When Iwaizumi finally gathers the energy to roll out of bed on Saturday morning, he becomes aware of two things:
First, he’s drenched in sweat—his t-shirt clings to his back, and little rivulets of moisture make their way down his forehead—and a quick glance at his alarm clock’s thermometer tells him it’s nearly thirty degrees.
Second, his phone is blinking angrily on his desk.
He stumbles across his bedroom, groggy from residual exhaustion and the humidity hanging in the air. The front screen of his phone reads “6 Missed Calls”—and if Iwaizumi’s hunch is correct, all six are from the same person.
Before he has a chance to find out, the device begins to vibrate in his hands.
“Finally,” says the voice on the other end when Iwaizumi flips the phone open, “Iwa-chan, I was beginning to think I’d never get a hold of you ever again.”
“And wouldn’t that be tragic…” Iwaizumi mutters, not nearly awake enough to deal with the likes of Oikawa Tooru in all his high-maintenance glory.
Oikawa either doesn’t hear his comment or chooses to ignore it—Iwaizumi honestly can’t decide—because he steamrolls through any potential silence and says, “Anyway, I hope you don’t have any plans today because I need you to come to the beach with me and Takeru. It’s too damn hot to sit around at my sister’s place without any air conditioning.”
“Why me? Don’t you have any other friends to take with you?”
There’s a lengthy pause before Oikawa speaks again. “For your information, I have a ton of friends. So many friends to choose from, I can barely stand it. But it wouldn’t be fair to have to choose just one, so I picked you instead. Besides, I need you to stand next to me so I look better.”
Iwaizumi nearly hangs up at that point, but for some reason he can’t bring himself to actually do it. Maybe it’s the pathetic (hilarious, but pathetic) tone of Oikawa’s voice when he protests or the staggering mid-August heat messing with his brain—or maybe he’s just gone soft. Against his better judgment, Iwaizumi says, “Fine, but you’re buying me a shaved ice later.”
“Whatever,” Oikawa replies, clearly trying very hard to sound like the matter is neither here nor there. “Meet us at the station in thirty minutes.”
It takes slightly less than an hour to reach the coast by train, and by the time it pulls into the station Oikawa has managed to attract a gang of no less than seven teenage girls. They hover around where the trio is seated, giggle too much at his childish jokes and looking for excuses to paw at his arms and take his picture. Takeru, unfortunate enough to be sandwiched between the girls and his uncle, looks like he’d rather be anywhere else on the planet.
(Iwaizumi decides early on that Takeru is his ally; the kid isn’t afraid to put Oikawa in his place when the antics become too much.)
When they reach the ocean at last, Iwaizumi gets to work setting up the battered umbrella he’d managed to find at home, while Takeru unfolds their towels. Oikawa, meanwhile, makes a big show of stripping down to just his swimsuit, flexing his toned stomach as he pulls off his shirt. Every so often he casts small glances in Iwaizumi’s direction before returning to his routine.
“Oi, primadonna,” Iwaizumi calls as the umbrella uproots itself for the third time, “You gonna help me out, or what?”
“Unlike you, I actually have girls to impress here,” Oikawa says, but helps to dig the umbrella into the sand nonetheless.
At last Iwaizumi flops down on his towel, perfectly content to lay in the shade for the rest of the afternoon, but his plans are thwarted when he feels a hand tapping his shoulder. It turns out a larger group is organizing a volleyball game, but their numbers are short and they want the trio to join.
The game goes well enough for an informal round; the other group has people of all ages, so Takeru has a chance to show off some of the skills he’s been learning from his uncle.
Said uncle shows off as well, eager to catch the eyes of the small crowd gathering to watch the game, and with each rotation his serves become increasingly flashy—and decreasingly effective.
“Will you please just serve normally?”
“What’s wrong, Iwa-chan? Sad no one’s looking at you?”
“They’re only lookin’ at you because you keep messing up,” Takeru interjects, and honestly, Iwaizumi’s ready to adopt this kid on the spot.
Scoffing, Oikawa shoves the ball towards Iwaizumi. “Serve it yourself, then.”
