Kuroo Tetsurou has one friend. He's known Kenma forever, so it hardly counts, but he tells himself it doesn't matter. He does well in school, he doesn't go anywhere on the weekends so he has lots of time for gaming, and he gets a lot of sleep. Sleep is really important to Kuroo; just ask his hair.
Sometimes Kuroo sees Bokuto fresh from morning practice, sweaty and flushed and grinning, and Kuroo can't help it – his head swings in his direction. It's not a big deal; half of the school stares at Bokuto and it's no wonder why. He's bright-eyed and talented and cheerful and built, and this is why Kuroo doesn't let himself stare too long, even though he wants to. And sometimes on those days where he has nothing to do, he winds up going to cheer on the volleyball team, sitting in the stands with a baseball cap jammed onto his head so all the people who don't know him anyway won't recognize him.
Volleyball is kind of fascinating, like Bokuto is kind of fascinating. Everything is so fast-paced and intense, and it's easy to see why someone like Bokuto gravitated toward it. Sometimes Kuroo wonders if he would have been any good at it, but when he runs the thought by Kenma, Kenma just snorts and asks if he brought his DS over.
One day, Kuroo's not looking where he's going and runs straight into someone. He mumbles an apology as he crouches to pick up his stuff that's now scattered all over the hall. He feels his face going hot and hopes it's not too red, but he doesn't have a lot of hope there.
"I know you, don't I?" the hallway obstruction asks.
Kuroo laughs and says, "I don't think so," but anything else he was going to say dies on his lips when he looks up and meets Bokuto Koutarou's eyes.
"No, I do!" Bokuto insists. "You're the funny guy who's always at our matches wearing a hat and sunglasses inside. Of course I know who you are! Do you have vision problems or something?" His face gets concerned, a tiny little wrinkle appearing in between his eyebrows. "Because, like, if you do, that's totally fine! Maybe I can talk to my coach about making accommodations for you –"
Kuroo holds up his hands because he's so embarrassed and he just needs Bokuto to stop talking. "I don't have vision problems." He runs his hands through his hair, probably making it stand up even more, and laughs. "I appreciate the thought, though."
Bokuto punches Kuroo in the arm, hard, nearly making him drop everything again. "No problem, bro! Keep coming to watch me – us. Us! I really appreciate it!" Then he walks off again, Kuroo watching as he leaves.
The next Monday, Kuroo's sending Kenma a threatening text, making sure he knows exactly what will happen if he doesn't return all of Kuroo's Pokémon cards in mint condition, even though it's not Kenma's fault that Kuroo left them over his house. He's just been a little preoccupied lately. So preoccupied, in fact, that he opted not to go to the last volleyball match because he thought he was getting just a little too obvious. And sad. And pathetic. Yeah, Kuroo's an expert at sad and pathetic.
Just as Kuroo's really starting to get down on himself for being such a huge nerd, the reason for his preoccupation shows up, shoulders slumped and using one of the other guys on volleyball team as a headrest. He isn't looking where he's going and if the other guy hadn't been holding him up, Bokuto would probably be face down and flat on the floor.
"Good luck at Nationals!" someone calls to him. "Do your best!" yells someone else. Bokuto, if anything, seems to slump more.
"I just don't understand why he wasn't there, Akaashi," Bokuto says as he walks past Kuroo. "I thought he liked me."
The other guy, Akaashi, turns his head and fixes Kuroo with a piercing gaze. "I'm sure he likes you, too, Bokuto-san. Who wouldn't like you?"
After school, Kuroo hangs around. A bunch of jocks give him weird looks, and someone from the administration tells him they don't allow students from other schools on the grounds; he has to dig out his dumb student ID with the picture where he's wearing his taped-up glasses from first year to prove he actually goes there. He waits till the other clubs come out, waits until Bokuto, fresh from practice, finally emerges from his clubhouse and starts to head home.
Kuroo takes a deep breath and steps forward, running straight into Bokuto's broad chest.
"I know you, don't I?" Kuroo asks, and Bokuto laughs, bright and happy.
Kuroo Tetsurou has one friend, has had one heated makeout session against the brick wall of the volleyball gym with the star player, and now, he guesses, he has a boyfriend, too.