Koutarou is seventeen when he learns about Akaashi Keiji. He learns a lot about him. He learns that he’s a setter and he thinks that volleyball is ‘alright’. He learns that he likes Nanohana no Karashiae. He learns that he’s nice and amazing and Koutarou thinks to himself, I’m lucky.
And maybe, what Koutarou always remembers is that Keiji’s favourite color is red.
He sees everything in red now.
“Akaashi! Akaashi!” Koutarou shouts as he catches up at Akaashi with a grin. Hands on his back, he turns his head and faces Akaashi. The other raises a brow and slows down his pace.
“Good morning, Bokuto-san.” He nods and looks straight ahead. Koutarou hums and stops walking, one hand reaching out to take Akaashi’s arm and making him face Koutarou.
“Is everything alright, Bokuto-san?”
“Look what I got you!” Koutarou grins, showing a red notebook with the spirals on the right side. “Look! It’s for left-handed people; you’re left-handed, right?! I saw this and thought of you!”
Koutarou watches as Akaashi stares at the notebook and slowly takes it in his hands. “Bokuto-san…” Akaashi breathes out and a smile forms on his lips and Koutarou’s eyes widen. “Thank you.” And with the notebook hugged in his chest, Akaashi grins, a small grin yet its there, at Koutarou.
Red are his cheeks and red is Akaashi’s bracelet (this he learns just now). With his breathe stuttering, Koutarou nods and grins. “Of course, Akaashi!”
Red is everything that Koutarou sees ever since that day.
Orange is the color of the sunset when Koutarou learns he likes Akaashi.
It’s his last day of high school. “Time flies.” He murmurs, eyes trained on the sunset before him. A bottle of water on his side. Akaashi Keiji on his other side. Koutarou sighs and leans back on his hand. They both had found a grassy slope on their long way home and decided to hang out there for awhile.
Akaashi’s voice is warm and Koutarou refuses to look at him. He refuses to accept. He can’t be going to university, right? Maybe, he isn’t a third year after all. Maybe he’s a second-year! One like Akaashi! Can he even be a third year again? To be with—
“Bokuto-san.” Akaashi’s warm hand on his.
Koutarou makes a noise that even he doesn’t understand and quickly faces Akaashi. His breathe stops. Akaashi is very…pretty.
The sunset is pretty—he quickly changes it. Although, there isn’t much difference, is there? The orange glow of the sunset is reflecting off Akaashi; the way it shines against his skin; the way it makes his eyelashes longer (can a boy’s eyelash be pretty like that?); the way his lips move and the way the light makes his lips shinier and wow, Koutarou thinks to himself that maybe the color orange isn’t so bad after all.
“Bokuto-san.” Akaashi tilts his head and Koutarou hums, body still tense. “I’m…really going to miss you.”
“Me too.” Koutarou hastily blurts out, still staring at Akaashi and a voice ringing in his ear, he’s pretty. Akaashi Keiji. Akaashi Keiji.
Akaashi smirks and faces the sunset, the orange glow slowly dying out to a faint one; barely there. “You’re going to miss yourself? How narcissist of you, Bokuto-san.”
“Akaashi!” Koutarou groans as soon as his mind registers Akaashi’s words and he grips the water bottle by his side. Akaashi Keiji is very pretty.
Akaashi giggles and stands up, dusting off his pants and holds out a hand. “Come on, Bokuto-san. It’s getting late. Mom’s going to yell at me if I come home late again.”
Pretty. Athletic. Pretty. Smart. Amazing.
They both walk home, Koutarou in a daze. Akaashi humming to a song. Koutarou’s hands shake in his pockets and they both stop at the turn where they go on their separate ways.
“I’m going to miss you, too, Akaashi!”
Orange is the color of the street lamp that they’re under in. Orange is the color of Akaashi’s skin glowing. Orange is the color Koutarou slowly falls in love with.
Akaashi looks at him and grins. (Akaashi grinning is what Koutarou has fallen in love with long ago.)
“Of course, Bokuto-san.”
Orange is the color of the poster Koutarou sees when he walks home with a smile and a tingle in his cheek where Keiji’s lips just touched.
Akaashi turns to Keiji in a matter of minutes.
Yellow is the color of the way Koutarou falls in love with Keiji.
Yellow is the color of the highlighter he’s using as he’s studying for his exams. Yellow is the sports drink he’s drinking. Yellow is his wallpaper when Keiji messages him.
Keiji: Evening, Bokuto-san. How’s studying?
Koutarou grins and lets the highlighter fall next to the test papers. Keiji. Keiji. Keiji. A mantra in his mind.
