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Confused but intrigued, Shouyou clicks on the bottom hashtag. He was once a teenager on the internet, so he’s pretty sure he knows what it means when two names are mashed together like that.
After scrolling through the tag for literally only ten seconds, his suspicions are confirmed. It’s a bit of a surreal experience to learn that an entire day exists on the internet dedicated to the relationship between him and Tobio, but he also can’t say that he’s surprised—it’s the internet! Shouyou continues perusing, brows furrowed as he searches through the vast amount of content. He’s definitely wary of the whole thing, but at the same time a little impressed and also extremely curious.
“Oi, Tobio,” he says, tipping his head back. Tobio grunts in acknowledgement but keeps his gaze on his phone, ignoring Shouyou’s pointed look from where his head is resting in his lap.
Shouyou stretches his arm up and squeezes Tobio’s cheeks between his thumb and pointer finger. “Pay attention to meeeee...”
Tobio grabs his wrist and yanks it away from his face, pinning it to Shouyou’s chest. “Shut up, I’m reading an important email about next season.”
Shouyou frowns. They finally have a few days together—thanks to a fortuitous pre-season home game of MSBY vs Ali Roma—and Tobio's thinking about next season, which means he's thinking about a time when Shouyou is not around because he's halfway across the globe. Clearly, Tobio needs to get his priorities straight.
Shifting onto his side, Shouyou pushes his torso up off the couch, sliding his wrist from Tobio’s grasp. He pokes his head in the space between Tobios arms and awkwardly shuffles upwards until they're nose to nose, then slings his leg around to the other side of Tobio's thighs. Properly settled into his lap, Shouyou leans forward and kisses him right on the mouth.
A surprised noise escapes Tobio at the sudden contact, but he quickly relaxes into the kiss, mouth soft and warm against Shouyou's. Shouyou tilts his head just the slightest bit more, correcting the angle. After a long breath, he pulls back for just a moment before diving back in, kissing Tobio deeper than before. He feels Tobio smile slightly against his lips, and Shouyou lets out a short huff of air through his nose, irritated at himself—he really was only planning for a short peck to get Tobio's attention, but his brain never listens to itself when their lips actually meet.
Shouyou continues pressing in then pulling away, creating a rhythm between them like the tides. He nips at his bottom lip a couple times, earning himself a few stuttered breaths from Tobio. His earlier impatience has ebbed, giving way to the lazy energy he's now happily kissing Tobio with.
Tobio, on the other hand, shifts beneath Shouyou, sliding his palms down his back and pulling him closer. Shouyou’s heart flips, startled by the quick change of pace, but glad for Tobio's enthusiasm. All he wanted was his attention in the first place, after all.
Reminded of his original task, Shouyou pulls away, sitting back on his heels. Tobio's eyes flutter open and he frowns, pout forming on his now-glossy lips. Shouyou grins, complacent.
"Now that I have your full attention," Shouyou starts, unlocking his phone. "I have something cool but also weird and maybe a little creepy to show you!"
"Fucking tease," Tobio grumbles, fishing his phone out from between the couch cushion and armrest. Shouyou snickers as he climbs off his lap—how did his cell get that lost during their sixty second interlude—and curls up against his left side.
“So, apparently Twitter has a thing called ‘Kagehina Day’ where a bunch of our fans share writing and art and whatever of us, and it’s today,” Shouyou says, scrolling down the tag’s feed. He finds a particular thread that caught his eye earlier, holding his phone up for Tobio to see. “Stuff like this.”
Tobio squints at the screen, brows furrowing. “‘Every time Kageyama and Hinata Smiled At Each Other During the Schedwein Adlers vs MSBY Black Jackals Match, November 2018',” Tobio reads aloud, face contorting into that endearing constipated look he often wears when he’s confused. Fingers wrapping around Shouyou’s wrist, he brings the phone closer to his face. “These are real?”
Shouyou breaks into a smile. “I don’t know, they could be fake. Hard to believe you smiled this much, Scowly-yama.”
Tobio elbows him in the side; Shouyou shoves him back. After another fifteen seconds of back and forth tussling, Shouyou yanks his arm from Tobio’s grip and starts saving his favorite photos from the thread. Tobio grumbles, swiping his own phone open. “Who said I was smiling at you, anyways?”
Shouyou rolls his eyes at his boyfriend’s flimsy defense. They actually finally got together right after that match; there’s really no other explanation, and Tobio knows it.
“Yeah, from what I’m getting, Kagehina Day started the year after our third time at Nationals,” Shouyou muses. “At least that’s as far back as photos posted and stuff go. But the date is based on our numbers from first year...”
Tobio shrugs, grunting. “I mean, Karasuno did get into Best Four our last year. Makes sense that we’d get more exposure then.”
A sudden sting of remorse pricks at Shouyou. “We never did win Nationals, huh.” It’s been nearly half a decade, and the bitterness of never achieving their high school goal still feels like a fresh wound. He shakes his head, physically expelling the feeling.
“Also, why is your name first?” He pouts, turning his attention back to Twitter. “‘Hinakage’ even sounds cooler.”
Kageyama hums as he continues reading something on his phone. “Maybe it’s because they know that you’re always losing in our win/loss count.” The corner of his mouth quirks up before it’s quickly schooled back to neutral.
Shouyou pouts even harder, nose scrunching indignantly. “I’m literally only five behind right now! And I kicked your ass yesterday, so shut up.”
Tobio huffs out a breath and begins typing in lieu of a response, probably replying to his coach about next season, Shouyou thinks. He sticks his tongue out in annoyance, even though he knows Tobio can’t see his face right now. Being petulant isn’t mutually exclusive with having an audience.
