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Eat me, Drink me, Trust me

Chapter Text

It takes seven instances of dead flowers, grazed knees, punctured and bleeding hands before Tsukishima finally agrees to let Tadashi play at the front garden. Trying to keep his little son within his vision while working on the garden had begun to feel like a lost cause after the fifth time Tadashi fell and hurt his hands on thorns of roses, his volleyball punctured on cactuses and deflating rapidly.

So he had agreed to let him play, even gave Tadashi his old volleyball. It had many memories but they weren’t important anymore. Not like he was ever going to play again.  And ever since Tadashi saw Tsukishima’s old photo collection, he had been obsessed with volleyball. Tsukishima haven’t got the heart to tell him there was nothing glorious about that sport. Though that wasn’t very surprising. Ever since the beginning, ever since he adopted Tadashi, he had felt the need to protect him.

Now Tsukishima carefully sprays water on green leafs, slowly going through each one. He had never imagined he would become a florist but after trying to fulfill everyone’s wishes and expectations, calm and uneventful life of a florist almost feels like a blessing. However, lost in the routine of the small town, life is boring and pointless. If it wasn’t for Tadashi, Tsukishima would be sure that he made the wrong choice and ruined his life for good.

A shriek brings him back from his thoughts. Tadashi!

Without hesitation he moves swiftly between bushes of roses. He must have hurt himself again, Tsukishima thinks frowning.  In his hurry he opens the side door connecting the back garden to the front and almost runs over his son, only to stop in his tracks as his old volleyball lifts up in the air, flying from Tadashi’s little hands, with just a tiny bit of a leaning towards left. An almost perfect receive… As Tsukishima watches, the ball tumbles down from its peak and a tall dark haired stranger catches it between his hands.

“Hi!” he says with a smirk. It looks almost predatory.

Tsukishima frowns. The stranger is tall, almost as tall as him and above wide shoulders an annoying, threatening grin is decorating his face. As he watches stranger’s eyes linger on Tsukishima’s frame, causing him to straighten his body. Who the hell is he and what is he doing here?!

“Tsukki! Tsukki! Did you see me?! Did you see my receive?” Tadashi babbles excitedly. Upon seeing Tsukishima, he has hugged his legs and now is fidgeting with joy. “The ball!” he continues. “it just went up, up!”

“Tadashi…”Tsukishima says calmly. He is just about to say “inside” before the stranger steps forward.

“Well, you certainly did it.” He says kneeling and smiling at Tadashi. This time his smile looks genuine. Then he turns his eyes upwards. “Kuroo Tetsurou” he adds, addressing Tsukishima under his lashes. “I just moved in next door.”

Automatically Tsukishima replies in a clipped tone. “Tsukishima Kei” However before he can go on Tadashi has already got between them.

“Kuroo says I could be very good at volleyball!” he exclaims.

Tsukishima clenches his jaw. Good at volleyball! Like that is going to change anything…

With deliberate force he puts a neutral expression on his face. “I’m sure it’ll be fun to play Tadashi” he says, pushing his hand through his son’s hair. “Now get inside, we should start on dinner.”

For just a moment it looks as if Tadashi is going to argue with him but then he smiles brightly and gives an excited “Ok, Tsukki” before running up to the stranger to retrieve his ball.

Kuroo Tetsurou ruffles Tadashi’s hair, then hands the ball. “See you later kid!”

As Tadashi runs up the stairs of the front porch Tsukishima takes a strained breath. Who was he to… But before he can even finish his thought his new neighbor is already talking.

“He is very tenacious” he comments, now running his hand through his messy hair and smiling after Tadashi. “Ever consider taking him to a volleyball class?”

Tsukishima’s eyes track his movement, noting how his t-shirt strains at the shoulders, how his smile tugs at the corner of his mouth and he frowns. “No, “he says flatly. “it’s just a way to pass the time, nothing more.”

“Maybe it can be” Kuroo adds, tilting his head and causing his hair to shift. “We are planning to open a class for youngsters”

Tsukishima blinks and, pretending not to hear, climbs the stairs. A sports class for kindergardeners? What good would that do? Tadashi doesn’t need to get competitive at his young age, he decides.  And besides he only plays because he has seen Tsukishima’s old photos…

Coming face to face with the door, he suddenly remembers his… new neighbor. Trying not to be rude Tsukishima turns towards him.

“Welcome to the neighborhood” he says before closing the door to Kuroo Tetsurou’s face.

