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Over time, Kunimi has realized he really likes having Kindaichi look after him.
隨著時間的推移,Kunimi 意識到他真的很喜歡Kindaichi 照顧他。


Inspired by numerous SeijouLine posts featuring Kindaichi looking after Kunimi.
受到許多 SeijouLine 帖子的啟發,描述 Kindaichi 照顧 Kunimi 的情節。

(See the end of the work for more notes.)

Work Text: 作品內文:

Over time, Kunimi has realized he really likes having Kindaichi do things for him.
隨著時間的推移,Kunimi 意識到他真的很喜歡讓 Kindaichi 幫他做事情。

It starts off one and a half weeks into their junior high school career, at the point where even Kunimi has learned the names of all his supposed teammates but none of the first years are quite comfortable with one another yet. Kunimi doesn't really mind that. He almost never feels comfortable around other people, so at least for now he has company.
這是在他們初中生涯的第一個半星期,即使 Kunimi 也已經記住了所有他所謂的隊友的名字,但一年級生們仍然彼此之間不太舒服。Kunimi 並不介意。他幾乎從不感到與其他人在一起舒服,所以至少現在他有了伴。

Soon, though, he knows they'll sort themselves into little groups based on answering questions like What kind of music do you like, Kunimi? and Which is your favorite subject, Kunimi? and Did you do anything fun over the weekend, Kunimi? and figuring out what answers they want will be exhausting, it's exhausting, and honestly Kunimi would be perfectly happy if they stayed like this forever, too awkward to talk outside of what's completely necessary.
不過很快,他知道他們會根據回答問題來分成小組,比如你喜歡什麼樣的音樂,Kunimi?你最喜歡的科目是什麼,Kunimi?你週末有做什麼有趣的事情嗎,Kunimi?弄清楚他們想要的答案將是令人筋疲力盡的,這是令人筋疲力盡的,老實說,Kunimi 如果他們一直保持這樣尷尬,只談論完全必要的事情,他也會非常滿足。

He knows it's only a matter of time before the other kids start socializing, whatever he may want. Already he's noticed the tiniest of overtures being ventured, too warm congratulations over actually managing one of the plays the coaches are trying to teach them and smiles sliding out of necessary politeness into genuine sentiment.

It won't take them long to form true connections, so Kunimi knows he has to act now. Being a complete loner is unfortunately not an option. His mother had made it very clear that she worried about how unsocial he was in elementary school. They'd had a series of talks, completely with wide eyes and worried hand flutters and endless You'll enjoy hanging out with them if you give them a chance and Are you being bullied? and It's just not normal, Akira-chan, who knows what people might think? and he just can't go through that for another three years.

No, the best option for him, long term, is to suck it up and find someone who seems like it won't be too intolerable to spend time around. Picking someone from the volleyball team seems like an obvious choice. They already have something in common, after all. But, if he waits around before making his move, all of the normal, sociable types will gravitate toward each other and he'll be stuck with the dregs. And dregs, he's noticed, are often needy and uncertain and will constantly, constantly be wanting validation from him, and Kunimi can't put up with three years of that, either.

So during that day's practice, instead of tuning out the coach's yelling at him to think of nothing, he tunes out the coach's yelling at him to observe his teammates. He's not impressed with what he finds, but then, he wasn't expecting to find someone who'd actually appeal to him. If he was going to find that, he figures, he'd have made a friend ages ago. Instead, he's stuck sifting through various levels of undesirability trying to find someone who seems tolerable.

He rules out many of them instantly, like the kid with the gap between his teeth that makes him whistle annoyingly when he says certain words, and the boy with fluffy blonde hair who is constantly laughing at things that aren't funny at all, and the kid who stands out for having actually played volleyball in elementary, who is way too intense about the sport already and might try to make Kunimi practice during his free time or something equally heinous.

It's only after he's absolutely ruled everyone else out that he grudgingly decides Kindaichi Yuutarou is the best of the lot. He has several traits Kunimi dislikes - he's too tall, his hair looks weird, he's always the first to bow or respond to the coaches - but he supposes he'll just have to suffer through all that. On the positive side, he seems very straight forward and not overly bright, so Kunimi won't have to work very hard to figure him out and keep him content enough that he'll stick around.
只有在他絕對排除了其他所有人之後,他才不情願地決定Kindaichi Yuutarou 是最好的選擇。他有幾個Kunimi 不喜歡的特點 - 他太高了,頭髮看起來怪怪的,他總是第一個鞠躬或回應教練 - 但他想他只能忍受這一切。積極的一面是,他似乎非常坦率,並且不是太聰明,所以Kunimi 不必努力就能了解他,讓他滿足並留下來。

Kunimi knows it won't be long before the other students bond organically, so if he's going to slip in and take Kindaichi Yuutarou for himself, he can't hesitate. Making sure he's next to Kindaichi, he guzzles his water during the break after a tough drill, ignoring the way drinking so fast makes him feel slightly queasy. Once the bottle is close to empty, he sighs loudly and tips it to the side, clearly demonstrating how light it's become.
Kunimi 知道其他學生很快就會自然地建立關係,所以如果他要溜進去佔據 Kindaichi 的位置,他不能猶豫。他確保自己坐在 Kindaichi 旁邊,在一次艱苦的訓練後休息時狂灌水,無視快速喝水讓他感到有點噁心的感覺。當瓶子快要喝完時,他大聲歎氣,把瓶子側過來,清楚地展示它變得多麼輕。

"Ugh," he says, pitching his voice so it'll reach Kindaichi but not the others. "I'm already almost out of water and I just filled it…"
「唉」,他說,調整聲音讓 Kindaichi 能聽見但其他人聽不見。「我的水快喝完了,我才剛剛裝滿它…」

"Yeah, I'm close, too," Kindaichi says, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. He shakes his bottle, producing a slosh that sounds like it's from a bit below the halfway point.
「是啊,我也快喝完了,」Kindaichi 說著,用手背擦了擦嘴。他搖晃著水瓶,發出一個聲音,聽起來像是在瓶子還不到一半的位置。

"Want to come with me to refill them?" he asks. "It's boring to walk all the way to the fountain, so maybe if we go together it won't be so bad…"

There, he thinks. Now Kindaichi will agree, and they'll walk out together, and Kunimi will ask him a question about Kindaichi's interests and pretend to agree with whatever he says he likes, and since no one else is brave enough to chat yet, that alone will basically make them best friends.

"I can get it for you, if you want," Kindaichi says and grabs Kunimi's bottle out of his hands. "I don't mind the walk!"
「如果你想的話,我可以幫你拿,」Kindaichi 說著,從Kunimi手中拿走他的水瓶。「我不介意走路!」

And before Kunimi can say anything, Kindaichi has slipped out the door, an actual bounce in his step, as if he's perfectly happy to go fill up another boy's water bottle for no reason other than that Kunimi said he found the walk boring. His own water bottle wasn't even empty yet.

This was not what Kunimi had been expecting at all and he wonders if he's wildly misjudged Kindaichi. Maybe he's actually one of the social rejects, so excited at having someone pay attention to him that he's trying to suck up to Kunimi? That seems like the most likely explanation, and Kunimi is starting to worry about how shake off a clingy type when Kindaichi gets back and tosses a full bottle at Kunimi.

He catches it, barely. "Thanks," he says with even less enthusiasm than normal.

"Don't mention it," Kindaichi says with a shrug, and that confuses Kunimi even more because he seems to be completely genuine. He really doesn't see it as a big deal, which goes against Kunimi's new theory, leaving him at a loss.
「沒什麼,」Kindaichi 聳聳肩說,這讓Kunimi 更加困惑,因為他看起來完全是真心的。他真的沒把這件事看得很重要,這違背了Kunimi 的新理論,讓他感到困惑。


"How was your day, Akira-chan?" his mother asks that night as he takes off his shoes. "Did you make any new friends?"

"Another boy from the volleyball club filled up my water bottle for me when it was empty," he says.

She brightens so considerably that Kunimi wilts just looking at her. "That was nice of him!" she says. "You should do something for him in return."

"He doesn't expect me to," he tells her. "It was just a water bottle."

She clicks her tongue. "Of course he doesn't expect you to do anything for him, Akira-chan," she says, lapsing into the patronizing intonations she used when he was much younger. It's incredibly annoying, but he listens anyway. "A nice kid like that doesn't do favors for people to make them owe him one, he does them because he wants to make them happy. And if you both do favors for each other, you can become friends! Doing favors for people makes you like each other more."

"I have to do homework," he says and makes his escape.


He thinks about what his mother said, though, and so starting the next day he begins to run little tests.

In first period, he turns to where Kindaichi is seated next him. "I forgot a pencil," he says.

"Oh, here," Kindaichi says immediately, holding out the pencil in his hand to Kunimi. "You can have this."
"哦,這裡,"Kindaichi" 立刻說,將手中的鉛筆遞給 Kunimi。"你可以拿這支。"

As third period is ending, Kunimi breaks the pencil tip. "My pencil broke."
當第三節課結束時,Kunimi 折斷了鉛筆尖。"我的鉛筆斷了。"

"I can sharpen it for you," Kindaichi says and takes the pencil over to the pencil sharpener. He brings it back to Kunimi once it has reached a nice point again.
"我可以幫你削尖它,"Kindaichi" 說著,將鉛筆拿到削鉛筆機那裡。等到鉛筆削得又尖又好看,他將它拿回給 Kunimi。"

During lunch, Kunimi shakes some coins into his hand. "I don't have enough to buy candy from the vending machine. I need 50 more yen."
午餐時,Kunimi 把一些硬幣搖晃在手中。「我沒有足夠的錢從自動販賣機買糖果。我還需要 50 日圓。」

Kindaichi pulls out his own wallet. "Here," he says, passing Kunimi a coin.
Kindaichi 拿出自己的錢包。「這裡,」他說,遞給 Kunimi 一枚硬幣。

When Kunimi sits back down, he turns the candy packet over in his hands thoughtfully. Kindaichi really doesn't seem to expect anything back from Kunimi, but if his mother is right, to become friends he'll need to do something for Kindaichi once in a while. He opens the packet and holds it out. "Here," he says. "You can have some."
Kunimi 再次坐下時,他若有所思地翻轉著手中的糖果包裝。Kindaichi 真的似乎不期待從 Kunimi 那裡得到任何回報,但如果他母親是對的,要成為朋友,他需要偶爾為 Kindaichi 做些事情。他打開包裝,伸出手。「拿去吧,」他說。「你可以吃一些。」

Kindaichi grins at him. His smile is just like him, big and straight forward. "Thanks," he says and takes some of the candy. Which, technically, he helped pay for, but he doesn't seem to care, so Kunimi figures it doesn't matter.

