Title: The Gold on His Finger.
Author: SYNdicate 930.
Summary: AU. On his finger he wore a plain gold ring. Sitting on his long finger between his pinky and middle, extravagant and glamorous as he, it was a blatant sign of sorts that screamed to me; he belonged to someone, but she was dead. Rating might go up.

Note: Sorry for the late update and any mistakes! Exams have been stressful "orz. Please review and tell me what you think?

Chapter 3: Ready, Set, Go!

The following day was spent sitting around at the station doing unfinished paper work to the best of my ability and keeping my poor focus on anything that wasn't Kise. The man ran around my mind's eye incessantly, relentlessly, as if I would forget him the moment I would think of something else. But it was impossible. I couldn't forget him, even if I had ever wanted to. I would hit the eraser end of my pencil against my paper lightly. The noise always put me at ease, and brought me back to my sense. But today felt different. I'd been meaning to talk to Kagami about this, but I was at a loss for words; how would I bring it up? How would I be casual about it? I didn't know.

The tapping of my pencil against my papers was steady and, for the most part, quiet—or, at least I had guessed it was until I had drove Kagami nuts at the desk across from mine. He groaned in frustration. I looked up. Reaching over, he tore the yellow pencil out of my hand and glared down at me, a humorous vein bulging at his temple.

"Will you cut that out?" He breathed with a frown.

I stared up at him flatly, not particularly fazed by the furrow in his oddly shaped brows or irritated scowl resting on his tired face. Slowly reaching for my pencil as he dropped it onto my desk a little more aggressively than necessary, I couldn't help but point it out. "You look like shit."

He fell back to his seat with crossed arms. "Well, you're not the best looking guy out there yourself."

I pointed to my eyes with the eraser of my pencil and he tilted his head.

"But you see, my eye bags aren't so noticeable." Said I. Kagami picked up his cellphone, and flipped it open to stare at his reflection with a low groan. I continued. "You've been looking tired every single day for a while now. What's got you so exhausted and so on edge?"

"Kuroko's been so busy with things lately," He dropped his head into the palm of his hand in a defeated manner. "It's been a while since we've actually, you know."

It's almost cute that he doesn't say it. The word is sex. Sex. Sex. Sex.

"And, well—"

"Calm down there, little boy. Just because you graduated earlier and have the intelligence of someone much older than yourself doesn't make your body any older than it isn't."

"Hey!" He shouted defensively, "I'll have you know—"

"I'm so proud, my little boy's all grown up, and he's finally gotten a taste of what sex feels like. Congratulations." I taunted him with an amused snort, watching his cheeks redden. "Man, what I would've given to see you stumble around like the virgin you were a few months before you met Tetsu."

"Why do you make it sound as if you're so much older than me? You're only one year older than me."

"Two." I corrected him. "My birthday is in two months."

"At least I've gotten some. Who knows how long it's been for you."

I opened my mouth to say something back, but he had me cornered as he leaned back into his computer chair with a laugh. I will admit to not being the most sexually active man during this period of time but, keep in mind, I was too dead set on a certain blonde, that my eyes were nearly incapable of wandering at all. I wasn't the type to bring random people home to begin with, so it didn't make much sense as to why I had felt so insulted when I really should have been proud of my decision making. Maybe it was my sense of manhood and rivalry we had going on. Everything between us was some sort of competition, and apparently getting laid was one of the things we were trying to beat each other at.

"I'll have you know I've got my eyes on someone already."

"Yeah, good excuse."

It was then that I realized maybe Kagami was the wrong person I should be talking to, especially on the note our conversation had ended on before it was time to clock out. The clock struck two in the afternoon and we began to pack our things. There was someone much better to talk to.

-—-—

"Dai-chan!" Satsuki practically tackled me the moment the door to her apartment opened, but, with the assistance of my (self-proclaimed) inhuman reflexes, speed, and strength, I caught her effortlessly. Her thin arms came around my middle and I held her by her small waist.

I couldn't help but sneer at her a little. "What was that about?"

We stepped into her cozy apartment, and I slipped out of my shoes, still fully dressed in my work uniform, the top three buttons undone to give myself a little more air. I was so thankful for her air conditioning. It always seemed to be much cooler and in better condition than my own.

