Standard Disclaimer:I don't own Slam Dunk… What more can I say…?
Author's Note: It's the last part of the story! Thank your lucky stars it ain't getting longer than that.
Rukawa hadn't been coming around to the bar lately after that night; and because of that, Siren seemed to have lost her passion to do what she does best. She couldn't put her finger into it, but somehow Rukawa seems to have some sort of effect on her. After what he said to her the other night, she couldn't seem to concentrate on anything; whether it was her studies back in college, her part-time job at the Wild Moon, or her racing. Somehow he had sucked out the very meaning of her existence.
Everything she did so far had a reason. Her parents and two brothers, an older brother 5 years her senior and a twin brother, died in a car accident when she was 13, just before she entered junior high. Since then, she developed a phobia to driving. Sadness overwhelmed her that she instinctively buried herself in her studies. She had another older brother, but he was more a jerk to her than a loving brother. 10 years her senior, he was responsible for her well-being till she reached 21, but he left her, squandered the family fortune on a bad business and was sent to jail for forgery, leaving her penniless. So she had to work part-time as a bartender in order to make-ends meet and to survive in this harsh world. She had made plenty of friends in her line of work and some of them were street racers. They found out about her phobia of driving, so they put her in intensive training in order to banish her fears. Well…they did a good job of it. Unfortunately, they hadn't expected her to become so hooked on racing that she developed an obsession for drifting and street racing. And as for the rest of the story, as the saying goes, that was history.
Now she had lost the reason to carry on. All her life, she had been running away from the past and that she had been putting up an act to show everyone that she was ok, no matter how hard life can be. The truth is…she was definitely NOT ok. She was so tired of pretending and putting up a happy face when deep down inside, she was crying buckets of tears.
And then, he came along. He had shown concern for her life and well-being. Ever since she lost her parents, no one had ever been concerned about her. Her friends were caring and loving enough, but they weren't concerned about her life. That night when she looked into his eyes, there was concern and…was there love for her as well? He might not have seen through her façade, but he had certainly broken her barrier. All her life, she had been building a protective wall around her to keep out threats…to protect herself from being hurt. But after that night, her wall slowly crumbled, because somehow, he made her feel that she did not need that wall anymore; that she should learn how to get on with life and live to the fullest. She had lived life independently for a long time; she had cleanly forgotten that sometimes, she too needed a helping hand to get her through life. He made her realize that. Yes, she was lonely then…and she is lonely now…without him.
She prayed desperately to see him again; and her prayers were answered when he came in the bar a month later. UCLA had won the Final Four, and the victorious, happy team celebrated at the Wild Moon. Drinks were on the house, and the atmosphere was even hotter than before. The Black Coyotes were asked specifically to perform their best for that night, so there was no room for any screw-ups. Siren had not been performing well for that last month, and so the boss decided to take her out of the team for that night, saying that she should take a break. She accepted it half-heartedly because she really wanted Rukawa to notice her again after his long absences. But the boss' words was authority, she had to obey orders.
The Black Coyotes were really bringing down the house that night. Everyone enjoyed their dances, including the UCLA basketball boys. Siren was hiding in a room behind the bar counter, licking her wounds. A moment of realization came over her slowly when she was brought out of her reverie by loud chanting. The noise was muffled behind closed doors, so she opened ajar the door to hear the chants better. What a shock she had! The crowds were chanting her name! SIREN! SIREN! Why would they want to see her dance after being disappointed night after night for a whole month?
The other Black Coyotes dragged her out of the room to face the crowd. Her eyes immediately caught a single figure out of the crowd, standing tall, fair-skin, raven-hair, blue eyes. Their eyes met…blue eyes meeting green ones…electric shock when through both of them, as they stared at each other.
"Who started the chants, Clarice?" asked Siren.
"That lover boy of yours, Siren. What's his name again? Oh ye, Rukawa-kun…hehe"
She stared at him again. Out of curiosity, she asked him in a whisper loud enough for only him to hear. "Why?"
"I thought you might need some encouragement. They told me your performance nose-dived after that night. I'm really sorry if I had offended or hurt you that badly."
"It's ok. Everything's fine now. Now that you came back. I really needed that encouragement. Thanks…Kaede." she smiled ever so sweetly, his heart nearly broke.
With the encouragement she got from the floor, especially from Rukawa, her passion came back ten-folds. She got onto the counter and began dancing like she had never before; like there was no tomorrow. The crowd went wild; even Rukawa couldn't help but dance along with the crowd. The night was young and they party all night long…like tomorrow would ever come. Siren had never felt this happy before. She was so satisfied with what she was doing right now.
After she finished her job, Siren packed her stuffs up, said her goodbyes, and was taking the left lane down 7th Avenue. She hadn't walked a few step away from the bar's entrance when she was stopped by big, strong, firm hands placed on her shoulders. She turned around defensively only to stare into familiar blue eyes. She gave a smile to the fox-eyed boy in front of her.
"You waited for me till now? Why's that, Rukawa-kun?"
"Oh, and I thought that we've moved to calling each other by our first name, since you did call me Kaede back there in the bar."
"Oops…Gomen nasai, Kaede. Thanks for coming back. I really…really missed you." she blushed as she said those words.
Rukawa took those small, skilful hands of her and held it close to his heart. "So you hadn't been performing well because of me, isn't it? I'm so sorry…"
"I said it's ok. Just don't ever leave me like this again, ok?"
Siren placed her arms around Rukawa's neck and gave him an Eskimo Kiss. As she softly whispered "I love you, Kaede" she brought her lips up to plant an innocent kiss on Rukawa's lips.
Rukawa wanted to say more, but he didn't want to spoil the night with more words; words that could spoil his relationship with the girl he had fallen in love with at first sight. Silence was a magical thing, and as he too whispered back "I love you, Siren" he leaned forward to touch his lips to hers in a gentle, chaste kiss. Passion enveloped them as their kiss deepened into a hungry, passionate kiss.
And they didn't say a single word for a very…long…time…
Author's Note: Completed…hope you like it…till next fic…