To say that he didn’t want to kiss you again would have been a lie, like a major lie. Because Tsukishima really wanted to kiss you.
He had to hand it to you though, when you sat so close to him and kept biting on the tip of your pen like that…you were just hard to resist. Especially after what had happened the other night.
That was one week ago, and he failed to purge you—and that kiss—out of his mind, not that he wanted to, though. But when he couldn’t focus on mundane tasks or get his homework done, it became a problem.
/ | \
You’re walking closer to him than normal. Your hands are gently clutching the straps of your backpack, and there’s more skip in your step than usual. The sweep of pink on your cheeks is apparent against your skin, and he’s pretty sure that the briskness of the morning isn’t the only reason for the blush. Tsukishima catches your not-so-secret glances in his direction, most of them aimed at his face. He resists the urge to look back at you, his own face warming up as he remembers the events that had transpired only the day before.
Did you spend the entire night thinking about the kiss, as he did? Did you dream of it? What did this mean for your relationship together? Did you want to do it again—please want to do it again—
His cold hands had been thrust into his pockets, and he pinches the fabric inside at the sound of his name on your lips.
You shrug your shoulders and consciously step over an upcoming crack in the sidewalk. “You seem a little more on edge than usual.”
He raises an eyebrow and manages to sneak a look at you beside him. “What do you mean ‘than usual?’”
You snort and meet his eye contact. Your shit-eating grin is back in a matter-of-fact curl of your lips. “Don’t tell me you forgot about that stick up your butt.” You feign a gasp of surprise and narrowly miss him sticking a foot out to trip you.
Your usual bicker and banter keep his thoughts about his relationship with you—and the kiss—at bay until you make it to the school. You're shouting that "Tsukishima is a real jerk" signaled your entrance into the gym as he tried to trip you as you crossed the threshold. And this time, his attempt was successful.
“Prick!” Hinata and Kageyama’s heads turned towards you as Tsukishima none to charmingly was keeping you from face planting into the floor by the haul strap at the very top of your backpack. It was an amusing sight to see your hands scrambling in front of you, trying to prepare for the moment that Kei’s ironic chivalry would run out and he would release you to plummet into the gym floor.
You sent a deadly glare in Hinata and Kageyama’s direction when you caught them snickering at your balancing act. They immediately shut up and continued practicing their quicks, stifling their laughter in the collars and sleeves of their t-shirts.
Of course, Tsukishima is smirking the entire time you’re flailing and attempting to appeal to his humanity and release you. So he finally gives in. He pulls you upright, spins you around and grabs you by the waist.
You’re out of breath by this lanky boy’s quick movements and are in shock when you feel the grip on your hips. Your blush is back in full force and you press your forehead into his chest, to avoid him making fun of your flustered expression. Your hands have grabbed a fistful of his sweater, and you know that if you let go you’re going to slug him in the jaw. And frankly speaking, this “hug” is kind of nice…but then he opens his mouth.
“Who knew that someone like you could—”
Before he could finish his blistering insult, you weave your foot behind his ankle and pull back. Hard. You expect his hold around your waist to loosen, but it only tightens and you find yourself falling down with him. He lands with an “oof” and a groan as he absorbs your fall and he’s glaring at you.
“What the hell was that for!?”
“Well that obviously backfired,” he retorted. “Of course you never think these things through, you don’t have the capability too.”
You simply roll your eyes and admire his ruffled appearance. His glasses are askew and his eyes are somewhat unfocused, but the glare at you is still there. He continues laying insults towards you as you lay on top of him. Then you finally realize your situation; you’re lying on top of him.
You can feel the juts of his ribs and hip bones from underneath his clothes, and you feel embarrassed at the accidental intimacy. Tsukishima shuts his mouth, noticing your sheepishness and realizes the compromising position as well. He gulps and averts his gaze from your eyes, withdrawing the hand that had been around your waist to adjust his glasses. He opens his mouth again to defuse the tension with a scathing jab at your clumsiness, but then he sees how close your mouth is to his and he stutters.
In the heat of the moment, you just go for it and close the mere centimeters between your lips. His lips are chapped and he's caught off-guard at the contact. You feel his body stiffen and you interpret that as hesitation. You pull back and appraise his expression. It’s unreadable, but you can sense his distress. His eyes are wide and his mouth is agape.
