The group chat had to be a dream. Hinata had decided that as soon as Kageyama left.
Yes, true, he felt much better after reading it - more than that, he felt loved and adored. He didn't feel uncomfortable with the thought of all of his teammates loving him so dearly.
But the thing is, if it was real, then what was he supposed to do? How was he supposed to act?
Was he expected to ask one of them out now?
That thought was the most terrifying one of all. The thought of having to choose. It made his heart ache and his head swim and... No, there was no possible way he'd ever be able to choose.
So by the time he arrived at practice the next day, he had forced himself to believe that the whole thing was a dream.
He raced to the door with Kageyama, like always. And, like always, the third-years had yet to arrive. So the door was locked. And like always, the pair of them sat down in front of the club room, and waited.
"How are you, today?" Kageyama asked.
Hinata turned, frowning in confusion. "What do you mean?" he asked.
Kageyama frowned. Not in the usual angry way, but in a way that meant he was concerned. And Hinata's mind flashed to the group chat - and he had to remind himself that it was a dream.
"You're not feeling all insecure again, are you?" Kageyama asked. "You want me to show you the chat again?"
"If I have to keep showing you I might as well make you a permanent member," Kageyama said, pulling out his phone already. "The others wouldn't mind, I think. Even Tsukishima calmed down by the time I got home."
Hinata blinked. "He... What?"
Wordlessly, Kageyama turned his phone towards Hinata.
Tsukishima: Whatever. I guess it's fine as long as that little shrimp feels better now.
Yamaguchi: That's the spirit, Tsukki!
It wasn't a dream.
Hinata let out a mortified groan and buried his head into his hands. "Kageyama," he mumbled, "what am I supposed to do now?"
"What are you talking about, dumbass?" Kageyama asked, taking his phone and tucking it back into his pocket.
"I mean... Is everyone gonna want me to choose, now?" Hinata sighed and wrapped his arms around his knees, drawing them to his chest. "I don't wanna do that..."
"Then don't," Kageyama said airily. "No one's expecting you to return our feelings. We just want you to feel loved. As long as we can accomplish that, we don't care."
That wasn't what Hinata meant, though. His heart clenched, and he tucked his head down, hiding his face between his knees. He let out an incoherent mumble that even he didn't understand.
"What? Dumbass, speak up."
Hinata felt his cheeks burning. He lifted his head slightly. "I don't wanna choose," he repeated.
"Yeah, I just told you that we-"
"I don't want to choose, Kageyama," Hinata said again. He turned towards the setter, eyes burning with determination and passion and he watched as Kageyama's eyes went wide.
"You... Wait, you mean-"
"I want all of you. I want you, I want Suga-san, I want Nishinoya-senpai and Tanaka-senpai and... I even want Tsukishima. I want all of you. I don't want to choose." And then Hinata turned away to hide his face again. "I'm selfish. I'm sorry."
The silence that fell between them felt far too heavy for Hinata's comfort. He tightened his grip on his knees. Kageyama was probably regretting falling for someone like him, so selfish and desperate for love that he wanted to date the entire volleyball team...
"Dumbass," Kageyama whispered, but it sounded more affectionate than normal. Hinata heard him shifting, and then there was a warm, comforting hand on his back, gently rubbing up and down his spine. "We wouldn't be so willing to talk with each other about you if we weren't willing to share, you know. All of us only want you to be happy. We've always agreed that you're the most beautiful when you're happy."
Hinata lifted his head slowly, looking at Kageyama hesitantly. And there it was, there was the soft, goopy, adoring smile that had been on his face while Hinata read those messages.
"If you want to date all of us, nothing would make us happier. Okay?"
Hinata gave a slow, mindless nod. And Kageyama whipped his phone back out-
"Wait. I should tell them myself," Hinata said. "In-person. Let's wait until they all get here."
Kageyama looked at him, and grinned. "Yeah. Okay."
Hinata considered himself very lucky that today was a rare day that Tsukishima and Yamaguchi decided to not be late. They arrived just after the third-years, followed immediately by Noya and Tanaka.
Good. Hinata wasn't sure he could hold in his confession if even one of them had been late.
"Before we all get changed," Kageyama said, catching everyone's attention, "Hinata has something he wanted to tell all of us."
With those words, everyone's eyes focused on Hinata. He felt his heart beating faster as he looked to each one of his teammates. All of them looked back, giving him their full attention. And in their eyes, he could see pure adoration and love.
And it gave him the courage to say it.
"I... Would like to go out with all of you," he managed to choke out. "I was thinking about all of your feelings, and I was worried you would all want me to choose, but... I don't want to. I want every single one of you."
And then he ducked his head, unable to meet any of their eyes anymore, because what if Kageyama was wrong? What if they weren't okay with sharing?
"Hinata," Suga spoke, his voice soft and gentle and careful, "I think I speak for all of us when I say that we would never make you choose. We only want your happiness."
Hinata hesitantly lifted his head at the words, glancing between each of them. The only one who wasn't smiling was Tsukishima - but that was to be expected, and he was blushing, anyway, and couldn't seem to meet Hinata's eyes. That said more than enough.
Noya and Tanaka, meanwhile, were at the complete opposite end of the spectrum - they were practically vibrating with happiness, their smiles bigger than Hinata could remember ever seeing. He blushed a deep red and looked away shyly.
Of course, all that did was make what little control the second-years had snap, and the two of them launched themselves at Hinata, pulling him into a hug. Noya buried his face into Hinata's shoulder, and Tanaka hid his into bright orange curls. Hinata yelped a bit at the sudden hug, his eyes wide. He looked to Kageyama, who was just watching with an amused smile. Then he looked to Asahi and to Daichi and Suga, who were watching with similar expressions.
"They've loved you since they met you," Suga said. "Took the rest of us a bit longer, I think. So they've been holding back for a while."
"Ah..." Hinata bit his lip and brought one hand up, resting it over Noya's arm. "They could've told me. It's like Kageyama told you guys - I wouldn't ever hate them for their feelings. Wouldn't have hated any of you."
Noya let out an incoherent mumble that Hinata was sure sounded vaguely like 'Sorry', but he couldn't be too sure. Tanaka hummed and nuzzled Hinata's hair.
"You guys can cuddle him later," Daichi said with a shake of his head. "Like, maybe after afternoon practice or something. For now we've got morning practice."
Noya and Tanaka both pulled away with whines, but they obeyed still. Daichi went over to unlock the door to the club room, pausing to ruffle Hinata's hair as he passed by him. He squeaked a little, and it just made everyone grin - or, in Tsukishima's case, smirk. He felt his cheeks burn, even as he himself smiled too.
He was loved. He looked to Kageyama, who looked back with the same adoring shine in his eyes that, yeah, Hinata could look back and see that he'd had that for a while. He felt his heart flutter, and he looked down to hide his blush and grin.
He didn't just feel 'better' now, like he had last night. No, he felt complete.