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Laree's Slam Dunk Fanfiction
Family Ties
Part Five

Sendo's hand hovered indecisively over the receiver of the telephone.  His eyes went over the slightly crumpled piece of paper where he had hastily scribbled a telephone number that he had coaxed out of Kogure, then back to the phone dials.  Taking a deep breath, he began to punch in the corresponding numbers and waited until he could hear ringing from the other end.  He was able to stay on for a couple of rings but as had been the case many times before, he eventually lost his nerve and slammed the receiver back down onto its cradle.  He stared down balefully at the cause of all his misery, breathing heavily, as though he had just played a particularly strenuous game of basketball.  " You can do this..."  He urged himself softly under his breath as he balled his hands up into fists determinedly.  " It's just one, stupid phone call.  You just call him, after all, you've spoken to him lots of times before, haven't you?  You ask him if he wants to play a game of one on one and maybe have dinner afterwards and that's all.  That's it.  You can do it!"  It was already hard enough for him to work up the guts to call up Hanamichi but everything was made even worse what with Rukawa glowering at him from his position on his bed.  Sendo whirled around, his brown eyes meeting with cold blue ones.  " Do you mind?"

" Yes.  I do."

" I could use a little privacy, you know."  Sendo gave him a blatant hint this time, wanting Rukawa gone while he spoke to the redhead.  That was, if he ever worked up enough courage to call Hanamichi first.

Rukawa shrugged, shifting to a more comfortable position on the bed.  " This is my room." He pointed out.

" And you're never going to let me forget that, are you?"  Never before had the urge to bash Rukawa right on the face been stronger for Sendo.

" You're right.  Not likely."

" Fine.  Suit yourself. It's not as though you've ever done otherwise." The older boy remarked, turning back to the phone.  He took a deep breath to steel himself before pressing the receiver against his ear and being treated to a blast of mad giggling.

" Oh!  Fumi-kun!  You're so funny!  I like funny guys!"  Another round of high pitched giggles assailed Sendo's ears.

" Then will you let this funny guy buy you dinner tomorrow?"  Came a male voice.

" Depends on where the funny guy plans on taking me!  Will you-"

" Naoko-chan."  Sendo interjected before his younger sister could go on any further.  " Naoko-chan.  Please.  I need to use the phone.  It's really important."  It was either that he get on with it tonight or he would just keep procrastinating.  He didn't think he could afford that. Hanamichi was an attractive guy and it wouldn't take long for him to be snapped up by somebody else.

" Onii-chan!"  his sister wailed.  " Why are you listening in on my conversation, Nii-chan?  You're not supposed to do that!  Go away!  I'm still using it!"

" But Naoko-chan!  I-"

" Later, Nii-chan!"  His sister insisted stubbornly.

Sendo could just about picture the pretty pout on his sisters face.  Usually, he would bend to his sister's wishes.  He adored the beautiful fifteen year old girl and was pretty much wrapped around her little finger, but he had been in a particularly bad mood lately, what with having to put up with all of Rukawa's crap.
" Get off the phone now or I swear I'll tell mom about that interesting time that I ran into you at the cinemas with that guy that she told you you weren't supposed to go out with anymore."

There was a sound of outrage from the other end of the line.  " What?  You can't-"

" By the time I pick up the phone, the line should be free.  Or else." Sendo declared, slamming the receiver down.  He felt sort of bad about what he had done.  Blackmailing wasn't usually his style, preferring to just use excessive charm.  Naoko was likely going to be pissed but he would make it up to her later.  Maybe he would take he out to the movies tomorrow.  Just the two of them.  After a few seconds, he picked the phone up again and dialed Hanamichi's number, which he had now memorized by heart.  It rang once, and then twice.  Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Rukawa getting up from the bed and walking nonchalantly towards his dresser.  Another ring.  Suddenly, the sound of the voice that had lately been in Sendo's dreams.

" Hello?  Who is this?"

Sendo opened his mouth to reply when the line suddenly went dead.  " What the hell?"

Rukawa shrugged and held out the telephone cord towards him.  " I accidentally stepped on it and I just jerked it off its plug."  He put special stress on the word accidentally.

" I'm sure."  Sendo growled through gritted teeth, yanking the plug from his hands and setting the phone up properly once more.  What was the matter with the guy?  He acted even weirder than his customary self whenever anything about Hanamichi was involved.  Did he really hate the guy that much?  " You know what, I think I liked you better when you're not speaking or anything."

" Yeah, well.  I never liked you."

So for what seemed like the hundredth time that day, he dialed the adorable redhead's number.

The phone was picked up almost immediately.  " What?  What is it?"

Sendo drew the receiver away from his ears, startled by Hanamichi's shouting.  " Hana-kun.  It's me.  Sendo."

" Don't you Hana-kun me!"

" But-"

" We're you the one that called before?  The one that hung up?"

" Well, yeah.  But that was only because Rukawa-"

" You and Rukawa are both the same, you know.  Dammit!  Think you could fool the great Tensai with your buddy buddy act you grinning loon?"  There was a loud snort.  " No way!  You keep away from me from now on, you hear me, dammit!  Unless you want me to make sure that you're benched for the rest of the season!"

" But what did I-"  The line went dead before he could even finish his question.  Numbly, he set the phone back on it's receiver, not sure about what had just happened.  What the hell had happened to the sweet Hanamichi that he adored?

" Busted."  This was the first time that Sendo had ever seen some semblance of a smile on his younger step brother's face.  It would have made him really handsome if it wasn't for the fact that he looked so damn malicious.

" Shut up."  He muttered, lowering himself onto his own bed, still thinking over what he had done to deserve such a chewing out.

" He hates you."  Rukawa told him, not able to resist rubbing salt into the open wound.  He was just sadistically glad to see that stupid smile finally wiped off his face.  " See.  I told you that he was straight."

" And what does that have to do with it?"  Sendo demanded, venting out all of his frustration on his pillow.

" Well, if you were a straight guy who found out some gay-boy had a crush on you, what would your reaction be?"  Rukawa demanded.  " Wouldn't exactly be pleasant, would it?  Especially not in the case of that do'aho, what with him acting so macho and everything."

" Are you implying that Hanamichi is homophobic?  That he somehow found out that I had a crush on him-"

Rukawa sneered.  " That wouldn't be too hard, considering the way that you've been carrying on whenever he's around."

" But that doesn't make any sense at all!"  Sendo protested, refusing to believe that he really did have no chance with Hanamichi.  " He's friends with Kogure and Mitsui and they're gay, aren't they?  He doesn't care!"

" He's friends with them but at least they don't hit on him all the time, like you did!"  Rukawa pointed out.

" So I scared him off?"

" That's what I think..."

" So what should I do then?"  This was crazy.  Him asking Rukawa for advice was just plain weird but there was nothing else for it.  He wanted Hanamichi badly enough to try anything at this point.

" You lay low for a while.  Leave him alone."  Rukawa recommended, nodding sagely.

" Why?"

" To give him some time to get used to the idea."  And to give me enough time to somehow make him mine, Rukawa though inwardly, his lips forming a sly smile.

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