[Mess ○ Tsukishima Kei]


[Mess Tsukishima Kei]

It was exhausting. Playing matches always were.

But this, this end-game set, the fifth played, was on another level. To the point they thought their muscles would tear from their bones, they ran. Feeling as though their thighs would split, they jumped. Kei couldn't recall the last time his lungs had burned like this, that his heart had thumped so audibly in his ears.

And yet he kept going. The sting of the hard rubber slamming from his hand to the floor, the look of frustration on the face of the opponent he had so completely shut out, kept him going. The pride in his achievement kept him moving, served as extra energy to maintain mobility.

The Shiratorizawa match really was a whole new height of difficulty.

And yet, somehow, exhausted shrieks rang through the stadium, some of which his own, rattling in Kei's brain. Part of him wanted to hold back, screaming about volleyball was lame, but that was overridden by the sheer relief that it was over, they had conquered the team that had seemed so far ahead, leaps and bounds above them in terms of talent. They didn't have to go home disappointed. Their journey wasn't over.

His legs felt like dead weight as he and his team made their way to the minibus that would take them to the small celebration the Coach had set up, Hinata and Kageyama squabbling, the others chattering tiredly as usual. Yamaguchi mumbling something in his ear. The buzz was relaxed and gentle. However, short lived.

"TSUKKKIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!" The excited shriek tore through the team's ambience, and despite the state of each of their tired legs, everybody turned, to see [Name], fists clenched and eyes red, Saeko and Yachi in tow. All three girls looked like they'd been crying, though [Name] more so than most. You'd always been a crybaby. Probably had been crying since the first set.

He knew it was coming. He could have seen it from a mile off- even the idiot ginger could have. But, with leaden legs, it was impossible to evade, so Tsukishima had to suffer a small and slightly stupid girl throwing herself with a running jump straight at him.

"I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!" You blubbered, crying again. Out of the corner of his eye, Kei noticed the other first years being shuffled away, and that caused him more embarrassment than the stares. He fidgeted, attempting to prod you off him.

"Why are you the one crying? Baby." He said, fondness softening his voice unwittingly as you stared up at him with a messy face. He rolled his eyes and used the corner of his shirt to wipe your tears away. "You're a mess."

"Because- that was so intense! And now I'm so happy!" You paused for a moment, and then your eyes filled up again, arms once again wrapping around him with a wail of his name. He flinched slightly and hissed quietly in pain, you having caught his injured hand. You stuttered an apology and immediately let go, only for him to place his free hand on the back of your head and pull it to his chest.

"Don't misunderstand," he grumbled as you slowly wrapped your arms back around him in wariness, "I just don't want people to see me with a girl who has such an ugly face on. Pull yourself together."

You couldn't help but giggle slightly. His words were less cutting when he was trying to hide a sprinkling of redness on the tips of his ears.