They run next to each other in practice and exchange a few minor words here and there through the drills. Not a moment too soon, Kunimi thinks, as he watches the other boys start to divide themselves off into groups of two or three. But he has Kindaichi already locked away, before anyone else can approach him.

When Kindaichi grabs Kunimi's water bottle to refill with his own without Kunimi even mentioning it was getting low, Kunimi decides he's pretty happy with how his plan turned out.


Kunimi continues to test Kindaichi's apparently endless capacity for generosity. With only the tiniest bit of prompting, he's happy to do all kinds of things for Kunimi, from carrying his heaviest books to waking him up when they reach their stop on the train to and from school. He even lets Kunimi sleep using his shoulder as a pillow on the train, in between classes, on the bus to volleyball matches. Some things he does before Kunimi can even think of wanting in the first place, like buying him salted caramel over the weekends so he has something to look forward to on Monday mornings.

Kunimi decides he likes this, likes this rather a lot.

For all that Kindaichi seems perfectly happy to do endless things for Kunimi, Kunimi knows from equally endless talks from his mother that friendship isn't supposed to be a one way street. He needs to do something in return for Kindaichi once in a while. Luckily, it isn't hard to hit upon the perfect thing, something Kindaichi desperately needs, that Kunimi can easily provide, and that will remain a probable constant.

Kindaichi, Kunimi has discovered, is terrible at studying. Just truly awful at it. Kunimi, meanwhile, gets very good grades. If he really applied himself, he suspects, he could make a good run at being at the top of the class, but he's uninterested in expending that much effort when he's getting by fine how he is. So it's the easiest thing in the world to offer to tutor Kindaichi after practice.
Kindaichi,Kunimi 發現,學習很糟糕。真的很糟糕。另一方面,Kunimi 成績很好。他覺得,如果他真的努力,他可能會成為班上的佼佼者,但他對於在目前狀況下過得不錯並不感興趣。所以在練習後提出幫助Kindaichi 學習是世界上最容易的事情。

He expects the tutoring to be a painful experience but to his surprise, it's not that bad. Kindaichi isn't as stupid as Kunimi originally thought he was, but he is incredibly inefficient. He'll study the first quarter of the material to perfect understanding, only to miss out on learning any of the other three fourths and bomb the test. Kunimi is easily able to reroute his efforts into more useful study plans. Kunimi is very good at figuring out how much time should be spent on which parts of the readings, so helping Kindaichi is a piece of cake.
他原本以為補習會是一個痛苦的經驗,但令他驚訝的是,情況並沒有那麼糟。Kindaichi 並不像 Kunimi 起初以為的那麼愚蠢,但他非常低效率。他會花大量時間學習材料的第一季,以至於錯過其他三分之三的學習機會,最終考試失敗。Kunimi 輕鬆地將他的努力轉移到更有用的學習計劃上。Kunimi 擅長於判斷應該花多少時間在閱讀的哪些部分,所以幫助 Kindaichi 就像小菜一碟。

There are a lot of perks to this arrangement. An obvious one is that Kunimi's mother gets to meet Kindaichi, see with her own eyes that he isn't lying about having a friend to get her off his back. She's over exuberant and embarrassing about it, of course, but Kindaichi doesn't seem to be bothered by it.

Kunimi also finds he likes hanging out in Kindaichi's room. He has a very comfortable bed, large enough for them to both lie on at the same time. He also has a variety of video games, more than Kunimi has, and has no problem with Kunimi touching any of his things. His father is a much better cook than Kunimi's mother is, and Kunimi starts to stay over for dinner frequently.
Kunimi 也發現他喜歡在Kindaichi的房間待著。他有一張非常舒適的床,足夠他們兩個人同時躺在上面。他也有各種不同的電子遊戲,比Kunimi擁有的還要多,而且他也不介意Kunimi碰他的東西。他的父親比Kunimi的母親煮飯做得好得多,Kunimi開始經常留下來吃晚餐。

When they are in one of their homes, Kindaichi is able to do even more things for Kunimi. He fetches water and pillows and textbooks and blankets, letting Kunimi curl up on a bed or in a nest of cushions on the floor undisturbed. And if Kunimi falls asleep in one of his catnaps, even in the middle of helping him, he always finds something to do until Kunimi wakes back up again in twenty minutes without complaining. Sometimes he'll wake up to realize Kindaichi gently moved him as he slept so that he's not in a position where his legs could go numb or a textbook could press into his face, and Kunimi likes that, too.
當他們在其中一個家裡時,Kindaichi 能為Kunimi 做更多事情。他拿水、枕頭、教科書和毯子,讓Kunimi 蜷曲在床上或地板上的靠墊巢中安靜地休息。即使Kunimi 在其中一次打盹時入睡,他總是找些事情做,直到Kunimi 二十分鐘後再次醒來,而他從不抱怨。有時他醒來時會發現Kindaichi 在他睡覺時輕輕地移動他,讓他不會因為腿麻或教科書壓在臉上而不適,而Kunimi 也喜歡這樣。


Weeks pass, turning into months, into whole seasons. All the first years in the volleyball club have sorted themselves into little groups, save one. Kageyama Tobio is all by himself as they head into the end of their first junior high school year. Kunimi isn't surprised. He's too intense about volleyball, too awkward with others. Kunimi wouldn't want to spend time with him, either, and is glad he grabbed Kindaichi when he did.
幾個星期過去了,變成了幾個月,整整一個季節。排球俱樂部的所有一年級生都已經自己組成了小團體,只有一個例外。Kageyama 獨自一人,當他們進入初中第一年的尾聲時。Kunimi 並不感到驚訝。他對排球太過投入,與他人相處太過尷尬。Kunimi 也不會想花時間和他在一起,當初抓住 Kindaichi 的時候,他也感到庆幸。

But Kindaichi doesn't see things that way.

"He's always by himself," Kindaichi says one day as they take a break from practice. He's watching Kageyama where he's standing alone, just staring at the volleyball in his hands as if it were the best thing to ever happen to him. Maybe it is.

"Creepy," Kunimi says in an agreeing tone before he realizes that's probably not how Kindaichi meant it. Kunimi is the mean one in their friendship, though Kindaichi has never called him out on it. "He doesn't look lonely," he adds.
「好可怕,」Kunimi 以贊同的口吻說道,然後他意識到這可能不是 Kindaichi 的意思。在他們的友誼中,Kunimi 是個刻薄的人,儘管 Kindaichi 從未指責過他。「他看起來不孤單,」他補充道。

"Maybe he just doesn't realize it," Kindaichi says and is walking over before Kunimi can stop him, leaving him to trail behind him awkwardly to avoid becoming the new loner. "Hey," he says.
「也许他只是没有意识到,」Kindaichi 说着,趁着Kunimi 来得及阻止之前走了过去,让Kunimi 尴尬地跟在他后面,避免成为新的孤独者。「嘿,」他说。

Kageyama jumps, looks up, and then actually looks behind him to see who Kindaichi could be talking to. Kunimi didn't think anyone actually did that in real life. "Um," Kageyama says and then follows this up with resounding silence.
Kageyama 吃了一惊,抬起头,然后真的往身后看,想看看Kindaichi 到底在跟谁说话。Kunimi 没想到在现实生活中还有人会这样做。「嗯,」Kageyama 说着,接着是一片沉默。

"You did really well in practice today," Kindaichi says.
「你今天在训练中表现得很好,」Kindaichi 说。

"Th-thanks," Kageyama says and stares helplessly around. Kunimi wonders if he's actually an alien and truly hasn't experienced human conversation before. It would explain how freaked out he looks about the whole ordeal.
「謝、謝謝。」Kageyama 說著,無助地四處張望。Kunimi 想知道他是否真的是外星人,從未體驗過人類的交談。這或許可以解釋他對整個經歷看起來有多驚慌。

Kindaichi shifts awkwardly under the pressure of keeping the exchange going without any returning cues. "Uh, so you've been playing since you were really little, right?"
Kindaichi 在承受著保持對話進行的壓力下笨拙地轉移了話題。「嗯,所以你從小就開始打排球了,對吧?」

"Since my second year of elementary!" Kageyama says, his face lighting up. "I got to see a college match from the court side, and I saw how the players were running around all fwoosh!! and the setter would send the ball up like pa-pah! right to the strikers to get it past the blockers, and-" Kunimi tunes out roughly a full five minutes of this before the coaches call them back.
「我從小學二年級開始!」Kageyama 說著,臉上露出了笑容。「我有機會在場邊看了一場大學比賽,看到球員們像風一樣奔跑,接應將球像啪啪啪地傳給前鋒,讓它越過攔網手。」Kunimi 在教練叫他們回去之前大概無視了整整五分鐘的講述。

"I hope that made you happy," Kunimi says to Kindaichi as they wait for their turn in the receiving drill.

"He just really loves volleyball," Kindaichi says. "It's kind of sweet. He clearly wants someone to talk to."
「他只是真的很喜歡排球,」Kindaichi 說。「有點可愛。顯然他想找人聊天。」

"And that's supposed to be us?" Kunimi asks, tangling his hands in the fabric of his shirt, feeling entirely uneasy with where this is all going.
「那就是我們嗎?」Kunimi 問道,他將雙手纏在襯衫的布料中,對這一切的走向感到完全不安。

Kindaichi shrugs. "You don't have to if you don't want to," he says. "But I'm going to start talking to him some."

"Do whatever you want," Kunimi says, and cuts ahead of Kindaichi in line so he can run forward and do the drill, ending their conversation.
「你想做什麼就做吧,」Kunimi 說著,然後插隊到Kindaichi 前面,讓他可以跑過去做訓練,結束了他們的對話。

He tells Kindaichi he's too tired to tutor him that day and heads home by himself. His mother frowns when she sees him.

"Is something wrong?" she asks.

"Kindaichi is making another friend," Kunimi says.
「Kindaichi又交了一個朋友,」Kunimi 說。

"But that's wonderful!" his mother says. "It'd be great for you both to have another friend. Think how much more fun you could have with three of you!"
"但那太棒了!" 他媽媽說道。"你們兩個再多一個朋友會很棒的。想想看,有三個人一起會更有趣!"

