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he may suck at beer pong but he slam dunked my heart

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Like all things gone wrong, it starts with a friend of a friend of a friend. Or, in Kageyama’s case, a friend of an enemy who was a friend of Kageyama’s friend. Like all things gone wrong, it involves organic chemistry. Like all things gone wrong, it ends with an excessive amount of alcohol, a killer hangover, and waking up next to a stranger in a strange bed.

Except, in Kageyama’s case, in the end everything goes right and he wakes up in the bed of his future boyfriend.

But he’s getting ahead of himself.

 

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“Oh, Tsukki knows someone in that class,” Yamaguchi says as he drops next to Kageyama on the grass.

Kageyama, busy squinting at his laptop screen and attempting in vain to select his classes for the next semester, has no idea what Yamaguchi is talking about. “What?” he says, turning his squinting gaze on Yamaguchi.

Yamaguchi sighs and takes two ill-advised butt scoots closer to Kageyama (seriously, he loved those salmon-colored jeans and grass stained). He points at Kageyama’s screen. “That one,” he says. “Organic chemistry with Simons? Tsukki knows a guy who’ll be in the big lecture if you want a study buddy.”

“I thought Tsukishima had Frederick?” Kageyama says, frowning.

“Yeah, well,”—Yamaguchi opens up a package of of baby carrots and dip—“not all of his friends are honors snobs, you know. Rest in peace registering this late, by the way.”

Kageyama frowns harder. “You just have to rub your early registration in my face.”

Yamaguchi grins. “Hey, being an honors snob has a lot of perks.”

Kageyama is on his third major. Finance was—well, if he ever has to take another math class again, he’ll puke—so with a desire to do a complete 180 from anything involving calculus, Kageyama picked up anthropology. Probably would’ve done better if he had managed to stay awake in class, or if he could write essays, or if he actually gave two shits about the source material. Now he’s on his third semester and in biology—home of all confused kids that kind of liked science but hated hard work—and signing up for the class that was intended to weed out pre-med students.

Students like Yamaguchi, psych major with his heart set on clinical psychology and a clear line of sight for his future.

“Aren’t you taking orgo, too?” Kageyama asks.

“Yeah, Frederick with Tsukki,” Yamaguchi says. “Did you know he doesn’t even need to take orgo? He’s just taking it for fun. Dude is hardcore.”

“Please stop talking about your boyfriend.”

Yamaguchi sticks his tongue out. “Rude. I’m trying to help you.”

Kageyama ignores him in favor of fixing up his schedule. Thanks to his failed attempts in two other majors, he has a large handful of liberal studies classes done. He can focus on his major, if biology really sticks with him. He signs himself up for a general biology class along with the organic chemistry and hopes he won’t die. With those two science classes and three easier requirements he’s barely over the cap for a full-time student but if he’s honest with himself that’s about all the studying he can manage.

Yamaguchi bites into a carrot. “Have you considered dropping out?”

Sometimes Kageyama really hates his best friend.

“Oh my god, that was a joke, Tobio,” Yamaguchi says. “For a second there, you really looked like you were going to murder me in my sleep.”

“I can’t drop out,” Kageyama grumbles. “I’ll have to pay back my scholarship money.”

Not that volleyball paid as much as football, but Kageyama is set as far as paying for tuition, food, and living arrangements are concerned. The fact that he’s a paid athlete means he can skate by with bad grades, but he doesn’t want to push the envelope too much. He had to do better this time, even if it meant begging Yamaguchi to tutor him again.

“Tadashi—” he starts.

“Yes, I’ll tutor you,” Yamaguchi says, rolling his eyes. “But I’m serious! You need a study buddy! Let me get the contact details of Tsukki’s old lab partner.”

“Is that the guy in my class?”

“Yep,” Yamaguchi says. “I met him once, Hina-something? Didn’t catch his first name, either. He’s really cute you know, just in case you were—”

“I’m beyond not interested.”

“Okay, well, he’s this cute little ginger fluffball. More pep than a Chihuahua on a five-hour energy. Think he said he’s a cheerleader or some shit. Could’ve been joking. He and Tsukki got paired up and he talked Tsukki’s ear off. Got us in to some really good parties, though.”

Kageyama groans. “You know how I get around new people.”

“Cold?” Yamaguchi offers. “Distant? Unsociable? Impossible? Me—”

“Thanks,” Kageyama says dryly. “I meant that I get anxious about meeting people. I close up and bite out one-word answers. He’s going to think I’m a dick.”

“You are a dick,” Yamaguchi says. “Trust me, this kid could talk the ears off a rock. You’re good.”

“This isn’t you trying to hook me up with someone again, is it?” Kageyama says, scowling.

“Um, if I recall correctly, Hitoka turned out to be your other best friend.”

“Hitoka is a lesbian, Tadashi,” Kageyama says. “And I’m gay. What, exactly, were you hoping for?”

“She’s so tiny though,” Yamaguchi groans. “Just imagining a cute little thing at your side makes my heart swell three sizes.”

“Uh-huh,” Kageyama says. “Didn’t you say this guy is small too?”

“This is completely different,” Yamaguchi huffs. He crunches on a baby carrot and pulls out his phone. “Here, I’ll get Tsukki to text you his number. Just think about it, okay? This is me, mama bird, pushing you, baby bird, out of the nest. Make friends, my awkward, downy-feather young.”

 

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Kageyama thinks about it.

He pulls the contact from Tsukishima’s message and doesn’t read the rest of his text. He adds the boy as ‘orange Chihuahua,’ although he feels that’s probably unfair to the guy. He stares at the screen of his phone for another three hours that night, alternating between scrolling through Twitter and staring at the contact before he decides that no amount of thinking about it is going to propel him into action.

Kageyama sucks at first impressions. Sucks at conversation. Sucks at pretty much anything that involves one person opening their mouth and making noise to communicate with another person unless it relates to volleyball, in which case he is awesome.

