Fandom: Kuroko no Basket
Pairing: Aomine Daiki x Kise Ryouta (AoKi); hints of other pairings (Kagami Taiga x Kuroko Tetsuya [KagaKuro], Takao Kazunari x Midorima Shintarou [TakaMido]), AND VERY MINIMAL/IMPLIED COUPLES (Imayoshi Shouichi x Sakurai Ryou [ImaSaku] and Murasakibara Atsushi x Himuro Tatsuya [MuraHimu])
Warning: Boy/Boy. Possibly OOC. Grammatical and spelling mistakes. Un-beta'd. Mediocre. Cliché. Angst/Tragedy. Character death. Vulgar language.
Word Count: 10415 words
A/N: UHHH so I haven't updated in a while (sorry! I have finals and work lately so I haven't had much time to write OTL) but my finals end on Friday, so hopefully there will be an update for "Protect Me" before Christmas? Haha. That's my goal anyways. BUT I finished this one-shot! It's taken me a good three weeks to finish it, I think OTL. I hope it is all right… ;A; The summary for this story really sucks, but for those of you who clicked it, thank you very much; I hope I don't disappoint! I had some major writer's block during the middle half of it and I almost wanted to scrap this fic LOL, but I powered through, and hopefully it sounds decent ;_; Also in the end, I totally defied gravity :D Also a VERY HUGE SHOUT-OUT to my baby Banri for drawing me this beautiful cover photo, omg ;_;
Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroko no Basket. Clearly belongs to Fujimaki Tadatoshi. The plot was somewhat inspired by a short film called "Paperman" which was designed by Walt Disney (saw it when I was watching Wreck It, Ralph—good movie, by the way!) but only because of the paper planes HAHA.
Dedication: To my lovely readers and AoKi fans out there. And special thanks to Banri for all your support and love! Really, I love you lots! But thank you for the support from ALL of you! You are all incredible *U* On another note, please enjoy and review? Your reviews are greatly appreciated!
Summary: He wanted to soar through the sky like a paper plane. Unfortunately, that dream was cut short, ruining both his life and his partner's.
"One day, I want to be a pilot!"
"Ah? You? What about a model? I'm sure your fans would burst into tears if you suddenly quit."
A bright smile was sent towards his way. "I can't be a model forever! Besides," The blonde figure in front of him reach towards the sky, towards the clouds, before he focused on the light object in his hands, "I want to fly through the sky, just like these paper planes."
He let out a laugh, while his boyfriend lightly freed the plane from his hands. As he approached the blonde, wrapping his arm around his waist, he watched his boyfriend's face brighten into a childish grin. The shimmer in his honey-brown orbs shone brighter, following the plane as it soared through the sky, carried along by the autumn breeze.
"Just don't stay up there forever, all right?"
That caught his boyfriend's attention immediately, earning a pout from the blonde; a faint blush tinted his cheeks. "Of course not! Otherwise I would never see you!"
He leaned down to peck the blonde's lips before smirking at the slightly shorter individual, "That's the spirit."
There was a moment of silence before his boyfriend gazed up to look into his dark-blue eyes, "Well, what about you? Do you know what you want to do?"
He shrugged, taking a minute or so to ponder over his career choices. He had not given it a second thought, but graduation was approaching, and he was certain his boyfriend would cause a commotion if he didn't start thinking about his future. "Maybe I'll just be a pro." Then a smirk made its way on his face, as he deviously thought of something completely different. "Or maybe I'll just follow you in becoming a pilot. Who knows what kind of trouble you'll stir up?"
His boyfriend pouted again. "That's mean! I'm plenty safe, thank you!" However, that was soon replaced with a silly grin, that childish glimmer in his eyes shone brightly once again. "You should be a police officer! I think it would suit you quite well!"
"Hmm… you think?"
"Yeah! Your short temper will surely come in handy when catching criminals!"
- Paper Planes -
Ring... Ring... Beep!
"Hello, this is Kise Ryouta! Sorry if I can't answer your call right now but leave a message after the beep, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible! And if this is Aominecchi, I'll be home soon!"
"Oi, when are you coming home? Satsuki said your flight landed twenty minutes ago. She's waiting for you. Call me soon."
Aomine Daiki exhaled deeply, rubbing his temples as he leaned back on his chair. The office was freezing as usual, but then again, his supervisor was a cheap bastard who never turned on the heat. Really. Momoi was the one who told him not to worry, that she would go pick him up at the airport before returning back to the office.
He glanced over at the time again and frowned. Where is that bastard?
Worry and concern donned on him, as the clock continued to tick but still, Kise was not present. With each passing second, he was growing more and more anxious. Knowing the blonde buffoon, he most likely missed his flight and had to wait for the next departure.
At least give me a call, damn it!
As he reached for his cell phone once again, two ecstatic voices stopped him immediately. One was definitely Momoi, with the high-pitched squeals of joy, while the other had a lower voice, but still Aomine recognized that chuckle a mile away. He dashed towards the door, nearly breaking it with the strength he had used. In front of his eyes was a bright individual, as bright as the sun shining on a cloudless summer's day; his eyes sparkled at the sight of Aomine.
"Aominecchi!" Kise hugged the said male, prancing on him while the dark-haired male struggled to support both of them from the sudden embrace.
Aomine had his arms around Kise, holding him too tightly in his grasp but he was just so relieved—so damned relieved that he was safe in his arms; that he was all in one piece. He was fully aware of Momoi's eyes, watching their every move and even sending Aomine a cunning smirk, but he didn't care; Kise was finally here, in his arms.
"Loosen up your grip, Aominecchi!" Kise cried playfully, backing up from Aomine but still within his grasp; his honey-brown eyes were filled with love and joy. "If you don't, I'm going to suffocate, you know?"
He knew Kise was only fooling around, but still, for the past twenty minutes, he had been worried sick over the blonde's safety! Could he be a little more serious and sense that this was not the appropriate time to crack up jokes?
Aomine's face must have shown his emotions, his anger and irritation, since the teasing expression in Kise's eyes suddenly faltered to a look of concern. The blonde lowered his face to gaze into the dark eyes of his boyfriend's, attempting to decipher the source to his anger. Yes, even after thirteen years, the blonde was still as oblivious as ever, since the beginning of their second year in middle school till this present day.
Before Aomine had a chance to reply, Momoi touched both their hands, causing the two males to focus on her instead of each other. She smiled gently at the two, admiring the love and affection Kise had for his over-protective boyfriend, "I'm going to take my leave now. Ki-chan, it was nice speaking with you. I'll text you tomorrow to see if you're up for a cup of coffee at Mura-chan's bakery, all right? And Daiki?"
