One of the best ways to spend a Tokyo summer is at the beach.
Yaku would argue that summer was best spent in the mountains.
Kenma would argue that summer was best spent playing video games in the comfort of an air-conditioned house.
Which is exactly why Kuroo wasn’t at the beach with either of them.
Instead, he is living it up with his best bro, Bokuto.
They had decided on a beach picnic, and, after some volleyball and a lot of swimming, found themselves lazily munching on watermelon slices under the shade of Bokuto’s beach umbrella.
Said owner of which had finished his watermelon slice and opened his mouth to speak.
“Hm?” grunted Kuroo through a mouthful of watermelon.
“I’ve been doing some thinking,” Bokuto continued.
Like clockwork, Kuroo responded with a cheeky “You can do that?”
To which Bokuto responded with a shove and an exaggerated pout.
Kuroo winked, sticking his tongue out.
“The one and only.”
The owl-haired teenager rolled his eyes and resumed his train of thought.
“Anyways, I was gonna say that we don’t have any nicknames for each other! I thought we were close, dude!”
Kuroo paused, giving it a proper thought.
“I mean, we are, but you can’t just have a discussion with someone on what nickname you should give them.” He sets aside his watermelon slice. “It has to happen naturally.”
This didn’t seem to be the answer the other boy wanted to hear though.
“Come on, how hard could it be?”
“I don’t know...” Kuroo teased, having made sure to exaggerate the uncertainty in his tone.
“Come onnn,” Bokuto goaded, “we’re good at coming up with nicknames! Like Yukippe and Yakkun and-”
“Okay, okay,” he cut his friend off, “message received. Why don’t you start?”
He scrunched his face, deep in thought.
“Hmmm, let’s see… Ku- hmm... O- ah. Your family name’s so hard to come up with a nickname for,” he grumbled and crossed his arms impatiently.
Kuroo shrugged, “Kenma seemed to manage.”
“Well yeah,” Bokuto was still thinking, eyes screwed shut, “but Kuro seems like a bit of a cop-out.”
Seeing his friend try so hard was adorable, Kuroo couldn’t help but assist.
“Why don’t you just use my given name instead?” he prompted.
Bokuto’s eyes widened and he turned to look at Kuroo, an incredulous look on his face.
“Is it cool if I do that?”
The rooster-haired boy chuckled at how strong of a reaction his words got.
“Don’t see why not, since we’re best buds and all, right?” he smirked, “Koutarou?”
Bokuto laughed heartily, “Haha, hell yeah, Tets-“ he paused as realization dawned on him.
“Tettsun!!” he exclaimed strongly, shaking his friend’s shoulder from excitement.
He had let the word sit in his head for a bit and found that it was comfortable.
“I like it.”
Bokuto beamed. “Told ya it’d be good.”
He pointed finger guns at Kuroo. “Your turn now!”
The other boy tapped his finger on his chin, humming absentmindedly.
“How about Koutan?”
Bokuto’s eyes lit up.
“Yeah! Let’s go with tha-“ his face fell, “-wait, it would just get confused with the ‘koutan’ that means ‘lies’. Guess that one’s a bust.”
“Ah, I forgot!” said Kuroo, lightly smacking his forehead. “My bad.”
Both of them proceeded to sit in silence, trying to come up with an appropriate nickname.
“Kocchan?” Bokuto suggested.
Kuroo pulled a face at that.
“No offense, man, but you’re not really ~chan material.”
“I can SO be ~chan material!” he argued, mock offended, and jabbed a finger at Kuroo’s side, “but yeah, you’re right, I hated it as soon as it left my mouth.”
“Told ya,” his friend replied, idly rubbing at the spot Bokuto had prodded.
Once again, they lapsed into a comfortable silence.
Until it was disrupted by the sounds of Kuroo trying to restrain his hyena-like laughter.
Bokuto eyed him suspiciously.
“Why are you laughing?”
“Oh, it’s nothing…” Kuroo waved him off, lips wobbling.
