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It's Tradition

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4 Years Old


“Tooru-kun is your friend, isn’t he?” Hajime’s mother said gently, patting Hajime’s head as he clung to her skirt and dug his muddy sneakers deeper into the neatly kept grass of the Oikawa family’s backyard. Hajime just stood and stared in fear at the boy a few feet away, who was staring back with his head tilted in curiosity, threatening to send the party hat on his head tumbling to the ground. “Don’t you want to wish him a happy birthday?”

The answer to that was no, Hajime did not want to wish anyone a happy birthday. He would’ve quite liked to never speak to another person again, other than his mother or father, and even then he was still quiet. But his mother nudged him again, and it was clear the only way out was to say happy birthday.

Hajime let go and stepped forward, his gaze firmly on the ground at his feet as he sniffled and mumbled, “Happy birthday, Tooru-kun.”

Tooru immediately gasped in delight, shouting, “Thank you, Hajime-chan!” before grabbed Hajime’s face and planting a huge, disgusting kiss on Hajime’s mouth.

“Gross, get away from me!” Hajime yelled back, shyness forgotten as he pushed Tooru away while their mothers just laughed.

“Sorry about that,” Tooru’s mother said through her giggles. “It seems to be a phase he’s going through.”

Hajime’s mother waved her concerns off, to Hajime’s annoyance. “He’s so young, I’m sure he’ll grow out of it soon enough.”

The whole thing was suddenly a lot less funny when Hajime hit Tooru and Tooru started crying.


8 Years Old


“Happy birthday, Oikawa-kun,” Hajime grumbled, shoving a present into the birthday boy’s hands.

“Iwa-chan!” Tooru shouted in delight, throwing his arms around Hajime and pressing a kiss to his cheek.

“Stooop!” Hajime groaned, pushing him away and sending Tooru stumbling back. “I’ll hit you!”

“It was only on the cheek this time!” Tooru whined. “I’m not breaking the rule!”

“Rule? What rule?”

Tooru turned red and looked down at his feet, turning Hajime’s present over in his hands. “My mom said I’m not allowed to kiss any boys anymore.”

Hajime frowned. “Why not? She thought it was really funny the last few years.”

“She says it’s different now that I’m older,” he mumbled.

“You’re only eight,” Hajime laughed, pointing at Tooru. “You’re still just a kid!”

“Shut up!” Tooru snapped, sticking out his tongue and pulling down his eyelid. “You are too!” 

Tooru’s mother was on that behavior like a hawk, seemingly crossing the whole backyard just to snap, “Tooru, are you being rude to your guest?”

Tooru immediately stopped. “No!”

“Be nice, Tooru,” his mother scolded anyway. “And you remember what we talked about?”

Tooru looked down again. “I know, mom, I didn’t.”

His mother smiled and ruffled his hair. “Good boy,” she said before leaving to go chat with the other mothers hanging around the party.

“C’mon,” Tooru whispered as soon as her back was turned, grabbing Hajime’s wrist and running into the house with Hajime stumbling behind. He dragged Hajime into this bedroom and quickly slid the door closed behind him.

“What are we doing?” Hajime grumbled, not appreciating being dragged against his will.

“I want my birthday kiss,” Tooru pouted, his fists balled at his sides.

“I thought your mom said no.”

“That’s why we’re doing it in secret.”

Hajime narrowed his eyes. “Why do you want to kiss me anyway?”

Tooru tilted his head in confusion, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. “You’re my best friend, Iwa-chan.”

“I’ll hit you!”

“That’s okay.”

Tooru kissed him. Hajime punched him in the face. Tooru lost one of his baby teeth. He spent his tooth fairy money on a popsicle from the convenience store and shared it with Hajime. Hajime decided to forgive him, just this once.


13 Years Old


“Happy birthday, Oikawa.”

“Iwa-chan!” Tooru shouted, pulling his reluctant best friend of nine years now into a hug that was way too tight and just a little too long.

“Stop with the -chan already,” Hajime grumbled once he was released, handing over this year’s present.

“Never,” Tooru said with a grin. His teeth had grown in so straight and perfect, it wasn’t fair. Hajime had had his braces for almost a year now, and they weren’t scheduled to come off for another couple of months. He wondered if braces were going to make this year’s kiss hurt, but then he also wondered if the kiss was going to happen at all. Tooru had been successful every single year so far, but maybe, just maybe this was the year he had finally grown out of his stupid habit. Then Hajime wouldn’t have to worry about the kiss hurting, or worse, if it hurt Tooru. Not that he gave a shit if Tooru got hurt. That would just be really embarrassing, wouldn’t it?

