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Of Volleyball, Dreams and Riceballs

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Osamu Miya. 23-years old. Living alone in Tokyo. Currently bedridden with the common cold.

 

After Osamu graduated high school, he went on to start up his own food business. The so-called Miya Onigiri was a recipe his family had passed down over generations, and he saw it as a good opportunity for a business in the future. It was only in his second year of high school where he firmly decided on his career path. 

 

Atsumu was by no means elated by his brother’s declaration. It came as no surprise to Osamu, because he knew just how much Atsumu loved playing volleyball with him and the team. But despite being twins, Osamu never shared the same amount of passion for the sport. He did enjoy volleyball, but it was never to the extent of wanting to devote his life to it like Atsumu has. 

 

Furthermore, taking a different path from each other was a foreign concept for the twins. It was natural for both of them to feel uncomfortable with the idea. In fact, the fear for a future without Atsumu by his side actually filled Osamu with doubt about his decision. But he had put up a stubborn front around his brother out of pride. 

 

“When you’re dead, I’ll tell you!” Osamu could still clearly recall the anger leaking from Atsumu’s voice. “See! I was happier than you!”

 

Many years have passed since their argument. Even though things appeared to be back to normal between the twins, the argument had created a rift between the twins. Osamu and Atsumu were no longer living in the same world. Atsumu had gone on to pursue his dreams, and Osamu had gone down a more grounded path.

 

The Miya twins were no longer Osamu and Atsumu. It was just Atsumu now.

 

Onigiri Miya had been doing great ever since its founding. The starting was rough because it was hard to market a common food. But Osamu managed to make use of the connections he made over the years he spent playing volleyball. The volleyball players he knew all loved to eat rice, and plus, they liked him a lot more than Atsumu, so it was easy to get them to buy the initial product. 

 

Osamu didn’t expect the exponential increase in sales afterwards however. They had all become celebrities in the world of volleyball and they had willingly marketed his business for him for free. One day, Osamu had decided to try opening a stall for one of the professional tournaments, and the amount of revenue he earned on that day was phenomenal. 

 

But as much as Osamu hated to admit, the interest in Onigiri Miya was also majorly due to his blood connection to the up and rising star in the world of volleyball, Atsumu Miya. 

 

Osamu knew he wouldn’t be leaving the world of volleyball anytime soon now. He didn’t know whether he was happy or he was dreading the fact that he would be stuck with volleyball. He had willingly stepped out of that shining world, after all.

 

With how well Onigiri Miya was doing, Osamu’s business rapidly expanded. He had already opened up several branches around Japan in a span of a single year after the explosion in popularity. Currently, Osamu had plans on moving the main branch from Hyougo to Tokyo, and for that purpose, he had moved out of his family home to live alone in Tokyo.

 

At first, Osamu had felt homesick living far away from his parents and living alone for the first time. Although Atsumu was just a few train stations away, it didn’t change the fact that Osamu was still alone in his tiny apartment room. But his independent lifestyle helped him acclimatize to his living conditions quickly, so there were not many complications that arose during the first few weeks of his stay. 

 

Osamu’s workload had grown heavier ever since he moved to Tokyo, because the transition from Hyougo to Tokyo proved difficult for the business to adapt to. Every hour Osamu had in the day was put into maintaining his growing business, and he realized very late that he had little to no time for himself. Osamu had always been a hard worker, so the lack of free time didn’t bother him too much.

 

It did get messy when Atsumu became pushy about visiting his place for the first time. Osamu had to spend his first day-off with Atsumu over at the house, and it got worse when he had to sit down and listen to Atsumu going off about his embarrassing slip-ups in public. The second-hand embarrassment Osamu felt for sharing the exact same face gave him even more to ponder about for the week.

 

But at the same time, Osamu couldn’t help feeling envious about his brother’s newfound place in the world. Atsumu had become somebody to this world, unlike the nameless owner of a rice ball shop. Osamu did feel happy for his brother for truly becoming happy, but it was easy to feel like you were lower than someone when they were achieving more than you.

