Daichi gave them the big thumbs up and bright smile after they asked, just telling them to pay attention to the times and to not miss their first matches.
Yamaguchi didn’t feel as sweaty and heated like when he was outside, chalking it up to the indoor ventilation and air conditioning. He still felt slimy and jittery, but that was most likely due to what had transpired a few minutes ago. Once they entered the building, Terushima didn’t do anything as… energetic from before.
They were walking side by side and Tadashi thought about how nice it was to have someone at your own pace. Usually Tsukki was too far ahead for his bony legs to speed up too, or with three people walking he was always smudged on the end or the head of a make-shift triangle. So he enjoyed the walk and the little banter between themselves.
He never had a chance to talk one-on-one with the captain before now, but he seems vaguely the same on and off the court. “Ooooo, how’s the food here? Are you positive I won’t catch a stomach bug?”
They had just passed the dining hall, where all the team managers were talking about both manager and girl issues. The two of them didn’t stick around there long, but talk of food was certainly something to discuss. “Well,” Tadashi started, looking straight ahead. “No one from Karasuno has gotten anything like that, but… I’d stay away from surprise stew. Gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.” And as if on cue, he shivered a little on the course of his spine.
This made Terushima laugh and Yamaguchi look up at him. “Heebie-Jeebies? Really?”
Yamaguchi got embarrassed for the nth time that day, taking the defensive. “Y-yeah, like when you get this chill-”
“I know what it is, Yamaguchi. It’s cute.” A pause from Terushima left the pinch server wondering if that was the end of it, until he walked a little closer than before and placed an addition to his response. “You’re cute.” Looking up into his eyes, Yamaguchi’s head started to spin because what sort of Twilight Zone episode was he in?!
Clearing his throat and slightly speeding up his walk, Tadashi stated that “they’d go visit the dorms, then go to our first matches.” He hoped that he could keep blaming the sun for his rose-tinted face, but both knew that wasn’t the case.
Once they finally made it to Terushima’s room after much idle banter and placed silence, the freckled boy exhaled a breath, knowing it would all be over soon. “Here’s your room. I-I don’t know who you’re sharing it with, but… It’s a teammate of yours so it shouldn’t be too bad.”
He felt the other’s presence draw closer, leading Yamaguchi to slightly tense up. “Why don’t we try to get the coaches to let us room together? Bet we’d have a lot of fun, right, Yamaguchi.” Then he felt the other use his shoulder as an armrest, the captain’s brown eyes looking for a reaction.
And a reaction he would get. Since Yamaguchi’s eyes kept glancing around the hallway, palms getting slightly sweaty, and breathing getting more hitched. The captain laughed and then playfully hit his back.
“I’m joking! Loosen up, dude!” He reached for the door handle, peering back at the other with amber eyes. “I’m going to get situated and changed. You can stay if you’d want or go back down already, doesn’t matter to me.” And he shut the door, leaving Yamaguchi a blushed, anxiety-ridden mess.
He decided to head to where the rest of his friends were, especially to see one of them. Because he needed to clear his head and make sure he wasn’t going insane, because if he was, Tsukki would be the one to tell him so.
Kuroo was with the rest of the members, getting ready and doing some team exercises when Tsukishima grabbed him from the side, leading them away.
The Nekoma captain was giggling the way to the outskirts of the gym. Once they were safely out of view from the gym’s occupants, Tsukishima let the other free. He kept pacing back in front of the other, who decided to lean against the wall.
After a moment of watching the first year struggle to contain himself, he spoke up. “Wanna tell me what’s on your mind?”
“It's… The main issue is.. just… hgnn! ” His fingers were threading themselves through the blonde locks. Kuroo didn’t speak, not wanting to push the other into silence. “Terushima and his goons showed up.”
“Did they?” He responded, giving a coy smile. “I should say hi to the guy, haven’t seen him in awhile.”
“Might be hard right now. Yamaguchi’s… giving him a personal tour.” The last words were pressed through gritted teeth, obviously showing his disdain.