Then again, maybe Tooru would stop kissing him if it hurt.

“Hey, Iwa-chan, come with me,” Tooru said after glancing over his shoulder to make sure no one was watching. A couple boys from the volleyball club were all piled on Tooru’s couch, shouting over a video game. It was so different from the backyard barbecues of birthdays past, but it still felt like exactly the same party as Tooru grabbed Hajime’s wrist and dragged him to his bedroom.

“Why are we still doing this?” Hajime groaned once the door was closed behind them.

“One,” Tooru said, holding up a finger, “you’re my best friend.”

“I’m pretty sure this isn’t what other best friends-”

“And two,” Tooru interrupted, holding up a second finger, “we’ve done it for so long, it’d be weird if we didn’t.”

“No, it wouldn’t.”

“Yes, it would!”

Why would it be weird?” Hajime said with an exasperated sigh.

“Because it’s tradition! And what if it’s lucky? What if we don’t and I get bad luck for a whole year? What if someone new joins the volleyball club and he’s better than me? What if I get bad grades? What if I ask someone out and they say no? What if-"

Fine,” Hajime snapped. “Just do it already and shut up.”

Tooru immediately stepped forward and put his hands on Hajime’s shoulders. Hajime was just the teensiest bit taller (much to Hajime’s satisfaction), so Tooru had to tilt his head up just slightly as he leaned in. And he leaned in a lot slower than he usually did (or maybe it just seemed that way in Hajime’s head), which it was really weird, but not nearly as weird as it was when his lips actually touched Hajime’s. It wasn’t the same quick, gross peck like you get on the cheek from your grandma before she gives you five hundred yen so you can have some nice spending money. It was like, a kiss. A real, soft, find-out-what-your-lips-taste-like kiss, and it immediately made Hajime’s stomach dip in a way that was not unpleasant. It didn’t even hurt at all.

Hajime immediately pushed Tooru away and punched him in the gut.


14 Years Old


Happy birthday, Shittykawa, Hajime thought bitterly to himself, glancing across the room to where Tooru was surrounded by loud, giggly, flirtatious girls. He just had to start inviting girls to his birthday parties, didn’t he? The attention he got during school and from his fan club during matches just wasn’t enough. Well, fuck him. Hopefully, that attention was worth it, because it was 11:53 at night and Tooru still had not kissed Hajime.

I hope he gets a year of bad luck. I hope Kageyama surpasses him. I hope he stops growing. I hope his teeth go bad. I hope he goes bald. I hope-/

“Wait, what time is it?” Hajime heard Tooru ask suddenly from across the room.

The girls all immediately pulled out their phones to check. “Uh, 11:54!” they all said as quickly as they could, eager to be the first to tell their precious Oikawa-kun the time.

What?” Tooru immediately started frantically scanning the room. “Iwa-chan! Where’s Iwa-chan?” Finally, his eyes landed on where Hajime was sitting, and he pushed through all the girls to get to him. “Iwa-chan, c’mon, we gotta hurry!”

The girls were all clearly disappointed by the sudden turn of events. “Where are you guys going?”

“Important, official team business!” Tooru called as he grabbed Hajime’s wrist and started dragging him to his bedroom. “I’ll be back in a moment, ladies!”

“Really, Oikawa?” Hajime said with a sigh as the door was closed behind them. “You’re still-”

“Shut up and kiss me, we’re almost out of time!” Tooru whined, immediately reaching for Hajime.

“Dude, what the fuck, how old are you again?”


“I’m sure there is a girl out there who would be much happier kissing you tonight. And you would probably be way happier kissing, too.”

Tooru hesitated a moment, giving Hajime a funny look, but quickly shook himself out of it. “It’s no good, Iwa-chan. You’re my best friend. It’s gotta be you.”

“Oh, right, I’m your best friend. So that’s why you’ve been ignoring me all night.”

Tooru almost laughed at that. “Iwa-chan, we can talk about this after midnight, but right now, I really, really need you to kiss me.”

“What would all those girls think if they knew you were in here kissing a boy?” Hajime scoffed.

