Orange Lantern by Kokoro-chin

Summary: Ryota Miyagi has been in love with his basketball team's manageress since forever. He wrote a letter to confess his feelings to Ayako but doesn't have the nerve to give it to her. Add a little of Sakuragi Hanamichi's mischief and see what happens to the two...

Author Note: My very first one-shot Slam Dunk fiction on NORMAL pairings. Ryota x Ayako. Heh. Please R&R!

Disclaimer: Slam Dunk belongs to Mr. Inoue Takehiko, IT Planning and Toei Animation.


The point-guard of Shohoku Basketball Club stood leaning against the wall of the school building. He heaved a soft sigh and peek from the behind the wall. A few girls walked pass him and stared at him skeptically. He tried to ignore the stares but he could feel the heat creeping up his face. He continued peeking from behind the wall even though there were giggles here from the bunch of girls. He was pretty sure they were talking about him. He peeked again from behind the wall into the girl's volley ball court. When he saw the girl with curly hair hit the volley ball, his heart skipped a beat. Ayako, the manageress for his basketball team is the captain of Shohoku girl's volleyball team. He blushed when he saw the girl he was in love with hit the volley ball and send it across the net to lead victory to her own team. The others cheered and hugged Ayako when their team won the competition. Miyagi Ryota's heart was beating hard when he saw the beautiful smile on Ayako's face. He absently clutches the envelope that was in his hand. He wanted to give the envelope to Ayako today, but...

"Hey Ryochin!" a loud voice was heard from behind him. He slowly turned around to see who it was. Sakuragi Hanamichi, the trouble maker. Ryota glared at the red head and put a finger up against his lips to silent him. Hanamichi looked at him questioningly and then grinned. Ryota peeked into the court again. He feared that Ayako heard the red head's voice. But apparently, Ayako doesn't seem to hear anything. Miyagi sigh a relief and then he pulled Hanamichi aside just when the red head was about to say something.

"Just shut up Hanamichi and don't ask," warned Miyagi to the red-head. Hanamichi was not going to let that pass. He grinned slyly.

"Peeking into the girl's court huh? What have we got here? A pervert!" accused Hanamichi pointing a finger at the ear-pierced boy.

"Shut up. I'm no pervert! "explained Miyagi, blushing lightly. Hanamichi looked at him and grinned.

"Fine. Then tell me which girl you are looking at! C'mon Ryochin...I'm not gonna tell her!" urged the red head putting an arm around the smaller boy just in case he ran away. Miyagi snorted and glared at Hanamichi.

"I don't trust you," said Miyagi quietly. Hanamichi was taken back Miyagi's reply.

"Fine. Then don't tell me. I've something better to do anyway. I wonder what the girls will think if they know that there's a hentai in this school!" said Hanamichi while looking at Miyagi from the corner of his eyes. He suppressed his laughter when he saw Miyagi looking at him with a weird look on his face. When the red-head started to walk towards the girl's court, Miyagi pulled his shirt to prevent him to do so.

"Hanamichi! Fine. I'll tell you..." surrendered the smaller guy. Hanamichi had a big grin plastered on his idiotic face when he turned around. Miyagi hold back himself from punching the red-head. He didn't want to get into a fight with the red-head. The chances of winning against the tall guy are very slim. Very slim indeed. So he reluctantly gave in. He gripped the envelope in his hand tightly while Hanamichi waited for the juice.

"I...like...a girl...in the volley ball team," explained Miyagi slowly and quietly. Hanamichi nodded and waited.

"You know her too..."

"Aha," urged Hanamichi again. The he looked at Miyagi with his wide eyes. "What?"

"You knew...?" asked Miyagi looking at the bewildered red head. Then suddenly Hanamichi grabbed him by the collar and shook him. The small boy tried to release himself but couldn't. "What are ya doin'?!" yelled Miyagi.

"Darn you! I thought you were a good friend! How dare you steal my precious Haruko from me! Take this!" shouted Hanamichi angrily as his fist headed towards Miyagi's open face. When he was about to hit the point guard on the face, he was stopped by a hard whack on his head. Immediately he loosens his grip on Miyagi's collar and squatted on the ground, groaning in pain. Miyagi looked up to his savior and saw that it was a girl. With curly hair and angry glares in her eyes looking at the red-head. A paper fan was in her hand, playing the role of her greatest weapon.

"Aya-chan..."

"Serves you right! Sakuragi Hanamichi, what are you doing to Ryota?" scolded the manageress while whacking Hanamichi's head with the fan again.

"ITE! Nothing. We were just chatting..."

"But I saw you trying to punch him!" whacked Ayako at the red-head again with her fan.

By now, Sakuragi was already sprawling on the floor. Ayako was about to whack him for the thirteenth time when Miyagi stopped her. "Stop Aya-chan! You're gonna kill him!"

"He was trying to kill you!"

Hanamichi looked at the scene before him and glared at Miyagi. "I wasn't! He was trying to take Haruko away from me!" growled the red-head.

Ayako blinked. "A-re? Haruko-san?" She looked at Miyagi whom was blushing to the core. "Is it true?"

"Idiot! I'm not trying to take Haruko-chan away from you! I don't even like her! Your Haruko-chan wasn't even in the volleyball club! Baka! I was looking at Aya-"he quickly cover up his mouth when he realize what he had almost just said. Hanamichi was now looking at him skeptically.

"You mean-you're not in love with Haruko-san?" confirmed Hanamichi. He grinned when he saw Miyagi nodding quickly. Now Ayako was looking at them with a confused look on her flushed face. She stared at them and then smiled when Hanamichi laughed out loudly while hitting Miyagi's back liberally. Even though she's not clear about what had happened but she was relieve that the fighting was over. Miyagi started to grin too and Ayako was wondering why he had the blush on his face.

