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Cup of sugar

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Two years into his time in California, Hajime finds himself in a situation that he couldn’t have predicted even if he had tried. At least that’s what he’s telling himself. It didn’t start with anything big; the behaviour wasn’t even remotely thought-provoking in any way. It definitely wasn’t profound enough given the subject matter — not in the way Hajime expected something like this to be.

Perhaps, he can blame it all on the familiarity of it. After all, there is nothing new about either him or Tooru spending money on each other. It’s always been something that they did — no underlying intentions or further thought behind it. Back in Japan, it was simply the habit of a shared existence. On Mondays, they would take the long way home, unprompted. Right after their third turn, when the cement beneath their feet took the form of cobbles, Hajime would be met by Tooru’s eyes, big and molten and pleading as his lips stretched into a pout. Hajime complained, every time, and drew his wallet, every time. Then, like clockwork, his heart would swell and grow and fill the entirety of his chest at the sight of Tooru’s smile; would imagine pressing his own lips to the dimples that dug deep into his cheeks.

But those were only the moments in which they acknowledged this habit of theirs. And it’s always been a habit, more than anything. There were no looks, no comments from the team; they simply knew that if one ordered, he did so for both of them. (Perhaps, there have been looks; sly and knowing, nudging him when Tooru would push his money over the counter even when Hajime was perfectly capable of paying for himself. But Hajime would never go as far as to give Hanamaki and Matsukawa the satisfaction of knowing that they flustered him so badly that every single look has been branded into his long-term memory for eternity. Hence, there were no looks.)

And this was before they started dating.

After, Hajime should’ve noticed. There have always been little clues, found in the quiet contentment that settled into Tooru’s shoulders whenever he would push Hajime’s wallet back into his bag; in the determination within his eyes, always watching, seeking, cataloguing Hajime’s reactions and turning up two days later with a gift cradled in strong hands and a cheshire grin on his face. I have to provide for my Iwa-chan, he would say and earn a swift kick to the back of his thighs in the hopes of distracting him from the crimson forming on Hajime’s cheeks. It never did and perhaps that should’ve been his second clue — a reddening face cradled between the gentlest of palms, strong and reassuring as Tooru pressed a kiss to his nose and whispered Everything for my baby.

So, maybe he had been wrong and this was very much predictable. It didn’t occur to him to find it strange that Tooru would keep up his little habit even after they had parted ways. But Tooru has always been like this, resolved and stubborn and mildly annoying in the way he would stick to his pre-game rituals and Iwaizumi-specific routines. Taping his right hand first, then the left, and then crossing the locker room in quick strides to cradle Hajime's hand in his, tape his right, and then his left; kiss his knuckles with a reverence unknown to any other man, his eyes spelling out the words his mouth couldn’t form.

But enough of that.

After about a month of his time in Irvine, the first package arrives. Hajime comes home after class, exhaustion hanging onto him like the sweat that is cooling on his skin, and is ambushed by his roommate in their shared kitchen. It’s standing there, on the table, big and heavy and exuding a familiarity that nearly brings tears to Hajime’s eyes.

“That’s really sweet,” Kevin says, eyeing Hajime’s valiant attempts to cut into the cardboard with a knife, “from your family?”

“My boyfriend,” Hajime clarifies, eyes not even straying to the return address. “That idiot’s the only one who would send me something after one month of being apart.”

He only vaguely registers Kevin’s laugh and his subsequent inquiry about the boyfriend with whom he video chats every evening, already too enthralled with the contents of his package. Neatly stacked and wrapped with obvious care, there are trinkets upon trinkets lining the interior of the box. Stationery, sweets, snacks; Hajime fishes out the rice crackers from below the month-long supply of sour gummies with a triumphant grin.

“Say, Haj,” Kevin says as he peeks over his shoulder into the box, “if you guys ever break up, would you mind giving your boyfriend my number?”

Hajime responds by making a particularly threatening show of picking up and properly storing away the knife he’s been using to open the package.

The next instance is another one he doesn't question — in the midst of studying for his advanced biology exam, Hajime finds himself chugging his third can of coffee at six in the morning, textbooks strewn around his room, and lecture recordings running back to back on his laptop. There is a slight feeling of guilt building in his stomach, a sliver of burning acid, when he glances at his phone. Its screen is still showing his latest text conversation with Tooru.

 

Tooru [7:01 pm]

If you don’t eat and go to sleep at a reasonable time, I’ll fly over and feed you myself.

Hajime [7:02 pm]

it's only 7pm for me wtf

Tooru [7:02 pm]

permission to call you stupid if you're still awake when I wake up <3

Hajime [7:03 pm]

ugh........ granted

 

In truth, Hajime has not gone to sleep at a reasonable time, his anxiety regarding his academic achievements too strong to pass by. As his grumbling stomach is quick to remind him, he has also managed to forget that food is an essential part of life. Risking another glance at the clock, he contemplates a potential kitchen run, only to remember that he’d forgone buying groceries in favour of studying. He groans and calculates the amount of time he’d need to get food, make it, and then eat — time that he could use to finish the last three lecture recordings before he is allowed to succumb to the sweet embrace of studying-induced lethargy.

