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Private/Closed Karasu...who? || A Haikyuu!! RP

"No," Minako hissed at Miyaji, a defensive tone casing her voice. "I brought my own money." Thankfully, it'd felt like she wasn't as flushed as before; the weak chill of the refrigerated section she'd been loitering in was benefitting her warm face. She still looked somewhat upset, though, as she mindlessly snatched a small bundle of juice boxes from behind one of the glass fridge doors and hustled away from Miyaji and towards the counter to pay.


"Ah... sweet, sweet convenience store scent," Hatsuo crooned as he stepped through the doors of the shop. A smile was on his face as he took one large step inside before stopping abruptly, his gaze getting caught by a very tall young man -- probably a bit taller than himself. It was hard not to get distracted by the looming height of the stranger, but the uniform he was adorning only grabbed his attention further. He peered ahead at the boy several aisles away from him, and realization seeped into his mind as he clicked his tongue. Hatsuo had seen that uniform before. With his ridiculous fondness of socialization, he was certain he'd stopped and chatted with a few students presenting the same outfits before. Turning around to face his upperclassmen, a smirk was plastered on his face. "Well, it looks like our good friends from Karasuno are here, as well," he hummed.
Charles ducked his head when walking into the building. Despite the many times he walked past it, he had never actually entered the store, though his content smile and sparkling eye suggested that it met his expectations. Charles didn't plan on buying anything, but appeared to be having the time of his life as he carefully examined each item like a child browsing the toy isle of a store. Some of the Japanese snacks and candies fascinated him, but what he found most interesting was watching his teammates purchase things, which he would immediately check out to find out exactly what they were buying. After some time, Charles heard a group enter the store- though he paid no mind as he walked the aisles absently. It wasn't until he felt eyes burning into him that Charles really noticed that there were others with him. The boy was most certain that someone was looking at him, but he remained with his back to the stranger out of fear he would make eye contact by turning around. Then, as if a murderer was behind him, Charles inched towards Minako and Miyaji- who he felt had the best chance of protecting him if something went wrong. Perhaps the boy was overreacting, it wasn't that he was scared per say, he was just... shy.

Yoshi, who typically carried himself like a zombie, got a certain spring in his step when the convenient store came into view. After dashing inside, Yoshi's eyes sparkled like he had come upon treasure as he practically drooled over the many snacks. Yoshi, who much resembled a racoon as he crouched near the aisle, hooked one arm and used the other to sweep goodies into the make-shift bowl. By the end of his voyage, the boy must've gathered at least 10 different solid items ranging from chips to bars as well as 3 bottles of apple juice which he held between his fingers on one hand. Yoshi, who was much less reserved than his lumbering teammate, looked up when he heard the door open and made hard eye contact with the group of students who had entered the store. Yoshi's gaze wasn't exactly threatening, it was weird if anything, he stared for what seemed like a long couple of seconds before shrugging and scurrying to the counter to pay for his load.
Despite Minako's sudden snap, Miyaji remained stoic as the girl fired back a defensive retort, giving a slight shrug of his shoulders. "Okay, just wondering." However, after she had grabbed a bunch of juice boxes, he added in a hushed tone, "You seemed like you needed to talk about something, and from the looks of your reaction when everyone else joined in, it was probably something private. I understand if you don't want to bring it up now, but I'd be willing to liste--"

Suddenly, the door swung open, and from a sneaked glance at the new party that had arrived, Miyaji could make out the heads of three boys, quite a height taller than Shiro, Toba, and Yoshi. It wasn't something to which he paid too much attention... until a familiar voice rang out from among the group, prompting a rather annoyed "geh" from the second-year.

"Saito-san, good afternoon!"

Senji's voice rang out as he greeted the shop owner with a friendly grin and wave, to which Mr. Saito Kenichi responded with a toothy smile and wave of his own, cigar in hand. Beside him, Hatsuo had audibly expressed his affinity for the smell of the convenience store, though Senji found the smell of bread and tobacco smoke the slightest bit off putting. Assuming Getsu had already made a beeline for the aisle of crackers and other snacks, the third-year began heading toward the aisle with refrigerated goods, but he was stopped by the sight of a familiar hairstyle, jet black with streaks of brown.

"Oh? Well, if it isn't little 'Yaji!"

As he continued on the route to his destination, Senji's grin grew wider as he reached the second-year and gave him a hearty slap on the back. He was about to taunt the male further when the female next to him caught the attention of his periphery. Turning to look at her, he folded his arms across his chest and sized her up before returning his gaze to Miyaji. "This your girlfriend? It's about time." Senji then turned once again to fire a playful wink at Minako, adding, "I've known this little guy for a long time." From where he stood, Miyaji let out a quiet scoff and rolled his eyes, taking a quick swig of his Thai tea.
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The first three milliseconds of the shop's refreshing air condition flowing through Shiro's shaggy hair felt like pure bliss. Suddenly, all of his childhood memories of him sneaking through the convenient store as a kid came flooding back. As if on cue, the boy gained a tunnel vision directly down a single aisle towards a specific refrigerated cooler. The chocolatey heaven was so prevalent it was as if only him and those dairy gifts from the heavens existed.

He had made his way to the glass, fully placing the frontal side of his face against the glass, sparkles in his eyes. However, his adoring trance was broken as a new presence entered the quiet store; and they seemed pretty familiar with Miyaji. The few strangers hadn't hesitated to make themselves or their volume known, and slightly intimidated himself, Shiro moved closer to his group of teammates, casually slinking behind the likes of Minako and Charles.

Shiro watched as Miyaji was teased by this older figure - who undoubtably had to be a 3rd year, his companions as well. Instead of his usual lively demeanor, Shiro seemed to be caught off guard by the other students, and wondered how Miyaji knew them.
Before Minako could reach the counter to hand over the payment for her refreshments, she was stopped by the sound of the bell above the store doors ringing wildly. She naturally turned her head to the noise, finding herself looking ahead at... Miyaji? Wait, what - The teen whipped her head back and forth to compare the new face with the one she already knew, a skeptical expression plain on her face while the male at the door wandered over to her general area. When he promptly smacked Miyaji on the back, she was able to get a better look at his face; the resemblance was striking, but was fairly easy to differentiate after a second of examination. Brothers, Minako concluded mentally, feeling very dim-witted for failing to recognize that in the first place. She could recall that, at some point, she'd heard of an older brother of Miyaji's.

Minako had been fine with watching idly while trying to sink back towards the counter, but once the word 'girlfriend' was uttered by the older Kojiro, she froze. "Not even close," she snapped almost instantly, her face growing red within mere seconds. The wink that followed the query didn't help either -- it totally threw the girl off guard with their similarity. Damn, Minako cursed inwardly, praying that the air conditioning was putting out the flames on her face at least a little bit and avoiding either of the brothers' gaze.

Meanwhile, Hatsuo had drifted behind Senji, continuing to bore eyes into the back of the tallest male. He slipped past the set of brothers and the girl, ignoring them as he waltzed right up to him and grinned, tapping him on his shoulder. "You can't hide behind a couple of shrimps in a place like this, buddy," he said, stuffing his hands in his pockets and looking the boy up and down. "How tall are you?"
Toba was energetically speed walking with the group, often chatting with Shiro and kicking small pebbles that were spread along the street. After a few moments of walking the teammates arrived at the oh-so opulent convenience store. As soon as he entered the air-conditioned store he scurried for the nearest selection of drinks, his eyes scanning the assortment. He often had a hard time deciding on what to get when it came to soft drinks, but he usually went for melon soda. He opened the display refrigerator door, shivering slightly from the wave of cold air that spewed from the opening. He reached for the drink and squinted, trying to find the right one. Once he acquired the tasty melon soda he excitedly waited behind Minako and the others, tapping his foot. Toba's head perked up when the door swung open, revealing three older-looking guys to walk in. He didn't care much until the one in the middle referred to Miyaji as "Little 'Yaji".

He peered over Minako's shoulder to get a better look at them in curiosity, his eyebrows raised. After a few seconds of thinking, the light-bulb illuminating his brain clicked on, and Toba's face grew with excitement. "Ohhhh! You're Miyaji's brother!" He squeezed past Minako and Charles. "So you play Volleyball too right!? What position do you play? Are you better than Miyaji?" He hopped in place.

As soon as the trio entered the refreshingly cool store, Getsu hastily hobbled over to the snack section. He looked upon the selection in awe, then literally started shoveling a mound of rice cakes into his large arms. His gluttony was cut short when suddenly he heard a voice. It sounded so angelic he thought he had died from a heart attack and an angel was here to take him to heaven. He peered between the vacant snack rack to see a girl, coupled along with a few others, and a male who he knew as Senji's brother. His heart stopped upon looking at her face, and this time it wasn't from eating too fast. Getsu quickly dropped the snacks and grabbed the largest protein shake he could find from the refrigerated section. He took a place beside Senji, struggling to suck in his stomach as much as he could. Just as he was about to open his mouth his friend cooed his brother about her being his girlfriend. Getsu's face turned slump, and his heart shattered.

"Hellooo! It's good to see you again Miyaji." He then nervously looked at the girl. "H-h-hi! I'm Getsu, it's a pleasure to meet you." He attempted a friendly smile of sorts.
Senji raised a brow in surprise, a glint of slight admiration in his eyes upon hearing Minako’s sharp retort. “Oho? You’re a feisty one; didn’t know ‘Yaji had a thing for that type.” He had been about to further taunt his little brother, casually resting his forearm on the latter's shoulder; however, he was cut short by another kid -- about a handful of inches shorter than him -- hopping excitedly and attacking him with what felt like an endless stream of questions. Though, he would be lying if he said that he didn't get a bit of amusement from the kid's last question. After collecting himself and recovering from the barrage of queries, Senji chuckled quietly before beginning his answers. "Yeah, I guess I play a little; I prefer the setter position when I do, but obviously, since it's a little bit, I don't think I'm quite as good as my brother here. He's much more invested into the sport than I am."

To Miyaji's confusion, Senji presence seemed to bring Minako's blush back into full effect, and maybe even more than before. As he discreetly studied her face, his concern grew along with his bewilderment, though he skillfully hid it behind a monotonous expression, laced only with a hint of exasperation at Senji's teasing quips. Upon hearing his brother answer Toba's questions, Miyaji rolled his eyes. What a lie. However, he quickly disregarded his brother's deceptive answers and returned his attention to Minako. Her face had been flushed when she first asked -- well, instructed -- Miyaji to accompany her to the convenience store, but Senji had prompted a blush on a much higher scale. Finally, after a few minutes' analysis, it hit him. With his eyes just the slightest bit narrowed, he scanned Minako's flustered demeanor and Senji's easygoing grin, taking into consideration the latter's "girlfriend" question -- and the former's response -- and wink.

Does Minako.... have a crush on my brother?

