The crowd was cheering.
The lights were flashing.
The team was going wild.
One more point until victory in the highest levels.
He took a deep breath, his muscles bunched up as they got ready to jump.
He analyzed the court, a hundred possibilities running through his mind.
Finally, he pinpointed the weak spot.
The whistle blew.
He jumped and-
Oikawa blinked and suddenly, he was back on the couch in his shared apartment with Iwaizumi. He stared listlessly at the TV playing a daytime soap opera. There were birds chirping as he silently willed them to shut up. It was annoying, hearing the sounds of anything happy right now. He was about to move off the couch to go to the bathroom when the door suddenly burst open.
“Iwa-chan! Isn’t this a surprise!” Oikawa straightened up immediately and tried to rearrange himself to look like he hadn’t been sitting in the same place all morning. Iwaizumi wasn’t easily fooled and smacked his head as he sat down across from his friend.
“I have something for you.”
“Ooh is it milk bread?”
“No Trashykawa. It’s something better.”
“Two loaves of milk bread?” Oikawa teased, hoping that his teasing would distract his friend from what he knew he was thinking.
“It’s a job opportunity….well technically it’s volunteering but still, it’s an opportunity!” Iwaizumi tried his best to sound optimistic, already knowing this was going to be difficult.
“Hmmm…I think I’m good. I’m almost done with my own job searching you know!” Oikawa brightly exclaimed as he tried to subtly move the bags of snacks behind him.
“Oikawa.” Oikawa paused and looked up at Iwaizumi, noticing the frown lines on his friend’s face.
“Oikawa…..just hear me out okay. I promise I put a lot of thought into this.” Iwaizumi pleaded.
Oikawa sighed lightly. He knew, logically, that he should listen to Iwaizumi, and that maybe getting a job would help him get over this slump he was in, but everything felt gray and lethargic and he had no energy in him left. But when he glanced over at Iwaizumi’s face again and noticed the worry in his eyes that made him look much older than his 24 years, Oikawa felt a pang of guilt quickly followed by a stab of anger at himself. He forced himself to not betray any of his thoughts on his face, not wanting to worry Iwaizumi more.
“Alright Iwa-chan. I trust you. Let’s hear about this job I can get with no college degree.”
“My coworker’s brother used to do this job, but he’s moving so she wanted to know if I knew anyone with enough free time to take on a job like this…..” Iwaizumi handed Oikawa a flyer.
Oikawa skimmed the paper quickly before looking up into Iwaizumi’s expectant face. “So what you’re saying is…..you want me to become a volleyball coach to a bunch of children and watch them do what I can’t ?” Oikawa hissed out as the feeling of anger started to creep back into his heart. The usual grayness was starting to be tinted with crimson and Oikawa could feel the memories he had kept at bay for months threatening to rise again-
“Toru. Look at me. Please.” Iwaizumi never said please, which was what caused Oikawa to snap out of his darkening thoughts and stare back at his oldest friend.
“You know I wouldn’t make you do something I didn’t think you could handle. I seriously think you can do this, because you know as well as I do that your heart still wants volleyball. Even if you can't play anymore you can still inspire others.” Iwaizumi knew that Oikawa would be perfect for the job when he heard about it, but he didn’t know if Oikawa knew that too.
“Hajime….I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this. I seriously don’t know. I mean what do I even know about coaching?” Oikawa’s head was still pounding, threatening to spiral.
“More than you think. Look I’m not going to push you, but it’s been four months since the……injury. I think it would be good for you to get out of the house more, as long as you’re up for it of course.” Iwaizumi tried reasoning.
Oikawa sighed and leaned back into the cushions. He knew that Iwaizumi was right, Iwaizumi was always right. Eventually, he whispered:
“I’ll think about it.”
Iwaizumi thanked him and got up to go back to work, having used his lunch break to rush over and tell Oikawa the sudden news. Oikawa finally decided to get up when he heard the door slam. He walked into the bathroom and stared at himself.
He looked like a mess. There was a layer of stubble because he hadn’t shaved in a while, and he knew that the reason this shirt had stains was because he had let himself wear the same clothes for the past week, not bothering to shower and change until Iwaizumi forced him to. Depression was kicking him down a lot, and he knew Iwaizumi wanted him to see a therapist and get medication to help him out, but Oikawa was just so tired . His hands shook slightly as he gripped the sink, while his mind kept flashing the look of Iwaizumi’s broken, worn down face. His best friend deserved so much more than what Oikawa could give him, unfortunately, he didn’t have much left to give.
He ran a hand through his greasy hair and groaned, wanting to delude himself a little longer. Alas, a part of his heart still soared when he saw the words volleyball, despite all the pain that came with thinking about it. He slapped his cheeks and stared at himself again in the mirror.
“Just a trial. If I can't handle it then I won't stay. Just a trial. For Iwa-chan.” He muttered as he began to pick up the razor and shave.
The next day Oikawa paused outside the door to the rec center volleyball gym. He could smell the hardwood floor and the rubber of the ball. There were sounds of squeaky shoes and balls being spiked as well as people either yelling in joy or groaning in frustration. He inhaled deeply as his hand twitched again on the handle. Before he could decide what to do, he felt a tap on his elbow causing him to yelp in fright.
“Who did that!” he turned around and saw a kid. This kid didn’t look older than 10, his oversized gym clothes making them look even smaller. He had deep blue eyes, and dark hair that looked like it was definitely cut at home. The kid was ridiculously skinny, so much so that Oikawa could faintly make out his cheekbones. The kid stared impassively, and Oikawa figured out that he must want to go in.
“Oh! Sorry I didn’t realize anyone was waiting.” Oikawa laughed nervously as the boy kept staring. Finally, the boy shrugged and nodded his thanks before walking inside.
“Strange little fellow.” Oikawa muttered.
Oikawa walked in, hoping to figure out where Iwaizumi’s co worker's brother was. He had asked for a description but was only told ‘you’ll know him when you see him!’. Oikawa was going to kill Iwaizumi. He kept scanning the courts, the back two being empty, to no avail until, for the second time, there was a tap on his arm. This time though, the tap was more like a slap and it was accompanied by a cheerful voice Oikawa recognized immediately.
“Mr. Refreshing! You’re the coach!” Oikawa turned around and faced Sugawara. Other than the longer hair, he hadn’t changed much since high school, especially with that sly smirk of his.
“Iwaizumi told me that you were going to take my place. I'm glad to hear that. These kids could really benefit from learning from a professional.” Sugawara said.
“Ha. Not a professional anymore.” Oikawa spat out bitterly before he could stop himself. Sugawara looked amused as he raised an eyebrow.
