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The PDA jar

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"Enough.” Says Hanamaki suddenly and fiercely. “This has to come to an end now. We need to talk.”

He uses his most serious tone and that’s how Iwaizumi knows that there’s a giant bullshit coming. This and the fact that Matsukawa is sitting right behind Hanamaki with his arms crossed, flexing his muscles like a damn bodyguard. Iwaizumi knows their antics all too well, so he groans in misery. He should have known that they were up to something when they politely requested to join Oikawa and Iwaizumi’s secret lunch meeting.

Why were Oikawa and Iwaizumi having a secret lunch meeting, you ask? The thing is: Oikawa can never have lunch on their classroom or on the roof, because these places are too common and filled with fan girls laughing annoyingly loud and pestering Oikawa to taste their homemade lunch, as if they thought that Oikawa would want to date one of them if their cooking skills were impressive enough. He would not, but he could never say no to them and it ruined Oikawa’s appetite, so he started to have lunch in the clubroom and, of course, he had to drag Iwaizumi with him because having lunch by himself would be “too boring”.

The bright side is that the clubroom is a pleasant place to be in and it is completely free of fan girls.

The bad side is that no place in the world is safe from Hanamaki and Matsukawa.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about…” Iwaizumi grumbles. “But I haven’t slept last night, so don’t talk. At all.”

He’s tired. So damn tired. Iwaizumi had been working himself to exhaustion because he knows that it’s a matter of time until some good university puts their eyes on Oikawa and scout him. Good universities usually have high standards and thus Iwaizumi can’t afford to let his grades go down if he wants to follow his best friend – and he will. Because, no matter what, Oikawa can not survive college without Iwaizumi.

“You are telling us that you’re going to sleep now? There?” Matsukawa asks, raising an eyebrow.

“What does it look like, that I am getting ready to play volleyball?” Iwaizumi barks.

A few seconds ago, he simply said “lap” and Oikawa immediately understood, shifting his position on the floor so Iwaizumi could use his legs as a pillow. Iwaizumi just laid down, ready for a very much needed nap. It’s true that Oikawa’s legs are too muscular, but Iwaizumi never quite liked pillows that were too soft, so sleeping on Oikawa’s lap was something he was used to.

“Come on, Iwaizumi.” Hanamaki deadpans. “It’s important for the whole team that we have this conversation ASAP.”

Iwaizumi groans again. He knows it isn’t, there is some serious nonsense coming, but, of course, Oikawa had to give in. He takes everything seriously when they use the magic words “It’s important for the team.”

“Shoot.” Oikawa says and Iwaizumi has no option other than sitting up again, but not without complaining a lot.

“Here’s the thing.” Matsukawa starts. “You and Iwaizumi… this is getting out of hand. I mean, we are really happy for you; it’s wonderful that you like each other so much that you can’t keep your hands from each other. But you have to refrain from public demonstrations of affection.”

There it is. Iwaizumi freaking knew it.

Oikawa, on other hand, frowns:

“What?”

“You see… As much as we appreciate that you guys get along well, you two look like a couple.” Hanamaki clarifies. “And currently the whole team feels like you guys are our parents our something.”

“And have you ever had your parents making out in front of you?” Matsukawa shakes his head solemnly. “Not cool, guys. Not cool.”

“We… We didn’t make out in front of anyone!” Oikawa protests.

“You could as well have done it.” Hanamaki shrugs. “You guys come to school together and you go home together and you talk like some old married couple and you touch each other a lot and, honestly, we wouldn’t be surprised if you two showed up holding hands someday.”

“This is bullshit!” Iwaizumi snarls.

“Easy there, tiger.” Matsukawa holds his hands up on a gesture of surrender. “We’re just saying that this whole married parents vibe is freaking everyone out. We gotta do something about it.”

“No way! Everyone thinks I’m married to Iwa-chan?” There is a brief pause. “Am I the mother or the father?”

Oi, Shittykawa!

“Ow, ow, owowow- Geez, calm down, Iwa-chan!” He pouts. “Whatever, guys. It’s just that Iwa-chan and I are too used to each other, ok? If it’s bothering everyone so much, we’ll do something about it.”

Iwaizumi wants to hit them, but instead he lets Oikawa deals with it. God knows that Oikawa has way more patience than Iwaizumi does. But they should know that they couldn’t get off the hook so easily. Not when it was Hanamaki speaking along with Matsukawa.

“That’s the spirit, captain.” Hanamaki begins. “Although… We would like to put a little more of commitment.”

“That’s why we…” Matsukawa gets up and picks up a glass jar from one of the shelves. “Bought you this.”

It’s a simple jar with a metallic lid, like many of the ones Iwaizumi’s mother has at home. It doesn’t belong to the clubroom, but he didn’t notice it there until Matsukawa displayed it as some kind of prize. Iwaizumi doesn’t want to know what that jar is for nor why the hell Matsukawa and Hanamaki think a jar will solve any of their problems. He only wants to be able to lie down and get some sleep, really. But Oikawa, that gullible fucker, has to ask:

“What is that thing for?”

“I’m glad you asked, captain. This... is the Public Display of Affection jar. Or PDA jar for short.”.”

“The PDA jar.” Oikawa and Iwaizumi parrot at the same time, incredulous.

“Now whenever you do something that may hurt our children’s innocence, you’ll have to put money in the jar. Like 100 yen, for example.”

“Yeah, and we agreed that by the end of the tournament, we’ll take the money to pay everyone’s dinner at somewhere nice.”

Iwaizumi is about to tell them to go eat a dick – something that he probably wouldn’t do so easily if he weren’t so sleep deprived or if he actually knew what Hanamaki and Matsukawa were talking about, because… Really? PDA? Between him and Oikawa? What the hell was that supposed to mean? – however Oikawa was faster. With a frown on his beautiful face, he asks:

“What do you mean ‘we agreed’? The whole team? When? How?” There was an implied When did my own team turn against me? by the end of the sentence and Iwaizumi doesn’t need to be well rested to know that it bothers Oikawa. The one thing he hates the most is when stuff is out of his control.

“Well, it wasn’t hard. It started with Matsukawa and me, and then we asked the second years.”

“Yahaba just said ‘Sure, why not?’ and Kyoutani grumbled something. We just assumed he agrees.”

“Watari just thinks it’s damn hilarious, so he also agreed.”

“We did, though, leave the first years out of this, since they are the children we are trying to protect.”

“And because we know Kindaichi wouldn’t do anything to annoy the two of you.”

“And honestly Kunimi is kind of scary. Have you seen him? That kid terrifies me.”

“So.” Iwaizumi interrupts them. “Long story short, you guys want us to put 100 yen in that stupid jar whenever we do something that you arbitrarily decided it’s inappropriate for friends to do.”

