“Sawamura, I got another -”
“Sorry.” Daichi cuts his colleague off, already putting on his jacket. “I got somewhere to be. Put it on my desk, I'll look over it tomorrow.”
He tries not to be offended at the look of surprise.
“That's the first time I've seen you leave on time. You going somewhere tonight?”
“Nah,” he calls over his shoulder, shooting his colleague a grin. “Just going home!”
As he steps out of the main building, the cold night air stings his skin like a pleasant little wake-up slap. He inhales deeply, adjusting the scarf Kuroo actually knitted for him, that fucker, and makes his way home in long strides, giving in the last few hundred metres and jogging after all.
He almost takes two steps at once on the stairs, but settles for his dignity as he doesn't really plan to come back all out of breath. Anticipation is bubbling up inside of him as he pushes the key into the door and comes into his flat to the sound of the radio muffled in the kitchen, and the sizzling of a pan.
“I'm home!”, he calls, clapping his gloved hands together as if he could get the tips of his fingers to warm up a little already before he'd get rid of his winter stuff, inhaling the heavenly smell filling his flat.
He sees two new pots of plants on the coffee table – Daichi doubts they could even fit his windowsill anymore, crowded with flowers. Suga is shamelessly using the windowsill safe from cats here to tend to all the plants he could suddenly raise in safety now.
“Another two?”, he asks, as he makes his way into the kitchen. Suga turns around, takes his face between his hands and gives him a kiss more passionate than strictly necessary, considering Suga had spent the night here and they'd said goodbye just before Daichi had left for work.
“I just can't resist,” Suga says with something really close to a smirk and a mischievous glint in his eyes. Daichi has the feeling this is not just about plants.
Suga laughs, kisses him on the cheek and turns back towards the stove. A tray of cookies is baking in the oven. That's where that heavenly smell had come from.
“You can't resist using my oven either, can you?”
“Daichi, do you even know how blessed you are? No trouble children over here. I gotta take a break once in a while.”
“To be honest, I'm surprised you got by without your cats for almost 24 hours.”
“Well, I was home between my shift and coming back here to cook. Can't let my darlings feel lonely. You should stay over at my place next time again.”
Daichi swallows. Princess is nice enough to him, but Buttercup always stares at him as if she knows about every lewd thought Daichi had ever had about Suga, and exactly what they had done the night before. Her stare is deadly and sometimes Daichi thinks she might try to kill him in his sleep.
But overall, at least his first visit over at Suga's had gone mostly well.
“Daichi. It's not like you're meeting his parents. Calm down.”
“No. No.” Daichi shakes his head, and almost considers ordering something alcoholic after all. Kuroo doesn't understand. He doesn't. “I'd be less nervous if it was his parents! If they don't like me, okay. Tough. But those are his cats. If they don't like me I'll be single again faster than I can even say the word 'cat'.”
“I think you're exaggerating. Besides, just bring some treats along. Aren't cats all about food and stuff? How hard can it be to win a cat's heart? You won your prince already. Now stop freaking out about his pets.”
Daichi buries his head in his hands and groans . Kuroo doesn't understand.
Seeing Suga's flat for the first time is … both a surprise, and not surprising in the slightest.
The biggest part of his flat is the living room, which connects to his tiny kitchen. His sofa is large and comfortable, there's a TV and a bookshelf, all squeezed between beds for the cats and scratch posts, as it seems. Honestly, it looks more as if Suga is living in the flat of the cats than the other way around. Daichi shouldn't have been surprised.
There are thin wood boards mounted to the wall, a literal catwalk around the room, painted in warm, friendly colours. The sofa is almost drowning in pillows and the curtain's pattern fits some of them. Just before the open entrance into the kitchen, there's a tiny table with three chairs.
It all looks overwhelming and colourful, as warm as Suga's smile, homely and so completely him .
“Do you like it?”
Suga sounds a little nervous.
“Yeah,” Daichi mumbles, clutching the bag with the cat treats a little more tightly as he sees the first cat trudge forward. He's taken aback by the missing eye for a split-second, but figures it's just what Suga would do - give a chance to those cats others might not want.
“Here we go – Daichi, that's Princess.”