“Don’t act like I’m the unreasonable one here!”
Oikawa laughs, raising his hands. “Take it easy, Iwa-chan. Jealousy is so unbecoming on you!”
Iwaizumi runs towards Oikawa, tossing the ball aside, and the offending boy sprints away from the court. When they reach the water Iwaizumi lunges, tackling Oikawa and sending both of them tumbling into the waves.
“Iwa-chan!” Oikawa grabs a handful of seaweed off his shoulder, tossing it at Iwaizumi. “Do you know how long it took me to do my hair this morning!?”
“Think about that next time you decide to be an arrogant shithead, then.” Iwaizumi stands, brushing the seaweed into the water, and trods back to shore, leaving Oikawa to sulk behind him.
Oikawa finally stops moping about his hair some time later, alerting Iwaizumi that his usual playful demeanor has returned by sprinkling a fistful of sand across the other boy’s back. It’s just the two of them now; Takeru seems to have become fed up with his uncle’s antics and has joined some other kids to play catch a few feet away.
“Quit it,” Iwaizumi grumbles, but he’s too lazy to do more than wave an arm noncommittally in Oikawa’s direction.
Iwaizumi props himself up on one elbow. “You still owe me a shaved ice.”
Oikawa sighs, as if the prospect of treating his vice-captain to a shaved ice is the most tedious thing he could possibly imagine, but digs his wallet out of his backpack anyway.
They find a shaved ice cart near the beach’s entrance, close enough that they can still see Takeru running around with his newfound friends, and once their ice is ready they sit in the shadow of a large dune.
The pair eats in silence for a while, content to wordlessly enjoy their treats, until finally Oikawa speaks.
“Summer break’s almost over,” he says, idly chewing on his plastic spoon. “The last summer break of our high school careers.”
“Don’t get all sentimental on me,” Iwaizumi teases.
“Geez, remind me never to go to you with any emotional issues.”
Setting his empty cup aside, Oikawa reclines against the sand, arms cushioning his head. “It’ll be weird, y’know? University. Away from my family and the team…Away from you. How am I ever gonna find someone else this grouchy?”
Iwaizumi scowls, but lays down beside him anyway. “Tch, I’m just grateful I finally get the chance to escape you. I deserve a medal for all the shit I put up with.”
“Anyway, who says I’m leaving? It wouldn’t be impossible for us to end up in the same place.”
“I’d like that, I think,” Oikawa murmurs, but it’s so quiet Iwaizumi can’t be sure he heard correctly. There’s a beat—brief, almost imperceptible—before Oikawa leans in and presses his mouth against Iwaizumi’s. He pulls away again at once, brows furrowed and his cheeks colored the faintest shade of pink.
Iwaizumi stares, but Oikawa won’t meet his eyes. At last, he wipes his lips with the back of his hand and says, “Ugh, Iwa-chan, you got sand in my mouth…”
Shoving at Oikawa’s arm, Iwaizumi stands. “Don’t blame me for your own mistakes. Come on, let’s get going. We shouldn’t leave Takeru alone for too long.” He casts a small smile at the boy floundering in the sand. “Idiot.”
If there’s any residual embarrassment on Oikawa’s end, he doesn’t show it.
The journey home proves far less eventful than their earlier trip, each of them too exhausted to bother making conversation—or, in Oikawa’s case, chatting up surrounding female passengers. Takeru has dozed off by this point, head cushioned by the backpack on his lap.
Oikawa makes a show of stretching and yawning before dropping his own head onto Iwaizumi’s shoulder.
“Oi, I’m not your pillow,” Iwaizumi says. He jabs his elbow into Oikawa’s side, but the movement is half-hearted at best, and the other boy’s head remains nuzzled against him.
Some time later, when the sky is dark and the overhead lights cast a yellow glow throughout the cabin, Iwaizumi feels Oikawa stirring against his arm. He keeps his eyes closed in the hopes of dozing off again, but something gives him pause.
“I had fun today, Iwa-chan,” he hears Oikawa say, and though his eyes stay closed, Iwaizumi can’t help but allow himself to smile.