Chapter 1: The Tobio-cat
Oikawa is standing on the court. It’s a training session. He recognizes both the gym and his team. It’s definitely high school.
Yet, Tobio-chan is on the team. Somehow it’s the first thing that Oikawa finds wrong when he looks at the court. The annoying junior being in the same team as him is even more wrong that the fact that for some reason the said junior is now a cat.
Tobio-chan is now Tobio-cat and everyone is acting as if it is the most normal thing under the sun.
Mercifully, he’s not a human sized cat, nor some sort of catboy or werecat. He’s a big cat, though. Almost as big as a Maine Coon, but less fluffy. Truthfully, he looks just like an overgrown alley cat to Oikawa. His whole fur is black and his eyes shine, reflecting the gym’s artificial lights. Tobio is also wearing a tailor made Aoba Johsai shirt. However, he’s not wearing any pants and Oikawa thinks he should be disqualified for that from matches. But he won’t be. Because while the human Tobio is a frowny teenager that is easy to dislike, the cat Tobio looks handsome even when he is showing disapproval.
Tobio-chan is now not only better but also cuter than him.
Oikawa can’t stand it. He wants to scream. He tightens the grip he has on the ball. On the court the Tobio-cat yawns lazily while lying. He’s not even sitting properly.
Oikawa can’t concentrate as he serves the ball. It’s easily picked by the players on the other side and then Oikawa is forced to receive a straight. The attack makes him stumble and he knows he won’t be able to set the ball.
Instead, Tobio-cat jumps high into the air and with a natural feline grace passes the ball to Iwaizumi, who spikes it, earning a point. Everyone cheers and pats the Tobio-cat, who just sits there, as if being a feline setter was the easiest thing in the world. He even scratches his head with hiss hind leg. Oikawa feels offended.
He shakes his head and tries to serve once more, but all he can see in his head is the Tobio-cat smirking at him. Showing his superiority, as if he was the best setter in the world, just how can he…
“Oikawa, get your head in the game!” Iwaizumi shouts and Oikawa barely manages to receive the ball again. However, he doesn’t really manage to pass it properly and it just arcs awkwardly into the air. Oikawa watches the ball feeling panicked, but then something heavy crashes with his face and he falls backwards. As he is falling, he can see a feline projectile, which apparently used his face as a jumping pad, flying towards the ball. There is a loud meow and once more the ball is passed to Iwaizumi who scores a point. Oikawa is now lying on the court and his back hurts from the impact, but it’s nothing compared to his pride, because he was bested by a stupid cat. Not only cat… Tobio-cat. Somehow, it’s even worse. Oikawa manages to sit up, only to see the whole team congregated around the Tobio-cat. Nobody is looking at Tooru, everyone’s eyes are on the feline setter. For a second, Tobio-cat glances at Oikawa, but then dismisses him, as if he was not worth attention. His yellow eyes hold nothing but derision for Tooru.
A part of Oikawa becomes aware of the fact that he is holding a ball and so he serves it right into the cat. He puts all the frustration and anger into the serve, hoping to hit the Tobio-cat. But the feline is quick, too quick. He easily avoids the hit. And as the ball flies through a spot where the cat used to be a moment ago, everyone’s eyes turn toward Oikawa.
And the human setter wishes they wouldn’t, because they look at him with a contempt and barely hidden disgust.
“What do you think you are doing, Oikawa?” Iwaizumi asks with a growl. Hanamaki and Mattsun tilt their heads, as if daring the setter to answer. The cat is standing before them proudly, showing Oikawa that the teammates are on his side now.
“I just…” Tooru starts, but he has no idea what to say. There is no good explanation for attacking a team member. It actually makes him an even bigger low-life than Tobio-chan. Oikawa wishes to disappear, but instead Iwaizumi takes a step forward.
“Look, we’ve been discussing it for some time… you are no longer fit to be out captain,” the ace announces with a finality that makes Oikawa’s stomach twist. “He’s still young, but we are going to entrust Tobio with that position. He obviously understands the concept of teamwork better than you.”
There are voices of approval behind Iwaizumi, as other team members cheer for the new captain.