The male grunted, signalling Momoi that he had his full attention on her.
She grinned at the tanned male, patting his shoulder a little harder than necessary, "Please calm down."
His only response was a scoff, knowing Momoi was right. This was the first time in three months since he and Kise had last seen each other; what, with both of them so occupied with their jobs, neither of them could really skip out on work and visit. Of course, being the hopeless romantic he was, Kise had attempted to surprise Aomine for their anniversary this year, but work had intervened, and thus, they both ended up celebrating their anniversary through Skype.
Aomine remembered that night so well. Just the thought of it made him chuckle, instantly brightening up his mood.
"So tonight is our anniversary!"
"You actually remember the day we got together? But that was eleven years ago!" Of course, Aomine remembered the exact date too; it was simply amusing to hear Kise whine and complain how heartless it was for Aomine to forget such an important date when every year, they would celebrate it together. Hell, he even remembered the place where they first kiss. Give or take, it was the same day where they declared their relationship.
"Aominecchi, you're so mean! Don't you remember? It was right after my match with Shougo-kun, and you were helping me walk back to the hotel, but then Shougo-kun came out of nowhere and tried to-"
"Yeah, yeah, that's starting to come back." The memory never left his mind.
Even through the phone, Aomine knew Kise was grinning like a madman. Really, Aomine hated it when Kise brought back the old memories of Haizaki; the male he hated yet was grateful for because if it were not for him, the two would never have confessed to each other.
"Anyway, let's talk more tonight? I have a huge surprise for you later tonight, Aominecchi!"
A smile crept onto Aomine's lips, as he leaned against his chair, "Oh yeah? What is this surprise you have for me, Ryouta? You're making me curious."
There was silence, and he knew Kise's cheeks were probably reddening from the way Aomine had said his name. Despite their long-term relationship, Aomine was accustomed to addressing him by his surname, only ever saying his given name when he wanted to gain something.
Aomine's plan did not go as it he expected since Kise quickly muttered a rushed goodbye to his boyfriend, leaving the tanned male to blankly stare at his empty dial tone coming from his phone.
Unfortunately, shortly after the clock stroke midnight, Aomine's laptop received an incoming call from someone, whom he automatically jumped to as Kise. Immediately, he woke up from his snooze and rushed to his laptop, nearly tumbling over to avoid missing the call.
Before he even had a chance to utter a single word, he heard a high-pitched cry, and for a second, he thought it was Momoi instead. However, then he heard his voice followed by a video image of Kise, and the events that occurred after this caused a smile to form on his face.
"A- Aominecchi, I am so sorry! I was- I-" His cries and sniffles drowned out his voice, but after numerous times of comforting him back when they first started going out, Aomine surprisingly found it easy to follow and decipher his words. "I- I was held back at work and then I missed my flight back and it all just- AOMINECCHI!"
A chuckle escaped out of his mouth as he smiled passionately at the screen, watching as his boyfriend was freaking out and balling his poor eyes out. Oh, tomorrow would surely be amusing for his coworkers—coming in with red and swollen eyes. "Calm down, fool. It's only another month or so before you come down again. Just stay with me for the whole holiday, to compensate for today."
Kise sobbed grossly, before looking up at the screen to face Aomine. If he were still a model, his fans would certainly be stunned to see the face of their handsome Kise. "R- Really? Y- You're alright with missing our anniversary…?"
"Kise, don't worry about it." Aomine rubbed his eyes once again, trying to wake himself up from his earlier sleep, "Look, you're exhausted, I'm exhausted, why don't we just-?"
"AOMINECCHI HATES ME!"
A twitch formed on the edge of Aomine's mouth. With the lack of sleep and the amount of worries Kise was spouting, he was beginning to lose his patience. "OI! When did I say I hated you?!"
"B- But you don't even want to talk to me…"
Aomine groaned, rubbing his temples as he tried to massage the anger and frustration out of his system. "Look, Kise, I woke up early this morning and I have an early shift again tomorrow. Besides," That cunning, lazy smirk that Kise absolutely adored was on his face, as he stared at the camera, "If you don't sleep, you're going to look like a train wreck tomorrow. Trust me."
"…You still love me, right?"
"If you let me sleep."
Kise sniffled, unattractively blowing his nose into the tissue and then looked up at his camera to face Aomine. "T- Then I'll let you get some rest. Good night, Aominecchi… Happy Anniversary."
"Happy Anniversary, Ryouta."
And the childish grin on Kise's face made it worth staying up late at night just so they could wish each other another year of love and devotion.
"Aominecchi? Did I do something wrong?"
Aomine gazed down at Kise, before poking him on the top of his nose and chuckling at his boyfriend's reaction; the little swat of his hand and fake-annoyance on his face. "No." He tightened his embrace on Kise, bringing the blonde even closer to him and set his forehead against his. "You just… I was just concerned when I couldn't reach you through your cell phone."
"Oh. Sorry… My cell phone ran out of batteries and then I bumped into a couple of old coworkers before I met up with Momoicchi. Our meeting ended up lasting longer than I expected and-"
Aomine interrupted Kise by kissing him gently on the lips, causing the blonde to redden from the sudden gesture. Really, when Aomine was as gentle and loving as this, it sent butterflies all over his body. It was awkward and out of character, but this was the side only Kise knew and to think that Aomine trusted and loved him enough to show it brought him tears of joy.
"You have to stop crying. It's beginning to worry me." Aomine mumbled, as he wiped off the tears forming on the edges of Kise's eyes. "Twenty-seven year old men should not be crying like this."
The blonde simply waved him off, backing away from his hold, "It's your fault, you know."
Aomine's only response was a smug look, as if wishing for Kise to continue.
Kise pouted, folding his arms over his chest, and acting like the high school student he was eleven years ago. Some things just didn't change. "Acting all protective and sweet! I bet it's from the dramas Momoicchi forces you to watch!"
"Do you dislike it?" Aomine's breath was so close to Kise's face, his mouth, that the blonde stuttered his words, growing quite a bright red as Aomine neared even closer towards him.
"N- No… B- But it's just- it's diff-!"
He was interrupted when soft lips brushed against his own, first just small, light pecks, but soon turned to hot, intense tongue.
When he broke the kiss to regain his breath, to slow down his racing heart, he gazed up into Aomine's eyes, "Y- You're finished now, right?"
