His name is Oikawa Tobio and he’s thirty years old and he fell in love with the same man twice.
It isn’t easy.
Learning Tooru outside of volleyball, that is.
He never really had an opportunity to do so until, well, until they’re suddenly together. Never was inside his inner circle enough to say that he knows Tooru like the back of his hand.
On top of that, neither of them really know how to live with someone else so it’s been A Challenge, really.
Tobio’s been living on his own all his life that he didn’t know how difficult it would be to have someone else in your space twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Especially not someone as complicated and self contradictory as Tooru.
There are times when he forgets that he’s living with someone now - times when he wakes up and wonders why his blanket seems to have all but disappeared until he notices the lump in his periphery, a tuft of brown hair the only thing with colour in a sea of white sheets and thinks oh .
Times when he opens the fridge and sees it stocked full of food - some his favourites, some he doesn’t recognise. He’ll stare at the contents, brain trying to make sense of where they came from until Tooru saunters in to hipcheck him and reprimand him for glaring at the no-longer-mysterious new cartons of milk stacked on the second rack of their giant grey-steel monster too long that the machine beeps in complaint for having its doors open for too long.
“Thanks, Tooru says, grabbing the apple that Tobio didn’t remember reaching for, much less remember handing to him.
There are days when he can’t stand the mess that Tooru leaves in their house - because they have a house now - some place Tobio can finally call home with their little family of two. The sopping towels on the floor, the toothpaste residue on the sink - how Tooru’s already broken three washing machines within the span of the five months they’ve since settled down in a place not far from where they both found each other, young and full of dreams.
There were countless times when Tobio had to hide in their laundry room, hand clutching his phone as he asked Hajime how to deal with Tooru’s several moods and had only gotten it’s Tooru, you probably know him more than I do now, Tobio .
There were arguments, silly ones, that made Tooru revert back into someone that reminded Tobio too much of middle school, and Tobio the same - the kind where Tobio doesn’t speak for days while Tooru spits out his name like an expletive. Which coincides with the number of minutes when Tobio had to hide in their laundry room, hand clutching his phone as he asked Hajime how to deal with Tooru’s several moods and coincides with the random times he overhears Tooru calling Shouyou and one time calling Wakatoshi of all people, to ask them how to lure Tobio out of his shell.
But they managed. Somehow.
It isn’t easy learning Tooru, but he did. And he does.
Knows how loud he gets when he’s excited about something. The lilt in his voice when he wants something from Tobio. He knows every goddamn line of Star Trek - the Chris Pine one - just by virtue of sitting next to Tooru every night as Tobio scrolls through his phone, answering queries and random messages from the JNT, Karasuno, Ali Roma, and the various group chats that Tobio somehow belongs in.
How to deal when Tooru’s feeling stressed from having to work with middle schoolers.
Tobio keeps learning him, always - can’t help but secretly feel like knowing Tooru is something of a privilege of sorts because he spent so many years chasing after Tobio’s idea of him.
Tobio knows his sighs, his laughter, the way his eyebrows furrow in confusion, his scowl, his smirk, the way he kisses when he’s tired, or wanting something more. The different weights of his silence and what they mean.
There is a new one, however.
Something he wasn’t aware of until three days ago when Tooru woke up and couldn't seem to meet his eyes.
“He’s probably feeling guilty about something,” Hajime says to him over the phone as Tobio minces the garlic for dinner. Tooru’s out for the third consecutive night and really, Tobio doesn’t know what to do because his husband is probably pushing too hard on his knees just to avoid Tobio so it’s best to call Tooru’s living breathing instruction manual.
“Guilt, Tobio,” Hajime repeats after a loud clanging sound rings out from his side of the call. “If you’re wondering what the fuck just happened, I’m doing a session with Kourai right now and that was him almost dropping a weight on his neck because he’s an idiot who insists he doesn’t need a spotter.”
Tobio snorts. “Sorry you have to deal with him.”
