Volleyball players are known for a lot of things.
Intense plays, long rallies, arm-breaking serves—those are to name a few. But in Japan, the volleyball players (high school, college, and professionals alike) are infamous for something that no one really expected:
Their betting pool.
No one exactly knows when or where the betting pool started, but since then, the players have another bonding time (read: another way to harass and make fun of each other) and just generally another way for them to earn money (although most of them have lost money than actually win some).
The betting pool’s topics vary. From normal things to bet on (who will win between this team and that team, who will win the championship, who is this year’s most improved team, and other individual awards they will only find near the end of the season)—that doesn’t really give any excitement to the betting although people still bet huge money on it—and then there are too many times that players became subjects (read: victims) of the pool.
Most of the time, it’s the players’ love life and (sometimes) sexual life that became the topic of the betting. Like would Karasuno’s Tanaka ever score a date with their team’s manager, Shimizu (holy shit, he actually did score a date with her and they ended up getting married) that became one of the longest and biggest betting pool in their history (someone actually won ¥313,780 for that—Nishinoya, you bastard) or will Nekoma’s Kuroo grow the balls to ask their setter, Kenma, on a date (that one became the biggest plot twist because it was Kenma who asked Kuroo on a date and not the latter—Hinata won ¥105,095 for that). Those two specific events became the reason why whenever someone’s best friend is the betting pool’s current
victim subject isn’t allowed to participate.
There are also people whom the players never expected to ever participate in the pool (special mention to Ushijima, Kenma, and Kita since they are the ones who never showed interest in the betting pool) and there are also players who they never expected to become the subject of the betting going on.
No one really expected that Japan’s volleyball players’ largest betting pool to date would center around one Sakusa Kiyoomi and his love life.
Surprisingly, it all started with a normal conversation.
The MSBY Black Jackals just finished their training for the day and were instructed by Coach Foster to do some cool-down exercises before hitting the showers and going back to their own respective apartments. The Jackals’ starting lineup (sans Atsumu since he left early today to meet up with a physical therapist that the coach recommended to him when he kept complaining about how his shoulders easily stiffen nowadays) were circled around each other and doing their cool down exercise routine with the lead of their captain, Meian.
When they finished cooling down, Hinata and Shion laid back on the floor while Adriah, Meian, and Sakusa remained sitting on the floor, continuing to stretch their legs and arms. It wasn’t until Bokuto, for some reason, had a look on his face, thinking hard about something they don’t know about, that the topic was brought up.
“I just realized,” Bokuto blurts out, successfully getting his teammates’ attention on him. “We still haven’t talked about anything related to our love lives or something.”
As soon as he said that, Bokuto earns a groan from Shion, “Just because you’re happily engaged with Akaashi-kun doesn’t mean that everyone else’s love life is just fine.”
The statement earns a snicker from Adriah, “Oh, that’s right. Your love life is practically nonexistent, Shion.”
Shion gets up from his place on the floor and throws a glare towards Adriah’s direction, “Shut up. As if you’re any better than me.”
This causes Adriah to shut up and Bokuto laughing loudly at his teammates’ banter, with Meian saying, “Karma. It’s what we call karma.” Adriah lets out an exasperated, “Captain!” unexpecting that their captain would actually join their antics.
Adriah turns to Hinata, “How about you, Shouyou? Do you have anyone right now?”
Unexpectedly, the tangerine-haired man blushes, getting a raised brow from his elder teammates, mainly Shion, Adriah, and Meian. A boisterous laugh escapes Bokuto’s lips, their attention diverts to him.
Bokuto slings an arm around Hinata, “My disciple here is actually in love since his high school days! Isn’t that right, Shouyou?”
Hinata smiles sheepishly, his hand scratching the back of his head, “Ah, yes. I’ve actually been dating Kageyama before I went to Brazil to learn beach volleyball.”
Meian, Adriah, and Shion looked like they just realized something. Shion goes nearer the tanned man, shaking his body rather violently.
“Shouyou, you are actually dating him? We thought you two have just this weird sexual tension or something!” exclaims Shion. He, Meian, and Adriah had always thought there must be something going on between the two of them, but they didn’t think enough that they were actually dating.
“How many other players do you think had the same thoughts as us and didn’t figure out that our Shouyou and Kageyama have been dating since they were high school?” Meian chuckles.
“Captain, I think it’s just us who haven’t figured it out yet,” Adriah tells him solemnly. “Even Sakusa isn’t surprised to find out that Shouyou is dating Adlers’ setter.”
“Speaking of Sakusa, how about you?” Shion interrogates a little too excitedly. “Captain just got married a few months ago, Bokuto is engaged with Akaashi-kun, and we just found out Shouyou has been dating Kageyama since the end of their high school. Adriah and I are pathetically single,” the last part causes him to receive a slap at the back of his head from Adriah, Shion giving him the middle finger in return that earns him a scolding from Meian which he ignores, much to Adriah’s chagrin. “So how about you? Are you seeing anyone?”
Adriah tugs Shion to his side, noticing the uncomfortable expression Sakusa is wearing on his face when the shorter man got a little too close in his personal space, “I don’t think Sakusa is dating someone.”
“Yeah, I don’t think he’s dating right now or is even at least interested in someone,” Meian agrees. “I remember him saying at the tryouts that he will be focusing on volleyball, for now, right?”
“But wasn’t that one and a half years ago? Maybe Sakusa already changed his mind?” Shion tries to reason.
Bokuto joins in their conversation, “Omi-kun isn’t the type of person to change his goal in just a short time. Am I right, Omi-kun!”
Everyone gazes at Sakusa who looked disinterested in their topic. Unsurprisingly, he gets up from the floor then dusts himself off. He silently grabs his towel and water bottle with everyone still watching his every move.
It was until three steps after that he spoke for the first time since they talked about the topic, “I actually do. I mean, I am dating someone.” He says it quietly that the rest of the Jackals thought they misheard him then he adds, “I’ve started dating them since a year ago.”
With that, he leaves his teammates gaping widely at his retreating back, making his way to the showers while everyone else is still in shock.
The rest of the Jackals’ starting lineup stayed like that for a few moments until everyone but Hinata screeches, “What the fuck?”
By the next morning, everyone in the volleyball community had heard that Sakusa Kiyoomi (out of all people, many add in their head) is dating someone. After all, it was a known fact that once Bokuto knows, it’s only a matter of a few seconds before everyone will also find out about it.
What shocks everyone is that it’s been more than one year ago since it happened, and no one—not even Komori, the one they consider as Sakusa’s closest friend out of all of them—knew about it.
They’re all collectively losing their minds. For what reason, no one actually has an idea. But Sakusa Kiyoomi is dating someone. He can actually stand someone’s guts and presence, and someone can actually last being around him even if he’s very strict about keeping things clean.
Washio: @Komori dude you really didn’t know?
Komori: like I told you since we started this discussion, I had no idea that Sakusa is dating until now
Washio: aren’t you two close? damn Sakusa must be so secretive that even you didn’t know about it
Suna: yea, but think about this
Suna: what if it was actually Motoya that Sakusa is dating
Tanaka: now hold the fuck up
Yamamoto: @Suna DUDEEEE
Komori: guys what the fuck
Komori: it’s not me that Sakusa is dating I swear
Komori: I barely even talk to him nowadays since we are both busy with our own teams
Suna: excuses excuses
Suna: besides, you don’t have to be so defensive
Komori: I have every right to be defensive when you’re insinuating that I’m dating my own cousin
Washio: Motoya, are you for real
Komori: yes? why would I lie about being Sakusa’s cousin? like would I benefit lying about this?
Suna: you have a point
Suna: but who could it be? do you have any idea?
Komori: I don’t really know...
Komori: but if there’s anyone that Sakusa would have no problem dating, it’d be Tsukasa-san, I guess
Suna: who is that?
Komori: Iizuna Tsukasa-san. our captain when we were in second year
Suna: hold on
Suna: that makes sense
Komori: I don’t know though so don’t take what I said seriously haha
Komori: but there could be others who he could be dating so who knows
Kuroo: do you know any other people who Sakusa might be interested in?
Komori: well, I have ideas...
Kuroo: don’t say them anymore!
Komori: uh okay but may I ask why?
Kuroo: because we are going to bet on it!
Hoshiumi: we are betting? WE ARE BETTING? LET’S DO IT!!!!
Sugawara: what are we betting on?
Kuroo: the identity of Sakusa’s lover ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Kuroo: with that
Kuroo: I officially open the betting pool for guesses on who Sakusa Kiyoomi is dating!