Tooru raised an eyebrow. “They would be about half as jealous as you are right now.”

Excuse me?” Hajime practically spluttered, completely appalled at the suggestion.

Tooru paused and shook his head. “Never mind. Forget I said anything.”

“I am not jealous.”

“I know, Iwa-chan.”

Hajime frowned. “No. You don’t. You’re just saying that so I’ll drop it.”

“That’s not true,” Tooru insisted.

“Yes, it is! I am not-”

Tooru sighed. “Iwa-chan, I do not have time for this right now,” he said before cupping his hands around Hajime’s face and kissing him.

And it was soft. And slow. Tooru tasted like chocolate this year. Hajime realized that Tooru had grown a lot taller over the last year, and he was the one tilting his head up now. It was annoying, but it wasn’t bad. None of it was bad, not even a little bit, up until Hajime almost put his hands on Tooru’s waist without thinking about it. The second he realized what he was about to do, he stopped himself and pushed Tooru away, turning his head to hide his blush.

“Thanks, Iwa-chan,” Tooru said softly.

Hajime cleared his throat. “Can I ask you something, Oikawa?”


“And it’s not because I’m jealous, because I’m not. I’m just curious.”

“What is it, Iwa-chan?”

“Am I... Have you kissed anyone else? Other than me?”

Tooru tilted his head, smiling a little at the question. “Don’t you think I would’ve told you if I had, Iwa-chan?”

“So no?”

“Nope. Only you.”

Hajime just nodded and looked away again. “Oh.”

Tooru chuckled to himself a little before leaning in and pressing a swift kiss to Hajime’s cheek, staying by his ear just long enough to murmur, “See you next year,” before he was out of the room.

He was gone for about a minute until Hajime remembered that he forgot to hit Tooru this year.


17 Years Old


Aobajousai held summer training camp on Tooru’s birthday this year.

His family was going to go out for dinner to celebrate a few days later on Friday night, and Tooru was going to have some friends from the volleyball club over on Saturday, but today was nothing special. Tooru and Hajime went through practice like it was just any other ordinary day, until it was time for them to walk home together. 

“Happy birthday, by the way.”

Tooru grinned. “Thanks, Iwa-chan.”

That was the extent of their conversation the entire way to Tooru’s house.

And Hajime knew they were both thinking about the exact same thing, fuck, they just had to be. Nothing else would keep Tooru this silent for this long. That stupid, fucking birthday kiss... Hajime stopped lying to himself sometime after last year’s kiss and knew perfectly well that he really, really wanted to kiss Tooru and he really, really liked kissing Tooru and he really, really, really liked Tooru, as fucking annoying as that was... But... Well, they aren’t stupid kids anymore. They’re in high school. The idea that kissing your best friend once a year isn’t exactly normal is something they could just play ignorant about anymore.

The only question was what Tooru was thinking exactly. Was he wondering (maybe even hoping) if Hajime still wanted to kiss him this year, or was he was desperately trying to think of how he could get out of this?

Tooru didn’t speak again until they arrived at his house, and his voice suddenly breaking the silence made Hajime jump. “Walk me to the door, Iwa-chan.”


And Hajime did.

And they just stood, staring at each other for a little while.

Tooru had gotten a good five centimeters taller than Hajime.

Hajime cleared his throat. “Happy birthday,” he said again, because he didn’t know what else to say.

“Thanks, Iwa-chan,” Tooru said again before reaching out and gently placing his hands on Hajime’s waist. “Can... I...?”

“It’s tradition, isn’t it?” Hajime mumbled.

“But you can still say no.”

Hajime hesitated. “Do you want me to?”

Tooru laughed a little, taking a deep breath before wincing and admitting, “I really don’t want you to.”

Hajime looked down at the space between them, however narrow that had gotten, because he can’t bear to look Tooru in the face, fuck, he was so embarrassed. “Just fucking kiss me already.”

Tooru didn’t need him to say it twice, immediately cupping one hand under his chin to tilt his head up so he could kiss him, and kept kissing him, gently, sweetly, slow enough to make Hajime’s chest absolutely ache, his head going dizzy from the feeling of Tooru’s warm breath on his lips between kisses.

“Iwa-chan,” Tooru mumbled, sounding as breathless and as desperate as Hajime felt as he pulled away. “Do you want to come inside?”

