A/N: Hi! I'm here again, Mwahahaha! Enjoy!
At first I posted this in M rated category, but I changed it. Because the default page only displays stories from categories K+ to T, most people don't usually visit Rated M because almost all of the stories there are lemon. This doesn't have lemon anyway.
MIND THE RATING PLEASE.
STANDARD DISCLAIMERS APPLY.
Warnings: OCCness, contents not suitable for kids, implied sexuality and violence.
Simple and Clean
Life was simple. Life was perfect.
His everything is perfect.
Then there was blood, gore, tears.
The next thing he knew, he was in an orphanage.
But he didn't care. When his family died, he died. The whole of him, body and soul.
An escape. It was the least he wanted. Freedom.
A wretched fourteen year old without parents and left with a lot of debts, he decided to work in fast-food chain. Eating, sleeping, living. So redundant.
He didn't even try to seek a cure for his pain. Until it healed all by itself. Or honestly, numbed and severed until it ached no more.
The bleeding stopped, but the wounds got infected until it ingested him.
Basketball. A thing left in him. The knowledge and talent in this sport was all that was left. Memories. The whole family played this sport and it was all that remained as an esteemed piece of cache. Soon it became hollow, empty. And it ate him further.
What would wake him? Who would make him come to life once again?
He didn't care. He long stopped searching for the answers.
He didn't know when it exactly started.
It was just an ordinary day. After basketball practice, he changed his clothes, walked out of the gym, went to the parking lot to ride his bicycle. He would then go straight home, eat, bathe and sleep. Or maybe, sometimes he puts eating and bathing out of the list.
He would've. Should've.
It's quite peculiar. Instead of heading home, his bicycle went on a different direction. A very unfamiliar direction. It went instead to a local music bar three blocks from his residence.
No need to ask the reason why. He himself didn't know. Either it was he was getting tired of the monotonous mantra going on his life everyday or he wants fuck out of his life. Or maybe he wants a drink and good sounds. Whatever.
He held a shot of beer. Scotch, on the rocks.
Then, a faint smell of cinnamon and vanilla entered his nostrils. A flash of pearly white skin.
"Do you mind?"
He slightly shook his head.
He felt the lithe form sit beside him.
"What brings you here?"
He didn't feel like talking.
He didn't feel like being laughed at either.
"Who are you?" he blurted out, rather impulsively. He doesn't usually ask for other people's name. But who cares?
"Do you need to know?"
The hint of tease in her tone made him look at her.
A woman, in early twenties, in a casual black dress. Fair skin, vibrant russet eyes, a healthy blush on her cheeks.
"Kaede Rukawa." She toyed with her hair. "Captain of Shohoku, I see?"
He shrugged it off.
Pause. "He's in Tokyo University, a sophomore in college."
"I'm one of Shohoku's present sponsors."
She held out a hand.
"I didn't know we have one." Doubt evident in his voice, refusing to accept the hand.
A soft chuckle. "My, my, Captain Rukawa, you're the most ignorant captain Shohoku had ever encountered. Who, do you think, sponsors all your games, your training camps, your uniforms? And not to mention, maintenance of your court? It's newly painted and renovated, right?"
She smirked at him and let her hand drop down.
"You already know me."
"What brings you here?"
"Why would you need to know?"
"I want to."
"Great drinks, cool music. Is that enough?"
"So, what are you up to?"
Long pause. "Basketball. Studying."
"That's too general."
"You haven't told me anything personal either."
"I'm an accountant working in a bank. I'm twenty two, five years older than you are. I live a few blocks away from here and I don't--" she emphasized her point by pointing on his glass. "Drink anything alcoholic when I'm underage."
He grimaced. "No one would know."
"Yes." She agreed amusedly. "So, what about you?"
"I'm into basketball and I hate girls. I hate it when they cling to me and follow me around. That's all you need to know."
She giggled. "You hate girls, but you're talking to me."
"I hate girls, you're a woman."
A small sigh escaped her lips and she lifted her hand to make her order.
And something caught his eye.
A glistening round thing on her finger.
A wedding ring.
The spontaneous meetings became more and more often. They bumped into each other everywhere, on the grocery, the mall, the market, in school, at the streets, and almost every night, at the pub.
She was indeed married. Married to Okada Takashi, an exceedingly rich businessman. He also learned that she is a volunteer of several orphanages and public institutions for the street children and the victims of calamities.
"Everyone deserves a fair taste of life." She told him once.
Each time they meet, he unfolds a new part of her, until he's eager to see her again. To unravel more, to see beneath her mystery.
