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just leave me your stardust to remember you by

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It’s around 5:37 AM that Tooru decides trying to sleep without being blackout drunk isn’t going to happen.

He pushes the alien print blankets off of his body, making a mental note to change them later – given how shitty the day has already been, he knew he would be coming home with a companion for the night. He grabs whatever clothes are in his vicinity and he crinkles his nose a bit when he notices they smell kind of weird. He shrugs and pulls them on anyway, making his way to the kitchen to find alcohol to poison himself with. When he reaches his liquor cabinet, he heaves a heavy sigh at the dog curled up in front of it, the Pomeranian’s eyes glinting dangerously.

“Kaiju, shoo,” he crosses his arms, attempting to look threatening, “I am so not in the mood to fight right now.”

Kaiju growls at Tooru and stands up to appear bigger. He begins barking and Tooru covers his ears, groaning. “Oh my god, fine! I won’t drink, fuck.” He didn’t know if Kaiju was just defending what was his sleep spot for the night, or if he did, somehow, know about Tooru’s alcoholic tendencies, but he did not want to deal with it at 5:30 in the morning.

He stumbles around the house for a bit, looking for something to do. The only thing on TV at this hour is infomercials and the news, so that’s ruled out. The house is clean – well, save for laundry, but he doesn’t want to do that. There’s no food to eat, either. After about 10 minutes of mulling around, Tooru decides he’ll take Kaiju for a walk and a bite to eat.

Once Tooru grabs the leash, Kaiju is, of course, perfectly obedient, lining himself up by the door and sitting down, peering up at his owner with beady, innocent eyes.

“I don’t know who you’re trying to fool, dog.” He says, attaching the leash after pulling on a pair of worn sneakers and a ratty hoody he’s had for as long as he can remember. Kaiju snorts excitedly as he reaches for the door and he remembers why he keeps the thing. The little demon is cute as fuck.

Tooru is glad he put on the hoody as he steps into the surprisingly cool spring morning, the wind blowing his bed-tousled hair away from his face. He didn’t bother fixing his hair as it was still dark outside, and he wasn’t going to pick anyone up at this hour. Plus the only people out at this time were joggers. He used to be one of those people, he muses, staring up at the slowly brightening sky, but is pulled out of his thoughts as Kaiju begins peeing on someone’s petunias.

The air smells surprisingly clean for being in the city, which is one of the things Tooru likes about the morning. He wishes he were more of a morning person, but people his age rarely were. He only knew one person his age who likes mornings and – his heart clenches painfully as he quickly aborts that thought. Today, of all days, to think about something like that…

Kaiju stops walking, suddenly, pulling Tooru out of his thoughts. The Pomeranian sniffs the air and so does Tooru, smelling the food of a nearby café. Without warning, Kaiju begins yapping loudly, running in circles around Tooru’s legs.

“W-What is your problem?” He demands, struggling to keep himself from getting wrapped up in the leash, but Kaiju’s speed outmatches him, and eventually the dog gives up on trying to get Tooru to do what he wants and pulls himself free of the collar that once held him.

“Kaiju, wait!” Tooru yells. He tries to unwrap the leash from around his legs while trying to keep an eye on his quickly escaping pooch.

Kaiju runs into a nearby alleyway, and Tooru figures he saw a cat or something and went to chase it. He lightly jogs over to the mouth of the alleyway, stopping dead in his tracks when he sees Kaiju excitedly licking the face of a laughing man. The alleyway is dark but Tooru doesn’t need to see to recognize the voice. He would know that voice anywhere.

Because Kaiju is currently on the lap of Iwaizumi Hajime.

Immediately, it feels like someone lit his blood on fire and relocated his heart to his lungs, because he can’t breathe and the once cool air feels like a blazing inferno.

“Oikawa.” He says Tooru’s name like it’s his last breath, like someone just punched the wind out of his body. Tooru knows how he feels.

Almost on instinct, Tooru wants to call him ‘Hajime’ but thinks better of it halfway through and so it comes out as “Hajiwa-chan.”

They don’t break eye-contact, even as Iwaizumi stands with Kaiju in his arms, dropping the trash bag he held with his other hand. “Wow, haven’t seen that hoodie in a while.” He remarks.

Tooru looks down dumbly to the hoodie he’s wearing and is suddenly very aware of how run down he looks with his sweatpants and sneakers, both of them threadbare and worn. And, oh god, his hair isn’t even styled, it probably looks like shit. He self-consciously runs a hand through his brown locks, smiling nervously. “Yeah.”

It’s silent as Iwaizumi scratches Kaiju behind the ears, squinting a little at Tooru. “What a coincidence, huh?”

The unspoken ‘what a coincidence we’re meeting on our anniversary’ rings even louder in Tooru’s ears than if Iwaizumi had said it aloud. “Sure is.” He says awkwardly, his heart throbbing painfully in his chest for every millisecond of awkward silence they have between them. “I thought you moved out of town?”

Iwaizumi nods, adjusting Kaiju in his grasp so that he’s holding him in one arm and grabbing at the trash bag beside him. “Yeah, it was, uh, family business. I moved back about 7 months ago.”

“You never told me.” Shit, shit, shit, he didn’t mean to say that. Tooru wishes he could grab the words from the air in between them before they reach Iwaizumi’s ears.

He looks a bit shocked, but recovers quickly. “Sorry,” he offers, the tension between them strengthening even so. “Listen, Oikawa, I gotta get back to work.” he walks to Tooru and they make an awkward trade-off for Kaiju.

His arms are still strong and tan. He smells the same. For a second, Tooru wonders if it would be weird if he just closed his eyes and pretended like they were still close. But just as quickly as he came, Iwaizumi backs off and throws the large bag into the dumpster.

“I’ll see you around,” he says before entering the door beside him, “Tooru.”

Tooru is so flustered that his words fail him. He just bows his head quickly, and when he looks back up, Iwaizumi is gone.

 


 

“I still can’t fuckin’ believe you met Iwaizumi again and you didn’t fuckin’ tell me immediately!” Kuroo gushes, almost knocking over his shake, which Kenma coolly pushes back to a safe distance without looking up from his phone.

Tooru grunts into his cheeseburger. “I believe my silence was totally justified! You can’t blame me.” He says, mouth full of food.

“I sure as hell can blame you! You’ve been moping around for what? 2 years? And now the object of your affections for practically your entire life is back and you’re not gonna do anything?” Kuroo shakes his head disbelievingly. “Kenma can you believe this?”

Kenma’s attention is glued to his game, but he lets out a small noise of affirmation, almost drowned out from the music of Love Live playing from the speakers.

Kuroo swivels his head back to Tooru. “See, Kenma can’t believe it either!”

“Whatever! I’m not doing anything because we broke up for a reason. It’s over between us.” The words hurt, but he knows they’re true.

“Okay, sure, the relationship part is over, but you guys have been best friends your entire lives. Surely that means something. Plus, it’s obvious you miss the hell out of him.”

“When have I ever said I miss him? I’m fine with what I have now.” Tooru says.

“Oikawa Tooru, I don’t care about what people think about you, but you are not the kind of guy who likes sleeping around with strangers. You’re the kind of guy who likes sleeping around with Iwaizumi. And sure, you haven’t said that you miss him – out loud – but there’s no way you haven’t thought about it.” Kuroo retorts, sipping his shake with finality.

“Kuroo, stop.” Kenma whispers with some warning to his voice, and Kuroo immediately deflates and leans back in his seat, face apprehensive.

It was too late, however, as Tooru’s face screws up. He grabs his things and slides out of the booth, stopping only to drop a few bills on the table. “I’ll see you guys later.” He grumbles, storming out of the restaurant and into the rain.

“I don’t know why you keep pushing him.” Kenma says.

 


 

Tooru goes directly to the club he frequents on days like this. The dirty hole-in-the-wall establishment in the shady part of the city perfectly represents his heart at this moment and so he makes the decision to spend the rest of the evening there until he finds someone to take home and fuck him senseless.

The club is usually thriving at this time of day – full of people getting off of work and seeking release from their busy schedules. When he arrives and sits down at the crowded bar, it’s not long until someone is buying him a drink. He’s delighted to find a companion this quickly, and is about to turn around and suggest to the stranger that they find somewhere more quiet to be when someone catches his eye and makes him double-take.

There’s a man with tan skin, dark hair, and large arms that reminds Tooru’s helpless heart of someone he doesn’t want to think about. His staring alerts the man, who nods at him from across the bar. He nods back and gives the stranger beside him a pat on the back.

“Thanks for the drink,” he mumbles, walking determinedly towards the man across the bar. He sits beside him, crossing his legs elegantly. “What’s your name?”

The man smirks at him confidently, eyelids shading his dark blue eyes. Tooru can’t help but think that it's the wrong color. “Iwasaki.”

Tooru feels like fate mocking him at this point, and he fights the urge to let out a frustrated scream. “I’m Oikawa.” He says, regardless, allowing his hand to crawl up Iwasaki’s bicep.

Iwasaki’s smirk grows wider as he stands up, leading Tooru out of the club. They call a cab but the ride to Tooru’s apartment is a blur as they make out in the backseat, bodies meshing so tightly that it would be impossible to discern which body parts belong to whom.

When they reach his apartment, Tooru thanks his past self for locking Kaiju, who is growling viciously at the intruder, up in advance.

Iwasaki looks and feels apprehensive as Tooru remembers belatedly that most people do not automatically block out the sound of small dogs yapping. “I, uh, don’t like dogs.” Iwasaki says by way of explanation which makes Tooru not like him a little. But instead of fighting Iwasaki on the greatness of dogs, he relocates them to his room, where they continue their proceedings.

Tooru hates that he has to repeat in his head, like a mantra, not to cry out the wrong name as he imagines someone else taking him.

 


 

It isn’t until one week later that Tooru admits it.

He’s sitting around his apartment, watching The Fifth Element and petting Kaiju with one hand, nursing wine in a coffee mug with the other. It’s horribly reminiscent of the weekend back in their 3rd year at Aoba-Johsai where he and Iwaizumi are cuddled up together, Kaiju on his lap. Except instead of room-temperature wine, there’s hot chocolate – specially made by Iwaizumi – warming their bellies and their smiles.

It’s then that the silent tears drip down his face slowly as the TV in front of him begins to get blurry.

“I miss Hajime.” He says aloud, to no one, small, drunken sobs escaping his trembling lips.

 


 

When he calms down and sobers up, he sends Kuroo a selfie of himself looking pissed with the caption ‘come help me decide what to wear when i go see iwa-chan’.

He gets one in return, depicting a blurry Kuroo and a slightly shocked Kenma captioned ‘FUCK YEAH BOI’.

 


 

“Okay, Oikawa, what’s the mission for today?”

“Urgh, I don’t know! I didn’t sign up for this.” Tooru whines and pulls at his hair, but taking special care not to actually mess it up.

Kuroo tsks impatiently, somehow reminiscent of any PTA mom ever. “Repeat after me: ‘I will talk to Iwaizumi and find out if he’s still single.’”

“I’m not saying anything. Kenma, tell Kuroo he can’t make me do anything.”

“Kenma, tell Oikawa I’m trying to get him to do what’s best for him.”

Kenma, tell Kuroo that I am an adult and that I can think for myself.”

Kenma, tell Oikawa that his big boy panties got revoked when he decided to mope for 2 years.”

“Kenma-“

“Kenma, where are you going-“

“Kenma, you can’t run forever-“

“He’s gone.”

“I can’t believe he left.”

 


 

The sky is a deep orange when Tooru reaches the back alley where he last saw Iwaizumi. He feels like a small hummingbird his trying to escape out of his chest. Belatedly, he realizes he should have brought Kaiju, as if the small demon spawn could somehow bridge the awkward gap that formed between the two men.

Making note of the numbers painted on the door that Iwaizumi had entered, Tooru walks around to the front of the strip mall. He’s shocked to see that the corresponding building was actually a rather quaint looking café that has a disproportionately long line leading out of it. Immediately he recognizes the café as a new up-and-coming restaurant that he had read about in a magazine. He never knew he lived so close to it; he would have tried it if he had known. And more surprisingly, Iwaizumi is working here?

Tooru uses his height advantage to look over the line of people. He eyes lock on Iwaizumi immediately and a dopey smile finds its way to his face. The man is walking fast, winding his way in between people with a tray of food balanced in his hand. Even from here, Tooru can see the sweat lining his forehead. He was always such a hard worker, Tooru muses.

