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just can't help myself

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Once, as a kid, Hinata didn’t take care of himself. 

He let his team down, and he never forgot it. 

Now, though, he just takes care of everybody. Athletic trainer not around? Ask Hinata. He knows the stretches, he’s got spare tape, can do a few scary massage things. In another life, with a more generous heart, he could have been an athletic trainer, too, or some kind of physical therapist or something, maybe. 

He’s too driven, too ambitious to devote himself entirely to helping others, but someday in his far-distant future, when he finally winds up so old or grievously injured they won’t let him play volleyball anymore, maybe he’ll look into it. 

Bodies—especially athlete bodies—are amazing: the things they’re capable of, when pushed by will, ambition, competition… the way muscles continuously tear themselves up and reknit to get bigger, stronger, faster… 

(There are, of course, certain other things to be appreciated about athlete bodies, as well.)

But aside from the aesthetic benefits of paying a lot of attention to one’s professional colleagues, (all of whom are at the top of their game, so to speak,) Hinata is utterly committed to giving his all every single time his shoes touch the court, so he expects his teammates to be able to do the same. And nobody likes having Hinata disappointed in them, so it’s honestly easier to just let him make their business his business and go all mother hen about it.

Yet somehow, despite his status as not only an elite athlete but also one of the best setters in the actual world, the person who soaks up the very most of Hinata’s care and attention is none other than Miya Atsumu. 

 

  1. A twisted ankle.

The same Miya Atsumu whose sweaty, unsocked left foot is currently in Hinata’s lap, watching intently as he carefully tears the paper backing on a strip of kinesiotherapy tape. Because earlier, Atsumu had stepped weird and twisted his ankle—okay, fine, he was looking at his phone and he stepped in a hole, shut up—and Hinata had immediately called him out for trying to hide his limp on his way into practice. 

Hinata applies the tape gently and precisely, stretching more through here, a little less there, and not at all at the very end. “It probably won’t stay on too long, since we didn’t prep the skin or anything,” Hinata says as he lightly rubs his hands over it, warming up the adhesive against Atsumu’s skin so it’ll stick better, “but at least it’ll give you a little extra support to get through practice.” 

Hinata rips the paper on another piece and stretches this one around the back of Atsumu’s ankle, pinching into the tender skin around Atsumu’s achilles tendon in a way that makes him want to squirm. Hinata smoothes over the tape again, and despite knowing about the adhesive thing, Atsumu can’t shake the awkward suspicion that at some point Hinata has just begun petting his foot, instead. When Hinata’s satisfied with his handiwork, he shoots a quick smile up toward Atsumu, air-kisses his ankle and gives him a final pat on his way out. “All better!”

Maybe it’s the little bit of extra support, or the tape really is “lifting the skin to increase blood-flow to the injured area”, or maybe it’s just the pleasant placebo effect of somebody kindly attending to him, but for whatever reason, Atsumu feels an awful lot better after that.

 

      2. A nasty cold.

When he wakes up in a puddle of sweat, with a miserable head full of snot and his inner ears so out of whack he can’t stand up without feeling like he’s gonna keel over, the first thing Atsumu does is berate himself for not eating more fruits and vegetables. 

He can just picture Kita’s disappointment, as though he’d brought this cold on himself through his own willful irresponsibility, as opposed to it being one of those shitty things that sometimes just happens to people who have the audacity to breathe in public. At least there’s one thing he—like Hinata—has learned: don’t push past your limits when you’re sick, or you’ll wind up way worse off in the long run.

He leaves his eyes closed, slapping around for his phone and mentally preparing himself to tell Meian and Foster he can’t make it to the gym today because he’s dead. He fires off the text before he can chicken out. It’s better for him to just lie there like a feverish piece of shit and suffer than try to get up and sweat it out. Right? Or maybe... practice would make him feel better? Volleyball always does make him feel better… 

He tries to make himself sit up, but he can feel his brain getting hot and melty in his skull, oozing like the drainage down the back of his throat, and before he can decide whether or not he regrets calling in sick, he’s already back asleep.

When Atsumu wakes up again later that day, it’s to his phone relentlessly buzzing with a dozen missed calls and texts. Hinata has been messaging him on every platform and is, even now, calling again. He pokes the speaker button and croaks a tragic hello as he is assaulted by a wall of breathless Hinata noise:

 “-SUMU-SAN THERE YOU ARE, I’ve been trying to get you to pick up your phone I’m outside your door let me in I brought supplies!”

