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all i can taste is this moment, and maybe the champagne

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The Tsukishima house is absolutely ginormous.

It towers above the street, three stories high and spotless, gleaming white. In the dying sunlight, the exterior is painted a burning orange. It's impressive looking, with its marbled columns ("Ionic columns," Tsukishima had told him once, idly and in passing) and large windows.

"Woah!" Hinata is always excited, but he becomes a living ball of energy at the sight of Tsukishima's house. "Your house is so big, Tsukishima! No wonder you're letting us all come over, we'll all fit no problem!"

Everybody had been surprised that Tsukishima had offered up his home to be the base of operations for the team's New Year's celebrations. Even Tadashi hadn't expected something so brazen; at the tail end of their second year, Tsukishima is certainly more ensconced in the team that he had been last year. Even so, to nonchalantly invite the rest of the team over after their obligatory team shrine visit was unexpected.

For all Tadashi knows, that's the only reason he did it. Tsukishima hates having other people's expectations pushed on him. Maybe he just invited them over to stick it to the people who whisper, not nearly quietly enough, that he's undeserving of so many people being invested in him. Maybe it's a genuine gesture of goodwill. With Tsukishima, it's hard to tell.

Tadashi knows from experience how nerve wracking entering for the first time can be. Everything is so pristine that it feels like his feet will leave large tracks of dirt behind him no matter how careful he is. He was so nervous on his first visit that he barely said anything until he adjusted to the splendor that was, apparently, routine for Tsukishima.

The others don't seem to have this problem. They kick off their shoes, dutifully give a group "pardon my intrusion," and make their way into Tsukishima's house, hemming and hawing over everything. Tadashi can't even blame them; Tsukishima's house looks like something out of a catalog. An extremely expensive catalog for people with more money than Tadashi can even conceptualize.

He's still afraid of breaking something. Everything here probably costs more than what his mother makes in a week - it'd take him forever to pay the Tsukishima's back for it. He'd be stuck doing whatever it is one does to repay rich people for their designer, costs-more-than-your-college-tuition possessions. Maybe he's exaggerating, but he still fears for the day when he accidentally breaks something.

He wonders if they're still going to do their New Year's Eve traditions, with the team here. He hopes so; he's spent the occasion at the Tsukishima household for the past several years and it was always fun. Tsukishima's parents were never home, and they always left a bottle of champagne for them to share. It was cool how much Tsukishima's parents trusted their son; Tadashi's parents weren't so relaxed. Not that they didn't care; the Tsukishima's were very busy people, but there was never any doubt that they loved their sons, and they always made time for them. That usually included Tadashi, with how much he frequented the house.

It was nice, and besides, Tsukishima and champagne were one of his favorite combinations. Better than floppy fries and milkshakes, better than strawberries and cream. Better than the perfect serve and block.

Tsukishima looked like he was beginning to regret his offer by the time Tadashi officially joined the rest of the team. To be honest, it was a little surprising that he hadn't rescinded it in the first place. All Tadashi can hope for is that the evening will go as smoothly as possible. He helps Ennoshita unpack some of the snacks they'd brought: chips, sodas, various sweets packets and, at Noya's insistence, a couple of Gari-Gari-kun popsicles. Tadashi's quick to stick them in the freezer before they can start to melt all over the living room.

Tsukishima passes him a mandarin orange on his way back, then hands off the bag like he expects Tadashi to pass it around. He does so, snickering to himself at the other's awkwardness. He asked for this, Tadashi thinks, when he invited twelve volleyball players to his house when he knows he's a terrible host. It's probably due to his lack of experience with actual hosting, but Tadashi's going to laugh at him about it anyways.

It takes them a while to settle down - well, as settled as Karasuno ever gets, really. The living room has no shortage of seating; their teammates are spread across various couches and armchairs comfortably. It is, of course, incredibly loud - Tadashi's not sure what else he was expecting. The three first years, Sato, Ito, and Sasuki, are squished together, happily chatting away. Their legs are a concerning tangle, but they don't seem to mind. Hinata and Kageyama are squared away with Yachi, discussing the success rates of their newest quick. Never a moment without volleyball with those two. Kinoshita and Narita are chatting with Ennoshita about his current film project, Noya and Tanaka crowing about how absolutely amazing they were going to be in their roles. As far as Tadashi knows, they're only supporting cast, but all the more power to them, he guesses.

Tsukishima, settled on his left, looks like he's gotten an extremely sour mandarin, with his eyes squinted and pulling a stink face like a champ. Tadashi feels ridiculous for thinking it's cute, but laughs at Tsukishima regardless. "Careful, Tsukki, if you aren't careful, people might start to think that you're regretting having us all over."