“Hey, you trying to cut?” A voice asks from in front of Tooru, knocking him out of his Iwaizumi-induced trance. “Because we’ve been here for an hour and a half and you obviously just got here.” It’s a teenager, he notices, backed up by several others of their kind. He sneers at them childishly but backs off, making his way to the end of the line a couple of doors down.

Within 10 minutes he’s already tired of waiting. The line didn’t seem to be moving at all and he’s hungry. He wishes he was at least toward the front where he would have Iwaizumi to look at. The line finally moves slightly around the 30 minute mark, and he envies that group of teenagers at the beginning of line. His feet hurt, but he refuses to admit his expensive designer shoes are anything but the height of comfort.

At one hour, Tooru finally reaches the windows of the café. Any sensible person would have left by now, his common sense tells him, but he brushes it off when he sees Iwaizumi. He’s still working as steadfastly as when Tooru had seen him earlier. It warms his heart to see him after all of these years, the initial shock leaving his body and the pure adoration taking its place. The surprising warmth in his body relaxes him and he takes a seat on the recently emptied bench, crossing his arms and leaning his head back against the window.

 


 

“-kawa.”

Huh?

Did he…did he fall asleep?

“Hey, Shittykawa.”

That wakes him up.

“Wuh!” He exclaims intelligently. His eyes adjust in the darkness – when had the sky gotten so black? - and focus on Iwaizumi’s face.

“As ugly a sleeper as ever.” He says, his arms crossed and his foot tapping on the ground. “Some things never change, I suppose.”

Tooru squawks indignantly, “I’ll have you know I am a beautiful sleeper. Always have been.”

“Yeah, tell that to someone who hasn’t shared a bed with you before.” He smirks, but then a car driving up behind them catches his eye. “That’s my ride.” He says, lifting a hand in goodbye.

Tooru’s disappointed that he’s leaving so fast after they finally get to talk a bit but he just waves back. Once Iwaizumi touches the door handle of the car, however, Tooru works up the courage to call for him. “Wait!”

He turns around, an eyebrow raised inquisitively, customary frown on his face. “What?” He calls back.

“Uh…” He stands up and walks a little closer to Iwaizumi. “Did you change your number?”

One of the corners of Iwaizumi’s mouth softens a bit. “No, I haven’t.” His voice is more gentle than usual and it makes the hummingbird in Tooru’s chest return. He waves goodbye again as Iwaizumi gets in the car, letting his hand fall only when the vehicle is out of sight.

He figures he should consider this a wasted evening, having spent most of it outside of a building, but seeing Iwaizumi – even for a little bit – made him feel better. Didn’t make his stomach feel any emptier, though, Tooru thinks as he ponders what to eat for dinner.

He picks up a frozen dinner from the convenience store next to his apartment and some more dog food for Kaiju. By the time he gets home, his body fully registers how tired and hungry he is. He makes sure to feed Kaiju first, even if the dog is yapping at him so loudly that Tooru feels like he has a hangover. When he sits down with his food, he pulls out his phone and contemplates it, before his brain makes decisions without his permission and suddenly he’s going through his contacts and highlighting Iwaizumi’s contact information.

He used to hate himself for never deleting it, but now it remains as a reminder of the past 2 years and how much he’s suppressed his emotions of the entire ordeal. They’ve had an entire 2 years of absolutely no contact and Tooru feels the same, if not stronger for his childhood friend. But he loves how easily they fell back into their rhythm for that short conversation – even if Iwaizumi was mostly responsible for that. Tooru used to pride himself in his conversational skills, but the separation from Iwaizumi changed him terribly.

Kaiju jumps onto his lap, bringing him back to the present. The dog seemed perceptive, at some points, even though Tooru knew he just wanted to catch any food that Tooru dropped while eating.

In the end, he sets his phone down, leaning back, closing his eyes, and letting Kaiju eat the rest of his cold beef and broccoli.

 


 

Eventually – and of his own volition, definitely not at Kuroo’s insistence, may he add – he calls Iwaizumi. He tries not to be nervous as the phone rings, remembering how easy being with him was the other day. It was only natural – they had spent most of their lives together, 2 years was nothing.

Except it was something.

Tooru has the misfortune to let out a frustrated yell right as Iwaizumi picks up the phone.

“If anyone should be yelling, it’s me. You woke me up, you bastard.”

His heart sinks, but he soldiers on. C’mon, Tooru, you’ve been yelled at by Iwa-chan before. This is nothing. “Iwa-chan, so uncivilized! I call you for a friendly chat and you call me a bastard, tsk tsk. Also why are you asleep at 11 am? So rare for you.”

Iwaizumi laughs, but it’s a little bitter. “Not lately, no. Been having to work more shifts at work.”

Tooru frowns at that, but doesn’t push it. Apparently he’s silent for too long, and Iwaizumi sounds a little impatient. “What did you want?”

“Oh, uh,” the straightforward question catches him off guard and he struggles to hold onto his wits. “I was actually wondering if you would like to grab a bite to eat. Maybe catch up a little…?”

This time there’s silence on the other end and Tooru’s fight or flight begins to kick in, ready to retract his statement.

“…Are you free right now? We could get lunch.”

“Yes! I mean, yeah, yeah I’m free.” He doesn’t think his heartbeat could go any faster at this point.

“Do you still live…”

“Yeah, same place. Do you want to…come over? And, I don’t know, see Kaiju? Then we could go together. For lunch.” He’s sweating bullets as he wishes he could just tease Iwaizumi like he used to, but he doesn’t want to mess this up.

“Sure, that’d be great. I can be there in an hour?” He sounds far more awake now, and Tooru wants to believe that’s happiness he hears in his voice.

“See you then, Iwa-chan!”

“Later, Assikawa.”

The instant Tooru hangs up, he panics. Oh god I need to shower, the house is a mess, I have nothing to drink, Kaiju needs a bath too, oh my god what should I wear? He cleans the house first, collecting the laundry and dirty dishes strewn everywhere, then he scoops up Kaiju – who begins growling – and rushes them both into the shower. The Pomeranian surprisingly doesn’t fight it and Tooru seriously wonders if Kaiju knows Iwaizumi is coming.

He wraps them both in towels when they’re done and he sits down and blow-dries both of their hair. Kaiju barks at the blow-dryer as Tooru chases him around the bathroom with it, and he can’t help but laugh. The dog’s yappy barks calm him down a bit and he giggles at Kaiju’s poofy little body. Finally, he opens the door, letting the excited dog out so Tooru can groom himself.

When he gets to his closet, it’s then that he reaches his conundrum. What should he wear? He wants to look nice, but Iwaizumi would know if he was trying too hard.  

He doesn’t get the opportunity to think about it any longer when there’s a knock on the door and Kaiju explodes into noise. Shit, why is he early, shit! Tooru panics and grabs the first thing he sees in his closet and pulls it on. “Coming!” He calls, rushing to the door and pulling it open, but immediately turning on his heel and rushing back to his room. “I’m indecent!”

“I literally just fucking saw you, you look fine.” A voice yells back, but it’s tinged with amusement.

Tooru thanks the gods that he has a mirror in his room, and that his bag has his makeup because there’s no way he’s going to let Iwaizumi see him with anything less than perfection, not when he’s trying to woo him. He goes back through his closet and quickly, carefully, picks out the clothes he will wear. He pulls them on in record time, and then rushes to the vanity. He pulls the foundation out of his bag and swipes it on his face quickly, making sure to get the bags under his eyes. He dusts his face with several other products and then steps back to ensure the flawlessness of his visage. He figures that that’s as good as it will get with so little time, then grabs his things and walks out into the hallway.

He hears laughter, and is welcomed to a beautiful sight in his living room.

Iwaizumi is laying on his back on Tooru’s couch, Kaiju standing on his chest, excitedly licking his face, tail wagging so furiously that Tooru fears he might take off into some sort of canine-helicopter flight. Nonetheless, Iwaizumi is laughing. The sound brings back memories of their childhood, the kind of honey-soaked summer memories that end with cicada-catching and staring up at skylight filtered by trees.

He’s pulled out of his reverie when the laughter stops, and Iwaizumi is sat up, staring questioningly at Tooru. “What are you staring at?”

“Wow, I forgot how ugly Iwa-chan looks when he’s laughing.” Dammit! Tooru, you’re supposed to be wooing! This isn’t wooing!

Iwaizumi gets up and sets Kaiju carefully on the couch. “I forgot how ugly you look in general.” He sneers, “Distance makes the heart fonder, I guess.”

Tooru shakes his head and leads them to his door. “Don’t be jealous, Iwa-chan. Not everyone is born perfect, I’m just a rare beauty.” He shakes his head wistfully as he locks the door. “Sadly, I have the misfortune of being subject to such bouts of envy, like the one you always have in my presence.”

Iwaizumi guffaws and roughly pats Tooru on the shoulder. “Yeah, keep telling yourself that buddy.”

“Hmph!” Tooru pouts, but lets Iwaizumi win this round. “Where are we going to eat, anyway?”

“Anywhere but that godforsaken café. I’m there more often than I am at my own apartment.” He complains, falling into step beside Tooru. “To be honest, I could really go for breakfast food, since I’m never really awake or free at that time to eat it, anymore.”

Tooru feels bad for him. He’d always loved breakfast, especially as they got older. What caused such a change in lifestyle? “Mm, I think we have a good breakfast diner a few blocks from here?” He pulls out his phone and finds directions, memorizing them as Iwaizumi continues to talk.

“Been low on money, so I’ve had to work double shifts, closing, overtime, you name it. It’s worth it though. I do love food on my plate.” He stretches his arms back and grunts a little. “Could use a nap.”

Guilt piles up in Tooru’s stomach. “Sorry for waking you.” He says, probably more serious than the situation called for.

Iwaizumi shrugs, then puts his hands in his pockets, a familiar habit that Tooru recognizes from when he becomes embarrassed. “S’fine.”

The awkwardness is back, like the ease of conversation and playful banter decided to elope and leave the men. It’s silent, painfully so, until they get to the diner. When they enter, Tooru notices a few gruff guys sitting at the bar, but not many other people. As Iwaizumi picks a booth on the other side of the restaurant, Tooru can’t help but feel a certain intimacy form, like there’s a curtain around them, blocking them from the other people in the restaurant. He feels his body heat up a bit and he hopes to god he’s not blushing. It’s only after the bored sounding waitress gets their drink orders that the silence between them is broken.

“You still drink your coffee completely black.” Tooru notes, sticking his tongue out in disgust.

Iwaizumi laughs, “Remember when you thought my coffee was your hot chocolate that one time? Your face was so funny.”

Tooru’s nose wrinkles, “Wow, way to bring up a repressed memory.”

Iwaizumi laughs even harder and all of the awkwardness floods out of the room.

“So,” Tooru begins, leaning forward a little, “what has the elusive Iwa-chan been up to since,” he chokes a bit here, “since we last spoke?”

“Well,” Iwaizumi begins, looking a bit grim, “After, y’know, I just kind of stayed with my mom a bit. I kept her company, which is why we were together when we heard the news.” He pauses here, sipping his black sludge. “My father died.”

What? “Oh my god,” Tooru reaches across the table and grabs Iwaizumi’s hand. He doesn’t know what to say.

“You know I don’t care about the bastard, but mom did. And the support money he was sending us was cut off. With all her medication, and the house payments…” He pauses again, but is still. He’s staring at their joined hands. “I dropped out of college, and I got us out of there. My mom was pissed, of course, but I couldn’t let her go back to before. I’ve had a lot of jobs since then, but this café one has been good. Allowed me to move back here.” He sighs, and then pulls his hand out of Tooru’s grasp. “That’s basically what my life has been like since then. And wipe that look off your face, it’s not that bad. Just a little more work.”

Tooru can’t believe he forgot how strong Iwaizumi is. To go through all of that… “You went through all of that alone.”

Iwaizumi shrugs, fiddles with a sugar packet. “I had my mom, and a few other people.”

Wait, wait, wait. “Have you…been with anyone? Since – y’know?”

“Er, yeah. Just one. I’m, uh.” He gulps visibly. “Still with them.”

Tooru shouldn’t be surprised, but he is. “Oh. Well that’s,” His fingers knot up in his pants. “That’s good. That you had someone. To help you through stuff.”

“Yeah, she’s the one who helped me land the job.”

“She?” Hold the fuck up. Tooru explicitly remembers a conversation they had in 3rd year, where Iwaizumi had confessed he only liked men and Tooru had said he was down with anyone. “You’re gay.”

