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To say that things had been a little bit tense among some of the members of Karasuno’s volleyball team lately would be a drastic understatement. The situation was downright uncomfortable, and all blame could ultimately be traced back to the tall, lanky number 11. Tsukishima had always been on the surlier side for sure, but lately it could be said that his behavior bordered on sincere meanness. It became so dramatic that even Kageyama, who was generally oblivious to the actions and emotions of others off the court, noticed the difference. Tsukishima’s attendance to practice was spotty, and when he did attend he either devoted every ounce of strength and concentration to practice or performed terribly and left after an hour or so. Even Yamaguchi was left in the dark about the blonde’s sudden shift in behavior-- a fact he was forced to reiterate time and time again as, one by one, each member of the volleyball team approached asking what was going on with his best friend.

On one particular day when Tsukishima stormed out after serving the ball clear across the gym, bouncing it against the opposing wall and earning a thoughtless “Out!” from Tanaka, Daichi called an impromptu team meeting. Once everyone was gathered around, he began. “So, Tsukishima seems to be a little bit… off lately.” Tanaka scoffed, “Yeah, no shit.” Daichi scowled and continued. “I know we all want to help him, but after putting a bit of thought into this, I think the safest course of action is just to leave him alone for now. As long as he comes to matches and keeps his performance up there, I see no reason to force him to come to practice every day. We have no way of knowing what he could be going through. It could be grades, it could be something at home, it could be a girl, who knows? What I’m saying is, we don’t want to make things worse. And you know that, for Tsukishima, any conversation is enough to irritate him on a normal day.” The group stood at attention as their captain spoke, though as he finished his monologue he glanced over to Hinata and Kageyama. “Especially you two”, he said poignantly, “Don’t bother him.” Hinata pursed his lips. “What’s that supposed to mean?”, he grumbled, his voice trailing off towards the end as Kageyama elbowed him in the side and nodded to Daichi. Hinata shot a glare at Kageyama and continued pouting as they all went back to practicing receives.

“Yamaguchi!”, a voice came yelling after the freckle-faced first year as he started walking home. He didn’t need to turn around to know that the voice belonged to Hinata, nor did he need to turn to know that the owner of the voice would be upon him within seconds. ‘We just spent four hours practicing’, Yamaguchi thought to himself, ‘how does he have this much energy?’  As Yamaguchi predicted, Hinata skidded to a halt next to his fellow first year mere seconds later. “Hey!”, he panted, pausing just a moment to regain his breath. “Do you know what’s up with Tsukishima?”, Hinata asked, a look of concern laid out across his face. Yamaguchi shook his head. “No, I don’t”, he sighed. The two begand walking down the road together and Yamaguchi continued. “He’s been like this for a few weeks… at this point, he’s not even returning my calls or my messages. I’m really worried. I’ve never seen him this bad.” Hinata nodded solemnly. Yamaguchi looked over to his peer and raised an eyebrow. “Hinata…”, he started, “for some reason, I get the feeling that you’re not planning on following Daichi’s instructions.” Hinata grinned a cheeky grin, rubbing the back of his head without really replying. Yamaguchi returned his smile and said, “Well, I can’t just stand here while he suffers, either.” Hinata nodded. “Let’s do our best, then!”, half-shouted the redhead. A grin crept across Yamaguchi’s face and, after a moment, he nodded back. “Let’s do our best!”, he replied enthusiastically.

Tsukishima didn't show up for practice two days in a row and Hinata was getting fidgety. He had planned on casually approaching Tsukishima after practice one evening but the only way that could happen was if the tall blonde was actually there. On the third day, Hinata decided he was going to have to be more proactive in his attempts to figure out what was going on with his fellow middle blocker. It took several minutes of coaxing himself on, but when lunchtime came around Hinata finally resolved to go see Tsukishima in his classroom. However, once he got to the doorway, he noticed a familiar face standing in front of Tsukishima’s desk.

“...S-- s- so if th- there’s anything I can d- do, anything you need help studying for or anything, j- just let me know!”, Yachi Hitoka declared, bowing at the end of her sentence (which had gotten progressively louder as it went on). Hinata watched with wide eyes-- it seemed that he wasn’t the only one who thought to try to offer help to their teammate. However, Yachi seemed to be as nervous as ever. For starters, even from the hallway, Hinata could hear every word of her offer. As Hinata watched, it looked like Yachi was shaking a little bit, too, as she stood bent in half before Tsukishima. Tsukishima, on the other hand, barely looked up from his book. He glanced over to Yachi, appraised her briefly, let out a small ‘tch’, and muttered, ‘okay’, before promptly returning to the pages before him. Yachi bolted upright and looked behind Tsukishima to where-- Hinata now noticed-- Yamaguchi was standing. Yamaguchi issued Yachi a helpless smile and a shrug. The new manager flushed even harder and stammered, “W-- w- well, I have to go to-- um--” “k.”, Tsukishima replied coldly, this time not even looking up. With that Yachi dashed out of the classroom, nearly knocking over Hinata in the process.

“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry!”, she exclaimed as she felt her body knock into someone else’s (although, if Hinata had to guess, he would have imagined that she was so startled at that moment that she would’ve apologized to any inanimate object she bumped into as well). The redheaded blocker smiled. “Don’t mind!”, he said, waving a dismissive hand. The two were just outside of the view of their teammates, but Hinata didn’t want to draw any unwanted attention. Since his class was right next to Yachi’s, he offered to walk back with her.

“I just- I feel so bad for him”, Yachi blurted as the two walked down the hallway. “I know he’s always kinda crabby but it seems like something is really bothering Tsukishima-kun”. Yachi punctuated her sentence with a deep frown. Hinata looked over his shoulder, worried that somehow the tall blonde would appear at the mere mention of his name, and was instead surprised to find Yamaguchi striding quickly behind the two.

“Hey”, Yamaguchi said quietly. “Oh! H- hi, Yamaguchi! I’msosorrythatIcompletelyblewitImeanIthoughthewouldatleastsaysomethingand--”, Yachi blurted, the words seeming to erupt out of her mouth. Yamaguchi waved his hands reassuringly and interrupted, “no, no, it’s fine! It’s not your fault! That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you guys about…”. The pinch server’s gaze left the eyes of his peers and wandered to the floor. “I… I talked to Tsukki, too.” “And?!”, interrupted Hinata. Yamaguchi paused for a moment. “...and it went worse than Yachi-chan’s conversation went.” All the color drained from Yachi’s face. “H- h- how could anything be worse than the interaction *I* just had with him?” Yamaguchi shifted uncomfortably. “At least… Tsukishima acknowledged you. All I got from him was a snort-- that’s it.” Hinata cocked his head. “Well, what did you say to him?” The freckled boy finally met eyes with his teammate and sighed. “All I said was ‘I know you're going through something right now, and you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, but I want you to know that I am here to help if you need anything at all.’ That's almost word for word what I said, and he snorted. He didn't stop reading or anything.”

At this point Yachi looked like she was about to pass out. She drew a hand up to her forehead and said, “oh no… how’s this weekend going to go then? We have another practice camp with Nekoma and Fukurodani… eep! What if he doesn't even come?!” Yamaguchi shook his head. “No, I'm pretty sure he’s going to come. It's one thing to skip practice, but it's another thing entirely to put other teams out by not showing up. I don't care what’s going on with Tsukki. I'd be willing to bet he’ll be there.” “I hope so”, Yachi said, shifting nervously. Hinata’s mind raced. ‘What could be going on with Tsukishima that he won’t even talk to his best friend?’

As the trio arrived at Yachi’s classroom, Hinata forced himself to smile, soon feeling the emotion behind the smile flood in. “That’s okay!”, he proclaimed as a response to nothing-- the other two had been silent for a solid minute-- “all this means is we have the whole weekend to try to help!” Hinata beamed in the sunny way that put everyone else around him at ease. In fact, Yachi and Yamaguchi found themselves feeling significantly more relaxed until another voice broke in.

“Help what?”, came a surly voice from behind Hinata. The redhead felt his blood chill as he turned to see the owner of that voice-- as if he did not already know. Looming behind him stood Kageyama, bearing an even more notable scowl than usual. “O- oh! Kageyama! We were just--”, Hinata stammered, as all traces of his smile fled his face. “Save it”, Kageyama replied. “I know what you’re doing. Don’t you think Daichi’s going to be a little annoyed, to say the least, when he finds out that you three are doing the exact opposite of what he told you to do?” A vacant look overtook Yachi’s face, while Yamaguchi flushed and studied the floor. Hinata, of course, would not be dissuaded so easily. With clenched fists, he leveled his gaze with Kageyama and said, “Tsukishima is our teammate and something is wrong. I wouldn’t let you suffer alone like that. I’m sure Daichi wouldn’t let Suga or Asahi suffer alone. So why are we supposed to abandon Tsukishima?” Kageyama began a retort but was interrupted. “Besides! It’s not like Daichi-san’s going to notice us subtly encouraging Tsukki. Yamaguchi’s Tsukki’s best friend. Of course he’s gonna talk to him. Yachi is our manager and cares about everyone”--Yachi felt her cheeks burn-- “so there’s no way she’s not gonna talk to him. And me?” Hinata paused, bringing his thumb up to his chest. “I talk to everyone! Daichi isn’t going to notice the difference unless someone tells him our plan.”

Kageyama went quiet for a moment before shaking his head. “Hinata, you dumbass. If you get in trouble, you’re on your own.” With that, Kageyama began walking away. “W- wait! Where are you going?”, called Hinata. Kageyama glanced over his shoulder, emanating a clear aura of annoyance. “Vending machine”, he said curtly, and began walking again. “Oh! Wait up!”, Hinata called out again. He quickly excused himself from his company and ran to catch up with the tall setter.

“You’re gonna help us too, right?”
“What? No!”
“Oh, come on!”
“Absolutely not.”
“I’ll buy your milk for you!”
“. . .”
“Okay, so here’s what I was thinking…”

Chapter Text

Friday after school, the volleyball club gathered their belongings and met in the gym while Coach Ukai got the bus ready. Everyone was brimming with excitement about seeing their friends and rivals again. Everyone, that is, except Tsukishima, who sat against a wall with his headphones on and his eyes shut. Yamaguchi, Yachi, and Hinata continually exchanged worried glances; each time a glance was thrown to Kageyama he shook his head in annoyance.

There wasn’t any “assigned seating” on the bus. Everyone usually just sat with whoever they were closest to. Normal seat-buddies included Daichi and Sugawara, Kiyoko and Yachi, Asahi and Nishinoya, Hinata and Kageyama, and of course, Tsukishima and Yamaguchi. Everyone more or less migrated to the same seats out of habit at this point, after so many away matches and practices. Tsukishima managed to get onto the bus before Yamaguchi which left the freckled boy in a very uncomfortable predicament. On the one hand, Tsukki was his best friend and they always sat together and Yams really didn’t want to upset the balance of the team (or draw attention to the problem he seemed to be having with Tsukishima). However, on the other hand, he also really didn’t want to sit with someone who seemed to be actively ignoring him. He tentatively approached the seat, thinking to himself, ‘Let’s see how this weekend goes. If he doesn’t start talking to me, I don’t have to sit next to him on the way home.’ As he sat down, he got no response from Tsukishima, who still had his headphones on and was staring out the window with intense focus.

As Yamaguchi predicted (and dreaded), Tsukishima did not say a single word the entire ride.

Upon arriving in Tokyo, Karasuno’s volleyball team was met by several members of the other teams. Hinata, as always, was the first off the bus, quickly pursued by Kageyama. The energetic fireball immediately ran over to his closest friends from Nekoma, Kenma and Lev. The third and second years were greeted by members of both teams, and within the first two minutes, Nishinoya, Tanaka, and Taketora were loudly arguing over who could run the farthest carrying Kiyoko on their backs.

Tsukishima tried to slip off of the bus unnoticed and was sorely disappointed when Kuroo and Bokuto came running up to him. “Hey, glasses! What the hell?”, called out Kuroo, rolling his tongue with each word. “Yeah!”, hooted Bokuto, “Were you trying to give us-- your best buddies-- the slip?”. Tsukishima sighed and pushed his glasses up higher on the bridge of his nose. “If only I could be so lucky”, he finally said, a smile creeping up at the corners of his lips. “Come on! Put your stuff down and come to the third gym!”, Bokuto cheered, as he and Kuroo led Tsukishima away from the group. As Tsukki followed his pushy frenemies, all he could hear was Hinata yelling things like “GWAH!” and “SHOOP!” amidst his excitable talking.

On Saturday-- the first day with real practice matches-- Tsukishima was on fire. One couldn’t even tell that he had skipped all the practice sessions he had. Nearly every spike from the opposition was met by Tsukishima’s strong hands each time he was in the front. The team, of course, was amazed at how well he was doing and wondered if he was just blowing them off to practice his own way. As always, Hinata spared no words in praising how awesome Tsukki was each time he pulled off an unexpected block. Even as the day wore on and the others tired, Tsukishima seemed to have an endless reserve of energy and drive when the ball came into his court.

When the practice matches were finally over and the coaches dismissed their respective teams, Kuroo approached Tsukishima once more. “Yo, you coming?”, he asked nonchalantly, as if Tsukishima’s answer was a given. Tsukki nodded, adjusted his glasses, and began following Nekoma’s middle blocker out of the gym.

“Tsukki! Wait up!”, came a sudden shout from behind the tall blonde. As he turned, he was surprised to see Hinata running towards him. He nodded to Kuroo, “I’ll be there in a minute”, and, as one athlete walked away, the other approached. “Tsukki”, started Hinata. Again, Tsukishima adjusted his glasses. “How many times do I have to ask you not to call me that?”, he mumbled. Hinata beamed. “C- can I come with you? Please?”, the red-headed ball of sunshine asked, punctuating his sentence with a small pout. Tsukishima rolled his eyes. “Why?”, he asked, looking towards the floor. Hinata cocked his head. “Why??? Why not! I really want to get some more tips from Kuroo and Bokuto. And, I mean, I am a middle blocker, too, y’know? So I should probably practice my blocks some more and--” Tsukishima raised his hand to his forehead. “Alright, alright, Shrimp, fine.” After a pause, Tsukishima added, “I am surprised, though”. Hinata cocked his head. “Surprised…?”, he repeated. Tsukki grinned as he turned away from the redhead. “I’m surprised that your boyfriend-- the king-- is letting you out of his sight.” Hinata flushed with embarrassment. “Kageyama is not my boyfriend!”, he exclaimed. “Yeah, okay”, Tsukishima called over his shoulder, “Let’s go before Kuroo gets on my case again.” As the two started walking, Hinata tried to quip back at Tsukishima. “You mean, before your boyfriend gets upset with you?” Tsukishima stopped walking, glanced behind him, raised an eyebrow, and said, “You know Kuroo is dating Kenma, right?”. Hinata’s eyes fell to the ground. “O-- oh. Right. Kenma did mention…”. As Hinata’s voice trailed off, Tsukishima smirked. “You might want to think before you try being sarcastic, you know?”

Yamaguchi shamelessly watched Hinata and Tsukishima’s interactions until they were out of sight. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing… Tsukishima was talking to Hinata. No, not just talking… he was laughing with Hinata. Tanaka was trying to get Yamaguchi’s attention, but Yamaguchi was too focused on his best friend’s mysterious behavior. As if in a trance, he followed the two out of the gym, keeping enough distance so as to hear what they’re saying but hopefully not be observed.

Hinata and Tsukishima were only a few yards away from the third gym when the tall blonde felt a tug on the hem of his shirt. He turned to find that Hinata had stopped walking, and was gently grasping at him. “Um… Tsukki?”, Hinata started. The taller boy’s eyes narrowed. “Tsukishima.”, he corrected. Hinata nodded. “...Tsukishima… I don’t care what’s bothering you…”, Hinata started quietly, though as he continued speaking he looked up at his teammate and smiled, “ ...if you need any help with anything, let me know!” A strange look stirred on Tsukishima’s face. His eyes widened and pupils dilated, his upper lip all but disappeared as he seemed to bite it, and it almost seemed as if he jumped at the words of his peer. Through this look, Tsukishima choked out, “Um-- thanks. I’ll do that.” The tall blonde slowly raised his hand and brought it above Hinata’s head. As Hinata flinched, Tsukki brought his hand down and briefly tousled his teammates wavy locks. With that, he turned away from Hinata once more and continued walking. Hinata allowed the fabric of Tsukishima’s shirt to slip out of his loose grip as he followed the usually sarcastic middle blocker to the third gym. Hinata couldn’t quite place why, but he felt a light blush spread across his cheeks; he was grateful that night had all but fallen so he could more easily hide whatever his face seemed to be doing under the veil of darkness.

When Hinata and Tsukishima had abruptly stopped walking, Yamaguchi dove into a nearby bush. He really didn’t want to be seen sneaking around and spying on Tsukishima. ‘If Tsukki’s mad at me now, I doubt he’d want to find me stalking him’, Yamaguchi found himself thinking. Karasuno’s pinch server sat in the bushes for a long moment, just trying to quiet his racing heart. He could not help but feel like he’d just seen something that he was definitely not supposed to see. Tsukishima was talking to Hinata. Laughing with Hinata. Being nice to Hinata. And most alarmingly of all, Tsukishima-- the boy who absolutely loathed any unnecessary physical contact-- touched Hinata. Affectionately.

None of it was adding up for Yamaguchi. When he talked to Tsukki, Tsukki basically pretended he didn’t exist. When Yachi approached Tsukishima it wasn’t much better. But for some reason, it worked for Hinata? As Yamaguchi sat there, he tried to think about when Tsukki started acting weird. He felt like he was trying to solve some cryptic riddle, to which he had almost no clues.

Practice on Sunday went even faster than the day prior. If possible, it seemed like Tsukishima was doing even better than he had on Saturday. As the last match between Nekoma and Fukurodani wrapped up, Yamaguchi quietly followed Tsukishima to the bathroom. He waited a minute or two before going in, in hopes that he wouldn’t actually be disturbing the blonde. Still, he wasn’t expecting to literally crash into Tsukishima, who was on his way out of the bathroom as Yams headed in. “Watch where you’re going”, Tsukishima sneered, as he tried to walk past Yamaguchi, who was still scrambling to stand up straight.

“Wait!”, Yamaguchi yelled, finally gaining his footing. Tsukishima heaved an exasperated sigh and turned to face his friend. “What?”, he asked flatly. Yamaguchi shut his eyes and took a deep breath.

“Do you realize this is the most we’ve spoken in weeks?”, Yamaguchi asserted. Tsukishima averted his eyes and the freckle-faced boy continued, “You won’t talk to me, you don’t answer my messages, you don’t come to practice anymore. Did I do something wrong? Are you mad at me?” Tsukishima stuttered out quiet ‘no’s in response to the questions directed to him. “Then what is your problem?! You’re being really unfair! You’re treating me like shit for, as far as I can see, absolutely no reason!” Tsukishima stared at the floor and shifted his weight. “Yam--” “And I thought, you know, maybe you just had something going on that you didn’t want to talk about or something, because you were being an ass to everyone, but no! You’re being perfectly nice to Hinata!” At the mention of the redhead’s name, Tsukishima looked up at Yamaguchi with wide eyes. “W-what?!”, the blonde choked out. “You think I wouldn’t notice???”, asked Yamaguchi in disbelief. He turned away from Tsukishima and paced a few steps away before turning back. “I saw how you spoke to Hinata last night-- or, rather, I saw that you actually spoke to Hinata. I saw you laugh with him. I even saw you pat him on the head.” Tsukishima’s face had turned pink when Yamaguchi first mentioned Hinata’s name, but the flush only multiplied as Yamaguchi listed off just how ‘nice’ the tall blonde had been to the redhead. Tsukki’s face was nearly fluorescent when he finally cut his best friend off. “So, what, I’m not allowed to talk to anyone but you?!”, Tsukki choked out. Yamaguchi closed the gap between them. “You can talk to whoever you want! I don’t care! But not talking to me is just cruel! I’ve never done anything to you!” Yamaguchi stormed past Tsukishima. As he flung the door open, he called behind him, “I’m not talking to you until you give me an explanation!”. With that, Yamaguchi was gone.

Tsukishima sank to the floor of the bathroom, took off his glasses, and cradled his forehead in his palms. As he sat there waiting for the flush to subside, only one word left his mouth:

Fuck.

Chapter Text

One by one, the members of Karasuno’s volleyball team boarded the bus after saying goodbye to their friends and adversaries from Nekoma and Fukurodani. The managers seated themselves in their usual spots first; they were both eager to get home and rest up after their weekend of babysitting their twelve boys. Kageyama boarded the bus next, followed closely by Tsukishima, who had managed to slip away from his ‘friends’ with relative ease. Both boys sat in their usual seats, with Tsukishima directly in front of Kageyama. The bus filled up until only two seats remained.

“Oi!”, Coach Ukai yelled as he leaned out the door. “If you two plan on coming back home, you need to get on this bus in the next minute! Yamaguchi, grab Hinata and let’s go!”

Moments later, the freckle-faced boy appeared and walked quietly towards the back of the bus. However, he did not take his usual seat. Smiling politely, he looked to Kageyama and asked, “Is it okay if I sit here?”. Kageyama cocked his head slightly, but nodded. “Sure.” Tsukishima sunk in his seat. ‘Shit’ , he thought to himself, ‘He’s actually pissed at me. Yamaguchi has never been mad at me. How do I-- ’.

Tsukishima’s anxious thoughts were interrupted when his seat shifted dramatically. He looked over and saw that Hinata had flung himself into the only remaining seat on the bus and was poised grinning at his seatmate. Tsukishima blinked at him.

“Looks like it’s you and me on the ride home!”, Hinata chirped. Tsukishima, face absent of any expression, could only nod. Hinata fidgeted with his bag for a moment before pulling out a plastic bag. “I brought grapes! You know, for a bus snack! You want some?”, he offered with a grin. Tsukishima appraised the small, clear bag filled with grapes, before saying, “No thanks. Unlike you, I can survive the trip home without starving.” Hinata frowned. He looked down for a moment before becoming reinvigorated. “Oh!”, he exclaimed, “Wait!”. With that, Hinata began fishing through his bag again. Once more, he pulled out a clear plastic bag. “I also have strawberries! They're your favorite, right?”. Tsukishima fought with himself to try to subdue the blush that was creeping across his face. “What? How do you know that I like strawberries?”. Hinata beamed as he unzipped the bag. Tsukishima noted that the ends had been cut off, leaving the berries ready for consumption without having to fuss with the leaves and stems. “Well, for one, I mean, who doesn’t like strawberries? Like, I can get not liking grapes because of the texture of the skin but--” “Hinata!”, Coach Ukai yelled to the back, glaring in the rear view mirror. “Keep it down! Everyone else is trying to sleep!”. Hinata exaggeratedly pressed his lips together and nodded to Ukai. He then turned back to Tsukishima. “And, well, two”, he said in a whisper, “Out of all the things I’ve seen you eat, I think pork buns and strawberries are the two you eat most!”

It was over. Tsukishima lost. His face quickly turned pink. “A- are you okay?”, Hinata asked quietly. “Did I say something wrong?”. Tsukishima turned his head. “No!”, he retorted in a loud whisper. After a brief pause, he looked back and whispered, “It’s just-- It’s weird to notice things like that about people. What they eat or like or whatever.” Hinata smiled softly. “I guess I just pay attention to the things that make the people I care about happy.” Tsukishima choked, causing Hinata to jump back and panic briefly. “Are you oka--”, he started, but he stopped speaking when Tsukki snatched the bag of berries (whose pallor roughly resembled his own) out of his seatmates hands. “Yes”, he whispered curtly. “Just-- don’t say things like that so carelessly.” Hinata smiled as Tsukishima took out a berry and popped it in his mouth. Seconds later, Hinata leaned over the seat behind him.

“Yamaguchi! Kageyama!”, he whispered loudly, “Do you guys want some grapes?” As Yamaguchi began waving his hands to decline, Kageyama grabbed the bag from Hinata. “Thanks”, he whispered. Hinata beamed as he sat back down and grabbed a strawberry from the bag in Tsukishima’s hands. “I usually bring enough for me and Kageyama”, he said quietly as he chewed on the fruit. “I’m sure he won’t mind sharing with Yamaguchi, though!”.

“You know we can hear you, right?”, Kageyama hissed from behind him. “Shut up! Eavesdropper!”, Hinata called out, earning another glare and brief lecture from Coach Ukai.

It seemed to Tsukishima that the only thing keeping Hinata awake was his own voice. The excitable redhead talked to Tsukishima for twenty more minutes before getting his last warning from Ukai-- this one threatening to bench him on the next game if he didn’t shut up immediately. Mere moments after Hinata grew silent, Tsukishima felt Hinata’s weight against his own arm. He looked down and was wholly unsurprised to find that Hinata had fallen fast asleep.

Tsukishima raised his head and glanced around the bus-- in front of him, to his left, and behind him as best as he could-- and saw that everyone except for Ukai and Takeda-sensei was fast asleep. His heart was beating so hard that he was sure it was going to wake Hinata up. His face flushed and he started to feel nauseous as he worked up the courage to begin repositioning himself. Tsukishima carefully removed his arm from underneath the redhead, allowing the boy to slump, instead, against Tsukishima’s chest. Tsukki then placed his arm around Hinata, settling his hand on the side of the other boy’s hip. Hinata, still clearly asleep, cozied up to Tsukishima and nuzzled him a little bit. With his right hand, Tsukki placed the bag of strawberries in his own lap and removed his glasses before gently placing his head on top of Hinata’s.

While Tsukishima was still feeling ridiculously nauseous, his heart began to settle down, and he found himself slowly, quietly drifting off to sleep.

 

Yams (10:38 PM) : Sorry for losing my temper. You don’t have to explain anything.

Yams (10:38 PM) : Esp because I found out why you’re being this way for myself (•̀ᴗ•́)و ̑̑

 

Tsukishima sat bolt upright in his bed. He’d been fussing with his phone for a while, unable to sleep after all that had happened that weekend, when the text messages came in quick succession.

 

Tsukki (10:39 PM) : What r u talking about

 

Tsukki (10:40 PM) : ?

Tsukki (10:42 PM) : ???

Tsukki (10:43 PM) : This isn’t funny

Tsukki (10:45 PM) : I’m coming over

 

Ten minutes later Tsukishima was standing outside of Yamaguchi’s house, texting him as quickly as his long, slender fingers could. The back door slid open and Yamaguchi stood propped against the doorway.

“Are you coming in?”, he asked quietly. Tsukishima could make out a small smirk on his best friend’s face and could easily pin that as one of the most uncomfortable moments of his life to date. Tsukishima started up the stairs. “What are you talking about, you foun--”, he asked, more aggressively than he intended to. However, he was cut off when Yamaguchi shooshed him. “My mom’s asleep. If you want to talk, we have to go to my room and be quiet.” Tsukishima bit his bottom lip and nodded solemnly.

The silent trek through the Yamaguchi family home was the longest walk Tsukishima had ever taken. Each second felt like hours, as the two quietly padded their way to Tadashi’s room. Once he entered, Yamaguchi invited Tsukishima to sit.

As Yamaguchi sat on his own bed, opposite of where Tsukishima was seated at Yam’s desk, his smile grew. Yamaguchi waited until the silence seemed shrill before speaking.

“Well, I’ve been doing some thinking. I think I found out when your bad attitude really started.” Tsukishima narrowed his eyes. “It was the day of the practice match with the neighborhood association, when Kageyama told Hinata that Hinata is ‘invincible’ whenever he's is around. Right? That was the first time you stormed away from our team.” Tsukishima didn’t speak; he simply lowered his glance to the ground in embarrassment and defeat.

Yamaguchi was reveling in this moment; Tsukishima had always held all the cards in their friendship and, for once, Yamaguchi was finally able to turn the tables a little bit. And while he never held their imbalanced friendship against the blonde, he couldn’t help but feel a little self-satisfied in the moment. He leaned forward. “I saw you put your arm around Hinata”, he whispered.

No response. Yamaguchi pressed on. “You like him, don’t you?”, he asked, smile growing. Tsukishima tossed his head back and pinched the bridge of his nose- something he only ever did when he was frustrated. After a pregnant silence, Tsukishima spoke. “You can’t tell anyone”, he whispered, the words hardly passing through his vocal cords.

Yamaguchi let the smile grow to a full-on beam. “Tsukki! Why didn’t you tell me? It’s not that big a deal!”, he exclaimed. Tsukishima leaned forward again, propping his elbows on his legs and hanging his head. “No… you don’t understand at all”, Tsukishima said demurely. “This isn’t some fun little crush. I-- I think-- no. I hate myself for this. I can’t even look in the mirror anymore without wanting to throw up. Someone is playing a really cruel joke on me and I just-- I want to die. This is stupid.” Pushing his glasses up to the top of his head, Tsukishima buried his face in his hands. Yamaguchi frowned. He didn’t expect the conversation to go like this at all.

He moved across the room, kneeling on the floor in front of his best friend. “But-- why? That doesn’t make any sense…”. Tsukishima mumbled through his palms, “None of this makes sense. I already told you, it’s stupid.” “Well”, started Yamaguchi, “Do you want to date him?” Tsukishima sat up and made a gagging sound. “Oh my God, no, I’d rather die”. Yamaguchi smiled in confusion. “Then… how do you know that you like him?”, he asked, feeling slightly frazzled. Tsukishima sighed. “Because, I DO want to date him. And… well. Other things. But he’s so fucking annoying and stupid and hyper and I don’t want to date anyone, ever! Besides! He clearly has a thing for Kageyama, so it’s not like I have a shot anyway.” Yamaguchi screwed up his face. “I don’t think that’s true”, he replied flatly. “It doesn’t matter”, replied Tsukishima. He stood up. “I’m going home. Promise me you won’t tell anyone.” Yamaguchi stood as well and nodded. “Of course. I was just frustrated with you. You know I’d never do anything that’d hurt you for real, right?” Tsukishima hesitated for a moment before nodding. Yamaguchi smiled and rubbed the back of his head. “Well”, he sighed, “I’m glad you’re talking to me again, even if I did have to extort you into it…”. Tsukishima smiled faintly. “Me too”, he replied.

When Tsukishima got home a little while later, he crawled back into bed, though he found that, once again, he was having a hard time shutting his eyes.

The way Hinata’s eyes glowed when he tried to reassure Tsukishima…

How soft his curly locks felt between Tsukishima’s fingers…

The warmth of his body as it pressed against Tsukishima’s…

The gentle way he nuzzled against Tsukishima’s chest…

How right it all felt…

Tsukishima was used to getting riled up by his thoughts of Hinata, but he found that tonight was especially bad. He finally touched Hinata. He held Hinata. And it was every bit as amazing as he dreamt it would be.

Tsukishima was always cold. He wore a sweater almost all the time, and whenever someone shook hands with him, they would comment on how chilly his fingers were. “Cold hands, warm heart!”, his mother used to say in a sing-songy voice, as if that was supposed to cheer him up. It didn’t. No matter how cold Tsukishima was, he could never get warm. But feeling Hinata’s body pressed against his own was like being infused with liquid sunshine. For the first time ever, he felt warm from the inside out. He felt comfortable. He felt secure.

And as he allowed his hands to wander lower on his body, Tsukishima thought about just how good Hinata felt to him. Tsukishima slipped his hand below the elastic of his sweatpants and focused on how soft, how warm, how gentle the little redhead was. As his strokes quickened, he lost control for a moment, and Hinata’s name slipped from his lips… and he was brought crashing down into reality.

