Third Year Haikyuu - Captain Tsukishima - Vice Captain Kageyama - Character Study
Tobio you are a failure…
The opposing team blocks yet another spike.
Can’t you do anything right. Why are you such a bother. Why won’t you win. Why can’t you do this. You are so useless.
“Jump HIGHER!” but the spiker is barely able to reach the toss and send it over the net.
The wires wrap around him tighter. They cut his skin, graze his flesh.
“Match my toss if you want to win, DAMN IT.” the ball is tossed once again, smoothly easing out from the setters fingertips, fast and straight, the perfect bow, the perfect timing.
But nobody was there….
Every once in while Kageyama is shaken awake by a nightmare. Almost, like every normal person, he'll experience them, just much worse. It feels so real. Enough that he wakes up trembling and sweaty. Shaken to the core. Having him breath erratically with hasty in- and exhales, sweat perling on his forehead. He sits up straight. Throwing the blanket off as he opens his eyes. The court is gone. His heart beating a mile, a minute making him feel restless and confused. The realization: That he is awake, that it was just a dream usually takes a few seconds to hit him. Its like his mind is slowly concluding: Tobio you ARE awake. Calm down. And so he does. Slowly but steadily taking in the view around, blinking once, twice until his eyes get used to the darkness, trying to sooth his still slightly trembling body.
It is the middle of a full moon night. The bedroom filled with two rows of futons, as it was illuminated by the thin rays of moonlight, peeking through the curtains, fighting off the darkness. A silent and peaceful night, but his soul, one of twelve, was wide awake. The people left and right fast asleep. A bright ginger ace to his left, their captain to his right. His eyes travel along the rows. Stopping at the one next to him. His pale skin and golden curls shining eerily beautiful in the silver light and he couldn't take his eyes off. Truth be told: He'd never felt like this before. Never experienced something like this before. It was very odd again.
It all started how it always did. Bicker and poking. Annoying and witty commentaries. He'd never understood the feelings those felt who were in love. He didn't know about 'love', didn't know how it was supposed to feel. Or better say: what he was supposed to be like. He didn't know, at least that's what the told himself. He couldn't tell what that was, in his chest, that made his heart ache. He didn't want to care. But somehow he did, didn't he?
The raven wasn't good at expressing his feelings, allowing them even. What started as something hostile, a headache causing nuisance, became something he learned to adapt to. Take it as a game. Like throwing the ball over the net, give and take. He learned to receive in a completely new way. Take the salt, accept it but fire back if he could. Something changed.
He did remember one day in their first year; a game, in which he made all 190 centimeters of Tsukishima really jump, a higher toss than usual. A sickening sense of satisfaction for the setter and Tsukishima just did it without complaint. They didn't sneer at each other right afterwards, even if the blond glared, he kept his mouth shut and it was the best damn thing that happened to Kageyama all day. They somehow slotted together. All of them. No matter how many times they called each other out, gave each other names. Somehow the team started to work. Not like in this stupid nightmare. He’s had it to many times again, lately. But things were not like that anymore. He didn’t know what made him so afraid again. That wasn’t like him. Sometimes all the things swirling in his head seemed to catch up. A failure? He sighed but still kept his eyes on the blond.
Kageyama was happy about Hinata spiking the ball hard enough, that it easily broke through two blockers. He was happy the ginger wasn't afraid of them anymore. Score on his own. Make use of the opponents underestimating him.
He was proud about Yamaguchi's bad ass serves, which, even Nishinoya-san struggled to receive. He couldn't help but smirk to himself whenever the freckled boy got them another point, leaving their enemies in awe.
But what really made him happy was when the people, on the other side of the net, misread the boredom on Tsukishima's face and took it as if he didn’t care. Especially in those moments, when he blocked the ball right into their faces and smirked down at them. When they gasped and groaned since he read their every move. Predicted their next step, persistent and annoying.