Iwaizumi shrugs – he sure is doing a lot of shrugging these days – continuing to fiddle with the sugar packet. “Things change. Anyway,” he begins, but is interrupted by their food being brought out.

Anyway?! He drops several devastating, very dramatic bombs on Tooru’s sanity and he says “anyway”?! Okay, calm down Tooru, Iwa-chan is being very calm about this. Maybe this is one of those situations where you’re overreacting again? Yeah. That’s it.

“Anyway,” He says again once the waitress leaves, “Shimizu-san and I became fast friends, eventually dating. She insisted on helping with some financial burden, so she got me a job at her father’s café and paid for a place for us to stay. My mom refused, and she got a place of her own in the suburbs. Of course I fought Shimizu-san tooth and nail about it too, but I know when I need help. Doesn’t mean I won’t try and pay all of the money back when I get a stable job.” His smile becomes gentle here, and Tooru has never wanted to not see that look on his face before this moment. “Shimizu-san has helped so much.”

“That’s,” Tooru’s appetite is gone, this food is useless, what’s the point, “That’s great!”

“Iwaizumi-san!”

Tooru and Iwaizumi turn their heads to the entrance, and there’s a surprised looking woman standing in the doorway. She’s got a head of silky looking blonde hair, that still somehow manages to look a little messy, and a rather adorable skirt on. This must be Iwaizumi’s new girlfriend. She’s cute, goddammit.

“Yachi!” Iwaizumi is up in an instant, pulling ‘Yachi’ into a large hug that has her little legs dangling a bit.

She’s giggling – and wait, did he say “Yachi”? Not Shimizu-san?

“Iwaizumi-san, I haven’t seen you in so long.” She says as Iwaizumi sets her back down. What’s with him and his affinity for small beings? Tooru adjusts his long limbs self-consciously.

“We saw each other the other day.” He informs, but there’s a soft smirk on his face.

She’s flustered now, eyes on the ground. “Err, you’re right. Oops.” When she looks back up, her eyes lock with Tooru’s. “Is that…?”

“Oh, right, yeah. That’s Oikawa Tooru.” Iwaizumi says, walking them over to where Tooru was sitting.

He flashes a grin, the one reserved for strangers. “That’s me. And what is your name?”

She bows quickly, narrowly missing hitting her head on the corner of the table. “I’m Yachi Hitoka. Pleased to meet you!”

“You don’t have to be pleased to meet him. He’s pretty unpleasant once you talk to him for more than 10 seconds.” Iwaizumi sits down, and motions for Yachi to do the same. “She works for Shimizu-san as a live-in maid at her house.”

Yachi laughs nervously, “I, uh, I’ve heard a lot about you, Oikawa-san.”

Tooru fixes her with The Look. “I would have loved to hear a lot about you, Hito-chan.” She giggles nervously even more.

 Iwaizumi looks ready to admonish him, but Yachi beats him to it, quickly changing the subject. “Oh, Iwaizumi-san, Kiyoko-chan was wondering if you could come over for dinner today.”

He nods. “Yeah, of course.”

“Oh, that’s great! I’ll make agedashi tofu, then.”

“I have no complaints.”

Tooru stands up. “Sorry, I forgot I have some business to attend to. Thank you for accompanying me during lunch, Iwa-chan!” He collects his things quickly, so the urge to stay doesn’t overpower him.

“What?” Iwaizumi is frowning, the space between his eyebrows creasing. “Okay. I’ll see you, I guess.” Tooru doesn’t know if it’s wishful thinking, but Iwaizumi seems a little forlorn.

“Bye, Hito-chan, Iwa-chan.” He says, and walks out of there as quickly as he can.

The last thing he hears is Yachi saying, in a small, confused voice, “He didn’t even touch his food.”

 


 

Tooru doesn’t want to admit it, but finding out that Iwaizumi is in a relationship really messed up his whole idea of their possible future together. But really, why is he surprised? Iwaizumi is a handsome man, it’s completely understandable for him to have someone else. The concept was still so foreign to him, though. They had been together all of their collective life, and Iwaizumi had even told him that he liked him for a large portion of it.

Had Tooru been holding him back, forever filling the place beside him? He feels selfish and disgusting. Iwaizumi doesn’t deserve being held down, but Tooru had been unknowingly doing it for a majority of their lives.

So he’s tentative to force himself back into Iwaizumi’s life. He wouldn’t be able to take his previous pedestal, he’d be doomed to a supporting role. Is that really any better than nothing?

Desperate to find the answer, Tooru doesn’t text or call Iwaizumi for the next week. It’s torture to not respond to his texts, but he doesn’t want to pull him back into a mess.

He tells Kuroo this much, genuinely at a loss.

“Wow. This is truly pitiful,” Kuroo shakes his head, “What happen to the Oikawa I knew in high school? This one’s a baby. It’s like the confidence blew right out of you.”

“Hey, I didn’t come here to get judged. You have to help me.” Tooru whines, pressing his forehead against the table.

“You know that if you come to me for help, you’re gonna get made fun of. It says that on our friend contract.”

He sits up and fixes Kuroo with a glare, then turns to Kenma. “You’re the sensible one; what should I do?”

Kenma glances up from his game, looking slightly uncomfortable from the attention. “Well, you could talk to him.”

Tooru groans loudly, “I want to but I can’t!”

“You heard the man. He has spoken!” Kuroo announces, crossing his arms. “Stop avoiding Iwaizumi. You guys have had almost 3 years apart already. Or did you want the big gap of despair between you two to get any bigger? Because that’s definitely a thing that’s happening.”

“What do I even say?”

“What do you guys normally talk about? You two were friends long before you ever got romantically involved, y’know.”

Tooru cries out and falls back onto his couch. Kuroo just doesn’t get it! “It’s not that easy.” He whines again, covering his face with his hands. He just wants to sleep and forget about all of this. He feels tears of frustration prickle his eyes.

Someone’s pulling his hands from his face, and he’s surprised to see it’s Kenma. “Kuro and I need to leave, but listen to what we said, okay? Whatever you do, your end goal is to talk to Iwaizumi again.” Kenma says, voice soft, and lets go of his wrist. They leave in silence.

The pudding-headed boy didn’t normally get physical with other people, so his words held more weight. He knows he needs to talk to Iwaizumi. But it’s hard.

He covers his face with his arm and lets out a long, suffering sigh. Cuddling the pillow beside him, he allows himself to fall asleep.

 


 

He’s awoken not long after by the loud blasting “EYO GG” that makes him spring up in alarm, only to look at his phone buzzing on the floor beside him.

The screen is illuminated to show an old, blurry picture of Iwaizumi smiling next Tooru, who’s pouting. He remembers when he took that picture, Iwaizumi had refused to smile until Tooru had frowned, causing Iwaizumi to smile. Tooru swears he’s some kind of sadist or something.

The phone stops ringing and Tooru panics. “I was supposed to pick that up!” He yells at himself, lunging for the phone and pressing the call back button. He waits nervously as the phone dials the number, clutching the throw pillow to his chest. Iwaizumi picks up almost immediately and Tooru thinks his heart jostles dangerously in his ribcage.

“What made you decide to pick up this time?” He says, straight to the point.

His voice confuses Tooru in that it both calms him down yet makes his heart speed up. Has it always been like that? “Iwa-chan! Some people have lives,” he admonishes playfully, or at least he hopes so.

“Didn’t use to stop you before.” Iwaizumi grouses.

“Uwah, does Iwa-chan miss me?” Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes -

“O-Of course, you shitty asshole,” He sounds embarrassed. “It’s been a long fucking while, you know. There’s a large, trashcan shaped hole in my life now.”

Tooru swears his heart is soaring. “I’m at least a recycle bucket.”

“Let’s call it even at a dumpster.”

“How is that even?!”

 


 

“There, that should keep it settled until you can call a plumber.”

“Iwa-chan, you’re so dependable.” Tooru croons from on the couch, hanging over the back to watch Iwaizumi collect the mess around him. “Where would I be without you?”

He lets out a tired sigh. “In a slightly damp house.”

“Thank you, thank you,” Tooru says, all smiles. Why can’t he stop smiling?

“Since I’m here anyway, do you want to come back to Shimizu-san’s with me and have dinner? Yachi’ll be there too.”

And there goes the smile.

Tooru gives a heavy sigh that he hope says “I’m busy but I guess” and smirks. “If you really can’t live without me then I suppose I have no choice but to.”

Iwaizumi curls his lip, “Invite rescinded.”

“No, no, Iwa-chan, I’ll go, I’m sorry!” He whines, standing up on the couch, causing Kaiju to start yapping at him.

“Mm, I don’t know. I think I’ll take Kaiju instead,” Iwaizumi says, picking up the small demon and kissing the top of his head. “He’ll be nicer.”

“He’s a small yappy dog.”

“My point exactly.”

After Tooru gets ready – he takes longer this time because now he has competition – they head out, Kaiju in tow.

The weather is cooler, after all the rain that had been pouring down on the city in the week earlier. The sky is still a dark, gloomy grey, and the wind blows through the newly formed leaves, the chill loosening their hold. Tooru pulls his cardigan closer and shivers.

Suddenly the leash handle is tugged from his hands. He looks over to Iwaizumi, surprised. “What was that for?”

Wordlessly, Iwaizumi offers his arm.

 Tooru’s blushing, he must be. He wants to tell the man that this is not platonic, not at all, not when they had done this so many times in the past, but his heart is in his throat. He reaches out and holds onto Iwaizumi’s bicep, the feel of it warm and firm. It brings back memories that he’d really rather not think about while walking to his ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend’s house.

So he just presses his body to Iwaizumi’s side and relishes the everlasting warmth emanating from his form. The walk is a bit long, compared to Tooru’s usual walks, but he doesn’t complain. It gives him a chance to be near Iwaizumi, the closest he’s been to him in a long time. That little hummingbird is back in his chest, beating rapidly, and he struggles to remember if this was how it felt being in love with Iwaizumi the first time. It’s hard to focus when they’re walking so in sync with each other. His mind is so clear yet so fogged, so calm yet so hectic. This kind of unrequited love was one Tooru had never felt before. Before, there was no one in his way.

“What are you looking so constipated about?”

Tooru jumps and pulls away from Iwaizumi’s arm, feeling somehow guilty. “Can’t remember if I locked the door,” He lies.

Iwaizumi raises a brow, “You did.”

It’s silent after that. Tooru mourns the loss of Iwaizumi’s warmth and barely conceals a shiver.

“Here.” Iwaizumi is holding out his jacket, face stubborn.

“So gentlemanly!” Tooru teases, and Iwaizumi immediately shoves a hand into his pocket.

When they reach Shimizu’s house, Tooru’s counted at least 10 separate times that he’s wanted to hold Iwaizumi’s hand. Right now, all he wants to do is scream in frustration.

The house is huge, seeming like a castle, but still very home-y looking. The bricks are a dark, rich red and the roof is black, making it stand out among the rest of the houses. Iwaizumi knocks on the wooden door, and Tooru struggles to not admire the way his muscles work as he pulls away from the door.

“Iwaizumi-san, Kiyoko-chan’s father has left – Oh, hello Oikawa-san!” Yachi is at the door, looking surprised. “I didn’t think you would be coming.”

“Sorry, I forgot to tell you guys I invited him. Is there enough food?” Iwaizumi looks uncharacteristically sheepish, and it makes Tooru feel weird.

“Yes, of course.” She suddenly looks embarrassed, “Ah! Where are my manners, come in, come in!”

The two walk in and take off their shoes. It feels strange in such a Western-looking house.

“Hitoka-chan, is that Iwaizumi-san?” Calls a voice from further in, sounding very elegant. It’s one of those voices that demand to be heard at any volume, the kind you immediately stop to listen to. Tooru’s already intimidated.

“Yeah, it’s me.” Iwaizumi says back, and they all file into the dining room.

There’s a beautiful woman sitting in a chair, almost nose-deep in a large textbook. She has long, silky, midnight black hair and startling eyes, her glasses only serving to magnify their essence. Tooru’s really intimidated; she seems like Iwaizumi’s type.

You used to be his type, his brain helpfully supplies. “I assume you’re Oikawa Tooru.” She says, standing and holding out a hand. “I’m Shimizu Kiyoko.”

He can’t say anything in response, just nods and shakes her hand. She’s ethereal.

“Wow, that’s the most silent I’ve seen him,” Iwaizumi muses, upper lip curled.

“Yes, he does seem to be quieter than you’ve described him.”