Four hours later, Hajime is thrown out of mindlessly staring at the cream coloured wall of his too-small dorm room by the ping of his phone, indicating a new message from the only person whose notifications he has not yet muted. Wincing, he unlocks his phone.

 

Tooru [10:04 am]

I see Iwa-chan has decided to fry his last remaining braincells by himself <3

 

It is with startling clarity that Hajime makes the unwelcome realisation that Tooru has somehow become the responsible partner in their relationship — dutifully listening to each instruction San Juan’s athletic trainer adds to his list, never skipping meals or overworking the muscles that he needs to gain a measure of success in his new career as a professional athlete. It’s this thought that spurs him on, leading him out of his room and into the kitchen for the first time in seventeen hours. Running on spite alone, he makes his way to the kitchen table, before collapsing onto a chair and pressing his forehead to the cold wood.

"Dude."

Kevin, who has apparently been standing next to their toaster whilst observing the way Hajime dragged himself into the room, manages to convey all of his genuine concern with a single word. Dina, another aspiring sports scientist, is standing next to him, nursing a coffee. "We thought you were dead."

"Wish I were," Hajime mumbles against the table top.

They're interrupted by the doorbell, the sound loud and grating. Hajime hears the others scramble for the door and is only roused by Dina's call of his name a few moments later. "Haj," she says, bewilderment stark in her voice, "did you order food?"

"Huh?" Hajime replies, helpfully, and turns to see Kevin carrying an assortment of boxes he has no recollection of buying. It takes a few moments of staring, finally making out the logo of the Japanese restaurant he's been dying to try out, until understanding blooms in his sleep-deprived mind. "That bastard."

With each uncovered box, a warm feeling spreads within his chest. The smell is reminiscent of late nights in Miyagi, in which the light would fall through the high-spaced living room windows. Hajime would watch as the sunlight caught on the chestnut hair that was curling against Tooru’s temple, golden hues folding neatly into a crown. For a moment, he contemplates how ridiculous it must look to see him nearly tear up while holding a plate of agedashi tofu as if he were grasping at home.

“Did you enjoy the food, Haji?” Tooru asks during their call a few hours later. He should have been asleep already as the indigo sky behind him suggests, but Hajime is loath to send him to bed when their time together is so short already.

“You didn’t even know if I was still awake, dumbass,” he huffs instead, trying to distract from the crimson colouring his cheeks, “or if I had eaten already. So it was a stupid thing to do.”

“Iwa-chan!” Tooru pouts, launching into a spiel of their perfect connection and his well-proven powers of telepathy.

“It was a good stupid, though,” Hajime cuts in before his rant turns into a lecture, “thank you.”

Humming, Tooru’s gaze softens again, a gentle smile curling at the corners of his lips. Involuntarily, Hajime’s mouth mirrors the movement even as the distance between them sinks into his bones. “Did it make you happy, Haji?”

“What—,” Hajime splutters, eyebrows drawing together, “yes? I guess?”

“That’s good,” Tooru breathes as lets his head rest on his palm, “I like making my baby happy, especially now that I’m not there to do it in person.”

Feeling the words like a strike to the spine, Hajime buries his head into his hands. “You can’t just say that, you dumbass.”

Laughter follows the words, loud and boisterous, until it disappears behind Tooru’s palm. “You’re so mean, Iwa-chan. Now, you won’t even let me call you my baby?”

“As if you’d listen to me,” Hajime scoffs, smile playing at his lips, “and it’s not like I dislike it.”

“Hajime,” Tooru gasps, eyes widening dramatically, “I will remember that, forever.”

“I’m taking it back.”

“It’s too late!”

 

Months pass, filled with more studying, a little more desperation, a few tears during a particularly gruesome statistics project, and gifts upon gifts trickling in all the way from Argentina. Every instance stirs something within him, a small, bubbling feeling of fondness as he imagines Tooru meticulously wrapping the contents of his packages, picking out things with Hajime in mind. It’s also strange — as if it is bridging the distance whilst becoming evidence of its existence. The sadness it brings is not unwelcome, just another piece of their current reality. Or at least that’s what Hajime tells himself as he cradles the alien plushie Tooru has sent in his latest package to his chest.

After about a year, things take a turn.

“Is that a fucking iPad?”

The library is crowded this time around, so close to their semester finals. Several heads turn into their direction at Dina’s raised voice and Hajime makes quick work of shushing her. “Yeah,” he whispers once she’s settled down into the seat across from him, “Tooru bought it for me.”

