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Home Is Forever In Your Heart

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The first time Tendou met Iwaizumi Hajime was on the court of an official match in their prefectural tournament. 

Being the same age, it was hard not to hear all about what a solid team Aoba Johsai had become with the inclusion of one Oikawa Tooru and, most recently, his leadership. Needless to say, his well-known partner both on and off the court, the one with the spiky hair and mean looking scowl, was also someone to look out for in the tournaments. 

Tendou knew their names, he knew their faces, and he knew the skills they possessed. He knew how well they worked together on their team, and how much faith they had in each other despite being (seemingly) polar opposites character-wise. 

Oikawa was flamboyant and flashy and, quite frankly, not a very nice person at all in Tendou’s critical opinion - he fails to see how his attractiveness has anything to do with his likeability, because his personality is shit no matter how his fans try to humanise him. 

On the other hand, Iwaizumi was the epitome of unassuming. He was tall, though not as tall as Oikawa, stubborn and straightforward in his mannerisms. Beyond that, he was sincere and very genuine, which was what Tendou deduced from his own observations. 

If Iwaizumi didn’t like you, there was probably a good reason for it. 

It was a known fact that Kitagawa Daiichi, even under Oikawa’s guidance, had failed to surpass or defeat the insurmountable giant that was Ushijima Wakatoshi from Shiratorizawa Academy Junior High. 

The boy was a huge thorn in the powerhouse school’s side, and when Oikawa enrolled into Seijoh instead of Shiratorizawa, everyone in the prefecture who knew anything about volleyball expected the tense rivalry to persist. And persist it did, far past just the first match that each high school inevitably played against each other. 

The first time Tendou interacted in any way at all with Iwaizumi was during the start of their second year in high school. 

Up until then, Tendou had been concentrating on getting good enough to make the starting lineup, and his efforts and talent paid off tremendously. He knew he was a good blocker, courtesy of his insanely accurate intuition, and he felt the same pride that any player felt when it was announced that he would be taking part in official matches from then on instead of merely standing at the side as a substitute should things go wrong. 

He played in the latter half of the first set after his senior was subbed out, and it was then that he came face to face with Iwaizumi for the first time since he saw the other boy at the Spring High preliminaries the year before. 

They met eyes accidentally, and Tendou gave him a good-natured smirk before the whistle blew. Iwaizumi returned his smirk with a small scowl. 

Middle blockers and wing spikers were bound to compete with one another for dominance when it came to games, practice or official, and he found out that set that Iwaizumi had a nasty spike powerful enough to hurt his taped fingers. 

Well, not as powerful as Ushijima’s, but enough to fuel the determination to shut down most of his spikes. 

He gets subbed out once the second half of the second set comes around, having done fairly well for a first-time player. 

From his position he watched the rallies go back and forth, saw the frustration hidden in Oikawa’s angry glare as his spiker was blocked, observed the way Iwaizumi tried to perform a feint, picked out with ease the dazzlingly brilliant form of Ushijima soaring through the air as he brought his left arm down in a dizzying arc of pure strength and unrivalled power. He’d always thought that Ushijima was an amazing player to watch while he himself was both outside of and on the court. 

He saw a lot more than he would have had he been in the actual game, yet he couldn’t help but want to play some more. The yearning was a hole in his heart as he longed to step foot into that oasis-like space, that wonderful paradise that folded him into its embrace using the intoxicating atmosphere of both regret and joy.

They won that game, though not without some struggling in the last set as they tried to cut off the momentum of Oikawa’s deadly serves. They had their ticket to the Summer Interhigh Nationals, just like they wanted and expected, and Tendou didn’t think about Iwaizumi again until the next time they faced each other in the following Spring High preliminaries. 

And, sometime before that happened, he fell in love with his best friend. 

Of all the stupidest things he could have done, he had to fall for their stoic, often expressionless ace, and that was all well and good until he realised that maybe he wasn’t so expressionless after all. 

It was just a passing comment, really, and he hadn’t meant to think too much of it, but the fact remained that Ushijima seemed to be disappointed that Oikawa had not come to their school, which triggered his new tendency to scrutinise each and every interaction between the two great players in his mind, old and new. 

