A/N: Okay, so really, if someone's my favourite character, the only thing I want to see them in...is angst shit. So this fic is honestly just an excuse for me to write some Tsukishima angst, ahah. I have to say that in all honesty, I'm not confident in writing ANY of the characters from Haikyuu! and actually keep them in-character so there'll be a lot of out of character stuff and I'm sorry 'bout that, but I'll try my best.
I was originally planning on writing it all first and THEN uploading it so I could routinely update it, but then I realised that I might want to change parts of it depending on reviews or whatever, so I'm just going to go ahead and start it. That does mean that I can't predict when chapters'll be added - it could take months, for all I know - but I'll definitely keep it going because Kei is wonderful and I just want to see him in angst stuff.
All I know about Tsukishima's family is that he has a mum and he has Akiteru but I need two parents to make this thing work so I'm totally making up shit about his family in this.
Nothing is abnormal about that day; it's a simple, sunny Tuesday evening with sweaty high school boys cleaning up after themselves following their normal, daily volleyball practice. Nothing odd has occurred throughout training: no one has injured themselves and no one has made any life-changing revelations. All Tsukishima has left to do is get changed and then he can head back home with Yamaguchi and everything will stay normal. Absolutely nothing will change.
That's how most of their days are.
That's how most of their days should be.
Tsukishima can hear the roars of Hinata and Kageyama as they race back to the locker room; he can hear the spirited voices of Nishinoya and Tanaka; he can hear the gentle voice of Sugawara; he can hear the commanding voice of Daichi, but what he can't hear is his own pathetically spiteful voice. Being loud isn't a particular hobby of his, but sometimes—sometimes he wonders what their relationships would be like if he voiced all of his thoughts out loud; if he tried to be as caring as Sugawara; if he tried to be enthusiastic about volleyball. Sometimes he wonders what their relationships would be like if he was just…friendly.
Yamaguchi says something to the blonde, but he misses it, too caught up in his own thoughts and all he can do is stare blankly and ask what he just said. "It's nothing, don't worry about it," is what his friend says back to him and honestly, he's perfectly fine with it.
If Tsukishima keeps most of his words hidden, then Yamaguchi is perfectly welcome to as well.
When the blonde gets a chance to look at his phone when the pair make it back to the noisy changing room, he notices his father has tried to call him during practice and he can't help but frown. Not at the fact his father has called him—though that in itself is a bit of a surprise—but at the eight missed calls he has received from him.
"What's wrong, Tsukki?"
He hears Yamaguchi's voice from beside him and glances sideways, that frown still adorning his features. "I-It's nothing. I'm just gonna make a phone call," is his response, as he presses the redial button and gently opens and shuts the changing room door.
"Kei! Where are you!?" The desperation on the other side of the line sticks an unnerving weight in Tsukishima's stomach.
"I'm…at school. I've just finished practice, why?"
"Your mother and Akiteru have been involved in a car crash – you need to get to the hospital right now!"
Tsukishima's heart stops. Everything goes silent around him as he processes the words that have just been spoken. Mum and Akiteru…are in the hospital? He isn't sure what to say back—he isn't sure what to do. One part is shouting at him, screaming at him to get to that damn fucking hospital ASAP while another isn't saying anything at all—can't say anything at all. He isn't sure how to move, where to move to, where he even is but then just as soon as he wonders that, everything clicks back into place and he's back outside the locker rooms and his dad's just told him that they're in the hospital and he needs to respond.
"A-Are they all right?" The blonde is painfully aware of how calm his voice sounds, ignoring the stutter, and he isn't sure why because he doesn't feel calm at all, he wants to fucking leave and get to the hospital but why isn't he just rushing? Why isn't he bursting into the building behind him, grabbing his stuff and making a bolt for it?
And it's while his thoughts are going that Tsukishima realises that this silence has went for too long.
"You don't need to lie to me, Dad. I'm going to figure out anyway."
"I…I don't know, Kei. No one knows. It's…bad enough they're in ICU, though." And that's enough to have his blood run cold and his heart not stopping, but getting faster and he's pretty sure he can feel his hands shivering and he feels sick but he needs to get to the hospital—he needs to get to the hospital. "I'll meet you in front of the main entrance, okay?" And Tsukishima doesn't even reply before hanging up and throwing his phone into his pocket.
