Atsumu knew something had changed the moment he saw Tobio. That wasn’t the same guy from camp just a few months ago. He wasn’t playing the goody two-shoes role that Atsumu had jabbed him with. No, he was much different, and he had a gut feeling it had something to do with the short kid on their team. He couldn’t see his face, but he knew based on what he saw he was a scrub.
Heck, the kid blended into the crowd just like everyone else, Atsumu couldn’t see color, like most people in their world. The only people who had the privilege to see the world in color meant they had met and locked eyes with their soulmates.
Atsumu couldn’t be bothered with that. A predetermined future with someone? Someone you’re meant to spend your whole life with? Someone that’s supposed to complete you? Nah, Atsumu couldn’t be pressed with something like that. For God’s sake he had a twin brother, that was someone that he’d spent his whole life with, that acted the opposite of him already, and people were telling him there was someone else out there he had to share his life with? Nope, he’d had enough sharing for a lifetime.
He left Karasuno’s match, not giving it a second thought for the rest of the day. The next time he thought about them was the morning of their match together during warm-up’s. He had seen Tobio practicing with that short haired kid, and smirked when he saw that he was definitely a complete scrub when he took a ball to the face from not paying attention. It was as good a time as any to pick on Tobio, so he made his way over.
“How ya doin’ Tobio-kun,” he smiled with his eyes closed.
“Oh, hello,” replied Tobio, slightly startled by his appearance.
“I’m really hopin’ you go all out today ‘kay? ‘Cuz there’s nothing I hate more than having to waste my time playin’ against scrubs.”
His words paled as he opened his eyes to lock onto the short kids equally shocked expression before it pinched at the implication of his words, his pink flushed face, framed by… orange hair.
Atsumu paused as he stared at amber brown eyes that flashed with anger when Tobio replied, “Oh, I’m sorry—”
“Oi! What are you apologizing for Kageyama!” the little fireball had interrupted.
“—but I’m not a scrub.”
“Oh, I know that,” chuckled Atsumu, trying to keep calm as color bloomed around him.
“ He’s a total scrub though,” Tobio continued.
The orange-haired boy shouting in the back, “Did you have to say that out loud!?”
“But, he’s not weak, so I think we’ll be okay.”
That brought Atsumu back to the present, he smirked at the challenge and walked away quickly, squeezing his eyes shut before opening his eyes to even more color.
Atsumu was reeling, his world was in color. His World was in Color.
It was a punch to the gut, the way their eyes connected, the realization in both their stares. They knew what the other one was. The fact that his bright orange hair was the first thing he saw in color was now burned into the back of his mind. The colors surrounding them were muted in comparison to that kid’s hair. He looked at the gymnasium, shades and hues he’d only read about were now very real and very tangible.
He didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry. The fact that he knew exactly the moment they locked eyes that he’d met his soulmate who was on Tobio’s team, someone he’d just met at training camp a few weeks ago. Or the fact that he was his opponent and a scrub that had barely any coordination. The irony was baffling.
Atsumu tried to shake it off, but that bright orange hair had left a deep impression on him, one he couldn’t shake. He found his eyes drifting over to Karasuno during the rest of warm up often, searching for that fluffy hair, shaking his head he had to focus at the task on hand.
They walked onto the court, the announcers introducing each player and their position.
Hinata Shoyo, number ten, middle blocker.
Now he had a name to a face. So what, his world was in color; he still didn’t need or want a soulmate. So he’d show his soulmate just how impressive he was on court, he wanted Shoyo to realize that he’d never be at his level.
“Oi, what’s up with you?” asked Osamu, pulling him from his thoughts, “You seem to be distracted. That’s unlike you Sumu.”
“Ah, it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. Let’s just win this yeah?”
Osamu eyed his brother for a second before going back to his position.
Once again, the universe decided to show him just how wrong he was to base his thoughts of number ten based on appearance alone. And that irritated him to no end. First shorty, jumped and completely forgot to hit the ball.
“Is he seriously experimentin’ while playin’ us ,” Osamu remarked.
Atsumu scoffed, “I figured Tobio-kun for the type of guy who only marches to the beat of his own drum...but looks like this kid is just as bad.”
Soon, he found himself changing his tune as the match went on. First, he took notice of his and Tobio’s faster than light front slide attack that left everyone in shock. The world moved in slow motion as Shoyo jumped in the air, shining so brightly under the dazzling lights of the gymnasium. Light bouncing off of him as if he was the sun incarnate. He was the brightest in the room, you couldn’t keep your eyes off him, even if he was moving at blurring speeds.
The more the match progressed the more he became impressed with his soulmate. To think that there was someone out there with the same drive and determination as him, that demanded more of their setter. Atsumu was floored, he couldn’t even fathom the idea of soulmates let alone love at first sight, but here he was. His soulmate mere feet in front of him, not having spoken a word to one another, but his heart knew.
He was falling in love with this blinding ball of energy that breathed new life into his world, opening his eyes to reach for greater heights.
At their spectacular loss against Karasuno, he had to say something to Shoyo. After shaking hands with their opponents, and saying ‘later’ to Tobio, he called out to Shoyo.
His breath hitched when those wide brown eyes turned to him questioningly, sweat pouring down his heated cheeks. Overheating, blushing, pink. Cute. he thought. Shoyo was hesitant to engage as he wobbled over, clearly exhausted from the match, “...yes?”
“One day I’m gonna set for you,” he declared, pointing at him, garnering looks from both Shoyo and Tobio.
As he turns to walk away he continues to say, “But, before that happens, I’m gonna whoop the pants offa ya in next year’s interhigh, so you’d better be ready.”