“Oh, I can see that.”
Tsukishima’s head tilted upward towards Kuroo, confused. Then he looked at where the cat’s eyes were directed towards. Soon regretting that he had.
Across he could see his best friend and that stupid off brand e-boy walking. Yamaguchi talking, most likely mumbling under anxious stress, because why else would he be speaking that much?? And Terushima gave Tadashi less and less bubble space, but what really irked Kei the most was what came next.
Terushima looked up, directly at him. Then he winked , before leaning into Yamaguchi’s ear, presumably to whisper something. The listener jumped out of his skin and grew the distance by stepping up his pace.
He must have been zoned out more than he thought, since a light pressure on his wrist brought him to. “You alright there bud? Is… are you-“
Before he had a chance to finish, Tsukishima ripped himself away and glared at him. “Shut up, stupid cat.” Then he started the trek to where his team would be practicing for the day, kicking trash cans and pebbles along the way.
Their first practice game was against Fukurōdani, which was both good and bad. They could learn a lot from the team, but also learn that they still had much to learn.
Yamaguchi was the last to enter, profusely apologizing for almost being late. The coaches and managers understood the reason as to why, so he wouldn’t be getting reprimanded by them.
Being reprimanded by a certain blonde? That was still on the table.
He didn’t say anything at first, but the blonde’s eyes would always shift over to him whenever there was a moment available. Or even when there wasn’t, since he barely made a successful block, his eyes moments before looking at the other. He definitely wants to talk about something.
But about what? Tadashi had learned over the years that his best friend wasn’t the best or biggest socializer, so this meant business. Does he wanna talk about the movie night idea?
The childish one you thought of? The one that makes you look like a four year old, you big baby? the back of his mind gnawed at him, but he was soon snapped back into reality once he saw the game had concluded.
Running over to Tsukishima after the team’s ‘thank yous’, who was now over near his bag and water bottle, he was determined to get to the bottom of it.
“You did really good out there, Tsukki!” He said, both hands hidden behind his back. He didn’t respond or react, Yamaguchi at first thought he had his headphones on, but that wasn’t the case. Hm..
“T-Tsukki? You alright?” He spoke aloud, fumbling to act like he wasn’t bothered in the slightest.
Finally, his best friend looked up with passive eyes. That’s good, right? And in an equally passive tone, he responded with “I’m fine. How was the tour?”
Yamaguchi couldn’t contain his blush, however hard he tried. The whole thing still felt like a fever dream to him. “Fine. Nothing major, but it was nice talking to him.” He made his thumb do a circle motion in his other palm. “I get the feeling he likes talking to me too.”
Placing his bag over his shoulder, he didn’t meet Yamaguchi’s eyes. “Yeah, I bet you do.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” He really was unsure of his friend’s meaning, the tone mangling the words.
“Nothing, just… forget it.” Tsukishima exhaled then looked up at the freckled boy. “You want to do that movie night later? I’ll let you pick.”
Tadashi couldn’t hold the glimmer in his eyes and voice. “Ah, I’d love to!” He had no clue what possessed him to add onto the complete sentence, but it was too late to take it back. “I’m so happy I could hug you!!”
And he was equally taken aback at the other’s reponse. “So, do it.”
Both pairs of eyes refused to lock, the end of the awkward air was Tsukishima giving the other a shove. On his way to the door telling Yamaguchi to “pick something good or I’ll end you like the dinosaurs.”
Yamaguchi wouldn’t mind that fate at the moment, considering today was the most wild day he’s probably had in the history of Tadashi Yamaguchi.
By nature, Bokuto was a person who laughed at even the dumbest jokes. And one of the dumbest jokes he’d heard in a long time was his friend Tsukishima’s ‘predicament’, or as he liked to call it ‘the so-called brainiac lacking any and all brain power.’
After he’d come to both of them during free time to rant about the newcoming team and his conversation with his friend, Kuroo and Bokuto were one more cackle away from pissing themselves.
