Oikawa’s heart isn’t broken. Broken implies that there is at least a slight chance that it can be fixed, even put back together in a rough approximation of the original with enough time, effort and care. It’s not some vase his nephew accidentally knocked off the dining room table while running around the house. He didn’t use it up or drop it in a puddle when it rained. There’s no such thing as a warranty just in case it was defective afterall, and he didn’t get to spend enough time with it. A warranty would have been nice, though, then at least he could have gotten a new one.
He remembers being six years old, watching his older sister play with her friends. She’d been reluctant to share her new plastic doll with the shiny blonde hair and tiny golden earrings, terrified that someone would break it. No one is ever as careful with something as the original owner, the one who begged their mother for two full weeks before she finally broke down and took her to the store to buy it. They didn’t fawn over it in the catalogue every single day for a month, or imagine all the things they could do together once they acquired one, so it’s only logical that their carelessness could lead to the doll’s demise.
Looking back, his mistake was probably trusting Iwaizumi with it. Thinking that maybe he understood the importance of keeping it intact and would guard it as if it was his own. Maybe he’d realized how precious it was and they could both stand guard together, hand in hand. But he didn’t think of it that way at all. It’s funny how hindsight is always 20/20, isnt it.
No, broken isn't the right word. Even squashed, crushed and trampled don’t seem appropriate.
Pulverized. Yeah, pulverized is much more fitting.
He’s the captain and he makes it clear that the team belongs to him when Iwaizumi asks for the ball, during their next practice game with Karasuno, and he pointedly tosses it to Hanamaki instead. In the end, they lose the match but he can’t bring himself to care (nothing really can these days). When Iwaizumi frowns at him, Oikawa just smiles back cruelly. He thinks that there must be wrong with him, that there’s a newfound sense of peace where numbness used to be.
The team is a mess- everyone knows that Iwaizumi is the captain in every sense except the title. Oikawa can play his part and smile for his fans but if he’s being honest, he’s never really been a team player at heart. He’s the captain, this is his team and he’s quick to remind anyone who feels differently.
Iwaizumi hands in his resignation at the end of the term.
Hanamaki pulls him aside when he goes to take a drink at the fountain, “so you and Iwa are done?”
“What,” Oikawa smirks back, “You want a taste?”
Hanamaki smiles back and shrugs noncommittally, “What are you doing after practice?”
When the boy who pulverized his heart comes crawling back, Oikawa understands more about relationships and what they mean. “Let’s be friends” means he wants forgiveness for the unforgivable, and “I’m sorry” means he wants relief from the guilt of hurting him.
Fine, that’s just fine. He agrees to be friends “for the team” and accepts his apology. Somewhere inside, Oikawa feels a small ray of hope. It’s crushed when Iwaizumi never texts or e-mails or calls and avoids him outside of practice. It’s so hilarious that Oikawa laughs out loud. When Hanamaki looks at him with concern, Oikawa just laughs harder. Lies, that’s what a relationship is built on. It’s better that he knows now.
Eventually, Oikawa stops going to practice. “I have to think about my future” he tells their coach when he tracks him down in the hallway before practice. It’s hard not to flinch at the “Bullshit!” that’s spat back at him.
The truth is that it isn’t fun anymore.
Betrayal takes on a whole new meaning when Hanamaki stops kissing him, one afternoon, and tells him he has to come back. The team misses him, he says, they need him. Oikawa shifts uncomfortably, sitting so he wouldn’t have to look directly into his eyes. His stomach churns, he feels sick.
Later when Hanamaki is running his fingers through his hair and tracing gentle circles into his scalp, Oikawa agrees to come back. He figures out that breaking-up is like a match; he can win, he just has to to keep playing. There’s more than two players on the court.
Oikawa handles the ball like he’d never stopped. Every time his toss connects to one of Iwaizumi’s spikes he thinks he feels something in his chest dislodge and swim around until he feels sick. The team praises him every day and he smiles even as the nausea builds until kneeling on the tiled floor of the boy’s locker room, the contents of his lunch floating in the toilet bowl.
“You should go see the nurse, one of the first years can handle setting for today,” Iwaizumi appears in the doorway when he rinses out his mouth in the sink.
Oikawa wipes his face dry with his jersey and smiles back, “Yeah thanks, it’s probably just a bug.”
