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Stay Away While the Clowns Play

Chapter Text

 

 

Shlink

 

Shlink.

 

Shlink.

 

The air was heavy with darkness, atmosphere filled with the faint sounds of miserable screams of anguish and suffering from afar, begging and yelling and laughing of several kinds carrying with it the stench of smoke, blood and flames. Death danced along the whispers of the night’s stale, cold wind, hissing and crying like the punctured tires and ruined engines of the innocent vehicles laid to waste outside. 

Shlink.

 

Shlink.

 

Shlink .

 

He could barely suppress the flinch in his bones as the chain dragging along the floor drew nearer, slowing to a stop only a certain distance away. 

Beside him, Yamaguchi was still coughing up blood, a trickle of it running down his chin and joining the litany of bruises and cuts on his face and body.

 

It had been two hours.

 

Exactly two hours since they’d been walking home, extremely oblivious to the dangers that would greet them that night, and had been caught off guard when the alarm had gone off. Tsukishima and Yamaguchi had been about to head down their own road, both talking about completing the essays they’d been assigned to for their Literature class during school, and Kageyama had lingered behind with Hinata, the both of them waiting for the other to see if they were up for one more round of volleyball before they finally retreated back to their various homes for the night. The streets had been as passively active as it always was, cars passing by occasionally and 24-hour hour shops switching staff for the duration of the night. 

Neither of them had known when the alarms would sound.

Neither of them had known about the marauders waiting for them in the hidden shadows of the dark.

 

Hinata was only grateful Yachi hadn’t decided to follow them this night.

  

Shlink.

 

The chain shifted again, and he couldn’t stop the trembling of his arms from where they’d been strung up on a chain falling from the ceiling, his wrists having been bruised and bloodied from when he’d been forced to struggle and pull against them various times during this torture session. They’d been trapped in the Karasuno gym for over two hours, the wooden floorboards that had just been wiped clean moments before now stained with blood, sweat and tears, his knees blistered from how long he’d knelt and scuffled them against the ground.

The tears and sweat on his face were yet to dry.

In front of Yamaguchi, only a short distance away, Tsukishima was just barely conscious, his arms held above him by the same chains keeping them all from full slumping on top the dirtied gym floors. A man held up the blonde by his hair, and though his face was masked, he could see the lurid grin stretching cruel lips into a wide smile. Like himself, the blonde’s mouth was taped shut, muffling the cry escaping his throat as a knife was plunged into his calf, blood spurting out immediately afterwards and trickling down the trembling limb into a growing puddle on the floor. He could see the stray tears running down his cheeks. His glasses had been broken and thrown off to the side hours ago.

The man held the knife in his leg and turned to a blindfolded Yamaguchi, the chains above the freckled teen rattling in his futile struggles as he heard his best friend cry out in pain for the nth time.

“Okay… what did I do to Kei just now? Hmm, Tadashi?” The man questioned, releasing the knife and leaving it embedded in pale muscle. “Try and get it right this time, okay? I know you don’t want to get hurt again…” His voice was leery, adding to the chilling atmosphere clouding the gymnasium. The chain a distance away dragged itself along the floor again, the looming threat writing itself across the air like it had done ever since it’s gleaming, metallic exterior had touched the wooden floorboards.

They’d been playing this game for the past hundred and twenty minutes. And counting.

 

Still counting.

 

After they’d been kidnapped and forced into chains, their names forcefully threatened out of them, Yamaguchi and Kageyama had been blindfolded, while Hinata and Tsukishima were gagged with tape. From then, the man and his lackies—two other people with similar masks—began torturing them, switching between blades, sticks, fists and then the chain. The chain was the worst of them. The man would hurt the ones that were gagged, while he made the people blindfolded guess what was happening to them as he constantly ran his knives and slammed several things against their bodies. They were met with the heavy repercussions of the chain with every wrong answer they got and with every rule broken. 

Then they’d switch positions after forty-minute intervals, and start again.

This was his second round in this position.

Y-you…” Yamaguchi coughed again, pitifully trembling as he fought against the pain and cold of the situation. “Y-you used th-the… the knife…”

“And?”

“And… y-you…” Hinata watched him grit his teeth in desperation and fear, fresh tears lining his face and dripping to the floor where the splatters were light against the wood, but heavy in his ears. “The—you st-stabbed him… w-with it…?”

“What did I say about making it sound like a question?”

Oh—oh no… I-I’m sorry!” He instantly panicked, struggling against the chains as the man got up from where he crouched beside Tsukishima, boots plodding against the ground as he approached him with heavy steps. “I forgot! P-please—I’m sorry!”

“Shut up,” the man ordered, gesturing for the lacky holding the chain to ‘get to it’. Without hesitation, the man lifted it from the ground, its bloodied end raised into the air before swinging it downwards with full force. Yamaguchi knew it was coming and braced himself, yet, even though this had already been done more times than he’d bothered to count, he couldn’t bear the pure agony that came along with having the two-meter metallic chain land against his ribs, cutting through skin and muscle and shattering both bone and sinew. The agonized cry that roared through his throat was feral, like a living creature being burnt alive.

Hinata had nearly instinctively shut his eyes and looked away as the chain made contact and his friend was hurt again, but there were consequences against that too.

Don’t make the answers sound like questions.” The man spat as he watched the suffering teen slump forward, the chain the only thing stopping his head from hitting the ground, his lips mumbling out several unintelligible words as he let the all-consuming pain devour him. Yamaguchi was seriously trembling, and no one could do anything about it. “Don’t look away during the game. Don’t hesitate with your replies. Don’t get them wrong. And most important of all… don’t make me repeat the rules.” The man bent down again, this time in front of Yamaguchi, and pulled his head up by his hair, the blindfold preventing them from seeing eye-to-eye. “I should whip you again for breaking the last one, but I’m feeling merciful.”

He dropped his head not-so-gently, the chain pulling painfully at his arms as he was suspended mid-air, seconds from hitting the ground.

