They all stood in front of the house in silence, some of them feeling excitement running through their veins, others already regretting this bad idea. Almost all of karasuno’s members were there, shivering in the chilly air of October. The wind was strong today and kept messing in their hair and getting through their jackets.
That house was just at the frontier of their town, with many trees in the yard. Now that it was in front of them, the house was everything but welcoming.
It was abandoned.
As long as any of them could remember, it had been. It wasn’t so scary like that, in the middle of the day but it wasn’t inviting in the slightest. There was so much dirt in the windows that they couldn’t see inside, only guess the furniture’s forms.
‘’So... shall we go?’’ Sugawara’s soft voice broke the silence.
A concert of mumbling answered him and Tanaka took the lead, it was his bright idea after all. Nishinoya quickly followed and eventually, everyone did. Hinata was the last one with Kageyama; both of them seemed pretty cold to the idea of going in an abandoned house to play hide and seek games. The red haired boy kept suspiciously looking up at the small balcony until the white curtains behind the glass door slowly moved. Hinata violently grabbed Kageyama’s wrist.
The setter frowned at Hinata’s incomprehensible whisper. He recognized the look in Hinata’s eyes- that look of distress when the short boy let fear take over all his functions.
‘’Stop that- it’s just an old house. Let go!’’ Kageyama blurted with his voice cracking a bit on the last word as he shook his arm to get rid of Hinata. He fought his fear and looked up just to see nothing. Kageyama rolled his eyes and entered the house, shutting down his scary thoughts.
They were all sitting in the living room, gathered around chips bags. Tanaka was in the middle with his co-captain of the adventure, Noya, and began to explain the rules. They had examined the entire house all together just to make sure it was safe, that there weren’t any rats or gas leak, holes, and worst case scenario: someone else. But the house was clear, simply smelled like old things and dust. Tanaka clapped in his hands to get the attention off the chips.
‘’Alright, let us explain now. We won’t play regular hide and seek because that’s for LOSERS! Y’all brought your phones, right? So everybody hides, except the tagger. That guy will count outside and then come in to search. When the tagger finds someone, he snaps a picture of that person in their hideout, and must send it in our groupchat.’’
‘’Why can’t we just play regularly? What’s the point with the phones?’’ Tsukkishima interrupted with his usual impassive attitude.
‘’Cause it’s different and creepier! It’s almost Halloween!’’ Nishinoya answered with ferocity.
‘’Yeah, that’s the spirit! When you find someone, you take a picture but that person will stay where they are, until everybody is found. Then, we’ll start another round.’’ Tanaka explained. ‘’The second round is even better. But I’ll explain that later. Everyone gets how we’ll play?’’
They all nodded. Daichi had an indefinable smile and he was secretly enjoying this thrilling adventure. Sugawara quietly patted Yamaguchi’s shoulder- the younger boy hadn’t seemed at ease since they had arrived but unlike Hinata, Yamaguchi was quiet about it.
No one said it out loud, but they all had thought about it.
It was almost Halloween, and abandoned house strangely rhymed with haunted house. Tsukkishima and Ennoshita were probably the only ones that weren’t scared at all. Even if it was still daylight outside, there wasn’t electricity anymore in the house; the stairs, the first bathroom and one of the bedrooms didn’t had windows and were consequently pretty dark. Other than that, the house was completely normal. At the first floor were the kitchen, the living room and a room that must’ve been an office, with a door that lead in the backyard. The second floor only had two bedrooms and a gigantic bathroom. The best part was that the house was almost empty with the exception of pieces of furniture. In other words, there was enough space to hide a bunch of wild, goofy adolescents.
Hinata sighed, his forehead glued to the front door. Of course, he had been the one chosen to be the tagger. Asahi’s point was that it should be Hinata or Noya, as they were the smallest, and so, more difficult to find. He had said it wasn’t fair. Nishinoya had refused to be the tagger, and that had left Hinata with no choice but doing what he hated the most in hide and seek: being the one searching.
