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Motoya smiles to himself as he steps out of the elevator and into the hallway. It feels good to be walking down this hall to the last door on the left. It feels like he has finally come home after a long trip. 

 

And in a way, he has. 

 

Shizuoka, while a wonderful place to live and work in, is really just a place for him to stay during the volleyball season. His apartment is almost bare and minus the plants that require his attention, Motoya has no attachment to it - not when everything important to him is in Osaka. His favorite sweaters are hanging in the closet, his neon yellow crocs are in the genkan, that one pair of socks with holes that he refuses to get rid of are in the nightstand. 

 

But most importantly, Atsumu is there. 

 

Atsumu, who always greets Motoya with a whispered “ okaeri ” against his lips. Atsumu, who makes sure that there are always two blankets on the couch for both of them. Atsumu, who always pulls Motoya back under the covers when it’s too early for them to be awake. 

 

Atsumu, who managed to worm his way into Motoya's heart without so much as a fight.

 

Which is exactly why Motoya thought it would be a great idea to show up in Osaka and surprise Atsumu. The blonde was supposed to pick him up later in the afternoon, but what better way to start his birthday than by waking his boyfriend up? It’s the greatest idea he’s ever had, honestly. So he swapped out his late morning train ticket for an earlier one and called it a day. 

 

Excitement buzzes through Motoya as he turns the key in the lock, as he opens the door, as he takes the first step into the apartment. The knowledge that he’s finally home again washes over him and he sighs. 

 

Tadaima ,” Motoya whispers to the genkan, shutting the door as silently as possible.  

 

At this hour, he’s almost positive that Atsumu’s asleep and the last thing he wants is to ruin the surprise. He slips his duffle bag off of his shoulder and tries his best to place it on the ground, cringing at the jingles from the MSBY keychain attached to it. After a few seconds of making sure the coast is clear, he slides out of his shoes

 

Just as Motoya’s about to step into the entryway, he hears a crash followed by someone swearing. His body instantly freezes, muscles tensing at the commotion coming somewhere from his right. There’s another crashing sound and more swearing as Motoya strains his ear trying to figure out what’s happening. Did someone break into the apartment? How is Atsumu still asleep with all of this noise? Should Motoya call someone? What if—

 

“Samu, I need your help.” Atsumus voice floats through the apartment and Motoya can feel his muscles relax. “I don’t know if I’m doing this right.”

 

“You’re such a scrub,” comes Osamu's tinny voice.“I didn’t go to school for baking, ya idiot.” 

 

“Ya know how this shit works! I can’t call anyone else!” 

 

Motoya covers his mouth so that his giggles won’t be heard over whatever contraption Atsumu is currently working with. From the sound of it, he would assume it’s a hand mixer but the way it’s hitting the side of the bowl makes it sound much more dangerous. When did Atsumu even buy a mixer? 

 

Wait a minute, is Atsumu trying to bake? 

 

“Samu.” Atsumu sounds like he’s on the verge of giving up completely, exhaustion lacing each word. “I need to finish this before I pick Toya up later.”

 

A sigh. “Well, it’s not my fault that ya waited until the morning he was visiting to bake the damn thing. Why didn’t ya do this yesterday when ya had time to do it? It’s never gonna settle in time.”

 

The temptation to sneak a peek into the kitchen is beating out Motoyas desire to stick with the plan. At this point, his desire to know what Atsumu is baking is a need, not a want. The sound of the whisks hitting the bowl fills the apartment again and underneath it all, Motoya can hear Osamu yelling at Atsumu. 

 

That’s it, he can’t stand out in the hallway any longer. He needs to know what’s happening in their kitchen. 

 

Motoya takes one, two, three steps until he’s at the doorway and stops just short of entering. He’s greeted with the sight of one Miya Atsumu clad in an apron and boxers, clutching a mixing to his chest while attempting to keep the hand mixer in the bowl. It’s the greatest thing Motoya has ever seen in his life. If his brain didn’t short circuit the second he stepped into the room, he would have taken a picture for posterity. 

 

The longer Motoya stands there, the better the whole situation gets. Not only is Atsumu wearing the bright yellow apron that he bought for Motoya, but it’s covered in green-colored batter - which doesn’t make any sense since the batter in the bowl is chocolate. On top of that, there’s flour covering his hair and making the blonde look white. 

 

When Motoyas eyes finally land on the bowl again, he notices that it’s bubbling. From what he knows, cake batter shouldn’t bubble. The look of horror on Osamu’s face that’s spread across the laptop screen tells him everything he needs to know.

 

“Turn around, ya scrub.” 

 

“What are ya talkin’ about?” Atsumu stops his mixing to point at the laptop. “You’re right in front—” 

 

“Motoya is standing right behind ya,” Osamu says, nodding his head. 

 

Atsumu spins around, batter spilling out of the bowl and onto the floor as he does so. Now that he’s facing Motoya, the mess that is Miya Atsumu is completely on display - and Motoya loves it. From this view, he can see that there’s a swipe of the batter on Atsumu's brow and what looks to be raw egg drying in the front of his hair. 

 

He looks like an absolute mess. Motoya has never wanted to kiss him more. 

 

“Good luck, Toya-kun.” Osamu waves to him from the laptop. “I wouldn’t eat that if I were ya.” 

 

“It’s not that bad, Toya.” Atsumu pouts at Motoya and the latter can't help but grin in return. "I promise that we can eat it." 

 

“If ya say so,” Osamu snorts. “Happy birthday, Toya.” 

 

The screen changes to a photo that Atsumu took of them on a trip once Osamu hangs up. The silence that settles over them lasts for a brief moment before Atsumu promptly drops the mixing bowl onto the counter and flings himself at Motoya, smearing cake batter and whatever else onto him. 

 

“What are ya doing here? Your train wasn’t supposed to get in until 1:00.”

 

Motoya grins up at him. “I wanted to see you sooner.” 

 

The blush that travels across Atsumus cheeks is the best gift Motoya could receive that day. It’s even better when he reaches a hand up to drag a finger across his forehead and giggles at how sticky the batter is. 

 

“Happy birthday, Toya.”