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Because I love you

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Because I love you!

                The first time that he said that, you quickly assumed he was joking. Honestly speaking, it was seldom that you took the words of Nishinoya Yū seriously, especially when you had seen him huddled with Tanaka earlier, “whispering” to each other about god-knew-what. They were young boys who had a penchant for harmless mischief – anything could go with them – and seeing them huddled in a corner was nothing new for anyone. He stood before you, both hands on his hip and chest puffed out, mouth grinning with mirth and eyes crinkling at the edges. His whole body screamed confidence, like there was nothing wrong with what he had just said. From the corner of your eye, you saw the various expressions your spectators wore. Some sighed in disbelief, one the others indifferent to the scene before him them; Hinata, meanwhile, stared at his senpai in awe. You could see his respect for Nishinoya rising for having said what he had just said, while Tanaka cheered and encouraged from the sidelines.

                Nishinoya felt proud of his idea, you knew, and you only felt regret for having told him and Tanaka that you had never been with anyone to call your ‘boyfriend’. They were surprised that no one had approached you (ignoring the fact that they practically growled at every guy who even shot a daring glance towards you with interest) and had made it their mission to try and set you up with the many bachelors of Karasuno (only the worthy ones, of course). Finding no one suitable, Nishinoya took it upon himself to step up to the plate. When you had asked why, he simply said, “You deserve to know what it feels like to be loved by someone who makes you happy, senpai! Since I know I already make you smile a lot,” to which you snorted despite it being true, “why not me?” He grinned and concluded his speech by saying that. He believed that everyone deserved to experience the so called ‘high school romance’ and you were no exception. You knew he had no other intentions other than to simply look out for you. Somehow, he had the idea that you, too, were feeling burdened by the woes of being single (you weren’t), and he, as another suffering the “same” fate, thought it could be remedied by getting together to counter your distressing predicament, thus nullifying the “single” brand you both wore. Though he surprised you with that train of thought (and the fact that he totally disregarded amorous emotions usually present when entering into a relationship), you couldn’t deny that it was sweet of him to think of you, and that was something you admired him for: his steadfast loyalty to his friends and his drive to always try to make them happy, no matter what.

                “You’re so cool, Yū,” you simply said.

                His grin widened and he said “Right??” You rolled your eyes again and walked away, leaving him to be swarmed by Hinata, Tanaka, and even by Yamaguchi. As assertive as that was, his innocence still shined through and his naivety that it would be that simple only added to his boyish charms. You couldn’t help but smile at him, chalking it up as another of your best friend’s antics.

Because I love you!!

                Ever since that first incident, the libero had taken to saying that every chance he got. Honestly, it became a running gag to everyone in the team: saying that to each other when the situation allowed it to be used, followed by boisterous laughter, Nishinoya included. He was never fazed by it no matter how much the others had teased him. His level of confidence always surprised you, especially for someone who was 159.3 cm. Truth be told, he still always surprised you even after being friends since middle school, despite being one year his senior. Sure, he was sometimes aggressive and boisterous (sometimes enough that you can see images of fire behind him), but his kindness and compassion, especially his loyalty towards his friends, made him shine bright enough to make him (occasionally) look cool and dependable.  He bore a heart of gold and often wore it on his sleeve, which was why you sometimes had to wonder whether the words he said to you often held a deeper meaning, hidden by the carefree way he said it.

                He dismissed that thought himself later on, when you were talking to Nishinoya outside the gym and he happened to stop in the middle of his sentence as he spotted Kiyoko entering the gym. You heard Tanaka greet her enthusiastically and Nishinoya – while mumbling a “dammit, Ryū’s ahead of me!” – rushed inside the gym without a goodbye, leaving you dumbfounded while staring at a trail of hearts (you swore you saw them) he managed to leave behind.  You would have been offended if this was not a common occurrence whenever Kiyoko happened to be nearby. You could only sigh and walk back to where your own club would be, reminding yourself to ask Nishinoya to finish the conversation you had earlier.