“One last chance, okay Tadashi?” he proposed, moving back towards Tsukishima who tried his best to scoot away from the man, not that it did much good. Hinata never thought the tall, salty teen could have made any other expression besides his condescending, taunting looks and disdainful glares. Seeing him look like he was begging for his life right now was beyond painful.

Grabbing his hair and forcefully pushing him forwards, he held him down and seized his left arm, bending it backward and using the chain as leverage to speed up the action of his newest torture. Hinata wasn’t even aware of the tears escaping his eyes, only trying not to throw up the rest of his lunch as he watched the man bend, bend and bend till a sickening ‘pop’ met his ears and Tsukishima’s final, loudest scream died down along with the light in his eyes. In front of him, he saw Kageyama trying to hold down the contents of his stomach, crouching into himself and biting his lip as he tried to breathe.

He was also wearing a blindfold, but he didn’t need to see what had happened to know.

On his side, Yamaguchi had already thrown up after screaming out his best friend’s name in agitated panic, spilling vomit down his chin and shirt till it landed on the floor.

“Can you guess what I did, Tadashi?” The man sounded the least bothered about what he just did to another human being, letting go of the unconscious blonde so his—broken? Dislocated? —arm hung at an abnormal angle. He looked to Yamaguchi again, not minding the way he heaved and coughed, blood still trickling down his chin from the corner of his mouth.

Yamaguchi inhaled shakily, his breaths far from even as he sobbed and quivered. “Y-you… you d-dislocated a bone,” he replied, trying to swallow and cringing into himself as though the action itself was painful. “In his… h-his arm…”

“Which part?”

“His…” He coughed, streams of tears and agony lining his cheeks as he tried to inhale in more air. “His e-elbow…” 

Hinata saw the grin behind the man’s mask as he reviewed his victim’s answer. “Correct.”

At that, the relieved slump of Yamaguchi’s shoulders was ever so visible as he was, for that round, mitigated from having to bear another long, atrocious period of utter pain and torture. Though he couldn’t hep but hear his teammate’s unsettled mutterings and whispers, mumbles of ‘I’m so sorry Tsukki. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.’ and ‘It’ll be okay. It’ll soon be over’ being whispered over and over in an unending mantra through bloodstained lips.

Hinata gulped, staring sadly at the state of the freckled teen and the still unconscious blonde, his stomach rolling every time his eyes accidentally veered upwards to stare at the dislocated arm, the bone pushing crudely against skin in a manner that just wasn’t natural.

Only to be forced away by a hand against his scalp, pulling at his matted strands so he faced upwards and into the covered gaze of the masked man. If his trembling from before had stopped, they instantly continued at the notion of the man’s sudden close proximity. It didn’t need to be spelled out loud, nor did it need to be said, because at that moment, it was so painfully clear.

 

It  was his turn.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Everyone had been caught unaware.

 

It wasn’t like no one hadn’t known about it, but like the masses and 95.5% of the population had speculated, it was just a bluff, a ruse made by the government to drive the minority and its populace away from the country, a scheme to get everyone to pay their dues to a cause that may or may not affect the state of the economy to the country’s favor.

 

But then the alarm had sounded, and everything had gone to complete and utter chaos.

 

They hadn’t even been given a proper warning.

 

Cars had just suddenly started crashing, people had begun screaming, buildings were set on fire—people were set on fire—and those weren’t even the worst of them. Kuroo had seen a man literally beheading a lady with what had to be an actual-live Guillotine. And that had just been five minutes after the sound of the alarm, just as he and Kenma were leaving the train station on their way home.

 

After witnessing such an atrocity, he’d booked it, dragging Kenma along as he tore away from the scene which had instantly turned chaotic in the mere moments they’d left, ducking away from masked men carrying machetes and knives, and people—teenagers—holding flame torches and glow in the dark signs that read: ‘The Purge has begun.’

 

Outside, someone had screamed aloud on a megaphone, declaring the beginning of their current madness.

 

“It’s time, brothers and sisters, to rid the world of the impurities that have forsaken our land, to cut off the sin that reeks from our filthy inhumane bodies. The time has come, for the purge to cleanse our souls and purify our weakened minds, to…”

 

“Can you believe this shit?” Kuroo’s dad cursed through the phone, having called him after the announcement had been made on the news, which had been cut off as soon as they’d officially started the ‘purge’ shit that had sent vehicles and people screeching. He was only glad the phone signals were still working, although once in a while it would distort and he’d lose touch with his dad for a few minutes.

 

At the moment, he was currently in Kenma’s house. His own home had been empty upon arrival, with his dad stuck at work and his grandparents having gone out on one of their nightly trips.

 

Kenma’s parents had suggested he stay with them until the entire thing blew over, helping them barricade their doors and windows and huddling in the living room, each occupant armed with something to help defend themselves against any hostile intruder who thought their home would be a convenient place to rob. Beside him, Kenma’s eyes were fixed on the PSP screen in his hands, the subtle sounds of the game’s background music playing softly in the thick silence of the room as his dad periodically peeked through the windows, checking for any of the gun wielding, chainsaw carrying maniacs looking to kill people for no good reason.

 

Kuroo sighed for the umpteenth time, wondering if he could dig his earpieces deeper into his ear canals so he could blot out the screams and general chaos erupting from the outside.

 

“I know dad, it’s fine. We’ve been safe here for at least an hour,” he reassured his worried parent, digging his hand into his pant pocket and feeling the hundred yen notes still folded inside. He’d been planning on buying himself his usual after school smoothie as soon as practice was over, and maybe one for Kenma too. But then the alarm had sounded and all his plans had been thrown out the window.

 

“How are you? Are you safe?”

 

“I’m okay Tetsurou,” his dad replied, the intensity in his tone softening as he released a tired breath. “The building has a safe room, and the security’s trying to keep us safe for now. I’m coming home as soon as this is over, alright?”

 

Kuroo hummed, sitting down beside Kenma and slumping against the backrest.

