How it Feels to Fly
There in the middle of an almost empty court, he stood royally. Sweating, breathing hard, annoyed yet his lips obviously had the hint of a smile. The passion even in the air around him was too strong that no one dared to defy him. He was still the dictator. However, this time was different.
People actually liked obeying him and being under his dictatorship. For he had learned from his mistakes and had become better, stronger, smarter.
"Idiot! What happened to your lunatic reflexes yesterday?!" Kageyama Tobio shouted. He was currently standing beside the net, annoyed and irritated. "We've been doing this for the last fucking one hour and you can't still read my rhythm?"
The other members of the university volleyball team could only chuckle as they sat at the sides of the court. They knew how strict their official setter could be. Even more so, they didn't have a chance going against their captain.
"Captain is becoming the monster again, isn't he?" one bulky player, fit to be in Rugby team seemingly commented as he wiped his face with a towel. "Setting the ball play at such weird locations. Is he trying to kill the newbie?"
"What else is new?" the other replied. "Besides, that first year is the only one who could match Captain Kageyama now that Hinata-senpai can't play..."
"Even so...that first year Shino...is really a monster in his own right huh? He could really make even the Captain in awe when he gets serious."
"Talk about two monsters..."
He stood there, fixing himself like an invisible spectator. Way afar from the court, from the net, from his team mates, from him. He was so far from them so why on Earth could he still hear all of them as if he was in the midst of them?
That court, those team mates, that ball, that setter, they were all his. But the fact that he was there in his corner, uncomfortable and feeling small, was a sign that something definitely changed. Reaching the last rounds for the inter-collegiate volleyball games, everyone was busy and in high spirits. Trainings, special regimens ate away at their times. And the more time ate at their schedules, the more their bonds and trust with each other grew. The more that was happening, the more that everyone seem getting farther from his reach.
"Shino you idiot! Where are you looking?!" Kageyama shouted at the same time throwing the ball at the little blond's face with all his might. "What are you spacing out for?"
Even from that distance, the Kageyama back then and the Kageyama now was so vastly different yet amazingly similar. He was still the genius setter. He was still the strict hardworking player and the type who didn't like losing. The difference now was that he had improved everything there could be improved. He'd grown a fit body, lean and long. A total all-rounder that everyone respected.
On the other hand...
"Oww senpai!" the first year named Shino muttered, massaging his reddish cheek where the ball landed with a loud impact. "Keep on doing that and I would really turn into an idiot!"
"Haaaah?" the captain raised a brow, walking hastily towards the little guy until they were almost face to face. "What else is there in your mincely brain aside from Volleyball anyway?"
"That's so mean Captain Senpai!"
"Stop calling me 'Captain-Senpai' you moron!"
The team laughed. They all seem to be having fun now. They all seem so complete. A full team with full strong members. That team, the team he played together with for three years seemed so far away.
On the other hand of that reality was he remained almost the same. Add his depression and one could say that he just got worse.
"You little shit, Shino focus or we'll do this until tomorrow!"
"That is so gonna be unpopular with the ladies senpai! Why are you so hard on your cute kohai!"
That kind of little jesting and playing around, he had enjoyed that a bunch of times too. But it was just so different this fourth year in the university.
Even his jersey number, a number he's always had from high school volleyball until he entered university had been removed from him. That first year Shino was wearing it now.
"One last time, Shino!"
"H-Hai, but buy me croquette senpai!"
The first year Shino from the literature department raised a fist in the air. "Yey! A treat from Captain Senpai!"
Kageyama actually did give up at the childishness of their youngest new recruit. That was what everyone thought so too but after a while, Kagema found his soaking wet towel and threw it at Shino's face.
The team members just couldn't get enough of the comedic duo that the two was pulling. It was even starting to get popular.
Hinata Shoyo gritted his teeth. He drew all his will not embarrass himself further and dragged himself out. He walked, dragged his left leg almost limply. He could no longer run like he used to. Could not even walk like he did before. This leg would never be the same again.
This world that he's always had known, the place he loved, that spot he always used to have, they were no longer in his reach. He could only watch from a far. And each time, each day of that three-months that passed was getting more excruciating.
He didn't belong there anymore.
The clock said ten past sixteen when Kageyama Tobio pushed open the door. The very subtle sounds of a late night news coming from the living room greeted him. Slowly taking his shoes off and scanning the cork board by the genkan to see any new bills or announcements, he gave a deep sigh as if releasing something off of him. Then he entered.
