As soon as the locker room empties out, leaving only the two of them inside (Hinata, with his hand still throbbing from the last block he'd made in the match, and Kageyama determinedly clutching a roll of finger tape), Hinata knows he's probably in trouble. He chances peeking in Kageyama's direction and—oh no.
"Kageyama!" he yelps, alarmed. "What's that look for?! We won!"
It had been a big victory, too. The two of them are still new on Japan's national team, but it's been a good season. Best of all, they both get to play pretty often, even though they're only fresh out of college.
"I'm not mad about us winning," Kageyama says sourly, "obviously, stupid Hinata."
"Then why are you glaring at me?" Hinata whines. It's true; Kageyama is really scary right now, a thunderstorm of an expression on his face. Eyebrows knit, lips pressed thin and angry, and his eyes like sharpened daggers. Hinata, in contrast, feels like he could jump and touch the sun after that game, so what's got Kageyama so mad?
He may as well voice the question, because Kageyama scoffs, and then says, "You got sloppy during that last block."
Hinata huffs. "Hardly. I had to move fast, Kageyama, fast, do you know what that—"
"I know you jammed your finger."
He stares at Hinata, less angry, more scrutinizing. Hinata scowls. Yes, he probably could have executed that better and not wound up feeling like he'd be better off if his fingers just fell off completely, but still. They won.
"I'll be fine," Hinata insists. He grins at Kageyama again, unable to be annoyed for very long, floating on the current high off their victory. "Come on, I wanna get some super good food to celebrate!"
Kageyama's hand shoots out, and he grabs Hinata's arm, stalling Hinata in his tracks. They both look surprised by this; it's like Kageyama hadn't meant to do it. Hinata stares at him as he bites his lip.
"You should wrap it first."
"I will," Hinata says. He pouts. He's hungry and tired and wrapping it seems like too much of a task right now, even if he knows Kageyama is right. "I'll do it after."
He starts to change out of his uniform, so Kageyama follows suit. He strips off his red uniform shirt and Hinata can't help but stare. A little bit. The red actually looks great on Kageyama, though it took awhile to get used to seeing him in it, and the thrill still hasn't quite worn off yet. National team.
But yeah, Kageyama is… impressive, without a shirt on. Hinata has had many years to appreciate that body, first secretly, then without bothering to hide it, and as of very recently, he was allowed to get up close and personal with it, so to speak. The well-muscled back and broad chest and shoulders and thick arms. The elbow brace Kageyama wears is tight enough around him that it squeezes the flesh of his bicep.
Right, that's the word for it. Impressive.
Kageyama somewhat reluctantly sets aside the bandages he's still clutching—like he hasn't quite got all the lecturing out of his system yet. He can lecture over curry and beer just fine, though, Hinata thinks. The thought of Kageyama's typical brand of scolding combined with lunch is not an unfamiliar one, actually. Hinata gets distracted, smiling to himself over the image of Kageyama stabbing some chopsticks angrily in his direction and trying to talk with his cheeks full of rice, when he goes and jams his fingers again as he's trying to get his hand out of the sleeve of his jersey.
Hinata sucks in the hiss of pain, trying to swallow it down so Kageyama doesn't hear it, but no such luck. Kageyama's head whips around in his direction like he's the big scary dinosaur from Jurassic Park, except instead of movement, he's sensitive to Hinata being a total loser who even after all these years can't block a ball properly.
Kageyama's eyes narrow. "Hinata."
"I'm fiiiine," Hinata says, but it may as well fall on deaf ears. Kageyama is already grabbing the bandages again, and Hinata sighs loudly, but allows himself to be dragged over to one of the locker room benches, where Kageyama makes him sit. Kageyama straddles the bench facing him, and Hinata dutifully sticks his hand out, so Kageyama can tend to it as he sees fit.
