Kuroo loves Kenma more than anything. He’s been in love with the setter for ages, definitely since middle school. Kuroo loves Kenma so much he’s learning how to make apple pie for him.
The two had moved in together in a nice house in the Denenchofu district, as any successful businessman did - and Kenma was just that. They had been dating since Kuroo’s third year at Nekoma and the tomcat was beginning to think it was time to pop the question. The perfect way to do that was by setting the mood with a nice meal and a homemade apple pie.
Kenma loved homemade pie because apparently you could taste the difference between the store bought one and one ‘made with love’ (as the smaller cat said). Kuroo couldn’t have told you the difference because he would eat anything that wasn’t nailed down. The Pie Debate aside, Kuroo wasn’t one for baking, sure he could whip up a nice meal, but baking? Listen, the guy might have a chemistry degree, but he couldn’t hack it when it came down to understanding the difference between laminated and non-laminated pastry.
On a cold March morning, Kuroo takes the train back to Nerima City to ask the one person who could teach him how to bake this (damn) pie. It took twenty minutes walking from the train station for the tomcat to arrive at his childhood home which sat next to Kenma’s. Entering the house felt overwhelming to a degree as it brought back so many memories.
“Tetsurou?” A woman’s voice called as feet shuffled against the hardwood floors. The woman, Kuroo Yoshiko, came into a view sporting her own version of Kuroo’s bedhead. The grey strands flew out uncontrollably from her bun, they looked like a mirror versioned of each other save for the grey hair and height difference.
“Hi grandma!” Kuroo stepped forward to engulf the martiach of his family.
“I got all of the ingredients. I’m about to shape you up so you can be the perfect house husband for Kenma.” Yoshiko said, leading the taller into the kitchen. It was still the same pale yellow as it had been since Kuroo could remember. The two set in on making the pie dough, Kuroo took notes diligently as if he were still trying to pass his quantum physics course.
They cut the cold butter into the flour (that had salt and sugar in it) and added water mixed with a little bit of vinegar - Kuroo instantly realized that this was to stop the gluten process. The Kuroos mixed the dough together and formed it into a disc and let it set. Chopping apples for the filling, Yoshiko asked the younger: “So, any reason you’re making a pie?”
Kuroo paused as he measured out the sugar, “I’m asking him to marry me.” Yoshiko smiled brightly as she continued her task. The tomcat grew worried when tears streamed down her aged face, both of them stopped their work. “I-Is that okay? Gran, why are you crying?”
Yoshiko wrapped her arms around the muscular figure of her grandson. “Your mother would’ve been so happy to see you in love like this.” Kuroo felt a prick at his own eyes. It wasn’t anything new, Kuroo Emiko had passed away nearly twenty years ago. Kuroo himself was but a child when it happened. It fueled a lot of anxiety for him and he struggled making friends until he met Kenma.
The two Kuroos collected themselves with a laugh and continued baking. Kuroo nearly burned down the house when he let the sugar caramelize a little too long, which prompted a do-over. Soon, the pie was rolled out, filling spooned in and all placed in the oven to bake. Yoshiko had gone upstairs for a minute and returned with an old jewelry box.
Sipping his tea, Kuroo watched as his grandma pulled out a delicate, gold ring from the box. The top of the band had a row of diamonds set in it, two sapphires set on the ends.
“This was your mother’s engagement ring. Your father went all out for her, even though Emiko could have cared less. She loved him for him, not for money.” Yoshiko said as she took Kuroo’s large hand. She placed the delicate ring in the center of his palm. “I want you to have it. You’re her son, and I see the way you look at Kenma. You look at him like your father did at your mother.”
Kuroo swallowed hard before he realized he was crying. He hugged his grandmother as she ran her thin hands over his back. Kuroo had been robbed of his mother, but his grandmother had stepped in and gave him the best childhood she could while his father worked. The timer for the pie interrupted the moment as Kuroo whispered a thanks to the elder.
A week after visiting Yoshiko, Kuroo’s Awesome Amazing Date Night Slash Actually Proposal™ day has arrived. It’s a saturday, Kenma is out with Hinata in Shibuya as Kuroo is over at Bokuto and Akaaashi’s baking the pie.
