What If

I ran into a friend of yours the other day
And I asked him how you've been
He said my guy is fine, just bought a house
Got a job, a real good man
I told him I was glad for you, that's wonderful
But does he ever ask about me?
he said He's happy with his life  right now
Let him go, let him be...

" Mitsui!  Hey!  Mitsui!"

Mitsui Hisashi wasn't even aware of the fact that somebody had been calling out his name for the last few minutes until a hand clamped down onto his shoulder.  He whirled around, ready to decapitate whoever it was that dared disturb him while he was at work when he came face to face with a familiar redhead.  His jaw set.  " Sakuragi."

" Yeah, man!  Long time no see, Mitsui!  It's been, what?  A year since we've last seen each other?"   Sakuragi Hanamichi turned to his companion for confirmation.  He was another familiar face.  Sendo Akira, who, back in their High School days, had been the acknowledged Ryonan ace.  Now he was known as one of Japan's best young basketball players

Mitsui shrugged, turning his attention back to the glass that he had been busy wiping clean before Hanamichi's interruption.  " Yeah, well.  It's not as though basketball stars run around in the same social circle as Bartenders." He pointed out.

Sendo cleared his throat uncomfortably at the sudden reminder of the way that things had turned out.  His life may be going perfectly well for him right then.  He got paid to play the game that he absolutely loved, he had his adorable, beloved Hana-kun with him and life was good.  However, things had not gone as well as they should have for Mitsui.  " How have you been doing, Mitsui-san?  We...Uh...Missed you at that little party that Hanamichi and I threw for Kimi-kun's birthday..." Sendo winced as Hanamichi dug his elbows sharply into his ribs.  Oh.  Yeah, right.  That was the worst thing that he could possibly have said...Realizing this, Sendo's smile turned slightly strained.

" I got the invitation."

" Oh?  Really?  Well...That's...Good."  Sendo pulled agitatedly at the neck of his suit, desperately wanting to get out of the awkward conversation.  But it wouldn't do for him and Hanamichi to just run off without having a little conversation with an old colleague.  That would look bad.

" So...How is Kogure-san?" Oh God.  It hurt.  It hurt so much to have to refer to his love in such a distant manner...It hurt so much to see these two young men, the epitome of success, these former close friends of his who had been distanced from him by time and the sheer difference of the lives that they now led.  It hurt to know that he could have been like them, he could have had all the things that Hanamichi and Sendo had, money, fame, most important of all, love.  If only.  If only he had gone about things differently.

" Kimi-kun is well.  He's really happy with his job.  He's teaching English at Shohuku High now, you know.  Of course, the Kitsune doesn't like this.  Says the job is more trouble than its worth.  That he should just quit since he's making more than enough for the both of them.  But you know how that Megane-kun is!"  Hanamichi laughed merrily.  " He says that shaping young minds is the most important job in the world because they'll be the ones that will determine the future. That's he's helping to ensure a bright future for Japan.  Something like that anyways."

Mitsui's lips quirked up at this.  This had been exactly what Kogure had told him when he had expressed his surprise that he had chosen to take up a career as a teacher rather than persuing medicine, as everyone had thought the smart young man would.  " That sounds like him, all right.  And...And Rukawa?  Is he...?"  He left the question trailing, knowing that Hanamichi would know what he was trying to ask.

Hesitantly, as though he didn't want to answer this, and in truth, he really didn't, Hanamichi nodded.  "The two of them are doing fine.  The Kitsune is a good guy, even if he is an asshole sometimes and he makes Megane-kun happy.  That's what's important, right?"

" Right..." Mitsui agreed, his grip on the glass he was holding tightening.  " That's what is important.  I'm glad.  I'm really glad for them..."

What if we were wrong about each other
what if you were really made for me
what if we were supposed to be together
would that not mean anything
what if that was supposed to be my house
that you go home to everyday
how can you be sure that things are better
if you cant be sure your heart ainít still here with me
Still wanting me

" Tell me, Sakuragi-san, Sendo-san.  When you look back on things that you've done in the past, do you ever regret any of the choices that you made?"  Mitsui's voice was thick with emotion when he asked this, his eyes trained studiously on the counter top.

" I think we all do.  That's why I try not to think about all the mistakes that I made." Sendo shook his head, smiling slightly.  " I would go crazy if I focused on all of the ridiculous things that I was up to before.  I prefer to focus on the future.  The future is more pleasant."

" Not for me." Mitsui told them softly.  " For me,  it's the thought of the future that drives me crazy.  It's the past that I prefer to think about.  The past is pleasant.  The past had Min-kun...Though I guess looking back to the past isn't much better than looking out towards the future, is it?  Cos when I think about the way that things were before, I just come up with all sorts of what ifs.  What if  my status as a College basketball star hadn't gotten into my head and I had taken school and basketball more seriously?  What if I hadn't done all those stupid things that I did.  All the booze, the drugs.  The guys?  Would I still have Min-kun with me, do you think?  Would he be with me still and not with that Rukawa?"

Your friend asked me if there was someone special
in my life that I was seeing
I told her there was no one in particular
Thereís just I myself and me
I told her that I dream of you quite often
she just cut her eyes at me
she said you've got a home you're very happy
so just stop your meddling
I told her that I won't
I said that things were cool
but I guess I was wrong
I still cant move on

" Don't you think that it's a little too late for what ifs now, Mitsui?"  Hanamichi asked quietly, gently.  One thing sure could be said about the redhead.  He had definitely turned out for the better throughout the years, thought Mitsui.  Unlike himself.  " You still have no one that you care for as much as you used to Kimunobu-kun?"

" No one will ever take Min-kun's place."

Once more, Hanamichi was brutally honest and straight to the point.  " You should have thought about that before you did the things that you did and thrown away the chance.  He's happy now.  Rukawa makes him happy.  He's over it.  You should try to forget about it too.  Try to find somebody that will help you forget."

Mitsui sighed.  " Yes.  But only Min-kun is capable of that..."

Now that could be my car
that could be my house
that could be my baby boy
that you're nursing
that could be the trash
That I always take out
that could be the chair
I love to chill in
That could be my food on the table at the end of the day
hugs and the kisses all the love being made
what the hell do u expect me to say
what if its really supposed be this way
what if you're really supposed to be with me

" I know that he's happy with Rukawa now.  Who wouldn't be happy, having a rich, handsome boyfriend like that!  Hell, I could use a guy like Rukawa!"  Mitsui laughed bitterly.  " Rukawa has everything that I've ever wanted in my life.  The two of you have everything that I've ever wanted.  He's the one that has Kogure now though, not me.  He's the one that Kiminobu makes snacks for whenever he comes home, hungry from practice.  He's the one that runs all sorts of stupid little errands for him whenever he needs something.  I could have been that guy.  I could have.  What if I had been?"

" Yeah, Mitsui.  What if you had been?"  Instead of answering the older boy's question, Hanamichi threw it right back at him.

" Then I would have been happier with my life than I am now..." Mitsui whispered, as he watched the two boys walking away, their arms wrapped lovingly around each other's waists.  " Yeah.  That's right...What I had been?"