Warnings: Abusive relationship, AoKise, language. A healthy dose of angst.

In high school Kise falls in love. It's the first time Kise has ever felt anything like that. Sure he's had crushes on various girls and even one guy, but with Aomine it's the real thing. He falls so hard so fast that he doesn't really know what to do with himself.

Joining the basketball club is crazy, he knows it, but he does well and the other members get along with him and he has fun.

And best of all, he gets to be close to Aomine.

Not that it changes anything, though; Aomine dates girls and barely notices Kise's existence. That's okay, the blonde's had one-sided feelings before, so he can pull himself through this too.

And if he can't, Kagami's always there to support him. No matter what time of the day it is, Kagami always lets him in if he wants to talk and he never complains when Kise ruins his shirts with tears and snot.

The ideal best friend. Kise is so, so glad to have Kagami.

To Kise, high school is a blur of heart ache, exams and crying. On their graduation day, he watches as all of Aomine's buttons disappear to some random girls who giggle and blush madly as they scamper away with their bounty.

He wishes he had the courage to go there and say, 'Please give me a button too'.

But then everyone would find out he likes Aomine and that'd be embarrassing. So he plasters a smile on his face and escapes.

Smile, Ryouta, smile. SMILE.

(Cry when no one can see you.)

It's Kagami who finds from the rooftop, crying his eyes out. Of course it's Kagami, sometimes it feels like the guy has a fucking compass that points to Kise instead of north. Kise sniffles miserably, trying to get his act together.

"I'll give you mine, so stop crying, okay?" Kagami blushes faintly as he says it, and for a moment Kise just stares.

Kagami knows how irrationally in love Kise is, so surely he realises that giving his buttons to Kise doesn't really fix anything, but still… isn't he the sweetest for cheering Kise up like that?

If only Aomine was like that.

But no, it's Kagami who offers his buttons to Kise, so the blonde smiles at Kagami and accepts the offer.

He already feels a little better. But that's nothing new, since Kagami's always had a calming effect on him.

Kagamicchi will make the best boyfriend to someone one day, Kise thinks as they walk home together.

University is the perfect chance for Kise to start a new life with no regrets about Aomine. He wows he'll get over his first love and Kagami says he'll support Kise. Naturally.

A change of plans comes along in the form of Aomine attending the same university.

It really shouldn't be happening, because how could Kise ever recover from his broken heart if he keeps seeing the person in question without being anything to him?

Except it's different. Aomine sees him, acknowledges his existence and even confesses to him – it must be a dream.

But it hurts when Kise pinches his cheek. So it's really happening, then?

It is, and soon they're moving in together and Kise can't stand how happy he is.

They're doing just fine, if not for the occasional bickering about small things, like Aomine leaving his clothes lying around or Kise spending way too much time getting ready every time they go out. But those are the kind of things all couples fight about, so it's not worrisome. They might say all kinds of things to each other in the heat of the moment, but they always apologise and forgive each other very quickly.

The make-up sex is amazing, too, so Kise secretly likes fighting with Aomine.

He's just so damn happy to finally be together with the one he loves.

Happiness never lasts long, but in Kise's case it's extremely short-lived.

What starts as a regular fight ends in Kise staring at Aomine with wide eyes while holding his cheek.

Cheek, that just seconds earlier was in contact with Aomine's hand. Now it's swelling and by the way it stings when he opens his mouth, Kise suspects his lip is cut.

It must be a mistake. Aomine isn't the kind of a person who hits others.

"A- Aominecchi…?"

The other man looks startled when he meets Kise's gaze.

"I'm so sorry, Kise, I didn't mean to – I just lost it for a second, and I… I'm so sorry, please forgive me!"

Kise nods, feeling numb. Of course it's a misunderstanding, there's no way Aomine would hit him on purpose. He still feels like he wants to get out for a while, get away from Aomine.

"It's okay, I know you wouldn't hurt me. I just…" Kise swallows. What is he supposed to do? He knows it won't happen again, Aomine isn't violent, they're in love and everything's going to be just fine, but still…

"I think I'll go to a friend's for the night, though. Just… I'll be gone this night, okay?"

Aomine nods, and there's still panic in his eyes. Kise leans closer and kisses him. "I love you, Aominecchi, so don't worry. I'll be back tomorrow."

Kagami lets him in, as he always does, and looks startled when he sees Kise's face. He asks if it's Aomine's doing and they should call the police if it is, and Kise says no, he ran into a door. Or something like that, he doesn't bother to pay attention. Kagami probably knows he's lying anyway, so what's the point in coming up with a good excuse?

