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“Haha,” says Hanamaki. Then, “Wait, you’re serious?”

“A deal’s a deal.” Iwaizumi leans back in his seat and crosses his arms. “You lost. This is your punishment.”

Hanamaki looks back and forth between him and Oikawa, who in contrast, is leaning forward with his elbows on the table, idly stirring his awful black coffee with a spoon. “I thought. I thought you’d ask me to grab the tab, or go a day without making fun of your clothes. Or something.”

“Or something,” Oikawa says agreeably. “Look, considering you’ve been ranting nonstop about it for, what? Two weeks—?”

“Three,” Iwaizumi volunteers helpfully.

“Three!” Oikawa points to Iwaizumi, then Hanamaki. “Three weeks. You haven’t shut up about it for three weeks, and I mean, besides the fact that it annoyed your wonderful roommates the entire time—”

“Nothing about you two is wonderful,” Hanamaki says.

“—it clearly speaks volumes about how much you enjoy the series,” Oikawa finishes, as if Hanamaki hadn’t spoken. “So, this isn’t really a punishment, if you think about it.”

“You’re not convincing anyone.”

Oikawa just shrugs, a benevolent smile on his face. “Okay, so maybe we just want to see you humiliated.”

Hanamaki sends him a look so full of loathing that the couple sitting at a nearby table go pale and turn away. “I’m getting another frap and you’re paying.”

“After you fulfill your part of the deal,” Oikawa says. “Now, go on. We’ll wait in here, make sure no one takes our seats.”

“You can stay here,” Iwaizumi corrects, rising his feet. He pushes his chair in and grabs his bagel. “I’m not missing the chance to capture this on video.”

Hanamaki groans, head falling back until he’s staring up at the coffee shop’s ceiling. His foot taps a rapid rhythm on the floor, the last two brain cells in his head working the hardest they can to figure out something that could get him out of this.

Then Iwaizumi kicks him in the shin and says, “What? You chicken?” and said two brain cells promptly burst into flames.

He shoves his chair back and strides for door.

Oikawa doesn’t even have the decency to laugh quietly.

Hanamaki steps out onto the bustling sidewalk, door chimes ringing above him, and his nerves threaten to desert him right then and there.

The streets are packed with people—women and men and grandparents and babies and teenagers—all of whom he will embarrass himself in front of in, oh, about five seconds.

The door chimes again, and Iwaizumi comes out with his phone already up and recording. He makes a shooing motion. “Go on.”

“Fuck you.” Hanamaki flips him off, and for good measure, flips Oikawa off, too. Even through the glass, he can still hear Oikawa’s amused snort. He makes a couple more graphic gestures to communicate just how displeased he is, and what he’s going to do to the both of them when they get back to the apartment.

Oikawa just smiles, and Iwaizumi rolls his eyes, unperturbed.

The same couple from before avert their gaze, one of them going so far as to reach over to cover the other’s eyes.

Hanamaki sends Iwaizumi one last scathing glare, squares his shoulders, and heaves a long, drawn-out exhale.

He turns back to the street, to the people and the cars, channels all the rage these two idiots give him—every time they knock his toothbrush into the sink, every time they forget to buy orange juice, every time he hears them going at it in the early fucking morning (literally), every time he’s pulled into this sort of shit—and roars:

“NARUTOOOOOO!!!!!”

Five people drop their phones. One lady swears and two boys yelp. A flock of birds take flight, cawing irately. One car with its windows down swerves enough that a cacophony of honks arise. Five blocks down, a dog starts howling, prompting every other canine in a mile radius to bark back just as loudly. The couple sitting inside the coffee shop have their heads in their hands, shoulders shaking. Oikawa has nearly slid out of his chair; he’s laughing so hard that the table is trembling and his coffee is danger of slipping right over the edge. Iwaizumi is on the ground, wheezing.

Hanamaki resolutely ignores every single look he’s getting and the fact that his ears are on fire, nevermind the state of his face, and makes to stomp back into the shop.

And then, from across the square, he hears—

“SASUKEEEEEEEH!!!!!”

—and he chokes on his own spit.

Three more people jump, the dogs start making a ruckus again, and some of the drivers roll down their windows to peer around confusedly, but Hanamaki pays none of this any attention.

