“KENMA! KENMA? WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?” Kuroo Tetsurou, captain of the male volleyball club of Nekoma High, was looking around the ground, yelling his best friend name. He just had a meeting with the their coach, a bad news came from Karasuno High and Kuroo really needed to find his best friend, he had to tell him before anyone tell him or ask him about.
Nekoma’s captain found the team setter, the back leaning against a tree, playing some video game, waiting to go back home with him like usual. Kozume Kenma was so concentrate on his game that he didn’t noticed Kuroo was approaching:
“Ya what are you doing? I have been calling you, you didn’t heard me?” ask Kuroo
“Sorry no, I was trying to finish the level…” replied Kenma,
“Geezzz what I’m supposed to do with you…”
“I just spoke to coach Nekomata and he had a bad news from Karasuno adviser” looking his friend in the eyes
“What is it? They would not be able to hold the next practice match?”
“No…it’s not that…listen Kenma, something bad happen to Hintata”
“Yes Shouyou…he got an acci…”
“He is okay!!!”
“No…he is not…Hinata got hit by a car on his way back home. They found him the next morning, he…*sigh* he was already death”
When he had finished talking, Kuroo looked at his friend, he knew he was close to Karasuno number ten, each time Hinata was around, Kenma looked always a bit more happy or excited than usual. He was looking for a reaction coming from his friend, ready to comfort him, however nothing came, no scream, no tears, no reaction, Kenma was like the usual.
Kozume blindly looked at Kuroo and turn back his attention to his game. Deep inside he was in pain, his friend was death and he didn’t really knew how to react. He wanted to cry, to scream, he was angry. Angry at the driver who hit Hinata, angry at the people who didn’t find him earlier.
The small Nekoma’s setter was looking at his portable console trying to play his game, but soon he wasn’t able to play anymore. His vision was blurred by the tears that was coming down, tears he couldn’t stop. Kuroo watched his friend crying silently. He get closer, pat his head “It’s gonna be okay…come let’s go home…I have to call Bokuto tomorrow. I’m not sure if Karasuno adviser will have called them” Kenma looked at Kuroo get up why trying to stop his tear.
On their way home, Kenma and Kuroo were silent. Normally Kozume would play to his video while Kuroo would tease him, trying to get a reaction from his friend. But today it was different. The news of Hinata’s tragic death was a shock for them. Both team was in friendly terms. They were rivals, but they were also learning from each other. Karasuno and Nekoma was looking forward the next practice match they would have together for the next Golden Weeks. The third year would have not be there, but they promises they would come to watch. However, Hinata’s death change everything.
“It’s unfair…”said Kenma on the verge of bursting in tear “why did Shouyou did have to leave us? Kuroo… why?” Nekoma captain was looking at this friend, he didn’t know what to answer, it was the very first time he was seeing Kozume in this state. What he should do. Putting his arm around Kenma shoulder would be weird, if they weren’t in public he wouldn’t have minded, but I the train it was something else. He slowly left his hand to put it on Kozume head and gently stroke his, “Why..? Sadly I can’t answer that question. I know it’s unfair, he shouldn’t be gone, he should still be with us, be there for the next practice match. Buy destiny decided otherwise, decided it was time for him to go and… and we can do nothing about it. I don’t know when the funeral will be held but if we can attend, I’ll make sure to be there, in Hinata’s memories, for Karasuno. It hard for us, we knew him, we were friend, however for Karasuno…it’s like if they were losing a family member. I can’t imagine how they can feel know…” said Kuroo still stroking Kenma’s hair.
The pair got down at the stop walk silently until they part away. Kuroo watched Kenma sadly waving at him. He would have like to comfort him more. But he couldn’t find the words, words that will not make Kenma cry even more. He never saw him like that, even after a lost, the small setter had a disappointed look but never cried.
Kuroo turn away, headed for his home “I still have to call that damn Owl tomorrow…” he thought.
At the moment Nekoma’s captain reach his house, his cell phone start vibrating in his pocket. He reach it out, look at the name on the screen “Well…I guess I will not have to call him finally” he mumble.
“KUROOOOOOOOOO” screamed Bukoto between two sob “You…You heard the neewwss?”
Kuroo sighed, he should have known Bokuto would react this way:
“Yes…Bokuto I know…Karasuno adviser call Nekomata-san” he replied looking at his feet, still on the porche of his home. I should receive a call this week regarding the funeral. Hopefully me and Kenma will be able to attend. Maybe Lev and Inuoka will come too.”
“KUROOOOOOOOOO I was really looking forward that training camp, I promise him to pass by even if I’m not at Fukurodani”
“Calm down, I know what happened is tragic, but we can’t do nothing about it, except be there for Karasuno”
“…Guess you are right Kuroo…”
“Try to not think too much about it, maybe we can meet tomorrow and go to the shrine and pray for Hinata’s soul”
Hearing these words, Bokuto started crying again in Kuroo’s ears “Seriously…” thought the middle blocker,
“I really have to go bro, call you tomorrow to let you know what happen”
“O…OKAY. .” replied Fukurodani’s ace who was still crying.
