Tobio walks through the house in silence. There’s nothing on his mind to truly contemplate at this early hour. He runs a hand under his stomach, scratching his nails over it. There is no feeling of appetite quite yet. All in all, there’s no reason to be awake, and he doesn’t know what even woke him up. Tobio’s internal clock works well during the school week, in which it would wake him before the alarm goes off or his mother calls him.
Walking slowly to the bathroom at the end of the hallway, Tobio goes through the motions. He washes his face, brushes his teeth, combs his hair. Back in his room, he opens the window to circulate fresh air in, which greets him with a cold bite. At 6 am, the sun has not yet made an appearance. The sky looks less dark however, so Tobio guesses he could go on a run. He dresses warmly for it, loving how light and protective his clothes are.
In the kitchen he drinks a large glass of water, hydrating before the run. On his way out, Tobio’s eyes glance over the calendar. He sees a red circle from this distance but cannot make out the kanji. He walks up close to it, eyes finding today’s date first. And then why his mother circled tomorrow’s date, with his name in the middle. There’s a drawing of a birthday cake as well.
For a second, it all makes sense. Tobio hadn’t thought much about birthdays, given that his own last one had been one spent in pain and loneliness. That bitterness still lingers, a reason why Tobio doesn’t care that it is his birthday tomorrow. He huffs, setting it aside. In any case, the getting older part wasn’t due until tomorrow, so why would his body wake up early today? Still a bit of balance, Tobio exits the house, running off the confusion in his chest. As he runs, his mind brings up memories. He tries to outrun them, feet taking him along the highs and lows of the woods, to and then through town. Tobio runs and runs, not wanting to think about tomorrow’s date, a year ago.
And outrunning them is all he does. The supposedly good day, just for him. The celebrations that hadn’t been there. His parents are the only one with presents. The growing resentment shown in glances and cold shoulders, until Tobio was being ignored completely. Tobio runs away until all those thoughts are left behind. When only proper inhaling and exhaling rule his mind. Looking forward, going forward, without a glance thrown backwards into the dark, Tobio runs until the sun lights up the sky from behind the mountains. Until most of the darkness of the night cowers in the shadows.
Tobio is on his way back, tired and energized at once. Hungry and elated, he goes inside the house, grabs a granola bar and some milk, then goes upstairs.
He doesn’t care about his birthday, at all.
The morning before Tobio had run an easy and longer run. Today, the distance is only between the gate and the club room, and his feet take him to his highest speed, having to outrun Hinata no matter what. In the end, he manages.
Out of breath and grinning wildly, Tobio waits in front of the club room. Hands on his knees, he keeps his head up to watch Hinata’s slowed down approach. He holds his sides with both hands, hugging himself.
“That’s 73 for me, 70 for you. I’m going to leave you behind at this rate,” Tobio says through gasps of breath. Hinata looks at him with one eye, unable to respond for a moment.
“Never, Kageyama!” Hinata says, giving Tobio’s shoulder a mild shove. To Tobio’s surprise, Sugawara walks up to them, laughing.
“To have this much energy first thing in the morning,” Sugawara says, waving his hand in front of his chest. He has to push his scarf down to speak. Both Hinata and Tobio bow their heads in greeting, before saying a louder ‘hello’. Sugawara says it back, grinning when he opens the door. Hinata goes in first, only because Sugawara is stopping Tobio from entering. Befuddled, Tobio looks at his senpai.
“Hey, not so fast! It’s your birthday today, right? Shimizu notified me earlier, said she checked the records,” Sugawara says, smiling warmly.
The first thing Tobio says is “No,” as if Shimizu would have been wrong about it. He then shakes his head. “It’s not that important.”
“What, why would you say that?” Sugawara says, letting go of Tobio as they walk in together. Hinata is mid-change of his shirts, calling out to Tobio.
“Wouldn’t you be excited to finally be the same age as me, Kageyama-kun?” Hinata says, voice not hiding the mocking tone. Tobio glares at him. He never cared about being the youngest member, as stuff like that didn’t matter. Tsukishima and Hinata could tease all they wanted. Tobio wouldn’t let it get to him.
And for a moment, Tobio really tries to not care at all. He puts his bag close to Hinata’s to get changed as well. But then Sugawara drops a small and thin item into his hands.
