Melting Ice

Melting Ice

Chapter 1: Mirror image

Disclaimer: The following characters of Slam Dunk do not belong to me.

Hallo….this is my very first Slamdunk fic…I'm not very familiar with the characters just yet as I'm pretty new. But I just can't help writing about Rukawa-kun ^_^.

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Here he was yet again.

Year 1 Class 10, Shohoku high School.

Every day was the same. Basketball practices commenced almost everyday. He slept in class just about every minute. Heck, he even came to school riding a bike while half-asleep sometimes.

Rukawa was bored, and he knew it.

He enjoyed using those smart remarks of his to annoy Sakuragi everyday. And he enjoyed the practices and upcoming games.

But he was bored.

Maybe I should try, for once, to actually pay attention in class today. School rule's it that you've gotta pass the class first. And considering that I haven't been paying attention for the past…what, three months? I might as well start now and buck up…

Fat hope.

He knew there was no way he wouldn't sleep in class. No way that he wouldn't live up to his law of 'As long as you disturb my sleep, it will not go unnoticed'. Look at the number of broken alarm clocks in his house for example.

Walking through the same halls and to his classroom, he heard the everyday sounds of girls chattering, about him. He used to give them a weird look and then their faces would start to turn red and their chattering louder. He didn't exactly like the buzzing, so he avoided eye contact and gave that expressionless face to everyone.

He took his time and long strides over to the very last seat on the right hand side of the room. Some of his classmates were already there and were chitchatting amongst themselves. Most of the girls gawked at him and he knew that in about fifteen minutes time, a mob of girls was going to come in and squeal at the sight of him.

So he decided to sleep. As he always did and had.

So much so for being bored…

His table looked comfortable enough, but what gave him discomfort was the table adjoined to its left. Bothering to look around, he found that all around the class, such had taken place. Oh heck He stretched out his hand in an attempt to move that table away, but...

"I suggest you don't do that, Rukawa-san. If you do that, you're gonna get in big trouble."

He spun around and saw that dreaded math teacher of his. He really didn't want to talk to that ahou right now, so he shot a glare and quietly sat down at his place.

As soon as he had settled down and prepared for a snooze, the Rukawa-fanclub came marching in and began swooning over the basketball star. Arghh…I'm seriously gonna get violent if they don't shut up soon…

Rukawa couldn't sleep.

Not with those nutty fangirls staring at him and 'oohing' over him as if he was some kind of rare museum specimen.

He felt most relieved when the bell had rung. Everyone had already settled down, and the seat beside him was still empty as it previously was. What's the point of putting this blasted thing here anyway?

The teacher cleared her throat. "Class, today we are going to have a new student joining us."

Facing the open door, she gestured for someone to come in. "Everyone, this is Watanabe Yukiko."

The new student gave a low bow and regained her composure not too soon afterwards. She grinned at her classmates. "Very pleased to meet you all."

The moment she had done so, the class had gone hush.

Whispers of "Kawaii" escaped from a few.

This girl had a small, petite figure and porcelain white skin. Her jet-black hair was tied in a neat ponytail that fell to her shoulder blades leaving a thin layer of fringe, which ended just above her eyes, to cover her forehead. She had clear blue aquamarine eyes and a bright smile, one that could light up anyone's day. She wore no make up, only because she didn't need it.

The teacher looked kindly at this girl. "I believe we are also very pleased to meet you, Watanabe-san. You will be seated beside Rukawa-san there."

She turned to the boy. "RUKAWA KAEDE!"

It jolted him from his slumped position. Bleary eyed, he looked up and saw the new student. It was then did he realise who was going to sit beside him. Of all things, they put a girl there… She walked over to the empty space and bowed to Rukawa. "Ohayo, Rukawa Kaede-kun. Watashiwa Watanabe Yukiko desu."

Then she turned to face the class. "Please, just call me Yukiko." After which, she sat down wordlessly.

"Talks too much," Rukawa muttered as he readied himself to fall asleep again. But before that, he wanted to know why the tables were arranged in this weird manner, and why he had to actually sit next to someone. A girl to be precise.

So he did the most unnatural thing in the world. He raised his hand and asked a question. "Why are our tables joined?"

This shocked the teacher, but she beamed at him soon after. "Rukawa-san, the school is trying out this experiment to see whether you students will fare better alone in class or with a partner."

"Oh, I see." And it just had to be a girl…

He fell back into his slumber, blocking out the other sounds and listening only for the recess bell to ring.