"And you have the day off tomorrow?"
"Then..." Kise shifted his eyes to the side, uncertain and embarrassed, before gathering the courage to continue his sentence. He placed his hands on Aomine's waist, soon tracing his fingers around his belt, making his way towards the badge on the side. His fingers played around with the engraving on the badge, taking his sweet time. "...Should we make our way back to your place then?"
His only reply was a swift kiss on the lips once again, before a tanned hand entangled his fingers around Kise's, leading the two out of the station.
They started their relationship back in their freshman year of high school, after Kise's match with Haizaki at the Winter Cup. It was thanks to Haizaki that Aomine had mustered the confidence to confess to Kise.
That night, Aomine confronted Kise, questioning him about the injury he sustained during his match with Haizaki. The poor bastard realized Kise was in utter pain with his right leg, and used it to his advantage. Slipping past the referee, he harshly stepped on Kise's right foot, causing more agony on the blonde. Unfortunately, his plan backfired, as Kise had pushed forward, conquering Haizaki, where Kaijou advanced to the semi-finals.
The two left the locker room, heading back to Kise's hotel when they happened to confront a certain angered Haizaki.
Haizaki wanted to injure Kise even further so he could not participate in his match the next day against Seirin, but luckily Aomine had been there to stop him. He managed to throw one punch at him before Kise stopped the fight, watching as Haizaki scrambled to his feet and dashed off. This left an infuriated Aomine with a fatigue Kise watching as he disappeared from their vision. Despite his tired self, Kise was still angry at Aomine, angry at the fact that he had resorted to violence against Haizaki, which could later suspend him from games due to "aggressive behaviour".
On their way back to the hotel, Kise continued to rant on and on about how careless and temperamental Aomine was until the tanned male was fed up with his whines and kissed him right on the lips. That led to an incredibly embarrassed Kise, flushed with a dark scarlet red from his cheeks to the tips of his ears, while Aomine coolly looked to the side. There were moments of awkward silences, the two unable to speak due to the shock, but eventually Kise had stuttered out the question Aomine dreaded to answer.
"A- Aominecchi, d- do you like me?"
The tanned, muscular fellow grimaced, knowing he could pretend any longer; not after kissing Kise like that. He ran his fingers through his hair, taking his leisurely time before pinning Kise against the wall, both his arms surrounding him, physically locking him between him and the wall. "Yeah, so? What about it?"
"N- Nothing, it's just- I thought you- you know…" Kise had mumbled out the last bit, causing Aomine to lean even closer to his face. The blush surfacing on his cheeks was so apparent that even without the light, Aomine was certain he could see it through the darkness.
He asked him to repeat it again.
Kise exhaled deeply, before looking at Aomine, "I thought you liked girls!"
This time it was Aomine who turned a dark scarlet red. He still kept Kise between his arms, but he hesitantly took his eyes away from his face. Really, if he told Kise he had been attracted to him since their first encounter in middle school, how would he react?
It was true; Aomine was attracted to girls—for well, their breasts. But for some reason, whenever he jacked off, it was typically Kise who was on his mind.
Aomine glared at Kise, causing the blonde to stop and stare into his eyes with honey-brown orbs, "Yeah, well, clearly I like you, alright?"
"F- For how long…?"
There was silence, and the Touou Ace did not feel compelled to discuss this with Kise, but it was better to just spill out the truth, and get this humiliating confession over and done with.
When he told him the date, Kise widened his eyes, his mouth agape as Aomine's words sunk in. Ever since they met? So that meant…
"The incident with the basketball… back in Teikou… was that-"
Aomine glanced over to the side, his face still as red as an apple, but mumbled, "Wasn't an accident."
Moments later, when Aomine was certain Kise had heard him and either fainted or he managed to escape out of his hold, he heard soft cries in front of him. Tears were trickling down Kise's eyes, gracefully falling down his cheeks, and he tried to cover it up from Aomine, but sadly the ace noticed it a mile away.
"O- Oi! Kise, why are you-?"
"I'm so happy…" Kise whimpered, resting his forehead against Aomine's chest and entwining his fingers around Aomine's. "I- I really like you, Aominecchi…"
A smirk was on Aomine's face as he placed a hand behind Kise's head, bringing the blonde closer to his body, all in a defensive, protective way. "Idiot. Scared me for a second. Seriously, who cries like that?"
"S- Shut up, Aominecchi!" Kise was about to add something else but a pair of lips met with his once again. This time it was sweet, passionate and far longer than the first—and well, this time Kise returned the gesture.
It was early in the morning, far too early for Aomine on his day off, but there was a loud rustling of sheets beside him, which caused the tanned male to frown, clearly awake from his sleep now, and roll over to face the source of the noise. Of course, the person making the noise was attempting to slyly – please note he was attempting, but failed horribly – dress himself and leave the room quietly.
"Kise, what are you doing?"
"Eh?! Aominecchi, you're awake already? B- But it's only six in the morn-"
"You're not exactly graceful." A smirk crept on his face as he admired the view in front of him though, and immediately, Kise knew what he was looking at, hurriedly pulling his pants up and facing Aomine; the upper half of his body still unclothed. "Still embarrassed?"
"Aominecchi should be quiet!" Scarlet tints covered Kise's pale cheeks as he crossed his arms over his bare chest and pouted, "And you ruined my surprise… I was going to cook you breakfast!"
A chuckle escaped out of Aomine's lips, as he sat up from his bed, the sheets falling down to his waist, revealing his toned body, "You? Cook? I would rather treat you to an expensive breakfast. Face it, Kise, after thirteen years, you still can't cook for shit."
Before Kise could retaliate, Aomine rolled his eyes, swiftly making his way over to the blonde and muttered in his ear, "Since I'm up already, let's just go out for breakfast and then meet up with Satsuki and the others, all right? But let me shower first."
There was no time to respond as Kise was too flustered by Aomine's quick, gentle kiss on his lips, growing weak in his knees. As Aomine headed to the bathroom, Kise reached and brushed his fingers against his lips, still in awe from Aomine's loving actions. A smile crept on his lips, as the inner romantic in him squealed in joy and gushed with glee.
Aomine spoiled him with love sometimes.
The two were walking along the sidewalk, Kise with his arms tightly wrapped around Aomine's, as the latter mindlessly guided them towards their old teammate's bakery. Without even glancing over to the side, Aomine knew Kise was shining brightly beside him, like the ball of sunshine he was, clearly having enjoyed their breakfast at a quaint café.
"I take it breakfast was good?"
