Tooru likes to think that his life is pretty good.
After Aoba Johsai, he packed two suitcases and a backpack filled with his life, threw them in the back of Hajime’s dingy Mitsubishi that was as old as they were, and moved into his dorm at University of Tokyo. They both managed to score a full ride on a sports scholarship, but decided to forgo their (read as: Tooru’s ) goals at becoming professional, international athletes. They were still the best setter and ace that Todai has seen in years, but instead of Hajime dragging Tooru out of the gym in the early hours of the morning, it turned into them enabling each other as they bought numerous cups of coffee from the library vending machines.
Contrary to popular belief, Tooru didn’t “give up” volleyball (after all, how could he?). He was just as capable as finding other passions and dreams as other people, and that’s exactly what happened. He was a bright eyed nineteen year old when he entered Todai, though it wasn’t their large gym that drew him in, but the large lecture hall where he would have his first college class.
While he was still at the same school as Hajime, they were on opposite ends of campus, which basically meant they were worlds apart. Tooru, in his mind, was completely alone, but as he sat down and passed the syllabus for his intro political science class, he felt the same rush that he got whenever he was up for a serve.
No one expected Tooru to be on a podium if it wasn’t to get a medal around his neck, nor did they expect him to stay in Japan. And yet, here he was, the most proud of himself he’s ever been. He’s grown up (“not that much” if you asked Hajime) and he’s moved past the grudge against Kageyama and Ushijima, even bragging to some of his colleagues and students that both of setter and ace of the national team had trouble keeping up with him when they played in high school. Tooru has let go of his obsession with being the best, with overworking himself, with the fear that he would never live up to his own expectations. Remnants of it still exist, but with new responsibilities and a good therapist (who happened to be the older sister of Karasuno’s baldie), he thinks that life now is more than okay.
At 27, Tooru is a tenured professor at his alma mater with his own office space with a south facing window. He’s married to his childhood best friend, his former teammate, and forever partner. They got a cute house together in Setagaya, half modern and half traditional within walking distance of the train station. Their neighborhood was closeby another university that had a lot of international students, and with Setagaya being the first ward in Japan to recognize same-sex partnerships and people who had ideas that weren’t as conservative as some of the people they grew up with in Miyagi, Hajime and Tooru were able to walk hand in hand with not as many looks of disgust.
It was the little things.
So yeah, Tooru’s happy. Hajime’s happy, too. His dreams became reality just as much as his did, hard work leading Hajime to become the physical therapist for the national team. Offers from other teams find their way into their mailbox every other month, only to end up in the trash. They’re good opportunities, some of them paying a bit more, but right now, they’re comfortable and like where they’re at. Plus, Makki and Mattsun are the best babysitters they’ve ever had and they wouldn’t want to lose that, even if their son and daughter show signs of the same deadpand, cutthroat humor as their high school friends.
So here’s Tooru, sitting at his desk in their home covered in family pictures, with his husband (who he married on an impromptu trip with Makki and Mattsun in Las Vegas, too drunk to even remember, before they had a traditional ceremony back in Miyagi) who was making lunch. Their kids are taking their afternoon nap, oblivious to the heated discussion Tooru’s students are having in the chat. Even after a year of schools being on Zoom, Tooru’s good teaching skills have managed to still keep his students engaged.
What more could he want?
Maybe some peace and quiet.
It started with Tooru hearing the sounds of Hajime’s footsteps, listening as he walked into Hiromi’s room and the familiar whine she usually gave when she woke up from a nap. Tooru brushed it off, since she only had ten minutes left until Hajime was supposed to wake her up, but ten minutes was a big period of time in determining whether or not a four year old girl would be grumpy or fine after a nap.
Tooru was in the middle of explaining how social media affected civilian mobilization in modern day movements when he heard Hiroki’s two-year old babbling, which got louder until Hajime shuffled back into his room, luckily not picked up by his microphone.
It was quiet for a few moments, though not enough time for Tooru to curse whatever deity caused his kids to wake up before nap time was over.