“Exactly! We’re glad you understood.”

“This is fucking-”

“Okay.” Oikawa cuts him of.

“Wait, what?” Iwaizumi glares at his best friend “Tell me I’m insane, Trashkawa, because I can swear that I heard you agreeing with this nonsense?”

“Ah, c’mon, Iwa-chan. We don’t do anything embarrassing that often and we’re going to prove it.”

And Iwaizumi buries his face on his own hands, because that’s so Oikawa. He would never do anything that the team doesn’t like or back off in front of a challenge. Of course that he’ll agree if the whole team joined up to request something. Hell, if only one single player had asked, he would do his best to grant the wish. Oikawa likes to keep his teammates satisfied, so as long as it doesn’t harm any other player, of course he’ll agree with any damn thing.

“And if we seem too close… Well, it’s just because we know each other since we were kids.” Oikawa guarantees. “It’s no big deal. We accept your terms. You guys will never need to use that jar.”

“You’re going to regret this so bad, Oikawa.” Iwaizumi scowls.

“No, I’m not! You have my word that I will follow your terms for the team and it's going to be easy. Don’t worry, Iwa-chan.”

No one replies out loud, but Matsukawa’s and Hanamaki’s smug smirks are already enough of an answer.

The jar comes to use less than four hours later.

 


 

Oikawa is worried about Iwaizumi. He’s the one who keeps telling Oikawa to take care of himself, but Iwaizumi is not the best example to follow.

They had a good practice and Oikawa couldn’t be more satisfied with his team. All of them were growing very nicely. They always move in perfect synchrony, like a well-oiled machine. Kindaichi is growing more confident, Kunimi’s serves are getting more and more precise, Watari’s defense is becoming stronger and even Kyoutani is slowly getting along better with everyone thanks to a connection he seems to be developing with Yahaba. And, of course, Iwaizumi is one hell of an ace. His spikes are the most powerful and precise and Oikawa can always count on him when things get difficult. As a captain, he is proud of each and every one of them, especially of his ace. 

As a friend, he knows that, even though Iwaizumi’s performance as a player hadn’t dropped even a bit, there is something wrong. There are dark circles beneath his eyes, he yawned through the whole way from home to school and Oikawa is pretty sure he almost caught his friend half-asleep in the shower. Who sleeps like that? Sleep deprived people, of course.

Everybody is getting dressed to go home and Iwaizumi is the last one to turn off the shower. Oikawa eyes him as he lazily puts on his clothes, which is extremely uncomfortable. Not only because he can’t take his eyes from Iwaizumi’s muscles flexing – what is this feeling? Jealousy? Is he jealous because Iwaizumi is a buff? – but because Iwaizumi never does anything lazily. Hell, they should call him captain stamina. If Iwaizumi is showing signs of laziness, it is because it isn’t really laziness. It’s exhaustion.

“Iwa-chan, you look even worse than usual. Like a dying gorilla instead of a regular gorilla.”

“Oikawa.” Iwaizumi replies softly. “You shut the fuck up or I’m shoving these sneakers down your throat.”

Oikawa grins, just a little bit relieved. If he’s still replies bitterly, he probably isn’t that bad. However, the lack of raw anger is concerning.

“Why you gotta be so mean every time, Iwa-chan? I’m your captain and I’m concerned for your sake.”

Iwaizumi scowls at him and, for the first time, Oikawa notices that Iwaizumi’s cheeks are all flushed. Not the angry spots of red that appear when Iwaizumi is about to kick the living hell out of Oikawa, just a very uniform shade of pink covering Iwaizumi’s skin. A fever?

“Iwa-chan, come here.”

Oikawa slowly cups Iwaizumi’s face with one hand and leans in until their foreheads are touching. Iwaizumi doesn’t even flinch, so used he is to Oikawa being next to him. Instead, he just cocks an eyebrow up and asks:

“What?”

“Oh. My. God.” A voice comes from the other side of the room. It’s Hanamaki. “What are you two doing?”

Oikawa turns around, frowning. Hanamaki sounds as if he just witnessed a scandalous scene and, the captain notices, the rest of the team is standing still, shamelessly staring at them – well, everyone but Kindaichi, who is desperately trying to hide his flushed face behind the door of his locker and pretending that he isn’t also staring by the corner of his eye.

“I think Iwa-chan might have a fever.” Oikawa explains in a flat voice, still not understanding what all of this was about.

“And why did you feel the need to check his temperature like that?” Matsukawa sighs and shakes his head, as if Oikawa had disappointed him. “Put money in the jar, Oikawa.”

He tries to protest, but Matsukawa and Hanamaki are so synchronized outside the court as they are in it:

“What? I was checking-”

“You gave us your word, captain.”

“But Iwa-chan-”

“Is shirtless, so you shouldn’t be this close to him.”

“Are you guys even listen-”

“Captain. Jar.”

Oikawa immediately turns his eyes to Iwaizumi, who’s frowning as if somebody just put something really stinky right beneath his nose, but instead of backing him up, this time Iwaizumi just shrugs.

“Told ya’ you were going to regret letting Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum have their way. You shouldn’t have given your word to them.”

He groans, because he knows that he can’t beat Hanamaki and Matsukawa at the same time if Iwaizumi doesn’t have his back. Against his will and beneath every Aoba johsai volleyball player scrutiny, Oikawa fishes an old coin from his backpack and throws it inside the jar with a loud “ping!” Once he does it, everybody goes back to their own business and Oikawa scoffs, not believing in what just happened.

Iwaizumi just puts on his shirt and grabs his backpack, seeming not even a little surprised by the incident – or maybe he was just too tired to react, after all Oikawa still hasn’t discarded the possibility of a fever – and waves their teammates good-bye as he follows Oikawa, who’s pouting his way out of the school.

“What now, Oikawa?” Iwaizumi sighs.

“Aren’t you shocked that they made me put money in the jar?”

“Well, no? They told us that they were going to, what are you so upset about?”

Well, isn’t that a good question. Oikawa himself isn’t sure why he’s so bothered. It was just 100 yen, for God’s sake. He used to be more patient than that. Maybe it was because they didn’t take Iwaizumi’s (possible) fever seriously? Because they reprehended Oikawa for doing it? It doesn’t seem quite right. Was it because they thought it was weird for him to touch Iwaizumi so casually? Maybe? Oikawa was very socially aware, so he was familiar with the concept of personal space, nevertheless those boundaries didn’t seem to matter when it was about Iwaizumi. The fact that someone – say his teammates! – wanted him to put distance between him and his best friend… Well, he doesn’t know, so he just tells Iwaizumi the first thing he can think of:

“I didn’t think that they were serious. I just… Thought they found that jar somewhere, believed it would be a good joke and were just being weird as usual.”

“You should know by now that Matsukawa and Hanamaki take their own jokes very seriously.”

