Bokuto arrives to the second week of training camp with a cheerful grin and the prospect of kicking Kuroo's ass in arm wrestling before Komi and Sakurui flash their phones at him and he sees a picture of him snuggling up to his vice-captain.
"Wher-When did you get that?" He demands, hissing as he feels heat crawl up his neck. Oh god please don't let Akaashi turn his attention to them right now. Bokuto places the last bag down from the bus and points an accusing finger at his teammates. "I can't believe you'd do this to your own captain!"
Komi shoots him the peace sign as they run towards the school, ditching Bokuto as he hefts his bag.
"Is everything alright, Bokuto-san?" Akaashi's dark eyes are boring holes into his, and he feels a lump form in his throat and smacks the setter on the back to hide his bashfulness.
"Everything's good Akaashi!"
Everything is not good.
When Nekoma files into the cafeteria, Kuroo flashes his phone and Bokuto sees the cursed picture again and hisses where the hell did you get that?
"I snuck into your rooms and took it before anyone woke up." Is Kuroo's answer.
Bokuto loves Kuroo to death and considers him one of his best friends, but sometimes he just wants to drive his smirking face into a wall. He vents most of his anger out during the practice matches after lunch and gains a lot of cheers and nods from the managers and coaches, which puts him into a fairly good mood by the time dinner time comes.
And then Komi shoots him a wink when Akaashi herds them into their room and goes to his designated corner so his tossing won't bother anyone.
This is the part Bokuto dreads and simultaneously enjoys, which makes him somewhat masochistic.
Akaashi slides onto his sleeping bag and spreads his blankets around, before making Bokuto's heart skip with a small smirk. "Let's try to not kick me again, shall we Bokuto-san?"
"No guarantees, Akaashi." Seriously- his sister tried an experiment where she wrapped him into a blanket burrito and he still woke up with his limbs sprawled everywhere. Bokuto claps his palms so the lights will flicker off and lets his head drop onto the pillow as he listens to Washio mumble to Sakurui what he hopes breakfast will be in the morning.
His crush (Love! the Kuroo in his head would insist) towards his setter is not news to the team. Hell, Bokuto have suspicions that they realized it even before he did. They probably met up with Kuroo and allowed that sneaky captain to go into their room to take that picture- which he still needs to delete off everyone's phone.
Rolling to his side, he watches Akaashi roll around his sleeping bag with the moonlight shining on him, and feels the sharp tugging on his heart that still takes him by surprise. Bokuto met Akaashi during his second year as an ace, back when the former captain still kept him on his toes. It was like finding a piece of a puzzle you never realized was missing, because as much as he likes their setter's tosses, Akaashi's tosses are perfect.
His consciousness comes in the form of Kuroo smirking beside him as he puts his phone away. Bokuto lurches up, but stops when he looks down and finds Akaashi loosely hugging one of his arms, so Bokuto flips Kuroo the middle finger.
Cute, Kuroo mouths, before waving and leaving the room with grace like a cat.
During the night, Bokuto has somehow moved onto Akaashi's sleeping bag and kicked his blanket off. Extraction of his arm from his setter proved to be somewhat challenging, but Akaashi is a dead sleeper so Bokuto doesn't feel to bad when he lightly pinches his upper arm to make the setter shift.
Bokuto looks down at Akaashi, because he can only do this fourteen times in a year, and lightly brushes his wayward curls away from his ears.
He groans pitifully at himself and covers Akaashi with his blankets before taking his toiletries from his bag to the showers. Akaashi's sleeping face will be the death of him.
After a particularly grueling second day of training camp, where Fukurodani had to run a few laps outside in the blazing sun, Bokuto lies on the cool wooden floors of the Gymnasium 1 and sees Lev being dragged away by Yaku as Kuroo leans over him.
"You have to stretch first, bro."