But what followed wasn't what he could ever expect.
"What's this?" he lifted her arm in mid-air as he inspected the dark circle hovering on the milky surface.
"Oh, it's nothing." She nervously said and quickly hid the said part. She stretched her long sleeves as if to hide it from him.
He eyed her suspiciously still. "Takashi. He did this, didn't he?"
She fell silent.
"It was my fault; I was into my work too much."
His jaw tightened. "You let him do this?"
"It's just a small bruise." She let out a snigger. "And besides, it's just a petty argument between husband and wife. Nothing so serious."
He looked away, willing not to say anything more.
Who is he in her life anyway? Who is he to reprimand her?
It's just so--so wrong.
The Summer Breeze hotel. He decided one day to visit her in this place, where she said where she'd be in weekends. The place was owned by her spouse, a five star inn.
No hardwork was required in looking for the place. Situated in the heart of the city, it is a public landmark for all its elegance and beauty.
He entered the lobby area, to the halls, hands in his pockets.
Then he heard it.
The clinking sounds of the piano from a distance.
His feet dragged him closer.
Her hair slightly curled, her eyes intense in passion, her gentle, nimble fingers flowing gracefully over the notes, up and down. The audience gazed on with amazement.
The way the lights glimmered on her, the shapely bodice accented by the metallic blue dress, was breathtaking. On a moment he thought he wasn't blinking anymore.
As her eyes met his, he felt himself burn in her flame. And he willingly succumbed to it.
As the piece was finished, loud clapping could be heard. With appreciative eyes, she left the piano and sauntered over him. They started walking to the garden of the hotel, almost abandoned.
"I didn't know you would come." She smiled a gentle smile.
He nodded curtly. "Neither did I."
She tittered at his words. "So, how's life?"
"I see you play the piano."
She frowned. "You're changing the topic."
"You see me everyday; what's the point of that question?"
She smirked. "Smart boy."
His eyebrows furrowed. "I'm not a boy anymore."
"Oh, yes you are." She teased him on. "You're five years younger than I am, aren't you?"
"But I'm seventeen. Going eighteen. And I live by myself."
"Do you know how childish that sounds?"
"I'm not a boy."
She patted his head. "Okay, okay. Little Rukawa isn't a boy."
He glared at her and she laughed.
The familiarity soon intensified inside him. A mantra kept on replaying on his mind: She's married.
But the more he tries to resist her charm, the more he counts the reasons why he shouldn't do this, the more he's being drawn to her. All his reasons fly straight outside his window.
The more he's being tempted.
Her smile, here eyes, her voice, her face…they kept on haunting him even in his sleep and he can't do something about it.
She's like a fatal poison who's seducing him, instead of killing him.
'Yes, she's married. But is that enough?'
'She's married. She should be off-limits.'
'But her husband hurts her.'
'She doesn't feel the same way. What if she just laughs it off? Or worse, never see me again?'
'What if she does?'
The contradicting thoughts--he can't hold more of it.
He should stay out of her dimension, before all his rationale disappears.
But he can't. He can't.
The thunderous cheers of the girls almost pulled the gym down.
"SHUUUT UPPP!" veins popped on the red-haired self-acclaimed tensai. "Why does everybody cheer for that damned kitsune?"
A ball hit Sakuragi's face straight. Laughter could be heard.
"Why are you not looking at the ball, you idiot?" Mitsui angrily snapped at him.
The two were stopped by the cheering of the fan girls, now becoming even louder. Their eyes shifted to the raven-haired player.
The orange ball on his hand, his hair shook by the winds, his eyes darkening in pure determination.
Shouts filled their hearing as the sound of the ball crashing in the basket took place.
An uproar from the spectators.
The score was 52-51. In favor of Shohoku.
"Great play, man." Sendoh held his hand out for a handshake.
He just gazed at the hand and walked away.
Sendoh chuckled. "He never changed."
His feet went straight outside. He needs a break from all those fan girls inside the Shohoku basketball gymnasium.
Three claps reached his hearing.
"Sendoh is right." A familiar voice dropped on him.
He wiped his face. "Watching?"
"Yes, I am." She approached him. "I have the right to."
He didn't answer. Then, he took glimpse of the glimmering bracelet on her wrist.
"From Takashi?" he inquired, his face impassive.
She smiled. "Yes. His apology gift to me. He's really sorry for it."
He felt rage and jealousy build up inside him. Before he does anything he shouldn't, he walks away silently.
She didn't follow him further.
The darkness mixed with light, insanity to sanity, rational to irrational.
And the darker side of him, it's--it's winning.