He felt Kise snuggle closer to him, resting his head against his arm just like back in high school, before he heard a soft, "Mmm, Aominecchi knows where the best restaurants are~"
A low chuckle escaped out of Aomine's lips, as the two neared the bakery, with a few figures already standing in front of it, waiting patiently for them. "Only because Satsuki keeps pestering me to take you to them."
Suddenly, the two heard a loud shout from the entrance of the bakery, with a two-tone-haired individual waving them over, "Hey! You two lovebirds, get over here already!"
Aomine recognized the individual immediately and grimaced, "Fuck, he and Tetsu are still together?"
"Kagamicchi isn't that bad, Aominecchi. Besides, Akashicchi approves of him, so why can't you?"
"Isn't it obvious?"
"Claiming that he isn't worthy of Kurokocchi isn't a good excuse, nor is it true." There was a moment of silence as Kise pulled Aomine aside, the two coming to a halt. He tightened his grip on Aomine's arm, pulling his face closer to his, "Face it, you're just jealous because you two are so similar."
Before Aomine could react, Kise smirked, releasing his hold on Aomine's arm and dashing up the hill, where the others awaited. Aomine returned the smirk, chasing after his little ball of happiness—his ray of light.
The room was silent, not a single sound, not even a soul, dared to move as a figure entered, approaching the casket that was positioned in the front.
Flowers of all kinds – from cosmos to roses to forget-me-nots – and flowers of all colours – from white to pink to red to yellow – surrounded the white, innocent room, making it appear smaller than it was. A pitch-black coffin lay out of place in the front of the room, beautiful sunflowers in various sized baskets bordering its sides.
Sunflowers. Sunflowers were always his favourite, perhaps it was because a certain someone always called him his sun, that no matter how dark it was, he always shone as brightly as the sun.
Aomine approached the coffin cautiously, watching as the numerous pairs of eyes in the room followed his every move. Stop. He mentally begged, refusing to cry, refusing to break down and let the tears fall down his cheeks as he was in front of his companions. He was a grown man; someone who was approaching his thirties and it was foolish—foolish and humiliating for a man of his calibre to cry in public.
"It's alright to cry, Aomine-kun."
Shut up, Tetsu.
"Mine-chin, where is he? Weren't you supposed to come with him?"
"Atsushi, we went over this."
Shut up, Murasakibara, Akashi.
"You look horrible but I suppose that makes sense… It is a gloomy day for Virgos…"
Shut up, Midorima.
Aomine gritted his teeth, recalling all the words, words of attempted comfort, from his companions, as he tightened his hold on the sunflowers that were in his grasp, nearing closer and closer to the casket in front of him. Beside him was Momoi, sobbing uncontrollably and holding the tissue over her nose.
He slowed his pace, feeling somewhat nauseous of what – and who – lay in the casket, refusing to truly believe who was there.
His eyes followed Momoi, as she stood by the coffin, tracing her fingers over the fine details of the outside before sobbing once again; her wails echoed throughout the room as Kuroko rushed over to guide her away. They had passed Aomine, Kuroko shooting him a worried look but Aomine was far too engrossed in his own thoughts, in his own sorrows, to pay any attention.
This was all just a dream, a horrible, horrible dream. Surely, when he wakes up, he will be right next to him, with his slender, pale body cuddled in his, warm and bright as always.
Surely he was still alive…
He snapped out of his daze when he felt a large hand on his shoulder, quickly turning around to face the individual. Ki-
His heart plummeted to the floor, noticing the person was nowhere close to resembling Kise; the broad, toned shoulders, the dark hair shades, the saddened look of his once wild eyes—nothing like Kise.
"What?" He spat, his words harsher than he had intended but now was not the time for this. Sympathized by Momoi, by Kuroko, by the rest of his team, he could tolerate but this—he didn't need comfort from him.
Kagami stared at Aomine for a second, fidgeting as if uncomfortable and debating to give his condolences, but gathered the strength to do so. "I'm sorry..."
His eyes narrowed. For what? Was he the one who had killed him? Who watched as two armed madmen shot his boyfriend during an airport lockdown? Was he the one responsible for stealing the sun that brightened his world?
Before Aomine could reply, Kagami continued from before, "...but you're not the only one who feels grief and pain. We all lost someone important a week ago, and yeah, that someone happened to be your lover but don't act like you're the only one who's suffering."
He left—left Aomine all alone as he stood in front of the coffin, gazing upon the sights of the beautiful blonde male who rested peacefully on the white, pure sheets.
He bit back the tears until he recalled Kuroko's words.
"It's alright to cry, Aomine-kun..."
Moisture began accumulating in the edges of his eyes, and he could no longer resist the urge to cry, to release his despair, his sorrows. For a week, he tried to contain them, to remain as the strong man who never shed a tear, but being up close, being able to see him yet not feel a single fraction of his presence, was a wake-up call.
If only he had stayed with him till he boarded his flight... If only he had made it on time... If only he had the chance to play the hero instead of him...
If only he had just convinced him to stay a couple more days...
A whimper escaped out of Aomine's mouth as he tightened his hold on the side of the coffin, before the whimpers turned to endless sobs.
He knew that this was not a dream at all; that once he returned home, it would be filled with utter darkness and emptiness. Nothing would remain of his presence.
Rewind to a week and an hour ago in the Tokyo, Japan airport…
"Aominecchi, I am about to board my flight! It doesn't feel the same without you beside me!"
A low rumble resembling a laugh sounded on the other line, as a rustling was heard. The sound of an engine ran in the background, and Kise knew Aomine was going on his morning patrol. "Be safe, alright? I'll see you in a couple months."
"Of course! This time Aominecchi will come visit me in Paris, right?"
"If that damned Imayoshi lets me."
But Aomine was going to, even if he had to suddenly "disappear" from work, he would definitely make it in time for Valentine's Day. Kise's one wish, granted Aomine thought it was too cheesy but anything for his Kise, was to spend Valentine's Day together in – what he liked to call – the City of Love. Next time he saw Kise, he would certainly ask him that question.
During their reunion with everyone, a topic popped up that had caught and surprised the attention of not just Aomine and Kise, but the rest of the crowd.
"There's a reason we asked all of you to come today."
Kise pouted, crossing his arms over his chest as he puffed out his cheeks for a stronger effect, "It wasn't just to see me?!"
Kuroko ignored the blonde, causing the latter to whine and cling to Aomine, who simply disregarded the fact that his boyfriend was acting like a five-year-old. "Kagami-kun and I are going to America next month."