Tsukishima stopped moving and stared blankly into the darkness. No, he would not be finishing to his thoughts of Hinata. Not tonight or any other night. Every time he allowed himself to get swept away by the fantasy of being with his crush, a darker, louder voice called out from his subconscious, saying, ‘You’ll never be with him. You’ll never be enough.’

Tsukishima could not live in a world of fantasy, and his heart ached knowing that what he dreamt of would never translate into reality.

Chapter Text

Tsukishima wasn’t really sure when he first started liking Hinata. At first, he hated the stupid freak duo and their stupid freak quick. And while Kageyama did not grow on him too much, he found himself smiling when Hinata did well, secretly rooting that Number Ten would never stop surprising those around him. And soon, Hinata’s pain became his pain. Every time a spike delivered by Hinata was blocked, Tsukishima made sure to avenge his teammate in the most calculated and malicious manner possible. Then he found himself noticing how warm Hinata’s smile was, how silly his stupid observations were, how endearing his constant bickering with his team was.

SLAM.

Tsukishima received the ball served by Ennoshita… with his face. As he shook off the stinging sensation that nipped his cheeks, the blonde found himself thinking that maybe, just maybe, practice was not the place to be contemplating such things.

Hinata was a ball of pure energy, as always, and Tsukishima found himself avoiding even looking at the other middle blocker as much as possible. His feelings had gotten even more difficult to handle since someone else had found out about them and it seemed as if he always felt Yamaguchi’s eyes burning into him. And while Yamaguchi made good on his promise so far, he would not stop bringing up Tsukishima’s crush when the two were alone. “Tsukki, talk to him!”, he’d whine. “Tsukki, tell him how you feel! You’ll never know until you try!”

Pffft.

Tsukishima wasn’t nearly self-indulgent enough to inflict his feelings on others. That didn’t stop Yamaguchi from trying. As the whistle blew, ending that Thursday night’s practice, Tsukishima watched Yamaguchi approach Hinata. Tsukishima felt a cold sweat come over him, and found himself jogging to intercept the interaction.

“Hina!”, Yamaguchi called out as Tsukishima neared. Hinata met Yamaguchi half way and replied, “What’s up?”. “Tsukki and I were gonna get food and study tomorrow night. You wanna come?”. Hinata’s eyes grew huge and glowed amber. “Yes!”, he replied loudly, clearly not considering the offer for a second.

Tsukishima’s cold sweat grew more intense.

Kageyama yelled across the gym, “Oi! What are you getting all excited about?!” and Hinata turned back to Yamaguchi. “Can Kageyama come, too?” Yamaguchi smiled and nodded, and the redhead darted across the gym.

Tsukishima felt like he was dripping with this awful nervous sweat.

He watched as Hinata gestured a thousand different ways, presumably to convince Kageyama to join the group the following night. He watched as the dark-haired boy scowled and frowned, and secretly hoped that Kageyama wouldn’t be joining them-- or that the entire evening was canceled, even. But soon Hinata was waving towards Tsukishima and Yamaguchi and giving them enthusiastic thumbs up.

Why did you do that?”, Tsukishima moaned as the two friends walked home after practice. “What?”, Yamaguchi said innocently, “We did make plans to study tomorrow, right?”. Tsukishima looked at Yamaguchi’s face. It was irritating him. Yams looked amused and Tsukishima couldn’t stand knowing that it was at his expense. “Yes but why did you invite Hinata? ”, Tsukishima asked, frustration seeping through his words. “Well, if he doesn’t do well on his midterm, he can’t play in our next game. I guess it’s good that Kageyama is coming, too; I’m sure he could use some help.” Yamaguchi paused. “Do you think I should invite Yachi?”, he asked, cupping his chin. Tsukishima glared at him. “Wait-- are you trying to help me, or are you trying to help them?”, he asked demurely, sparking a tremendous knowing grin from Yamaguchi, who had stopped walking to look at him. “Help you ?”, he asked in a half-mocking voice, “I thought there was nothing to help with!” Tsukishima fumbled for words and ultimately snorted and walked ahead of Yamaguchi.

 

Hinata-kun (8:15 PM): hey wat time r we meeting up 2morro ( ^∇^)ノ
Yams (8:22 PM): um I’m not sure
Yams (8:23 PM): Do you want to text Tsukki and see what works for him?
Yams (8:23 PM): I would but I’m stuck doing dishes (๑′°︿°๑)
Yams (8:24 PM): Dont want to get my mom mad
Hinata-kun (8:25 PM): np!
Hinata-kun (8:25 PM): dont get ur phone wet! ヾ( •́д•̀ ;)ノ

 

Hinata (8:28 PM): Hey Tsukki ( ^∇^)ノ
Hinata (8:28 PM): wat time do u want 2 meet up 2morro?
Tsukishima (8:32 PM): ...how did you get this number?
Hinata (8:33 PM): LOL Tsuki (ᗒᗨᗕ)
Hinata (8:33 PM): u no Daichi gave every1 each others #s lol ヽ(‘ ∇‘ )ノ
Hinata (8:35 PM): so neway wat time shuld we get 2gether 2morro?

 

Tsukki (8:36 PM): ...why is Hinata texting me?
Tsukki (8:37 PM): I swear to god i have had enough of your ‘helping’
Yams (8:40 PM): You’re welcome~ ✿♬゚+.(。◡‿◡)♪.+゚♬✿。

 

After practice on Friday, Yamaguchi, Tsukishima, Hinata, and Kageyama met in the club room. “I thought you invited Yachi”, stated Tsukishima as he nervously pretended to play with his phone. Yamaguchi smiled pleasantly and said, “I did! She has to do something with Kiyoko first, but she’ll meet up with us when they’re done.” “Good”, scoffed Tsukishima, “I don’t think we’ll be able to tutor these two without her help. Remind me-- why did you sign us up for this?”. Yamaguchi shot the blonde a glare that clearly stated, ‘You know damn well why I signed you up for this’, before turning to the other first years. “So!”, he stated, obviously ignoring Tsukishima’s question, “is there anything you guys are in the mood to eat? I was thinking we could go to this really good ramen shop by my house, but if there’s something else you’d rather, I’m open to suggestions.” Kageyama and Hinata both agreed that ramen sounded great and, with that, the group headed out.

Yamaguchi only lived twenty minutes away from Karasuno High and the ramen shop was even closer. The walk was mostly pleasant, despite Hinata and Kageyama’s constant bickering and intermittent racing. Yamaguchi noticed that Tsukishima’s mood seemed to plummet over the course of their walk, and secretly resolved to do something about it.

When the group arrived at the ramen shop, they elected to sit at the counter. Kageyama sat at one end, Hinata sat next to him, Yamaguchi next to him, and Tsukishima on the far end of their group, in a seat next to the wall. Shortly after sitting down, Yamaguchi leaned back. “Hey Kags, did you know I went to grade school with Seijoh’s Kunimi and Kindaichi?” Kageyama visibly shuddered at this revelation before jumping up. “Really?!”, the setter asked in such an enthusiastic manner that it almost came off as aggressive. “Y- yes!”, Yamaguchi nodded, “I was really surprised to hear that you were on the same team as them in middle school!” As Kageyama began rattling off questions, Yamaguchi interrupted him and turned to Hinata, who was sort of spacing out as the two people sitting next to him chatted. “Hey, Hinata, would you mind trading seats with me so Kageyama and I don’t have to yell around you?” As Hinata nodded, Yamaguchi quietly said to him, “And you can also try to talk to Tsukki, too, if you’re up to it.” Hinata’s eyes widened and he smiled in understanding. The two got up and swapped spots, and as Kageyama grilled Yamaguchi, Hinata turned to Tsukishima, who’d been nursing his iced tea.

“I’m really glad you came”, Hinata blurted out, once again causing Tsukishima-- who had not been expecting anything of the like to come out of Hinata’s mouth-- to choke. Hinata panicked and began aggressively patting Tsukishima on the back. Once Tsukishima recovered and Yamaguchi stopped staring, Tsukki turned to Hinata. “What’s that supposed to mean?!”, he exclaimed in feigned indignation. Hinata leaned forward on his elbows, which were propped on the counter, and grinned. “You know… you’ve been kinda antisocial lately, so when Yams invited me, I didn’t think you were actually gonna come.” Tsukishima shrugged and looked back to his drink, going silent for a moment. “I-- I’m glad-- I’m glad that yo--”. Tsukishima felt his face burn red. He just couldn’t bring himself to return the sentiment to Hinata, though he was sure he felt it much stronger than his teammate did. His eyes were beginning to water as he strained against himself to speak. Clearing his throat, he continued, “I’m glad Yamaguchi cares as much about this team as he does. Otherwise, you two would be screwed.” Hinata smiled and stuck out his tongue briefly before laughing, “Well, our whole team won’t be too happy if Kageyama and I have to take make-ups during a game! So, in a way, what you and Yamaguchi are doing is like, a public service!” Tsukishima laughed, “I guess you’re right”. After a moment, the blonde suddenly became aware of himself, sitting there smiling like an idiot for no reason. To his horror, it seemed Hinata noticed as well; Hinata wore a slight smile and was staring at Tsukishima’s face. “W- what?!”, exclaimed Tsukki, suddenly uncomfortable with the attention he was getting. Hinata smiled and turned to his own glass of water. “You should smile more. You look really good when you smile.”

Tsukishima felt his face go red once more, though he had no doubt that others could notice it this time. He stared down at his lap, hoping the color would drain quickly. “Dumbass Hinata…”, he muttered quietly, “...don’t say things like that carelessly.”

As Hinata was about to question what, exactly, Tsukishima meant, their food arrived. “MMM~!”, Hinata exclaimed as he slurped up his second bite of noodles, “You’re right, Yamaguchi! This is amazing ramen!!!” Turning to Tsukishima, he asked, “Isn’t this amazing, Tsukki?!” Tsukishima finished chewing and replied, “Tsukishima.” Hinata lulled his head playfully and Tsukishima continued. “But, yes, it is very good. Tadashi and I have been coming here since it first opened like five years ago.” Hinata’s eyes went big and, for once, he finished swallowing without having the next serving waiting at his lips. “Tsukki!”, he exclaimed, “You called Yams by his given name?” Tsukishima rolled his eyes. “We’ve been friends forever. We do that sometimes.” Hinata practically glowed with excitement. “That’s awesome! I never heard you do that before!” A mischievous smirk overtook Hinata’s face. “Isn’t that awesome, T- T- Tobio?”. Kageyama shot a death glare down the bar. “Do you want to die, Dumbass?”, he threatened. Hinata quickly stammered out apologies until Kageyama’s glare died down and he returned to his conversation with Yamaguchi. Hinata turned back to Tsukishima, who was quietly laughing, and smiled bashfully. “You had to have known that was coming”, the blonde said as he turned back to his food. “Well…”, started Hinata, “Can I call you Kei, Tsukki?” Tsukishima’s face went bright red again as he stammered out, “You can’t even call me Tsukki, let alone Kei!” Yamaguchi’s infectious laughter could be heard as Hinata grumbled, “Aw, man…”.

As the laughter died down, Hinata turned back to Tsukishima. “This is really, really good. What did you get?” “I always get the tenkomori when I come here”, Tsukishima replied. “It’s got a little bit of everything-- noodles, egg, pork, fish…” Hinata’s eyes lit up. “That sounds amazing!” Tsukishima felt his heart stop when he looked into Hinata’s glowing amber eyes. He quickly averted his own gaze and asked, “What did you get?” “Oh-”, Hinata said, looking to his bowl, “I just got plain miso ramen. I wasn’t sure what to get so I figured I’d just try the basics.” Tsukishima nodded and said, “Makes sense.” Hinata ate another mouthful and said, “This is super yummy, but I’m kinda wishing I got what you got. You made it sound so good, and the pork smells good!” Without thinking, Tsukishima said, “Want a bite?” Hinata paused for a moment before looking up at Tsukishima with wide eyes. “You mean it?”, he asked in disbelief. Tsukishima bit his lip and nodded and, before he knew it, had his chopsticks with a piece of pork between them poised in front of Hinata’s peachy lips.

Yamaguchi couldn’t even hide the fact that he was staring. What was happening before him seemed surreal. Hinata closed his eyes and parted his lips and gave Tsukishima a view he’d only ever dreamed of: Hinata’s mouth, wide open, tongue slightly extended, waiting for Tsukishima. The blonde was trembling slightly as he gently placed the piece of meat on Hinata’s tongue and watched as Hinata closed his mouth around Tsukishima’s own chopsticks. When Hinata pulled back, Tsukishima could see the slightest glimmer on his chopsticks-- Hinata’s saliva.

Tsukishima felt a pull on his boxers as his member came to life, and it was at that moment he knew he had gone too far. To privately have his (horrendously embarrassing) crush on Hinata was acceptable . To be a little more social with the boy he liked than normal was also moderately acceptable . But to sit less than a foot away from said boy and get a boner from a basic interaction was very, very unacceptable. If Tsukishima was in a less telling situation, he would’ve ditched the group then and there and-- if he had his way-- never spoken to Hinata again. Instead he was trapped: trapped in his seat in the ramen shop and trapped in his interaction with Hinata.

“MMM!”, Hinata enthused, snapping Tsukishima back from his self-loathsome thoughts. Tsukki immediately regretted every step in his life that led him to that moment where he looked upon his energetic classmate and felt his heart absolutely melt . Hinata’s eyes were half open as he gazed into Tsukishima’s and his cheeks were rosy. He ran his tongue over his lips to savor the taste he’d just experienced and a satisfied smile crossed his face. “Tsukki, that was so good! Can we come back again and get it sometime?”, Hinata purred.

A look of pure horror crossed over Tsukishima’s face as he turned away from Hinata. “D- d- dumbass!”, he choked out, “Why am I responsible for bringing you back here? I don't even like you!” Hinata was undeterred and sat smiling at the blonde. “Well, I thought we were having a really good time and, well, I'd want to come have a really good time with you again!” Tsukishima pinched his leg as he tried to maintain his regular demeanor. As much as he liked Hinata, he didn't need the redhead to find out about his crush-- especially not in front of Yamaguchi and Kageyama. Tsukishima spoke very carefully as he strained to keep his tone level. “I guess”, he replied, “...if I have to, I'll bring you back here.” Hinata grinned. “Great! Cuz there was no way I was gonna remember what you ordered anyway!” Tsukki glared at the enthusiastic boy beside him. “So annoying...”, he grumbled, as he focused back on his food in front of him.

I am going to throttle Yamaguchi for putting me through this.’, he thought to himself as he shoveled noodles in his mouth to avoid talking despite the nausea he was plagued with. He shot a glare down the bar, though Yamaguchi was too involved in his conversation with Kageyama to notice.

 

 

Chapter Text

The walk between the ramen shop and Yamaguchi’s house was short- only about six blocks. The four first years had only just started walking when Yamaguchi’s cell phone began ringing. “Oh- you guys go ahead, I’ll catch up!”, he said quickly as he fished around in his bag for the noisy device. Tsukishima raised an eyebrow but continued walking without a word.

“Oh!”, Hinata said, looking up at his taller companions, “Did you guys hear?! My mom said it might snow next week!” Kageyama’s eyes widened. “Really?!”, he asked, with enthusiasm that nearly matched Hinata’s. “Yep!”, Hinata nodded, “And it might even be a lot!” Tsukishima felt his breath catch in his chest; Hinata was just too cute , getting so excited over something as simple as the weather. What was even cuter was his ability to spread his enthusiasm like wildfire, exciting Kageyama and even Tsukishima himself, though he’d never admit something as mortifying as being excited over precipitation . “Tch”, scoffed the tall, pensive blonde. “It must be nice to be so simple.” Kageyama scowled and Hinata frowned deeply. “Whaddya mean?”, the redhead exclaimed. “You’re amazed that it might snow… in January.”, Tsukishima said dryly. “Well, it’s almost February!”, defended Hinata, as if somehow that made his reaction any more reasonable. Tsukki had to put all the energy he had into keeping a straight face, resisting the smile that wanted so badly to curl up at the corner of his lips, suppressing the laughter that was bubbling up inside of him with all his might. He looked blankly at Hinata for a long moment before continuing their walk in silence.

Hinata and Kageyama exchanged glances and, once Tsukishima had gotten a few yards ahead of them, Kageyama mumbled to Hinata, “It seems like he’s himself again…”. Hinata frowned. “I don’t know… there’s something… different . I can’t put my finger on it, but I think something’s still bothering him.” Tsukki could hear the two whispering amongst themselves behind him and he felt like his blood boil. Yamaguchi spent so much time reassuring Tsukishima that Hinata and Kageyama didn’t like each other like that. ‘If they don’t like each other like that, why were they constantly goofing off and making jokes and whispering together?’ This thought resurfaced every time Tsukishima was with the freak duo. It made him sick.

Tsukishima wanted to leave. He wanted to go home and transfer schools and never talk to anyone from Karasuno again. Hell, he’d give up volleyball forever if it meant he’d never have to feel the knot in his stomach every time he looked at his number 10. He’d give anything to rid himself of the ridiculous feelings he had for Hinata.

“Tsukki!”, came the voice that had saved the tall blonde from his destructive thoughts time and time again. “Hinata, Kageyama, wait up!”. Tsukishima turned around and saw that Yamaguchi had gotten surprisingly far behind them and was now running to catch up. Tsukishima took a few steps back towards the other two as Yamaguchi got closer.

Once the freckled boy caught up, he grinned broadly. “Yachi is going to meet us at my house!”, he announced happily. Hinata grinned-- to which Tsukki frowned in response-- and Kageyama nodded. “Let’s get going, then!”, Yamaguchi said, stepping forward and joining his best friend at the front of the pack. Once again Tsukishima raised an eyebrow at Yamaguchi. While Karasuno’s pinch server was normally a fairly happy-go-lucky guy, he seemed to be a little too happy that their manager was joining them to study. It seemed that Yamaguchi was intentionally avoiding looking at Tsukki as the group walked the final two blocks left until they reached the Yamaguchi family home.

Upon turning onto Yamaguchi’s street, the group saw that Yachi was already waiting for them outside of Yamaguchi’s house. “Hey!”, Yamaguchi yelled as he jogged ahead to meet her. “Hi!”, the other three could hear Yachi respond. She quickly bowed and said, “Thank you for having me!” Yamaguchi rubbed the back of his head as he shook it. “No, no, thank you for coming! We appreciate your help!” Tsukishima walked past the two and muttered, “Yeah, we’ll need it if we’re tutoring these two morons”, and showed himself through Yamaguchi’s front gate. “HEY! I HEARD THAT!”, yelled Kageyama as he chased after Tsukishima with Hinata trailing close behind. “Thank you for having us!”, Hinata yelled as he passed Yamaguchi and Yachi. Yamaguchi wore a blank smile as the trio paraded past him and into his home. “W- well, it definitely seems like it will be lively!”, Yachi enthused, seemingly in an attempt to revive her companion.

Once the group was settled at Yamaguchi’s dining room table, Yamaguchi turned to Kageyama and Hinata. “So, what subjects do you guys need help studying?”, he asked pleasantly, as if the whole room didn’t already know. “Oh, uh, English”, Hinata said, looking to the floor. Kageyama, on the other hand, looked directly at Yamaguchi and yelled, “Please help me with literature!”. Yamaguchi looked at Yachi and Tsukishima, who were seated on either side of him, and sighed. “Okay, Tsukki, you help Hinata with English and--” “I refuse”, Tsukishima interrupted, folding his arms. Yamaguchi, taken aback, floundered. “What do you mean you refuse? You can’t refuse!” Tsukishima lazily pointed to Hinata. “He’s even dumber than the other one. I had two tests today. I’m tired. At least give me the easier job here.” Yamaguchi scrunched his face and said, “I am giving you the easier job here! You’re the best at English, and Yachi-san is the best at reading comprehension. I’m gonna help Yachi--” “what a surprise”, Tsukishima mumbled under his breath, earning a huffy glare from his best friend, “--with Kageyama, and hopefully they’ll be able to get passing grades.”

The group studied for an hour and a half without interruption, and Tsukishima slowly found himself feeling better the meaner he was to Hinata (though he couldn’t help feel like it was a little grade school-esque ). He did not stop reminding Hinata of how lucky he was to have a tutor like him, how dumb he was, and asking him why he was failing to grasp such simple concepts.

In the middle of reading a passage aloud, Yachi’s phone rang out. “Oh!”, she exclaimed, “It’s this late already? I’m sorry, I have to get going… I have to prepare dinner for my mom before she leaves tonight…”. Kageyama looked at his phone and nodded. “I actually should get going, too. My mom wanted me home early tonight”, he said. Yamaguchi smiled and turned to Tsukishima and Hinata. “Would you two mind if I left to walk Yachi home? She lives pretty close but it’s already dark out…”. “Eh?”, asked Tsukki in mild annoyance. A moment later, though, he relented. “Fine. I was just gonna finish up these problems then head out myself anyway.” Yamaguchi grinned a wide, toothy grin, thanked Tsukishima and Hinata, and with that the group of three were off.

True to his word, Tsukishima and Hinata left Yamaguchi’s house not more than ten minutes later, after finishing the problems they were working on. After a few minutes, the two arrived at a crossroads where Hinata’s home lied in one direction and Tsukishima’s the other. The two stood on the corner for a moment in silence, watching as their breath materialized before them before dissipating into the night air.

“Thanks for tutoring me, Tsukki”, Hinata said quietly. “You’re welcome”, Tsukishima said, not even bothering to correct Hinata’s use of his nickname as he did his best to avoid looking at the redhead. The silence fell on the two for another minute or two before Hinata broke it once more. “Well”, he said, “I guess I should be going… See ya…”. As Hinata took his first steps away from the blonde, Tsukishima stopped him. “Wait”, he said, “don’t you live like, super far away?”. Hinata lulled his head. “Well”, he started, “not super far away… it’s like, half an hour on my bike.” Tsukishima blinked at him. “Where is your bike?”, he asked, not sure why he even had to ask such an obvious question. “Oh, I left it at home”, Hinata chirped. “. . . why would you do something like that?”, Tsukishima asked, dumbfounded. Hinata cocked his head. “I didn’t want to be a burden on everyone else and have to push it while we walked, and then have to lock it up outside of the ramen place, and then outside of Yama’s house. I figured it’d be easier if I just walked.” Tsukki stared at the redhead for a moment before closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose. “Dumbass Hinata…”, he muttered before sighing heavily. “Okay, come with me. I’m sure Akiteru won’t mind driving you home.” Hinata waved his hands dismissively. “Tsukki, I just said I don’t want to be a burden on anyone else. Going to your house to ask your brother to drive me home is even worse than if I brought my bike.”

Again Tsukishima sighed and tossed his head backwards. “So annoying…”, he whispered. He looked up to the sky, noticing that it was unusually clear. A few deep breaths later, he tilted his head back down. “Okay then. Let’s start walking.” “Tsukki, I already told you I’m not going to your hou--” “Not my house, dumbass. I’m walking you home. Then I’m going to call Akiteru and have him pick me up. In fact-”. Tsukishima whipped out his cell and began texting his brother before Hinata had a chance to argue. “Okay. Now he’s expecting me. Let’s go.”, Tsukishima said blankly.

“W-w- wait!”, Hinata exclaimed in a panicked voice. “I don’t need to be walked home! I go home by myself every day!” Tsukishima clicked his tongue. “Tch. It’s dark out, and you’re so small that a car could easily run you over without even noticing. I don’t need that on my conscience.” “Tsukishima, I-” “I’m not arguing. Either come to my house and let Akiteru drive you home, or I’m walking you home.” Hinata fell silent and studied the ground.

After a full minute without speaking, Tsukishima grew concerned. “...Hinata?”, he asked quietly. Hinata looked up at him with a soft smile on his face and glowing golden eyes, just as he did that night at the practice camp. “Okay”, Hinata said gently, “You can walk me home. But you have to promise me one thing.” Averting his eyes, Tsukishima asked, “What?”. Hinata put his hands on the outside of Tsukishima’s forearms and said, “Promise that, if you ever need anything, or if you’re ever going through anything, you’ll remember to come to me!”

All the work that Tsukishima had done throughout their study session had gone out the window; the tolerance he thought he built against Hinata’s charms was completely gone, and he found himself standing there with a stupid smile on his face and saying, “Sure”. He quickly appended, “...weirdo”, to his answer to try to feel a little more like himself, though he knew that his smile alone took away from the harshness of his speech. A light blush dusted his cheeks, though he was grateful that he could chalk that up to the cool weather. “Let’s get going”, he said softly. Hinata nodded and withdrew his hands, shoving them into his sweatshirt pocket.

Hinata talked nonstop as the two walked. Tsukki was used to this, he supposed, but for some reason everything Hinata did on this particular night was especially adorable. Tsukishima couldn’t help but think that Hinata was grateful for the company. After all, he hadn’t shut up for a moment, and if Tsukki hadn’t forced himself into this trip (which, by the way, he was going to have a long talk with himself about when he got home), the redhead would be walking down the side of the road, cold, small, and alone. That thought caused a sharp pain in the blonde’s chest, though the pain was easy to shake off just by tuning in to Hinata’s voice.

When the fireball had to stop to take a breath, Tsukishima cut in. “Hey, Shrimp?”, he asked, causing a deeper quiet to settle in on Hinata. When Hinata didn’t respond, Tsukishima continued. “If I have to make that promise to you, I want you to make a promise to me.” Hinata’s mouth formed the shape of an ‘O’ as he gasped quietly. “What, Tsukki?”, he asked. Tsukishima looked at him disapprovingly out of the corner of his eye, but pressed on. “I want you to promise that, if you don’t bring your bike again, you’ll tell me. As stupid as you are, I’d hate to see you get killed because you made an even stupider decision.” Hinata frowned. “I know you’re being nice”, he said, “but it sounds like you’re being mean.” Tsukishima laughed a genuine laugh and rubbed the back of his head. “I know, sorry. That’s just how I am.” It took him a moment to realize that Hinata was looking at him strangely. The smile faded from his lips and he sullenly asked, “What?”.

Without a word, Hinata scrambled on top of the retaining wall they’d been walking along side of and turned to face Tsukishima. “Come closer”, he demanded quietly. Tsukishima took a step closer. Hinata leaned as close as he could to the tall blonde, and Tsukki could see now that Hinata had climbed to where he was so they could be at an even height with him. Hinata studied Tsukishima’s left eye, then his right, then back to his left again. Tsukishima looked away and complained, “Knock it off, what the hell is wrong with you?”. Still perched atop the wall, Hinata frowned. “Something’s been bothering you. I really want to help you but I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s wrong.”

Tsukishima felt his heart stop.

He threw his head back and forced a loud, haughty laugh before shoving his hands in the pockets of his pants and turning to continue down the path. “You can’t help me, idiot. No one can.”

Hinata stared after Tsukishima for a few seconds before leaping down and chasing after him. “What does that mean?”, Hinata asked. Tsukishima took his pointer finger and pressed it down on the top of Hinata’s head. “It means you should stop asking questions, dumbass.” “OW OW OW OW OW!”, yelled Hinata, “Forget what I said about you being nice!”. Tsukishima raised an eyebrow and said, “You didn’t say anything about me being nice.” “Well, that’s because I forgot it before I even said it!”, Hinata retorted, earning a smirk from his companion.

“So, how long does it usually take you to walk this walk?”, Tsukishima asked forty minutes into their trek. “Oh, it’s about an hour and a half”, Hinata said casually, as if every kid walked an hour and a half to school. “Hinata, you idiot”, Tsukishima said as he shook his head. “You didn’t even know how late you’d be out tonight! What if we studied until midnight?” Hinata shrugged, “I wouldn’t be home until 1:30, I guess. Oh, unless I ran the whole way!” Tsukki gently bopped Hinata on the top of the head. “No. Seriously, Chibi-chan, if I find out that you walked home alone again, you’re going to suffer. Some of these roads have been really busy!” Hinata bit his lip. “Well, what happens if my bike breaks?” Tsukishima blinked at him. “Did your bike break?”, he asked poignantly. “No…”, Hinata said quietly. “Then we don’t have to worry about that.”, Tsukki said. “No, like-”, Hinata started, unsure of where to go with his hypotheticals, “if my bike broke, would you walk me home every day ?” Tsukishima studied Hinata’s face, trying to figure out the intention behind his question. Turning back to face the path, he said thoughtfully, “I don’t know. I’d probably just give you my bike or something, or make you accept rides from my brother. Maybe have the team take turns walking you home? I’m not really sure.”

“Why are you so worried about me?”, Hinata asked abruptly, causing Tsukishima’s heart to skip a beat before thrusting into overtime.

“W- what? I’m not!”, Tsukishima sputtered. He could hardly hear himself speak over the pounding in his ears.

“You’ve been really nice lately. And, I mean, it’s not like I don’t appreciate it but…”, Hinata paused. “Tsukishima, are you dying?”

Tsukishima stopped walking. He had been freaking out, worried that Hinata had somehow figured out his deepest, darkest secret when what should come out of Hinata’s mouth but… that brilliant deduction.

Tsukishima started to quiver. He couldn’t help himself. He had just been so nervous, so anxious, so uncomfortable. He stood there, doubled over, shaking in silence for a whole minute before bursting out in laughter.

Hinata frowned deeply. “Cut it out, Jerkyshima! It’s not funny! I was worried!”. Tsukishima couldn’t stop laughing; tears began to pool in the corners of his eyes and his ribcage started to hurt. It took him at least five full minutes to reign himself in, and even then he had recurrent giggles for days. Once he was able to speak in full sentences, he said, “No, dumbass, I’m not dying. As you’ve cleverly figured out, I’m just going through some stuff-- that’s all. Sorry if my being nice is bothering you.” Tsukishima wiped an errant tear from his eye and fought back the laughter that threatened to erupt once more.

In truth, the laughter was pure relief oozing out of him. He knew he’d been laying it on way too thick today: from feeding Hinata at the ramen shop to promising to go back, from the lingering smiles to the omnipresent blushing, from the forced tutoring to the voluntary accompaniment home. It was too much. Anyone with an IQ one point higher than Hinata’s could’ve seen what was going on; luckily, Tsukishima fell for an idiot.

