It had been about five months since Oikawa had agreed to training with Yamaguchi. The request had come out of nowhere. Oikawa was close to finishing his first year of colleague when Iwaizumi approached him in the name of the boy who Oikawa remembered as Karasuno's pinch server.
That day they had been practising for about two hours.
Most of the time their training ended up going on for way longer than intended; just because they had fun and it barely ever felt that long.
It had taken some time until they had warmed up to each other but by now they enjoyed each other’s company more than anything.
Oikawa tried his best to make Yamaguchi laugh as much as possible, since he knew how frustrated he could get.
If Oikawa was honest, his heart melted everytime that he was the reason behind Yamaguchi's face lightening up.
Yamaguchi, on the other hand, was always making sure that Oikawa took enough breaks so he would not overdo his knee.
They looked out for each other, without ever making it a topic between them.
They would thank each other by giving their best no matter what. They never really felt the need to talk about it out loud.
Today seemed different. There was a different energy wavering in the gym. It wasn't bad, they were just not used to it. Oikawa had have a hard day. His mind was full of pointless worries rather than a focus on their practise. If it had been with someone else, he might have just skipped it. But this wasn't someone else.
He wanted to spend time with Yamaguchi but he was not really there. His head was everywhere except for where it should be. Where it mattered.
It was a shame that he did not enjoy the his time with Yamaguchi the way he usually would.
Yamaguchi seemed a little off as well. Oikawa did not really know why. Maybe it was just one of those days.
He seemed more stressed than usual and it worried Oikawa but he did not know what to do about it.
He felt helpless.
Both were more focused on themselves than they would normally be.
There was a little less laughter and a few less breaks and a little less cautiousness.
Oikawa was taking turn in serving. He threw the ball up in the air and took a run-up, but once he set off to jump, his knee gave in, making him hit the ground hard with his hip and said knee. Yamaguchi was by his side right when the ball hit the ground in a similar manner. They might have laughed about the irony of that another time, but again, today was different.
Oikawa moved to sit up, his features racked with pain for a second but he immediately attempted to put a smile on. It was a rather poor attempt.
Yamaguchi had squatted down besides him, worry had taken over his entire expression. The usual spark of a smile was gone out of his eyes.
A knot formed in Oikawa's stomach. He really hadn't meant to worry Yamaguchi in any way. It hurt more than the physical pain. He could deal with pain in his limbs but not with the kind that went through heart and soul.
“Does it hurt bad?”, Yamaguchi did not just sound worried, he sounded guilty. Guilty of what?
Oikawa shook his head, “No, it's fine.”
Yamaguchi had stood up again. Now, offering Oikawa his hand.
“Can you stand?”
That offer was gladly accepted.
Yamaguchi pulled Oikawa's arm over his shoulder to stabilise him and lift some weight off the knee.
Oikawa was thankful for the support Yamaguchi provided, since his own legs were hardly keeping him up. A pain jolted through his knee the second he tried to move it.
“Will you ever be honest with me about things like that?”
He wasn't sure if Yamaguchi had asked him or rather spoken to himself. Either way, he sounded hurt and that send a thrilling pain through Oikawa's heart.
Silently, they made their way to the nearest bench, Oikawa sighing in relief as the weight was off his knee by sitting down.
Yamaguchi sat down on the ground, right between Oikawa's feet. A little hesitant he reached out and placed his hand in the bandages that Oikawa was so used to wearing.
Yamaguchi's hand looked out of place. Like it didn't belong there.
Mostly, because something in Oikawa's head was telling him that noone's hand belonged there, besides his own.
He knew how Iwaizumi reacted when things like that happened. With yelling at him to take better care and repeating how stupid he was for not knowing when to stop, while tapeing his knee.
It made him feel like a kid that had angered his mum. He knew he was just getting what he deserved for worrying his best friend.
He knew Yamaguchi was worried but he did not know, how he would react and he had hoped he would never have to find out.
Yamaguchi took a deep breather.
“Can I take a look?”
The voice in Oikawa's head was furiously shaking his head, “No, it's fine. I don't want you to worry. It hurts but it's fine. Please, don't feel bad.”
Instead, Oikawa slowly nodded.
Yamaguchi's touch was gentle. He looked like he was touching thin glass. Something absolutely precious and of immense importance. It made Oikawa smile heartfelt this time.
Both were fixated on the skin that was being revealed when Yamaguchi pulled down the bandage.
It was highly irritated, even slightly swollen already. Yamaguchi looked somewhat disappointed.
“Oikawa? You trust me, don't you?”
His voice was just a murmur but his eyes were demanding an answer. Oikawa frowned just slightly, “of course I do.”
“Then why do you always act like everything’s fine in front of me when it's clearly not?”
Oikawa had not been prepared for that question. He wondered if there was a moment where he could have been. He came to the conclusion that it would have caught him off guard anytime.
He shrugged. He knew the answer but he did not trust his voice to make it sound right.
“It's so frustrating”, his voice was firm but low, “when you first stood on the court opposite of me, I was so intimidated by your strength. I thought you must have one of those almost inhuman talents like Kageyama has. I thought you were on a level that we could never reach.”
He looked up and met Oikawa's eyes with a mixture of determination and discouragement.
“I know you now and you don't have that.”
