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Something We'll Always Have

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“I’ll never forgive you for turning me into a smoker.”

Matsukawa snorts, covering the flame as it reaches the tip. Once lit, he pulls it through his lips and to his lungs, quiet, extending the lighter to his left and dropping it onto the nightstand. He’s about to take his second drag when Kuroo snags the cig from between his lips for himself.

“You and this shitty brand,” Kuroo grumbles, and still, he puts it between his lips and pulls.

“You’re full of complaints tonight, aren’t you?” Matsukawa mutters on his exhale, pushing smoke skyward in lazy grey curls, “I was pretty nice to you earlier, I think,” his smile is lopsided, smug with a bit of I’m an asshole and you love me for it.

“Mh, I’ll give you that,” Kuroo mutters, and smiles back in return. He shifts his weight and rolls to sit on top, straddling Matsukawa’s lap, reaching forward to the nightstand to grab the room service binder.

“Are we gonna eat? Or were you planning on staring into each other’s eyes all night?” Kuroo waves the binder in front of him.

“Can I have my smoke back?” Matsukawa asks, and Kuroo drops the binder next to his head, bending forward and slanting their mouths together just slight enough to leave room. Matsukawa doesn’t move, rather, he takes the drag let’s the heat flood his mouth. There is something unspeakably sexy about the way Kuroo shotguns, be it the crooked smile when he does it, or the slow exhale that almost always tricks Matsukawa into kissing him.

Kuroo pulls back and watches Matsukawa exhale the small remnants of smoke into the air. The smug look drops from his face. “Issei.”

“Hmn?”

“I’m the last guy to be jealous, but it’s still pretty shitty to think of someone else right now.”

“I’m not,” Matsukawa lies. Kuroo is too perceptive for something like that, he knows it, but he can’t bring himself to be completely honest with him either. At least, not about things like this.

It’s getting easier, but still, some of the things bring a memory or two flooding back without his control.

It’s not Kuroo’s fault, of course. Kuroo is simply Kuroo. A dangerous kind of good looking set over a provocative nature, all covering a soft heart. The kinda guy Matsukawa could really get lost in, truly. And he has a few times, both innocent and not so much.

Matsukawa can’t decide when it comes to Kuroo. He had an inkling one night, when they weren’t having stress relief sex pinned to a shitty hotel mattress and instead, sitting on Kuroo’s couch watching crap comedies and eating takeout, and giggling into each other’s mouths between a shared bottle of sake.

But that was just one night, and alcohol was involved, which brings out desires and lacks everything in clarity.

He met Kuroo on the job, during a convention--one of those fancy things that everyone has to go to for appearance’s sake--and after two drinks at the bar and an abundant amount of flirting, somehow he had dragged Kuroo back to his hotel room and ripped him out of his jacket faster than he thought he could. And everything else sort of went with it, until he had Kuroo giving him all sorts of expressions.

The one time thing turned to two, three, four, and then just a I’ll call you when I feel like it.

“Tell me about him.”

Matsukawa goes rigid beneath him, watching Kuroo exhale another cloud towards the ceiling. His eyes lock on Kuroo’s throat, the expanse of skin threatening to do something dangerous to Matsukawa’s lower half. Only, the conversation took a turn.

“I have, already.”

“Tell me more, then. C’mon. The lovesick puppy thing you get sometimes is annoying.”

“So you want me to tell you about it?” Matsukawa asks.

“I’ve heard venting is healthy,” Kuroo shrugs, “I’m all ears. I mean, I think we can confide in each other that much at least,” he gestures down to the thin veil of top sheet being the only thing separating their hips and smiles.

“That feels awkward. What happened to just sex?”

Kuroo stares at him for a long moment, silent save for the cigarette softly crackling as he pulls another cloud into his lungs. He hands the rest of the smoke back to Matsukawa and exhales. “You turned him into a smoker too, huh?”

Nail on the head.

“I can see why, it looks good when you do it.”

“You flatter me,” Matsukawa leaves the cigarette between his lips and uses one free hand to ghost across Kuroo’s thigh. “Maybe you’re just weak to—”

“Nope. And I’m pretty sure this guy wasn’t, either.”

Issei wrinkles his nose and glares at Kuroo. “Why are you pushing this so hard?”

Kuroo bears his weight down onto Matsukawa’s lap. “Because it kind of pisses me off that you’re sulking. You could be doing something a lot better, like ordering me dinner.”

“When did you become such a princess?”

Kuroo lifts his hips enough to pull the sheet away, and bows forward, pressing his lips against Matsukawa’s cheek. “So, you gonna keep sulking?”

Matsukawa ditches the last bit of the cigarette into the ashtray and slides his mouth across Kuroo’s exhaling the last bit of smoke into the soft moan as he rolls his hips upwards, hands moving to pull Kuroo closer. “Fine, I’ll tell you. Let’s do this first.”

“Obviously,” Kuroo pushes the binder further away from them until after this round, biting the bitter taste of cigarettes and letting it melt against Matsukawa’s tongue.

For Matsukawa, he can hold off on eating a little longer.

 

 


 

 

One of the most embarrassing things Matsukawa hates to admit is that his first love started in high school. Most people would tell him that kind of thing is really cute, but he can’t bring himself to think the same.

Especially when you’re like Matsukawa, who carried out his first love way past high school.

It hit him like a ton of bricks when it happened, realizing he could feel that way about someone. He walked into the classroom with his head held high and his uniform so neat and creased you might have thought he had a stick up his ass. And yet, Matsukawa thought he was beautiful.

From head to toe he was perfect. Messy and neat--if that were possible--hair that swept to one side, eyes wide and chestnut, shaped like two almonds on his face. If he smiled, the room swooned. If he laughed, the room nearly hit the fucking floor, and Matsukawa was smitten, like all the other ship.

Maybe worse, because he got to see more of this guy than most people. He got to see him in the mornings, looking dressed for success--cliche but that’s what he called it--and in the evenings, soaked in sweat and hard work and glistening.

Matsukawa joined the volleyball team, and so did he. His heart leapt through the roof when he saw him standing there in school colors, eyes wide and smile bright as he claimed the position of being a setter.

“Oikawa Tooru! Nice to meet you all!”

He had the kind of tone that pissed people off. It even pissed off Matsukawa himself, and still, he couldn’t help but feel his insides wiggle. He wanted to hold his hand, sit behind him in class and draw patterns into his back. Cliche high school romance bullshit, the kind that Matsukawa saw in movies. He wanted all of it, right out of this guy.

“Matsukawa, right?”

One day Oikawa finally talked to him. Well, besides the small banter at practice. He stood over him in the classroom, smile polite and half irritating.

“That’s me,” Matsukawa nods.

Oikawa promptly sits down and plants his bento on the desk.

“What are you doing?”

“Eating lunch? Or, you don’t do that sort of thing?”

“No I mean, here?”

“We’re in the classroom, I have my lunch, is it that weird?”

Matsukawa almost wanted to reach forward and pinch his nose.

Oikawa pauses from unraveling his lunch and smiles at Matsukawa. “I take it you’re not good at the making friends thing, huh?”

“You really are a confident little shit,” Matsukawa grins, but that’s how it starts.

Well, for about a week.

Matsukawa’s heaven came to a screeching halt the week after.

His name is Iwaizumi. Iwaizumi Hajime. And if Oikawa is perfect, this guy is the next best thing.

Matsukawa had seen him at practice, sure, but he didn’t think anything of it, not when their current captain had them running drills for the first week with similar players. Oikawa was a setter. Iwaizumi a wing spiker. And Matsukawa was a lanky middle blocker separated from the two of them entirely.

Until that Golden week was over.

Iwaizumi went everywhere Oikawa did, and vice versa. Matsukawa had heard the nickname “Iwa-chan” so many times in the span of an hour he had a headache.

“Iwa-chan, huh?” Matsukawa teased once, and Iwaizumi glanced at him with sharp eyes and a downward curve in his lips.

Scary, Matsukawa initially thought.

“We’ve known each other since we were three. And I’ll be damned if I was going to let him call me anything else.”

“Let me guess. Hajime-chan?”

The way Iwaizumi turns several shades of red and his spine snaps straight has Matsukawa snickering into his forearm.

Matsukawa came to learn Iwaizumi wasn’t so scary, in fact, he was more tolerable than Oikawa. Still, Matsukawa’s heart slammed back and forth in his chest like a jackhammer whenever Oikawa doused himself with his water bottle, or chewed on the tips of his pens in class, or zoned out staring at the sky on the rooftops.

What was supposed to be a simple crush entirely based on looks grew into something more disgusting and painful and indescribably beautiful all at once.

Matsukawa saw more of Oikawa. Not just at practice, not just at school.

The rookie four, is what everyone called them.

Iwaizumi, teased for being the shortest.

Hanamaki, Matsukawa’s best friend and self proclaimed lord of memes.

Oikawa, the intolerable prince--he hates the nickname but it stuck.

And Matsukawa, the snarkiest little shit.

They sort of fell into a routine of spending time together, getting to know each other inside and out, practicing when practice was over, or before it began, studying for exams, deciding whose gaming console to scream at on the weekends. It was mostly Oikawa’s or Hanamaki’s, for the record.

Matsukawa got to see Oikawa smile like he swallowed the sun, laugh until he cried, pout when something didn’t go his way. He got to see him bitter, frustrated when they lost, or when a day of practice went as though he had lead in his legs and clouds in his head.

He found his favorites after a while.

Contrary to how irritating Oikawa could be, Matsukawa loved the little pout he gave when something didn’t go his way. He loved the way Oikawa always ate something he loved and chewed like a damn hamster. Matsukawa could say he adored those little things about him. He got shivers when Oikawa’s eyes turned serious, when his voice dropped an octave and his smile turned sinister. The wild look he got when excitement bubbled up in his chest.

Matsukawa asked for his crush to go away. It just got worse.

Somewhere down the line he became numb to the millions of times “Iwa-chan” sounded off nearby, and instead focused more whenever “Mattsun” trickled into his eardrums.

He desperately wanted more out of Oikawa. But he wasn’t selfish enough to take it, so he worked his way to being as close as he could without raising alarms.

It backfired.

Oikawa had a weak moment near him, where everyone else was gone and it was just them two placed in the dark of Matsukawa’s room, and self doubt was eating him alive, and when Matsukawa tried to give him some kind of consolation, Oikawa’s reply was, “sorry, I usually save the sappier side for Iwa-chan.”

As if Matsukawa wanted to hear that.

Still, he reminded Oikawa he was there if he needed him, and sent the brunet on his way, knowing he probably crawled into Iwaizumi’s bedroom window and told him everything he wouldn’t tell Mattsun. His Mattsun.

Disgusting. Matsukawa wanted him to say it so badly.




