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lay it on me (no, really)

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It's the kind of bone-tired that aches up through his feet into his hips. Maybe he should get those gel inserts, Atsumu ponders, tugging off his shirt and falling face-first onto the mattress. He groans.

"They gotta be makin' these hotel beds outta clouds or somethin'. I could be laid to rest in one of 'em."

"Clouds are just—"

"Condensed water, yeah. Jeez, Omi-kun, ya ever heard of having fun?"

"Never once in my life," Sakusa deadpans. From the clunks and crinkles Atsumu can hear, he's probably arranging his various sanitary and skin care products for his nightly routine.

Atsumu groans at the realization that he knows Sakusa's nightly routine. They end up rooming together way too often on these away game hotel stays.

Finally, the light clicks off, and Atsumu turns over to properly splay himself out for a good night's sleep.

Well, he would be well on his way to conking out if it weren't for the persistent rustling from the bed next to him.

He finally breaks the quiet that's settled in the room, lying on his back and staring straight up at the ceiling. Hey, they got boob lights.

"This is a lot of tossin' an' turnin' even for you, Omi-omi. Wanna tell me what's up?"

"I'm fine," Sakusa grits out.

"Trouble gettin' comfy?"

"Sure."

"Y'know, I can be yer teddy bear for tonight, Omi-kun. I'll keep it between you an' me"

He snorts. "And how are you so sure that you wouldn't wake up taxidermied for real?"

Atsumu shivers. He's only half-sure that's a joke. "Aww, you want me so bad you'd gut and stuff me all for yourself?"

"Good point. Maybe I'll mail you to your high school teammates so you can terrorize them for even longer."

He snorts. It's funnier than it is because he's so tired. "Finally, a good idea outta ya."

Sakusa's turbulent sleep slips from his mind as he drifts off to dream of Atsumu voodoo dolls haunting Inarizaki players.


Atsumu's dropped his duffel bag on the chair across the room. Sakusa's still standing in the doorway, aghast, though his mask is hiding the worst of it. His eyes are fixed on the… sleeping arrangements for this particular hotel stay. Rather, the glaring lack of two beds.

It's kind of worrying Atsumu, actually, how long he's been standing there, unmoving. He goes for a low-effort one-liner in an attempt at some levity.

"Guess I'll wake up wrapped in yer arms, Omi-omi. Maybe yer freaky wrists will have found their way around my neck to asphyxiate me."

He laughs at his own joke, because Sakusa never does, but he can spot the brief flash of panic in his slate eyes. Atsumu is an asshole, a huge one, but he can't in good conscience force Sakusa to go through with something so uncomfortable. Not even for a bit.

"'M kiddin'. I can wipe off an' set up in the bathtub after our showers, don' worry. I crashed in the tub a couple times at Samu's place before he got actual furniture. Familiar territory."

His tone is light, but he's dead serious. Sakusa doesn't seem to pick up on that. "Not funny, Miya."

"'M not joking."

He finally moves, turning his dark eyes to take in Atsumu, who's fiddling with his toiletries bag for lack of anything better to do. He shrugs, the weight of Sakusa's gaze a little too much.

"Setter's gotta take care of his spiker, right?"

"Shut up."

"Fine, yer not 'my' spiker—"

"Shut up. Don't be stupid. Sleep on the bed."

He snaps his head up. "Omi—"

"You don't owe me any favors."

"We're friends, ya idiot. And teammates. I'm gonna look out for ya whether ya like it or not."

Sakusa turns away. "I don't… It's fine. Really. We'll just stay on our respective sides. Got it?" Of course, he manages to make something as nice as letting Atsumu share a bed with him sound like a threat.

Atsumu nods. Sakusa brushes by him to set his bag down and get his shower stuff out.

By the time they're settling in on far opposite ends of the bed, Atsumu's successfully countered his body's natural panic response at being this… close. The exhaustion settling into him also manages to tamp down any stupid giddiness from sharing a bed with Sakusa Kiyoomi.

Well, not all of it. Just hearing Sakusa shift around only a few feet from him is sort of scrambling his higher thought processes. Atsumu presses his hands together and murmurs a prayer—not that he's ever been one for praying out of anything but absolute necessity—that he doesn't cross some kind of unforgivable boundary with Sakusa while sleeping and end up cuddling with him or something horrible like that.

Predictably, Atsumu wakes up nearly shoved off the bed. He allows himself a moment of crushing disappointment that the farfetched fantasy of finding himself swathed in silken sheets and Sakusa's arms didn't come to fruition...

Maybe just sleeping near Sakusa was enough to mess with his brainwaves. He kicks off the corner of the blanket he's tangled in and, very gracefully, tumbles off the side of the bed and onto his ass.

