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Soul

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Tobio was never a vocal person off-court. As far as he could remember, he had never really been the most engaging. He simply believed that unless he had a purpose, he didn’t need to communicate; and wasn’t that what talking was about?

But somedays he wished it wasn’t like that.

He registered his phone vibrating on the table where he had left it to charge, probably people messaging in one of the group chats he was in. They seemed awfully chatty, maybe he should’ve muted it as Hinata had suggested.

Ah, Hinata…

Rolling up inside his comforter Tobio shut his eyes, mentally forcing thoughts of the orange-haired boy away. He would rather not think about his unfortunate relationship with the middle blocker.

They had broken up last month after their fight in the gym, and apparently that made everyone, relieved?

Was he that bad of a boyfriend?

Apparently yes, according to Tsukishima and Kindaichi, who was weirdly all chummy now with Karasuno, but not really with Tobio, understandably. Oikawa-san, also a part of their weird mishmash group chat, was also vocally supportive of said bad boyfriend Kageyama campaign which, Tobio thinks, was to be expected.

Yet even if that was to be expected, it didn’t mean that it won’t sting. Because it did.

Maybe he should’ve searched more on the internet, read more blogs on how to be a good boyfriend, taken Hinata on more dates, maybe then he would’ve been an okay partner. But he didn’t, hence he failed.

A failure…

He didn’t like being one but that’s all he ends up being.

His phone went through another slew of continuous vibrations, and frankly, it was getting annoying. Tobio rolled out of his bed, shivering a little as his bare arms and legs were exposed to the cold air. Ambling over to the table on the other edge of his room he mindlessly wondered if he had watered the barely surviving plants in the backyard. His mother was due to return next week, he had to scrub the house clean before that.

Unlocking his phone, he checked the hundreds of notifications, all from a single messaging app. Aside from one message by his mother reminding him to lock all the doors and windows (which yes, Tobio already did, he is a responsible person), the other roughly two hundred plus notifications from the “crowtits”, which continued to increase as Sugawara-san and, from what Tobio guessed, the ace from Fukurodani and the tall, Russian dude from Nekoma screamed about…grapes on pizzas? That certainly didn’t sound appetizing.

Curious, he opened the chat and started skimming through the messages spread across the last twenty-four or so hours.

Oikawa-san got scolded by Iwaizumi-san again, no surprise, Noya-san caught a beetle, Nekoma’s Kozume-san and Kuroo-san finally became an official couple, and the rest of the messages were congratulations and screaming. Tobio quickly typed up a small congratulatory message for them and sent it, before exiting the chat and replying to his mom.

20:49

Me: Locked them

Me: Good night

He was going to exit the app and go look for something to snack on when a new message notification appeared on his screen.

20:50

Tsukishima Karasuno: oh look who has decided to bless us peasants with his presence

Having already opened and read the message, Tobio wondered if he should reply. He didn’t want to be rude by ignoring it.

Decided, he started to type a reply when another message popped up in the chat.

Kindaichi Aoba: isnt it king sama’s monthsary

Monthsary? Tobio wondered if he should ask.

Me: what

Precise and purposeful.

Tsukishima Karasuno: disappointing king didnt think you would be so careless

Did he forget someone’s birthday again? Or did he make a promise to go somewhere?

Kindaichi Aoba: now that i thnk about it

Kindaichi Aoba: dosnt it sound like a

Kunimi Aoba: bad omen?

Tsukishima Karasuno: oh ho ho

Why were they being so confusing, Tobio wondered. No one ever said things clearly.

Me: what do you mean

Sugawara-san: all of you, stop.

Monthsary…Tobio sat down on his desk chair. Maybe?

Tsukishima Karasuno: the king needs to realize the importance of days if he doesnt want a repeat of last time

Ah, right. Its been a month since that day, hadn’t he spent the whole day sulking around, in Sugawara-san’s words, because of that? He closed the chat, not bothering to wait for the influx of new messages. He knew blowing up on them would only lead them on.

Another bunch of messages popped up on his screen, reading:

Tsukishima Karasuno: ah thats why hinata is celebrating today huh

Kindaichi Aoba: lololol independence day

Kunimi Aoba: Im surprised you know how to spell that kindaichi

Why were they doing this? Bringing it up again and again as if Tobio didn’t agonize over it enough? Kunimi and Kindaichi, he could understand, they must be treating it as payback and Tobio was okay with it. But Tsukishima? Given he was a salty and insufferable person in general, yet Tobio didn’t think he would be this…this…rude?

