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Inspire Me

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Daichi isn't tired. It's more like he's reached a stage where he has had so little sleep the past couple days trying and failing to meet deadlines that his eyes feel like they've been permanently plastered open. If the looks Suga keeps sending him are anything to go by, and the tenseness of his frame as if he's readying himself to receive a ball- or in this case Daichi’s body- he must look as bad as he feels.

His head tilts down again, as he fights the urge to sleep yet again. The top of his nose starting to submerge itself in his coffee and he silently thanks Asahi when he gently lifts his head and moves his coffee from under him, shifting him so he can rest his head on the cool wooden surface of the table, genuinely proud of himself when he doesn't immediately punch Suga in the face when he slams both his hands down onto the table either side of his head. He does jolt up at the sudden noise though, briefly mourning his now spilt coffee, only to be met face to face with death itself.

“That's not good,” he hears Asashi mutter faintly in the background and he couldn't agree more actually.

Suga smiles sweetly at him with the blazing fires of hell in his eyes, and Daichi carefully moves away, trying to put as much of the table between them as he can.

“Daichi,” he starts voice still pleasant for now. “when was the last time you went outside for something other than work of coffee?” He asks innocently

Daichi opens his mouth-

“And no, lectures don't count either,” Suga chimes up

And then closes it again.

“is there a 'no comment’ option?” He asks weakly, averting his eyes to avoid Suga's piercing gaze.

Daichi ,”he warns

Daichi drops his head back into his hands with a groan “I know, I know I'm sorry,” he mutters into his palms, raising his head up and staring down at them forlornly, as if they'll suddenly pipe up and give him the key to life. They don't, but never hurts to try.

“Out. Now,” he demands, pointing his index finger at the door and Daichi- since he actually has basic self-preservation, follows without protest, slumping out the door into the biting early spring air.

And he didn't even have time to grab his coat, and mourns the loss of an extra layer in the chilled air outside. Though he would face the cold any day other an angry Suga, even thought sends a shiver of dread down his spine.

With nothing to do but wander, Daichi curls his already numb hands tight in his shallow pockets and heads towards the park, maybe he'll finally get some inspiration to finish his project. Daichi snorts at the thought, unlikely he may have signed up for the art course but he's been unable to give in anything truly noteworthy for the 2 years he's been in it. Not to mention the fiasco that was last year's project, he's not sure why he's even still in the program after that.

Thankfully the park is practically empty when he arrives; not surprising as the chill of winter has only just started to depart, that and the fact it was early morning to boot.

The only living residents other than himself are some joggers and a messy, black haired man kneeling at the edge of one of the koi ponds.

The longer Daichi stares the more he convinces himself he's seen him before. He's around the same age as himself as far as Daichi can tell, though the fact that he still hasn't turned around impedes this observation. His long fingers dig into a box of granola sitting beside him grabbing a handful of the cereal before dropping it carefully into the pond.

Lost in his thoughts as he was Daichi hadn't even registered the fact that he was moving forwards until he was nearly right behind the other man. The crunch of his feet on the gravel walkway alert the other to his presence,  cursing himself inwardly, he smiles politely when the messy haired man turns towards him, and promptly drops the smile in favour of blinking incredulously at him. The equally as shocked face of one Kuroo Tetsurou stares back at him. Until he bursts out laughing that is. Daichi really hadn't missed that cackle.

“My, my Sawamura-san I never took you as the type for stalking,” he teases that sly smirk of his gracing his face, same as when they had interacted on the court.

A laugh rumbles in Daichi's chest “Call me Daichi please, though despite the temptation I must admit I wasn't stalking you,”

Kuroo quirks up his visible eyebrow “Alright Daichi,” he drawls the act forcing a shiver to tingle up his spine, Daichi really wanted Kuroo to keep saying his name like that.

He coughs to hide the growing blush on his ears, knowing full well the other captain was well aware of it by the lazy smirk still present on his face. He briefly wonders what other expressions he could get Kuroo to make, and how his name would sound in that purr he sometimes utilises.