 

“Alright… do you know if Oba-san and Oji-san are okay? They’re not picking—”

 

“I know… I know…”  His dad sounded tired, little shuffling noises sounding from the other side, sounding as though he was pacing back and forth. “I’m trying too. Hopefully we’ll get a good enough signal in a few minutes.”

 

“Yeah…” He nodded solemnly. “Hopefully…” Behind, he could hear Kenma’s parents holding a conversation, the tones of their voices sounding more and more frenzied as the seconds passed and the chaos became nothing but a distant noise in the back scenes. “Dad?” he spoke into the receiver, observing how Kenma’s attention had been piqued away from his PSP as well, widened eyes fixated on his quarreling mom and dad. “I’ll call you back soon. Love you.”

 

“Love you too, son.” And with that, the phone beeped as he finally cut the call, grunting as he rose up from his seating position and peered over at his best friend’s parents as they argued heatedly with each other in the front entrance.

 

“What’s wrong?” he voiced, Kenma shrugging as he himself had no clue.

 

Just then, a loud knock banged repeatedly against the door, imparting a desperation so frantic and critical that he feared whoever was outside would knock down the door itself.

 

When the persistent knocks had died down, and the barricades at the door stayed thankfully stable, Kenma’s mother pointed ardently at the barricaded door, a frown more aggressive than he’d ever seen on her face marring her features and distorting her usually calm visage.

 

I’m telling you Koichi, if there’s someone out there who needs our help and we didn’t help them—”

 

“And what if it’s one of those… those savages? Think about what would happen if we let them into our home. Think about Kenma and Tetsurou.”

 

“The woman outside said she has a baby Koichi… I am thinking about the kids,” she retorted back. “I’m thinking… what if I was in her shoes? What if I had my baby with me and—”

 

The person outside pounded against the door again. Heavier and Louder and growing more and more desperate

 

“—And all I wanted was to protect them?” His mother now seemed torn between screwing the argument and opening the door anyway, and trying to get her husband to agree with her notion so they could work together. “Please Koichi… I won’t feel well leaving someone out there like that… You know it’s not safe… She might—”

 

More knocking against the door. And this time, a voice.

 

“Please…,” they begged, and like he’d heard from their conversation, it was a lady outside, knocking frantically against the door like she intended to knock the wooden structure over.  “Let me and my baby in. I’m begging you…! Please… Even if it’s just my baby!”

 

Kenma’s mother sent her husband a pointed look.

 

“Please," she continued to beg. "I don’t want to die…”

 

The bespectacled man hesitated as his hand reached for the door’s handle, stilting in his motions as the lady banged on the door again. Kenma’s mom let out an impatient groan.

 

“Koichi!”

 

I’m a little cautious…! Give me a sec,” his father urged, then sighed and turned back to Kenma and Kuroo, seeing the two teenagers had been listening in on their little dispute about opening the doors for over a moment now. “Hey, boys?” he positioned his hand on the door handle, looking more than ‘a little cautious’. There was visible sweat lining his brow, and there was a certain tremble in his wrist as he rested it on the ledge of the handle. “Mind helping me check the windows upstairs?” he suggested. “I need to know if they’ve been properly fortified while I open the doors.”

 

Kuroo watched Kenma pause and stare at his parents for a second, his thumbs unmoving across the pads of his game console as his brow furrowed slightly.

 

“But… haven’t we already done that twice?”

 

“I know we have,” his mother replied, nodding and offering a reassuring smile, her tone soft yet urgent. “We’re just... making sure it’s extra safe for the visitor, you know? Don’t worry, Kenma." Her lips stretched into a gentle smile. "We’ll be here when you get back.”

 

Kenma’s brows furrowed some more, his muscles twitching anxiously before softening slightly, his lips, parted like he’d been about to say something coming to a stop as he stood up and made for the stairs to the second floor. Kuroo followed without another word, sparing the blonde's parents a final glance before proceeding to trail behind his childhood friend up the stairs to the other floor.

 

The hallways and rooms were lighted up, contrary to the eerie pandemonium that was Tokyo’s current state, the floors and walls as normal and clean as they always were, the casualness of his official second home still remaining a comforting constant even in the middle of what seemed like the end of the world. And though the windows were definitely well boarded up and fortified with enough metal, wood and nails to build a cabin, Kuroo could almost almost forget that someone had been stabbed in the stomach two blocks away from his house.

 

He could almost forget the bone chilling feeling of absolute fear that had stricken him in the chest after hearing someone scream bloody murder as they’d been amputated by a chainsaw.

 

His teeth drew blood from where they’d pierced through his lower lip.

 

Kenma, earphones in his ears this time, stayed hunched up in a corner by his room, trying to finish up his recent game.

 

Kuroo inhaled in a breath.

 

Okay… calm down.

 

It’s okay. They’re not as close as he thinks. They’re probably only going to raid rich houses and stores and random people they see walking on the streets. They definitely wouldn’t go near Kenma’s family. Or his family. They wouldn't, would they?

 

Of course not. They were fine.

 

He was fine.

 

“Kuro,” Kenma’s voice cut across his thoughts, dragging him away from the infinite spiraling depth that was his mind. He looked away from where his fingers had been tapping incessantly against the wooden window boards, his eyes coming across dark-amber orbs staring straight into his being. It almost seemed like Kenma was trying to read his mind. It almost seemed like he'd already read his mind. “You’re worried, aren’t you?”

 

He blinked. “… What…?”

 

“It’s why you keep hitting the walls with your fingers,” he points out. “Also, your bleeding,” Kenma added, gesturing towards his mouth and tracing a finger down his chin. Kuroo instinctively put his hand to his mouth, feeling liquid immediately against the pads of his fingers. He stared at the blood and cringed inwardly at the sight. He wasn’t usually afraid of blood, but looking at it during this kind of night was a little off-putting. Kenma let out a breath as he watched Kuroo try and fail to wipe the blood of his face, most of it just spreading and staining the sides of his cheeks and back of his hands.