"But I don't want another friend," Kunimi says. "I only want Kindaichi. And I especially don't want this one. I don't like him." He can feel his face settling into a pout, to his horror.
「但我不想要另一個朋友,」Kunimi 說。「我只想要Kindaichi。尤其是我不想要這個。我不喜歡他。」他感覺到自己的臉正在噘起,讓他感到恐懼。

"Oh, honey," his mother says. "I understand. It's hard to share when you've had Kindaichi-kun all to yourself for so long. But I'm sure if you spend more time around this new boy, you'll grow to like him, too! And it will make Kindaichi-kun happy if the two people he likes get along."

"I don't like him," Kunimi repeats and goes to his room to sulk.
「我不喜歡他,」Kunimi 重複著,然後走進房間生氣地躺下。


Unfortunately, Kindaichi doesn't give up the idea of befriending Kageyama after a good night's rest. He continues his campaign of engaging Kageyama during any free time they have at school, even inviting him to eat lunch with them. Kunimi grinds his teeth and tries not to complain. If he does, Kindaichi will have to choose between them during breaks, and Kunimi doesn't want to risk losing even sometimes.
不幸的是,Kindaichi 經過一夜的休息後並沒有放棄和Kageyama 交朋友的念頭。他繼續在學校的任何空閒時間裡努力接近Kageyama,甚至邀請他和他們一起吃午餐。Kunimi 咬緊牙關,努力不抱怨。如果他這樣做了,Kindaichi 將不得不在休息時間選擇他們之間,而Kunimi 不想冒失失去他們中的任何一個。

He sucks it up and does his best to give Kageyama a chance. He offers to tutor him as well as Kindaichi and responds to his incessant volleyball talk every few minutes. Kageyama is bad at studying in a whole different way than Kindaichi is, though, and Kunimi finds himself aggravated and bored the whole time he's helping them. And Kindaichi is so focused on trying to make Kageyama feel at ease, a goal Kunimi feels is probably impossible to meet, that he doesn't immediately do the things for Kunimi that he used to.

If Kunimi were to be honest, that's the part that bothers him the most about this new arrangement. Before, Kindaichi was so focused on him, in that quiet way of his, instantly responding if Kunimi got cold or thirsty or sleepy. Now his attention is split between two people and Kunimi doesn't like the change.

Gradually it gets better. Kageyama practices constantly in his free time, so he often turns their invitations down, giving Kunimi time alone with Kindaichi. And even when they do spend time together, thing become more bearable, bit by bit. Kageyama is too awkward to shove Kunimi off when he falls asleep on him even when Kunimi ends up with his head in Kageyama's lap, which is nice. And he's willing to spend hours in silence, which Kindaichi has trouble with sometimes. When Kindaichi isn't around, they often don't talk to each other, but will just sit on the gym floor or lay on the grassy hill out by the clubroom, staring up the sky. Of course, Kageyama is probably thinking about volleyball, but that's fine because he doesn't try to make Kunimi think about it, too.
漸漸地情況好轉了。Kageyama 在空閒時間裡不停地練習,所以他經常拒絕他們的邀請,讓Kunimi 有更多時間與Kindaichi 獨處。即使他們在一起的時候,事情也變得更容易忍受了一點點。當Kunimi 最後把頭放在Kageyama 的膝蓋上睡著時,Kageyama 太尷尬了,無法把他推開,這樣很好。他願意花幾個小時保持沉默,這對Kindaichi 有時候很難。當Kindaichi 不在身邊時,他們經常不說話,只是坐在健身房的地板上或者躺在俱樂部外的草坡上,仰望著天空。當然,Kageyama 可能在想排球的事情,但這沒關係,因為他不會強迫Kunimi 也去想。

So Kunimi makes his peace with the new status quo, decides he can live with it, and of course that's when Kageyama goes and screws it all up by going from zero to asshole faster than one of his new, impossible to hit tosses.
所以Kunimi 接受了新的現狀,決定可以接受它,當然這時Kageyama 卻突然變得比他新學的、難以擊中的扔球還快成為混蛋。

It's just after their first tournament in their second year, the first tournament Kageyama played in as the official setter, and they'd lost to a team their school had trounced the year before with Oikawa setting because of the number of spikes blocked. Kageyama retreats into himself after the loss, brusquely rejecting Kindaichi's awkward attempts to comfort him as they walk off the court. Kunimi, who is still on the bench, watches it all with narrowed eyes. Something about Kageyama's expression is different, something about the way he began to toss toward the end of the match is different, and Kunimi doesn't like it at all.

It gets worse and worse from there. His tosses get more and more difficult and as the number of combo misses goes up in practice, the angrier he becomes. He holds himself back from yelling at the third years, if only just, but Kindaichi, whose most recent growth spurt has secured him a starting spot, gets no such latitude. Kageyama shouts at him constantly, telling him to work harder, run faster, jump higher, an endless refrain of what he sees as Kindaichi's failings. He almost never spends time with them outside of practice any longer, and they aren't inclined to ask him to.

After a particularly bad practice, Kageyama yells at Kindaichi so much that Kindaichi runs away in tears. Kunimi follows him as quickly he can, not bothering to stick around to watch the coaches attempt to chastise Kageyama.

It's only once he finds Kindaichi in the bathroom that he realizes he has no idea how to comfort people. He's never seen Kindaichi cry before, doesn't know how to deal with it. He's relieved when he sees that Kindaichi is splashing his face with water, apparently over the worst of it.

"He's an asshole," Kunimi says. "It wasn't your fault it didn't go well today, it was his."
「他是個混蛋,」Kunimi 說。「今天事情進展不順並不是你的錯,是他的錯。」

Kindaichi shakes his head but doesn't disagree. "He's really a genius, all right," he says.
Kindaichi 搖搖頭,但沒有反駁。「他確實是個天才,沒錯,」他說。

"At being a jerk, maybe," Kunimi says, though he knows that Kageyama really is a volleyball prodigy, knows because none of the coaches will shut up about it and even an amateur could see how right Kageyama looks with the ball in his hands. Back when Kageyama was just a weirdo, it was almost cute. Now, it's like some kind of sick joke.
「也許是在當個混蛋方面,」Kunimi 說,儘管他知道 Kageyama 真的是排球天才,知道是因為所有教練都在不停地談論,即使是業餘者也能看出 Kageyama 拿著球時有多正確。當 Kageyama 只是個怪人時,那幾乎是可愛的。現在,就像是某種病態的笑話。

"Let's get changed," Kindaichi says, sounding more defeated than Kunimi has heard him sound before. "I just want to go home and sleep."


In their third year, Kunimi becomes a starter. It's tempting not to, because even though he is sort of fond of volleyball he is definitely not fond of playing for Kageyama, who has gotten so bad that the team has started calling him King of the Court for his dictatorial ways, but Kindaichi is still playing and Kunimi doesn't want to leave him alone out there.
在他們的第三年,Kunimi 成為了先發球員。不想這樣做是很誘人的,因為即使他對排球有點喜歡,但他絕對不喜歡為Kageyama效力,他已經變得如此糟糕,以至於球隊開始稱他為法庭之王,因為他的專制方式,但Kindaichi仍在打球,Kunimi不想讓他一個人在那裡。

He's worried about the effect dealing with Kageyama is having on Kindaichi. He hasn't cried that Kunimi has seen, not after that one time, but he's changing. He's getting meaner, grumpier, at first just toward Kageyama and then to their opponents, their classmates. He's still nice to Kunimi, to the rest of their teammates, and it's not like Kunimi really has room to talk on the meanness front because he's never liked people, but the change bothers him.

They play a practice match, right before the tournament. It's a good team and the game is close, though they win. To hear Kageyama, though, it would be easy to assume they'd lost in a landslide. He screams at everyone on the team, even the captain. This spiker didn't swing fully enough, that one didn't receive properly.

Kunimi gets yelled at for giving up on balls and not moving fast enough, which is how it usually goes. What's the point in making a solid receive, Kunimi thinks, if it'll just go back to Kageyama, who will turn his toss into reason to yell at someone again? What's the point in any of them trying at all if all they'll get is a laundry list of ways that they aren't good enough?
"Kunimi 因為放棄接球並且移動不夠快而被斥責,這通常是情況。Kunimi 認為,如果接到穩健的球只會回到 Kageyama 那裡,然後他會把他的發球轉變成對某人大喊大叫的理由,那還有什麼意義呢?如果他們所有人努力的結果只是一長串他們不夠好的方式,那他們努力的意義又在哪裡呢?

As usual, Kageyama saves the worst of it for Kindaichi, their ace. Kindaichi takes it with a stony expression that morphs into a slight sneer as Kageyama turns away, pulled off by the captain. His expression is uncaring, but Kunimi notices his hands are shaking.
"像往常一樣,Kageyama 把最糟糕的留給了他們的王牌 Kindaichi。當Kageyama 被隊長拉走時,Kindaichi 用一副冷漠的表情接受了這一切,表情漸變成輕蔑。他的表情無動於衷,但Kunimi 注意到他的手在顫抖。

Kunimi also notices how the rest of the team, so subtly they might not even notice what they are doing, drift in so they are between Kageyama and Kindaichi, creating a sort of wall between them, closer to Kindaichi.
"Kunimi 也注意到隊伍的其他成員,他們可能甚至沒有注意到自己在做什麼,悄悄地移動,站在 Kageyama 和 Kindaichi 之間,形成一道牆,更靠近 Kindaichi。

That's how it is, Kunimi realizes. The team on one side and Kageyama on the other. He's not a part of them, hasn't been for a long time. He's their common enemy, regardless of who is standing across the net. The captain can yell and the coaches can scold all they want, but it won't change. Kageyama won't change, as long as he stands on the court he'll see nothing but the perfect plays carried out by faceless teammates, that never translate to real life. And the coaches won't take him off the court, won't take their genius off the court as long as the plays he actually manages are good enough that keeping him in seems like the smartest option, no matter what the rest of the team feels. They've made that clear.
這就是現狀,Kunimi 心知肚明。一邊是球隊,另一邊是Kageyama。他不再是他們的一份子,已經很久了。無論對面站著誰,他都是他們的共同敵人。隊長可以大喊,教練可以責罵,但這一切都不會改變。只要他站在球場上,他所看到的只是無面孔隊友執行的完美戰術,這在現實生活中毫無意義。教練們不會讓他下場,只要他實際執行的戰術足夠出色,讓他繼續留在場上似乎是最明智的選擇,不管其他隊員如何感受,他們已經表明了這一點。

It's then that Kunimi begins to form a plan.


It's easy, painfully easy, to convince the rest of the team. He's the most worried about Kindaichi, worried that whatever impulse had led him to reach out to Kageyama years ago would rear its head again now. Kindaichi does hesitate, looks at his hands for a long moment where Kunimi is scared that he may have shattered their friendship, but then he looks up and nods.

