It was the one time Suga left the ringer on his phone and that just made the call seem all the more foreboding as the beeping echoed through their quiet apartment.
It was his second upsetting phone call of the night, actually, and he was hoping it was the last.
The first one wasn’t that big a deal, since it was only Daichi. Suga was no stranger to calls from Daichi telling him that he would be home late from work. It was frustrating, he would admit, because it was rainy and cold and their apartment wasn’t anything incredibly expensive and Suga had been looking forward to spending the night curled up next to Daichi: The Human Furnace.
But he could live without it. While it was frustrating, it was something he was definitely used to.
What he wasn’t used to were desperate phone calls from his friend as he attempted to explain a traumatic experience with one’s boyfriend.
Oikawa’s frantic voice blared through his speakers as soon as the call connected and Suga scrambled to sit up in bed.
“Whoa, Tooru!” His words blurred together, just a massive blurb of sound rather than words that Suga could actually understand. He wiped over his eyes to rub away the half sleep he had fallen into. “Slow down, I can barely hear you. What’s going on?”
He tried to keep his voice as calm as possible but his heart was thundering in his chest, his fear growing as he realized that Oikawa was close to tears, or maybe already at that point.
“I can’t -- Suga-chan, I don’t know. H-he got so upset. I--”
“What happened?” he demanded as he struggled to get out of his bed, driven into movement by Oikawa’s obvious panic. His blanket tangled around his feet, tripping him as he tried to stand and sending him falling hard into his side table. His grunt of pain was masked by the crash of the lamp, the lightbulb shattering as it hit the panelled floor.
He lost track of the conversation slightly as he untangled himself from the fabric and carefully avoided the pieces of glass but his attention refocused immediately when he heard Oikawa mention a knife.
“What?!” He was already reaching for his wallet, fully intending to catch the next bus and head directly to Oikawa’s. “Did you call the police?”
“Yes, I called them and then Iwa-chan. He’s on his way over--”
Well, that was at least one piece of good news and it caused Suga to pause. A sigh blew past his lips and he closed his eyes, his wallet falling out of his fingers and thumping onto the ground. If Iwaizumi was on his way, then Suga was sure he didn’t need to head over, too.
“--but I wanted someone to talk to while I waited.”
“Of course!” Suga was quick to agree, willing to do anything to help put Oikawa at ease and make himself feel as though he were helping to make this situation better in some way. “What’s going on now? Are you safe?” Despite being relieved to hear that Iwaizumi was on the way, Suga didn’t know how long it would take him to reach Oikawa’s apartment
“I’m okay, umm… just hiding in my bathroom because it’s the only door that locks…” Oikawa’s voice trailed off in a way that was doing nothing to help repair Suga’s frayed nerves.
He bit harshly at his lip as he began pacing around his own apartment. His fingers gripped at his phone tightly as he attempted to suppress their shaking. Oikawa had to know how much he was putting Suga on edge with his vague comments and reluctance to really explain anything. He frequently made fun of Suga for how much he worried about people, and yet, he was going to hit him with this phone call and then do nothing to help assure Suga that he was safe?
But he refused to pry, even if those answers would help himself calm down. This was about what Oikawa needed, not Suga. So he let Oikawa dodge the question every time he asked for more details, laughing them away or changing the subject by asking Suga how his classes were doing or what Daichi was up to.
They talked about nothing and everything for what felt like hours but was only about ten minutes, according to the call timer on his phone, and the shaky undertone of Oikawa’s voice seemed to fade the more time they spent chatting.
There was a loud noise through the phone that had Suga jumping. “What was that?”
“Ahh, I think the police are here so I have to go out and talk to them... Damn. I was really hoping that Iwa would be here by now… Hey, Suga..? Do you think you could just stay on the line with me?”
“Of course!” He didn’t know if he’d be able to hang up, anyways. The tremor was back in Oikawa’s voice now that he had to answer the door and Suga didn’t want to stop talking to him, either.
Though, he might have underestimated how unnerving the slight shuffling noise on the other end of the line was. What if Oikawa had been wrong and the police weren’t there? What if his boyfriend was still feeling violent and he hurt him? What would Suga do then?