Kuroo: alright place your bets
Kuroo: mine’s Shion from the Jackals, ¥1,000
Sugawara: is it alright to do this in this group chat? isn’t Sakusa a member of this chat too?
Komori: it’s fine. Sakusa doesn’t care about what we do on here. if I remember it correctly, he has this chat muted since he was added here
Kuroo: this isn’t the first time we bet about the players on this group chat’s love life anyway so it’s fine
Komori: alright I’m betting on Adriah from the Jackals, ¥900
Hoshiumi: USHIJIMA ¥1,500
S.Hirugami: really, Korai-kun? Ushiwaka?
Hoshiumi: SAKUSA IS SO FIXATED ON BEATING USHIJIMA!!!
Hoshiumi: I KNOW IT MIGHT BE BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BEAT HIS OWN LOVER AT THE GAME THEY’RE BOTH PLAYING!!!!
S.Hirugami: or maybe they’re just rivals?
Hoshiumi: SHADDUP SACHIRO!!! I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!!
The bets placed piled on after that, with the most popular candidate being Iizuna, the one that Komori name-dropped. The bets put under his name have totaled up to ¥18,125 and still counting. The said guy doesn’t even know that he’s the entire volleyball community’s main target. Much to everyone’s surprise, the betting pool is extremely popular with all of the bets placed already totaling up to ¥63,750, and there are estimated about 170 more players that haven’t placed their bets including the Jackals’ starting lineup and the ones who don’t take any interest in the betting pool.
Two weeks later since the news came out, no actual progress about the bet has been made except that the pool’s total bets have ballooned to ¥152,030. It’s because of the fact that even the managers and staff from the high school teams, college teams, and the V. League’s Division 1-3 teams have joined in. However, the coaches chose to steer off of the betting pool, simply letting the younger generation have their own kind of fun. (That doesn’t mean they aren’t curious about it though.)
Everyone knows Sakusa is a great player paired with both high volleyball IQ and refined technique, the reason why he’s one of the best spikers in the entirety of Japan. They also know that he’s rather aloof and likes to keep his life private. It’s also the fact that he hates anything unclean, so it came off as an extreme surprise that he’s dating.
So they start to wonder, just what kind of person are they to the point that they caught Sakusa Kiyoomi’s attention?
Almost a month has passed since then and no one still has a clue on who this person might be. It’s like after Sakusa told his teammates that he is in fact in a relationship, he kept the thought out of his mind completely and continued focusing on practices. It’s been too long they didn’t get at least a tiny bit of clue on who it could be that someone even suggested that Sakusa might just be fucking around with them and he isn’t actually seeing someone romantically right now. The players considered it seriously because they can’t ignore the possibility of it.
It wasn’t until a week later that they got a clue they’ve all been waiting for.
It wasn’t exactly some great clue, others might call it a crumb for a clue, but they’ll take it rather than being completely clueless.
Kuroo was waiting for Kenma outside a store that sells vintage gaming consoles, the cool breeze of the wind hitting his face. He glances at his wristwatch, seeing that it’s been exactly 12 minutes since Kenma entered the store. Kuroo lets out an exasperated yet fond chuckle, already used to the fact that his boyfriend is obsessed with anything related to gaming. He was about to enter the store when he heard a familiar name being called.
“Omi-kun!” A loud voice screams from the far end of the sidewalk. The figure which is wrapped into layers of clothing starts running towards the direction of the person they referred to as ‘Omi-kun’. The figure stops in front of whom Kuroo can clearly identify as Sakusa Kiyoomi (even under what Kuroo sees as a customized face mask) then tells him things that Kuroo can’t hear because the face mask that muffles his voice has an identical design as Sakusa’s.
Kuroo was too busy watching Sakusa and who seems to be his lover that he didn’t notice Kenma coming out of the shop until the smaller poked his sides.
“Kuro, what are you looking at?” queries Kenma who also looked at the direction his boyfriend is facing. Kenma hums in recognition, “That’s Sakusa, right? Who’s that person with him? He looks really familiar though.”
He turns to Kenma with a grin on his face that the younger of the two knows too well, “Heh, really? Who do you think it is?”
Kenma shrugs, “I don’t know, something in me tells me that he’s familiar, though I don’t have an idea who it is.”
The grin on Kuroo’s face only got wider at that. He takes his phone out and snaps a picture of Sakusa and his companion who seemed to be in the middle of an argument.
Holding his hand out, Kenma grabs his hand and starts walking alongside Kuroo who is still wearing that shit-eating grin on his face. It didn’t take long until they arrived at Kenma’s place, and Kuroo didn’t waste any time to connect to the WiFi and opened the group chat.
Kuroo: yo guess what
Yaku: if this isn’t about the bet then I’m already telling you, none of us are interested
Komi: it’s been so long since this started. when are we gonna get some progress?
Terushima: I’ve bet my entire week’s worth of lunch for this yet nothing still happened
Komori: we can’t really do anything about it since we all agreed that no stalking will happen to at least give some respect to the current subject’s privacy
Suna: @Komori can you tell Iizuna-san to just admit that he’s dating Sakusa already so people will win what they’re supposed to win and we can move on to another topic?
Komori: and what? risk myself being killed by my own senior?
Komori: I’d rather lose this bet than have that happen and mind you, I actually want to win this one since the prize is so fucking huge
Kuroo: can everyone shut up for a moment and listen to what I’m about to say?
Komi: oh oh that’s right!!
Komi: what are you going to say, @Kuroo
Kuroo: [image sent]
Suna: oh? that’s Sakusa, isn’t it?
Washio: you’re right, it’s him!
Komori: hey @Kuroo did you stalk Sakusa? didn’t we agree that no stalking will happen?
Kuroo: now, now, listen to my explanation first
Kuroo: I went out with Kenma today and simply saw Sakusa and that person beside him. I realized that it’s his lover since they were wearing identical face masks
Kuroo: if you don’t believe me in the slightest bit, you could also ask Kenma since he also saw them
Terushima: WAIT WAIT
Terushima: WE NOW HAVE AT LEAST ONE (1) CLUE ABOUT SAKUSA’S BOYFRIEND
Washio: so according to the picture Kuroo sent, his boyfriend is a little bit smaller than him
Hoshiumi: DOES THAT MEAN USHIJIMA IS OUT OF THE CANDIDATES???????
S.Hirugami: obviously? I already told you about this since the very start, Korai-kun
Yaku: what else? is that all?
Washio: I don’t know. we can clearly identify Sakusa but his boyfriend… not so much
Suna: why does the figure look so familiar
Suna: I don’t exactly know who it reminds me of but they really look familiar
Kuroo: oho? Kenma said the same thing too
Kuroo: I guess we could now eliminate everyone who bet on someone taller than Sakusa?
Kuroo: hey @Komori is Iizuna-san shorter than Sakusa?
Komori: uh yeah
Kuroo: yoooooooo, looks like everyone’s favorite candidate is still on the running!
Kuroo: everyone is free to bet on someone else again though
Kuroo: I’m opening the placing of new bets on new candidates!
Kuroo: and it starts now
From there, the pool just kept getting bigger and bigger. In the matter of just one month, it already beat the previous record-holder for the largest betting pool they ever had, the whole Tanaka-Shimizu fiasco. The pool has gone up to ¥357,220 and the players guessed that it will continuously get bigger until the answer they have been waiting for will be revealed.
Bokuto heaves out a sigh as he scrolls through his phone, reading the messages that the other players sent last night. Everyone has gone crazy about the total amount of money placed in this bet, and they still only know a few things about it. Like the fact that it’s obviously a guy and they’re a bit shorter than Sakusa. And then… that’s it.
Ah, damn it!
A pout emerges from Bokuto’s lips, causing the other members to send unsure glances towards him. They all recall what Akaashi told them at one of those after-parties they do whenever they win a game. Bokuto’s Emo Mode, it’s what Akaashi and the rest of the Fukurodani players and management called it. But is he seriously having it right now when they’re about to have a practice match in exactly two hours? Bokuto has tried out for the Jackals since he graduated from high school, and the times they have encountered it could be counted on one hand. The last time they experienced it was about four years ago after he got blocked a few times by his previous teammate, Washio (although at the end, he got over it and the Jackals still ended up winning the game).
Meian nudges Hinata, gesturing towards Bokuto’s direction. Hinata gives him a thumbs up then approaches Bokuto with a wide smile on his face.
“Bokuto-san! What are you doing?” Hinata asks, taking a quick peek at Bokuto’s phone. Hinata’s eyes light up in recognition, “Oh, isn’t that the group chat with volleyball players from all over the country? I haven’t opened that chat in a while.”
