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You Always Come Back To Haunt Me

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Kenma doesn’t think he’s come as close to killing Kuroo as he has now, standing on an abandoned street on the outskirts of the city.

“What the fuck are we doing here, Kuro?” He grumbles, looking at the others who look equally as confused as he is. Even Sawamura, Kuroo’s fiancé seems out of the loop, shrugging helplessly when Kenma looks to him for help.

The night started innocently enough, the twelve of them had gone out for dinner at some nice restaurant in the heart of the city. It was a bit rowdy – always has been every time they catch up, but the upstanding atmosphere of the venue did serve to tone them down a bit. The only real fuss occurred when Kenma paid for the whole meal, much to the chagrin of everyone there. But when you’re a multi-millionaire who does nothing, what else are you supposed to spend it on?

That doesn’t mean Kuroo has to kill him in retaliation. If their location is any indication, he’s almost certain a group of thugs is going to appear from the alley and shoot them all.

Kenma’s so done with this situation that he’s already accepted it.

Because the street they stand on truly looks abandoned. Not one business is open, and the buildings that actually house something like entirely too depleted to be safe work environments. The only building that doesn’t look moments away from crumbling is the one they stand in front of.

But that doesn’t give him a vote of confidence considering the entire façade has been painted black – the walls, the doors, the windows. It looks like the perfect scene for a murder where no one will ever find them.

Again, Kenma’s so done with this situation that he’s already accepted it.

“I second that,” Sawamura speaks up from beside Sugawara, walking up to his fiancé. “What are we doing here, Tetsu?”

Everyone looks at the man in question, who only grins wide, like he’s relishing the attention he’s getting. He probably is.

Well,” he drawls, permanent smirk sitting on his face. Kenma wants to punch him. “Since it’s Kenma’s 24th birthday today-”

“For another 25 minutes,” Kenma interrupts.

Kuroo rolls his eyes, “Since it’s Kenma’s 24th birthday today, I thought that dinner alone was not enough to celebrate. Especially since the birthday boy himself refused to let anyone pay!” Murmurs from agreement spread amongst their friends and a loud yeah, Kenma not cool! from Bokuto sounds.

Kenma’s going to kill him next.

“Right,” Sawamura says, crossing his arms and looking doubtfully at the bed-headed man. “And just what celebration could you have planned here?”

“Ah babe,” Kuroo sighs mischievously, wrapping his arm around the shorter man’s waist. Kenma doesn’t know how Sawamura hasn’t killed him already. “That’s a surprise for when we get inside.”

Inside?” Yamaguchi squeaks from next to Tsukishima and Kageyama, who both look just as impressed as Kenma feels.

He takes a small moment to appreciate that they could make it – that they all could make it, with everyone’s hectic schedule.

He’s known Yaku, Lev and Yamamoto for years and cherishes them all in his own way – even if the latter two make him want to strangle their necks every other conversation they have.

Sugawara is a newer addition, he knew him only in passing in high school, but had grown closer to him in recent years as they both have to suffer from the ridiculousness that is Kuroo’s and Sawamura’s relationship. The silver-haired teacher now comes around monthly to ensure that Kenma hasn’t actually died while marathoning a new game or taking a bath.

Akaashi and Bokuto are a given, he sees them fortnightly even with all their hectic schedules. The married couple has always been good to Kenma, similar to Sugawara in their attempts to keep him healthy, just a little insufferable at times with how infatuated they are with each other – even after all these years.

But it’s Yamaguchi, Tsukishima and Kageyama who he truly doesn’t know where he’d be without. The Karasuno graduates come around so often they all have a spare key to Kenma’s house, and a designated room for each. The four had grown inexplicably closer after high school, near inseparable now.

Had grown closer after what happened, his mind supplies unhelpfully.

He tunes back in to rid the thought.

