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Somehow survive is Tsukishima's mantra about training camp, just try to get through by doing enough to not get yelled at and then sneaking back when the rest of the insanity brigade is busy with free practice and try to get enough sleep so that he might make it days in a row without murdering somebody.
He wasn't counting on even Yamaguchi turning out so serious, on everyone ganging up on him to make him eat more, on all the touching. People just won't stop touching him.
Hinata persists until Tsukishima hi-fives him. Tanaka and Nishinoya grab him in hugs or headlocks when excited. Tsukishima trips, going face-first into the floor during a flying fall, and Asahi grabs him by the shoulders and lifts him to his feet as if Tsukishima weighs nothing. Sugawara grabs Tsukishima's chin and turns his face this way and that, announcing no permanent damage done. Somebody definitely slaps Tsukishima's ass on the way into the showers, but he can't tell who by the time he whips his head around to glare.
Tsukishima doesn't have some kind of phobia or complex or whatever, but nobody touched him this much in middle school, that's for sure.
"No, like this," Kuroo says, and suddenly his chest is pressed against Tsukishima's back, his hands sliding up Tsukishima's arms to move his arms more together, pressing down to flatten the angle of his wrists. His voice is low against Tsukishima's ear and suddenly Tsukishima's heart is pounding loud enough to almost drown Kuroo out. "Commit to it if it's a kill, commit."
"Yeah, Tsukki, commit," Bokuto snickers from across the net. Scowling, Tsukishima steps away from Kuroo, out of reach.
"You guys are creeps," Tsukishima says. Bokuto just laughs some more. "Shut up and serve already."
For the rest of the night before their coaches come to kick them out, Tsukishima's arm hairs rise when Kuroo gets too close, when they brush shoulders jumping for a block, when their hands touch as Kuroo hands over the ball for a serve. Kuroo always seems to have eyes on Tsukishima, either watching openly or out of the corner of his eye, and every time he catches Tsukishima looking, the same infuriating half-smile spreads lazily across Kuroo's face.
"Watch the ball," Tsukishima snaps, gritting his teeth when Kuroo says easily that he can do two things.
He hopes to be rid of them after they get sent out for the night, but they're like friendly dogs who won't take the hint, Kuroo throwing a lazy arm around Tsukishima's shoulders, Bokuto squeezing them both in a quick, fierce hug while he shouts about what a great practice this was.
"And it's only the first day!" Bokuto rhapsodizes. Tsukishima feels faintly ill.
"Calm down, Bokuto-san," Akaashi peels Bokuto off them so they can actually walk. "You know what happens if you get yourself overexcited too close to lights out."
"Awwww, Akaaaashi!" Bokuto switches cheerfully to hugging Akaashi instead, which Akaashi bears equanimously. Kuroo's arm stays right where it is. Tsukishima wrinkles his nose at the heat pouring off Kuroo's skin and the way their shirts are clinging with sweat.
"I'll walk you back so you don't get lost!" Kuroo announces. "As a captain, I have to show you first years the lay of the land."
Bokuto snorts a laugh. "Kuroo can definitely show you the lay of—ow! Akaashi!"
"I can find my own way, thanks," Tsukishima says, having had more than enough. He slips out from under Kuroo's arm and scuttles off as quickly as his long legs will take him. He doesn't have to look behind him to know that Kuroo is still watching him, still wearing that same half-smile.
The next morning Kuroo appears next to Tsukishima like a demon being summoned by mere thought, just as Tsukishima is unzipping his jacket to start stretching. Tsukishima opens his mouth to tell Kuroo to fuck off, not to be a creep in front of his whole team and coach and captain and everything, but he doesn't get the chance because Kuroo is already grabbing his wrist and inspecting his hand, all business.
"Tape these," he orders. He pulls a roll of tape out of his shorts' pocket and starts to do it himself, his touch knowledgeable and confident as he winds the adhesive, smoothing it flat over Tsukishima's skin. When he's done, Tsukishima holds out his other hand. Kuroo raises an eyebrow.