Kuroo hang up, turn the doorknob and enter into his home with gloomy thoughts.
The next morning, when Kuroo and Kenma meet at their habitual place, Tetsurou noticed his friend seems to not had enough sleep “Maybe we should cancel practice after school” he thoughts. Kenma silently got close to him, lift his head to look at his tall friend:
“Hello Kuroo” he slowly said “Did you get any news about…about the funeral?” He asked with teary eyes.
“No I didn’t yet…maybe coach will get some today” replied Kuroo “Let’s head to the train station if we doesn’t want to be late”
Once again they were silent in the train, Kenma didn’t even took out his game console, instead he was staring outside by the window in front of him. Kenma was tired, he passed most of the last night crying, trying to understand why Hinata wasn’t there anymore. They weren’t best friend, but they was close friend. Kozume always liked to watch the small Karasuno number ten playing. For once Nekoma’s setter was really looking forward their next training camp, he wanted to play against Hinata, but it wasn’t possible anymore. Kenma was brought back to the reality by a little touch on his arm, Kuroo was notifying him they were at their stop. The pair drop down the train and took the direction of the school.
After school, Kuroo and Kenma attend to the practice. Their coach didn’t planned to tell everyone about Hinata’s death, he rather announced the news to only those who knew him.
While Kuroo was practice his block, he heard Nekomata calling Lev and Inuoka, Kuroo watched his teammates running toward the old man. The trio headed out the gym, to come back a moment later. While Lev was expressionless with some emptiness in his eyes, Inuoka was still rubbing the year off his eyes. Nekoma’s number one, let out a sigh and left his practice partner to have a talk with Haiba and Inuoka.
The pair looked at their captain who was approaching, while one was trying to hide his tears, the other watched him coming with a blank face. Once in front of them, he gave a glance at Kenma, the other excuse himself to the ones with whom he was practicing and walk to Kuroo “Let’s go outside” said the captain. Nekomata watch the four players heading outside the gym with a sorrowful look. The only thing he could do is listened to their concerns.
Once outside, the quatuor walk to a bench near by. Lev sat on the edge, looking at his feet. He was seeing Kenma who was trying to hold back his tears while Inuoka tears was falling without any sign of stopping soon. Their captain was standing in front of them, no one was talking. Haiba took a deep breath “I was really looking forward to block his spike during the training camp…I wanted to see him jump again and again… I…I …” his voice cracked and tears he couldn’t control started to fall down his cheeks. He tilted his head forward and look back at his feet, the tears was falling dropping on the soil, he wasn’t able to stop them. Kuroo look at the tall first year put his hand on the grey hair “I know Lev…I know…We were all looking forward the training to see him in action…so small but with so much energy to let out”
Kuroo painfully watch his teammates crying, he let them cry, he knew it wasn’t good to force them to keep everything inside. He wanted to cry too, he wanted to scream, scream at the life, scream life is a bitch, but he couldn’t, he had to stay strong for them. His teammates needed his support so he couldn’t let go anything, not now.
After a moment, when Kenma, Haiba and Inuoka had calmed down, they all go back to the gym, the practice was almost over and the first year already had started to clean the court. Nekomata told Kuroo he could leave with the three other, he would take care of the rest. The little group left the gym and took the direction of the changing room.
In the changing room, Kuroo look at his phone, he had a missing call, he look up the name “Glasses-kun…” Kuroo put his phone in his pocket he decide he would call Tsukishima once he will reach home. He didn’t wanted to call him with the three other beside. They were calm for now and he wanted to keep it that way.
Lev and Inuoka was about the leave when their captain asked them if they would be okay and if there is anything they could call him. The duo replied they should be okay and thanks him for worrying. Kuroo and Kenma was alone in the changing room. Nekoma’s captain look at the little setter over his shoulder. The latter had his phone in his hand and was slightly shaking, the eyes full of water.
Kuroo walked toward his friend and took the phone. He was looking at the last message Hinata’s sent him. The small Karasuno player was saying how he was excited about the upcoming practice match they would have together. He couldn’t wait to see him and show Kenma his news tricks. Tetsurou close the page and put it in Kozume’s bag “Don’t think about it, would will just tortured yourself more…let’s go” he then drag the little setter outside the changing room and headed to the train station.
Once he got home, Kuroo locked himself in his room and stare at his phone. Should he call Bokuto or Tsukishima first “Maybe Glasses-kun have the info about the funeral…let’s call him first, if he got anything I’ll be able to tell Bokuto after” he said to himself. Tetsurou took deep breath and composed Tsukishima number. The latter pick up almost right away:
“Hey! It’s me Kuroo”
“I figured that what was my phone telling me”
“How is it going?”
“The practice just ended”
“Not…really, we are practicing just to be able to concentrate on something else…You how thing going?”