Suga makes his way into the kitchen as Daichi awkwardly crouches down and sticks his hand out.
“Do you want tea?”
“Yeah,” he calls as quietly as possible, trying not to scare Princess away as she carefully sniffs his hand. When she rubs her head against his hand, he feels as if he just got granted Suga's hand in marriage by one of his parents. This is a good sign, right?
“Oh, look at that! She likes you!”
Suga stands in the doorway and sounds pleased. Daichi gets a little adventurous and scratches Princess' ear with one finger. Maybe Suga won't break up with him after all.
“Where's Buttercup?”, he asks.
“Ah, she's still asleep, I guess.”
She is very much not asleep, Daichi will find out later.
They settled for watching a movie – not a horrible one, Daichi had insisted on keeping Bad Movie Night between Suga and Oikawa because he actually values his patience and sanity. It's perfect, actually. The snacks are abandoned, Suga is sitting between his legs, back leaned against his chest, Daichi's arms wrapped around him. At some point, Suga reaches up and laces his fingers with Daichi's on his chest, and sometimes Daichi pays more attention to Suga's fingertips tracing patterns over his knuckles and palms than the movie.
He couldn't wish for more. But then, there's Buttercup. At some point she strides through the room on her three legs, walking like a queen. She's also sitting up there like a queen, takes her rightful place on the highest scratch post and keeps. Staring. At Daichi.
“Your cat's staring at me,” Daichi whispered halfway through the movie.
“You're imagining things.”
That little shit looked away whenever Suga looked. Was his gaze on the TV again, then hers was back on Daichi.
But all in all, it could've gone much worse, he figures.
Not as outstanding as when Suga had met Kuroo, though.
“Suga, God, no.”
“No. You can't do this. You can't wear a hat with cat ears. You're a grown man, for fucks sake.”
“You should've thought about that before you gave it to me as a gift.”
“It was meant to be a joke.”
“Shut up, I like it.”
“You look ridiculous.”
“You are ridiculous. The only person offended that someone is using their gift could be you.”
“It was a joke.”
“You're a joke.”
“That doesn't even make sense!”
Suga sighs dramatically, reaches out and shuts Daichi right up with a kiss. When he steps back, he smiles that smile at him which seems like he's trying hard to hold back from letting it break into a full-out little smirk. Daichi's a little dazed, blinks two times and huffs. Why do his thoughts always have to scatter whenever Suga touches him?
“That, you – you don't make sense,” he repeats, feeling lame even as he does it. Suga laughs and tucks his new hat into place. It actually does sorta look cute on him. But also ridiculous.
“Yeah, yeah. So, I thought you wanted me to meet your friends before we catch our movie. If you stop being broken up over me liking your presents we could actually get to that, you know. I don't wanna meet both your best friends at once. Sounds like Yui's gonna come over soon. So, now or never. Don't look so worried.”
Daichi's not worried because Kuroo might not like Suga or anything – he's just worried about Suga.
“Don't take any drink he offers,” Daichi reminds him again.
“You said that fifteen times already. Daichi, I can take some provocations and the occasional joke at my expanse. Relax. We're gonna have fun!”
Oh, hell no. This won't be fun. It's gonna be hell. Daichi is leading his boyfriend (his b-o-y-f-r-i-e-n-d) straight into a den of hungry lions who can't wait to push their teeth into him and ask a thousand awkward questions and embarrass Daichi in front of Suga. The entire bar gang's gonna be there tonight. Bokuto took a day off just to get to meet 'lover boy's boyfriend'. The second Suga hears that particular nickname, Daichi will disintegrate into a cloud of smoke and let himself be whisped away by the winter air.
As expected, the bar breaks into greetings as soon as they enter. Bokuto rushes forward and claps them both on the back so hard, Daichi could swear he almost coughed up his soul from it. Then he puts an arm around Suga and ignores Daichi completely.
“I heard tons about you! So glad to finally get to know Daichi's cat guy!”
“I'm the cat guy?”, Suga asks, amused, shooting a glance at Daichi past Bokuto's ridiculous hair.
Daichi shrugs. That nickname's still the best one.
