“Um, those guys offered me twenty bucks to punch you in the face for some reason. But if you have a better offer I won’t do it.”
Kei glances up from his phone at the voice, and then glances past him to the group he’s pointing at. None of them seem really familiar but that doesn’t mean they don’t have reason to want him punched. He’s sassed, back talked, and verbally ground enough people into dust this past month, hell this past week, that he can’t possibly remember all of them.
The guy in front of him shifts and tilts his head a little as he watches Kei shrug.
Dark blue eyes blink at him in confusion. “You’re not going to offer me something not to hit you?”
"I always figured I’d get punched one day. I just thought I’d be worth more than twenty bucks.”
The punch packs a lot more force than Kei expects it to, not that he shows his surprise while he blinks away tears from the impact, and he wonders if the guy’s fist stings nearly as much as his cheek does. The guy backs away cautiously like he’s waiting for Kei to retaliate. Kei has no plans to. He simply watches the other guy collect his money before turning and leaving the park.
Kuroo, predictably, laughs so hard he nearly wets himself when Kei finally makes it over to his place and tells him what happened.
By the time Kuroo answered his door Kei’s cheek was actually starting to throb pretty seriously and he just wanted some pain killers and maybe a drink or something. Digging through the bathroom listening to the music of Kuroo’s wheezing laughter slowly dying down he notes that his cheek is already starting to bruise.
"I’m actually surprised you aren’t more, I dunno, mad? No… Maybe… Judgy?“ Kuroo says a little later as he passes Kei a plate of food.
“Yeah. Like saying how poor his form was when he punched you or making fun of his face or something.”
Wide blue eyes and a confused scowl pop into his mind. “There was nothing wrong with his face,” he mutters. He can feel Kuroo staring at him as he shoves a huge bite of rice into his mouth. “What?” he demands after he chews slowly and swallows and looks over to see Kuroo still staring at him.
“Oh my god,” Kuroo breathes out in awe, “you are totally crushing on him!”
“Excuse you no I’m not.”
“‘There was nothing wrong with his face,’“ Kuroo mocks and Kei really really hopes he chokes on his rice. “You’ve totally got a crush. Normally you’d be ripping into anything from his clothes to his hair to the way he walked.” Kuroo laughs. “But instead you’re daydreaming about his face.”
“Why am I friends with you?”
“Shut up I’m the best friend you ever had.”
Even if he did keep getting distracted by memories of the guy’s wide blue eyes and adorably confused scowl and the hidden strength behind to his punch and, okay, maybe he had an occasional wandering thought about what kind of things the guy might like to do when not hanging around parks and punching people for twenty bucks, it’s not like he was ever going to see him again or anything. So he just needed to stop daydreaming and forget about him. He didn’t even know the guy’s name for crying out loud.
Quit lingering in the park like a creepy stalker and get your ass over here with my food.
Kei scowls at his phone and wonders, not for the first time, why the hell he was still friends with Kuroo.
I’m not in the park asshole I’m already past the convenience store.
He doesn’t hear the warning shout, or the running footsteps, or even the surprised squawk that rings out just before someone collides with him. His phone clatters to the ground and skids away and the bag of take out hits the cement almost the same time his butt does. He has half a moment to hope that the protective case he bought for his phone is doing it’s job before he hears a familiar voice calling out.
“Dumbass why didn’t you look where you were going?”
“You were the one chasing me stupid,” the voice is muffled and Kei glances down at the warm body in his lap, meeting a pair of sparkling brown eyes under an unruly mop of orange hair. “Ohmygod,” the guy breathes out and scrambles away, elbowing Kei in the process. “Shit, Kageyama it’s totally the guy you punched the other day.”
Kei’s gaze snaps up and he meets the startled blue eyes that have been drifting in and out of his mind the last week. He manages to take in the flush of his cheeks and the way his strong hands reach out and snag the guy out of his lap before they both take off running in the opposite direction.
At least he has a name to comfort him while Kuroo laments the destruction of his supper. Kei reminds him that it’s still edible and that he doesn’t have to bring Kuroo food on Fridays if he doesn’t like the condition it shows up in. Kuroo grumbles but eats his food while Kei turns over the name in his head: Kageyama.
He may have a crush. But he is not obsessed. No matter what Kuroo says or thinks. He hasn’t done anything like look Kageyama up on the internet and he doesn’t spend his free time wandering the blocks between Kuroo’s apartment and the park hoping to run into him again. He goes to work. He visits Kuroo. He takes a trip back home to visit his parents and brother. He goes out drinking with Kuroo and Bokuto.
Tsukishima Kei is a fully functioning adult whose life does not revolve around his crush.
No matter how often Kuroo teases him about wanting to punch Kageyama in the lips with his own.
He is an adult. It doesn’t bother him in the slightest that Kageyama literally takes off running in the opposite direction any time he sees him.
Except it does. A little.
“No I’m serious. It’s totally G rating. It’s all dreams of hand holding and falling asleep on the couch. Maybe a little PG kissing in the sunset.”
Boukto turns to him with wide eyes and drink flushed cheeks, leaning in far closer than the quiet background noise of the bar requires him to, and whispers loudly in his ear. “‘S that true Tsukki?” He slips a little and smushes his nose into Kei’s cheek. “You got such a pure crush that you don’t even think of anything… you know.” Bokuto’s eyes drop down towards their laps and he giggles and points downwards. Kei rolls his eyes and pushes Bokuto towards Kuroo so he can stand.
A surprised gasp hits his ears as the bathroom door shuts behind him and he meets Kageyama’s eyes. Kageyama looks like he wants to bolt, eyes darting around the small bathroom, but Kei is standing in front of the only exit and he slowly backs away, startling when his back hits the wall.
“I appreciate the fact that you find me so intimidating,” Kei says as he leans against the door with a smirk. “Though I am curious as to what you think I’m going to do that has you so afraid of me.”
“You’re going to punch me back.” The answer is immediate and Kageyama sounds so sure that Kei is a little taken aback.
It’s the alcohol that makes him do it - though he hasn’t had that much. The alcohol and the influence of Kuroo Tetsurou as his best friend.
That’s his story and he’ll stick to it until the day he dies.
He raises an eyebrow and takes a step forward, then two. Kageyama freezes against the wall, blue eyes wide. “Now that you mention it, yeah I kind of do want to punch you.” Kei leans forward and pins Kageyama in, smiling when his eyes scrunch shut. “I kinda wanna punch your lips with mine.”
It’s cheesy and stupid and he should never let Kuroo’s words come out of his own mouth.
But it works. Kageyama’s eyes fly open in surprise and then flutter shut as Kei leans in to kiss him.
Kei wishes that Kuroo had never found out about that kiss. But Tobio is a little shit and happily brings up their first kiss whenever prompted. Usually because he likes to laugh about how stupid he felt for running away all those times. It’s really not out of any ill will or interest in seeing Kei get flustered and frustrated. Sometimes Tobio is too wide eyed and innocent for Kei’s health.
Especially when Kuroo is involved.
“I swear I am going to punch you if you don’t stop, Kuroo,” Kei hisses when Tobio steps away to answer a phone call.
“Please don’t punch me with your mouth, Tsukki. I love you but not like that.”
“Kuroo. I will end you.”
Kuroo laughs and shakes his head. “No you won’t. I helped you get your boyfriend.”