Making his way across the room to his duffel bag, he catches a rare sight of Sakusa, still asleep. It seems like he's always up and at least 70% put together by the time Atsumu blinks awake when they room with each other. He doesn't watch him sleep or anything, that'd be weird, but Atsumu can't help but pause as he passes by the bed on his way to the bathroom.

The lion's share of the blankets had ended up with Sakusa, go figure. But they aren't just piled up on top of him—Sakusa's bunched them up into a… more organized pile. One that he's wrapped his arms around and thrown a leg over. Almost like…

Atsumu feels like his brain has leaked out of his ears and become a puddle on the floor at the realization that Sakusa Kiyoomi is a cuddler.

The only really coherent thought he has as he eyes the bunched-up blankets is god i wish that were me.

When Sakusa yawns awake only seconds after Atsumu ambles out of the bathroom, he can't quite bring himself to make proper eye contact.

"Yer stuff is still in there from yesterday," he mumbles, gesturing vaguely at the door behind him. A glance up reveals Sakusa raising an eyebrow at his weird behavior, which is entirely unfair because Atsumu's not the one who just turned his teammate's world and general perception of him upside down.

Well, given their track record of being partnered up to room together, it'll have to come up again at some point.


This time, Atsumu stays awake to keep tabs on Sakusa before he conks out for the night. As expected, Sakusa shifts and moves around for a concerning amount of time until Atsumu speaks up.

"What's up, Omi-kun?"

The rustling stops as Sakusa freezes. "What."

Atsumu sits up, arranging himself to be cross-legged and facing Sakusa's bed. Sakusa, at least, seems to accept that he's not backing down on this conversation this time, and shoves himself up to lean against his headboard.

"Talk to me, Omi-omi. I don't… like that yer clearly not feeling yer best when we room together." A thought occurs to him, one that seems glaringly obvious but he really hopes isn't the case. "Is it me? Ya don' wanna be aro—"

"No," Sakusa snaps, irritable, crossing his arms. He'd look more intimidating if his hair wasn't all ruffled and wild from the tossing and turning.

"I get it, y'know. I'm probably not—"

"If you could stop throwing yourself a pity party, maybe I'll tell you why."

"Right, right." Atsumu waves his hands in a placating motion. "Lay it on me."

"I have." Sakusa huffs, sharp, like he's annoyed he even has to be here right now. "Recently purchased. A sort of… sleep aid. And I don't bring it with me for our away games."

"Huh?" Atsumu supposes it makes sense, but it also doesn't, at all. "Why wouldn't ya—why the hell wouldn't ya bring somethin' that helps ya sleep better when ya have to sleep in unfamiliar places?!"

Sakusa ducks his head, and in the dim lighting Atsumu can just barely make out his darkening cheeks. "It's… embarrassing."

"Aw, c'mon, I don' care if yer poppin' melanin pills or something."

"I—" Sakusa stops. Stares at him. "...Melanin?"

"That chemical that makes ya sleep, smartass." Atsumu rolls his eyes. "Even I know that."

"Miya." Fingers press into Sakusa's temples, and he suddenly looks twice as exhausted. "Melanin is your skin pigment. Melatonin is the sleep chemical, you fucking—you absolute—" He sputters for words apt enough to describe the entirety of Atsumu's stupidity.

"Eh, it's been a long day." He waves it off. "Although now I'm thinkin' you could do with a tan, Omi-kun."

"I'm going to sleep."

"No, no, no, tell me, I take it back!"

Sakusa huffs again, looking like he's preparing himself.

"It's a—plain one, mind you—a body pillow." He buries his face in his hands at the admission. There's a pause, as the words are processed.

"Yer really a cuddler?!?"

"Shut up."

"Omi-omi, the prickly urchin… a softie all along…"

"Shut the fuck up."

"Hey, I meant it, you know." Sakusa looks up. "That time I offered t'be yer teddy bear."

Sakusa makes a face. "I would rather skip sleeping altogether than put the both of us through that—"

"I wouldn't mind," Atsumu says, too quickly. Too quickly, slow down, eager beaver, Sakusa's gonna—

He gapes at him, and Atsumu would be delighted at getting such a reaction out of him if it wasn't at the cost of, say, all of his dignity.

"To… help you sleep, obviously. Can't have one of our top spikers stumblin' around off his game 'cause he's not enough of a man to admit he likes get cozy with a body pillow." He avoids Sakusa's eyes, because no matter how he tries to spin it, he just… sounds like he cares way too much.