Tobio loved the game but he also loved the people he'd grown so much with. This dream happened over and over again, but it shouldn't be intimidating anymore. Not as much as it used to do a while ago. He wasn’t alone anymore. He would never be alone again.
Everyone on this side of the net is your ally.
He’d always have to remember these words spoken to him too many times.
He still didn't like the nicknames. Didn't quite enjoy the teasing and provoking but he didn't mind it that much anymore either. Somehow Tsukishima's teasing, calling him names like 'Majesty and King' wasn't as bad anymore. He'd gotten used to it. He never stopped being kind of a king, but he learned that he's not a ruler. He might even be a leader. But he is no tyrant anymore.
He changed. Even if he couldn't quite tell how. He felt different. He had his friends and they were standing by his side. There was no falling behind. They stood together. They all changed him. Became his shield. Became his strength. Even Tsukishima. He'd been anchored by them and he was grateful for it.
Especially Tsukishima. For quite a while now, they somehow changed together.....
His deep blue eyes flickered back to their captain. Light curls, long blond lashes and pale fair skin. Without thinking further he slipped out from beneath his own blanket, as quiet as possible, a frown on his feature. Glancing around, one last time, he carefully sat down next to the sleeping blond. A weird rush of flurry made him shiver.
This is nothing new, isn't it?
Wrong, it is and Tobio knows for sure. He'd never dared to do something like that with people around them, asleep or not. No matter how many times they provoked each other until one of them snapped. No matter how many times they ended up pushing and pinning each other against the walls of storage rooms, empty locker rooms or even the barely used corridors on their floor, at school. Shit they really shouldn't do this. It felt so unlike him and he didn’t know why he wanted it but he did. All of it didn't really matter..
It all started a few months ago. Once again, he’d been at Tsukishima's place, upstairs in his room, studying. Yes, even after the disaster in their first year. Which they barely managed to turn around, with the help of several others including Yachi and Yamaguchi and the blond almost murdering him and Hinata in the progress. He did dare to ask Tsukishima for help again. Not like there had been much of another choice anyways. He couldn’t straight out ask Yachi anymore because she didn’t feel good enough at those subjects to teach him. She was doing everything possible for the team already and he didn't want to bother her. Yachi had always been too nice to them. On the other hand Tsukishima was good at school. He was somewhat amazing with his grades. He’d seen so in their first year and even if it made him cringe greatly he had to throw his pride out of the window. Passing was all he had to do.
Kageyama never stopped to secretly admire Tsukishima's mindset, he always seemed like he didn’t care and things were easy as they are. It seemed like no matter what schoolish task he was handed, he’d solve it without further problem. Tobio wasn’t stupid or dense. He didn’t feel like the smartest bulb in the chandelier either but he wasn’t dumb. Far from it actually and even the blond middle blocker seemed to realize that. He just couldn’t concentrate sometimes, feeling unable to focus on stupid english or math, knowing far to well that he’d need that stuff, that he couldn’t avoid it all the time. Fleeing into not-so-glorious excuses, like japanese people can't do english. Riiiiiiight. Not worth thinking about it anymore. He struggled with teachers that were just yelling and demanding all the time. Not that he didn’t like a good challenge but sometimes he was exhausted by the mere thought of their homework that he ended up procrastinating not doing them at all. He just didn’t want to bother with this stuff more than necessary but sooner or later it would lead him down the road to be almost benched again.
So that's how he ended up in front of Tsukishima's door, hoping that the other wouldn’t shut the door straight to his face again. He had no choice and no money to ask for someone else to tutor him. This was his only hope if he didn’t want to be excluded from practise. Thanks to an increasing stress level his grades did drop further and now he was on the edge again.
At first he’d only done it because of volleyball. Studying allowed him to keep playing. He knew his mother thought of it as stupid, because if she would be the one in charge he’d solely focus on school and become something useful. Something, he couldn’t bother anyone with. She’d never stop complaining about his not existing skills. How do we behave, so no one will notice, her son being such a useless fool. Clinging to his childish dreams? Why can’t he be something good, normal maybe. Date a girl and become a good adult. Something their neighbors couldn’t talk bad about. Maybe a lawyer or a banker. Something she could be proud of. Except she wasn’t. Ever….
