Actions

Work Header

Young Love is a Comfort

Chapter Text

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

Chapter Text

Chapter Two: Bokuto

It had been two weeks since Bokuto tried to jump those desks in his Linguistics class and his legs were still marked with dark purple and yellow spots.

“Kuroooooooo” Bokuto whined, “My legs hurt. Why did I jump those desks?” He was sitting on the couch in their shared living room and poking at his bruises.

“Because I bet you that you couldn’t.” Kuroo replied. “And stop poking your bruises, you’ll make them worse.”

Bokuto dropped his hand from the massive purple and yellow splotch that was directly above his left knee. He glanced at Kuroo, who was making himself dinner in the kitchen and asked, “Should we try to join one of the study groups in Linguistics? I’ve been trying on my own, but this material is tough. And I’m scared about the test coming up in a couple of weeks. I’ve gotten lucky not to flunk any of the quizzes.”

Kuroo fixed him with a hard stare. “You got the third highest grade in class on all of those quizzes. You were nowhere near flunking any of them.”

“Yeah well I’d rather not have to stay up until three in the morning studying each night just so I can feel prepared. I’m about to pass out in practice. Plus, all this studying is cutting into my social life!” Bokuto said.

Kuroo snorted, “What social life?”

“Hey!” Bokuto said, “I could have a social life if I weren’t so busy studying! I don’t even get my weekends anymore. All I’m saying is maybe we should try to join a study group.”

“You do make a good point,” Kuroo said, “Why don’t you ask that girl? The one who bolts out of the class every day? You said you had a class with her before and she was one of the people who outscored you on the quizzes. I think the other person who outscored you is in her study group too.”

“That’s a fantastic idea. Though I guess that means I’ll have to get to class early in order to ask her since she doesn’t really hang around after class,” Bokuto replied.

 Kuroo chuckled, “Good luck with that bro, you barely make it to class on time. How are you gonna make it to class early?”

“I guess I’ll just have to catch an earlier bus,” Bokuto sighed, knowing how little sleep he was going to get that night. He quickly set an alarm on his phone, then shoved it into his pocket.

Kuroo simply shrugged and continued to make his dinner. Bokuto could hear the faint sounds of Kuroo humming from the kitchen. He loved it when Kuroo hummed. Kuroo actually had a fantastic voice and Bokuto loved to listen to him sing, but there was something about listening to Kuroo humming that relaxed him. Kuroo never really hummed a song or even a melody, he just hummed random notes. Bokuto didn’t know if Kuroo even realized he was doing it, but it was nice. Bokuto loved having a friend who felt comfortable enough with him to completely let his guard down like that. The only other person Bokuto had ever heard Kuroo hum in front of was Kenma, and Kuroo had known Kenma his whole life.

Bokuto leaned his head back on the couch to listen to Kuroo in the kitchen. He knew he should get up and go study, but sometimes the most important thing in life wasn’t studying, but appreciating the peaceful, little moments. Studying could always come later, but he wouldn’t be able recreate this moment in the future. Slowly, the quiet, peaceful atmosphere lulled him to sleep.

Bokuto woke up at 6 in the morning to his phone shrieking. His phone was on the last dregs of its battery and as soon as Bokuto shut off the alarm, his phone died. Great, Bokuto thought, I fell asleep and didn’t charge my phone. Bokuto quietly ran to his room to plug in his phone while he took a quick shower. By 7:30, he had showered, run to the bus stop, and was miraculously waiting outside of the classroom for the running girl while silently cursing himself for taking an 8 o’clock class.

He was in the middle of wondering how early she got to class when he saw her walking down the hall. “Hey! Running girl!” he called. He knew he was being rude, but he didn’t know her name and he figured she would know that he was talking to her.

She paused and stared at him, slightly cocking her head to the side. She lifted a hand and pointed to herself, eyebrows raised.

Bokuto nodded eagerly as she walked up to him. “Sorry, I don’t know your name, but I really wanted to ask you a favor,” he blurted out as soon as she was in front of him.

“A favor?” she asked.

“Yeah, you see, I’m really struggling in this class and I know you got a study group and I was hoping that maybe I could join?” Bokuto asked, lifting his arm to rub the back of his neck.

“You’re struggling?” she asked, “Didn’t you get the third highest score on the last quiz?”

“Ah yeah,” Bokuto said, dropping his arm, “But there were a lot of sleepless nights involved with studying for it and I can’t keep staying up until three in the morning, but I need to keep my GPA up or I won’t keep my scholarship and they won’t let me play on the volleyball team.”

The girl looked at him surprised, “I’ve seen you play before. You’re very good. I didn’t know that you were so studious as well. It’s a bit shocking.”

“So, can I join your study group?” he asked, hoping that his studiousness would earn him something.

“What about your friend? The one you sit with? I think his name is Kuroo?” she asked

“Oh yeah! Him too. He would have killed me if I forgot, but you can’t blame me. I had to wake up extra early this morning in order to make it here in time to ask you.”

She considered him for a moment then reached into her pocket. She pulled out her phone and handed it to him. “Put your number in. This isn’t a yes because I still need to ask the other members of the group,” she paused, “Well there’s only one other member now, but if he’s cool with it, then I’ll text you and let you know.”

Bokuto took her phone and punched in his number, then handed the phone back. Feeling very grateful, he asked, “What happened to the other members of your study group?”

“They both dropped the class. Last week. Scheduling conflicts or something. So now it’s just me and Akaashi. Anyway, I’ll ask him and let you know by the end of the day. I would just ask him in class, but he’s sick so he won’t be here. I’m supposed to bring him notes.” She sighed.

“Is Akaashi the guy you always sit with?” Bokuto asked. “He’s kind of short.”

She looked up at him, “He’s almost as tall as you. He just slumps in class, or he leans forward when he’s taking notes. It can’t be good for his back.”

Bokuto nodded his head, processing the new information, “Does he live on campus? Because I can bring him the notes after class. It’s my only class today and I know you’re normally running to another class right after so I figure I can bring him the notes and also ask about study group myself!”

“As kind of a gesture as that is,” Bokuto heard a voice behind him, “it’s probably not a good idea to show up, uninvited, to a stranger’s place. Especially not when he’s sick.” Bokuto turned around to see Kuroo smiling at him and the girl. “My name’s Kuroo, and you’re name?”

She smiled up at him, “Shimizu Kiyoko. Nice to meet you.”

Bokuto slapped his hand to his forehead, causing both of them to jump. “Sorry,” he said, “we were having a whole conversation about my joining your study group and I never even asked your name. You were even nice when I called you ‘running girl.’ Sorry.”

“It’s okay. I didn’t ask for your name either. But I do know it. You’re Bokuto. You failed at jumping over three desks on your first day in class,” Shimizu laughed.

Bokuto stared at her then busted out laughing. “I guess I’m memorable. Well, since your friend is gone today, can we sit with you?”

“Sure,” Shimizu replied. She started walking towards the front of the class and pulled out her phone and started typing out a message. Bokuto hoped she was asking her friend about him and Kuroo.

When they got to their seats, she told them, “I asked Akaashi about you joining study group. He’ll probably respond before class is over. He hasn’t been able to sleep so he’s been marathoning The Great British Baking Show.”

“That’s adorable,” Bokuto said as they took their seats and waited for class to start.

In the middle of the lecture, Bokuto felt a poke at his side. He looked down to see Shimizu prodding him with her pencil eraser. When she knew she had his attention, she slid her phone on her desk so he could get a better view. Bokuto leaned over and saw a text from Akaashi.

Akaashi: I don’t know why anyone on this show tries to use rosewater. It never works. Also I think it would be great to have more people in study group. Especially since it’s not much of a group with just two people

Bokuto stared at the message then looked back at Shimizu, beaming. He felt a huge weight lift off his shoulders. He had a study group and maybe now he could get some sleep. He was also intrigued by Akaashi. Bokuto found it weird that he hadn’t noticed someone that was nearly as tall as him. Tall guys almost always caught his eye.

After class, Shimizu bolted, as expected. He didn’t expect to hear from her until Akaashi was feeling better and they could plan the next study session. So, he was surprised when he got a text two hours after class ended.

Unknown: Hi! It’s Shimizu. I’m about to go drop off the notes at Akaashi’s dorm and he said he’s feeling a bit better and would like to meet you guys. If you’re available do you want to go with me to drop off the notes?

Bokuto smiled and quickly entered her into his contacts.

Bokuto: Kuroo is with his boyfriend right now, but I have a little bit of time before I need to go to practice. Where should I meet you? (He’s not contagious is he?)

Shimizu: Meet me outside of the library and we’ll walk over there together. (He had food poisoning – not contagious)

Luckily for Bokuto, he was currently studying in the library. Five minutes after Shimizu’s last text, he was outside, already waiting for her. He spotted her fairly quickly, as most guys stopped and stared, mouth agape, as she walked past. Bokuto couldn’t imagine finding someone so attractive that he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from such obvious gawking. But then again, she was, objectively, very attractive. If Bokuto were into girls, then maybe his mouth would also be hanging open at the mere sight of her.

“Ready?” Shimizu asked and Bokuto could feel the eyes of every single guy in the vicinity on him, sizing him up. He was lucky that he was never insecure about his looks. Playing volleyball had certainly given him one hell of a body.

He nodded and followed her across campus to one of the co-ed dormitories. Akaashi apparently lived on the fifth floor and Shimizu lived on the fourth.

She led Bokuto up the stairs to the fourth floor. And when they got there, she said, “I’m just going to drop my stuff off in my room, then we can go meet Akaashi.”

Bokuto nodded and followed her. Her room was neat and cozy. It was small, but somehow, she made it seem more spacious with the way she had arranged the furniture. Her bed was neatly made in the corner, and a floor lamp sat between her desk and her wardrobe against the opposite wall. The only clutter that Bokuto could see was a stack of books piled high on her desk. She set her bag down on her bed and ruffled through it to pull out a black folder. She opened it, looked at her notes, and sighed. “What’s wrong?” Bokuto asked.

“My notes are definitely not great today. I couldn’t focus, which sucks for Akaashi,” she replied.

“Oh,” Bokuto said, “Use my notes! I already have a copy made cause Kuroo likes to look over my notes as well as his. But I think Akaashi needs them more. Plus, I can always make more copies,” Bokuto started rummaging around in his bag. He pulled out his notes and handed them to Shimizu.

She looked over his notes, then stared at him, hard. “Bokuto,” she said, “These notes are amazing. I kind of want a copy.”

“I’ll make you one for study group!” Bokuto beamed.

She placed the notes in her folder, then made to leave the room, “C’mon, let’s go get these notes to Akaashi,” she said. Once again, Bokuto found himself following Shimizu up the stairs. Normally he would be talking her ear off right now, unable to stop himself from running his mouth a mile a minute, but he was nervous.

He had never met Akaashi before and while Bokuto loved meeting new people, he was nervous that Akaashi would take one look at him and decide that he couldn’t be in the study group after all. Bokuto tried to shake off his nerves, but by the time they made it to the door, he was so nervous he couldn’t think straight. He almost stopped Shimizu from knocking on the door, but that would probably just raise a bunch of questions and then she’d still have to knock on the door.

“Akaashi?” Shimizu said as she knocked, “It’s Shimizu. I brought your notes and also a new member of our study group is here to meet you.”

Bokuto heard some shuffling coming from behind the door and heard Akaashi say, ‘I’ll be right there. Give me a second to put on some pants.”

Bokuto looked from the door to Shimizu; clearly, they must be very close if he doesn’t care if she knows that he’s not wearing any pants. What Bokuto saw when he glanced over at Shimizu was very disconcerting. Her smile reminded him of Kuroo’s smile when he was up to something. She was hiding something and delighting in her secret knowledge. It astonished Bokuto that he had managed to meet someone else other than Kuroo that could convey such things with a simple smile.

Bokuto didn’t have too long to think about it when the door opened, and he came face to face with Akaashi. Holy shit, Bokuto thought, an angel.

Bokuto had been oh-so-very wrong about Akaashi. He wasn’t short. He was, as Shimizu said, almost as tall as he was. He carried his height differently than Bokuto did though. Where Bokuto took up space and demanded acknowledgement, Akaashi was a whisper. All sharp angles and long, languid limbs. He looked as though he gracefully glided through life. His dark hair contrasted with his pale face. And his face. It was beautiful. He was beautiful. Bokuto thought back to the previous night, listening to Kuroo’s hums and feeling completely at peace with the world. He felt the ghost of that moment when he locked eyes with Akaashi. The rest of his face showed no emotion, but there was something in his eyes. If Bokuto didn’t know better, he would say that Akaashi looked shocked.

“Akaashi, I brought your notes,” Shimizu said and held them out for Akaashi. Akaashi silently took them and clutched them to his chest, “Also, this is Bokuto. Him and his friend, Kuroo, will be joining our study group. I have to go get ready for lab, so Akaashi could you please tell Bokuto what times we normally study so we can work out a schedule with everyone?” Shimizu spoke so fast that by the time Bokuto had finished registering what she had said, she had already turned and disappeared down the stairs. Bokuto turned to look at Akaashi and found him glaring after Shimizu.

“So, what study schedule do you guys have?” Bokuto asked, hoping to get rid of the awkwardness Shimizu had left when she bolted.

“Um,” Akaashi said then he shook his head as if trying to get rid of something that had lodged itself in his brain, “Sorry, come on in. We can talk about the schedule. You play volleyball, right? What’s your schedule for that?” Akaashi opened the door wide and stepped aside, to make room for Bokuto to enter.