Both of you are frozen. You guess that you had read the moment wrong and just want to disappear from the surface of the earth. It’s the nervous cough from Hinata that breaks both of you out of your mortified stupor.
You release a dejected sigh and mutter something under your breath that sounds something like an “I knew it” and pick yourself up.
You grab at your backpack straps again, this time, so hard that your knuckles almost turn white. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…I’m just gonna...I’ll see you later.” Then you walk away towards the gym office, tail tucked between your legs.
He sits up right, and watches you disappear from his sight. He curses under his breath plants his hands at his sides and pushes himself up. He should have known you'd have felt his hesitation and awkwardness, the reluctance in that kiss. He hadn’t had time to reciprocate—did he even want to kiss you back? Yes, a million times yes. But the he just froze. He had been thinking about last night’s kiss and how it had left him a drunken trance of want. He had fantasized about kissing you again, so why didn’t he just kiss you back.
That fuzziness and warmth he had felt inside of him when he was with you had somehow been pushed into a corner by something darker that he had been repressing. He was scared.
“Nice going jackass,” Kageyama says to him.
“Stay out of it, Bakayama.” He says with a tone that sends a shiver down the setter's back.
The duo only resumed their practice when Tsukishima had disappeared behind the boys’ locker room door.
/ | \
He blinks, backing out of his thoughts, and slowly turns his head to face you. “What?”
You roll your eyes at his gruff voice. “You were a little out of it—not that you’re sane in the first place but—”
He snorts and leans over to flick you in the forehead. “Stop putting so much effort into your insults, ____________.” You swat his hand away and groan at his condescension. “Thinking hard doesn’t suit you.”
“Just like how going for what you want doesn’t suit you?” You smirk back.
Tsukishima visibly stiffens at your retort. His fingers curl into his palms and fists his hands into his pockets. He raises an eyebrow, the playfulness in his gaze replaced by his usual aloofness. Your smirk lessens.
“What could you possibly mean by that?” There was a mocking tone in his voice, but underneath, there was a sting of bitterness that made the hair on the back of your neck bristle. You must have hit a nerve.
You open your mouth to answer but then shut it again. He only presses you to respond, leaning forward in his seat and tilting his head to the side. He's waiting.
Nice going, you scold yourself. You had come over, as usual, to study with Tsukishima. Maybe one of you would finally have the confidence to spell out whatever this was between you. But that moment of spontaneous intimacy only made him antsy and touchy around you.
Your shoulders slump and you run a frustrated hand through your hair. “Just forget I said anything…” You turn away from him and try to go back to finishing your homework. But then you hear him exhale a loud breath, and you knew he wouldn’t just let it go.
“I’m not just going to forget about it,” he says brusquely. “If you have something to say, then just say it.” His jaw clenches and he begins pulling at the fabric in his pockets. He didn’t know what to do, he was losing the battle between his wits and his heart. He’s never been in a situation like this before, he’s never been out of control before.
You stay silent, pressing your pencil harder into the paper. He glares at the utensil, if he wasn’t so focused on reigning his control, then he would have pulled that pencil right out of your hand and make you look at him.
He inhales another deep breath in resignation. “Fine, just be like th—”
“I can’t understand you sometimes!” you finally confess, you throw pencil against the coffee table. The smack makes a muscle in Tsukishima’s face twinge. “I feel so many things when I’m with you, anger, frustration, annoyance, provocation—”
“If you feel so many negative feelings towards me than why do you—”
“—happiness, joy…” your head begins looking down into your lap, where your fingers were pulling and weaving into each other.
Tsukishima's breath hitches. He didn’t expect those two words to come out of your mouth at all, at least not because of him. You were trying to clear the air and your shoulders were shaking.
Confrontation was always something that he dreaded. It forced two people to be completely honest with each other, and Tsukishima only did that once before with his brother. It was something that he’d buried into the recesses of mind and then locked up with a bolt and key. He didn’t want to relive that again, not with you.
“You confuse me,” you say, pulling your head up to look straight at him. A blush is creeping underneath your cheeks, showing your embarrassment—no, shyness. “You give me so many mixed messages. You mock me, but then you help me out when I need it. You insult me, but then you hold my hand whenever we’re walking home together. If I knew you didn’t want to kiss me I wouldn’t have—”
“Don’t.” Tsukishima cuts you off, his mouth set in a grim line. If you look closely, you could almost see it quivering.
