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i'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you

Chapter Text

It’s 3:00pm when Iwaizumi gets home from his daily workout at the gym. He’s all about routines, though it’s entirely pointless considering he can rarely stick to them. He still tries though. Sixteen years and he still makes attempts for routine.

When he was seventeen years old, he’d met a girl at a party just after graduating from high school. Nice girl; very pretty with a good head on her shoulders. But they’d drank more than they probably should have and things went further than they had both intended in a single night and two months later, Iwaizumi was informed that he would be a father. That was big news for a seventeen year old to take in. He’d stuck with her though, learned everything he could, told her that he’d do whatever it took to make this work. Her name was Hanamiya Akemi and like him, she was seventeen years old and had just graduated. She intended to go to college, had already passed her admissions test and she voiced that she didn’t know how she could follow her dreams with a baby to raise. When she broke down, Iwaizumi held her as she cried before she asked to be alone. The next day Akemi told him that she could not keep their child--their son, he’d learned--and that she would be giving him up for adoption so that she could live her life the way she’d intended.

Iwaizumi let the news sink in and had gone home and told his mother and father, who in the beginning were quite disappointed with him, but had grown to anticipate a grandchild to love. He told them the news, Akemi’s intentions, surprised to do so with damp eyes and a lump in his throat. That was probably what spurred his parents into action as they went to speak with Akemi and her parents, offered to take their grandson off the ambitious girl’s hands and would raise him themselves until their Hajime was able to do so on his own.

At age twenty three, Iwaizumi had finally saved enough money to move out of his parents home with his son--now six years old. He worked hard daily, sometimes late into the night. On those nights, his parents would pick his son up from school, help him with his schoolwork, and put him to bed if Iwaizumi wasn’t home in time to do so. And when Iwaizumi would return from work most nights, he’d still come home to his son smiling sleepily--always so happy to see his father--and begging for a bedtime story.

Please otou-san, just one!” He’d beg. Iwaizumi smiles fondly at the memory before rolling his eyes.

That was ten years ago. These days he could hardly get the answer to what his son--now sixteen years old--wanted for dinner, let alone a smile and a request for bedtime stories. As Iwaizumi toes out of his sneakers at the door of his home, he hears faint voices coming from the living area down the hall. He knows exactly who it is, the same kids that have been occupying his space for the last three years of his life. He quietly walks down the hall as not to disturb them.

Of course he’s not eavesdropping.

“Are you going to tell your dad?” A slightly high-pitched voice asks, a teenage boy’s.

“You should absolutely tell him. Iwaizumi-san seems very understanding. He can be scary sometimes but he loves you. I don’t think he’d be mad.” This voice is female and just as familiar as the first. He waits a moment for his son’s response, the only one left in the room.

“I don’t know if I’ll tell him--” there’s a whine from the first boy. “--shut up, dumbass and let me finish. I don’t know if I’m ready to tell him. I just need time. This isn’t easy for me.”

Guilt squeezes tight in Iwaizumi’s chest. It’s times like this when he wonders if he was selfish in wanting to raise him on his own, with no mother around to help in situations that weren’t easy to bring to a father. The teenagers go quiet like they’re reflecting on what was just said and Iwaizumi senses this is a good time to walk in. A decent enough amount of time has passed that he can pretend like he heard nothing.

“Tobio--” Iwazumi starts.

“SORRY FOR THE INTRUSION!”

Iwaizumi resists the urge to drag a hand down in his face in annoyance. For three years, Hinata Shouyou and Yachi Hitoka have made his home their home. He’s never once minded, never will, but every time they come over they yell their apologies in unison. It’s manners, Iwaizumi knows, but that doesn’t make it drive him any less crazy. He can tell it drives his son just as mental when he takes Hinata by the head, squeezing it and making him sit back down with a growl.

“Don’t mind,” Iwaizumi says--always says. He looks back at his son.

Iwaizumi Tobio is a spitting image of his mother and a daily reminder that Iwaizumi has a reason to live, a reason to work as hard as he does. Like his father, he loves volleyball; almost eats, sleeps, and breathes it. Iwaizumi can admit that it’s partially his fault.

“You three are home early,” he says. “Did you not have volleyball practice?”

The three of them are second years at Karasuno High School where Tobio and Hinata-kun are in the volleyball club and Yachi-kun serves as their manager.

“Coach Ukai cancelled practice because his grandfather is sick,” Hinata interjects before Tobio can answer. Iwaizumi has to try very hard not to smirk at the look his son is giving the redhead at being spoken over. “Normally we stick around and practice alone but Yachi said we should come home and do homework, bleghhh.”

Iwaizumi raises his eyebrows at Hinata and then smiles at Yachi.

“Well, it’s a good thing she befriended you two knuckleheads in junior high or you’d never have the grades to play.” He winks at her when Tobio and Hinata splutter indignantly, earning a giggle and a light blush in return.

“I have practice in an hour and it might run late tonight, Tobio. So make sure you clean up after Hinata-kun and you two get Yachi-kun home at a decent time.”

Tobio nods, giving his assent and when Iwaizumi leaves to head for his room, the three teens’ animated whispers return immediately.

Iwaizumi coaches the boys volleyball club at Tohoku University. When he first started five years ago, the team was awful. They’d needed major work and could rarely get any practice games because the school had next to zero connections. Before Iwaizumi had stepped in, the team had never made it past the first round of preliminaries. After a year, he had gotten them to round two. And by his third year as their coach, he’d taken them all the way to semi-finals. Iwaizumi never had to think about it in high school when he played as a wing spiker and ace to his team, but as an adult now making a living from it, he learns that the further he takes the team, the higher his pay. But more importantly, the higher they go, the happier his players are. A lot of them want to go professional with their volleyball careers and Iwaizumi knows that won’t be an easy feat without proper training and dedication. Volleyball wasn’t like baseball and basketball and scores of other sports. There wasn’t a league for it. You could play in grade school and you could play in college, but the next step from there was the National team; one team that represents all of Japan. It’s unrealistic to think that just anyone and everyone could make it.

He showers and dresses for practice, grabbing a quick bite to eat before he’s heading out the door again.

“Don’t forget, Tobio. Get Yachi-kun home at a decent time! Hinata-kun, don’t make a mess!”

He hears Hinata’s “Yes, sir!” more prominently than he hears Tobio’s mumbled “Yes, otou-san.”

Tohoku’s practice goes on for an hour of conditioning before Iwaizumi lets his players practice with volleyballs. Core strength and proper stamina are key fundamentals to winning games with energy to spare when it’s all over. He decides afterwards to let them have a practice game today, letting the captain and vice captain pick two teams from their peers.

When they’re all set up and ready, Iwaizumi stands to the side, watching both teams and mentally picking out the things he sees that need improvement.

Iwaizumi knows he’s hard on his players but he also knows that he has to be. Since most of them intend to play on a national level and Iwaizumi knows there’s only so many spots open every year, even with reserves, he drills them hard and makes them practice until they’re near passing out sometimes. He scowls as he watches his ace, Yuki Junpei, miss an open opportunity for a quick in favor of a kill before blowing his whistling, gaining the attention of everyone in the gym.

“What the hell was that, Yuki?” He asks, all team members’ eyes flying to their ace. “Answer this honestly; do you truly think you’re going to play for Japan if you don’t know how to assess your situation and go for the better scoring option? Yeah, you got lucky this time because Atsushi was weak in his blocking--” Iwaizumi takes this time to glare at his 200cm middle blocker, Sakurai Atsushi, before continuing. “But if this had been a game against Sendai, or even Miyagi, those blockers would have sent that spike right to the ground. Do better. Be better!”

He keeps his eyes firm on Yuki and the younger man nods once before setting up for the next serve. His players know that he never means to belittle or embarrass them. He’s only ever trying to better them, and Iwaizumi thinks he does a pretty decent job of it. He’s been doing this long enough to know if he’s taking it too far; he hasn’t yet. He nods in satisfaction as a new look of determination settles over Yuki’s face.

“You’re awfully hard on them, aren’t you? Especially on your ace,” comes a silky voice from just behind him. When had someone entered the gym? How hadn’t he heard them? He turns around to see who’s interrupting his practicing and telling him how to coach, especially in such a sickeningly sweet voice. He’s annoyed to find that the smile is just as sickening. “If my coach had ever spoken to me in that tone I’m sure I’d have shown him how unacceptable it was.”

Iwaizumi’s eyes deadpan on the man standing before him. He’s got a good two inches on Iwaizumi with brown curls littering around an unnaturally pretty face. His face is smooth with sharp edges that surround two too bright eyes, both eerily piercing. He’s seen this face many times on his TV screen as well as in the paper. He’s heard Hinata-kun gripe on and on in his living room about this man time and time again. For a moment he thinks he’s seeing things--obviously mistaken but he can hear practice coming to a halt behind him as his players gather around, whispering and chattering among each other asking if it’s really him. And then, with the urge to kick the man growing stronger in his heart, Iwazumi knows for sure.

The man standing before him is none other than the National Team of Japan’s first string setter, Oikawa Tooru.

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi stares at the taller man, his expression that of a someone on the cusp of murder. There’s a vein repeatedly ticking over his temple that Iwaizumi wills to calm but it’s just not happening. Who the hell did this guy think he was? Yuki breaks the silence.

“Oikawa Tooru! What are you doing here?”

“Ah, Yuki-chan is it?” His smile makes Iwaizumi want to kick all of his teeth out. Oikawa seems to sense Iwaizumi’s distress and sends a smirk his way before his attention focuses back on Yuki. “I gave a speech at the Spring graduation this afternoon. I’m sure most of you know this but this is my alma mater. So I wanted to see how all of my kouhai were doing now--and their new coach.” This earns Iwaizumi another smirk before Oikawa continues. “By the way, I think that kill was an excellent choice. Spotting the weaknesses in your opposing blockers is a good skill to have. I’d be glad to have you as an ace.”

Iwaizumi’s sure he’s about to explode right then and there when his manager, Kiyoshi Miko, pulls him aside to tell him about an offer received for a practice game. He glances back at Oikawa with a murderous look as Miko drags him away, reminding him that it’s not good for his heart when he gets like this. It takes him ten minutes to finish up a call with the coach from Sendai University and when he’s done, he leans out of his office to blow his whistle loudly to end practice. The guys talk for a few more minutes with Oikawa but soon after, the equipment is put away and the gym is cleared.

Except Oikawa is still there.

When Iwaizumi spots him, he turns and makes a beeline back to his office in the hopes of Oikawa just leaving and never coming back. He’s not so lucky. Oikawa follows him and is across the threshold just in time before Iwaizumi can shut his office door in the other man’s face.

“So mean!”

“What do you want?” Iwaizumi asks distractedly. He starts stacking a few papers in a deliberate attempt to make Oikawa feel unwelcome and hopefully leave. It doesn’t work as he expects.

“Coach Iwaizumi Hajime” Oikawa recites proudly. “One of your former players made first string with us this year, you know. He speaks very highly of you. I think he’s even harboring a little crush on his former sensei.” Of course Oikawa says this in that sickly sweet voice of his that drips with false praise.

Iwaizumi’s lips lift in a snarl.

“Why are you still here?” He asks.

“I already answered this question for Yuki-chan but I’ll answer it again. I’ve come to see how well my kouhai and their new coach are doing. I hear you’ve turned them around quite a bit in the last few years.”

Iwaizumi can understand the interest, really. When Oikawa was a student at Tohoku, the volleyball team wasn’t bad at all. In fact, that was probably the school’s best team since it’s founding. To hear that the team was doing well again, maybe even better than it’s ever been, without Oikawa’s help was probably something that irked the famous setter. Iwaizumi doesn’t understand why this gives him satisfaction, but he doesn’t chase it away.

“That’s not what I mean, idiot. Why are you here?” He asks again, emphasizing the here as in here in his office. Oikawa just smiles without missing a beat.

“Oh. Because I find you terribly interesting, Iwa-chan,” he answers as if it’s the most obvious thing in world.

That vein makes another appearance over Iwaizumi’s temple. He doesn’t understand how he could come off as interesting to this guy in any way considering they just met all of twenty minutes ago and since then Iwaizumi hasn’t shown him an ounce of kindness.

“Get out,” he replies simply. “And don’t ever call me that again.”

To his surprise Oikawa obeys, but with a smile and silent promise that Iwaizumi hasn’t seen the last of him.

--------------------

Oikawa shows up to Tohoku’s practice three more times that week, much to Iwaizumi’s dismay. Every single time, he tells the man to leave but Oikawa just smiles that awful smile and insists that, “I’m just here to help, Iwa-chan. Most coaches would die for this kind of opportunity.”

And for the fifth time that week, Miko has to drag Iwaizumi away while he growls about how someone was going to die, alright.

At home, his son is acting more and more unusual as time progresses. Iwaizumi’s taken to ending his practices on time with his new headache of an intrusion showing up repeatedly so he’s witnessed Tobio coming home later than normal. Not late enough that Iwaizumi needs to worry too much, but whenever he casually asks his son about his day or volleyball practice, the teenager’s answers are short and dry and lead to a quick retreat to do homework.

Like Iwaizumi would ever believe Tobio was doing homework because he wanted to.

No, if Tobio was rushing off to do homework because his only other option was talking to his father then something was definitely going on. Iwaizumi thinks back to the day he’d come home a week ago and overheard his son and his friends speaking quietly.

“You should absolutely tell him. Iwaizumi-san seems very understanding. He’s only scary sometimes but he loves you. I don’t think he’d be mad.” Yachi had said in a low voice.

Iwaizumi wonders what they could have been talking about; wonders if he should make more of an effort to reach out. But he knew Tobio and the more Iwaizumi would reach, the more Tobio would retreat. He needed to wait for his son to work things out on his own. Iwaizumi had faith that Tobio was strong enough to handle it, and that when he felt like he wasn’t, he’d come to Iwaizumi in his own time.

On Friday, Iwaizumi is in his office working on new plays and reviewing the new signals his setters had given him for game use. There was an upcoming practice match between third string and second string members who wanted a chance to take the few spots on first string that had recently opened up and Iwaizumi needed to know that they were serious about it. Setters and spikers need to be in sync when they’re on the court, but they also need to know what they were doing. If his spikers and setters couldn’t work together and follow proper direction and predesigned plays, then they wouldn’t make it very far on this team.

