Chapter 1: one
7 : 35 A.M.
The station is bustling with people, some on their phones, others on their books and such while you sat on one of the chairs around the platform in your seifuku with a long sleeved, [colour] sweater covering your top, showing only your uniform's collar and tie. Your phone is out but it's turned off as it plays music on the headphones covering your ears and muffling the noise.
"Excuse me, is this seat occupied?"
A pubescent voice asks politely - you can hear him even through the music so his voice must've been loud - and you look up and nod. The boy who asked you - his hair is a blond mess and his thick framed glasses is kind of tilted but you ignore it - flashes an almost-smile before slipping on the seat beside you.
You observe him from the corners of your vision - he's wearing a thick, blue scarf and the standard high school uniform and he's scrolling through his phone. He doesn't see you looking at him, which is a good thing.
You avert your gaze and turn on your own mobile just as it vibrates, indicating a new message.
The train arrives and you two stand up, almost synchronized, and walk to the open doors of the train. You take a seat and he, coincidental or not, takes the one besides you without uttering a word. He's on his phone, he may have not noticed.
You stay silent and lean your head back on the glass of the train as you hear the doors shut close.
Chapter 2: two
4 : 57 P.M.
- After School -
You wake up from your nap when the train lurches to a stop. You look up in a daze as people begin filing in the train. Someone takes a seat beside you and it isn't the boy from earlier - it's an old woman carrying a lot of bags with her (you see some vegetable stems sticking out from some of them). You decide to take another nap when a flash of black and blue passes your line of vision, causing you to look up in curiosity.
It's the same boy from earlier - his hair seems messier than earlier and his glasses are fixed - except he's wearing a navy blue trench coat with the end of his blue scarf tucked underneath the collar. He also has headphones on and he seems to be looking outside the glass of the train.
For a moment, you wonder if he actually notices you or remembers you from this morning.
As the train doors shut close, you fish out your phone from your bag and busy yourself by reading tonight's news.
Chapter 3: three
7 : 42 A.M.
You flip through the pages of your new book you bought on yesterday's sale in the store you passed by last evening on your way home. As strange as others might see it, you lean your head forward, bring the book close to your nose and sniff it's scent. It smells almost as if it's been a few years since it was opened. You can tell.
As you do so, though, you feel someone take the seat on the space beside you. Immediately, you put the book away from your face and prop your elbows on your school bag as you begin to read [book title] as though you thought he didn't see you sniffing the pages.
He did, and his lips had quirked upward when he saw you put your book down, cheeks flushing from embarrassment.
There's no words exchanged until the train arrives and you gently tuck the book back inside your bag and make your way inside the train, taking the same seat from yesterday - as did he. You lean back comfortably and take out the book, flipping to your page and continue to read.
"It's a good book," you suddenly hear him say. When you look up, his brow is raised and he shrugs. "I've read it before."
"Oh," you respond awkwardly, "okay."
The conversation - if it could even be considered one - ends and you flip to the next page, the words sucking you inside another world.
Chapter 4: four
4 : 50 P.M
The train stops.
You look up from your book, expecting him - that tall, blond boy who never told you his name but, nevertheless, told you that the book you're reading is good - to be in the crowd entering the train. When you spot him, he's with a black haired boy - a few inches shorter than he is - with a very noticeable cowlick sticking out at the top of his hair.
The blond catches your eye and you can see his lips tug upward before settling to a smirk. You blink at him for a moment, confused, before noticing that you have exactly two vacant spaces beside you. You point at the space and his brows raise up and he looks at you with an almost even wider smirk before he smoothly makes his way to the seat beside you, his company following him and taking the other.
"How's the book?" You hear him ask, but his question is almost a whisper, as if he doesn't want his company to hear him.
"It's nice, I suppose." You reply timidly, lowering your volume like he had done so because it's alright to be perceiving at times like these.
"Mm," he tilts his head towards you, looking as if he was going to take a nap, but you knew better. He had obviously done it to talk to you without the black haired boy beside him noticing. "What chapter are you in?"
"Sixth," you reply while placing your bookmark in between the pages and closing the book. "Although if we keep talking, I don't think I can move on."
It was meant to tease him, and he seemed to notice that too. His smirk is back on his face.
"My bad, I thought you enjoyed talking with me more than reading the book." He teased right back, his voice still barely above a whisper.
"Tsukki?" Suddenly, he raises his head as the boy beside him says his name - that was his name, wasn't it? You bite you bottom lip - his name is the moon.
"What?" 'Tsukki' snaps, sounding as though he's growling. You visibly flinch at his tone - you didn't think he would talk like this after that conversation you had with him - but look away from the pair.
"S, Sorry," you can hear the other stutter, "I was just wondering if you were okay, you looked like you were muttering words to yourself."
"It's nothing, Yamaguchi," 'Tsukki' says and tilts his head again. You can see his acquaintance looking the other way and let out a sigh.
"Are you always that mean?" You ask softly and you avert your gaze nervously, realizing that you let the fear in your voice be heard.
"I guess?" Tsukki replies, "Are you scared of me now or something?"
"Kind of, yes," you reply honestly.
"You don't have a reason to. You're not as irritating as him or as annoying as that chibi-chan and king from my school anyway."
He shrugs and hugs his bag to him. He moves his head in a motion to really sleep.
"Wake me up when we arrive," you hear him say before going to sleep.
Chapter 5: five
6 : 43 P.M.
The sky had shifted to a dark shade of blue when you arrived your destination. You poke his - Tsukki, you recall - arm and he lets out a small groan and opens his eyes. He glances at you for a second, looks outside the window and looks back at you, seemingly still sleepy.
"Thanks for waking me up," he says, his voice not contained to a whisper now that his acquaintance is gone. You nod at him and manage a small smile before the mechanical voice from the train's speakers notify you that you've arrived in the station. You stand up, squeeze yourself in the crowd and walk out of the train.
For some reason, you slowed your steps and looked back, waiting for him to get out as well. When he does, he smirked - can't he smile - and walks up next to you.
"Are we supposed to act all friendly like this or something?" He asks - no, teases - and you roll his eyes at him, ignoring his question and walking away, not caring whether he had caught up to you or not.
He did - goddamn tall people - and he let out a small laugh. "Embarrassed, are we?"
You ignore him again - you really don't care because you don't know him, right? - but somehow, this little game of ignorance fails when he suddenly talks about [book name].
"Want a spoiler? Did you know -"
You cut him short with a well aimed jab at his stomach. You glare up at him, "You're a menace. Now I wonder how did I ever thought you were kind. Book spoiler."
"You finally talked again," he smirks, "I guess all you need is a little push, no?"
"Go bury yourself in a hole," you hiss.
Somehow, as you two argued, you arrived your home and he looked at the nameplate of your house and his smirk crawls back to his face.
You find the urge to literally slam the gate at him. "Why did you follow me here?"
"I live in the next street."
Never mind, you supposed, maybe hurling him in a swamp filled with hungry crocodiles would be better.
"It's Tsukishima," he says out of nowhere before leaving you standing in front of the gate of your house with an annoyed expression. Looks were definitely deceiving, you decided, glaring at the space where he was before opening the gate and swinging it open.
Chapter 6: six
7 : 40 A.M.
