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Kageyama loved Hinata.

Hinata was the kid, the only kid that had ever made him feel a specific emotion. It bloomed in his stomach and grew to his cheeks, it branched out to his chest and each sensitive moment made the emotion grow larger, and larger, and larger. Kageyama didn't let it get in his way. He was able to tame it down, and it didn't bother him. As long as no one noticed, he could still play volleyball, and keep it confined.

Shimizu loved Yachi.

The age gap wasn't something that held back her feelings for the bubbly girl. Shimizu felt shocked when she had realized these emotions, but she took the benefit of the doubt and enjoyed the possible crush she had. When that crush became longer and longer thoughts of infatuation, she started to worry that this was much more serious than she had imagined. Shimizu swallowed it down and kept it to herself. It would be bothersome to speak of it, and it was fine by her.

And yet, both of their solitary secrets crumbled into nothing by a single phrase.

-----

"Y-yeah! Me and Yachi are dating!"

This was the first stage of the incoming events Kageyama would feel.

He knew that voice better than anyone else. The constant stuttering, the energetic amount of diction, the exaggerated amount of mannerisms. He only knew one piss head that fit that description and there he was, around the corner, with a nervous Yachi at his side.

The classmate they were talking to blushed and bowed an apology, eventually running into a nearby classroom. Kageyama eavesdropped a bit longer, watching how Hinata laughed towards Yachi, and Yachi who apologized profusely with a colored face. The setter turned around and walked the other way to avoid any awkward situations, crushing the now empty milk box and throwing it in a nearby trash bin. He was confused as to why people were giving him worried looks and whispers. He realized he was crying and merely shrugged it off, wiping them away with his sleeve. When the tears didn't stop he hissed, rounding the corner and proceeded to punch the wall.

It hurt like hell. His tears burned. His fists burned. His jaw burned. His heart burned. It was hot and he was burning, but he had volleyball. He had volleyball to replace that hurting burn with something more prideful to distract himself. He always had volleyball to distract himself from things that were a nuisance to him, and he was fine by that.

-----

Shimizu arrived in the gym that evening earlier than usual. Maybe she felt a bit too excited to see Yachi that day, and felt embarrassed thinking so. Classes felt longer than usual, and she hadn't seen her the whole day.

The third years arrived first as usual. Sugawara greeted her with a smile, and Sawamura waved. Shimizu looked over to the bang of doors and it was Kageyama, already dressed out and ready to play. It was strange to not see him out of breath and with a middle blocker at his side, just as tired.

There were bags under his eyes. The bags weren't the only worrying factor, his scowl was deeper than before and his eyes were a dangerous shade of red. Shimizu was glad she wasn't the only one who noticed; Asahi intervened to examine him.

"Kageyama, are you okay? Did you get enough sleep..?"

Kageyama nodded and quickly ensured he could still play. Sawamura stared at him intensely, analyzing the situation very carefully. He huffed and told the boy to take it easy, and to receive some eye drops from Shimizu.

Shimizu took out the first aid kit and slowly prepared the drops for the setter.

"Lean your head back and open your eyes. It'll only burn for a few seconds."

Kageyama sat back and muttered small curses as the liquid soothed the irritation. As Shimizu applied the eye drops, she could only wonder how the bags below his eyes would have formed. Word around her fellow classmates was that he slept throughout most his school days. However, she didn't know most facts about him despite that he seemed to lack in sociability, loved volleyball very much, and had a small affection for Hinata.

She knew he had feelings for Hinata since she overheard Sugawara and Sawamura talking about them, and how Kageyama's sight would linger on Hinata much longer than usual, and that he hid his affection very well. Since that day she was hyper aware of that secret, and could only have empathy on how it felt.

Shimizu put the last drop and closed the cap, eyeing Kageyama very softly. He was trying to rub his eyes, which she followed up to not do that. Kageyama muttered some more and thanked her before getting up and jogging towards the ball cart.

The rest of the team slowly filed in, chatter she wasn't able to comprehend or understand. Minutes passed when Sawamura acknowledged them and slowly asked,

"Where's Hinata? And Yachi?"

