Outside of volleyball, nobody has ever accused Kageyama of making good decisions in the heat of the moment.
Nobody has especially ever accused Kageyama of making good decisions in the heat of the moment after waking up from a life changing, if somewhat nonsensical dream at 2 AM in the morning, and after this incident, they probably never will.
He clutches his phone in his sweaty grip and stares at it unblinkingly. The screen is entirely too bright in the dark of his room and his eyes are starting to burn. It is punishment, he thinks, punishment for not seeing the error of his ways until it was far, far too late.
I like you.
The message, bold and black on the stark white LINE background, is just there. It's there, on his phone screen, a reminder of his stupidity, of all the ways in which he has made a Terrible Mistake. At the top of the chat, the name of the recipient glares back at him:
Kageyama flings himself face first into his pillow and wails like a dying man (a quiet dying man… he doesn't want to wake up his parents). If it wasn't for that stupid dream… that stupid dream, and Hinata's stupid, idiotic, awful, adorable face…
In his dream, said face had seemed to take up all of his field of view. It's a little bit hazier now than it was when he first woke up, but Kageyama still remembers some of it. In the dream, Kageyama was going about his day like it was entirely normal, except it was absolutely not; Hinata's face was everywhere.
It was his alarm clock when he went to shut it off, chirping, "Good morning, Kageyama! Wake up! It's a beautiful day, because we get to see each other!"
It was the bottom of his cereal bowl when he went to pour his milk into it, cheerfully spouting, "What are you eating for breakfast? Eat well, so that you'll have lots of strength to play with me today! Oh, is that milk? Your favorite—blughhughglbubh." Kageyama had sincerely hoped Cute Cereal Bowl Hinata did not drown.
When the sun rose over the mountains as Kageyama walked to school, it was Hinata's face. Hinata's regular face seemed to Kageyama, sometimes, like it was actually brighter than the sun, so this wasn't all that weird. "Hurry, Kageyama-kun!" Sun-Hinata boomed from the sky. "You don't want to be late to volleyball practice! Let's have a warm day today!"
When Kageyama entered the dream-gym at dream-Karasuno, he finally broke. Every single volleyball—flying through the air, bouncing between the players, smacking into the ground—had Hinata's smiling face on it. One of them smashed into the gym floor to Kageyama's left and let out Hinata's signature "Hoegyah—" sound of pained distress. Kageyama trembled in fear and awe. This dream was either his greatest nightmare, or his greatest fantasy. Or possibly both.
"Kageyama, you're here! Let's practice our toss!" all the Volleyball Hinatas chorused.
Kageyama fell to his knees in the doorway of the gym. "Where's the real Hinata?!" he yelled. "Where's my Hinata?"
As though directed by angels from on high, the flurry of volleyballs somehow parted down the middle, and there, lit by heavenly rays, stood a fully formed Hinata, his smile radiant, his head attached to the rest of him.
"I'm here, Kageyama," he said, his voice echoing inside Kageyama's soul. "Don't you have something you need to tell me?"
Kageyama had woken with a gasp, clutching at his sheets. He had known what the dream was trying to tell him. He's known for a long time now, and his subconscious is right (and also, terrifying). There was no time like the present, he had decided. It had made sense in the moment, and also, he never wanted to watch Volley-nata get spiked into the ground right in front of him again. So he pulled up their LINE chat and sent it; those three fateful little words.
Immediately, horror had gripped him. What was he thinking? He and Hinata are friends, best friends, but they've never come close to discussing anything like this—like Kageyama's feelings for him. He can't just shove them on Hinata unannounced, because he'd been temporarily unhinged by some silly dream. He doesn't know if Hinata feels anything like that for him. He doesn't know how it might affect their friendship, the closest friendship Kageyama's ever had.
And now there's no way to undo it.
Or… is there?
The gears turn in his head as he fumbles for his phone in the sheets, looking at the conversation again. Hinata hasn't seen it yet—the message sent, but isn’t marked read yet.
Kageyama sends a panic text out to anyone who will listen. He's not proud of it; it is, after all, a time when most of his friends value their sleep. But he's desperate.
can you delete messages after sending them
He lies in bed, heart pounding, until his phone vibrates.
yuo wkoe me up i was climbig Tokyo Tower
Kageyama frowns. Apparently Yamaguchi has his own weird dreams to deal with. Briefly, Kageyama wonders if Tokyo Tower is a metaphor for Tsukishima. Speaking of which…
how did you get this number
don't contact me again
Well, that's unhelpful. Kageyama has had Tsukishima's number for over a year, and they text not infrequently about game strategy before upcoming matches. Maybe 2 AM is not the ideal time to send Tsukishima vague pleas for help.
press and hold the message with your finger
the option to delete it should pop up
Bless Kenma's insomnia and ability to play video games until the small hours of the morning, Kageyama thinks. He shoots back a quick thank you before testing it out himself in his and Hinata's conversation—press, hold, and… there! A menu of options pops up, and on it is delete.
Kageyama nearly jabs his finger through his phone screen selecting it. And poof—it's gone. "I like you" disappears, like it never happened in the first place.
With a sigh of relief, Kageyama settles back against his pillows. Secure in the knowledge that his feelings for Hinata will go unnoticed by Hinata himself, he falls into a soft and dreamless sleep.
When he arrives at practice the next morning, Yamaguchi gives him a friendly wave, Tsukishima squints at him like he's a true crime detective and Kageyama is the top suspect in a murder investigation, and Yachi rushes over to him and gasps,
"Tobio-kun, I'm so sorry I didn't answer your text last night!"
"It's okay," Kageyama says, feeling bad for making her worry. "Kenma responded anyway—"
"What text?" pipes an excited voice from the vicinity of Kageyama's shoulder. "Kageyama, you talked to Kenma yesterday? What were you guys talking about? Did you have a question about tossing?"
