Ukai had never been more interested in one of his players than he was with Yamaguchi at this very moment. The young first year had walked into the small convenience store a little over 20 minutes ago and had firmly situated himself in front of the small make-up section, a look of determination, and frustration, mixing up his soft features. Ukai had initially thought that Yamaguchi had come in for meat buns with Tsukishima, but when the giant of a blonde did not walk in alongside Yamaguchi, Ukai was confused.
He watched as Yamaguchi reached out tentatively to pick up a small rectangular bottle with a black lid and inspected it up close. Ukai knew next to nothing about make-up, but he was almost certain that it was meant for girls. Maybe it was for a girlfriend, but Ukai thought it would be a strange gift to give to someone, probably more of an insult if nothing else. It was growing a bit tiresome, Ukai wanted a smoke break, and when he glanced over at the clock it showed that it was 10 minutes before Yamaguchi’s classes were supposed to start. With a very aggravated sigh Ukai heaved himself into a standing position, palms flat on the counter with one of his brows cocked.
“Yamaguchi, either buy something or get out. You’re going to be late for class and this was interesting for the first 10 minutes but now I just want to smoke.” Yamaguchi jumped and swiftly turned to face Ukai. His face was flushed such a dark shade of red Ukai could barely make out his freckles, he clasped the small container tightly in his hands.
The young teen was shot with nerves as he bowed rigidly before stammering, “Sorry Ukai-san, I was.. I um.. eh, yes.. okay, I am sorry.”
With an exaggerated huff Ukai fell back onto his stool and propped his chin up on his palm, “I don’t care that you are looking at make-up, adolescents is weird, but either buy the bottle or I’m calling Sensei and letting him know you are skipping classes to look pretty.”
If Yamaguchi could blush any harder Ukai surely witnessed it. The young man was almost steaming with how hot his face was burning. Ukai would have felt a bit bad if he wasn’t already twitching from having neglected his addiction.
Without any grace Yamaguchi jerkily staggered up to the counter before awkwardly placing the bottle on it. “Sorry Ukai-san, please don’t call Takeda-Sensei.” Yamaguchi looked ashamed and he was trembling slightly.
With obvious exaggeration Ukai dramatically swiped the bottle off of the counter to inspect just what his player was buying. He had to pause as he re-read the description of the product before glancing up at Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi had his head bowed and his thick brown hair fell forward to cover what little was left of Yamaguchi’s face, leaving Ukai to pity the younger boy. Yamaguchi had never been the most assertive or even secure member of the team, it took coaxing and praising and a slap on the back of the head from Tsukishima for Yamaguchi to even, maybe, entertain the idea that he did something good.
Taking pity on Yamaguchi he handed the bottle back without opening the register, he understood the desire to experiment a little in his teenage years. Hell he grew his hair out, dyed it blonde, pierced his ears and nose, this was tame compared to what his parents had to deal with.
“I’m not going to ask why you think you need this, but I am hardly the person to judge weird lifestyle choices.”
Yamaguchi snapped his head upwards, his eyes going wide and his mouth hung open in a soft trembling ‘o’.
Huffing, Ukai tossed the bottle at his player, “Go be pretty.”
Yamaguchi, startled, struggled to catch the soft cream colored bottle before swiftly holding it against his chest and breathing heavily, “It’s not.. I’m not doing this because I like make-up. I just—“
Ukai waved his hand dismissively up at Yamaguchi, his other hand patting at his jean pockets for his cigarette box, “I said that I do not care Yamaguchi, as long as you can still serve a ball properly I don’t care what you do in your free time. Now get the hell out of here, I have Sensei on speed dial.”
With one more rigid and awkward bow Yamaguchi was racing out of the convenience store. Ukai had never been more interested in any of players than he was with Yamaguchi in that moment, but once the teen had fled so had Ukai’s interest on the matter.
Yamaguchi was bracing himself against the suspended white sink in the boy’s bathroom at school. After he had raced out of Sakanoshita Store with Coach Ukai’s copper gaze burning into his back, he felt a great shame welling up inside of him. The foundation container was still clutched almost painfully in his hand, its edges dug uncomfortably into the flesh of his palm. He still had two minutes before class but he didn’t think he would be making it to his first period anyway. Yamaguchi drug in a shaky breath, his chest expanding and contracting when he let it back out again.