 

 

“I know you’re in love with him,” Hanamaki blurts one day, eyes fixated on his shoes, because this kind of conversation isn’t an everyday thing, and it’s always bound to be awkward. “I can see it written all over your face when you look at him. Issei. Be careful.”

Matsukawa tries to combat him. He can’t. What would he say? I’m looking at him with longing because he’s just really important to me?

Right.

“You think he knows?” Matsukawa asks, eyes glued to his phone as he scrolls through contacts aimlessly. It gives him something to do besides making awkward eye contact with his best friend.

Hanamaki’s face screws up, almost painfully, but he says nothing. Matsukawa is thankful he doesn’t, because he doesn’t want to hear the answer to that. It has something extra that Matsukawa has been denying from the start.

“You’re a good guy, Issei,” Makki mutters.

“Ew, why are you getting sentimental?”

“Stop,” Hanamaki grunts, “I’m serious. You’re a good guy. So don’t get all doubtful about it later.”

Matsukawa nudges Hanamaki silently with his shoulder, and says nothing else as he presses the pad of his thumb down on his screen, in an empty space with no meaning, just something to do to keep his mind from racing. To keep his heart from aching, really. Hanamaki knows him well enough, too well, maybe.

Matsukawa told himself over and over that he wouldn’t get lost in a bout of self doubt.

Not until he watched Oikawa’s face contort with anguish behind a smile, a face he’s a master at.

All those times he said “his Iwa-chan” had gone over the dark brunet’s head like a long time joke. Iwaizumi didn’t love him the way he wanted, and Matsukawa never saw it until now. He wonders what Oikawa must have seen.

Matsukawa watched Oikawa swallow his hurt, mask it with something else as fast as he could but they both knew Mattsun had seen him, Matsukawa wanted to be angry, he wanted to be happy, and he might have been a mix of both. He couldn’t sort that out really when he let his mind go blank and stepped all over his feelings to let Oikawa place his head on his shoulder until he got the strength to act like nothing happened.

 

 


 

 

Matsukawa knew Oikawa was observant. He didn’t think Oikawa would pick up on how he avoided talking about Iwaizumi’s new girlfriend whenever Oikawa came around.

“Do you not like her?” Oikawa asks him, one day when they’re actually alone. Hanamaki went home early to see some visiting family, and Iwaizumi was wrapped up in a brand new relationship.

“Why? Do you not like her?”

“No,” Oikawa answers, almost too quickly. He realizes how it sounds, and the way he bites his cheek before he corrects himself is kind of cute, Matsukawa thinks. “Ah, what I meant was, she’s great. I just, noticed you don’t really say anything.”

“What’s there to say?” Matsukawa shrugs, “S’ not like I really even talk to her.”

Oikawa doesn’t answer him, and sticks to his side, changing the subject and masking his mood even more when he tugs Matsukawa towards a restaurant. They’re both aware that Mattsun is just a replacement, but Matsukawa doesn’t mind. Because they’re both trying to be happy for someone else’s sake.

Oikawa doesn’t mention Iwaizumi or his girlfriend again for the rest of lunch. Or the day, even. Matsukawa had planned to just walk until the street corner where he normally leaves Oikawa, but he ended up spending the rest of the day with him, until the sun went down and the air turned icy, cold enough that they walked closer together underneath street lamps.

Matsukawa wonders if he should push the envelope and ask Oikawa straight out. He almost does it, the question right on the tip of his tongue until he looks to his left and Oikawa is staring quietly at the ground, eyes tight and lips chapped and chewed on. He’s not just cold. The ache is deeper than that.

Matsukawa knows it too well, really.

“Here,” he says, fastening his scarf around Oikawa’s neck.

“Wh--Mattsun—”

“You forgot yours today, which isn’t like you. And you haven’t complained once about how bad you’re shivering, also not like you,” he points out, looping the scarf around his neck once more until it bundles across Oikawa’s shoulders. It’s a longer scarf than Oikawa usually wears, and he knows it’s not Iwaizumi’s, but it’ll just have to do right now.

“It’s okay y’know,” he says quietly.

Oikawa stares at him blankly.

“To have a bad day.”

Matsukawa shifts his weight and pivots on his heel. Of course Oikawa has had bad days before. Like the time he woke up late and came to school so exhausted from pulling all nighters, he pulled out a pocky stick instead of a pencil for his exam.

Oikawa now knows what he means. His eyes are wide as saucers, mouth hidden behind the scarf but it’s probably hanging open.

Matsukawa shows him his back and continues walking. “I’ll walk you home, so let’s go.”

He’s not sure if Oikawa cried at all on the way home. He gave him the courtesy of not looking back, or really thinking about it, or even talking to him. The silence was comforting. At one point, Oikawa weakly tugged on the back of Matsukawa’s blazer, probably some form of thank you that he couldn’t form into words.

He didn’t say anything beside a small goodnight before he went inside.

Matsukawa didn’t make a big deal about it. Even the next day, when Oikawa returned his scarf with a thank you, Matsukawa kept his excitement down.

He knew better than to get his hopes up because of one meaningful night with Oikawa. If he could call it that.

Still, they probably both got a kick out of the look on Iwaizumi’s face when Oikawa looped Mattsun’s scarf around his neck with a sugary sweet “thank you”.

 

 


 

 

Iwaizumi’s relationship didn’t last.

Not that it ended poorly.

Graduation day came faster than they thought it would. Suddenly three years went by and University choices had been made.

“We just decided long distance wasn’t our thing,” Iwaizumi shrugged. He smiled, not like nothing ever happened, but like he was going to be just fine.

And Oikawa looked radiant.

Iwaizumi was back to being completely his. Walking home together, study sessions, late night crawling through the other’s windows and pulling all night marathons of sci-fi thrillers and b-rated slashers.

Matsukawa tried lying to himself, that he hadn’t gotten his hopes up in the slightest. But he did. He got used to hanging out with Oikawa on the regular. They weren’t close enough to just waltz into each others houses--Matsukawa couldn’t pick up all that Iwaizumi had in such a short time--but they would skype on occasion. Comfortable enough to sit in silence while they did homework.

Matsukawa really lost his control when Oikawa nodded off once, and he soaked in as much as he could until watching a sleeping Tooru through a screen became kind of creepy.

But Iwaizumi was back. And his time of being Oikawa’s replacement was over.

“Must be nice to have your Iwa-chan back, huh?” Matsukawa teases him, and it’s mostly out of good fun, but Oikawa bounces over the joke completely.

He snags onto Mattsun’s arm and stares at him hard, with the same eyes Matsukawa has only seen in games. The intensity actually makes his stomach drop, and he goes completely silent, wincing a little when Oikawa’s grip digs in hard.

“I didn’t use you,” he says. “Is that what you thought?”

“No, Oikawa, ease up,” Matsukawa loosens his grip, laughter full of deceit. Of course that’s what he thought. Oikawa doesn’t need to know that.

“That’s not what I meant. I can tell you missed him,” Matsukawa takes control of Oikawa’s hand, pinching it around his nose and watching Oikawa’s face contort. “You were worried about me though, that’s kind of cute.”

“Ouch, Mattsun, let go of my nose!”

“You’re holding it though,” he snickers at Oikawa’s nasally sound, using the playful banter as a distraction from Iwaizumi coming in behind them,

“What did he do now?” Iwaizumi asks.

Matsukawa releases Oikawa from his hold and shakes his head. He candidly avoids making eye contact with Oikawa staring holes into the side of his face and pushes away from the table. Iwaizumi is here, which means it’s time for him to vanish.

“Hey--where are you going?” Iwaizumi calls after him.

“You never stay,” Oikawa rubs at the tip of his nose, but his words are harsher than the seemingly innocent look on his face.

If only he knew why Matsukawa always left.

“Sorry, I’ll stick around next time,” he lies, and bolts down the hallway.

Yeah right. Graduation is right around the corner, and that means Matsukawa will probably see the gang a time or two more afterwards before they start University. And then he can start over. He’ll room with Hanamaki, Oikawa and Iwaizumi will be nowhere on campus, and he can really start to get over this God awful puppy crush.

He’ll keep telling himself that this love wasn’t real until he believes it, because he’s not sure he can stand to step on his heart any longer.




 

 

 

Matsukawa picked up smoking in his second year of university. It wasn’t something he did often at first. It was just one or two whenever he went out, and then it turned into three or four, until he just started lighting them whenever he felt like having one. More often than not, with as stressed as University left him.

He was an idiot to think he could leave Oikawa behind completely.

That damned ball of sunshine still had his number, his skype, and even better, their universities were only a small train ride away from each other.

Which meant that both Oikawa and Iwaizumi visited a lot more than Matsukawa wanted.

The times weren’t all bad. It was kind of nice to have them around again, the squad all back together to wreak havoc. But still, watching Oikawa pine for Iwaizumi was revolting, especially because Matsukawa learned very quickly that seeing Oikawa reminded him that his crush was still very present.

“You smoke now?” Oikawa wrinkles his nose when he catches Matsukawa putting a smoke between his lips, thumb flicking to ignite the lighter.

It had become such a routine habit for him, he completely forgot that Oikawa hadn’t seen it yet.

“Oh, yeah. I do.”

“Stop it.”

“Sorry, but no,” Matsukawa steps away from him and tucks the pack into his pocket before Oikawa can reach it. He’s nice enough to exhale away from Oikawa at least.

“That’s gross, Mattsun. What about your lungs?”

“Still in working order,” he beats on his chest, smiling around the cigarette. He wonders if stress is really the thing that got him smoking. No, that’s wrong. He wonders if it’s the only thing that got him smoking.

He stares at Oikawa, a little lost between the relaxing drag in his lungs and the way Oikawa pulls his fingers through his hair. It’s gotten longer since high school, falling into his eyes a bit more, looking more and more like hollywood bed head each time he comes back. He filled out; eyes sharper, jawline stronger, shoulders broader, and all it took was one look for Matsukawa to know what changed.

He learned to appreciate the little things way back in high school.

Matsukawa reaches forward and snags Oikawa by his chin, tilting his head up to force their eyes to meet.

Oikawa doesn’t seem flustered by the gesture at all. He’s not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

“What is it?”

“You’ve matured,” he answers honestly. “I bet you’re an even bigger heartthrob, huh?”

“Are you making fun of me?”

“A little. That side of you will always be irritating,” Matsukawa tilts his head, and presses the pad of his thumb gently beneath Oikawa’s bottom lip. It’s a little bit of him testing how far he can go before Oikawa pulls away, and also, he’s completely infatuated with the way Oikawa chews on his lower lip, like he is right now.

All of those people that willingly throw themselves at Oikawa without knowing so much as his name, and he would trade his own limb if Iwaizumi would turn around for him.

“What, do you think I’m pretty too?” Oikawa’s smirk curves crooked.

“No,” Matsukawa mutters, pulling the cigarette from between his lips and tilting forward, bringing his face closer to Oikawa’s. He watches his eyes glaze over with something, the same something that most people get when they’re interested. Attracted.

