This is SO LONG and I didn't even plan on it, but it makes up for how long this took! But, I'm very very very proud of this chapter, so enjoy!
The morning had begun with dancing on tables.
In celebration for the completion of both her and Yoshiki's pieces for the upcoming gallery, Mayumi screamed a victory scream and turned on the music, dragging her half-asleep partner with her on top of a paint-stained table. At first walking in on Yoshiki sleeping, Mayumi had shrieked. "If I would of known you were spending the night here to finish, I would of stayed with you!" she had cried, and it made Yoshiki feel so whimsical and want to go up to Sugawara and point a finger in his face and gloat that Mayumi Hayashi was finally fretting over her Vice President and not her neighbor. She then logged into her own computer for once and clicked on a playlist, and Yoshiki was surprised at how positively glowing her round face was, and, in his sleep-deprived state, Yoshiki thought that walking over to her and pinning her against the counters sounded like a lovely idea, while his conscience screamed at him, She will kick you in the face and not regret a thing.
"Yoshiki!" she suddenly said, and Yoshiki started, thinking that he had somehow sleep-walked over to her, and he braced for her flats with their little spikes to come sailing across his cheek, though, instead, he was frozen at feeling her hand grab his, "Wake up, why don't you?! Come on!" she laughed, stepping on a chair and hauling herself up on a table. She made a smart comment, something about how it was the Vice President's job to clean the tables, as she tugged on his fingers until he eventually hauled himself up with her.
"Dance, Yoshiki!" she whooped, taking a hold of his other hand and delicately, subtly, intertwining their fingers. Unsure what else to do, listening to the crescendo of the static in the background of whatever stupid song he knew she had to listen to, he began slowing moving his hips in time with hers.
"My eyes are up here, Yoshiki," she said, and he snapped his gaze back up to her face, away from her hips, so completely shocked that she was smiling, and he knew that he was going to have to savor her good mood while it lasted.
"We were born to break the doors down,
until the end.
It's something that's inside us,
it's how we've always been, yeah!"
"You listen to such shit music," he said, rolling his eyes, however he was still moving, and she pursed her lips together and made a pfffttttt sound.
"Like you have any room to talk," she retorted.
"We are the misfits,
we are the bad kids,
we ain't perfect but that's alright!"
She was grinning, and, however shitty Yoshiki thought the song was, her beaming face was making him enjoy it.
"Love us or hate us,
nothin' can break us,
better believe us.
Times, they are a-changing tonight!"
He spun her, and, though he expected her to reject and squirm, she twirled with him, and, soon enough, he found himself laughing as she sang along, so off-key but yet so loud. Even as it ended and they were both panting and Yoshiki was suddenly wide awake, she was humming through her labored breaths. Their hands still locked together as the song switched, and their eyes suddenly meant.
"You listen to such shitty music," he repeated.
"I know," she replied, her shoulders heaving as his hands left hers.
"Put them here," she instructed, and Yoshiki's whole body went rigid as she took his hands back, leading them to her hips.
"I'm in trouble;
I'm an addict,
I'm addicted to this girl.
She's got my heart tied in a know,
and my stomach in a whirl."
"You have no rhythm," Mayumi said as the two swayed back and forth atop the tables, lifting her arms to drape them loosely around his neck.
"I know," Yoshiki responded, his voice a quiet breath.
"But even worse, I can't stop calling her.
She'd all I want and more,
I mean, damn,
what's not to adore?"
While Mayumi wanted to rock back and forth to the tempo of her music, she was allowing Yoshiki's hands to lead her so off-beat that she wanted to punch him. One side of her brain was celebrating with her, and the other was rolling its eyes.
Love triangles are so cliché, it said.
"You're cliché," she said aloud, and Yoshiki's eyes blinked.
"What?" he questioned, and she laughed at him.
"I'm in trouble;
I'm so cliché!
See, that word just wears me out,
makes me feel like just another boy just to laugh and joke about,"
"The song," she assured him, and, though his brow furrowed, they were still moving.