Bokuto sits up, "Yeah yeah." He watches Akaashi pick up the stray volleyballs with Tsukishima as he reaches forward for this toes, wincing when his spine cracks in protest. Bokuto spends a good ten minutes stretching his hamstrings before asking Kuroo to hold his arm so he can ease his shoulders.
"Have you ever looked at someone and wanted to kiss them?"
Bokuto stops his stretching. "Are you high?" The Nekoma captain shoots him a grin. "You eyes aren't red but honestly are you out of your mind? Wait is this about Sawamura?"
And to his immense surprise, Kuroo's cheeks turns a dusty pink color that could have been passed off as a product from the intense two on two match, but they've been resting for twenty minutes already and Bokuto stares at his friend, who's cheeks are turning tomato. "No way... Sawamura?"
"Shut up." Kuroo scowls at him.
"Well that would explain why you're up so early. Karasuno has morning runs before breakfast don't they?" Bokuto slyly replies. He's seen Kuroo hover around Sawamura since the first week of camp, but he thought it was for a hey-i-know-your-team-is-new-here-but-we-know-each-other-so-if-you-need-anything-feel-free-to-ask-me gesture not a you-are-incredibly-attractive-please-pay-attention-to-me gesture.
Bokuto shoots Kuroo his megawatt grin and laughs when the scheming captain jabs his fingers into his side, huffing away.
Bokuto is going to kill Kuroo.
"Have you ever looked at someone and wanted to kiss them?"
Akaashi is sprawled out (or as sprawled as he could before Bokuto woke up and found that their legs were tangled together) on his sleeping bag. Bokuto had brushed his bangs away before feeling his neck turn warm again and remembering what Kuroo had said last night. Akaashi turns his head and mumbles something too soft for Bokuto to hear, and without warning, Bokuto's head acts without his permission and brushes Akaashi's lips.
He turns around just in time to look surprised, Konoha bolting away from him. Realizing that his teammate took a picture of him kissing Akaashi, Bokuto heaves their blankets onto a sleeping Akaashi before racing after Konoha.
"Konoha you piece of shit come back here!"
"NO!" They madly weave past a few Karasuno members who are still rubbing their eyes and yawning as they pass the front entrance. Bokuto nearly takes out Yamaguchi and follows Konoha as he circles around back to the hallways where Fukurodani, Karasuno and Nekoma are staying in. Bokuto speeds up and increases the cycle of his feet slapping the floor before Konoha reaches Nekoma's room- because he knows how they work now and Bokuto will be thrown into hell if Kuroo gets that god damn picture-
With a great cry, he snags Konoha around the waist and pins him down on the floor, before taking the floor and tapping the screen to delete the picture. Konoha struggles to get up, and Bokuto lets him, raking his bangs before opening his mouth to lecture his fellow third years about privacy and respect when the door the Nekoma's room opens and Kuroo walks out with a shit eating grin, and Bokuto thinks his life will never, ever be the same again.
Bokuto turns to Konoha and glares at the wing spiker. "What did you do, Konoha you bastard?"
"I-I sent it to Komi, Sakurui, Washio and Kuroo." Bokuto is so ticked off he's considering biting Konoha's arm, "P-Please don't glare you look really scary right now captain-"
Bokuto springs up and hates how he has to tilt his head up to Kuroo. "Delete it you dumbass!"
"Nah, this is perfect blackmail material." Is what Nekoma's captain says, before tinkering down the hall with a sleepy looking Lev following him. "You should step your game up, bro. Why don't you try to do it when he's awake?"
He stomps back to their rooms with Konoha in tow and tells him that he will retrieve all of Fukurodani's balls and help the first years clean up or else.
"Are you feeling all right, Bokuto-san? You're...more aggravated than usual today." Akaashi says as they take a midday break to demolish the oranges the managers have prepared for them. Bokuto gives Akaashi a grunt as he grabs another orange and digs his short fingernails into the skin. "Konoha-san was telling me how you tackled him before breakfast..."