The silence stretches and Iwaizumi looks like he wants to say something else. Oikawa panics, he’s not ready for anything sincere. He hasn’t practiced for this. But in the end, Iwaizumi turns around to leave instead. Yeah, he’s done that before. Oikawa knows how this goes, this doesn’t scare him at all.
Hanamaki laughs when he cries during movies and buys him ice-cream to make up for it. It’s so familiar that Oikawa doesn’t trust it at first. But his stomach doesn’t flutter when he leans in and when they kiss he thinks it’s gross that he can pick out what flavour ice-cream he just ate. That’s fine, he can deal with that.
The first time Iwaizumi genuinely tries to make up, Oikawa can tell. He’s grown, he knows people a little better. He can read what he wants to say by the way he’s standing just a little bit too close and the way he looks at him. When he says “I miss you” it’s almost intimate. Oikawa laughs and says, “I’m right here, stupid.”
He decides that if Iwaizumi can get over it then he can let him think that he’s over it too.
Oikawa discovered that he was special the first time he convinced his mother’s boyfriend to drive across town to buy the cake he likes, even though his mother and sister hate it. Maybe he was acting out of love or desperation for a bratty ten-year-old’s acceptance, but Oikawa knows that it was him. He felt powerful, like he could conquer the world if he wanted to. He could get anything he wanted if he wanted it bad enough.
He remembers this as he lays in bed, trying to fall asleep. He’s fully aware that there is only one thing he yearns for. Funny how it’s the one thing he would give anything to not want.
Iwaizumi eyes him suspiciously across the table. When he ignores him, he acts like nothing is wrong. Maybe he didn’t intentionally graze his leg under the table with his foot. Except he definitely did. Oikawa smiles and plays with the hair at the nape of his boyfriend’s neck, laughing louder than he usually would when Hanamaki makes a bad joke a moment later.
As he finished off his drink he lets his foot brush Iwaizumi’s leg again, and he looks so started Oikawa almost spits his water across the table. He knows it makes Iwaizumi uncomfortable, but he’s still a boy and Oikawa knows that he likes it.
They start regularly texting again and it’s all so comfortable that he lets himself believe they might actually be friends for a second. But he won’t do that to himself again. Still, they fall back into an old pattern. It’s like having one long conversation, he’ll go to sleep after sending a text and wake up to a reply. It’s easier than he expected. Their relationship goes on like that long enough for Hanamaki to notice and get jealous.
Whenever Oikawa mentions texting Iwaizumi, Hanamaki rolls his eyes. His eyes get dark and he kisses him too hard for it to feel like anything other than a dog drooled in his mouth. Oikawa smiles like nothing’s wrong when they get ice-cream later. Hanamaki thinks Oikawa is too single-minded to take anything beyond face value. Hanamaki is easy.
It’s not until they start walking to school together like old times, that Oikawa really feels powerful. Iwaizumi genuinely thinks that he’d give in, make himself vulnerable again. But he’s not that naive, and knowing that he’s completely in control makes something dark swirl in his stomach. It’s a hell of a lot better than butterflies.
They’re sitting on the couch, knees touching, laughing at the expression on the face of the characters when they paused. Oikawa spoons some ice-cream into his mouth and is surprised, he still remembers his favourite flavour. He pinches his thigh to remind himself that he’s playing a game, the same game they played when he’d first realized he like Iwaizumi. Only this time, he knows the rules. He’s going to win.
“Iwa-chan,” he turns to face him, casually reaching out to touch his face.
“Hmm?” And he looks so soft and innocent, in that moment, like he has no idea what he’s done to him. It makes Oikawa feel sick, so he leans in and brushes his lips against Iwaizumi’s
It’s brief but Oikawa can tell that it still drags Iwaizumi down like an anchor.
His fingers graze over his thigh, and it’s obvious that he’s not really thinking with his head, but with his hormones. And fuck, he doesn’t remember this being so intoxicating. It reminds him of being happier times and he has to bite down on Iwaizumi’s lip to stop his train of thought.
“What the fuck?” He asks, clutching his mouth.
“Sorry,” Oikawa shrugs and puts his lips on Iwaizumi’s neck.
He can feel his body pressing him into back the stack of mats he’s been sitting on, and his fingers run through Iwaizumi’s short black hair. Briefly, Oikawa ponders if there’s any significance to the fact that he could never get a good hold on his hair, when Hanamaki’s was so good for that.