Because I love you~

                You scolded him as he squirmed, telling him to stay still as you pressed a cold compress on the bruise forming on his cheek. You didn’t want to admit it, but you had been the cause of his recent heroics. You were waiting for Nishinoya’s practice to end so that you could cash in the favor he owed you after helping him study for three tests two nights prior. Distracted by how nice the boys’ legs and their butts looked in those shorts, you failed to notice that the duo’s freak quick was headed straight at you. Luckily for you, Nishinoya wasn’t called ‘the guardian deity of Karasuno’ for nothing. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t used to receiving that particular quick attack and in his haste to protect you, the angle of his arms caused the ball to rebound towards his face as he received it. He was quick enough to dodge it, but the volleyball still managed to high five him on his left cheek. With a look of horror, you quickly dragged him towards the infirmary, despite his protests that he would be fine and that he should go back to practice. As you sat him down on the stool, you quickly explained to the nurse what had happened. She gave you an ice pack and told you to keep it pressed on his cheek to lessen the swelling for a few minutes.

                “It’s cold,” he whined again, pushing the hand holding the ice pack back to rub at his cheek. You rolled your eyes and swatted his hand away, pressing the pack once again.

                “It’s to help you, dumbass.” He pouted at your response.

                “Is that how you should treat your hero, senpai??” he exclaimed. “Shouldn’t I be getting a kiss from you as a ‘thank you’ instead??”

                You knew he was joking when he had said that, but you always looked for a reason to get back at him for all the times he relentlessly teased you.  Besides, he had opened the door for you, even held it for you with a grand gesture, so who were you to turn away from his chivalrous deed?

                He had sighed in relief when you pulled the ice pack away, only to stiffen as he felt something soft – unfamiliar – replace it instead. You kept your lips pressed on him for a few more seconds, a hand on his knee and the other on his cheek to hold him in place (not that you needed to, the poor boy became stiff as a statue). When you moved away, your lips even made a soft ‘pop’ sound. Nishinoya’s eyes slowly followed you; his usually sharp eyes was round in disbelief and his mouth was agape. Neither of you said anything. You only grinned as you saw how flush his face had become. Your movement of returning the ice pack back to his face jolted him out of his stupor – to which he suddenly drew back, almost ending up sprawled on the floor had you not grabbed on to his arms and pulled him towards you.

                “Are you alright??” you asked him, eyes wide in panic.

                “S-Senpai… W-why did you do that?” he whispered, ignoring your question. You stared at him for a beat, grinned, and moved your face closer to his. Nishinoya moved back again to prevent your noses from touching.  This time, it was your turn to say that in a sing-song manner, and when you did, it took approximately seven seconds before you saw his pupils dilate and his face had become a nice canvas of pink and red.

                He abruptly stood up and shouted, “I-I feel b-better now! Hahaha! I-I-I’m going b-back to p-p-practice!!” He briskly walked towards the door when you called out to him again. “Here, keep this on your face while you walk back,” you had told him. He quickly walked towards you, grabbed the ice pack from your outstretched hand, and without another word, speed walked out of the clinic with his head down. You crossed your arms and laughed in victory. Finally, you had gotten the upper hand on imp that goes by the name of Nishinoya Yū.

Because I… love you?

                Every time you caught him looking at you whenever you watched him practice, you’d send a wink or make a face his way. You saw how roses would bloom on his cheeks and how he’d quickly avert his gaze. You’d also overheard Tanaka tease him, “Noya-san!! What’s got you making that dazed look, huh??” while he wrapped an arm around his shoulders. Nishinoya only gave him a bland response, but Tanaka got an ever bigger reaction out of him when he asked, “Eh~ I bet you’re thinking about some girl, aren’t ya??” You had never seen the Libero become as red as he did that day, and you swore you even saw his hair spike up even more as he shouted at Tanaka, launching towards him with curses spewing out of his mouth.

                After the practice and the infirmary incident, Nishinoya had been acting… You didn’t want to say ‘weird’ because to consider him ‘weird’ would depend entirely on a person’s definition of the word. If you had to use a word, ‘distant’ seems to be an appropriate substitute. Whenever he had seen you, he would quickly look down and either mumble his responses to you or stutter an excuse before abruptly running away from you. More often than not, he usually left while flustered. You wondered if he had been sick, but then, he had been avoiding you for weeks now. Before you could ask him about it, two voices called your attention.

                ”Senpai!” It was Hinata. He enthusiastically waved at you while Kageyama glared at him with flushed face. You wondered what they had been arguing about before the smaller one called your attention from across the courtyard.  You saw Kageyama hit Hinata in the head for being too loud and you decided to rush towards them before the setter  could injure him anymore than that.