"I somehow come to regret every single decision I've ever made, so I decided to just confront the universe head on this year. It can't make a fool of me if I make a fool of myself first," Tsukishima deadpans, much to Tadashi's pleasure.

He cackles, which draws the attention of several people in the room at once. He keeps snickering even as he shrinks under everyone's eyes. The general hubbub of the room dies down as the team merges back into a whole, rather than returning back to their individual conversations.

"So," Ennoshita says, clapping his hands together and smiling in a way that makes Tadashi slightly afraid for what's going to come next. It's the same grin he gets right before announcing that they're going to be running sprints and doing flying falls around the gym. It's reminiscent of Sugawara in that it's terrifying to see someone deliver such devastating news so cheerfully. "It's three hours until New Year's, and we have several bottles of champagne, courtesy Tsukishima. We also have several stereotypical games that I am making mandatory. We're keeping Daichi's tradition alive."

"Except we actually know that the games are stereotypical," Narita says. "And we have champagne, which Daichi would not have approved of."

"A little bit won't hurt anyone. It's not like we're going to do much more than talk and sleep for the rest of the night."

"... Let's leave the champagne for a New Year's toast," says Tsukishima. "I don't really want to deal with the repercussions of it until I have to."

"Honestly, I'm a little afraid to see what this lot is like with a little alcohol in them," Tadashi says, glancing at the bottles left on the kitchen counter.

"Like you're gonna be any better, Yamaguchi!" Tanaka looks far too sure of Tadashi's innocence as his kouhai. Tadashi stares at him. He begins to look less sure of himself. "Wait, don't tell me that- you've-?"

"I've been drinking champagne here since I was twelve," he says, grinning as Tanaka's face falls. "I think I can handle myself by now."

"What happened to my kouhai while my back was turned?" Tanaka whimpers, clinging to Noya. Noya pats him on the back consolingly, expression twisted into something Tadashi assumes is supposed to be composed grief. "Tsukishima, you bastard, you've been corrupting him, haven't you?!"

"... I suppose so," Tsukishima says, looking slightly bewildered. "Although, to be fair, he's always much more eager to get his hands on it than I am."

"I can't imagine you being any kind of eager, Tsukishima-senpai!" Sasuki, bless his heart, is oblivious to Tsukishima's hatred of being called senpai. Not because he doesn't like the underclassmen, but because it makes him flustered. For some reason, all three of their first years have flocked towards Tsukishima. It's hilarious and endearing, and Tsukishima still doesn't know what to make of it. He tentatively complains to Tadashi about them, sometimes, but he knows that Tsukishima is charmed by the trio.

"Right," says Tsukishima, looking unsure of how to respond to that. He has no qualms about tearing into anyone else on the team, but he can't bring himself to be rude to his underclassmen, something that has been noticed and discussed at length by their teammates.

"I can't believe Yamaguchi and Tsukishima have had alcohol before," Hinata marvels, looking far too impressed.

"Well, considering alcohol isn't given to children, it's not too surprising that you haven't had any."

"Hey! You wanna fight, Tsukishima?"

Kinoshita interjects. "Let's not do this. New Year's resolution: no fighting."

Narita stares at him. "Are you kidding? There's no way they can do that."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, Narita-senpai."

He shrugs, unapologetic. "It's true. How about: no fights that escalate to the point that we all get kicked out of the restaurant?"

Kageyama makes a choking noise. "That was one time! It wasn't that bad."

"That was last week," Sato points out. "And your food ended up all over the poor waitress."

"My point exactly," Narita says. Kinoshita nods in concession while Kageyama splutters and Hinata laughs. Tadashi's tempted to ask what he's laughing at; Hinata is the reason that the waitress had food unceremoniously spilled on her. Kageyama beats him to it, and then there's one less person in the room laughing.

"Okay, but for real," Ennoshita says, attempting to call the group back into focus. "We're playing cheesy games now."

"What're the options?"

"Truth or dare-"

"Absolutely not," Tsukishima says. "I don't trust any of you to do dares in my house."

"That's not what you said when you bet me that I couldn't do a headstand on your table last weekend, Tsukki."

"Shut up," Tsukishima groans, but he can't help quirking a smile at the memory of Tadashi flipped upside down in his kitchen and the squeaking noise he'd made when Tsukishima's mother walked in. "Not you, obviously. I'm talking about the idiot squad, alright?"

There are several noises of offense from the room at large. Certain people never do seem to realize that that statement is a trap; by assuming they're included and reacting, they're really just calling themselves idiots.

"Right then, that leaves Never Have I Ever or Would You Rather... We could just do Truth or Truth, I suppose."

Ito perks up. "Let's play Never Have I Ever!"

