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The King's Royal Mouth

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He wakes up to an eerily quiet and bright room.

Kageyama makes a move to sit up but hesitates, feeling wires curled and wrapped around his arms, connecting him to a drip.

He lays his head back down and sighs internally. Something feels off about his mouth, there's a dull ache in the back of his head, and everything below his waist feels sore.

He tentatively reaches up one of his arms, slowly rubbing his eyes before brushing the tips of his fingers over them, feeling bags.

I was crying.

The dull ache gets stronger, and he can't remember what happened. Something feels really off, but he can't pinpoint it.

His finger run down his face, feeling the heavy weight of plastic, which he recognizes as plastic, some parts made of rubber.

An oxygen mask.

He slowly lifts it off of his face, opening his mouth. He's about to mumble something to himself when he notices he can't feel anything. It's numb.

His head turns to the side and his eyes catch a pair of scissors on the sink counter.

The sun glimmers over them and the sudden flash sends him back by a mere 6 hours.

Sharp, glinting scissors, drawing closer to his face, but not to where he thought.

They lower, the cool metal coming in contact with his tongue. The pure agony that followed after was unimaginable.

"I'd always wonder what'd he'd do when put through shock. Looks like he's the still crying type."

He hears chuckles and flinches. Tears are streaming down his face, and he can barely distinguish the taste of salt as it's being overrun by a disgusting metallic taste, he feels the taste beginning to fade, to where he can't taste anything.

The pain is indescribable. It's sharp and his ears are ringing. He hates. He wants it to stop. He moves his mouth to speak, but gasps instead, blood spurting out with his exhale of breath.

Kageyama blinks his eyes clear of tears.

'I'm fine' he thinks to himself, 'the pain is gone and I'm safe now.'

He's about to call for a nurse, hesitating.

He tries to talk to himself.

"U-urgh... haa- hn!" He feels himself jolt, tears rushing to his eyes. This was it. It's all over. He can't talk. He knows he can taste though. He can taste things as he swallows them, him swallowing his own saliva through his gasps of sorrow helps remind him of the tangy metallic taste.

A door opens and in walks a doctor, clad in white, two nurses following behind quietly.

He smiles kindly at Kageyama, but when Kageyama stares into the eyes of the three, he sees pity.

"Mr. Kageyama, you're very lucky to be alive right now. You were found in an alleyway by two passersby." Kageyama nods, knowing this. He remembers.

He remembers a pair of calloused hands brushing hair out of his face as another pair pulled a jacket over him, fixing his clothes.

He remembers hearing one shouting at the other to call an ambulance, and the other quickly did as told.

"D-don't worry, we're calling an ambulance. Help will get here soon, just wait a little longer, okay?"  Kageyama nods to the blurry blonde-haired male.

"Sorry, but you aren't allowed to close your eyes." He hears the figure say as his eyes begin to droop.

He feels something in the back of his throat, bubbling, and he coughs, blood spurting out. 

The figure pulls on its sleeve, tugging it down and using it to wipe Kageyama's sweat and blood. The figure escapes his view and he feels it wiping down his legs, pulling up his boxers and shorts. 

Long fingers brush over a cut, and a pained gasp escapes his lips.

He's back to his hazy thoughts of wishing for the pain to end, but he can't even lift a finger.

"You idiot! You're supposed to keep him awake!"

He sees another figure walk over, looking the same as the blonde, save for the silver hair.

A jacket is carefully pulled over his shoulders and he flinches from the sudden contact.

His eyes are half open now, his eyelids drooping lower and lower. He hears incoherent shouts before he's finally able to focus once more.

"D-do you know your name? Can you tell me your name." Kageyama barely twitches his head in response, unable to nod, but the twins catch on, leaning closer.

Kageyama tries. He tries to talk. He really does, but a muffled sound of pain escapes instead, and he starts sobbing, more tears streaming down his face.

His vision focuses more with the tears, the droplets clearing his eyes of the strange haze.

His mouth opens and closes in a futile attempt to talk and he coughs out more blood.

"H-h-he can't talk!" One shouts to the other, he can feel their gaze on his bleeding, trembling lips, looking past that to the shredded tongue.

Kageyama feels himself give up and his eyes shut in calm once he hears the wailing sounds of the ambulance.

He has never felt more relieved in his life.

"As of your current condition, you seem to be okay. You'll be staying in the hospital for at least a week longer before you're released, do you have any guardians we may notify?" Kageyama blinks, rubbing away the small drops pooling up at the corner of his eyes.

He shakes his head. Both of his parents are gone. His mother dead and his father overseas.

"W-well do you have anyone we could tell?" The doctor asks, surprised by the setters response. He thinks back to the volleyball team. He doesn't want them to know. They'll render him useless and lame. He won't even be able to defend himself.