Without any further delay, the giant pulls open the door, accidentally slamming it against the outside wall with a louder bang than he means and dashes into the room. He thinks he's banged into someone and he hears a voice like someone's shouting but he isn't sure who it is or what they're saying, all he's focused on is pulling his volleyball shoes off and swapping them with his usual outdoor shoes and he doesn't even bother changing his clothes, he just grabs what's sitting out and tries desperately to shove them all into his bag but it's not working they aren't fitting and it's even clearer now how loud his breathing is and how fast his heart is beating because he can't hear anything but himself and he's not even sure if anyone's there anymore but he can hear voices and he can feel hands touching him, trying to pull him away, trying to calm him down but he's shoving and slapping them all away and those voices seem to be gaining in volume but he doesn't know who they are, doesn't know what they're saying, so they don't matter. "Shit! Fucking go in!" Tsukishima's hands are shaking even more than they were before and he can barely keep his hands in one place and he can't control what he's doing like this and nothing's going in because of it, nothing's fucking going in and he's trying to punch his clothes in now and he's shouting obscenities left, right and centre and he's pretty sure those hands on his body are treating him rougher and really trying to pull him away but every time an arm gets pulled away, he pulls it back and he gives up, he fucking gives up and zips what he can, has to try more than once because his hands are too shaky, sleeves and legs sticking out of one side and he doesn't even bother putting in his water bottle, he just picks it up and runs because he doesn't have the fucking time.
When the blonde turns round he's greeted by faces - angry faces, scared faces, concerned faces – but he has no idea who they belong to and he doesn't even care; all he can do is shove past them all with staggering force as, shaky and panicky, he bolts towards the door. "Yamaguchi, go home without me!" is all he shouts as he remembers that yes, his friend was in there and he doesn't know if his friend is still in there but he's shouting back anyway, hoping that he is still in there and all he does after that—all he can do after that—is run.
When Tsukishima, shaking and breathless, meets up with his father outside of the large building, he doesn't have to say anything—more like he can't say anything he's so out of breath—before he's being lead inside. Hospitals have never been particularly high up on Tsukishima's list of places he's happy to go and it's only now, as he's walking briskly with his father to the waiting room, that he remembers why. The horrible smell of antiseptic and bleach is the first thing that hits him the moment he steps through those automatic double doors and he's sure his nausea's getting worse. The ground underneath his feet is white, as blank as his mind is as he tries to register again just where he is and what he's doing and why he's here and who he's with. The walls surrounding him down the hallway are a light green, as if trying to add some life to the place but it doesn't work at all because all it reminds him of is the horrible feeling building up in his stomach and he can't help but hold a hand over his mouth and nose.
The boy remains oblivious to the way his dad looks down at him with worry, even when they enter the ward and take a seat in the waiting room. Tsukishima hates it here—he fucking hates it here. He's sure – so fucking sure – that that was the reason he never dashed off straight away. Running away from the hospital is an admittance to the fact that hospitals make him feel like someone's trying to pull his guts up his throat; running to the hospital is an admittance to the fact that something really fucking horrible is happening. No matter what choice he'd chosen, he'd never win.
He misses when his father says that he's going off to ask for an update on his mum and Akiteru's conditions—in fact, he never even notices he's gone. All he can take in is the sound of crying, the sound of shouting, the sound of the clacking of nurses' shoes, the sound of a bed being wheeled through the ward. He thinks he can hear his father's voice now but he doesn't know what he's saying, doesn't want to know what he's saying and all these sounds are deafening and he feels even worse than he did before he arrived and he's trying to take deep breaths now, tries to slouch down in an attempt to tell his body that it shouldn't care, but it doesn't listen, just makes him feel worse instead and he doesn't know what to do anymore to stop himself from potentially vomiting all over a hospital floor.
Sure, these places are suited to that kind of thing, but Tsukishima definitely doesn't want to stay in here any longer than he has to.
Suddenly, a large, warm hand clamps over one of the hands tapping drum beats on his thighs – something the boy hadn't even been aware he'd been doing – and gold eyes turn to look beside him where they meet with his father's. "Kei, did you hear what I said?" that deep rumble gently asks, eyes filled with concern for his son. Tsukishima doesn't say anything out loud, just stares with a blank face and hopes that just showing his confusion suffices as a negative answer. "Akiteru's a lot more stable than he was when he was first brought in."
Already? Tsukishima thinks, dragging his view across to the clock tick-tocking high up on the opposite wall and then he realises just how long it's been. He doesn't understand how two hours have already passed since leaving the school—it felt nothing like it—and though the news of his brother should make him happy, no smile appears on his face. He could still die. That pessimistic thought is all it takes to destroy any and all of the boy's optimistic ones. And he's still not said anything about Mum.
Man, he really fucking doesn't want to be here.
"Kei, if being here makes you feel uncomfortable, you don't need to stay." As if reading his mind, his father speaks and tightly squeezes the blonde's hand even further—Tsukishima's pretty sure that's more for his dad's reassurance than his own. Honestly, he wants to go home. He just wants to go home, get in his bed, sleep and forget everything that ever happened today. But it's the reality that something like this doesn't get sorted overnight and Kei knows that as well as his father does. "So long as you keep your phone switched on, I can phone you if anything changes."
But if anything, this is the one time that Tsukishima doesn't want to act like a total selfish dick; doesn't want to leave his mum and Akiteru because he couldn't control his stomach.
So he shakes his head. "'m fine here, Dad," he mutters, beginning to fidget with the cuffs of his hoodie.
"Are you sure?"