What was he thinking? He didn’t even know. Tsukishima had been waiting for him this morning at their spot, but Yamaguchi had texted him that morning telling him he was running late, saying that he couldn’t find his knee pads and shoes for practice. He hadn’t gotten a reply but his messages let him know that Tsukishima had read it.
With a pitiful glance upwards Yamaguchi raised his head to look at himself. He had never been conventionally attractive, or unconventionally attractive for that matter, but he wasn’t ugly, he was just him. His features were soft and sloped together to create a sweet face, his eyes were large and expressive, they were colored a dull brown, his hair was a fluffy mess with bits never learning how to sit properly. But there was his skin to consider, it was something Yamaguchi had known was considered a mark of ugliness since he was little.
Beauty was a fair complexion that was smooth and spotless, but Yamaguchi possessed none of that. Ever since he was little he had known that freckles were not normal, and that they were not a mark of beauty, no matter how much his mother reassured him that they were.
She would tell Yamaguchi, “They make you unique Tadashi. They are the kisses from angels, and because you are so special they can’t help but to smother you in kisses.” She would then brush his hair back from his face and smile. Her face was pale and freckle free when she did this, but Yamaguchi had seen her without her make-up and had witnessed the constellation she herself possessed on her face. It was as though her skin had been messily colored by a toddler who left gaps and blank spaces with no darker color.
Yamaguchi never believed her when she told him this, he would ignore her when he would come home with new bruises to add to his collection of marks and spots. Now, like all the other times, Yamaguchi stared at his reflection in the mirror and looked at his freckles. They were scattered randomly across his nose and spilled over onto his cheeks, they dotted at his forehead and at his chin, and he could imagine them as they traveled down the back of his neck trailing over his shoulders and down his arms, they stained his back, his thighs, and lower. Yamaguchi was covered in this mess, but it was his mess, one he had dealt with for years and had grown accustomed too.
He may not like the marks, but he was never ashamed of them as he had no real reason to hide them because there was no way he could cover his whole face without looking like an agoraphobic. All throughout middle school and junior high it had been hard to accept this as a part of who he was because he was teased relentlessly and bullied often for their presence. Though it had been a tall, almost unfeeling, junior high schooler who had given Yamaguchi confidence.
Tsukishima never commented on his freckles, he never really even acknowledged their presence, he would even give Yamaguchi the meanest glare when he would mention them. Tsukishima had even protected him a few times when classmates would laugh at him, or when boys would try to get rough with him. Tsukishima had given him confidence to stand up for himself, and his freckles
But that didn’t keep Yamaguchi from blowing Tsukishima off this morning to stand awkwardly and embarrassingly in front of a make-up section in the store his coach’s family owed and was working at. With a soft groan Yamaguchi lifted the bottle up to inspect it again. He knew absolutely nothing about make-up but from the little research he had done about freckles they had said foundation was the correct thing he needed to hide them. He didn’t really see how this tiny bottle of cream colored liquid was going to cover up the mess on his face.
With a resigned sigh he popped the cap on the bottle, the small taped seal tore in half and he slowly unscrewed the black cap. Yamaguchi peaked at the liquid that had found its way to sit at the entrance of the bottle before popping and sliding back down. Pursing his lips Yamaguchi wondered how he was supposed to apply it, he had seen girls doing their make-up together, his sister and mom were also frequent foundation users so he thought it would be fairly simple. But now he wasn’t so sure, he had seen his sister using a hot pink sponge and his mother a brush, the girls at school had never wiped things on their face but patted them from a compact. Yamaguchi was at a loss.
Biting his thick lower lip he placed his index finger on the small circle opening and flipped the bottle over before turning it around again and placing it on the metal counter above the sink. Pulling his finger away it came with the cream colored liquid, it sat heavy and thick on his index finger. Before he could chicken out and wipe the foundation onto a paper towel he swiped his finger over his right cheek. Yamaguchi chewed more insistently on his lower lip as he stared at the thick liquid sitting shiny and wet on this cheek.
