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ATSU101: how to fall in love with your fake boyfriend

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The beauty of life is that it’s always finding new ways to end. Atsumu’s life is going to end because of a single Instagram post that he comes across at the perfectly reasonable hour of 7:16 AM on a Thursday. It makes him inhale deeply, and then scream loud enough to probably shatter eardrums. Most likely shatter eardrums, because Atsumu understands his life is coming to an end twenty seconds later, when his lungs give out, and his roommate’s muffled voice says:

 

“What the fuck ,” which means Kenma is here, which means the universe really well and truly is plotting against Atsumu, because Kenma is never in their dorm, because Kenma considers dorm living to be the equivalent of a lobotomy, and if Kenma is here, that means his absolutely insufferable boyfriend is here, which means Atsumu is going to be throttled for pissing Kenma off, because Kenma’s boyfriend is perfect and will rush to the defense of poor, sweet Kenma without hesitation.

 

Fucking Kuroo. Fucking Kuroo and his effortlessly messy hair and his making sure Kenma has eaten when he stays up too late and his chemistry textbooks and his never being bothered by anything Atsumu says and his random gifts and good morning texts that Kenma always gets in the afternoon because he thinks waking up before 1pm is immoral so they’re not even technically good morning texts anyway and his stupid willingness to verbally ridicule Atsumu for being the quote-unquote stupidest person alive, like that’s in any way an accurate description of him when Kageyama exists. Fucking Kuroo. One of these days he’s going to find an appropriately embarrassing chain restaurant and fight him in the decrepit abandoned parking lot. He could do it. He could win. A lifetime with Osamu has given him an unforgiving noogie fist and a pretty decent right hook.

 

Osamu .

 

The reminder makes him grip his phone so tight the plastic case- the hideously bright yellow one with obnoxiously teal sharks that Hinata bought him for his birthday last year- squeaks in protest. He knows he’s shaking with rage, like a very small, very cornered dog. If he was in a cartoon, he’s certain his whole face would be red and steam would be coming out of his ears, but as it stands, he’s making a valiant effort at crushing his phone in his hand and staring balefully into his far-too-soggy fruit loops.

 

Kenma’s door slams open, held by Kuroo’s broad hand as a blanket swaddled and squinting Kenma shuffles toward Atsumu and sits at the table directly across from him. Kuroo brackets him from behind, swipes Atsumu’s fruit loops and spoons some into his mouth. Instantly, he makes a face at the texture and pushes the bowl back across the table. Serves him right , Atsumu thinks as Kuroo chews through the pain, his eyebrow cocked expectantly at him. Atsumu stares back like he’s trying to laser beam a hole in his head.

 

“Atsumu,” Kenma says, barely fitting his name around a yawn, “I’m tired, and if me being awake isn’t justified in the next thirty seconds, the next time you scream it will be because you’re getting murdered for real.”

 

Kenma has a lazy slump to his shoulders and a neutral expression so apathetic it would be hard to believe him if you didn’t know better. Atsumu absolutely does know better, after living with Kenma for three years. So, he swallows his pride, and presents the offending Instagram post to them as his face scrunches up in disgust.

 

“My fuckin’ traitor of a brother,” Atsumu announces, “got a fuckin’ boyfriend .”

 

Kenma’s expression slips into the blissful serenity that means he’s contemplating serious violence, like picking up the lawn chair that replaced one of the dining chairs suspiciously after a weekend that he left Kenma and Kuroo alone here- which he has charitably never mentioned, because he’s a generous and forgiving guy- and beating Atsumu with it. For a moment, Atsumu allows himself a moment of clarity. If this is it for him, his life has been mostly good aside from Osamu’s repetitive betrayals and the occasional mortifying stumble. He’s fresh out of the shower in clothes Aran would definitely disdainfully call athleisure wear. At least he dies looking hot. Whatever murder Kenma is plotting is put on hold when Kuroo snorts.

 

“I was kind of hoping for a hattrick,” he says, tone faux-mournful. Atsumu takes a moment to catch up.

 

“Fuck,” he says, and Kuroo nods approvingly.

 

“There we go,” he reaches a long slender finger out to scroll down to see the caption of the post, “so he’s not with that Kita-san guy you used to obsess over?”