 

It didn’t demotivate Osamu, however. It had the exact opposite effect, in fact. Osamu strived to make his business more and more successful, and even started aiming to expand globally. He just had to put in more of his time and effort into the company, and someday, he would become as happy as Atsumu--

 

But the world had become a blur when Osamu suddenly collapsed at work. The only memory Osamu could recall before everything faded to black was that of his employees looking over at him with shocked and worried faces. 

 

The second he opened his eyes, Osamu was greeted by the sight of orange. He wondered what he was doing sleeping outside in the sunset, but he eventually realized he was actually in a room when he could feel the wind from the fan blowing in the tatami room. He was in his apartment room, and the orange in his eyes was just Hinata’s hair.

 

Shouyou Hinata. Osamu couldn’t forget the gremlin’s name and face even if he tried. The first match he played against Hinata was the most troublesome game he had ever been in in his entire volleyball career. It was ironic to think that someone that annoyed him to that point was now on the same team as his twin brother.

 

Osamu wanted to know what Hinata was doing in his apartment, though.

 

Hinata batted an eye at Osamu when he realized Osamu’s gaze on him, “Ah, you’re awake!”

 

Osamu eyed him groggily, “..What are you doin’ here..?”

 

“Atsumu-san had to go to Hokkaido to film an advertisement, so he asked me to come check on you.” Hinata said, his tone as energetic as usual. “You really shouldn’t go to work when you’re feeling under the weather, Miya-san.”

 

Osamu remained quiet, and he pulled the blanket closer to him. It was when he shifted his attention away from Hinata when Osamu suddenly felt his head spinning. There was a cold feeling of an ice bag on his forehead, but his body still felt like it was burning. He had a small headache earlier in the day, and it had grown progressively worse as he was skimming through the paperwork. He was definitely having a fever now. 

 

Surprisingly, Osamu had always been sicklier than Atsumu, but it was also expected since Atsumu had always had the better diet. He caught colds once almost every three months, and he had been unfortunate enough a few times to come down with the flu during tournaments. His previous team had been able to use his condition to their advantage to hide the team’s play style from the opponent, however.

 

Osamu’s eyes wandered to the window. It was already dark outside, much to his dismay. But even if it was any time earlier in the day, Osamu couldn’t do any work in his current state anyway. It frustrated him that he couldn’t finish up his scheduled work for the day. He couldn’t afford to take a break, or his business would go nowhere.

 

“Are you hungry, Miya-san?” Hinata asked out of nowhere.

 

Osamu realized the dryness of his stomach when Hinata brought it up, and he turned his head to Hinata, “..Kinda’.”

 

“Omi-san told me that porridge is good for sick people, so I made some for you!” Hinata said enthusiastically. “Oh, I brought the ingredients myself, but I hope you don’t mind me using your kitchen.”

 

“Don’t worry about it.” Osamu said with a weak smile. “I really appreciate it. Thanks a lot, Hinata.”

 

“Don’t sweat it! Atsumu-san’s done a lot for me already, so you don’t have to thank me at all.” Hinata sprung to his feet and he walked out of the room, the floor squeaking under his feet. Osamu tensed upon hearing Atsumu’s name, but he didn’t let the shock show on his face.

 

Following the noise of metals clanking and Hinata occasionally yelping in surprise, Hinata finally returned to the room with a tray in hand. There was a foul stench coming from the bowl on the tray, and Osamu’s face turned pale at the smell.

 

“Sorry for the wait!” Hinata beamed innocently.

 

As Hinata drew closer, Osamu could clearly see the contents of the bowl, and he immediately lost his appetite. “..Hinata, what is that?”

 

“It’s porridge, of course.” Hinata pointed out as if it was an obvious fact.

 

“Porridge isn’t blue.” Osamu insisted.

 

“Oh, that’s because of this blue sauce I put in.” Hinata explained. “Bokuto-san said it’s great for colds, so I put it in!”

 

“..Are you actually tryin’ to kill me?” Osamu asked in disbelief.

 

“O-Of course not!” Hinata denied the allegations. “Medicine just tastes bad, so you can’t expect the porridge to look that appetizing!”

 

“That doesn’t even look edible..” Osamu retreated under his covers. “..At second thought, I’m fine..”

 

“Eh--?! You gotta’ eat, or you’ll just get worse, Miya-san.” Hinata pressed, and he lifted the spoon from the bowl of porridge. “I’ll even taste some of it for you so you know it’s clearly edible!”

