Kageyama was only half dressed when he heard it: the soft click of a camera followed by a bright flash of light from his bedroom window. Kageyama tugged his undershirt on instantaneously. He turned to face the intruder, expecting some forty-year-old, garrulous dimwit, only to find a gorgeous bloke about his age casually leaning on the railing of his balcony. An expensive-looking camera was innocently hanging at his hip, still attached to its owner by the lengthy shoulder strap.
Kageyama knew he should have been outraged at such an invasion of privacy, and he most certainly was because any guy would be at least a bit miffed by someone taking indecent pictures of him outside his own bedroom window, but with the silvery moonlight illuminating the scene, highlighting the man’s undeniably attractive facial features, Kageyama’s reasonable outrage intermingled with equally reasonable embarrassment and far less reasonable stomach butterflies. With the damn things fluttering restlessly in his belly at the sight of the stunning blonde, Kageyama caught himself imitating an angry, flustered fish. The gangly guy on his balcony carefully corrected his glasses and posture, revealing a sparkle in his eyes and about four previously unnoticed centimeters of his height. Kageyama felt his cheeks heating up and tried to reason with the butterflies that just because someone was beautiful, it did not give them the right to take photographs of him without his consent.... right? The stunning stranger gave a condescending smirk before bringing Kageyama back to reality with the words:
“Hello, my name is Tsukishima Kei from Karasuno Monthly Sports Magazine. I’m here for your interview.” Kageyama’s fish impression was immediately marred by a dark frown of distaste. Of course. Of fucking course the hot guy at his bedroom window would be there for an interview. Why would he be there for anything else with a camera around his neck and a shit-eating smirk like that? Kageyama had clearly watched one too many romcoms.
Honestly, Kageyama was a bit surprised something like this hadn’t happened before. Ever since he had become a member of one of Japan’s most successful men’s volleyball teams, the media had been hounding him with incredible intensity. Sure, plenty of paparazzi had followed him straight to his front door, but, nevertheless, this was the first time one was persistent enough to show up at his bedroom window long after the rest had left.
The intruder’s name had sounded familiar though, and sifting through his memories of the day, Kageyama vaguely recognized him as the same handsome blonde who had, among many others, pestered him for an interview after his team had won a particularly grueling match.
Kageyama walked over to his window. Said window was almost the size of a door and was only identifiable as a window by the presence of a windowsill a foot up from the floor. Perhaps if the architect of his house hadn't been so conflicted on whether he wanted to make a door to a balcony or a window to the backyard, Kageyama wouldn’t have ended up with a window to a balcony that allowed for nosey paparazzi blondes to lounge smugly on his railing and ask for interviews at ungodly hours of the night.
“I told you I was too tired to give an interview, so you thought it was a great idea to follow me home and receive the same answer at my bedroom window?” snapped Kageyama, knowing full well that due to the shitty sound insulation the other could hear him as clear as day.
Tsukishima looked unperturbed.
“Well, your exact words were, ‘I’m too tired for this; if you’re going to interview me it’s going to be when I’m at home and preferably asleep.’ Since I’ve met your defining condition, it would be courteous of you to oblige me Your Highness.”
The blonde gave Kageyama the sort of self-satisfied smile that screamed ‘I’m right and you know it.’ Kageyama really wanted to scream, ‘I’m tired and you piss me off,’ right back at the late night visitor. And what was with calling him Your Highness?
Kageyama’s glare intensified.
“Don’t call me that.”
“Your Highness? But you are the King of the Court, are you not? It’s only right that a lowly commoner such as myself refers to you by your given title.” The mocking tone was doing nothing to help curb Kageyama’s temper. Playing games was he? Kageyama could play games just fine, damn it.
“Well a lowly commoner like you also shouldn’t be disrupting my sleep schedule.”
“What can I say? Duty calls.” Tsukishima gave a careless shrug and proceeded to whip out a mechanical pencil and notepad from somewhere behind him, sitting himself down on the balcony floor as if he had won the argument and was prepared to listen. Kageyama crossed his arms stubbornly to show that he was not going to be swayed by some moonlit mystery man showing up at his window like an aspiring Prince Charming.
“You’re ridiculous. You actually climbed two stories to do this?”
“No, I flew. Of course I climbed, Your Majesty. You have a very conveniently placed tree; it’d be a shame not to take advantage.” As Tsukishima sniped at him, Kageyama found himself kneeling, if only because standing took more effort. He rested his arms on the windowsill, giving the wayward prince a half-hearted glare. His glare was promptly deflected and dismantled by an unexpectedly charming smile. Kageyama turned his head to the side, trying to hide the unwanted pink tinge to his cheeks. Damn Prince Charming and his shitty smiles. Glancing back at Tsukishima, he found him snickering.
Kageyama was so going to cut down that tree.
On the other side of the glass, Tsukishima was finding endless amusement in his latest assignment. Not only was the man easy on the eyes, which Tsukishima could definitely appreciate, the raven-haired King of the Court was so easy to fluster that Tsukishima had wasted no time turning him into an adorable grumbling mess. Anyone else in the king’s shoes would have already filed a lawsuit and issued a restraining order against Tsukishima; in fact, he or she would have probably had them ready to give out like Halloween candy before he even showed up. However, it had been ten minutes already and there was still no lawsuit in sight. Instead, Tsukishima watched in delight as the sports star went through several shades of red and muttered quietly to himself.
“What was that Your Highness?” Tsukishima teased. The other’s mumbling got louder, but did not get any easier to understand. The young journalist wasn’t sure if Kageyama was giving his consent or insulting his mother.
“I still can’t hear you, King.”
“I said okay! I’ll give you what you want, dumbass! Just get off my property when you’re done and don’t come back again!” Kageyama yelled full volume, rattling the window. Tsukishima almost flinched away in surprise before smirking and taunting him once again.
“Sheesh, King, wouldn’t want to wake the neighbors, would we? They could get the wrong idea if you yell things like that.” Tsukishima was not going to deny that he got a kick out of seeing Kageyama’s cheeks turn pink. It was a good look on him.
Then again, everything was a good look on a man like that.
Tsukishima swatted the thought away and interrupted Kageyama’s angered spluttering with his first question, assuming a professional tone.
“So, Kageyama Tobio, how do you feel about today’s game? Are you pleased at your victory, or were you expecting it?” Kageyama took a moment to calm down and think before replying, and soon enough, their exchange almost resembled a typical interview. Tsukishima couldn’t help but poke fun at Kageyama’s more sentimental replies, such as when he answered questions about his teammates. There was something about the way Kageyama spoke about his teammates, people that Kageyama cared for and appreciated, that summoned an infestation of what felt like Monarch butterflies in Tsukishima’s stomach and an unreasonable desire to be one of those people. To be someone for whom the King’s voice softened and face lit up in a smile. It was embarrassing, and Tsukishima divested of the root of the problem by mocking it.
Working his way down a lengthy list of questions, Tsukishima found that the closer he got to the end, the more personal the questions became, and the arguments occurred with more and more frequency. Time slipped away during those verbal sparring matches, and Kageyama’s responses were gradually becoming more and more mellow and quiet. Almost three-fourths of the way through, Tsukishima asked a question, only to receive no answer. He looked up from his notebook to the sight of the King of the Court passed out on his windowsill.
Tsukishima frowned, considering waking him up and reprimanding him for falling asleep like that. However, the quiet rise and fall of Kageyama’s chest and the peaceful look on his face as he slept was tugging on all of Tsukishima’s heartstrings at once and he decided to leave it be. He had kept him up awfully late after all. Glancing down at his watch told him that it was an entire hour past midnight. It might not have seemed like very late for Tsukishima himself, but considering that the King said in his interview that he had been going to bed at ten in order to get up well-rested at five, the journalist felt a pang of guilt. The setter was going to be running on four hours of sleep tomorrow, and it was all Tsukishima’s fault.
He stowed away his paper and pencil and picked up his camera. Another look at Kageyama’s resting form urged him to capture the quiet moment. With another click and a flash, Tsukishima satisfied the urge and threw a leg over the balcony railing, climbing his way down the large sturdy tree branches. With one last look at the balcony Tsukishima headed off in the direction of the nearest bus stop, making himself a silent promise to come back tomorrow.
After all, he hadn’t finished the interview.