They were three quarters of the way to school that morning when Hanamaki finally caved and said, “Is nobody going to ask about what the fuck is up with Oikawa’s damn head?”
And as if struck with a single spotlight, Oikawa finally beamed and said, “Elementary, my dear Makki.”
There were groans all around, then, and, “Shouldn’t have asked,” Hanamaki acquiesced amid the halfhearted protests. Oikawa just adjusted the earflaps on his hat with a smug smile and started walking backwards to face them, a dangerous game considering the light dusting of snow.
“You’re carrying our cake, Sherlock,” Iwaizumi warned around his box of tinsel.
“And I’ll carry it to term,” Oikawa shot back, flashing a peace sign. Matsukawa snorted, and Iwaizumi looked mildly disgusted. Still, Oikawa cleared his throat and sobered as he announced, “There is a thief in our midst, friends.”
They slowed. Hanamaki raised an eyebrow. “What are you talking about?”
“Here’s the deal,” said Oikawa somberly, and started talking.
Two days ago
[6:45 am] : The Subject
“Oh, Captain Andor’s still here!”
“Who?” Iwaizumi said, peering into Oikawa’s bag with him.
(For a second Oikawa stalled. They were close enough that the spikes of Iwaizumi’s hair were brushing against his cheek, and when Oikawa breathed in he could smell the clean scent of the aftershave he’d gifted him.
I’m going to marry Iwa-chan if it’s the last thing I do, Oikawa vowed, even though it was probably an extreme reaction to just affirming how fantastic and fresh Iwaizumi could smell.)
“Oh, your graphic novel,” said Iwaizumi, rolling his eyes. “Forgot to take it out of your bag?” He tossed the keys casually to Yahaba as he and Oikawa left the club room.
And so the graphic novel in question stayed in Oikawa’s gym bag, inside his locker, inside a locked club room.
[12:00 pm] : The Suspects
Oikawa wasn’t usually this popular (much to his chagrin), but Captain Andor sure was. He found himself smack dab in a group of classmates all asking after his copy.
He was giving the previous issues an enthusiastic review when his friends sauntered into the room to drag him to lunch, to make sure he ate something that wasn’t just an empty carb, with Iwaizumi saying, “Oikawa, you’d fall in love with anyone in a damn vest, wouldn’t you?”
(If there were such a thing as heavenly visions, in that moment Oikawa believed he’d received one. It was the image of Iwaizumi in a vest and loose cotton shirt, armed with a blaster in each hand. “Get down!” Iwaizumi would say, voice gruff, returning fire, and Oikawa was dead certain he was going to be pitching this concept to that Karasuno kid who liked to make the movies.)
Oikawa shook himself out of the vision, astounded, #blessed. “If we’re following the same logic, though, wouldn’t that mean Iwa-chan would be in love with every lizard he sees?”
[4:00 pm] : Possible Window for the Crime
Oikawa didn’t think to check on Captain Andor before they stared afternoon practice. Why would he? (Instead his eyes roamed the planes of Iwaizumi’s back as he changed, and though he managed a cool grin when Iwaizumi turned and raised an eyebrow at him, he still felt his ears heat up to the tips from where his mind wandered regardless.)
[6:00 pm] : … It’s a Pretty Wide Window
Fresh from the shower, Oikawa said, “Iwa-chan, let’s—“
Iwaizumi’s eyes were wide in the twilight, green as anything, as he laced up his school shoes. He tugged and knotted them, then tossed the club room keys to a startled Kunimi. (His easy grace knocked the breath out of Oikawa.)
“Lock up, okay?”
[6:30 pm] : Another Possible Crime Scene
Oikawa didn’t know what he was thinking, really, when he jumped in front of Iwaizumi. “I’m hit!” he choked out as the snowball nailed him in the chest, but things were a little more serious in an instant when he felt his knee wobble under him and his hand close in a fist around Iwaizumi’s blazer.
They went down together in a tangle of limbs and warmth and flashes of the sky turning deeper and deeper blue, and bemusedly Oikawa thought that this might not be a bad way to go.
The snow caught them with a stale puff, with Iwaizumi’s solid weight on Oikawa’s chest. When Oikawa opened his eyes again Iwaizumi was already looking at him, and when Iwaizumi propped himself up the look became so, so tender, warm enough to melt the snow.
It was times like these where Oikawa could hope that Iwa-chan did know, that he understood this perfectly and accepted it the way he did so many of Oikawa’s antics.
“Onii-chan, are you okay?!” There were kids running up to them from all sides now, a cacophony of high voices both worried and whooping.
“You took a bullet for me,” Iwaizumi said with mock seriousness.
“I’d do it again,” Oikawa replied, just as evenly. But it was barely a second before his character broke and his face split into a grin, and then Iwaizumi was laughing and helping him up, gathering his things and properly zipping up his schoolbag for him.
