Chapter 1: 
[M/n] sucked in a deep breath, his heart pounding erratically at the sight of bustling teenagers. Why couldn't he have just been home-schooled instead? He frowned faintly, sighing as he remembered what his mother had told him - quite rudely if one must add.
Get off your wimpy ass and go make some friends!
The air surrounding him grew damp with negativity and depression. [M/n] looks at his schedule reluctantly, not bothering to encourage himself. He stays close to a wall, lessening the chances of getting bumped into. Class 1-5...Where is that? Do they organize the school levels by years or academic capability? Is it on the first floor or...The shorty looks to the stairs reluctantly, students shoving each other trying to find classes...is it over there...? He winced as the warning bell rang from above him, signalling that there were only five more minutes left.
A shadow loomed over him slowly the moment he removed himself from the wall, walking towards the center of the hallway. An immense warmth came from the shadow, along with heavy breathing which continued to harshly blow against his nape. A human! [M/n] goes as stiff as a board, sweat dotting his forehead. His own breathing grew heavy as he slowly tilted his head upwards, pupils shrinking at the sight.
Above him stood a buzzcut male, peering down at him. His lips were pursed slightly as he raised an eyebrow. Not only that but his uniform was organized messily, the blazer partially unbuttoned and pants hanging loosely. Worse, a delinquent?! "You lost or somethin'?" He asks gruffly. (Admittedly, his uniform was on incorrectly because he overslept and rushed to school, resulting in the rough voice.) "I-I'm sorry!" [M/n] bows aggressively. "I'm sorry I got lost! I'll leave the school! No, the country! Just don't hit me!" Tanaka choked on his saliva at the gesture.
"H-Hey, there's no need for all of that! I was just trying to help, help!" He places a hand on the first-year's shoulder, squeezing it lightly in a comforting way - or so he had thought. "Oh god...I think I'm gonna faint..." [M/n]'s knees buckled and the world went black. Tanaka goes pale immediately, catching the [h/c] haired boy before he collapsed. Am I really that scary looking?
[M/n]'s cheeks flushed red as he mumbled a meek thanks. They were currently sitting in a corner of the men's bathroom, Tanaka staring at him expectantly. "Are you okay? I've never seen anyone faint like that...Do I look scary to you?" The buzzcut teen tilts his head slightly, waiting for an answer. [E/c] hues watch him from the peripheral view - he looked more like a confused puppy than a thug at that moment. "...Not anymore..." Tanaka prepared to question what he meant before the bell rang once more. "Ah shit! We're late for class!" He jumps up suddenly, screaming loudly and startling his junior. "C'mon, I'll show you where your classroom is at - but you need to hurry!"
The words 'late' and 'hurry' didn't sit well in [M/n]'s stomach.
Being late meant that he had a limited option of seats and the entire class would be focused on his unintentional grand entrance. On the other hand, being told to hurry was the absolute worse. Especially considering how physically inactive [M/n] had been ever since junior high. (He managed to ditch Gym without getting caught.) However it would be rude to disregard a senpai's orders. In addition, this particular senpai had been wrongly misjudged, which meant (in [M/n] eyes at least) that he was already on Tanaka's bad list.
The [h/c] haired first year tried his best to keep up, stumbling over his feet and panting lightly. Tanaka, on the other hand, hadn't even broken a sweat yet. If anything, he seemed more awake than a few minutes ago. He must be an athlete... Running up all these stairs and corridors is exhausting. "Huh? You're tired already? Do you want me to carry your bag or somethin'?" [M/n] furiously shakes his head no, a bright red blush overcoming his features. Such a strange guy. Tanaka thought briefly, making a small face before shrugging it off.
"Here we are. Uh, have a good day I guess." Nodding his head in return, [M/n] respired deeply, hands trembling faintly as he opened the classroom door. Every eye was on him.
All students must join at least one club, no exceptions apart from cram school.
[M/n]'s head tilted forwards in despair - he didn't want to join any club. "Jeez, just when my day couldn't get any worse..." "Hey! You! With the [h/c] hair!" Assassination attempt?! Ambush?! The first year prepares to sprint for his life, clutching his bag tightly. Before he could strive for momentum, the collar of his uniform was snatched up, holding him in place. "I don't have anything!" Curling into a ball while being held in midair, [M/n] clenched his eyes shut. "Man, you're one hell of a weirdo." W-Weirdo?! But that voice... "T-T-Tanaka-senpai...?" [M/n] cracked open an eye, met with an unimpressed stare.
Dropping his junior with one movement, the smaller of the two lands on his feet with a small 'oomph'. "What do you think about volleyball?" Tanaka asks randomly, causing [M/n] to tilt his head curiously, even making a sound of confusion. "What do you think about volleyball? Is it fun? Have you ever played?" The baldy waits for an answer, growing impatient with the silence. "I'm not sure. I've never tried any sports before... I don't like them-" "Great! That's perfect!" Tanaka grins ferociously, determination raging in his eyes. Did senpai listen to a single thing I said?!
"Follow me! Daichi-san!" [M/n] was alarmed at the tight grip on his arm, dragging him back towards the school building. My heart is going to bounce out of my throat...He thought in despair.
