To Know You
"Kogure, you really should get some sleep. You look terrible."
"Daijoubu daijoubu," Kogure reassured his best friend, waving it off with his hand.
He had his elbow propped up on the table and was resting his head on the palm of his hand. During the whole period, he had only managed to absorb half of his lessons.
Not a good thing, Kogure Kiminobu, he chided himself again. You should concentrate on your studies. Your university entrance exams are coming soon. Don't get distracted!
One second later, he was wondering how Rukawa was doing on his test. The wondering turned to worry. The worry turned to anxiety. And soon he was on the edge of his seat wondering how Rukawa did. Did Rukawa forget anything? Did he forget to teach him something? Did he miss out important parts? Did Rukawa fall asleep?
And the next thing he knew he was sent outside to stand at the corridor with a bucket in each hand.
"I'm fine I'm fine! I won't do it again!" Kogure said defensively before Akagi went into his infamous Gori Lecture.
It was recess before he was finally allowed to return to class. And when he did, he found Akagi standing by the door and waiting for an explanation.
"You're hiding something."
Akagi sighed. Kogure was a really bad liar. "What are you worried about?"
"Am I that obvious?" A meek question.
"Like reading an open book."
Kogure went red at that. "Akagi, can you stop being so straight-forward for once?"
"It's my nature."
"Never changed for six years," Kogure muttered under his breath.
"So tell me."
Kogure groaned. There was no escaping Akagiís inquisitions once he set his mind to it. So he told him.
Akagi had no idea if he should be mad at his best friend or be amused. He chose neither and sighed.
"Kogure, you should know better. The entrance exam is only a month away."
"Wakata yo! But Rukawa needs help. If he doesn't pass those tests, the team is going to lose its ace!" Seeing that Akagi was about to speak again, Kogure quickly added, "There's only six more tests left. One more test and then it'll be the weekends! I'll be able to catch up then! After that I'll pay full attention. Ne, Akagi, I won't do anything to jeopardize my own studies."
Akagi crossed his arms in front of his chest stubbornly. "I say let Rukawa do it on his own. He deserves to learn the importance of studying the hard way."
Knowing Akagi, Kogure began to tease him. "What about the team then?"
"Hmph, it can do without him for a while."
Kogure was smiling. "You don't mean that."
"Of course I do."
Kogure chuckled, "You're a bad liar."
"I thought that was you," Akagi retorted.
For the second time that day, Kogure's face went red.
"So how did it go?" Kogure asked his junior as they walked towards the Rukawa residence.
Once bitten, twice shy, Kogure was not risking adding more bruises to his collection so he had Rukawa wheel his bike while they walked.
Rukawa shrugged then showed Kogure his biology paper. Kogure's face lit up almost instantly, "Sugoi! Omedeto, Rukawa-kun!"
Rukawa did not say anything but his face showed a slight hint of embarrassment.
Kogure patted the boy on the back encouragingly. "This just shows how good you can be if you put your heart into it. Sa! Six more days and you'll be back in the team. Ganbatte ne?"
Rukawa looked at Kogure with an unreadable expression on his face then nodded. "Ah."
Kogure never thought he could be so happy when Saturday came. After spending the last three days without any sleep. He was so glad to be able to sleep in. Snuggling into the warm, comfy bed, under his warm, comfy blanket...
With a pair of hands abruptly pulling his blanket off him. He frowned. Now that's not right.
"Wake up, Kiminobu."
"Okaasan! Ten more minutes!" Kogure protested, hands reaching out blindly to retrieve his missing blanket.
"Your friend is here."
Kogure opened his eyes and blinked. Friend? "Dare?"
"Ohayo, Sempai." A familiar icy voice greeted.
That was amusing, Rukawa mused. He never thought his seemingly mature sempai would act... like a five-year-old - demanding more sleep from his mother and then scurrying about to get himself presentable when he saw Rukawa.
If not for his usual calm demeanor, he would have laughed then and there.