The apartment kitchen looks like someone (probably Bokuto) who has never baked in their life attempted to make a dessert. Well, that’s about spot on. Kuroo is confused on why the pie dough is literally in shambles and worried about the filling being too liquid.
Akaashi steps in and adds water to the mixture, noting that the tomcat did not add enough liquid. He then proceeds to take the lid off of the pot holding the filling, which had been simmering but not turning into a compote, and told the two best friends that the lid was preventing the steam (aka water in a gaseous state) from cooking off.
The raven helps Kuroo finish the pie and place it in the oven. Akaashi has to pull Kuroo away from staring into the oven while the ‘key to his engagement’ bakes, and reminds the taller that Kenma is the actual ‘key’. The couple and Kuroo sit down and watch some TV to kill time.
“Kuroo, you’re going to cause an earthquake if you keep shaking your leg like that.” Akaashi deadpans. Kuroo stops the shaking and starts obsessively palming over his knees. The owlish couple look at eachother and sigh quietly as their friend starts shaking his leg again.
On the other side of town in Shibuya, Kenma and Hinata are milling about the busy ward. They pass by Yoyogi Park and get to see a foreigner get proposed to by her boyfriend. Hinata, in his Hinata fashion, oh’d and awed at the happy moment.
“I hope Bakayama proposes to me soon!” The orange declared as the pair continued walking around the park. “What about you, Kenma?”
Kenma’s face turned red, but he would’ve just said it was the cold March air biting at his face rather than a blush. “I think it would be nice to get engaged.” The cat delicately responds. Despite dating Kuroo for the last nine years, Kenma still felt reserved about displaying his love for the tomcat.
Sways of insecurity would leave him feeling as though he wasn’t good enough to be Kuroo’s partner, but quickly reminded himself that his boyfriend looked at him like he was the entire world. (Of course, Kuroo would say Kenma was his entire world) The couple was a well-oiled machine, they knew each other in and out (Get your mind out of the gutter - but yes their sex life was good) and were better together. It was simple, Kenma wanted to continue living his life with Kuroo by his side.
Hinata and Kenma parted ways at the train station, the ride back to Denenchofu was crowded as Kenma listened to his Spotify playlist. He thought of what marrying Kuroo would look like. A small reception with close friends and family. Simple rings on each of their fingers. Maybe roses? Apple pie instead of cake, obviously. Man, apple pie sounded nice to Kenma right now.
Kenma arrived at the house and got ready to go out on the planned date. Kuroo was already dressed in a white button down with jeans that the tomcat knew Kenma liked on him. The younger hurried to dress in a cream sweater and a pair of jeans - they always say couples dress alike after a certain point and Kenma guess it made sense now.
They soon arrived in Shibuya in front of an office building, took the elevator up to the top floor when Kenma realized it was the Shibuya Sky building. There was a wrap around view of the busy streets below as the cat ventured further around the space. It was captivating.
A table was set for two, Kuroo led his speechless boyfriend to sit down. “Would you like anything to drink?” A familiar voice rang, Kenma looked up to see Bokuto dressed in a waiter’s uniform. He smiled as he gestured towards Kenma’s cup again. The owl had worked as a bartender throughout college to make ends meet and he made a mean moscow mule.
“We have red wine and I can whip up a mule.” Kenma blushed, those were his two drinks of choice. He wasn’t a big drinker as he hated to be out of control and the bitter taste of alcohol was far from enjoyable. Kuroo only smirked when Kenma shot him a questioning look.
“I’ll have a mule” The half blond responded. Kuroo asked for red wine and Bokuto darted away further into the building. Under the nice white tablecloth, Kenma kicked his boyfriend hard.
“Um ouch?” The taller asked dully.
“What’s going on?”
Kuroo smirked even more and leaned over towards Kenma. “I just wanted us to have a great time. You’ve been working so hard lately and we didn’t get to do anything fun for New Year’s because you had to go to Korea.” He grabbed Kenma’s hand and intertwined their fingers.
Kenma nodded. He had been extraordinarily busy with his company and sticking in streams between meetings. Kuroo was always a hardcore romantic and always pulled out the full stops for him.
“Also, Bokuto and Akaashi owe me for helping them move.” Kuroo continued as the owlish figure placed their respective drinks on the table. Bokuto nodded vigorously. “Good Sir, may we inquire about tonight’s meal?” The bedhead monster asked in a faux posh tone.