The sound of the front door being opened sends Oikawa out of his touch and inside from the patio.

Matsukawa tucks his reply to Oikawa into the bank of things that he should have said to him.

I think you’re beautiful.




 

 

Parties came few and far between with Matsukawa. If he felt like going, it was just to distract himself from something else. Otherwise, he preferred intimate settings. Usually with himself and a small few others.

But Hanamaki insisted they go to this one tonight, because Matsukawa needed to get out more, and Oikawa wanted to see them.

Matsukawa knew how this night would go. He’d show up, say hello to people, hang out with the squad until they all got shitfaced, find someone in the room making googly eyes at him, and decide whether or not he was horny enough to bring them back for a night.

Matsukawa was no virgin, not by a longshot. He tossed it years ago on a whim, when he decided that making love was just some kind of fantasy for people who were smart enough not to fall in love with the wrong person. To him, it was a release. To melt the stress off his back and make him forget about all the shitty things in life for a while.

It was also another control factor.

He got off to thoughts of Oikawa once.

It was good, so good it was dangerous. When he did it again, it felt even better, and right then he knew he couldn’t do it anymore.

He also avoided sleeping with anyone that reminded him of Oikawa in any way. There was one person, once. With the same chestnut hair and eyes just a bit darker than Oikawa’s. Matsukawa almost let his itch get the better of him, but he couldn’t do it. Even he could feel too cruel at times.

When Matsukawa got to the party, Oikawa was sitting in someone’s lap, a friend maybe, his eyes already glassy with inebriation. Iwaizumi was next to him, a beer clutched between his fingers and a hand linked around someone’s kneecap.

“Is he…?”

“Nah,” Makki shakes his head, “we would know by now.”

The night moves along nicely. Matsukawa gets enough alcohol in him and at least two cigarettes before the buzz settles into just past tipsy, and the room starts to look warmer, and prettier, than it did before.

And Oikawa looks like a damn deity in the middle of the room.

“Mattsun, c’mere,” Oikawa whispers. Well, he probably meant to whisper, but it’s louder than necessary. He forces a giggle of apology, cheeks red when he clambers out of someone’s lap and onto his arm.

“Man, you’re toasted. Where is Iwaizumi?”

“Dunno, haven’t seen him,” Oikawa shrugs.

“What’d you need me for? I was just about to go out for a smoke,” Matsukawa looks over to the balcony, seeing it empty.

“I’ll come with you,” Oikawa offers, and before Matsukawa can dissuade him, he’s already dragging both of their bodies over to the balcony.

“Here, take my jacket,” Matsukawa offers it to him. He drapes it across Oikawa’s shoulders and drops into a chair, fumbling with the lighter a bit. His fingers are clumsy now that his eyes are unfocused--thanks to the liquor--and he nearly drops the damn thing twice before Oikawa takes it from him.

“I’m worse than you are and even I can hold it.”

“I’m clumsy even when I’m sober,” Matsukawa grunts, holding still as Oikawa lights the tip for him. He sets the lighter onto the table and slides himself into Matsukawa’s lap. Mattsun thinks nothing of it; Oikawa almost always sits close to people, especially when he’s drunk.

What he does next is a surprise though.

He pulls the cigarette from Matsukawa’s mouth and puts it in his own.

“Hey, what are you doing?”

“I wanna try it.”

“You don’t smoke,” Matsukawa goes to take it back, but Oikawa tilts away from him and pulls.

He chokes horribly, tears pricking his eyes and a coughing fit slaps him after his first hit. Matsukawa bursts into laughter and pats Oikawa’s back, taking the cigarette from him and inhaling. “Takes some getting used to.”

“It’s disgusting!”

“It’s an acquired taste. Hard to explain it really… but it takes away the stress nicely. Feels good when you’re…” he slows down and trails off.

“When you’re what?”

His smile is lopsided and a little guilty. “Y’know that afterglow you get from sex?”

“Are you serious.” Oikawa deadpans.

“Dead serious,” Matsukawa grins, exhaling smoke through his nose.

“How do you do that?” Oikawa asks after a beat, taking the cigarette back from him.

“Well first of all, don’t try it after you just choked on the damn thing. If you’re really gonna do it, do it right.”

“Okay,” Oikawa’s pout is adorable as he stares at the burning cig, Matsukawa thinks.

“Put it between your lips and pull, gently,” Matsukawa watches the tip burn. He pulls it from Oikawa’s mouth and presses his thumb over his lips. “Hold. Now, you can either just exhale. Or, for the good stuff. Swallow.”

Oikawa frowns at him in confusion.

“Let it hit your lungs for the real buzz,” Matsukawa explains, and Oikawa listens. He scrunches up his nose in distaste, clearly not liking the way it falls across his tongue and down into his chest, but he exhales a cloud of grey into the sky and watches the lazy curls dissipate.

“Better?”

“Better,” Oikawa agrees, watching Matsukawa continue to enjoy the cig.

“Once you learn to swallow, you can open up your nasal passage and exhale that way. It’s a feeling. But, you’ve got to keep doing it to get there, so that’s a no go for you.”

Oikawa fights him by taking away his light again and trying once more, choking on the taste when he attempts to do what Matsukawa said.

“Is there a reason you’re breaking moral codes tonight?” Matsukawa sits still as Oikawa presses the light back between his lips for him. His fingers feel soft against his cheek; Matsukawa knows better than to linger on that touch for too long.

“When you can’t take risks where you want to, you still need an outlet, right?” Oikawa smiles. There’s a mixture of emotions in it, pain being the most prominent.

Matsukawa almost drops the damn cigarette out of his mouth if it weren’t for his dire need to have it between his lips. Part of him wishes Oikawa knew how much he could relate right now, especially tonight, with the liquor swirling around in this veins and loosening their lips.

“Where can’t you take risks?” Matsukawa asks carefully, like he doesn’t already know the answer.

“Don’t play dumb with me.” Oikawa shoots that option out of the sky. “He’s inside, with his hands tangled into someone’s shirt.”

Matsukawa tilts backwards just a bit, exhaling a cloud at the sky instead of right at Oikawa’s face. “I’m sorry,” he says quietly.

“I’m used to it. At least, I should be. But nevermind that,” Oikawa shakes his head.

But it hits Matsukawa like a revelation. Oikawa has a lifetime’s worth of history with Iwaizumi. And to squash all of that over some unrequited feelings… Oikawa would rather bite the bullet forever than to make Iwaizumi feel guilty. It’s painfully selfless.

If Matsukawa broke the wall between them and confessed, he didn’t have nearly as much to lose.

“Do you really always smoke after sex?” Oikawa asks, watching Matsukawa pull out another one, since his first smoke keeps getting sampled.

“Mostly, yeah. Why?”

The response question goes ignored. Matsukawa doesn’t have enough coherence to come back to it. He forgets the conversation entirely when Oikawa’s fingers card through his hair and over the curve of his scalp to the back of his neck. He presses his thumb down on the spot behind Matsukawa’s ear and smoothes slow circles there.

“Why haven’t you dated anyone?”

“I have, I just never talked about it. But I could ask you the same thing,” Matsukawa’s eyes roll shut when he can smell the sweet liquor on Oikawa’s breath. He’s close. Too close. And Matsukawa is extremely drunk. They both are. This is bad.

He tries to focus on the cigarette instead, that being the only thing keeping him out of trouble.

“I already told you why—”

“You never tried to get over him? You dated one girl in high school. For like, three weeks.”

“S’ harder than it looks.”

“Don’t I know it.”

It slips.

Matsukawa slips and Oikawa catches it, his glassy eyes twinkling and smile growing with his newly discovered secret to pry at. “Oh? Mattsun knows what unrequited love is like?”

“I think everyone does at some point in their life,” Matsukawa tries to come up with something to change subjects, fast. He’s struggling with the liquor and smoke fogging his mind, and he blurts out the first thing he can think of.

“You’ve never shotgunned.”

“What’s that?”

Before Matsukawa starts thinking again, and before Oikawa can ask another question, Matsukawa pulls the cigarette away from his mouth and grabs Oikawa by his chin, pushing down a bit on his lower lip and slanting their mouths close enough together that they ghost across each other. He exhales slow, and feels Oikawa catch on, breathing in the smoke.

When he pulls back, he watches Oikawa exhale the bit that’s left. He then looks at Matsukawa and moves his other hand to grab the cigarette from him once more. “Do you do that to everyone?”

“Mm, it’s mostly a party trick. For special guests.”

Oikawa stares at his lower lip. Matsukawa watches him carefully, because the next move he makes decides whether or not he’s going to make a mistake. “You cold? Let’s go inside.”

“Mattsun,” Oikawa mumbles.

Fuck.

“Can I… be your special guest tonight?”

Oikawa does the thing that makes Matsukawa lose every time.

He pulls his bottom lip between his teeth and lets his eyes fall heavy lidded, waiting for permission.

Matsukawa forgets all about the cigarette. He’s got something new to lose himself in. Unfortunately the alcohol has him too far gone to pass up this opportunity. He presses his thumb down and makes Oikawa release his lip, gliding the pad of his thumb across it and tugging Oikawa towards him.

He’ll regret this when he’s sober. And when that happens, he’s got Makki on speed dial to help him come up with some kind of recovery. But right now, he’s looking forward to the part that comes before the afterglow smoke.

“Let’s get outta here, huh?”

 

 


 

 

Matsukawa is some kind of lucky. Hanamaki didn’t come home. In fact, he had left the party early without leaving anything besides a text message that said Don’t wait up.

So Matsukawa took that opportunity to be a little overdramatic, shoving his front door open and fumbling around to lock it, one arm occupied around Oikawa’s waist. He bites back a groan, knees buckling slightly when Oikawa sucks hard at a spot on his neck. He’s already left about three or four on his throat, another four or five on his chest.

“Hold on,” Matsukawa laughs quietly, craning away from Oikawa to get the door secure. The second he does, Oikawa shoves him hard against the closest wall, yanking hastily at his shirt to pull it over his head.

Where Oikawa throws it, Matsukawa has no idea. But he doesn’t exactly care right now. There are better things to focus on; like the way Oikawa has nearly ripped the button off of his jeans in effort to get them open. “Christ, Oikawa.”

“I could do it with my teeth, but I’m impatient,” he sends a look up at Matsukawa, fingers dancing across the seam of his jeans.

Matsukawa arches a brow at him, but says nothing else, watching Oikawa leave hot, open mouthed kisses on his descent.

This is all so fucking dangerous, but right now, it feels right. Matsukawa has a brief moment where he’s marveled at the fact that Oikawa is about to blow him. He quickly dissolves that thought into pure lust, and tangles his fingers into Oikawa’s hair. His eyes snap shut when the sight of just Oikawa’s hand wrapped around his length threatens to drop his stamina to a minimum.

