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Love and Betrayal Chapter 3


“Hi guys sorry for being late!” greeted a rather sheepish Sakuragi as he made his way to his teammates. Passing by the other team’s bench on the way, he was surprised to see a spiky looking hairdo, knowing only one person who sports that weird hairstyle, he stopped midway and greeted the taller player. “Oi Sendoh… haven’t seen you around. How have you been?”

Sendoh was quite surprised at how Sakuragi has greeted him. Something has changed him and he knew just ‘who’ it was. “Just fine Sakuragi, I just came from America. I was offered a basketball scholarship there by one of the colleges.”

“Really? Rukawa also got an offer after we graduated but he turned it down. [Stupid kitsune] But don’t get me wrong, he can still beat you anytime.” He proudly said of his kitsune.

“I know. I was the one who recommended him to my coach.”

“HUH?” Said a surprised Sakuragi. He had often wondered why Rukawa did not take the scholarship.

*** Flashback ***

“But Kaede, it’s a great opportunity.” Questioned a confused redhead to his boyfriend for the 2nd time that night.

“Yeah I know. But I am not accepting it.” Stated an already sleepy Rukawa lying on his side of the bed.

Not really understanding why, the redhead persisted on his line of questioning, “but why?”

“Should there be a reason, ‘aho?”

“Yes and don’t call me ‘aho!” exclaimed a slightly irritated Sakuragi.

Frustrated of not being able to sleep, he turned to his boyfriend and said, “Well, if you must know… I did not accept it coz’ I don’t want to be away from you.” He smiled when he saw his lover blushed at that remark. [Cute] Raising his head and leaning forward, he gently nipped his Hana’s nose and proceeded on kissing those waiting red lips. He felt Hana wound his arms around his neck, tugging him closer to deepen the kiss. The letter of scholarship dropped to the floor and completely forgotten.

***** End Flashback ****

Sakuragi’s face burned from the memory and was only brought back to the present when a hand was casually placed on his shoulders. “Oi, are you awake? You’ve gone completely blank for a while.”

Shrugging the hand, “nah, just remembering something. So what made you come back? Training over already?”

“I came back to reclaim something of mine. My training can wait, this can’t”

“So you’re gonna play with them?” Points towards the bench where the majority of former Ryonan players were.

“Yup, I am.”

“Well, good luck. Hope you get what you came for.” Sakuragi waved and then turned to run to his teammates. He can see steam coming from Akagi’s head already.

“I intend to Sakuragi.” Came the soft reply.


Upon reaching their bench, “Where have you been?” asked Akagi.

Sakuragi thanked the gods that Gori has stopped his habit of pouncing him. “I’ve just been in one of my make-up classes and I am not that late, Gori.”

“Hana-chan, please change into your jersey. I need you to play at once. No time for warm-ups.”

“Don’t worry Ken-san, I have run all the way from class. I am already wearing my jersey.” He proved it by removing his college uniform and showed the jersey underneath. He then strode towards the bench to drop his bag. Nearing the bench, he saw a weird expression crossing the pale face of the fox-eyed boy sitting alone. Bending down so he could peer closer he asked, “What’s wrong Kaede?”

Witnessing the exchange between his ex and present lover, Rukawa had to restrain himself from walking towards the two to drag his Hana away from Sendoh as far as possible. He has not seen nor talked to Sendoh since he had broken up with him. That was like almost a year ago, months before he was able to confess his feelings to his redhead. But Hana does not know anything about Sendoh or their past, that’s why he is kinna suspicious of his ex’s arrival at Kanagawa. Looking at those warm chestnut eyes calmed his racking nerves somehow, reaching forward; he playfully tapped the nose below those brown eyes and said, “Nothing. Just wondering where you were ‘aho.”

“Ok you two game time. Time to show us what the two of you have done in your senior year.” Ayako said.

Smiling, “Come kitsune, let’s show them what we’ve got. Besides you have smiley to beat today.” Both rose to their feet and went towards the center of the court to join their teammates.

The game was going very well. Each team playing like a cohesive unit, since most of the players inside were former teammates. Sakuragi is still king of rebound and his shooting skills have improved a lot. Looking at Rukawa, Ayako can’t help but be impressed on how the guy manages to improve so much. Knowing that Sendoh has had some training from America did not seem to deter him one bit. They played equally against each other, basket for basket. The old rivalry on the court back in full gear.

^Sorry guys, can’t make a descriptive play-by-play account of the game since I am not that much of a basketball fan. I just love Slamdunk’s characters…(^

Finally, the game ended in a draw. Mitsui had shot a 3-pointer which tied the game at end time. Since it’s a practice game, they need not go to overtime. Fujima and Maki shook hands, satisfied at how their players fared against the other.


[Outside the sports hall]

Most players went home already and only a few can be seen still hanging around. Rukawa checks his watch for the 2nd time that night. He is waiting for Hanamichi to finish his special training supervised by their captain. Leaning against a wall, the sleepy guy was about to doze off when a voice close to his ear whispered, “Miss me Kaede?” Jerking his eyes open, he turned and suddenly found lips fused tightly into his.