"An observer?" Sugawara repeats in a questioning tone, eyeballing [M/n] with curiosity. "Yeah, to see if he likes volleyball or not! Plus, it'll save him the trouble of looking for another club and he has his awesome senpai by his side!" Tanaka seemed fairly pleased with his plan, chest buffed out in confidence. Daichi raised an eyebrow - the youngest of them all had yet to utter a word, instead he averted his gaze and fiddled with his backpack. [M/n] flushed red as he realized everyone was waiting for him to speak. "Well, is this okay with you?" Daichi asks, a faint smile playing at his lips.
"I-Yes um, well...Yes, I-I think. Yes." [M/n] finishes, ears blazing. I wanted to say no but that smile does things. "[L/n]-kun, you really are strange." Tanaka comments without any remorse, causing his junior to stammer out an apology. "Sorry...It's just that I'm not used to so much...communication. This is overwhelming for someone like me." Sugawara flashes a welcoming smile, drowning [M/n] in his warm aura. There it is again, are they saints? "No worries, you'll get used to it eventually. Everyone is like family! Oh... Daichi, what about the new recruits?" New recruits? [M/n] decided that it was best not to ponder on something like that too long.
The raven gazed at the application papers with joyous shock as the group walked towards the gym. "Who knew that the setter from Kitagawa First would choose us?" Ah...someone from my old school...that's scary. "But the guy is cocky, I just know it." Tanaka eagerly inputs with a scowl, only to get scolded from Sugawara. As they enter the gym, there stood two figures waiting for them. A very familiar tall dark haired blue eyed teen, and his contrasting part, a short ginger boy with brown eyes. "Hello." They both greet at the same time.
K-Kageyama-san! The fallen prodigy at Kitagawa...! Why is he here? He's still as scary as ever though... Lamented the awkward male, depressive lines dotting his forehead. Tanaka switched from Good Senpai™ to Thug Senpai™, bombarding the two first years with questions. "Hey, hey, hey. What do you guys think you're doing-?!" Daichi effortlessly pulls him back from the scruff of his shirt, much to [M/n]'s terror, asking, "Are you Kageyama? Hello, nice to meet you." The captain and vice captain greets, completely ignoring the ginger, Hinata.
[M/n] stares at him suspiciously, wondering why he was creeping around his upperclassmen. With a bright awe-filled grin, Hinata proudly greets them. "Hello!" "How tall are you?" Feeling pity for the orange haired teen, who was disregarded and pushed to the side, the [shorter/taller] teen decided to say something. He was already in a major social crisis as is, so it couldn't get any worse, right? "Um, hello." [M/n] says, his 'friendly smile' looking strained and crooked.
"Oh, I didn't notice you!" Hinata states in surprise, causing [M/n] to make a face full of confusion and embarrassment. The one who's being unnoticed didn't even notice me! "HELLO!" The fellow shorty shouts from the top of his lungs, taking the anxious male by shock. I guess he doesn't like to be ignored... "Hey, it's you! The number one shorty!" Tanaka suddenly announces, pointing a finger at the ginger. "Do you mean the other application named Hinata... is you?" Daichi asks in surprise, a smile spreading on his face. "I see. So, you both chose Karasuno." This conversation is way out of my league. It's so awkward just standing here and being left out... "We saw you guys play last year." Sugawara explains to the duo who were both confused.
Hinata was astonished to have been recognized, wailing out, "Thank you!" [M/n] glanced at the group of athletes - he stood out in more than one way. He was still in his school uniform, he awkwardly fiddled with his bag, and his presence was a joke in itself. Yet he was completely ignored; he preferred it that way. "That was some jumping power too." "But you haven't really grown much at all." Tanaka adds, waving his hand over the blank space above Hinata's head. The hyperactive teen made a noise of discomfort, showing that he was insecure about his height.
"I may be small, but I can jump! I'll become the ace of Karasuno, you'll see!" Hinata-san is hoping for something far-fetched...but he sounds so sure, and I don't have the guts to tell him he can't. Besides, who am I to decide what he can and can't do? "Come on, you only just got here and you're already claiming ace position? You've got guts." Tanaka sneered, making Hinata uncomfortable, only to be countered with Sugawara's statement. "What's wrong with having tall aspirations?" Did senpai say that on purpose...? "Now that you've announced that you're gonna be ace, you better have improved. Keep dragging your feet and you'll waste another three years."
Kageyama's expression is less than pleased. "Why do you say things like that, Kageyama?" Daichi asks, attempting to smooth things out. Because Kageyama-san doesn't tolerate all bark and no bite. He doesn't want anything less than excellent, that's why he's the king. [M/n] frowns lightly, scooting away from the small crowd out of discomfort. He's surprised that Kageyama doesn't recognize him at all, but then again, the shorty wasn't all that memorable. All he did was scowl at me anyways. "I want you to play me!" Hinata shouts, taking [M/n] out of his thoughts.