Unbidden, a memory of him yelling at his middle school teammates to jump higher and move faster rises to his consciousness. It’s a memory that starts with the shell of a team and ends with one boy on a court, the illusion of cooperation shattered.

Wow, thanks brain, Kageyama thinks. He shuts off his phone and rolls over.

He’s better than that, now. And he didn’t need a study buddy, anyway.

 

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A series of unfortunate events—getting a red light at the slowest light on campus, leading to several jaywalks across moving traffic, mistaking the university buildings for each other, and being unable to divine where 0219 would be since the ground level started at zero—and Kageyama is late to his first biology lab. Poor form on his part, given that the TAs have full control over participation and tardiness grading for the semester and Kageyama really needed the brownie points.

He tries not to look desperate when he throws himself into the classroom, but lady luck finally decides to show him some attention: the TA is even later than him. Of course, Kageyama is the last one in the room and faces the judgmental stares of the patchwork of lost souls who found themselves in biology as a major.

Kageyama glares back at them. It’s baby bio lab, he thinks, not your first day of medical shadowing.

The only seat available in the class is currently occupied by a pair of skytops, crossed neatly over each other. Their owner is dressed in grey sweatpants and a tank top proudly declaring the wearer a member of Pi Kappa Alpha. He’s also wearing a floral snapback and hasn’t looked away from his phone since Kageyama entered the room, thumbs flying over the keyboard. He’s slouched so far back in his chair that he’s practically lying across the two chairs.

When aggressive hovering and glaring at the shoes doesn’t prompt the guy to move, Kageyama clears his throat. Across the lab table, the two girls smother laughter. Oh, they probably thought this guy was cute, didn’t they?

The guy waits until he’s finished sending another text, tongue poking out of his mouth, before he looks up at Kageyama with a hundred-watt smile. “Yes? Can I help you?”

Kageyama needs, rather than wants, to knock his teeth out.

“Your feet are in my seat,” he says, pointing at the (obnoxiously red) shoes.

The guy’s eyes flick to his feet. “Oh, my bad,” he says, lifting them and shimmying back up into a sitting position like a normal human being. He grins. “It’s a bit late to be showing up to class, eh, Grumpy Eyebrows?”

A muscle in Kageyama’s jaw moves. Boy Wonder catches it and wiggles his eyebrows. The girls are still giggling.

“Bit late for a frat boy to be showing up to class in general, don’t you think?” Kageyama says. “Don’t you have some ditch to be lying in, drunk off your ass?”

Boy Wonder groans and leans back in his chair. “Don’t I know it. Requirements and shit, you know? If I have to take a bullshit class, might as well take the section where I know the TA.” He salutes someone over Kageyama’s shoulder.

Kageyama turns around, fearing the worst, and yep, the worst possible situation is realized on the spot. The TA winks at Hinata. He’s not wearing any apparel that suggests he’s a frat-boy-fuck-boy, but his hair is bleached and streaky, gelled up into ridiculous spikes, and he’s wearing boat shoes and a pink polo shi—yeah, he was a frat boy. He taps at the computer and turns on the projector.

Back at Kageyama’s lab table, Boy Wonder is flirting with the girls across the table, hauling half his body over the tabletop and crossing his arms to draw attention to them. Kageyama glares at the curve of a bicep, and at that stupid, stupid orange ponytail poking out from right underneath his snapback and the…orange curls that…fell in his face…

Oh no, Kageyama thinks.

His eyes shoot down Boy Wonder’s body. He has the lab chair pumped up to the highest setting, but with his legs curled like that, Kageyama can’t tell how tall he is. Kageyama wouldn’t call him big, but… “Oi. You. Stand up.”

Boy Wonder turns toward him slowly, propping his cheek up with his hand. “Why should I?” he asks, voice honey sweet.

Kageyama just glares at him.

Boy Wonder’s lips curl into a sharper smile. He leans back and hops off the chair, standing his full height at…Kageyama’s chin. The guy was short. He slouches and crosses his arms again, cocking an eyebrow. “Well?”

“What’s your name?” Kageyama asks.

“Hinata Shouyou,” he says. “And you, handsome?”

The blood drains from Kageyama’s face. He processes the words “whoa, homophobe much?” and the predatory eyes of his classmates on them, vultures circling the scene of a soon-to-be bloody fight, but doesn’t register what they mean in relation to him. He only registers short, ginger, and ‘Hinata’ and spits out the first words that cross his mind: “Tsukishima put up with you for a whole semester?”

At the name ‘Tsukishima,’ Hinata’s mouth, parted to spit some insult at Kageyama, shuts with a click. He quirks an eyebrow. “You’re friends with Tsukki?” He looks Kageyama up and down. “You?”

Kageyama doesn’t know what that look means, but he’s offended. “No,” he says. “His boyfriend is my best friend.”

Hinata’s demeanor changes. His whole face lifts up, from his eyebrows to the corners of his mouth. Kageyama has trouble looking at him, as he might have trouble looking at a phone screen with the brightness turned too high.

He smacks Kageyama on the shoulder, making Kageyama jump. “No way, man! Tadashi is like, the coolest dude I’ve ever met. Boy can put away jello shots like a fucking tank—”

“Hinata, I swear to god I will fail you,” the TA says. “By the power vested in me by the head of the biology department, I compel you to sit down, shut up, and stop flirting with every human you come into contact with.” The TA squints at Kageyama. “And you too, superstar.”

Hinata cheerfully salutes the TA and topples back into his seat, turning his snapback around and grinning at Kageyama. Keeping tabs on Hinata out of the corner of his eye, Kageyama lowers himself into his seat slower. The rest of the syllabus day, Hinata clicks his pen, texts, and shoots Kageyama glances and grins whenever he catches Kageyama glancing back at him. Kageyama has half a mind to dart out of the class as fast as possible as soon as they’re dismissed, but he’s stopped by a foot stretching out to stop him. against his better judgement, Kageyama turns around to face him.

“Dude,” Hinata says, still smiling. “We are going to have the best semester.”