"I'm running my mouth just like I got her,
but I surely don't."
"Grandma brought up the cookies finally, Mayumi! Where do you want me to put them?"
"Because she's so,
o-oh, o-oh, o-oh,
rock and roll and out of my league."
Yoshiki and Mayumi broke apart; she tripped over one of his large feet and fell backwards, however there he was, reaching out and catching her.
"Is she out of my league?
Let's hope not."
She up-righted herself, and Yoshiki looked over his shoulder to see Suisen standing in the doorway, her head cocked at the two atop the table and a tray of cookies held in her hands. He could see that the were decorated with designs of frosting to look like volleyballs, and his previous euphoria was forgotten as he climbed off the table, for her knew that it was Mayumi to do so.
"Go ask Kiyoko-chan, alright? She'll know. Or find Takeda-sensei." she told Suisen, glancing over her shoulder as Yoshiki logged her off of her computer; her music came to an abrupt halt, and she scrunched up her nose before turning back to her friend.
"I can do that," said Suisen, looking over Mayumi's shoulder as Yoshiki walked around the room, and her eyebrows pushed together. "Yo, Suzumiya, are you looking for your camera? It's plugged into your computer." she told him, switching the tray of cookies to her other hand as she watched him pad over to his computer, his steps quiet and his eyes down-casted. "You look beat, Yoshiki. Are you sure you're up for this today?"
"I'm sure." he said, taking the thin hair tie from his wrist and bringing his hair back into a small ponytail. He checked his appearance in the mirror and gave a grunt of annoyance, yanking the tie out and rubbing at his face before attempting with his hair again. "I'm sure." he repeated, tilting his head from side to side, the tiny strands of hair he'd pulled back swaying with him.
Suisen paused as Yoshiki huffed, unplugging his camera and rolling it around in his palms. "If you're sure." she finally said, and Mayumi frowned at that, looking back at him. His eyes kept down on the camera in his hands, and she was suddenly and unexplainably angry as she turned back Suisen.
"Are you ready to leave?" she asked, and Suisen opened her mouth and closed it, before opening it again.
"What? I mean, yeah, if you two are. Kagome and Ayane are already in the gym. They said something about interviewing the boys, but I highly doubt that's what they're actually doing." she said, adjusting the tray in her hands. "I'm going to go find Kiyoko-chan, then. I'll meet you two down there, okay?"
Mayumi opened her mouth and closed it and did not open it again, for Suisen had already retreated back out the doorway and was on her way down the hall, and the President and Vice President were forced to walk awkwardly after her together.
"MAYUMI-CHAN! HI, MAYUMI-CHAN!"
It was a shock that, this time around, it was he calling to her; if anything, it was as if she hadn't even seen him, glancing down at the gymnasium's floor before her eyes finally settled on the waving brunette. His sparkling smile made Keiko's glasses fog up; Ayane's face grow pink; Kagome reach up to fix her little strawberry hairclip. Even Suisen's cheeks puffed out, chewing obnoxiously loudly on the crackers she'd found stuffed in Mayumi's purse.
Yoshiki, on the other hand, was shaking from anger, wondering what the hell made this boy think he could be special enough to call her by her first name.
"Oh - hello, Oikawa-kun," she called back, and Yoshiki fell back into Kazuki, clutching at his heart, where he swore she'd shoved a dagger. She'd actually responded? Yoshiki could not remember how long it had taken her to finally say a hello back to him when he'd walk into the art room.
"Get off of me," grumbled Kazuki, and Yoshiki choked as he was pushed off of him, falling back into the chair beside Suisen.
"He's very focused on Mayumi, for someone who has a match about to happen," Yoshiki breathed out to the girl beside him. She offered him a cracker, and he took the whole bag from her.
"You're also very focused on Mayumi," observed Suisen, working her elbow onto his arm rest, claiming it as her own. Yoshiki didn't respond as he brushed off crumbs from his chest, and she rolled her eyes at him. "Don't take it so hard, Yoshiki." she said, swiping her bag back from him, and she groaned when she discovered it empty. He laughed, and she rose her elbow and jabbed it into his side, and he choked once again, Kazuki taking several large steps away from him.
