2 years, 4 months ago
"No, no, no, no ㅡ you don't understand ㅡ we can't fucking leave without him right now!"
The noise was getting louder. Ushijima Wakatoshi looked sideways at the two drunk young ladies bantering near him at the back counter of Pharaoh. They're not unattractive, all right, but Ushijima got the impression that they were older than him. Fourth years, even. Of course he can't be sure whether they were also uni students like him, but this is Pharaoh ㅡ that decent bar along St. Catherine which was always swarming with runaway and stressed students, drug dealers and all sorts of incognito people, and these two loud (and borderline annoying) ladies were dressed like your average hipsters, so, yeah. Students they were.
The short-haired blonde was the one panicking. "W-wait! Cindy! Listen to me!" She grabbed her non-Japanese friend by the shoulders. "We have to go find him! We can't leave him alone in a place like this! He's still a virgin!" She stage-whispered. "Matsukawa will definitely kill me!"
"Saeko mah dearest," the one called Cindy slurred in impressive English. "Tooru will be fiiiiiiine. Trust me!"
"Look. You go first, okay? I'll look around for himㅡ"
"Look around for him, eh? You're way much drunk than I am ㅡ how are you going to look for him?"
Ushijima shifted, trying to avert his attention elsewhere.
He looked up front. And raised his eyebrows.
"You think they're lesbians?" The middle-aged bartender smirked at the two ladies.
Ushijima rolled his eyes. "Don't fucking care," he downed a whole glass of vodka in one shot, throat burning with the alcohol.
Mr. Bartender smirked. "Why are you here again, boy?"
Shrug. "Just wanna clear my head."
A knowing smirk. "I've seen you in your best days, Ushiwaka," he paused, eyeing the two bantering ladies as they walked away to the other side of the bar, wobbling together. "What is it this time, Captain? Your brother? School? Incoming match?"
"I see," the bartender sniggered. "All those girls do is break our hearts, eh? Motherfucking bitches. So what did you do this time ㅡ hey, where are you going?"
Ushijima shrugged his jacket on. "Out,"
"Huh. I think you just need to get laid,"
"Piss off, man. And for the record, it's not me who did something." He paused. "It's her,"
The moment he walked out the main door of Pharaoh, the night spring air of May hit his face, making him clenched his teeth. He knew it's not a good idea to get wasted because of a little problem. And besides, it's not his fault, is it?
Bartender-san was right for one thing. He was in Pharaoh again because of his girlfriend. But it's not that he was thinking about it all day. Truth be told, he didn't care. And yeah, that was actually the problemㅡ he didn't understand why he couldn't feel the need to care anymore.
Jerk, he thought. Maybe you just need to get laid, after allㅡ
"Whoargh ㅡ "
Ushijima started at the noise. He turned around and saw someone's back hunched over the bar's outside bed of azaleas. His face scrunched up at the guy's state (the flop of brown hair was clearly a he). The dry heaving of his lungs told Ushijima this guy surely didn't eat anything before consuming alcohol. Ugh, freshmen.
Feeling a sense of moronic responsibility, he walked closer to the guy. "Oi," he paused. "Are you okay?"
The guy panted.
"Oi," He tried again. "Are you okay?"
Ushijima blinked, suddenly nervous. "Fuck. Are you seriously okㅡ"
Abruptly, a hand caught his wrist. It was cold, the palm. And it was trembling.
Ushijima blinked. "Hey, man. Are you okay?" He crouched down, seeking the eyes of the stranger.
"C-can you lend me your phone?"
"Can you lend me your ㅡ " he groaned, the other hand clutching his stomach. "ㅡphone. Please I just need to make a callㅡ"
Nervous, Ushijima obliged, giving the stranger his phone. The guy sat gingerly on the nearby bench after Ushijima helped him, making a phone call.
The guy was cute. Really cute and really attractive. As he first noticed, he has a mess of chestnut hair disheveled and swept outwards. It was a bit wet because of his sweat from all the dry heaving his lungs did earlier.
Ushijima figured the stranger guy was talking to his friends to get him now. He was pretty sure the guy was still a bit tipsy. He smelled strongly of beer and brandy combined, and his words slurred as he talked.
But there was something wrong with him. He kept clutching his stomach and it looked like he was actually sick instead of drunk.
The guy took only an entirety of two minutes before he gave Ushijima his phone back.
"Thank you," the guy mumbled, face sweaty and contorted. "You can leave now."
"D'you want water? You look sick,"
The guy looked up at him, "No," he said slowly. "I think I'm okay. Just," he winced, clutching his stomach. "I downed, like, brandy or something." He paused. "I don't think brandy suits my stomach,"
"Alcohol is alcohol. They're all the same," Ushijima stated, head tilting as he stood in front of the guy.
"Not for me." The guy said. "Well. That's that. You can leave me alone now." He shifted, putting his head between his knees. He looked like an oversized nine-year-old.
A raised brow. "That's it?"
The guy looked up, confused. "I'm sorry?" His words were slow.
"That's it? After I helped you, it's you can leave now?" He paused. "Are you sure you're okay? You still look sick."
"Iㅡ" stranger guy paused, blinking his beautiful brown eyes. "I'm going to be fine now, yes." He blinked again, dazedly. "I did say thank you already, right?"
"Yes," Ushijima confirmed.
"So, what now?" He deadpanned.
"What's your name?" Ushijima said, burying his hands inside his jacket pockets.
The guy looked up at him from the bench. "Look," he said slowly, "Did you just fall in love with me? Because I'm telling you, you're not my type."
And Ushijima just. He laughed out loud. "Oh wow. You're pretty conceited and arrogant, huh? I literally just helped you thirty seconds ago, and now you're being rude by pushing me out of the picture almost immediately."
