When Tsukki stepped off his bus he noticed that Yamaguchi wasn’t waiting for him like usual. He checked his phone, thinking maybe Yamaguchi sent him a text. Nothing. Tsukki figured he could wait a minute or two, if Yamaguchi didn’t show up by then then Tsukki would leave and see him later.
Tsukki got through one whole song before he decided to head off to school. Tsukki didn’t pay much mind to the walk; he had his music to fill the silence. When he arrived for morning practice Hinata pestered him on Yamaguchi’s whereabouts, to which he responded that he wasn’t Yamaguchi’s keeper. When Sugawara-senpai asked him he simply responded that he hasn’t seen or talked to him this morning. Sugawara-senpai responded, hoping that everything was alright before Sumawara-senpai began practice.
Yamaguchi hadn’t shown up by the end of practice and Tsukki brushed it off and assumed he would see him during class. He overheard Hinata mention to Kageyama that Yamaguchi hadn’t answered his texts. Tsukki brushed that off too.
By the time he was walking into class he saw Yamaguchi already sitting in his seat with his head down and his clothes ruffled. Tsukki walked over to his seat and sat down next to him and began looking out the window. Yamaguchi didn’t greet him, Tsukki tried not to be offended at that.
A gaggle of girls came over to greet Yamaguchi and him and when Yamaguchi didn’t perk up and say hello to them the girls glanced over at Tsukki with a silent question wondering if Yamaguchi was ok. Tsukki pinched his lips together and tsked. The girls left them alone.
Right before class started Yamaguchi sat up with a groan and Tsukki rolled his eyes. If he’s going to sleep in and miss practice then he should at least not fall asleep at his desk. He heard a girl gasp and his curiosity got the better of him as he turned to look at the source of surprise and noticed Yamaguchi with a black eye and swollen lip. Tsukki felt himself freeze up. What happened to Tadashi? The girl next to him and in front of him instantly asked what was wrong and what happened.
Yamaguchi gave a pained smile and told them he got jumped by his dog this morning and they had an accident and it was nothing, he was just a little sore. The girls accepted the blatant lie and reassured him that if he needed anything then to not be afraid to ask them. Tsukki fought down the boiling rage under his skin; Tadashi didn’t have a dog. Tadashi didn’t have a dog, so someone hurt Tadashi on purpose or else he wouldn’t have lied about it.
Yamaguchi glanced over at Tsukki and Tsukki flinched before turning away from staring at Yamaguchi and went back to looking out the window. He would talk to Yamaguchi later.
Tsukki was thankful when lunch finally rolled around. He hadn’t been able to concentrate as well in class and he kept looking over at Yamaguchi, who was focusing more intensely on the lesson than normal. Something was really wrong; when something was wrong Yamaguchi would laser focus on school.
“Tsukki,” Tsukki looked up at Yamaguchi who stood with his hands behind his back and down at the ground. “Do you wanna eat lunch together?”
Tsukki wasn’t sure why he asked every Goddamn day if they wanted to eat together. Tsukki nodded. "Let's eat outside.” Tsukki stood up and walked out of the room and Yamaguchi followed. Tsukki noticed everyone staring at them as they left the room.
When they finally got outside to sit down Tsukki opened his lunch and began to pick at it. He wasn’t particularly hungry. He noticed Yamaguchi didn’t have his lunch with him. He tried not to let that bother him. Yamaguchi sat awkwardly and silently next to him.
This time, Tsukki was the one to break the silence. “You don’t have a dog.”
Yamaguchi flinched. He looked down and fiddled with his shirt. “No, I don’t.”
Tsukki continued to pick at his food. He really had no appetite. He shoved his food at Yamaguchi. “Eat this; I’m not hungry.” Yamaguchi tried to give it back and protest, but Tsukki shot him with a look that didn’t allow him to argue. Yamaguchi slowly began to eat out of Tsukki’s lunch. “So, what happened?” Tsukki asked as he looked around for music to listen to.
Yamaguchi picked around the food. “Some guys jumped me on my way to meet you at the bus today. They took my lunch, phone, and wallet.” Tsukki felt himself tense up.
“Pathetic,” Tsukki ground out through clenched teeth.
Yamaguchi gave an uneasy chuckle and winced. “Yeah, I know it is. Sorry, Tsukki.”
Tsukki wanted to correct him and tell him that the guys that beat him up were pathetic, but he wasn’t good at comforting so he just remained silent. When Yamaguchi finished eating he handed the box back to Tsukki and thanked him and apologized again. Tsukki huffed and took the box before listening to his music until it was time for them to go back inside.