You sigh and pinch the bridge of your nose. You two had to talk about this sometime, you didn’t want to be left hanging again—no…you wouldn’t be left hanging again. You feel the breath leave your chest and a pang in your heart as your mind flashes back to the shouting and stomping in the confines of your own home.
No, this wouldn’t be like that.
“Kei, we have to talk about this at some time,” you continue. “Yamaguchi told me that something happened in your past that might have affected your ability to trust other—”
That was when the bough broke. It wasn’t a physical change, but the air seemed to freeze. A stony sheen glazed his eyes as he braced an arm against the table to stand up. He adjusts his glasses with one hand and looks down at you.
“Yamaguchi had no right to tell you that.” His voice was so low and quiet, it made you shift in your seat, uncomfortable. “You know nothing important about my life or who I am.”
As much as you wanted to avert your gaze from the ice of his eyes, you wouldn’t back down. You stand up as well, meeting him eye to eye despite your difference in height. “You know I didn’t mean to hurt you with that I said,” you concede. “I’m sure Yamaguchi didn’t mean to betray your privacy either, but you’re hurting and I—”
He clicks his tongue and finally breaks eye contact. He turns his back to you and walks over to his bedroom door. He grips the doorknob, knuckles white and says something to you over his shoulder. “I’m going downstairs to get some water.”
“Kei, we can’t avoid this—”
“Do you want anything?” And with that statement, the conversation was finished. You were bewildered by how quickly he could move away from this.
He takes your silence as an answer, slips through the crack of the door, and shuts it behind him.
/ | \
Tsukishima’s legs are stiff as he goes down the stairs, hands in his pockets, fingers curling and uncurling. His eyebrows are set into a furrow that wrinkles the apex of his forehead. Anger, and frustration apparent on his visage.
Akiteru watches his brother from behind the brim of his mug of tea as Kei rifles around the cupboards looking for something. Kei curses as he slams a cupboard close and opens another, cursing again when he doesn’t find what he’s looking for.
“Kei, are you alrig—”
“I'm perfectly fine.” He spits the words, mouth curved into a frown. He lets out a disgruntled sigh as he grabs a random mug from the cabinet in front of him.
“Are you sure, it just seems that—”
“Akiteru! I said I was—”
Crash! The mug slips out of Kei’s grasp and falls to the ground, the porcelain crashing into pieces on the tile floor. Kei sends an angry glare at his brother and shuffles to the pantry to fetch the dust pan and broom.
Akiteru sighs and carefully places down his mug next to the sink. He rubs the back of his head. “Did something happen?”
Kei shuts the panty door with his hip and begins to sweep the shards into a pile. He refuses to make eye contact with his brother. “If there was I wouldn’t be talking to you about it.”
Akiteru clicks his tongue, even though he’s used to his sibling’s scalding taunts, they still hurt. He crosses his arms and after a few minutes, his foot begins to tap. He waits.
Kei’s actions are sluggish and his eyebrow tics with ever tap of his brother’s foot. He painstakingly sweeps the radius of the crash site, even sweeping the same parts of the kitchen that’s he’s been through before. The pile of porcelain shards has remained that same height for five minutes now. Eventually, Kei sets down the broom and leans up against the refrigerator.
Akiteru gives a small smile and rests his hands against the countertop. “Ready to talk now?”
Kei shifts his bland gaze to meet his brother’s. “What do you want to know?”
“For starters, you could have just asked me where the mugs were,” Akiteru says matter-of-factly.
Kei scoffs. “I’ve lived in this house almost as long as you have, I know where the mugs were.”
Akiteru shrugs his shoulders but doesn’t comment. “What happened upstairs?” Akiteru guesses he asked the right question because he sees Kei’s eyes shift downward and his shoulders tense up.
“What makes you think something happened upstairs?” Kei asks.
“I could hear the yelling from here,” Akiteru hums. “And the fact that you’re down here and not up there is definitely a telling sign.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t stick your nose in my business,” Kei says pointedly.
Akiteru raises his hands up in defense. “I’m just saying that you and your girlfriend were shouting pretty loud.”
“She’s not my girlfriend,” Kei replies, his voice serious and steady. But Akiteru sees his brothers lip twitch and he smiles.
