There was nothing unusual about the court.
It was Karasuno’s first match against Seijoh and since two people were missing on the day of practice match, one due to injury and the other due to an important matter, they still feared that Seijoh had something planned ahead.
Despite the fact Karasuno won against them at the practice match, they have two allies more this time: Nishinoya Yuu the guardian of defense and Asahi Azumane, the ace that recovered and spiked through his way.
Kageyama silently looked around as he entered the court.
There was nothing to fear, he already knew that Oikawa would be his opponent this time and he already had his little breakdown about the man he respected but feared the most, yet the excitement of fighting head on against him never ceased.
Not even for a moment.
He took a ball out of the box and started warming up, the uneasy feeling slowly spread inside of him.
Already aware that things had been different this time he isolated himself a bit from the team and had to think things through.
“Oh they are finally here, Aoba Johsai is entering the court”, Sugawara stated and my gaze wandered to the other side where Oikawa entered with his team right at his back.
Everything was fine, it was fine Kageyama thought before Asahi had asked him if he could toss him some balls to adjust before the game.
But there was one thing that couldn’t escape Kageyama’s ears.
“Oh the one who was missing last time along with Oikawa is here, I heard he was a first year. I heard he is a Middle-blocker”, and his eyes widened at the sight of a small and delicate figure that was laughing along with his team members.
Kunimi close to him and Kindaichi poking his sides while Iwaizumi had ruffled through his scruffy orange hair that reminded him of a tangerine.
“It’s Seijoh’s number 10, Hinata Shoyo”, Kageyama turned his head to Tsukishima who stepped up next to him.
“He is kind of short to be a middle-blocker, but since their setter is apparently amazing I heard that number 10 already had his time to shine due to his capabilities”, a condescending glance from him, “unlike our self-centered King, don’t you think so too?”
Kageyama was boiling inside from the remark that Tsukishima had dropped but what was catching his eyes even more was the fact that number 10 had realized he was observing him and stared back a bit irritated and nervous.
“Tobio-chan! How have you been doing with your King act?”, Oikawa’s usual teasing tone behind his smile was silently ignored by Kageyama as he fixed number 10 which the former one realized.
“Ah, you wondering who this little guy is?”, Seijoh’s captain put an arm around him and ruffled through his hair as the small young man with the orange hair smiled widely with a slight blush, “our newest treasure, Hinata Shoyo an actual threat to our old-fashioned Ace”, there was a ball that hit Oikawa’s back as he groaned in pain.
“Stop talking behind people’s back, trashykawa! And Hinata, don’t tag along or your brain cells will deteriorate next to that guy.”, Iwaizumi just nodded over to Kageyama and made his way back to practice.
Hinata greeted Kageyama as well, a bit too formal and turned around his white shirt with aqua-colored accents showing the number 10 and his name.
I felt the weird stare still in my back, whenever I turned around I caught the glance of the scary-looking black-haired setter that played in Karasuno.
Oikawa-senpai had called him Tobio-chan, as he told me he was an underclassman in this middle-school.
Iwaizumi called him a prodigy once, since then I wondered who he might be and now that I saw him I remembered the middle-school match in my last year.
Kageyama Tobio, I promised to defeat you the next time we see each other.
With an excited smile I grasped the ball tightly and walked up to Oikawa-senpai.
“Oikawa-senpai, please give me a toss!”, I yelled and stretched out the ball as he irritatedly took it from my hands and started laughing.
“Shoyo-chan, you are excited to beat Tobio-chan, right? Well I am as well so let’s give it our best!”
Hinata doesn’t remember me at all.
I had realized that as he hit those balls Oikawa tossed to him in a whole different manner.
My eyes kept following him subconsciously even in the middle of the game, my focus was off and I didn’t know why.
But there was one moment that made me stop moving, the moment he soared into the sky with wide eyes that were burning flames as he knocked down the spike that Oikawa prepared for him and only him.
“Shoyoo!”, I heard the yells of his team as they ran over and hugged him, making him disappear in their arms.
The first one who stepped away was Oikawa-san as he came closer to the net.
“Tobio-chan, you have been staring ever since he entered. Are you perhaps on bad terms with my spiker?”, the last words somehow left a bad taste in my throat.
“Your spiker?”, I repeated a bit angry.
He gave me a confused stare for a moment before uncrossing his arms.
“He is one of a very few I have seen. I am really happy being able to be the captain of an amazing team, and especially happy that Shoyo joined us”, the way he used his first name so casually and the way Hinata seemed so happy and free-spirited in the other team made me look away.
I watched him, there was no trace left.
He doesn’t remember.
“You seem even more rude than usual Tobio-chan”, he poked through the hole of the net and touched my temple, “people will run away if they see your scary face.”
With that he waved while moving back to the court and in front of me stood Hinata who seemed to avoid my stare at first, obviously nervous.
“Hinata”, I muttered and he fixed me now with a serious gaze, the one he usually gave his opponents when he was hyped.
“Don’t you remember?”, I had asked him and his eyes widened with eyes that seemed fierce and scary.
“Of course I do”, a sudden rush of relief rushed through me and I didn’t really understand it.
So I am not the only one.
“Then what about the super quick, why don’t you move like that at all?”, after relief anger followed as the thought of betrayal came up.
“super… quick? In middle-school I could barely spike the ball, what are you talking about you saw it for yourself?”, the confused and annoyed frown on his face made me realize we didn’t talk about the same thing.
“Yes, I lost to you one year ago, isn’t that what you meant?”,he titled his head and went into position as Oikawa served.
“No, I meant the super quick we used to do, at your time in Karasuno!”
As he Hinata wanted to jump he slipped and fell to the ground causing us all to stop in our tracks.
I had flinched and almost wanted to insult him like I used to but then he rubbed his behind and looked up at me.
“What are you talking about, I never even visited Karasuno in the first place. Oikawa invited me to join Aoba Johsai’s volleyball club after our match in middle-school”, his glare was intense when I was too shocked to help him up.
Oikawa-san came over and helped him up looking at me in an irritated manner, “Tobio, that’s even too much tyranny coming from you”, he walked up to me and I gulped.
“O-Oikawa-san”, I stuttered.
He must know, if someone would then he would in the end we had won against them once.
Oikawa is the only one who would remember.
On cue he heaved an eyebrow waiting for my response.
“The freak duo quick, Hinata and I used to do. You do remember it, right?”
There was silence for some seconds and Oikawa leaned down to look in my face, as if to check up on me.
“Tobio, what are you talking about? I don’t know if you guys know each other that well but I have never heard of such a quick attack you mentioned there”, I felt the colour drain from my face and immediately turned to Asahi and Sugawara.
“Kageyama you look pale, what is up? You are kind of out of it today…”, Sugawara noticed with a concerned face.
“Hinata Shoyo, our quick attack, the greatest decoy don’t you remember our strongest weapon?”, they looked at each other in confusion.
“Kageyama, do you need a timeout?”, Daichi patted my shoulder and I slapped away his arm.
“No! I don’t need one!”
“There was never someone who entered Karasuno with the name Hinata Shoyo”, now even Takeda-sensei interfered and looked at me seriously.
I was forced to take a timeout and watch the game from the bench.
Hinata was an amazing player in Seijoh, I couldn’t help but watch him and Oikawa.
Why am I the only one remembering him?
Why is this happening?