“Did you have a fight with (Y/N)-chan?”
Tsukishima Kei deadpanned. This was not what he was expecting when he arrived home from after school practice. He was eager to get away from the autumn chill but seeing his older brother at home made him almost want to go back out again. Almost. Turning his back to his brother, he removed his shoes at the genkan and said, “Why are you still here? Didn’t you already leave for college years ago, nii-chan?”
“I’m allowed to visit, Kei,” Akiteru grinned, placing his hands on his hips. “Plus, I know you’d get bored without your brother annoying the heck out of you!”
Without even turning around, the younger brother retorted, “I have enough people annoying the hell out of me without you, but thank you for your thoughtfulness.”
Akiteru awkwardly chuckled, all the while looking down and scratching the back of his head. He actually knew how Kei would react if he even tried to joke about their already fragile relationship. He expected it even; yet he hoped that his relationship with (Y/N) might have softened the edges of his icy demeanor.
He sighed as his younger brother brushed past him without another word. ‘So much for trying to lighten the mood,’ he thought. He followed Kei into the kitchen, watching as he placed an unfamiliar bento and water bottle in the sink.
“Is that from (Y/N)-chan?” he asked.
Kei gave no response. Only the sound of rushing tap water filled the now awkward silence between them. Not perturbed by Kei’s indifference, he pushed on, eager to at least have a conversation that would last more than three or so minutes without getting shot down by a snarky remark.
“Ha~ It must be nice,” he sighed wistfully. “I wish I had a girlfriend who would make me a bento too.”
“Maybe if you stopped snooping around your younger brother’s life so much, someone might find you attractive.” Kei, who finished up washing his bento and water bottle, continued on. “Then again, they might get turned-off the moment they find out about your brother complex.”
Two minutes hadn’t even passed and already Akiteru was sporting wounds from being shot down twice. He sighed and rubbed his temples. ‘(Y/N)-chan said it’s better not to spur him any further if he doesn’t want to,’ he thought.
Kei dried his hands with the towel hanging by the sink. He turned to face Akiteru, crossed his arms, and leaned back on the counter. “Why’d you ask about (Y/N)?”
The elder stared at Kei for a second, forgetting about the question he had asked Kei the moment he opened the front door. “Ah. I saw her sitting out on top of their roof from our backyard. I tried calling out to her but she didn’t seem to hear me. She’s been there quite a while so I thought that maybe something was bothering her.”
“And the first thing you thought of was that it was because we fought?” Kei asked, question dipping in sarcasm.
Akiteru flinched. “Well… You usually come home together, even if your practice ran late. She seemed pretty lost in thought too.”
“How long has she been up there?”
“She’s been up there since mom and I finished dinner around eight.” Kei turned to the clock hanging across the living room, seeing that it had been already a quarter past since then. He sighed, pushed himself off of the counter, and headed straight up to his bedroom.
“Aren’t you going to eat dinner, Kei?” Akiteru called behind him.
“I already ate,” was his only response and Akiteru heard a door shut right after. He sighed, wondering how (Y/N) was able to put up with that moody brother of his. He was still thankful to her though, because despite the conversations being a little less than pleasant, Kei was responding to him more than he used to. ‘It’s a start, at least.’
Tsukishima re-adjusted his glasses as he stared at the open textbook in front of him. He had sent (Y/N) a message once he entered his room. He had already changed out of his uniform, had already taken out the schoolwork he needed to accomplish for the night, and she still hadn’t replied to him.
Knowing that there was no point in trying to focus on homework, he clicked his tongue in annoyance. What Akiteru said wasn’t true – (Y/N) and him weren’t fighting – and as far as he knew, he hadn’t done anything that would’ve made her angry. At least, he thinks he hasn’t. She even eagerly launched a surprise attack on him by jumping on his back as he was headed for the club rooms. Blood rushed to his face as he suddenly remembered how tightly her legs were wrapped around his waist, supporting her as her arms hung loosely around his shoulders. They aren’t normally into public displays of intimacy, but being caught off guard so suddenly made his thoughts and emotions go into overdrive from embarrassment. Chastising her for the abrupt display of affection became the least of his concerns. The memory then focused to what she did next, which was to lean her cheek on his shoulder, causing her chest to lightly press against his back…
A ‘ping’ from his cellphone brought him back from his thoughts. Clearing his throat and shaking the dangerous haze forming in his mind, he picked up the device, clicking his tongue once again when it wasn’t from (Y/N). Ignoring the new message, he opened their chat box to make sure he hadn’t forgotten to actually send his message.
