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Growing on You

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Growing on You

One

As the rain continued to fall heavily on the city, Kise breathed a soft sigh as he adjusted the blanket around his shoulders. Damn, he hated this type of weather. The temperature had dropped considerably, and a cold wind was blowing against the window of the living room. A loud crack of thunder shuddered the building, causing him to jump a little, the notebook which had been resting on his lap falling to the carpeted floor with a soft thud. He sighed again as he reached down to grab it, then he settled back down on the couch. He'd been making random doodles on his notebook for an hour now, in hopes of making time go by faster. He'd taken his shower already, and he was waiting for his roommate to get back home. Normally, Kise would be sleeping by now, after working and studying all day, but Midorima had sounded as if he had something that needed to be discussed.

Placing his notebook on the coffee table, Kise got up from the couch before making his way towards the large window. Pressing his forehead against it, he stared at the terrible weather outside. It was near the end of September, and the hot days of Summer had been replaced by the cold days of Winter. For the next four months, there would be nothing but rain, and that usually meant two things; the underground metro system becoming almost useless, and Teikou turning into a chaotic war zone to walk around. Well, at least, the university he went to wasn't that far from his place, so he wouldn't have to worry about getting stuck in traffic for hours.

Midorima had said he would be home before ten, but it was almost eleven. It wasn't as if Kise was too worried, he knew the older man was more than capable of handling himself, but he couldn't stop the little bubbles of anxiety in his stomach. What if something had happened to him? What if the storm had caught him? What if he was stuck in traffic? What if he'd been mugged? What if he-

The door to the apartment room slammed open with a bang, causing Kise to jump again with a small yelp. In the doorway stood his roommate, Midorima, whose bright green hair was plastered to his forehead, and he was currently trying to wipe the water off of his glasses. If he hadn't looked so irritated, Kise would've laughed.

"It seemed like God had decided to send the second flood." Midorima said with a sigh of annoyance, his hand quickly loosening the tie around his neck.

Kise nodded sympathetically. "I'm gonna get a towel for you."

"You do that." Midorima grunted, standing in the carpet in front of the door. A few seconds later, and the blond man returned with a clean towel. "Thanks." He said as he began to clean his face, then he began to dry his hair off.

"Did you eat something on the way? Or..."

"No, but I'm not hungry. I'm going to take change these clothes before I catch something..."

Kise gave another nod. "Right." While the older man went to his bedroom to change himself, the bond man sat back down on the couch. A few moments later, and Midorima emerged in the living room, wearing a pair of green pajamas and a green shirt.

"Ah, much, much better." Midorima said as he sat down on the other side of the couch. Leaning back against it, he looked at the younger man. "Uh, why you're still up? You're usually sleeping by now..."

Crossing his legs, Kise leaned slightly towards the older man, his hands on his knees as he gave him a curious, questioning look.

Midorima blinked. "Oh. That's right. I believe I told you to stay awake and wait for me to get back home, because I needed to talk to you about... something."

Kise nodded.

"Right..." Midorima sighed, glancing off to his side, before letting out another sigh. He looked more exhausted than usual. "I'm moving out."

Kise blinked. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me, I'm moving out of the city." Midorima said, looking back at the younger man. "It's just for a couple of months, though."

"But..."

"But you don't have to worry about the rent." Midorima said, cutting off the blond man. "I have someone in mind."

Kise blinked again. He knew Midorima well enough and he trusted him on a lot of things. While he wasn't interested in his personal life, he wasn't so sure if he could trust him with thrusting a stranger into their apartment for a few months.

"Listen, I know what you're thinking. I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't important, trust me." Midorima said, sounding a little desperate. "Besides, he's not a stranger I picked up from the streets."

"And who is he?"

Midorima licked at his lips. "A... friend's friend."

"So you don't know him?"

Midorima frowned. "I do know him. I've known him for..." He trailed off, his hand scratching his chin in thought. "One, two years? I can't remember."

"And what does he do for a living?"

"Well, I don't know." Midorima said, shrugging. "He isn't employed, you see, but he, uh, he does a lot of odd jobs here and there. He's an all-around kind of guy, so whatever people ask him to do, he gets it done. But, I can say that he can pay rent just fine."