Koutarou: it’s great!! I feel like I’m gonna do great!! :DD
Keiji: That’s amazing, Bokuto-san.
Keiji: Would you like to hang out soon? After your finals?
Koutarou grins and stretches up from his chair. He looks outside and sees the moon.
(“The moon is rather beautiful, isn’t it, Bokuto-san?” Keiji asks as he stares up at the moon, awestruck.
It was rather cliché. Koutarou wasn’t looking at the moon; rather, he was looking at Keiji—staring. “Yeah.” Is his reply. So cliché.)
Koutarou: of course!!!!!
. . .
Keiji: Bokuto-san, what do you have to say about these flowers?
Keiji’s next message is a picture of a yellow flower with its name on the bottom: Ranunculus.
Koutarou: they’re REALLY pretty!!!!! I like yellow!!!
Keiji: I’m glad, Bokuto-san.
Koutarou spends the next five minutes researching about Ranunculus and feeling his heart beat in his chest.
“In the language of flowers, a bouquet of ranunculus says, ‘I am dazzled by your charms.’” Koutarou reads from a website, eyebrows furrowing in confusion. “Ok,” he says out loud. “That says ‘bouquet’ and Keiji sent me one flower. What does that mean.”
Yet it doesn’t stop the blush on his cheeks and the way his lips form a grin at the thought of Keiji looking through flower meaning just to send him this. Koutarou grins and lets his mind drift off to Keiji, before it reminds him of his test.
The next time they meet up, Koutarou is holding a bouquet of ranunculus with a shout of “I love you, Keiji!” on his lips. Keiji shuts him up with red on his cheeks and a kiss.
Koutarou sees that Keiji is wearing yellow sneakers.
Green is the color of Keiji’s eyes.
Well, of course Koutarou knew that. But he never really appreciated them until now.
Rain against his window as Keiji sits in his lap, lips moving along to a story. “Of course, I tried to ask my professor as of why my project is—are you listening to me?”
“Yes!” No. Koutarou was staring at Keiji’s face. Specifically his eyes, they’ve always been close (“personal space? No such thing, Keiji!” “Of course, Bokuto-san.” “Unless you say no!”) and the one thing Koutarou had always loved about Keiji, are his eyes. They’re such a beautiful, dark green and it has always managed to make Koutarou be in a trance.
“No, you aren’t.” Keiji smirks at him, wrapping his arms around his neck and turns his head towards the window. “I love the rain.”
“Me too!” Koutarou blurts out excitedly. “I like it when it’s raining and you’re lying on the grass—”
“That’s gross, Kou.”
“Let me finish!” Koutarou whines and Keiji grins. “Of course, there’s a blanket! And like, the rain is pouring and you’re just laying there and enjoying it and ugh, I want that.”
“That sounds fun.” Keiji hums, fingers trailing over Koutarou’s face. “I wish we could do it, but there aren’t any close fields to us.”
“That’s ok; the greatest field I’ve ever seen are your eyes.”
Koutarou has noticed that he has been blurting out [embarrassing] things when he’s in love.
Koutarou tries to play it off by grinning, but Keiji blushes and Koutarou is literally in love again.
(“Akaashi! Your neck is blushing too!” Koutarou exclaims in surprise as he watches Akaashi Keiji blush for the first time in front of him.
“Shut up, Bokuto-san.” Keiji, possibly, turns redder. “I’m a full body blusher.”
Koutarou makes a choked noise and Keiji watches him in concern and amusement. “That’s the cutest thing I’ve ever heard and seen! Keiji! You’re so cute!”
Keiji’s eyes widen again and he grins softly. “Thank you, Koutarou.”)
“You’re so embarrassing.” Keiji’s arms remove from Koutarou’s neck and to his face, covering his blush. “Sometimes, I don’t know if I like it when you blurt things out.”
Koutarou grins and takes Keiji’s hands off his face. “C’mon, Keiji! It’s true! Have you seen your eyes?!—”
“Anyways!” Koutarou shouts over him and Keiji giggles. “They are the most amazing green I’ve ever seen. And I mean it. Even when it’s raining and I am lying down on the greenest field, the only thing I still love more than it, are your eyes.”
Keiji stares at him with his green eyes and mouth slightly open with red in his cheeks and Koutarou feels like this is the first time he’s in love with him. The rain outside the window is calming and Keiji’s eyes are the most beautiful and calming thing he’s ever seen.
“I love you.”
It’s soft and feels like a breath of fresh air. Koutarou is literally in love with Keiji. Every time he looks at Keiji, he just falls in love all over again.
Keiji smiles, soft and adorable and Koutarou is blushing. “I love you too, you big nerd.”