“It’s fine. You get to deal with my best friend so we’re tied,” Hajime says over Kourai’s loud is that Tobio? TOBIO! TOBIO, WAKATOSHI SAYS HE’S VISITING JAPAN SOO— “Anyway, did he do anything that he might think you’d hate him for before he threw a tantrum?”
Tobio tries to rewind the last couple of days because what can Tooru even feel guilty about? Is it the plates that Tobio glared at him for not washing? But Tobio already took care of those. Was there an important date that they both forgot? Tobio pulls away his phone from his ear to check the date - huh . It’s not anywhere near any anniversaries whatsoever so what could—
“What does he have to be guilty about?”
“You know him,” Hajime says offhandedly. “Sometimes he gets into his head and stays in there. Listen I have to go before a certain gremlin injures himself on the stairmaster. Hoshiumi Kourai stop putting the goddamn thing on max! ”
“Yeah,” Tobio says, still mentally flicking through the happenings from three days ago and prior that could have led to this and still coming up with absolutely nothing. “Yeah. Okay, thanks.”
“Good luck on Kou.”
“Good luck on your husband.”
Okay , Tobio thinks snidely as he aggressively chops an onion because the garlic is so very thoroughly minced. That didn’t help .
He’s in the middle of still resolutely wiping his eyes with his sleeves because of the damn vegetable when he’s jolted by a hand on his waist, followed by a kiss on the temple and the cold cold tip of a nose nuzzling into his neck.
“Hey,” Tobio greets, leaning his weight against Tooru’s chest because maybe Tooru’s over whatever it is. “Welcome home.”
But Tooru remains silent behind him, so Tobio goes back into his prepping while still trying to come up with a thing that Tooru did.
Should he ask?
Maybe he should wait it out.
Tobio would usually wait him out when he gets into a mood cos he’ll get over it eventually then talk it out with him.
Maybe he should ask hi— Tooru leaves the kitchen.
Tobio glares at his back as Tooru plops himself on their sofa in their living room and glares some more when Tooru turns up the volume of their tv so loudly that Tobio can barely hear himself think.
They’re on their fifth night of absolutely not addressing whatever it was that Tooru’s thinking about that Tobio’s brain finally goes enough so Tobio untangles himself from the blanket that was supposed to have been stolen from him by now except there was no one to steal it because Tooru keeps making excuses to sleep on the couch.
He makes his way to where a patch of hair is peeking from the blanket burrito curled up on the sofa fully intending to shake Tooru awake and demand that he talk right now .
He makes it through about ⅔ of his plan and stops when he sees Tooru’s face, relaxed and slack from sleep.
This man , he thinks in quiet awe. This man is his husband .
This is the man whose shadow he’s been chasing all his life and now he’s sleeping on their sofa and they’re going to live the rest of their lives together but hopefully sleep on the same bed again soon because the bed's too big without him.
Tobio reaches forward, fingers trailing Tooru’s cheek. Tracing the sharp jut of his nose, the delicate curve of his lips. It scares him. This. Tobio can count the number of times he’s been scared all his life, few and far between, but it scares him just how much he loves Tooru.
What he’s willing to do for him.
How much of him he’ll give up just to keep him safe and happy.
“Watching me sleep?” Tooru whispers, eyes still closed. “Creepy Tobio-chan.”
“You watch me sleep too,” Tobio replies, smiling as he cups Tooru’s cheek. “It’s okay.”
Tooru opens an eye to peer at him then trails his gaze to where Tobio’s plopped down on the floor next to where he’s sleeping. “Why are you here?”
“Why are you here? Come to bed.”
“Lazy. Carry me.”
Ha. Did he think Tobio wouldn’t?
Tooru peeks at him again, probably curious on why Tobio didn’t answer, then both of his eyes open wide and he’s saying no no, don’t—
“Too late,” Tobio grunts out as he hefts Tooru up into his arms bridal style despite Tooru’s indignant squawks.
It takes Tooru about ten whole minutes after Tobio drops them into their bed to finally quiet down with his little temper tantrum - ten minutes and Tobio physically shutting him up by virtue of kissing him senseless then pulling Tooru closer until he’s resting his head on Tobio’s chest, his hand playing with the seams of Tobio’s sleeves.