Bokuto smiled, Akaashi already knew about him from volleyball! He stepped into the room and headed for the chair at the desk. “Practice is normally over by eight every night if you don’t mind starting a bit late.”

Akaashi nodded and went to sit on the bed “Late is good. Shimizu normally has lab until about eight as well. We normally study from nine until midnight on Mondays and Wednesdays. So, we’re planning on studying tomorrow night. We get together on Fridays too sometimes, but we mostly just study for other classes then.”

“That sounds perfect. That should work with Kuroo’s schedule too. Although he might be a bit grumpy about not being able to go on as many dates.”

“Oh,” Akaashi said. They sat in silence for a few minutes before Akaashi spoke again, “I’m sorry to ask this Bokuto, but could you leave? I thought I was better, but I don’t think my food poisoning is quite gone yet.”

Bokuto looked at Akaashi, who was looking a little greener than earlier. “Oh my god, sorry! I completely forgot you were still sick! Let me go get you some toast or water or something!”

Akaashi gave a small, almost imperceptible shake of his head, “Thanks, but I’d rather not have anyone see me while I’m, um. Well, throwing up.”

“That’s completely fair,” replied Bokuto. He made to leave as quickly as possible to give Akaashi the privacy he needed. Food poisoning did not look like fun. “I’ll see you in class,” he said, and he shut the door behind him.

Bokuto needed to find Kuroo. He had some things that needed to be discussed. First and foremost, Akaashi was hot.

Chapter Text

Akaashi was going to kill Shimizu. He could not believe that she blindsided him with Bokuto like that. The day after Bokuto and Shimizu had shown up at his room, Akaashi was feeling much better and found himself outside of Shimizu’s dorm.

He knocked and said, “Shimizu open up. It’s Akaashi.”

Shimizu opened the door and let him in. She went to sit at her desk and Akaashi sat down on her bed.

“I can’t believe you would do that to me,” he said.

“Do what?” she asked.

“Don’t give me that!” Akaashi exclaimed, “You know what you did!”

She sighed. “Fine,” she said, “But you were the one that said you were feeling better and wanted to meet the newest members of our study group.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t tell me one of those members was Bokuto! Do you know what happened after you left?”

“He made a move on you because you’re so hot?” She asked

Akaashi glared at her. “No, I had to kick him out of my room because as it turned out, I was still sick. So, I kicked him out so he wouldn’t see me throw up.” Akaashi noticed that Shimizu had the decency to look ashamed.

“I’m sorry Akaashi! I wouldn’t have brought him if I knew that was going to happen, but I’m not sorry about bringing him. And not telling you he was the student joining the study group because you would have said no,” Shimizu said.

“I can’t believe that you would do this to me. You know I was trying to avoid him,” Akaashi replied.

“I know. Which is why I didn’t tell you. You can’t just avoid him! Akaashi, you have been pining after him since you first laid eyes on him. Avoiding him doesn’t make any sense. Why don’t you get to know him and then maybe he’ll like you back and you two can actually get together,” Shimizu sighed. “Plus, if you were really trying to avoid him, you wouldn’t have dragged me to go see his volleyball game.”

“For the last time, I didn’t know he played volleyball! I used to play, and I missed it, so I wanted to watch our school team. How was I supposed to know that he would be playing? Also, I’m pretty sure he’s dating Kuroo, so he won’t be dating me any time soon,” Akaashi sighed.

“No wonder he’s so buff,” Shimizu said, standing and walking over to join Akaashi on the bed, “And I don’t think he’s dating Kuroo, but if he is than Kuroo has some competition. Bokuto looked at you like he saw the second coming. He obviously finds you hot. Don’t think about it too much. Anyway, we should start getting ready for study group tonight. We don’t want Bokuto to be disappointed that his new crush is late.” Shimizu punctuated this last statement by elbowing Akaashi in the ribs.

“He won’t be disappointed if we’re late, and he definitely doesn’t have a crush on me,” Akaashi replied, pushing her off of him.

“You’re so oblivious! You saw the way he was looking at you when you guys met yesterday. He looked like he wanted nothing more than to pin you to a wall and start –“ Shimizu was cut off by Akaashi throwing a pillow at her, “He saw me as I was literally turning green. He wasn’t fantasizing about pinning me to any walls.”

Shimizu held his eyes for a moment before replying, “Whatever you say oh-oblivious one.” Akaashi rolled his eyes.

An hour later, they were at the library, in the room they had reserved for their study group. They didn’t need to worry about Bokuto being disappointed that they were late because Bokuto himself was already ten minutes late. He had texted Shimizu that practice had gotten out late, but he would be there as soon as possible.

“I understand that Bokuto is late,” Akaashi said, irritated, “but where is Kuroo?”

“He’s bringing Bokuto dinner. He just had an intense workout apparently and now he needs to ‘fuel up.’ His words, not mine,” Shimizu said, showing Akaashi the text that Bokuto had just sent her regarding Kuroo’s whereabouts, “Let’s just study for our other classes until they get here.”

Akaashi nodded and pulled out his History textbook. He was just finishing up the chapter when he heard a voice calling him.

“Akaashi! Fancy meeting you here,” Akaashi looked up and saw Oikawa walking into their study room.

“Hey Oikawa,” Akaashi replied, “What are you doing here?”

“Iwaizumi is busy studying and he told me I was being distracting, so he made me leave. I was walking by when I saw you in here and thought I’d say hey.” Oikawa replied.

“Cool,” Akaashi said. “Let me introduce you to my friend Shimizu.” Shimizu nodded at Oikawa. Akaashi turned to address her, “Shimizu, this is Oikawa. He was a setter for a rival school when I was in high school. A damn good one too. He’s not going to college; he went straight into professional volleyball.”

“Impressive,” Shimizu said. “You must be very good if Akaashi is complimenting you like that.” Oikawa smiled and leaned in close to whisper in her ear, “Oh, I’m very good.” Akaashi rolled his eyes. Shimizu didn’t seem the least bit bothered by it.

“Oikawa, quit it or I’m going to go find Iwaizumi.” Akaashi said.

“Okay, okay,” Oikawa said and pulled up a seat. “Do you mind if I sit here and read?”

“I don’t mind, but we’re waiting for some people and once they get here, we’ll probably be talking quite a bit.” Akaashi said and Shimizu nodded.

“That’s fine, I got headphones.” Oikawa pulled out a pair of expensive looking headphones and put them on. As soon as Akaashi had turned back to his book, the door burst open, startling him.

“So sorry we’re late! Please don’t kick us out of the study grou-“ Akaashi looked up to see Bokuto staring at Oikawa, mouth hanging wide open. Akaashi sighed, Oikawa was extraordinarily attractive, so sometimes he gets this reaction.

Bokuto managed to pull himself together and went to sit next to Akaashi. He leaned over to whisper, “What is the setter for Japan’s Olympic volleyball team doing here?” Akaashi looked at Bokuto then looked back at Oikawa. “Are you a fan of his?” Bokuto nodded vigorously.

Akaashi smiled, then lightly kicked Oikawa from under the table. Just as Oikawa was removing his headphones to see what Akaashi wanted, Kuroo walked in.

“Holy shit,” Kuroo said when he saw Oikawa, “What the fuck are you doing here?”

“Reading,” was all Oikawa said in response, but he was smiling like he was telling the world’s funniest joke.

“He was visiting his boyfriend, but he was being too distracting, so he got kicked out.” Akaashi said.

“Not fair Akaashi,” Oikawa fake pouted, “Why do you have to ruin all of my fun?”

“Someone needs to watch you when Iwaizumi isn’t around.” Akaashi replied.

“Akaashi,” Bokuto said slowly, “Why are you talking to Oikawa Tooru like you know him?”

“They played for rival schools in high school,” Shimizu replied for Akaashi, “Apparently.”

Akaashi was grateful to have Shimizu there because he was finding Bokuto’s presence extremely distracting and when he was spoken to directly, he was having trouble finding words.

“Yep,” said Oikawa, “I’ve known Akaashi since his first year of high school. He was some of my toughest competition too. I always hated when I had to play against you! I guess I’m lucky that you decided to quit when you got to college or I wouldn’t feel like I could ever take a break.”

Now Bokuto looked excited, “Akaashi plays volleyball?”

“Played,” Akaashi corrected. “I decided to focus on my studies. Speaking of which, we should probably actually study for Linguistics. Oikawa, you should put your headphones back on.”

“Fine, fine. I don’t want to get kicked out by two different people for being distracting in the same night.” Oikawa replied and slid on his headphones.

Kuroo looked horribly amused at this whole interaction. “I’m guessing you’re Akaashi. Nice to meet you,” he said. Akaashi had completely forgotten that Kuroo hadn’t officially met him yet, and mentally scolded himself for being impolite.

“Nice to meet you. Kuroo, right?” Akaashi asked.

“That’s me,” Kuroo replied, “Now let’s get to studying.”

Two hours later, Iwaizumi came looking for Oikawa. “Hey asshole. Looks like I found you,” Iwaizumi said as he opened the door.

Oikawa looked up and took off his headphones, “Hey Iwaizumi. Are you done studying?”

“For now. I’m hungry so I was going to go get some ramen. I’m guessing you want to come with.” Iwaizumi said.

“Of course darling,” Oikawa said and blew him a kiss. Iwaizumi rolled his eyes and waited for Oikawa to pack up.

“It’s true what they say,” Kuroo said as he watched their interaction.

Oikawa raised his eyebrows, questioningly. Kuroo shrugged and said, “Hot people tend to gather together. You and Iwaizumi are hot. You’re friends with Akaashi, who is also hot. Akaashi is friends with Shimizu, who is,” Kuroo paused for effect, “hot.”

Akaashi was now trying very hard to contain his blush. Oikawa laughed and said, “I like you. You’re direct. A lot like Akaashi. I was going to invite Akaashi, but I suppose I’ll invite all of you. Our friend Yachi is playing a gig this Saturday. You’re more than welcome to come along and hear some good music.”

Akaashi looked up at him, “Yachi’s playing again?” Oikawa nodded. “Text me the details?”

“Will do,” Oikawa responded as he got up and walked towards the door. Akaashi watched as Oikawa reached out his hand to Iwaizumi so they could lace their fingers together as they left. He couldn’t believe Yachi was playing again. It had been almost a year since she stopped. He loved her music. It was one of the best things the world had to offer. Saturday couldn’t come fast enough.

He was pulled out of his thoughts by Bokuto poking him in the side with his eraser. “We want to go on Saturday too! That’s cool right?”

“Of course it’s cool,” Akaashi replied, “Oikawa did invite you.

Bokuto smiled so brightly that Akaashi was scared that the sun would go into hiding for fear of being outshone. “I can’t believe I’m going to be hanging out with Oikawa Tooru. And that he’s so freaking cool! And that I know someone who’s friends with him!” He stopped himself, “Not that I would use you to get to him! I’m just really excited because Oikawa is so cool!”

Akaashi smiled, “It’s okay Bokuto, I know what you meant. But the real star of our friend group is Yachi.”

“Intriguing,” said Kuroo, “Can’t wait for Saturday then. Speaking of Saturday, Oikawa said he would text you the details? We should probably give you our numbers so you can let us know what he says?”

“That’s a good idea,” Shimizu said, “We should probably all have each other’s numbers anyway for study group.”

After exchanging numbers, Bokuto and Kuroo left. They said something about needing to make it before the last bus.

Akaashi looked at Shimizu, then stared at his phone in wonder, “Shimizu,” he said quietly, “I have Bokuto’s number.”

Shimizu smiled at him. Akaashi smiled down at his phone.

Chapter Text

Bokuto sat on the bus, clutching his phone to his chest. “You’re creeping me out, why are you grinning like that,” Kuroo asked.

Bokuto held out his phone and said, “I have Akaashi’s phone number.”

Kuroo held up his phone and smiled, “So do I. Funny though, it doesn’t seem to be giving me the same amount of joy that it’s giving you.”

Bokuto shoved Kuroo. “Shut up. I knew he was hot, but I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him before. I didn’t realize he was so smart and cool and funny! Like we met Oikawa Tooru tonight and I don’t even care! Akaashi is so cool and pretty and distracting.”

“It’s a good thing Akaashi and Shimizu are good at staying on topic otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten any studying done,” Kuroo sighed.

“It’s not my fault!” Bokuto exclaimed. “How am I supposed to focus when I’m sitting next to an actual angel sent from heaven to bless the earth with his beauty?”

“You are being so dramatic,” Kuroo said. “Just ask him out. He obviously found you distracting too.”

Bokuto shoved Kuroo again. “Shut up! It’s not cool to give a guy false hope like that.”

Kuroo shrugged. Bokuto wanted to believe him, but how was he supposed to believe that someone like Akaashi would even look his way. He was pretty sure Akaashi and Shimizu were dating; they did seem very close. And even in the slim chance that Akaashi and Shimizu were really just friends, why would Akaashi look at him when he was friends with someone like Oikawa. And yeah, okay, Oikawa wasn’t available, but that didn’t mean that people stopped pining after him.

Bokuto leaned his head back and clutched his phone to his chest, grateful. His crush on Akaashi might be hopeless, but his phone felt delightfully heavy with the weight of Akaashi’s phone number. Bokuto couldn’t really get mad at Kuroo for not sharing his giddiness. Kuroo never got to experience the miracle of getting a crush’s phone number and the thrill that came along with it. Kuroo and Kenma had been together practically since birth. They started dating in high school, but even before they were dating, everyone knew that those two were inseparable.

