Gray 🤠 | GRIEF FIC 📌

Gray 🤠 | GRIEF FIC 📌

03-06-2022

14:00

#sakuatsu Kiyoomi-centric | unsupportive family Kiyoomi’s parents learn about their son learning volleyball like this: “And what did you do today, Kiyoomi?” his father asks in between reading sheets of seemingly important paperwork. Kiyoomi opens his mouth. +

His mother interjects. “He went to the Komoris, remember?” His father nods, but he doesn’t look up. “Right, right. What did you and… what’s his name? The one that’s Kiyoomi’a age?” “Montoya,” his mother hisses. His father seems not to notice his mother’s mood. +

“Yes, Motoya. What did you and Motoya do today?” Kiyoomi swallows, pushing the tension in the air down to his stomach. “He took me to volleyball club,” he says, clumsy lips forming words carefully. “It was fun.” “Oh yeah?” His father flips through sheets. “That’s nice.” +

Kiyoomi thinks about the sting in his palm, the lingering redness on his arms, the ache in his thighs. “I want to join volleyball club, too.” His mother gasps, “Really?” A nod, tiny black curls bouncing. “It was fun.” “Can he, hon?” His mother asks, biting her lip. +

They both know well that his father can be unpredictable, but the man does not look at either of them as he says, “Fine. As long as it doesn’t harm his studies.” “Great! I’ll get it sorted tomorrow!” Kiyoomi allows himself a private smile before returning to the meal. +

He knows then that he will never see his father at a match, but his mother seems genuinely excited. After he starts going to club, starts practicing, he tries to tell her about it, but the better he gets, the less happy she appears. He overhears her on the phone one day. +

“I was so thrilled that he was going to do a sport with kids his age, Akari!” She whines into the receiver. “I thought people would stop asking me if he’s ‘all there.’ But now, he’s obsessed with it! I don’t even think he talks to his teammates, except the little Komori boy.” +

Kiyoomi does not talk about volleyball to his mother again. She’s happier for it. He is quiet when he gets home, quiet through dinner, quiet as he excuses himself afterwards to go on a walk, and quiet as he ends up at the gym and does wall drills until his wrists burn. +

Every time he goes to Motoya’s house, his mother asks what they did. If he says they played, she knows he means volleyball, and her brows pinch and her lips wrinkle. If he says the studied or spent time with other friends, she beams at him. So he lies. It’s easier. +

His first tournament, he tells his parents. They’re both busy, but they send his sister, who complains the entire time and waits outside as Kiyoomi scores the lion’s share of points for his team. “Was I good?” He asks her afterwards. She sneers at him. “I don’t care.” +

Her nose wrinkles. “You stink and you ruined my weekend. I had plans, you know?” That’s the last time a family member attends his games. His family works things out with the Komoris to make sure he gets there and back safely, at least while he’s young. +

He comes down with a cold, and his brother berates him for his hygiene, whining about how kids are germ factories. Kiyoomi keeps that in mind. Over time, he learns how not to be a bother. He keeps himself clean and healthy. He rinses himself of inconvenience to others. +

Is he plagued with the need to wash his hands three times, otherwise his fingers burn? Sure. But it doesn’t make his parents sad or his siblings grouse at him, so he can deal with it. Motoya’a mom brings him prepackaged snacks to games and tournaments, and that’s good enough. +

Until it isn’t. Until he’s in the inter-middle tournament and sees all the banners, all the families. The stands are packed. Parents have made signs for their kids. Kiyoomi excuses himself to the restroom. He’s fighting a strange burning in his eyes when he leaves. +

He’s hardly a step down the hall when he sees a pair of twins getting squeezed by a woman and an elderly woman, gushing about how proud they are. Kiyoomi has four grandparents, he thinks. He’s only met two of them. His siblings know them better. +

His own grandparents don’t even know he plays volleyball, let alone that he’s good at it. He stalks past the little family, barely brushing one of the twins with his shoulder. “Oi!” He calls, but Kiyoomi ignores him. He walks back to the gym. He wins the inter-middle. +

He goes home. Cleans up. Sits down for dinner. “What did you do today, Kiyoomi?” His father asks, elbows-deep in a pocket-computer he’d gotten from his work. Kiyoomi vastly prefers it to the pager he’d had previously. The beeping was demonic. +