“Your boyfriend bought you an iPad?” Still sounding incredulous, Dina leans over the table to inspect the object of their discussion in more detail.

“According to him, my notes are too messy,” Hajime confirms, rolling his eyes at Tooru’s antics, “and he can’t read them when he’s helping me study, so he solved the problem himself.”

Dina’s stare lasts a few seconds longer than comfortable; it’s sceptical, but Hajime cannot for the life of him think of any reason for her to be. So, he matches the stare and raises one eyebrow in a silent challenge for good measure. “What?”

“Tooru can afford buying you an iPad just out of the blue?” Dina heckles, “Pro volleyball players don’t make that much money, do they? Especially when they’re our age and just starting out.”

“His first sponsorship money just came in.” Hajime grins as he says it, wide and toothy and unendingly proud. He’s always known that people would come to love Tooru, with all his charm and joy and terrifying ambition, and it’s a particularly sweet vindication to see it come into fruition.

Nodding, Dina sits back. There’s still something unsettling about the way she’s looking at him, contemplative and curious at once. Hajime decides to shrug it off, but before he can turn the conversation back to their latest chemistry assignment, Dina takes another double take. “Is that a new bag?”

Startling, Hajime glances towards his right, where his backpack has been lying ever since he’s thrown it onto the table to look for his new highlighter pack. “It’s pretty cool, isn’t it?” He responds, turning it so Dina can get a better look.

“Let me guess,” she says instead, teasing glint in her eye, “Tooru bought it for you?”

Hajime takes a moment to inconspicuously push his new airpods out of the view.

Still, Dina’s looks stay with him. How can he explain that this is simply the way Tooru is? Loud in his gestures of love whereas Hajime prefers the quiet, unassuming kind — fingers that brush and intertwine, his face buried in Tooru’s neck, hushed whispers that press against open lips, only loud enough to carry to the person for whom they are meant. It’s not that Tooru isn’t private, melting into tenderness the moment they are alone, but he likes to be seen. And this is what it is, Tooru’s silent stake of claim, making sure that no one could ever forget his presence in Hajime's life.

Hajime’s words are confirmed by Tooru’s reaction and the near thirty minute rant he gets after sending his boyfriend a particularly awful selfie with none other than Ushijima Wakatoshi.

“I don’t even care that it’s Ushiwaka,” Tooru lies, “but this composition. Iwa-chan, what were you thinking?” He shakes his head, face heavy with disappointment. “I didn’t raise you like this.”

“Oh my god, shut up.”

Two weeks later, he gets another package. It’s heavier than the rest and he soon finds out that this is caused by the entirety of the limited edition Adidas collection that Tooru has been asked to design. But it’s not that that has him laughing in his room at ten in the morning. “He’s so stupid,” he breathes with the utmost fondness as he unearths the azure CA San Juan club jacket from beneath the rest of the gifts. It takes only a glance to notice that its size is larger than usual, oversized in the way that Hajime finds most comfortable. He turns it onto its back and — as he expected. Large, looming letters contrast in stark white against the blue, spelling out OIKAWA.

Hajime makes a point of sending him another selfie with Ushijima the very next day, but this time Tooru’s response is less volatile. No matter how atrocious Hajime’s selfie skills, the jacket he’s wearing is unmistakable.

So, this brings him to his current predicament. In the end, it really is no surprise that something had to give.

The BC’s Cavern food court is loud this time around, students mingling in their attempts to find a free seat. They arrived early, managed to snatch away a table at the very edge of the room, overlooking Aldrich park and its blooming jacarandas, gorgeous violets in a sea of green. Hajime, however, doesn’t get to enjoy any of that. In fact, the noise of the surrounding students has turned into nothing as all his senses hone in on the words that leave Dina’s mouth and the way Kevin nods in thoughtless agreement.

“I’m done,” she whines, burying her face in her hands, “physical therapy is too hard. From now on, I’m going to try and find myself some rich girlfriend, live a happy and fulfilled sugar baby life.”

“I’m sure Hajime can give you some pointers,” Kevin laughs and laughs and — wait, what?

“Wait,” Hajime splutters, “what?”

“Haj can’t help me,” Dina laments, turning the entire weight of the teasing smile forming on her face onto Hajime, “he doesn’t even know he’s a sugar baby.”

“I’m not a sugar baby,” Hajime insists, indignation clear in his voice, “I have a boyfriend. How can I be a sugar baby if I have a boyfriend.”

There are two sets of eyes that focus on him at the words, amused and yet mildly pitying at the same time. Hajime’s eyebrows pull together, forehead creasing in confusion as he tries to follow their train of thought. He feels somehow insulted at the implication that he would seek out an older man to live off his wealth and allow himself to be pampered. Hajime has his dream in sight, after all, walking full speed ahead with determination and towering ambition. “I don’t get it,” he says, voice tight.