“Are my hands cold?” Oikawa asks.

“No, they’re fine I’m... it might sound crass, but you look good. Too good.”

“You’re really drunk, I haven’t even done anything yet,” Oikawa snorts. Matsukawa begs to differ, up until Oikawa actually does put his mouth on him.

His eyes are glazed over, cheeks hollow and he sucks slow, tongue wicked and relentless and Matsukawa can barely think. He can’t pick between gripping Oikawa’s hair so hard it hurts, or using the strength to keep his legs from buckling.

Oikawa gives a loud, exaggerated pop off the tip, thumbing the underside and watching Matsukawa slowly come undone above him.

“I know I’m good at this. It’s one of my favorites,” he admits.

Matsukawa laughs deep from his throat, tousling Oikawa’s hair out of his eyes. “If you keep going I won’t last.”

“That’s fine.”

“Nuh uh. I’ve got things I want to do too,” Matsukawa tilts Oikawa chin up and away. As uncomfortable as it is to tuck a raging, soaked hardon back into his pants, it’s only for a moment at least.

Matsukawa brings Oikawa off of his knees and heaves him over his shoulder, hearing him squeal. “Hush,” he orders. The walls are pretty thick, but even the neighbors would hear Oikawa at that volume.

Oh wait.

A devious grin slides across Matsukawa’s face, and he cracks a hand hard across Oikawa’s ass, hearing him yelp.

Matsukawa slams his bedroom door shut behind him with a kick, and tosses Oikawa onto the bed. As slow as he wants to take this, drag it out and make it last, he can’t.

Because the second he makes this about love, it’s over.

So he won’t. He’ll take his treat with a heavy heart and move on like he always does.

Oikawa doesn’t seem to mind the fast pace. In fact, he keeps up with it. At first, the moans he gave Matsukawa were a little dramatic, probably thanks to liquor and trying to rile him up, but they soon switched over to genuine, raw noises that bounced off the walls, maybe even broke through them.

Matsukawa started with his mouth, breaking Oikawa down underneath his teeth and tongue until he shivered. He sucked and slurped on his cock until he teetered on the edge, and then flipped him over and worked him open until Oikawa was begging for something more fulfilling.

God knows what his fingers did to him, shaking Oikawa deep from his core, so badly that Matsukawa had to squelch his orgasm in its tracks, because “there’s no way I’m letting you come without me”.

Oikawa took him eagerly, hissing at the sensation of being filled with Matsukawa’s cock. He made sure he fucked Oikawa open until he couldn’t move.

Oikawa was loud. Unabashed and ruthless with his nails. He was still novice to certain things, especially his own prostate, which Matsukawa made sure to hit just right every time.

And when Oikawa really got close to the edge, his vocal chords only allowed him to whimper helplessly into Matsukawa’s mouth, his entire body jolting and quaking underneath Matsukawa pinning him down beneath his frame.

“More,” Oikawa demanded after he regained the fundamentals of speech. Matsukawa complied without hesitation.

He marked Oikawa all across his skin, head to toe, front and back until he looked like a constellation dropped from the sky. He fucked him until he forgot how to do anything but gasp for air against Matsukawa’s lips.

The only thing he didn’t do that night, was love him.

In all of that fooling around that left them spent and wobbly and a little sore, there wasn’t an ounce of love.

“Where’s that afterglow smoke?”

“Right here,” Matsukawa pulls out a light. Oikawa shifts on top of him, and they both pause to shudder. The overstimulation has rendered them both hypersensitive and nearly immobile.

“Sorry,” Oikawa murmurs, mouthing along his collarbone. “Hey, I want some of that.”

“What, are you a smoker now?”

“Maybe for tonight I am. It’s hard to resist it when watching you,” Oikawa presses a kiss against his cheek, and another, and another until he traps Matsukawa’s earlobe between his teeth.

“Don’t blame me for it.”

“It is your fault.”

“You’re just weak to temptation,” Matsukawa rests a palm flat against Oikawa’s back, smoothing it down to the curve of his ass. He smiles at Oikawa’s hiss against his ear. “See?”

“Give me th—”

Matsukawa exhales into Oikawa’s mouth, trapping the smoke between a searing kiss.

“Have you always been this soft?”

“Mhm,” Oikawa exhales through his nose, only managing the tiniest bit of smoke. But still, it’s enough to make them both look at each other with dropped jaws. “I did it!”

“You’re a fast learner!” Matsukawa presses a kiss to Oikawa’s forehead, seeing the fatigue begin to settle in. “But, you should sleep.”

Oikawa shakes his head, but under Matsukawa’s gentle touches, he’s out like a light without any arguments.

He does say something that makes Matsukawa stay up a little while longer though.

“Next time, I’ll get it right.”

 

 


 

 

“Who knew Oikawa was such a freak in bed?”

Matsukawa stares into the mirror back at Hanamaki, who is currently taking a look at the harsh nail marks that look more like Matsukawa had been mauled than anything else.

“Is that all you have to say?” Matsukawa snaps, hangover heavy behind his eyes.

“What do you want me to say? I could do a few things; scold you, praise you, or take you out for a Bloody Mary and finger food.”

“With you, I’m never sure if I want to kick your ass or kiss you. Maybe it’s both.”

“Considering what you did with Oikawa last night, you can keep the kiss to yourself,” Hanamaki grins.

“Fuck you,” Matsukawa’s face splits into a wide, ear to ear grin. He feels like he’s on top of the world right now.

Oikawa was still there in the early morning when they woke up, hungover but still able to grab his clothes and down some advil before Matsukawa called him a cab. They weren’t really sure what to say to each other in the morning, when they woke up tangled in each other’s arms and Oikawa looked all out of sorts.

Oikawa did tell Matsukawa he’d call him, though. He kissed him, hard enough to let him know that was a promise.

“You think Iwaizumi knows?” Matsukawa asks, pulling a new shirt on. The shower helped for everything except the remnants of good sex. He was still covered in love bites all along his throat and down. He was definitely going to get weird looks today, with the three giant hickeys unable to be hidden on his neck.

“Well, Oikawa lives with him. And once he sees those marks… he might lie though.”

Matsukawa got a text from Iwaizumi about an hour later. Thanks for taking care of him last night.

Iwaizumi probably got a little worried, meaning Oikawa didn’t call him. Of course he didn’t. What the hell was he going to say? Don’t worry Iwa-chan, I’m just at Mattsun’s place having mindblowing sex.

Matsukawa got another text from Oikawa about two hours later. Well...Iwa-chan knows.

“Oops,” Hanamaki shrugs, and Matsukawa sucks down two Bloody Marys to wash away the hangover and bring back the leftovers of his high from last night.




 

 

Oikawa kept his promise, and called about two weeks later.

Matsukawa wished he hadn’t.

He knew it was coming, the inevitable “it was a one time thing” speech. He didn’t need to hear it.

It only made it that much more painful, watching Oikawa fidget and squirm and wring his fingers through his napkin as he tried to explain to Matsukawa why it wasn’t a mistake, but they should just bury it and forget it happened.

“I dunno why you’re so bent out of shape about it,” Matsukawa shrugs his shoulders, refusing to look Oikawa in the eye. “If you want to forget, don’t dwell on it.”

“I figured I owed you the courtesy of—”

“It was sex, Oikawa. We didn’t go on a date. I didn’t even buy you dinner. It’s nothing.”

The words hurt worse coming from his own mouth. Telling lies had become his specialty. He’d managed to dodged Oikawa’s keen eyes for so long, it was second nature at this point.

Oikawa studies his face harder this time, looking for something more than the blatant lack of empathy that his words contained. He gives up when Matsukawa turns and blows a cloud of smoke in his face.

“You gonna be alright? Don’t miss me too much.”

“You can act so full of yourself sometimes,” Oikawa wrinkles his nose, but the joking banter means the air is clear. Matsukawa has stumped him again, and things are back to normal.




 

 

Almost.

At first it went well. They were normal, the squad hung out like usual, as though nothing had ever happened between the two of them. Classes resumed like normal, and the hangouts slowed down until the next break.

Matsukawa thought he might be okay with this.

Things tried to go back to normal. But they couldn’t. After a while of putting on the show, both Oikawa and Matsukawa began to slip. Oikawa couldn’t walk through Matsukawa’s apartment without feeling shifty and unsettled. The second their fingers brushed, they both jumped like they’d been electrocuted. Matsukawa couldn’t keep his hands to himself, constantly touching Oikawa’s mouth, or his hair, or his fingertips.

And God help them both when Matsukawa smoked.

Oikawa lost his cool so bad that he grabbed a cigarette for himself and stepped outside onto the balcony.

One night turned them both into fidgety wrecks and it was so beyond obvious to everyone around them.

“Why don’t you two just date already?”

Funny. To hear the one person indirectly at fault say something like that.

Matsukawa squints at him over a beer. It’s just them two tonight. Oikawa had some extracurricular work, and Hanamaki had a late shift.

“One night stands don’t equate to dating, Iwaizumi.”

“Well, whatever it is, you two have a ton of tension, and it’s driving us nuts,” Iwaizumi growls, referring to himself and Hanamaki.

“Just ignore it then.”

“Matsukawa.”

“Iwaizumi.” Matsukawa mocks him, apologizing when Iwaizumi’s fist hits the table a little harder than necessary.

Matsukawa looks at him. He really looks at Iwaizumi for once, and sees something. Something that pisses him off so much, he lets go of his beer to avoid shattering the glass between his fingers.

“You know,” he snarls quietly. Bingo. Iwaizumi’s eyes shift down to the table, instantly looking ten times guiltier than before. “You know, and you had the balls to say something like that to me?”

“I didn’t mean it like—”

“Then what the hell did you mean it like?”

Iwaizumi drags his hands across his face, exhaling frustration and replacing it with peace. The last thing either of them should do right now is explode at the other. He ruffles his hair, looking irritated at about several things besides him getting caught.

“I just thought… since you two, y’know…” Iwaizumi growls in defeat, at a loss for coming up with a better excuse. “If you could make him happy, I’d be all for it. You two have been together since high school. He trusts you.”

Matsukawa completely ignores his reasoning. It’s sound logic, but he still wants to consider it bullshit. He’s a little bit hung up on the whole part where Iwaizumi knows about Oikawa’s feelings.

“How long have you known?”

“A while,” Iwaizumi mutters. His eyes darken when Matsukawa looks like he’s about to chew him out. “If you’ve got any idea of what I should have done years ago, throw it at me. Because breaking my best friend’s heart sounds kind of cruel. Maybe that’s just me.”

“And leading him on isn’t?”

“Stop sticking logic where there isn’t any. Just like he would rather die with the secret than make it awkward for me, I’m doing the same. Maybe...we did it wrong. But don’t look down on me like that. You sacked him when he was vulnerable. What does that say about you?”

