It was the middle of August, and the sun burned bright in the sky when Daichi and his family arrived at the beach. “The hottest day of the year” the man on the radio had said, and he’d never been happier to step out of the car where he’d been sitting for the previous 3 hours. His sister jumped off the car next to him and stretched while yawning loudly, and the two of them followed their parents, dragging their luggage in to the beautiful, air-conditioned reception of the hotel.
His sister tapped her feet while waiting for their parents to check in, which was starting to annoy him. He kicked her feet gently. “Will you stop it, Chiyuki?”
She pouted. “I want to go to the beach already”
“We will, just have some patience, will you?”
She sighed and slumped back in the waiting chair. Five minutes later she was tapping her foot again. Daichi sighed, about to complain again, when he was cut off by a “Sawamura?”
The both of them turned at the mention of their surname, and Daichi gaped at the sight. Before them was the one and only Kuroo Tetsurou, Nekoma’s captain, wearing big sunglasses on his messy hair and an unflattering Hawaiian shirt, and carrying an enormous beach umbrella.
“Kuroo?” Daichi said, standing up, and the other captain grinned, obviously pleased at being recognized. (Although, with that hair, who wouldn’t). He stepped closer and offered him his hand.
“It’s good to see you here, Mr Captain” Kuroo smirked, and Daichi felt the same excitement he felt before games rising in him like a fire. He couldn’t help but smile back.
“It’s good to see you too.” He answered, and as he shook his hand, he had the feeling that this was going to be quite an interesting summer.
“I can’t believe a country boy like you would spend his summer in a place like this” Kuroo mentioned, floating face up in the water while Daichi sat on the edge of the pool. He used his foot to splash water on Kuroo, who covered his eyes with his hands to avoid it.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” he asked, and Kuroo just shrugged.
“I don’t know, many of my friends spend their vacations at the country, and since you already live in the country, I thought you’d stay there, help with the farm or something?”
“What kind of logic is that, you asshole?” Daichi grunted. “I don’t even live in a farm”
Kuroo hummed “You looked like you could live in one, though.” He said, looking at him from head to toes, and Daichi felt himself redden. “It’s a compliment, don’t look at me like that” Kuroo chuckled.
“How the hell is that a compliment?” Daichi muttered, and Kuroo laughed.
“Sorry, sorry” he said, but he was still smiling, and Daichi felt the corners of his mouth lift up. “It’s just that I still can’t believe you’re here. You really surprised me, Sawamura. It was a good surprise, don’t worry” he added, winking at Daichi.
If his cheeks turned pink at that, it was probably from being in the sun for too long, and nothing to do with the pounding of his heart.
It turned out that Kuroo’s mum worked at the hotel, so Kuroo spent every summer there, except for this one summer when Bokuto had joined him (“It was Epic” he stated, with the most serious look on his face that Daichi had ever seen). After that first meeting at the pool, they agreed to hang out more, and before they knew it they’d fallen into a routine.
Every morning, Daichi would go on a morning jog with Kuroo, and they’d have breakfast together and wait until Daichi’s family finished getting ready for the day. Kuroo often wandered off by himself, while Daichi followed his father and his sister to wherever they wanted to go that day, and in the afternoon, he and Kuroo would laze around the pool, wasting time until dinner. And no matter how much Kuroo teased him or how much we wanted to find him insufferable, he looked forward to their meetings every day, and seeing Kuroo’s eyes lighten up when he caught sight of him was worth every second of the wait.
On the fifth day they were spending the morning at the beach, his mother reading the newspaper and his father and sister making a complicated sand castle while Daichi chatted on his phone, when something blocked the sun from him and made look up. Kuroo was in front of him, panting, wearing only his swimsuit and his sunglasses on his hair. Daichi didn’t even have time to stare before Kuroo was screaming.
“Boy, are you ok?” Daichi’s mother asked, raising an eyebrow, and Kuroo blushed in embarrassment.
“Yes ma’am. Sorry ma’am.” He said, and then addressed Daichi again, this time in a quieter tone. “Sawamura, you’re not gonna believe this, I ran here as fast as I could”
“Kuroo slow down” Daichi said, putting his phone away and giving Kuroo his whole attention. “What’s wrong?”
“Wrong? Ha!” Kuroo laughed a bit hysterically. “Nothing’s wrong, Sawamura, on the contrary, something is VERY right.”
“Just spill it!”
Kuroo grinned, and Daichi felt his blood rush with excitement as he waited for the answer. “There’s a beach volleyball tournament down the beach and they’re letting any pair sign up”
Daichi inhaled sharply, and looked at his mother with pleading eyes. She sighed, and said “Just go” she said, and Daichi didn’t need to be told twice. He let Kuroo help him up and bolted after him towards the place where the tournament was being held.
“I can’t believe we’re going to be able to play!” smiled Daichi, and Kuroo nodded with excitement. “Wait, have you ever played beach volleyball?”
Kuroo turned to grin at him “Nope!” he said, without stopping his run. “But who cares? The concept is the same, and it’ll be fun, the two of us on the same team. How hard can it be, really?”