“Well, not anymore. But you were at some point, which is really all that matters. Anyways, let’s go meet the kids!” Sugawara dragged Oikawa towards the back of the hall where a bunch of small children, including the boy he just ran into, were waiting.
Oikawa rolled his eyes as Sugawara manhandled him. If there was one thing he respected, it was that unlike anyone he had met recently (other than Iwaizumi) he didn’t sugarcoat or skim around the issue. It was an interesting change of pace and Oikawa was surprised to admit to himself that he wanted to see where this was going.
“Alright kids! Line up for me please!” Sugawara smiled brightly. The kids obeyed immediately and stood in a line.
“This is Oikawa Toru. Remember how I told you I have to leave you guys? He’s an old acquaintance of mine from my high school days. He’s an amazing player with lots of experience so I want you to be good to him!”
The kids all chirped out their agreement, before yelling out their names one by one. There were only 8 kids, but Oikawa felt slightly overwhelmed with all the new names he would have to learn. Finally, the turn reached the boy at the end. Oikawa looked at him expectantly, before Sugawara sighed lightly.
“That’s Kageyama Tobio. He’s 11 years old.” Sugawara said, while trying to catch the boy’s eye. The boy refused to acknowledge his coach’s efforts and continued to stare at the ground without making a sound.
“Kids, start warming up okay! Just like how I taught you!” Sugawara called out to the children as they ran off and started stretching.
“Why doesn’t he say his name himself?” Oikawa asked, feeling a bit of irritation on behalf of Sugawara.
“Tobio? He doesn’t speak. Or at least, I've never heard him speak before. When I asked for his name he gave me a paper with his name and age written on it and refused to elaborate further. I've known him for 6 months now, and his name and age are the only things I know about him.”
“He doesn’t speak and wants to play a team sport like volleyball?” Oikawa asked incredulously.
Sugawara grinned sheepishly. “Honestly, he doesn’t do much with the other seven kids. The main reason is….well actually you’ll see now why he doesn’t do anything with them.”
Oikawa rolled his eyes. Looks like he was going to have to be tutoring a complete novice. Sugawara started instructing the kids and Kageyama walked onto the next court with his own ball. Oikawa continued to stare at him. Kageyama picked up a ball and got in position to practice setting drills. He threw the ball and….
“What the….” Oikawa stared at the kid in disbelief.
“Yeah…..he doesn’t play with the other kids because they simply can't keep up with him. He's way out of their league.” Sugawara said with a hint of pride.
“He's….incredible. How is he this good?” Kageyama was only 11, but Oikawa guessed he could very easily play for a high school team-not as a starter but definitely not dead weight on the bench either.
“Like I said, I have no idea. He just showed up one day and after a couple of classes, I offered to move him up to the higher level, but I guess his family isn’t too well off because he insisted on staying in these free classes. It’s a shame because with all the talent he has, he would be an amazing player if he was on a real team.” Sugawara spoke as his gaze stayed on Kageyama, who was still doing setter drills.
Oikawa shook his head. If he had that level of talent at this kid’s age, he’d have been unstoppable in high school. This Kageyama Tobio was an interesting kid alright.
A week passed uneventfully, and Sugawara finally said goodbye. The kids were all teary-eyed (Oikawa himself may have been slightly teary as well, but it’s not because he would miss Sugawara-of course not-it was only sadness because he’d have to do everything himself now.) and Sugawara made them all promise to be good. Finally, the first day of classes without any assistance came, and Oikawa was feeling slightly nervous.
“Iwa-chan! Is this too much hair gel!” Oikawa screeched from the bathroom.
“Yes!” Iwaizumi yelled from the kitchen without bothering to look up from his cooking.
“Iwa-chan I am serious! I need to start my class with a good first impression!” Oikawa looked back at his reflection. He didn’t look too old, (in his opinion), and he knew he still totally had his charms (also in his opinion), so there was no need to be nervous. The voices in his head were quiet today which made him-well not exactly happy, but not very upset either.
In the kitchen, Iwaizumi grinned. It was good to see some of Oikawa’s spirit returning after he had to start leaving the house three times a week to interact with the kids. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and it had only been a week, but he hoped that this would lead to more positive changes in the future.
Oikawa finally left the bathroom and grabbed his wallet yelling: “Wish me luck on my first solo class Iwa-chan!”
“You don’t need it!” Iwaizumi called back.
Oikawa got to the rec center at 4:25, just in time to calm his nerves before the kids started to show up. Eventually, they started to trickle in. Oikawa watched them interact, milling amongst each other and chattering excitedly (with one notable exception). Finally, he noticed a silence and realized they were all waiting for him to start talking.
Blushing, Oikawa stood up quickly. “Alright kids! It’s only going to be me from now on, so I hope that we have lots of fun! Now today I want to work on receiving, so start warming up and then get into pairs.”
The kids began to warm up, but he noticed that Kageyama had skipped the warmups and went to the other court to work on his setting. Oikawa frowned. Of all the kids, Kageyama was the only one he hadn’t interacted with one on one yet. He steeled his nerves and walked over.
“Hey Kageyama.” Oikawa spoke slowly as he approached him.
Kageyama turned around and nodded his head in acknowledgment. Oikawa paused, unsure of the next step. Sugawara made it look so easy when he spoke to Kageyama, Oikawa thought as he mentally began to panic over what to do next.
“Umm Kageyama. Why don’t you want to warm up with the others?” Oikawa decided to ask.
Kageyama stared at him and shrugged, looking off into the distance. Oikawa tried another route.
“Okay well….if you practice by yourself all the time, I don’t know how good your receiving is. Why don’t you come with the others and pair up with someone? There’s always an odd one out.”
Again, Kageyama stared at Oikawa blankly before shrugging again, his too large shirt beginning to slide down one shoulder
Oikawa sighed as he felt a hint of irritation rise up. Yelling on his first full day alone wasn’t a good look, so he gave up and told Kageyama to make sure not to overdo it and went back to the main group.
At the end of the two hours, Oikawa realized he was going to have to do Sugawara’s job of waiting until each kid left. Fortunately, most of the parents came right away. An hour later though, Oikawa found himself sitting on the bleachers scrolling absently through his phone. Suddenly, it began to ring.
“Don’t ‘yahoo’ me you idiot. Why aren’t you home yet!”
“Awww was Iwa-chan worried about little old me!”
“No! I just didn’t want all my hard work in the kitchen to go to waste!” Oikawa grinned knowing this was Iwaizumi’s way of saying he was worried. He glanced back up and frowned.
“I’m waiting for one kid to leave. Its been more than an hour and his parents still haven’t shown up. Honestly I’m not sure how long I should keep waiting.” Oikawa sighed.