“It’s still a big deal though! Happy birthday, Kageyama,” Sugawara smiles warmly, and Tobio nods despite himself. He wants to say ‘No’ again, deny it all. Curiosity gets the better of him and he postpones changing for practice in favour of opening what Sugawara wrapped up. Tobio looks down, holding the wrapping paper in one hand, and a keychain with an enameled volleyball in the other. The ball is pearl-white in colour, with the lines in silver.
The keychain feels heavy because of what it’s made of. But also because it is a gift. Tobio has never received many of those, much less from teammates. When he looks up at a beaming Sugawara, he’s at a loss for words.
“Here here, no need to get sentimental now!”
“I am not,” Tobio says, looking down at the keychain. His thumb rubs over the relief-feel of it. He stares at his nails. “I can’t risk getting a rip in my nail.”
What follows is a cacophony of noise, with Sugawara laughing in Tobio’s face, and Hinata’s loud protest screaming at his best. Sugawara clutches his stomach, doubled over from laughter. Tobio looks annoyed at Hinata, his ears ringing.
“What, it’s true…” he starts, only to have the pin taken from Hinata who huffs and puffs like he’s been personally affronted. Then Tobio watches Hinata attach the keychain to his zipper. He’s still calling Tobio a dim-witted idiot, which is most uncalled for. Tobio clicks his tongue and looks at the keychain instead. Sugawara would have understood, but somehow he’s unable to do much else than laugh.
Then, Hinata puts a little square package on Tobio’s open bag.
“Please don’t open it here, Dummy-yama, or your fingers might get a papercut. Happy birthday, Foolyama,” Hinata says, and despite Tobio not being the best at reading social cues, he knows a dig when he sees one.
“Shut up. And what are those nicknames!?” Tobio says, his fist raised to give Hinata what he deserves. Except, Tobio’s eyes glance to the second gift. The square package is wrapped in red and white lined paper, topped up with a dark blue stick-on bow.
Sugawara, still laughing, clasps his hand on Tobio’s shoulder. He’s reaching up, wiping a tear away from under his eye. There’s hardly any recognizable speech between Sugawara gasping for breath and losing it all over again. What could be so funny is besides Tobio, but continuing to undress becomes harder.
From outside voices carry in, as more of their teammates approach. Sugawara reaches the door, calling out to Azumane and some others. Tobio takes this time to change in peace, his eyes glancing to both the keychain and the other little package.
During practice, Tobio is hyper focused. A lot of what he attempts to do goes right, and while communicating with his team isn’t always easy, that too flows well today.
During a short break, Yachi and Shimizu hand out their sport’s drink, specially mixed by their hand. Yachi holds Tobio’s bottle, reluctant to let go. Tobio looks down at it, at her fingers holding it tight, and then to Yachi herself. Her face is odd-looking, and she looks apprehensive almost. Tobio doesn’t know why she gets like this sometimes. His hand comes close to the bottle, hoping to get it sometime soon.
“Kageyama-kun,” Yachi says with a heavy voice, too heavy for a girl her size. Tobio looks down at her, hand frozen in mid-air. He looks at Yachi until she manages to speak the next words. “I wanted to surprise you, but I don’t know what this taste even is…”
At this point, everyone else has either slumped down or stands drinking. Closest to Tobio, Narita, Tanaka, and Sawamura have been talking. Their eyes drift to the weird exchange, or well, the non-exchange, between Tobio and Yachi. Yachi’s face becomes a different colour, as she puts the bottle into his hand at last.
“Take the smallest possible sip first! And I am so, so sorry,” Yachi says, her eyes glassy. Tobio doesn’t like the look of that. He takes the bottle, about to drink, when Tanaka asks what’s wrong. Yachi looks at him. “They had this new flavour yesterday, and it was 50% off. So I thought, ‘Oh, maybe Kageyama-kun would like this!’ and bought too. I tasted the flavour just now and…it’s so—out there.”
When Yachi finishes, she releases a sigh. Tobio puts the bottle to his lips, not sure what to expect. Sawamura laughs, joining in, his arm flung over Tanaka’s shoulder as he leans into him.
“And what was the flavour?” Sawamura asks, as Tanaka crosses his arms over his chest, looking between a now trembling Yachi and Tobio’s bottle with deep interest.
“Bacon flavoured! What was I thinking!? Who could possibly like bacon-flavoured water?” Yachi wails, Narita close by trying to calm her down. Both Sawamura and Tanaka are shaking too, but laugh at the same time. Tanaka puts a hand in front of his mouth, looking at Tobio.