This notion had sent the infuriatingly dense Miyaji into further confusion, but he was quickly snapped out of his train of thought when Getsu approached the group and greeted him and Minako, though he seemed much less confident when addressing the girl. A small grin tugged at the corners of his lips as the friendly face managed to temporarily lift his current concern, and he patted the Seijoh third year's shoulder. "Getsu, good to see you." However, his slightly lifted spirits were once again replaced by a new concern as Miyaji's eyes studied a single item in Getsu's hand: a very large bottle, likely taken from the refrigerated aisle. "A protein shake? I could've sworn you usually came here to restock your snack supply."
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When one of the older looking students addressed Miyaji, Charles tipped his head to one side and attempted to read the situation. There was a striking similarity between Miyaji and the stranger who stood across from him. Charles assumed they were related, although it didn't make sense that they would attend two different schools if they were siblings. At any rate, Miyaji didn't appear to be impressed by the other male's arrival. Minako was a whole different kind of flustered, but Charles only picked up on parts of their conversation so he just assumed that this other guy wasn't being very nice.
When one of the boy's began approaching Charles, the large male stiffened and his eyes grew wide. Please walk past me; Please walk past me. As the other student extended his hand, Charles flinched before realizing it was no more than a shoulder tap. He sort of assumed that he was going to get punched, that seemed to be a common theme in Japanese manga- which Charles used to help him learn the language. When the other male spoke up, Charles melted with relief. If he wasn't going to get punched, he could work with this. Granted, there still seemed to be a fair amount of hostility in the store between the two groups. Charles looked down at Miyaji and Minako at the other boy's comment, shrimps? Were they really that short, of course everyone looked short to Charles, granted the kid in front of him was nearly his height- he probably looked pretty stupid. "Uh..." Charles was caught off guard by the boy's question, though he knew the answer by heart after having it answered so many times, "196 cm" the boy smiled a friendly smile, for some reason hoping that his answer would please the other male. He looked sort of past the stranger for a moment, hearing Getsu introduce himself and suddenly smiling. Of course, that would break the tension- he just had to be friendly! Following the other boy's suit, granted with less stuttering, Charles offered a large hand towards the male in front of him "I'm Charles. What is your name?" Charles offered with an easy smile.

Yoshi, who was the last to join his team, wandered around the store for a bit and eaves dropped on their conversations before sauntering towards the front. The group of mixed students were blocking the cash register, so he was either forced to wade through them or wait for their encounter to end. Yoshi's bright eyes scanned each person from the other team with mild interest, though none of them impressed him much. Of course, he took note of the boy with the pile of food in his arms that just might beat the pile that Yoshi held. He must've been a food enthusiast, as well. Well, he certainly looked well fed. From what Yoshi had assumed, they were a volleyball team- but the kid with all the food didn't much look like a volleyball player. With a shrug, Yoshi slumped against one of the shelves closer to his team and watched the others, deciding that it might be interesting- and he certainly didn't want to miss out on anything fun.
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Shiro had been half hidden behind Charles with his arms full of 16 oz. bottles of chocolate milk as the festive introductions behind throughout the convenient store. It had become much more lively than he thought it would be, but also much more friendly. An expression of shock grew on Shiro's face as he heard Toba refer to the older male as Miyaji's older brother - and suddenly it all made sense. There was quite an uncanny resemblance between the two guys and he had forgotten Miyaji mentioning something about him once.

A grin grew on his face as the one called Senji actually informed them that he played volleyball as well, and it took a lot in Shiro to not rush up and bombard him with even more analytical questions that Toba had already initiated. He was actually about to move closer to the scene, as he felt more comfortable realizing the new arrival wasn't some kind of invasion gang rivalry type deal. However, just as he took a step from behind Charles, he retreated directly back to his original position as he noticed another towering presence grow closer. It was definitely the tallest male out of the group of Senji's friends - whom Shiro noticed to actually be quite similar to Charles' height, as he had to slightly crane his neck backwards to get a good look at both of them. The stranger had approached them quite confidently, questioning the french student's height as most people did. Shiro decided to pretend he didn't hear the the shrimp comment for the sake of his own pride and simply listened on as the two conversed.

Charles introduced himself to the other high schooler happily, and after the latter would have a chance to exchange his name in return, Shiro took the opportunity to speak up due to his own curiosity.

"You're not really easy to miss in a crowd either!" He spoke matter of factly. "How tall are you? And what school are you from?"

Shiro couldn't help but wonder where these students hailed from, because with the volleyball season starting up and these guys clearly being local, it was very much likely that Karasuno could find themselves in a match with them.
"Feisty type," Minako echoed under her breath, blanking for a minute before scowling once more. While Miyaji's brother amusedly answered Toba's sudden interview, the girl quietly muttered beside herself, glancing once at Getsu with a raised eyebrow. However, she tensed up as the mention of his association with the setter's position on his team. Turning her gaze to stare directly at him, she frowned ever so slightly. "You're a setter?" she asked, trying to pin down the familiarity that was now growing in her. She squinted up at him for a few seconds before widening her eyes. "You go to Aoba Johsai, don't you?" Minako said, tightening her grip on the casing of drinks she was hugging. She could recall the previous year playing against Seijoh, and sure enough: he was definitely the one who gave Karasuno the most trouble. At the time, Minako hadn't bothered to pay attention to any faces -- she had mainly been trying to keep a good pace with all of her upperclassmen.

"196!" Hatsuo whistled, rocking on his heels with a chipper step. Accepting Charles' handshake with his own large hand, Hatsuo grinned for the hundredth time. "I go by Hatsuo," he said coolly, taking his hand back in shoving it in his pocket. At the sudden piping up from a shorter male, the lofty teen looked down with curious eyes. "I'm only 190 centimeters," he returned, beaming. Before he could answer the next part of the question, the lone girl in the store's voice could be heard as she accused Senji, "You go to Aoba Johsai, don't you?" Hatsuo smirked proudly, redirecting his attention to the shorter boy of the duo ahead of him. "Bingo! What she said. I'm a first-year at Seijoh," he said, looking rather pleased, adding, "and I don't need to ask you where you're from to know that you go to Karasuno."
Upon hearing his brother's witty remark before he had answered Toba's questions, Miyaji scoffed once more and took a bite out of his curry bun, trying as best he could to savor the familiar taste despite the bitter flavor of embarrassment. After he had finished chewing and swallowing, he washed it down with his tea, an ever so slightly aggravated demeanor on his face. "That’s..." He muttered under his breath, unbeknownst to him that Minako was probably still in hearing range. However, with a curt pop of his neck by tilting it to the side, Miyaji quickly disregarded his romantic preferences and returned his attention to Getsu, awaiting a response.

"Busted," Senji sheepishly remarked, rubbing his head with a sly grin in response to Minako's accusation. "But yeah, you're right," He continued, pointing a thumb at his chest. "Senji Kojiro: Miyaji's older brother and starting setter at Aoba Johsai." Turning to glance at Toba, the third-year flashed him a small, apologetic smile. "Sorry for lying, but yeah; I'm a lot better than my little bro -- I have to be, since I'm the one who introduced volleyball to him." He ruffled Miyaji's hair, to which the latter responded by slapping his arm away with a roll of his eyes. Senji looked over the group of Karasuno students, though for some reason, his eyes seemed to mainly focus on Minako. "You look familiar.... you were the setter when we played last year, right? Can't blame me for not recognizing you before; you hardly ever had a presence. Never did too little, never did too much; serve was just a simple overhand, as well. However..." He scanned her figure once more, eyes just the slightest bit narrowed. "Your skills seem to have matured. I'm looking forward to our next match."

With that, Senji gave one last wink to her and Miyaji before reaching over and grabbing a white peach flavored Calpico drink and taking it to Saito-san. "I don't know about you two, but I'll be heading home now," He called over his shoulder to Getsu and Hatsuo as he approached the front door, giving a small wave to everyone before opening the door and walking out. When his brother was out of sight, Miyaji heaved an exasperated sigh and muttered "good riddance". He turned to look at Minako while still waiting for Getsu and folded his arms over his chest. "Sorry about him; he has a little knack for getting under anyone's skin, especially mine."
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Upon hearing Shiro's voice pipe up from behind him, Charles looked back with a relieved smile. He hadn't noticed the shorter boy's presence, but he was rather glad that he was no longer alone. Not to mention, Shiro's bright personality was enough to cover for Charles lack of said extroverted nature. As the other boy took Charles hand and gave his name, Charles whispered 'Hatsuo' to make sure he couldn't forget it. Honestly, with being taller Charles hadn't noticed that the other boy was practically a giant himself. 190 cm was not a laughing matter, Charles thought this guy had to be a middle blocker- something told Charles that he was good at it too. Charles, frankly, had no clue what the boy was talking about at first when he said something about Aoba Joshai, but after giving his grade and claiming that the others were from Karasuno, Charles pieced together that Aoba Joshai was a school and that he was answering Toba's question. Charles nodded happily, perhaps they were schools that played each other. That meant he made a friend that he would eventually play against! For Charles, this whole trip became a lot more exciting. Not only had volleyball amde him friends at his school, but at another school, too! When one of the Seijoh students left, Charles watched him before turning back to Hatsuo- not sure if he would soon follow. Honestly, Hatsuo seemed nicer than Miyaji's brother, maybe it was because of the age difference, at any rate, Charles was glad he was approached the former rather than Senji. The question which, had been bothering Charles, suddenly rolled off the boy's tongue. "You play blocker?" Charles asked before realizing that the other boy hadn't even said he played volleyball, but, it was too late to take it back now, and he wanted to know before the boy left.
Getsu's face turned pale when Miyaji brought up the protein shake feebly clutched in his hands. "O-oh yeah, I love this things. Gotta' keep those muscles strong! Hahaha..." He quickly changed the subject to avoid any other questions. "I look forward to facing off against you guys. It should be pretty interesting with the newcomers." His eyes moved to look at the new team members. They all seemed to have that volleyball charm to them; he could just tell they were good. Getsu's observations were cut short when Senji started heading for the door. "Hey wait up! Don't run off without meeee!" The panicked dumpling boy reluctantly placed the protein shake on the counter, then paid hastily as he then proceeded to chase after his friend. He turned around mid-jog to wave to his newly met acquaintances, squeezing through the door that was almost shut. Once he caught up with Senji he took heavy breaths, adjusting the small strands of hair that were in his eyes. He looked down at his protein shake with disgust, then let out a groan. "Mannn, I was supposed to get snacks..." His stomach growled in disapproval.

Toba was satisfied after Senji answered his barrage of questions, though he still had plenty more. When he mentioned his brother was better than him, something didn't seem quite right about it. Before he could ask another wave of annoying questions, he figured he should pay at the front first. Once he bought his drink, he turned back to the group. The three newcomers all seemed different from each other, and yet kind of similar at the same time. The larger one named Getsu was nervously fumbling over his words, and the other tall-looking guy was face to face with Charles. He took a healthy swig of his melon soda, wiping his wet hands on his shirt. Senji apologized to Toba for lying about his brother being better than him, though he was already expecting the elder sibling to be somewhat-better.

