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Ghosts and Stones

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“Hello?”

“Hello, ma’am! Is Keiji home?” Bokuto asked, nervous but polite. “We’re in the volleyball club together! I just have a quick question for him if that’s okay?”

“Oh, yes, just one moment.” There was an audible clack as she placed the phone on the table.

Some time later, Akaashi picked up the phone and answered, “hello?”

“Hey, hey, hey, ‘Kaashi!” Bokuto beamed.

“Oh, hello, Bokuto-san,” he sounded surprised. “And it’s A-kaashi.”

“Sorry, Akaashi!” Bokuto twirled the landline cord on his finger nervously, “uh, hey! Did you know snails have teeth?!”

“I didn’t know that. That’s...kind of unnerving.”

“Isn’t it creepy?! They can bite!”

“Yeah, it’s weird.” There was a pause in the conversation. “So...did you...need something?”

“Yeah, umm,” Bokuto fiddled with the landline cord, which had become tangled due to all the twirling, “do you happen to be free this weekend? I could use a volleyball buddy! I know it’s a lot to ask since it’s the weekend and you’re probably busy, but you’re the first person I thought about asking! I totally get it if you don’t want to.”

“I’m free this weekend. I’d like to practice with you.”

“Yuss!” Bokuto raised his free arm excitedly, almost pulling the cord off the phone, “that would be awesome!”

 


 

“Hello, Bokuto-san.”

“Hey, hey, hey, ‘Kaashi!” Bokuto greeted him excitedly. “Did you know echidnas have four penises?”

“That...must be really weird to see in real life.”

Bokuto laughed.

“Did you call for a particular reason?”

“No...Well, yes.” He smiled sheepishly, “I just wanted to say hi.”

“Oh.” There was a brief pause. “Hi.”

“Are you having a nice time with your grandparents?” He added, suddenly feeling self-conscious for having called. “I hope I’m not interrupting you!”

“No, it’s fine, I’d like to chat.” Akaashi paused and lowered his voice, “it’s nice to see them, but two weeks is a long time to spend in the middle of nowhere. Also, there’s no one to practice volleyball with. I’ve gotten pretty good at chess though.”

Bokuto laughed, loud as always. “Well, you can practice volleyball with me when you come back! I’ll whip you back into shape in no time!”

Akaashi’s smile could be heard over the phone, “thank you, I would appreciate a refresher before break ends and we resume club activities.”

 


 

“Hello, Bokuto-san.”

“Hey, hey, hey, ‘Kaashi!” Bokuto greeted him cheerfully. “Kuroo and Kenma are coming over this weekend to play videogames, wanna come too?”

“I get motion sickness from playing video games.”

“Oh,” Bokuto could not help but sound crestfallen, “that sounds awful.”

“I can still hang out with you while you play, if it doesn’t bother you?”

“Yes!” Bokuto cheered up immediately.  “I’ll let them know you’re coming!”

“Okay.” Akaashi paused for a moment. “So...what happened to the animal facts?”

“Oh yeah,” Bokuto laughed nervously, “a classmate told me that most people probably didn’t care and did not want to hear me blabber on and on about that.”

“Bokuto-san, please continue telling me animal facts.” Akaashi said, his voice as impassive as always. “I like them. I like to hear you talk about that. I think it’s interesting.”

Bokuto brightened up, “really? You sure?”

“Yeah. Tell me one right now.”

Bokuto thought about it for a second. “Oh! Did you know Australia once had a war against emus?”

“That one’s not real.”

“It is! I wouldn’t lie to you. You can look it up!”

“...So who won?”

“Not even lying - the emus.”

Bokuto’s chest fluttered when he heard Akaashi chuckling on the other side of the line.