Chapter Text

It’s only after two days that Tsukishima understands what Kuroo meant by opening a class for youngsters.

As always he picks up Tadashi from kindergarten at noon and they walk through the park, Tadashi telling him about his day and getting distracted halfway through by some bird, dog or a cat. Tsukishima continues to hold his hand and tries to decide on tonight’s dinner when suddenly Tadashi lets out an excited squeal.

They halt before the local high school adjacent to the park and Tsukishima has to admit, it’s already improbable to miss the huge and colorful sign announcing the start of an after school volleyball class for ages 6 to 11, but it gets impossible when one excited Tadashi is jumping continuously while pulling on his jacket insistently. “Tsukki! Look! Look! Can I go?! Can I?!”

Tsukishima sighs quietly. So that’s the class…

“Tsukki…”

Upon hearing the pleading tone, Tsukishima looks down to his son’s equally pleading eyes.

“We’ll see.” He says plainly, his eye catching a red tracksuit and the outline of a familiar messy black hair through the bars of the high school gate. As he watches, students in similar tracksuits start their run. Tsukishima gently turns Tadashi the other way and suggests they get strawberry shortcake.

And that has nothing to do with avoiding Kuroo Tetsurou.

Later that week Tsukishima understands the impossibility of Tadashi forgetting about the volleyball class. His every second word starts with volleyball and ends with how it would be so much fun when he starts playing with others. Thankfully his new neighbor doesn’t show his face to add to Tadashi’s resolve and strain Tsukishima’s patience.

Unsurprisingly, Friday afternoon finds Tsukishima in front of the high school with his hand in Tadashi’s excited grip. They follow the colorful arrows leading them towards the gym. When they get inside Tadashi squeals a little.

Upon turning, Tsukishima is met with the familiar scenes of a volleyball practice.

As a student spikes above the net, Tadashi laughs in delight.

Tsukishima turns his head away.

“I didn’t think I would see you here.”

Hearing his voice Tsukishima stiffens, but turns to look Kuroo in the eye. “Tadashi wanted to” he explains in a neutral tone.

The same annoying smirk spreads over Kuroo’s lips. “Ah, yes.” he comments like he knows a juicy little secret.

Tsukishima’s eye twitches for just a second and Kuroo’s smirk gets wider. Annoying…

Then Tadashi pulls his eyes away from the towering high school students to beam up at Kuroo. “Hello!”

Kuroo gives him the same genuine smile and a pat on the head. “Hi, came to register for the class, Tadashi?”

Unconsciously Tsukishima’s grip on Tadashi’s shoulder gets tighter but his son only shakes his head in agreement.

“This way then” Kuroo offers, gesturing towards a small office inside the gym.

Tsukishima purses his lips but doesn’t stop Tadashi when he runs towards the door.

Though he has to admit when Kuroo half turns towards him and winks with that stupid smirk on his face, Tsukishima is tempted to do so.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Two weeks pass and Tsukishima only catches glimpses of Kuroo’s unruly hair or his obnoxious red tracksuit but they never interact. Not that Tsukishima needs to interact with him! Tadashi talks about how Kuroo is awesome and how amazing his volleyball class is almost nonstop and by now Tsukishima learned that Kuroo Tetsurou is the new coach at the local high school and he was so hot! Tsukishima frowns as he continues to cut and organize bouquets.

Of course he doesn’t think Kuroo is hot. No, he doesn’t! However, half of the high school girl population is already squealing over his figure and fretting over which flower to get him on Valentine’s day.

It is annoying, he decides. Much like Kuroo Tetsurou. It is already tiring enough that he has to endure teenager fantasies about him but Tadashi has to tell him every detail as well. Although Tsukishima has to admit, it could be his own fault that Tadashi tries to tell him everything about volleyball practice.

It has been two weeks and 6 classes but Tsukishima is yet to stay in the gym to watch Tadashi. He knows he is being selfish, he reallydoes. But it is hard to watch volleyball even if it’s only from the stands and even if it’s only volleyball for 6 year olds.

And presence of Kuroo has nothing to do with it.

Tsukishima sighs and places a bouquet of red roses in a high vase. His mind occupied, he doesn’t realize he isn’t alone until he slides the vase over the counter and comes face to face with one Kuroo Tetsurou. He recoils and yelps in surprise but thankfully the vase stays intact.

Kuroo laughs, his eyes shining. “A unique welcome, is it just for me?”

Tsukishima takes a deep breath to calm his frantic heartbeat. “You just surprised me...” he murmurs.