“Man, are you gonna drink that?” He asks, shoulders shaking now. Sawamura lies his hand on his arm, which still sits nicely on Tanaka’s shoulder.
Tobio’s thirsty. He doesn’t know who in fact would be into bacon-flavoured water, but it couldn’t be that bad… He drinks it, under the watchful eyes of his senpai and Yachi hiding behind Narita. The water doesn’t take like water, true. It doesn’t taste anywhere near a normal sports drink. The bacon adds a smoky taste to something that’s supposed to be refreshing. Even so, Tobio gulps it all down. He will be hydrated by this, and Yachi can stop fussing then.
He finishes it, as his senpai’s jaws grow slack.
“Mhn, tasty,” Tobio says, his voice mostly flat. It wasn’t all that bad. Yachi collapses behind Narita, clutching her heart. Sawamura looks kindly onto Tobio, something going on with his eyes that Tobio can’t quite understand. Then Tanaka slaps the back of his shoulder hard.
He whispers, “Good job, Kageyama. Any left for me to try?”
Tobio lets him, hoping Tanaka wouldn’t overreact. He doesn’t, at least not while Yachi is there to see.
“Ah! That reminds me, I got you a proper gift too, Kageyama-kun!” Yachi exclaims from the floor. She looks around to the wall, and finds her bag. Tobio watches her leap off.
Sawamura grins widely. “That’s right, it’s your birthday. Remind me to treat you to two of your favourite meat buns tonight, okay? And one every day this week. Happy birthday, Kageyama.”
Tanaka becomes a little bit red, and leaves before Yachi returns. Tobio has little time to thank Sawamura properly in advance, as Yachi places a thick-looking package into his now empty hands. Tanaka has taken his water bottle.
“There you go! Happy birthday Kageyama-kun, I hope you like this! I chose it with care,” Yachi smiles, her face pure and beaming. Tobio nods his head down, saying a small thanks. He wonders if this is a book, given its weight. A notebook wouldn’t be this thick, right?
“I’ll put it away, for now,” Tobio says, and Yachi shakes her head. She takes the gift back.
“I will do that for you!” She says with pride, running off before Tobio could stop her. His hand outstretched after one of their managers, another puts a different water bottle in his hand. Shimizu smiles at him warmly.
“Happy birthday, here’s some more normal-tasting water for you,” Shimizu says, and then from her pockets, takes out a hand-packaged brownie. “And this, for after practice. I made it myself. It’s super healthy and packed with a lot of fibre. I hope you will enjoy it.”
Tobio’s head bows low, and he’s soon attacked by Sugawara and Nishinoya, who want to have a brownie as well. Shimizu shakes her head, muttering only birthday boys get one.
Training resumes shortly after. Tobio puts the brownie behind his sports drink, reminding himself to eat it later.
Instead of keeping the packages in his bag, Tobio carries them in his arms. He doesn’t think much of it, except that he doesn’t want them to be tumbling in his school bag all day. Eating the brownie on his way up to his classroom, Tobio revels in how good Shimizu’s cooking is.
When Tobio enters the classroom, he finds his desk not empty. On the edge, there are yet more gifts. They’re packaged in blue and purple, with orange bows and ribbons. Tobio puts what he received from Yachi and Hinata next to it. A girl tells him that two of his teammates dropped these off before he arrived. Tobio looks at her as she describes, without a doubt, Yamaguchi and Tsukishima.
Staring at the four gifts, the strangest kind of pain goes through Tobio’s chest. It makes his nose cold, and his forehead tighten. He sits down, fingers running over the four gifts his yearmates from the club have given him. Tobio wonders which is Tsukishima’s, and what kind of nonsense might await him inside. Even so, he cannot deny how incredibly strange it all feels.
During lunch, Tobio leaves his assortment of gifts behind. His class all caught on to his birthday, and he received many well-wishes and congratulations. His neck hurt from all the bowing he’s been doing, no matter how tiny they’d been, to thank them.
Tobio walks outside to find the vending machine. Every now and then, he doesn’t know if he prefers a milk drink, or the yogurt one. Today is one such day, and he scowls ahead of time, seeing the two options. What he doesn’t expect is, as soon as he stands in front of the machine, to be attacked by Nishinoya. Again.
Unlike this morning, when Nishinoya merely used his fingers to stab Tobio’s side, Tobio is now toppled forward and has to side-step to steady himself, as Nishinoya jumps his back.
