Disclaimer: SD and relevant characters belong to Inoue Takehiko.

Warnings: Shounen ai undertones. Plotless drabble. Vague musings.

Notes: Youhei is one of my two favourite characters in the SD series, and seeing as I've never really written a fic which revolves around him, I wanted to write something which would at least do him some justice. I do see Youhei asa "sentient observer", and I simply couldnt get away from the theme of RuHana. It is, to me,the most urgent and impending issue throughout SD, after all.


Youhei knows.

It is a typical drizzling Monday afternoon when Youhei sees Rukawa standing in the rain. Youhei loiters through the empty corridor, indifferent to the closed doors of classrooms, the contagious drowsiness of teachers' droning on the wonders of geometry. At the corner of his peripheral vision, he catches a glimpse of a solitary figure, still and motionless beyond the window beside him. Youhei stops, turns, and stares.

The grey sky tinges Rukawa's shadow as the rain falls, obscuring and erasing his features beneath the darkness of the deserted and drowning school square. He stands, eyes closed and face upturned to the foreboding clouds, and Youhei watches Rukawa, without basketball, without the chatting of superfluous fangirls and admirers, without identity and facade. From where Youhei stands, Rukawa seems miles away.

When Youhei hears a sharp bellowing from behind him and glances a sudden burst of red, he watches intently as Hanamichi assumes a fixed position beside him. And being the sentient observer that he is, being the best friend of a teenage child with the strength of emotion of an open book, Youhei sees Hanamichi's reaction, and the look that burns in Hanamichi's eyes and flickers across his face is unmistakable.

And almost immediately Youhei sees, in his mind's eye, an ephemeral image of pale skin on bronze, a mingled silhouette of red and black, softened by the release of impassioned raindrops and a storm screaming of rightful unions and what is meant to be.

"B-Baka kitsune!" Hanamichi raises his voice and gesticulates almost frantically, but Youhei hears his stutter and is far from fooled. "What…What does he think he's doing, standing out there in the rain, like he's something else. That stupid fox!"

For a fleeting instant, Youhei wants to say something, to push Hanamichi outside, into the rain, into the world to which he truly belongs.

Perhaps it is a change in the world's motion, a distant and intuitive faltering of Rukawa's figure, but at that moment, Youhei knows. Youhei is certain, that there will be no way to deny the forces of fate, the unchanging separation of opposing forces of nature, the thin but interminable line between love and hate. Youhei looks, from solitary Rukawa to seething Hanamichi, and cannot say a thing.

And Youhei has known ever since.