                “Hinata! Kageyama! Is there something you needed?” You had asked. Hinata quickly nodded his head and all of a sudden, he leaned forward and held a bunch of papers towards you.

                “Please help us study for exams, Senpai! Our lives depend on it!” He shouted. You blinked in surprise. Kageyama saw your confusion and explained it to you, though he wasn’t looking straight at you. “Our team’s been invited to the Tokyo training camp this year, but coach and Takeda-sensei said that the four of us needed to pass our exams or else we wouldn’t be allowed to go.”

                “The four of you? Who’s the other two?” You asked.

                “It’s Noya-san and Tanaka-san!” Ah, so no wonder you hadn’t seen much of Nishinoya as of late. “The rest of the team has been helping us, but we’re still struggling in a few other subjects. Sugawara-san and Asahi-san said that you were good at studying, so we’re here to ask for your help! So please help us!” Hinata bowed.

                “P-please, senpai!” Kageyama bowed as well. You laughed at them. You urged them to stop bowing and said, “Don’t worry. I’ll help my cute kouhais!”

                Hinata smiled brightly, looking closely like his namesake. Kageyama suddenly reminded you of a cinnamon roll with his excited while his eyes looked at you in amazement. “Azasu!” they both said.

B-because I love you…

                All four were able to attend the training camp, despite the slight hitch that Hinata and Kageyama went through. Your help was greatly appreciated not by just them, but by the whole team as well. As Hinata and Ennoshita praised and complimented you for doing a great job when they returned from the camp, you had looked over to Nishinoya, catching him in a panic when you had caught him looking at you again. He turned his head, cheeks pink and scratched his left cheek. You wondered if the bruise he got from playing hero was bothering him despite already being healed.

Tanaka brought an arm around Nishinoya’s shoulder. He saw you looking at him, and with a mischievous grin, whispered something towards the libero’s ear, causing his cheeks to flush again. Tanaka laughed at what the smaller of the two whispered back, which prompted Tanaka to suddenly give you a wink and a thumbs up. You tilted your head curiously, wondering what they had talked about. Still in Tanaka’s hold, he looked up shyly at you. Wanting to ease whatever tension had fallen between you, you gave him a wink, laughed when you saw him stick his tongue out at you, and you waved to him. There was something different when he smiled at you. His eyes had become tender while his smile looked like it held a secret. When he returned your wave, it felt like the silence that shrouded you both never existed and you were just like what it was before: two friends making a connection despite not saying a word and distance being the last thing in your minds.

-

Though your relationship with him had been rocky and awkward for a while, the events after the training camp had made up for it. You found yourself spending more time with him, though mostly it was him who usually found you or came to you. He was shy at first, usually needing someone to be with you both. It was later that he started being comfortable with you alone. He barely stuttered now and he could look straight at you for longer periods of time, something you always teased him on. The blush on his face stayed ever present, though it usually brought a smile out of you at how charming you found him at times.

You had also caught yourself getting lost in his eyes whenever he was enthusiastically telling you about something, feeling like you were looking up at the night sky right before dawn had to break; the beauty of it lost on you until you found yourself looking at it even when the sun was up. Every day, you found him even more attractive than the last, stealing your breath like a thief every time you saw him. He even started teasing you whenever he caught you staring at him, pink dusting your cheeks. He even had the gall to say you looked beautiful one time. He even ran his long fingers on the side of your jaw lightly, trailing goosebumps over the skin there. You retaliated by breaking his one moment of being suave: you grabbed his hand and placed it on your lap, keeping his hand in yours all the while. You were no longer the only one blushing.

Things will eventually change, and that happened during one cool autumn day. You two were in your living room, helping him study the day’s lesson. The way he focused didn’t hold a candle to how he focused during a volleyball game, but it still drew you in enough to watch his face rather than checking if he was doing the problem correctly. You noticed his eyebrows scrunched in concentration. You absentmindedly reached out and brushed the hair on his forehead, startling him. He turned to look at you in surprise. Dazed, you gently traced a finger on the outline of his left eyebrow, the rest of your digits following down the side of his face and eventually cupping his cheek. He stared at you, entranced. He suddenly coughed and looked down, pink tinting his cheeks. You snapped out of your stupor, embarrassed at having done that without asking for permission.

