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Laree's Slam Dunk Fanfiction
Family Ties
Part Seven

" For the last time, you stupid smiley.  Get the hell away from me!"  Hanamichi Sakuragi roared, hurling his rather thick Algebra book at the second year who somehow managed to catch it before it got him right on his privates.  He had expected this move.  After all, Hanamichi had spent the whole afternoon throwing all sorts of things at him in an attempt to shake him off his trail and by now, he had an armful of the boy's things, ranging from a half finished lollipop which had stuck to his blazer, to one of Hanamichi's sneakers.

" Hana-kun!  Why must you be so cruel to me?" Sendo demanded, putting on a sudden burst of speed and managing to drop the sneaker, several very crumpled notes and Hanamichi's binder in the pursuit.  He grabbed hold of the younger boy's elbow and spun him around, narrowly dodging a punch aimed directly at his face.  "Please Hana-kun!  Just hear me out!"  He had spent the whole afternoon waiting for the boy by the gates to the school, determined to have him listen to what he wanted to say.

Hanamichi scowled, jerking away from him.  " I thought that you were my friend, Sendo."

" So you don't consider me to be your friend anymore, Hana-kun?"

" Friends don't try to make a move on the girl that they know their supposed friend has a crush on!" Hanamichi growled, resisting the urge to throw another punch at his senior.  He was going to keep his cool, he told himself.  He wasn't supposed to be fighting anymore after all.

" Does Haruko-san really mean that much to you, Hana-kun?" Sendo asked sadly, his heart sinking rapidly.  What if Mitsui was wrong and the thing that Hanamichi had for Haruko wasn't just a stupid little crush, as he had claimed that it was.  He had let his hopes up so much when he had learned of the truth about all the things that Rukawa told him, only to have them all crushed right now by the simple fact that Hanamichi seemed so dammed set on that girl!

" I...Well..." Hanamichi's face became progressively redder and redder as he tried to think up some sort of answer for this question.  " I like her.  I her."

" But would you say that what you're feeling is...Love?" Sendo asked, waiting tensely for his answer.

" Hell, Sendo!"  Hanamichi ran a hand agitatedly through his fiery red hair.  " How am I supposed to know?  I'm only sixteen!"

" Love can strike at any time, Hana-kun.  That's what makes it so scary." Sendo told him quietly, he peered down at Hanamichi through lowered lashes.  " I'm only a year older than you and already I know that I'm in love.  Very, very deeply in love with the sweetest, most amusing person that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing...I know that, if given the chance, I would want to spend the rest of my life forever with this one person, because there's so much depth, so much things to know that I will never grow tired of waking up to that person every day for the rest of my life.  It's sort of funny, cos I've only known this person for a while.  But already, I'm so sure.  Already, I know that this person might be the one."

Hanamichi looked up at him disbelievingly.  " Have you gone crazy, Sendo?  Gori will kill you if you propose to his sister now!  He's so overprotective of her!  He wont let her get married when she's only fifteen!"

" You aren't getting me, are you?"

" You've made up your mind that you want to marry Haruko..." Hanamichi shrugged.  " I like her a lot, Sendo but if you're really that serious about her!  Well, I'm not ready to make the commitment to her that you are..."

" God, Hanamichi!  How dense can you be?!?"

" What?  Are you saying that the Tensai is stupid?!?"

" No...Not stupid.  Just incredibly slow..." Sendo muttered under his breath.

" What?!?"

" Look, Hanamichi, let me put this more clearly.  I am not planning on getting married to anyone anytime soon." Sendo pronounced each word clearly, carefully, as though speaking to a child.  " And Haruko would be the last person that I would have in mind when the time comes that I do decide to get married!"

" What?!?  Are you implying that there is something wrong with Haruko-chan?"

" No, Hanamichi.  All I'm saying is that Haruko-chan isn't my type." Sendo continued nonchalantly,
" Let's just say that she's the wrong gender for me."

" Oh.  So you're gay?"

Sendo gaped at him.  He hadn't been prepared for such ready acceptance of the information that he had just divulged.  " Er...I guess that's what I'm trying to say..." He finally managed to choke out with some effort.