Okay, nay, he could be. With a sigh he exited the app and went over to his bed, ready to sleep. It was no use mulling over it anymore, he had bigger fish to worry about. Like that new quick he had been trying to perfect.

Maybe if he does it, Hinata might consider him a friend again?


The training camp with the Tokyo schools was a travesty.

Placing his bag on the floor Tobio tried to not think too much about the horror he had to suffer through.

He got the quick to work a few times, which was good but not enough, never enough. Hinata smiled that one time at him which was another win, maybe they are friends again? He didn’t sit with him during the bus ride, but he did move a seat closer and no one could stop him from rejoicing on that.

Aside from that though…Tobio unconsciously shuddered. If only training camp could’ve been matches all the time. He seriously didn’t want to remember the feeling of being so suffocated by people, yet being so alone. Mealtimes, he detested them. Previously he had Hinata to accompany him but this time, he was just alone… Everyone had their own groups and friends; Tobio did not. He had thought he would be able to follow behind Hinata and maybe Karasuno would sit together. How foolish he was.

He wanted to bang his head on the wall just remembering the way Tsukishima had looked at him, like he knew Tobio was troubled standing in the middle of the hall with his food tray, and just smiled in that nasty way of his, unashamedly displaying how much he was enjoying it.

Tobio had started depending on the trustworthy wending machine behind the food hall after that. No way was he going to enter that place again. It had certainly sent his regulated diet for a tumble but nothing he couldn’t manage afterward.

And that would’ve been the end of it, if not for the bane of his existence to announce it to the whole group chat, members of which were around every corner, whom Tobio was supposed to play against on the court, that apparently he was so kingly he couldn’t bear to share eating space with peasants. In a sudden panic, Tobio had ended up locking himself in one of the washrooms, unable to leave till he was sure everyone had gone to sleep. At that moment he had been seriously considering jumping ship and walking all the way back to Miyagi but Takeda sensei happened to stumble upon him mid-contemplation staring at the main gate and ended up dragging him back inside.

The next day had been, bad. That’s all he could regard it as. He had not opened the group chat after Tsukishima’s message. Everyone had started to look at him weirdly, especially when it neared meal time. He could still feel their gazes, looking at him like an insect.

He had treated himself to coffee from the wending machine that time for making it out alive, of course after he had his milk. When the time came for the second half of training, he had ended up escaping to practice in an empty lot behind the gymnasiums, ready to bear with the slight chill in the air but not with all those gazes. That was the sole time he had felt at peace, he thought with a sigh.

There was no school the next day so Tobio was free to do as he pleased.

While waiting for his much-awaited take out to arrive he decided that the sooner he got over with the chaos that had been spilled in the group chat the better, he sprawled down on the couch in their living room and opened the chat, ignoring the private ones from Sugawara-san and his mother for now. He quickly skimmed through the messages after that certain on Tsukishima had sent, not wanting to subject himself to unneeded stress. Tanaka-san and Noya-san had raised up a storm, tagging him and sending weird stickers, Oikawa-san had made some not so good comments only to be semi-squashed by Iwaizumi-san, and Kunimi and Kindaichi, yeah, as expected, had dragged it for as long as they could.

Absentmindedly Tobio wondered what it would take for them to stop.

It was soon followed by some weird face messages, and then suddenly Tanaka-san screaming about his kouhai growing up so quick? He scrolled through the screaming, finally reaching a substantial message from Kuroo-san that Hinata was dating him and Kozume-san?

Oh, Tobio didn’t know how that made him feel. Weirdly enough he didn’t feel…much.

He continued scrolling, fully expecting all the jabs from the three who had formed the hate Tobio group. Just this time, others were kind of echoing their messages. They were all agreeing with them. That Tobio was insufferable, that now Hinata ‘would be treated well’, that he needed to ‘learn his lesson’, ‘stop being a dictator’, ‘selfish’, ‘unappreciative’, ‘asshole’. Not bothering to read anymore, he closed the chat and locked his phone.

He had, somewhere deep inside him, had this foolish hope that maybe his some of his teammates, maybe Hinata, maybe they would say that Tobio wasn’t that bad.

A foolish hope was all it was.