He shakes his head once more.

"Well, for the time being, you'll be staying here. The twins offered to help you for awhile until you get settled with your new... changes." Kageyama nods, he raises his hand to his mouth, fingers brushing over his lips.

He has a question, but how will he ask it? One of the two nurses sees his apparent distress, and walks over, handing him a small whiteboard, a small dock is attached to the side of it, holding an eraser and 3 different markers, blue, green, and black.

He pulls out the blue marker, nodding his head in thanks before scribbling down his question.

'How am I supposed to eat? Will I ever be able to talk again? Why can I still taste blood?'

The doctor shifts.

"We'll let you eat from drip pouches for now, but after around a month or so, you should be able to eat normal food, we'll teach you how, no need to worry. You can still taste blood, probably because your tongue wasn't completely removed by the base, you'll still have some tastebuds lining the entrance of your pharynx and at the base of your... tongue. As for speech, I'm sorry to say you won't be able to talk anymore, we can't do anything to change that," the doctor bows, followed by the two nurses, "I'm sorry."

Kageyama nods, tear pricking his eyes once more as he wipes away the questions with his hands, writing more.

'Can you please give me a note for when I go back to my school. I don't want any of the other students to know.'

The doctor sighs.

"Don't worry, we've already called the school and told them, but they won't disclose any information to any of the students." Kageyama sighs in relief, leaning back.

He didn't have any more tears left to cry. They quietly leave the room, leaving the exhausted boy alone.

He pushes away the blanket, pulling up the hospital gown slightly, looking at his legs.

Cuts and bruises ran across his thighs, scratches that obviously came from human nails. He fixes the dress, sitting up, wincing at the pain from his nether regions.

He carefully places the tip of his toes on the cold linoleum floor, slowly applying more pressure, repeating the process with his other leg.

He holds onto the edge of the bed as he stands, and he winces at the screaming pain between his legs.

He goes to take a step, but his body reaches it's limit, falling forward. He lets out a noise of shock and doesn't bother to hide his relief when he feels arms catch him.

He barely glances up, his gaze shifting from the floor to the smirking face of a blonde haired teen, a similar faced silver-haired copy not far behind.

"Eager to leave, eh?" Kageyama squints. They look familiar.

He grunts in response, nodding.

"So, Tobio-Kun, where were you trying to go?" Kageyama flinches at his name, looking up with shocked eyes.

He opens his mouth to reply, forgetting.

"Ou..." His eyes widen as he quickly throws his hands over his mouth to stifle the strange sound and ease the sharp sudden pain. His body trembles as he glares at the floor with sad eyes. He can't even talk properly.

The twins look on with pity, they knew everything that happened. From the beatings to the rape to the cut off tongue.

They were the ones that found him after all.

<><><>

Kageyama was given a small fruit pouch to drink, similar to the ones he always drank from. He hums in content, Atsumu the brown-haired twin, wiping his lips when he's finished. Which causes Kageyama to pout.

Atsumu already knows what he's thinking.

'I can wipe my own mouth!' He chuckles to himself as Kageyama's frown deepens and he looks away.

The silver-haired twin, whom he found was Osamu, took the empty pouch from him to throw away, and he hums once more in thanks.

Today was his last day here. He'd finally leave this boring place.

They just finished their lunches, and they were helping him as he packed up all the things the doctors gave him.

He was given a months worth of food pouches, ranging from fruit to meat.

When he was first given the meat pouch, he had grimaced and refused to eat it. In response, the twins refused to give him any other type of food.

He eventually gave in, taking a tentative sip, and finding it wasn't as bad as he imagined. It tasted like normal meat, other than the fact that it was ripped into smaller chunks and made easier to eat.

He was told to put everything in the fridge, he could just take out any if he ever wanted to eat them (he had to heat up any sort of meat or fish before consumption though).

The only things Kageyama was allowed to eat other than those not so small pouches were soups, drinks (that doesn't really count as eating though ... does it?), and soft foods such as curry, mashed potato, applesauce, and eggs.

He sighs and wipes his forehead with the back of his hand once he finished packing. He turns and finds that the twins were done as well, both picking up a package.

He bends over, picking up the final package for himself, but a pair of hands (not from the same person) pull it away from him.

Osamu silently offers to take it from his brother, and Atsumu shrugs, letting go of the package, allowing his twin to hold it.

Kageyama sighs, desperately wanting to shout that he could do it on his own, but he can't. He won't be able to tell them that, ever.

He sighs once more, and Atsumu winks.

"Don't worry, my brother is strong." Kageyama nods, looking to the side as they lead him down the halls.

They check out of the hospital and wait at the curb, calling over a taxi. Kageyama writes his address down on the whiteboard and the twins relay the message to the cab driver.

The drive home was silent.