Contrary to Tanaka's previous beliefs, it took only 4 days for him to become annoyed with Kageyama and Hinata's bickering.
"Kageyama, please put the stapler down. You can't staple Hinata to a wall just for bothering you."
"Hinata, give Kageyama back his chair. I know you hid it somewhere."
"For the love of god, Kageyama, put Hinata down and get away from the window!" It felt like babysitting a couple of vindictive toddlers, and Tanaka never wanted kids less than in that moment.
He had hoped that they would settle down with time, but evidently, it would take a bit of intervention. And for that, Tanaka had to call in some outside forces.
"You two! Listen up," Daichi said on Friday morning, standing before the two of them. Tanaka stood to the side, staring at his nails. Angry Daichi™ was scary - not that he'd admit it - even to a bystander. The two interns sat at their sides of the desk, separated by a curtain, courtesy of Tanaka's own inspiration. "You guys have to learn to work together."
"Why?" Kageyama asked, crossing his arms petulantly. "I'm doing my work perfectly well on my own."
"Ditto," Hinata said, copying his posture without even looking at him. For the five billionth time that week, Tanaka wanted to point out to them just how similar they really were. But he didn't want to start another argument, especially with Daichi in the room.
Daichi looked up at the ceiling, continuing his speech. "As you probably know, this building is owned by a larger company, which owns many businesses in the area. At the end of the year, they measure up how much raw work each building did throughout the year. And whichever building wins this sort of competition, gets a major bonus to every employee in the building. It's kind of a big deal here."
He didn't miss the glow that entered both of their eyes when he said the word "competition". He continued talking before Hinata could raise his hand - as he was prone to doing - and unload a barrage of questions.
"At the rate that you guys are going at, you'll finish all of the building's file work today. Then will come harder projects, ones that require multiple people. I could split them up between the two of you, but it'll be a lot more efficient if you can work together without trying to throw someone out a window." He directed that one towards Kageyama, who barely managed to avoid rolling his eyes.
"Tanaka gave you many chances to get along, but you failed each one. Therefore, as his boss, and your mega boss, it's my responsibility to enforce our policies against workroom brawls. I'm going to give you a powerpoint assignment to do. You'll have all of next week to do it, but if you don't finish by Friday, you'll have to face the repercussions."
He paused for dramatic effect, waiting for someone to ask what the punishment was. Finally, Hinata gave in.
"What are the repercussions?"
"I'm glad you asked." Daichi smiled for a second before returning to his stern expression. "If the project isn't completed in time, then Kageyama will switch offices, and be forced to work with Tsukishima for the remainder of his time here."
"You've gotta be kidding me," Kageyama said immediately, while Hinata asked, "What about me?"
Daichi ignored Hinata and addressed the other intern head on. "When Oikawa sent you to work here, he told me specifically that you're unable to work with other people. I can't have someone like that working under me, even with all of your talent, so if you can't work with Hinata, you'll just have to learn to work with Tsukishima. And something tells me you wouldn't prefer that."
He turned to leave, then stopped in his tracks. "One more thing. I'll be assigning the same project to Tsukishima and another intern in the building you haven't met yet. Let's just say you want to be better than them. I'll be using the superior powerpoint in a presentation to my bosses, who are your ultra-mega bosses. People who you want to impress, in other words. Good luck."
On that ominous note, he left the room, whistling as he walked.
All three of them were stunned into silence, but Tanaka recovered first. "Ok, you heard him. I have to get back to my other work, but try to start planning out how you'll do this. If you need my help with something, you can just stop by and ask. I assume you'll behave a little better this afternoon, given the circumstances."
He exited the room, leaving just Hinata and Kageyama fuming in their places.
"Why're you angry?" Kageyama asked, curiosity eating at him despite his own rage. "You're not being punished. You don't have anything to lose."
"I don't like being ignored," Hinata huffed. "Why are you getting all of the attention? We're both just interns." He shoved the curtain to the side temporarily. He didn't like not being able to see the face of the person he was arguing with.
"I have more experience, so they value me more," he said without a second thought. "This is your first internship, right? Well I worked at this company before. Different building, though."
Hinata was floored. "How can you just say it like that? We're supposed to be trying to get along! Do you want to go work with Tsukishima?"
"Hell no," Kageyama said automatically. "I'm not trying to pick a fight. I was just being honest."
Hinata studied his face, then laughed in disbelief. "You're serious. How were you able to work in this company for a year without picking up any social skills? At least when I'm infuriating it's on purpose, King. Did they keep you in solitary confinement the whole time?"
