Ahem, hello, minna. This is my first ever attempt at a Slam Dunk fanfic, so please be gentle. No, this is not yaoi, because I figured there's already more than enough out there. ^_^ I may have twisted the facts a bit, but it's to suit the fic.

Disclaimer: SD does not belong to me, though I would give anything to own it.

Chapter 1

Nobody on the team knew much about her, except that she was the tireless and driven Shohoku manager. That she was always there, ready with a word of encouragement, or armed with a deadly paper fan, depending on the situation. That she can be lovely when she wants to, and that she was being pursued by Miyagi.

"What is wrong with you, Shohoku? Get those spirits fired up!" she was yelling animatedly along the sidelines. Covered with a thin sheen of perspiration, she blew away a couple of hair strands that fell on her forehead.

Her scolding seemed to work. The freshmen started fighting back more roughly against the sophomores and the seniors. Sakuragi somehow managed to poke the ball out of Kogure's hands while the latter was trying to make a shot.

"Hahaha!" the redheaded, self-proclaimed tensai boasted. "Where would you freshmen be without my amazing attacks and plays?"

"It was out of bounds, d'aho," Rukawa reminded him silently.

"Shut up, kitsune. You weren't exactly helping!"

The two were about to engage in another major scuffle when the whistle was blown.

"Stop that right now!" she yelled half-angrily, half-amused from the bench. "Show me some real basketball, will you?"

Sakuragi's ears fumed, but he was more than willing to take up the challenge. He and Rukawa shot each other one last menacing look before going back to the game. The ball was already inbound, in the hands of jersey number 7.

"C'mon, guys! Let's teach these cheeky freshmen a bit of discipline!" Miyagi said, smiling.


It was then that Miyagi made a quick feint to drive past Sakuragi to score an easy lay-up.

"Nice one, Ryota!" she said, standing up to high-five with the blushing point guard.

When she returned to the bench to resume her seat, she glanced at the guy sitting beside her. "You should be playing with them. I can take over the refereeing, you know," she told him.

"I like the view from here."

He wasn't talking about the game, and she knew it. But before he could say another word, she inclined her head towards Akagi, who was standing not five feet away from them, functioning as the other referee.

"The captain might hear you," she warned, looking at him only from the corners of her eyes.

"So what?"

"Good steal, Ryota!" she shouted, purposefully ignoring her seatmate.

He couldn't take his eyes off her. He watched as she took out her fan to stop Sakuragi and Rukawa from blaming each other again. He narrowed his eyes, however, when he saw her smile her approval at the short point guard.

*She used to cheer for only me. Her words of support, her beautiful smile was for me alone…. *

But those were days long gone.

Nobody knew that the two of them had had a history in junior high school. That they had been together, a couple. It was his fault their relationship ended, but that still didn't stop him from wanting her back. He was surprised when he found out she enrolled in Shohoku High – maybe to follow him? maybe to taunt him? – he couldn't tell. But he was pleased, damn pleased.

The problem was, he was already a gangster by that time. He had quit the team because of a serious injury, feeling hopeless and certain it was too late to make things right. He had returned to make trouble for the team, and then there was Miyagi. He already hated the guy's guts, and when he had heard that the pesky point guard was interested in Ayako, he flew into an even worse rage. The others thought it was because of just basketball that he got into a bloody fight with Miyagi. Even Miyagi himself didn't know the real reason.

But she did.


"Don't do this to them… Don't do this to yourself," she pleaded after the first brawl. "I'm not yours anymore, Hisa-san. You have no right to… to…." she trailed off, her voice hurting and begging.

He closed his eyes and turned away, her words bringing him shame. He realized she was right.

"Talk to Anzai-sensei," she said as she turned to walk away. "He may be the only person who can bring back the Hisashi I know."

But he wasn't ready to give up his troublemaking just yet. It wasn't that simple. He clung to his tattered pride, but even this was taken away from him the day he broke down in the gym, bloodied and torn, in front of everyone, to ask for another chance.