“Played in a national volleyball tournament,” he says, dabbing his mouth with a napkin. “We won.” His father clacks at the screen with his stylus. “Oh, okay. Does that Komori boy still play?” His mother is silent. She pecks at her food. “Yes,” Kiyoomi says. +

Then they talk about his brother and sister. Aunts and uncles. People Kiyoomi knows by name, but not by association. After dinner, Kiyoomi asks his mother, “How many grandparents do I have?” “Three,” she says. Kiyoomi isn’t sure which one is dead, or when. He doesn’t ask. +

Itachiyama doesn’t win every middle-school tournament, but they do well in all of them. Kiyoomi and Motoya, especially. Motoya seems like he can play any position, but Kiyoomi only likes playing as a spiker. He likes how hard he can hit the ball, and he likes the sting. +

Kiyoomi learns that the twins he saw in the hall are the Miya twins. He learns that they have fangirls, despite their rotten personalities. He learns that Osamu looks at people like they aren’t really there, and Atsumu looks at them like their presence is a challenge. +

When he sees them again at the first inter-high, Atsumu’s hair is a terrible shade of yellow that’s supposedly gold, and Osamu’s is a tarnished sort of silver. It’s the first time, but not the last, that his subconscious likens Atsumu to the sun. +

Atsumu loves volleyball loudly and openly, cursing out fans, referees, and players alike in his passion. He burns voraciously, his flames chewing up everyone around him until they’re nothing but ash. Kiyoomi meets his eyes across the net in the quarterfinals . +

They’re both supremely lonely, with only volleyball to catch their emotions. Irrationally, Kiyoomi thinks he might love him, especially when his brother forcibly holds his jaw shut when he’s at risk of ejection from the game. He wins, but they lose the next one. +

“Anything interesting happen today, Kiyoomi?” His father asks over dinner. “No,” Kiyoomi lies, thoughts drowning in ugly, bleached hair and a foul mouth and a rancid attitude. He wants to be in Atsumu’s fire, wants it to melt the ice that’s frozen Kiyoomi’s chest. +

His thoughts grow more errant as exposure to Atsumu increases. At spring nationals, Kiyoomi wants to punch him. At the next inter-high, Kiyoomi wants to hold his hand. At the All-Japan Youth Training Camp, he wants to kiss him. At the next spring nationals… +

He spends more time in the shower than his routine usually calls for. “Have you met anyone you’re interested in?” His mother asks him as he enters his last year of high school. “No,” he lies, thoughts drowning in thick, flexible thighs and easy smiles and sharp canines. +

His mother nods shortly. “Good. It’s good to keep your prospects open until you find a suitable girl.” There won’t be a girl suitable for him, he’s certain of it, but he hums his agreement and thinks about introducing Atsumu to his family. He laughs so hard he cries. +

He asks Motoya at practice the next day, “Can you imagine if I brought Miya Atsumu home to my parents?” “What the fuck?” Motoya says, which is fair. He hasn’t been privy to Kiyoomi’s wayward thoughts. “Never mind,” he says, but Motoya doesn’t let it go. +

Kiyoomi tells him eventually, just before the next inter-high. Motoya hugs him and tells him that he’ll always be there for him. Notably, he doesn’t entertain the thought that Kiyoomi’s parents would understand. Kiyoomi likes that about Motoya. He’s smart. +

Kiyoomi watches all of Inarizaki’s games at the inter-high, but he finds himself watching the Miya family more than the volleyball. Atsumu notices. He corners him in the hallway after the game, fists his collar, and pushes him up against the wall. “Ya got beef with my family?”+

Kiyoomi shakes his head. “No,” he says, fixated on how the knuckle of Atsumu’s index finger is pressed against the cold skin of Kiyoomi’s neck. “Then why were ya starin’ at ‘em?” Kiyoomi swallows, feels how his throat moves against Atsumu’s skin. “I was just curious.” +

Atsumu’s teeth grit. Fire blazes in his eyes. “About what?” “Why I’ve seen them at every tournament,” Kiyoomi says. Atsumu’s grip falters. “Why do you ask them to come?” Atsumu’s arm draws back. “I don’t!” He sputters. “They just come anyway to support us!” +

Kiyoomi must not be schooling his surprise, because Atsumu’s brows furrow tightly. “Do yers not?” Just the proximity to Atsumu’s warmth melts Kiyoomi enough to say, “No. They’ve never seen me play.” Atsumu completely releases Kiyoomi, and his jaw drops. “Never?” +