Oikawa's heart cramped painfully. What was Yamaguchi trying to do?
He wanted to snap at him. Tell him that he did not need him to tell him that. He knew.
But Yamaguchi continued before he had the chance to interrupt.
“All you have is your own hard work. I started getting angry at people that put you off as ‘just talented’ since it meant disregarding all your sweat and blood to get here. I started to adore you. But the more I do the more frustrated I get with you.”
Every word was brushing over Oikawa heart. It sped up rapidly. It was hope.
“You're so invested in letting everyone know how strong you are that you forget that there are people that don't need you to be that. You don't have to impress me. You don't have to play the hero. I look right through that and it hurts to know that you're not honest with me.”
For a moment they just stared at each other. Oikawa was lost for words. His mind was spinning.
He knew that Yamaguchi was waiting for a reaction but he had none that seemed appropriate.
Yamaguchi sighed heavily again and pushed himself up.
“Sorry for rambling”, he turned towards the door of the gym, “You need to see a doctor about it. I'll go call Iwaizumi he can drive you.”
Before Yamaguchi could take a step forward, Oikawa got hold of his wrist.
“Don't give me a speech like that and then don't give me the chance to hold my own.”
For once he was going to be embarrassingly honest. He was going to spill his heart out - put his feelings on display since there was noone he would rather do it for.
Yamaguchi turned back towards him but Oikawa did not let go of his wrist.
“I’m not good at this, you know. I didn't plan for things to go this way when I agreed to help you train”, he smiled to himself, “You weren't meant to be so endearing.”
Yamaguchi's features grew softer.
“You said you look right through me so through me so how have you not noticed? Or do you just not want to realise? You're just as stubborn as I am.”
Yamaguchi was frowning but kept quietly listening.
“You have no idea what impact you have on people. You think so little of yourself that you don't realise how you turned my world upside down. I didn't want someone new in my life at that point but I couldn't say no to you because I saw you put your whole heart into everything you do. I'm like that too. I felt like watching a familiar soul. I should have known back then that I was going to put my whole heart in this, too.”
Oikawa let his hand slide off and turned his gaze away, to the ground between his feet.
“I should have known that I would fall for you from the start.”
The silence in the gym was heavy and loud. It rang in Oikawa's ears.
His heart was a mess. His stomach turned.
The pain in his knee was throbbing but it was not important.
“I didn't want you to see my flaws because I desperately wanted to you to feel like you could count on me.”
Yamaguchi took a step forward. Oikawa could see his feet between his.
“Oikawa”, Yamaguchi said his name like it was the prettiest word in the world.
“Look at me.”
Oikawa did not move, so Yamaguchi put a hand under his chin and turned his face up.
He was bright red with a gentle smile on his face.
Yamaguchi bend down and pressed his lips on Oikawa's.
Oikawa barely had time to recover from the shock. Yamaguchi was about to pull back before he had gotten the chance to return the kiss properly.
He pressed his eyes shut and wrapped his arms around Yamaguchi's neck, keeping him in place.
Yamaguchi had to steady himself with his hands on Oikawa's thighs.
This was not Oikawa's first kiss but it felt like it.
He had never confessed his feelings to someone first.
The kiss wasn't flawless. They bumped noses when they tried to catch a breath, they weren’t used to each others rhythm yet, they smiled into it until it was hard to keep up.
They both smelled like sweat.
While it felt clumsy, Oikawa would place it above all times he had kissed anyone.
Yamaguchi's lips were soft and warm against his. They tasted like young and desperate love. Oikawa's must have tasted the same.
With heavy, unsteady breaths, they parted.
Yamaguchi leaned their foreheads together.
“I don't like you because you have no flaws. I like you because you have a big heart and do nothing half assed. I like you for all of you and that counts flaws in.”
Yamaguchi shifted his weight a little and a thrilling pain shot through Oikawa's leg, making him flinch.
“Yamaguchi?”, Oikawa mumbled.
Yamaguchi whispered back, “yeah?”
“You wanted me to be honest with you, right?”
The same reaction came, just as an answer instead of a question this time.
Oikawa let go off Yamaguchi.
“As much as I hate to do this but my knee hurts really bad and I think we should call Iwaizumi as soon as possible.”
Yamaguchi backed off in an instant. Panic and worry seemed to take over immediately.
“Oh god, you should have stopped me sooner.”
Oikawa managed a grin and shrugged.
“I didn't want to. I had to savor the moment.”
Yamaguchi frowned at him but blushed simultaneously.
Oikawa's smirk grew, “you still like me.”
Yamaguchi returned his grin, “did you forget already that you confessed first while you couldn't even look at me?”
Now, it was on Oikawa to put on an embarrassed frown.
“You're so mean, Yama-chan.”
Oikawa had never called him that out loud. He was never sure if they had been close enough for a nickname.
Yamaguchi's eyes widened. Oikawa could not interpret that expression.
“If you don't like it, I…”
Yamaguchi interrupted him by shaking his head.
“It's cute, I'll just have to get used to it.” He awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck.
“I'll go call Iwaizumi now.”
The floor felt like it was spinning underneath Oikawa's feet. That had been a lot. His smile was glued to his face, although he was still under pain.
He was happy. Really happy.