Hinata is so popular with everybody—teammates, classmates, players from other schools, random people on the street. It’s infuriating.
He doesn’t do it on purpose; he doesn’t even do anything, really. It’s just his bright hair, and his big shiny eyes, and his warm, happy laugh. He attracts people to him like moths to a flame, and the moths burn happily in the heat and intensity of Hinata’s attention.
“Hinata!” Lev yells out from halfway across the gym, waving his absurdly long arms.
“Hinata, watch this!” Bokuto shouts as he leaps up for a ridiculous spike.
“Shouyou,” Kenma murmurs, not looking up from his phone but acknowledging Hinata and nobody else.
And Hinata flits easily from one to the other, scoffing at Lev and cheering for Bokuto and peering curiously at the screen of Kenma’s phone.
Tsukishima has to work for it though. Every muttered jab, every snide remark, it drags Hinata’s attention away from whatever (or whoever) he was focused on, and it makes Hinata focus on Tsukishima and Tsukishima alone. It’s addictive, being the sole focus of those burning eyes; it’s a warm rush low in the pit of his stomach and a feeling like he’s soaring at the same time.
Mean comments come to Tsukishima easily, and he usually has to exert effort to hold them back, to be polite. With Hinata though, he just lets himself say what he’s thinking, and Hinata rewards him for it every time. (The hard part is holding back his other thoughts, the ones about Hinata’s lips and small hands and slender waist.)
He starts to do it so often that Yamaguchi picks up on it, not that he says anything. Instead, he just smirks and gives Tsukishima sneaky side glances, which might be even worse. Not that Yamaguchi has a leg to stand on, the coward can barely string together a coherent non-volleyball-related sentence around Yachi. At least Tsukishima can actually talk to his life-ruining crush.
For example, “Don’t strain yourself trying to think with brains you don’t have,” Tsukishima murmurs during a practice match, just loud enough to reach Hinata’s ears.
Hinata’s screech of indignation is so, so satisfying.
Even more satisfying, though, is the feeling of Hinata’s lips pressed against Tsukishima’s own shocked mouth, hours later when Hinata suddenly corners him in the storage room, yanks his face down and plants one on him.
Tsukishima just... freezes. For a moment, he wonders if he’s actually imagining this (a lot of his usual daydreams in class begin this way). Last week he almost failed an English test because the weather was turning cold and Hinata was licking his lips constantly, his pink tongue sweeping out and making his lips glisten and Tsukishima just could not handle this (like he said, life-ruining).
But this is real. Hinata’s mouth presses against his just a bit too roughly, and his neck starts to hurt from bending so far down, and these little things are what makes him sure that the moment is real, what makes the moment perfect.
“You’re so annoying,” Hinata says when they finally pull apart for air. He drops back on to his heels, but keeps his arms up around Tsukishima’s neck, his small palms hot and slightly sweaty against Tsukishima’s skin. Tsukishima has to fight back the urge to shiver. “You’re so mean to me, I don’t know why I want to kiss you so much.”
“You’re so annoying,” Tsukishima says back, smirking in that way he knows will make Hinata’s eyes spark and burn, only for him. “That’s why I want to kiss you so much.”
Hinata stares at him for a long moment. Then he smiles, slow and soft and sweet, a smile he has never shown to Lev or Bokuto or anyone, and Tsukishima just cannot handle this.
“Kiss me again,” Tsukishima says, and bends his head down to meet Hinata halfway.
Like he said, life-ruining.