 

Osamu instinctively jerked out of the covers and caught Hinata’s wrist before he could shove the spoon into his mouth. Hinata stared down at him wide-eyedly.

 

“..’Tsumu’s gonna kill me if I let you eat that.” Osamu said. “Look, if you’re that worried about me, I’ll just order takeout. That’s fine with you, right?”

 

Hinata turned to him in a daze as he lowered his hand, “Y-Yeah, as long as you eat your dinner.”

 

Osamu released Hinata’s wrist from his grip. He crawled out of his futon and looked around the room for his smartphone, with his hand holding the ice bag on his forehead. His eyes landed on his backpack and he dragged it to his chest. He proceeded to rummage its contents and eventually pulled out his smartphone. He tapped the home button, and was surprised to find messages from his employees. He couldn’t help the warm feeling that arose in his chest as he scrolled down the screen, reading through the many ‘get well’ messages from his workers.

 

A certain message caught his attention however, “We were worried about what you’d have for dinner, so we gave your friend some packets of rice balls for your dinner. Take good care, Miya-san!”

 

Osamu raised his gaze from the flashing screen, “Hinata, did the people at the shop give you some food?”

 

“Oh yeah, they did.” Hinata nodded, the tray of food already set down beside him. “I kept it in the fridge. I figured you couldn’t eat solid foods though..”

 

“It’s alright.” Osamu insisted. “They say colds get better if you eat whatever you’re craving for.”

 

“I’ve heard that before! Alright, I’ll bring them out then!” Hinata nodded enthusiastically, and he jumped to his feet once again, taking along with him the tray of food. 

 

Osamu crept back into his futon, bringing his smartphone along with him. He had to reply to his barrage of messages. He found some texts from Atsumu too, who had sent him an entire paragraph lecturing him about overworking himself and not taking care of his health. Osamu only grew annoyed at this. They both worked themselves to the bone, but it was just Osamu who was unlucky enough to somehow inherit the frailer disposition.

 

Osamu decided to ignore the message out of spite. Hinata must have already reassured Atsumu that his brother was in safe hands(?), so Osamu had no need to do the job. He tucked himself back under the sheets and sighed. His head was still ringing and his entire body felt numb just from moving around. He really hated the feeling of being sick, no matter how many times he had been through it.

 

It didn’t take long for Hinata to come back with a plate of six plastic wrapped rice balls. Osamu didn’t lift his head from the pillow, as his head was already spinning enough that he would probably vomit if he moved his head again. Hinata settled down beside him again, and set down the plate in front of his face. Osamu took one of the triangular rice balls and unwrapped the plastic packaging.

 

“You should have some too.” Osamu suggested, his eyes rolling to Hinata. 

 

“I-I’m fine.” Hinata said, drool clearly dripping from his mouth. “I ate enough for lunch.. You need to eat as much as you can right now..”

 

“You’re too obvious.” Osamu sighed. “I don’t even have an appetite to eat anyway, so you can take the other three.” 

 

“Really?!” Hinata perked up, but his expression fell quickly. “But--”

 

“No buts.” Osamu put aside the plastic wrapper. “It’s weirder to have you just watch me eat alone.”

 

“If you say so..” Hinata nodded, and he picked a rice ball off the plate. “Thanks a lot, Miya-san!”

 

“Don’t mention it.” Osamu happily chomped into his rice ball.

 

“Still, that really happened out of nowhere.” Hinata said as he pulled on the plastic wrapper. “You really shouldn’t work too hard, Miya-san! You’re still a growing young man, after all!”

 

“You sound like a middle-aged man.” Osamu said flatly.

 

“No, I’m just worried about you.” Hinata pouted. “I was just thinking how it must really be hard on you to have no time at all to play volleyball.”

 

Osamu sighed after he swallowed the rice in his mouth, “I’m not volleyball freaks like you and ‘Tsumu are. I’m not really interested in spending my entire life playing volleyball, no thanks.”

 

Hinata hummed as he absentmindedly bit into the rice ball in his hand, “Hmm, can’t be helped then. So you like working?”

 

“..It’s not that I like it. I just have to earn money to survive.” Osamu waved his free hand dismissively. “It sure must be nice to think that way.”