Kageyama was in the middle of serving when he flinched so badly his jump stopped mid-air and he fell to the ground. A few bits of laughter (mostly from Tanaka and Tsukishima) followed his accident and Nishinoya went to help him up, saying "Haha, you alright man?" and "Next time, next time!" Kageyama didn't accept his hand, but said thank you anyway. Sawamura looked over at the first year worriedly.

"Kageyama? Do you know where they are? I saw them in the halls, so I know they aren't gone.."

Kageyama growled a menacing noise and denied knowing their location, proceeding with the serve he had messed up. It was when the two bashed into the gym with their practice uniforms thrown on.

"Sorry we're late!" Hinata bowed profusely. Yachi stuttered and bowed as well, repeating multiple apologies. Ukai warned them not to be late next time, or they wouldn't be let off so easily. Hinata ecstatically bounced around, ready to face anything in his path, much to his fright the first thing he faced was Kageyama.

"Uwah! Don't try to beat me up or something c-cuz I'll fight you! I know karate!!!" Hinata threw his arms in the air. Kageyama only stood there with a ball in his hands, glancing down at the boy.

"Okay."

Hinata stared. Kageyama wasn't yelling at him or even lecturing him for being late. Instead of being a tempered angry ball of a boy, he was just this bland shell of a body. Kageyama ran his fingers through his hair.

"I'll toss to you. We can do our new technique."

Hinata flinched at the exasperated tone, but he nodded anyway, instantly earning his enthusiasm back. Shimizu moved her attention to the blonde haired girl as she ran up to her smiling. She could tell she was still nervous about the previous events.

Yachi asked how her day was, which she smiled and told it was fine, and that she didn't have much homework that night. Yachi grinned up at her, and Shimizu wondered why she was so happy. She didn't complain though, Yachi looked very cute when she was as bright as she was then.

Practice went on as a free day; training on your own things that needed to be worked on. Nishinoya was progressively getting better at setting the ball mid air, however he accidentally hit Asahi two times and constantly assured he wasn't trying to kill him. Sugawara and Narita worked on memorizing hand signals, and Sawamura was polishing his receiving skills with Ukai. Kageyama and Hinata were working progressively, but the obvious lack of arguing and personality was troubling, especially to Hinata himself.

During break time, Tanaka brought up the unvoiced question.

"Hey hey, Hinata, why were you and Yachi late? And on top of that, arriving late together?"

Shimizu for once listened in on a conversation Tanaka started. Hinata blushed and waved his hands around.

"N-nothing! If you're hinting at something weird, it's not true!"

"Totally not suspicious," Nishinoya plopped himself next to Hinata. He nudged him with his elbow smirking. "We've heard the rumors about you and her dating."

Yachi suddenly started coughing from the sideline, her face beat red. Hinata was looking around nervously and at Yachi desperately, who wasn't sure what to say either.

"I.. we can't really approve or deny anything.. yet.." he rubbed the back of his head. Tanaka started laughing out loud and slapped Hinata's back.

"Wow! Look at that, the two first years already growing up.." He sniffed, wiping away fake tears. "I feel jealous.. ah, if only I could wish a life like that with Kiyoko.."

However, Shimizu was no longer listening. In the matter of seconds a wave of undefinable emotions shivered down her body. She could feel the ringing in her ears, and she struggled to keep steady on her feet. She was sure desperation was written over her face. Her eyes raced everywhere, and when they landed on Kageyama, who was crouched over and gripping a volleyball so hard it was actually stretching, she got her answer.

Her eyes slowly followed the floor to the short girl next to her, who was still blushing and yelling at Tanaka and Nishinoya to stop. The air was tight. Shimizu wasn't sure if she was starting to hate her, or just love her even harder than before. Shimizu swallowed her pride and tightened her grasp on the clipboard.

Two hours to go.

-----

Kageyama's hands were white, threatening to pop the ball suffering in his hands. Tsukishima noticed with a grimace, and pointed it out.

"..Oi. King. The volleyball."