He’s working steadily until he’s disturbed by Oikawa’s quick rap on his door.

“I came to practice with the team today and no one’s here, Iwa-chan.”

“That’s because there’s no practice today or for the next week. Exams,” he grunts simply before adding, “And I’ve told you to stop calling me that.”

“Well if there’s no practice and it’s a Friday, what are doing holed up in this office? You should get out more, Iwa-chan. Let’s go have dinner.”

“Why would I do that?” Iwaizumi deadpans.

“Because Iwa-channn…”

It’s not really a whine, but whatever it is in Oikawa’s voice tugs at his heart like Oikawa has him lassoed and is about to physically lift him from his chair. He sighs, resigned.

“Fine. But only if you shut up. Your voice is so annoying.”

“How mean!”

--------------------

They go out for Agedashi tofu because Miko told Oikawa that it was Iwaizumi’s favorite and the dark haired man vows to demote her the next time he sees her. They’re seated in a booth near the front of the restaurant where Oikawa gushes about getting the best seats in the house because he’s so charming and handsome.

“Don’t be jealous, Iwa-chan, you’ve got the potential to be handsome as well,” he says. “Maybe scowl a little less and you should work on that growl as well. Gives people the wrong message.” Iwaizumi gives him a blank look to which Oikawa just responds with his usual smile.

In a flash, it turns into something more predatory as he leans forward, those five extra centimeters he has on Iwaizumi really counting for something as he nearly invades the shorter man’s space. Iwaizumi sits back in his seat as far as he can.

“Tell me more about you, Iwa-chan. I want to know the man behind the grimace.”

As if to prove a point, Iwaizumi only grimaces deeper but complies. He tells Oikawa that he’s thirty four years old (“Oh, me too, Iwa-chan!”) and that his birthday is June 10th (“A gemini, I should have known.”) He tells him that he’s been Tohoku’s volleyball coach for five years but before that he was an editor for a sports magazine, even though he was grossly under qualified.

“How so?” Oikawa asks genuinely.

“Because I didn’t go to college. The only reason I was hired was because I was well-versed in sports and wasn’t afraid to openly criticize people.” Oikawa snorts impolitely.

“No college, huh? But didn’t you play volleyball in high school? You must have been really good-- I can tell--so why didn’t you go to college if only to continue playing?”

Iwaizumi pauses, chopsticks halfway to his mouth, as he considers his answer. Then he shakes his head. Why would he be hesitant to tell Oikawa that he has a son? It’s not like the famous setter particularly meant anything to him.

“Because I needed to take care of my son,” he answers.

Oikawa’s face lights up in confusion and something else that Iwaizumi can’t quite place. It makes him uneasy though so when Oikawa says, “Oh?” Iwaizumi cuts him off quickly, clearing his throat.

“So what about you? Is everything the magazines tell us true?”

Oikawa’s face falls in a pout that Iwaizumi is hard-pressed to admit is kind of cute, but he seems to understand that Iwaizumi’s not ready to talk about his son. Oikawa’s grin returns instantly.

“Aw, Iwa-chan, have you been reading up on me? Have you really been a true fan all this time?”

“No,” Iwaizumi deadpans.

As suspected, Oikawa calls him mean, but it doesn’t stop him from going into his life story. About how of course, he was very talented from a young age. How he grew up with two sisters, one older and one younger. The older one has a son who Oikawa teaches, along with other children, volleyball at a Lil’ Tykes Volleyball Classroom. His favorite food is milk bread and he loves to listen to J-pop. By the end of it, he’s got up two fingers in a peace sign that Iwaizumi swats away from across the table in annoyance.

When the check comes, Iwaizumi pays for both of their meals so that Oikawa doesn’t get the wrong idea and tries to pay for him instead. This backfires immediately.

“Aw, Iwa-chan, you paid. It’s almost as if we were just on a date.”

Iwaizumi finally acts on the feelings he’s been keeping pent up for over a week and jabs his hand into Oikawa’s ribs. The pained squeal he gets is more satisfying than he could have ever imagined.

Oikawa offers to drive Iwaizumi, who normally takes the train, home claiming it’s the least he could do in return for Iwaizumi paying for his food and Iwaizumi agrees to let him. The car ride is quiet--only after Oikawa attempts to blast some kind of kpop that he imagines Yachi and Hinata listen to--until the other man finally asks Iwaizumi about his son. There’s a more sincere touch to his voice this time so Iwaizumi tells him about his meeting of Akemi when they were seventeen and her decision to give Tobio up for adoption. Oikawa turns up his nose as if he’s about to say something negative about her when Iwaizumi cuts in--

“Akemi was a nice girl. She was afraid and she understood that we were too young to raise a child. She knew that giving him to a family that would be able to love him and better provide for him than we could was the right thing to do. I never hated her for coming to that decision. In fact, I admire her strength for being able to.”

Oikawa’s quiet after that so Iwaizumi glances over to find a serious expression on his face.

“You’re not so bad, Iwa-chan,” he finally says. There’s none of that sweet poison to it which makes Iwaizumi start, blinking in surprise.

They arrive at Iwaizumi’s house soon after and he looks up to find all of the lights are on. Hinata and Yachi must be over. It’s a Friday so he wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve both already told their parents that they’re staying over and that Iwaizumi-san said it was alright. He shakes his head before glancing at Oikawa.

“Aren’t you going to invite me in?” He asks sweetly.

Iwaizumi doesn’t answer, his eyebrows high and eyes suspicious.

“Don’t think too hard about it, Iwa-chan. I just don’t want to go home yet. It’s so early.”

It’s the same voice Oikawa used back in Iwaizumi’s office that seems to tug on his heart. He sighs and shakes his head before getting out of the car and indicating for Oikawa to follow, causing the setter’s face to light up in excitement. Iwaizumi goes on to consider himself doomed.

Oikawa was attractive, he could admit that. But Iwaizumi hadn’t dated anyone since Tobio was born and all he needed to was hold out for two more years until Tobio was of age and most likely off to college. He could do that. He wasn’t even sure what Oikawa’s interest in him was, but he was probably crazy for bringing him to his home like this. Maybe if he told himself that he was really doing this for the kids so they could meet Japan’s first string setter, then he’d feel a little better.

He doesn’t.

He takes his time unlocking the door and toeing off his shoes, Oikawa doing the same beside him. As expected, there are a smaller pair of boy’s sneakers and a pair of girl shoes at the stairs.

At the sound of footsteps coming toward him, he looks up and there’s Tobio with his eyes trained on a sheet of paper he’s holding as he comes down the hallway. He’s speaking before he even looks up.

“Otou-san, I need you sign this permission slip so that I can attend our training camp next--”

Tobio stops in his tracks and stares at Oikawa with wide blue eyes. A few seconds pass and Hinata’s small, but loud, footsteps are bounding in their direction from living room--no doubt to re-excuse himself for the intrusion. He seems to stop mid-air when he spots Oikawa before dashing forward only to be clotheslined by Tobio’s arm who stops him with a murderous expression.

At the sound of the thud caused from Hinata hitting the floor, Yachi’s head peeks around the corner and into the hallway to see what’s going on and her eyes go as wide as saucers, her face blazing in an immediate blush.

Iwaizumi scrubs a hand over his face, sure his house is about to implode when Oikawa speaks.

“Yoo-hoo~, Tobio-chan. Cutie-chan. Shrimpy-chan.” His eyes pause over each of them as he addresses them one by one.

Tobio scowls. Yachi faints. And as she falls to the floor, all that can be heard--probably around the entire neighborhood--is Hinata’s, “Oooooo! Oikawa Tooru!””

Iwaizumi’s never regretted a decision more.

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi rushes to lift Yachi from the floor and carries her to the couch, already prepared to dial her mother when she comes to almost immediately. She’s still a little dazed though so he has Hinata go and pour her a glass of water. He’s been glaring at Oikawa who just gives him a little shrug that tells Iwaizumi that this is something the national setter is used to. Tobio’s glaring at Oikawa as well, just as annoyed as his father and it makes him feel that much closer to the teen to know he’s not going crazy. Because Hinata and Yachi seem to be head over heels for the man.

Iwaizumi figures this is why his son is so disgruntled but Tobio doesn’t once look Yachi’s way; only from Hinata to Oikawa and back again. There’s a little more than just venom piercing his glare toward Hinata that puts Iwaizumi on the edge of his seat as things start to make a little more sense. He’s got a possessive look on his face when Oikawa turns his gaze to a returning Hinata who jumps right into conversation about what it’s like to play for the national team. Tobio’s glare is particularly nasty when Oikawa reaches out to ruffle Hinata’s hair.

Iwaizumi almost breathes a sigh of relief if that’s all there is to what’s been bothering his son lately. He doesn’t know if that’s the case or not, but he prays to the gods that Tobio understands that Iwaizumi would do anything for him and that not being interested in girls wasn’t a problem or anything to be ashamed of in the least. Especially considering his father’s own preferences. Not that he planned to ever bring them up to him anytime soon; he’s never had the need to. But he looks forward to Tobio coming to him with this if it’s truly what’s troubling him because there’s nothing Tobio would ever need to worry about in talking to his father about his sexuality. In fact, Iwaizumi would never be more proud of the strength his son would showcase if and when he finally builds the courage to speak out about it.

Hinata’s calmed some since his initial whirlwind of questions and Iwaizumi redirects his attention to him and Oikawa.

“What are you doing here, Oikawa-san?” Hinata asks.

“Well, we’re off season so I’m home for a few months. And I met Iwa-chan at Tohoku’s practice and--”

‘Iwa-chan’?” Tobio’s looking at his father like he’s grown another head and Iwaizumi rushes to try and mend it.

“I told you to stop calling me that,” he growls at Oikawa. The setter has the grace to look halfway apologetic with a small grin, holding his hands up innocently.

“Iwa-chan,” Yachi mumbles softly from below them on the couch with a smile on her face. “That’s so cute.”

Iwaizumi runs a hand down his face. This was the last thing he needed. He really shouldn’t have brought him here. How was he going to explain to Yachi’s mother that Oikawa Tooru had almost given her daughter a heart attack? Yachi-san was not someone to be trifled with. Iwaizumi was sure he remembered her father mentioning that the reason the woman liked and trusted Iwaizumi so much with their daughter hanging around so often was because she and Iwaizumi had similar personalities. Iwaizumi didn’t see the problem with that, honestly. Yachi-san was a nice woman, in his opinion; she often helped his team out with new designs for shirts and posters as she worked in graphic design.

He sighs and looks down at Yachi-kun. “I’m glad you’re alright. I thought I was going to have to call your parents or worst, take you to a doctor.”

“Welcome back, cutie-chan. That was quite a fall you took,” Oikawa says in what Iwaizumi’s sure the man thinks is a helpful tone. It’s not.

“She didn’t fall, you idiot, she fainted. Because of you. So quit calling her that.”

“It happens all the time, Iwa-chan, of course she’s okay.”

‘Iwa-chan’?” Tobio says again, more gruffly this time. Oikawa smiles at him, wide and fake.

“Tobio-chan, you’re quite the broken record. And that scowl, you poor thing. I can certainly see a resemblance between you and your father.”

“Don’t call me that, we’re not friends,” the teen responds immediately. Oikawa laughs.

“You two are just alike! So mean.”

Hinata’s watching the interaction with wide eyes, still excited that he’s met the Oikawa Tooru. The kid’s a handful. He looks at Tobio for a moment before pressing a finger into the taller teen’s cheek.

“Why are you being so mean to Oikawa-san? He’s a setter just like you. You should be asking him for tips!”

Tobio slaps his hand away. “I don’t need any tips from him, I’m going to be much better than him. When I’m Japan’s setter, they’ll forget he ever existed.”

Tobio!” Iwaizumi says in surprise.

Iwaizumi-chan!” Even Yachi has sat up from her position on the couch.

All three of them, Iwaizumi, Hinata, and Yachi look at him in unison. He shrugs, uncaring and Iwaizumi wants to be proud because that confidence will take him far, but he also taught his son manners and respect.

Iwaizumi glances over at Oikawa and for the first time, the man’s smile is one he hasn’t seen yet. It’s better described as a smirk but even that doesn’t seem quite right.

“Apologize,” Iwaizumi tells Tobio darkly and the look he gives his son leaves no room for debate.

“I’m sorry,” Tobio says just as darkly but his face says ’It’s true though’ and Iwaizumi sighs again.

“It’s fine, Iwaizumi. Confidence is key if you want to make it in this world. You should be proud you’ve instilled such a strong will in your son. It’s almost… admirable.” A vein ticks at Oikawa’s temple and Iwaizumi can tell that the night is over. Iwaizumi knows as much from the fact that Oikawa has called him by his given name. As soon as he thinks it, Oikawa continues.

“I forgot that I have plans to meet my sister his evening. You’ll have to excuse me.”

“I’ll walk you out,” Iwaizumi says, standing hastily.

Oikawa bows. “It’s was nice meeting you Shrimpy-chan. Cutie-chan.” He winks at Yachi and she sighs dreamily. Then he turns his eyes to Tobio with a challenging smirk that honestly worries Iwaizumi. “Tobio-chan.” With that, he turns and makes his way toward the door, Iwaizumi following close behind.

He’s not exactly sure what just happened but something tells him that it’s far from over. He walks Oikawa outside to his car, his hands shoved in his pockets.

“I’m really sorry about Tobio, he’s not usually so…” Not so what? Forward? Because he actually is. Confident? Also something he normally is. He’s at a lost for a word to describe it.

“It’s fine, Iwa-chan. He’s not the first teenager to want to take my place. I was just as much of a brat when I was his age--excuse me for calling him a brat.” Iwaizumi can tell Oikawa would like to call him much, much more but he’s not exactly wrong. Tobio was a bit of a brat tonight.

“I’m sure you were a much bigger brat than he is. You were probably quite the little shit.” For the first time that comes to mind, Iwaizumi smiles at Oikawa. “If you’re going to keep calling me Iwa-chan, then I think I’ll start calling you Shittykawa. How’s that?”

