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Young Love is a Comfort

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Akaashi Keiji’s shoulders slumped as he saw the girl holding a heart shaped box, presumably full of chocolates and an envelope with writing on it, very clearly waiting for someone outside of his classroom. He knew she was waiting to confess, and he knew the confession was for him. He hated how the knowledge that the confession was for him made his feel conceited. He tried to be humble and unassuming, but statistically speaking, she was waiting for him. She would be the first confession this semester, but the tenth this school year. Akaashi didn’t have anything against her, but he wasn’t interested. He just wanted to focus on his schoolwork. But he supposed that it couldn’t be helped, this was the first day back. A new semester. A fresh start! Of course someone was going to confess today, hoping that the new semester would bring new romance. Too bad the focus of their desires was him. Akaashi walked up to the door of the classroom, that this girl was there for someone else.

“Akaashi-san,” she said once she saw him, “Do you have a minute?” Akaashi resisted the urge to sigh again, not wanting to hurt the girl’s feelings. He looked at her and realized that he recognized her. She was in his Trigonometry class last semester. She was beautiful, tall and slender with silky, jet-black hair that fell to her shoulders.

“Of course, what can I do for you?” Akaashi replied, polite as ever despite his annoyance.

“I like you,” she said and thrust the envelope and chocolates at him, “These chocolates are for you, and so is this letter.” Akaashi looked down and saw his name on the envelope, written with great care. In calligraphy. She was direct, and Akaashi appreciated that. There was no beating around the bush, no awkward blushing and avoiding eye contact. She was alone, not surrounded by her friends like a lot of his confessors. Akaashi hated when their friends were present. It was horrible rejecting someone in front of other people.

He looked back up at her and put his hands in his pockets. It was a subtle gesture, but an effective one. She stared at his hands, now safely stored in the pocket of his hoodie, then she tilted her head up to look him in the eyes and arched a single eyebrow.

“I’m very flattered,” Akaashi replied, “Thank you. And I’m very sorry, but I’m not looking for anything right now. I hope you understand.” Akaashi smiled apologetically at her and tried to convey that he was sorry, but he wasn’t interested.

It wasn’t that Akaashi wasn’t interested in dating at all, unlike his friends that were obsessed with sex, he just never thought about it. And he never met anyone that made him want to think about it. He was more concerned with school and his future. His friends said it was “a waste of that beautiful face and rockin’ bod not to date.” Akaashi didn’t really know how to respond when his friends said that (well his one friend said it and the rest just agreed). All he knew was that he wished girls would stop asking him out. He just wanted to study and nap with no complicated feelings getting in the way.

Her head drooped and she dropped the hands holding the chocolates and letter out to him, so they hung limply by her side. “I understand,” she said. Akaashi stared at her as she took a deep breath. Suddenly she perked her head back up and looked him dead in the eye. “You are very kind,” she said, “I hope we can be friends at least.”

Akaashi stared at this girl. He liked her, oddly enough. She was bold and direct and handled rejection well. He could see himself being friends with her. “Of course,” Akaashi coughed and shifted his feet, “But now I feel kind of awkward asking, I know you were in my Trigonometry class last semester, but I don’t remember your name.” Akaashi smiled apologetically.

“Oh!” she replied, smiling, “My name is Shimizu Kiyoko.”

Akaashi smiled and opened the door to the classroom. Once inside, they made their way to the front of the classroom to take their seats. They were making idle chit chat, talking about their winter break and what they were majoring in when there was a loud crash behind them.

They both turned their heads to see what looked to be a massive grey blob leaning over three desks that had been turned over.

“Oh my god,” Akaashi heard someone from the hallway yell, “I can’t believe you tried to jump over those desks! You know you’re not Hinata!”

The blob appeared to be a person who had spectacularly failed at jumping over a couple of desks. The Blob on the ground replied, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots that you don’t take, dude!”

“Yeah, well, you lost the bet and now you owe me ice cream after class,” as he spoke, he walked into the room and Akaashi saw the man the voice belonged too. He was, for lack of a better word: hot. He was tall, but not so tall that it was intimidating, and he looked to be in very good shape. His hair stuck up like he had slept on it weird, but that only seemed to add to his overall appeal. But the most attractive feature, Akaashi thought, was his mouth. He had an easy, lopsided grin. The smile that he wore spoke of mischief and secrets. Akaashi stared for a minute, appreciating the eye candy that the Good Lord saw fit to bestow upon him when he heard Shimizu cough.

He turned back towards her and she raised an eyebrow that seemed to say, I guess I know why I was rejected. Akaashi just shrugged and turned back toward the two boys in the back of the classroom.

“Okay, okay,” he heard The Blob say while struggling to get up. “I’ll buy you ice cream after class, but you gotta help me up dude. I think I’m stuck.” The Blob tried and failed to get up then said, “Actually I take that back. I know I’m stuck. Give me your hand Kuroo.”