He expects the silence that greets him to be followed up with a biting remark of Sakusa would rather methodically remove every skin cell from his own body than snuggle with him

"Y'don't have to, I was just suggestin'—" he starts, slightly panicked, at the same Sakusa lets out a very quiet, "Okay."

Now it's Atsumu's turn to gape as Sakusa's eyes drop to his hands fiddling in front of him.

"Really?"

"You're the one who offered," Sakusa says, testy.

"Right. Yer right." He nods at his own words, like an idiot.

"Um. So. My bed or yours?" Never in his life has he dreamed he'd be saying this to Sakusa Kiyoomi.

Sakusa mutters for a second, then louder, "Mine."

Atsumu gulps, suddenly very aware of his own bare chest and boxers. "Want me to, uh, put somethin' more on?"

He glances and seems to register the same thing as Atsumu. "Yeah. A t-shirt." Luckily, any of the jokes he'd make about his own hot bod are stuck in his throat as he goes to pull out a spare shirt and tug it on. Sakusa's edged over to give him more space when he returns, which is funny 'cause like, isn't the whole point to not end up with any space between them? He says as much to break some of the tension.

Sakusa gripes back at him, but there's no bite as he lifts the covers for Atsumu to slide under. And then it's just them, a foot from each other, dim streetlight only barely outlining Sakusa's features as they lay facing each other.

His eyes are so, so dark. Which probably isn't a profound observation, given that the room is only a few shades from pitch-black, but Atsumu's always been helpless to Sakusa's eyes, hasn't he?

"How d'ya want me?" He mutters, for some reason not wanting to talk too loud, as if his voice alone will push out too far and pop the bubble around them. "On my… side, or back…?"

"How do you normally sleep?" Sakusa says, just as quiet but somehow sounding way more composed than Atsumu feels right now.

"Either way. I don' pay much attention to it."

Sakusa snorts. "Wow. How out of character for you."

"Shut up," he grunts. "I pay attention when it matters. Like when my poor teammate needs help that I'm so graciously offerin'."

"Ugh. Your back is fine. I'll… do the work." Now that they're this close, Atsumu can see for sure the flush making its way high across Sakusa's cheekbones. He'd drop another unfunny one-liner, really, but seeing Sakusa this close and weirdly vulnerable feels oddly… precious.

"Okay." He shifts until he's lying on his back, one arm tossed up on the pillow and the other across his stomach. "Uh. Do yer thing. I fall asleep pretty fast, so ya won't have to deal with me yammerin' much longer."

"Your 'yammerin'' has been nonstop since I first met you."

"Sea urchin," he retorts, closing his eyes and trying to even out his breathing. Unsurprisingly, he's having a harder time drifting off to sleep than usual.

And then… he feels tentative fingers sliding across his chest. They curl around his side, tucking under, and Atsumu is just. Floored at how… held he feels. Before he can even begin to process that, a chin presses into his shoulder as a leg dips in between his own.

Atsumu's holding as still as possible, partly because he suddenly feels the need to play the part of a body pillow lest Sakusa decide his breathing and rapid heartbeat make him unsuitable to cuddle. And he's afraid that, if he opens his eyes, Sakusa will be gone, dissipated into air like the wisps of a dream.

A low, content hum sounds next to his ear, and… god, it's like Sakusa's stiffness softens away and he melts into Atsumu, breath puffing across his neck.

"Better?" he asks, half jokingly and half strained.

Sakusa's other arm snakes behind his back, pulling, cradling him closer, and he sighs. "Much."

Good thing he's lying down, because that tone from Sakusa is enough to turn Atsumu's knees to jelly. "Glad t'hear that," he says dumbly.

"This is—uh, okay? For you, I mean?" he mumbles, as if Atsumu is able or willing to voice a single objection with Sakusa's soft curls tickling his neck and his cheek pressing against the bare skin above his t-shirt Like That.

"'S fine," he manages, so, so aware of the warm weight half on top of him.

"Mmm." Like the life-ruining cuddle demon he apparently is, Sakusa nuzzles closer to Atsumu's neck as his breaths deepen, slowing down.

Maybe he doesn't need to fall asleep. If Sakusa does one more… thing, like that, Atsumu may simply slip into a coma. Or be seized by heart failure. He'd die happy, he thinks.

Waking up is something of a spiritual experience. Sakusa's almost entirely on top of him, and Atsumu's arm is wrapped around his waist, and registering those rock hard core muscles under his fingertips first thing in the morning sort of makes him ascend.

The faint morning light leaking up from the west-facing window traces Sakusa's fine, fine features in soft blue-white, and even if he wasn't bearing almost the full weight of a grown man, Atsumu'd be struggling to breathe because god , he's so effortlessly captivating.