As the two got closer to Hinata’s house, Tsukishima felt an impulse come over him that he could not control. “Hinata”, he started, “Do you have anyone you like?”. The words came out before he could clamp his hand over his mouth to keep them in, and once they were out Tsukishima couldn’t believe he’d just asked such a personal question. Hinata turned and grinned at Tsukki. “Well, I like a lot of people!”, he replied enthusiastically. Hinata then furrowed his brow and added, “...unless you mean like like. Then, I’m not really sure.” “I see”, replied Tsukishima. He took a deep breath and pressed on. “I promise I won’t make fun of you”, the blonde started, “...do you like Kageyama? As in, like like?”. Hinata scrunched up his face. “No!”, he adamantly responded, “I don’t! I don’t know why everyone keeps asking that!” Tsukishima raised an eyebrow. “Everyone?”, he asked, trying his best to sound as if he didn’t really care. Hinata nodded. “Yeah. Tanaka and Noya asked me a few weeks ago” “Well, you know those two idiots”, Tsukishima interrupted, without realizing he was interrupting, “they joke nonstop. They asked about me and Tadashi, too.” Hinata frowned deeper. “Yeah, well, Kuroo asked” “Another idiot” “Bokuto,” “The epitome of the word ‘idiot’” “The Grand King” “He’s probably just jealous because someone else has all of the king’s attention” “and, worst of all, Coach Ukai asked us two days ago! It was so embarrassing!”. Tsukishima accidentally let a snicker escape and received a glare from Hinata in return. “Sorry, sorry!”, he said, waving his hand. “Maybe if you two stopped acting like a couple, people would stop assuming it.” A puzzled look crossed Hinata’s face. “Acting like a couple?”, he repeated, “what do you mean?”. Tsukishima shrugged. “I dunno. You two are literally always together and are always teasing each other or whispering together-- not like it bothers me. I'm just saying what others probably notice-- and you say embarrassing things like ‘When I’m here, you’re invincible’ , and-” “Embarrassing?!”, Hinata exclaimed, “I thought that was the coolest thing ever!!!” Tsukishima blinked at Hinata before turning away. “...aaand that is why people think you two are dating.”

Hinata’s frowned deepened. “Well, how would you handle it?”, Hinata asked. Tsukishima frowned as well. Here he was being given the opportunity of the lifetime: the opportunity to separate Kageyama and Hinata, the opportunity to push Hinata closer to himself, the opportunity to possibly forge a relationship. But he had to play his cards right if that’s what he wanted to do, and he wasn’t even sure if that’s what he wanted to do. There was so much up in the air.

He wasn’t sure if he wanted to be in a relationship at all, let alone with Hinata. Then, to add to that, he had no way of knowing if Hinata would ever be in a relationship with him. Hinata seemed to be really sweet and genuine with him, but wasn’t Hinata always that way with everyone? And if Tsukishima’s plan went poorly, it stood the chance of ruining Hinata’s friendship with Kageyama and maybe even their synergy in their volleyball team. Were Tsukishima’s selfish desires worth the risk?

“I’d just limit how much I hung out with the person one on one, to be honest”, he heard himself say. Again Hinata’s mouth formed an ‘O’ shape. “Ohh, smart!”, Hinata exclaimed. “That way, we could still hang out if we were with other people, but people wouldn’t think we’re dating, since couples like to spend time alone! Thanks, Tsukki!”. “Tsukishima”, the blonde corrected. Hinata grinned sheepishly, though the grin quickly dissipated. “Oh… but… Kageyama and I were supposed to have a sleepover next weekend…”, Hinata said demurely, “Should I cancel that? What if someone else found out?”. Tsukishima cupped his chin for a moment before speaking. “Alright, I’ll do you another favor, but you’re seriously starting to owe me. I’ll come to your sleepover. No one will be able to say anything if I’m there, right?” Hinata nodded. “Thanks, Tsukki-- ah-- Tsukishima! It’s like, the best of both worlds! I get to hang out with Kageyama and I get to hang out with you!” Tsukishima felt his face go red. “Dumbass Hinata”, he yelled, “You shouldn’t want to hang out with people who verbally abuse you!” Hinata looked up at his companion and shrugged. “I guess I have a ‘type’”, he giggled. Tsukki had to look away to hide how red he was.

It was nearly 8 o’clock when they arrived at Hinata’s house. Tsukishima’s brother was stuck in traffic and would be there in about twenty minutes. “Well, let’s go wait inside”, suggested Hinata. Tsukishima respectfully declined and Hinata protested, as it had gotten quite chilly out. “No, thanks”, Tsukishima stated, “I don’t want to just drop in on your family unexpected. I’ll wait out here. Besides, Akiteru is doing me a favor. I don’t want him to have to wait for me.” Hinata excused himself and bolted in the house. Tsukishima paced back and forth until, five minutes later, Hinata reemerged and threw a blanket on the ground. “Be right back!”, he yelled again, and disappeared into his home once more. Moments later he reappeared with two mugs. After some fussing, Hinata set up the blanket so the two boys could both sit on it and drape it around their shoulders. He handed Tsukishima one of the two mugs, which Tsukki then found had hot chocolate in it. Tsukki pursed his lips. “You didn’t have to do this…”, he grumbled. “I know!”, said Hinata, “But you didn’t have to walk me home, either. We might as well be warm while we wait for your brother, right?” “I guess…”

Tsukishima was finding it really hard to dislike Hinata right now. He’d worked so hard that afternoon being mean to him, putting a little distance between them, but the redheaded boy was just so sweet . He was so thoughtful and considerate and always put others before himself. Even now, he was sitting out in the cold with someone who did something for him… only because he did something considerate first! And he’d likely still have to do dishes (the mugs) and laundry (the blanket) because of his considerate act. His kindness was unreal.

Tsukishima looked over at Hinata, who seemed to be lost staring into space. His red hair glimmered under the streetlight, and it seemed as if strands of pure gold danced through his curly locks. His skin was so fair and his eyes so bright. Unlike their walk home, no words were exchanged while the two waited for Akiteru. They just sat together, quietly appreciating one-another’s company and warmth. And as Tsukishima finally worked up the courage to scoot a little closer to Hinata, and maybe put his arm around the boy once more… a familiar set of headlights turned onto Hinata’s street.

“Oh”, he said quietly, “That’s my brother. Got to go. Thanks for the drink.” Hinata smiled. “Thanks for walking me home, and tutoring me, and sharing your ramen with me! See you Monday!” As Tsukishima walked to Akiteru’s car, he called back, “See you Monday!”

 

Chapter Text

Over the course of the next week, Tsukishima found that he could think of little more than the walking ball of sunshine. He was desperately excited for their sleepover, even if Kageyama was going to be there, and was the strangest combination of disappointed and relieved that his words seemed to have resonated with Hinata on some level, as Hinata did not leave his bike home one day that week.

Tsukishima went to practice nearly every day and stayed the entire time for 3 of the 5 days, completely surprising his team who had come to expect his absence. To be honest, though, it seemed as it Hinata was taking his advice about spending time with Kageyama to heart, and was instead spending his time with Tsukishima himself. That, or…

No. Tsukishima still did not permit himself to think self-indulgent thoughts when it came to Hinata. While he was definitely acting on his crush a lot more than he had been, he still had no hope that it would be anything more than just a crush. He couldn’t allow himself to think thoughts like that. The disappointment when it did not come true would be at least as devastating as the disappointment he felt all those years ago when he found out about Akiteru’s true role in his volleyball team…

When Tsukishima wasn’t spending his time looking forward, he was looking back. He couldn’t stop thinking about all the time he’d spent with Hinata, especially last Friday. Between the ramen bar, the tutoring session, walking Hinata home, and the time they spent waiting for Akiteru, Tsukishima had a veritable well of memories to dwell upon. Tsukishima also spent a lot of time rereading the text messages he received late Friday night.

That night, Tsukishima had gotten home with Akiteru around 9 o’clock and immediately went to his room. He was tired and frustrated and flustered and just- a whole mess of emotions. Stripping down to his undershirt and his boxers, Tsukki laid down on top of his bed and set his glasses on his night stand. He had a lot he needed to think about, but his thoughts kept returning to similar elements of his day: the way Hinata’s spit shined on Tsukishima’s chopsticks; the warmth he gave off as the two sat side by side waiting for Akiteru; the way his peachy lips parted and his soft, pink tongue stuck out a little bit, waiting for Tsukishima…

...and now all Tsukki could think of was those peachy lips wrapped around Tsukishima’s own cock, working it with that beautiful, soft, pink tongue until it shone just like his chopsticks did that day. He could almost imagine that his own hand was Hinata’s gloriously warm mouth as he pumped it furiously, up and down, imagining that Hinata would master the art of fellatio in no time. “Kei” , he replayed in his head, again and again, “Kei, oh, Kei!”. His mind took Hinata’s one-time utterance of his name and was off and running. He imagined what it’d be like to run his hands over Hinata’s body, what it’d be like to taste Hinata’s flesh, what it’d be like to plunge himself deep into the redhead’s fiery depths. His imagination called out and still the voice pressed on. “Kei, I need you! More, Kei, more! Harder! You’re amazing! I love you, Kei!”

“Shōyō!”, he groaned, as he came over his own knuckles and shot onto the bottom of his shirt. He thrust several times more into his clenched fist, riding out the most intense orgasm he’d had to date, as his other hand clutched his comforter as if he were legitimately concerned that he might fall off the bed.

He laid there drenched in his own cum for a long while as he tried to recover. His breath was jagged, his heart was beating out of his chest, and his head was swimming. Once he finally came back to reality, he could hardly believe what had just happened. He actually came to his thoughts of Hinata. He’d been masturbating to the boy for months, but had not once been able to finish. His despair and self-loathing always set in at the perfect time and reminded him that he would never be able to be with the boy he’d been touching himself to. But now he had to wonder: was he able to get off because he was getting closer to Hinata and felt he actually had a chance, or because he cared less whether or not he would be able to ever be with him? The latter was truly a depressing thought, but Tsukishima tried to shake it off as he cleaned himself up. He decided to take a bath, since he needed to get changed anyway.

Forty five minutes later he was back in his own bed, under the covers, feeling comfortable and relaxed for the first time in months. He closed his eyes and began to feel reality slip away… when he was suddenly woken up by the sound of his phone vibrating next to his head. His eyes shot open- he couldn’t imagine who could be texting him at this hour- and he felt for his phone next to his pillow.

 Hinata (11:09 PM): hey tsukki r u awake (o・・o)/
Tsukishima (11:10 PM): yeah, whats up?
Hinata (11:11 PM): omg 11:11 make a wish (*´∀`*)
Tsukishima (11:11 PM):
Tsukishima (11:12 PM): Hinata, is that honestly why you’re texting me?
Hinata (11:13 PM): LOL no it was just a cool coinsidnse (sp???)
Hinata (11:13 PM): neway
Hinata (11:16 PM): I just wanted to say thank you again for walking me home 2day
Hinata (11:17 PM): That was ltrally the nicest thing ne1 at Karasuno has ever done 4 me
Hinata (11:17 PM): EVER
Hinata (11:18 PM): (tho im kinda suprised the nicest thing sum1 did was dun by u LOL (ᗒᗜᗕ)՛̵̖ )
Tsukishima (11:20 PM):
Hinata (11:22 PM): No but srsly it really meant alot 2 me. I really appreciate it.
Tsukishima (11:23 PM): You’re welcome. Any time.
Hinata (11:24 PM): ur the best Tsukki! ⊂(・ヮ・⊂)
Hinata (11:27 PM): O btw the sleepover is next saturday nite
Hinata (11:27 PM): if u still want 2 come
Tsukishima (11:28 PM): sounds good
Hinata (11:29 PM): Great! (╯✧∇✧)╯
Hinata (11:31 PM): i was thinkin maybe we culd go 4 ramen that afternoon
Hinata (11:32 PM): just the 2 of us, like u promised?
Tsukishima (11:34 PM): lol ok, if I have to
Hinata (11:35 PM): YAY!!!!!
Hinata (11:36 PM): ok ill let u go 2 sleep lol
Hinata (11:36 PM): goodnite Tsuuki (∪。∪)。。。zzz
Tsukishima (11:38 PM): Goodnight, Hinata
Tsukishima (11:40 PM): (-_-) z z z
Hinata (11:40 PM): :D

 Suddenly Tsukishima was wide awake, unable to sleep once more.

He reread those texts at least twenty times a day over the course of the next week. He googled each of the emojis to try to get better understanding of what Hinata meant and nearly lost consciousness when he learned that the one immediately following “ur the best Tsukki” was meant to be a hug. He had a really hard time talking to Hinata all of a sudden, which was further complicated by the fact that Hinata was spending a lot more time with him. In fact, the two times he left practice was not because of jealousy, but because he was so flustered.

After practice Friday night, Tsukishima went straight home and laid in his bed for as long as he could stand it before texting Hinata to confirm their plans.

Tsukishima (7:56 PM): Hey, what time do you want to get ramen tomorrow?
Tsukishima (8:05 PM): I mean, if you still want to go get ramen at all
Tsukishima (8:08 PM): if you don’t that’s fine
Tsukishima (8:10 PM): just lmk
Hinata (8:16 PM): Tsukki! Ofc I want 2 go get ramen silly! im the 1 who asked u!!!
Hinata (8:17 PM): Does 3pm work 4 u?
Hinata (8:17 PM): also sorry it took me 4evr 2 reply
Hinata (8:18 PM): i was still biking home ( ・౪・)

Tsukishima got to the ramen shop at 2:30 the next day. He knew when he left his house that he was going to be early, but he could not stand the anxiety and anticipation for another second. He tried to walk as slowly as possible, but still he found that he’d gotten to Yamaguchi’s neighborhood in less time than it would take him normally. He popped his head inside the restaurant and was unsurprised to find that Hinata wasn’t there yet. After ten more minutes of standing around outside, the owner of the restaurant’s wife (who was also the main waitress) stuck her head out the door. “Tsukishima-kun!”, she called, “How nice to see you! Are you waiting for Yamaguchi-kun?” Tsukki pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and bowed slightly. “Oh, hello Amari-san. No, Tadashi isn’t coming today. I’m, uh, waiting for someone else.” “Oh!”, the woman exclaimed knowingly, “Someone special?” Tsukki blushed and nodded. “Ah- yes”, he said shyly. “Well, come in and wait for your girlfriend!”, she enthused. Tsukishima blushed a little more and bowed again. “Um- actually, it’s not a girl…”, he said quietly. The woman smiled sweetly and extended her hand to Tsukishima. “Come in, Tsukishima-kun! All this time, we thought you and Yamaguchi-kun were together… Bunta will just be happy to hear that you’ve found someone. Come, come, sit with us!”

A little after 3, Hinata entered the ramen shop and was surprised to find Tsukishima seated at a small table in the corner. “Sorry, Tsukki”, he said as he ran over to his companion, “Did you wait long?” Tsukishima shook his head. “Nope”, he lied, “Only just got here myself.” Tsukishima glanced over and saw that the owners were watching. ‘This could be awkward’ , he thought to himself. “I thought for sure I was gonna get here before you!”, Hinata beamed as he sat across from the blonde. Tsukishima smiled. “You idiot. I live closer.” “Yeah”, Hinata shrugged, “But I was more excited to be here.” Raising an eyebrow, Tsukishima asked, “What makes you think that?” “Well”, Hinata started, “I like spending time with you more than you like spending time with me, and I like eating more than you like eating, and this is only my second time here when you’ve been here like A MILLION TIMES. I have a lot more reasons to be excited!” Tsukishima smiled. “That’s what you think”, he said coyly.

Clearing his throat, Tsukishima looked to the menu. “So- do you want what I got last time?”, he asked. Hinata nodded eagerly. “Yes please!” “Okay, then, I guess I’ll just order for both of us. What do you want to drink?” Hinata seemed to consider this question for a minute before grinning wildly. “I’ll have whatever you’re having”, he said, almost as if he was proud of what he had come up with.

Moments later, Amari-san came over to their table. She bowed slightly to Hinata. “It’s so nice to meet our Tsukishima-kun’s boyfriend! Please take good care of him! He and Yamaguchi-kun are two of our favorite customers- we look forward to getting to know you as well!” Tsukishima’s face turned from one to moderate enjoyment into one of horror. “Oh- no- Amari-san- it’s not- he’s not- I-”, he stuttered, trying to get out one complete sentence, until Hinata bowed his head back. “Thank you! I look forward to it as well!”, Hinata chimed, as pleasantly as possible. Tsukishima stopped talking and blushed profusely; he could not remember a moment in his life when he had ever been more embarrassed. He just wanted to crawl under the table and die there. But of course, it got worse: Hinata reached across the table and took Tsukishima’s hand in his own. “Are you ready to order, honey?”, he asked sweetly. Tsukki’s heart stopped. He was sure he was dead. Why was God doing this to him? Had he really been that bad a person? Maybe he did die already and he was in hell. Maybe this restaurant was his eternal punishment.

Tsukishima cleared his throat and looked up at the waitress. “Can we each get an order of the tenkomori and an iced tea for both of us?”, he asked in a frail voice. Amari-san scribbled the order down in a notepad, repeated it back to the boys, and left.

Tsukishima immediately fell forward, laying his forehead on the table in front of him. “I’m so sorry”, he muttered, unable to think of or do anything else. He felt a light squeeze on his hand, at which point he realized Hinata was still holding it. “Hey, it’s okay”, Hinata said jovially, “no need to be embarrassed. There’s clearly been some kind of mix up. I wouldn’t want to embarrass the nice lady, either. There’s no harm in pretending, right?” Tsukishima laid there still. Hinata’s words were soft and kind and were doing well to ease the pain of the situation, but that was only because he didn’t know that Tsukishima had done this to himself.

Suddenly Tsukishima felt gentle fingers running through his hair. He sat up quickly. “What do you think you’re doing?”, he asked, careful not to disturb the hand that was being held by Hinata’s. “Oh”, Hinata said, smiling sheepishly, “You seemed upset. Whenever Natsu’s upset I rub her head. She always feels better in no time.” Tsukishima had to smile. “Hinata… has anyone ever told you you’re too nice for your own good?”, he asked. With his free hand, Hinata scratched the back of his head and grinned. “I try”, he laughed. This time, Tsukishima squeezed Hinata’s hand briefly. It honestly seemed to shock the redhead.

After a moment of silence, Hinata said, “I’m really glad you came”. This time Tsukishima didn’t choke, but instead shot a quizzical look at his companion. “What do you mean? Why do you keep saying that?”, he asked. Hinata smiled. “Well, this time is different. If you didn’t come, it would be because you didn’t want to hang out with me. Last time you and Yamaguchi already had plans and Kageyama and I just kinda tagged along. This time it was just you and me, and on a Saturday…” Hinata paused for a long moment.

“I still don’t know what’s bothering you, but I’ve been trying to figure it out. For a long time, I was worried it was me. I mean-- don’t get me wrong-- I didn’t just invite you out to ease my conscience! I really like hanging out with you and spending time with you!”. All of a sudden Hinata’s voice sounded panicked as he tried to reassure Tsukishima of his intentions. “I’m grateful you’ve been taking me up on my offers! But I’m really relieved that you don’t hate me. I feel like maybe… you might even like me...” Tsukishima’s heart stopped “and might even think of us as friends...” Tsukishima’s heart started again “...which is good, because I know I do!”

Tsukishima chuckled under his breath. ‘Might think of us as friends. Jesus. If only he knew the way I think about us. He sure as hell wouldn’t be holding this hand, that’s for sure… ’ “Hinata”, he said out loud. “You’re overthinking this. I would never, in a million years, say this in front of another person, because frankly that’s embarrassing, but friendship is a living thing. It grows and it changes. If we’re hanging out together and spending time together, if we’re talking outside of times when we have to and doing things other than what’s mandatory to show-- er-- caring for one another, then yes, I’d say it’s friendship. And you’d better remember that, because I’m never going to say anything like it ever again for as long as I live.” Hinata’s eyes glowed and sparkled magnificently, so to the point that Tsukishima honestly thought that the redheaded boy was about to cry for a moment. “T- Tsukki!”, cried Hinata, “Thank you for your friendship!” Hinata clenched his eyes shut in a broad smile that overtook his face. Tsukishima blushed and looked down into his lap. “Dumbass”, he whispered, “Don’t be so embarrassing.”

When the food came, Hinata finally withdrew his hand, much to Tsukishima’s disappointment. Hinata visibly melted upon putting the first few bites in his mouth, though as he went on, a frown began to appear on his face. Finally, Tsukishima had to ask. “What’s wrong?”, he said between bites. Hinata looked up. “Oh- sorry”, he said, “I didn’t mean to be so obvious.” Tsukishima frowned. “Well? Out with it. What’s the matter?” Hinata shook his head. “No, it’s embarrassing” Tsukishima’s frown deepened. He could’ve sworn he saw Hinata blush slightly. “Well”, Hinata started, “Okay, but- don’t be mad. It’s just- it was better when you fed it to me…”. Tsukishima blinked in disbelief. “Are you kidding me?”, he asked. Hinata bit his lip, and Tsukishima was having a hard time resisting how cute the redhead was. Without alerting Hinata of his intentions, Tsukishima waved to the waitress. “I’m sorry”, he said when she came over, “We just realized that we’re about to be late. Can we get this wrapped to go?” Amari-san nodded. “Of course, Tsukishima-kun! I’ll throw in some napkins and cutlery, too. Don’t you worry about a thing, sweetie.” With that, she took away their bowls, leaving only their iced teas.

“I’m sorry, Tsukki! You don’t have to leave! Please! I didn’t mean to-” “Shut up”, Tsukishima interrupted, a light flush covering his cheeks. Hinata stopped talking and studied his lap, disappointed that he ruined their hang out. When the waitress came back, she brought their food bagged up and the check, which Hinata grabbed before Tsukishima could think. “Hinata…”, Tsukishima started, unamused by Hinata’s antics. “Nope!”, Hinata said, “I invited you out. And I saved up all my allowance for the last week for this.” Tsukishima reached across the table to try to take the bill from Hinata. “Nope!”, Hinata called out as he sprung up from his seat, “I also ruined your meal! I’m paying!”, and with that, he ran up to the owners and gave them his money. Tsukishima stood up and picked up the bag, noting that it seemed particularly heavy. He looked inside and saw that Amari-san had given them two new cans of iced tea. As Hinata came springing back victoriously towards Tsukishima, Tsukki held out his hand. If Hinata was going to turn niceness into a competition, so was he.

To his surprise, Hinata took his hand with ease.

The two left the ramen shop, hand in hand, and began walking down the street.

“Tsukki, where are we--” “Shhhhh” “But Tsukki, why can’t I--” “Shhhhh”

Fifteen minutes later, the two walked through Tsukishima’s front door. “Tadaima”, Tsukishima called as he slipped off his shoes. “Hinata’s here, too.” “Thank you for having me!”, Hinata yelled into the house. “Come on”, Tsukki said quietly, leading Hinata to his room.

The two sat on the floor in Tsukishima’s room and the blonde wordlessly unpacked their meals. As he set everything up just as it had been in the restaurant, it seemed it had dawned on Hinata what was happening, as he whispered, “Tsukki…!” in astonishment.

A grotesque impulse came across Tsukishima and he wondered just how much of a pervert he could allow himself to be. “Hinata”, he said quietly, “when we’re alone-- and only when we’re alone-- if you want... you can call me Kei.” Hinata’s eyes lit up as if they had just won nationals. “Really?!”, he asked. Tsukishima nodded. “In that case, you can call me Shōyō-- anytime, not just when we’re alone. Or Shō!” Tsukki smiled. He really was just a terrible, awful pervert preying on this poor innocent lamb. “So anyway… Kei…”, Hinata said. Tsukishima immediately felt himself start to harden. Yes- he definitely was into Hinata calling him by his given name. He needed to try to calm himself down, though; he was alone in his room with his crush. This was not the ideal place to be getting hard-ons. It was entirely too plausible that he might do something rash and wind up scaring Hinata away for good.

“...did you really leave the ramen place for the reason I think you did?”, Hinata continued. Tsukishima shrugged. He carefully lifted Hinata’s bowl in his own hands and, picking up a set of chopsticks, grabbed some noodles. “I don’t know… you tell me.”, he said in a tone that was almost seductive. The blonde then moved the chopsticks towards Hinata’s mouth. Hinata smiled quickly, but then opened his mouth, curving his tongue to accept the noodles. “MMM!”, he exclaimed as he chewed the food. “I don’t know why, but this is so much better! It doesn’t even make sense!” Once Hinata finished chewing, he shut his eyes, opened his mouth, and stuck out his tongue, presumably to express that he was ready for more. Instead all he did was further provoke Tsukishima, who was already dealing with more than he could handle.

Tsukishima wanted nothing more than to plant his mouth on those waiting lips, to take in that cute, bubble-gum pink tongue, to push Hinata to the floor and climb on top of him and make him his. He was getting dizzy with desire and found it difficult to concentrate as all his blood seemed to leave his brain and move south.

“Um- Hinata?”, he said timidly. “Shōyō”, the redhead corrected with his eyes still shut. “Right”, Tsukishima laughed, “S-Shōyō”. He thought it was funny that he was having such a hard time saying that name-- he didn’t have any trouble saying it when he came to it last week! “Is it okay if I move closer? I’m dripping broth on my rug…” Hinata finally opened his eyes and looked confusedly at the blonde. “Of course, Kei. You’re doing something ridiculously nice and indulgent for me . You can do it however you want!”

Mmm ’, Tsukishima thought, ‘How about I bring you the next piece of pork between my teeth? Or we can have the next udon ‘Lady and the Tramp’ style’? Let’s just skip the ramen altogether and get straight to fucking’

Despite his less-than-chaste thoughts, Tsukishima exhibited a tremendous degree of self control and repositioned himself so he was seated directly across from Hinata with their knees touching. He thought incredibly dirty thoughts as he fed his teammate, but he did not act on them (though, admittedly, since Hinata’s eyes were shut the whole time, he did lick the chopsticks after they came out of Hinata’s mouth once before mentally scolding himself for being so depraved). When there was nothing but broth left in the bowl, he gently put it in Hinata’s hands. The redhead smiled. “Now that was the single nicest thing anyone in Karasuno has ever done for me. I promise I won’t tell anyone. I don’t know why- it was just so much better when you fed it to me!” Tsukishima blushed lightly and shrugged. “Maybe because you could close your eyes and just focus on the flavors?” Hinata cocked his head. “What do you mean?”, he asked. Tsukishima rolled his eyes, but said, “You know, how when you block out one sense, the others become stronger?” Hinata looked blankly at Tsukishima. “You know… we learned about this like, three years ago in science?” All of a sudden the lights went on in Hinata’s head. “Ohhh, that makes sense!”, Hinata grinned. After he drank his broth, he grabbed Tsukishima’s bowl. “Okay, your turn!”, he said, smiling broadly. Tsukishima was flustered. “Oh- no- I can eat like a normal person-- thanks”, he sputtered out. Hinata shook his head. “No! You fed me, now I want to feed you! It’s fair. ” Hinata punctuated his statement with a pout. Tsukishima bit his lower lip, unsure of what to do. On the one hand, being fed was really, really embarrassing, but on the other hand, it would be Hinata feeding him…

“Kei…”, called Hinata. All of Tsukishima’s reservations melted, and he found himself relenting. “Fine”, he said in a tone of fake begrudgement. “But I am gonna think twice before I agree to go out with you again!” Hinata giggled and Tsukishima shut his eyes. He could hear the clinking of the chopsticks in the bowl and then there was silence.

“Um… Kei?”, Hinata said, “You… need to open your mouth.” “Right”, Tsukishima said, flushing tremendously. ‘How embarrassing’ , he thought to himself, as he tried to open his mouth in the least sexy manner he could think of. It was all well and good for him to be drooling over Hinata while Hinata was unaware, but for Hinata to even be looking at him while he didn’t know gave him the creeps. He simply let his jaw hang open, keeping his tongue along the inside of his bottom teeth. Hinata gently placed a fish cake on top of his tongue and Tsukishima bit down and found that, for some reason, Hinata was actually right. It did taste better-- a lot better-- when someone else was feeding him!

Tsukishima could only handle being fed about ten bites before he claimed he was full-- the anxiety was just too much, especially once he imagined Hinata leaning in and kissing him instead of delivering a mouthful of food. When they were decidedly done eating, Tsukishima excused himself to the bathroom for two minutes, that he might run cold water over his head and try to rid himself of the boner that had plagued him from the moment Hinata first uttered his name. Soon they would be with Kageyama and his little game would be over; he’d just have to exhibit some self control until then. However, if Hinata happened to catch on and find out that Tsukki had been having trouble maintaining his composure when he was around the redheaded ball of sunshine, even he might be able to put the pieces together and figure out about his little crush.

Upon returning to his room, Tsukishima found Hinata sitting on his bed. “Hey”, Hinata called, “You really like dinosaurs, huh?” Tsukishima went bright red. “W- w- what are you talking about, dumbass?!”, he yelled. “Well, you’ve got a lot of dinosaurs on your shelves and stuff, and you have a dinosaur pillowcase…”, Hinata said, making it obvious that he’d studied Tsukishima’s room while he was in the bathroom. “N- no!”, Tsukishima started, “Well- well, okay, yes, but, it’s just because I don’t care to decorate that stuff, and-” Hinata beamed as he interrupted Tsukishima. “Dinosaurs are the coolest, Tsukki! Ah, I mean, Kei! I love stuff like dinosaurs and space! Kageyama says it makes me a little kid, but when we go on class trips to museums and stuff, it’s like the coolest stuff to look at!” Tsukishima couldn’t help but smile. He grabbed the volleyball from his desk as he walked over to sit next to Hinata. For a brief moment, he contemplated sharing one of his embarrassing secrets with Hinata- that he compared the two of them to the sun and the moon in his own head, Hinata being the sun, destined to always be in the spotlight, himself the moon, destined to be a mere shadow compared to Hinata. He thought better of sharing that secret. ‘Maybe some other time .’

“So, what’s the plan?”, he asked Hinata, “When are we supposed to be at your house?” Hinata shrugged. “I told Kageyama and Yamaguchi I’d call them.” Tsukishima frowned. “Yamaguchi?” Hinata nodded. “Oh, yeah, I invited Yamaguchi, too. I figured the more the merrier, right?”, Hinata said as he kicked his feet back and forth. Tsukishima smirked as he realized Hinata’s feet didn’t even reach the floor as he sat on the bed. ‘Cute’ , he thought to himself. “Weird, I wonder why Yamaguchi didn’t mention it to me”, he said aloud. As they sat there, a sudden realization hit Tsukishima like a train. “Wait”, he said, turning to look at Hinata. “Where is your bike?” Hinata grinned sheepishly. “At home”, he said, clenching his teeth in a smile that he hoped would be cute enough to get him out of trouble. (It was.) “Dumbass”, Tsukishima said, “Didn’t I tell you to tell me when you weren’t bringing your bike?!” Hinata shrugged and continued swinging his feet. “Well, I figured you’d be taking me home anyway, so I didn’t really have to give you a heads up.” Tsukishima was dumbfounded. Hinata had gotten him on a technicality.

“Well”, Hinata said, “Why don’t we head to my place?” Tsukki nodded. “Do you want me to see if Akiteru is around to-” Hinata shook his head. “No, that’s okay. If it’s alright with you, I enjoy the walk.” Tsukishima shrugged. “It makes no difference to me.” Of course, it did make difference to him- he loved the idea of another hour and a half alone with Hinata. But he’d die sooner than let Hinata know that.

“Oh”, Tsukishima said as the two started walking down his street, “wouldn’t it make more sense to see if Kageyama and Yamaguchi want to walk with us?” Hinata looked quickly to Tsukishima then away again and said, “Ah- no- Kageyama said his mom would drive them, so, we can just go ahead.” Tsukishima appraised the boy beside him before shrugging and saying, “Okay”.

It seemed that these walks energized the redhead. Hinata talked nonstop, making observations about their surroundings, providing his thoughts on their upcoming volleyball matches, and commenting on anything else that popped up in his head. When Tsukishima went anywhere with Yamaguchi, conversation was sporadic and spotty. Each boy only spoke when they had something worth saying. Hinata, on the other hand, seemed to speak until he found something worth saying, and then extrapolated upon it tenfold.

