Tsukishima didn’t have class until 11 on Fridays, which meant that he very obviously expected to sleep in until 10, possibly even 10:30. This of course meant that he was unceremoniously woken up at 6 a.m., before the sun even rose.
“Tsukishima,” a voice said from somewhere above him. A hand was on his shoulder, shaking him awake. “Wake up.”
Tsukishima groaned, trying to bat the hand away. He tried to pull the covers up and duck under them, but the other person just pulled them back down.
A few seconds later, a warm body cuddled up against his back, and Tsukishima felt a nose nuzzle against the back of his neck. “I have an early practice today, so I’m leaving now...”
“Then go,” Tsukishima rasped out, voice still rough with sleep. “What’d you have to wake me up for?” He pulled out of the other’s grasp just enough so he could turn over and face them.
Kageyama was already dressed for practice, and his eyes were bright and alert. His mouth, on the other hand, was pouting. “I wanted to say goodbye before I left. We’re both busy today, so I don’t think we’ll see much of each other.”
“Oh,” Tsukishima said, some of his irritation at being woken up so early fading away. “You’re going to miss me that much, huh?”
“Ugh.” Kageyama rolled away from Tsukishima with a huff. “Not if you’re going to be like that.” Irritation radiated off the tense line of his back in waves.
Tsukishima rolled his eyes, but moved closer so that he could wrap his arms around Kageyama’s waist. “Hey,” he said, placing a kiss against Kageyama’s shoulder. “Have a good day, okay? I’ll probably still be working, but text me when you get back later.”
Kageyama twisted around a little so that he could look at Tsukishima. He was still pouting a little bit. “Okay,” he said. “I left some food for you in the fridge, so remember to take it with you when you go.”
“I will,” Tsukishima promised. “Now go, or you’re going to be late for your practice.”
“I’m going,” Kageyama said with a sigh. He rolled out of Tsukishima’s embrace and off the bed. Once he was standing, he bent down and pressed a kiss against Tsukishima’s cheek. “See you.”
“See you,” Tsukishima said, pecking at Kageyama’s cheek in return. He watched as the other boy began to gather his belongings into a bag.
By the time Kageyama was out the door, Tsukishima was fast asleep once more.
Tsukishima slept another few hours after Kageyama had left and got out of bed at the much more reasonable time of 10:15. He freshened up in the bathroom and changed into his clothes for the day. As he was packing his bag, Tsukishima remembered that Kageyama had left him some food.
The food turned out to be six huge rice balls. The three in front were labeled “breakfast,” and the three in the back were labeled “lunch.”
How big do you think my stomach is? Tsukishima texted Kageyama as he pulled out the plate of rice balls. Half of them probably should have gone along with Kageyama. When have I ever eaten that much?
Tsukishima ate one rice ball while he double checked that he had everything he needed for class and work in his bag. He packed two others to have in the afternoon before and during his shift at the bookstore.
As he was riding the train to campus, Tsukishima received a reply text when Kageyama. Never. This is to train your stomach. Eat all of them!
Tsukishima rolled his eyes and didn't bother to reply.
Tsukishima’s first two classes of the day passed as they usually did. He had an hour before his third class started, which he usually spent in the library, but it was closed for the week due to renovations. Instead, he went out to the quad and found a shaded bench to sit on.
As he sat down, his phone vibrated, and Tsukishima pulled it out and saw that he had new messages from Kageyama. The messages were four photos, all of them blurry.
Are you sending me pictures of ghosts? he texted back. Tsukishima tried to take a closer look at the photos, but all he could make out was a black blur.
“Tsukki!” a voice called out, and Tsukishima turned to see Yamaguchi coming up to him. “Aren’t you usually in the library at this time?”
Tsukishima slid his phone back into his pocket, turning to face his friend. “It’s closed for renovations today. What about you? Aren’t you supposed to be in class now?”
“My class was cancelled today!” Yamaguchi said with a grin as he sat down next to Tsukishima on the bench. “I’m done for the day now, so I’m going to meet with Yachi in a little bit for an impromptu date.”
“Lucky,” Tsukishima sighed. “I still have Econ after this.” His phone buzzed again, and he pulled it out to check his messages.
No! Not ghosts!
There was another photo attached under the messages. Although it was still blurry, it was marginally better than the other ones. At least in this one Tsukishima could make up a tail and a flash of yellow eyes.
“Something important?” Yamaguchi asked, already leaning over to sneak a peek.
Tsukishima rolled his eyes at Yamaguchi’s nosiness but tilted his phone screen all the same to let his friend see. “Definitely not. Just some bad photos Kageyama took.”
As he spoke, his phone vibrated again. Kageyama had sent even more messages.
!!!!! Below the message was the clearest photo Kageyama had sent yet. It was a shot of a fluffy black cat meowing at the camera. The cat was clearly in Kageyama’s lap.
“Oh! That’s cute!” Yamaguchi said, leaning against Tsukishima to take a closer look at the picture. “Does he send you pics like these a lot?”
“Bad ones?” Tsukishima nudged Yamaguchi out of his personal space with an elbow. Since they had been friends for so long, he did it gently. “Only whenever he sees an animal.”
Yamaguchi only smiled. “You guys really have been together for a long time now, huh?”
