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life is always a bumpy road

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It all started right before the Kamomedai match when Hinata had run into one of the Miya twins in the restroom. Hinata had been washing his hands at the sink, when he noticed there was another person washing their hands a sink away. It was only when Hinata, for some reason, decided to raise his head to look at the said man that he confirmed that his bad luck with toilets was not about to spare him today either. The direness of the situation grew when Hinata realized that there was no one else in the restrooms except for the two of them.

 

Hinata did have a gut feeling that something unfortunate was bound to happen again when he forgot to ask Yamaguchi to accompany him to the lavatory. But he didn’t think his unlucky encounter today would have been more.. awkward, than scary.

 

Hinata didn’t know which Miya twin he was standing next to, but he knew it was definitely a Miya. There was just something about their strong presence that was hard to miss.

 

“Oh.” Sensing the look Hinata was giving him, the Miya twin immediately turned his head to him with genuine surprise colouring his face. 

 

“The Miya twins—!” Hinata said impulsively. 

 

The young man’s surprise was gone in an instant, and he was now making an almost bored seeming face. “Karasuno’s #10.”

 

Hinata gulped, and he pulled his hands away from the sink, letting the water run freely. It was the usual pattern for the person Hinata meets in the restroom to start trying to intimidate him and bring his spirits down out of spite (or completely unintentionally). But he had a serious match coming up, and he wasn’t about to let anyone crush his spirits. Hinata was ready to face any demotivating words this twin was about to throw at him.

 

And it showed on his face. Hinata had tried to look threatening. Keyword, tried. Eyes crossed, eyebrows furrowed, forehead wrinkling, lips pressed into a deep frown. He had planted his other foot as far as possible from the foot near the base of the sink, and his back and limbs were all bent forward. Hinata was ready to throw hands if the situation called for it.

 

But the Miya twin didn’t even budge. There was not even the slightest sign of a twitch in his thick eyebrows. 

 

Hinata grew incrementally nervous as the clock continued to tick, and there was nothing but quiet tension. The other man only continued to thoroughly scrub his hands in soap, and he eventually turned the tap back on to wash off the foam. He finally broke the silence in the room after his hands were free of the disinfecting liquid previously covering them. 

 

“Aren’t you going to wash your hands?” he asked. 

 

Hinata wheezed. As embarrassed as he was that he was unable to elicit even the slightest reaction from the other man, he was also uncomfortable at the fact that the twin was not bringing up a demeaning topic in this situation. 

 

“I-I was planning to!” Hinata claimed, and he hastily shoved his hands back into the sink.

 

As the water rinsed off the soap around his fingers, Hinata wondered whether this really was another one of his ill-fated encounters. Could he let his guard down? Were the Miya twins really not as foul-mouthed as he remembered? But he did vaguely remember the memory of being called a ‘scrub’ or something along the lines of the word by one of the twins—

 

“The match we had,” Hinata felt his heart nearly leap out his chest when the twin addressed him. So he really was out to get him! “You guys were really tough opponents.”

 

“T-Thanks! You guys were just as tough to beat!” Hinata sputtered out in a swoop breath, one of his hands simultaneously reaching for the tap to turn off the flowing water.

 

The twin pulled his arms to his sides while dangling his hands away from his jersey to avoid wetting the polyester material, “You better make it for the Inter-High, too.” 

 

Hinata blinked in disorientation when the twin brought up the major tournament, instead of talking about the present tournament they were currently in. But reality hit him when he remembered beating the opposing team meant that they would no longer play in the tournament, and Hinata suddenly felt a pang of guilt in his chest. Karasuno beating Inarizaki meant that Inarizaki could no longer play in the tournament. He pursed his lips into a thin line and lowered his head momentarily.

 

“..Yeah.” Hinata raised his head once again, this time properly looking into the other man’s eyes. “Let’s play again then.”

 

For a brief moment, the twin’s expression had finally stirred and he had, without a doubt, been taken aback by the look in Hinata’s brown orbs. But he was quick to regain his composure, and the same apathetic grimace returned to his face not long after. 

 

“You say that, but you don’t actually know my name, do you?” the young man said flatly, and a chill ran down Hinata’s spine when he was reminded of the fact. He then flapped his right hand to dry it, and stuck the same hand out to gesture for a handshake. “Osamu Miya. Just Osamu is fine.”

 

“I-I bet you didn’t know my name either!” Hinata made an attempt to salvage any remaining pride he had as he took Osamu’s hand into his own. “It’s Shouyou Hinata! Just Shouyou is fine.”

 

“I’ll try to remember it.” Osamu said as he retracted his hand from Hinata’s. 

 

“So you didn’t know my name all this time either?!” Hinata cried in disbelief.

 

“I don’t bother to remember everyone’s names. It’s easier to call them by their numbers.” Osamu shrugged.

 

“You really think so..?” Hinata lifted a brow questioningly. “I have a harder time memorizing everyone’s numbers myself..”

 

“You must suck at maths then.” Osamu pointed out, not mincing his words.

 

“Geh..” Hinata grunted, and he lifted an accusatory finger in Osamu’s direction. “Y-You might act all high and mighty, but I bet you aren’t all that great at maths either!”

 

“I’m average.”

 

“Oh, okay..”

 

Oddly enough, despite Osamu’s crass choice of words, Hinata felt no malicious intent coming from them. It all felt as if he was just the kind of person to say whatever was on his mind. He sounded playful even, although his constant expression begged to differ.

 

Suddenly, Osamu patted his palms on the front of his trousers, and he fished out his flip phone out of his jersey pocket. He fiddled around with it, until he gestured it towards Hinata. 

 

“Wanna’ exchange numbers?” 

 

And that marked the beginning of Hinata’s unlikely friendship with Osamu Miya. 

 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Hinata received his first text message from Osamu on the night after the Kamomedai match. It wasn’t odd that Hinata had been barraged by a stream of text messages for the whole remainder of the day after he was caught collapsing on the court on live television. 

 

But Hinata had not been in the right state of mind to promptly respond to the messages, so he left it till the night to compose his replies. But it was during this time that his phone suddenly beeped and he had another text message in his mailbox. 

 

From: Osamu Miya

Subject: 

 

Are you feeling better? 