Kageyama stuttered in shock and his grip automatically lessened. Although the eye drops helped, his eyes were on the verge of tearing up in rage, and he clenched his teeth to prevent it. He voiced another thanks as he got up, unexpectedly getting too close to the tall blonde. They both awkwardly shifted away, Tsukishima equally as confused.

"Are you okay?"

His tone was bland but genuinely curious. Kageyama growled, not forming any words in particular. Tsukishima sighed and pushed his glasses up.

"The entire practice you've been grunting like a dog and thanking everyone."

When Kageyama's expression twisted and stayed silent, Tsukishima sighed again and surprised him when he hesitantly patted him on the back. He whispered some words that shocked Kageyama to his core, and he wasn't able to answer back as the blonde walked away towards Yamaguchi.

Kageyama didn't look at anyone for the rest of the practice, Tsukishima's words echoing in his head.

"Maybe you can recover from an unrequited love. You're strong, anyways."

Kageyama couldn't promise that.

-----

Shimizu lugged herself to school that day. Her posture was fine, and her appearance was clean, but the same bags Kageyama had yesterday accompanied her face as well. She wasn't one to wear makeup but she tried anyway, and it didn't work in the long run, ending with piteous scrubbing and red streaks. Yachi was worried about her when they bumped into each other unexpectedly.

"You said you didn't have much homework yesterday, did you have trouble sleeping?"

Shimizu wasn't really lying when she said yes, due to the thousands of tears and struggle to breath after sobbing so much that her jaw hurt. It burned being next to Yachi, so Shimizu smiled and waved her goodbye. Yachi didn't look convinced, but she smiled back anyway and offered to buy her lunch later that day, if she wanted.

Shimizu knew she wasn't going to accept that offer; she planned to avoid the girl for who knows how long, even though it was rude and made her feel guilty.

The third year tucked her hair behind her ear and inhaled. She considered skipping out on evening practice that day.

For the first time, Kageyama was willing to skip out on practice. The thought came to mind as he woke up to a dreary morning. At first, it terrified him. He wanted to play volleyball, a practice match was coming up, and Ukai needed everyone present to verify they were in sync. But he couldn't. Kageyama was pissed for being so weak but he just couldn't. If he had to hear Hinata's annoying ass voice one more time he swore he was going hurt him.

The last time he cried before yesterday's incident was in the first year of junior high. Not because of Oikawa, but because he was deemed old enough that he didn't need to stay at his nursery and could be home alone. The lack of his mother's presence was stronger than before, and on the first night sleeping in an empty house, he was scared. Because of that matter, he cried, but had recovered thinking that he had practice the next morning and didn't have to think of such a situation.

He didn't care at this point, being alone. But when he's trying to play volleyball, Hinata is there, being the distraction instead of volleyball, and he wondered why it had to be him. Kageyama convinced himself he could practice in the park alone after school and continue his training regime then.

Kageyama took a different walking route that morning to avoid further racing competitions with Hinata.

-----

Ever since Shimizu acquainted Yachi after Inter High, she felt happier than usual. Maybe because she was tired of Tanaka and Nishinoya barging into her personal space, but she felt appreciative of their attempts. It sounded pathetic, falling in love as quickly as she did.

When the last bell rang for the end of the day, she jogged out of the doors and towards the gates. Her plan of escape was flawless and easy to act upon. However, she paused when she passed the gym and saw Kageyama still in his uniform, awkwardly being questioned by Hinata, Sawamura, and Tanaka.

"Are you actually trying to skip practice..?" Hinata growled. Shimizu hid behind the wall to watch what would happen. She knew why Kageyama wanted to skip and she feared what would happen to him.

"You've been acting weird dude," Tanaka pointed out. "You're still annoyingly good at volleyball, but you're so moody."

Shimizu anticipated what Sawamura would say. Sawamura was one of the few who knew Kageyama's feelings towards Hinata. Sawamura looked worried more than angry, much to her relief.

"I mean, if you aren't feeling good, you don't have to play." He said. Kageyama cringed. "But you can still attend and listen to Ukai and Takeda sensei's plans for the practice match. That much is okay.."