After that, he seemed to redeem himself well. It was difficult getting back his rhythm, but he managed through hard work. Soon afterwards he blended into the Shohoku team like a lost piece of puzzle. He started getting along greatly with the others, including Miyagi, surprisingly.

Anzai-sensei had always been close to Mitsui, like a second father, but the old man never mentioned the issue regarding him and Ayako. Perhaps Anzai-sensei knew, perhaps he didn't.

As for Ayako, she was very happy for him and welcomed him back warmly. "Isn't it wonderful to have your dreams back?" she had asked him softly during one practice.

He was about to make a three-pointer, but he hesitated and stared directly into her eyes. "I don't have everything back, Aya-chan."

He never kept his feelings secret from her, but it was like an unspoken agreement between the two of them to keep the whole story a secret from the team. There would be too much to explain, not to mention tension and conflict with the team and Miyagi. Especially with Miyagi. And so Mitsui contented himself with longing glances at her, stolen moments such as the practice today, mouthing *I love you* to her when no one was looking, trying to walk her home if he beat Miyagi to it….

That was the hardest part. Seeing his friend make advances towards her and keeping a cool façade. At least Mitsui was comforted by the fact that Ayako never really treated Miyagi more than just another friend. Or was she just hiding it, the way the two of them were hiding their history from the team? Was she simply thinking of the possible consequences? Was she falling for Miyagi?

Mitsui watched her scribble something on her writing pad as the game between the freshmen and sophomores-seniors neared its end. He wanted to find out from her. He cursed himself, wishing he had the right to ask.


"Oy, Sakuragi! Better luck next time!" Miyagi bellowed from across the room as he flung his bag over his shoulders.

The bullheaded freshman grunted his annoyance, proceeding to mop the gym floor with renewed vigor. Rukawa was close by, looking glum and indifferent as usual.

"Close game."

Miyagi turned to see Mitsui come up behind him to watch the freshmen clean up the court. He grinned. The sophomores and seniors won by one point. Miyagi felt in fine form, remembering how Ayako had clapped her hands for him afterwards.

"Hey, I'm starving," he told Mitsui. "What do you say we grab something to eat?"

Minutes later, the two were walking, munching on some glazed donuts. They talked casually about the game, the players, the future of Shohoku. Mitsui admitted the freshmen were getting better and tougher by the day, though he would never say it to Sakuragi's smug face. Miyagi chuckled.

"By the way, I thought you were walking Ayako home."

"No, not today."

They were passing through the park and a short spell of silence fell over them.

"Did you notice how many times she cheered me on?" Miyagi asked finally, smiling as he finished off his food.


He playfully swatted a tree trunk as they walked by. "It felt incredible. Like I could do anything, even make a dunk."

Mitsui gave him a sidelong glance.

He snickered. "I know. I know. I guess you don't understand."

"What makes you think that?"

"Well, a nice, beautiful girl can always make a guy short of breath, can always make him imagine crazy things…." Miyagi plopped down on a park bench and cradled his bag in his arms. "I've never heard you mention a girl before. Not once."

Mitsui crossed his arms and looked down at him. "That doesn't mean I never had one."

"Oh, so there *is* someone."


Miyagi raised his eyebrows. In the next instant, he sat up straighter, his face sparkling with interest. "So who was she?"

"I'd rather not discuss it."

"Aw. Spill. Let's hear it, Mitsui-san."

"What for? I keep things like this private. I don't wear my heart on my sleeve, like *other* people."

This made Miyagi more eager. "Hmm," he reflected, tapping his forefinger on his temple. "A dark, mysterious girl from Mitsui's past that he refuses to talk about. Interesting…."

"Shut up, Miyagi," was all Mitsui said before walking away.

The short point guard just laughed to himself and ran up to catch up with his friend.


Whew. Minna, please don't kill me. The idea for this fic was conceived by me and a classmate of mine during an insane study break. Chapter 2 is on its way. But please, I need to hear first your reactions - violent or not – so that I can still make necessary changes. Thank you!!! -_-