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Tied with a Bow

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Hinata misses his boyfriend. He tries not to show it most of the time. It’s not really in his nature to be sad or mopey, but sometimes he just really wants a hug. He knows there are other people in similar situations. People often leave home for college, but at least most of them are only a train ride away. Suga isn’t even in the same country. He knew all along that Suga had planned to study abroad after graduation, but there were always happier things to think about.

And it’s not like Suga has completely disappeared from his life. They still text every day and skype a few times a week. He hears all about what’s happening in Suga’s daily life and vice versa, but sometimes… Sometimes he just can’t help but feel down.

He thinks that maybe he didn’t quite keep his lip from wobbling when he told Suga everything was fine during their last video chat. Maybe his eyes were a little dewy when he said, “I miss you.”

It’s shortly after that that the gifts start appearing.

 

He’s getting ready to shove his uniform into his gym bag after practice when he sees something red and shimmery inside. At first, he thinks he might have grabbed someone else’s bag by accident, so he looks around the locker room to see if anyone is missing a bag. Nothing seems amiss, though he does catch Tanaka peeking around the row of lockers before quickly ducking back when Hinata makes eye contact.

It isn’t the strangest thing he’s ever seen him do, so he shrugs it off and pulls open the gym bag. Inside is a package covered in English writing with a red, puffy bow on top. There’s a tag beneath the bow that reads:

’Thinking of you. Skype before bed?
<3 Suga’

“Uwahhhhhhh!”

He’s too busy staring at the gift to notice one of the first years startle and bang his head against his locker door at the outburst.

“Oi, Shrimp, keep it down,” Tsukishima scolds, watching as the first year waives off his classmates’ concern and rubs the side of his head.

Hinata turns to Kageyama, wide-eyed and open-mouthed. “It’s a present from Suga!” he yells, thrusting the box out in front of him.

Kageyama squints at what little writing he can see under the bow. “What is it?”

Hinata deflates a little as he studies the box. “I can’t read it. You know I suck at English!”

Kageyama scowls at him and closes his locker. “Just open it, Dumbass!”

“Oh.” He pries open the top of the box and pulls out the contents quickly. “New knee pads!”

Kageyama nods approvingly. “Nice.” He gives Hinata a shove when he just stands there staring at them for too long. “Hurry up! I’m hungry.”

Hinata finally snaps out of it and gets ready to leave. He skips after Kageyama, clutching the knee pads to his chest with a dopey look on his face.

He can’t wait to talk to Suga tonight.

Chapter Text

Hinata trudges into his house and lazily toes off his shoes. “I’m home,” he mumbles, dragging himself and his bag inside.

Practice had been rough today. The first years are all still so new and everything just feels like a jumbled mess compared to last year’s team.

He hears an answering “Welcome home,” and walks around the corner to find Natsu waiting at the table while his mom sets out dinner. He drops his bag against the wall and sits down to eat. He’s still feeling a little mopey, so he eats quietly while Natsu chatters about her day.

When dinner is over and the table’s been cleared, his mom ruffles his hair and tells him to get started on his homework. She ignores his grumbling as he retrieves his bag and gets to work.

He’s lured out of his homework-induced fog by a pleasant smell. He looks up from his notebook as his mom sets a cup of hot tea in front of him. “Something new,” she explains with a smile. “I think you’ll like it.”

She’s right. It’s incredible: sweet and light with some kind of fruity aftertaste. He nearly drains the whole cup before his mom taps on his notebook, asking “Almost finished? You’ll have to get in the bath soon if you want to be out in time to talk to Suga.”

He freezes with the cup half way to his mouth and looks up at her with wide eyes and shouts, “It’s Wednesday!”

Crap! It’s Wednesday! What is he doing moping around when he’s so close to boyfriend time? He gulps down the rest of his tea and looks at his homework. Two questions left. I can do this.