"I- can't. I need.. to go." Kageyama's words were so heavy and piercing they had the potential to burn an iron wall. His eyes were sharp and desperate to flee.

When Kageyama started to back away, Shimizu had to hold in a gasp when Hinata gripped his arm. Kageyama screamed and threw Hinata to the ground on instinct. Hinata was already pissed, but now he was fired up.

"What the fuck is your deal?!" Hinata grabbed for Kageyama's torso, bringing him to the ground. Tanaka's protests were in the background. "What is wrong?! Are you giving up on volleyball? You can't just decide things like that!"

Kageyama was dangerously silent, desperately trying to escape Hinata's legs. Kageyama whispered some inaudible words that no one could hear, but apparently Hinata did, and after wide, hurt eyes, he started throwing punches at Kageyama's face. Sawamura and Tanaka yelled and tried to pull him off.

"Come on! Yell at me! Fight me back! Do something!!" Hinata seethed.

"HINATA!"

Hinata gasped and blinked. Sugawara, Yachi, and Asahi showed up on the scene and ran towards the sudden event.

"Just.. calm down, Hinata. Calm down.." Asahi and Yachi spoke. And as his rage fell, he did, inhaling and exhaling his ragged breath. Sugawara jogged towards Kageyama, and froze. Sugawara was suspiciously quiet over the boy, and warbled.

"He.." Sugawara's voice cracked. "He- Kageyama's crying."

The enviroment was tensely silent. Shimizu blinked after what felt like an eternity, and she clenched her fists. Her heart was racing. She didn't realize it when she had a sudden urge to defend the boy at that moment. She didn't know him, she didn't understand him, and yet...

Without her own consent she caught herself running towards them. Tanaka, Yachi, and Sawamura noticed her, and words broke the silence. She felt embarrassed, but she was halfway there and couldn't just stop. She refrained herself to look at Yachi. She ignored her the entire day and didn't want to deal with it. Not now.

She shocked the others when she lifted Kageyama off the ground and ran away in the other direction. Multiple yells were heard behind her but none belonged to Hinata, or Yachi.

Her eyes were wide with surprise. What in the world was she doing? Did she really kidnap the first year? She hesitantly looked down at the boy in her arms who had stopped crying and instead was speechless as to what was happening.

"Wh- what-"

Shimizu looked away, quickly lifting the boy up to get a more comfortable grip. "I played volleyball before.." she softly spoke as she ran down the street. "I ended up earning some strength, but I don't.. play anymore."

She could feel the gaze but she looked forward instead, ignoring the flurry in her stomache when people looked at them in awe. Shimizu continued with her plan, to arrive at the park and think for awhile even though someone was with her now. Halfway there Kageyama insisted that he could walk, and she guessed he noticed her breathlessness, but she ignored him and ran faster.

A skirt, high socks, and a blazer weren't exactly the best things to run in. She slowed down when they reached the swing set, the orange glow of the sky cascading over the landscape. Kageyama let himself down, mumbling a soft thanks. He offered an unopened water bottle from his bag, which she accepted.

Kageyama slumped on the swing, Shimizu following the same. She held the chains softly, the cool metal soothing to her dry warm hands. They were silent, the presence of people were lacking and the distant calls of crows passed their ears. Kageyama was the first to speak.

"Why.. did you.. you know." He shifted. Shimizu wasn't sure herself and was certain she was going insane.

"I know what you're going through." She went with instead. "I loved Hitoka chan. W-well, love. I stll love her."

"Oh." The awkwardness Kageyama felt seeped into his words easily. Shimizu didn't plan to speak of her problems, (a lot of things went unplanned) but since Kageyama seemed to be struggling as much as her, she felt comfortable talking about it. It only sucked that their first converastion together would be this. Shimizu let her hands drop to her lap, slowly nudging the ground with her feet. She stared at Kageyama, who looked like he was struggling with words.