Soft buzzing spread through the corridor as the latest gossip was being told.

"NANI? You mean Rukawa-kun has an exact female replica…who sits next to him?!" Haruko was shocked at this piece of information her friends had given her. She couldn't believe it for even a second, until she heard the moans of the Rukawa's three most faithful fangirls.

Most of the girls were crowded at the front and back door of Year 1 Class 10, peeping in to see whom it was that everyone else talked about. Even the boys were curious. If Rukawa was already so handsome, his female version must be gorgeous.

There he was, slumped on his table, asleep as usual. And there she was, sitting right next to him and doing her work diligently, obviously not bothered by the boy or why he was that tired.

She was beautiful.

He was handsome.

No doubt, she would have a fan club just like he did in a short time.

The soft humming amongst the girls grew louder and louder as the boys began to catcall, some at the new girl, and some at Rukawa.

She turned her head sharply to those at the back door. "Minna-san, could you all lower your volume. Kaede-kun here is trying to get some sleep you know."

"KA-KAEDE-KUN? DID YOU JUST CALL HIM THAT?" The fangirls were shocked, raged, displeased. How could one who didn't even know the star for a single day begin to call him by his first name already?

"Ano…is there something wrong with that?"

"YOU'RE DARN RIGHT THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT. HOW CAN YOU…"

The loud voice fell as the pale boy's head jerked up. He mustered his fiercest glare and said the all so familiar line. "I don't care who you are. But as long as you disturb my sleep, you shall pay."

He stood up to his full length and towered over the rest, including the bewildered girl who was still seated. He trudged up to the mob of students and aimed his fists. It was then that a tugging at his shirtsleeve stopped him.

It was her. "Kaede-kun, just what are you doing?"

He cast his cold blue eyes upon her. "Did you just call me what I heard you call me?"

"Sumimasen. Demo, is there something wrong with it?"

"Aa." He wanted to fling her off his arm and proceed with bashing up the rest. He wanted to hit her, too, for having the nerve to call him without formality.

But he didn't.

He couldn't.

He didn't have the heart to hurt a smaller girl just because she didn't know that what she had done wronged him. Just because she didn't want anyone to get hurt. Just because she was new to this.

She had already let go of his shirtsleeve by then and still had a confused look. The doorways had already begun to clear. He grabbed his bento and faced Yukiko. "Don't use my first name to call me ever again without my permission." Then he left the class for the roof, where he spent his recesses sleeping.

Naomi patted her on the shoulder. "Don't be surprised, Yukiko-chan, Rukawa-kun's just like that. He's cold."

The girl nodded her head and took out her bento, taking in small portions as she completed her work.

Akagi sighed as he stepped into the principal's office yet again. He knew it was going to be something about one of the basketball members. Maybe about Sakuragi getting into yet another fight, or Rukawa falling asleep in class for the umpteenth time.

This was getting ridiculous.

He strolled in and sat down in the chair across the principal – a grey-haired man with deep wrinkles on his forehead. He was obviously worried and exhausted. His pupils were not as hardworking as they were concerned about being the top judo team or top basketball team. They never thought about being a top school.

A silence settled between them.

No one said a word.

It prolonged for a few minutes, until Akagi let out a heavy sigh.

"It's about one of the team members again, isn't it, Matsushita-sensei?"

"Hai Akagi. Demo, it isn't only about him…"

"Huh?"

"Rukawa has being falling asleep in class ever since the first day of school. And now that the exams are nearing, we'll need him to buck up or fall out of the team."

"What?!"

"Akagi, I'm sure that you know very well about the school rules and passing the class first."

"Hai, demo…"

"So now, after a meeting with his teachers, we have agreed to give him remedial classes on what he has missed for the past few months."

"I see…"

"But we're afraid that he'll fall asleep yet again, that is why we have adjoined the tables, in hopes of having someone to be able to wake him up during lessons."

"Oh…"

"A new student signed up just last Sunday and we have placed her in Rukawa class and specifically next to him."

"HER?"

"Hai. We wanted to place a boy there, demo it was a girl that joined, not a boy."

"What's her name?"

"Watanabe Yukiko. I'm sure you have heard of her."

"The girl who looks like Rukawa's twin."

"Hai. The teachers have observed her a noticed that she isn't like the rest of the school's female population. She isn't head over heels about Rukawa and doesn't seem very intrigued about his looks."

