Summary: Volleyball highschool AU. The sixtones have a friendly match against the snowman during a training camp.
A/N: I have been on a volleyball kick lately with the world league having their matches this last month. (I could watch Ishikawa and Yanagida serve all day, and may have a pretty big crush on Yamauchi) So this AU was born from that. Some quick notes for those who don’t know about Volleyball. Wing spiker- attacker who normally spikes and serves best, Middle blocker- usually the taller ones of the team mainly defense with some spiking weaker serving, Libero-defensive specialist height doesn’t really matter and they are often shorter than the rest of the team, Opposite- kind of a back up attacker. Normally first team to get to 25 wins, four games or sets that may go into 5. Best 3 out 4 (or five) wins. I tried not to make this too technical or boring, I’m pretty sure I failed. Also, I'm sorry this is late! Work is trying to kill me!
School on Friday was torturously long, Jesse could swear that he saw the large wall clock’s minute hand go backwards more than once. Math was his last period of the day, and while he didn’t hate the subject, he wasn’t really able to pay attention on days where something important was happening. He saw his phone light up from it’s hiding place in his lap, a message from Shintaro. He looked up cautiously at the teacher before looking to see what the message was. It was the chat room for their team, and Shintaro seemed to be equally as impatient for the school day to end. Jesse quickly typed his own impatience before willing himself to pay attention in class. Watching the clock wasn’t going to make it go any faster.
Jesse was excited since the school’s volleyball team had a training camp this weekend and on Saturday a team from from the other side of Tokyo was going to come for a friendly match and some extra practice. It had been half a year since they had last met the team from Yukidanshi high school. The last time their team had lost miserably when they had a friendly match, and Jesse was looking forward to returning the favor. Now that they were second years, Jesse felt they had come a considerably long way, and thus they would be victorious this time.
The bell rang right around the time in his daydream where he had scored the winning goal. He was a bit startled by the harsh ringing of the bell, but quickly shook it off. After the teacher let them go, he bowed with the rest of the class and packed up his things as fast as he could. Hokuto, one of the team's wing-spikers, ran up to him, bouncing on the balls of his feet. They ran to their lockers to exchange their school things for their volleyball things and raced to the gym.
When they arrived some of the team was already there, with others trickling in. Once the team was gathered their captain, Yugo cleared his throat. He was a third year this year and was still adjusting to his new role as leader. His main role on the team was as libero, though he also played opposite. He went over the plans for the day's practice and mentioned briefly of the coming friendly match. All of them cheered once the formalities were done and separated into two teams. They had twelve members on the team, though normally they only used six core players. More often than not they separated between the regulars and the substitutions to practice their teamwork and enhance their skills. Jesse stretched his long arms behind himself, pulling at his shoulder muscles to loosen them up.
“So, think we’ll beat them this time?” It was Hokuto who asked, though not as tall as Jesse, he was extremely agile and fast. From Hokuto’s other side they heard a loud scoff.
“Of course we will, idiot.” It was Taiga, the other wing-spiker and the best server on the team. Hokuto glared at him, but Jesse just rolled his eyes. He wondered if one day they would realize the tension between the two of them was actually sexual and get it out of their systems. Though in the meantime it did push them both to their limits.
Juri, their setter, was pulling on Shintaro’s long limbs in an attempt to help the youngest of their core team to loosen up. Shintaro had gone through a rather nasty growth spurt in the last year gaining nearly 10 centimeters. It made him an excellent middle blocker, but meant that his muscles were rather sore and he had a tendency to over balance at times. Juri was partially doing what he was suppose to be doing, but was also using it as an excuse to touch his boyfriend in public. Shintaro’s blush as Juri ran his hands down his body was a clear indication that it wasn’t all just stretching.
The other members stretched on the opposite side of the court. They were all great players, but most of them were new to the team or were third years trying to phase out for college entrance exams. Yasui and Sanada were two of the third years that use to be regulars. Sanada, a middle blocker, was their greatest weapon to practice against in preparation for the next day. He had transferred his second year from Yukidanshi to their school, and as such knew the other team’s main players extremely well. Yasui was one of the shortest wing-spikers in the history of their school, but Jesse could still remember watching him jump amazingly high into the air. Jinguji was an aspiring wing spiker, but a little overzealous, it reminded him of Taiga last year. Though Taiga was currently a third year, he had only recently started to mellow out. Genki was the other team's libero, focusing on the defensive. He was also Jinguji’s boyfriend, though Jesse was never sure if they were together during practice or not, as they broke up almost daily. Reia was the only middle blocker for their team, but though he was small, he, like Yasui, was incredibly fast and was able to jump very high. Kishi, their setter, was the quietest of the team, but he was also the most intune to others. Jesse was sure that once Juri graduated or decided to focus on college that he would be very effective.