“Okay.” He said softly. His resolve shook a bit before he began to rub the liquid onto the skin of his cheek, his eyes were trained on the skin and the way he messaged the foundation into it.
Yamaguchi’s eyes went wide as he watched his freckles slowly fade under the foundation, the amount he had applied to his cheek wasn’t thick enough to rid the marks completely, but they were faded and lighter in color. He gave an almost hysterical laugh at the miracle at work. More quickly than before Yamaguchi repeated the process until his face was evenly covered in the thick liquid, he was so shocked at the face that stared back at him.
“Wow.” Yamaguchi breathed in disbelief.
The freckles that had been with Yamaguchi for all of his life were no longer there, he finally had that soft and smooth complexion that made people beautiful. His fingers trailed over the skin, the makeup sat heavy on his face and it felt a tad oily, but it had given him a gift he never thought he would have. He giggled happily to himself before he closed the foundation and slipped it into his school bag. With one last fleeting glance at himself in the mirror, his cheeks straining so much from the grin, he finally felt normal.
Tsukishima had not stopped staring at Yamaguchi since he had come in 10 minutes late to class. Yamaguchi could feel eyes boring into the back of his skull and it made his face flush darkly. Though the make-up, he was sure, covered the flush, and his neck was the only give away of his embarrassment. His desk neighbors were staring at him too, but not as intently as Tsukishima was. They kept sneaking side glances over at him and making weird questioning faces as though trying to get Yamaguchi’s attention so they could get a better look at his face. Yamaguchi ignored them and tried to force himself to pay attention to the lessons their teacher was droning on about.
It wouldn’t be until the bell rung for lunch that either Yamaguchi or Tsukishima interacted that day, and it really amounted to Tsukishima staring intently at Yamaguchi. His bright eyes were intensely focused on Yamaguchi’s face.
“Tsu-Tsukki?” Yamaguchi shifted uncomfortably in his desk as the blonde loomed over him, he reached a hand up to try and obscure his face a bit to keep those eyes from being too intense.
Tsukishima watched Yamaguchi lift his hand, his eyes narrowing even further, he opened his mouth to say something but a loud high pitched voice pierced their classroom.
“STINKYSHIMA, YAMAGUCHI!! COME EAT LUNCH WITH ME AND KAGEYAMA!” Whipping his head around Yamaguchi caught site of Hinata vigorously waving his arm and enthusiastically smiling at the two of them.
With a quick glance back up at Tsukishima, Yamaguchi grabbed his bento and hurried after Hinata and a very annoyed Kageyama His breathing was labored and he could feel his heart pounding vigorously as he clutched at his lunch as if it were a lifeline. He had always known that Tsukishima was a very intense individual, a man of few, often times cutting, words. Though the way those eyes had cut swiftly across Yamaguchi’s face had left him feeling exposed in an almost awful way.
Before Yamaguchi could reach the dynamic duo a hand was snaking out to grab hold of Yamaguchi’s elbow. The whine that left Yamaguchi’s throat was one of despair mostly, but more than anything else it was pure embarrassment as various classmates snickered. It didn’t help that Tsukishima’s fingers felt more like talons trying to pierce his skin.
With a hard tug Tsukishima was now pulling a stumbling Yamaguchi behind him and out of room, they had a bit of difficulty leaving when they tried to pass by Hinata, who was crowding up around them in the doorway.
“Ahh Tsukishima stop trying to break Yamaguchi!” Hinata half wailed as he attached himself to Yamaguchi’s other arm that was holding and spilling some of his bento.
“Hey don’t be clingy!” Kageyama reprimanded with a hard smack to the back of Hinata’s head, which caused Hinata to stick his tongue out in retaliation.
Yamaguchi smiled at the tiny red headed octopus who had turned his pout onto Yamaguchi. He had to ignore the tug from Tsukishima to get him to detach Hinata so they could storm off somewhere that Yamaguchi would rather not storm off too.