"I.. shit." He coughed. "I never know what to do with these kind of things." He stopped swinging, grasping the chains. "What the fuck am I supposed to do? It's not like I wanted to like Hinata. He just had to be so.... and I can't stop crying, and I don't want to, it's so fucking annoying and I just want to play volleyball--" His face turned, the look similar to what he had earlier. Shimizu shivered and felt the sense of shock you get before you start crying. Flashes of Yachi raced through her head and her legs gave up under her, collapsing to the ground.

Kageyama looked shocked and keeled in front of her, eyes surprised and unsure what he should do. Shimizu removed her glasses to prevent the tears from staining them. The tears fell so naturally it was frightening. She held her forehead and sobbed, mumbling multiple apologies.

"I don't know what to do either.." she managed to say. Kageyama only blinked. He stiffened when Shimizu hung her arms over his shoulders, letting his shoulder grow wet. He started to soften when she started muttering "Hitoka" over and over again, audibility growing with each repeat. Kageyama clicked his tongue and gave in, slowly putting his arms at Shimizu's sides. 'This is hugging, right?' Kageyama felt it count as somewhat comforting.

Shimizu burrowed herself into the awkward placement of Kageyama's arms. Unconsiously, she wanted Kageyama to cry as well. It was embarrassing that she was the only one with uncontrollable snot issuess. Even though she held in her feelings, it didn't affect much. But now with the new situation, it became unhealthy rather than a humble cliche love story. Kageyama's face felt a familiar warmth seeping to his eyes and he blamed Shimizu for forcing him to face head on with the truth, and he crumbled, whimpering as if he were 10 again. He warbled, mumbling "Hinata" softly into Shimizu's arm. If someone were to see this form a distance, it would look pitiful, but both didn't really care. Kageyama never saw Shimizu like others did, but he felt oddly warm. Instead of moping around in the heat of his bed, he was able to be coaxed by someone who understood. And so they sat there, an emotional pile, ignoring the awkwardness and just holding each other because they needed someone, unable to get over a situational love created in their minds.

-----

Shimizu had tissues in her bag and gave some to Kageyama after their embarassing scene together. He was pouting and scowling as usual, but accepted them anyway. She offered if he wanted to get some food with her, and he nodded excitedly. Shimizu wondered how he can turn back so easily despite the pain he was going through, but she didn't question it. Her ego also lifted much to her surprise when Kageyama didn't offer to pay the food himself. Typical Kageyama being himself.

Kageyama was tired after crying himself dry. It took a lot of work. He wondered if crying was a type of exercise, but he wanted to forget he ever thought of that because crying was the most unpleasant thing he ever felt and didn't want to experience such a thing ever again. So he didn't hesitate when Shimizu offered food. He felt like himself after the past few days, and hoped he could feel that way a bit longer. When they stood up from the ground and patted themselves off, they were startled by an unnatural noise from the nearby trees. Shimizu quirked her eyebrow, but Kageyama told her that stray cats roamed around here frequently. She laughed as she put on her glasses, making Kageyama grumble some curses.

They walked in silence as they directed themselves toward a nearby convenience store. Shimizu bought a decent cup of assorted fruits, and Kageyama got the usual curry meat bun he gets from the Foothill store.

"Uh, Shimizu senpai, could I get two..?" Kageyama asked. She nodded, but asked why despite predicting he had a large appetite. "I think practice ends around this time, and I will probably run into Hinata with the luck I have..." He quietly said. Shimizu mentally agreed and silently admired the rare amount of kindness he presented. She was motivated to buy Yachi's favorite food, fugashi, and apologize later on when they would be again. (She would cross that bridge when she got there)

They sat down at the table outside the store, eating away the day. Kageyama wondered if he already moved on. When he imagined Hinata and Yachi holding hands, he almost threw up and confirmed that no, he hasn't moved on. He guessed that he felt relieved after releasing his emotions, and just wanted to pretend everything was back to normal. He was just glad he felt prepared to talk to Hinata and not become an emotional mess. He wondered if Shimizu felt the same sensation of relief.

"Do you think the team's mad at us?" Kageyama muffled, still chewing his food. Shimizu shrugged.