 

“No!” Atsumu has to try very hard to regulate the volume of the screech that rips out of his throat, because Kenma’s expression says he hasn’t made up his mind on not murdering him yet, and Atsumu would very much like to live at least long enough to kick Osamu’s ass for doing this to him.

 

“Then what’s the problem? Shouldn’t you be happy Osamu is happy or whatever?”

 

“If this is about him having a boyfriend before you,” Kenma threatens, and Kuroo leans his chin on the top of his head, which seems effective in keeping him in his seat. Atsumu takes back all of his mean thoughts. Kuroo is great. If Atsumu didn’t want to die, he’d kiss Kuroo right on the mouth for just how great and awesome he is. Really, just a swell dude.

 

“Nah,” Atsumu slumps into the nearest dining chair, drops his phone with a clatter. “Kinda figured he’d get it together enough with Rin eventually, but just… not this soon.”

 

“Atsumu,” Kenma warns.

 

“It’s not that I ain’t happy for him, I am happy for him, but,” Atsumu sniffs, takes in a deep breath, before he fists both hands in his hair and rocks back in the chair as he wails; “he was supposed to be my date this weekend!”

 

“Creepy,” Kuroo sing-songs, and Atsumu decides he hates him again. Maybe it’ll be a knife fight, but only if he can get one of those cool metallic knives that shine rainbow-y. Suna would probably be keen to film it. No, wait. He’s mad at Suna.

 

“Not like that, ya asshole,” Atsumu seethes, letting the chair thud back onto all four legs, dropping his forehead against the table, “y’know Terushima Yuuji?”

 

“Vaguely,” Kenma says.

 

“Ennoshita’s boyfriend? The one who rejected you after you sent him a thirst trap in first year?” Atsumu makes a miserable little noise of confirmation. Kuroo’s resulting laugh is positively gleeful . Just fucking jolly , really. “Oh, this is gonna be good.”

 

“He invited me to a party this weekend,” Atsumu thunks his head against the wood of the table, “throws real fuckin’ good ones too, but he’s always tryna set me up with some poor fuck he thinks I’ll like and Samu was s’posed to be my ticket outta that ‘cause I can’t entertain Yuuji-kun’s matchmaking if I gotta babysit my awkward fuck of a twin, y’know? I can’t show up alone .”

 

“I mean, it doesn’t sound so bad,” Kuroo says, ever the encouraging upperclassman. Atsumu misses Kita. Kita would say something profoundly comforting and simple like ‘then don’t go’. Kuroo just keeps talking. “He could have sent your thirst trap to his group chat to make fun of you and never spoken to you again, but obviously he’s chill with you if he’s inviting you to parties. It’s not like you couldn’t use the help.” 

 

Atsumu lifts his head to squint at him.

 

“Your taste in hookups is outclassed only by your personality in terms of sheer awfulness,” Kenma informs him, deadpan. Atsumu drops his head back down hard enough he thinks it’s going to bruise.

 

“Ya don’t get it ,” he whines, “Yuuji-kun’s great ‘n all, but he always picks the worst guys. They’re always so borin’, or too sensitive, or they talk too much and they’re too eager and it’s all just a pain.”

 

“Sounds terrible,” Kuroo says in a tone that implies he thinks Atsumu is a dick.

 

“Just awful,” Kenma adds, more deadpan, but somehow more devastating.

 

“I get it ,” Atsumu waves his hands, fisting them into his hair as his elbows land on the table with a jarring thud. “ Ya think I’m a massive cock.” Kuroo makes a noise like he doesn’t disagree. Atsumu considers the consequences of just launching across the table and tackling him to the ground. Unfortunately, Kuroo has positioned Kenma between himself and Atsumu, because he’s a stupid fucking genius or whatever. Fucking Kuroo.

 

“Maybe it doesn’t seem like a problem to ya,” Atsumu continues to grump, running a hand through his hair, “but it’s exhaustin’ to show up to a party lookin’ for a good time on the rare occasion I can do it without it impactin’ my volleyball, only to have some moron hangin’ off me for the whole night expectin’ fuckin’ who-knows-what from me, and havin’ Yuuji-kun check in like he’s gonna offer me a condom and his fuckin’ blessin’ if we hit it off or whatever when mostly what I wanna do is drink a couple beers, maybe dance a little and be left the fuck to my business, y’know?”