Then to ruin the mood more so than it already was Hinata had to go ask something stupid, “What happened to your face?”
Yamaguchi give an awkward chuckle and wished he could raise an arm to scratch at his head, but he was preoccupied on all sides.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
With a huff and a flourish that only Hinata could pull off, the overactive red head wiggled his way up closer to Yamaguchi’s face. His pink lips pulled into a full pout and his bright eyes were darting over Yamaguchi’s now sweating face. He could feel the make-up sitting in a thick layer, he felt almost like a dessert with how much he had put on.
“Where did all of your freckles go?” The whine was loud and Yamaguchi thought he might have burst an eardrum with how high Hinata’s voice could really get.
Yamaguchi opened his mouth to reply but he found himself stumbling into the spot that Tsukishima had once been occupying. He hardly registered the physical ripping of Hinata off of his other side as Yamaguchi was becoming very disoriented by all the tugging, pulling, ripping off of wiggly growths and so on. Yamaguchi barely registered his bento falling out of his hand and spilling what was left of its contents all over the floor.
“Why are you so mean!” Hinata wailed and Yamaguchi had about two seconds to watch Hinata wrap himself around Kageyama who was aggressively trying to shove Hinata off of him. His large palm pressed snuggling against Hinata’s face as the younger cried and continued to yell things which Yamaguchi realized were actually directed at Tsukishima and not Kageyama.
The tall, almost giant, teenaged boy was ‘calmly’ pushing his glasses back up his nose before huffing, “I’m not the one asking people rude questions and pushing myself into personal space where I don’t belong.”
Hinata was quick to stick his tongue out at Tsukishima before trying to turn his face to better look at Kageyama, asking, “Don’t I belong in your personal space?”
The sound Kageyama made at the question was quite hilarious but Yamaguchi didn’t really get to enjoy it before Tsukishima was dragging him away and down the hall. He offered a weak protest and a small complaint about how tightly Tsukishima was holding onto him. Either Tsukishima didn’t care, or he wasn’t listening. These were things Yamaguchi had gotten used to over the years and it didn’t bother him with the lack of response, he just wished that Tsukishima’s fingers weren’t so strong.
Stumbling after Tsukishima they both found themselves back in the boy’s restroom that Yamaguchi had been in before and the awkward that Yamaguchi had been feeling previous to the incident in the hall was returning in spades. They were standing across from one another right then, Tsukishima’s hand still gripping his wrist, but his eyes were dragging across Yamaguchi’s face before he dropped his head forward and his hand was falling away.
Yamaguchi furrowed his brow and he looked confusedly at Tsukishima who seemed to just be standing there breathing heavily and frowning. The problem with being friends with Tsukishima Kei was that he never expressed what he wanted to say and was constantly in a state of trying to play catch up, the benefit of being best friends with Tsukishima Kei was that you knew he said exactly what he wanted by doing the exact opposite. Biting his lip in frustration Yamaguchi stepped forward so that he was just a hairs breath from touching his upper body against Tsukishima’s.
“What’s wrong Tsukki?” He asked softly and pushing his head underneath Tsukishima’s to be in the taller boys line of sight. His fingers twitched nervously at his side and fought against the urge to touch his best friend, and he grinned nervously up at him which only made Tsukishima frown even harder.
“Come on Tsukki, why are we in the bathroom?” Yamaguchi tried to make his voice light and teasing, his tongue poking out to try and get a reaction out of Tsukishima.
Tsukishima huffed, “Why did you really not walk with me this morning, hm?” The question caught Yamaguchi off guard. So maybe Tsukishima hadn’t really noticed Yamaguchi’s face, which was a bit of a relief because he could feel the anxiety bubbling in his stomach at the thought that Tsukishima’s behavior was because of that.
With a light laugh Yamaguchi leaned back and away from Tsukishima, “I told you! I couldn’t find my knee pads and I didn’t want to make you late for class. I know how you hate that!” He gave his best friend the sweetest smile he could muster, but it was hard to do when Tsukishima was staring at him as though he was stupid.
