotion. Yasuda was so enchanted as he stared at Hanamichi's eye. He felt calm. He felt sad. He felt drawing into it. He felt a different kind of emotion. But the best thing is, that he felt protective towards the redhead.

"No. You're not disgusting." Yasuda murmured soothingly, that calmed down the redhead. Hanamichi moved closer to the source of the heat and felt very at ease.

"Am I not that lovable?" Hanamichi suddenly uttered after a few minutes of complete silence. Yasuda was taken aback by this sudden question. He never thought that the self-proclaimed tensai was insecure with himself. "You are lovable. Remember you're the tensai."

"Really? You're the only one who ever said that. But…am I?" Yasuda was too taken aback that he didn't notice him being tense and loosening his hold on the redhead. "No. Please don't let go. I…you…you feel so warm."

"Warm?"

"Hai! You're so warm. You want to know a secret?"

"Hai."

"I've never been hugged by anyone before not until Kaede, that is. But he never hugs me this long…" Hanamichi hugged tighter. "…I never felt this warm before. I've always dreamed of this since I was a kid. You see my mother died when I was born and otoosan was never home to comfort me. I'm always alone. Maybe that was the thing that made me close to Kaede…we both are lonely souls seeking comfort with each other. I thought he would give me the warmth that I was craving for…but I guess he wasn't that sentimental like I am. I'm not as strong as he is."

"Hmmm…shhh…don't say that you are not strong. You're the tensai."

"Iie. I'm not." Yasuda felt a dampening on his shirt but he didn't mind. He wanted Hanamichi to bring out everything that he felt. He wanted to assure him that it would be ok but he didn't know how to say it…he was even doubting if his words would be true.

"Just a little longer Yasu…let me stay a bit longer like this." Hanamichi pleaded in a quivering voice that Yasuda hadn't recognize to be Hanamichi's voice. It was different from the sunny loud voice of the Hanamichi he knew, the Hanamichi that always brag, pick a fight…what he heard was a tiny unsure voice. Voice that was unsure of himself…voice he never imagine coming from the strong willed power forward.

He thought Hanamichi was the strongest of them all…but he was so wrong. He never knew that the redhead was as fragile as a newborn child.

He hummed a few songs to calm his friend and in a matter of instant the redhead was fast asleep cradled in his arms. He looked down again at Hanamichi, whose face was leaning on his chest. A small gentle smile crept on his lips. He didn't mind Hanamichi's weight on him…what matters is the bundle in his arms and the sweet aroma Hanamichi was emitting.

"Sakuragi-kun…I'm not gay…but for you I'd make an exception. I'll be your protector, even if it means protecting you from the one you love." Yasuda leaned and planted a kiss on Hanamichi's cheek making the redhead smile unconsciously as he wonder on La-La land.

The two was oblivious that a silent person was watching them. He was holding a large bouquet of red roses. He was frantically looking for his do 'aho about an hour ago only to find his angel in the arms of one of his teammates. He felt enraged and wanted to grabbed the do 'aho and lock him up with him in a room where he is the only one allowed to look at the beautiful redhead. Enraged that what he was feeling was not for Hanamichi but to himself.

But Hanamichi's state made him freeze on the spot. Vulnerable that was he looked like he didn't have the heart to ruin the moment by making a scene.

A tear trickled down his cheek.

Petals started falling down.

'I'll never give you up do 'aho.'

Soft murmurs could be heard and Rukawa could only look with sadness on the immaculate scene in front of him.

:Owari:

Explanation about the title

LateSleeper: HI!!! I'm back!!! Nyahaha!!! bounces up and down, wearing a Winnie the pooh costume spot Hana-chan

LateSleeper: Hana-chan, come on let's play… grin

Hanamichi: look at LateSleeper with dejected look moves away

LateSleeper: eh? scratches head what? What did I do?

Hanamichi: You made me a sick person… mumble mumble

LateSleeper: I did what?

Hanamichi: You said I have a skin hunger. points on the title See, my skin is perfectly fine…liar.

LateSleeper: oh! Baka! I said Skin hunger not Skin asthma.

Hanamichi: eh?

LateSleeper: changes costume into a lecturer point stick on the board Skin Hunger is not a disease, it is a psychological problem encountered by a child who never had been taken care of when he was still a baby. They are the one's who don't like to be hug, kissed etc., or don't like to show what they really feel. This is because they never felt the love that a mother should have given them when they are still small…get my point? No? scratches head I knew I should have listened to my prof when she explained this….oh well.

Hanamichi: WOW!!! You're so great…

LateSleeper: smirk there's more! Remember the part where Yasuda felt protective over you when he saw your big-puppy-dog-eyes…that was a normal human instinct! People release protective feelings when they see features of babies like…chubby cheeks, small nose, big cute eyes…etc. reads a biology book see try it by looking at a baby…you feel a mothering behavior.

Hanamichi: WOW you are like a professional doctor.

LateSleeper: goofy grin I will soon be…I'll follow Dr. Muraki's foot step…Nyahaha and you MY Hana-chan will be my Tzusuki!!!!

Rukawa: Do 'aho shove LateSleeper carries a blushing Hanamichi away stay away from my Do'aho.

LateSleeper: wearing Dr. Muraki's costume Make me!!!