He powers through the last two problems with what might be legible handwriting and packs his things away before sprinting upstairs yelling, “I’m getting in the bath now, goodnight!”

He doesn’t actually do any relaxing in the bath, too excited now to sit still for long. He gives up fairly quickly and does a halfhearted job at drying off, simply wrapping the towel around his waist when he realizes he forgot to grab any clothes.

He flips the light on in his room and heads towards his dresser, but stops in his tracks when a flash of red catches his eye. There in the middle of his bed is a small, rectangular package with a red shimmery bow on top.

His breath catches and he picks up the package. -XOXO Suga is written on the paper with black marker. He carefully removes the bow and unwraps his new present. A soft smile breaks out as it’s revealed. His finger traces over the glass of a framed photo of him and Suga taken shortly after they started dating.

He hugs the picture to his chest and sits at his desk to power up his computer. He pulls up skype and stares at the picture while he waits for Suga.

“Oh,” he hears when Suga appears onscreen, “I didn’t realize boyfriend time was clothing optional now.”

Hinata feels his face heat as soon as he realizes that he’s still only in a towel. A towel that Suga can’t see since he’s sitting down and Oh my god, it looks like I’m naked!

“I have a towel on,” he rushes to explain as Suga leers at him, “I just got out of the bath! I forgot to take clothes!”

“I never said I minded,” Suga purrs, moving closer to the camera as if to get a better look.

Hinata breathes out a little sound of distress and hides his face behind the picture frame.

Suga huffs a laugh and asks, “Did you like your present?”

Hinata pops up from behind the frame with a smile. “I love it!”

“Good. I love mine too,” he says, reaching off screen before revealing a matching frame.

“Hey, Suga, how do you keep sneaking these presents to me?”

“Super-secret boyfriend technique,” he says with a wink.

“Really, though,” Hinata pushes.

“Are you sure you want to know?”

Hinata nods vigorously and looks at Suga with wide eyes.

Suga sits forward in his chair and adopts a very serious air. He takes a deep breath and gazes into Hinata’s eyes, declaring, “With the power of love.”

He watches Hinata break down into giggles and wonders if his mom liked the tea.

 

Chapter Text

“Oi, Hinata!” Ukai barks, “Who the hell said you could get your mail delivered here?!”

Hinata squeaks and jumps to hide behind Kageyama as they walk into Sakanoshita Store behind their teammates. “I didn’t do it!”

“Then what’s this?” he yells as he throws a padded plastic envelope in his direction, forcing Kageyama to catch it or get beaned in the face. Kageyama stares at it blankly for a moment before lifting it over his shoulder and dropping it on Hinata’s head.

Hinata turns the envelope over in his hands a few times and fails to find a mailing label. “How do you even know it’s mine? There’s no name on it!”

“I just do!” he yells. “Somebody paid for your damn meat buns too, so come get ‘em!”

Hinata looks thoughtfully at the package in his hands as his teammates start making grabby hands at Ukai for their free food. Everyone except Noya, who’s leaning against the wall messing with his phone.

By the time Hinata gets the envelope open, Kageyama’s already standing next to him, holding Hinata’s food in his free hand while he tears into his own. Hinata pulls out a lump of fabric with a smooshed red bow stuck to it and a piece of paper flutters to ground.

Yamaguchi picks it up and reads aloud as Hinata drops the empty packaging and unfolds the fabric in his hands. “Happy Birthday Shou! I love you!”

“Hey, man, he’s got a boyfriend already,” Tanaka cackles as he jabs Yamaguchi with his elbow.

Hinata turns the t-shirt around and holds it up in front of himself. “Tsukki! What does it say?”

Tsukishima’s eyes go wide behind his glasses and he covers his mouth as he snickers.

“What? Tsukishima!” he yells, waving the t-shirt at him. “What does it say?!”

Tsukishima valiantly pulls himself together enough to translate the English phrase. “I May be Short, But I’m Big Where it Counts.”