“You are a terrible liar Yamaguchi. Why did you really not walk with me? Was it because you were raiding your mom’s makeup?” Yamaguchi flinched almost painfully.
The words hurt him and he turned his head away quickly, his hair falling forward to shield his dull eyes, “No, I would never go through my mom’s makeup/”
Tsukishima’s fingers were gripping Yamaguchi’s chin and turning his head, “Then what’s wrong with you face?” He lifted a light blonde eyebrow and crossed his arms in a sign of ‘don’t-play-fucking-stupid-I’m-all-knowing-and-stupidly-handsome-so-don’t-try-to-act-like-I’m-not-going-to-expectant-dad-you-into-telling-why-your-being-fucking-weird’.
“There’s nothing wrong with my face Tsukki!” Yamaguchi said petulantly, he could feel his mouth forming into a pout no matter how hard he tried to will himself not too, “I think my face looks as least wrong as it could ever hope to be right now.” The way Tsukishima’s eyes hardened and his face morphed into a look of angry disbelief was kind of terrifying, and a bit attractive which Yamaguchi thought he had no right in being at this moment.
“I didn’t think you were this stupid.”
Yamaguchi felt every right to look offended even though Tsukishima looked less than fazed, “Excuse me?” Their friendship seemed to always be one-sided on the outside, some people had even tried asking Yamaguchi if Tsukishima was hurting him or forcing his friendship on him. Yamaguchi knew it looked a bit one side, and not super good for Yamaguchi’s self-confidence and psyche, but Tsukishima had never been in anyway mean towards Yamaguchi. He was more stability, a guiding figure in Yamaguchi’s life who kept him grounded and calmed him in a way Yamaguchi was lost without. And Yamaguchi was the only one who could get Tsukishima to do just about anything he wanted (but not without his fair share of begging, pouting, whining, yelling, and puppy dog eyes).
Sure Tsukishima would unintentionally insult him, it was a common occurrence but he knew what Tsukishima meant it. This instance though was quiet blatant and intentional.
“I am not stupid!” He half yelled.
“Yes you are.” Tsukishim’s voice was calm but Yamaguchi could feel the sting nonetheless, “Why did you do that to yourself? I thought you were better than them.”
That was about the moment Yamaguchi felt himself snap, but only a bit, “Better than them? Better than them.” His voice was quiet but his eyes were hard and fixed unwaveringly on Tsukshima’s haunty face, “Don’t you say that to me, don’t act like you know anything!” Tsukishima’s silence only filled the anger, self-doubt, and anxiety that had been plaguing him for years now and was beginning to pour out of him, “Years Tsukki! Years I have had this.. this mess on my face and body and I have never been better than anyone because of it. You don’t know anything because you haven’t ever had to deal with people staring at you, whispering about if your sick, if you have a rash, or if maybe your contagious. You haven’t had to deal with people taunting and hurting you because of spots you have on your skin.”
Tsukishima sighed and rolled his eyes skyward as though he didn’t really know what to say, “Yamaguchi—“
“No. Just listen Tsukki.” The words and feelings had been buried for a while and it was his time to vent, “I got a chance Tsukki to fit in, to be equal to everyone else. To feel attractive for once in my life and have people look at me like I’m normal, or that I am not someone to avoid or throw things at.” The tears were silently falling down his cheeks without his permission and he was just sick and tired of never being good enough.
He wasn’t good enough for his peers to accept his skin for how it was and he wasn’t good enough for Tsukishima to look at and want. This was supposed to fix everything, the foundation was supposed to make him enough. Then there were arms wrapping around his neck and pulling him into a hard chest and Yamaguchi just cried embarrassingly against Tsukishima.
“You’re fine Yamaguchi.” Tsukki’s deep voice was so close to his ear and it only made Yamaguchi cling harder to his best friend. They stayed like that until the bathroom door swung open and then slammed shut with a shouted, ‘sorry!’
Yamaguchi pulled out of Tsukishima’s arms, he sniffled and wiped at his runny nose, his eyes itched, and his face would have probably been a gross blotchy mess if the makeup wasn’t covering his face up.
“I’m not fine and you know it.” Tsukishima only shrugged and shifted awkwardly on his feet.