“This isn’t something illegal is it, Tetsu?” Sawamura asks worriedly and Kenma can only hope the same. He knows Kuroo can have a dramatic flair, but surely – surely – when his own fiancé is a policeman, he wouldn’t actually blatantly go against the law, right?


Of course not!” Kuroo squawks, earning a relieved sigh for the whole group. “Hey!” Kuroo yells indignantly.

Kenma sighs, “if we go look at this surprise, will you stop being like-” he waves his hand at Kuroo.

“You just gestured to all of me,” Kuroo says, to which Kenma shrugs. Oh well, what can you do. But Kuroo doesn’t let this deter him, grinning widely and gesturing for them all to follow him to heavy looking double doors, painted flat black.

He knocks a rhythmic tune and steps back, waiting a few seconds for the door to open, revealing a heavy set man in all black.

The man looks at the group before settling on Kuroo, “name?”

“Kuroo Testurō,” Kuroo states, pulling out his wallet to flash his ID.

The man inspects it before nodding, gesturing to the group, “they all with you?” At Kuroo’s nod the man pulls back to open both doors wide, letting the group into what they can now see is a fucking extravagant foyer.

They stop in the middle, gaping at the interior. What the fuck kind of place on the outskirts of town in a rundown street has large crystal chandelier just casually dangling in the middle of the room? Lounge chairs draped in red velvet line the foyer, while a grand staircase leads up to the second floor, a few people (employees?) bustle around the area wearing suits, disappearing into doors and under the staircase.

A man’s voice snaps the group out of their stupor.  They all turn to see an older man standing next to them, obviously an employee. “You’ll be seated on the mezzanine tonight, as requested you are the only group up there.” He points up the stairs, where a suited man stands next to double doors, no doubt leading them to their supposed booked table. “Before you go, I request that you leave your mobile devices here with me. A policy for all customers, but we have a separate safe for each group and all liability does rest on us if something is to happen.” The group looks at each other warily before deciding to give up their phones. They’re all too intrigued as to just where Kuroo has taken them to argue.

Once their phones are stored safely, the man comes back and smiles politely at them all, “you’ve come just in time; our main event starts at midnight. Have a lovely evening, gentlemen.”

With that the man bows and lets them all walk up the stairs to the where the other man opens the door for them. The room is large and dark, only sparse blue lights surrounding the area in some random spots. They’ve entered a small mezzanine area and scattered around are some lounge chairs and coffee tables, making it evident to Kenma that this isn’t another restaurant. When he peers over the railing he sees a small stage and runway towards the back of the large room, a bar to the left and similar tables and chairs spread around the room. The downstairs area is decently populated with well-dressed men and women, which explains why Kuroo asked them all to dress to the nines tonight.

Something Kenma does take notice of is the pole that sits at the end of the runway and the few scantily clad women that walk through the crowd, occasionally stopping to talk to customers – he witnesses one pull a man through a curtain next to the stage, into a back room.

Oh, Kenma thinks, it’s that sort of place.

He’s not the only one to notice either because he hears a soft thump! and looks to see Sawamura has slapped Kuroo upside the head.

“You booked a stripper bar for Kenma’s birthday?!” Sawamura seethes.

“Wait, I didn’t know!” Kuroo defends, grabbing onto Sawamura’s arm.

This stops the former Karasuno captain, who eyes his fiancé warily. Finally, he tugs his arm back and sighs, “okay, explain then.” Kenma, not for the first time, admires the patience Sawamura has for Kuroo because his want to kill Kuroo has just come back tenfold.

His childhood friend booked him a table at a stripper bar for Christ’s sake.

“Okay, remember a month ago when I saved that guy from being run over from a car?” The group collectively nods, but Kenma can’t help but think what a fucking weird place to start the story. “Well he wanted to find some way to thank me, and I – jokingly! Jokingly! – said if you can help me show my friend a good time for his birthday next month consider us even.”

“He didn’t-” Tsukishima speaks up, but is cut off immediately.