“But it’s more than that. We hoped you would get along with Tobio, but obviously it’s too much for you. Which is why we have to settle for one setter for now.”
If Tooru’s stomach felt heavy earlier, then right now it’s like someone stuffed it with bricks.
“Everyone who is for Oikawa to stay as the main setter raise your hand,” Iwaizumi orders.
No hands are raised. There is a terrible moment of silence, as the Vice-Captain looks around to make sure of the tally.
“Then those voting for Tobio, raise your hand,” Iwaizumi says as he raises his hand. He’s not the only one. All team members raised a hand. Some even raised both of their hands to show their support.
Oikawa somehow manages to regain his voice.
“But he’s a cat!” Tooru protests because it is the first thing that comes to his mind.
“So what, Oikawa?” someone asks, as if the question was that stupid.
“He can’t set the ball with his paws!” Tooru continues stubbornly. However, the rest of the team just looks at him with exasperation.
“He was doing fine just now. And for the past several months. Stop discriminating against him!”
“That’s right! You keep saying how useless his paws are, but have you seen how cute they are!”
“You are just jealous!”
“Stop Oikawa’s cat-scrimination!!!”
“Just cause you can’t measure up to him, is no reason to act like an asshole.”
“Buy headband with cat ears, if you are that desperate!”
“Pfff, you are right, Tobio. Even cat ears wouldn’t help him.”
Tooru feels like crying, the derisive snorts of his teammates being too much. Desperately, he turns for comfort towards his best friend.
“Iwa-chan, please,” he begs, but the voice dies in his throat as he sees Tobio-cat wrap his tail around Iwaizumi’s ankle.
“Actually, Oikawa, I’ve been meaning to tell you,” his friend announces seriously. “I’m actually more of a cat person. Pigs like you don’t interest me.”
Oikawa wants to protest, but then he notices that his hands are actually hooves and his skin is much pinker… and…
“Get lost… OINK-AWA!!!”
A haunted oink echoes through the gym.
Iwaizumi blindly reaches for the phone, as the ringtone wakes him up from his sleep.
“What is it?” he asks groggily. He feels no surprise when he hears a panicked voice of his friend, Oikawa Tooru.
“Iwa-chan, please answer me. Do you love cats more than me?” the setter asks with desperation.
“Yes, they don’t wake me up at 3 AM,” Iwaizumi answers. There is a loud gasp on the other side. Iwaizumi realizes that this may have been a wrong thing to say, because apparently Oikawa has ideas.
“Then would it help, if I came to the next practice wearing cat ears?! Please answer me, Iwa-chan! This is important, I can’t be bested by a cat!”
“Nothing in the world can help your stupidity, Shittykawa! Go to fucking sleep, you idiot!” Iwaizumi shouts into his phone and hangs up.
His life would be easier if his sleep time wasn’t compromised by Oikawa’s “emergency calls”.
Chapter 2: Saving princess
Posting from backlog. Life has been hectic lately for me due to becoming an actual working adult. Most of the time I'm too tired to write. But I swear, I will try to deliver more once I get used to the new routine.
Meanwhile, enjoy new chapter.
The dashing knight Oikawa climbs the stairs. At the top of the tower the princess is waiting for him. A fair maiden from the farmlands who was kidnapped by a dragon. Oikawa needs to prove himself. He jumps the last several steps and arrives in a large room. There, a dragon awaits him. Tooru recognizes it. It’s his nemesis. A black and orange Karasuno dragon roars, its two heads turning toward Oikawa. The black head, which is suspiciously similar to Tobio-chan looks at Oikawa warily, while the orange one (which looks very much like the squirt) moves curiously as if it wants to see the knight from all the angles. The Tobio-head must have decided that Oikawa is a threat, because it breaths a black fire toward him. The knight dodges and then has to dodge once again to avoid the headbutt from the Hinata-head. Oikawa tries to attack, but the black flames restrict his movement, leaving him at mercy of the orange head’s headbutts. The knight does his best to avoid the attacks, but one gets through and the knight flies through the room.
As he lands, he tries to think of a new strategy.
An idea pops into his head and Tooru smirks to himself.
“Hey, you two! Which one of your heads is the smarter one?” he asks the two-headed dragon.