He hopes he’s left a lasting impression on Shoyo.
Osamu is waiting for him to approach when he says, “Loser’s last attempt to look cool, huh?”
They proceed to start kicking one another, and Atsumu doesn’t have the heart to deny it, and a smile spreads across his face, “I found my soulmate.”
His twin stops kicking him, “What?”
Atsumu straightens up taking one more look at Shoyo with a smirk on his face, “My soulmate.”
“The short kid?”
It earns him an inquisitive look, “You can see color then?”
“Yeah, Sumu. It’s incredible,” he replies as he walks away. He picks a spot in the stands to watch the rest of the matches of interhigh, with a newfound appreciation of being able to see things in a new light.
It’s Karasuno versus Kamomedai when he really takes notice of Shoyo’s appearance. Wondering if he was perpetually red in the face all the time, and is it just him or does he seem to be sweating more than usual?
The gymnasium froze when Shoyo started to wobble on his feet after a play. He couldn’t hear what was being said on court, but he could see the tears threatening to fall on that cherub face.
Sick . Is the first thing that ran through his mind, he must be sick.
Normally, Atsumu wouldn’t bat an eye at someone getting sick mid-game, and maybe it’s because this was his soulmate, but he found himself worrying a little. Hell, Shoyo was a damn near stranger, but there was no fighting fate it seemed.
“Yer worried about him, aren’t ya?” Osamu had asked.
“...Mmm,” Atsumu answered noncommittally.
“You should go see him. When do ya think you’ll get to see him next after t’day? We’re a long ways from home, and I’m pretty sure Sendai is too. You should give this to him.”
Atsumu’s eyes glanced at the sports drink in Osamu’s hands, “He might be dehydrated and feeling pretty lousy. Maybe you can catch him before he leaves.”
Grabbing the drink from his brother, he replies, “Thanks Samu.”
His twin shrugs, “It’s not everyday ya get to meet your soulmate. Last thing you wanna do is let opportunity slip through your fingers, right?”
His eyes widen but he scoffs a laugh when he sees Osamu smirk. He just repeated what Atsumu had said to him in their match against Karasuno. He was right. He should take his own advice. He couldn’t let Shoyo slip away so easily, not when he’d just found him. The fact that his twin also noticed meant this was a big deal. He grabbed his bag and headed down to the first level, he needed to find Shoyo.
After asking officials he found Shoyo had already checked in with the medical station and was now changing out and getting ready to leave the arena. He picked up his pace as he jogged to where Karasuno’s belongings should be in the sub-arena, just in time to see him changing out as he spoke to a small boy with black and blond hair handing over a tablet for Shoyo to watch the game on.
A blond girl, the Karasuno manager walked in, and before she carted Shoyo off, Atsumu stopped in front of them.
“Ah, excuse me,” the girl had said, “can you let us pass.”
“It’s okay Yachi-san. I’m sure Miya-san is here to talk to me.”
“Oh, well, uh. Make it quick! You need to rest! I’ll give you guys a moment,” and she walked off to the side.
Atsumu held out the sports drink awkwardly as he felt those eyes boring into him, though his eyes couldn’t see past his hair, “Here, I-ah, you need to stay hydrated.”
“It’s blue,” Shoyo quietly said.
Shoyo looked up at him again and repeated, “I always wondered what color these sports drinks were, and they’re blue!”
Atsumu was enraptured by the twinkling excitement in Shoyo’s eyes.
“If it wasn’t for you Miya-san, I never would’ve known color.”
His ability to speak was forgotten as he was too dumbstruck to reply.
“Who knew an amazing setter would be my soulmate!”
“So, you felt it? Even after I said—”
Shoyo laughed and then coughed, “Even after you called me a scrub. I hear that from Kageyama all the time. And yes I knew in an instant! And that just meant I had to prove to you that I wasn’t a scrub.”
Atsumu smiled at that, “Yeah, well, I guess the feeling was mutual. Hey Sho-kun,”
“Atsumu. You can call me Atsumu.”
“Can I accompany the both of you back?”
“Ah! I wouldn’t want to impose! You can’t get sick!”
“I’m outta the tourney, remember, what else do I’ve got to lose?”
Shoyo took pause before saying, “Alright. You can, let’s call Yachi-san over.”
He waved the manager over saying that Atsumu would be joining them. Yachi seemed hesitant, but after Shoyo explained their circumstances she lit up and led the way to the van that was taking Shoyo to the doctor and back to the hotel.
It was a somber mood, but Atsumu spoke to him to keep Shoyo’s mood up. He learned that Shoyo wasn’t easily deterred by setbacks, that if anything it drove him to be better, get stronger. He learned alot about his soulmate in those few hours, unable to wipe the smile of his face as Shoyo chattered away, even as he sat beside Shoyo as he laid-out in his futon. As the shorter boy drifted off to sleep, he made sure they exchanged contact information before he left, and told him to get plenty of rest.
He slipped out saying goodbye to Yachi, who wished him safe travels. Makoto Shimada or “Shimada-san” offered to drive him back to the gymnasium since he was heading there as well. He met up with Osamu who hadn’t moved from the spot he had left him in.
Osamu told him how the rest of the match went down play-by-play with Karasuno’s valiant effort despite their defeat. Atsumu then filled him in on what happened with Shoyo, and how they’d exchanged numbers, and how much a spitfire Shoyo really was despite his illness.
“Now that you can see colors, do you have a favorite?” Osamu had asked as they exited the building.
Atsumu imagined Shoyo’s face and the small shy smile he had received when he ruffled his hair as he said goodbye, “Orange. Definitely orange.”