Tsukishima considers lying, but the frighteningly stern look being sent his way intimidates him enough to tell the truth. "…Not really. But leaving Mum and Akiteru here because I can't handle sitting in a hospital isn't something I want to do." For a while, father and son simply stare into each other's eyes, silence stretching for longer than is comfortable for either of them until Tsukishima's father speaks up with a sigh.
"All right. But if you change your mind, you can just leave, okay?"
It's only after Tsukishima's wish to act selfless for once that he realises it was a really, really big mistake. Only twenty minutes pass before the boy is even more fidgety than before and he can't keep his head in one place and there's always at least one leg jiggling up and down and that tapping is just simple repetitive tapping now, not some fancy drum beat at all and there's a fly, there's a fly crawling along the clock face and it distracts him—distracts him until it flies away and he's back to his useless attempts at calming down.
Am I even trying to calm myself down? the blonde wonders as he realises that he really can't stop and what the fuck is wrong with him?
That nausea from before hasn't disappeared once, not even when his dad came back with water and pretty much forced him to drink it—not that he minded. He still hadn't had a proper drink or meal since coming out from practice but really, he isn't in the mood to eat anything. From the looks of things, his appetite's ran away along with his calm and all he can do is desperately hope they both come back. Thinking about the water reminds him that he's still thirsty and that his bottle of water is still tucked messily into the side pocket of his bag, where he'd spent the time to stick it in while he was on the train.
The minute he reaches down to grab at his bag, a wave of pain shoots into his head and his hands go straight to it. "Fuck!" he whispers under his breath, taking deep breaths as he comes to grip with the new problem he has to deal with and fucking hell can he not just sit here totally perfectly fine?
Tsukishima hears the worried tone of his father's voice and curses even more internally. A hand settles on his back and starts gently massaging it and really, it feels nice, but, though it isn't being outwardly spoken, he knows his dad won't let that sudden grip of his forehead go without a reason being given. "My head's pounding," is what comes out through gritted teeth and Tsukishima berates himself for being so straightforward with what was wrong, for not making the pain seem not as bad even if his father would have seen through it, but he knows he can't change that and he's so much more fucking pissed.
"I really do think you should go home."
I want to.
"No, Dad, I can't."
Why can't I?
"I've already said I can phone you or text you if something changes."
Why don't I just leave?
"But Dad, I can't just go away when Mum and Akiteru are…"
Why do I need to be here?
"Kei, you being here isn't going to change a thing—you can't do anything for either of them."
That's just it. I don't.
Tsukishima can't say anything back to that and he doesn't because he knows it's true. He can sit here all night and all day, but his presence won't mean a thing. Even if his mum and Akiteru are stable, his presence won't heal their bodies. All he can do is watch on from the sidelines, just uselessly stand there and berate himself for how little he can do to save anybody.
The blonde doesn't say anything when he finally stands up, head still throbbing, nausea still lingering, frustration still growing and when his father asks where he's going, the only thing he says is, "Home."
But though he calls it home, he knows that right now, that building is nothing more than a simple house.
The minute Tsukishima steps in through the front door, pulls off his shoes and sets down his bag, the first place he goes is the bathroom. Just being in his house is enough to have him vomiting and he's lucky he manages to make it to his toilet before anything comes out. Every retch he hears coming from him just makes him feel worse and worse and he doesn't even know how long it takes until he stops.
Yet, regardless of how wretched he feels, Tsukishima just can't seem to find it in him to cry. No tears fall—no tears even threaten to escape.
After flushing the toilet and taking a drink of the leftover water in the bottle hiding in his bag, the blonde goes straight for a bath, wanting nothing more than to rid himself of the disgusting feeling he feels deep within his body, but even after staying in there for a good twenty minutes, no particle of that horridness is gone and he fucking hates it. He can't even force food down himself or he's pretty sure he'll just throw up even more of it, so he finds the strap of his bag and slowly drags it back to his room.
When he turns on his phone, he realises he has a missed call and a text from Yamaguchi. The boy has no intention of calling him back, but he at least looks at the text, deciding that totally ignoring his friend is not in any way the best course of action if he wants to not be totally interrogated the next day.
Tsukki, are you okay?
Those four words are all that spread across his screen and for a while, all he can do is stare. Is he okay? Could he genuinely type in those words and mean it? Right now, he isn't sure. He doesn't know how he feels anymore. The fact of the matter is that his mum and Akiteru could still die, but…if they did, there'd be no helping it, right? Them being in a car crash isn't something he can just magically change—he can't go into the past and change what happened like those sci-fi movies he sometimes catches on the TV. If their bodies decide to give up on them…then he can't help that.
And that's all he sends back in response.
A/N: He's totally fine, guys.
Okay, so I think the next chapter's going to be really long - I haven't actually finished it - because I think it's spanning the whole day...? Because nothing really end-of-chapter worthy appears until, well, the end of the day. Well, actually, there's a part closer to the end, but then there wouldn't really be much to write in the next chapter so. So yeah, long chapter next, heck yeah.
Little note at the end that will appear at the end of every chapter: if you want to see something happen in this, suggest it to me and I might put it in, especially if it's a good idea.