Both heads rapidly stop to consider the question.
“It’s obvious, I’m the smarter one,” the orange head announces quickly.
The black head snorts.
“As if, just yesterday your head got stuck in the takeout box! You were panicking until I helped you take it off!” the Tobio head reminds him.
“This has nothing to do with being smart!”
“Of course it does! Smart person would never get into such a situation!”
“Well, I’m not the one who almost botched the whole guarding thing, because the last knight gave me sweets!” Hinata head retorts.
“You are. You also ate them! And that knight was nice! He even left us a card, saying we can contact him after we finish this assignment. Also, you were the one who allowed that female knight to enter the tower, because she was pretty!” the black head adds.
“Well, she was pretty! You are the one who can’t appreciate a woman. And she left after she realized this wasn’t the princess she was looking for, because you know our princess isn’t actually a…” Hinata head’s rant is suddenly stopped by a sound of stabbing. Both heads look down to see that Oikawa had approached and then cut them while they were arguing.
The dragon falls down sporting a matching expressions of bewilderment on its heads.
The knight steps over the body and moves toward the room where the princess is held. He feels giddy. Soon he will be recognized as the one who slayed the infamously stupid Karasuno dragon and as the one who saved the princess. Everybody will hear of Tooru the Valiant.
He opens the door. There stands the princess. With short hair and a neutral expression he looks at the knight appraisingly. His broad shoulders shake a little when the princess nodds to himself.
The princess is apparently Ushijima. Ushijima in a pink and very frilly dress. However, he doesn’t seem to be embarrassed about his outfit in the slightest, as he takes a step towards Tooru.
Tooru immediately takes a step back.
“You have slayed the dragon. You have proven yourself worthy, Oikawa. Now, marry me and join the Shiratorizawa kingdom!” Ushijima says as he extends his hand towards his savior.
The courageous knight shrieks in horror.
“What is it this time, Oikawa?” Iwaizumi asks without even looking at the screen of his phone.
“Iwa-chan, please marry me, so that princess Ushijima can’t have a political marriage with me!”
There are so many things wrong with this request that Iwaizumi’s tired mind isn’t sure where to begin.
“Dump him yourself! And don’t drag me into your weird love life, Shittykawa!” the ace retorts and then turns off the phone, cutting short Oikawa’s rant about some sort of a dragon. Iwaizumi really hopes it's a part of Oikawa’s weird dream and not some sort of euphemism.
Chapter 3: Too many
So my tooth hurts after the visit to dentist and I finally found time to finish this chapter during the time when I couldn't sleep because the pain was distracting me too much. Hahahahaha. I hate my life.
Oikawa turns on TV as he eats his cereal for breakfast. He immediately regrets it as he is greeted by a weather forecaster who looks like Kageyama Tobio and who proceeds to explain that the afternoon will be sunny. Oikawa quickly switches to the sports channel, but it’s broadcasting a volleyball match where half of the players in both teams are Kageyamas.
Oikawa groans, hiding his face in his hands, and turns TV off. Ever since that happened it was impossible to enjoy any recent broadcasts.
Oikawa sighs and leaves for school. On the way, he sees several more Tobios strolling around. He also passes a poster with a Tobio in a crown for the new movie “King’s Game”.
There is even more Tobios at school. And Oikawa knows they aren’t Tobio-chan. That one is still in Karasuno, happily playing with other crows. However, those Tobios are genetically identical to the real thing and just how dare they interfere with Oikawa’s life.
Once more Oikawa loudly curses the scientist who made a breakthrough in cloning technology.
It feels like it was ages ago when it was first announced that cloning a human finally became possible. The catch? The scientists were able to create functional clones of only one specific human – Kageyama Tobio. Not that government cared. Faced with the rapidly declining birthrate, it immediately ordered the scientists to continue creating new clones. They were pretty much mass produced now.
And so life became hell for Oikawa Tooru.
“Thank you for your purchase,” politely says the shopkeeper Kageyama.
“The train will be delayed. We apologize for the inconvenience,” Kageyama’s voice informs passengers through the platform speaker.
“Have you considered the sociological changes caused by the cloning practices?” asks Kageyama on TV.