"We'll give him a few games," Kindaichi says. "But if he acts like he normally does…"
“我們給他幾場比賽的時間,”Kindaichi 說。“但如果他表現得像平常一樣…”

"It's better to lose without him than to win with him," Kunimi says.
「沒有他的情況下輸掉比有他的情況下贏得更好,」Kunimi 說。

"Yeah," Kindaichi says. He closes his eyes and leans his head back against the wall behind his bed where they are sitting, Kunimi's feet tucked between Kindaichi's calfs and thighs so his toes don't get cold. He can feel Kindaichi's muscles shifting in a wave of tension. "Fuck," Kindaichi says tiredly. "I hate everything about this."
「是啊,」Kindaichi 說。他閉上眼睛,靠在床後的牆上,他們坐在那裡,Kunimi 的腳夾在Kindaichi 的小腿和大腿之間,這樣他的腳趾就不會感到冷。他能感覺到Kindaichi 的肌肉在緊張的波浪中變化。「該死,」Kindaichi 疲憊地說。「我討厭這一切。」

"It's almost over," Kunimi says.
「快結束了,」Kunimi 說。


His plan works. It doesn't feel like a victory, no one would mistakenly believe there is anything there to celebrate, but it works, and Kunimi can see a weight lifting from Kindaichi's shoulders slightly. They lose, of course, without Kageyama they don't stand a chance, but it's worth it, so worth it, to play a game again where he can watch Kindaichi spike and not flinch in preparation for a verbal beating.
他的計劃成功了。這並不感覺像是一場勝利,沒有人會錯誤地認為有什麼可以慶祝的,但它成功了,Kindaichi 能感覺到 Kindaichi 肩膀上的壓力稍微減輕了。他們輸了,當然,沒有 Kageyama 他們就沒有機會,但值得,非常值得,再次參加一場比賽,他可以看著 Kindaichi 扣殺,而不是為了準備接受言語上的抨擊而畏縮。

When he sees Kageyama's face after the match, how empty his eyes look, Kunimi feels a prickle along his spine. He forces himself to turn away, to focus on Kindaichi.
當他看到比賽後 Kageyama 的臉,他的眼神多麼空洞,Kunimi 背脊上感到一陣刺痛。他強迫自己轉身離開,專注於 Kindaichi。

I did it for him, he tells himself. Not for me.

But there's a part of him that worries that it isn't true. That maybe, as bad as Kageyama was acting, he'd never take such a big step if it weren't for how jealous he'd been, he'd always been, of how much time and energy Kindaichi poured into Kageyama, both when he tried to be his friend and when he was busy hating him, time and energy that he wasn't then giving to Kunimi.

Kunimi worries that he might be the most selfish friend in the world, but he's not sure he knows how to stop, so he tries to focus on other things. On the future, on high school.

The decision to go to Aobajousai is easy. Kindaichi and Kunimi both get invited and they know several of their former upperclassmen go there. They'll be able to take the train together each morning like they're used to, be able to play volleyball together like they're used to. There's only one thing that could sour it for them, so Kunimi decides to be proactive.

He corners Kageyama in the hallway by the vending machines. Kageyama is buying the same milk drink he's always gotten, that Kunimi had shared with him sometimes during that six month period where they were almost but not quite friends, and Kunimi feels strange for a second, like his throat is too tight to breathe through properly, so he coughs to clear it and steps forward.
他在自動販賣機旁的走廊裡逼住Kageyama。Kageyama正在買他總是喝的那款牛奶飲料,那款Kunimi有時候在他們幾乎但又不完全是朋友的六個月裡與他分享過,Kunimi 心裡突然感到奇怪,好像喉嚨太緊繃而無法正常呼吸,於是他咳嗽一下清了清喉嚨,向前走了一步。

Kageyama watches him, frown as deep as ever but more guarded, wary.

Good, Kunimi thinks viciously. Now you have a taste of how Kindaichi felt.

"Kindaichi and I are going to Aobajousai for high school," Kunimi says, his tone betraying nothing of the chaotic mix of emotions inside him. So don't go there, is the silent addition to his statement, one so clear even Kageyama has to pick up on it.
「Kindaichi 和我要去Aobajousai 讀高中了,」Kunimi 說道,他的語氣並未透露出內心那混亂情緒的任何跡象。所以不要去那裡,是他陳述中的默默補充,甚至Kageyama 都能明白。

"Okay," Kageyama says, and that's the last thing they say to each other for the rest of the year.
「好的,」Kageyama 說,這是他們今年餘下時間裡說的最後一句話。


High school is like a breath of fresh air. There's no Kageyama, making Kunimi feel unsure of himself, no tension between a team that's more focused on surviving their setter than anything else. Instead, there's Oikawa and Iwaizumi, who Kunimi remembers admiring from his first year in junior high, and other upperclassmen that he doesn't know but who seem calm, dependable. There are no loose cannons, no one waiting to pounce on any hint of a flaw. One of the coaches takes a special interest in bothering Kunimi about how he's not trying himself hard enough, but that's such a common refrain by this point that Kunimi tunes it out with ease.
高中就像一股清新的空氣。沒有Kageyama,讓Kunimi 感到不自在,也沒有隊伍之間的緊張氣氛,他們更關注的是如何幫助他們的接應生存下去。取而代之的是Oikawa 和 Iwaizumi,Kunimi 還記得自己在初中一年級時就對他們崇拜,以及其他他不認識但看起來沉著可靠的學長。沒有不可控制的人,也沒有人在等著抓住任何瑕疵。其中一位教練特別喜歡煩Kunimi,說他不夠努力,但這種批評已經如此司空見慣,Kunimi 輕易地將它濾掉。

Kindaichi's height is remarked upon almost immediately. He's taller than even the third years and that combined with how much he's improved in the last few years earns himself a starting spot. Kunimi sighs, wondering why his friend couldn't be slightly more average, and applies himself enough that he gets the second open spot on the team.

Playing against Kageyama's new team is like a cold front on Kunimi's contentment. He knew they'd probably run into him again at a tournament. Even after the way his last match had ended, his sheer talent would ensure he'd return to the court eventually. But he wasn't prepared to see him again so soon. He can only cross his fingers and hope that seeing Kageyama abusing some poor new team would show Kindaichi that it wasn't his fault, that it wasn't personal.

But it doesn't turn out that way at all. Kageyama works with his new team, with the tiny middle blocker in particular, works to accommodate them and his tosses actually are hittable.

After the match, Kindaichi changes quickly and leaves without a word. Kunimi hesitates to follow him, worried that he might be crying again and if that's the case, Kunimi has no idea how to respond. He just wants to shake Kindaichi, to tell him to stop caring about Kageyama already, but if it were that easy, he would have done it ages ago.
比賽結束後,Kindaichi 迅速換衣離開,一句話也沒說。Kunimi 猶豫要不要跟著他走,擔心他可能又在哭,如果是這樣的話,Kunimi 不知道該如何應對。他只想搖醒Kindaichi,告訴他不要再在意Kageyama,但如果這麼簡單的話,他早就做了。

When he finally finds Kindaichi, he sees Kageyama walking away. He didn't hear any shouting, which he assumes is a good thing, though he can't get anything from just Kindaichi's back.
當他終於找到Kindaichi 時,他看到Kageyama 正走開。他沒聽到任何喊叫聲,這讓他覺得是好事,但他無法從Kindaichi的背影中得到任何信息。

"What," he says. "You were talking with him?"

"…That guy said 'we'," Kindaichi says, voice quiet.
「那傢伙說『我們』," Kindaichi 輕聲說。

"Huh?" Kunimi wishes Kindaichi would turn around, unsure how he's feeling.
「嗯?」Kunimi 希望Kindaichi 能轉過身來,不確定自己的感受。

"And yet he'd always talk as if he were fighting on his own, saying 'me' and 'I'… Dammit." Kindaichi tips his head back as he lets out a deep, deep breath, as if it were one he'd been holding for years. "It's kinda frustrating."
「可是他總是說得好像在獨自戰鬥一樣,用『我』和『我』… 該死。」Kindaichi 抬起頭,深深地吐出一口氣,彷彿是憋了多年的一口氣。「有點令人沮喪。」

Kunimi smacks him on the shoulder, ignores his confused protests. Kindaichi could be such an idiot sometimes. Kunimi had known he was still carrying around regrets about everything that happened with Kageyama, as if he could have made it go differently somehow, end with all of them happy, but to see Kindaichi admit it still annoyed him. If Kunimi was too selfish, Kindaichi more than balanced him out by being too selfless by far. He ought to think of himself for a change.

For all that, Kindaichi cheers up immensely following the practice match. He doesn't go completely back to the way he was before, which is alright. He was just a kid, then, and Kunimi doesn't mind if he's grown a little harder with maturity. But he's more open, more straightforward again, and Kunimi soaks it up.

The new team helps a lot. Although the upperclassmen can be incredibly ridiculous at times, they are also very reliable. Iwaizumi takes Kindaichi under his wing particularly and Kunimi is soon treated to a constant refrain of 'Iwaizumi-san said…' and 'Iwaizumi-san did…' no matter the topic. Hanamaki and Matsuwaka are more Kunimi's style, generally quiet but always ready with a sarcastic comment. Watari and Yahaba are okay, too, patient in teaching their new underclassmen all the signals and patterns Seijou uses.

Oikawa is the only one Kunimi is initially unsure about. He acts very loud, for one, drawing everyone's eyes to him no matter what he's doing. But Kunimi is the most unnerved not by the attention Oikawa gets from others but by the attention he's paying. As someone who is used to observing others, Kunimi gets the distinct feeling of being observed whenever he's around Oikawa.

It's not really a surprise then, when Oikawa calls him out on skimping on playing decoy in practices. It's what he says afterward that takes Kunimi off guard, that makes him see Oikawa differently. It's then he realizes Oikawa might actually be someone he can really admire, someone he wants to play for.

"What's up with you?" Kindaichi says as they get off the train. "You didn't even come close to falling asleep on me today."
「你怎麼了?」Kindaichi 下了火車問道。「今天你甚至都沒有快要睡著了。」

Kunimi blinks. "I guess I was just thinking," he says. "You know, I'm starting to get the feeling that I'll really enjoy playing volleyball this year."
Kunimi 眨了眨眼。「我想我只是在想事情,」他說。「你知道,我開始覺得今年打排球會很開心。」

Kindaichi grins. "Me too," he says. Then he thumps Kunimi on the back. "But don't go getting too energetic on me, okay? My shoulder would get lonely without you falling asleep on it all the time." He reaches out and pokes Kunimi's cheek gently.
Kindaichi 露出笑容。「我也是,」他說。然後他拍了拍Kunimi的背。「但別對我太有活力,好嗎?我的肩膀沒有你一直靠著睡覺會感到孤單。」他伸手輕輕戳了Kunimi的臉頰。

As Kunimi bats his hand away, he feels his heart beating faster in his chest and is grateful he's never been the type to blush. "D-don't be an idiot," he says, trying to figure out where this sudden case of awkwardness has come from. "As if I'd ever become like that."