“Iwa-chan, you aren’t helping.”

“And you aren’t telling me what’s really bothering you, so I guess we are even.”

Oikawa pouts again. Just as many times he’s glad that Iwaizumi is his best friend, sometimes he wishes Iwaizumi didn’t know him so well. They walk two more blocks in silence while Oikawa organizes his thoughts and finally voices what’s going in his thoughts:

“Do you think it was weird? For me to touch you casually?”

Another moment of silence, except that Iwaizumi now is the one trying to unravel his own mind, apparently. Oikawa stares at his friend as he waits for a response, but Iwaizumi keeps looking forward thoughtfully and builds up a feeling of apprehension inside Oikawa’s chest. He waits anxiously, after all talking to Iwaizumi, whether he speaks of his problems or not, makes him relax a little. They walk another whole block before the ace finally speaks up:

“Dunno.” And he shrugs. “We’re used to each other because we’ve been friends since we were babies or whatever. I guess it’s strange, a little.”

And for the first time as long as he can recall, talking to Iwaizumi makes Oikawa even more uneasy.

 


 

Iwaizumi doesn’t want to have friends anymore.

He wonders if everyone’s friends are like that or if he just hit the jackpot by ending up with Oikawa and Hanamaki and Matsukawa at the same time. Maybe the little shits knew that Iwaizumi was a bit more defenseless than usual, after all God knows that the lack of sleep is tearing his nerves apart and so was the anxiety of not knowing if he was going to make it to the right university. He wouldn’t even be able to beat them up for being such a dickheads with that whole PDA jar thing.

Iwaizumi thought he was used to Hanamaki and Matsukawa’s shenanigans by now, but, God, was that jar story getting on his nerves. He knew it wasn’t on purpose. As much as the dynamic duo was annoying with their antics, they would never pile up stress over Iwaizumi deliberately. They were friends, after all, and friends don’t stress each other (too much). And they knew that Iwaizumi could beat the living hell outta them if they went too far, but that’s not the point! The thing is: Iwaizumi can’t take his mind off the fact that his friends think that he and Oikawa are doing things that are inappropriate for friends to do.

Or else… it wasn’t that bad. Was it?

He could have let it slip as just another one of the Fantastic MatsuMaki’s Factory of Stupidity if it weren’t for what happened on the Saturday practice on the very next day after they introduced that stupid jar. They decided to go jogging outside, since the weather seemed so nice. It wasn’t nice. At all. They were sweating like pigs when they got back to school and Iwaizumi’s unfortunate comment “It’s too hot” resulted in that stupid piece of shit that Oikawa was replying with “Hot damn” as he flexed his arms to Iwaizumi.

It’s true that Iwaizumi laughed slightly at Oikawa’s antic, but that’s not important.

The important is that, wearing the exact same patient grin he wears whenever he has to explain something very obvious to Kyoutani, Yahaba softly said “Oikawa-san, please refrain from flirting with Iwaizumi-san in front of the team.”

And that was it. Iwaizumi and Oikawa didn’t even have the time to recover from being accused of flirting – by no one less than one of their most reasonable players, Yahaba! – because Matsukawa and Hanamaki were already over them like a pair of vultures, making passive-aggressive remarks about how “flirting counted as PDA” and how “Iwaizumi and Oikawa should get it together already” and “they needed to start thinking of their professionalism as a team.”

They weren’t even a professional team!

Why did they have to worry about professionalism when they were just 17-years-olds playing volleyball?

You know what? Fuck the professionalism. That sounds about right.

In the end, they got Hanamaki and Matsukawa to shut up by putting each a coin in the jar. Watari’s commenting on the background “Oh, are you guys really doing that jar thing?” proved that Hanamaki and Matsukawa had indeed asked the opinion of others on this matter.

Iwaizumi misses when he wasn’t in the pestered group. When the three of them – Hanamaki, Matsukawa and himself – teamed up to pester Oikawa – and protect Oikawa from possible other bullies, after all only the three of them got to pick on their captain.

All of this (and the sleep deprivation, of course) made Iwaizumi’s walk to school more silent than usual on Monday. Oikawa walks by his side, as always, but he seems to know that Iwaizumi is not in the talking mood, so he just walks in his usual pace and quietly hums a song here and there, but doesn’t talk to Iwaizumi.

By the time they arrive to school, Iwaizumi had given up trying to figure out why he’s so upset about the jar thing and is now trying to convince himself that he’s overreacting, as if admitting it would make it go away.  He walked in silence to the clubroom, insisting like a mantra that the jar was just a silly prank, that the team could not be actually uncomfortable with his relationship with Oikawa…

They couldn’t.

Right?

He’s shaken off his thoughts by a soft grunt and only then he realizes that they’re the first to arrive and he already changed into his training clothes and so did Oikawa. He can’t really remember changing, he just did it on autopilot. However, he has no time to think about his newly discovered ability of doing things without paying attention to them, because the grunt he heard was Oikawa’s and that could mean only something: pain.

“What’s the matter?” he asks, cautiously examining Oikawa’s face just in case he tried to lie.

“Dunno” Oikawa tries to stretch his own arm and grunts again. “I think maybe it can be slightly possible that I worked a little too hard yesterday and now everything is sore.”

“That” Iwaizumi scowls “is because you don’t stretch properly! God, you always have to be so much work, don’t you? Come here, I’ll help you.”

Oikawa pouts, but obliges anyway. Iwaizumi carefully hold both of his friend’s arms back, making him groan again. Iwaizumi thinks he’s being a piss baby about it. The pain of sore muscles isn’t that bad, especially for them that are used to it. If he thinks about it, it’s a pleasurable kind of pain, so there is no reason do complain that much, really.

“Easy there, Iwa-chan…” Oikawa whines “You’re such a brute.”

“You wouldn’t be in this much pain if you stretched properly, to begin with.”

“Aahn~! That’s mean! It’s easier when you help, ok? Also… Ow, Iwa-chan, easy there.”

“C’mon, don’t be such a baby.” But he does lose up a little bit.

It follows a little cursing and Oikawa’s shamefully loud whimpers, much to Iwaizumi’s impatience. They are almost done when the door is slammed open.

Iwaizumi, Oikawa, holy fuck!”

Here they are. Those pests. Hanamaki and Matsukawa enter the room, followed by a seemingly very bored Kunimi and a rather grumpy Kyoutani. Judging by their expressions, they are either about to drop a bomb or there is another jar case coming. Iwaizumi can bet his position of vice-captain that is the latter and he is already groaning in annoyance:

“What is it now?”

“Jar. For both of you. Double jar.” Matsukawa shakes his head, exaggerating his indignation to the point it would be comic if it wasn’t annoying.

“You want us to put money in your jar…” Oikawa frowns “For what reason, exactly? We were literally just stretching for morning practice!”