It doesn’t help that Hinata picks him out in orgo lecture within twenty seconds of Kageyama walking into the lecture hall with a call of “Grumpy Eyebrows!”

Kageyama makes sure to sit as far away from Hinata as humanly possible.

 

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They do not, as Hinata says, ‘have the best semester.’ In fact, Kageyama doesn’t think it’s much of a stretch to call this the worst semester of his life.

“So there was this bikini party, alright?” Hinata says, leaning back in the seat and balancing precariously on two legs. “Luau-themed shit or something. All because the guys wanted to see some girls in bathing suits dancing. Sounds boring as hell, right? Well I got Tadashi mad drunk on some Everclear punch, convinced him to wear this itty-bitty, flower-patterned—”

What was it with Hinata and florals? He’s wearing a tank top again, this one grey with orchids or lilies down the sides of it and ‘C’est la vie’ written on the front in looping cursive. It looks like a girl’s shirt, and not something a frat boy should be wearing. And he still has on that stupid floral snapback.

“Are you a botany major?” Kageyama asks, cutting Hinata off mid-word.

Hinata stops waving around his cellphone like a prop and rolls his eyes. “It’s like you don’t even listen to me.”

“I wasn’t,” Kageyama says. “Tadashi is a good friend and I never want to think about him in any context where he would not have at least fifty percent of his clothes on.”

“You’re an awful friend,” Hinata says. “I don’t know why I even talk to you.”

“I’m not your friend,” Kageyama says, automatically.

“And I haven’t taken eight body shots off Bokuto in one night,” Hinata says, rolling his eyes. “Do you want to meet up at Starbucks to come up with a procedure?”

“I literally never want to see you outside the context of this classroom,” Kageyama says. “Ever.”

Hinata taps his phone against his mouth. “O-kay, but how else do you plan on coming up with a cohesive methods section? Because class gets out in five minutes.”

Kageyama swears, looks at the clock, then swears again. He considers it perhaps the lowest point in his life to have to give Hinata his number. The moment they leave class, he changes Hinata’s contact in his phone from ‘orange Chihuahua’ to ‘orange fuckboy.’

 

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Kageyama knows enough useless trivia about Hinata to win a game of Jeopardy on his entire life. What’s that? ‘Hinata’s Love Life’ for 500? Who was the first person Hinata did anal with?

A girl named Tiffany, and she did him.

Hinata likes dogs better than cats. He cheated on his AP Statistics exam. He failed English Lit., but got the highest score in the state on the AP Chemistry exam. He has a part-time job to help his single mom pay for his sister’s university while he himself has had to take out loans. He likes sex with girls, but relationships with guys. He sucked a guy’s dick for a Subway coupon. He feeds the family of stray cats behind the frat house since he can’t have a dog.

Hinata had Tsukishima teach him the scientific names of over a hundred species of fish, just for laughs. He had Yamaguchi teach him how to do flawless winged eyeliner, then taught the other brothers. He once went home with Yachi to act as a beard for her in front of her parents. He played volleyball in high school, and is very proud of the fact that he was shit at it.

He is grossly, grossly fascinated with Kageyama.

Hinata likes to ask Kageyama probing questions, then laughs at the non-answers Kageyama bites out. His eyes always flash when Kageyama turns on him too quickly, like he’s waiting for violence, almost hoping for it. His smile is feral and he shows a lot of teeth when he laughs. He likes to touch Kageyama—only fleetingly—but enough for Kageyama’s skin to prickle and his hackles to rise. He’s overfamiliar and confrontational, and half of the stories he tells, he only tells to get a rise out of Kageyama.

Hinata has a tattoo of blue flowers creeping up his spine and spilling out over his shoulders that Kageyama can’t keep his eyes off of once he notices. He has a tattoo of crow lifting into flight across his chest and a smaller tattoo above his hip that says ‘from the concrete.’ Not that Kageyama asked or was looking for it or anything, Hinata just told him. Hinata has two piercings in each earlobe, one industrial, and one cartilage. He pierced his bellybutton on a dare but he doesn’t keep anything in it anymore. His hair is always in that little ponytail, except when it’s not, and then he has to brush it out of his face as he talks to Kageyama, almost as a force of habit.

Kageyama watches his hands when they move as he talks, or when they brush away a strand of hair. He watches the way Hinata’s mouth shapes words, and the dimples that appear and disappear on his cheeks. He watches Hinata bite his nails and adjust the snapback every few minutes, especially when he’s excited about something or telling a story. After a while, Kageyama kind of just...forgets how angry the floral snapback makes him. It becomes a companion, almost. It's seen him through many a late library study session, through feeding planaria and wrestling bean beetles into petri dishes. He feels something close to affection for the ever-present hat.

Oh no, Kageyama thinks. I'm attracted to a douchebag.

 

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“So,” Hinata starts, leaning against the lab table and into Kageyama’s personal space. “I was thinking—”

“No,” Kageyama says.

“I haven’t finished the question, fuckmunch,” Hinata says.

“You’re going to ask me to do something with you or for you.”

“Yes.”

“Then the answer is no.”

“I am trying,” Hinata says, exasperated, “to invite you to a party, not your own public execution.”

Kageyama can’t think of anything more resembling a public execution than a party. He scowls at Hinata. “I don’t do parties.”

“I promise there won’t be any stripping,” Hinata says. “Or at least, no one will ask you to strip.”

“Does the word ‘no’ mean anything to you?”

“We have alcohol,” Hinata whines. “Like, a whole lot. Our bartender is really hot and good at mixing drinks.” When Kageyama doesn’t seem moved by that fact, Hinata tries another. “There will be glowsticks? Glow-in-the-dark paint? A blacklight? It’s basically a rave?”

“What about me makes you think I would be into any of the above,” Kageyama says. “Please tell me, so I can erase it from my personality immediately.”

“Tadashi will be there,” Hinata says. “Also probably Tsukki. You could watch him get danced on by Tadashi, that would be pretty fun.”