"Now Ryochin! Tell the tensai whom were you peeking at then," asked Hanamichi.

"Peeking?" asked Ayako. Miyagi could feel his face heating up again. "Ryota, don't tell me you're peeking the girls at the changing room!"

"Ah? Ie ie Aya-chan..."

Before he could explain, Hanamichi had already blurted out everything. "He was peeking the girl's volleyball team during the play! One of the girls!"

Ayako looked at Miyagi blankly. "Is it true? Then...who were you interested in? I could help introducing you to her," volunteered the curly hair girl.

"No....no need, Aya-chan. I think I can manage on my own," replied the small guy quietly.

"Really? You'll be fine on you own eh? Maybe I should help you since you're so slow and all that towards girls!"

Miyagi blushed. Hanamichi looked on and grinned, agreeing at what Ayako had just said. "You should just let Ayako help you Ryochin!"

"Shut up Hanamichi. No one needs you opinion," said Miyagi. He was nervous. His palm was sweating. He gripped at the envelope behind him and glared at the red-head. Hanamichi looked at him and grinned. The suddenly, his eyes caught something. He grinned slyly.

"I think I better go to practice..." mumbled the point guard, starting to walk away. Just then, Hanamichi grabbed the envelope from behind him and laughed. "What? Hanamichi! Give it back!!" yelled Miyagi trying desperately to snatch off the envelope from Miyagi's hand. But he was shorter than the red-head and eventually gave up. He glared at the red-head and deep inside him, he was trembling.

"Let's see...what have we got here. A love letter?" said Hanamichi as he tears open the envelope and grinned at Miyagi. The small guy tried to snatch the letter from the red-head's hand but he failed. He was blushing furiously now.

"I'm leaving..." said Miyagi looking at Ayako. Ayako looked at him questioningly. Hanamichi was busy reading the letter to care. He was laughing at the contents inside the letter as Miyagi walks off blushing. When the red-head was half-way reading the letter, his laughter suddenly stopped. He stared at the letter and then at Ayako. Ayako had the 'what are you looking at' look on her face. She leaned over the back of the red-head to catch a glimpse at the letter. Hanamichi looked at her smiling and handed her the letter.

"I think he wanted to give this to you..."

"Huh? Me? What does it say?" asked Ayako while she scanned the letter quickly.

"Read it," replied the red-head still having the grin on his stupid face. "I think I better go... See ya!"

"Nani?!" said Ayako as she read the letter. Her face was turning red just like Miyagi's a minute ago.

"Wait! What is all this!?" she yelled at Hanamichi but he was already gone.

Miyagi walked along the highly-decorated street and looked around him. Every body was enjoying themselves so much and the place was full of set up stall. Lanterns were every where. Kids were accompanied by their parents to light up their colorful lanterns. A few people was praying and wishing at the temple for their wishes to come true. He saw young girls wearing yutaka scooping goldfish with a paper net. They yelled and giggled when the goldfish fell of through the paper net. He sighed despite himself. He would too be as happy as them if he was accompanied by his dream girl. He was thinking about Ayako again. He was wondering whether the girl knew about his feelings for her. Then suddenly the image of Hanamichi came up. The red-head is such a busy body. He hopes that Ayako hasn't read the letter. He continued walking and without thinking, arrived at the entrance of the temple. He stared into the temple and then stepped in. He stood in front of the black wooden box that was before him. Then he fished out a few coins and put it inside. He held up his hand in a praying way and wished. After wishing, he clapped his hand twice and exited the temple.

He walked up to a quiet place and stood there observing the stars above. A few yards away from him, he could hear people laughing and dancing around the campfire. Then suddenly he heard some rustling sound from behind him. He quickly turned around and found himself face to face with the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. It was quite dark and he couldn't make out whom it was. There were only two tiny lights coming two lanterns.

"Konbanwa," greeted the girl. Miyagi immediately stood up straight when he heard the familiar voice.

"Kon-ban-wa!" he stammered a little.

"Do you care if I join you?" asked the girl again. Miyagi nodded quickly as he was speechless. Then the girl wearing a yutaka laughed softly.

"Here," said the girl handling one lantern for him. "It's for you."

Miyagi looked at her and blushed. "Why are you giving me a lantern, Aya-chan?"

The curly hair girl looked at him and then seemed to think for a while. "So that it'll light up your life."

By now Miyagi was already holding the lantern in his hand. Both of them stood there for a while in silence. Then suddenly, Ayako broke the silence.

"I've read the letter," said the girl quietly, blushing slightly but Miyagi was unaware of that because of the dark. When Ayako said that, Miyagi blushed and scratched his head.

"Umm...sorry,"

"For what?" asked Ayako, confused.

"For the letter..."

Silence was his only reply. After a pregnant pause in the air, finally Ayako spoke.

"Is it true?"

"Huh?"

"Is true about what you have written in your letter?"

"Em. Yeah it's true..." replied the ear-pierced boy blushing as red as a tomato.

Ayako smiled. Miyagi just stared at the ground. Then suddenly Ayako leaned over and gave him a peck on his cheek. Miyagi was speechless again. His eyes wide staring at the smiling girl before him. Ayako held his hand and picked up her lantern.

"Let's go have some fun!" said the girl.

Miyagi could only grin foolishly as he let himself being lead by his dream girl towards the noisy crowd. His hand holding an orange lantern which is similar to Ayako's all the way. Both the lanterns have definitely lit up his and her life.

-OWARI-