 

“You can go to the bathroom,” he advised, putting an earpiece that had fallen out back into his ear and concentrating once more on the game. “I don’t like blood. It’s creepy,” he muttered finally, brows furrowed slightly as the tunes indicating the loss of a level rang out subtly. Kuroo blinked at the shorter male once more and heaved out a sigh, nodding and heading for he direction of the house’s bathrooms.

 

He passes down the hallway and takes a left, losing sight of Kenma as the adjourning wall cuts into his vision.

 

He bites his lip again.

 

It was fine, wasn’t it? He was sure his dad was fine. And that his grandparents were also fine. The murderers wouldn’t target an old couple, would they? Of course not.

 

It was absolutely ridiculous to even consider thinking about it.

 

It’s been up to an hour since The Purge had begun, and according to the alarm, it would end in another five hours. As far as he was concerned, none of his neighbors were potential psychopaths. He played soccer with them when they were kids for goodness sake. And other than the guy that had stabbed some dude in an alley a few blocks away, the streets to their home had been relatively empty—though the noises of chaos miles away was unending. If his dad and grandparents were to somehow make it back home in one piece, they would be safe in the confines of their house till the entire thing blew over. 

 

Kuroo turned on the faucet, watching the water run down the drain.

 

Yeah… that’s right.

 

Besides the occasional screaming erupting from the distance, their street was relatively empty, wasn't it?

 

So why was the lady outside the door in such a panic?

 

Maybe she’d run away from another neighborhood where a majority of the marauders were stationed, and had gone over to theirs seeking shelter. It made a lot of sense. It should make a lot of sense.

 

But still, Kuroo’s guts churned.

 

He splashed a handful of water against his face.

 

Kenma was right. He was way too worried. He should probably follow his friend’s lead. Listen to some music. Play some video games. Watch some comedy, maybe. Anything to calm his fraying nerves.

 

Anything to stop the visions of his loved ones and friends and family dying in the most horrible, terrible ways.

 

He turned off the faucet, dragging a hand down his face and looking into the mirror.

 

He just needed to breathe. Relax and breathe.

 

And stop worrying.

 

Overhead, the ceiling lights flickered, and Kuroo had only a moment to blink before the lights went completely out, and he was plunged into darkness.

 

Before he could take a single step forward, a high-pitched scream rang out across the house, and it was all he could do before the sounds of crashing windows and breaking doors echoed all around him.

 

It was all he could do before he heard the resonating bang of gunshots, and what should have been a horrified scream dying down to nothing before it could have begun.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“Alright, alright…! Sup bitches. As you should know, it’s Purge Night here in Japan! And to celebrate out first ever Night of Horrors, I’m here today with my buddy Take and we’re currently… at an empty sweat shop. Yeah, yeah I know it’s not the usual sneak-into-my-uncle’s-safe kinda stunt, but I promise, what we have planned for tonight is gonna blow your fucking minds. Bet you’re excited right? And even better, we’ll be having a special guest joining us tonight for the first time…! Say hi Oikawa-san!”

 

Oikawa jolted harshly as the sack was pulled off his head. His nostrils were greeted by a fresh draft of oxygen and his eyes fluttered rapidly at the cannonade of light reflecting against his vision. His sight was sensitive after he’d been blinded for what had to be over an hour.

 

In front of him, one of the boys had shoved a camera into his face.

 

“Well Oikawa kun…” the one with a plain mask taunted, waving the device back and forth before him so whoever was watching could see every angle of the terror littering his eyes. “Say hi to the fans…

 

The chaffed ropes around his wrists burned as he tried for the nth time to undo the binds, his shoulders shaking, both in anger and undisputed rage despite the deep underlying desperation pooling in his gut.

 

He was in a store.

 

But he wasn’t in just any store.

 

Above, someone, the second guy most likely, grabbed a fistful of his hair and dragged till he was fully facing the camera, his scalp feeling like it was being torn apart by a knife as the hands dragged and pulled and tugged harshly on his locks, trying to control his futile attempts at pulling his face away from the view of the camera. It didn’t help. He bit ruthlessly on the gag between his teeth as they tried to raise him from the floor using his hair alone, doing all he could to keep his cries at bay. They already got his face. They already knew who he was.

 

On the top of the store’s counter, a laptop sat facing the boy holding the camera, one side of the screen filled with comments that kept on popping up at several seconds per minute, each one of them a different user, each one of them seeing what was happening, and doing absolutely nothing to stop it. In fact, they seemed encouraging.

 

Taki-Kita: Holy shit I know that dude! We’re in the same chem class!!!

 

AStan’sMan: Omg is this gonna be some kind of BDSM skit kinda thing? I’m kinda into that.

 

Kaz9898:  @AStan’sMan I fuckin hope so. Can’t wait to see this guy wet his pants.

 

Taki-Kita: I’m being so fucking serious… that’s Oikawa Tooru. We’re literally in the same school.

 

“Ohoho… this is amazing…” the male hums, snickering as his eyes roamed over the screen. “Great reception guys! And we haven’t even started yet. Wonder what’ll happen when we begiiinn.” Behind him, right at the back of the store, Oikawa’s eyes flicked over to the storage door, where he saw it crack open a small degree, and then slam shut, the click barely audible over the sounds of the male’s laughter and continually pinging laptop.

 

Good… good. Just stay still for now…

 

He silently pleaded, quick to direct his eyes away from the storage door when the male directed his camera and attention back to him.

 

“Alright! I guess it’s time to share the rules…” he paused dramatically, leaning the camera even further against his face. “Of a game I’d like to call: Judgment hour.”

 

Anon_Y36: Holy shit that sounds so cool.

 

GiriGiri9Bun: I’m so glad we have a signal right now. Communication’s down in like, 30% of Tokyo.

 

AStan’sMan: Guess we got lucky 😁.

 

“So basically,” He turned the camera back to his face, but made sure to back him probably so the watchers would still see him. “It goes like this: This guy,” The male jabbed a thumb in his general direction, sending his body rigid. “He has some sins to recompense for. Oh, and there are loads of em, just so you know… Take-kun, would you like to tell the fans one the many sins our dear Tooru has committed to deserve any judgment we may pass down to him this fateful night?”