While Shouyou’s a bit unnerved by the idea that people spend their time creating content for an imagined relationship between him and Tobio (they’re not out to the public yet), his curiosity for more of what exactly that content entails easily tops the discomfort. A few seconds later, he has a sudden realization, whipping his head back around towards Tobio.
“Hey,” he prompts. Tobio hums in acknowledgement. Shouyou licks his lips, wondering how to ask this next question.
“Do you even get what it means when our names are squished together like this?” Yeah, tact is not his strong suit, even when he tries, Shouyou thinks.
Tobio purses his lips, eyebrows furrowed in question. “We play volleyball well together, and people want to show other people how good our plays are, right?”
Slapping a hand over his mouth, Shouyou bursts out giggling, the sounds muffled by his palm.
Tobio’s eyebrows crease further, confused. “What? There are a lot of ‘dynamic duos’ throughout volleyball history.”
This just makes Shouyou laugh harder. Tobio grumbles as a blush spreads to his cheeks. “Spill, dumbass. What am I missing?”
Quelling his laughter, Shouyou puts down his phone and twists to better face Tobio. Hands lightly smacking the setter’s cheeks, he squishes them between his palms. “Tobio, they’re shipping us.”
Tobio’s expression remains the same—still lost, still constipated. “What’s ‘shipping’?”
Shouyou makes a noise that’s half a giggle, half a squeak, the second-hand embarrassment too much to bear. “People ship other people together—or fictional characters or whatever—romantically. ‘Kagehina Day’ is celebrating our supposed love life.”
Tobio still looks confused, but his eyes are thoughtful as he works through the concept. After a few moments, he says, “But why would people care about that? We’re volleyball players.” He says this like it holds all the answers he needs to solve whatever puzzle forming in his mind.
“Anyone can be shipped with anyone, Tobio. It’s not about the fact that we play sports in the public eye; it’s that we’re in the public eye.” Shouyou thinks for a moment on what Natsu’s told him about shipping, brought about by her interest in all the trending media. “People can find excuses to ship anything if they try hard enough, and being two pretty well known volleyball players with a pretty connected past is definitely shippable content.”
Tobio huffs out a breath through his nose, pursing his lips. “But how does any of this have to do with ships? Boats aren’t romantic.”
Shouyou nearly topples off the couch with laughter, Tobio’s arm whipping out to stop his forward momentum. Riding out his remaining chuckles, Shouyou links their fingers together and prys Tobio’s arm off his chest, settling their hands atop his thigh. Tears pricking at the corners of his eyes, he explains that ‘ship’ derives from ‘relationship,’ not boats.
Tobio rubs his thumb a couple times over Shouyou’s knuckle before replying, “I still think they’re not focusing on the important part of our relationship that they actually see, which is the volleyball.”
Shouyou shrugs, a breathy laugh escaping his lips. It’s not that he doesn’t agree, per se, it’s just that Tobio’s lack of understanding about anything un-volleyball related never fails to be hilarious and adorable.
Having spoken his piece, Toibo turns back to typing out his email one handed. Shouyou wiggles closer until he's snug against Tobio's side, pulling out his own phone again to scroll through the Kagehina Day tag more. While he still does think it's a bit weird and creepy, it's also kind of...affirming? Like, he loves Tobio, and he doesn't need other people to validate his affection for it to be real. But at the same time, since they aren't out to anyone but their close family and friends—and since they'll probably never be able to be out until their volleyball careers are over—Shouyou's kinda giddy about the fact that people see that there's something different between them than just teammates or rivals, something more akin to what’s really going on.
A weird knot forms in his stomach, twisting and heavy. Shouyou breathes in deep, willing the feeling to pass. He looks down and notes that his phone has gone dark; the reflection that stares back at him is grimacing.
Shouyou blows a raspberry and shakes his head. From the corner of his eye, he sees Tobio glance over at him then look away, unconcerned.
Whatever, he thinks, clicking on his phone. Everything in the tag isn't real anyways; no stranger on the internet actually knows what's going on. They can indulge in their fantasies, and Shouyou can enjoy watching it all unfold. There's nothing wrong with that.
Mind made up, he opens the tag once more. Having seen a few of the popular posts, Shouyou switches the timeline over to Chronological; he’s curious as to what's happening in the smaller corners of the internet.
The first tweet that pops up is a video, thumbnail containing a picture of Kageyama at the 2016 Olympics, overlayed with a filter that sparkles around the edges.
jules!! @ kagehina brain rot | @sadbeanut | 2m
KAGEYAMA TOBIO - SEXY AND HE KNOWS IT
(Hinata companion video coming soon)
1 retweet, 1 like
No way, he thinks. This cannot be what he thinks it is. But when he clicks on the video and the bouncy synth starts to play, a few pictures of Tobio timed to the beat, Shouyou knows it's exactly what he thinks it is. He watches with a wobbly smirk as photos of Tobio from games, advertisements, and candid shots flash on the screen—all of which highlight Tobio's best angles. Despite having the man literally right at his side, Shouyou's stomach tingles at the sight of these very well curated images, a low heat settling under his skin.
But when the pre chorus starts—pictures of Tobio wiping his face on his shirt during games, revealing strips of skin along his hips and abs, along with the loop of "girl look at that body, ahh"— Shouyou absolutely loses it, giggles spilling out of him in an uncontrollable stream. Tobio side eyes Shouyou, nose scrunching in mild annoyance mixed with curiosity. Shouyou brings his phone closer to his face, out of Tobio's line of sight. He hears Tobio huff as mild tapping noises begin again, attention back on his own phone once more.
"I'm sexy and I know it."
Shouyou squeaks as photos from the photoshoot come on screen.