“It’s hard on Kenma, Lev and Inuoka”
“That wasn’t the question…YOU how are you”
Kuroo didn’t knew what to answer, the pass two days he try to comfort Kenma and today he had to deal with Lev and Inuoka breaking down. He hadn’t really stop, he was more worried about his teammates. Tsukishima was the first one to ask if he was okay. Nekoma’s captain vision became blurred and the tears started to slowly flow, he was about to answer but his voice cracked.
“I..I should be the one asking if you are okay, it happen a few days ago”
“I know but we all feel the same and I’m tired to curse that idiot for leaving us behind, now the only thing we could do is making sure he is proud of us”
“I’m sure he is proud…you guys are a great team…he was lucky to play with you”
“Frankly now that he is gone, I wonder who is the luckiest him or us…”
Tsukishima was softer than usual, him who was always making fun of Hinata’s height, he is now regretting the lost. Kuroo was listening to Tsukishima talking about Hinata reminiscing the tournament, the game against Shiratorizawa, the training camp. Tetsurou was wondering if the others knew how Tsukishima was feeling. He listened to Karasuno’s middle blocker for a good hour, he was now appease. Crying felt good, he could now make sure his teammates go through this. If Karasuno was able to continue, they could to do. Hinata would want to see his friend like this. Him who was always full of energy, him who was always pushing the other..
The conversation for getting near to an end when Kuroo remembered why he called Tsukkie before the crazy owl
“Say Glasses-Kun why did you called me earlier?”
“Oh…it was concerning the funeral, Sawamura senpai said he would call you, but since he already other call to make, I told him I would take care of him”
“Thank you for calling then, if there is anything we could do just ask, I know we are not close, but if we can help…”
“Just be there…if you can…I guess that moron would be happy”
“Probably yes…so when is it?”
“Okay I’ll tell everyone then, you don’t have to call Fukurodani, I’ll do it”
“Thanks…Suga senpai is calling me…I have to go”
“Thank again for calling…see you next Sunday I guess”
After hanging up with Tsukishima, Kuroo heard his mother calling him, dinner was ready. He would have to call Bokuto later. Tetsurou get out of his room, headed to the dining room, take his place and try to act if everything was okay, even if one of his fellow volleyball players pass away a few days ago. He hasn’t told his parent and wasn’t planning too.
After dinner, he get back to his room, reach for his phone called Bokuto hoping the latter will be able to control himself. Comforting Fukurodani’s captain over the phone would probably be hard.
He really hope he will have to do it. He heard the phone ring twice before Bokuto pick it up his friend seems rather calm:
“Oh, Kuroo how is it going?”
“To tell the truth, it could be better”
“You don’t say, did you get any news from Karasuno?”
“Yes…I spoke to Glasses-kun before dinner”
“Next Sunday, I already told them that I will attend the funeral”
“Maybe I should call to say I will be there too”
“You can, but even if you don’t call before hand, I doubt they will mind it”
“Truth…gonna tell Akaashi”
“Okay gonna see you there then?”
“Yes, you will see me next Sunday”
Kuroo quickly finished his call with Bokuto and considerate calling Kenma, but revised, he will tell him tomorrow in the same time the other two. He look at the time, it was still early, but he didn’t have any energy anymore, he was drained. He got to the bathroom, to relax in the bathtub and then go to sleep. He knew tomorrow would be as hard as today.
The next morning, he meet up with Kenma as usual, the setter seems to feel a bit better, he didn’t look like he was about to break in tear at any moment, which was good. The day pass fast, maybe too fast for him. He still needed some times before telling his friend the date of the funeral. Before the start of the practice he spoke to their coach to tell him the date. Looked around to see if Kenma, Lev and Inuoka was there saw them in a corner and walk toward them.
Kenma noticed Kuroo approaching them
“What are we gonna do today?”
“I don’t know for the other but I have to speak with you three before, unless you want to wait after the practice”
“No tell us now, before or after it doesn’t really matter”
“Alright then…the funeral will gonna be next Sunday”
Kuroo took a pause look at the reaction of his teammates, ready to take them outside the gym, but the three of them remains calm. We could we the pain and sadness in their eyes, but they weren’t crying. Instead the looked at each other and decide to go join the other. Kuroo watched them walking toward the rest of the team with a relief expression. He knew they was still sad, but he also knew it was the best to do was to concentrate on other thing.
The rest of the week passed fast and before Kuroo knew it was already Saturday afternoon. The practice was over and Kuroo, Kenma, Lev and Inuoka was all ready to Lev for Sendai where Takeda sensei will wait for them. The next day, the day of the funeral, they all headed to the temple where the wake hold. Upfront, a picture of Hinata with a bright smile, bright as the Sun was standing in a black and cold frame. Kuroo look at the picture and a little smile appear on his lips. Hinata wasn’t physically there with them anymore, but he would remember the little Karasuno number ten each time he will look at the Sun.
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