His teammates burst into laughter around him. Tanaka is on the ground, holding his gut and kicking his legs up in the air. He has to thump Kageyama hard on the back when he starts choking on his meat bun, and he sees Ukai leaning on the counter with his face smashed into his palm. Nishinoya still has his phone out, but is trying to stifle his laughter into his own armpit. Yamaguchi nearly topples over as Tanaka rolls into him and clutches his bare legs as he howls on the floor.

Hinata turns his innocent gaze to Yamaguchi, who seems to be the most composed, and asks; “What’s so funny?”

Yamaguchi’s cheeks go a little pink as he bends down to whisper an explanation into Hinata’s ear.

Hinata squawks and turns bright red. It sets off a fresh wave of laughter as he quickly balls up the t-shirt and shoves it in his bag.

Kageyama nudges him and holds out his hand. “Your food’s getting cold, stupid.”

“Alright, enough!” Ukai yells. “Get out of my store! Normal people need to shop.”

Tanaka finally pulls himself off the floor and slings an arm around Hinata as they walk out. “Man, I miss Suga,” he chuckles.

-

When Suga’s alarm jolts him awake at 6 am, he whines and lies in bed pouting for a minute before he remembers why he’s getting up early today. He grabs his laptop off of the floor and grins when he sees the video Noya sent. He kind of, maybe, feels a little bad about embarrassing his boyfriend, but it doesn’t stop him from laughing along with his former teammates.

He’s mostly focused on Hinata, though, and the overjoyed look on his face when he realizes Suga sent him a present. And if Suga watches that video several more times before he gets out of bed, well, nobody needs to know.

Chapter Text

Hinata doesn’t have access to a complete network of accomplices in Toronto, but he does manage (stammering, blushing and fidgeting) to ask Suga’s mom to include some small gifts for his boyfriend in her care package shipments. It’s a little embarrassing, but shipping is expensive, okay? His small allowance just doesn’t cover it.

Plus, Suga is always managing to surprise him with gifts and stuff to let Hinata know he’s thinking about him. His latest token is tacked up on Hinata’s bedroom wall. It’s a postcard Suga sent him after his trip to Niagara Falls. It’s a pretty photo of the falls at night, all lit up in a rainbow of colors. He has a short video saved on his phone from the day Suga was there. It’s a clip of him on a boat in front of the falls. The water was so loud Hinata couldn’t really hear anything he was saying. Still, it was a nice surprise to wake up to. He enjoyed seeing his boyfriend’s flushed cheeks, windswept hair and sparkling eyes first thing in the morning.

Hinata wants to show Suga that he’s important too. He just feels like he’s not doing as good of a job at it. For Suga’s birthday back in June, he had managed to acquire a pile of gifts that included a plush character from Suga’s favorite anime series that Hinata won from a claw machine, some snacks from Sakanoshita Shop, and a card that he covered in sparkly heart stickers. He had to bribe Natsu for those. Sure, he could have bought some himself, but he just knew that if he did, someone from the team would find out. Three boxes of pocky and unlimited piggyback rides for a month seemed like a fair price to avoid the endless teasing.

He had shut himself in his room with Suga’s gifts and a box of leftover gift-wrap and watched tutorials on repeat, trying to figure out those fancy giftwrap techniques they use at department stores. It was past midnight when he admitted defeat and hoped Suga could appreciate the effort, if not the outcome. He didn’t think you could tell what was actually inside the heavily taped layers of paper, so it wasn’t a complete loss. He tried to tie little bows to put on them, but even Natsu laughed at those, so he decided not to use them.

Suga’s mom had accepted the clumsily wrapped gifts with a smile and sent him on his way with a head pat, declaring he was “such a good boy.”

Hinata was sure he didn’t stop blushing all the way home.

_

Christmas Eve is the next big day on the horizon and Hinata is determined to do better with his gifts this time. He knows from Sugawara-san that packages sent to Suga usually take about 25 days to be delivered, so he starts planning months in advance.

