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15 Minutes

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Iwaizumi stared at the blue lockers across from him until his eyes burned and the chipped paint started to blur together. When he finally blinked he simultaneously collapsed onto the bench, hands forcefully gripping his hair. Stupid, stupid, stupid, he thought to himself, briefly contemplating how much it would hurt if he ran headfirst into the lockers he’s just been staring at.

I’m not jealous of you . I’m jealous of  her

The words replayed over and over in his mind as a mocking jingle. The way Oikawa looked was seared into his brain; his damp eyes, the determined twist of his mouth. How vulnerable he’d appeared, shoulders hunched forward and hands searching for nonexistent pockets as if to make himself smaller. Not even their devastating loss to Shiratorizawa last year had made Oikawa look so defeated and pained.

Do you get it now, you idiot?        

Regardless of what Oikawa claimed, Iwaizumi wasn’t stupid. He was dense as a brick and completely hopeless when it came to matters of the heart, but he wasn’t dumb enough to second guess Oikawa’s blatant confession. He wouldn’t disrespect Oikawa’s feelings by brushing them off and pretending like he hadn’t said anything. As soon as Iwaizumi’s legs were able to hold his weight again he’d be out the door, chasing after his best friend to say . . . something.

What did Oikawa want him to say? Was he expecting Iwaizumi to ask him out? Did he want a grand confession in the woods where they played as children, complete with roses and a picnic? Or would he be okay with a simple act of romance, like chocolates and a sappy letter? Iwaizumi’s head swirled with all the possibilities.

He grew more giddy with every second that ticked by. Oikawa liked him. Like liked him. He felt vaguely nauseous, but in a nice, tingly sort of way. His heart belatedly started to pound so fast it seemed like it would burst from his chest.

Would they be boyfriends now? Would they go out to dinner and the movies and do gross coupley things? Iwaizumi always complained about PDA, but thinking about holding hands with Oikawa in public made his face heat up and a smile tug at his lips.

The door to the locker room opened with a bang, jolting Iwaizumi out of his lovesick daydream. Hanamaki and Matsukawa loudly entered before stopping to stare at him, mouths wide open. Iwaizumi suddenly realized that he was staring off into space, smiling like a loon. Iwaizumi quickly schooled his features into his normally indifferent expression, immediately biting his cheek to keep the slightly crazed grin off his face.

“Alright, we’re going to pretend like you weren’t just staring at that locker like you wanted to marry it. What’s wrong with Oikawa?” Matsukawa asked, looking slightly concerned. Or confused. It was hard to tell with him.

Iwaizumi’s stomach dropped, and he sprung to his feet in a panic. “Have you seen him, where is he? Did he look upset?”

Hanamaki shot him a strange look. “He ran right by us making out behind the school and he didn’t even stop to say anything, which is really strange. Normally he'd at least whistle. I think he was missing his right shoe, too.” Iwaizumi looked over to Oikawa’s locker and sure enough, there was his shoe, dangling by its lace from the shut door.

Iwaizumi leaped to his feet, ripped the shoe from the locker, and slung his bag over his shoulder. As he ran out the door he thought he heard one of the two yell, “Go get ‘em, tiger!”

Thoughts flitted through his mind quicker than he could process them. Where is Oikawa? Home? The park? Their favorite Ramen shop? Iwaizumi decided to try his house first. When Oikawa sulked it was normally in his room, away from the public eye.

It only took Iwaizumi 5 minutes to reach their neighborhood. Bypassing his own house, he sprinted up the front steps of the Oikawa residence and rang the doorbell three times, his sneaky code to let Oikawa that it was him at the door and not a Jehovah’s Witness.

The door flew open and he was immediately engulfed in a huge hug. “Oikawa-san!” Iwaizumi yelled, dropping his bags and wrapping his arms around Oikawa’s mother, lifting her off her feet.

“Hajime-chan!” she squealed, sounding exactly like her son. She cackled wildly before tapping his arm to be put down. “How was your trip to America, sweetie? The house has been so quiet; Tooru barely left his room for days after you departed. His pouting isn’t nearly as cute as it was when he was little.” Iwaizumi personally disagreed, but laughed loudly nonetheless as he was ushered into the small, bright kitchen.

“Would you like some tea, dear? And you’ll be staying for dinner, I’d imagine. I’ll have to make your favorite, your homecoming is a special occasion, after all!” Iwaizumi knew he didn't really have a choice; he was staying for dinner, whether he wanted to or not.