Matsukawa’s anger vanishes in an instant, completely replaced with mortifying guilt.

“Oh you can’t be serious,” Iwaizumi whines, “please tell me you’re making that face because you’re just an asshole.”

“I...could. But I’d be lying,” Matsukawa mumbles. The harsh tension between them has completely dissolved now that everything is out in the open. Iwaizumi looks more apologetic than ever, shoulders hunched and fingers curled around his glass.

“You probably hated me for a while, huh?”

“I’m not that shallow, have more faith in me,” Matsukawa snorts, rolling his eyes. “I think… envious, is the better term.”

“You know we can’t act like this conversation happened.”

Matsukawa heaves a heavy sigh in understanding. “Christ… I’m going to take so many things to my grave with me, by the time I die there’ll be no room for me in it.”

“Bunk with Makki in the afterlife. He must be laughing at all of us.”

“Oh, he is,” Matsukawa takes a heavy swig of his beer, and then another. The night with Iwaizumi is long from over, and he knows he’s going to need some alcohol to be able to survive it.




 

 

Matsukawa once again got used to the life where Oikawa popped in every now and again to remind him he still existed, still beautiful, growing more successful, still pining after Iwaizumi. Things were a little different though.

He and Hanamaki separated .It wasn’t a bad separation, no, Hanamaki found someone to live with. A special someone who gave him energy to get up in the mornings and attempt at cooking, straighten his tie more often, always remembering to clean up his room even if no one was coming over.

“Take care of yourself, Issei,” were his parting words after they sealed up the last box.

Matsukawa moved further north into a smaller place, got a steady job, and lived day to day. Two smokes and some coffee in the morning. Three or four during work hours. Another two at night. He never let himself get to the point where he would burn through a pack or more a day.

He made new friends--a few with benefits--because relationships couldn’t be his thing when he was still hung up on a romance that would never happen. Matsukawa resigned himself to believing that he might be cursed, because he touched something he shouldn’t have, and now he can’t move on. The closest he got to letting Oikawa go was back at University, when he started to feel like he could be around Oikawa without his heart wrenching.

Close, was all he got.

Instead, he fucked him silly and played it off like nothing mattered.

His curse was going to stick with him forever. He’d never fall in love, or move on, probably. He’d be stuck in this constant downward spiral where the only things that could make him feel like it wasn’t hopeless were his cigarettes and small moments of Oikawa reaching for him. Those still happened from time to time.

Losing touch with Oikawa was impossible, so Matsukawa settled for the next thing. Being his vent space. His comfort. When he couldn’t go to Iwaizumi, because all of his problems were normally about Iwaizumi, he could call Matsukawa. And he wouldn’t judge him. Whether he called him in tears, or anger, or a sense of emptiness, Matsukawa would press the phone to his ear and listen to every word of it. Even when Oikawa accused Matsukawa of not listening, he heard everything.

Matsukawa decided he could live like that. He could get used to it. Sitting on the sidelines and being a good little helper that would lick Oikawa’s wounds as long as he needed it.

Matsukawa started to call himself a benchwarmer. Hanamaki always wrinkled his nose at the joke, saying that he shouldn’t reduce himself to something so pitiful, but Hanamaki couldn’t blame him. What was a guy to do when he was hopelessly in love and somehow couldn’t get past it?

He only ever reprimanded Matsukawa once, having lost his temper after seeing Oikawa breeze through their apartment like a tornado, oblivious to Matsukawa’s pining in the corner one too many times. Something about living for himself, tied with suck it up. Matsukawa didn’t catch a lot of it. They were words he told himself repeatedly. Suck it up. Stop moping. Get over it. It’s one person.

Hanamaki never pulled that move again. Instead, he joined him on the balcony after Oikawa was gone. Matsukawa never cried, but just once did he place his head on Hanamaki’s shoulder, and then his lap for an entire night.

But with his small support structure gone , Matsukawa really did have to get on with things.

That would be a hell of a lot easier to do if Oikawa stopped showing up.

Being around a vulnerable Oikawa that stares at him with lust in his eyes and lips begging to be turned kiss red is hard to resist. Even the slightest drop of liquor in his system is enough to push him to cross the boundary he thought he was so good at keeping intact.

Oikawa called him out one night, no Iwa-chan or Makki to tag along this time, because Makki lived too far away for a random night out, and Iwaizumi was eyeballs deep in the honeymoon phase of a relationship. And Matsukawa agreed, reminding himself that he would do anything for Oikawa.

He hadn’t exactly planned to bring him home, no. It just sort of happened when Oikawa slid into the same taxi cab as him, and followed him upstairs to his apartment, waiting for the elevator doors to close before he pounced.

“We said it was a one time thing, Oikawa,” Matsukawa groans, knowing the alcohol and heartache is doing most of the work right now. it’s doing a damn good job on his pants; Oikawa’s hand is quickly reducing his brain to mush.

“I also said I’d get it right next time,” Oikawa mumbles in reply. The elevator doors open up and he steps backwards, pulling Matsukawa’s cigarettes from his pocket, smirking because he knows Mattsun can’t resist him when he does shit like this, look irresistibly delicious and tugging hard on Matsukawa’s tie.

Matsukawa’s resolve crumbles faster than he could have ever put it back together, and before he knows it, he’s got Oikawa pinned down against the armrest of the couch. He felt so pressed for time that neither of them got their clothes off before they got into it--although, semi-clothed sex is something they both secretly agreed was really hot. Not until the second round did they think to find their way to the bedroom and ditch unnecessary fabric.

The thing is, Matsukawa figured that in the morning, Oikawa would wake up, tiptoe around to pick up his clothes, give Mattsun a kiss on the cheek and wait for a cab to arrive.

His heart soared when that wasn’t the case.

Matsukawa was woken up by a fusillade of kisses pressed into the crook of his neck, hands dragging along the expanse of his chest lazily, and when he opened his eyes, Oikawa was half asleep on top of him, not searching for clothing or sending Iwaizumi a text, or digging for his wallet for cab fare.

“Morning,” Oikawa hums.

Matsukawa soaks him in like sunlight. Tousled, messy bed hair, bangs that fall into his eyes and the rest is sprawled in several directions, but somehow not comically. Eyes glassy and thick with sleep, a lopsided smile and perfect teeth beneath swollen lips. Matsukawa traces his fingers across Oikawa’s shoulders, watching the dim light in the room create shadows on the contours of his skin, in all the spots not marked by Matsukawa’s teeth.

It’s surreal, getting to see Oikawa in the morning like this.

“Morning,” Matsukawa sighs. “You don’t look like you’re in a hurry.”

“Trying to get rid of me?” Oikawa smirks.

But Matsukawa doesn’t take the joke.

It’s a little too surreal that Oikawa is still here, so much that Matsukawa snaps out of ogling at his beauty and turns skeptical. “Why are you still here?”

“S’not like I have a place to be,” he lifts off of Matsukawa moves to the pillow on the side, laying flat on his stomach.

Right. The apartment is empty. He and Iwaizumi don’t live together anymore. When you finally reach the point of adulthood when you can afford to live completely on your own, there’s no need or want for a roommate. All Oikawa has back at his place is a bunch of trinkets and a few plants. He’s not home enough to properly care for an animal.

“I’m flattered.”

“Mattsun, you know what I meant,” Oikawa’s whine turns to laughter as Matsukawa rolls on top of him, nuzzling against the nape of his neck. Oikawa arches gently, sighing into his touch and letting the appeal of a good wake up call slide across his skin. Something else slides, too.

“You just woke up,” Oikawa peeks his head back, but his body responds when Matsukawa’s hand cups the curve of his ass and lips snag the lobe of his ear.

“This is kind of your fault you know,” Matsukawa mumbles, “you’re the one that said this was a one time thing.”

Matsukawa must have said something right, because in the next moment, Oikawa has his mouth on his and tongue between teeth, more aggressively than before when he looked sleep riddled. Or, Matsukawa could have said something all wrong. Either way, the morning sex diverts the conversation of why and turns it into the two of them doing the morning routine post-sex.

Oikawa pulls on one of Matsukawa’s shirts, admiring his handy work across Matsukawa’s back as the latter whisks their breakfast across a pan. Matsukawa is inclined to try and ask again, what brought Oikawa here, and what’s keeping him here, but part of him already knows the answer. If Matsukawa had to take a guess, Oikawa finally got fed up with seeing Iwaizumi live life in someone else’s arms. Iwaizumi probably got serious with his relationship, and it broke Oikawa’s heart for the last time, and the only thing he wants right now is some kind of solace, an escape.

And who better to call than the one person that he knows can take his breath away besides Iwaizumi?




 

 

Oikawa stays. He sticks around longer than planned.

A weekend turns into a week, a week turns to two.

Matsukawa figured that Oikawa would leave after a few days of recovery, heading back to his own apartment and calling up Iwaizumi to tell him about what he did. But he doesn’t. He doesn’t even reach for his phone to dial Iwaizumi.

Instead, he spends most of his time with Matsukawa. For the most part, it’s the two of them having sex in various parts of the flat, where Matsukawa zaps Oikawa’s energy and lives him in a state of bliss, warm and tingly all over, or Oikawa climbs into Matsukawa’s lap and leaves him boneless and unable to say anything but his name.

It’s a dormancy they both don’t try to dissuade or change.

Not until a night Oikawa comes over, and instead of asking Matsukawa for sex like he usually would, he curls himself up—in a pair of Matsukawa’s pajamas—against Matsukawa’s chest and munches on takeout. He looks sad as he jams his chopsticks into the bottom of a takeout box and pushes a scoop of rice into his cheek, but he smiles whenever he catches Matsukawa looking at him.

Matsukawa finally breaks the ice between the two.

“Oikawa. Why are you coming here so much?” He runs his fingers through Oikawa’s hair as a sign that he’s not attacking him. It’s just curiosity, and a little bit of a reality check. Matsukawa can’t let himself get caught up in all of the romping they’ve been doing so far.

“It feels good,” Oikawa answers without skipping a beat, like he knew this conversation was going to come at some point. “It feels good to be with you. Is that wrong?”

“No, I just wondered,” Matsukawa shifts his weight and uses his thumb to wipe away a grain of rice on Oikawa’s cheek. Oikawa doesn’t buy it though, the way Matsukawa evades the conversation going any further than this. Like he’d rather not know the real reason, or that he would rather suffer in silence than risk the chance of this all going to shit.

“I want to be loved,” Oikawa admits, and sets his nearly empty carton down on the table, pushing back against Matsukawa’s chest and linking one of their hands together. “I don’t care if I have to pretend anymore, I just want someone to love me until I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s not like Iwa-chan will ever know that about me. So.”