He was currently seated in Kogure's study room. Waiting for Kogure to return and also taking the time to check out the room. Despite the size, the room was a whole lot neater and contained much more books compared to Rukawa's. Encyclopedias, magazines, books, books and more- hello, what's this?
He carefully picked one particular book out of the shelf and opened it. Blue eyes widened considerably as he flipped through the pages.
Sempai's diary, he thought.
There were pictures pasted on almost every entry. Pictures of his old team and of course the Shohoku team. He was reading one particular paragraph, dated the day the basketball team was admitting new members.
'I was so excited. Even though the two are always fighting. I have this feeling that they'll help the team pass the IH trials and help achieve me and Akagi's dream. Rukawa Kaede and Sakuragi Hanamichi. I wonder how the feeling of entering the IH would be like...'
Suddenly, he heard the door open and without thinking, shoved the diary into his bag.
"Sorry to let you wait so long." Kogure said sheepishly, adjusting his glasses. "What brings you here so early?"
Rukawa didn't reply which wasn't surprising at all. But there was one problem, Rukawa *himself* had no idea why he was here this early in the morning. Him, Rukawa Kaede, waking up at 8a.m. He wouldn't be surprised if pigs started to fly then.
"I asked what are you doing here this early?" Kogure repeated his question patiently. "Is there a question I gave that you couldn't understand?"
"Ah...." Might as well lie. "Hai."
"Oh. Which one?"
Rukawa fumbled around his bag then pulled out the paper that Kogure had given him the day before. "This one."
"Oh." Kogure said, adjusting his glasses after reading the question, "This one's easy. You just have to remember that formula I taught you and then..."
Kogure stifled a yawn as he stretched. Blinking the tears that sprang up from his eyes away, he turned to look at Rukawa who was staring at the new set of questions Kogure had just given him. A small frown set on his pale handsome face. He watched Rukawa carefully. His mind running through all that had happened in the last few days.
He was quite surprised and pleased that Rukawa paid attention to him. Despite hearing from Ayako that the infamous 'sleeper' had actually survived that study night a few months ago, he had yet to see it himself. (He disappeared from sight in that night in the manga and in the anime. I'm going for either he and Mitsui are studying somewhere else or Kogure had excused himself in the middle of their tutoring.)
"Rukawa-kun, you can take a break if you want. We've been at this for hours."
Rukawa stopped writing to look at Kogure for a moment. His mind taking a full minute to swim out from under the mountain of formulas he had been using before he could comprehend what Kogure had just said.
Kogure smiled. It was... interesting to find that Rukawa *can* act his age when he wants to and not a one thousand year-old iceman. "Sa, I'll get us a drink."
Watching his sempai leave, Rukawa turned back to attack the question he had been pondering on for the last fifteen minutes. He blinked at the half-done equation.
And stared at it for a few seconds.
Then blinked again.
Crap, he forgot what formula he was using.
Kogure started working on his own studies as Rukawa continued trying to finish his paper.
Brown eyes frowned.
Move the X on here then shift the Y here. Then... this is not working! Kogure tapped the pencil against the side of his head, trying to make sense of the question given. He took a quick glance at Rukawa. Miraculously, his junior was still hard at work albeit tiredly.
His mind suddenly strayed to his project and he was reminded of Rukawa Taniki. He debated whether or not to ask his junior for a moment before making his decision.
"Rukawa-kun, your father's name is Rukawa Taniki ne?"
Rukawa jerked away from Kogure as if he had been stung. His blue eyes showed evidence of shock. But the shock lasted only for a second before it turned into anger. The glare he gave made Kogure shudder.
"How did you know about my father?" Rukawa demanded.
"Obasan told me. Demo Rukawa-"
"Stay out of my private life." Rukawa growled. With that, he stood then with one last glare at Kogure he left.
End chapter 2
So how was that? *hop* Anyone notice that Rukawa still has Kogure's diary? ^^ tee. C&Cs pls.