Shaking his head he was back at reality, just slightly miffed about how his thoughts wandered off. This was happening to many times, lately. He didn’t like thinking about this. He’d given up on proving his point. Just like he’d done so many times, it was no use. Sometimes, something told him he and Tsukishima had a lot more in common than expected, but he preferred to ignore it.
It had taken him a whole Strawberry Shortcake, from the small bakery, down the street and being incredible persistent, to convince the stubborn middle blocker, to help him to reach passing grades at least.
Long Story short: They soon figured out, that with Hinata's absence, Tsukishima won’t become annoyed right from the start. He seemed much more capable of dealing with the setter alone. A tiny little bit less spikey than expected. He did remember the first attempt far to well. With Tsukishima's facial expression like he was enduring real physical pain, whenever either of them only opened their mouths to speak. Not a good way to aim for better grades if your tutor looks like he wants to end himself on regular basis. This time was different tho.
With Hinata gone, god beware, the ginger flummy grew to be his best friend after all, Tsukishima seemed to lose some tension, as their sessions were less loud and obnoxious.
He soon picked up on the blonds habits and with the idiotic shrimp out of focus and no one there to distract him, he started to study the bespectacled crow a little more. Observing his behavior and learning to read it, to poke it and when it was best to retreat with withdrawn tail.Tsukishima wasn’t violent at least not outwardly so. His tongue is sharp and words are pointy a lot of times but somehow the raven became so used to it that he was barely bothered by it anymore.
Provocation now went mostly over his head instead of straight to his chest. He didn’t know how they did end up like that in the first place but somehow they spend more time together doing stuff, or better say he did stuff like maths and english and Tsukishima jabbed him with insults while feasting on his cake.
Somehow Kageyama ended up in the exact same bakery, every week, to buy his very much needed cake-sacrifice. It became so naturally to him, that he didn’t even notice how he was looking forward to their study sessions. Bickering with Tsukishima became part of their routine and it wasn’t that bad anymore. He kind of even enjoyed it and whenever he thought about it, it was weird again.
He didn’t know how, but somehow, he started to... not mind the blonds presence anymore, if even, liked being around him from time to time. Sometimes he ended up staying longer at the blonds place, unable to excuse himself, lacking a proper reason, as he couldn’t find himself wanting to leave. Especially with Tsukishima's mom being surprisingly persistent concerning her sons friends. She was nice and Tobio liked it oddly enough.
He learned that Tsukishima had an older brother, not that the team didn’t suspect that beforehand but now it was plain obvious, of course. He noticed that his mother and brother were bright opposites, character wise, compared to the salty blocker. He also learned that Tsukishima's father was a dick. He did remember a saying or whatever it was called, about the apple and the trunk, but the exact wording was missing. They were just the perfect example of it.
Kageyama learned a lot of little things about the other. He learned that Tsukishima likes music farther than just for the mere purpose of ignoring people or cancelling conversations.
And somehow, Tsukishima had become much less of a pain in the butt with the time throughout their second year. He still was the incarnation of the salt-goddess but Kageyama came across some more small things he discovered about the blond, apart from his unhealthy obsession with sweet baked goods, of course. For example he found out that Tsukishima liked music for both the lyrics and the melody. He seemed to pick the songs randomly independent from genre or artist. Sometimes they listened to some music and Kageyama had been curious enough to ask.
“So what are you listening to with these things on your head all the time?” he’d said while pointing at the huge white headphones hanging around the blonds neck, whose eyebrows were knitted together, not with annoyance but with confusion. “Since when does the emperor care about the peasants taste in art?” he’d jabbed which made the setter huff in offense. Since when was he an emperor?