“So I am not special?” the other asks, his customary smirk playing at the corner of his lips.

Tsukishima adjusts his glasses to avoid looking at him. “What can I do for you?”

Something dark passes across his face before Kuroo smiles. “You can start by coming to volleyball classes”

“I’m sure Tadashi is doing fine.” He replies, taking the vase and carrying it towards the showcase. Behind him he can feel Kuroo’s eyes watching him. Tsukishima tries not to shiver.

“I wasn’t talking about Tadashi.” Kuroo says suggestively. “I was hoping you would come to watch me.”

Tsukishima suddenly straightens himself up and turns towards him. “What?!” he breathes out before he can stop himself.

His eyes take in Kuroo who is leaning leisurely against the counter. “I was hoping you would come to watch me.” He repeats slowly. As he tears himself away from the counter he continues “Then maybe we could chat more…” He takes a few steps towards Tsukishima, getting closer. “And maybe then…” he adds in a low voice, violating Tsukishima’s personal space.

Before he can stop himself Tsukishima’s eyes focus on Kuroo’s lips. “you would like to come…” Tsukishima blinks and looks up, freezing under Kuroo’s gaze. Up this close he can feel Kuroo’s warm breath on his cheeks and smell his aftershave. “and play with me..”

Tsukishima blinks again, shivering. “What?..” he croaks once again, confused.

Kuroo winks at him. “Volleyball.” He explains, not making any sense.

Upon seeing Tsukishima’s empty look he tilts his head a little and smiles “Maybe you would come and play volleyball with me. I’m starting a local team and Tadashi tells me you used to play. “

As words begin to make sense Tsukishima steps back in anger. “Yes, well” he says in a clipped tone. “Thank you but no.” He knows he shouldn’t be mad but when Kuroo looks at him with his stupid face… and what is he trying to do, anyway?! He passes Kuroo and walks briskly to the counter. “If you’re not here to purchase, I have to ask you to leave. “

He doesn’t turn to look but still hears the disappointment evidently in Kuroo’s voice. “Why are you afraid?”

Tsukishima makes a frustrated voice but doesn’t comment.

“I know I said this isn’t about Tadashi, but he would love to see you in practice.” Kuroo adds. “And who knows? You might discover there’s nothing to fear.”

For a second Tsukishima thinks of turning back and telling him off, yelling that he isn’t afraid, but before he can decide the door closes.

Chapter Text

Following week Tsukishima gets to see Kuroo a lot more. As if the universe knows his resentment, he and his ridiculous bed hair are everywhere. In the morning, as Tsukishima locks the door and Tadashi drags his sleepy body down the stairs, he ruffles Tadashi’s hair and greets them with a stupid smile. At noon he passes by the shop as Tsukishima organizes the flowers. And when Tsukishima brings Tadashi for class, he lingers outside.

Each time he sees Kuroo’s stupid face, Tsukishima gets more frustrated. It’s as if he is doing it on purpose! And with each encounter, it gets harder for Tsukishima to stop himself from yelling he isn’t afraid of a silly sport. He knows he made the right choice by moving on from volleyball. He does! And an obnoxious, handsome coach with an annoying smile can’t change that.

That late Sunday morning finds Tsukishima in his garden, tending to his roses. He goes through each leaf, cutting the sick or weak ones carefully. He knows he should be grateful, after all he didn’t see Kuroo’s stupid face this morning, but instead he is distracted.

Previous night, Tadashi told him how Coach Kuroo was having a match tomorrow and that he had invited the whole class to cheer them on. “Can we go?” was his immediate question as Tsukishima settled down on Tadashi’s bed with Alice in Wonderland on his lap. Tsukishima muttered a “maybe” while adjusting his son’s plush dinosaur and avoiding his gaze.

And now…he dreads the consequences.

Just as he is about to cut a healthy leaf, Tadashi runs in the garden. “Tsukki!” he yells, announcing his presence and making Tsukishima put down the scissors. “It’s almost time!”

Tsukishima stops himself before he can sigh and takes off his blue apron. He looks at Tadashi’s flushed face and shining eyes and decides that even if Tadashi’s interest is only a fleeting one and this match will be painful for Tsukishima, it’s still not worth to see disappointment on his son’s face.

“Yes,” he agrees, leaving his apron on a stool. “And get your red coat, it’s getting cold”

But Tadashi is already off.