Peeking inside the living room, Kageyama only heard a small "Okaeri". So soft, so indistinguishable he barely heard it.
Little by little, Kageyama was becoming suffocated again. But he still tried to stitch more patience into his tattered self-control and tried to act gently and sound nicely.
"You were at the gym earlier, why didn't you show your face to the others?"
The little guy in the living room just gave a shrug. He slowly flipped into the book in front of him and tapped his pen against the side of the low table as if indicating he was busy.
The raven dropped his bag to the tatami floor and went behind his partner's back.
"Oi...busy with thesis?"
Emotions had broken out of them when they were both in their sophomore years in high school. Binded by volleyball, tied by a strange strong bond, they kept on chasing the weird emotions away because it wasn't normal. However, the chasing away of these 'improper' feelings ended up by bringing them together anyway.
They were able to get into a university through a sports scholarship. Their dream of being number one in Japan back in high school had never come to pass. But both faced university with still the positive outlook, and though behind everyone's back, behind their family, friends, and school mates, they became more than any close persons could ever be towards each other.
Kageyama slowly sat, circling his arms around the other's body while breathing in the other's hair.
"Ne, Shoyo...aren't you being a little too cold lately?"
"Have you eaten?" Shoya asked back quietly, ignoring the question. "I'll heat up dinner-"
The other's embrace went a bit tighter, fingers crawling under Shoyo's shirt. "I've already eaten with the team. What I want now is..."
Food, thesis, unspoken words, they went out the window. After Shoyo has been pinned down rather ungently against the tatami floor, they did nothing but stare into each other's eyes. The woman news anchor's voice sounded evasive in their privacy that Kageyama abruptly grabbed the remote on the low table and shut it off.
Bringing his gaze back at Shoyo, he smiled bitterly. "What's really going on, Shoyo?"
The other held his tongue, staring back in such complexity.
"I went by to your lecture hall earlier and they said you didn't come...I called your phone, almost every fucking ten minutes and you never picked up..."
"I come home now, and you treat me like air."
"What the hell is wrong?!"
"J-just..." Hinata started, almost stumbling with his own words. "I'm not in the mood."
Driven by stress, confusion and his own pent-up wants, Kageyama forcefully grabbed onto Shoyo's private parts. He wouldn't even let the other move one inch away as he used all his weight to secure him down.
Little by little, the cold and unfeeling facade that Hinata was having slid and melted away. He didn't look like he was enjoying the fondling, the kissing, the licking. He didn't like the hot breath grazing at his neck, or even the fingers evading and marking his skin.
"Kageyama, get off..." Shoyo whispered, shuddering at the chill from his exposed chest and abdomen. "Mo-move!"
Any sound of protests went into ears that wouldn't listen. As though drowning, all that Kageyama could do was ignore all the other's pleas. After all deep down, at the very bottom of everything, it was Hinata doing the ignoring. Falling deep into the trance of combined belwirderness and lust, he moved only by fleshly instincts.
Biting. Sucking. Overpowering.
The beastly him just got pulled back down to his senses when he felt a stinging pain against the right side of his cheek. A slap as hard as Shoyo could make landed at Kageyama's face.
"I said stop..." Shoyo breathe out, his face a mess of sweat, and all the other things he can't name himself. "S-stop..."
Shocked by the pain, it somehow only ignited the building up anger slowly rising from within him. Kagayema who was still on top of Shoyo, punched the tatami floor just inches away from the side of Shoyo's face. His teeth were clashing at each other, his eyes narrowing with deep anger.
"You wouldn't talk. You wouldn't even consider looking at me properly..." Kageyama hissed. "So what the hell am I supposed to do?!"
The light brown eyes which always had brightness in them merely gazed at the one pinning him down. Both of them were now adults. Not full but almost. Seniors in university, they've been together for so long. But right now they were acting like sudden strangers.
"Right..." Shoyo whispered, turning his head to the side and removing his hands that were clawing at Kageyama's arms. He just remained laying there still, as if a paralyzed fish waiting to be caught and killed. "...fine go ahead. Do what you like."
"Aside from heating up your dinner, the only thing I can do now is to satisfy this beastly drive in you anyway...fine..."
As if burned by what he just heard, Kageyama slowly moved away, sitting with a grim expression on his face.
"What do you want me to do, Shoyo?"
