/TW/- UNSAFE BINDING, dyspohoria, secrets, pain
~~~~~~~~~~~~Present-day, 3 weeks ago~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hinata woke up, and almost immediately the rubbing sting of the bandage marks reminded him of what made him different, of why he felt so alone and lost. He had jogged home from practice that night so exhausted, he just fell onto his bed and slept, forgetting to unwind the wraps around his chest. “Owhhhh,” he groaned. His ribs felt crushed. He realized he needed to take a shower, but he already knew that today was going to be a bad dysphoria day, so he rinsed his hair and put on extra deodorant instead. He bounded down the stairs with a smile on his face to greet his mom, hiding the pain underneath. He accepted his bowl of fermented natto, and wolfed it down before slinging his canvas bag over his shoulder and lacing up his scuffed black shoes. He yelled goodbye to Natsu and his parents, and took off on his bike to see if he could catch Kageyama on the way.
He pedaled faster, muscles burning. Suddenly, a cat seemed to appear in front of his wheel, so he slammed on the brakes and took a handlebar to the chest, almost yelping in pain. Tears sprang to his eyes, but he saw Sugawara and Daichi approaching behind him, so he quickly wiped them away and gave them a sunny smile. “Good morning, Daichi, Suga!” “Good morning, Hinata,” they responded in unison. “You looked pretty tired after practice yesterday. Did you sleep well?” inquired Daichi.
Hinata tugged at his blazer. “Yeah, I slept fine!” He looked behind him, and saw Kageyama approaching quickly. A lucky break, “Gotta go! Promised I’d beat Kags to school today!” Suga chuckled and watched him go. Once Hinata was out of sight, he whispered to Daichi- “Those two are so competitive! I’m surprised they don’t fight over who’s cuter, heh.” Daichi laughed and responded with “Yeah, our kids are growing up so fast...”
Hinata somehow managed to make it through the school day with a straight face, but practice rolled around and although he was used to the pain by then, combined with the anxiety and dysphoria it was almost too much. Suga noticed his twisted face and pulled him aside to talk. “Hinata... are you okay?” “Yeah, Suga! I’m fine.” Hinata replied, almost halfheartedly. Suga looked him in the eyes. “I’m worried about you. If you ever need anything, I’m right here, okay?” Hinata almost cried, and choked on the tears. He coughed out “I- i’m fine. Just a little anxious is all.” “Look at me. Breathe in 8, breathe out 8. Try that four times, and close your eyes. You’ll be okay.” “Suga...? You’re really good at that.” “Thanks. I used to get terrible pre-game anxiety, almost to the point of panic attacks. Daichi taught it to me.” Hinata’s face softened, if only a little. “... thanks, Sugawara-san.” Maybe, one day, I can trust him with the truth.