His throat was tight with panic and it was getting difficult to breathe. He clumsily pushed the door that led out to their balcony. It swung open and he was immediately hit with a gust of chilled air, easily penetrating the fabric of his sweater and washing over his skin as goosebumps pricked up his arms.
Sucking in a deep breath, Suga stepped out onto the damp patio and shivered, the chilly air surging down his throat and to his lungs. It was uncomfortable at first but quickly turned refreshing, a shock to his senses that cleared his airways and let him breathe easier, despite his worry.
The night was as quiet as the phone line, the last of the storm clouds blowing away to make way for the moon and stars to shine brightly, lighting up the night with silver beams.
He leaned on the railing, staring out into the darkened street below him. It was empty, any nightcrawlers driven inside by the unpredictable weather. He watched a lonely car pull into the parking lot of the apartment complex across the street, the tail lights disappearing behind the sharp corner of the building.
As Suga turned his head, his eye caught on a shadow filling the doorway. He nearly jumped out of his skin, fingers clutching at his phone still pressed to his ear as he watched the shadow stretch and warp as it moved.
“Sorry.” Daichi’s low, familiar voice emerged from the shadow and easily reached him through the stillness of their balcony, cutting through the quiet night with the ease of a knife. “It’s just me.”
Suga shook his head as he rested a hand to his chest, heart pounding wildly under his fingers and he took a deep breath in an effort to calm down. “It’s fine,” he assured softly as Daichi took a step towards him.
“What are you doing out here?” He was still dressed in his work uniform, all that creased fabric making him look bigger than he was. His badge glinted in the moonlight, drawing Suga’s eye in the way that the angles changed with each breath Daichi took. “It’s cold.”
Suga nodded as he turned around, away from Daichi and back towards the street. That was why he came out here in the first place. The apartment was too stifling with the weight of Oikawa’s panic pushing down on him, and the fact that he was alone didn’t help. He needed some way to allow himself to breathe if he was going to be able to offer any reassurance. Only one of them could panic at a time. That was their rule.
Daichi’s boots cracked over the patio as he crossed the balcony, coming closer to lean on the railing beside him and wrap an arm around Suga’s waist. He leaned into the embrace gratefully, despite the uniform fabric being scratchy and tough against him.
“Why haven’t you changed?” he couldn’t help but ask as he waited for Oikawa to return to the line. Daichi came home with hard edges of metal and stale leather stink, hazards of the workplace that Suga despised. It intruded on their quiet apartment without welcome, combatting Suga’s gentle touches and soft sweaters as they tried to relax into each other.
“I went into the bedroom and you weren’t there,” Daichi explained as he squeezed Suga against him, both of them ignoring how uncomfortable Suga was feeling in favour of being closer. “What happened in there? All the lights were out and I couldn’t find you.”
The unspoken I was worried lingered beneath the words and Suga sighed. He craned his neck to press a reassuring kiss to Daichi’s cheek, his skin feeling hot under his lips.
Daichi always needed a little extra attention after coming home from long shifts and Suga could tell that this had been a busy or emotionally taxing day for him. He was sure he would get the details tomorrow; talking about work this late, right before trying to fall asleep, always put Daichi on edge so Suga made the effort to reign in his curiosity until the morning.
“Sorry. I knocked the lamp over by accident. Be careful when you go in there. There’s glass on the floor.”
It didn’t explain why Suga was outside in the first place but Daichi didn’t push. Instead, he squinted as he looked Suga over silently. Unable to find any injury, he nodded and pulled him closer, arms reaching around his waist and squeezing him into his chest.
Suga let out a slight huff at the impact but couldn't stop his lips from quirking up in a small smile. Daichi nuzzled his face into his neck, inhaling deeply and kissing over his pulse once. Suga closed his eyes, letting himself get lost in Daichi’s calm affection and trying to push the worry out of his mind for just a second.
He raised his free hand and tangled it in Daichi’s hair, pulling the short strands through his fingers and listening to Daichi’s pleased hum against him. The rumbling on his shoulder drew another smile out of him, enough of a distraction that Suga almost forgot he was on the phone.
