it had been 5 months since tsukishima had met yamaguchi. and over those 5 months tsukishima had learned 2 things about yamaguchi. oh, and one thing about himself.
number one: yamaguchi was a little shit and he could put up a good fight. of course, tsukishima meant this in the most loving way he could muster. when the two had first met, tsukishima assumed that yamaguchi was useless, a nobody who couldn't defend himself. after all, yamaguchi clung to tsukishima like his life depended on it. he used to get panic attacks, wracked with anxiety. but over the course of a few short months he had noticed them decrease. he often wondered if it had something to do with him. the one thing tsukishima knew was yamaguchi's weakness was his freckles. if someone mentioned them he was doomed. hell, even when tsukishima complimented them yamaguchi seemed to darken slightly, the bright atmosphere that usually surrounded him became heavy. so it made tsukishima shine when he felt yamaguchi relax when tsukishima draped his arm around his shoulders or waist, a sigh of relief escaping him. yamaguchi's nimble fingers tugging at the taller boys sleeves or clutching onto his arm became a regular thing, and despite not have ever enjoyed physical closeness, he didn't mind. his heart fluttered each time yamaguchi shouted "tsukki!" from across the hall, running over and wrapping his arms around tsukishima's torso. his heart beat loudly and his skin sparked from the familiar touch of his friend. unfortunately, where yamaguchi went, so did hinata and kageyama. two nit wits who just HAPPENED to be dating. tsukishima remembered the first time yamaguchi had introduced them.
start of flashback-
"oh mooonyyy!" yamaguchi sang as he skipped down the hall to meet tsukishima by the stairwell. his hair blew around his pale face as he ran, smiling wide. tsukishima looked up from his phone and took off his headphones, snorting quietly at the nickname. "i have some friends i want you to meet! come with me my little firefly," yamaguchi stuck the landing right in front of tsukishima, sticking out his tongue. tsukishima rolled his eyes. that stupid name got him every time, it was cute. suddenly yamaguchi grabbed his hands and drug him over to where two boys stood.
"i didn't know you had friends, starlight," tsukishima teased, pinching yamaguchi's cheeks. he giggled and blushed slightly, swatting tsukishima's hands away. two boys stood behind yamaguchi, bristling at the comment.
"uhh tadashi is this guy being mean to you?" a short, orange haired guy asked. a tall boy with dark hair stood next to him, glaring at tsukishima.
"oh shoyo, no no! this is tsukki! you guys know who he is!"
"that doesn't mean i like him.." the black haired boy grumbled.
"oh, it's you," tsukishima sneered back. he recognized the tall boy, and to say the least they weren't friendly. the two boys stood, arms crossed and staring coldly at each other. after a couple seconds of awkward silence yamaguchi stood in-between them and pushed them apart.
"tsukkiiii be nice," he frowned, pouting up at tsukishima. he glanced down at yamaguchi's hand on his chest. the gold flecks in his eyes glimmered and he put his bottom lip out, not helping tsukishima's beating heart.
ba-dump, ba-dump. i can't say no, he too fucking cute.
tsukishima coughed. "sorry," he mumbled and ruffled yamaguchi's hair. he beamed in return, grabbing tsukishima's arm and introducing him to hinata.
"you seem to know kageyama but not hinata,"
"HI TSUKKI!! i'm hinata shoyo, that's my boyfriend kageyama. he's a prick sometimes but he's great once you get to know him," hinata said, looking up adoringly at kageyama. tsukishima stiffened and sighed blatantly, eyebrows furrowing at the nickname he allowed only yamaguchi to call him. was is possible to be gay and homophobic at the same time? he'd never had a problem with his sexuality but seeing other people's PDA made him wildly uncomfortable. out of no where hinata moved to grab tsukishima's hand, causing him to flinch. yamaguchi lightly hit hinata's hands away.
"don't touch me, or call me that.." tsukishima said coldly at hinata.