“I’m getting there!” Kuroo exclaims. “So we exchange numbers and then a couple weeks ago he tells me that he is able to reserve me an area in this ultra-exclusive club, that you can only go to if you’ve been invited by the owners themselves. He didn’t tell me it was a stripper bar!

They all stare in silence for a moment before sighing, clearing deciding to believe the man.

“Still,” Tsukishima pipes up again, snark evident in his voice. “You just get told by this near stranger to go to this random place in the middle of nowhere at midnight?”

“He was trustworthy!”

“And how would you know?”

“Because,” Kuroo sighs again, “he’s the CEO of the second biggest tech conglomerate in Japan.”

This silences everyone. How the fuck was Kuroo able to pull that off?

“Well,” Sugawara speaks up, making everyone look at him. “Considering we’re on the mezzanine by ourselves, it’s not like we’ll have any of the, uh, performers coming up here. And we don’t have to watch whatever main event they have going on either.” Despite his efforts to settle the tension, his face is bright red even in the low lighting of the lounge.

Kenma understands how he feels, too shocked by the turn of events to even speak up. He’s been to a bar exactly seven times in his life, and zero of them had strippers. But he’s almost positive it’s the same for every other person in their group, so it’s not like he’s alone in this.

“Suga, Kageyama has a girlfriend,” Sawamura argues.

“Kageyama,” Sugawara says sweetly to the raven-haired boy. He startles from his staring contest with the ground, seemingly intent on not looking up at all. “Just stick with me the whole night so you don’t see anything unsavoury, and we can talk to Yachi about this together in the morning.”

Kageyama blushes, but nods, going to sit on a chair by the wall, giving him only a slight view of the stage. Not like that matters, considering the setter refuses to look up from his feet.

“Okay,” Sawamura sighs, “what about the fact that we have four professional volleyball players, a model, and famous YouTuber Kodzuken with us?” And that’s a very good point. If this gets out that’ll be a PR nightmare waiting to happen.

“Well, they took our phones, so I’m assuming they’ve taken other people’s as well,” Kuroo pipes up.

“And look Daichi,” Sugawara says. “That’s that famous actor who just won a few awards. Those are professional baseball players.” He points at one last point, but then pulls back slightly. “Is that our Prime Minister?”

The group gapes at him, but he shakes his head and looks at Sawamura, “I doubt we’ll be making many headlines with the place filled with people like that. It’ll be fine, okay?”

Sawamura looks around before sighing and looking directly at Kenma, slightly starting the shorter man. “Kenma, this is up to you. Don’t listen to my idiot fiancé, if you don’t want to be here we’ll leave.”

Kenma thinks it over for a few seconds. Normally, he’d say he’d like to go – but that’s only because he’d rather be in his gaming room at any given moment than actually socially interacting.

But the group hasn’t depleted his social battery yet, too minimal at dinner to frazzle him completely, and if he’s honest this place does interest him a bit. A secret, invitation-only stripper lounge that houses some of the most well-known people in Japan?

Kenma would be lying if he said he wasn’t intrigued.

So, he sighs and says, “I’m okay to stay.” And that’s that. 

They have two dedicated waiters who come around to take their orders. According to the brunette one they’re free to have all the drinks they want as their tab is being paid for by the gentleman in the dark grey suit near the stage. When they all peer to see who it is, they realise it’s the man Kuroo saved.

Kenma begins to wonder just how close this man was to death to be so indebted to someone like Kuroo.

Kenma settles down on a couch near the railing, a rum-based drink sitting loosely in his hand. He sips only a little at a time, not too big on the idea of drinking on someone else’s money. Some of the others don’t seem to have this dilemma and are quickly moving onto their next drink despite being here less than 20 minutes.

He sees Tsukishima and Yamaguchi come over to him, sitting together on the couch across from him. Yamaguchi holds a glass containing something dark, while Tsukishima holds what looks to be a fruity cocktail. Their other hands are intertwined together, Yamaguchi’s head resting lightly on the blonde’s shoulder as he overlooks the room below.