“Haj,” Kevin tries, words slow and purposeful, “indulge me and look at yourself for a second.”

Indulging him, Hajime makes a show of looking down at himself. His club jacket is wide open, showcasing the cream coloured armani sweater he’s wearing underneath. Most of his clothes are new, in fact; souvenirs that he has managed to fit into his suitcase after Tooru had booked the upgraded baggage option for his flight back.

“Where did you get those shoes?”

Hajime glances down, observing the way the white contrasts neatly against the grey coloured floor. The soft blue sole comes into view as he tilts his foot with a frown. “The Jordans?" He asks, “Tooru bought them.”

“And the iPad?” Kevin continues, but barrels on without waiting for Hajime to answer, “Your new laptop? That backpack? The phone? Who just paid for your first class flight ticket to and back from Argentina just to see you for a single weekend?”

“Here,” Dina butts in solemnly, sliding her phone across the table and tapping the screen with a finger, “what does the caption say?”

The screen shows one of the most recent Instagram posts from Tooru’s page, taken during his visit to Argentina. They’re sitting on the grass in San Juan’s Parque de Mayo, Hajime’s arm thrown around Tooru’s shoulder, their cheeks smudged together. The memory makes him smile; makes him think about the lines deepening around Tooru’s eyes as he laughed, the way Hajime had pushed him into the grass right after the photo was taken, Tooru’s hand pressing against his shoulder blades and the name that so boldly adorned his jacket. Then, he glances down, reads the caption and reads it again when his friends’ implications begin to dawn on him. Right under the picture, about as bold as only Tooru can be, it says: My baby boy <3.

It is with widening eyes that he looks back up.

“Hajime,” Dina continues, “I say this in the most positive way possible, honestly, it’s all very inspiring: you’re a fucking sugar baby.”

Hajime glances back down, reevaluates all the gifts and trinkets that he’s lived off for the past two years, the food that has been bought for him by none other than his pro athlete boyfriend, the words that Tooru murmurs each and every time Hajime expresses his gratitude, everything for my baby.

“Fuck,” he breathes, “I’m a fucking sugar baby.”

There's a part of him that wants to curse him out, complain and hit him over the head at his sheer audacity. Hajime is the one supposed to take care of Tooru; the one who has done so during their entire time in high school. But there is an almost violent sense of adoration burning beneath his skin when he thinks about being taken care of instead.

Needless to say, he’s having a crisis. Perhaps, this can excuse his next course of action, one that he would not have deemed productive or in any way healthy for his own dignity. In the end, he finds himself dialing a number he has long since memorized with a sense of impending doom.

“Am I a sugar baby?” Are the first words he speaks the moment the call connects.

“Oh my god, he finally got it. Issei! Get here right now!”

Hanamaki is sitting on the couch of Matsukawa’s living room, arms raised to the sky. “Thank you God,” he says with reverence, “for giving me the opportunity to experience this moment.”

“Alright,” Hajime says, reaching for the disconnect button on his screen until he’s stopped by Hanamaki’s urgent noises of dissent. He watches as Matsukawa walks into frame, throwing an arm around the back of the couch as he sits down.

“So,” Matsukawa drawls, “you’ve come to us for help.”

“I regret it already.”

“To answer your previous question,” Hanamaki butts in, “yes, you are.”

There is a slight moment of silence, in which Hajime contemplates all of the choices he’s made to get to this point in his life. Then, he groans, burying his face in his hands. The two men on the other side of the screen exchange a concerned glance, obviously weighing the importance of being more serious about the whole matter. “Despite the obvious amusement we get from it,” Matsukawa tries, more tentative this time, “it’s really not that big of a deal.”

“I know,” Hajime groans, “It’s just—,” he trails off, contemplates his next words and how to phrase them. He doesn’t know exactly why it’s bothering him, but there’s one thing he hasn’t been able to get out of his mind ever since he’s learned of his own predicament. “Do you think he thinks he has to do it?”

Once again, his words are followed by silence, Matsukawa’s eyebrows knitting together in obvious confusion. “That doesn’t sound like Oikawa,” he says, then stops and tilts his head, “Have you asked him that question?”

Hajime knows he doesn’t have to verbally reply to that; guilt has always been the emotion most easily detected on his face. Matsukawa lets out a sigh, hand running through his hair. “I’ve never seen you guys not talk to each other, so this is a first.”

“Makes them seem more human, doesn’t it?” Hanamaki butts in, loudly chewing on something that Hajime does not want to identify, “Welcome to the lives of normal people, in which we don’t communicate, ever.”

“Ugh,” Hajime groans, clicking his tongue, “the most effective pitch to make sure that I do.”

Grinning, Hanamaki turns to Matsukawa. “Do you think he’ll be nicer to me if I call him Iwa-chan?”