A while back, while Tobio was still on the Adlers, he made the mistake of telling Shouyou he was offered a promotion through Suzushii Nippon, a drink company that provided a range of offerings from water to sports drinks to beer. Secretly, Shouyou knew exactly what kind of photoshoot the corporation wanted from Tobio, as Sakusa had been offered the same opportunity just days before and turned it down. But poor, innocent Tobio knew nothing about the contract details, so of course Shouyou told him to go for it, because didn't he just barely pay his bills last month?
Forty eight hours later, he gets a call from one (1) irate Tobio, who tells him of his very moist afternoon. Shouyou awhs and boos where he's supposed to, feigning sympathy and ignorance towards Tobio's struggles.
And then, two glorious weeks later, the shoot was released to the public, ads scattered throughout big magazines and pop-up windows alike: Tobio in a white, threadbare tank top absolutely drenched in water from head to toe, leaving no room for imagination. Plus, despite Tobio's anger towards the whole situation, his face looked good in the pictures, too—not quite smiling, but at least not scowling either. There was somehow even a seductive glow to his eyes that Shouyou was kind of jealous about sharing with the world. After Tobio admitted that he was thinking of being at home with Shouyou for the entire shoot, Shouyou had to come clean about the setup. He paid a great price for his sins—details redacted, as Shouyou’s head may start wandering elsewhere if he thinks about them—but the immortal photos of Soggy-yama were worth it.
The fan cam ends after the first chorus, and Shouyou bookmarks the tweet for future reference. Going through the Kagehina Day tag was, objectively, the best decision.
The next post that catches his attention makes his heart squeeze fondly in his chest.
charlier🍓✨ | @realcharliebrown | 12 mins ago
3 retweets, 5 likes
see you at the top next year 🙇♀️🙇♀️
[IMAGE Alt Text: A drawing of Tobio and Shouyou’s big moments throughout the years, stacked atop each other. The bottom of the drawing is of them in their third year, referenced from the official photo taken of their team wearing their third place medals at Nationals; they’re smirking at each other instead of looking at the camera. In the middle, they're shaking hands across the net at the 2018 Adlers vs Black Jackals game, a competitive edge to their glares. At the top, Tobio and Shouyou's backs face the audience, clad in red jerseys printed with 9 and 10 respectively, the Karasuno “Fly” banner flying in the breeze above them.]
Shouyou’s heart squeezes again, this time with melancholy. Their 2020 Olympics debut was stalled for obvious and valid reasons, but it still peeves Shouyou that he has to wait another year to fulfill his final promise to Tobio of standing on the world stage together. At the same time, though, that gives him another year to improve, to grow stronger; plus, he gets to spend more with Tobio and his friends on the National team in 2021. Bright side, Shouyou, bright side. It's not like the Gold Medal is running off anywhere.
He turns to Tobio and shoves his phone in his face. "Look at this art! Our fans are so skilled!"
Tobio's eyes cross while trying to examine the picture, so Shouyou backs the phone away a bit. He scans the drawing, gaze lingering on the upper part, just like Shouyou's did; he's probably thinking about the same thing, too, though at least this year wasn't his debut. Shouyou's nose scrunches at the thought of the times where Tobio was so far ahead, so out of reach. He gives the hand he'd been passively holding in Tobio's lap a grounding squeeze. He's here now, and that's what matters.
Tobio looks down at their hands and gives the slightest squeeze back. "Yeah, it's cool, I guess," he says, nodding his head at the tweet.
"'I guess,' he says," Shouyou grumbles. "Kageyama-kun truly has no respect for the arts..."
Tobio rolls his eyes, his usual response to Shouyou's dramatics. "Shut up, I said it's cool, dumbass. It's not my fault I know nothing about art."
Shouyou snorts. "Yeah, because you have a volleyball for a brain that makes you think about volleyball and volleyball only 24/7."
Tobio sets his phone down and flicks Shouyou between the eyebrows. "As though you're not the same."
Pouting, Shouyou retorts, "No, I'd say my brain is 80% a volleyball. The other 20% holds important information, like how to interact with people and how to cook a proper dinner."
"Shouyou-boke," Kageyama hisses before attempting to flick him again. Shouyou's ready for it this time, though, catching Tobio's wrist midair before his finger can make contact with Shouyou's poor, sensitive skin. Tobio tries to push forward, but Shouyou has him in an iron grip, their arms trembling with effort. In their typical, competitive fashion—unstoppable force vs immovable object—they take it too far until they're horizontal on the couch, half of Shouyou's body hanging off the side. He knows he's about to fall onto the floor, but he can't lose to Tobio!
Luckily, Tobio finally notices his compromised position, too. He grunts, sits up, and lays off for just long enough so that Shouyou can shuffle fully back on the couch. Then, he gives way to gravity, flopping on top of Shouyou in a heap.
“Oof,” Shouyou puffs out at the sudden weight on his chest.
Before he can react, Tobio whips his head to the side and bites his ear lightly. He yelps at the unexpected, sharp sting. "You ass! Ew! Not fair!"
Tobio's head returns to the center of Shouyou's chest, chin resting on his sternum, complacent smirk on his lips. "I thought you were into that."
Shouyou blows a raspberry, his turn to roll his eyes. "Not the point, mister. That wasn't the goal of the competition. Therefore, by forfeit, you lose."
Tobio shrugs. "If you want that cheap win, then okay. But I'm still winning regardless."
Teeth gritting, he glares at Tobio, conflicted. A few moments later, he sighs, lips settling into a pout. "Fine, Bakageyama. I'll just beat you on our run tomorrow morning instead, no problem."
Tobio's eyes flash at the declaration, always welcoming a challenge. "I looked forward to being up by six."
Ignoring the jibe, Shouyou returns his attention to his phone, continuing his journey into the Kagehina Day tag. Tobio shifts, too, cheek resting on Shouyou’s chest as he peers at his phone from the side.