His brain turned over instances when Ushijima would follow Oikawa with his dark eyes in tournaments, and times that he fell silent when Tendou playfully shoved him on the shoulder with soft laughter after he failed to give a response about possible romantic interests. 

What started out as a feeling of hope in his gut when Ushijima confirmed that they were each other’s closest friends, slowly faded into mild hurt when he saw that his feelings didn’t seem to be reciprocated in any capacity, and eventually morphed into bitterness at the fact that he was stuck in this never-ending cycle of horribly unrequited love. 

But he hid his feelings well, and no one ever noticed but himself. 

The next time they were up against Seijoh in the tournament in October, he put a miniscule amount of venom into his mocking jabs at the opponents on the other side, much to their new first years’ irritation and nervousness. 

No one ever stopped him before when he provoked their opponents, so he assumes he has free reign over the territory of the setters: the net. 

If he made sure to direct a good percentage of his jovial but snide remarks at the handsome setter, only he needed to know that. However, he couldn’t seem to bring himself to anger Iwaizumi too much. 

Just because. 

He reasoned with himself and came to the conclusion that he had a soft spot for people with good characters, and he pushed away all notions of fondness when Iwaizumi glanced at him quizzically after receiving little to no taunting unlike the rest of his teammates. 

What’s your deal? he seemed to say with his face alone, although how he managed such a quirky expression was beyond Tendou. 

Surprised at the confrontation but not put off, Tendou shrugged with a small smile. Nothing’s my deal.  

Then they were back to trading spikes and blocks across the net until Tendou scored three consecutive points with his intuition alone. 

His resulting cheers didn’t do anything to drown out the soft murmur from behind his back on the other side of the net, or the huff of disdain that escaped the Seijoh setter for that matter, but he ignored the sound of unfriendliness.

“Nice.” came the compliment. 

He had been so shocked that he stood stock still even after his teammates returned to their usual positions and got ready for the next serve. Then he whirled around to meet Iwaizumi’s impressed gaze with uncertain puzzlement. The boy smiled at him again before retreating to the back row, reminding Tendou that he was supposed to switch out with their libero. 

Collecting himself as discreetly as he could, he avoided any eye contact with the Seijoh players and got off the court feeling weirdly satisfied. Perhaps he was right when he thought that Iwaizumi was sincere and genuine. 

He met Iwaizumi in the bathroom later, who cursed into the mirror loudly as he washed his hands. 

Tendou’s feet screeched to a halt after he picked up on the sound of his furious muttering. “Stupid Oikawa and his stupid face and his clingy girlfriend. Why the fuck should I even care?” 

He listened for a while, not wanting to intrude, but eventually he was reminded that he really needed to pee, so he stepped in, startling the dark-haired boy with his presence and staring, with strange sympathy, at the look of distraught misery on his face. 

It disappeared in a split second, though, and then Iwaizumi blinked impassively at him, noticeably guarded. “What?” he growled, his voice a deep, scratchy kind of pleasant that seemed defensive rather than hostile. 

Tendou said nothing. Instead, his eyes roamed over the bone-tired gleam in Iwaizumi’s eyes and the exhaustion evident in his expression as he looked away from Tendou’s curious gaze. 

“Rough day?” he decided on a safer path after a minute of awkward silence. Iwaizumi shrugged, and his muscles relaxed after he realised that Tendou was giving him an out. He very graciously took hold of the olive branch that was extended to him, although he didn’t seem very happy about it. “Something like that.” 

Tendou risked a peek through his eyelashes. “Got someone to talk to?” he inquired, not entirely sure why he was going to such lengths to confirm that Iwaizumi was okay. 

Surprisingly, Iwaizumi said yes, so the matter was left as such until he pushed past Tendou with a low apology on his tongue. Tendou, in turn, whispered, “Oikawa-kun, huh?” 

Iwaizumi hesitated for a moment, caught. 

Then he nodded and threatened lightly, “Don’t tell anyone.” before exiting the bathroom and letting the door swing shut behind his heels. 