Kindaichi laughs. Kindaichi笑了。


The next time Oikawa's observational skills strike, Kunimi is less pleased. They've just had a practice match against another team nearby and are packing up the bus to head back to Aobajousai when Kunimi realizes something.

He knocks his shoulder into Kindaichi lightly. "I forgot my bag in the changing room," he says. It has his jersey, now dirty with sweat, as well as the magazine he'd read on the ride over to avoid falling asleep and getting in trouble with Mizoguchi.

"Okay, I'll be right back!" Kindaichi says and half jogs back in to the school building.
“好的,我馬上就回來!”Kindaichi 說著,半跑半走地回到學校大樓裡。

"Hmm, what's this?" Oikawa says. "Kunimi-chan, you sent Kindaichi to get your bag for you?"
“嗯,這是什麼?”Oikawa 說道。“Kunimi-chan,你派Kindaichi去幫你拿包包?”

"I didn't send him," Kunimi asks, turning away so he doesn't have to look Oikawa in the eye. "And it's not like he minds."
「我沒有派他去的,」Kunimi 轉過身去,不想看著Oikawa的眼睛。「而且他也不介意。」

"Now that I think of it, he does all kinds of things for you, doesn't he?" Oikawa says. "I've seen him fetch you water when you're hot, and carry your bags for you."
「現在想想,他對你做了各種各樣的事情,對吧?」Oikawa 說。「我看過他在你感到熱時幫你拿水,還有為你提行李。」

"And he does most of Kunimi's share setting up and cleaning the gym," Hanamaki says.

"He wakes him up when they reach their stop on the train," Iwaizumi says. "I've heard them talking about it."
「當他們到達火車站時,他會叫醒他,」Iwaizumi 說。「我聽過他們談論這件事。」

"Oh, and it's sweet how he makes sure Kunimi's comfortable when he falls asleep, no matter where they are," Watari says.
「哦,而且他總是確保Kunimi入睡時感到舒適,無論他們身在何處,這真是太貼心了,」Watari 說。

"When you put it all together like that, doesn't it seem like Kunimi's found himself a very loyal servant?" Oikawa says brightly.
「當你把這一切放在一起看時,是不是感覺Kunimi找到了一個非常忠誠的僕人?」Oikawa 開心地說。

"Cut it out," Kunimi says thickly. "It's not like that."
「別開玩笑了,」Kunimi 沉悶地說。「不是那樣的。」

"Ah, I guess not," Oikawa says, not sounding fazed at all. "After all, Kindaichi always looks so happy doing those things… so I guess instead of a servant, maybe it's more like Kunimi has found himself a spouse?"
「啊,我猜不是吧,」Oikawa 說,聽起來一點都不驚訝。「畢竟,Kindaichi 做那些事情的時候總是看起來那麼開心… 所以我想,也許不是一個僕人,而更像是Kunimi 找到了一個配偶?」

Kunimi is saved by having to come up with a response to that by Kindaichi's return. He bounds up and holds out the bag to Kunimi before pausing.
Kunimi 幸運地被Kindaichi 的回來打斷了,不用回答那個問題。他跳起來,伸出手中的袋子遞給Kunimi,然後停了下來。

"Actually, why don't I just keep this for now?" he says. "I have to wash my jersey anyway, so I can wash yours too and give it back to you tomorrow."

Kunimi can hear his teammates giggling and digs his nails into his palm, wondering how long his unlikeliness to blush can hold out against this onslaught of embarrassment. "It's fine," he mutters. "I can do it myself."
Kunimi 聽到隊友們咯咯笑著,緊緊握住手掌,想著自己不容易臉紅的時間能夠抵抗這場尷尬的攻擊有多久。「沒事的,」他嘀咕著。「我可以自己做。」

Kindaichi looks confused and, weirdly, a little hurt. "It's really no trouble," he says. "I'll be running the laundry anyway, so…"
Kindaichi 看起來困惑,有點受傷。「真的不麻煩,」他說。「反正我也要跑一趟洗衣房,所以…」

"It's fine!" Kunimi says and snatches his bag from Kindaichi. He scrambles on to the bus ahead of his friend, slipping into the window seat.
「沒事的!」Kunimi 說著從Kindaichi手中奪過自己的包。他在朋友之前搶上公車,坐進靠窗的座位。

Kindaichi still follows him, looking worried. "Is everything okay?" he asks, bumping his thigh up against Kunimi's as he sinks into the aisle seat.
Kindaichi 仍然跟著他,看起來擔心。"一切都還好嗎?" 他問道,一邊將大腿碰到 Kunimi 的大腿,一邊沉入走道座位。

"I'm just tired," Kunimi says and follows this up by resting his head against the window and closing his eyes. He mimics the slowly deepening breathing pattern of sleep as the team finishes boarding and checking off to make sure everyone is there. By the time the engine shudders into life, he's sure he looks completely asleep and is safe from any commentary from his upperclassmen and worried questions from Kindaichi.
“我只是累了," Kunimi 說著,然後把頭靠在窗戶上,閉上了眼睛。當團隊完成登機並核對確保每個人都在時,他模仿著慢慢加深的呼吸節奏,當引擎發動時,他確信自己看起來完全睡著了,安全地避免了來自學長的評論和 Kindaichi 的擔心問題。

His supposedly foolproof plan shows off its glaring flaw almost as soon as their journey starts. Pretending to be asleep might mean that no one talks to him, but pretending to be asleep means that Kindaichi thinks he's asleep, which means he'll do what he always does when Kunimi falls asleep somewhere and rearrange him into a better position. Kunimi knew he did this, appreciated that he did this, but he'd forgotten what that actually had to mean, since he'd never been conscious for it.
他所謂的無懈可擊計劃幾乎在旅程開始時就暴露了明顯的缺陷。假裝睡著可能意味著沒有人和他說話,但假裝睡著意味著 Kindaichi 認為他睡著了,這意味著他會像他總是在 Kunimi 在某處睡著時做的那樣,重新安排他到一個更好的位置。Kunimi 知道他這樣做了,感激他這樣做了,但他忘記了這實際上意味著什麼,因為他從來沒有在那時有意識過。

He barely contains his jump when gentle fingers brush against his cheek, easing into the contact until a palm is cupping his head and gently lifting it from the jarring window. Kindaichi's hand feels warm against him as he carefully supports Kunimi's neck as he slowly, slowly maneuvers Kunimi until his weight is shifted the other direction and he can rest his head against Kindaichi's shoulder.

He pulls Kunimi in close, giving him the maximum angle so he can stretch out as many of his 182cm as is possible in the cramped seats. This also has the effect of practically nestling Kunimi's head into the crook of Kindaichi's neck, where he can feel the steady beat of Kindaichi's pulse. Then he refolds Kunimi's hands in his lap, the callouses of his thumb brushing once, twice against the back of Kunimi's fingers, light enough to almost tickle, before pulling away.
他把Kunimi拉得很近,讓他盡可能地伸展他 182 厘米的身軀,以應付狹窄的座位。這也讓Kunimi的頭幾乎埋進Kindaichi脖子的凹陷處,他可以感受到Kindaichi脈搏的穩定跳動。然後他把Kunimi的手重新放在自己的膝蓋上,他的拇指的老繭輕輕地在Kunimi的手背上輕輕刷過一次,兩次,輕得幾乎像是在癢,然後拉開。

It's all so horribly intimate and he hopes none of their teammates are watching, but at the same time, he doesn't want to pull away. He likes this, is suddenly aware of how very much he likes this, likes the way Kindaichi breathing just slightly rocks him, how warm Kindaichi's body is against his, how softly Kindaichi touches him.

It's not like he hasn't done this a thousand times before. He's constantly falling asleep on Kindaichi, using him as a pillow on the train or during lunch. In fact, it's weirder, by their standards, that Kunimi would have fallen asleep leaning on the window in the first place rather than using Kindaichi from the get go. Usually Kindaichi only has to rearrange Kunimi when he falls asleep unexpectedly, because if Kindaichi is available Kunimi would always choose to sleep on him.

It's totally normal for them and shouldn't feel strange at all, but Kunimi can't stop this mix of embarrassed excitement that's curling in his chest and flares hot everywhere his body is in contact with Kindaichi.

Try as he might, he can't bring himself to actually fall asleep through the whole ride back.


Kunimi prides himself on having good senses, awareness both of others and himself, so he can't pretend to be in the dark about what he's realized for long. Admitting, even only privately, that he has a crush on Kindaichi is hard to come to terms with. It's Kindaichi, after all, with his stupid looking hair and too loud laugh and terribly straightforward way of going about his life, and Kunimi can't believe how hard he's managed to fall for his best friend because somehow all of those things just make him more attractive, not less.
Kunimi 以擁有良好的感知能力和自我意識為傲,因此他無法假裝對自己所意識到的事情一無所知太久。承認,即使只是私下裡,他對 Kindaichi 有好感這件事很難接受。畢竟,Kindaichi 就是他,那個看起來愚蠢的頭髮、太大聲的笑聲和過於直率的生活方式,Kunimi 簡直無法相信自己竟然如此深深地愛上了自己的好朋友,因為不知怎麼的,所有這些特質都讓他變得更有魅力,而非相反。

He orders himself not to waste time fantasizing about Kindaichi returning his feelings, yet he does so anyway. After all, Kindaichi does so much for him, looks after him in so many different little ways through each day, that it doesn't take such a huge leap to imagine that Kindaichi might like him, too. But Kunimi knows that Kindaichi is incapable of being subtle, incapable of hiding his feelings about anything from someone even half as observant as Kunimi is, so there's just no way that Kindaichi could have any sort of crush on Kunimi without it being obvious.
他囑咐自己不要浪費時間幻想 Kindaichi 會回應他的感情,但他仍然這樣做了。畢竟,Kindaichi 為他做了這麼多事情,在每一天裡以許多不同的小事照顧著他,所以想像 Kindaichi 也許也喜歡他,並不需要做出太大的假設。但 Kunimi 知道 Kindaichi 無法做作,無法對任何事情隱藏自己的感受,對於像 Kunimi 這樣一半敏銳的人來說,Kindaichi 不可能對 Kunimi 有任何喜歡之情而不被察覺。

He can accept that. It hurts, a bit, to know that he likes Kindaichi in a way that Kindaichi doesn't like him, but Kunimi thinks, ultimately, he'll be okay with it. He can still have what they are now, still enjoy Kindaichi fussing over him and looking at him like he's a genius for explaining a simple math problem and letting him fall asleep in Kindaichi's bed when he's too lazy to bother walking the mile to get to his own home.