A few seconds of silence settle over the room, quiet and peaceful. Then, Shouyou nearly chokes on his tongue at the next tweet:
dramanna!! | @majesticshoucchan | 28 mins ago
20 retweets, 34 likes
Why Kagehina Are Probably Definitely Dating: A Thread (1/20)
Aching to know more, Shouyou clicks on the post. After Tobio left for Italy, they've barely been in the same country—let alone close proximity—for, like, a year. And when they were both living in Japan, their busy pro schedules didn't often give them time to take the three hour train ride from Osaka to Tokyo. On top of it all, Tobio never liked to hang out in public spaces when they could be cuddling alone together at home. What evidence could this person possibly have?
dramanna!! | @majesticshoucchan | 28 mins ago
6 retweets, 24 likes
1.) Every time they play a game against each other, one of them doesn't show up at the next game their team plays. So for example, they just played in Osaka, right? I guarantee Tobio will not be at his away game in China in two days. Why not? CUZ HES CUDDLING W HIS BF HINATA IN JAPAN
Shouyou's eyebrows shoot up, shocked by the accuracy of the post. Whenever they're brought together by a game, the traveler will take a few days off to stay with the local. While most of the time this just means that Shouyou or Tobio miss a few days of practice, their time off will sometimes coincide with another game. And though they both hate missing games more than anything, they also understand that time together is a rare, valuable thing; compromises and sacrifices are necessary for their long-distance relationship, after all. Besides, they're such valuable assets to their teams that they'd never be taken off the regular roaster. It's kinda insane that someone else has noticed their pattern, though.
dramanna!! | @majesticshoucchan | 27 mins ago
10 retweets, 31 likes
2.) Shouyou steals and wears Tobio's clothes... need I say more...
A rush of heat rises in Shouyou's cheeks. People sure are thorough. He has the urge to point out that Tobio actually stole his scarf, thank you very much, but that would mean admitting to browsing the Kagehina Day tag, which would probably mortify their poor fans to death. Instead, he tucks his pride away and continues down the thread.
By the time he reaches the end, he's fully impressed by how exhaustive the thread is. The person always stuck to publicly available media for evidence—never digging deeper into their personal lives, for which Shouyou is very grateful—but they even pointed out stuff that Shouyou hadn't noticed, like how Tobio is always staring at Shouyou during press conferences, or how Shouyou will sometimes wear his merch during practice. Maybe he and Tobio aren't as subtle as they think, after all...
Bookmarking the tweet, he moves on, ready to read posts that don't analyze his conscious and subconscious behavior.
SportsScience | @thesposciguy | 43 minutes ago
32 retweets, 50 likes
NEW upload for #KagehinaDay: "The Physics Behind Kageyama and Hinata's "Freak Quick Attack"🏐💥
⬇️Rest of the video is on YouTube, link in replies ⬇️
Shouyou recoils at the reminder of the existence of physics. He's basically forgotten all memories of high school classes, as they weren’t related to volleyball, but he could never forget the horrendous class that was Intro to Physics in his second year—the test on particle physics almost made him miss Tokyo training camp for the second year. Thanks to Yachi, though, he got just enough points to scrape by.
While he'll pass on the video, he sends a silent thank you to all those who pursue and research important sciencey things; he’ll continue his volleyball-ladden path as they discover, like, the secrets of the universe. Maybe they can turn him into a cyborg so that he can keep playing volleyball when his body is too old to keep up.
As he scrolls further down, contemplating the pros and cons of a robotic body, a horrible sight greets his poor eyes.
risu has dial brain rot | @risvtoo | 57 minute ago
120 retweets, 420 likes
if tobio doesn't like me at my:
[PHOTO: Shouyou standing, practice jersey mesh bag framing his body. Only part of his face and body are visible because he is buried in jerseys. His arms are waving around wildly, blurring his figure. Tobio and Yamaguchi are laughing at him in the corner of the frame; Tsukishima has a hand over his face in exasperation.]
he doesn't deserve me at my:
[PHOTO: A profile shot of Shouyou drinking water during a break from a beach volleyball game. He's wearing his favorite white cap with a blue tank top. Since his left arm is raised holding the water bottle, his shirt collar is skewed to the side, exposing the tan line around his neck. He's side eyeing the camera, eyebrow raised mirthfully.]
Shouyou groans aloud, locking his phone and banging his face against it a few times for good measure. The first photo was taken right before their final time Nationals; a relatively well-known sports magazine did an interview with the Karasuno third years on their teams rapid growth—from Fallen Crows to Nationals attendees in three years—and wanted custom photos to go along with it. Specifically, they wanted a collection of the four of them working together on the court, shots that would highlight each members' strengths. But the photographers had yet to make it to the gym as the team was setting up; thus, in typical Freak Duo fashion, Shouyou and Tobio had somehow turned putting on their jerseys into a speed competition.
Shouyou had leapt for the bag as Tobio yanked it out of his reach, resulting in Shouyou taking a nosedive to the floor—his precious countenance saved only by years of practicing flying laps. Scowling, Shouyou whipped around and dove at Tobio, only for Tobio to sidestep and stretch the opening of the sack to its maximum circumference. Shouyou did tumble onto the floor this time, a heap of jerseys under him to protect his face. Unaware of what the hell was going on, he stood up and the jerseys gave way to gravity—covering him from within the bag head to waist. It was right then that the photographers walked through the entrance, cameras poised and ready. He flung the jersey bag off his body and sputtered out apologies to the camera crew, promising that they would be serious on camera—seriously!—but they laughed him off, saying that it was more amusing than anything.
Little did he know his shame was immortalized, a small photo nestled in the corner of the multi-page feature captioned "Karasuno has fun off the court, too!" Tsukishima taped the picture to the front of Shouyou's locker with thirty layers of clear packing tape, impossible to scrape off (it's probably still in the club room, honestly). How this Twitter user got such a high quality version of the shot, Shouyou doesn't know, but he curses them, whoever they are.