That was the first time they acknowledged each other outside of the court, and Tendou, for whatever reason, kept his secret instead of spilling the tea to his teammates.





They run into each other in the exact same bathroom again during next year’s Interhigh. 

This time, Tendou doesn’t waste time asking if the other is alright. 

He knows. He saw the way Iwaizumi stomped out of the gymnasium after Seijoh’s most recent match, and he knew from the sight of a girl on the court that Oikawa had gotten himself another girlfriend. 

He probably should admit that he made his way to the bathroom with this very thought in mind, and not any other. 

Bursting into the mostly empty space, he pants slightly to seem like he’s just run all the way here to take a piss, and is greeted with the partially alarming sight of Iwaizumi stuffing toilet paper into his face aggressively. 

“Iwaizumi-kun!” he exclaims as he crosses the distance between them with two long strides. 

Iwaizumi stiffens and turns away from him. “What the fuck do you want?” His voice trembles and wobbles in a sad way typical of those who find themselves in the midst of a heartbreak. 

Tendou is no stranger to these feelings. 

He had his fair share of tightness in his chest and barely contained sobs of pain, and the one thing that he learnt from then was that he hated feeling alone in those times. 

Iwaizumi said he had someone to talk to, but Tendou has spent the past half a year wondering what it would be like to befriend someone who was in much the same situation as him. So he steels himself and says firmly, “I want to help.” 

Iwaizumi sniffles into the tissues, still leaning away from Tendou as he replies with scepticism. “What makes you think you can help me?” 

You wouldn’t understand. A silent, unspoken statement that Tendou doesn’t miss. He thinks he knows exactly what Iwaizumi needs. 

“Because I’m sort of in the same pinch you’re in?” he phrases it like a question, hoping that his friendly tone will ease some of the discomfort in Iwaizumi’s posture. 

The boy never seems to be fond of displaying deep emotions outwardly, since he’s mostly seen with a perpetually irritated scowl on his face whenever Oikawa so much as opens his mouth. 

Iwaizumi grunts out reluctantly, “What are you talking about?” 

Tendou, being an expressive person by nature, lets some of the sadness in him leak out, like a trickle of water between two gigantic boulders blocking a flooded river. The best way to connect with others is to be vulnerable with them. 

When Iwaizumi looks up at him with red-rimmed, puffy eyes that are locked into a tentative glare, he gives a watery smile, and admits his biggest secret in a soft, hopeless whisper. “I fell in love with Wakatoshi-kun.” 

He sucks in a breath after that, wondering if it was the right thing to do. Telling the truth may well be a good trait, but he’s never felt like it brought him any benefits. All it did was scare away his limited friends in childhood. 

He wills it to be different this time. Wants it to be something he can make a good thing out of. 

A fleeting memory of Ushijima’s blatant staring at the Seijoh setter crosses his mind, and he remembers feeling the first few pinpricks of sharp pain in his chest, before it all went to shit with the newfound realisation and his heart was ripped into pieces that barely hang on even now. 

He doesn’t even realise that his heart is crying out in agony again until he feels a rough but gentle tap on his forehead. “Wipe your nose, dumbass. You’re gonna get snot all over my clothes.” Iwaizumi gripes at him, his expression calmer and less agitated than before. 

Tendou sniffs hard, ignoring the tears that are welling up in his eyes as he lets his head flop down to rest on Iwaizumi’s shoulder in a moment of weakness. He doesn’t even know him personally and he’s already making a fool out of himself by being gross. Just great. 

Awkwardly, Iwaizumi tries to get him to drown his tears in more toilet paper, and he accepts the offerings gratefully, trying to contain the sobs that wrack his chest and climb up his throat in the form of ugly, vulnerable sounds. 

He feels soft pats of comfort on his back and is reminded that, while he may behave like some invincible weirdo on the outside, he’s still just as fragile as he used to be. 

“Sorry...” he says when he finally manages to bring his emotions under control. “I don’t even know why I’m embarrassing myself like this.” His breathy, wheezy chuckles do nothing much, but Iwaizumi appears to find his statement funny because he purses his lips to suppress a laugh. “I won’t tell anyone.”