"Yoshiki," said Mayumi, reaching her hand behind her back and snapping her fingers at him. He jumped up from his chair, his breath regained, and appeared at her shoulder in less than five seconds. Suisen tittered loudly behind him, and he flashed her an inconspicuous middle finger.
"Yes?" he said, and she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye before turning her gaze back to the lined up teams.
"I'm going to separate everyone again. Can you stay here with me?" she asked, and he paused for just a moment.
"Yes," he repeated, and she nodded, turning and clapping her hands, drawing the attention of her club.
"Kazuki-kun, where are you?" she asked, and he slid past her. "You and Keiko-chan can go over to where Aoba Johsai's cheer squad is."
A finger jutted out to Kazuki. "I see that face, and don't you dare give me that. I know they're loud. Get over it," she said, and Keiko laughed so loudly in his ear that Kazuki's left eye began to twitch. "Deal with them. No fighting, either, Kazuki. You're representing your club."
He waved a lazy hand at her in response, and, though her lips pursed, she turned to Kagome and Ayane, sending the other two on their way.
"Did you hear that, Kazuki-kun?" Keiko was saying as they walked off, "No fighting. That means with me, too."
"I will happily be kicked out of this club," he responded.
"You two alright being over there?" asked Mayumi, jabbing a thumb over her shoulder. Kagome flashed a bright smile, while Ayane simply nodded her head.
"Of course, Boss!" said Kagome, her hands on her hips.
"You'd think, being the only third-year in the club," Ayane said quietly, "that Kazuki-kun would have matured a little."
"It's old age!" claimed Kagome, shrugging her shoulders. "Maybe we'll be like that, next year."
"He was like that, last year, too." Ayane muttered, though by now Kagome had hooked an arm through hers and was swaying her way over to their seats.
Mayumi turned back to the two teams below, her camera held in her hands. Yoshiki watched as she played with it though didn't turn it on, and he cocked his head just barely at her.
"What's wrong?" he asked. She shook her head and gave a sudden laugh that only made his worry increase.
"Nothing. I got this new eyeliner while I was with Suisen last night. How's it look?" she asked, turning towards him. His brow furrowed, though still he examined it as she blinked dark lashes. He didn't fully understand the concept of her wings, and the one time he'd watch her apply her make-up one morning in the art room, he had squirmed at seeing her put anything so close to her eyes, and had to turn away in an attempt to calm the nauseous feeling that he'd gotten. It was so much like painting that he was confused why he'd gotten queasy, and when she'd asked him if her wings looked even he looked back at her with wide eyes, wondering what in the hell she was talking about, and then she blinked and got the wetness of her eyeliner smeared on her waterline. He had thought it was ironic that she did her make-up in a fashion that involved anything called wings, and he wanted to make a joke about it and would have had she not pulled a Q-tip from her bag and began swiping it underneath her eye.
"It's very dark," he told her finally. She gave a small smirk up to him, and, just as she was saying, "Good," he was saying, "I like it."
"You know what pisses me off?" suddenly intervened Suisen, shoving her way in-between the two. Yoshiki cast her a glance, while Mayumi went to turn on her camera. "The way they go, Goooooooooooooooooo!' whenever someone hits the ball - serves it? Whatever it's called. Because that would put a hell of a lot of pressure on me if I was serving."
"Maybe if enough people do it," said Mayumi, looking through the lenses of her camera, "he'll do bad."
"I don't think that's how this works," said Yoshiki, though, the next time Oikawa served, the two girls beside him joined in on the cheering, and he couldn't help but attempt to shrink away from them when Takinoue and Shimida glanced over to them.
"Why don't you ask them?..." he muttered, though Suisen and Mayumi could not hear him over their screaming.
And then Sugawara switched for Kageyama, and Mayumi's screaming for Oikawa stopped very abruptly and her eyes lit up. She strained her arm to wrap around Yoshiki's neck, and she hung off of him with his arm bracing her. He croaked out, "M-Mayumi, you're choking me...!" though she didn't seem to care as she whooped.