It’s one of Oikawa’s weaker sides that he never shows to anyone, and Matsukawa is seeing it right now. Stress at the edges of Oikawa’s eyes, his fingers clenched tight against his kneecaps and lips pressed together in a thin line. It’s the refusal to cry in someone else’s presence. Matsukawa can only think to do what he does best.

Be Oikawa’s comfort.

He tilts his head back and bites down on Oikawa’s lower lip, hands sliding around him and underneath his clothes, pulling his mind away from wallowing about unrequited love. Matsukawa may have made his worst mistake yet by doing this, but right now, it doesn’t matter. As long as Oikawa is okay, nothing else matters. So tonight, he doesn’t let Oikawa cry about Iwaizumi.

“Mattsun—”

“Issei,” Matsukawa purrs. Oikawa puts up no argument as Matsukawa opens him up with fingers and tongue, spit and lube. He even starts to latch onto using “Issei” in different voices and volumes, finding a comfort in it. Matsukawa finds a newborn hope in the hollows of his chest, like light to the deepest parts of a forest, whenever he says Oikawa’s name and hears him keen, feels his hips roll and his lips quiver. Because it’s Matsukawa making him feel this way, as hips roll together, and Matsukawa’s fingers dig into Oikawa’s hips and force the pressure of burying inside him, filling Oikawa to the hilt. Matsukawa is the one making Oikawa speak in tongues, not Iwaizumi, not someone who would take Oikawa’s beauty for granted.

“Issei, Issei I’m—”

“Please,” Mattsun whispers, exposing a vulnerability to Oikawa that he hadn’t before.

Somewhere between round two against the shower wall and Matsukawa’s afterglow smoke, Oikawa loses his composure. Crying doesn’t suit him, he thinks. He hates crying over things he can’t control, it makes him feel weak and susceptible to attack. He’s crying because Iwaizumi will never love him. He’s crying because he pathetically fawns over him, even still.

He’s crying because he knows Matsukawa is in love with him, and of course it looks like Oikawa used him. Matsukawa didn’t have to ask. It was written all over Oikawa’s face. I’m guilty. I’m sorry.

Matsukawa would take it gladly. He didn’t see Oikawa look regretful.

“Issei,” Oikawa says it, both because it feels right, and because he wants to know what it sounds like when he’s not moaning it towards the ceiling, “Why me?”

“Why Iwaizumi?” Matsukawa asks over his cigarette. “We don’t exactly choose. It just, happens.” When there’s too long of silence from Oikawa, Matsukawa adds, “don’t start giving me that I’m not worthy bullshit either. It’s a shit pity play, and it’s offensive to my standards.”

“I wasn’t going to say that,” Oikawa wrinkles his nose, “I know I’m a catch.”

Matsukawa winks at him behind lazy curls of smoke. “Better.”

Oikawa smiles at him, eyes red and bleary, taking the cigarette and pulling a long drag, exhaling it through his nostrils.

“Told you I’d get it right.”




 

 

The kisses are warmer, the hugs are longer, and the days go by faster.

Matsukawa doesn’t want to try remembering when Oikawa first showed up on his doorstep with a heavy heart, desperate for affection. It feels like he’s been with Oikawa for an eternity. Oikawa coming home to him, calling him when he can’t come over, just to talk about the weather, or his day at work, or how badly he wants a cat because his apartment is so bereft of life sometimes.

It feels nice.

Matsukawa never thought this would happen. He remembers fawning over Oikawa all throughout highschool, watching the back of his head during the first year, staring at him in the hallways the second year, smiling at him from across his bedroom in the third year.

Never did he imagine Oikawa dialing him because he wanted to. Kissing him because he wanted to.

Matsukawa wonders if Oikawa might love him because he wants to.

They’re on the roof tonight, at Oikawa’s place for a change, because he has a pretty rooftop patio that no one uses and he’s managed to turn it into a beautiful, cozy layout with twinkle lights and so many blankets and pillows Matsukawa wonders how no one else has made a home out of it.

“You come up here often?” Matsukawa asks.

“Cheesy pick up lines even on a night like this,” Oikawa shakes his head, crawling to lay flat across the spread and inviting Matsukawa to join him. “And yes, I do. I do a lot up here: sleep, read, think,” he rolls his wrist like Matsukawa can fill in all the other mundane activities.

“It’s beautiful,” Matsukawa looks across the entirety of it as he pulls a blanket over the two of them, tucking Oikawa back against his chest because he enjoys being in that space. Oikawa starts to name them. All the constellations, the stories behind them, recalling the times he discovered them.

“If you love stars so much, why are you working at a desk so much?”

“Because,” Oikawa sighs, “you sacrifice things to take risks.”

Matsukawa stares at him, quiet.

“It would have separated me from Iwa-chan earlier than I wanted,” Oikawa admits awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck and turning his eyes towards the stars again. It’s easier to confess things with starlight in his eyes.

Matsukawa can’t say that he entirely relates. If anything, he tried to get away from Oikawa, and fate just kept dragging him back. The only thing he might have willingly sacrificed might have been his conscience, and not for a chance. He had decided way back when that this whole crush on Oikawa was hopeless, but he loved him enough to squash his selfishness and do whatever it took to make Oikawa smile.

Hanamaki told him once that what he was doing was admirable. Matsukawa just found it to be idiotically masochistic. But maybe, just maybe that wasn’t the case. He never thought he would get to stargaze with Oikawa tucked against him in a beautiful bedspread that looked so much like a hollywood romance scene it was almost uncanny. Yet here he is.

“Do you regret any of it?” Matsukawa wonders quietly, murmuring the words into the top of Oikawa’s head.

“Regret what? All the stupid shit I’ve done for Iwa-chan? No. Well. Maybe this,” Oikawa shrugs, “but if I was so willing to let it go for some puppy love, then maybe I wasn’t serious about it to begin with.”

Matsukawa isn’t sure if he can say anything to combat that. At least, nothing that would make Oikawa feel better. He’s not sure he has the words. And even if he did, Oikawa probably wouldn’t believe him. There’s not a whole hell of a lot to say to someone that’s been in love with their best friend for years.

So Matsukawa doesn’t speak. He nuzzles against Oikawa’s cheek and closes his eyes, reminding Oikawa that he can function in completely comfortable silence. That this moment isn’t tense, but warm. Words aren’t always needed.

“Did you ever hate him?”

“Never. He’s a good friend to me. I hated myself for being envious.”

“Jesus,” Oikawa sighs, “you look like you could be such an asshole, and there’s not a simple impurity in you, is there?”

“I wouldn’t go as far as to put me and pure in the same category,” Matsukawa shakes his head. He means it as a joke, of course, all those times he left Oikawa covered in so many scratches and hickeys and bites that he actually called out of work, afraid of being sent home for indecency. But truthfully, there were days he did probably treat Iwaizumi poorly. There were days he isolated himself from everyone and everything because the sight of Oikawa’s smile for someone else made him sick to his stomach with jealousy.

“Wait a second—I look like an asshole?”

Oikawa bursts into laughter, so hard that tears spring into his eyes. It’s been awhile since he’s laughed like that, where his voice climbs the musical scale, where he clutches his sides and his cheeks turn red. It’s honest, light laughter and Matsukawa’s heart swells with pride because he’s the one that made him laugh.

It’s another night where they don’t need to pound into each other to get some sort of satisfying high; just being with each other like this makes them feel complete, something neither of them thought they could get.




 

 

It slips.

Matsukawa has been slipping lately.

Not intentionally, but when the thing you want, the person you want is so close to you that you can reach out and kiss them, it’s hard to resist. Even more so when that person is clacking their teeth against yours and whimpering your name.

Oikawa rolls his eyes shut and tilts his head back, jaw dropping open when Matsukawa’s hot breath pushes against his cheek, his cock pushing hard against Oikawa’s prostate. It’s so practiced it’s natural by now. Matsukawa can reduce Oikawa to a quivering mess without even getting undressed, and there is a certain fun in that, but tonight is different.

They did it the right way.

A day out on the town that turned into dinner at a nice place. Nothing too fancy, because Matsukawa hated fancy and Oikawa thought it to be a little overrated, but the food tasted good and the music was mellow, and while they took a walk to let their stomachs settle, one conversation led to another and suddenly Matsukawa had Oikawa pressed against a brick wall, wedged in alleyway. They both decided they needed to get home, fast, and could barely keep their hands off of each other in the cab ride back.

It felt like a real date, a real coming home, love making that wasn’t one sided.

Oikawa pulled Matsukawa’s shirt over his head and let blunt nails drag down his chest, not out of pure lust, but a need for comfort. For more than just a quick fuck. He wanted it to last. The slow makeout as Matsukawa pulled Oikawa out of his pants and palmed him through his shorts until he whimpered for more. The hissing between kisses as Oikawa thumbed Matsukawa around the head, hand slick with lube and words not filthy, but sweet. Rather than the aggressive dirty talk, Oikawa pressed softer things against his mouth, his throat, his hips.

I need you.”

This feels too good.”

Issei, touch me more.”

Gods, you always know what I want.”

I think I love you.”

Matsukawa freezes. Momentarily, because any longer than that and the moment would be gone.

His heart does something illegal, and probably unsafe, from the painful but pleasant ache that rumbles through his chest, prickling his skin and tingling from the top of his scalp down to his toes.

Oikawa does catch the quick pause though. And he realizes what he said. But before he can act all embarrassed, Matsukawa swallows the rouge blush across his skin and moves his hips harder, deeper than before. Oikawa buries his fingers into Matsukawa’s hair and pulls at him hard, mouths slanting together, and in between breaths he begs him to say it back.

“I love you,” Matsukawa breathes, chest falling and rising, fingertips pressed hard into Oikawa’s hips. He can’t love him hard enough. He can’t kiss him hard enough to make up for all of those times he wanted to, when Oikawa never looked his way. But he’s trying so hard right now, God is he trying to tell Oikawa what he means to him.

Tooru, I love you.

 

 


 

 

Matsukawa wonders just what kind of lover he must be.

A damn good one, probably.

He made Oikawa say that he loves him, so he must be pretty good.

He kind of wishes right now that he wasn’t so good with his hands, or is teeth, or his cock.

Then maybe Oikawa’s whispers in his sleep would be about him.




 



Matsukawa wishes he hadn’t said it.

Every bone in his body regrets it.

He has never had anything to regret when it came to Oikawa, but right now, he regrets the whole thing.

His heart hurts.

No, that’s not right.

His heart was ripped out of his chest sometime ago. The place where it used to be aches, a reminder that he’s got a giant hole in his chest that he spent too much time ignoring until now.

It all happened so fast, faster than he could keep up with. He felt his vision fill with spots, and his hands begin to shake, and his stomach swirled uncomfortably, mind spinning so fast he thought he might faint.

Matsukawa was never the petty type.

But this didn’t feel petty.

“Issei—”

“Don’t call me that,” he gasps, tugging hard at his tie. He can’t fucking breathe in this goddamn thing. “Don’t ever call me that.”

