To Know You
Chapter 4


"Hai, daijoubu,"

Akagi frowned. "What are you hiding?"

The bespectacled boy sighed as he adjusted his glasses. "Nothing." He had been saying that so many times it almost seemed like a reflex now.

Seeing the expression on Akagi's face, Kogure quickly reassured him that he was all right.

Akagi wasn't convinced. He was about to say something more when loud gasps of awe were heard up ahead. Both seniors were surprised to see students crowding around the entrance of the gym. But Kogure's surprise only lasted a second as one thought sprang into his mind.



Rukawa gasped, gulping in air. He had used all his strength in the jump and the dunk he had just performed. For what? Releasing stress? What stress?

Ignoring all the 'ooh's and 'aah's from the crowd of students and the cheering from his shinetai, Rukawa went to pick up the ball. He stopped when the ball was picked up by someone else and was handed to him.

"Welcome back."

Rukawa stared hard into the soft brown eyes. Without another word, he snatched the ball back from his sempai's hands and headed back to the court.

Kogure sighed.

"That boy has yet to learn to respect his seniors." Akagi snorted.



"Why are you still here?" Rukawa questioned harshly, glaring at Kogure who had been standing outside the gym for past hour.

The bespectacled blinked, caught off guard. He didn't realize Rukawa had known he was there.

"I wanted to see you play again."

Rukawa snorted. He glanced at the hoop and jumped up for a shot. The basketball bounded back from the board and rolled around the hoop twice before falling out again.

"Ah. What a pity. That was a great shot."


The raven-haired boy picked up the basketball and threw it into the heap. There was no way he could concentrate now. Kogure's appearance was annoying him to no end. His sempai was making him feel strange. Everytime he looked at him, he had this urge to punch him and yell at him. But then he had managed to surpress these emotions. However, that was then. This was now.

"Tired?" Kogure asked, watching Rukawa pick up the mop.


"Here, let me help."

Rukawa turned to glare at Kogure, having every intention to snap at the bespectacled boy. But he stopped. The anger that flashed through his blue eyes was dampened by the sincerity that swam in those pair of brown eyes. With a sigh, he nodded and watched as his senior took off his shoes and stepped into the gym.

They were the only ones in the gym. No one would know what happened...

With a small shake of the head, Rukawa turned back to mopping the gym floor. No more distractions. Kogure had disrupted his life more than enough times.

Just as Rukawa thought nothing else would happen, there was a small yell and a loud thump from behind him. He looked over his shoulder to see Kogure sprawled on the ground, his glasses tipped in a weird angle on his face. Apparently, he had slipped and fell on the wet floor.


Rukawa snorted, "baka."

"I heard that." Kogure winced, slowly picking himself up. A small pout on his face. Then he frowned when his junior snorted once more and turned his back on him, "Rukawa, are you laughing at me?"

A thoughtful frown formed on Kogure's face.

"You know, I'd love to hear you laugh."


Then Rukawa slowly turned, facing Kogure with an unreadable expression on his face. (Not that his expression was readable before)


Again, Kogure was caught off guard as he blinked once more.

"Why? Eto... I wanted to hear what you'll sound like if you laugh."

"Iie." Rukawa was closing the distance between them. "Why?"

"Why what?" The bespectacled boy took a step back instinctively.

"Everything you did."


"Tell me!"

Kogure gasped when his arm was locked in a bruising grip. He looked up at the raven-haired boy. His junior's eyes were blazing. "I-"

Frustrated to the brink of insanity, Rukawa found himself leaning forward.

And time slowed to a stop.

The raven-haired boy pushed Kogure back against the wall, grabbing his wrists as their lips locked together.

An expression of pure shock was written across the bespectacled boy's face.

The kiss was over as soon as he started. Confused blue eyes locking with surprised brown ones.


"Because I care for you."

Rukawa stared at him.

"No, you don't," he stepped away from Kogure and left.

Ever so slowly, Kogure raised his hand and touched his lips, watching the retreating figure of his junior.



Rukawa scowled, re-crossing his legs as he sat on the bed with his arms crossed. Then uncrossed his arms to run his hand through his messy raven-black hair. And then crossed them again, only to shift around in his place on the bed. Finally, he stood and kicked the wastepaper basket into the wall.