“I think that’ll have the opposite effect,” Matsukawa drawls. A beat, and then all three start laughing. After a moment, Matsukawa turns back to the screen with a gentle smile. “You know what to do, Zumi?”

“Yeah,” Hajime sighs, “you’re right, I just have to talk to him. It’s not like I got anything against the situation itself.”

“You being a sugar baby, you mean.”

“You don’t have to spell it out.”

“Oh, but I absolutely do,” Matsukawa laughs and gives him a bright grin. “Take your time. Oikawa’s not running away. You know that best.”

“Everything will be fine, Iwa,” Hanamaki reiterates, “you’re Oikawa and Iwaizumi. I know it’s ingrained in who you really are, but don’t worry so much.”

 

The following weeks are a little awkward, no less filled with love and care from either side, but coloured by a sliver of insecurity that makes Hajime uneasy. He’s come to terms with the fact that he likes it, the constant reminder of Tooru’s presence in his life, but the fear of it being considered necessary remains. He starts to look closer, attempts to translate Tooru’s easy smiles and sweet endearments into answers, but nothing comes from it. His investigation is cut short by his final exams, combined with more studying and too much stress to question the gifts that manage to strip the anxiety off his shoulders.

In the end, he doesn’t get to act on his feelings. He should’ve expected nothing to get past Tooru’s keen eyes, no matter the distance or video quality.

So, he finds himself walking out of the lecture hall after his last exam of the semester, turning to the right, and stopping right in his tracks. There’s a bench there, right before Aldrich park, framed by blooming violet and the clear blue sky. And on that bench, head bowed to look at the phone in his hand sits San Juan’s own, Oikawa Tooru.

Suddenly, the entire situation seems less serious as he’s deemed it to be. It is trivial and unimportant in the face of chestnut hair and golden skin, right here where longing can turn tangible. Hajime blinks once, twice, three times, and rushes forward without a second thought. “Tooru!”

Tooru’s head jerks up, eyes searching until they settle on Hajime’s form moving towards him. He leaps up, nearly trips over his own feet in the process and then, they’re crashing into each other. Arms wrap around Hajime’s waist, one pressing at his lower back and the other moving up until it settles between his shoulder blades, pushing them closer together. Hajime’s fingers sink into soft hair, tangling between the strands. Tooru’s skin smells as it always does, like the sun has permanently sunk into it, like faint spice and the citrus of his body wash.

Hajime doesn’t know how long they stay like this, only that the rest of the students have long since passed when they finally let go of each other.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Hajime asks, hands still pressed to the back of Tooru’s neck.

“Iwa-chan,” Tooru complains, lips forming into a pout, “I come all the way over here and this is how you greet me? I didn’t even get a kiss.”

Rolling his eyes, Hajime pulls Tooru down and presses his lips to his cheek. He feels the skin heat beneath his mouth and allows his face to break out into a grin at Tooru’s subsequent spluttering. “Stop whining, you’ll get more later.”

“So bold, Iwa-chan,” Tooru says, and Hajime has to force himself not to stare at the soft pink on Tooru’s cheeks, emphasizing the light freckles spanning his face. His skin is warm beneath his hands, warm and solid and here and Hajime feels the laughter build within his lungs until he’s shaking with joy. Tooru seems to share his thoughts, as he always does, and soon enough they dissolve into laughter, foreheads pressed together.

After a few seconds, Tooru moves his arms to drape himself over him, heavier and larger than he used to be. His head drops to his neck, lips brushing his skin as he speaks. “How is my baby doing really, hm?”

Hajime freezes, for just a moment, brought back to the source of his earlier troubles. It’s enough for Tooru to notice, who lifts his head and fixes searching eyes on Hajime. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Hajime says, “Nothing’s wrong.”

“But something’s bothering you,” Tooru insists, brows drawn together and frown on his face. “It’s why I’m here. Something’s been bothering you for the past few weeks. Am I wrong?”

There really is no escaping Tooru when he’s caught onto something and it’s not like Hajime has ever actually wanted to evade him or the conversations that followed, no matter how awkward they might be. “Let’s go home first,” he says instead. The furrow between Tooru’s eyebrows doesn’t leave, but it does soften when Hajime’s hand seeks out his; not a conscious movement on his part, but still something deeply ingrained, a habit learned from all the time spent together in Miyagi.

When they arrive, it’s to two heads whirling into their direction, Dina and Kevin immediately crowding Tooru the moment they realise who he is. Hajime indulges them for a moment, but then tugs him back to his room. “It was lovely to meet you two!” Tooru says before they go, all charm and wide smiles that remind him of endless moments with various girls at Seijoh.

And then they are alone.

The energy turns, Tooru’s patience running thin. Hajime lets himself fall against the cushions of his bed, tugging his jacket a little closer in the process. Tooru follows, settling on his knees right before him. Tooru’s hand seeks out his own, fingers tangling. “Haji,” Tooru says, lower lip sucked between his teeth, “Talk to me.”