“Of course, Oikawa-san, that sounds wonderful, thank you.” Iwaizumi adored Oikawa’s mother almost as much as he did Oikawa. Half the reason he spent so much time at the house was to see her. He wasn’t exactly sure why he and his best friend’s mom were so close, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. It was probably because they shared so many common interests: volleyball, good food, and Oikawa, to name a few. Iwaizumi was also very good at talking to middle aged women (it was a gift).

All thoughts of finding his best friend and asking him out were put on the back-burner as a cup of tea was set on the table and question after question was thrown at him. Oikawa-san was enchanted by the idea of traveling, and had him recant every detail of his trip. Iwaizumi was glad to have an audience, and told her everything about his vacation from the minute he first arrived in San Francisco to his departure back to Tokyo.

The hours slipped by in a warm blur, eased by boisterous conversation and delicious desserts and tea. It wasn’t until the shadows started to darken the room that they moved. “Oh my, where did the afternoon go? I’ve got to start dinner soon if we want to eat before midnight. Would you like to help, Hajime?”

Nodding enthusiastically, Iwaizumi grabbed a cutting board and allowed her to slip a frilly, sky blue apron on over his clothes. He started to chop vegetables while Oikawa’s mother turned the radio on, dancing and singing along to “the songs of my youth, Hajime.”

It was during an impromptu dance break that Oikawa finally walked in, looking absolutely wretched. His hair drooped, his eyes were red, and he was still missing a shoe. “Tooru! Where on earth have you been? I’ve been worried sick,” his mother tutted, spinning Iwaizumi around one last time before going to fuss over her son. "You look horribe, honey, what happened?" Oikawa stood frozen in place, eyes wide as he took in Iwaizumi standing in the middle of his kitchen, wearing a girly apron and clutching an unpeeled potato loosely in his hand.

He immediately bolted for the stairs, ignoring his mother’s worried questions.

“Hajime, what’s wrong with him? Why is he missing a shoe? Where was he all day, did you have a fight?”

Iwaizumi tried to think of a delicate way to say that Oikawa had confessed to him that morning, ran away to god knows where, and that Iwaizumi had fully intended to find him and ask him out, but had been completely sidetracked by the woman in front of him.

Unable to think of a cohesive way to get his messy thoughts across, Iwaizumi merely grunted. “No, we didn’t fight. Oikawa just . . . he just said some . . . things I think he regrets now. That’s why I came over today, I thought I’d find him here and be able to sort all of this out, but we got talking and I kind of forgot,” Iwaizumi said sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck.

Oikawa-san looked at him with a gleam in her eye. Iwaizumi shuddered slightly, very familiar with that look and the mischief that would inevitably follow. “Oh, Hajime-chan, you go upstairs and talk to Tooru now, I’ll finish up supper. I think you two need to clear the air.” She took the potato that he forgot he was holding and pushed him towards the staircase with a sly smile and a wink.

Vaguely concerned about that wink, Iwaizumi made the familiar trek upstairs to Oikawa’s bedroom, staring at the well-worn carpet as he tried to think of what to say. He found himself outside Oikawa’s door, pounding on the wood with his fist before he could come up with a halfway decent plan.

“Oi dumbass, open up,” Iwaizumi said gruffly, twisting the locked knob forcefully.

There was no answer from inside, which was to be expected. When Oikawa felt hurt or insecure he locked himself away from others, unwilling to be seen as something less than perfect or strong.

Iwaizumi let his head thump against the door. “Please, Tooru,” he said quietly, tapping rhythmically against the worn wood, smoothing his fingers along the scratches that he and Oikawa had carved into the frame when they were children. He smiled when he remembered how furious both their parents had been.

“I’m going to get the lock pick if you don’t let me in,” Iwaizumi threatened. After waiting for a moment and not getting a response Iwaizumi stormed downstairs, grabbed the pin from a smiling Oikawa-san, and marched back up. After poking around for a moment Iwaizumi heard the telltale click of the lock being undone. He smiled in triumph and slammed the door open, expecting to see a mopey Oikawa sprawled across his bed.