"Hey! Daichi-san is still talking to you!" Fist clenched in anger, the bald teen aggressively shakes it to make a point. "Tanaka-senpai, I don't think yelling will make the situation better..." [M/n] couldn't seem to take his eyes off of Hinata - the unpredictable enigma who captured his interest the moment he seemed to defy all odds that were against him. In a way, one could say that he admired the ginger. "Play you at what?" Kageyama scoffs, hand on his hips. "Volleyball, duh!" "How do you propose we play volleyball one-on-one?" "Huh? D-Doing passes and stuff." As the conversation continued, the captain's smile grew more and more disgruntled; a sign his patience was beginning to wear thin. "You're getting noisy, Volleyball Club."
[M/n] goes rigid at the sound of the Vice Principal's voice. "You're not quarreling, I trust?" Daichi was quick to answer in a frantic tone. "Not at all! This is what they call friendly rivalry. Right, guys?" This must be bad if someone like Sawamura-senpai is lying. "We gotta behave ourselves because the Vice wants us to misbehave." Tanaka informs, seeing his junior's wary expression. "Serve me the ball. I'll catch whatever you throw! I only caught one of your serves last year... I'm not the same guy I was last year." Hinata proclaims, causing Kageyama to blink in surprise. "Not the same as last year huh? I'm not the same guy I was last year either." The raven grabs a volleyball, pointing it in Hinata's direction.
I don't want to be involved with trouble on the first day. "Now now you guys. Enough freewheeling." The Vice Principal crosses his arms as Hinata lowers into a squatting position. "Are they freshmen?" Kageyama does a jump serve, shocking the ginger, who stumbled backwards and fell. "How is that not the same as last year?" [M/n] stood stone straight, spooked out of his wits. "M-Monster." I don't want to play volleyball! "Hey, knock it off!" Daichi commands when Hinata asked for another. He was cut off by his superior. "It's a problem that they won't take orders from their team captain. If this continues...-?!"
A ball smacked the VP right in his cheek, snot coming out of his nose. The [blond, brunette, etc.] watched in horror as his toupee came flying off. This is it... we're done for! The wig landed in [M/n]'s hands, and that's when all eyes were on him. "U-U-Um, here..." Reaching up onto his tiptoes, the [h/c] haired teen attempted to gently put the toupee back on the Vice Principal's head, face bright pink and hands trembling. In the back, he could hear Tanaka's failed attempt at stifling his laughter, broken wheezes filtering from his mouth. "I-It's a bit c-crooked so..." [M/n] lost the ability to speak clearly, mind shutting down from embarrassment.
"Sawamura, can I have you for a moment?"
"A-And [L/n] tried putting it back on, pfft." Tanaka held his stomach as tears threatened to leak. "You really are a weirdo!" [M/n] buried his face in his hands, flustered from the memory. He would never forget how silky the toupee hair was...nor how warm the inside of the cap was. Daichi sent the buzzcut male a warning glare, which was enough to suck the laughter right out of him. "You were so quiet I had forgotten you were even there." Sugawara admits bashfully, rubbing the back of his neck. "Um, well, I didn't know much of what you all were talking about... so I just kept quiet." [M/n] explains, sitting on one of the benches.
"If you don't understand volleyball, then why bother joining the Volleyball Club?" Kageyama asks, crossing his arms in disapproval. Have I seen him before...? Tanaka puffs out his chest haughtily, sending the raven a menacing glare. "He's here to learn cause I said so. Got a problem?" Sugawara grins wryly at his underclassman. "[L/n]-kun is...observing for now. If he likes it, he'll stay and if not, he'll leave." Hinata makes a noise of astonishment, running over to his fellow club mate. "I hope you stay! Volleyball is lots of fun, so I'm sure you'll like it!"
[M/n] struggles to make a decent smile, as the gingy grabs onto his hands, rambling about his beloved sport. "I-If that's what you believe, Hinata-san." Before he could say any more to the excited teen, Daichi had begun speaking, mild irritation in his tone. "Fortunately, he's not punishing us. And no apology is needed... provided you all agree that you saw nothing." Tanaka straightens up, holding back his chuckles. "But you guys..." Daichi was once again cut off by Kageyama and Hinata. His expression darkened, making [M/n] want to crawl into a hole. "Hey." He spoke sternly - everyone went rigged with fear. "I want you to listen to me. I don't know what your motive was for attending Karasuno. But I'm sure you came here with victory on your mind. Karasuno was one of the top teams in the prefecture till a few years ago." [M/n] remained silent, taking this as a chance to learn something.
"It happened only once, but even we went out to nationals. Now we rank at best in the prefecture's top 8. Neither weak nor strong." The captain went on to explain how they got nicknames the Fallen Rivals and Clipped Crows. How cruel... it must be humiliating to them. Frowning faintly (which he seemed to do a lot of within the past 5 minutes) the [h/c] haired teen shifted his weight to the other leg. "We're going there again... to Nationals." Daichi radiated confidence, tilting his head upwards as if he were envisioning it. "There are many schools dreaming of going to Nationals." Kageyama says bluntly and thoughtlessly, triggering Tanaka's anger. "Don't worry, I mean what I say."