“Y-You told him t-that you wa-wanted a hug?! ” The lead owl shouted out, hands clutching his side to try and dull the soreness from laughing.
“ Yes! Now quite down, you idiots!” Tsukishima retaliated, clearly regretting the people he spoke to about his dilemma. But who else was he going to turn to?
The two captains composed themselves after what seemed like an eternity. Kuroo finally spoke up, face slightly tinted from the laughing fit. “And what exactly do you want us to do about it?”
The blonde’s mouth flapped open and shut, clearly taken aback. “I… uh, I don’t really know. To be quite honest..”
“Kuroo, look he’s blushing!” and with this, spiraled another fit of laughter and gasps for breaths.
Tsukishima was tired of this, pushing past them, and shouting one parting phrase at the two. “Nevermind! I’ll figure it out myself!”
I will… somehow, he thought to himself. But figure out what exactly?
Yamaguchi truly thought he was scotch-free. Not for the rest of the training camp, but at least for the rest of the day. He hadn’t bumped into the flirtatious and bubbly captain since the door, which he was grateful for.
He was on his way to the dining area, excited to tell Tsukishima about the movie he had chosen for them. While rounding the corner, he rammed fully into a hard object, knocking him to the ground.
Only it wasn’t an object, but a person. A person he was dreading seeing so soon again. Terushima turned around, completely unaware of what had just happened.
But when he did put all the pieces together, his lips tilted upwards and his eyes drifted down towards Tadashi, who was still on the floor. “Falling for me already, aye Yamaguchi? Thought it would take more than a few hours, but maybe I’m underestimating myself.” Then he giggled at the lack of seriousness in his own speech.
He could feel his face starting to rush with blood again, clearly none leading up to his brain since no thoughts could be made. Terushima stuck his hand, signaling the other to grab it for support. Once they were both up, it took a moment for them to unwind their close proximity.
“You heading to dinner too?” Yamaguchi nodded, and Terushima smiled in return, getting ready to start walking. “Perfect. So tell me, how’d your first match go?”
Tadashi took a moment to catch up, since when the other started to move, his own feet were cemented in place. “Um, fine. We lost, but it was a good match.” There was a pause, and he couldn’t figure out if it was awkward or if he was making it awkward. “How was yours?”
“Went up against Nekoma, and uh. Not to make up excuses, but” he rubbed the back of his neck, signaling some embarrassment. “None of us got the best sleep, so we’re kind of off. So in short we lost, bad. ”
He looked at the other and giggled. “I’m sure it couldn’t have been that bad! You’ve got some great chemistry on your team.”
The conversation swayed from there, driving from topic to topic with ease, both not even realizing they had made it to their destination until the aroma from inside made it clear. “Oh,” Yamaguchi started. “Guess.. we made it?”
“Appears so.” Terushima responded, both boys laughing after the fact.
When the pinch server looked up, he saw his friend looking up at him from a table where he was alone. He eagerly made his way over to his friend, saying his name over and over before taking a seat.
Both shoulders leaning against the table, he looked across at his best friend. “How long have you been here, Tsukki? I’d feel bad if you were here all alone…”
Tsukishima was about to respond when he heard the scraping of metal next to Yamaguchi. That stupid captain making unwanted room for himself there. Kei disregarded the question, more interested to see the other’s intent. “Can we help you?”
“I don’t know if you can.” Terushima said, head cupped by his palm on the table. The way he said it made Tsukishima blood feel hot and bothered.
“Shouldn’t you be with your own team right now. You know, being captain and all?” The blonde muttered out, having an unofficial staring contest with the intruder.
“My team’s doing quite fine, trust me. But…. is there a reason you want me to leave?” He tilted his face slightly in his palm, making him look more innocent.
I know your game, you little shit, Tsukishima thought to himself. He was about to respond, he wasn’t sure with what, but then the pest turned toward the remaining boy.
