Somewhere in the liminal time between midnight and dawn, Kiyoomi gives up on sleep.
The night is still and mostly quiet, filled only with Atsumu's sleep-deep breathing and the ambient city sounds filtering in from outside. There's not even the familiar hum of a space heater since theirs inexplicably sputtered to a stop hours ago and refused to work again no matter how much Atsumu shook, smacked, and swore at it. Which he had done until he'd sagged with exhaustion and dragged himself into the bathroom grumbling for a hot shower.
Like he knows he's on Kiyoomi's mind, Atsumu snuffles into his pillow and turns from his belly to his side, his face turned up and catching some of the light that's seeped in through the curtains. He's scowling in his sleep, brow furrowed and mouth pinched. With his hair pressed flat against his forehead and mussed on one side, he looks ten years younger. Like he could roll out of bed and into his Inarizaki jersey at any minute.
Then he shifts again, an annoyed noise stuck in his throat, and he looks his age once more. MSBY's star setter, Miya Atsumu. In the flesh. Kiyoomi touches the tips of his fingers to the sun-gold strands of hair sticking up on the side of his head and marvels a little, not for the first time, that this is his life. At the reality of Atsumu, full stop.
"Shut up," Atsumu complains.
He's still asleep, but he's moving again, retreating to the far side of the bed and taking his body heat with him. Even on his back, the hand close to Kiyoomi stays under the pillow. Kiyoomi rolls over to it to press his cheek to the spot where Atsumu's was just a minute ago, stealing the lingering warmth right off the pillow case and studying him up close.
Like this, Atsumu's profile is haloed by the thin, pale light from the window. A man cast in moonlight.
Then his breathing hitches. His scowl deepens. Kiyoomi watches his lashes flutter open and doesn't roll away, even when Atsumu realizes he's being watched and groans.
He asks, "Why're y'still awake?" like he doesn't know better than anyone just how rare a full night of sleep is for Kiyoomi.
Kiyoomi reaches up and covers Atsumu's eyes with a hand. "Go back to sleep."
Atsumu catches him by the wrist, drags his hand down, and snaps his teeth at his palm. He's too sleep-logged to be any real threat, but his teeth glint in the dark. Kiyoomi flicks his cheek.
"Sunovabitch," Atsumu hisses even though there's no way that really hurt. But when he rolls onto his side to face Kiyoomi he's obviously fighting a smile. Their noses brush. "Why'd'ya wake me up?" he grumbles. "'S'not gonna help you sleep."
"You woke yourself up," Kiyoomi corrects him. "You were bitching at someone in your dream."
"I was bitching at you in my dream," Atsumu says. His eyes are closed though, so it's impossible to tell if he's lying. "Same thing. Yer still gonna owe me. Do the dishes all week."
Kiyoomi would sooner quit volleyball cold turkey than agree to that, but he doesn't actually want to keep Atsumu awake right now. He looked so worn out after fighting the space heater, then he'd spilled out of his shower like a cooked noodle. Though he's usually resistant to it, he didn't put up a fight when Kiyoomi insisted on drying his hair for him. He just sat there with his eyes closed and leaned into the warm air. It only happened a few hours ago, but the memory already makes Kiyoomi's chest ache a little.
Suddenly, Atsumu's up. It happens so fast that Kiyoomi doesn't realize it 'til Atsumu's stepping over him and hopping off the mattress.
"Shit!" he yelps, hopping gingerly from one foot to the other. "Fuck, fuck, that's cold."
Then he's gone—disappeared down the hallway, his cussing the only thing left in his wake. Kiyoomi's not sure what's happening, but he figures Atsumu will be back in no time at all, so he Kiyoomi rolls into the warm spot Atsumu left behind and waits. But the longer he lies there, the longer Atsumu stays gone, and soon enough Kiyoomi's imagining him asleep on the kitchen tiles or passed out their couch, and that's unacceptable. So he finally drags himself out of bed, winces when his bare foot touch the cold floor, and follows after him.
Atsumu's in the kitchen, opening and closing drawers with a grumpy look on his face, and as soon as he sees Kiyoomi he says, "No, no—you're supposed to be in bed."
"You're supposed to be in bed," Kiyoomi counters, frowning at the teapot in Atsumu's hands. "But you're making tea."
Atsumu sets his chin indignantly. "It helps you sleep."
Kiyoomi blinks. Does tea help him sleep? He's never noticed if it has. He wouldn't put it past Atsumu to try and placebo effect him, either. It sounds like the sort of half-cocked scheme he'd storm into with nothing but sheer confidence and force of will.
The doubt must read loud and clear on his face because Atsumu makes a frustrated sound and shoves him a little. "Kotatsu," he orders. "Now."
Kiyoomi doesn't budge. He looks down at Atsumu's hands on his stomach. When Atsumu pushes again, Kiyoomi pushes back. Neither of them is much stronger than the other when they're wide awake; half-asleep like this, they're evenly matched.
"Why're you so damn stubborn?" Atsumu demands.
It's such a hypocritical thing to say that it doesn't even warrant a response. Kiyoomi says nothing, and Atsumu's face eventually screws up like he took a bite of a lemon.
"Whatever," he huffs. "Try t'do somethin' nice for someone and this's what it gets me."
"Funny," Kiyoomi says crisply, "I don't remember asking you to do anything nice for me."