“What the….!!” Rukawa distinctively heard someone exclaimed. His mind is still numb from shock. He can’t act or think, especially with those familiar lips kissing him brutally. He tried frantically to wriggle out of those arms that encased him, but to no avail. His hands and arms were trapped. [God this can’t be happening.] He was almost out of breath from sheer lack of air, when suddenly Sendoh released his assault on his lips, and looked at him with that magnetic smile of his. He repeated, “Well, Kaede did you miss me?”

“No! I …..” Rukawa’s voice trailed away because standing just behind Sendoh is a deathly pale Hanamichi, fist clenched at his sides, trembling with controlled anger, but what caught Rukawa’s attention were those eyes. He remembered those eyes, way back when they still ‘hated’ each other. Bickering time and time again. Earning not just one but numerous gorilla punches on their heads. [No!] He does not want Hana to look at him that way again. He remembered the pain he felt whenever he receives those hateful glances.

Calming his chaotic nerves, “Hana?” He softly called. Freeing himself from Sendoh’s embrace. Jealousy, pain, anger, sorrow… Rukawa saw the play of emotions on Hana’s face. He reached for him, trying to console. Wanting to be heard. Explain.. Need to explain… “Hana…” he repeated.

“What’s the meaning of this?” Sakuragi asked with barely controlled anger.

Rukawa can’t find the right words to answer that question. He just stood there with an impassive face, hiding his inner turmoil. Suddenly he felt Sendoh’s arms around his shoulder and heard him say, “I was just reclaiming what was rightfully mine Sakuragi. Remember? I told you that earlier?”

“What? What do you mean rightfully yours? Explain yourself Sendoh before I beat you down to a pulp.” He threatened. Fists still clenched tightly on his sides and eyes ablazed with anger and pain.

“Rukawa’s my lover, ever since you two were just juniors. Kaede-chan, didn’t you tell anybody about us?” Proceeded to show what he meant by kissing the raven-haired guy right in front of the shocked redhead.

Suddenly … Sendoh found himself sprawled on the ground. Head dizzy from the contact with Sakuragi’s fist. “Stay down Sendoh or you’ll regret getting up for the rest of your life. I don’t know what game you’re playing at but stay away from my boyfriend! Kaede would not lie to me.”

“Then why not ask him instead? Let’s just see who’s lying here.” Sendoh dared. But remained where he was. He knew of the redhead’s past as a gang member and he is wise enough to acknowledge the strength clearly being shown in front of him.

Sakuragi faced his boyfriend and waited for him to deny everything Sendoh had just said. “Kaede?” Rukawa’s face is hidden from him since the other had his head bent. But Sakuragi can see that something is not right with the kitsune. [No, it can’t be... Sendoh is lying.] Inching closer, he held out a hand and lifted the guy’s chin. He looked straight into the deep blue pools that were his lover’s eyes. Over the year, he had learned how to read Rukawa by looking into his eyes. Those blue fox-like orbs usually expresses what his face denies. Ever since they started being a couple, he would normally find those eyes smiling for him, showing his affection for him but now, it seems that they are pleading to be understood, saying sorry. [But why?] “No, tell me it’s not true Kaede.” He felt pain stabbing him straight in his heart. [How could he? How could he lie to me? With Sendoh?]

“How long Kaede? How long did you intend to keep this from me?” He said. Choking a sob, he backed away, removing his hands from that chin he once caressed so often. But he felt that he doesn’t have the right anymore. [He had Sendoh. Sendoh is good looking, cheerful, … pure.] With that last thought, he turned around and was about to flee when suddenly… he was pulled into familiar arms, almost choking him with the sheer force of that embrace.

He tried pulling away but Rukawa’s tight hold on him prevented him to do so. Finally, tired from his struggles, he just laid his head on Kaede’s shoulder and sobbed. Through his cries he heard the guy holding him say, “Yes, Sendoh was my lover but I broke up with him long before I pursued you. Please believe me, I didn’t mean to keep this from you.” Rukawa implored, still holding him tightly. Pain evident in his voice. He did not respond, he can’t. He just didn’t know what to think anymore, let alone say anything.


Amidst his confusion and despair, he felt rather than heard Rukawa’s misery. He can feel a slight tremble coming from the body close to his, as if he’s holding something back. Slowly he pried one of his arms free and with his free hand, he pushed against the latter’s chest so he could see the kitsune’s face. Though he still had that mask on, Sakuragi can see something similar to fear slowly rising from those blue eyes. [God, I love him. I can’t let him go.]

Tentatively, he raised his hand from the other’s chest and started caressing that blank face. To his inner surprise, he saw that face show the first sign of vulnerability. Wanting to sooth his lover’s inner torment, he placed a light kiss on those lips, willing the other to express what he truly feels. And then he heard him say, “I love you Hana, please don’t leave me.”

Sakuragi can’t help the feeling of happiness replacing all the things he had felt earlier upon hearing those three words, which he had waited to hear from his boyfriend for so long. Like sunshine after the rain, he gave the guy in front of him the most heartfelt and sincere smile he could ever give, and was rewarded when he saw his beloved’s face broke into a sincere smile, which he alone was allowed to see. Dipping his head to the side, he met Kaede’s approaching lips with his and they kissed with all the love they feel for one another. When they finally parted, Rukawa was left in no doubt what his beloved is feeling. “I love you too, Kaede.”


SDFA © 2002 fgg

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