Ten minutes later, now clad in his red coat, Tadashi skips happily beside Tsukishima. The open court Kuroo had described to him is only a few minutes away and as they come closer Tsukishima can see Kuroo’s figure stretching his long arms. Reflexively he swallows.

Ridiculous…

At the gate Tadashi greets Kuroo with a happy exclaim.

Avoiding him Tsukishima turns his head and takes in the other players on court, dressed up in either red or blue. It looks painfully familiar. The pre-match warm up, stretch and the nerves…

“Hey!”

Upon hearing the now familiar tone Tsukishima glances at Kuroo. “Hello.” He mutters, and then turns his eyes away from his bright red uniform, only to guide Tadashi by his shoulder towards the stands. Even without looking he knows there is a smirk on Kuroo’s stupid face.

Tadashi chats with his classmates and keeps gesturing, fidgeting in anticipation and by the time they find a suitable place to watch the game, it was just about to start.

Unconsciously his gaze focuses on Kuroo. As he takes his position, he looks at ease, like he owns the court. Tsukishima sneers briefly. Confidence doesn’t matter if you’re not ready, he thinks.

Opposing team gets to serve first and as the serve flies across the court in full force Tsukishima waits for Kuroo’s team to lose the point. However Kuroo, annoyingly so, proves him wrong.

Jumping across the field he reaches for the ball, making it to fly right up to the hands of their setter. Before the opposing team can move, the spiker with his weirdly shaved head jumps over the net and the ball slams against the other side in full force.

Excited voices rise around them and right beside him Tadashi yells in amazement.

Tsukishima takes a weak breath. That was a perfect receive. Before he can stop himself, his eyes track Kuroo across the court and he watches as Kuroo kneels and spreads his legs, getting in a receive position. And if his gaze lingers on Kuroo’s ridiculously toned legs, well…they are nice legs and you can’t really blame him.

The serve flies past Kuroo’s profile and Tsukishima’s gaze flickers to focus on the ball. As the opposing team attacks, Tsukishima can’t help but turn again to watch Kuroo.

As if he knows, Kuroo jumps right in front of Tsukishima’s line of vision, his long arms stretching over the net and causing the attack to turn into another point. The teams hug and the shaved head pats Kuroo’s back.

Tsukishima’s eye twitches as his heart constricts inside its cage. They do seem familiar, his brain supplies, unhelpfully so.

After that, the game becomes almost painful for Tsukishima. The more he tries to keep himself from looking at Kuroo, the more he seems to exist everywhere, blocking, spiking and receiving. With trepidation Tsukishima realizes he plays the same position as Kuroo.

No, Tsukishima used to play…

However watching volleyball doesn’t hurt as much as he thought it would, or it doesn’t hurt as much as watching Kuroo play. He tries to stay neutral but as the third set starts with Kuroo sweating and panting, his muscles twitching and his hair sticking at odd directions, it gets impossible to deny the fluttering of his heart and the shiver running down his spine.

If it was anyone else, Tsukishima thinks clenching his jaw, it would have been easier to resist. Then Kuroo spikes the ball with full force, causing a loud “bam!” to resonate on court, and despite his better judgment Tsukishima feels the nagging urge to be with him. On the court! Only on the court…

Shaking his head, Tsukishima takes a shuddering breath. Across the court the makeshift board reads 24-20, in favor of Kuroo’s team. It’s the match point and its Kuroo’s turn to serve.

Of course! Tsukishima can’t help but huff under his breath.

Then something unique happens.

The moment Kuroo gets in position; he lifts his head, looks right at Tsukishima and gives him a soft smile.

Why would he..? Without thinking Tsukishima lowers his gaze, feeling the heat spreading over his cheeks.  By the time he looks up, the serve is already flying across court. Not surprisingly the shaved head slams the match point loudly.

Having lost his concentration a few points into the third set, Tadashi is a little late at showing his excitement. Jumping down from his seat he asks excitedly but not entirely sure “They won?”

Tsukishima nods and they get up as the teams shake hands under the net. Tadashi applauds with the rest of the audience but Tsukishima stops himself. No need to encourage Kuroo. However judging by the customary smirk on Kuroo’s face, it isn’t working.

A few seconds later, they get down to the court and Tadashi takes off with his classmates, crowding the flashy shaved head spiker who boasts and laughs loudly. Tsukishima frowns in annoyance.

“So, you’ve come to watch me play after all.”

This time Tsukishima half turns towards Kuroo but keeps his eyes on Tadashi. “Tadashi wanted to” he says in the same neutral tone.