Shion, Meian, and Adriah start to approach them as soon as they hear the words ‘group chat’. The three catch a glimpse of the continuously updating messages in the group chat then look at Bokuto. Without even saying a word, they understand what’s up with Bokuto.
Meian places a comforting hand on Bokuto’s shoulder, “There, there. Don’t worry too much about it.”
Bokuto sighs dramatically to no one’s surprise, “How could I not, Captain? If I win this, I’m gonna use the money to buy Keiji that laptop he’d been wanting to buy for years! Wouldn’t that be the perfect anniversary gift? Giving the one you love what they wanted to have for years?”
Shion laughs at him, “Bokuto, I don’t think Akaashi-kun is a materialistic person. Having you spend the entire day together with him is probably more than enough for him as a gift."
“Still, I want to give Keiji something,” Bokuto protests weakly.
“I’m impressed though,” Adriah pipes in. “According to the group chat, it’s exactly been one month and ten days since the betting pool started and we only have exactly one clue to work with. Bokuto isn’t probably the only one that feels frustrated about it.”
Meian is about to pitch in his thoughts until an obnoxious laugh interrupts him, directing his and the others’ eyes to the source of the sound.
They see Sakusa and Atsumu stretching together, the latter sitting closer than other people should be doing when it comes to Sakusa. The former has that expression on his face that the Jackals have unanimously named ‘Atsumu expression’ since they noticed that Sakusa only makes that kind of face whenever Atsumu is in the vicinity. It’s an expression where Sakusa is already done with Atsumu’s usual bullshit even if he hasn’t really done anything at all just yet.
Atsumu chuckles, slapping a hand on Sakusa’s back, “C’mon now, Omi-kun! Ya don’t hafta be so stingy. Just lemme copy your warm-ups!”
Sakusa shoots a glare towards him, “Whatever. Do what you want. I don’t care as long as you will stay quiet.” He squints his eyes to the hand that’s been placed on his shoulder. “And get your hands off of me.”
Raising his hands up, Atsumu smiles nervously, but the playful glint on his eyes haven’t gone away, “A’ight, ya don’t hafta glare at me, ya know?”
Sending him another glare, Sakusa starts his warm-up with Atsumu following his lead. Much to their surprise, Atsumu actually obeys Sakusa’s conditions and didn’t talk his ear off for once.
Meian hums at the sight then comment, “Sakusa and Atsumu have grown closer, don’t you think?”
“Who knows, maybe Atsumu is holding Sakusa at gunpoint and is forcing him to be nice to him,” Shion says, earning a snicker from Hinata and Bokuto.
When they look at Atsumu and Sakusa’s direction again, they’re already done warming up. When they’re stretching again, they notice that Atsumu keeps glancing at Sakusa then looks away and he repeats the same actions a few times like he’s hesitating to talk to him. And when he finally musters enough courage to do what seems to be a small talk, the coach calls for his name. Atsumu visibly clicks his tongue then runs to the benches where the coach and the assistant coaches have been talking.
Everyone’s eyes widen when they realize that Bokuto started sprinting where Sakusa is located. They all follow after him, then circle around Sakusa, starting to stretch again. It wasn’t until they’re done with the stretches that Bokuto opened up the topic, making them feel some kind of déjà vu.
“Say, Omi-kun,” Bokuto starts, pointedly ignoring the glare that Sakusa is already sending his way. “You didn’t actually tell us anything about your lover. What are they like?”
“Why do you need to know?” asks Sakusa, which sounded more of a statement.
Bokuto beams widely at him, “Because we’re teammates and friends! That’s why!”
Sakusa looked like he was about to object against what Bokuto just said, but Meian gives him a look and chooses to close his mouth instead. He grunts as he looks away from his teammates, “What do you want to know?”
Clapping his hands together, Bokuto moves closer to Sakusa but more than enough that he isn’t invading his teammate’s valued personal distance. He purses his lips for a few moments, considering what he should ask but ending up with nothing. “You could tell us whatever you want about them!”
Giving Bokuto a look that says ‘are you being serious right now’, Sakusa starts thinking with a visible scowl on his face as he does his final stretching: his wrist stretches. It wasn’t until he’s done that he gave them an answer.
“For one, he’s one of the most annoying, loudest, and narcissistic people I’ve ever known in my entire life,” he begins, scowl deepening by the second like he’s remembering a rather unpleasant event. He continues, “But I got used to it to the point that whenever he isn’t annoying me, I automatically think he’s malfunctioning or got abducted by aliens or something. I also used to loathe his existence because he never fails to get on my nerves, but whenever he isn’t there, I incredibly miss him and seek his companionship.” Unbeknownst to him, a small but apparent smile on his lips, shocking his members. Sakusa resumes, “He’s shit at cooking everything but he surprisingly makes delicious mochis, he never learned to do laundry until he moved out of his parents’ place, and he wants to adopt a dog, a cat or both but he’s scared that he’ll be a terrible owner and that I won’t want anything to do with any kind of animals so he’s undecided, which is honestly stupid because I’ve only gone to his place once.”
Sakusa looks up at his teammates who seemed to be in awe, causing him to blush lightly. Meian suddenly goes to him then ruffles his hair then states with a laugh, “For you to pay that much attention to him, you must really like this person, don’t you, Sakusa?” He only nods his head in response. “Then that’s all we need to know. We trust your judgment so he must be making you happy. Just know that I’m happy for you—we all do.”
While Sakusa is still in the state of shock with the affection that his teammates are giving him, Atsumu runs back his way, finally done with his conversation with the coaches. The blonde sends him a questioning look that he ignores. Atsumu is about to pester him more about it until he hears the whistle, a sign that they should gather around the coach.
Getting up from the floor, Sakusa walks to Coach Foster’s location with Atsumu hanging off of him and Meian coaxing them to walk faster.
The Jackals finished their practice game against some college team whose coach was old friends with Coach Foster. It was a fun match with the Jackals winning the majority of the sets. The coach had them rotate every set, having everyone in the first string play against the college team. Because of that, Shouyou isn’t too tired and still has the energy to play at least two more sets. But the coach has strictly instructed them to conserve their energy and rest well, seeing that they’re going to try a new training regimen tomorrow.
Opening the door to his apartment, he isn’t surprised to see Tobio sitting on his couch, watching some beach volleyball match replay. Shouyou takes his shoes off quickly then makes his way toward his boyfriend, wrapping his arms around him and drops a peck on his lips. Tobio places his hands on Shouyou’s waist, looking down on him.
Shouyou grins at him, “What are you doing here, Kageyama-kun?”
Tobio scoffs, “Why are you asking me a question you already know the answer to?”
“Geez, you’re so stingy! Why are you depriving your own boyfriend of affection, huh?” Shouyou pouts at him. “And the fact that we won’t see each other at all for a week starting tomorrow…” He huffs.
Tobio stares at him for a few moments then holds Shouyou’s face, squishing his face between his hands, placing three kisses on his lips. He sighs, “I’m here because I’ll miss you. Is that fine with you?”
Shouyou smiles at him then tuck his head under Tobio’s chin. The taller man hugs him closer as he runs his fingers through his boyfriend’s ginger locks and they stay like that for a while, basking in the tranquility of the night. It’s moments like these that they treasure the most since admittedly most of the time, they bicker with each other even if it’s milder than they used to do back in high school, although they still find those moments special.
“Hey,” Shouyou calls for his boyfriend’s attention. Tobio hums in response, enough for him to know that he’s listening to him. “Omi-san told us some things about his boyfriend today. He didn’t say his name though, but the way Omi-san talked about him was something else.”
“Really? What did Sakusa-san say about him?” Tobio asks rather eagerly.
Shouyou takes a look at his boyfriend, narrowing his eyes when Kageyama looks suspiciously excited. Cocking an eyebrow at him, he interrogates, “You… You were never this invested in someone else’s love life before. What’s going on?”
Tobio redirects his eyes at the wall clock above Shouyou’s television, trying to avoid his boyfriend’s scrutinizing gaze. He rapidly finds it unsuccessful when the ginger’s face suddenly enters his view, his hands pulling on his cheeks. He fights back by smothering Shouyou’s face with his hands, but his boyfriend’s faster reflexes didn’t give him the victory (and avoidance) he’s seeking for. In the end, Tobio gives up and resigns to tell him the truth.
“I participated in some betting pool with people gambling on who could be Sakusa-san’s boyfriend,” he explains. “I didn’t join at first because the pot money wasn’t that big but it blew up and the last time I checked, it’s nearing ¥400,000.”