 

Hinata’s orbs gleamed, “I mean, it just sounds boring, spending your whole life doing something you don’t like.”

 

“You probably don’t see it, but most people don’t have anything they’re strongly passionate about.” Osamu tossed the remaining bits of rice in his hand into his mouth. “It’s just how we have to live life.”

 

“But I’m sure you must like something, right?” Hinata pushed. “Atsumu-san told me you love to eat a lot! You could become a food blogger!”

 

“I’m not interested in writing and all that.” Osamu looked away as he flicked away the grains of rice on the edge of his lips. “I’m not exactly the most fun person, either.”

 

Hinata hummed in interest, “Hmmm, yeah. Maybe not a food blogger. Definitely not.”

 

Osamu’s expression went dark at the unintentional condescending tone of Hinata’s voice. “..Oi.”

 

“But there has to be something that you like doing about your job, Miya-san! Like I’m sure everyone has things they like and don’t like about their job, even if it’s not their passion.” Hinata suggested. “Even for me, I don’t like all the photo-shoot stuff we do.. I thought it was kinda’ cool at first, but now it’s just exhausting.”

 

Hinata’s words didn’t help Osamu’s newfound irritation. He was already envious that Hinata was living a life he was happy with, but he still found something to complain about.  “If you were someone else, I think I would have punched you on the spot already.”

 

“Eek..” Hinata squeaked quietly. “You really are as scary as Atsumu-san says, Miya-san..”

 

“..Oh.” Osamu blinked in realization, and his gaze became downcast. “Sorry, I was a little worked up.”

 

Hinata gaped in amazement, “Y-You actually apologized--!”

 

“What..? Is it that surprising?” Osamu looked at Hinata in bewilderment.

 

“Well.. Kageyama always got angry at me back then, and he never apologizes, so it feels kinda’ surreal..” Hinata sheepishly scratched the back of his head.

 

“..You really did have it tough too, huh.” Osamu said nonchalantly as he grabbed another rice ball off the plate.

 

“Anyway--!” Hinata quickly finished off the rice in his hand. “I still think it’s pretty amazing that you’re able to give the job so much of your all although you don’t really like it.”

 

“..I just feel like if I want to be happy, I’ll need to achieve higher with my current business.” Osamu said darkly. “At this rate, I’ll just be no one compared to ‘Tsumu.”

 

“What do you mean you’re no one?” Hinata leaned closer to him, his eyebrows knitting together in confusion. “I think you’ve already done a lot though, Miya-san! I don’t think it’s easy at all to start your own business at such a young age.””

 

Osamu looked at Hinata in surprise. No one had actually praised him on his start up, because he had been overshadowed by Atsumu who had become a prodigy. It was oddly heart-warming to hear Hinata’s words. “..Still, ‘Tsumu and I are in different worlds. It actually embarrasses me that I proudly announced that I’d take another path to be happier than him. It’s funny to see where we’re standing now.”

 

Hinata’s gaze grew intense, “I don’t think where Atsumu-san is really matters, though.” 

 

Osamu felt sweat trickling down his forehead, and a sense of insecurity and fear burgeoned inside him. He smiled sadly as he looked away,  “..Yeah, I know that. I just can’t help it, because we were on the same level back in high school. I really should let go of this petty rivalry, shouldn’t I..”

 

Hinata slammed his hands on top of the futon, “I don’t think you should let go of it at all, Miya-san!”

 

Osamu blinked. “W-What..?”

 

I think you’ll be just as successful as Atsumu-san someday too, because you’re super good at what you’re doing!” Hinata took both of Osamu’s hands into his own, and held them up to his chest. The rice ball in Osamu’s hand slipped away from his grip, and it rolled onto the sheets of the futon. “But I learned it the hard way myself. Hard work isn’t all you need to achieve your dreams. You have to take breaks too, Miya-san. Your dreams aren’t going anywhere.”

 

The older man stared at Hinata, speechless. “...” 

 

Hinata’s expression softened and his smile became warmer, “I believe in you, and that you’ll achieve your dreams. Just promise me you won’t push yourself too hard again, okay?”