Yugo brought Jesse out of his inner thoughts with a loud clap, telling them all to get started. They started their formation, Jesse and Shintaro took their positions in the middle with Hokuto to their left. Taiga was serving, with Juri next to him and Yugo behind Hokuto. Their coach blew the whistle and Taiga threw the ball up high in the air. He jumped his palm colliding with the ball and sending it with a heavy top spin down to the other side. Yasui managed to stop it from hitting the ground, but wasn’t able to control it so it went out of bounds with Genki nearly reaching it. Taiga grinned and bounced on the balls of his feet, blowing air out of his cheeks. Jesse and Hokuto leaned forward on their knees preparing to move once the ball passed the net. Taiga was known for his serve, but he made a lot of errors, either over compensating and sending the ball way out of bounds or holding back too much and not making it over the net. So far they were off to a good start, and the team began to rally back and forth, going with the “never say die” mentality that their team had started to be known for.
Before he knew it, Jesse was covered in sweat. They had been at it for nearly two hours straight, and were in their fifth set. Both had two sets each to their respective teams. They had already passed fifteen, and were now just attempting to get the two point lead. It was Hokuto’s turn to serve, unlike Taiga, his serves didn’t often go in error, though they were less powerful, and thus easier to bring on a rally. Jesse was prepared once the ball came back, with Juri tossing it within his line of fire, with a smack, his head collided with the ball, he saw as it went through Reia’s arms, just barely missing hitting him in the face. The whistle blew and they had managed to gain the win by only two points.
Their coach called for them to gather, all pleasantly tired and exhilarated from the game. They were given a few ending notes before they were ordered to stretch some more and clean up for diner. With the fresh practice victory in their minds, the core team felt confident the next day would go well.
The next day they all impatiently waited for the other team to arrive. The first years had never met them, so were more than a little curious what they were going to be like. For Jesse and the core team they were just anxious to start playing. The large gym doors opened and in walked in the coach for the team. He greeted theirs and in piled in the twelve that made up Yukidanshi’s team. They were shorter than most volleyball teams, but all were very agile and fast. Jesse recalled thinking that their team had the advantage the first time they met, but he noticed a few things after the loss. His team were rivals and comrades, but it was somehow different for the Yukidanshi team. Each point gained or lost they searched one another out, a simply touch to join them together. Their unity was something to be feared and in their own way Jesse’s team had upped their own. Today it would be put to the test.
The captain for the Yukidanshi team was Sakuma, who was a third year like Yugo who was also a libero. He was the shortest one out of both teams, Jesse could still remember his shock at just how athletic the other team's captain had really been. Iwamoto, one of the middle blockers, followed in right after Sakuma, his hands suspiciously close to grabbing the shorter male. Sanada had mentioned that Sakuma and Iwamoto were dating, so Jesse wasn’t too shocked to see this. The two who came in after were holding hands, Jesse was a little shocked at just how openly in love the Yukidanshi wing spikers were. Miyadate and Watanabe had apparently been together since elementary school according to Sanada, but it was still a bit shocking to see them so open about it. Fukazawa, the other middle blocker, was distractedly talking to Abe, the setter, and didn’t seem to notice everyone else had quieted down to greet one another. It took a jab to the ribs from Sakuma and the giggling of Watanabe to finally get his attention, to which Fukazawa sheepishly apologized. Abe, for his part, looked pretty embarrassed too. They seemed like such a relaxed mess, but they had been the same before. Jesse still could remember how angry they all were at how good the other team was. The rest of the Yukidanshi team, Jesse didn’t know, so they were probably all first years.
The two teams greeted each other formally, bowing while to two coaches shook hands. They jumped right into the set, the teams stretching. The players on the sidelines eyed the different teams and each other with interest. Jesse wondered if he looked as excited as Jinguji did now when he first met the other team. He shook his head to clear his thoughts and focus. They set up with their normal starting formations. Middle blockers in the middle and right side, one wing spiker serving while the other was on the left, and the libero and setter in the back. The whistle was blown and their formations became sloppy as they gathered in the middle to maneuver quickly.
They lost the first set. Taiga was glaring daggers at the other team, who seemed amused by this. Yugo eventually snapped Taiga out of it through some sort of magic, and the teams switched sides of the court. Their teammates cheered them on and told them not to mind the loss. They all took gulps of water before heading back to the court. Jesse noticed that the tension levels for his team seemed a little out of hand, so he decided to take a page from the other team and put a reassuring hand on Taiga’s shoulder before passing him to his spot. His hand reached out to the others, all responding, though a bit uncertain. Blowing air out of his cheeks he waited for the ball to fly over his head. Taiga’s serve was powerful and sent Sakuma falling down on the floor with a loud thud. The ball went up into the air and Abe sent it to Watanabe. Jesse and Shintaro moved quickly throwing their hands up. He could feel when they collided, but he also felt the ball smash into their hands and fall back down on the other side of the court.