“I’m… I’m sorry! I don’t know what came over me,” you had said. He told you that it was fine, coughing and scratching the back of his neck. You looked down on the textbook in front of you and fiddled with the pencil caught in the middle. He called your name and you looked up at him, hesitating. You saw how he stared straight at you, pulling you once again in the abyss of his eyes. You saw the determination in his face, in his posture, though the color of his ears down to his neck gave way to his nervousness.

He told you about how wonderful he thought you were. “You’re beautiful,” he said, both inside and out. “You’re really… amazing,” he said, telling you how much he admired you. “I can’t count h-how many times you m-made me lose my… my breath,” he said, his eyes never having strayed from yours despite how his nervousness became more apparent. “I… I want to stay by your side,” he whispered, taking the hand on your lap, loosely wrapping his fingers around yours, “I-if you’ll let me.”

You felt like your heart was jumping wildly with the purpose of breaking out of your chest. Your hand shook slightly, and you were sure his shook along with yours.

“Senpai… I… It’s…” he took a deep breath, and then he said that.

Because I –

                He waved at you with energy than the one he usually had. He was excited, you could tell. You laughed and skipped towards the table he was at.

                “Where’s Tanaka?” you asked. He laughed nervously and scratched the side of his mouth. “He said he had to go finish an assignment so he can’t join us,” he said. You nodded in understanding, proud that Tanaka seemed to have gotten serious about his studies. Hopefully it was because you were helping the four volleyball members with their studies more often now.

                You took the seat across from Nishinoya and took out your lunch. Due to recent events, you ended up making more than what you intended. You saw how his eyes lit up, already eyeing which one he was going to take ask for. You laughed at how his mouth drooled, setting the boxes of your bento between you two so you both could easily reach for everything. With the meal prepared, you two began eating.

                It was quiet. It wasn’t the awkward quiet. You were simply lost in your thoughts, your mind floating in cloud nine, so to speak. From the corner of your eye, you saw Nishinoya seemed to be lost in his own thoughts as well, though he seems to be buzzing with energy as well. He suddenly looked up, your eyes meeting. He gave you the brightest smile, and you teased him that something good must have happened to him recently.

                “Well…” he said, and then he jokingly trailed off. You threw a piece of egg at him, not even surprised that he was able to catch it with his mouth. He grinned at you as he chewed. He then looked down, smiling softly. He took a deep breath and said:

                “You know…” “Hey, Yū…”

                You both looked at each other in surprise.

                “What were you going to say?” “What was that?”

                You both laughed nervously. He scratched his cheek, probably blushing at having interrupted you twice. “You go first!” he said, leaning on the table with both of his arms. His smile encouraged you to finish what you were saying. You smiled at him and placed both of your hands on your lap. You took a deep breath, steadied your heart, and said:

                “Three days ago… Kageyama confessed to me.”

                You felt your cheeks heat up. You looked at your hands instead of at him. You didn’t know why you were nervous about telling him. It’s not like he disliked Kageyama. You knew the two had a light and easy friendship, though not of the close kind. Nishinoya was friendly with everybody anyway, as long as you didn’t give him a reason to dislike you. You bit down your lip at how silent he was. Worried, you looked up to find he had his arms off the table, looking down on his hands like you were earlier. Before you called him, he spoke up first.

                “And… what did you say?”

               You blushed again. You felt your heart ready to take flight as your memories took you down to what had happened. You remembered how his hand held yours; how, even though his hands shook, his gaze held steadfast and strong; how both of you burned hot after telling him your answer.

                “I… I told him I felt the same.”

                You heard a sharp intake of breathe. You looked up at Nishinoya, worried that you might have gotten him angry. You saw him drink from his water bottle and after he placed it down, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

                “So… Are you two… y’know… Together?” He mumbled out. You felt heat rise to your face as you were reminded that you were now actually dating Kageyama – something completely unexpected, yet not at all an unwelcome surprise. You meekly nodded, surprised at how shy you felt about admitting to your best friend that you now had a boyfriend. Then again, this was the same person who proposed the idea to get together just because he didn’t want you to have no one. Though said person was awfully being quiet and that worried you.