“Well, well, good to finally get to meet you!”, Kuroo calls, smirk in place. He wriggles his eyebrows at Daichi. Somehow it feels as if Kuroo managed to condense an expression with a stuck-out tongue and pulled down eyelid solely into his gaze.
“You up for a drink, Suga?”, Kuroo asks.
“Sure thing,” Suga calls back, and Daichi turns his head to send him a million confused and betrayed question marks with one single expression. But his boyfriend ignores him, he takes up a bar stool and has no trouble at all introducing himself to Ushijima and Akaashi, too. Daichi sits down next to him, still a little dumb-founded. Kuroo's smirk as he places three glasses on the counter speaks of trouble and more trouble.
“I'm gonna punch you,” Daichi mutters under his breath.
“Considering your track record, sorry for not being terrified,” Kuroo shoots back, grinning.
“Oh, hey.” Suga interrupts a pleasant little chat with Akaashi – which hadn't included any ridiculous fun fact about Daichi so far, thank God. “Is that a scorch mark on your shelf? Whatever happened there?”
“Sonuvabitch!” Kuroo curses and whirls around, studying the shelf, already threatening Bokuto, who looks betrayed and confused. In the unfolding little chaos, Suga changes his own glass with Kuroo's and sends Daichi a smirk.
Daichi stares for a second.
He is completely and utterly in love with this guy.
He's also thinking about cancelling movie night and dragging Suga straight back home, because that little stunt somehow makes him think of a million other things they could be doing tonight.
Everyone else is watching, acting as if nothing happened, but the anticipation is thick in the air as Kuroo turns back around. Akaashi casually curls his fingers over his lips, masking a tiny little smile.
“There's nothing there.” Kuroo eyes Suga suspiciously, who looks so innocent, Daichi has to suppress a snort. Only Suga could look like an angel after pulling something like that. Kuroo lets it go, and turns towards his sulking friend. “Sorry, Bo. Can never know. You burned one table with fucking sparklers, man.”
Bokuto still looks hurt and Akaashi opens his arms wordlessly to hug him to his chest, his eyes still on Kuroo, who huffs.
“Anyways. To Daichi and him finally figuring out how love and friendship works!”
Suga laughs and raises his glass, as do Daichi and Kuroo. There's a breathless second as everyone watches them drink.
Suga sits on his bar stool like on a throne and downs his glass, wiping his lips with the back of his hand with all the calm in the world as Kuroo is fighting a losing struggle against coughing. His face goes red and splotchy as he desperately tries to keep his composure, his hands busy switching between fanning himself and being pressed to his mouth to keep in the coughing.
Suga gives him his brightest smile.
“That was good. Everything okay with you?”
Kuroo glares at him, and everyone around breaks into laughter, clapping Suga on the back who's finally breaking into giggles too. Daichi is lying on the counter, slapping it with his palm several times, he's laughing so hard. There are actual tears in his eyes. Holy shit. He's never seen Kuroo like this. Nobody's ever gone and pranked Kuroo.
Suga got the respect of everyone within a second. Daichi should've known he'd be fine.
“Sorry, sorry, I couldn't resist,” Suga tells Kuroo. Daichi is shaking his head, still trembling with laughter.
Suga is a blessing.
“Goddammit, newbie,” Kuroo wheezes. “Welcome to the Black Cat.”
This little sentence marks the beginning of a horrible evening which consists of all his friends betraying Daichi – Kuroo being the worst, taking revenge for some inexplicable reason by telling Suga every single dumb thing Daichi had ever done, and about all his horrible pining, and the time of the cookie trial phase.
When it's finally time to leave for the movie, Daichi has lost his dignity, a part of his soul, and any trust in his best friend. He drags Suga out onto the street, then into a side alley and kisses him against the wall until he can feel Suga's resolve to spend his evening watching that movie crumble under his kisses.
“Just so you know,” Suga mutters, trailing his fingers over Daichi's chest. “I still want to see that movie with you. I'm holding you to that.”
Daichi drops a kiss on his head and rolls over to wraps his arms around Suga, nuzzling into his neck.
“Don't worry.” He feels comfortable and warm and at ease, smiling into his lover's skin. “We've got lots of time.”