"Come closer," Kageyama says impatiently, and before Hinata can protest, there are two big, warm hands under his knees, and he almost topples backwards as Kageyama pulls him closer like he's got negligent muscle mass (which Hinata resents, but is also annoyed to realize he enjoys).
Kageyama makes sure he doesn't fall with a hand at the small of his back, and Hinata braces his hand on Kageyama's knee to steady himself. His thighs press against the insides of Kageyama's now, with the way Kageyama has draped Hinata's legs over his lap.
"Trying to stay far away from me, all of a sudden?" Kageyama murmurs, voice low, eyes not quite meeting Hinata's.
"I'm not," Hinata says softly.
"I'm not going to let it hurt."
"I know you won't."
Both of them have far outgrown the phase where they'd antagonize each other just for the hell of it. If they do that now, it's for fun, and because it's what they know. They know how to be around each other.
Kageyama reaches for Hinata's hand and Hinata lets him take it, lets him run his callused palm slowly up Hinata's arm, encircle Hinata's wrist easily with his long fingers. He strokes his thumb over Hinata's palm gently and Hinata shivers.
"I'm not mad," Kageyama says, as he unrolls the tape and starts to use it to wrap Hinata's fingers incredibly carefully. Hinata doesn't even feel a twinge. He just feels taken care of. "Not even about the block."
"You are, a little bit," Hinata says, with a small grin.
"I just don't like it when you get hurt," Kageyama says, frowning again. He frowns so hard sometimes, gets so serious over things that really can't be helped. Hinata is about to say that he doesn't really like it, either, when Kageyama admits: "You played well today, though."
God, if it hasn't taken years to get Kageyama to say that kind of thing to Hinata's face directly. Maybe Hinata should jam his fingers more often if that's what it takes. He laughs a little bit at the thought.
"Shut up," Kageyama says, "there are still some things you need to improve on, but—"
"Tobio, I don't need to be perfect," Hinata says, grinning at him. "The team already has you to be perfect for us."
Kageyama looks like he wants to glare but it gets stuck halfway between his brain and his face. Instead he just exhales heavily through his nose, finally looking up so he can meet Hinata's stare. Hinata feels his breath catch in his throat.
"Maybe," Kageyama says, cognizant as ever of his skills, yet still managing to be unboastful about it, somehow. It's not a boast when it's just a fact. "But I have you to be perfect for me."
He drops his eyes again, resuming his care of Hinata's hand, touch light as he holds Hinata's arm in place, wrapping the tape with well-practiced motions with his other hand. Hinata stares up at him without daring to look away. There's a blush coloring Kageyama's cheeks and the bridge of his nose that has nothing to do with the vigorous workout they got during the game. Hinata's face probably matches; he can feel how warm his own cheeks are.
He loves that heat, that warmth he shares with Kageyama. No one and nothing else can make Hinata feel like that.
He always wants to be closer to it. He likes that Kageyama finds reasons to pull him in, keep him within arm's reach, let him know that he's wanted here, with his legs thrown over Kageyama's, and his hands held so securely. Hinata can stare all he wants, and Kageyama will let him, even if he's still too embarrassed by it to meet Hinata's eyes. Hinata wants to reach out and touch all that gold, sun-brushed skin; but if he does, he knows he'll never stop.
So maybe later. Definitely later.
Hinata smiles. "I'll keep doing my best, then."
Kageyama raises Hinata's hand closer to his face to inspect his taping job, then brushes his lips to Hinata's knuckles once before he lets Hinata go. Kageyama surveys him, arches one eyebrow.
Hinata throws back his head and laughs, nearly losing his balance again. Kageyama catches him easily, looking not quite annoyed.
"Have I ever let you down, Tobio?"
Kageyama shakes his head. "Don't be stupid."
Still holding Hinata, he leans forward, until they are close, so close, and everything around Hinata is warm and flushed, and he has nowhere to look but Kageyama's blue gaze, the same eyes he's always trying to catch.
"You know you never could."