You, as always, wait for the train while sitting on the same bench. You're reading [book name] again - you were near the end, reading after you'd finished your homework - eyes glued to the pages. It was when you notice someone looking at you when you put the book down and put on your best deadpan expression - until you realized who it was. Your cheeks turned red in embarrassment and you turn away, open your book once again and hurriedly read the words without processing it - it didn't make sense anymore.
"Pfft," you heard his stifled laughter escape his lips and you glare at him from the corner of your eyes. "Sorry. That expression was priceless, though."
"Good morning to you too, Tsukki," you greeted with a small frown.
"Tsukki? Where did you get that nickna...oh." He rolled his eyes and leaned towards you, taking a peek at your book. You can clearly see him raise a brow. "You're a fast reader."
"Yes, when no one's interrupting." You say, "So, what's with the reaction when I called you 'Tsukki'? Is something wrong about it? Isn't that your name?"
"I said 'it's Tsukishima' yesterday, didn't I?"
"Tsukki's shorter," you reason, "unless that's your surname."
You look back at your book, reading in silence while he - you looked at him for a moment and found him listening to something on his phone, earphones on - caught you looking with a smirk.
"Am I really that distracting?"
"I was just wondering what you're doing."
You shrug and return to reading [book name] while waiting for the the train to arrive.
Chapter 7: seven
6 : 43 P.M.
You walked inside the train with a tired expression. Since your class' representative didn't show up in school today, the job had been dumped on you (all because you were second to becoming the class rep). Unfortunately for you, there were a lot of things to be done and a lot of errands to be accomplished leaving you this famished today.
"You look tired," The familiar voice of a certain lamppost woke you from your pleasant rest inside the train. Too exhausted to even retort, you simply groaned and closed your eyes again. You could hear him chuckle beside you but you prioritized rest over him.
It felt like only a few minutes passed when he suddenly said, "Oi, we're here.", while shaking your shoulder.
"Mm," you mutter and rub your eyes before blinking them open. You cover your mouth as you let out a yawn before grabbing the handle of your bag and standing up with Tsukishima following behind you.
"Why must you join me in going home?" You said aloud as the pair of you walk the streets with the tap tap tapping of your school shoes being the only sign that he was still with you. You can already imagine him rolling his eyes at what you said but didn't risk looking back.
He might tease you for it.
"You look like you could faint any moment now, [L/N], is it bad to be caring?"
"Pfft, you? Caring? I would've believed that if it wasn't for you showing your true colors before my eyes."
You angled your head to the side just in time to catch him rolling his eyes.
"I was raised in a proper household and was taught proper manners by my mother," he said, "don't group me with idiots."
You let out a laugh, genuinely, and slung your bag over your shoulder. "I mean, I guess? Thank you, I suppose."
What a tsundere, you supposed, as the two of you walked in silence.
Chapter 8: eight
7 : 45 A.M.
When you walk inside the train, there's no sign of a certain tall, blond haired accomplice of yours (you couldn't bring yourself to call him your friend - and end up embarrassing yourself - without verification). Somehow, you can feel something break inside you when you see that he isn't there; you realize that you've been used to his endearing presence being in you company majority of the time - it's almost as if you expect him to be there every day.
With a sigh, you roll your sweater's sleeves over your elbows and take the same seat you take every day. You fish out your headphones, plug it on the jack of your phone and put it over your head and ears before playing a song.
It seems that yesterday's rest wasn't enough either.
Still tired from yesterday's work, you lean your head back on the train window and close your eyes, the sound of your music drowning you and lulling you to sleep.
Chapter 9: nine
4 : 34 P.M.
When the train's doors open, you watch people file in with disinterest - after all, he probably isn't here - while gently pressing your thumb on the space between the two book pages of the new book you were reading, right after finishing [book name] yesterday evening before going to bed. It was then, at that very moment that you were about to look away and go back to reading when your [e/c] eyes found familiar golden brown ones.
You both held your gaze as he continued walking, now with his accomplice from before, until he finally took the seat beside you. When he does, you bite your bottom lip to stop yourself from asking him a barrage of questions for not showing up this morning - after all, he had company.
"Miss me?" You heard him whisper with the same teasing tone present in his voice as he leaned his head to the glass of the train.
You scoffed ever so quietly and eyed the words on your book. As always, they never seem to make sense every time he talks to you. It's as if your eyes are telling you to prioritize talking to the blond rather than to read - it felt irritating somehow, but not so much. So with the issue of your priorities settled, you let out a retort.
"Me? Miss you? Pfft, as if."
"You wound me," He said and, when you looked up at him to glare, found his eyes glinting playfully and his lips slightly but definitely quirking upwards.
"As if," you huffed and buried your nose into your still open book. "Well, if you don't mind, I think you should keep your act up, so let me read in silence while you handle your friend."
"Tch, fine, I'll just talk to you when he's gone."
And just like that, your secret remained intact.
Chapter 10: ten
6 : 30 P.M.
When his friend finally exited the train, Tsukishima leaned his head, now comfortably, on the window and sighed. "Can we talk now? I can't believe I had to endure an hour without speaking to you or anything." His hinted eagerness surprised you a bit, but you decided to hide your shock and simply place your bookmark and close the book.
"Are you going to tell me why you weren't in the station this morning?"
He looked at you and you stared right back with a 'try me' look on your face. His lips, for the second time today, curled upward into an almost-smile. "Told you, you missed me."
You rolled you eyes, "Yeah, yeah, okay, whatever you say."
A short pause.
You glared at him. "Reason. And don't tell me 'reason for what' because I'm going to shove my bag at your face if you do!"
He rolled his eyes, adverted his gaze and stared elsewhere. "I had to attend early training for my club. Our captain insisted we train before the Inter-High tournament."
"Inter-High..." you repeat, the word being a bit familiar to you. "...Inter-High? You do sports?"
Although you tried to contain your wonder, it only ended up with you looking even more awed. He grimaced slightly but shrugged in response. "Yes. I play volleyball, but it isn't really for the sport itself."
You try to say something - anything - but the look he had practically translated to 'I don't want to talk about this but you brought it up.' So you just nodded and awkwardly tried to change topic.
"I, I finished [book name] already. It was pretty good."
He nodded and his smile was back on his face. "I agree with that. I saw you reading a new one, though, what is it called?"
"Uhm, I think it was Orient Express?"
His eyes literally brightened up and it felt almost as if you could do infinite things.
This was absolutely priceless.
"What part are you in?"
And that's how Tsukishima opened himself up to you and made a commentary about the book (his face looked like he was proud of you, for some reason, which made you slightly cringe - just slightly - but proud of yourself as well).
Chapter 11: eleven
9 : 00 P.M.
He insisted you exchange email addresses for 'book purposes' before you entered your house.
The result? Here you were, currently sending messages to one another (as if calls didn't exist) and talking about none other than books, books, school, annoying over-enthusiastic people (you surprisingly agreed with him), strawberry shortcake, dinosaurs, and then the Orient Express which you were currently reading.
"[Name], your food's going to become cold if you don't eat it now!" Your mother called downstairs, so you sent a quick 'Later, have to eat. Mom's calling.' (because everyone and anyone would understand if it was their mother calling) before getting out of bed and rushing down the stairs.