“kay,” Atsumu coughs, lurching upright-ish and making it so far as to unlock the door before immediately collapsing onto the couch. The door swings open to reveal Hinata, carrying some groceries and still holding his phone to his face. He hangs up belatedly, giving Atsumu a sympathetic frown.

“Wow, you really look like shit!”

“Shut up,” Atsumu whines, somehow sounding even more pathetic than he feels, which is frankly a miracle. 

“Aw, it’s okay,” Hinata coos as he scritches his fingernails into Atsumu’s scalp, ruffling his damp hair. He is, apparently, totally unafraid of getting whatever’s knocked Atsumu on his ass. “I brought stuff to make you soup!”

Bless Hinata for taking initiative to make sure Atsumu doesn’t starve. He rattles and clangs around in the kitchen, finding whatever it is one needs in order to make soup. It’s a good thing that he brought stuff, Atsumu thinks, because there isn’t actually any food in this apartment right now—he had just been planning to go to the store, before, y’know. He groans into the couch cushions.

“Alright in there?” Hinata calls from his position chopping vegetables at the counter. Vegetables! Thank god. Atsumu makes a useless but vaguely affirmative noise and trusts him to understand. 

“I’m making tea, too—it’s almost done steeping.”

Hinata brings it to him and watches to see his reaction, which leaves Atsumu feeling a little suspicious. The tea is… fine? Hinata’s definitely stirred in some honey, and maybe some spices or something, but most notably, he seems to have poured quite a bit of liquor into it. He can feel the alcohol burning the gunk right out of his throat. “Mm,” Atsumu manages, wincing a smile to satisfy Hinata, who returns to his cookery.

Shortly thereafter, singing quietly to himself over the stove, Hinata drops a bunch of red pepper flakes into the pan and maces the shit out of both of them. The apartment fills immediately with acrid smoke. Atsumu coughs his guts out, spraying tea everywhere, and Hinata pokes his head around to grin at him, eyes full of spicy tears. He chirps “See? it’s clearing your sinuses out already!” 

Luckily, the soup itself turns out to be well worth the pain. It’s genuinely delicious, and apparently its restorative power should increase with every spoonful Atsumu slurps. 

It must have some kind of a kick to it, too—because why else would Atsumu feel so flushed and breathless when Hinata curls up close, stroking a soothing hand up and down his back while he eats?

 

     3. A pulled hamstring.

Atsumu knows it’s bad as soon as he hears the sound—like velcro—from the back of his thigh. 

It doesn’t hurt yet, but in that moment he’s already terrified of what will happen once it does; he knows enough to know that, while the damage is already done, he won’t know how bad it really is until the inflammation really kicks in, and the pain bottoms out on whatever fresh hell this winds up being. 

He suffers through the rest of that single rally on adrenaline before he goes down and the ref calls a special time-out for injury. He’s already pissed because he knows when they lose this game, it’ll be his own damn fault. He swears the whole length of his carefully shepherded walk to the bench, thinking about the weeks of rehabilitation and physical therapy homework undoubtedly in his future.

The bitch of it is that he’s still gotta sit there, watching his teammates struggle through the rest of the game without him, seeing every stupid thing he would have done differently, as the adrenaline spike wears off and a deep, sour ache slowly sinks in to the back of his leg.

At least it’s a quick loss, if not painless. And it’s a little gratifying—in an awful way—to know just how important he is to his team, as shitty as it feels to watch them flounder. 

He isn’t surprised, by now, to see Hinata treating Atsumu’s injury like his personal problem. They are close, after all, though Atsumu bitterly asumes Hinata’s mostly concerned about his setter being unable to toss to him.

Hinata might be an inconvenient height for a crutch, but he’s already right there, waiting to help Atsumu hobble back to the locker room, so the trainer just hands Atsumu over and he surrenders himself once more to Hinata’s particular brand of meddlesome kindness. 

Atsumu takes his time as the others change clothes and clear out. He’s able to pull off his jersey with no incident, but changing shorts looks to be another matter, and his shoes might as well be on fucking Mars. At least he can probably kind of stomp them off by the heels, as long as he’s mindful about his— 

“Hey! Don’t fuck up your volleyball shoes,” Hinata interrupts, making a face. “Just… let me do it, instead.” He kneels in front of Atsumu, pulling his laces untied and loosening them carefully, like any jostle could hurt him worse, like Atsumu’s something so fragile. 