Bokuto hoped to one day find the kind of companionship that Kuroo shared with Kenma. He thought that maybe he could feel that with Akaashi, but it also felt a little hopeless. Akaashi seemed like a very serious person, plus he was probably the hottest guy Bokuto had ever seen. Akaashi was way out of his league. Akaashi was the kind of guy that got confessions all the time; Bokuto was the kind of guy that helped girls make confessions to his friends.

Once they had gotten off the bus and were walking home, Bokuto had managed to lose all of his excitement about Akaashi’s phone number. What did it matter if he had Akaashi’s number? Akaashi would only ever see him as a member of the study group, and after this class they would part ways and Akaashi would never talk to him again and he would meet someone and get married and have a family and Bokuto would be stuck pining. Forever.

“Stop looking so dejected,” Kuroo said as they walked, “Weren’t you just so happy that you got his number like two minutes ago?”

“Yeah, so what?” Bokuto replied. “He’ll never use it except for study group things and then after this class we’ll go our separate ways and then he’ll meet someone and get married and I’ll be all alone.”

“I have never seen you like this about a guy,” Kuroo said. “You must really like him.” Kuroo watched Bokuto out of the corner of his eye. Bokuto was very close to crying. “Do you want to watch Howl’s Moving Castle when we get home? We can make popcorn and hot chocolate and you can tell me all about what’s going on in that head of yours.”

Bokuto perked up at that. Howl’s Moving Castle was his favorite movie. Kuroo always put it on when Bokuto needed to be cheered up. Pairing it with hot chocolate was a sure-fire way to make sure Bokuto didn’t go to bed entirely dejected. The popcorn was purely for Kuroo. He knew Bokuto wouldn’t eat popcorn unless he had absolutely no other choice.

“I’d like that,” Bokuto said as they made it to their house.

After entering their home, they both changed into their pajamas. Bokuto watched as Kuroo set up the movie when he remembered that Kuroo was planning on spending the night at Kenma’s. “Hey Kuroo, weren’t you going over to Kenma’s tonight?”

“I texted him that you needed me tonight. It’s not every day that you get a massive crush,” Kuroo said. “Kenma decided to hang out with Hinata to play some new game anyway, so it worked out.”

Bokuto smiled; his friend was truly amazing. “Thanks, Kuroo.”

They both ended up falling asleep on the couch before the movie ended. A couple of hours later, Bokuto woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. Thoughts of Akaashi and Linguistics were swirling around in his brain. There was no way that Bokuto was going to be able to quiet his thoughts enough to go back to sleep. He picked up his phone to check the time only to find out that it had died. He sighed and walked to his room to plug it in. He lay on his bed and stared at the ceiling while waiting for his phone to turn on. He was debating pulling out some of his textbooks to study if he was going to be awake anyway when he heard his phone buzz. He picked it up and almost dropped it when he saw that he had gotten a text from Akaashi.

Akaashi: Oikawa wanted me to make sure I sent you, Kuroo, and Shimizu the details about Yachi’s gig. It’s this Saturday at The Owl Bar. It starts at 9, but it’s always good to get there about an hour early to see the opener. There’s a $10 door charge. If you’re still interested in going, Shimizu and I will be meeting at the school library at 6 to go get dinner before the gig and you and Kuroo can grab food with us too if you want.

Bokuto read and reread the message. It was 4:13 in the morning, he couldn’t realistically send a reply right now. He might wake up Akaashi, and he didn’t want Akaashi to start to resent him for interrupting his sleep, so Bokuto spent his time coming up with a plan of action. Today was Thursday, which meant that he had two days’ notice before he was going to be hanging out with Akaashi outside of school. Whether or not Kuroo went, Bokuto was going. Hell rising on Earth wouldn’t stop him.

Bokuto decided to wake Kuroo up at 7 to ask him if he was planning on going, then he carefully composed two drafts of his reply in his mind. One in which Kuroo was busy and one in which Kuroo was going. Now that he had a plan, Bokuto got out his textbooks, ready to get some studying done. He had a little less than three hours before he would wake up Kuroo, consequences for that be damned, and he could respond to Akaashi without it being weird.

Two and a half hours later and Bokuto couldn’t wait anymore. He went to go find Kuroo, even though it wasn’t 7 yet. Kuroo was still sleeping on the couch. Bokuto took a moment to appreciate how Kuroo was able to sleep while sitting perfectly upright. Bokuto braced himself, Kuroo was not an easy person to wake up, so he had to make sure he was fully prepared before even attempting it.

Bokuto grabbed both of Kuroo’s shoulders, and began shaking and yelling, “Kuroo wake up! I have important news that you won’t know until you wake up!”

Kuroo woke with a start. He stared at Bokuto for a second before lifting a fist and punching Bokuto in the gut.

“Oy, there’s no need for violence,” Bokuto said.

“You knew the dangers of waking me up, yet you did it anyway,” Kuroo yawned. “What is it?”

“Akaashi texted me!” Bokuto shoved his phone into Kuroo’s hands. Kuroo took a minute to read it, then picked up his phone.

“I didn’t get a text from Akaashi,” Kuroo said.

“Yes, you did,” Bokuto replied. “Your phone is dead. I bet it’s there. But that doesn’t matter because I can reply for the both of us. I just need to know if you’re in or out.”

“I’m in if I can bring Kenma. He’ll hate leaving the house, but it will be good for him,” Kuroo said.

Bokuto nodded, mentally rewriting the message he was going to send to Akaashi.

“Okay, I’ll ask if you can bring Kenma. But I’m sure it will be fine,” Bokuto said. He grabbed his phone back from Kuroo to type his reply to Akaashi.

Bokuto: Kuroo and I are both free this Saturday! I won’t be able to make it to the dinner before because I have practice! Kuroo can’t make it to the dinner either because he already had some kind of fancy plans. Would it be cool if we brought someone else along?

Bokuto looked at the clock, it read 6:52. It was early, but more reasonable than 4:13. He hit send. It wasn’t until Bokuto was done showering and eating breakfast that his phone buzzed.

Akaashi: Of course you guys can bring whoever you want. The more the merrier. Do you want to meet at the bar entrance at 8?

Bokuto: Sounds perfect! I can’t wait!

Bokuto let out a breath that he hadn’t realized he was holding. He was going to get to see Akaashi outside of school! He needed to remember to thank Oikawa for inviting him. Even though Oikawa couldn’t know just how thankful he was. Not only was Bokuto going to see Akaashi outside of class, but apparently, he was also going to hear some good music if both Akaashi and Oikawa were to be believed about Yachi. Bokuto was so excited that not even his thoughts from the night before about Akaashi and Shimizu dating could ruin his mood.

His good mood lasted all day. His coach commented that he had never seen Bokuto play so well before. Turns out that being in a good mood made it easier to hit spikes. He knew that after practice he would get to go home and sleep and when he woke up it would be Friday. He got to see Akaashi twice on Friday. Once in class and then again for study group. Then he could look forward to seeing him again on Saturday! Bokuto was choosing not to think about Sunday when he wouldn’t get to see Akaashi at all.

After practice, he quickly packed up his bag and shot Kuroo a quick text saying he was on his way home.

Kuroo responded saying he was spending the night with Kenma which meant Bokuto had an empty house to look forward to. He sighed. He didn’t handle being alone very well. He supposed that meant he would be able to get some studying done. Maybe he could even pull ahead in Linguistics and impress Akaashi. He was just thinking about what food would be good to eat while studying when he left the gym and saw Akaashi on the sidewalk outside with a girl. Akaashi was wearing basketball shorts and a tank top and was sweating. He must have been out on a jog when this girl approached him.

Bokuto watched as the girl talked to Akaashi and held out a letter to him. Oh no, Bokuto thought. He had stumbled upon a confession. He stared, dumbfounded, as Akaashi replied to the girl. Bokuto was glad to see he didn’t accept the letter, but he also felt kind of bad for the girl. She nodded when Akaashi was done talking to her, then she walked off, her head hanging. Akaashi watched her walk away, then he turned back around and sighed. He looked up to see Bokuto watching him.

“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to watch, I was just leaving the gym and I didn’t want to interrupt anything,” Bokuto said. He hoped Akaashi wouldn’t see how awkward he felt.

“Oh, hi Bokuto. It’s okay. She just wanted to know if I was dating Shimizu. I guess I should have expected that,” Akaashi sighed. “Are you leaving practice?”

Bokuto couldn’t help but feel for the poor girl. He thought that she had asked Akaashi an excellent question. Was he dating Shimizu? Bokuto thought this would be a good opportunity to ask Akaashi without it seeming weird. But how to bring it up without giving away that he wanted to know because of his massive crush on Akaashi.

“Um, yeah,” Bokuto replied. “So, what did you say to her? She seemed pretty upset.”

Akaashi looked down at his shoes for a minute. “I always feel bad.” Now Bokuto was confused.

“Why do you feel bad?” he asked.

Akaashi sighed, “I feel bad whenever I say I’m not interested. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there and I just shoot them down. They always seem so upset, but I can’t help it if I don’t want to date them.”

Bokuto felt as though he had been punched in the gut. Akaashi must get confessions all the time, this was no surprise, but he said that he never wanted to date the people who confessed. He always turns them down. And he still didn’t have a clear answer on Akaashi’s relationship with Shimizu.

“Oh,” was all Bokuto managed to get out.

“Yeah,” Akaashi replied.

“I guess I should let you get back to your jog,” Bokuto said.

Akaashi nodded, “See you tomorrow Bokuto.” Bokuto watched as Akaashi jogged away at an admirable pace. He felt a bit creepy staring at Akaashi’s back and was trying and failing from keeping his eyes from sliding down lower.

“Stop it Koutarou,” he admonished himself. He hoisted his gym back over his shoulder then began his walk to the bus stop. Studying tonight was going to be difficult.

Chapter Text

Akaashi jogged back to his dorm. He couldn’t believe that his jog got interrupted so a girl could confess. The worst part was Bokuto was there to see it! Of course, the guy that he was nursing a pretty massive crush on watched as he turned down some poor girl. Bokuto probably thought he was horribly mean. What if Bokuto cancelled on Saturday because he didn’t want to associate with someone who would so coldly reject someone trying to confess their feelings! Akaashi let these thoughts run wild as he entered his dorm. He normally stopped jogging when he got to the stairs, but his head was so full of thoughts of Bokuto that he had to keep moving. He didn’t know what he would do when he actually made it to his room. He might just turn around and jog his route again.

He decided against continuing his jog as soon as he saw his bed. He threw himself onto it, face hitting the pillows. He wanted to scream. Instead, he found his phone to text Shimizu. She was knocking at his door within 3 minutes of his text.

“What happened?” she asked.

“Bmmtoomm tnmnmm m oooo n mn n nvvvv ggg meeeeeee zzz eeee rrrt,” Akaashi mumbled into his pillows.

“Come again,” Shimizu said while grabbing his arm to pull him up and out of his pillows.

“Bokuto thinks I’m cold and mean and he’s never going to like me because he’s right.” Akaashi said.

“Hold on, did he actually say that?” Shimizu asked.

“No, but that’s what he thinks,” Akaashi replied.

“I’m going to need some sort of context for this,” Shimizu said.

Akaashi told her how Bokuto had just watched as he rejected some poor girl. Shimizu nodded after Akaashi had finished explaining, reached around him and grabbed a pillow. Akaashi watched as she lifted it over her head. Before he had time to react, Shimizu had slammed it on his face with such force that it knocked Akaashi back.

“What,” Akaashi said. It wasn’t much of a question, as his head was jumbled from the blow.

“You had me worried that something was actually wrong,” Shimizu said. “You’re lucky you got off so light. Listen, Akaashi. Bokuto probably didn’t think anything except that you weren’t interested in that girl. Don’t go making up his thoughts for him. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!”

“Easy for you to say, you’ve never had a real crush on anybody,” Akaashi replied, sitting up.

“Hey, I asked you out, didn’t I?” Shimizu responded.

“Yeah but you told me later that you only asked me out because you thought having a boyfriend would stop people from gawking,” Akaashi smiled. “I’m glad you did it though because if you hadn’t, we wouldn’t be friends now.”

“Yeah, and I even ended up getting what I wanted. People still think we’re dating so the gawking hasn’t been as bad. So, I guess I win,” Shimizu laughed. “Don’t worry about Bokuto. He’s still in our study group and he’s still coming on Saturday. If he really thought that about you, he probably wouldn’t have accepted in the first place. And he would have backed out when you were talking with him ten minutes ago if seeing you reject someone really made him think those things.”

Akaashi sighed. “I guess you’re right,” he said. “Thanks Shimizu. I owe you one.”

Shimizu stood up and made toward the door, “Don’t think I won’t cash in on that,” she said then left, closing the door gently behind her.

Akaashi reached for his bag with the intention of studying, but as soon as he lifted his arm, he could smell that he had just gone on a jog. With running into Bokuto and the resulting emotional turmoil, he had forgotten that he desperately needed a shower. Studying could wait. A shower would help clean his body and his mind.

After his shower, Akaashi collapsed onto his bed and fell into a deep sleep. He dreamed of Bokuto walking away from him. He kept trying to catch up to him to explain that he wasn’t cold, he just had trouble expressing himself sometimes, but Bokuto never turned around. When his alarm shrieked at 6:45 the next morning, Akaashi was relieved. He hoped that the real Bokuto wouldn’t walk away when he saw him.

Akaashi needn’t have worried as Bokuto and Kuroo were early to class and were apparently waiting for him and Shimizu to show up.