When you came back to your room, jumped on your bed and picked up your phone, your smile from earlier dropped to a small frown when a 'Night' text from Tsukishima was sent a few minutes before you came up.
Oh well, even he needed sleep.
Before you turned off your phone, though, you read the messages he had sent to you (he spammed you, which looked out of character for him to do, but he's a nerd so it was reasonable) and it was filled with:
Have a good meal.
I can lend you some books, by the way.
If you want to.
But I have rules if you borrow.
No creases. No folds. No 'accidentally' wetting the pages. No damage on the spine or any other part of the book.
Unless you don't respect your books.
How long do you plan on eating?
You're such a slow eater.
Just like how you're a slow reader.
(You could imagine his smirk and laughter while reading this)
It's already late, what's taking you so long?
Have to sleep.
Chapter 12: twelve
7 : 30 A.M.
You flip to the next page of Agatha Christie's book as you wait for a certain tall, blond four-eyes to arrive (or to send a message, either of the two was fine). As continue reading silently, your mind wanders off to yesterday night's conversation about his supposed volleyball career. He said he was, and yet he didn't seem like the type to do sports at all.
You nibble on your bottom lip, slightly tearing the skin of your lips as thoughts drifted into your mind like clouds.
If he was a volleyball player, then shouldn't he be happy to talk about it?
Also, what did he mean he wasn't playing for the sport itself?
"Wow, looks like someone's in deep thought."
You jump when you suddenly hear his voice and you glare up at him while he smirks, looking triumphant. You hiss under your breath and sit back down, flipping your book open in an attempt to ignore him.
"[L/N]," he drawls and you feel a shiver go down your spine.
What the heck?!
You look up at him, still glaring, and he chortles.
"There, now you're looking at me." He smiles (smirks) and scoots towards you just a little bit, taking a peek at the page where you currently were. You could see his eyes widen momentarily before it relaxed. He leaned his head back and moved away.
"I take back what I said last night, you aren't a slow reader."
He rolls his eyes, "Looks like someone didn't bother looking at my messages, how rude."
You gape at him, brows twitching. "Look who's talking!"
You were about to inflict physical damage to the blond when he suddenly stood up, surprising you. He looks down at you and motions to the train.
"Don't tell me you just came here to see me?" He teased. A vein visibly popped on your head and you walk ahead of him and into the open doors of the train.
Chapter 13: thirteen
7 : 45 A.M.
"....so that's why I think Poirot is only decent."
You shrug in response, "You have a point, but I think he's brilliant.", you defend but not too passionately. A small smile makes its way to his mouth, and you find yourself smiling as well. You mentally scoff. Contagious bastard.
"I am a legitimate child," he suddenly says. You look at him, confused, until he explains, "I could already imagine you thinking between the lines of 'you're such a bastard' and 'tch'. I am not a bastard, I am a legitimate child."
You roll your eyes.
"Wait till you read Sherlock, I'll show you brilliant." Tsukishima says and you look up and tilt your head to the side. "I'll lend you the first volume of the series."
You didn't know whether to beam or to be shocked.
You stuck with the latter.
Your mouth hung open, gaping (for the second time today). He lets out a chuckle and he taps your chin shut.
"Close your mouth, you might catch a fly."
Chapter 14: fourteen
12 : 11 P.M.
You silently munch on your food while flipping the page of your book. This was your usual routine during lunch - eat and read. Sometimes, you would talk with your friends, but it was seldom. As you continued to eat while reading, your phone suddenly vibrated in your pocket. Your brows furrow together and you place your bookmark before closing the book. When you unlock your phone, it shows a notification of a message from Tsukishima.
I'm going home late today. I have after-school training. Don't wait for me anymore.
You all must be so dedicated in playing, going home late just to train.
Just go ahead, okay? Don't even bother waiting or something.
I don't want to be the blame if you end up sleeping late or getting home late.
You frown at the message before turning off your phone and slipping it inside your pocket. Who said you would wait for him anyway?! You huffed in annoyance and placed your book inside your bag, not in the mood to read anymore, and start eating again with an irritated expression.
No one asks you why you look like that.
Chapter 15: fifteen
8 : 42 P.M.
You cover your mouth with your hand, muffling a yawn that escaped your mouth. You hug your bag to yourself as you wait for the next train to arrive - it was already so late so he must be arriving already. You rub your eyes, your sight partially hazy.
You had decided not to listen to him and waited for the blond to return. It seemed instinctive for you to do so, since he had helped you quite a few times and ensured he walked with you everyday. It was your way of showing appreciation, you supposed.
When you heard the announcement of the train arrival, all your drowsiness disappeared and you stood up, trying to peek through the crowd of people going out of the train.
When you spotted a certain blond, you immediately rushed to him and said his name in greeting.
He seems surprised to see you, eyes widening when you ran towards him. You may not have noticed it but you had a smile on your face and your eyes were practically sparkling.
"Why did you wait for me?" He growled. You rolled your eyes in response, staying silent as the pair of you walked out of the station.
When you were nearing you home, he suddenly stopped walking, causing you to do the same. You cocked your head to the side in confusion.
He muttered unintelligible words under his breath before looking away. "You're such a pest."
You huffed and lightly kicked his foot, causing him to look back and glare at you.
"I mean it."
You glare up at him like you usually do. "And you're an idiot, Tsukki." you say, using his nickname to address him. "How will you expect me to go home without company? Weren't you the one who said that I shouldn't go home alone ever since you figured out I lived near you?"
"Plus, I'm here to remind you that you're going to lend me the first volume of Sherlock."
With that, you rushed off and to your house.
10 : 05 P.M.
You were about to go to sleep when your phone vibrated on your bedside table. You reach out for it and unlock it, squinting your eyes at the brightness.
Are you still awake?
What is it?
I can't sleep.
Tell that to yourself.
I can't text Yamaguchi because he's a worrywart. He might think I'm sick or something. You're my last resort.
More like you have no one else to talk to.
What do you mean 'well'?
Well? I'm replying but we aren't really talking about anything in particular.
Tell me something I don't know, then.
What else do we talk about?
You're such an idiot.
I'm trying to make a conversation here.
And then you tell me I'm cliché.
My name is [F/N].
You can't see me but I just rolled my eyes.
I can imagine you doing so just fine.
So, tell me something I don't know.
I study in Karasuno.
You don't seem surprised.
I kind of already guessed that before.
Only a few schools use generic uniforms nowadays.
Pft. As if you'll ever guess I study there with just that.
Well, whatever, don't elaborate.
Are you sleepy yet?
Tell me more.
I already knew that.
And that isn't about you.
I'm a girl.
I'm a first year.
I'm a first year too.
With that height? Damnit, Tsukishima.
No need to say you laughed. I know you did.
You're taller than a second year in my team.
You should be proud.
It's your turn, Tsukki.
My name is Kei.
Your name is Hotaru?
No wait, wait don't get mad just yet.
It's Kei isn't it?
I'm fairly sure you laughed.
I'm saying the truth. It suits you.
I'm sleepy good night.
And thank you.
蛍 can be both read as Hotaru or Kei, thus confusing people with his name.
Chapter 17: seventeen
7 : 32 A.M.