“¥400,000?” Shouyou exclaims. “That’s a lot of money! Who are the participants in this and why didn’t I know about this until now?”
Smirking, Tobio retorts, “Maybe if you actually checked the players’ group chat at least once a day then you wouldn’t be this clueless.”
Glowering at his boyfriend, Shouyou pulls out his phone from his pocket and swiftly clicks on LINE messages. As soon as clicked on the group chat, he is welcomed with messages that seem to come and go.
Komori: I never hated serves more than I did with Kageyama’s
Inunaki: fucking true. they’re so revolting it makes my skin crawl even when I’m just thinking about it
Hoshiumi: Kageyama’s serves might be disgusting but I’m still a million times better than him!!!
Ushijima: @Hoshiumi he’s on the same team as you do.
Hoshiumi: AND YOUR POINT IS??? I could still call his serve disgusting and say that I’m a billion times better than him!!!
Hinata: I do agree that Kageyama’s serves are disgusting!
Hinata: I’ll never let him score a service ace on me ever again!
Ushijima: @Hinata that’s impossible.
Hoshiumi: HINATA SHOUYOU!!!
Hoshiumi: IT’S SURPRISING TO SEE YOU HERE!!!!!
Kuroo: would’ve never thought that I’d get to see the day that you’ll send a message here again
Hinata: oh hello, Kuroo-san! how’s Kenma doing?
Kuroo: he’s doing fine though he got really grumpy earlier
Kuroo: the internet he’s using had some kind of unannounced maintenance and it occurred when he was about to finish the level he had some difficulties with
Kuroo: what brings you here, Chibi-chan?
Hinata: Kageyama told me about the betting pool everyone is running about the identity of Omi-san’s boyfriend
Kuroo: oho? what about that?
Hinata: can I join?
Kuroo: now I didn’t see that coming at all
Kuroo: of course you can join!
Kuroo: I have to warn you though, you have to consider who you’re betting on carefully since the only thing we know about Sakusa’s boyfriend so far is that he’s a bit shorter than him
Hinata: really? that’s all the information everyone knows about Omi-san’s boyfriend?
Hinata: no wonder Bokuto-san asked Omi-san about his boyfriend!
Kuroo: that damn owl, he knows something yet he chose to keep it to himself?
Hoshiumi: WE SHOULD DISQUALIFY HIM!!!!!
Hinata: no, please, that won’t be necessary!
Hinata: Bokuto-san just badly wanted to win so I understand his reasoning
Kuroo: now Chibi-chan, you might be considerate but the rest of us isn’t
Kuroo: alright, let’s make some conditions
Kuroo: we won’t disqualify the damned owl and we’ll accept your bet if you’d tell us what did Sakusa say about his boyfriend
Kuroo: after all, there’s no fun in winning if you won by cheating, right?
Kuroo: it’s all up to you, Chibi-chan
Hoshiumi: YOU’RE A TRUE PLAYER, HINATA SHOUYOU!!!!
Kuroo: so? we’re all waiting, Chibi-chan
Shouyou tries to recall everything that Sakusa said about his boyfriend, sending them one by one on the group chat. As he goes, he sees everyone expressing their frustration by spamming the chat, even being called out by some moderators of the group (Sawamura, Ennoshita, Hirugami, and Akaashi are the only ones online as of the moment). When he finished listing Sakusa’s boyfriend’s quirks, the entire group chat went silent for a few seconds before exploding with messages again.
Kuroo: but goddammit. from Chibi-chan’s description, my bet is off by 80%
Komori: really… I never would have thought that Sakusa could fall in love with such a guy
Komori: the guy is literally everything that he hates about a person
Kuroo: well, what can we say, opposites attract
Suna: that’s true but from his description, the dude sounds like a pain in the ass
Suna: who would want to date such a guy
Suna: like the description honestly sounds a lot like Atsumu but he said he doesn’t like dogs
Suna: and from what I know about Sakusa, he’d never date Atsumu even if he’s the last guy left on earth
Komori: that’s right. not to mention, Sakusa just always looks extra annoyed whenever he’s around Atsumu
Komori: but hey, may I remind everyone that Sakusa went to university too so his boyfriend might not be someone from the league?
Kuroo: ah fuck, I forgot about that part
Kuroo: maybe the dude was someone from his university volleyball team?
Komori: or they could also be anyone that he played against in the national tournament for universities and colleges
Kuroo: and suddenly there are more candidates
Kuroo: hey @Hinata, did Sakusa say anything about his boyfriend being a volleyball player or something?
Hinata: as far as I can recall, Omi-san didn’t mention anything
Washio: the information was supposed to help us narrow down the candidates but somehow, the list just got longer
Kuroo: if it wasn’t for the fact that the pot money is bigger than ever, I would have quit long ago
Kuroo: but I need to win this
Yaku: ooh, you gonna try to buy that new Nintendo Switch for Kenma?
Kuroo: fuck you, delete that!
Exiting the application, Hinata slumps down on the couch. Tobio glances at him with a weird look on his eye before settling next to him. Shouyou lays his head on his shoulder, “Say, Yamayama, who do you think Omi-san is dating?”
Tobio mumbles something under his breath that he didn’t quite catch. When Shouyou asked his boyfriend to say it again, Tobio yells, “Like I’d tell you, dumbass!”
Heaving out a breath, Shouyou stares at Tobio’s back with a stupid smile on his face before it disappears inside his room.
His boyfriend is so stupid sometimes.
Rintarou fixes his gaze on the screenshot he took an hour ago, still thinking hard about the probabilities of every player or person he knows that fits the description and got acquainted good enough with Sakusa. He nibbles on the onigiri he’s holding before putting them back on the plate again. He won’t even notice that his boyfriend is already back from the kitchen after making them some tea if said person didn’t flick his forehead.
“What’re ya scowlin’ at? I’m tellin’ ya, it doesn’t look great,” Osamu scolds him as he takes a seat next to him, grabbing the remote control beside the plate. He turns the TV on, “Ya already have so many wrinkles on yer face for yer age. Stop moonin’ or I’m gonna beat yer ass.”
Clicking his tongue, Rintarou throws his phone on the loveseat then snatches the onigiri his boyfriend was about to eat. Osamu eyes him for a moment like he’s trying to see what’s wrong with him. Without saying a word, Osamu gets up from where he’s seated and heads for Rintarou’s abandoned phone. He types the password in and reads whatever’s on the screenshot.
Hinata: I’m only recalling what Omi-san said earlier so please take everything I’m gonna say with a grain of salt
Hoshiumi: JUST TELL US WHAT YOU KNOW, HINATA SHOUYOU!!!!
Hinata: I will, I will. just please give me a moment
Hinata: okay so
Hinata: Omi-san said his boyfriend is really loud and annoying
Hinata: he’s also narcissistic
Hinata: ah what else
Hinata: he’s great at making mochis
Hinata: the guy also said he wants to adopt a cat or a dog or both but he’s still undecided
Hinata: for what reason, I already forgot. I’m so sorry
Hinata: that’s everything that I could remember!
Hinata: sorry if it’s not much of help
Kuroo: don’t worry, Chibi-chan. it’s more than plenty
“No one figured out who it is yet?” Osamu asks, throwing the phone back to its original owner. Rintarou shakes his head. “Good luck tryin’ ta win that impossible game,” Osamu grins before dropping a kiss at the top of his head then going out of the living room, dialing someone’s number on his phone.
Just what the hell was that?
Shrugging it off as just his boyfriend being weird—there are times that Osamu acts odd so he tried not to think about it too much—Rintarou starts walking towards their room, deciding to list down the names of everyone he could think of that fits the information well. He guesses he needs to do some trial and error if it means he’ll win the pot money (ever since Hinata told them, the pot money quickly rose to ¥506,710) that he’ll use to buy Osamu that oven he wanted.
Inside the dining room sat one Miya Osamu. He blankly stares at his blinking phone resting on top of the dining table, courtesy of the messages he just received from his parents. He faintly hears Rintarou’s footsteps retreating to what Osamu assumes is their bedroom, hearing the silent click of the door just moments afterward.
Grasping his phone, he clears the notifications he got from his parents’ messages, choosing to answer them later. Right now, there’s only one thing in his mind: messaging his twin brother, Atsumu.
But before he can even click on Atsumu’s contact name on his phone, two messages pop up into his notifications.
