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helping the captain

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"Ushijima-san...this document is over 3000 words."

 

"If I am going to tell Tendou the full extent of my feelings, I believe I should spare him no detail."

 

Shirabu Kenjirō looks from the laptop screen to his senpai who looks back with the usual stoic expression. He forces down a  deep sigh, he really should have lied when he was asked for help, should have made an excuse or called over Goshiki. But he has too much respect for Ushijima to deny any of his requests, especially when it's so rare for him to make one. But this Shirabu could never have guessed to come from his captain.

 

"A confession doesn't need to be an essay, Ushijima-san. You just tell him directly, with words , how you feel."

 

"I am telling him with words how I feel." Ushijima replies, his tone just the slightest bit confused.

 

"I mean speaking to him face-to-face. A letter is a bit outdated, especially a typed up one, that's just weird."

 

"I see." Ushijima says with a nod. "I must speak with Tendou directly."

 

"Yes."

 

"Thank you, Shirabu. I am grateful for your assistance." Ushijima says as he closes and picks up his laptop.

 

With another nod Ushijima leaves Shirabu's dorm room, closing the door behind him softly. Shirabu shakes his head and pulls out his phone.

 

Shirabu : You'll never guess what Ushijima-san asked me to help him with.

 

He doesn't have to wait long for the reply.

 

Semi : Confessing his feelings to Tendou?

 

Shirabu lets out a tsk, there's no way Semi just guessed that.

 

Shirabu : How did you know?

 

Semi : Reon says he's been writing a confession letter for the past week

 

Shirabu : Yeah, he just showed me it and asked for my thoughts

 

Semi : He asked you??

 

Shirabu : Jealous, senpai?  

 

Semi : Cool it, you little shit

 

Shirabu chuckles, it's so easy to get under his skin, and he enjoys it more than he should.

 

Shirabu : Anyway, what are we going to do about it?

 

Semi : We? Why do we have to do anything?

 

Shirabu : Ushijima could snap his fingers and Tendou would jump on him, the fact that he doesn't realise that means he needs help.

 

Semi : I guess I can't argue with you there

 

Shirabu : That's a first

 

Semi : You just can't help yourself, can you?

 

Semi : What do we do about it anyhow?

 

Shirabu : I don't know but we need Ohira-san's help

 


 

Ushijima walks down the halls of the Shiratorizawa Academy, he's on his way back to his dorm room to try and rethink his plan to confess to his best friend. As he rounds a corner, he almost walks directly into the objection of his deepest affections.

 

"Woah, Wakatoshi-kun! Are ya in a hurry?" Tendou says with his usual bounce. He's wearing his usual hoodie and has his hands swinging by his sides. He looks at Ushijima with a wide grin that makes him feel warm.

 

"Tendou," Ushijima replies, "No, I'm not. I am simply on my way back to my room."

 

"Really! So would you like to join me for a walk?" Tendou asks, rocking on his feet.

 

"No, I may not be in a hurry but I still have something I need to do, therefore I can't join you." Ushijima says as he grips his laptop a little tighter, Tendou finding out about his letter would be disastrous.

 

"Oh," Tendou says a bit flatly, "Well sure, that's fine! I'll see you later then, Wakatoshi-kun!" He says as he skips off down the hall. Ushijima watches him go before continuing on his way to his dorm room.

 

Unbeknownst to them both, Goshiki Tsutomu had witnessed the whole interaction, had noticed how nervous Tendou had looked as he asked Ushijima to join him and how down he looked when he had been rejected. Goshiki stands there, exasperated at his captain's obliviousness. He shakes his head and brings out his phone, carefully typing a message to his senpai.

 

Goshiki : Ohira-san! I think Ushijima needs some help

 

Ohira : Calm down, Tsutomu. Why do you think Wakatoshi needs help?

 

Goshiki : Tendou-san just asked him out on a date but Ushijima-san didn't pick up on it and rejected him! Tendou-san might misunderstand and think that Ushijima-san has no romantic interest in him!

 

Ohira Well, Wakatoshi isn't the type to pick up on such things

 

Goshiki : It was so obvious though, Ohira-san! Tendou-san looked so disappointed at his reply

 

Ohira : Tsutomu, I am sure that Wakatoshi knows what he is doing, even if it takes him some time.

 

Goshiki : But what if Tendou-san moves on by the time Ushijima-san gets ready to confess! We need to intervene before it's too late!

 

Goshiki can almost hear Ohira's sigh but he's determined, his captain needs their help even if he doesn't realise it, and as the future ace of Shiratorizawa Volleyball Team he must do what he can for the sake of their continued harmony and function!