Oikawa doesn’t answer right away because he seems to be distracted, staring at Iwaizumi like he’s seeing him for the first time. Only a second passes before he catches himself. “That’s mean, Iwa-chan. I see where Tobio-chan gets it from.”

Iwaizumi laughs. “I suppose you might be right about that. I guess it’s my fault he was so rude tonight.”

Oikawa’s smile has grown more genuine since they’ve come outside. It doesn’t look bad on him at all when it finally meets his eyes, Iwaizumi thinks. It gives him a warm feeling in the pit of his stomach.

“I didn’t know you knew how to laugh, Iwa-chan.” Oikawa steps closer to him, his voice dropping low. “It’s cute.”

Iwaizumi’s breath catches in his throat, this new voice of Oikawa’s dropping his heart into his stomach. He can feel his face heating up slightly as he waves him off, pushing a hand into his surprisingly firm chest. “Shut up, Shittykawa.”

Oikawa notices the blush and steps closer. “Really, really cute.”

Iwaizumi glances back at the house, nervous for some reason. “You don’t know when to quit.”

Oikawa’s still smiling even as he backs off, giving Iwaizumi a knowing look.

“I think you like me, Iwa-chan. But I’ll give you some time to figure it out for yourself. I put my number in your phone for when you do.”

Oikawa waves cutely before getting in his car and Iwaizumi’s heart is still pounding even after it turns the corner, leaving his sight.

--------------------

Iwaizumi does next to nothing for the rest of the weekend except listen to Tobio and Hinata fight over anything they could find. Poor Yachi plays mediator as much as she can but apparently she has a date with her boyfriend tonight, some guy named Tanaka Ryuunosuke--who Iwaizumi would be looking up later. So it’s just the two of them down the hall in Tobio’s room, arguing over who gets to sleep with the fluffier pillow. Iwaizumi considers using his own pillow to suffocate himself if it’ll save him from having to hear another word of it.

Browsing through his phone, he starts to pull up his Solitaire application, when he remembers what Oikawa told him. He scowls initially, remembering that Oikawa had taken his phone at some point without his permission, but he’s still curious as to whether or not he was being serious.

Sure enough, he scrolls through his contacts and not only finds Oikawa Tooru but there’s a picture of himself to go along with it. Iwaizumi probably gazes at it longer than necessary before deciding that he’s bored enough to see it through.

This picture you left is shitty, Shittykawa.

He hits send and seconds later, the urge to suffocate himself returns along with a bout of regret. What was he doing? His phone vibrates a minute later.

I knew you’d text me, Iwa-chan. It’s awfully late at night to hear you’re staring at my picture. Hm.

Iwaizumi doesn’t quite like what Oikawa's suggesting. His fingers type a quick reply.

I wasn’t staring at your picture, I just happened to come across it. It shouldn’t be on my phone in the first place!

When he hits send, he lets out a little hmph of satisfaction. He certainly turned that around. His phone vibrates on his chest.

There’s no need to be embarrassed, Iwa-chan. I know you think I’m handsome.

How the hell could he possibly have known that? Iwaizumi’s certain he’s never let his face show it anytime’s he’s thought it… And he’s only thought along those lines a few times in Oikawa’s presence. He’s on the verge of a meltdown when his phone buzzes him out of it.

Everyone does. ♥(ˆ⌣ˆԅ)

Iwaizumi growls. This bastard.

Everyone thinks you’re shitty. And no grown man should use emoticons. How annoying.

Iwaizumi doesn’t know how, but he and Oikawa continue to text throughout the night, well into the early hours of the morning. He finds himself laughing a lot at the setter which is weird because laughing isn’t necessarily something he does often. Most weekends, he’ll sit in with Tobio, Hinata, and Yachi if they’re watching a volleyball match and they always have their little anecdotes that make Iwaizumi laugh harder than he ever has. Especially since they’re mostly about his son and the way he is at school or at practice.

It makes him think back to when he was in high school when two of his friends, and former teammates, would tease him about his intensity. They still do whenever they visit.

--------------------

Iwaizumi falls asleep around five in the morning after finally telling Oikawa goodnight and is awoken seemingly minutes later by a loud shout. Hinata’s normally more considerate of his volume but it’s the name he shouts that has Iwaizumi sitting up groggily. He glances at his watch; three o’clock in the afternoon.

“Suga-san! Dai-san! Tobio and I were just talking about you last night! Do you want to play a match?! Two on two! We’ll win this time for sure!”

Sugawara Koushi and Sawamura Daichi played volleyball with Iwaizumi in high school and, next to his parents, have been two of the most supportive people in his life. When he first moved out of his parents’ house with Tobio, there were times when he’d thought that there was no way he could do this. That maybe he’d made a mistake in thinking that he could raise a child when he had barely grown up himself. But they would often step in and help him with Tobio in any way that they could. On some weekends, when Tobio was younger, they’d keep him over at their place just to give Iwaizumi some time to himself. Not that he needed to be away from his son, but there were times when he wanted to sleep and not worry if Tobio was alright or if he was getting into something that he wasn’t supposed to be. Suga and Daichi had been Iwaizumi’s saving grace and he’d be eternally grateful for them being in his life.

He climbs out of bed and dresses before heading out into the living room to find them standing around, Daichi holding a volleyball too high for Hinata to reach no matter how high he jumped while Tobio and Suga stood by watching in amusement. Iwaizumi leans against the entrance.

“Oi, who invited you two over? Hope you brought that sake you promised.”

“Like you need anymore of that! You completely embarrassed yourself the last time!” Daichi passes the volleyball off to Tobio distractedly and Tobio smirks as he carries on the game of keep away from Hinata. Suga laughs and they both make their way over as Iwaizumi leads them to the kitchen.

“We came to check on you,” Suga adds with a grin. “Tobio-chan mentioned in a text that you were still asleep and that’s not like you.”

“Plus it’s Sunday. I’m here for the food,” Daichi chimes in.

Every Sunday, Iwaizumi makes an effort to make dinner. It’s never anything fancy, but he read somewhere once that it was good for families to sit down and have dinner every once in a while. This normally included himself, Tobio, Suga, Daichi, Yachi, and Hinata. For a while, it was just a turn of everyone’s favorites but Iwaizumi has gotten more into cooking lately so he’s been trying a lot of new dishes. He sends a mock-glare Daichi’s way and the short-haired man raises his hand in an equally mock-surrender.

“Really though, Iwaizumi. It’s not like you to sleep this late in the day, even on a Sunday. Is everything going alright with the team?”

Iwaizumi waves off Suga’s concern with an easy grin. It’s a bit out of character for him to smile for nothing, but he can’t really keep it off his face. It’s not that he likes Oikawa or that he’s even thinking about him, it’s just that recalling why he was up so late makes him remember something funny that Oikawa had said last night. He must not realize that he’s gone silent with his grin for some time now because when Daichi clears his throat, Iwaizumi jumps and finds them both giving him a predatory look. He rushes to subdue them.

“Oi, what are you two looking at?” His lips form a scowl that doesn’t quite reach his eyes.

“A more important question is what are you grinning about?” Daichi counters.

“Sleeping late? Smiling?” Suga says with a light chuckle. “What have you done with our gloomy friend, Iwaizumi? The man obsessed with trying and failing at routine.”

Iwaizumi rubs at the back of his head. The last thing he wanted was to tell them about Oikawa. That was the last thing he needed, really. Sugawara and Daichi didn’t openly disagree that he should wait until Tobio was off to college before dating, but they certainly tried to change his mind any chance they got. They’d introduced him to many women in hopes of sparking his interests, and just as many men when they found out he was open to it. To their disappointment, Iwaizumi never took the bait. He was firm in his dedication to his goal; he wanted to keep the promise he’d made to himself. That was probably what annoyed him so much with his growing infatuation with Oikawa; the fact that he was making him think too hard about reconsidering.

“I’m still the same Iwaizumi,” he says, trying to recover. “I was just stretching my face, see?” He smiles a few awful, fake smiles that his friends just roll their eyes at.

Hinata and Tobio choose this time to enter the kitchen, arms bumping and sharing a look between them before they remember that they’re in the presence of others. Suga subtly raises a questioning eyebrow at Iwaizumi who shrugs with an expression that says, we’ll talk about it later.

“Is Oikawa-san coming back over, Iwaizumi-san? He was so cool!”

Tobio’s opinion on Oikawa clearly hasn’t changed as his face takes on an expression of someone who smells something foul. “He was not,” Tobio grumbles under his breath. Hinata chooses to ignore him in favor of awaiting Iwaizumi’s response.

“I’m not sure, Hinata-kun. He wasn’t exactly well received the last time he was here.” Iwaizumi sends Tobio a look and his son has the right idea to look away. “And he and I aren’t really friends. He just helped the team out last week.”

Now Suga and Daichi both are definitely looking at him inquiringly and he sighs in defeat.

“I’m making pork curry tonight which is Yachi’s favorite. So go tell her that she can bring her boyfriend this time,” he tells Hinata and Tobio. It’s Iwaizumi’s way of dismissing them which works well enough as Hinata elbows Tobio who yelps before chasing after the shorter boy who dashes off. They’re barely out of the kitchen before the questions start flooding in.

“Who is Oikawa?”

“Do we know him?”

“How well do you know him?”

Heat takes over the entirety of Iwaizumi’s face and neck as he squeezes his eyes shut. He shushes them in case the boys are still in earshot.

“He’s no one. You probably don’t actually know him, but you do know of him.” He sighs and just spits it out. “He’s talking about Oikawa Tooru.”

Both Suga and Daichi’s mouths drop, asking if he means the Oikawa Tooru and he just nods. Iwaizumi tries to will the blush from his cheeks because he knows it’ll be a dead giveaway. What reason would he have for heated cheeks when talking about a man he has no intentions with? One look at Daichi and Iwaizumi knows he’s lost the battle.

“And you brought him home? You? The same guy who’s been telling us for years that you don’t want to date until Tobio’s of age?”

“It’s not like that!” He practically yells, quieting himself immediately after. “It’s not like that,” he tries again. “He came to Tohoku to help out his kouhai with practice, he’s just been… a nuisance ever since.”

“A nuisance,” Suga repeats disbelievingly.

“A nuisance,” Iwaizumi reiterates.

“Sure,” Daichi says. “Because nuisances always turn you beet-red.”

“Alright, that’s it! We’re done talking about this,” Iwaizumi says with a wave of his hands. He can’t handle this right now.

Daichi looks like he’d very much like to continue talking about it, but Suga gives him a look and he leaves it alone. Iwaizumi tosses him a smug look and makes them both help him chop vegetables.

--------------------

After dinner, the kids hang out in front of the TV while Iwaizumi, Suga, and Daichi go outside with a few beers.

“So, what about this Oikawa guy…”

Suga throws Daichi a look who just shrugs (un)apologetically. Iwaizumi resigns and tells them everything, from the first day Oikawa had shown up at his practice all the way to the night before last when Iwaizumi had dinner with him and then brought him home. Both Suga and Daichi find Tobio’s reaction to the national setter especially hilarious much to Iwaizumi’s own embarrassment as well as the embarrassment on behalf of his son.

“If your lack of romanticism is one obstacle, Iwaizumi, then that,” Suga says, referring to Tobio disliking Oikawa. “Is another kind of obstacle altogether.”

“Tell me about it,” Iwaizumi agrees. “This is why it’s better for me if I just leave it alone. Besides, this guy is a celebrity to the right crowd of people. I’m not really made to fit into his life. Me or Tobio,” he adds. Daichi scoffs.

“How long are you going to use your son as an excuse?” He asks. “I bet if Tobio knew the way you throw his name around whenever you didn’t want to do something, he’d be thoroughly disappointed. Seriously, Hajime, he’s a teenager. And he’s smarter than a lot of them when it comes to how he perceives people. You don’t give him enough credit if you think that he’ll somehow change or crumble once you decide to do something for yourself for once.”

Suga nods his agreement as Daichi talks and adds to it soon after.

“I agree. And we all know he wouldn’t care that it’s another man. He’s grown up to understand Daichi and I’s relationship. And if we’re being honest, I think he knows a little of that feeling for himself.”

Iwaizumi was already hoping for a change of topic, but he especially wants to talk to them about Tobio and his change of pace lately. He dives right into explaining Tobio’s mood as of late as well as what he overheard between him, Yachi, and Hinata over a week ago. They both take a moment to think on this.

“I’m obviously going to wait until he’s ready to come to me with it,” Iwaizumi says. “I guess I’m just more concerned that he doesn’t know right away that he can come to me with anything. It kind of makes me question what kind of father I’ve been that he thinks I’d ever stop loving him unconditionally.”

“I don’t think that’s the case,” Suga replies. There’s a hint of sympathy in those large, brown eyes. “I’m sure Tobio knows how much you love him, but put yourself in his shoes. It’s not something that’s celebrated in our culture, you know that. I think he’s just a teenager who’s afraid right now. And when the time feels right, he’ll come to you.”

“Yeah, I agree,” Daichi goes on. “I think you should take your feelings out of the equation, Hajime. It’s not about you. I doubt Tobio is even thinking about how much you actually love him right now. I think he’s going off of what he knows and that’s that there are people in this world who hate people like us, people like him. And he’s just afraid that anyone who finds out could be or become one of those people. Don’t take it personally. Just be there for him in every way that you can when the time comes. And he’ll see that all his worries were for nothing. So will you.”

Iwaizumi smiles, his eyes going a little damp. He loves his son more than anything and he knows that his friends are right. The best he can do right now is support Tobio in all the ways he knows how and when the time comes, he’ll show his son that no one will ever love him more or be more proud of him.

“Thank you,” he says to them. “Thank you both. For everything, really. You’ve done so much for me that you never had to do. And I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to repay the kindness you’ve shown me.”

He looks up and they both nod at him firmly, smiling with gratitude of their own; for what, Iwaizumi doesn’t know, but they all raise their bottles to one another and drink.