Why were so many people thinking that he never cared about others? Did he seem so selfish? Was he that aggressive that he made it seem like he didn’t want to know about them? He kept pondering about the blonds words, once more. He’d lately started thinking about it again. More than ever before questioning what caused people, like Tsukishima, to say things like that apart from the purpose to get under his skin and greatly on his nerves.
He didn’t notice how said middle blocker approached him. All out of the sudden a weight was settled over his ears and he blinked with great confusion as he found himself equipped with the headphones and a surprising amount of ….nothingness caused by their noise cancelling. Just silence. Almost nothing to hear (yet) and the surprise was written all over his face apparently with the way Tsukishima chuckled mockingly in front of him, fishing for his phone.
Once plugged in Kageyama didn’t know what to expect. The music started playing. A nice but somehow a little dull melody, very soft at first. He listened with anticipation as it seemed to clear out and some sort of beat was added to it. The voice that started to hum the chorus had been a little too squeaky for his taste at first but then he got the hang of it, eventually and listened to the rap part that was now in his ears. He couldn’t understand most of it, his skills in english not fluent enough, but he got the hook. The key of the song and watched the blond while the words rung in his mind.
I got broken wings
I keep dyin', keep tryin'
No, I won't give up
Oh I'm flyin', I'm flyin'..
During his first year he’d never really wondered about any of them. He’d come to Karasuno because of the news about the retired Ukai returning. That was his only reason to pick that school, once a true powerhouse. He not even cared for anything else.
He’d just seen Tsukishima like that one apathetic asshole that could be found everywhere. He’d just viewed him like: that's the one with a giant stick up his ass, not that he, himself, was less fitting for that description. For a second or two he really wanted to punch him. Or shake him. Whatever just make it stop. This nagging feeling of failure.
I got broken wings, but I'm still flyin'
With a loss of faith, and I'm still tryin'
Well, it was wrong to say that he wasn’t aware of his ‘vibes’. But predicting what others would take him for, turned out to be so incredible hard and exhausting that he simply gave up on it. He’d learned very early that he didn’t need anyone. That he didn’t have to rely on anyone but himself and that he could take care of himself on his own without any help. At least that's what he thought at first.
Working with Hinata at the very beginning had been the hardest task ever, he had to admit that. Adapting to the shrimps loudmouth-ness and his undying want to grow intrigued the setter greatly. He’d been pissed off by the ginger just as much as he’d been with Tsukishima, but the blond did much more than simply rubbing salt into open wounds. He proved to be more complicated but also less randomly pissy as expected at first.
Truth be told: The first time they played each other, the only thing he truly wanted was to wipe that smug shit eating grin from the bespectactled boys face. It took them weeks, no almost their entire first year to get along. All of them.
I had a dream, I'm pursuin'
It's hard to have these hopes and dreams...
He’d seen all of them crumble at the task of growing more, just like he did so many times. He’d seen Hinata spread his wings and fly. He’d seen Yamaguchi reach for the stars during the match against Shiratorizawa. He’d seen Tsukishima rise and he’d seen him fall. He’d started to view the blond differently.
And all and foremost they all changed him. Kageyama knew that he had changed. Even now sitting here at the blonds desk while Tsukishima's phone sat in his lap as the blond turned, to tend to something else, rummaging through some stuff in his bag looking for something. Tobio glanced at the screen finding a picture of two black wings displayed there as the songs cover. Folded and crooked but still somewhat unexpectedly beautiful, both covered with pitch black, soft looking, feathers.
Eyes back at the other boy again…
It's okay to dream while you are mind fucked
Spreadin' both of my wings
I wanna fly but...
He’d also learned that Tsukishima Kei was very sensitive to music…
I got broken wings
I keep dyin', keep tryin'
No, I won't give up
Oh I'm flyin', I'm flyin'..
All out of the sudden Kageyama was devoured by feeling on the edge. Eyes darting around again, scanning every sleeping face in the room until he found Tsukishima's again. He frowned at himself, heart beating erratically in his chest. Fuck that. Fuck them. What kind of weirdo did he become?