Keiji is fifteen when he learns about Bokuto Koutarou. He learns that he’s loud and child-like. He learns that his favourite subject is math and he’s really good at it. He learns that he likes yakiniku. He also learns that despite his personality and appearance, he’s very passionate about everything.
“Akaashi! What’s your lunch?”
Keiji also learns that Bokuto doesn’t like being away from his friends. And is actually very clingy.
“Hello, Bokuto-san.” He nods and takes a seat. “It’s nothing serious.” Rice and fish with a few vegetables.
“Your bento is so cute!” Bokuto exclaims, taking a seat opposite of Keiji’s and grins. Keiji looks down and nods as a response.
(“Mom?” Keiji asks as he holds the bento in his hands that morning.
“Yes, Keiji?” his mom replies, washing dishes in the sink.
“…This isn’t my bento box.” He murmurs, a light blue bento box in his hands, instead of his usual brown one.
His mom turns to look at him and her eyes widen in realization. “Oh! Yes, your father accidentally took yours. Is that alright?”
Keiji shrugs and puts it inside his bag. “No problem. I actually like it. I’ll be going now. Bye, mom. I love you.”)
“Is blue your favourite color, Bokuto-san?” Keiji asks chopsticks in hand as he starts to pick on his rice. Bokuto starts to unwrap his yakisoba bread and Keiji raises a brow at him.
“Don’t stare at me like that, Akaashi! I don’t have enough money for lunch!”
Keiji sighs and moves his bento towards Bokuto. The other grins and takes a pair of chopsticks out of his pocket. (“You will never know when food arrives, Akaashi”!)
“And blue isn’t my favourite color!” Bokuto says around a mouthful of rice. Keiji nods and takes a bit of his own.
“Then what is?”
Keiji looks up with furrowed brows. “Bokuto-san?”
“I don’t know.” Bokuto furrows his brows before shrugging. “Hm, alright, maybe blue then? Your bento looks cute and it’s blue! Also, I like our ties.”
Keiji smiles and looks down at his lunch. “I like our ties, too.”
Keiji sees the color blue without thinking of Bokuto first.
To Akaashi Keiji, falling in love with Bokuto Koutarou was normal. He went to school, he had practice, took notes, ate lunch, took notes again, and had practice. And then Koutarou touched him and he suddenly went, oh. Oh.
Keiji sighs as he looks down at his notes. School was troublesome, yet for some reason, without Koutarou, it was even more troublesome. He had gotten so used to Koutarou for his first two years in Fukurodani. He surely misses him.
His eyes turn to his phone and catches sight of the case—a case that Koutarou had given to him in the middle of his second year.
(“Look, look, Akaashi!” Koutarou points to a…violet? Indigo? Purple? Phone case that catches both of their eyes, well, because, it has a rather big owl design.
“It looks cute, Bokuto-san.” Keiji nods and grabs a hold of it. “Are you going to buy it?”
“Hm.” Koutarou hums, putting it on his phone. “I don’t think so. It doesn’t suit my phone.” Keiji looks and agrees, the other’s phone was black and it looked weird.
“That’s a shame.” Keiji shakes his head before the case is shoved abruptly at his chest. “Oh! Bokuto-san!”
“Try it!” Koutarou grins. “Your phone is white, right? It’d look good!”
Keiji does. It looks good. His hands turn over his phone and he smiles, fingers trailing over the intricate owl design.
“Do you like it? You do! Miss! How much is this case?”
Keiji quickly looks at him and shakes his head. “Oh no, Bokuto-san. I can’t buy it. I only have money for lunch and for the train.”
Koutarou stares at him with raised brows. “Who said you’ll buy it? I’ll buy it for you, Akaashi! Don’t worry!”
“No! It’s ok, Bokuto—”
“Sh, Akaashi!” Koutarou covers his mouth. “Let me buy it for you. No buts!”
Keiji watches as Koutarou pays for the case and he smiles. He looks down at his phone and then at Koutarou. “Thank you, Bokuto-san.”
Later, when he’s all snuggled up at bed, he searches for the color indigo and confirms his assumptions.)
Keiji sighs and taps his pen on his desk. I really miss him. Should I text him? No…Maybe he’s busy.
Koutarou’s voice echoes in his mind. “And remember, Akaashi! I’m always here! So don’t hesitate to message me!”
Keiji leans his cheek on his palm and sighs. “I really miss Koutarou.” He’s gotten accustomed to calling him ‘Koutarou’ instead of ‘Bokuto-san’. Well, in private, of course.
Keiji groans and quickly takes his phone, managing to type his passcode wrong two times and quickly going to his and Koutarou’s messages.
