Disclimer: Slam Dunk is not mine. I gain nothing from this except for a probable few notoriousness amongst yaoi-lovers.

Author's Note: No, I'm not gonna cop-out this time, I swear! Oh, and for anyone who's kinda curious on how Asayake looks like: Check my profile, since for some reason, FFN doesn't allow URL instalment on uploaded documents.

Meh.

Anyways, thank you for the reviews as always, I love thee. Add me on Twitter if you wanna (just search for Jakafe and there ya go) so you can bug the hell outta me to actually finish the damn story. (kisses) (kisses)

Voices of Light

Chapter Three: "Airbrushed Windows"

Silence. Silence. Silence.

"Wha… What… WHAT HAVE I DONE?!!" Asayake Kiyomi flabbergasted in utter dramatization despite preposterously holding a still position of her plastic latte cup against Hisashi Mitsui's chest. Her eyes were wide open, her jaw was hanging, tension got all over her face complete with maximum disbelief, yet she couldn't find the power on her logic to actually pull off, and not make his outfit even wetter with iced caramel latte. They shared stillness yet once more, while the discomfort level went higher and was starting to create imaginary visuals of sweat beads, series of vertical lines, and pumping blood veins, especially on his temples. He didn't think she noticed this though, which was unfortunate, since it's beginning to get rather sticky on his torso area.

"Ano…" Hisashi broke the awkward silence.

"Boutique!" She exclaimed.

"Ha?"

"We need to get to a boutique!"

"Mou daijobu, I was just on my way ho---"

"WE NEED TO GET TO A BOUTIQUE!"

As effective as bribing during times of recession, her sudden determination created a successful silencer against his light effort to dismiss the present problem, and thus the three pointer specialist objected no more.

"…Okay." He quietly agreed.

"Good, let me throw this away, first." She quickly spun again to locate a nearby trash bin to finally throw away the quarter-empty plastic cup, and dashed back to Hisashi. "Gomenasai! Let's go!"

Her slender but strong fingers took a firm hold of Hisashi's left wrist and semi-dragged him along in further compliance. He thought that she was quite sturdy, but ceased his surprise after judging her built and taking glances upon her noticeable arm muscles, despite them partially being underneath a fabric. Being an experienced athlete, Mitsui couldn't help but thinking whether the girl has regular training in a particular sport, and therefore set her physically apart from most girls he know. If anything, for such a brief moment, he was actually impressed. She continued to gently pull him by the wrist as she walked before him, this particular gesture made him aware of one thing: it felt like Kindergarten.

"Uh, you can let go now." He calmly said to the auburn-haired girl.

She turned around and looked down to her hand holding his, "I'm sorry!" she said as she let go almost abruptly, "That was so rude of me!"

Chuckling, Hisashi continued to analyze her under prompt thoughts. One, she seems to be from outside of Fujisawa. Second, she's responsibility-driven. And third, she's clumsily entertaining to watch. Walking along the downward asphalt road of a small shopping district nearby the station, he decided to give in to the temptation of small talks. Either that, or kept on watching her determinedly looking for a boutique, his call. Again, she had her back towards him, and he could see just how well-posed she was from behind, emphasizing a curve he didn't see very often on Japanese women in general.

"This is getting sticky." He said flatly, referring to his stained chest area. She immediately stopped walking, and turned around with a worried look on her face. "Even if I go change my shirt, it's still gonna feel weird on my skin."

"Oh, I have some wet tissues!" She claimed, opening her small newspaper bag and exposing the related object she had claimed ownership of, "See? I can wipe it off for you later."

"Uhm, I can do it myself," He replied almost immediately, "Thanks for the offer."

Did she just offer herself to wipe my bare chest, he thought in disbelief. She tilted her head, probably slightly confused as to why his face suddenly showed a sign of small distress, but decided to shrug it off and continued looking ahead of her. They continued walking, and the road began to go upwards, slowing down their steps. For some reason, time seemed to have silently slowed down like an aftermath of a bad joke. It was nearing four in the afternoon, and he could hear crows cawing in the tinted sky with their mockery for his bad luck. Unknown to him was that the black birds' "Ahou! Ahou! Ahou!" puns were heartily felt by her as well, if not more.