"Suga, Suga!" she cheered, her camera hitting against Yoshiki's chin as she dangled from his neck, "I'm so excited to see you play! Come on, come on, Koushi!" she was shouting. Yoshiki's ears rang when she was finished, and he was barely able to hear the chatter of Suisen when Mayumi dropped from his neck. She was suddenly much more ready to take pictures, and, from across the court, there was a sudden yell of, "TsuuuuKKKIIIII!" from Kagome that echoed all around the gymnasium.
Though Yoshiki had to admit, as much as he detested the source, he was glad for the sudden brightening of the club. Glancing up, he even caught Kazuki talking with Keiko - however much his brow was furrowed, he seemed to be giving a small smirk, and that was something.
Even with the first set lost, Suisen was practically dangling off the railing as she shouted down to Karasuno, "Let's go, let's go, boys!"
Mayumi clapped so hard her hands stung, leaving Yoshiki to help Suisen back up, screaming down to them, "You've got this, Karasuno!" Her hands felt numb when she finally dropped them to her sides, and she took the time while the teams were switching sides to glance up and look over the members of her club she'd placed around the gym.
Kagome was clapping with just as much vigor, her palms a blaring pink and her camera violently shaking from her wrist each time her hands punched together. Her strawberry hairclip was falling askew, though for once she did not seem to mind, finally giving her hands a break and waving down to the team below. She called out each and every one of their names individually as they passed by her, grinning at them from ear-to-ear. Ayane, beside her, was clapping much more delicately, her lips just barely quirked up, though her cheeks were a bright, bright red. She reached up with a hurried motion and brushed a stray bang behind her ear, revealing several twinkling accessories, however as she reached for her camera and began taking pictures, the persistent strand fell back to cover them. Directly across from Mayumi and Yoshiki were Keiko and Kazuki; Keiko was turned away from the boy, and, though she'd deny it if asked, it was because she was teary-eyed from the game that was taking place below her. Kazuki was leaned against the railing, plugging his ears as Aoba Johsai cheered, however his eyes were glued to the scoreboard.
Mayumi, like Keiko, would never admit this, but she was proud.
Yoshiki caught her sudden grin however, and it made him finally brighten with everyone else.
When Kageyama was switched back in, everyone around her turned towards Mayumi - Yoshiki and Suisen even took a step or two away from her - expecting her to begin yelling obscenities that would get her hauled away, and it shocked all of them that she was beaming. Even Kazuki rose his chin from the railing and unplugged his ears briefly in shock as she leaned over the railing and looked down at the first-year.
"Let's go, Kageyama!" she screamed, and Kazuki was suddenly sucked back into the yelling of the gymnasium, and he promptly plugged his ears again.
"Kageyan, Kageyan, come on!" cheered Suisen. She pounded her hands against the railing and then cussed, lifting her hand and hugging her injured knuckles to her chest.
Though it hurt, Mayumi clapped her hands together for him, before she tugged at Yoshiki's sleeve and said she was going to check on everyone else, and did not return for the whole set. She was interrupted constantly as she moved, from Kagome having to cheer to having to find Keiko some tissue, and, when Karasuno won the set, it was Kazuki she hung off this time. He yelled at her and attempted to shove her off, though it only seemed to tighten her grip on him until he crumpled to the ground with her arms still thrown around him.
"You're not very strong, Kazuki-kun," she said, and he pushed her off him as he stumbled to his feet.
"Don't talk to me like that, Mayumi." he grumbled out, though Keiko looked at him, reaching for his bicep.
"Y-your arms are very noodle-ish, Kazuki..." she hiccupped out, and he groaned loudly, collapsing back in a seat.
Mayumi stayed with them for several more minutes, before returning to Kagome and Ayane and cheering with them, looking over Ayane's pictures with her and murmuring about the yearbook before she left them as well. She came jogging up to Yoshiki and Suisen, and the two were so shocked to see her running that Yoshiki almost dropped his camera and Suisen turned away from the game.