It’s from Atsumu.
bane of my existence
don’t ignore me i have an important thing to tell you ok
what do ya want
be quick im doin somethin
every time ya say that, yer ass is actually doin nothin
ya know how ive always wanted to adopt a pet right
ya keep talkin abt it when we were still in high school
what abt it
IVE ADOPTED ONE
and its a dog!! ^-^
didnt ya say ya hate dogs
what happened to that
tf i never said i hated dogs
yea ya did
do ya remember when aran-kun brought his golden retriever to practice
then ya started screamin like ya saw a ghost or sumn
everyone knows ya hate dogs, tsumu
ah that one
but that’s bc aran-kun’s dog hates me too!
i remember it now
i said i hate aran-kun’s dog, not i hate dogs
theres a clear difference to it, stupid
ah i cant send a pic yet
wdym ya can’t
don’t tell me ya did it on impulse
i didn’t do it on impulse
ive visited the adoption center a few times already and i always liked that dog
just need some approval here and there then i’ll send u a pic
ure not makin any sense rn, tsumu
but whatever, do what ya want
is that all ya need to say
no i have one more thing
u have some ingredients there with ya right
what kind of ingredients
for makin mochi
im gonna make some for omi-kun
ure gonna poison him?
have fun with yer sentence in jail
shut yer trap
do ya have the ingredients or not
yea yea i do
gonna drop by there tomorrow mornin
do what ya want
Atsumu didn’t really say anything at all but it’s more than enough as a confirmation for Osamu. Since Sakusa started playing for the Jackals, he had always known about his twin brother’s humongous crush on one of Japan’s best spikers. Never in a million years did he ever think Atsumu would actually succeed wooing Sakusa. Don’t get him wrong, Atsumu and Sakusa are different in a thousand ways (although most did agree that they’re both jerks—Sakusa being a too-blunt jerk and Atsumu being a big fat jerk).
But sometimes, when people are different from each other, they complete each other. When he thinks about it that way, Sakusa and Atsumu might just be the perfect match. Since they’re each other’s polar opposites, whatever the other could lack, the other could make up for it.
He laughs at his own realization then opens his phone again, quickly typing out a message. An amused chuckle leaves his lips when he reads the response before sending back a reply. He turns his phone off after, putting it back in his pocket as he makes his way to the bedroom.
Inside the bedroom, he spots Rintarou in the middle of scattered pieces of paper, immediately laughing at the sight. He places a kiss on his boyfriend’s forehead, sitting next to him as he watches him concentrate on what he’s doing.
Osamu recollects the message he sent to Kuroo, chuckling again at the response he received.
i can still participate in the bet right
im betting ¥1000 on tsumu
I’m already telling you
you’re just wasting money, no offense to you and your brother
well i can do what i want with my money, right
so im betting on tsumu
who knows i might have the biggest chance on winning out of everyone
whatever you say
good luck, bro
right back at ya
Grinning, Osamu just can’t wait for the day that everyone gets their ass handed back to them. Guess he gotta apologize to Rintarou, too, for beating him again.
Another two weeks passed and no one still found out who Sakusa is dating but most of them will deem it as fine. With the collective effort of everyone, they have narrowed down the candidates into three people. Because thankfully just a week ago, Hinata became everyone’s savior.
It happened like this:
It’s the last day of the Jackals training camp. It was a week full of volleyball, exercises to improve their own unique abilities and bring it to its maximum capability without hurting themselves, and of course, delicious food specially made for them by the sponsorships they have. But training camp isn’t simply all about that; it’s a way for the members to bond and know each other better.
The Jackals just finished eating dinner together with people gathered at different tables with different members from different strings. Everyone sent each other greetings, some are even exchanging numbers with each other.
Meian was struck with the idea earlier that day to gather the Jackals’ starting lineup after dinner. Since it was the last day of the training camp, the coach let loose and let the players have their fun, although he didn’t forbid everyone to drink, he just warned them not to get shit faced. Besides, they have the next five days off before they discuss the things they’re going to do for the upcoming V. League season.
An hour after dinner, everyone (minus Sakusa and Atsumu) is gathered at Adriah’s and Shion’s room, bringing everything they could think of that they could use to have fun tonight. Hinata brought a board game he learned to play when he was in Brazil, Bokuto brought UNO cards while Meian predictably whipped out three bottles of vodka but what was unexpected was he got them from his shorts (how did he do that, no one has an idea).
Five minutes after Meian arrived, a knock was heard from the door. When Shion opened the door, he was surprised to see Sakusa, his face mask on and standing there while he fiddled with the two bottles of sanitizer (one for his hands, the other he could use for spraying on other objects’ surfaces). Shion ushered him inside.
“Omi-kun, you actually came!” Bokuto yelled in shock when Sakusa entered the room. “We thought that it’s gonna be Tsum-Tsum but it was you!”
“Speaking of Atsumu, where is he?” Meian questioned.
“Miya is in the kitchen,” Sakusa answered with a grumble.
Panic quickly settled in everyone’s eyes, the memory of the blonde setting the gym’s kitchen on fire still fresh in their minds. Adriah and Meian were about to sprint to the kitchen when they heard Sakusa’s statement.
“It’ll be fine. Miya is making something right now, but you don’t have to worry.”
Everyone gave each other a look for a moment before taking their seats back down on the pillows they placed on the newly vacuumed carpeted floor.
“While we’re waiting for Tsum-Tsum, let’s talk about anything first!” Bokuto suggested.
“Like what?” Shion asked, then smirked. “Like how you totally blew that completely receivable ball earlier?”
“Hey!” Bokuto protested, glaring at Shion. The two started bickering after that with Adriah and Meian joining Shion to tease Bokuto. To no one’s surprise, Hinata chose to defend Bokuto while Sakusa only gave off a few snarky comments here and there.
Somewhere along with their banter, someone popped the bottles of vodka open (everyone knows it’s their captain) and they began drinking. One sip easily became two sips and another then another one. Not even one hour later, Hinata and Sakusa were the only ones who remained awake. Adriah, Bokuto, Shion, and Meian were dosed off on top of each other. They both guessed it wasn’t just the vodka that had them knocked off like that, but the fatigue from today’s intense training.
“Atsumu-san still isn’t back from the kitchen. I wonder what he’s doing,” Hinata wondered aloud.
Sakusa took a sip from the mini cup, “The dumbass was making mochi. It would take at least another hour before he could finish making them.”
Hinata nodded, “So Atsumu-san has been making mochi. I didn’t know he could do that.”
A sly grin appeared on Sakusa’s lips, “I didn’t know that either until he made some when I told him he’s such a shitty cook. I asked him if his twin brother sucked the cooking skills he had in his body when they were still in their mother’s womb so he’s the best cook I know.” He paused to take another sip of vodka. He continued, “Atsumu got really pissed so he showed me that he can cook although the only food he could properly make that needs preparation was mochi. And they aren’t just some mochi—it was the best tasting mochi.”
Hinata’s eyes sparkled at that, his mouth watering at the thought of food, “If Omi-san says it’s delicious then it must be one of a kind!”
Sakusa bobbed his head, humming, “Yeah, it is.” They went silent after that but it’s not awkward. It was until a few moments later they began talking again, and surprisingly, it was Sakusa who initiated the conversation.
“He’s… He’s so patient with me,” Sakusa started before trailing off. He bit his lower lip, “I’ve always thought that he’s someone with very little patience, but he’s always doing his best to accommodate my needs and wants, but I can’t even confidently say that I’m doing the same thing for him.” Hinata titled his head to the side, not quite understanding what Sakusa just said. Is he talking about Atsumu…? Sakusa spoke up again, directly taking a swig of vodka from the bottle, “I think he’s the best setter in all of Japan though he’d never hear that directly from me since we don’t really want his already colossal ego to only get bigger. But even if he’s such an egotistical piece of shit, I’d never trade him for anyone or anything even if it’d cost me my volleyball career.”
All of a sudden, as if he’s been hit by something, Sakusa was back to his usual self that Hinata knows, “Fuck, I’ve rambled on again. I’m never drinking ever again.” He eyed Hinata warily who looked way too shocked with what he listened to. He mumbled, “Hinata, sorry about that. You should just forget what I said.”
Clueless what to do, Hinata just agreed then holds up three fingers pointing upwards “I promise you, Omi-san! No one else will know about what you told me!”
Sakusa smiled at that, “I’ll hold onto you about that.” He hoisted himself from the floor then put his face mask back on. He walked towards the door while Hinata yawns, feeling the alcohol sinking into his system and the tiredness he felt from earlier because of the training. Before he could open the door, it unanticipatedly moved, revealing Atsumu who is carrying a clear container, holding a bunch of mochi from what he could see with his blurry eyesight.
“They’re all asleep already?” Hinata heard Atsumu ask, the disappointment transparent in his voice. “I worked hard on makin’ these mochis! Why didn’t they wait for it to finish?”