 

Hinata eyed the contents of the message with bemusement. He didn’t think Osamu would be the first to text him, because he didn’t seem all that interested in Hinata. There were other messages he had to respond to, but he was curious about what Osamu, someone he had just beaten the other day, had to say about what had just happened.

 

  From: Hinata Shouyou

Subject: Re:

 

yea! thanks for asking! did you come to watch the match, osamu?

 

It didn’t even take a minute for Hinata’s phone to beep again—

 

From: Osamu Miya

Subject: Re: Re:

 

That’s good. I watched the match, I hope you haven’t forgotten what you said in the toilet.

 

Hinata let his mouth fall open. All this time he had been reading text messages overloaded with kind, supportive words with concern showing in every syllable. But hearing such words of anticipation and expectation coming from a rivalling school gave Hinata a feeling of hope. It reminded him that his journey wasn’t over.

 

A wide smile replaced the frown on his face, and he eagerly typed back his response.

 

From: Shouyou Hinata

Subject: Re: Re: Re:

 

i haven’t. i’ll definitely see you in the inter-high, osamu!

 

It took slightly longer for Osamu to cook up his reply this time.

 

From: Osamu Miya

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re:

 

Okay. Make sure you rest well, or the zasshiki warashi are gonna’ eat you up~ (・ω<)☆ (lol)

 

Now this was just surreal. 

 

However, there was another part of the text message that had also caught Hinata’s attention. Hinata recalled that zasshiki warashi were harmless spirits, so he had denied Osamu’s words at first. Eat him up? No way.

 

But Hinata gave it more thought. Osamu was probably more well-informed than Hinata was in the field, since he generally came off as the smarter of the two. And all of a sudden, Hinata was doubtful.

 

..Yeah, he really should get some sleep.

 

========================================================================

 

The text messages didn’t end there however. Even after the third-years retired and the graduation ceremony was upon them, Hinata found himself exchanging texts with Osamu even more frequently than he normally texted his friends. 

 

It was mainly because Osamu had been so engaged with him every time he addressed a text to Hinata. At first, Osamu had only sent Hinata a text once every week, particularly at night, and those nights would constantly escalate into a lengthy conversation session. It became a habit at some point, and it was autonomously decided at some point that they would spend every Friday night chatting with each other.

 

They spoke about almost everything. Volleyball, food, family, teammates, favourite television series, future plans—the two of them always found something to bring into their conversations. Hinata found out that Osamu was actually more talkative than he thought. His sentences may have often been simple and short, but it was just because he was a very straightforward person. He didn’t like complicated things and preferred to keep his feelings simply to either like or dislike. But Osamu always had a lot to say about why he felt a certain way to a particular topic. 

 

From their late-night conversations alone, Hinata had learned a lot about Osamu (and Atsumu too, because Osamu always had something to say about his brother). His insurmountable love for food, his family situation, his shared room with Atsumu, his occupancy of the upper bunk bed, his closest friendships, how he started playing volleyball, and—his plans to quit volleyball and start a catering business.

 

Hinata really didn’t want Osamu to quit volleyball, but no matter what he said, Osamu was firm about his decision. It saddened him at first, but Osamu gradually managed to liven the mood by redirecting Hinata’s attention to another topic. But it never truly did leave Hinata’s mind.

 

On this Friday in particular, Hinata had planned to be the first one to initiate their texts. He had been on his phone while he was lying on his stomach on his bed, with his legs absentmindedly swinging up and down. But before he could hit the send button, he was interrupted by the ringing of his flip phone. Hinata was caught off-guard by this, to the point of fumbling with his phone and nearly dropping it to the tatami mat covering his bedroom floor. Fortunately, he caught it as it was about to hit the floor.

 

With a disgruntled groan, he flipped the phone open and he scrutinized the name on the display screen. Who on Earth could have been calling him at this time—

 

Lo and behold. Osamu Miya.

 

Hinata immediately picked the call up, albeit angrily, “You should have warned me before you were gonna’ call, Osamu!”

 

I bet you were so surprised you nearly dropped your phone. ” Hinata heard a low snicker on the other line. “ You sure are clumsy, Shouyou.

 

Hinata’s breath hitched in his throat. Sometimes, Osamu was so capable of reading him that it was downright scary .

 

“So? Why did you suddenly call?” Hinata went straight to the point.

 

“I wanted to hear your voice.” Hinata felt his face heat up at Osamu’s words. 

 

It was nothing new for Osamu to spout out embarrassing words without warning. Because of this, Hinata once had a hunch that Osamu might have been interested in him romantically. But he quickly let go of it when his mind convinced himself that it was impossible for anyone to think of someone like him as a romantic partner. But it didn’t help that Osamu had at least one subtle one-liner to say in every conversation they shared.

 

Hinata cleared his throat in an attempt to direct his attention away from the loud thumping in his chest, “..It’ll be more expensive to talk on the phone, though.”

 

“Ah, it’s okay.” Osamu said insipidly. “I just needed to say something to you directly. It won’t take long.”

 

“Something you needed to say?” Hinata raised a brow at this, “What is it?”

 

There was a long pause on the other line. Hinata could hear the sound of Osamu taking in a deep breath before his voice sounded once again, “I like you.”

 

Hinata’s mouth hung open in utter shock. Just when he had denied it for what felt like the thousandth time, here Osamu was, suddenly deciding to clear his doubts away for him. Osamu had always had the weirdest timings—as much as he knew how to read the atmosphere, he still had his own pace that Hinata always found himself swept along with.

Or, there was another possibility. It may have just been a prank. Osamu loved to play around with him despite his seemingly uptight personality. But Hinata knew that Osamu would never make tasteless jokes, especially not on a matter like love that Hinata knew meant a lot to him.

 

Regardless, Hinata was not prepared to face a love confession headfirst. He had never been confessed to in the past, nor had he ever been the object of anyone’s affections. It was all unfamiliar territory to him. 

 

Even though Hinata did feel like he wanted something more out of his friendship with Osamu, there was an intangible fear tugging at his heartstrings. If he took this step forward, what if things wouldn’t be the same, good old times with Osamu anymore?

 

“It’s okay if you can’t return my feelings.” Osamu continued. “I’ll understand if you don’t want to be friends anymore, too.”