                “Are you mad, Yū?” Was there some kind of rule that you couldn’t date his team mates? Looking back to it, you didn’t get bothered by the idea of him seeing one of your other friends or club mates, or anyone you knew in general, so you thought it was fine. You hoped it was fine with him. The thought of having to either end your relationship with Kageyama before it even started or lose your friendship with Nishinoya didn’t sit well with you.

                Nishinoya might have noticed the distress in your face because he suddenly perked up.

                “What? Why would I get mad? I mean, I’m happy for you!” You pensively looked at him. You picked up on how strained he sounded but before you could even comment, he abruptly stood up. “Dammit, I can’t believe Kageyama beat me to it. I’ll have to punish him later,” he said while ruffling the back of his head to show his “annoyance”.

You blinked. “But Daichi already has a girlfriend. Technically, he beat you guys by having a girlfriend first.”

                “… O-oh yeah… Right, I forgot about that. I guess you’re right,” he mumbled while chuckling nervously. “Anyway! I should let Tanaka know so we could bully Kageyama later in practice. I’ll see you later!” You could only watch dumbfounded as he waked – brisk walked, more like – away from you. You weren’t sure if telling him went well, but he definitely wasn’t entirely upset about it. You sighed, noticing that Nishinoya’s side of your lunch barely looked untouched.

Because (      )

                Despite how Kageyama’s face was always set in a scowl or held an otherwise terrifying look, he was one of the sweetest person you’ve met. When you went out on your first date, you relentlessly teased him for constantly blushing whenever you held hands. Of course, you were blushing too, but you were quicker than he was to divert your embarrassment by focusing on his. Despite that, you both wore goofy faces for the rest of the day. One date became two, and as two became more, you watched as Kageyama became less hesitant to ask to spend time with you.

                The first time you made him lunch, his face was a perfect imitation of the (=OAO=) kaomoji (which you definitely didn’t place beside his name in your contacts). You could only laugh when he complimented and thanked you through a mouthful of food. You teased him that day by offering to feed him a sausage, which he accepted  even though he couldn’t meet your eyes and looked red as the tomatoes in the lunch box.

                It was easy to say you were falling harder for Kageyama. It was hard not to, when he could turn from someone you found extremely hot (that determined look in his eyes during a volleyball game and his face when he knew he just bested the opponent, dear god) to someone you wanted to cuddle and protect (Kageyama was a genius in the court, but simple minded in everything else; though the way he tries so hard makes your heart flutter for reasons people found weird, you’re sure). Things were great between the two of you… Although the same can’t be said for Nishinoya and you.

                Somehow, things were, yet again, at a standstill between you and it confused you. He was still talking to you, but something always told you that things weren’t completely fine. Whenever you came by to watch them practice, there were times he would look distracted and unmotivated. You haven’t seen him done a rolling thunder in a while and even his team mates couldn’t bring him out of whatever it was that he was in. The biggest give away was when Kiyoko herself asked him if he was all right while handing him his water bottle and a towel. He only gave her a big smile and thanked her and saying “I’m fine!” in which, to whoever was watching the exchange, knew he was lying. You worried that it was because you were together with Kageyama now, but the libero never showed any hostility towards the setter.

                “Talk to him,” Tanaka told you as you were about to head outside to wait for Kageyama to finish. Practice had just finished and the boys were cleaning up and getting ready to go home. Tanaka patted you on the back, gave you one last meaningful look, and headed towards the changing room. As you headed out, you saw figure not too far aways from the club room. By the back of his head, you already knew who it was and headed towards his direction.

                “Hey.” Though you only whispered it, Nishinoya jolted out of his trance as if you had screamed it right by his ear.

                “Oh, h-hey! What’s up?”

                You didn’t answer him. You kept staring at him while trying to figure out why you feel like he’s been distant despite how often you were in the same room together. He tilted his head at you and you sighed, deciding to sit beside him so that you could talk to him properly.

                “Are you okay?” You asked him. You half expected him to say ‘I’m fine’ like he usually did, but the difference in his answer surprised you.

                “I’m… I’ll be fine,” he whispered. Biting your lip,  you stared at him. He looked tired. His shoulders were slumped and his head hung low. It pained you to see him like this and you would be lying if you said you didn’t have an idea what caused it.

                You hesitated to ask him, but you remembered what Tanaka had urged you to do. So you bit the bullet and asked, “Is it because of… Kageyama?”