Deep down inside he was both excited and frightened to meet the three. He didn't know much about any of them, so a lot was still up in the air when it came to skill. The question was nagging in his head; just how good were they? It seemed that he would just have to wait and see. His moment of deep thought was intruded by Getsu hurrying after his friend. Toba tilted his head a little, then chuckled and took another gulp of his soda.
190 centimeters, makes sense. Shiro thought to himself as Hatsuo revealed to be nearly the exact size of Charles. He figured it must be nice for his french teammate to be able to look someone their age in the eyes, as rare as the occasion may be. What caught Shiro off guard was that he later mentioned he was a first year. A whole year younger than Shiro himself and he still had such an advantage.

What are people eating nowadays... He thought, before he listened on as his question was indirectly answered by Senji who stood a couple feet away. He was surprised once more when it was revealed that they all attended Aoba Johsai. Seeing as the blonde teen had just joined Karasuno's volleyball team for the first time this year, he was quiet aware of the drama the two schools had, but he was aware that Seijoh was one of their biggest rivals and known to be one of the highest competitive schools in the prefecture. This only lead him to wonder why Miyaji himself didn't follow his older brother to that school, he definitely had the abilities to.

After the interaction with Senji and his posse had died down, it seemed the Aoba Johsai squad began to take their leave, and Shiro had finally completed his transaction, excitedly holding a plastic bag filled with chocolate milk containers. He checked his phone, realizing the time.

"Alrighty guys, I gotta head hime too! I should get some homework done before tomorrow." He called to his friends, and by homework he knew he meant curl up in his bed for the remainder of the evening studying different offensive strategies online.

With one final friendly wave, the store's bell jingled as he exited.


After a couple of weeks of regular practice within the volleyball club, the twin coaches had announced that during the school's spring break, they would be traveling to a training camp in none other than the metropolitan city of Tokyo. They would be staying there along with 3 other highschools, which was perfect for not only building good relations with the others but also getting a good feel of their skillsets.

Shiro, who had been to Tokyo many times aiding his mother in business trips, was beyond excited (as per usual) for what the week before them had in store. A sleek black convertible pulled up to Karasuno's main building, where a large van sat parked. Shiro stepped out of the passenger side and waved goodbye to his mother, who was conveniently heading out on a business trip herself for a couple days.

Dressed in an all white track suit for comfort during the ride, Shiro made his way up to the van where other members of the team were standing around along with Coach Touza and Mira, presumably waiting for everyone to show up before loading up.

He greeted his team mates happily, despite it being 10:00 am. As enthusiastic about life as the teenager was, he wasn't the most fond of mornings. He looked around seeing if he could locate any of his more familiar friends.
Hatsuo blinked once at Charles before his face split into an amused smile. "You bet I do. Right in the middle -- the same position you play, I presume," he said casually. As Senji turned from the group of Karasuno students with a few parting words, Getsu frantically trailing behind him, Hatsuo ran a hand through his messy hair before following suit. "I better get going," the teen chimed, beginning to turn on his heels. He paused for a moment, though, to look back with a simpering expression. "You better practice reaaaally hard, 'kay? It'd be no fun if we crushed you guys without a fight. Ciao!" Bringing his hands to palm against the back of his neck, Hatsuo caught up with the departing duo.

The first-year was the first to separate from the other two as they walked home, turning down the sidewalk and into a small neighborhood with a wave goodbye to his upperclassmen. On stepping into his home, which had been barren of light, the boy stumbled in the dark and into his bedroom, praying that the noise he was making was much quieter than it felt. He had tried to be extra quiet the remainder of the night; his parents were both worked early in the morning, so they were already asleep. After a brisk shower and quick rummage for leftovers, the teen tossed himself into his bed. Before promptly passing out, he muttered, "I didn't even buy anything at the store..."

Minako was far too ruffled by Senji's final remarks to even notice the wink. She was staring daggers into the back of his head while he left, a clear expression of distaste pulling at her features. In return to Miyaji's assurance that he was always infuriating, she was quick to snap back with, "It's fine. I don't care." Bristling, she whipped around to the register, finally paying for the juice she was gripping with white knuckles. "Hardly had a presence..." Minako muttered under her breath, stuffing her change in her pocket. Seeing that Shiro was taking his leave, the girl cleared her throat and conveyed to her teammates that she'd be heading home, too. Dully waving to the group, she sauntered out of the store, her mood fouler than it'd been all day. Thankfully when she got home, she was given plenty of alone time (her father was working late) to relax and convince herself that she did not have unbearable feelings for her teammate, and that she was much better than said teammate's smug brother's assumptions.

The following weeks for Minako were pretty steady: she'd been able to learn all of her hitters' preferences with ease, while also honing her personal skills. Of course, she was still juggling the hot potato that was her torch for Miyaji, but at least she was coming to terms with it.

At the announcement of their team's opportunity to participate with a few other schools in a training camp, Minako couldn't help but feel her interest pique -- she'd been itching for more scrimmages and games, and this was the team's excuse to show off what they'd been working on.

Minako's father had dropped her off on the day the bus departed, kissing her forehead and wishing her luck before she stepped out from the vehicle and waved goodbye. She was adorning a loose graphic pullover, sleek leggings, and white sneakers, gripping at a duffel bag on her shoulder as well. The girl looked around blankly from under the hood pulled over her head, spotting Shiro and relaxing a bit as she meandered towards him. She bowed her head slightly, letting a small "good morning" escape from her lips.
"Hey, wait up!"

Senji turned to hear Getsu's frantic voice as the round male jogged up beside him, walking along with him after a few minutes of catching his breath. He laughed with amusement upon seeing his teammate's look of disdain at the bottle of protein shake he had unwillingly purchased. "Well, you wouldn't have had that problem if you weren't trying to impress that little Karasuno girl in the first place, and you know that." After patting Getsu's shoulder encouragingly, Senji chided, "Don't sweat it; you always have plenty of opportunities to restock, anyway.” Hatsuo had caught up to them shortly after, and following a handful of light-hearted conversation as the trio walked -- though Hatsuo's route home had cut off a bit early, leaving just Senji and Getsu -- they came across an intersection at which Senji took a different turn and followed the route to his home, waving goodbye his teammate. As he began the final section of the way home, his eyes narrowed ever so slightly as his mind went back to Miyaji and the other Karasuno players. That setter... she could be a bit of a problem.

Sure looks like you care
, Miyaji wanted to retort in response to Minako's sharp remark. The girl had an expression of near-unbridled anger as she watched Senji leave the store, hands gripping her juice boxes with incredibly tense fingers. As Shiro left soon after, Minako had muttered indistinctly under her breath as she also went over to Saito-san to pay before leaving with a curt wave. After finishing the rest of his curry bun and about half a bottle of Thai tea, Miyaji also began taking his leave, waving to Toba, Charles, Yoshi, and Saito-san before heading home, just barely catching up with Senji before the two of them reached their destination. After eating dinner with their parents and washing up, the brothers promptly went to their separate rooms and fell asleep; though Senji lost consciousness as soon as his head hit the pillow, Miyaji was lost in thought for another thirty minutes, attempting to analyze Minako's recent strange behavior. He had debated all kinds of plausible reasons as to her flustered expressions in his and Senji's presence, her sudden invitation to accompany her to the convenience store, and her icy remarks, but he considered nearly everything except for the one more obvious choice: the possibility of Minako's feelings for him.


The next few weeks of practice had been going smoothly: with the help of many brutal suicide exercises as well as daily sprints, Miyaji had substantially increased his agility on the court, helping him quickly reach spikers on the other side of the court and stuff them out with ease, courtesy of his also improved read blocking skills. Spiking practice had been going surprisingly steady as well: with Minako's inhuman sets paving an easy way for him to hit comfortably, the middle blocker had gotten the hang of it rather quickly. However, one thought itched the back of his mind, more often during spiking practice than other times, as the ever so dense Miyaji felt like his tosses were given slightly more care than the others, though he still couldn't quite place a finger on why.

The day had finally come: the Karasuno team would be training at a camp in Tokyo, scrimmaging with three other teams in that prefecture as well. Though Miyaji was more excited than he preferred to express out loud, he kept his interest under a facade of familiar stoicism. After doing his and Senji's secret handshake that they had done for the past eight years, Miyaji hugged his parents and waved before beginning the walk to school, a bottle of iced coffee in hand. He was dressed in his usual black bomber jacket over a white graphic tee, black athletic shorts, and black sneakers, his duffle bag slung over his shoulder. Once he arrived at his destination, he spotted Minako sauntering toward Shiro, and upon reaching a noticeable point from their view, Miyaji greeted the two with a small wave. "Yo."
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As people slowly dispersed, the store growing quiet after half the team had left. Charles let out a sigh, he looked back at the few member who were left before a smile grew on his face, "See you tomorrow!" Charles waved before he began out the store, giving a thanks to the shopkeeper on the way out. As he walked home, Charles slipped his thumbs under the straps of his backpack and kept his eyes on the ground as passive thoughts floated through his mind. Hatsuo was really almost as tall as him, and he was a whole year younger! But what bothered Charles was his confidence, just by putting the pair next to each other one would assume Hatsuo was the better player by how he held himself. Was he a better player? Charles didn't want to be the reason the team loses because his blocking capabilities simply couldn't compete. Charles let out a huff as he arrived at his home. He knew he had other things to worry about, like dinner and homework... but he couldn't get volleyball off his mind and he couldn't stop thinking about Hatsuo's competitive smirk. As Charles entered the building and closed the door behind him, the boy suddenly stretched his arms up. Charles could easily place his palms on the roof, and he stood like that for a moment as he wondered if his arm span was longer than Hatsuo's, he did still have that 6 centimetre advantage. A soft noise from behind Charles caused the boy to gasp and spin around, trying to act like he was taking off his shoes as a coat of sheepish pink blush covered his cheeks. The boy calmed at the sight of a long hound dog nose examining his ankles. "Suzi, is Maman and Pere asleep?" Charles whispered, using the french terms of affection for his parents, as he bent down the pat the brown and white Basset Hound, pushing the wrinkled from her eyes before picking her up. Charles crept to his room with the dog slung across his folded arms before practically tossing her onto the bed and collapsing beside her. Charles told Suzi all about his day in a hushed tone before getting up to shower and brush his teeth, forgetting to eat and leaving his homework for the morning as he struggled to even keep his eyes open.