" Really?"

" Yeah.  Really."

" Oh."  A goofy smile on his face, Hanamichi ran a hand through his fiery red hair in a vain attempt to tame the tangled locks.  " And here I was thinking that you were actually hitting on Haruko.  Guess I was wrong then, huh?  I was ready to kill you for a moment there but now I guess you're not so bad after all!"

" That...That's all?" Sendo asked disbelievingly.

Hanamichi frowned at him.  " Well, what else do you want me to say?  I'm not gonna say sorry!  The Tensai never says that he is sorry because the Tensai never does anything that he will be sorry for!  So you better not hold your breath for that!  Besides, it's all your fault, acting so close to Haruko-chan and everything..."

" You don't care that I'm...Well, gay or anything?" Sendo asked quietly, his eyes trained down on the pavement as though it were the most interesting thing that he had ever seen in the world.

" Ha!  Why should the Tensai care about such things?"  Hanamichi threw back his head and laughed that loud, infectious laugh of his.  "  I'm not all narrow minded like some people!  I don't care what you are as long as you're still Sendo Akira."

Slowly, Sendo's infamous smile returned.  Hanamichi, from the way that he was carrying on, probably had no idea how much that last sentence of his had meant to him.  He took a deep breath, to strengthen his resolve, and commented as casually as he could.  " So the Tensai is open minded, huh?"

" Very."

" Would the Tensai like to prove this then?"

" The Tensai, though he doesn't really feel the need to prove himself since he is already sure of his greatness..."  Hanamichi puffed his chest out, " Will humor you with this one.  What would you like me to do to prove myself?"

" Go out on a date with me." Sendo said, all in a rush.  He held his breath, waiting for the redhead's answer, but the guy seemed to be in a deep state of shock.  He had to slap the younger boy gently on the cheek just to get him blinking again.

" What was that again, Sendo?"

" If you're so open minded, then you wouldn't mind going out on a date with me!"

" But...But..." Hanamichi spluttered, his face turning a startling red.  Sendo thought he looked absolutely adorable.  " Were...We're both...guys!"

Sendo shrugged.  " That didn't stop you from going out with Mitsui before, did it?"

" What?"  Hanamichi shouted, pouncing on Sendo.  He grabbed the taller basketball player and began to shake him roughly, his head lolling backwards and forwards with the force of Hanamichi's shaking.  " How the hell did you find out about that?!?  Mitsui and I swore to take that to our graves!"

" It's not important  how I found out!"  Sendo yelled back, pulling away.  " What I want to know is whether the Tensai is open minded enough to go out with me, Sendo Akira.  Your friend.  Another guy, as you must have noticed by now..."

" What about that person that you were telling me about?  The one that you said you thought you could spend the rest of your life with without growing tired of!" Hanamichi pointed out, desperately looking for some way that he could gracefully refuse.  It wasn't that he didn't like Sendo.  In fact, it was the exact opposite.  He liked Sendo so much that he didn't want to risk losing his friendship, as he would be doing if he agreed to this.  Things could become so awkward...They hadn't with Mitsui but then, different people, different reactions.

Sendo shook his head, a small, indulgent smile on his lips.  " Hana-kun!  You're so cute!  I can't believe that you haven't figured it out until now!"

" Figured what out?"  Hanamichi demanded, not appreciating being kept in the dark like this.

" I'll tell you when the right time comes." Sendo reassured him, taking hold of one hand and patting it gently.  He was immensely pleased when Hanamichi made no attempts to pull away.  " So, what does the Tensai say, then?  Is he open minded enough to do this?"

Dumbly, Hanamichi nodded, staring at his hand enfolded within Sendo's.  Grinning, the older boy dumped all the things that Hanamichi had thrown at him into the redhead's arms.  " Good!  I know where you live!  I'll pick you up round seven tomorrow then, Hana-kun!"

Hanamichi just nodded, barely acknowledging Sendo as he bade him good-bye.  He, Hanamichi Sakuragi, had just made a date with Sendo Akira.  And for some reason, he couldn't help feeling a little excited about it...

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