 

“Oh God,” Kenma murmurs, “I’m relating to Atsumu.”

 

“See! Thank you,” Atsumu throws his hands up in exasperation, and Kuroo hums, suspiciously quiet for such a good opportunity to tease both Atsumu and Kenma. He narrows his eyes at him in time to see him pushing his tongue into the pocket of his cheek.

 

“What,” Kenma says, more of a demand than a question. He tilts his head so his nose is settled against the line of Kuroo’s jaw, “that’s your thinking face.”

 

“Not that you deserve my help,” Kuroo says, eventually, “but I think I might have a plan.”

 

“What?” Atsumu all but barks. If anyone deserves Kuroo’s help, it’s Atsumu. Not only does he put up with living with Kuroo’s boyfriend- and they are not as quiet as Kenma likes to think he is, thanks- but he also puts up with Kuroo’s best friend on the college’s volleyball team. And Bokuto is a lot. Like a lot a lot. Maybe even more than Hinata levels of a lot

 

“I said might,” Kuroo emphasizes, tapping his fingers against the table, “but I’m going to need ten thousand yen and a promise that you’ll keep an open mind.” Atsumu barely restrains the urge to shriek again , as Kenma turns his sharp gaze onto his boyfriend.

 

“Kuro,” he says, voice cool in the way that says he’s trying not to wring someone’s neck, “what are you planning?”

 

“I’ll tell you if it pans out,” Kuroo says, dropping a kiss on Kenma’s head, which seems to satisfy him.

 

“You’ve only got, like, two days,” Atsumu says, “party’s Saturday, y’know.”

 

“I know,” Kuroo says, crooking his signature cat-got-canary grin at Atsumu, “just trust me, Tsum-Tsum.

 

No one has ever claimed Atsumu is renowned for particularly good ideas, but even he can recognize that that’s a bad one.

 

Kuroo’s plan starts to take shape on Friday afternoon, when Atsumu enters the gym for volleyball practice. He immediately realizes something is off, because Sakusa Kiyoomi is already on the court (unsurprising) and he’s jumping blocks with a familiar head of messy hair ( extremely surprising). Their second-string setter is putting up tosses for Bokuto, who slams a particularly nasty cross-shot, only for Kuroo to twist mid-air and kill the ball against his forearms. Bokuto lets out an anguished wail and drops to his knees, both hands fisted in frustration as he curses his friend. Hinata flits around Kuroo like he hung the sun in the sky. Sakusa continues his conversation with Kuroo like the concept of Sakusa having a conversation with Kuroo of all people is as common an occurrence as the sky being blue.

 

What the fuck , Atsumu thinks, and then, no really, what the fuck.

 

“Atsumu-san!” Hinata’s bellow breaks him out of his thoughts, and he ties the final loop on his volleyball shoes, meandering slowly toward them. “Did you see Kuroo-san’s block?!”

 

“No,” Atsumu lies, which makes Kuroo grin his shitty fucking grin. Fucking Kuroo.

 

“Tsum! Set for me,” Bokuto demands at once, pointing an accusing finger through the netting at his friend. “We gotta show Kuroo a thing or two! It’s embarrassing getting stuffed by someone who isn’t even on the team.”

 

“You should run your spiking drills,” Kuroo says, batting the finger away, “I need to borrow Sakusa-san.”

 

“And I need to beat you!” Bokuto retorts, trying to catch Kuroo’s eye, unsuccessfully, as Sakusa is already moving toward the bench with Kuroo wandering casually behind him.

 

“I think you already won, Bokuto-san,” Hinata says helpfully, “since you’re on the team and Kuroo-san’s not.”

 

“Doesn’t count, ‘cause he quit!”

 

Whatever Hinata says after that is lost to Atsumu, with a silent apology. Usually Hinata is worth paying attention to, so earnest and peppy as he is, but right now the curious fact of an apparent Sakusa-Kuroo friendship that he didn’t know about is eating away at all of his concentration.

