Aren't you in love?
The first person who notices anything is Kasamatsu. He is talking with Kise about their practices when they both hear the ring signaling that it's the end of the break and they have to go to their classrooms.
"I'll see you later, senpai!" Kise flashes him a smile and turns around to run to the classroom two floors higher.
Yukio wants to yell at him to not be late on practice like the last time when something catches his eyes. He isn't the one to usually notice small details and changes in people like new haircut, but this one… Seems like he got used to Kise's silver earring if he noticed the change in its color.
Shrugging, he adjusts the bag on his shoulder, wondering briefly why his stupid kouhai chose red, before focusing on choosing a new captain.
The next one is Midorima.
He and Kise meets in the shoes shop few days after Winter Cup ended. Midorima notices the blond first, but he doesn't have a chance to hide before Kise notices him too. One of disadvantages of being so tall. Sometimes he wishes he was around Takao's height. But then Takao wouldn't tuck himself under his arm like he always does...
"—macchi! Midorimacchi! Are you hearing me?" Kise is standing in front of Midorima, pouting.
Shintarou gives himself a mental slap for drifting away while thinking about Takao – a middle of a shop isn't a good place to fantasize about his boyfriend – and glares at Kise.
"I'm sure they heard you in Kanagawa. Shouldn't you be there?" Why cannot he do simple shopping without meeting anyone he knows? A nice, quiet afternoon is everything he asks for. He should have bought bigger pink glasses – after all Cancer is ranked 7th today.
"I had a photo shot in Tokyo." Kise gives him a bright smile and winks at girls behind Midorima. "You don't have to be so mean, Midorimacchi."
Back with whining.
"Anyway, what are you buying?"
Shintarou closes his eyes for a moment, feeling that Fortune is leaving him. Next time he will buy the biggest lucky item he will find.
"We are in the shoes shop, Kise. Figure it out, nanodayo."
"You know what I mean." Kise shrugs, looking at the shelf in front of them. "You and I both stick to our favorite basketball shoes, but I'm thinking about trying something new."
"Why try something that might fail you? Choose something you are familiar with." Midorima looks down at his basket with the new, shining pair of Wave Hero and then back at Ryouta who is still gazing at a pair of Nike Air Jordan. Hm, those shoes are familiar. Does someone in the team have them?
Kise brushes his hair and Midorima grabs his shoulder, yanking him closer.
"Is this blood?" Midorima is sure he saw something red on Kise's ear. Ryouta's eyes widen when Shintarou turns his head to examine the blond's ear. No, it isn't blood, but a red earring. Midorima quickly lets go of Kise, grunting, embarrassed.
Kise laughs a little.
"Sorry for scarring you, Midorimacchi." He puts a hand on his mouth to muffle his laugh and Shintarou resist the urge to kick him. "It's nice, isn't it?" Kise touches his earring, his eyes unreadable for a moment and Midorima wonders why.
"You didn't scare me, you fool," says Midorima. "Are you going to choose something or not?" Well, since they met here it would be rude of him to leave Kise alone.
"Yup! I wanna try them!" Kise takes a pair of Air Jordan and sits on a nearest stool to try them. "Have you heard that Seirin and Seiho will have a practice match in next week? It's a pity that Kagamicchi won't play, his legs still hurt after the match with Rakuzan. Oh, you saw that match too, right? Wasn't Kagamicchi great? Kurokocchi was fantastic too, but Kagamicchi was even better than usual and…"
Midorima tunes Kise out; it's something he perfected while spending his time with Takao. Both players talk way too much and Midorima wonders, not for the first time, how is that they always have something to talk about. Yet, Shintarou picks 'Kagamicchi' too often. Kise is known for talking a lot about players he respects – Midorima remembers how they were talking about Aomine back in Teiko, Kise's squeals over Kuroko – but this time it sounds like Kise is Kagami's fan: bright eyes, almost poetic description of Taiga's play and… Oh, this makes sense now. Midorima looks from Kise's earring to the shoes he holds. Now he remembers where he saw these shoes or, to be more specific, on who.
"I don't have a time to watch Seirin's practice matches, nanodayo." He interrupts Kise's avalanche of words. "Are you finished?"
"Yes, yes, Midorimacchi. Did a fly flight into your nose or something?" Kise stands up, putting the pair of Air Jordan into his basket.
While they are waiting in the queue, Midorima wonders if he should point that Kise is talking about Kagami again. It might be amusing to see Ryouta's face, but Midorima can be wrong about his suspicions. After all, after Seirin defeated them, Takao couldn't stop babbling about Kuroko. So Midorima decides to be quiet, at least for now.
"I have a bus in few minutes, I have to go. See you later Midorimacchi!" Kise waves to him and Midorima nods, suddenly realizing that it's his turn to pay for his shopping. He got lost in his thoughts again? Maybe playing chess online with Akashi will help him to improve his concentration.
The third person is Kuroko.
He is with Kagami at Maji Burger, enjoying his favorite vanilla shake and listening to Kagami's talk about their last practice match when he hears excited 'Kurokocchi!' behind him. Kagami looks above Tetsuya's shoulder, taking a bit of his burger.
"Hello, Kise-kun." Kuroko turns around and Kise walks to them, smiling. "It's unusual to see you here, in Tokyo."
"I visited my aunt," says Kise and looks at Kagami, his eyes sparkling. Kuroko takes a sip of the milkshake, observing the blond closely. "Can I sit here?" He points at the empty chair next Kagami.