He pulled it away from his face with a frown and glanced at the screen, checking to see if Oikawa had hung up on him. The call was still connected, so Oikawa must still be speaking with the police. It was taking longer than Suga expected… He hoped that didn’t mean something was wrong.
Daichi was getting heavier against him as the seconds dragged on and Suga knew he had to say something, lest Daichi fall asleep on him and send them both tumbling to the ground.
“Head to bed, Dai,” he whispered, shrugging his shoulder to rouse Daichi out of whatever slumber he had fallen into. He rolled his eyes when Daichi squeezed him tighter. “I’ll meet you there once I’m done with this call.”
It took him a while to raise his head and, once he did, his eyes were drooping, blinking slowly with the effort to stay open. His limbs were heavy with fatigue, a hand slowly rising to thunk onto the side of Suga’s face. He flinched lightly and managed a smile.
“Okay, but will you at least come inside?” Daichi requested as his thumb lazily stroked over Suga’s cheekbone. “It’s freezing out here.”
He relented only because he knew Daichi would refuse to leave his side if he were to stay out in the cold. And he didn’t want to be the reason Daichi fell sick and couldn’t go into work.
Daichi refused to let go of him, wrapping warm fingers around his wrist and tugging him inside before turning to firmly shut the door to the balcony. Suga watched as he turned the lock, checking to make sure that the door was secure.
He nodded once before pressing a kiss to Suga’s temple and giving him one last lingering look before turning towards their bathroom.
Suga was left standing in the middle of their living area, the sound of the shower turning on finally prompting him to move. He collapsed on the couch instead of heading into their bedroom. He didn’t know how long he'd be awake on the phone and he didn’t want to keep Daichi up by tossing and turning beside him.
He leaned his head back to rest against the back of the couch with a sigh. Oikawa was still silent on the line and the panic that the cool air and Daichi had slowly been working to erase was building back in Suga steadily with each passing second that he didn’t hear his voice.
“Hey, are you still there?” he couldn’t help but ask into the receiver. There was no answer. He gritted his teeth.
Iwaizumi was there with him, right? Oikawa should be fine, despite whatever awful thing had happened. And he said he was talking to the police. Suga just had to be patient; Oikawa would get back to him when he was available.
He repeated this to himself for the next few minutes, continuing long after he heard the shower turn off and the bathroom door open. Daichi wasn’t being loud but everything he did seemed to cut through the silence of the apartment, a familiar song that Suga was grateful to hear. It was strangely relaxing, knowing that he wasn’t alone anymore. That, if anything happened, Daichi would be there with him.
A low beep in his ear startled him out of his thoughts and he sat up quickly.
“Oikawa?” he asked even as the dial tone droned through his ear, the sound snaking into his head and twisting into the beginning of a headache. “Are you there?”
He wasn’t expecting a response, but the lack of one still sent a jolt of panic and disappointment through him. He jabbed the end call button and dropped his head into his hands.
He hadn’t even said goodbye, the call had just dropped. What did that mean? Had Oikawa accidentally hit a button? Or did his battery run out? Suga didn’t want to call him back and interrupt him so he sent a quick text message instead, hoping to receive a response sooner rather than later.
Soft footsteps grabbed his attention, quiet as they may be, and Suga wasn’t even phased as the cushion beside him shifted and Daichi sat down on the couch.
“Why are you still out here?” Daichi asked when Suga didn’t lift his head to look at him. It was a valiant effort on his part, but he could easily hear the gentle concern lying in the syllables. Daichi was being careful, unsure what was going on but doing his best to try and help, anyways. Bless him.
“Why aren’t you asleep?” he asked instead, feeling a horrible wave of guilt crash over him. He knew why Daichi wasn’t curled up and relaxed in bed, dreaming peacefully and getting the rest he so desperately needed but never had enough time for.
Daichi made a quiet huffing sound in the back of his throat and replied with another question. “Did something happen?
And what was Suga supposed to say to that? He barely even knew what happened, Oikawa had given him such little information. How could he possibly explain it when he didn’t even know what was going on?
