The Karasuno volleyball team sat on the road in front of Coach Ukai and Takeda-sensei. They looked like a bunch of elementary school children on a field trip, well if said children had been in a war of some kind. Sensei had opted to treat the injured before moving into the forest partly so that they could assess the extent of the damage but also partly because he truly hoped someone would drive by and rescue them. They’d been sitting there almost thirty minutes, however, and not a single vehicle, not even someone on a bicycle, had passed. Takeda sighed, defeated, and opened the first aid kit. It was quite a well-equipped kit; bandages, plasters, gauze, antiseptic spray and even a small pair of tweezers were all present inside it.
“Okay, Kageyama first,” Ukai announced as he crouched beside the first year.
Kageyama winced as the coach pulled up his trouser leg and pressed gently against his skin. His shin was roughly bruised but there was no blood, so no sign of any broken bones, and when Ukai asked him to bend his knee and wiggle his toes, Kageyama did so quite easily.
“I don’t think it’s broken,” Ukai said, “But you won’t be able to put much pressure on it. We’ll find you a stick to use as a cane in the meantime.”
Hinata was going to make an ‘old man’ comment but was silenced by a deathly glare from Kageyama. Takeda checked both Nishinoya and Hinata for concussions but, if he was being honest, didn’t really know what he was looking for. Neither boy seemed lethargic or dizzy so he just hoped that meant they would be okay.
Ukai ordered the tiny redhead to lay on his stomach as the elder rolled up what was left of the spiker’s shirt to reveal Hinata’s scraped back. It looked worse than it was, hell it looked like raw meat but once the coach brushed off the grit and dirt and used some gauze to pat away most of the blood it didn’t look as drastically terrible. He sprayed some antiseptic spray on the open scratches and on Hinata’s arm and leg and asked Nishinoya to lend him one of his shirts. The libero handed over a bright orange t-shirt with a singing clam on it, much to Hinata’s overwhelmed joy. He wore it with pride.
Suga’s cheek was gashed pretty deeply and so Daichi clumsily stuck a band-aid on it whilst Nishinoya looked over at Asahi with narrowed eyes. The ace didn’t look too worse for wear; his face was bruised and swollen but other than that he just looked tired and kind of dejected, which, Noya thought, wasn’t really unusual. Asahi did, however, seem to be sitting awkwardly. He was sitting on his butt with his long legs out in front of him but was resting most of his weight on his left arm behind him. To be honest, he looked constipated.
“Asahi-san,” Nishinoya’s voice made the third year jump, “Lift up your shirt.”
Asahi gaped like a fish for a moment and stuttered, “Wh-Why?”
The libero launched at him without warning and yanked his t-shirt up in one swift movement, revealing Asahi’s broad torso. Tanaka gasped audibly and Yamaguchi’s eyes almost fell out of his skull at the sight. Covering most of the ace’s upper body was a huge, ugly purple-red bruise. It snaked from his collarbone all across his ribs and down into his underwear.
“I-It’s nothing, really!” Asahi tried to pull his shirt down but Noya held tight, “My seatbelt just didn’t really work!”
“Why didn’t you say anything?!,” Nishinoya finally let go of the shirt and frowned up at Asahi angrily, “You’ve been lifting people, lifting me and you’ve probably got some broken ribs, idiot!”
“Sorry...” Asahi mumbled as Daichi grinned in his direction.
“You tell him, Nishinoya!” The captain smirked at Asahi’s blushing cheeks and turned his attention to Tanaka, “How’s your shoulder?”
The wing spiker shrugged and then immediately regretted the gesture as his shoulder screamed at him.
“Okay, I guess.”
“Come here,” Suga patted the ground beside him and Tanaka obediently sat down there.
Sugawara took Ryuu’s wrist and wiggled his arm lightly, his own injuries aching as he did so. Tanaka’s arm didn’t sit quite right and Suga immediately knew why.
“Your shoulder is out of its socket.”
Tanaka nodded, “I guessed as much.”
“Daichi is going to pop it back in.”
“I-” the captain turned to Suga in horror, “I’m what?”
Suga shrugged, “Well I can’t do it!” he gestured to his bleeding elbows, one of which was quickly swelling to the size of a grapefruit.
Daichi gulped loudly as Hinata and Nishinoya gathered around them, sensing something was about to happen. He took Tanaka’s hand and elbow and braced himself like someone about to swing a baseball bat.
“Whoa, whoa whoa!” Tanaka leaned away from the third year, desperation on his face, “Do you even know what you’re doing?!”
“Of course I do!” Daichi turned to Suga, pleading in his dark eyes.
“First grab his forearm tightly,” Suga instructed and Daichi followed silently, “Now, you need to lift the arm slightly and then yank it firmly until you hear a ‘pop’.”
“A ‘pop’?!” Tanaka squeaked.
“So cool!” Hinata’s round eyes were glued to the scene as he trembled with excitement.
“Are you sure this is right, Suga-san?!” Tanaka asked, this time with a little less worry in his voice.
The setter nodded, “I dislocated mine once and I watched how the doctor did it. It’ll be fine, trust me.” He plastered his best ‘I know what I’m doing’ smile on and watched as Tanaka fell prey to it.
“Alright, on three,” Daichi started, “One, two,” he yanked Tanaka’s arm hard and an audible crunch and pop echoed through the group as well as a strange strangled yelp from the second year.