Kunimi resolves to act normally, as if nothing had changed, but he can't help but to push a little bit. Just small things at first, testing how much Kindaichi is okay with.
Kunimi 下定決心表現正常,好像什麼都沒有改變,但他忍不住要稍微推一下。一開始只是一些小事情,測試Kindaichi能接受多少。

"My head hurts," he tells Kindaichi while they are in the middle of doing one of their assigned readings at Kindaichi's house and lets himself fall so he's lying down on the bed, his head just next to Kindaichi's crossed legs. "Can you read it to me instead?"

"Huh? Oh, sure," Kindaichi says and clears his throat. As he begins to read aloud, he shifts the book into his left hand and drops his right to gently stroke through Kunimi's hair as Kunimi hums appreciatively.
「嗯?哦,當然,」Kindaichi 說著,清了清嗓子。他開始大聲朗讀時,將書移到左手,右手輕輕撫過Kunimi的頭髮,Kunimi則愉快地哼著。

He touches Kindaichi more, whenever he gets a chance. Presses close during train rides, bus trips, presses their knees together while they eat lunch, drapes himself over Kindaichi's shoulder to watch him play video games. Kindaichi never seems to mind, never pulls away even minutely. Sometimes, like when he read to him, he'll pet Kunimi as if he's an extremely large cat. Those are the times Kunimi likes the most.

As the seasons change and autumn arrives, it starts to get cooler. Kunimi hates the cold, truly despises it, but he appreciates the chances it gives him to snuggle even closer to Kindaichi. Now when they wait outside, Kindaichi's breath coming in visible puffs against the cold air as Kunimi's disappears into the scarf he has coiled as tightly as he can around his neck, Kindaichi will often pull him up against him, letting some of his furnace-like body heat warm Kunimi without him even having to ask.

Kunimi doesn't have the energy to push for much more than that, not while it is cold out and he'd rather spend all his time sleeping, but Kindaichi always dotes on him more as autumn turns to winter, so it's okay. He's constantly bringing Kunimi more sweaters and warm drinks and generally fussing as if Kunimi might actually fall into hibernation and disappear if Kindaichi doesn't look out for him. It's almost enough to make Kunimi rethink hating the cold. Almost.
Kunimi 沒有太多精力去做更多事情,尤其是在天氣變冷時,他寧願花所有時間睡覺,但當秋天轉變為冬天時,Kindaichi 總是更加寵愛他,所以沒關係。他總是給Kunimi 帶來更多的毛衣和暖飲,總是像Kunimi 真的會進入冬眠並消失一樣,如果Kindaichi 不好好照顧他的話。這幾乎讓Kunimi 重新考慮是否討厭寒冷。幾乎。


He's half asleep on Kindaichi's lap as they sit on his family's couch, watching some action movie, when he hears both their phones buzzing. He ignores it at first but when they keep going off, he makes a tiny sound of protest.
當他們坐在他家的沙發上,看著一部動作電影時,Kindaichi 的膝蓋上半睡半醒時,他聽到他們兩個的手機都在震動。起初他忽略了,但當手機持續響起時,他發出一聲微小的抗議聲。

"Sorry, let me check them," Kindaichi says, stopping in his stroking of Kunimi's hair, earning another sad sound, so he can reach over to the table and snag their phones. There's a moment of silence and then he makes a surprised noise. "It's from the upperclassmen."
“對不起,讓我看看它們,”Kindaichi 說著,停止了對Kunimi 頭髮的撫摸,又引起了另一聲悲傷的聲音,這樣他就可以伸手到桌子上拿起他們的手機。有一會兒的沉默,然後他發出驚訝的聲音。“是上年級的同學發來的消息。”

"What do they want?" Kunimi asks, hoping they'll cancel morning practice the next day. There's been poor weather reports for that night, so it's not an impossible dream…
「他們想要什麼?」Kunimi 問道,希望他們會取消隔天的早練。那天晚上的天氣預報很糟,所以這並非不可能的夢想…

"They're saying we need to pack an overnight bag and head to the gym right away." Kunimi opens his eyes to see Kindaichi is frowning at the phone.
「他們說我們需要打包隨身包,立刻前往健身房。」Kunimi 睜開眼睛,看到Kindaichi 正在皺著眉看著手機。

"Practice is over," Kunimi says muzzily. "They can't make us do anything else."
「練習結束了,」Kunimi 迷糊地說道。「他們不能強迫我們做其他事情。」

"Oikawa-san says it's an order that has to be followed right away," Kindaichi says. "What if it's some kind of emergency and they need us?"
「Oikawa-san 說這是必須立即遵循的命令,」Kindaichi 說。「如果是某種緊急情況,他們需要我們怎麼辦?」

Kunimi groans, knowing he'll never be able to talk Kindaichi out of going if he thinks there's a chance the team needs their help. He sits up, pulling one of the many blankets Kindaichi had spread over him around so he can tug it over his head. "Fine," he says and gives Kindaichi his most pathetic expression, the one Kindaichi can never refuse. "Pack for me?"
Kunimi 嗚咽著,知道他永遠無法說服 Kindaichi 放棄前往的想法,如果他認為團隊需要他們的幫助。他坐起來,拉起 Kindaichi 鋪在他身上的眾多毯子之一,把它拉到頭上。「好吧,」他說,並給了 Kindaichi 他最可憐的表情,那是 Kindaichi 永遠無法拒絕的。「幫我收拾行李?」

They make it to the gym in under an hour, which Kunimi thinks is fairly impressive. Kindaichi is carrying their heavier bags and Kunimi is holding a mound of blankets and pillows. It's Yahaba who opens the gym door and ushers them in when they knock.
他們在不到一小時的時間內到達了健身房,這讓 Kunimi 覺得相當令人印象深刻。Kindaichi 拿著他們更重的包,Kunimi 拿著一堆毯子和枕頭。當他們敲門時,是 Yahaba 打開健身房的門,並引導他們進入。

The rest of the team is already there. Hanamaki, Watari and Iwaizumi are playing cards while Matsukawa spreads out futons on the gym floor and Oikawa is plugging in a microwave oven to one of the gym's outlets. They look relaxed, not in any kind of emergency state at all.

Kunimi turns around. "See, they're fine. Let's go home," he says to Kindaichi.

"Kunimi-chan!" Oikawa says, bounding over to place himself between them and the door as Yahaba hurriedly closes it. "You can't leave!"

"What's going on?" Kindaichi asks, looking around.
「發生了什麼事?」Kindaichi 問道,四處張望。

"A long held Seijou tradition," Yahaba says. "The annual VBC Snow-In!"
「這是一項歷史悠久的Seijou傳統,」Yahaba 說道。「每年一度的 VBC 雪中困!」

"The first large snowfall of winter is going to happen tonight," Oikawa says. "So, just as the players who came before us did years ago, we camp out in the gym for the night!"
「冬天的第一場大雪將在今晚降臨,」Oikawa 說道。「就像多年前前來的球員們一樣,我們今晚將在體育館露營!」

"Why?" Kunimi asks, not bothering to hide the horror in his voice. There was no way the gym would be as warm as his bedroom at home.
「為什麼?」Kunimi 問道,毫不掩飾他聲音中的恐懼。健身房絕對不可能像他家裡的臥室一樣溫暖。

"Well, apparently it started because a really strict captain didn't want to chance people being late for the next day's practice," Iwaizumi says. "But nowadays, we just use it for team bonding."
「嗯,顯然是因為一位非常嚴格的隊長不想讓人第二天的練習遲到,」Iwaizumi 說道。「但現在,我們只是用它來加強團隊凝聚力。」

"And you can't opt out of team bonding, so you're out of luck, Kunimi-chan!" Oikawa says and pushes his two underclassmen further into the gym. "Don't worry, I promise that you'll have lots of fun!"
「而且你們不能選擇不參加團隊活動,所以你們沒那麼幸運,Kunimi-chan!」Oikawa 說著,把他的兩個學弟推得更深入健身房。「別擔心,我保證你們會玩得很開心的!」

"It actually is pretty neat," Watari says in an apologetic tone and holds up a bag. "And we have salted caramel."

"Okay, we'll stay," Kunimi says and holds out his hands for the caramel.

"No, no, you only get a bit at a time," Hanamaki says. "That's how they made me stay in my first year with profiteroles, so now you have to be patient, too."

Kunimi sighs. Kunimi 嘆了口氣。

The night does turn out surprisingly fun. They make popcorn and play a bunch of different games, from the king's game to mafia. There's an arm wrestling competition, which quickly turns into an extended battle between Iwaizumi and Hanamaki as the rest get bored and start playing daihinmin with the cards from earlier.

"The snow should have started by now!" Oikawa eventually chirps, when they've all settled into mostly just talking, the games abandoned. He hops up and opens the gym door, revealing a fluffy layer of snow coating the ground.

"It's so pretty," Yahaba says happily, holding up his phone to take a picture.
「好漂亮啊,」Yahaba 開心地說著,舉起手機拍照。

"A free dessert from the new sweets shop to whoever can stand outside the longest without shoes or a jacket!" Hanamaki declares, staring straight at Iwaizumi,
「新甜品店送免費甜點給誰能在外面不穿鞋子或外套站得最久!」花巻宣布著,直視著 Iwaizumi。

"You're on," Iwaizumi says.
「就這麼定了,」Iwaizumi 說道。

"Ugh," Kunimi says. "Not even for that."
「唉,」Kunimi 說。「就算是為了那個也不行。」

In the end, Yahaba and Kunimi are the only ones who stay inside. Oikawa gives up after less than a minute, shrieking that his toes are dying. Kindaichi comes back inside next a few minutes later, hopping from foot to foot unhappily. Matsukawa and Watari strike a deal to give up at the same time on the basis that neither of them are that competitive and so fourth place is fine between them.
最後,只有Yahaba 和 Kunimi 留在裡面。不到一分鐘,Oikawa 就放棄了,尖叫著說他的腳趾快死了。幾分鐘後,Kindaichi 不高興地一跳一跳地回到室內。松川和Watari 達成協議,同時放棄比賽,因為他們都不是那麼有競爭力,所以第四名對他們來說也很好。

"I could do this all night," Iwaizumi says, teeth chattering.
「我可以整晚都這樣,」Iwaizumi 說著,牙齒打顫。

"Same here," Hanamaki grits out, trying to hide his shaking hands. "In fact, I find the chill refreshing."