"For what?" Aomine questioned, obviously curiosity got the better of him and he was the only one who had the guts to ask what everyone wanted an answer to.
A cunning sparkle glistened in Kuroko's icy blue eyes; causing Aomine to slightly worry over what schemes he was getting into. "We're going to get married."
"EHH?! KUROKOCCHI AND KAGAMICCHI?! MARRIAGE?!"
Clearly Aomine wasn't the only one who was shocked.
Kuroko sighed, the sparkle in his eye disappearing as he responded with a blunt "Yes."
There was silence before a soft yet strong voice broke the ice. "I don't suppose you want to rethink the matter? Marriage is quite a commitment," Akashi said, as he calmly looked from an unemotional Kuroko to a very uncomfortable and embarrassed Kagami. His bi-eyes of yellow and red stared at the two as if testing their devotion towards each other.
The edges of Kuroko's lips perked up a little into a smile—or what counted as a smile for him. "Yes, we're absolutely sure."
Akashi nodded in understanding, before announcing, "Then I suppose it would be appropriate to congratulate you both on your decision."
Kise grinned, immediately perking his head up at the sudden thought of a toast. He raised his coffee cup and held it up in the air, "To Kurokocchi and Kagamicchi!" An idea popped into his head as he turned to Aomine, already preparing his big, puppy-dog look, causing the tanned male to grunt and await his question, not amused at all, "We should host a party, Aominecchi! As a-"
"Because it's too much work. And no, I'm not going to have you plan it." In reality, Aomine simply didn't want to acknowledge their marriage; he was happy for Kuroko – really, he was – but he could do so much better. Besides, after Kuroko announced their engagement, Kagami had not looked up once to stare at the Generation of Miracles.
"It's alright, Kise-kun. This is enough of a celebration."
Well, now he just felt guilty.
Aomine casted a side glance at Kise, which the blonde interpreted as a 'Do-whatever-the-Hell-you-want, I-don't-care' expression. Kise squealed, like a child receiving their favourite toy for Christmas, and pecked Aomine on the cheek before saying, "No! We'll hold a Christmas and celebration party for you and Kagamicchi on Christmas Eve!"
There was silence in the room, but everyone knew once Kise set his mind on something, he was going to accomplish it. They all sighed in defeat – especially Aomine – and gave into his plans.
As the blonde squealed in glee, Akashi glanced at Aomine who held his head in his palms, shaking his head and feeling utterly defeated. The Shogi player smiled at the cop and softly said, "So when are you and Ryouta going to marry, Daiki?"
Of course only he, Aomine, and Midorima caught those words; everyone else was too busy paying attention to Kise as he arranged everything—except for Murasakibara, who was just engulfed in his own little world of pastries and sweets.
Midorima scoffed, pushing his glasses up and leaning back on his chair, "What nonsense."
Akashi gazed over at Midorima and smiled cunningly, "How so? Because they are both men? Shintarou, as I recall, you and Kazunari are still together, correct?"
Midorima straightened up then, a bright red tint covering his cheeks as he mumbled something incoherent—probably along the lines of "We are just coworkers". This was true, but really, it was quite obvious what kind of "relationship" they had outside of work.
Satisfied with his answer, Akashi returned his attention to Aomine who was just as red as Midorima, perhaps even redder. He taunted the man with the sly look in his eyes, as if eager to know his response.
Aomine shrugged, attempting to cool down the warm feeling on his cheeks, "Don't know."
"Surely you must be a little irritated at this announcement. You two started going out long before Tetsuya and Taiga did."
At that point, Aomine's only response was a small shrug, before stealing a cookie off of Kise's plate, causing the blonde to pout and whine about how he shouldn't take his food. Akashi only offered a tiny smile, before shaking his head, letting the conversation end for now.
Little did he know, Aomine was already thinking about when he should drag Momoi around to go ring shopping.
The tanned cop snapped out of his thoughts, clearly having zoned out of their conversation. He shook his head, wiping his mind free of those thoughts and patted his pocket, where he had placed the ring. His plan backfired when he decided to wait till he arrived in Paris to present the blonde with the gift. "Sorry. What were you saying?"
"It wasn't anything important! I was just saying, when you come to visit, I'll take you to all the delicious cafes in the city! Really, their macaroons are the best!"
"As long as you didn't make it."
"That's mean, Aominecchi! I-"
There was a sudden shriek followed by many others on Kise's line. Immediately, Aomine stomped on his breaks, and tightly gripped his phone, "Hey! Hey, Kise! What's going on?!"
"I- I don't-"
"Surrender or we'll fucking kill all of ya!" A vicious gunshot was fired and Aomine widened his eyes, trembling slightly at the sound coming from his boyfriend's line. That was a real gunshot.
Aomine, adrenaline rushing to his head, tightened his hold on his phone even more, "Kise! Kise, you have to get out of there, you hear me?! I'll be right over, I swear!"
"I- I understand, Aominecchi..."
In the background, Aomine could hear the shouts of the perpetrators, coming closer and closer to Kise. His body tensed; just the fact that Kise was stuck in the airport with gunmen worried him.
Aomine snapped out of his thoughts, immediately pressing on his pedal. The faster he got to the airport, the faster Kise would be safe in his arms. He didn't care if he didn't have orders; Kise was in danger and if anything happened to him...
He tightened his hold on the wheel.
"Oi, Kise! Are you safe?"
He could hear it; could sense the fright and fear in his voice. The happy-go-lucky tone had evaporated the second the gunshots were fired.
Before Aomine could say anything to reassure the blonde he would be fine – that he would save him – there was a loud shout from the other end, something along the lines of 'Hey, don't you dare call for reinforcement!' and the line disconnected.
Aomine panicked, pressing harder on the gas pedal as an attempt to get to the airport faster. On his way there, Momoi had contacted him through the built-in communicator.
"Dai-chan, the airport is-"
"I fucking know!" He shouted, frightening the pink-haired girl known as his childhood friend. Within seconds, she pulled herself together, piecing the connections that he and Kise had been on the phone together before the ambush.
"Imayoshi-san and I are heading towards the airport right now with the group. Please be careful and be calm. He will be all right, Dai-chan."
He hadn't responded, not even a single grunt as he hung up.
How could he remain calm? Until Kise was back in his arms – until he was securely in his arms – that is when he would be calm.
For what seemed to be an eternity, Aomine finally reached the airport, stomping immediately on the breaks as he caught sight of the multiple sirens packed outside. He hoisted his gun onto his belt before stepping out and headed towards the entrance.