Iwaizumi looks like he wants to die when he sees him holding hands with Hanamaki. He looks at him blankly before forcing a smile and waving. Maybe he’s breaking his heart, but that isn’t good enough.
He calls Oikawa later that night obviously expecting him to explain everything, but Oikawa just yawns into the receiver and greets him like they hadn’t seen each other earlier that day. When Iwaizumi huffs, obviously annoyed, on the other end Oikawa finally bites.
“What are you doing with him?” Hurt evident in his voice, like he betrayed him. Oikawa can’t remember making any kind of promise to break up with Hanamaki, and even then he probably wouldn’t have followed through anyways.
“He’s my boyfriend,” He fires back like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. The line goes dead, Oikawa doesn’t call back.
He hasn’t looked at him the whole practice and Oikawa wonders if he’s gone too far. Maybe he’s not in control anymore. Staring at him as they roll up the net after practice, he slowly inches closer until their pinkies are touching. Iwaizumi stiffens instantaneously and Oikawa feels relief.
“I don't want to be with you if you're still with him,” he whispers softly, removing his hand, ready to stand up and leave.
Hanamaki’s yelling at him about something or other, he thinks it’s about Iwaizumi. Maybe it’s about how he never tossing him the ball in practice. But Oikawa can tell he’s already being forgiven when Hanamaki moves across the room and sits down beside him.
Oikawa apologizes, though he doesn’t know what for. Hanamaki wraps his arms around him tightly, he’s been forgiven. He can’t breathe, he feels like he’s suffocating and there’s no turning back anymore. He could tell the truth, but that seems hard and he’d give up halfway anyways. He feels like shit.
That night he takes a shower so hot that his skin turns pink and raw. He scrubs and scrubs but he still feels dirty when he’s lying alone in bed. Maybe it’s not too late, maybe he can change. But his phone vibrates from his desk and he sighs when he reads the text from Iwaizumi.
It’s a bit surreal how this ended up so perfect. Oikawa’s sitting with his legs crossed on the floor, one knee touching Iwaizumi’s, the other touching Hanamaki’s. He knows at the back of his mind that this should make him feel awkward. Shouldn’t he be freaking out? Having a heart attack? Oh, wait, he’s pretty sure he doesn’t have a heart anymore.
“Never have I ever….. Umm…… Had to take supplementary lessons?” Kunimi smiles at the rest of the circle, half of which take a sip from their cups. They go clockwise around the circle like that until they get to Oikawa.
“My turn,” he feels giddy and he can’t stop smiling, maybe he’s had too much to drink, “Never have I ever fucked Iwaizumi.” He takes a sip. “In the supply closet.” Another sip, “After practice.” Sip, “Last Tuesday.” He tips the rest of the contents of the cup into his mouth and swallows it in one gulp. He cheated, but it seems fitting considering everything. When he looks back up at everyone, Hanamaki looks like he might punch Iwaizumi. The first years are staring at him, slack-jawed and wide-eyed. Iwaizumi looks like he might puke.
He feels the alcohol churning in his stomach, and wow, he is so fucked up. He wonders if there’s a special brand of hell for someone like him. If there is, it can’t be worse than high school.
His expression is pasted on the insides of Oikawa’s eyelids, every time he closes his eyes he sees it. He remembers an old American movie “If Looks Could Kill”, he thinks about that now as he falls back onto his bed. He can still hear the sound of the door slamming shut when he went to see Iwaizumi earlier today. He gets the feeling that this time he won’t give him a second chance.
That’s fine, he tells himself. It wasn’t right anyways. If they’d gotten back together now, in high school, it wouldn’t have worked. It would have just turned out the same way, and that would be it. Done. Finished.
He’d never tell anyone that he’d dreamed of them moving in together and playing volleyball in university, like some lovesick schoolgirl. They’d looked at their choices together back before everything went down, and he’d wanted it so bad too. Play the field, waited it out until they were mature enough (he was mature enough). That’s what he should have done.
It’s a shame he never realizes the path he’s on until he looks back. He feels tears collecting in the corners of his eyes and he realizes that he hasn’t cried in almost eight months. When he lifts his hand to wipe his face dry, it’s wet again within seconds. It would be cathartic if it wasn’t so damn ironic.
Maybe his heart had only been broken, afterall. Funny how he pulverized it all on his own.