“Stretching.” Hanamaki repeats, also shaking his head. “Is that what they call it these days? Tell you what, Oikawa-kun, when we got here we found Kunimi-kun outside hesitating before entering the clubroom. The clubroom that belongs to him as much as belong to the two of you, after all he’s a club member. But he didn’t enter right away. Care to tell them why, Kunimi?”

“Hm… Senpai, I stopped for, like, five seconds.”

“Those 5 seconds are important, Kunimi, tell them.”

“Well...” Kunimi sighs and looks away. “That was because I heard Oikawa-san’s voice and I thought I… would interrupt.”

“Interrupt…?”

“Long story short, Kunimi was about to enter when he heard Oikawa moaning.”

Iwaizumi chokes on his own spit, Oikawa becomes redder than a tomato, Kyoutani refuses to look up and even Kunimi flushes a little. Only that duo of demons seem unfazed, as if their determination to ruin their friends’ life was too strong to let them feel bothered for little things like absolutely inappropriate implications. In fact, Hanamaki puts his hands on Kunimi’s shoulder, like a protective parent, and mouths to Oikawa:

“In front of the first years. I can’t believe you.”

“Shut up, Makki!” Oikawa barks and his beautiful face is still flushed, angry blotches of red coloring his cheeks. If they weren’t in such an embarrassing situation, Iwaizumi would have thought that it was kind of amusing to see Oikawa blushing like that. “You were the one saying that you were scared of Kunimi, you damn hypocrite!”

So it seems that Oikawa is annoyed enough to try to take revenge on Hanamaki and Matsukawa by revealing their secret fear. Unfortunately for Oikawa, their only answer was to frown a little. Even Kunimi didn’t seem too bothered. Iwaizumi doesn’t know what it’s needed to shake Kunimi. He only looked up to Hanamaki.

“Were you afraid of me, senpai?”

“A little, but only because I have high expectations on you.” Hanamaki gently pets Kunimi’s hair. “I think of you as my heir. You shall be the next Hanamaki, do you understand that, Kunimi-kun?”

“Not at all.”

“Good boy, I’m so proud of you.”

And then Kyoutani, who was so quiet that they even forgot he was there, got tired of just staying still watching that train wreck of a scene, so he steps up and takes the infamous PDA jar from the shelf where it is and holds it in front of Oikawa, waiting for him to put the money in it. Oikawa doesn’t even look angry anymore, he looks just… tired.

“Even you, Mad Dog-chan? Even you are with them now?” Oikawa pouts. As Kyoutani doesn’t move, he continues bitterly: “You’re just jealous because you wanted to stretch with Iwa-chan too, aren’t you?”

“Dirty joke. And asking for a threesome to a kouhai.” Matsukawa calls. “Triple jar, Oikawa.”

“I was NOT asking for a threesome, oh my God!”

Iwaizumi is too tired for this shit. He groans and buries his face on his hands while Seijou’s third years of the volleyball club bicker like three children. He doesn’t have energy to stop them, so he just stays there and doesn’t bother to reply even when Kunimi pats his shoulder and quietly mutters “Sorry, Iwaizumi-senpai.” He wonders how come their adversaries believe they are a good team, because on the current moment all that he wants is the energy to murder every and single one of them.

 


 

Oikawa’s parents took a much deserved vacation and decided to travel to the country. Since he didn’t like being home by himself, Oikawa could have gone to his sister’s place. Her husband loved him and his nephew wouldn’t mind sharing his room with Oikawa for a few days. Instead of doing that, albeit it was the most obvious answer, Oikawa decided to ask Iwaizumi to stay over at his place and keep him company until his parents came back. At the time, it seemed just as logical as go over to his sister’s. Oikawa’s family easily agreed and Iwaizumi’s parents also didn’t seem to find the situation strange.

However, after they were introduced to the PDA jar, Oikawa started to reevaluate their friendship.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like what he had with Iwaizumi. Of course not. He liked Iwaizumi a lot – and had zero intention of saying that out loud, which could only count as non-PDA, thank you very much – and he treasured their friendship the way it was. He didn’t feel the need to be that close with anybody else other than Iwaizumi and, as much as Iwaizumi could be such a meanie sometimes, he also liked Oikawa and didn’t seem to be bothered by their current closeness.

Was their friendship really that odd?

Oikawa stays silent, lost in his thoughts for the whole way home. Only when they get there, he realizes that Iwaizumi had been just as quiet. He doesn’t know if his friend shares his concerns or is just too tired and both options only make Oikawa even more worried.

“Iwa-chan, you look awful.”

“Yeah, and you look dumb, but you don’t see me rubbing it in your face, do you?”

“Rude!” Oikawa whines, even though the fact that Iwaizumi is still being snarky is a relief. “But seriously, Hajime, you look like you’re about to pass out.”

Another peculiarity about their friendship – and luckily enough Hanamaki and Matsukawa don’t know about – was that they did use each other’s first name, but only when they were by themselves. None of them ever gave much thought about it, of course, it just felt natural to do so… Until now.

The two of them drop their bags at Oikawa’s room and he shakes the thought of his head for now at least, because he needs to take care of Iwaizumi:

“What’s the big deal? You have been studying too much lately. Are your grades that bad?”

“Not particularly.” Iwaizumi grunts and refuses to look Oikawa in the eye. “It’s just… Gotta make sure that they’re good enough for getting in college, you know?”

“Right.” Oikawa replies dryily, not quite satisfied with that answer. He doesn’t think that Iwaizumi is lying, but it doesn’t feel like he’s telling the whole truth either. “Well, let’s take a day off today, right? There’s a movie I want to watch and I want you to watch it with me. Also, today I’ll cook.”

“Hell no! You’re completely useless when it comes to taking care of the kitchen, you’ll burn down the house.”

“I won’t! Please, Hajime, if you cook you get even more tired and will sleep through the movie and I need you to watch it or else there will be no meaning!”

Now he’s just making up excuses. Usually Iwaizumi is the one who takes care of Oikawa. He does it in his straight-forward and really abrupt way and it works pretty well. When it’s Oikawa turn to babysit, he has to work more subtly or else Iwaizumi won’t accept it. He has to lure Iwaizumi into doing what’s best for him by disguising his worries with selfish requests. Because regardless of the complaining and the rude nicknames and all the rest, Iwaizumi would always do what he could to keep Oikawa happy.

… And now that he objectively thought about it, he realizes how much of true that is and doesn’t know what to do with this information.

“Ok, so let’s order food.” Iwaizumi gives in. He must be very tired to accept so easily. “You go shower first. I’ll just order pizza or something.”

“Agreed. Except that you should shower first, Iwa-chan, I have something to do.”

“Whatever. Just promise me that you’re actually going to order instead of trying to cook something.”