“Oh really?” Akiteru baits him.
“Yes, really.” Tsukishima bites. “I don’t know why everyone thinks that we are, or wants us to be. They shouldn’t concern themselves with love and relationships in the first place, they’re unnecessary—“
“The real question is; do you want her to be your girlfriend?”
Well isn’t that the hundred-dollar question. Tsukishima continues staring at the ground, and his fingers stop fidgeting. Akiteru got his answer.
“Well, what’s stopping you then?” Akiteru prods. He crosses the kitchen and leans against the refrigerator alongside Kei. “From what I hear it seems like she’s pretty into you.”
Kei lets out a chuckle but plays it off as a cough. “That’s not the issue…” he trails off.
Akiteru’s grin dissolves into a concerned frown. His eyes narrow as he appraises Kei, his cheeks are tinted with a dash a pink, his aperture set into a thin line, the corners of his lips sometimes twitching at the corners. Whether it’s to fight a frown or hide a smile, he’s not sure—but he’s hoping for the latter.
“Then you tell me,” Akiteru says. “What is the issue then?”
“…tch.” Kei grinds his teeth. His hands clench into fists and slide into his pockets as angry drags his feet across the kitchen tile. “I’m done talking.”
Akiteru raises his eyebrows and instinctively angles itself towards his little brother. He blows the hair from his forehead and uses his forefingers to rub circles into his temples, exasperated but not giving up yet.
Then he hears the floor creak behind him.
He’s not sure if he imagines the quiet gasp and the shuffle of a sock against the wooden floor, but he hopes that it’s real so that Kei will somewhat forgive him for what happens next.
Kei is just past the threshold of the kitchen, one foot into the dining room when Akiteru speaks, “This isn’t about me,” Akiteru says, “is it?”
Kei freezes and the tension in his body coils even tighter, threatening to burst. His shoulders hunch and his eye twitches, but he freezes where he is. Not willing to admit anything.
That’s a yes then, Akiteru thinks, wistful. He sighs and runs a nervous hand through his short cropped hair. “I’m sorry…Kei,” he begins. “I sincerely am, and if I could go back in time I would have told you the truth—”
“You don’t know that,” Kei whispers between gritted teeth.
Akiteru blinks. “What?”
“I said,” Kei’s voice is laced with vitriol. “You. Don’t. Know. That.” His voice is louder this time, each word making his older brother flinch as if he had been stabbed in the chest—and he might as well have been with the way Kei’s glaring at him from over his shoulder.
There’s a long tense silence as Akiteru ponders his response. Then he hears it, the near silent intake of breath behind him that prove his hunch; you’re here.
/ | \
Another gasp escapes your lips, but you're quick to quell it with the silence of your palm. You curse at yourself, you already saw Akiteru’s head twitch when you approached the kitchen. You were out of sight, but that didn’t mean you were undetectable.
Kei had been taking a long time downstairs, and you were concerned. With the way that he left the room and ended the conversation so abruptly, you figured that he needed someone to talk to. That, or at least vent about his frustrations. It’s about time that you wipe away the tension that polluted your relationship—if you even had one at this point.
You’re not usually one for eavesdropping, so maybe that’s what causes you to back away towards the stairs, regretting coming downstairs in the first place. Maybe if you move swift enough you could beat Kei before he was any the wiser—
“You’re still mad at me, I get it.”
You pause, a floorboard creaks beneath your foot and you swear you can feel that tiny smile that lifts onto Akiteru’s lips. Why were you so goddamn noisy!?
Kei doesn’t respond, but you can imagine him looking for something to distract himself.
“What of it?” Kei replies, so quietly that you almost don’t catch what he says.
“I know that I’m one of the reasons why you don’t like volleyball,” Akiteru’s voice is grim and heavy. “I know that I’m one of the reasons that you don’t go to practice sometimes, stay shut in your room all day and night, even why sometimes you won’t even join mom and me for dinner.”
“I don’t see where you’re—”
“Maybe I’m even the reason why you can’t trust other people?” The statement comes out as a question, and you feel yourself subconsciously leaning forward to maybe see the expression on Kei’s face.