"Probably because she looks like him…"

"Watanabe is a very studious girl who has gotten the highest score ever for the entrance exams into this school."

"If she does so well, why isn't she in a top school?"

"Her family just moved here from another region due to her father's job transfer. Since Shohoku High is nearest to home, she joined this school."

"I see…"

"So what we need you to do is tell Rukawa about this make up lessons and how he will be turning up for it with Watanabe and Sakuragi. Also, remind both of them that they will be kicked out of the team if they don't start working harder."

"SAKURAGI? What on earth is that baka doing there?"

"Sakuragi has missed some very important classes and has been found constantly doodling over his books and daydreaming."

"Yare yare…I have to counsel both two dopes?"

"Aa. That's all you need to do. Basketball practices will commence as usual, and by the end of three weeks, we will tell you how well both have fared."

"Okay then."

"Arigato Akagi. You may leave now."

"Hai."

He stood up and left the room. This was such an awkward idea…

Yukiko clutched her books tightly as she opened the door to the rooftop.

Those guys had been bothering her again. She wondered why this happened everywhere she went. She had transferred five times already. Each in a single week or two.

That's why she came to the rooftop. Naomi had told her that half the entire male population refused to head up to the rooftop during recess. She didn't ask why though. She just wanted a safe refuge where it was quiet and peaceful.

Then she saw it.

She saw why everyone else probably didn't come up. But she didn't know why.

There in the middle of the wide rooftop, was a sleeping figure. This boy looked like a Year 3 and was very fair. It seemed rather strange for one who spent so much time in the sun to be this colourless. But then again, she was fair-skinned too even though she spent an enormous amount of time under the blazing sun.

She walked past the asleep being and towards the other end of the rooftop. There, she sat leaned against the wall and began reading her novel, glancing at her watch every two minutes or so as she didn't want to be late for class.

She didn't stop until it was about five minutes left before the bell rang. So she marked her page and closed her book. Straightening up after doing so, she noticed that the boy was still sleeping. She didn't like the idea of waking up such a tired person, but after all, how can you miss a class?

As she walked towards the asleep one, she noticed an untouched bento lying beside him. And she recognised it.

It was the bento, which Rukawa had taken just before he left the classroom.

"Did you just call me what I heard you call me?"

"Don't use my first name to call me ever again without my permission."

Why is he so cold anyway?

"I don't care who you are. But as long as you disturb my sleep, you shall pay."

Then she wondered if she should wake him up.

But it's Math next. You can't miss Math lessons…

So she gently prodded him awake, and called him as she did so. "Rukawa-kun. Rukawa-kun, wake up. Class starts in about three minutes. Rukawa-kun, wake…"

His eyelids opened suddenly and startled her.

He was pissed.

It was the second time that day that his sleep had been disturbed.

He sat up and turned to the person who had done so, ready to punch.

Then he stopped.

And blinked.

She had disturbed his sleep yet again.

First time was when she got the fangirls angry.

Now she had done so personally.

He noticed his uneaten bento and gobbled it down.

She just watched, still in shock.

Only when he had gotten up to leave did she snap back into reality.

"Ne, Rukawa-kun," she began as she got up as well and smoothen her skirt, "are you so tired that you sleep all the while in school?"

"…"

He turned to look at her before heading towards the door.

She followed persistently. And even as they descended the steps, she talked still.

"What do you do that causes you to be so tired? I've never met anyone who's like that…"

"Do you know how big a wrong it is to wake me up?" He turned to her and gave her a pissed-off look.

"Ah…iie…go-gomen ne, I thought it was better if I woke you up since the bell was about to…"

*RIIING*

"…ring." She laughed after doing so and grinned at him. "Funny things do happen, don't they, Rukawa-kun?"

"Aa."

Her constant chatter didn't stop even as they were walking through the hallways to class. It was kind of one-sided, except that he gave short responses to her words. Rukawa hadn't tried to get her off his back. Well, he had, but she wasn't reacting to it as expected.

She's different from the rest…

Many who passed stared daggers at the pair - the boys at Rukawa (some at Yukiko), the girls at Yukiko.

And when they had reached the classroom, and even when lessons were going on, Rukawa didn't sleep. It was impossible to do so when this girl and how she reacted to things was so intriguing.

And, for once in his entire Shohoku life, he paid attention to the lessons…and talked to a girl his age.

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How was it?

If you all wanna know why there's no Sakuragi point of views, they are not out yet.

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