“Oh my God, have some faith in me! We agreed to order pizza, I’m ordering pizza!”

Iwaizumi rolls his eyes, but goes to the bathroom without adding any sarcastic comment, which Oikawa can only count as a victory. He does as he promised and, since he’s feeling particularly noble, he even orders Iwaizumi’s favorite. He settles up everything on the living room so Iwaizumi won’t have to do anything: he takes a blanket to the couch, arranges the cushions in the comfiest way and searches through channels, praying that there would be an alien movie on. Luckily enough, his favorite sci-fi channel would never let him down. The next movie starts within 30 minutes and it’s so unknown that even Oikawa never heard of it. Perfect.

Half an hour later, he’s heading to the living room fresh from the shower, and the pizza is already waiting for him on the coffee table. Iwaizumi is also there, comfortably sitting on the couch with a text book in hand. Oikawa sighs and takes the book away from him.

“The movie is about to start, Iwa-chan, I need you to pay attention.”

“I already hate this movie.”

“Of course you do. Now watch it, I need somebody to talk to me about it later.”

Iwaizumi groans, but once again he does as Oikawa wants. They eat in silence as the movie starts and, since Iwaizumi is finally relaxing, Oikawa throws the blanket over his own shoulders and prepares himself to enjoy the movie.

It starts as pretty standard: a clever scientist notices a strange astrological phenomenon and tries to warn the authorities, but no one will take him seriously because of a mistake his father, who was also a scientist before his tragic and mysterious suicide, committed years ago. Everyone makes fun of him, but his beautiful and smart ex-girlfriend, who works for the government, decides to talk to him and try to convince him to drop the conspiracy theories. Everything just like the usual.

That’s when the main character makes his debut. The alien. For such an unknown movie, the special effects are pretty… realistic. The alien barely look like CGI. In fact, when he catches a screaming cheerleader who just happened to be hanging out with her boyfriend nearby the place where the alien landed, Oikawa feels the need to put his slice of pizza down because oh God there is so much blood, was that supposed to be so graphic- Iwaizumi clears his throat.

“This one… it sure has some realistic effects.”

“Told you.” Oikawa laughs gingerly “Very, very good mov- holy sweet baby Jesus!

It appears that the alien not only has super strength and really violent tendencies, but he also has the power to sneak into people’s consciousness while they are asleep. Now they are not only killing every human that finds out about them, but luring into their dreams, exploring his worse fears and making them vulnerable. Once the human mind is weakened enough, they take control of the body. Who does that?

“Hm… H-hey, Hajime, aren’t you cold? I, huh… I can share my blanket with you, if you are.”

“Cold…? What do you…?” The girl on the screen that has been struggling through a maze inside her own mind finally runs into the alien who is trying to possess her. Her horrified scream makes both of them jump and Iwaizumi hurries to pull Oikawa’s blanket. “That’s right! Cold! Super cold. Sharing blankets seems like a great idea.”

But even with the two of them curled up beneath the blanket – what feels way safer than just sitting there, vulnerable to aliens – the movie goes on. The gore scenes are amazingly well done and, really, how come Oikawa hasn’t heard of this movie before? Everything was so lifelike and the plot was so believable, he could barely convince himself it wasn’t real. He hadn’t seen an alien movie this good in a while. Too bad it was just a movie. Just a movie. It was not real. Only CGI and make-up and a damn lot of fake blood holy cow and why did the actors were so good at their jobs? Why were all of them so terrified, as if they were in real danger?

Another jump scare and Oikawa flinches at the same time that Iwaizumi gasps and starts to curse under his breath.  The boys swift on the couch until there is no room between the two of them, the blanket so firmly wrapped around their shoulders that it could as well be an anti-alien shield – or something that would be way too damn hard to get rid of if they needed to run, but let’s stick with the thought of the shield.

Several deaths, curses, flinches and two fights later – because Iwaizumi dropped the remote control and Oikawa refused to pick it up and they spent a few minutes slapping each other until Iwaizumi himself did it – the movie was coming to an end. The brilliant scientist had found a way to send the aliens away, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend realized that she still loved him and the rest of the humanity was finally safe. It was almost too good to believe… and then the credits were interrupted to show that there was a creature hiding in a cave, a creature that was not killed by the scientist biologic weapon. It was resistant… and it was reproducing.

The movie finally ended.

“That was… really good!” Oikawa comments and his voice is higher than usual.

“Yeah. Sure.” Iwaizumi turns the TV off.

They stay in silence for a while.

“We should probably go to sleep, right?”

“Yeah. Gotta get up early for practice.”

None of them move a finger. They stare at each other for solid five seconds before yelling at the same time:

YOU TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!

“My, my, why is that Hajime, are you scared? Of the movie? Pff…”

“Why do you ask? Are you, by any chance?”

They glare at each other for another moment. Iwaizumi sure has a scary scowl, but Oikawa is nothing if not stubborn and they could do that all night long if needed. Since none of them is going to back off, of course Iwaizumi did what was reasonable:

“We can either settle this with rock, paper and scissors or we turn off the light together at the same time.”

Oikawa considers it for a while. He doesn’t like rock, paper and scissors because he hates everything that has to do with luck. He only trusts in games that he can win by working hard.

“Let’s turn off the lights together.”

Iwaizumi nods earnestly, but still scowling. The two boys get up slowly, leaving the blanket behind, and walk together in an awkward and synchronized way out of the living room. When they get to the light switch, Iwaizumi glares at his friend and waits. Oikawa gives him a grave nod and finally Iwaizumi turns down the switch.

On the very second everything gets dark, the two of them sprint to the stairs like there is no tomorrow while tripping on their own feet and on each other, almost falling down several times, until they finally hit safety: Oikawa’s room. The door is slammed with such force that the wall seems to shake a little, but after that everything seems to be okay.

They breathe relieved and change into their sleeping clothes, refusing to talk about their mad dash from nothing, like it never happen. They are not scared. It was just a movie. They are safe and sound in Oikawa’s room, after all they even double checked if the window was properly locked and if there wasn’t anything in the closet or beneath the bed. Nothing to fear there.

That is… Until they laid down – Oikawa on his bed and Iwaizumi on his guest futon – that Oikawa notices an unpleasant feeling on his underbelly. He covers his face with his hands and lets out a frustrated groan.

Hajime.

“… boy, I don’t like that tone, but… What?”

“I have to pee.”

Oh my God! Then go pee! Who cares? Are you scared by any chance?”

“No! I was wondering if you are scared! If it’s okay if I leave you here, by yourself in the dark.”

Oikawa hears Iwaizumi making a dying-animal sound as if he’s about to start crying.

“God, Tooru, I hate you so much!” 