"You did my non-dominant hand!" Tsukishima protests. "I can't do it as well with the other hand, and it'll be a distraction if they feel different…hurry up and do it already."
"THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID," Nishinoya hollers, making Tsukishima grit his teeth, but he doesn't pull his hand back. Kuroo chuckles quietly the whole time he's taping Tsukishima up, and then Yaku is calling for Kuroo to quit harassing the first years, and Daichi is calling for them to huddle up.
Yamaguchi's amused grin doesn't look that different from Kuroo's, and Tsukishima tells him to shut his face even though he hasn't said anything.
The worst part is how quickly Tsukishima adjusts to the touching. By free practice that night, Tsukishima barely twitches when Bokuto punches his back like a prizefighter, when Akaashi picks up his hand to examine his re-taping of his fingers (it's not as good as Kuroo's). Kuroo's constant small touches somehow have already become normal, a hand on Tsukishima's waist, fingers wrapped around his wrist, an arm around his shoulders. Tsukishima blocks the third one of Bokuto's spikes in a row and adrenaline and satisfaction rush through his veins before his sneakers even hit the floor.
"Someone's a faster learner," Kuroo says with approval, and then because Bokuto has already melted into a puddle of melancholy slumped heavily on Akaashi, offers to walk Tsukishima home again. This time Tsukishima says yes.
It even feels normal when Kuroo tugs Tsukishima off the walkway and into the shadows between gyms 2 and 1. Even with the sun down, the humidity is ridiculous, sweat trickling down Tsukishima's neck and back, and the heat of Kuroo pressing him against the rough brick of the wall isn't helping anything.
"I can't tell if you're interested or if you're going to kill me," Kuroo murmurs as if it's some kind of endearment. It's too dark to see his face, but Tsukishima can feel his hands well enough, the light touch to his waist sliding down to his hips, loose like he's testing to see if Tsukishima will squirm away again. He chuckles, and it's warmer than the summer air against Tsukishima's cheek. "It's weird that that's hot."
"Do you always find some freshman to torment?" Tsukishima asks. It's like the touching is contagious and Tsukishima has caught it, his hands gravitating to Kuroo's shoulders, tugging at the damp cotton of his T-shirt. "It's a training camp thing, right?"
"Nah, it's not." Kuroo laughs again. The first kiss is brief, testing, and when Tsukishima doesn't push him away, the second is firmer, long enough for Tsukishima's heart to speed irregularly. He isn't sure if he believes Kuroo, either that there hasn't been other first years or that anything about Tsukishima is attractive, but he lets Kuroo teach him how to kiss the same way as he'd been teaching blocking, his hands on Tsukishima to shift position slightly, pulling him closer by the waist, one hand moving against his cheek to make the angle easier.
When the kiss breaks, Tsukishima is having trouble catching his breath, glasses askew, skin prickling all over. One of his hands has somehow made its way into Kuroo's hair, which feels surprisingly nice given how ridiculous it looks. When Kuroo doesn't go back to kissing him right away, Tsukishima tightens his grip, and Kuroo makes a surprised, low noise which Tsukishima likes more than is probably normal.
"Pretty sure I've read this BL manga," Tsukishima says, because he can't help be a smartass at the worst possible time.
"Oho?" Kuroo asks. "You're just full of surprises. But I better get you back before your serious-type captain sends out a search party."
"That's it?" Tsukishima mouth says without his brain's permission, and then he cringes, hoping Kuroo can't see any of his blush. Kuroo laughs at him, and Tsukishima shoves at his chest.
"Now, now, just what kind of guy do you think I am?" Kuroo leans in and steals one more kiss before stepping back. Even in the darkness, Tsukishima can see the sharpness and promise of Kuroo's grin. "Gotta save something for our second date."