atsumu’s carrying a ring around. it’s white gold with a diamond in the middle, and he bought it on monday. so of course, on friday, a week after swiping his card and exiting the shop with a little black box that contains everything certain and uncertain in the world, he drops it down the shower drain.

the first thought that runs through his mind is: the saleslady was right. i shouldn’t have taken it out of the box. i should’ve kept it in my sock drawer like she told me to do

but he couldn’t keep it in his sock drawer, because your socks have the annoying habit of mixing with his, and by extension, you have to rummage through them every other day.

you finding out before he’s figured out how to do it properly, how to ask you properly, is the last thing he wants to happen. he has to prove that he can do basic tasks, move from point a to point b without getting sidetracked. he’s heard it’s a good trait for a husband, and fuck it all if he isn’t going to be the best at what he does.

he yells desperately, brokenly, “fuck!”

it echoes across the bathroom walls, penetrating the door and moving to the bedroom where you are. you come running, footsteps frantic. you knock. “‘tsumu, what’s wrong? did you fall?”

he doesn’t answer, too busy pulling his hair. his mind is working furiously as he paces around. he kneels down and tries fitting his hand inside the little hole. he knows it’s still there. it couldn’t have been flushed out. he can feel the tip of the diamond, but he can’t go any further.

atsumu,” you shout from the other side, clearly worried. you turn the knob. “why aren’t you answering —” you see him in the shower, fully clothed and on all fours, hand sucked into the drain, face red and contorted in effort. you move near him, kneeling down as well. “did you fall? are you hurt? is your hand stuck — atsumu, talk to me.”

he only looks at you as he pulls his hand out of the drain. if he waits, it’ll be flushed down for sure. he can go back and get a new one, but that’s plain wasteful. still, he can treat this one as a… first attempt that he didn’t get right. it’s okay. first attempts are usually failures —

“did something fall in?” you ask. you roll your sleeves up without waiting for an answer. “hold on, i have smaller hands. i’ll fish it out.”

he looks absolutely miserable as you put your hand in, sitting back with his head hung. you wonder what it is that has him like this. maybe an important receipt that fell from his pocket or a freebie ticket. your fingers feel something cold, and you quickly clasp it between your index and middle finger, pulling it out.

“there,” you breathe, a smile gracing your face as you lay it on the shower floor. “everything’s okay —”

your eyes widen, registering what the it is. your jaw slackens. you look at atsumu.

in this moment — the moment when you dirtied your hands for him, dampened the cloth of your pajamas without question, he thinks — ah, he loves you very much.

all his extremities are uncomfortably damp and you still have an obnoxious towel-headband on and both of you have had your hands inside the drain. he has to ask you now. he wants to ask you now. you’re beautiful in this light, in the setting lacking tact, and in your favorite pajamas.

(and, well, you already know, so he has to swallow whatever fear he has and ask already.)

he shifts, shuffles. you’re shell shocked, and he’s kneeling. but then you’ve been kneeling too, so it’s not much of the usual proposal position since both of you are face to face.

“i —” he starts.

“yes.” you say.

he breathes easy. he smiles because there is nothing in the world more like the two of you than this moment. and because he doesn’t have to buy you another ring. “damn, ya shouldn’t interrupt someone who’s trying to propose.”

you smile, the happiest person alive. you wouldn’t have it any other way. “you shouldn’t have dropped my ring down the shower drain.”

kuroo is smooth, they say. kuroo is a charmer.

false.

kuroo is the densest piece of shit you’ve ever come across. he wouldn’t know his feelings if they punched him upside the head.

“you like her.” you insist forcefully. you knock on his skull to see if there’s still anything inside.

he’s starting to get cross with you. he keeps walking, removing your hands. “i don’t. why are you insisting that i like her?”

you roll your eyes. “because you gave her your seat on the train. then you make practice longer so you can walk her home. because you stare at her neck all the time -- do i need to keep going?”

kuroo’s not unattractive. it won’t be so hard for her to return his feelings. this has been going on for far too long, and you’re tired of him spacing out and mooning over someone who’s clearly within his reach. he may be dreadfully shy on the inside, but his cocky exterior makes it hard for anyone to say no to him. you just want your best friend to stop being so distracted all the time. maybe a girlfriend will be good for him.

“are you serious?” he asks, aghast.

you kick a leaf that made its way to the sidewalk. “why wouldn’t i be?”

he halts. you turn around to see him staring at you. he looks mad. “i--wow-- wow. wow.”

your brows furrow. your hand grips your bag. “did i say something wrong?”

your best friend looks at you, and for the first time, he fixes you the gaze people have been going crazy about ever since they knew what the word gazes meant. you swallow.

he says, almost a whisper, “stupid. i like you.”

“what?” you blink.

he blushes, something beneath his skin burning red, but still he barrels on. “i gave her my seat on the train because i wanted to stand beside you. i make practice longer so i can say hi to you from below your bedroom window after you’ve eaten dinner. i stare at her neck because you told me you liked her necklace and i wanted to get it for you--”

holy shit. and you said he was dense. a breeze picks up. he avoids your gaze. your heart is leaping out of your chest. your best friend. your best friend is... really cute when he's flustered. “i--”

“sorry,” he says. he scratches the back of his head. “pretend i--”

“no, i--” you walk closer to him. you take his hand, tapping two fingers to his wrist. his pulse is erratic. he looks at you. you’ve always liked his eyes. you smile, a bit nervous. “sorry i took so long.”