"I don't think they are.. since Hinata started to hit you and you were crying, and no one ever saw you show any sense of sadness.." She tasted a combination of pineapple and orange, making her lips purse. "..are you injured?"

Kageyama shook his head. Hinata hit hard, he was able to get blows on his jaw and shoulders, and was just as fast throwing them. He didn't want to relive that memory. Kageyama cringed of the memory of the insult gone too far and had to think if a friendship was still rational. Shimizu checked her phone, and Kageyama was right; practice would have ended. They were crying for a long time, much to her discomfort. She thought of how awkward it would be to face Yachi after the situation with Hinata and Kageyama, and if she was able to accept that Yachi and Hinata were official. She whined when she simply had to accept it and deal with it when it happened. If it happened. She still felt guilty ignoring Yachi.

He finished his meat bun quickly; Kageyama breathed in the air and looked up at the sky, relaxing a bit.

"..It was terrifying, though." Shimizu stopped eating her fruit in interest. "It was so sudden, and I felt like shit."

Kageyama rubbed his eyes with his hand. "Volleyball is my only drive. I couldn't believe that I considered quitting volleyball because of my feelings for Hinata."

Shimizu was about to speak when a sudden loud THUMP scared them half to death. Kageyama leaped out of chair and scanned the area, and almost had his eyes pop out of his head when he saw the source of the noise. Shimizu looked questioningly at the place Kageyama was staring at, and she almost screamed.

It was Hinata on the ground with leaves in his hair. And Yachi was there too, behind the bushes and angrily hissing at Hinata to get back up before they saw him. Of course, she was too late and she made awkward eye contact with Kageyama, then Shimizu. Kageyama and Shimizu's mouths were gaping. Hinata jumped off the ground to his feet and gasped, unsure what his next move should be. The air was too tense as each party stared at each other.

Kageyama said he would be prepared to see Hinata again without running away like a total douche bag, but he regretted that 100% and started to run towards who knows where. Hinata yelled and ran for him, disappearing behind the various buildings.

Yachi ran through the bushes and pulled at her skirt awkwardly, letting the leaves fall to the ground. Shimizu gulped and looked away. Her heart raced when the small footsteps became louder and soon right next to her. Yachi quietly slipped in the chair Kageyama was once in, and fumbled with her hands.

"H-hey, Shimizu.."

Shimizu could feel her face color. She missed that voice.

"Hello, Hitoka chan," She tried to smile, but it wavered and dropped. Her attention moved to her bag and started to unzip it, feeling weak under Yachi's gaze. She pulled out the fugashi and placed it in front of a now confused Yachi. "..for you."

Shimizu wasn't able to react when Yachi reached over the table and hugged her so tightly with the strength she didn't even know she was able to have. Her underwear would have been showing and the table could fall over with the amount of space that was between them. Shimizu gripped at her sides frantically.

"H-Hitoka..! Your skirt.. the table..-"

"It was all a lie!" Yachi yelled. Kiyoko froze. She could feel a dampness on her shoulder.

"It was all a rumor, Shimizu... me and Hinata dating... it's not the truth..."

Shimizu stared up at the sky, vaguely feeling the small arms around her. She coughed, to make sure she could still hear. She coughed again and felt her throat go dry. She kept coughing and coughing and felt relief every time she heard it in her ears because that meant it wasn't a dream. Yachi pulled back holding her shoulders and looked at her with her tear filled eyes.

"A-are you okay?" she cracked. "I'm sorry, Shimi-... Kiyoko.. I made you and Kageyama suffer for my own selfish circumstances without telling what was happening and I feel so bad, I-I can't tell you how much I.." Yachi's voice faded off. She looked down and let her hair cover the view of her face.

"..why..?" Shimizu struggled. "Why were you and Hinata faking it..?"

"There was this guy...I don't even know anymore, he kept saying that it was weird that I showed more affection towards girls than boys, and I was so ignorant, I should have stood up to him instead of running away and asking Hinata to fake being my boyfriend so he could leave me alone... You don't know how stupid I feel, I really-"

Yachi was pulled into an unexpected hug, landing in Shimizu lap with a small gasp. Shimizu held her head and nuzzled into her shoulder, feeling her eyes water and smile stupidly.