 

Atsumu has been playing against Sakusa Kiyoomi since high school, on the same team as him for the past three years, and in all that time, he can confidently say he has met maybe three people Sakusa considers a friend. One of them is his cousin, and as cool as Komori is, Atsumu’s not totally sure he counts given blood-relation obligations, which means that Sakusa has two friends: the setter from his high school team that Atsumu doesn’t care to remember, and Ushijima, a friendship that endures because they’re just as weird as each other, which makes Kuroo stick out like even more of a sore thumb than he already did amongst Sakusa’s list of conversational partners.

 

It’s not like Sakusa and Kuroo even really interact that much. They’ve met, sure, by virtue of Kuroo being best friends with one of Sakusa’s teammates, but Atsumu can count on one hand the amount of times Sakusa and Kuroo have had a one-on-one conversation. In Atsumu’s experience, Sakusa doesn’t give the time of day to people he doesn’t think are worth it, which pretty much encapsulates anyone who is not considered a ‘friend’. His volleyball teams are usually on thin ice with regards to tolerance from Sakusa. Maybe it’s because Akaashi likes Kuroo and Sakusa seems to respect Akaashi despite his dedication to dating all of Bokuto’s crazy. But even that doesn’t explain why Kuroo would be talking to Sakusa, because Atsumu knows for a fact that Kuroo has lots of friends. More interesting and fun friends than Sakusa “ where happiness goes to die ” Kiyoomi.

 

Maybe, if Atsumu were smart enough to do one of the science programs that Sakusa and Kuroo are in, he’d be able to put together the vague puzzle pieces floating in the edges of his mind. As it stands, he has no clue about the weird little drawings he sees scattered all throughout Kuroo’s notes on some kind of chemistry, and do-or-die Atsumu would be a goner if asked to recall whatever the fuck Sakusa is studying. So, when Hinata bounces a ball off the back of his head and demands that Atsumu stop doing his best Kageyama impression- hurtful, really- and set for them, he lets it lie.

 

Pretending the ball is Osamu’s face works wonders for his jump serve, and by the end of practice, with Kuroo out of sight and therefore out of mind, he’s completely forgotten about the weird little intrusion to the ecosystem of the volleyball team. It’s not until afterward, when he wanders out of the showers in no particular hurry to get home, and Sakusa says something so fucking bizarre that he might as well have just taken a baseball bat and brained him with it, that Atsumu remembers anything had been wrong at all. What Sakusa says is this:

 

“I told Kuroo-san I would do it, but I thought you should hear it from me.” What Atsumu says in response to that, in all his infinite eloquence and quick-tongued wit is:

 

“Wuh?” Sakusa sneers.

 

“Congratulations, Miya ,” Oh, Sakusa knows it bugs him when he calls him that, “until the end of Terushima-san’s party, we’re officially dating.”

 

And all of it clicks into place, one domino falling after the other. Kuroo’s secrecy with regard to what exactly his solution was, the whole thing about an open mind, Kuroo being here , of all fucking places, despite the fact that he doesn’t ever come to volleyball team practices because he knows it distracts Bokuto and the-

 

“Did Kuroo give you my fuckin’ money?” Atsumu’s voice comes out more strangled and at a much higher pitch than he would have liked. Sakusa looks bored.

 

“I should have asked for more, but unfortunately, Kuroo-san is a resoundingly logical debater,” Sakusa’s nose crinkles in distaste for a moment so brief Atsumu could have blinked and he would have missed it. Except he’s forgotten how to blink. And also breathe. He feels light headed.

 

“I’m going to kill him,” he says finally, achieving a level of muted rage that makes him want to kiss Kenma’s forehead in belated apology. “Osamu first, then Kuroo.”

 

“Did you not want a date to Terushima-san’s party?” Sakusa says, as if it’s that simple.

 

“I wanted a date ,” Atsumu says, gesturing wildly with his hand, “not a… you!”

 

“Charming,” Sakusa says flatly, “I can see why you have so much luck with relationships.”

 

“Like you’re any better, Omi-kun.”

 

“At least my friends don’t know they’ve got to pay people to fake-date me.”

 

“Only ‘cause you’ve never needed someone to fake-date you-” Atsumu cuts himself off.

