Minna,

            Ok, second Slam Dunk fic. The first one is gone already…I made up a new penname so my nice and loyal friends won't review this out of either pity or obligation. I hope you guys like it.

            I'm a huge fan of Sakuragi, I don't know why. He's just so lovable (huh?) I guess. I don't think I'll be able to write a straight or yaoi story so I'm not thinking of making this a romance yet.

            I'm not a grammar teacher or graduate from teaching…blabla…expect mistakes.

            I don't know if there's another fic out there with the same plot, but I haven't read one like this yet…if ever, I've thought of this story a long, long time ago, even before I discovered fanfiction.net.

As usual, I don't own Slam Dunk. Oh, please give me feedback through your reviews.

Requiem for the Dead

By Xerxes

            He wondered why he was back there in front of his father's grave, crying his eyes out. Somehow, Anzai-sensei triggered the memory of his late father as he fell to the floor clutching his chest, face twisted with unimaginable pain. Everything seemed so surreal, as if he were transported back through time and was witnessing his father's last moments once again. Oyaji…

             Only this time, he was able to call for help.

            He clenched his fists and remembered the faces of those who prevented him from calling a doctor. Blind with desperation, he faintly recalled his own voice, pleading to them to let him go to save his father. Poorly aimed punches, a few well-placed kicks and jabs helped him get free. But he was too late. By the time the paramedics arrived at his house, his father was already sprawled facedown on the floor, without any sign of life. He was already dead.

            Someday, if he ever gets to see them again, he would have his revenge. The moment I get my hands on you, I swear, I'll-

            Calming himself down, he decided to go back to the gym and practice. The old man would be happy if he masters his shots. As usual, when walking along the streets, he scanned the crowd for the faces etched in his mind forever. Just in case.

            There he met his teammates, usually the starting members of Shohoku. Mitsui Hisashi, aka Missy, the former MVP and ex-gangster who had a knack for three-pointers. His closest buddy on the team, Miyagi Ryota whom he fondly calls Ryochin, was the ever-reliable point guard known for his incredible speed. And then, his all-time rival, the biggest obstacle of his lovelife, Rukawa Kaede, the Ice-Prince he had dubbed 'kitsune'. They helped him practice, but not without the usual bickering and mild fighting they enjoyed.

            "I'll guard you."

            "I'll pass the ball to you."

            "And I'll criticize your play."

            "Teme kitsune! How dare you insult the Tensai?! Take this!"

            They might seem like the team with the least chances of winning because of their lack of discipline and lack of teamwork, but in truth, they respected each other and worked with each other in their own way. They were more than a team. They were family.

            After years of inevitable defeats, Shohoku was reborn through the talents of its players who dedicated themselves to the sport. The list of players ranged from wannabe superstars to fearsome amateurs such as Sakuragi Hanamichi. Their uniqueness was found by some as their weakness, others as their trump card.

            Even without their coach, Anzai-sensei, they won against Ryonan, the formidable team they had once played against and lost to. Victory was largely because of Sakuragi who improved himself rapidly to 'defeat' Sendoh, the spiky-haired ace.

            Basketball had really taken over his life. He used to just get by the days with his friends, fighting with the occasional rival gangs and such. Now, he was driven to make progress and become one of the top players of Japan. He silently thanked Akagi Haruko, the sister of their terrifying captain, for having introduced him to the sport. A little crush ended as a burning passion for basketball.

            Mito Youhei, his best friend and one of those who stood by him in his times of hardship in junior high muttered to himself, "Well done Hanamichi. You've come a long way."

            The whole team went to the hospital to celebrate with their coach. They happily presented to him the plaque stating Shohoku as the No. 2 team in the whole Kanagawa prefecture.

            "We won! Anzai-sensei, look! We won! We're No.2!"

            The old man made no protests as they threw him up in the air, almost smashing into the ceiling of his room, to the horror of the nurse who was still asking them of their business inside the hospital. It was surely a night of celebration, or so Sakuragi thought. Anxious to prepare himself for the much awaited Inter High, he went back to school to practice.

            Walking along the dark alleys, he was to pass by his house from the hospital to get to the gym. Deciding to take a quick snack, he unlocked the front door. As usual, his mom was still busy working overtime at the office. Munching on the sandwich he made, he slung his bag over his shoulder, and held a basketball in his right hand when a picture caught his eye. It was a photo of him and his father on an outing. He smiled remembering those happy times. And then dark thoughts crossed his mind as the scene of his father's collapse replayed in his head. The fury was back, refusing to budge from its hold onto him. He remembered his promise to Anzai-sensei to never fight again. Basketball, I must think of basketball. For the Inter High.

            He was dribbling he ball slowly when he passed by the same street they had apprehended him.

            "Let me go! My father needs help! I have to get a doctor! Oyaji!"

            He plodded on, trying to block these thoughts. He tried to ignore those voices in his head, screaming the memories that plagued him. Get a hold of yourself Hanamichi. Don't lose it. Remember, you promised Anzai-sensei you'd never fight again. You promised Oyaji.

            It was then that his resolve to keep that vow crumbled. He let the ball slip out of his hands and roll into the shadows. Sakuragi's pulse raced as he saw those familiar faces that haunted him every single time he thought of his father. He had finally found them.

To be continued

Feedback please guys….onegai. Oh, beautiful and kind people, please tell me how many those 'guys' were. Three? Four? And how many when they came back. I can't make the second chapter until I know. Thanks.