The next day, Aomine apologises a million times and promises to do whatever he can to make Kise forgive him. It's nice, and Kise sees that Aomine genuinely regrets hitting him, so he forgives him. It's only once, and it's an accident, so it's okay. Who knows, maybe Kise himself could be so mad at Aomine that he'd hit him when they're fighting someday?

Kise almost forgets having been hit by Aomine. Every time he looks into a mirror he remembers, because the bruise just won't disappear, but otherwise he tries to push the memory away. Because Aomine isn't the kind of a person who hits his lover, and it won't happen again.

It won't happen again, Kise thinks to himself when Aomine comes home in the middle of the night totally drunk and clearly in a mood for a fight.

"Why d'I hafta have you waitin' for me at home instead of some pretty girl with big breasts?"

The blonde freezes upon hearing Aomine's words. A girl with big breasts is what he wants, huh? "I can't really help being a guy, Aominecchi…"

Aomine snorts and slumps onto a chair. "You'd be perfect if you were a woman, though. Big boobs and a pretty face, that's the stuff. Man, why can't you jus' be a woman?"

No, no, no, no, please no. He loves me, even though I'm not a woman. This is just the alcohol talking.

But what if he really wants to date someone with big breasts?

"…so are you going to dump me or something?"

Aomine looks at Kise with eyes glazed by alcohol. "Why would I? At least I get laid when I'm wit' you, even if you have a dick."

It takes all of Kise's will power to not burst into tears. Is sex all he's good for in Aomine's eyes?

"C'mon, baby, I wanna fuck." Aomine pulls him closer and tries to bend him down for a kiss, but Kise fights back. Aomine smells like alcohol and his eyes are weird, Kise doesn't want to do anything when he's like that. And if the tanned man really only wants him for his body and even that isn't good enough for him since Kise doesn't have boobs, then why the hell should the blonde have sex whenever Aomine wants it?

Kise breaks away from Aomine's arms and makes for the bedroom door. If he can get in there, he's safe; he can lock the door and if Aomine tries to break the door or something, he'll call the police –

A hit lands on Kise's back, knocking him to the floor. As he lies there, trying to fathom what just happened, Aomine steps closer.

(Whatwhyidon'twantthistohappenwhydidhehitmeagainit reallyhurts)

"You gonna run away, huh?" Kise can smell the alcohol on the other's breath as he leans above the blonde.

Please, Aominecchi, just stop already and let me go!

"Where are ya gonna go to? To that Kagami guy who always hangs around you like a puppy?"

"Don't talk about Kagamicchi like that!"

Aomine startles a bit, when Kise raises his voice, and pulls away, allowing Kise to get up. "Please, Aominecchi, just go to sleep. You're drunk and I know you don't mean anything you say right now."

This time Aomine's punch connects with Kise's stomach, and the pain in his heart is just as real as the pain from the punch. As Kise falls on his knees, he hears Aomine muttering to himself something about how a girl would've just let him do it already.

Haven't they been happy? Didn't Aomine tell Kise he loved him just yesterday? Why would something like this happen?

No, it's fine. Aomine's only saying that because he's drunk. As soon as Kise catches his breath he dashes towards the entrance, grabbing his shoes, coat and wallet, and he almost gets out before Aomine's fingers are around his arm, squeezing it painfully tightly.

"Kise, what're you doin'?"

"I'm going to Kagamicchi's place for tonight!" Kise pulls his arm free and damn it stings, it's probably going to bruise. He manages to slam the door in Aomine's face and yes the lift is in their floor, he's safe!

In the lift Kise puts on his clothes and slumps to the floor. His whole body shakes as he fights back his tears. It wasn't supposed to happen again, Aominecchi promised…!

The way to the metro station is short, so Kise decides to run. Not that he's scared of Aomine maybe following him or anything, he just really wants to get to Kagami, because Kagami always knows how to make him feel better and right now he desperately needs company. Not Aomine's though.

"Kise come back!" Oh shit. Aomine couldn't be on their balcony, could he? Kise glances up and sees Aomine leaning against the balcony railing, shouting down at him.

"That guy could never be as good to you as I am!" Good? Hitting your lover is being good to him? It might be that I'll never love Kagamicchi as much as I love you, but at least he doesn't hit me.

"KISE! Answer me will ya?!"