Sakusa slapped the back of his head, “Stop being a big baby and just let everyone taste that tomorrow. It’s not like the world is gonna end tonight, you know.”
“But Omi-kun,” Atsumu whined, prolonging the ‘u’ sound.
“Shut up and let them sleep, Atsumu,” Sakusa groaned, his voice stern and it’s enough of a warning for Atsumu.
“Fine, fine,” Atsumu gave up. He huffed, “But they could only take three mochis each tomorrow while Omi-Omi gets the privilege to hoard all of my specially made mochis!”
“I can’t eat all of them, you know,” Sakusa pointed out and that’s the last thing that Hinata heard before passing out on the floor with the other Jackals.
It wasn’t until he got back home and was welcomed by Kageyama, his mother, and Natsu and getting ready to go to bed that he remembered what happened last night. Hinata didn’t remember every single thing that happened last night, including his conversation with Sakusa, but he does remember one important thing: Omi-san thinks his boyfriend is the best setter in all of Japan.
Rushing out of the bathroom, Hinata swiftly grabbed his phone from his bedside table then opened the group chat with no hesitation. His hands were quick to type.
Bokuto: does anyone know the cure for headache plus hangover?
Bokuto: my head is killing me!
Kuroo: that’s what you deserve for not telling us information about Sakusa’s boyfriend before, you damned owl
Kuroo: besides, isn’t Akaashi living with you? why not ask him?
Bokuto: Keiji still isn’t back from work so I’m alone here
Bokuto: and c’mon, that was weeks ago! let it go already
Kuroo: just drink some tylenol and you’ll be fine
Bokuto: you’re the broest bro ever
Bokuto: the straw to my berry
Bokuto: the apple to my pie
Bokuto: the tooth to my ache
Bokuto: love you!
Kuroo: that was so gay but
Kuroo: i love you too ♥
Hinata: HES A SETTER
Bokuto: who? Keiji? I mean, yeah, he used to be a setter
Kuroo: are you talking about what I’m thinking about
Hinata: YES KUROO-SAN
Hinata: OMI-SAN’S BOYFRIEND IS A SETTER
Bokuto: WHAT DO YOU MEAN
Bokuto: KEIJI WOULD NEVER CHEAT ON ME
Kuroo: oh for fuck’s sake, get off of your phone right now and drink the damn tylenol already
Bokuto: HOW COULD I DO IT WHEN KEIJI HAS A BOYFRIEND WHO ISN’T ME
[System Announcement: Kuroo removed Bokuto from the chat.]
Kuroo: now back to business
Kuroo: @Hinata ELABORATE
Hinata: I drank vodka with Omi-san last night and we had a conversation and all that I could remember from the conversation is that he said he thinks his boyfriend is the best setter in all of Japan
Terushima: holy shit
Terushima: this is the information we’ve all been waiting for
Kuroo: yeah, but there are a lot of setters in the professional league, kurowashiki and japan university league
Kuroo: not to mention, we gotta include the setters that attended inter-high and haruko when Sakusa was still in high school
Kuroo: we need to move fast if y’all want to end this already
Kuroo: let’s fucking do this, bois
Since then, everyone joined hands and worked hard to narrow down the list into three people. Basing on the description that they’ve gotten (thanks to Hinata), they have three final candidates: 1) Iizuna who is an alumnus from Itachiyama Institute and is now playing for Deseo Hornets, and was the captain on Sakusa’s second year of high school; 2) Sakaguchi from a university he and his team faced in All Japan Intercollegiate Volleyball Championship; and 3) Koizumi from Eastern Japan Paper Mills Raijin who was actually the same setter Sakusa synched with for two years before the setter graduated.
All three fit the descriptions they gathered, although most are convinced that it was Iizuna, the said guy being everyone’s top pick since the betting pool started. Everything should be fine, but how are they supposed to find out which one?
Everyone hit another dilemma that they don’t know how to escape.
What are they supposed to do now?
Exactly two and a half weeks later, they find their answer because of a family dinner. To be specific, the Miya twins’ family dinner.
It started with a simple message from the Miya twins’ mother.
But before that, Rintarou got a message first from Komori.
I got a message from Tatsuki.
He said Koizumi-kun agreed to go out to an izakaya with us.
that’s good. did he say anything else?
Yep. They also set the time and date already.
You know that izakaya down the street from the gym, right?
Let’s go there two days from now when it’s the start of our three-day-off.
You’re coming, right?
Rintarou is about to respond when a new chat message from, to his surprise, Osamu’s mother.
I don’t know if Osamu already told you this but I told him to bring you back here with him on Sunday for a family gathering.
It’s been so long since I’ve seen both of my sons together, so their father and I decided to summon them back here.
It’s fine though if you won’t be able to come, although we’d really love to see you here too.
A frustrated groan escapes his lips, torn whether he should choose to win the pot money (it already surpassed ¥800,000) or taste Chieko-san’s godly cooking and spend time with his boyfriend and his family. Chewing on his fingernails, Rintarou makes up his mind.
of course, Chieko-san
I’ll never exchange the chance of tasting your cooking for anything
Oh, you flatterer. No wonder Osamu fell for you.
I’m really glad that you’ll come!
I’ll make sure to cook your favorite dish!
you don’t have to do that, Chieko-san!
whatever you cook will turn out great
I know that but I’ll do anything for my future son-in-law ;)
I’ll see you soon, Rintarou-kun!
Rintarou tries to ignore the fluttery feeling he’s experiencing on his stomach when he reads Osamu’s mother’s last response. He sends out polite thanks before opening the chat he has with Komori.
can’t come to the izakaya with you and tatsuki
Why? You’re the one Tatsuki and I will be relying on the most!
You’re the one great at making people confess!
really sorry but I can’t cancel on this one
it’s a gathering with Samu’s family back in Hyogo
I can’t just cancel on his mom
I’ll tell Tatsuki about that.
thanks, you too
And two days later, Rintarou finds himself inside the Miyas’ residence. For some reason, he has been feeling restless since they arrived here. Stuffing the akashiyaki Chieko-san specially made for him (and God, Chieko-san truly is the best cook, sorry about that Osamu), Rintarou expressionlessly scrolls through his phone. He clicks his tongue as he reads the messages from the volleynerds group chat, seeing that Iizuna strongly denied he and Sakusa are dating, adding the fact that he never saw his junior in a romantic way and their relationship is just friendship.
With Iizuna eliminated from the list, that leaves them with Sakaguchi and Koizumi. Grunting, Rintarou slams his own body on the table, spilling some water in the process. He betted on Iizuna for ¥8,700 (he was forced to bet that big since at least 40% of the participants bet on him, too) and that automatically means he’s lost his biggest chance of winning the pot money. He also placed a bet on Tachibana Red Falcons’ setter, Ito, though he had huge doubts he’s actually Sakusa’s boyfriend. How is he going to buy that oven for Osamu?
Raising his head, he reaches for some more akashiyaki. Albeit pissed, he can’t really do anything about the fact that he already lost. (That doesn’t mean he won’t be cursing the people who will win that.)
Rintarou hears steps approaching the room he’s at, turning his head to face the door. A few moments pass and Chieko-san peeks her head through the doorway, a warm smile on her lips.
“Rintarou-kun, I know that you’re tired from traveling and I’m really sorry about that but can you help me prepare the ingredients for the dishes for tonight’s dinner? Osamu and his father are at the back, grilling some fish and I don’t really have anyone to help me right now so if you could maybe…?” Chieko asks.
He gets up immediately, “It’s alright, Chieko-san. I should be the one offering to help. Pardon me for my rudeness.”
“Oh, no, it’s fine,” she brushes him off. She turns left from the hallway to lead them to the kitchen, “Atsumu should have been here by now and he’s the one who should be helping me instead of you, but he told me that he’s gonna wait for his boyfriend at the station instead.”
Nodding his head, Suna didn’t realize anything odd with the older woman’s statement but as soon as he did, he whips his head fast and questions in disbelief, “Atsumu has a boyfriend?”
Chieko giggles when she sees Rintarou’s reaction. She pats him in the back, “Yes, he does. He even apologized for not telling us about it soon enough since they’ve been dating for over a year now. Atsumu explained that his boyfriend wanted to keep things lowkey and only until recently that he’s fine with people knowing, although they’re taking it slowly.”
Rintarou can’t believe his ears right now. Atsumu has been in a relationship for over a year and he managed to keep it secret that long? And the fact that Atsumu cares and loves this person enough he’s respecting their wishes? Is this the same Atsumu he knows who only goes through life at his own pace? This is unbelievable.