“Which kid is it? The quiet one?”
“Yeah that one. He's still practicing. The amount of stamina he must have is incredible, but if he can't play in a real match then it’s all useless.” Oikawa paused as he noticed Kageyama putting his ball away.
Kageyama looked at him and nodded his head before exiting the gym and walking away. Oikawa scanned around to try and find who he was going towards but found no one. He walked to the front of the rec center and realized Kageyama had disappeared.
“Hm. Maybe there’s a certain time he leaves to meet someone at the front. Or maybe he got a phone call telling him to go?” Iwaizumi responded when Oikawa relayed the events that occurred.
“Maybe.” Oikawa responded, unsure why his heart felt like it didn’t believe it.
The first major incident occurred a month and a half after Sugawara left. Oikawa had gotten into a steady rhythm between practices and staying at home thinking about what new things he should teach the kids. Iwaizumi was very glad to come home to Oikawa pouring over training manuals and coaching guides, it was a much more relieving sight than when Oikawa was still upset and unmotivated to do anything. This is why he was so surprised when he walked home after work one day and found not only Oikawa lying on the couch in pain, but pillows and blankets covering his entire body.
“Oi idiot……you tryna build a fort or something?” Iwaizumi walked into the room cautiously.
“Very funny Iwa-chan…..funny…..like me….I’m funny….” Oikawa mumbled unintelligibly, burrowing further into the blanket pile.
Iwaizumi cautiously sat down on the couch and he carefully lifted Oikawa’s bad leg, putting it across his lap. He took off the knee brace and noticed the beginning of excess swelling.
“Oi….how long has it been like this? You know you’re supposed to up the dosage of your meds if this happens don’t you! Do you want it to get worse?” Iwaizumi tried very hard to not yell, knowing it would only make the situation worse.
Oikawa laughed hysterically. “Why does it matter Iwa-chan? Why does taking care of my health even matter, when I'm a washed-up volleyball player who flew too close to the sun?”
“Washed up what….where are you getting that from!” Iwaizumi had heard Oikawa’s self-deprecating thoughts before, but this was a new one. Years of volleyball training meant that when Oikawa suddenly threw his phone at Iwaizumi, Iwaizumi was able to catch it instinctively.
“The fallen star of Japanese Volleyball. Oikawa Tooru and where he is now.” Iwaizumi read out loud as he looked at the article. The picture was of Oikawa at the rec center helping a kid into a receiving stance. It was taken on one of his bad days, meaning he looked haggard and was unbothered to put on his work smile. (If there was one thing Oikawa could appreciate about kids though, was that when he told them he may not always show up happy and cheerful, they nodded and accepted it without complaint.)
“Wait why on earth are you reading from Athletes Simplified? It’s a tabloid magazine! Everyone knows all they do is spread useless rumors about Japanese athletes to cause some useless scandal.” Iwaizumi said with disbelief, snapping Oikawa out of his thoughts.
“But they're right! I am a washed-up athlete! I don’t even have a college degree I mean what am I supposed to do? Volunteer as a volleyball coach for the rest of my life? Live with you for the rest of my life?”
“Oi! What's that supposed to mean!” Iwaizumi responded.
“Well I mean…one day you're going to want to move into a larger house and maybe start a family and stuff…it’s not like I have that option! No one wants a washed-out loser.” Oikawa resentfully responded.
Iwaizumi stared at his best friend before smacking his head. Hard.
“If you keep saying dumb stuff like that I’ll make it hurt even more. I don’t want to hear you talking like this, especially because you know you’re better than this. Now get up you’re going to be late to class. You can't ditch those kids now. And if I hear you use the words ‘washed-up’ again, you can make your own dinner.”
Oikawa sighed as he slowly got up and went to get ready. Iwaizumi was an excellent friend, but sometimes he forgot that just saying things wouldn’t magically make people feel better. Whatever. It wasn’t worth the argument right now, not while the voices in Oikawa’s head were getting louder and louder.
In the gym, the kids could immediately tell their teacher was in a bad mood when he stormed in and barked at them to do receiving drills. He didn’t even say good afternoon or tell them a funny story.
Finally, they left, except for Kageyama. The gym was now empty other than the two of them. Oikawa’s mood was already terrible after two hours of socialization that he didn’t want to do, but now, watching the kid throw the balls with such ease just added to the flames in his heart. Finally, after an hour of waiting, Oikawa snapped.
“Kageyama. Where are your parents?”
Kageyama turned around and shrugged, before going back to playing. Oikawa seethed. The voices in his head had overtaken his thoughts.
He doesn’t listen to you because you're weak
Oikawa snapped, marching over to Kageyama.
“I’m going to ask you again. Where are your parents?” He got another shrug.
Oikawa had had enough of this child. He noticed Kageyama went back to his practice and grabbed his forearm to force him to listen. Only….the second Oikawa grabbed his arm-
“AHHHHGGH!” the first sound Oikawa had ever heard from Kageyama was made.
The second the scream left the child’s mouth was like a switch flipped inside of Oikawa. The voices in his head suddenly disappeared, and the red haze in his vision was gone too. Oikawa scrambled away quickly as Kageyama fell on the floor, clutching his upper forearm in pain. He scrambled up quickly and nodded in apology before running to his bag and leaving the gym, or at least that’s what he wanted to do.
Oikawa held out his arm, feeling more than a little guilty when it caused the kid to flinch in fear and anticipation.
“Kageyama wait-” he tried to speak, but Kageyama ducked under his arm and ran out of the gym. Oikawa held his head in his hands. Great. Just great.
Later that night, Oikawa lay in bed. His knee was throbbing, but for once, the pain and self-deprecating thoughts weren’t consuming his mind. This time, it was the bloodcurdling scream of an 11-year-old boy.
Kageyama didn’t show up to practice for the next week. Each day, Oikawa looked up expectantly, waiting to see the small and apathetic child, but to no avail. Finally, after the last class of the week, he called the children over and sat them in a circle.
“Alright class. Now as you know, Kageyama hasn’t been showing up this past week.” The children looked at him, concern for their teammate on their faces.
Finally, one boy asked: “What do you want us to do coach?”
“Do any of you know where Kageyama lives?” Oikawa asked, even though a part of him already knew what the answer was going to be.
The kids all shook their heads in apology. The same kid, Makoto, spoke again. “He’ll be back soon, coach. None of us know anything about Kageyama except that he really loves volleyball.”
Oikawa sighed and nodded. He bade them farewell as parents started to arrive and decided to try his last option.
Oikawa held his phone to his ear as he walked home, listening to the dial tone. Finally, a familiar voice answered.