The baldy grinned as smug as possible when Kageyama stiffened in discomfort. "For us to make that happen, our team needs to be unified. And we can't have the dean keeping an eye on us." [M/n] swallowed thickly at the statement, but even more so at the dark expression covering Daichi's features. Even Sugawara and Tanaka moved away as the captain calmly walked towards the troublemakers. Ah... honestly I thought he was a saint, but he's so scary... "I'm not telling you guys to become buddies. Even if you were enemies on the opposite sides of the net in junior high, I need you to understand now, you're on the same side. Do you get it? No matter how outstanding you are, no matter how willing you are to give it your all, if you fail to get along, and hinder your teammates... you're not wanted!
"Until you realize that you're both teammates, you won't be participating in this club!" Daichi slams their applications onto their faces before roughly shutting the door. It wasn't long before [M/n] heard a loud cry from outside, causing him to release a shaky breath. My heart couldn't take it anymore. "[L/n]-kun, don't let this situation deter you from making a decision..." Sugawara says cautiously, placing a hand on said male's shoulder. "Mm." "Oi, since you're standing around, help us set-up for practice." Tanaka calls out from the storage room. "O-Okay."
Chapter 2: 
[M/n] watched all of his senpai practice spiking against a board that was supposed to perfectly block them. He didn't know much about volleyball, but after observing for a few minutes, he had assumed that it was supposed to help them with receiving. It's hard trying to ignore Hinata-san's stare... The small teen can sense Hinata's desperation as he clung onto the wall from outside, peering into the gym. "Oi, [L/n]!" Tanaka calls out roughly, causing him to go stiff. "Y-Yes?" [M/n] stammers, sitting up as straight as a board. "Can you get that for me?" He points to a stray ball near the younger's feet, waiting to get put back on the court.
Hesitantly grabbing the ball, the [blond, brunette, etc.] stared at it, calculating the weight of the ball against the distance Tanaka stood at on the court. He prepared to do an overhand throw, cocking his arm back a bit. "What's taking so long? Just-" [M/n] was startled from the sudden outburst, his arm launching forwards causing the ball to loudly slam into the floor and proceed to bounce up, hurling itself into Tanaka's face. His head flew backward, along with a resounding thump from the ball falling and rolling away.
The entire gym went silent.
"...You..." "I-I'M SO SORRY! PLEASE SPARE ME!" [M/n] got on his knees, bowing with his forehead touching the ground. The first day of school really is always the worst! It's just been one thing after the other! "You never pegged me as someone with that much strength! You're so small and frail I thought you'd get blown away by the wind!" Tanaka grins widely, paying no attention to the bright red mark on his forehead. Lifting up his head to peer at his upperclassman, the timid teen wondered if Tanaka was right in the mind. "Blown away...?" [M/n] sits up onto his knees, looking at his arms which indeed were thin.
"If you want to join the volleyball club, we've gotta fatten you up a lot!" The baldy proclaims, causing Sugawara to chuckle. "You're making it sound like he's a fish not ready for harvesting." Suddenly the door gently slides open, revealing a beautiful raven-haired girl in a tracksuit. Tanaka sprints for the door, a bright smile on his face. He seemed like a completely different person. "Kiyoko-san! Thanks for all your hard work! I'll carry that!" [M/n] blinks in confusion, how'd he go from Honorable-Badass Senpai to a Slave-to-the-Women Senpai? "No thanks, I'll carry it myself," Kiyoko responds politely yet curtly, entering the gym. "Kiyoko-san, you look lovely today."
Tanaka blushes eagerly, watching her leave. The raven simply walks past him, getting herself situated. Shivers ran up the spiker's spine as he hugged himself tightly, eyes closed in bliss. "I love it when she ignores me!" He giggles - apparently love-struck as Sugawara slowly closes the door again. Is that really Tanaka-senpai?! He's so uncool!
"I'm home!" [M/n] announces, slipping into a pair of house shoes and walking into the kitchen. [Mother's Name] looked up from the grilled vegetables and fish she was currently baking. "You're home late. Did something happen?" A smirk appeared on her lips as she leaned over the counter, getting close to her son's face. "Oi, did you make any friends on your first day of school? C'mon, you can tell Mom anything." [M/n] leers back with an uncomfortable and irked expression, his mother was too mischievous-looking for such a conversation. "I'm in the volleyball club... sorta."
[Mother's Name] blinks twice, before snorting with laughter. "You? Volleyball club?!" Grunting in displeasure, the [blond, brunette, etc.] ignores his mom and begins walking to his room. "Hey, wait up [Nickname], come back here." She orders, grabbing him by his collar. "Mom, I still have homework and I need to take a bath..." [M/n] wasn't in the mood to put up with his mother's teasing. What he wasn't expecting, however, was for her to be smiling genuinely at him. "Don't be so sensitive! I'm proud of you, [Nickname]. You took a big step forward." Ruffling his hair, [Mother's Name] shoves her child out of the kitchen gently.