Again, the silence answers for Kei and Akiteru can swear he feels his heart pang at the thought that he caused his brother even more damage than he thought. He’s been a terrible older brother. After lying about being in the first string in his high school volleyball team, he had shattered that trust. Kei hadn’t looked at him the same again, and Akiteru would have given anything to get his little brother back. Over time, he has made peace with his mistake—but that didn’t mean he still thought about it and regretted everything. Kei held his mistake as a thorn in his side, festering into a wound that infected all of his relationships…
Maybe that’s why no matter how much Kei wanted to get close to you, he couldn’t bring himself to bridge that gap. To be more than friends. And how could he, when his trust in people was so splintered.
“You don’t know anything about me anymore,” Kei disclosed. “You only visit on the weekends, and sometimes you don’t even come. Of course it’s hard to trust people after…” he pauses, as if recalling his discovery of Akiteru’s lie. “after that. Hell, the girl that I-I…_________…”
Kei’s rambling halts just as he’s on the brink of a confession. He’s never expressed his feelings for you out loud, and although this barely counts, he feels a blanket of warmth cover him as his mind fixates on you. You with your terrible habit of bouncing you pen on the table, shaking your leg, stray stands of hair, eyelashes on your cheek. Every moment of teasing and flirting with each other. And you never left his side, even after he’s been such an asshole to you. Would you still be with him after what just happened upstairs?
It was like a curse, he really liked you, but he couldn’t bring himself to say it. And he wasn’t sure if he was hurting you or himself more with his reluctance to say anything.
Love had always been a touchy subject for him. Others fell into its embrace to easily, but he was in a stilted tango that had him dancing around the subject for years. How could he bring himself to like someone—even love them—if he was so scared of being broken, betrayed, again.
But then you came along, with your innocence and genuine desire to help people. He saw you connect with every member of his team, with your smiles, laughs, and jokes. And he admired you for that. You brought out the best and people, and maybe that’s why he was attracted to you in the first place; he wanted you bring out the best in him. To glue the cracks of his heart together, to make him trust again. And every time he walked home with you, he fell harder and harder. Then you kissed him, and his world came crashing down, because for the first time in his life, he could maybe be with someone that had fallen as hard for him, as he did for you.
Akiteru’s frown broke into a knowing grin. As he witnessed his brother’s epiphany. That air behind him had grown deathly still, and he hoped that you stayed long enough to hear Kei’s half sentence about you. The raw emotion that resonated in his words when he spoke about you.
“I think you have some things to get off your chest.” Akiteru thought out loud.
“I’m already angry with you, and I’ve said it many—”
“Not with me, silly,” Akiteru held back a chuckle. “But with someone else.” His quickly glances up to the ceiling and Kei follows his brother's gaze.
/ | \
Kei enters the room just as you seat yourself on the floor beside your textbook. Your heart is beating like a jackhammer, refusing to calm down after you basically sprinted up the stairs—to hell with Akiteru hearing you, the man was too perceptive for his own good.
You brush a stray hair away from your forehead and look up at Kei. He doesn’t meet your eyes, and he stands in the doorway, his tall lanky body stiff as a statue, his chest barely rising and falling with his breath. He opens his mouth to say something, then closes it again, and you see the reluctance in his gaze as he eyes the seat beside you. He rallies himself and walks beside you and it takes a second for him to take the seat.
Your knees are a hairs width apart, and you’re sure he notices it. He subconsciously leans towards you as he rests his back against the bed and turns his head to the ceiling. His hands are in his lap, fingers intertwined, weaving in and out of each other—and you can’t help but grin as you notice this habit kicking in.
His breathing is thin, and his body is expectant, as if he’s waiting for you to do something. But you know that he doesn’t need words right now, so you do the first thing that comes to you mind. You scoot towards him, your thigh bumping into his knee and you rest your head onto the plateau of his shoulder. Surprisingly he doesn’t flinch, you feel a relieved sigh escape his nose, the warm air fanning across your forehead. After a few seconds, he slowly lowers his head so that it rests on yours.
Your physical contact is reassuring, calming the storm inside his chest, the dragonflies in his stomach, as he uses this silence to think about what to say to you. About how to say what he wants to tell you. And it’s as if the words have been inside him along as he finally says, “I like you.”
It’s blunt and straightforward, and it would have been unfair for you to think of any other way that he would have confessed. Roses and public exhibitions were never his style. Anything more than two sentences didn’t seem to fit his personality either. So this…was perfect.
