SCoRCHeR

Advice/相談

IX.

It has been two days since the Nekoma match. Two days since she and Yuu actually utter a word to each other. Daichi is pretty sure the team can sense the tension between the two of them already if not trying to dig their way out of the hell fire that it is.

Kiyoko has been trying to talk to her too but she doesn't feel like talking or anything at all right now so Daichi just keeps her silence and only speaks when her assistant is needed. She tries to stay out of everyone's way, and Yuu tries to stay away from her as much as possible. Simply doing their job without entering each other's zone.

She can't seem to hear his footsteps going around her anymore. And when she can (for only a short while but still), they are the same footsteps from one year ago. Heavy, and burdened. Makes her wonder what happened to him a few months ago that cause this kind of atmosphere.

Mentally jotting down inside her head a memo to ask Enoshita about this later, Daichi rises from the ground and walks towards the blond coach.

"Keishin, I'm going home", she says

"Oh?", Ukai seems to be troubled, "Okay. Watch your steps"

"I always do. I'm not a kid"

And with that, she walks pass him to retrieve her school bag along with her school uniform. P.E clothes aren't really that easy to move in as they were advertised but wearing-no even receiving the club jacket and track pant feels wrong to her so P.E uniform really is the only choice she has.

Not like it matters anyway. She can't even see the design let alone considering if it look nice on her or not. At least to her, all clothes are the same. Distinct by color, not sew lines or cut.

"Woah, you leaving already, Chicchan-san?", Hinata's voice startles her making her drop the pair of black penny loafer. If memory serves her right, it's not water break yet. So… Why. Is. He. Here?

"Go back to practice, Hinata", Daichi sighs, "If I remember correctly you're still a long short from matching that Inuoka kid from Nekoma am I right?"

"I'll beat him soon! I'm the strongest decoy!", the kid exclaims.

Strongest decoy huh?

And still he has the potential for so many things.

"Goodbye, Hinata. Go practice"

"But you just came 15 minutes ag-"

"And going home or not is my decision to make", she cuts in, "I said goodbye already, didn't I? I went so far as to be polite to you, don't disrespect it. You heard me, go back to practice before I cut your ears off for pushing me around"

"G-Goodbye", Hinata squeaks, running of and Daichi exhales heavily, rubbing her temples.

The headaches from two days ago didn't completely go away. She thought it did but then she just realized that her body itself got used to the pain. Worst case scenario she might even have to take a break from practice. Right before Inter high. Yeahhhh not an option. So Daichi figures that she can show her face for only a few minutes (an hour or two if her head can take it) and rest. Just collect the daily data for performance analysis and bail.

Making a U-turn from the dirt yard, the girl doubles back to the club room. Quickly pulling the paper pack from her back, she set it down at the door. 't team appears to be lacking medical care so conveniently since she went to the drug store yesterday, Daichi thought it might be a good idea to stock up in case of anything unfavorably happens.

Deems that she has been dawdling long enough, the girl picks herself up and walks towards the back gate of the school.

She's still bothered by the fact that Yuu is innocently thinking that her 'blind' means not seeing a thing (he's cute like that) and keep glaring at her. She doesn't really need to see to feel the chills he is trying to send down her spine. The energetic air that he has drops to a zero degree attitude whenever she enters his two-meter zone.

Well, maybe she did go a little too harsh on him yesterday. To be fair, he did drop the bomb on her so he can't really blame her for blowing up. And it's only two days from the mental explosion so maybe when they all calmed down, she'll yank him away and have a serious talk.

For now, maybe it's best to just leave him alone.

For now, maybe it's best if she just stays alone.


Sugawara takes the drink from Kiyoko's hands, his eyes stray towards Nishinoya. What happen with him and Chicchan I wonder?, he hands the bottle back and returns to court. Last meeting before practice ends. Coach has been cooking up quite a few strategy for them before Inter High starts.

His last inter high huh? Time flies. Sugawara is happy with himself. He didn't give up on this team. He, and Daichi, and Asahi all tried their very best to stay even though sometimes it gets really hard. His efforts paid off and from now on too, it will.

Inspired by Chicchan's observation role during their match with Nekoma, the boy too has been doing simulation of the match again and again in his head. How he will act in each different situation if he were the setter. Or look for a weakness in the opponent's block and strategizes on who would be the right person for the spike against each blocker base on their personal skills.

Being able to look at the game from an outsider perspective helps. A lot. The setter finds himself much calmer, much more exact in assessing each situation. Of course he only started doing this recently but experience makes up for the lost time. Not much, but still, it was quite enough.

"Dude! You've gotta see this, bro! The pictures are huge!", Tanaka's excited voice draws his attention.

"You're right! Awesome! The picture is huge!", their libero exclaims drawing in even more curious members trying to get a look at the magazine.

Hinata seems to be excited about this too. Not that it's hard to understand. This will be his first big tournament since high school. Sugawara just pray that what happened with the practice match between them and Seijoh doesn't happen again.

"Shiratorizawa is where Kageyama couldn't get in!", Hinata gasps, followed by a loud "Shut up!" from the first year standing next to him.

Sugawara holds back a laugh. Shiratorizawa can be a difficult place to get in if not having a scholarship or recommendation. It's not a joke when they say that the school is the prefecture's best. The third-year even heard from rumors across town that you can get expelled if your scores aren't high enough.

"So who is Ushiwaka?", the first-year boy asks

"You don't know?"

"Well, Hinata only have eyes for the Little Giant", Sugawara comments.