Kageyama turns to see Hinata hovering next to him, eyes shining with curious wonder. He clears his throat loudly. "Ah, y-yeah…"
Hinata lets out a drawn out squeak of anticipation, and then frowns. "But, wait, what did you have to ask Yacchan then?"
"Uh—" Kageyama says, trapped in his own lie immediately, but then Ennoshita calls for everyone to huddle up and he bolts.
The rest of practice is weirdly awkward. Kageyama is trying to act normal, and Hinata seems—perfectly fine, to be honest. But something is still different. Every time he works up the nerve to look at Hinata, Hinata returns his gaze with a smile that's so sweet and brimming with happiness it stops Kageyama in his tracks. Even when Kageyama tells him to pay attention to the game, or critiques his technique, it just makes Hinata laugh. Kageyama doesn't understand what's going on, so he just blushes harder and harder, feeling the heat creeping up the back of his neck, reaching up to his ears, every time he hears that laugh ringing out across the gym.
It's after practice and he's tried to make a hasty getaway, changing and heading to class before Hinata, but he's not fast enough. He turns to see Hinata bounding up to him. He stops in front of Kageyama and peers up at him, arms held aloft at his sides like a tiny airplane.
"You're being weird today," Hinata informs him.
"Am not," Kageyama says instinctively.
"Yeah, you are." Hinata taps his chin and then leans in to whisper, "This morning, maybe, were you constipa—"
Kageyama slams a hand down in his hair, tugging harshly. "Shut up! Why would you assume that?"
"I don't know, you're all grumpy and quiet and you seem like you're trying to hold something in, so—"
"I'm fine," Kageyama says. "Why are you laughing so much more than normal today?"
"Am I?" Hinata asks, seeming surprised. A giggle bubbles up out of him. "I guess… I'm still thinking about your message from last night! I never expected you to say something like that."
The entire region of Kageyama's chest where his heart is located freezes over. "What message?"
Hinata tilts his head. "The one you sent me… like, super early this morning?" He digs his phone out of his bag. "Remember?"
He puts his phone right in Kageyama's face, and there on the screen are those words again, come back to haunt him.
I like you.
"What…" Kageyama whispers. No, no, that can't be there. "I… but, I deleted… I deleted that." He saw it disappear himself.
"What?" Hinata asks. He looks at the phone and back at Kageyama. "What are you talking about, it's right here."
"Give me that—" Kageyama says, making a grab for Hinata's phone, but Hinata hops away from him, phone clutched to his chest.
"No!" Hinata says, eyes wide. "Why—why? Why are you trying to delete it?"
"Because," Kageyama says, desperately, "you weren't supposed to—I didn't want you to see it, why do you think?"
"But why would you send this if you didn't want me to see it?!" Hinata asks.
"Because I didn't—think—about it—" Kageyama says, swiping his hand at Hinata, trying to snatch the phone from him. Hinata dodges. "I just sent it, and it was an accident, so you don't have to keep laughing at me over it!"
"It was an accident?" Hinata repeats, his voice tiny.
"What else would it be?" Kageyama asks. He needs to fix this somehow and he senses he's doing a very poor job of it. People didn't just text other people that they liked them on accident, but maybe he can blame it on autofill or something—
But then Hinata's face falls entirely, all the glow going right out of it. This isn't what Kageyama had been expecting.
"What? Why do you look like that?" he asks.
Hinata shrugs morosely. "Sorry… I know we're f-friends now, and everything. But I guess it just made me extra happy to see this. From you." Kageyama's mouth falls open. Hinata sees his look of shock and waves his hands. "It's not a big deal, or anything! Like I said, we're cool with each other now! It's nice. I'm happ—"
"I like you," Kageyama blurts out.
Hinata's mouth snaps closed. He's very silent, for once, and Kageyama's thoughts are very loud: tell him.
"Not, like, 'friend like'," he continues. "Like… in a shoujo manga. Or those old movies Ennoshita-senpai really likes. Or—or like, our parents!" Awful example, now he's just imagining Hinata demanding foot massages like Kageyama's mom always does from his dad. Upon further reflection, this doesn't actually seem too far off base, but it's probably best to move on, anyway. "Okay, what I mean is, I didn't send that message by accident. I really, really do like you, and I just wanted you to know. That's… that's all."
He figures he's said more than enough. He worries the bottom of his t-shirt with his hands and waits.
"Kageyama… you're an idiot," Hinata says after a long moment, and Kageyama grimaces. "First of all, you can't delete messages off of other people's phones once you've sent them."
"I know that now," Kageyama mumbles at the ground.
"Second of all," Hinata continues, "you shouldn’t have tried, because… I feel the same way."
Kageyama looks back up at Hinata so fast he thinks he might've given himself whiplash. "You mean…"
"Like in a shoujo manga. Or old movies. Or…" Hinata wrinkles his nose.
"Okay, you don't have to repeat all of them," Kageyama says hurriedly. Then he can't help it. He grins, as relief and something much, much sweeter fills up his chest, making him feel like a balloon about to take off into the sky. Hinata grins back.
"I guess it's a good thing you sent it after all," Hinata tells him. He leans in, stands on his tiptoes, and presses his lips to Kageyama's cheek. "See you at lunch!"
He runs off before Kageyama can reply, leaving Kageyama to stare after him. His phone buzzes in his pocket and he fishes it out and checks his messages. One unread from Hinata. Kageyama opens the conversation.
i like you too
Kageyama pockets his phone again, checks from side to side to make sure no one is watching, and then clenches both fists with a triumphant,"Yes!"
He is still fairly sure nobody would ever say he makes good decisions. But, he thinks, the dumb ones he makes where Hinata is concerned—those somehow end up working out just fine, in the end.