“Hi Bokuto. Hi Kuroo,” Akaashi said as he approached them. “Were you waiting for us?”

“Yeah!” Bokuto exclaimed. “Would it be cool if we sat with you guys today? We thought it would be good to keep the study group together, but we didn’t want to invade your space or anything!”

“It’s open seating in the classroom,” Akaashi replied, hoping he wasn’t blushing as much as he feared he was. “You can sit wherever you like.”

Shimizu smiled encouragingly. “It would be nice for everyone to be near each other in class. It would make sharing notes much easier.”

“Awesome! Thanks, Akaashi!” Bokuto said to Akaashi even though it was Shimizu who had actually said it was okay. Akaashi saw Shimizu share a knowing look with Kuroo and wondered what that was about.

“Bokuto,” Akaashi said, “you’re blocking the classroom. Other people need to get in too.”

Bokuto’s resulting blush spread from his head, down his neck, and disappeared underneath his shirt. Akaashi found it incredibly endearing.

“Sorry!” Bokuto said and moved into the classroom. Akaashi, Kuroo, and Shimizu followed him. Bokuto and Kuroo ended up sitting behind Akaashi and Kuroo. Akaashi was trying to figure out how he was supposed to concentrate in class when Bokuto was so close when the teacher walked in and immediately started the lecture. Akaashi soon gave up on concentrating on the lecture; it was useless with Bokuto right behind him. He started doodling in his notebook. Before he knew it, class was over, and he had created a whole volleyball match in his notebook. He thought he had done a pretty good job on everyone, especially Oikawa because that bastard was particularly hard to draw. He had drawn himself in a three-on-three match against Oikawa. He kind of missed playing against Oikawa, so he figured if he couldn’t play against him in real life anymore, he could at least doodle it. It was Oikawa, Iwaizumi, and their friend Tsukishima against himself, Bokuto, and Kuroo. Yachi was the manager for Oikawa’s team, and Shimizu was the manager for his team. The score was tied at 21-21 and he had drawn himself setting a spike for Bokuto, who was midair, ready to spike.

“Wow, you’re a great artist,” Akaashi heard from behind his desk. Bokuto and Kuroo were looking over his shoulder at his notebook. Akaashi blushed at the compliment from Bokuto. Shimizu had already run out of class, which meant that he had to ask her for her notes later. He was too terrified to ask Kuroo or Bokuto for their notes.

“Did you spend all class drawing this?” Kuroo asked.

“Um,” Akaashi replied sheepishly. “Yeah.”

“Didn’t you take notes?” Kuroo asked, clearly surprised that Akaashi would do anything else in class.

“I couldn’t focus today. I managed to focus better when I was doodling, but I didn’t get any notes,” Akaashi answered.

This is doodling to you?” Bokuto asked, reaching for the notebook to get a better look.

“Yeah? It was just a quick doodle. I don’t get as much time to draw or paint as I used to since I spend most of my time studying now,” Akaashi replied.

“Since you didn’t get any notes, why don’t you copy Bokuto’s?” Kuroo offered.

“Hey, don’t just offer my notes to people!” Bokuto said, “What about your notes?”

“We all know that my notes are shit compared to yours,” Kuroo said to Bokuto. He turned to Akaashi and said, “He may seem kind of ditzy sometimes, but no one can focus like he can focus. That’s how he keeps getting good grades. And why he’s such a damn good ace.”

“Oh,” Akaashi replied. “Um, if Bokuto doesn’t mind sharing his notes, I could copy them at study group tonight.”

Bokuto smiled devilishly, “I’ll share my notes with you Akaashi, but it’s going to cost you.”

Akaashi shivered. He couldn’t tell if it was fear or excitement. Maybe a little bit of both. “I don’t know whether or not I should be scared. I can always just get Shimizu’s notes. The notes she took for me when I was sick were really good.”

Bokuto’s devilish smile widened. “Were they really that amazing?” Akaashi nodded. “Well, bad news for you Akaashi,” Bokuto said, “Shimizu gave you my notes last time because she said they were much better than hers.”

Akaashi frowned. “Those were your notes? Why didn’t anyone tell me? I didn’t properly thank you.”

“That’s okay. I didn’t do it so you would thank me,” Bokuto said. “Anyway, back to your payment for borrowing my notes today.”

Akaashi met Bokuto’s eyes and wouldn’t look away. If he demanded something absurd, like jumping over three desks, Akaashi would just use someone else’s inferior notes.

“Fine, Bokuto. What will I have to do in order to get your notes?” Akaashi asked.

“You don’t have to do anything,” Bokuto said. “I’m proposing a trade. I’ll give you my notes, if I can keep this drawing.”

Akaashi was dumbfounded. Why would Bokuto want his crappy doodle? He knew Bokuto played volleyball, so maybe that’s why Bokuto would want a classroom doodle like that.

“I’ll accept that trade, but I can draw you something much better if you want,” Akaashi offered.

“You’d draw something for me?” Bokuto bounced up and down on the balls of his feet. “Kuroo, you’re a witness. Akaashi said he would draw something for me.” He turned back to Akaashi. “That’s in addition to this drawing.”

Akaashi smiled, “Of course, Bokuto. Just let me know what you want me to draw for you and I’ll do it.”

“Can I have some time to think about it?” Bokuto asked.

Akaashi nodded. He grabbed his notebook back from Bokuto, then delicately ripped out the page with his doodle and handed it back. “I have another class to get to. Here’s the doodle, I’ll expect a copy of your notes tonight at study group.”

Akaashi left before Bokuto and Kuroo had a chance to see the blush that was creeping up his neck. He texted Shimizu on the way to his next class letting her know everything that happened after she left.

 

Shimizu: You’ve never offered to draw me anything. And after everything I’ve done for you

 

Akaashi laughed as he made it to his next class. He didn’t pay attention in this class either as he was busy doodling Shimizu surrounded by hearts. He knew this would placate her fake hurt feelings.

He gave her the doodle at her dorm before walking to study group that night and as Akaashi had expected, she loved it. She stuck it in the front of her binder.

When the got to study group, they were surprised to see Bokuto and Kuroo already there.

“You guys have been early today,” Akaashi noted.

“Practice was cancelled today, so I went home and made us all dinner!” Bokuto said.

“You made us dinner?” Shimizu asked.

“Yep,” Bokuto said, beaming proudly.

They all sat around the table and got their books out. Bokuto started passing out the food.

“I tried to make something that we could eat while studying, so I made burritos. I have bean burritos, chicken, and breakfast burritos. Just grab whichever one you want.” Bokuto said, indicating with his finger which stack of burritos was which.

Akaashi grabbed a breakfast burrito and took a bite. He was instantly transported to heaven. “Bokuto,” he said as he finished chewing his first bite, “this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten.”

Bokuto smiled, proud to receive such a compliment. Kuroo said, “Remember when I told you that he has the most insane ability to focus? That translates to the kitchen too. Bokuto is a master chef.”

Akaashi looked over at Shimizu who was nodding. She had already finished one burrito and was reaching for a second. Akaashi smiled. Shimizu was an extremely picky eater. He felt proud of Bokuto, which was weird. Bokuto wasn’t anything to Akaashi. Not a boyfriend, not really friends. They were classmates and study buddies. But still, Akaashi smiled at Bokuto, he was very proud.

Chapter Text

Bokuto watched as Akaashi and Shimizu greedily ate his burritos. He had never been so proud of himself. He had made something that Akaashi liked.

“I’m glad you guys like the food, but we should probably start studying,” Kuroo said. “We have a test coming up and as good as these burritos are, they won’t get me a passing grade.”

Shimizu laughed and nodded. “You’re right Kuroo. C’mon Akaashi, let’s study. I’m sure we can get Bokuto to make us food again.”

Akaashi blushed and reached for his bag. Shimizu leaned over and started whispering something to Akaashi, causing his cheeks to burn the brightest red that Bokuto had ever seen. He wondered what Shimizu could have possibly said to cause such a reaction. He couldn’t help a surge of jealousy overcome him. He was about to say something, he didn’t know what he was going to say, but it wasn’t kind, when he felt Kuroo’s hand on his shoulder. He looked over at Kuroo who frowned and shook his head. Bokuto knew that he was about to overreact to something and ruin this small friendship he’d managed to build with the four of them here. He released the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding.

“Of course,” he forced himself to sound cheery, “I’d be happy to cook for you guys again! I can’t say no to people who enjoy my food so much!” His words did not give away how resentful he was towards Shimizu and Akaashi for their relationship. Even if they weren’t dating, they were very clearly close. Bokuto wanted that closeness. He had never felt something like that before. He had Kuroo and their friendship came close, but it wasn’t the same. Kuroo had Kenma, and Bokuto only had himself. He was used to being alone. He hated it. He wanted to be the one to make Akaashi blush like that. He wanted to hug Akaashi and kiss him and have Akaashi tell him that everything was going to be alright.

“Bokuto? Are you okay?” Bokuto heard Akaashi ask him.

“Huh? Oh yeah, right as rain! Let’s study!” Bokuto responded. He held Akaashi’s gaze until Akaashi looked away. Bokuto saw Akaashi lean over to Shimizu to ask her a question about something in her notes when Bokuto noticed the front of Shimizu’s binder. It was a drawing. It was very clearly done by Akaashi, it was the same style as the drawing Akaashi had given him in exchange for his notes which he had promptly hung in his room. Only this one was of Shimizu instead of boys playing volleyball. And it was surrounded by hearts. Bokuto’s heart broke. Of course. He had been naïve to think that there was any possibility that Akaashi and Shimizu weren’t dating. He stood up, dejected.

“I, um,” he choked out, “I have to go to the bathroom.”

“Bokuto, are you sure you’re okay?” Akaashi asked.

“Yeah,” Bokuto swallowed. “Just need to use the bathroom.” He walked out of the room and made it as far as the end of the hallway before he collapsed against the wall and let out a silent sob. He had to pull himself together or he would never be able to go back to that room and face everyone. He knew Kuroo had watched him leave and he knew that Kuroo knew he wasn’t going to the bathroom. He waited for Kuroo to come after him. He didn’t know if he was upset or relieved when Kuroo didn’t come running.

“That’s a good drawing of you, Shimizu,” Bokuto heard Kuroo’s voice say. Bokuto’s head jerked up. He hadn’t closed the door when he left, and the voices from the room were carrying down the hallway. He didn’t want to hear this conversation, but he couldn’t move. He was rooted to the spot. Forced to listen as Kuroo confirmed his worst fears.

“Thanks, Kuroo,” Shimizu responded.

“Did Akaashi draw that for you?” Kuroo asked.

“Yeah,” she said. “He told me that he drew something and gave it to Bokuto, and I was jealous, so he drew this for me. Isn’t Akaashi really talented?” Bokuto felt some weird sense of pride at making Shimizu jealous when it came to Akaashi. But he just as soon felt guilty for causing contention in their relationship. He wanted Akaashi to be happy, he didn’t want to cause problems for him. Bokuto felt sick that he felt pride in that for even a second.

“He is. The drawing he gave Bokuto is really good too. So, how long have you two been together?” Kuroo asked.

Now Bokuto really didn’t want to hear the answer. If they’d been together for a long time, he’d feel bad for ever having feelings for Akaashi. And if they’d only recently started dating, he’d feel bad for trying to come between such a new couple. He tried to get up when he heard Akaashi laugh. The sound was like a punch in the gut to Bokuto. How could Akaashi laugh at that question? How could it sound like windchimes and a warm breeze? How could Bokuto feel so comforted by the sound of Akaashi’s laugh when just two seconds ago, Akaashi was the source of Bokuto’s pain.

“We’re not dating,” he heard Akaashi say. Bokuto turned his head to look at the open door. There’s no way he heard Akaashi correctly.

“He rejected me,” Shimizu said, “Which is fine. We’re better as friends anyway.”

“Why would you reject her? She’s smart and funny and hot,” Kuroo asked and Bokuto could have killed Kuroo. Why was he trying to push Akaashi into Shimizu’s arms? What kind of friend was he?

“Well,” Akaashi said. Bokuto held his breath for the answer. When an answer didn’t come, he worried that he had imagined this whole conversation. Maybe his broken heart had caused some sort of mental break as well. He was living in a fantasy world.

Akaashi coughed. “Sorry, this is hard for me,” Bokuto heard Akaashi say finally.

“Sorry,” Kuroo said, “I didn’t mean to pry.”

“No, it’s okay,” Akaashi replied. “I like Shimizu a lot. And she is very pretty and cool and smart and anyone would be lucky to date her. But she’s not really my type. I, um, I like guys.” Bokuto barely heard the last bit as Akaashi had grown very quiet.

“I see. Cool,” said Kuroo. It remained quiet for a few minutes, before Kuroo spoke up again “Bokuto’s been gone for a long time. I should go check on him.”

Bokuto heard the door click shut and looked up to see Kuroo walking towards him. He was still sitting on the floor at the end of the hallway. Kuroo stopped when he saw Bokuto. Bokuto looked up at Kuroo with tears in his eyes. He had never been so grateful to have a friend like Kuroo before. Now he knew why Kuroo hadn’t immediately come looking for him. Kuroo asked about the drawing because he knew it was what was bothering him. It’s amazing what a little clarification could do for someone’s mood.

“You could have asked for yourself, you know,” Kuroo said to Bokuto as he walked toward him and offered a hand to help him up.

“Sorry,” Bokuto said. “I don’t know what came over me. But,” he hugged Kuroo, “Thank you,” he whispered into his friend’s shoulder.