Turning his head and glancing up, he found Daichi staring at him, brow furrowed in concern and eyes glinting in the dull moonlight that reached them through the curtains.
He felt awful. He was being uncommonly closed off and cryptic and he could tell it was only putting Daichi on edge. Suga sighed and reached over to rest his hand on Daichi’s knee. He dropped his own hand on top of Suga’s immediately, leaning closer.
“Sort of,” Suga mumbled in answer, unsure of where to start. He glanced back at his phone but the screen remained dark.
Daichi’s hand twitched. “Are you alright?”
And Suga couldn’t help his smile because of course Daichi’s first priority was making sure he was okay.
“I’m fine.” The answer did nothing to comfort him and Daichi’s frown deepened, his fingers clenching slightly on Suga’s.
“I promise,” he added as he squeezed Daichi’s knee, realizing that the answer he gave was usually one that meant things were not fine at all.
“Who were you on the phone with?” he asked, following Suga’s gaze to his device.
“Oikawa,” Suga answered quietly.
“His boyfriend…” Suga mumbled. “Something happened -- something bad -- and he called me wanting to talk but now he’s not answering so…” He trailed off and he knew it sounded ominous but that was all the information he had.
Daichi hummed, no doubt feeling Suga’s fear despite him trying to hide most of it, and he nodded again. “So, you’re worried,” he concluded.
Suga scoffed at the understatement. “Yeah, you could definitely say that.” How else was he supposed to feel? How would Daichi feel if Hinata or Noya had called him with something like this? Not that they had to worry about that but, still.
“Do you want me to head over there?” Daichi asked slowly.
Suga shook his head. “No, I was about to myself but Oikawa said not to bother,” he answered, ignoring Daichi’s huff. “The police are already there and he called Iwaizumi over.”
Daichi hummed in acknowledgment and reached over to rest a tentative hand on Suga’s back. The warmth from his hand was as comforting as always and he couldn’t stop himself from leaning towards him.
“I love you for offering, though,” he said as he rested his head on Daichi’s shoulder, pressing a kiss over the fabric.
Daichi sighed and reached forward, arm wrapping around Suga’s shoulders and pulling him into his side. And Suga let him, because he would never pass up an opportunity to be in Daichi’s arms.
“And I’d love it,” Daichi started as he leaned back so he could sit more comfortably against the couch, pulling Suga with him, barely giving him a chance to swipe up his phone before he was completely encased in Daichi’s arms, “if you’d wait for me to get home before heading into a potentially dangerous situation.”
He settled down in Daichi’s lap and rested his head back on his shoulder, snuggling closer into him while Daichi’s arms fully encircled him. “Don’t be dramatic, I would have been fine.”
Daichi only hummed against him, clearly not looking for an argument, and they settled into a comfortable silence.
He felt better, lighter, after telling Daichi about what was bothering him. He was still checking his phone to see if Oikawa had messaged him back but it was less frequently. The feeling of Daichi’s chest rising and falling beside him was grounding, and whenever he felt like his panic might set back in, he focused on matching his breathing to Daichi’s.
Eventually, Daichi’s breathing noticeably slowed and Suga glanced up to see his eyes had fallen shut. The corners of his lips turned down and he shifted slightly, his movement making Daichi’s eyes blink open to stare at him sleepily.
“You should go to bed,” Suga suggested softly, his one hand gripping his phone tightly and the other trailing over Daichi’s chest. He was wearing one of his old college t-shirts, the faded letters peeling from countless washes. He traced his fingers over the words, trying to give himself some kind of distraction.
Daichi’s sigh ruffled his hair and his arms tightened around him. He turned his head so his lips rested against Suga’s forehead as he spoke. “You know I can’t sleep if you’re not beside me.”
Suga huffed, doing his best to fight down the blush that spread across his face; even after being together for years, Daichi still had the ability to fluster him with just a few sweet words. “I don’t know, you seem to have no problem when you fall asleep on the couch while I’m marking my lessons.”