"You don't know the full story." He sulks, throwing the peel into the garbage and breaking half of the sphere to shove it in his mouth. Bokuto watches Kuroo as he apologizes about rubbing Tsukishima the wrong way, and sees the the middle blocker's cheeks turn the barest hint of pink as Sawamura gives him an easy smile, oh don't worry about it, and an orange.
Well, they are sort of cute.
Bokuto swallows his last orange half and grins at Akaashi. "Let's go back before everyone else and practice, Akaashi! Let's go! Let's go! We gotta slay Nekoma's ass in the next round!"
Fukurodani wins against Nekoma and Bokuto is puffing out his chest as Kuroo scowls. His teammates are already leaving as fast as they can, but Bokuto manages to tug Akaashi back and Tsukishima for another two on two. Hinata and Lev join, and they resume some light playing and stretching when supper passes.
"My bangs are in the way." Hinata says, going cross eyed to look at them. "I wonder if I should get a headband like Asahi-san?"
"Hey hey," Bokuto grins at him, "I can cut it for you."
"Really! I trim my sister's hair!" Bokuto points proudly at Akaashi, who's tugging his knee pads so it hangs loose around his ankles. "Ask this guy- I cut everyone's hair a lot, right?"
Akaashi smiles, flooring Bokuto's heart as he says, "It's not part of his duties as captain, but Bokuto-san does do a good job of trimming our hair."
Bokuto turns to Hinata, who has sparkles all around him and shoots him a grin. "Pretty please Bokuto-senpai!" Bokuto ruffles the orange mess and tells him to get a stool from the storage room as Bokuto searches the kitchens for a particular scissor that has a thin blade.
When Hinata's bangs are sodden with water, Bokuto starts parting his hair and clips it carefully onto the newspapers laid down in the courtyard. He makes small talk with Hinata and greets Kageyama, who is surprised at the scene but sits with Akaashi off to the sides. After a few minutes of cutting, he takes off the rubber band that forms a cape around Hinata and gives him his phone to look with. "Good heh?"
Hinata's grins is infectious, and he runs a hand through his shortened hair. "BOKUTO-SENPAI YOU'RE AMAZING! THANK YOU! I'LL CLEAN MY HAIR UP! THANK YOU!" Then he runs to Kageyama and asks the setter what he thinks of his new cut and skips back to Bokuto to dust his hairs into a plastic bag.
"Your welcome." Bokuto grins at him, before running a hand through his own hair, and thinking whether he should get Kuroo to trim it or not.
"Yeeesss?" He turns to Akaashi and gets his breath stuck because holy shit the setting sun is gorgeous on his skin and how long are his god damn eyelashes really- "What's up?" Bokuto manages to wheeze out, staring at Akaashi's nice eyes and pretty lashes. It should be against the law to be so damn pretty.
"If it's not too much trouble, can you trim my bangs?" Akaashi pinches his bangs and scrutinizes his fingers. "About an inch maybe? Or two?"
His throat is dry but he croaks, "Sure, let me get more newspapers. You sit on the stool."
"Thank you, Bokuto-san."
Akaashi wraps the big towel around him and Bokuto begins to mist his hair with the spray when he sees Kuroo and the whole Fukurodani team smirk at him. Konoha suddenly notices the scissors in his hands, and high tails it back towards the building.
"Just the bangs, captain."
"Got it." He ruffles Akaashi's hair for a good measure and walks in front of him to start playing around with the curly strands, which is more straight now that it's heavy with water. Bokuto starts with Akaashi's left side and mentally chants in his head to focus don't fuck his hair up. The dark, short strands fall from Bokuto's fingertips as he snips them carefully, getting distracted when a few strands fall and sticks to his eyelashes.
Not breathing, Bokuto carefully reaches and brushes the hair away, and Akaashi's eyes opens.
His pupils are blown widely, and there's a light spray of red on his ears that Bokuto finds absolutely adorable when Akaashi shuts his eyes close again. "Was there something on my face?"
How can his voice be that steady? "Yeah, a few strands got stuck in your lashes." Bokuto tries to casually say, going back to measuring his bangs and snipping the excess.