He pulled away and looked over Kuroo’s shoulder to see Akaashi staring, wide eyed at the two of them. Bokuto broke into a huge grin upon seen Akaashi.

“Akaashi!” he yelled, and Akaashi jumped. “Sorry if I worried you. I’ve been having a really tough time lately and Kuroo just came to check on me to make sure I was okay. But I’m good now, I promise.”

Akaashi nodded, his wide-eyed expression unchanged. “I’m glad you’re okay Bokuto-san.”

Bokuto beamed and said, “Let’s get back to studying!” He marched back to the room and took his seat. He opened his book to look at his notes. He looked over at Shimizu’s drawing. If Akaashi drew something like that for someone who he wasn’t involved with, what would Akaashi draw for someone he loved? Bokuto thought of the drawing he had hung over his bed. As soon as he saw that drawing, he had known that he needed it. He would have traded anything to get it. Akaashi had drawn himself setting for Bokuto. There’s no way that Akaashi could have known just how badly Bokuto wanted that to be true. He wanted to play volleyball with Akaashi.

He was lost in thought when Kuroo snapped his fingers in front of his face. “Hello, earth to Bokuto?”

“Huh? Yeah? Sorry, guess I’m still a bit distracted,” Bokuto said and looked at Akaashi who looked back at him and met his eyes. Gone was the wide-eyed expression. It was replaced by something else. Bokuto couldn’t place Akaashi’s expression, but it was one he recognized. It was so familiar and so sad. He wondered what could have happened for someone so beautiful to wear such an expression.

“Today hasn’t been very productive, has it?” Shimizu asked. “Why don’t we call it a night a little early tonight? We’ll see each other again tomorrow for the Yachi’s gig, yeah?”

“I think you’re right,” Kuroo said, looking at Akaashi, then turning to look at Bokuto. “Bokuto, Akaashi, why don’t you two go ahead, I want to talk to Shimizu about something.”

“Okay!” Bokuto said, happy that Kuroo was giving him an excuse to be with Akaashi alone. He and Akaashi were at the door, when Bokuto turned around to ask Kuroo, “Are you coming home tonight?”

“No. I’m staying with Kenma tonight. His place is closer to the restaurant,” Kuroo replied.

“Okay, see you tomorrow at the gig then,” Bokuto replied and followed Akaashi out of the room.

Bokuto and Akaashi walked together in silence. Bokuto couldn’t take it, he didn’t like silence in the best of times, but tonight had already been weird, so this silence was slowly killing him.

“I’ll walk you back to your dorm, if that’s okay,” Bokuto said to Akaashi.

Akaashi looked up at Bokuto and nodded. He seemed lost in thought, and despite not being able to bear the silence, Bokuto didn’t want to be the one to interrupt Akaashi’s thoughts.

“Who’s Kenma?” Akaashi’s voice startled Bokuto and he almost tripped over his own two feet, but Akaashi reached out an arm to grab him. Akaashi held onto Bokuto’s arm while he steadied himself. Once Bokuto was back squarely on two feet, Akaashi let go of his arm and said, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“It’s okay! Startle me all you want! I’m just happy you’re talking again!” Bokuto beamed at Akaashi.

“Oh,” Akaashi blushed. “Um, so you and Kuroo were talking and he mentioned someone named Kenma?” Akaashi asked again.

“Oh yeah! Kenma, you’ll meet him tomorrow night at the gig. Kuroo’s bringing him. He’s Kuroo’s boyfriend,” Bokuto said.

Akaashi stopped and grabbed Bokuto’s wrist. Bokuto would have thoroughly enjoyed Akaashi grabbing his arm for the second time that night, but his grip was deathly tight, and he made the mistake of looking into Akaashi’s eyes. They were burning rage.

“Akaashi? Are you okay?” Bokuto said, lifting his hand to place it over Akaashi’s where it was gripping his wrist.

“Am I okay?” Akaashi asked, his voice venom. “Are you okay Bokuto? Don’t you like Kuroo? Don’t you two live together? And he’s seeing someone else? What about your feelings?”

Bokuto stared at Akaashi, dumbfounded. He sucked in a huge breath and let out a booming laugh. He hadn’t meant to laugh so hard, but the thought of him having feelings for Kuroo was just absurd. He loved Kuroo. They were brothers. Kuroo was his family, but he couldn’t imagine thinking of Kuroo in that way. He pulled Akaashi’s hand off of his wrist and pulled him into a quick hug. When he released Akaashi, he said, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to laugh, but Kuroo is my family. We’re more like siblings than like lovers. Dating him would feel so gross.”

The rage in Akaashi’s eyes slowly faded until it was replaced with something that looked an awful like relief. “So, you don’t like Kuroo?” he asked.

“No, I don’t like Kuroo,” Bokuto said. “I, um, I like someone else.” Akaashi jerked his head up to look at him. This time Bokuto didn’t see rage in his eyes, but a burning intensity. Bokuto shivered under that gaze. He hoped Akaashi would look away. He hoped Akaashi would never look away.

“You like someone else?” Akaashi asked.

He nodded, mute. He couldn’t speak while Akaashi was looking at him like that.

Akaashi eventually lowered his gaze to the ground. “I see,” was all Akaashi said. “I can walk back to the dorm from here. I don’t want you to miss the bus.”

Bokuto nodded again, still mute. He didn’t want to leave, but Akaashi clearly needed to be alone. Akaashi had turned around to continue walking to the dorm and Bokuto was about to do the same thing when he heard Akaashi call out after him.

“Bokuto!” he turned around to see Akaashi smiling at him. “I still owe you a drawing. But you don’t get to choose what it is. I’ll give it to you tomorrow after the gig.”

Bokuto smiled at Akaashi and waved at him. “I can’t wait,” he said and walked toward to bus stop. He wondered what Akaashi was going to draw for him. He was thinking about the possibilities when he remembered Akaashi’s expression in the study room. He knew why it looked familiar. He was pretty sure it was the same expression he had made when he thought Akaashi and Shimizu were dating. He recalled how shocked Akaashi had looked when he saw him and Kuroo hugging and how mad he was when he thought Kuroo was stringing him along. Did that mean that Akaashi was upset because he thought him and Kuroo were dating? Was he jealous?

Bokuto was going to see Akaashi tomorrow. He was terrified. He was excited.

Chapter Text

“Why the hell did I tell him I’d choose what I’d draw for him?” Akaashi flopped onto his bed and covered his face with his hands. He had no idea what he was going to draw. It was so much easier to draw something for Shimizu. He and Shimizu were just friends, there was no special meaning to any gift between them. And what was with study group tonight? Why was it so tense? Why did Bokuto leave? Why did Kuroo ask all those questions? Why did Akaashi feel hurt that Bokuto went to Kuroo with his problems instead of him? He wasn’t anything to Bokuto. Where had his confidence from five minutes ago gone? He wanted to go back in time and stop himself from saying anything to Bokuto about the drawing in the first place. Akaashi let these questions flutter around in his head and he knew he wouldn’t be getting any sleep tonight.

He was contemplating between rereading his favorite book and laying on his bed and staring at the ceiling all night when he heard his phone buzz. Shimizu was calling him. He really didn’t want to talk to her right now, and he couldn’t explain why. She hadn’t done anything wrong, but he was upset with her. They’re friendship had been so easy. Why couldn’t it be easy like that with Bokuto? Akaashi had never been great at making friends. Shimizu was probably the first real friend that he had. She was his best friend, and he was an asshole. He let the phone go to voicemail.

After a few minutes, his phone buzzed again. This time it was a text message. He groaned and sat up. Staring at the ceiling could wait.

 

Shimizu: We need to talk. I’m coming over.


Akaashi groaned again. He didn’t want to see anyone. He wanted to drown in self-loathing. Just one night of staring at the ceiling and trying to get himself to feel nothing. Because that was his problem really. He felt things, and he felt them strongly. He felt things so strongly he didn’t know how to process them. He didn’t want to think about relationships or friendships or anything, but Shimizu was coming over and there was no point in trying to stop her.

When she arrived, she didn’t bother to knock, she just waltzed in and sat on the bed.

“You’re making me sad,” she said.

“Thanks,” he replied. “I feel better.”

She sighed. “You two are morons. Why don’t you two use your words and communicate like normal humans? Kuroo and I can only do so much you know?”

Akaashi looked at her. He was confused. What was she doing with Kuroo? “What-“ Shimizu cut him off.

“Listen, Akaashi,” she started, “You probably aren’t going to believe me, but I’m going to tell you. Bokuto likes you. And you two need to stop assuming things about each other. Him assuming we’re dating is on him, but you were also being weird. You probably thought he was dating Kuroo and got dejected. Kuroo and I are worried that this weird tenseness will ruin study group and we really need this study group. So, either you and Bokuto need to talk to each other and confess and live happily ever after, or you need to figure out a way to be in study group together as friends.”

Akaashi didn’t have a reply. She was right that he didn’t believe Bokuto liked him, but she was also right about the tenseness as study group. He sighed. “I’m sorry, Shimizu. I didn’t mean to make things awkward for you. I’ll try to get over it.”

She hit him with a pillow. “I’m not telling you to give up, idiot. I am telling you that you should just tell him that you like him. I’m one hundred and ten percent sure that he likes you back.”

Akaashi shook his head. There was no way. Bokuto had only ever seen him be cold and cruel and reject people. There’s no way Bokuto liked him back.

“Okay,” Shimizu said, exasperated. “Let’s say that he doesn’t like you, what’s the worst thing that could happen? He will be flattered and reject you and you can move on. Akaashi, you can’t go on like this. I’m getting worried. When was the last time you slept?”

“Fine, fine,” Akaashi replied. “I’ll tell him I like him, okay? But when he rejects me, you gotta buy me chocolate ice cream.”

“Deal,” Shimizu said, standing up and walking towards the door. “But when he doesn’t reject you and you two end up together, you have to buy me tenmusu.”

Akaashi smiled, “Deal,” he said, and she left him to his thoughts.

Well, thought Akaashi, she’s right. There was no use being miserable until he had actually been rejected. Until then, he supposed he could draw something for Bokuto. He was about to grab his sketch pad, but something stopped him. Instead he crossed the room and opened the closet to pull out a blank canvas. Drawing wouldn’t be good enough. The best way to get out everything that was in his head was to paint it. He put on his music, sat down, and got to work.

He was planning on spending all night working on the painting, but he fell asleep around three in the morning, the painting unfinished. He woke up at seven and got back to work. It was four in the afternoon by the time he had finished. He was supposed to meet Shimizu for dinner at six. Two hours should be enough time for the painting to finish drying, and Akaashi had to get ready for the night. He wanted to look good, but he was currently covered in paint. He spent and eternity in the shower just trying to scrub the paint off.

By the time he was done getting ready, he was running late. He texted Shimizu that he was running behind, wrapped the canvas in parchment paper, then ran to meet Shimizu at the library.

When he finally made it, she raised her eyebrows at him, then pointedly looked at the wrapped package his was carrying.

“Bokuto asked for a drawing, but I thought a painting would be nicer,” he said sheepishly.

Shimizu smiled, “C’mon,” she said, “let’s go to dinner.” Akaashi was driving them, so he put the painting in the back seat and drove them across town to Shimizu’s favorite restaurant.

At dinner, they talked about everything, except Bokuto. Akaashi was growing impatient. He was nervous, but he needed to tell Bokuto how he felt. Akaashi knew that nothing would be as freeing as getting that out in the open.

“I can’t wait for you to finally get together with Bokuto,” she said as they walked from the restaurant to the concert venue.

“Shut up,” Akaashi replied, “The only reason I’m able to do this is because you promised to buy me chocolate ice cream.”

“Mhmm,” was all Shimizu replied.

They got to the venue early because Akaashi wanted to see Yachi before her set. It had been too long since he had last seen her. She was Oikawa’s childhood friend, but when Oikawa had introduced them, they had hit it off. Yachi had actually been his one and only venture into dating before this whole mess with Bokuto. They broke it off when it was obvious that neither one of them was really into it. Yachi had told him later that she realized she liked girls. Akaashi smiled, remembering Yachi telling him this. He was excited to tell her that she needn’t have worried about his feelings because he liked guys.

Once they were inside, their hands stamped, Oikawa appeared at Akaashi’s side.

“Well hello there Akaashi and Shimizu,” Oikawa said. “Where are your gorgeous friends?”

Akaashi blushed and he knew Oikawa didn’t miss it. “They’ll be here later. We came here early to see Yachi.”

“Ah, well she’s in the back. C’mon, I’ll take you there”

They wandered through the meager crowd that had shown up early. Akaashi knew that these were people that came straight from work. They’d probably been here, at the bar, since around five. They were the craziest once the gig started, like this was the only time they ever cut loose.

They made it to the back, and Oikawa knocked on the door, “Yachi, you have a surprise visitor.”

“A surprise visitor,” came a small voice from the room. “Who is it?”

At her question, Akaashi opened the door, and upon seeing Yachi, smiled widely. “Hi Yachi,” he said.

Yachi squealed and ran to jump into his arms for a hug. Yachi was the only person that Akaashi had ever allowed to hug him like this. “Akaashi! I can’t believe you’re here! Did Oikawa tell you? I’m so glad you came. I am so nervous to get back up on stage. I can’t believe that I broke my arm last time I was on stage. Talk about embarrassing. And now I’m rambling again, I’m sorry.” She let go of Akaashi and stepped aside, blushing.

“I love your rambling, Yachi. Never change,” Akaashi smiled at her. “Let me introduce you to my friend Shimizu,” Akaashi gestured at Shimizu, who stood in the doorway, frozen.