Finally his hands reached for the duvet covering the taller boy. Barely taller, just for the record, since the setter caught up on height by a few inches. Then he slipped in underneath it, not wasting much time, earning himself a soft grumble coming from the other as he invaded his personal space. Startled by the sound he glanced around them once more and thankfully found nothing but sleeping faces, closed eyes and soft snores as one of the first years rolled on their back.
Tsukishima, on the other hand, had always been a rather light sleeper. He sometimes even struggled with insomnia, keeping him awake for days at worst, making him especially cranky and unbearable. Mostly caused by his mind being too loud, too many things swirling in his head, to let him hit the depths of proper sleep. Of course he wasn’t thrilled to be disturbed by something like this….
When the blond felt the soft ruffling of his blanket and something weightening down the softness of his bed he was slowly pulled from his dreamless sleep. A little drowsy and somewhat confused he grumbled. Wasn't prepared for the heat suddenly breaking in from his left side.
This was weird. Oddly strong arms snaked around him. One below his neck the other over his tummy and he hummed, a mixture of ‘what the hell’ and ‘this is nice’ in return not quite sure if he was happy with being shuffled around like that. That is, until a barely audible whisper was mumbled into his ear. Warm breath ghosting over his skin: "O-oi.. Salt Queen.." - and Tsukishima's mind was wide awake with that.
Waken from his slumber that early in the morning (or very late in the night?) didn’t sit right with him. Eyebrows knitted together with disgruntlement he blinked a few times blinking against the darkness to find some shapes and turn his head.
He could imagine who was disrupting his sleep. The intruder inched closer, warm body heat pressing against the lean frame of the blond and he eventually glared at the tyrant that was shamelessly hugging him a little closer if possible.
Amber gems, his eyes illuminated by the dim moonlight, like fireflies in the dark glowered at the setter. His vision too blurry to identify the raider by sight, (not that he was already almost entirely blind without his glasses in daylight anyways) but the voice and warmth, the dark mess of hair and slight crumpled silhouette of his face was enough give him away.
“What the fuck King..?” he hissed. being ‘Shhhh-ed’ by said raven immediately. He turned a little more to face the setter. At first the raven only wanted to cuddle up to the other, relish it a little since it was calming his tingling mind and he felt better immediately. But then another thought tumbled through his mind….
The setter pressed a soft kiss to the other boys lips which made the blond grumble once more. He obviously wasn’t against it, not entirely, but the audience seemed to worry him.
Tsukishima knew that not all of them slept like rocks. Not everyone ignored noise like Kageyama managed to do most of the time. If any of them spotted them, things would go weird way to soon, very fast. “W-what are you doing? Someone will see..K-King?” the blond mumbled obviously flustered, but the other didn’t listen to his caution.
“They are asleep.. I checked twice..I-I..want.. I mean..” Kageyama was shit at expressing his sudden flash of feelings. His urge to be close to the moon that however managed to bring some light into his darkest nights. Nights like this in which he felt so lost again no matter how much rational thoughts he hammered into his raging mind. He just felt like Tsukishima's mere presence was calming him down. Even with his asshole attitude (he always managed to get under the Setter’s skin surprisingly easily, no matter what) he sometimes gave the setter something to rub off on without pushing him away. Tsukishima wasn’t afraid of his moods or taken aback by some intense frowns. Rather the opposite. The middle blocker didn’t really mind it. At least not anymore. Sometimes he even seemed to enjoy it. He shot back from time to time of course but something changed...
“W-what do you want? What's so important that you can’t wait until tomorrow, you brick?” the blond whispered again, now patting the soft surface next to him for his much needed glasses and pushed them onto his nose for support, still lowkey glowering at the other. Something seemed so off about the setter that he almost worried.