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi thinks long and hard about the talk he had with Sugawara and Sawamura; both talks. His mind is put at ease concerning Tobio now that he knows what to do. Their answer had been the most obvious answer in the world; just give him support. If there was one thing Iwaizumi was good at, it was always being there for Tobio. There’s never been a moment in the teenager’s life that his father wasn’t there to back him up on. So with that worry put to rest, Iwaizumi is able to breathe a little easier. Tobio’s still tense around him but there’s a peak building from the tension and Iwaizumi knows that any day now he and his son are going to have a sit down.

In the meantime, Oikawa continues to show up at Tohoku’s practices, just not as often as before. Apparently he actually does have a life outside of bothering Iwaizumi.

When Iwaizumi texts him one night, Oikawa practically gushes over being texted first and Iwaizumi rolls his eyes. He finds out that Oikawa’s been spending a lot of time with his nephew over the last few days since the younger boy rarely gets to see his uncle since he’d joined the national team. Iwaizumi tries not to feel too impressed by that, but he can’t quite help it. Imagining Oikawa teaching volleyball to anyone, let alone children, is just too nice a thought to ignore. It annoys Iwaizumi how much more attractive it makes Oikawa.

After a day or two of texting, one night Oikawa calls Iwaizumi while he’s putting away dishes from dinner. He’s surprised but he still answers anyway.

After an hour on the phone with him, Iwaizumi registers that he’s actually missed hearing the setter’s voice. He mentally notes that maybe phone calls are the better way to go. Especially on the nights he speaks with Oikawa when his voice gets sleepy and he’s yawning in between sentences. Iwaizumi absolutely hates it.

“Tch,” he says one night after a particularly breathy sound comes from Oikawa’s end of the phone post-yawn. It’s too close to a moan for Iwaizumi’s comfort.

“What is it, Iwa-chan?” Oikawa asks him sleepily.

“Nothing,” he answers gruffly. “Why aren’t you getting off the phone? You’re dead tired.”

“Because I don’t want to stop talking to you, obviously.”

Iwaizumi wants to punch him for being able to say such an embarrassing thing so easily, but he’s too caught off guard and Oikawa’s obviously miles away. He remains silent on his end, unsure of how to respond.

“This is the part where you tell me how you don’t want to stop talking to me either, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa says after a while. “But it’s okay, you don’t really need to. I already know.”

Iwaizumi puffs out a breath of a laugh before he can stop himself because this man is absolutely ridiculous.

They go on talking on the phone like that for weeks, falling into something of a friendship between the calling and the texting and the practices. Iwaizumi can’t say that he minds, but there’s a part of him that desires something more.

--------------------

One morning while Iwaizumi is preparing breakfast, Tobio comes into the kitchen and leans over the counter to watch him. Iwaizumi raises an eyebrow curiously.

"Is everything alright, Tobio?"

"Sort of," he says quietly. "Can I talk to you about something?"

Iwaizumi's eyes start to widen in surprise but he calms himself, remembering that he needs to be cool about it.

"Yeah, of course. What's on your mind?"

Tobio seems to be battling himself internally, fighting for the right words to say. Finally, he inhales sharply and lets the words tumble out.

"Hinata and I are more than just friends. We're together."

It takes Iwaizumi a moment to process this. He was expecting his son to come out, yeah sure, but he never… He didn’t…

Tobio’s watching him closely for a reaction and Iwaizumi knows how reactive his expressions can be. But that still can’t stop the confusion from furrowing his eyebrows.

“Hinata?”

Tobio nods. He misses the amusement in Iwaizumi’s eyes as he casts them down to the floor.

“You and Hinata?” Iwaizumi asks again.

Tobio nods again. It slips Iwaizumi’s mind completely, all of the little things that seem to pass between the two teens. He forgets about the subtle touches--innocent things like their arms bumping, the two of them sitting thigh to thigh, the way Tobio would sometimes curl his fingers in Hinata’s hair for things other than the shorter boy annoying him. He forgets about how they look at each other for two long sometimes at the dinner table, or when they’re just talking quietly with their heads together in the living room. Iwaizumi’s even forgotten the jealously Tobio’s shown toward Oikawa for even breathing in Hinata’s direction. It all makes sense and yet had slipped Iwaizumi’s mind. Tobio’s still looking down, his breathing shallow as if he’s just played a three-set match.

Iwaizumi takes his son by the arms and pulls him into his chest for a tight hug. A few seconds pass where Tobio stiffly accepts before he finally hugs his father back. They stay this way for a minute or two and Iwaizumi feels like one or both of them should be crying at a time like this, but neither have ever been as emotional as to cry too often. Iwaizumi knows for a fact that he shed what little tears he could when he’d spoken with Daichi and Suga all those nights ago. He pulls back and looks at Tobio before guiding him to their dining table and sitting him down on a pillow before sitting on one himself.

“I think that’s great,” he says. “A little bizarre given the personality difference, but it makes a lot of sense when I think about it. How long has that been going on?”

“About a month,” Tobio answers. “I wanted to tell you sooner, but I didn’t know how.”

Iwaizumi just nods, the conversation between Hinata, Yachi, and Tobio that he listened in on coming to mind. “I understand. I--You know, I want you to know I love you no matter what. You can come to me with anything. I’m glad that you decided to tell me at all.”

Tobio looks up at him steadily now, more confidently. He looks surprised. “Thank you. For accepting this.”

Iwaizumi scratches at the back of his neck, glancing off to the side. “I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t, honestly.”

When Tobio’s eyebrows furrow, Iwaizumi sighs. He knows it’s now or never and he can’t really see a better time than now.

“I’m not--I don’t really know how to explain this--but sexuality for me is a fluid kind of… thing.” It’s hitting home for Iwaizumi that he’s never been prepared for this kind of talk. “I’m saying, it’s okay that you don’t like girls. Well, I’m not saying that you don’t because maybe you do. Actually, maybe you don’t--I’ve never seen you take any interest in girls. For a long time, I didn’t think you’d be romantically interested in anyone. But I didn’t think it was my business either… That is, if you want to have conversations about romance or relationships, I’d gladly help in any way that I can I just--” Iwaizumi’s rambling and he knows that if he doesn’t calm himself, he’ll go off on a tangent. His son’s back has gotten straighter and straighter the more Iwaizumi talks and they’re both red in the face.

“I like women,” Iwaizumi tries again. “But I also like men. Since you were born though, I haven’t really likedanyone. I’d sworn it off. I didn’t want to.. confuse you.”

When he says it out loud like that, he can see what Daichi meant. It’s kind of an insulting thing to tell someone like Tobio. And he glances up to find that Tobio is certainly insulted.

“Why the hell would you do that?” His son asks incredulously. “That doesn’t make any sense. You deserve to be happy too.”

Now Iwaizumi’s looking at the floor. “Yeah, yeah, you’re not the first person to tell me that. Listen, I’ve been happy all this time with just us, it’s not a big deal.” He lets his eyes meet Tobio’s again. “It’s fine.”

“It’s not,” Tobio insist. “You should be with someone if you want to be with them.”

Iwaizumi grins, shaking his head.

“I’m supposed to be parenting you, not the other way around,” he says.

“Just not that Oikawa guy,” Tobio adds like Iwaizumi’s said nothing at all. “That guy’s a jackass.”

“Oh, now you’re telling me who and who not to be with? When you’re with Hinata-kun? A kid who you were so adamant was your enemy from the moment you met him?” He snorts.

Tobio lifts his chin indignantly before standing up.

“Fine, otou-san. Date who want, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

The irony of the statement has Iwaizumi chuckling to himself as Tobio leaves the room.

--------------------

That night, Tobio sends Iwaizumi a text asking if he can stay over Hinata’s for the night. He briefly forgets about Tobio’s confession to him earlier that day and sends his approval without thinking much about it until later when he’s home by himself pouring himself a glass of water. He wonders how he’s supposed to go on about Hinata-kun and Tobio spending their nights together now that he knows the two of them are couple. With that comes a sinking feeling about another important talk he’ll have to have with his son. They had both come to realize that these talks weren’t fun for either of them.

The night stretches on for what feels like forever, but when Iwaizumi looks at his watch he finds that it’s only eight o’clock. Bored, he grabs his phone to text Oikawa.

Shittykawa. What are you doing?

Iwaizumi wonders how it’s possible for Oikawa to text him back in less than a minute.

Iwa-chan! You texted me first again! (Ɔ ˘⌣˘)♥

Iwaizumi rolls his eyes. He never understands his instinctive reaction to want to throw Oikawa out of the nearest window. He refrains from texting the setter this as he’s gotten reluctantly used to Oikawa’s ridiculous utilization of emoticons.

Shut up. I asked you a question.

Nothing, just finished running. I have to keep my legs looking as great as they do.

Iwaizumi involuntarily imagines Oikawa’s legs which are, arguably, the nicest legs he’s ever seen so the setter’s not exactly wrong. Just grossly arrogant. So Iwaizumi flat out decides not to respond to it. Instead, he sends:

I’m bored. I don’t feel like cooking.

Oikawa’s response comes quick, as usual.

Fine Iwa-chan. You can take me to dinner. I’ll send you the address of the place we can meet.

He sends it in the next text and Iwaizumi doesn’t deny or confirm anything, just puts on his best pair of jeans, a white button down shirt, and a black blazer and meets Oikawa within the next twenty minutes. Oikawa’s smile falters somewhat when he sees him.

“What?” Iwaizumi asks, somewhat self consciously.

Oikawa recovers quickly, hooking his arm into Iwaizumi’s in an overly friendly manner and leading them into the restaurant.

“You look very nice, Iwa-chan. I’m flattered, is all.”

Iwaizumi’s face heats up as he grumbles half-heartedly for the setter to shut up.

Dinner consists of their usual chatter; Iwaizumi tells Oikawa about the players that have stood out to him over the years since coaching. Oikawa tells Iwaizumi about his nephew and his nephew’s friends, about how much their improving. He tells Iwaizumi how at first he was a little disappointed that his nephew, Takeru, wanted to be a spiker and how the younger boy thought being a spiker sounded cooler than being a setter. Iwaizumi gets treated to Oikawa’s trademark pout when he tells the setter that his nephew isn’t wrong, that spikers are way cooler than setters.

“So mean, Iwa-chan!”

Iwaizumi laughs at this, something he’s grown more open to around Oikawa. It’s peculiar to him that no one can annoy him as much as Oikawa does, but no one makes him laugh as much either.

“It’s not mean, if it’s the truth. Don’t get me wrong, setters are important.”

“Of course we are,” Oikawa responds flippantly. “Where would spikers be if not for us? Where would you be if not for me?” He smiles, and Iwaizumi can tell that Oikawa’s just proud of himself for being able to turn this into a conversation about something more than volleyball.

“I’d be at home,” Iwaizumi answers nonchalantly. Maybe he likes seeing Oikawa’s disappointed pout. “Watching TV or cleaning.”

“How boring. Don’t you and Tobio-chan hang out?”

“Of course we do. But he’s not home tonight. So if I weren’t here with you, that’s what I’d be doing.”

“Where’s Tobio-chan, anyway? I thought he’d be a homebody. Don’t tell me he’s out partying like a normal teenager?”

Iwaizumi laughs again, the thought of Tobio partying far too ridiculous.

“No he’s at … a friend’s tonight.”

“Ooh, so you have the house to yourself? No parties, Iwa-chan. Tobio will punish you if you make a mess of the place.”

“Shut up, Shittykawa.”

“He’s meaner than you are!”

“He’s nice. He just doesn’t like you,” Iwaizumi says smugly. Oikawa pouts again and Iwaizumi decides it’s something he wouldn’t mind seeing on a regular basis.

They leave shortly after, walking around the small town for a bit. They continue talking about their separate lives, shoulders bumping occasionally and neither of them complaining about it. Somehow, they’re back on the topic of volleyball.

“You seem very reliable Iwa-chan. I wouldn’t mind having you as an ace.”

“Your ace is far more capable than I am,” Iwaizumi responds. “Ushijima Wakatoshi is the ace of Japan for a reason; he’s the best in the country.”

“Yeah, but he’s so serious. And not fun-serious like you are. He’s really serious. And controlling.”

Oikawa’s eyes cast down to the ground like he’d like to say more about Ushijima, but he remains silent. He looks a little down and Iwaizumi can feel the usually happy aura that normally surrounds Oikawa dropping somewhat. He nudges the setter’s shoulder.

“Hey, why don’t you come over tonight? We can--” he shrugs and rubs the back of his neck, unsure of what to suggest. “--watch a game or something. Some kind of television show.”

Oikawa’s face lights up considerably, an excited smile passing over his face.

“Yes, let’s!”

---------------------

It feels weird to Iwaizumi, not only coming home to any empty home but also, bringing someone with him. Oikawa was right, he truly feels like a teenager sneaking someone home behind his parents’ back. He leads Oikawa down the hallway and to the living room, standing there while Oikawa takes up a spot on the sofa.

“Can I get you anything to drink? I’ve got water and I’ve got tea. And milk, but Tobio’s a little crazy about his milk.”

“Water’s fine,” Oikawa answers with a laugh. “What a weird son you have, Iwa-chan. I can see that he’s not very different from his father.”

Iwaizumi’s face takes on a grimace that’s not as serious as it should be and fetches him a glass of water. By the time he gets back, Oikawa’s sitting on his feet, his eyes more intense than when Iwaizumi left. It unnerves him somewhat. After setting the water on the table, he sheds his blazer and drapes it over the back of the sofa before plopping down. He intends to put a respectable distance between the two of them but his weight leans Oikawa forward and neither of them try to right it when the the brown-haired man leans into his shoulder. Oikawa’s face tells Iwaizumi that he never intended there to be any space between them in the first place. Iwaizumi finds out for sure seconds later when the setter’s hands are on either side of his face, pulling him closer until their lips are touching.

Oikawa lets out a soft noise from the base of his throat that spurs Iwaizumi to wrap an arm around his lower back. He’s looking to pull Oikawa closer, but the result comes out better than he hopes as Oikawa instead twists to straddle his thighs.