“What are you doing?” He asks instead gesturing at the pond and cereal box, less something embarrassing escape his throat.

Kuroo lights up, losing his 'cool’ demeanor as he sits up and ushers Daichi closer till he's right beside him gazing into the pond.

“I've been doing research for my end of year assignment,” he begins tossing a few more granules of granola into the murky water below, which to Daichi's own wide-eyed awe are quickly consumed by a beautiful red and gold Koi that pops it's regal head up, sparing not so much as a glance as the two human sitting in front of it studying it. Though if Daichi looked as beautiful as that fish he wouldn't bother with them either,- well maybe Kuroo... “I'm guessing you're unaware so I'll see to inform that I'm completing a degree in analytical chemistry, at Tokyo University - anyway, fish have these evolved biogenic multilayer reflectors, that are composed of,” he scratches the back of his head here” I guess the best way to describe them would be stacks. Okay, so these stacks are made up of intracellular anhydrous guanine crystals which are what are responsible for producing the silvery sheen that you can see present on a fishes skin and scales, some fish in particular have more enhanced reflective capabilities than others due to either genetics or a mutation in their genes of some kind,” he looks like he's about to continue again until he turns to Daichi who's almost gaping at him in awe, and shuts his mouth closed again.

“You're amazing,” Daichi states

Kuroo chuckles nervously, looking away from him.

“I wouldn't say that,” he murmurs still not looking at him, instead having found the pond increasingly interesting. It's quiet for a moment.

“Kuroo,” Daichi calls softly, when he has the others attention smiles indulgently and gestures at the pond “Tell me more?” He asks hopefully

Kuroo, despite clearly not expecting this response (or maybe not used to it either) he snaps his head up quickly and studies him for a moment, finding what he was looking for apparently Kuroo nods to himself and launches into an intricate explanation of the reflectiveness of Koi fish (which Daichi admittedly didn't understand the half of, and may or may not have indulged the other man due to really enjoying watching him explain something he enjoys. Kuroo apparently heavily believes in the concept that hand movements are key to an explanation, as he almost knocked Daichi into the at one point, after getting particularly worked up about a certain point) and how to go about measuring such a thing.

It's a hour or so later when they both realise the time. Daichi offers him a smile as he gets up to go about the rest of his day, when Kuroo grabs his arm.

“Could… I get your number maybe? And maybe another meeting, inside perhaps…?” He asks lowly his already deep voice practically turning into silk.

Daichi gazes down at him in surprise, turning the offer over in his head. It wouldn't do any game to accept surely and he's not blind Kuroo is extremely attractive, if not a bit of an asshole at times. He was generally well meaning he considers and Is actively interested in a relationship with him. The increased silence has Kuroo hesitating to speak up again as he watches Daichi ponder- hopefully not the best way to let him down lightly. Then Daichi smiles at Kuroo and simply nods his ascent handing him his phone.

For maybe the first time since Daichi has met him Kuroo is full on grinning with mirth, not smirking or some sly attempt on a smile just a generally happy face. And Daichi is suddenly really glad he accepted cause his heart is racing with just that sight alone.

Hours later that night, he sits in front of his canvas buzzing with motivation and inspiration as he dips his brush into the paint beside him, he carefully applies the first stroke on he crisp paper and then he's gone mind melting into the scene he was painting to life.

Not knowing that months after, when he's receiving a certificate for having produced the best piece of his year, Kuroo would be in the crowd right at the front cheering him on looking adoringly at his painting of two people sat contentedly at the edge of a Koi pond, with beautiful fish swimming around, red ones, white ones, orange, gold a beautiful menagerie of Koi, as the two figures held hands gently, looking peacefully down into the water below.  

As Daichi determinedly presents his piece to the public he wonders idly if Kuroo would be up for food after, his boyfriend did just win a certificate after all, Daichi thinks he's entitled to some food. Though as long as he's with Kuroo he doesn't mind too much what he does, being with him is enough, he smiles looking down at said male in the crowd. It's more than enough.