You're seated on the same bench on the platform with no book in hand (you were expecting Tsukishima - no, Kei - to remember his promise of lending you a book). You put on your headphones which you haven't wore or used ever since you started talking with Kei. It almost feels nostalgic when you start playing music on your phone, momentarily remembering that day when he had asked if the seat beside you was vacant. That was how it all began, after all.
"[L/N]," the familiar pubescent voice of Tsukishima pulled you back to reality, and you put down your headphones and stop the music you're playing before looking at him. He already sat himself beside you and was handing you a thick book of most probably more than five-hundred pages. "Here's the first volume as promised."
You smile up at him, a pure genuine smile without any intent, and he smiles back, taking you by surprise.
You don't act like you were, though.
"This'll probably keep me occupied for a few days," you say, "thanks, Tsukki!"
You refrained from using his first name, not knowing if you were even allowed to - who knew of the consequences if you did?
With a nod, he looks away while you start reading. His brows are slightly furrowed together and he lets out a huff of air.
He wished you called him Kei.
Chapter 18: eighteen
12 : 00 P.M.
Tsukishima opens his bentou and begins to eat, making it as quick as possible. He was a light eater, which was a good thing, so he finished his food almost immediately. When he did, he got his phone from his pocket and unlocked it, clicking on the message icon and on your conversation with him. His lips are pressed together - should he even?
He mentally shrugs.
Your phone vibrates in your pocket and you inwardly smile a small smile, knowing who it was - who else would text you at such an hour anyway? You closed your bentou box and placed it inside your bag before looking at the message he sent.
Don't you have your friend for that?
What was his name again...?
Are you serious?
Oh, well then, okay.
You should visit Karasuno sometime.
Are you inviting me to go to your school?
You are interested in my life.
It was a one-time offer.
I just rolled my eyes.
I can imagine.
Maybe some other day Tsukki.
Proud to be.
You're annoying, Tsukishima.
'Oh no, I'm scared.'
Right back at you.
I can't believe I'm wasting my time talking to you like this.
Well then let's not talk nonsense.
It's also irking me.
So, how's the book so far?
Someone told be there was a television series of this.
A modern-day crossover.
Yes there is.
Read the books first.
Yes, I know.
I was just saying.
And wondering if we can watch it sometime.
That was not a typographical error. Yes, 'we'.
Are you really [L/N]?
Go bury yourself in a hole.
I was being kind and hospitable.
Damn you Tsukishima.
Pft. You sounded like our team's shrimp.
Jump off a cliff.
Maybe after school ends.
See you later on the train.
Yamaguchi'll be with me.
See, you're rude too.
Ugh. Whatever. See you.
You swore one could never have a normal conversation with this guy, even if he was already warming up to you.
Chapter 19: nineteen
7 : 43 P.M.
The train's doors open and people sweep inside. You lean your head back on the glass closing your eyes, tempted to sleep because of earlier's preparation plans for a school play - this was until the familiar sight of Tsukishima and his friend entering the train doors. You look to your side and find only one vacant seat beside you - oh well, you supposed.
"Yamaguchi, just take the unoccupied seat, I'll stand," Tsukishima insists his friend who didn't seem sure if it was really alright for him to take the seat. Tsukishima rolls his eyes. "Just take the seat, Yamaguchi."
With a sigh, he does.
You look up at Tsukishima who was standing in front of you, hand holding on the dangling handles. He gives you a smirk and you click your tongue but smile. He blinks at you but relaxes a moment later.
The train begins to move.
"Tsukki, we can change places you know..." Yamaguchi says beside you and Tsukishima sends him a glare. You stifle laughter and take out your lent book and begin reading from your last page.
"Such a nuisance," you can hear him say under his breath and you discreetly kick his foot. He glares at you but it doesn't affect you in any way. You're used to it. You frown at his antics and he rolls his eyes.
"Fine," he says, voice barely above a whisper, "I'll be kinder next time."
He hates how he ends up doing what you want in the end.
Chapter 20: twenty
8 : 44 P.M.
Tsukishima sat beside you after his friend finally got out of the train. He lets out a somewhat relieved sigh before leaning his head back.
"It's annoying how I have your keep you a secret."
You let out a laugh and wrinkle your nose, "You make it sound like we're together. Yuck."
He makes a face and you stick your tongue out at him before returning to your book, the words creating a scenario in your head as you proceeded to read. You don't hear his grumbling and complaining, deaf to everything around you.
When the train lurches to a stop, you close the book and place it back inside your bag with great care.
Tsukishima frowns as he follows right behind you, exiting the train.
He couldn't believe himself for getting jealous over a book.
Chapter 21: twenty one
9 : 12 P.M.
You lay on your bed with a tired sigh as you unlock your mobile and click on your conversation with Tsukishima. You wonder, for a moment, if he was still awake. He usually emails you out of boredom, and you respond to them - would he reply to you now that you couldn't sleep?
You felt a bit nervous at wanting to try.
You do so anyway.
I can't sleep.
And that's my business because?
You're an arse.
I've been told that quite a few times, I'm well aware already.
I can't sleep Tsukishima.
Tell me something I don't know about you.
I like to think we're friends, but I don't think that you think we are.
You're stupid then.
You're way better than Yamaguchi, if you ask me.
At least you aren't a big worrywart.
Is that a yes about being friends?
What do you think?
You're a bastard but you're a fine bastard.
I'm a legitimate child, how many times do I have to tell you that?
Is that the best you can do?
You're annoying. I won't be able to sleep this way.
Tell me something I don't know about you.
I think girls are annoying.
Really big revelation there.
Sarcasm's dripping down the text, [F/N].
Let me finish.
I think girls are annoying, but you seem to be an exception to that.
Are you sure you're a female?
Go bury yourself in a hole Tsukishima.
The backyard is filled with mother's plants. I think she'll get mad if I uproot any just to bury myself.
It's your turn now.
My dad left my mom and I when I was five.
My brother lied to me when he was in middle grade.
You have a brother?
That's what I said, didn't I?
I was just surprised.
What's his name?
Akiteru. Tsukishima Akiteru.
It's your turn already.
Oh, right, sorry.
I like classical pieces. They're calming.
Well then, why don't you play classical music so you could sleep?
I wanted to talk with someone.
Are you sleepy yet, though?
Now that you mention that, yes.
I do feel like my eyelids are turning heavy.
Good night Kei.
Tsukishima looked at his phone, a hint of red spreading across his face. He cursed under his breath for being an utter prat and talking to the likes of you. But there wasn't any regret about getting to know you.
He would probably have regretted not knowing you.
Chapter 22: twenty two
7 : 23 A.M.
The book's cover settles on top of the pages and you let out a content sigh. You already finished the first volume of Sherlock Holmes and was going to return the book to its owner (begrudgingly) today. You finger the pages and gently flip it open in the center, sniffing it's scent of slightly old parchment and ink.
"Did you finish the book already? Seeing that you're already sniffing it," you look up and find Tsukishima looking at you with amusement in his eyes and a smirk playing at his lips. You put the book away and let out a huff, handing the paperback to him (albeit reluctantly).
He takes it from you and, with the same amount of care as your treatment to the book, places it inside his school bag. After so, he slips in the seat beside you.
