He's checked everywhere, the teacher's offices, all of your classrooms, the library, the cafeteria. He's panting and slightly sweaty as he reaches the student council room. He tries to slide the door open, but it's locked. He can still hear voices of discussion inside, so he pounds against the window. Their voices stop, but nothing happens. So he does it again. A chair squeaks loudly as someone pushes it back to get out of their seat. He holds his breath as he hears footsteps and the turning of a lock, but the person who slides the door open isn't you. You were always the first person to open the door.
In your stead is a short boy with short cropped hair and glasses. Yup, definitely not you.
"___________-chan!" he calls into the room. "Are you in there?"
"Remind me to tell _____________-san not to let her boyfriend into our meetings anymore," he mutters under his breath, his fingers pinching the bridge of his nose in annoyance. "Oikawa-kun, she's not here."
"Impossible," he sticks his head into the room and scans all the faces seated in a circle of desks, but, alas, he was right, you were nowhere to be found. "How can that be?"
"Trouble in paradise?" the boy muses, but his smirk is quickly shut down with a glare from the setter.
"No," Well, at least not to my knowledge. "I've been looking for her everywhere. She's not here?" He asks again.
"Believe me, pal?" the boy groans. "If your Helen of Troy were here, I would gladly give her up to you so you would leave."
Oikawa's eyes darken, but he withholds the insult threatening to spill out of his tongue. He leaves without another word; he didn't want that boy munchkin tattle-tailing that her "all-star boyfriend rudely interrupted a meeting and then insulted the class president." You wouldn't let him kiss you for a week. He smirks at the thought of you trying to resist his advances but ultimately giving in. He fantasizes about your hand in his for a moment before leaning up against another doorway, already missing you. If you weren't at school, where the hell were you?
/ | \
You're at home, huddled deep inside a cocoon made out of the thickest blanket you could find. You wiggle your toes, feel the satisfying scratch of your toenails against the fabric. You shove a handful of popcorn into your mouth, a few pieces falling out of your grasp and down your shirt but you could care less. Using your hand, you grab your shirt and shake it, the stray popcorn pieces fly out from underneath and into the fabric of the blanket.
"Are you sure you don't want any medicine?" you father asks. He's lounging on the couch beside you, watching your antics with a concerned gaze. He steals a few pieces of chips from the torn open bag laying on your side. Between mouthfuls, he says "I know youf said it fwas an awergic reactshun, but I'm not sho shure."
"Ew, Dad, gross," you fake a gag, the noise muffled from behind the comforter surrounding you. "At least swallow first before imparting your paternal wisdom on your ailing child."
Your dad rolls his eyes at you and takes a swig of hot chocolate from his mug. "I'm just concerned for you, m'kay." He gestures at you with his cup, a little of the liquid sloshing out of the brim and slipping down the side. "It's not like you to call in sick."
You stay silent, busying yourself with channel surfing.
"You would usually brave it out," he recalls, scratching at his forehead. "Last time I tried to pick you up from school because you had the flu, you pushed me out the door saying—"
"I have too much to do, and I won't let a pathetic sore throat keep me from doing it," you finish his sentence, vividly recalling how the lady behind the front desk was laughing at the hilarious interaction. But this time was different, and you weren't going to let the real reason be so easily wormed out of you, least of all by your dad.
He takes another slow sip of from his mug, eyeing you the entire time.
"Dad, I'm fine, okay," you put down the remote, the tv settling on the food channel, where a lady was preparing a wedding cake...okay, maybe this wasn't the best choice for you at the moment. "I just ate something that made my stomach feel funny."
You wouldn't let him know that your puffy red eyes were from crying in the bathroom. Or that "your stomach feeling funny" was the feeling of suffocating as your lungs hyperventilated and your mind went into overdrive, oversaturated with negative thoughts that tore at your heart and soul. Your legs went numb and the only thing you had felt at the moment before a teacher found you huddled in the corner of the bathroom, was a burning sense of self-loathing. She had called the nurse when you couldn't respond, the words all choked up and mangled in your heaving throat.
You shook the fresh memory out of your head, intently focusing on the chef's hands as she piped icing on the first tier of the cake. Now if only your life were that simple. You wished you could just make cakes all day instead. You make the batter, pour it out, bake it in the oven, and decorate it. Now if only your days just had that short a list of to-dos! With every responsibility that was dropped onto your shoulders, you found yourself always overwhelmed.
