"the highrise"
pairing aomine/kise/horikita mai & i am not even kidding
summary Why material selection sucks when you're in love.
rated pg-13
notes i have this problem where i get really antsy and verbose right before a midterm exam, so this is basically just word vomit. kise's life is a bad korean drama

"the highrise"



She made the proposition on a Wednesday evening. The coffee from the shop that she preferred was extra bitter on Wednesday evenings, and she'd kept this specific bitterness close to the tip of the topic, close enough to fortify the strings attached to her heart but not close enough to melt it in the event of structural failure. Her heart was an aircraft and its material was aluminum, the bitterness of her preferred coffee served as a vice for her ventricles and perhaps that was her justification for living in the past. In any event, this tedious equation made it extraordinarily difficult for Kise to decipher her intentions, but maybe that was why he had liked her so much to begin with.

Fuck him, right.

He had gotten off work an hour late on purpose, having spent most of the subway ride there concocting an elaborate plan to evade the fuzzy ultimatum that she had given him, cinched together at her fingertips and too cold for him to actually overcome. It was kind of his fault, anyway, he was the one who had allowed for it to fester in flickering flecks, inch up to his shoulders until he was too close in proximity to the heart of the matter to make any sort of sound judgment. The truly miserable part of the deal is that he should have been aware of her tactics by now. They have been together for three years, after all.

"Let's get married, Ryou-chan," she told him. "Let's get married this year."

"Well that's interesting," said Kise. "Isn't it usually the girl who gets proposed to by the guy?"

"Don't try to impose your dumb chauvinistic attitude on our relationship," she sniffed, only half-joking, the other half not so much. "Ryou-chan's the type who won't propose to a girl even if he's being held at gunpoint."

"You know me too well," he admitted. "All right, then. Please give me some time to consider."

"You are going to say yes," she said simply.

"Oh? And why is that?"

She tapped a finger against her coffee cup, bitterness and aluminum puckered up in her chest, casual reasoning too fragile to savor and too obvious for it to be a flaw. It was not Horikita Mai's style to hide her flaws.

"I honestly couldn't care less if you leave Aomine-kun's house at 4 am or 4 pm," she said, and he watched as her lips twisted into some form of sick fury that he wished to be neither victim to nor perpetrator of. "I only care that you leave, and then come back. To put it simply, I respect your privacy. So why don't we get married?"

He swallowed hard, heard the crunch of his bones over the steel in her voice. "I don't deserve you."

"That's not for you to decide," she said. "But you're kind of worse than Taylor Swift, you know that?"

"You can do so much better than me, Mai."

"That's too bad." She paused, took a sip of the coffee to strengthen the strings attached to her heart. "I'm in love with you anyway. So fuck me, right?"



They reached out to push the elevator button at the same time, Kise's fingers two centimeters away from the glowing arrow in the square before Aomine swatted his hand away and pressed the button himself.

The doors dinged open.

"You first," said Aomine.

"Great," said Kise.

He stepped into the elevator, and Aomine followed him. The doors closed, and Kise pushed the button for the fifteenth floor.

"You heard about her proposal, didn't you?"

"She told me herself."


Aomine pointedly did not make eye contact with him, his ulterior motives clear behind the calm pane of glass separating his world from Kise's. He chose instead to stare at the flashing numbers above the elevator door displaying which floor they'd reached, twiddled his thumbs behind his back with a vacant expression on his face.

"You've got nothing to say, is that it," said Kise.

"Did you want me to say something?"

"...You're really not going to say anything at all."

"Am I supposed to?"

The elevator skipped past the eighth floor, and Kise kissed Aomine without further consideration of his grasp on the situation. Aomine's lips were cold against his, crisply disparaging and perfectly parallel to the melodrama unfolding in front of Kise's eyes, remorse timed out and slipping past his cufflinks before he could catch them again with his fingers. Aomine opened his mouth, and Kise leaned deeper into the kiss, steadied his grip on Aomine's arm before letting the rest of his decisions trickle out onto the floor.

The numbers above the elevator door ticked up to the thirteenth floor and Aomine broke off the kiss. His face remained impassive, and here was where Kise made his first mistake.

"Please say something," he said. "Please fucking say something."

The doors opened at the fifteenth floor and Aomine walked out. Kise followed him down the hall to Aomine's door.

"Aominecchi, tell me not to marry her."

Aomine didn't turn around. "If you really needed a reason, Kise, you wouldn't be asking me. Go home."

"Can I at least come inside?"