There's a moment of silence between the pair of you, before the blond decides to break it.
"Tell me something I don't know about you."
The game from last night ensues.
"I can speak a little French."
"I'm guessing you're in the college preparatory class in your school, then."
"Yes. Are you?"
A small smile makes it's way to your lips and he looks at you with a brow raised. You shake your head and think of another 'something' he didn't know about you.
"I like thick books."
"I prefer books that have logic in them."
"I used to recite random lines from books, when I was a child, for fun."
"Then that makes me almost like you. I've had glasses since primary school."
"I like you."
The words had simply slipped out of your lips and you clasp your hands over your mouth, beet red. You expect him to look at you disgustedly, but he simply stares at you, brows scrunched up and a confused look on his face.
The very second you had basically confessed was the time the train came to a halt in front of you and Tsukishima.
He hadn't heard a word.
Chapter 23: twenty three
6 : 43 P.M.
You try to act calm and normal around him; try not to think that you had told him your feelings even if he didn't hear a single word. You wonder if he suspects you for acting a bit off - maybe he did, but he was kind enough not to ask. Your brows are furrowed together and you're biting your bottom lip in anxiousness. Without a book to cover for you, you were basically doomed.
Did he notice?
Or maybe he heard you but he just doesn't want to bring it up?
Either way, the nervousness wouldn't subside soon.
"[F/N]," you almost jump when you hear his voice, "is something wrong?"
"N, no! Nothing!" you stammer and grin, and he looks at you, stopping himself from gaping because you didn't grin.
"Something is wrong, isn't it? A coin for your thoughts?"
You shake your head, "I told you it's nothing!"
He knows your lying, but he knows that the limit was already reached. He doesn't say another word and simply nods and the silence between the two of you is suffocating but you don't dare say anything that would jeopardize you and your stupid, hidden and most probably unrequited feelings.
Chapter 24: twenty four
8 : 37 P.M.
Tsukishima stares at the black screen of his phone with a thoughtful expression. It has been two hours since that talk in the station but you haven't sent a single word of explanation or apology. He was genuinely worried but, knowing his boundaries, decided not to dig deeper into whatever your problem was.
And that was what had been worrying him.
What was your problem and why isn't it something you couldn't tell him?
The urge to dramatically slam a fist on the wall increases - maybe because it was something he would do to relieve himself from this sort of stress. He was never that good at reading people, unlike that infamous cassanova setter from Seijoh, so he relied on the details and information before him.
He could tell that you were hiding something with your worried expression. He could also tell your need of not talking after you had stammered.
He just wanted to know why.
Why were you goddamn hiding things from him now that you two knew so much of one another?
He curses under his breath. The urge only increases.
Was it this annoying to like someone?
He would stand it, though. He would figure out what you were hiding, he would help you with it and everything would go back to normal.
Except it will never be.
Chapter 25: twenty five
7 : 40 A.M.
When he isn't at the station, it dawns to you that today must be 'that day' where he and his team would go to Tokyo. Relief fills you up, but so does emptiness. You longed for his presence - just his presence at the least - which was almost always there to tell you, in a way, that you weren't alone. You heave out a sigh.
You haven't been reading lately so there wasn't really much to do.
You stare at your phone, a mental debate on whether to message the blond or not to going on in your head.
It settles to 'yes, mail him' and you do, typing in a quick greeting before sending it without thinking twice.
Took the early train didn't you?
Take pictures for me, alright?
Tsukishima, are you in Tokyo right now?
You must be because you aren't in the station today.
(Your phone buzzes and there's a reply. Your heart almost races.)
My phone storage is full, I'm sure you could just Google photos of Tokyo. And yes, to answer your question, I am in Tokyo.
Tell that to yourself.
You wound me, Kei!
Don't die unless I'm there to witness it.
That would be unfair if I don't get to solve the mystery of your death like Poirot or Sherlock.
(You laugh at his references.)
Oh, I'm sure you know how'd I die.
Yes, of course. From a heartache.
(Your face almost drops until you receive the continuation of his response.)
Because you can never have your fictional characters.
Very nice, Kei, very nice.
Why thank you.
Don't act like me.
Well, no time to continue this chat. I have to get back to training. I'll see you tomorrow or something.
Enjoy your training.
Tsukishima places his phone back inside his bag and jogs back to where he rest of his teammates were. You were fine, it seems, so he didn't have to worry so much after all. Knowing this, he finally found the spirit to play again.
Chapter 26: twenty six
7 : 20 A.M.
He spots you seated on the same seat on the platform, humming to yourself, headphones over your hears and totally oblivious to the world around you. He almost chuckles at this but stops himself from doing so as he approaches you. You still don't take notice of him when he slides on the seat beside yours and his mouth curves upward into a small smile.
You were still the same as ever.
"[F/N]," his voice is barely above a whisper and you don't hear him, but you could feel his breath on the exposed part of your neck, causing it to send shivers down your spine. With a glare, you put your headphones down and look at him accusingly.
He raises a brow and you roll your eyes - the same old routine.
"Well, did you get photos?" you inquire and he smirks; affirmative. You watch him intently as he rummages through his things in his school bag until he produces a small keychain of the Tokyo Tower and hands it to you.
He congratulates himself inwardly when you smile a big smile.
"There's more, because you kept insisting." he adds, causing your eyes to brighten even more. He scoots a bit closer to you and shows you the gallery of his phone where he shows you pictures of different landmarks in Tokyo. Some of them had Yamaguchi and Tsukishima in the photo, others with, you suppose, his team while majority of them were perfectly angled shots of the landmarks.
"Can you send them to me?" you ask him hopefully and - he'd do everything just to see your eyes sparkling like this - he nods in response.
"I'll burn it in a cd," he says and you grin. Shamelessly, you wrap your arms around his neck and pull him into a tight hug. You feel his arms snake around your waist and he's hugging you back.
"Thank you," you say, your voice small. You can feel the vibration as he hums in reply and you bite your bottom lip as you bury your head on the crook of his neck.
I'm sorry, Kei.
He doesn't want to let go but knows that you and he have been in the position for far too long. He reluctantly lets you go and makes a face while you pout.
It doesn't take a second for him to see sadness in your eyes, contradictory to your earlier glee.
He doesn't ask why.
Chapter 27: twenty seven
7 : 12 P.M.
"Kei, let's watch BBC Sherlock," you tell him as the pair of you walk to your home (before he heads to his, of course). He raises a brow at your invitation and you just smile at him like usual. He couldn't really escape when you're already smiling, can he? He sighs.
"Fine." he says, "But only during Sunday."
Well, duh, you wanted to tell him. Everyone had school on Saturday.
"And another thing," he pauses for a moment and you look at him with confusion and anticipation. "Go to the Inter-High prelims next week. The prelims will begin on Monday next week, I want to see you in the bleachers."
He's smirking and you frown.
"You drive a hard bargain," you say and his smirk simply widens.
"I could always watch it alone...." you begin and you avert your gaze, avoiding eye contact, "but it's always better to binge watch with someone so I'll go. Next week right?"
You look up at him and you catch a glimpse of his surprised expression before it shifts to a mischievous look. A sense of dread fills you - what have you gotten yourself into - and even more so when you two stop in front of your house. He leans forward, his lips brushing against your cheek as he whispers softly.