“Hell yeah you won’t, I kept your secret for eight months!” 

As if that will have any impact on Iwaizumi’s decision at all. 

Iwaizumi shrugs, nonchalant. “Thanks. I wasn’t expecting you to run after me, though.” 

Tendou pulls back from their squished together position and goes to wash his face at the sink, hoping that the redness to his eyes will fade somewhat before he has to go back to his team. They should be boarding the bus soon to go back to school since they’re done with today’s matches. 

“I saw what happened. Just felt like you’d bust a blood vessel since you looked so pissed. I wouldn’t want to face Seijoh in our next match if you weren’t there to make it fun.” 

Iwaizumi snorts, “Please, I wouldn’t miss a match just because of Oikawa and his dumb girlfriend. You’d better get ready for the fight of your lives in the finals.” 

Tendou doesn’t doubt that for a second. But he isn’t one to take a challenge lying down so he grins annoyingly. “I expect nothing less.” 

The grin slides off his face like water off a leaf when Iwaizumi comes and leans against the wall next to the sinks, going “So, Ushiwaka, huh?” 

How he decides that this is the right time to address that is astounding. 

“Wow. Very appropriate timing.” he replies flatly, although he’s not actually too serious about it. 

Iwaizumi punches him on the arm in response. “Shut it. You won’t get another chance to talk about it with me.” 

Wincing, Tendou raises one shoulder and drops the other, smirking. “Not if you give me your number.” 

Iwaizumi’s eyebrows shoot up into his hairline as he contemplates the meaning of the words. “You’re serious.” he states plainly, utterly sure of his conclusion. 

Huh, guess it was a good idea to bring it up.  

“Yeah.” Tendou flicks the water from his hands into the sink. “We can bitch about, you know, them if you want to. Or like, just, hang out I guess.” 

He shuffles his feet, feeling slightly self-conscious about the offer. 

What if Iwaizumi doesn’t want to get to know him better? What if he's reading their friendly banter wrong? What if Iwaizumi was just latching onto him because he happened to be around when he needed comfort, and actually thought he was repulsive? It wouldn’t be the first time a near stranger has judged him from his outward appearance. 

Before he can spiral any further, Iwaizumi reaches behind him and grabs something from his back pocket. He brings out a pen (?) and shoves his arm out. His face is almost unreadable except for the slight twitch of his mouth. 

“What?” 

It’s Tendou’s turn to demand an explanation. A pen? What does he want to do with a pen?  

Sighing, Iwaizumi grabs his arm and yanks on it so that the softer underside of his forearm is showing. Swiftly, he uncaps the pen with his teeth and scribbles a string of numbers down. 

Tendou stares at the numbers incomprehensibly, rubbing his eyes in disbelief to make sure that he isn’t dreaming this up. It sounds a bit too good to be true, considering how much he’s wanted to reach out to someone who could understand him just a little. 

Semi and the rest of his teammates are good friends, not to mention the fact that Ushijima is the closest to him, but therein lies the sole problem. He can never tell any of them about how he feels, unless he wants his secret to be spread around somehow. Semi and Yamagata aren’t exactly the best at keeping their lips shut. 

Maybe, he looks down at his arm with something akin to gratitude and relief, Iwaizumi is actually a really nice person on the inside.  

“Remember it, key it into your phone, whatever. If you lose it I’m not going to bother giving it to you again.” Iwaizumi turns away from him and starts for the door. 

Miraculously, not a single soul has entered the bathroom since Tendou’s entrance. 

Tendou hurries to give a reply as he swings his arm behind his back and clenches his fist in excitement. He wonders how everything will play out from here on. Having a new acquaintance outside of Shiratorizawa is foreign to him, but it might bring him more comfort than he’s ever been able to give himself so far. 

“What’d you take me for? Of course I won’t!” he shoots back mischievously, putting his hands up as a sign of surrender when Iwaizumi whirls around with a sharp glare. 

Oopsies.  

“Watch your back, Tendou. Wouldn’t want Ushijima to come and find out about this mess, now do we?” 