"You don't even live here," said Aomine shortly, fumbling with his keys a bit before jamming the right one into his lock.

"Tell me to refuse her. Just say something, and I won't marry her."

"I've said everything I wanted to say to you a long time ago. We're not in fucking high school anymore, Kise, so do whatever the fuck you want. It's not like I'll get jealous or anything. God forbid that."

The door slammed shut in Kise's face before he could say anything else.



"I want you to be happy," so he told to her on Saturday. They were having dinner at the table, she had made spaghetti with a lovely tomato sauce that dripped a bit when he swallowed it down with the sauteed cauliflower. Her own plate was empty. She was dieting for a television drama and content with watching him eat something homemade that she had put considerable effort into. It was the maternal side of her peeking out from under the untangled irony and aircraft heart, and honestly Kise found this admirable, despite his own misgivings toward the inevitable route that their conversation will take. So he told her, "I just want you to understand the consequences of proposing to me like that. It's not so black-and-white like you think it is, M-"

"We met when I was filming for Nobuta wo Project, isn't that right?" she interrupted him. "My manager told me that I had a fan. I didn't expect it to be you, honestly, that Kise Ryouta. You're seven years younger than me, did you forget that? Now just try to imagine my position."

He wiped his mouth with a napkin. "Don't be facetious. You were ten times more of a superstar than me, and you still are. I was only there to get an autograph for my friend."

"For Aomine-kun, you mean."

"...Yeah, for him."

"For Aomine-kun. Come on, Ryou-chan, repeat his name after me. It's not too hard for you, is it? Aomine Daiki." Her words were sharp and they coiled around his throat as she said Aomine's name again, unsympathetic to the degree that it became the sweetest thing she could ever say. "A-o-mi-ne Dai-ki."

He put down his fork. "Stop saying his name like that."

"Why, does it hurt you? Then break up with me."

"I can't do that. I've spent too long trying to make you love me."

Her laughter was soft and her thoughts were softer, tucked behind the strings attached to her heart. It was this gentle flair for crime moreso than the honest feminine charm, and although she was a practicing member of both disciplines, the former was what had drawn his attention to her from the start. He had been shuffled between the decks and helplessly in love with her in his own way, and having finally won her affections through trial and error, was forced to admit that he'd kind of fucked them both up very badly. She had not relied on anything or anyone before she met Kise, attended the soft drink socials with her sister-in-law, allowed only the gentlemen to kiss her fingertips. She was Aomine Daiki in gravure idol form, and best-selling swimsuit calendar or not, she'd been a class-A act.

"You're a life-ruiner, Kise Ryouta-kun, do you know that?"

The bitterness, even now, was too comfortable and too collected to be a flaw. It was not Horikita Mai's style to hide her flaws.



Aomine sent him a text later in the evening with only two words in the message box, and Kise took a cab back to his apartment, pressed the elevator button going up by himself this time, tried to recite the fifty ways he was going to apologize. It was mostly useless anyway, Aomine was not the type to make a complaint unless if the transgression that Kise had committed was truly uncalled for, and neither of them were emotionally-unstable enough to fully appreciate the benefits bestowed upon them by Aomine's personality deficits. The likeliness for Aomine to murder his own feelings fluctuated from single to double-digit numbers over several years at a time, and Kise had tagged along on the bullet train for most of that miserable joyride.

The door opened on his second knock and Aomine dragged him inside wordlessly, kissed Kise on his forehead and then his nose and then his throat and then his mouth, wherever he could and always with the same immeasurable amount of fearlessness. His fingers were dry and he held Kise close to his chest, kissed him boldly and desperately until Kise could feel both of them lose their capacity to breathe, certain that he could not rely on his own feelings because they were way too fucked up now to be held accountable for any kind of logical reasoning. He reached forward instead, fisted Aomine's shirt in his hands and kissed him back until his lips were sore.

"No," said Aomine, when they stopped to catch their breaths, his voice rubbed raw against the structural failure, all of Kise's washed-up doubts cast over the body of a battered aluminum aircraft. "I'm saying no. Fuck your shit. You're mine."


"But be nice to her when you reject her, okay? I still like her tits."



the end

ftr i am referencing nobuta wo project, a drama that aired on NTV in 2015 starring horikita mai and two dudes from jacky's entertainment. not to be confused with nobuta wo produce, a drama that aired on NTV in 2005 starring horikita maki and two dudes from johnny's entertainment

thanks for reading! i like reading comments (: