Title: The Key
Status: 1/1
Author: Shi Lin (featherfur@hotmail.com)
Genre: Yaoi
Pairings: Rukawa + Sakuragi
Rating/Warnings: G (fluff)
Archive: SDficML, anywhere else as long as you ask first

Notes: For Natalie. A responseficlet to Arcina's RuHanaML QoM on how Rukawa would ask Sakuragi to move in. IMHO, Sakuragi's not as dense as you think. And I'm in denial, but who cares?

Standard disclaimers apply. Inoue Takehiko-sensei holds all the balls (and the characters) in Slam Dunk. This is a non-profit only fanwork.
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The Key
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a slam dunk fanfiction
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"Oi."

Sakuragi, enthusiastically stuffing his mouth with ramen, paused long enough to blink. "Mmrf?"

"Heads up." Something small whizzed towards him, glinting in the light. Sakuragi yelped and hurriedly fumbled to catch it; his hand closed around the object, barely preventing the shiny thing from dropping into his bowl.

"Bastard!" he growled at the dark-haired boy opposite him. A few people in the cafe turned in slight alarm. "What was that for?"

Rukawa swallowed a mouthful of noodles. "You've got eyes, haven't you?"

The redhead glared. But he opened the fist he'd clenched around the object, which felt oddly hard and cold.

A key?

He squinted. "It's a key."

His teammate grunted. "So you did pass grade school."

"Fox!"

"Idiot."

"Shut up! Why the hell are you giving me a key, anyway? Look after your own locker!"

Rukawa paused in the act of lifting his chopsticks to his mouth. "...You idiot."

"What's it *for*, then? Your bicycle? Your closet? Your piggy bank? As if I wanted any of those!" Sakuragi scowled at the small piece of metal before transferring his scowl to the other boy. "Oi - take it back!"

A muscle in Rukawa's cheek was twitching steadily. "It's a *house* key, do'ahou."

"I *said*, take it - eh?" Sakuragi blinked again. "'House' key?" He stared. "To your house?"

His only reply was an exasperated snort.

He examined the key. It lay smooth and cool on his palm, gleaming silver where the light caught it. He examined Rukawa, who was suddenly engrossed in slurping up ramen. He examined the key again. A house key. To the fox's house. Given to him by the fox. *Given* to him. And a ray of comprehension started to dawn.

It was funny how objects expressed things so much better than words sometimes.

"Rukawa - "

"If you don't want it, fine," Rukawa said shortly. Sakuragi noted that the fox wasn't looking at him. The pale face wore an expression that on anyone else but Rukawa Kaede would have been called Unease, otherwise known as Stark Blushing Embarrassment.

/Koitsu.../

It was almost cute, really.

"I'll keep it."

Rukawa looked up.

"I'll keep it," Sakuragi repeated, closing his hand around the key a second time. "A genius doesn't turn down free stuff." He gave the fox a crooked smirk. "When do I move in?"

The dark-haired boy shrugged, something very like relief flickering in his eyes. "When you like."

They finished their meal in companionable silence, as the traffic chugged past on the roads outside.

= owari =

Glossary: Koitsu = "this guy". _ (I'm sorry. It sounded so much better in Jap.)