Shouyou is excited
Which is entirely too common. Shouyou’s almost always excited. He’s just that type of person. And this is volleyball, so it would be more surprising if he wasn’t excited.
But as it is he’s really excited. Fired up excited. So excited he’s bouncing on his toes, almost jumping into the air every 5 seconds. Kageyama is glaring at him, not because he’s angry, surprisingly, but because he’s trying to remind him to calm down.
“Just a little bit,” Kageyama hisses out the side of his mouth. “You’re too damn obvious.”
This makes him stop for a second and pause, because he does suppose he being a little too excited for volleyball. Because Shouyou isn’t just excited about volleyball. No, there’s something else, someone else, that’s making him so excited. Kenma.
Just thinking of his name conjures that feeling. That swooping in Shouyou’s stomach that feels like coming down after a spike.The rush of a high just as it begins to fade. The fall after flying. A feeling that can be only described as Whoosh!
“You’re doing it again, calm down dumbass.” Kageyama is hissing at him again.
Shouyou glances sideways, catching Kageyama’s eye and nods.
“I am trying you know, but it’s hard,” He hisses back.
“Try harder!” Kageyama whisper shouts.
This earns a look from Ennoshita from where he’s minding the first years, in a way that’s reminiscent of Suga.
“Could you two not get in each other's face for five minutes?” Ennoshita reprimands, “We have guests so we need to look at least like a team.”
Tanaka smirks from behind Ennoshita, not because he agrees, but because they’ve successfully created a diversion for Nishinoya and Kinoshita to slip around the corner to do .. something. Shouyou honestly has no idea, except it possibly involves the Girls’ Basketball Team training.
Shouyou decides to ignore Kageyama now, since he’s absolutely useless at anything other than drawing attention to him and his excitement.
“Idiot” Shouyou mutters under his breath. He thinks, instead, of Kenma and the first time he felt that whoosh feeling.
It was training camp, just over a year ago. And Shouyou, as expected, was racing Kageyama. There were going up a hill, and Shouyou felt the energy surge through his body, pushing him to go just that little bit further, go just a little faster. Gain that extra millimetre, extra centimetre, extra metre on Kageyama. He didn’t realise quite how fast or far he had gone until he stopped. And had absolutely no clue where he was. Everything was different, but in that weird way where you thought you recognised something, the way that everything was similar but not familiar.
Glancing around he suddenly noticed someone sitting on low wall. The person, no boy, was staring at his phone. Shouyou could hear the faint sounds of a game, and seeing as he had nothing better to do while he waited for someone to find him, he decided to investigate (interrogate) this boy.
“That looks fun!” He exclaimed, bounding up to peer over the boy’s shoulder. The boy turned, flicking blond hair out of his face, and looked at Shouyou, then glanced away and back down.
“Oh .. er .. I guess, it’s just a way to pass the time really.”
The boy spoke like that, in slow measured pauses. It made Shouyou just a little impatient, but in the 10 or so minutes they spoke he managed to get the important details from the boy. Namely, His name was “Kozume . . . . Kozume Kenma” and he played volleyball as a setter. The other important thing, which Shouyou wouldn’t realise until later, was when Kenma looked at Shouyou, really looked at him, Shouyou’s stomach went Whoosh.
It kept happening, that Whoosh feeling. At first he didn’t notice, because he usually saw Kenma at volleyball games, he just assumed it was the side effect of volleyball. But then it happened when he got that first text back. His phone had chimed and as soon as he saw the number, Whoosh. It happened for every text after that. It happened when he saw Kenma, talked to Kenma, talked about Kenma, thought about Kenma. It was a bit of a revelation when he finally noticed, for about 2 minutes, then he freaked out.
Thoughts of “What will Kenma think?!” and “Oh My God, What if everyone else finds out?!” spun around and around his brain, until Natsu had come in and exclaimed “Sho-chan! Stop staring at the wall, and play with me!”
He had tried to not think of it since then but he couldn’t deny it, especially not when they went to the week long Tokyo training camp. Every moment that he could he spent with Kenma. His stomach felt in almost constant free fall, but he didn’t mind, not at all. It was not long after the match with Shiratorizawa that he told Kageyama. Or rather Kageyama found out, somehow, and confronted Shouyou about what he was gonna do and how he was going tell Kenma. Shouyou was still glad they’d been practising alone because Kageyama almost shouted it out, at the most inappropriate moment too. He had been so stunned he forgot they were in the middle of practising receives and got knocked down by Kageyama’s serve. Since then Kageyama was the only one he had told, and he’d filled him in a little on Kenma and what he was like (Kageyama would say differently and tell you that Hinata “basically gushes about him”).
Shouyou is startled out of his reverie by the sounds of an engine cutting out. They’re here. Kenma’s here! His brain almost screams excitedly, and Shouyou is buzzing with excitement.
“Why didn’t you warn me Kageyama?” He asks of the grumpy setter.
“You’d stopped bouncing so I didn’t want to you to look like more of an idiot.” Is the reply. Shouyou turns to glare at him and retort when he hears the bus doors open. He’s bouncing on his feet again as he strains to catch a glimpse of Kenma. Instead he sees Lev knock his head and fall down the steps, followed by Yamamoto, who’s glaring upwards at the back of Lev’s head. It’s an endless 10 seconds before he sees Kenma near the steps through the windscreen. He can’t help the “Gwah!” that escapes his lips before he rushes forward, bowling Kenma a few steps backwards in his urgency. Shouyou hugs him tightly, peering up at Kenma’s face. His stomach is sky diving, until he feels Kenma step backwards awkwardly, only moments before Kageyama yanks him backwards by the back of his shirt.
“We’re meant to be lining up, Dumbass” Kageyama hisses, furious.
Shouyou realises exactly how he looked, rushing to Kenma. Like he couldn’t keep away, like he needed to get to Kenma that instant. His excitement comes to a crashing halt , jarring all his thoughts to a stop. He stands completely still, panicking. Shouyou’s thoughts circle around in a loop. He can think of nothing except for whether everyone noticed, whether Kenma is freaking out, what Kenma thinks, what everyone thinks. There’s a sharp tug on his shirt that brings him back to reality. Kageyama is looking at him, half furious and half concerned. Shouyou gives a shrug then pulls himself together, focusing on the things he can hear around him. Like the sound of Ennoshita interrogating Tanaka.
“Tanaka, where are Nishinoya and Kinoshita?”
“I don’t know they just disap-”
“Tanaka you’re more see through than rice paper. For the last time, where are they?”
“They went to the Girls’ Basketball Training.”
“Right, watch the first years and try not to scare them by doing any of your usual stupid antics.”
“When have I ever done that.”
“Don’t give me that look Ennoshita.”
“Would you like me to compile a list, or do you want the highlights, sorry, lowlights?”
He listens to the sound of Yachi and Yamaguchi laughing and talking, punctuated by long sighs from Tsukishima. The sound of Nekoma trying to organise themselves. By the time they need to line up, Shouyou has stopped the panic, his thoughts returning to normal, and the excitement has returned, undeterred.
The rush of anticipation that comes with playing volleyball makes every moment from the teams lining up to the moment they start the first set a blur. But then the whistle blows, and Shouyou is lost. He’s lost to anything other than volleyball, all he can think of is the next moment when his hands will touch the ball. He no longer cares if the touch happens through a spike, receive or even a block, he just loves the brief contact, and the red sting that follows. The telltale tingling in his nerves where the ball touches sets him on a high.
Despite this, Shouyou is still aware of Kenma’s eyes on him, the weight of them rarely leaving. It’s almost comforting, the feel of them, or more the knowledge that Kenma is watching him. The whoosh feeling happens only when Shouyou looks back though. Almost as if his stomach is acknowledging the connection, giving a thumbs up of sorts. Still, he doesn’t look that often, he’s too focused on the game. Although he does see Kenma almost get hit with a spike from Tanaka and loses his concentration for a moment, a flash of worry stealing his thoughts.
The sets are long, tiring both teams, draining their stamina. By the time they’re nearing the match point of the third set, the fatigue is starting to show. Karasuno is pulling the last of it’s energy into winning, but so is Nekoma. Shouyou throws himself upwards, only to see Kageyama do a dump. It earns them match point but he can’t help but huff under his breath. He wants to end this, he wants to earn that final point, he wants to earn as many points as possible, if only so he can touch the ball one last time. His eyes follow the serve as it sails cleanly over the net, as soon as he sees the receive go up from Ennoshita off Yamamoto’s spike he’s running.
“Let me finish this, I know I can do it” He thinks frantically to Kageyama, pushing everything into one last jump. And there it is, the ball, it spins and then it stops, right in front of his eyes. He can see everything, the other side of the court is open wide to him. And there’s Kenma, eyes wide, staring at him. The seconds stretch out, each one an eternity as Shouyou cannot tear his eyes away from Kenma. The court is no longer open, he can’t see anything but Kenma. Tunneling his vision as if Kenma is the light at the end. He could be deaf for all he knows, because there is nothing but white noise in his mind.
It’s Shouyou and Kenma, the only ones in the world, the only ones who matter. And then his stomach drops, and his hand swings, a pendulum signaling the return of reality and time passing. The balls nips past Kenma, ruffling his hair gently, a perfect shot that hits the very end of the court before bouncing out. But Shouyou couldn’t care less, he doesn’t even feel the sting in his hand. Because Kenma is still staring, and Shouyou wants him to never stop. He wants to bottle this feeling, freeze this moment in time forever.
Then a sharp pain blooms in his shoulder, someone has slapped him. He hears cheers, deafening, and the fog in his brain lifts. They’ve won and his spike did it. He turns with Kenma still staring. But Shouyou can’t keep looking at him now, though every part of him wants to.
Excitement tingles at his fingertips, as Shouyou watches his team celebrate. Nekoma are their fated rivals and any win against them, even in a practice match, is a cause for cheers and pride. But Nekoma aren’t enemies and they spill over from their side, crossing the net, congratulating Karasuno with the promise of ‘this is the last time you win’ in their eyes. Even the first years are getting into it, but Shouyou only has eyes for Kenma.
“I think that now is the right time” Kageyama’s quiet suggestion startles Shouyou, but he gives a quick nod. It makes sense, everyone is distracted and there was that moment before.
Catching Kenma’s eye, he gives a small nod towards the exit and rushes out into the spring air. His stomach is starting to go a little crazy, but he realises he doesn’t know if Kenma will follow. Shouyou pauses, hurriedly thinking of excuses as to why he is loitering around when he sees Kenma step out of the gym. His stomach swoops dramatically and he stumbles forward, turning the corner as he heads towards the back of the gym.
He discovered the spot only a few weeks ago. Shouyou had been practicing aiming his serve and Kageyama had been serving against the wall. He may or may not have aimed the serve at Kageyama, specifically his head. He also may or may not have added a little extra power and got a perfect shot. The upshot was he had a angry Kageyama out for blood, his blood. Shouyou really did not want another volleyball to his head or worse, so he ran and hid behind the gym. Kageyama had not been able to find him and gave up. (He still got a volleyball to the head the next morning)
Shouyou bounces on his feet, twisting his fingers, as he waits for Kenma. Just as he’s contemplating going back Kenma stumbles round the corner and into Shouyou. Instinctively his hands fly out, steadying Kenma. Kenma straightens, looking at him and he knows he should move his hands but can’t seem to make them move, so they stay.
He looks at Kenma, at his eyes, and the silence stretches between them. Then Kenma laughs, a soft sound that startles Shouyou. He glances around, sure someone has heard.
“What’s so funny” his voice is a cautious whisper, soft but nervous, he doesn’t want to break this moment.
“The last time you looked at me .. like that, you almost knocked my head off” Kenma mumbles, tilting his head and glancing at the wall, a touch of pink on his cheeks. Shouyou giggles, a light sound tinged with nervousness. His thoughts are racing.
“Oh, well I think you’re safe now”, he teases, “unless you’d like me to do it again.” His heartbeat flutters in his chest, tension thrumming through his limbs
“No, no, I happen to rather like my head where it is” Kenma answers, looking at him again
And with that look Shouyou can’t help the “Me too” that slips from his lips.
His stomach drops but the feeling is no longer quite simply excitement anymore. Kenma is eyeing him through his fringe and he can feel the weight of what he has said in the air, in the way heat is flooding his cheeks, and in those gold eyes as silence engulfs them again. Shouyou is intensely aware of his hands on Kenma’s arms
Kenma is looking at him again and his stomach Whooshes and he almost stumbles forward with the rush of want that floods his body.
“Kenma” Shouyou starts, meaning to something, anything, but the rough way it comes out stops him. His breath catches in his throat as his eyes flicker briefly between Kenma’s widened golden eyes and his lips. Shouyou’s mouth is dry and he doesn’t miss the way Kenma watches him lick his lips.
“Shouyou” Kenma begins but Shouyou doesn’t need to hear the end. He doesn’t care what Kenma was going to say, maybe he’ll ask later, he doesn’t know, he doesn’t care. All he cares about is the here and now, and how he can’t stand the distance between them so he closes it. Kenma’s lips are as soft as they looked and the closeness of him feels so natural. Kenma’s hands tangle in his hair, loosening a soft sigh held within, and his own hand cups Kenma’s jaw, wrapping blond silken strands around his fingers. Kenma pushes in closer and Shouyou uses his other hand to eliminate any space left between them. His stomach is doing loops, and he feels like he’s in constant free fall. He’s flying high and he never wants to come down.
Shouyou could stay like this forever but eventually he pulls away, breath coming out in stutters and he can’t help but stare at Kenma. He just kissed Kenma Kozume, he just kissed Kenma Kozume. He feels so lucky and Kenma is looking at him like he is the centre of his world, eyes shining and cheeks flushed, and he feels so lucky. Shouyou’s thoughts struggle to form coherent sentences, and one thought jars everything to a halt
‘He should ask Kenma out’
Shouyou can’t look at him when him manages to whisper
“Will you . . will you be my .. um .. boyfriend?”
Kenma laughs, a nervous sound that sounds a little false. Shouyou sucks in a breath.
“Of course” he mumbles, head turned away but giving a small nod all the same
Tentatively reaching his hand out to brush Kenma’s, he mumbles “I think we should go back now.”
Kenma nods and turns away and for a moment a spark of fear trickles down Shouyou’s spine before he feels the light brush of fingers against his hand. He snatches the fingers before they can leave and slips their palms together. It feels as though their hands were made to fit each other's . His stomach swoops contentedly.
They are halfway to the gym when the inner debate starts:
‘I knows Kenma isn’t entirely comfortable with PDA but he hasn’t taken his hand away so maybe this is okay?’
‘But maybe Kenma wants to pull away but I’m not letting him. Maybe I should stop holding Kenma’s hand?’
‘But then Kenma might think I’m embarrassed to be seen with him and I don’t want that. And his hand is warm and it feels so nice to hold his hand.’
‘So I should keep holding his hand? What if Kenma expects me to know that he doesn’t want to show the team and Kenma thinks that I don’t care and starts hating me?’
It goes like this, back and forth, forth and back, and back and forth again. His hand starts to sweat a little but he’s so lost in his own internal monologue that he doesn’t notice. He finally returns to reality only when they are standing in the doorway of the gym. Kageyama is hovering by the door setting against the wall, waiting, for him he realises.
Kageyama glances up, and stares at Shouyou with blank horror. He is just about to glare at him, since ‘wasn’t this his idea in the first place the dumbass, how dare he look at him like that’, when Kageyama’s eyes flick downward and Shouyou realises what a giant mistake he has just made.
He’s still holding Kenma’s hand. In full view of both Karasuno and Nekoma, for all to see.
His face is a mirror of the horror on Kageyama’s and Kenma has gone completely still beside him. Everyone is beginning to turn around and Kenma is shaking, his body trembling with the sudden anxiety. Shouyou is cursing himself but he can’t do anything because the horror has him frozen.
Kageyama falls to the floor
He just falls. No preamble, seemingly no reason to it. He simply drops. Falls and just lies on the floor, face blank, completely impassive as everyone stares at him. Nekoma and Karasuno are still, united in their utter confusion. A pause, silence and held breath, then
“Ow. My ankle.” Kageyama’s voice is as blank as his face, devoid of any emotion.
Kenma is still shaking, but Shouyou can hear silent giggles escaping from his lips and the lets loose the breath he didn’t know he was holding. Give a quick squeeze of Kenma’s hand before letting go he stumbles forward.
“I’ll help you dumbass” Shouyou declares, thanking the volleyball gods that Kageyama isn’t that much of a idiot after all. Wrapping an arm around Kageyama’s shoulder he half drags the taller boy towards the bench.
“Limp, look convincing Kageyama” He hisses, corner of his mouth quirked up at the sight of the irritated look that flashes across Kageyama’s face
“I just saved you, shut up or I’ll demand early practice.” Kageyama snaps under his breath, no bite to the words.
As they slide onto the bench, Yachi gives Kageyama a conspiratorial wink before clapping her hands and calmly suggesting that the teams pack up now. Shouyou gives Kageyama a look, narrowing his eyes, which Kageyama avoids.
“Did you tell Yachi, or did you tell Yachi?” He demands in a whisper. The teams are distracted but he isn’t taking any risks.
“She noticed you leaving and I had to tell her. Calm down, she only wants to help.” Kageyama shoots back
“I have no problem with Yachi, she’s nice, and subtle, unlike someone.” Shouyou snaps softly.
Shouyou catches a Nekoma first year trip over a ball in his haste, as he surveys the clean up effort, still wary of the teams noticing. His eyes catch on Kenma who gives him a small smile. His stomach whooshes softly, spreading a content happy glow through his body. He misses Kageyama’s reply, and the way Yachi shoots him a look for being slightly too loud about it too. His excitement has transformed from a raging thing, something that demands movement and action, to a quiet calm, a thing that spells more to come. And Shouyou doesn’t mind waiting at all.
Kenma is worth it.