Kenma x Reader: Fanmail
TW: minor haikyuu manga/timeskip spoilers for kenma (and kuroo if you squint)! KEY TAGS: gender-neutral reader, aged-up characters, timeskip!haikyuu, kenma pov, fluff, strangers to lovers WORD COUNT: 3371 OPENING NOTE: thanks for clicking on this! please do not repost, copy, modify, or overall plagiarize this work anywhere else please. plagiarism is never acceptable, both in mla 8 format and in fanfiction! for translations, message me, and we can talk about it! CROSS-POST: ao3 SUMMARY: “He stops reading to retrieve the aforementioned set of papers and holds it in his free hand while holding the letter in the other. Briefly scanning the title, his cheeks flush a faint pink at what he’s reading. In Times New Roman font, the words ‘Dating Application’ are printed in black ink, a size bigger than the rest that was printed below.”
Or where streamer Kozume Kenma receives some unusual fanmail.
It isn’t uncommon for Kozume Kenma to receive fan mail.
In fact, ever since he opened a P.O. box for his fans to send him letters and packages, it is almost guaranteed that he’ll have something waiting inside for him every few days or so. His fans send him a variety of things, ranging from simple letters to Amazon packages. Kenma never encourages his fans to send him anything—actually, he strongly encourages them to not send him anything—, but he still appreciates whatever he finds in the mailbox. He even uses most of his gifts in his everyday life, such as his cat-ear headphones and cat apron (his fans often associated him with cats, and he would be lying if he said they were wrong to do so).
Now, when Kenma makes his routine trip to the post office to see if there was anything in his P.O. box, he expects the usual: a handful of lovingly-written letters and maybe a package or two. Well, when he opens the mailbox, he does see those things but also notices a manila envelope lying underneath everything that stands out from the rest of the mail. Confused, the pudding-headed streamer slowly and carefully slides the mustard yellow envelope out of the moderately-sized cubicle.
Manila envelopes are usually used for one of two things: official documents or bigger-than-average pictures. So, Kenma thinks of three possibilities as to what this envelope’s contents are. The first possibility, albeit unreasonable, is that the government sent him taxes to his P.O box that is dedicated solely to fan mail. The second possibility is that someone sent him fan art, using a manila envelope to ensure that the drawing wouldn’t be ruined in the mail. The third, more chilling possibility is that Kenma now has a stalker who was sending pictures of him in his bedroom, sleeping or changing out of his pajamas into new ones. Knowing that he uses his personal address for official documents, like government-sent mail, the second and third possibilities are more likely to be true than the first.
Not wanting to waste time, Kenma quickly takes all of the mail in his arms and hightails it out of the post office. He isn’t too worried that he has a stalker, especially because he can’t even think of any of his fans doing something as detestable as stalking. However, he doesn’t want to risk it and decides it would be best to leave as soon as possible. Besides, he’s a little eager to open the letter as this wasn’t his standard fan letter. He drives out of the parking lot and straight to his apartment.
Now, inside his apartment, he struggles to put down the packages and letters, not wanting to just dump them on the ground. After managing to stack them haphazardly yet gently next to the living room table, he sits down on the couch, picks up the manila envelope from the pile, and begins to open it. Once the flap is no longer sealed tightly to the envelope, Kenma removes its papers from the inside, taking it out in the neat bundle it was arranged in. He spreads them on the coffee table and is left with a thin set of papers stapled together and a normal envelope, rubricated with the words in all-caps, “READ FIRST!” While Kenma feels relieved that this letter doesn’t appear to be from a stalker that took pictures of him in his sleep, seeing the sheets splayed on his table didn’t relieve his confusion.
Following the sender’s loud instructions, Kenma slices through the sealed flap of the envelope with his letter opener to unseal the second envelope. He treasures any and every letter his fans send him, so he likes to use his letter opener as it did minimal damage to the envelope. Unraveling the letter from the envelope, he takes it in his hands and reads it, mumbling the words softly to himself.
“Dear Kodzuken,” he begins, “How’re you? How’s Ringo? I’ve never written a letter like this before, so I’m sorry if this all seems very awkward, haha! I’m sure this is a strange letter to receive, so I’m sorry if I freaked you out or anything! I just wanted to say that I’ve been watching your videos and streams for a couple of years now, and watching you has never failed to make me feel better. Your chill yet blunt personality feels so much more genuine and calming than the energetic and loud streamers and YouTubers. Not that there’s anything wrong with them! It’s just nicer to listen to you after a rough day…if that makes sense.