Tobio knows this silence.
This is a Tooru who’s trying to find words. Hiding his face from Tobio as if there’s something to be shameful for but pressing closer nonetheless like he can’t help it.
He waits, running his fingers through Tooru’s hair.
“Tobio,” Tooru calls out quietly right when the countdown in Tobio’s head trickles down to zero. Tobio smiles - he knows him .
“Tooru,” he says, hand not seizing from its trail from Tooru’s hair to the knob of his spine then back again.
He feels Tooru take a deep breath.
Tobio inhales —
“Why do you love me?”
— then he exhales in relief. Because that’s an easy question.
He’s loved Tooru all his life, this one he can answer.
“Because I do.”
“Because you’re you.”
Because I love you.
“That’s not an answer.”
“It is to me.”
Tooru nudges closer, hiding his face. “It’s just. It’s just sometimes I don’t know why you even forgave me. Why you keep staying.”
Hajime’s correct then. But what even is he feeling guilty about?
“Is this why you’ve been sulking?”
“I don’t sulk.”
“So rude, Tobio,” Tooru says as he playfully slaps Tobio’s arm.
“Why do you ask?”
“I asked first.”
Tobio sighs. “I love you because I do.”
“That still isn’t an answer.”
Tobio gently tugs at his hair until Tooru’s looking up, eyes wide and bright.
He gently turns their bodies until he has Tooru under him, pressed against the sheets that Tobio washed and that Tooru put on just a night ago.
Everything around them is theirs .
Tobio doesn’t let Tooru look away.
Tries to find a way to say I love every part of you. Even the parts you seem to hate.
To say every new thing I learn about you, I keep.
“Because you burn everything you try to cook except curry. Because you’re Oikawa Tooru and I am Oikawa Tobio . Because I found you, then you found me.”
“That still isn't an answer because what does that even mean?”
Tobio scowls. “What’s an answer for you?”
Tobio makes a frustrated sound.
Still not the right time then.
He waits it out a few more days.
Lets Tooru hide from him, lets him sleep on the sofa, and get away with averting his eyes whenever they talk.
Tobio figures maybe Tooru will be ready to share his thoughts soon - that things will get back to the way it was before guilt came barging into their front door but unfortunately, it really doesn’t.
Tooru’s stubborn like that , Tobio thinks as he pauses from his morning run by the river. A kid squeaks from where Tobio was apparently unknowingly glaring.
“Sorry,” he mutters, starting his jog again because the kid’s mum looks like she’s going to knife Tobio for frowning.
Well , he thinks, checking his phone for any new messages from Tooru — none — before haphazardly shoving the phone back into his jacket pocket. If anyone can outstubborn Tooru, it’s probably him .
Tobio spends an embarrassingly long time on the phone with Hajime the very same night, then another embarrassingly long time on the phone withWakatoshi because he’s married, and Nico, because he’s been married longer.
When they yielded nothing useful , he thumbs through his phone book and calls Shimizu -san, because he figures she might be an expert in letting her husband know he’s forgiven.
“Tobio-kun,” she’d said over her husband and daughter’s enthusiastic screaming of Tobio-Oji ! in the background. “Sometimes marriage is like throwing yourself over the cliff, then crawling back up only to throw yourself over again.”
“Okay, Takeda-sensei,” Tobio jokes. “Thank you for making sense.”
Shimizu-san’s laughter chimes like a bell. “ Sorry. Ryu and I were just talking to him. I just mean just keep trying even if you think it doesn’t work.”
And really, what else can Tobio do but try.
He’s still trying to think when he gets home and fills the jacuzzi in their master bathroom that Tooru spent too much money on.
Tobio’s in the tub scrolling through maybe his fifth article on the search results for How to prove to someone you forgive them when Tooru appears into his vision as he makes his way to the toilet bowl, looking fresh from his evening run.
Speak of the devil.