“Oh, um, hi,” Shimizu said and lifted her hand in a wave.

“A friend?” Yachi whispered to Akaashi, “Or a girlfriend?”

A laugh escaped Akaashi’s lips. “Sorry,” he whispered back, “I didn’t mean to laugh. It’s just, everyone thinks we’re dating, but Yachi,” he stopped whispering, “We aren’t dating, in fact. I need to tell you something Yachi,” he took a deep breath, I’m gay.”

Yachi punched his arm. “That’s great!” she said. “So, Shimizu,” she addressed Shimizu, who was still standing in the doorway, “I hope you enjoy the show.”

“I’m sure I will,” Shimizu replied. “Akaashi, we should go wait for Bokuto and Kuroo.”

“Okay. See you later Yachi,” Akaashi said.

Once they left, Shimizu leaned over to Akaashi and said, “She’s cute.”

Akaashi smiled and said, “I’m sure she thought you were cute too.” Shimizu blushed. “Wait no,” Akaashi corrected himself, “She probably thought you were hot. Not cute. Hot.” Shimizu’s blush deepened and Akaashi laughed. He was still teasing her when they made it to the entrance to wait for Kuroo and Bokuto.

Kuroo showed up first. He was holding hands with someone a good deal shorter than him, who looked like he would rather be anywhere else, but in that venue to see a concert.

“Hi Kuroo,” Akaashi said. “Where’s Bokuto?”

“He’s probably running late from practice, but he’ll be here. He wouldn’t miss this for the world.” Kuroo replied. The other guy pulled on Kuroo’s sleeve. “Ah, yes, Akaashi, Shimizu, this is Kenma, my boyfriend.”

Shimizu nodded her hello, and Akaashi said, “Nice to meet you Kenma.” Kenma squirmed a little and said in an impossibly quiet, but sturdy voice, “Nice to meet you too.”

Kuroo slip his hand down to hold Kenma’s and Akaashi felt a pang of jealousy. He wanted to be able to casually grab Bokuto’s hand like that. He nodded at Kenma, “Thanks for coming. Yachi will be glad to have so many people here supporting her.”

Kenma nodded. “Kuroo was very excited to come here tonight. Not as excited as Bokuto though. Although I think he’s more excited to see you, Akaashi.”

Akaashi stared at Kenma, wide-eyed. “I see,” Akaashi smiled. Kenma watched him. Akaashi couldn’t help but feel like Kenma was sizing him up. He tried not to shiver under Kenma’s gaze, but his blood ran cold when he heard Bokuto calling him.

“Akaashi! I’m glad I made it. I was scared I was going to be too late and you wouldn’t be waiting for me,” he rubbed the back of his neck. Akaashi noticed Bokuto did that when he got nervous. He found it endlessly adorable.

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Akaashi replied. “I’m glad you made it Bokuto.”

Bokuto smiled at him, and Akaashi felt his blood go from freezing to warm. “Let’s go listen to some good music, shall we?” Akaashi heard Kuroo ask, but he was stuck, staring at Bokuto. He only moved because Shimizu shoved him, and they made their way towards the stage.

The opener was good, but they were nothing compared to Yachi and her band. Akaashi remembered the first time he heard Yachi sing. He knew then that she was going places. When she broke her arm over a year ago, it took a toll on her mentally. Akaashi was worried that she would never return to the stage. He was glad that she was back now though. He couldn’t help but notice that Shimizu thought so too.

After the gig, Akaashi offered a ride to everyone, but Kuroo said that he and Kenma were planning on walking home together and Shimizu said she wanted to hang out for a while at the bar, so Akaashi and Bokuto ended up walking to Akaashi’s car together.

Once they made it to the car, Bokuto looked into the backseat and asked, “What’s that package?”

Akaashi blushed. “Get in the car, Bokuto.” Bokuto shrugged and got into the passenger seat.

Akaashi started the car and pulled out of the parking lot, listening to the directions Bokuto was giving him for how to get to his house.

“Hey, you said you would give me the drawing when the gig was over,” Bokuto said to Akaashi.

“That’s actually what that package is,” Akaashi responded. “I, um, didn’t do a drawing exactly.”

Bokuto looked at him, waiting for him to continue.

“It’s a painting,” Akaashi said finally.

“You painted something?” Bokuto asked. “For me?”

Akaashi blushed, “Yes, I did. Bokuto, I want to ask you something before I give you the painting.”

“You can ask me anything,” Bokuto said, “I’m an open book.”

“Could you please not look at me when I ask you,” Akaashi said.

“Why can’t I look at you?” Bokuto asked.

“Bokuto, please.” Akaashi pleaded.

“Fine, fine. Whatever you say.” Bokuto turned so he was facing forward. ‘Okay, what did you want to ask me?”

“Bokuto,” Akaashi started, “Would you like to go on a date sometime?”

Chapter Text

Bokuto blinked, trying to process what Akaashi had just said. “Did you just ask me out?” He asked.

Akaashi’s hands were pale white as they gripped the steering wheel. “Yes, Bokuto, I did.”

Bokuto turned to look at Akaashi when he realized where they were. “Akaashi, stop the car!”

Akaashi slammed on the brakes, throwing them forward, their seatbelts catching them. “Bokuto, what -“ Akaashi started.

“Sorry,” Bokuto replied, “This is my house.”

“Oh, Akaashi said.

“Yeah,” Bokuto said. He didn’t want to leave Akaashi yet, especially not right after Akaashi asked him out. “Do you want to come in and have a cup of coffee or something?” Bokuto asked, hoping he didn’t sound as desperate as he felt.

“Okay,” Akaashi said, and pulled into the driveway. Bokuto noticed how Akaashi took great care when removing the painting from the car.

“Do you want help with that?” he asked.

Akaashi shook his head.

“Okay,” Bokuto said, and unlocked the door for them. Once inside, he turned on the lights then walked to the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee. While they waited for the coffee to brew, they sat on the couch in the living room.

“Akaashi,” Bokuto started, not knowing what he was going to say, but knowing he needed to say something.

“I’m sorry,” Akaashi said before Bokuto could finish.

“What are you sorry for?” Bokuto asked.

“I know you don’t like me, so now I’ve made things awkward and study group is going to be really weird since I have this kind of enormous crush on you and you obviously don’t feel the same way. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have come in here, I should go,” Akaashi stood up and moved toward the door, but Bokuto grabbed his wrist and pulled him back down to the couch.

“Can I say something before you leave?” Bokuto asked. He watched as Akaashi’s Adam’s apple bobbed. Akaashi was nervous, and who wouldn’t be. Bokuto certainly hadn’t been able to work up the courage to confess. He couldn’t believe Akaashi liked him. Whatever god had worked this miracle magic, he wouldn’t let it go to waste.

“Akaashi,” Bokuto started again, “I can’t believe you like me. You’re so cool and so smart and talented! That volleyball sketch you did totally blew me away. I can’t believe that someone like you would ever in a million years even glance at someone like me. But since you had the courage to tell me, I suppose it’s only fair that I repay the favor. Akaashi. I like you. Like a whole lot. Like a ridiculous amount, so of course my answer is yes. I’ll go on a date with you. But only if you don’t try to leave again.”

Akaashi’s eyes lit up with each word Bokuto spoke. Bokuto looked into his eyes, loving how intensely they were burning. For him he thought. Akaashi’s eyes burned with that intensity for him. He didn’t know who moved first, but one second they were sitting next to each other on the couch, and the next their faces were mere inches apart.

“Akaashi,” Bokuto whispered and glanced down at his lips.

Bokuto looked up to meet Akaashi’s eyes again, but Akaashi’s eyes were closed. Soon he felt the lightest brush against his lips. He barely had time to register the kiss before Akaashi was pulling away. Unsatisfied, Bokuto cupped Akaashi’s face in his hands and pulled him back for another kiss. This time it wasn’t a light brush of the lips. Bokuto wanted to feel Akaashi’s lips on his lips.

Akaashi reached up to wrap his hand around Bokuto’s neck and pulled him closer. Akaashi kissed him frantically. Like he wasn’t sure he would ever get this chance again. Bokuto smiled against Akaashi’s lips and pulled away. He knew they had plenty of time for kissing later, but right now they should probably talk about some things.

Akaashi let out a small whimper when Bokuto broke off the kiss. Bokuto kissed him one last time, light and chaste, so Akaashi knew that there would be more to come. Bokuto stared at Akaashi and Akaashi stared back.

“Akaashi,” Bokuto said, “Can I see the painting?”

He waited until Akaashi nodded, then grabbed the painting from where it rested against the wall. He unwrapped it and gasped. Akaashi had painted him. He was playing volleyball, like in the drawing, but the painting was so detailed. Akaashi had captured the moment right before he hits a spike. His golden eyes focused on the ball.

“Akaashi,” Bokuto didn’t have the words for how amazing this painting was, “This is the best gift I have ever received. I don’t know how I can thank you.”

Akaashi looked at Bokuto, eyes sliding down his body. “I have a few ideas,” he said. Bokuto shivered. There was no way he was ever gonna be able to sleep again. Not when his head was so full of thoughts about Akaashi and Akaashi was looking at him like that.

Suddenly, Akaashi’s phone rang and they both jumped. “It’s Shimizu,” Akaashi said, “She only calls me if it’s really important.”

Bokuto nodded. He understood that sometimes friends needed each other. He tried to stamp out his jealousy as he heard Akaashi talk to Shimizu on the phone.

After he had hung up, he looked at Bokuto, apologetic. “She wants me to pick her up. She said something happened and she wants to talk to me, so I have to go, but can I see you tomorrow?”

“You can see me whenever you want. Literally just show up here and I will be so happy to see you that I might faint.” Bokuto replied.

The smile that Akaashi gave to Bokuto could have killed the sun. “I wouldn’t want you to faint, Bokuto.” Akaashi smiled devilishly at him from the door, “See you tomorrow, Koutarou.”

At that, Bokuto’s knees did give out a little bit. Akaashi would be the death of him. Akaashi smiled as he saw Bokuto’s reaction. Once Akaashi left, Bokuto collapsed onto the floor.

Bokuto was still laying on the floor, grinning at the ceiling, when Kuroo finally came home.

“What the hell are you doing?” Kuroo asked.

“Akaashi kissed me,” was all Bokuto replied.

“And then you turned into a pile of goo and just laid on the floor? I can see why he left.” Kuroo responded.

Bokuto kicked him. Kuroo laughed and said, “See, I told you he was into you. Like dude it was so obvious. Shimizu and I have been nonstop texting about it because you two were driving us nuts. I’m so glad Akaashi actually did something otherwise who knows how long it would have taken.”

“Shut up,” Bokuto said, grinning. “He painted for me.”

“No shit?” Kuroo asked, “Is the painting here?”

“Living room,” Bokuto said.

He watched Kuroo walk to the living room and heard him exclaim, “Holy shit, Bokuto. This is amazing. He really captured your essence.” Bokuto smiled at that. Akaashi captured his essence.

“By the way,” Kuroo said, coming to join Bokuto on the floor, “Kenma approves. I know you don’t need his approval, but he said he likes Akaashi. It’s probably because Akaashi didn’t pressure him into small talk.”

“Wow,” Bokuto said. “Kenma didn’t approve of me that quickly. It took me months to get him to warm up to me. And Akaashi did it in one night.”

“Didn’t even take five minutes,” Kuroo replied.

“Akaashi really is amazing.”

“Whatever you say, lover boy,” Kuroo said. “Just no sex in the living room please.”

Chapter Text

Akaashi pulled over to the curb where Shimizu was waiting for him. She slid into the passenger seat and smiled at him. “Take me home, oh great chauffer.”

Akaashi sighed, “If I must.” He pulled away from the curb and started towards the school. “So, what did you need to tell me?” He asked. He knew he had things to tell her too, but he felt like keeping it to himself. Just for one night. Before he screamed it to the world that he had a date with Bokuto Koutarou. That his tongue had been in Bokuto Koutarou’s mouth. He blushed remembering the way Bokuto kissed.

“Why are you blushing?” Shimizu asked. “Did you confess? What happened?” She bounced on the seat excitedly.

“Oh no,” Akaashi said, “I asked first. So, you go first. What did you need to tell me?”

“Yachi said I was really pretty, and she wanted my phone number and we have a date next Friday,” Shimizu responded quickly. “Okay, now your turn. You go.”

Akaashi sighed. He should have known he wouldn’t be able to keep it to himself for one night. Well telling Shimizu was almost like keeping it to himself. She has basically the other half of his soul. The friend he never knew was out there for him. She was perfect. “Okay,” Akaashi smiled, “But first let me say that you and Yachi will make a great couple, but if you hurt her, you’ll have to deal with not only me, but also Oikawa and Iwaizumi. They are super protective of her, especially after the last time,” Akaashi shuddered.

Shimizu stared at him, “Okay,” she said slowly, “I will be needing clarification on that last ominous statement, but first, you need to tell me how it went? I’m dying here.”

“I asked him on a date, and then he didn’t answer me, but he invited me into his house. Then I freaked out because like, he hadn’t responded, but we were just sitting on the couch and I tried to leave, but he stopped me. And Shimizu, he told me he likes me too! Like I couldn’t believe my ears, but my body kind of reacted on its own? And I kissed him. Barely a brush of the lips before I pulled away, but the next thing I knew, Bokuto had pulled me back and was like kissing me for real and I honestly thought I was dreaming because there’s no way that Bokuto can kiss like that in real life. Then I gave him the painting and he loved it then you called and here I am. Can you please tell me that this is real and I’m not dreaming?” Akaashi blurted out. Once he started, it was like a dam had broken and he couldn’t stop the words from pouring out.