 

It’s the smallest thing, really, but part of being a good setter is learning to read and manage the minutiae of your spikers, and Atsumu is the best setter. Which is to say, Sakusa flicks his eyes away from the spot he’d been staring at- not at Atsumu, never at Atsumu, but always at a spot just over his shoulder so that looks close enough to looking directly at him- for the briefest moment, his lips pull just a fraction too taught and his jaw tics with the tiniest of jumps, and Atsumu pieces it all together in a millisecond before he outright cackles.

 

“Shut up,” Sakusa mutters.

 

“Holy shit,” Atsumu says, “why do you need a fake boyfriend, Omi-kun? Tryna make an ex jealous or somethin’?” Sakusa scowls his defensive scowl, the kind of scowl that says Atsumu is getting too close to something real and squishy and Sakusa doesn’t like it and doesn’t want to give him the satisfaction of a confirmation either so he’ll just shoot him a look that would kill a lesser man instead, as if that’s not a confession all in itself.

 

“No, no,” he presses on, “lemme guess? Yer finally tryna do somethin’ bout your lustful yearnin’ for Ushiwaka-kun, hm? No? Grindr hookup gone wrong? Completely online beau you wanna make jealous by flauntin’ me all over your socials? C’mon, Omi-Omi, what’s the deal?”

 

“Are you aware that you’re the worst person in the world?”

 

“Yup,” Atsumu pops his ‘p’, taking a step closer to Sakusa, “c’mon, baby . Tell your boyfriend what the problem is.”

 

Sakusa tears open his gym bag with a vengeance and retrieves a plastic sleeve full of paper, shoving it into Atsumu’s chest and holding it there until he’s sure he’s got a grip on it. If Atsumu didn’t know better, he’d say Sakusa was blushing, but it’s probably just the lights. Sakusa doesn’t blush .

 

“You’re a royal pain in the ass, and my deal is none of your business. As far as I’m concerned, this is a transactional agreement wherein you’ve paid for my services, and as a teammate I will consider this a favour to make sure you don’t do anything spectacularly stupid in the form of revenge on Osamu-san. Those are my conditions, read them and make sure you’re familiar with them before tomorrow. You will pick me up at eight, sharp. Don’t be late.”

 

Sakusa turns and stalks out of the gym, Atsumu’s laughter chasing him the whole way out. Still, he tucks the notes into his own gym bag, and marches to his own dorm, with renewed confidence. There’s nothing like ridicule to make him feel on top of his game, and Sakusa is such an easy target. His temper is vicious and his patience is thin, which makes him fun to provoke, and because he has his whole germs thing, he’s much less likely to tackle him to the ground and wail on him the way Osamu is. A win-win, in his books.

 

Which is to say, he feels frankly on top of the world when he dumps his gym bag on the table, marches up to Kenma’s room and swings the door open- Kuroo never remembers to lock it when he returns from getting snacks because his hands are always too full- with every intention to keep his ridicule train going.

 

Kenma’s face is thunderous, his legs hooked over the back of Kuroo’s thighs, hands in the process of trying to peel a shirt that looks like it’s painted onto Kuroo’s shoulders off of him. Kuroo, on the other hand, looks lazily unbothered, like he was expecting this outcome. He probably was too- the bastard - staring Atsumu down like that with his hand shoved up Kenma’s shirt.

 

“Atsumu,” he says, in what Kenma calls his ‘Lev voice’. It’s the voice usually reserved for talking to Lev from their high school volleyball team, back when Kuroo had needed to play patient and understanding captain a little more than he did with the others. “Can I help you?”

 

“Ya paid Omi-kun to be my date to Yuuji-kun’s party,” Atsumu says, pointing accusingly at him, “ya hate me. Ya want me to die.”

 

“Right now?” Kenma seethes, the threat implicit in his tone.

 

“Seriously, Kuroo, what the fuck?” Atsumu continues, jabbing his finger at him, “y’know how weird that is, huh? T’ask a guy’s teammate to be his fake boyfriend ‘cause his fuckin’ scab of a twin ditches him when he knows how important it was to be his scapegoat for a party? Now I gotta babysit Omi-kun, who is like, Worse Osamu, which means I’m not gonna have any fun, and ya said boyfriend too, so now I’m not even gonna be able t’flirt with anyone else, and I definitely don’t wanna hook up with anyone from my team ‘cause that would be so fuckin’ awkward, not that Omi-kun would ever be down to just hook up with anyone anyways ‘cause he’s got a stick up his ass the size of the goddamn Tokyo Tower, so this doesn’t solve my problem at all .”