The idea of Iwaizumi talking about him to other people makes him a little happy and so he manages a frown. “Iwa-chan, rude! I have manners, unlike a certain bullheaded barbarian in our midst,” He mumbles childishly.

And there he is.”

Yachi giggles and then gestures towards the table. “Please, sit, and help yourself! I made plenty of food to go around.”

Tooru is more than happy to follow her directions, taking in the sight of the food with greedy eyes. “Looks delish, Hito-chan!”

“Ah, thank you!” She’s blushing happily and Shimizu looks a little sour.

It’s silent until Tooru decides he’d do some digging. “So, Kiyo-chan, Iwa-chan told me your dad is loaded. Do you work?”

Now she looks especially sour. “No, Oikawa-san, I am a student. I’m going to get my degree and then take over my father’s business when he retires.”

Tooru nods, and decides to ignore the fact that she very pointedly doesn’t like how informal he is. “Nice, nice. How long have you known Iwa-chan?”

“Almost a year.” She replies coolly, setting her fork down primly.

“How long have you been dating?”

“Almost 8 months.”

What. That’s about how long Iwaizumi had been back. Did he move back for her? There’s something that settles in Tooru’s stomach like a pile of coal.

“Have you lived here long?”

“My whole life.”

“Hm, same with me,” Tooru says. They could have been childhood friends, the three of them. He hates that it doesn’t sound as bad as he wants it to. He lets his voice drop a register “You’re something, aren’t you, Shimizu-san.”

“So!” Yachi stands suddenly and mumbles nervously, “Who wants dessert? Kiyoko-chan, will you help me?” Shimizu stands with her and they wordlessly walk into the kitchen.

Once they’re out of earshot, Iwaizumi rounds on him. “What is your problem?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Tooru says, nonchalantly.

“Cut the shit, dumbass,” He’s scowling so intensely that Tooru backs away a bit. “You’re doing it. The thing.”

This time he’s genuinely confused. “What ‘thing’?”

“You know what.” Iwaizumi looks like he’s one moment from standing up, “That stupid concentration thing you do before competitions, where you get to know people and then psyche them out.”

Shit, how could he forget how Iwaizumi could read him? Still, he tries to play it off. “Iwa-chan, I’m not trying to psyche out your girlfriend.”

Iwaizumi lets out a heavy sigh through his nose, reminding Tooru of an angry ox. “So you say, but you’re asking a lot of questions. I may not be as perceptive as you, but I do know that you do that when you’re threatened. You like to know as much as possible about the person. And for whatever reason, you don’t like Shimizu-san.”

Tooru feels embarrassed, like he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He feels his body heat up and he wants to run away. But he stays, for Iwaizumi. “I don’t not like her. I just want to know about her.” He doesn’t want to admit it, he’s too ashamed.

Sighing again, Iwaizumi rubs his eyebrow with a knuckle, looking tired. “Look, you can ask her whatever, but don’t be a dick. I know you know how to be nice.”

The air is awkward. Tooru stands up on instinct but is too embarrassed to sit back down. “You’re not my mom, Iwa-chan. And look, I’ll go help them out in the kitchen; they have been taking a while.”

He feels Iwaizumi’s eyes on his back, following him all the way into the kitchen.

When Tooru feels his body relieved of the heavy gaze, he lets out a shaky breathe. He’d forgotten how intense Iwaizumi got sometimes. The man was always straight to the point when Tooru had been doing something wrong, and normally that was fine. But not now. Not while Tooru is trying to get back in his good graces after what had happened those years ago.

“Kiyoko-chan…”

He presses his back to the wall as fast as he can. What was he about to walk in to? Why did Yachi sound so out of breath? Sucking in a breath of his own, he ventures around the corner, neck craning to see everything.

Yachi was leaning back against the counter, face red. Shimizu’s arms caged her on either side, but Tooru couldn’t see her face. “Kiyoko-chan, I love you,” Yachi says breathlessly, eyes skirting around Shimizu’s face, soaking up every detail. Shimizu grasps her freckled face and dives in, kissing her –

Tooru swooped back around the corner, heart racing. Was Shimizu cheating on Iwaizumi? That’s worse than dating him! Rage and confusion wrap around his brain, making his limbs shake. Shimizu really didn’t seem like the kind of person to cheat. And worse yet, should he tell Iwaizumi? Would he even believe Tooru, after what had just happened? Should he confront Shimizu and Yachi?

He thought for too long, however, as Yachi came walking out. Her face was still flushed beyond belief. He wonders how Iwaizumi hadn’t caught them before, but then again, this is Iwaizumi we’re talking about. “Oh!” She exclaims, genuine surprise evident on her face. “Sorry, Oikawa-san, did we take too long?”

“Ah, no, it’s fine, I just wanted to help out is all,” He says coolly, hoping not to convey that he just saw what they were doing.

“Thank you for the thought, but we’re fine.” Shimizu comes out of the kitchen behind them, holding the desserts.

Tooru nods robotically and follows them back into the dining room. Iwaizumi, who had been playing with the previously neglected Kaiju, looks a bit brighter than he was previously. It makes him feel ridiculously better about the situation, yet somehow worse.

They sit down and eat their purin, which looks so cute that Tooru almost doesn’t want to mess it up, but his fury he feels at Shimizu and Yachi causes him to brutally stab the jiggly substance with his spoon. They all carry on their conversation naturally without Tooru butting in, and he feels like an outsider. But more importantly, he’s concerned about what he just saw.

The rest of the evening carries on without fanfare. Iwaizumi and Tooru say their goodbyes and they step out into the cool air with Kaiju. This time he gives Tooru the jacket preemptively with a slightly worried look.

“Why’re you looking at me like that?” He asks.

Iwaizumi frowns but Tooru thinks it’s just habitual at this point. “I’m worried that I made you feel bad, earlier.” He rubs his chin and Tooru notices there’s a bit of stubble there. “Which, I mean, I meant to make you feel bad about being a dick to Shimizu-san, but I didn’t mean for you to stop talking altogether.”

“Aww, you’re worried about me!”

“Yeah, I just said that, dumbass.” Iwaizumi’s scowl is for real this time. “Look, I know you have a filter somewhere in that brain of yours and that you know how to use it. So I wasn’t telling you to shut up, just to use the filter.” He looks sour, which Tooru recognizes is because he’s talking about feelings and social interactions. They aren’t really his strong suit, not if they’re not involved with volleyball.

Tooru gives him a shit-eating grin. “Don’t worry, Iwa-chan, you didn’t hurt my feelings.” Then, it sinks into his chest just why he wasn’t talking. He didn’t want to tell Iwaizumi, though. Not while he looked at Tooru with soft eyes and a stubborn mouth that Tooru would pay to kiss. He wanted to go into a private bubble with Iwaizumi and never leave. But he supposes that’s what got him into this mess to begin with.

It’s not long until they reach a fork in the road, and Iwaizumi stops walking. “I, uh, have to go this way.” He explains. Tooru feels stupid, assuming he was just going to come home with him. Like they lived together.

“Listen, Iwaizumi,” He was going to do it. Iwaizumi deserved to know.

“What?” He’s turned around, facing Tooru, noting the seriousness in his tone.

“When I went to go help Kiyo-chan and Hito-chan,” it felt weird to call them that when really he just wanted them to stop being a thing in Iwaizumi’s life, “I saw something I shouldn’t have.” He thinks he sees recognition light Iwaizumi’s face, but he trucks on before there’s any misunderstandings. “When I walked in, they were,” his face screws up, “Kissing.”

He can’t look at Iwaizumi’s face, can’t look up when he hears a sigh.

He can look up, however, when Iwaizumi chuckles breathlessly.

“Thank god, I thought it was something serious.”

What the fuck.

“What the fuck?”

Iwaizumi’s laughter gets louder. “Ah, sorry,” he apologizes, attempting to catch his breath. “Whew.”

Tooru waits with an incredulous look on his face.

“Okay, so,” He begins, wiping a tear out of his eyes. “I guess I should explain this. Want to go for coffee?”

 


 

“Iwa-chan, I can’t take it, please tell me why you decided to laugh your ass off when I told you your girlfriend is cheating on you.”

Iwaizumi sits down with two piping hot cups of coffee, settling into chair beside Tooru.  “Shut up, I’ll tell you when I’m damn good and ready.” He says, sliding one of the coffees towards the upset man.

“Well can you be good and ready any faster?” Tooru whines, throwing his head back.

“Fine, fine,” Iwaizumi takes a sip out of his cup and then gives a sigh. “Shimizu-san and I are,” He pauses, face scrunching in thought, “Yachi and Shimizu-san are going out.”

“What?”

“I’m not done.” He glares at Tooru and then continues. “When Shimizu-san and I first met, we became really fast friends, like I told you. Eventually, she came to me with a dilemma. She had started a relationship with her girlfriend, Yachi, but no one could know. I don’t know if you know this, but the Shimizu family is watched in the food industry because her father owns and manages a lot of different restaurants. If Shimizu-san is to inherit the family business, then she would have to be socially acceptable. Being a lesbian is not under that list, according to her father, so,” Iwaizumi takes in a large breath here but does not leave Tooru enough time to comment. “Shimizu-san asked if I would fill in the spot as her pretend boyfriend to throw off the scent on her and Yachi. I said yes, and now she insists on throwing money at me in payment, even though I would just do it as a friend.”

So many feelings roar through Tooru’s veins at once. The emotions make his body erupt yet shrink up, flower yet die. “Why didn’t you tell me?” He hates that he feels so entitled to know everything about Iwaizumi. It makes him feel gross.

Iwaizumi shrugs a shoulder, “I don’t know, Shimizu-san said that we should keep this as small scale as possible.” He looks slightly apologetic as his scratches his face again. “I know you wouldn’t tell anyone – you’re responsible where it counts – but Shimizu-san was really nervous. Honestly, though, those two are so deeply in love that I’m surprised someone hasn’t found out sooner.”

Tooru feels a rush of relief clean out the unrest in his body.

“Oh.”

It’s all he can think to say.

“I’m sorry for lying to you.” He absently strokes Kaiju’s ears as the Pomeranian sits in his lap.

He’s. Really fucking relieved. Giddiness surges his throat and he can’t fight the smile that tears across his face. “It’s fine, Iwa-chan. Who knew you were such a good friend?”

Iwaizumi slaps the back of his head. “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

Tooru laughs, and it comes out so easily it surprises him. It’s like the storm inside his brain was alleviated just by a few words.

A particularly strong wind blows, cutting through Tooru even with Iwaizumi’s jacket on.

“C’mon, we should head back. I know you don’t do well in cold weather; knowing your luck, you probably already have a cold.” Iwaizumi lets Kaiju jump off his lap before he stands up, picking up his coffee.

Tooru grins at him, “Thanks.”

As they walk back to the fork in the road they were at earlier, Tooru muses on how different the circumstances were last time they were here just an hour ago. The sky had gotten darker, and the fork was illuminated by a single yellow streetlight. They stop, just like before, and Iwaizumi faces him. “I’ll see you around.”

“Oh,” Tooru says, about to take off Iwaizumi’s jacket and return it, but there’s a hand on his.

“Keep it, you can return it later.”

His face flushes, body feeling warm as Iwaizumi presses Kaiju’s leash into his hand. “Bye, Tooru,” he says, sounding breathless in the cool air.

“Bye, Hajime,” Tooru replies, his heart pounding like a drum.

As they part ways, Kaiju begins to whine pitifully.

“Yeah, me too buddy.”

Chapter Text

Hajime looks into the mirror, eyes swollen and crusty from a night of restless sleep. He spends a good 5 minutes just blinking at his reflection, attempting to wake up. The sun filters in through the window in his room, illuminating his visage softly. The light is warm, not aiding at all in stimulating his brain. He blinks at his reflection one, two, three times. His face has gotten longer, he muses, and wonders what others might think of him now – what Oikawa might think. In just those two years, he supposes a lot of things about him have changed.

He rubs the stubble lining his jaw and scowls deeply. That’s one thing. He hates all of this facial hair. His gaze slides down to his arms, and he unconsciously flexes them a bit. All the work at the gym seemed to be paying off. His arms were nowhere near this thick when he was in high school. He remembers towards the end of his third year, some girls had flocked around him, admiring his muscles. Oikawa had, of course, shooed them away several times, but Hajime figures he would have shooed them away as well. Recently, however, he noticed how much softer he’s become. Now he would politely tell them he’s taken. He supposes that’s why he feels weird about how he’s gotten so close with Yachi and Shimizu. The Hajime from high school would have probably scared them away.

