Disclaimers: Slam Dunk and all mentioned characters are not mine. This fanfic is for entertainment purposes only; I'm not getting paid for this.

Notes: This is a Sendoh+Rukawa fanfic, but don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Rukawa+Hanamichi all the way! (I am the last time I checked anyway) ^-^ Funny how my first SD fic had to be SenRu. *shrugs* Oh well, comments and suggestions are very much welcome! This is my first attempt on a yaoi, and a first attempt on an SD fic, so bear with me. Thank you for reading!

Sendoh found himself sprawled on the floor, with only the high roof of Shohoku High School's covered court meeting his tired eyes. He was trying to catch his breath, shutting his eyes for a momentary rest, only to open them again to look at his companion.

Rukawa was just as tired as he was, sitting up just a few meters away from him, just as breathless. His narrowed blue eyes were cast down on the floor, his fists clenched at his sides. He was trembling, his thick brows were furrowed together in a furious glare.

He and Rukawa had been having these late practices together ever since the Inter-High games, both deciding that the other would be the perfect match for himself. Although Rukawa was still as distant as he was before, Sendoh had somehow learned how to get close to the other boy without getting pounded like what Sakuragi always ends up in.

Oi, Kaede, daijoubu? Sendoh sat up to look at him, peering underneath the thick dark strands to look into the other boy's eyes.

He met silence.

He knew he should be used to these constant silent replies Rukawa gives him, but sometimes he wished that the boy would try to acknowledge his questions with even a small gesture. But no, none of the kind ever graced him. Rukawa would always ignore him in that annoying nonchalance he always carried with him.

But Rukawa, he wasn't himself that day. He may be silent, and he may be ignoring him again, but God he was trembling. Sendoh tried again.

I lost.

Sendoh was taken aback, the low tremor in Rukawa's voice surprising him. He stood up to move closer to the younger boy, laying a hand on his strong shoulder as a sign of comfort. We get our shares of victory, you win sometimes, don't you?

came the cold reply. A pale hand lifted up to shove away Sendoh's own, and guided the younger boy to stand up despite his tired state. Rukawa looked down at the Sendoh, who was still crouching in front of him, a look of concern in his usually bright eyes. Most of the time, you win.

Sendoh watched as Rukawa walked away, the high screeching of his shoes serving as the only sounds that echoed through the court. His eyes furrowed even more as he held himself up to stand, abruptly following Rukawa to the locker room. Kaede, are you ill? You don't look all right.

But, as before, silence met him. Sendoh had the sudden urge to stomp over the pale boy and smack him right on the face, ask him, no, beg him to say something that could actually count as a comment or a reply. But of course, who else hasn't crossed over that thought before? Rukawa was like that towards everyone, so what was he so upset about?

But as he watched Rukawa disappear into one of the shower rooms, he knew exactly why. He wanted to be different for Rukawa, he didn't want to be just like everybody else for the other boy. For some reason, he wanted to be special, to be someone Rukawa can go to if ever something was bothering him. What was it with this guy that he makes it look like he preferred being alone? And what was it with this guy that makes him a subject of interest for Sendoh?

The soft hush of water from the shower hissed through the room, soothing his frenzied thoughts and questions about the black-haired beauty that was Rukawa Kaede. He stared at the unturned knob of his own shower, his thoughts suddenly blank.

Ne, Kaede.

Except for the sprinkling rush of the water on the tiled floor, there was silence. But Sendoh knew he was listening.

Is there anything you really like to do except for basketball? he asked, finally deciding to take of his own clothes to get himself cleaned up as well. He sighed, turning the metal knob as he waited for God knows what from his supposed to be companion. He shook his head. Having Rukawa as a is pretty much similar as having a metal pole as a best friend.

Sendoh's eyes snapped open, disbelieving the fact that he actually had a reply. But he kicked his shock away lest he wanted to get rid of the little start of a between the two of them. He straightened up, looking at the tiled wall of the shower from where Rukawa was on the other side. Oh? So, what do you do when you're not playing?

Silence. But he waited.