"I'll see you on Sunday then," he steps back and, with another one of his smirks, walks away.
It takes a few minutes to process what just happened - your cheeks are warm and tinged with pink - and he's already gone when you find the decency to whack him upside down on the head.
Chapter 28: twenty eight
10 : 11 A.M.
- Ｓｕｎｄａｙ -
You open the gate of your house and raise a brow when you find Tsukishima dressed in blue long sleeves, jeans and sneakers. He's also holding a box of, you take a guess, pastries. When your eyes meet, you find him looking at you from head to toe and you curse under your breath.
You were still in your pajamas.
"Not a word, Kei, not a word." you hiss and he chortles as you lead him inside the premises of your home. You quickly call to your mom about having a guest over before leading him to the kitchen, serving him a glass of water, and excusing yourself quickly to change into appropriate clothes.
Sue him and his knack for not being late.
You remember telling him to be in front of your house before 10:20 in the morning, and lo and behold! He did arrive before the said time, causing him to see you in your pajamas.
You want to hurl yourself against a wall but the fear of getting a concussion stops you from doing so.
You jog back downstairs and to the kitchen where Tsukishima was, pleasantly talking with your mother who was giving him a look of approval. You almost cringe at how your mother was so accepting - especially towards him.
"Oh, [F/N], dear, I hear you're going to watch something in your room?" your mother inquires and you nod. "I hope it isn't something vulgar."
Tsukishima lets out a chuckle, "Don't worry, [L/N]-san, I'll make sure to cover her eyes if so."
Your mother laughs good naturedly and Tsukishima smiles.
You glare at him as you slip on the seat beside your mother. He flashes you a smirk before returning to smiling at your dear mother who definitely approved of him much more than ever.
"It's alright for you to call me kaachan, Kei-kun." your mother tells him (but it's obvious that she's insisting this).
You inwardly cry to yourself.
Chapter 29: twenty nine
7 : 32 P.M.
After watching the entire first season and a few episodes of the second season of BBC's Sherlock, the pair of you were then called by your mother who had prepared dinner for three, expecting Tsukishima to stay for supper. The two of you walk down the stairs and enter the kitchen, slipping on a seat beside one another.
"Sorry to bother you, kaachan," Tsukishima said in a shy tone and you almost scoff. The blond, of course, hadn't forgotten to address your mother as kaachan, so the woman was definitely pleased. She made a shooing motion with her hand, "It's alright Kei-kun, it feels more lively to have a boy in the house."
The three of you proceed to eating, your mother asking questions to Tsukishima every once in a while. You almost took pity on the blond if it wasn't for the fact that it was quite amusing to see Tsukishima being questioned.
After dinner (and a hundred questions later), Tsukishima takes his leave. Before he did, though, he discreetly reminded you of the Inter-High prelims tomorrow and you rolled your eyes and shooed him away while telling him that yes you were going to go watch the game.
When you come back inside, your mother is still seated in the kitchen and she's looking at you expectantly.
"Does he know, [F/N]?" she asks you and you shake your head in response.
"No one knows, mom. I didn't tell anyone."
She nods and your lips purse into a thin line. "I'm heading up." you say, walking upstairs and into your room, locking the door behind. You let out a sigh you didn't know you've been holding and walk to your bed. You lie down, holding your phone to your chest.
You can't tell him anything.
Chapter 30: thirty
8 : 43 A.M.
- Ｓｅｎｄａｉ Ｃｉｔｙ Ｇｙｍ -
You wait in front of the gym with a homemade bentou from your mother and a box of pastries in hand. You scan the crowds for a familiar mop of messy blond locks and thick framed, black glasses only to find none with the semblance. It takes five more minutes of waiting until you finally spot a group of boys in familiar black tracksuits; among them was Tsukishima who seemed irked for some reason.
"Kei!" you call out loud and his eyes widen for a moment until they land on you. You walk up to his team and take a deep bow, quickly introducing yourself before lightly elbowing Tsukishima on the ribs. You're grinning at him and he looks at you with a raised brow, "You all look intimidating, Kei."
He chortles (you saw a redhead and a ravenette looking at him with a shocked expression when he did but decided not to point it out) and you stick your tongue out.
"Of course, you're an exception to that."
He gives you a glare and you let out soft laughter. "I'm still not taking that back, Kei."
He rolls his eyes.
"Oh, by the way!" you raise your box of pastries, "Mom insisted that I buy some snacks for you and your team so here you go."
He blinks but takes the box anyway.
Together with the team of Karasuno, you enter the Sendai City Gym.
Chapter 31: thirty one
7 : 42 P.M.
- Post Inter - High -
You sit beside Tsukishima in the table where the members of Karasuno Prefectural High School's volleyball club were gathered around. Everyone had tears falling down from their eyes as they ate ravenously, all except for Tsukishima who silently ate his meal. You look up at him while munching on your rice and meat and his eyes meet yours.
You could see the genuine sadness in them which others might not have noticed. After all, even he had the right to be sad at this occasion. You give him a sad smile and shuffle closer to him.
After the meal, you say your farewells to the group and walk to the station with Tsukishima by your side.
"Kei," you pause for a moment, the sound of your shoes hitting the pavement being the only sound as the pair of you continued to walk. "You did a good job out there."
You stop walking when he does and he faces you, eyes glistening with what you guessed were tears daring to fall down. You knew he was just forcing them not to.
You take a step towards him, stand on your the tip of your toes and wrap your arms around his neck, pulling him in a hug. You could feel his slow and shaky breaths as his arms circle your shoulders. He pulls you close; you rest your head on his chest and your arms go slack.
"It's alright Kei, I won't tease you if you cry," you tell him and he lets out a laugh.
"You're an evil woman," he mutters, his head resting on your shoulder.
"Excuse me, but I'm the same age as you are Kei." you retort and he laughs once again. You smile, a bit proud of yourself for managing to cheer him up even if it was only a little.
You don't know how long you hugged, but when he pulls back, it almost seems like hours passed.
You hum in reply.
Chapter 32: thirty two
9 : 43 P.M.
- Pre - Training Camp -
Your teammates are really fired up for this 'training camp' of yours, aren't they?
They are. But there's exams before the break starts. I pity our weird duo, I don't think they'll even get passing marks on any exam.
I just laughed, Kei.
Funny how your friends are...not as intelligent as you are.
They're not my friends. Don't put me with those idiots.
How about Yamaguchi?
He's curious about you, apparently. He's been asking 'who are you' and 'how did I meet you' and 'why do you two seem so close'?
Then tell him about us.
'You make us sound like we're together, yuck.'
'It's annoying how I have to keep us a secret.'
Don't quote me.
Back at you, Kei.
Anyway, I digress.
Did you hear about the festival this Sunday? Want to come with me? We can watch the fireworks together. Maybe you can bring along Yamaguchi too! And also pray for your 'weird duo' to pass their exams.
The last part can't happen even with divine blessing.
That's mean, Kei.
Well, do you want to go with me or not?
Is that a question or a command meant to sound like one?
Yes, yes, I'll come with you, you insufferable woman.
I'm as old as you are.
What would you do if I had to leave?
I don't know. What should I do?