“Professor Oikawa, I was just wondering how effective mobilization is if it happens over social media, or online in general” one of his students asked.
“Well, William-san, I think that brings up the question of how democracy is looked at by the people. Is it through voting alone, is it through government repression of free speech, or is it multiple factors in general? What are they fighting for and why are their demands not being met?”
Hiroki screeches briefly and Tooru sees some of his students turn off their camera briefly so that he doesn’t see their grins. He clears his throat. “If we look at the case of the Arab Spring, it was years of tumultuous relationships between the people and the state, and while we assume that the start is from viral social media posts, we are missing half of the picture. In the United States, especially this summer, it allows for new methodologies that people organize. In both cases-”
“Hiroki, no !” Hiromi screams, “That’s Hiromi’s toy! Mine!”
Tooru hears Hajime defusing the situation in the living room, and thinks it’s okay to keep going even when one of his students says “lol” in the chat.
“In both cases,” he continues, “Social media forces officials and the uninformed citizen what the demands are, and in ways that are more accessible to people. Social media should not be seen as a new, preferable option, but one of many in terms of protes-”
Tooru trails off, eyes shifting to the corner of his Zoom box, right where the door is. There’s a slight creak and he can see his students’ grins deepen. Hiromi is peeking through, barely tall enough to reach the handle. She has a pout and her face is covered in tears, the frown looking awfully similar to Hajime’s even if they aren’t biologically related.
“Papa,” she starts, expression serious, “Papa, Hiromi wants a new brother.”
Tooru is a good professor. He’s published in numerous books and academic journals, takes his family on trips abroad that are funded by the university when they want him to speak at international conferences. He’s levelheaded, straight to the point, but loves answering students’ questions and is a fair grader. He assigns deadlines but is flexible when some students come to him with how stressed they are that semester.
Tooru’s good at his job. He loves the challenge at some points, but has never been faced with one like this.
There are thirty minutes left in the lecture, and Tooru doesn’t want to waste his student’s time with this so he might give them a pass. He glances at his daughter and then back at his computer, where students have moved closer to the screen to get a better look at the daughter he’s talked about but never shown.
“Ah, everyone, we can continue this next lecture since it’s review for the paper due in two weeks, so, um,” Tooru hasn’t been this flustered since he led a lecture his sophomore year in undergrad, “You can leave early, if you would like”.
No one leaves the Zoom call.
Hiroki gives out a blood curdling scream from the living room, drowning out Hajime, who was trying to calm him down. The sound gets louder as the little stomps get closer, and before he knows it, the door is fully open with Hiroki’s entrance.
“Nee-chan!” Hiroki’s face is red, his chubby cheeks puffed out. “Mean! Nee-chan is mean !” He’s about to hit her on the head with a tiny Godzilla figurine and Tooru gets up from his desk chair, though Hajime beats him to it.
Tooru’s back is facing the screen, so he doesn’t see the surprised look of his students to see that Professor Oikawa’s partner, his husband, is not a regular salaryman like they expected, but the hot physical therapist for the national team that has recently become a Twitter heartthrob after bored young adults got into sports and turned him into their latest hyperfixation.
“Hiro-kun, Hiro-chan!” Hajime says in what Tooru calls his “dad voice”. They stop instantly, Hiroki’s hand very close to his sister’s head. Hajime pries the Godzilla toy out of it, giving his son a disappointed look that makes the two year old look away.
“Hiro-kun, what did we say about hitting?” Tooru asks in an even voice, his class long forgotten. Hiroki mumbles and Tooru presses his lips into a line. “Hiro-kun, Papa and Dad can’t hear you.”
“No hitting,” he says louder. Hiromi looks smug, sticking her tongue out at him. Although Tooru loves the idea of mini versions of himself, he can’t help but feel slightly guilty that his eldest picked up on that. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t cute, though.
“And Hiro-chan,” Tooru looks at his daughter, “You’re the big sister. You should be more patient with Hiro-kun, since you know he looks up to you.”
