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i feel like i'm the outside looking in (when i'm with him)

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Hinata was positively fuming with anger.

 

“Those – those jerks!” Hinata raged, pacing furiously in front of Kageyama with enough speed to his movements to give anyone whiplash, “We should have told coach. I mean – what if they bother you again –“

 

“Hinata,” Kageyama called, trying to catch the shorter boy’s eyes through the orange flurry of motion. “Calm down.”

 

“Actually we should talk to him right now, I don’t know why we left the gym in the first place –“

 

“Hinata!” Kageyama finally snapped, effectively drawing the attention of one frantic middle blocker. Hinata blinked at him slowly a few times as if only now becoming aware of his surroundings. Kageyama tightened his hands into fists and ploughed on, “I don’t care what they say about me!”

 

Wrong thing to say apparently as Hinata’s face darkened immediately, closing off into a dangerous look, similar to the one he had worn when confronting those assholes not ten minutes ago. Kageyama swallowed under the intensity of that gaze – it was a look that usually promised trouble when it appeared during a very trying volleyball match. Or when Hinata was feeling particularly protective of his new boyfriend slash volleyball partner apparently.

 

Honestly Kageyama was still trying to wrap his head around all of it.

 

I do, you idiot!” Hinata all but yelled at him, and for a moment Kageyama actually stopped breathing. “I hate the things they said about you – and I did see your face and I hate the way you looked because I know you care, too!”

 

At that particular statement Kageyama recovered his breath with a sharp exhale that felt almost punched out of him.

 

“Shut up!” Kageyama hissed, embarrassment making him defensive, “That’s not it! You shouldn’t – I can take care of myself!”

 

“I’m not saying you can’t!” Hinata actually had the audacity to roll his eyes at him, “I’m saying you shouldn’t have to deal with stuff like this alone! When are you going to get it through your thick skull that you’re not alone here at Karasuno! Anyone in our team would’ve stepped up for you the same way and I – as your boyfriend, I’m allowed to care about you, aren’t I?”

 

Hinata’s voice trailed off into a soft murmur as he suddenly blushed furiously, casting his eyes downwards. Looking bashful of all things. Kageyama had lost count of how many times this boy had made his brain shut off since they’d entered the restroom and he barely restrained himself from saying anything in protest of the utterly embarrassing things coming out of Hinata’s mouth, knowing that he would not be able to stutter out anything half coherent at the moment anyway. Had Kageyama always been this defenceless against Hinata? Or was this a more recent development conditioned by the change in the nature of their relationship? Either way the argument suddenly seemed all too stupid to the setter, since apparently they both happened to be worked up over nothing, and Kageyama was growing tired of the distance between them and the defensive posture of Hinata’s bearing as if poised to defend the credibility of his words if need be.

 

Kageyama would’ve snorted at the uncharacteristically serious look on his partner’s face if he weren’t busy feeling overwhelmed from the realization of just how far gone he was for Hinata Shouyou.

 

The middle of an argument was probably not the most fortunate of times to realize that you were head over heels in love with your boyfriend whom you hadn't even gone on a first date with yet, but then again Kageyama had never been accused of being a conventional person before.

 

“I don’t care what they were saying about me.” Kageyama restated, swallowing around the lump in his throat and raised a hand placatively when it looked like Hinata was about to interrupt, “I only lost my cool when they started insulting you to get to me. I was too shocked and furious to get my wits together to reply before you decided to step in and caught the tail end of their insults. That’s all.”

 

Hinata’s eyes grew wide and sort of glassy as he let the words sink in and Kageyama had to look away then, feeling too vulnerable under Hinata’s wondering and openly adoring gaze. God, this whole – this whole being in love thing didn’t get any easier once you started dating the object of your affections, did it?

 

“’Yama…” Hinata said, sounding fond and exasperated at once. As Hinata started moving towards him, Kageyama panicked.

 

“Like I said, it’s nothing!” Kageyama blurted, trying to detract the conversation and look stern in the face of the approaching redhead despite his heart beating a mile a minute. “So you – you don’t have to worry about any of this, I’ll handle it –“

 

His rant, just like all the thoughts in his head came to an abrupt halt as Hinata was suddenly in his space and reaching for his hands. He had little time to appreciate the novelty of Hinata’s smaller hands cradling his, as they squeezed gently to get his attention.

 

And when he finally looked up at the other boy Kageyama had to hold back a gasp at the soft look on Hinata’s face. A look that was aimed at him of all people.

 

“Just – just shut up for a second, okay?” Hinata said, sounding more like himself now and squeezed his hands again, seemingly in order to ground himself and Kageyama couldn’t have done anything but obey.

 

Then Hinata actually giggled at him and Kageyama’s mouth dropped open in surprise.

 

“Gosh this is ridiculous, what are we even fighting about?” Hinata managed through another burst of laughter and Kageyama felt his heart leap in his chest at the sound. True, that. He’d rather have Hinata laughing than yelling at him.

 

Speaking of the devil.

 

Kageyama gasped as suddenly Hinata framed his face between his hands gently, his eyes regaining some of their previous intensity as he held Kageyama’s gaze with intent.

 

“I stepped in, because I wanted to, ‘kay?” Hinata said, voice quiet in a way it never was. “And I need you to know that you’re not alone. Alright?”

 

“Alright.” Kageyama echoed, still dazed and because he had to be difficult even now, added, “But you didn’t have to.”

 

“I know.” Hinata said, smiling as he reached up to brush Kageyama’s fringe out of his eyes. “I’ll probably do it again.”

 

Kageyama had to smile at that. It was still a small, fickle thing, but a big improvement from the smile that “had people running for the hills” according to his very loving boyfriend.

 

“I know.” Kageyama agreed, finally forcing his frozen limbs into motion and wrapping his arms around Hinata’s middle. “I’d have done the same.”

 

And he’d barely gotten the words out as he was tackled by an armful of enthusiastic boyfriend insistent on peppering every inch of Kageyama’s face with soft, lingering kisses.

 

Kageyama was too distracted to even think to hide his burning cheeks and lovesick smile.