Fandom: Slam Dunk

Summary: Everyone yearns for someone who knows just when to lie and when to tell the truth. Rukawa + Mitsui friendship fic. One-shot.

Title: Raindrops

Author: Hana Rui

Characters: Kaede Rukawa + Hisashi Mitsui

He did not really mean to think more of it other than a friendly gesture on the rookie's part. He wasn't even entirely sure whether Kaede Rukawa had said those words or looking into those soft blue eyes had only made him imagine his kouhai saying them.

On any other occasion, Hisashi would never have believed those eyes could be so expressive as to make him hear things. Or see things for that matter. But there was something not quite right about this day, and after having his heart broken like it was nothing more than a cheap childish accessory, he would not be surprised if his sanity was quickly settling into the same state of ruin.

For how else could he believe in the existence of a considerate Kaede Rukawa?

"Give me your hand, senpai," the younger guy repeated, still patiently holding out one pale hand to him.

Mitsui took another wary glance at those tender blues before finally placing his rough, brawny hand into his kouhai's. Long, pale fingers gently folded around his skin and an unfamiliar sensation began to cruise through his body as he became aware of the warmth of the other guy's palm against his own. It was soothing enough to ease the chill from the light drizzle that began pouring on them as if on cue. Then again, this was the first time he had felt this much comfort and assurance from merely holding another guy's hand.

Hisashi was jolted out of his mesmerized thoughts when the younger guy suddenly pulled the fancy ring he had in his middle finger off. Before he could gather up his senses and react appropriately, Rukawa had already tossed the trinket into the river. He gasped and gaped at the slight ripple his ring created on the surface of the water as it merged with and disappeared into the ones spawned by the gradually increasing rain.

"Oi, you bastard!" Rage surged through Hisashi's nerves like wildfire. He pulled away from Rukawa and poised his fist to punch his face only to stop halfway when the younger guy did not even make a move to evade his wrath. He let his hand fall to his side and made up for the incomplete attack with words ranted out in vile. "What the hell did you do that for?!"

"I didn't think it should mean anything to you anymore," Rukawa replied calmly, turning his glance to the other side of the river.

Hisashi looked on inquiringly at his kouhai, trying to voice out the question to an answer he already knew.

"I was there, senpai. I heard everything."

The younger guy's words instantly brought back memories of the past afternoon into his mind. A montage reel of betrayal, lies, and hurtful brabbles that bore down on his inability to satisfy his girl's pricey whims. He had watched her walk away with a guy gilded in gold and branded fabrics. He had watched her smile before getting into an impressive foreign car.

He had watched her as his heart broke apart, piece by painful piece, and she never once looked back.

"It hurts," he choked on the bitter lump in his throat, too agonized and broken to bother about the tears wantonly slipping down his cheeks. He fell to his knees and sobbed without abandon. "It fucking hurts!"

"It should," his kouhai quipped matter-of-factly, slumping down on the grass beside him and turning his face into the rain. "You were stupid enough to fall in love."

For a moment, Hisashi just stared on at the seemingly impassive guy, his mind too stunned to process the straightforward reply. But he soon realized this was just like the Kaede Rukawa he knew—the tactlessly honest Ice Prince who never bothered with bullshit. The kind of friend who cared enough to dangle the truth in front of his face so he could quickly come to terms with its reality and cry, scream and hurl his wrath around until he could finally move on.

The former MVP couldn't help smiling through his tears.

"Man, you really are a heartless jerk," he muttered, turning his own face up into the rain to wash away the remnants of his temporary lapse into weakness. Beside him, Rukawa merely grunted.

A companionable silence settled between them for a few minutes, during which their gazes mutually fell upon that spot in the river where the fancy trinket from his past had vanished forever.

"I should feel embarrassed about you seeing me cry—"

"I did not see you cry, senpai," the younger guy cut him off softly. "It was the rain."


Note: It's been ten years since I became a member of this site. Ten years since I found a way to celebrate my love for both writing and anime. Although I may be ten years older, and although that love may have seemed to wane in the recent years, these are passions that will never be forgotten. Alas, I have decided to break my hiatus and take the titles otaku and fanfiction writer seriously once again.

Thanks very much for dropping by! :)