“Toru! Isn’t this a surprise!”
“Hey Mr. Refreshing. How are you?”
“Oh skip the formalities we both know you're calling for advice.” Sugawara’s voice was cheeky, and Oikawa rolled his eyes at the grin he knew was on the others face right now.
Oikawa braced himself before quickly relaying the events that had happened and what he wanted. He didn’t even tell Iwaizumi what had occurred, the guilt crushing him too much to want to face the look of disappointment on his friend’s face.
Finally, after a long silence Sugawara spoke. His voice was lacking its usual cheer and was straight to the point.
“Well. Manhandling a small child is wrong, at least you learned that much. I’m afraid it’s like I already told you, I have no idea where Kageyama lives or anything about him. I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed but I do know that this isn’t something you would normally do.”
Sugawara paused, and Oikawa feared for a second he’d be asked to quit. Sure, he wasn’t exactly happy, but working with the kids and watching him improve was the closest thing to happiness that Oikawa had right now. They had all grown on him, even Kageyama with his insane talent. Oikawa’s breathing began to pick up as the thoughts barraged his mind. What would he do if he had to quit, go back to sitting around doing nothing all day? Maybe it’s what he deserved for hurting a child…maybe he deserved his in-
“Oi Toru! Can you hear me!” Oikawa suddenly snapped out of his thoughts, realizing he had been hyperventilating in place long enough to garner some concerned looks.
He quickly walked to the side of the street and sat under a bench before finally replying to Sugawara, who was growing more and more concerned as time went by.
“I’m…back.” Oikawa spoke softly waiting for the judgement. To his surprise, Sugawara sounded relieved.
“Toru what was that! Were you having a panic attack? Seriously I was about Iwaizumi to make sure you didn’t do anything reckless!”
“Nah….it’s fine. It’s over now.”
“it’s not fine!” Sugawara snapped, hating watching his friend take their wellbeing lightly.
“We’re getting off topic.” Oikawa snapped back as he leaned back.
Sugawara sighed deeply. “Alright then. The point is, I don’t know where Kageyama lives, but he’ll probably come back. when he does, maybe you’ll be able to do what I never could.”
“I think he liked me well enough. But he never trusted me enough to let me past his walls. I've seen the way he looks at you when you’re not looking, I think he recognizes you from your playing days. Maybe you’ll be able to help him.”
Sugawara’s words rang in Oikawa’s head when Kageyama returned to practice on Monday. The other kids were overjoyed to see him. Oikawa too, was pleased to see that the kids were willing to accept Kageyama even though he hardly ever played with them. Kageyama looked up at Oikawa, and before Oikawa could say anything, he nodded at him and walked over to do his own practice.
When all the kids left later, and Kageyama stayed on the second court working on his serves, Oikawa took a deep breath and walked over. He knew when Kageyama realized what was happening because he started to stiffen, which made the guilt twist a little deeper inside of Oikawa’s heart.
Finally, Oikawa stood in front of Kageyama. He kneeled down to his eye level (ignoring the twinge of pain it brought to his knee) and spoke.
“Kageyama….I’m so sorry. I know you're probably a little scared of me, and you have the right to do that. I didn’t mean to hurt you I swear. I was just..” Oikawa stopped when Kageyama started to tear up. He began to freak out internally wondering if the kid was madder than he thought.
Before he could say anything, Kageyama looked him in the eyes, and mouthed the words: “I forgive you.”
Oikawa felt something in his heart settle as he looked into the blue eyes of the small boy. The eyes weren’t filled with anger at all, if anything, Kageyama looked happy. Oikawa felt a small smile tug on the corners of his lips as he stood up again.
“Thank you for forgiving me Kageyama. It still shouldn’t have happened though, so I want to make it up to you. There’s a curry place near the rec center. We can go and come back here in an hour if you want. Then you’ll be back in time for……whoever comes to take you an hour late each day. Would you like that?”
Oikawa had thought long and hard about what to do to make it up to the kid, before deciding that food was probably the easiest option. He stared at Kageyama, who looked deep in thought for a couple of minutes as he stared at the clock. Finally, the boy turned around and nodded shyly.
Oikawa grinned as he helped Kageyama put the rest of the balls away before motioning to him to follow him to the restaurant. It was right across the street, so they managed to get there and settle in a booth in five minutes.
Oikawa gave Kageyama the menu and watched him stare at it for a few minutes before pointing at one of the options. He called over the waiter and ordered for both of them. When the waiter left, Oikawa and Kageyama were left sitting across from each other in silence.
After a couple more minutes, Oikawa asked the main question on his mind.
“Is it my fault?”
Kageyama stared at him blankly.
“Is it my fault you missed some practices?” Oikawa asked again, feeling a burning shame rise within him. To his relief Kageyama immediately shook his head no. Of course, this response meant that there was now another question taking over Oikawa’s thoughts.
“Sooo….why did you skip practice then? That’s not like you.”
Kageyama immediately stiffened, looking down at the table awkwardly. Oikawa was about to ask again, but he noticed the small boy’s lip beginning to tremble.
“My roommate is horrible at making eggs.” Oikawa blurted out, wanting to stop the sad look on Kageyama’s face.
To his joy, Kageyama stopped looking down, and he stared at Oikawa with a level of confusion on his face. Oikawa grinned and elaborated.
“His name is Iwa-chan. He can cook anything you give him, except regular eggs. It tastes like they’re poisoned! The first time I had them I spent the next three hours in the bathroom throwing up from how bad they tasted!” Oikawa leaned in close to Kageyama, as if he was about to share a secret. “He thinks they taste so good though, that I'm convinced he's actually an alien.”
Kageyama had a small smile on his face as he snorted. It wasn’t full-on belly laughter, but Oikawa counted it as a win. Their food showed up at that moment leading to another distraction.
Oikawa was impressed. He had never seen someone eat as fast as Kageyama did before. the boy practically inhaled his food. Oikawa looked at him again and noticed how skinny he was compared to the other kids and felt an unexplainable pang in his heart.
Before Oikawa was even halfway done with his food, Kageyama had finished his entire plate. Before Oikawa could even think about what he was doing, he pushed his partially eaten plate towards Kageyama.
“Here. I’m not as hungry as I thought I was. You should finish it, so the food doesn’t go to waste.” Oikawa said quickly, even though he knew he’d pay for it later when he went home to no Iwaizumi to cook for him (he had a late meeting).
The way Kageyama looked up at him, like he had just given him the world, made Oikawa think that the hunger later was definitely worth it.