She couldn't believe how messed up she was for letting such an embarrassing thing happen towards a total stranger, "E...to… I'm really sorry." She shamefully apologized again, a lot composed this time around, "I should've watched where I'm going." Asayake stopped, turned around to him and bowed deeply, "Honto-ni, moshiwake goizaimasen!"

Feeling a rush of genuine warmth from her, Hisashi gave a faint, but honest smile in return, "Please raise your head." He kindly asked her, "I don't really like it when a girl's bowing to me so extremely." He continued, briefly scratching the back of his head.

She slowly straightened up herself, hesitantly starting to look at his face, and came to a realization at just how deep his eyes were with those dark indigo orbs dueling against her caramel irises. Diverting away from further looking at him, she timidly turned around towards the street before her, and continued to walk with him following closely. A mild breeze brushed against their cheeks, carrying the woody scent of autumn. For a second there, he thought he felt a light kiss on his lips as the shy wind nonchalantly passed. He watched as her shoulder-length auburn hair softly flowing in small sequences, dancing in random motion that sent suggestive signals for him to either receive, or ignore.

Soon enough, Asayake's eyes blinked at a direction, and she was instantly animated, "Ah! There it is!" she happily exclaimed, pointing at a small clothing store about five meters away on the left side of the road, "Let's check it out!"

He didn't have the time to respond before she took his wrist and dragged him once more, and as they grow closer to the destination, he noticed her choice of store. It was relatively small like any other one of its kind, dominated in white paint from the window sills, to the door frame. Speaking of doors, by the way, it didn't require a lengthy set of time until she finally reached the knob and made her, and his way inside.

"Irrashaimase!" a female store clerk greeted cheerfully behind her desk, "Please take a look around at our store!"

"Hai, arigatou!" replied Kiyomi in a casual manner. She slowly released his wrist once more and went on to business. Her eyes were effectively browsing at the hanging collection of shirts and whatever of its types available on the spot. "Let's see now…. You're probably a medium-sized, deshou?" she asked without looking at him while her fingers danced in between metal hangers.

"Yeah." He answered swiftly.

"Well then…" She went on and picked up a dark brown polo shirt with sandy pale turquoise and ivory white large horizontal stripes across its chest, and brought it to his attention. "This will look great on you." She firmly stated, placing the shirt right in front of his body.

At first, he thought that she was just half-assing her kind gestures to get him a new outfit, but after seeing at the high quality of her choice, he realized that the girl was being true to her words. Despite the lightning-quick of a time she took to glance through the clothes, she managed to find something that was tasteful and fitting. His astonishment towards her apparently grew another notch, and it didn't take a long time until he agreed to her pick.

"If you say so." He responded quite diplomatically with a dim smirk.

Asayake nodded her head in glee, "Miss!" she called the store clerk as the other girl left the cashier desk and approached her.

"Hai, okyaku-sama?" the female clerk replied, "Would you like that one?"

"Yes, and I want to wear it right away." She went on as she handed the shirt to the clerk.

"Eh?"

"Sumimasen! I meant him!" Asayake pointed at a suddenly weirded-out Hisashi, "I want to have him wear it right away… uhm, I mean."

"Ah, I understand, it's a present for your boyfriend, ne?" the clerk delinquently hinted, taking the shirt in a slowed motion.

"He's not my boyfriend." She answered as flatly as a road kill.

Well, that didn't take her long to blurt out the naked truth, he thought in post-pretentiousness. Feeling the atmosphere becoming quite heavy in an uncomfortable silence, Mitsui decided to jump into the obviously-derailed conversation.

"May I?" he asked the expressionless clerk for his supposedly new shirt, and the poor girl hesitantly complied.

Realizing that he was getting ready to enter the fitting room, Kiyomi opened her bag and immediately handed him a pack of wet tissues, "Dozo!" She prompted.

There was a brief, yet quite audible sigh coming from him, with the company of a lightly shook head, as he took the tissues and went inside the fitting room at the corner of the store. After taking off his partially wet jacket and shirt, the former MVP took some wet tissues and wiped parts of his chest that had gotten splashed with the latte until he can no longer felt the sticky sensation anymore. He momentarily thought about his observation of her, amongst other things that he could possibly be thinking about, that is. For a woman who looked so inept at first glance, she can make good decisions in less than five minutes, be it from the decision to find a boutique, to wet tissues, to picking up the right substitutional outfit. To be honest, the only person he knew that can act that way was Ayako Morii, who was none other than his high school basketball team's manager, but even that was something he's not too surprised since Ayako does look incredibly assuring to begin with.