This walk seemed to pass much quicker than the previous one did, and Tsukishima swore he was beginning to learn the way to Hinata’s house, despite its many twists and turns and his only having been one time before. As they were on the final hill before they’d be able to see Hinata’s street, a single snowflake fell from the sky in front of the two boys. Hinata’s amber eyes glowed as he watched it spiral down to the ground, where it promptly disappeared into the asphalt. He quickly looked up at Tsukishima. “Kei!”, he yelled, startling the taller boy, who had all but forgotten about their secret given-name pact. “Did you see that?! So beautiful!!!” Hinata jumped forward and spun around, looking for any other errant flakes falling from the heavens. After a moment, he spotted one and ran a few feet away from Tsukki to catch it. Once he did, he repeated the process, running a few paces to the left, then back towards Tsukishima again.

“You idiot”, Tsukishima said dryly, “You’re going to get hit by a car if you keep running in the street like that. Come on. Let’s go play in your yard, or in a park.” Hinata looked up at him and grinned. “Okay!”, he said, running back over to the blonde, “There’s a beautiful park nearby. Let’s go!” Hinata grabbed Tsukishima by the hand and took off running. “H- hey, hold up!”, Tsukishima called after the redhead he was being pulled by. “Can’t!”, Hinata breathlessly called behind him, “I don’t want it to stop snowing!!!”

Two minutes later they arrived at a large park that was little more than a swingset, a large field, and a path that cut through either end. “Come on, Tsukki”, Hinata panted, out of breath, “Let’s go!”. Still holding his hand, Hinata dragged Tsukishima into the middle of the field, where the two stood and looked up at the sky. Hinata was soon prancing around trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue, as the snowfall became more plentiful, and Tsukishima, who was openly laughing at his antics, was taking pictures of Hinata with his cell phone.

Once Hinata finally tired out, the two sat down on a park bench. “Kei, can I see the pictures you took?”, Hinata asked as he slouched against the taller boy. Tsukishima nodded and pulled his phone from the pocket of his hoodie. He opened up his photo app and went to the first one. “Scroll to the right”, he said simply. Hinata giggled as he went through the pictures. “Wow”, he said, “You sure took a lot”. Tsukishima had anticipated this comment and shrugged. “Do you see how ridiculous you look? I still can’t believe how excited you get over such a silly thing…” Hinata looked up from the phone and into Tsukishima’s eyes. “Thank you”, he said in a serious, heartfelt tone, “for sharing this with me. This was a lot of fun.” Tsukishima looked away- he felt like, if he didn’t, he might cry. “It was”, he choked out, “...just don’t tell anyone I said that.” Hinata stuck out his tongue and turned back to the pictures. “Can you send me these?”, he asked. Tsukishima nodded.

“Well”, Hinata said after a few minutes of sitting slumped against the blonde blocker, “should we head to my house?”. “Sure”, Tsukishima replied, and together the two boys stood and began to exit the park.

“Remember”, Tsukishima stated solemnly, “you’re only allowed to call me by my given name when we’re alone. So when the other two are here, you’re gonna call me Tsukishima.” “Got it, Kei~”, Hinata giggled. “Good, Shō.”

 

 

Chapter Text

“So, my parents had to go to this big fancy wedding in Kyoto, and they took Natsu with them. I hate weddings so they said as long as I had someone stay over (or went over someone else’s house), I could stay home. They even left me money for pizza and stuff! And since I’m having three people over instead of just Kageyama, they brought out both of the futons we have and said that we can stay in the living room! It’s pretty cool!”

Hinata was really excited as he showed Tsukishima around his house and explained the situation to his friend.

“I was originally just gonna sleep in my bed and Kageyama was gonna sleep in Natsu’s, but I think this is way cooler. This way, we all get to sleep together!”, Hinata said excitedly. Tsukishima nodded thoughtfully. “Oh, and I texted Kageyama and Yamaguchi- they should be here in like, half an hour. Kageyama said his mom was on her way back from the store, and she’d bring them when she got back.” Tsukishima laughed and patted Hinata’s head. “Shōyō, do you ever stop talking?”, he asked through a broad smile. Hinata frowned. “What the hell?”, he asked, “That was mean, but it sounded nice! When are your words gonna match your emotions?!” All Tsukishima could do in response was grin.

“So what do you two normally do at these sleepovers?”, Tsukishima asked. Hinata, who’d, been leading the way back to the living room, looked back at Tsukishima. “This is actually only our second one. Last time we just played videogames and watched movies the whole time. It was a lot of fun!” Tsukishima shook his head in disbelief. “No, no. I know for a fact that Hinata Shōyō is not capable of sitting still long enough to play a videogame or watch a movie.” Hinata grinned. “Let’s watch something while we wait for the other two, then!” Tsukishima shrugged and continued following the shorter boy.

Hinata flung himself on the couch and Tsukishima sat beside him-- right beside him. He saw no reason to hide his intentions at this point. After all, they’d essentially gone on a date already, and they held hands multiple times, and they already sat that close at the park… It may have been wishful thinking on the blonde’s part, but if nothing else, he was not initiating anything that had not been done already. Hinata flipped through the channels and stopped at the history network, which, coincidentally, was showing a special on dinosaurs. Tsukishima glared at Hinata, who smiled innocently and snuggled up next to the blonde in response.

R e s e a r c h e r s    e s t i m a t e   t h a t   t h e   P a r  a s a u r o l o p h u s   w a s   a r o u n d    9 . 5   m e t r e s   i n   l e n g t h   a n d    w e i g h e  d   a r o u n d   2 . 7   t o n s .    I t   i s    t h o u g h t    t h a t    t h e    p a r a s a u r o…

“Hey Hinata?”, Tsukishima asked about ten minutes into the program. “Mmm?”, asked the redhead, not looking up from the tv. “Can you do me a favor?”, Tsukishima asked. This time Hinata looked to his companion. “What’s up?”, he asked, looking slightly concerned. “Can you not mention to the other guys that we spent the day together?”, Tsukishima asked. Hinata, who always wore his emotions on his sleeve, immediately looked disappointed. “N- no, it’s not like that”, the blonde quickly blurted out, “it’s just- as you know, I haven’t really been like, hanging out or anything. I think Yamaguchi would be upset if he found out that I spent the whole day with you and haven’t hung out with him outside of school in weeks.” To that, Hinata perked up and nodded. “Yeah, of course Kei-- er-- Tsukki! I don’t want to see Yamaguchi upset either! We can just say you got here first, which isn’t a lie!” Tsukishima nodded. “Thanks”, he replied quietly.

Fifteen minutes later, Hinata’s phone rang. “Oh!”, he said, jumping up, “it’s Kageyama. I guess they’re here! I’ll be right back!” As Hinata got up to get the door, Tsukishima reached over, shut the tv off, and sat back down on the opposite end of the couch. ‘Nothing funny going on here, nope. No siree.’

Kageyama and Yamaguchi both walked in, followed by Hinata. “Thank you for having us!”, they exclaimed in unison, to which Hinata replied, “Thank you for coming!”. Tsukki stood up and greeted his peers; Yamaguchi was really excited to see his best friend, where Kageyama was not so much. Hinata gave the same brief overview of the situation to Kageyama and Yamaguchi that he’d given to Tsukishima regarding his parents and the sleeping arrangement.

“I am not sleeping in the same futon as you”, Kageyama said to Hinata. Hinata frowned, but Tsukishima rolled his eyes and said, “He just got here, and already the King is giving orders…”. “Tsukki…”, called Yamaguchi quietly, presumably in an attempt at peacekeeping. The little redhead still looked distressed. Turning to Kageyama, he asked, “Why? Are you mad at me?”, a tinge of sadness hanging in his voice. Kageyama scowled. “All you do is kick in your sleep!”, he yelled back at the redhead, “I slept next to you at our first away training camp and I will never, ever, ever do that again!” Yamaguchi nervously looked over at Hinata. “I’m a really light sleeper… maybe you and Tsukki should share a futon, and I’ll sleep with Kageyama, if what he’s saying is true…”. Hinata’s frown deepened. “Well, yeah, I’ve heard I move a lot in my sleep.” Turning to Tsukishima, he asked, “Are you okay with it, Tsukki?”. Tsukishima pushed his glasses up with his index finger. “I don’t see why not”, he replied, “I think I’m a pretty heavy sleeper.” Across the room, Yamaguchi guffawed. “You think?!  Tsukki, every time I sleep over I have to hang out with Akiteru-nii-san until you decide to wake up, because I can’t wake you up on my own!” Hinata giggled slightly at this image. “So it’s settled, then”, interrupted Kageyama, as Tsukishima began to defend himself. “Hinata and Tsukishima will sleep on one futon, and Yamaguchi and I will sleep on the other.” The group all nodded in agreement. For once Tsukishima knew that Yamaguchi wasn’t doing something nice for the blonde, but was in fact acting in his own best interest; everything Tadashi had just said was the truth, and it just happened to work out in Tsukishima’s favor.

Before Tsukishima knew it, four hours had come and gone. The boys had ordered and then consumed three whole pizzas, had watched two movies (one action/thriller, one scary movie), and had just begun playing video games. At one point, after Hinata went to the bathroom, he came back and found Tsukishima sitting on the couch playing on his phone. He climbed up next to the lanky blonde so their arms were touching. The other two boys were intensely focused on the racing game they were playing. “What’s wrong, Ke- Tsukki?”, he asked quietly. Tsukishima shut the screen off on his phone and turned his head to look at Hinata; he was not expecting their faces to be so close when he turned. All he had to do was move his head slightly, and he could kiss the redheaded boy…

“I don’t really care for videogames without a story or a goal”, he said quietly. Before Hinata could protest or try to accommodate him, he continued. “But- it’s been a really long day, and we’ve done a lot. I’m fine with sitting out and watching. I really don’t mind doing my own thing while others have fun…” Hinata frowned. “Are you sure, Tsukki? I could find something else for us all to do…” Tsukishima shook his head. “Nope, I’m good. I promise.” With that, he lifted his hand and ran it through Hinata’s hair once more. Hinata grinned. It seemed like that had become a secret code between the two, intended to make the other feel better.

As he watched Hinata bound across the room and join the other guys, Tsukishima couldn’t quite wrap his head around what he had gotten himself into. While he’d never dated anyone before, this sure felt like what he imagined a relationship would feel like. The two had grown remarkably close over the last week, and while they were keeping it quiet so far, it would only be a matter of time before one of them slipped and touched the other or called the other by their given name in front of someone.

Tsukishima bolted upright from the slouched position he had been sitting in. ‘Oh no. What if someone had already seen us holding hands as we left the ramen shop?’ , he thought to himself as a cold sweat descended on him. ‘What if it’s one of our peers-- or worse, someone from our team? What if they talk to him, and he realizes that what we did was coupley? What if he realizes that I like him??? What if he stops talking to me?! What if--’

“Tsukki? Are you okay?”, came Hinata’s voice, briefly interrupting the loudness of Tsukishima’s thoughts. “Um- yeah- I’m just- I’m gonna step outside for a minute, if that’s okay”, Tsukishima said, though he wasn’t really sure who he said it to. His vision was blurry as he walked over to the front door. He wasn’t even really sure whose shoes he put on. As he stepped out into the winter night, he realized that his vision had been blurry because tears were blocking his sight-- a realization he only happened upon when a tear dropped out of his left eye. Tsukishima started walking. He didn’t know where he was going, he just needed to walk. He was pretty sure he was having a panic attack. He’d had one only once before, and it wasn’t pleasant. He really wanted to try to head it off, though he wasn’t sure how.

His thoughts were loud, and were completely taking over. 'You seriously thought that you could be with Hinata? He said it himself, he’s only hanging out with you because he feels like you hate him!’ ‘Hinata has so many better options than a lanky, salty nerd like you! Kageyama, Kenma, Lev, Yachi, Kuroo-- he casts his charm on anyone he meets! You’d be lucky if anyone liked you out of pity!’ ‘Pity is the only reason Hinata is even hanging out with you, and look how desperately you’re clinging onto it! Ha!’

Before he knew it, Tsukishima was sitting on the bench that he and Hinata had sat on hours before in the park. It was still snowing, and it was coming down hard. Tears were streaming down Tsukishima’s face as his self-destructive thoughts threatened to eat him alive. “What do I do?”, he murmured to himself, “What do I do?”. ‘Leave the poor boy alone’ , the voice inside him answered. ‘You’re only bothering him. You’re only getting your hopes up. He doesn’t want you. He doesn’t need you. You’ll never be--’ “KEI!”, a voice yelled from the park’s entrance.

Tsukishima looked up as best he could and swore he saw a beam of light coming towards him. He knew it was Hinata. Even if his eyes couldn’t see him, his heart could. Hinata raced towards him as fast as he could and practically leapt at the blonde. “What the hell are you doing!?”, he yelled at him. Tsukishima looked down, ashamed of himself and the state he was in. Hinata threw Tsukishima’s sweatshirt around the boy’s shoulders and then took off his own and did the same. He crouched down in front of him so he could be at eye level with Tsukki. “You call me the dumbass, but then you go running off in the freezing cold and snow in a t-shirt?! What the hell is wrong with you?!” Tsukishima looked up and Hinata stumbled backwards upon seeing the tears in the taller boy’s eyes. “K- Kei, what’s the matter?! Is everything alright?!”, he asked, sincere concern washing over his own face. He sat down beside Tsukishima and wrapped his arms around the taller boy. “I’m sorry”, Tsukishima whispered. Hinata, still bewildered, asked, “For what?! Whatever it is, it’s not that bad!” The blonde shook his head. “For leaving”, he said. Hinata laughed. “Oh- no, don’t worry about it! I was just worried when you went out without your jacket! We switched to a fps and the other two killed me, like, instantly, so I was able to step outside anyway. When you weren’t there, I was really worried, but luckily there’s so much snow that I was able to figure out where you went without much trouble!”

After a pause, Hinata looked up at Tsukishima. “Tsukki… do you want to talk about it?”. Tsukishima wiped his eyes. “Uh- no- actually. I’m really sorry- I- I don’t honestly know what's going on. This is the second time this happened. The first time was in the fifth grade. I think it’s just when I’m really stressed or something.” Hinata cocked his head. “Like, a panic attack?” Tsukishima nodded. “Oh! My best friend in middle school used to get really, really bad panic attacks. That sucks- I’m sorry. You should’ve told me you were feeling stressed out!” Tsukishima laughed softly. “I didn’t really know I was feeling that stressed out until I stepped outside”, he said, “and then I was too caught up in my feelings. Heh. That sounds weird. I guess I’m not the kind of person you’d really think gets caught up in their feelings, huh?” Hinata smiled. “Actually, I always thought the opposite. I always thought you pushed people away because you cared too much, and it was too much of a burden for you to care about too many people or too many things. Kageyama, on the other hand...” The two shared a laugh before Hinata stood up and extended his hand to Tsukishima.

“Come on. Let’s get back before we’re missed.” Tsukishima took Hinata’s hand and stood up, though he didn’t let go of the redhead upon gaining his footing. “Hey Hinata”, he said demurely, “I’m sorry to ask you to keep so many secrets, but…”. Hinata shook his head. “You don’t even have to ask”, the redhead said, “I would never tell anyone about this. This is between you and me.” After a brief pause, he said, “Unless, of course, ten years from now someone I care about was having a panic attack and I had to be like ‘it’s okay! The coolest guy on my volleyball team had panic attacks too!'” Hinata beamed up at Tsukishima and, for some reason, this exception actually made him feel better.

“Oh!”, Tsukishima cried, noting that now Hinata was now the one outside in just a t-shirt and shorts. He peeled both sweatshirts off of him and offered Hinata the smaller of the two, while taking his own and putting it on properly. “Thanks for bringing this to me”, he said softly. “Don’t mind!”, Hinata cheered. “Although…”, the redhead said after a moment of walking, “my hand is really cold now…”. Tsukishima smiled and “reluctantly” offered his hand to the smaller boy, who took it in both of his. “Dumbass!”, Tsukishima said once his hand was tucked inside of Hinata’s, “my hand is colder than either of yours!” Hinata smiled up at him. “Well, all the more reason for me to be holding it then, right?” Tsukishima shook his head in objection and the two walked, hand in hand, back to Hinata’s house.

When they got to Hinata’s front hall, Tsukishima realized that he had put on one of his shoes and one of Yamaguchi’s shoes- oh well. The two went back into the living room to see that they were not missed; Yamaguchi and Kageyama were still aggressively hunting one another, and Hinata’s character was still dead, meaning it was still the same round as when Hinata left. Tsukishima signaled that he was going to go to the bathroom to wash his face and Hinata gave him a thumbs up before throwing himself back between the other two boys.

Tsukishima was mortified that he’d had a full blown panic attack in front of his crush. At the same time, though, he couldn’t believe how Hinata had handled it: not only did Hinata notice he was missing in the first place, Hinata comforted him without pressuring him, he reassured him, and he didn’t make him feel weird for feeling the way he did. While Tsukishima definitely wasn’t interested in having any more panic attacks, it was nice to know that, if he had to have them, he knew someone he could go to with his chaotic emotions.

As Tsukki washed his face, he began to feel a feeling of dread, but it wasn’t the same one he’d been feeling; this time, the dread was because he knew that he had absolutely fallen head over heels in love with Hinata, and there was no going back for him. If he were ever to confess and get rejected, he would truly and sincerely be devastated by the fallout. For some reason, he was able to shake off this sense of dread a lot easier than the other ones that had been plaguing him, and found himself more willing than before to join the group.

The boys spent a few more hours playing video games and Tsukishima intermittently participated. Around 3am, the group decided to turn out the lights and go to sleep. The futons had been set up across the room from one another with the coffee table separating them. The boys bid one another goodnight before slipping into their respective futons; Kageyama and Yamaguchi in one, Tsukishima and Hinata in the other. The room was pitch black, save for the crack of light that filtered in through the door near Yamaguchi’s head.

Tsukishima was sure that he’d been laying there awake for over an hour, just listening to the sound of the other boys heavy breathing as, one by one, each fell asleep. Hinata had- unsurprisingly- fallen asleep first, followed quickly by Kageyama. Yamaguchi squirmed a little bit before seemingly finding the right position and then drifting off himself. But the blonde would not find slumber that easily. He’d been wrestling with his conscience, debating back and forth with himself whether it would be morally wrong to snuggle up to the sleeping boy next to him. He couldn’t imagine why it would be wrong-- they’d been physically close with each other all day. But snuggling in bed just felt different, as if it had a different meaning to it. He went back and forth in his mind forever before finally deciding to just do it. If Hinata moved away, he would move back and simply feign ignorance if questioned; after all, he should’ve been asleep, right?

Ever so slowly, Tsukishima rolled onto his side facing the redhead, who was already facing away from him. He decided to pace himself, so as not to arouse suspicion (of who? He wasn’t really sure, since Hinata was clearly fast asleep). A few minutes later, he scooted his body closer to Hinata’s. A little while after that, he put his arm around Hinata. Much to his surprise, Hinata immediately readjusted his own posture, repositioning his body to conform to Tsukishima’s shape. The two were pressed up against one another as if it were an intentional act by both parties. Tsukishima gently slipped his hand under Hinata’s shirt and ran it across his abdomen, pulling Hinata closer so he was holding him tight. Then, in one last surprise to Tsukishima, Hinata’s hand went down and covered Tsukishima’s. Tsukki listened and was shocked to hear that Hinata’s breath was still evenly paced and heavy, bordering on snoring. His behaviors seemed so intentional; it was hard for the blonde to believe that Hinata was doing this all while still unconscious.

That was it. Tsukishima was cuddling with Hinata, and Hinata seemed to be reciprocating. He laid there like that for a long while, trying to imprint the moment into his memory forever (and trying to control his blood flow; he didn’t want the moment ruined by a boner, no matter how amazing it might feel to have his dick pressed against Hinata’s ass). He breathed in the scent of Hinata’s hair, and was surprised to find that it smelled exactly as one might imagine it smelled-- very citrusy, like oranges. In fact, he nearly burst out laughing when he identified what that familiar scent was, though he did manage to contain himself. The moment was too perfect to ruin with some juvenile humor. He was comfortable. He was happy. He could live in this moment forever.

Hinata was warm, as if he was his own heat source; it was an amazing sensation to Tsukki, who was always cold and felt as if he could never warm up. He buried his nose in the curly locks in front of him and wished he could spend the rest of his life locked around this ball of fire, feeling him rise and fall as he breathed in and out, inhaling the scent of sun-kissed oranges from his soft and curly locks, hearing the gentle sighs with each exhalation.

Tsukishima wasn’t sure how much time had passed. He wasn’t even sure if he had been awake the entire time, though the two boys remained locked in the same position. What he did know was that he suddenly heard a voice call out in the dark. “Tsukki”, giggled the boy beside him. Tsukishima pushed himself up on his elbow. “Are you okay?”, he whispered quickly. “Not there, Tsukki…”, Hinata laughed with slurred words. Tsukishima squinted to try to see the redheaded boy better. “...what? Do you want me to move over?”, he asked. “...lower…”, Hinata giggled. Before Tsukishima could reply-- or move-- Hinata giggled again. “Ah- yes- like that- haha!”

Suddenly Tsukishima was sitting with his legs crossed in the darkness, beet red, throbbing erection, beside a sleeping boy who he was pretty sure was having a naughty dream about him. “Jesus…”, he whispered to himself. Hinata mumbled Tsukishima’s name a few more times, as well as a few more incoherent words or general moans, before quieting down. Tsukki pulled out his phone and solved a few sudoku puzzles to try to put his mind to other things.

After a little while, he layed back down, though he did not cuddle up next to the smaller boy again. As he finally felt his eyelids getting heavy, Hinata turned over, laying with his head on Tsukishima’s shoulder and draping one arm and one leg across the blonde’s body. The unexpected touch sent waves of electricity through Tsukishima’s body and he found there was nothing he could do to  prevent the erection he’d gotten at this point. However, with the way that Hinata was positioned against him, he could feel that he was not the only one with a boner (even if Hinata’s may have just been morning wood). Feeling Hinata pressed up against him was obscene, and was making him think even more obscene thoughts. He wanted to flip the boy over onto his back and take him in his mouth. He wanted to make him squirm, to make him moan, to make him lose his mind. Or he could pull Hinata up higher, pulling their lips together, letting their tongues explore each other’s mouths while Tsukishima’s hand wandered below the band of the shorts Hinata was sleeping in. Tonight he wanted nothing more than to see the pretty boy next to him make lewd faces as he came. He wanted to watch him squirm under Tsukishima’s hands, under his grip, under his tongue. He wanted Hinata to become weak for him, to need him, to become addicted to the blonde. Tsukki didn’t even care that the setter and the pinch server were across the room. Hell, he’d fuck Hinata right in front of them, as long as the whole world knew that Hinata belonged to him and him alone.

Tsukishima knew he was getting carried away with his thoughts and, worse still, he knew there was nothing he could do to relieve himself over these thoughts, but he couldn’t help himself. Hinata was laying on him.  Tsukishima squirmed for a second and, after a moment, freed the arm that Hinata had been laying on top of. He wrapped it around Hinata, pulling the redheaded boy closer to him.

“Mmm, Kei…”, Hinata sighed.

Tsukishima lifted his head to look at Hinata.

“Are you fucking with me?”, he whispered, shaking Hinata gently. Not only was there no response, but Hinata’s breathing didn’t change either. Tsukishima flopped his head back on the pillow. ‘How frustrating…’ , he thought to himself.

But Tsukishima was sure he could get used to this.

 

* * *

 

The next morning, Tsukishima woke up in a panic: Hinata was gone. He scrambled to get his glasses on, checked his phone to see if Hinata gave him any news of where he might’ve gone (he hadn’t), and ran off to try to find him.

He found Hinata sitting alone in the kitchen, eating a bowl of cereal. “Good Morning, Kei!”, he chirped. Tsukki frowned. “Hey”, he said in a grumpy tone, “You know you’re not supposed to call me that when other people are around.” Hinata shrugged. “Yamaguchi literally just went to the bathroom to get dressed, and Kageyama is on his run, so I’m pretty sure it’s okay.” Tsukishima deepened his frown. “Okay, okay”, Hinata laughed. “Did you sleep well?”, the redhead asked, passing a bowl to the blonde.

“Ah- well- you talked a lot in your sleep…”, Tsukishima said, blushing slightly. He wasn’t sure what he’d say if Hinata asked for specifics. The redhead seemed to think for a moment before he smiled. “Oh! I had a really cool dream last night!” Tsukishima sat down- he felt like he might pass out. How could Hinata talk about something like this so casually?

“So, we were taking a team photo, and I was put in charge of arranging it! So I decided to put all the really tall people on the bottom row, cuz I thought it would be funny! So like, you, Kageyama, and Asahi-san were on the bottom row, and then people like me and Yachi and Noya were on the top! But since you guys were so tall, you had to squat. And you weren’t cooperating, so whenever I went to the camera look at how it was framed, I had to keep asking you to get lower cuz you were blocking out Tanaka-san's face… it was really funny!”

Tsukishima fell over.

His forehead hit the table and he stayed like that for several minutes. ‘I should have guessed that it was something ridiculous like that. WHY DIDN’T I GUESS THAT IT WAS SOMETHING RIDICULOUS LIKE THAT. IT IS HINATA I’M TALKING ABOUT, RIGHT?!’  Hinata panicked slightly at first, but eventually Tsukishima managed to choke out the word, “Tired”, and Hinata calmed down a little.

“Ah- there was more to the dream”, Hinata added, after a moment, “But it’s really embarrassing. After we took the picture, you and I--” “Oh, Tsukki! You’re up!”, called Yamaguchi, who had just walked into the kitchen. “...or, are you?”, he asked, noticing that he seemed to be asleep at the table. Yamaguchi shook his head and sighed,  “Tsukki, that’s bad manners”.

 

 

Chapter Text

“And remember, team, it is incredibly important that you come early tomorrow to help make this gym spotless! It is our first home practice match against Aoba Johsai and we don’t want to embarrass ourselves! Get a good night’s rest! I’ll see you all at 9am sharp!”

Almost a week had passed since the sleepover and things hadn’t changed between Tsukishima and Hinata. Tsukki secretly believed that Saturday had been a one-off miracle occurrence, something that would never happen again. Instead, he and Hinata still spent a lot of time together, ate lunch together, texted each other at night, and walked to the halfway point between their homes together after practice. It wasn’t like they were alone all the time; in fact, most of the time Yamaguchi and Kageyama were there as well (which earned comments from Tanaka along the lines of “How heartwarming! Our first years have bonded!”). That didn’t matter to Tsukishima. What mattered was that he got to spend time with Hinata. Their texts were stupid, but he didn’t care. He just liked talking to Hinata. They still had yet to mess up and call each other by their given names in front of anyone else, which honestly amazed the blonde (although, at this point he couldn't say that he would have minded, either).

He wasn’t even sure if he wanted a relationship with Hinata anymore. He was happy with the way things were. He was just happy that they got to spend time together and talk.

“Do you want me to walk you home tonight?”, Tsukishima asked Hinata, once Yamaguchi and Kageyama had both left towards their own homes. Hinata smiled. “Coach Ukai said we should get some rest…”. “Yeah”, Tsukishima shrugged. “But I’m gonna be up all night texting you anyway.” Hinata’s smile grew. “Why don’t you stay over my house, then, so you don’t have to walk all the way to my house then back to yours?”, Hinata asked, a glimmer shining in his eye. Tsukishima smiled broader. “I’ve got a better idea. Come stay at my house. Then neither of us has to make the trip to your house.” Hinata dug through his backpack. “I have to call my mom and ask if it’s okay.” Tsukishima nodded. “I do this with Yamaguchi all the time, so my mom’s used to people coming and going.”

Hinata dialed the phone and held it to his ear. “Hey, mom? We have an early match tomorrow, is it okay if I stay over at Tsukishima’s house? … … … Yeah? … … … Mmmhmmm … … … No … … … … Not yet … … … Okay … Love you too … Yep … Bye!” Hanging up the phone, the redhead looked back to the taller boy beside him. “My mom said yeah, except she wants to talk to your mom when we get to your house…” Tsukishima burst out laughing. He wasn't used to such aggressive parenting and often felt like his own mother was more of a bossy roommate and caring friend than an actual parent. After regaining his composure, he said, “Sure, fine, whatever, let’s go. It’s already pretty late.”

Ten minutes later they arrived at Tsukishima’s house. “Hey, mom?”, Tsukishima called. Akiteru popped his head out of the kitchen. “Mom had to cover for a coworker at the hospital. She’s working a double shift tonight.” Tsukishima exchanged glances with Hinata. Akiteru raised an eyebrow. “What’s up, guys?”, he asked, sensing some tension. “Oh, well, Hinata was gonna stay over, but his mom wanted to talk to our mom, I guess to make sure everything was okay.” Akiteru, who had been doing the dishes, dried his hands on a hand towel. “Well, technically I’m your guardian tonight, so is it okay if I talk to her, Shō-kun?” Hinata beamed. “That’d be awesome”, he exclaimed. “Cool!”, Akiteru chimed, matching Hinata’s enthusiasm.

Hinata called his mom back and briefly explained the situation to her before handing the phone off to Tsukishima’s older brother. “Tsukki, your brother’s so cool!”, he whispered as Akiteru handled the logistics with Hinata’s mother. “Don’t go falling for him”, Tsukishima remarked flippantly without thinking. “Falling for him…? Why would I fall for him?”, Hinata asked, dumbfounded. Tsukishima had no idea how to backpedal out of this. “I- I don’t- You know, because he’s so cool? …I don’t know why I said that.”, Tsukishima finally admitted, hanging his head. Hinata giggled.

“Okay, you’re all set!”, Akiteru announced. “Hinata, your mom wants you home after your match tomorrow. I’ll go grab the futon and--” Tsukishima shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll just sleep on the floor.” Hinata looked to Tsukishima. “No, I’ll sleep on the floor.” As the two set about arguing, Akiteru started down the hall. “I’ll get the futon, and you both can figure out who will sleep on the floor in the futon .”

“Um- do you want to take a bath?”, Tsukishima asked, remembering that the two did have over four hours of practice after school. Hinata smiled, “If you don’t mind, I’d be grateful!” Tsukishima nodded. “Well, come put your stuff in my room and then I’ll show you to the bathroom. Ah- I don’t suppose you brought spare clothes, did you?”, Tsukki laughed, “You can borrow a shirt of mine and boxers for bed, and we’ll wash your clothes overnight so you don’t have to wear clothes that are too big for you to practice tomorrow.” Hinata beamed. “Tsukki, you think of everything!” Tsukishima smiled softly as he led the boy through the hall to his room. Hinata set his bag down and Tsukishima dug through his drawers to find the smallest pair of boxers he owned and pulled out his favorite t-shirt (of course, it was yellow with a green stegosaurus). Tsukki then showed Hinata to the bathroom, showed him where towels and washcloths were, and returned to his own room, where he found his brother setting up the futon.