I-Is that him teasing?? It’s unlike how he usually does it to his own friends, but the tone of light-heartedness is not to be underestimated. In fact, it comes pretty close to the kind of banter he manages to pull from Semi sometimes. 

Saluting like a soldier, Tendou mocks back, not to outdone. “Same to you about Oikawa-kun~” Iwaizumi flips him the middle finger aggressively and savagely, his eyebrows pinching into a scowl once again. 

Tendou waves with both arms wildly, his heart thumping happily in his chest, a far cry from the wrenching pain he felt a while ago. 

“I’ll text you! Don’t ignore my messages!” He can’t hide the cheeky innocence in his voice, and he watches as Iwaizumi raises a hand to bid him a silent goodbye. He can almost hear the hidden gentleness in Iwaizumi’s voice as he disappears behind the closed door, and Tendou thinks, with unbidden certainty, that this is the best thing that’s happened to him all day. 





When he’s back in his room in school the first thing he does after shooing a slightly peeved Semi out his door is drop his gym bag on the floor and collapse into his chair with his chest constricting in nerves. 

He’d been lucky enough to divert most of his team’s attention away from him when they asked what took so long for him to get back to the bus, but his fumbled reasons didn’t seem to appease Semi at all, and he was stuck being interrogated all the way up to his room. 

So he locked his friend out of his room to save his ears from another lecture from the naggy mother hen.

His fingers tremble slightly as he types out a greeting to the number he had saved as ‘Iwaizumi-kun’ in his contacts list. Normally he would already be coming up with nicknames for his newly acquainted friends, but something tells him that Iwaizumi doesn’t seem like the type to appreciate the sentiment. 

… 

Who is he kidding, Semi isn’t either, but he still went ahead and created the cutest nickname ever - which Semi disliked vehemently. 

He just doesn’t want to put off Iwaizumi lest he decides he doesn’t want to befriend him anymore. The trauma from his tough childhood lingers in the recesses of his mind as he tries to reel in any and all tendencies to be his usual playfully sarcastic self. 

“And done!” he tells himself as he hits the little send button. 

He puts his phone aside then, scared that he’ll receive the notification of a reply right after. 

I’ll look at it after I shower, he procrastinates, feeling oddly anxious about the reply that he’ll get. If he even gets a reply, that is. 

Iwaizumi might have been nice to him just then in the bathroom, but who knows whether he changed his mind since then? 

Wuss. His brain insists.

Tendou ignores it.

Shaking the disturbing thoughts out of his head, Tendou makes a grab for his fresh clothes and heads straight for his shower. He steps back into his room fifteen minutes later with his towel draped over his head and his clothes sticking to his flushed, sweaty skin. 

“So hot...” he mumbles, blaming the humidity in the air for his disheveled appearance as he runs a hand through his wet hair and rubs the towel over it again. 

It always falls over his eyes and obscures his view partially when it’s down, which is one of the reasons he puts his hair up so bizarrely during the day. That and because he likes looking a little wild. It fits his image of being intimidating perfectly. 

He walks over to his closet to retrieve a hanger for his towel to dry on, but when he turns back around with it in his hand he screeches loudly at the sight of someone sitting on his bed. 

“Wakatoshi-kun?? What’re you doing here?” he stammers as he clutches onto the hanger tighter in his shock. His heart slams against his ribcage like it wants to pop right out of his body. 

Holy shit, how long has he been here??  

Ushijima looks up from one of Tendou’s manga volumes. His legs are crossed in front of him as he leans back on the wall comfortably, like he’s familiar with the space in Tendou’s room. He is, actually, and if their frequent visits to each other’s rooms don’t give that fact away his ease at being in someone else’s dorm room without prior informing certainly does. 

“I thought I would stop by to borrow another book, since I’ve finished the one you lent me.” Ushijima gestures to the book in his hands.

Then he sits up straighter and shifts on the bed, moving his bulk over the sheets silently and planting his bare feet on the floor. “Do you have anything that isn’t related to zombies by any chance?” 

Tendou wants to laugh at the sheer absurdity of his situation. 

Of course he’d be here to borrow another book, what else did Tendou expect? An ‘I just wanted to see you’? 