 


 

As the night advances, Iwaizumi’s utter hatred for his best friend just grows stronger. After a terribly managed adventure to the bathroom – where one of them had to wait in a creepily empty hallway while the other did his business inside – they again hurried to the room, once more checked everything out – place still safe of aliens apparently – and got ready to sleep.

But one does not simply sleep after watching a movie where ungodly creatures where able to slip into your dreams and tear your soul apart and take control over your body.

It’s particularly painful for Iwaizumi, because he’s sleeping on the floor. He’s used to the futon – in fact, that is his futon. He uses it every time he stays over at Oikawa’s house – but tonight there is something ridiculously unsettling about the dark space between Oikawa’s bed and the floor. He can’t sleep. He won’t sleep. Who needs to sleep anyway? Not him. Who cares if less than one day before he had pulled an all-nighter studying and hadn’t had any proper rests for almost a week? Who cares?? Bring the aliens. Iwaizumi is so sleep-deprived that he’s going to fight them.

“I can’t sleep.” Oikawa mutters so quietly that Iwaizumi can barely understand.

“What, are you scared?”

“Of course not! I’m just… being insomniac. I’m not sleepy at all. And why aren’t you sleeping?”

Because if I sleep an alien is coming here and taking over my mind and using my bare hands to kill you while you sleep. There is no way Iwaizumi is saying that. He should just tell Oikawa to piss off and get some sleep, but there is something comforting about knowing that he isn’t the only one awake in the room. Nevertheless, suddenly inspiration hits him hard and he sits up straight.

“Tooru. I can’t sleep because I’m cold.”

Oikawa sits up as well and Iwaizumi can barely see his silhouette in the dark, but he can imagine perfectly his poker face when he replies:

“Why didn’t you say before, Iwa-chan? If it’s just cold, then you can come and sleep with me on my bed. It’s warmer than the futon.”

“Yeah… I guess it can’t be helped. It’s cold, after all. And we used to share the bed all the time.”

None of them mentions that, when they used to share the bed, they were nothing but a pair of cute kids that could easily fit anywhere. Sharing the bed now that they were two tall and muscular teenagers was supposed to be unthinkable.

That doesn’t stop Oikawa from lifting his blanket and making room for Iwaizumi. It doesn’t stop Iwaizumi from climbing onto the bed and lying down next to Oikawa. And it sure doesn’t stop the two of them from sharing a blanket for the second time on the night, as if the soft fabric could protect them. And Iwaizumi is kind of glad they decided to sleep like that, because there is a comforting sense of security about being that close to Oikawa.

Why did things end up like this? If their teammates could see them right now, that would totally make them put a lot of money in the jar.

“Hey. Did you hear that?”

“I did not. You’re imagining things, go to sleep.”

The bed is too small for the two of them, so they snuggle up to each other. They are so close that Iwaizumi can hear Oikawa’s steady breaths. He bets that, if it weren’t so dark, he would be able to count Oikawa’s long eyelashes easily and that is definitely too close. He had shared a bed with Oikawa before when they were kids, but why is it so different now that they are grown-ups? He doesn’t know what to do with his own feelings. There is a weird mix of uneasiness and security that he doesn’t know how to name.

And why would Oikawa choose that specific day to watch a movie that was so damn terrifying that Iwaizumi wouldn’t be able to sleep? What the fuck was he supposed to do? Actually think about his concerns? Hell no!

“Hajime… Are you awake?”

He is tempted to answer with a loud snore, but not only Oikawa would immediately notice the lie, he also did feel a little relieved – at least about the alien matter – knowing that Oikawa is awake. It would be selfish and cruel to ignore him. Iwaizumi would never be deliberately cruel to his best friend.

“Yes.”

“God, why did it end up like this?” Oikawa whimpers, buries his face on the pillow and his stupid hair tickles Iwaizumi’s nose. “I thought you were going to sleep through the movie.”

“Did you want me to sleep?” Iwaizumi frowns.

“No. I mean… Whatever, Iwa-chan. Just get some sleep. We have practice tomorrow.”

“Same goes for you, idiot.”

Oikawa whines a little, but doesn’t try to argue any further.

It’s a long night. They swirl around a little, almost fall of the bed a couple of times, but somehow manage not to. They don’t talk, but Iwaizumi knows that Oikawa is awake. He can feel Oikawa flinching whenever the wind makes a different sound outside. His eyes burn, but he’s under the vivid impression that an alien will invade his mind and use his body to kill Oikawa. And his job is to keep Oikawa alive and functional at least until the end of the tournament.

Iwaizumi’s tired mind convinces himself that, if he stays awake, he would be ready to greet any alien. Bring the aliens! Who cares? Iwaizumi is going to fight every single alien.

In the end, his body succumbs to his tiredness and he falls asleep. He’s not sure when or how, he just is (barely) awake for one second and suddenly he isn’t. Iwaizumi doesn’t dream and fortunately doesn’t have any nightmares either. He just closes his eyes to blink and the next thing he notices is the alarm going off and that his arm is firmly wrapped around Oikawa. The birds are chirping and…

Wait. What?

Oikawa whines in protest to the obnoxious sound of the alarm and opens his eyes, immediately meeting Iwaizumi’s. They stare at each other for a few second, in which they both realize how comfortable that position is and how they could easily stay there and fall asleep again. Their legs are tangled, Iwaizumi’s holding onto Oikawa’s waist as if to stop him from falling of the bed, and Oikawa’s arms also loosely looped around his friend.

Not a word is said. They slowly untangle themselves of each other in silence and avoiding each other’s eyes. Quietly, they change into their uniforms. Without a noise, they go to the kitchen and eat what they can find, still not looking at each other. The walk to school is eerily mute, because they don’t have anything to say. They just know. They walk to the clubroom and deposit 500 yen each in the jar.

There is a voiceless agreement of never talking about the bed sharing again.

 


 

The only reason Oikawa lets Iwaizumi sleep on his shoulder is because he feels guilty.

He knew that Iwaizumi was tired from studying and training and he naively believed that Iwaizumi would fall asleep through the movie, so Oikawa would carry him bridal-style to bed and… no, wait. That would be some Jar worthy shit. No carrying anyone. Oikawa would bring a blanket to him and let him have a long, nice night of rest on the couch. No studying, no worrying over the club. He didn’t expect his plan to backfire that badly, though. Not only Iwaizumi didn’t sleep while watching the movie but he couldn’t sleep at all afterwards because who would expect that crap to be that scary?

Long story short, Oikawa feels bad for screwing up, so when they are talking during lunch break and Iwaizumi freaking pass out on his shoulder, he lets him. Because he worries about his friend and wants him to have a proper rest.