Oikawa once more finds himself throwing the remote across the room.
In the act of desperation he calls Iwaizumi, practically begging him to come. He needs to see a face and hear a voice that isn’t Kageyama’s.
He’s not yet desperate enough to voice that need, though.
“Okay,” Iwaizumi agrees tentatively. “Actually, there’s someone I’ve been meaning to introduce to you. I will take them with me,” Iwa-chan announces before ending the call.
Oikawa remains in the same spot he has been lying on for the last half an hour as he looks at the ceiling searching for some sort of support.
He can survive in this new and harsh world. He just needs a break. An hour with another human being that isn’t Tobio’s lookalike. Or the real deal. The real deal was still more annoying than any copy.
The angry ringing of his intercom pulls Oikawa out of angry thoughts. He gets up and opens the door for his guests only to see Iwa-chan… and Tobio clone. He’s sure it’s only a lookalike, because the t-shirt he’s wearing has the cutest puppy Oikawa has ever seen and the real Tobio-chan has no fashion sense.
Seriously, it’s a really cute puppy.
No, wait, more importantly…
“Wha-?” Oikawa’s voice fails him, as he points his shaking finger at the unexpected guest.
“Ah, let me introduce,” Oikawa interjects, a slight blush coloring his face. “This is my new boyfriend. I hope you can get along with him,” he explains, while the Tobio lookalike bows politely.
Oikawa just screams.
“What is it Shittykawa?” Iwaizumi asks impatiently, totally done with Tooru’s middle-of-the-night emergency calls.
“Iwa-chan,” a sobbing voice on the line begs him, “promise me you will never date Tobio-chan or any of his clones! Please, promise me that!!!”
Iwaizumi almost answers that no, he has no plans to date Tobio, but then he realizes he will never date anyone if he keeps losing sleep over Oikawa’s phone calls and disconnects immediately.
He writes a text message consisting of a short “no” just in case. He’d rather Oikawa didn’t think he has some sort of weird obsession towards his underclassmen. One Shittykawa is enough.
Chapter 4: Family issues
The goat is staring at him.
Oikawa doesn’t like that. Especially when it’s the first thing he sees in the morning.
“Daaaaaad, why is there a goat in my room?” he asks annoyed. He’s not even surprised.
“I needed to put it somewhere and there was space in your room,” a level voice answers Oikawa.
“You could have put it in the storage room,” Oikawa points out, not moving from his bed. The goat already lost any interest it had in him and instead stuck its head into Oikawa’s backpack.
“It would start eating our preserves. And there’s nothing of value in your room that it could eat,” the voice reasons. Oikawa looks at the goat.
“I think it’s eating my homework,” Oikawa notices flatly. He doesn’t even try to move from his bed to save the paper that the goat is chewing on. It’s too early in the morning for this bullshit.
“You know this is a good occasion maybe you could move…” The owner of the voice seems to be closer now.
“No,” Oikawa snaps, before his dad can finish, “I will not move to Shiratorizawa.”
The door opens and Ushijima walks in, already decked in his farmer clothing, holding a bundle of radishes in his hand. He doesn’t seem perturbed by the refusal. His face betrays nothing as he says:
“The breakfast is ready.”
“Is it something edible?” Oikawa asks, with no hope in his voice.
“I fucking hate asparagus.”
“It will make you a better volleyball player and if you are better…”
“I still won’t join Shiaratorizawa.”
Ushijima makes a non-committal grunt, before he leaves the room.
Oikawa waits for his footsteps to fade, before he screams in frustration into his pillow.
The goat makes a comforting bleat, before it returns to consuming contents of Oikawa’s backpack.
Oikawa hates his father.
He hates the farm they live on.
He hates the livestock.
He hates harvest.
And he hates Shiratorizawa.
“If you tell your teacher that the goat ate your homework one more time, he will probably just fling you through the window,” Mattsun says with a smile.
Oikawa just angrily stabs his fork into a radish. His bento consists of rice and radish. He should have seen it coming.
“I think I will fling myself first,” he decides.
“No need to be so dramatic,” Mattsun continues cheerfully.