 

“Yeah it does,” Kuroo says, flippantly, “just remove the Tokyo Tower, replace it with something else. Simple. And don’t forget to use protection.”

 

“Die,” Atsumu says with as much vitriol as possible, looking around for something to throw at Kuroo, but thinking better of it when the look on Kenma’s face spells a distinct lack of hesitation toward homicide. 

 

Why him!” He whines instead, flopping bonelessly into Kenma’s desk chair. Kenma seems to realize whatever he and Kuroo had been doing before has been definitively interrupted, so he rolls over and pushes his face into his pillows. Kuroo gently rubs a hand down his back, shrugging at Atsumu.

 

“Terushima came up earlier in my week. You know Shirabu?”

 

Atsumu does not, in fact, know Shirabu, but he does know of Shirabu, if only by association. His name is familiar to Atsumu as part of Kuroo’s ‘love our degree, hate the workload’ pity-party study sessions that had started when Shirabu and Ennoshita- Terushima’s boyfriend that Atsumu had very much not known about when he sent the accursed thirst trap- had found him passed out in a puddle of his own drool on top of his chem textbooks and decided he was a kindred spirit. However, Atsumu fails to see how Shirabu is relevant to the problems Kuroo has caused him, given that Shirabu is a med student and Atsumu is a communications major which means their paths never cross.

 

“Well,” Kuroo continues, “Shirabu, Ennoshita and Terushima all captained in Miyagi in the same year so they’re all pretty good buddies, and they were talking about the party and how Shirabu would have to shuffle assignments to make it, and y’know, Shirabu’s not really a party kind of guy, so I thought that was pretty weird, but then he told me that it was a personal favour to Ushijima-”

 

“Shirabu-kun knows Ushiwaka-kun?”

 

“They played together in high school, keep up,” Atsumu makes a wounded noise as Kuroo plows on, “because Ushijima couldn’t make it but apparently there’s some guy who won’t leave Ushijima’s friend Sakusa alone and it’s making him real uncomfortable. Shirabu was trying to make it so Sakusa would have someone to hang out with, so that he has a not-his-dorm place to be on a Saturday night. According to Shirabu he was skeptical since he figured unless he was going with -with someone the guy would just take it as another opportunity to harass him if he got wind of it.”

 

“Holy shit. Ya set me up to be Omi-kun’s guard dog.”

 

“Pretty much, yeah.”

 

“Wow. I can’t believe you conned Atsumu into doing something nice,” Kenma says.

 

“I know,” Kuroo is stupidly smug, “I’m pretty good, huh? Anyway you’re not allowed to repeat any of that to Sakusa-san, Atsumu, I mean it. If he tells you he tells you, but if he doesn’t you do not bring it up.”

 

“Or?”

 

“You do not want to know what dirt I have on you,” Kenma says, and Atsumu’s blood runs ice cold. Kenma’s lived with him for three years. Atsumu knows there’s undoubtedly something irreversibly damaging hidden in there. Plus, Osamu likes Kenma enough to share the good stuff from their childhood. He really should have considered requesting a different roommate, but as much as everyone else thinks he’s a grade-A asshole, he still can’t bring himself to leave Kenma floundering. Call him sentimental. Or a masochist. Both are probably true.

 

“So?” Kuroo prompts, in his Lev voice again , “you pinky promise to be on your best behaviour?”

 

“Yea, yea,” Atsumu waves a hand, “cross my heart.”

 

“Good,” Kuroo says, “now get out. Read his instructions.” Atsumu would argue, but Kuroo’s hands are already creeping up Kenma’s shirt again, and Kenma’s mouth is inching suspiciously close to Kuroo’s neck, and that’s something Atsumu really doesn’t need to see, so he pulls his eyelid down and sticks his tongue out as he backs out of the room and closes the door soundly behind him.

 

Sakusa’s instructions are typed in size twelve Times New Roman, double-spaced, which doesn’t surprise Atsumu at all, not really. Sakusa seems like the type to be a resounding kiss-ass to professors. Probably why he picked some fancy science degree instead of like, something infinitely less nerdy.