“While I could go on and on about how great you are and how your presence alone has helped me and your other fans, I don’t want to keep on rehashing the same information over and over. So, I guess I’ll cut to the chase. As I continued to watch your videos and streams, I came to like you, not as an internet celebrity, but as a person.”
Kenma stops reading the letter from shock. Yes, he’s had people tell him and write to him about how he’s made them feel better, which never fails to touch his heart and make him feel all fuzzy inside. However, he’s never had anyone confess to him through a letter, not even in high school! His heart skips a beat, and he feels, well, flustered. It isn’t because of you specifically. It’s more so because someone in general had confessed to him. In fact, it’s a little weird and creepy to him for a fan to say that they like him romantically, but he isn’t going to just throw the letter away. Kenma especially knows how hard it is to admit your true feelings, so he plans to continue reading the letter to not let your efforts go to waste.
“I know this sounds really creepy and everything, so I’m really sorry if you’re freaked out right now! Actually, you can stop reading right now if you feel uncomfortable! I’m not expecting anything in return; I just had to tell you my feelings, as embarrassing and weird as it is. You know, it’s like that saying: You miss all of the shots you don’t take. I figured I could try and shoot my shot since it’s better to try than not try at all.
“And it’s not because you’re popular or anything that makes me feel this way towards you (as unconvincing as that sounds). I think it’s the way you treat your friends and how you treat your fans with just as much sincerity that makes me go, “Wow, whoever gets to date Kozume Kenma is one lucky person,” haha! I could go on and on about what I like about you, but I don’t want to creep you out too much. Before I close off this letter, let me briefly explain the stapled set of papers you hopefully received in the mail, assuming I didn’t forget to put it in the envelope.”
He stops reading to retrieve the aforementioned set of papers and holds it in his free hand while holding the letter in the other. Briefly scanning the title, his cheeks flush a faint pink at what he’s reading. In Times New Roman font, the words “Dating Application” are printed in black ink, a size bigger than the rest that was printed below. Kenma continues to read the rest of the letter for more information on this “Dating Application.”
“Those papers are exactly what they say they are: me applying to date you. I honestly did this as a half-joke, so you don’t have to read it. I just thought it would be kind of funny and make me stand out, haha! But, again, I don’t expect anything from this! You don’t have to agree to me asking you out, we can just be friends, or you don’t have to interact with me at all! I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and, even though I’m going to regret this the moment I send it out, that’s one thing marked off my bucket list, which was to write a letter to you. Also, if this goes really bad, and you start hating me, blame it on the alcohol I had not too long ago.”
He finishes reading the complimentary close and puts the letter to the side. Now, focusing fully on the application papers, he reads off your basic information, from your real name to your likes and dislikes. You didn’t put unnecessary personal information on there, such as where you go to work or where you live (even though your address was on the envelope you sent him). He briefly skims through the information, and some common likes and dislikes stand out to him. Right next to that, he sees you provided a picture of yourself, and his heart gets caught in his throat while his cheeks flare up. At a loss for words, Kenma could only think of one: cute. To add another, very cute.
Your picture isn’t anything fancy, such as a professional headshot or a painted piece. It’s a candid shot of you, presumably taken by your friend, smiling and laughing to the side as you were most likely talking to someone else at the time. Kenma doesn’t think it’s a purposefully candid shot as he can see genuine emotion from you, caught up in whatever was happening at the time. He can feel the positivity and hilarity radiating off of you, even if it’s just from a picture. He stares over your picture for a few seconds more before quickly moving on to your strengths and weaknesses.
Beginning with your strengths, Kenma is thankful for the bulleted format as it makes the process more concise and easier to read. The first strength he reads is a rather basic one, which is your ability to cook. You expanded more on that by saying you often cook home meals, and you would not mind cooking for him. Kenma takes this into careful consideration. He is not going to date you just for free home-cooked meals, but it would be a nice change of pace from the takeout and the common Cup of Noodles he typically has for his breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Then, you elaborated on your gaming skills. You issue a sample set of video games that you play, and Kenma is a little impressed at the games listed. In his field, he’s met many gamers, but you seemed to play a little bit of everything. From horror to dating simulators, he takes notice as to how you highlight the multiplayer games. You also add your ranking in the RPGs you play, and they are not something to laugh at. They prove your gaming capability and how beneficial and even fun it would be to play with you, either in a competitive or collaborative setting.