Iwaiuzmi scowled when a quick survey of the room didn’t reveal Oikawa. After checking to make sure he wasn’t hiding in his closet (honestly, such a child), Iwaizumi zeroed in on the open window, suddenly knowing where Oikawa was. Steeling himself, Iwaizumi gripped the frame of the window before sticking his head out tentatively and looking to the right. Sure enough, Oikawa was laying on the roof, eyes closed and hands behind his head.

“Hey, Shittykawa,” Iwaizumi called out, keeping a death grip on his ledge. It was comical how fast Oikawa’s head popped up and swiveled to look at Iwaizumi. “We need to talk,” Iwaizumi said, trying to keep his voice steady. “Come inside right now, or I'm gonna kick your ass.”

Oikawa laid his head back down and rolled over, turning his back to Iwaizumi. “No, Iwa-chan, there’s nothing to say. I’m sorry about this morning, but I won’t take back what I said. You should go, I want to be alone right now.”

Iwaizumi knew it would come to this. Nothing was ever easy when dealing with Oikawa. Taking a huge breath and saying a quick prayer to whatever god was listening, he started to crawl at a snail’s pace onto the roof. He finally lugged himself onto the roof and started to make his way over to Oikawa. Damn, why was the idiot so far away? Couldn’t he have picked a closer section of roof to cry on?

Hearing the scuffling from behind him, Oikawa turned around and let out a shriek loud enough to almost make Iwaizumi lose his grip and send him tumbling to the ground. “IWA-CHAN WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” he screeched, sitting upright like he’d been electrocuted.

“What’s it look like, dumbass? You wouldn’t come in so I had to come out.” Iwaizumi tried to keep the tremor out of his voice and failed miserably. He made the mistake of glancing at the ground, which looked so very far away. Iwaizumi immediately gulped and screwed his eyes shut, trying not to think about how high up the roof was.

“Iwa-chan, you’re terrified of heights. You need to go back inside, now.” Oikawa was by his side in a flash, reaching for him.

Iwaizumi immediately latched onto Oikawa, clinging to him like a baby monkey. His eyes were still shut, but his breathing started to even out. Iwaizumi gripped Oikawa tighter and pushed his face into the crook of his neck, inhaling slightly. Surrounded by Oikawa’s smell, engulfed by his arms, Iwaizumi almost forgot that they were sitting on a ledge 20 feet above the ground. Almost.

They sat in silence for a long minute, Oikawa rocking them back and forth. Both of them could feel the strain between them, the lingering hint of awkwardness from that morning. The moment was too sweet to ruin with conversation; both sensed that something was about to change irreversibly in their relationship. It was heavy in the air. Instead of rushing to address it they sat quietly, enjoying the lingering moments of familiarity.

Eventually the pressure between him and Oikawa became too much, and Iwaizumi breathed in deeply, ready to finally confess. Before he could say anything Oikawa was talking softly into his ear, the deep rumple of his voice sounding like home.

“Iwa-chan, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m possessive and jealous and have a terrible personality sometimes. I’m sorry I can’t control my emotions and that I insert myself into situations I have no right to be in. I’m sorry for putting my selfish desires above other people's feelings. But I’m not sorry that I have feelings for you. And I’m not sorry that you know about them, because it’s such a relief, Iwa-chan. I’ve loved you for so long, for years and years now. Isn’t that pathetic? I’ve dated all these girls and broken their hearts all because I was too big of a coward to tell you how I felt.

“Iwa-chan, I understand if you need space. But please, I’m begging you, please let us still be friends. This doesn’t have to mean anything, things can go back to the way they were. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. All I need is your friendship, Iwa-chan, honestly.”

Iwaizumi felt hot all over, almost feverish. His heart pounded heavily, blood rushing in his ears. I’ve loved you for so long. The confession hung heavily between them. He tightened his grip on Oikawa when he felt him trying to pull back. Iwaizumi wasn’t about to let him go, not now. Not ever.

“You’re just as stupid as I am, dumbass,” Iwaizumi mumbled into Oikawa’s shoulder before lifting his head. He grasped Oikawa’s face between his palms and leaned in, pressing their lips together gently.

They stayed like that for a long while, long enough for the sun to completely set and for the mosquitoes to come out. Long enough for Oikawa’s father to come home from work and walk into the house, completely oblivious to them. Eventually they broke apart, mouths swollen and red, panting lightly. Oikawa stared at Iwaizumi in wonder, eyes filled with tears.

“What are you doing? Don’t cry you idiot,” Iwaizumi said fondly, butting their foreheads together.