“Is it okay if I help you home?” Hinata asks, looking earnestly up at him from between his legs, and Atsumu’s mouth goes dry. He feels like shit, but how’s he supposed to say no to help from a man on his knees? “I guess,” he says, and swallows, feeling Hinata’s eyes on his throat.

Unfortunately, Atsumu’s mood deteriorates even further on the way home.

“C’mon, lemme seeeee,” Hinata whines as soon as they get to Atsumu’s apartment. “I’ll even take a photo if the bruising looks really cool!” Atsumu shakes his head as he shuffles around in a circle, always keeping his back away from Hinata’s grabby hands. It definitely hurts more now. 

He ambles gingerly into the kitchen to find a cold compress. Hinata eyes how he’s moving and frowns, sounding a little more serious. “Honestly, you might wanna let me tape it for you real quick,” he says. Atsumu rolls his eyes, but doesn’t respond, so Hinata continues, picking up steam. “And then you’ve gotta be sure to ice—”

“Really, Shouyou-kun?” Atsumu cuts him off. “Are you gonna remind me to ice it the first 24–48 hours? Rest it, elevate it? Maybe some compression, just for kicks? Seriously? You do know I’m a professional fucking athlete too, right? Yer not the only one with the most basic knowledge of sports medicine.” 

Hinata’s shocked mouth falls open. Then he closes it, clenching his jaw. Atsumu’s really done it now. “Wow. Okay, asshole, fuck me for trying to help my—my—my teammate out, right?” 

“Oh yeah, yer teammate ?” Atsumu goads, like a dick.

“Y’know, I almost said friend ,” Hinata spits, slamming his bag back over his shoulder. “But I’d like to think my friend wouldn’t bite my head off when I came all the way over here just trying to help.”

“Maybe I don’t want yer goddamn help all the time,” Atsumu mutters. It might be true, but he still regrets it as soon as he’s said it, and Hinata’s already grabbing his jacket.

“Cool. Guess I’ll leave you to it, then! Just don’t forget to ice your fucking leg.” 

Hinata pulls on the doorknob but Atsumu makes it there in time to catch the door as it tries to swing open. If he lets Hinata go now, it’ll only get harder to fix the mess he’s just made.

Hinata wheels on him, ready to fight, and Atsumu winces when he tries to step backwards. “Just, slow down a minute, jesus fuck,” he stalls. 

Hinata takes a deep breath and blows it out slowly, cooling back off, being the better person. “Atsumu-san,” he says gently, watching how Atsumu shifts his weight painfully after hustling to stop him from going. 

“Tape my stupid leg,” Atsumu mumbles, not meeting Hinata’s eyes. “If—if you still want to. I don’t care. It’s fine. I’ll ice it.”

Hinata sighs and lets the strap of his bag slip back off his shoulder and down to his elbow with a thump. “Okay, Atsumu-san.”

Hinata comes back into the living room, shutting the door behind him. “Let’s see it, then.”

The bruising doesn’t look very cool yet, Hinata informs Atsumu a few minutes later, but that shouldn’t keep them from holding out hope for galaxies to emerge in the next couple of days, exploding green and blue and purple all over the back of his leg. 

“Can I?” he asks, touching lightly, reassuringly, between Atsumu’s shoulder blades. 

“Yeah.”

Atsumu hears Hinata crouch down behind him and shivers. “I’m gonna just…” he hears, before he feels warm hands smoothing all the way up and down his thigh, searching.

“What—” Atsumu’s voice cracks uncomfortably, so he clears his throat and tries again: “What is it yer looking for?”

Hinata hums, pressing his hand wide and flat. It feels almost cool against Atsumu’s burning skin. “I think I can feel where it’s messed up,” he says. “It’s hot to the touch right here. Definitely a little swollen.”

“Huh,” Atsumu breathes noncommittally, trying not to think about the arrangement of their bodies in the space of his apartment.

Hinata’s hand slowly peels away. “Just gonna… double check something real quick,” he mumbles, and Atsumu hears his phone screen unlock. Then a quiet giggle. 

“The fuck are you laughing about,” Atsumu growls, looking back over his shoulder. He feels his face heat up at the way Hinata looks up at him, mouth ever so slightly quirked.

“Nah, nothing,” Hinata recovers. “We just gotta get your leg in the right position for the tape. You might wanna find something to kinda… lean on?”