"I'm not being rude. I already said my thanks. That's proper etiquette, as far as I know. Therefore, you can leave me now, thank you very much." He huffed.
Ushijima squatted in front of the stranger, now they're face to face. "How about you give me your name at least. And your number."
A pause. Then the guy scoffed, chortling. "Oh my god. You really did fall in love with me! So cliche!"
"I do have a girlfriend," he said as-a-matter-of-factly, moving to sit on the bench, beside the guy.
"Straights," he snorted.
Ushijima smirked. "You don't know that,"
"I do know that." The guy said sternly. "I have a gay radar,"
Ushijima hid a smile, shaking his head. "You are so drunk."
"What's your point, then?" The guy suddenly burst out, facing him.
Ushijima held his hands up as a surrender. "Nothing. I don'tㅡ Nothing."
"Do you swear on the River Styx?"
What? "Excuse me?" Ushijima was dumbfounded.
The guy slitted his eyes. "Excuse you." He said. "That's Greek mythology. Didn't ring any bells?"
Yep. He's so dumbfounded.
"Ugh." The guy sighed. "You're so weird. You don't know what I'm talking about."
Ushijima wanted to laugh, God. This guy was so cute. "Um. I don't think I'm the weird one here. With all due respect,"
He whipped his head sharply to look at him. "Are you making fun of me because I'm weird and gay?"
"I didn't say anything like that," Ushijima defended, "I'm bi," he admitted. "And your weirdness isn't bad. It's actually.. good." Really good. And really cute. Agh, wait. What was he saying? Was he drunk? Possibly. Ushijima was possibly drunk.
There was a pause. The guy didn't say anything, but he curled into a ball again, putting his head back between his knees. Then, "Do you believe in UFO's?" He mumbled against his kneecaps.
Ushijima shrugged, leaning back comfortably. "Haven't seen one, so, no." A heartbeat. "How about you?"
He felt the guy nodded. "They're real." He said. "And don't say you haven't seen one. You have. You just didn't know it was the real thing. You ever saw some strange lights in the night sky every now and then?"
Ushijima was looking up at the said night sky, head tipped back. "How old are you?" He chuckled. "They are sattelites."
The weird guy chuckled, dark and low. "That's what the government wants you to believe."
Ushijima closed his eyes, pursing a smile. Then, "You're cute."
A snort. "Baby turtles and elephants are cute. Anime chibi versions are cute. You caNNOT name me cute. I'm GORGEOUS."
Ushijima just hmmed, breathing deeply before turning to face him.
The guy shifted, peering at him over his knees. "What's with the smirk?" He asked. "Are you flirting with me?"
"Seriously, what's your name?" He shifted closer.
The guy shifted back, away from him. "Why?"
Ushijima smiled slowly. Shifted closer.
"Oh my god, this is so cliche. My life is so stressful right now!" He paused. "Okay. You win. I lied. You're sort of my type. Sort of. But you can't fall in love with me, I swear." He shifted back.
Ushijima bit back his laughter. "I won't fall in love with you yet, don't worry, weirdo."
The guy's pale face flushed, now sitting on the edge of the bench. "C-can you move back?" He said lowly.
Ushijima leaned his face closely. "Why won't you tell me your name?"
A gulp. "Because I just met you? You can be a psychopath. What do I know?"
A long, long pause. "Fair point." Then he saw something that gave him the upperhand. Ushijima's smile was lopsided. "Did you get in the Volleyball team?"
Stranger blinked. "Eh? H-how did you know?"
He pointed the jacket he was wearing. Such a dork. A varsity jacket in a bar? Seriously. "Tokyo University Volleyball team," he smirked. "You did get in, right?"
"Y-yeah. I guess. They did give me this already, soㅡ"
Swiftly, Ushijima leaned away, standing up and brushing the nonexistent dirt from his jeans. "Okay." he momentarily squatted back down just to level his eyes with the guy's. He leaned closer, closer. "See you then." He winked. Then he straightened up and turned on his heels, walking away.
"Oi!" The stranger called out. "I thought you fell in love with me!?"
Ushijima raised a hand as a farewell, not looking back. "We'll meet again!" He called back. "I want you sobered up next time!"
"Haah? I'm sober right now, dickheadㅡ"
"ㅡOIKAWA! OH MY GOD! WE'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU INSIDE THE BAR! WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENEDㅡ"
Ushijima was smiling the whole way home. It's gonna be an interesting first game against Tokyo University, it seemed. And a fortnight later, he found out he was right.
He'll never forget Oikawa Tooru's face when they met again from each other side of the net. It's a mix of awe and shock and resignment. He can't blame the guy, actually. He was also feeling the same. But at least, he was expecting it.
Ushijima's team won that match. He was the new captain that semester.
And that's how it all started, maybe.
The best and worst eight months of his life.
SIM ACCT OWNER: Oikawa Tooru
29 September 20XX
"Hi! It's Oikawa Tooru! You've reached my voicemail! So, it's only two things; either I don't have my phone with me right now, or I don't want to talk to you. If you fall under the latter category, don't bother leaving a message, cuz, like, fuck off. Sorry for the cursing."
Today, 01:00 PM
"Tooru. It's Waka. Are you seriously ignoring me? Why aren't you reading my messages?"
Today, 02:38 PM
"I saw the video. What the fuck are you thinking? I'm worried. Please text back, at least. It's me, Waka."
Today, 03:18 PM
"SWITCH ON YOUR FUCKING PHONE, OIKAWA TOORU I SWEAR TO GODㅡ"
Today, 05:17 PM
"That's it. We're going to talk today. You can't keep bullshitting me, Tooru. You know me."
Today 06:01 PM
"Why aren't you home yet? Even Tsukki's not home. I'm here."