 

“..You have a point.” Osamu said, frowning. “I was so focused on ‘Tsumu that I lost sight of what’s most important. I would have probably died before I even reached my dreams.”

 

“That's right!” Hinata nodded profusely. “Besides, I’m sure there has to be some things you’ll enjoy about the job. Your workers are really nice people too.”

 

“Yeah, they are.” Osamu smiled. “Maybe I really was thinking too much about ‘Tsumu that I forgot to appreciate what I have.”

 

“Seems that way to me.” Hinata added as he let go of Osamu’s hands. His hands moved back to rest on top of his folded legs. “Besides, Atsumu-san isn’t exactly at his goal either. Kageyama still beats him in serves, and everyone seems to tease him about it a lot. But I still think second place is pretty cool, though!”

 

Osamu raised a brow, “You say that, but really, you aren’t satisfied with being second too, are you?”

 

Hinata chuckled, “Of course not. But I think it’s important to be proud of where you are.”

 

“I suppose so.” Osamu exhaled as he let his shoulders relax.

 

“Come to think of it, you really smile a lot more than you did in high school.” Hinata brought another topic up. “Did you really dislike volleyball that much?”

 

The older man felt oddly overwhelmed hearing the words ‘dislike’ and ‘volleyball’ together in a sentence. Although he was never as passionate as Atsumu, Osamu definitely did not dislike the sport at all. “Customers don’t like gloomy guys, so obviously I’ll have to smile more. Besides, I don’t think anyone can actually be happy around ‘Tsumu, especially with that crappy personality of his.”

 

Hinata tilted his head curiously. “Huh? I have a lot of fun around Atsumu-san, though.”

 

“Except airheads like you and Bokuto-san, obviously.” Osamu said blandly.

 

The comment went right over Hinata’s head. “Still, I’ve seen the smile you have whenever you sell rice balls. You really do look happy to me. I think you really should smile more often, Miya-san!”

 

Osamu couldn’t help but smile at Hinata’s words, “That sounds troublesome.”

 

“Ooh! You smiled again!” Hinata said excitedly. “You really do look better when you’re happy.”

 

A laugh escaped Osamu’s usually tightly-sealed mouth, “You really are a strange person, Shouyou.”

 

Hinata grinned toothily, “I get that a lot. I don’t really get why, but it’s okay!”

 

Osamu looked out the window, “..You better head back. It must be pretty late, I can pay for your taxi fare.”

 

Hinata blinked, “Huh? I was planning on staying over until you got better, though.”

 

Osamu deadpanned, “Hasn’t anyone told you to stay away from sick people? You also have practice tomorrow, don’t you?”

 

“I mean, you’re living alone.. And your place isn’t too far from the courts..” Hinata’s tone fell. “I know how it feels to be sick and alone too, so I just wanted to make sure you weren’t alone in a time like this..”

 

Osamu’s heart clenched. “..What do you mean?”

 

“You’ve heard from Atsumu-san, right? I actually travelled to Brazil after I graduated high school.” Hinata claimed. “It wasn’t easy not knowing anyone there and not knowing the language at first. I even got sick one time.. It isn’t a pleasant memory, really..”

 

“So even you get downhearted from some things too.” Osamu hummed lowly.

 

Hinata sulked, “You say that as if I’m never sad..”

 

“You really do seem to give off that vibe. I’m sure if you asked anyone else, they’d probably think the same thing.” Osamu only shrugged.

 

Hinata’s expression went dark, and his smile became lonely. “..That might have actually been why no one really texted back then..”

 

Osamu gave Hinata a thoughtful glance. It was rare to see him not looking cheerful for once. “...”

 

“But I won’t let things get me down for too long, so I’m fine.” Hinata shook his head and perked back up. “I’ve grown a lot stronger thanks to that, after all!”

 

Osamu pursed his lips, “..I’m here for you too, Shouyou.” 

 

“Eh?” Hinata raised his head in surprise.

 

“It’s okay to be put off at times.” Osamu said as his hands reached out to hold down Hinata's hands on his lap. “Share those times with me. Just text me whenever you feel sad.”

 

Hinata’s eyes grew wide in surprise, “..But I don’t want to trouble you..”

 

“You aren’t troubling anyone, Shouyou.” Osamu’s tone was absolute.