"uh tsukki, you alright? i know you don't like people touching you," yamaguchi questioned, concern gripping his voice.
he glanced down at yamaguchi clinging on his arm, leaning his head against tsukishima's bicep. "it's alright starlight, they know for next time," he smirked, giving him a small wink. out of the corner of his eye he saw kageyama and hinata share a look but he chose to ignore it. "anyways, i have to get class, see you later yams. nice to meet you two i guess," his arm felt cold as he walked down the hall without yamaguchi, something tsukishima had learned he did not look forward to. the slight grin that adorned his face when he was around yamaguchi vanished almost instantly. he enjoyed the familiar hands that wrapped around his arm and the bright smile that came with them. yamaguchi made him enjoy having a friend, something kuroo and kenma could never have given him. sighing softly, his feet drug on the floor. quietly he heard yamaguchi giggle from behind him, chatting with hinata happily. his heart fluttered for what felt like the hundredth time that day.
end of flashback-
number two: he really appreciated the little things, he loved to be comforted and called the nicknames tsukishima had for him. unlike tsukishima, he enjoyed physical touch. after a while of yamaguchi coming over to tsukishima's house, his brother akiteru joined the picture.
start of flashback-
"you know tsukki," akiteru said one day, "you should get yamaguchi something. after all he gave you that cute little keychain you're obsessed with." he smirked, snatching the star that hung from tsukishima's bag.
"don't call me tsukki," he growled, slamming his pencil down and stretching out a hand to grab the keychain back from akiteru. he carefully clipped it back on, making sure it wasn't damaged. "AND DON'T TOUCH MY THINGS!" tsukishima wasn't completely clueless though. yes, he had shouted and yelled at his brother, but he knew it was a good idea.
"aww is that name reserved for your little boyfriend," akiteru said teasingly. tsukishima could practically hear the smugness dripping from him. tsukishima groaned as he walked to his room and slammed the door closed.
time skip to the next day
"hi akiteru! is tsukki around? i need help with math," yamaguchi questioned as he stepped through the open door.
"ohhh tsukki!!" akiteru shouted across the house.
tsukishima whipped around the corner, frustrated that he had been interrupted from his work. "DON'T CALL ME TSUKKI," he snarled, glaring across the room to see akiteru standing next to a pale faced yamaguchi. he was dressed in black sweatpants and a large brown sweater that was far to big for him. tsukishima watched as yamaguchi hung his head and played with his sleeves.
"o-oh i'm sorry tsukki- i mean tsukishima, i'll just go. i won't call you that anymore," yamaguchi mumbled and turned to run out the door. he sounded on the verge of tears and as he looked up for a second tsukishima saw his freckled button nose sniffle and turn red.
"yamaguchi, hey it's alright. i don't mind if you call me that," tsukishima said quickly, grabbing one of yamaguchi's wrists. the small boy turned to face him, eyes teary. "oh, hey now, don't cry starlight. come on, i have a surprise for you. i'll even help you with math," tsukishima explained warmly, crouching down so he could wipe a tear that rolled down yamaguchi's face.
"o-ok," yamaguchi smiled. tsukishima lead them to his room, trying to ignore the mischievous look akiteru had plastered across his face.
"ugh, ignore my brother, he's an asshole sometimes," tsukishima told yamaguchi as the sat down across from each other on his bed.
"pfft. you're an asshole sometimes," yamaguchi retorted cheekily, giving the tall boy a playful shove.
"oh shut up," tsukishima replied, throwing an arm around yamaguchi's shoulders. "anyways, i have something for you. i was thinking since i know your anxiety gets bad sometimes and i'm not always there, i'd get you something to remind you of me. close your eyes yams," and yamaguchi closed his eyes. tsukishima pulled the small box out of his pocket and opened it, revealing a small bracelet. it was a thin black band, with a simple crescent moon strung on it. he took yamaguchi's hand and rolled up his sleeve, revealing a pale, dainty wrist. tsukishima felt yamaguchi shiver at the cold hand on his bare wrist, and as he slipped the bracelet on and secured it, a small smile played on both of their lips. "you can open your eyes now yamaguchi," tsukishima laughed when yamaguchi kept them shut. yamaguchi peeked out of one eye, and as he saw the small bracelet around his wrist both eyes went wide. his free hand flew to his face and he covered his mouth.