 

Again, it felt like Osamu had read through him, except this time he was genuinely speaking from his own feelings. Hinata was rendered speechless by the hesitation that became apparent in Osamu’s speech. “Don’t say that! Why would I ever not want to be friends with you..? You’re.. someone precious to me, Osamu.”

 

“..I’m glad.” There was a hint of relief in Osamu’s voice. “I’m sorry about the tension. I didn’t know the best way to tell you.”

 

“It’s okay.” Hinata said in a reassuring tone. “It’s very, very Osamu-like.”

 

“..For some reason, I feel like you’re teasing me and I don’t like it.” Hinata could feel Osamu pouting through the line.

 

“Says the guy who’s always teasing me.” Hinata retorted, puffing his cheeks. 

 

“You’re an exception.” Osamu said flatly. “You’re just begging to be teased with the funny expressions you make all the time.”

 

“Wait, funny expressions?” Hinata’s tone grew frantic. “What do you mean by that? What kinda’ faces do I even make—?”

 

“Super cute ones.” was all it took to turn Hinata into a blushing mess. 

 

Hinata was reminded at that point that he had just gone off on a tangent. Osamu deserved an answer, and Hinata wanted to be honest. He couldn’t whole-heartedly just say he liked Osamu as much as the latter liked him, nor was it true that he didn’t want anything more than friendship with Osamu. It was going to be tough to word his feelings, but if it was Osamu, hopefully he would understand.

 

“..Osamu.” Hinata said Osamu’s name solemnly. Osamu said nothing even after Hinata had paused to give him time to respond. Here goes nothing. “I—I’m not sure how I feel about you. I don’t want to just be friends, but I can’t confidently say that I like you in that way as well.”

 

“So, you wanna’ be best friends?” Osamu asked straight out.

 

“..No, that feels off, too.” Hinata shook his head, and he became silent, cupping his chin as he went for a dive into his thoughts. Friends? Lovers? Best friends? He was definitely going in circles, and it didn’t take long for his mind to become overloaded. He held his head in agony, “..Uugh, I really have no idea—! Is love really that complicated?!”

 

“..You’re just making it complicated on your own, Shouyou.” Osamu pointed out. “If you aren’t sure, why don’t you just try going out with me?”

 

“Eh?” Hinata blinked. “But I can’t possibly do that when I’m not even sure about how I feel about you. I’d be disrespecting your feelings—”

 

“I’ll just have to make you fall in love with me, then.” 

 

Hinata’s face became impossibly redder, and the rapid beating of his heart grew louder in his head than even the sound of static on the line. Osamu was being more serious than Hinata had ever seen him be. There was something enthralling about Osamu being this obsessed with him and speaking like this with him and him only.

 

  “..Okay. I’ll go out with you, Osamu.” Hinata gave his final answer, his face still bearing the same strong intensity of red.

 

There was a pause on the line, and the silence was eventually filled by the noise of laughter. It wasn’t a laugh that was meant to mock, but rather it was one that sounded strained and forced. It was as if Osamu didn’t know how else to react in the situation. 

 

“You wouldn’t know just how happy I am right now.” If Osamu was right in front of him, Hinata bet he would have been smiling, even though Hinata couldn’t imagine how Osamu would look smiling. “I promise I’ll make you even happier, Shouyou.”

 

========================================================================

 

The Inter-High Prefecturals had ended in a loss for Karasuno against Date Tech. But as frustrating as their loss was, life moved on and the days only continued to go by. It wasn’t long until Golden Week was finally upon the high schools across Japan, and naturally, the occasion called for a training camp.

 

Karasuno had received many invitations to various training camps as well as enquiries on whether they would be arranging one for the Miyagi Prefecture. There was an invitation to the Fukurodani Group’s training camp in Tokyo as well, similar to last year. Their outstanding performance the previous Spring Tournament had given Karasuno a sudden boost in popularity, and they were even becoming known as a powerhouse in the prefecture. 

 

However, Takeda and Keishin decided to accept the invitation to the Inarizaki Group’s training camp out of the many offers that arrived. 

 

It was likely because Inarizaki had been a long-standing powerhouse and a favourite to win the Nationals every year. Inarizaki was an all-rounded school who were good at tricking their opponents and being unpredictable every year. In a way, they had a similar play style to Karasuno, where both teams depended on meticulously planning the best timing to bring out their secret weapons at the right time. And that responsibility hung heavily on the skilled setters of both teams; Tobio Kageyama and Atsumu Miya.

 

Although Karasuno and Inarizaki had become seemingly bitter rivals to the public following Inarizaki’s loss, the relations between the schools had actually improved behind the scenes. Takeda had managed to befriend the coach of the opposing team, who himself had started taking an interest in their Karasuno.

 

Hinata had been just as excited about formulating new plays against Inarizaki as he was to meet Osamu. But he couldn’t tell anyone around him about the special relationship they shared, because he didn’t want to be berated (by Kageyama especially) for being romantically involved with someone on the rival team. 

 

Osamu had been just as excited as him when he caught wind of the news. Their relationship had always been restricted to just texting on every Friday night and at major moments, like before every match, along with the occasional calls. Their conversations they shared after they entered a relationship weren’t a lot different from the usual conversations they had, except Osamu was more open about his affections and even snuck in dirty talk every here and then. Hinata himself still had difficulty putting his affection into words, and the words ‘I love you’ couldn’t come out of his mouth or even in his texts any easier.

 

But after all this time, Hinata was finally going to meet Osamu in person once again. He couldn’t contain his smiles during the entire bus ride, even being called out by Yamaguchi out of all people who thought it was outright creepy (since Hinata insisted that it was purely because of volleyball; not even Kageyama was that creepy!). Fortunately for Hinata, none of them pried any further, as his teammates were already used to Hinata’s antics that always seemed to come out of the left field.

 

Hinata couldn’t help thinking how it would feel to talk to Osamu face-to-face, after being separated by a screen and being several prefectures away from one another. The mere thought of holding Osamu’s hand made Hinata giddy, and heck, kissing ? The mental image of Osamu’s broad frame leaning down towards him never failed to fluster Hinata—it would be his first kiss for god’s sake! But, if it was with Osamu, Hinata didn’t think he would mind.