Kuroo, the amazingly hot eye candy, stuck his hand out to help The Blob. Once up, The Blob immediately went to work picking up the desks he knocked over in his recklessness. At least he’s not a dick, Akaashi thought. It’s one thing to try to jump three desks and fail. It’s another to jump three desks, fail, and then not even bother to straighten up after yourself. Akaashi thought that at least The Blob cleaned up after his reckless behavior. Just when Akaashi was about to turn around to start chatting with Shimizu again, The Blob turned and Akaashi got to see what exactly The Blob looked like.

When he wasn’t a massive blob of limbs and desk legs, he was gorgeous. Akaashi had thought that Kuroo was fit, but Kuroo didn’t have anything on The Blob. He had to be at least 170 pounds of pure muscle. His hoodie was a bit too small, showing off his broad shoulders and could only imagine what his abs looked like. And it should be illegal to look that good in sweatpants! And while Akaashi was admiring his body, it was The Blob’s face that had most intrigued him. If Kuroo’s smile was full of mischief and secrets, then his smile was the exact opposite. It was open and kind, warm and inviting. It spoke of swing sets on a sunny, Autumn day. His eyes were golden and curious. Akaashi thought he could spend an eternity trying to paint his eyes and still not get them right. Even his spiked hair endeared him to Akaashi. He gave off the appearance of a horned owl. Akaashi suddenly loved owls.

Oh no, Akaashi thought, this is my punishment for all of those rejections. Someone like Kuroo, Akaashi could handle. Just a little eye candy and nothing more. But this other guy was dangerous. He wasn’t simply eye candy. He was something, but it wasn’t eye candy.

Akaashi whipped his head back towards the front of the classroom and slid down in his seat, trying to make himself as small as possible. There were a few other people in the room already so Akaashi hoped that The Blob and Kuroo wouldn’t pay him any attention.

“Bokuto, the desks are fine,” Akaashi heard Kuroo say, “let’s sit down, c’mon. The professor will be here any minute.” Bokuto, Akaashi thought, what a wonderful name.

“Akaashi, are you okay?” Shimizu asked. “You’re blushing really hard. I didn’t know you could blush.”

Akaashi turned towards her and nodded, paused then shook his head. Akaashi opened his mouth to reply and was relieved when the professor walked into the room. He honestly didn’t know how he was going to reply. He watched as Shimizu scribbled something into her notebook. She ripped out the page and passed it over to him. He looked down at it, reading carefully:

I know this might be a bit awkward because we literally just became friends ten minutes ago. Right after you rejected me, but I just wanted to let you know that you can talk to me about anything. I am a judgement free zone. And please don’t take it the wrong way when I tell you this, and don’t feel like you need to tell me anything, but I also like girls. I know that you probably have other people to talk to about this stuff, but really. If you ever need to talk about anything, I’m here for you. Even if I’m entirely off base here and you just use this for homework questions, here’s my phone number: 000-000-0000.

Akaashi read and reread the note. He thought of so many ways to respond but didn’t know how and by the time class had finished, he was still at a loss for words. He slowly packed up his stuff, while Shimizu seemed to be in a rush. “Sorry, Akaashi,” she said, “My next class starts in ten minutes and it’s so far away that I’m probably going to need to run to make it in time, but I meant what I said in my note,” she smiled down at him. Akaashi barely had time to blink before she took off. Holy shit she’s fast, Akaashi thought. He took his time packing up because he didn’t want to have to walk by Bokuto and Kuroo. For reasons he couldn’t even explain to himself, he did not want them to notice him.

“Holy shit! She’s fast!” Akaashi heard Bokuto exclaim. “You don’t see a lot of people that just don’t care if they run people over. I admire that. She knows she’s gotta be somewhere and damn it if she’s not gonna get there.”

“She was hot too,” Kuroo replied. “I wonder if she’s going to meet a boyfriend or someone.”

“I don’t think so,” Bokuto said, “She’s probably going to class. I had a class with her last semester, and I heard her reject guys all the time. She always said she wanted to focus on her schoolwork.”

“Oh,” was all Kuroo replied. Akaashi watched as the two of them left the classroom. He waited a minute before he finished packing up all of his things, then he followed them out the door. Before he knew what he was doing, he was pulling out his phone and Shimizu’s note. He plugged in her number and sent her a brief text:

Akaashi: Hi Shimizu. It’s Akaashi. Thank you for your note and also thank you for worrying about me today

He figured that she wouldn’t mind if he didn’t answer her note, but he thought it would be nice to at least acknowledge it. Later that evening, while Akaashi was sitting at his desk, studying, Shimizu responded.

Shimizu: You’re welcome! I meant what I said in the note too. Also, I was wondering if maybe you wanted to try to set up a study group for that class? The professor said that it would probably be a good idea to study in groups rather than individually.

Akaashi smiled as he read her text. He couldn’t help but feel like he met not just a new friend, but also a kindred spirit. She was direct, but she didn’t push the subject for which Akaashi was grateful.

Akaashi: A study group sounds good! We can try to find some more people next class?

Shimizu: Absolutely

Akaashi set his phone down on his desk, debated for a minute then sent her one more text before he could change his mind:

Akaashi: Shimizu, I think I might be gay