As he approached the doors, he caught a group of officers' words. "Yeah... Apparently there's only two shooters… already shot five people... Going ballistic... and-"
Aomine grabbed hold of the man's collar, bringing him closer to his face as he growled, "Shot five? Who?"—The man trembled in fright, shaking his head repeatedly—"Fuck, you know how many were shot yet you don't know who?!"
"I- I'm so-"
Before anything drastic could happen to the man's face, for instance a certain tanned fist might just come into contact, someone interrupted, "Aomine! Get a hold of yourself!"
The male swiftly turned around, still having a tight grip on the poor officer, until he realized who was in front of him. He grew even more agitated, releasing the man as he scampered towards the safety of his friends. "'Get a hold of myself'? Do you know who is in there?!"
Kagami, eyes filled with worry, replied calmly, "I know. But we should be concerned about those who are injured too. We need to get in there and stop those guys before anyone else is hurt."
"I know that, bastard."
"If you know that, then why are you still lingering outside, yelling at everyone? Come on, we have a plan." Kagami, in his firefighter attire, quickly paced back to his other companions. Aomine approached them cautiously, realization hitting him in the chest as his eyes scanned the area, from the fire trucks to the ambulances to the numerous amounts of police cars coming and going—this was something serious and clearly chaotic.
Events like this… Events like this never happened in Japan, so why now? Why now, when his boyfriend was stuck inside?
"So once the police troops with their intelligence arrives, we'll work together."—The leading firefighter commanded, as he gestured to Kagami and Aomine—"Kagami, that a friend from the force?"
"Yeah. He just arrived."
Aomine nodded his head once, as a greeting gesture, before saying, "Someone important to me is in there so I need to get in there quickly."
The commanding firefighter must have recognized the look of agony and concern from the tanned man as he shook his head, "Can't do that, son. It's too rash to charge in there with so few people. We will be on stand-by until your department arrives."
"There are only two of them! You're saying as trained professions, we can't take down two fucking amateurs?!"
"Dai-chan!" There was a high-pitched shriek, as the firemen and Aomine all turned to face a concerned Momoi dash towards them, followed by Imayoshi and the rest of the force. Her face filled with uneasiness as she was dressed in her usual formal attire, consisting of a blazer with a pencil skirt—all black, of course; a thin file in her hands.
"Oh good, you all arrived." The commanding firefighter stared at Momoi who was still distressed and clearly worried for whoever was inside. "Miss… I take it you are the intelligence?"
Momoi snapped out of her emotions then, literally shutting them away as she knew never to involve her personal life with work, even if Kise was stuck in the airport. She took a deep breath before turning to the firemen and bowing, "Please call me Momoi. I haven't gathered much; there was very limited information to work with. However, what I know is that there are two trained gunmen – perhaps from the military – who are most likely suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder."
"So you're implying today was triggered?"
Momoi nodded, "Yes. I received a recording of their first kill. Judging from the looks, they had shot the man out of fear. My best guess is the other four victims also received the same fate like that. I am sure they believe they are still in war."
"This makes the situation more difficult. We should-"
Before the firefighter could finish, Aomine slammed his fist into the pole beside him, bruising his knuckles as well as imprinting a barely visible mark on the pole, but clearly catching the attention of those amongst him. He hadn't uttered a word, but his swift turn, and steady yet rushed paces towards the entrance of the airport were evident of his patience. For those who were associated the male personally knew he could no longer wait while his boyfriend remained in there, defenseless with two armed men.
Someone called behind him but Aomine ignored it, quickly disregarding the various stares from his coworkers, firefighters, and paramedics. He could have sworn he had passed by three individuals who closely resembled Midorima, Takao, and Sakurai but his mind was too focused on the door. Only a few more steps then he would be in; he could find Kise and get him out of there, just-
Within mere inches of the door handle, Aomine was tackled to the floor, a red and black blur suddenly in his view and then he found himself face flat on the ground. Without even glancing back, he knew it was Kagami who had tackled him; he was the only one who had the bravery to actually face Aomine head-on.
Aomine shifted his head so at least one eye could focus on Kagami—or glare at the muscular male who lay atop him, holding him in place so he dare not move an inch closer towards the door. "Oi, you bastard, get off of-"
"What are you thinking?! Even after Momoi explaining the current situation, you still insist on charging in there without a plan?!"
The distressed officer mustered the strength to force Kagami aside, dusting the debris off his uniform. He refused to look him in the eyes; he knew he was right, that he really shouldn't act recklessly at a time like this but Kise...
He tightened his fists, nearly to the point where it began turning white. It was then he felt a hand on his shoulder and he glanced up to see Kagami.
"Look, I know you're worried about him but calm down and think for a second. Do you think he would be happy if he found out you were injured because you rushed in to find him?"
Aomine hated to admit it but he had a point. Knowing Kise, he would blame it only on himself.
His silence was enough of an answer, but before Kagami had a chance to reply, both the head firefighter and Imayoshi approached the two of them. Imayoshi, no longer wearing that smug expression on his face and having taken this situation as a serious matter, said, "It's fine. Aomine is right; we can't afford to lose any more time."
"Kagami, suit up. You and your friend will go with team one and detain the perpetrators. If you see any victims along the way, perform first aid until a medic arrives, understood?"
Kagami nodded once, "Yes, sir!"
At the same time, Imayoshi and Momoi had briefed Aomine on his mission, but the man disregarded both their voices; their words going in one ear and out the other. He clenched his fists, focused on only one goal—his own goal.
Kise would be safe in his arms at last.
Aomine could only watch, watch from afar as he saw a figure with blonde hair push a figure resembling that of a child behind him, standing strong as he faced one of the gunmen. He should have dashed for it; should have prepared his gun and immediately make a run towards him and the child; should have diverted the gunman's attention from the two to himself. But he didn't.
And he could only watch the gunman shout something incoherent at the figure, before pressing the trigger on his gun, sending the blonde figure tumbling to the floor.
That alone was enough to snap Aomine out of his daze and aim his gun right at the gunman's head as he ran towards the fallen figure, leaving the crying child to Kagami and the others with the gunman. He held the blonde in his arms, mumbling hushed sounds and claiming help was on the way; that he would never let him die; that he should have waited for him to arrive; and that he was an idiot for trying to play the hero.