 

“Gladly.”

 

Sins… judgment…??? What were they talking about? What—?

 

The second male, Take, appeared behind him suddenly, surprise gripping his chest as a handful of his hair was seized and pulled, the assault dragging painfully at his scalp.

 

“Sin number one, second year, the day before Valentine’s, the day before you ruined everything…

 

 “I was about to ask my girlfriend out on a date, got her flowers and everything,” Take explained, and Oikawa swallowed, listening intently to every word he uttered. “I even bought her those earrings she always wanted. Mako’s a pretty shallow thing, she goes for what everyone wants, jewelry, clothes, comfort… so winning her heart with money wasn’t all that hard, but then you came along.” Wretchedly, the fist trying to rip his hair off his head tightened, causing his teeth to grit in pain. “She saw you playing your stupid volleyball match, saw how everyone gathered around you… saw how they loved you. And then she didn’t even think twice about it. She dumped me, just to get a chance with you. Just because she thought she had a chance,

 

“And a few days later, I find her crying at the back, saying you rejected her,” he spat, pulling harshly before shoving his face down, crouching so his face was beside his ear, his heated, angry breaths hitting against his skin. “That was evil of you, you know. She actually liked you, and I actually liked her… You caused her so much pain that day. Do you even regret it?”

 

Regret—

 

He barely even remembers her… And he always let’s down everyone easy! H-he never let anyone of them leave without a smile…

 

He’d—

 

“Sin number two.”

 

He wasn’t in just any store…

 

He’d left the house an hour ago to get a few things before dinner at the 24-hour store close to his house, his nephew accompanying him because his parents were out for date night, and his sister and her girls wanted to watch a movie, leaving Takeru alone with him at home. The streets had been terribly empty, although he’d expected it some because of the rumors flying around about The Purge arriving in Japan and yadda, yadda, yadda he couldn’t remember the rest, really. Mostly cause he didn’t pay any of it any mind.

 

Although the coach had closed practice early and ensured everyone had gone home because of it. He was also aware that they may have been rumors, but he’d wanted to be cautious.

 

An hour after his parents and sister were out, he and Takeru left for the store.

 

The walk had never felt so creepy and disturbing.

 

Even worse when entering the place, and finding everything empty and abandoned, the shelves still stacked full of goods, and the cash register left unattended. He’d tried calling to see if maybe one of them had been in the storage closet or latrines and just hadn’t heard them clearly, but those had been empty as well. It was when he’d been about leaving the store, not willing to take something without anyone being there, when he’d been cornered by the two masked males currently attacking him.

 

He’d lost track of his young nephew during the skirmish, and had only noticed he’d hidden in the storage closet only after he’d seen frightened little eyes peeking at him through the crack of the slightly open door.

 

The same frightened eyes were looking at him now, probably scared for his life, terrified to move or even speak.

 

If he came out, Oikawa didn’t know what he’d do.

 

Sin number three—”

 

Constantly, the comments on the laptop flowed down the screen in an endless stream, arriving in continuous batches like a never-ending waterfall, each person spewing secrets in the form of lies that only further worsened his condition the more they kept coming.

 

GiriGiri9Bun: I can’t believe he did that

 

IDKlo0: Omg, did he actually do that tho? Harsh much

 

Jom1111: Thought he was cool guy, didn’t know he was an actual dick.

 

2dayzmeel: @Jom1111 I actually knew he was a real bitch. He told me to fuck off once when I asked him to teach me how to play one time.

 

Jom1111: Seriously?

 

 

No, no, no that wasn’t true. It wasn’t true—

 

 

KillMongerWestley: He left a note in my locker telling me to kill myself after I told him off in front of his friends the other day.

 

2dayzmeel: Oml what a bitch I can’t even-

 

Kaz9898: When is this gonna start? I want to see what you guys do to him.

 

“As you can see, a lot of sins to atone for,” the male holding the camera says, obviously grinning like a shark behind the mask. “Your judgement has started, Oikawa Tooru. Good luck.”

 

 

“We have our first request from Ozz_Dozz292… Ohoho and this one’s a good one! Anon says: ‘Let’s embarrass him! Make him cross-dress!’”

 

Oikawa’s arms ached from where they’d been suspended by tight rope high against a post nailed to the wall, the threat of a gun constantly bumping against his head the only thing keeping him from physically rebelling. The boy in charge of the stream had fixed his camera in a better position required to capture every angle of Oikawa’s form on the floor, the laptop itself facing him so he could see just how pathetic and helpless he looked. How scared, and afraid and terrified.

 

He did his best to avoid the laptop.

 

“So, our dearest watchers have chosen your first punishment.” The masked boy announced, a grin behind his bemused voice. Oikawa could feel his heart beat with distress against his chest, the quick pulsations sending dark streams of dread across his veins. Through his fear his hands shook, desperate to release himself from his binds before his torture would come into fruition, but a sharp slam of the nozzle against the side of his head and a quick warning glare from his second assaulter stilled his movements once more.

 

Nearly all the lights in the store were either damaged or turned off, leaving only the one flickering right above them.

 

Like a scene from a horror movie, the boy in the plain mask began to chuckle as he stared at the screen, then read out the words suggested by an anonymous watcher, delight and humor coating every inch of his tone.

 

Oikawa could only feel his stomach churn with unease.

 

That there were people so willing to watch someone get tortured and hurt and displayed like that with no remorse. That people were so cruel—

 

That he was going to get hurt and there was no one to save him—

 

The male left for less than thirty seconds and returned with something wrapped in a nylon package, dropping it on the floor and then approaching Oikawa with an overwhelming amount of sadistic cruelty radiating from his presence. Oikawa opted to scoot away, bound feet pushing against the tile and further shoving himself backwards until his head ran into the gun’s nozzle and it was once more jabbed against his skull, the back of his head throbbing from the mere knowledge that there was a gun armed with bullets that could be shot through his brain at any second.