"Is he in university?"

"I don't think so. Actually, he said he hasn't been to school since he was fifteen. He's around your age, maybe two or three years older."

Kise nodded, his mouth thinning in contemplation. Even though he believed in the older man, he couldn't shake this feeling that he wasn't telling the entire story. Something seemed wrong, but he couldn't quite put his finger on what it was. Then again, maybe he was just being paranoid. He'd known him long enough to trust his judgment, anyway. He sighed and nodded again. "Okay, he can stay."

Midorima's eyes shot up at this. "Really?" He asked, sounding surprised that the blond man had agreed.

"Yeah, sure. But if he causes any trouble, I'm gonna kick him out. No buts."

"Right, right..." Midorima said as he let out a sigh of relief. "Trust me, Kagami is a nice guy. He's just as obnoxious as you are, so maybe you two could get along just fine." The older man chuckled at the blond man's glare. "Well..." He said, getting up from the couch, stretching his arms over his head and yawning. "I'm going to take a shower, then I'm going to head to bed. Good night, Kise."

"Good night, Midorima-san."

As Midorima walked into the bathroom, Kise leaned back on the couch, sighing softly. A few minutes later, and he heard a loud curse from the bathroom, and he gulped. He forgot to turn the water to cold. Again.


It was a Thursday morning when Kise woke up with his cellphone blasting loud heavy metal music in a feeble attempt to bring him from the dead and back to the world of the living. With his head still buried in his pillow, he searched around the bedside table for the little monster which had woken him, before managing to grab it. After fumbling around with it, Kise managed to find the off button, then he slammed it back down onto the table, before screaming as loud as he could into the pillow.

Being awoken at six in the morning was something that Kise would definitely never get used to to.

Turning over, Kise planted his hands on either side of the bed, then he pushed his torso off of the mattress and he groaned as his spine creaked in protest. Throwing his legs over the side of the bed, he sat there for a few seconds, his hair in a complete disarray and his eyes muggy with sleep. Stretching his arms over his head, Kise stood up, then he dragged himself towards the bathroom, yawning as he did so. Closing the door behind him, he pulled down his sweatpants along with his underwear, putting them in the laundry basket. He stepped into the small glass cubic and turned on the shower, letting out a soft moan as the water pummeled down his body.

Kise had been living in Teikou for almost two years now. He was in his second year of university, having just barely managed to survive his first year. After graduating from high school, he had decided to move away from his hometown in Kaijou and had moved to the big city, to study and to work. Needless to say, the day he told his family that he was moving out of their little house had been one of the most hectic days in his life. His mother had made a fuss about it, and even said she wouldn't be his mother anymore if he stopped visiting her. His father had just shrugged and told him to be careful. And his older brother had told him to stay the hell away from any stranger offering him a drink at a party, because he'd end up waking up in cold and dark room and without one of his lungs... so, it had been the craziest day in his life. Ever.

Turning off the shower, Kise stepped out and grabbed a towel from the cupboard under the sink. As he dried himself off, he caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror. His hair was a light shade of gold, and his eyes were a soft amber. He had long, delicate lashes, and his skin was pale and smooth. He had the build of an athlete, with lean, toned muscles, and because he used to play basketball when he was younger, he was quite tall. His friends and family had always told him that he should have been a model, but he simply couldn't see himself posing and smiling to a camera all day while wearing many layers of make-up. That wasn't what he wanted to do with his life. What he really wanted to do was to become a comic book artist. Despite not looking like, Kise was a huge nerd, and his dream was to see his drawings being published at a big company like Marvel or DC.

As he continued to stare at his reflection, Kise reached up with a hand and lifted the blond bangs that covered the small scar just above his left brow. He'd gotten it when he was about ten years old. His parents had brought him to the beach, and while swimming, he had hit his head against a rock. He didn't remember much from what had happened afterwards, but from what he could remember, he'd woken up in a hospital bed, with his mother crying her eyes out. Since then, he'd been afraid of getting into the ocean again.