The blonde only smiled meekly, before attempting to entangle his fingers around his own but he was far too weak, already losing too much blood before Midorima, Takao, or even Sakurai could rush in to stop the bleeding. He motioned Aomine to come closer, for it was too painful to lift his head up and he could only speak in soft, short gasps. With each passing second, Aomine could feel the energy of the one who lay in his arms slowly weakening—slowly fading.
Aomine did as he was told, though, and leaned down, to where soft, gentle lips met with his own, before making its way towards his ear, and mumbled something, causing Aomine's eyes to widen.
Before he had a chance to retaliate, to respond to the idiot's words, the trembling fingers that had attempted to entwine his own rested against his palm. The body in his arms had already fallen into a deep slumber, as Midorima and Takao approached the crowd, but it was too late.
He was long gone.
Aomine sprung awake, immediately straightening up from his position on the bed; heavy breaths escaped his mouth as he gasped for air. His heart pounded against his chest, and with each pound, it only ached more. Sweat trickled down his cheeks as he recalled every detail of his dream; of his horrific memory; of the most traumatic experience of his life.
Snapping out of his daze, he hastily glanced around him, patting his hands on the vacant side of his bed. His fingers trailed from the pillow to the bed sheets, feeling no presence, no warmth, whatsoever. Tears began to accumulate in his eyes and he struggled to contain them. It hurt; it hurt so much knowing he was still alive while his partner – his ray of sunshine – no longer shone in his world.
He felt so lonely, so empty.
How long... How long had he been lonely for?
A small glance towards the calendar and he noticed the date stroke June—June 18. Aomine felt sick to his stomach; almost six months—almost half a year he's been without Kise. What was worse? Tomorrow, Kise would have turned twenty-eight.
His eyes shifted from the calendar to a picture frame that was positioned atop his desk. He was never a fan of picture frames; to be honest, he enjoyed having his room completely empty with only the necessities of his bed, dresser, desk, and laptop, but of course Kise wanted it to feel homier.
Catching sight of the frame caused Aomine's tears to fall even harder. This room – his whole apartment – screamed of Kise and his influence, yet there was not a single trace of his presence.
His phone rang, but he had absolutely no strength to move from his bed, not even to reach for the cordless phone that was on his night table. So he let it ring; where it rang for another four times before diverting the caller to the answering machine.
"Hi there! If you're looking for Aominecchi, he's currently being a lazy jerk who won't pick up his phone, so please leave a message after the beep, and he'll call you back as soon as possible! Thank-you!"
Aomine's heart stopped. He had forgotten Kise's recording to his answering machine—oh yes, he planned to redo the recording after Kise's death, but every time he attempted to record a new message, he broke down crying; unable to find the strength to delete Kise's voice from his machine. It was just so painful, so very painful; to constantly be reminded of someone who was once important to him was no longer here.
"Dai-chan? Dai-chan, it's me—Satsuki. You haven't shown up to work in the past six months and I tried to contact you several times but no answer. Please call me back soon; I'm worried sick! I- I know it's hard… without Ki-chan here, but Dai-chan, you have to move on. It's been six months. Imayoshi-san said if you don't come back to work by the end of the month, you'll be- you'll be discharged. Well… I have to return back to work. Talk to you soon."
Just when Aomine thought she was done, she added, "Oh, and we are all meeting tomorrow at the cemetery; I think you know why. Ten o'clock in the morning. Everything is set so you just need to bring yourself. Please come. Not for me, not for the others, but for Ki-chan. See you tomorrow, Dai-chan."
Aomine exhaled heavily, realizing he had been holding his breath as he listened to Momoi's message. He covered his eyes with his arm, clearly frustrated and at a loss of what to do. If everyone saw him tomorrow, he was sure he would break down crying—seeing them content and in love with their partners beside them.
Ah, he didn't want to see anyone really, but Momoi was right; he should go visit Kise's grave tomorrow, to wish him a happy birthday—despite the fact that it was not so much of a happy birthday, but more of just… a birthday. Because really, who would be wishing a deceased person a happy birthday?
Aomine only curled his fist into a tight ball, dreading for tomorrow to come.
The next morning, Aomine woke up to a loud pounding on his door. For the first few pounds, he had disregarded it, assuming the inconsiderate fool, who insisted on giving him a major headache and waking him up from his sleep, would soon give up. Unfortunately, that was hardly the case. The knocker continued to pound even louder, which caused Aomine to wake up and give the perpetrator a few kind words of advice.
The male whipped the door open, a frown apparent on his face as he prepared to give the 'guest' a piece of his mind. However, he was cut short when his eyes came into contact with red eyes that resembled that of an infuriated tiger.
His anger soon returned though. Really, he should have left the door unanswered, but now he was just annoyed at the fact that his least favourite person was standing right in front of him. "What? What are you all angry about?"
Because really, it shouldn't be Kagami who was angry, but Kise—it was far past the designated time Momoi said the others were meeting at the cemetery to greet Kise with birthday wishes. Instead of going with them, he forced himself to sleep in, so he would not have to face the tombstone that dared to have the words 'Rest in Peace, Kise Ryouta' engraved.
Kagami scowled, upset and anger in his eyes since he knew Aomine was only pretending to play oblivious, because who didn't know the reason to why he was here. But first, he forced his way into Aomine's apartment, ignoring the cop's protests and threats to kick him out. He took a seat on his couch, and waited, waited for Aomine to sigh in defeat and shut the door; silence engulfing the room as the latter soon joined him on the seat across from where he sat.
They both waited for one to speak, but of course, neither wanted to initiate the conversation, so the awkward silence continued, until Kagami exhaled loudly, rubbing his temples and loosening his tie. Aomine figured he must have dressed up fancy for the cemetery, which made him feel underdressed, despite the fact that he was in the comfort of his own home.
"We all went today." Kagami said, which caused Aomine to snort—mentally thanking Kagami for stating the obvious. "Momoi outdid herself this time; she brought all of his favourite things. Uh – what was it again? Damn, Kuro- I mean, Tetsuya really should have come; he would know what items she brought – but I think there were old photos of us back in high school and…"
Oh right. Kagami and Kuroko recently married in America. Hearing Kagami say Kuroko's given name with a stutter clearly meant the individual was growing accustomed to saying his name; must have been something Kuroko wanted him to do since they were legally together now.
Aomine, deep in his own thoughts, ignored Kagami as he continued to talk about the events from earlier this morning, but catching small little bits here and there—like how Midorima had brought him Gemini's lucky item today with Takao teasing him about how the two had to wake up at six in the morning to buy it; how even Imayoshi and Sakurai were there despite the two not being close friends with him but Sakurai insisted on going to pay their respects; how the Kaijou regulars stopped by to present sunflowers to his grave; and how Akashi threatened the gardeners to trim the grass along his tombstone because it was not attractive for the eyes. Really, some things just didn't change, huh?