There, standing under awning of an ice cream truck, wearing a slick suit and holding a briefcase in one hand and an orange-blue-pink ice cream monstrosity in the other, is a guy. Black, curly hair, tall and built like he plays at least five sports, the dude’s face is completely brick-red and Hanamaki is in love.

“Who is he,” Hanamaki demands.

“Who is who—whoa, where are you going—watch the cars, you idiot!”

Hanamaki struggles against Iwaizumi’s grip. “Let me go, I can’t let him get away.”

“What in the fresh volleyball are you saying,” Iwaizumi says flatly. “The light is green, you moron. Do you want to get run over?”

Hanamaki looks over their shoulders. Blinks. “Hey, is that Ushiwaka?”

“Where,”  hisses Iwaizumi, whipping around.

In the second it takes for his friend to realize there is no Ushiwaka, Hanamaki is already vaulting over hastily-braked cars, honks following him all the way across the square. He thinks he hears his friends yelling obscenities at his back, but Suit Guy is still blushing and standing stock-still, with his eyes squeezed shut like if he tries hard enough, he could phase right through the ground into the earth.

Hanamaki jumps over a baby stroller, between the legs of an elderly man, and slides to a stop at Suit Guy’s loafer-clad feet. He rises with a bounce.

Suit Guy doesn’t move.

Hanamaki taps him on the shoulder, and he just crumples to the ground with a low groan, but oh, that voice—that’s a nice sound.

“So, you like Naruto,” Hanamaki says.

“What clued you in,” says Suit Guy, and his mortification is so raw that the ice cream vendor winces. Hanamaki is more concerned with the fact that this guy’s voice is so wow that Hanamaki is somehow entertaining the ridiculous idea of getting those words tattooed on his ass.

The guy still has his head between his knees.

“Are you like, pro-epilogue or nah,” Hanamaki asks, because he doesn’t want to get his hopes up only to find out this guy has no taste, later on.

He shouldn’t have worried.

Suit Guy’s head jerks up and he’s still unfairly handsome even with that offended scowl on his face. “Am I—are you kidding me? As far as I’m concerned, the epilogue doesn’t exist for me.”

That shouldn’t turn Hanamaki on; there are a lot of things about this guy that shouldn’t turn him on, but god, they do. He finds he doesn’t mind at all.

“Hanamaki Takahiro, you shit-for-brains!” Oikawa yells, sprinting up to them with Iwaizumi on his tail. “Introduce us to your new friend that you braved death-by-car for!”

Hanamaki takes a step to the side and Oikawa goes crashing head-first into the ice cream truck. The ice cream vendor sighs.

Iwaizumi directs his phone to the scene, then back to Suit Guy, and Hanamaki realizes his friend is still recording. He’s wearing a wicked grin, like he knows he’s about to hit the motherload of blackmail.

If Hanamaki was in a less aroused state of mind, he’d worry about that.

Instead, he looks at Suit Guy and tests the waters with: “Kishi did Tenten dirty.”

From his sprawl on the concrete, Oikawa slurs, “That’s not how you ask for his number, Makki.” Nobody pays him any attention.

“Kishi did every female dirty,” Suit Guy says slowly, peering up at Hanamaki. The embarrassment on his face fades away, replaced with curiosity.

“The broken shinobi system was never fixed, even though Naruto said he'd fix it.”

“Itachi as a villain gave more weight to the brokenness of the system than retconning him into a victim and double spy did.”

Hanamaki grins, slowly, and there’s something funny in his chest that might be indigestion or love; he’s not sure, yet. “Ino should’ve become the head of the analysis team in intelligence, like her father.”

Suit Guy stands, gaze boring into Hanamaki in a way that should be creepy but really isn’t. “Teamwork should’ve been a driving force throughout the entire story, to the point where every member of the Rookie Nine each played such integral parts that even removing one of them would be a legitimate blow to the cast's success against the antagonist.”

To the side, Iwaizumi shifts on his feet, uneasily. “Um. I think. I think this was a bad idea, Oikawa—”

“Hinata and Sakura deserved more than being reduced to housewives in the epilogue,” says Hanamaki.

“Why wasn’t the caged bird seal business resolved?” Suit Guy fires back.

“Why did Neji have to die?”

“Where the hell did a rabbit moon goddess come from?”

Oikawa, with fearful realization in his eyes, has started to move away, dragging himself on his stomach with his arms and hissing, “Iwa-chan. Iwa-chan, abort. Abort mission, Iwa-chan abort—”

Hanamaki moves in closer.