Leaning himself and his chair a little closer toward the freckled boy, he asked him a similar question. “Yamaguchi, would you like me to leave?”
Yamaguchi looked dazed from the whole thing, eventually mumbling out that he didn’t mind either way. Tsukishima minded.
After getting their food and settling down, it took approximately 23 minutes before Tsukishima couldn't not stand it anymore.
It felt like he was a ghost, or a prisoner in crime tv shows where he could see them, but they couldn’t see Tsukishima. Yamaguchi tried to include him into their conversation, but after a few rounds of words, he would be swept under the rug by that damn pierced imbecile.
He looked over at his own to a table diagonal from them, where Kuroo, Akaashi, Bokuto, and even Kenma was sitting there. He excused himself, saying he needed to ask the table for advice on blocking (which wasn't a whole lie. But it wasn’t the full truth either.) He just needed to leave and compose himself.
Yamaguchi looked disheartened to see his best friend leave him, while Terushima looked indifferent towards him. For some reason, his gaze was towards Kuroo and his pair of eyes. Both of them making unspoken conversation with stares and blinks. Fucking weird… I should ask Kuroo about whatever the fuck that was later.
When he sat himself down at the new table, no one asked why he had done what he did. Going about their respective talk like he had been there the whole time.
And maybe it was Kuroo and Bokuto’s taste and jokes, but he laughed more often and louder than usual with the group. Each time he couldn’t help himself from looking over in his friend’s directions, who was focused on his own company. And Tsukishima couldn’t tell what hurt less, the smiles that he was giving to the captain, or the lack of grins and soft laughs that Tsukishima received from him lately.
The movie Yamaguchi picked out wasn't what Tsukishima was expecting, to put it into simple terms. He thought his best friend would choose a cheesy romcom, or maybe even a suspenseful movie if he really wanted to surprise him.
He wasn’t expecting a movie they had watched inside and out from childhood to be on the tiny monitor. Granted, he wasn’t particularly upset with it either.
Yamaguchi loved all the animated movies directed at children, ‘the more singing the better!’ he’d always say. Tsukishima liked them, he’ll admit it, but he wasn’t as obsessed.
So it was no wonder, midway through the film he started texting and receiving texts from Nekoma’s captain. Attention going from monitor to monitor like his eyes were tennis balls in an intense match.
They were both sitting on Yamaguchi’s bed, both sat next to each other while sharing his stringy headphones. Yamaguchi laid his head onto the other’s arm, his hair most likely tickling the other slightly. They had a lamp on to show the major outlines of the room, multiple blankets on top of each other to keep the warmth inside.
Tadashi was more than content in how domestic and roomy the whole situation was. He popped another jelly bean into his mouth before pausing the movie on his phone’s screen. “Are you even watching?” he asked, trying his best to not sound desperate. How can you not sound desperate when all you are is whiny?
He steered clear of his thoughts, waiting for the blonde to realize he paused the movie. When he finally did, he just looked back at him with eyes that looked right past Yamaguchi, even though they were making direct eye contact.
“Um. Yeah.” Tsukishima squirmed under the confining cotton sheets, making a move to leave. He went over to put on slippers and a hoodie that once belonged to his older brother. “Kuroo’s going through something and he needs me.” The entire time while talking, never making eye contact. “You can finish the movie… sorry, but he said it’s important.”
“Nonono, it’s fine. I get it.” He didn’t want to leave the conversation in such a pessimistic tone, so he pressed on. “Plus the next song’s more of a solo than duet, I wouldn’t want to get overshined by your beautiful voice.”
Tsukishima huffed out a miniature chuckle, though Yamaguchi could distinguish its sincerity. He paused at the door, reiterating that he’ll be right back and offering another apology.
Yamaguchi sunk lower into his bed, letting his knees bunch up under the covers. He flicked off the lamp, making the only light coming from the screen in front of him. He gave a slight sigh before pushing play, ready to give a whispered performance alongside the character.
“If there's a prize for rotten judgement, I guess I've already won that… ”