“I can’t wait to meet Atsumu’s boyfriend!” Chieko’s tone suddenly turns serious, but Rintarou can still detect the combined fondness and excitement she’s feeling. “As Atsumu’s mother, I’d want to thank him for being a great influence on my son.”
When they enter the kitchen, she quickly hands him some vegetables and gives him instructions from time to time when he doesn’t know what to do. Even if Chieko only asked his help in preparing the ingredients, Rintarou chose to keep her company and help her cook. By the time they finished everything, it’s almost seven o’clock in the evening, just right in time for dinner.
His mind has been occupied with cutting, preparing, and cooking for hours that he put the new information he found out about Atsumu having a boyfriend at the back of his mind. Rintarou won’t even remember it until when he’s tucked on his bed but everything comes back to him when he hears Atsumu’s voice, announcing their arrival.
“We’re here!” Atsumu declares with a loud voice.
Rintarou faintly hears footsteps rushing to the front, welcoming Atsumu and his boyfriend. Muffled exchange of greetings can be heard with the exception of Chieko’s excited voice saying, “Thank you for accepting my invitation and coming to our family gathering, sweetheart.”
He stays silent as he listens to the steps approaching the living room and instantly smiles as soon as Chieko appears in his sight. Chieko delightedly notifies him, “Rintarou-kun, Atsumu and his boyfriend are here! Would you mind showing him to the other guest room?”
“No, I don’t mind it at all, Chieko-san,” he says. Chieko claps her hands together, “That’s great! I’ll leave him to you then!” She leaves then calls for the twins, “Atsumu, Osamu, come to the kitchen quickly and help me move the dishes to the dining room and prepare the table, would you?”
Atsumu whines, “Mom, I just got here. Won’t ya let me rest for a bit?” He passes the living room and sees Rintarou sitting on one of the tatami mats. “Oh, Suna, of course, Samu will bring yer ass here.”
Rintarou is about to retort when a familiar figure enters his view, shocking him to the core when he realizes who it is, “Y-You… What are you doing here?”
Atsumu slings an arm around the figure’s shoulders then says with a smug grin on his face, “Didn’t Mom tell ya? He’s my boyfriend. Isn’t that right, Omi-kun?”
The blonde receives a jab on his side from the curly-haired guy, “Stop playing around and help your mother in the kitchen.”
“Ow, that hurts, Omi-kun!” Atsumu glares at him. A smirk immediately surfaces on his lips. He rapidly drops an obnoxiously loud kiss on Sakusa’s cheek and Rintarou thinks he must be going crazy when Sakusa didn’t even blink at what Atsumu did.
“I’ll leave my precious boyfriend to ya, Suna!” yells Atsumu while he runs back to the kitchen, leaving Sakusa playing with the zipper from his jacket and Rintarou too stunned to move in his place.
Rintarou didn’t even know how long had passed since Atsumu left the room until Sakusa called for his attention with an impatient look on his face.
He grumbles, “Are you gonna show me to the guest room or not?”
Snapping out of his thoughts, Rintarou starts moving and leads the way to the other guest room with a single thought occupying his head: Just… what the fuck?
Rintarou is more than certain that he acted extremely weird at the dinner tonight. He noticed Chieko’s worried glances and Osamu’s questioning looks at him whenever he spaces out a little bit too long. It also meant that he didn’t miss Atsumu’s amused grin that lasted all throughout the dinner, the blonde enjoying it too much for his liking. Sakusa, on the other hand, didn’t even look at him or the guy simply didn’t care. Even after dinner when they gathered in the living room to eat some dessert Chieko prepared beforehand, Sakusa chatted with the twins’ parents most of the time, and surprisingly, even cracking jokes a few times. Never did Rintarou ever think that he’d witness him talk that much.
His mind was so enamored with the fact that Miya Atsumu has Sakusa Kiyoomi as his boyfriend that the bet completely slipped his mind until the person he never expected to talk about it reminded him.
“Aren’t you going to tell everyone?” Sakusa starts, sipping the tea Chieko brewed for them. Rintarou sends him a confused look as he also drinks the tea. He elaborates with scrunched eyebrows, “Didn’t everyone bet on the identity of my boyfriend? Or did you all give up on it?”
“You knew about the bet? Why didn’t you try to stop us?” Rintarou tries not to choke on the tea but he knows he failed when Sakusa eyes him with raised brows.
“Of course, I do. I’m still part of that group chat, even if I have it muted. Besides, even if I try my best, you’re still going to continue it, but more discreetly,” Sakusa trails off for a bit. He continues while stirring his tea, “I don’t think Atsumu knows about it though since they kicked him out of that group chat six months ago and if he does know, everyone should have known about it by now.”
Rintarou bobs his head in response. He queries, “Is it fine for everyone to know about it though? Everyone can probably wait longer until you’re ready. Atsumu mentioned you guys are taking it slowly.”
Humming, Sakusa taps his fingers at the rim of the cup, his lips pursed. After a while, Sakusa looks at him with a barely-there smile, “It’s fine. You’ll actually save me the trouble of thinking how to tell everyone else about it.”
Rintarou didn’t say anything after that, merely supping on his own cup of tea. He remained quiet even after Sakusa left for the bathroom, murmuring about taking a nice, long bath. A few more moments pass and he takes a deep breath before fishing his phone out of his pocket. His fingers hover on the LINE app’s icon before deciding that he should probably pull everyone out from this bet and finish everything once and for all.
Terushima: damn if it isn’t Koizumi then who?
Terushima: why is it so hard to find out who Sakusa is dating?
Komori: Sakusa really treasures his privacy so it doesn’t shock me that we still don’t know until now
Washio: you gotta admit that it’s really frustrating though
Komori: yeah, that’s true
Komori: but since the top three candidates are out of the running, just who could it be?
Suna: oh you won’t believe who it is
Komori: Sunarin! aren’t you back in Hyogo right now? how’s dinner with the Miyas?
Komori: and what do you mean by that?
Suna: the dinner was fine and Chieko-san was a very lovely person as always
Suna: but I also found out something today
Suna: and it’s about the identity Sakusa’s boyfriend
Suna: I don’t even know how to explain it
Suna: [image sent] (Description: It was in the living room earlier that night. After dinner, they moved to the living room and talked more while munching on desserts like anmitsu and daifuku. Atsumu is leaning his head on Sakusa’s shoulder, their arms entwined and fingers linked. They look like they’re both intently listening in what the Miya brothers’ father is saying.)
Komori: that’s Sakusa, right?
Komori: what the hell is he doing there?
Suna: I don’t know, Motoya. you tell me
Hinata: OH MY GOD
Bokuto: TSUM-TSUM AND OMI-KUN????????
Bokuto: WHY ARE THEY HOLDING HANDS???!!!
Kuroo: YEAH WHY???
Kuroo: AND ATSUMU IS LEANING ONTO SAKUSA
Kuroo: LOOK HE ISN’T EVEN DISGUSTED OR IS SHOWING ANY KIND OF DISCOMFORT
Terushima: FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK
Hoshiumi: THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!!!
Rintarou only watches as the group chat explodes with curses and keyboard smashes, every member (including the inactive ones except Sakusa and the moderators), coming onto the chat just to express their disbelief about the revelation. He doesn’t even know if they’re still speaking Japanese or can understand each other, seeing that the group chat is full of unintelligible words. The group chat doesn’t die down until someone asks what seems to be a million-dollar question.
Yaku: DOES THAT MEAN NO ONE WON THE POT MONEY
Hoshiumi: NO ONE PROBABLY DID BECAUSE NO ONE BET UNDER MIYA ATSUMU’S NAME!!!!!
Yaku: HEY @Kuroo AREN’T YOU THE ONE WHO IS HANDLING THIS BET
Yaku: NO ONE WON RIGHT
Kuroo: I forgot about it too but someone actually placed their bet under Atsumu’s name
Hoshiumi: WHO IS THE MOTHERFUCKER!!!
Hoshiumi: REVEAL HIS NAME
Kuroo: it’s Miya Osamu
Suna: what do you mean Miya Osamu? you must be joking, right?
Kuroo: idk dude. do we know any other Miya Osamu apart from your boyfriend?
Bokuto: MYAA-SAM?! WHY???
He reads Kuroo’s response over and over again, hoping that the texts would change but to no avail. It really says his boyfriend’s name, Miya Osamu.
Rintarou stares at his phone in disbelief for a few seconds before everything sinks into his mind, then screams without a care in the world, “Miya Osamu, you cheater!”