 

Ohira : Alright Tsutomu, what do you propose we do?

 

Goshiki : I'm not sure Ohira-san, I need to ask Shirabu!

 


 

Ushijima reaches his dorm room and sits at his desk, he opens up his laptop and rereads the letter he has written for Tendou. It starts out simple enough, Ushijima reminisces over how they met and his first impression of him. He then moves over to how they developed their friendship and adds anecdotes about time spent together, then he writes about how he fell in love with him and how he tried to deny his feelings and how he doesn't want to ruin their friendship but can't deny how he feels. Reading over it again, he feels foolish about how much time he spent prattling on about his feelings, he was happy with his letter when he first wrote it but thinking back on Shirabu's words, he now feels unsure of himself. With a sigh, he leans back in his chair and closes his eyes. He was fine with keeping his feelings to himself at first, but as their time at Shiratorizawa Academy draws to a close, he can't help but think about how they will soon part and how he might never get the chance again.

 

A knock at the door makes him open his eyes and he calls for whoever it is to come in. When they do, he is surprised to see so many of his team members congregating in his room.

 

"Is something the matter?" Ushijima asks as they all finish filing in. He shares the room with his vice captain Jin Soekawa who isn't present but the room is made cramped by all the boys sitting in it.

 

"Ushijima-san!" Goshiki piques up, "We are here to help you with your situation!"

 

"My situation?" Ushijima replies plainly, he looks at the faces of his friends and teammates, some look uncomfortable, others look unbothered but as usual Goshiki looks fired up.

 

"What we discussed earlier, Ushijima-san." Shirabu says flatly. Ushijima feels himself warm up in embarrassment but wills it not to show on my face.

 

"Oh. I had hoped what we discussed would be kept in confidence." He replies, a light hint of irritation in his voice.

 

"It was!" Shirabu lies quickly, "But, it's not exactly a secret how you feel about Tendou, Ushijima-san. I mean the whole team knows."

 

This makes Ushijima stand up from his chair and look again at his teammates. Surely, this can't be the truth, he has gone to great lengths not to overstep the boundary of friendship and do anything that may allude to his feelings for Shiratorizawa's № 5. He looks at Ohira with a raised brow, silently asking for confirmation on Shirabu's statement.

 

"I'm afraid it's true, Wakatoshi. You make it quite obvious that you have..not so platonic feelings for him."

 

"I do no such thing." He replies firmly, he is sure of it.

 

"You spend most of your time with him. When you go running together in the early morning, you slow down so he can keep up with you." Semi says unconvinced.

 

"He asked me to slow down so I obliged."

 

"You take more time than necessary to lock up the volleyball courts when it's just the two of you!" Goshiki adds.

 

"He insists on making a game of it."

 

"You always ask if he's eaten." Shirabu says, folding his arms.

 

"Tendou eats very little, I simply implore him to maintain a better diet."

 

"You hum his songs under your breath." Kawanishi says with his usual frown.

 

"They are very catchy."

 

"You watch him get changed." Ohira says bluntly. His statement causes a couple of eyebrow raises and a shocked gasp from Goshiki.

 

Maybe, I've spared him a glance on occasion but-

 

"And shower." Ohira says, giving him a look before he can say anything to deny it.

 

Ushijima swallows and makes his way over to his bed to sit on it. His teammates follow his lead, sitting around the room and facing him.

 

"Is Tendou aware of how I feel?" Ushijima asks no one in particular; his eyes on his hands.

 

"No, he's as oblivious as you." Shirabu says, his tone gets him jabbed by Semi. "No disrespect intended, Ushijima-san."

 

"Oblivious?" Ushijima asks looking up, "What do you mean?"

 

His teammates glance at each other nervously, elbowing each other to be the one to let the captain know. With an affectionate sigh, Ohira takes up the challenge.

 

"It is also quite evident that Satori feels the same way for you, Wakatoshi." He says with a small smile.

 

Ushijima takes a moment to digest the information, could it be true that the object of his affections feels the same way? Tendou hasn't shown any signs that he feels anything other than friendship for him, so what makes his teammates so sure?

 

"I don't think Tendou is interested in me in that way at all, I am almost certain of it."

 

Semi snorts, Shirabu full on cackles and even Ohira lets out light laughter. Goshiki tries his best not to be so brazen in his reaction but he can't hide his giggles, even Kawanishi with his ever present frown manages to show the humour in his eyes.

 

"He talks to and about you whenever he gets the chance." Ohira says.

 

"He sings your name all the time." Semi states.

 

"He calls you miracle boy and goes on and on about your beautiful form." Shirabu reinforces as he wipes away tears.

 

"He touches you as much as he can." Kawanishi adds.