Hajime hesitates, not due to any doubt or indecision, but the question of how to address an issue like this — usually, this whole situation would be something that is agreed upon in advance and not a state that people just fall into accidentally. He looks up and Tooru’s eyes are big and round, full of concern because of something that shouldn’t be concerning at all. Fuck it, Hajime thinks, he’s always been best at facing challenges head-on. “Are you buying all that stuff for me because you think that you have to do that now that we’re not together all the time?”

Tooru jerks back, face twisting in obvious confusion. “What? What are you saying?”

“All your gifts,” Hajime insists, gesturing around himself, “you don’t have to pay me off to stay with you, you know? We both agreed to do long-distance from the very beginning. I’m not going to run away because things aren’t that easy anymore. So, I don’t need any of this. I just need you.”

The words ring within the room and Hajime sees a smile curling at the corners of Tooru’s lips. “Who knew my Iwa-chan could be so sweet?”

Hajime frowns, but before he can answer Tooru throws up a hand. “Actually,” he continues, “let me rephrase that.” Despite the smile, his eyes stay serious. “I don’t think that you’ll just run away or that I have to pay you to stay with me, I genuinely don’t. And if you don’t like the presents and packages, then I’ll stop. You just have to tell me.”

Hajime mulls the words over, still frowning and still mildly confused. “Why do you do it then?”

At this, Tooru brings a hand to the back of his neck. He suddenly looks bashful, maybe even shy, and it’s such an unfamiliar view that it makes Hajime startle. “It’s just—,” Tooru begins, then stops, biting his lower lip in thought, “I like it. I like knowing that I made you happy. I like knowing that you’re wearing my jacket and that others see you in it. I like taking care of you even when I’m not here.”

Hajime feels his cheeks colour at the words and lets himself fall back against the pillows with a groan. “Fuck,” he breathes and sees Tooru’s lips purse in confusion, “I really am your fucking sugar baby.”

Tooru’s eyebrows shoot up. He blinks multiple times in quick succession and then throws his head back with a loud guffawing laugh. “That’s what this is about?” He squeezes out between laughter, moving forward to drape himself over Hajime once more.

“Shut up,” Hajime says, shrugging Tooru off him, “you made me wear a jacket with your name on it.”

“I didn’t make you wear anything,” Tooru laughs, batting away Hajime’s hands and caging him in with his arms. Like this, his hair falls over his forehead as the light frames his face from behind. Hajime feels his breath catch in his throat and stops to resist the urge to use his fingers to brush it away. Tooru’s face grows tender at the gesture, eyes like molten gold. “Besides,” he continues, “I didn’t give you the jacket because of that. It was more me being forward thinking.”

Hajime takes a single moment of letting that sink in, before smacking Tooru upside the head. “You’re not doing it like this!”

“I’m not, I’m— stop hitting me!”

Huffing, Hajime turns them around, one leg landing neatly between Tooru’s thighs. He takes a moment to look at him, this ridiculous man with his ridiculous gifts and ridiculous jacket and feels a grin pull at his cheeks, toothy and dangerous. “You’re ridiculous.”

“I am,” Tooru agrees, teasing smile playing at his lips, “but you still want to be my sugar baby.”

Looking down at him, Hajime thinks it through and decides to go with his gut. “Yeah.” Hajime knows that Tooru has always been better at dishing out, so he’s not surprised to see his cheeks bloom a soft pink and his eyes widen. “Yeah,” he repeats, “I want to be your sugar baby, Tooru.”

Tooru groans and tugs him down into his arms, hiding his burning face in Hajime’s neck. For a moment, this is enough. No distance between them or their feelings. Then, Hajime feels a kiss being pressed to his neck. “You’re so unfair, Haji.”

“I’m buying the rings,” Hajime murmurs in response.

“Huh?”

“I’m buying the rings,” Hajime repeats, pushing up and out of their embrace. He watches as understanding blooms on Tooru’s face and his expression twists to mirror his own. His hand moves up, thumb pressing against Hajime’ cheek. It’s warm and nice and everything Hajime wants.

“Everything for my baby,” Tooru breathes, fingers brushing against the hair behind Hajime’s ear. Despite the blush travelling up to his ears, Hajime finds himself nodding along. The words feel visceral, billowing up into the air between them as Tooru’s eyelids drop. His lashes brush against his cheeks as he blinks, slowly, teasingly, changing the rhythm of the scene with a single look. Hajime thinks about the people who would willingly fall to their knees before this man, thinks about his name on his back, the carefully chosen packages, telling all of them that Tooru is his and his alone.

“Everything?” He murmurs and feels Tooru’s answering hum against his chest.

“Whatever you want.”