“He was taking Hiromi’s toys!” Tooru sighs, looking at his son who was close to tears again.
“Just wanted to play with nee-chan!” Hiroki’s voice wobbles.
“Then you have to share, no?” Hiromi becomes quiet at this, nodding as she stops crossing her arms. “Now what do you have to do?”
“Hug…” they mumble, knowing the drill. Tooru doesn’t notice how the chat blows up with several variations of “how cute!” and “awww” and “professor do you know what a dilf is? because your husband is a dilf”.
Tooru thinks it’s over before Hiroki tugs at his sister’s hair and the screams start again. He looks at Hajime, who sighs and shakes his head, though not without a smile on his lips. “I got it”, he mouths, before separating their kids and throwing them over his shoulder.
“Dad thinks that Godzilla is hungry, should we feed him two naughty kids?” Tooru hears as he watches his family walk out of his office.
“Iwa-chan, stop scaring them!” he shouts, about to turn back to his computer. But he’s not worried, not when he hears happy screeches and loud laughs from the living room.
Tooru closes his office door and makes his way back to his computer, clearing his throat.
“Um,” he starts, “Sorry about…that”. A nervous chuckle leaves his lips, unsure of how to continue. “Usually they get along well, but when they wake up early from nap time…”
One of his students, Akira Fukunaga, unmutes their microphone.
“Ah, Fukunaga-san, do you have a question?” Tooru is relieved that his students help him stay on track, especially since Akira usually never talks in class.
“Can we see more of your kids?” she asks.
Another student, Lauren Watanabe, unmutes, feeling bolder as Tooru lets out a chuckle. “Can we see more of your husband ?” Tooru eyes the chat and he sees that many of his students agree.
“Ah, Iwa-chan is a bit shy around the camera, so I don’t think he would,” Tooru says, which is true. It was a surprise their wedding pictures came out looking as good as they did, since Hajime freezes up whenever the spotlight is on him. “But my kids love attention, so maybe I can have them playing in my office during our review session next class.”
The rest of the lecture continues on like this, with questions from his students asking about his life. It’s a nice change, if Tooru’s going to be honest, since this is his favorite class and his favorite set of students, so he answers them just as he would with any questions they might have about the topics. Yes, he and Hajime are childhood sweethearts. No, they didn’t get married in Japan, but they moved to Setagaya because it was more accepting. Yes, his husband is obsessed with Godzilla. No, he doesn’t play volleyball anymore, but Hajime does pass on Tooru’s critiques of when the team’s form is bad.
When the lecture is over, Tooru clicks the “end call” button and throws his head back with a sigh. He takes his glasses off, tossing them on his desk, and stretches before making his way to the kitchen. There’s hamburger steak on the table and Tooru’s mouth waters.
He moves wordlessly with Hajime, seating their kids at the table and giving them the training chopsticks so they can dig in. It’s a fairly quiet lunch with minimal mess, and Tooru glances up as he’s in the middle of shoving a big piece into his mouth.
Hajime’s already looking at him with an expression that always catches Tooru off guard no matter how many times he sees it.
“What’s up, Iwa-chan?” he says with a mouthful of food. Hajime’s face scrunches, especially when their kids ask the same question and end up spitting food onto the table.
“Crappykawa,” Hajime doesn’t flinch from Tooru’s kick to his shin under the table, silently telling him not to curse in front of the kids, “Don’t talk with your mouth full.”
Tooru finishes the food in his mouth, wiping at the corners of his lips before he puts his elbows on the table and grins at his husband. “Tell me,” he whines, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
Hajime rolls his eyes, but smiles fondly at Tooru before wiping at their son’s mouth. “Just thinking about you, and how a good professor you are even after what happened.”
Tooru reclines in his seat, giving an overexaggerated sigh. “Thank goodness my students aren’t lost in this class, because then I’d be worried about them not understanding the lecture today, especially when these two, cute, little brats,” he pinches at his kids’ cheeks, causing them to swat at his hand, giggling, “Know not to cause trouble during papa’s class.”
