Role Reversal

Chapter 7


Man, this Rukawa is a big pain in the butt. My butt, to be exact.

I'm a guy with pride, lots of it; in other words I've got a big ego. But I'm also a guy who's pretty forthcoming and blunt. I hate to keep things to myself, be they good or bad.

Look, man. I practically ATE my pride to tell this baka greenhorn Rukawa that he had potential, and that Haruko was laughing at me and not him.

What's more, I chased him all the way here to tell him all that crap. Hah. I must have looked like some sort of gay maniac running after a wimp no one else wanted.

Seriously, I think this Rukawa is a big pain in my ass. He makes me do stupid things like what I just did: running after him and then swallowing my pride. I do wonder why I did that; I guess it's all for the good of the basketball club. If Rukawa rejoins the club and improves as fast as he did with dribbling, I'm fairly sure we'd make it to the top 8 in Kanagawa Prefecture.


Of course, I didn't tell him that. About him leading us to the top 8. That'd be something he'd hear at my funeral.

'So. are you coming back? Now that you know Haruko wasn't laughing at you, but me?'

'Would I know if you're lying?'

'No. unless everything I say is false.'

'Don't try to confuse me with your dumb paradox. I'm not going back, not ever.'

'Damn you, Rukawa. Tell you what. Let's make a bet. If you join us and we make it to the top 8 in Kanagawa, I'll give you 10 000 yen.'

'For what?'

'To show you that you made a difference to the team.'

'How'd you know you'd not make it without me?'

F**k! This Rukawa is really getting on my nerves! When he saw that he had me stumped, he continued walking off lazily, and I thought I saw a glint of pride in his deep blue eyes.


As expected, Rukawa never came back to the club and he avoided me and my Gundam as much as he could, staunchly refusing to eat at the same cafeteria bench as me, and avoiding the passageways he knew I frequented.

I knew very well why he didn't want to talk to me. Our pride had gotten in the way of what I thought had been the beginning of a firm friendship.

Basketball practices were as usual, but I noticed that Haruko did look rather forlorn ever since Rukawa left. The other seniors, especially Gori and Ayako, seemed rather upset that Rukawa left. Everyone knew, but no one better than Ayako, that Rukawa had the potential to outshine many of us here; his improvements made in dribbling within the short half-hour he spent practicing with us was more than enough to convince even a proud, dumbass cynic like me.

Even though it seemed like the entire basketball club missed him, nobody actually bothered to go call him back, me least of all. Come on, I've already lost a war of words with that stupid foxface, and I'm not going to risk another argument with him. Hey, I mean, if you're the most popular guy at Shohoku High, you wouldn't want to lose face right in front of practically half the school population by letting the biggest loser around win you in an argument. Nah. My reputation's more important than the basketball club. Hey, WHO SAYS I CAN'T LEAD THE Shohoku Basketball Team TO THE TOP SPOT IN JAPANESE HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL? Why are my hopes resting on that baka kitsune? Mr Popular's got better things to do.

The other day, Haruko came knocking on my classroom's door. Haruko, yeah, she's pretty cute, with her large blue eyes and long lashes, fair skin and auburn hair, but she's not my type. But that's beside the point. She was sweating and breathing heavily. I thought I saw an anxious and distressed look in her eyes.

Just when I was about to think of how to console her for whatever disaster that had befallen her, she suddenly looked up at me, joy dancing in her eyes, and squealed excitedly (like one of those bimbotic cheerleaders),' Rukawa. he's agreed to come back to the team! '

Huh? Has some sort of miracle just occurred? Rukawa? Coming back to the team?

Wow. She really must be a potentially successful salesperson.

Then again, perhaps not. Rukawa's got a major crush on her, so naturally his response to any question from her would be,' Hai, hai!'

But whether he would actually come back to the club is something different from agreeing with whatever Haruko says.


Yeah, Rukawa's a man of his word. He turned up for practice today, much to Gori's delight. But of course, it was back to basics for him again, and eh got a good dose of Ayako's fan when his attention was diverted to Haruko time and again.

However, he made a big step forward today during practice. Ojiisan actually allowed him to attempt layups! But then, he still lived up to his reputation as The Ultimate Shohoku High Loser when none of his 79 layups attempted went through the hoop, exactly 35 bounced off the backboard and hit him on his face, 32 bounced off the rim with the same result and the remaining 12 went right over the backboard.

No, no, I'm not being sadistic. I'm just taking down notes and statistics of my potential rival, and helping take note of his first steps taken in his glorious basketball career-to-be.

See, I'm so nice.


Huh? That's Rukawa, talking to me?


'Still friends?'

Rukawa, Mr Loser, asking me, Mr Popular, if we're still friends? After what happened? Throwing away basketball to play an old man's game? NO-

No, no, Hanamichi, you mustn't be petty. You are no longer a little boy. Say yes. Say yes. Say yes-

He cast aside basketball for Go.

Want to be known as Mr Petty?

'Yeah, Rukawa. Still friends.'

A/n: hey people. Sorry for not updating for so long. My exams ended in early October, and guess what? It's already November. I guess I owe you all an explanation. Well, I thought that after the exams I'd be free to write fanfic, but then what I didn't expect was that I'd slack so much after the exams (you could say I slogged like crazy for the exams). Well, I apologise sincerely for the prolonged absence, and I hope you all have enjoyed the above chapter.