"You're in a hurry," remarked Suisen, and, already out of breath, Mayumi didn't respond, just huffing and puffing as she turned back to the court.
"Yoshiki, let me see your camera," she finally said, and he nodded, handing it to her. The two huddled together, shoulder-to-shoulder, and, if not for Suisen's gasp, Mayumi would of completely missed Yamaguchi. She glanced up and suddenly shoved the camera back to Yoshiki, going to Suisen and clasping hands with her.
"He looks so nervous! Poor baby," remarked Suisen with a brief squeeze.
"He's got this, he's got this," said Mayumi, returning the squeeze, and then repeating it louder. "You've got this, Yamaguchi!" she called, and when the young boy glanced up to her she gave an encouraging wink, though, if anything, it only seemed to worsen his shaking.
When he fell short, Mayumi cringed, and Kagome jumped up and down, cupping her hands around her mouth. "Don't worry, Yamaguchi!" she screamed.
"I'm worried," remarked Suisen quietly, and, in response, Mayumi intertwined their fingers without a word more.
Yoshiki glanced up from his camera at the two girls; at seeing them holding hands, he felt as if he was inclined to say something, anything, though every saying he could think of sounded stupid in his head. What he was thinking was Please don't cry, please don't cry in a repeated chant, and it made him nervous to even think that would happen. He slid his camera into his pocket and reached for his ponytail, tugging it out and beginning to redo it for the sake of distracting himself.
"This is never ending," Suisen finally said, and she reached up, tugging at her neckline as if it was choking her. She gave a breathy, shaky laugh. "Volleyball's going to give me another ulcer. I need to stop coming to there, seriously, Mayumi," she said.
Mayumi rolled her eyes, smiling at her friend. "You'd still show up," she said, and Suisen shrugged.
"I'm way too invested in this team. You're right." she said, and the two girls smiled. Still with their palms pressed together, they began to cheer once more, and Yoshiki gave up with his ponytail, grabbing his camera again and getting a single picture of them.
Suisen suddenly fell to her knees after the photo, and Yoshiki hesitated, turning back to the court as the ball hit the floor, and the scores were shifted. His camera was, all-of-a-sudden, much too heavy for his hands, and he returned it back to his pocket.
Kagome's strawberry hairclip finally fell to the ground - it bounced slightly at her feet, and she barely even noticed, her grip so tight on the railing her knuckles were white; Ayane's hair fell in her face, her camera downcast; Keiko let out a loud, choking sob that she attempted to cover with her hands; Kazuki stood abruptly from his seat, looking to the gymnasium.
And he was afraid to glance to Mayumi, though, standing there frozen, he felt her hand suddenly reach for his instead of Suisen's. It barely lasted a moment, for, as the team lined up below them, Mayumi rose her hands to clap, and, Yoshiki, jolted awake, did the same; Suisen hauled herself up and clapped with quiet sniffles. Mayumi opened her mouth after a moment and called down, "You did a great job, guys," and Suisen attempted to do the same, though the best she could manage was a large grin.
"Are you alright?" Yoshiki asked, and Mayumi gave a slow nod.
"I'm perfectly fine, Yoshiki. My concern would be for the boys," she said, and the boy hesitated, looking away with both an ashamed and bashful look.
"Yeah... You're right," he muttered to her, however, after a moment, her hand found his again.
"Let's go gather the club. I'm not going to make them stay while the boys have their meeting," she said, and he gave a slow nod as she began to walk, calling over her shoulder for Suisen.
Mayumi was just a few steps behind Sugawara, her sigh audible and echoing its way into the gym.
"You guys really don't have to run everywhere, you know that, right?" she said, however she paused in the doorway, glancing over her shoulder and giving a whine. "That doesn't mean you can walk at turtle-speed, though, Yoshiki!"
Suisen breezed in beside her, laughing. "You'd think all those days of making him run everywhere with me, he'd move a little faster!" she remarked, and, from behind them, there was a yelp as several envelopes fluttered out of his grip.