"Funny," Atsumu snaps back, "that's what makes it nice in the first place, genius."
Kiyoomi breaks first, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth, and Atsumu gapes at him. Then he points directly at Kiyoomi's face as his own eyes go wide and bright with excitement.
"Ha!" he shouts—too loud for whatever time it is, but when has he ever cared? "Gotcha! I win, ya smug bastard!"
It's so annoying. It's the most annoying. Kiyoomi wants to pin him to the counter and kiss the happiness from his mouth even though he knows his breath would be sleep-sour.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he lies, wiping the smile off his face before it can do any more damage. "Will you come back to bed, now?"
Atsumu ignores the question. "Water's almost boiling," he says instead, turning to squint at the water pot which has started to crackle quietly.
He's still smirking, satisfaction rolling off of him in waves. Like a tiny victory between them is as rewarding as a flawless set or a match point. Kiyoomi can't look away, too caught up in the details of him. A little bit of sleep and the quiet of the night has softened Atsumu's edges, rendered him a little sweeter—if no less loud. It's not the first time Kiyoomi's seen him like this, but each time feels like the first. Like a revelation.
The rest of the tea brewing passes in relative quiet. Atsumu's less brutally efficient at this time of night. He stops several times to yawn, rub at his eyes, and squint at the teapot like he's forgotten what he was doing just two seconds ago. It makes Kiyoomi want to chastise him again. It makes him want to wrap Atsumu in a blanket like a roll of sushi and haul him back to bed. It makes him want to rub at his own chest, like that will loosen the feelings knotting there, just below the surface.
He's not sure when he sways into Atsumu's space, drawn slowly but surely into his orbit just like he's always been, ever since the day they met. So Kiyoomi comes close and stares blankly at the teapot, Atsumu leans heavily into him, and together they stand there for who-knows-how-long, counterbalancing each other to stay on their feet.
Ironically, being upright might have been all Kiyoomi needed to remember how to fall asleep.
"This's nice of me," Atsumu says eventually. He must have decided that the tea's ready because he pushes the teapot towards Kiyoomi. He sounds as drowsy as Kiyoomi feels. "Say thanks."
Kiyoomi yawns. He presses a plush, lingering kiss to Atsumu's temple and pours himself a cup.
But Kiyoomi ignores him. He unplugging the water pot with a snap of his wrist and downs half his tea in a single swallow.
Atsumu jabs him in the chest. "That's not how you do it!" he snaps. "Sip it. Slow."
"If the way I drink it matters, then it's not really the tea that helps me sleep," Kiyoomi argues.
Irritation flickers across Atsumu's face. He opens and closes his mouth, but no words come out. Eventually he gives up on whatever he wanted to say, settles for a single frustrated sound, and stomps back towards the bedroom. He stumbles a little on the way like he's too annoyed or too tired to walk a straight line—possibly both. Kiyoomi watches him until he's gone, his affection like a physical weight on his chest.
He sips the rest of his tea slowly—just because he wants to, not because Atsumu insisted—and thinks about nothing in particular. The night's so empty without Atsumu to fill it with noise and warmth. It's absurd to feel lonely, but he's just tired enough and it's just late enough that the feeling creeps up on him anyway. He tosses the last few swallows of tea, cleans his cup, and treads back to their bedroom.
Atsumu's already swaddled in their bed, half asleep and squinting at the doorway. Waiting. Kiyoomi pauses and looks at him. Just for a minute. Just so he can remember this, later. The next time he has trouble sleeping, maybe.
Predictably, Atsumu doesn't like waiting. "C'mere, already," he groans, opening his arms.
Well. Kiyoomi doesn't need to be told twice.
Morning seeps in, slow and sweet. Kiyoomi wakes up in doses, resisting consciousness every step of the way. Everything is warm, warm, warm—except his toes, which never are. There's a familiar tap-tap-tap that he could place anytime, anyplace: that stupid mobile game Atsumu keeps blowing all his money on. Like most mornings these days, it's that irritating sound that really, truly wakes him up.
He's on his side, chest to chest with Atsumu with his head tucked under Atsumu's chin. Atsumu's arms are around him, but only so he can keep his phone up at eye level while he's playing. Kiyoomi shifts a little and presses his toes to the tops of Atsumu's feet; Atsumu hisses, kicks his toes away, then settles again.
Eventually he says, "Mornin', sunshine."
Kiyoomi makes a vague sound into Atsumu's collarbone. He doesn't move.
"Uh-huh," Atsumu agrees. "Gonna go back to sleep? We gotta few hours 'til practice."
That sounds nice. He's so warm and Atsumu's so close. Sleep doesn't come easy for Kiyoomi most of the time; it'd be a shame to waste this opportunity. He considers it without saying a word, and the morning stretches on and on.
"'Tsumu," he mumbles eventually, lips dry against the hollow of Atsumu's throat.
The tap-tap-tap stops. "Mm?"
"It was nice," he says. "Thanks."
Atsumu's quiet for a long time. Long enough that Kiyoomi's body starts to feel heavy. Long enough that he starts to wonder if maybe he's already asleep.
Finally, Atsumu sinks his fingers into Kiyoomi's curls and sighs, "Shut up, ya sap."
It's so annoying. Atsumu's the most annoying person on earth, probably. Kiyoomi presses his smile against his throat—so close that Atsumu can't see it, so close he won't know he's won again. Just like that, he falls asleep.