Keiji: Hey, Bokuto-san. How are you?
Koutarou: akaashi!!! I’m fine!! what about u?? :))
As Keiji proceeds to text Koutarou, he smiles and leans his head on his palm, the indigo case cold against his fingers.
I am so in love with Bokuto Koutarou.
Akaashi Keiji is in love with Bokuto Koutarou. Bokuto Koutarou is in love with Akaashi Keiji.
Keiji’s voice is ice and Koutarou breaks into a nervous laugh. “Keiji! How’re things?”
“I’m sorry! I forgot!”
“How can you forget?” Keiji shrieks and plants himself on Koutarou’s lap and starts to punch his arms. “You wanted grapes, too! Aren’t you craving?!”
Koutarou laughs and holds Keiji. “Alright! We can buy grapes now. Do you want to?”
“Really?” Keiji looks like a child now and Koutarou is falling in love again (again and again. Always falling in love).
“Why not!” Koutarou grins. “C’mon! We can even go in our pajamas. It’s close.”
“Let me change first.” Keiji huffs but Koutarou is quick to put his arms around the other’s waist.
“Keiji! It’s close—c’mon, you’re wearing socks already; let’s get your grapes.”
In a matter of ten minutes, Koutarou and Keiji had walked towards the nearest grocery store. Well, fifteen if you’d included Keiji petting a dog and Koutarou trying to tell him that it’s getting late and grapes.
“Quick!” Koutarou shouts as soon as they walk inside the grocery. “Keiji! Get a cart!”
Keiji quickly faces him with a confused expression. “What?! Why do we need a cart? We’re just getting grapes.”
Koutarou sighs and walks towards the carts. “Gosh, Keiji. I’m out here trying to act cool and let you sit on the cart so that I can push you but fine. We don’t need—”
In an instant, Keiji is trying to get himself inside the cart whilst grumbling, “Shut up and help me.” And of course, Koutarou does.
“Alright.” Koutarou starts to push. “Grapes!”
Keiji takes out his phone and Koutarou takes a left. “The grapes are on the right, Kou.”
“I’m craving chocolates, let me live.”
Keiji giggles before taking his phone up. “Smile, Kou.”
Koutarou pushes. Keiji types. Koutarou asks if Keiji also wants chocolates. Keiji answers with a strong yes and Koutarou spends two minutes throwing the bars at Keiji, who whines at him. Koutarou feels like he’s seventeen and he’s falling.
“Alright!” Koutarou, after a minute of laughing, starts to push again. “What grapes are we getting today?”
He watches as Keiji hums and starts to arrange the chocolates on his stomach. “Violet!” He grins up at him like a child and Koutarou blushes and smiles at him.
“Of course.” He grins. “Anything for my sweet, little—”
“I’m throwing this Hershey’s bar at you.”
“Sheesh.” Koutarou sighs as he eyes a bag of potato chips and quickly takes it. “We should get you grapes soon. You’re, like, craving hard.”
“Excuse you.” Keiji huffs, scrolling through his phone with a pout and Koutarou smiles. “We don’t even have any fruit in the apartment. There weren’t any apples or bananas or mangoes.”
Koutarou chuckles and soon finds the fruits section. “Alright, I’m sorry. I keep forgetting to buy.”
“That’s okay!” Keiji grins up at him. “C’mon, Kou! Get two packs of grapes and strawberries!”
“Only grapes and strawberries?” Koutarou muses, but gets two packs of each and sets them gently on Keiji’s stomach. “This is an odd mix.”
“Yeah.” Keiji agrees. On his stomach were five bars of chocolate and four packs of fruit. “Are we eating healthy or not.”
Koutarou snaps his fingers. “We forgot Nutella!”
“We have that already.”
“Oh.” Koutarou blinks then shrugs. “That’s all then? Alright, let’s go. I’m craving for strawberries.”
“We can have them dipped in Nutella!”
“What happened to the grapes?”
“Oh yeah.” Keiji raises his phone again and smiles. “Kou!”
Koutarou was going to grin. He was going to. Yet his eyes found Keiji’s reflection on the camera and he couldn’t stop himself from smiling softly and feeling his heart beat in his chest and gosh, how many times is he going to fall in love with Akaashi Keiji in one day?
Keiji looks down at the picture with a fond smile and turns to look at him with a smile. “Hey, Kou?”
“Hm?” Koutarou starts to push towards the cashier.
“I love you.”
Keiji. Keiji. Keiji. Keiji.
“I love you, too.”
Later at night, both cuddled in their arms, Koutarou and Keiji feed each other grapes and strawberries dipped in chocolate as they giggle out soft words into each other’s mouths.