 

"He just asked you on a date too!" Goshiki exclaims, his eyes burning.

 

"What?" Ushijima says looking at him, Tendou has done nothing of the sort.

 

"Just earlier! He asked you to join him for a walk but you rejected him."

 

"A walk is hardly a date, Goshiki." Ushijima replies with a small shake of his head.

 

"I wouldn't be so sure, Wakatoshi. Tendou hardly goes for just a walk, he'll either go to the arcade or the bookstore to buy manga." Semi says, "He usually goes by himself, so asking you to join him is an invitation he doesn't extent to many."

 

Ushijima considers what his teammates are saying, Tendou had been the one to say that they were best friends, they did spend a lot of time together and Tendou made him feel safe in a way that he could never fully put in words. The boy never had any complaints for him, talked to him amiably about everything and anything and smiled at him like he was something special. So maybe, just maybe his feelings are returned. The realisation makes him stand to his feet and he looks to his teammates once more.

 

"You are certain of this?" He asks, looking across the room.

 

Their nods, smiles and words of affirmation bolster his confidence and so he heads for the door to find Tendou, to express how he feels once and for all.

 

"Do you think he's actually going to confess?" Shirabu asks as the door shuts. Semi snorts again.

 

"Nah, I bet he's gonna flake." He says with a grin.

 

"I wouldn't be so sure, Taichi. He seems pretty determined." Ohira says with a chuckle.

 

"I agree! Ushijima-san is going to do it!" Goshiki says with vigour.

 

"There's only one way to find out." Kawanishi whispers.

 

They all look at him for a moment before scrambling to the door after their captain.

 


 

Tendou walks around Shiratorizawa's large campus with his hands in his hoodie pockets; kicking a rock along as he goes. With a sigh, he thinks back to how he asked Wakatoshi to join him for a walk. He should have worded it better, should have made it more obvious that he was asking him out on a date kinda thing. But what if he did that and Wakatoshi freaked? If Tendou comes on too strong he'd just make Wakatoshi uncomfortable and that's the last thing he wants to do. Maybe he should just give up, being in love with his best friend is a recipe for disaster and he knows it. If he can just hang on till graduation, he can avoid ruining their friendship and get over Wakatoshi when he leaves for whatever superstar university in Tokyo he's been offered a scholarship to.

 

Maybe that's for the best.

 

"Tendou."

 

He jolts at the sound of his name and turns back to see the very person he'd been thinking of running up to him.

 

"Wakatoshi-kun~, what's up?" Tendou asks bubbly, as he looks back he looks across the campus. The sun will be setting soon and there are only a few students milling around.

 

"I have finished my previous task and would like to take you up on your offer for a walk." He replies.

 

Tendou blinks and then smiles, "Really!? Well let's go off campus for a little bit! We can go to the convenience store and get some drinks!"

 

Ushijima nods at him and they fall into step as they make their way to the local 7-Eleven. Tendou goes on about the latest anime he's been watching while Ushijima listens to him and makes the occasional comment. They walk completely absorbed in one another, so much so that they fail to pick up on the teammates that are watching and following their every move.

 


 

"They've been in there for like 15 minutes, what is taking so long?" Shirabu hisses, as he tries to squints through the window of the coffeeshop they are in. The Shiratorizawa teammates have a direct view of the 7-Eleven and can see the backs of their captain and middle blocker at the magazine aisle.

 

"Tendou is probably talking his ear off." Semi says, sipping his drink as he too squints through the window.

 

"Senpai, should we really being doing this?" Goshiki asks as he sips on his shake.

 

"You can always leave." Kawanishi and Shirabu say at the same time, both giving him dirty looks.

 

"I want to see what how this turns out!" Goshiki responds.

 

"They're leaving." Ohira says before anyone else can say anything. They all turn their heads back to the window to see the pair leaving the convenience store.

 

"Everyone get down!" Semi says, ducking his head down as they walk past. They all follow his lead and wait a couple of seconds before sitting back up.

 

"We need to go before we lose them!" Shirabu says getting up. They shuffle out of their booth quickly, once again scrambling after them.

 


 

As they walk back towards their campus, Tendou is whistling another one of his tunes, swinging the plastic bag in his hand as he goes. Ushijima watches him in the corner of his eye as he walks beside him, thinking about the words of his teammates. Now is as good a time as any to tell him the truth.

 

"Tendou."

 

"Hmm?"

 

They slow their steps till they come to a stop, Tendou looks at him expectantly, the plastic bag in his hand swaying softly.

 

"I wanted to discuss something with you."

 

"Oh sure! What's on your mind?" Tendou replies with a smile. It's light and breezy, carefree and boyish.