The sharing of a meal led to a new tradition for Oikawa and Kageyama. Now, after practice was over, they would walk to any nearby restaurant and would have a meal. Of course, Oikawa never finished his food. After the first day, he paid more attention to Kageyama versus other children his age, and decided that if his parents weren’t well off enough to be able to feed him properly, then he was going to make sure that he gave him at least one good meal whenever they had practice.
Oikawa found himself learning a lot about the boy in the next few weeks, even if kageyama still hadn't said a word to him. His favorite food was curry, and he really loved milk. He was a little scared of animals, but once he got over his initial fear he would sit and pet them for hours. He was also very expressive with his face, making it clear when he thought Oikawa had a good or bad opinion.
Of course….there was another thing he noticed. Kageyama was very wary around sudden, loud noises. Oikawa found that out when they were walking to a ramen shop, and a car engine backfired. Kageayma had immediately crouched and curled in on himself refusing to move. It took Oikawa 10 minutes before he was able to calm him down and move him to the side of the sidewalk. After that, he made sure to keep an eye out for any loud sounds that may appear, and tried to always choose quiet places to eat.
Another month had passed and the routine continued. Oikawa found a new curry place and was looking forward to trying it with Kageyama. Wait….. Oikawa paused in the middle of the road. Looking forward….. The last time he remembered that he genuinely looked forward to something….was before the accident.
“I will not cry in public. I will not cry in public.” Oikawa kept repeating to himself as the realization made his chest feel lighter. Who knew that this quiet, prickly, child was the key to making him look forward to anything…..
Oikawa walked in the gym still in a daze over this realization. The daze meant that it took him a little longer to notice what was wrong. Halfway through the lesson though, Oikawa noticed that Kageyama was a lot slower than usual. Sure, Oikawa had given him a slightly advanced maneuver to work on for the day, but he didnt think that would be enough to make the kid spend two minutes catching his breath.
He kept staring at Kageyama and noticed that the child’s cheeks had a rosy hue to them, and that he was swaying in place. He frowned and walked over to him.
“Hey Tobio-chan.” Another change in their dynamic, Oikawa called him Tobio-chan and he told Kageyama he could call him Toru whenever he felt like it.
Kageyama looked up, his eyes too bright to be normal and a slight sheen of sweat on his face. Okay he was definitely dealing with a sick child.
“Tobio-chan. Are you feeling okay?” Oikawa squatted on the floor next to him. Kageyama nodded his head slowly.
“Are you sure? Please don’t lie to me. You won't get in trouble if you’re not feeling up to practice today.” Oikawa spoke slowly. Kageyama nodded again.
Oikawa sighed and decided he would wait until the other kids left, hopefully he would be able to get an answer when there were less people around.
An hour later, the other children had all left and Oikawa was certain that Kageyama needed to go home immediately. His face was much more red and he was panting slightly. Instead of trying to phone someone or make his way home, Kageyama walked over to Oikawa and cocked his head questioningly, as if he was asking about their plans.
“Tobio-chan maybe you should go home instead. I have a cell phone here. Just call your parents and if they cant come pick you up then i can take you home okay! I don't mind at all!” Oikawa said with fake cheer. To his surprise, Kageyama shook his head furiously and crossed his arms. Oikawa sighed and looked at the ceiling hoping to find the patience to deal with stubborn children. Before he could do or say anything else, he heard a thud.
Iwaizumi was sitting in the car as Oikawa ran out of the rec center carrying a small child in his arms. He immediately sat in the backseat and rested the kid’s head on his lap. Oikawa looked at Iwaizumi with panic in his eyes and he took that as his cue to drive.
“Trashykawa what happened?” All Iwaizumi was told was that there was an emergency and he needed to bring the car now.
“Tobio-chan looked a little sick today. Then when I finally had some time alone with him, he collapsed! He didn't come with a phone and the front desk has no contact information or address information for his parents! We need to take him back to the apartment to cool him down!”
“Wait so we’re kidnapping a child!” Iwaizumi did not want to go to jail.
“No! I left our phone numbers and address at the front desk for when his parents show up to get him. I also left an explanation note!”
Iwaizumi sighed deeply. “Alright then. You put the kid to bed, I'll go to the store.”
“How can you think of shopping right now!”
“For medicine you absolute idiot! Obviously we don’t have any kids medicine! We need some for his fever!” Iwaizumi snapped. Oikawa had the decency to look slightly sheepish.
Finally, after what felt like hours (but was only 10 minutes), they reached the apartment. Oikawa took Kageyama into his room and settled him on the bed. He filled a bowl with water and began to wash his face, pushing the sweaty bangs out of the way.
Kageyama gasped slightly at the temperature change before sighing in relief. Oikawa felt his heart break as he looked at the child that now had to take shallow gasps in order to breathe.
“Hang in there Tobio-chan. I’m right here.” Oikawa spoke softly as he brought the thermometer and opened Kageyama’s mouth slowly to get his temperature. He heard a beep and checked. 38.7. That wasn't a good sign. He needed Iwaizumi to come home with the medication now .
Almost as if he knew he was being summoned, Iwaizumi burst into the room with a couple of grocery bags.
“Alright I bought meds and other things that looked useful. Wait why didn’t you get him out of those sweaty clothes yet!”
Oikawa winced and told Iwaizumi to help him. He gently sat up Kageyama, who was still unconscious while Iwaizumi peeled off his shirt. He heard Iwaizumi gasp and looked at his best friend, who now had fear written all over his face.
“Iwa-chan what’s wrong?” Oikawa asked. Iwaizumi didn't answer verbally, instead he pointed a shaky finger at kageyama. Oikawa turned to look at Kageyama’s back, and almost lost his breakfast.
There were scars running all over his back. Some of them were white, clearly having been from an old injury. Others were angry and red, looking recent….almost too recent. Oikawa quickly moved Kageyama away from him and looked at his front. His chest wasn’t as bad as his back, but he could see the remnants of bruising on his shoulders and upper arms. Suddenly, kageyama’s reaction to Oikawa grabbing his arm made more sense.
“Tobio-chan…..” Oikawa stared at Iwaizumi, unsure of what to say. Iwaizumi looked just as lost. Finally, Iwaizumi spoke.
“We need to….we need to bring down his fever. Then we can worry about what comes next.” Oikawa nodded, knowing his friend had a point. He quickly put kageyama into an old shirt of his before deciding that it was time to wake him up.
He settled Kageyama against the headboard with plenty of pillows before slowly shaking him.
“Tobio-chan. Tobio-chaaan.” Oikawa spoke softly, as he kept trying to slowly shake him awake. Finally, kageyama’s blue eyes came into view as he slowly blinked awake.
“Tobio-chan. Can you open your mouth for me? I have medicine for you to take. It tastes like bubblegum!” Oikawa said with as much forced cheer as he could muster.
