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12:51

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Tadashi lingers in the doorway with his shoes in his hand. Tsukishima had gone in ahead of him, tie crammed into his pocket and hair mussed, seeming to care little for any sentiment or object that did not directly involve his futon. 

Staying at the ryokan where they had always held their training camps had been Ukai's idea, one that he had bragged about relentlessly for its admirable frugality compared to any of the hotels in the city proper, which were probably not equipped to handle an entire team of high school volleyball players anyway. Tadashi isn't complaining (nor, frankly, is their school-sanctioned budget, or what's left of it after Hinata had decided to throw them a "team prom," to which all team members past and present had been invited, of course). It seems only right, somehow.

"You coming in or not?" Tsukishima mumbles, stifling a yawn. 

Tadashi still doesn't move, his fingers curling against the door jamb. A lump has begun to form in his throat, or maybe it's been there all night, no matter how many cups of fruity punch he downed to dispel it. (It's authentic, Hinata had declared proudly about the strawberry flavor, and Tadashi had decided to trust him on that one)

The room is almost completely dark; it's an overcast night for late spring, and the moon and stars have been blotted out since sunset. Tadashi doesn't know what it is about this that makes him feel so lonely. 

The lump grows, spurred by a bittersweet sentiment, and when he lifts his eyes, Tsukishima is looking back at him through the dark. 

"Tsukki," he says softly, or at least someone who sounds a lot like him does, "I'm glad I met you." 

Tsukishima's body shifts—the only way Tadashi can tell is because he hears it. There's a faint thump and rustle on the floor, and he realizes after a moment that Tsukishima has discarded his jacket. 

"Mm," Tsukishima says. Tadashi wonders if, as captain, he has the power to command him to say more (for once). "I told you not to drink anything Tanaka gave you." 

"I didn't!" Tadashi lies, shaking his head until it feels a little fuzzy. "I just—" Just what? He breathes in through his nose and holds it, eyes adjusting to the darkness, to the edges of Tsukishima's silhouette, angled expectantly towards him. "I just wanted... to say it. I feel like I, um... haven't yet? Or..." 

As usual, he eventually resigns himself just to hoping that Tsukishima understands. Something about taking his wrist under the blue lights of the dance floor at the community center, something about the look of unguarded surprise in his eyes, something about the absence of the stars on the walk back, trailing behind the others but still able to hear Hinata and Kageyama's bickering fill the midnight air, had made him hope it more than he maybe ever had. 

"Mm," Tsukishima says again, and then, almost appreciatively: "Well. It's a pretty cool line."