"It's not my fault you got yourself injured! It's not my fault you won't be able to play for the rest of your life! It's not my fault that all these shit are happening to us but I am trying my best!" they all came in one rush of breath that Kageyama found it hard to continue. But he did so anyway and he made it very clear. "Should I go and be depressed like you for the fucking rest of my life?!"
Without knowing it, a tear Hinata's been holding in freely ran to the side of his face. That was the last straw. It wasn't because he didn't want Kageyama to continue what they've been doing together. But can't he understand the pain, frustration, and loss of not being included in those triumphant times when from the beginning it was both their dream?
"You don't understand..." Shoyo whispered, curling into a ball on the floor. "You don't..."
"You don't get where I stand either."
In the sudden silence that enveloped them, Hinata's quiet weeping, and Kagayama's strange breathing clawed at them more powerfully and fiercely. They were indeed...drifting apart.
"Hinata," Kageyama called, suddenly standing up and gathering back his belongings. "Is what binding us all these years only volleyball?"
"'Coz I seriously thought that when we started living together, we're binded more by what we feel towards each other than what we have as a volleyball set."
Pulling a lopsided, self-demeaning smile, Kageyama turned his back and started leaving.
"The way you're acting now, proves that I have been mistaken."
A week before the finals, Kageyama and the rest of the team decided to have a small eat-out party. The purpose was to encourage everyone and give the others a few more boost before they went down into serious business in the upcoming games.
Having the small room to themselves, the bunch started acting like crazy drunks, although what they were having were mostly iced teas and juices in truth.
Kageyama sat at the corner, sipping his tomato juice in silence. He would once in a while bite into a fried tofu and finish it with a sigh. He didn't even notice a pair of intent green eyes staring at him. He only noticed it when the culprit unceremoniously sat beside him.
"Say, are you and Hinata-senpai fighting?"
The captain who was about to drink the last parts of his juice halted. His dark eyes narrowing as a series of nasty flashbacks came to him.
"What made you say that?"
"Hmmm," Shino stretched his legs out and scratched the side of his neck. "Well...how to say it...you become really gentle and nice when something's up with you two. You kind of mellow down a bit, it's creepy."
"Haa? I should be creeped out by you instead."
A few of their teammates started playing a game. On the other hand, the two new 'set' remained in their corner, watching and listening.
"I don't really know what's going up with you two. But of course I understand that it's hard the most for Hinata-senpai after trying to help me and getting injured instead for my sake," the younger one sighed. "Skate boarding in the middle of the road...I'm pretty sure he's cursing me now...the place he used to have...I have invaded...wait...are you fighting now because of me?"
The captain placed his almost empty glass of juice on the table and unconsciously patted the other on the head. Their new decoy was thinking too much. It didn't suit him.
"He's not cursing you...and it's not because of you either, " Kageyama whispered. "Although the outcome turned out pretty bad, he never regrets helping you. He's not that kind of person."
"He's just depressed. I've done everything I can to support him...he needs to realize things on his own once in a while."
"Captain...is Hinata-senpai being a bother to you already?"
Kageyama drew a deep breath. This first year had actually confessed to him a few months ago, shortly after entering the volleyball team. The young man was so persistent that he decided to tell the other the truth. That he was rejecting Shino not because he was a guy or he disliked the thought of being with a guy. It was all for the reason that he had someone very special by his side already. And that it was with the guy who used to wear the jersey number he was wearing.
With that, Shino's clingy acts were nothing more than that of a younger brother to their idol older brother. And most of the time, even if many thought of him as an idiot and an air-head, he was a very sensitive and observing person.
"Is he getting that much of a bother that you guys don't even talk now? Are you tired of him?"
"What are you implying? You make it sound weird."
Shino sheepishly smiled. "Well...whenever I become too much to handle, most of the guys I go out with easily give up on me...I'm just wondering..."
"It's because your taste with guys are awful," Kageyama mumbled, slightly smiling.
Shino didn't fail to notice the slight redness in the other's eyes right after. Kageyama looked away, as if embarrassed.
"How is that even possible anyway?" the captain whispered. "He's a handful but I would never get tired of that idiot."
The blonde frowned and grabbed his senpai's glass and drank the remaining in huge gulps. Kageyama could only stare at his kouhai's sudden actions.
"Yeah...and just when I thought my taste has improved," Shino glanced at his senior. "...he's already helplessly into someone..."
Saturday, the comfortable warmth of Spring was nowhere. In the air was a suffocating heat that both spectators and players have within themselves. Too strong they emit it all around the arena. The sun that was about to set felt gloomy in a way. As red rays produced shadows from the tall buildings all around, an uneasy feeling started brewing somewhere.