Your next strength is your stance on physical affection. You wrote down that your love language is largely dependent on touch. Even if so, you firmly state that you would never force him, or anyone for that matter, into participating in physical activity with you. You reaffirm that you respect other people’s boundaries and are more than willing to wait. Now, Kenma doesn’t mind having contact with someone else. He’s not a germaphobe or has haphephobia. It just all depends on how much he trusts the other person and how close he is to them. He isn’t going to straight-up cuddle with someone after meeting them a few times. It would take him some time for him to feel comfortable enough to initiate contact with someone. So, the fact that you appear to be patient and understanding enough with such matters already wins huge points in his book. The last set of strengths are applied with the same logic: PDA (albeit nice, you don’t deem it necessary in a relationship), sex (same thing), and the other stages in a relationship.
After reading all the strengths you had, he moves on to your weaknesses. There are almost as many weaknesses as there are strengths. Kenma can’t tell if you’re being humble or if you really do have that many weaknesses. Then again, you didn’t list tens upon tens of strengths, so it’s not like there was an extraordinary amount of weaknesses.
He starts with the first weakness of you being in college. Because of your major and its demanding coursework, you do not have a lot of free time to spend with him for dates or even just coming over, unless you move in with him. However, you don’t end it there and slip in a promise that you would try and make time for him. Kenma can respect that. He’s a streamer, college student, and CEO. His schedule isn’t the most forgiving to allot time to hang out with friends often. It’s even reassuring to hear that you wouldn’t have much time for him either. He would feel bad about being the only one in the relationship that doesn’t have time to go on dates every day or invite you over all the time.
Wait, feel bad in the relationship? Kenma stops in his tracks to process what he just thought of. Is he actually considering a relationship with you, a fan? Someone he’s never even met in person? What if you were lying about all of this? What if that wasn’t even you in the picture? It would be embarrassing for his reputation and intelligence to get catfished by someone. Also, Kenma finds it a little strange to interact with someone for the sole purpose of dating, especially online. That’s why Kenma doesn’t like dating apps; they’re too awkward for him. He could never ask someone out before getting to know them.
Kenma freezes up again as another troubling thought bubbles up. With that line of thinking, is he trying to prelude to the idea of initiating a platonic relationship at first? And then lead it into something romantic should it go well? This is ridiculous. He shouldn’t be entertaining this idea of a relationship with you. Instead, he should be filing away the papers scattered across the table in his box dedicated to letters from his fans. As he gathers the papers into a neat pile, trying his best to arrange them in the correct order, he falters, and something doesn’t feel right in his gut.
Does Kenma want to reach out to you—you had listed some social media accounts in your application—and ask you out? Not really, no. However, does he want to get to know you? As embarrassed as he is, he does sort of, kind of, maybe want that.
He reaches out for his phone from his pocket. Whenever he faces some sort of dilemma that he can’t solve himself, he immediately speed dials his best friend from high school: Tetsuro Kuroo. He immediately taps on the shortcut he installed to his phone that calls Kuroo upon activation. After a few rings, Kuroo finally picks up, much to Kenma’s relief.
“Kenma?” Kuroo’s confused voice rings in from the other end of the call, “You need something?”
“A fan sent me something,” Kenma says briefly and vaguely, mainly from nerves and the anxiousness from the situation.
“Don’t they always do that?” his friend’s voice asks both sarcastically and genuinely confused.
“Well, yes, but,” Kenma glances back at the application papers and letter staring at him from the table, “this one sent something strange.”
Now there was concern colored in Kuroo’s voice, “Strange? Did they send you weird pictures of you or something?”
“No, nothing like that, fortunately,” Kenma instantly calms his friend’s worries, “They sent me…a dating application.”
There’s a pause before Kuroo speaks again, “Dating application?”
“Yeah, they sent me, like, a job résumé for them to be my partner,” Kenma decides to elaborate to avoid answering any more questions, “They didn’t pressure me to accept their proposal or anything. They sent a letter, too, but it wasn’t really creepy. It was a little strange at first, but…I find it kind of endearing now.”
“So…what’s the issue here?”
“Should I contact them or not?” Kenma asks the big question he’s been wanting to ask since the call started less than a minute ago.