"Maybe if you guys hadn't of made me carry everything!" he cried, and Mayumi rolled her eyes, turning back to the gymnasium, grinning at them as she walked in. She closed the door on Yoshiki and he gave an aggravated scream from the other side until she finally slid it back open for him. He was holding a tray, clutching envelopes underneath his arms.
"Hi, boys!" she said, waving at them. They were truly shocked of her recent change-of-attitude, though none had yet to confront her on it. "So! Suisen and I had made a surprise for all of you guys the other day, but, after the match, we kind of forgot, and they got stale." she said, walking as she spoke, weaving her way through the volleyball team. "No big deal! We just remade them."
"She says no big deal," Suisen said to Yoshiki, crossing her arms over her chest, "But when she had to frost all of those volleyballs again, she kind of had a breakdown and locked herself in the bathroom for half an hour."
"You know, I don't really even know if you guys can eat these, since you're athletes and whatever," she shrugged, and stopped in front of them, smiling, "But, either way, I have no issue eating them all myself. Yoshiki!" she called, glancing over to her Vice President; he walked stiffly over, making sure his hold on the envelopes stayed tight. She pulled off the foil from the tray and turned back with a laugh that was just a tiny bit shaky. She'd been worried the frosting would be messed up with Yoshiki's walking with the foil on, and she hadn't wanted to punch him in front of everyone, though the volleyball designs had stayed in place on the sugar cookies. "Suisen baked, and I frosted! Do you guys know how hard it is to make a volleyball out of frosting?"
Suisen jumped forward, taking the tray from Yoshiki, and he breathed a thank you, reaching for the envelopes. "They're made with love, boys! And who cares if you're athletes?! Live a little!" she said, holding the tray out to them, and Tanaka and Nishinoya plowed through Sugawara and Daichi and shoved Hinata out of the way to get to her first.
"Suisen-chan's baking is the best!" said Tanaka, reaching for the tray, and she laughed, pulling it away and swatting at his hands, looking back at Yoshiki and calling for the napkins - he grumbled something, though still removed his bag and pulled out the package of napkins, bringing them to her.
"Do you want to know the secret?" she asked, and waited several beats to answer. "Love!" she said with a wink, "I already told you guys that! I mix it by hand, not by using a machine." she said, taking a napkin from Yoshiki. "It makes them more special! Here, Tanaka," she said, handing a cookie to Tanaka before taking another napkin and giving one to Nishinoya. "This really isn't that hard to hold a tray with one hand, Yoshiki, I don't see what you're problem was." she said to him, and he had to take several deep breaths and count to ten once to avoid throwing the napkins in her face.
"The volleyballs look so nice, Mayumi-chan!" Nishinoya said through a mouthful of crumbs, and Mayumi grinned, clapping her hands together.
"Do they?! Thanks!" she said, taking the napkins from Yoshiki and helping Suisen hand out cookies. "We've got another surprise for you, boys! Yoshiki?" she said, though he was already at her side, holding the envelopes up in the air. "I printed off some more pictures for you guys! I don't know, maybe you already have enough from last time, but I thought you'd like to see what we took at the matches from the past few days. They're not just my pictures, either! I took them off everybody's camera. If you want to know who took what, I wrote their names on the back of the picture!"
She plucked an envelope from Yoshiki's hands. "Daichi, if you don't mind, you're first!" she called, and he laughed as he walked towards her.
"You don't have to do this, Mayumi-chan," he said to her as he took the envelope, and she smiled up at him, shrugging her shoulders.
"You're right, I don't," she said, passing him a cookie wrapped in a napkin, "But I sold my soul to this volleyball team the moment my mom and I moved into the house next to Suga's."
"Well, if it means anything, I'm glad for that," he said, smiling back at her, and she shook her head, turning away from him.
"So am I," she said regardless, and nudged him briefly with her elbow before she held out another cookie. "Tsukki, seriously, what're you doing?! Your legs are long, you could walk over here in one stride! Stop being so shy and come get a cookie."