When they were standing Iwaizumi shot Oikawa a look, and understanding passed between them quiet and simple. They surveyed the kids in the park, eyes narrowed.
“I’m going to have to avenge my friend here,” Iwaizumi grinned, and left Oikawa cackling as the kids scattered, screaming and laughing.
[7:00pm] : The Realization
There was the urge to light a prayer vigil and invoke Diego Luna’s name, but Oikawa figured he probably left the thing at school.
The next day
The book wasn’t in Oikawa’s locker, but stupid Iwaizumi Hajime and his smile, all bright and easy and sure, like some glorious poster boy for the intergalactic rebellion. And fuck how he can read minds know something’s wrong. Fuck Iwa-chan.
As Iwaizumi left for class Oikawa allowed himself a wry smile. I’m trying.
The new compilation of Captain Andor should have been released in Japan by now, according to Oikawa’s intel, but that was almost useless information considering he hadn’t read the last one. Which had been in his bag. In a locker. In a locked club—
The packet of milkbread landed in his lap unceremoniously. Iwaizumi’s eyes were soft again, even as he jostled Oikawa’s shoulder when he sat.
“I’m sure you just misplaced it,” Iwaizumi said, and Oikawa was easily ready to believe him.
“Shittykawa. Trashykawa. Oikawa. Tooru,” Iwaizumi called, and Oikawa nearly had a coronary on the spot. Iwaizumi got very powerful very suddenly when he used Oikawa’s name like that. “It’ll turn up. I promise.”
“And now,” Oikawa said, turning to face forward again as they approached the school gates. “After turning both the school and my room upside down and inside out, I’ve decided to open a proper investigation.”
“You’d better not be interrogating people at our Christmas party,” Iwaizumi threatened.
“I bet it was Watari,” Matsukawa volunteered. “It’s always the most innocent-looking ones who have the darkest secrets.”
Oikawa shook his head. “Nobody’s getting interrogated, don’t worry. I pieced together everything I know from your schedules and what you all mention to me, and it seems like everyone on the team checks out.”
“I’d call that efficient if it weren’t also pretty creepy,” Hanamaki said, chipper. Oikawa grinned at him.
“Well, if it wasn’t an inside job, who else could have had access to the club room?”
Matsukawa knocked on the club room door with his elbow. It swung open to Kindaichi’s harried face.
“We may have a lead!” he beamed, though, as soon as he caught sight of Oikawa.
Coming down the walkway Iwaizumi froze. The look on his face was almost betrayal, as if Oikawa had hijacked his very own son.
Oikawa just tilted his head at him.
“I’ve enlisted the help of our wonderful kouhai: Kindaichi-kun, who has read enough Batman to become the world’s greatest detective himself, and Kunimi-chan, who apparently watches a lot of noir detective movies.”
“Lean on him, Kunimi,” Hanamaki egged on, to which Kunimi nodded thoughtfully at.
Iwaizumi just heaved a deep sigh. “Take this,” he said to Kindaichi, handing him the box of tinsel. “I’m going to find Irihata-san and Mizoguchi-san in the faculty room.”
They mumbled their “mmm, later”s, and Oikawa followed Kindaichi and Kunimi into the club room. “So what have you got for me, boys?”
“Well, we pieced together everything we know based on the team’s schedules and about them in general, and almost everyone checks out pretty well.”
Yahaba looked horrified. “We are a really clingy team.”
Oikawa waved away his concern with a hum that meant something like ‘no, that’s good’, before turning back to the first years. “You said almost everyone?”
A look passed between Kindaichi and Kunimi. “It’s minor, but we’ve realized we’ve received conflicting information, Sir.”
Kindaichi bounced on his heels. “Well, from you.”
Oikawa stared. “It’s just Iwaizumi-senpai,” Kindaichi continued, as if he were stepping across a field of eggshells. “Kunimi and I went out for dinner last night after you messaged us, and Iwaizumi was at the comics store.”
Oikawa’s eyes narrowed.
Iwa-chan did u fall thru the ice or sth, his text had read, and Iwaizumi had replied something along the lines of, im working shittykawa and helping his mother with dinner.
And Iwaizumi could come and go as he pleased, but Oikawa was now officially burning curious. “What was he doing?”
“Just talking to Chiyo-san at the counter, from what we could tell” said Kunimi. “He didn’t see us.” Beside him, Hanamaki perked up.
“We talking about Chiyo-san at the comic store? I love her,” he said sincerely, and now Oikawa was blazing, itching, burning curious.
It was then that Iwaizumi chose to open the club room door, announcing, “They’ll join us later for cake, and wine if we have any, according to Irihata—“
Oikawa’s tackle took him around the waist and dragged him right back out the door. “Iwaizumi Hajime, you’re my prime suspect, and I’m going to have to ask you some questions.”
The door slammed shut behind them.