When Tsukishima entered the room, Akiteru stood up and looked his brother up and down with a knowing smile. “W- what?!”, Tsukishima exclaimed, striding quickly over to his desk and throwing himself in the chair. “I guess I should’ve listened and just let you two share the bed”, Akiteru teased. Tsukishima glared at his older brother. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”, he asked, daggers shooting out of his eyes. “Kei”, Akiteru said softly as he spread out the top blanket, “I’ve been around. I know what someone looks like when they’re in love. I’ve been in love myself. You’ve changed lately. And I think I know who to bla- AAH!!!” Tsukishima tackled his brother. “Shut up!”, he yelled. At first Akiteru looked alarmed, seeing his brother looming over him as the two tumbled on top of the futon, but soon that look softened into a warm, loving, happiness. “I’m happy for you, Kei. I’m not trying to embarrass you.” Akiteru rolled his brother off of him and stood up. “If you ever need to talk, I’m here.”

As Akiteru began closing the door, he popped his head back in and whispered, “Try not to think about the fact that he’s naked in our house!”, before slamming the door shut and running down the hall.

It worked, of course. Now that was all Tsukishima could think about. Hinata was naked in Tsukishima’s house. And when Hinata was done being naked in Tsukishima’s house, Hinata would be wearing Tsukishima’s clothes…

When Hinata returned to Tsukishima’s bedroom after his bath, Tsukki was seated at his computer, facing away from the door, listening to music. Hinata walked up behind him and tapped his shoulder, causing Tsukishima to jump. “Ah! Sorry, Tsukki, I just wanted to tell you I’m done!”, he exclaimed once Tsukishima took his headphones off. “No- don’t worry about it- it’s my fault. I should’ve expected you to come back any minute now.” When Tsukishima actually looked at Hinata, his heart skipped a beat and he felt his face flush immediately. Hinata was so cute. The shirt Tsukishima gave him was entirely too big (and, of course, had a dinosaur on it), but the boxers seemed to fit him fine, though they practically went all the way down to his knees, and his hair was flat on the top of his head. Never, in a million years, did Tsukishima imagine that such a cute and innocent looking Hinata existed. Oblivious to the attention he was getting, Hinata looked over to the headphones. “What are you listening to, if you don’t mind my asking?” Tsukishima picked up the headphones he’d been using-- a heavy, white pair of noise cancelling headphones-- and studied them for a moment before speaking. “I mostly listen to western ‘alternative rock’.” Hinata’s mouth formed a wide ‘O’. “Do you understand English, Tsukki?”, he asked in amazement. “A little”, Tsukishima shrugged, “The more I listen to it, the more I understand it. But that’s not why I listen to it. I just like the way it sounds. Here-- do you want to listen to some of the stuff I like while I go take my bath?”. Hinata nodded enthusiastically. Tsukishima sat for a moment and threw together a playlist of his favorite songs before gently placing the headphones over Hinata’s ears. They switched spots, and Tsukishima lifted the headphone off of Hinata’s left ear. “Let me take your clothes- I’ll throw them in the wash real quick. Feel free to play around on my computer if you want.” Hinata beamed up at the blonde. “I’m just gonna sit here and shut my eyes. Someone told me that if you shut off your other senses, the one you’re using gets more powerful.” Tsukishima laughed. The last thing Hinata heard before Tsukishima put the headphone back over his ear was, “Dumbass”.

Tsukishima quickly threw Hinata’s clothes in the washer, then hurried through his bath. While he acted casually about sharing his music with Hinata, it was no small thing. His music was intensely personal to him, and the only other person in the world he shared it with was Yamaguchi. He couldn’t say he would be surprised if Hinata didn’t like his music, but he would be disappointed, for sure.

Within fifteen minutes, he was back in his bedroom. Hinata was still sitting in the chair at the desk, swaying slightly with his eyes shut. Oh- the urge Tsukishima had to walk up and wrap his arms around the redhead’s neck! It was almost unbearable! He stood there and watched Hinata for a moment and thought of something he could do, though, that would be acceptable. He walked over to the redhead and gently ran his fingers through the hair at the nape of the boy’s neck; he saw chills pop up on Hinata’s pale flesh, which gave Tsukishima a strange sense of satisfaction. Hinata drew the headphones down and looked up and the blonde. “Could you make me a playlist?”, he asked sweetly, “I really like your music. I’ve never heard anything like this. Except, I guess, in commercials.” Tsukishima smiled softly. “Yeah. Do you want a cd or…?” Hinata nodded. “Yeah, a cd is good!”

Tsukishima grabbed his phone from the desk and saw that it was already close to 9. “We should probably get to bed. We gotta get up early…” Hinata groaned as he set the headphones on the desk. “I’m not even tired though”, he whined. Tsukishima smiled. “Do you want to watch a movie?”, he asked, “Then we can go to bed straight after?” Hinata nodded enthusiastically, and together the two went out to the living room.

After a brief debate, the boys settled on a sci-fi action thriller. Tsukishima made popcorn and Hinata snuggled up to him on the couch. Tsukishima absolutely prayed that Akiteru wouldn’t happen to walk in on them; there was nothing he hated more than proving his brother right. Every time something scary or gruesome happened, Hinata would jump and move a little closer to Tsukishima. At one scene, where the main character was about to be tortured by the big-time villain, Hinata buried his face in Tsukishima’s chest and yelled, “I can’t watch!”. Tsukishima pulled his arm out from under Hinata and wrapped it around the smaller boy, pulling his head into him. “I’ll let you know when it’s over”, he said reassuringly, as he ran his fingers through Hinata’s hair. When the scene was over, Hinata turned his face back to look at the screen, but didn’t pull his body away from Tsukishima’s; the blonde did not mind at all.

After the movie, Tsukishima instructed Hinata to head to his room for bed. Tsukki washed out the bowl he used for popcorn and moved Hinata’s clothes from the washer to the dryer before joining the boy he liked so much. When he entered his room, he was dismayed to find that Hinata had crawled into the futon.

“Shō”, he said sternly, “I told you I was sleeping on the floor and you were sleeping in the bed.” Hinata shook his head adamantly. “No. It’s your house. There’s no reason you should be kicked out of your bed just because you decided to host me!” The redhead punctuated his statement by sticking his tongue out, which only served to further infuriate the blonde. “No”, Tsukishima argued back, “It’s my house. You’re the guest. YOU deserve to sleep comfortably. I can stand to sleep on the floor for one night.” “Well, by that logic, I’M the guest, so I get to pick, and I pick the futon!” “That’s stupid! Nobody prefers the futon!” “I do!” “Well if you pick the futon, I’m gonna sleep on the bare floor!” “That's stupid!” “You’re stupid!”

And so the argument went, for about fifteen minutes, before Akiteru burst into the room and yelled, “BOTH OF YOU JUST SHARE THE FUTON!”, before slamming the door shut. The two boys sat there with their mouths shut for a long moment before exchanging glances. “Okay, let’s do that”, Hinata said blankly, scooting over to make room for Tsukishima. Tsukki got up, turned off the light, and set his glasses on his desk before laying down next to Hinata. After a few minutes, Hinata rolled over to face Tsukishima. “Kei”, Hinata said quietly. Tsukishima turned his face to look at Hinata. “Mm?”, he asked. “I can’t sleep. That movie was really scary.”, Hinata said with a pout. Tsukishima smiled. “I can’t sleep either. I don’t have some annoying twerp texting me.” Hinata grinned. The two fell silent for a moment. “I’m sorry to ask”, Hinata started quietly, “But… can we… ah- nevermind”. Hinata flipped over and laid on his other side. Tsukishima, of course, was extremely curious as to what Hinata was about to ask. Propping himself up on his elbow, he asked, “‘Can we’ what?”. Hinata looked back over his shoulder. “Please don’t hate me for asking- but- c- can we- like- I don’t know- cuddle, maybe? It’s just- I was just- I was thinking that-”

“Shut up, dumbass”, Tsukishima grumbled, as he quickly pulled Hinata to him. He repeated the same motions he'd first done almost a week prior: he aligned his body with Hinata’s, slid his hand along Hinata’s abdomen (though over the shirt this time), and buried his face in Hinata’s hair. Hinata also reciprocated, wiggling his butt a little to get in a more comfortable position and sliding his hand along Tsukishima’s arm. After a moment, he took Tsukki’s hand in his and moved it higher up his chest, hugging it to him as he clasped his fingers around Tsukishima’s.

“I’m really sorry I’m so needy, Kei”, he said quietly. Tsukishima breathed him in once more before moving his head back. “What are you talking about?”, the blonde asked. “Well”, Hinata started, “I need a lot of physical contact, especially when I’m worried or upset. Most people don’t like it. Yamaguchi actually warned me that he thought I was touching you too much. He thought I was making you uncomfortable.” Tsukishima tightened his grip on Hinata’s fingers. “When was this?”, he asked. Hinata looked over his shoulder once again. “Don’t get mad, but… well… me, and Yamaguchi, and Yachi, and Kageyama were gonna try to talk to you to see what was bothering you. After I talked to you that night at training camp, Yama, I guess, saw me hold your shirt and talked to me about it the next day. That’s why we were late getting on the bus.” Tsukishima frowned. “Anyway, I’m really sorry if it’s been too much. You can always tell me no, or that you need space.”

Tsukishima felt his heart beat harder as he pushed himself up on his elbow once again. He leaned forward and tucked his head into Hinata’s neck. “Shō”, he whispered, “Do you want to know a secret?”. The redhead nodded wordlessly. “I’m really needy, too. I just don’t like it when people know. Tadashi doesn’t even know how needy I am.” With that, he nuzzled his cheek against Hinata’s, and felt Hinata’s smile press against his own cheeks. “Does that make me your best friend, then?”, Hinata grinned. Tsukishima nuzzled his cheek against Hinata’s once more. “Mmm, something like that.”

Hinata turned onto his back and wrapped his arms around Tsukishima’s neck; the blonde responded by wrapping his arms around Hinata’s back and pulling the boy back onto his side. Hinata buried his head in Tsukishima’s neck and Tsukki rested his chin on top of the smaller boy’s fiery red curls. After a few minutes, Tsukishima took his free hand and tucked a stray lock behind Hinata’s ear. “Hinata”, whispered Tsukishima, “Hinata, I--”. All of a sudden Tsukishima realized that the smaller boy hadn’t responded. “Shō?”, he called again. He waited and listened, and heard the rhythmic sound of Hinata’s heavy breathing. In the few short minutes that had passed, Hinata had gotten comfortable enough to fall asleep. Tsukishima shook his head gently, then softly kissed the top of Hinata’s.

‘ To think, I was about to confess…' 

 

* * *

 

Hinata and Tsukishima left Tsukki’s house at quarter after 8 in the morning and held hands half the way to school. They had an unspoken pact that others didn’t need to see them in any sort of compromising situation, so their hands slowly drifted apart the closer they got to Karasuno.

They were the first two there at twenty to nine and, after changing into their practice game outfits, they set about sweeping and mopping the gym. The rest of their team trickled in and, after some practice matches amongst themselves, Seijoh finally arrived.

Karasuno played five full sets against Aoba Johsai, winning an impressive three against them. After the practice games, the teams hung out together while the coaches swapped notes. Tsukishima, Hinata, and Kageyama were all standing together chatting when Oikawa and Iwaizumi approached.

“Oi, Tobio-chan~”, Oikawa called, effectively gaining the attention of the small group. Kageyama turned his head. “What?”, Kageyama asked, narrowing his eyes in an unveiled glare. “Valentine’s Day is coming, Tobio-chan. What are you and chibi-chan doing?”, Oikawa cooed. More members of Seijoh began to crowd around, interested to see how the tête–à–tête between the two former teammates would play out. “What do you mean?”, Kageyama asked, cocking his head. The implication clearly had gone over his head, and Hinata’s as well. However, Tsukishima was not as stupid as his teammates; he felt himself beginning to flush with anger.

“Oh, come on, Tobio-kun. Practically everyone in the prefecture knows that you two are together! Which, I mean, is as it should be, I guess, since you’re like, the second cutest couple around…”. “Second to…?”, started Kageyama. Hinata looked at him and grinned. “I think he means himself and Iwaizumi-san”, he said with a giggle. Oikawa looked over to Iwaizumi and swooned. “Do you hear them, Iwa-chan? They think we’re the cutest couple in the prefecture! It’s fate! That means you have to go out with--” “No.”, Iwaizumi said flatly before turning on his heel and leaving. “Iwa-chan!!!”, Oikawa whined. “Damn it, Tobio-chan, look what you did!” Oikawa sighed and shook his head. “Anyway. You two should be more careful, Chibi-chan”, Oikawa said, raising his eyebrows at the redhead. “I’ve heard some scandalous rumors from a reliable source about you and my dear, precious kouhai Tobio-kun here!” Tsukishima could feel his blood beginning to boil. “Like what?”, asked Hinata innocently, playing right into Oikawa’s hands. “I’ve heard that you two have been making out in empty classrooms. If you’re gonna do it, at least do right by Tobio-chan and make it--” Tsukishima stormed out of the gym in a fury “--...official. Geez, what’s his problem? Anyway, that was all I had to say, Tobio-kun.” Kageyama squinted at Oikawa. “Who did you hear these supposed rumors from?”, he asked, studying the brunette before him. “Oh”, Oikawa said carelessly as he examined his fingernails, “A friend…”. “You don’t have any friends!”, yelled Iwaizumi from halfway across the gym. “Iwa-chan!”, Oikawa sobbed, “So mean!!!”

On the other side of the net, Sugawara and Daichi exchanged glances. “I’ll go”, Sugawara whispered, putting down his water bottle before trotting off towards the club room. As he approached the most likely place Tsukishima would’ve taken off to, his suspicions were confirmed when he heard loud banging sounds coming from within. The club room had two entrances; he chose to go in the door that was completely shut for fear of having something hurled at him through the partially open door.

When he entered, he saw a sight he never expected to see when he met the four first years: Tsukishima was furiously, repeatedly punching the lockers with all he had in him. Suga nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt something behind him; he looked and saw that Daichi had followed, and had gently put his hand on Suga’s shoulder, presumably for reassurance. It took the third year a long minute to work up the courage, but finally he stepped out from behind the block of lockers that was obscuring him from the blonde’s vision and spoke. “Uh, Tsukishima?”, he said loud enough for the younger boy to hear over the sound of clashing metal. This time it was Tsukishima’s turn to jump. “SUGA-SAN!”, he yelled. “I’m so sorry!” Sugawara laughed nervously. “Can we talk?”, he asked politely.

Tsukishima threw himself onto the bench and cradled his head in his hands. From where he stood, Sugawara could see that the younger boy’s knuckles were bloody pulps. He looked back at Daichi, who was still hidden from view. Before he could get another word out, Tsukishima looked back up at Suga and said, “I’m so, so sorry! I will pay for whatever damages there are! Please-- please don’t tell anyone about this, and please don’t kick me off of the team!” Sugawara laughed out loud, sincerely this time. “Oh my goodness, no, I don’t want to talk about anything like that. I-- ah- um- Tsukishima, may I speak frankly?”, the third year asked. Tsukishima nodded. “Our lockers have seen their share of love-sick volleyball players. You have not been the first to take your feelings out on them. You will not be the last. We’re not going to ask you to pay for a thing, and you’re certainly not going to get kicked off the team… though I do hope that you don’t make a habit of this.” Tsukishima stared at his senpai. “L- lovesick?”

Sugawara sat down next to his junior. “It is natural to form very intense bonds in a sport where deep trust in your teammates is essential. Usually- ah- it’s the setter that people find themselves falling for”, Suga said, blushing slightly as he rubbed the back of his neck, “but I can understand why the setter in your year might be a little, ummm, off putting, I guess? No offense to Kageyama, of course. But it’s easy to see why anyone could fall for Hinata. He’s a loveable guy. He’s a trustworthy guy, in the game and out. It’s completely natural for the intense bonds that one might form on the court to spill over into things such as romance.” Tsukishima scoffed. “Yeah, right”, he laughed. “If it’s so natural, why am I the only idiot like this?” Again Suga had to laugh. “Tsukishima, surely you’re not that blind, right? I mean… I’ve been in a relationship with Daichi for over a year.” Tsukishima’s mouth fell open. “And Nishinoya and Asahi have been an item for nearly as long. These sorts of things happen-- apparently more than you would think.” Tsukki’s eyes fell to the ground, where he focused hard on a crack in the floor.

“May I give you advice, third year to first year, as someone who has been in a similar situation?” Tsukishima sat up, bit his lip, and nodded. “You may think to yourself, ‘oh, I’m happy with things the way they are’ or ‘as long as I get to spend time with him, I don’t need things to change’, but, Tsukishima- you’re not the only person who can make change happen. If you do not ask Hinata out, someone else will. They can come and snatch him out of your hands before you even realize what has happened. Don’t get complacent-- not in volleyball or in love.”

Tsukishima pushed his glasses to the top of his head and buried his face in his hands. “What do I do?”, he cried, “I can’t just tell him I like him! Especially not when…”. Sugawara stood directly in front of Tsukishima and pointed down at him. “Tsukishima! You are not telling me that you’re buying into the bullshit the Trash King just spewed, right?! You know he just says crap to try to rile up Kageyama! If he knew you were in here literally beating yourself up over his words…! I don’t even know what he’d do, he’d be so happy! What do shitty people like that do when they’re happy?! You know that Hinata hasn’t been ‘making out’ with Kageyama… when would he have time to have done that? He’s been spending all his time with you!”. Tsukishima looked up at Karasuno’s vice-captain. “Wh- you know…?” “Please, Tsukishima, everyone knows!!! We’ve been being nice and giving you two space but you guys seriously need to kiss and move on already! Watching you two is exhausting !” Tsukishima settled his glasses back on his face as he looked up at the third year.

“So what do I do , Sugawara-san?”, he asked-- almost begged. Suga smiled gently. “Hmm… Well, your timing is really good, I think. Valentine’s Day is next Thursday. It might be a little cheesy, but, you know what? Cheesy can be good. Find a way to confess to Hinata that has to do with Valentine’s Day. I guarantee, with all the time you two have been spending together, your valentine will definitely stand apart from any others he might get. Who knows? He might not like you the way you like him. But at least he’ll be able to make an informed decision. And of course, if he does like you… well. Need I say more?”

Sugawara could see the wheels turning in Tsukishima’s head.  All of a sudden Tsukki shot up. “Thank you, Sugawara-san! I owe you!”, he yelled before grabbing his senpai in a quick hug. As he scooped up his bag and flung the door open, he yelled, “Please don’t tell anyone anything!”. “Not even Daichi?”, Suga asked, slightly confused. “No!”, Tsukishima yelled as he ran down the stairs, “No one!”. Sugawara stood in the doorway for a moment. “Wait!”, he called after the blonde, “Aren’t you gonna get changed?!”. “There’s no time!!!”, Tsukishima yelled back. In less than a minute, he was out of sight.

Sugawara turned around and walked back into the club room to see Daichi slouching against the locker block with his arms folded. “Guess he didn’t notice me, huh?”, Daichi asked with a smile. Sugawara stepped closer to his boyfriend and shook his head. “No, I guess he didn’t. But you’re not gonna say anything, are you?” Daichi shook his head. “Of course not. That was a private conversation between Mommy crow and baby crow.” Sugawara frowned at Daichi, who, in turn, wrapped an arm around his boyfriend's waist. “Now come here and give me some Suga’”, Daichi said, punctuating his statement with a wink. Sugawara squirmed and squealed, “Oh, ew, no, why did I fall for such a dork? I should’ve gone with the other guy!” Daichi pouted. “But what about me?”, he asked in baby talk. Still pushing his boyfriend away, Sugawara said, “You would’ve had to go out with Asahi!” Daichi shook his head and said, “Augh! A fate worse than death!”

From behind him, a somber voice cried, “You guys know I came with you, right?!”.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Hinata was worried. After Tsukishima stormed out of practice on Saturday, Hinata couldn’t find him anywhere. Normally they’d at least walk half of the way home together, but Tsukki was nowhere to be found and wasn’t answering his phone. That night, Hinata texted the blonde.

Shōyō (8:02 PM): Hey Kei? Im really sorry I missed u 2day. I hope ur not mad at me or anything. [ •́ ‸ •̀ ]
Shōyō (8:04 PM): I really missed walking home w/ u ( •́ ∧ •̀ )
Shōyō (8:06 PM): I was wondering if maybe u were free 2moro?
Shōyō (8:07 PM): Id really like to see u…
Kei (8:15 PM): I’m really sorry, Shō, I’m trying to finish a project I’ve been putting off. Are you free on Thursday after school?
Kei (8:16 PM): It’s due on Thursday and is worth literally half my grade, otherwise I’d love to see oyu
Kei (8:16 PM): *you
Shōyō (8:17 PM): Ya im free Thursday
Shōyō (8:18 PM): ill meet u @ ur class?
Kei (8:20 PM): no
Kei (8:20 PM): let’s meet in the courtyard by the cafeteria
Kei (8:21 PM): okay?
Shōyō (8:22 PM): Sounds great (≧∀≦ゞ
Shōyō (8:23 PM): Cant wait 

What Hinata didn’t know, of course, was that the project wasn’t for school- it was for Hinata. And ‘due’ was used loosely, only because Thursday was, in fact, Valentine’s Day. Tsukishima did not show up to practice on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, let alone share the walk halfway home with Hinata they'd made routine. The two hardly texted throughout the week and the redhead was despondent; though his teammates tried not to comment on the change, it was impossible not to notice the marked difference in Hinata's normally sunny disposition.

By the time Thursday came, Hinata was so unbearably excited to see Tsukishima that he felt like he was bursting at the seams. To the little redhead, it seemed like his excitement was infectious, as everyone around him seemed to be happy. He did not, of course, realize that this was because it was Valentine’s Day until halfway through his second to last class-- English-- where they were learning how to say words associated with the holiday. This only helped Tsukishima; because Hinata did not realize that it was Valentine’s Day, Hinata thought nothing of their hang out being specifically planned for this particular day. He thought nothing of them meeting at a different spot than usual. He thought of nothing, honestly, other than seeing the boy he’d been spending so much time with.

 “Tsukki!”, Hinata yelled across the courtyard, immediately upon seeing the blonde at ten to three. He ran over to where Tsukishima stood, under the snow-covered cherry blossom tree. His bag was on the wet ground and in his hand he held a small box.

Hinata was so happy to see Tsukishima he almost hugged him, but he held back; he’d seen Sugawara and Daichi and Asahi and Nishinoya as he walked over, and from where he stood he could see Tanaka and Yamaguchi and Ennoshita. Weird. The whole team wasn’t normally in the same area of the school, and it looked like they were all there by some strange coincidence, as very few of them were interacting or even near one another.

“Hinata”, Tsukishima said quietly. His heart was beating so hard he could hardly hear his own words coming out of his mouth. He extended his hands slightly, revealing a small burgundy box with a white ribbon on it. “Hm? What’s this?”, Hinata asked, taking the box from Tsukishima. “Tsukki, did a girl confess to you? Oh! Are you giving me the candy because you don’t like chocolate? Pfft, she should’ve done her research! She could’ve just asked me, beca--”. Tsukishima clamped his hand over Hinata’s mouth. “No! Hinata, I-- wait. How do you know I don’t like chocolate? I never told you--”. Tsukishima shook his head, dumbfounded, and released his hand. “Be quiet for a minute, okay?”, he asked gently.

“I lied to you”, he said, looking to the ground that was lightly dusted in snow. Hinata’s eyes went big, though as requested, he did not make a sound. “I wasn’t working on a project for school. I spent the last few days… making these. For you.” Hinata looked down at the box. Slowly he peeled the lid open, revealing a dozen heart-shaped chocolates in various colors inside. “I worked really hard on them. I’ve never made chocolates before, but I wanted them to be perfect. Because, I needed it to be perfect when I tell you…” Hinata gasped, “Tsukishima…” “...that I love you. And I have loved you for a while now. And I'm pretty sure I will always love you. And… I want…” Tsukishima finally got the courage to look Hinata in the eyes. This was the most important part. This was the part he felt in the depths of his soul. Fire flashed in his eyes as he said the magic words to Hinata. “...I want you to be mine.”

Slowly Hinata put the lid back on the chocolates; it seemed he was having a really hard time, but he managed to do it. He then put them in his bag. When he looked up at Tsukishima, it was evident why he’d been having such a difficult time: he was crying. Tsukishima waited. Were these good 'oh my God I thought this would never happen' tears or were they awful 'how could you ruin our friendship' tears? He wanted to hug Hinata more now than ever, but he couldn’t risk damaging him further if it was the latter.

Finally, Hinata choked out a single word that told Tsukishima everything he needed to know:

 

“Kei!”

 

Tsukki grabbed the smaller boy and wrapped his arms around him, and suddenly the whole volleyball team was upon them. Tsukishima- who had been so nervous he hadn’t noticed a single one of them- looked around in happy confusion. “Sorry, Tsukki!”, Sugawara called out, “They made me tell!”. Tsukishima shrugged as the whole group celebrated.

Tsukishima thought his life was perfect.

And then everything came to a screeching halt.

“Hinata Shōyō!”, rang a voice, clear, crisp, and loud. Louder than the words, a silence seemed to pierce the air and settle upon everything. 

Everyone stilled. Tsukishima set Hinata down and the team parted, allowing the to middle blockers to see who was interrupting their big moment. 

“I also want you to be mine!”, called a familiar voice, coming from a familiar face. Several yards away, Kageyama stood, a menacing look in his eye. 'I knew someone was missing from this party', the blonde thought to himself. A wicked tightness grew in his chest and he was clenching his jaw so tight he quickly began to grow a headache. Tsukishima had worked too hard and given up too much to let everything slip away. Under no circumstance was he prepared to give up. He was not going to lose-- not to anyone, least of all the King.

“You only want Hinata now that someone else does”, Tsukishima sneered, stepping in front of the small redhead, as if to shield him.

“He and I were close long before you took an interest in him”, challenged Kageyama.

“Not romantically. And that’s the difference.” Tsukishima walked closer to Kageyama, a malicious smile spreading across his face. He knew he was right. Hinata had accepted his confession. All he had to do was speak the truth. “Hinata and I were never close without romantic intentions behind it. You and Hinata were never close with romantic intentions. I think, now that you’ve realized Hinata has been spending more time with someone else, and now that you know my intentions with our beautiful ball of sunshine, you’re speaking up out of fear.”

“Fear?”, Kageyama spat.

“Fear. Fear of losing your best friend. Fear of being alone again. You’d rather try to give him what I’m offering than be alone again.”

“Oh yeah?” Kageyama said, taking a step closer to Tsukishima.

The moment it looked as if the two boys were squaring off, Ennoshita was on Kageyama, Tanaka was on Tsukishima, Daichi stood between the boys with his hand planted firmly on the chest of each, as Sugawara threaded his arm around Hinata’s shoulders.

Despite all of his big words, Daichi could feel that Tsukishima was absolutely shaking. He didn’t show it, which the captain admired and respected, but with his hand resting on his sternum, Daichi could feel it all the same.

“Such drama…”, Sugawara sighed as he steered Hinata forward. Hinata looked petrified. “Boys.”, the team mom said in a stern voice, “Let’s let the man of the hour make his own decisions here.”

Tsukishima’s heart dropped into his stomach when he looked at Hinata’s face again. Hinata looked as if he was on the verge of crying once more, but this time the tears would be anything but happy. He was pale and looked shaken up. It took a while, but finally he choked out, “I- I don’t know!”, tears building up in his eyes. Tsukishima had to look away, and while most assumed it was because he was hurt he wasn’t chosen, the reality was that it was far too painful for him to watch Hinata hurt, especially without being able to do anything about it.

“How about this”, Suga said peppily, “This weekend, I want you to go out on a date with each boy. Take Saturday for one, Sunday for the other. Sunday night, go home, think it over, see how you felt. If you’re not sure, repeat next weekend. Then make a decision at that point. Does that sound okay?” Hinata bit his lip and nodded slowly. “Good! So, Kageyama, you can go Saturday and--” Kageyama, who was still being restrained by Ennoshita, shook his head. “No, I can’t.” Suga’s expression became vacant. “Oh?”, he asked, unsure of what to really say. “I have to do stuff with my mom. I’ll go Sunday.” The group went silent for a moment before Suga resumed. “Okay……. So… Tsukishima, you can go Saturday. Kageyama will go Sunday. And if Hinata makes up his mind that weekend, he’ll let you guys know. If not, we’ll plan further dates. Sound good? Oh- and, whatever you do, do not pressure the poor boy.”

After everyone agreed to the terms and the group dispersed, Tsukishima- who had not moved from the position he moved to when he challenged Kageyama- just sank to the ground. How did everything go so wrong?

He knew he was right.

He knew it would all go well in the end.

Hinata liked him, he liked Hinata, that was all that mattered.

Amor Vincit Omnia.

Love Conquers All.

Right?

…Right?

 

 

Chapter Text

Tsukishima was outside Hinata’s door at 10am. He knew it was early, but if he had Saturday, he damn well was going to use Saturday. He hadn’t spoken to Hinata-- not even through text message-- since Thursday, and it was absolutely killing him.

When Hinata came outside it was apparent he’d been crying. Tsukki wanted so badly to hug him, to carry him away from all his problems, but he couldn’t-- not yet. “Hey”, Tsukishima said. “Let’s go to the park. I brought a late breakfast.” Hinata nodded- no smile.

The two walked quietly- separately- to the park they’d been to twice together and sat on the bench that was quickly becoming theirs. Tsukishima pulled out two steaming pork buns and some milk he picked up on his way to Hinata’s house and distributed them among them. Hinata just looked at his food. Tsukishima just looked at Hinata.

“Hinata…”, Tsukishima started. Before he could get another word out, the other boy dropped his food and burst out crying. He threw himself at the blonde, who quickly set his food down and pulled the redhead into his lap. “Hinata-- Shō-- please, stop, it’s okay! Please!”, he whispered as he ran his fingers through Hinata’s hair. Hinata cried for a few minutes, mumbling, “I’m sorry”, multiple times. As the sobs slowed down, Tsukishima pulled Hinata away from him so he could look at the smaller boy’s face. “You don’t have to like me, you know. I’ll still spend time with you. I told you, I love you, and I’ll love you forever. That doesn’t require your participation. I mean, that’d be nice, but--”. Hinata frowned at Tsukishima as tears flowed freely from his eyes. “Of course I like you, you big dummy!”, he yelled. “You think I just go around cuddling every cute guy who can block well?!” Tsukishima grinned stupidly at Hinata’s comment, which made Hinata smile his first (albeit slight) smile of the day. “No… I’m sorry I couldn’t think then and there. I’m sorry I couldn’t make a decision. I was scared. But… We have our date today, and I have my date with Kageyama tomorrow at 2, and we’ll see how it all goes!” Hinata tried to force a smile, but Tsukishima could still see the sorrow behind it.