"Ahh, we've got an envelope for you, too!" called Suisen, turning toward Yoshiki, who searched for his name before passing it to her. She waved it in the air - the tray wobbled just barely and Yoshiki swore his heart stopped. "This is a secret, just between me and you, but most of your pictures were taken by Kagome-chan!"
Hinata sputtered from beside her, and she grinned as Tsukishima stalked over and tugged the envelope from her hands.
"You two are little monsters," he said to them, and Suisen shrugged while Mayumi jabbed the cookie towards him.
"I do believe that nickname was taken from Tanaka-san!" she said, and he swiped the cookie away from her, wiping at the green frosting from his uniform.
"Does everybody have a cookie?!" called Suisen, and she grinned at everybody, placing the foil back over what was left. She leaned into Kiyoko, and whispered, "Don't worry, we made you a baggy already with extra!" that made both girls laugh.
"This is amazing, Mayumi," said Sugawara from beside her, and she waved that off.
"Why do you guys keep acting like it's a big deal? Suisen likes baking," she said, glancing down to her cookie in her hands. She broke off a piece, biting off the top with frosting.
"Everybody looks happy," he said, and she rolled her eyes as she placed the left over, frostless cookie into her mouth.
"What can I say? I learned from the best," she spoke with her mouth full, swaying to the side and nudging her hip with Sugawara's.
He smiled down at her, taking a bite of his cookie before looking away.
"Shoyo, look at how cool the frosting made my tongue look!"
"Uwahhhh, Nishinoya-senpai, that looks amazing!"
"... I'm glad they look happy." she finally muttered, and Sugawara was so shocked he wheeled towards her, though she simply looked away, biting down onto her cookie, and he couldn't help the flush that came to his cheeks and the flash that came to his eyes.
Perhaps the most shocking note of her change-of-attitude was when Ukai walked in, and she rose the tray of cookies from her seat on the floor, and called,
"Hey, old man, we saved you one."
When the boys of the Karasuno Volleyball Team walked into the Hayashi Memorial Museum, their eyes were all drawn to the front desk at the tinkling laughter that sounded. There stood a woman with curly red hair that looked so like Mayumi that everyone paused, wondering when and why Mayumi decided to cut her hair shoulder-length.
The woman blinked, turning towards the door at hearing it close, and the boys all paused and swore that she was the cause of the angelic music that began to hum, and not the speakers above them. Her nose was just as button-like as Mayumi's, however her jawline was sharp and defined, and she wore enough powder that the freckles of her cheeks were covered.
"Oh - hello, Suga!" she said, and, from behind them, Hinata's mouth dropped as he made his way over to her, and they shook hands. "Thank you for checking in on Mayumi the past few days. I've had to work late, to make sure everything was alright for the gallery."
Sugawara laughed, shaking his head. "No, no, it's fine! I don't mind at all." he said, and she smiled with full red lips.
"Your answer doesn't surprise me in the slightest bit, Suga," she said, before turning away from him, looking over his shoulder at the other boys. "This much be the rest of the team! I've heard a lot about you, boys, and I'm very excited to finally see one of your matches when I get the chance. It's nice to meet everyone!" she said, and Tanaka and Nishinoya jumped forward, spouting, "Hey, Mom!" and she laughed, a high-pitched and light and fluffy sound so unlike Mayumi's cackles.
"Yes, yes! I'm Sayaka Hayashi, Mayumi's mom. But, please, don't bother with formalities, really! Call me Mom, I prefer it," she said, looking over each boy, her lips quirked up. "But, I guess you're here for one reason, aren't you? Daichi, why such a crowd? This gallery's nothing serious!" However, she glanced over her shoulder to wave at her worker at the front desk and began to walk.
Daichi moved to walk beside her. "We thought she deserved it," he said to her, and she glanced over to him, her brow furrowed together.
"Oh?" she inquired, and he laughed, shrugging his shoulders.
"Your daughter's just done a lot for the team, being on the yearbook and all." he told Sayaka, and she blinked at him before looking back.