He does suppose that people would want to enroll in a school that is famous for its name huh. In a way, the third-year smiles, Hinata is just like Sawamura, Asahi and himself.

"So Kageyama was trying to get into a place with that kind of player huh?", he mulls. Partly happy that the kid didn't get in. The setter can't even imagine how the kid would turn out if he is to continue his way in a school like Shiratorizawa. Not to be bragging but Kageyama probably wouldn't be who he is today if he didn't get accepted into Karasuno. After seeing the kid in action during Seijoh match, he realized this.

Quickly clean up the gym, Sugawara and the boys head home. Well not yet for him at least. Nishinoya seems to forgot his homework at the club room (God bless that kid for trying to do his homework even though he sleeps through almost all of his class) so he takes that as a chance to have a talk about the extremely heavy atmosphere around the kid and their coach advisor. Hopefully fix it as well.

"Nishinoya, good work", he starts he moment he enters the room.

"Oh, Suga-san. Good work! What's up? You forgot something too?", the libero grins making Sugawara think how can these kids put up a front like that in front of the team. Nishinoya's glances at her when he thinks no one is looking was dead giving away that their libero's head wasn't really in the game.

Chicchan too doesn't seem to talk much about this. That's just the type of girl she is he supposed. She'll open up when she wants to. But let this drag out for too long she might just get hurt and closes her space up again (it took her so long to start opening up her heart to them, or him at least). And there is no way she's gonna utter a word before Nishinoya so it's up to their libero to fix this. Or more exactly it's up to him to get the kids to fix this.

"So… what's the deal with you and Chicchan?", Sugawara asks, straight to the point.

Nishinoya looks surprised, for a short while at least, before he smiles-the type of smile when he is disappointed with something (his grades, Asahi, things like that).

"We had a fight", the kid answers

And Sugawara smiles as well, hoping to lighten up the mood even just a bit, "Well I can see that you guys are not on good terms these last two days. What I want to know is why, Nishinoya"

"I told her to stop running away from us", the libero shrugs, "I asked her why she is hiding from everything and basically she just blows"

"Okay", the third-year nods, "So what are you thinking now? After the fight I mean"

"I don't know", again, shrugging the boy answers

And Sugawara bites the inside of his lip. This one is a tough case. The boy clearly has some guilty feeling right now but he doesn't seem to want to accept it. Darn you, Nishsinoya. There is a time and place for stubbornness and it isn't now.

"Suga-san, do you think I did the right thing?", the boy's question gets him off guard. Off guard but happy.

"We all know Chicchan have secrets. Everyone does, Nishinoya-"

"Bu-"

"It's her story to tell", Sugawara says, "We can't demand her to say anything just because we want to listen. This takes time"

"I just don't want her to feel lost when she's with us-"

"But that doesn't mean we can just make her feel belong now can we?"

The boy becomes silent. Obviously he's thinking a lot. And that's a good thing. Nishinoya can be very reassuring for the spirit of the team sometimes but he's too hot-headed and that creates problems as well if not carefully monitored.

"Look, Nishinoya", Sugawara calls, "you don't have to try too hard to make Chicchan one of us. She will be, and I mean 'will'. She needs time. It's good that you want her to be comfortable around us but she isn't the type to fit in social surroundings fast. Let her find her own way to come to the team, give her a pat in the back sometimes, don't push her"

"Okay"

"And don't be too down. Your mood is the main catalyst you know", the setter grins, "Chicchan needs to feel that she's always welcome with smiles and good spirit. She has been through some nasty bully during her first year so it's best to show her you don't have any intention of harming her in anyway"

Nishinoya nods thanking him before swinging the messenger back over his shoulder.

"I'll be going now", the kid grins, "Thanks again for the advice, Suga-san. You really got a lot cooler than before"

"What was that?", Sugawara chuckles, "Go home and get some rest. I'll lock up here"

"Sorry for the trouble. I'll leave it up to you"

"Go. See you tomorrow"

"See you"

And Nishinoya steps, down the stair to the dirt yard beneath them.

"Suga-san!", he suddenly calls out, "Thanks! Chicchan is really lucky to have you"

Before the setter can utter a word, the kid has already run off. "Chicchan is really lucky to have you", his words echo through his head. What does that mean?

He cracks a smile. Well, whatever it is, he's pretty sure it isn't an insult so he'll take it. Sugawara locks the room, taking his own messenger back and steps away from the two-story building, his heart beats faster by a tad as he mulls on Nishinoya's words. Strange how each time he'll see Chicchan's smiling face sleeping leaning against their libero on the Shinkansen when the words rewind themselves in his head.

Wonders if she had eaten anything yet. Chicchan can be a bit reckless if she's troubled by things or get too focused in her thoughts.

The third-year jolts, suddenly realize he has subconsciously taken his phone out of the bag and was pressing her numbers. His heart races, face red. Sugawara doubles back to the recent memory of the girl who walks into their practice just a two months ago, how the two of them changed since, how he changed since.

Sugawara looks up seeing the full moon and swiftly chuckles. So that's what it is. The feeling that he hasn't really feel for a while now.

Pulling up the zip of his jacket, third-year smiles at his new found realization wondering what he should do from now on. Guess they were right about how people are very dumb towards their own feelings. Happiness flows in his vein like summer breeze refreshing his mind entirely before it's replaced completely by sadness.

I'm not the one, he thinks, shoving his hands into his pocket and fastens his pace home.


Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.