"th-thank you tsukki!" he gasped, air catching in his throat, "this really means a lot, nobody ever gives me gifts. i- i love it, t-thank you-u," yamaguchi slowly wrapped his arms around tsukishima and curled into his chest, heaving heavy sobs.
he's crying.. has no one really ever been nice to him like this before?
"anything for you starlight, anything for you," tsukishima whispered so quietly he didn't know if yamaguchi heard him. he squeezed his friend tight and placed his chin on top of yamaguchi's soft hair burying his nose into it, taking in the sweet scent of strawberries. he sighed and looked down at the matching black band he had around his wrist, admiring how the single star shone in the light. (a/n yes. they're matching ;)
end of flashback; back to present day
as the pair walked to yamaguchi's class tsukishima thought to himself. obviously tsukishima had learned more things about yamaguchi. he remembered the small details of what made yamaguchi happy, sad and what was necessary to stop his anxiety attacks. he knew his favorite food, color, interests and so much more than tsukishima had ever known about kuroo and kenma. but he learned one thing about himself over the past months. he liked yamaguchi. or was love the right word? emotions were never his strong suit.
he remembered something akiteru had said to him the other day.
"you're just a lovesick puppy aren't you little bro? what do you see in him? he's a little bit of a dork.." akiter scoffed. he's right isn't he. i really am in love aren't i? i remember what i said. i turned my head and hid my face and told him, "i'm afraid if you knew, akiteru, you'd fall for him too." HA! that shut him up real quick, but what i said was true.. how did i fall for you in a few short months? and do you feel the same? one day.. maybe i'll tell you..
tsukishima wasn't mad about it, in fact the thought made him beam. he glanced down at the boy walking close to him, playing with the bracelet on his wrist. his eyes grazed over his face, counting the freckles like he'd done a million times. tsukishima watched as his lips moved, making word after word and yamaguchi's eyes sparkled as he talked, not a care in the world that tsukishima said nothing back. the tall boy liked the sound of yamaguchi's chatter, taking off his headphones whenever he walked alongside him. yamaguchi's voice was clear and rich, it had a tone that could lull anyone to sleep. often tsukishima found himself dozing off as they made their way through the hallways, only to be awakened by yamaguchi taping his arm slightly. it always seemed so sudden when they finally arrived at yamaguchi's class, the moment short and sweet. and every single day the departure went something like this.
"thanks for walking me to class tsukki! i'll see you after school, meet me outside class! bye bye my little firefly!" yamaguchi said smirking, nudging tsukishima in the side.
"stop callin me that, it's embarrassing. i'll see you later starlight," tsukishima said, grinning a little so yamaguchi knew he was only joking.
"oh, but i just love to embarrass you! it's my favorite thing!" yamaguchi shouted as he disappeared into class. but before tsukishima walked away tsukishima checked to see that yamaguchi was settled in, talking mindlessly to hinata. only when he saw a thumbs up from kageyama did he smile and make his was to class.
time skip to end of day
the bell rung and tsukishima stood up from his chair, as he padded down the stairs and put his headphones back on something felt different. he felt uneasy and his stomach churned. it was like a monster hummed inside, warning him. he was worried about yamaguchi, but no particular reason had come to mind. however, now that he thought about it tsukishima had noticed and blonde eyeing yamaguchi in the hallways recently. he'd stick his tongue out and wink, showing a shiny silver piercing.
"hey freckles," he'd said slyly one day, sidling up next to yamaguchi and placing a hand underneath his chin, forcing him too look up from where his head was buried on tsukishima's shoulder. tsukishima felt him shudder and try to bring himself closer. his eyes watered as his head was held up, trying to fight the strong arm that was under him. the name made tsukishima's blood boil.
"don't call him that. stay away from him," tsukishima growled and hugged yamaguchi into his chest, shielding him from the blonde boy. he walked away hurriedly with yamaguchi, glancing back for a split second to see the boy leaned against the wall, smiling smugly and playing with his hands.
and in an instant tsukishima kei bolted down the hallway.