“Wow,” Shimizu said, “I’m willing to bet that’s that most you’ve ever said at once. I’m glad I got to witness it. Also, you aren’t dreaming. Bokuto really does like you and I’m glad he’s a good kisser. I think? I just want you to be happy. Also, I believe someone owes me tenmusu.”

Akaashi smiled, “I am more than happy to pay up.” Akaashi pulled into the parking lot for their dorm and looked over at Shimizu. She stared into the distance, seemingly lost in thought. Akaashi flicked her shoulder, and she jumped. “Sorry,” she said, “I guess I also need someone to convince me I’m not dreaming.”

They walked to their dorm in silence, only breaking it to briefly hug good-bye at the fourth floor. Akaashi continued to his room and laid down on his bed. He stared at the ceiling smiling for a couple of minutes before deciding to get some studying done. He reached for his phone to put on his study playlist when he noticed he had received a lot of texts, mostly from Bokuto. He smiled as he read.

Bokuto: Akaashi! Is everything okay with Shimizu?

Bokuto: We never said when and where we’re meeting tomorrow? Do you want to come over and watch a movie or something?

Bokuto: Or we can go out and do something if you’d rather do that!

Bokuto: Or maybe we can be productive and go to the library and it could be like a study date?

Bokuto: I am so in love with this painting you made me thank you

Bokuto: is it weird that I said I’m in love with the painting?

Bokuto: Sorry if I made it weird, please still go out with me tomorrow

Kuroo: I took Bokuto’s phone away from him for his own good. He was freaking out about the texts. I’ll give it back to him when you respond

Akaashi laughed. Not for the first time he thought that Kuroo was a really good friend to Bokuto. He glanced at the time, knowing those two, they’d still be awake. He clicked on Bokuto’s contact and called him.

Akaashi listened to the phone ring a few times before he heard a click and someone spoke, “Bokuto’s phone, Kuroo speaking.”

“Hello Kuroo,” Akaashi replied, “Is Bokuto available, or is he still not permitted use of his phone?”

“That depends,” said Kuroo, “What do you have to say to hi- ow! Bokuto get off of me!” Akaashi could hear muffled noises followed by a loud thud.

“Hello, Akaashi?” Bokuto said, panting.

“Hello Bokuto? I see you got your phone back.” Akaashi heard Kuroo laughing in the background.

“Um, yeah. About those texts,” Bokuto started. “Shimizu is fine,” Akaashi interjected. “She just wanted to talk about something. And of course I’m still planning on seeing you tomorrow. I think watching a movie at your place sounds really nice. But only if we study first. I don’t want to fall behind in Linguistics.”

“Akaashiiiiiii,” Bokuto wailed, “I was so worried I was going to scare you away with my texts.”

Akaashi chuckled, “No way, Bokuto. I thought they were cute. Also, I’m glad you like the painting.”

“I said I loved the painting,” Bokuto said, “I just didn’t want to make anything weird before we even went on a date.”

“Bokuto, my tongue has already been in your mouth,” Akaashi sighed, “I don’t think we’re exactly being traditional. Plus,” Akaashi coughed and said in a quiet voice, “I would very much like to do that again. The tongue thing I mean.”

“Then I guess we had better plan when we’re hanging out tomorrow,” Bokuto said in response, “Because I would also very much like to do that again.”

Akaashi smiled. After planning for Akaashi to go over to Bokuto’s around noon, he stayed on the phone with Bokuto, sometimes talking, and sometimes sitting in companionable silence. Eventually, Bokuto had to go to sleep or he said he would sleep right through morning practice. Akaashi said good night to him and let his head rest on his pillow while he stared at the ceiling. He smiled, knowing that tomorrow was going to be a good day. He texted Shimizu and told her that he wouldn’t be around tomorrow and that she would have to survive without him for a day. Her response was immediate:

Shimizu: Already blowing me off. Whatever happened to friends. Chicks before dicks my dude.

Akaashi laughed and was about to reply when she sent another text.

Shimizu: I’m really happy for you Akaashi

Akaashi smiled and closed his eyes. When he opened them again, it was six in the morning. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep, but it was the best sleep he’d had in a couple of months. He yawned and rolled out of bed. He needed to shower and make himself presentable if he was going to see Bokuto later. He hooked his phone up to charge while he went to the bathroom to shower and shave. When he came back, he had messages waiting for him from Kuroo.

Kuroo: I can’t believe I am being kicked out of my own house today. You’re lucky I like you

Kuroo: Kenma said I’m being a baby and Bokuto deserves one day with the house

Kuroo: But please I’m begging you. No sex on the couch

Akaashi nearly choked on his own spit on that last message. He hurried to reply to Kuroo, but he didn’t know what to say. He had to be careful, what if Bokuto somehow saw what he texted to Kuroo. He spent ten minutes coming up with a reply that he was satisfied with:

Akaashi: I would feel sorry for you but I don’t. I agree with Kenma, who seems to be the voice of reason in your relationship. Speaking of reason, there’s no reason why Bokuto and I would ever have sex on the couch. We’re just studying and watching a movie. Besides, there are two perfectly good beds in that house.

Akaashi watched smugly as the three dots appeared indicating Kuroo was typing out a response.

Kuroo: what do you mean by two beds?

Kuroo: DONT HAV SEX N MY BED EITER

Akaashi laughed so hard he almost fell out of his chair. Kuroo, normally so careful with his spelling, even when texting, had been broken by Akaashi. He was about to pull out his laptop to put on a show while thinking of a reply, when he got another text. This time from an unknown number.

Unknown: If you do have sex in Kuroo’s bed, please wash the sheets after

Akaashi, confused, was about to reply and ask who it was when his phone lit up with Kuroo’s face.

“Hello?” Akaashi answered the call, ready for Kuroo to scold him.

Kuroo responded, “Please Akaashi, I’m begging. Stick to Bokuto’s room. Don’t make me go over there today and interrupt your date.”

Akaashi heard a small voice say, “You will not ruin their date. I will sit on you if you even try. Plus, I don’t see the problem as long as they wash the sheets.”

Akaashi realized Kuroo must be with Kenma and that it must have been Kenma who texted him. “Don’t worry, Kuroo,” Akaashi said. “I’m very hygienic.”

Kuroo groaned in response. Kenma laughed, loud and unbridled. Akaashi was surprised he could hear it over the phone. “I like him Kuroo,” Akaashi heard Kenma say. Akaashi beamed. It seemed like a major accomplishment, not only getting Kenma to like him, but to get Kenma to laugh.

“Yeah fine,” he heard Kuroo say, “But know this, Akaashi, I will have my revenge!”

Akaashi laughed at that, “I would be scared Kuroo, but I have a hot date today and nothing can ruin my mood. Plus,” Akaashi added, smirking to himself, “I am not the least bit scared of you.”

“That’s it,” Kuroo said, “You’ve wounded my honor. I won’t ruin your date today, but you better watch it!”

Akaashi laughed, “Bye, Kuroo. Have fun with Kenma. Remember to wash the sheets after.”

Akaashi heard Kenma laughing again as Kuroo screamed in frustration. He hung up and put on his favorite tv show. The phone call with Kuroo helped to ease his nerves a bit about seeing Bokuto later, but the butterflies in his stomach were monstrous creatures, and as soon as he didn’t have teasing Kuroo to distract him, he needed something else. So, he put on Psych and let Shawn and Gus and their antics calm his nerves until it was time to leave.

With twenty minutes left before he was supposed to meet Bokuto, Akaashi gave himself a once over in his mirror. He had chosen his favorite sweater and the only pair of jeans he owned that seemed to actually fit him. Deeming himself acceptable, he grabbed his bag and his car keys, squared his shoulders, and opened his door. Ready to see Bokuto, and whatever came next.

Chapter Text

Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, Bokuto thought as he ran up to the door of his house. Practice had run late that morning, meaning that he didn’t have much time to get ready before Akaashi showed up. He checked his watch. It read 11:45. He had fifteen minutes to make himself presentable. He fumbled with his keys, barely managing to unlock his door, then ran to the bathroom and immediately started stripping to take a shower. There was no way he could be sweaty and gross and stinky when Akaashi showed up. He considered skipping on washing his hair because he wouldn’t have time to style it afterwards, but one look in the mirror told him that was a bad idea. He sighed and stepped into the shower, washing himself as quickly as he could.

He had just gotten out of the shower when he heard a knock on the door. Shit, he thought, Akaashi must be early. “It’s open,” he called out, “Come on in.”

He heard the door open and close and he heard Akaashi call out, “Bokuto?”

“I’m in the bathroom, sorry, practice ran late,” Bokuto called out. He wrapped a towel around himself so he could go to his room and grab some clothes. Luckily, he had prepared his outfit last night, so he didn’t have to worry about what to wear. He stepped out of the bathroom and almost ran into Akaashi, who had followed the sound of his voice.

“Oh, sorry!” Akaashi exclaimed, “I didn’t mean to –“ he broke off as he stared at Bokuto. Bokuto was suddenly aware of how very naked his was underneath the towel. He clutched it tight around his waist, praying it wouldn’t fall. The last thing he needed was to flash Akaashi on their first date.

“Sorry,” Bokuto said, as Akaashi had apparently lost the ability to speak, “Give me just a couple of minutes and I’ll get dressed. Do you, um, want to wait on the couch?”

Akaashi looked at him then nodded. Bokuto turned towards a room when he heard Akaashi say, “Your hair.”

“Oh,” Bokuto blushed. People normally didn’t see his hair down. Only Kuroo and Kenma ever had and that’s because he lived with Kuroo and sometimes Kenma stayed over. “I had to wash it after practice, and I didn’t have time to style it, so I guess I’m leaving it down today,” he chuckled nervously.

“You can style it if you want. I don’t mind waiting for you,” Akaashi said, his face turning red.

“Maybe later,” Bokuto replied, “I think right now I should focus on getting dressed.”

Akaashi nodded then said, “I’ll wait for you on the couch,” before turning around and walking back towards the living room.

Bokuto sighed, relieved. He went to his room and quickly pulled on his clothes before barreling out to join Akaashi on the couch as quickly as possible.

“Hey,” he said as he sat down next to Akaashi, carefully brushing his leg up against Akaashi’s. Akaashi, for his part, didn’t move his leg away. In fact, he pressed into Bokuto’s leg even harder.

“Nice to see you wearing pants,” Akaashi said with a sly smirk.

“Oh, shut up,” Bokuto said. “Let’s hurry up and get the study part of this date out of the way so we can watch movies and eat popcorn and have fun.”

Akaashi laughed. “How about we only study for an hour then. We’ll have more time to study with the rest of the group tomorrow night anyway.”

“Okay,” Bokuto nodded, “One hour.”

Linguistics was not an easy class but studying with Akaashi made it seem easy. It was easily the most fun Bokuto had ever had studying. He was pretty sure it was just because he was sitting next to Akaashi, legs pressed together, and occasionally, Akaashi would lean over him to glance at his notes. After the hour had passed, Bokuto was certain he was going to die from close proximity to Akaashi. If Akaashi sitting next to him was what did him in, then he was more than happy to go. He would never be able to get enough of Akaashi being near him. Which gave him a horrible idea.

“Hey, Akaashi,” Bokuto said slyly, “How do you feel about horror movies?” Akaashi fixed him with a hard stare. “I love them, but you don’t,” came Akaashi’s reply.

“How do you know I don’t like horror movies?” Bokuto asked, offended. How had Akaashi guessed? How had his brilliant, horrible plan to get Akaashi close to him fail so miserably, so fast. Akaashi’s face turned red as a tomato, and he said quietly, “Remember when you did the interview for the school newspaper? They asked for your least favorite movie genre and you said horror.”

Bokuto stared at Akaashi, shocked, then broke into a grin, “You read about me? I didn’t think anyone read that interview!”

“Yeah well,” Akaashi said, “Why would you want to watch horror movies if you hate them?” Then something like realization dawned on Akaashi’s face and a smile slowly appeared. Bokuto did not like that smile. It reminded him of Kuroo. Someone as beautiful as Akaashi should not be able to smile so mischievously. His heart would not be able to take it. “What?” He asked, terrified for the answer.

“If you wanted to cuddle during the movie,” Akaashi said, “You could have just asked.” Bokuto’s face burned bright red. “Really,” he replied. Akaashi nodded and shifted so that his head now rested on Bokuto’s shoulder, and he took Bokuto’s hand in his. “Why don’t you pick the movie?” Akaashi asked. Bokuto sat there, frozen. Unable to move or think or breathe. Akaashi was holding his hand. Akaashi was pressed up against him.

“Bokuto?” Bokuto looked down at Akaashi, his face mere inches from his own. He gulped. Akaashi blinked and gripped his hand tighter. “Bokuto,” Akaashi whispered and reached up with his other hand to cup Bokuto’s cheek before leaning up and touching his lips to Bokuto’s. Bokuto broke. He released Akaashi’s hand to wrap it around his waist and pull him closer. He prodded Akaashi’s lips with his tongue and Akaashi opened his mouth to let him in and Bokuto could feel his sigh against his lips. Akaashi wrapped both arms around Bokuto’s neck and dragged him down so they were both laying on the couch, Bokuto on top of Akaashi, their lips still connected.