"We should probably do something before they get frostbite," Watari says.

"Are your feet okay?" Kunimi asks Kindaichi, sitting down nearby him where he's rubbing at his toes to try to warm them back up.

"Of course," he says. "They'll be back to normal when they heat up again." He sneezes and sniffles, not looking attractive at all, which is why Kunimi hates how completely adorable he finds him anyway.

"Here," he says, despising himself. He rolls up his shirt and sweaters slightly. "You can put them on my stomach for a bit."

Kindaichi stares at him with wide eyes. "But you hate the cold!"

Kunimi rolls his eyes. "Shut up. You'd let me do it, so it's whatever. Hurry up."
Kunimi 翻了翻白眼。「閉嘴。你讓我這麼做,所以無所謂。快點。」

Kindaichi blinks and obeys, stretching out his feet so they are just barely touching Kunimi's skin, though even that minor contact is enough to make Kunimi hiss quietly. He pulls down his layers over Kindaichi's feet and leans forward into where they are touching, ignoring the way the cold seems to lance through him.
Kindaichi 眨了眨眼,聽話地伸出腳,只輕輕碰到 Kunimi 的皮膚,即使這種微不足道的接觸也足以讓 Kunimi 輕輕嘶嘶。他拉下 Kindaichi 的層層衣物蓋住腳,向前倚身靠近他們碰觸的地方,無視寒冷似乎穿透他的感覺。

Kindaichi is still staring at him with wide eyes, a blush chasing its way down his cheeks to his neck where it disappears into the neck of his shirt.
Kindaichi 仍然睜大眼睛盯著他,臉紅從臉頰一路蔓延到脖子,消失在衣領裡。

"Stop that," Kunimi says, embarrassed. "It'd just be a big bother for me if you lost a toe or something, Shallot-head."
「別這樣做,」Kunimi 尷尬地說。「如果你失去一根腳趾什麼的,對我來說只會是一大麻煩,小葉頭。」

By the time that Matsukawa and Oikawa have forced the other third years back inside by sneaking up on them and sticking snow down the back of their pants, Kindaichi's feet are warm enough that Kunimi lets him pull away, glad no one noticed. They make enough fun of him about this kind of thing already and he doesn't want Kindaichi to pick up on it. He might start rethinking what he lets Kunimi get away with.

They go to bed soon after, since they'll still have classes in the morning. Much as he had feared, Kunimi is shivering in his futon, unable to get warm enough even with the layers he has on.

"Hey," Kindaichi whispers. "You okay?"
「嘿,」Kindaichi 小聲說。「你還好嗎?」

"It's cold," Kunimi whispers back, knowing he's whining.
「好冷,」Kunimi 小聲回答,知道自己在發牢騷。

Kindaichi shifts, sits up and holds his blanket up. "Here," he says. "You can share with me. My house is always cold but you seem fine when we share my bed, so it should be okay."
Kindaichi 轉身坐起來,拿起毯子。「這裡,」他說。「和我一起分享吧。我家總是很冷,但每次和你分享床時,你似乎都很舒服,所以應該沒問題的。」

"You don't have to do that," Kunimi mumbles back even as he starts to slide over. Kindaichi is warm at night, is warm almost all the time. Even if Kunimi didn't have any other feelings about him, he'd value his body for that alone. As it was… well, the offer was way too tempting to refuse.
「你不必這麼做,」Kunimi 喃喃自語,儘管他開始往旁邊滑動。Kindaichi 在晚上很溫暖,幾乎一直都很溫暖。即使Kunimi 對他沒有其他感覺,他也會價值他的身體。至於… 嗯,這個提議實在太誘人,無法拒絕。

Kunimi assumed that they'd sleep the way they usually do at Kindaichi's, in his large bed, just their backs pressed together or sometimes their legs brushing, nothing more. But the futon is much smaller and Kindaichi doesn't hesitate to pull Kunimi in close so he's resting against Kindaichi's broad chest, Kindaichi's arms circling around him and legs tangling with his.
Kunimi 假設他們會像在Kindaichi 家一樣睡覺,睡在他寬大的床上,背靠背或有時腿相互碰觸,不再多了。但是這張蒲團小得多,Kindaichi 毫不猶豫地將Kunimi 拉近,讓他靠在Kindaichi 寬闊的胸膛上,Kindaichi 的手臂環繞著他,腿和他的纏繞在一起。

"See, I'll warm you up in no time," Kindaichi breathes against the top of his head.
「看,我會很快把你暖和起來的,」Kindaichi 在他的頭頂上呼吸。

Kunimi makes some incomprehensible noise in response, hoping Kindaichi doesn't notice how his pulse has started racing. Kindaichi can be so embarrassing, with how he can say things like that with absolutely no idea of how they effect Kunimi, of how they might sound to people. It's not good for Kunimi's heart.

Thankfully, Kindaichi doesn't say anything else beyond that and just pets Kunimi for a while before drifting into sleep himself, apparently completely at ease. As his body heat warms Kunimi and the steady sound of his heart thumps solidly below Kunimi's ear, he slowly lets himself relax and slide into sleep.
幸好,Kindaichi 並沒有再說什麼,只是在入睡前撫摸了一陣 Kunimi,然後自己也悠然入眠,顯然完全放鬆下來。當他的體溫溫暖了 Kunimi,他的心臟穩定的聲音在 Kunimi 耳邊有力地跳動時,他慢慢地讓自己放鬆下來,滑入夢鄉。


"-cute, really." 「-真可愛。」

The sounds cut into Kunimi's happy bubble of sleep and warmth. He frowns and nuzzle into the source of that warmth, trying to chase his good dreams instead of being yanked into wakefulness.
聲音切入 Kunimi 那片幸福的睡眠和溫暖之中。他皺眉,把鼻子埋進那股溫暖來源,試圖追逐美好的夢境,而不是被拉回清醒。

"Don't tease them," someone says, a voice he knows. Kunimi still can't bring himself to care.
「不要取笑他們,」有人說,一個他認識的聲音。Kunimi 仍然無法讓自己在意。

"Please, he'll wake up if you- oh, no." That voice rumbles from below him, making him shift and pulling him further from the land of dreams.
「拜託,如果你們這樣他會醒過來的- 喔,不。」那個聲音從他下方發出低沉的聲音,讓他轉身,將他從夢境之地拉遠。

Kunimi's eyes flutter open and he sees many of his teammates are standing over him, grinning.
Kunimi 眨了眨眼睛,看到許多隊友站在他身邊,咧嘴一笑。

"Sleeping Beauty awakens," Matsukawa says.

"I guess we don't have to ask if you slept well," Oikawa says, his smile widening by the moment. "Boy, I wish Iwa-chan would let me use him as a pillow… I'd even settle for Mattsun or Makki!"
“我猜我們不用問你睡得好不好了,”Oikawa說,他的笑容一刻比一刻寬。 “天啊,我多希望磐chan讓我當他的枕頭…我甚至願意接受馬克斯或真樹!”

"Don't say you'd settle for us," Hanamaki says, offended. "We'd both be excellent pillows. Too good for you."

Kunimi isn't nearly awake enough yet to be verbal, but he forces himself to sit up, pulling away from Kindaichi as sad as doing so makes him. He rubs at his eyes for a moment and when he stops, he can see much more clearly. Kindaichi has sat up, too, and is looking down with a mournful expression as the upperclassmen continue their conversation, moving away.
Kunimi 還沒完全清醒,無法說話,但他強迫自己坐起來,與 Kindaichi 分開,即使這樣做讓他難過。他揉了揉眼睛,停下來後,視野變得更清晰。Kindaichi 也坐了起來,眼神憂傷地望著上級生們繼續他們的對話,漸行漸遠。

"Sorry," he says. "You could have slept for five more minutes."

"Mmgnh," Kunimi replies croakily. Kindaichi hurriedly passes him a water bottle, which he drinks from gratefully. He's sure later he'll be embarrassed about all this, but currently he's too busy trying to wake up to care. It strikes him that Kindaichi might be embarrassed, though. He's blushing, which isn't all that unusual, but he's also avoiding Kunimi's gaze, which definitely is.
「嗯嗯,」Kunimi 嘶啞地回答。Kindaichi 匆忙遞給他一瓶水,他感激地喝了下去。他確定之後會對這一切感到尷尬,但目前他正忙著試著清醒過來,無暇顧及。他覺得 Kindaichi 可能會感到尷尬。他臉紅了,這並不罕見,但他還在避開 Kunimi 的目光,這絕對是不尋常的。

He reaches out and grabs at Kindaichi's sleeve, leans forward to rest his head against his shoulder. He rolls the word around in his head a few times before he says it, because he's really not a morning person, so it'll take him a few tries. "Thanks," he mumbles out finally.

"N-no problem," Kindaichi says and seems to blush even harder. He jumps up, leaving Kunimi to flail before regaining his balance. "Um, I'm going to go get dressed now!"
「沒、沒問題,」Kindaichi 說,臉上的紅暈更加濃烈。他跳起來,讓Kunimi在失去平衡前慌張地擺動。「嗯,我去換衣服了!」

Kunimi watches him go, frowning.
Kunimi 看著他離開,皺著眉頭。


Something definitely changes after that. Kindaichi becomes strange, jumpy and nervous around Kunimi. He turns red whenever they touch and more than once Kunimi catches him watching him when he thinks Kunimi isn't paying attention. He still does things for Kunimi, but he hesitates after he's already begun and turns all bashful, sprinting off before Kunimi can thank him or changing the subject in a completely graceless way.

"You've been acting weird. Did the upperclassmen say something to you?" Kunimi asks during a practice, while they're stretching.

"N-no," Kindaichi says. 「沒、沒有,」Kindaichi說。

So yes, Kunimi thinks and sighs. But if Kindaichi won't admit it, there's not much he can do except hit him, which might not have the desired effect of making him less jumpy.
所以是的,Kunimi 想著並嘆息。但如果Kindaichi 不承認,他除了打他之外別無他法,這可能不會達到讓他變得不那麼神經質的效果。

He thinks about it through practice, even though letting his mind wander so obviously gets him yelled at by Mizoguchi. He waits until they've showered, changed into clean clothes and are walking to the train, shoes crunching against the light layer of snow. Then he abruptly grabs Kindaichi's arm, ignoring his startled yelp, and drags at him until he follows off their usual course.