Kei!! Come out already!! We’ll be late for school and I’m hungry!! 6:32
Also, can you grab me a sandwich on your way out? ✩°｡(´ε｀ ) 6:33
Have fun at practice!! I’ll be thinking about you every hour we’re apart so
you don’t forget me! ( *˘ ³˘)♡ 16:27
20:49 Where are you
He snorted as he read her last message to him. ‘As if I don’t think about her enough already,’ he mused. His eyes skimmed over his last message – the ‘read’ time stamp still absent. Leaning back on his chair, he wondered if she either left her phone behind again or she was sulking because he actually did something to upset her yet again. He hoped it was the former, because the latter consisted of a cold-shoulder and a miserable night of going through a list of offenses, pinpointing which of these could have been the catalyst; because as much as (Y/N) made Tsukishima Kei a softer person with her, he was still an asshole, even to his girlfriend. Tossing his phone on his bed, he grabbed his cardigan from its hook and opened the sliding door that led to his balcony. He shivered slightly as the cool wind greeted him with a kiss.
The balcony itself was wide enough to hold a small round table, a pair of mismatched lounge chairs, and an array of potted plants. On the right side was (Y/N)’s own balcony, close enough to his own that they could easily make the leap to the other side. He looked up and saw a figure on her roof. He sighed and climbed over, making sure not to hit the small ladder planters placed at the side as he stepped down. It was obvious who, between the two, had placed the most effort in decorating. While his was simple, (Y/N) was a little more creative as her balcony was a little bigger than his was. She used wood pallets – he remembered she asked coach Ukai for – and turned it into a small L-shaped couch with grey cushions, a few throw pillows, and a knitted blanket draped on the side. Beside a small white table and the ladder planters, she also hung up fairy lights that, when it twinkled, looked like she had a piece of the night sky. Tsukishima’s balcony would have only consisted of a table and a single lounge chair if (Y/N) had not taken it upon herself to turn it into a more comfortable space for the both of them. After all, the balconies were a personal haven for the two.
Glancing through her sliding door, he saw her phone untouched on her desk. Sighing, he turned to the ladder that leaned on the wall, the one the previous owner left installed, and climbed steadily, avoiding the few knick-knacks she left on its steps. Once his head broke the top, he turned to face (Y/N)’s form, knees up and hugging a medium sized Winnie the Pooh Tsum Tsum that he got for her when they went to Tokyo Disneyland a few months back. She stared at him and he stared right back, her (H/C) hair down and gathered to one side.
“I don’t know how it normally is in your country, but we don’t stay up on the roof until we catch hypothermia,” he commented off-handedly. She smiled at him but he noticed that it didn’t reach her eyes.
“I brought protection from the cold,” she said, gesturing to the blanket wrapped around her shoulders.
“That’s fine indoors, but the temperature’s different when you’re outside.” He climbed over the last step and carefully made his way to her.
She rolled her eyes at him in response. “You just can’t handle the cold, Kei.”
“Shut up and scoot over,” he demanded. She opened the blanket for him and he positioned himself behind her, rearranging the blanket so that it would cover them both. He clicked his tongue as his hand brushed hers.
“‘I brought protection from the cold,’ Idiot,” he mocked her. “Your skin’s freezing.”
“Lucky for me, you’re here to warm me up!” she teased him. In response, he flicked her on the forehead. Before she could whine about it, Tsukishima pulled her body closer, legs on each of her side, and tightly wrapped his arms around her waist. She softly giggled and leaned back on his chest. Even without looking, (Y/N) knew that he was flushed red down to his neck.
“Nii-chan thinks we’re fighting,” he said.
“I know we’re not.” It was silent for a few seconds before Tsukishima continued, “….. But you aren’t mad at me, right?”
“I’m not, Kei,” she whispered endearingly, taking one hand and entwining it with his.
“You better not be lying. It’s a pain in the ass when you ignore me like the mature adult I know you are,” he grumbled.
(Y/N) shifted so that she could lean her head on the crook of his neck, smiling. “Mmh, I love you too, Kei.” He snorted at her, but the tightening of his arms and his hand on hers told her something different.
They sat there in pure silence, staring at nothing but also at everything. The rooftop provided a view Tsukishima wouldn’t normally see on the ground. Tanned mountains with flecks of green and white stood at the distance, grounding Miyagi to where it was. Lamp posts glowed gently at an even interval, far different from the multitude of dancing lights coloring the city; Streets littered with leaves as if nature wanted to paint a picture to welcome an old friend. There were no signs of human life; only the clear starry sky and the moon serving as witnesses to the moment him (Y/N) were sharing.