Not for the first time, he feels his gut clench in envy at the fact that the two found happiness in each other. It took a long while – almost two years after they’d graduated high school – but while Kenma is glad Tsukishima was able to overcome it all and find happiness with his childhood friend, he’s also a little bitter that he himself can’t seem to do the same.

It’s been over six years and he’s still stuck in the past.

“I’m surprised you said yes,” Tsukishima speaks low, sipping lightly on his drink. He follows Kenma’s eye line to look down at his and Yamaguchi’s interlocked hands, smiling small with pity in his eyes.

Kenma turns away, instead looks down at the floor to not see the expression on the tall man’s face. He absently takes notice that most of the girls have left, probably gone backstage in preparation for whatever main event is about to occur. He also sees that the pole is gone, wonders just where it disappeared to and when.

“I’m surprised you guys stayed,” he answers, addressing both males.

Yamaguchi looks away from the room and smiles brightly at the long-haired gamer.  “It’s your birthday, Kenma!” He says, laughing as he sips on his drink. It looks overwhelmingly strong, and the wince he pulls after confirms that.

“‘Dashi, you said you wanted to see what this main event is. Don’t use Kenma’s birthday as an excuse,” Tsukishima drawls, smirking down at his boyfriend.

“I’ve never been to a stripper bar before – sue me!

“You’re not interested in girls, ‘Dashi.”

“You’re right, I’m interested in you,” Yamaguchi punctuates this with a kiss on the nose, causing a flush to rise in the blonde’s cheeks.

“Could you not blatantly flirt in front of me on my birthday,” Kenma interrupts. “Where is Kageyama when you need him.” He looks around to find the setter sitting close to Sugawara, but he must sense Kenma’s gaze because he immediately locks eyes with him and stands to make his way over.

“Let me guess,” he says as he sits down on the couch next to Kenma. “They’re being obnoxiously adorable again?” Kenma snorts and nods wordlessly, while Yamaguchi laughs, and Tsukishima gives him the stink eye.

“Have I ever told you that I hate that you actually have a vocabulary now, King?” Tsukishima snipes, sipping on his drink again.

Kageyama snorts, “you could stand to say it less.”

Kageyama’s gotten much better with banter these recent years, miles ahead of Kenma now. He still remembers when he was a too intense, volleyball-obsessed idiot. Well, he’s still all those things – just with more social awareness.

Kenma’s also a little jealous that Kageyama has been able to move on so well, one of the top players in the Japanese Men’s Professional Volleyball League and steady with his high school girlfriend of five years. He knows Yachi was a big help to him at that time, he’d probably be much worse now if he didn’t have her support.

He’d probably be like Kenma.

“Hey losers,” a grating voice sounds from behind him, snapping him from his thoughts. He looks up to see Kuroo walking towards them, an exasperated Sawamura and humoured Sugawara following closely behind. Across from Kenma, behind Tsukishima and Yamaguchi’s couch, stands Akaashi, Bokuto, Yaku, Lev and Yamamoto, all hovering by the railing.

Kenma realises why they’ve all congregated there (despite claiming to not want to see any performance) when the already dim lights shut off completely.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” a deep voice says over speakers. “Thank you for your patience, tonight’s main event – Sunny.”

Soft white lights gradually light up the end of the runway, where a set of two cream coloured silk ropes dangle from the ceiling in place of the stripper pole.

Kenma’s mildly intrigued, and a glance around at his friends tells him so are they. But then music starts up, low and sultry, slow and bass heavy. It’s a tune he’s not familiar with, instrumental and intoxicating in how intimate the song feels.

Kenma sucks in a breath when he sees a figure appear from the darkened part of the stage, dressed in a white silk robe so sheer it’s near translucent, and even from here Kenma can see a matching white bralette and pair of panties hugging the person underneath.