Baka Rukawa, do you think one-liners are cute?

But he dared not say it out loud, he knew Rukawa would just ignore that comment. But God, a three year old can make a better conversationalist than he would be. Can there ever be anything that could make this guy talk?

Why do you sleep so much anyway? he asked, keeping the conversation going as far as Rukawa's limit could go. He had nothing much to say anyway, he just wanted to assure himself that he wasn't speaking to a piece of thing that doesn't know how to talk.

For basketball, the sound of running water lessened, only to be replaced by the gentle rustling of clothes.

Sleep makes you tall, if it isn't known to you.

What the hell?!

Sendoh shook his head. That's it? There's no more?

He could hear a low, irritated grunt from Rukawa. Obviously, the younger male wasn't used to talking much, more than three sentences anyway. What else is there to do?

Typical answer, as usual.

Sendoh rinsed out the remaining soap from himself, spreading the warm water over his skin before deciding to turn the water off as well. He reached for the towel, drying his hair momentarily before wrapping the towel around himself. I don't know. Find another hobby or something, he replied back. A thought then crossed his mind. If you don't do anything in your spare time, how come you know how to ride a bicycle?

A low grunt sounded again behind the shower stall beside him before the sound of the lock rang through his ears. I'm not that dumb.

You do know how to eat, don't you, Kaede?

He expected Rukawa to ignore that, and that was exactly what the young man did.

The soft thud of Rukawa's bare feet on the cold floor was the only thing he heard, before a gym bag was suddenly tossed inside his own stall. It hit him on the head, and fell as a heap on the wet floor. Ouch! Careful where you're aiming at, Kaede!

Sendoh frowned. It hit me on the head, baka!

Another grunt. Perfect aim, if you ask me.

What's this? Rukawa's insulting him? Oh, hail to the gods, hail to the seven seas! Rukawa actually spoke when he didn't have to! Guess the kitsune's tongue isn't as useless as he thought it was.

Sendoh rolled his eyes. Despite the miracle, the bag did hit him pretty hard. He muttered a muffled, thanks anyway before he bent down to pick up his bag, He took his clean clothes and dressed up. He waited for anything else, but only the rustling of his own clothes sounded around the room. What? He's done already?!

He shot an eyebrow up, looking through the opaque glass door of his shower stall.

Silence. Yes, he was definitely done, it almost made him wonder how Rukawa could put his clothes on so quickly. But he almost dreaded it though, much as he wanted to ask him, Rukawa wasn't the type who'd wait up for him. Sendoh sighed, putting on the last piece of clothing on and emerged out of his own stall.

Only to see him still there.

He blinked. Still here? he asked, his voice not even hiding his surprise.

Rukawa was sitting on the low benches of the locker room, looking up at him with those cold eyes he always wore. He still waited as Sendoh tried to fix his things.

Sendoh, had had enough of it. Hey, are you planning to keep that mouth of yours shut the rest of your life? he asked suddenly, almost glaring at the other boy.

Rukawa's expression didn't change, still watching Sendoh's movements as finally closed the zipper of his bag.

Definitely had enough. Speak up, Rukawa! What the hell are you trying to do anyway?!

Rukawa frowned, but still kept his silence.

Sendoh dropped his bag, his patience wearing thin. He wasn't exactly the quick-tempered one, but who could blame him? It was Rukawa Kaede he's with, those who wouldn't understand would definitely be mad. He stomped over to where the other one was and pushed him to a wall, clutching his neckline in his fists as he glared at him. Speak up!

Rukawa tried to push him away, but Sendoh was beyond moving. What's with you? He asked, only a single brow shooting up as his expression.

I'm sick and tired of having to feel like a fool here, Kaede! Talk to me!

'Ahou, I am talking to you.

No, I mean REALLY talk! Talk and make sense, baka! Okay, so what if Rukawa could barely breathe, he was past understanding at the moment. He had spent all his time for this guy, someone he grown to love over the past years. Yes, he had come admire him as well despite his undesirable attitude, but that was what he was trying to fix at the moment, wasn't it?

