Hi guys, did you miss me?

I really felt guilty about my sudden disappearance, but I really was forced to. Everything happened so quickly, the war, my exams, all these annoying sirens and all the lies and hatred that everyone is showing to us. It's really making me so angry and fury…so I decided to put all my anger into action and Walla a very tragic chpt of the first night *grins*

Anyway, I doubt that any next update will be soon, 'coz we'll start going to school this Saturday after one week emergency holiday and I know that we'll be so compressed so we can make up for it…but I'll try to write as much as I can.

Anyway, returning to school, means that everything is ok and under control here in Kuwait…so no need to worry.

Well…I babbled enough. Now with the story.

A small warning before you read, Sen here is kinda….well, read yourself, but hey no flaming in public…

If u wanna flame, send it privately to my mail…I'm ok with that. It's: miss_hm@yahoo.com or hana_heart@hotmail.com

Please read and review…and by the way, this chpt is NOT edited so expect lots of grammar and spelling mistakes.

First Night

Chapter 6: Big Dilemma

Sendoh walked through the silent dark streets of Shohoku, mind-absent. Pain as sharp as a knife was stabbing his heart as Rukawa's painful voice echoed through his brain endlessly, adding more torture to his already agonized soul.

FLASHBACK

"I don't to eat" Rukawa sobbed "I don't want to do anything *sob* leave me alone"

Ayako sighed deeply "Kaede…you'll kill yourself that way…how can your body heal your wounds, if you didn't eat? Oh please Kaede…please…eat"

"I wish I die, Ayako" Rukawa sobbed harder "I wish I die so I can escape from all this torment…from this selfish cruel world" with that Rukawa burst into bitter crying.

END OF FLASHBACK

Sendoh shook his head violently; trying to erase every thing…Rukawa's words had hurt him deeply in the heart…

//He hates me…he doesn't want even to live……with me// Sendoh shut his eyes as a tear fell down his cheek //why Kaede? Why? Why you're torturing yourself and me like this? What happened in that damn castle?//

FLASHBACK

Sendoh paced the living room nervously. It was noon already and still no sign of Maki coming back with his lover.

He ran towards the door as soon as he heard loud knocks on it. He saw Fujima kneeling infront of him, catching his breaths.

"Fujima, where's Maki?" Sendoh asked impatiently.

"Don't worry" Fujima replied, entering the house "some villagers have spotted him in the way of the village. He'll be here with Rukawa in no time"

"Kaede!!!" Sendoh asked anxiously "did you see him? How is he? Is he all right? Speak up Fujima"

"Calm down, Sendoh…I did not see him…I came to inform you about Maki's arrival as soon as I've been informed."

At this moment, the two heard another knocks on the door. Send opened the door and gasped in horror at the sight of his lover carried by Maki. Blood was covering his cloths and face.

"OH MY GOD" Sendoh took the unconscious Rukawa from Maki's hands "WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO HIM??"

Fujima looked terrified at Rukawa's appearance.

"I'm going to call Kogure" with that he left as fast as he could.

Sendoh took Rukawa to their bedroom and laid him on the bed.

"Kaede" he called softly, his tears were forming in the corner of his eyes "Oh Kaede, please talk to me…please"

Sendoh took Rukawa's tunic off him. His eyes widened as the sight of Rukawa's right side greeted him.

"OH MY GOD" he gasped "OH MY GOD…NO, KAEDE"

***

Meanwhile, Maki was waiting in the living room. He opened the door as the others arrived to the house.

"WHERE IS KAEDE?" Ayako rushed into the house, "WHERE IS HE?"

"He's with Sendoh in their room" Maki answered.

Ayako was about to go when Miyagi stopped her "Calm down Aya…Kogure must see him first"

"But I'm so worried about him…haven't you heard what Fujima said?" Ayako sobbed.

"Ayako, let me see him first them I'll let you see him…ok?" Kogure placed a comfort hand on Ayako's shoulder "It'll only…"

"Sendoh" Koshino exclaimed. Everybody stunned at the sight of their friend, getting out of the bedroom with blood stained clothes and puffy red eyes. Ayako sobbed louder as her imagination started to flash her horrible images of her dear brother.

"You can go and see Kaede, Kogure" Sendoh's voice was dangerously quiet. Kogure just nodded and disappeared into the room.

Sendoh turned and looked at his friends; His eyes scanned his friends' faces until they lend on Maki. They kept staring at Maki, making the latter feeling uncomfortable.

"Get out of my house" he said with same dangerous quiet voice.

"Sendoh…" Koshino tried to reason his friend but Sendoh cut him off with his hand.

"Get. Out. Of. My. House." Sendoh said tears were rolling silently down his cheek.

Maki lowered his heed and was about to get out when Koshino stopped him.

"NO, Maki…stay" he turned to Sendoh "Sendoh…I know that you're feeling terrible right now…but Maki is not the one to blame"

"NOT THE ONE TO BLAME?" Sendoh outburst "HE WAS THE ONE WHO TIED KAEDE TO THAT DAMN HORSE…HE GAVE AWAY MY KAEDE TO THAT LORD TO HURT HIM"

"Sendoh…Maki was forced to tie Rukawa…He hadn't any choice. Lord Sakuragi had ordered him…" Fujima tried to stand for his lover.