               His shoulders had tensed. Even though you had a feeling, you weren’t prepared for your suspicion to be confirmed. “Do you actually dislike him?” You whispered. He sighed and shook his head, resting his elbows on his knees and clapping his hands together.

              “I don’t hate, Kageyama.” He glanced at you from the corner of his eye when he said this. “I know he’s a good guy.”

                “Then… what is it?”

                Silence clouded over the both of you. It was late and the sky was already dark. You two sat in the darkness, only the light from the gymnasium and the clubrooms keeping you from being engulfed in darkness completely. He suddely sighed loudly and ruffled his hair in frustraton. If you weren’t sitting beside him, you wouldn’t have caught a glimpse of what he had mumbled. “… Hate this…. Cares…. Him… ugh. I hate… jealous… You’re… idiot…”

                Jealous? Why would you be jealous?

                His eyes snapped towards you in alarm. You looked at him curiously before your eyes widened, realizing that you had asked that out loud. Despite the panic, you saw the storm brewing in his golden eyes (you debated whether it was actually brown or gold, but you settled on the latter because you knew his eyes were extraordinary, just as you thought he was). Neither of you spoke: you hesitant ask him again or him to explain himself.

                “Do you really like him?” He had sudenly asked. Taken off guard, you looked down on your lap, not expecting him to suddenly ask that. You meekly nodded and sighed tenderly.

                “It’s been fun hanging out with him. He’s sweet and kind. There are times he gets so awkward and I can’t help think how adorable he is. He’s been so good to me, Yú. I sometimes can’t handle how much my heart pounds when he’s around or when I’m thinking of him.” You could feel him stare at you while you talked. Embarrassed, you didn’t dare look at him. “It’s just… I’ve never felt like this before  and to be honest, I get so excited wondering what’s going to happen between us the next day. I’m think you understand because I think that’s how you feel about Kiyoko.” You looked up at him hoping he’d agree, but as it turns out, he was no longer looking at you. He stared straight ahead instead. You leaned over, wanting to see his face, but it was in deep concentration.

                “Yú, are you really okay?” you whispered, wondering what the turmoil in his gaze was about. You wondered if he was seeing something that you couldn’t. His eyes flickered and you had wondered if he was deciding whether to tell you the truth or to lie to you and himself again. After a few minutes of silence, it looks like he came to a decision and sighed.

                “it’s… It’s stupid, okay?” he started. He took a deep breath and sat up straighter. “I just suddenly feel like Kageyama’s taking you away from me. We’ve been together for a long time and it’s just hard to adjust to the fact that I won’t have much of your time like I used to.” Before you could even protest, he started animatedly waving his hands and squinting his eyes. “You’re my best friend first! I know it’s important for you have time with him… But it’s also important for me to have time with you too.”

                Your eyes widened. You saw how Nishinoya was possessive of Kiyoko, saying she needs to be protected, but you didn’t know he felt the same about you. Another thought came to you: Have you been unconsciously neglecting him in favor of Kageyama? Sure, you were spending more time with him, but there were also a few times Nishinoya and you had hung out, considerably less than your time with Kageyama, you realized.

                “You know you could always ask me to hang out with you…” you slowly said. Nishinoya crossed his arms and snorted. “There are times where I feel like I can’t. Sometimes you two have already something planned before I can even ask. That guy always seems to beat me to it. I mean, he forgets that I’m older than him!!” he rambled on. This was the Nishinoya you knew. You already knew that even if he sounded harsh, he’s the type to always speak his mind, bluntly but always with good intentions. “I know you guys are all ‘lovey-dovey,’ he said that part in mock disgust, “but I don’t thin you’re supposed to forget about your friends too.”

                You blanched at his truth. As much as you wanted to deny it, you couldn’t. The wind lightly blew, and as you stared at the man beside you, animatedly ranting, you couldn’t help but sense how lonely he actually was. It was a bittersweet pill to swallow, learning that you were the one who had made Nishinoya feel the things he was feeling right now. You also sensed that though he was trying to act nonchalantly about it, a bit of his real emotions still slipped through. Strands of his hair swayed with the wind and you reached out to brush some of it off his face.