Shrugging off these thoughts, Kise walked back into the bedroom. The apartment which he shared with Midorima was quite old and small, but it was home. The walls were painted white, with a few pieces of art strung about (which Kise had insisted in buying them because he thought the apartment looked too lifeless), and the floor was carpeted red. The living room had a single worn-out couch, with a medium-sized television, and a small coffee table stood between them. The kitchen was small and cramped, with a marble counter and a table, along with two chairs, though neither Kise and Midorima didn't do a lot of cooking so neither of them really cared about it. There was a short hall that separated the two bedrooms, with the bathroom at the end of it. The bedroom in which Kise had been using as his own was equally tiny, with a dresser, a single bed, a bookshelf, which had some books and some action figures which he had bought in an event, and a desk with some photos. The walls had several posters of popular rock bands and superheroes, along with a couple of paintings, painted by Kise himself.

Walking up to the dresser, Kise swung it open and grabbed a pair of jeans, then he stared at the many hanging shirts, before deciding to grab a long-sleeved blue t-shirt with yellow stripes, then he slipped his foot into a pair of sneakers. Kise also snatched one of his scarfs, since Teikou tended to get really cold at night. After combing his hair and putting on some deodorant, he grabbed his umbrella from the desk, then he walked into the living room to grab his keys and wallet. As he finished putting on his coat, Kise heard three sharp knocks on the front door. He glanced at the hour on his cellphone screen and rolled his eyes. There was only one person he knew who would knock on his door at this hour of the day. Walking towards it, he threw the door open and felt himself being pulled into a (rather painful) hug by a mass of black hair.

"Good morning, Ki-chan!" Takao cried gleefully, lifting the blond man and shaking him like a ragged doll.

"T-Takaocchi...!" Kise managed to choke out eventually, his head swinging back and forth. "C-Can't... breath..."

"Oops, sorry buddy!" Takao said with a cheeky grin, letting go of the blond man Kise let out a wheeze of relief "Anyway, I brought you breakfast, so let's eat it and then walk to uni together!"

'Breakfast' turned out to be an attempt at sandwich, burned chicken breast with salad slapped two slices of bread. It tasted like coal, but it was the thought that counted (and what was left of the chicken did taste good), so Kise dug into it without complaining. Once the two were done eating, they washed the plates, then they walked out of the apartment and, after locking the door, they made their way towards the stairs. A few seconds later, and they were stepping out of the building in which Kise lived at and were making their way up the street, and about ten minutes later, they reached the bus stop.

"Alright, so..." Takao began as he pressed his back against a nearby wall, his hands behind his head. "You're coming with me to the club tonight? I know we have a lot of studying to do, but seriously, I'm gonna go insane if we don't take a break from it!"

Kise chuckled softly at his friend. "I wish I could come with you, but I can't. Um, my... my new roommate will arrive today."

"Eh? New roommate?" Takao blinked. "What happened to Midorima-san?"

"He, uh, he had to leave town for a few months. So, um, I'll be sharing his place with a... a friend of his." Kise explained. He wasn't sure of how much information he could share with his friend about his new roommate, especially since he didn't even know the guy.

"Hmm, I see." Takao said, lowering his arms and shoving his hands in his skinny jeans pockets. "By the way, I called Kuro-chan and asked him if he's coming to university today, but he said he can't yet 'cause his grandma is still in the hospital."

"I hope she gets better soon." Kise said, adjusting his bag over his shoulder. "He's missing a lot of classes, if he doesn't starts attending to them soon, he'll have a lot of catching up to do."

"Yeah, I know what you mean." Takao said. He turned his head towards the blond man with a grin. "So... this new roommate of yours. What does he looks like?"

Kise shrugged. "I don't know. I haven't met him yet."

"He isn't gay, is he?" Takao asked, batting his eyebrows suggestively.

Kise rolled his eyes. "And why should I know that? I just said I haven't met him. And why you're asking me that, anyway? Don't you have a boyfriend already?"

"Hey, I'm just asking!" Takao said, sticking his tongue out in a childish fashion. "Besides, if Ki-chan's new roommate is gay, then that means you'll finally get your chance to lose your virginity!"

"W-What are you talking about? I-I'm not a virgin!"