 

"I…" Ushijima falters with his words, he doesn't know what the right thing to say is. There's so much he wants to say which is why writing a letter made the most sense to him. He looks at Tendou who stares back at him, as patient as ever and his mind scrambles to say something; for the right words but in the heat of the moment they fail him. But Ushijima Wakatoshi is a man of action, he is better at showing rather than he is at telling so he does the best thing he can think of.

 

He steps towards his friend and holds his face in his hands, Tendou's eyes widen and he's about to say something before Ushijima leans forward and presses their lips together. He hasn't had much experience with this but from the way Tendou enthusiastically kisses back and grips his back tightly, he figures he's doing alright. They stand there in the empty street kissing as the sky dances from baby blue to a deep orange. Ushijima's hands move from Tendou's face to his hair and neck; Tendou's arms wrap around Ushijima's shoulders, they hold on for a few more seconds before breaking apart, letting go of each other but not putting much space between them.

 

Tendou giggles before he breaks off into high pitched almost squeaky laughter.

 

"You never fail to surprise me, miracle boy." He says as he comes down from the high of his mirth.

 

Ushijima lets out a small smile as he takes in the beaming boy before him. "I could say the same, Tendou. I was not sure that would work."

 

"Are you kidding me? I wish you kissed me like that months ago."

 

"So you do indeed have feeling for me?"

 

"Of course I do! I'm pretty sure the whole team knows by now."

 

"Apparently, they do. They are the reason I decided to let you how I feel in return."

 

"Well in that case, I have to make it up to them! I'll sing them two songs in the changing rooms instead of the usual one." Tendou says with a cheeky grin.

 

Ushijima chuckles and Tendou joins him. They stand there in the street; their laughter mingling under the soft red sky.

 


 

"Wow, he really managed to confess." Semi says from behind the hedge they are all huddled behind.

 

"I told you he looked determined." Ohira says with a smile.

 

"He wrote a 3000 word letter just to confess with a kiss?" Shirabu says unimpressed.

 

"I'm glad we could help them!" Goshiki says.

 

"Shouldn't we be getting back soon?" Kawanishi asks from beside him, he looks at his watch. "It's almost curfew."

 

"It can't hurt to just wait for few more minutes, they are just having a cute moment." Ohira chuckles, as they turn back to their lovebird teammates.

 

"They're kissing again." Shirabu says, looking back at them. "Aaaand Tendou is groping is Ushijima-san ass." He adds drily.

 

"Okay, I'm out." Kawanishi says, standing up straight.

 

"Where to?" Semi says grabbing his shoulder to drag him back down, "The only way back to campus is if we walk past them and then we'd have to explain why we are all here."

 

"So you mean we have to wait until they're done?" Goshiki squeaks with a blush as he averts his eyes away from their passionate liplocking.

 

"Anyone have a better idea?" Semi asks.

 

He's met with silence, then a groan from Kawanishi and an amused chuckle from Ohira.

 

"Waiting here it is." Semi says, as he scoots a little to get comfortable. "This is all Shirabu's fault by the way."

 

"Excuse me?" Shirabu hisses.

 

"Who's idea was this in the first place?" Semi says, elbowing him.

 

"Kawanishi said we should follow them." Shirabu says, giving him a pinch in return.

 

"No, I just said that it was the only one way to find out if Ushijima-san confessed. Goshiki is the reason we are out here." Kawanishi defends.

 

"Me? I didn't say we should follow them!" Goshiki squawks.

 

Ohira sighs as his juniors bicker and smiles as he sees his other teammates walk together side by side, their fingers brushing lightly as they go.

 

"All's well that ends well." He says with a smile.

 

 

 

おまけ

"You wrote me a letter!?" Tendou says as he sits up from his bed and looks down at Ushijima with excitement.

 

"I did but Shirabu informed me that it was an outdated way of confessing." He replies, looking into Tendou's wild eyes.

 

"Screw Shirabu! I wanna read it!" He says laying back down; resting his head on Ushijima's chest. "My miracle boy writes me a letter and he thinks I won't want to read it? He's out of his mind! But I guess it's to be expected, I mean just look at his haircut."

 

Ushijima chuckles at this and leans up to give Tendou a short kiss. It surprises him and he gives him a bashful smile in return.

 

"Quit it, Wakatoshi! You gonna kill me."

 

"I wouldn't dream of it, Satori." He replies, as he runs a hand through his hair.

 

At the mention of his name, Tendou drops his head back down on Ushijima's chest, muffling his giggles. "You're killing me, miracle boy." He says with a sigh.

 

But truthfully? He's never felt more alive.