“Quit looking, perv,” Tooru teases, holding his dick in his hand as he pees.
Tobio smirks at him and he leans against the bath, placing his phone on the pedestal next to the dipper, and resolves not to look away from where Tooru’s standing.
Tooru rolls his eyes at him.
“How long til you’re done? I need to shower.”
“You can just join me,” Tobio suggests, opening his arms to welcome Tooru in.
“And sit in the water full of your cooties?” Tooru says while he shakes his dick before tucking it back into his sweatpants. “No.”
Tobio stares at him intently.
“You’ve had my cock in your mouth and your tongue up my— ”
“Very crass!” Tooru says, placing a hand on his chest in mock affront and really, even when he’s clearly stinky from his run, Tobio still wants to fold himself over him.
Tobio smiles. The one he knows will show his dimples.
“Come here, Tooru.”
It’s the voice he’s been perfecting for years . The captain voice. He hopes it works well for him as well as it does to Wakatoshi, Sawamura-senpai, and even Tooru .
Tooru sighs and saunters closer.
“Well?” Tooru says when his crotch is very near Tobio’s face. “I’m here, your highness.”
“Why Oikawa-san, you’d have to buy me dinner first.”
Now it’s Tobio’s turn to roll his eyes because God help him.
“I make you dinner every night, Oikawa Tooru. Now strip. ”
Tooru takes his time in shucking off his clothes, wiggling his eyebrows as he did.
“What next, heika-sama?”
“In,” he says, gesturing for Tooru to climb in front of him.
It takes Tobio roughly two or three minutes just to get Tooru in the stupid tub, and yeah okay. Maybe they should get a bigger one because they barely even fit but what really matters is Tooru’s leaning against him now, back to his chest, skin on skin, and Tobio will never stop wondering how they even managed to get here - to this point where Tobio can have him.
Tooru lets him maneuver his body. Lets Tobio grab the organic body scrub that Tooru makes Hitoka buy for them every other month - the one that smells of peppermint and rosemary, and lets Tobio try and reach every skin that this position would let them.
“You spoil me,” Tooru says, his voice heavy with that something that it had the night they spoke. “You keep spoiling me.”
“I like spoiling you,” Tobio responds absent-mindedly, brushing his lips against Tooru’s ear. “Sometimes.”
For a while there’s only the sound of the rippling water and their breaths quietly echoing in their bathroom. Tobio asks, and Tooru gives, and really, who’s spoiling who?
Tooru slides down a little bit until he can rest his forehead against the side of Tobio’s neck, muscles relaxing as Tobio lifts Tooru’s right arm up a little with their fingers twined so Tobio can rub at his wrists.
“Do you ever think about Kitagawa Daiichi?” Tobio asks, squeezing Tooru’s hand for a second to soothe the inevitable tensing.
“Yes,” Tooru says after a pause. “Always.”
“I do too,” Tobio confesses, gently placing Tooru’s hand back into the water and untangling their fingers so he can use it to cup some water and wet Tooru’s hair. “Close your eyes.”
Tobio tries to get Tooru’s hair wet with just his hands, then sighs because it’s too thick so he reaches for the shower head and twists the knob just enough to turn it halfway before sliding back into the comfortable position they found themselves in and checking the temperature so he doesn’t accidentally boil his husband.
“Keep your eyes closed,” Tobio reminds him, placing the shower just behind the top of Tooru’s head - the angle is awkward for him, but Tobio doesn’t really care as long as he doesn’t accidentally drown Tooru. “I think about Kitaiichi too. Not always. But I think about it.”
Tooru doesn’t say anything, but that’s alright.
Tobio can talk for them when he can’t.
“When I think about Kitagawa Daiichi, I think about Akira and Yuu. Then I think farther and I think about you and the first time I saw your serve.”
Tobio turns the shower off and reaches for Tooru’s overpriced bottle of shampoo.
“I think I fell in love with you then,” Tobio says casually as he squeezes Ouai onto his palm. “I just didn’t know it. Or maybe I just fell in love with your serve.”