Yoshi watched as everyone left before shrugging. All of the seijoh kids seemed pretty tall, even the round one, so he doubted any of them payed libero- not that he really cared. They were kinda an annoying bunch, to be honest, but Yoshi didn't pay much attention until right before the left as they brought up competition. Yoshi rolled his eyes, no shit they were going to practice. But they also weren't going to lose. Yoshiro went to buy his snacks, muttering to himself at how much money he was spending as he took out his wallet. With a bag in each hand, full of food, and his backpack heavy on his shoulders, the boy only made it a couple of feet outside of the store before huffing at how much of a pain the walk home was going to be. Yoshi groaned before pulling out his phone and making a call, the phone rang for a moment until being picked up by what sounded like a monster as screaming erupted from the other side. Yoshi, with an amused expression, pulled the phone away from his ear and waited for the yelling to die down before speaking to what one could assume was his mother and explaining why he was going to be home so late. When he finally ended the call, Yoshi, who had done his very best to guilt his mother into picking him up, had no other choice but to start the long trek home. By long, it was only about 25 minutes, but to Yoshi it felt like an eternity and he makes sure to complain about it every time. When the boy finally stood in front of his home, he thought about not going in but ended up dragging his feet to the door and entering stealthily... not stealthily enough, apparently, as he could hear the thud of footsteps from the stairs on the opposite side of the house. Yoshi rolled his eyes and prepared himself. After being scolded for a fair amount of time, because he had forgotten that he was supposed to walk his siblings home from school, Yoshi eventually was freed to go to his room. Yoshi's younger sisters were twins, and, in his opinion, the most terrible creatures on earth. He did his best to avoid them while in the house, but they must've been woken by his mother's yelling as they bombarded him with questions as he walked down the hall. Rini and Yua trailed nosily behind Yoshi right up until he closed the door on their faces and locked it, releasing a giggle before retreating to their own room. Yoshi's night was cut short when he fell asleep on accident after sitting on his bed to take his shoes off.
The weeks following the first day of practice seemed to have gone rather quickly. As the load of school work increased, practice became like a sort of getaway where one didn't have to worry about anything beside volleyball. Following a suggestion from the coaches, Yoshi had begun working on reading his opponents hits and the setter's movements more. He did his best to improve his concentration on the court, and by the end of the first week he was was hardly letting any balls hit the floor, granted by the second week he was wearing out. If there was anything in the world that Yoshi hated above all else, it was conditioning. Just running for now reason. He didn't even like to think about it, but after a less than friendly warning about playing time, Yoshi was forced to step up his game as far as stamina. Charles had showed drastic improvement over the weeks of regular practice, what was once just an athletic body and brute strength was turning into a huge advantage for the boy. Between practice blocking and going home to study blocking, he was growing more and more conscious about how to spot where the ball is going. His spiking was still far from perfect, but if given instruction on where to aim the ball he could almost do it. His serves hadn't changed much, going to the same spot at the back of the court almost every time.

The day of the training camp couldn't have come quicker for Charles, who was extremely excited and equally nervous. He had never been to Tokyo, and he had never been on an overnight stay away from his parents either. The tall boy was practically trembling as his the round, white minivan pulled up beside the bus. The boy looked out the window, grinning excitedly at the sight of his teammates before turning back to his mother. Charles gave the older woman a kiss on the cheek and said his goodbyes before reaching behind him to pat Suzi, who's panting could be heard the entire car ride. As Charles stepped out of the car, he went to the back to get his large duffel bag , using his body to shield Suzi from escaping "Au revoir Maman." Charles gave a final goodbye and kissed Suzi's forehead before stepping away from the car and standing in the middle of the road as he watched his car drive away. A smile tugged at the corners of Charles' lips as he sighed before he quickly joined his teammates on the side walk, being sure to wave a good morning to everyone. When Charles caught sight of his friends his face lit up and he skipped towards them. Charles considered them his friends over the rest of the team, and while it's never explicitedly been said it seemed that the group that had scrimmaged on that first day were closer than the other students. Miyaji and Minako were fairly quiet, but Charles respected them a lot. Even though he's the same age, and a lot bigger, as the pair Charles just sort of feels safer and more comfortable following them around. Toba and Shiro were a bit of a handful, but they were very friendly and a lot of fun to be around. Charles took an especial liking to Shiro, who he prefers to spend time with out of anyone on the team. Yoshi was a bit odd, he mostly did his own thing but was always hanging around like some sort of ghost, still Charles liked him. Charles waved at the group of three who had already arrived, stopping once close enough as a wide grin lit his features, "Hello, good morning. I'm so excited!" Charles announced in between breaths.

Yoshi groaned as the group of students came into view, some seemed more chatty than others while the coaches hovered about and kept attendance. Yoshi, who had dragged his feet to the school, was less than glad to be going to this camp. It seemed exhausting, both physically and socially. And he thought their 2 hour practices each day were perfectly substantial without having to get other teams involved. The boy was still in pajama bottoms, a pair of black and white checkered pants that hung over his white tennis shoes, as well as a black hoodie with the hood drawn over his messy hair. Yoshi's bright blue eyes were tired as they scanned the area before he approached the group. Yoshi had both his earbuds in, and was hoping they couldn't have to stand in the cold for too long as he found an uninhabited spot and stood with his arms crossed. The boy's bright pink duffel bag was heavy as it hung across his back, while it had his clothes of course, most of the space in the bag was taken up by various snacks which would likely be gone after the ride to the shore. Yoshi stood for a bit before growing bored, they were still waiting for just a couple more kids. The boy spotted the group who he tended to hang around, mostly because the older kids were scary. Yoshi thought that the first and second years were good, though it's not like he was an expert. Compared to the kids he played with in middle school, this team seemed like it had some real potential. It's not like he considered them buddies of anything, but since they were good and volleyball and didn't shoo him away, Yoshi found their company somewhat better than being alone. Yoshi crept towards the group, taking out a half eaten Rice Krispie from his pocket and peeling back to wrapper for another bite. The boy gave a half hearted nod but didn't say anything as he stood with the others.
Toba's eyes slowly opened, greeted by the harsh sunlight that glared through the slightly opened window. He stretched dramatically, stumbling out of bed and finding his way to the bathroom. After he was finished thoroughly brushing his teeth a bit-too aggressively, he started preparing for the trip he was up all night thinking about. He was stuffing things into his bag to the point it seemed it was going to burst, and fortunately his mother happened to spot the monstrosity of a packed-gym bag. "It's just a little packed that's all..." He looked back at her, his hands forcing his knee-pads down into the bag. She swatted his hands away, then promptly stored his things neatly, zipping it up with ease. Toba chuckled sheepishly, throwing the bag around his shoulder then reluctantly hugged his mother goodbye. "Have fun~ Don't push yourself too hard!" She called from the window; her hand waving out to him. Toba started a light jog towards his school, a wide excited-grin glued to his face, gnawing on the granola bar he snatched before leaving.

Toba spotted the coaches and some other students waiting in the distance, picking up his pace to join them sooner. He joined the group of people, his hands stuffed into his pockets. He was panting quite heavily from his long jog on the way to the school, so to quench his thirst he headed for the vending machine that was just around the corner of their meeting spot. After getting a melon soda, he joined the group once more, taking a big gulp of his refreshing soda. "I can't wait to finally play against the other teams! I've got a feeling we'll do great." He spoke with an assuring thumbs up.

He wasn't sure what to expect, since the team had hardly gotten to know each other. But overall the team as a whole had overwhelming potential, and if they managed to get perfect synergy, Karasuno would be a major threat to any team. Even though it was just a series of practice matches, he didn't want to lose a single one of them. It was expecting a lot since he was still a rookie in terms of experience, but he felt he could pull his weight, and maybe even make some impressive plays. He wanted to at least cement himself as a heavy hitter for the team, to show the others what he was made of. Toba knew one thing for sure, it was going to be an interesting event.
Within due time, Shiro noticed as his friends began to trickle in one after another. As he was leaned up against the large white van that would be carrying the team to Tokyo, he smiled brightly as Minako arrived on the scene. He returned her greeting with a wave as he continued to sip his chocolatey delight through a straw, which was supplying him with that morning boost he desperately needed. Soon after Minako, the remaining musketeer out of their original little trio had pulled up to the school as well. Then in succession Charles, the one he remembered as Yoshi (whom he still hadn't really gotten the chance to speak to), and Charles arrived. Shiro's face couldn't help but light up as he noticed Charles made his way towards them in a peppy manner. In the past couple of weeks he couldn't help admire Charles even more than he had before due to his work ethic and improvement within gameplay besides his monstrous blocking.

The whole team had impressed him, to be honest, because he definitely hadn't expected so much personal growth within each individual on the team. He knew from the first practice that the team mates surrounding him right now had a natural synergy and chemistry between them, but it seemed like it was only evolving greater throughout this period of their growth as players.

Shiro listened on as Toba chimed in speaking on how excited he was, and Shiro threw up a thumbs up as well.

"I definitely feel you! I'm not gonna lie though," He said before taking a swig of his milk and lowering his voice. "I'm not the most excited about the kind of conditioning the twins plan on continuing to put us through, but maybe they'll ease up on us since other teams will be around.... either that or they'll be twice as tough." He finished, a comical sweat drop on his forehead. As thrilled over the whole experience-to-come as he was, his laziness was quite evidence.

After a few moments had passed, Coach Mira had done a head count to ensure everyone had arrived. Upon that confirmation, her fiery headed brother piped up.

"Good morning, ATHLETES! Today will commence the beginning of our Spring Training Camp! I expect us all to be on our best behavior, and at our physical piques during this time. Since we will be going through this time of training with other teams we must....."

Touza continued on another one of his tangents. Shiro had once found them inspiring, but frankly after the 10th one within the first week of practices, he was beginning to see them more as a snooze fest. He always covered the basics; motivation, believing in yourself, pushing past your limits, caring about your brothers and sisters on the team, etc. etc.

Shiro tuned back in once he had heard Touza's final remarks and call to load the mini bus. He adjusted the backpack slung over his shoulders and picked up the heavy dufflebag he had previously dropped at his side - perhaps he overpacked for the week, but in the blonde's eyes you could never be too prepared. After tossing his bags in the back as instructed, Shiro began boarding the bus after the 3rd years... and the boy seemed confused by its interior. It was quite large on the outside, but the space was a bit more compact than he assumed it would be. Still, there looked to be plenty of room for comfort. The 4 oldest students occupied the back, so Shiro made his way towards the middle of the bus (mostly to avoid having to strike conversation with Touza or Mira for the 3 hour ride). The thin boy plopped down in one of the surprisingly comfortable cushioned seats, and placed his backpack on his lap before grabbing his cellphone and earbuds.

He looked around as his teammates entered the bus as well. Whenever he would spot Charles eventually climbing aboard he would laugh and pat the open seat next to him, indicating his towering teammate to join him.
As more and more members of the "ridiculous six" trickled in before all were present, Miyaji listened on silently to the conversation around him. Truth be told, he was excited about the conditioning aspect of the camp as well, contrary to Shiro's opinion, though he refrained from voicing his own thoughts. Despite his own agility training through which he had put himself, Miyaji continued to find himself a split second short of reaching the occasional quick attack set up between Shiro and Minako, and that was the one thing he had pushed himself to be able to stop. Luckily, individual practice on an uneven foundation such as the sand on the beach near camp would give Miyaji much more even footing on the indoor court, so he was thankful for the opportunity to hone his agility beyond what he was already doing.