“Why does it have to be me?” Kageyama asks, despairing. “Or are you just a dumbass who can’t understand the words ‘I don’t want to go’?”

Hinata straightens up. His bangs flutter into his eyes and he brushes them out of the way, mouth turned down. “You actually don’t like me,” he says.

“Did you think we were more than lab partners?” Kageyama snaps. “I’m not one of your ‘dudes.’ I’m not your friend.”

Hinata doesn’t even say anything to that. He slides into his seat and picks up conversation with the guy one lab table over. All through class, Kageyama only sees Hinata’s profile or the swish of his ponytail as he turns to talk to someone else.

Kageyama thinks he might say something, but at the end of class, Hinata scoops up his lab notebook in one motion and marches out of class without once glancing at Kageyama.

 

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When Kageyama was in elementary school, for Valentine’s Day, his teacher had all the students make cards and buy candy for the rest of their classmates. They didn’t have to be signed. Or anything special, really. Of course, the girls formed groups and giggled over sending fancy cards to their crushes, while the boys made faces at having to make anything to do with love for anyone in the class. A few of Kageyama’s classmates argued over who would be allowed to buy Star Wars valentines for the class.

Back then, Kageyama had a crush on a boy named Chance. He had fluffy brown hair and these heart-stopping grey eyes that Kageyama would think about on days when the skies were overcast and his classmates worried about recess getting cancelled because of rain. Kageyama never actually spoke to Chance outside of one dodgeball tournament where he said “Good run!” to Kageyama and Kageyama just kind of nodded quickly and bolted to the back of the line.

Unsure of what to do with his feelings, Kageyama put some choice stickers on Chance’s valentine, attached his favorite flavor of lollipop (grape) and wrote “I wish you weren’t in my class” on the card, then slipped it into Chance’s valentine mailbox. Needless to say, Kageyama’s teacher tried to figure out who sent the offending note and Kageyama, stricken, never fessed up. He swore that day that he would never again feel anything for everything and proceeded to avoid relationships for the next twelve years of his life.

This feels a bit like Valentine’s Day in second grade all over again.

 

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“I don’t do parties,” Kageyama says for probably the sixth time since he had left his apartment, each following utterance losing conviction, like a kid being dragged towards the inevitable timeout corner and growing to accept his fate.

Yamaguchi cheerfully ignores Kageyama’s comment, one arm looped through his arm and the other looped through Tsukishima’s. There’s a skip in his step, jostling his captured boys every time he takes a step forward, but neither Kageyama nor Tsukishima have the heart to stop him. Tsukishima scowls—not that he wasn’t always scowling—and Kageyama keeps his chin tucked to his chest and drags his feet.

They’re coming up on several other groups of people, mostly girls, who can only be heading to the same party their group is heading to. It’s also becoming readily apparent that Yamaguchi is the only one properly dressed for the occasion.

“What, exactly,” Tsukishima mutters, “is attractive about having your ass hanging out below your skirt?” He conveniently forgets his own boyfriend, in a crop top with the words ‘Sugar Baby’ written across the chest and ripped booty shorts with both his stomach and his ass hanging out, in all likelihood. Kageyama didn’t care to check.

“Dunno,” Yamaguchi says. “It’s fun? Why don’t you go ask one of the cishets?”

Most of the guys look like douchebags or like Tsukishima—collared, button-up shirt and sensible shorts. Kageyama, in his ‘Setter Soul’ graphic tee and basketball shorts, is starting to feel very out of place. He clings closer to Yamaguchi, the poster boy for being Unabashedly Queer, blowing kisses at anyone who looks at him for longer than could be considered polite.

“Where the fuck is the house?” Kageyama mutters.

“Relax, both of you,” Yamaguchi says, rolling his eyes. “It’s right there.”

Back during the time of the fraternity’s founding, the Pi Kappa Alpha house must have been a magnificent creature. White columns that stretched from the steps to the second floor, elegant red brick, and a colonial build proud of its heritage. But, as with most things, when you unleash boys on the cusp of adulthood onto it, everything goes to hell.

Kageyama can’t really see what the lawn leading up to the house looks like through the throng of people in as little as they could get away with wearing. Beer cans and solo cups crunch underfoot, and when Kageyama chances a glance down, he sees an opened condom wrapper and makes an effort not to look too closely at the people grinding against each other to the bass pounding out from concert-grade speakers. Everything is eyeliner and cologne and the smell of weed and cheap beer. It makes Kageyama’s head swim.

“C’mon,” Yamaguchi says. “The good stuff is inside.”

Tsukishima makes some kind of protest about how he actually prefers beer, but his words are lost as Yamaguchi doggedly trudges through the crowd, Tsukishima and Kageyama left to trail like ragdolls behind him. They shove past a bouncer who’s eyes pass over them—obviously underage—and keep moving. Yamaguchi tugs them both into the foyer just as the crowd lets out a roar and something moves above them.

Kageyama squints at the ceiling, the glass chandelier swaying dangerously back and forth and the roar only growing. He hears a feral howl from the vicinity of the chandelier and looks closer.

Someone is swinging on the chandelier. And that someone, of course, is Hinata.

He lets out another howl, throwing a cup of some kind of (most likely) alcoholic beverage over the crowd below, who cheer as they’re covered in sticky liquid. Hinata throws his head back, the light catching on all the planes of his face and his bare chest, and he laughs.

“Great taste in men,” Tsukishima comments dryly, but Kageyama can only hear the beat of his heart in his ears and the sound of Hinata’s laugh.

Finally, Hinata looks down and shifts his position. He lowers his body down the chandelier, then dangles off, held only by the very, very apparent muscles in his arms and his chest. He drops down onto a pile of pillows and cushions haphazardly gathered beneath the chandelier.

“Oh, that’s right,” Yamaguchi says. “He’s not a cheerleader—he’s in the circus.”