Sometimes I would come over to visit her in the summer just to lie around on the floor in front of her air conditioning; kind of days like that one, but that wasn't why I went to go visit her. She never seemed to mind too much. Satsuki grew to enjoy my company more and more noticeably now that I was a police officer. Though I was very capable of taking care of myself, she had this preposterous fear that every time I visit it would turn out to be the last time she would see me. It was nice to see she worried over me like that, but it really wasn't necessary; I was very much capable of taking care of myself and fending off bad guys looking for a brawl, so, if anything, I should have been worrying over her.

"I feel like I haven't seen you in forever!" She exclaimed as she held me tightly, her face buried into the front of my uniform.

"Your boobs are making it hard for me to breath."

She let go immediately. "Get out."

Satsuki wasn't a very strong girl. Her strength was as cutesy and pink as the rest of her, so, when she tried to keep me away, I overpowered her greatly. With one hand pressed against the dark metal door she tried to slam in my face, I gave a hard push and sent her tumbling backwards on the welcome mat beside her mahogany coat rack. At this point, she had no choice but to let me stay. And I did.

As tradition, we cracked open a few beers and moved from the kitchen to her comfy couches in the small living room. The layout of her apartment was an exact replica of my own, except flipped around. While my living room stood to my right and my kitchen to my left, Satsuki's living room was to my left and her kitchen to my right. No matter how many times I came over to visit her down the hall, I could never get used to the way her interior was set up. It felt wrong as I turned left instead of right into the living room.

"So, how what brings you here?" She asks lightly, sipping at her beer with a small frown. Beer was never her favorite thing. When we went out to bars, she always ordered those brightly colored, sweeter, sugary drinks with the funny names and almost neon glow to them.

I took a long gulp of my beer, leaning into the couch comfortably while she slouched in the recliner next to me, a leg folded over the other. We had her turned the TV on, but we didn't plan on watching a thing; it was there as more of a means to ease the silence when and if things went quiet than it was to entertain us. "I need advice, and I figured you'd be the best one to go to."

"Oh?" I snorted at the way she continued drinking. I didn't understand why she didn't take the time to make herself something. She was probably trying to get used to it for one reason or another. "What is it? Did you talk to Kagami-kun?"

"He has his own 'problems', so I can't go to him." I smirked. "He's fine, though."

"Then what is it?"

It was then I realized creating a mental game-plan of words and things to say might have been the best choice, but it was too late now; my poor attempt at wording together my feelings would have to do. All I had to do was hope for the best, and that that clever mind of hers that could always decipher whatever gibberish came out of my mouth would understand.

"Fuck." I swore. I couldn't even form gibberish.

Satsuki tilted her head and placed her beer on her coffee table beside the remote. "Hmm?"

"Shit." I muttered. Why did this kind of thing have to be so hard?

Satsuki's face suddenly brightened. It looked like she had an idea. "Let me guess. Does it involve a certain Kise Ryouta?"

I nodded. "Yeah."

"So what seems to be the problem?"

"Uh… Well, you see… Fuck…"

"Let me guess again. You want to either know how to get him in bed—" She blushed a little. "—or how to confess to him. Which is it?"

I had to stop and think. The thought of making Kise want to have sex with me in one simple step, thanks to Satsuki, sounded pretty nice, and it would have saved me tons of trouble. She slapped me in the arm. "I was kidding about that." She said knowingly. "I know, and I know how to help."

I looked at her expectantly, her pink lips curling upward slowly, and braced myself for whatever she had in mind. Her advice was always helpful to some extent, but I wasn't so sure if the things that worked for her would work for me.

-—-—

I decided to wait for the weekend before using Satsuki's advice. So, when Saturday morning came rolling around I went over to his apartment feeling a little more anxious than I would have liked to admit, plainly dressed. Sometimes I would feel out of place in my normal clothes because it made me feel weak in comparison to what Kise would wear, but it was much more comfy and way less stuffy. I looked down at myself; a plain v-neck shirt with a hoodie over top, and faded, slightly fitted jeans, though, I will let it be known that they were nowhere near as tight as Kise's.

God bless the creator of those skinny jeans of his.

I walked up to his floor and knocked on his door roughly. Today was going to be special, or, at least it was going to be more or less productive. With Satsuki's help, I would be one or two steps closer to making sure he fell in love with me as hard as I had for him, and I wasn't going to fuck it up. According to her, girls (and Kise) liked to receive compliments, so I made a mental note to compliment him out loud more—which didn't seem all too hard. With a face as pretty as his and body as hot as the one he hides under all his expensive clothes, having nice words thrown at him here and there was something he was used it; nothing was to be all too alarming or out of the blue, even from me.