"Sure." Kagami shrugs, not moving even when Kise's shoulder brushes against his.
Kuroko smiles a little, thinking that this is going to be interesting.
"How is your aunt?" asks politely Tetsuya. He remembers Kise's aunt; she sometimes watched their matches. Ryouta usually stayed at her place when they had matches or exams to be sure that he wouldn't be late.
But it's like Kise didn't hear him. In the same moment he asked Kagami about the mountain of burgers the red-head ordered and right now they are bickering about Kagami's monstrous appetite. Kise is relaxed, the tone of his voice on the edge of flirting… not like Kagami notices it. Yet, Kuroko can see how Kagami is behaving a bit different, with better manners like using napkins to wipe off his mouth, his eyes not leaving Kise's face.
Kuroko leans back in his seat, hiding his smile behind the cup. Definitely interesting.
In the end it's Aomine who asks.
Aomine knows he is observant, but doesn't like to talk about what he sees. It's not his business why Akashi seemed to follow Tetsuya everywhere with his gaze during Winter Cup or why Momoi and Imayoshi share secret smiles when they think that no-one sees them… Okay, with this one he is going to do something. Like make sure that Imayoshi treats Satsuki right or may lose few limbs.
Besides this exception, Aomine doesn't gossip about other people or interfere with their lives. Yet, right now he feels like he is going to change that, because this situation is getting ridiculous.
After his lost during Winter Cup, he took Kagami's phone number from Tetsu and texted the Seirin's ace, proposing a play. They met three weeks after the Winter Cup – Kagami's legs needed to rest – and quickly started to play every weekend on a basketball court near Kagami's house. Kise joins them sometimes and at first Aomine isn't bothered by this. However, he notices, more often than not, how Kise is looking at Kagami's play almost in awe, how he is always close to the red-head. Daiki notices his red earring too.
Kagami is thick, but not so much to not realize that Kise uses every available excuse to be close to him, his eyes are always focused on Taiga, right? 'Or maybe he is thick enough to not realize it', thinks Aomine when Kagami only laughs when Kise tells him he would be a good model. 'He is flirting with you, Bakagami!'
'Almost like a soap opera,' Aomine sighs mentally and, when after their game Kagami goes to buy himself a drink, he decides to speak. Kise is his friend and helping friends is a good thing, right? Especially if they are so completely in love with someone who cannot see it.
"Do you like him?"
Kise, who has just taken a gulp of water from the bottle, chokes and starts coughing. Aomine hits his back few times, waiting till the blond calms himself down.
"What are you saying, Aominecchi?" Kise laughs, wiping his eyes. Aomine knows this fake laughter too well. "Kagamicchi and I are friends."
"I didn't say a word about Kagami." Aomine observes Kise's face closely. Amber eyes narrows for a split second, their owner looking away from Daiki's face quickly. "So?"
"I feel like I'm being interrogated. Are you sure you want to play in NBA? You would be a good policeman, Aominecchi." Kise sighs, brushing his wet from sweat fringe. "We are friends. I thought about Kagamicchi because you asked after he had left us."
"I don't think so. You…"
"Ha ha, he finally admits that he doesn't think."
Kagami is back and he sits on the bench at Kise's left, out of reach of Aomine's punch.
"Shut up. Mommy didn't teach you that it's rude to interrupt a private conversation?"
"A private conversation on a street court?" Kagami's raises his eyebrow. He looks at Kise, noticing his stiff shoulders. "Kise, what's wrong?"
"Oh… Nothing, Kagamicchi, really." Again, the fake laughter.
Surprisingly, Kagami realizes that this isn't Kise's usual laugh. Aomine is watching as the red-head sits closer to Ryouta, their tights pressed together and… Yes, this makes sense now.
Being a master of delicacy, Aomine asks:
"Are you two together?"
It's funny how quickly someone can become so pale. Kagami's face is pure shock and his gaze is going back and forth between Aomine and Kise. On the other hand, Ryouta smacks his forehead, sighing deeply.
"Is this so obvious?"
"Well, you were stripping him down with his eyes when we played." Aomine points at Kagami, who blushes. Kise's cheeks are a bit more red too and not because of the game. "It's not my business, but… how long?"
Kagami and Kise look at each other, before Kagami answers:
"After Winter Cup. You… ah… you won't tell about this to anyone, will you? We want to tell everyone. Soon."
Aomine shrugs, picking up the basketball ball.
"Only if you beat me in the next game." Daiki smiles widely, standing up.
"You think you can handle both of us?" Kagami stands up too, cracking his neck. "C'mon Kise, let's make his ego smaller."
"Please, you are hundred years behind me." Aomine smirks at Kagami's growl. "I can handle you anytime."
"Sometimes it isn't easy," murmurs Kise and then blushes furiously when he realizes what he has just said. "This is… I meant…!"
Aomine groans, rubbing his face. Kagami looks like he isn't sure if he should kick Kise or not. At least he has a decency to look embarrassed.
"Too much informations, Kise." No, Aomine isn't going to think why Kise would have problems with handling Kagami… Fuck his too active imagination! After he comes home, he is going to read all of his magazines with Mai-chan. "Let's play."
Kise nods, still red on his face, just like Kagami. They smile at each other in a way that makes Aomine want to puke – it's too sweet for his tastes – and then look at Aomine with fire in their eyes, obviously ready to kick his ass for mocking them.
The game starts.
A/N: At first I wanted to include more people, but I like how this fic turned out to be and I admit I started to write it only to write about the red ear ring.