 

“Hold still now Oikawa…” The male leered, crouching down before him, his face less than a foot away from his. He could feel the male’s every breath, his words hitting him with untamed hostility as he spoke. “As long as you cooperate, you won’t get hurt. Well… you won’t get hurt too badly.” He snickered, and then withdrew a pocket knife from his side.

 

The blade glinted against the singular lighting. Oikawa’s heart nearly stopped.

 

They were going to harm him.

 

He could feel a plea about to pass through muffled lips, but he was easily silenced by the gag, and the feel of the blade placed against his jugular.

 

“Oh my God.” The male laughed again his snickers purely amused, eating like hungered animals at his fear laden terror. “He’s fucking shaking,” he says to the camera, chuckling as he briefly reads something off the screen. “The people like it, Oikawa-kun~” The boy mused cheerfully. “How does it feel, knowing so many people want to hurt you as much as I do? You’re such a fucking wimp. You make me sick.” He spat, causing him to flinch backwards, desperate to escape the sadistic gazes of his captors but too afraid to even move.

 

It felt like someone had hit a switch, revving up the trembling of every inch of his body as the knife trailed down his neck and came in contact with the top of Oikawa’s shirt, the sharpened edge ripping a section of the neckline ever so slowly.

 

All the while, Oikawa could make out the jaw splitting demonic grin on the other side of the mask.

 

Let’s break you.”

 

The knife, slow in cutting off his clothes in one moment, instantly slit through the rest of the shirt in one, swift go, leaving the black vest underneath. The shirt was quickly tossed to the side, and he was quick to move on to his trousers.

 

He could feel himself hyperventilate. They were going to—!

 

Instinctively, he’d kicked as soon as the blade had nicked softly against his belly, right at the near-bottom of his V-line where the knife was on its journey to ripping off his pants.

 

He couldn’t stop himself from shaking.

 

People were watching.

 

He was getting stripped on live camera and people were watching him—

 

As though he hadn’t moved in retaliation to the knife tearing through his clothes, the masked boy merely adjusted his position and sat above his legs, knees pressing painfully into his calves and the soles of his boots holding down his ankles to the floor, sending him down another level of discomfort. A whine escaped him as he attempted to get him off, but the boy only cut a swift shallow line through his stomach in response to his retaliation, causing him to halt and cringe at the pain of having his skin slashed.

 

He couldn’t ignore the lines of blood slowly trickling, oozing down his skin and soaking down his abdomen and through his briefs. He couldn’t ignore the tears that gathered at his eyes as the heat of the injury seemed to linger for way too long.

 

“I did say not to move,” the boy simply muttered, carrying on in ripping off his trousers, uncaring of the amount of dread he was spreading through his being.

 

Soon enough, the bottom half of his body was free of external wear, both of his ripped attire tossed to the side like wasted rags, leaving Oikawa exposed in just his vest and underwear, his shoes having been removed and kept away as well.

 

As the male stood up, he could only attempt to shield himself and whatever he could salvage of his dignity before that too was taken from him, his assaulter busying himself with whatever was in the wrap for a moment before emerging with what looked like…

 

Oikawa’s eyes widened.

 

It was a dress. A nice-looking maid dress too, the decorated hem trimmed to perfection, net lining the surface of the elastic waist and, adorned with black and white bows, a bigger red one at the neck of the collar bejeweled at the center with a deep, crimson stone—obviously fake, but shining against the spot of light from the ceiling.

 

And they made him wear it, forcing his limbs through the fixed spaces and slashing his skin with the blade with every resistance met, amusement shining in the eyes of the two males as they managed to get him into it. It had come with a pair of thigh-high socks too, which hadn’t even been requested, but was forced to wear as well for their own sick amusement.

 

As soon as they were done, he was displayed to the viewers.

 

And he could see the comments on the screen well. The lewd commentary and appraisals complementing him in a way that would make anyone want to throw up.

 

 

Kaz9898: Oh fuck, Oh God I could cum from this

 

2dayzmeel: Holy shit. This is actually happening he looks like a fucking slut

 

Ozz_Dozz292: Omg I’ve always wanted to see him in skirt. This looks fantastic! Definitely masturbating to this right now

 

 

Embarrassment and humiliation crawled up his spine, it’s cold grip spreading through his heated skin in a way that felt like slime crawling just underneath the surface. His eyes welled with tears as comments kept on coming and coming, none of them pointing out how wrong this was… none of them showing even a tiny hint of humanity. He folded into himself, trying as much as he could—though it was variably impossible—to hide away from the gaze of the camera, of the people who looked his pain and fear like it was something to enjoy. He tilted his head down so he wasn’t facing the camera, letting the tears drip slowly from his eyes and down his chin.

 

He felt the burn of the injuries against his skin.

 

No one was going to save him.

 

Everyone was

 

His body jolted upright from instant shock as a gush of cold water poured down his body, dowsing his hair, and face and drenching the maid dress, causing the clothing to stick uncomfortably to his body. His hair was sopping wet by the time the water had stopped pouring and the sound of discarded plastic echoed against the floor, brunet locks displaced from the carefully done hairstyle stuck to the side of his face, wet, fallen bangs dropping over his forehead.

 

His throat hacked with coughs, nose burning and muscles shivering from the sudden attack.

 

Above him, the two males chuckled, the masked one reaching from somewhere behind a shelf—a fridge, most likely—and producing a huge 2litre bottle filled with nothing but ice-cold water from the bottom to the brim.

 

“Oi, don’t look so depressed so soon, Oikawa,” the male spoke, swift fingers moving already to uncork the cover of the bottle. “Your second punishment has come in.”

 

“From Todaku Tomoko: Drench him in water. He’s gonna look so good, all wet and shivering like that for us.”

 

Oikawa didn’t have time to breathe before a cloth was being wrapped over his eyes and nose, and the second bottle of water was being dowsed on him again, the shock causing him to jolt once more, the sensation of drowning causing his wrists to pull taut against the rough ropes in a bid to escape the torture.