“So mean, Iwa-chan! I’m not crying, I’m just upset by your fashion sense.” Iwaizumi looked down, and realized for the first time since leaving the kitchen that he was indeed still wearing the frilly, light blue apron.

“Shut up, if you hadn’t been such a drama queen I would have had time to take it off.”

“Still so mean to me, even after I confess my undying love to you, Iwa-chan! What’s a man to do – ” Oikawa was momentarily silenced by Iwaizumi’s lips against his.

When they pulled apart for the second time Iwaizumi leaned back and looked at Oikawa. His cheeks were flushed, his eyes were bright, and his hair was a complete mess from Iwaizumi’s hands. He looked breathtaking.

 “I love you, too. It took me a while to realize it, but when I was in America all I could think about was how even though I was having a great time, it would have been so much better if you were there with me.” He paused to roll his eyes at Oikawa’s overdramatic swoon. “What I’m trying to say, if you’ll let me finish, is that I like like you, a lot. Tooru, will you go out with me?”

“Iwa-chaaaaaaan,” Oikawa sobbed, throwing himself into Iwaizumi’s arms. Iwaizumi immediately let out a high pitched squeak when they started to slide down the incline of the roof, fingernails clawing at the rough shingles to steady himself and the overgrown child clinging to him.

“Of course I’ll go out with you, Hajime. I’ve always wanted to date a celebrity.”

“I’m not a celebrity, idiot,” Iwaizumi gasped, painfully aware that he was 20 feet above the ground.

“Yes you are, you’re Twitter famous, remember? That’s basically better than being actually famous, nowadays.” Oikawa released Iwaizumi and pulled him into his lap, stroking his hair lightly to calm him down. Iwaizumi growled but let him continue, secretly enjoying the sensation.

They stayed curled around each other until they heard Oikawa’s mother yell, “Boys, dinner’s ready!” through the open window. Untangling himself from Iwaizumi, Oikawa led the way to the window, keeping a steady hand on his boyfriend’s back.

When they were on solid ground again Iwaizumi collapsed to his knees and ran his fingers though the carpet, promising to never leave the floor again. Oikawa immediately laughed at him and called him a scaredy cat, but Iwaizumi didn’t care. He was finally safe again, away from the treacherous ledge Oikawa somehow loved.

Oikawa knelt down and picked him up, ignoring Iwaizumi’s shouts of protest and desperate squirming. “Look how cute and little you are Iwa-chan, you fit in my arms so nicely,” Oikawa cackled, kissing Iwaizumi on the nose.

“Oi, let me go,” Iwaizumi thrashed, “You’re like 5 centimeters taller than me, big deal.”

Eventually he dropped to the ground, but only after distracting Oikawa by licking his neck. “Ewwww Iwa-chan, save that for tonight, will ya,” he said, raising his eyebrows up and down suggestively.

Iwaizumi turned a dark red and immediately lunged for his throat. Oikawa shrieked and flung his door open, running towards the staircase. “GET BACK HERE,” Iwaizumi shouted, hot on his heels. They chased each other down the stairs and around the house, jumping over chairs and side tables, ignoring the protests and defeated sighs of Oikawa’s parents.

When they calmed down enough to be seated for dinner, Iwaizumi looked at Oikawa across the table. Beautiful, beautiful Oikawa, who had rice stuck on his cheek and sauce dripping down his chin. How could that idiot think that things between them would change for the worse after confessing? Couldn’t he see how head over heels Iwaizumi was for him? When their eyes met across the table they shared a shy, secret smile full of excitement and promises.

Iwaizumi couldn’t believe it, but he owed a world of thanks to that damn baby on that damn airplane. Without the literal spawn of Satan catapulting him to internet fame, Oikawa would never have gotten jealous, would never have confessed to him. Who knows how long it would have taken Iwaizumi to get the balls to do it himself.

It was because of that baby that he sat across the table from his new boyfriend, and quite possibly the love of his life. He supposed that the least he could do to show his thanks was watch the reality TV show the baby’s family starred in. Hell, he’d make Oikawa watch it with him too, just for fun (and great make out opportunities). Besides, anything would be better than watching Alien Space Predators 3: Quest for Vengeance for the 20th time, Iwaizumi thought with a small smile, looking at his boyfriend adoringly before reaching across the table to wipe the sauce off his stupid (yet adorable) face.