Their skin looks silky smooth, creamy and blemish free, near glowing and shimmering under the stage lights. Kenma is sure they must’ve applied glitter or something prior to going on stage, but the effect makes them so ethereal looking he can’t bring himself to care about that detail.

A white lace mask covers the top half of their face, obscuring their eyes from view. Their lips, so full and pink and contrasting against their skin, are set in the faintest smile, just a little cocky. Kenma knows it’s because they’re confident in themselves.

(Kenma also knows they have every right to be – you can’t be a main event without knowing your worth.)

But, despite all of this – despite all these qualities that create a being that is clearly above this earth – Kenma is drawn to their hair.

A touch wavy, tousled as if just having visited the beach, and ending just a few inches past their shoulders, it’s orange – impossibly orange.

Shōyō’s orange.

Kenma suddenly can’t breathe. He wants to turn away, see if anyone else has thought the same, but he can’t seem to move. The best he can get is hearing a faint Kei? from Yamaguchi, indicating that Tsukishima has made the connection.

Of course he has. Kageyama probably has, too.

The person steps between the ropes and undoes the tie of their robe before tugging it off gently. They let it slip off slowly, let their delicate collarbone and dainty shoulders come into view, followed by the bralette itself – also so sheer that Kenma is positive he can see their nipples underneath – before they let it drop to the floor in a puddle at their feet.

The music quickens minutely, enough for the person to begin their performance in earnest. They wrap the silk cloth of the rope around their left leg, let it caress their skin before suddenly they’re up in the air, twisted around both ropes, suspended in such a way it looks as if they’re spread out on a bed for someone – underneath someone.

They move with the ropes and the rhythm, body twisting between the two pieces of cloth, suspending themselves and dancing around in the air. They still at moments, remain in poses that elicit vivid thoughts about how they’d look on a bed, how they’d look in private.

It’s so overwhelmingly sensual that he realises he’s barely been breathing until Kageyama pats him softly on the back. He manages to break away his gaze from dancer, looking into the setter’s blue eyes, filled with concern.

Kenma knows what he’s thinking, knows he sees Kenma imagining Shōyō, knows this isn’t good for Kenma. But Kenma won’t let him take him away, instead turns back to the stage.

He’s eternally glad he did.

The dancer rests five metres above the floor in an upright position, ropes wrapped around their waist, back arching forward, legs bent just slightly, arms raised high above their head, gripping their silk cloth. They look sinful; mouth parted as if letting out a moan, body set as if in the throes of passion.

Their ginger hair frames their face, rests on their shoulders, and Kenma is mesmerised.

Then, slowly – slowly – the person slides themselves down to the ground, let’s their legs split apart as they make contact. They keep going, letting the ropes slip from their waist but not their hands, until they’re sitting on the floor in a split, legs spread eagle for all the room to see.

Kenma almost wishes he doesn’t see what comes next, knows he’ll only replay it in his mind with Shōyō as the star.

The performer loosens their grip, let’s the rope dance around their fingers as they slowly move their hands down. Then, those impossibly small hands move to their hair, tangles in it, tugs it. They move down their face, down their neck, over their chest, move to their stomach. All the while, stroking, teasing, caressing. They’re playing with themselves on stage and it looks as if they’re enjoying it.

Kenma is sure the torture is over when they plant their hands firmly on the ground in front of them.

But the music, once rhythmic and medium-paced, now slows significantly, deepens into something so sensual on its own. The person’s accompanying movements are near fatal.

They push forward onto their hands, let their legs move behind them until they can push up onto their knees, and suddenly they’re fucking crawling the short distance to the end of the runway.

The crawl is over much too soon, leaves too many possible scenarios in Kenma’s head, but then they sit back, legs forming a W on the floor, head tilting just slightly. They look so unfairly innocent, as if they haven’t just given the whole room masturbation material for weeks – for Kenma, maybe months.