Both Hinata and Nishinoya clapped in awe and Tsukishima had to hold onto Yamaguchi as he teetered slightly, face ashen. Ukai had been busy attempting to wrap a bandage around his own wrist when he’d heard the squawk from Tanaka and quickly rushed over to the group.
“Jesus!” his face scrunched up in horror but both Sugawara and Sawamura were just smiling triumphantly, “You popped it back in?” he asked no one in particular.
“It was like wham!” Hinata beamed.
“Easier than I thought!” Daichi gave Suga a thumbs-up as Ukai rushed to make a sling for poor Tanaka.
Meanwhile, Tsukishima was spraying antiseptic spray on Yamaguchi’s hands and arms where the glass had sliced into his skin. He couldn’t really see what he was doing, what with his glasses having fallen into the abyss, and so he just aimed at whatever looked red. Not wanting his friend to get an infection, he then grabbed some band-aids and fumbled to unwrap them so that he could put them onto Tadashi’s cut fingers. After three minutes of trying to figure out how to actually get into the damn things, however, Yamaguchi took them off Tsukki and started to put them on himself. Tsukishima noticed the freckled teen wince as he reached for another plaster and tilted his head quizzically.
“Did you hurt somewhere else too?” Tsukki asked, an unusual expression of concern on his face.
Yamaguchi shook his head, “Just a bruise from the seatbelt I think,” he turned to look at his friend, “What about you? Didn’t you get hurt?”
Tsukki shook his head, “Just a few bruises.”
The pinch server was going to comment on the fact that Tsukki didn’t seem his usual snarky self but was interrupted by Takeda-sensei clapping his hands together. He stood at the front of the group with one of the hold-alls over his shoulder and spoke with an air of authority rarely associated with the teacher.
“Okay, we’re going to head into the forest to set up a camp. Those of you who can walk please help the others.”
Daichi immediately headed for Kageyama and Asahi helped him onto the captain’s back, much to the first year’s chagrin. Nishinoya scooped his bag onto one arm and helped steady Hinata with the other whilst the rest of the team fell into step behind the adults.
They’d been walking about thirty minutes over uneven ground and slippery rocks when Ukai decided it was time for a break. He wanted to set up camp near some running water for easy access and he could just make out the sound of trickling water as they caught their breath.
Daichi almost fell onto a fallen tree as he plonked Kageyama down onto it with little grace and tried to get his breathing to a more human level. Suga, Tanaka, Hinata and Nishinoya joined them on the log and took turns sipping from Kageyama’s water bottle, which he’d thankfully filled before they had boarded the bus. Asahi flopped down in the dirt in front of the log, wincing as his ribs rubbed against his skin awkwardly and leaned his head back against Noya’s dangling legs. They looked like shipwreck survivors and Takeda couldn’t help the ‘family’ vibe he got from the whole scene. Even in the gymnasium the team looked like a family unit, with Daichi and Suga at the helm, but now, in the wilderness and what with their beaten bodies, they looked even more like a mismatched group of relations.
Two members of the family were missing, however, and Ukai was about to go looking for them when Yamaguchi and Tsukishima finally joined them in the clearing. The rest moved over so that the two could sit down and the coach couldn’t help but notice how Tsukishima flopped heavily, like he’d been struggling to keep upright. Perhaps he was just exhausted from pulling his best friend from certain death, Ukai was pretty sure that’d effect even the most headstrong people.
“Well,” Daichi cracked his neck and stretched, “This certainly wasn’t the afternoon I had planned.”
“Yeah, this sucks,” Yamaguchi huffed.
“Hey!” Nishinoya chirped up, “Let’s just think of it as an adventure! We’ll camp here tonight and then tomorrow we can go home and tell everyone how we survived a deer attack!”
“Ohoo!” Hinata’s eyes sparkled at the idea of going home a hero.
“Maybe don’t tell anyone it was a ‘deer attack’,” Suga suggested, “Sounds kind of lame.”
“A bear then!” Tanaka piped up.
“Do we even have bears in Japan?” Asahi asked, a little apprehension in his voice.
“Pandas?” Kageyama asked, face deep in thought.
There was a pause as the group waited for the inevitable correction from Tsukishima but it didn’t come. Yamaguchi looked at his friend, who seemed to be sweating more than the temperature would suggest, and touched Tsukki’s forearm, causing the taller boy to flinch.
“Hmm?” Tsukishima blinked himself out of his reverie and squinted at Yamaguchi, “What?”
“Are you okay, Tsukki?”
The blocker felt all eyes resting on him and forced an arrogant smirk onto his perspiring face, “I’m fine. Shut up.”
Ukai informed them it was time to move on and the team got to their feet once more, Daichi once again perching Kageyama on his back. The coach said it would only be another ten minutes or so before they reached a good spot and so the captain had ‘taken one for the team’ as it were and offered to continue to carry the first year the rest of the way.
Another five minutes of walking and Yamaguchi could tell something was very wrong. Tsukishima kept stopping to catch his breath every few steps and he was holding his left side, just beneath his chest like he was trying to keep his organs in check.
“Tsukki?” Tadashi glanced between his friend and the disappearing sight of his team in front of them, “Tsukki, are you okay?”
The blocker took one more step and his face contorted into one of pain before his eyes rolled back and he fell to the ground in a heap.