Akaashi hums a response, and the heat from Bokuto's face doesn't leave until the sun sinks past the mountains, and he whips off the towel and gives Akaashi his phone so he can see his hair. He fidgets as Akaashi takes one look at his reflection, and hands his phone back. "It's great, thank you."
"You didn't even see it from the different angles!" He argues. Hinata had enthusiastically asked for Kageyama's phone so he can see the back of his head and go gwaaahh! at Bokuto's cut.
Akaashi bends down to wrap his hair in the newspapers, which Bokuto was glad the wind didn't blow away. The angle where Bokuto is looking down at his setter only accentuates Akaashi's elegant eyebrows and pretty everything. "I don't need to, I know you did a good job, Bokuto-san."
Bokuto doesn't stop the red flushing his face.
(He totally didn't stare at Akaashi and brush his shorter bangs away from his forehead and had urges to snuggle up to him that night. And he definitely didn't kiss him good morning again either)
There's something Bokuto likes about training camps. Loud meal times with his friends in an environment where they can all nerd all out about volleyball and where it would be perfectly acceptable (and funny) to see Karasuno's Kageyama try to set a grapefruit during desserts. Then there's the long soaks in the communal bathrooms where he doesn't mind scrubbing Lev's back for him, or the nightly sessions of bonfire (where there wasn't any actual bonfires being lit) in the courtyard underneath the school's dim lights.
Those were tame enough. But after the first few days of training week, they descend into hell, and pranks starts to occur.
And they involve mostly he and Kuroo, obviously.
Sawamura spits out his milk one fine morning and scoops out a raw egg, before storming to Nekoma's table and seething Kuroo while Bokuto laughs, and takes a picture of Kuroo actually shrinking from Sawamura's wrath. For blackmail purposes of course, which reminds him- he still hasn't deleted those pictures.
Akaashi herds their team towards their room again, before clapping and narrowing his eyes slightly at a couple of first years who were going to sneak out. Bokuto lies down, and tries not to think of what pranks lies ahead when his phone lights up beside him.
Tetsubro: don't forget to kiss your setter good night!
Bokuto lets a little hiss and shoves his phone behind his pillow.
When Bokuto wakes up, he's sweating and reflexively glances to his right and finds Akaashi's blankets already folded and tucked into his sleeping bag. While the morning birds twitter, he stumbles out of the room and goes through his morning routine of gelling his hair and taking a shower before hitting the cafeteria.
"Akaashi!- oh you look horrible."
His setter eyes are glazed and red. "Good morning, Bokuto-san." Akaashi's hair is sticking up in all directions even more so, and Bokuto slowly puts his tray down on their table. Only the senior members of a few teams are awake yet. Bokuto restrains the urge to yawn when he sees Akaashi unhinges his jaw and covers his mouth, tears leaking out of his eyes.
"You didn't sleep well?" He thought his kicking has stopped. That or Akaashi has grown immune to it.
Akaashi's eyes flashes dangerously. "Oh yes. I had a good time sleeping, Bokuto-san, if it weren't for the buzzing of your phone that woke me up."
His smile freezes and Bokuto curses Kuroo. "Ah. S-Sorry...here, I'll get you some coffee."
"I've drank three cups and I'm still tired."
He awkwardly fidgets as he sits back down. His breakfast suddenly doesn't look all that appetizing anymore. "If you feel that tired, you have my permission to sleep in- mornings are individual team practices. I'm sure Komi can substitute you as a setter."
At this, Akaashi perks up slightly. "Really? Well, alright..." His setter downs the last dregs of his instant coffee (Bokuto flinches when he finds out that he takes it black with no anything) before standing up. "Please wake me up before lunch."
"I'm gonna wake Akaashi now." He tells Konoha, glancing at the clock in Gymnasium 1. "Keep drilling the first years on block and follow will you?"