He opens and closes his eyes slowly and stares at his still-sleepy reflection. He remembers languorous mornings like this during the brief time he and Oikawa had lived together, when they would both wake up and they would look into each other’s faces and mouth ‘I love you’s into each other’s lips.

But Oikawa is not here and he’s staring into a mirror.

Shit. Hajime shakes his head vigorously, and exits his bathroom. He pulls on a nearby coat and goes out to his balcony, where a white pack and a lighter were waiting for him. He quickly taps a cigarette out and holds it in place with his lips, lighting it expertly and leaning back against the wood paneling. He takes a heavy inhale, holds it until he feels it burn, and then exhales. His body stops shaking and he lets his back slide down to the ground.

 


                                                                                                                 

Oikawa’s changed too. The most glaring difference being the fact that he doesn’t play volleyball anymore. It almost weirds Hajime out – an Oikawa without volleyball? The last he’d seen of Oikawa, he’d been at their old apartment, going to college on a volleyball scholarship, sure to eventually go on to achieve an Olympic status. Another divergence from the old Oikawa is the amount of X-Files he watches. Not that he didn’t watch obscene amounts of X-Files before, but almost every time Hajime comes over or calls him, he’s always watching X-Files. Weird, but not entirely out of order, he guesses.

“Iwa-chan!”

Another difference almost on par with the lack of volleyball is his sudden timidity. He’s still confident, but sometimes when Hajime even slightly disagrees with him, he backs down. It makes Hajime feel a little uncomfortable. Of course, being Oikawa, he does it in a very imperceptible way, and it even took Hajime a while to notice.

Iwa-chan.”

Even the physicality of him changed.

When Hajime went to Oikawa’s apartment, he found diet magazines tucked away in the bathroom and a fairly worn scale. Weight had never been an issue for him before, why now? He initially figured that it’d just been because Oikawa had zero kitchen sense and his mom had cooked for him a majority of his life. He’d probably just fed himself nothing but convenience store ramen. But Hajime couldn’t deny the signs. Everything screamed depression.

“Iwa-chan, I’m naked!”

Hajime’s eyes snapped to Oikawa, too out of it to realize he was being fooled. Oikawa guffaws loudly, tears beading the corners of his eyes. “Wow, I can’t believe you fell for that, what are you, 12?”

“Shut up!” Hajime grumbles, feeling his face heat up in embarrassment. “Have you decided what you want to eat?” He asks.

“Yes, a long time ago - I told the waitress your order for you because I wanted to see how long you would sit there staring off into space.” Oikawa wipes the tears from his eyes and holds his chin up with an open palm. “What were you thinking about?”

Of course Oikawa wants to make fun of Hajime. It’d been like this for too long. “I was thinking about how stupid I am to be eating here with you when I could be sleeping.”

Oikawa’s bottom lip juts out and his eyes water again with mock petulance. “You haven’t been eating obscene amounts of breakfast food these past few years and I intend to change that. I know how much you miss it.” He grins confidently, nudging Hajime’s blank white coffee mug closer to him.

As much as he doesn’t want to admit it, the bastard’s right. “Doesn’t mean I should sacrifice precious sleep to eat food I can eat at any moment.”

“I know you need as much beauty sleep as possible, Iwa-chan, but it’s fine – I’ll still hang out with you!” Oikawa says graciously, as if he’s giving Hajime a gift. “Plus, you and I both know eating breakfast food for lunch or dinner just isn’t the same.”

Right again. Hajime lifts his coffee up to his lips so he doesn’t have to tell him as much. He’s more surprised that Oikawa had managed to wake up this early. They enter a pleasant silence, one of which Hajime is grateful for. Talking with Oikawa lately had been stressful because he just feels like he needs to avoid any confrontation to keep from destroying the tentative friendship they had rekindled. Their conversations seem to flow pretty well, but Hajime didn’t want to risk it. Seeing Oikawa again made him remember how much he missed him, and he wasn’t eager to have that Tooru-shaped hole in his life again, no matter how annoying he was.

“Listen, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa begins suddenly, and Hajime’s heart skips a beat when his eyes meet warm chocolate ones. “I just wanted to say that I’ve really - ”

“Two breakfast platters and a side of pancakes!” The waitress announces as she sets the plates down in front of them. “Ya’ll need anything else?” She asks, refilling Hajime’s extra water cup.

Oikawa looks a little miffed, and Hajime assumes it’s because he had been interrupted. He can’t stop the small smile from playing on his lips at how much Oikawa also stayed the same despite how much he had changed. “No thank you.” The brunette says, not too kindly.

When the waitress leaves, Hajime waits for Oikawa to finish what he was saying, but he just spears a piece of egg angrily on his fork and shoves it in his mouth. “What were you saying?” Hajime prompts, instead.

Oikawa’s head tilts up, eyes a little wide. “I, uh,” He gives a Hajime a beaming smile, “I ordered pancakes for us to share, just like old times!”

Hajime frowns at him to let Oikawa know that he knows that the former setter is hiding something, but lets it go. “Please don’t drown it in syrup.” He says simply, eating his own food.

After they both finish the breakfast platters, they pull the pancakes in between them and begin to eat. Before Hajime can even pick up his clean fork, Oikawa has a piece on his own but is pushing it towards Hajime. “Open wide, Iwa-chan!” He calls and Hajime flushes as he instinctually opens his mouth.

Chewing the pancake furiously, he drops his fork and fixes Oikawa with a look. “What the fuck?”

“Ew, Iwa-chan, don’t talk with food in your mouth!”

“We’re both grown men, you can’t just feed me like that!”

Oikawa pouts, his bottom lip jutting out prominently and Hajime has to actively prevent himself from leaning forward and taking that lip between his teeth. “We used to feed each other all the time when we were together!”

Well, we’re not together anymore are we? Hajime wants to say, but he holds it back. He doesn’t want to talk about their past, not now. “You’re a dumbass,” He says instead.

In lieu of a response, Oikawa leans forward on his own, mouth open. “My turn, Iwa-chan!”

Hajime feels his face flush again and his eyes drop down to the pancake, looking at it like it will kill him. He doesn’t know why he picks up the fork and cuts a small piece for Tooru, but as he’s guiding it to Oikawa’s face, he quickly shoves it in his own mouth, and the spell is broken.

Oikawa sits there dumbly with his mouth open, and Hajime closes it for him, smirking. He hears Oikawa’s teeth click.

“Mean!”

It’s only when they exit the restaurant that Hajime notices Oikawa putting on the jacket he lent him before. He remembers back before the breakup when he would lend Oikawa jackets, only to never get them again. There are still jackets he never got back from him. He wonders if Oikawa still has them. “Is this another one on the list of jackets I’ll never get back?”

Oikawa looks at him, eyes hooded. “There’s just something special about Iwa-chan’s jackets.”

Hajime feels his body warm up and he quickly looks away to hide his blush. Why is Oikawa flirting with him so much? “I wonder how much money I’ve spent buying new ones.”

“You don’t need to buy new ones! We can share them.”

“You do realize they’re my jackets right.”

Oikawa pouts again and Hajime averts his eyes at the sight. Seeing Oikawa, face flushed from the cold, lip sticking out deliciously, wrapped up in his jacket gives Hajime feelings he’d rather not acknowledge, thank you very much. The jacket thief sidles up to Hajime, hooking an arm through his. He hugs Hajime’s arm to his chest and lets out a little squeal of delight. “Iwa-chan, your arms are so big!”

Hajime feels like he’s about to explode, face embarrassingly red. He shoves his hands in his pockets. “Shut up!”

“Ah, I forget how embarrassed you get when people compliment you,” Oikawa says, face so devious Hajime knows he didn’t ‘forget’. “Anyway,” He begins, voice low, “Your place or mine?”

“Oh my god,” Hajime says, moving to cover his face with his hands, body tense, when Oikawa lets out another noise, but this one sounds unintentional. “W-What?” He asks.

This time Oikawa’s face is the one that’s tinged with splotchy red, his cheeks becoming more prominent because of it. “Er, I felt your bicep move.” He says, blinking rapidly. Then, he seems to catch his cool again and smiles charmingly. “Iwa-chan, you’re such a caveman!”

Hajime tries to stop his brain from making a mental note that Oikawa likes his muscles, but he’s too late. Going to the gym will never be the same. He clears his throat, “To answer your previous question, mine. I need to get ready for work soon.”

Oikawa nods, looking thoughtful. “Good thing I didn’t bring Kaiju. If he went to your place, he’d never want to leave.”

“Wow,” Hajime says, sneering, “Even Kaiju knows you suck.”

When they make it to Hajime’s apartment complex, he notices that Oikawa hasn’t stopped looking around. “What?” He asks irritably.

“This is my first time going to your apartment! I have to soak it in.”

It’s one of Oikawa’s weird quirks, Hajime remembers. It’s probably part of why he’s always so confident – he’s observant enough to know exactly where he is and how to manipulate things around him. “Whatever.” Hajime grumbles, picking up his mail from the mail box before making his way to his apartment. When he unlocks his door, Oikawa is back at his side.

His place is pretty average, Hajime thinks. It’s not too clean and not too dirty, but most things seem to be in order. He has dishes in the sink like any normal person, and the place just smells like the incense he usually lights. Even so, Oikawa’s eyes run over every nook and cranny, collecting data. Hajime takes a moment to regard how wide his eyes are, the color almost golden amber in the sunlight that gleams in through the window, then turns his attention to the mail piled his hand. He pulls on the reading glasses from on the bar and sits on the couch to peruse through the ads and bills. Eventually, he gains attention.

He feels Oikawa’s gaze on him more than sees it, causing him to look up. His eyes are still wide and golden amber, but there’s rose dusted on his cheeks. They make eye contact for longer than Hajime cares to count and he feels his face get warm at how stunning Oikawa looks, the sun creating a little spotlight on his being, demanding attention. His lips, once slack in awe, curve up, gentle at first, then teasing. “Iwa-chan is such an old man! Who needs reading glasses in their early 20s?”

“Fuck off,” Hajime grunts, yanking the glasses off. “You’re a dick sometimes, you know.”

“They suit you.”

“What?”

Oikawa smiles, eyes squinting, leaning forward and resting his chin delicately on his palm, elbow on the counter. “Your glasses suit you.”

Hajime doesn’t know how to respond, so he gets up and grumbles out a “I need to get ready for work.” And makes his way to his room. He hears Oikawa heave a sigh but then he immediately is on Hajime’s heels. Hajime goes through his dresser as the brunette sits down on the bed like it’s his and he observes the room again. Hajime doesn’t think he has anything unsightly in his room but he’s nervous nonetheless.

He hears a quiet gasp beside him that causes him to crane his neck slightly. Oikawa is standing, clutching a picture that he got from Hajime’s nightstand and shit, no he wasn’t supposed to see that. The look on Oikawa’s face is one of pure joy, a face Hajime hasn’t seen in too long.

The picture is one of Kaiju and Oikawa, when they had first found the little Pomeranian on the side of the street. Kaiju’s fur is filthy and unkempt, and Oikawa has a little dirt on his cheek from holding the puppy up next to him. His eyes are bright and the skin crinkles around the edges, only accentuating the pure glee in his expression. He and Hajime had found Kaiju the first week of when they had started dating in their 3rd year at Kitagawa-Daiichi, and had pretty much taken in the dog as their son. He supposes Oikawa had won the custody battle, in the end.

“Don’t just go around touching my stuff.” He says before Oikawa can make any remarks. The look on his face goes undeterred at Hajime’s comment.

“Hajime,” He says, face almost completely mirroring the expression he wears in the picture.

“What?” Hajime groans, trying to go for an irritated tone, but he has a feeling the heat in his cheeks don’t help him much.

“Hajime,” He says again, rushing forward to wrap his arms around the shorter man, shoving his face into the crook of his neck. Oikawa’s excited exhales tickle Hajime’s skin.

“Am I not allowed to have a picture of my best friend and our dog?” He questions, trying to swallow his pride.

Oikawa shakes his head, nose brushing on Hajime’s shoulder. “No, it’s not that. I’m just happy you still think of me as your best friend even after…” He cuts off then, squeezing Hajime’s torso.

His heart sinks a bit at the mention of their breakup, but he wraps his arms around Oikawa’s broad shoulders wordlessly. They stay like that, silent and warm, for some time. Oikawa’s the one to break it off, pulling back with a grin that is startlingly fake. “I’ll let you get ready.” He says, leaving before Hajime can get any words in edgewise.