"No, but you're blushing and stuttering, just like one!"

Takao burst out laughing while Kise looked away, his usually pale cheeks turning several shades of pink. Well, he wasn't lying, he wasn't a virgin anymore. He'd lost his virginity way back in high school, but he was still deep, deep in the closet. He'd had a few dates with some cute boys in the past, but that was that. He wasn't like Takao, who was openly gay and had had several boyfriends. His friend's life was a rollercoaster of getting in and out of relationships, and the last guy to fall in his ever growing list of boyfriends was a guy by the name of Miyaji, whom Takao had met during one of their outings to one of the many clubs that littered the city. Kise still wondered to this day how he ended up as just his friend. As far as he could tell, he was Takao's only gay friend.

The bus arrived, and the two hopped on, quickly grabbing two empty seats for themselves. The ride to the campus was a rather uneventful one, but that Kise enjoyed anyway. Teikou was so, so different from Kaijou. It was a big, bustling city, and it had scared him at first, who had spent most of his life in a town so small that it was easy to not find on the map. The tall buildings that seemed to stretch upwards endlessly, the streets which were always packed with people, the constant movement and the noises of the cars... he still wasn't used to all of it, but at least, at this point, Kise knew the way to the university, the cinema, the library, the shopping mall. Aside from Kuroko and Takao, Kise didn't know anyone, but he didn't mind because they were two of the most amazing people he had met. Takao was loud, cheerful, and he usually cracked a joke when Kise was feeling like crap. He was a few months younger than Kise, and yet, he'd had more boyfriends than he could count on his fingers. Kuroko, his other friend, was a very calm, very quiet young man, with soft blue eyes and equally blue hair. He had this strange habit of popping out of nowhere, just like a ghost, and he'd almost managed to scare the blond man to death on their first meeting. He could read Kise like a open book, and he always had a way to cheer him up, either with a few words of encouragement, or a well-deserved (and quite painful, despite his thin arms, he was quite strong), smack over the head. Though Midorima didn't consider himself as his friend, Kise still thought of him as one, and whenever the blond man felt like crying, the older man would offer him his shoulder to cry on (though he'd later complain about Kise drenching his shirt with his tears). All in all, Kise enjoyed his new life.

When his agenda wasn't cramped with work and study, Kise would go out with his friends to watch a movie at the cinema, or to get a drink at a bar or club, or to simply take a walk around the mall or the amusement park. Midorima wasn't much of a party-goer himself, but when his own agenda wasn't full either, he'd bring some beers, chocolate and popcorn, and they'd watch movies on the TV until either of them fell asleep on the couch and the other would carry one to their bedroom. Now that his roommate was gone, there was just Takao and Kuroko, and thankfully, they wouldn't leave him in a while.

After they reached the campus, Kise gave Takao a hug, then he went about his own way towards his classroom. The campus was fairly quiet, which didn't surprise him. Because of the long holiday, most the students were still out of the city, and because the next day was going to be a Friday, they wouldn't come to university until Monday. Kise made his way down the halls, and as he walked into the large lecture hall, he found that a couple of the students were already there. Some were playing on their phones, others were making small conversation, while a few were staring into nothing. Ah, yes, the university atmosphere. Even though he was already used to it, he still couldn't help but grin to himself, then he realized that he was grinning and he kept his head lowered to hide his blush as he walked towards one of the empty seats.

Kise picked a seat that wasn't too far from the front, but not too close, either. Placing his bag under the desk, he sat down before pulling out his cellphone from his jeans pocket. He fumbled with it, answering a couple of messages from his mother, while waiting for the professor to arrive. Eventually, though, the blond man found himself glancing around, and he saw that another guy had taken the seat to his right. He had his head on the desk, his arms folded and he looked like he was sleeping. Kise quickly averted his gaze from him when the guy suddenly lifted his head to look around, then he dropped his head on the desk again.