As soon as school was out Tsukki sent a text out to Sugawara-senpai saying that he and Yamaguchi wouldn’t be at practice, thankfully his senpai only replied with an affirmative and wished them a good day.
Tsukki and Yamaguchi walked in silence together while Tsukki listened to his music. It was unnerving. When they arrived at Tsukki’s bus stop Yamaguchi stopped and expected to part ways with Tsukki but Tsukki kept walking.
“Uh, Tsukki, this is your bus stop.” Yamaguchi stated. “Unless you wanna walk me home or come over, then that’s alright too.”
“I’m not walking you home, Yamaguchi. I just have some stuff to do and happen to be going in the same direction.” Tsukki stated as he kept walking.
“S-sorry Tsukki,” Yamaguchi fumbled as he jogged to catch up to him. They continued to walk towards Yamaguchi’s house, Tsukki never diverging to go do whatever stuff he needed to do.
“Hey Freckles,” Yamaguchi tensed and Tsukki instantly noticed. Two men stepped out and looked at Yamaguchi. Tsukki didn’t like the way they were looking at him. “That eye is looking nice. Whoever did that much have been a real artist.” One of them glanced over at Tsukki and Tsukki glared back at him.
He looked around Tsukki’s height, but he looked pathetic, like he didn’t have a brain behind his skull. Obviously, or else he wouldn’t have picked on Tadashi, Tsukki thought. The other one looked shorter, but only a little, with a bigger build, maybe like Azumane-senpai.
“It’s a shame our other friend isn’t here to admire this and join the fun, especially since you brought a friend.” The tall guy commented.
Tsukki stepped in front of Yamaguchi and in the guy’s face. “Are you threatening us?”
The short guy sneered. “I would back down, blondie.” The asshole advised. “You can see what I did to your friend, there. Just hand over any valuables you have and I’ll let you two go, in working condition.” He patted his pants, where Tsukki assumed Yamaguchi’s wallet and phone were.
Tsukki took off his bag and jacket and shoved them at Yamaguchi. Very calmly, Tsukki rolled up his sleeves and before either of the guys could register what Tsukki was preparing for he delivered a calculated punch to the taller one’s throat.
The guy wheezed out and began coughing. Tsukki took the opportunity to punch the guy straight in the gut. The guy doubled over and Tsukki grabbed his shoulders and kneed him again and again. He pushed the guy up and sent a direct punch to his jaw. The guy fell back on the ground and tried to gather himself and continued to cough.
The shorter one came at him with a punch that Tsukki easily dodged and grabbed the guy’s arm and twisted it around his back. The guy cried out in pain and Tsukki kicked the back of his knees to bring him to the ground. He pushed him from his knees to lie on the ground. He took a hold of his hair and slammed his head on the ground.
Tsukki heard Yamaguchi squeak his name but Tsukki still didn’t back off. He continued to beat the living shit out of the two guys until he felt Tadashi grab his arm to halt him from delivering another punch. He looked at Tadashi and felt the red burning cloud of anger disperse.
Tsukki backed down and set his foot on the shorter guy’s chest. “Give me his wallet and phone back.” He let some of the anger seep into his glare. The guy didn’t even hesitate; he fished into his pocket and shakily handed Tsukki the phone and wallet. Tsukki looked it over and looked inside Yamaguchi’s wallet. “There’s some Yen missing in here.” He commented. Both of the pitiful beaten assholes grabbed their own wallets and handed Tsukki all of their money. Trukki took it from them and handed all of it to Yamaguchi. He began to take his own stuff back from Yamaguchi as he told the two guys, “You come here again and Yamaguchi won’t be able to hold me back.” He didn’t wait for a reply back before he started to walk off, Yamaguchi obviously following him.
When they were a ways down the road Yamaguchi finally decided to speak up. “Tsukki…”
“Let’s go get some fries.” He took the money from Yamaguchi. “We’ll use this to pay for it.”
They continued to walk towards Yamaguchi’s place after grabbing food. Habitually, Tsukki would pick out the soggy fries and place them in Yamaguchi’s cup of fries. Along the way he would glance over at Tsukki unsure of what to say.
When they arrived at Yamaguchi’s place Yamaguchi’s mother started fretting over her son’s poor condition. “What happened?”
Before Tadashi could explain himself Tsukki spoke up. “I hit him with a ball at practice when I was practicing my spikes. May he have some ice, please?” Yamaguchi-san seemed to accept the excuse and told them she would bring the ice to Tadashi’s room.
“Uh, Tsukki, thank you…for back there.”
Tuskki tsked in response. “They were asking for it.” Yamaguchi nodded in agreement focused back on studying.