Why are you asking me this anyway?
Nothing, really, just wondering.
Well, good night Kei!
You're sleeping early.
Exams are drawing near and I have books to read.
Oh, right, exams.
Good night [F/N].
You look at your phone's screen with a sad smile; right now you were simply making the most out of your remaining time.
Chapter 33: thirty three
5 : 43 P.M.
- Sunday -
"[F/N], dear, Kei-kun is here!" your mother calls and you nearly jump in surprise. You hurriedly put on a plain, white shirt and a pair of jeans and wrap around your [f/c] sweater around your waist before heading down the stairs with fervor. You run your fingers across your locks in hopes to at least make your hair look presentable while walking to the kitchen.
Tsukishima greets you with a raise of a brow and you stifle a scoff. Your mother looks at you strangely and you smile.
"Sorry, Kei, I didn't think you'd be here early." you say sheepishly, walking to the counter and pouring yourself a glass of water, drinking it in a few gulps. "Let's go?"
"Well then, we'll take our leave now, mom." you plant a kiss on the cheek of your mother before heading for the door with Tsukishima in tow. When the two of you step outside the premises of your home, you immediately let out a yawn.
"Sleepy?" he asks as you two begin walking.
"No, more like I just woke up from my sleep and I want to go back to bed." you retort and he chortles.
"And to think you're the one who invited me to go to he festival with you."
You roll your eyes and he smirks triumphantly.
"Fine, whatever, let's just go." You tug at his hand and take hold of his wrist, dragging him along with you.
9 : 23 P.M.
After exploring the festival for almost four hours straight, the two of you decide to head out and find a place to rest where you could, at the same time, watch the fireworks tonight without having to go back near the temple. You two settled on the railing of a small bridge in the greens by the temple area, seated side-by-side in comfortable silence.
Tsukishima looks at you from the corners of his vision, a small smile playing at his lips. Feeling his eyes on you, you look back at him, lips curved upward.
"It's my first time in years to go to a festival with someone," you suddenly say, voice small. "The last time would be me with my complete family. But that was when I was five."
Tsukishima's amber hues look into yours, as if searching for something, and, after some time, you feel his hand over yours. He, almost delicately, weaves his fingers with yours, and your cheeks flush red at the show of affection. He squeezes your hand gently in a manner that clearly translated to 'I'm here', and you close your eyes, taking comfort in the warmth of his hand.
The two of you stay like this for a few minutes until the fireworks display begins. His hand is still intertwined with yours as the pair of you look skyward, watching the colorful display in awe.
Has it always felt this nice to watch fireworks with someone?
No, you decide, because you were sure it only felt like this because it was Tsukishima you were with, and not someone else.
In one smooth motion, you feel his thumb brush against your chin and he gently tilts your head upwards. No sooner, his lips are on yours and your eyelids flutter close as you welcome the contact.
Gods I almost forgot this story even existedholy cripes I'm so sorry it took so long to update! ; -;
We're just a few more chapters away from the ending! Are you excited? Mann I hope I remember to update this time around cause it escaped my mind the last time until people started giving comments skskxjslx :'>
Anyways! I hope you enjoyed this chapter~ Be sure to drop a comment below of your thoughts or just anything really! And hit that kudos button if you haven't 👀 jk don't force yourself
Chapter 35: thirty five
You look outside the window, the world beneath slowly growing smaller and smaller - farther and farther. You touch your index to your lips, remembering the tingling sensation of Tsukishima's lips pressed onto yours, and close your eyes, the recollection of yesterday crossing your train of thoughts.
"[F/N]," he whispered after he pulls away, "I don't need a Sherlock or Poirot to tell me that what I'm feeling for you right now is irrefutable."
He looks into your [e/c] eyes, expression showing seriousness as he said the three words you had hoped he would never say.
"I love you."
You bite your bottom lip and your head away to block your mother's (who was sleeping on the seat beside you) vision. Warm tears trickle down from your eyes and down to your neck; you press your head against the cold window, watching the scenery fade into the thick clouds.
It's only been a few hours since your departure, a few hours since you last saw him, yet it already feels painful.
You never should've met him in the first place.
You were supposed to distance yourself from everyone and everything before you left for England.
It wasn't supposed to be like this - it wasn't supposed to be painful.
But it was, and it was your fault for falling and your fault for continuing to be his friend even when you knew that it would be shattered once it came down to this.
You stifle your sniffs and wipe the dried tears in an attempt to look decent when your mother wakes.
Tsukishima looks at you as if expecting a reply, but you don't say a word and simply pull him to you and press your lips on his eagerly you don't want to let go of him, you don't want this to stop, but there's always an 'eventually', and in a few hours everything would end. This would end.
You couldn't bear the thought of leaving.
You feel the tears begin falling from your eyes as your arms wrap around his neck, and his around your waist.
I'm sorry, Kei.
Chapter 36: thirty six
7 : 43 A.M.
Tsukishima looks at the empty bench where you usually sat with a frown. You were usually at the station this early, but where were you? The lights were obviously turned off in your house, and nobody seemed home when he passed by earlier. Where were you?
With a sigh, he takes a seat as he waits for the train to arrive. He fishes out his phone, clicks on your conversation and sends a message.
Oi, you Sherlockian.
Why aren't you replying?
You're breaking my heart, woman.
I'm serious [F/N].
You're worrying me.
Crap, don't tell me you're in class right now?
I never thought of that possibility.
Look I'm really sorry if I interrupted you in your class, okay?
Just send a reply at lunch.
Chapter 37: thirty seven
12 : 10 P.M.
Tsukishima looks at the screen of his phone, brows furrowed together as he sends message after message. There was no sign of you reading his mail - any of his mail for the day - and he could feel his stomach lurch in a mix of fear and worry. Did something happen? Were you avoiding him because of yesterday?
His hands clench into fists, knuckles turning white as he trembles slightly.
"Tsukki?" Yamaguchi's voice pulls him back to reality. "Are you okay?"
He looks at his black haired friend and relaxes. He shakes his head, "I'm fine," and unclenched his hands. Yamaguchi looks at him doubtfully and occupies the vacant seat in front of his chair.
"You aren't, Tsukki."
You can obviously tell, right? Then why did you bother asking?
"Please tell me what's the problem..."
"No," Tsukishima hisses under his breath, "you don't need to know."
"If I don't know what's troubling you, then I wouldn't know how to help!"
He glares at his friend. "Did I even ask you for help?" Venom dripped from his words and Yamaguchi visibly flinches at the tone, but remains valiant and stays where he is.
He doesn't even apologize to him like he normally does.
"It's about that girl, [L/N]-san, isn't it?"
Tsukishima's breath stops and he looks at his friend, eyes widening at the mention of your surname.
"I knew it."
6 : 43 P.M.
Tsukishima is sleeping on the travel in the train, having no one to talk to - Yamaguchi being out of the list of his people to talk with. The said black haired friend of the boy, on the other hand, sat beside his friend with a look of concern ever since he saw him during lunch, looking distressed after [L/N]'s sudden disappearance. Tsukishima, a while ago during training, surprisingly did not argue with any of the first years or second years and simply nodded his head lifelessly. There were no witty comebacks or annoyed arguments and such.