Iwaizumi leans back into the sofa, his hands firm on Oikawa’s waist. It’s been some time since he’s allowed this for himself so he’s got a lot of pent of frustration aching to take over. He knows that if he moves too fast though, Oikawa will get more than he bargains for so he takes it slow, let’s Oikawa make all the moves. This doesn’t seem to be a problem for the setter, Iwaizumi discovers, as Oikawa’s hips have already settled into a firm rhythm over Iwaizumi’s thighs. Everytime Oikawa brushes over his hardening cock through his jeans, Iwaizumi’s hands grip a little tighter on his hips. He’s torn between telling Oikawa to slow down and telling him to move faster. He doesn’t need to say anything because his hips jerk up of their own accord and Oikawa does the latter, moaning into Iwaizumi’s lips.

Losing some of his resolve to hold back, Iwaizumi’s hands wander from their position, sliding up Oikawa’s solid back, over his shoulder blades. One hand reaches further to tangle in Oikawa’s hair; it’s as soft as Iwaizumi’s been imagining all this time. When he rakes his nails over Oikawa’s scalp, the man’s moan goes down an octave which sends a jolt through Iwaizumi’s spine. He wants to hear that all night long. The more he strokes his nails through Oikawa’s hair, the wilder the setter’s hips move over Iwaizumi, who in turn is slowly losing his calm.

Oikawa’s fingers begin unbuttoning his shirt, brushing over Iwaizumi’s chest with each button’s release. He hisses into Oikawa’s mouth as his own fingers find the hem of Oikawa’s shirt and lifts it over his head, tossing it when it’s free. In the moment of the broken kiss, Iwaizumi has a chance to look up at Oikawa. There’s no fake smile, not even his real one makes an appearance in this moment. Just swollen lips and half-lidded brown eyes, darkening by the second. He bites his lip before he pulls Oikawa closer to places his lips over one of his nipples, pulling another moan from the man as he brushes his fingers through Iwaizumi’s hair.

“Iwaizumi--”

“Hajime,” Iwaizumi corrects him, though he’s impressed that Oikawa’s refrained from using the nickname he’s given him. Being given permission to use his name seems to light some kind of fire in Oikawa; he makes a fist in Iwaizumi’s hair and pulls him back so he can kiss him more fiercely than before. It’s short lived and leaves Iwaizumi short of breath as Oikawa slides down Iwaizumi’s lap and into a kneeling position before him. Iwaizumi’s never seen anything hotter, he’s sure of it.

Oikawa unzips Iwaizumi’s jeans urging him to lift up. When he does, the jeans are easily discarded leaving Iwaizumi in nothing but his black briefs and an unbuttoned shirt. He thinks he must look ridiculous but Oikawa’s looking at him like the most delicious meal is laid before his eyes. That hunger never leaves them as he takes the briefs down with ease and drags his tongue from the base of Iwaizumi’s dick to the tip. Iwaizumi’s sure he’s about to faint.

“Shit, Oikawa. That’s--”

Oikawa’s already got his mouth full, taking in Iwaizumi’s length halfway, causing a sharp intake of breath from him and shutting him up. He’s sure he’s about to faint, but Oikawa’s not done. He takes Iwaizumi fully in the next go, holding the tip of Iwaizumi’s length against the back of his throat. Iwaizumi let’s out a strangled groan. He slowly loses his mind as he lets Oikawa continue, unsure of how many minutes pass before he pulls him up. He stands and lifts Oikawa with him before crashing his lips onto the other man’s. He’s got too many articles of clothing on so as Iwaizumi walks him toward his bedroom, he sheds most of them along the way as well as his own shirt. All that’s left on Oikawa when Iwaizumi shoves him onto his back on the bed is a pair of yellow underwear. It’s Iwaizumi’s new favorite color.

“Turn over,” he demands gruffly. He doesn’t want to wait another minute. They can take their time any other go around, but Oikawa’s practically driven him crazy by now. It’s about time he returns the favor. He halfway expects a retort or one of Oikawa’s usual remarks, but there’s only obedience as he turns, arching for Iwaizumi. Iwaizumi curses and grabs the a tube of lubrication from the top shelf of his closet. He rarely breaks it out, only when he’s in the mood to take it there with himself, so he refuses to keep somewhere as simple as his side table drawer.

Begrudgingly, he helps Oikawa out of the yellow underwear and presses lubed fingers against Oikawa’s entrance. The setter bucks against Iwaizumi and he has to take a moment to will himself to slow down. He presses one inside of Oikawa, reveling in the tightness, readying him with an unchanging speed. Soon enough, Oikawa’s ready for two, then three. Iwaizumi starts to add another if not for Oikawa’s request.

“Please, Iwa. I need it now,” are the words Iwaizumi will remember on his deathbed.

He doesn’t need to be asked more than once, his cock is as stiff as it’s been in years and more than ready. He positions himself properly before entering with a groan that’s nothing in comparison to Oikawa’s outcry. Iwaizumi can hardly find a pace with Oikawa pushing back erratically, begging for more; more speed, more of him. He takes Oikawa by the hips firmly and finally gives him what he’s asking for. He loses himself in the noises Oikawa makes, the feeling of Oikawa clenching him, pulling him in and pushing him out. Iwaizumi reaches around to stroke Oikawa’s dripping cock, stroking him in time with his thrusts knowingly. Oikawa’s close, Iwaizumi can tell by the pitch his moans takes, climbing higher and higher the nearer he gets to his climax. Iwaizumi knows he won’t be far behind.

It’s not long before Oikawa’s back stiffens in a taut arch and Iwaizumi feels his hot seed spill over his hand. Iwaizumi’s other hand forms an even tighter grasp on Oikawa’s hip as he comes as well, thrusting three--four times, emptying himself inside the setter before pulling out slowly.

Oikawa falls forward, pulling Iwaizumi down with him. The darker haired man rolls his weight to the side, propping himself up on his elbow and brushing Oikawa’s damp hair from his temple. It’s a long while before either of them speak until Oikawa breaks the silence, his voice low and hoarse.

“You know what sucks, Iwa-chan?”

“What?” He asks dubiously. It’s been awhile since Iwaizumi’s been with someone, but he’s positive that’s not what anyone wants to hear when it’s over.

“I left my water on the table.”

Chapter Text

It’s Sunday and all Iwaizumi can do is daydream about his time with Oikawa on Friday night. He’s preparing dinner and thinking about Oikawa... He’s making the tea and Oikawa’s moans play over in his mind... He’s chopping vegetables and remembering the way the setter had dropped to his knees with intense brown eyes... He’s checking on the rice and--

“Otou-san.”

Iwaizumi nearly jumps out of his skin at the sound of Tobio’s voice. He turns to face his son, blinking rapidly to will the mental images of Oikawa away.

“Tobio,” he returns. “What’s up?”

“Nothing, I just wanted to know if I could help with dinner.”

Iwaizumi’s smile comes easily.

“I’m grateful for the offer, but it’s just about done. Where’s Hinata?”

“He failed an exam this past week and his make-up test is tomorrow so he’s over at Yachi’s studying.” His son pouts off to the side. “She said I couldn’t come by because I’m a distraction.”

Iwaizumi chuckles and pats his son on the back.

“It’s very rare that Yachi’s wrong when it comes to you two so I doubt she is this time around. Lighten up, the table still needs setting. Suga and Daichi will be here any minute.” Iwaizumi sighs, walking with a little pep in his step. He’s feeling really good, better than he has in years. And tonight, apparently, it was just going to be him and Tobio and Suga and Daichi. It makes Iwaizumi think of the days when Tobio was younger and how most weekends it was just the four of them. He didn’t think about it often, but sometimes Iwaizumi misses those days.

His phone vibrates in his pocket and he’s pleased to find that it’s Oikawa texting him.

Iwa-chan! My coach has roped me into agreeing to play a practice match in Tokyo this Tuesday. I’ll be back the day after though, so clear your schedule! Talk you soon! ♥(ˆ⌣ˆԅ)

Iwaizumi’s smile falters some, a little disappointed. He reminds himself that he’s in too deep if something like this can disappoint him so easily. So he sends Oikawa a quick reply of Okay, Shittykawa. and helps Tobio set the table with dishes and food.

Dinner’s as nice as it used to be with Suga and Daichi telling Tobio and Iwaizumi about their week and the latter two doing the same in turn. All three men can tell that Tobio’s distracted though, frowning here and there at nothing in particular. When the teen’s phone rings, he checks to see who it is and his face lights up before he excuses himself to his room. They all fondly watch him go.

“He’s really all grown up, isn’t he?” Sugawara asks aloud. “Our little baby Tobio-chan is almost fully grown. Time moved so fast, didn’t it?”

Both Iwaizumi and Daichi nod. Iwaizumi’s sure they’re all recalling a memory of a younger Tobio, crying because he scraped his knee or because he wanted to spend one more night at Daichi and Suga’s, not go to school the next day. Iwaizumi smiles and shakes his head.

“More so than you think,” he says before filling them in on Tobio and Hinata’s relationship. Daichi looks smugly proud and Suga nudges his arm.

“I called it,” Daichi brags. “I had a feeling there was something going on between those two.”

Suga and Iwaizumi roll their eyes; for years, Daichi has been pretending to have known things that he never seems to mention until after it’s been confirmed. They’re long used to it by now.

When his two friends go off into bickering about how Daichi didn’t know a thing, Iwaizumi glances at his phone. It’s ridiculous considering Oikawa told him he was leaving to Tokyo for a few days, but for some reason Iwaizumi’s still itching to text him.

“Oi, waiting for someone special to call?”

“Could it be the famous Oikawa who you’ve been practicing with and inviting over--”

“Though, you’ve never thought to introduce him to your best friends--”

“Shame, isn’t it, what dating a famous person can do to a guy,” Daichi says, shaking his head mockingly.

“Completely changes them,” Suga agrees with the same expression.

Iwaizumi flicks rice at them.

“We’re not dating!”

They don’t listen, they only go on badgering him like he’s not there. When they settle down, Iwaizumi sighs and finally tells them everything. About his date with Oikawa, how Tobio was away at Hinata’s--

“How convenient,” Suga interjects with amusement crinkling around his eyes.

Iwaizumi flicks more rice and continues. He tells them, sparingly, about that night he brought him home a second time and they tease about it, but thankfully don’t ask for any details. Iwaizumi lets out a puff of air, annoyed with himself for only thinking of the setter since that night, and not much else.

“Looks like you found someone to break past that ridiculous wall of yours,” Daichi says after a minute.

“When are two going to hang out again?” Suga asks right behind him.

Iwaizumi shrugs.

“I’m not sure. He has a practice match in Tokyo on Tuesday so he’s leaving tonight. He says he’ll be back the day after.”

“Oooh,” Suga starts, his eyes alight. “You should go!”

Iwaizumi’s eyebrows shoot up in confusion.

“Why would I do that?”

Both of his friends give him pitying looks.

“Because, Bakazumi…” Suga is the one to finally answer him. “How romantic would that be? I’m sure it’s on the team’s website, the practice match info. Those games are almost always for the fans and never a private event. You have to go.”

Iwaizumi thinks about it. He’s never been the romantic type, not even before Tobio was born. But Suga and Daichi were the most romantic people he knew. Almost twenty years they’d been together and it was still like it was when they were in high school sometimes. If he was going to take anyone’s advice on romance, it would be theirs. He smiles firmly and nods.

“Alright. I’ll go to the national team’s practice match to see Oikawa play.”

Ooooh!”

They all look up at the sound of Hinata’s squeal, surprised to find him and Tobio standing in the dining room entrance. Iwaizumi’s horrified, wondering how long they’ve been there. Surely he or Suga or Daichi would have noticed them there…

A quick search of their faces tell him that they must have only overheard the bit about the game.

“Otou-san, are you really going?”

Tobio doesn’t say it out loud, but his face is begging Iwaizumi to take him along. Hinata’s expression isn’t any different, but the shorter boy has no qualms in voicing it.

“Please, Iwaizumi-san, please. Please let us go with you!”

Daichi and Sugawara hide their snickers behind their hands and Iwaizumi glares at them before pinching the bridge of his nose.

“Fine, fine. You can both come with me. I hate driving long distances alone anyway. But only if your parents say it’s alright, Hinata-kun.”

They all know that his parents will be just fine with it.

--------------------

They pack light snacks for the trip and the three of them, Iwaizumi, Tobio, and Hinata, are on the road on Tuesday morning. They invited Yachi, but she declined. Iwaizumi wonders if there’s something going on between the three of them or if they’re just dissolving into their relationships for the time being. He then decides that it’s none of his business.

The drive is long and though Hinata and Tobio both claim they’ll keep him company, they’re asleep in less than half an hour. It’s most likely due to the fact that they were both up all night excitedly talking about getting to see Japan’s team play in person. He could overhear Hinata’s whine every time Tobio hit him for gushing over Oikawa, the Grand King. They both aspire to play for Japan one day; Hinata as their ace and Tobio as their setter. Iwaizumi’s more than confident that their dream will one day become a reality, but they’ve got years to go. He’s not necessarily in a rush for his son to grow up and leave him behind.

When they arrive, it’s an hour before the game’s slated to start so they decide to have lunch. They spend thirty minutes of that hour searching for a place that serves Tamaga gohan because it’s Hinata’s favorite. With Tobio on a mission to give the shorter boy whatever he wants, Iwaizumi is unfortunately outnumbered. Finally, they find a place and eat with only minutes to spare before they’re done. They’re fifteen minutes late arriving to the match and Iwaizumi has to take Hinata by the head and sit him down before Kageyama even has the chance. He doesn’t need the redhead oohing and aahing loudly and drawing attention to them. He wants to surprise Oikawa after the match was over.

Oikawa’s setting is far better in person than Iwaizumi could have ever imagined. He conducts his spikers in a manner of absolute perfection and Iwaizumi feels a pang of jealously at not being able to be the one to spike such a toss. Hinata wonders out loud why Oikawa wears one white knee pad and one black one, causing Iwaizumi to take a closer look.

“The white one isn’t a pad, it’s a brace. A subtle one, but it’s definitely a brace. I’ve recommended them to my players on more than one occasion.”