Regardless, he's kind of struggling to breathe already.

"Omiiiii," he trills, and then louder, "Omi-kun, get yer ass up!"

Sakusa doesn't even react. Apparently, his obnoxious alarm is the only thing that can wake him up, but that's in ten more minutes. A mixed bag, to be suffocating to death, but goddamn, what a view it comes with.


Even after Atsumu’s made it clear he won’t make too much fun of Sakusa for bringing his body pillow to their hotel stays, it doesn’t make an appearance when they room together. Sakusa rolls his eyes when asked and says something along the lines of how impossible it is to discreetly transport a big, fluffy body pillow when all his other essentials fit in two compact sports bags.

“Oh, an’ I’m big an’ fluffy enough for ya, huh, Omi-kun?”

Thunk.

“Ow, hey, I only drank half of that, that hurts—“

They don’t talk about it in front of others. When it’s just them, Atsumu teases a little about being Sakusa’s makeshift stuffed animal, which is either met by more threats of taxidermy or a water bottle to the face. Probably his twisted way of showing appreciation, he thinks.

Sakusa, unlike the first time, manages to wake up and detangle himself before Atsumu’s even stirred most days. But some lucky mornings, Atsumu wakes up first and is treated to gloriously disheveled curls and creamy skin pressed to his own—while being crushed by Sakusa’s weight, yes, but he doesn’t complain about it to him.

And it’s on one such occasion that his peaceful appreciation of his own suffering and Sakusa’s gorgeous form is shattered by insistent knocking.

“Atsumu-san! Sakkun! They’ve got so much stuff for breakfast!” Hinata’s voice calls, far too awake for this early in the morning. He’s joined by an equally-too-awake Bokuto, who bangs even harder on the poor door—thank god there’s no way they can get in without a keycard.

Atsumu finds himself taking back that thanks only a few seconds later when the traitor door swings open and Bokuto and Hinata come spilling in.

“They gave us one of your keycards by accident last night! So we though we’d—oh.”

He can’t even enjoy the rare moment of two of the loudest Jackals being stunned into silence as he scrambles to shove Sakusa off himself.

“It’s not what it looks like!” he says loudly, wedging a hand between their bodies to pry Sakusa off him—who apparently has a death grip, even when unconscious. “I, uh…”

Atsumu trails off, because Sakusa makes a little smacking noise with his lips and mumbles something unintelligible, nosing into the side of his neck and generally doing nothing to help his case.

“Y’know, I did wonder why Sakkun never asked for a different roomie,” Bokuto says thoughtfully. Hinata nods.

“Yeah, but it makes… sense now. Bokuto-san, we should leave them alone,” Hinata stage-whispers to him. They both nod at each other, and Atsumu’s torn between asking them to stay so he can explain himself and shooing them out the door so he can die of mortification. And suffocation. But then, he doesn’t mind that part.

They make the decision for him, scooting back out the door with their version of quiet (still loud) reassurances to “Take your time!” and “You guys enjoy!!”

And Sakusa’s alarm starts beeping, right in his ear. Atsumu groans, thinking that after all this, the breakfast better be first class.

“What’s got you all twitchy?” Sakusa asks boredly, picking at his food. “And why do Bokuto and Hinata keep looking at you weirdly? Aside from the normal reasons, I mean.”

He ignores the jab. “They saw… us.”

Sakusa blinks. “Coming down for breakfast?”

“Ya idiot,” Atsumu hisses. “They barged in on us this morning. While I was bein’ treated like a carnival-sized teddy bear. And thought that it was exactly what it looked like.”

Sakusa blanches, which is kind of funny to see, given that there’s not much to get paler, but Atsumu’s far from capable of poking fun at him for it now.

Just then, Shugo claps his hands for the team's attention, and Atsumu resigns himself to discussing this later.

Later comes when Sakusa’s puttering around the hotel room as he stretches out his sore muscles from a match well-played.

“I can tell ‘em my bed—that I spilled water, or food on it or somethin’, so ya let me share, and that was all an accident.” He grunts, hunching further forward to really feel the stretch in his hamstrings.

Sakusa’s curiously quiet. Not that he’s usually one to lose his cool, but the situation definitely calls for more… outward disdain than he’s showing, Atsumu thinks.

“Why make up something to tell them?”

He gapes at Sakusa, who continues to fold and tuck his clothes into his bag like this is a normal thing to say. “If yer fine with our own teammates—our coworkers, by the way—assuming the worst—”

“Is it really the worst?”

Atsumu blinks, sitting up from his stretch to stare properly at Sakusa.