The—the what? Kageyama thinks, but doesn’t say anything as Hinata is embraced by their lab TA, Bokuto, and then lifted up between the shoulders of him and another messy-haired brother with a lazy smile. He high-fives the crowd and laughs more. Kageyama is more and more sure that he should not have come.

But then Hinata’s eyes meet his. Hinata’s smile falls—Kageyama’s heart falls with it—then brightens to three times the wattage, and he hops off the shoulders of his brothers and shoves his way through the crowd to reach their party.

“Tadashi! Tsukki! Tobio!” he calls, embracing Yamaguchi (who squeezes him back), Tsukishima (who shoves him off), and finally Kageyama (who freezes up). Kageyama feels it’s important to note that Hinata is still shirtless, covered in sweat, and dripping vitality.

“I’m so glad you could make it!” he says. “We’re just about to start painting and handing out glowsticks. Tsukki—what? What even are you wearing? I said it was a rave, not an interview.”

“Hinata, I—” Kageyama starts.

“And you,” he points at Tadashi, “I don’t remember saying look cuter than me. That’s not fair.”

Yamaguchi shrugs one shoulder, and then, in a single motion, pulls off his shirt and hands it to Hinata. Tsukishima rubs his temples.

“Take it,” Yamaguchi says. “More paint for me.”

Hinata grins and slips the shirt on.

“Hinata—” Kageyama tries again.

Yamaguchi points to the bar, where the sleepy-eyed bartender is mixing stronger drinks. “I think that’s our cue to leave,” he stage-whispers, taking Tsukishima’s hand and dragging him away.

And then, it’s just Hinata, Kageyama, and Kageyama’s huge fuck-up staring him down.

“Hinata,” Kageyama says. “About the other day, I—”

“You showed up, didn’t you?” Hinata says.

“About being your friend,” Kageyama says. “I didn’t mean—”

“I know,” Hinata says. “It’s okay.”

Kageyama swallows.

Hinata rocks back on his heels. “I mean, I always knew on some level that you were emotionally constipated, but wow—”

“Shut it,” Kageyama says, reaching out a hand to ruffle Hinata’s hair. He doesn’t know exactly why he does it; maybe for the wide-eyed stare Hinata gives him after he voluntarily touches Hinata for the first time ever. Maybe just because he’s relieved.

In any case, Hinata can’t do shock for very long. He takes Kageyama by the wrist. “Come on,” he says. “Let’s get painted.”

There’s a line of people waiting to get done up by art students led by Shimizu, a senior studio art major and Yachi’s girlfriend. She recognizes both Hinata and Kageyama as friends of Yachi’s and waves them through the line. Kageyama expects her to work on them, but she shows Hinata to her paints and turns back to the person she’s working on. And then, the lights go down and the blacklights come on, lighting the paint up like blood at a crime scene.

Kageyama looks around the foyer as a cheer goes up from the growing crowd. In the dark, he can’t tell who is who, especially not with the blinding amount of neon paint. He’s brought back to the present with a dab of paint to his nose.

Hinata laughs at the affronted look on his face. “Orange looks good on you,” he says, loud, over the music that picks up.

“Orange is your color,” Kageyama says.

Hinata grins. “It sure is.”

He sticks his fingers in the orange paint and runs them down Kageyama’s arms, from sleeve to his wrists. He swirls blues over the top of Kageyama’s hands and up his neck. Goosebumps break out across Kageyama’s skin even though it’s hot as hell inside the frat house. Hinata swipes blue over Kageyama’s cheekbones, along the line of his jaw, and then, leaning in close, he brushes a paint-covered thumb down Kageyama’s lip.

Kageyama can’t take his eyes from Hinata’s lips the whole time, nor from the tip of his tongue that pokes out as he paints.

Hinata licks his lips and leans back, eyes half-lidded. “Good?”

Kageyama nods, feeling distant, before he realizes there’s paint on his mouth. His hand shoots to his lips, but he doesn’t wipe it away. “Why’d you—it’s paint.”

“Special paint,” Hinata clarifies. “It’s edible.”

“Bullshit,” Kageyama says.

Hinata raises an eyebrow. He dips his fingers into the green paint, swirls them around, coats them in the paint. And then, keeping eye contact with Kageyama, he opens his mouth and presses his fingers to his tongue, dragging them down and leaving a trail of green paint. Then, lips still parted, Hinata leans forward and licks Kageyama’s chin, leaving a fluorescent stripe across the underside of Kageyama’s chin.

“Edible,” Hinata says, coating the back of his teeth with the paint.

“Edible,” Kageyama repeats, mechanically.

“Now you do me!” Hinata says, holding up the orange paint.

Uncertainly, Kageyama dips his fingers into the paint and draws stripes across Hinata’s face. Across his cheeks and down them like tear tracts, down the bridge of his nose, and over his forehead. With the pink, he dots Hinata’s arms. And then, pressing his full hand into the yellow, he pauses over Hinata’s stomach for a second before stamping a handprint over his skin. Then another. And another.

“I like it,” Hinata says. “Sexy.”

The paint is still all over his teeth, making them light up. Kageyama visualizes, clear as day, kissing Hinata until both their mouths light up under the blacklight, smearing paint over each other’s arms and bare stomachs and Hinata’s eyes fluttering open to meet his eyes, his fingers twisted in Kageyama’s hair.

“Alcohol,” Kageyama croaks. “Is there alcohol.”

“Yeah, of course,” Hinata says. “What d’you want?”

Kageyama remembers, quickly, that he doesn’t like alcohol at all. “Uh,” he says. “None of it?”

Hinata sticks out his bottom lip. “One of those guys, huh?” he says. “I’ll take care of you.” Hinata leads Kageyama to the kitchen, weaving through the mass of people, until he reaches the fridge and fishes out a small red cup of…something. Kageyama shakes it, and it wobbles.

“Jello,” he says. “Why?”

Hinata rolls his eyes. “Have you never seen a jello shot? Just take it, dude.”