After a few more moments of despondent mortification, his cheeks burning hot, Shouyou swipes open his phone and quickly clicks on the second photo before the first one can load again. He takes a longer look at the picture, paying particular attention to the clear sky and blue ocean glittering bright in the background. Shouyou smiles at the memory of his last month in Brazil, his beach volleyball skills at their peak of all time.
Oikawa actually took this photo—when his team made their annual visit to Rio, he came to watch one of Shouyou's official games (then play a few rounds of pick up after). And as with any picture Oikawa takes, it ended up on his Instagram, blowing up to astronomical proportions relative to both his and Shouyou's followings. He grumbled later in the week about how "he can't believe that a picture of Chibi-chan has the most likes of any of my posts..."; Shouyou's smile widens at the whiny voice playing in his head.
He honestly still doesn't get why the picture got so much attention either, but it brought on a few last minute sponsorships, so he's not complaining.
Opening up the entire tweet, he skims the replies, on a mission to figure out what makes that the picture the original poster chose as the second half of the meme.
raine 🦊 | @rayningday | 12 minutes ago
@risvtoo In ref to photo#1: guys do you think kagehina ever visits karasuno?? do they still talk to coach ukai and takeda 🥺🥺 do they ever get to do demos and stuff for the current students 😭🥺😭🥺 i need answers
Shouyou's lips curl into a small smile. There actually was a time before Tobio left for Italy that they visited Karasuno, when Shouyou brought him to Miyagi to meet his family as his boyfriend. Both Natsu and his mother were head-over-heels for Tobio back in high school before Shouyou even knew of his crush, so when their relationship status changed, it was more of an excuse to visit his family than an actual introduction.
Since they were in Miyagi together, Shouyou texted Coach Ukai to see if they could meet up for dinner or get drinks. But, in a coach-ly fashion, Ukai demanded that they come to practice first, so they did. After showing off their freak quick, they spent the rest of the day helping out the current team—Shouyou giving pointers on receives and jumps, Tobio teaching ball control and technique. The day ended with rotating scrimmages: six on two to 12 points, the next batch of Karasuno kids coming onto the court each round. Shouyou and Tobio won every round, but Ukai had to yell at them multiple times to pay attention to their opponents, as they kept getting lost in their own world of who could serve harder, spike faster, and set cleaner between them.
Smile still on his face, Shouyou lets out a puff of air through his nose, then nuzzles his cheek against Tobio’s hair.
"Tobioooo," he whines. "We need to visit Karasuno the next time you're around. Will you be back for New Year's?"
Tobio shrugs. "If you want me to be."
A tingly feeling shoots through Shouyou's veins, warming his skin. Shouyou noses at his hair, chirping, "Aww, Tobio wants to seeeee meeee again! So cute..."
Tobio tilts his head up off of Shouyou's chest, nose scrunched. "Shut up. One, of course I do, dumbass," he lists, settling his chin back down, and Shouyou blushes further. "Two, I don't think I have any games that week; most guys take off for Christmas anyways."
Shouyou wiggles his eyebrows at the latter half. "So you'll be home for Christmas, too? We can finally go on a romantic, Japanese Christmas Eve date?"
Tobio squints, a sharp glare taking over his features. Exhaling, a dust of red on his cheeks, he grumbles, "If you really want to..."
Frowning, Shouyou says, "I'm just teasing you, Tobio, we don't have to do anything big or dramatic or in public; it's not like I particularly like doing that stuff either." Shouyou feels Tobio's shoulders slacken against his chest. His expression softens, a small smile on his lips. "But I would like it if you came back to Japan. I miss you."
Tobio's eyes close as all his features scrunch inwards, blush spreading throughout his face. He takes a slow, deep breath before peering at Shouyou. "You are so embarrassing. But," he hesitates for a beat, gaze flicking to the side. "I miss you, too."
Shouyou's heart flutters, and he wraps his arms around Tobio's back, giving him a big squeeze. "Okay, it's a date." Craning his neck upwards, he plants a lingering peck against Tobio's lips; Tobio presses back, content sigh leaving his nose.
Breaking apart, Tobio rests his cheek against Shouyou's chest once more and continues perusing his phone. Shouyou brings a hand up to lightly ruffle his hair.
With Tobio settled snugly against him, he goes back to his original task: figuring out why the picture of him on the beach is so damn popular.
After passing his fifth response of someone just keysmashing (and barking?) in their reply, Shouyou gives up on his quest—the allure of that photo will forever remain a mystery.
He swipes out of the thread and keeps scrolling, a bit quicker than before. The next tweet that catches his eye makes him literally snort.
Shortcake | @dayoldshortcake | 1 hr ago
Look, everyone knows I love kagehina as much as the next person, but have you considered Kenma/Hinata? Atsumu/Hinata? Oikawa/Hinata? The possibilities are ENDLESS
It ended up in the Kagehina Day tag thanks to a reply:
Roxanna | @misssunfox | 51 mins ago
@dayoldshortcake CAKE ITS LITERALLY KAGEHINA DAY How could you tweet this slander
Shortcake | @dayoldshortcake | 1 hr ago
@misssunfox BAD TIMING OKAY I AGREE BUT MY HINATA HAREM AGENDA NEVER SLEEPS
Shouyou giggles at the exchange but ultimately agrees with Roxanna. While him and Oikawa hooked up a few times in Brazil, they ended their promiscuous activities in lieu of commiserating over their long-term crushes on Tobio and Iwaizumi. Shouyou will also admit that both Kenma and Atsumu are attractive in their own right, but he's never felt anything beyond admiration and respect for them.