He’s left alone, grasping the black work shirt in his hand, feeling a little hopeless. Does…does Oikawa still have feelings for him? The thought fills Hajime with so many different emotions he feels a headache coming on. He pinches the bridge of his nose. There’s no way nope, none, zilch. They hadn’t seen each other in 2 years, and Oikawa’s, well, extremely good looking. Surely he has someone he’s interested in. Hajime curses himself for not having the insight to ask Oikawa about his love life.

Not that it’s any of his business.

When Hajime returns to the living room, Oikawa has his face in his hands, breathing slowly, still as a statue. He doesn’t know what to do, so he just closes his door a little louder than usual so Oikawa looks up.

“Iwa-chan, I’ll walk you there,” He says, “Even though you’re all chiseled now, the streets are never safe.”

“It’s 8:30 in the morning.”

“Still!” He insists, following Hajime to the front door. “I’ve got nothing to do today, so I’m blessing you with this gracious deed.”

On the way there, they’re silent. It’s a warm silence that accentuates every other sense Hajime has. He feels oddly light, and a quick look at Oikawa lets him know he isn’t the only one. Oikawa looks radiant in the spring sun, his eyes portraying nothing but pure joy. There’s a light dusting of pink on his cheeks, and it looks like he’s trying to fight a smile.

“What’s got you so happy?” Hajime asks, bumping Oikawa’s arm with his elbow.

Oikawa grins at him and it’s so real it makes his heart jump. “Nothing,” He says, bumping Hajime back. “I’m just happy.”

 Hajime has to look away to hide the grin cracking across his face. “That’s,” He clears his throat, “That’s good.”

When they make it to the restaurant, Hajime starts to turn around to tell Oikawa goodbye, when the former setter swoops in to give him a kiss on the cheek. “Have a good day, Iwa-chan! Work hard.”

After Hajime’s brain recovers from its short-circuit, he scowls at Oikawa. “You don’t have to tell me that.”

Oikawa waves a hand, and then walks back in the direction they came.

Hajime’d be lying if he said that the feeling of Tooru’s lips on his cheek didn’t haunt his thoughts his entire shift.

 


 

He’s woken some weeks later by a phone call around 1 in the morning. The shrill ringing cuts through the darkness and he shoots up, hand feeling around for his phone. “’lo?”

“I-I-Iwaizumi-san, I’m so sorry to be waking you! B-But I’m in a bit of a pinch…”

“Yachi? Wha’s wrong?” Hajime rubs his face vigorously in order to get his brain in gear.

“I’m calling you from a payphone,” She informs, sounding slightly worse by the second, “I-I’m lost, I tried calling Kiyoko-chan but she isn’t answering and I-I’m really scared, I don’t have my phone, I just used the last of my money trying to make calls, the roads are empty, I’m going to die-”

“Yachi,” Hajime interrupts, attempting to be soothing. “What do you see around you?”

“Uh, there’s a convenience store, I think it’s the one we stopped by when we were jogging together one time? There’s a pet store, and a bar…” She trails off uncertainly and he hears little puffs of breath that he thinks are sobs.

“Yachi,” He says again, “I think I know where you are. Stay by the phone booth, and if anyone tries to hassle you, use the phone to hit them or something.”

“Okay.” Yachi says, “Okay.”

“The buses are out so it’ll be a while, but I’m gonna run, okay? Be safe.”

“Thank you, Iwaizumi-san, I’ll see you soon.”

He runs there as fast as he can, limbs burning from the lack of stretching beforehand, especially when he’s still stiff from sleep. The trip normally takes ten minutes by bus, but if he runs he thinks he can make it there in under 20 minutes. He just hopes to the stars above that he can find her before anything happens.

When the convenience store comes into sight, he sees Yachi.

She’s not alone. There’s three guys leaning over her.

Hajime runs up to see Yachi clutching the phone and shaking like a wet Chihuahua. “P-Please leave. My friend, h-he-he’s coming to get me. I-I don’t need a ride.”

“Eh? I don’t see him anywhere? How could he leave a cute little girl like you out on the streets like this?” One says, looking at another and laughing.

“Where’s he at, cutie?” The other says, reaching for her.

Hajime feels his nostrils flare as his muscles clench. “Right here, fucker.” He gives them all glares as they turn around. “Yachi, get behind me.”

She quickly drops the phone and moves to scuttle toward Hajime. As soon as he sees one of the guys make a grab for her, he surges forward and punches them right in the face. “Don’t touch her,” He growls. Suddenly everyone is in motion, the 2 uninjured guys converging on Hajime. He dodges their grips and punches, careful to make sure they don’t hit the girl behind him. He grabs one of them by the collar and gives him a swift punch. There’s just one of them standing, and he’s hunched forward, looking ready to tackle Hajime. He runs forward first and jumps the man, knocking him to the ground with him on top. He manages one full punch before the guy rolls them over and punches Hajime. He distantly registers Yachi screaming and he uses all his arm strength to push the man off of him, punching him again twice.

Next thing he knows, Yachi is helping him up. “Iwaizumi-san, let’s go. We need to leave before they get up!”

“Thanks,” he mumbles and wraps an arm around her shoulder, ushering her forward, and they begin running.

When they get far enough away, they slow down to a walk and Yachi is looking at him urgently. “Iwaizumi-san I am so sorry, I shouldn’t gave gotten lost, you got hurt, are you okay, I’m a terrible person, I’m so sorry”

Hajime silences her by kissing the top of her head. “It’s fine, better me than you. I’ve been in fights before.”

Yachi looks at him, bottom lip trembling and eyes wide. “Thank you so much, Iwaizumi-san.”

He smiles at her, rubbing the top of her head. “Any time, Yachi. You’re one of my best friends. Never hesitate to call.”

She grins back, patting Hajime’s arm. “You’re a lot more affectionate than when we first met.” She says hesitantly.

Shrugging, he puts his hands in his pockets. “You’re like a sister to me.”

Yachi shakes her head, “I think it’s because you’re happy now.”

“I wasn’t happy before?”

“No, not completely.” She looks nervous, gripping the strap on her bag. “I think it’s because Oikawa-san is your friend again. You were sadder, like you had a weight on your shoulders. Before he came back, I mean.”

Hajime flushes, averting his eyes slightly. “We’ve been friends my entire life. It was a little hard to adjust after we broke up. Still is.”

Sympathy roles off of Yachi in waves, and it makes Hajime more embarrassed. “Do you still love Oikawa?”

The straightforward question causes Hajime to sputter, coughing violently. “W-What?”

It’s Yachi’s turn to shrug now, as she averts her eyes as well. “S-Sorry, just,” she sighs and gestures vaguely, “Kiyoko-chan and I were talking and we both noticed how happy you were when you talked about him before, and we had an inkling then, but then when he’s hung out with us these past few times, you’ve just been over the moon. Everything about you looks brighter.”

“I,” Hajime says dumbly, his cheeks radiating heat. “I do. Still love him, I mean. How could I not?” He asks, more to himself than anything.

She grins, grasping his hand. “I thought so. Who else would look so happy after just having a fist fight?” They both chuckle and her smile turns soft, eyes distant and warm. “First loves really are the best. I don’t like it when people say that they don’t last forever, because where does that leave you and Oikawa-san, or me and Kiyoko-chan?”

Hajime squeezes her hand gently. “You’re too cute, Yachi.”

Her face flushes and she stutters inelegantly, “I-I, that’s just what I think, I guess.”

They eventually reach Shimizu’s house, making light conversation along the way. “Are you alright going up yourself, or do you need me to go with you?”

Yachi shakes her head. “No thank you, Iwaizumi-san. Thank you so much for coming to get me. I’m so sorry you got hurt.”

“Don’t worry about it, Yachi. Tell Shimizu-san I said hello when you see her.”

She nods. “Goodnight, Iwaizumi-san.”

“Goodnight, Yachi.”

 


 

He doesn’t sleep for long when he’s awoken again by a knock on his door. He allows himself to groan loudly, grumbling all the way as he stumbles to the door. “What?” He says grumpily as he yanks the door open.

It’s Oikawa, looking fresh in a light teal shirt and tight jeans. “Iwa-chan, you’re so – what happened to your eye?”

My eye? Hajime touches it and realizes, hey, yeah, he got in a fight last night. The skin around his eye is swollen slightly, but not enough to impair his vision, apparently. It’s still very tender, and he hisses a little at the pressure. “Uh,” he supplies before Oikawa pushes in, holding several grocery sacks in tow. He sets them down on the counter and busies himself in the kitchen, making an ice pack. When he finishes, he drags Hajime to the couch and sits him down, putting the ice over his eye. “What happened?” He asks again, voice steely.

“Long story,” Hajime says, wincing at the pain.

“I’ve got time.” Oikawa sounds devoid of emotion, which is never a good sign with him. He’s always been able to control what emotion he shows, and that somehow makes his blank face scarier.

He tells Oikawa about how Yachi had been lost and how she was cornered by guys and he even went as far as to go in depth on the fight. The silence after made Hajime’s heart sink slightly, and he diverted his attention to a piece of fluff on Oikawa’s leg.

When he looks back up, the look on Oikawa’s face is all too familiar – dangerous, angry, predatory – but it flashes away quickly into a teasing leer. “Iwa-chan, you brute, you’ve been in so many fights, you know to ice a black eye!”

“I told you, I came home and passed the fuck out. You just woke me up, how am I supposed to ice something if I’m asleep?” Hajime growls, pushing Oikawa’s hand off the pack so he can hold it himself.

Oikawa’s face softens, and he fixes Hajime with a look. “I bought groceries,” He says, smile unsure on his face. “Kiyo-chan called me and told me to go to your place to tell you that you have the day off. At first I was confused – I thought you were sick – but now I understand why.” He reaches up and brushes the hair that’s sticking to Hajime’s forehead off of his temple. “Anyway, I wanted to cook you something to make you feel better.” There’s a sweet blush developing on his cheeks, and he looks like a schoolgirl with a crush.

Hajime’s heart clenches dangerously and he can feel his face begin to mirror Oikawa’s. “That’s – That’s really nice.” He clears his throat and sets the ice pack on his lap, “But we both know you can’t cook for shit. I’ll make it.”

Oikawa pouts and crosses his arms. “But I’m supposed to be treating you.”

“Trust me, I’ll end up in worse condition if you cook. Watch TV – I’ll make the food.” He hands Oikawa the remote with finality and begins to go through the groceries. There’s enough to make oyakodon and miso soup, so he begins on that.

From in the living room, he hears an unfamiliar show start up, a song in English he doesn’t recognize playing through the speakers. He pays it no mind, and continues making the food.

An hour or so later, he has all the food prepped and set on trays. He brings them out and sets them on the coffee table, sitting down next to Oikawa. The brunette seems to pay him no mind, as his attention is centered on the TV, eyes wide. Hajime glances at the screen. Well, it’s not X-Files, but it is America’s Next Top Model. He considers complaining, but he knows Oikawa well enough to know that won’t do anything. Instead he sighs into his miso soup and gives in. “So what’s happening in this episode?”

Oikawa looks surprised, but smiles quickly, “Okay, so Tahlia just got eliminated last episode which is sad, but at least Allison is still in - ”

 


 

Somehow they end up on an America’s Next Top Model marathon that takes up most of the day. Hajime’s surprised that his only complaint really seems to be that he’s tired and reading the Japanese subtitles is proving to be troublesome. He supposes it has to do with Oikawa leaning up against him, cheek pressed on his shoulder. He feels light and happy, but it’s putting him to sleep. He checks the time on his phone – 9:37 pm.

After credits roll on the TV screen, Hajime stands up – slowly so that Oikawa can support himself. “I’m feeling some vodka. You want some?” He asks, stretching his arms over his head.

“Mm, yeah,” Oikawa responds, most of his attention on setting up the next episode.

He goes in the kitchen and grabs the vodka, cups, and some orange juice, walking quickly back to Oikawa.

“Yay, Iwa-chan’s back!” Oikawa cheers, greedily grabbing onto the vodka bottle.

“I was gone for two seconds,” Hajime sighs, but inside he relishes the attention Oikawa’s giving him.

“Two seconds too long.” Oikawa pours some vodka into the cups and downs it before he sets the cup back down to fill it again, this time filling the rest of the cups with orange juice.

Hajime’s eyebrow raises. “So I’m guessing you haven’t drank in a while?”

Oikawa shakes his head wordlessly and drinks a heavy amount of his cup.