Suspicious, Kageyama slurps it down. It burns.

He coughs and pounds his chest, blinking rapidly. “What the—the fuck?” he says.

Hinata hands him another one. “Two more to go.”

Kageyama doesn’t really want to, but he chokes down two more jello shots.

Hinata sighs. “We usually save these for girls, but since you’re a baby, you can have some, too.”

“How long until it kicks in?” Kageyama asks.

Hinata shrugs. “Depends. You’ll know when it hits. Now, I have to find Bokuto. You wait right here, and don’t move.”

Still a little thrown by Hinata’s tongue, and Hinata’s fingers on his lips and Hinata, in general, really, Kageyama nods and lets Hinata disappear back into the crowd. Lacking anything else to do and not about to try and engage in conversation, Kageyama pulls out his phone.

But games are only entertaining for so long, especially when there are people laughing and kissing and pushing against him, and Kageyama starts to feel the weight of his friends’ absence. A girl spills her drink on him and apologizes while giggling, patting his cheek. Two guys in tanks shove at each other and accidentally bump Kageyama. They don’t apologize. Kageyama, lacking any better options, downs two more jello shots.

After choking down a blue and green cup, Kageyama thinks his luck has turned around. There’s only one blond-haired asshole who stands that tall. As much as he hates Tsukishima, any friend was better than no friend. Kageyama shoves through a game of beer pong to get to Tsukishima.

And comes face to face with Yamaguchi, pinning Tsukishima against a wall and attempting to devour him. There’s—there’s a lot of tongue, and Yamaguchi is rolling against Tsukishima and running his hands over his chest and through his hair. Tsukishima’s hands have found their home on Yamaguchi’s ass, no longer complaining about ass hanging out of short-shorts. Kageyama sees Tsukishima knead his best friend’s ass once, and turns on his heel, going back to the fridge to down another two shots.

By now, Kageyama is feeling decidedly fuzzy, the edges of his vision tilting like an amateur videographer’s camera. He grasps at counters to steady himself, and then at something a lot softer than a counter. The soft thing—person—in question, has his nose in his phone and is staring at Kageyama’s hand on his shoulder like he can’t quite figure out what it’s doing there.

“Sorry,” Kageyama says, lifting his hand up. “Have you seen Hinata?”

He kind of keeps talking about Hinata then, describing him to the guy, whose eyes get progressively wider. He mentions the mouth thing—things, really—and how Hinata could really do things to a guy when he wasn’t expecting it. He talks about how he knows Hinata and how even though Hinata acts like a dumbass, he knows his way around a cyclohexane like nobody else. And how he’s creeped out by planaria, but loves fiddler crabs. And how—

“If you want Shouyou,” the stranger says, “he’s over there.” He gestures into the mass of people at the center of the foyer.

Kageyama frowns. Of course, why hadn’t he thought to look there? He thanks the stranger with a pat to his shoulder and staggers out into the crowd gathered in a circle around…something. Oh. Dancing. There were people dancing.

Bokuto, the TA, is pulling off some wicked breakdancing moves, combatted by a leap straight into a split by the messy-haired guy he was with earlier. They’re dueling. They dance apart and together, playing off each other’s moves and improving on them until they’re right up in each other’s face. Then the messy-haired guy rolls his hips against Bokuto's with a shit-eating grin on his face and Bokuto pushes him onto a couch and climbs on top of him, making out as if they were arguing. At least, Kageyama hoped they were only making out.

The crowd cheers for the expression of violence-turned-affection, and there’s still heat in the air as Hinata steps forward, a bottle of Bacardi in his hand that he speaks into as if it were a microphone. He’s calling for the next set of performers to a laughing circle of people, wearing a smile himself, but Kageyama’s eyes are on his smeared paint and the three glowsticks he’s acquired around his neck. The paint is gone from his mouth.

Who smeared your paint? Who stole it from your mouth?

It’s not like Kageyama had any control over who Hinata fooled around with, but for him to ditch Kageyama for someone else after teasing him like that and getting him drunk—it was just rude. And Kageyama was going to tell him that.

He pushes through the mass of people until he stumbles into the center of the circle and points at Hinata. “You—” he says. “You left me.”

Hinata spins around, eyes widening when he sees Kageyama. “Tobio! Oh shit, you took more shots, didn’t you?”

“Damn straight I did,” Kageyama says. “You left me.”

The gathered crowd laughs and shifts uneasily, smelling a fight. But Hinata holds up his hands, placating both them and Kageyama.

“Bokuto got me hooked into this dance battle gig,” Hinata says. “Also, Bacardi.”

Kageyama crosses his arms.

Hinata smiles, eyes bright. “How about I make it up to you?” he says.

“I’m listening,” Kageyama says.

Hinata shove the bottle of Bacardi into his hands. “Step into my office,” he says, backing Kageyama into a recliner. Kageyama sits down.

The music changes. This is something deeper, with a steady beat, electronic. Hinata nods along to the music, shifting back and forth in place, spinning in a circle and smiling at the gathered crowd. Real movement starts in his hands, snapping his fingers. The crowd picks it up, and then the motion moves into Hinata’s wrists, traveling up his arms to his shoulders as he dances along to the music.

His hands curl over his head as he stretches like a cat into the air. The movement radiates down his body, into the tapping and shifting of his feet and then the cocking of his hips, back and forth, back and forth. He jumps and twists, then does a little jig. He’s grinning, laughing with his eyes and with the audience, and he wiggles his shoulders, winking at a girl. Then he sets his eyes on Kageyama.

Hinata sinks so fast to the floor that Kageyama’s heart jumps. He poses in a squat for just an instance, then rolls his body upwards, fingers running up his thighs and smearing the paint further.

(It occurs to Kageyama, distantly, that maybe it wasn’t another person who rubbed Hinata’s paint off, after all.)

After that, Hinata loses the coy playfulness. What follows is straight sexuality.