“Hinata,” Atsumu says flatly, turning around to face Hinata as he straightens up and looks around the room, biting his lip. “I'm begging ya to make a little more sense, please.”

“Yeah! Okay, so, I’m gonna need you to… kinda… bend over for me.” 

Atsumu turns his choke into something approximating a cough as Hinata continues helpfully. “Not so far it hurts, just… as far as you, y’know, feel… like you can bend over.”

Fuck it. Atsumu sighs and braces his forearms against the nearest wall. The pain’s already bad enough just like this, and yet he’d still go through plenty more just to get to the end of this excruciating conversation. He walks his feet painstakingly backward, sliding his arms down the wall the tiniest bit so he can stick his ass out, just a little. He already feels the weird, half-nauseating pull in his bad hamstring, so that’s absolutely as far down as he’s going. How embarrassing.

“Cool,” Hinata says, sounding a little breathless. He pats Atsumu on the hip as he sinks back down to his knees behind him, and tears off the first strip of KT tape. “Keep your knees straight for me, ‘kay?”

Atsumu hums his agreement as Hinata anchors the bottom of the tape near the back of his knee. Hinata seems to reassure himself with another quiet “okay!” as he stretches and smooths all the way up the outside of the back of Atsumu’s thigh. “So, I’ve kinda gotta...” he says, already slipping his hands up inside the leg of Atsumu’s shorts, lifting as he goes. “Actually, could you maybe, um… hold this out of the way for me?”

Feeling a little lightheaded, Atsumu says, “Yeah, okay.” He does so, leaning his forehead against the wall, and feels the end of the tape get pressed firmly against the underside of his ass before Hinata starts doing the whole goddamn warming up the adhesive thing. 

He starts to drop the hem of his shorts back down once Hinata’s hands have returned to the safe zone above his knee but Hinata isn’t having it. “Wait, wait, hold up!” he laughs. “We still gotta do the other one!”

This other one, as it turns out, needs to be applied a few inches further toward his inner thigh, and with that realization, Atsumu is pretty sure he’s gonna die with his butt hanging out, the hem of one leg of his shorts still clasped in his sweaty hand, before he can ever even get an ice pack on this injury. Well, if he’s gonna die anyway, then yolo.

“Hey, Shou?” he mumbles, heart picking up speed. “Mm?” Hinata answers, innocently brushing his fingers along the tape—doing the stupid adhesive thing —checking his work. “Do you maybe wanna… stick around tonight?”

“Oh?” Atsumu can actually hear the smile in his voice, the little shit. Hinata’s hands don’t seem to be retreating, this time.

Atsumu wrestles with himself and loses. “I’m sorry for bein’ a dick before. I like when you help me. I don’t want ya to leave.” He’s still bent over against the wall, even though they’re done, because now he’s actually a little scared to turn around, to see Hinata’s face.

“I don’t wanna leave, either,” Hinata says quietly, pressing a quick kiss to the back of Atsumu’s knee. He stands and turns away while Atsumu carefully straightens, but his ears are flushed pink. “Now lemme go get you that ice pack! And what’ve you got to drink around here, anyway?”

 

     4. A stupid hangover.

The next morning finds Atsumu achy and stiff, with the lukewarm, squishy lump of a once-frozen reusable cold compress wedged under his ass. He’s reaching down to wrench it free before the pain hits and he remembers—ow ow what the fuck? Oh right, his leg—why he fell asleep on top of it in the first place.

The next thing he notices is the hangover lurking behind his eyeballs, ready to strike at the first sign of movement. He very slowly and gingerly rolls over, removing the ice pack from where it’s been poking him, eyes still closed against the motion lest he be forced to see the room spin. 

Atsumu realizes the most important thing last, when he finally opens his eyes to see the soft red hair on the back of Hinata’s neck, and finds himself utterly unable to breathe. 

He mentally pats himself down. No shirt—no biggie. Who sleeps in a shirt, anyway. Boxers—still on. (Or back on? His heart skips a beat at the thought.) Hinata’s facing away from him, curled into a loose fetal position and quietly snoring, so he figures he still has a few minutes to piece things together before Hinata wakes up. 

It’s not like he blacked out or anything; he just let things get... a little blurry. He’d had a lot of feelings to drink away. He had been pissed about getting hurt, uncomfortably ambivalent about Hinata’s insistence on being there and helping him all the goddamn time, and embarrassed by the whole shorts/thighs/tape situation. And then he’d shocked both of them by asking Hinata not to leave. Honestly, what else could they have possibly done after that, besides get real drunk and sleep it off side-by-side? 