Kageyama must not have had much awareness of what was going on, because instead of looking confused or trying to ask a question, he slowly opened his mouth and allowed Oikawa to tip the pink syrup into it, washing it down with water afterwards.
Once the medicine was drunk, Oikawa lay him down on the bed and covered him up. It was a testament to how much the injuries on Kageyama had affected Iwaizumi, because he reappeared with his Godzilla plushie and put it on the bed next to kageyama.
“What. I don't want the kid to be lonely when he wakes up…” he muttered lowly in response to Oikawa’s raised eyebrow.
They both stared at Kageyama for a few more seconds, before nodding and walking to the living room, with the door open in case he woke up.
“So….what do we do if his parents come?” Iwaizumi finally asked.
“I don't know. I can't let him go back to wherever he came from though.” Iwaizumi nodded in agreement.
“Alright. How do we stop him from getting taken?”
They both sat on the couch, deep in thought. Eventually, the adrenaline of the situation wore off, and both of them unwillingly fell asleep.
After what only felt like an instant, Oikawa’s eyes snapped open. He glanced out the window and saw that it was morning again. Iwaizumi was asleep on the other side of the couch. All at once, memories of yesterday reentered his min and he scrambled to his room to see how Kageyama was doing.
“Tobio-chan?” Oikawa stared at the empty bed. It was made neatly and his shirt was folded on top. Oikawa’s hands shook as he walked closer and saw the piece of paper on top.
“Thank you for everything. I’m sorry for the trouble I caused.’
Oikawa felt the bed and realized it was still warm. Kageyama may have just left! He sprinted downstairs not bothering to put on shoes and he ran out into the street looking side to side wildly.
Eventually he felt the sting of defeat settle into his bones as he realized he couldn't find Kageyama anywhere. He walked back inside and was greeted with a furious looking Iwaizumi. Iwaizumi was about to yell, but one look at the defeat on Oikawa’s face made him pause.
“What happened? Where’s the kid?”
He thrust the letter into Iwaizumi’s face and sighed. “Now he's gone back to whoever…..did that to him. I failed him Iwa-chan. All because I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to see him wake up.”
“Oi. if you failed then so did I. we both fell asleep and now he's gone. When he comes to practice tomorrow, you’ll be able to ask him about everything. So let’s not give up hope yet.”
The next day, Kageyama didn’t show up to practice. Oikawa swallowed down his worry and chalked it up to him still being sick. But then, Kageyama didn't show for the next practice...or the one after that…..or the one after that.
Oikawa had tried asking all the parents of the other kids, but none of them knew anything about the quiet boy. The worry was threatening to take over Oikawa’s life. Even Iwaizumi was seriously worried. He knew the kid for all of five minutes, but after hearing countless stories about his talent and then fun stuff he’d do with Oikawa, he felt like he knew the kid personally too.
Finally, three weeks after Kageyama got sick, Oikawa decided that he needed to file a missing person report.
“What do you mean I have no grounds for this?” Oikawa seethed at the mousy looking receptionist.
“I-I’m so sorry sir! But without being directly related to the person in question, policy states we can’t do anything.” she squeaked out.
Oikawa slammed his hand on the desk. “Screw your policy! He was being abused! My roommate and I saw it! If anything happened to him because you and your department had their stupid rules to worry about, I’ll sue you all myself.” Oikawa stormed out and called the first person he could think of.
“Toru! How did it go?” Oikawa had been giving Sugawara regular updates, knowing that he too, cared about Kageyama.
“The police station is useless. I should have listened to Iwa-chan when he told me it wouldn’t work.”
“Hmm. Go back to your apartment and wait there. I think I have an idea.” Sugaware replied cryptically before hanging up.
Half an hour later, Oikawa and Iwaizumi were sitting on the couch when there was a knock on the door. Scrambling to get it, Oikawa opened the door and….
“Captain-kun! What are you doing here!” Oikawa exclaimed as Daichi Sawamura stood in the door, looking very nervous.
“Can we do this inside?” Daichi stammered out.
Oikawa let him in, and after exchanging hellos with Iwaizumi, he took his laptop and placed it on the table.
“Sugawara told me the situation last week. I’ve been slowly downloading the police database onto this laptop. This way, we’ll be able to search for any affiliated addresses in any citizen of Miyagi. I’m sorry it took so long but this is technically illegal.”
“Wait….you could get into a lot of trouble. Are you sure?” Iwaizumi asked. Oikawa scowled and was about to reply that they could think of morals after they found Kageyama but Daichi replied.
“Honestly if i get in trouble i’m screwed. But I also know I won't be able to live with myself if I didn’t help out. I've met kageyama before back when Suga used to teach there. He’s a great kid and I can't believe none of us saw the signs.” Daichi sighed deeply as he opened his laptop.
Oikawa nodded and watched as Daichi wrote some sort of code and made a bunch of files pop up on the screen.
“Alright. Kageyama Tobio.” he said as he typed in the name. The search engine buffered as Oikawa and Iwaizumi waited with bated breath. Finally a notice popped up on the page and Daichi frowned.
“That’s odd. It says that this name doesn’t exist.” Daichi read the notice, confusion lacing his voice.
“Let me try.” Oikawa ripped the laptop from Diachi’s hands and tried himself to no avail. They searched for the last name Kageyama which also didn't work. Finally, they searched for the name Tobio and Daichi whistled.
“Over 1000 entries.” Daichi whistled.
Iwaizumi groaned. “We have to manually search through all of them don’t we.”
Daichi nodded. He pressed a few buttons and asked each of them for their email addresses.
“You should get an invitation to join an online file database that I created. We can split the work amongst us until we find something that matches.”
“Can we narrow the search based on age? Tobio-chan’s 11.”
“If he didn’t tell you his real name, he probably didn’t tell you his real age. We’ll narrow it down to anyone between the ages of 9 to 13.” Daichi inputted the parameters in. He groaned when the same over 1000 results notification showed.
They all looked at each other and decided it was going to be a long night.
A long night turned into two, turning into five, turning into two weeks, turning into a month. Finally, almost two months since the last time he had seen Kageyama, Oikawa began to feel the first thread of hopelessness.
Iwaizumi had secretly given up a while ago, but he knew better than to tell his friend. He tried mentioning it once and Oikawa had almost punched him. He knew that Oikawa cared about the kid, but this obsession was going to destroy him.
Oikawa’s mental health was worse than it had been in months. He stopped eating as much, and only left the house to coach. Even with his coaching he changed from three to two times a week because he was too tired to deal with seeing people. He had become more irritable and prone to lash out over the smallest of things, so much so that now, he and Iwaizumi could go for days without a proper conversation. Inside Oikawa’s head, it bounced from either voices in his head taunting him for being weak and useless, unable to find a small child, to memories of Kageyama. Right now, it was the latter.