“Shut up..” was the ravens grumbled reply, the minor pout a slight hint of embarrassment, while they simply kept watching each other in the dimly lit room. It did nothing to ease the worry Tsukishima felt. Kageyama usually wasn’t one to take risks. It seemed very unlikely. He was about to ask if he was okay but then decided against it. If the other wanted to share, he would, without being asked, right? It wasn’t the first time that he seeked the blonds comfort by just snuggling up wordlessly, being as smooth as it could be expected from the raven. So not smooth at all. Hopefully it wasn’t too bad. He just didn’t want to push it.. On the other hand, if things weren’t bad enough Kageyama wouldn’t risk being caught like this in the middle of, literally, everyone. Maybe he should ask after all?
“Tch...baka what do you think you-”
Tsukishima was silenced by the setter again, plush lips on his own. The sudden thrill send shivers down his spine, causing a low squeak of surprise to stumble from his lips which was swallowed immediately. His amber eyes went wide for a moment but he relaxed back into the touch rather easily. Kageyama put his warm palm against his cheek, holding him softly in place and didn’t let go. Again he wasn’t really sure why the raven did this.
Chest to chest Tsukishima felt his heartbeat.
Tobio just did what he felt like, since that's what he could trust in. Right now he just wanted to be closer to the blond. Didn’t want to talk or complain. Just feel good again. He was coaxing the sleepy blond into a battle. Heating up their chaste kiss, once he was granted entrance.
He did learn a thing or two after all their ‘practises’.
A smooth game of press and pull. Tsukishima was intrigued by it, weak and pulled in, but still very well aware of the people around them, more or less fast asleep. He couldn’t help it tho. Humming barely audible into the kiss and shifted enough to wrap his arms around the others neck in return. Fingertips brushed through the short soft tufts of hair at the back of the others neck. What a weird thing to do in the middle of the night.
Neither of them knew how they started this. How they slipped into this more than being friends but less than boyfriends kind of thing. How they fell for this. Get addicted to the feeling of wanting each other. Kind of needing each other. Enjoying each others touch. Pleasured by the warmth that spread between them whenever they did this. Labeling was hard so they didn’t, yet. It was comfortable, more than that even. It felt right and neither of them cared.
Things weren’t innocent all the time but they also didn’t just kiss and goodbye.
For them, kissing had become something relieving and oddly satisfying. It is not about locking lips like fish. It's a steady, slightly sloppy gamble about the upper hand. Somehow a little about subtle hints of dominance. Being a little shameless and maybe somewhat daring, pressing in. Guiding the other, let him take over. Whatever it was, it simply felt amazing.
A gentle brush of tongue at first, a little cheeky as he pushed Tsukishima down. Something they’d done one to many times, to ignore the flutter in his chest, caused by the danger of being caught.
They only parted for a silent gasp of air, a second or two until Kageyama claimed his lips again. Doing this now felt so wrong but so, so good. Oddly satisfying and somewhat incredible….
What they didn’t know: Rich brown eyes focused solely on them, blown wide in disbelief and confusion. Those eyes caught the barely noticeable shift, the squirming and the subtle touches. All the kindness, so unexpectedly out of nowhere. Hazel gems were watching them in the dark, as the setter seemed to scoot in closer, slightly on top of the blond, and even with the blanket settled on top… Those eyes easily caught the slide of his thigh in between the gap of the captains long legs. Those eyes were glued to the shadows. Eyes burning. Starting a fire deep down in this someones chest. Devouring him. Wrapped agonizingly around their heart. Squeezing, hard and mercilessly. Not able to understand. unable to believe but to scared to breath..
Kei didn’t know at what point Tobio vanished, to roll back to his own bed. He didn’t remember clearly, but the next morning came and the blond woke up all alone again. The setters warmth gone, his touch as well. Only his scent lingered but that could also be because said raven was sprawled out on his futon, right by Tsukishima's left side. Then again he soon wondered if he simply dreamed last night's events? Did Kageyama really feel ravenous enough to.. do this? It seemed a little unlike him, right? Well even when he doubted it, there was indeed still a soft tingle, dancing on his pinkish lips which could only be caused by massive abuse not that long ago…
What the hell..