When Atsumu woke up that morning, he immediately felt that he’ll have a great day today. Maybe it’s just the after effect of the wonderful time he had in Hyogo with his family and his boyfriend. (He can’t say the same thing about Suna and Osamu though—Suna was pouting the whole time and Osamu kept smiling at his twin brother saccharinely and it sends shivers down his spine, and it isn’t in a good way.) Nevertheless, he finally introduced Kiyoomi to his family and he couldn’t be happier than that. It makes him feel glad that his parents adored his boyfriend and Kiyoomi tried his best not to be standoffish towards them.
Atsumu enters the Jackals’ locker room while whistling a happy tune. He didn’t notice how everyone went quiet as soon as he stepped in, giving him looks varying from glad to irritated. His happy little bubble pops when Bokuto jumps on his back, earning a yelp from him.
“Tsum-Tsum!” Bokuto wails. “Why didn’t you tell me? Now, I can’t buy Keiji that laptop for our anniversary!”
“What are ya even talkin’ about?” Atsumu tries to get him off of him. “Get off me!”
Bokuto just cries even louder, “Stop trying to play innocent! We already know!”
Meian suddenly separates the two of them, giving Bokuto a stern look that effectively shuts him up. He turns to smile at Atsumu, giving his back a slap, “I wish you all the best, Atsumu.”
“What?” Atsumu asks his captain which goes unanswered, Meian clapping his hands loudly while ordering the other Jackals to hurry to change into their uniform or they’ll be late for the opening ceremony.
Shrugging it off, Atsumu quickly changes then rushes out of the locker room, catching up with Adriah and Shion who also gave him pats on his back while saying the same thing as their captain.
The bus ride to the stadium was uneventful with a few bickering happening here and there. Overall, Atsumu knows that everyone feels the same: excited for the start of a new season and nervous about what’s about to come.
Everything is fine until he notices that people are staring way too much at him. Atsumu wouldn’t have found it weird if it was the fans or spectators that came to watch the opening ceremony, but he’s in the waiting room and it was the players who kept doing it. It isn’t only the stare they were sending him that he finds odd, but the whispers that immediately follow after it.
“Omi-kun, do I have somethin’ on my face? Everyone keeps starin’ at me,” Atsumu asks, noticing quickly that the murmurs only increased. He furrows his brows together as Kiyoomi keeps staring at his face.
The raven-haired guy reaches his hand out to him, touching his hair then suddenly, everyone goes silent. His mind is taken off of thinking about the other players when Kiyoomi fusses over him. “Did you even properly clean yourself? Your hair has this weird white, sticky thing. I already told you many times; double-check everything before leaving your apartment.”
Kiyoomi continues reprimanding him until the time arrives and the opening ceremony for the new season of V. League starts. Even when they are falling in line, Kiyoomi is still talking to him about the things he said to Atsumu about taking care of himself better even Meian had to separate them while telling them, “Cut it off, you lovebirds.” Kiyoomi blushes while Atsumu stiffens.
Everything happens rather fast after that and Atsumu vaguely remembers the opening ceremony ending with the Jackals’ staff ushering them back to the team’s bus. Five hours later, MSBY Black Jackals obtained their first win of the season in an intense five-set match with the Schweiden Adlers. He won’t forget the loud cheers for their team and the defeaning squeals when Hinata and Kageyama hugged each other after the game, the setter dropping a kiss on his boyfriend’s sweaty forehead.
“What are you staring at,” Kiyoomi questions him, Atsumu not noticing that he’s staring at Hinata and Kageyama. Kiyoomi diverts his eyes from him to the happy couple then cocks an eyebrow at him. Atsumu shakes him off, “I’m fine, Omi-kun. Stop looking at me like that now, would ya?” Even after being told off, Kiyoomi continues staring at him for a few more moments before walking away.
Since they’re the first ones to take their shower, they’re also the first ones to finish. They get on the bus, greeting the driver who is nibbling on some onigiri. They choose the seats at the end of the bus, Kiyoomi not forgetting to spray his disinfectant before taking his seat, Atsumu following after him. Both of them get on their phones—Kiyoomi playing Gardenscapes while Atsumu checks his Instagram.
Hinata’s and Kageyama’s moment earlier welcomes him, posted by various news sites. Since the two announced their relationship a few weeks ago, they’ve received overwhelming love and support from the entire volleyball community. They’ve gotten hate, but they don’t really care about that. The duo wanted to be in love freely, and so they did. No matter what happens, they’ll always have each other by their side.
And Atsumu wanted that.
Atsumu shakes the thought off of his head. The right time will come and he can freely love Kiyoomi without caring about what others might say. They’ve already talked about this before, and like what they have agreed, they’re going to take their time.
Out of the blue, Kiyoomi grabs his hand and intertwines their fingers then rests his head on Atsumu’s shoulder. Atsumu was startled but is quick to relax and leans back on the backrest, lying his head on top of Kiyoomi’s. He raises their joint hands to plant a kiss on the back of Kiyoomi’s hand, pulling them to have it rest on his lap afterward. A contented smile appears on Atsumu’s lips, thinking that he can live and endure anything as long as he has this wonderful man by his side.
Just as when Atsumu is ready to let slumber take over him, Kiyoomi speaks up.
“I’m ready,” he says. He maneuvers his head to yank his mask down then proceeds to rest his chin on Atsumu’s shoulder, looking at him in the eye. He continues with a smile on his face and a glint in his eyes that make Atsumu’s heart flutter all the same, “Let’s tell the world about us, Atsumu.”
Atsumu merely stares at him then, “Why all of a sudden?”
Kiyoomi hums, “You already know that I’ve been thinking about this for a while and carefully at that. And I guess, Hinata and Kageyama unknowingly gave me courage.” He moves closer to him if it’s still possible with the way their faces are only separated by a few centimeters. “I also realized it’s both stupid and tiring to hide something that shouldn’t even be hidden in the first place.” He kisses Atsumu on the lips, his own lips lingering on the other. He then whispers, “Let’s do it, Atsumu.”
The blonde nods before chasing after his boyfriend’s lips again, pulling him in for an even more passionate kiss. They draw away after a while, their lips looking red and shining with spit. They untangle themselves from each other, Kiyoomi handing him a face mask to hide the evidence of their long kiss.
Not long after that, the other Jackals started loading inside the bus and only a few moments following that, the bus finally leaves the stadium.
As the bus heads to its destination, Atsumu gets his phone from his bag, ticking on an app icon, then types away. Satisfied, he clicks ‘enter’ then shoves his phone back into his bag.
I have an important announcement, everyone.
@SakusaKiyoomi and I are in love and everyone who has anything negative to say can fuck off.
A second later, he listens to the sound of a notification alarm from Kiyoomi’s phone. The black-haired guy clicks on it, immediately turning to him then says his name with an exasperated yet affectionate tone, “Atsumu…”
He only laughs before tucking his head on the junction between his boyfriend’s neck and shoulder, nuzzling his nose on his neck. Atsumu is about to snooze off before being abruptly hauled away from Kiyoomi. He feels someone shaking his body and when he opens his eyes, he isn’t at least a tiny bit surprised when he sees Bokuto’s face.
“Tsum-Tsum! I’m really happy for you and Omi-kun but what about the ¥5,300 that I lost because of you?” Bokuto sobs. “How am I gonna buy Keiji his gift now?”
“Bokkun, I’m really sorry that ya lost yer money and ya won’t be able to buy Akaashi-kun a gift but what does that have anything to do with me?” Atsumu asks frantically.
“Why’s Bokuto crying when I should be sadder than him since I squandered ¥10,000?” Meian chimes in with a click of his tongue.
Perplexed, Atsumu questions, “What’re ya talkin’ about, Cap-”
Meian cuts him off, “Since I’m sure everyone here lost money because of the bet, let’s go out tonight and have Atsumu treat us to celebrate our first win of the season!”
Explosive responses blare throughout the bus, drowning Atsumu’s questions and protests. Atsumu spins around to look at Kiyoomi who is evidently ignoring him.
Helpless, Atsumu can only slump back down on his seat, already crying about his future bankruptcy that will certainly happen because of his teammates without even knowing the exact reason why they’re doing this to him.
(Eventually, Atsumu does find out about the betting pool and every single detail about it.)
(He also learns that Osamu won the bet, his mind immediately going back to the time when his brother keeps sending him sugary smiles.)
(He ends up demanding his twin for some kind of compensation, his brother reluctantly giving him ¥300,000 which he uses to take Kiyoomi out on their first official date as a newly-revealed couple and to buy him a brand new humidifier which they accidentally broke while making out after the said date.)