"This person thinks that we should date Oikawa and Atsumu, too," Shouyou says, hand combing through Tobio's hair. It's soft and smells like Shouyou's shampoo.
Tobio turns slightly towards him and says, with a frown, "I would rather eat dirt than date Oikawa-san or Atsumu-san."
Shouyou chuckles as Tobio goes back to tapping at his phone. "Well it's not the same, but one day, I'm gonna make you play beach volleyball with me, and then you can eat all the sand you want!"
"Still better than dating either of them."
Shouyou pokes his tongue out even though Tobio isn't looking in his direction. "There are worse fates, probably."
"I don't wanna think about those either."
Upon not taking the bait, Shouyou sighs, unlocking his phone and moving onto new posts. He'll terrorize Tobio with the possibilities of worse significant others in the future.
Saku | @SakuxhoshinaArt | 2 hours ago
[nsfw] I hope they're having a great time wherever they are right now on this fine #kagehinaday 🤠🔥
44 retweets, 158 likes
[PHOTO: Tobio is behind Shouyou horizontally on a bed. He's kissing Shouyou's shoulder while his hand is wrapped firmly around Shouyou's dick. Shouyou's legs are spread wide and his arm is raised, stretching back to grip at Tobio's hair. His jaw is slack, a puff of air rushing out of his mouth. A scarlet red blush sits on his cheeks.]
Shouyou's own face soon mirrors the photo, a rush of blood flooding to every corner. He had suspected, somewhere deep in his consciousness, that people did this kinda stuff with him and Tobio as the main subjects, but he'd completely forgotten about the possibility until it was right in front of him. The art is really well drawn actually, their body types and proportions pretty accurate compared to reality. Except...
"Tobio, they drew my dick too small!" Shouyou laments, turning his phone so that Tobio can see the image.
A blush blooms on Tobio's cheeks too . He squints then double taps on the screen, zooming in. Glancing up at Shouyou, he says, "Looks fine to me."
Smirking, he looks back to his own phone (it's currently paused on an Amazon page about cartoned milk varieties). Shouyou sputters incoherently before forming a fist and bonking Tobio on the head. Tobio peeks back towards him, nose scrunched, then returns to tapping at his phone.
Huffing, Shouyou brings his phone back in front of his face, zooming out of the photo. "Asshole..." He re-examines the whole picture and comes to the same conclusion. It's not that it's drastically off, but Shouyou is a bit larger than one would expect for a person of his size. He's not actually angry at the artist—how would they know that?—but Tobio knows plenty about Shouyou's body and knows it well. Asshole, he thinks again.
Miffed, Shouyou flicks an aggressive swipe up his phone screen and watches a bunch of posts fly rapidly down his Twitter feed. Eventually, the tweets roll to a stop, and Shouyou's eyebrows lurch up at what it lands on.
hey whoa its emilie!! | @Emlee_K | 4 hours ago
59 retweets, 170 likes
🏁life is a highway🏁 repost for #kagehinaday
A kagehina racing fan fiction based on Pixar's Cars, featuring professional racer Kageyama, who crashes into Karasuno Springs and falls for Hinata - the local handyman and a deft hand at dirt track racing
Now complete: https://bit.ly/339dC2r
He clicks on the link. Shouyou watched Cars subbed in theaters back in elementary school and loved it; his mom even bought him a pair of Lightning McQueen Crocs. He doesn't remember much of the plot anymore, though, and he doesn't quite get how Cars relates to him and Tobio. So they aren't doing volleyball for a career? Did they get turned into actual cars? Can Car Hinata and Car Kageyama still play volleyball, like, for fun? Shouyou has so many questions.
By the time he's done questioning the logistics of a Cars-based fan fic, the page has loaded a clean, red and white webpage, the words "Archive of Our Ownbeta" stamped at the top. Skimming the tags, his question is answered quickly: "Based on Cars but everybody is still human." Shouyou's mouth twists into a half-pout: on one hand, he's glad to be a person with arms and legs who can still play volleyball. On the other, he really wanted to know how cars would set and spike and serve.
He examines the page further and learns that the story is 97,898 words. Frowning, Shouyou tries to recall if he's ever read something that long before. Probably definitely not. His eyes have been set on volleyball for so long that he never bothered reading books and stuff—outside of classwork, which he also barely did anyways—as they took time away from when he could be practicing.
Shouyou quickly rubs his thumb up and down along the screen, thinking about his next move. While he unfortunately doesn't have the brain power to read so many words, he's still a bit floored by the fact that people write stories about him and Tobio. Again, he's no stranger to the internet, so he knew of the existence of fan fiction, but it's a different feeling all together being the subject of stories, you know? And while the idea of being written about still weirds him out a bit, god, he's such a curious little shit—he really wants to know what's being written. Glancing back down, Shouyou picks up on the text:
Relationship: Hinata Shouyou/Kageyama Tobio
Okay, so there are more! And Archive of Our Own agrees with Hinakage supremacy! With an absurd lack of hesitation, Shouyou clicks the hyperlink.
"1 - 20 of 11,093 Works in Hinata Shouyou/Kageyama Tobio"
Shouyou drops his phone in shock; it smacks Tobio on the top of the head with a thunk. Tobio whips around, glaring. "What the hell, dumbass?!"
Shouyou sticks his tongue out, eyes squeezing shut. "It was an accident, sorry." His face relaxes and he picks up his phone, briefly explaining the concept of fan fic to his volleybrained boyfriend. When Tobio looks sufficiently less confused, Shouyou breaks into a grin. "So I dropped my phone on you ‘cuz I learned that people have written over 11,000 stories about us! It's crazy to think about volleyball having that many fans! That specifically like us!"
Tobio's mouth puckers, eyebrows drawing down. "But sometimes the stories are not about us playing volleyball? Those should be deleted."