When the professor finally arrived, Kise put his cellphone back in his pocket, then he reached down into his bag to pull out his notebook. The first class was History of Art, and as the professor began to ramble on about the ancient Greeks and Romans, Kise found himself gazing back at the guy sitting next to him. He wasn't sleeping anymore, and he was glaring at the front of the classroom. Damn, he's hot... Even with the deep scowl on his face, the blond man couldn't help but think that the guy was really gorgeous. His dark blue hair framed his sharp blue eyes, and his skin was tanned deeply. He had a tall, lanky build, with long arms and legs, and even with the loose t-shirt that he wore, Kise could still make out the lines of his strong chest. He was also wearing a pair of dark gray jeans, which tapered down into a pair of worn sneakers.

"I don't get why I have to sit and listen to this crap..." The guy muttered under his breath eventually, his voice deep and raw. "This course is supposed to be about art, not history. Just let me draw something already, goddammit!"

Kise chuckled softly at this. "I take it that you don't have a lot of patience, right?"

"You can take it whichever way you want. I just hate this boring crap." The guy glanced at Kise, then he let out a bored sigh as he extended his hand towards him. "Aomine Daiki."

Kise took the hand that was offered to him and they shook briefly. "I'm Kise Ryouta. Nice to meet you, Aomine-kun."

Aomine leaned back in his chair, letting out a yawn. "So, where you're from, anyway?"

"Kaijou."

"Hmm, never heard of it. Must be a pretty small town, ah? How you're likin' the big city so far?"

"It's... it's a bit scary, to be honest..."

Aomine chuckled. "Well, I suppose it can't be helped. Must have been a big shock when you got here, being from a small town and all."

Kise turned his chair slightly towards Aomine. "So, I take it you're from around here?"

"I think so." Aomine answered, letting out another yawn. He obviously wasn't interested in this class. "I mean, my old man moved in to Teikou when I was just six, so I've been livin' here for, like, my entire life. It's not that bad, well, if you take out the traffic and the noise and... well, everything. Why did you even move in here, anyway?"

"Well, I needed to finish my studies."

Aomine nodded. "Hmm, guess that's a good point. Teikou is known for its universities and colleges, anyway."

They chatted for a while until the class ended. Placing his notebook inside his bag, Kise got up from his seat and turned his head towards Aomine, who was busy shoving his books inside his own bag. "It was nice talking to you, Aomine-kun."

Aomine nodded. "Yeah, whatever."

On the way out of the campus, Kise met with Takao, and the two made their way up the street. Both Kise and Takao worked at a coffee shop that wasn't that far from the campus. It was a small, cozy building that was nestled comfortably between two larger buildings. You know the type of place. A bit hipster, a bit new-age, with white-washed walls, comfy, plush chairs, small, rounded wooden tables and smooth counter. There was a little room tucked in the back, with some arcade games for groups of teenagers who wanted to play instead of drinking coffee. Kise worked there as a barista, serving drinks for the customers while Takao worked behind the counter, taking their orders. All in all, it was a nice place to work at.

At around five, Kise walked out of the coffee shop and made his way towards the bus stop. After thirty minutes, he jumped out of the bus and began to make his way up the street. He had borrowed a couple of books from the nearby library for his studies, and his bag was weighing heavily on his shoulders. Even with the gray clouds signaling that a storm was approaching, the city of Teikou was still very much alive. Some kids were playing at the parks, with their parents closely watching them. Some people were walking with their dogs, waiting patiently while their animals marked their territory on lamp posts and hydrants. Some were getting out of their cars and walking inside the large apartment buildings. Kise had gotten out of work a bit early than usual, as his new roommate would be arriving today. Curiosity had gotten the best of him, and not only that, his parents had taught him some manners, and he thought that the guy might need some help in moving boxes.

The apartment block in which Kise lived at was a nine story building that was crumbling in several places. Out of all the other apartment buildings in the area, it had the cheapest rent, so he didn't complain much. Because it was so old, the elevator was broken most of the time, so he didn't even bother himself with trying it. He lived on the sixth floor, and by the time he reached it, his legs were almost collapsing and he leaned against the wall near his door, breathing heavily.