 

Hinata’s eyes travelled back down to his lap, where his eyes landed on Osamu’s warm hands tightly gripping his. It seemed like he was avoiding eye contact with Osamu, and his tone was slightly shaky. “Thank you, Miya-san.”

 

Osamu’s expression softened, “You’re on first name basis with ‘Tsumu, but not me? It makes me feel a little jealous.”

 

Hinata jumped in surprise and his eyes rolled back to Osamu’s face, I-I mean, Atsumu-san asked me to call him that, but I couldn’t just drop the ‘-san’. I could call you by your first name too if you want, Miya-san..”

 

“Call me by my first name and drop the honorifics too, then.” Osamu’s smile grew, his tone carrying a hint of playfulness to it. 

 

Hinata sweated, “T-That’s a tall order..”

 

“It isn’t like we’re teammates.” Osamu said nonchalantly. “I don’t think friends use honorifics and have such a high level of respect for each other, right?”

 

“You have a point..” Hinata cupped his chin. “Then.. O-Osamu.”

 

Osamu’s tight-lipped smile widened into a toothy grin, “‘Tsumu would be soooo pissed when he hears you call me that.”

 

“That’s true..” Hinata hummed in realization. “I should drop the honorifics around him too..”

 

“How about you don’t?” Osamu suggested foxily. “It’s fun to see ‘Tsumu angry, and besides, I like that I get your special treatment, Shouyou.”

 

Hinata blushed from ear to ear, and he rubbed the back of his head as he laughed, “R-Really..? There’s nothing really special about it, though..”

 

Osamu let out a short chuckle before he folded over his blanket, “Well then, I better lay out the futon for you then.”

 

“Oh, I can do it!” Hinata insisted. “Just tell me where it is and I’ll take it out! You really shouldn’t be moving about right now.”

 

“I need to move around a little too when I’m sick.” Osamu said. “Can’t let my muscles degrade on me. I gotta’ stay healthy to keep up with ‘Tsumu, after all.” 

 

“If you say so..” Hinata’s tone fell.

 

“You’re hungry, aren’t you? Sorry about the depressing talk, you should go ahead and eat.” Osamu suggested.

 

“I’ll wait for you, Osamu.” Hinata said with a wide smile.

 

Osamu returned this smile, and he brought himself back to his feet and walked over to the cupboard drawers with an arched back. He had to keep his head low so he wouldn’t feel the world spinning so much around him. It didn’t help that Hinata’s words had also sparked a heart-pounding emotion inside him, and while it was uncomfortable, the feeling made him feel oddly warm and happy.

 

Osamu mentally scoffed at himself. He might have actually fallen in love with the person he least expected.

 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

It had been months ever since Osamu had gotten himself ill. He had managed to arrange his schedule so that he at least had his weekends free, so he had plenty of time to rest up. Initially, he thought the conversation he had with Hinata would be a one-time thing, but he found himself spending more time with Hinata over the months. 

 

They had exchanged numbers on Hinata’s request. Hinata rarely texted for idle purposes, but he made sure to check up on Osamu at least once a week. They even began arranging lunch meet-ups on their free days, and Osamu occasionally invited Hinata over to his apartment just to spend time together. It didn’t take long until Atsumu found out and started crashing their sleepovers out of jealousy. But Atsumu’s presence actually made their time together a lot more enjoyable, and Osamu was starting to feel less estranged from his brother too now.

 

It had been awhile since Osamu himself was able to go out to watch an MSBY Black Jackal’s match himself. Onigiri Miya was having a pop-up booth for the tournament, but he had enough workers to take care of the booth without him around. His employees were also insistent that he go and enjoy the match without worrying about the business for once.

 

Osamu had splurged on booking a seat where he could get a good view of the court. The last time he was in Sendai, it was hard to watch the game from behind the crowds, so he wanted to savour the opportunity he had. He had invited his Inarizaki teammates to watch the game with him, but only Suna was able to make it. He thought it was a shame, but at least he wasn’t going to look like a loser watching the game all alone.

 

He was not surprised when he received a text message from Suna saying that he was arriving late. Suna was busy with his own professional volleyball career, after all.