Suit Guy’s gaze keeps flicking down to his mouth, to the grin stretched wide across his face and Hanamaki is minutes away from asking this guy to marry him.

“Sakura and Ino are gay for each other,” he says, and somehow, it comes out like a whisper.

Suit Guy shivers.

Hanamaki is so glad he’s wearing sweats right now.

Suit Guy seems to deliberate for a long second, brows furrowing. And then he drops his briefcase, hauls Hanamaki in with his free hand, and says, right up against Hanamaki’s mouth—

“Sasuke and Naruto are gay for each other.”

Hanamaki can’t kiss the guy fast enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After, when he and Suit Guy—Matsukawa is his name—have gotten…well-acquainted, and after Iwaizumi and Oikawa have stopped screaming and throwing ice cream toppings at them, they all end up sitting at the same table in the coffee shop.

Matsukawa still has his orange-blue-pink cone. Hanamaki wonders how it hasn’t completely melted yet.

“How has your cone managed to survive everything that just happened,” he asks.

“Teuchi sells quality ice cream,” Matsukawa replies. He holds out the cone. “Want some?”

“No,” Oikawa interjects immediately. “I have known Hanamaki for five thousand years, and you for only six minutes and fifty-one seconds, but it’s clear from recent events that you’re both nasty fuckers with weird kinks and even I can see the blatant colour reference.”

“What?”

“No, he’s right,” Hanamaki says, pulling on Matsukawa’s bicep. It’s a nice bicep. “Look. Orange, blue, pink.”

Matsukawa frowns. Blinks. “Oh! Oh.”

“Did you do that on purpose?”

“No, but I will now,” Matsukawa says, and with a face like that, no one is sure if he’s joking or not.

“You’re really hot,” Hanamaki says.

Iwaizumi slams his head on the table. “What have you done, Shittykawa, what have you done.”

“What have I done?” Oikawa splutters. “Whose idea was it to get Makki to be a weeb in public? Huh? Who had to beat him in a wrestling match, huh?”

“Do you wanna come back to my place and make, like, a chronological list of everything that went wrong in Naruto?” Matsukawa asks.

Hanamaki straightens. “Only if we can brainstorm ideas on how to fix every single point on that list after.”

Matsukawa stares at him. Red creeps into his cheeks. “Sure,” he says hoarsely.

“Oh my god,” Iwaizumi groans, “this is the worst foreplay I’ve ever fucking witnessed.”

“Thanks for daring me into doing the thing,” Hanamaki informs his friends. “I’m gonna go to Matsukawa’s place now and I won’t be coming back for a week.”

“A week?” Oikawa asks. “Why a week?”

Hanamaki raises an eyebrow. “What, do you think we’ll have enough time to completely deconstruct a seventy-two-volume series and have mind-blowing sex in between, within a day?”

“Get out,” Iwaizumi spits. “Just get out.”

“It’ll probably take longer,” says Matsukawa. “I wanna make you dumb with sex by the end of it, so let’s say two weeks. At the very least. Hey, how do you like your eggs?”

“Over-easy,” says Hanamaki, at the same time Oikawa bursts into hysterical sobs. Hanamaki looks at him, and back to Matsukawa. He shrugs. “Oikawa likes scrambled more.”

“Must like them a lot,” Matsukawa agrees.

Iwaizumi moans pitifully into the table.

“Okay, well, we’re going now. See you guys much later!” Hanamaki stands, pulling Matsukawa up with him. “Thanks, again!”

“Die,” his friends say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The way you went along with me and fucked with my friends like that, within minutes of meeting them, really gets me going,” Hanamaki says, only half-joking.

Matsukawa slides his key in and turns the lock, sending Hanamaki a look over his shoulder. “What makes you think I was only fucking around?”

Hanamaki stares. “Get in, and get your pants off.”

“Yessir,” is the cheeky reply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Hanamaki comes back to his shared apartment three weeks later. He leaves just eight hours after, with five duffel bags and a suitcase. Oikawa leans out the window and chucks a forgotten pair of socks at him and Matsukawa, and yells, “Congratulations, you idiots, try not to bother your neighbours with your sex all the time!”

“You say that like you don’t have Iwaizumi tied up to your bedpost right now!” Hanamaki shouts back.

Matsukawa pulls him into the car before the toaster can hit him.)