Art by @edalnem on twitter
Anxiously and with my heart daring to almost jump out of my throat, as I approached a door that was far too plain next to the other ones full of stickers and name tags.
My anxiety was mostly positive nervousness though, as I grinned and bit my lip when I knocked on the door.
“Who is it?”, a lackluster voice came out from inside and I grinned now fully.
“It’s me”, I replied, but there was no answer.
Rude as ever.
I only heard shuffling and was about to knock again, when I thought of another tactic.
“I’m wearing a mask! And glove-”
The door opened and I almost shrieked when suddenly a huge giant stood in front of me with his own mask covering his features.
Although he looked all intimidating, as he caught my glance he softened a little bit and gave a gruff sound.
“Is that how you greet me?”, I pouted, “I even showered before coming here!”
With a sigh, the beta opened the door behind him wider and stepped to the side for me to enter.
“Hello Asami”, he grumbled and I grinned as I walked inside.
“That’s all I get after a whole year? No hug?”, I turned around in his room and caught his distorted facial expression.
Sakusa was definitely no hugs guy, but it almost looked like he was contemplating on it.
“I’m joking?”, a smile etched on my face as he visibly relaxed and ran the details of his room through my head again.
It looked almost sterile, the bed meticulously made and not a single thing disorganized. The sun came in through the white mesh curtains and splayed its rays across the floor.
For a second I forgot how familiar this room used to be, because it was his safespace. The one place where his rules were always adhered, and I made sure to not anger him too much.
It was still fun egging him on though.
I sat on the swivel chair after checking the window again and turned around in it with a giggle until he sat on his bed. Rolling closer to him I finally extended my pinky finger towards him and he shot me a disbelieving look.
It was our little inside joke from when we were children, we used to either bump elbows or lightly tap our pinky finger together.
“I even put on gloves, man!”, I whined and he sighed for a moment before touching his finger with mine.
I was about to retract mine, satisfied with the little step as he hooked his pinky and grabbed onto mine for a mere second before letting go.
“Welcome home, Omi”
“Yeah, yeah”, he dismissed and I turned again in my chair excitedly bubbling in my stomach.
We were both people who didn’t like to be suddenly touched, yet somehow still craved it. It was easy to communicate with Sakusa, he understood the small little details and knew exactly how to react to them.
“So how was the camp? Tell me all about it!”, I leaned on the chair and waited for the story to start.
Sakusa merely huffed, annoyance displaying in his face.
“Bokuto and Kuroo were a nuisance”
“A nuisance? They can’t be that bad!”
“You have no idea”, he shivered as he continued, “Bokuto left his dirty laundry in the common room. It was disgusting”.
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, the fact that the one big thing he remembered was the dirty socks of his colleague.
My laughter died down for a bit and I rubbed my temples, “So, what actually happened over there? Tell me at least something that doesn’t have to do with your antics”.
“International level is intense”, and his whole demeanor shifted, his eyes searched for something that wasn’t there and he looked back at me, “I learned a lot in that year, but there’s good players everywhere”.
Surprised by his sudden mood change I asked myself what kind of people he must’ve encountered while playing abroad.
Him and a couple of other volleyball players had been scouted for a year long contract for a volleyball camp overseas. I knew Sakusa intended to play varsity, and after graduating he was probably thinking of going completely pro, but his parents were pretty strict about his degree so he had to at least finish that.
When he got scouted for the camo, which was a huge opportunity, he couldn’t say no of course. Still, a year was a long time and I was glad it was over.
I felt selfish, but I also missed my childhood friend.
“So what are you going to do now? You still have a year or two until you graduate”
“I’ll try out for the varsity team”.
I nodded, knowing this would be the next step, but I also knew that there would be fierce competition.
“I’m pretty sure you’ll make the team, especially with the camp in your belt”.
He nodded and fell back into his grumpy state, “I’m pretty sure Bokuto will try out too”.
I giggled, “More dirty socks?”
“Are you going to keep with the online courses?”
Sakusa already hated a small assembly of people let alone a crowd, but a lecture hall full of bustling people with different scents and especially all of their germs?
Since he studied business economics, he took mostly online classes so he could stay in his room. I tried to do the same in my first semester, but after meeting Mikoto and Akaashi and getting into the beta committee I started to go out of my comfort zone more often.
“You should at least eat outside of your room”, but my suggestion only got me another glare.
“So I can mingle with all the germs? No thank you”.
I sighed, it was no use.
“You’re a stonehead”, I shot at him.
“You’re a little germ”, he shot back.
“Try to be more accepting! I mean people annoy me too and I hate it sometimes but you really are a handful!”, I pouted at him and he shook his head.
“Bokuto on varsity is going to be needing enough acceptance from me already”
“Don’t try to push it, Omi. Anyways, Kuroo is gonna be there too so it won’t be that bad”, I laughed and pushed the chair from side to side with my feet.
“Kuroo is not going varsity”, Sakusa’s voice was suddenly a bit softer, the snarkiness leaving quickly.
“What do you mean? He went to the camp too, I mean his chances are just as good! And he wanted to, didn’t you mention that?”
Shaking his head again, I felt a twinge in my chest as he said his next words.
“Asami, Kuroo injured his shoulder a couple weeks ago”.