“He asked me if I want to join Shiratorizawa twice before I even got out of the bed.”
His friend winces.
“I take it back, you have all the right in the world to be dramatic about your dad.”
“I know,” Oikawa says, stabbing viciously another radish.
When he returns home, his father is finishing making the dinner for the two of them. The vegetables on his plate are neatly arranged to spell “JOIN SHIRATORIZAWA”.
Oikawa throws the plate through the window and then himself. He runs away from home that night.
Iwaizumi doesn’t even feel angry, as he reaches for his vibrating phone.
“What is it?” he asks quickly, hoping to get it over with.
“I don’t want Ushijima to be my father! He put a goat in my room! A goat!!!”
“I’m pretty sure he isn’t. Go to sleep, Shittykawa,” Iwaizumi says before disconnecting and going back to sleep.
Chapter 5: Right hand man
This was inspired by that one comedy manga I haven't read. And somehow became really angsty. I blame Oikawa and his issues for that.
In his later recounts, Oikawa would claim that he already had a bad feeling, when he woke up.
Which was a lie, because when he woke up he was too sleepy to feel anything other than intense disapproval towards the idea of moving out of the bed.
It wasn’t until he tried to rub his eye that he realized something was wrong, because something was very off about his right hand’s feedback and someone shouted at him.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?!”
The voice sounded almost like Tobio.
Nooo… it couldn’t be.
Oikawa tried to shift himself, but the voice protested as he tried to shift.
Okay, now it was weird.
Oikawa forced himself to slightly open his eyes. Everything was blurry. He tried to rub his eyes once more and it was then that he noticed.
There was something black on his hand.
“Finally… just don’t smash me into the pillow again…” his right hand whined at Oikawa.
It was only then that Oikawa realized that his right hand has turned into a small Kageyama. The black thing was his hair.
His rival setter’s torso was literally sticking out of his wrist.
“What are you staring at?!” Tobio hissed, obviously miffed about how Oikawa treated him a second ago. His hair was all ruffled and he looked like an angry kitten.
Normally Oikawa would enjoy teasing disgruntled Tobio, but today was different in that Oikawa elected to scream atop of his lungs instead.
“How did you even do that, Shittykawa?” Iwaizumi grumbled unhappy, after Oikawa burst into his house in panic.
“Why do you have to assume this is my fault, Iwa-chan?!” Oikawa cried. Tobio complained loudly about Oikawa waving his hands too much.
“Was it your fault, Kageyama?” Iwaizumi turned towards Oikawa’s right hand.
Small Tobio shook his head in denial.
“This is literally the last place in the world where I want to be. It’s like hell… do you think I died?” Tobio asked, suddenly worried.
“Hell if I know,” Iwaizumi said. “Did you kill him, Oikawa?”
Oikawa wanted to cry.
“Of course I didn’t!”
Iwaizumi ignored him completely, instead looking at the small Tobio.
“Did he?” he repeated the question.
“I’m not sure. I don’t remember dying, but in that TV show I watched people forgot about their deaths when they became ghosts, so who knows…”
“Are you suggesting you are haunting my right hand?!” Oikawa asked in astonishment.
“Oh, that does make sense,” Iwaizumi said, as if that was a logical explanation.
“What does?!” Oikawa shouted, unable to understand.
“Indeed, my wish to continue playing volleyball may have made me haunt the hand of a setter,” Tobio confirmed with a nod.
“Why didn’t you possess Mr.Refreshing’s hand then?!”
“Well, personality aside, you are a better setter,” Tobio admitted. “Suga is certainly skilled, but you are more hard-working and driven overall. Plus, I’m not sure if Suga wants to make volleyball his future carrier, while you certainly do. So, yes, you were a safer choice.”
Oikawa hid his face in his left hand.
“I don’t believe it,” he muttered. “Can I even play like that?!”
It’s incredibly frustrating, but Oikawa indeed can play like that.
No, it’s actually worse.
He plays better like that.
It’s frustrating. Knowing that he needed Tobio to literally become his right hand to be better.
Oikawa feels his gut twists, as Tobio makes slight adjustment to his toss, making it better. Making it perfect.
Oikawa feels like throwing up.