"You really do need a bath. Since when have you started sweating so much?" [M/n] chuckles, unbuttoning his blazer. "It's hot inside the gym. Stinks really bad sometimes too." Normally I'd hate to be around places like that...but... The young [L/n] thinks back on how it felt to carry a volleyball in his hand, clenching his empty palm. It was really exciting... He flushes as he remembered the incident following after he held the ball, sinking further into the tub. "I hope Tanaka-san doesn't get a bruise." After hearing his mother beckon him to hurry so that he can eat, the teen dries off and gets dressed.
After eating and having a light conversation, [M/n] retires to his bedroom and gets on his phone. Volleyball for Dummies... Let's do this.
"Why did I do it...?" [M/n] groans quietly to himself, bags evident under his eyes. New information swirled around in his mind, he couldn't focus on his schoolwork when random volleyball positions appeared in his thoughts. I'll show that jerk Kageyama why I'm in this damn club. "Weirdo-kun! Club! Hurry!" Tanaka demands from the door, arms crossed as he intimidates several first-years. It's been about 4 days since the timid teen met Tanaka and 3 days of relentless research on volleyball. Tomorrow is Hinata and Kageyama's match against Tsukishima and Yamaguchi. In his personal opinion, [M/n] would rather deal with Kageyama than Tsukishima - who has a bad habit of exposing sensitive information.
Even though it's like choosing between chocolate tasting shit, or shit tasting chocolate. With a grimace, the [L/n] slipped into his tennis shoes and helped set up the gym. He hadn't seen much of the enigma Hinata after they were kicked from the gym. After hearing his wails and pleas, [M/n] could only hope that he was allowed back into the club. "You don't seem like you're focusing on practice." Sugawara approaches, a playful grin on his face. "Are you okay?" Out of all the members in the club, Sugawara was the one he was most comfortable with. "Ah, well, there's a lot more to volleyball than I thought. As a setter, what do you think about your position?"
The grey-haired elder raises an eyebrow at the question, before placing a hand on his chin with a thinking expression. "Hmm, it's definitely not easy. The team needs the ball to be ready, perfectly, every time. The pressure is unbelievable, and I always feel a little guilty when we don't score a point. I think things like, 'If only I had set it a little higher' or 'I should've been a little bit faster.' I try not to let it get me down - I'm venting now, apologies." Sugawara flushes in embarrassment, looking away from his kouhai. "Sugawara-senpai, I don't know much about volleyball but, I think your teammates find you very reliable. They don't hesitate to call for a toss or ask your opinion on strategies, and outside of the court, you're one of the senpais they, myself included, trust the most. Tanaka-senpai is a bit..."
The setter breaks down into chuckles, ears tinged a deep red. "N-N-Not like I'm trash talking senpai or anything! B-But... I'd like to become close with everyone... mostly. I have many things I need to learn. I get nervous easily and I can't speak up for myself. When I was younger, I often got used a lot because I never declined. I was scared of rejection, even now I'm still scared. It's not that I'm necessarily scared of people, I'm just scared of what they think about me. I-I really have a lot I need to work on, I want to improve and make my mom happy.
"For the first time, she was excited for me. Ah... now I'm the one rambling." [M/n] grew anxious at Sugawara's prolonged silence, fiddling with his fingers to distract himself from his racing heart. The more seconds that passed the more he started to regret opening his mouth. He needed to get away, that's what he always did when things went wrong anyways. I can just excuse myself for some water then take a breather. "[L/n]-kun, relax you're hardly even breathing." It's your fault... "You remind me of Asahi. I'll tell you as many times as you need to hear it; the volleyball club will always be your safe haven. I meant it when I said everyone is practically family. We'll take care of you, and guide you into the strong individual we know you can be - if you'll allow us.
"Tanaka already has some kind of loyalty towards you, probably because you called him senpai." Sugawara huffs softly at the statement before ruffling [M/n]'s hair and smacking him on the back. "Ouch..." "Don't look so glum, little fish!" There was that same blinding smile as the elder jogs back on the court, burning with more energy than before. "Little fish...?"
It was the day of the 3-on-3 match, [M/n] yawns softly as he enters the gym near the end of the match. He'd been running errands for his mom and wasn't able to make it on time. "You're late." Ennoshita comments, an eyebrow raised in mild surprise. Even though [M/n] is supposed to observe, he's usually setting up the court and helping with cleaning. Occasionally, Kiyoko would need his assistance as well - those moments were the worst because all he'd feel is Tanaka's murderous stare. "My mom needed some stuff done. Did I miss everything?" The second-year hums in confirmation, "Hinata-san, Kageyama-san, and Tanaka-kun won."
The commotion caused them to look in the group of first years' direction. Hinata continued to jump at Tsukishima and Yamaguchi, seemingly trying to take something from them. "What are those guys doing?" Tanaka states with an unimpressed look. "Oi, [L/n]-kun! You missed your best senpai in action! Where were you?" Before [M/n] could bother to respond, Kiyoko walks through the door with a box. Inside of it contained several club jackets - Hinata wails in excitement. "Get one too, Fish-kun, you're part of the club too now." Sugawara encourages, pushing [M/n] towards the other first-years with an excited grin. "I-I don't know...I haven't done anything-?!" "Just take the damn coat." Tanaka huffs with a giant smirk, Daichi nods in agreement.