Not because Iwaizumi’s hair smells good. Who cares if Iwaizumi showered? That’s just what everyone has to do. Definitely not because it feels really nice to have Iwaizumi’s head resting on the crook of his neck. And he does not feel the urge to wrap his arm around his friend’s shoulder and hold him still to make sure that he doesn’t slip and fall, but also to feel the warmness of his body. That’s unnecessary to friends.

Oikawa doesn’t eat the rest of his lunch because he’s afraid to move and wake up Iwaizumi, but there is nothing weird about that, nothing that would make their friends go all “Jar!” on him.

He wonders if it would be jar worthy if he rested his head on Iwaizumi’s and took a nap as well.

The door of the clubroom opens and the deadpan faces of Hanamaki and Matsukawa appear.  Three boys stare at each other in silence and nobody says a thing for solid ten seconds, but Oikawa feels panic building inside him because oh God this is like 7% I want Iwa-chan to be well-rested and 93% I really like the feeling of Iwa-chan’s body against mine holy cow this is totally some PDA jar situation, this is PDA, I’m PDAing over an innocent, unconscious Iwa-chan, this is so illegal-

I’m sorry!” He frantically whispers “Have my money, I’ll pay for me and Iwa-chan this time, just don’t wake him up!

Hanamaki and Matsukawa share a concerned look – or the more concerned they are able to look with those stupid expressionless laid-back faces.

“Now I feel guilty, like I am some kind of bully taking his lunch money.” Matsukawa sighs quietly.

“Me too.” Hanamaki takes a careful look at Oikawa, as if they are talking about some interesting experience subject instead of their friend, who is there and listening to every damn word. “But look at him. He’s freaking out. There are probably other things leaving him like this other than us annoying him. Look at his eyes.”

“Yeah. This and we only did the whole thing so they would finally realize that…”

“Shhh! You don’t want to give him the answer.”

“What answer?” Oikawa narrows his eyes. “What are you talking about, Matsun?”

“Don’t worry, kid.” Matsukawa gives him a paternal smile that would be more convincing if Oikawa didn’t know him better “Keep your money. You guys have been almost asleep the whole day, we’ll let this one slip.”

“No! What did you guys…!” And Oikawa interrupts himself when Iwaizumi fidgets a little. He waits, biting his lower lip until Iwaizumi is quiet and steady again so he shoots a glare at his friends and angrily whispers: “What were you talking about?”

“Food for thoughts, Oikawa-san.” Hanamaki smirks. “Just think about it, ok? Now we’re going to leave you so you guys can have a nice rest.”

As they walk off the room, Oikawa passionately wishes he could serve a volley ball at their faces.

 


 

You’re not supposed to use your best friend as a sleeping spot. That much Iwaizumi knows. Nevertheless, he can’t help but feeling extremely comfortable around Oikawa, which makes him the best pillow of the universe. Cut the whole Tooru Hanger crap. Tooru Pillow is totally a thing. Iwaizumi wouldn’t think twice about it if it wasn’t for the unexpected realization that he didn’t want Oikawa to be anyone else’s pillow.

How do you call a relationship in which you want your best friend to be your exclusive pillow?

God, was he tired.                                       

He yawned for what seemed like the hundredth time and almost fell asleep on the bench in which he sat to take off his shoes. Even though he slept through lunch – on Oikawa’s shoulder, just for the record – he was so tired that he literally served a ball straight to Kindaichi’s face. And they were on the same side of the court. He thanks not only God, but also Jesus and Buddha, that practice is over and he can go home soon. The noise of his teammates chatting and changing clothes seems impossibly far, even though they are all in the same locker room, so Iwaizumi wonders if it’s okay for him to walk home. Maybe he should just lie down on the floor and sleep there.

“Al… A-al…” Oikawa’s words are interrupted for a long yawn. He seems just as tired as Iwaizumi. “Alright. Iwa-chan, you can go home first… I still have a meeting with the other clubs’ captains.”

“Got it...” Iwaizumi mindlessly mutters, rubbing his eyes. “See you later, then…”

“‘Later….” Oikawa mutters as Iwaizumi yawns again. “Love you, Iwa-chan…”

“Hn… Love you too...”

Someone gasps. A locker door is slammed loudly, but the silence after it is so pungent that it could be physically felt.

Oh my God!” Hanamaki throws his hands up in the air undignified. “Jar! Double jar! Triple jar! How can you guys jar so damn hard?”

What- I just… Oh.” Oikawa stutters and his face flushes bright red once he realizes what just happened.

Iwaizumi blinks once. Twice. He sees that Kindaichi is hiding behind Kunimi, but he’s obviously freaking out. Yahaba’s face is buried on his hands and he’s trembling, no one knows if of laughter or something else. Watari and Kyoutani are staring at them with chins dropped and Matsukawa is shaking his head as if Oikawa and Iwaizumi had just brought dishonor to their whole family. They did not. They just said they love each other.

Wait. What? What the hell? They just… Where did that come from?

Iwaizumi feels his own face burning, because there is no sleep deprivation in the world that will justify a grown (17 years old) man saying “I love you too” to his best friend.

… but, in his defense, Oikawa started it. Why did Oikawa start it.

“I… I can’t deal with this right now!” Oikawa yelps and turns around to leave. “I have a meeting,  I- I have to go to space!”

And, like that, he storms out of the locker room.

“Oh, look at that.” Matsukawa shakes his head. “He just destroyed his image in front of the team.”

“I saw nothing!” Kindaichi yells and his voice is weirdly high-pitched. “I heard nothing!”

“Of course you didn’t.” Kunimi gently pats him on the shoulder.

At this point, Iwaizumi’s brain disconnects of his dumb teammates, especially because he knows that Hanamaki and Matsukawa are about to start a storm of bad jokes. He has more to worry about right now. Because he is embarrassed, yes, but not that his friends were there to hear that. He couldn’t care less about what they said, after all, they were always talking shit about each other anyway. The thing that was making his heart flutter and the blood rush to his cheeks was what Oikawa just said.

Iwaizumi has a lot to think about.

 


 

 

Oikawa lowkey wants to die. And that does mean something, because Oikawa never does anything lowkey. He’s the kind of man who always puts his best efforts on anything he sets his mind to, the kind who goes big or goes home. However, he admits that he went a little too big when he just blurted in front of the whole team that he loves Iwaizumi and after that got so nervous that he just fled. And Oikawa never flees!  What was the big deal anyway? A lot of people say stuff by accident, like that time while his sister worked on a Maid café and accidentally said “Just a moment, master!” when their mom called her. Or that time when Iwaizumi accidentally said “Tadaima” when he arrived to Oikawa’s house. That kind of thing happens, right? Right? It’s no reason to escape running from his friends.

He keeps telling that to himself and barely pays attention to the meeting. Luckily, Shouko-chan, the captain of the female volleyball team, is there too. He can ask her what happened later, because he simply can’t concentrate, it doesn’t matter how much he repeats in his head that it was nothing but a silly accident and they’ll laugh it off.