 

(Yes, Hinata was painfully aware that he was acting like a virgin high school girl in love. He didn’t have to be reminded about the fact, thank you.)

 

However, their first encounter at the training camp was surprisingly disappointing. Maybe Hinata just put his hopes up too high, but it made sense that Osamu had to treat him differently around his teammates whom he was hiding their relationship from too. It was truly an unsettling feeling to be seen as a stranger by someone you knew very well, and Hinata was even starting to question whether he really did know Osamu. He was quickly reassured however, when Osamu snuck in a small, knowing smile reserved just for Hinata when they shook hands.

 

But out of everything that could have happened, Hinata definitely did not expect to meet the Miya twins’ grandmother at the training camp. The twins obviously inherited her green eyes from her side of the family, and there was this underlying foxiness to the friendly exterior she had up. She had arrived every morning to deliver freshly made onigiri and bento for the boys’ meals. Every member of Inarizaki couldn’t stop boasting about Grandma Miya’s onigiri being the very best in the world to the Karasuno newcomers who were ‘unaware of its inherent greatness’.

 

Osamu had seemed more timid and well-behaved around his grandmother. His twin brother was no different, and the two of them were clearly fond of her as they refused to leave her side for the entire time she was in the school premises. Hinata found it endearing that the usually intimidating twins had such a cute side to them when around the people closest to them too.

 

It was during the second morning of the training camp when Grandma Miya started poking fun at Osamu for having a secret ‘girlfriend’. Hinata was, unfortunately, present in the same room sitting together with his seniors just a table away from where the Miya’s rowdy banter was taking place. Worst, Hinata was sitting right behind Osamu, their backs facing each other.

 

“I was hoping to meet your girlfriend in this training camp, y’know, Osamu-chan!” Grandma Miya pulled her words out of nowhere, and Hinata could hear Osamu choke on his rice behind him.

 

“Gran’, I’ve told you lots of times already, I don’t have a girlfriend!” Osamu said after his coughing fit subsided. 

 

“Yeeaaah. Even if ‘Samu had a girlfriend, he wouldn’t even last a day with her.” Atsumu snickered from across Osamu. 

 

But before Osamu could retort himself, Atsumu was greeted with a pair of chopsticks prodding at his cheek. “Isn’t that you that you’re talkin’ about there, Atsumu-chan?”

 

“W—Wha!” Atsumu raised his voice defensively. “I’ll have you know my previous relationship lasted a few days longer than ‘Samu’s!”

 

“And when will you finally settle down? I know very well how you’ve been jumping from relationship to relationship.” Grandma Miya sighed.

 

“Gah—” Atsumu’s brow twitched. 

 

“I know how you’ve been on the phone with a certain someone on every Friday, Osamu-chan.” Grandma Miya grinned cheekily, and Hinata felt a shiver run down his spine. “The walls in our house are quite thin, you see.”

 

“Oh, I know that too.” Atsumu’s eyes rolled over to Osamu. “I heard that “I want to hear your voice” of yours loud and clear. What’s up with that? That’s seriously creepy?!”

 

Osamu’s face uncharacteristically flushed red. “Wait, you seriously heard that—?!” 

 

“Trust me, that’s not the end of it.” Atsumu’s grin grew. “ “Your laugh is cute” , “I want to see your face right now” , “I want to hold you” ..

 

“Oh, my personal favourite was “I just want to gobble you up. ”” Grandma Miya mimicked Osamu word for word, and Hinata felt himself go red at how similar she sounded.

 

“Stop, I’m begging you—!!” Osamu pleaded, comically jumping out of his chair and slamming his palms on the table.

 

Tanaka, who had been sitting across Hinata and had the best view of the scene, nearly crushed the chopstick in his hands. A vein popped on his forehead, where creased lines had also formed in the middle.

 

“..Curse popular guys.” Tanaka said flatly.

 

“Says the guy who’s already got himself a girlfriend.” Ennoshita chimed in, nonchalantly chowing down the rice in his bowl.

 

“At least I don’t say weird things like that to Kiyoko-san!” Tanaka retorted, planting down his chopsticks on the table.

 

“We all know you do, Tanaka.” Kinoshita huffed.

 

“Still, I feel pretty bad for that guy’s girlfriend.” Tsukishima claimed. “I would have called quits the moment he said any of those lines if I were in her shoes.”

 

Hinata stared at Tsukishima in bewilderment. Was it really that bad? Was it weird that Hinata actually liked it whenever Osamu told him those words? Didn’t they know the said girlfriend was sitting right in front of them?! Couldn’t they be more sensitive even if that wasn’t the case?! He exhaled a long, shaky breath as he gradually lowered his head and planted his face onto the table. 

 

“Huh? What’s wrong, Hinata?” Yamaguchi asked innocently.

 

“He’s probably just jealous he doesn’t have a girlfriend he could say the same things to.” Tsukishima suggested sarcastically.

 

“It’s okay, Hinata.” Kinoshita put a hand on Hinata’s shoulder. “Our time will come too.”

 

That isn’t it at all—!!

 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

“Ah.”

 

“Oh.” was all Hinata could manage when he turned his head from the sink and saw Osamu’s face. In the shower rooms. Déjà vu.

 

Osamu had just entered the room in the attire he had been wearing all-day. His skin was glossed all over as a result of his perspiration, and the black shirt he was wearing was soaked in his sweat. A towel was thrown atop his shoulder and he was cradling a bucket of shower supplies in his arms. It was already late, and Hinata himself had just finished showering after he was told to leave the gymnasium by the cleaners. He was just brushing his teeth before retiring for the night.

 

At that moment, it hit him. Hinata was finally alone in a room with Osamu. Except that room happened to have a few toilets lined along with the shower stalls.

 

Osamu’s first reaction was to bring his hand to his nape and he scratched it sheepishly, “Sorry about gran’ and ‘Tsumu. I thought I was quiet enough for them not to hear.”

 

“Oh, it’s okay..” Hinata had honestly forgotten about their dilemma in the morning. He had been too absorbed in the practice matches to even think about the embarrassment he felt at that time. He briefly glanced back to the sink to turn off the tap, before once again locking eyes with Osamu, who was standing on the other side of the room.