Although you expected this to happen, with how the conversation was going downstairs, your cheeks couldn’t resist flushing a warm pink. You stared down at his hands, and Kei let a little smirk betray his poker face, your meekness was adorable.
He rolls his eyes after you don’t say anything. “If you tell me that this is all one-sided—”
Words fail him as you slide your face into the muscles of his bicep. Who knew a simple confession could make the feisty ____________, curl up into a humble lovesick girl. You can feel the warmth of his body from beneath his sweater, feel the rise and fall of each inhale and exhale. And it’s the nicest thing you’ve experienced in a long time. You felt safe.
You mutter something into his sleeve, and you bring your hand up to tug at the fabric at this elbow.
He manages a tiny smile, and whispers, “Sorry, I don’t speak muffled sweater.”
And your words are clear as you look up from his arm and straight into his eyes. Your foreheads are touching, and your stare is so determined that it’s a wonder that he doesn't look away—and why should he? You’ve always been fiery and brilliant in his eyes.
“I like you, too.”
Your noses are so close they’re almost touching. Kei’s hands stopped fumbling with each other, and he brushes his thumb across the back of your hand. Goosebumps rise along your forearms as he traces lazy patterns along your wrist. The entire time, you slip your fingers into his freehand, and it’s the way the feel together makes you feel so secure and so warm.
The look in his ethereal golden brown eyes is wanton beneath his hooded eyelids, and his mouth is slightly open. He blinks and you blink back and he sends a pulse down your joined hands. Then, he’s slowly closing the gap between your lips. He turns his head to the side and he feels you sigh into his body. And at the moment that his mouth ghosted your cupids bow, he realized that you were his rise and his fall.
His touch is sweet and slow, nothing like the tease of your first kiss or the surprise of the second. This third kiss is passionate divine as you bring your hand to cup his jaw as he slides his palm up your arm to caress your too warm cheeks. Eyes closed, his nose brush your cheekbones, leaving the skin tingling and you pushed yourselves deeper into the kiss.
Every time either of you needed oxygen, the intake of breath was rapid because neither you nor Kei wanted this to end. Your head tilts to the side and Kei gently nipped at your lower lip, causing you to let out a near-silent moan. Your tongue grazes the corner of his mouth and you felt his breath hitch with the contact—promising more than you were going to give at the moment. As you pull away, he follows your mouth so that when you finally break the kiss your foreheads are touching again.
Your smile is beautiful enough to strike a man blind as you wrap your hands around his neck and burrow your head into his chest. He wraps a hand around your waist, the touch unassuming and reluctant—almost as if he’s asking for permission. He feels the tiniest nod of your chin against his collar bones and he lets himself wrap his long arms around your hips, pulling you into his lap.
You sit facing him, his legs criss-cross around your own. And you let out a laugh.
His eyes look nervous and scared as he wonders if he did something wrong. “If you don’t want to sit like this you just could have—”
“It’s not that,” you quiet your laughter, releasing a deep breath. “I just thought that you letting me sit in your lap is very uncharacteristic.”
He scoffs and blows cold air into your ear. You squeal and struggle against his hold as he pulls you in closer. “Make another comment like that and I’ll never do this again.”
You think about how comfortable you feel between his legs, his fingers at the small of your back, his ankles wrapped around your seat, and you realize what a travesty it would be if this was the first and last time this happened—because you intend for this to happen many more times in your new relationship. “Okay, deal.”
He smirks and lightly rests his chin on the part of your hair. And with the way his back tenses, you know he’s about to confess something else to you. You do your best make your body accepting and warm.
“You’re the only person I’ve ever gotten this close to,” he whispers, the words tickling your scalp. He brushes his fingers thoughtfully onto the exposed skin between your shirt and your skirt. “I’m not saying Yamaguchi was right in telling you about what happened between Akiteru and me…” He trails off, thinking about what he would do to get back at him. “but also, he wasn’t completely wrong.”
You don’t get a chance to think about what he meant because he’s wrapping his arms around your lower back and adjusting his seat. You look at his face and it’s as if he’s holding back pushing you off his lap. Yes, he’s a little uncomfortable, but sitting like this with you is so nice. He swallows his pride and ignores the prickling sensation of his thighs falling asleep underneath you.