Hisashi wore the new polo shirt, and again, he was amazed at how her precision came to a T when it wrapped his body just right, and how complimentary the colours were to his already athletic body. Never a poster child of narcissism, he found himself rather at a satisfactory level on how good he was projected by the mirror before him. He inhaled a good quantity of air and released it in an exhale before picking up his used clothes, opened the fitting room curtain and stepped out.

"Well?" he asked the two girls who immediately noticed him.

"Ah! You look great, okyaku-sama!" the clerk exclaimed, her eyes were radiant with amazement.

It was a generic answer for any store clerks to say, he thought, so the answer he was actually aiming for was the auburn-haired girl's, instead. Sure enough, Asayake gave her piece of mind.

"Very nice." She said, smiling with her glossy peach-tinted lips while pure contentment was glaring throughout her expression. "Oh, could you please cut the tag and put his old clothes into the paper bag? No need to wrap them." She promptly told the clerk who later conformed to her wishes.

"I pulled it off, here." He stated, giving the new shirt's price tag and handed it over to the clerk alongside with his dirty clothes. The later thanked him, and went on to do her job behind the cashier desk. Another moment of opportunistic silence came to bother, but he decided to scrap that and introduced himself to her instead. Approaching the so-called perpetrator of these eventful misfortunes, he told her his name, "Mitsui Hisashi."

She turned to face him; her eyes were as bright as the Sagami bay in the middle of summer. Was that an introduction, she thought rather naively, ignoring the fact that every brain cells in her head were already giving her the command to introduce herself in return. "Kiyomi Asayake." She replied politely, "I apologize once again for my rudeness."

"Kiyomi-san, desune?" He repeated, drawing himself closer to where she was standing.

"Hai, Mitsui-san." She coyly gave a similar gesture, "Ano... is it possible for you to give me your address?"

It's quite a countless amount of time when one would think at just how often this particular 21-year old girl managed to make wrong assumptions by the choice of words she allowed her mouth to oust, and this was just another example of such mess. Hisashi was already thinking about condoms supply and that one love hotel owned by his former gang members, when she asked about addresses. His, in particular, of course, because why else would a woman ask for man's home location? Unfortunately, he was later mildly disappointed when she said the following line, instead of anything perverse:

"I need to wash them first before I give them back to you." She referred to the dirty, coffee-stained clothes.

"Oh." He responded apathetically, "Sure."

"Okyaku-sama, everything would be ¥3.000, please." The clerk girl informed both of them, in which was greeted by Asayake's gesture of taking the exact amount of money necessary from her wallet and placing them at a tiny payment tray on the cashier desk, "Arigato gozaimasu, it's an exact change. Hai, dozo." She thanked, and appropriately prepared the requested bag on the same table for her customers to take. "Please come again!" she said for the last time, while bowing respectfully towards both of them as they took the bag and head to the door.

The two smiled to her and bid their goodbyes, and of course, being the roughly-made gentleman that he was, Hisashi decided to open the door, and let her pass through first. Impressed by his courtesy, Asayake lightly bowed and head outside before him. With both of them being on the streets once more, an atmosphere of parting ways became apparent and near visible, and as private data was exchanged between them as she wrote down both his address and phone number to a small notebook, the setting sun fits the horizon with a drapery of darkened saturation. She raised her head to look at him once more, as he watched her soft stare ascending to meet his, and then, a fusion was formed.

"I'll call you when they're done, Mitsui-san." She gently spoke; her tone was like liquid silk.

"I'll be waiting then, Kiyomi-san..." He replied.

She took a couple of steps back, and bowed again before walking further away, and disappeared from his sight. Unknown to any of them, that their hearts each skipped a beat.

-- to be continued --

Endnote: Ara? I hope I didn't put too many unknown Japanese phrases. I just got too carried away, I guess. Teehee. Oh well, as usual, reviews and comments are most welcome!