“So, Kei, your wish is finally coming true.”
Tsukishima doesn’t turn to look at his brother, pretending that the headphones covering his ears are blasting music. He shoves his suitcase into the car with unnecessary roughness and walks to the front seat. Before he can get in, Akiteru catches his arm.
“I know you heard me,” he tells Tsukishima. In return, Tsukishima glares at his brother. Akiteru blanches, taking a step back before clearing his throat. “You’ve always wanted to move out, but now that you’re going to university for finances, you don’t seem as… excited as I thought you would be.”
“And what do you want me to do about that?” Tsukishima asks, a mock frown plastered on his face. “I have to meet my roommate today, and he’s probably going to be as stupid as the rest of the students there. There’s no way that we’ll get along.”
“Hey, you don’t know that!” Akiteru hops into the driver’s side. “You became friends with Bokuto and Kuroo pretty easily. If you tried, you two could become great friends! One person can make everything better, you know.”
Tsukishima snorts. “Somehow I sincerely doubt that. And for the record, I was forced to become friends with those imbeciles.” He gets in the car and turns on his music to avoid further conversation. Akiteru thankfully stays quiet and ignores the lie. The drive to his university takes less time than anticipated, and they end up arriving while it’s still light outside.
“Alright, Kei, be sure to visit me!” Akiteru smiles at him through the mirror as Tsukishima gets his suitcase out from the trunk of the car. Once he has everything and is ready to go to his dorms, Akiteru sniffles, “I’ll miss you, okay? See ya, little bro.”
Tsukishima smiles slightly as he waves goodbye to Akiteru. He doesn’t move until his brother is out of sight, his face falling back into its regular frown. After a moment, Tsukishima heads inside his dorm building in order to avoid any people. His room is on the first floor, thank goodness, so he doesn’t have to use the stairs everyday.
Tsukishima scowls when he struggles with the dorm room’s lock, the key barely fitting into the socket. His roommate isn’t inside, but it seems that they’ve already unpacked, judging by the bedspread, the volleyball and the various books stacked everywhere on their side of the room. Taking off his headphones, Tsukishima begins to unpack, though he didn’t bring many things. With his only interests being music and dinosaurs, he didn’t feel the need to bring items he wouldn’t need.
Tsukishima is attempting to fit his suitcase under his bed when the door of his dorm opens. A guy nearly his height bounces in, and Tsukishima stands to greet him. The first thing that he notices is that the boy’s hair is greenish-black, a fairly irregular colour. Then it's the freckles, the sweaty workout clothes, and lastly, the brown eyes that stare into his own.
“Oh, uh- hi!” The guy says, clearly startled. A grin spreads across his face. “I didn’t think that you’d be here so early, so I was at the gym. I’m Yamaguchi Tadashi, your new roommate. And you’re-”
“Tsukishima Kei,” he interrupts. Tsukishima’s first impression of Yamaguchi is… odd. Yamaguchi seems sort of desperate and lacks self-confidence, but at the same time, radiates a sort of calmness that could also be interpreted as control. At least he doesn’t seem like a complete fool. Tsukishima almost puts his headphones back on, but then he remembers what his brother said earlier that day. If you tried, you two could become great friends . So he takes a deep breath and says, “I’m here for finance. What’s your major?”
Yamaguchi blinks, as if shocked that they were still talking. “Uh, electronic engineering.”
Tsukishima opens his mouth slightly in surprise. Electronic engineering is supposedly one of the most difficult engineering majors there are. “That’s nice.”
“Say, Tsukishima,” Yamaguchi says quickly. “I’m going to go grab dinner with one of my friends, do you want to come with us?”
He shakes his head out of habit, automatically replying coolly, “I’ll pass.” Yamaguchi flinches slightly, and Tsukishima grimaces internally.
“A-alright, I’ll see you later then. Don’t get your head stuck in your ass,” Yamaguchi strides out of the dorm, nearly running outside. Once the door closes behind him, Tsukishima curses, kicking his suitcase further beneath his bed.