“Would you just listen to me?”

Matsukawa shakes his head and beelines for his kitchen, ripping open a cabinet to try and grab a glass for water. He drops and shatters the first glass, fingers trembling so hard despite the small cuts across his index finger and thumb.

Oikawa reaches forward and pulls him away from the counter, fear wild in his eyes and looking more panicked than anything.

“Get—”

Matsukawa was going to say Get out. But Oikawa ignores him, grabbing him a glass full of water instead, kneeling down in front of him and trying to get him to drink it.

“Iss—”

“I said don’t call me that,” Matsukawa wheezes, and pushes the water away from him. the glass topples from Oikawa’s hand and clinks against the floor. Not shattering, just spilling.

Ironic. Shards of glass for the first round, and nothing but a dull, painful thud and a mess for the second round. Kind of like Matsukawa’s heart.

It sucks.

Matsukawa hates it all.

Iwaizumi had to stop by and pay a visit. He had to show up on Oikawa’s doorstep and remind Oikawa all the reasons he was in love with him. But it isn’t Iwaizumi’s fault. Not in the slightest.

Because if anything, Iwaizumi’s eyes lit up with a certain pride when he saw Matsukawa in lazy clothes on Oikawa’s couch, a mug of coffee between his fingers, looking blissfully sexed out and a little fatigued.

Iwaizumi came to drop by for a surprise visit, he said, not having heard from Oikawa in a while.

“Now I see why,” Iwaizumi smirked, setting down his little gift bag for Oikawa. It was nothing special, just some milk bread and travel trinkets.

Matsukawa’s heart soared when Iwaizumi reached for a warm handshake from him, and asked, “how long have you two been a thing?”

But time seemed to freeze when Matsukawa heard Oikawa’s reply.

“We’re not dating,” Oikawa blurted, face screwing up like the idea couldn’t be any more repulsive. “What in the hell gave you that idea?”

Matsukawa felt his chest tighten, fingers beginning to go numb. He quickly set the coffee mug down on the table and kept his eyes away from Iwaizumi’s. The piercing dark hazel trying to probe his expression currently would make things even worse.

“You’re… not?” Iwaizumi glanced from Oikawa back to Matsukawa, looking at all of the exposed hickeys across his neck and shoulders, his lips still swollen and kiss pink, hair unkempt like someone definitely ran their fingers through it.

“We’re not,” Matsukawa answered. It sounded robotic and practiced, only because he was so used to doing things on Oikawa’s behalf.

Iwaizumi clearly didn’t buy it. Matsukawa looked too torn up and thrown off to make it believable.

“I’ll go put these in the kitchen,” Iwaizumi said it, lifting up the bag of milk bread. He must have looked at Oikawa a certain way, because a few moments later, Matsukawa was alone in the living room, staring at a bag of gifts from Iwaizumi, his entire body gone numb, his heart quiet.

All it took was one look at Iwaizumi and suddenly Matsukawa didn’t matter.

That moment where Oikawa whispered it into his mouth over and over, even after an orgasm that rattled his bones, meant nothing. The I love you meant nothing.

Matsukawa meant nothing.

The more he thought about it, the more his head started to hurt. The more he could feel bile twisting around in his stomach and turning his taste buds sour.

He tried not to think about it as he picked up all of his things: his phone, keys, wallet, rings, half used pack of cigarettes, almost empty lighter. He shoved as many clothes from the drawer into his backpack as he could, switching from sweats to jeans and heading for the door.

Who did Oikawa lie to? Him or Iwaizumi?

It doesn’t matter.

It never mattered.

“Wh--Wait a second where are you going? Issei! Issei!”

Matsukawa ignored it, slamming the door shut and rushing to catch a cab. He manages to get inside of one, and just as it takes off he sees Oikawa’s hands just out of reach. The mere thought of Oikawa having chased after him. Having the audacity to chase after him.

He slaps two giant bills into the cab driver’s hand when he gets home, not listening to him when the guy shouts that he paid way too much. He tries to light the cigarette when he gets into the elevator, feeling his chest cave and his world spin, but the lighter that he thought was almost empty, is completely empty. Oikawa probably used it up when he wasn’t paying attention.

Matsukawa wonders what he did to deserve this kind of suffering.

Was it loving Oikawa? He’ll take it back if it means getting rid of this feeling like he’s going to die before he can make it to his doorstep.

Oikawa pops out of the elevator opposite of him, somehow managing to arrive at the same. How lucky.

“Go away,” Matsukawa rasps, keys jingling hard in his hand like exhausted chimes.

“Why did you run?”

Matsukawa ignores him and tumbles into the apartment.

Now they’re here, on Matsukawa’s kitchen floor, with Oikawa kneeling between his legs.

Matsukawa despises his own skin for feeling something fluttery when Oikawa brings his face into his hands. “Don’t touch me,” He hisses, but there isn’t much resistance.

“Breathe. You need to breathe, Issei.”

Matsukawa would rather suffocate than feel some kind of compassion.

He’s lying.

He would rather hear Oikawa tell him whatever he wanted to hear, as long as this painful feeling in his chest went away.

“Listen to me, and breathe.”

“You’re such an asshole,” Matsukawa gripes, throat still closed off. He sounds like he’s clawing for oxygen, voice strangled in between his body shaking and chest caving in. It doesn’t even occur to him that he’s on the edge of crying until his cheeks are wet, and he realizes he hasn’t cried in God knows how long, and it’s never been about Oikawa until now.

“I know,” Oikawa mutters. He grimaces when Matsukawa reaches for his shirt and curls his fists into it.

“Get out,” Matsukawa whispers, contrast to the tight hold on Oikawa’s shirt. He’s starting to calm down, but with the nerves settling, his anger is rising.

“You don’t want me to do that,” Oikawa whispers,

He’s right. Matsukawa doesn’t want him to leave. And that’s what makes him upset. It pisses him off that Oikawa is going to probably get away with this, because those chestnut eyes full of remorse and apology are full of bleary tears and Matsukawa knows that if he kisses him right now, all other things considered will disappear and he can pretend for another twenty minutes that Oikawa belongs to him.

Sickening how a mere twenty minutes of angrily sucking on Oikawa’s tongue and seating him on Matsukawa’s lap sounds more appealing than dealing with the inevitable heartbreak.

Fuck,” Oikawa bites down hard on Matsukawa’s lip as he seats himself full on his cock, breath punching out of his lungs. Matsukawa gives him no mercy and starts to move, biting hard on his lips so much that he could draw blood. But he doesn’t care.

There’s something between Oikawa and Matsukawa, something physical that no one else can touch. Maybe Matsukawa took that and spun it into true love when they blurred the lines of friendship. He’s not sure when he started believing that Oikawa’s cries into his shoulder and laughter in his hair was love rather than comfort.

Matsukawa isn’t sure when he started to accept Oikawa’s force affection as a shitty consolation prize for sticking it out this long.

But he regrets it.

He regrets all of it and even though that’s probably the only truth he can rely on right now, he still loves him.

He loves him next to shattered glass and spilled water, not through words, just through the way he’s always done it.

Because Matsukawa knows one thing. He knows Oikawa’s body like the back of his hand, and even if he can’t touch his heart, he can sure as hell make everything else sing. Almost like Oikawa would willingly hand everything over because the sex is just so good. Because Matsukawa is so good.

“Get off,” Matsukawa mumbles, knees weak and refusing to let him move Oikawa without some help.

His chest sinks when he slips out of Oikawa, clothes wet, thighs sticky and tear trails still present on his face. He feels pathetic. Beyond pathetic.

“You should shower,” Oikawa whispers, using his sleeves to clean off Matsukawa’s face a bit more. “I’ll clean this all up.”

“You need to leave,” Matsukawa sighs, head tilting back against the cabinet. He’s too tired to be angry. Besides, violent anger doesn’t suit him anyway. It makes him do things would never condone with a clear mind.

“You don’t mean that,” Oikawa combats quietly, keeping his voice level.

“What gives? You’ve lied to me thus far. Why stop now?”

“I didn’t lie to you—”

Matsukawa sneers at his words. “How many times did you say Iwa-chan in your sleep right after I fucked you silly?”

Oikawa stares at him, horrified, guilty. Something in his chest must have hurt, because he winces.

“What do you look all sorry for? It was just sex.”

“Shut up,” Oikawa snaps, tears at the edges of his eyes. “Go take a shower. Please.”

Matsukawa listens to him, for no reason other than that he’s too tired to argue, and he does feel gross.

When he comes back, Oikawa is staring at his hands. In one is a pack of cigarettes, the other a lighter. “Want one?” Oikawa asks him. Matsukawa avoids his gaze and shakes his head.

Now that his mind is clear, a cigarette just reminds him of the way Oikawa used to kiss him when they’d shotgun.

“Issei—”

Matsukawa shifts uncomfortably.

“Mattsun,” Oikawa corrects, “Back there, I didn’t—”

“Stop,” Matsukawa orders. “We don’t have anything to talk about. If you start making excuses, it’ll be like something actually matters. Nothing matters. There was nothing between us but stress relief. So, if you could just make this easy—”

“It was not nothing.”

Matsukawa watches Oikawa’s eyes widen with anger, but after crying and some angry, pity sex he’s less than sympathetic. “Tell me, what did Iwaizumi say to you back at your place, huh? Probably something about you being an idiot, I’m sure. You can’t have it your way, Oikawa.”

“Oh, it’s Oikawa now?” Oikawa snaps.

“First name basis is for people with self respect,” Matsukawa’s words are clipped. “Admit it. Your precious Iwa-chan wouldn’t give you what you wanted so you fell on me, knowing I would. And as long as I stayed your dirty little secret, everything would be just fine. But as soon as Iwaizumi showed up, you forgot all about it. Wait, no. That’s not right. You just expected me to go along with it.”

“Stop making me out to be the bad guy here. That’s not what I was trying to—”

“Tell me right now you didn’t lie to Iwaizumi’s face because you’re still in love with him,” Matsukawa snaps.

Oikawa’s lips clamp shut as his brows furrow. There it is. The truth. Of course, Matsukawa already knew it, it just felt kind of good to put Oikawa in his place.

“I was dumb enough to believe you when you said you loved me that night. But as always, you only feel something when it involves my cock, right?”

That last part is only out of anger, but Matsukawa has had enough. Watching the hurt cross Oikawa’s face is kind of refreshing.

“That’s not—”

“You even went as far as to get fucked next to broken glass.”

Oikawa flinches, and that hits the last nerve.

“Stop pretending that we were anything more than your secret. All you needed me for was to lick your wounds when Iwaizumi wasn’t around, and I did that. So pack your shit and go. Thankfully there isn’t much anyway, you made sure of that.

Oikawa doesn’t say another word and makes his way down the hall, pulling what little belongings he has into a bag and trying to keep the tears out of his eyes the whole way.