Kageyama can’t keep his eyes off Hinata’s hands. They’re in his hair, tugging his head back, and running down his neck and his collarbone. They’re shaping his sides and spreading across his stomach until they slide to his hips and then to his knees, depending on the move he’s trying to pull off. He rolls his hips against the air and shakes his ass like he was born and raised on the dancefloor, showing the audience exactly what he could be doing to them.

And then, defying all laws of time and space, Hinata is walking up to Kageyama, placing his hands on the two armrests on either side of Kageyama, and hoisting himself into Kageyama’s lap. Kageyama’s fight or flight reflex disappears. Instead, he freezes up and lets the trainwreck that is Hinata plow into him.

Hinata’s hands over his make him jump, but Hinata takes them and places them at his hips. “You can touch me, baby,” he says. “This show is for you.” And proceeds to grind up against Kageyama.

A shudder passes through Kageyama’s body, and then Hinata dances on him.

This close, Kageyama can smell the sweat on him, see the way his lips part as he breathes at the exertion, watch the rise and fall of his chest, and feel the current of energy that ran down Hinata’s spine. The movement carries through his core to his hips and his stomach, and Kageyama dares to brush thumbs over Hinata’s abdomen, caging his tiny waist in Kageyama’s hands. He can hear Hinata’s pants and the tiny, not-so-innocent noises when he shoves himself against Kageyama. Desperately. Hungrily.

Kageyama is too close in his space, leaning forward and pulling Hinata further into his lap, their foreheads close to touching, but Hinata is still moving and Kageyama is moving forward, the inevitability of collision between them obvious in their body language.

The song ends and Hinata manages one more full body roll against Kageyama, his hands draped lazily around his neck. “Well?” Hinata asks. “Are you satisfied?”

For once in his life, Kageyama knows exactly what to say. “Not even a little bit.”

Hinata’s smile could cut diamonds. “I was sorta hoping you would say that.”

He rises from Kageyama’s lap, one of his hands snatching Kageyama’s and pulling him forward and out of the chair. They push out of the crowd and towards the stairs to the sound of wolf whistles and cat calls, but Kageyama can only hear the sound of his heartbeat in his ears.

Hinata pulls him up the stairs and down the hall and collapses, back against the door to a room that Kageyama assumes belongs to him, and pulls Kageyama in to kiss him.

He’s scratchy—Kageyama hadn’t expected Hinata’s day or two old scruff to rub up against him like it does, but the feeling is grounding—this is Hinata, he is real, and he is kissing you. His mouth is contrarily soft and smooth as butter, his lips slipping under Kageyama’s and prying them open with no resistance. Kageyama is alcohol-soft, his entire body pliant to the way Hinata’s mouth shapes his, taking the lead effortlessly. And Hinata’s tongue—Kageyama thinks that even without paint there are colors and lights flying between them.

Kageyama doesn’t know the first thing about sex—not really—but he slides a knee between Hinata’s legs and Hinata gasps, his hand falling to fumble with the knob. The door opens and Kageyama more or less shoves Hinata into the room, backing him into the bed that is all but invisible to them. Kageyama stands over Hinata, shirt hauled up and dark in the cheeks, splayed before him, and realizes that he’s still just a virgin idiot in front of the boy he had been hate-lusting over all semester.

(Except it wasn’t really hate, was it.)

He misses a beat in their dance and Hinata picks up on his hesitation. He props himself up on his elbows. “What do you wanna do?” he asks.

Kageyama has a thought, a stupid thought, really, but it won’t leave it alone. When Hinata had been dancing on him—it had been hot, yes, but Hinata was into it. Into him. Kageyama could tell. When someone grinds up against you it’s near impossible to not notice when they’re hard. And Hinata had been working himself against Kageyama pretty hard.

So Kageyama got to thinking. About Hinata. And his dick. And Kageyama. And his mouth. And maybe, the two could really get along well, like really

“Wow,” Hinata says. “I actually would have never picked you as one to dirty talk but, uh? It’s really hot?”

“Oh,” Kageyama says. “I said that all out loud.”

“Yes, baby,” Hinata says. “Are you doing alright?”

“I just really want to suck you off,” Kageyama says quickly. “I might need to. Like, I might die without doing that.” He frowns. “Not that I’ve ever, with anyone.”

Hinata laughs. “It’s pretty hard to go wrong.”

Kageyama drops to his knees, and Hinata isn’t laughing anymore.

Hinata slides out of his shorts and then his hands settle in Kageyama’s hair, gentle, as if stroking a wild animal. Kageyama pulls his boxers down and wow, yeah, Hinata had it bad for him. Kageyama pokes his tongue out and experimentally laps at the head. Hinata’s fingers twitch in his hair.

Interesting.

Kageyama flickers his tongue against the head a few more times and Hinata’s fingers make increasingly desperate scratches at his scalp. Kageyama meets Hinata’s eyes and Hinata is glaring at him. He mouths the word ‘tease.’ Kageyama doesn’t take the bait. Instead, he wraps his lips around the head alone and swirls his tongue over it. This time, Hinata’s hands really do fist in his hair, breathing ragged.

It’s not bad. The taste could be better, but Kageyama is confident that he can swallow down Hinata’s length no problem. To prove it, he bobs down on Hinata’s cock and Hinata swears, his body curling forward and hands pressing Kageyama’s head down, more, more.

Kageyama bobs down a few more times, but then pulls back to just swirling his tongue around the head and Hinata cries out, frustrated.

“You little—” Hinata starts, and then Kageyama goes down on him again.

This time, he’s got the hang of it and he move faster; fast enough to satisfy Hinata, who doesn’t make any effort to silence his voice as he groans and claws at Kageyama’s scalp. Kageyama can feel it in his hips, in the tiny shudders of his legs, that he’s close. He prepares himself to swallow, but Hinata pushes him back and takes himself in his hand, finishing himself off in a few solid pumps. Kageyama doesn’t move far enough away, however, to avoid a stray line of cum that splatters across his cheek.

