The fact that Kise and Aomine were dating was supposed to be a secret, but like all other secrets in Teikou - Midorima's bandage fetish, Kise's crossdressing photoshoot, Akashi's mafia connections - it was all over the school within an hour. Haizaki walked into practice the following day with his hands overflowing with sandwiches and a preemptively smug smile.

"Daiki," he called, waving the sandwiches around, "I stole these for you."

Heads turned. Momoi opened her mouth, then closed it again. "Uh - thanks," Aomine said blankly, reaching out for a yakisoba-pan, because it was food and he had all the impulse control of a three-year-old.

"Any time," Haizaki answered, watching him with a gaze that was both smoldering and worthy of a restraining order.

Aomine didn't notice, but Kuroko caught the stare and announced calmly, "I feel violated right now." He shifted to hide behind Murasakibara, who peered at Haizaki with a thoughtful, "What's wrong with your face?" Next to him, Kise smiled in a way that wasn't very amused at all.

Watching from the bleachers, Midorima bent down and murmured into Akashi's ear, "I warned you that conditioning Haizaki to steal Kise's girlfriends was a terrible idea."

Akashi sighed, like he was trying really hard to understand how the rest of the world could be this stupid. "I admit," he said slowly, as Haizaki threw an arm around Aomine's shoulder and moved just a little too close, "this goes beyond my expectations."

-o-

The seduction of Aomine Daiki by Haizaki Shougo was eagerly followed by most of the Teikou team, because it was the off-season and there was nothing better to do, and also because it was hilarious.

Haizaki was used to getting Kise's girls with a little flexing of his biceps and a lot of really awful pickup lines. It turned out that Aomine posed more of a challenge: when Haizaki sauntered up to him with his sleeves rolled up and asked if Aomine wanted to pound him like a power dribble, Aomine blinked and obligingly punched him in the face, puzzled.

It was clear that the subtlety of normal seduction wasn't going to work, so Haizaki sat down one night and wrote a heartfelt letter to Horikita Mai about a five-year-old friend of his who was dying of ocular cancer and whose sole wish in life was to meet her before his eyeballs fell out. He included a few sketches of sad, anatomically incorrect children with tears flowing out of their empty sockets. He also thought about attaching an actual eyeball as a visual aid, but eventually decided that it posed a biohazard risk.

Three weeks later, Horikita Mai showed up at Teikou with a crew of cameramen in tow, ready to meet the brave kid who had a thing for well-endowed gravure models. She was less-than-pleased to find out what Aomine really looked like (and Haizaki's excuse of "Mental age of five! I said mental age!" didn't cut it), but Aomine got a hug and a kiss anyway.

Fortunately, the crew stuck around for long enough to catch Aomine entering the zone, and Haizaki managed to convince them that the spontaneous bursts of electricity emanating from his eyes (what the fuck was that, anyway, was the bastard part eel or something) were a side effect of the cancer. He did this by repeating phrases like "magnetic metastasis" and "ionic tumors" until Horikita Mai burst into tears and launched into a passionate monologue about Aomine's bravery, complete with several more hugs and even a complimentary grope. Aomine looked at Haizaki like he was an angel sent down from heaven to deliver perfect cleavage unto the world, while Kise watched narrow-eyed from the sidelines.

The only downside was that Akashi was livid about practice being disrupted. Actually, his rage was probably due to the fact that Horikita Mai had made a beeline for him upon her initial entrance and asked in her sweet girlish voice, "Oh, are you the dying kindergartener?", but the end result was the same: two new training camps were planned, and Haizaki got pulled aside after practice for a private talk.

"Shougo," Akashi said, his voice a whole universe of bitchy, "when I instructed you to waylay Ryouta's girlfriends, it was to prevent any outsiders from distracting him while he was rising through Teikou's ranks. Now that he's with Daiki, your services are no longer needed."

Haizaki grinned and flopped down on the couch. It was his first time in the club office; Akashi and Midorima often used it for spontaneous clandestine captain meetings, which meant everyone else was forbidden to go within a ten-foot radius of the door. "Can't help it. You know how irrational the heart can be." He waved his hand airily. "I'm, y'know, in love and shit."

What he actually meant was that he wanted to see Kise cry again, but that sounded much less noble (and also borderline sociopathic). Akashi took a deep breath and closed his eyes, which indicated that he was counting to ten really slowly in his head, the way he did whenever anyone on the team (excepting Midorima) spoke. When he opened them again, he'd regained his usual state of murderous zen. "All right, Shougo," he said. The mildness of his tone sent chills down Haizaki's spine. "Do whatever you like, as long as it doesn't interrupt practice."

"You're not going to warn me off?" Haizaki asked, sitting upright.

Akashi smiled. It was not a pleasant expression; it looked like he was imagining terrible things happening to Haizaki, and finding it most amusing. "I would never presume to interfere in the private lives of my subordinates," he said, which was such a blatant lie that Haizaki nearly choked on the hypocrisy. "Besides -" and the smile widened - "I'm sure Ryouta can handle you on his own."

-o-

Shortly after Haizaki offered to do Aomine's homework for him (Aomine accepted and they both failed spectacularly, but it worked because Aomine's GPA actually went up), Kise finally decided to call him out.

They met on the roof. It was after practice, and the sun was setting; the light drew out the warm gold of Kise's hair and kissed the smooth curve of his cheek. For all that Haizaki disliked him and his fucking copycat style, it was hard to deny that Kise was transcendently beautiful, especially when he was stalking towards Haizaki with a predatory gleam in his slanted eyes and his tie hanging loose to expose the lines of his throat.

Sometimes Haizaki thought there might be something Freudian in his hatred of Kise.

"Shougo-kun," Kise said once he had shamelessly invaded Haizaki's personal space, "you've been trying to catch my attention recently." His face was far too close, and incidentally very pretty. Haizaki squinted and determined that, yes, Kise was wearing eyeliner, because he was utterly shameless and also had nice eyes.

"Egotist much?" he asked, keeping a tight hold on his grin. "You're not the one I'm interested in, Ryouta."

"No?" Kise asked, still smiling. Then he dropped to his knees, his hands poised on the buckle of Haizaki's belt, and all the circuits in Haizaki's brain promptly overloaded. For a confused moment he tried to push Kise away and pull him closer at the same time, and then Kise made a small humming noise in his throat and ran his tongue along the length of Haizaki's fingers and Haizaki, to his everlasting embarrassment, let out a low moan that he regretted immediately.

Kise laughed, scornful, and rose to his feet in one graceful movement. He looked almost disappointed in Haizaki's predictability, so Haizaki smirked into the contemptuous smile and said, "So I want to fuck you. Doesn't mean I like you, Ryouta."

That earned him another small hum. "Have it your way," Kise said, stretching. The hem of his shirt rode up to reveal the jut of a hipbone; Haizaki could almost feel his pupils dilating. "But Shougo-kun, did you ever think about just - asking me out like a normal person?" His eyes were very dark through his long eyelashes; Haizaki swallowed hard. "And just one more thing."

"What?"

"What would you do with Aominecchi, if you got him?" Kise tilted his head, his smile turning wicked. "Have you ever thought about how sex works between two guys?" At Haizaki's scowl, he laughed and said, "Well, you've taught me so much about basketball, Shougo-kun. I suppose it's time I returned the favor."

-o-

When Haizaki walked off the roof that day, it was with a whole field of knowledge that he would never be able to unhear and a newfound respect for Kise Ryouta.