"SHUT UP, FUJIMA…YOU'RE THE LAST ONE WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO SPEAK" Fujima felt so hurt at Sendoh's words.

"THAT'S ENOUGH, SENDOH" Koshino lost his patience completely "You're accusing Maki for what happened to Rukawa…what about you? Why didn't you protect him? As far as I could remember you had stood motionless while lord Sakuragi took him away? Why did you give up him so easily if you really loved him?"

"STOP IT" Ayako shouted between her tears "KAEDE IS IN THE NEXT ROOM HEARTBROKEN AND YOU HERE ARE EXCHANGING INSULTS AND ACCUSATIONS…SHAME ON YOU ALL"

Miyagi hugged her tightly as she continued to cry loudly.

"Sendoh…I'm sorry" Koshino said softly. Everyone looked at Sendoh, who was staring at Koshino in disbelief. His tears were falling more and more and his sobs were getting more audible.

"I…I…I…" he tried to choke words out his mouth, but he couldn't…everything in him was paralyzed. Koshino was right. He hasn't protected Rukawa. All he did was standing silently as the lord took his love away…

"Sendoh" Maki said, cutting his thoughts "I know that you blame me for what happened to Rukawa…but I want you to be sure about one thing…what happened is hurting me the same way it's hurting you. You and Rukawa are my friends…and what hurts you, it also hurt me"

Sendoh looked at Maki then lowered his head.

"I'm sorry" he whispered, "I'm the one to blame…I failed in protesting Kaede, and now I'm trying to put the blame on you"

"Sendoh" Miyagi said, "what happened had happened…trying to figure out whose fault was won't change anything…let's forget about the whole thing and concentrate on one thing…Kaede's well being…'coz that's what really matters now"

At this moment, the door of the house opened and the warm face of Anzai appeared from behind.

"Hooohooo…I see that we have guests"

"Grandpa" Sendoh said, after he had introduced everybody to his grandfather "Kaede has returned"

"Where is he now, my boy?"

"He's in our room…Kogure, the herbalist, is taking care of him"

A moment later, Kogure got out of the room. Everyone surrounded him the minute they spotted him walking towards Sendoh.

"Well…how is he?" Mitsui asked.

Kogure smiled a flat smile "He'll be fine…he's resting now. I've stopped the blood and bandaged his wounds…but he won't be able to move until they are completely healed…and Ayako, you can go and see him now…but don't wake him ok?"

"Ok" Ayako barely whispered. Supported by her husband, she walked towards her brother's room and the two entered the room.

***

That night, Rukawa regained his consciousness, much to everyone's relief. However, the way he had reacted towards his husband broke the heart of everyone was present.

Ayako, who was watching over her brother, was about to doze off, when she heard a soft moan coming from him. She went near the bed and flushed a warm smile at the sight of her little brother's open eyes.

"Ayako?" Rukawa asked weakly…his eyes were still felt heavy and his body was still in great pain.

"Yes, my dear brother…It's me, Ayako" she sat at the edge of the bed "Don't worry…you are safe now"

"Where am I?"

Ayako smiled "in your home, my dear…in your safe home"

"Home?!" Rukawa whispered, a tear made its way down his cheek "How much I missed it…I felt that I have been taken away for centuries…not for one night"

"Oh, Kaede" Ayako took her brother's hand in hers and squeezed tenderly.

"Ayako, where am I?" Rukawa felt that he was at edge of crying "This isn't my room…and I can't hear the noises that come from the inn…please tell me where am I?"

Ayako smiled sadly. She can only imagine what her little brother was going through.

"It's Sendoh's house…your new home, Kaede"

"Akira" Rukawa whispered. His vision was getting blurry due to the tears that were gathering in the corner of his eyes. He looked away from Ayako and whispered "Akira's house it's not my home…I don't deserve to be part of his family anymore…I want to return to the inn with you and Ryota-oniisan"

"Kaede…as much as I hate to admit it, but this has become your home now…although our house will always be open for you, it hasn't become your home anymore"

"Say that you're ashamed of me…and you don't want me at your house anymore" Rukawa snapped, his sobs became harder and harder, as he buried his face into the pillow.

"NO" Ayako screamed in horror, she took Rukawa into her lap "Kaede, nor I or Ryota would be ashamed of you…Kaede, you're my only brother…the only family I had…I would never be ashamed of you"

"Don't leave me, Ayako" Rukawa whimpered, burying his face in Ayako's lap "I need you. I need your love. I need your care. I need your warmth"

Ayako smiled between her tears. She stroke Rukawa's silky hair tenderly "I would never leave you my little Kaede. I would never leave you, my sweet angel"

"Kaede?!!!" a voice barely audible was heard from behind. The two siblings looked up to see their friends standing at the entrance of the door, with Sendoh in the front.