“Tobio-chan you have to try this.” Oikawa held out a piece of eel. He laughed at the horrified look on the kid’s face.
“Come on Tobio-chaaaan! Do it for meee!” Oikawa waved his chopsticks teasingly.
Kageyama stuck his tongue out in defiance, which Oikawa took to his advantage as he stuck the eel on his tongue, forcing him to taste it. Oikawa burst into laughter as Kagyeama made the universal face of a child who does not like what they just had.
Kageyama retaliated soon enough, by putting a heap of wasabi on his chopsticks and sticking it on Oikawa’s tongue next time he tried to take a bite of food. Oikawa flailed around trying not to curse, only pausing when he realized…..this was the first time he had heard Kageyama laugh out loud.
Oikawa blinked as he noticed a hand being waved in front of his face.
“What do you want?” he snapped at Iwaizumi.
“We have a guest you piece of trash.” Iwaizumi pointed behind him to where Daichi was standing.
“Oh. Are you here because you have any news!” Oikawa asked hopefully.
“I’m sorry Oikawa. I think that we need to stop searching. It’s been months with no sign and you look like a small breeze could knock you over. We need to-”
“No! I refuse to give up. There’s still more names we haven’t investigated-more places we haven’t searched! Just because you guys don’t care doesn’t mean that-” any tirade that Oikawa had prepared was interrupted by a frantic knock on the door. The three men looked at each other with some confusion before Daichi opened the door.
A small girl entered the apartment looking terrified out of her mind. She was a blonde, with blue eyes that reminded Oikawa of Kageyama. She was also skinny with signs of malnutrition on herself as well. She stared down, refusing to meet anyone’s gaze. Before any of the men could say anything, she spoke so fast and softly that they almost missed what she said.
“I think Kageyama’s going to die tonight.”
Silence. Finally, the implication of what she was saying sunk into their minds.
“WHAT! Where is he!” Oikawa got up before Iwaizumi slammed an arm into his chest.
“Calm yourself! You’re freaking her out!” Oikawa looked and noticed it was true. The girl had curled in on herself just like Kageyama had when he heard loud noises. Oikawa and Iwaizumi watched as Daichi approached her, and after speaking to her softly, he sat her on the couch and gave her a glass of water.
The three men sat in front of her, waiting for her to say something else. Finally, she seemed to gather her nerves and spoke.
“My name is Hitoka Yachi. Me and Kageyama live in the same foster home. The man is mean. He doesn’t mind me, because he says that i’ll be able to do many things for him in the future.” at that, all three adults held their breaths, realizing what the implication was. The girl paused and continued after sipping some water.
“He hates kageyama. I don't know why he would foster him if he hates him. Kageyama does all his chores and comes home on time and everything, but the man still hates him. He hurts him…...he…..he HURTS HIM SO I DON’T GET HURT INSTEAD!” Yachi yelled before bursting into tears as a memory flooded her head.
Kageyama and Yachi were washing dishes. The Man had told them that important guests were coming later, and if they didn’t do a good job, there would be consequences.
At some point, Yachi got lost in her thoughts. She couldn't wait until Kageyama’s next volleyball practice because that meant she could go to the bookstore next to the rec center to finish the novel she was reading! She began to think about the ending…..would the heroine find the golden dragon and save the kingdom? Or was the evil wizard going to launch a secret plan? Yachi was so lost in her thoughts, that when the door slammed open, the wet dish slipped from her hand and crashed on the floor.
“Oh….oh no….nonononono..” she stared at the broken glass in horror. Why was the man back early? He was always gone until nightfall! Why now?! Almost as if he knew she was panicking, The Man walked into the kitchen and stared at the scene in front of them, an angry look on his face. Before Yachi could say anything, Kageyama stepped in front of her.
“I startled her and she dropped it. It was my fault.” Kageyama’s voice was hoarse as usual, but his tone was confident and assured.
The man grinned, like a child looking at their favorite toy. He leaned down and looked at Yachi, who tried her best to look back in his yellowing eyes. She could smell the alcohol on his breath and knew that this was a bad combination. He reached out behind her and grabbed Kageyama’s forearm roughly before dragging him into the office and closing the door.
Yachi began to tremble, knowing what was going to happen next. Almost immediately, she heard the sounds of belts hitting flesh. Kageyama didn’t make a sound until after the 13th hit. When he did, Yachi heard The Man yell out:
“WHAT HAPPENED TO ALWAYS BEING QUIET BOY! YOU GET 20 MORE FOR THAT STUNT!”
Yachi put a hand to her mouth to muffle her sobs as she sat outside the door, counting and hoping for it to be over soon. Finally, she heard the sound of the lock being turned. She stood up and looked into The Man’s eyes when he walked out, a self satisfied smirk on his face.
“Clean up in there Yachi darling. I wouldn't want my guests to think the house is dirty. Then take care of the boy. I’ll know if you helped him first.” he leered.
Yachi nodded shakily as she walked into the room with soap and a sponge. Kageyama was lying face down on the floor, completely unconscious. His shirt had been ripped and discarded to the side. The blood had begun to stick to the floor, so Yachi gently pushed Kageyama to the side, whispering apologies as she began to scrub the floor as fast as she could to get the bloodstains out. The faster she finished, the faster she’d be able to tend to Kageyama’s wounds. The last time this had happened, he got an infection because she took too long to clean so she had to make sure to not make that mistake twice.
Ten minutes later, she heaved Kageyama onto her back and tried to hold him as best as she could before beginning to walk up the three flights of stairs to their room. He slipped a lot, and she could tell that she was making the wounds worse by the way her hands began to feel sticky with blood, but she had no one to ask for help.
Finally, she got upstairs and immediately laid Kageyama down on the bed. She took a cloth and filled it with some alcohol that they managed to sneak from The Man’s stash. She began to slowly rub it on the wounds. After she had only finished one, Kageyama woke up.
“Kageyama…” Yachi began to tear up again when she saw his pain filled eyes. He smiled faintly at her and using his meager strength, bit down on the bed sheets to stop himself from sounding too loud.
Yachi slapped her cheeks and promised herself that she’d cry later, right now she had a friend to take care of.
After slowly cleaning out his wounds, she took an old shirt and ripped it into strips, slowly applying them on his back. Kageyama had tears streaming down his face, and Yachi could feel the skin around some of the larger ones getting warmer. She grimaced knowing that it would take a lot more alcohol to make sure his injuries didn’t get infected.