“You know this isn’t the perfect date I had planned, right?”, he asked the redhead, “Sitting in a park and crying? Yeah. Not on my bucket list.” Hinata giggled. “So what is on your list, then?”, the smaller boy pried. Tsukishima pretended to think. “Hmm… well… You did just say that Kageyama isn’t coming to get you until 2 tomorrow, right? Which means that you don’t have to leave my house until like 1:45 if Akiteru or my mom drives you home.” Hinata grinned and playfully shoved Tsukishima. “You’re so bad”, Hinata giggled, “I don’t think this is what Suga-san had in mind at all .” Tsukishima smiled broadly and raised an eyebrow. “Wellll? What do you think? Do you want to stay over?” Hinata grinned. “You’re making it really tough to say no, you know.” “That’s the point”, Tsukishima said with a laugh. Hinata bit his lip for a moment before jumping up. “Come on, let’s go ask my mom!” As Tsukishima stood up, Hinata looked down at his discarded food. “Tsukki…”, he started. Tsukishima picked both buns up and tucked them into the bag. “It’s fine”, the blonde said, patting the smaller boy on the head. “This was just a snack. There’ll be more food today, don’t worry.” Hinata frowned. “No, I’m sorry you wasted your effort.” Tsukishima turned bright red and mumbled something inaudible. “Eh?”, asked Hinata, “What was that? I didn’t quite--”. Tsukishima repeated himself, this time hardly better than the last. “Nothing … n… … you”. Somehow he was even redder than he was before. Hinata shook his head. “I’m sorry, Kei, I don’t understand what you’re saying…”. Tsukki looked directly at Hinata and, gritting his teeth, said, “NOTHING IS A WASTE OF EFFORT WHEN IT COMES TO YOU”. Hinata swore he saw steam rising off of the tall boy, he was so embarrassed. Hinata laughed, "Cute ”, before wrapping his arms around the embarrassed string bean he cared for so much.

As the two approached Hinata’s house, Hinata turned to Tsukishima. “Ah- Kei- I was thinking- maybe we shouldn’t tell our parents the nature of our hang outs just yet. It might make things a little more complicated.” Tsukishima, while disappointed, was impressed that Hinata had actually put the thought into the situation that he clearly had.

When they entered the Hinata family home, Natsu immediately came running up. “Onii-san! Kei-chan!”, she yelled, throwing herself at the boys. Tsukishima smiled. He secretly adored the little girl; it was like looking into a time capsule of Hinata’s from ten years ago. “Where’s mom?”, Hinata asked, and Natsu pointed towards the kitchen. “I’ll be right back”, Hinata said, as he trotted off in the direction his sister indicated. Tsukishima sat down on the front step, mostly so he could be at a closer height to the little girl. “Kei-chan, when are you gonna come play with me?”, she asked with a pout. Tsukishima grinned. ‘The pout must be a genetic thing’ , he thought to himself, noting how Natsu looked exactly like her brother with her lower lip extended. “Very soon”, he said, “I promise.” Natsu didn’t look satisfied with this answer. “In fact…”, Tsukishima continued, “I need you to think really hard about what you want to do when I do come over to play with you!” Natsu seemed to ponder this for a moment, and Tsukishima couldn’t help but feel giddy. The two siblings were so alike; it was ridiculously adorable. “What I want… to do?”, she repeated back at the blonde. Tsukishima nodded exaggeratedly. “Yep! Like, do you want to color, or do you want to play outside, or do you want to have a tea party, or do you want to go to the park, or do you want to play with dollies…” Natsu giggled. “Dollies?! Boys don’t play with dollies!!!”, she exclaimed incredulously. Tsukishima laughed. “No, not normally”, he agreed, “But I would play with dollies with you if it made you happy!” He watched Natsu seem to think this over, and then watched as the lights went on in her head. ‘Uh-oh’ , he thought to himself.

“Okay, mom said yes!”, Hinata yelled as he rounded the corner with a bag in hand. His mom followed him closely. “Good Morning, Tsukishima-kun! Thank you for caring for Shōyō! Please give me a call if you need anything!” Tsukishima bowed deeply. “Good Morning! Thank you very much for allowing Hinata to stay with me!” “Aww!”, whined Natsu, “I want to go too!” “Now now”, chimed the mother, “Leave the boys alone. One day you’ll have your own sleepovers to go to. Be careful, boys, and have a good time!” “We will!”, called Hinata, grinning at Tsukishima. Butterflies erupted in the blonde’s stomach upon seeing the mischievous look in Hinata’s eyes.

When they were about twenty minutes away from Hinata’s house, Hinata finally took Tsukishima’s hand. Tsukki held Hinata’s hand tight, now that he knew there was meaning behind it. He never wanted to let go. The boys chatted amongst themselves, though Tsukishima followed Sugawara’s rules and never once brought up Kageyama or the awkward situation they were in. Despite the fact that it was winter, it was a remarkably warm and beautiful day. The snow had completely melted and the sun was shining. Both boys wore hoodies, but while Tsukishima wore the more practical skinny jeans, the veritable ball of fire had put on shorts for their date.

“So… where are we going?”, Hinata finally asked as the two approached the outskirts of town. Tsukishima smiled. “Well, first I thought we could see a movie- an actual movie- as in, not on tv”-- Hinata giggled-- “and then we could check out the arcade. A new pizzeria opened up across town, so I figured we could get an early dinner there, then head back to my house--” “for dessert?”, interrupted Hinata. Tsukishima blushed. “Well, no one in my house really has a sweet tooth, so we’d have to stop at a store and pick something up, but yeah, if you want dessert, sure, we can--” Hinata laughed. “No, dummy, I meant-- you know-- dessert. Like… You know… dessert .” Tsukishima squinted at Hinata. “All you’re doing is saying ‘dessert’ over and over again.”, the blonde said. In truth, he was pretty sure he knew what Hinata meant. But after so many misinterpreted signals, he wanted to be sure he wasn’t getting excited over nothing. Hinata stopped walking and turned to face Tsukishima. “Kei, are you really this innocent?” Tsukki snorted. “I mean, like, getting to know each other better. Physically.” It took mere milliseconds for  Tsukishima’s cocky attitude to completely disappear. He swallowed hard. All of a sudden it felt as if his throat was devoid of any and all fluid. Where had his saliva gone? He stood still and scratched the back of his head. “Is- is that something you want?”, Tsukishima asked nervously. Hinata nodded solemnly. “It's something I think about… a lot.”, Hinata confessed, looking away from the boy before him, “but if it's not something you're interested in, we don't ha--” “No!”, Tsukishima interrupted, “I am interested! Really interested! A lot!” He put his arms around Hinata’s waist and pulled the smaller boy to him. “We could skip everything else and just go straight to dessert if you want!”, he said enthusiastically. Hinata drew his hands up Tsukishima’s chest. “My, my”, Hinata teased, “so you do want me after all!” Under his breath, the blonde whispered, “You have no idea.” Hinata brought his hand up to Tsukishima’s face and touched his cheek. He delicately traced the outline of his lips. Then, ever so gently, Hinata tapped Tsukishima’s nose with his index finger. “So what movie are we gonna see?”, he asked casually as he spun out of Tsukki’s grip, as if they weren’t just in an insanely sexually charged conversation. Tsukki was reeling.

“No, Hinata, we’re not seeing a scary movie.” “But I wannaaaa” “I don't care. You have nightmares every time. Either the superhero movie or the romcom. We can still hold hands.” “Ugh fine you pick.”

In the end, the two watched the Superhero flick du jour, as Tsukishima just couldn’t imagine Hinata sitting comfortably through a romance/comedy movie (and, admittedly, didn't want to see any sort of love triangle that might hit too close to home). They shared a giant bucket of popcorn and Hinata laid his head on Tsukishima’s shoulder the whole time. At one point during the movie, Tsukishima had a, ‘Holy shit, this is really happening, I’m on a date with Hinata’ moment when he looked down and saw the boy laying on him. He held Hinata closer and swore to remember this moment forever.

After the movie, the two walked a few blocks over to the arcade. Tsukishima fed ¥2000 into the coin machine and shoved the coins in his pocket so he could follow the little redhead around the arcade and simply feed the tokens into whatever machine he stopped in front of. “Oh! Tsukki! Let’s play this one!” “This looks so cool!” “Ah! Look! You can drive a car!”

They spent nearly three hours in the arcade, and both boys enjoyed every second of their time together. Hinata, of course, was like a small child and loved playing the different videogames. Tsukishima, on the other hand, loved watching how excited Hinata was. Hinata learned of another secret of Tsukki’s as well: Tsukki was secretly a master of claw machines, and won Hinata every animal he wanted. (They actually had to shove them in Hinata’s backpack because there were too many to carry. The story behind this, of course, is that Tsukishima was a bitter and spiteful child, and liked to show off in front of other children. So whenever he saw another child try to win a prize in a claw machine, he’d play it, win that prize, and then when the child’s eyes lit up thinking he’d be nice and give it to them… He’d walk off with it [and then throw it in the garbage when he got home, citing stuffed animals as being 'baby toys']. Of course, he didn’t feel the need to share his super skill origin story with Hinata at this point.)

After some time, Tsukishima and Hinata walked across town to the new pizzeria that opened up. It was cute and modern and looked like it was trying to be authentic Italian, with red and white and green stripes and fake plants everywhere. Hinata grinned up at Tsukishima as they walked over to a table. “I love pizza!”, he exclaimed. Tsukki smiled and shook his head. “Hinata, you love everything. ” “I love you! ”, he replied happily. Tsukishima couldn’t have smiled harder if he tried. “I love you too, you twerp, but I was talking about food.” Hinata rubbed the back of his head and grinned. “Oh, well, yeah, that too!”, he said, nodding in agreement.

As the two sat and looked over the menu, Tsukishima couldn’t shake a thought that was taking over. “Shōyō, can I ask you a question?”, he asked cautiously. Hinata nodded, “Of course, what’s up?”. “I don’t mean to add any pressure, and you don’t have to answer”, Tsukishima started, “but, you just said you love me. If that’s true, why are you even going out with Kageyama tomorrow? Why won’t you just… be mine?” Hinata’s face changed as his eyes bored into the menu. “It’s… it’s complicated.”, he said quietly. Hinata reached across the table and took Tsukishima’s hand. “Just… trust me.” Tsukishima frowned and cupped Hinata’s hand with his other hand. “But… you said you wanted to like, do stuff. Are you going to try Kageyama out, too?” As soon as he said it, Tsukishima knew he shouldn’t have. Hinata looked as if he’d been slapped. He pulled his hand from Tsukishima’s and looked away from him. “How could you say something like that?”, he asked, hardly even speaking. “Shō… I’m so sorry... “ Hinata shook his head, unable to speak. “Hey, welcome to the grand opening of D’Amici’s! What can I get you guys to dri--”, came the peppy waitress. “Can you give us a minute?!”, snapped Tsukishima. “Oh! Sorry!”, the waitress yelped before retreating. Tsukishima stood up and moved to the other side of the booth. “Hinata, I am so sorry. I knew it was wrong as it was coming out of my mouth. I know you’re not like that. What you don’t understand… is what a ridiculously, insanely jealous person I am.”

Hinata, who had laid his head upon his folded arms, looked up at Tsukishima. “Y- you are?”, he asked, tears glimmering in his eyes. “I am. That’s why I don’t let anyone know why I’m so needy. I can’t handle being close to people because I can’t handle seeing the people I care about care about others. The idea of you being with anyone else drives me insane.” “R-really?”, Hinata choked out. Tsukishima nodded, then sighed. He slowly drew up his sleeves, which had-- up until this point-- covered his knuckles. Hinata gasped upon seeing the numerous scabs dotting the pale flesh. “Wh- what happened…?” “Do you remember when I stormed out of the gym last week?”, Tsukishima asked, clearly embarrassed by his foolishness. Hinata bit his lip and nodded. “I was furious that I had fallen for someone who was in love with someone else-- who was making out with someone else at school, of all places. I wanted to be the person you were making out with. I wound up punching the crap out of the lockers in the club room until Sugawara came and stopped me.” Hinata gasped. “I’m serious, Shō, I cannot handle caring about people. I turn into something horrible.” Hinata reached for Tsukishima’s hands and pulled his knuckles up to him, kissing each and every scab.

“Please”, he finally said in a frail voice, “Please, promise me you’ll never do something like this again.” Tsukishima shrugged. “I can promise you that I will try.” Hinata nodded. “That’s a start.”

“Really, Shō... I'm really sorry for saying something so awful”, Tsukishima said quietly, sorrow still dripping from every word he spoke. Hinata paused for a moment before smiling softly. “I forgive you", he said, drawing Tsukishima's hand up to kiss it once more, "I know you didn’t mean it. I’ve said a lot of things I don’t mean before.” “...like that you love me?”, Tsukishima asked apprehensively. Hinata nudged Tsukishima. “No, you idiot. What’s wrong with you? Go back on your side of the booth so I can ogle you some more.”

Tsukki blushed as he retreated to his former seat. “Since when did you know words like ‘ogle’?”, he asked, trying to cover his embarrassment. Hinata grinned. “It was one of our vocabulary words two weeks ago!”, he proudly announced. Eventually Hinata made Tsukishima go over and apologize to the waitress before placing their order. Apparently his apology was so convincing that, before they left, the waitress gave Tsukishima her number, at which point he pointed over to the fireball staring fixatedly at the gumball machine that he’d just deposited their last quarter in. She understood.

After dinner, the two slowly made their way in the direction of Tsukishima’s house hand in hand. It’d be a twenty five minute walk from where they were in town, but neither minded; after all, they had the best company either could ask for. As they turned into the park Tsukishima regularly cut through to get home, a troubled look overtook the blonde’s face. Unfortunately, while walking side by side, the redhead was too short to be able to see the subtle changes to Tsukishima’s affect.

The sun was setting over what had been a perfect day, only marred by the dark cloud that was Hinata’s date with Kageyama hovering over it. As the two stopped and gazed across a small lake and the purples and pinks and oranges that the sky cast upon it, Tsukishima put his arm around Hinata’s shoulders. “Shō…”, he said quietly, the tone of his voice indicating that something wasn’t right. Immediately Hinata’s head shot up as he searched Tsukishima’s face for any indication of why he sounded like that. “What’s wrong?”, he asked, seeing the wrinkle that appeared on Tsukki’s forehead whenever he tried to suppress his feelings.

“...I’m really sorry, but is it okay if we skip dessert?”, he asked, looking away from Hinata and back over the lake. He pulled the smaller boy closer to him, as if to say the words his mouth couldn’t at the moment: ‘Don’t get me wrong: I need you’. It was a good thing that Tsukishima looked away, as Hinata was hurt and made no effort to hide it. “W- what?”, he asked, trying to mask the pain in his voice. “I’m sorry”, Tsukishima started, though before he could start speaking again, he was interrupted. “D- did you change your mind about liking me, Kei?”, bubbled up from inside Hinata, as one silent tear ebbed from the small boy’s golden eyes. Tsukishima snapped his head down to look at Hinata but instantly recoiled when he saw more tears lined up and waiting to fall. “W- what?! No! ... No. ” He looked around briefly before turning back to the redhead. “Come on, Shōyō, let’s go sit on that bench over there.”

The two walked a quarter of the way around the lake in silence, with Tsukishima’s arm still tightly wrapped around Hinata’s shoulders, and sat on the isolated bench. Tsukishima turned and faced the boy he loved.

“Shō, I couldn’t change my mind about liking you if I wanted to”, he said, trying to hide his mild frustration. “Because I love you. It’s taken a long time for me to see it, but it’s true. But…” Tsukki hung his head. “Where we were before, staring over that lake as the sun set after our first real date… I wanted to kiss you.” Hinata looked up at the taller boy and was dismayed to see his eyes were not met. “Why didn’t you?”, the redhead asked. Tsukishima shook his head. “As much as you say to trust you, you still accepted a date with Kageyama. What if… I don’t know, it goes better?” Tsukishima looked back up. “I don’t want reassurance, by the way, I’m just explaining my thought process. So-- please-- just-- don’t.” Hinata frowned and bit his lip. Tsukishima leaned back and continued. “I can’t help but think these thoughts. What if it goes better? What if you realize you two ‘click’ better? I would just have kissed somebody else’s boyfriend, then. I-- uh-- I don’t know if you’ve done this before, but… I would’ve given my first kiss to someone I couldn’t be with.” Hinata nodded slowly. “I understand what you’re saying”, he said, “though I don’t agree with it.” After a brief pause he added, “Oh! And, no, I’ve never, um, kissed anyone or dated anyone or anything. Unless you count playing house with my neighbor when we were like four.” Tsukishima smiled slightly in relief. He took Hinata’s right hand in both of his and looked deeply into the redhead’s eyes. “I want to kiss you. Very badly. But I don’t want to do something that will cause regret for either of us.” Hinata nodded, then smiled broadly. He didn’t feel like smiling, but he trusted that the feelings would follow if he forced himself. “It’s okay, Kei. I love how smart and responsible you are! Thanks for thinking ahead like this instead of following your impulses like I always do!”

A warm feeling spread inside of Tsukishima’s chest as Hinata’s smile reflected onto his own face. ‘I love this boy. He is pure sunshine. He is sweet and gentle and wonderful and all things good in this world.’ , Tsukishima found himself thinking, as he leaned closer to Hinata.

It happened much faster than he could’ve imagined, and was entirely fueled by a deep, internalized desire, but before he knew what was happening, Tsukishima had completely invalidated every word he’d just said and had leaned in and kissed Hinata as they sat there on the park bench beside the lake. It had only lasted a few seconds; the blonde had simply leaned forward, pressing his lips against the peachy ones he’d longed after for so long, capturing Hinata’s bottom lip between both of his. The initial shock quickly wore off and as soon as it did Hinata reciprocated, pushing back with equal force against Tsukishima’s as a smile formed in the corner of the redhead’s mouth.

Tsukki pulled away slowly, and as his eyes fluttered open, it was as if the lights had gone back on in his head after a temporary power disruption. A look of abject horror flashed across his face as he realized what he’d just done. “Fuck”, he muttered, more to himself than anything. Hinata was positively glowing with a smile that practically overtook his whole presence. Tsukishima turned to apologize, but felt even more embarrassed by how happy the redhead was.

“Shōyō”, he started, unsure of what to say. But instead of being able to say anything, the redhead flung himself at Tsukishima and planted his lips on Tsukki’s unexpecting mouth for another long-awaited kiss. This time lasted longer, as Hinata knelt on the bench, just a few inches taller than the blonde. Tsukishima was actually able to take in the sensations that he’d missed out on last time when he surprised even himself with his actions.

The kiss itself was unlike any sensation he had ever experienced. Hinata’s lips were supple and smooth; they were soft but firm when he pressed his own against them. Touching his own lips with his fingers, Tsukishima would never have guessed in a million years that a kiss could feel so good. Hinata tasted sweet like honey and the kiss seemed to last both a second and an eternity. The two pulled away at about the same time and slowly opened their eyes. Hinata giggled and Tsukishima blushed. All Tsukishima's thoughts of the emotions he wanted to inflict upon Hinata from the previous week were gone in an instant and, as if he’d been cursed, suddenly Tsukishima was the one desperately addicted to Hinata. He felt incredibly guilty, after having just delivered such a passionate monologue on why they should not be together physically at this point. And yet, in the few seconds that had elapsed since Hinata drew his cute, freckled face away from Tsukishima’s, the blonde felt as if he were dazed, as if he were going through withdrawal. He needed more, morality be damned.

“Hinata”, he whispered as he stared at the redhead as if in a trance. Hinata was gently tracing the outline of his lips with his tongue, savoring the taste of the blonde, as he sat back on his heels on the bench. Tsukishima shook his head, trying to force himself to do the right thing. “Shōyō”, he said, a little louder, “let’s go to my house.” Hinata grinned wildly, leaping up from the bench and extending a hand to help Tsukishima up.

As they walked, Tsukishima gritted his teeth and said, “I’m serious… We can’t do any more.” Hinata beamed as he looked up at Tsukishima, now knowing how weak the blonde’s constitution was-- at least, when it came to Hinata himself-- and giggled, “Okey dokey!”. Tsukishima frowned. “I’m serious ”, he repeated, though he wasn’t too sure which one of them he was trying to convince. 

What he did know was that neither of them believed a word he was saying.

 

 

Chapter Text

As the two boys walked back to Tsukishima’s house, Hinata had gotten distracted by, in his words, “a very climbable tree”. Tsukki laughed and, though he did briefly try to dissuade the redhead from climbing a tall tree on their first date, he was grateful for the space. As soon as Hinata had ascended a few branches, he pulled out his phone.

Ototokun (6:50 PM): Hey, is mom home?
Akiteru-nii (6:52 PM): Nope, she’s working the night shift tonight- just went in
Akiteru-nii (6:52 PM): Why, what’s up?
Ototokun (6:53 PM): I have to ask you a favor
Ototokun (6:53 PM): Please remember that I never ask favors of you
Ototokun (6:53 PM): So please do it and do not ask questions
Ototokun (6:54 PM): And never, ever, EVER bring it up again
Ototokun (6:54 PM): Please
Akiteru-nii (6:55 PM): Kei, you’re scaring me
Ototokun (6:56 PM): Can you PLEASE go stay ANYWHERE else tonight?
Ototokun (6:56 PM): Your gf’s house
Ototokun (6:56 PM): A friends house
Ototokun (6:56 PM): A hotel
Ototokun (6:56 PM): A park
Ototokun (6:57 PM): Jail
Ototokun (6:57 PM): Anywhere that isn’t our house, is my point
Ototokun (6:59 PM): ????
Akiteru-nii (7:00 PM): oh … my … god …
Akiteru-nii (7:01 PM): Kei, are you planning on having SEX?!
Akiteru-nii (7:01 PM): I’ll leave & I’ll leave you protection in the medicine cabinet
Akiteru-nii (7:02 PM): DON’T BE A FOOL, WRAP YOUR TOOL
Ototokun (7:02 PM):  OH MY GOD AKITERU I TOLD YOU NOT TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS
Ototokun (7:03 PM): PLEASE KILL YOURSELF IMMEDIATELY 

 

“Hey, Kei, why are you so red?”, asked Hinata, as he suddenly appeared beside the tall blonde. Tsukishima jumped at his voice. How was Tsukishima supposed to sum up his conversation with his brother to Hinata? He wasn’t. There was literally no way to do that with any sort of grace or dignity. “Red? I’m not red. Are you done goofing off? Let’s go. It’s getting chilly.”, Tsukishima said, trying to avoid the topic.

Hinata grinned. “I know why you want to go home.” Tsukishima frowned at Hinata. “No, dumbass, I told you that nothing else was happening tonight.” Hinata grinned knowingly. “Mmhmm”, he said, smiling up at the boy, “I know you said that…” “And I mean it!”, snapped Tsukishima. Hinata took Tsukki’s hand in his as the two continued walking; they were only a little way away from their final destination. “So”, started Hinata, “When you say nothing else, do you mean ‘nothing besides kissing’ or do you mean ‘no more anything’?”. Hinata looked up at Tsukishima and tried to plaster on his best innocent face. This worked and, when Tsukki looked down at the redhead, immediately felt flustered. “...why are you like this?”, he muttered under his breath, completely failing to answer the redheads question.

Minutes later the two were stepping into Tsukishima’s house. “Tadaima!”, Tsukishima yelled into the empty house, fully knowing it was empty. “Thank you for having me!”, Hinata yelled. As Tsukishima removed his shoes, he studied the floor obviously and intensely. “Huh”, he said, “it looks like no one else is home…”. Hinata grinned. The two went to Tsukishima’s room.

“Well- do you want to sleep in the futon tonight, or in my bed?”, Tsukishima asked. Hinata pouted and Tsukishima smiled; Hinata looked exactly like Natsu had earlier in the day. “I thought we were sleeping together again tonight?”, he asked pathetically. Tsukishima laughed. “Of course we are! Do you want to sleep in my bed or do you want to sleep on the futon? My thought is, my bed is more comfy of course, but it’s also smaller and there’s also the risk of falling out of it.” Hinata considered the options for a few seconds before yelling, “Kei’s bed! We’ll just have to snuggle super close so neither of us falls out!”. Tsukishima smiled. “Okay, sounds like a plan. Do you want to take a bath?” Hinata shook his head. “Not now”, he said sternly, “Later.” “Okay”, Tsukishima said, “Do you want to watch a movie?” “Kei, we already watched a movie.” “Oh. I didn’t realize we'd exceeded the movie-watching quota.”

Hinata moved closer to Tsukishima. “You know what I want to do”, Hinata said to Tsukishima with a very serious tone. Tsukki had to use every ounce of self-restraint he owned to shake his head. “I already said no”, he said, “so what else do you want to do?”. Hinata frowned and looked around Tsukishima’s room. As Tsukki watched the redhead, he saw his eyes suddenly light up and he knew without question what they were about to do.

Despite how chilly it had gotten, Hinata and Tsukishima had been in the backyard for almost an hour, just passing the volleyball to each other over the net Akiteru had set up so many years ago. At this point the ball had been in play for twenty minutes, never hitting the ground or being held by either boy. “Hey”, Hinata grunted as he thrust the ball over the net. “Mmm?”, Tsukishima asked, returning it back to the redhead. “I have-- an idea”, Hinata said as he sent it flying once more. “I’ve had enough of your-- IDEAS-- for tonight”, Tsukishima said as the ball went sailing across the yard. Of course, Hinata was there to receive it, and sent it right back over the net. “Come on, Kei!”, he whined. The blonde returned the ball and sighed. “What?” . “First one to-- ha!-- drop the ball has to do what the other-- huh!-- says!”, Hinata said, volleying the ball twice during his proposal. Tsukishima frowned. “That’s not fair”, he said as he watched Hinata hit the ball once more. Hinata grinned. “If I win, we get to do stuff. And if you win--” “You shut up and sleep in my bed, and I’ll sleep on the futon on the floor”, Tsukishima said, adjusting his glasses before he postured to receive the ball once again.

“Keiiiii! ”, Hinata whined, “That’s not nice at all! Tsukishima thrust the ball over the net. “Who ever said I was nice?”, he asked, leaping quickly across the yard to receive the ball at an absurd angle. ‘He’s doing his best to trip me up’, the blonde thought to himself, wiping a bead of sweat from his brow. “Sound like a plan?”, Hinata asked. “Su-- ure”, Tsukishima said, “Although, I don’t know if you’re stupid or what… I’m way better at blocking and receiving than you are. You basically just ensured that--- HA-- you’re gonna be sleeping-- A- ...lone!”, Tsukki called across the yard.

Hinata frowned dramatically. “TSUKKII”, he yelled, “You’re supposed to-- be being nice to me!” Tsukishima shrugged. “‘just being myself”, he laughed as he returned the ball to Hinata once more. However, that was the last pleasant return between the two. The little game between the boys heated up, and soon they were sending the ball back and forth at extreme angles and velocities. While Tsukishima didn’t actually want the prize he’d signed up for, he really didn’t want their first experiences together to be tainted. He knew how he would win; he just had to prolong the game long enough for Hinata to take the bait.

Both boys were sweating and breathing heavily with grass stained knees when Tsukishima sent the ball over close to the net. Hinata, who was in the back of the yard, saw his opportunity and dashed at minus tempo to meet the ball, feeling the pure relief of knowing he had just won. He was up. He was flying. His hand met the ball-- it could’ve been a perfect serve, for how well it all came together. And-- wait. It could’ve been a perfect serve…

Tsukishima watched the look in Hinata’s eyes flash from joy to horror as he played right into the blonde’s hands; he took the bait. Tsukishima was also in the air, going in the opposite direction. His hand met with the ball and sent it flying across the yard where it collided with the fence. Game. Set. Match.

Tsukki fell to the ground. He had over extended his jump, knowing that it would be his last. While a small piece of him felt bad for defeating the boy he liked, the rest of him was overcome with the gratifying pleasure of victory. As his back met the grass, Hinata leapt the small distance between them, landing right on top of the blonde. He held himself up over Tsukishima, sweat dripping from his forehead and running down his arm. “No fair!” , he exclaimed, causing Tsukishima to smile. “Now, now”, Tsukki started, “no need to be a sore lo--”. With his famous lightning speed, Hinata took Tsukishima’s lips in his own, pressing frantically against them. “H- hey!”, Tsukki said into Hinata’s kiss, “N- no fair! You lost!”. Hinata persisted, kissing the blonde as if the world were ending, and in no time at all, Tsukishima pressed back as the smaller boy folded his arms around Tsukki’s neck, letting his weight fall distribute between his knees and the boy below him.

Hinata kissed Tsukishima hungrily, and Tsukishima did not own enough self-control to hold himself back any longer. He returned Hinata’s kisses, snaking his arms around the sweaty boy on top of him, pulling him down closer. One hand wandered up to the back of Hinata’s head, where he pressed the redhead into him. Soon he found his tongue tracing the outline of the peachy lips he knew so well, and was startled when Hinata followed his lead and their tongues touched. It was another sensation he could not possibly have anticipated. But once he felt Hinata’s impossibly warm tongue on his, he was incensed. He was on fire and could not calm himself down. And for once, he did not need to. He began to thread his fingers through Hinata’s hair, rubbing his scalp then pulling the hair he’d woven within his grasp. Each time he did this, a small moan escaped the redheads mouth, only to be muffled by Tsukishima’s own. His other hand wandered up the smaller boy’s sweat-soaked shirt. He felt the topography of his skin, felt all the small subtle bulges from his defined muscles and pointed bones. He loved every single inch of skin he touched. He couldn’t wait to explore with his eyes; he knew that this skin was bound to be covered in freckles and beauty marks, too, and could not wait to adorn the pale flesh with kisses.

As their kisses grew more passionate and more frantic, Tsukishima realized that Hinata was rolling his hips, grinding down into Tsukishima’s erection. Tsukki began to reciprocate, rolling up as Hinata bore down, but, summoning the rest of his strength, he pulled away from the kiss the two had been sharing.

“Shōyō ”, he whispered breathlessly. “You know we shouldn’t be doing this--” Hinata leaned down to kiss Tsukishima, to silence him once more, but Tsukki held him back with the grip he still had on the boy’s hair. “--but if we are going to do this, we should go inside.” Hinata, who had been released by Tsukishima, bit his lip before nodding. He quickly got off of the blonde and extended a hand down to him. Tsukki took it, and wordlessly the two boys headed into the house.

The door to Tsukishima’s room had barely been shut when Hinata was on him once more. This time, Tsukishima did not resist. He let Hinata lead him to the bed before he turned them around and gently pushed the redhead down. He pulled Hinata’s sticky shirt off of the boy before removing his own. Hinata then sat forward on the bed and undid the button on Tsukishima’s jeans. Tsukki had been trying to stay somewhat composed, but the gasp Hinata let out when he saw Tsukki’s bulge pushing at his boxers undid any sense of composition he thought he owned. He kicked off his jeans before frantically pressing his lips against Hinata’s once more.

Hinata scooted backwards on the bed, allowing for Tsukishima to put one knee between his legs and one on the other side. The redhead wrapped his arms around the boy above him and pulled him closer. The two picked up where they left off outside in no time, with each boy seemingly trying to swallow the other whole. This time it was Hinata’s turn to let his hands wander. He cupped Tsukishima’s face and stroked his cheeks for a while before (very gently) running his fingers through his blonde locks. As he pet Tsukishima’s head with one hand, the other ran down the blonde’s toned arms, eliciting a small moan from the redhead. Tsukishima’s normally well-defined arms were particularly firm at the moment, as he was using them to suspend himself above Hinata. Hinata quickly moved his other hand down and felt Tsukishima’s other arm, moaning once more as he felt the muscle pulse slightly. As he fondled Tsukki, the blonde tore away from the kiss and began kissing Hinata’s cheeks, jaw, and neck. “Ah!”, Hinata cried, “Oh! Oh, Kei Oh, wow…!” Hearing Hinata call his name, hearing him cry the sounds he cried in Tsukishima’s fantasies, drove the blonde absolutely wild. Tsukki repositioned himself, putting both legs of his between Hinata’s, and moved to continue kissing and biting the redhead’s neck. However, as he leaned forward, a shot of lightning struck both boys.