Shouyou half-squawks, half-giggles, a strangled noise leaving his throat. "Don't say mean things about our fans! They're just creative." He swipes backwards to the Cars fic, flashing it to Tobio. "Would you ever think to take the cinematic masterpiece, Cars, and turn it into a story about our love? I think not. Not enough braincells in your noggin to have such big thoughts." Shouyou frowns. "Unfortunately, though, they didn't turn us into actual cars. Your name would be Cargeyama, lol."
Tobio doesn't even grace him with an eyeroll—just a mild look of disgust—before letting out a giant yawn.
Shouyou puts his phone down and runs his hands through Tobio's hair, fingernails scraping lightly up his scalp. "Sleepy?"
"Sleepy," Tobio confirms, pressing his cheek deeper into Shouyou's chest.
Shouyou twirls a lock of hair between his fingers. "You can sleep if you want. I'll wake you up when I have to pee."
Tobio grunts, wrapping his arm around Shouyou and rotating them until they're both sideways on the couch. He tucks his knee between Shouyou's legs, pulling him closer.
"Good, cuz then it'll be just a short nap," he mumbles into the crook of Shouyou's neck. Shouyou feels Tobio’s lips curl up into a smile against his skin. "Pee-pee boy."
Dropping his hands from his hair, Shouyou cries, "Shut up, Milk Man!" These nicknames were thrust upon Shouyou and Tobio by Nishinoya and Tanaka in their senpai's third year; Tobio's because he showed up to practice one day with an entire gallon of milk, Shouyou's because he overhydrated often their second year and needed to pee every half hour. Of course, he eventually did figure out a good drinking schedule, and he pees a very normal amount nowadays, thank you very much, but some things, like cursed high school nicknames, never die.
Shouyou reaches blindly behind him and pats the couch for his phone. Once they're successfully reunited, he clicks back into the Hinakage tag, ready for an adventure.
And what an adventure it is. After flipping through a few pages, Shouyou's put two and two together on how the rating system works after comparing the little boxes in the upper left corner to the tags on each fic, laughing a bit at the green to red light system. Their fans really are creative, too, with fics about anything from hidden identity royalty stories to cross-ocean, penpalling childhood friend AUs. He squints suspiciously at one that has Tobio working as a phone sex operator—while Tobio is freakly good at phone sex (a necessary component of a long distance relationship), he's so awkward in publicity events that Shouyou's surprised someone would think of it.
Since he'd feel a little weird about actually reading any of them, he sticks with perusing the tag for a while, saving links to the stories he may, in fact, want to peek at tomorrow. (They say that curiosity kills the cat, but Shouyou will die if he doesn't maybe read some later, so, since it's his choice, he'll take death by fine literature.)
Shouyou doesn't know much time has passed when Tobio shifts in his arms, a rush of air hitting his collarbones as Tobio lets out a big exhale. He continues scrolling as Tobio sighs again, cuddling closer to Shouyou's chest.
"What're you doing?" He asks, muffled against Shouyou's shirt.
"Still lookin' through all the fanfic."
Tobio pulls Shouyou even tighter, grumbling something incoherently into his chest.
"I can't hear you, dummy."
Tobio's head snaps up and he stares at Shouyou, brows furrowed. "I just don't get why you're so into it."
"Because it's interesting!" He responds simply.
Tobio clucks his tongue, turning away. After a few moments of silence, a lightbulb goes off in Shouyou's head.
Bringing his hands to his own head, he flattens out his hair and lowers his voice, saying sulkily, "An hour ago, Shouyou wanted my attention, but now he won't stop reading about fictional me and him falling in love in 200 different ways. Now I want his attention but won't ask for it, because I'm a freaky guy who gets off on ignoring his feelings."
Tobio shoves Shouyou hard into the back of the couch, and he breaks out into giggles, dropping the imitation. Shouyou reaches out, trying to pull Tobio back in his arms, but Tobio resists, tensing all his muscles and rooting himself in place.
When Tobio makes no move to let up, Shouyou sticks his tongue out and brings his hand up to cup his face instead. "Is Kageyama-kun actually jealous of his fake self getting all my love?"
As Shouyou strokes his thumb over his cheek, Tobio grumbles, “You’re always the one whining about how we never have enough time together, dumbass.”
Shouyou frowns, other hand sliding up and sandwiching his phone between them.“But I’m doing research, Tobio!" When Tobio gives him a dubious look, he continues, "For the sake of our sex life, silly! The public has..." Shouyou lifts an eyebrow, smirking. "A lot of ideas."
Shouyou feels a wave of heat rush into Tobio's face, warming up his palm. "You can stop talking now."
"Currently, the fic I'm on is about me topping the shit out of you. Tags: Dom Hinata Shouyou, Ear Kink, Oral Fixation, Finger Sucking, Dirty tal—”"
"Shut up," Tobio hisses, slapping a palm over Shouyou's mouth. Shouyou starts giggling again—teasing Tobio truly never gets old.
"Besides," Tobio continues, the stressed edge to his voice fading. "I think we've gotten pretty creative without some random stranger on the internet's help."
Shouyou hums, moving his hand from Tobio's face to wrap around his wrist. He pulls the hand lower and plants a soft kiss to Tobio's fingertips.
"Heh, yeah, that's true," Shouyou says quietly, breath ghosting over his slender fingers. Threading their hands together, Shouyou scoots forward and presses their chests flush once more.
Face to face with Tobio, Shouyou cocks his head a bit. "Meanwhile, I don't get how you're, like, not interested in it at all. We are being perceived, Tobio—and they don't even really know about us! Attention is fun."