All the first years were lined up donning their new coats. I really... haven't done anything though. "Welcome to Karasuno!" Hinata and Kageyama prepare to practice again, until the door slams open, revealing a frazzled raven-haired teacher with glasses. "We got it! A practice game with one of the top 4 schools - Aoba Johsai!" He pants, exhausted, as the club members murmur to themselves. "Aoba Johsai, huh?" Kageyama mutters, a stern expression on his face. "Oh, it's you two. Hinata and Kageyama right? I'm your club adviser Takeda Ittetsu."
Daichi and Sugawara approach Takeda with shocked expressions. "So what's going on?" "Aoba Johsai, or Seijoh, was the only school to say yes to a practice match." I'm clueless once again. I spent so much time studying volleyball itself I didn't think about teams... "That's crazy. How'd you get a school like that to agree?" Daichi makes a pained expression, "Did you beg again?" "No not this time, although I'm pretty good at it. There is one condition though... Kageyama has to play as setter the whole game." Takeda says, uncertain about the request. Suga looks up with a shocked expression, and [M/n] couldn't help but wince a little. "What the hell is that? So they're not interested in playing against Karasuno but they got some sort of special beef with Kageyama, huh? What are we just some kinda joke to them? What's their deal?" Tanaka sneers, getting close to the adviser's face.
"Uh, no, I don't think that's the case." "Let's do it. It's an opportunity." Sugawara-senpai, you're secretly dying inside, aren't you? I know that expression well. "Are you sure about this Suga-san? You're the official setter, doesn't it irritate you?" Tanaka continues, growing more frustrated. "Well, it's a chance for us to use Hinata-kun and Kageyama-kun's attack. Now we can see how good it really measures up against a good team." Daichi sighs softly, before looking at Takeda, "What's the details?" Shuffling around some papers he mentions that it's the following Thursday and that there's only enough time for one game since it's after school.
"Most people from Kitagawa go to Seijoh, but I didn't go because a lot of my harassers go there now... and I have to see them again so soon?" [M/n] feels nauseous to his stomach.
"Eesh, Hinata-kun are you good? You look awful." The ginger looks up with a sickly complexion. "I'm fine, I just didn't sleep much." Suddenly he retches, which draws his fellow shorty's attention immediately. "Please no-" "D-Do you mind if I open the window-" Unable to complete his sentence, Hinata vomits on Tanaka pants. "Geh! Stop the bus! Stop the bus!" The senpai panics, freezing up as Hinata falls over, devoid of any energy. His anxiety is really bad right now... "Tanaka-senpai, take off your pants, please." [M/n] orders, reaching for the medical equipment so he could pull out a bag.
Said male peels off his pants and drops it into the bag with a disgusted expression. "Open up the windows too, please. It'll help get the smell out, but Hinata-san could also use some fresh air." Tying up the bag and placing it on the floor, [M/n] missed Tanaka's stunned look. "[L/n]-kun, you're pretty reliable when it counts, huh?" The [h/c] boy jerks up with a red face, "N-No, I just- I've been in his position before..." Sugawara perks up at the statement, "Maybe you could talk to him when he's better." Ruffling his hair nervously, [M/n] chews on his lip and averts his eyes. "I don't know what to say to him. But I can try." "That's all we ask." Daichi sends an encouraging smile before the bus comes to a stop.
"We're here..." Hinata groggily awakens, face flushed as he recalls what he's done. "I-I'm sorry! I'm so sorry Tanaka-senpai!" He continues to repeat those words like a mantra, much to the baldy's annoyance. "I told you, it's fine. I'm more concerned about you. Feeling better?" "Yeah now that I'm off the bus and rested." [M/n] hums at the confirmation, walking away to stretch his legs. That was before Hinata dashed past him, holding his stomach. "Again?"
Walking into the gym, the short [blond, brunette, etc.] can feel his anxiety begin to bubble up at the new faces. He got lucky with Karasuno, but in Aoba Johsai, where many people actually know him, he may not be as fortunate. "Aoba Johsai is well known for having well-rounded players for offense and defense. They could join any school and be considered an ace." Hinata's energy only served as fuel for [M/n] who was beginning to sweat at the familiar faces. "Hinata-kun, we know that you're lousy so don't stress, we'll cover you. But when you hit a serve, you're on your own. You better not miss."
"Tanaka-senpai, I-" The ginger grabs his fellow first-year in a fit of nerves, dragging him along. "I'm sorry [L/n]-kun. I didn't want to be alone." Hinata rushes out, powerwalking to the bathroom. A grimace spreads onto [M/N]'s face at the thought of what he'd be smelling. "Right..."
Chapter 3: 
[M/n] sat under a tree by himself, isolated and waiting. He wanted to eat but a situation had happened. "Yo, [L/n]-kun." Shizuka Yamasaki, a 2nd-year at Kitagawa, approaches him with a lazy wave. She plops down beside him, laying her head in his lap and staring at him with resolution.