Before he can say anything else, you return his truth with your own.
“You know why I spend most of my time with you at your house?” Something in your voice sounds scared and unhappy, and he wants to purge those emotions out of you forever, but he hides that thought with a quip.
“Because you don’t have any other friends?”
“Prick.” You mutter, eliciting an eye roll from him. But then your shoulders droop, as if the weight of the world had put itself on your shoulders. “My house is usually empty because my parents are never home. They’re jobs have them away on business for days a time. They’re rarely home together, but when they are…”
You bite you lip, and the figure eight he’d been drawing on your back halts as he senses that you might need a moment. But you push forward, you needed to get this out.
“When they are, they’re usually fighting.” You go silent, and he witnesses several emotions flit across your eyes; fear, anger, confusion, and then they finally rest on sadness. “They don’t even notice me slip out of the house to go to yours.” Your voice breaks.
His lips are tight and something about your situation reminds him of his own. Of the many times his mother had to pull him away from his brother after shouting at him. The silence in his own home from not talking to each other, sometimes it was so quiet with three of them there, that it felt like he was always alone.
“You know,” he begins, his voice soft. “you can to my house whenever you want.”
“As great as that is, I’m sure you’d get sick of me eventually.”
It pains him to think that this bitter sentiment of yours originated from your parents’ neglect of you. He’d make up for all those negative emotions eventually. He felt an inherent protectiveness for you.
“I’m not joking.” He replies. And the words are so sincere that you feel a tear well up beneath your eyes.
“You do so much for other people,” he recalls the time in the infirmary after Hinata’s nasty volleyball serve to the head. How your fingers were so gentle as you felt for the bump hidden on his scalp. It was the first time he got a close look of your face, and it left him breathless. “I want to do this for you.”
He thinks you’re about to fight him about it, trigger another famous battle of the wits complete with teasing and taunts, but you happily accept the offer, with a smile and quiet thank you.
You sit in silence for a long time, after a few minutes, he bashfully suggests that you lie on the bed together—the prickliness of his thighs have become too much to bear, even though he loves the feeling of his hands around your waist, and just the feel of you in general, he needed get up.
You give in to the urge of teasing him. Making an offhand comment about how “isn’t it too early in our relationship to ask your girlfriend to lie on a bed with you.” He shut you up with a quick and subdued flick to your forehead. You feign a bruise forming and request a “kiss for your boo-boo” but instead he pulls you from your standing position onto the mattress beside him.
“You were taking too long,” he complains, nuzzling his nose into your hair and inhaling the scent of your shampoo. He wouldn’t admit, but he had wanted to do that for a long time, an embarrassingly long time.
You rest your forehead into the crook of his neck and he idly plays with strands of your hair, your legs become tangled with each other, knees and ankles intertwined. It delighted you to think that physical contact came naturally to the both of you. Although Tsukishima was a little stiff and tense, he eventually relaxed into your curves and edges, he never wanted to leave. You attribute both of your neediness for cuddles from the tension that had been building up from day one, all the hidden desires, now coming out in the form of innocent intimacy.
You both spoke about anything and everything, Kei told you everything that he found annoying about his teammates and you laughed, calling him out on his hypocrisy whenever he complained about something that he was guilty off. He learned off all of your hobbies and the reason why you wanted to join as manager.
“You joined because you had a crush on Sugawara?” Unbelievable. "That's almost as pathetic as Hinata serving a ball into my face."
You shoved him as he teased you about it for a good five minutes as a way of hiding his jealousy. “Leave me alone, okay. It was a stupid indulgent crush but at least one good thing came out of it.”
You baited him and he took it. “What?”
You smirked and you toyed with the hair at the nape of his neck. “I think you know what.”
He scoffed and pinched your sides. Had it not been for his legs wrapped around yours, you would have spasmed and kicked him.
Soon the words and stories became shorter and short as you both just reveled in the feeling of his skin against yours, your touch against his. The sun was setting, the twilight bathing the room with a kind orange light that danced in the highlights of your hair and the irises of your eyes.
At some point, you had fallen asleep on his bicep, your body still curling around his lankiness. Out of habit, he stared past his blinds into the house across the street, and for once, he was glad to see the window your room closed and the lights off, because finally, he had caught the girl he had fallen for right in his arms.