Sliding a white towel across his neck Kuroo laughs freely. “Yes, you keep telling me that.”

Tsukishima’s frown gets deeper. Before he can stop himself he is already turning to face Kuroo.

“What’s your point?!” he asks, anger slipping into his tone.

That annoying smirk is on Kuroo’s face again. “My point is,” he says taking a step closer to him. “you still like volleyball..” Tsukishima can’t stop his huff. “And…you like me.”

He blinks then opens his mouth to deny and shrug Kuroo’s stupid insights away but his voice leaves him.

With a shine in his eyes Kuroo smirks at him.  

“I don’t.” Tsukishima says, too late. He turns his eyes away but he doesn’t have to look to see triumph in Kuroo’s eyes.

Kuroo takes another step towards him and touches his arm slowly. “Our next match is in 2 weeks” he says, almost like it’s a secret. “If you want, you can come and watch me play again.”

Tsukishima can’t help but glance at his face. Their eyes meet and after a heart beat Kuroo leans a little bit into Tsukishima’s space and almost whispers his next words. “or you can come and play with me…Tsukki”

Tsukishima exhales shakily, his face burning. Trying to distance himself from his emotional turmoil, he takes a step back. “I…” he starts, his voice cracking.

Thankfully Tadashi chooses that moment to run up to them. As he approaches Kuroo turns away from Tsukishima and greets him by kneeling to his level.

Distracted, Tsukishima gazes at the crowd with unfocused eyes.

Playing volleyball again… That’s the most improbable thing. Since the last year of high school Tsukishima has left volleyball behind, buried and forgotten.

He shakes his head a little. That’s not really true though. It might have been buried but not forgotten. And seeing Kuroo play…well…Kuroo…

Tsukishima takes a shuttering breath. Exceptional.                                                                  

When he glances up he finds Kuroo and Tadashi watching him. Without thinking Tsukishima blurts out a “Maybe.”

Tadashi looks confused but once more Kuroo gives Tsukishima his genuine smile and for the first time in a while his heart skips a beat in excitement.

Chapter Text

After the match some things stay the same.

Every night at story time, Tadashi still pulls Alice in Wonderland with his little hands and asks Tsukishima to read it.  Every night Alice chases the rabbit, gets smaller then larger then smaller again and each night she walks amongst talking flowers, making Tadashi giggle when one of them calls her stupid. And every night Alice meets the Cheshire cat before it vanishes, his smirk lingering behind just for a moment.

Then, on some nights Tadashi asks Tsukishima if he ever chased a rabbit or if his flowers talk to him as well, or if he ever met a cat that smirks. Tsukishima smiles and tells him about the little rabbit at their garden when he was just  a child, whispers that yes, sometimes he feels like they talk to him and kisses Tadashi on top of his head, murmuring that maybe he has seen a talking cat as well.

However, some things change and Kuroo Tetsurou becomes a constant in Tsukishima’s life. In the mornings he walks with them to the kindergarten, at noon he comes by Tsukishima’s shop, always stealing his food and sometimes stealing his flowers and 3 days a week Tsukishima watches him as he teaches Tadashi volleyball.

Then on some days after volleyball practice, they sit at the park, Tadashi running after his volleyball and Kuroo finding stray cats to cuddle.

He tells Tsukishima about his old school, how he got into volleyball, how his best friend Kenma despite being very insightful at volleyball now works as a video game tester.

Then, at rare moments Tsukishima tells him about the time when Tadashi broke his wrist, how much his son enjoys Alice in Wonderland and how he had to go two towns to find a special seed.

So, the first time Tsukishima wakes up panting, images of Kuroo lingering in his mind, he can’t say that he is surprised. He is actually more baffled that it took him this long to dream about Kuroo. And, if it wasn’t for the absurd variety of his dream, it might have been enjoyable.

The dream starts relatively normal. He opens his eyes to find himself lying in his garden. His roses look a bit too red, every color vibrant and moving. Tsukishima gets to his feet quickly, only to come face to face with an enormous violet. Then the violet actually speaks.

“Who are you?”

Tsukishima takes a few steps back only to bump into a giant tiger lily. “Are you a flower?”

Before he can answer a rose fills his vision. “It doesn’t look like a flower” it concludes.

“I’m not!” Tsukishima tries to explain. But the violet is already talking. “If it is a flower, it’s a very ugly one.”

Tsukishima frowns. What was that supposed to mean?!

The tiger lily leans over him, obscuring his vision. “But if you are a flower, aren’t you afraid no one will take care of you?”