In their own dugouts, the university volleyball teams started shooting off their last instructions, last encouragements and last good luck prayers. As both teams were comprised of seniors, the want and the fire to bring home the trophy as their last retiring gift burned.
Kageyama's team was surprisingly quiet. No one joked. No one pulled on a prank. They just silently sat on their own places waiting to be called. Waiting for the finals to begin.
"Captain-Senpai..." Shino whispered, tugging his jersey properly as he looked at the time. "Is Hinata-senpai not coming at all?"
The captain turned his back and just simply sighed. "Don't know."
Shino released a frustrated smile as he started checking on his knee-pads. "It would be regrettable for him not to see this devotion I so envy..."
Kageyama looked at his reflection through the mirror across them and gave a small smile. The black and orange jersey that he was wearing, almost the same as the ones they had back in high school, had number 'ten' on it.
It wasn't a game that was happening on that very court. It was war. The rally went on for excruciatingly long minutes. Both liberos didn't want to let a single ball off their defenses. Each player did their parts and offered more of what they could.
Deafening cheers were all around but Kageyama Tobio couldn't hear them at all. The only thing he could hear was the rush of his own blood to his veins, making him move into the best he could.
No matter how long a war could be, be in years like in the olden days, or just mere minutes like what they just had, it would be all over. Losers and winners would be named.
That particular night, after all the fuss, Kageyama and the rest of his team tiredly went out of the arena. After everything has cooled down, the night seemed to be too tranquil and cool. As if it was the nature's attempt to extend its comfort to a team which had lost.
"I'm sorry Captain! If only I was able to get that drop ball!" the short guy covered in bruises mumbled as he dragged his bag behind him. "It's my fault...we could have won..."
Kageyama turned to flash an assuring smile that a captain and as a fellow player should give. True they lost. It was a close call. Three sets to two. They were almost there. It was even so close.
"Don't worry about it Taka," Kageyama encouraged. "Losing or winning, at the end of the day, what we'd look back is how hard we fought right? It's a good memory to have as our last inter-collegiate remembrance. Besides, second-place is not 'losing'."
Although he said that, deep inside, he was angry too. But what could be done? Part of being adult was to accept what happened and move on. Priorities come first. And as the games were concerned, he had no regrets, he gave his hundred percent all.
"Still..." Shino gritted.
Shino was more depressed than the rest. He was the only first year that got into the starting line-up. He had wanted to win. He had wanted his senpais to have a winning game to leave behind. It was annoying, frustrating, angering. The times he missed the tosses to him for quicks bothered him greatly.
"Oi, Shino..." Kageyama called. "Don't go crying here in the open."
"Who says I'll cry?!" Shino shouted. "I wanted us to win! You wanted to win! You even wore Hinata-senpai's jersey number!"
At the mention, every single one of the members grew quiet. They all had at least wanted to share the trophy with that guy.
"Come on, don't be depressed!" Kageyama ordered as if he was ordering a group of ten year-olds in the sidewalk. "Hurry home and we'll have our meeting tomorrow instead. Go and take a rest!"
The members one by one left. The coach and the adviser had to go back to the university for a report. Until the only remaining people left walking in the silent, somewhat gloomy evening was Kageyama and his kouhai Shino.
"That ended fast Captain...I've wanted to play more with you."
"Can't do. Us seniors would be busy looking for jobs while finishing a few remaining requirements till next year. Do you want us to become NEETs in the future?"
Shino pouted, taking in the quietness of the neighborhood that was unknown to the feeling of defeat that they were really having. Their footsteps dragged along, once in a while the wind would blow hard and would send small particles and leaves floating around their feet and faces.
Having the urge to look back, Shino turned around. What he saw made him smile.
"Senpai," Shino called out suddenly. He grinned like a cat before patting the taller guy once on the shoulder. "Good luck!"
In the dark, Kageyama watched his kouhai run all the way to the direction ahead of them. The fellow really did seem like a ditzy feline almost falling over a couple of times before disappearing in a curb.
Starting to walk alone this time, from somewhere, Kageyama heard soft sounds from behind him. Foot steps. Grazing against the asphalt and narrow road.
When Kageyama narrowed his gaze even more, he almost lost his grip with his bag.
It was still very far. But that silhouette, that unruly mop of hair, that small body was very clear. It was slowly approaching. Slowly coming. Slowly reaching.