But then they contradict themselves, turning quickly so their back faces the crowd, legs pulled together and sitting up in front of them. They rest back on their hands and tilt their head back, as if the stage lights they sit under are the sun and they bask in it – bask in the attention.

Their hair, still so orange and Shōyō-esque, cascades to the floor as they continue to dip down, head tilting back even more to give the audience a glimpse of their face. Their lips are parted, head moving side to side in minuscule movements, as if analysing the crowd. Every move they make is calculated, like a predator hunting its prey.

Kenma feels as if he’s trapped, glued to his seat, unable to move.

Something Kenma does notice is that being up on the mezzanine, watching the performance from above, means they get a full view. Get to watch as the dancer’s back finally hits the floor, head dangling over the side of the stage, hair bouncing as they come to rest.

They get to watch as their legs split open again, creamy thighs parting as if granting a lover access. They get to watch as their hands move up said thighs, stroking them, barely brushing their privates, caressing their torso, until their hands rest at their neck.

They get to watch as those delicate hands tighten their grip around their glimmering neck, watch as they open their mouth in a silent moan, watch as their tongue pokes out just a little, watch as their back arches high off the floor.

Kenma gets to watch them move as if they’re orgasming, right there on stage.

And then the music cuts off, lights shut down and suddenly they’re seeing nothing.

The room sits in silence for a few moments, tries to comprehend the pure erotica they just witnessed, tries to cling onto the feeling, the memory. Their group continues to sit in silence while the rest of the room begins to clap quietly. Kenma can feel from the electricity in the air that they want to do more, to make a ruckus, to have the dancer for themselves, but in this lounge, a place of luxury and upstanding, they can’t.

The lights turn back on a minute later, the performer gone from sight and the stage now clear of silk cloth ropes. Kenma can’t bring himself to look away from the empty stage, can’t really make sense of his thoughts at the moment.

He’s finally pulled from his staring contest by a heavy hand coming down on his shoulder. He jumps and looks up at Sugawara, who’s face holds a sombre expression.

“You okay?” He asks. Behind him stands Kuroo and Sawamura, concern mirrored in their eyes. When Kenma looks around at the group he finds them all looking at him, all with that same look.

He sighs, knowing that he can’t just deflect their concern. They’ve all been here from the moment it happened; they all know what’s going through his head right now. “Yeah,” he says softly, looking back to the empty stage. “It just…They looked like…” he trails off, not really wanting to say it out loud.

“Like Hinata?” Kageyama finishes. Kenma’s eyes snap back to him, widened in alarm, but all that he sees in the setter’s face is comfort – gentle smile and gentler eyes.

Kenma nods silently and takes a big gulp of his forgotten drink in hopes of distracting himself.

Kuroo makes his way to stand next to the long-haired man. “Kenma,” he says softly. “She wasn’t Hinata.”


Kuroo’s right. That was a girl up there, as much as Kenma can liken the hair of the performer to Shōyō, as much as he can replay the images of the dancer spread across the stage with Shōyō in mind, he knows the truth.

That wasn’t Shōyō down there.

He sighs again and nods minutely. “Yeah, yeah I know,” he agrees. It’s then that he realises that the atmosphere around the group is awkward. Not only did most of them just witness their first live, er, erotic dance, but they all had to watch it with the thought of Shōyō in their heads. As much as Kenma really doesn’t like to draw attention to himself, he feels he should take responsibility in dissipating the awkwardness.

He laughs lightly, surely startling everyone. “Let’s get another round of drinks, guys,” he says. Immediately, everyone’s bodies relax, and they all murmur their agreements.

One of the waiters walks back in a few moments later, but before anyone can order, he clears his throat. “Sir Nakamura has come to visit,” he says before a tall man dressed in a dark grey suit walks through the doors.

He’s older, face lined with faint wrinkles and hair salt-and-pepper, and the group immediately knows this is the man that Kuroo saved that day.