Hinata sighed again as if it could change his destiny and gathered his courage. The young boy finished counting and pushed the door open as the rhythm of his heart fastened. He didn’t like this whole idea, this place that smelled like old people and the very essence of his existence. He walked in with his hand clenched around his phone. It wasn’t fair to let him start the game.
‘’Guys, I’m coming in!’’
Hinata’s small voice fell into the oppressing silence. The young boy closed the door and shook his head- it was just an old house. He pulled himself together and walked toward the kitchen with a new determination.
He’d find all of his friends and he’d show them that the game was on.
Hinata started his research under the table, then looked inside the fridge (with a AH-HA! but no one was there). His gaze wandered in the room as if he was a predator, analyzing the possible hideouts. He stopped in front of the sink and slowly, very slowly, bent in front of it. Hinata grabbed one of the panels and opened it, discovering his captain’s face. Daichi smiled and laughed in silence while Hinata jumped on his feet with a victorious expression. The red haired boy snapped a picture of Daichi and sent it to the groupchat.
‘’I guess I’m the first one found, eh. Go on, Hinata, find the others!’’
Daichi looked at his phone to see the picture of himself. Tanaka sent a ‘’HAHAHAHAHAHA’’ text right after and they heard some buzz from other’s phones in the house.
‘’Turn your phones silent!’’
Tsukishima was outside in the backyard. He didn’t liked being here nor spending his entire saturday with his teammates and was seriously considering going home and leaving everyone play their stupid game. Yet, the image of Yamaguchi was in the back of his mind, ‘’We should go, Tsukki. Well, I’m going, so you should come.’’ He had said. So there he was, standing outside and freezing in a backyard that looked like a dumping ground. Even the shed looked like a shack. Curiosity got Tsukkishima’s boredom and soon enough, the tall boy walked deeper in the yard to check out the cabin. It wasn’t like he had something better to do, after all.
Hinata had already gone through the living room, which was by far the most dusty room. The sofas and boxes were all covered under sheets that were probably white once. In the corridor’s closet he found Tanaka, all curled up next to piles of books. The picture was pretty funny and he helped his senpai to get out; the tension Hinata had built-up until now slowly disappeared with Tanaka’s laugh.
The young boy was about to climb the stairs when he heard a shuffled laugh coming from where he was. Hinata slowly turned his head and walked back in the living room. His narrowed eyes scanned the room and he triumphantly smiled when he realized he had missed checking under the table. At this point, he felt more confident than when the game had started (even if he only had found Daichi and Tanaka) so he didn’t expected to see Nishinoya jumping on him when Hinata grabbed the sheet.
The echo of his scream resonated in the almost empty house, quickly followed by Noya and Tanaka’s laughs. Now for sure, everyone knew that Hinata had gotten scared.
Really, he hated being the tagger.
Hinata went up the stairs with his hand still trembling. The first bedroom and the bathroom were the worst because they didn’t had any windows- all Hinata could see were shadows. He turned on his front camera and helped himself with the light on his phone. He stood in the door frame of the bedroom, discovering a large bed with a mirror next to it.
Do I really need to go in there? Could no one be there, please?
Hinata first checked under the bed - nothing - before entering the room. He passed next to the broken mirror without seeing that his reflection didn’t follow him.
It stopped and turned his head, looking at Hinata for a moment, studying him. Hinata was too focused on the old tv in the corner to pay attention. So focused, that he noticed a movement in the screen. He stepped closer. His heart skipped a beat when he saw with horror a tall shadow moving right behind the door, right behind him.
The young boy immediately turned to face it with the intention of throwing his phone or anything on the opponent’s face. His mouth opened in an ear-piercing scream that froze Asahi in his movement. Because it only was Asahi, Hinata recognized their ace after a terrifying moment. It took them both a few minutes to regain their composure and make sure none of them was having a cardiac arrest or a seizure.