His eyes trailed to Kagami's left hand, specifically the tiny silver band that wrapped around his fourth finger, and the room seemed to fall into mute then. Kagami's mouth still moving as he moved onto how Murasakibara couldn't keep his hands off his childhood friend from America and how he was slightly annoyed at Himuro's negligence to the giant's strong attachment. None of this information was relevant to Aomine, and so he continued to stare at the ring, captivated at its beauty and how something so little could mean so much; could mean a sign of commitment and true love.
Oh he was envious; envious of Kagami and his perfect marriage with Kuroko; how he was envious of those who still had partners they could talk to, could touch; and most importantly, how he was envious of the fact that those who were still in a relationship could upgrade that to marriage with just a single ring.
The ring he had intended to propose to Kise with was still in his uniform pocket; he knew it was there. Every day, he would touch the pocket and trace his fingers around the shape of ring. If only he had presented Kise with the ring, then he could have seen how beautiful the blonde would have looked with the silver band that matched the earring on his left ear; could have seen the surprise that would later shift into a genuine smile as tears stream down his cheeks.
"…mine? Aomine, you still here?" The male immediately snapped out of his daze, shaking his head as he erased his thoughts from earlier. He had forgotten Kagami was here, and the latter must have noticed because he sighed, before continuing, "Anyway, they all returned back to work. I was heading back to the fire hall but Tetsuya told me to drop something on my way." Kagami reached into his jacket, before revealing a single paper plane; Aomine only widened his eyes.
"This is yours. After we paid our respects, Momoi guided us back to Kaijou where we each flew one of these into the sky." Kagami shrugged before leaving the light object on the table, standing up and heading towards the door. Before he was out of Aomine's sight though, he turned to face the male and said, "I thought it was only because he was a pilot, but Tetsuya said there was a deeper meaning to it; that only you would know. If you're not going to his grave, you should at least send one of these. Clearly it was something significant to both of you. In case you're wondering, the roof to Kaijou is open till the end of the day."
And Kagami left, excusing himself as he gently closed the door, leaving Aomine alone in the silence once again, with the paper plane right in front of him.
"Aominecchi, look, look! That one's still flying!" The bright smile on Kise's face was enough for Aomine, but still, he approached his boyfriend and followed the plane's flight, as it soared through the sky along with the birds.
"Really, how long are you going to continue doing this? Whenever I visit, you always drag me up here so you can fly your silly planes. I thought we were going to play one-on-one."
Kise only chuckled before positioning a plane for another launch; releasing his grip and watching it casually ascend towards the clouds before heading down to the ground for a safe landing. "We will! Honest! But flying planes is fun too, you know? Besides, I only do this when I'm with you, Aominecchi." He placed one in Aomine's hands, and smiled up at his boyfriend, "Try it! Remember to have a loose grip and release when the timing is right."
"Oi, Kise, I'm not a kid anymore. Besides, what do you mean by 'when the timing is right', you idiot!"
His only response was a chuckle, before Kise wrapped his hands around his own, propelling the plane back and forth before telling him to release it. The plane drifted in the sky for a long time, with Kise and Aomine both watching its flight, fascinated by its beauty, before it landed just outside the school gates.
"That's what I mean by right timing," Kise said softly, still mesmerized at the plane's long journey before diverting his attention to Aomine. "Alright, we can go play our one-on-one, Aomine-"
He was interrupted when a pair of lips met with his own, and returned the gesture, only to have it broken with Aomine staring into his honey-brown orbs. "I don't mind." When Kise tilted his head in confusion to Aomine's words, the latter only scoffed and rubbed the back of his head, "You know, flying planes—every now and then. It's a nice break from basketball."
His only response was a childish grin.
He wasn't sure how he ended up on the Kaijou roof, but for some reason, he was there, with a bouquet of freshly trimmed sunflowers and the single paper plane Kagami dropped off. It was odd, returning to a school he never attended yet remembering every little detail, from the small crack on the doorframe to the paint job that still needed to be done.
Maybe it was because it was Kise's birthday, or perhaps it was from Kagami's visit earlier, but he managed to drag himself out of his house for the first time in months and face the bright sun and roam the streets he frequently passed once before.
Perhaps he should be thankful of Kagami, for if it weren't for his visit earlier, he probably wouldn't have had the resolve to return to this school. There were too many memories, too many things that reminded him of Kise.
He made his way over to the railings, where he could recall Kise leaning against almost every single afternoon, sighing dreamily as he followed his dear planes' flights; where he could reminisce the very places he kissed Kise and held him tightly in his arms. It hurt, but at the same time, he couldn't help but smile at the old recollections.
His fingers made their way to his shirt's pocket, where he took out the silver ring and taped it to the plane, knowing it would fall immediately but he didn't care—it was the thought that counted, and in his mind, as though as it lasted in the sky for a single millisecond, it was technically on its way to him. He placed the flowers nicely on the ground, rearranging them tidily so they were more presentable before straightening up and positioning the plane for a clean and smooth launch.
Aomine exhaled loudly, calming his nerves, his racing heart, before releasing the plane, closing his eyes shut because he couldn't bear to watch it plummet to the ground.
To his surprise, the plane wavered slightly, before taking a smooth course towards the entrance of the school, making it even farther than his first plane all those years ago, and then he lost sight of it, but that didn't matter. The plane had flown, flown somewhere far, far away—perhaps somewhere Kise could reach and admire the paper planes he once enjoyed.
And that was enough for Aomine because now he could finally move on; finally continue with his life, despite the fact that Kise was not physically by his side, but…
Aomine's fingers traced over the thick, silver band that enclosed around his fourth finger and smiled.
Kise may not be with him anymore, but the ring was proof that he would forever be Kise's. And hopefully, from wherever he was, Kise would receive the paper plane that not only had his other end of the ring, but a few words, as well.
"Ryouta, you may not be here anymore, but if you can still see this from wherever you are, I want you to know I still love you, and I hope you're having a good birthday. Happy Birthday, Ryouta. - Daiki
PS- I know I should have done this sooner, but Ryouta, do you see this ring? I wanted to present it to you on Valentine's Day, but things… were cut short. But I'm just going to get it over with now. I'm sorry it's nothing the way you imagined it but Ryouta…
Will you marry me?"