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These Summer Nights Are Empty Without You

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A caring silence is sometimes more meaningful than paltry words.

The evening air was muggy against Daichi’s skin as he slowly made his way up the hill he and his team had been repeatedly forced to trek earlier that day as penalty for their losses. He’d known going into the training camp that the deck would be stacked against them, especially with so many Kanto area powerhouse schools as their competition, but not quite to such an extent as had actually been the case. 

Daichi wanted to be encouraging, to insist they could push forward, but beneath the facade of certainty he continued to show his teammates, a seed of doubt lingered. Every loss they experienced encouraged its further growth and Daichi feared its damning vines might wind themselves around his heart eventually, smothering any hope he still retained that they could grow beyond this moment. 

As he crested the hill, Daichi expected the area to be deserted and was surprised to find it already occupied. 


Nekoma’s captain, who was propped up against the base of one of the trees dotting the hillside, opened his eyes immediately. Kuroo’s surprise at the interruption was clear, the other looking a little disoriented, before he quickly recovered and flashed a teasing smirk back at Daichi that instinctively put him on edge. 

“Well, well, well. What brings you all the way out here, Sa’amura?” 

“I could ask you the same,” Daichi snorted, opening his mouth with the intent of teasing Kuroo about catching a cat nap before he hesitated. It took him a moment, but he eventually noted the tenseness that lingered in the other boy’s shoulders and he was quick to turn and begin retreating the way he’d come. “Sorry. I’ll leave you alone—”  


Daichi’s feet stilled in their departure, and he slowly turned back around to face his fellow captain who gestured to the wide expanse of grass beside him that was unoccupied. 

“You can join me,” Kuroo clarified, the smirk he’d worn gone from his face and replaced with something more pensive and piercing instead. 

For just a moment, he hesitated, and then Daichi was crossing the short distance between them to slowly lower himself down to the contrastingly cool grass beside Kuroo. It was strangely peaceful, Daichi reflected, especially with the soft drone of the slowly quieting cicadas surrounding them. The sun was already setting and Daichi knew they couldn’t stay out long, not before the adults started looking for them. 

They were quiet for a bit, each of them lost in their own thoughts and Daichi was surprised to find it not awkward in the slightest. For being so antagonistic on the court, Daichi wondered if Kuroo was more introspective than he’d first given him credit for, and it only made him that much more curious to know why Kuroo had hidden himself away like Daichi had been attempting to.  

“It sucks, doesn’t it?” Kuroo asked, his quiet voice breaking the comfortable silence that had existed up to that point. “Having your team be so mismatched.”  

Defensive anger welled up within Daichi, hot and fast. Before he could stop himself, his head snapped towards Kuroo, his eyes nearly blazing with indignation.

“We’re not—” 

“You are,” Kuroo cut him off, meeting his glare with a calm, knowing look in return, though Daichi was slightly placated to find that Kuroo didn’t have his trademark smirk curled across his lips. “Nekoma wasn’t always so well-oiled, you know?” 

Kuroo let the silence drift for a bit then, and it gave Daichi a few needed seconds to collect his own thoughts, the other captain having been surprised by the frankness with which Kuroo was admitting to such a thing.

“Your first years just need time to find their feet and mesh with you. Don’t be so hard on yourself and expect things to be perfect this early on. Self-immolation as a captain is in poor taste, even if it is our last go at this.” 

“Speaking from experience?” Daichi asked, though he was almost certain he already knew the answer. 

Kuroo grinned right back at him, completely unrepentant. “We’re not talking about me, Sa’amura-san. Besides, I think you’ll make it. Especially with your terrifying duo in play. Your murder of crows just has to learn how to fly properly.”  

It was so Kuroo, that flippant yet earnest response. Daichi couldn’t do anything but look away in return, oddly humbled by Kuroo’s faith.  

Silence stretched between them again, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. Instead, there was something soft and almost vulnerable about it. It felt like a consequential moment somehow, though he wasn’t sure why.  

What he was sure about, was that he’d somehow completely misjudged Kuroo Tetsurou.



It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and my dear, I find myself missing you.

Daichi, in the months that followed, found himself in the thick of his first year of university and all the changes associated with it. One thing that hadn’t changed, however, were the texts Kuroo kept sending him. They’d started off infrequently at first, following that first training camp when they’d still been a bit tentative about the strange friendship cropping up between them. 

He couldn’t exactly place when Kuroo had first started sending him daily pictures of inconsequential things. Daichi thought it might’ve been during a particularly rough patch of time when Daichi had been suffering terribly from homesickness and he’d been low enough to admit as much to Kuroo. Instead of heckling him, Kuroo had sent him a picture of a cute black cat he’d seen on the street that morning in an effort to cheer him up. Kuroo had apparently taken Daichi’s positive reaction to the picture as license to continue the tradition, and Daichi had quickly learned to silence his phone during his afternoon classes just in case Kuroo started spamming him with ridiculous memes. 

Over time, the texts turned to calls, shared between them in the evenings after schoolwork and other social responsibilities had been satisfied for the day. Daichi came to expect them and truthfully, looked forward to them, though he’d never quite admitted to such a thing out of fear it’d only feed Kuroo’s ego.  

It was on a summer night, much like the one he and Kuroo had first shared a year prior that he finally realized why he enjoyed their evening conversations so much. 

He’d long ago opened his window to let the cool breeze drift in, and between it and Kuroo’s droning voice in his ear, it’d been easy to relax atop his twin-sized mattress. 