 

By the time the seventh bottle had made it through, his lungs were burning from oxygen deprivation, wrists stinging and throbbing from having consistently rubbed them raw, coughs and desperate gasps for air hacking his sore, aching throat, trying to dislodge the water out from where it didn’t belong. His limbs were shivering from the amount of cold water constantly being decanted over his body, the sopping wet clothes only worsening the trembling of his bones and the rattling of his teeth.

 

Oikawa couldn’t see the comments streaming down the laptop this time; however, he could hear the dings of the ongoing litany of constant appraisals, the excitement of the audience so painfully apparent. Before he could fully catch his breaths, his hair was grabbed and pulled back, his head tilting backwards till he was forced to face the ceiling.

 

This time, the water was emptied directly over his face, and he was unable to stop the struggle of his limbs against the holds of the binds as the cold, icy liquid dowsing down his face felt like he was sinking in an ocean of turbulent water, the hand on his head preventing him from escaping the onslaught of water till he was all but begging for air at the end of it, frightened, terrified tears joining the drips of water still soaking the rag over his face even after the bottle had long since been discarded.

 

Oikawa couldn’t breathe. Everywhere burned and shivered at the same time, his lungs were sweltering, his throat seared from his endless cries for relief, his nose throbbed and ached —he couldn’t breathe.

 

He begged. He tried to beg. Even though the cloth held down his tongue and silenced his voice, he tried.

 

Takeru was still watching.

 

Oikawa could feel sobs shake his shoulders, adding to the breathlessness that left him gasping for air, his wrists raw and blistered from the ropes.

 

The only person that cared about him in that room was still watching, and he was unable to do anything about it.

 

They could hurt him… If they noticed he was there, they’d hurt him. They’d make him cry because they knew it would hurt Oikawa. They’d make him suffer so Oikawa would suffer.

 

Takeru… I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I swear I’ll get you out. Just stay in there a while

 

Just stay hidden…

 

It’ll be alrightonly if you stay hidden.

 

Oikawa wished to whisper these things to the scared, seven-year-old boy hiding in the broom closet, but his thoughts were instantly ripped away from him as water cascaded down his face once more, his muffled sobs and pleading cries inherently ignored, and the trembling and pain in his limbs increasing tenfold as his lungs and sanity were put through another round of ceaseless, endless suffering.

Chapter Text

 

 

He wanted to die.

 

He wanted to die. He wanted to die. He wanted to die. He wanted—

 

His throat burned with the choked scream echoing out into the space of the bloodied gym, his lower back burning from where the chain made brutal contact against battered skin. The air he tried inhaling escaped him, his lungs scorching every time he tried to breathe, and his muscles twitching in pain with every movement he made. His wrists were already numb, constant stings of bruised skin nothing but an endless irritation as he dangled from the binds holding his upper body up from the floor.

 

He wasn’t sure whether the splat against the ground was his own blood or vomit.

 

“Wrong answer.”

 

The punishing chain clattered back onto the floor, his spasming muscles incapable of flinching like it once used to after hearing even the slightest jolts of the torturous tool.

 

He couldn’t feel anything else except anguish. Everything hurt.

 

Everything hurt .

 

Kageyama coughed wetly, unable to recognize the wheeze of his own breaths as he tried inhaling and exhaling oxygen that would never come. Every movement caused ripples of pain to reverberate through his limbs. Everything was too much… His whole body ached and stung and burned. It was like he was on fire and his body just continued to burn and melt without cease. It was like it wouldn’t stop until he was dead. It was like he wanted to die. But he wasn’t dead yet—No matter how many times he wished for it he wasn’t dead. Not yet.

 

And he had wished for it to stop, countless times. Countless times through the pain of having a metal rope whipped across his skin and muscle and flesh, through the cries and screams of his teammates as they suffered and suffered for no reason—suffered till they ran out of breath and tears and blood—and for what?. Countless times through the endless splatters of blood and vomit on the floor.

 

Countless times he prayed and begged, but in return, he was nothing but ignored.

 

It didn’t stop.

 

It wouldn’t stop.

 

“Alright, Tobio,” Despite being on the threshold of unconsciousness, he could hear the man’s voice as it emerged behind him, leering and terrifying in every sense as he felt his presence draw nearer. He could do nothing but allow the fear of the surrounding darkness consume him.

 

The chain rattled against the floor again, and on instinct his body went rigid, awaiting a punishment that would continue to come and come until all he could do was wait till he could feel no more. “You’ve failed ten out of thirty guesses in the span of… forty minutes.” Through the haze of his mind, he still could make out the disappointment littering the man’s tone. It was as though he was hearing him in a dream, unconsciousness dancing lithely across his slowly deteriorating awareness with every passing second.

 

“As unexpected as that was of you, I’m willing to give you one more chance to redeem yourself,” he spoke, the disappointed yet amused lilt of his voice losing all meaning and consequence. Kageyama’s mind dangled on a balance between holding on to reality and slipping into the depths of darkness, unable to lift himself up from where he still hung suspended inches from the floor. His mind drew nearer towards his dreams, where he could still hear the whistles of the chains in the air and the crunch of bones and lives shattered against them.

 

“Just one more chance, Tobio-kun. Aren’t I kind?” the man said, brushing soft, gentle fingers over his sweat-coated forehead, and pulling apart the sticky strands of matted hair that lay plastered against his burning skin. He could feel his numb wrists being pulled back, his body lifting from the ground, and his legs folding back into his kneeling position on the floors. The fingers continued to linger against his skin. It was almost comforting—It was comforting—his hands were cool against the heated, battered surface, and he could do nothing to prevent his head from leaning forward to press further against them.

 

But then the man leaned away, and he felt tears prick at the corners of his eyes as the sweet lulls of unconsciousness faded away, pain bleeding into the blindfold covering his vision.

 

I’m kind, aren’t I? Tell me I’m kind… All this effort I put into introducing you to the best thing that has happened to Miyagi. To the world.” The man’s voice, now clearer than before, sounded as though he were sane despite the words spouted out of his mouth. He could still imagine the gleaming, bemused orbs shining behind the mask, the spread wide horrifying grin and deep, rotten creases forming on his features. He could still imagine it and could feel his burning gaze lingering on him, on every cut and stab and bruise on his skin, on every part of him that he was yet to break and shatter and God did it hurt. So much that he wished for nothing else but death.