“Ah!”, Hinata cried, “Oh my God, Tsukki!” Tsukishima had bitten his lip to keep from making noise, but the feeling was intense: as he went to reach Hinata’s neck, their rock hard cocks rubbed against one another. Tsukishima moved forward again, and once more the two boys melted like butter. It was the most amazing sensation either had ever felt, even through what clothes they had on. “Shō…”, Tsukishima started, “...if we keep doing this, I’m not going to be able to hold out very long.” Hinata bit his lip and nodded. His face was flushed bright red. “...is this how you want to…?” Again, Hinata nodded. Tsukishima giggled. “Hinata Shōyō, you naughty, naughty boy.” Hinata flushed even harder, to the point where Tsukki had to make sure he was actually breathing. “Hm? You like it when I call you dirty things? Is that why you're so red???”, he asked tauntingly. Again, Hinata nodded. He was biting his lip so hard that it was almost white. Tsukishima leaned forward again, sending that same electricity through both of them. He leaned right up next to Hinata’s ear and whispered, “This is going to be a beautiful, beautiful relationship” . He slowly drew his hips back, and as he did, he sucked on Hinata’s exposed collarbone until it bruised.

Tsukishima repositioned himself slightly, resting his arms above Hinata’s head. He was suddenly in love with the height difference between himself and Hinata, as he could use his arms for support, kiss the boy he loved, and stimulate both of them at the same time. He lowered his lips to Hinata's. He wanted to start off slowly, to kiss Hinata romantically, but the redhead wasn’t having it. The redhead moaned into Tsukishima’s mouth as he rolled his hips upwards and hungrily delved his tongue into the other’s mouth; Tsukishima had no choice but to reciprocate. “Oh! Oh, Tsukki!” Hinata called out. Through jagged breaths, Tsukishima whispered, “Kei-- call me Kei”. Hinata smiled. “Anything”, he moaned back. Kei thrusted harder, and Hinata called out again, “Kei! Oh, Kei!” Hinata’s hands left Tsukishima’s neck and gripped his strong back. “I need you, Kei!”, he cried out. Tsukishima was picking up his pace; at this point it was not going to be much longer for either of them. “More, Kei, more! Harder!” Obediently, Tsukki slowed but made each thrust more forceful than the last. “Aah, you're amazing, Kei! I love you! I love you, Tsukishima Kei!” “Shōyō!”, Tsukishima groaned, as he came hard inside his boxers. Hinata writhed in ecstasy as he finished his orgasm, unable to find words for a solid minute. Both boys felt as if their minds had been broken but- in a good way.

Tsukishima had rolled off of Hinata immediately after he knew Hinata came, laying his hand on top of the smaller boy’s head to let him know he was still with him. After a minute or two, Hinata called out. “Kei?”, he asked. Tsukishima sat up immediately; there was something shaky about Hinata’s voice. Turning to Hinata, he saw his eyes were full of tears. “What’s--”, he immediately asked, though was promptly cut off. “I love you.”, Hinata said simply. Tsukishima grinned, leaned over, and kissed the exhausted, vulnerable heap of a boy. “I love you too, Shōyō.” Tsukishima stood up and then scooped Hinata up in his arms.

“Come on. Let’s go take that bath.”, he said gently as he carried Hinata to the door. “Together?”, asked Hinata excitedly. “Together”, nodded Tsukishima.

 

 

Chapter Text

Before they could bathe, of course, Tsukishima and Hinata had to go through the process of getting fully undressed in front of one another, which was a lengthy process indeed. Each boy took turns inspecting the other’s body-- trying to commit to memory every bump, every scar, every freckle-- before they were ready to remove their bottom halves. It was a little awkward, of course, but only insofar as their own insecurities. “WOAH, Kei, you’re huge!”, Hinata exclaimed. “Pfft, look who's talking”, Tsukishima replied, grinning. He was honestly surprised that a boy of such small stature would have such impressive equipment. ‘What was the saying? Big things come in small packages? Something like that.’

The two climbed into the bathtub together, Hinata laying in between Tsukishima’s legs with his back against Tsukishima’s stomach. “Have you ever masturbated to me?”, Hinata asked randomly, interrupting a silence that lasted at least five minutes. “Eh? What kind of question is that?”, Tsukishima asked as he planted kisses all along the nape of Hinata’s neck. Hinata shrugged and turned his head towards the blonde. “I was just curious. I’ve masturbated to you, if you want to know. I’ve secretly been getting off to your insults for like, the last month.” Tsukishima picked his lips up off of Hinata’s skin. “That’s sick”, he said before kissing the boy again. Finally he picked his head up for more than a minute. “Of course I’ve-- done that .”, he said. Hinata turned around again. “Yeah?”, he asked happily. Tsukishima nodded. “Yeah.” “When was the first time you did it?”, Hinata asked curiously. Tsukishima snorted. “Hell if I know. You just started… showing up in my fantasies. Then you became all I could think about.” “Aww”, cried Hinata. “No”, Tsukishima, “Not aww.” Hinata cocked his head. “I don’t understand… Why is that a bad thing? Does this have to do with Kag--” Tsukishima cut him off. He did not need to hear that name while they were sitting together, naked, in a bathtub. “No. You see, the problem was, I could never-- er-- finish to you. Ever. I was frustrated and unsatisfied for months because, as I said, you were all I could think about. I’d think about something-- anything else-- and I’d either lose my boner or you’d come right back into my head.” Hinata swiveled his whole body. “But, I don’t understand. Why weren’t you able to get off?” Tsukishima frowned. “It was too depressing. The little, I don’t know, fantasies, I guess you’d call it? I mean, you know what you do when you- uh- masturbate, right? You picture yourself with the person. You imagine it’s them. You imagine how amazing they’d feel. Well, in my deranged mind, I knew I would never be with you. I couldn’t even visit that fantasy, because I knew it had no chance of becoming a reality. It was too depressing.”

“Everyone kept asking me what was wrong- how was I supposed to tell them ‘I’m depressed because I can’t masturbate’? Because, at that point, I just wanted to get rid of my stupid crush. I never once thought it would evolve into… this . I thought it was obscene for my mind to be doing the things it was to me. And then, well, when you came to talk to me, you didn’t ask what was wrong. In fact, you literally said that you didn’t care what was wrong. You were your normal, stupid self” “HEY” “and I appreciated it. On the bus ride home, Yamaguchi was pissed at me, but it was the best thing he could’ve done. Because again, you were yourself. You blew me away when you brought up that I like strawberries-- like, no one knows anything about me other than I’m apathetic, I play volleyball, and I like music, and here you are ‘Oh, Tsukki likes strawberries, Tsukki doesn’t like chocolate, Tsukki is 190 cm, Tsukki is more of a cat person than a dog person’. It made me feel like a person to you-- not just number 11. Not just class 4 chair 6. Not just ‘Glasses’ or ‘Yamaguchi’s best friend’ and it was refreshing. And then-- when you fell asleep on me, well. I fell for you. And-- Am I talking too much?” Hinata shook his head. “No, no, please, I need to hear the rest of this story! I don’t even know why you started telling me this, but please finish telling me why you fell in love with me!”

Tsukishima laughed. “Actually, I’m still talking about masturbation, believe it or not, but I guess it’s all part of the same story. So anyway. Uh, awkward secret, I put my arm around you on the bus and--” Hinata giggled. “Not a secret! I wasn’t asleep!” Tsukishima fell silent. “You… knew?”, he asked incredulously. Hinata nodded. “Mmmhmm! I wasn’t sure why you did it. I thought maybe I was just giving you a dead arm-- that seemed the most likely-- but that’s when I started to think about whether or not I liked you.” “Oh”, Tsukishima said, blushing. Hinata splashed water across the tub. “KEI! We’re naked in the bathtub together!!! You cannot be embarrassed by something that happened like, weeks ago!!!” Tsukishima laughed, “I guess you’re right. Anyway. So, the ramen shop was awkward. I have no excuses for my behavior. Like, what was I even thinking?” “Ah, I was so hard at the ramen shop when you fed me!”, Hinata sighed as he settled back between Tsukishima’s legs. “Are you kidding me?”, the blonde asked, “I was too! I was furious because I was so hard I couldn’t think straight! Like, why the fuck was I feeding you in public???” Hinata giggled. “Because I’m cute?”, he asked. Tsukishima nodded. “Exactly. You’re entirely too cute. Well. It’s nice to know we were both in a compromising situation then, and I wasn’t just being a perv by myself.” Hinata tilted his head backwards and pursed his lips. Tsukishima obliged and kissed the redhead deeply. “I love you, my pervert.” “I love you too, you tease.” “Watch what you say”, Hinata warned, “or we might have to take a few more baths tonight.” Tsukishima wrapped his arms around Hinata. “I’m fine with that”, he said, kissing Hinata’s cheeks several times.

“Anyway. After that shit, I didn’t want to tutor you. I was so mean to you because I wanted to push you as far away as humanly possible.” “Ah!”, Hinata exclaimed, “That was when I was like 95% sure I was into you, and 100% sure I was into boys calling me names!” Tsukishima blinked at Hinata. “Are you telling me you had a boner during tutoring?” Hinata nodded and laughed heartily. “Is that why you couldn’t fucking pick up basic verb tenses?!”, the blonde exclaimed in disbelief. Again Hinata nodded. “I’m sorry! My blood was otherwise occupied! It was your fault! You were the one who was being mean!!!”

Tsukishima shook his head. “....and you called me the pervert. Ugh. So. After all the meanness, I still couldn’t help but feel bad for you. I know Karasuno’s like, your dream school but I still couldn’t imagine letting you walk home by yourself in the dark. It would’ve been easier if you’d just taken the ride home from my brother, but whatever, in retrospect, I’m glad you didn’t, because I completely fell in love with you that night.” “R-really?”, asked Hinata. Tsukishima nodded. “After everything that happened, after all the teasing, after you walked for over three hours just to and from home just because you were being considerate to others, after you studied for an hour and a half, after putting up with me for an hour and a half’s walk, you went and got hot chocolate and a blanket and waited with me. It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. I didn’t realize I was in love with you that night, but right now, when I look back, that walk was the start for me.”

“But now, here’s the point of my story. When I got home that night, I, of course, ah-- um-- relived some of the events from the day, and embellished a few, and for the first time in months, I was able to cum. I thought I threw my back out, to be honest, with how intense it was.” Hinata laughed, and the room fell silent for a moment. “That was a good story, Kei”, he hummed, snuggling up against Tsukishima’s chest. “I especially liked the part where you realized you were in love with me.”

Tsukishima set about kissing Hinata some more, this time picking his right shoulder as Hinata thought. “Hmm”, Hinata thought aloud. “Oh! I know!”, he exclaimed, sitting up a little bit. “Stop moving”, Tsukishima grumbled, “I’m working here”.

“Sorry, sorry. I was trying to think of something to do with you that you don’t know. I, of course, meant the ramen to be a date, but I was too chicken to actually tell you that.” “Of course”, Tsukishima mumbled through Hinata’s skin. “OH. And I asked you to feed me again for my own perverted pleasures.” Tsukishima giggled. “Shō”, he laughed, coming up from his skin for air, “the whole reason I suggested calling each other by our first names was for my perverted pleasure.” “Huh?”, Hinata asked, turning to look at Tsukishima. “What do you mean?”. “Oh God”, Tsukki groaned, “now I have to explain it…. Well… the first time I… you know … I was reliving when you called me Kei in the ramen shop. Apparently that was something I liked that I didn’t know I like. When I suggested it and you said ‘sure thing Kei’ or whatever, I got an instant boner.” Hinata frowned at Tsukishima. “Tsukki, you perv! I thought it was because you felt close to me!” The blonde laughed uproariously. “Sorry! It evolved to that! When you called my name at the park at the sleepover, it didn’t do anything for me except shake me from my nightmare.” After a moment’s pause, Hinata turned to the blonde and asked, “Kei, can I ask you a question?” Tsukishima exhaled loudly. “Hoo boy, if you have to preface that at this point, it’s gonna be a doozy.” Hinata laughed before a look of sorrow crossed over his face. “Was your panic attack about me?”, he asked sadly. Tsukishima paused for a moment, debating how to answer the question, before settling on the truth. “Yes and no. It was out of fear of losing you. I didn’t want to lose you, and I felt you had so many better choices. To be honest, I still feel that way. But ultimately, it was because of my own insecurities.” Hinata nodded slowly as he digested the answer.

“Hinata”, Tsukishima said out of nowhere, “if this continues… if we continue to do things together… I want you to make me a promise.” Hinata turned and faced Tsukishima once more. “What?”, he asked simply, unable to fathom what would come next. “I need you to promise me that you will never do anything you’re uncomfortable with. If we start something and you don’t like it, tell me. Because, while that might suck then and there, nothing would suck more than finding out that I hurt you or made you uncomfortable.” Hinata cocked his head. “What made you think of this?”, he asked. Tsukishima lulled his head for a moment before speaking. “Well”, he said slowly, “I was thinking about how you like it when I call you names. But, what if I called you something that hurt your feelings? Or what if you were having a really shitty day and I made you feel worse? But then I thought about how that sort of thing could extend to other areas of-- er-- intimacy, and I wanted to make sure we were on the same page.” Hinata turned around in the tub so he was on his knees facing Tsukishima. “I promise”, Hinata said with a smile, offering his pinky, “as long as you can promise me the same.” Tsukishima nodded and wrapped his pinky around Hinata’s. The redhead grinned before leaning forward and kissing Tsukki long and hard. When he sat back, he giggled, “I figured we should seal it with a kiss, right?”. Tsukishima rolled his eyes. “You really are too cute, you know that?”, he asked the redhead, running his fingers through the boy’s damp hair.

“Let’s get out”, Tsukishima said decisively. “The water’s pretty cold.” Hinata nodded and together the two boys climbed out of the bathtub. They both pulled on clean boxers before returning to  Tsukishima’s bedroom. This time they turned off the light and slipped under the covers in bed.

Neither spoke for a few minutes, until Hinata suddenly jumped up. “Oh!”, he exclaimed. “Remember the morning of the sleepover, I was trying to tell you about a dream I was having?” Tsukishima laughed, “Yes, I remember. Remind me to tell you my side of that.” “Well, do you want to hear about it?” Tsukishima raised an eyebrow. “You told me about it, didn’t you? That you were taking our team photo and-” “No, no”, Hinata interrupted, “I was trying to tell you about what happened after, and Yamaguchi came in.” “Oh”, Tsukishima said, “Okay, sure.” Hinata grinned. “So I took the picture, right, and we left the group and went back to the clubroom. And, if you’ll remember, I was yelling at you to get lower. So you snapped at me in the club room, ‘I’ll show you lower!’, and then you gave me an insane blowjob. I actually woke up snuggled next to you with my dick on your thigh and I felt so bad. Thank God I was the first one awake!” Tsukishima flipped over and looked at the redhead. “You mean to tell me you were just gonna be like, ‘oh hey, good morning friend, i had a dream where you sucked my dick!’, just like that???”, the blonde asked in clear disbelief. Hinata giggled as he turned over to face Tsukki. “Well, it wouldn’t have been so blatant… but… I don't know. I was gonna play it off as a ‘ha ha how funny and embarrassing is that’ kind of thing, but at least then I’d know that the thought of us doing stuff would’ve crossed your mind at least once. It's not like it was something I planned, of course. I guess I just have sexy dreams when I sleep next to sexy guys.”

Tsukishima laughed and kissed Hinata’s forehead. Hinata tilted his head up and kissed Tsukishima once more. Tsukki found that he suddenly had no self-control when it came to Hinata. Perhaps it was because of how much he’d had to exert as the two became closer- he wasn’t entirely sure. Regardless, whenever the fiery redhead touched him, the problem that was Kageyama disappeared from Tsukishima’s mind entirely, only to reappear when he had more blood available.

Tsukishima had his arms coiled around Hinata and pulled the boy as close to him as he could. He needed to hold the redhead, to cling onto him as tightly as possible and never let him go. He moved down to Hinata’s neck once more and got a devilish idea. It wasn’t nice, but… Tsukki flipped Hinata onto his back and knelt beside him. He slowly kissed his way from Hinata’s lips to his cheeks to his jaw to his neck to his collarbone, where he then started biting and sucking. He must’ve left five bruises before Hinata stopped him. “H- hey, isn’t that enough?”, he got out with considerable difficulty. Tsukishima shook his head and moved over to Hinata’s other collarbone. “Hey!”, Hinata exclaimed as Tsukishima bit down hard. “You’re getting carried away!” Hinata reached down and tried to pull Tsukki’s face up, but in one swift motion, Tsukishima grabbed Hinata’s wrists and pinned them above his head. “Shut up, dumb ass, and let me do what I want”, he sneered. Hinata’s breath hitched, and Tsukishima smiled as he went back down to his left collarbone; apparently Hinata did like being insulted. A lot.

After thirty or so marks, Tsukishima let go of Hinata’s wrists, though Hinata left them pinned where they were as if he was bound by invisible ropes. Tsukki left marks on Hinata’s tight stomach, and slowly the biting and rough sucking turned more into kisses and love bites. He’d left a mass of bruises littered across Hinata’s chest as numerous as if they were stars in the night sky, and then a gentle trail of falling stars, ending at Hinata’s hip bone.

Hinata gasped when Tsukishima slipped his fingers beneath the elastic of his boxers, hooking one finger in each side before slowly pulling them down. He brought them to Hinata’s knees and the redhead brought his knees up, allowing Tsukishima to pull them completely off of him before laying his legs back down. Tsukki sat on his heels and looked at the sight before him: there, laying in his bed on top of his sheets, completely outstretched and fully erect, was Hinata Shōyō, the boy he loved and had lusted after for so long. His pale skin was flushed, bruised, and freckled, his face burnt red, and his cock was dripping with desire. Tsukki was pretty sure he was red, too, as he gazed upon the boy he’d spent so much time dreaming of. He was in pure disbelief; he’d spent all day with Hinata, but he still couldn’t believe that he wasn’t dreaming.

Hinata drew one hand away from the place Tsukishima had left it and extended it to the blonde-haired boy. “Kei ”, he moaned, a deep, sultry tone taking over his voice. Tsukishima took the hand in his and kissed it. “Is this okay?”, Tsukishima asked as he released Hinata’s hand and lowered his mouth to kiss the soft, delicate flesh on the inside of Hinata’s thigh. Hinata couldn’t speak. His heart was beating too fast and his stomach was doing somersaults. Tsukki’s kisses moved higher, to the inside of Hinata’s hip bone, closer, closer…

“Wait!”, Hinata suddenly, breathlessly called out. Tsukishima stopped everything and sat up. “What’s wrong?”, he asked softly. Hinata sat up as well and extended his hands, which Tsukishima took happily. “Kei”, he said as he gazed into the citron eyes before him, “you don’t have to do all this for me to love you. I already love you. You don’t need to try to bribe me to be with you… I want the real you.” Tsukishima smiled. “Shō, this is all very sweet, and I thank you for thinking about me, but you are worrying yourself unnecessarily.” Tsukishima kissed Hinata then gently pushed the boy backwards until he was laying on the bed once more with Tsukishima suspending himself over him by a hand firmly planted on either side of the smaller boy’s head. “I love you . I want to explore you, and all of this with you. I want to be on every end of everything. So, tonight, I might be the one-- doing -- and another time it may be you. There might be some things I don’t like doing, or some things I don’t like having done to me, and the same might go for you. But… for now… I want to explore you.” Tsukki watched as the stress seemed to dissipate from Hinata’s eyes, leaving only adoration and arousal in its wake.

Tsukishima bent down, pecked Hinata’s lips chastely, and returned to where he had been previously. This time, he got straight to the point. Determined not to be interrupted again, Tsukishima wrapped his long, slender fingers around the base of Hinata’s cock, eliciting a gasp from the redhead. He was tempted to flick his thumb over the head as he would sometimes do with his own, but upon seeing just how much precum Hinata had leaked, Tsukishima could not help himself. He lowered his mouth and extended his tongue and, flattening it so it was as broad as it could be, swirled his mouth around the tip of Hinata’s member, ensuring that he’d gotten every drop that had ebbed out. He leaned back and smiled as he slowly stroked Hinata with the hand that had been holding him steady. “Is it supposed to be this sweet?”, he purred. Hinata went bright red and became slightly rigid before exclaiming, “Tsukki, you perv!” Tsukishima lowered his mouth back down, this time taking only the tip into his mouth. “Ah-- so warm !”, Hinata gasped as he involuntarily thrusted forward. Tsukki sucked on him for a moment before withdrawing. “I think you’re the real pervert here, Hinata Shōyō”, he said, feeling Hinata’s dick twitch at each noun spoken, “You’re making some pretty lewd faces up there. What, do you want me to suck your dick that badly?”. Tsukishima was probably enjoying talking dirty to Hinata a little too much. Hinata nodded, and Tsukishima went back to the throbbing cock he held in his hand, trying very hard to ignore his own. Just as he did initially, he flattened his tongue, but this time he licked from the very base of the shaft all the way to the tip, narrowing his tongue to a point as he went. He repeated this action once more before sitting up again.

“I’m sorry, I thought I asked you a question”, he said casually, as if he were merely apologizing for some small annoyance akin to using the last of the milk in the morning without realizing there wasn’t another bottle buried somewhere else in the fridge. The moment he began unwrapping his fingers from Hinata’s swollen member, Hinata pushed himself up onto his elbows. “I’m sorry!”, he exclaimed breathlessly, “Yes!” Tsukki looked at Hinata with mock cluelessness. “Yes? Yes what?”, he asked. Despite how hard he tried to maintain an innocent facade, his voice betrayed him with the sultry mask it had donned. “Yes, I do want you to suck my dick that badly. I really want it”, Hinata whined, almost begging Tsukishima to continue. But almost wasn’t enough.

Tsukishima released his grip in a move so swift it sent chills up Hinata’s spine. He cupped his chin as he sat up. “Hm. Well, that won’t do. You’ll have to ask nicely.” Hinata flopped back onto the bed and ran his hands over his face. “Please ”, he moaned. “Mmm?”, Tsukishima asked, suddenly distracted by a piece of dirt caught under one of his fingernails, “Please what?”. Hinata was writhing with an overwhelming combination of frustration and arousal. Tsukishima knew exactly what buttons to press and was pressing them with ease, as if this had been a routine of theirs for years. “Hinata, I am waiting”, Tsukishima said coolly, as if Hinata could forget such a thing. “Please ”, Hinata begged, Please suck my cock. I will do anything-- anything-- just-- please-- I need you. ” Tsukishima seemed to weigh his options for a moment before acquiescing. “Oh, okay. But only because I love you and you asked so nicely.” He began to lower himself down once more, though he sat up again before his mouth met with Hinata. “Oh! And when we’re done here, we’re going to talk about your language! Such a filthy mouth…”. Tsukishima's words made Hinata squirm, and the redhead jumped as if he’d been shocked when Tsukki took him in his mouth once more.

Tsukishima held Hinata’s cock in his mouth by the tip and swirled his tongue around it. He repeated the same motion as before, licking the entirety of Hinata’s length with his tongue pressed flat above the warm, smooth skin. He did this a few times before suddenly taking all of Hinata in his mouth, until his nose pressed against Hinata’s flesh just above the small gathering of red curls.

Hinata gasped loudly. He thought he might be dying in that moment, as a sudden heat burst through his veins. “Ah- Oh my god, Kei! Ho-- holy shit, that’s amazing!”, he moaned as Tsukishima set to work, bobbing up and down with varying tempos. “Nngh- Oh- Kei!”, Hinata groaned as he began to buck his hips slightly. In truth, he was trying to restrain himself; he was well aware that it was Tsukishima’s first time, but that thought only seemed to fuel the building fire inside of him. ‘Tsukki’s first time… is with me. I am Kei’s first. This side of him… is just for me’ , he found his mind replaying over and over again, as the blonde drove him crazy with his mouth. Hinata was growing more and more sensitive the more he watched, but he found that he could not look away; the sight before him was mesmerizing-- hypnotizing-- addicting.

“Mmm”, Hinata said, before giggling slightly, “Sexy-shima” . This thought seemed to amuse him until Tsukishima forced Hinata deeper, breaching the depths of his throat for the first time. Hinata didn’t even recognize his voice as it erupted out of him. “Aah, Kei!”, he whined in a shockingly erotic voice. Hinata reached down and gently ran his fingers through Tsukishima’s hair as he continued pumping the redhead in and out of his mouth. Soon, though, Hinata discovered the pleasure in lightly kneading Tsukishima’s blonde locks before pulling gently. Tsukishima’s pace quickened, and Hinata found that he had less and less control over his own thrusts towards the blonde. As he started to feel a familiar feeling building up, his hips began bucking more and more, until suddenly he reached down and grabbed Tsukishima’s face when he was at the crest of his motion. The blonde raised his head slightly, allowing Hinata’s member to slide from his lips.

“What are you doing?” , he said blankly, in a tone he’d done so many times before when Hinata was goofing off during practice. “Ah- um-”, Hinata stammered as his face turned several shades of red, “I’m gonna cum”. Tsukishima blinked at him. “Yes. That’s the point of this.” Hinata shook his head. “What about you?”, he asked, trying to eek out the words through the fog that had overtaken his brain. Tsukishima shook his own head in response and said, “Don’t worry about me. Just relax”, before moving back to take Hinata in his mouth once more.

The redhead quickly sat up. “N- no”, Hinata mumbled, pulling Tsukishima closer to him by the gentle grip he still had on his face. “I want you to feel good too”, the redhead choked out. Tsukishima smirked. “I do feel good”, he whispered, pulling backwards from Hinata’s grasp. Once more the smaller boy shook his head. “ Kei”, he whispered breathlessly, “let’s finish together”.

While Tsukki was so hard it hurt, he did not feel as if he needed to relieve himself. After all, he’d spent many months prior in a similar situation. However, once Hinata whispered his request to him, he-- as always-- found that he had a hard time saying no. He found that he had a hard time saying anything at all, in fact, and instead resorted to nodding twice. Hinata leaned forward and kissed Tsukishima deeply, shivering upon tasting himself on the blonde’s tongue. “Oh God”, he panted, “I can’t handle how sexy you are” . Tsukki blushed, hard, and stammered out, “D- d- don’t say things like that carelessly, idiot!”. Hinata leaned in to Tsukishima and kissed his neck. As he kissed and bit and sucked-- gently-- he purred, “There was nothing careless about that.”

Now it was Hinata’s turn to undress Tsukishima, though he found he had considerably less grace as he groped at the checkered fabric that lay flush against the taller boy’s skin. He essentially just grabbed the boxers in fistfuls and yanked them down-- as he normally would his own-- grinning wildly as he did so. Despite his clumsiness, Tsukishima was aghast at how sexy this small ball of sunshine could be.

Once he’d removed Tsukishima’s undergarments and casually tossed them on the floor, Hinata scooted forward and put his legs on top of the blonde’s, draping them on either side of Tsukki. Tsukishima then adjusted his position, delicately closing his legs so they conformed to the shape of Hinata’s body. They sat like that, exposed and facing each other, for mere seconds, though to them it felt like hours before Tsukishima made the first move. He could not take it any longer, and found that he needed to kiss Hinata. He wasn’t sure what would happen if he didn’t, but he knew it wouldn’t be good. As he kissed the redhead and his hands drifted to Hinata’s hips, Hinata moved in a more intentional manner: with zero grace whatsoever, Hinata wrapped his fingers around Tsukishima’s ample girth and gently began stroking. For the first time since they’d been together, a moan escaped Tsukishima’s lips as he came up for air. “Nngh-- Shō…”, he moaned, letting his lips fall back to Hinata’s. Hinata pulled away briefly to giggle slightly and whisper, “Sexyshima” , once more. Tsukishima opened his eyes and frowned at Hinata, though the frown quickly disappeared once Hinata twisted the fist that engulfed Tsukishima’s cock as best as he could. The subtle little movement he did caused Tsukishima’s composure to unravel slightly, as he moaned once more and thrust towards Hinata’s hand. Hinata smiled coyly and again Tsukishima frowned.

Tsukki leaned forward and, as he took Hinata’s cock in his own hand, bit down on the redhead’s shoulder, hard . “AAH!”, Hinata yelped, quickening the pace with which he was stroking Tsukishima. Tsukki smiled. “You actually liked that?”, he asked with feigned disdain, as he moved faster to try to keep pace with Hinata. “You really are a pervert, Hinata Shōyō”, he said, shaking his head.

Hinata was doing all he could to keep his body upright, but Tsukki found that, as amazing as the stimulation he was receiving was, the responses he was getting from Hinata could be enough on their own to get him off. He moved over to Hinata’s neck, still stroking his member at an even pace, and dragged his tongue from Hinata’s collarbone up, past his jaw, to his ear, where he proceeded to nibble on the lobe. “Ah! Kei! I’m gonna-- I’m gonna--”, Hinata gasped, clenching his eyes shut. “No!”, Tsukki growled, low and guttural, “wait for me, I’m close… let’s cum together! ” Hinata bit his lip and nodded, though he had very little hope he’d be able to hold out.

His eyes snapped open and he looked into Tsukishima’s golden eyes once more. “Kei”, he groaned, “I love you, I need you… please… please come on me! ” That was it. The look that flashed in Tsukishima’s eyes said it all, and Hinata finally allowed himself to tip over the edge he’d been teetering over.

The two truly came together, as their fluids fell to each other’s hands and intermingled on Hinata’s stomach. Unlike last time, Tsukishima reached forward with his free hand and put it behind Hinata’s head, guiding the redhead towards him. He kissed Hinata long and hard, and wished with all his heart that moments like these never had to end-- that he could keep exploring Hinata, keep exciting Hinata, keep kissing Hinata forever.

Once again Tsukishima was the first to get up. “Come on”, he said, laughing lightly, “let’s go clean you up again. “Another bath?!”, exclaimed Hinata excitedly. Tsukishima shook his head. “No, it’s late. I’m just gonna wash you up at the sink, if that’s okay.” Hinata pouted before saying, “Fine. But you owe me another bath.” Tsukki laughed to himself. “You still think I’m able to say no to you? ...There will be many more baths, I promise. Just, not tonight.”

After washing his own hands, Tsukishima stood at the sink and dipped a washcloth into hot water. He wrung it out before gently running it over Hinata’s belly, where both boys had wound up making a mess, and worked his way down, dipping the washcloth back under the faucet to rinse it often. He delicately cleaned off Hinata’s now flaccid member and the area around it, well aware of how much saliva he’d gotten everywhere. “Um, sorry if that wasn't good”, he choked out, “I mean, it was my first time and--”. Hinata lightly pushed Tsukishima and exclaimed, “Are you kidding?! It was amazing-- literally mind blowing. I can't wait to return the favor!” Tsukki’s embarrassment changed to amusement and he found himself grinning as he finished washing the boy before him.

When Tsukishima was done, Hinata stepped closer and wrapped his arms around the taller boy, which Tsukishima reciprocated. “Kei”, he said happily, “look how cute”. Tsukki turned his head to follow Hinata’s line of sight and saw their own reflection in the mirror. Tsukishima smiled, truly and sincerely. His heart was light and everything felt like it could actually be okay, despite his years spent saying otherwise courtesy of his naturally pessimistic disposition. “Yeah”, he said softly, “You are really cute.” Hinata frowned and stuck his tongue out at Tsukishima’s reflection. “You know I was talking about us, Jerkyshima!”, he huffed. Tsukki looked down and rustled Hinata’s hair before kissing the top of his head. “I know, you dork. We do look pretty good together.”