Why is it so hard for me to just be nice for once? He thinks, not at all blaming Yamaguchi for his snide remark. There goes the one chance I had at making an actual friend.
He wasn’t hungry, having eaten on the way to university with Akiteru. So he flops onto his bed and pulls out his favourite book. He loses track of time, and by the time he looks up again, it’s nearly his bedtime and Yamaguchi seems to have just returned to the dorm.
The door opens, and Yamaguchi enters, calling over his shoulder, “See you later, Suga! Oh, hey, Tsukishima.”
“Hello,” he replies. “How was your, uh, dinner?”
“Really good, thanks. Sorry about earlier,” Yamaguchi smiles, tossing his jacket onto his bed.
Tsukishima shrugs, catching a glimpse of the jacket, and he makes a slight realization. “You played volleyball in high school?”
“Oh, yeah, I did,” Yamaguchi replies. “What about it?”
“Are you good?” Tsukishima winces at his own tone, pausing for a moment before speaking again. “What’s your position?”
“Middle blocker. I still play too. I’m on a team with the friend I ate dinner with.”
“Interesting. Your height isn’t bad for volleyball either. Were you on the starting line up, or...”
“Ah, yeah, I was the captain in my third year, so I guess you could say I’m pretty good. Our team almost made it to nationals too, but we lost to Date Tech in the preliminary finals two years in a row.”
Tsukishima pauses. This guy was the captain of a team? He didn’t seem confident enough for a job like that. Maybe there weren’t any other candidates for the job of captain. “That’s too bad, but I’ve heard of Date Tech. Their blocks are nearly impenetrable.”
“Yeah, we had an amazing duo that broke through their blocks a lot, but our own blocks were pretty weak. We could’ve been so much better if we had a tall middle blocker that specialized in blocks. Since I specialized in serving and our best middle blocker specialized in spiking, we didn’t have many powerful walls. Also, how do you know so much about volleyball? Do you play?” Yamaguchi sits on his bed, yanking off his shoes with a strange amount of struggling, then lies down, letting his arms spread out to take up the open space.
“No, I don’t play, it’s just that my brother does, and he constantly tries to get me to play because I’m tall. My schoolmates did that as well.”
“Oh, I see. What school did you come from? Maybe I’ve heard of their volleyball team.”
“You probably have… I went to Nekoma.”
“Oh, we have the biggest rivalry with them. I went to Karasuno.”
“Ah, I’m pretty sure I was told about that rivalry. It was a big deal for our school’s team. It was called, if I recall, the battle of, uh-”
“The battle of the trash heap,” Yamaguchi informs him. “Sounds kind of lame, but it’s a pretty cool rivalry. We never got to face each other in an official match while I was in school though, since our team never made it to nationals. We got shut down in the inter-high finals every time we got to that level.”
“That sucks, really. My friends that were on the team always seemed pretty pumped up about it.” Tsukishima shrugs slightly, putting aside his book. “It was kind of annoying, actually.”
“You’re friends with some of the players?” Yamaguchi sits up in interest.
“Yeah, maybe you know them. Kuroo Tetsurou and Kozume Kenma?”
“Ah, yeah. Their old captain and setter duo, huh? Somehow, the only thing that surprises me about that is the fact that you have friends.” Yamaguchi fiddles with his shaggy hair, braiding a loose strand together innocently.
“Excuse me?” Tsukishima sputters. “Why are you so surprised?”
“Eh, I don’t know.” Yamaguchi's mouth twitches with the ghost of a smile. “You just don’t really seem like the type of person who has a social life.”
“I’ll have you know that my social life is perfectly normal,” Tsukishima scoffs. “Besides, I could say the same about you, Yamaguchi. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go to bed.”
“Alright, alright, cool.” Yamaguchi grins widely, clearly amused, and gets out his phone, laying back down on his bed. His hair splays out in a small halo around his head, causing Tsukishima to smile slightly before heading to the washroom.