Upon hearing Shiro's last remark, however, Miyaji couldn't help but chime in, shoving his hands in his pockets as he spoke with his familiar, stoic expression. However, an amused smirk seemed to ever so slightly pull at the corners of his mouth. "Ease up? Coach Touza might, but I don't think that phrase is even in Coach Mira's vocabulary." Having known Shiro for long enough, he was aware of the fellow second-year's tendency for minor lethargy when it came to the brutal training he, Miyaji, and Minako had undergone during their first-years; it was crystal clear that neither coaches knew how to hold back.

His train of thought was soon interrupted by Coach Touza's familiar, booming voice that grabbed everyone's attention. Knowing immediately that this was going to be yet another of his inspirational speeches, Miyaji decided to tune out the things he usually covered in his tangents, though he made sure to catch important things that pertained to the camp itinerary; soon, the speech came to a close, and students were directed to the bus to prepare for departure. Once his luggage was deposited in the back, Miyaji—having the same reasoning as Shiro—took a seat somewhere between the middle and the back. Intending to doze off for the ride to the campsite, he didn't mind who would be occupying the open spot beside him as he played soft music through earbuds plugged into his phone, leaning back in his seat.
Charles placidly listened to Miyaji and Shiro converse, they were talking about conditioning. Something that... Charles wasn't exactly a fan of either. Not only was he a lumbering figure not built for speed, but he had never played a sport in his life, much less had to condition for one. And while the exercise wasn't terrible to do, he wasn't very fond of the stiffness the next morning and he doubted he'd ever get used to being sore. He couldn't fully comprehend Miyaji's words, but by his expression it seemed the boy wasn't assuring Shiro that the camp would be easy- which, honestly, excited Charles. While typically a gentle and easy going fellow, Charles had found himself over and over again enjoying the rush of having obstacles to get over- and he grew to love the thrill of competition, granted so long as it stayed fun and respectful. Eventually, couch Touza yelled without warning, causing Charles to nearly jump in surprise and turn to face the male coach. Despite hearing the same thing over and over again, Charles' eyes sparkled each time he listened to the coach. He nodded his head intently, clearly taking in every word. Honestly the boy had learned more Japanese listening to coach Touza speak than he had listening to his teachers.
Eventually, the group was instructed to load the vehicle. Charles was gingerly placing his bag in the back when he scolded for taking too long by one of the third years, causing him to simply shove it in like the others and hurry towards the front of the bus. Naturally, the older kids loaded first and second years loaded after them. Charles was at the back of the second years, eyes wandering as he entered the bus and ran his hands across the fabric of each seat. The boy wasn't really looking for a spot to sit until he realized all of the back seats were taken. Oh no, he immediately began to panic, what if nobody wanted to sit with him? What if he ended up having to sit with the coaches, or worse, by himself? Charles paused in place until he heard a chuckle, gaze drifting down towards Shiro. The tall boy's expression melted into ease when he spotted his friend, graciously slipping into the seat beside him. "Ah, Shiro. I think it is a long ride. I'm happy to sit with you." Charles beamed down on the hitter before, as if suddenly remembering something, Charles' lips made an O and he dug into the small backpack he had brought onto the bus. After a moment, Charles pulled out a rectangular container and popping the lid off of it. Inside was bite-sized pieces of fudge neatly stacked. "It is my favorite food my mother makes. Fudge. Can I share with you?" Charles smiled, eyes sparkling as he looked down at the desert, but gesturing for Shiro to take a piece first.

Yoshi continued to snack on his treat as the other's talked, half listening but mostly just staring at them like a clueless fish. The boy did not emit the same enthusiasm as Shiro and Toba, but certainly wasn't as collected as Miyaji or Minako. Rather, he looked like he just rolled out of bed and was still figuring out how he had gotten to where he was. Yoshi rubbed his head and yawned before he heard couch Touza's voice ring above the crowd, causing Yoshi to groan as he knew another lecture was coming. At certain points in the male coach's speech, Yoshi mouthed along because he knew exactly what he was going to say- it was really getting repetitive. Eventually, Yoshi zoned out and didn't evne notice the command to load the bus until the crowd started moving. "Huh?" Yoshi looked to his left and right before catching on and throwing his bag in with the others, with his hands in the pocket of his hoodie, Yoshi placed the loose ear bud into his ear so he had both in and was listening to the rather odd choice of jazz music. Yoshi walked along the aisle of the bus for a bit, before diving into a seat. Being a first year, he didn't have much of a choice and was pushed towards the front of the bus. Not that he minded. When he plopped into a seat, the boy placed his bag between his legs before going through it and pulling out a set of head phones. Not only did he wear the smaller ear phones, but covered them with a head set that went over his ears and cancelled out the noise. The boy also took out a box of apple juice, one of many that he had packed, but he didn't open it and instead just rested it on his lap. Truth be told, Yoshi was perfectly capable of sleeping the entire way to Tokoyo- he just hoped he wouldn't have to sit next to someone chatty.
Toba had only been waiting outside for a minute or so, but the sun was already beating down on him harsher than ever. He took a final swig of his soda, shaking it a few times to ensure he had finished it off. Just as he disposed of the empty tin can, his head perked up when Coach Touza spoke. As soon as he heard her striking tone he knew they were in for another harangue, resulting in an exaggerated sigh under his breath as he nodded along with her. Even though he was impatient, he still appreciated her motivation and direction, as it only made him more fired up.

Once the boarding process began Toba threw his bag into the designated area; moving to enter the bus in an orderly fashion. He watched as his teammates plopped into the seats of their choice, one by one the crowd in the narrow walkway thinned. Toba didn't exactly mind where he would end up, as long as he had enough room for his legs. He scanned the seats before him, his eyes flickering all over the bus when suddenly, he spotted a lonely libero sitting all by his lonesome. The rambunctious first year squeezed past a third year and plumped down beside him. A grin slowly crept upon his face; this just had to be the perfect time for the two to get to know each other! "I've only been to Tokyo once! Can you believe that! This is going to be loads of fun, I can't wait to play against the others! Do you think we'll stand a chance? I sure hope so!" He continued nonchalantly. "With receives like yours, there's no way we'll lose! Plus Minako has her signature KAPOW serve!" He let out a boisterous laugh. Toba hadn't even realized poor Yoshi had headphones in, and he was just getting started. The bus was already in motion by the time he finished speaking, it wouldn't be long until they left the Tohoku region. Toba let out a mighty yawn, stretching his arms. He wasn't the type to sleep during a drive, but seeing as it was a farther drive than he would usually go through, it only made sense he would pass out eventually.

"Hey Yoshi, you should show me how you dig up spikes so well." He tapped his foot excitedly. "Erh- well if you wouldn't mind, that is." He scratched the back of his head nervously. Out of all the players he had met up until then, Yoshi's receives stood out the most to him. Even though Toba hadn't played with many libero's thus far, it was obvious that he had some clear skill when it came to the position.
Minako stood idly while Coach Touza digressed on his usual encouraging dialogue, her hands stuffed into her sweatshirt pockets. She had to agree with the majority of her teammates: he had the right idea, but made a habit of drawling on for too long.

After fine-tuning and picking up what she thought was most important from the speech, Minako followed suit behind the rest of her teammates to get onto the bus. Hugging her duffle bag with a blank gaze, the teen followed the traffic flow down the bus. When the student ahead of her slipped into a spot nearby, Minako found herself with very limited seating options. More limited than she had hoped for, actually.

Just my luck.

She stood still in the line she was in front of, an expression of mixed panic and discomfort on her face as she looked ahead at the nearest unoccupied seat -- which just so happened to be next to the one person she couldn't function normally around. Blinking once, she turned around to squeeze past and find a different spot, but the player behind her was looking very impatient. Huffing quietly under her breath, Minako hesitantly took the open seat. Struggling to determine if the situation she was in was downright awful or a gift from above, the girl tentatively pulled out her own earbuds, which she had snagged from her bag before tossing it in the back, and plugged them into her phone. Minako avoided any and all eye contact with Miyaji as she settled back into the cushioned chair, pulling her knees to her chest and mindlessly picking a song to listen to. Sinking into her jacket hood as to hide her reddened face, Minako let the spunky hip-hop song she chose blast in her ears as she prayed for a hasty arrival to the training camp.
Shiro was gratified when Charles had plopped down beside him. It had looked like his blonde teammate held a nervous composure while entering the bus because of the suddenly limited space, and honestly Shiro was hoping he wouldn't have to be stuck next to someone he wasn't close with... he had a general knowledge about his teammates but there were a few that he had still been a bit too intimidated to get to know - mostly a few of the third years.

After comfortably settling in, Shiro had just popped in one of his earbuds, leaving his left one out so he could hear Charles as he chimed in about sharing a snack. The french boy held open a container full of some sort of mouth watering chocolate delights towards Shiro, explaining that it was a type of fudge his mother made as a specialty. As the two empty bottles of chocolate milk in Shiro's bag could indicate, the teen was an avid lover of the sweet ingredient.

"O-...Oh wow!" He spoke as he couldn't contain his own eyes from gaining a sparkly aura while peering down at the homemade goods. "If you insist, thank you so much!" Shiro finished, bowing his head slightly and gently picking up one of the smooth fudge pieces.

It felt so soft and delicate as he held it, and could hardly contain his excitement as he tossed it in his mouth. Instantly he seemed to have had a heavenly rain of flavor down from above as his tastebuds leaped for joy. Despite the early morning time, Shiro had suddenly been slapped fully awake. After taking a moment to swallow, Shiro exclaimed aloud and nearly jumped out of his own seat.

"THE IMMACULACY. THE TEXTURE. I-" However he caught himself, lowering his thrilled tone so that his voice wouldn't completely circulate the bus. He also tried to speak slower without such intense wording in order to not confuse Charles. "Dude, that was the best thing I've ever tasted in my entire life!" He stated with exaggeration clearly due to his enthusiasm. "She just randomly made that at home? By herself?"

He pulled his backpack in closer to him as his arms wrapped around it, eager to hear the origin ethereal snack he had just tasted came to be.
Quickly growing tired of his selected music album, Miyaji had scrolled through several playlists before deciding on some of his personal favorite J-Pop tracks when movement in the seat next to his caught the corner of his eye. Turning to put a face to the figure who had seated him/herself beside him, he was the slightest bit surprised to see Minako -- seemingly begrudgingly -- settle into the chair, stuffing in earbuds and pulling her hood over her head. Miyaji indeed did not mind at all who he shared a seat with for the long drive to Tokyo, but he'd be lying if he claimed he wasn't slightly relieved that the familiar girl he had known particularly longer than the others had been the one. Despite his relief, he was fully prepared to simply leave it at that and avert his attention; however, the fleeting red that had been present in Minako's cheeks for a split-second before they were covered elicited mild concern from the boy, as he was still completely oblivious how his mere existence affected her.

After unlocking his phone, Miyaji nonchalantly accessed his direct message thread with Minako; it was sparsely filled, mostly with clarifications on things pertaining to volleyball practice or schoolwork -- or, rarely, very brief small talk. Rather wary of interrupting the music playing in Minako's ears by abruptly pulling out one of her earbuds to initiate a conversation, he instead opted to shoot her a text.