Leisurely, he lets his head fall forward until he feels Tooru’s breath mingle with his own. The hand cupping his face tightens, urging him to close the distance between them. But he takes his time; presses his lips to Tooru’s cheeks and drags them down to his mouth. Tooru’s breath hitches and Hajime is lost in the feeling of it. The warmth of his body underneath him, the thigh knocking into his own, their lips barely brushing. It’s only been weeks since they’ve last seen each other, but it’s not enough. It’ll never be enough.

With a sigh, Tooru tilts his head, teeth pulling at Hajime’s bottom lip just so, sucks for just a moment before releasing it with a pop. Hajime presses down, fits their lips together properly and swallows the moan that spills out of Tooru’s mouth, lets his own sink into the space between them. He feels Tooru’s hand join the other, framing his face and tilting it to the side at the same time as his tongue brushes his upper palate. This time, Hajime’s moan falls out from between their lips; the sound echoing in the silence of his room. “Fuck,” he groans, wretching his head backwards and ignoring the pang at Tooru’s small questioning whine, “the walls are too thin here, Tooru.”

Hajime feels fingers scratch at the back of his neck and the sensation sends shivers down his spine. Tooru’s eyes sharpen, glancing from him to the door and back, before Tooru pushes them both to the side. He rolls over him, knees digging into the bed and forcing his thighs farther apart. “Can you be quiet, then, Hajime?”

Tooru’s voice is liquid fire, insistent but careful. And it’s this care, displayed so obviously in the way his fingers are still running through Hajime’s hair, that makes him nod.

“No,” Tooru murmurs, “you have to tell me.”

Chuckling, Hajime catches Tooru’s hand in his. “Yes.”

Humming, Tooru pushes Hajime’s hand up until his arm is stretched over his head. Then squeezes and lets go, only to rest his fingers against Hajime’s bicep. “My baby’s so strong,” he says, voice tilting dangerously at the edges. Hajime feels the pride pool in his stomach and playfully flexes the muscle in Tooru’s grasp. His lips quirk up at the gesture. “And he knows it.”

“Damn right, I do,” Hajime says, allowing the hot satisfaction of the nickname to wash over him. This time, Tooru chuckles, eyes crinkling at the corners, and the sight makes Hajime want. He surges up, but Tooru is already there, pressing him back into the mattress as he lets the full weight of his body crash against Hajime’s. His lips brush against Hajime’s jaw, moving up until they reach his ear; Tooru’s voice soft and determined and hot.

“Tomorrow,” he purrs, “I’ll make you pack a bag and book us a hotel room, one of the expensive ones. I’ll make sure you’re as loud as you can be when I fuck you there, Hajime; Nice and slow, just as you like it. And maybe, if you’re good, I’ll ride you in the jacuzzi after.”

Hajime’s breath hitches and he feels Tooru smile at the sound. Warmth drips down his stomach, honey-sweet and strangely intense. “I can be good.”

“Oh, Hajime.” Tooru’s voice is barely above a whisper, lips brushing his ear. “I know. You’re always so good, baby.”

Reaching up, Hajime wraps his arm around Tooru’s neck and pulls until their mouths slot together once more. It’s deeper this time, warm and sensual, fueled by desire and so much more. When they finally break apart, Hajime’s lips tingle and judging by the way Tooru’s eyes linger, look as red as they feel.

Then, his lips are at Hajime’s jaw, open mouth dragging down and sucking at the crook of his neck. Hajime’s moan is low and gravelly and loud, and he presses his lips together to swallow the sound back down. It’s all too much, the tongue at his neck, the hand pushing up his shirt, the feeling of Tooru’s groin pressing down against his; he’s missed this, he missed him. His eyes flutter open when Tooru sits up, dragging his own shirt up over his head, hands settling on Hajime’s knees. “Look at you,” he breathes, but Hajime is distracted by the sensation of his thumb burning circles into his skin. Instead, he looks at Tooru and his sun-kissed skin, stretching over a well-defined chest; his eyes glance down, follow the V of his hips, down to the strong thighs right between his own.

Hajime.” Tooru’s voice is reverent as he presses his fingers to Hajime’s chest, back up until his palm rests above his heart. “I want you like this,” Tooru murmurs, “just in my jacket.”

Hajime groans, looking up at the way Tooru’s lips twitch in amusement. “You want to fuck me wearing only the jacket with your name on it?”

Tooru’s grin grows. “Yep.”

“Why are you always so shitty.”

“Now, now,” Tooru admonishes, finger tapping against Hajime’s chest, “I’m not the one who has to behave, am I?”

The words sink into him, make him moan involuntarily. He allows Tooru to undress him, fingers hot against his skin and it’s only when it’s done and he’s clad in nothing but Tooru’s jacket that Hajime feels it settle against his spine, that feeling of sheer want and belonging. A hand settles at the crook of his knee, pushes his leg up as the other reaches for the lube. Then, a kiss pressed against his inner thigh.