He had taken to calling Kageyama "King" at basically any opportunity, which pissed Kageyama off double, since he didn't even know the reason he got the nickname in the first place. He was just trying to piss him off, and damn it, it was working.
This time, though, Kageyama considered his future with the company. He didn't want to be kicked out of another VB-owned building. Something told him that wouldn't look good on his resume.
Instead of blowing up, Kageyama asked, "If I tell you the story of why they called me the King, do you swear not to call me that ever again?" Hinata's curiosity overcame his rage, and he nodded quickly. "Alright then. I'll begin."
Kageyama thought it would be hard to start the story, but the beginning wasn't the part that got to him. "In the Kitagawa building-"
"Oh, I've read about them! They're one of the most efficient buildings in the company, right?"
Kageyama glared at him for interrupting, but nodded. "As I was saying, when I interned there last year, my mentor was Oikawa. Everybody called him the Great King because he could bring out the best in everyone he worked with and maximized their efficiency. I idolized him, so naturally I kissed a lot of ass. When I worked with people, I used to boss them around, because no one worked as hard as I did, and it pissed me off. Some people called me a dictator, but most settled for a different nickname. The Little King, which later just shortened to the King."
Kageyama said all of this like it was nothing, but he still felt the sting of their glares and whispers just loud enough for him to hear. Who does he think he is, talking to us like that? No one will ever follow him like they follow Oikawa. He might as well just give up and crawl into a ditch. Nobody would care if he left.
"One day," he continued with a deep breath, "I took on a big project, too big for one person to handle. As the deadline approached, I asked around to see if anyone would help me complete it. It, uh, didn't work out. The project flopped, and Oikawa recommended that I transfer to a different building where 'my potential would be better reached'. And that brings us to now, I guess."
For once, Hinata was at a loss for words. Kageyama's expression stayed wistful for a second, then morphed into annoyance. "Stop looking at me like that. You're just as pitiable as I am."
"I... didn't know," Hinata said, opting to ignore his biting words. "I almost feel bad for fighting with you all the time."
"Well, you are kind of an ass..."
"Now who's tactless?!"
Hinata stopped the arguing this time, standing up from his desk. "We're not allowed to fight anymore, remember? So let's work on this project, ace it, and then we can get back to seeing who's the best, ok?"
"If you say so." Kageyama turned on the computer with one swift motion, logging into his email. "How much do you know about making a powerpoint?"
"Oh, lots! I had to make a ton of them while I was in college." He showed him a couple of his best ones from Google Slides, but Kageyama didn't look impressed in the slightest.
"I mean an actual powerpoint. You know, Microsoft?" When Hinata stared at him blankly, he sighed. "I thought that was a requirement to get any business internship, but I guess not. I'll finish our project for us then, I suppose."
Hinata was furious. "The whole point of this project is so that we'll learn how to work together! You can't always do everything yourself."
"Then you better learn to be useful," Kageyama responded, looking him right in the eye. "Once you can reach my level, then you can help."
The words echoed around Hinata's head as he stomped out of the cubicle, beelining to Tanaka's workspace.
Reach his level? He really does have a royalty complex! Man, if we weren't under such scrutiny I'd-
"Hey, Hinata! What's with the grumpy face? You two fighting already?" Tanaka asked, spinning around in his chair. Hinata decided not to throw Kageyama under the bus for once.
"No, it's not that. I need to learn how to use Microsoft Powerpoint in order to help with our project. Do you think you could teach me?"
"No can do, buddy," he said, leaning back. "My workload is too backed up to help you. I do know someone else who can take you under their wing, though. Cubicle 26. Ask for Sugawara Koushi."
"Thank you, sir!" Hinata exclaimed, and Tanaka laughed.
"Nobody calls me sir. I kind of like it, though. Get to your work!"
Hinata followed the cubicle numbers until he reached 26. He peered inside to see a man with ash grey hair squinting at a computer. Despite his hair color, he looked only a few years older than Hinata himself.
"Um, excuse me? Is Sugawara Koushi here?"
The man turned to face Hinata, and Hinata was surprised to see that he was grinning.
"That's me," he said, pointing to himself. "What can I do for you?"
"I need to learn how to use Microsoft Powerpoint by the end of next week. Do you think you can help me?"
Sugawara whistled low, eyes wide. "A week, huh? Usually the training courses take at least two to really master it."
"Alright then. Thank you for-"
"That means you'll have to work extra hard. Do you think you're up for it?" Sugawara couldn't have phrased it better.
"Definitely. Thank you, Sugawara-san."
"No problem. We'll start on Monday. And please, call me Suga."