Hinata looked up at the real Tsukishima. “Kiss me”, he said bluntly, “I want to see what it looks like when we kiss”. Tsukki grinned. “You really are so cute it should be illegal ”, he said, smiling. Tsukishima leaned down and stopped right before he got to Hinata’s lips. “Are you watching?” , he breathed. Hinata’s eyes caught so many things he couldn't have seen otherwise. He saw how loving Tsukishima's touch was, how gently and tenderly he wrapped his arms around the smaller boys torso, and how intense his kiss was, as if he was trying to convey all his feelings through his lips. When he finally pulled away, Hinata hugged him once more. “I love you, Tsukki.”, he whispered. He looked back up at Tsukishima and asked, “Do you want a turn?”. The blonde shook his head and laughed. “Haha, no, thanks”, he said as a malicious smile overtook his mouth, “ that’s so embarrassing!” Hinata’s hug turned into gentle punches, which Tsukishima absorbed while still holding the smaller boy.

Hinata turned away from Tsukishima, and for the first time saw the absolute mess the blonde made of his skin. He gasped as he looked from his shoulders to his collarbones to his pecs to his stomach to his hips-- he was absolutely coated in bruises of varying shapes, sizes, and colors (most notably of which, the area where Tsukishima bit Hinata hard on his shoulder-- one could almost make out individual teeth!).

Hinata glared at Tsukishima in the mirror. “What the hell?!”, he exclaimed after several seconds passed without an apology. Tsukishima smiled. “Well”, the taller boy laughed as he rubbed the back of his head, “none of them will show if you're wearing a t-shirt…”. As Hinata looked at himself again, he suddenly realized what the blonde had done. “Ohmygod, Tsukki!!!”, he exclaimed. He tried his best to pretend to be mad but he couldn't help the smile that was showing itself in the corners of his mouth. “You did this because of my date with Kageyama tomorrow!!!” Tsukki shrugged and casually said, “I have no idea what you're talking about”, before he began walking out of the bathroom. Hinata followed close behind. “You do too!!! I told you I wasn't gonna do anything with him, but you wanted him to know just in case!!!” Tsukishima chuckled as he climbed back into bed. “What kind of depraved fantasy are you coming up with?”, he asked, “Oh, and any chance you two are planning on going swimming tomorrow?”. Hinata blinked at the blonde as he got underneath the covers. “In February? No. I don't think so.” “Damn” , Tsukishima muttered, exaggeratedly snapping his fingers. “Kei, you big jerk”, Hinata laughed as he laid his head on Tsukishima’s chest and draped one arm across his abdomen. “Guilty ”, Tsukishima whispered, “...but in my defense, I am crazy about you.” “Or just crazy”, Hinata murmured, and the boys laughed together.

After all had gone still, Tsukishima kissed the top of Hinata’s head. “Goodnight, my love”, he whispered, “sleep well.” Hinata leaned up and kissed Tsukishima's lips once more. “Goodnight, Kei. Sweet dreams.”

Moments later, Tsukishima could hear the shift in Hinata’s breathing. Again he kissed the boy’s head and whispered, “No dream could be better than this”.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Yams (2:25PM): Hey, let’s go do something
Yams (3:02PM): Tsukki, come on. I know you're just sitting there being miserable.

 Yamaguchi was right, of course, but Tsukishima wasn’t about to tell him that. He was just sitting on his bed doing his best not to freak out.

* * * 

That morning was the first morning the blonde had ever actually been happy to wake up; of course, Hinata woke up before him, but instead of letting Tsukki sleep, he gently kissed him until he stirred. The two boys curled around each other, tangling together their arms, legs, and lips, and spent their morning just being together, swapping innumerable “I love you”s and countless kisses.

Around 12:30, Tsukki suggested that the two find out what his brother was doing, so they could secure Hinata’s ride home. However, Hinata let Tsukishima know that he was supposed to be at Kageyama’s house at 2, not the other way around, so he could easily walk the ten minute walk from Tsukki’s house. “Guess I’m glad I invited you over; I’d be pissed if I found out you had to walk all that way alone”, the blonde said as he ground his teeth, trying not to make his anger apparent. After all, Kageyama’s interruption was the only reason Hinata had to leave him; couldn’t the stupid setter at least pick him up ?

As the clock ticked closer and closer to two, the boys explosive passion dampened and a heavy silence fell upon them. By 1 o’clock they’d gotten dressed, brushed their teeth, and packed up Hinata’s things. Together the two sat, side by side, on Tsukishima’s bed, both unable to speak. Their fingers had been laced together for an eternity, it seemed, before Hinata turned his head. “I have to go”, he whispered, wishing he could be saying anything else. Tsukishima nodded. He didn’t look up at Hinata. He couldn’t look up at Hinata. Tsukki was never good at putting on a smile, and as he sat there feeling as if he were the living embodiment of despair, he felt less capable of this feat than ever.

“Kei…”, Hinata whispered, tightening his grip around Tsukishima’s hand. Tsukki shook his head. “It’s okay”, he said, trying his best to mask his emotions, “go. Have fun. Take off your shirt.” Hinata snorted and Tsukishima smiled. The two stood up, Hinata to leave and Tsukishima to walk Hinata out, but instead of moving towards the door, Hinata wrapped his arms around Tsukki’s waist, squeezing him tight. “I’m sorry, Kei”, he whispered as he tried to choke back tears, “I hope you understand, this is just something I have to do.” Tsukishima held Hinata close to him. He couldn’t speak- he simply had no words to say that would help both of them. ‘I hope you understand how much you’re hurting me’ , ‘You don’t have to do anything. You could just stay here.’ , and ‘Please don’t go’ each found their way to the tip of his tongue, only to be choked back.

“I love you”, Hinata sobbed as fat tears rolled down his cheeks. Tsukishima adjusted his hug, bending down more and burying his face in the smaller boy’s neck. “I love you too”, he whispered, fighting back his own feelings. Tsukki pulled back and kissed Hinata one last, deep, emotional kiss before standing upright once more. Hinata wiped the tears from his eyes and tried to choke the new ones that were forming back before grabbing his bag and heading to the door. “Wait”, Tsukishima said, “don’t you think you should leave your bag? It’ll make it obvious that you spent the night.” Hinata smiled sadly. “That’s true, especially with all the stuffed animals you won me yesterday.” Tsukki extended his hand and Hinata hesitantly handed his backpack over. “Is it okay?”, Hinata asked, frowning. Tsukishima nodded solemnly. “I’ll bring it to school tomorrow and help you take it home afterwards.” Hinata nodded.

The redhead slipped on his shoes and Tsukishima opened the door for him. “I’ll text you when I get home”, Hinata said, forcing a smile. Tsukishima smiled back; it was impossible not to. “I’ll be looking forward to it all day, then.”, Tsukki said, playing it off as a flirtatious joke but knowing full well that it was the honest truth. Hinata nodded. “Okay, well… bye…”

Tsukishima grabbed the boy’s wrist as he passed through the doorway and pulled him in for one last kiss. “Goodbye, Shōyō.”, he said solemnly.

Tsukki watched as Hinata walked down the path from his house, and continued to watch until he could no longer see the little redhead. Then he just stood in the doorway, staring off into space, until a voice from behind him called out. “Can you shut that? I didn’t want to say anything but it’s getting really cold in here”, asked Akiteru, who was standing a few feet down the hall from Tsukishima.

Tsukki’s face burnt bright red as he gently shut the door. ‘How long was he there? What did he see?’ , Tsukishima thought, dreading the idea of turning around and facing his brother. When he finally did work up the courage to turn, though, his brother had gone to the kitchen and was making coffee. As Tsukishima slinked away, Akiteru called after him, “Oh, by the way, I didn’t see anything. Especially not that kiss goodbye.” Were it any other day, the older Tsukishima brother would be in danger after teasing the younger in such a blatant manner; Akiteru had even set his mug down in anticipation of having to run. But, though Tsukishima’s face burnt crimson, he continued to wander towards his room, moving as if he had all but died.

 

* * *

Yams (3:38 PM): Tsukki, im coming over 

Tsukishima jolted upright when he saw the text from his best friend. He’d been trapped in the purgatory of his mind, floating between memories from last night and this morning and his own visions of how Kageyama and Hinata’s date might be playing out. He wasn’t ready to see anyone-- to speak to anyone-- except Hinata. And Hinata wasn’t here, and might never be here again. Tsukki’s stomach roiled at the thought. 

Tsukki (3:39 PM): dont 

The blonde couldn’t see Yamaguchi-- couldn’t let Yams see how pathetic and desperate he’d been after one single date with Hinata. He felt sick. He wanted to cry. And he couldn’t help but continually imagine what the fiery redhead and the cranky king were doing. 

Kei (3:40 PM): hey, are you home yet?
Kei (3:49 PM): Shō?

Tsukishima tried to convince himself that Hinata didn’t hear his phone-- that was all. That was why he didn’t respond. But he couldn’t stop picturing Hinata giving himself to Kageyama, kissing him with all the hunger he’d kissed Tsukki with the night prior. Maybe Kageyama wouldn’t even care that Hinata was all marked up, since Kageyama was the one who won in the end, and was fucking the boy Tsukishima loved.

Yams (3:55 PM): seriously, im leaving the house now
Tsukki (3:56 PM): good luck with that
Tsukki (3:56 PM): I’m not home
Yams (3:57 PM): ya, like im gonna believe that
Tsukki (3:57 PM): text Akiteru. He’ll tell you.


Tsukishima was telling Yamaguchi the truth; he was so desperate to hear from Hinata that he felt like he was losing his mind. The good parts of his memories faded away, and when he went back to reflect on them for comfort, all he could see was Hinata doing the same things with Kageyama. He knew Hinata wasn’t like that; he did trust him. But his own imagination was driving him absolutely insane.

Before he knew it, he’d grabbed Hinata’s bag and bolted out the door. He kept running, only stopping to check his phone and send another text.

Kei (3:58 PM): pls let me know that you’re okay
Kei (4:15 PM): Hinata, im starting to get worried
Kei (4:16 PM): Please text me or call me when you have a second
Kei (4:16 PM): Pretend it’s your mom if you have to… I just need to hear from you 

He tried to let his mind go blank as he ran, but each thought only forced him on faster, faster, faster. It was as if his life depended on this run.

At 4:35, Tsukishima found himself ringing Hinata’s doorbell. His mother answered, and looked really confused to see the blonde standing on her porch. “Oh! Hi, Tsukishima-kun! Can I help you?”, she asked pleasantly. “Is- is Hinata home? I mean-- is Shōyō home, of course, I--” Hinata’s mom laughed jovially. “He isn’t, not yet. Wasn’t he at your house?”, she asked. Tsukishima nodded. “He was, and then he was going to go hang out with Kageyama. But, he forgot his bag, and I thought he might need it…”, Tsukishima said, offering the bag to Hinata’s mother. She smiled and took it before stepping aside. “Would you like to come in and wait for him? I have no idea when he’ll be back, but you’re more than welcome to hang out until he is.”, she asked gently. “Oh- no- I’m--”, Tsukishima started, before thundering footsteps could be heard coming down the hall. “Kei-chan!”, cried Natsu, flinging herself out the door, wrapping her little arms around Tsukishima’s lanky legs, “You came to play with me!!!”. Tsukishima smiled softly and looked back up at Natsu’s mom. “On second thought, if it’s okay, I would love to come in. I did promise that I’d play with Natsu the next time I saw her.”

“Can I get you anything, Tsukishima-kun?”, Hinata’s mother asked after setting the redhead’s bag in his room. Tsukki shook his head. “Oh, no, thank you, I’m good!”. The woman smiled gently before saying, “Well, at least let me bring you some water, after you walked all the way over here…”.

“Mommy!”, Natsu yelled, “Can we please have a tea party?”. The elder Hinata smiled and turned back. “Of course, sweetheart. Why don’t you come help me prepare?” Natsu grinned up at the blonde before running after her mother. “Would you like help?”, Tsukishima asked, “I don’t want to put you out…”. The older woman called over her shoulder, “No, we’re good! Just make yourself at home and Natsu will be out to play shortly!”

 Kei (4:50 PM): please lmk when you’re on your way home

 Kei felt like he was going to throw up. He couldn’t breathe, but needed to stay composed for the sake of the smallest Hinata. ‘Okay, so Hinata and Kageyama are together right now. Probably doing it. That’s not the end of the world’ , he tried to convince himself as he gripped his phone so hard it might’ve broken his his hands. ‘I’ll still love him, it will be no different.’ He started to breathe a little easier until his mind flashed, ‘Of course, it will be different if he chooses Kageyama. Kageyama won’t want us spending time together, and slowly the texts will diminish until I only hear from him about practice, and eventually he’ll wind up cutting me out of his life to please Ōsama. And of course I’ll never be able to kiss him again, so long as they’re together.

His breath was gone again.

 Kei (4:56 PM): are you mad at me?
Kei (4:57 PM): did i do something wrong?
Kei (4:59 PM): its ok if you want to date Ōsama, just, please, dont stop talking to me
Kei (5:03 PM): please, Shō…

Tsukishima made sure his phone’s volume was on when he shoved it in his pocket once he heard Natsu’s thundering footsteps approaching rapidly. He chuckled to himself, ‘Does no one in this family know how to walk instead of running?’ , though as he thought back to Hinata, his heart ached.

“Kei-chan!”, Natsu said once she finally appeared, “I made sandwiches!” Tsukki stood up and walked over to the smaller girl, taking the plate from her. “Oh, wow! These look amazing!” Tsukishima walked over and placed the plate on the coffee table. Natsu’s mother entered with a small tea pot. “This is iced tea”, she said, smiling. “Now, Natsu, be very careful when you serve it, okay?”. Natsu nodded. Then she looked up at Tsukishima. “We need to get dressed, then get the other guests!” She grabbed his hand and took off running, making him stride a little faster than normal through the Hinata family household to try to keep up. She burst into her room and immediately ran over to her closet, pulling out a trunk that was buried in the bottom. “Oh!”, she exclaimed excitedly, “This is perfect!

Natsu’s mom could hardly contain her laughter when the two reemerged into the livingroom. It was evident that Natsu forced dress-up upon Tsukishima, as he walked towards the table wearing a sun hat, no less than ten bracelets, and a feather boa. Natsu herself had on a pink princess dress over the clothes she was already wearing, a silver crown with purple jewels, and a superhero cape, and was pulling a wagon with a large stuffed bunny and a naked life-sized doll. The two were quite the set. “Oh, Natsu!”, mother Hinata exclaimed, tears building up at the corners of her eyes from suppressed laughter, “Why must you do these things to Kei-chan? He’s already being so nice by offering to play with you!” Natsu grinned. “It’s not a tea party if you don’t dress nice, mom!” Her mother mouthed “I’m sorry” to the blonde before excusing herself, presumably so she could go into another room and laugh.

Tsukki helped Natsu position their ‘guests’ around the table, and together they began their sophisticated tea party. Tsukishima’s chest ached, and he checked his phone countless times, despite knowing that he had the volume maxed out. However, the miniature female version of Shōyō was a really good distraction from his problems. Soon after the tea party began, Natsu’s mom came back out with a plate of intricately decorated cupcakes. She quickly snapped a picture of the two, then disappeared into the kitchen.

It was almost quarter after six when Tsukishima heard the door open. Natsu looked towards the front hallway but shrugged it off, choosing instead to pour more ‘tea’ for BunBun. Tsukishima’s heart stopped. He heard Hinata’s voice. But who could Hinata be talking to? Did… did he bring Kageyama back home, and there Tsukishima was interrupting their date?

He waited with bated breath until he finally saw the redhead come into view, accompanied by……… Akiteru. What?

The two paused for a second, appraising the foreign scene before them, before bursting out in rip-roaring laughter. Akiteru doubled over and couldn’t catch his breath while Hinata had tears running down his face. “Nii-san!”, Natsu admonished, furious that her tea party had been ruined. “You’re ruining our tea party! ”, she yelled at him. The mother of the redheads came in when she heard the commotion and smiled softly at her daughter. “Now, now, Natsu, I think Kei-chan has been nice enough to play with you for this long. I think you should clean up and let him spend time with your brother.”

Tsukishima was still bewildered as he stood up and removed his accessories, piling them into Natsu’s wagon before adding BunBun and Princess Sakura on top of them. Why was Akiteru here? Where was Kageyama? Why wasn’t Hinata surprised to see him? And, if he didn’t choose to cut Tsukishima out of his life, why didn’t he talk to him all day?

“Let’s go for a walk”, the red-headed boy smiled as he wiped away his tears. Akiteru tried to calm himself down, taking deep breaths, though still doubled over. “Kei”, he panted, “Call me when you’re ready to come home. I don’t care when. I insist upon driving you home.” Tsukishima raised an eyebrow, but nodded and thanked his brother. He turned back to Natsu (and her mom) and bowed deeply. “Thank you for having me at your tea party today, Natsu-hime”, he said, smiling, “It was a wonderful time.” Natsu beamed. She looked up at her mother and said, “Mommy, I’m gonna marry Kei-chan!”. Kei looked like a cat who just got its tail pulled as he stood back up. Shōyō laughed and turned back to the door. “I’ll be back in a little bit, mom!”, he called. “Alright”, she responded, “let me know about dinner!”

“See ya later”, Akiteru called as he got into his car and drove off. Tsukishima wanted so badly to ask what the fuck just happened, but he had a feeling he knew where their walk would take them, so he kept his mouth shut for the time being.

As they arrived at the park, Tsukishima looked over to Hinata and saw the solemn look on his face. He felt his stomach turn. The blonde realized that Hinata hadn’t reached to touch him once, had barely looked at him once he got Natsu’s dress up outfit off, and in that instant Tsukishima knew what had happened. He couldn’t take the tension anymore. As they approached the bench they usually sat on, Tsukki suddenly stopped walking.

“....Kei?”, Hinata asked, upon realizing he’d gotten several feet in front of the taller boy. Tsukishima’s head was bent upwards, and as the full moon and the stars became nil but blurry white spots on a black canvas, Tsukishima turned his head back to Hinata.

“Shōyō, I cannot live without you!”, he sobbed as- for the first time- Hinata saw tears stream down his strong, solemn face, “I don’t care if you want to date Ōsama! Just don’t cut me out of your life!” Tsukishima was gasping for air as the wave of his feelings finally came crashing down upon him. “Sure, I might always love you, but I’ll never pressure you and I’ll never make you feel bad for not choosing me! And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll always be here! But- more than anything- more than dating or a relationship or anything like that-- I need to be by your side!” Tsukishima could not see through the tears that were cascading from his eyes. He didn’t know what to do with himself, he was in such agony. He wanted to tear his hair out, to fall to the ground and wail, to run far and fast.

And then, Hinata grabbed Tsukishima and pulled him down to the ground. Hinata crossed his legs in the grass and forced Tsukishima’s head into his lap, wrapping one arm around the boy’s chest and threading the other through his hair. “Let it out”, Hinata cooed as he gently pet Tsukishima’s golden locks. Tsukishima didn’t want to be crying-- not then or ever, really-- but he was in so much pain. He’d wanted something for so, so long, had it briefly, had it ripped away, had it again, then had it taken away again, this time-- he was sure-- forever. He couldn’t handle it.

It took a long time for Tsukishima to regain any sense of composure, but once he did, Hinata wiped away the tears that had pooled along the bridge of his nose and spoke. “I owe you an explanation”, Hinata started, “but please-- Kei, I would never cut you out of my life. Even if I didn’t love you the way I do, you’ve still become my best friend over the last month. I need you in my life-- probably more than you need me.” Tsukishima shook his head. “There’s no way that’s possible”, he said quietly. Hinata ruffled Tsukishima’s hair and said, “Come on. Let’s go sit on the bench.”

The two walked over to their bench a few feet away. Tsukishima sat down and turned so he was straddling the bench, in order to better look at Hinata. The redhead did the same. “So…  my date with Kageyama…”, Hinata began, causing Tsukishima to shake his head vigorously. “No, wait, I don’t want to know ho--” “Shhhhhhh”, Hinata whispered, “Just listen… Kei… My date with Kageyama”, he began again, “went exactly how I hoped it would.” Hinata scooted a little closer to Tsukishima on the bench. “After Kageyama said he wanted to date me or whatever, and you said all those things about how he just wanted to be with me because he didn’t want to be alone… it all made a lot of sense. Like, a lot of sense. I didn’t accept the date with him thinking that- I wasn’t thinking at all. I was like, having a meltdown because two of my favorite people were making me pick between them, which was like a nightmare. But afterwards, and after I talked to Suga-san, it all started to… I don’t know, make sense. I decided to keep the date, to see if you were right and… well… you definitely were.” Tsukishima was shocked. “How do you figure?”, he heard himself asking. “My date with Kageyama was literally just hanging out with him. There was no difference at all between going on a date and hanging out after school. There wasn’t any tension, he didn’t try to touch me, he wasn’t overly talkative, he didn’t look at me in any special way…” “...and you’re saying all those things happen when we’re together?”, Tsukishima asked, reluctant to accept where this conversation was leading. Hinata beamed and nodded. “Of course! All Kageyama and I did was get lunch at coach Ukai’s place then go practice volleyball at school. You obviously put thought into our date and weren’t randomly busy one of the days. We spent over 24 hours together on our date, where I only spent like three hours with Kageyama.” Tsukishima squinted. “...three hours? Shō, you need to check your math. You left in time to be there at 2 and didn’t get back until after 6…” Hinata rolled his eyes theatrically. “Let me finish my story!”, he whined.

“So, after it was over, we just said goodbye and walked our separate ways. I went to call you and realized my phone was dead-- I forgot to bring my charger to your house last night-- so I decided just to go to your house to tell you what I realized instead. When I got to your place, your brother answered the door and said you weren’t home, and that he saw you run off like two hours earlier. He guessed you were probably at my house and offered to drive me home.” Tsukishima pursed his lips. ‘Of course Akiteru found a way to get himself involved in all this’, he thought to himself disdainfully. He was grateful, of course, that his brother had known where he would go and brought Hinata back home, but Tsukki still would’ve preferred to have shared his connection to Hinata on his terms.

“Kei”, Hinata said, reaching forward and taking Tsukishima’s hands in his own, “I know I hurt you. I didn’t want to tell you what I was thinking in case I was wrong-- that wouldn’t have been fair to Kageyama. When I asked you to trust me, I knew how much I was asking of you… but I also knew that I would be coming back to you regardless of how things went. Because, well, I love you. And I want to be yours, as long as you promise to be mine. I love every second we spend together, and I want to spend more and more time with you.”

Tsukishima had looked away as Hinata spoke, and Hinata watched as he drew his hand up to his eyes to wipe away tears once more. Tsukishima had never smiled harder in his life when he turned to Hinata and asked, “So… how do we break it to Natsu?”.

 

 

Chapter Text

On Monday, Tsukishima and Hinata met up on their way to school a little closer to Hinata’s house than usual. “Are you ready?”, Tsukki asked Hinata. The redhead nodded enthusiastically and extended his hand. Tsukishima proudly took it, lacing his fingers through Hinata’s. And that’s how they walked, all the way from where they met up to just outside of Hinata’s classroom. Whispers followed them the moment they got onto school grounds, but neither cared; after all, there was nothing that could be said that wasn’t true. Yes, they were dating. Yes, it was gay. No, obviously Hinata wasn’t dating Kageyama, nor was Tsukishima dating Yamaguchi, since they were walking together hand in hand through the halls of the school.

The two had stopped outside of Hinata’s classroom. “Don’t fall asleep in class”, Tsukki said to Hinata, causing a shiver to run up his spine. “Hey! What about like, ‘I love you, have a good day’?!”, the redhead asked indignantly. Tsukishima shook his head. “I don’t want you to have a good day. I want you to learn, dumbass.” Hinata’s cheeks grew red and Tsukishima grinned knowing exactly what he’d done. “Besides”, Tsukki said flippantly, “if you don’t pay attention, I’ll have to spend more time tutoring you, and that would leave less time for other activities.” Hinata’s face was glowing as he nodded to his boyfriend. Tsukishima leaned in and kissed Hinata’s lips, then turned to leave. “I’ll see you at lunch!”, he called behind him. Hinata yelled back, “Yeah!”, and continued to stand there for a moment, despite the whispers surrounding him. Tsukishima made his legs so weak he could hardly stand, let alone walk to his classroom.

As promised, the two had lunch together, kissing goodbye once more before Tsukishima strode down the hall to his own classroom. After school, Hinata bolted out of his class, running down the hall to try to make it to Tsukishima’s classroom before Tsukki was out of it. Together, the two walked hand in hand to volleyball practice. Tsukishima did not anticipate having to miss any more practices from here on out.

The whole team lit up upon seeing the two boys enter the room together. “I knew it!”, Tanaka exclaimed, as he jumped on the two boys. Sugawara hugged Daichi and exclaimed, “Oh, I’m so happy!” Daichi put his arm around Suga before turning to the raucous group of crows that had surrounded the new couple. “Alright, alright, that’s enough. Let’s get ready for practice. Everyone get changed, let’s go!” It was then that Hinata turned crimson. He slowly turned his head to Tsukishima. “....Tsukki….”, he started. “Kei”, Tsukishima corrected with a smile. “.........I have to get changed in front of our team.” Tsukishima raised an eyebrow, playing as if he had no idea why Hinata was saying this. “Yes? And? We do this almost every day.” Hinata spun and grabbed Tsukishima’s shirt. “AND you made my chest look like I went through war!” , Hinata hissed, trying not to be overheard. Tsukishima laughed and (unconvincingly) said, “Oh! Right! Sorry about that!” Hinata huffed as he walked over to his locker. He changed his bottoms first, moving slowly in the hopes that the team might filter out of the room by the time his shirt was off. He was lucky, and by the time he removed his shirt, only Tsukishima and Yamaguchi remained. “Oh my God, Hinata, what happened to you?!”, Yamaguchi exclaimed, snickering slightly. Tsukishima had, of course, filled him in while Hinata was agonizing over changing his pants, and though the two were dating, Tsukki and Yams couldn’t resist teasing someone if they had the chance. Hinata shot a glare at Yamaguchi. “Why don’t you ask him?”, Hinata exclaimed, throwing his t-shirt on in a hurry.

Practice went surprisingly well. Everyone-- including Kageyama-- were at the top of their game, and it felt like the team had gotten even stronger synergy, if that was even possible. “Nice work, guys!”, Coach Ukai yelled after a particularly harrowing volley between the teams. “Let’s take ten, then we’ll get back to it.”

Tsukishima knew what he had to do, though he really didn’t want to do it. After grabbing his water bottle, Tsukki walked across the gym over to Kageyama. The team tried to pretend they weren’t watching intensely, but luckily Kageyama had been so far away from everyone else that all Tsukki had to do was speak quietly and most of their conversation would be obscured.

“Hey”, Tsukishima said awkwardly. Had he ever just casually talked with Kageyama? “Hey”, Kageyama replied. “Um- no hard feelings, right?”, Tsukki asked, stumbling over his words and just generally feeling uncomfortable. “No hard feelings”, Kageyama said, still without any clear tone in his voice. Then, much to Tsukishima’s surprise, Kageyama extended his hand. Tsukishima took it and the two shook hands. After a momentary silence, Kageyama looked over to Tsukishima. “You were right, you know”, he said quietly. Tsukishima nodded. “Nothing’s gonna change.”, the blonde said in as reassuring a tone as he could muster. Kageyama nodded back, and together the two stood in silence. While their words were scarce, the two sullen boys understood each other. For the first time since joining the volleyball team, Tsukishima felt at ease-- as if maybe he had more friends than just Yamaguchi and Hinata. But he didn’t need to tell Kageyama that, and Kageyama didn’t need to hear it to understand it, as he was feeling exactly the same way.

Across the gym, Hinata couldn’t take it anymore. “Nnnnn, you guys!” Hinata yelled as he sprinted the length of the room. He bounded at the two salty boys, wrapping one arm around each. “My best friend and my boyfriend are friends now!”, he sobbed giddily. “‘Friends’ might be a little extreme”, Kageyama choked out. “You’re telling me!”, retorted Tsukishima. “You guysssss! ”, Hinata cried.

“Let’s get back to practice”, Ukai yelled out. All the boys returned to their spots on the court and played with all their might once more. Hinata was extremely energized after the interaction between Kageyama and Tsukishima, and was jumping and running and diving more than ever. In one of his famous dives where only he, with his amazing speed, could’ve saved a ball from being out, Hinata wound up hitting the ball before tumbling a few feet, ending up upside down against the wall.

Several members of the team gasped. “Hinata, are you okay?!”, yelled Sugawara as he ran over. “Hm?”, asked Hinata as he right-sided himself, “Yeah, I do this all the time, what’s the--”. And then he realized why everyone was gawking at him: when he’d landed upside down, his shirt succumbed to gravity and dropped to his neck, revealing the numerous bruises and bites that littered his skin. Tsukishima grinned through the blush that had settled upon his cheeks. This wasn’t exactly what he’d hoped would happen, and he suddenly realized that maybe he shouldn’t have assumed that any place on Hinata's body would be safe from public view, with how much the boy bounced and flailed about.

“TSUKKI!”, Hinata yelled, and everyone else laughed. “Hello?! Are we practicing or are we gawking at Shrimpy’s hickies?”, Ukai yelled.

 

* * *

 

On their way home from practice, Tsukishima turned to Hinata. “You know how we have the week after next off?”, he asked. Hinata nodded. Students were out of school the next week for teachers conventions. “Do you want to go away with me?”, Tsukki asked somewhat awkwardly. Hinata turned to him, amber eyes glowing. “Really?!” , he asked excitedly. “Where? How? How long? Oh my gosh, this is so exciting, I can’t--” Tsukishima planted his lips on Hinata’s. When he pulled back, he whispered, “I can’t answer your questions if you don’t leave room for me to interject, dumbass”, he said. Hinata squirmed. “Kei, stop! ”, he whispered excitedly, “You know what that does to me!” Tsukishima grinned, “Why do you think I do it?”.

Tsukishima turned back to the path they were walking. “Anyway. I had a long conversation with Akiteru when he drove me home last week. Coincidentally, Akiteru’s job is sending him to Tokyo for a convention on the same week we have off. Free hotel and everything. But since his girlfriend lives in Tokyo so he was just gonna stay at her apartment. He offered the room to us. He’d come check us in and then we’d meet back up at the train station when it’s time to go home. Otherwise, it’ll just be us.” Hinata beamed. “YES!”, he exclaimed, jumping up and down, “Yes yes yes yes yes! PLEASE thank your brother a hundred thousand times for me!!!” Tsukishima laughed. “We’ll leave on Monday, and be back on Friday night.”, Tsukishima said, addressing the other question of Hinata’s he’d managed to catch in the stream of words that erupted from the boy’s mouth. Hinata grinned up at Tsukishima. “These are gonna be the longest two weeks of my life”, he said, smiling. Tsukishima nodded. “Well, come spend the night at my house on Sunday night and then it’ll only be thirteen days, right?”. Hinata beamed. “Thirteen days… until I get to spend five whole days with the boy I love.” Hinata wrapped his arms around Tsukki and the taller boy leaned down and kissed the redhead.

“I can’t wait”, Tsukishima said through a huge smile.