"Thank you Hitoka..." she wavered. Yachi stuttered small incomprehensible words. "Hitoka, I love you, I love you so much... I love you..." She held her body closer. Yachi sobbed again, hugging back just as close.

"I-I love you too, but why are you-"

"I'm selfish.." Shimizu laughed. "I'm taking the first chance I get..."

Shimizu felt the timid smile form on Yachi's face and Yachi cried some more. Shimizu knew Yachi felt she didn't deserve this much affection after the those events, but Shimizu could forgive her slowly. For now, Yachi was hers, and Shimizu wasn't going to let that slide.

-----

"FUCK OFF!" Kageyama yelled behind him. Of course the dumbass didn't and ran faster, closer and closer to Kageyama and Kageyama cursed everything.

Hinata leaped in the air and caught Kageyama by the torso, making both boys skid across the empty sidewalk and groan in agony. Hinata pinned him to the ground with his body, panting.

"Were you stalking us the entire time?!" Kageyama yelled below him, struggling to escape. Hinata growled and held him down tighter.

"Listen to me for a second, idiot!"

"No, you listen to me!" Kageyama stopped writhing and glared at Hinata, gasping for breath. Hinata rubbed his face, groaning.

"Look Kageyama, yeah, me and Yachi saw everything. We ran after you two after Shimizu senpai c-carried you away..." Kageyama was about to protest but Hinata started again before he got the chance. "And for the first time I'll admit I was the asshole."

Kageyama stared at him in confusion. Hinata got off and sat cross legged in front of the setter. Kageyama groaned as he lifted himself off the sidewalk, pulling off his bag. The two were silent when Kageyama leaned on his arm, resting his cheek on his hand.

"Just because you don't love me back doesn't make you an asshole." He sighed.

"Me and Yachi aren't dating!!" Hinata screeched. That caught Kageyama's attention. "This kid was hurting her feelings for liking Shimizu and she wanted me to be her fake boyfriend."

Hinata rubbed the back of his head, looking sad and away from Kageyama. "I guess you overheard us that day, and I should have told you beforehand. I'm sorry for hurting you and making you.. cry."

Was Kageyama supposed to take all of this in all at once? Should he be angry or happy as hell? Because he was feeling both in high amounts and he wasn't sure how to respond to that. He struggled to swallow.

"..if you're forcing your feelings on me, I'm not accepting i-"

Kageyama was suddenly pulled into a messy embrace with small arms, knocking the breath out of himself.

"Fuck off, I like you a lot." Hinata muttered. "When I.. tackled you, and you said that I was useless, it hurt, but I still like you."

"You know I didn't mean it"

Hinata throbbed at the uncharacteristic voice crack. "..I know you didn't."

For the first time in a very long time, Hinata got a good look of Kageyama's face. He looked shitty; eyes fuzzy and red with dark pale circles underneath. But he still was a handsome fucker.

Blue eyes wavered and Kageyama cried for the third time in his miserable situation. His eyebrows scrunched up and his hands were desperate to wipe them away, very soft noises bubbling from his mouth.

"I hate you Hinata, I hate you so fucking much, I'm going to break your legs and beat you with your own legs"

"I'm sorry, but I need those," Hinata laughed, allowing himself to hold Kageyama closer. He smiled when he heard the dorky snort Kageyama does when he thinks something is stupid.

When Kageyama was able to calm down, he gripped at Hinata's shoulders, knuckles tense and white.

"Also," Kageyama murmured. "Stop apologizing for things. We don't need to do that. You're already here to prove.. stuff." Kageyama's face twisted. "The fuck did I just say?"

"Okay." Hinata's hands twitched at Kageyama's sides, and he pulled him in once more, a loud yelp thereafter. Kageyama was yelling at him to get off, but Hinata wasn't having any of it.