“What was it like with your father?” (Y/N) broke the silence. He hummed, leaning his cheek on top of her head.
“He was a very busy man. Work sometimes took him away from home for days or weeks,” he said. “But he always had time for us. I didn’t spend much time with him as kaa-san or nii-chan did, but I have my own fond memories of him.”
She smiled as she heard the hint of nostalgia in his voice. He continued on.
“I was still too young when he died so nii-chan took it upon himself to try and be the ‘male figure’ in my life.” He clicked his tongue in annoyance. “He even lied like how parents sometimes do.”
“He just didn’t want to disappoint you, Kei,” (Y/N) softly said. “Besides, men will do anything to maintain their ‘cool image’ in front of the people they care about.”
He snorted. “Look how much that backfired on him.”
“Hey, I seem to recall moments where you did stupid things to look cool in front of me,” (Y/N) teased.
Without batting an eyelash, he pushed his forefinger on her forehead and said, “Idiot. But did I lie to you?”
“No…” she hesitantly said. “But… He’s trying to make amends now, you know.”
Tsukishima stayed silent, only keeping his finger pressed on her forehead. She took his hand and placed it back around her waist. “He really wants to get along with his little brother again.”
“It annoys me that he gets along with you so well,” he said, clicking his tongue. She only laughed.
“Of course I have to! I’m your girlfriend after all.” She smiled up at him; tongue stuck out at him and eyes daring him to say anything against it. He just shook his head and rolled his eyes at her. Only she could get away with testing him like that.
“I can’t make any promises with nii-chan,” he off-handedly said.
“As long as you promise to try,” she smiled at him, pinching his cheek.
“Why did you ask about otou-san, anyway?”
He saw the way her smile faltered and how her eyes dimmed. She sighed and turned her head away from him, staring back out into the distance. He waited for her, as he always did. While the balconies were their havens, the rooftop was (Y/N)’s escape. Sometimes, things get too crowded and loud in her head, so she stays up here to try and make sense of it all. She finds comfort in the sky, she had once told him. It was only recently that Tsukishima dared to enter her place of escape – only because it became too much for her to bear, once – and now when he feels like he could, he comes up here and wraps his arms around her, acting as an anchor to keep her grounded.
“I just wondered…” she whispered. “What it would have been like if my father was alive.”
He tightened the blanket around them and held her close. “What made you think that?”
“Nothing, really. It’s just… I don’t know what it feels like. I see the way other people bonding with their fathers; I see how close they are and it’s kind of sad that I never really had… that.”
“Is it different with Yanagi-san?” Tsukishima asked.
“Kind of... He’s a cool guy and I like him, but it’s different. He’s Chiro and Naoto’s dad; He’s not my dad, Kei. My mom met him when I was already breaking out into my teens, they have two kids together, and now he’s her fiancé. I like him, really I do. He’s a nice guy and he’s very kind to me, but the connection isn’t… there.”
He knew it was best to let her get it out of her system first before saying anything. He simply listened to her and held her tight.
(Y/N) sighed. “Sometimes I just don’t know where I’m placed in this family, you know? I’m just my mom’s kid with another person… I’m not as outgoing with them as I am with you or my friends. I’m usually just quiet and I’m perfectly content with staying in my room. I’m not always into what they find funny, the things they like, and I honestly don’t feel close to my siblings… It even gets suffocating at home sometimes, but I have nowhere else to go…
“She was so different back then…” she whispered. “And I can’t help but think that my mom’s much happier with Yanagi-san and my siblings than when it was just the two of us… That she prefers them. I’ve become so detached from them that if you take me out of the picture, I’m sure nothing will be different.”
Tsukishima pressed his lips to the side of her head. His heart ached for her. It was actually rare for (Y/N) to openly express her feelings, but when she did, he felt how tired she was from the weight of it. It surprises him, sometimes, that these thoughts actually exist in her head, but all he can do now is listen – and so he does. (Y/N) clutched the Tsum Tsum tighter to her.
“It’s also hard to think that right now… I might not be worth anything. I have nothing to give. I’m not talented, I’m not smart, and I’m not rich nor are my looks particularly good… I’m just… okay and I just know how to get by in life and… How is that going to help me in my future? I may have high aspirations but I’m pretty sure there’s someone out there who’ll be better at it than I am. I’m scared I’m not only a disappointment to myself but to my parents as well…
“I play it by ear and here I am hoping that the longer I fake it, it might actually help me find the confidence I need. I box these feelings up, hoping that they’d stop bothering me. It works most of the time, but I get days like this where these insecurities I hide get heavier and it just becomes suffocating. People think that I’m strong and I like to think that I am, but sometimes I need saving too… I want to be saved too…
“I feel like my significance is almost next to nothing; that I could never do something that’s worth putting me between the stars… What am I doing here if I feel like I’m not even needed? I’m surrounded by my friends and family but… It’s still quiet. Sometimes I even feel like I’m just bothering you all with my presence; that maybe I’m just deluding myself into thinking we actually mean something to each other.”