“Kageyama!” Nishinoya says in the same loud volume he always speaks in. Tobio can’t look behind him, simply accepts having two legs wrap around him, and two hands gripping his shoulders. His senpai swings back and forth, making Tobio have to grind his feet into the ground to not fall. Tanaka arrives too, grinning wild.
“Yo!” He says, rummaging into his pockets for change. “We didn’t know it was your birthday, you should have said something!” Tanaka continues, putting in coins into the machine. “This is from me and Noyassan.” Tanaka first presses the button for Tobio’s favourite yogurt drink, and then the milk one. He grabs them from below, then hands them to Tobio.
At once, Nishinoya jumps off him. He rounds Tobio, and both his senpai punch his arms, ruffle his hair.
“This entire week, if you want something to drink, make sure to come to us!” Tanaka says, pointing at himself with his thumb. “Anything you want, okay! See ya later.”
“Byeee, Kageyama! Happy birthday!” Nishinoya says, somehow star-fish jumping backwards as he faces Tobio. Tanaka gives him a final wave, and his senpai disappear from sight. Tobio looks down to the packages in his hand. They’re not wrapped, not even that special. Yet it means the world to him.
Two more second-year senpai await him in his classroom. Tobio looks around, wondering what has happened to deserve all this. Kinoshita and Narita greet him with a wave and a smile, as Tobio’s classmates walk and talk on. He bows to them, wanting to ask what it is that they want. Turns out that, just like everyone else, they would like to hand him a gift. Narita gives him a small pass. Tobio holds it, not quite understanding what he’s looking at.
“So, this is completely new, okay? But they had this new stadium pass at the Sendai gymnasium. Any volleyball related event or match held there, you can get in for free. And if you visit another gymnasium or prefecture, you get 25% off with this!” Narita says, looking nervous.
“We didn’t quite know what to get you when this popped up at random. It might be lame, that we pooled together for a gift,” Kinoshita starts, and Tobio interrupts him loudly without thinking.
“No, not at all! This means a lot to me,” Tobio says, looking down at the pass. It’s valid for the next season, for matches, and then mentions a year validity for any events held throughout Japan. Tobio remembers that next month, a couple of events here and in Tokyo are scheduled, such as workshops with pro-players. He’d wanted to go, but considering transport too, the tickets were a bit over his limit. With this however—”Thank you very much!”
Around them, the students get spooked. Then Ennoshita runs down the hallway to join them. He reaches their group out of breath.
“You guys, I said I’d be 10 minutes!” Ennoshita gasps, his hands on his knees. “Dammit—Ah, Kageyama, there you are. And, here you go,” Ennoshita says as soon as he breathes a bit more normal. Tobio is once again handed a small and thin item, this one not made out of plastic, but paper. It’s a movie ticket. “There is this great documentary coming out this weekend, about the retired volleyball player? I’m ditching these guys so we can go together,” Ennoshita smiles, and absurdly, his friends laugh too. Tobio looks between them.
“My older brother said he’d drive us,” Ennoshita goes on. “We’ll pick you up and drop you off too.”
“Ennoshita-san, I—” Tobio starts, but Ennoshita is quick to stop him.
“No, no, that is your ticket. I have mine already.”
“Uh, that’s fine and all, but—”
“No buts! Movie, popcorn, any refreshments at all, they’re on me,” Ennoshita says, his smile gentle. “I didn’t know what else to get you, so, this is it. Just accept it. I will pick you up on Sunday, okay? Movie starts at 2 p.m.” Ennoshita says, already leaving. Tobio could protest, but his throat wouldn't work that way. Something felt stuck in it. And in any case, Ennoshita has made it clear that he wouldn’t listen to any protest. “Gotta go now, see you later!”
Ennoshita leaves first, with Narita following. As Kinoshita brushes past, he touches Tobio’s shoulder. It’s a warm gesture.
“Have a good one. See you at practice,” he says, leaving after his friends.
Tobio walks through the halls in quite a daze after the last bell rings. He feels light on his feet. It is hard to hold as many gifts as he has in his arms, and even people who don’t know him say ‘Happy birthday’ as he walks downstairs and towards practice. Some of the things he’s been gifted today are light or very small. And still they feel so much heavier in his arms.
Other kids in his class had brought him stuff from the vending machine too, enough to see him through the week, snack-wise. The non-perishables he has put his bag, heavy with it.