Yamaguchi heard Hinata’s second scream and got the chills. It was as if the red haired boy’s fear was contagious, just making Yamaguchi more anxious than he already was. Since they had been inside, the freckled boy couldn’t help but feel as if they were being watched. He wrapped his arms tightly around his knees and made sure the shower curtain was in front of him. He kept sliding because of the bath’s surface.
‘’What and idiot.’’
Tsukkishima’s voice was only a murmur but Yamaguchi heard it. He smiled and covered his mouth, reassured. The game would probably end soon, there were only five members left for Hinata to find. Yamaguchi looked at his phone as they received the third pic.
Ennoshita was hiding in the closet of the second bedroom and was starting to feel stiff. His hideout wasn’t as comfortable as he thought it was. He lifted with difficulty his phone up to his face, careful of making sure the light of the screen wouldn’t betray him. He received Asahi’s picture, like everyone else, but shortly after his phone lighted up again. Ennoshita opened his messaging, to discover a text from an unknown number. He clicked on it, discovering a picture of the closet he was in. The young man frowned and lifted his gaze to have a peek through the wardrobe’s slats. There was no one.
Ennoshita started to feel watched, his stomach twitching a bit. And then he realized that it must’ve been Sugawara, who was hidden under the bed facing the closet.
A prudent sigh escaped his lips and Ennoshita closed his phone. For a second, that pic had creeped him out - everything about this house was creepy. Hinata approaching the bedroom chased away Ennoshita’s thoughts, pulling him back in the game.
‘’What the fuck?’’ Tsukkishima regretted listening to his curiosity as soon as he discovered what was in the shed. He had walked around it until he had found the doorframe. There was no door anymore but the tall boy wished it still was there.
In front of him was the biggest collection of dummies he had ever seen. Small ones made of wood, other human-sized like the one his mom had, for sewing. They didn’t have clothes on, none of them. All stacked together in the shed like a pile of dead bodies. Some smaller ones were dispersed on the ground in unimaginable position. Tsukkishima left the shed behind with a disgusted face. It was time to go home, new game or not.
He walked away with the strict intention of letting the others know about this and take Yamaguchi home with him. No way that he’d stay in the house of a fucking creep, even if it was thirty years ago.
Hinata continued his research only once he felt that his heartbeat was calm enough to let him live. He went to the second bedroom with relief. This bedroom was clearer because of the balcony and the natural light of the day had never seem so comforting. Hinata easily found Sugawara under the bed.
‘’Finally! It was so dusty in here, I almost sneezed a thousand times before you found me!’’ Sugawara exclaimed while Hinata was looking around the room.
‘’This whole place is dusty, senpaï!’’
Hinata then discovered Ennoshita. Despite this being the room where, at first, Hinata had seen something move the curtains in the balcony’s window, the young boy totally forgot to check out there.
If he did, he would’ve found a Kageyama less irritated and frozen.
No, instead, Hinata sent the two pictures of his teammates and walked out. All he needed now were Tsukkishima, Yamaguchi and Kageyama.
‘’Only three to go!’ I’m coming for you, Kageyama∼’’
Hinata hummed in the not so silent atmosphere anymore. Chatter could be heard through the entire house now that most of the team had been found. It gave Hinata the courage of going in the bathroom, only to find Yamaguchi.
‘’What? You’re alone- but where are the others?’’ The red haired boy shouted and ran back into the bedrooms with fire in his eyes. No one would escape him, especially Kageyama.
‘’Where are they!!’’
When Hinata finally looked outside the balcony, he unpleasantly met with Kageyama’s pale face, quickly followed by the setter’s insults. They both ran downstairs while shouting, as loud as hurricanes. Tsukishima was standing in the hallway with a not-so-disinterested expression anymore.
No one noticed that Yamaguchi’s face was paler than before. He was still in the bathroom, staring at the door and looking completely off.
Tsukki wasn’t with him. He had been alone this whole time and if Tsukkishima had moved, Hinata would have seen him. But then, if Tsukkishima hadn’t been found yet, where was he?
And who the hell Yamaguchi had heard sooner, when they were alone?