What did it matter if he had some dreamy, vignetted half-memories about getting so close, way too close to Hinata’s face, feeling that hot breath against his mouth? It wouldn’t be the first time he’d dreamed about kissing a teammate—you don’t get to be a bisexual pro athlete without testing the waters of shitting where you eat. 

He lets himself linger on the thought a little longer, marveling at how he can almost still taste a kiss on his tongue. Must have been a good dream, he muses, watching Hinata stretch out as he starts to wake up. 

Hinata rolls onto his back, turning his head to face Atsumu with a sleepy smile. “Good morning, Atsumu-san,” he yawns. “How are you feeling?”

‘Waking up next to you? I feel amazing,’ is what Atsumu wishes he were capable of saying, but instead he just smashes his face into the pillow and makes a whiny hangover noise. 

Hinata rolls the rest of the way over to face him, pulling the sheet up and bringing himself close enough to toss an arm over Atsumu’s shoulders. “Poor baby,” he teases, ruffling his hair. 

“You drank more than I did!” Atsumu complains. “Why don’tcha ever have to suffer the consequences of yer actions?”

Hinata shrugs, laughing. “Just lucky, I guess! I’ve never really gotten a hangover.” Atsumu briefly considers murdering him but returns to the comfort of his pillow.

“But that’s why,” Hinata says, rolling closer to murmur directly into Atsumu’s reddening ear, “I try to be reeaaal nice to people who do.”

“Oh yeah?” Atsumu mumbles. He really does his best to rise to the occasion in Hinata’s tone, despite the poisoned feeling in his body.

“Yeah,” Hinata breathes right against his ear, making his heart beat fast and loud in anticipation. 

Then he bounds up and out of bed to head for the kitchen, leaving Atsumu (and his loud heart and his headache) shivering under the sheet. 

When Hinata comes back into the bedroom half an hour later, it’s with a balanced breakfast, tea, water, a sports drink, a fresh ice pack for his leg, and some ibuprofen. 

“Fucked up how you’re still just takin’ care of me,” Atsumu grumbles to disguise the warm fluttery feeling in his belly. “It’s just a stupid hangover. It’s not even anything worth worryin’ about.” He winces as the cold compress touches his skin, and then settles back down as he adjusts.

“Shut up and drink some water,” Hinata says fondly. “You’re dehydrated and a dumbass.” He crawls back into bed next to Atsumu. “You know, I never get back in bed after I get up,” he says, slurping some tea. “But for some reason, you make me want to.”

Atsumu almost meets his eyes, but glances away at the last moment, chugging his water like he’s begging the universe to provide him with a spit-take, another pathetic blush beginning to assert itself high on his cheeks. 

“Honestly, I kinda feel like I could spend the whole day in bed with you,” Hinata says casually, voice altogether too innocent for the wicked twinkle in his eyes. 

Atsumu miraculously does not spit out his water, but he comes close. “That’s good to hear,” he says, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “Because who knows if I can even get up and around with this injury? Nevermind the hangover. I might just need to stay in bed all day.”

“Really,” Hinata asks, without letting it sound like a question. “All day?”

“Mmhm,” Atsumu agrees. He slides the whole breakfast-in-bed situation out from between them so Hinata can wriggle in closer. “...and I can hardly even imagine how much help I’m going to need.”

“Really,” Hinata repeats flatly, and Atsumu can almost feel the way his eyes dip down toward his mouth, before he sucks in a breath and leans in. He’s about to say something dumb, but then their lips meet instead and they don’t talk for a while.

 

     5. A tweaked back of embarrassing origins.

A few months later, after his hamstring’s gone back to normal and Hinata has long since started keeping his toothbrush and some clothes at his apartment, Atsumu comes back after a long weekend having really just tweaked the hell out of his back. He is extremely tight-lipped to his teammates, coaches and any other inquiring minds about what, exactly, he had done to hurt himself, but Hinata promises to take really good care of him—despite his guilty little smirk.



    

     +1.  A shoulder surgery.

A few years later, Hinata’s finally gotta go under the knife. It’s not surprising that it happens; Atsumu hates it for him, but they both know you can’t live this lifestyle—do what they do for a living, what they’ve been doing for a living for years now—without knowing your body’s taking a beating. The only real questions, as athletes start to get older, are which repetitive stress injury’s gonna take you down first, whether you can still play through it, or if you need a surgeon to stitch anything back up yet.