                “Hey.” You interrupted him. He stoped and stared at you curiously, hands still in the air. You didn’t know how you knew, but you felt like he was trying to hold back on how frustrated he actually was. You gave him an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry, Yú. I didn’t… I didn’t realize I was doing those things to you. I’m sorry I made you feel this way.” You  moved closer to him to wrap both your arms around his shoulders, leaning into him. You heard him suck in his breathe. “I’ve been a horrible friend to you. I’m so, so sorry. Please, let me make it up to you.”

                You felt him place his hand on the arm across his chest and he leaned his head on top of yours. “Hey! it’s alright. I’m just ranting. I didn’t tell you to make you feel guilty.” He lightly patted your shoulder in comfort. “What kind of man am I if I made you feel bad?? Besides, I’ll… I’ll get used to having to… share you. I… won’t be selfish.”

                Before you could protest, he unwrapped your arms around him and placed both hands on your shoulder. He leveled his eyes with yours, and as you stared, you felt tears starting to prickle at the edge of your eyes. “I’m happy if you’re happy. I’m glad you have someone to like you as much as you like them.” You stared at him uncertainly. He gripped your shoulders reassuringly, as if to say ‘really, I am.’ He gave you the brightest smile he could, telling you in his own way, that everything would be okay. You saw the canines he had that would only show if he was smiling big enough

                “Now don’t cry! I’ll have to beat Tanaka up for trying to beat me up if found out I made you cry,” he said as he wiped the tears before you could have shed them. You laughed, knowing that Tanaka could never even come close to being able to beat up Nishinoya. “There she is. That’s the pretty girl I know.” He winked at you and you couldn’t help but laugh louder. As he laughed with you, you felt relieved. Somehow, Nishinoya had blown away the tension between you with his sunny personality. You felt grateful to him. He always knew how to make things better.

Someone hesitantly called out to you and as you turned your head, you saw that it was Kageyama, standing a few feet aways from where you sat, sensing that you and his other senpai were having a serious discussion. You shyly waved and you smiled as he waved back, feeling your heart flutter at the sight of him.

                “Go. Have him walk you home,” Nishinoya abruptly said. You turned to him, confused. “What about you?”

                He gave you a nonchalant wave of his hand. “I have this new move I came up with a few days ago and I wanna practice it more so I’ll stay a little bit longer. I have to make sure it’s cool enough before I show it to the others!” You hesitated but he saw it. He pulled you up with him with a ‘yoshi!’, brushing a few strands of your hair away from your face and with a mischievous grin, gave you a slight push towards Kageyama. “Go. I’ll be fine.” You took a hesitant step, but decided to turn around and gave Nishinoya the strongest hug you could, causing him to step back a few from the force.

                “I love you, Yú. I just want you to know you’re important to me,” you whispered. It took him a while to reciprocate the hug, probably because he was caught off-guard by you throwing your arms around him, but when he did, he hugged you tenderly; one arm gingerly around your waist and the other across your back. You felt him nuzzle his face at the crook of your elbow, and he whipsered, “I love you. I’ll always be here for you.”

                You pulled away with a smile, heart feeling full and warm by what he had said. He gave you one last encouraging smile before turning you around again and pushing you towards where Kageyama was. This time, you kept walking towards him. Kageyama greeted you with a smile and as you two headed towards the gate, you heard Nishinoya shout from behind you.

                “Kageyama!! You take care of her or else I’ll beat your ass to a pulp, you understand??”

                “Of course, senpai!” Kageyama replied. He bowed towards Nishinoya and added, “I promise!”

                You giggled at their exchange and you saw the two nod at each other before you headed out the school gates. As you two walked, you felt fingers brush against yours. Smiling shyly, you took Kageyama’s hand and entwined it in your own. He squeezed your hand lightly and you squeezed his back. Soft cold winds blew against you that you shuddered. Kageyama noticed and pulled you closer to him in hopes of sharing his body heat with you. That was another thing you liked about Kageyama. Words didn’t need to fill the air between you two to be comfortable. The two of you were more than satisfied just by being beside each other, doing their own things.

                Though in the silence under the starless sky, you couldn’t help but wonder why Nishinoya’s eyes looked sad when he smiled at you right before he gave you a nudge towards Kageyama. You hoped that someday you would be able to make him feel better. After all, you wanted to be able to have the chance to spend time with two of the most important people in your life. But for now, you decided to focus on the person beside you. Walking along the lamp lit streets, hands twined together and bodies close, there was nowhere else you’d rather be than be by the side of the person you’re possibly falling in love with.