He quickly typed 'your face was a bit red, from what i saw before you pulled your hood over it; are you feeling okay?' and hit send before pocketing his phone and reclining backward. The small vibration of the notification popping up on her phone would be enough to alert her, Miyaji decided, and with that business concluded, he could finally relax. Shiro's exultation of whatever Charles had made rang faintly through his earbuds, but it had been muffled enough to avoid pulling away Miyaji's focus yet again. Quickly disregarding the fellow second-year's excitement, the middle blocker closed his eyes and rested his head against his seat.
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Charles' eyes sparkled at Shiro's excitement, glad that he could produce such a reaction from the boy. Charles was somewhat familiar with Shiro's love of chocolate, based on the latter's frequent snack and beverage choice, so he was glad he had such an enthusiastic chocolate-lover to share hid fudge with. Charles watched Shiro's reaction, before taking a piece in his own long fingers and tossing it into his open mouth while tilting his head backward, Charles nodded at Shiro while chewing the piece in his left cheek. As Shiro yelled words that Charles didn't understand, the taller boy simply smiled- based off of Shiro's tone, was likely praising his mother's treats. At the simpler compliment, Charles nodded in agreement. "Ah, yes! She makes at home sometimes. I think she should make it all of the time. It's very good." Charles chuckled as he spoke, he turned to look about the bus to make sure Shiro hadn't brought too much attention to the pair before nodding. "In France, my mother has bakery. But not anymore. Now we live in Japan, because my father works in big business. So, my mother bakes for only us now." Charles shrugged, the slightest bit of reminiscence in his voice before he chuckled, "I will tell her you like it, she will be happy."
The rest of the trip was filled with small talk. Charles talked and listened, taking particular interest in both Shiro's personal life as well as the facts of Japanese culture. He spoke in short broken sentences, but managed to get the point across most of them time- seeming to get most excited when speaking about Suzi or his new team. He never plugged in earphones, but occasionally he would happily hum a tune while bouncing his foot and enjoy the peaceful silence before a new topic was brought up between the pair. Eventually, Charles long legs began to cramp in their bent position ahead of him- but out of fear of being considered rude, he didn't stretch them into the isle and instead did his best to scoot them under the seat in front of him so he sat in a rather awkward position for the last half of the ride.

Yoshi stared at Toba as the other boy fell into the seat beside him, blinking for a moment before nodding silently and turning away. Suddenly, Toba began speaking. Despite his layers of headphones, Yoshi could barely hear the boy beside him- yet seeing as Toba was simply rambling, the young libero decided to keep the equipment in his ears, placidly shrugging when he thought a question was being asked. Not long into the drive, Yoshi grew tired of the music, turning it off but keeping his headphones covering his ears. When Toba asked Yoshi to help him with receiving, the boy pondered for a moment before a wild grin grew across his face. He had never been asked to teach someone before. Yoshi couldn't help but take it as a compliment. "Uh huh, sure thing." Yoshi shrugged, burying his nose into his hoodie and closing his eyes with the intention of falling asleep. "We'll do good." Yoshi suddenly said, answering a question that Toba had asked a bit early on the bus rid, "We'll take them by surprise for sure. Cuz we're good. I think." Yoshi's words began to slur as he slipped into a sleep. In no time at all, Yoshi was letting soft snored escape his parted lips and drool began to pool in his mouth- the boy was as carefree as ever as his limp body fell onto the likely still talking Toba. Least to say, he wasn't waking up anytime soon.
Minako glanced down at her smartphone as it buzzed in her fingers, squinting down at it on seeing the notification of a text. She was quick to glance at Miyaji when she concluded reading it, but he seemed to have dozed off already. Looking troubled, she brought the phone closer to her face to respond.

So I really am that noticeable, huh, the teenager audibly sighed while her thumbs tapped away to reply.

Before tucking her phone away and sneaking one more glance to Miyaji, Minako hesitantly typed, 'it's nothing. don't worry about it.' She sank back into her seat, trying to ignore her racing heart as she closed her eyes. Instead of slipping into sleep, though, she found herself dreadfully awake. The situation she was in would inevitably need to be resolved, but... she didn't want to deal with a confession that would likely backfire. I don't have time to think about this kind of stuff. C'mon, think about volleyball! Minako let her head fall forward against her knees in exasperation, stifling another sigh. Eventually, she managed to distract herself with the reminder of the entire training camp in the hours to come, as well as fit in a nap during the bus ride.
Toba's face lit up in excitement when Yoshi agreed to help him with his lackluster receives. He couldn't help but grin enthusiastically back at him; he always dreamed of finding somebody to hone his defensive skills and teach him a thing or two, and Yoshi seemed like the perfect one to do it.
He was about to start rambling again until Yoshi sleepily assured him that they would do fine. It seemed that he had faith in the team, which for Toba was reassuring to hear. The libero then drifted off to sleep, his limp body leaning onto Toba—who blinked in confusion. For a moment he considered shaking him, but his mind told him otherwise. If I wake him up, he wont be well-rested for the practice matches!

Toba checked his phone with his free arm, squinting to see the time. It appeared they were going to make it right on time, though there was still quite a bit to go. He scrolled through social media, chuckling here and there when he came across something funny. Not long after he shifted into a comfortable position, leaning back into his chair; Yoshi still seemingly passed out on his shoulder. He let out a yawn, his eyes slowly falling shut. He was so pumped up for the camp he tuckered himself out just from the anticipation; so it was no surprise he was dead asleep.
The vibration of Miyaji's phone in his pocket had just barely shaken him awake, and as he opened his eyes, he glanced down at his phone to read Minako's reply to his inquiry. Only turning his eyes to observe the girl so as not to startle her, Miyaji watched her press her head against her knees and caught the lingering red on her face. With an eyebrow raised, the boy stifled an amused snort as he ever so subtly relaxed back into his cushioned chair, slowly drifting back to sleep.


Finally, the several hours of driving came to an end as the Karasuno Volleyball Club arrived at their destination: Fukurōdani Academy, which would be hosting this week's summer camp. Woken by the excited clamor of players who had been awake, Miyaji's eyes fluttered open as he sat up straight, stretching his back and hearing audible pops. He turned to the still sleeping Minako beside him and softly shook her shoulder, announcing their arrival in a quiet voice. As the students began to stand up and file out of the bus, however, Miyaji promptly followed behind the girl and took a few steps before leaning forward just enough to make his next few words hushed but audible.

"Didn't seem like nothing."

Soon, all of the members of Karasuno had exited the bus and stood in a loose cluster before the two coaches. Once he had confirmed that all players were present, Coach Touza began to speak with a booming voice and a bright smile.

"Alllllright, we're here! Like we've previously iterated, these are all powerful schools in the Tokyo Prefecture, so be prepared for 7 challenging days of practice matches with some heavy hitting opponents. For every loss, the team will be doing flying dive drills down the gym as well as a sprint up the hill out here. It's gonna be grueling, but I can guarantee every single one of you will be much stronger. Refer to your copy of the schedule if you ever get confused, and above all else, let's have some fun!"

The team began making their way into the gymnasium, and as he walked, Miyaji's eyes held an excited glint. The time had finally come: both for him to show what he was made of to the Tokyo Prefecture, and also to become much stronger on the court.


The sound of the double doors opening caught the attention of a third-year in a yellow shirt. Turning to glance at the newcomers, a smug grin pulled at the corners of Kyran's lips as he nonchalantly spun a volleyball on the tip of his finger.

"Oho? Looks like we've got a handful of country bumpkin crows among us~"

After briefly scanning the Karasuno players in sight, the Ubugawa wing spiker smirked once again before walking over to the boundary line, spinning the ball he held in between his hands as he stared at his opponents on the other side of the net. He took a deep breath and moved a few steps back, and after tossing the ball into the air, Kyran began his approach. With a bright grin, he launched into the air, right arm drawn back. Once the ball was in the perfect spot, he whipped his arm downward, and his hand struck the ball with remarkable force.

In what seemed like an instant, the orb had crossed the court and hit the floor, just barely shy of the boundary line and untouched by anyone on that side. After pumping a fist in the air in celebration, Kyran grinned and cheered with his teammates; he then glanced back once again at the Karasuno team, a challenging glint in his eyes though he doubted any of them could see him.
Yoshi jerked awake when the bus stopped, breathing heavily as he frantically looked about in confusion before settling upon remembering where he was. "Damn, already?" Yoshi let out a yawn, stretching his arms and legs in a star shape while he stayed seating. The rest of the bus woke rather quickly, those who hadn't even closed their eyes were practically out of their seats as excited chatter vibrated throughout the bus. Yoshi glanced towards Toba, who had apparently also fallen asleep- but didn't bother to wake the boy as he waited for the other first year to rouse on his own. As Yoshi waited for the others to file out of the bus, he opened a packet of fruit gummies and finished them an a disappointingly quick speed, grumbling to himself as he shoved the wrapper back into his hoodie pocket.
As everyone unloaded off of the bus, the small boy followed suit and grabbed his bright pink bag before slinging it over his shoulder. Yoshi dragged his feet as he fell into line with the others, looking about with a still tired expression until he nearly tripped over one of his slides- stumbling forward before rubbings his eyes and grunting as he decided to pay more attention before he embarrassed himself. The excitement around him didn't much affect the boy, who seem to swing between obnoxiously energetic and oddly quiet, but upon entering the double doors of the gym the sound of volleyballs whizzing through the air and crashing against the smooth wood floor caught his attention. The boy's, now wide, turquoise stare flicked from player to player, not remembering any faces but picking apart their form and skill level as they practiced and warmed up. When a voice boomed from across one of the courts, Yoshi looked up momentarily before furrowing his brows in confusion. "Us?" the boy whispered to himself and stared hard at the floor as he attempted to decipher the insult, the boy glanced back up to catch the last half of the other player's serve and his eyes grew wide. Yoshi cocked an impressed brow before finding the source of the serve to be none other than the student who had just spoke of Karasuno in a bitter tone. Yoshi narrowed his eyes to better see Kyran's smug expression before Yoshi clicked his tongue and turned away, "What a wierdo-" he muttered.

Charles was playing with his fingers, pressing his thumbs together and attempting to twist his index fingers in between the thumbs- when the bus approached the school parking lot, Charles let out an excited gasp. The tall boy shot up from his seat as the sound of waking students and moving feet caused him to turn away from the window, as he stood fully his head collided with the roof of the bus. "Aie" the boy let out a girlish whimper and rubbed his head, but quickly got over it as the others started moving and he quickly fell into line. Charles' knees bounced excitedly as the line seemed to move unfortunately slowly, but once off the bus he could no longer hold it in. Charles expanded all of his limbs, stretching for the first time since loading the bus as a wide grin spread across his features.
Charles took his bag in a tight grasp and held it by his side.The boy's warm gaze took in everything at once, the occasional "Wow" or "Ah" escaping his lips. Upon actually entering the gym, whoever, a chill was sent down the boy's spine. Due to his size and the team's reputation, it was not surprising that a couple of eyes had fallen upon him- yet it still startled the boy. Some of them looked so professional... so scary. There were kids his height, some taller. Muscular kids, kids with eyes of unflinching focus. Charles took a subconscious step closer to his team as he diverted his gaze to the ground and a nervous bead of sweat fell from his cheek.