Tsukishima was not a word magician and Yamaguchi knew that, but it seemed like he wanted to get something off of his chest, “No, your not.” Yamaguchi gave a slight scoff and a that’s-what-I’ve-been-saying-douche. “But you’re… You’re different and that makes you… I like that.” Tsukishima scratched at his neck nervously, “I like your um.. I know I don’t know what you’re going through but I think you.. I think your freckles are… be—“ His voice trailed off and he waved vaguely in Yamaguchi’s general direction.
“What are you saying?” Yamaguchi blinked his large eyes dumbly.
“I think your freckles.. their beautiful.” Yamaguchi continued to blink dumbly at Tsukishima because he knows Tsukishima did not just call him beautiful.
“I don’t like you doing that to yourself. You’re different and nice and you like me and I don’t want you thinking you’re less than anyone because you aren’t.” Tsukishima shifted uncomfortably on his feet, “Stop looking at me like that.” He tried to be gruff but Yamaguchi could feel a grin spread across his face and his cheeks begin to burn from embarrassment.
“Like what?” He tried teasing, but his voice came out shaky and hesitant.
Tsukishima slapped a hand to his face before sighing loudly and throwing his eyes up towards the ceiling, “You know like what, so stop it.”
Yamaguchi giggled softly as he wiped at his runny nose, “So mean Tsukki.” Yamaguchi felt his breath catch as Tsukishima had dropped his gaze to stare intently back at him, there was something swirling in his eyes that had Yamaguchi’s gut twisting and his breath catching.
Swiping his tongue along his lip, Tsukishima reached behind himself to pull at the paper towels. He balled them up in his open fist before turning away from the shorter boy and going to wet the paper towels under the sink. When he turned back around Yamaguchi was still staring at him and Tsukishima hated how red his eyes were, and how bare his face was. Taking a deep breath Tsukishima crowded up into Yamaguchi’s space. Tentatively Tsukishima reached up with the wet towel and began to wipe at Yamaguchi’s face.
Yamaguchi could feel his lungs burning from how long he was holding breathe, but it was damned near impossible for him to let the air out because he was terrified that the moment, or whatever was going on, would pass and they’d just be awkwardly staring at each other again. So Yamaguchi allowed for himself to hold his breath longer than he previously thought he could, and tilted his face up towards Tsukishima to allow him to continue wiping the cool towel across his face.
The pressure felt nice and his eyes slid close to fully let himself get lost in a moment. It was intimate in a way that their friendship could be, but those times were reserved for the weekends. They were reserved for spending the night at Tsukishima’s house laying or sitting on Tsukishima’s bed, Yamaguchi carrying all of the conversation and only receiving grunts in response. The intimate moments came when they would wake up on the bed together, not having meant to fall asleep facing each other, soft yellow light filtering in from the morning and they would just stare at one another. Those moments left Yamaguchi confused and scared when Tsukishima’s mom would knock on the door to let them know breakfast would be ready in 10 minutes. They didn’t talked much about those moment, Yamaguchi liked to think that they were just dreams, vivid heart pounding dreams that left him lost. Their friendship was important, and Yamaguchi would never give up their friendship for something as silly as that anxious knotting that was steadily expanding in his gut.
The paper towel Tsukishima was using made a soft swishing sound as he threw it into the trashcan behind Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi didn’t dare open his eyes, he wanted to savior whatever moment he had left. The feeling of a rough, warm, palm was cupping his cheek and made him crack his eyes open only a little bit His vision was blurred by the fluttering of his eyelashes. Tsukishima had drawn his lip up between his teeth and his brow had furrowed severely.
It was when Yamaguchi thought about making an awkward joke about wrinkles that Tsukishima had descended and pressed his chapped lips against where his thumb had been previously resting under Yamaguchi’s eyes. He swore he would have fainted right then because all the air left his body, his head was spinning, his stomach was rumbling from missing their lunch, and his legs were feeling weak. His hand shot out to clutch at the rim of the sink to keep from falling over. Tsukishima pulled back to look at Yamaguchi, his cheeks were flushed a dark shade of red and he seemed, oddly, embarrassed by his actions.