When Oikawa first asked "how you got all that done in one day," you had answered truthfully when you said, "by the skin of your teeth." Your life skated on the edge of deadlines and jumping from one assignment to the next. You barely had time to relax, let alone breath before you were given something else to do because you were "such a hard worker," "an excellent asset to the team," "so determined and flawless." You never had time to be yourself anymore...but then Oikawa came into your hectic life, and he was like a blessing from above.
He taught you to have fun again. How to slow down and enjoy the little things in life, like going to parks, eating milk bread, thinking about aliens for heaven sakes! He was the moment of silence in your loud, noisy, bustling world, and you wanted to thank him so much for that. You could relax beside him, curl into his arms and forget everything. Just talking with him made you forget all your worries and anxieties. For once, you were able to love yourself the way that someone loved you.
"I'm glad you finally took time out of your day to relax a little," your dad said. The chef was almost done placing the last decorations on the cake. How long were you lost in your thoughts? "I know that you mother and I have high expectations for you, and you're doing a really a great job of achieving them—"
"Yeah, I've heard this speech before dad—"
"But!" he cuts you off with a stern glance, but it fades into an admirable and affectionate gaze. "we don't want you to lose yourself."
Well, that's new.
He sighs and scratches his head again. "You're doing such great things at your school, but I just want you to know that we don't love you because of your accomplishments, we love you because you're you. Rely on other people sometimes, give yourself time do what you want. I know we put a lot of pressure on you, and we're sorry."
You gulp, feeling a weight being lifted off your chest at every word that your dad speaks.
"Thanks, dad," You sniff away a cry and wipe at a tear. It was nice to hear that your parents loved you even with all of your faults...which reminded you of a precious someone else. The thought of him made your heart flutter and a smile escape onto your lips.
"You know, I'm feeling a lot better."
"Glad to hear it," he smiles.
"Do you think I'd be able to go to the volleyball game tonight?"
He thinks it over in his head for a moment. "I don't see why not."
The chef places the little plastic figurine of a bride and groom on the top tier of the cake just as you slip out of your blanket cocoon. "Well I'll get ready then, it starts soon."
/ | \
You enter the gym, the cheers and yells of the crowd exponentially louder than it was outside—and it was definitely loud outside. You watched your steps as you made your way up the bleachers, careful to avoid spilled sodas and the billion pieces of popcorn and chips littering the ground. Sheesh, the janitors deserve to get paid more.
The student section is packed full, some unfortunate students having to sit on the steps, unable to find a seat, others are sitting on each other's laps. Their faces are painted turquoise and white, their wardrobe matching the same color palette. You even spot Asami donning blue-green lipstick. You duck your head as her eyes scan over the crowd. You hope she doesn't notice you climb higher up the bleachers.
A deep tenor voice cuts out from the rhythmic clapping together of empty waterbottles and plastic megaphones. "OooooOooooh, Sei-jou!"
The crowd responds with a unison "Sei-jou!"
A second voice doubles the first. "OooooOooooh, Sei-jou!"
You smile as you admire their enthusiasm to support the boys' volleyball team. You find an empty seat in the topmost row of the bleachers, and you finally look down to see the action of the court.
The referee let's the whistle tweet and your eyes widen as you spot a familiar head of brown curls bounce as he smacks down the ball three times. Oikawa grasps the ball in his palm and with one smooth powerful swing of his arm, he throws the ball up. His long legs are quick as he makes a run to the white line ahead of him. He jumps into the air a hair's width from crossing it, knees swinging back his right hand in sync with the rapid descent of the ball. The flat of his palm matches its surface perfectly, the impact sending it flying through the air to the other side. The opposing team get ready to recieve, but their eyes go wide as they watch the arc of the ball force a violent path through the players and decisively land on their boundary line.
The Seijou bleachers erupt in raucous cheers as the whistle blows, and another point is given to your team. 20-5! Unbelievable. You're jumping up and down, cheering ecstatically with the rest of the students. You knew the boys' team was good, but not this good. Every receive, set-up, and spike was an act of precision and speed as the boys score one point after the other.
You were at the edge of your seat as Oikawa was up for another serve. There was no doubt he would land it, it was already a guaranteed win 24-8.
"Match point!" A girl's high pitch voice yelled from the crowd. You would recognize that pinched tone anywhere. "Service ace, Tooru! Whoo!" Your eyebrow ticked and you found yourself clawing at the wall behind you.
At the sound of Asami's voice, Oikawa looks up from spinning the ball in his hand. He meets Asami's gaze, she's cheering for him again, her manicured hands cupped around her mouth as she yells for him. He hides his annoyance at her and sends a non-specific wave to the crowd that has his fangirls swooning.