“Well, are they hot?” Kuroo answers with a question of his own, amusement evident in his tone.
“…Yeah,” Kenma admits bashfully, fighting the blush that had gone away not too long ago and now comes back with a vengeance.
“Then, the answer is clear,” the black-haired man states simply, “Ask them out.”
“I’m not going to ask them out right away!” Kenma clarifies Kuroo’s last statement, “But what if they want me just for fame?”
“Just drop them if they seem like a clout-chaser,” Kuroo says as if it’s so obvious, “And, hey, if they’re hot, you could have a relationship with a hot person. Not many people have that privilege.”
“Very helpful, Kuroo,” Kenma says sarcastically before going on to his next, more pertinent issue with this, “And what if they’re a catfish or something?”
“Oh, good point,” Kuroo lets out a sound of pondering before giving a solution, “Well, why don’t you ask them to send you a selfie with specifications or something? You can always search for the photo on the internet. Even better yet, video call them. That’ll guarantee validity on both ends. After all, I’m sure if someone randomly messaged them, claiming to be a celebrity, I doubt they’ll believe you right away.”
“Video call?” Kenma’s eyes widen at the thought of it, “No way, I can’t. I’ll just ask for their selfie, and I’ll give one in return.”
“Oh, why not? You’re going to be showing your face either way, and it’s in real-time. It’s better that way,” Kuroo tries convincing his friend, which can be very hard to do.
“Maybe, but…” Kenma curses silently as he runs out of reasons to not call you.
“Look, I got to go back to work now, but I’m sure it’ll work out with whatever you decide to do,” Kuroo begins his farewell with some background noises of other workers in the background, “Good luck, go get that date!”
“It’s not a—!” Kenma’s words go unheard as Kuroo ends the call.
Sighing from his friend’s antics, Kenma goes through the papers to find your socials. It has been decided: the Kozume Kenma is going to text you. Honestly, he’s a little excited and nervous at the same time about this. There’s the possibility of getting to know a really cool and genuine person….There’s also the possibility of him entering a toxic relationship with a clout-chaser, a catfish, or even both, but he pushes the thought away, not wanting to have a negative attitude about this. He looks through the three socials you gave him: Snapchat, Twitter, and Discord. Discord and Twitter are immediately out of the question as he doesn’t want to leak his private accounts to a fan nor use his official Twitter account. Snapchat is his best bet because he doesn’t really use it, and, if you were to leak it, it wouldn’t do anything to him.
Opening the app for the first time in weeks, he types in your username with a small chuckle escaping his lips. He couldn’t help it; your username’s funny and adorable. When finding it, he adds you as a friend. At this moment, he realizes that it could take you minutes, even hours, for you to accept him as a friend. Even if so, you could also decide to not add him back, and what is he supposed to do?
While he contemplates over what could and could not happen, you add him back soon after. His heart leaps in his chest, only kept inside his body because of his ribcage. He slides to chat with you and finds his fingers hovering over the keyboard. He also takes note of your Bitmoji waiting patiently above his keyboard. Before he can even type anything, your Bitmoji changes position to signify that you are now typing.
ENDING NOTE: wow it has been,,,almost 8 months since i posted on this website,,,#awkward
i was actually hoping to publish so much sooner than this—i actually wrote this in july when i was very into danny phantom exe on twitch!—but being a junior is hard. i actually have so many writing ideas but never enough time to write any of it. i do hope to upload one more oneshot before the christmas season is over since it’s christmas-themed, and i don’t want to wait until next year to upload it (it’s sanji x reader!).
also, the reason why i waited so long to upload this is that i was debating on making this oneshot into a series or not (i still am debating it LOL!). i was thinking about possibly making this a kuroo x reader x kenma type series where kuroo would have reached out to the reader instead of kenma (kind of like “sierra burgess is a loser” type situation). for now, i’ll keep it a oneshot. i don’t want to write a series if i don’t have a solid storyline, so…i was also thinking about making this a smau series if i were to make it a series since the majority of the series would be texting and social media profiles.
i am also thinking about making a part two to this oneshot where the reader and kenma meet for the first time, but i have no clue as to how i’ll write that LOL!
hopefully, i’ll be able to upload more stuff in the future (no promises!).
reblogs, comments, and likes are super appreciated :> if you have any other tags, tws i should mention, or errors, lemme know in the comments! i'm not good at tagging or tws yet, so i'm not sure if there's anything i missed.