 

He wanted to die.

 

 “It hurts doesn’t it…? You want to die, don’t you?” The chuckles that left the man were straight out of a horror movie. “You can’t help but pray for a quick death… right, Tobio? That the final hit will be your very last?

 

“St-stop…” he wheezed out, trembling as the words came out croaky and irritated, the vibrations of his speech burning the tender walls of his throat, the searing, sharp heat unbearable even as he continued to speak. Let it end. Let it end. “Stop… please… don’t hurt us anymore…

 

“But we’re having so much fun!” the man retorted, the heat of the man’s presence by his side suddenly decreasing its proximity, retreating footsteps padding against the stained wooden floorboards as he felt his torturer part from him, however momentarily. “Aren’t we, Shoyou?” he heard his crazed voice, now barely a distance away, inquiring the shorter male positioned just across from him. The man’s steps squeaked and plodded against the numerous stains he assumed had now stained every inch of the floor, the traces of its former polished shine forever tainted from existence.

 

Pained, agonized, moans pierced through his ears not a moment later.

 

He imagined the man slashing away at the redhead again. Hurting him again and again and again. Stabbing and smacking and breaking everything over and over again and again till there was nothing left but a body coated in layers of suffering and endless torment. Until there was nothing left except what was once the memory of bliss and ethereal happiness buried underneath the bloodied floors his bruised knees currently scraped against.

 

Hinata… I’m sorry. He could hear the moans increase in volume, the image of his partner’s pained, agonized expression flashing ceaselessly before his blinded eyes. I can’t think. I can’t move. I can’t save you… I’m sorry…

 

I’m so sorry.

 

It took only another half-second before the moans transcended into a piercing, muffled scream, cries that rang deafeningly across the space, ringing through his head in an unending torturous echo, and joining the several other cries still embedded deep within the depths of his mind.

 

Despite the blindfold, he couldn’t avoid squeezing his eyes shut, still, still unable to bear the agonized screams of his suffering teammates.

 

Something clattered to the floor soon after Hinata’s cries had died down to mere whimpers, the chain behind him rattling against the ground once more as a tortuous silence filled with only Hinata’s wheezed breathing settled over the gymnasium.

 

“Tobio.”

 

The man’s voice had him jolt on instinct, his body quaking from the absolute terror.

 

He couldn’t help it. He couldn’t stop the fear the ran through every working vein in his body. He couldn’t stop the quiver of his voice as he parted his cracked lips to speak.

 

“Y-yes…?”

 

“What did I do to Shoyou?”

 

He felt his heart spike as the question registered in his brain. What did he do? “You—” No hesitations. No incorrect answers. Do not make it sound like a question. “You sliced him.”

 

“And how did I slice him?”

 

He got it right.

 

A sudden spark of hope welled up within his system at the mere knowledge that his answer hadn’t been greeted with the chain against his back, and he gulped, trying to think faster than his lethargic brain would allow. A small tinge of courage shone through the all-consuming darkness in his sights, and with the last of his strengths, he reached out for it. Maybe he could save Hinata. Before the darkness could spread to his partner, before he was turned into nothing but a long-gone memory, he’d save him.

 

“The—” The knife would be too obvious. The clatter on the floor was too heavy to be a knife, right? “Th-the hedge trimmer….!”

 

The man chuckled at his answer, delight painting every lilt of his tone. “So enthusiastic,” he commented. “You’re right, however. Well done, Tobio. You passed the round. Barely.”

 

It was like the floodgates of relief poured from above and washed away the hopelessness from his soul, a thankful sigh escaping his lips.

 

He only got it right because he’d gotten it wrong too many times.

 

He was silent as he listened to the man’s footsteps pad away from Hinata, the jingling of chains following after, and not much else.

 

Was he done? Was it over? Had they made it?

 

Did it finally get to end?

 

Just as the questions swirled around his head, he felt something cold and heavy wrap around his throat, his confusion only growing as it was pulled taut and tight, choking the air out of him.

 

W-what was happening? Why—

 

“As fun as that was,” he heard the man speak again, and this time his voice emerged from his right, a small distance away where Tsukishima—probably still unconscious—was, the rattling and dragging of chains across the floor following his every footstep. “I really must get going… we still have three more hours before The Purge ends, after all. And you guys were wonderful fun, but I’m afraid this is where it ends.”

 

The chain around his neck pulled even harder, squeezing his neck and making it impossible for air to enter or escape.

 

He heard confused complaints from the others as well, Yamaguchi’s confused “Wait… stop, please…!” and Hinata’s struggling muffled against whoever was trying to choke him lifeless louder than the screams echoing in his head.

 

“Be happy, Tobio, Shoyou, Kei, Tadashi.”

 

No—

 

Your suffering finally ends.”

 

No .

 

Slowly, painfully, he could finally feel his consciousness fading away, the darkness encompassing his vision bleeding into his brain, numbing his senses into nothing. He could feel the life slip faintly from his hands like dry sand from the beach, nothing, no leverage, no rope to grasp onto, no lingering thread to save him from slipping away from existence.

 

He felt so much and everything at once; the fear, the longing, the refusal to be cut off from the world.

 

He felt so much and yet the nothingness threatened to devour every inch of him.

 

He…

 

He didn’t want to die .

 

Not now. Not when there was so much he wanted to do. Not when he still wanted to play more volleyball.

 

Not when he still wanted to see his mom… and visit his dad in Singapore before he graduated high school.

 

He still wanted to beat Oikawa…

 

And he wanted to play on the court… he wanted to set to Hinata one more time.

 

He wanted to live.

 

One more time .

 

 

 

Before Kageyama could feel his consciousness slip away, just as he crossed the threshold into the all-encompassing consuming darkness, loud bangs resonated across the huge space of the gym, heavy thuds juddered the stained floors, and panicked voices called out for their names right before he fully succumbed to the silence.