He buys a regular Christmas gift, a super soft faux fur blanket, because Suga said his dorm room is cold, but that’s not what he’s focused on. Christmas Eve is a couples’ holiday, and even though they’re oceans apart, Hinata intends to have his date.

Of course, while he means to pull off the most romantic date ever, Hinata’s never actually planned one before and he has no idea what he’s doing. He already has their meals taken care of. He was limited to pre-prepared, microwavable foods for obvious reasons, but he did his best. He didn’t worry too much about trying to assemble a traditional holiday meal, since Suga and a couple of the other foreign students will be getting KFC on Christmas day. Instead, he bought hot curry, Sato no Gohan, and the spiciest instant noodles he could find.

He’s also sending Shimobashira because Suga mentioned he was going to miss it this year. Luckily, that was back in September and it was still early enough to place an order. He’s really afraid they won’t survive the shipping, but he still wants to try.

Beyond that, he’s at a loss. He’s not sure how to make this feel like a super romantic date instead of just eating in front of the computer screen. When his internet searches provide nothing but a confusing jumble of advice, he turns to his team for help. And while he ignores some suggestions, like quizzing each other on volleyball stats (Kageyama) and helping Suga find a smarter boyfriend (Tsukishima), he does like some of the other ideas.

Nishinoya suggests flowers, since “they always have flowers on the tables in movies.” Tanaka insists on them drinking from champagne glasses because ”It’s classy as hell!”

It’s easy enough to pick up some silk roses and cheap, skinny vases to put them in. He finds some plastic champagne flutes in the same store and stops at the combini on the way home to grab a couple bottles of Chanmery.

Yachi suggests making jars full of fairy lights, since candles aren’t normally allowed in dorm rooms. The idea is such a hit that several days later, she has an apartment full of rowdy teenage boys trying to construct jars of their own.

He tells Suga none of this, intent on keeping it a surprise. Hinata only makes him promise to keep his morning free on the 24th, so that they can spend part of the day together over Skype.

Around the middle of November, Hinata gathers all of the bits and pieces he’s acquired and starts packing. His mom helps, since he’s worried about some of the more fragile items making it intact. Once everything is fitted neatly inside and padded, he places an envelope on top and seals the box. The first thing Suga will find upon opening it is an invitation to a romantic dinner for two, complete with sparkly heart stickers that Hinata still has hidden in his desk. It’s technically going to be breakfast for Suga, thanks to the time difference, but at least it will be Christmas Eve for both of them.

During their next conversation, Suga is given strict instructions not to open the box until December 23rd. “I mean it, no peaking, Suga. It’s a surprise.”

Suga sighs out a “fiiiiiiiine,” but he must be ok with it because he barely even pouts after he promises to follow orders.

_

Christmas Eve finally arrives and the Karasuno team has been so busy getting ready for Spring High that he hasn’t had a lot of time to mope about missing Suga. After school, Hinata finds a gift in his shoe locker. This one is a shallow box wrapped in metallic paper that glitters when the light hits it and has a big red bow on top.

He waits until he gets home to open it, just in case it’s something embarrassing again. It’s not though. He pulls the lid off the gift box and finds a dark green scarf with silver thread woven through the softest material he’s ever felt. He immediately wraps it around his neck and falls onto his bed, rolling around with his smiling face hidden behind plush green material. He can’t wait for his date.

There wasn’t any practice today, so Hinata has extra time to get his room cleaned and start getting ready for his date. The fairy lights cast a warm glow over the small table he set for dinner. His food is steaming lightly as he drapes his new scarf over his shoulders so Suga can see how it looks on him.

A call notification sounds from his laptop and Hinata practically throws himself at the table. He accepts the call and Suga pops up on screen wearing a dark green sweater with silver thread running through it. Hinata grips his matching scarf and smiles at Suga with big, sparkling eyes.

“Hello, boyfriend.”