During the last phase of their after-school practice, Tobio finds himself next to Azumane as they do serves. Tobio focuses on his own stuff the most, but can’t help look at Azumane’s powerful jump serves. They mostly tend to stay inside the lines today.
Azumane then shuffles away. He has his bag at the corner of the gym, which had been most unusual. Tobio looks at him walking to it now. There must be something in it that his senpai needed to be close. Surprise hits Tobio as he watches Azumane take out a ball from it. Tobio holds one himself, there are balls flying all around them. This one is more mesmerizing though.
Azumane shuffles towards him, looking sheepish. He holds this particular volleyball in such a way that Tobio notices black marker scribbled all over it.
“I’ve had this for a couple of years, and I am sorry it’s not anything new or exciting… I just don’t think I would want it after high school. And uh,” Azumane says, looking away. “Here. You should have it.”
Tobio takes the ball in a daze. The black marker is a signature. Asahi smiles. “It’s Usami Daisuke’s. He was a setter, and at the beginning of the game, threw this ball into the crowd. I caught it.” Azumane explains with pride. “I want you to have it. It’s been a motivation for me for some years, but I think it will serve you better than it did me.”
Tobio holds the ball, the same as any he’s held today. It feels so different from those however. He looks up to Azumane, about to say that he cannot take this. It’s too worthy, too priceless.
Azumane’s hand feels warm on Tobio’s arm.
“No returns possible, I am afraid. Happy birthday, Kageyama. I hope to receive a ball like this with your signature on it, some day. Now, put this one away,” Azumane says, pushing Tobio to the other end of the court’s corner, to walk himself out. Sawamura nods once, allowing it. Practice would end soon anyway, and they’d just do stretches as usual.
Tobio runs out into the night sky, to actually put this ball inside his bag before anything might happen to it. When he returns, Sawamura claps his hand, saying that practice is over. Tobio joins in with the rest as Ukai makes a few announcements. When he’s done, Sugawara tells everyone what to do. Except Tobio.
“You don’t have to do anything right now! Go and unpack your gifts, then come here,” Sugawara grins widely, and once more, Tobio is shoved out. Protests die on his lips. Even Tsukishima waves him off.
“We can manage cleaning up without you, dear King.”
Tobio steps out, wondering why everyone is being so weird today. It’s only his birthday, right? It’s nothing special. Yet they all behave like it is. Tobio puts his hands into his jacket pockets, making sure to stay warm. He should change right away. As he makes the walk to the club room, his memories show him his own part in past birthdays, for the others. They had celebrated each day in a rather quiet fashion. Some members had birthdays on the weekends or during holidays. They had met up at a family restaurant or at someone’s home. Tobio’s birthday is on a Monday, and he couldn’t invite everyone over…
Maybe he should have asked them to his house on Sunday? No, too weird. And too crowded.
His mind empties when he sees Takeda and Ukai standing at the stairs. They’re talking to each other, Takeda holding a small totebag and Ukai standing with his arms crossed, a smoke in his mouth.
Takeda notices him first, smiling widely. “Kageyama-kun, good work today. And I think this belongs to you,” his teacher says, handing the totebag to him. Tobio recognizes the design right away; it’s the packaging of his favourite milk drink. But it doesn’t end there; the bag is heavy when Tobio takes it. In it is a large wrapped gift. Tobio puts the ball between his hip and his arm, puts the totebag over his shoulder, then uses his free hand to get the package out. He wants to give it back to Takeda, who clearly has forgotten it was in it.
Ukai starts laughing, then coughs. Takeda shakes his head at Tobio.
“No, that’s yours too! We have heard and seen what the rest of the team did, so we couldn’t be outdone. But don’t think this was a last second decision! We put great care into picking the gifts,” Takeda explains, as Ukai slowly regains his composure.
“And we won’t take back anything either. It’s yours to keep. Happy birthday. Sensei, I will see you tomorrow. Gotta go now,” Ukai says, quick to leave. Tobio would like to refuse, but Takeda’s warm smile won’t have any of it.
“The large package is from Ukai-kun, the smaller one from me. Happy birthday, Kageyama-kun, may you have many more like today!” Takeda says, walking back to the gymnasium.
He’s somewhat glad to be alone in the club room as he unpacks. Tobio starts with the gifts in order as he received them.