Tooru chortles, then lets Tobio move his head forward so Tobio can start working the lather on the hairs on his nape.
“You were so annoying.”
“Yeah, but I wanted to be like you,” Tobio says. “Do everything exactly the way you do - Suga-san says I probably had a crush on you, I just didn’t know it until you were kissing me. By then it was too late. You were my first kiss.”
“And I like knowing you’re my first kiss,” Tobio emphasises as he tilts Tooru’s head to the side, fingers gripping his hair so he can kiss him just to prove a point. “I think you like it too.”
Tobio swallows the lies that would or would not have slipped out of Tooru’s mouth before squishing the bubbles on Tooru’s head.
“When I think about Kitagawa Daiichi, I don’t think about the time you almost hit me. I actually forgot about it a week later, you know? I didn’t even know you almost hit me until you told me about it in Italy.”
“Well you are stupid,” Tooru whispers with a sigh as Tobio starts applying some pressure on his fingers to massage the shampoo into Tooru’s scalp.
“You married me,” Tobio says, tugging his hair. “Who’s stupider between us?”
“Tobio, I think marrying you is the one thing I’ve ever done that isn’t stupid.”
“I don’t know about that, sweetheart.”
“Really? Name a few more that make me not stupid.”
“Now you’re just fishing for compliments.”
Tooru twists his head a little to kiss Tobio’s collarbone. “From you? Always.”
“I’ve played a lot of matches all my life,” Tobio says, indulging him as he wipes at the suds making its way down Tooru’s forehead. “I get nervous, sure, but never as much as I do when you’re playing on the other side of the net.”
“How is that a compliment?”
“When I think about volleyball, I think about you.”
“Shut up and let me finish. When I think about volleyball, I think about you. When my team is in trouble, I think what would Oikawa-san do? When I wore your name on my back on my last match, I kept thinking about how I wish you and I had the chance to play together in one team. Just to know how you’d use me as your spiker. How I can give you a set that’s perfect. Because I want you to be proud of me. I wanted to be a setter that deserves to carry your name as an athlete.”
Tobio swallows around the lump in his throat, doesn’t know why he feels like he’s stripping another part of him.
“When I think about you, I think about a promise my grandpa told me before he died. That if I get really good. If I become someone better, then somebody even better will come and find me. Then I found you, and you found me. That's what I meant, you know? Before.”
Tooru slowly rises from where he’s leaning against Tobio, moves until he’s facing Tobio, knees tucked between Tobio’s legs.
His name is Oikawa Tobio, and Oikawa Tooru found him. Again.
“Tobio,” Tooru says with an awestruck look on his eyes.
Tobio reaches forward and brushes his thumb against his husband’s lips, trailing water to his jaw.
“When I think about you, I think about wanting to make you proud of me. Of us. I don’t think about the things you did, or the stupid things I did. I don’t think about forgiving you for anything in the past because we both did stupid things.
“When I think about you, I think about the wet towels you leave on the floor, and how you wash the dishes, and how you make me feel like I’m flying. Like I was the one who was serving the first time I saw you in Kitaiichi. I don’t know why you’re sad lately, but Iwaizumi-san says it’s guilt over something and I don’t know what for.
“But if forgiving you for things you did before will make you feel like you’re flying too, then I forgive you. For whatever it is. Just talk to me, okay?”
Maybe Shimizu-san is right.
Maybe marriage really is like throwing yourself off a cliff then doing it again and again.
“You were my first kiss, Oikawa-san. Kinda hoping you’ll also be my last.”
Tooru shimmies closer, using Tobio’s shoulders to find his balance.
“I love you,” Tooru tells him, his voice a cold stream to soothe parched throats. “I don’t know how you keep doing this to me, but you just say these things and… I love you.”
It isn’t easy, learning Tooru that is.
Loving him though?
Loving him is the easiest thing Tobio’s ever done.
His name is Oikawa Tobio and he’s thirty years old and he fell in love with the same man twice.
And maybe he’ll keep falling in love with the same man every single day for the rest of his life.