“Hey, Sa’amura?” Kuroo murmured, likely checking to make sure Daichi was still awake.

Daichi hummed noncommittally in return, curious but not so much so that he felt the need to reply.  

“I’m really glad we’ve kept this up,” Kuroo confessed, and something about it made Daichi’s heart skip violently in reaction. “I—hah, ah man this is embarrassing…” 

“Kuroo?” Daichi softly murmured, his brow furrowing in concern as Kuroo mumbled something he couldn’t quite pick up. 

“Sorry, sorry,” Kuroo muttered a little more clearly. “I, uhm, should probably sign off for the night. Try not to dream of me, eh, Sa’amura?” The teasing joke, no different than others Kuroo had made before, suddenly made Daichi’s heart fall into yet another round of irregular beats, and this time it was harder to ignore the sensation.   

It was only after he’d softly wished Kuroo good night and he was left to listen to the lulling drone of the crickets outside his dorm room as he tried to fall asleep, that he realized just why Kuroo’s words had caused so much upheaval within him. In seconds, all exhaustion bled from his body and Daichi’s eyes snapped open to stare up at the ceiling, his gaze going wide in horror.  

“I like Kuroo Tetsurou,” he muttered aloud, and then, his next thought was— 




Beneath the stars, you shine the brightest to my eyes, and to my heart.


Daichi had never understood the appeal of the summer festival of Tanabata, or at least the romantic underpinnings that celebrated Orihime and Hikoboshi who were doomed to love one another for eternity in forced separation. 

But as he stood among the colorful streamers and lit up stalls situated a short distance from the large tree covered in thousands of written wishes tucked away deep in the heart of Sendai, Daichi thought he might finally understand the appeal after having suffered a similar sort of longing himself.

The festival was packed with people, and around Daichi, the remnants of his old team were gathered. Two stalls away Asahi and Nishinoya were caught up in the ex-libero’s attempts to catch a goldfish, while further down Suga was trying to harangue Ennoshita into buying taiyaki. Daichi was happy, truly, but a part of him was also utterly aware of the silent phone tucked in the band of his yukata’s wide belt. Kuroo was busy tonight with something as well, and yet despite the fact, Daichi couldn’t help but find his mind drifting to the other man and wishing Kuroo was walking the festival grounds with him right then. 

A year had passed since he’d realized his feelings for Kuroo ran deeper than they should, and Daichi was no closer to figuring out how to handle them, though there were moments that he sometimes thought Kuroo might feel the same way, too. 

Daichi watched his teammates drift further down the walkway of stalls and he paused, his feet faltering when Suga unexpectedly glanced over at him and then smirked rather forebodingly. Before Daichi could react, his friend suddenly grabbed Ennoshita and disappeared around a corner, abandoning Daichi in the process.  

And then, just as he was getting ready to yell after Suga to wait, a very familiar voice reached his ears.  

“Well, well, well. What brings you all the way out here, Sa’amura?”  

The air was pushed from Daichi’s lungs in the same second he turned about to slowly face the smirking visage of Kuroo who, he was distressed to find, had only grown taller since their last meeting three months earlier. Maybe it was due to the way the black and red yukata hugged the man’s broad shoulders, or how the twinkling lanterns strung across the walkway above them made Kuroo’s eyes seem like they contained a thousand constellations within their depths, but Daichi found himself utterly tongue-tied for a good moment or two. 

“I could ask you the same,” he breathlessly retorted, the sense of déjà vu he felt leaving him feeling dizzy as he drank in the soft but also nervous smile that Kuroo cocked down at him in return.  

“Me? I came to make a wish, of course,” Kuroo lightly countered in turn, pasting a played-up grin on his face that had Daichi repressing the urge to smack him at the same time he leveled a flat look at the messy-haired trickster, successfully conveying just how much he didn’t believe Kuroo.  

There was a moment of awkward silence that followed, and then they both were talking at the same time. 



Faltering, Daichi blinked up at Kuroo and watched the man turn an interesting shade of red, the sight immediately ratcheting up the hope he’d carried with him for so long that Kuroo might actually feel something for him, too.  

“Kuroo,” Daichi tried again, softening his voice. “What are you doing here, really? Tokyo isn’t exactly close and there are Tanataba celebrations out there that you could have gone to.”  

There was a stretch of silence before Kuroo straightened up, and above the nervousness on Kuroo’s face, something like determination rose to replace it.  

“Sawamura,” Kuroo croaked out and then faltered, stopping just briefly to release a long and shaky exhalation. “I’m tired of my summer nights feeling empty without you. So, if you would give me the chance, I’d like—”

“Yes,” Daichi blurted out, and then flushed brilliantly in mortification over his own haste as Kuroo stared back at him, stunned. 

“You didn’t even know what I was going to say!” Kuroo squawked in protest.  

“So you weren’t going to ask me out?” Daichi questioned archly, heart hammering away wildly in his chest. Daichi in the next second almost laughed at the soft, strangled sound Kuroo released, but he didn’t, and settled instead for smiling up at the other man. “Kuroo, just kiss me already.”  

“Pushy,” Kuroo grumbled, but despite his protestation, he was grinning, his cheeks flushed just as badly as Daichi’s when he finally bent down and tentatively pressed their lips together. 

As the evening slowly slipped by and he finally came to learn the sweet taste of Kuroo’s laughter on his lips, Daichi silently made his own wish that he hoped Orihime and Hikoboshi would hear and honor.  

Please, let me always share these summer nights with him.