He wonders why Oikawa would need one, but can clearly see that the setter still plays well through whatever injury he’s harboring. He notices how on rotations where Japan’s ace, Ushijima Wakatoshi, is on the front line Oikawa’s not in control as much as with the others on their team. Ushijima seems to demand certain tosses from the setter and he gets what he wants. Iwaizumi can tell the spiker is intense, but he can’t say he’d complain considering Ushijima manages to score nine points in a row from kills alone.

Japan wins the match in two sets, as expected. Iwaizumi stands and stretches, trying to rid himself of nerves. He’s going to surprise Oikawa near the locker rooms if he can get there, but he still has no idea what he’ll say. Or even how he’ll be received.

“I’ll meet you two at the car in a little bit. You can walk around, but listen for your phone. I’ll call you.” The two teenagers are already off to explore without complaint. “Behave,” Iwaizumi adds before stalking off to his destination. Luckily, he makes it there before the team does. He waits and finally, a few minutes later, they start filing into the locker room and talking amongst themselves. He doesn’t see Oikawa yet, so he keeps looking until the brown-haired man walks toward the locker room as well. Iwaizumi starts to call out and head his way, but seeing Ushijima close behind Oikawa gives him pause.

“Tooru,” the ace drawls, low and monotonous. Oikawa turns to the voice just as Iwaizumi presses himself out of sight. Tooru, he thinks to himself curiously. He wasn’t aware that the two of them were that close. Ushijima walks up to Oikawa until they’re feet are almost touching before stopping.

“You said you’d only be in Miyagi for a couple of weeks,” Ushijima says. Iwaizumi doesn’t have the best viewpoint from where he’s hiding, but the taller man looks disappointed.

“Practice doesn’t resume for three months, Ushijima. There’s no reason for me to be here,” Oikawa answers. The reply is simple enough, but there’s something in the setter’s voice that Iwaizumi doesn’t recognize.

“So formal. Are you done calling me Waka-chan, then? Or even Ushiwaka?” Ushijima tugs on one of Oikawa’s curls and the setter half-heartedly swats his hand away and scoffs in response. Iwaizumi can’t look anywhere else.

I’m here,” Ushijima continues. “Isn’t that enough for you to come back? I want you here with me,” he says.

Iwaizumi can only see red when Ushijima leans down and kisses Oikawa, his nails digging into the palms of his hand. He doesn’t waste another second before turning and leaving in the opposite direction as fast as his feet with carry him. He’s fuming by the time he finally makes it to the car.

Luckily, Tobio and Hinata are already there waiting for him. He can hardly think straight as he snarls and tells them that it’s time for them to go. They don’t question him, they just do as he asks with wide eyes and a curious glance between the one another.

Iwaizumi’s never felt like a bigger idiot.

All this time, he knew he was right to stick to himself. He should have known that letting Oikawa get so close was a mistake. A guy like that was no match for a guy like Iwaizumi and he curses himself for not accepting that sooner. He’d let everyone else’s circumstances cloud his judgement and--no. No, he couldn’t blame anyone here but himself. He was the idiot here for believing that someone like him could actually have a shot with someone like Oikawa Tooru. The man’s personality alone should have been enough to dispel any kind of romantic feelings Iwaizumi felt toward Oikawa. But it was a lesson well learned. He wouldn’t be making such a mistake again.

They get home far quicker than the time it took them to get to Tokyo; Tobio and Hinata barely even have time to nap, not that they could. They seem too interested in what’s going on with Iwaizumi. Tobio looks like he wants to ask but he chooses not to. Even Hinata has the good sense to let it be.

Iwaizumi storms into the house with the resolve to forget Oikawa ever existed to him beyond his television screen. He starts by running the shower as hot as it gets and stepping into it with grit teeth. He’s showered since his and Oikawa’s time together, but this one’s just for good measure; washing away the memories.

He wants to forget everything.

Chapter Text

Three weeks pass and Iwaizumi has blocked Oikawa out of his life completely. He ignores the setter’s texts, declines the setter’s phone calls, and even has campus security at Tohoku prevent him from coming to Iwaizumi’s volleyball practices. He doesn’t want to see those ridiculous brown eyes or hear that poisonous voice. Who knows what kind of idiot thing Iwaizumi would do if he did? There’s a part of him that’s scared he’ll forgive the setter and that’s not what Iwaizumi wants, nor is it what he needs.

It’s not that Iwaizumi doesn’t miss Oikawa, it angers him just how much he does. But after thinking about their time together, Iwaizumi recalls their conversation--just before he’d invited Oikawa to come to home with him. They’d spoken briefly about Ushijima and the air around them had changed, the good mood had dropped considerably. Iwaizumi should have picked up on that sooner. Instead he’d taken it lightly, brushed it off as team drama that Oikawa just hadn’t wanted to talk about.

But hadn’t Oikawa seemed saddened to talk about Ushijima? Iwaizumi shakes his head. He can’t go on thinking like that; the situation was cut and dry. He witnessed Oikawa and Ushijima kissing with his own two eyes and there was nothing that could change that. He couldn’t even seem to get the image out of his head. Even now, he has to tell himself to relax, he has to will himself to stop embedding his nails into the palm of his hand.

Suga and Daichi visit the following weekend, while Hinata and Tobio--now more comfortable in their relationship--huddle up together on the sofa watching a volleyball game. Iwaizumi takes Suga and Daichi into the kitchen and starts to prepare drinks, if for nothing more than to give his hands something else to do other than clench and unclench in anger. He can’t stop thinking about it; Oikawa and Ushijima, then himself and Oikawa or how there were only a few short days that separated the two events and yet Iwaizumi felt like it had been much longer.

Without much prompting from Suga and Daichi, Iwaizumi starts to tell them what happened when he, Tobio, and Hinata went to Toyko. He listens to his own voice drone on, gruff and attempting nonchalance. One look at his friends’ faces tell him that hes not quite pulling it off.

“So, I walk down there to surprise him, considering well..” He flinches somewhat as he continues with a blush. “Considering the time we’d shared just that weekend, and there he was. Kissing the ace of Japan’s national volleyball team: Ushijima Wakatoshi,” Iwaizumi finishes lamely. He wants to hate Ushijima, but he hardly knows anything about the man other than the fact that he’s one of the most powerful spikers in the world. He certainly didn’t know that he was into men and was even more unaware that he was into Oikawa. He clenches his fists again.

“After that, as you can imagine, I didn’t much feel like sticking around.” Iwaizumi rubs the back of his neck. “It actually just dawned on me that he never even knew I was there. He’s been trying to contact me and even get into Tohoku’s practices but I’ve had him banned by campus security.”

“How’d you manage that?” Daichi asks.

“I told them that he was an assistant coach to a rival team and that he was just coming to our practices to spy on us.”

Both Suga and Daichi snicker at this and Iwaizumi can’t help the small smile that tugs at his lips despite his bad mood. Their snickers stop short as their eyes train just past Iwaizumi’s shoulder and turns around to find Hinata and Tobio there, watching him unblinkingly. He doesn’t need to ask them if they overheard because he can see it all over their faces.

Iwaizumi beckons them in with a sigh as he moves to the refrigerator to pull out a tray of honey lemon slices he’d prepared earlier in the week.

“Well, there’s that. I guess there’s no use keeping it from you,” he says to Tobio. He can’t help but be grateful that he’d already told his son of his preferences; honesty truly does pay off in the end. “But you don’t need to worry about it. That’s over. And I don’t think I’m willing to try again after that. Not for a while, anyway. It was hard enough trying this time.”

All eyes in the room--Hinata’s, Suga’s, and Daichi’s--move from Iwaizumi to Tobio. The dark-haired teen says nothing for a minute or so although everyone seems to be waiting for him to do so with bated breath. Finally he inhales before speaking.

“I think you should definitely stay away from that guy.” Four blank expressions meet the boy’s curious one until Hinata’s slurp of a lemon slice breaks the tension. Iwaizumi chuckles under his breath.

“We were all waiting for you to say something a little deeper, I think. I don’t know what we thought you’d say, but I guess it makes sense that that’s it. You didn’t like him from the very beginning. Maybe I should have taken that as a hint from the universe.”

“Well, that’s nothing to do with it,” Tobio counters. “I think he was an asshole, yeah, but mostly--” He looks uncomfortable for a moment before visibly deciding to soldier on. “If I found the guy I like kissing someone else, well… I wouldn’t like it at all.”

The way Tobio casts his eyes down and away tells them all that he’d be devastated. Hinata’s eyes take on that fierce gleam--that they often do--that reassures Iwaizumi that he doesn’t have to worry about his son being hurt that way.

Iwaizumi steps forward, touched by his son’s sentiment, and ruffles Tobio’s hair.

“I’ll be fine,” he says. “Just fine.”

--------------------

Later on in the week, another practice is cancelled by Tobio’s coach to take care of his grandfather so Tobio comes home just as the sun is setting. It’s been hours since classes ended so Iwaizumi knows that his son practiced at least some, but it’s still early in regards to his usual time. Tohoku’s practices are on hold until the weekend where Iwaizumi will be overseeing walk-on tryouts for first year students.

When Tobio flops next to him on the sofa, Iwaizumi decides that there’s no better opportunity like the present for a little quality time.

“Hey, why don’t we go to Tohoku and practice your quicks? It’s been awhile since we’ve had a chance to practice together. I miss spiking your tosses.”

Tobio’s face brightens considerably and Iwaizumi can’t tell if it’s because he gets to hang out with his father or if it’s just because he gets to play more volleyball. Iwaizumi’s happy either way.

In no time at all, they’re both in practice clothes and volleyball shoes and on their way to Tohuku. Iwaizumi fondly remembers taking trips like this nearly every weekend before Tobio joined his high school volleyball club. In his junior high club, the teen didn’t get to practice as much as he wanted to and even had issues with a lot of his teammates. Iwaizumi could tell things were a lot different at Karasuno.

He glances over at his son, smirking at the barely contained joy radiating from him. Even Iwaizumi wasn’t this intense about the sport when he was in high school. He had a certain intensity when he was on the court that his teammates would tease him mercilessly about, but he was their ace and he took that role very seriously. The fact that Tobio could double--maybe even triple--that intensity as a setter was amazing to Iwaizumi. With each passing moment, there was some new reason to be proud of his son. His smirk grows into a broad grin thinking about all that’s in store for the teenager. Iwaizumi couldn’t wait to witness it.

When Tobio was younger, around seven or eight, Iwaizumi would allow him in on two-on-two games against Sugawara and Daichi. While Tobio was far smaller than the three of them, he was unusually tall for his age. Even so, he was one of the most mature setters Iwaizumi had ever come across at such a young age. Even now he was wowed by his son’s natural talent. Tobio had kept up with their games easily, giving Iwaizumi the tosses that he never asked for, but always needed. In the last few years, whenever they all have the time, Iwaizumi allows Hinata to play in his place and admires the smaller boy’s athletic ability as well.

He never expected much from Hinata as far as volleyball was concerned. When Tobio had introduced him to Iwaizumi and mentioned that he was also in the volleyball club, Iwaizumi just assumed that he meant as a libero. That was until he’d gone to Karasuno’s first match. He could still feel the wave of shock that had reverberated through the stadium that day. And Iwaizumi had known immediately that Tobio had truly found his match in Hinata-kun.

Storm clouds brew overhead as he and Tobio walk from the car to the gym entrance, but Iwaizumi doesn’t mind. With the trouble he’s been having in getting to sleep these last few nights, a storm will hopefully be just the thing he needs to relax later on.

They start a light practice, Tobio tossing and Iwaizumi spiking and he’s impressed to find that Tobio’s gotten even better with his quicks and can set to Iwaizumi from all tempos. He pats his son on the back proudly.

“Seriously, if you and Hinata-kun come to Tohoku, all of my dreams would come true. We’d probably take Nationals the entirety of your time here.”

Tobio smiles, the smile he always takes on when Iwaizumi shows how proud he is of him. He jokes like this all the time, pretending to try and convince Tobio and Hinata to come play for him after high school. He knows that won’t happen though. Tobio wants to branch out from Miyagi; from his father, Iwaizumi reminds himself somewhat bitterly. But he can’t blame the teen. He’s overheard Tobio and Hinata talking about schools in Tokyo although they’ve still got a year and a half before they graduate. For the time being, Iwaizumi puts the thought out of his mind.

“Alright, I get it,” Iwaizumi says after a few more rounds of tosses and spikes. “You’re the best setter in the country. Now show me how much that serve has improved and maybe I’ll admit you’re a better player than your old man.”

Tobio sets up a serve and while Iwaizumi knows that for a weaker team it’d be a service ace for sure, it could still use some work.

“You’re too stiff. I know you want to pinpoint and aim it exactly where you want it to go, but you’ve got to understand that the trick is to relax. Your body listens to your brain and your muscles will perform well just from continuous practice alone. So all you need to do is let them work together. Like so--”

Iwaizumi drops his shoulder, lifting the ball with the palm of his hand. He tosses it up with just the right amount spin, letting it rotate from the tip of his fingers. He only needs to run two steps forward before it’s dropping back down, his arm swinging naturally and his hand meeting the ball with a resounding slap. He watches with satisfaction as the ball falls just at the corner of the opposite side of the court before looking back to face his son.

“See? I’ve been practicing a lot longer than you have but you’ve got a natural talent. I have no doubt that you’ll have it perfected in no time.”

Tobio’s about to respond when they both turn at the sound of the gym door opening and closing. They both pause in surprise when they find a soaking wet Oikawa Tooru standing there, with eyes more fierce than Iwaizumi’s imagined they could ever be.

“What--” Iwaizumi has to clear his throat as his heart seems to have made purchase there. What was he doing getting all excited to see the man who’d just about broken his heart no more than a week ago?

“What are you doing here?” He tries again, just barely succeeding.

“What am I doing here?” Oikawa demands. “What am I doing here?”

The national setter seems to need a moment to collect himself before stepping forward. Iwaizumi doesn’t know why, but he instinctively steps forward as well to place himself between Oikawa and Tobio. He knows deep down that he’d rather have Tobio behind him so that his son can’t witness the emotion passing over Iwaizumi’s face.