It’s a scheduled procedure, at least—not an emergency, but after months of watching Hinata start to grit his teeth a little more each time he swings his arm to spike, Atsumu’s almost relieved it’s finally happening. He’s also scared shitless.

Not just of the surgery part (admittedly scary, though he’s loath to admit it in front of Hinata), but also the convalescence. It’s hard to imagine Hinata in a sling, for one—he knows it’s going to be a challenge, keeping his shoulder immobile—but also, despite the years he’s spent as the primary object of Hinata’s wry but persistent caregiving, Atsumu is terrified that, now that it’s his turn, now that Hinata’s finally going to need him, really need him, he’s gonna fuck it all up.

When the surgeon emerges into the drab over-air-conditioned waiting room, she tells Atsumu that Hinata’s rotator cuff repair was successful and without complications. She shows him some cool imaging of the inside of Hinata’s shoulder, explains a bunch of things he will struggle to remember, and breezes away, promising someone will let him see Hinata as soon as he’s  ready.

When they let Atsumu into the recovery room, he finds Hinata partially upright and blurrily explaining to the nurse that his pain level “isn’t even that high.”

“Mhmm,” she agrees politely, administering what Atsumu can only assume is an ass-ton of pain medication into Hinata’s incoherent, post-surgical bloodstream. 

After they finally let Atsumu bundle Hinata up and take him home—with careful post-operative instructions—he’s hit with the reality of the situation. 

Hinata’s soft and sore and bedraggled, and he’s going to need Atsumu so much (Hinata’s mother even offered to come down and stay with them, but they had said no, that Atsumu would be more than capable of administering Hinata’s meds and being Hinata’s hands and everything else, and—)

and Hinata is mumbling, just little anesthetized nonsense while his body can’t quite decide if it wants to be dozing or not, but Atsumu is beside him and he can’t help himself so he turns down the movie they’re ignoring and leans in closer to hear a tiny little  “–loveyou, ‘Tsum, love you so much.” 

He feels his heart squeeze. 

“I love you so much, too, babe,” he says, kissing the knuckles of Hinata’s good hand, the one not currently looped into a sling. “I’m gonna take such good care of ya, alright? Yer gonna be back out there on the court again in no time, spikin’ better than ever, I promise. Gonna take real good care of ya.”

Atsumu isn’t sure if Hinata’s even really listening until he hears his wobbly reply: “You always take good care’f me, ‘Tsum.”

“Nah,” Atsumu chuckles, adjusting the large, intense ice pack they’d gotten just for this reason to balance better on Hinata’s surgical dressing. “Yer thinkin’ of yourself, Shou! I’m the dumbass who trips over his own feet. I’m just lucky you still wanna look after me.”

“‘m always gonna wanna look after ‘Tsum,” Hinata mumbles emphatically, eyes closed.   

“Yeah? I’m sure glad to hear that,” Atsumu says. He is, even if Hinata doesn’t know what he’s saying.

“Yuuup,” Hinata assures him. “‘s why we should prolly get married.”

He chokes. Hinata definitely doesn’t know what he’s saying. “Sorry, what?”

Hinata makes a show of clearing his throat, kind of. “We should prolly get married?”

“Oh, Shou,” Atsumu sighs. “Y’don’t even know what the fuck yer talkin’ about right now.” He says it as gently as he can, even as his heart is sidestepping.

“I do tooo,” Hinata whines, pressing into Atsumu’s hand as he brushes his messy hair back from his face. 

“Alright,” Atsumu says, taking the easy road. “I believe you. But why don’tcha ask me again later, when you can actually keep yer eyes open. Maybe even get down on one knee, just for fun, right?”

“Quit makin’ fun of me,” Hinata grumbles.

Atsumu gasps, mock hurt. “Shouyou-kun! I would never!”

“Someday it’ll be forreal, okay?” Hinata says. “Will you say yes when I ask for real?”

Atsumu smiles at the sweaty, bandaged-up wreck next to him and kisses him right where his nose scrunches. “Yeah,” he says. 

It’s almost time for that next dose of pain meds. He’s got all the stuff to make Hinata’s favorite feel-better soup, too—loads of it, enough to eat for the next few days. And he’s got a handful of other movies queued up that Hinata can snuggle and doze through as many times as he needs to while his body slowly heals up stronger. 

It wouldn’t be so bad to take care of each other forever.