"Is that so? That's nothing new, Daichi. Trust me, she takes the yearbook seriously," said the woman, laughing, and Daichi chuckled with her.
"She's just been good to the team, is all." he said, and she smiled.
"It's the perks of having her childhood friend on the team." she taunted, and he smiled, nodding his head, thinking how she'd told him she'd sold her soul.
The reveal of their paintings to one another was what Yoshiki had been nervous about.
He was sure she would laugh at him - laugh and point and call him a sap and a loser - and, therefore, when she stared up at the redheaded Joan of Arc, with her flag of Karasuno's emblem, and then turned to him and grinned so brightly he thought he would faint, he had no idea how to act.
"The background is what you finished the other night, right?" she asked, looking over the field of wild flowers, and, too stunned to speak, he slowly nodded his head.
"The detail on them is gorgeous, Yoshiki," she said, and he had to lean against the wall beside his painting for several moments before he regained himself.
"So... What's yours, Mayumi?" he asked, and she grinned, finally pulling away the cloth that hid her own, and he hesitated, pushing himself the wall.
All of her artwork had such a edge to it. Such a sharp appeal to it.
There was a boy, who he assumed was meant to be him, wearing a cardigan the color of oatmeal and a pair of red-framed, horn-rimmed glasses dangling from his neck, and, plastered over his own head was the image of a fox's, deep azure eyes framed in black.
"Well?" she asked him, "I took inspiration from someone else's work, but they're credited." she said, tapping the little plaque, where Valeria Trasatti and Manuel Fazzini was printed beneath the kanji of her own name. "I mean, this was just for fun, right? So why not?"
"The fox looks real," he finally said, and she grinned. While his was smooth and painstaking, hers was rough and painstaking, and, every time he saw it, he marveled, and it made him wonder if she did the same.
Kazuki showed up throughout the day - his own artwork had been featured in several galleries - and Keiko was not far behind him. Kagome, Ayane, and Suisen appeared as a group and walked through the whole gallery, leaving Mayumi and Yoshiki.
"Oh, Mayumi, you've got some company."
The two hesitated, looking away from each other as Sayaka floated into the room, and Mayumi cocked her head before she saw the first face. She broke into a large grin and laughed a little too loudly for the room, moving away from the paintings.
"What are you guys doing here?" she objected, looking over them, and she shook her head. "Why did everybody come? That's so unnecessary," she said, and, though her face was getting redder and redder, she gave a shaky laugh.
Hinata was glad that Sayaka had been leading them, because he was unsure if he would of even recognized Hayashi-senpai with her hair up in an intricate bun.
"No, no, it wasn't unnecessary." objected Daichi. Sugawara stepped forward, grinning down at her, and opened his mouth to speak, though there Nishinoya and Tanaka were, Hinata just several steps behind them.
"Let's see your painting, little demon!" said Tanaka, and, regardless of his words, they grinned at each other.
"Which one is it, Hayashi-senpai?!" asked Hinata, stepping towards her, and she laughed, pointing over to Yoshiki.
"Both of ours are over there by him. Just look at the names." she told them, and they raced over, Hinata giving a loud whoop at seeing them.
"Be quiet!" objected Kageyama, following after him however. Yoshiki attempted to settle them, and did not seem too disappointed when he was unable to.
"Seriously, Daichi," Mayumi said, looking away from them, "This was entirely unnecessary. What're you guys even doing here?"
Daichi shrugged, glancing over to his team, gathered around the two paintings. Hinata was listening with glittering eyes to Sugawara and Yoshiki, who both were giving small fun facts about the paintings; taller of the two boys seemed to find this a competition, while Sugawara was just enjoying the large grin on the younger boy's face.
"It seems," he said, turning back to her, "that I've also had to sell my soul to you and your art."
hahahahaha it's 6 A.M. and I've just finished this!
I've been very excited to write this part ever since I started this fic, and I'm so glad that I finally could! I'm really happy with this chapter, even though my laptop kept lagging and I had to rewrite a very large portion of it, so, I hope you guys like it!