Once more Tsukishima tries to explain that he isn’t a flower but rose laughs in a high pitched voice. “Why? It doesn’t know if it likes him or likes the ball. It doesn’t even know what it is.”

Who? What ball?...

Just as he was thinking about it, a volleyball tumbles down the garden, passing by a little white rabbit and hurrying down the narrow path. As he watches, the rabbit stirs up in its sleep and suddenly there's Tadashi in its place, getting up and exclaiming “Look at the time!” before running after the ball.

Tadashi!

Amongst the loud laughter of flowers Tsukishima hurries after his son. “Tadashi!”

Little white ears flop ahead but Tadashi never turns back and each time Tsukishima gets close, the volleyball tumbles faster, Tadashi hops further and Tsukishima keeps on chasing, until he comes up to a crossroad. Just up ahead, under a crooked sign the ball rests lonely.

“Tadashi!” he yells once more, his voice echoing in the empty clearing. In a hurry, he approaches the ball but before he can grab it, it levitates and then hangs in the air. Slowly almost as if someone is unraveling a piece of clothing, an arm appears around the ball, followed by a wide smirk, then a long tail, a torso, a head and fluffy cat ears. Within seconds Tsukishima finds himself face to face with a smirking Kuroo, only he looks like…the Cheshire cat?

“Hello!” the dream Kuroo greets him, much like the real one does.

Before he can stop himself Tsukishima confesses “I don’t know which way to go. Do you?”

Kuroo shrugs and sends the ball upwards, only to catch it with his tail. “It depends…” he says pleasantly. “Where do you wanna go?”

Fascinated, Tsukishima watches as Kuroo moves the volleyball across his body. “I don’t know” he admits at last.

The dream Kuroo or maybe he really is the Cheshire cat, stops and disappears into thin air, the ball falling and hitting the ground with a soft thud. Before Tsukishima can even move a muscle, his smirk appears right beside Tsukishima’s cheek.

“Then,” Kuroo breathes at Tsukishima’s ear. “Does it really matter?”

As his body also materializes, his tail wraps around Tsukishima’s wrist and turns him. “The destination doesn’t matter” he whispers. “if you like the ride.”

Letting him go, the cat Kuroo disappears once again, only to materialize around the ball. “Do you?” he asks “Do you like the ride?”

Tsukishima frowns “I don’t,…I don’t know!”

As cat Kuroo turns into thin air slowly, his smirk gets wider. “Do you?” he asks one more time.

Finding himself in a sudden panic, Tsukishima takes a step forward. “Don’t!” he yells just before that familiar smirk disappears after a final “Do you?” echoing from his lips.

When Tsukishima looks around, he realizes the ball is also gone.

“Don’t leave…” he whispers, looking at the clearing with unseeing eyes. 

Almost immediately the smirk appears and halts before him, making Tsukishima jump in surprise.

“I’ll be there when you wake up.” It says sincerely.  Then growing even wider it laughs “Bye, bye, meow!”

Tsukishima wakes up in cold sweat, his heart beating ferociously.

That night Tsukishima doesn’t sleep much, instead he sits in his garden thinking about his past, Tadashi, his decisions and Kuroo. As the morning ticks closer with each second, his resolve gets stronger and by the time the first light illuminates his garden, Tsukishima is already impatient. And that’s maybe why, when he sees Kuroo that morning, he blurts the first thing that comes to his mind.

 “I had a dream about you last night”

They are standing on their respective porches on an early morning, Kuroo is drinking his morning coffee while trying to tame his wild hair and Tsukishima can’t believe he actually said that.

For just a second Kuroo freezes, then chuckling he winks at Tsukishima. “Soo was I any good?” he asks suggestively.

Mortified with his idiocy, Tsukishima glares and turns to close the door to Kuroo’s face but other’s sincere laugh and pleading stop him.

“Wait, I’m sorry,” Kuroo starts, cradling his coffee mug. “I shouldn’t have-“

Tsukishima looks at Kuroo and remembers his dream. It’s true, he supposes, the destination doesn’t matter when you like the ride.

“I meant to say,” he stops Kuroo’s speech. “That I’ll join the team and play with you.”

Surprised, Kuroo stops speaking. “Ooh..” he breathes quietly.

Now directly facing Kuroo, Tsukishima pushes himself to go on. “And I…maybe I like you as well”

As he watches Kuroo’s eyes light up and when he smiles, it’s nothing like the Cheshire cat’s.

It is real.