Yamaguchi didn’t bother with trying to look presentable, he was just striving for decent. His eyes were still stinging and tinted from last night and probably the early morning. His hair refusing to cooperate, but he wasn’t in the mood to force it, plus the added headache.
Trudging himself downstairs for the ending of breakfast, he didn’t interact much with anyone. There was no sign of Tsukki or anyone else, since they most likely ate earlier. But just a nod or simple implanted smile did the job just fine for most people to pay him no mind. Yachi was not most people.
“Seriously, y-you’re freaking me out! What’s wrong? You know I’m here for you right?!” She was sitting next to him, eyes wide and hand gestures wider. “This is the last full day of camp, I just want to make sure you’re making the most of it…”
Yamaguchi took another scoop of his now soggy cereal, only eating for the sustenance rather than hunger. “I appreciate it, but I’m just tired is all.”
She didn’t seem to believe it wholeheartedly, but also looked like she knew pushing would get her nowhere. “If you say so….”
He felt bad bringing down her bubbly expression from camp when they first arrived. I don’t want to be the reason why another blonde has to suffer.
Taking a breath, he pushed out any deeper thoughts and put on a tacky smile and overly enthusiastic voice. “Yachi, remember when Hinata almost hijacked Suga’s car because Kageyama said he wanted more sour candies?”
“Are you psychic or something because I was just thinking about that!!” Her usually gleeful demeanor came flushing back, lifting herself slightly from her chair with excitement.
Yamaguchi described himself in many words, but not something of value like the term psychic.
Tsukishima was both more aggravated than usual, and somehow more tired to do anything about it. He had been giving everyone snappy comments and retorted with everyone, but the moment someone tried to fight back he’d drop it and focus on anything else. He was angry, but exhausted.
This was most apparent when he was doing some practice during some free time, since coaches needed some time to arrange the bus schedule and best route home. It was the usual gang of players, though Kenma was invited but said he had ‘other commitments’, whatever the hell that meant.
It was a basic circle (square?) of the four of them, setting and passing to the others in order to not make the ball drop. Everything was going smoothly for the most part, though Akaashi’s stare was so sharp it could have split the volleyball in half.
Tsukishima wasn’t too concerned that Akaashi was upset, due to the fact that he put his emotion first and foremost in the instant.
After a while, the conversation got dull and Bokuto, being Bokuto, couldn’t read the room- er, outside area. “So Tsukishima, how are you and Yamaguchi holding up?”
He passed the ball to the blonde to receive, but it fell at his feet. Practically sizzling with anger, he grasped the volleyball so hard it almost resembled a squeezed fruit. “Bokuto. Let’s not do this . Do what you’re good at volleyball, and quit what you’re not great at, talking.”
Bokuto seemed to start deflating like he usually did when insulted, but instead of being moppy, he continued to stroke the fire. “Oh yeah?” He started, crossing his arms. “Funny how the person who’s in a dilemma is giving out advice.”
Akaashi went to most likely smack Bokuto for the remark, but before he could, Tsukishima did a more drastic movement. Before he even realized what he was doing, the ball had disappeared from his hand and now located at the top of the roof.
Everyone stood there stunned, not knowing what to do or say. Until the blonde spoke up, not making eye contact. “Screw this, I’ll see you later.”
As he started to walk he heard Bokuto’s plan of hopping on each other's shoulders to somehow make it on top, followed by Kuroo’s confirmation and Akaashi’s disapproval. A part of him felt bad for what he’d done, since his friends didn’t deserve all of this unneeded anger, but Yamaguchi was always the one to calm him down. And without Yamaguchi… he was lost, though he still tried to deny that concrete fact.
The silver-haired vice captain was playing especially close attention during their final day of warm ups. If this behavior continued between their team, then he was certain they’d never make it to nationals, or maybe another two weeks.
It wasn’t just two of their first years, but every single one that was off their game, some more than others. Suga had his fair share of early highschool dilemmas and drama, but never to this extent.
Hinata kept getting pulled away by Kenma making up excuses that Suga knew were lies, but didn’t push him on the matter. Kageyama seemed ticked off that his new boyfriend wasn’t perfecting their quick attack, but the real trouble was between the first year childhood friends.
While doing practice serves, the vice captain had managed to find himself next to Yamaguchi, who was having difficulties, at an alarming rate. After the fifth one didn’t make it over the net, he chuckled to himself before breathing out “ what a shocker” in a callous manner.