 

Osamu eventually moved his hand away from his neck and looked directly at Hinata with his face facing forward. He proceeded to put the bucket of supplies into the sink. He didn’t waste any time in closing in the distance between them until he was roughly an arm's-length away from the shorter man. Hinata felt his face redden when his eyes landed on the tender smile spread across Osamu’s face and upon feeling the intensity of his gaze on him. He took this as a sign that Osamu wasn’t about to treat him like just an acquaintance this time.

 

Hinata’s instincts were proven right when Osamu slipped to Hinata’s behind and closed the gap between them. He abruptly extended his right arm above Hinata’s shoulder and his palm landed on the mirror in front of him with a sharp thud . Hinata turned around to face Osamu on instinct, and his back had been driven up the sink as Osamu leaned closer towards him. Hinata realized that he was really trapped this time.

 

He didn’t hate it though.

 

“..Can I kiss you?” were Osamu’s first words in the midst of their tension. The mellow sound of his voice and the context of his words added more to the tension, however.

 

“..Yeah.” Hinata gave him a small nod, and he lifted his head in expectation. He realized he didn’t have to do that when Osamu had already moved his unoccupied hand to Hinata’s chin to hold it upwards in his direction. 

 

As Osamu’s face drew closer, Hinata was taken aback by the view he had of every single detail on the former’s face. Osamu was really attractive up-close, which Hinata had forgotten because all this time, Osamu had just been a voice and a string of words to him. There had always been an invisible breach between them, but now Osamu was moving in to close that gap. Hinata’s eyes closed naturally, and his facial muscles loosened as he felt Osamu’s warm breath against his skin. 

 

Hinata felt their noses bump and Osamu’s soft lips shyly brushing against his own. But they were eventually pressed tightly against his lips when the hand on the glass pane snaked its way down to Hinata’s back. 

 

Osamu pulled away momentarily, allowing them both to catch their breath. He then cupped Hinata’s cheek with the hand he used to previously support his chin, and leaned in to lock their lips once more. Hinata felt himself being lifted up the sink by Osamu’s right hand which now found its way underneath his thigh, and the upper part of his back was eventually pressed up against the mirror’s surface. He threw his arms around Osamu’s shoulders to support himself, and the kiss only grew hungrier and deeper as Hinata’s head was similarly driven up against the glass mirror by its sheer force.

 

The older man drew his lips away from the kiss once again, and the two of them were already red in the face and gasping for breath. But the effects were more apparent with Hinata, who had never shared a kiss with anyone before. Osamu was well aware of this fact, because Hinata had admitted it to him one time, to which Osamu proudly announced that he would be taking his first kiss for himself. Hinata could see the pride-filled smile forming on Osamu’s face as he cracked his eyes open to steal a glance at the said man.

 

The domineering look on Osamu’s face had honestly been a turn-on for Hinata, who only wanted Osamu to touch him even more now. It didn’t take long for Osamu to lift his knee up the sink, pressing it up against Hinata’s thigh as it trapped Hinata even further. 

 

“Shouyou..” Osamu uttered his name ravenously, his eyes glazed with desire. 

 

But before he could say anymore, a familiar, muffled voice sounded in the distance, “‘Samuuuu! You forgot your knee pads in the gymnasium!”

 

The two of them froze, and a vein popped on Osamu’s forehead. The two of them had forgotten that they were out in public, and that any of their teammates could easily see them if they happened to walk in at the wrong time. They were just unlucky that this teammate so happened to be Atsumu. Hinata could only stare at the other man with dazed eyes, the intensity of the kiss still strong on his mind. With a vexed expression on his face, Osamu proceeded to lock his arms around Hinata’s shoulder and underneath of his knees respectively, and lifted him off the sink into a princess carry.

 

“‘Samu?” Osamu rushed into one of the shower stalls with Hinata in hand and quickly locked the door as Atsumu’s voice drew closer. By the moment the lock was in place, the door to the bathroom was pushed open and the sound of footsteps could be heard. “Huh, I thought he went to take a shower.”

 

. ”You could have just left my knee pads in the room, you thick-skulled idiot ‘Tsumu—! ” Osamu resisted the urge to scream. He planted Hinata back onto the floor and held him up against his chest, his arms wrapped around his torso.

 

“That’s Miya-san, isn’t it—?!” Hinata finally processed the situation at hand, and he whispered hastily to Osamu, “Isn’t this really, really bad?!”

 

“It’ll be fine. Just stay quiet for a bit.” Osamu brought a finger to his lips.

 

Hinata nodded wordlessly. Osamu stared intensely at the gap underneath the shower doors, observing the pattern of Atsumu’s feet to judge when he was about to leave. But Atsumu’s feet only walked past the stall, and the door to the adjacent stall made a creaking sound as it was being pulled open.

 

Osamu’s brow twitched. Atsumu was taking a shower at the worst timing possible. Wasn’t he the one who was against showering so late?

 

The grey-haired man sighed quietly, and he proceeded to tighten his arms around Hinata’s form. Hinata would have let out a squeak out of surprise, if not for the constant reminder of Atsumu’s presence from the low hums the latter was making in the other stall.

 

“It’ll be fine as long as we’re quiet.” Osamu said in a hushed tone, his head lowered down to Hinata’s ear.

 

Hinata looked at Osamu in disbelief. Did he really want to continue while his brother was right next to them?! “But—

 

Before Hinata could even say the second word of his sentence, he found himself pinned against the shower walls and Osamu’s face only inches apart from his own.

 

“I want you, Shouyou.” Osamu murmured, one of his hands moving to stroke Hinata’s cheek. 

 

Hinata swallowed. There was an insatiable look on Osamu, and if Hinata was honest, he was actually a little afraid. He felt like a prey whose every move was being eyed keenly by its natural predator. But he didn’t want to look away. He didn’t think he would ever think this way, but he may have wanted to be eaten.

 

“I want to ravish every last bit of you..” Osamu added, and he inclined his head to once again close the gap between their lips. Hinata’s eyes squeezed shut in expectation for Osamu’s soft lips to come crashing into his.