After he managed to catch his breath, Kise pushed himself from the wall and pulled his keys out of his jeans pocket, then he shoved them in the keyhole before twisting the doorknob around. Pushing the door open, he walked in. He didn't see any truck in the parking lot or any boxes in the hall outside, so he guessed that the guy hadn't arrived yet. He slipped his sneakers off and let his sock covered feet feel the comfort of the carpet under him. Pulling his scarf from around his neck, Kise plopped down gracelessly on the couch, one arm covering his eyes while he stretched his legs out on the couch. Damn, I'm tired...

His stomach rumbling, Kise got up from the couch and wandered into the kitchen. He threw open the fridge door to find a carton of milk that was almost empty, a half opened butter, some rice, and an unfinished, half-frozen lasagna. Taking out the lasagna, he closed the door and grabbed a spoon from one of the drawers before making his way back to the couch. Grabbing the TV remote, Kise turned it on. He dug into his lasagna while watching a very old anime about a robot boy and his human friend trying to save the world from an evil robot. When he was done with eating his meal, he set the empty plate on the coffee table, before nestling comfortably into the couch. After a few seconds, he felt his eyelids becoming heavy with sleep, and he closed them.

When Kise woke up again, it was dark. The only light in the living room was that of the TV, which was now displaying some random game show. Blinking his eyes awake, he glanced at his cellphone, checking the hour. Wow, almost midnight. He wasn't really sure what woke him up. The air was colder now so he stood up and walked over the large window to pull the blinds. As soon as he did that, Kise heard it.

Someone was knocking at the door.

Blinking, Kise glanced at the front door of his apartment with a frown, trying to figure who could be at such an hour. Still frowning and still confused, Kise slowly made his way towards the door and looked at the outside area through the peephole. There was a guy standing outside, but because it was so dark, he couldn't see his face properly. Kise's thoughts quickly jumped to serial killer, but he had a large duffel bag over one broad shoulder, so he dismissed that thought. Maybe it's him? Kise thought, his hand reaching for the doorknob hesitantly, twisting it around slowly before throwing the door open.

When he opened the door, Kise almost let out a gasp. The guy standing in front of him was really beautiful, with his dark red hair messily styled into a crown of short spikes that looked like feathers, and his eyes were a bright red, which were framed by long, split red brows. His skin was tanned nicely, a deep bronze that accentuated the beauty of his eyes and hair. His face was incredibly handsome and masculine but not blocky, with a strong jawline, sharp angles and gorgeous lips. He was dressed in a pair of baggy camo jeans which were tucked into a pair of slightly battered combat boots, and he was wearing a white tank top, with a leather jacket wrapped around his waist. He was also quite tall, even more so than Kise, and he had to look up from his chest to his face, and he had a strong, muscular body that oozed of testosterone and manliness, with huge, tanned muscles. He had a thin, silver necklace around his neck, with a small ring strapped to it, and he also had a couple of tattoos on his body.

This guy was a hunk.

"Hey there." The guy was saying, a small smile playing at the corners of his tanned lips, his voice deep and melodic. "You must be Kise Ryouta, right?"

Kise nodded silently in response. He wished he could find his own voice so he could say something to this man - this gorgeous, beautiful, handsome hunk of a man - but his mind was too busy taking in all those massive muscles of his. Dear God, his arms... his arms! His chest!

Then, the guy's smile broadened a little, and he offered his hand to the blond man. "I'm Kagami Taiga. Nice to meet ya."

Again, Kise could only nod his head, and he swallowed as he reached out, taking his broad, tanned hand, almost letting out a moan when he felt him wrapping his fingers around his own smaller, pale hand in a strong grip. He remembered Midorima saying something about him being around his age, but he gave off the impression of being much older. His eyebrows looked like they hadn't seen a pair of tweezers in years, but somehow, he made them work. Kise could see that the light coming from his TV caught his beautiful eyes, making them shine a vivid red, like two polished rubies.

"So, um..." The guy - Kagami, that was his name - muttered, a light chuckle escaping him. "Will you let me in?"

Kise blinked, and he glanced down and saw that he was still standing in the doorway, and he was still holding his hand. "Oh, s-sorry..." He stammered, finally managing to find his voice, and he quickly let go of his hand (much to his dismay) before stepping aside. "I'm sorry..."