“Hey, maybe you should slow down,” He suggests, feeling a little worried. This is another new aspect of Oikawa he wasn’t aware of.

“Maybe you should speed up, Iwa-chan!” The brunette says, shoving the cup into Hajime’s hand. Hajime is distinctly aware that this is like getting peer pressured into drinking at a party, but he supposes that it doesn’t apply if he’s the one who brought the alcohol out. So instead of complaining, he downs his drink as well.

They continue to watch the show, but as time goes on he can’t seem to focus on the TV. The alcohol makes him feel warm and dulls his senses, really just making him want to sleep. But instead of slipping closed, his eyes drift to Oikawa’s profile and soak in his features. His gaze drags from the soft curls of chestnut hair, over the thin slope of his nose, across his lips, and down the column of his neck as he throws back more vodka. Hajime gulps audibly.

Oikawa stretches, arms reaching up to the ceiling as his back pops. “Y’know, Hajime, if you keep staring at me like that, I can’t be responsible for what I do next.”

“What if I want it?” He regrets drinking enough to make his brain’s filter not work, but he doesn’t back down from the heated gaze Oikawa’s giving him.

In lieu of an answer, Oikawa turns to Hajime and swings a leg over his lap, so that Oikawa’s thighs trap his. Hajime’s hands automatically jumps up to grab at Oikawa’s waist, and the man hums approvingly. “Then you’ll get it.” He says, finally, and it breaks something in the both of them, causing them to surge forward to press their lips together. Oikawa’s hands are roaming across Hajime’s chest and biceps, fingers rushing to feel every muscle in Hajime’s body.

Hajime’s hands slide down to grasp Oikawa’s ass, kneading at first, but then lifting him as Hajime stands, taking the opportunity to lay Oikawa back on the couch. He moves to get on top of him, but his stopped by a hand on his chest. Oikawa’s eyes are dark and possessive, pupils blown wide. He wordlessly pushes Hajime back on the couch and crawls over him, and for a millisecond Hajime’s heart clenches nervously. But he goes with it, hands holding Oikawa’s face as their foreheads brush and Oikawa looks apologetically into Hajime’s eyes.

He doesn’t want to see that look on his face so he presses his lips back to Oikawa’s, tongue sweeping against the former setter’s bottom lip. Oikawa opens his mouth and their tongues brush sweetly. It’s not enough. Hajime seeks delicious friction and he wants to feel the other’s body against his. His hands travel down Oikawa’s torso to his hips, pulling angrily at them so they collide with his. Oikawa moans into his mouth and Hajime sees stars behind his eyes.

He feels smooth fingers caress the skin under the band of his underwear askingly and Hajime pulls away from their heated kisses to nod. Hajime throws his head back and grunts when Oikawa’s warm fingers plunge in and wrap around his half hard cock. His lips latch around Hajime’s exposed neck and he sucks softly as his hot hand languidly moves against Hajime’s dick.

The movement is slow and torturous and it makes Hajime moan lowly. “Faster,” he chokes out.

Oikawa drags his teeth against a sensitive part of Hajime’s neck, causing the dick in his hand to get more firm. “Hajime,” He chides softly, “Patience.” He thumbs the head of Hajime’s dick and it turns fully hard in his grip.

“Tooru,” He moans out, louder, desperate.

“Hajime,” He says again, giving his length one more pull before letting it go. “Sit up.”

Hajime’s eyes fly open in confusion as Oikawa sinks back on his heels. He does as he’s told and adjusts his position to be flush with the back of the couch. Oikawa gets off of the sofa and sits himself in between Hajime’s legs. His cock twitches against the binding of his pants at the sight. Oikawa smiles innocently at him before he mouths the line of Hajime’s dick through his pants and then pulls the restraining fabric back to take it out. He looks up at Hajime and licks from base to tip, maintaining eye contact. Hajime groans and precum beads out, sliding down his length slowly.

Oikawa leans down to take Hajime’s dick in his mouth but stops midway, entire body frozen.

“T-Tooru?” He inquires nervously.

When they make eye contact, Oikawa’s eyes are wide. “I,” He says, mouth moving but making no sound. “I,” He repeats.

Hajime moves to lean forward but Oikawa backs away quickly, “Are you okay? Do you want to stop?”

“I can’t do this.” He says, getting up to his feet and grabbing his things.

Dread fills Hajime’s stomach and his quickly makes himself presentable. “Are you okay?” He repeats.

“I can’t.” He doesn’t even stop to put on his shoes as he just grabs them and makes his way for the door. He’s dead silent and Hajime feels like he might throw up.

“Tooru!” He calls before Oikawa slams the door behind him. He wants to chase after him, ask him if he’s okay. He wants to hold him.

But he stays behind. He runs a hand through his hair and sinks back onto the couch, head pressed into his open palms.

“Goddamn it.”

 


 

Hajime’s helping Yachi care for the garden when Shimizu walks out, looking beautiful in a flowing sundress. “Hitoka-chan, Iwaizumi-san.” She greets, sitting down in one of the chairs, three water bottles and a textbook in her arms. “It’s been getting hot lately, please stay hydrated.”

They thank her for the water, and sit down, opting to take a break in the heat of the day. Yachi bends down to give her a shy peck on the cheek, and Hajime can’t help but smile at the display of affection. It’s silent except for the buzzing sound of the cicadas and Hajime yearns to get out a net and go catch them.

“Iwaizumi-san, you used to catch cicadas when you were younger, didn’t you?” Yachi asks, wiping her mouth after taking a drink.

Hajime grins, “Yeah. It was my main interest before volleyball. I was pretty good.”

“Did Oikawa-san like catching bugs too?”

It’s an innocent enough question, but instantly Hajime feels sick. He makes eye contact with Shimizu, who had asked the question. Her eyebrow is arched delicately above her calculating eye, goading Hajime on. Her gaze is too much, and Hajime has to look away. “As I thought – you two had a fight?”

Yachi smacks her arm lightly in shock, “K-Kiyoko-chan!”

Hajime shakes his head, “It’s alright, Yachi.” He looks back up at Shimizu to see her gaze has softened, a guilty expression dampening her face. “Yeah, we fought, if you can even call it that.”

“What do you mean?”

He explains the situation, careful to leave out the inappropriate bits. His heart feels heavy as he talks about it, the event 2 weeks ago too fresh in his mind. “He just left,” Hajime hopes he isn’t coming off as upset as he feels, but the looks of pure pity tell him otherwise. “That fucking bastard kissed me and left. I don’t know what to do with him.”

Yachi looks like she’s about to cry on his behalf, lip trembling, so Hajime forces the sad look off of his face. Unfortunately, it just ends up making him scowl. “Iwaizumi-san, I’m so sorry.” She says.

Shimizu gives a gentle smile, patting Yachi’s head. “Well, this won’t do. You and Hitoka-chan both seem to miss Oikawa-san very much.”

The blonde nods enthusiastically. “Oikawa-san is very nice, and funny too! If I miss him, then I can’t imagine how Iwaizumi-san feels.” She gives Hajime another pitiful look.

“He’s being a coward. He knows I wouldn’t reciprocate like that if I didn’t have at least some interest in him back.” He crosses his arms, trying to repress the oncoming headache.

“It’s understandable, in my opinion. You guys did break up before.” Shimizu says, closing her textbook. “You should talk to him, Iwaizumi-san.”

Hajime shakes his head, “What? No way.”

“You’re the one who is sure of your feelings. You love him, right?”

“Well, yeah, but – ”

“Then it shouldn’t be hard.”

He clenches his fist, gaze dropping down to the blades of grass below him. “He said he couldn’t do it. So I should leave him alone.”

Yachi sits down in the grass with him, legs crossed to one side. “Iwaizumi-san, remember what I said that day? First loves last forever. Oikawa-san is just nervous right now, because of the mistakes he made when you guys were together.” She tentatively fixes her hand on Hajime’s chest, above his heart. “He’ll always be in here for you, right? S-So, isn’t there a chance that you’re in his?”

Hajime can’t stop the chuckle from leaving his lips. “Yachi, you’re so cheesy.”

She takes an embarrassed sip of her water, most of it ending up on her blouse. Shimizu laughs elegantly, her eyes trained on Yachi fondly. Hajime feels out of place all of a sudden, and he stands up to give them privacy.

“Iwaizumi-san,” Shimizu says, as he begins to leave the garden. “Go see him, please. You’ve always been happiest with him.”

 


 

When he left Shimizu’s garden, he had not fully intended to do as she had said. But as he takes off his apron after covering the night shift at the café, when his body is worn and tired, he realizes all he wants to do is go home and be with Oikawa. The urge is so strong that he doesn’t even consider going home, instead heading towards Oikawa’s apartment. The heat of the coming summer permeates through the air, beading sweat on Hajime’s forehead even in the dark of the night.

He reaches Oikawa’s apartment fairly quickly, so he takes a moment to catch his breath, pressing his forehead against the door. He’s nervous. Even now, after spending 2 decades with this man, he’s nervous. He’s fairly confident that his feelings are reciprocated, but Oikawa’s a dumbass sometimes. What if he denies Hajime regardless?

Gathering his courage, he knocks on door in quick, short raps. Kaiju explodes into noise from behind the door, but there’s otherwise no answer. Oikawa’s either asleep, outside, or ignoring him on purpose. Either way, his access is denied. The stress from the long work day weighs heavily on him along with the dejected feeling that’s worming into his heart. He sinks to the ground, back against the door.

There’s a thump on the other side, and Hajime’s chest feels like it might explode. “Oikawa, are you in there?”

It’s silent, but he goes on anyway. “I wanted to talk to you. So if you’re in there, let me in.” Quiet, still. “Don’t be a dumbass. You’re helping no one by ignoring me.”

Finally, the sound of a lock turning. Hajime quickly gets to his feet, eyeing the door expectantly. It opens, just a crack, but it’s enough for him. Oikawa peers out from the opening, anxiety coming off of him in waves, but face portraying pure calm. “What do you want, Iwa-chan.” It’s a question, but there’s hardly any emotion to it.

“Can I come in?” Hajime asks, wringing his hands in nervousness, something he’s not used to.

Oikawa shrugs and leaves the entryway, not opening nor closing the door. Hajime pushes in, following the brunette to the living room. Kaiju immediately runs up to him, whining and jumping at his heels. He picks up the Pomeranian and pets him affectionately before turning back to Oikawa.

He looks fine, but Hajime knows better than to trust how Oikawa seems. He hardly ever showed anything other than being fine when he was upset. “Why can’t you?” Hajime asks, getting right to the point.

“Huh?” Oikawa asks, looking genuinely confused.

“Earlier, when you left. You said ‘I can’t.’”

He doesn’t say anything.

Hajime sits beside him on the couch, letting Kaiju go. They both watch the Pomeranian scamper off into the kitchen. It’s silent for a while before Hajime decides he’s tired of waiting. “I love you, y’know? I don’t think I ever stopped.”

Oikawa looks horrified. “How can you?”

“What do you mean, ‘how can I?’” Hajime scowls, crossing his arms.

He shakes his head, confusion warping his features. “I was terrible to you. You broke up with me for a reason.”

“Doesn’t mean I stopped loving you.” Hajime looks at him, eyes stern. “Yeah, two years ago you were a huge asshole. You were possessive and you didn’t like it when I talked to anyone but you. But that was two years ago, Tooru. Things change.” He feels uncharacteristically shy, nervous in his uncertainty. “Did you ever stop loving me?”

Oikawa’s gaze shifts to him, then, eyes rich even when they’re glazed with unshed tears. “Never.” He whispers.

Hajime reaches over and pulls him into an embrace. Immediately, Oikawa relaxes in his grip and Hajime feels his shoulder get wet. “I was so paranoid. I was nervous that you wouldn’t love me anymore. I’m sorry, Hajime.” A silent sob wracks through his body, and Hajime shushes him.

“Don’t cry, dumbass.”

Oikawa sniffs loudly. “I’m not crying, relief is pouring out of my eyes.”

Laughing as he pulls away, Hajime lifts Oikawa’s chin and wipes away his tears. Snot is dripping out his nose and Hajime reaches into his pocket for his handkerchief, giving it to the crying man. “You’ve always been an ugly crier.”

“Rude, Iwa-chan! We tell each other our feelings and then you had to ruin it.” Oikawa says as he blows loudly into the fabric.

“Pretty sure you ruined it with your snot.” Hajime teases.