Hinata flops back against the bed, going boneless and letting out a long, satisfied sigh. Kageyama’s fingers rise to his cheek, dabbing at the stickiness he finds there. Hinata peeks at him, sees the mess he’s made. Suddenly he’s up again, hand reaching out to cup Kageyama’s face.

“Oh baby,” Hinata says. “I’ve made a mess of you, haven’t I?” And then his face is in Kageyama’s space again and he drags his tongue across Kageyama’s cheek, cleaning up the cum in a few laps.

“You—” Kageyama says, head spinning, and not just from the alcohol. “You really—”

“Was it good?” Hinata asks. “Did you like doing it?”

“Yeah,” Kageyama breathes. He liked Hinata’s noises, Hinata’s tension, the helplessness of his fingers in Kageyama’s hair. He liked it.

“Good,” Hinata says. “Take notes, okay?”

Kageyama doesn’t understand, then Hinata pulls him onto the bed and he understands. Hinata is not hesitant like Kageyama was. He yanks off Kageyama’s pants and grabs him by the hips. His mouth is on Kageyama before Kageyama can fully process what is happening and he lets out a half-yelp. Hinata does him like he does everything else—hard, and with purpose.

Hinata’s mouth is hot and wet and soft, and to Kageyama, it might as well be the best damn thing that’s ever happened to him in his twenty years of life. All the senses in his body focus on the texture of Hinata’s mouth, the puff of his breath against his waist, and the heat radiating off of him as he bobs up and down Kageyama’s cock. Pleasure rolls through him in waves and then he’s the one helpless to the tempest that is Hinata, tangling fingers through his curls and shoving Hinata down, down, deeper, deeper.

And Hinata goes deeper. He swallows Kageyama down whole and doesn’t complain in the slightest. He’s almost rough with Kageyama in the way that he tears the pleasure out of Kageyama’s body until he’s trembling, shock waves under his skin turning to full-blown shudders and he pats Hinata, tries to tell him I’m going to

But Hinata doesn’t stop. Even when Kageyama comes, he only pulls back far enough to swallow without choking, sucking every drop from Kageyama as he shakes and cries out. In the aftermath of his orgasm, Kageyama is fragile and green, mewling at Hinata’s mouth over his oversensitive cock.

Hinata wipes at the spit-cum running down his chin and grins. “I hope you paid close attention to teacher,” he says. “There’ll be a test on it later.”

Spent and boneless, Kageyama can’t even consider the possibility of again. “Tomorrow,” he groans. “Or maybe…in a week. I might sleep for a week? I can’t move.”

“Lucky for you,” Hinata says, climbing up and kissing him on the chin, “this is my bed. And I say you can sleep as long as you like.”

“That’s…generous of you,” Kageyama says, distracted by Hinata curling under his arm and against his chest, twining their legs like the tails of two cats. They’re both still missing pants. “Should we?” he gestures down their bodies.

“If you want to get out of bed and clean up, be my guest,” Hinata says, voice muffled where his face is pressed against Kageyama’s collarbone. “I’ve always been a procrastinator.”

Kageyama considers getting out of bed for the briefest of moments before he tucks Hinata under his chin and crashes face-first into sleep.

 

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Kageyama comes to in stages. The first stage is registering the killer headache pounding against his skull. He scowls, which only makes it worse, and then moans to make his displeasure known to…whoever he’s sharing the bed with. Jesus, they were a furnace.

Hinata. That’s who it was. The second stage of wakefulness is identifying the bonfire sprawled across his left arm, slowly killing the blood circulation in it. They were cuddling. This was fine.

“Oh my god,” Kageyama says.

Hinata snuffles.

“Oh my god, I sucked your dick,” Kageyama says, louder. “Oh my god, you let me suck your dick.”

“Shurrup,” Hinata grumbles, shoving at Kageyama’s face. “Jesus, you’re awful.” Contrary to his opinion about Kageyama, he worms closer to him.

“You sucked my dick,” Kageyama says, amazed.

“Oh my god,” Hinata echoes, popping his head up. “You aren’t going to let me sleep, are you?”

“Are we not going to discuss the dick-sucking?” Kageyama asks, voice strained.

“Alright, babe,”—Kageyama’s heart jumps—“we can discuss the dick-sucking,” Hinata says. “did you have fun?”

“Well, yes.”

“Do you want to do it again?”

“Right now?”

“No, not right now.”

“Well…yes.”

“So what is there to talk about?” Hinata says, tracing a pattern on Kageyama’s right arm. “Sexual tension, dispelled. Mutual attraction, established. Lab partnership, steady.”

“I like you,” Kageyama blurts.

Hinata smiles against his skin. “I figured.”

“So what do we…what do we do with this?” Kageyama asks.

“Whatever you want,” Hinata says.

The six-year-old in Kageyama isn’t satisfied. “Do you like me back?”

Hinata huffs, laughing. “Depends,” he says, wiggling his eyebrows. “Tell me about yourself.”

So Kageyama does. He talks about his friends—how Tadashi has saved his life, over and over, and about doing pottery with Hitoka in her studio when he was having a bad day, and how even though he was a jack ass ninety-nine percent of the time, when Kageyama really needed help in school, Tsukishima was there for him that one percent.

He talks about volleyball. How he’s learned to communicate with people through his sport and how it actually feels good to build people up instead of tearing them down. He talks about team dinners and team bowling and how the seniors wrestle him, all in good fun. He talks about how he can see himself on the national team, wearing the colors of his county, kissing the court he’s standing on. He talks about how he knows they can win gold.

And then he talks about Hinata. How much his fashion sucks, and how he should just burn those ugly skytops, c’mon—Kageyama didn’t know the first thing about fashion but he knew those were ugly as hell. How he thinks Hinata would look nice if he stopped dressing like a bro, to which Hinata sleepily protests, to which Kageyama protests back, to which Hinata kisses him, and then there’s not so much talking as there is just a lot kissing, and Hinata tracing hearts across Kageyama’s back in the morning light.