"Of course." Konoha replies, before leering at him and ducking when Bokuto aims a volleyball at him. "Are you going to kiss him again?"
"No! Of course not! T-That- URGH!" Peals of laughter from his fellow third years. Bokuto stomps out of the building and bumps into Nekoma running laps outside, and he sends a quick prayer to whatever god is laughing at his misery when Kuroo spots him.
Kuroo clutches his chest. "So rude- you're becoming more and more like Sawamura with each passing day. Why are you out?"
"I gotta wake Akaashi up." And then Bokuto glares at him. "Don't even say-"
"You're going to wake him up with a kiss? How romantic, you make me swoon." Kuroo flutters his eyelids as he follows Bokuto into the main building, their hair blowing as they pass the front doors and into the air conditioned entrance. Bokuto has a mind to sock the Nekoma captain right in the solar plexus but chooses to ignore Kuroo's antics. "You're one of the top 5 aces in the country and you can't even woo Akaashi."
Bokuto swings his arm outwards and grumbles as Kuroo leaps back and laughs, "I'll see you after lunch! Nekoma will win this time!"
When Bokuto slides the door to their dark room (because Shinzen has curtains in their classrooms), he sees Akaashi's curled up in a nest of blankets and Bokuto's heart tugs painfully again. He sits next to the setter and runs a hand through his hair, thinking that no one is here right now- no Komi, no Sakurai, no Washio, no Kuroo, and no sneaky first years.
I'm such a goner, Bokuto thinks, before quickly kissing Akaashi and yelping when a warm hand holds his head when he struggles to move back, panic swelling in his chest. Akaashi's eyes does not look sleepy at all- it seems like the boy has been lying there calmly waiting for someone to ambush him.
"A-A-Akaashi!" Shit shit shit shit shit. "T-There was a little bug a-and I was go-going to flick it erm- off?!"
Akaashi doesn't look too amused, and Bokuto hangs his head. "...I'm sorry. Please don't leave the volleyball team- you're essential to our starting line and I really, really like your tosses!"
A sigh, and the hairs on Bokuto's neck shivers because Akaashi's voice is still thick with sleep and it's doing weird things to him. "...Kuroo-san's right."
"Kuroo? Wait- did he plan this whole thing?!"
It was now Akaashi's turn to look a little embarrassed. "He planted the seed and I harvested the fruits."
Akaashi's cheeks slowly turns a nice shade of pink, before darkening to the very tips of his ear and neck. "I was saying to Kuroo-san how you haven't made a move yet and he 'nudged' you in the right direction." His setter looks down at their hands- which is still loosely knotted. "I tried to give signals to you, like when you cut my hair."
"That was your way of wooing me?" Bokuto replies half amusingly and half painfully. There's a forced smile on his face as he realizes they're both the biggest idiots in the building. "You're not angry that I- ah, kissed you without permission?"
"Next time, just ask Bokuto-san." Then a hand is tugging his jersey forward and Bokuto is floating on air.
Bokuto mildly wonders what it would feel like kissing a girl's lips instead, and finds that he doesn't really give an ounce of care, and prefers the one on his right now. Akaashi tastes like black coffee and he pulls back slightly, eyes slightly unfocused and red settling nicely across his nose. Bokuto is breathing slightly haggardly, which is really embarrassing because it's just a god damn kiss but it's so much more than that-
Whirling around, he sees Sawamura and Kuroo at the doorway. The former paling in surprise, blubbering that he's here to drag them to lunch since the bell already rang and the latter putting away an expensive looking camera with his signature Cheshire smile.
"Let's go Sawamura, the couple can go eat lunch on their own." Kuroo winks at them both, before dragging Sawamura with his mouth opening and closing like a goldfish away.
When the door slams to a shut again, Bokuto entwines his fingers more into Akaashi's grip before smooching his cheek, laughing when Akaashi's pink face turns red in a second. "So, where were we?"
Akaashi rolls his eyes at the cliche line, but pulls Bokuto's face down with a small smile.