She sighed and made herself smaller. “I’m honestly tired, Kei. I don’t want to be strong anymore, but I don’t know if someone’s there to catch me when I eventually spiral down. I want someone to catch me but… I don’t know if it’s okay to ask someone to do it...
“Oh!” She suddenly exclaimed. She faced him and said, “I’m not making it sound like you’re obligated to do that, alright Kei?? I’m sorry if I made it sound like I was implying something. You know how I get when I’m like this. I’m just talking out loud.” She laughed it off but Tsukishima remained silent as he felt her hand clutch his. His eyes never left her face as she talked and he never once loosened his hold on her.
“Anyway… I just feel like I’m not making an impact on anyone’s life… I’m not like one of those people who are changing millions of lives out there… I’m just… Me…”
She drifted off and returned to staring at nothing. Her eyes had a faraway look and he didn’t know whether she was finished or not.
“I’m sorry,” she suddenly said. “I know I sound confusing. Believe me, even I’m confused, but at least I somehow got that off my chest. Sorry for bothering you with it… But thank you for listening.”
She didn’t look at Tsukishima as she said this. She continued staring off into the distanced. His heart felt heavy throughout her internal monologue. He didn’t like it that she had thoughts like those. He didn’t like feeling like he couldn’t protect her from anything. He especially didn’t like that she wasn’t even shedding a single tear. She looked calm as she always did, but after everything she said, he knew that there was a storm raging to come out from inside of her. It hurt him to think that she was already used to hiding her own feelings; and the fact that she’s even apologizing for feeling that way…
Tsukishima looked at her. In front of him, was the woman he was so deeply in love with: The hair he loves running his fingers through that was softly being blown by the wind; eyelashes framing glazed and lost eyes instead of the bright and deep ones he sometimes find himself getting lost in; the nose he’s fond of pinching or poking with his finger when he wants to tease her; lips that reminds him he’s allowed to love and be loved despite being the kind of person that he was; Her neck and shoulders that he finds himself loving but could never explain why; her arms which becomes his escape when he himself finds everything too much to bear. These are just some of the things he finds loving about her and it wasn’t even all of it.
There was her kindness and generosity; her unflinching nature to stand for what’s right; the way her loyalty shines towards the people she loves, the way she’s able to hold her own when they were engaged in a battle of wits; and the way she makes him want to be a better person, even if it’s just for her. She was the person who accepted him wholeheartedly and loved him for who he was, with his sharp tongue and heartless attitude.
He wanted her to feel the way she made him feel: loved, protected, worthy, and needed.
And so, in a way that may or may not be Tsukishima, he shifted so that they were slightly facing each other, took the Winnie the Pooh Tsum Tsum with his free hand, and smooshed its face on hers. If Tsukishima were asked to retell this part of the story in his own point of view, he would never mention that he intended to lightly boop her to make her feel better, not smash a stuffed toy on his girlfriend’s face.
Surprised, (Y/N) let out a squeak. Amongst the things she expected from him tonight, this was not it. She turned to him, clearly wanting an explanation. He placed Pooh back in her arms and pulled her closer.
“So what if you don’t change the lives of millions of people?” he suddenly said.
(Y/N) felt her heart sink. She knew that Tsukishima was a snarky and callous person, but she didn’t expect him to treat her like that while she was at her most vulnerable. She looked down, biting her lower lip at the jab at her insecurity. He saw how her face crumpled and he sighed, realizing his indelicacy.
He kissed the base of her neck and said, “You’re already changing one person’s life – you’re changing mine.” He pressed his forehead on hers and whispered, “Isn’t that enough?”
(Y/N) genuinely surprised, felt shock trickle down her spine. He just said one small thing: “Isn’t that enough?” It might not mean something to anyone, but to her, coming from the person that keeps her up at night, it meant everything. It was sweet; it was unexpected; it was genuine; and it made her fall for him all over again.
“You’re not alone, (Y/N). I’m here. I don’t know if that means much to you, with the kind of person that I am, but… I’m here. I’ll carry your burdens until you feel like you can breathe again. Hell, I’ll even carry you if you want me to,” he said. He suddenly smirked and continued, “Lucky for us that you’re so small, huh?”