His eyes opened wide as he saw her figure slumped in front of his apartment, her face dug into her arms, her hands hugging her knees. Her hair disheveled, obviously in a dreary state. Her blouse almost ripped apart, her skirt barely covering her lower body.
The next thing he knew, a warm stature was pressed onto his, arms clinging desperately at his neck. As composure came back to him, he quickly grabbed the sobbing girl in front of him, her knees buckling, ready to fall.
He looked down at her and raised her chin up.
Her face, her pale face was tear-streaked.
And blood was running on the side of her mouth.
He decided not to talk. She isn't exactly in the mode of talking, he observed while looking in her eyes, fear and shock evident. He stood up and walked to the kitchen, prepared coffee for her and some clothes.
She just sat on his sofa; tears stopped falling but eyes still in a daze.
His fists clenched tighter.
"It's Takashi. Again." He emphasized the word again.
She looked at him, her eyes filled with helplessness and meekness. "Please don't tell anyone."
He held both her shoulders and shook her slightly. "Why are you protecting him?"
She shook her head.
"You…" he paused, and turned away from her. "You love him that much." He said almost in a whisper.
It hurt him. Hurt him no end.
That despite of everything, she's still with that man.
"I don't know what to do. Where to go."
And he had to submit to the temptations and hold her, hold her and never let her go ever again.
He felt warm lips on his.
Lips, moving slowly, willing him to return the gesture.
And he did.
Tongues clashing, in a battle of dominance, lips parched, hungrily devouring each other.
Breaths harsh, they parted slowly.
Deep blue eyes met blazing chestnut ones.
A mutual deal sealed by a perfect kiss. A risk taken that could change--destroy both their lives.
Yet she--the way she looked at him made him play that dangerous game.
The game of betrayal.
The next nights were full of gratifying pleasure and emotional bonding. As their bodies tumbled, clothes lay carelessly on the floor. Limbs tangles in a fiery lock, sweat mingling and moans mixing into a hazardous flame.
Hair fanned out, she looked into his eyes, darkened with lust.
"I love you." She said in a hushed whisper, on his ear.
A moan answered her confession.
Melting and molding into one, thrusting anxiously inside each other.
Marriage wasn't for them. But this--this was enough.
Tears fell off his cheeks as she wiped them off curiously, marveling at how magical he looked when he cried.
"I love you." His hoarse voice coaxed her before she finally falls asleep.
Maybe it was his love, his love that drove him to go straight to her house in one of the most prestigious subdivisions he had ever seen.
He wanted her out. Out of the hell she had been going through.
But a vicious outcry welcomed him as he entered the door.
"Who's that bastard?! Tell me!"
"Takashi, don't do this! Please!"
"Tell me who he is, you bitch! You're going out with a student while I'm out!"
A loud slap filled his hearing as his eyes widened in realization.
"Do you think I'll let you out of this house if you date some seventeen year old nobody? Are you crazy?!"
His feet carried him to the disturbing noises. But the mansion was so big, where will he start looking?
A loud bang stopped him.
His heart stopped beating.
Then, a loud laughter plagued the hall, a maniacal one.
He turned to see a man in late twenties with brown hair in the middle of the hall, blood on his hands.
He ran past him and the sight that welcomed him made him forget about anything else.
A lone figure of a woman drenched in red, pure blood.
There are things better left untouched. The right may fuse into wrong, driving anyone into yield to its premise. The hues of the rainbow mix until the darkness swallows everything. The peculiar thing is, people keep on failing, making the same mistakes.
He learned that too darn well.
The memories that seemed so cherished may haunt us and time cannot erase some things. Reminisces. Facts.
Eating us until what's left was nothing.
And warped through the unending hole of loneliness.
"You shouldn't have left me."
Haruko, the new manager, ran to her teammates, crying.
"Haruko-chan? What happened?" Sakuragi ran to her, along with the other members.
She held a newspaper in her shaking hands.
Instead of answering she read the news out loud.
"A dead corpse was found in front of a tombstone at the local cemetery downtown, a body of a man, his face unrecognizable. The identified cause of death is a gunshot on the head. He was wearing a jersey with the logo of Shohoku high on it and…"
"…number 11 on it…"
This is a foolish fic.
If anyone doesn't understand, Rukawa saw Takashi kill Yuira. (the bang was from a gunshot) She is dead in the end. And the tombstone where he committed suicide (yes, suicide) was Yuira's.
Takashi is crazy, Yuira is dead and Rukawa commits suicide. Duh. I suck.
I hope you'd be nice enough to review.