In the end, it turned out that beach volleyball was harder than they thought. The two of them fought hard against everything, and with Daichi’s receives and Kuroo’s blocks they managed to get to semifinals, losing to a pair of foreign sister who moved like the sand was their second home. They shook hands respectfully, and after that the two of them lied on their backs to watch the last games, but none of them were paying much attention to the court.
“I feel like I’ve run a marathon” Daichi groaned, and Kuroo nodded in agreement.
“I feel like I’ve run four”
“Remind me to never go along with your ideas again”
“I’d be offended but I’m too tired for that” Kuroo shot back, and he shifted so his face was buried into Daichi’s stomach. “Right now, I want to stay here forever”.
Feeling the weight of Kuroo’s head on top of him, Daichi closed his eyes and relaxed. Lying in the sand forever didn’t sound like such a bad idea after all, not if it meant they got to stay like this some more.
Kuroo’s mum had Sundays off, so both their families agreed to go out on the town for dinner. After all, Daichi’s parents wanted to properly meet the boy Daichi had been spending so much time with, and he imagined that was true for Kuroo’s mum as well. They agreed to meet at the reception at 8, and while they waited, Daichi scratched the collar of the button-down shirt his mum had made him wear, feeling dumb and overdressed. That is, until Kuroo arrived with his mother, and Daichi started feeling dumb and underdressed. Because Kuroo, who was all awkward handshakes and polite smiles, was wearing a tie. An actual tie. Daichi gulped and tried to smile normally, greeting Kuroo’s mother politely, and praying that Kuroo wouldn’t notice how much that was affecting him.
They fell into step together as they walked towards the restaurant, their sister close by taking pictures of the city and asking Kuroo questions about his volleyball, about his hair, about his grades, and everything. His sister went ahead to tell her parents how smart Kuroo was, and Daichi chuckled, seeing them get along so well.
Kuroo looked at him and gave him a lopsided grin. “Hey”
Daichi’s cheeks tinted pink, but he smiled back shyly. “Hey”
“You’re being awfully quiet today” he commented. “I was so afraid you’d tease me for coming overdressed, and here you are giving me the silent treatment”
“I’m not” Daichi pouted.
“Dai-chan’s been staring at your tie the whole time” Chiyuki said, barging in, and in that moment Daichi swore he could kill her.
“Shut up!” he hissed, and pushed her. She stuck out her tongue, and went back to her father’s side.
“Oh, I can take it off” Kuroo said awkwardly, and Daichi didn’t know if he was imagining the colour in his cheeks.
“Don’t” Daichi said, almost too quickly, and winced at how eager he sounded.
“Oh?” Kuroo raised an eyebrow, and Daichi frowned, looking everywhere but at Kuroo’s face.
“It suits you” he muttered.
Kuroo dropped the topic, to Daichi’s surprise, who was expecting constant teasing about that comment, and when he looked up at him he was just as red as Daichi felt. He looked away, and he couldn’t help but smile with hope, thinking maybe he might just have a chance with the other captain after all.
The rest of the summer went by in a haze, and before they knew it, the day when Daichi had to leave the beach was right around the corner. They all decided to go see the fireworks, and Kuroo came with them as well. The two of them walked side by side in silence, the tension between them heightened by the fact that this was going to be their last night of the summer together, and they got to the beach without having opened their mouths.
Chiyuki had brought some blankets for them to sit on, and as he was beginning to settle down, Kuroo grabbed his hand and whispered “Come with me”, with the look in his eye that Daichi could never say no to, so he ignored the weird looks his family gave them and let himself be dragged by Kuroo, who apologized to his mother and promised they’d be back soon.
“Where are you taking me?” Daichi asked, and Kuroo grinned at him.
They got to a small secluded part of the beach, where the sand met the cliffs, and there was no one to be seen. Kuroo stopped there.
“This is where I come every year to watch the fireworks” he said, and Daichi noticed that he hadn’t let go of his hand yet. “Nobody else knows about this place”
“Except for me, now” Daichi said, and Kuroo nodded.
“Except for you, now”
“How do you know I won’t tell everyone I know now” he asked, stepping closer to Kuroo and looking up at him with innocent eyes.
“I know you won’t” he answered coyly. “Otherwise I’d have to kill you”
“You wouldn’t, though.” He said, feeling bolder. “You’d miss me too much”
“That’s right” Kuroo muttered, squeezing his hand, and Daichi smiled up at him. Only then did he realize that Kuroo was staring at his lips. He swallowed. “Thank you” he added, putting his hand on Daichi’s cheek. “For the summer of a lifetime”.
Daichi leaned into his touch. “You’re such a sap” he muttered.
“But you like me?”
Daichi heard the question in his tone and snorted. “But I like you” he said, leaning up. “You idiot”
They kissed as the first firework went out, but the colours of the sky were nothing compared to the fireworks exploding in Daichi’s heart as Kuroo put his hands on his waist and kissed him back, and in that moment, everything was as it should be.
They held hands on the way back to their families, and Chiyuki sang “Daichi’s got a boyfriend!”, to which Daichi snapped a “Shut up!”, but it had no real anger behind it and they all knew it.
Kuroo’s smile as he looked at Daichi was brighter than the ocean reflected sun, and it was light that would burn brighter even when the summer was long over. Daichi couldn’t wait to experience all the seasons next to him, even though summer would always have a special place in their hearts.