On one half of a court in the corner, a small group of players dressed in pale pink jerseys were chatting idly. A few of the players held a ball but none were being particularly active. That was, at least until one particular girl let out a yell from across the gym as she sprinted towards the Shinzen team. Her long legs looked a bit awkward, but she was freakishly fast as she ran across the gym- tailing behind her was a small boy who was hiding his face from embarrassment caused by his screaming teammate. "What are you losers doing? I leave for 5 minutes and you think this is some sort of lunch break?" The girl curly brown ponytail bounced about as she yelled at her team who grumbled about just getting out and the fact they hadn't even begun warm ups yet. Yata had a large grin on as she pulled players by their wrists and pushed them by their shoulders, "Up, Up, Up!" Yata called and bounced about energetically. "Alright, Alright! Let's get started." Yata called as her players formed a line for a quick hitting warm ups. "KAIJI!" the girl yelled before being hushed by the black haired boy with a snarl as he walked away from a coach and towards the net. The team was small and somewhat sloppy to start, but there was a confidence in their mannerisms.
Kaiji prepared by the net and the line of players stretched behind Yata. A boy in a separate colored jersey, undoubtedly the libero, squatted twice before signaling his ready. Set on the other side of the court was a coach who hit a ball towards the libero. The libero took a few steps before nearly tripping over his foot, sending a shaky receive towards Kaiji. "HEY!" Kaiji snapped at his teammate, growling as he shifted his position to set the ball high into the air. What looks like an off ball was perfect despite how high it was, Kaiji letting out a huff as Yata barely even took a step before jumping off of two feet and high into the air, forcing her palm into the ball harshly. The ball shot down the line at an incredible speed, Yata giving a goofy laugh before chasing her ball.
The bus hissed to a stop, causing Toba's limp body to shift forward. He rubbed his eyes, squinting from the sun peering through the window, lighting up the left side of his face. By the time he gathered his things, Yoshi and the others were already off the bus. He hopped down the stairs, stretching his sore legs from the long nap. His eyes moved towards the gymnasium; a glint of excitement lit inside of his belly. Toba scurried to catch up with the coaches, who were already on their way in. Once he entered the grand gymnasium, his ears were filled with the sounds of shoes squeaking against the wooden floor, and the hard smacks that rung throughout the entire building. Toba watched in awe as an older-looking teenager served with such force he thought the ball would burst. He hadn't seen any sort of serve like that in middle school before, so naturally he couldn't tear his eyes away from him. He mentioned something about a crow, but he was too far away to hear it all. Toba shrugged, then looked around at the other teams scattered around. His analysis was cut short when the coaches started towards their bench, which made him trail after them in anticipation. The eager first year couldn't wait to play against them.

Morioka winced, poking at the tiny scrape on his knee. He dug through his gym bag, then pulled out a disinfectant that he always carried with him. His knees shook in terror, as he closed his eyes and clenched his fists, he sprayed the harmless-bubbly substance onto the scrape, which almost brought him to tears. He quickly applied the bandage―adding another overtop in an x-formation for good measure. He pulled his knee brace over the scrape, leaning against the wall like he just went through an intense surgery. His moment of relaxation was cut short when a familiar figure barged into the bathroom. "Are you SERIOUSLY putting a Band-Aid on a tiny scrape like that? You're such a pansy." Yoria was the skilled libero for Fukurodani, and also happened to be quite close with Morioka. He let out an exasperated sigh. "Of course I am! How else could I prevent it from getting prevented, huh!? I'm doing the team a favor, everyone knows that if the star player was injured their team would be utterly helpess! You should thank me-" Yoria snorted, heading out of the bathroom, dismissing everything Morioka said with a wave of his hand. The posh setter scoffed while fixing his soft wavy hair to look tidy before following him out of the bathroom doors. They headed towards the rest of the team, who had already started their warmups. He sat down beside Yoria to start with some stretches, even though they were late to the party. "So, who're we up against first? Not that it matters, of course." Morioka turned his head with a cocky grin mid-stretch back at the coach. "Karasuno." He grumbled back, scribbling in his clipboard. The honey-hair colored boy scratched his chin in confusion. "Weren't they the one's who made to nationals a while ago? Pfff- I thought they were washed up for good." Morioka held back laughter, his cheeks puffing out. He noticed a sudden chill in the air, bringing him to turn his head to the doors that were swung open, revealing a group of newcomers. Morioka assumed that they were Karasuno, as he could spot some people he knew in most of the other teams. His eyes narrowed and a smile grew on his face. He hopped up from his stretching position, then walked with a hand on his hip towards the bunch. "My my, it seems some poor wingless crows have wandered into the gym!" Morioka placed his hand over his mouth to prevent the laughter from bursting. "Anywho, it's truly unfortunate you were placed against Fukurodani first, how unlucky could you get!? I'll try my hardest not to make an utter embarrassment of you al-" Yoria bonked him on the head, sighing in disappointment. The embarrassed libero bowed his head, then dragged the dazed Morioka away back to do warmups. "Sorry, don't mind him. Let's have some fun out there!" He waved with one hand, still dragging him with the other.

Toba was dumbfounded by the interaction with an unknown kid from Fukurodani, he wasn't sure what to even say, all he did was laugh at his odd accent. Toba only got more excited to win, as he got motivation from the thought of seeing that kid's face when he lost.
Miyaji's attention upon entering the gymnasium had been stolen—like most others on Karasuno—by the nasty serve fired by a boy wearing an Ubugawa jersey. With explosive strength, the ball seemed to have been fired by a cannon, crossing over the net in an instant and striking the hardwood floor like a thunderbolt. Although just barely able to suppress his surprise, Miyaji's eyes shone with excitement; such a serve was a perfect opportunity for him to challenge his receiving capabilities. The boy had turned to smirk at them, most likely firing a taunt that had unfortunately been muffled by the ongoing clamor of scrimmage matches and warm-ups ringing throughout the gym.

The unexpected exchange was abruptly cut off when another voice rang out; turning to glance at a rather rambunctious boy in a Fukurodani jersey, Miyaji raised a brow in confusion as the boy let loose a string of taunts and challenges before getting boofed by another player. It seemed that they would be going against that team for their first match of summer camp, and upon this realization, the middle blocker popped his neck and knuckles in anticipation. Soon, the coaches called them over to begin stretching and warming up, and after they were concluded, both Karasuno and Fukurodani were called to a court to begin the game. Fukurodani would be serving first, and once everyone got situated, the Fukurodani coach overseeing the match blew his whistle, signalling the start. Positioned in the back middle section of the court, Miyaji took a deep breath, watching the server with a cool, unwavering gaze as he prepared to receive whatever came his way.
Yoshi was muttering to himself as he dragged his feet across the smooth wooden floor, and enjoying the squeaking sound that his shoes made as they stuck to the ground. The boy's bright blue eyes would briefly lift to narrow on a player that stood out before his gaze returned to the floor, while not paying attention, Yoshi didn't expect the voice that piped up from behind him. Rather than turning to face the other players, Yoshi sort of twisted his neck so his chin was over his shoulder. "Huh?" Yoshi listened to the larger player's insults and narrowed his thick brows. So they were facing that guy's team next? It took a moment, but as Yoshi processed the other male's words, a grin crept across his thin lips. "Oh yeah, let's have some fun." Yoshi snickered, almost threateningly, before following his team mates to stretch.
Yoshi started on the bench, not by his choice, of course. The boy's legs bounced excitedly as he waited for his turn to go in. He watched the other team with a sharp gaze, analyzing each player with his eyes.

Charles let a nervous gulp travel through his throat, he bent his knees in an attempt to better blend in with his teammates- but his head still bobbed above the other's. When the group was approached by a boy from another team, Charles' smiled at the friendliness, but his smile quickly turned upside down as the words the other boy spoke seemed less than friendly. "But crows do have wings..." Charles commented on the insult under his breath, the boy took so long to figure out the phrase that he missed most of the other words spoken to the team. "They are birds..." Charles furrowed his brows in confusion and glanced towards a teammate for help, but they all appeared to be busy. The seemingly mean boy was quickly shut down by his own teammate, who apologized and wished for a fun game- to which Charles eagerly nodded his head in agreement. Before he knew it, it was time to stretch. "Are we playing soon?" Charles leaned down to ask an older teammate, who grumbled and nodded in response.
Charles stood, center court, with a shaky smile. His stance was awkward, illustrating that his nerves may have been getting the best of him. The boy glanced behind him as if to check his positioning, and at seeing Miyaji's competitive grin Charles clenched his jaw and nodded, turning back towards the net.
Morioka swatted at the hands dragging him away, "Hey, I was intimidating them!"
He scoffed at them with angry eyes. They finally let him go once they were back at their bench, laughing at his idiotic outburst. Shortly after they were called to the court by the coaches. Morioka strutted onto the court, his hands in a stretching position above his head. His eyes scanned his opponents carefully, noting each of their visible weaknesses he thought he could exploit. It was determined that Fukurodani would serve first, much to Morioka's excitement. The whistle blew, signalling that the match was underway. His teammates gave him thumbs-up and unenthusiastic cheers, he rolled his eyes in disgust back at them. After he positioned himself in the far back right, he narrowed his gaze on the small space near the left side of the back of the court. Morioka grinned, then spun the ball in his hands, mentally preparing himself. He took a deep breath and tossed the ball into the air with his left hand— roughly seven feet in front of him.

He applied decent force to the toss, giving him time to make his approach; he took off on his left foot, bringing his arms back in a swing-like motion. After a quick hop he jumped off the ground with a grunt, then struck the ball at the top of his reach. His palm hit the ball outward and aimed downward for topspin, generating the classic schmack sound. His eyes followed the ball fly over the net and gradually fall to the small space between Miyaji and the one to the far-back left of him. It seemed to have decent power to it as well, but it certainly wasn't unstoppable.
As he stood in his position, Miyaji stretched his arms and legs before the referee's whistle blew. Finally, as the Fukurodani player backed up behind the line, the middle blocker took a deep breath and bent his knees, getting ready for any balls that might come his way. The referee motioned for weird-accent, knee-scrape boy to serve, and as his eyes studied the boy with anticipation, Miyaji opened and closed his hands into fists with excitement.

The Fukurodani player jumped and swung, hitting a nasty jump serve that was sent on a course nearing the end line, but certainly in bounds. Even after taking a split step before Morioka's hand made impact with the ball, putting Miyaji in a comfortable position to make a smooth receive, the rapidly spinning ball struck his forearms, the sheer force of the spike sending it far behind him. Turning to watch as the ball bounced away, the middle blocker let out an irritated tch before turning back to his teammates and holding a hand up in apology.