Fury rages in Kiyoomi’s marrow, and his bones burn. “Don’t fucking pity me, Miya,” he spits, turning away. “And don’t fucking touch me.” He storms off, leaving Atsumu shocked-still and open-mouthed in the hallway. Shame circulates in his bloodstream. +

Kiyoomi gets an offer from the Japan Railway Warriors. He turns them down. He’s going to college. Atsumu treats him differently at the youth camp that year. He’s still rude and demanding, but he sits with Kiyoomi and makes terrible jokes to try to get him to laugh. +

Eventually, he says, “You should ask ‘em to come see ya play at Nationals.” “They won’t come,” Kiyoomi tells him. Atsumu works his jaw. “Okay, but I think ya should still ask. Yer vice captain, and it’s yer last Nationals.” “I’ll think about it.” +

He does ask. He says, “I’ll be playing in my last high school nationals this weekend. I’m vice-captain.” His father says, “wait, vice-captain? Who’s captain?” He swallows. “Motoya. He’s better with the other guys.” His father huffs a sigh. “You should have been captain.”+

His family does not come to see him play at Nationals. Atsumu corners him again, this time less fist-in-throat and more of a kabe-don (except it couldn’t be that, because Atsumu isn’t gay, is he?). “Did ya ask?” He winks. Kiyoomi nods. “Yes.” Atsumu’s nose wrinkles. +

“What did they say?” “That I should have been Captain, not vice-captain.” Atsumu sighs heavily, putting his other arm on the wall to support his dramatic gestures. He’s completely caging Kiyoomi in. Heat climbs to his throat. “They don’t know what they’re missin’.” +

Atsumu raises his head, looks Kiyoomi in the eyes. “It’s a treat watchin’ ya play, Ki-yo-omi.” Kiyoomi is surely blushing, and Atsumu seems to realize belatedly what the whole scene must look like. He backs away. “Haha, my bad. But don’t worry, I can fix this!” +

Then he runs off, leaving Kiyoomi flustered and confused in equal measure. Kiyoomi almost forgets about it until he hears a loud, familiar voice, amplified somehow, scream, “NICE SERVE, KI-YO-OMI!” Kiyoomi gets a service ace. +

Throughout the game, Kiyoomi becomes Omi, and Kiyoomi plays an incredible game. Atsumu’s in the crowd for all of Kiyoomi’s games that tournament, except for the finals, because he’s across the net. “Nice serve, Omi!” He taunts. Kiyoomi gets a service ace. +

Itachiyama wins in a grueling 5 sets that leave Kiyoomi’s wrist aching. Kiyoomi wants to talk to Atsumu, but he’s pulled away by a representative from MSBY, recruiting Atsumu for the Black Jackals. Kiyoomi’s never seen so much light emanate from one person before. +

Osamu tracks him down, though. “He wanted to do this himself, but he’s talkin’ stuff out with the guy from MSBY,” he says. “But he said he couldn’t leave without doin’ this, so here.” Osamu sticks out his hand with a piece of paper. “His phone number.” +

Kiyoomi stares at it like it might bite him. Osamu laughs. “Ya don’t have to take it or even text him. But if he asks, ya gotta say that I gave it to ya.” Kiyoomi takes the paper, holds it gingerly. “Okay,” he says. “Thank you.” He doesn’t text Atsumu for a week. +

He finds a picture of a fox that looks just like him and sends it to Atsumu with the message, “is this you?” So begins a 4-year-long text-based friendship, during which Atsumu watches every game of Kiyoomi’s that’s televised and Kiyoomi collects merch for MSBY 13. +

Motoya calls them disgusting. Kiyoomi doesn’t call them anything, because he’s too scared to ruin whatever it is that they have. His last year of college, he gets offers from five professional teams. Motoya wants him to join EJP Raijin with him. He accepts MSBY’s offer. +

During his try-outs, Atsumu hollers, “Nice serve, Omi!” Kiyoomi gets a service ace. He becomes Omi to his team, and they drag him out to parties and dinners. He laughs, he curses, and he talks about volleyball. No one’s brows pinch, no one frowns. +

At Atsumu’s 24th birthday party, Kiyoomi kisses him. Atsumu kisses him back. He doesn’t tell his family, not yet. They haven’t spoken to him since he accepted MSBY’s offer. But that’s okay. He has everything, and everyone, he needs right here. /end


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