She spent the rest of the night, waking up periodically to change the dressing and put on fresh strips of cloth. Thankfully, the wounds stopped bleeding at dawn. Yachi sighed, knowing that it was going to take him a while to recover from this one.
Yachi finished recounting her memory to the three horrified adults in front of her. Finally, the one that calmed her down earlier said:
“Yachi…..I have a lot of questions right now, but first we need to address the most important issue. Why do you think Kageyama is going to die and how did you get here?”
“He told me about this place after he was ill. The Man has been at home more often so we haven't been able to sneak out in weeks. We annoyed him again and... Kageyama got sick again because of infection and The Man isn’t happy. The Man…..he has some bad friends. One of those bad friends gave him a gun. I saw it in the office room today! And later when I was making dinner, he said something about getting rid of dead weight while waving the gun around! He’s gone out for ‘business’ which is when I decided to come here. I read enough stories and I know what this means! Kageyama and I have been planning to run away ever since he came back from this house and we’re so close! Please you have to help us! The Man’s usually back in an hour!”
Yachi panted at the end of her speech and looked down. Kageyama had been calling out to Toru in his fever ridden sleep, and she knew that he would be able to help. The men looked at Daichi and he nodded.
“If my boss doesn’t think this is enough reason for a warrant search then I’ll storm the house myself.”
Daichi came back a few minutes later with a fire in his eyes. “I’m getting a new job after this. Let’s get to that house before my police authority no longer works. Yachi can you show us where it is?”
Yachi nodded, hope beginning to fill her heart.
They parked in front of the house and told Yachi to wait in the car. Oikawa and Iwaizumi insisted on going into the house with Daichi and Daichi couldn’t convince them otherwise.
They stormed in the house and immediately ran up the stairs. Oikawa gasped as he burst into the attic room and saw Kageyama lying facedown on a thin mattress that barely met the minimum qualifications of being called a mattress.
He walked towards him slowly, noticing the redness of his skin and the foul smell coming from his back. Kageyama’s breathing was practically nonexistent and Oikawa wasted no time in picking him up and resting him on his hip, mindful of his back wounds. Although he was unconscious, Kageyama instinctively wrapped his thin arms around Oikawa's neck making tears appear in Oikawa's eyes.
Iwaizumi walked into the room, having gone to look for a first aid kit. He winced when he saw him and told Oikawa that Daichi had gone to start the car so they could go to the hospital immediately.
As they walked downstairs, the door burst open. An angry looking man, easily taller than both of them, with yellowing eyes and teeth and matty hair burst in through the door.
“Oi. Who do you think you are taking my kid?” he walked closer as Oikawa and Iwaizumi looked at each other in fear. Oikawa tightened his grip on Kageyama, who was still too out of it to wake up.
“We’re taking the kid. Both the kids actually. There’s no way you'll be able to get near them. Now let us go, before the cop parked outside calls for backup.” Iwaizumi’s tone was calm and yet forceful. The man grinned before moving out of the way. Oikawa and Iwaizumi knew that this was too good to be true but they decided to run for it anyways.
“If I can’t have them….no one can.” The man called out. Oikawa turned around just in time to see the flash of a gun. Instinctively, he twisted to cover Kageyama from the crossfire. There was a bang...two bangs...then someone was yelling. Then there was silence.
Oikawa woke up slowly. He didn’t know why, but his head felt like it was filled with cotton. He slowly began to gain awareness and realized there were a lot of beeping sounds surrounding him. The sheets were itchy too….nothing like his alien sheets at home. Slowly, he groaned and opened his eyes, only to be met with blinding white.
He felt his breathing speed up as he realized he was in a hospital. He didn’t know why he was in a hospital. Before he could begin to hyperventilate, the face of his oldest friend entered his vision. Iwaizumi had tears in his eyes and a shaky smile on his face.
“Toru….I can’t believe you’re finally awake. It’s been an entire week.” Iwaizumi said softly as his calloused hand pushed back Oikawa’s hair.
Suddenly, memories surged through Oikawa’s mind and he could only think of one question to ask.
“T-tobio-chan?” Oikawa rasped out. Iwaizumi pointed to the side and helped Oikawa twist so he could see….Kageyama lying down on another hospital bed, with an IV in his arm, and Yachi asleep on a chair next to him.
Iwaizumi sensed the question in Oikawa’s mind and responded. “He’s fine. The infection was gone in a couple of days. Unfortunately, you started to thrash around so much a few hours ago-apparently a sign of almost waking up- that you aggravated all your wounds and by the time we noticed the wounds on your back were leaking, you had lost a lot of blood. And because you just have to be unlucky, the hospital was short on your type but it turns out that Kageyama had the same type, all but demanding to get tested to see if he could help. Now he’s resting from the transfusion and getting some fluids pumped back in him.”
Oikawa felt his heart swell. Neither man noticed, but during Iwaizumi’s explanation, Kageyama had woken up. Now he sat up on the bed and noticed that Oikawa was awake...for real this time!
He hiccuped as he held back a sob and dragged his IV to the elder’s bed. Iwaizumi noticed him approaching and grinned. He ruffled his hair and moved out of the way so he could see Oikawa better. Kagyeama took one look at the man who had saved his life and, for the first time in a long time, in front of an adult other than The Man, he spoke.
“I love you.” Kageyama whispered before gently throwing himself onto Oikawa. Both adults felt their hearts swell at the sound of his voice.
Oikawa looked at Iwaizumi, the swelling in his heart only getting bigger and bigger as he rubbed Kageyama’s back.
“Iwa-chan. I think….. I’m truly happy again.”
“Oh man Iwa-chan I’m so nervous. What if it didn’t go well? What if there were bullies and rude children? What if the volleyball club was disbanded!” Oikawa began to freak out as Iwaizumi rolled his eyes next to him.
They were both waiting outside of their old middle school for Yachi and Kageyama, who just had their first day of official school….ever. It had been a tough few months, but now with that man in jail, and Yachi and Kageyama officially adopted by Oikawa who had finally managed to land a paid coaching job, things were a lot better now.
“Toru-nii!” they heard two voices yell as Kageyama and Yachi launched themselves at Oikawa. Iwaizumi faked offense and was well rewarded when they launched themselves at him too.
“So how was the first day of school kids!” Iwaizumi asked as he loaded the car and got in the driver’s seat.
“So fun! I’m the manager of the volleyball team and the coach says if Kageyama keeps improving, he could be a starter in his first year!” Yachi squeaked out as Kageyama nodded.
Oikawa beamed with pride as the car began to fill with chatter. Pride was another feeling that he was feeling more of these days. He smiled to himself as he watched the kids, wondering how he ever lived without them.