Tobio huffs, cold breath hitting Shouyou's lips. His eyes look up towards the sky, contemplative. “I just don’t care what random people think about us or do with us or whatever.” He pauses for a beat, glancing to the side. "What matters is that we’re happy and together in real life." Pause. "Dumbass."
A warm, fuzzy feeling spreads through Shouyou's veins, heat rising to his cheeks.
"Who said I was happy, Kageyama-kun..." He teases, words opposed to the rapid pace of his heart.
Tobio gives him the most pained, unamused look of his life; Shouyou breaks out into a chorus of giggles. Then suddenly, Tobio's arms wrap around him, and his phone slides out of his fingers as he's being rolled off the couch, back hitting the floor with an oof.
Before he can grumble or complain, Tobio's lips press against his—the sudden, soft pressure making his head spin in delight. Tobio sucks lightly on his bottom lip and Shouyou exhales, melting into the floor. Tobio's hand moves up to cup his jaw, thumb running along it gently.
After a moment, they part, Shouyou still dizzy with feeling. Tobio's dark blue eyes peer down at him, a small smile on his lips.
"And to answer your earlier question," he starts, teeth flashing slightly. "I'm not jealous of fictional Tobio or Shouyou or anyone." He bites his lip, eyes flicking to the side nervously, but finally concludes, "because I get the real one all to myself."
Shouyou's face feels like it's on fire with all the blushing that's been going on today. Groaning, Shouyou covers his hands with his face. "Urhgghhh, and you say I'm the embarrassing one in this relationship..." He drops his hands, threading one back around Tobio's ear and into the hairs at the nape of his neck. Tobio's looking down at him again, nervousness replaced with a smirk on his lips. Wanting nothing more than to wipe that dumb smile away, Shouyou pulls him down into another kiss.
They lay there for a bit, basking in the warmth of the afternoon sun while Tobio presses lazy kisses all over Shouyou's face and neck. The moment's nothing special or new, but being with Tobio in itself is a daily gift—a fact he's known for a long, long time.
And when Tobio rises back up, hovering over him with a tender smile on his lips, Shouyou knows—absolutely 100% without a doubt—that no fictional Tobio could ever beat the real one.
Shouyou wiggles out from beneath Tobio, rising to his feet. Tobio follows, and Shouyou wraps his arms around his torso. He cranes his neck up, chin resting on his chest. “Since we can’t join the masses celebrating our glorious day,” he starts. “Let’s be sure to make it good by ourselves, ‘kay?”
Tobio’s brows furrow as he stares down at Shouyou. “But isn’t every day ‘Kagehina day’ when we’re together? Because, you know, we’re Kageyama and Hinata.”
Shouyou snorts. “You really still do not understand the internet.” He raises a hand up and tap tap taps against Tobio’s skull. “But I guess you’re not wrong. Maybe I don’t give your inner volleyball enough credit. It’s only 95% ball, 5% thoughts.”
Tobio scowls and bats at him; Shouyou ducks then jumps back, adept at avoiding Tobio’s attacks. Spinning around, Shouyou high-tails it out of the living room, seeking safety from Tobio’s wretched hand. Footsteps pound behind him as he dashes up the stairs, so he runs faster, slipping into the bathroom before Tobio can make it to the landing. He hears Tobio pause at the top of the stairs before he starts forward again, a hesitancy in his pace.
When Tobio just bypasses the bathroom door, ignorant of Shouyou’s presence, Shouyou rushes out. Tobio whips his head around just in time for Shouyou to tackle him from the sky, wrapping his arms and legs around his back like a monkey. “Gotcha!”
Tobio tries to pry him off, hands wrapping around and pulling at Shouyou’s forearms. But he soon drops his arms, fully aware that undoing Shouyou’s clinging power is a battle he has never won and can never win. Instead, Tobio walks down the hallway and through their bedroom door.
Shouyou’s face flushes at the implication, but he hangs on tight. As Tobio walks over to the bed, he pauses to glance at the side table. Shouyou’s eyes follow and land on a bright, gold and blue Mikasa volleyball.
Shouyou jumps down from his perch. He takes the ball between his hands and spins it against his palms. Turning back to Tobio, he notices the spark in his eyes.
Thrusting the ball into Tobio’s chest, he asks, “Shall we?”
Tobio stares back for a moment, then claps the ball between his hands. “Let’s go.”
Dropping the ball, Shouyou shoots off to frantically pull on his shoes and practice gear. He tugs up his shorts at the same time that Tobio pops his head through his shirt, and they rush to the door in tandem, Tobio grabbing the volleyball off the floor in the process. They scramble down the stairs together, taking one, two, now three steps at a time, neither willing to give the other leeway.
Shouyou curses as he locks the front door, now a step behind Tobio. They sprint down the apartment stairs in the same manner, all pointy elbows and sloppy (but stable!) footwork.
With a final push, Shouyou leaps through the front doorway right before Tobio. He lands on the concrete path and spreads his arms akimbo, nose tipped to the sky.
“You did not win that,” Tobio grunts, smacking him on the side of the head. He moves to the grassy yard to their right, and Shouyou trots behind him, rolling his eyes.
“Whatever you want to think, Kageyama-kun...”
As they’re passing the ball back and forth, warming up their fingertips, Shouyou thinks about what Tobio said earlier: “But isn’t every day ‘Kagehina day’ when we’re together?” A smile curls at his lips, Tobio’s words both stupid and insightful. Stupidly insightful, dare he say.
But ultimately, Tobio is right. No number of drawings, fan fictions, or Twitter threads can truly illustrate what they have between them. They’ve worked hard to build their own story—hours of playing volleyball, years of growing together, and their enduring love for each other leading the way.
As Shouyou hits Tobio’s first set of the day, ball shooting from his palm into the grass, a grin stretches across his face.
They’ve spun a pretty great tale so far, after all. And, as always, there’s nowhere to go but up.