He wasn’t near Tsukishima during warm ups, but his friend Daichi had. Apparently he was slower than usual to get himself up to block, barely making it successful. Anytime someone tried to comment on it or his performance, he’d scoff and roll his eyes.
Daichi and Suga were planning on spending their free time together alone, but after the morning they both came to the agreement something needed to be done.
Being cornered in a bathroom wasn’t what Tsukishima had put into his schedule for the day, but when did things for him ever go as planned.
“Kuroo, please move away from the door.” Tsukishima said, glaring lasers into the other’s head. He just wanted to brush his teeth, get ready for bed, and not sleep until the witching hour because his brain wouldn’t shut up about losing his best friend.
“‘Mmm no can do! Not until you get your constipation out!” Kuroo said, which made Akaashi on the left make a face of worry, and Bokuto on his right muffle a snicker.
Tsukishima pinches the top of his nose, hoping he could wake up from the never ending nightmare that was their ragtag group. “Is this about the emotionally constipated shit again?!”
“Yes!” He replied, obviously offended. Then he reeled himself back, and his face soured. “Unless you’re like… actually constipated right now-“
“I’m not constipated! In any sense!” He couldn’t bite down his anger any longer, clearly getting more and more worked up. “What I am is annoyed, so if you would please let me through-“
He tried to push past, but quickly stopped when he was constricted by a setter’s arms into an unfamiliar embrace. Tsukishima and everyone else stopped talking for a moment, all engrossed in what was transpiring at that moment.
Akaashi drew Tsukishima as close as he could and cooed in his ear, reminding him of his older brother consoling him from childhood. “It’s okay. You’re allowed to feel, Tsukishima.”
He didn’t know what curse or magic he’d placed on his words but Tsukishima started rattling in his arms. Tears were coming but more like they had been switched on, he wasn’t sobbing and wailing uncontrollably.
Bokuto made a side comment that Akaashi has a sorcerer's touch for healing other’s wounds. Maybe that’s why the pair got along so well.
After a few moments, Akaashi drew backward with both hands firmly gripping the other’s shoulders. Tsukishima used the toilet paper that Kuroo had grabbed from a stall to make his face less damp.
“I, uh, sorry.” Tsukishima said after a while of prolonged silence.
“No need to apologize, but I think we need to talk about the elephant in the room.” Akaashi replied.
“I was afraid you said that…”
“Tsukishima, we all care about you so.. what the hell is your deal with Yamaguchi?!” His grip went harder than expected, making him flinch for a second.
The setter let go, but still held their sight on the other. “I…” Where did he even start? “Well, Tadashi and I aren’t on the best of terms right now-“
Scoffing, Kuroo mumbled “Yeah no shit.”
“-and I feel… things.”
“What kind of things?” Bokuto asked, genuinely curious as to what.
“ Feelings. It’s repulsive.”
Kuroo echoed his similar comment of emotional constipation, to which no one commented back on.
“I miss him a lot. A-And I don’t know exactly what I did, but the bottom line is that I hurt him.” He looked down, brushing his hand back and forth on his other arm. “And that’s the last thing I’d want. If he’s happier with Terushima then I can try to live with that, but I still want to be his friend-“
“Hold up, happier with Terushima? Than with you?! Are you hearing yourself dude!?” Bokuto blurted out, rushing to get closer to the boy. “He likes you , stupid smartie!”
Tsukishima couldn’t help the red growing on his face. “I-I don’t think that’s the case.”
“Are you braindead!? Akaashi has the most janky Crush Detector known for mankind, and even he knows this! ”
The blonde shifted his focus to Akaashi who simply nodded in agreement.
“...You think… You think I have a shot?” Tsukishima had always put his emotions to the side, hiding and locking them up. His crush for his best friend since elementary school was no different.
“Yeah! Go find him! You don’t want to waste your last night at camp a moppy sad little Tsukishima, right?!” With a determined nod, Tsukishima finally was able to leave the bathroom in search of his friend.
Not too long after, the rest of the boys left with the Nekoma player in the caboose. Only he moved a few short steps when he felt the edge of his sweatshirt being tugged.
Turning around, he noticed it was his own childhood friend Kenma. “Kenma?”
It was more of a question of ‘what are you doing?’ than ‘are you Kenma, Nekoma's setter?’ but Kuroo supposed he assumed it was the latter, since he gave him a soft “ hmph ” of confirmation. It was extremely adorable.
“What’s going on with you? Feel like I haven’t seen you in forever...” Which was true, the last 24 hours for the duo had been devoid of their usual interactions.