Hajime laughs at this, picking up the plates and putting them in the sink. Tooru takes this as his cue to clean up the rest of the table, picking up their kids and letting them run off to the living room, ready to wreak whatever havoc they couldn’t earlier. God, Tooru loved them.
“What’d your students say?” he asks as Tooru moves next to him, drying the utensils and plates.
“Well, they talked a lot about how lucky you must be to have such a handsome husband like me, who manages to look so gorgeous even with two ki-”
Hajime cuts him off.
“So they brought up how I’m a ‘dilf’, didn’t they?”
Tooru gasps, and that’s enough for Hajime to burst out laughing again.
“How do you know that but my quietest student had to explain that to me ?”
Hajime smirks, glancing at Tooru before turning his attention back to washing the dishes.
“Bokuto and Miya spend more time on Twitter than they do on their stretches. So,” Hajime turns the faucet off and dries his hands, putting them on Tooru’s waist, “Am I a dilf?”
Tooru blushes, sputtering and shoving Hajime off, but not without splashing him with water. The kids run back into the kitchen when they hear the commotion. They end up getting water on Tooru’s notes for his latest article, but he doesn’t care at all.
Iwaizumi Tooru (Oikawa for professional spaces) is a man that loves his job, loves volleyball, loves his husband, and his son and daughter. He loves milk bread, discussing conspiracy theories, and posting pictures of his family on Instagram. He loves the mediocre ramen that has a good combo deal with gyoza, and how he can’t wake up without Hajime (sometimes literally) pushing him out of bed.
It wasn’t what people expected for him, not with his drive and passion for volleyball. People change, people grow, the same way that last names and families do. It’s his life, one that he wouldn’t trade for the world, even if his students and husband do laugh at him and his kids scream at least once a day.
“Iwa-chan!” Tooru screeches, causing Hajime to jolt in bed. He grunts as he sits up on his elbow, hand dragging over his face. So much for sleep tonight.
Tooru stampedes into the room, holding his phone out in front of his face. He would’ve taken it seriously if Tooru wasn’t wearing his alien bathrobe with his hair pushed back by a headband, clearly in the middle of his skincare routine.
“What?” Hajime asks, peering closely at the phone. He blinks, recognizing Tooru’s outfit from being the one he wore earlier today, Hajime in the background as he corrals their kids out of the office. “Oh, that’s us.”
“Yes, Iwa-chan, that’s us ! On Twitter ! I haven’t gotten this many notifications since I was named sexiest professor of the year when I became tenured, and even then it was from a couple older professors and didn’t make my phone blow up that much!” Tooru scrolls through Twitter, looking for something before he gives it back to Hajime.
“Huh, someone recorded it.” Tooru rolls his eyes.
“Iwa-chan, you know I record all my lectures. I guess one of my students posted this part, but since Twitter loves you so much, it went viral in only a couple of hours,” Tooru glances at his husband, “Though I don’t know what your Twitter fans will say if they see the drool on your face right now.”
Hajime subconsciously wipes his face before laying back down on the bed, pulling Tooru down with him. He ignores Tooru’s complaints of how he hasn’t finished his skin care routine yet, choosing to bring his husband closer to him.
“Can’t this wait until the morning, when Hiro-chan and Hiro-kun haven’t just been put to bed?”
“No, Hajime! We’re famous now! Should we start vlogging?” Tooru pries himself from Hajime’s grasp, making his way to their bathroom. “Keeping up with the Iwaizumis? Dr. and Dr. Iwaizumi? Should we hire a translator to make subtitles?”
Hajime brings the comforter back over his body, sighing as he gets comfortable in bed again. “I think you should worry about finalizing your syllabus for next semester first before you even start thinking about vlogging.”
Tooru comes back into bed moments later, instinctively moving closer to Hajime until their limbs are tangled together. It’s quiet, and Hajime thinks that Tooru’s finally ready to push this conversation back until the morning, after they get some sleep.
“Should I do a ‘husband leads my lecture’ challenge?”
Hajime shuts Tooru up with a pillow to his face. ]