“Why don’t you want me here is the more important question, Iwaizumi. I leave for Tokyo and we’re all fine and great and then I return and you’ve completely shut me out. I’ve been trying to text you, call you--I’ve even sent you a few emails!” He sputters. Iwaizumi tries his damnedest to keep himself from thinking about how cute it is.

Then he actually remembers why he cut Oikawa off in the first place.

“Maybe you should be emailing your ace, Ushijima. Or your lover, whatever he is…”

Iwaizumi doesn’t need to look back to see the awkward expression on Tobio’s face. His son probably wishes he was anywhere but here right now.

A crack of thunder sounds outside of the gym.

“Ushi--Ushijima? What does he have to do with anything?” Oikawa asks.

Something flares up in Iwaizumi.

Everything, he has everything to do with this. The fact that you can even ask me that, or go on about this as if you weren’t just kissing him last week tells me all that I need to know about you!”

Iwaizumi’s sure he’s about to explode. Sure, he’s gotten his fair share of frustration out by talking with Suga and Daichi about it, but it apparently hadn’t been enough. Talking to the culprit himself seems to take him to a completely different level.

Oikawa’s expression is that of someone who’s just had a volleyball served to the face. His brown eyes are wide and shocked, his entire body frozen in place. It’d be comical in any other situation, the way he’s standing there with a finger pointed as if he was about to give Iwaizumi the sternest of talking-to’s.

“You came to Tokyo.”

Iwaizumi narrows his eyes, but says nothing. Oikawa repeats himself, mostly to himself.

“You came to Tokyo. You saw that. You--” His eyes go even wider, a feat Iwaizumi has to admit is pretty impressive.

“Iwaizumi. Oh Iwaizumi, you’ve got it all wrong.”

“Do I?” Iwaizumi asks dubiously. His anger has ebbed, but only slightly. “Because from what I saw, it was plain and clear. I went to Tokyo to surprise you because I thought we were hitting it off. Instead, what I find is Ushijima kissing you.”

“Yes, but I didn’t let him kiss me” Oikawa practically shouts. “I pushed him away as soon as his awful, germy lips touched mine. Who knows where else they’ve been?”

Oikawa waves a hand in front of him as if warding away bad omens.

“Surely you saw that too if you saw him kiss me,” the setter continues.

Iwaizumi pauses. Well, no… He hadn’t. He left pretty quickly after he saw all he thought he’d needed to see. He takes on a defiant posture, crossing his arms stubbornly.

 

“I didn’t intend to stick around and watch you make out with another man.”

Oikawa lets out an exasperated sigh.

“Ushijima is my ex,” he begins to explain. “I broke things off with him over three months ago because he was controlling and unfaithful. He treated me like I was his property and I was finally over it so I left him after our last in-season match. I was over being owned. He’s been texting me whenever I cross his mind since then, or whenever he’s bored, to try and convince me to come back but I’ve ignored him every time. I’ve had him blocked since I met you. When he kissed me that day, that was yet another attempt at him trying to keep me in Tokyo. I pushed him away right after and told him that I was seeing someone else now.”

Oikawa looks down.

“Let me start over,” he says, holding up his hands.

“Three months ago, before our final game, I went to my coach and resigned from the team. I’ve been overworking myself for years now and it’s all caught up to me.” He gestures down to his knee; the same knee that was in a white brace in his practice game. “My knee can’t take anymore serious play unfortunately.”

Iwaizumi notes the hint of sadness in the setter’s voice and his instinct is to reach out for him, but he instead pulls his crossed arms tighter to his chest.

“I haven’t informed the rest of the team yet and neither has my coach. I assume he thinks that over time, before season resumes, I’ll change my mind. I won’t. So I intend to tell them sometime this month. I’ve been preparing the reserve setters for this, practicing with them harder before leaving and hinting here and there that I won’t be around much longer.” Oikawa sighs.

“With one thing off of my chest, I broke things off with Ushijima soon after. And because I knew he wouldn’t leave me alone if I stayed in my flat in Tokyo, I came home. I wanted to spend time with my family, plus I’d been invited to Tohoku for the commencement speech. Meeting you was just a stroke of good luck in a sea of bad luck, honestly. I couldn’t believe it, really.” He scoffs, swiping beneath his eyes at tears Iwaizumi’s just now taking notice of.

“I should have known that it wouldn’t last,” he finishes quietly.

Iwaizumi blinks at him, a lump in his throat. For the second time in over a week, his idiocy levels are at an all-time high. He doesn’t know why, but he truly believes Oikawa. He can tell that setter’s being truthful and Iwaizumi knows that he even owes the man an apology for jumping to the conclusion that he’d jumped to. He really wants to forgive him...

Tobio’s feet scuff the court from behind him and Iwaizumi remembers why he’s there. He realizes that he’s just let his and Oikawa’s drama unravel right here in front of his son when he probably should have taken Oikawa to his office. Or sent him away before it could even get this far.

It’s Tobio’s presence, however, that reminds him of why he can’t be as forgiving. He really does believe that Oikawa’s being honest with him, but he can’t risk this again. He can’t put himself through this. There are other things that need his focus and attention. Most important was his son. He only had a year left with Tobio before he’d be off to college and onto much, much bigger things. Iwaizumi didn’t want to waste that time when, for all he knew, Oikawa could just bounce from his life just as easily as he bounced into it.

Iwaizumi just can’t risk bringing someone into his and Tobio’s lives without one hundred percent certainty that they were there to stay.

He’s about to tell Oikawa as much, inhaling to conjure up the words, but Tobio speaks before the words can leave his lips.

“Forgive him.”

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi and Oikawa are both shocked into silence. They both stare at Tobio with wide eyes and high eyebrows. Iwaizumi can’t believe his ears, even wonders if he’s hearing things -- thinking that maybe it’s all in his head, his dire want to forgive Oikawa clouding his judgement and telling him to do so in his son’s voice. But Tobio’s eyes have locked onto Iwaizumi’s and the look he’s giving his father is unwavering. For the moment, all of his son’s previous embarrassment has evaporated. In his eyes, Iwaizumi can see all of the things that Tobio doesn’t need to verbalize. I’m tired of you putting me first. I’m tired of you being lonely. This is what you deserve.

Iwaizumi’s fists clench at his sides, his brows creased over his forehead. These are things he shouldn’t have to be told by his teenage son. He should be mature enough to figure these things out on his own. But he’s never been as grateful to Tobio as he is now. Turning to face Oikawa, he stares at the man intensely. Oikawa’s brown eyes have shifted from Tobio back to Iwaizumi. Iwaizumi can feel the air around them, careful and heavy. He is tired of being alone. He does deserve to be happy. Oikawa makes him happy. In the few short weeks they’ve been playing this game, Iwaizumi’s been happier than he’s been in a very, very long time. For the last two decades, Iwaizumi’s been content -- happy to an extent in regards to his life and the time spent with his son. But there was always something missing; he’d felt a void all this time. Even Sugawara and Daichi could see it and Iwaizumi noticed it easily, reflecting in their eyes when they looked at him with something just shy of pity.

In just a few short, determined steps Iwaizumi’s in front of Oikawa, taking the setter by his shoulders and pressing his lips to his. It’s more gentle than it is forceful, lasting only a few seconds before Tobio clears his throat. The interruption nearly causes Iwaizumi to instinctively throw Oikawa at least ten feet away. Instead, he parts from him slowly before taking a step back. Red from the collar of his shirt to the top of his head, Iwaizumi turns and bows out a quick apology to Tobio who in return just gives his father a, “tch.” He looks up to find the teenager looking in any and every direction but his father’s and Iwaizumi’s lips quirk up in amusement.

“Thank you, Tobio-chan,” Oikawa cuts in. “You’re not as bratty as I thought you were. Though I suppose you and I will have to start getting along, hm?”

Tobio gives Oikawa an exact replica of Iwaizumi’s scowl, causing Oikawa to break into laughter.

“So mean, Tobio-chan,” he says through a grin. Iwaizumi can’t help but join in, chuckling behind a cupped hand. The tension in the gymnasium has lifted, an atmosphere of humor settling around them.

“At least now you’ll have a chance to keep your word, Tobio-chan,” Oikawa goes on after a minute or two of laughter. It’s died down and his brown eyes take on a challenging look. Tobio’s blue eyes meet Oikawa’s immediately. The older setter continues.

“After all, you did say that you’ll make everyone forget about me. You’ve only got a few years until you can go after my spot. Or was that just talk?”

“It wasn’t talk,” Tobio responds immediately. “I will make them forget you ever existed.”

Oikawa’s grin is predatory, but the challenge is innocent enough from what Iwaizumi can tell. Something tells him that from here on, there’s going to be a lot more private volleyball practices. He decides to let Oikawa and Tobio believe they’re enemies on the court for now; in truth though, all Iwaizumi can see is a seedling of a possible bond between the two of them.

He smirks at the thought of it.

--------------------

Iwaizumi doesn’t expect everything to click together for him so smoothly. Oikawa’s officially moved back to Miyagi and resigned from Japan’s national volleyball team within a week. He’s already spent most of his time at Iwaizumi’s. Even now, as Iwaizumi prepares a small lunch for himself, there’s a knock at his door.

As expected, Oikawa stands there with the brightest of grins and a small, rectangular box.

“That better not be what I think it is, Shittykawa,” Iwaizumi deadpans. “It’s only been couple of days since I forgave you.”

“Forgave me for your own misunderstanding, I should remind you,” Oikawa says back lightly. He brushes past Iwaizumi and slides out of his shoes only after pressing his lips briefly to the corner of Iwaizumi’s. “And this isn’t for you, Iwa-chan. It’s for my little fan.”

Little fan? Iwaizumi glares at him suspiciously and Oikawa beams bright enough to put Iwaizumi’s already dim hallway lights to shame. The same hallway that Oikawa is already halfway down as he makes his way to the living room where Tobio and Hinata have been since their return from practice. Iwaizumi follows closely behind, knowing how Oikawa and his son can get if left unsupervised.

“Yoo-hoo~, Shou-chan. I’ve got those autographs I promised you. Who’s the best setter in the world?”

Hinata coos excitedly while Tobio scowls -- Iwaizumi can’t tell if it’s because of the overly friendly name Oikawa’s given Hinata or the fact that Hinata’s too worked up to answer Oikawa’s question with the answer that Tobio wants to hear. Iwaizumi slides a hand down his face as he’s proven correct.

“You are! You’re the best setter in the world, Oikawa-san!”

Oikawa ruffles the redhead’s hair and sticks his tongue out at Tobio over the shorter boy’s head. Hinata’s none the wiser. Before Tobio can form his lips into a snarled insult, Iwaizumi is dragging Oikawa out of the living room by his collar. He doesn’t release him until they’re in the hallway.

“So rude, Iwa-chan. Shou-chan and I were in the middle of a conversation.”

“This will never last if all you intend to do is rile him up,” Iwaizumi says seriously. Oikawa just smiles in response.

“Please,” he says with a wave of his hand. “Tobio-chan loves me, he just likes to pretend he doesn’t. Not to mention,” Oikawa leans his back against the wall and pulls Iwaizumi by the collar with him, a playful smirk at the corner of his lips. “He knows how happy I make his otou-san.”

Iwaizumi hates the flush that rises from his neck. He just barely grounds out a growl that’s meant to be threatening when Oikawa pulls his him so close that their sharing each breath.

“He doesn’t know that much,” he whispers hotly. It almost pains him how easy it is for Oikawa to arouse him, but Iwaizumi somehow manages to pull away. Oikawa’s disappointed pout, although played up in hopes of getting his way, is almost enough to make Iwaizumi appease him. Almost.

“Speaking of,” Iwaizumi says as he walks toward the kitchen, Oikawa sure to follow. “There are going to be a few rules for next year or so.”

“Rules?” Oikawa asks, right behind him. The former setter makes his way to the refrigerator for a bottle of water. “That doesn’t sound very fun, Iwa-chan.”

“Nothing serious. But there are some things that can’t be said -- and done in front of Tobio.”

Oikawa starts to protest, but Iwaizumi meets his eyes in a deadpan and those big brown eyes settle down in concession.

“Okay, Iwa. Say no more, I completely understand.”

Iwaizumi can’t say that he’s not pleased that he doesn’t need to explain things any further than that.

“Otou-san. Will it be alright if I have dinner at Hinata’s tonight?”

Tobio’s leaning halfway into the entryway of the kitchen, his face stoic to the average eye, but he’s practically begging as far as Iwaizumi can tell. One look at Oikawa and Iwaizumi can see that he was doing the same.

It was as if he’d just adopted another teenager as opposed to obtaining a… boyfriend.

“That’s fine. Please take something for Hinata-kun’s parents.”

“Hai,” Tobio says with a minor bow before disappearing again.

“Do you know what that means, Iwa-chan?” Oikawa asks suggestively.

Iwaizumi doesn’t try to hide his widening grin.

“Of course I know what it means, idiot.”

“Mean!”

--------------------

Sunday comes around quicker than usual that week and Iwaizumi’s sure it has a lot to do with excitement on a lot of different ends. Yachi-kun, Iwaizumi notes, is always excited when her boyfriend, Tanaka Ryuunosuke, is able to make it. So there’s a pep in her step as she sets out plates and dishes of food on the table. Iwaizumi tries his best not to think about how Tobio and Hinata are both missing and have been for over half an hour. Thankfully, he’s distracted by one Oikawa Tooru who has shown up early yet with no intention of helping in any kind of way, meal prep included. He’s also ridiculously over dressed in slacks, a crisp shirt, and a tie that’s fashionably loosened much to Iwaizumi’s dismay. He’s having a hard time not grabbing Oikawa by the offensive accessory and taking him to the bedroom for a completely different kind of prep.

Sugawara and Daichi arrive shortly after, and Tanaka after them. Hinata and Tobio finally make their way back downstairs and everyone at the table makes a joint, but silent, decision not to question the ridiculousness of their hair -- which is sticking out in too many different ways to count. Nothing new for Hinata, but Tobio…

Iwaizumi shakes his head purposefully and powers on.

“A lot of you haven’t been properly introduced so,” he starts. Sugawara is already beaming like a proud parent. Iwaizumi fights the flush threatening to creep up on him. “This is Oikawa Tooru.”