Satsuki also said that dropping a few hints here and there would be very helpful. Now, this was going to be tricky. Hints, though smaller than an actual confession, were difficult to work with because I wasn't clever at all, and this sort of thing required being clever to some extent. Unlike the sneaky guys on TV who would do romantic gestures that made women wish their husbands were that loving and clever, I was too upfront and direct to do anything of the sort. Being indirect was hard for a straight-forward sort of guy like me. Satsuki mentioned something about body language, but I wasn't paying much attention because I was too busy trying to think of possible signs to send in his direction.

Arriving to his apartment with a boner would have been effective and would have probably gotten the message across, but that was much too crude. I had to scrap it.

I looked at myself through the large window to my right, just a little self-conscious about what I was wearing. It was still simple enough for me, but had been picked out completely by Satsuki. It looked like I had put in more effort than I normally ever did. I hoped Kise would and wouldn't notice.

Suddenly the door opened, and I saw his face. He was smiling. I noticed that his hair was stringy and dripping wet as droplets of water fell onto the short towel around his shoulders and bare chest, rolling down his tempting, muscular skin and abs. His blue jeans were unbuttoned with the rusty colored zipper undone, hanging low around his hips in a manner so enticing, I nearly felt myself pounce but kept still, quickly stuffing my hands into the pockets of my own jeans in case they would wander. He had just gotten out of the shower and boy was I thankful for my timing. If only I had my phone out. That would have been a nice picture to look back at before bed.

Kise stepped to the side and I entered. I saw him look me up and down, and I wondered nervously if I had been that obvious just moments ago. "I like Aominecchi's outfit."

I looked down at myself and then eyed him up and down, meeting his gaze with a charming grin. "I like yours, too."

I really, really did. I always did fancy the image of Kise without clothes on, and the sight of him unprepared with his muscles still glistening and pants barely on was no exception.

I wondered if I was being obvious enough. But I received no answer. Instead, he hit me with an embarrassed expression, and raucous whine. "Eh!? Shut up, Aominecchi!"

"I think you mean to say 'thank you.'" We walked into the kitchen. His kitchen was unbelievably tidy. It practically sparkled as I hopped onto one of the high, cushioned stools at the marble island in the middle, listening to him rummage around in the fridge in front of me while I blatantly ogled his behind when he bent over to pick something off the bottom shelf above the vegetables. Incidentally, he was wearing those tight skinny jeans I had mentioned. When he looked back to check the time on the stove behind me, my head fell and I stared at my lap, texting on the phone I still had in my back pocket, my lower body hidden behind the counter as I 'messaged' Satsuki.

"I might be a while, so make yourself something to eat while I get ready." He instructed warmly as he placed a glass of water in front of me.

Kise reached for the towel around his shoulders and dried his hair a little. Water hit me immediately and I frowned watching him shake his head frantically like a dog caught in the rain. "Oi, you're getting water on me."

He stopped and looked up to see the dark little spots that littered the side of my hoodie. I watched as he giggled, slowly opening his arms to give me a hug, his wet chest pressed against my arm and burying his head into the crook of my neck. The cold feeling from his wet hair was like ice to a fire that was my hot, flustered skin as I felt his every muscle in his upper body clinging to my arm and inhaled the familiar scent of his shampoo and strong body wash—He appealed to every single one of my senses in some form. Something rough and itchy brushed against the knuckles of the hand I had resting on my lap. Looking down immediately, I found the opened fly to his pants rubbing against my hand; his barely covered cock practically begging for my touch as he moved against me innocently.

I was glad he pulled away, for I was sure I wouldn't have been able to hold myself back with him practically throwing himself at me like that. As he stepped away, my eyes fell to the sleeve of my hoodie to find it as wet—if not wetter—than his towel.

I looked at him silently, but he did nothing more than retreat to the bathroom with a hum and hop to his long strides. Without his knowing, I made sure to take my revenge in the form of leaning forwards over the counter to watch him walk way, the sight of those tight jeans enough to make me forgive him for the soaked clothes, but not for all the pent up sexual frustration a little over two years in the making.