“Why did you do that?” Yamaguchi croaked.
Tsukishima rolled his eyes and tried to make his glare as condescending as possible before he spoke, “Do what?”
Licking at his lips Yamaguchi barely registered the taunt of his earlier statement, “Why would you kiss me Tsukki? That’s just mean.”
The look that shadowed Tsukishima’s face was dark, he seemed angry at the situation and possibly at Yamaguchi and it had him shrinking back a bit. It wasn’t fair for Tsukishima to do that to him, not after saying all of those things. They were best friends, and Tsukishima was unbridled strength and Yamaguchi was the boy who needed a shield. It wasn’t fair of him to reach out and touch Yamaguchi in a way he had always craved and desired, it wasn’t fair of him to take away the only bit of normalcy he had bought for himself, and it wasn’t fair that Tsukishima could look angry and frustrated. It was Yamaguchi’s moment, it was his right to be angry and confused.
“You can’t just kiss someone Tsukki. I know you are trying to be a good friend but that’s just wrong. You don’t kiss people without meaning it. It’s hurtful and I hate it.”
Yamaguchi turned a bit from Tsukishima who looked all but lost in the situation at hand. Yamaguchi found himself facing the mirror and he could see the ugly puffiness in his eyes, he could see the blotchy redness of his skin from irritation, and he could see the dark marks smattering across his nose and cheeks. It was not fair.
The sob that Yamaguchi wanted to let out got swallowed down when Tsukishima had wrapped his arms around his waist and hugged him from his back.
“I do mean it though Yamaguchi, you’re just too stuck in your head to realize it.” Yamaguchi can hear the embarrassment in Tsukishima’s voice, he can feel his body shaking from the nervousness of having just admitted a confession as big as that.
Instead of a sob, Yamaguchi released a shuddering breath and wiggled around to face his best friend. Tsukishima had pulled back just enough so they could once again return to their staring, “I will be so mad if you are lying to me Tsukki.”
“You’re beautiful Yamaguchi.” Tsukishima said before hesitantly pressing his lips against Yamaguchi’s.
Neither did much in the way of kissing, they just held their lips tightly against one another and panted loudly through their noses. Yamaguchi’s heart was racing and he knew he would have collapsed if Tsukishima hadn’t been pressed so tightly against him at the moment. It was almost everything that Yamaguchi had not imagined their kiss to be, let alone a first kiss. But the very fact that they were kissing had only been pure fantasy. With that in mind Yamaguchi giggled softly against Tsukishima’s lips and it wasn’t long before Tsukishima was giving little shudders to suggest that he found the situation funny.
Pulling away Yamaguchi could feel how hard he was smiling and it only got worse when he saw the light dusting of pink on Tsukishima’s cheeks, and a tiny smile tugging at the corners of his lips.
“That was an awful first kiss Tsukki, I always wanted romance and fireworks.” Yamaguchi teased, but he was pleased with their terrible first kiss because it was more than he thought was possible.
Huffing, Tsukishima turned his head to the side, “Maybe I should just not do it again then.” If Yamaguchi didn’t know Tsukishima, he would have thought the crisp manner of Tsukishima’s voice was serious, but Yamaguchi could see the hopeful glint as Tsukishima stared at him from the corner of his eye.
Still giggling Yamaguchi slid his hand up along Tsukishima’s bicep, and trailed his fingers to wrap around the back of his neck, “Now we don’t have to resort to threats, what did I tell you about being mean.”
Grumbling under his breath Tsukishima grabbed hold of Yamaguchi’s hand and pulled it away from his neck and to cradle it in his warm hands. When Tsukishima kissed Yamaguchi a second time it was much better than the first, this time they both pressed warmly against the other and their lips moved slowly. Yamaguchi sighed out in contentment as he rested all of himself against Tsukishima.
Yamaguchi was not conventionally attractive, and he had known that his whole life. But Tsukishima gave him the confidence he needed, and Yamaguchi had lost sight of that. Yamaguchi was enough, and he was beautiful in his own unconventional way.