Jesse and Shintaro cheered, high fiving one another. Shintaro grinned and Jesse searched out his teammates to pull them together. It seemed a little awkward at first, but Jesse noticed that doing this really did seem to help. He recalled Yugo and Juri talking last year about how united the Yukidanshi team had been, how they searched one another out and had a bond that seemed almost corporeal. The small touches served a purpose, and Jesse had finally figured out how to get his teammates on board.
They took the second set and their team cheered. They had won against other teams before, but this time felt different. It felt like they finally were able to overcome some hurdle that they hadn’t been aware of. Suddenly the game seemed more fun, the two teams moving at fast speeds and seemed evenly matched. The members who were benched had gotten up and started to communicate with their new rivals. Jesse made a mental note to learn who everyone was after the game.
Finally they reached the fifth set. They each had two sets each, and like their practice match the night before, they were fighting point by point. Jesse could feel the adrenaline coursing through his veins, sweat poured down as he jumped in place to keep his legs from locking up. Taiga was serving, they were currently up by one point and just needed one to win. Jesse felt bittersweet about the moment, winning would be awesome, but he also was enjoying the game and didn’t want to stop. Tiaga threw the ball high into the air and sent the ball flying. They rallied back and forth for four turns, the longest either team had ever done before. Finally Juri got a hold of the ball, Jesse jumped up and prepared to hit but the ball went in Shintaro’s line of fire. He heard the ball smack against the other team, but when he opened his eyes the ball was still on the Yukidanshi team’s court. Both teams were quiet, staring at the ball. On the sidelines both teams were cheering and clapping. Jinguji’s loud screams finally seemed to break the spell and Jesse jumped high into the air and screamed. His team all hugged and cheered, happy that they had won. They immediately went to the net and began to shake hands with the other team. Though they had lost, all of the Yukidanshi team grinned at them. Jesse had to admit, it was a good game.
They stretched to cool down, the teams intermingling with one another. Sakuma and Yasui were talking animatedly and Fukazawa had all but kidnapped Sanada to help him stretch,, both talking loudly. One of the first years, who introduced himself as Sho, came over to Shintaro and began to talk animatedly about the game. Another boy, Ren, followed him smiling shyly. Jesse heard his name and looked to meet Watanabe grinning at him, he introduced two other players and commented to them to keep their accents to a minimum. Koji and Daigo were apparently both originally from Osaka, and they both groaned and complained before grinning at their senpai. Jesse greeted them, followed by the usual questions he was asked. Jesse was pretty use to curious people from other schools asking him questions about his family. He was half american, and so he stood out a lot.
It wasn’t long before the coaches called both teams and spoke. They seemed proud of their students and offered to take them all out to eat. At the mention of food, Shintaro’s stomach growled loudly, he smiled sheepishly before cheering. Both teams laughed as they packed up to get food. Jesse was sure they would get the chance to talk more later.
Once their stomachs were full, and their ice cream almost finished, the coaches left them. A simple warning to be back in time for the bus to the Yukidanshi team was the last thing their coach said before the two teachers left them to their own devices. They had taken the team to a family restaurant where they had taken over a good section of the place. Though they kept moving seats to talk to new people. Jinguji seemed to make friends with a kid named Kaito, and Genki had since begun to use the youngest of the Yukidanshi’s team Ryusei as jealous revenge.
“How do you guys put up with that?” Miyadate was staring at his juniors pulled into the quarrelling couple’s usual shenanigans.
“They’ll make up before we go home,” Taiga snorted, he had been targeting Watanabe with questions since he got a moment. Watanabe humored him, but went to snuggle with Miyadate at the break in grilling. Hokuto laughed as Taiga realized he had been left.
“You’re just too intense sometimes. You’ve got such a pretty face, but your personality.” Hokuto’s grin got wider the more Taiga glared at him. The rest of their team groaned, the usual argument about Taiga’s prettiness starting.
“I think they’re just use to intense relationships.” Sakuma’s comment had both Taiga and Hokuto stopping short. Followed by both denying any attraction or relationship. The raised eyebrows from the Yukidanshi team as a whole left them both blushing and denying even more. Jesse laughed, glad someone finally said something.
“So, what do you guys want to do? You’ve got a few hours before you need to leave right?” Yugo looked around their mass of tables.
“We could go practice?” Jinguji had taken a moment from trying to get his boyfriend to love him again to mention.
“We should probably take a break from Volleyball for a bit.” Sakuma smiled, his muscles pleasantly sore. “What about an arcade? Is there one near by?”
Shintaro jumped at the chance to go play some videogames. They filed out of the restaurant, thanking the staff, who were probably relieved to have the rowdy group of teenagers gone. They walked a few blocks, sharing tips and stories of their teams.
Jesse grinned, falling back to the back of the group. Yugo slowed down next to him and looked at him with a kind smile. “Everything ok?”
“Yeah, just thinking that today was really fun.” Jesse grinned down at him. It was true, it had been a good day, and it had also given them some important lessons for the future. He couldn’t wait to see how different they would be at their next official match.
Your turn kira_shadow