That excuse sounds lame.

The thing is that he could say it was nothing if he said things like the all the time, like his sister calling her clients master. Tooru Oikawa certainly doesn’t go around accidentally saying “I love you” to people! That’s not something you should say half-heartedly and he, being such an awesome and popular man as he is, takes special care not to say something that might cause a misunderstanding among his fans!  Why would he go ahead and say that to Iwaizumi of all people? Iwaizumi is his best friend and a person that Oikawa holds dear, but to say that…

It was almost like he had been nursing that feeling for long, but never daring to admit it in words, until it became too much and he just let it escape.

Oikawa hopes that this will be easier to understand after a good night of sleep, but he’s almost sure that this fuzzy feeling inside his chest won’t calm down that effortlessly. As he makes his way out the school, he wishes to go home alone, but he knows that he won’t. He knows, just like he knows that his heartbeat wouldn’t be this rushed for a simple embarrassing mistake, that Iwaizumi is going to be waiting for him by the school gates. He knows that Iwaizumi knows that the confession incident wasn’t just something that they could leave behind, so of course he’s waiting.

When Oikawa spots the familiar figure leaning on the gates, he remembers that Iwaizumi said “Love you too.”

“You sure took your time.” Iwaizumi says when Oikawa finally gets there. He’s not looking at his friend, though. He’s insistently looking ahead and starts walking without warning. Oikawa follows him. If he weren’t a good observant, he wouldn’t have noticed that the tips of Iwaizumi’s ears are red.

“I told you to go home without me, Iwa-chan.”

“Yeah, but I don’t always do as you say.”

Except that you do. Oikawa thinks, but he doesn’t say it out loud. He noticed it a long time ago that Iwaizumi very often goes out of his way in order to keep Oikawa happy. He’s a little harsh sometimes, but that’s just how they work. Oikawa doesn’t mind Iwaizumi’s tough love.

Love.

Only thinking about that word makes Oikawa’s stomach do somersaults and it suddenly awakens a very pungent insecurity: if Oikawa were in love with Iwaizumi – only if – and he confessed… If Iwaizumi didn’t feel the same, would he turn Oikawa down because that’s the right thing to do… or would he accept it just to make Oikawa happy? No… He knows that Iwaizumi wouldn’t lie to him. But wouldn’t that be humiliating? And painful?

“Tooru.”

Oikawa flinches at the usage of his first name before remembering that they’re on their own now and that’s how they call themselves in private, when there is no one around to tell them to put money inside a stupid jar.

“Yes?”

“Does it… I mean, is it… Just- shit.” Iwaizumi fastens up his pace, but Tooru doesn’t make any effort to keep up with him. He sees that now Iwaizumi’s neck is also violently red and he’s not sure if he can see Iwaizumi’s face blushing without losing it.

“You’re so articulate, Iwa-chan. Take your time, ok? It must be hard to think of complete sentences with that caveman brain of yours.” Oikawa chuckles softly and he wonders if Iwaizumi can hear the little tip of hysteria in his voice. Teasing Iwaizumi isn’t probably the best thing to do now, but that’s the only way Oikawa knows of dissolving that stupid tension between the two of them.

“Shut the fuck up, Assikawa!”

“Now that one you don’t have to think about, since you use it so often.”

“Tooru, I swear to God…”

“Alright, alright! Just spit it out, Iwa-chan.”

“Never mind. I forgot.”

That’s a lie and Oikawa knows it. Maybe Iwaizumi is afraid to touch the subject. Maybe he’s scared that Oikawa will confirm that what he said in the locker room were his true feelings. Maybe he doesn’t know how to turn Oikawa down without hurting his feelings – and Iwaizumi would never, ever do something to deliberately hurt Oikawa’s feelings – so he’s struggling to figure out a way to gently reject him – God knows that Iwaizumi does not know how to do something gently. However, that’s fine with Oikawa. He knows that Iwaizumi is kind on his own way and he would find it strange and uncomfortable if he tried to be a softy.

Oikawa likes Iwaizumi the way he is.

They walk in silence for another block, Iwaizumi two steps ahead. Oikawa takes a deep breath. He won’t leave things like this. He’s nothing if not brave and he won’t be scared. He’s insecure about many things, but Iwaizumi is not one of them. Regardless of what happens between the two of them, Iwaizumi will always be his best friend.

“Hajime.” He calls.

“What?”

“Do you… do you really think is strange? The relationship we have?”

Iwaizumi’s fast pace falters. He still doesn’t look at Oikawa when he responds:

“Do you?”

“I don’t know.” Oikawa shrugs. Shrugging feels good. As if he’s shaking off from his shoulders a little bit of the weight that is suffocating him. “They do say that you’re not really friends with your best friend if your relationship is not mistaken by a homoerotic thing.”

Iwaizumi finally stops walking and glares at Oikawa.

“Who the fuck says that?” And he sounds so offended that Oikawa can’t help but crack a smile.

“People on the internet”

“What kind of websites do you visit, Tooru? For God’s sake.”

“That’s beside the point! You’re avoiding my question!”

“I am not!” He huffs, obviously distressed and Oikawa tenses up a little bit again. He watches as Iwaizumi avoids his gaze and rubs his own nape, something that he only does when he’s nervous. “I think… I think we’re not harming anyone. And we should tell Hanamaki and Matsukawa to fuck off, you know? Them and that stupid jar.”

That’s not the answer Oikawa’s expecting. He furrows his brows, confused.

“Do you mean Makki and Matsun are overreacting?”

“I mean…” Iwaizumi sighs, a little exasperate. His ears are red again. “We can do whatever we want. And it’s none of their fucking business.”

“So…” Oikawa swallows. Is this leading to where he thinks it’s leading to…? “Do you think it’s normal for best friends…”

“Tooru.” And now Iwaizumi is so flustered that Oikawa is almost sure that there is smoke escaping from his ears. “I think we both know now that we already crossed the just friends line a while ago.”

Oikawa suddenly has a mighty need of staring at his shoes instead of Iwaizumi.

“Can we go home already?” Iwaizumi hisses and Oikawa doesn’t need to look to know that he’s blushing like crazy. “You’re always so much work, Jesus fucking Christ.”

“You- You don’t need to be this rude!”

Oikawa rushes to Iwaizumi’s side so they start walking towards home again. No one says a thing, but their hands find each other while they walk and it’s only natural that their fingers intertwine.

“Iwa-chan.”

“Fucking what.”

“Does this mean we are going to do whatever we want and not care for the PDA rules anymore? Even in front of the team?”

“Hell yeah.”

“Even in front of Kindaichi?”

There is a brief pause.

“Let’s do whatever we want, but spare Kindaichi.”

“Fair enough.”