He doesn’t say a word to Matsukawa as he leaves, and later, Matsukawa finds the spare key hung on the keyrack by the door.

It’ll be alright. Matsukawa is good at making himself numb.

Oikawa will just fade away, hopefully for good, and the hole where his heart is supposed to be will stop aching.

He just needs to have a good cry and another shower, and he’ll be alright.

He turns off his phone, because the amount of texts from Iwaizumi asking him to meet up, and from Hanamaki checking to see if he’s alright are just fuel to the fire.

Matsukawa will tell himself that all of this was one big misunderstanding. He and Oikawa never had anything. It was all just physical.

He’ll repeat it until he believes it.

And he’ll believe it until it’s the truth.




 

 

“You happy now?” Matsukawa growls, watching Kuroo stare at him over the dying cigarette.

“I’ve never heard you talk this much before.”

“Oh my god,” Matsukawa groans, head falling back on his pillow.

“No no, I mean, it made me happy,” Kuroo rubs the back of his neck. “I like listening to you talk.”

“Even if it’s about my fucked up love life?” Matsukawa smirks, quirking a brow at the bashful look on Kuroo’s face.

“Shut up. But, you can thank me later. I just helped you,” Kuroo presses the pad of his index finger down hard on Matsukawa’s nose.

“What do you mean?”

“Do you feel better?”

Matsukawa surprisingly does. It feels easier to say Oikawa’s name without feeling like he’ll choke on it. It’s easier to think about him, separate from the way Kuroo sits in his lap and shares smoke between their lips. The way Kuroo moans his name, or smiles against his skin, or laughs into the back of his hand.

“Don’t worry, this session is free of charge,” Kuroo grins at him, shifting his weight to let Matsukawa sit up.

“Because I’m good in bed?”

“Dummy,” Kuroo flicks his forehead. “Have you tried to talk to him at all?”

“Not since that happened.”

“Hmn,” Kuroo hums, killing the cigarette into the ashtray beside the bed.

“What,” Matsukawa sighs.

“Well, I’ll save my lengthy sob story for another day, but you know. There’s a difference between using someone, and trying to love them.”

Matsukawa stares at Kuroo hard. One, because Kuroo’s little therapy session just turned too serious, and two, he’s trying to put logic and reason where there is none. Oikawa played him for a fool, that’s all there is to it.

“Listen, there is not a single cock in this world that’s going to magically make someone say those words without reason,” Kuroo explains, “have you ever considered that he tried to return your feelings?”

“What do you even—”

“Care? I do care,” Kuroo tilts his head, leaning close enough to kiss Matsukawa, but leaving enough room that their lips barely touch. Matsukawa responds by automatically leaning in, but Kuroo tilts back, crooked smirk widening when Matsukawa frowns at him. “If you want something, you need to fight for it. How do you know he wasn’t fighting everything to give you something, too?”

Matsukawa’s eyes roll shut and he sighs, heavily. He feels like an asshole, but somewhere in the back of his mind, he thought about this too.

Maybe Oikawa truly had tried to love him?

It was easier to think he hadn’t, because then it never felt like Matsukawa had a shot. It was less painful to just make Oikawa the bad guy. And Matsukawa was so tired of being the selfless one.

“I hurt him, Tetsu,” Matsukawa mumbles.

“Yeah, I know. He hurt you too. Love sucks.”

“I should go see him,” Matsukawa decides quietly, and looks down at Kuroo’s mouth. “Did you mean it?”

“Mean what?”

Matsukawa wonders if he can go see Oikawa without his heart doing something he doesn’t want it to do. It’s been so long since he’s seen him, and while Matsukawa never forgot, he could pretend that he did. Besides, he had Kuroo.

Kuroo Tetsurou, who pissed him off with his provocative nature and excited him with his wild eyes and sharp grin. Kuroo, who looked damn good in a suit, both pristine and rumpled, but looked even better in nothing but sweats and his messy bed hair. Kuroo, who laughed so hard his body would shake, and turned red when the simple things turned emotional.

Matsukawa leans forward and slants their mouths together.

“Nevermind,” He chuckles. He’ll save that topic for later.

He needs to fix a thing or two before he can do anything honest with Kuroo.




 

 

Matsukawa was surprised when Oikawa agreed to meet with him, and he’d be lying if he said his nerves didn’t get the better of him as he nearly tripped getting out of the taxi cab.

Oikawa looked beautiful as ever, wrapped in a peacoat and scarf, hair tousled and windblown.

Matsukawa would definitely be lying if he said his heart didn’t jump at the sight of him. Oikawa would always be breathtakingly beautiful, that was just a fact of life.

The small smile Oikawa gives him when he notices him across the street makes Matsukawa’s chest tighten.

“Hey,” Oikawa begins.

Matsukawa shoves his hands into his pockets and digs around for a box. When he pulls it out, Oikawa’s eyebrows lift in surprise, feeling a little awkward because he doesn’t have anything in his hands.

“I know. A gift. Weird. I just, I need to do this right.”

Oikawa reaches his hand out, and as Matsukawa presses the box into it, they keep their hands there for a moment, and it does so much for the both of them. Relief, that they can look at each other without feeling such an ache in their chests. Nostalgia; they used to do this all the time. Warmth, because yeah, they both fucked up, but that doesn’t mean it’s irreparable.

“How are you?” Matsukawa asks.

“Good. I went back to school,” Oikawa sniffs, lifting the lid off of the box. His eyes widen and his whole face splits into a grin when he sees what’s inside.

It’s a charm. A silver ring and at the end of the small, silver chain is a black orb decorated in stars. Little constellations all over it, like a miniature galaxy in his palm.

“I went back to school… for astronomy,” he holds up the charm, looping the keyring through his finger.

“Lucky guess,” Matsukawa smiles.

“What about you?”

“Eh, working as usual,” Matsukawa shrugs, and then, “I… met someone.”

“Oh?”

“I dunno, if it’s anything yet. But… we’ll see. He’s...”

Oikawa shifts his weight and smiles. “I’d love to meet him. If it is anything.”

Matsukawa knows the small talk is running out fast. The tremors in his chest are beginning to show in his fingertips, so he shoves them into his jacket pockets and lowers his head, figuring it best to just get to the point.

“I’m sorry.”

Oikawa doesn’t move, or speak. Matsukawa isn’t sure he even breathed.

“What I said back then...it was all out of anger. That doesn’t excuse it. But. I pushed one sided feelings onto you and made you feel like shit for not returning them. I’m sorry.”

Oikawa starts to say something, but then he stops, and he smiles at Matsukawa instead. “You never gave yourself enough credit. You always acted like you weren’t worth anyone’s time.”

Matsukawa’s legs lock in place.

“You were worth my time,” Oikawa sighs. “It’s hard to find someone who loves as hard as you do. There’s something special in that.”

Matsukawa’s eyes widen, his throat going dry. All of the words he wanted to say go flying out the window, replaced with being rendered speechless.

“I tried, y’know. I desperately tried to fall in love with you. You’re a good person. Desirable, beautiful inside and out. I thought I got close, too,” Oikawa shrugs his shoulders, “I made the mistake of jumping the gun. I gave you false hope.”

Matsukawa feels something tear at his heartstrings. Oikawa really did try to fall for him. He really did mean it that night, even if it wasn’t going to last, he meant every bit of it. Even if Iwaizumi was the name he mumbled at night, he wanted to mumble Matsukawa’s name.

That alone is enough to put Matsukawa near tears again. So much that he ducks his head down and stares at his feet, eyes shifting around quickly to keep the moisture from gushing past his eyelashes.

“I’m sorry too,” Oikawa admits.

“if we’re done apologizing, I’d like my friend back now.”

“I was waiting for your ass to stop moping,” Oikawa snips, and the only thing that feels right afterwards is to bury his face in Oikawa’s shoulder, because a hug is long overdue, just like the apology, just like the reunion.

“I missed you so much,” Oikawa mumbles, and Matsukawa knows he’s crying.

“Stop crying, Tooru. You’re getting my jacket wet.”

Oikawa only cries harder, but there’s a laugh in there, too. “Then stop being so damn emotional, Issei.”

“I missed you too,” Matsukawa sighs, and for the first time in awhile, Matsukawa doesn’t feel like the world is out to get him.

Oikawa will always mean something more to him than anyone else, probably. As a friend, as his first love, his first mistake, and that’s alright.

He doesn’t regret a single thing, and he wouldn’t trade what he has with Oikawa for anything in the world.




 

 

“Where are you right now?” Matsukawa asks through the receiver.

“I’m at home, what do you want?”

“I want to see you, can I come over?”

“Now? I thought you were with Oikawa?”

Matsukawa looks down at his feet, watching them cross the cracks in the pavement. “Nah, I already cleared all that up.”

‘Oh,” Kuroo replies, “well that’s good. Do you need my shoulder?”

“Shut up,” Matsukawa laughs, and he hears Kuroo laugh into the phone on the other end. “I really want to see you right now, so can I?”

“Mmmh,” Kuroo groans into the line, “maybe in an hour?”

“That won’t do,” Matsukawa frowns, and weaves past a small crowd, slowing down his pace when he reaches the pedestrian bridge.

“What? Why not?”

“Because, then I’d have to wait for you to walk home.”

Silence greets him on the other end of the line, and Matsukawa watches Kuroo pick his head up and away from his receiver, whipping around to see Matsukawa standing about ten feet from him. His eyes widen, and he slams the end button on his phone and shoves it into his pocket, grumbling something about how Matsukawa is a stalker.

“How did you know I was here?”

“I got lucky. I saw you from across the way.”

“Sure, stalker,” Kuroo snorts, not moving when Matsukawa stands next to him, leaning on the railing to look down at the water’s reflection.

“Were you trying to avoid me, Tetsu?”

Kuroo keeps his neck stiff and refuses to look at him, his cheeks tinging with rouge. “Shut up.”

Matsukawa’s smile widens when he sees Kuroo grow more bashful the longer he stares at him. “So what, I thought you might go back to him and get some old sparks or something.”

“Well, I can understand that,” Matsukawa looks back down at the water. “I told him about you.”

“You did?”

“Yeah, I told him I’d introduce you two, once I figure out what this is.”

Kuroo quirks a brow and tilts his head, smile spreading slow and crooked, the same smile Matsukawa fell for at first glance. “So, what is this, Issei?”

“I care about you. And, you said you care about me.”

“Yeah, I did,” Kuroo’s smile reaches his eyes as he tilts up to meet Matsukawa’s lips in a kiss.

Matsukawa tilts back before he can do it though.

“Whoa, shouldn’t we go on a date first?”

“I’m not a cheap date,” Kuroo puffs, clearly annoyed that he was denied a kiss.

Matsukawa slides an arm around him and presses a kiss firm to his temple.

“I think I can handle that.”