"Yamasaki-senpai isn't this a bit..." He blushed softly as she raised an eyebrow at him. It was a silent challenge. "Nevermind." "Don't 'nevermind' me, little mouse. Haven't I always told you to speak your thoughts?" [M/n] yelps as Yamasaki thumps his nose.
"Seriously, you'll never stand up to anyone if you can't even stand up to yourself." Another set of footsteps were heard, causing Yamasaki to peer upwards from her basketball jersey. Her curiosity quickly died when she saw a familiar mop of brown hair and the crowd of girls that followed. "Oikawa-kun, won't you eat with us? Lunch is so boring..." A girl coos, boldly taking one of the said male's arm and locking it with her own. Yamasaki rolls her eyes at the statement, opting to lay back down. "Shittykawa, take your cult somewhere else, aye? I'm tryna have a fuckin' conversation."
"Ah, Yama-chan, you're still as crude as ever. You'll never become ladylike." "If it means people like you will look the other way, then I'm all for it." Oikawa makes a face at the statement, before turning to face the crowd. They were all giving Yamasaki dirty looks, not that it bothered the redhead. "I'm sorry, but I can't join you for lunch today. How about tomorrow, hm?" [M/n] swallows thickly at the sounds of displeasure, causing Yamasaki to squeeze his hand in comfort. "Don't worry about a few uptight bitches, [L/n]-kun." She gives him a smirk, sitting upright and reaching in her backpack for lunch.
"Where's yours [L/n]?" The teen shifts nervously, not wanting to speak. "A friend of mine was hungry-" "Don't give me that bull! Someone took it from you again didn't they?! Why I oughta..." Yamasaki rolls up her sleeves, blue eyes blazing. "Yamasaki-senpai, I'm okay. I'm okay so please... just sit. If you keep going rumors might spread." Shizuka looks at the girls, who, while walking away, turned around to look at her, muttering to each other.
[M/n] gives a small thankful expression, releasing his hold on his senpai's hand. “[L/n]... You…” Yamasaki sighs roughly, Oikawa gives a bitter smile. “Sorry [N/n]-chan, the more I scold them about you the more rebellious they get.” “Then stay away from him. You're getting him hurt, and one day [L/n] is gonna hate you.” The first year shakes his head, making a noise of denial. Oikawa's smile tightens as he looks at Yamasaki.
“Even if [L/n]-kun hated me, I'm too selfish to leave him alone.”
Ah...it's this guy again . The odd one. Kindaichi spares [M/n] a brief glance, unimpressed when he averts his eyes. Volleyball huh, how unfortunate to be stuck with Kageyama . "You, you're another first year at Karasuno, right?" Hinata hesitantly answers, leaving his hiding spot from behind the door. "Oh? How's Kageyama? That king looks as arrogant as usual." Kindaichi leers, letting his eyes slide to the [h/c] boy. Kindaichi-san remembers me, it's humiliating .
He never harassed [M/n] directly, but being an observer is just as bad.
“It's not about being pompous. Under a dictator like Kageyama, peasants like me are oppressed and made to suffer. All because he's a little skilled, who does he think he is?" Hinata vents out his frustration, causing Kindaichi to smirk smugly at the person beside him. "I told you, he's utterly despised. There's no doubting his jack-of-all-trades skills." "True, true. It's aggravating." Hinata inputs, eyebrows furrowed.
"But his toss is the worst" "But his toss is amazing."
[M/n]'s eyes widen inquisitively as the pair look at each other with confusion. Kindaichi starts, "His toss?" "Is amazing." Hinata finishes. There's an awkward silence, [M/n] and the other person, Yahaba, share a small glimpse.
"You've never spiked his toss in a match before, huh?" Kindaichi sighs in disappointment. "They're terrible. Too difficult to spike." The ginger makes a noise of surprise. "You think so?" The taller narrows his gaze maliciously. "Because he's a self-centered king." Taking this as a chance to leave, [M/n] inches away. He was a self-centered king, but for an amount of time, you were his loyal posse. And I was one of the many victims.
"Deep in thought like always," Tanaka states, hand on his hip as he poked [M/n] on the forehead. The elder frowns at the state of his kouhai. "Sorry, I saw an old schoolmate of mine... Hinata-san is still conversing if you need him senpai." Baldy hums in acknowledgment before grabbing the [blond, brunette, etc.] by the shoulders and spinning him around.
"T-Tanaka-senpai?" "Let's go." He smiles brightly at the underclassman. "You're not gonna leave the other shorty all by himself, are you? He gets frightened easily too y'know."
Unable to trust his mouth to speak, [M/n] shakes his head softly.
The short [blond, brunette, etc.] couldn't explain the overwhelming feeling in his gut. It was a mixture of dread, determination, and pity. Hinata-san, you really are frightened easily . [M/n] eyes the opposing team, making contact with Iwaizumi. They respectfully nodded to each other, while [M/n] didn't get along well with his own grade, elders like Iwaizumi and Yamasaki tended to cover for him. Then, of course, there was Oikawa; he was more of a problem than a solution. The main reason [M/n] grew reserved and anxious was related to that man who was loved by many. He's not here today?