“That’s because you’re at the desk right across from me,” he mumbled, lips brushing gently across his hairline. “And I don’t have to worry about you freezing to death outside on the balcony.”
Suga rolled his eyes. “Don’t be dramatic,” he chided, tapping Daichi’s chest twice. “I came inside.”
“But not to bed,” Daichi whined. He rubbed his nose into Suga’s hair, his complaint fading into silver strands.
“I don’t know how long I’ll be up waiting and worrying,” Suga explained and he ducked out from under Daichi’s face so he could look at him. “I didn’t want to keep you awake.”
“Too late for that.”
Suga frowned in response. That was true but this was Daichi’s fault. He was the one who came out here and sat with him, asking him what was wrong and being his usual, caring self.
“Sorry,” Daichi chuckled, his thumb coming up to rest on Suga’s bottom lip, rubbing his pout away. “I only meant that I can’t sleep if you’re up worrying—”
“No, I know,” Suga assured with a soft pat to Daichi’s arm. “I know it’s my fault you’re still up. You had a hard day at work today, didn’t you?”
Daichi’s hand fell away from his face and his chest expanded in a sigh. Suga waited patiently for him to answer, his fingers returning to their tracing over his chest. He could feel the tension in Daichi’s body, see the way that his lips pinched together and how the muscles in his arms twitched around him.
“Yeah,” he eventually whispered, leaning down to bury his face into Suga’s shoulder. Suga frowned at the exhaustion that he was so worried about showing up so blatantly in the one word answer.
He moved his hand to Daichi’s forearm, his fingers following over the veins stretching under his skin in an attempt to relax him. “Do you want to talk about it?”
At the question, all the work he had done trying to relax him was undone. Daichi pulled away from him slightly, his jaw clenched as he answered. “No.”
Suga bit his lip and only nodded. He was expecting the answer and the sharp tone didn’t bother him like it used to.
He raised his head and shifted up so he could reach Daichi’s face. His eyes were almost glazed over, staring at a blank point on the wall and unblinking as he lost himself in his thoughts.
Suga took a breath and reached his free hand up to rest on Daichi’s cheek, nudging his face over so he was looking at him.
As worried as Suga was when Daichi’s eyes got like that, a horrible part of him always loved to see the way Daichi’s eyes cleared when he looked at him. How the fog disappeared once they made eye contact, all the love and adoration rushing back as soon as he recognized where he was and who he was looking at.
He leaned forward to press their lips together softly, helping to bring Daichi back to the present and out of whatever dark and uncomfortable thoughts were plaguing him tonight. Daichi sighed into him, melting into the kiss as the tension slowly drained out of his body under Suga’s familiar hands.
The ringer of his phone went off and Suga tore himself away from Daichi in order to answer.
“Oikawa,” he demanded without even checking the caller ID but who else would be calling him at this time? “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, sorry about that, Suga-chan, I’m fine.”
“I can’t believe you left me hanging like that,” Suga huffed, letting himself be pulled back towards Daichi, ignoring the lips pressing on the back of his neck for the time being. “Do you have any idea how worried I am?”
“You sound like Iwa-chan,” Oikawa sighed but Suga was relieved to hear him referring to Iwaizumi by his nickname again. “Are you worried enough to do me a favour?”
Suga frowned. “What’s the favour?”
Oikawa was quiet for a moment before asking in a timid voice that Suga rarely heard him use. “Do you think I could stay at your place for a couple nights?”
“You want to stay here?” Suga repeated, looking back at Daichi, who had already fallen back into his thoughts, since Suga had ignored his affections, and wasn’t listening to a word he was saying.
There was an angry sound over the phone and then Oikawa sighed. “Fine. Can Iwa-chan and I both stay at your place? Stupid brute won’t let me out of his sight.”
Suga smiled as Iwaizumi’s retort barely made it through the line, but he heard it.
“Why don’t you stay at Iwaizumi’s place?” Suga asked. While he certainly didn’t mind giving Oikawa a place to stay, it seemed like a better idea for him to stay at Iwaizumi’s apartment.