“Ah! Yes, tonight’s first course will consist of vegetables with pike, the second is a filet mignon, and the third will be an apple pie made by our head pastry chef: Kuroo Tetsurou!” Bokuto finished with jazz hands pointed at Kuroo himself.
Safe to say Kenma’s jaw dropped. Bokuto shuffled off to allow the couple a moment as the two seemed to have engaged in a silent conversation via their eyes. The younger man knew his boyfriend loved to spoil him, but he had never even attempted to bake after setting off the smoke alarms trying to bake a cake for their first anniversary.
As if Kuroo could read Kenma’s mind, “It’s a new year, new me! Also our anniversary is coming up and I wanted to be able to execute the one thing you love more than me.” The rooster declared as he sipped his wine.
“The only things I love more than you are our cats.” Kenma whispered as his face relentlessly blushed. “Then you and then pie. Duh.”
Kuroo chuckled as he took in his boyfriend’s flushed state. Akaashi and Bokuto arrived with their dishes. Time waned away as the night grew on and then came dessert. The pie was perfectly cut - Kuroo might’ve made them all equilateral triangles - it was golden and the filling wasn’t leaking.
Kuroo tapped his foot as he urged Kenma to take the first bite, the cat took a bite and paused for a minute. A smile appeared on the petite face and Kuroo almost jumped for joy. The two dug into the pie which was surprisingly good. The impromptu waiters removed their dishes and Kuroo led his boyfriend to the elevator bank.
The observatory platform was only two floors up and it was where Kuroo was going to propose. Never in the older man’s life had he felt the need to cry, scream, throw up and run away all at the same time. Contrary to popular belief, Kuroo wasn’t just a confident feline-esque playboy. No, he had only loved Kenma and he considered himself lucky to be with the younger for the majority of his life.
The two stepped out onto the converted rooftop, people and cars hummed below quietly. They leaned against the glass. Kuroo collected himself with a deep breath and turned towards Kenma.
“Hey, Kenma.” He said quietly as he toyed with the box that sat in his coat pocket. Kenma peered up at him and smiled wistfully.
Kuroo sighed happily. “You know I love you? So much.” Kenma nodded and stepped closer to the taller. The air had gotten colder and Kenma’s light jacket wasn’t doing much for him. Kuroo had always been a furnace, even in the dead of winter he slept in shorts. It was a little thing Kenma enjoyed about him as he was always cold.
“We’ve been together almost ten years. I know it’s been a collective of highs and lows, but I’m glad you were always there.” Kuroo admits with a shaky breath. Kenma’s eyes are stuck on his face, there’s a growing tension between the two..but not the bad type. “You’ve always made me feel so..at home. I adore your antics. The nose scrunches, stealing my shirts and making me try every apple pie under the sun. I’m beginning to think I’ve been in love with you since I met you.”
Tears pricked at Kenma’s eyes, the sweet words hitting his chest hard. Kuroo grabbed his delicate hands and held them tight. Kuroo's eyes were glassy with tears too.
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that: I never want to stop celebrating our anniversary, I want to eat every apple pie with you..I want to grow old with you and maybe have a little family of our own. So..” Kuroo pulled a plain ring box out and opened it to show a gold ring. “Kozume Kenma, will you marry me?”
Kenma felt like he had just beaten Dvalin in Genshin Impact all over again. Shaky breaths raked through his chest, but he felt on top of the world. Totally unstoppable.
“Of course, Tetsurou.” The words barely left Kenma’s lips before Kuroo’s chapped lips met his. The couple could hear Bokuto whooping in the background, Kenma smiled against his fiance’s lips. The gold ring fit perfectly on Kenma’s delicate finger.
The couple walked hand-in-hand towards their friends to celebrate. They sipped champagne that Akaashi had bought, the alcohol warming them along with the joy of the engagement.
“So any ideas for the wedding?” Akaashi asked with a kind smile. Kenma felt Kuroo’s grip tighten in his hand.
“Yeah, we’re having apple pie for our wedding cake.”
A chorus of laughs sounded off. Kuroo was smiling so much it hurt, undoubtedly their wedding was going to feature the smaller cat’s favorite dessert. And in all honesty, Kuroo would not have wanted it any other way.