-—-—

After taking a train or two, we ended up downtown and, as expected, it was unbearably busy. People pushed and shoved in every possible direction, and I had to shoot a few glares over my shoulder to make sure people gave me and especially Kise some space. Though, even in parts where there seemed to be less people, men and women still crowded around him. I wasn't too bothered by it as they still seemed to keep their distance and minded their business to some extent, but it was still obvious they had their attention on him, and I didn't appreciate the little up-downs a few men gave him. I walked closely, pretending to listen to whatever it was Kise was talking about—I believe it was something pertaining to one of the children in class the previous day— and watched in selfish satisfaction as they backed off immediately. Kise was looking around a lot, but somehow remained clueless to the massive amounts of attentions he was receiving.

"Hmm… What do you think Midorimacchi would like?" He asked me. I gave him a blank look. I had no clue what he was talking about, but he took it as not having any sort of idea. He was looking for something; I could see it in his eyes, but it was hard to tell what it was he was in search of. "His birthday is in a week. We need to think of something!"

"Oh." I had forgotten all about the reason we were out that day.

Midorima was one of my old friends from high school. He always carried himself in a collected and reserved manner. Midorima was always studious and one of the most serious people in my life; I was always surprised as to how we still knew each other even after graduating and going separate ways, but we eventually met up again in university, and, years after, he worked as the doctor the guys back in the station hired.

"Maybe we should ask Takaocchi?"

"He can't keep a secret." I said. "If you want to surprise him, don't tell Takao."

"Fine." Kise's shoulders slumped. "Let's just walk around until we find something that'll interest him."

We walked a lot that day. We walked around a lot in general, actually. It was something the both of us always did; we would go on walks around the park through all types of weather, mall, street—anywhere and everywhere. We were both restless by nature to some sort of extent, our energy ever-lasting and irrepressible, and we would always drain our excess energy in this way. It made conversations flow just a little more, too.

While we wandered around the crowded downtown streets, talking, and scanning as many shops as possible in hopes of finding something Midorima might have been interested in, I had also gone out of my way to drop a few more hints. They went unnoticed. Though it probably wasn't what Satsuki had in mind, I gave her idea little of my own, unique flare and if I wanted to get some sort of message of my interest across, I had to be more obvious about it without compromising or trying to overcome the fact that I was poor with words; no matter what I had said, my words would have never been enough, nor would they have flowed out just the way I wanted them to.

So, having always been an actions over words sort of guy, I grabbed him by his hand, our fingers lacing together in a tight knot, and I, suddenly aware of what I was doing, watched him through my peripheral. I couldn't stand being indirect like this. If I wanted him to want me as bad as I wanted him, I was going to have to kick it up a notch, especially when I took into account how annoyingly dense he was capable of being.

I swore I saw his face light up in a surprised shade of pink; a blush reaching from one side of his face to the other, floating across the bridge of his nose; but that could have been my eyes playing tricks on me.

"A-Aominecchi, what are you doing?" He squirmed uncomfortably, trying to pull his hand free.

I looked to him with a shrug. "Looking for a birthday gift for Midorima."

"Oh, okay." His hand went slack within my own.

I also tried to compliment him more, but he always looked at me suspiciously, with a small squint in his eyes, disbelief spread across his pretty features blatanly. I wasn't sure whether or not to be offended because I really was being sincere. I complimented his skinny jeans, but I had to do a little rewording; after all, I was sure telling him they made his ass look hot would not have been the most appropriate thing to say, especially if I was trying to slowly ease into some sort of confession, and make him reciprocate my feelings.

"Well, did you find anything?" I asked him, our hands still clasped together.

He shook his head. Midorima was one of those people who were impossible to shop for. Not mention he was a doctor and making a better living than Kise and I combined; whatever extravagant present we could have gotten him, he could have bought for himself without any trouble or dent in his wallet. Kise looked up to me with a small pout and I told him I liked his eyes, the sunning hitting them at just the right angle that they glowed; his honey irises deep and warm; loving and sweet as he batted his long lashes in confused blinks. I meant it, but it felt a little strange saying it out loud for once.

We both looked around some more, and that's when I saw it; at the end of the street, 'astrology' and 'lucky' etched on a large sign in front of a modest shop. I had almost forgotten how big of a sucker Midorima was for these kinds of things, even with that dumb degree of his. It was the same degree Kagami could have gotten, or at least that's what I liked to think. I pointed the store out to Kise, and he agreed with me immediately.

I swore I felt him try to pull away, but I held on tightly. I wasn't letting go of him—not by a long shot.