Kise pulls the hood of the coat over his head and runs. Please stop, shut up, this is already humiliating and I hate you I'm so disappointed please stop please Aominecchi just stop -

"Yeah, you go to your lover boy, slut! Why do you even bother comin' back here when you've got him?! You dirty, disgustin' WHORE!"

It's because he's drunk. If Aomine was sober, he'd never say those things. Never. He doesn't hit Kise, he's a good man, and good god why does Kise still love him so much it hurts?

The first time was an accident and the second time Aomine was drunk. Kise swears that if there's a third time, he'll stop forgiving and just leave. Kagami supports him, as always; he says Kise could stay at his place if he leaves Aomine.

But no matter how many times Aomine hits him after that, sober more often than not, Kise can't do it. He always leaves their flat, fully intending to change something, maybe even call the police, but by the time he reaches the metro station, he doesn't know what to do anymore. He wants to stop hurting, but at the same time he wants to stay with Aomine, even if it means getting beaten.

Somehow he always ends up at Kagami's door, begging to spend the night.

(And Kagami lets him in, of course, and he never says anything, but Kise knows he knows.)

The worst of it all is that no matter what Aomine does to him, all he has to do is think about how happy they have been and all is forgiven. Because Kise still thinks that there's been a mistake somewhere along the road, that Aomine's not really a violent person and he loves Kise just as he is.

Except Aomine might genuinely wish that Kise was a girl. That's what all of their fights seem to be about nowadays, and when Kise begs Aomine to stop, saying that he can't become a woman no matter how much Aomine or anyone else wishes for it, Aomine hits him.

It won't hurt as much once I get used to it, Kise remembers having thought. Now all he can do is laugh at that thought. Every time Aomine's fist sinks into his stomach, a cigarette sinks into his arm, whatever method Aomine chooses to hurt him with, something deep within Kise breaks.

His soul, maybe? If that's what it is, he wishes his soul was made of something that could take anything without breaking.

His heart, on the other hand, seems to be made of something unbreakable, what with the way he still loves Aomine after all the suffering the other man's put him through. It's illogical, irrational and he wants nothing more than to rip his feelings away and move on with his life.

But he can't. On the rare occasions they don't fight, Kise curls into a cat-like ball next to Aomine and whispers into his ear how much he loves him. And Aomine swears he returns the feelings and that he'll never hurt Kise again and for a moment everything's fine again. Everything's the way it was before the first time.

But then something sparks a fight again, and Kise knows they'll never go back to that picture perfect happiness they once had.

In middle school, Kise has a crush on Kagami. It's the first time he ever likes a boy and it confuses him.

Especially since it's Kagami, his best friend since early childhood. Isn't falling in love with a childhood friend kind of like falling in love with your brother? That's what Kise remembers hearing somewhere, and that's why he deems it hopeless.

All he wants is to kiss Kagami once, and then he'll give up.

They're together almost always, doing all kinds of stupid things and getting into trouble for it. That's why it isn't difficult for Kise to convince Kagami to kiss him. Afterwards he says it's a joke, and all returns to normal. Kagami's a little embarrassed, maybe, but he lets it slide, it's just a joke after all, and they can still be friends like nothing ever happened.

It takes its time, but Kise works hard to get over Kagami, because dammit, he can't risk their friendship over something like harbouring one-sided feelings for the redhead.

Then he meets Aomine and forgets all about ever liking Kagami.

Wouldn't it be great if Kagamicchi had liked me too back then and either of us had confessed? He'd make the perfect boyfriend, that's for sure…

Kise sighs and regards his bruised face in the mirror. Wake up, Ryouta. That was years ago, and this is your reality right now. So go to school, work, meet your friends - and most important of all: remember to smile. You're stronger than Aominecchi's punches, after all.

(Cry when no one can see you.)

A/N: Oh god, Aomine became an even bigger asshole than I originally intended him to be. D: My writing never goes as planned, huh?

You probably noticed, but because it's pretty much chapter one from Kise's POV, the story doesn't progress. I'm sorry about that TAT I thought it's important to tell the story from both sides. Chapter three will take the story further, though, so please don't kill me. /gets shot

Also, thanks for the reviews, favourites and follows! I never have confidence in my writing so it's nice to hear people like it ;w;

And because I like long author's notes: the title of the story is from a song, Kevlasrsjäl by Kent. I recommend checking it out, because it fits the story (at least IMO) and yes I know it's in Swedish but Google is a friend. C:

PS. I always love getting feedback so feel free to review/favourite/follow if you like it.