“Inside?” Hajime repeated, his mind too hazy to think clearly.

“My parents aren’t home.”

That certainly registered. “Okay,” Hajime said maybe a little too quickly. Tooru just smiled as he intertwined his fingers with Hajime’s, opening the door and bringing him in. Hajime had been inside this house a thousand times, but never did it have exactly the same feeling it did right now, all the lights off and the silence of no one being home and Tooru leading him to his bedroom with so much anticipation between them. Even if there was no one there to catch them, there was something so much more thrilling as Tooru slid his bedroom door shut behind them.

Hajime had never been the one to kiss Tooru first, but when he grabbed Tooru by the collar of his shirt and pulled him down into a record-breaking second birthday kiss, and Tooru let out the softest, most beautiful gasp of surprise before he completely melted into Hajime’s touch... Fuck, he should’ve been doing it like this all long. As soon as he took charge, Tooru was responsive to his every move, giving him all the power and control over the situation he wanted, completely satisfied just having Hajime’s mouth against his. He put up no resistance as Hajime pushed him back into his own mattress, his breath catching as he watched Hajime climbed on top of him and breathing out a soft moan into Hajime’s mouth as he started kissing him again. Hajime experimentally slipping his tongue into Tooru’s mouth and immediately deciding that it was a very, very good thing to do. He licked up into Tooru’s mouth again only to be met in the middle by Tooru’s own tongue and fuck, fuck was that hot, fuck, everything about Tooru was hot... 

Hajime wasn’t sure how long they made out for, but long enough that by the end of it, he and Tooru were completely wrapped around each other, Tooru breathing heavily into the crook of Hajime’s neck as he clung to him.

“Iwa-chan?” he said quietly, pressing a chaste kiss to Hajime’s neck.


“I think this was the best birthday I’ve ever had.”

God, he’s so embarrassing. “Shut up...”

They both bolted upright at the sound of the front door of the house being opened, Tooru’s parents talking and laughing as they noisily entered the house.

“Shit, I have to get out of here,” Hajime said immediately, breaking free from Tooru’s limbs and scrambling out of bed as fast as he could.

“What? No, stay the night,” Tooru whined.

Stay the night? Are you insane?”

“We’re not gonna do anything, I just want you here.”

Before Hajime had a chance to say anything back, there was a knock at Tooru’s door before it was slid open.

“Tooru, we’re- Oh! Iwaizumi-kun!” his mother said in surprise. She looked as pleasant as ever, and there was no way she would be able to tell they’d just been making out, but Hajime still felt so horribly exposed.

“H-hi, Oikawa-san,” Hajime said quickly. “Sorry, we were just going over some volleyball stuff, I was just leaving.”

Tooru immediately protested. “Wait, Iwa-chan-”

“Thanks for having me,” Hajime muttered as he slipped past Tooru’s mother.

“Tell your mother I said hi!” his mother called behind him.

“Wait, Iwa-chan!”

“I will!” Hajime called, not even bothering to put his shoes on properly before running away from Tooru’s house as fast as he could.


19 Years Old


To: Shittykawa

happy birthday.


From: Shittykawa

thank u iwa-chan <333333333


Before Hajime could respond, his phone vibrated with three more messages.

From: Shittykawa

i cant believe i dont get to c u 。゚(゚ノД`゚)゚。


From: Shittykawa

i cant believe i dont get to kiss u .・゜゜・(/。\)・゜゜・


From: Shittykawa

i miss u so much iwa-chan


Hajime took a deep breath, leaning against the wall and desperately hoping he had the right place and the door beside him really was Tooru’s.

To: Shittykawa

i really miss you too.


It had been three months since they’d seen each other last, the longest separation they’d had from each other since they’d first met as children, and it was a lot worse than Hajime had anticipated. After the incident on Tooru’s seventeenth birthday and a few similar instances following it, they finally did what they should’ve done ages ago and started dating, and they were going strong for almost two years before the whole thing had to go long distance, with them going to different universities after graduation, and... it sucked. It really, really sucked. They couldn’t even see each other over vacations because they were so damn busy with volleyball... But today. Hajime was taking three days off to come visit, because it was Tooru’s birthday, and Tooru really needed a kiss, and Hajime would be damned if he didn’t admit that he really missed his stupid boyfriend. 