Rukawa tried to push him away, but barely had a breath caught up in his throat as Sendoh pushed him back again. came a muttered curse, as his pale hands rested atop Sendoh's own, trying to struggle free. Sendoh you've gone mad!

No, I've been mad in the first place for ever putting up with you!

Rukawa frowned and looked away. Completely ignoring Sendoh, again, he let out a gruff sigh.

Sendoh was still glaring at him, but decided to let go. Why do I even bother?

Rukawa walked pass him and over to pick up his bag. He pulled its strap and settled it on the low bench, his back to Sendoh. Yeah. Why.

Sendoh watched him start to walk away. He sudden felt uneasy, well, more uneasy than usual when he's with Rukawa anyway. He sighed. Maybe because you're a challenge. Maybe because you barely talk, which kind of gives me the full authority to yap all I want, Sendoh started ticking things on his fingers, barely noticing whether or not Rukawa was listening, or even if he was still there. He sighed again. Or maybe because I loved you, that maybe I thought I might have the chance to get to know you.

Rukawa went still, his body stiffening as he heard those words. He had always known Sendoh to be the blunt one, but he didn't imagine he could be that blunt. He turned around, looking into the taller man's eyes to see if he said it as a joke.

Sendoh just looked back at him, his tired eyes meeting with Rukawa's tired, blue ones. He raised an eyebrow. What? It's true. Only a mad person can ever put up with you for so long, he said, a slight smirk lighting up his features. Although I was even crazier than I thought. I'm in love with you. He started to laugh.

Rukawa winced. Those words had hit him pretty hard. He had always grown fond of Sendoh, though he himself would try to deny that fact. He had always found himself believing everything Sendoh said. The guy was practically his bible, never doubting anything that came from the man's lips. He had always wondered why Sendoh had such effect on him. But as he watched the other man go silent again, he knew why.

Sendoh had stopped laughing. He looked back at Rukawa, who had finally decided to move. The spiky-haired player stood still as Rukawa made his way to him, still as Rukawa grabbed his shirt and pushed him back to the wall. Very similar to what he did a while ago, only this time, it was the other way around. Very well, if Rukawa was angry with him for what he said, for what he felt, it's better than being ignored.

He waited for the blow, the pretty much awaited fist that would come face to face with him sooner or later. But none came. He was only met with cold blue eyes that seem to shine with a different light. Rukawa wasn't even glaring at him. Sendoh was confused.

Soft, but bruising lips met his own in a forced kiss, Rukawa's hand on his shirt pulling him even closer. Sendoh stiffened beneath the other boy, his eyes wide in surprise as Rukawa's body crushed him up against the wall. What was he doing?!

Rukawa pulled away abruptly, but still holding Sendoh just in case he'd try to get away.

Sendoh however, was still too much in shock to move. He stared wide-eyed at Rukawa, the boy's eyes still unchanged, still cold, still distant. But he was looking at him now, not anymore into space as he usually does.

Guess you're not the only mad guy here, huh? came that cold voice he had grown accustomed to. Blue eyes were delving on his own, that Sendoh couldn't help but laugh at the irony. Rukawa furrowed his brows, glaring at him yet again.

He tried to stop laughing, but the snickers just kept pouring out. You're not kidding, are you, Kaede? He asked, looking down at the younger man as he let out a grin.

Rukawa let him go and started to pick up his bag again, his eyes resting on the clean court. He started towards the door, but not until he turned back at Sendoh, who was still standing there on the corner. A tiny sign of a smirk graced his face, much to the surprise of the other man. One on one?

Sendoh gasped in mock horror. You're kidding, right? We just got cleaned up!

Rukawa looked at him incredulously and shook his head as he looked at the court again. Fine, your loss, he then turned to look at Sendoh. I guess we should scratch the idea of sharing the shower too, I guess. He then left.

Sendoh's eyes widened. My, they haven't even gone farther than a kiss and Rukawa's already thinking of that?!

He grinned and ran after the other guy. Oi, matte! I changed my mind!!!