He couldn't remember the last time someone had did so much for him. Even Ayako knew when to stop prying into his personal life. But Kogure...

//"Sugoi! Omedeto, Rukawa-kun!"//

//"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?"//

//"Your sempai came and vouched for you a few days ago. He said you'll be able to pass with flying colors." //

//"I doubt you will but he seemed to have a lot of confidence in you..." //

//"You know, I'd love to hear you laugh." //

//"Because I care for you."//

Care? That's insane. No one would possibly care for a person like him.

Why? Why? Why?!

With a growl, he grabbed his backpack and hurled it at the wall.

A loud thump from the bag when it hit the floor caught his attention. He was sure he emptied it when he took out the papers. He walked over to it and picked it up. Looking in, he took out the object in surprise.

Kogure's diary.


"Okaasan! Did you move my books?"

"No. Why?"

"I lost my diary." Kogure replied, rummaging through his drawers.

"Sorry, dear. I didn't see it." Mrs. Kogure replied, looking into the room.

"It's all right. Thanks, mom."

His mother smiled, "Take care of yourself over there."

"Hai." Mrs. Kogure nodded and went back to her duties in the kitchen.

That's strange. I remember putting it on the table, Kogure thought. He hadn't written in it for a while so he didn't notice it missing until today.

Giving up after searching for another hour, he sat down on the bed.

Maybe it'll turn up when I come back, he comforted himself. Turning his attention to the clothes he laid out on the bed. He picked up his backpack and started packing.

His mind strayed back to the gym and red colored his cheeks as he touched his lips. He could sense the desperation; frustration and confusion Rukawa had placed in the kiss. He wondered what it was that was troubling the raven-haired boy so much.

//"Because I care for you."//

//No, you don't.//

Hurt. He had saw the hurt in those blue eyes.

With a loud sigh, he resumed his packing. Maybe he could find out more about Rukawa in Osaka.


"...Rukawa Kaede and Sakuragi Hanamichi. Somehow I just know they'll help the team make it to the IH. I could feel it. Just like when I saw Mitsui and Akagi in our first year..."

"...Akagi, Mitsui, Miyagi, Rukawa, Sakuragi... Anzai-sensei is right. Shohoku is the strongest. InterHigh... It's a dream come true."

"Sannoh. The best in the IH. Even Kainan lost to them. How will Shohoku fare then? I'm nervous. The first time in the IH and we go up against Sannoh. But I'm sure we'll be able to beat them. No matter how small the chance. Ah, I should give Rukawa this ointment for his eye later. Nearly forgot about that. I wonder if he's okay..."

"Kami-sama, we won! We actually won against Sannoh! This is unbelievable..."

Rukawa sighed and closed the book.

What was unbelievable was how Kogure could put so much trust in someone that he had only met for the first time.

He leaned back against the headboard, recalling everything that he could remember from the time that he entered Shohoku. He barely even talked to Kogure. All he ever thought about was being the best there is in Japan.

He closed his eyes.

But Kogure always gave him encouragement, whether he heeded them or not.

Rukawa had thought him as weak. Someone who shouldn't even be in a basketball team but he was proven wrong in their match against Ryonan. Just like everyone else was proven wrong to think of him that way.

He remembered the encouragement, the sincerity, and the willingness of his sempai to help him. The smile he always had on his face when he succeeded in finishing a paper with correct answers. Hell, his room was never a mess throughout Kogure's stay.

//"Because I care for you."//

The soft wind blew in from the open window as Rukawa softly whispered, "Why?"


"Gomen ne, Rukawa-kun. Kiminobu left for Osaka earlier today."


"Hai. He said he wanted to do some research for a project. He'll be back in a few days."


Curious at Rukawa's lack of response, Mrs. Kogure asked, "is there something important you'd like to tell him?"

"Ah. Iie. Doumo." With a bow, Rukawa rode off.


And then suddenly, it hit him.


End of chapter 4
Phew.finally! Ne, so how was it? Did I overdid it with the emotion or something? Find any mistakes? Or any holes in the plot? Erm... anyway C&Cs pls. *fidgets nervously*