Almost instantly, Kageyama looked around almost confused. He darted his gaze back at Shoyo who at a closer look seemed more tired than everyone of them in the team.
"What are you...don't tell me you walked all the way..."
Hinata slightly looked up at Kageyama. "I'm tired."
The taller one stared hard and long at the other. When they lost earlier in what could be considered a game of his life, he didn't even feel that much sad or depressed. But right now seeing Hinata in front of him, in this state, made him want to cry.
Kageyama turned his back and went on his knees. "Hop on."
No one said a thing. Kageyama walked carrying Hinata on his back in a silence that both knew so well. A silence they would be having when something has already been decided. A silence not only within their physical surroundings but also something from within the two of them.
Most of the houses they passed have their lights turned off already. Some dogs in their leashes and cats in their walks only lifted their heads to look at the two guys walking before minding their own businesses.
"Geez, next time call out to me sooner? Why did you have to sneak from behind us?"
It was Kageyama who started the conversation first. It was also because he was annoyed at what stupidity Hinata had pulled. What was the point of following him like that when he couldn't even barely walk that fast?
Shoyo tightened his arms around the other's neck. "I was just checking if you'd cheat on me."
"Fuck shit, do you want me to drop you right this instant?"
The little guy against his back buried his face on the side of Kageyama's neck. Inhaling the other's scent, mixed in with sweat and the smell of Spring all around them, Hinata released a sigh.
"I came to see the games..."
"You're even wearing my number last year..."
Kageyama adjusted the fellow on his back a little and went with his pace slower this time. "I hoped to win the game as champions together with you...that's why I wore it."
The raven slightly felt a tightening in his gut, feeling the trace of smiling lips against the skin of his neck.
"You guys ended up second though..."
"Yeah...you trying to pour more acid into my wound, huh?"
After they had sank down into a deeper silence, Kageyama had thought that Hinata had already fallen asleep. He continued walking, the weight and the heat strangely comforting against his back. The dim road only illuminated by occasional solar lamp posts looked more bright in his eyes. And the moon which would hide behind thick clouds would come out casting regal rays of silver around them. If he'd be asked to choose what's more important, he'd doubt he'd even think for the answer. It would probably just come out naturally off his lips.
"...?" the one being called slightly turned to look at the source of the voice.
"You're not breaking up with me, are you?"
Abruptly stopping, Kageyama had to close his eyes in a funny annoyance growing in him.
"Would I be carrying you on my back like this, after a do-or-die game if I am breaking up with you? Do you have any idea how tired I am?"
Hinata bit his lower lip and hugged the other tighter. "I'm sorry..."
"Sorry...for forgetting what's more important."
This feeling of being protective started rushing in again into Kageyama, he could only shake his head in resignation.
"Stupid. You're really stupid but I can never get mad at you for long. Even before you say sorry, you're already forgiven."
It was such an insignificant thing probably for others, but Hinata pressing his lips against Kageyama's hair was too much a strong confession of his realizations.
"Volleyball and everything could vanish..." Hinata mumbled. "...but do you feel it?"
Kageyama bowed his head as a rush of overwhelming heat came over him. Hinata's chest pressed against his back made him feel every single pound the other's heart made. Strong. Almost like it was trying to get out of its little body. Prominent, as if it was really making itself noticeable.
"This is yours..." Hinata whispered.
The other gave an embarrassed chuckle.
"Kageyama...I'm going to bring you more trouble in the future..." Hinata added. "...I can't fly with you in the court, and I can't even walk by your normal pace anymore..."
"Ha? I knew from the very start you are a walking bag of trouble. So let me make this clear..."
Shoyo could never jump and run like he used to. That was a fact. But what Kageyama did the next gave Hinata the best sensation of what it would feel like flying again this very moment. That tightening in the chest, tingling and almost prickly in his stomach, light-headedness as if feeling a dream while being in a reality.
Kageyama took Hinata's right hand and slowly guided it towards his own chest.
"This..." the raven whispered. "...is undoubtedly yours too, idiot."
chapter end notes:
hi. this is my very first time writing for this pair. someone from tumblr told me to try writing in a different fandom and out of all the pairs that has been mentioned, i found myself writing for KageyamaXHinata right away. hope you liked this fluffy one-shot!
please share your thoughtsXD
***to you in tumblr...i can't go log in my tumblr right now and i don't want to guess about your name, so i'll go back to you for sure! gomeeeeeeeeeen!