Bokuto braced himself with his right arm and explored Akaashi with the other. He slid his hand under Akaashi’s shirt and Akaashi moaned and shifted his hips. Bokuto removed his hand from under Akaashi’s shirt and sat up, abruptly. “What?” Akaashi asked, dazed.

“Sorry,” Bokuto said, “It’s just, um, if I don’t stop now, then, I don’t know. I don’t think I would be able to stop later. Or it would be really embarrassing, or something like that.”

Akaashi stared at Bokuto. “Okay,” he replied, “But I don’t think you have anything to be embarrassed about.”

“Akaashi,” Bokuto said, “I swear to God, you are too hot for your own good.”

“Bold words for someone with your body. I saw you with nothing but a towel on earlier and thought I was going to die,” Akaashi replied, “Plus, I like your hair down, it’s easier to pull.” He gave Bokuto’s hair a slight tug, and Bokuto laughed and swatted him off.

“We should probably watch at least one movie today,” Bokuto said. “That was the plan, wasn’t it?”

Akaashi laughed and sat up to cuddle close to Bokuto. “Okay,” he said, “But you still need to pick the movie. Bokuto sighed, not wanting to leave Akaashi’s side, but got up off of the couch to look at his and Kuroo’s DVDs. He wanted the first movie he watched with Akaashi to be special, and nothing was more special to him than Studio Ghibli. “Have you ever seen Castle in the Sky?” Bokuto asked Akaashi. Akaashi shook his head.

“Oh boy, you are in for a treat,” Bokuto said and popped the DVD in and settled back down next to Akaashi, who cuddled up to Bokuto again, so close he was practically in Bokuto’s lap.

Akaashi stayed quiet for the whole movie, watching intently. Bokuto had seen the movie so much he could practically quote it, so he watched Akaashi. Bokuto marveled at his concentration, and how he managed to not ask a thousand questions like he had the first time he watched the movie. Once it was over, he asked, “Did you like it?”

Akaashi pondered for a moment before replying, “That was one of the best movies I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing it with me.” Bokuto smiled kissed the top of Akaashi’s head. “You’re very welcome. I’m always happy to share Studio Ghibli movies with everyone.”

Akaashi smiled and nuzzled his head into Bokuto’s chest. A couple of seconds later, Bokuto’s stomach let out a huge growl. Akaashi sat up and asked, “Bokuto are you hungry?” Bokuto froze, embarrassed.

“C’mon, let’s order a pizza and watch another movie,” Akaashi said. “It’s my turn to pick.”

“Great idea! I love pizza. I’ll order and you set up the movie,” Bokuto replied.

“Deal. Cheese for me,” Akaashi said.

“Got it,” Bokuto replied and pulled out his phone to place the order. When he was done, he saw that Akaashi had pulled up Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse.

“Oh wow,” said Bokuto, “I wanted to see this when it came out, but I didn’t have the time.”

“Happy to share this movie with you then,” Akaashi replied and hit play.

Forty minutes into the movie, the pizza showed up. Bokuto was impressed by Akaashi, who insisted that he answer the door and get the pizza since he had already seen the movie, so Bokuto continued watching.

Once the movie was over, Akaashi asked, “Did you like it?” Bokuto held up a finger and said, “Hold on, I’m still processing. I just watched the greatest cinematic masterpiece of all time.”

Akaashi laughed and started cleaning up. Bokuto stared at him and wondered how he got to be so lucky. “Akaashi?” he asked.

“Hm?”

“Would you like to stay the night tonight? We could watch movies and cuddle and just hang out,” Bokuto blurted out. Akaashi raised one eyebrow, which shouldn’t have looked so sexy, but it did.

“Hang out,” Akaashi said flatly.

“Yeah! I mean, obviously we wouldn’t do anything that we aren’t comfortable with!” Bokuto could feel the heat of his blush on his cheeks and cursed himself for it.

“Okay,” Akaashi said, “I’ll stay. On one condition.”

“What’s the condition?” Bokuto asked. Eager to do anything that meant he could get to spend the night curled up next to Akaashi.

“I get to be the big spoon,” Akaashi smiled. Bokuto laughed and said, “You got a deal.”

They finished cleaning up the living room and Bokuto led the way to his bedroom. He watched Akaashi’s reaction as he stepped inside. “I like what you’ve done to the place,” Akaashi said. Then he turned around, grabbed Bokuto, and threw him on the bed. Before Bokuto knew what was happening, Akaashi had straddled him and was kissing him. Bokuto could definitely get used to this. Akaashi kissed like he never wanted to stop kissing. He pulled his mouth away from Bokuto’s and started kissing and nipping at his neck.

“For the record,” Bokuto said, “This is not why I invited you to stay over.”

Akaashi hummed and kissed up Bokuto’s neck, to his jaw, before finally making it to his lips again. He pressed a light kiss on Bokuto’s lips and said, “We can still watch movies and cuddle and hang out, like you said. But we can also do this.” Akaashi’s hands found their way up Bokuto’s shirt and started, what Bokuto thought was a very thorough and important exploration of his chest. He sat up and pulled his shirt over his head and threw it. He didn’t really care about where it landed. Akaashi’s mouth moved down from his lips to his chest.

Oh yes, Bokuto thought, we can also do this.

Chapter Text

Akaashi woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 to the sound of an alarm going off. He could not remember why he had set his alarm to wake up at 5:30, but he was going to murder his past self. He felt something stirring next to him, and he remembered. He stayed at Bokuto’s last night.

He brought his hand up to slap at Bokuto’s arm.

“Bokuto, if you don’t turn off that alarm, I’m going to murder you.”

“Sorry, Akaashi,” Bokuto replied, “This is how early I need to wake up to catch the bus to get to class on time.”

“You’re never to class on time,” Akaashi said flatly. “Plus, I have my car here. I can drive us to class. Now let’s sleep for at least thirty more minutes.” Akaashi nuzzled into Bokuto’s back, prompting Bokuto to turn around and hug him close.

“Okay, thirty more minutes,” he agreed.

Thirty minutes later, the alarm went off for a second time and Akaashi resigned himself to getting up. As he sat up, he felt Bokuto’s arms that were wrapped around him hug him even tighter. Akaashi sighed. “Bokuto, c’mon. It’s time to get up.”

“But you’re so warm. And outside is so cold,” Bokuto whined. Akaashi laughed and leaned down to kiss Bokuto’s hair.

“If you don’t get up now, I doubt you’ll have time to style your hair,” Akaashi replied.

“Fine,” Bokuto said and sat up, “But you have to help me.”

Akaashi smiled, “Deal.” As Akaashi stood up, he looked around the room for his clothes. They had been unceremoniously thrown onto the ground at some point the previous night. Which meant that he not only had to go to class in day-old clothes, but that they would also be wrinkled. He supposed it was a small price to pay for the fun he had. He and Bokuto hadn’t slept together, but they had gotten close. They both decided that they didn’t want to have sex on the first date, but it was very difficult to stop. Both he and Bokuto had taken cold showers. Bokuto had lent him a pair of sweats to sleep in. Akaashi grabbed his clothes from the floor and went to the bathroom to change.

When he returned, Bokuto had changed and was running a brush through his hair. He jumped up when he saw Akaashi. “Help me! Help me! Help me!” he shouted excitedly.

Akaashi winced and said, “Bokuto, must you be so loud so early in the morning?”

Sorry,” Bokuto laughed, “I’m just excited. I got to wake up next to you and you’re going to help me style my hair and then we’re going to go to class together and I’m just excited to be with you.”

Akaashi hummed and grabbed the brush from Bokuto. “C’mon,” he said, “Let’s go style your hair.”

Akaashi led the way to the bathroom and Bokuto sat on the toilet, instructing Akaashi on how he does his hair. Once Akaashi had finished, Bokuto stood up to check himself out in the mirror. “It looks good Akaashi! Have you ever done hair professionally?” Bokuto asked

“Nope, this was my first time,” Akaashi replied. He smiled at Bokuto in the mirror. He was almost blinded Bokuto’s smile reflected back at him. Akaashi blushed and leaned forward to peck Bokuto’s cheek. “Let’s have breakfast,” he said.

“Okay!” Bokuto replied and sprinted from the bathroom, “But I’m making it. So, you just sit your pretty little ass down and wait for these pancakes!”

Akaashi followed Bokuto to the kitchen and sat at the small table there. Akaashi let his mind wander as he listened to Bokuto sing while he cooked the pancakes. Twenty minutes later, a plate of pancakes was placed in front of him. Akaashi  snapped back to reality. He blinked up a Bokuto, who looked down at him curiously.

“Are you okay?” Bokuto asked. Akaashi could only stare at Bokuto for a minute. He didn’t know how to say what he wanted to say.

“I need to talk to you about something, but I don’t know how to say it, so could I have a minute to gather my thoughts?” Akaashi asked.

Bokuto went from looking concerned to looking distraught and that’s when Akaashi realized he had said the worst thing he could have possibly said to someone he had just gone on a date with. No one wants to hear someone that they’re interested in say that they need to talk to them.

“It’s nothing bad!” Akaashi hurried to say, “I promise!” Bokuto visibly relaxed. “Okay,” he replied. “Take your time. I’ll listen to whatever you have to say. Even if it is bad.”

Akaashi laughed and reached for Bokuto’s hand to hold it in his. He lifted it to his mouth and kissed it. He looked back at Bokuto, “It’s not bad. It’s just, I don’t know how to phrase it yet.”

Bokuto squeezed Akaashi’s hand in his before taking his hand back. “Eat while you think, or you’ll be hungry in class.”

Akaashi smiled down at his pancakes and began to dig in. He thought about the past 24 hours and how well he and Bokuto seemed to work. It had only been one date, but it felt so easy. It felt right. Akaashi never thought he would be the type of person to get so attached to another person so quickly. Logically, he knew that he and Bokuto had been study buddies and friends before either of them had confessed, but still. Akaashi thought he would be more self-conscious with Bokuto, but if anything, he was more confident when he was around Bokuto. He didn’t know how to explain it to himself, but he knew that he wanted to stay with Bokuto as long as Bokuto would let him. He finished his pancakes and set his fork down. He looked up at Bokuto, who had also finished his pancakes and was watching him. Akaashi sighed and decided the best way to say it was to just start talking and hope he would find what he wanted to say along the way.

Akaashi cleared his throat and started, “I’m just going to start talking and hope that what I say makes sense.” Bokuto nodded and grabbed Akaashi’s hand again. “I’m listening,” he said.

“Bokuto,” Akaashi started, “I really like you. Like a whole lot. I thought it would scare me to like someone as much as I like you, but it doesn’t. I know we’ve only had one date and it’s not really conventional, but we knew each other before we confessed, and I feel so comfortable with you. So, even though it’s taking all of my willpower to say this, I need to ask before I chicken out. So even though we’ve only been on one date, will you be my boyfriend?”

Bokuto’s hand tightened on his own and Akaashi looked down. He knew he was blushing, but he kept staring at where their hands were joined.

“Can you look up at me,” Akaashi heard Bokuto ask. He shook his head. He was too nervous to look anywhere but their connected hands.

“Keiji,” Bokuto said, “Please look at me.”

Akaashi’s eyes shot up to meet Bokuto’s at the use of his given name. Bokuto was smiling. Akaashi thought Bokuto’s smile could power the stars. Bokuto leaned forward to lightly peck Akaashi on the lips.

“Keiji,” Bokuto said again, “I can’t believe someone as amazing as you could say such wonderful things about me. And like me so much! When I first met you, I never thought I would even stand a chance with someone like you. The fact that you asked me out on a date literally knocked me off of my feet! You can ask Kuroo. After you left, he found me on the floor because I had lost the ability to stand!” Akaashi laughed at that. He was enjoying the mental image of Kuroo coming home to Bokuto sprawled across the floor.

“And then yesterday!” Bokuto continued, “Yesterday was amazing. And nothing in this world has ever made me happier than waking up next to you. So of course, I’ll be your boyfriend,” then Bokuto smiled a mischievous smile that made Akaashi worry about what was coming next, “But only on one condition.”

Akaashi smiled at that, remembering how he had done the same thing the night before. “And what condition is that?” Akaashi asked.

“You have to help me with these dishes,” Bokuto replied.

“I was already planning on it,” Akaashi reached forward to grab Bokuto’s plate and silverware and stack it on top of his before standing up with the intention to bring the dishes to the sink. Before he had even taken a step from the table, Bokuto had stood, taken the dishes from Akaashi’s hands, placed them on the table and kissed Akaashi hard. Akaashi gasped and wrapped his hands around Bokuto’s waist. Akaashi thoroughly enjoyed kissing Bokuto. Bokuto kissed him like he was the only oasis in a desert. Bokuto was greedy and hungry on his mouth and it made Akaashi’s toes curl. Before he could get too lost in the kiss, he lifted his hands from Bokuto’s waist to push against his chest.

Bokuto looked dazed as Akaashi pushed him away. “It was your condition that I do the dishes,” Akaashi laughed. “Plus, we still need to get to class, and I don’t want to be late.”

“Fine,” Bokuto sighed, “But we’re doing more of that as soon as possible.”

Akaashi smiled and placed a chaste kiss on Bokuto’s lips before grabbing the dishes and heading to the sink.

“Hey, I left my bag by the couch and it has my keys in it. Why don’t you grab them and start the car? I’ll be out as soon as I’m done washing the dishes.”

“Okay!” Bokuto said as he hurried to gather his stuff. Akaashi watched him as he grabbed both of their bags and headed for the door. As soon as Bokuto was gone, Akaashi turned back to the dishes in front of him. He had the world’s best boyfriend. He picked up a sponge and smiled.