Kageyama sighed, feeling Hinata's soft hair brush against his ear. He would punch him later for making his simple life so complicated, (such a Hinata-like thing to do) but the boy he liked very much was hugging him on their own power, so he gave his best hug back and hoped for the best.

("Kageyama, you have to put your arms on my shoulders and wrap them around my neck!" "I'll kill you if I do that! I don't want to go to jail idiot!" "No Kageyama you won't choke me just")

-----

Epilouge

When Kageyama and Hinata returned to school the next day, side by side, they had the great encounter with Shimizu and Yachi, who had the courage to intertwine hands.

When they noticed each other, Yachi instantly bolted towards Kageyama and embraced him, apologizing for her actions. He didn't accept the apology, mostly because he still didn't know how to hug someone and was screeching like a mad man.

Hinata bowed towards Shimizu, also apologizing, when she patted him on the head kindly.

"It's fine, just don't steal Hitoka away from me again."

Hinata learned that day Shimizu could be just as intimidating as Sawamura.

For morning practice, everyone was glad things weren't as tense as before. Yachi clarified that she and Hinata weren't dating, and Tanaka asked "Then.. who ARE you dating?"

It was improper to publicly display your relationship in Japan, (of course it was still seen) but since Yachi and Shimizu were badass, Yachi told him (shyly) that "I'm dating Shimizu.."

Everyone's jaws dropped. Nishinoya gasped, and with sparkling eyes, he asked "Who's Hinata dating then?"

He didn't really need an answer when everyone looked behind to see Kageyama and Hinata practicing, and Kageyama smiling at the beaming Hinata for doing the technique right. Comparing it to yesterday and... yeah.

"That's so cool!" Nishinoya exclaimed. He jumped up and budded into Asahi, who gave a loud "Oomph!"

"Since (as a team) we're coming out with our relationships.." He let it suspend in the air for dramatic effect. "Me and Asa-chan are together!"

Sawamura almost died at the nickname "Asa-chan" and Asahi was already passed out by then. Tanaka gaped.

"Am I the only one who's single here?!" He screeched. He stared at Narita and Kinoshita. Narita frowned with color in his cheeks and Kinoshita started to laugh, slapping Narita on the back heartily. His gaze went to Yamaguchi, who flinched and ran behind a bland Tsukishima. Ukai looked incredibly pissed but Takeda chuckled at him that made him soften up. Sugawara gave him a grin that meant lord know's what, and he was left at Ennoshita, who just shrugged.

"I'm not dating anyone."

Tanaka ran straight towards him, holding his arms straight out and giving exaggerated kissy faces.

"Date me Chikara-chaaaaaan..!"

"Oh fuck, gross, Tanaka no," He wavered.

And as Narita held his face in utter embarassment while Kinoshita was cracking up, as Nishinoya screamed for Asahi to get up, as Sugawara was giving sly suspicious eye contact towards Sawamura, as Tsukishima secretly enjoyed Yamaguchi hiding behind him, as Takeda rubbed circles in Ukai's back so he wouldn't destroy everyone while Tanaka chased poor Ennoshita down because he was lonely, Shimizu concluded no matter the amount of angst she would encounter, she would be fine.

During their break after a few intense warmups to make up for wasted time, Shimizu handed a towel to a solitary Kageyama sitting on the floor. He took it greatfully, drying his forehead and neck.

They accompanied each other, staring at Tanaka accuse Hinata for stealing his waterbottle while Asahi anxiously remarked that Tanaka was holding his own waterbottle and that there was nothing to be worried about. ("He's just mad that he'll be single forever!" -Nishinoya) Yachi and Sawamura had to intervene for awhile, and Kageyama shifted Shimizu's attention towards him.

"Hey... about you, playing volleyball."

"If you're asking if I can serve or set a ball, I can't." She smiled. Kageyama grumbled and shook his head.

"No, I wondered what arm exercises you did."

Shimizu shrugged. "Simple warmups. 50-60 pushups, 50 pound weights, daily intake of healthy foods? Nothing special."

Kageyama was nodding as if he never heard any of it before.

"Okay." He paused. "...thank you."

Shimizu laughed. "You're welcome."