 

As Osamu was absorbed in his own thoughts, he failed to notice a whip of orange running his way from the other side of the audience seats. His ears perked up when they caught the sound of an ever-so familiar voice.

 

“Osamuuuu!” Hinata beamed, waving a hand. He came to a stop at the row of seats in front of Osamu. “It’s been so long!”

 

“Yeah.” Osamu’s expression brightened. “It’s weird to see you all alone, Shouyou.”

 

Hinata’s breath hitched. Suspicious . “I-It’s not weird at all! I like hanging around alone myself too sometimes!”

 

“To the toilet, I’m sure.” Osamu chuckled. “And you’re gonna’ run into all those scary people again. You sure are cursed.”

 

Hinata huffed, “That just happens! I keep forgetting to ask someone to go to the toilet with me..”

 

“I’m not surprised.” Osamu shook his head with a smile. “You don’t put a lot of thought into your actions, after all.”

 

“I’m taking that as an insult, Osamu-kun!” Hinata retorted. 

 

“Take it as you will.” Osamu shrugged. “‘Tsumu isn’t with you?”

 

“Oh yeah. Atsumu-san got into trouble for a prank he pulled on Meian-san, so the coach made him run laps around the stadium.” Hinata said. 

 

“‘Tsumu sure is embarrassing..” Osamu sighed. “I thought you’d join him at least. You’re pretty much the only one who’s nice to that guy, has he lost you too?”

 

“Well, I offered, but everyone was pushy about Atsumu-san doing it alone..” Hinata scratched the back of his head.

 

“You’re way too nice for your own good, Shouyou.” Osamu rested his chin on his palms as his elbows rested on his lap. “You should try to leave that jerk be for a while. You’ll feel relieved, you know?”

 

“I really don’t get what’s so bad about Atsumu-san, though..” Hinata cupped his chin in thought. “Come to think of it, you aren’t here with Onigiri Miya today?”

 

“I’m leaving it to my workers to handle the pop-up stall today.” Osamu said, and he turned around to find the aforementioned stall lined together with the other food stalls in the vicinity. “They wouldn’t let me help them out, even when I asked.”

 

“It’s like you’re their child instead of their employer, huh?” Hinata joked. 

 

“I guess so. It’s a weird feeling, but it isn’t bad.” Osamu claimed. 

 

As Osamu and Hinata observed the stall from afar, a pair of high school students emerged from the stall with a plastic bag full of rice balls. Instead of heading for their seats to have their meal, one of them opted to take one of the rice balls out of the bag and happily chomped into the seaweed after hastily unwrapping it. The boy’s friend laughed at him as he broke into comical bliss at the taste.

 

Osamu couldn’t help the smile that crept to his face. He had forgotten why he was interested in opening up a food business in the first place, and it was because he loved food and the way it made people like himself happy. Now that he was paying more attention to his surroundings, he was able to remember what made him Osamu Miya, instead of the Miya twin.

 

“..I think I’m happy.” Osamu claimed, his smile growing incrementally. “I really am happy with opening up this business.”

 

Hinata beamed up at him, “I’m happy for you too, Osamu!”

 

“It’s thanks to you, Shouyou.” Osamu shifted his gaze to Hinata, and his expression softened. “I’m glad we became friends.”

 

Hinata’s face flushed red, and he suddenly jerked away, his body fidgety. Osamu raised a brow in interest. It was only in the recent weeks that Hinata was starting to act more meek around him. Osamu was by no means dense however, and he knew it was a likely sign that his romantic interest in the ginger was being reciprocated. 

 

It had been months since they started spending time together, and Osamu was sure he had fallen in love. He knew what he wanted, and he knew that regardless of the outcome, nothing would change between him, Atsumu and Hinata. He had hesitated a lot at every chance he got, but he knew it was always a now or never situation. It just so happened that he was feeling that rush of confidence today out of all days.

 

“..Shouyou.”

 

Hinata turned to Osamu upon being called, and Osamu leaned his frame against the set of chairs in front of him, bringing his arms to a rest upon the top of the chairs. His olive orbs eyed Hinata’s brown orbs with longing and desire.

 

“What do you think of going out with me?”

 

Shouyou’s face grew impossibly redder. Adorable , Osamu thought to himself.