 

But out of the blue, an ear-deafening chilling screech reverberated from the stall next-door. Both Hinata and Osamu felt their skins jump at the terrifying noise, and their heads instinctively jerked in the direction of the source. Hinata’s mouth became wide agape, and the ends of his lips were twitching in an attempt to stop himself from crying out in pure fear. The noise only went on and grew louder as time passed, and Hinata was gradually able to make out coherent words from the unpleasant cacophony.

 

“Wait.” Hinata’s mouth fell shut. “I-Is that.. your brother singing?”  

 

Osamu only remained silent, but his expression was starting to look dead and forlorn as the seconds went by. Didn’t his idiot of a brother at least know the stall next to him was occupied from the way it was locked?

 

“Oh yeah, baby!” Atsumu cried out loud, and continued the song obviously tone-deaf. “I’ll love you forever~ So don’t leave me alone~ Aaaah~ Bzzt, bzzt, bzzt—”

 

Was that supposed to be beat boxing?!

 

“..I’m sorry, but I think I just lost all my mood.” Osamu really looked like he was out for blood now.

 

“..Same here.”

 

========================================================================

 

The next time Hinata got to properly spend time with Osamu was during the Christmas Eve of his third-year. Osamu and the rest of the Inarizaki third-years had graduated after Inarizaki narrowly emerged victorious against Karasuno during the Spring Tournament. There was never any time to meet in-person with how far they lived from each other and how there was always a tournament around the corner. But they didn’t stop talking, however.

 

It was only when Osamu had asked him out of the blue if he could crash his place for Christmas Eve that they finally found the opportunity to meet. Osamu was no longer in high school, so his family was less particular about his movements and he was free to be away from the house as long as he needed. Hinata had more than eagerly agreed to the arrangement and cleared up his schedule for the day.

 

However, there was still the risk of running into schoolmates and having their relationship found out. But if it was only at home, then it should have been fine. Hinata had already come clean to his family about his relationship earlier in the year, and he was surprised that they had been so supportive of him. In fact, they were more awed by the fact that Osamu lived hundreds of miles away, and even pushed him to invite his boyfriend over someday to introduce him.

 

It still sounded surreal in Hinata’s mind to be referring to Osamu as his boyfriend. But Osamu really was his boyfriend of more than two years now. Even though they never regularly met, there was still a special bond only the two of them shared.

 

Hinata had been waiting outside the train platform for Osamu’s arrival. The time on Hinata’s flip phone displayed 8:07 PM, and the skies had long turned dark. The streets were covered in snow and it continued to hail outside, adding to the pile of snow. Snow was always pretty, especially on Christmas Eve, so this year was a lucky one for couples. Not to mention that Osamu happened to be available on this Christmas Eve out of the two they missed in the previous years.

 

He puffed air into his palms out of habit. He enjoyed watching the mist that formed every time he exhaled. Hinata had been dressed heavily from head to toe to guard himself from the cold, but the only article of clothing missing was his mittens. It had completely slipped out of his mind and he only remembered it when he realized his hands were starting to freeze. 

 

Osamu’s train was scheduled to arrive at 8:01 PM, but with the heavy snow in Miyagi, there was bound to be delays. Hinata really wished he had some place warm to take shelter in, though. The train station was a small open space, so his only option was to wait and occasionally move his muscles about to make sure they didn’t go stiff from the cold. He had already had his arms wrapped around himself, and he had been not-so-subtly shuffling his feet to shake off the cold feeling.

 

“Where are you, Osamu..” Hinata mumbled to himself impatiently, his lips contorting into a pout. The train station in his area had always been desolate, and there were only around four or five people in Hinata’s proximity who also appeared to be waiting for the passengers from the upcoming train. He looked at his flip phone once more, particularly the last text message Osamu had sent.

 

From: Osamu Miya

Subject:

 

The train got delayed. I’ll be there soon, sorry. o(〒﹏〒)o

 

Even after two years, Osamu still hadn’t stopped his peculiar way of text messaging. Hinata had been initially perturbed by his unnecessary use of emoticons, but he started appreciating it when he realized it was Osamu’s way of being childish and letting loose. It also served as a reminder that Osamu was messing with him at least 90% of the time.

 

After what felt like an eternity, the blaring noise of a train grinding against the tracks echoed in the distance, and Hinata perked up. He really hoped this was not just another train passing by the station. He had put out many false hopes that Osamu might arrive earlier even before the scheduled arrival time —he just wanted so badly to see Osamu again. It had been far too long.

 

Hinata’s hopes were not betrayed this time. The train drew to a screeching halt in front of the platform, and the automated doors opened and a small pack of people emerged from the inside of the train. Hinata stuck his head out eagerly in search of the familiar, bored expression Osamu always wore on his face. 

 

But much to his dismay, he couldn’t find any such face, not even seconds after the crowd had dispersed. His heart fell, and he fished his flip phone out of his coat pocket. He checked his messages with Osamu again, contemplating about asking him whether his train was pushed back further.

 

That uneasy feeling lingered until he felt someone tap both his shoulders, and Hinata turned around, only for him to be pulled into a tight hug.

 

“Ack—!” Hinata squawked as he struggled to find his bearings with his face being squished into the man’s chest. 

 

“There you are, finally..!” the man cried, and he seemed out of breath for some reason. 

 

Hinata blinked at the familiarity of the voice, and he raised his head to look at the man’s face. His face was exactly the same as a year ago, but his hair was no longer the dull shade of grey; it was now a dark brown shade, bearing a similar colour to the buzzed portion of his hair. “Osamu?” 

 

“I quickly ran out of the station because I thought you had already left..” Osamu mumbled as he brushed his nose against Hinata’s ginger fluff of hair, and he raised his arms up to Hinata’s shoulders to pull him closer. “Thank god..”

 

Hinata was confused by Osamu’s apparent franticness, but he soon boiled the situation down to just being the result of a string of misunderstandings. Hinata in turn wrapped his arms around Osamu and drew circles on his back with his palm. Osamu’s body really felt warm. He huffed, “Jeez, am I really that bad of a person in your mind?”

 

“Oh, no..” Osamu paused, “I remembered you weren’t good with the cold, and I didn’t want you to freeze out here.”

 

“H-Hey! I can handle this much!” Hinata pouted.