He swallows down the bitterness crawling up his throat and silences the rampant, depressing thoughts inside his head. He tries not to wilt as he crosses the length of his room to his bookshelf, stuffed to the brim with all his prized possessions of books, manga volumes and even the occasional stuffed animal or two. 

He liked those as a kid, okay? Stuffed animals aren’t that childish… 

“You came to the right place, Wakatoshi-kun! I have just the thing for you.” His eyes flick over the various spines of his books, trying to find the one that he’s looking for. “Did the zombies freak you out too much or something?” he sniggers into his palm as he tries to calm his racing heart. 

Ushijima gives him a bland “They did not.” that betrays his thoughts on the unfortunately realistic drawings of the walking dead. 

“Right, right. Whatever you say- Ah! Found it!” Tendou hands him another hard-covered book, pointing at the title and saying, “This one is pure fantasy. Maybe a little romance but that’s not very important, is it?” 

He watches as Ushijima nods in satisfaction and takes the other book back from his outstretched hand. 

His chest hurts slightly when he replays the emotionless expression on Ushijima’s face. 

Anything even remotely related to the concept of romance has never interested Ushijima at all, at least until Oikawa came into the picture. 

“Thank you. I should go back now, it’s late.” 

Tendou glances at the clock on his bedside stand before shrugging and reaching for his phone. Just as he’s about to turn it on, Ushijima stops beside him and looks over his shoulder briefly. “Oh, your phone rang a couple of times while you were showering.” 

He slides away from Ushijima’s hot breath stealthily, trying not to let him see how affected he is just from his proximity. God, is that his heart that's beating so loudly? “That so? It’s probably nothing, but thanks for telling me.” 

Ushijima hums in agreement, heading for the door and opening it. 

Tendou stares down at the screen of his phone, his eyes leaving Ushijima’s back as he contemplates the possibility of Iwaizumi bashing him over text for not replying immediately. A small smile creeps onto his face as he thinks about how to reply to that. 

“Why are you smiling like that?” Ushijima’s voice startles him out of his daydream, and he quickly hides his phone behind his back and replies with a swift “Nothing! Goodnight, Wakatoshi-kun.” that might have turned less convincing the moment his pitch wobbled.

Ushijima pins his stoic gaze onto him, making Tendou squirm. 

Crap, he shouldn’t have brushed it off so casually. He probably sounded suspicious. 

Then his brain decides to pour salt into the already open wound in his chest. 

(Not that he would care either way.) 

Shushing the stupidly demoralising thoughts, he stands still and fidgets with his fingers, out of sight of Ushijima’s field of vision. 

Eventually, Ushijima gives a hesitant “Goodnight Tendou.” and slips out of his room without another word. 

When he’s gone, Tendou lets out a soft sigh of relief. He can never get used to Ushijima’s eyes on him, and he bites his lip in frustration when he realises what he’s done. 

Why did he lie? 

Muttering to himself, he flops down on his bed and ponders over the reflex that had spurred him to hide the fact that he now has a connection with a rival school’s player. 

“Why did I do that…?” 

Maybe it was just panic that led his mind to disregard the question that Ushijima had asked of him, but somewhere inside, he knows that isn’t the case. 

If he doesn’t want his feelings to be found out, he should probably keep Iwaizumi away from his team is what he really  thinks. Whether that will work out in his favour is a matter he does not wish to discuss with himself right now. 

He lies down on his side, resting his face on his mattress as he maneuvers his entire body onto his bed. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, he hopes that he'll be able to get any and all thoughts of his one-sided crush out of his tired brain. Instead, he freezes when he catches a whiff of the scent of Ushijima’s fabric softener. A familiar smell to him, since he likes to indulge in physical shows of affection with his friends and teammates. 

He doesn't remember the number of times he's inhaled that pleasant smell into his lungs and felt it burn him from the inside out. It practically sticks to Ushijima like a thick miasma of his own personal weakness - his sensitive nose really had to betray him in the most unorthodox of ways. It doesn't matter if Ushijima's shirt is off or on his body, and it matters even less when he's freshly showered and has changed into a new set of clothes that have probably sat in his closet for about a month before he even considered wearing it. 