"Kunimi?" Kindaichi asks.
“Kunimi?”Kindaichi 問。

"We're going to the new sweets place Hanamaki-san mentioned," Kunimi says. "I want to try it."
「我們要去花巻提到的新甜點店,」Kunimi 說。「我想試試看。」

"Oh, okay," Kindaichi says falteringly, resuming his usual stride so he's no longer getting pulled along. Kunimi doesn't let go of his arm, instead shifting so he's tucked up against Kindaichi's side. "Um," Kindaichi says, turning red. "If you're cold, you can have my scarf."
「哦,好的,」Kindaichi 遲疑地說,恢復他平常的步伐,不再被拽著走。Kunimi 沒有放開他的手臂,而是移動,讓自己貼在Kindaichi 的身邊。「嗯,」Kindaichi 說,臉紅了。「如果你冷的話,可以拿我的圍巾。」

"This is fine," Kunimi says.
「這樣就好,」Kunimi 說。

They spend the rest of the walk in silence, although Kunimi can practically hear Kindaichi's internal monologue freaking out. The shop isn't far away at all. There's a counter where they can order things from the display to go, but Kunimi leads Kindaichi to one of the corner booths where they can sit next to each other near one of the heaters.

"Mmm," Kunimi says, shedding a few layers and opening one of the menus. "Ah, they have salted caramel ice cream… we'll have to come back when it's warmer."

Eventually Kunimi settles on ordering a slice of the caramel cupcake and Kindaichi gets a roll cake with matcha flavoring and sweet cream. Kunimi makes sure to knock his ankle into Kindaichi's several times as they wait for their food. He waits for Kindaichi to say something but he stays quiet, only twitching slightly whenever Kunimi brushes against him. He's still bright red.

How aggravating, Kunimi thinks as their food arrives. The caramel is delicious, which is no surprise. Kindaichi's looks yummy as well, though it's so delicate he quickly makes a mess of it as it falls apart, getting cream all over his hands.

Kunimi laughs at him. "Is it at least tasty?"

"It is," Kindaichi says brightly, as he holds up his hand to try to find all the cream on it. "You should try some."

Kunimi smirks. "Okay," he says and before he can think better of it, he leans in and grabs Kindaichi's hand, pulling it close to his mouth so he can lick the sweet cream off of Kindaichi's fingers, his tongue brushing against the soft folds of Kindaichi's knuckles. He closes his eyes because it's too embarrassing otherwise, but he can hear Kindaichi squeak and feel him freeze. Kunimi gives his fingers another lick to be sure and then drops his hand and leans back, making sure his expression is as calm as ever by the time he opens his eyes, regardless of how he's actually feeling all hot and pinched inside. "You're right," he says, trying to keep the breathiness out of his voice. "It's good."

If Kindaichi had been red before, it was nothing on how he is now. He's practically shaking, mouth open as he stares. "K-kunimi," he says. "What, what are you doing?"

"You started it," Kunimi says.

"How did I-" "我是怎麼-"

"You've been acting weird ever since the sleepover in the gym," Kunimi says. "Don't try to deny it."
"自從在健身房過夜後,你的行為就變得奇怪了,"Kunimi 說。"不要試著否認。"

Kindaichi looks down. Kunimi waits and is rewarded when Kindaichi finally starts to talk, haltingly. "It's just… some of the things we do together, they aren't really… they aren't normal, are they?"
Kindaichi 低下頭。Kunimi 等待,當Kindaichi 最終開口說話時,他得到了回報,雖然有些支吾。"只是...我們一起做的一些事情,它們不太... 它們不正常,對吧?"

"Do you want to stop?" Kunimi asks as if the words don't taste like ashes in his mouth.

"No!" Kindaichi answers, too quickly. He bites his lip. "I just… I wouldn't want people to get the wrong idea about you because of me."

Kunimi takes a deep breath, summons every ounce of courage he has. "And what if it wasn't the wrong idea?" he says. "About me, I mean."

Kindaichi's head jerks up and his eyes are wide as he stares at Kunimi. "You mean you…?"

"I like you," Kunimi says, and though he's pretty good at staying unruffled, he can't help but address his words more toward the table than Kindaichi. Meeting his eyes right now seems impossible. "Since junior high, probably, but definitely now."

"Oh," Kindaichi says. Kunimi can hear his slightly choked breathing, waits for him to say something more, anything more, but he doesn't.

Finally, Kunimi can't take it anymore. "It's late," he says, placing money on the table, enough for both him and Kindaichi's food, and pulls on his jackets as he slips out of the booth. He's out the door by the time Kindaichi catches up to him and grabs at his hand.
最後,Kunimi 真的受不了了。"太晚了,"他說,把錢放在桌子上,足夠他和Kindaichi的食物,然後穿上外套,從包廂裡溜走。當Kindaichi追上他並抓住他的手時,他已經走出門了。

"Wait!" Kindaichi says, gripping Kunimi's hand tight enough to hurt. Kunimi steels himself and looks back, meeting Kindaichi's eyes. He looks about as vulnerable as Kunimi is feeling, his lower lip caught between his teeth as he searches for his next words. "M-me too," he finally says and Kunimi almost forgets how to breathe. "I feel the same way about you, I think."
“等等!”Kindaichi 緊緊握住Kunimi的手,緊得足以讓人疼痛。Kunimi鼓起勇氣回頭,與Kindaichi對視。他看起來和Kunimi感覺一樣脆弱,下唇夾在牙齒間,尋找下一句話。"我也是,"他終於說,Kunimi幾乎忘了如何呼吸。"我對你也有同樣的感覺,我想。"

"You think?" Kunimi echoes. "You aren't sure?" He has to be sure. Not sure might be even worse than not at all.
“你覺得呢?”Kunimi 迴音道。"你不確定嗎?"他必須確定。不確定可能比根本不確定還糟糕。

Kindaichi rubs the back of his neck. "No, I- I'm sure. I only started thinking about it the other day but, y-yeah. I do. Like you. For sure."
Kindaichi 揉了揉脖子。「不,我- 我確定。我只是前幾天才開始想這個,但,是的。我喜歡你。當然。」

"Oh," Kunimi breathes out, and okay, now he gets why Kindaichi had said the same thing earlier and then fallen silent, because now he's not sure what to say, he's too busy watching the world shift on its axis around him, suddenly unfamiliar.
「哦,」Kunimi 喘了口氣,現在他明白為什麼Kindaichi 早些時候說過同樣的話然後沉默下來,因為現在他不知道該說什麼,他太忙於看著世界突然在他周圍轉動,變得陌生。

"That's good, right?" Kindaichi says. His grip on Kunimi's hand slackens, would drop entirely if Kunimi didn't move to tangle their fingers together. Kindaichi blinks down at their clasped hands for a moment, then looks back up to Kunimi's face. "Should we, like, kiss and stuff?" he asks, sounding hopeful.
「這樣好吧?」Kindaichi 說。他對Kunimi 的手握力減弱,如果Kunimi 沒有伸手將他們的手指糾纏在一起,他的手完全就會鬆開。Kindaichi 低頭看著他們緊握的手片刻,然後抬起頭來看Kunimi 的臉。「我們應該,像,親吻之類的嗎?」他問,聽起來充滿希望。

Kunimi makes a show of looking around the street where they're surrounded by other people, all bundled against the cold. "I never took you for an exhibitionist, Kindaichi," he says in his blandest voice and is rewarded when Kindaichi squeaks and blushes even harder somehow.
Kunimi 裝作四處看看,周圍都是裹得嚴實的人群。"我從來沒想過你是個愛出風頭的人,Kindaichi,"他用最平淡的聲音說,當Kindaichi尖叫並更難為情時,他得到了回報。

"I'm not! I mean, that's not what I-" Kindaichi uses his free hand to cover his eyes as Kunimi starts to walk in the direction of the train station, gently pulling him along by their linked fingers.

Kunimi smirks. "Later," he says. He promises.
Kunimi 咧嘴一笑。「待會兒,」他說。他保證。


Later, when it comes, is a wonderful experience. Kindaichi's lips are as warm as the rest of him and when Kunimi impatiently licks against them, for once not wanting to take things slowly, Kindaichi makes the most ridiculous little hiccuping moan and lets Kunimi push him down onto the bed so he can rest all his weight against him in a strangely comfortable half-sprawl. Kindaichi's hands dance nervously just above Kunimi's skin, as if he's not sure where he's allowed to touch.

That won't do, Kunimi thinks and pulls back slightly, smoothing the material of Kindaichi's shirt that he'd bunched up when pushing him into position. "Touch me," he orders, letting his breath gust against Kindaichi's jaw. "Please."

That does the trick. As their lips meet again, Kindaichi's hands press against Kunimi's back, one traveling up to curl into his his hair and the other tracing light patterns against his spine. Kunimi hums, slides his own hands into Kindaichi's own hair so he can manipulate their heads into a better angle, pressing even deeper into Kindaichi's mouth, exploring exactly what movements of his tongue, of his hips, produce the best sounds from deep in Kindaichi's throat.

"We should do this a lot more," he says when he's forced to pull back to breathe. His chest is heaving and face is warm, lips tingling, and he's aware that his usual composure is gone, but he really doesn't care. "Like, a lot more."

Kindaichi makes an agreeable noise and pulls Kunimi back down.


After that, they touch a lot, kiss a lot. Even when they're just at school or waiting for the train station, all Kunimi has to do is tip is head up and hum slightly for Kindaichi to know what he wants and lean in to press their lips together. The upperclassmen tease them, sometimes, but Kunimi really doesn't care, and Kindaichi, for all his blushes, never hesitates to continue anyway, so Kunimi figures he doesn't mind either.

Kunimi doesn't worry too much about being selfish anymore. Now he knows, really knows, how much Kindaichi likes how their relationship works, and besides, he's unlocked a host of things he can do for Kindaichi.
Kunimi 不再太擔心自私了。現在他真的知道,知道得很清楚,Kindaichi 喜歡他們關係運作的方式,而且,他還發現了一大堆可以為Kindaichi 做的事情。

And if, they all have the benefit of being really fun for him too, well, that's just a bonus.


I feel bad for Kindaichi going forward, it must be hard having a really cute boyfriend who likes to tease you and always appears calm when you're 189cm of blushes and nerves.
我對Kindaichi 未來感到遺憾,擁有一個喜歡逗弄你、總是在你臉紅心跳的時候顯得鎮定的可愛男朋友一定很難受。

Thanks for reading! 感謝閱讀!