“Okay?” Tooru asks, voice so fond that it makes Hajime sigh. He breathes his assent, lets his head fall back into the pillow and his eyes flutter shut. He allows himself to be overtaken by the feeling of it, Tooru mouthing at his cock, the way his fingers move back and forth, long and thick and warm. It’s so much and he hears himself keen and pant, bitten down moans until it’s only Tooru, Tooru, Tooru.

Soon enough, Tooru pushes himself back up, his weight pressing down as he aligns their bodies and drags him back into a kiss. It doesn’t last long, Tooru’s lips pulling into a smile after only a few seconds. “Are you feeling good, baby boy?” Tooru murmurs and Hajime hums while attempting to catch his lips in another kiss. He feels him chuckle against his skin. “Yeah?” Tooru breathes, “Gonna make you feel even better.” He laughs when he sinks in.

True to his words, it’s slow and deep; the feeling spreading through Hajime’s whole body, toes curling when his knee is pushed against the mattress. There’s no rush and perhaps that should've been strange — no urgency that accelerates their movements or gives away to frantic fucking despite the need that arises through the time spent apart. Instead, Hajime feels his heart stutter in his chest at the intimacy that he’s missed so much. Every thrust is accompanied by lips brushing against his and it makes him feel as if he’s melting, sinking right into the mattress just as the sweat that’s pouring off his body.

He forces his eyes open and is met by burning hazel, golden flecks dancing in the light. The thrusts slow even further, go deeper, and he gasps but doesn’t avert his eyes. They’re so close like this. So close that he can see the freckles on Tooru’s cheeks, the way his eyes dip ever so slightly in pleasure as he looks down. “Haji,” Tooru chokes out in a low tenor and Hajime’s eyelids flutter. “No, look at me— that’s right.” He feels his cheeks burn at the look in Tooru’s eyes. “I love you like this, baby, love you so much. Me encanta follarte, bebé. Significás todo para mí, love taking care of you, making you feel good.”

Tooru.” His name comes in the form of a moan, tears springing at Hajime’s eyes when Tooru just keeps talking, a mix of Japanese, Spanish, and English. The feelings spill past his lips and sink into Hajime’s skin.

“You look so good like this, baby,” Tooru murmurs against his lips, “wearing my name like this, so good.”

Suddenly, everything amplifies. The words are louder as they were, Tooru’s fingers burn into his thigh, the thrusts reach a place that makes him keen. Hajime’s hand grasps at Tooru’s neck, trying to find anything to ground him as he drowns. “Tooru,” he repeats, words barely audible against the other’s lips, “love you.”

The rhythm stutters, breaks, and resumes with renewed intensity. Hajime feels his heartbeat accelerate, or perhaps it is Tooru’s as it beats against his chest. Another kiss, a choked out Baby and Hajime falls, down and down until the world is only noise and hands and lips. He feels Tooru’s hips slam against his, feels his legs being spread even further by insistent hands and finally, Tooru’s breath against his face as he comes with a soundless cry.

Heaving for breath, Tooru buries his face in the crook of Hajime’s neck, before pushing himself up and reaching for the tissues on the bedside table. After a few moments, Hajime comes to, eyes fluttering open where they’ve fallen shut just moments before. He is greeted by Tooru’s face, lying on his chest, and vaguely registers the finger running up and down his arm. Tooru’s head tilts as he looks up. Hajime can’t help but smile. “Hey,” he breathes, voice fond and sweet.

“Hey,” Tooru replies, before pressing a kiss to Hajime’s chest, “you come here often?”

“Shut up,” Hajime laughs, loud and bright. The sound is soon joined by Tooru’s quiet giggles. Heaving himself up with a groan, Tooru presses another kiss to Hajime’s jaw, his cheek, his nose, before being pulled down by Hajime’s arm winding around his neck. They kiss, light and sweet and all Hajime can think of is how right this feels; them, together like this.

“Haji,” Tooru whispers when they break apart, “you were so loud.”

Hajime’s cheeks feel aflame and he throws a panicked glance at the door when he remembers that they are, in fact, still in his dorm room. “Shit,” he says, “why didn’t you stop me?”

“Didn’t want to,” Tooru mumbles, lips twitching in amusement.

“You shithead.”

“Let them know.” Tooru’s voice is at a whisper, filled with something larger; so large that it fills the whole room. He cups Hajime’s cheek, turns it back to him so that their eyes meet. “Let them all know,” he repeats, “Let the whole world know.”

Hajime lets the words wash over him, taint the room and paint it in vibrant colours. He thinks of a jacket with his lover’s name, thinks of the smell of newly opened packages, of rings exchanged and kisses shared next to a bright blue sea. “Yeah,” he says, “let the whole world know.”

(It will.)

 

 

Fin.