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The Nearness of You

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There's something slow and warm in Iwaizumi's eyes as they stare it each other. Molten, Tooru thinks, skin warming up where Iwaizumi's fingers rest against his palms.

Though the time spent apart is always so busy - scheduled down to the last minute, never leaving Tooru enough spare seconds to consciously think about it - it's moments like these when Tooru finally feels how much he's missed Iwaizumi's closeness.

Sometimes reunion is a flurry of movement: Iwaizumi barrelling into him, enveloping him in an embrace so tight it chokes the air out of Tooru's lungs until he lets up.

That, or sometimes: their hands grasping at each other's clothes, faces buried in each other's necks until lips start to wander; bodies pressed closer together as their mouths devour quickly, sloppily; fast and hard the only things on their minds until their racing hearts calm down.

Sometimes it's a wave from the platform, a "welcome back, shittykawa", a huff of a laugh from Iwaizumi, a hand that lingers just a little longer after Tooru's shoulder gets slapped in greeting.

Sometimes it's half a meter's distance until they reach home.

But sometimes it's like today, when Iwaizumi meets him at the door and slowly steps back to let him in - a moment's pause between the breath they both take in and the first hesitant touch.

Iwaizumi's fingers stray, exchanging the roughness of Tooru's palm for the silken skin of his wrists, fingertips pressed into Tooru's pulse. Tooru can see his reaction mirrored in Iwaizumi's face: Tooru's raised heartbeat matches Iwaizumi's widened pupils; there's Tooru's dry mouth and the small smile tugging at the corner of Iwaizumi's.

When he steps closer, Iwaizumi does too and their bodies slot together: their arms go to their sides automatically to make space for the movement, chest to chest and faces close, eyes searching.

Tooru can't look away.

Iwaizumi's eyes have always been pretty - Tooru said so the first time they met and that had earned him his very first Iwa-chan trademark glare - but never as beautiful as they are in these moments.

The moments when Iwaizumi meets his gaze head-on and holds it; slides one hand up Tooru's arm to his shoulder; a single squeeze before the backs of his fingers brush the side of Tooru's neck, up and up; when his fingertips come to rest under Tooru's ear, palm pressed against his cheek.

Tooru leans into the touch, almost closes his eyes.


"Iwa-chan," he wants to say, but the sound gets stuck in his throat when Iwaizumi's other hand lets go of his wrist, both of them cupping Tooru's face now and pulling him down.

Iwaizumi presses his warm lips against Tooru's forehead and something in Tooru unwinds the longer Iwaizumi looks at him after, his face so warm, warm, warm between Iwaizumi's burning hands.

And that's the thing that always leads him home, the thing that - after trips, foreign countries and stunning sights of places he's never been - makes him return to this place, to Iwaizumi.

Tooru fits in everywhere, but there's only one person with whom everything falls into place, only one place where he belongs.

He wraps his arms around Iwaizumi's waist, pulls him  a little closer, and when their bodies slot together, it feels like his breath is fleeing his lungs. It's a strange feeling, and Tooru can never get enough of it - of Iwaizumi in his arms; of Iwaizumi in his bed, next to him on the sofa or around the corner of the breakfast table; of having him close enough for Tooru to just reach out and touch him or knowing Iwaizumi is there, and he isn't leaving.

He tries again  and this time the words come out.

"Iwa-chan," he says, his voice thick with something he didn't mean to let show, but it's okay, because Iwaizumi's eyes soften, because Iwaizumi's lips finally pull into an actual smile.

"Welcome home," Iwaizumi tells him and if this were ten years ago, Tooru would do anything to break this mood. He'd say something stupid, brush his own ego right in front of Iwaizumi to piss him off, to make Iwaizumi raise his voice and let the warmth and the... expectant mood bleed out of the air between them.

He knows better now, though. Iwaizumi's here, he's here to stay and Tooru is allowed to hold him close, to be sappy, to kiss him, to show him how much he's loved Iwaizumi since forever.

So that's exactly what he does.

Instead of lightening the mood, Tooru nods and brings his own hands up to Iwaizumi's face too, pushing Iwaizumi's hands so they drop from his cheeks to his shoulders and he whispers an "I'm home" against Iwaizumi's lips.

Iwaizumi's the first to break, like he always is, but Tooru's heart still beats louder and faster at the press of Iwaizumi's mouth. The kiss is slow, warm. Tooru wants it to go on forever, to just lie down next to Iwaizumi and kiss him until they both fall asleep. And why shouldn't he?

"Bed," Tooru murmurs in the moments their mouths move apart, "let's go."

Iwaizumi leans back, looks him in the eyes.

"I'm not.. not today?" he tries, and Tooru's so glad he gets it, that he knows what that means, that he knows how he can ease that low simmer of insecurity that makes Iwaizumi search for words. He once again wishes he could erase the time Iwaizumi spent worrying about it when they were both younger.

"It's okay,” Tooru assures him, “there's no need.”

He runs his hands through Iwaizumi’s hair and drops another kiss on the corner of his mouth.

“Let's just lie down and cuddle up?" he suggests. “That’s what I meant to say anyway.”

Iwaizumi lets out another soft laugh and to Tooru’s delight, the smile sticks to his face. One of the perks of being away: Iwaizumi always seems to smile so much more right after Tooru returns. Tooru loves Iwaizumi for all his rough edges and stoicism when it comes to expressing actual feelings, but he’d be lying if he said this softly smiling Iwa-chan isn’t his favourite.

Iwaizumi tugs him through the apartment by his wrist and Tooru gladly follows him. The suitcase, Tooru’s backpack, everything’s left in the genkan. His coat is buried under his clothes, all of them draped over the chair in the bedroom, abandoned in favour of soft flannel pyjamas and a cosy blanket covering them both.

Tooru crawls closer to Iwaizumi, face to face, knees pulled up and hands clasped together, close to Iwaizumi’s. He feels like he’s eight again, sneaking into Iwaizumi’s bedroom and holding a secret weekday sleepover. Just like then, Iwaizumi’s eyes search his own, both of them quiet in the dark.

He can see Iwaizumi’s eyes growing heavier, his own gaze drooping as the minutes crawl by, but it’s like a match, with unspoken rules: the first to reach out, the first to touch… Well, Tooru doesn’t really know what the repercussions would be, but somehow they always fall into this habit, before bed.

So he waits.

He waits for Iwaizumi’s eyes to close and snap open several times, he waits until he’s starting to fall asleep himself, until he starts to think maybe this time he won’t be able to stay awake long enough for Iwaizumi to give in first.

Then he stretches his arm, places a hand on Iwaizumi’s back and pulls him against his chest, until their limbs are entangled, until Iwaizumi’s head is on his chest. Iwaizumi rubs his face against Tooru’s shirt a few times before he settles down and lets out a long sigh, content.

For a while, Tooru listens to Iwaizumi’s breathing slowing down, deepening until Tooru’s sure he’s fallen asleep. Here, with Iwaizumi so close and relaxed, Tooru unwinds in a way he can’t do when he’s away, and he relishes the feeling of Iwaizumi’s nearness, the comfort of the quiet sounds that indicate not just another person in the same room, but Iwaizumi – the unintelligible mumbling, the sleepy sighs.

This night, it doesn’t take long for sleep to come.