Oikawa scoffed. “Someone is afraid that my boyfriend will -- god, Iwa-chan, does it matter? Okay, fine! -- my ex-boyfriend will come looking for me at his place, since he knows where Iwa lives, too.” He laughed but Suga could hear the waver that meant he was feeling nervous, as well.
He appreciated how light-hearted Oikawa was acting but this situation was something that had clearly shaken him. And how could Suga turn away someone who needed help?
“Yes, of course you and Iwaizumi can stay the night,” Suga repeated, ducking into Daichi’s field of vision so he knew he was listening. “No problem.”
Daichi nodded at him, agreeable to whatever Suga wanted to do, as usual. He gave him a sweet smile and leaned forward to give him a quick kiss on the cheek.
“We’ll see you in a few minutes, then,” Oikawa chirped, sounding more cheerful than Suga had heard him in the past hour.
“Alright, see you soon,” Suga confirmed as he hung up the phone, this time feeling much more relaxed as his phone screen went dark.
Daichi’s head turned towards him, lolling back onto the couch. “Is he alright?”
Suga nodded, his lips tilting up into an easy smile for the first time in a while. “He sounds alright. Iwaizumi is with him.”
“That’s good,” Daichi nodded, his eyes blinking slowly in his struggle to keep them open.
Suga shifted closer and reached up to run his fingers through his hair. “Head to bed,” he suggested again, more forcefully this time. Hearing Oikawa’s voice and knowing that he would be seeing him shortly had rid him of most of his panic, his energy now focused on getting his stubborn boyfriend to get the rest he so obviously needed.
“I’ll wait up with you,” Daichi immediately argued even as he leaned heavily into Suga’s touch. “Then we can go together.”
Suga rolled his eyes but he couldn’t stop the fond smile from growing on his face. “You’re so difficult sometimes,” he teased as he leaned back, motioning for Daichi to follow him.
As his back hit the couch cushion, Daichi fell on top of him, snuggling into his chest as Suga laughed.
“You know I’m just going to have to get up to answer the door in a few minutes,” he reminded him, even as his fingers started moving down Daichi’s back, sweeping over the bumps of his spine gently.
“That’s fine,” Daichi mumbled lowly. “It’ll get me up. I wanna be awake when Oikawa gets here, plus he’ll need the couch. Good excuse to finally get you to come to bed with me.”
“I usually don’t take this much convincing, huh,” Suga teased. “Had your work cut out for you tonight.”
Daichi huffed out a small laugh. “So much work, and after I had a long shift, too. You’re terrible.”
“You poor thing. I’m just the worst,” Suga agreed with a smile, his fingers shifting up into Daichi’s hair before tracing around his ear and following the lines of his face that he could reach.
“Not all the time,” Daichi protested sleepily, despite being the one who called him names in the first place. “You’re kinda okay right now, with your hands and stuff.”
“Such high praise, Captain,” he chuckled. “I’m flattered.”
Calling him “captain” always had him hiding his face in embarrassment and it was Suga’s favourite way to stop an argument or fluster Daichi enough that he didn’t have the courage to think of a comeback.This time, he buried his face as far into Suga’s neck as it could go, but Suga could still feel the heat from his embarrassment on his skin.
He closed his eyes for a moment, allowing him to feel the weight of Daichi and any lingering bits of panic dissipating under the comfortable warmth on top of him.
“Hey, Dai,” he whispered, turning his head slightly so he was whispering into his ear. “Thank you.”
Daichi’s response was to press a kiss to his jaw, though Suga suspected he was aiming for his cheek.
If it had been Suga who was this tired, Daichi would have scooped him up and carried him to bed by now. Unfortunately, Suga wasn’t strong enough to return the favour, so he had to settle for the fact that Daichi seemed to be perfectly content to sleep on his chest until Oikawa arrived.
Their apartment was still dark, lit only by the silver beams of moonlight that reached the couch, falling softly over Daichi’s relaxed face. The water droplets in his damp hair caught the light similar to how his badge did, shifting with each breath Daichi took to look as though they were glimmering all on their own.
Despite how worried he had been all night, Suga found himself hoping that Oikawa would take just a little longer to arrive.