She bursted in laughter and Tsukishima loved the sound of it. It was the kind of music not everyone paid attention to, but he was obsessed and wanted to keep it on repeat. He brought her knuckles up to his face and grazed them with his lips.
“I’ll catch you and keep you steady,” he said, his golden eyes captivating her; they had a mysterious glow to them, making it as ethereal as his namesake. “I’m here. I need you, (Y/N). I’ll love you, even more so when you yourself can’t.”
Her heart soared. Many people have a lot of things to say about Tsukishima Kei: that he was an asshole, frank, aloof, apathetic, condescending, and many others, but to (Y/N), he was the man who never failed to save her over and over again.
He always managed to find a way to gravitate her back to him. And just like how he heard her, she heard him too.
“Aren’t I enough?”
She suddenly wrapped her arms around his neck, surprising him for the second time that day. The blanket had come undone, but Tsukishima didn’t mind. The warmth coming from her was more than enough at that moment, especially when the tip of his ears and the back of his neck were heating up. He was embarrassed, but he meant every word. He tightly wrapped his arms around her waist, basking in the feel of her.
“Thank you, Kei,” she whispered in his ear. She didn’t see it, but he smiled. It was unfair to her that he mostly chooses to smile in moments where she can’t see him, and by the time she looks, his face has already returned to being indifferent. However, there are rare moments where she’s able to catch him smiling, always towards her, and it never fails to make her heart palpitate to the point that she’s always left breathless.
Pulling her back, he wiped the tears collecting at the edges of her eyes with his thumbs, mumbling a soft “you’re such a crybaby.” He wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her close to him again. His other hand tilted her chin up and pressed a lingering kiss at the edge of her lips.
“Kei, you’re such a tease,” she whined, clutching the front of his shirt with one hand.
He smirked and grabbed Pooh from her. “We need to go back inside. It’s getting too cold up here.”
“You just can’t handle the cold, Kei,” she smiled up at him.
“Well I’m sure you’ll help warm me right up,” he grinned. He placed his mouth near her ear and whispered, “In more ways than one, I’m sure.” (Y/N) felt her face flame up. What made it worse was that he even blew at her ear softly right after he said that. He laughed as she playfully pushed him away with a glare. He stood up and made his way to the ladder, carefully guiding her behind him.
“For someone who blushes a lot at intimacy, you’re such a pervert sometimes.”
“Oh really? But I know you like it~” He winked before making his descent. She watched him, waited until he had his feet firmly planted on the floor. He tossed Pooh on the couch and gestured for her. His hands found her waist as she climbed down, keeping her from falling, but before she made it on the floor, Tsukishima turned her around and sat her on one of the steps.
Before she could finish, he had positioned himself between her legs and had pressed his lips deeply on hers, one hand on her waist and the other threaded on her hair. Tsukishima felt her smile. He bit her lip teasingly before he went for something a little more passionate. His fingers curled as she ran her hands up and down his chest. She tugged at his cardigan and he moved closer, letting her hook one arm around his neck. He leaned on her and she felt the steps of the ladder digging on to her back but she paid it no mind. Tsukishima Kei wasn’t a seasoned lover, but he’s eagerly learning about her: what makes her feel good; how she likes it; and what makes her quiver under his touch. She moaned when she felt his hands gingerly glide up her thigh. This encouraged him to press her against him, wrapping her legs around his waist to keep her there. She gasped when he parted from her. He placed butterfly kisses from her chin to the edge of her jaw. He placed a wet kiss at the junction where her head and neck met, making her shiver and close her eyes in delight. She felt him grin at the sound she made and then started a trail down to her collar bone. (Y/N) felt warm and she wondered if he was too. It wasn’t the first time they did something like this on her balcony, but every time left her wanting to lose herself into this person called Tsukishima Kei.
He pressed his lips onto hers one more, this time more gentle and sweet. He cupped her cheek, and when they parted, he looked at her with all the things he wasn’t brave enough to always say.
“You’re precious to me.”
“I want you.”
“I love you.”
She smiled up at him, gazing into the eyes that became the reason why she loved the color gold. She ran her fingers through his hair and whispered, “You’re a dangerous man, Tsukishima Kei.”
“You’re just as dangerous, (L/N) (Y/N).”
“Well then, doesn’t that make us a perfect match?”
“Hmm… We’ll see about that,” he teased. He laid his head at the crook of her neck, wrapping his arms protectively around her just as she did with her arms around his shoulder.
As much as she needed him, he needed her too.
As much as he thinks she shines brightly on her own, he shines brighter when she’s with him.
What’s a moon without his moonlight, after all?
- The Light of the Moon
- His [moonlight]