 

“Yeah, yeah.” Osamu said in a dismissing tone. Suddenly, his phone went off, and he pulled his arms away from Hinata to pick it up. "Gimme' a sec."

 

As soon as Osamu shifted away from him, Hinata remembered how cold it actually was out there when a shiver suddenly ran through his body. He adjusted the green muffler around his neck that was drooping to reveal part of his neck, and he shoved his hands into his coat pockets. It was a twenty-minute walk back to his house from the station, and as unpleasant as the long walk sounded, moving his muscles around would certainly help generate heat for him to stay warm.

 

Hinata then glanced over at Osamu. He was on the phone with someone, but judging from his unusually polite manner of speaking, it must have been a professional matter. Hinata’s orbs softened as he observed Osamu’s features. He didn’t notice it earlier, but he had cut his bangs short as well. While everything from his bored face and muscular build screamed Osamu, his new hairstyle just gave off a mature air around him. 

 

It reminded Hinata that Osamu had actually graduated already. And Hinata was going to graduate this year too. His high school life was about to come to an end. But strangely enough, he didn’t feel very sentimental about it. He knew what his plans were after high school, and it involved playing volleyball. He was surely going to miss playing with his teammates and his juniors, but in the end, volleyball was really all he needed, along with Osamu and his friends.

 

It didn’t take long for Osamu to hang up, and once he did, he put his hand out in Hinata’s direction. “Let’s hold hands.”

 

Hinata blinked, “..Hey, you do know there are people who know us here too, right?”

 

“But I’ll seriously die if you don’t hold my hand, Shouyou~” Osamu puffed his cheeks. 

 

“You’re being overdramatic.” Hinata pointed out, and he stared at Osamu’s hand wistfully. 

 

Hinata’s eyes widened when it suddenly hit him that he had never actually held Osamu’s hand before. So far, it had only been the hungry kisses and making out, and all this time, they had never actually done the most ordinary activity that all couples do on a daily basis. It was tempting for Hinata to just take his hand, or even sling his arms around Osamu’s and cozy up to him in this cold weather— 

 

Wait, but why was he even thinking about what other people thought anyway? This day was special for both him and Osamu, and he wasn’t about to let anyone else ruin it for him. To hell with people figuring out their ‘secret’ relationship.

 

And so Hinata inched closer to Osamu and crossed his arm underneath the latter’s arm. This prompted the older man to lower his extended hand in bewilderment, and Hinata intertwined his fingers with the hand that was brought down to the level of his own hand. Osamu’s eyes cracked open in surprise, “Yup, this definitely hits the spot. You’re so nice and warm, Osamu..”

 

But Osamu continued to stare at him in disbelief. 

 

Hinata was slightly disappointed by the lack of reaction, “I thought you were the one who wanted to hold hands.”

 

“..And I thought you were the one who didn’t want to.” Osamu said. 

 

“I don’t really care anymore. We rarely meet, and at this point, I just want to be as close to you as possible..” Hinata muttered into his muffler, which he also hid his flushed face in.

 

Osamu pulled his muffler up above his nose in a futile attempt to cover the shade of red on his cheeks. Hinata felt a twinge of pride from having successfully elicited a bashful reaction from the older man. Osamu rarely or actually, almost never showed any signs of embarrassment, so Hinata would definitely remember this day as an achievement. Eventually, Osamu also folded his fingers onto Hinata’s knuckles, properly locking their hands together.

 

“..Me too.” Osamu whispered back.

 

Hinata grinned widely, and he danced his way forward, pulling Osamu along with him. “Come on, let’s get going already! At this rate, everybody’s going to have passed out before we even get home!” 

 

Osamu followed his lead and started walking behind him, “You sure are excited.”

 

“Of course I am. I want my family to meet the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, after all.” Hinata said with a huge, toothy grin.

 

Osamu appeared taken aback at Hinata’s choice of words, “..We should get married right now then, Shouyou.”

 

“Okaaaay, let’s put some brakes on there, Osamu-kun.” Hinata said nervously.

 

“Shouyou Miya.” Osamu said simply, cupping his chin with his free hand. “It has a nice ring to it. I like it.”

 

“Hmm, it actually does sound kinda’ nice—Wait, let’s not think too deep into that right now, okay?”

 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Although Osamu arrived later than expected, the family dinner went surprisingly well and ended without a hitch. 

 

The entire Hinata family had been present, and even Hinata’s father, who was always busy with work, was there. Hinata’s mother was over the clouds when she heard that Osamu was a great cook and was even planning on starting his own business. Hinata’s father, on the other hand, was just as eager to share his contacts with Osamu and give him advice to help kick start his business. Natsu herself had somehow ended up learning the best ways to get on her brother’s nerves, much to Hinata’s chagrin.

 

After clearing the table and washing the dishes, Hinata and Osamu were finally alone again in Hinata’s room. Hinata’s room wasn’t that big, but it wasn’t exactly small either. Osamu thought it was just the perfect size to contain the both of them, and he didn’t take long to get comfortable in the said room.

 

Hinata had been sprawled against his back on his bed, groaning in satisfaction as he rubbed his bloated tummy. Osamu had opted to sit on the floor instead, his back leaning against the frame of the bed as he, too, was dealing with a food coma.

 

“I’m stuffed..” Hinata mumbled the same phrase for what was probably the tenth time. “I can’t eat another bite..”

 

“Meat, meat..” Osamu muttered in a daze. “The meat won’t stop piling up..”

 

“But I beat you..!” Hinata suddenly jerked forward, propelling his back from the bed. “I ate one piece of beef more than you!”

 

“Why do you sound so proud about that?” Osamu asked, drawling his words out. “..But, I’ll admit it does annoy me that I lost to you over that.”

 

“Seems like you aren’t the king of eating around here, Osamu-kun.” Hinata huffed triumphantly.

 

“Alright, alright. I concede defeat, o’ King of Food~” Osamu said playfully, his expression unchanging.

 

Hinata pouted, “For some reason, I don’t really like your tone.”

 

Osamu turned his head towards Hinata, “Oh no. What grave sin could a humble servant like myself have committed to displease the great King of Food?”

 

Hinata crawled over in Osamu’s direction, and he slung his arms around his shoulders, his childish pout still present. “..You didn’t cuddle with me at all today.”