They ended up by the chain link fence that ran the perimeter of Aoba Johsai, with Oikawa trying for a mantra of keep calm keep calm keep calm in his head.
“Did you know Kindaichi and Kunimi were at the comics store yesterday,” Oikawa said, the question coming out flat.
Iwaizumi froze, his arm mid-reach. Oikawa’s heart wrenched in his chest.
“It’s funny you didn’t want me to know about her,” he said, standing stock still as if he were rooted to the earth even amid the sensation of falling, falling. His next words were a dangerous, deceptive calm. “Why, Iwa-chan?”
“Oikawa, it’s not—“
Oikawa was good at this, the fake-it-til-you-make-it modus operandi. But his feelings were like a deluge rushing towards a dam, cracking his calm and beginning to spill the words out of his mouth. “Was it because you thought I’d meddle? That I’d embarrass you, or something?”
“Or was it so you could let me down easy?”
The silence hung in the air between them like frost. Still, when Iwaizumi spoke next, his tone burned. “What?”
“You’re not stupid, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa spat, and that was the jealousy rearing its ugly head and sinking its claws into Oikawa’s words. “There’s no way you can’t have noticed, not after all this time.” And I demand a proper rejection, at the very least an answer, and those words were like whiskey down Oikawa’s throat.
Iwaizumi’s hands were balled into fists. Oikawa wanted to scoff at him because, damn, was he close to smacking Iwaizumi too—but be that as it may, when Iwaizumi turned the full weight of his gaze on him it was Oikawa who cowed. He tried not to show it, to set his jaw hard, but Iwaizumi was stalking into his space and backing him up, up against the fence. Schlink, and Iwaizumi had one of his hands closed around the chain link by Oikawa’s head.
“You’re the shittiest fuckin’ detective, Oikawa,” Iwaizumi said. “The fuckin’ worst.”
“What the fuck--?”
“Do I have to spell it out for you? Do I have to write it out in the snow with my goddamn piss or something?”
“Um, okay, wait—“
“I took Captain Andor.”
“From right under my nose, I fuckin’ knew it,” Oikawa hissed.
“No, you didn’t,” Iwaizumi said evenly. “If you want it, it’s with Matsukawa, because I handed it to him the other day after I panicked and took it.”
“I was going to take a quick photo of it, for reference, so I could show it to Chiyo-san and she could tell me which one to buy you for Christmas.”
“Chiyo-san, who’s cute and all but way to invested in Captain Andor to think about dating an actual 3D person. Especially not me. So this is not me ‘letting you down easy’, you idiot.
“I’m so fucking invested in you.” Iwaizumi’s free hand was busy digging into his jacket pocket. “We’ve been best friends since as long as I can remember. I know you—“ Iwaizumi cursed and broke eye contact to scowl threateningly at his pocket. “—better than I know myself. I can read your goddamned mind, Oikawa.”
Iwaizumi finally pulled the thing out of his pocket. Oikawa stared. It was one of those western holiday baubles, mistletoe, with berries a stark kind of red against their grey backdrop and its plastic leaves almost a sorry kind of green compared to Iwaizumi’s eyes. Oikawa and Iwaizumi’s breath mixed and clouded in the air in front of them, and behind his confusion Oikawa felt himself start to warm.
“I’ve been walking around with mistletoe in my pocket to contribute to our Christmas party. Mistletoe, because Makki and Mattsun suggested it and that would have given me a damn reason to kiss you. What can you deduce from that, Sherlock?”
Oikawa swallowed hard. All his anger had evaporated like an ice cube in the summer, and now all that was left was a not unpleasant fluttering in his stomach. “I’d say I’m a pretty good detective,” he chuckled softly, averting his eyes. He wanted to cry. “Looks like I got that confession.”
Iwaizumi let out a huff of breath in disbelief.
“You didn’t really need a reason to kiss me, Iwa-chan.”
“Damn right, I didn’t,” Iwaizumi said, and leaned in for that kiss.
“So both of you are soaked and like an inch shy of being in each other’s clothes. Shall we guess what happened?” said Hanamaki when they returned.
“I have it.” Matsukawa tipped his head back so he could see them from where he sat on the floor. “I’ve deduced that these two were making out wildly when they fell back against a tree and knocked the snow loose from its branches.”
Oikawa’s mouth floundered a little, but Iwaizumi’s eyes just narrowed. “And what makes you even think—“
“Elementary, my dear Iwaizumi. The second years saw everything when we sent them out for ice.”
Yahaba and Watari grinned. Kyoutani looked like he did not particularly appreciate this.
“Congratulations, love bugs, it took you way too long,” Matsukawa said, but his grin was real and wide, and Hanamaki looked like he was damn ready to throw petals into their path. “So do you still want Captain Andor back?”
Oikawa grinned in return. “Yeah, I’ll need to read it before I can read my present from Iwa-chan.”