If there was one thing to know about Hitoka Yachi, it’s that she was very observant. Over time she’d learned to pay careful attention to each of the volleyball players and how they work, and use those observations to help them. Lately, though, there’s been a problem on court she just couldn’t figure out the root of.
“What’s wrong Hinata? Forget how to hit a ball?” Tsukishima remarked after the sixteenth consecutive time the shorter boy failed to land a hit.
“Huh? It’s Bakageyama’s fault! That toss didn’t go anywhere near me!” Hinata yelled back defensively.
“Hey! I might have screwed up that last one but the one before it was your fault! You weren’t even looking at the ball.” Kageyama accused.
“Yeah well...you suck.” Hinata pouted, temporarily unable to think of a comeback.
For whatever reason, the freak duo had been completely off their game the past few practices. Yachi tried hard to figure out what was going on with them, but to no avail. They both kept taking their eyes off the ball, but she had no clue why. Kageyama was surprisingly yelling at Hinata less than usual, even though the orange-haired teen was messing up uncharacteristically frequently. Hinata was also acting a lot weirder around Kageyama, never wanting to look him in the eyes or make any sort of physical contact with him.
Maybe they got in another fight and aren’t sure how to make up? She considered. That would explain why they weren’t talking, and why they had such a hard time working together. Yachi was so intent on watching Hinata and Kageyama, it startled her when she heard a loud
Followed by Daichi shouting, “crap, are you okay Tsukishima?!” and Yamaguchi simply screaming “Ah! Tsukki!”
Yachi looked over to see the tall blond on the floor, his glasses slightly skewed and big red mark on his face. From the looks of it (and the sound) he got hit pretty hard. After looking at where everyone was standing in the court, Yachi could tell that he’d taken one of Sugawara’s spikes to the face. At least Asahi wasn’t the one hitting.
“Hey, I keep telling you first years not to receive with your faces! What the hell happened?” Nishinoya questioned, standing over Tsukishima and shaking his head disapprovingly.
“I just got distracted for a moment. It’s no big deal.” Tsukishima sighed, getting to his feet and fixing his glasses.
“Distracted? By what?” Noya asked.
Tsukki’s eyes seemed to widen, even if only for a second, and Yachi didn’t miss the way he glanced off to his side before blushing ever so slightly and stating, “nothing.”
Once Sugawara finished apologizing for nailing his poor underclassmen in the face, and Yamaguchi stopped panicking over whether or not Tsukki would be okay, practice went back to normal. Yachi wondered what it was that had the most focused of all the first years so distracted that he didn’t notice the volleyball coming straight at his face. She thought back to where he’d been looking, and tried to think of what might have been there. If I remember correctly… she mused, wasn’t Yamaguchi standing there?
That couldn’t have been it, could it? Of course she knew that the two friends were always watching each other and having each other’s backs, but that was normally only when they were playing. Why would Tsukishima be staring at Yamaguchi if the latter of the two hadn’t been doing anything but standing there? Especially while practicing receives.
Yachi had all the dots, that was for sure, but she couldn’t connect them. Like the other first years, she was a little dense about these kinds of things, and it never occurred to her how simple the answer to everyone’s playing problems was—at least, not on her own.
When practice was over, and she was getting ready to head home, Yachi was stopped by two unexpected teammates. “Hi Tsukishima, hi Yamaguchi. Is something the matter?” The poor girl couldn’t help panicking, thinking of multiple bad scenarios including them telling her she couldn’t be their manager, or that someone had died, or that the team was disbanding, or they were going to kill her—
“We need to talk to you about something.” Yamaguchi explained. Yachi calmed down immediately.
“Oh. Well okay, what is it?” Yachi asked them.
The two both froze, glancing around to make sure none of the other teammates were around. Yachi wondering why they were acting so cautious and suspicious. Maybe I was right! Maybe they really are going to kill me! Should I scream? But what if they’re not trying to kill me and I end up freaking them out? Is it worth the risk?
“It’s about Kageyama and Hinata.” Tsukishima told her. Oh...?
“What about them? Are they alright?” Yachi inquired.
“Other than having a chronic case of stupidity, they’re both fine. Anyways, that’s beside point.” Tsukishima said dismissively, trying to speed the conversation along.
“Sorry, go on.”
“I know this probably sounds weird but…” Yamaguchi began to ask.
“We need you to make those two confess to each other before we lose our minds.” Tsukishima finished for him.