 

The raven went quiet, and he soon turned his entire body around to face Hinata. He snaked his arms underneath Hinata’s arms, and lifted his feet off the tatami bed and climbed his way onto the bed. He locked his arms around Hinata’s torso, who had been facing him, and he dragged them both upwards across the bed so his feet weren’t dangling off the far end of the bed. 

 

Osamu drew his frame closer to the ginger, and lowered his face into the crook of Hinata’s neck. Hinata draped one arm around Osamu’s abdomen, and the other hand caressed the silky strands of hair on his head in a bemused fashion. Osamu’s head was close enough for Hinata to park his lips on his hairline.

 

“Hey, Osamu..” Hinata suddenly muttered.

 

Osamu only made a low audible hum in response.

 

“So you’re really not going to play volleyball in the future, huh..” Hinata’s tone had become melancholic.

 

The raven frowned, “Does it bother you?”

 

“A bit.” Hinata said. “But an onigiri business, right? I’ll support you.”

 

Osamu lifted his head, “..How about you? What do you plan to do?”

 

Hinata went quiet, and his hand stopped its motion in Osamu’s hair. The smile on Hinata’s face fell. Osamu grew weary at the tension that grew in the air. “About that—”

 

“I’m thinking of going to Brazil.” 

 

Hinata’s tone was final. Osamu’s mouth hung open in surprise. He had absolutely no idea how Brazil even came into the picture. As usual, Shouyou Hinata was full of surprises.

 

Osamu squeezed his mouth shut, “Is that so?” 

 

“Yeah,” Hinata confirmed. “I’m going to practice playing beach volleyball there.”

 

“Beach volleyball?” Osamu raised a brow. “Are you already bored of indoor volleyball? That’s unexpected.”

 

“Not at all! Any form of volleyball is fun!” Hinata insisted. “..There’s just this person I really want to beat. If I don’t get better at doing everything in volleyball, I won’t be able to surpass him.”

 

Osamu hummed, “Alright.”

 

“Eh?” Hinata blinked. “D-Don’t you have anything to say?”

 

“Not really.” Osamu shrugged.

 

Hinata pursed his lips, “Aren’t you angry? I mean, I’m just leaving for Brazil without even thinking about how you’d feel..”

 

“I don’t have any rights to stop you on what you want to do.” Osamu said. “Isn’t it a given that I’d support you as well?”

 

Hinata paused, and he eventually dug his face into Osamu’s hair, “I really just want to be with you..”

 

Osamu moved away from Hinata’s arms, and both of hands on Hinata’s torso were brought to his cheeks. He inched his face closer to Hinata’s, “I’ll wait for you as long as you need, Shouyou. 

 

“Besides, nothing will really change too,” Osamu continued. “We’ve always lived far away from each other, after all.”

 

Hinata’s mouth went wide agape in surprise, but his lips soon thinned into a smile. He held Osamu’s hand on his cheek, “Thanks, Osamu.”

 

“..And one more thing,” Hinata added. “I never gave you a proper answer to your confession, right?”

 

“Eh..?” Osamu blinked. “I don’t think that really matters now—”

 

“Let me just say it.” Hinata pouted.

 

“Fine.” Osamu huffed.

 

“I love you, Osamu.”

 

Osamu smiled, and all of a sudden, he pushed Hinata down on his shoulders and rolled him over to be lying on his back. His hands were firmly planted at the sides of Hinata’s temples, and a sense of déjà vu ran through Hinata’s mind. He was trapped again. There was a hungry glint visible in Osamu’s olive orbs, and Hinata immediately knew what he wanted.

 

At least there was no terrible singing to put them off this time. Unless one of Hinata’s family members was secretly hiding a horrendous voice underneath their innocent faces.

 

“This might be the last time we meet for years.” Osamu said. “So, let’s do it, Shouyou.”

 

Hinata’s cheeks went red, and he gulped, “..A-Alright.”

 

Hinata’s eyes fluttered close as Osamu lowered his face down to Hinata’s. Osamu’s wet lips met Hinata’s own, and he wasted no time in opening his mouth against the ginger’s lips. This urged Hinata to part his lips as well and allow Osamu to slide his tongue in. Hinata quickly found himself swept with the flow of the hasty movements of Osamu’s tongue. Hinata had been surprised by the sudden show of aggressiveness, because Osamu’s kisses had started gently the first time around. But Hinata welcomed the foreign feeling nevertheless, and he tugged on Osamu’s strands of hair to deepen the kiss.

 

Osamu eventually broke free from the kiss, and he panted heavily as he tried to catch his breath. Hinata was similarly out of breath, but he wanted more. He latched onto Osamu’s locks of hair once more, as if signalling to him that he wasn’t done. Osamu obviously returned the sentiment, and he leaned in once more for a deep kiss while his hand snuck underneath Hinata’s top.

 

But just as their lips were about to crash against each other once again, the door to Hinata’s room flung open and a figure of a lady walked in with a tray of refreshments, “Shouyou? I brought some midnight snacks for you and Osamu—”

 

Hinata looked at his mother in a mixture of shock, disbelief and embarrassment, but mostly embarrassment. Hinata’s face had been redder than Osamu could ever make him. Osamu had also turned his head around upon hearing the new voice in the room, and his face turned pale immediately. 

 

“Oh. Ooooh. ” Hinata’s mother drawled in realization. She nonchalantly set the tray on the floor. “Looks like I just walked in on something here, didn’t I? I’ll just leave this here, then..”

 

Hinata’s mother took her leave without uttering another word. Hinata was still shaking in shame as Osamu quickly regained his composure. He lifted Hinata’s chin to look back at him, “..I’ll just pretend that didn’t happen.”

 

“Wait,” Hinata pleaded. “At least let me lock the door—”

 

“I want you now, Shouyou..” Osamu whispered seductively in Hinata’s ears, sending chills down his spine.

 

“Ah—” There it was, Hinata’s weakness. “..Fine.”

 

Osamu smiled victoriously, and he went in for the kiss again. But unfortunately, he just had to be interrupted again.

 

“You both didn’t forget your protection, right ?” Hinata’s mother opened the door marginally while partially sticking her head into the room.

 

“MOM—!!!!”