Hinata and Yachi both grin identically at Oikawa, still starstruck somehow. Tanaka-kun looks like he’s about drool, but recovers quickly by trying to look cool and nonchalant. There’s no need since his girlfriend is just as taken with Oikawa as he apparently is. Tobio’s wearing a frown that’s been tailored especially to Oikawa since the first day the two had met. And next to Suga who’s still smiling proudly, Daichi looks unusually serious. Analytical, even. That’s never good.

Once everyone’s greeted Oikawa, they settle into dinner and it goes as normally as it can. Until the teenagers leave to do whatever it is that they do (Iwaizumi has decided he’s over wanting to know) and Daichi decides that enough time has passed and he’s ready to give Oikawa the interrogation of a lifetime.

“How long was your longest relationship?” He asks suddenly, setting his chopsticks down next to his bowl of shouyu ramen. Sugawara dips his head into the palm of his hand and Iwaizumi truly wishes that he could do the same, but he remains still. His gaze settles on Oikawa, whose eyes have taken on a new look; something akin to daring, but there’s more to it. Iwaizumi looks to Daichi to see that his eyes have taken on the same gleam.

“Two years,” Oikawa answers tersely. There’s a hint of false sweetness to his voice that seems to make Daichi smile a little tighter. There’s nothing Sugawara or Iwaizumi can do, really. They can only wait for the storm to pass.

“I see,” Daichi responds thoughtfully. “Was that with the man you were seen kissing a couple of weeks ago?”

Suga finally looks up, his face stern. He’s about to reign Daichi in, but Oikawa speaks up first.

“It was,” Oikawa replies. “Though it’s hardly fair to hold that against me. It was, of course, a misunderstanding.”

There’s less bite to his words this time and Iwaizumi can see that the challenge in Oikawa’s eyes has dimmed and has been replaced by a hint of guilt. Iwaizumi’s learned in his time spent with Oikawa that the former setter’s eyes are often the windows to his soul. His smile, his facial expressions, and his voice are all good devices used to mask what Oikawa doesn’t want others to see, but his eyes tell Iwaizumi everything. They tell him when he’s happy, when he’s sad, when he’s disappointed, or when he’s aroused. They tell him when Oikawa wants Iwaizumi closer and when Oikawa needs some space. Iwaizumi hasn’t experienced much of the latter, but he likes to think that he already knows Oikawa well enough to tell the difference.

Iwaizumi looks up at Daichi to tell him that that’s enough but sees that he doesn’t have to. Daichi’s already lost the heat in his gaze as well.

“I worry about Iwaizumi is all,” his friend says quietly. “He’s been out of the game for a long time. And he’s putting a lot on the line in deciding to be with you, Oikawa-san. I’m not here to cause you trouble, I’m just here to make sure you don’t intend to cause any for my dearest friend. Or my godson. I’m not saying that I don’t trust you, just that I don’t know you all that well. So --” He looks at Oikawa like he can see right into his heart and soul. Even Oikawa’s eyes widen, fully alert.

“Take good care of them,” Daichi says in conclusion.

There’s a moment of silence as Oikawa and Daichi converse nonverbally over the table. Then Oikawa nods firmly, his face breaking into a smile that -- thankfully -- reaches his eyes.

“You can count on me, Sawamura-kun.”

Iwaizumi’s eyebrows raise as he shares a look with Sugawara. He’s surprised at how easily that was resolved and how easily the tension has dissipated. So he decides to reward Oikawa with a hand over his lower back and a brush of his lips over the setter’s cheek. It’s a nice change of pace to see Oikawa flushing instead of himself; he finds himself smirking proudly about it as the four of them carry on with average small talk until they’re all putting dishes into the sink to be cleaned later.

Tanaka and Yachi say their goodbyes and Tobio informs Iwaizumi that he’s going to walk Hinata home. Iwaizumi never worries over this as Hinata only lives a few houses down their street.

There’s a friendly air around the four adults as they continue to talk over sake well into the night until Suga reminds them that he has to be at work in the morning. Iwaizumi and Oikawa walk Suga and Daichi to the door, laughing as Oikawa finishes up a tale of his first game as Japan’s setter and how he’d set the first receive with his face instead of his hands.

“I look forward to more weekends like this,” Suga tells Oikawa genuinely as he shakes his hand on Iwaizumi’s front porch. “Now that Iwaizumi won’t be a third-wheel, maybe we can go out more often now.”

“Absolutely, Refreshing-kun,” Oikawa grants with a smile. His need for nicknames was obviously something they would all get used to. “There’s no way I’m going to let Iwa-chan be a grouchy homebody. Let’s exchange emails and we’ll make plans for sometime soon!”

As he and Suga come together with their phones, Iwaizumi scratches the back of his head by Daichi’s side. Daichi slaps him hard enough on the back to send him lurching a step or two.

“He’s not so bad, Iwa-chan,” the short-haired man teases with a laugh at himself. Iwaizumi glowers at him.

“That’s not funny,” he snarls with no fire. “But you’re right. He’s not.”

“You’ve done good for yourself. You needed someone who’d keep you on your toes anyway. This is good for you. Now, Tobio on the other hand...” Daichi trails off.

“That’s another problem for another time,” Iwaizumi says with a laugh of his own.

Oikawa and Suga break apart and Oikawa puts an arm around Iwaizumi’s waist as Daichi and Suga wave goodbye and depart to their car. He rests his brown curls onto Iwaizumi’s more unruly head.

“I’m glad the universe has brought us together, Iwa-chan,” he says.

Iwaizumi leans back so that he can look at Oikawa and finds the taller man looking at him with devoted eyes.

“Thank you for letting me into your life, Iwa. I meant what I said to Sawamura-kun,” he tells Iwaizumi softly. “I will truly do my best.”

Iwaizumi swallows the lump in his throat, his hand closing around that damned tie and pulling Oikawa closer.

“Tch,” Iwaizumi scoffs. “I know you will.”

“Idiot,” he can’t help adding before pulling Oikawa in for a kiss.

He would do his best too.

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi doesn’t know how he’s held it together all this time. He’d known for sometime now that this day would come eventually, but no amount of preparation could have readied him for it. Neither Tobio nor Oikawa could say much to him about it either, they had both come to a surprising agreement that Iwaizumi was not to be messed with on this. He’d get through it. He could handle this. He could definitely do this. This wasn’t the end…

Iwaizumi keeps his jaw clenched, his hands gripping tightly at the steering wheel as he drives. He can feel Oikawa’s eyes darting toward him every few minutes and whenever Iwaizumi lets his eyes drift upward to the rearview mirror, Tobio’s eyes glance quickly away. What a time for the two of them to decide they’ll be united in something that isn’t their own supposed hatred for one another.

Finally, they arrive at their destination where Iwaizumi turns off the car, sitting there for a moment. He has to remind himself to breathe. Oikawa and Tobio sit quietly with him, unmoving. When he finally feels like he’s in control of himself and the situation, Iwaizumi steps out of the car and takes a deep breath.

There, no more than fifty feet away with all it’s bustling and bright-eyed new students, stands Tobio’s new school and home for the next four years.

Hosei University of Tokyo, Japan held more national volleyball championships than any school in the country so naturally Tobio and Hinata-kun had both decided that this was where they would do best in their journey to the top. Iwaizumi thinks it’s a little far for his tastes, but it’s not like he can’t drive to Tokyo whenever he needs to. Tobio would no doubt protest if he did so too often, but at the very least Iwaizumi would come for his son’s games whenever he could.

Oikawa comes around the car to stand by Iwaizumi’s side and places a hand over his shoulder. Behind them, Iwaizumi can hear Tobio pulling things from the trunk of the car.

“You know, Iwa, you don’t have to try so hard to keep it together,” Oikawa tells him.

Iwaizumi doesn’t speak, just keeps looking ahead. His current concern is that the minute he opens his mouth, he won’t have a voice. He’s that close to the brink.

Silently, he turns and helps Tobio with one of his heavier boxes and a black duffle which he slings over his shoulder. A look in the trunk tells him that that’s everything. Of course Tobio didn’t need to bring much with him. He had a substantial amount of clothes, a couple knick-knacks from home, a volleyball, and more than a few volleyball magazines. Tobio’s possessions had always been minimal and such a trait would no doubt pay off for him in his college years. He walks behind his son, Oikawa walking next to him, as they make their way to the athletic dorms where Tobio will be rooming with Hinata.

Hinata, who’s traveling with his parents and younger sister to Toyko, hasn’t arrived yet so the room is bare and silent. Tobio drops his things on the bed and Iwaizumi follows suit, the awkwardness from the car ride having followed them into the dorm room.

“Otou-san,” Tobio starts. “Thank--”

That’s all it takes to spring Iwaizumi into action. Before Tobio can finish his sentence, Iwaizumi has grabbed him and pulled him tightly into his chest. This is far different from how it used to be. Iwaizumi remembers a time when he could pull Tobio into him and the younger boy would fit completely into his torso. He remembers a time when he’d pull Tobio close and his son’s head would just barely reach his abdomen. Now though, as Iwaizumi takes a hand to the back of his son’s head, he can bring Tobio’s face to his shoulder where his boy -- all grown up now -- lets out a shaky breath. Iwaizumi doesn’t bother wiping away his tears as he brushes his lips into Tobio’s hair before pulling back and holding Tobio at arms’ length so that he can get a good look at him.

“Thank you,” Iwaizumi finally says. “Thank you for being the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I am so--” He has to pause or he’ll lose it. “I am so, so proud of you. You’ve been making me proud since the day you were born and I know that’ll never change, but today you’re finally off on your own. You got here on your own with all of your hard work. You’ve overcome many obstacles Tobio, and I’m just grateful for the chance to have watched you grow. I love you. And I know that you’ll do great here. Just--”

Oikawa’s come to Iwaizumi’s side again, running his hand along his back encouragingly. Iwaizumi’s thankful; he wants to get this all out before he chokes on it.

“Just, don’t forget about your chichi.”

A flood of memories of a young Tobio, toddling around Iwaizumi’s parents’ home yelling Chichi! Chichi! cloud his mind just as his tears cloud his eyesight. But he can blurrily see Tobio swipe at his own eyes just the same.

“I won’t. Of course I won’t.”

When Iwaizumi blinks away the tears he can see that an embarrassed flush has taken over Tobio’s face. He can’t help himself; he laughs. And laughs. And soon Tobio’s laughing with him. Oikawa raises his eyebrows at the both of them like they’ve lost their minds but amusement crinkles at the corners of his eyes as well.

“You two are adorable,” he says with a grin. “You’re both so disastrous when it comes to emotions that I’m surprised you’ve even gotten over this small hurdle.”

“Tch,” both Iwaizumi and Tobio scoff in unison.

With all of Tobio’s things moved into his room, the three of them head back down to the car together with Oikawa pointing out things here and there for Tobio to try while on campus. Naturally, he also throws out a few more setter’s tips for him once the conversation turns into one about volleyball. As if Oikawa hasn’t drilled every ounce of knowledge he could into Tobio in the last year and a half. Iwaizumi rolls his eyes. He’s quite obviously not the only one who’ll miss his son, but he keeps quiet about it.

When they reach the parking lot, they’re greeted by Hinata and his family waving hello. They’re carrying at least three times as many boxes as Tobio had and Iwaizumi’s not the least bit surprised. Tobio hugs his father awkwardly when they’re gone, preparing to say his last goodbyes. When he steps back, he casts a half-hearted scowl at Oikawa, but Oikawa’s used to it by now so he just chuckles.

“Now that you’re gone, Tobio-chan, me and your otou-san are going to have so much fun,” he teases.

Iwaizumi jabs him in the ribs with the tips of his fingers with a glare.

“Mean, Iwa-chan! I didn’t mean that kind of fun. Although~”

Iwaizumi jabs him again and Tobio (wisely) chooses to ignore him.

“I’m not gone forever,” Tobio says to Iwaizumi. “It won’t be a problem for me to take a train home to visit you. And Suga-san and Dai-san.” He glances at Oikawa and Iwaizumi understands that he means to include Oikawa as well. He’ll never expect his son actually voice as much though.

“I know,” Iwaizumi answers knowingly. “I’ll just miss you, is all. But I know you’ll take good care of yourself. And Hinata-kun. Definitely take care of Hinata-kun.”

Tobio nods determinedly and Iwaizumi smiles. He knows that Hinata will just as well need to take care of Tobio. They share one last hug before Iwaizumi and Oikawa get in the car.

“Have fun, Tobio-chan,” Oikawa says out the window. “I’ll be waiting for your call for more tips on being a better setter. You’ll never be better than me, though!”

Tobio looks like he might kill Oikawa if they stay for another minute, so Iwaizumi waves goodbye to his son one more time and drives away. He watches Tobio in the rearview mirror until he has to make a turn and his son is out of sight.

For the first half of the drive home, Oikawa leaves Iwaizumi to his thoughts. Iwaizumi even lets him play his ridiculous J-pop on the radio without much more than a scowl. After some time, Oikawa turns it down low and stares at Iwaizumi.

“What?” Iwaizumi asks.

He can only take his eyes off of the road for a moment at a time, but he knows what it means when his partner gets this look in his eyes. In a year and a half, Iwaizumi’s come to enjoy this look from Oikawa. His eyes, more than anything else, give Iwaizumi so much of him.

“I love you, Hajime,” he says simply. “More than you could ever know.”

Iwaizumi glances at him again, taking a hand off of the steering wheel to settle it, palm up, over the console between them. Oikawa doesn’t hesitate to place his hand in Iwaizumi’s.

“And I love you,” Iwaizumi answers just as simply.

Because the bottom line is just that: simple. Things are never complicated when it comes to how they feel about one another. They’d had a misunderstanding at the start of things, and since then there’s been nothing but smooth sailing between them. A few bumps and bruises along the way in regards to Oikawa’s relationship with Tobio, but nothing Iwaizumi doesn't handle swiftly and efficiently. And now, here they are.

On the road home.

“I’m looking forward to the rest of our lives together, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa says serenely. He’s looking straight ahead now, a wistful expression occupying his features.

Iwaizumi gives his hand a light squeeze and drives on.

“Me too.”