"We love you Oikawa-kun!" Their combined voices overpowering the cheers of the entire gym.
"Get on with it lover-boy," Iwaizumi growls, he has his hands behind his head, fingers weaved together, not risking his best friend serving into the back of his head. Matsukawa looks over at Iwaizumi, shrugs, and proceeds to do the same thing.
"Have a little faith in me guys!" he whines.
"I swear if you don't make this serve you're buying us all ramen," Matsukawa taunts.
"Let me in on this too," Hanamaki calls from the sideline. "This match has made me pretty hungry—"
"The last time we did that I was almost broke!"
"Hey," Hanamaki held his hands up defensively. "you didn't say we couldn't get seconds."
"Makki! That was unfair—"
"Shut up and make the serve already, Shittykawa!"
"Don't get your panties in a twist, Iwa-chan," Oikawa sticks his tongue at the pointy-haired ace before sending one last wink to the crowd. They go wild, and he's about ready to make the serve when a voice calls out to him loud and clear.
"Give it your best, Tooru!"
He freezes. That wasn't just any girl, he wouldn't recognize that voice anywhere. It was the voice that whispered sweet nothings in his ear. Scolded him for his childishness. Told him terrible jokes. His eyes go back to the student section, ravenously searching the faces for...you.
You're standing up on your seat, the furthest to the back and your cheering energizes him more than anyone else in the room. Your eyes are closed as you yell more encouragement towards him. But when they open up again, you break into a smile that's brighter than the all the lights in the gym. He releases a deep breath as he stares at your face in shock and wonderment. He couldn't believe you were actually here.
Sure, previous girlfriends had come to every one of his games. But their cheers were never as enthusiastic as yours, your voice pulled something in his heart, that no one else had before.
"Oikawa! Serve!" his coach yells at him, and Oikawa is shaken out of his reverie.
He kisses the palm of his free hand and blows it in the direction of the crowd. The girls' screams join the raging pandemonium of the game, but you both know who that kiss was intended for.
Revitalized, Oikawa goes straight into his serve with more vigor than before. His movements are both violent and elegant as the ball flies up, a spinning blur as Oikawa's run eats up the surface of the court. The crowd's cheers become unison as they crescendo with Oikawa's jump. His lean body is rocketed to the ceiling, and his hand comes up from behind him like a whip as the ball's spin stops in mid-air and is powerfully launched to the other side. It smashes through the opposing team's blockers and again lands on the white boundary line.
The crowd riots as the students chest bump and hug each other. You're screaming Oikawa's name, voice hoarse from yelling through that serve sequence. It was so perfect that is seemed supernatural.
"_____________!" Oikawa yells, barreling past his teammates as they huddle around him. He escapes their grasps as they try to lift him up, but he's swift and slippery, and nothing would keep him from getting to you.
Confetti and popcorn are flying in the air as Oikawa stands in front of the crowd. He sees you pushing through the mass of bodies, earning you a good amount of glares and angry faces as you make your way to the very front. You're yelling his name, your jubilance visible on your face with a broad smile and glistening eyes. You're so close—
But then Asami is in front of him, she squeals her delight at the team's victory. She says something about going out to dinner to celebrate, but he ignores it, looking around her to search for your face.
"Maybe ramen, I know there's a shop nearby—"
"Oikawa!" You magically appear beside her as you shove aside one of the male students.
"___________! You're actually here!"
"That was incredible!" But your words are lost to him as he pulls himself up from the court floor, his feet dangling below him. He rises one more inch to close the distance between his mouth and yours. And the world goes quiet as you melt into this sweet, glorious kiss. He was so happy to see that you've finally made it to one of his games.
He knew how busy you were, so he didn't want to add the burden of his practices and matches to your plate. He understood how demanding you lifestyle was, and respected it fully. He didn't want you to give up everything just to be with him, he wanted to be there to support you, as you supported him with every moment you were together. If you were busy, you were busy, and he would do everything that he could to help you out. And he expressed this devotion to you with every movement of his lips against yours.
You wrap your arms around his neck, teeth clacking against his as the boys beside you help pull him into the bleachers. But he doesn't break the kiss all the while. He's high on adrenaline as both hands wrap around your waist. He feels your lips smile against his and he pulls you up from the ground, spinning you in the air. The crowd goes wild, but all you can focus is on the beautiful boy in front of you. You lose all sense of anxiety and insecurity as he kisses you deeper.
And if you could, you would stop time just to stay in this one careless moment forever.