Rukawa and Sendoh stared at each silently for few minutes, each not knowing what to say or do. Then Rukawa looked away.

"Leave me alone" he whispered finally.

"Kaede" Sendoh walked towards the bed.

"Don't come near me" Rukawa snapped, trying hard to control his fears "I don't anyone to be near me…expect of my sister"

Sendoh felt as is a sharp knife stabbed his heart at Rukawa's words. Biting his lip, he walked outside the room silently with the rest of his friends.

END OF FLASHBACK

Sendoh wiped the tears that flooded from his eyes. He was hurt…hurt because Rukawa didn't trust him, didn't relay on him, didn't share his pains with him, and maybe didn't truly love him.

A loud laugh cut Sendoh's deep thoughts. Focusing on his surrounding, Sendoh frowned at the place. He was so distracted that he didn't realized where his feet were taking him. He looked at the dirty old building infront of him, deepening his frown.

Why did he come here again?

He asked himself repeatedly. He had never been here for a long time. Two years to be exact…ever since he met Rukawa and fell in love with him. Besides, this wasn't a place for a respectable guy to be in…and he knew that very well, for his friends tried so hard to pull him out of this place when he used to come here after he broke up with his last girlfriend.

//I should go// he turned to leave, but stopped when another laugh echoed in the silence of the night. Sendoh took a deep breath, trying to control the urge to run inside the old tavern.

//I'm a married man…being here is not proper. AT ALL//

~Why is not proper, Sendoh?~ a voice inside his head argued ~it's only a tavern. Don't you want to see your old friends here~

//They are NOT my friends…they are bunch of drunk filthful guys who have no manners nor dignity//

~But that wasn't your opinion two years ago~

//two years ago, I was blind with pain…now I had someone to love and take care of…I shouldn't to be here…this is a brothel, what the people say if they knew that I spent the night with whores instead of my husband…no…I can't betray him…I love him//

~You are pathetic, Sendoh…don't want to spend the night with whores, right? *chuckles* then what do you call your supposed husband? Isn't he also a whore?~

//Shut up…don't say a word about Kaede…he is the purest person I've ever met…in the inside and in the outside//

~I'm sure he is. He had proved it quit clearly two weeks ago…I bet that lord had enjoyed his purity too~

//Shut up// Sendoh shook his head violently, tears started to roll down his cheeks.

~What Sendoh? Isn't this the truth? Your 'beloved' husband is no longer the 'purest' person you ever knew. He is tainted forever and he'll carry his shame for the rest of his life…a shame that disgrace your family name. At least here they admit of what they do, but him…he hides under his covers and in his sister lap and tried to act as if he was still innocent. He even doesn't trust you to stay near him…he doesn't love you. Go Sendoh, go and find someone who truly loves you, remember Rosica? I bet she still there waiting for you ~

//Rosica? Still waiting for me? But how can I return to her…she's a whore…my reputation will be ruined forever if the people knew about her…and my grandpa what will he think if I betrayed Kaede?//

~Then no need for the others to know if you were so afraid of them and for Kaede, I think he betrayed you first~

//No, he didn't…he tried to save my life//

~Do really believe that, Sendoh? You're so naïve…he wanted that lord…or why do you  think he's keeping you away him~

//NO…impossible…Kaede loves me//

~So do you believe…believe me Sendoh…he wanted that lord and so he acted as if he was trying to save you to be with him and now he's trying to shove you away from his path. My advice to you is to go back to Rosica, there you'll find the true love you seek~

With that Sendoh turned and entered the old building.

***

Sakuragi lied on his bed, staring at the ceiling above him. His thoughts were focused on his conversation with Youhei awhile ago.

//What did Youhei mean by bittersweet curse? I didn't understand anything. And that sad look in Youhei's eyes what does it mean? *sighs* I don't understand myself either…I feel that something is missing from me, yet I don't what?// he got up from his bed and walked towards the window. Opening it, the night cool breezes crease his face softly. His eyes gaze towards the horizon, in Shohoku village's direction. Icy-blue eyes appeared infront of him gazing back at him.

T.B.C.

OK…I must been really depressed to write all these stuff *sighs* I can't believe I wrote all this nonsense…oh in case you're wondering the Sen conversation is suppose to be between Sen and his devil inside himself…you know the tiny voice that tells you to do all the bad things…anyway, hope u like this chpt…and please review and tell me if you find any grammar and spell mistakes which I knew they are lot…

One more thing, I have a very small fic challenge…

It's a cross-over fic between Lord of the rings and Slam dank.

Any anger is accepted though I prefer if it was Yaoi and have some romance with lots of angst.

Any pairing is accepted though I prefer if it was SenRu and Aragon/Legolas (they are the famous yaoi pairing in LOTR *grins*) but please DON'T pair Legolas with Gimli…I beg you…anyone but that dwarf. 6__6

Any length is accepted.

Must put some elvish phrases in the fic…if you want I can provide them for you.

Can anyone do it?? ^__~ I'll wait for your replies on the quest…