From: Shittykawa

what do u taste like rn?


To: Shittykawa:

wtf kind of question is that????????


From: Shittykawa

i wanna kno what u would taste like if i could kiss u this year!!! what was the last thing u ate???


The honest answer to that was a breath mint specifically in anticipation for what was going to come next. Still, Hajime wasn’t fueling his bizarre fantasies.

To: Shittykawa:



From: Shittykawa

ewwwww ur breathe probably stinks like fish X_X


To: Shittykawa

it doesnt matter if i cant actually kiss you!!!!


From: Shittykawa

i rlly rlly miss u


Hajime took a deep breath before deciding fuck it, he couldn’t wait anymore.

To: Shittykawa

did u get my package?


From: Shittykawa

??? what package


To: Shittykawa

i sent you a birthday present, go check ur mail


From: Shittykawa

!!! i’ll go rn!


Hajime slipped his phone back into his pocket and took a deep breath, stepping just a little closer to the door to listen inside, and he could hear him, fuck, he could hear Tooru humming to himself as he walked across the room and fumbled with his keys, and his heart was pounding so fast...

Hajime stepped out of the way just as the door swing open, and Tooru was looking down at his phone as he stepped out, and he jumped when he realized he was about to run into someone, and then Hajime was practically falling over with how violently Tooru threw himself onto him, shouting, “Iwa-chan!” as he held onto Hajime for dear life.

“Surprise,” Hajime mumbled, grabbed fistfuls of the back of Tooru’s T-shirt, holding on just as tightly and blinking rapidly at a wave of emotions he wasn’t prepared for.


“Happy birthday, Oikawa.”

Tooru sniffled, somehow squeezing onto Hajime tighter. He’d gotten stronger since they’d seen each other last. “Iwa-chan...”

“Is that all you can say?” Hajime grumbled as if he wasn’t just as happy to see him.

“Do you wanna come in for coffee?”

Hajime breathed out a laugh. “Yeah, I wanna come in for coffee.”

After one last moment for good measure, Tooru pulled back, holding open his door for Hajime to come in.

Of course, as soon as they were inside, coffee was the last thing on their minds. Hajime cupped Tooru’s face in his hands and pressed his lips against his, breathing words between kisses with the kind of honesty Hajime could only achieve when his mouth was against Tooru’s skin.

“I missed you so much...” Hajime’s mouth started straying over Tooru’s jaw, down his neck, tasting as much of Tooru as he could. “Fuck, I missed you...”

“Iwa-chan...” Tooru whined, his voiced swallowed up as Hajime returned to Tooru’s lips, pushing his tongue into his mouth and his mind going hazy as Tooru sucked on it. He took his revenge by gently nipping at Tooru’s lower lip and running his tongue over the spot to soothe it, a trick he’d discovered about a month into their relationship, and sure enough, he could feel Tooru going weak under his touch.

“I want you so bad, Iwa-chan,” he gasped out, clinging to Hajime. “Iwa-chan, can we fuck?”

Hajime just kept kissing him, ignoring the question like it hadn’t made his chest absolutely burn with desire... fuck, did he want Tooru... “...missed you... so much...”

“Iwa-chan, please...”

Hajime pulled away and looked Tooru in the eye, watched him as he tried in vain to catch his breath, and wondered how the hell he lasted even one month without him.

“I love you so much, Hajime,” Tooru murmured, tying his fingers in knots in the fabric of Hajime’s shirt.

Fuck it. Hajime didn’t want to be separated from Tooru for a minute right now.

“Bedroom,” he muttered, brushing his thumb over Tooru’s lip as Tooru broke into a grin.


21 Years Old


“Happy birthday, Tooru,” Hajime mumbled, moving over in their bed closer to his boyfriend and wrapping his arms around his waist, slipping under his T-shirt to move his hands along his warm skin.

“Too early,” Tooru whined, squirming as Hajime touched where he was ticklish. “Go back to sleep.”

“I love you.”

“I love you, too, Hajime, now go to sleep.”

Hajime started pressing kissed to Tooru’s back. “I looooove you...”

“I will roll over onto you.”

“You realize this is how you are all the time?” Hajime chuckled.

“Yeah, but I’m adorable.”

Hajime snorted. “Good one.”

“You’re so meeeaaan....”

Hajime nuzzled his face into Tooru’s back. “I love you, too.”