They reach nationals like that.
Without it’s shiny new setter Karasuno is nothing. Aobajousai shreds through them like they are nothing.
The shrimp starts bawling at the end calling Oikawa a thief.
Oikawa pretends it doesn’t sting. Even his right hand looks a bit remorseful.
They channel those feelings into a pure ferocity in their match against Shiratorizawa. They give it everything they have. It’s a hard match, brutal, but close-fought, and by the end of it Oikawa can barely stand.
His vision is swimming, but he refuses to leave the court. He needs to support the team.
He needs to win it for the team.
He tosses. He struggles. And finally…
Finally, they need only one more point to win this.
Despite his exhaustion Oikawa is hyper-focused. He follows the ball without even blinking. He sees it flying toward him and jumps, ready to set a winning ball for Iwaizumi. To make him hammer the point of how much Aobajousai is better than Shiratorizawa.
And then he slips.
His left hand gives in to exhaustion and falters when he tries to set the ball.
For a moment he panics. Calculating how skewed the path of the ball will be, he glances at where Iwaizumi is running to. He won’t make it. He won’t.
And then there is a shift and Oikawa is confused for a moment before he realizes that Tobio has moved to better accommodate the ball.
In that instant he realized Oikawa’s mistake and corrected it.
The ball now flies towards Iwaizumi, still slightly off, but to lesser degree.
Iwaizumi reaches the ball.
The arena explodes with cheers. His team cries in joy. Even small Tobio shouts in victory.
And amidst it all Oikawa feels empty.
He wasn’t good enough to lead his team to victory. It was only thanks to Tobio that they did.
His own strength, his effort, his struggles. They were in vain. It was not enough.
Oikawa can’t accept it. His heart squeezes in his chest and he starts crying.
His teammates mistake them for the tears of joy.
Oikawa doesn’t correct them, but he knows he needs to do something.
He can’t stand it.
It’s becoming literally painful to go on like that.
“Did I really kill you?” Oikawa asks Tobio one night.
“I don’t know,” Tobio answers truthfully, because he can’t read the mood as always.
“If I killed you again, would you leave my hand?”
Tobio stares at him. Oikawa tries to ignore it.
“I don’t think it works that way,” Tobio finally admits. “Plus, if I’m really dead, I don’t think I can be killed again. It doesn’t work like that in the movies.”
Oikawa makes a hum of acknowledgement.
“Plus, I don’t think I need to say it, but if you try to harm me, you will sabotage your own capabilities.”
Oikawa bristles at that.
“Are you saying I can’t be a good setter without you?!” he hisses.
“No, right now I’m literally your right hand. A part of you. You can’t get rid of me without hurting your hand. It’s not like you can’t be a good setter without me. You can’t be a setter without me. I’m a part of you now. And you can’t be a setter with one hand.”
There’s a loaded pause.
“Unless you are aiming for Paralympics, of course,” Tobio adds helpfully, because he doesn’t know when to shut up. “I don’t know the details, since I never watched them, but it may be possible.”
Oikawa isn’t even sure what to say, but he really hates Kageyama Tobio right now.
It only occurs to him later, in a terrifying moment of clarity, that Tobio being his right hand will impact not only his live as a volleyball player.
Basically, any romantic relationship he may have in the future will have to involve Tobio. Otherwise, it will be just too awkward for all parties involved.
And if he stays single…
Oikawa just screams in anguish realizing there is no escape from this hell.
There is only a slight sobbing on the line, when Iwaizumi answers the call.
“Are you okay, Shittykawa?” he asks without much bite.
“I… I ha…d a ….hic…re…ally bad dreee…am,” Oikawa mutters between sobs.
Iwaizumi sighs. It’s been some time since Oikawa had a really bad dream.
“It’s alright. It was just a dream.”
Oikawa just sobs for a moment. Iwaizumi waits patiently.
“D… do you …hic… think I… I can be… be… better than To… Tobio.”
“You are a better setter. Don’t underestimate yourself, idiot.”
Oikawa hiccups. It sounds somewhat happy.
Oikawa snivels a bit more, but he is calmer now. Iwaizumi doesn’t hang up waiting for him patiently.