Tadashi is reluctant - he's not sure he wants to know some of the things that his teammates have done. He's sure they have hidden depths, or at least really stupid stories that will give him a headache, and he'd really rather not. But as soon as the words leave his mouth, the other first years are agreeing enthusiastically, and that's enough to change Tadashi's mind. Even though they prefer Tsukishima, he adores the first years. They're so different than his year was as first years, and he loves them dearly for it.

The rest of the team agrees with little protest - Tsukishima doesn't look particularly pleased, but it's not as if he'd prefer to play one of the other games, so he keeps quiet. Tadashi knows that as much as likes to act like he's above it, Tsukishima has fun playing these games, just like he himself does. It might be exhausting to be around their team sometimes, but they can enjoy themselves, too.

"Ten fingers?"

"Should be fine. We're not making this a drinking game."

"I'm going first, since it's my house." Tsukishima ignores the protests of Tanaka and Noya. "Never have I ever gone somewhere that requires an invitation without actually having been invited."

Hinata squawks, affronted. "Tsukishima! You did that on purpose," he complains, putting one finger down. Several others follow suit, though no one asks for a story.

"Obviously, shrimp. The point of the game is to be the last one with a finger up."

"Is it though?" Kinoshita asks. "Sounds kind of boring to me. I thought the point was to have done the most things?"

"Didn't you know that "kind of boring" is how I intended to live my life before I was dragged into volleyball idiot hell, Kinoshita-san?"

Kinoshita laughs, along with a few others. "Fair point. I'll go next. Never have I ever stayed up all night and gone to school the next day without any sleep."

Tsukishima, Ennoshita, and Sato put fingers down. Tadashi considers it; he's been close before, but he's never quiet made it until dawn.

"Next! Never have I ever... Had a crush on a teammate!"

"This team or any team?"

Tanaka considers it. "Any team."

Almost everyone puts down a finger. The first years are snickering among themselves, like they're all thinking of an inside joke. Tadashi isn't sure he wants to know the story.

The prompts are... Interesting. They range from "never have I ever kissed another person", which gets about half of the people in the room, to "never have I ever been in a club that wasn't volleyball". Ito gets everyone but Yachi and Noya with "never have I ever spiked a ball in an official match," earning himself a high five from the older libero in the process.

"Never have I ever gotten drunk," says Sasuki. Tsukishima and Tadashi immediately put down their fingers. So does Ennoshita.

"Writing scripts is stressful," is all he offers in explanation.

"What about you two, then?" Hinata asks. "You guys are always together, so there's no way you got drunk separately."

"This probably isn't setting the best example for the first years," Tsukishima says, and while the others might see it as some sort of joke/jest amalgamation, Tadashi knows he actually kind of worries about it. "But it was at Akiteru's last birthday party."

Tadashi laughs. "It's no big deal. Aki-nii and your parents were around to supervise, anyways."

"So cool, senpai!" The first years crow in unison, and Tsukishima isn't the only one blushing this time.

Tadashi clears his throat. "Yeah well... Whatever. Never have I ever confessed to someone."

"I feel targeted." Ennoshita is down to two fingers already. Hinata and Kageyama are stalled at eight; most of the others have around half of their 'lives'. Yachi still has ten.

With twelve rambunctious boys and one extremely stressed manager playing, it almost takes the full three hours to finish the game. Ennoshita is the first one to put down all ten fingers - Tadashi is slightly more terrified of his captain than he was at the beginning of the day.

It's weird to think that in a few months, he'll be a third year. It's weird to think that next year he'll be eighteen. It's weird to think that high school won't last forever.

It's weird to think about how close he is to losing all this.

Ennoshita holds his champagne up in a toast. "I like to think we've grown up this year. Then I realize who I'm talking about, and I change my mind." Tsukishima and Tadashi both snort, the rest of the team laughing around them. "But you know what? Despite all of the absolutely insane things that have happened to us, and all the bullshit I've experienced as captain? I think this is the most astounding year of my life. So thank you all, for making this year the best it could be. I think I can confidently say I'm the proudest captain in Karasuno history, at this point. I look forward to spending the remainder of my third year as your captain."

Most of the team is teary-eyed by the time Ennoshita finishes, cheeks flushed but grinning. The remaining third years give wails of "Chikara!" and tearfully crowd the captain from all sides, nearly spilling their glasses several times as Tadashi watches on anxiously.

The clock hits midnight. There's a cheer from the back of the room, and everyone brings their glasses to their lips. Several people choke, but Tadashi downs his champagne without a problem. The bubbles tickle his throat on the way down. Tsukishima keeps his face carefully blank as he clears his throat, then raises his still full glass when he has the attention of the whole team.

"To 2017. May it not totally fuck us in the ass."