"That's okay." Kagami said as he walked inside, his huge frame filling the doorway. "Sorry for not being able to get here sooner. The bus driver was surely taking his sweet time on the road..."

"That's fine, I'm just glad you got here safe and sound." Kise said, smiling politely at him. "So, um, where... where's your stuff? Do you need any help with moving them?"

"My friend will bring all my stuff tomorrow. I don't have much with me, so I can move 'em on my own."

"Oh, I see." Kise said. "Here, come with me. I'll show you to your room."

"Thanks."

The two walked into the short hall that separated the living room from the bedrooms, and then Kise motioned for him to walk into the bedroom to his right. "Here is the room you'll be staying in. It's a little cramped, but it's big enough for you to move around without hitting anything." He explained. "So, are you hungry? I don't have much left since I haven't stopped by the grocery store yet, but I have some leftovers I can share with you..."

Kagami nodded. "Hmm, yeah, that'd be great. I haven't eaten anything since I came here."

"Alright, let's get to the kitchen."

Walking into the kitchen, Kise took out the bowl of rice from the fridge and put it inside the microwave, heating it up while Kagami sat at the kitchen table.

"So..." Kise began as Kagami wolfed down on his meal. "You're Midorima-san's friend, right?"

"Yeah." Kagami said around a mouthful of rice. "I, uh, I met him through a friend. He's a cool guy, I guess. Pretty smart, too. Used to hang out with him, but since he began working, he stopped talking to me."

"Did he talk to you about me?"

Kagami ran a hand through his spiky red hair. "Yeah, he did. He didn't say much, though, just that you're good-looking and is in university."

Good-looking and in university. Yeah, right, Kise grimaced inwardly as he nodded. Midorima probably said something along the lines of 'If you see a dumb blond kid whose face should be on a modeling magazine, that's him'. Shrugging the thought off, Kise smiled as Kagami put his chopsticks inside the now empty bowl. "Do you want more?"

"Nah, I'm done." Kagami said with a smile as he folded his arms across his chest, leaning back in his chair.

Kise had to remind himself to not stare too much at the way the tanned muscles bulged slightly. "So, um, how old are you?"

"I'm twenty three." Kagami said. "Just turned this weekend. What about you?"

"I'm twenty two. Oh, but I will turn twenty three in November." Kise said. "What do you do? Midorima-san said you're not employed."

"Ah, yeah." Kagami said, running a hand through his spiky red hair. It seemed to be a nervous habit of his. "I, uh, I keep lots of small jobs. They don't pay much, but I can make enough to help you with the rent, though. How about you?"

"Well, I'm in university but you already knew that. I'm working a part-time job as a barista at a coffee shop near the campus." Kise answered. "Where are you from, Kagami-kun?"

"Los Angeles."

Kise's eyes shot up with surprise. "Really? You're American?"

Kagami shook his head, letting out another light chuckle of his. "Nah, I'm Japanese, just like you, but I was raised in America. I've been living there since I was five, then I moved back to Japan."

"Oh, I see."

Silence fell on the table. Kise found that he wanted to ask more, to push him, to ask him about his parents, if he had any brothers or sisters, where they were now. He also wanted to ask if he had any girlfriend or boyfriend, what he liked to do, what music he liked, he wanted to ask about his tattoos, how he got them and why he had so many of them, if he had any life goals, what they were, what he loved the most in the world, what he hated the most... in the end, Kise decided that he wasn't going to pry any further into his life.

"Well..." Kagami said eventually, sighing softly as he got up from the chair. "I'm going to take a shower, then I'm going to get some sleep. Uh, do you want me to wash this?"

"Ah, no, I can wash it for you. After all, you must be dead tired after being on the road for so long."

Kagami nodded. "Hm, thanks."

Kise smiled at him. "Sorry for all the questions."

Kagami shrugged, smiling another of his small smiles. "It's okay."

As he reached the door, Kagami looked over one broad shoulder. The light in the kitchen caught his brightly-colored eyes, and once again, it caused them to shine even brighter, and Kise found himself unable to utter a single word as he stared at those beautiful eyes of his. Then, Kagami walked out, and Kise sighed heavily as he leaned back in his chair.

This was going to be one long Winter.