The shorter boy glared as the reason for Kuroo’s laughter came to light.
“...Are you calling me a cockroach?”
Not bothering to hide it now, the taller boy gave him his biggest and smuggest grin.
“Tarou-san, I have no idea what you’re talking about, Tarou-san. I think ‘Tarou-san’ is quite fitting, don’t you think so Taro-”
“SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”
Flustered, Bokuto snapped, tackling Kuroo and proceeding to tickle him mercilessly.
Kuroo retaliated, wiggling his long fingers along Bokuto’s sides, and was rewarded with a shriek of indignation from his attacker.
As their cycle of vengeance escalated, they ended up wrestling each other as well, both fighting to maintain a vantage point and gain the upper hand. In the commotion, Kuroo’s head was thrown back, landing on the watermelon slice he set aside and splattering chunks of fruit on the side of his face.
Both of them stilled.
Then erupted into raucous laughter.
Guffaws and chortles spewed tirelessly from their lips, uncontrollable and side-splitting. After a long while, Kuroo managed to calm himself down, finding his attention drawn to his still-laughing friend.
Due to their play fight earlier, Bokuto was straddling Kuroo’s waist. He had curled in on himself, trying to stifle his snickering. His forehead pressed against Kuroo’s bare chest, his stuttering breath hot against Kuroo’s stomach.
Despite the slight coolness on their skins from swimming, Kuroo felt himself grow warm in the areas where Bokuto’s skin touched his. It was a certain kind of heat that was different to the summer sun’s.
Bokuto had managed to settle down to a less giggly-state. He lifted his head and found Kuroo’s face in close proximity to his. Gold eyes locking into silver ones.
He had felt the heat too.
In the back of their minds, something had clicked.
As the pieces of the puzzle slid into place, they leaned in slowly, gently pressing their lips together, their heartbeats thudding in their ears.
It only lasted for a few seconds and they pulled away, dazed.
A wave of understanding washed over them. Both becoming aware that they harbored romantic feelings for the other and the other liked them back.
It made sense, how easy it was to just ‘be’ around each other. Laughing, teasing, goofing off, it was just their thing, no matter how long they’ve been apart.
They stared at each other in awe, mentally kicking themselves for not seeing it sooner but also giddy in the fact that it was reciprocated.
Kuroo let out a breathy laugh, smile growing as he looked at the other boy affectionately.
“...hey,” he croaked.
“Hey, hey, hey,” Bokuto said softly, grinning so widely his face could split.
Then he spoke nonchalantly, as if there was nothing to address about the moment before, “So, that’s a ‘no’ to Koutan and a ‘no’ to-”
“Excuse me, a ‘HELL no’ to Tarou-san,” Bokuto interjected, equally unbothered.
“-and a ‘HELL no’ to Tarou-san,” Kuroo affirmed.
He licked his lips, noting the saltiness from the sea and the sweetness from the watermelon. Then he looked at Bokuto, a bit nervous under the full weight of his gaze.
“I think I got another idea for a thing I could call you, I hope it sticks.”
Bokuto raised his eyebrows questioningly, the look on Kuroo’s face seemed unreadable, yet his heart skipped a beat.
Warm, tan hands cupped his face, thumbs brushing his cheekbones.
“Can I call you my boyfriend instead?” The dark-haired boy was sporting a cocky smirk, although the corners of his mouth betrayed some of his trepidation. It was a little endearing.
Chuckling softly at the cheesiness, he leaned into the touch.
“Only if I can call you mine,” he said with a wink.
Kuroo hemmed and hawed as he pretended to mull over the “offer”. Rolling his eyes, Bokuto pinched Kuroo’s nose, eliciting a breathy snort.
After another bout of snickers and giggles, Bokuto felt the hands on his face guide him back towards Kuroo, the expression on his face incredibly fond. Bokuto was sure it matched his own.
“That can be arranged.”
And they both leaned in once more.