“Mr. Nakamura,” Kuroo says in shock, bowing. The rest all stand quickly and bow as well, showing their respect.

The man just laughs, “please lift your heads.” They all so slowly, looking at the smiling man. For a billionaire, he seems quite genuine. “I just came to see how the man I owe my life to is doing. And also the birthday boy,” he turns his sights onto Kenma directly, unnerving him slightly.

“Kozume Kenma, I presume?” Nakamura asks, walking over and reaching his hand out.

Kenma takes it, giving it a shake, confused. “Yes, but-” he tries to ask how the man knows him. It doesn’t seem like Kuroo told the man his name.

Nakamura waves his hand, “I run a tech company and you’re the biggest Japanese gaming YouTuber. We’ve sent you multiple products to review and try out, I’d be pretty bad at my job if I didn’t have some idea as to who you were,” he laughs again. “Besides, my nephews watch you non-stop.”

“Right,” Kenma says because it makes sense.

“Anyway this old man won’t be here for long,” he winks at the group before turning to Kuroo. “I’m just looking to see if my debt is repaid with this night?”

“Sir, there was never any debt!” Kuroo laughs along with the man. “But, uh, you never did mention this was a…” he trails off, not really sure how to finish the sentence.

“A cabaret bar?”

“A what?

“Similar to a stripper bar, but more…” Nakamura trails off before grinning again. “Tasteful.” This doesn’t really help the group. Despite what the older man says, they’ve never experienced a stripper bar to actually know the difference. “But, considering what this place is, they do offer a little extra, which is why I’m here.” He turns back to Kenma then, a twinkle in his eye.

Kenma thinks that maybe this man and Kuroo are just a bit too similar.

“I’ve got their best dancer coming up to meet you personally and if you enjoy his presence, then he’ll take you into one of their private rooms.” And there it is, the man wants to set Kenma up with a glorified prostitute.

Wait, he? A male?

“I’m sorry,” Tsukishima speaks up. “Did you just say he? As in-”

“A male?” Sugawara interrupts.

“Well, I’m not going to offer the famous Kodzuken a go with a woman after he came out not just three months ago,” Nakamura guffaws. “I thought we established that I’m, as they say, hip with the kids,” he laughs again, and everyone reluctantly joins. He is a billionaire after all.

“Sorry Sir,” Sawamura speaks up. “We just didn’t realise there were male-” he coughs, cheeks pinking slightly. “Performers here.”

“Ah, half of them are,” Nakamura states easily, turning back to the partially open door. He must see something because he starts walking slowly to the door, a grin settled on his face. “In fact, the dancer you all just watched is male. And,” The man reaches his hands out the door and a dainty hand extends from behind the doorframe to grab hold of it. “Here he is now. Everyone, meet Sunny.”

The hand, pale and shimmering just like when it was on stage, slowly moves forward, revealing the person they’d just watched. They’re still wearing the white lingerie set, but sheer white stockings ending mid-thigh adorn their legs, tall white heels on their feet.

Their mask is gone, letting the whole group watch as hazel eyes fall on them, the coy smile on their lips fading as they take in the Kenma and his friends.

Across from him he sees Tsukishima’s eyes widen and mouth drop open. In front of him, Kageyama pales, shaking.

Kenma is suddenly feeling nauseous, like he’s about to empty the contents of his stomach all over the floor. His skin feels clammy, simultaneously hot and cold as eyes glowing amber rest on him, glassy and wide.

It can’t be. It can’t. But it is.

Before he can even think, he stands, letting his half full glass fall from his grip and clatter to the floor. He takes a step forward, watching the ginger from just a few metres away, trembling and frozen, like a deer caught in headlights. Kenma takes another step forward and knows, with absolute certainty, who it is that stands before them all.

Shōyō?” He whispers, voice breaking.

This is the first time any of them have seen Hinata Shōyō since he disappeared six years ago.