In the little square box Hinata gave him, is a small round crow. It has dark eyes and looks grumpy. A plush toy, Tobio guesses, as he turns it around in his hands. There’s not much more function to it, apart from it looking cute. Then Tobio finds the little card attached to it. It says ‘To: Kageyama, From: Hinata’. And Hinata’s awful handwriting. ’It looks like you!’
Tobio’s hmpphs, in deep disagreement something this cute looks like him. He glares at it, and the plush crow glares back.
Next is Yachi’s thin package, and one of Tobio’s guesses is right; it’s a notebook alright. Not the standard stuff he uses normally, which you could buy anywhere. This wire bound notebook is thick, it’s cover hues of dark teal and mustard coloured branches. On the lower bottom is a white wolf. Tobio, sitting with his knees pointing out, opens the first few pages. He finds a handwritten note in a paper-pocket. Yachi wrote to him ’Dear Kageyama, I know you like to write down all sorts of stuff. I wanted to give you something meaningful, in which you can express yourself a lot more and also set goals for yourself and motivations!’ She also adds that he might like a thicker notebook with a pretty cover. Tobio does. The cover feels nice, and the elastic band is definitely handy. It comes with a plastic cover to put around and keep it safe from water.
Tobio picks up one of the gifts either Tsukishima or Yamaguchi left him. In what turns out to be Yamaguchi’s, Tobio first finds a handwritten note. Yamaguchi’s handwriting is different from Yachi’s, a bit longer in text. In his other hand, Tobio holds up an indigo blue Daruma doll, its eyes white. Tobio puts the Daruma doll down, flicks his fingers against it. It falls down, and as a Daruma doll is supposed to, comes right back up.Tobio gazes over the note, as he reads through it carefully. ’I know that it’s still far off, but after the next two years, I know you’re going to go to even further heights. I don’t know what part I will play in all that, but I do hope that I can be somewhat helpful! The Daruma doll, as you know, is intended to keep you motivated as you reach forward to a far distant horizon. I think you will be the one to go to the Olympics, Kageyama! Let this Daruma doll be your friend getting there. I’ll be watching too!’
At this point, that same painful feeling rips through Tobio’s chest. Sitting alone in the club room, knowing everyone else is cleaning up, he lets the tears fall. He’ll definitely fill out one eye, with his goal to reach the Olympics. And he’ll invite Yamaguchi to watch.
That means that the other gift is Tsukishima’s. Tobio wipes his face clean before he opens it. From it fall several curry packages. There’s one note, a promise written on it. ’We decided to visit your house this weekend and make curry together. These packs of it and my presence will be gift enough, I hope.’ This makes Tobio smile despite himself. Yeah, he definitely wants these four people around. They should hang out.
Next up are the gifts from his coaches. He has heard how thoughtful and helpful their gifts could be, but hasn’t thought once he’d be the recipient of them. From the totebag he takes the last package, Ukai’s package contains a red men’s team shirt, signed. Ukai writes in a small note that he was given this as a gift, but doesn’t wear it or goes to matches a lot. He guesses that Tobio might be interested in having this instead. Tobio turns the shirt around, and immediately recognizes the name and team number; it’s the current setter on the national team.
Blowing out breath, Tobio retrieves Takeda’s gift from the bag. It’s wrapped as well, and contains a biography from the Brazilian head coach, translated into Japanese. Takeda’s note is hidden inside the book, hoping Tobio may learn something from such a great man. Tobio puts the book down on the shirt, leaving the totebag there too. The idea that his coaches got him such wonderful gifts, and that he has to use the totebag later to carry what he received today home...He allows tears to well up in his eyes.
Tobio looks down at it all. His mind is hazy with the promises made for this week and the weekend. His smile is painful, as wide as it is.
A little while later, the door opens. Tobio is ready to go, feeling a bit embarrassed that he’s the first to leave without having done much. Before he’s allowed to go through the door however, Sawamura puts a birthday sash on him, and Nishinoya jumps up high to give him a paper crown.
“Happy birthday!” They all yell at once, the entire team. Kinoshita puts a small cake box in Tobio’s hands, and then half of the team helps piling up all of Tobio’s gifts in his arms, somehow the season pass finds its way between his lips. Tobio is being made to stand still for a picture. It’s impossible to restrain the smile stretching on his face. Later, Yachi helps to pack everything neatly into his bags, she herself being tearful as well. All the other items find a place too, safely tucked against one another.
And just as promised, Sawamura buys him two meat buns to eat at Ukai’s family store later.