No. Stop. Don’t think about it.  

He still takes another deep inhale despite his resolution not to get carried away. 

It isn’t his fault that whatever it is that Ushijima uses on his clothes smells really good, plus there is something in the scent that is distinctly Ushijima. And he can't seem to get enough of anything that reminds him of the center of his secret - but not so secret - affections.

It forces a small sigh from him as he rolls onto his back to get away from the smell that Ushijima left behind on his sheets. 

Wonderful, now he won’t be able to sleep at all tonight. 

To take his mind off things he turns his phone on, watching the screen light up and show all his recent notifications. He reads the first few words of Iwaizumi’s last message with apprehension. 

It slowly drains away when he unlocks his phone with bated breaths and starts to read through the five replies. 

Tendou: Iwaizumi-kun~ Did you get back home safe hehe  

Iwaizumi-kun: i did but what’s with the honorific 

just iwaizumi is fine 

it’s weird to be called that 

it reminds me too much of shittykawa and his stupid smirk

Then, five minutes after the last one: 

Iwaizumi-kun: are u already asleep or smth

Tendou hurries to type out his response, feeling a rush of happiness bubble up in his body as he stares dopily at the texts. 

Tendou: I was showering oops  

Also, u don’t use capital letters?  

He sees that Iwaizumi comes online ten seconds after that. He grins.

Iwaizumi-kun: stfu 

who the hell uses caps

Tendou: Uh, me?

Where’d your exclamation marks go??

I can’t even tell if u’re asking me a qn or not

Iwaizumi-kun: don’t lie

of course u can frickin tell

Tendou: Atrocious

And no I can’t tell

Iwaizumi-kun: ...bye

Tendou: Wait noooo! 

I’m sorryyyy pls come back

:(

Iwaizumi-kun: why did i give u my number again

i didn’t come here to have my texting preferences nitpicked abt

Tendou: Because u wanted help and I can give u the help u need!

Force of habit btw I’m just like this all the time

Iwaizumi-kun: wat help

don’t recall asking for help

i’m like this all the time too  

Tendou: I am hurt

But touché

Tendou spends the next few hours laughing about Iwaizumi’s apparent lack of knowledge on their hometown’s shopping districts.

20 questions was a good suggestion to get to know each other better. 

He can’t even remember who brought it up but it was probably him because he can’t see Iwaizumi offering a game like that. 

Time passes surprisingly quickly as they exchange a barrage of strangely non-awkward texts. Tendou’s are all witty remarks and a lot of emojis, while Iwaizumi both responds to him and initiates conversation with blunt questions and thinly veiled insults when Tendou gets too cheeky. 

It is only when Iwaizumi brings up the time that he realises that it’s way past midnight. And that he still has morning practice after he wakes up. So he shoots Iwaizumi an apology and they both decide that tomorrow will be a better time to continue their chat. 

Tendou: As much as I would love to keep texting u

I think I should be gg to sleep now

I still have practice in the morning

Iwaizumi-kun: oh shit 

i totally forgot that i have practice tmr

then i’ll go to sleep too

Tendou: Gdnight Iwaizumi!!

Talk to u tmr??

His excitement and eagerness probably shows even through his texts, but he doesn’t care. 

Talking to Iwaizumi made him forget about a lot of things. Their banter brought forth a new kind of comfort that enveloped him like a blanket and plucked some of his deepest worries out of his mind for a good few hours. 

Has it really been that long since he came out of the shower? 

Wow.

Iwaizumi-kun: night

Tendou watches the three little dots signaling that he isn’t done yet appear on his screen. They stay there for a while.

Eventually: 

Iwaizumi-kun: i had fun tonight

thanks  

Smiling like an idiot, Tendou sends Iwaizumi annoying finger gun stickers and puts his phone back onto his bedside table to charge after setting his alarms for the next day. 

Then he grabs it back after a minute and clicks onto Iwaizumi’s contact. 

*Iwaizumi-kun has been changed to Iwaizumi*

Satisfied and a little giddy with joy, he settles back down into his bed and dozes off into slumber with a tiny smile on his face.