“I-I’ve been talking to Hinata a lot about.. stuff.” He finally dropped the fabric, a blush beginning to take form. “He suggested I see you at some point.”
“Well that’s great! B-Because I missed you… a lot.” Now the red was spreading to Kuroo’s face as well.
“Could we talk somewhere better than outside a bathroom?”
“Sure”, he replied with both enamored eyes and smile.
Daichi had texted him saying that he had important news that he wanted to tell Yamaguchi. He should have known something was off from that alone, because since when did ‘important’ and ‘Yamaguchi’ make sense in the same sentence?
He made his way to his shared dorm with Suga, where as soon as he entered the door blew a gust behind. The vice captain was next to the door, Yamaguchi assumed he’d be the culprit for why the door was now shut.
“W-What’s all this?” Yamaguchi started, turning back to his captain.
“Yamaguchi, we’re…” he trailed off, looking in his boyfriend’s direction. “We both care about you so much. A-And we want you to know we’re here for you?”
Yamaguchi took the defensive faster than anticipated. “What do you think’s going on?”
Suga stepped forward and inbetween the other two to the side, leaving against the bedpost. “We don’t know the specifics, but Tsukishima and you are both more distant than I think I’ve, we’ve, ever seen.”
“S-So?!” Yamaguchi uttered back, anxiousness seeping out more than he expected.
“And we were talking to some of the other captains, and Kuroo was saying-“
That’s when it became all too much. Kuroo and Tsukishima. Terushima and Him. Daichi and Suga. All the panicking and internal worries that had been keeping him up. If Daichi and Suga knew what was going on, did everyone know? Was everyone talking behind his back?!
Suga must have seen his turmoil, since he came over with what appeared as concern, but Yamaguchi took it as pity. “Yama-“
Before he could rationally think about it, Yamaguchi was out the door and down the building’s stairway faster than he could have imagined. He didn’t know where he was leading himself, but he needed a moment to just gather what was making him feel so many things.
After a while, Yamaguchi stumbled onto Terushima outside on a bench, seeming to admire the night sky.
He probably noticed the new presence, since not long after he turned to look at him. His eyes and smile weren’t as bright as before and it made Yamaguchi wonder if all the stamina he presented to the world was always completely real.
“You wanna sit down? I don’t mind.” And so Yamaguchi took the seat, neither making a sound. Just admiring the sky and having company.
After however long, Yamaguchi gripped the bench’s edge and inhaled. He didn’t know if his next course of action would be the best, per say, but he knew that it was better than nothing.
And dammit, Yachi told him to make the best of his last night, so he would.
“Terushima? Would you mind if I did something irrational?” Yamaguchi tried to make himself more confident, but he could tell he was struggling to get that across.
“Irrational like 12 years in jail? Or irrational like racing down the hill in a porta potty?” Terushima asked, his eyebrow arched in intrigue.
Tadashi chuckled, remembering hearing the story from Tanaka from a last year’s match against the school. “Not as extreme as the latter, but we won’t be going to jail.”
“Alright then lay it on me.” Terushima said, not knowing those words would jumpstart the other.
Before he could think about it again, his lips were on the other. They were a bit scruffier than he'd imagined, but they were still nice for the most part. Terushima was clearly taken aback, but after a moment of catching up he was holding the back of Yamaguchi’s neck to deepen the kiss.
They broke free to let them both recover and gasp for air, and for the first time Yamaguchi saw the other get the blush he'd been dishing out for the duration of the camp.
“A-Why? What was that about?” He didn’t seem mad, more confused than anything.
“I’ve been having conflicted feelings since you’ve got here a-and I didn’t know what else to do!” Now he was obviously blushing.
Chuckling softly, he replied with “it’s fine, but did this help you figure it out?”
Yamaguchi nodded. “Yeah, I think so. I like the attention you give, I won't lie. But….don’t like you, in the romantic sense.” He paused, realizing he needed to finally come clean. “I like…I love- “
“Tsukishima?” Terushima voice said, almost like he didn’t mean to.
Tadashi realizes his eyes were towards the scenery, rather than himself. When he turned his head, that’s when he saw it.
Eyes draped in tears, shoulders slouching low, lips becoming invisible, a blonde boy named Tsukishima having his heart ripped out right in front of him by his now definitely ex-best friend.
He forgot how close the distance between Terushima and him were, and how much farther the distance between him and his friend was becoming.
Yamaguchi stood up and began to run after the other, hoping to come clean about his motives. Even if they decided from that night to never speak again, Tsukki deserved to know the wholehearted truth.