After discovering that most of his problems tended to stem from his senpai, [M/n] quietly removed himself. Albeit reluctantly, being favored by the popular guy had its perks as well as its disadvantages. “Hinata, you know the drill.” Kageyama calls out, eyebrows naturally furrowed. “I-I know that!” As Matsukawa serves, Daichi prepares to counter it only for Hinata to rush into him. [M/n] cringes, grateful that Ennoshita was able to cover, allowing Tanaka the chance to spike. However, it was blocked, and Kindaichi cockily states that they've earned the first point.
“H-Hinata-san…” “Don't mind, don't mind. Hinata, relax and stay aware of your surroundings.” Daichi guides gently, unknowingly making the situation worse. The ginger continues to fumble throughout the set, his own anxiety affecting [M/n]’s. Ahh, I don't think volleyball is for me… I'd die if I was in his situation. Kageyama was fed up with the behavior, ready to strangle the shorty. Daichi once again reminds Hinata to relax, although he himself was panicking.
The score reached 24-13, and it was Hinata's turn to serve. All of Karasuno grew stiff with dread. Relax. It's okay. It's okay… The ginger chants to himself mentally. The minute the whistle rang, he jerked, serving the ball without thought and sending it straight into the back of Kageyama's head. Hinata-san, you've lived a nice life. Tanaka and Tsukishima burst into laughter, mocking the raven haired boy. [M/n] trembles from where he stood, watching as Kageyama approached Hinata, who desperately tried to get away by stepping back.
“Look at me.” The taller demands firmly. Hinata complies without a second thought, face stiffening. “What's making you so nervous and freaked out? Is it because they're tall? Is it because it's your first practice game?” Sweat threatens to spill down the ginger's face. “What's more frightening than nailing me on the back of the head with a serve?” To make a point, Kageyama slaps the back of his head, a resounding clap echoing throughout the gym. “Well? Tell me.” The sweat recedes back into Hinata's pores, “Nothing is more terrifying.”
“Then you don't have a reason to be nervous now, right? You've already gone and done the most scary thing. Now go back to normal you idiotic moron !” Kiyoko makes a concerned noise once she notices the expression [M/n] donned. “[L/n]-san, are you alright?” Said male looked as though he was on the verge of fainting, hand clutching over his heart and knees threatening to buck. “Y-Y-Yes.” He's more scary than last year…
It was the start of a new set, Hinata finally relaxed and Karasuno got its groove back. [M/n] let out a small sigh, relieved that the tides have changed, but something still nagged him in the back of his mind - Oikawa has yet to show up. Truth be told, despite the horrendously bad experiences the brunette brought to him, Oikawa himself has never hurt him. Because of this, [M/n] can't help but still have concern for him, even if they've lost contact. There's no way he stopped playing volleyball, especially if Iwaizumi-senpai is here.
The famous saying has never been more accurate than at that very moment - ‘Speak of the Devil and he shall appear.’ “Oh, welcome back Oikawa. How's your leg?” Kageyama's composure cracked at the sight of the male. “Piece of cake. I'm good to do regular practice. It was just a light sprain.” The man of the hour grins charmingly, but his coach wasn't impressed. “Honestly, be more careful. They met our demands to bring Kageyama, so we lose face if we aren't using our official setter.” Oikawa rubs the back of his head sheepishly, “Sorry sir.”
He's here. Right now. Right in front of me in the flesh. Does he hate me for leaving…? What should I do? Do I greet him or should I ignore him? How long has it been…? “Yoo-hoo~! Long time no see Tobio-chan, look at how you've grown. Been having fun in your little castle?” Kageyama grunts, turning around to ignore the captain. “Oh? And if it isn't [N/n]-chan as well. I recall you not being too fond of sports, have things changed since you've disappeared?” There was hidden malice behind those chocolate brown eyes of his.
“Then again, that Yamasaki was always in your ear. But what do I know, hm?” [M/n] fiddled with the zipper of his club jacket, hesitant to see that expression again. “...It's been a while, senpai. I'm glad to see you're doing well.” He can hear Tanaka's displeased noises along with Oikawa’s grunt in the background. Yamasaki-senpai, what am I supposed to do? The red haired girl would probably tell him something like, ‘Buck up little mouse! So what if that stupid perfectionist fuck is butt hurt? A real friend would put your well-being over their own selfishness.’ Oh, how he wished it was that easy.
Karasuno barely managed to win, Oikawa relentless in his serves. When Hinata and Kageyama released their “freak quick” he was in as much awe as he was shocked. The teams bowed to each other once more before parting for a break. [M/n] used it as a chance to make an escape for the bus, however his route was blocked by a certain brown haired green eyed individual. “Don't listen to Oikawa too seriously. He doesn't like to take the blame even when it's right under his nose.” Iwaizumi states, rubbing the towel on his sweaty temple.
“Yes senpai.” “I mean it [L/n].” The elder thumps [M/n]’s forehead, before gently ruffling his hair. “He'll get over it now that he's seen you and knows where you are... As unsettling as that sounds.” The brunette grunts after speaking, prompting the underclassman to grin bitterly.
“Oikawa-senpai has always been kind of a dangerous man.”