Hinata is organizing the closet in his tiny new apartment when his phone chimes with a text.
“Hello, this is Ushijima Wakatoshi. Tobio gave me your number.”
Ushiwaka? *Tobio?* This is a prank, right? Hinata’s phone chimes again.
“We should go out for tea.”
Hinata’s been back in Japan for a while now, and he’s seen all his friends ... except Kageyama. That’s fair, Hinata thought at first, he’s a busy pro athlete.
But now Hinata’s on his own team, and he totally has time to meet his crush and main rival at least once!!
And Hinata is not jealous. Sure, Ushiwaka and Kageyama are on the Adlers, teammates now for almost as long as Kageyama and Hinata, but Tobio? No one calls Kageyama by his given name.
Hinata is NOT jealous.
He texts Ushiwaka back and agrees to meet him on the weekend.
On Saturday, Hinata spots Ushiwaka in the back of the quiet café as soon as he walks in. No one here will recognize Hinata, he’s only been a Black Jackal for a week, but Ushiwaka is volleyball royalty in Japan and he’s trying his best to hide. It’s kinda sweet, Hinata thinks.
“Hinata Shouyou, it is nice to see you.” His tea cup looks comically small in his hand, and it’s the first time Hinata’s seen him in anything but a track suit or a volleyball uniform.
Hinata orders his drink and Ushiwaka asks him about his tryout while they wait.
“So what’s this about? Why did you want to meet up?”
“Ah, yes,” Ushiwaka says, gently putting his tea cup down to give Hinata his full attention. “I need you to ask Tobio out.”
Hinata stays quiet and they stare at each other. Hinata almost forgot how intimidating Ushiwaka can be!
“Do you need me to repeat myself?”
“Yeah,” Hinata’s voice cracks when he answers, but he barrels on. “Because I thought you said you want me to ask Kageyama out on a date.”
“That is exactly what I said.”
Ushiwaka’s stare doesn’t move an inch. He’s really serious!
“I believe Tobio has feelings for you. He’s been talking about you non-stop since you’ve returned to Japan, but he’s nervous to see you and it’s hurting his game. If you have feelings for him, and I think you do, please ask him out.”
“Uhh,” Hinata starts. Ushiwaka still stares.
“OK wait,” Hinata says, hoping Ushiwaka doesn’t notice the way he ignored his crush being called out. “Kageyama? Letting some ... crush get in the way of volleyball? No way.”
“I didn’t think it was possible, but it’s true. He cares for you greatly, Hinata Shouyou.”
Hinata takes a long sip of tea and hopes it covers up his red face.
“I care about him, too. A lot! But that jerk hasn’t come to see me once since I got back. We’ve been apart for two years, Ushiwaka! I’m mad!”
The larger man nods, reaching across the table to grab his shoulder.
“I am here because I don’t want my teammate to suffer on the court because of personal issues off the court,” Ushiwaka says. “I’m not the only one on the Adlers that’s ... concerned.”
Hinata frowns down at the table, but then a snort sneaks out. Bakageyama is such a big baby.
“But I am also here,” Ushiwaka continues, “because I’d like to think Tobio and I are friends now. I want him to be happy, and I don’t want his stubbornness to get in the way. I am certain he will thank me later.”
Ushiwaka lets go to pick up his tiny tea cup and Hinata laughs.
“Thank you, Ushijima. You’re a good friend.”
“You’re welcome, Hinata Shouyou.”
They sit in comfortable silence for a minute, letting it all sink in. Of all the people to put him and Kageyama together, he never thought it would be Ushiwaka. Nevertheless, Hinata is grateful.
“I guess I’ll ... call him?”
“I have a plan,” Ushiwaka says and Hinata tilts his head in confusion. “I asked Tobio to watch game tapes with me tomorrow after our team meeting. It is a cover. Come to the gym and ask him to dinner in person instead.”
That might work, but ...
“Kageyama will be mad if he doesn’t get to watch the tapes, though.”
“We will have time to watch them next week. Don’t worry.”
“Hmm,” Hinata nervously taps his fingers on the table. “You really think this will work?”
“Tobio can’t say no to you in person, Hinata Shouyou.”
Ushiwaka’s plan works. Hinata shows up at the gym. After meeting Nicolas Romero (!!!) and saying hello to Hoshiumi, Hinata wants to ask Kageyama to dinner, but all that comes out is “toss to me!” They play for three whole minutes before they’re making out on the gym floor.