“I can’t believe it! Again!”
Kise peeked over the preview of his photobook and looked towards Aomine’s bedroom. He waited for him to exit stepping with all the strength he had, as if appearing more fearsome would have resolved his problem. Aomine stopped right in front of the sofa, where Kise was indulging himself with a relaxing check to his most recent photographs.
“What happened, Aominecchi?”
“My favorite trunks disappeared! It’s the third time in a week!”
If his roommate was another person, probably Aomine would have received a conceited look, maybe with rolling eyes, before being mocked. However the boy he was sharing the room with at the college was Kise Ryouta, his friend from middle school, who put down his photobook with a huge worry painted on his handsome face.
“That’s serious, Aominecchi. Always the same trunks?”
“Always the same.” Aomine sat on a chair. “I hope this time that bastard, whoever he may be, won’t abandon them in the pond.”
“Yes. It has been quite disgraceful when the teacher caught us…”
“I’d like to know what I’ve done and how the hell does he know those are my favorite.”
Aomine Daiki did a lot of things to piss off people. However Kise made sure to hide his thought in the hidden depths of his brain.
“Maybe it’s a girl.”
“What girl? The last girl I dated dumped me during high school and she doesn’t even live in Tokyo anymore! You know that!”
“Right, right… you aren’t lucky with girls, aren’t you?”
“Shut up Kise! They like you just because you wink in front of a camera!”
“Now I need to find my underwear.”
Kise glared at Aomine, who was looking around trying to find a hint.
“They jumped on our balcony, Aominecchi. That’s the only chance, but it seems strange to me. I mean, our neighborhoods don’t look the types who wants to steal your underwear…”
Kise wasn’t really interested in Aomine’s trunks. And the accident at the pond was all because he only wanted to help him. However the idea that someone was able to go to and fro from their balcony without being noticed frightened him. What if that person entered their room when they were out?
“I suppose Kasamatsu and Imayoshi are out.” Aomine snorted. “The two at our left are the newcomer from America and… who’s the other one?”
“The other one?” Kise frowned. “I thought the American lived alone.”
“Well, if he lives alone then he is both rich and mental ill. The other evening, after the curfew, I heard him arguing with someone about entering his room or whatever. He was loud.”
“Maybe it was a girl.”
“With that face?”
“It’s not like you are a model either.”
Kise suddenly came back to the main topic. “Who knows, maybe he was talking at the phone.”
“It didn’t seem to me.”
“Ah, but there are two names on the label on the door… aren’t there?”
“Uhm… yes. I guess…”
They looked at each other and realized none of them has ever paid so much attention to that door to be able to recognize how many names were written on it.
“Aominecchi, do you think the American is the underwear thief?”
“Maybe he is.”
Kise had a pensive look and seemed on the verge of standing up. However he took again his photobook and opened it with a blunt gesture. “Well, go and check.”
“It’s your underwear.”
“How come you are always in my way and the only time I need you, you don’t want to come?”
“You are rude!” Kise hid his face behind the photobook. “And then I don’t really want to embarrass myself with the American...”
Aomine noticed how Kise was talking without lowering the magazine. “Ah, yes. He is totally your type, isn’t it?”
“Don’t you want to have back your underwear?”
It was strange talking with a smiling photograph of Kise on the cover of the magazine when the real Kise was behind that colored paper probably with the face of the same color of the reddish scarf he had in the portrait.
Aomine turned towards Kise right before exiting the student flat, but he was stubbornly staring at a point on a page, so he closed the door behind him.
Since when Aomine entered the university, the disappearance and re-appearance of his favorite underwear was the only major accident that happened; but it angered him. He tried to remember if he acted in a wrong way with someone he didn’t know; despite his sullen appearance, he acted quite kindly with strangers and wasn’t even bad-tempered or disrespectful towards his friends.
He had never even talked with that American, Kagami Taiga. Once Kagami almost bumped on him when they were both in a hurry and they glared at each other while running in the same direction; and that had been their only serious contact, even if they shared most of their classes. Only by looking at him by far Aomine didn’t find him particularly appealing.
He was alone in the corridor, standing in front of the flat of Kagami. He hit the door twice with his fist.
“Hey! American open the door!” He stopped before hitting once again the door. “Kagami! Oi, Kagami, open!”
The keyhole clicked and Aomine put on his most terrifying expression, ready to ask abruptly if he was the thief. But the door opened and he looked at an empty room.
Aomine lowered his head and was so shocked he didn’t know how to react.
A boy with messy hair and clear blue eyes was looking at him a bit puzzled. Shorter than him and with an adorable wrinkle between his eyebrows, he was keeping in his arms a cute black and white dog with clear blue eyes with a pair of blue trunks patterned with orange basketballs clenched among his teeth. His pair of blue trunks patterned with orange basketballs.
“Is that my underwear?”
He pointed at the trunks.
“Ah. Are these yours? I’m truly sorry. I found them in Nigou’s kennel but he doesn’t want to let them go. I thought they were my roommate’s. Nigou keeps entering his room.”
The dog proudly stretched his neck to show his precious treasure.
“Don’t worry.” Aomine spoke with his mind blank. “You can come to my room and take off my underwear whenever you want.”
The boy frowned. “Excuse me?”
“I was talking with the dog. The dog can come and steal whatever he wants.” Aomine diverted his eyes and faked a cough, taking time to make up an excuse. “Now I have to go. You know, dinner.”
“It’s 4 pm. You dine early.”
“British afternoon tea. It’s almost like a dinner.”
“Oh.” The boy was genuinely interested. “Do you come from Great Britain?”
“Remember, the underwear.”
Aomine nodded at the dog, who growled happily back without opening the mouth. Then he hurried to come back to his flat and slammed the door.
Kuroko Tetsuya exchanged a puzzled glance with his dog.
“He forgot his trunks… but you shouldn’t take them anymore, Nigou.”
As reply, Nigou munched on the cloth.