“Didja... forget... that it’s me they found you gettin’ all snuggly with?” he says very slowly, like he’s explaining this to a child. “Top setter in the league, yea, but also professional bane of yer existence?”

“You’re not that bad,” Sakusa says quietly, still turned towards his bag.

He’s beyond words at this point. Sakusa finally turns around, pink riding high on his cheeks as he meets Atsumu’s eyes determinedly.

“What’s… so bad about it? If they, I mean, if we…” he trails off. Atsumu swings his legs over the bed and walks closer to him. Stops when there’s a foot left between them.

“Omi-omi… what are ya tryin’ ta say?”

“I said what I meant.” Sakusa steps closer. “You’re not so bad.”

“That might be the nicest thing you’ve ever said ta me.”

“Really? I should fix that.” His eyes are glittering, mouth set in something resolute.

Just like the first time, Sakusa’s the one to reach out, the pads of his fingers splaying against Atsumu’s cheek before his warm palm cups his jaw, and Atsumu’s eyes flutter half-shut at the overwhelming sensation of being held .

And he’s had time, nights upon nights to get used to the sensation of Sakusa’s skin against his own, but there’s intent in this that wasn’t there, wasn’t so obvious before, and he can’t do this, not with the way Sakusa’s cradling him like he’s something precious.

“Atsumu. Can I—”

“Yes,” he breathes, too quickly, too fast, but the slow, deliberate press of Sakusa’s lips sets the pace quite nicely.

The heel of Sakusa’s hand is tilting Atsumu’s chin up gently, and his other hand snakes its way around to scratch at the shaved part of his head, bury itself in his bleached hair. After all these nights together, Atsumu’s arms feel at home wrapping around Sakusa’s waist, pulling him impossibly closer.

Sakusa’s gotta be leaning down a little too, he thinks. His own lips are probably chapped, he thinks. It’s the time of year that they get kinda dry, he thinks. Sakusa’s mouth opening against his own, thankfully, chases away anything else he’s thinking.


Atsumu throws himself onto the bed, bouncing on the light blue linens and reveling in the peachy-something fragrance, since Sakusa’s the type of person to have scented candles in every room of his apartment.

“I’m already regretting letting you in.”

“Aw, ya act like I’m a dog trackin’ mud everywhere.” Atsumu waves it off, while Sakusa sets his box of matches in a drawer and slides off his jacket. “I showered before I came here, ya know! Used my fancy just-for-guests soap and everythin’. ‘M like one of those scented teddy bears you can get.”

“Will you ever let that drop?”

“It’s truee,” he drawls, sitting up as Sakusa moves to seat himself cross-legged on the mattress. “I’m yer professional cuddle buddy now. It wouldn’ kill ya ta admit it.”

“It would, actually.”

“Oh, for my boyfriend to call me a lovin’ pet name once in a while…”

Sakusa gets that shitty little smirk he gets when he hits a service ace before Atsumu. “Okay, snuggle muffin.”

“I—!” Atsumu didn’t actually expect him to do it. His face flushes horribly and he hides in his hands. “I take it back. Never call me anythin’ cute again.”

“I absolutely will if it gets you to shut up like that,” Sakusa says smugly.

Still embarrassed, Atsumu leans against something soft and turns around.

“Ah, so this is my challenger…” He glares at the unassumingly plain black and fluffy cushion.

“The body pillow’s already winning by nature of not being able to talk.”

“Now that’s just mean-spirited.” He throws a punch at the body pillow, then another. “I’ll fight for yer hand and honor, don’t worry.”

“Don’t think the pillow cares much, if I’m being honest.” The bed dips as Sakusa scoots closer, and he turns around.

"Hey, Omi-omiiiii." Atsumu throws his arms wide, grinning earnest and bright. "Cuddle up with me."

"You're appalling."

"Yeah. Yer gonna do it anyway."

Sakusa wrinkles his brow in that cute grumpy way, but his will clearly doesn’t hold very strong as he goes to tuck himself against Atsumu.

“And have terribly misplaced confidence—”

“‘Cause ya wanna give me what I want,” he sings, wrapping his arms around Sakusa and pulling him to lie on top of Atsumu. “And what I want is ta take care of you.”

He feels triumphant at the way Sakusa ducks his face into his chest to hide his embarrassment, loosening a hand to trace patterns on his back.

Sakusa Kiyoomi is eighty point two kilograms of grown man. Eighty point two kilograms that like to pile themself on him, and take his breath away in various and sundry ways.

A chin tucks over his shoulder, the breathing by his ear indicating that a nap is going to be happening whether he likes it or not.

The warm weight in his arms feels like both nothing at all and everything, everything, everything.