 

For the most part, they’re easy enough to remember. Requirements for hygiene that Atsumu was planning to follow anyway, items that Atsumu must remember to bring, as if Sakusa could somehow forget pocket sanitizer like it’s absence wouldn’t be akin to Sakusa’s limb being severed. Boundaries. Stuff like you may hold my hand. Hands above the waist. Don’t touch my face . Blah blah. Itinerary for the night. Eight sharp is bolded and underlined and then three more lines have been hand-drawn under it.

 

We will stay for at least three hours , more generous than he thought Sakusa would be with the time, really, but Atsumu’s not complaining, I will participate in no more than two (2) conversations with your friends. Like Atsumu would want Sakusa to participate in a conversation with any of his friends, especially not Suna or- God forbid- Futakuchi. The thought makes him feel light-headed in distress. We will leave together. We will both return to your dorm. Being subject to Sakusa’s whim leaves a sour taste in Atsumu’s mouth, but he supposes it would be weird to just leave your boyfriend alone at a party after you’d gone home for the night.

 

Atsumu’s brain catches up, and he thinks:

 

Huh .

 

And then:

 

Wait, huh?!

 

He reads it again, then again, and a third time, like reading it thrice will change ‘your dorm’ being printed in size twelve Times New Roman right in front of his eyes. He looks incredulously at the fox plushie on his desk, like it will somehow have the answer to what the fuck Sakusa could possibly want with his dorm. When this doesn’t work, Atsumu closes his eyes, sets the papers down on his chest, wedges the meat of his palms against his teeth, and muffles a scream into his hands.

 

When the screaming doesn’t bring Kenma thundering in, brandishing an object primed for murder via blunt-force trauma, Atsumu allows himself to exhale deeply, and fold his hands peacefully on his chest as he goes back to what he’s best at: analysing. It’s part of volleyball; picking up the strategy of the game and the inclinations of the players. It’s part of what makes him so good, this ability to innately understand what is happening on a court. So, he draws the lines in his head.

 

Data point one: Sakusa Kiyoomi is a prickly, ornery, closed-off, blunt and forthright jerk with mysophobia. This means even without the germ thing, he would probably struggle to make friends and would still like his own space well enough. With the whole germ thing, it means Sakusa doesn’t like people contaminating his personal space, but it also means he doesn’t like being in other people’s personal space, especially when he doesn’t know where it’s been. He does go out from time to time- he’s been to Bokuto’s apartment, Hinata’s dorm room, even Atsumu’s once when the whole team had swung by to pick up Kenma and Kuroo for victory drinks. Sakusa doesn’t stay the night. Not ever .

 

Data point two: Sakusa’s instructions imply that he would spend the night. Atsumu thinks Sakusa would have been happier to have Atsumu escort him to his dorm room and have that be that. Then again, Kuroo did mention Sakusa not wanting to be in his dorm for the night, and three hours onward from eight with travel time factored in might barely scrape midnight, but even then who’s to say how dedicated Sakusa’s suitor is? Maybe he’s the kind of guy who thinks Sakusa does 3am DMCs.

 

Data point three: Sakusa is absolutely not the kind of guy who does 3am DMCs. In fact, Atsumu is pretty sure that Sakusa doesn’t even know what a DMC is . Which means Sakusa doesn’t want a fun little sleepover, he just wants a place to crash. Which means that Sakusa is probably really, really super fucking desperate.

 

Conclusion: this suitor guy is getting to Sakusa way more than he wants to let on, to the point where he’s clearly willing to compromise his extreme fear of germs to go to a party with someone as their fake boyfriend, let that someone- who Sakusa regularly calls disgusting with absolutely no basis, Atsumu reminds himself and promptly feels offended- put their hands all over him, and then commit to the ruse by coming back to that person’s personal living space for, presumably, the whole night.

 

Atsumu opens his eyes. Maybe he could do one of those fancy science degrees. He’s pretty good at this analysis stuff. Kuroo can eat his fucking heart out. In the spirit of his newfound love for scientific testing, he pulls his phone from his nightstand and texts Sakusa.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (8:41pm)

can’t wait for our drunk dmcs tomorrow xoxo

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (8:55pm)

Our fucking what?

 

God, Atsumu thinks gleefully, I am so fucking smart .