Eventually, Yamaguchi knew, his friend would soon move on. But moving on was such a hard thing - even he didn't think Tsukishima would be able to without breaking something inside of him.
He glances at his friend and heaves out a sigh.
Maybe, just maybe, [L/N] could - would - come back and restore his friend back to normal.
For Tsukishima Kei, there would always be a gap inside his heart and a piece of his soul missing.
We're nearing the end! I hope you like today's updates :>
Share your thoughts in the comments and be sure to hit that lovely heart with the work 'kudos' if you haven't yet ehe
Chapter 39: thirty nine
4 : 37 A.M.
- A Year Later -
Tsukishima Kei gazes at the empty house with the nameplate of the [L/N]'s still placed by the gate. He brushes his index on the brass nameplate which has slowly been collecting dust after the residents of the home disappeared without his knowledge. The kiss from that night in the festival felt like yesterday; he could still remember the tingling, electric like sensation, on his lips as her lips pressed onto his.
He lifts his finger, which was dirty from the dust, and wipes it on his slacks without really caring if his pants would get smudged with dirt and dust.
He turns his heel and looks away from the house, walking on like nothing had happened.
He stares at the ground as he continues to walk, remembering the feeling of walking home with [F/N], the feeling of her hand on his wrist as she drags him from place to place, the feeling of her arms wrapped around his neck as she hugs him, the smile she would give him, the smirk when she would give a comeback, the grin when she was more than just happy.
He recalls the times when she told him about herself, her particular liking to classical pieces, her fondness for books, how she watched a television series with him intently, how she was straightforward, supporting and evil. She was evil, definitely.
What would you do if I had to leave?
He had figured out the reason behind this question after recovering from the shock of her sudden disappearance.
Where did she go to?
He didn't know.
He wouldn't know.
How would he, when they weren't that close anyway?
He recalls the tears from when she had initiated the kiss and he didn't - never - knew the reason behind it.
He wouldn't know.
They were never that close, after all.
Chapter 40: forty
1 : 02 P.M.
- Post Graduation -
"Kageyama! I can't believe it! We're graduates!"
"I couldn't believe my eyes either, Yamaguchi, did these two just graduate?"
"Don't be so mean, Tsukki..."
"Tsukishima, you bastard!"
"Hinata-senpai, Kageyama-senpai, Yamaguchi-senpai, Tsukishima-senpai, thank you for all the experience you gave is in playing volleyball!"
The new graduates of Karasuno Prefectural High School Boys Volleyball Team look at their kohais with almost identical smiles as the younger boys crowd their upperclassmen, showering them with praise.
"Kageyama, Yamaguchi, Tsukishima - let's play one last game before leaving!" Hinata suggests with a grin and the other three shrug and nod their heads in affirmative.
As the quartet motion to remove their formal attire and change into their jersey's, Tsukishima felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He signals 'wait', fishes his phone out, unlocks it and clicks on the new message.
Happy graduation, Kei.
I miss you.
A sad smile makes its way to his face and he bites his bottom lip to stop himself from doing anything emotional in front of the volleyball club.
Chapter 41: forty one
7 : 43 A.M.
Tsukishima could feel his hands grow cold as the plane made its ascent. He distracts himself by putting on his headphones and playing music, but it barely relaxes him; his hands remain cold and trembling. He wasn't afraid of flying - of course not - but rather, he was nervous because he was going out of Japan. Headed for England, in fact, to take University in Oxford (he was hoping to pass into Merton) with English Literature as his course.
He had also received a string of messages from you two days before leaving, and the pair of you had talked until you had said that your battery was low and you had to charge.
He smiles a small smile and unlocks his phone. If there was anything that would calm him down at a time like this, it would be your messages.
How are you doing?
My mom says she also misses you and that she's sorry that she never told you about us leaving.
I'm sorry too, Kei, because I never really thought you'd mean this much to me.
It was too late to tell you when I wanted to.
I'm really sorry.
You're a stupid evil woman, but I still love you.
I wonder why?
Because I'm very lovable.
I doubt people find that true.
You're as rude as ever!
You didn't let me finish.
I doubt people find you very loveable, because all your love goes to me.
Kei that made absolutely no sense
Sue the pickup line websites
Kei did you SERIOUSLY check pickup lines on the web?
Stop laughing at me woman
I'm sorry Kei
I just...oh gods - YOU of all people searching PICKUP LINES
Bring back my Kei!
Don't worry Kei I won't tell anyone.
So, how's graduation? The volleyball team?
Graduation went fine, I suppose. Although it feels kind of incomplete without you.
Kei, I don't study in Karasuno.
Hell, I'm nearly dead-bat
He stares at the conversation with a small smile.
He may not - or never - hear your voice, but talking with you like you had used to do was fine. It was better than not having a link with you.
Chapter 42: forty two
- Paddington Station -
You stand on Platform 4 with your headphones over your ears and playing music as you wait for the arrival of the train. You absentmindedly finger the straps of your book-filled backpack with anxiety and excitement. You were, after all, bound for for Merton College in Oxford.
When the train pulls up in front of you, you join the crowd as they enter the tube. You quickly find a seat and slip into it, looking outside the glass window where a new crowd gathers around the Platform as the tube's doors close.
You place your bag on your lap, zip it open and take a book. You close your bag and flip your book open.
"Excuse me, is the seat beside you occupied?"
You stop reading and pull your headphones down, hanging them around your neck as you look up. A boy with messy blond hair, thick, black framed glasses and amber eyes looks at you expectantly and you stop yourself from gasping.
He blinks and you rub your eyes and look at him again - wait, it is Kei!
"Why did you leave, [F/N]?"
You already expected him to ask the question ever since he took the seat beside you in the station. It was just a matter of time before he he would start asking for answers, after all.
You took a deep breath to calm your racing heart before beginning.
"You remember about my father who left us? He asked mom and I to come here - he practically begged us to, especially me. He had an emergency, you see," you looked down at your lap, fiddling with your fingers, "my half brother needed a bone marrow donor and I was the only possible match in the family. I, I didn't want someone related to me just die because of my selfishness, so I decided to leave. Not telling you was part of it - it was too painful for me."
You think it wasn't for me? You could already imagine him saying, but he didn't utter a single word.
"Is he okay now?" He suddenly asked after a few moments of silence, taking you by surprise.
"Your half brother," he clarified, not meeting your gaze while you looked at him with an ounce of desperation.
You smiled a little, "Yeah. He's better now. It's still going to take a few more years for both him and me, but he's getting better, thankfully."
You pursed your lips together, feeling guilt at the heavily growing silence between the two of you.
"Say, why don't I treat you to some hot cocoa and Ben's Cookies nearby?" you said, "I especially like the dark chocolate and nuts. Maybe you'll find a favorite there too."
He turned to look at your direction, an expression you couldn't read on his face. You worried for a split second before he gave a small upward quirk of his lips.
You grinned, "My treat. Then we can catch up once we get there."
And that concludes this fic! I wish you weren't too disappointed with the ending :< Thank you so much for staying to read this, and I hope you enjoyed the ride! Be sure to drop your comments below, give a kudos, and scream all you want because this fic was made during 2016 and I only decided to upload it here as well from my Quotev account.
See you guys in the next (or other) fanfic!