Tsukishima glanced at the other boy from out of the corner of his eye. “Unfortunately. Why are you bringing it up, though?”
“No reason,” Yamaguchi said. “But...you know, I think you and Kageyama should go on double dates with me and Yachi sometimes!”
Tsukishima didn’t bother to dignify that with a response other than, “Shut up, Yamaguchi.”
Tsukishima was done with his last class of the day, and now he was heading to work. As he walked, he ate one of the two rice balls he had packed. The other he would eat during his mid shift break.
“Hello,” Tsukishima said, greeting his manager with a bow of his head as he walked into the back room to change into his uniform.
“Tsukishima! Glad you’re here,” his manager said. “You’ll be working with our new employee today. I trust you’ll be able to show her the ropes!”
Tsukishima nodded. “Sure, that’s fine with me.”
Work passed as it usually did with only minor interruptions as he answered his new coworker’s questions or helped her figure out something with the cash register. They were kept busy for the first few hours with a steady flow of customers.
“I’m taking my break now,” Tsukishima said to his manager a little while later. He was waved off to the back room with little fanfare.
In the back room, Tsukishima ate his last rice ball and checked his phone. There were a few messages from Akaashi asking to meet up sometime this weekend and one from Yamaguchi with a link to an article he thought Tsukishima would like.
There were no texts from Kageyama, but that was pretty typical for this time of day. He was probably on the train home or maybe out in the city. Sometimes Kageyama got dragged into drinking parties by his upperclassmen in the volleyball club on Fridays.
Tsukishima’s phone vibrated. You didn’t eat all of them! It was a text from Kageyama accompanied by a photo of the still half full plate of rice balls in the fridge. This photo was clear and crisp. He was already home then.
I ate enough. Tsukishima texted back, and then, so that he didn’t appear ungrateful, he added, they were good.
Instead of a text back, Tsukishima got a phone call. Answering it, he said, “Why are you calling? I’m at work.”
“You’re on your break,” Kageyama said, scoffing. “You only text back when you’re on break.”
“Did you need something?” Tsukishima asked.
“You didn’t eat all of the rice balls I made,” Kageyama said, sounding irritated. Tsukishima could hear the clatter of a dish on the other end of the phone.
Tsukishima rolled his eyes. They had this argument endlessly. Kageyama was always trying to feed Tsukishima more and more, like an overzealous grandma. “Just leave them if you’re so worried. I’ll have some after I get back, too.”
It was silent on the other end for a moment before Kageyama spoke again. “Okay. You better.”
“Was that all you called for?” Tsukishima asked.
“Yes,” Kageyama said. His matter of fact tone almost made him sound reasonable.
“His majesty is getting lonely without me, huh?” Tsukishima mused.
Kageyama’s sputtering was loud and clear through the phone. “Wh-What? No! Don’t say that!” Tsukishima really wished he could see Kageyama’s face, too.
“I’ll be home in a couple hours,” Tsukishima reassured in the most saccharine voice he could muster. “Do your best to survive until then, okay?”
A click in his ear was the only reply. Kageyama had hung up on him.
“Aaah,” Tsukishima sighed to himself. He glanced at the clock in the back room and saw that he still had a couple more minutes of his break. There was still a few more hours before the end of his shift. “I really want to go home...”
It was almost midnight by the time Tsukishima got back to the apartment. It was dark inside as usual. Kageyama rarely stayed up past 10:30 if he could help it.
Tsukishima took off his shoes in the entryway and lined them up neatly with the others on the side. “I’m back,” he murmured out of habit, even though the one who would have greeted him was already asleep.
He stopped in the kitchen to take a peek inside the fridge. He wasn’t particularly hungry, but he figured that he’d eat another rice ball at least, just to appease Kageyama’s relentless effort to increase his food intake.
On top of the plate of rice balls was another note. Don’t forget to eat! it read. Tsukishima rolled his eyes, but took one anyway. He ate it while leaning against the counter instead of going to sit at their rickety little dining table.
Tsukishima was quiet as he made his way into the bedroom. Kageyama could sleep through a typhoon, and so probably wouldn’t wake just from Tsukishima’s moving around as he went through his nighttime routine to get ready for bed, but this too was just habit now.
After he had brushed his teeth and changed into more comfortable clothes, Tsukishima lifted the covers to climb into bed. Like usual when he went to bed alone, Kageyama had taken over the center of the bed instead of one of the sides. Tsukishima had to nudge him over a fair bit to have enough room to lie down.
As Tsukishima settled himself in and tried to get comfortable, a noise came from Kageyama. A few seconds later, his eyes were blearily blinking open.
“You’re home,” Kageyama said. He still couldn’t see very well, so he raised a hand and aimed it at the general vicinity of Tsukishima’s body. Tsukishima caught the hand before it could smack him in the face. “Welcome back.”
“Yeah,” Tsukishima said. He was still holding Kageyama’s hand. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“It’s fine,” Kageyama said. He closed his eyes again and inched a little closer to Tsukishima. “It’s good to see you.”
“You, too,” Tsukishima said. He pressed a kiss against Kageyama’s hand. “I’ll see you some more in the morning.”
Kageyama made a wordless noise of agreement, and soon, his breathing had evened out into sleep once again. Lulled by Kageyama’s soft breaths and body heat, Tsukishima followed soon after.