"My bad; I'll get the next one."

Getting back into position, Miyaji couldn't help but smirk wryly, returning his attention back to Morioka; it seemed that Ubugawa wasn't the only team with a formidable server, so he needed to kick his focus up a notch. As he got low once again, he levelled a stare at the Fukurodani player, a challenging glint in his eyes as if to say, send it to me again.
Morioka's eyes followed the ball drive into Miyaji's forearms, then bounce off from the force he applied. Even though the serve was almost received, he still had a sly grin on his face. "Oh my, I sure hope I didn't injure you!" He exclaimed from across the court, his hands waving around mockingly. His teammates chuckled and facepalmed at his cockiness—Yoria being the most angry one, so angry in fact he gave Morioka a head smack hard enough to shake the heavens, or in this case his brain.

The posh setter rubbed his head bitterly, strutting off to the end line. His eyes once again scanned the court, but before he could finish his eyes met Karasuno's middle blocker, who in Morioka's mind should've been in shambles after facing one of his serves, but it was the very opposite. Instead of a pouty face of grief he was met with a fiery gaze. It's as if he was saying send it to me... with a mere glance. Morioka's face twitched, this wasn't how it was supposed to go! He clenched his fist and smirked wildly back at him, his eyes locked onto his. "Yo, Morio, keep your head in the game, don't try to challenge their middle blocker head on-" Morioka cut his teammate off with a scoff, "I'll serve to whoever I want, just stay out of my way!" He spun the ball in his hands, feeling all the bumps and woven-like indents in the ball brush against his fingers. He tossed the ball up high, fairly away from him. He steadily approached then leapt towards it, smashing down onto the poor ball with relatively the same amount of force as last time, except he aimed it right at Miyaji. It didn't have much spin to it, but it did have decent power applied, enough to leave a stinging pain in his hand as he fell to the floor. This'll crush him for sure... he thought excitedly.

"Don't mind, we'll get a hang of his serve." Toba reassured Miyaji after the first point went to Fukurodani. That blonde-haired boy certainly seemed to have experience serving, though Toba wasn't exactly the best judge of serves considering he often messed them up. There was a moment of banter before Fukurodani served again, this time it was aimed right for Miyaji instead of between the two. He knew that Miyaji was just as experienced as this setter was, so he didn't sweat over whether he would dig it up or not.
Morioka's taunt had just barely gotten under Miyaji's skin, prompting the middle blocker to scoff wryly as he got into position. However, his challenging gaze remained unwavering, instead seeming to grow even further with intensity. Time seemed to slow after the referee blew his whistle, signaling for the Fukurodani setter to serve once more. As he lowered into a receiving position, Miyaji's eyes honed in like a hawk on everything: the tossed ball, Morioka's approach, the shape of his hand before it made contact, every single detail. Not as much topspin as earlier, bit more impact upon service.....

He had this.

Staying low with forearms at the ready, Miyaji took a few steps back as he continued to track the ball's movement. Finally, just as it came close enough, he lifted his shoulders upward ever so gently, feeling the ball strike his arms with the same surprising force from earlier, maybe a little more. He grit his teeth, grunting with the effort as he continued to exert gentle force into providing the best receive for Minako. Unable to suppress a smug grin of satisfaction, the middle blocker watched as the ball cruised on a smooth course toward his setter, its previous momentum abruptly killed and replaced with steady trajectory.

With a "nice receive", Minako took a small first step to get into position, arms raised to receive the bump and toss to a hitter. Her head sharply turned for a brief moment, eyes meeting that of the awaiting Toba, who had already backed up, ready to run up for a spike. Catching the nod, however, two Fukurodani players in the front row approached the left, awaiting Toba's approach. Minako called out, "Toba!", already facing the left, but as the ball made contact with her fingers, it was sent to the right. The Fukurodani blockers, having already jumped in response to the now airborne Toba, watched in shock as another figure rose into the air, arm at the ready for a spike from the back row. Miyaji sucked in a sharp breath before swinging down, his open palm slamming into the ball and sending it hurtling down just shy of the boundary line. As he landed back onto the ground and the referee announced a point for Karasuno with his whistle, the middle blocker pumped a fist in triumph with a quiet exhale in satisfaction.

Once team celebrations were concluded, Miyaji was given the ball, and as he took a few paces behind the boundary line, he spun the ball repeatedly in between his hands. The referee motioned for him to serve, and after taking a deep breath, he tossed the ball into the air, taking 3 steps forward before launching into the air, arm whipping down as his hand struck the ball once more. A direct contrast to Morioka's serve, the ball was instead sent with moderate speed but intense topspin; it approached the back left corner of Fukurodani's side, but its course slowly but surely began to dip downward much earlier than expected.

(Minako auto'ing perms granted by @/kageyama)
The grin on the cocky Morioka's face vanished as Miyaji swiftly readied his arms and sent it directly to the setter. "W-WHA-" His anger quickly shifted to haste as the ball approached Minako, though he wasn't too worried; Fukurodani had an impressive height advantage compared to their hitters, not counting the French boy. His eyes followed the boy with light gray hair, who was ready to hit against the double blockers that loomed before him. But the ball never came to said player, and instead was tossed to the right where Miyaji was ready to subsequently slam it near the boundary line. Morioka's face twitched in disbelief, "A decoy?!" It was far too late to react to the spike, so he was forced to watch the point slip away from them. He sighed, then took some deep breaths in an attempt to calm himself. "Who would've thought that middle blocker could actually receive one of MY serves." Yoria smacked his back—sighing even louder than the exuberant setter.

In his mind, he refused the possibility of losing to the likes of them.

Morioka took position behind the right-side hitter, bending his knees slightly. Miyaji was up to serve, which for some reason got under his skin. The middle blocker gave a solid serve that coasted to the left of the court. Yoria got behind the trajectory of the ball in perfect form, but was suddenly caught off guard when it dove down, resulting in an uneasy receive. "My bad! Cover!" The outside hitter was forced to keep it in, sending it high and close to the middle for the last hit. The middle blocker reached as high as she could—which was considerably high due to her height of 6'1—then hit the ball with sub-par force and accuracy since she spent all her energy reaching it, which meant the spike was clearly aimed to be straight ahead.

Toba was impressed by Miyaji's perfect receive, so much so that it gave him some motivation. It was Miyaji's serve, and even though Fukurodani's libero got to it, the topspin added made it a sloppy receive. His eyes followed the ball as the opposing team struggled to keep it in. He looked up at the tall middle blocker who was preparing for a spike. He knew he couldn't match her in height, but he could at least assist Charles by covering a potential cross-shot. He came in from the side, then shot straight up with his arms held out ever so slightly. He knew that the ball probably wouldn't come his way though, and put his hopes on Charles.
How many points had it been? Charles glanced over his shoulder to find the measly score of 1-1, and the boy quickly turned back as if ashamed for even looking. It seemed like he had spent hours on the court, cold sweat dripped down his cheeks as he nervously watched the ball. He hadn't touched it once and he was already shaking like a dog forced to sit while their owner filled their bowl. As Miyaji prepared to serve, Charles offered a smile to the blocker across the net to him, but she simply glared at him before returning her attention to the ball. Startled by the hostility, Charles awkwardly shifted his eyes- perhaps this was just the professional thing to do. The boy bent his knees slightly so his head was below the net, a tip his coach gave to give the server a better view of the court. Miyaji began with a serve that Charles had grown used to seeing. A serve that he had practiced enough for Charles to come to expect, but for the other team- it caught them completely off guard. Charles could hardly hear, let alone translate what was being called out form across the court, but he was sure Miyaji's serve had caused some chaos. As a sloppy ball was sent high into the air of the middle court, Charles watched the same girl who had earlier scowled at him jump into the air. The boy admired her impressive form, and was momentarily caught in the mix of adrenaline and applause. He left too early. Any decent blocker could tell that the girl would be sending her ball straight ahead of her, and Charles had honed his skills enough to read that sort of hit. She had barely even left the ground when Charles jumped as well, something that the girl, clearly an experienced player, must've caught onto. Expecting the heavy blocker to fall early because he had jumped early, she delayed her spike by just a second, using the extra time to reel back her arm and muster as much strength as possible.
When the girl swung her arm, palm making stinging contact with the ball, she was sure it would soar over Charles' finger tips. Instead, the ball landed right in the middle of the boy's palm and was reflected back towards her. Charles, possibly the least perfect player on the court, had a tendency to leave his arms down until he knew he could block, he didn't decoy or try to block balls that weren't near him, a move that disabled the other team to get a read on his actual height. And while taller than average was clear, the length of Charles' arm span was truly something to behold. His arms measured to almost 35 inches each, something that he instinctively could tell while other teams couldn't. Because of the angle and speed of the ball, it hit Charles and shot right past the girl's cheek, dropping just behind her in a position where the previously scattered team couldn't reach. The girl landed softly and growled to herself, the setter also commenting obnoxiously- all reactions that Charles drowned out as he stared at his now empty palms with pride. A large grin spread across Charles' face as he gave a slightly apologetic bow to the girl across from him, who no doubt took it as mockery, and turned to his teammates in order to receive a high five from every person on the court. With Karasuno now leading, the other team's court was more silent than before- and something about their energy made it seem like things were going to get harder for the crows.

It was the middle of the second set and neither team had broken. After giving up the last set to Fukurodani by 3 points, Karasuno was now only a point behind the other team with a score of 16-17. Yoshi, who had been eagerly awaiting his time to sub in from the beginning of the game, brought a new aspect of play to Karasuno's team after subbing for a backrow player late in the last set- he was able to reach almost all of the serves and a good amount of the hits, too. But, despite the libero's presence, the other team seemed to grow stronger and stronger as the game went on. The ball bounced on the other side, the server was a short girl who rotated into the back every few turns, she threw the ball high into the air, chasing after it and jumping to smack it flat int he middle. Her serve aimed for the very back, middle of the court, but Yoshi was able to react just before it hit the ground, pancaking and allowing the ball to hit his flat hand. As the ball spun into the air once more, Minako had to move a bit, but got her feet under her to toss the ball back towards the net. "Got it!" Minako called out- Miyaji, Toba, and Charles looked towards each other as if communicating with their eyes before all reeling back a few steps. As the blockers of the opposite team spread out slightly, Toba was the only player to leave the ground. He struck with such swiftness that he nearly caught the other players by surprise, but they beat him in height still- and just the tip of their fingers together blocked the hit, which tipped back towards Karasuno's side. In a panic, Charles shot out his arms to receive, the ball hitting him wrist awkwardly and shooting off to the side. Yoshi sprinted off the court, racing towards the bench and squaring his shoulders just in time to save the ball and send it high into the air towards center court, where Miyaji stood with anticipation. Miyaji took a deep breath, the type of breath that you take before absolutely destroying the ball, but didn't wind up for a powerful attack. Instead, the boy expertise scanned the court and dumped the ball on the far side, between the outside hitter and middle blocker, who both dived for the ball and came just short of it, knowing that diving any further would result in a collision.