“Wow, I’m gonna rethink my feelings – ”

Hajime quiets him by swooping in and kissing one of the tears from his eyes.

“Iwa-chan you’re so lame!” Oikawa exclaims, but the tears pour out a little faster.

“You’re the one who’s crying your brains out right now.”

Oikawa wipes his nose with the handkerchief. “Ladies like a man who can show their emotions.” Hajime grins and tackles him over on the couch, holding his face in his hands. Oikawa goes silent, eyes wide and glassy. Hajime leans in slowly and kisses him deeply. He pushes back earnestly, but pulls away. “What was that for?” He asks, dazed.

Hajime feels his face begin to burn, so he hides it in the crook of Oikawa’s shoulder. “No reason.”

“Oh,” Oikawa gasps, “You missed me.” He doesn’t sound teasing. He really can read Hajime like a book.

“Shut up.”

He feels Oikawa’s chest rumble as he chuckles. “I missed you too, Hajime.” He says, playing with the hair at the base of Hajime’s neck. “Listen, I – I want to be completely honest with you. After we broke up, I had a lot of one-night stands. They didn’t really mean anything, I just didn’t want to be alone.” His hand stops, fingers entangled in soft black hair. “Is – Is that okay?”

Shrugging, Hajime sits up to look Oikawa in the eye. He looks beautiful like this, laid back on the couch with a blissful blush coating his cheeks, shining even through the anxiety on his face. His emotions are bare in front of Hajime, and it makes his heart race. He can count on one hand the amount of times he’s experienced Tooru with his walls down. “We were broken up. You weren’t bound to me, at that point – don’t worry about it.”

Oikawa frowns, sitting up. “I was bound to you.” He whispers in the quietest voice. “I’ve always been bound to you.” Hajime feels his throat close up. He doesn’t know if he can talk, but Oikawa beats him to the punch, as always. “Hajime, I know I’ve been nothing terrible to you as a partner and a friend, and hell, I’m probably worse now. But – I want to get better. If you’ll have me.”

Hajime puts his hands on either side of Oikawa’s face, mirroring their earlier kiss, except he presses Oikawa’s cheeks together. “I’ve already got you.”

Tooru’s cheeks light up in a brilliant red before he smacks away Hajime’s hands. “Stop that, you’ll give me wrinkles!” Hajime leans forward to grab Oikawa’s face again, but he jumps off the couch and points at Hajime in a defensive position as he gets up as well. “Don’t you dare, Iwa-chan!”

He lets out a squeal he’ll definitely deny later as Hajime chases him around the house.

 


 

“Iwa-chan, why haven’t we had sex yet?”

The man in question chokes on his coffee, slamming a fist at his chest to clear his airways. Oikawa passes him his water, but his playfully frustrated expression doesn’t change. Hajime drinks the water carefully, so as not to cough it out everywhere. “What?” He finally chokes out, voice raspy.

“It’s been 2 weeks since we got back together and we haven’t even had a quick one! I shouldn’t have to masturbate when I have a partner.” Oikawa looks pained, as if Hajime were doing him a great disservice by not offering his body.

He quirks a brow, then goes back to sifting through his mail. “You’ll live. I’ve been fine.”

Oikawa lets out a weird noise that’s some unnatural cross between a tortured animal and a sob. “No, I won’t, Iwa-chan. And of course you’ve been fine, you don’t have to look at yourself.” He leans back dramatically, throwing a hand over his face. “You have those amazing biceps and the sexy reading glasses – this is practically torture!”

“Right, and what are you – mincemeat? I have to look at you and I haven’t had any violent sexual urges.” A lie, really, but Hajime doesn’t care to say otherwise. “You’re beautiful, Oikawa. I don’t think my arms can top that.”

“Why are we arguing about who has it harder when we could be having sex?” Oikawa gets off his chair and puts his hands on his hips with finality, face slightly flushed.

Hajime sighs, taking off his glasses and polishing them with the hem of his shirt. “Fine. Go wait for me in the bedroom, I need to pay the bills.”

Oikawa looks disgusted but he gives Hajime a parting kiss and walks toward the room anyway. “That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. I can’t believe we have to plan our sex.”

When the door closes behind him, Hajime lets out a sigh. It’s not like he had been purposefully avoiding having sex with Oikawa, it’s just he’s unconsciously afraid. The relationship between them feels so new yet so old. However, despite his earlier nonchalance, his heart’s fluttering painfully in his ribcage. It’d been a long time for him as well – what’s he stalling for? He half walks, half jogs over to the laptop sitting on the coffee table and pulls it open, logging in quickly. He’s trying to pay the bills as fast as possible, but of course his internet decides to pick now – of all times – to operate painfully slowly. His leg is bouncing up and down with excess energy and his body feels entirely too hot. His mind is full of TooruTooruTooru.

Finally finished with the bills, he shuts the laptop as gently as he can muster, taking off his glasses and standing up to go to the bedroom. His legs are shaking and he feels like a newborn deer. He stands outside the door, taking a deep breath to steady his body. He’ll be fine. It’s just Oikawa.

As he opens the door, he realizes the fact that it’s Oikawa makes everything worse.

“Ah, sorry, I couldn’t wait,” Oikawa says, grin lazy and calm despite the fact that he’s currently fingering himself. Taking in the sight with shock, Hajime feels his legs almost give out. Oikawa’s sitting on the sheets, legs spread, arm bent back behind him, thrusting even now. His clothes aren’t even completely off, pants hanging off of one leg and shirt bunched up to his chest. But Hajime’s eyes are drawn immediately to the pure expression of want radiating from Oikawa’s eyes.

He doesn’t know how long he stands there, jaw slack from awe, eyes wide, but eventually, Oikawa’s taking his fingers out. He winces slightly as he does it, grabbing a tissue from the nightstand and wiping the excess lube off his fingers. He crawls off the bed, pulling his clothes completely off and going to Hajime, not breaking eye contact. He puts his hands on either side of Hajime’s face, smiling prettily before kissing him deeply. It’s when Oikawa’s tongue darts into his mouth and he feels the tip of the man’s hard cock press into his stomach that he springs into action, hands wrapping around to grip Oikawa’s ass, tongue intertwining with his.

Oikawa pulls away and licks his lips slowly. “Come with me, Iwa-chan,” He says, grabbing Hajime’s hand and leading him back to the bed. He sits Hajime down and then sinks to his knees, fingers brushing Hajime’s dick through his pants. Hajime quietly groans, eyelids heavy in the heat of the room. Oikawa moves to undo the button on his pants, but stops for a second, worrying his lip.

“What?” Hajime asks.

He shakes his head, as if dispelling some thoughts. “It’s nothing.” His fingers go to work the button on Hajime’s pants, so Hajime figures he doesn’t need to insist. Oikawa hooks his fingers in the waistband of Hajime’s pants, mumbling “take off your shirt” as he pulls both the underwear and pants off at the same time. When Hajime’s fully naked, Oikawa grips his semi-hard dick and gives it a few pumps. It feels good. When’s the last time he felt someone else’s hand on him? It had been so long.

Oikawa kisses a line on Hajime’s thigh, moving up to let his lips mouth the base of Hajime’s cock, tongue darting out ever so slightly. He inhales sharply, holding back a moan. He threads his fingers through rich chestnut-colored hair, admiring the silkiness of it. Oikawa’s hand slides down to hold Hajime’s dick steady at the base so he can lean forward and swirl his tongue around the tip.

“Stop teasing,” Hajime growls, only because he thinks he might come right at that moment. Oikawa gives an answering suck at the head before slowly covering the rest of his member with his mouth. He feels his dick hit the back of Tooru’s throat and he both curses and thanks the stars for the brunette’s lack of a gag reflex. But Oikawa only has the chance to bounce up and down Hajime’s cock a few times before he’s being pulled up.

Tooru lips are spit-slick and swollen and his cheeks are aflame with the blood pulsing quickly through his veins. Hajime captures his lips hungrily and they slide their tongues together. They have a rhythm that Hajime recognizes all too well, but the pleasure is heightened by the recent revival of their relationship and the pure feeling of happiness settling in his stomach. They moan into each other’s mouths as Oikawa’s fingers drag across Hajime’s nipples, rubbing gently.

“Fuck, Tooru,” Hajime whispers between kisses and Oikawa grins brilliantly.

“That’s the plan, isn’t it?” He says, picking up the abandoned lube and clicking the cap open. He pours the substance onto his fingers, breathing heavily. He pushes away from Hajime and reaches around to press a finger into his own puckered hole. He exhales, only a smidge off from a moan and works himself again with his fingers.

Hajime tries to wrap a hand around Oikawa’s leaking cock, but he holds Hajime’s hand back. “Watch me.” He says, voice low and ragged. Hajime feels his dick pulse at that, and he wants to touch himself so bad after seeing Oikawa spread himself and moan Hajime’s name under small gasps.

“Oh, Hajime,” He groans wantonly, and Hajime thinks he found his prostate. Oikawa’s leg is twitching, and Hajime puts a hand over it to bring him out of his sex-induced reverie. Oikawa stops with a smirk and rips open a condom packet. His hand moves to Hajime’s dick and he rolls it down securely. Hajime picks up the lube and begins to pour it onto his hand, but Oikawa takes it instead, and coats his member thoroughly. Hajime can feel his breath caress his cock and he jerks a little into the moist warmth. It’s all he can do to keep himself from coming right there.

When Oikawa finishes, he’s squirming just as much as Hajime is. He quickly straddles Hajime’s hips and guides his dick carefully into his entrance.

It’s weird, Hajime thinks. Normally – well, what was normal before they broke up – Oikawa’s very loud and vocal during sex, talking dirty, filthy things into Hajime’s ear. But now Tooru is completely silent, save for tiny gasps he makes when Hajime’s cock connects with his prostate. His eyes are focused on Hajime’s face, gaze intense and scorching.

As Hajime’s hips surge into Oikawa, he buries his face into the crook of Oikawa’s neck and breathes. He sets his jaw, teeth gently poised on the soft flesh in front of him, waiting. He grips Tooru’s ass, pulling him almost completely off of his dick, before sinking him back completely. When his cock slams into Oikawa’s prostate, he bites down, hard, and Oikawa cries out, voice deep and rough. As Hajime’s admiring the pretty, deep red marks on Oikawa’s neck, he notices the precum dribbling steadily out of Tooru’s dick. He grasps it, smearing the tip.

“Hajime,” Oikawa pleads, voice desperate. “Come with me.”

Their pace quickens, frantic and frenzied. Hajime quickly flips them around, laying Oikawa back on the bed and pushing his legs in front of him. Tooru’s hands clench the sheets next to his head as he writhes desperately onto Hajime’s cock. Hajime grabs Oikawa’s dick again and jerks it in time with his furious thrusts. Oikawa’s back arches beautifully, body convulsing, gasping. His mouth opens in a silent scream as he comes, white strips coating his chest. Hajime tugs him through it, milking out the last beads of cum as his hips plunge wildly. When Tooru looks up at him, eyes lidded heavily, his smirk so confident that it pushes Hajime over the edge. His movements stutter as he groans lowly, sounds muffled when Oikawa shoots up to kiss him. They collapse together on the bed and Hajime takes off the condom, tying it and tossing it into the waste bin.

“Oh, god, I missed this,” Oikawa says, threading his fingers with Hajime’s.

“Mm.”

“Iwa-chan, you can’t go to sleep – I need to shower!”

“And how does that affect me?” Hajime asks, opening an eye to see Oikawa pouting at him.

He looks offended, almost. “You don’t mean to make me shower by myself, do you? So mean!”

Groaning loudly, Hajime sits up and pulls Oikawa along with their intertwined hands. “Let’s go, then.”

Oikawa cheers and matches pace with him. When they get into the bathroom, Hajime starts up the shower, letting it heat up while he turns and kisses Oikawa deeply. His hands roam up Oikawa’s arms and rest on his shoulders, letting a thumb caress the bite mark from earlier. “Sorry, I was a little rough here,” He says quietly.

They step into the shower together and Oikawa grins at him, using the showerhead to wet Hajime’s hair first. “You know I like it when you’re rough, Iwa-chan. You get me all hot and bothered.”

“Speaking of, you were considerably less vocal than you used to be. You seemed really focused.”

Oikawa pauses in dispensing shampoo into his hand to fix Hajime with an apprehensive look. He gives a heavy sigh and then massages the shampoo into Hajime’s hair. “I’ve just gotten cooler, Iwaizumi-san.”

Hajime visibly shivers in disgust. “Don’t call me that. It sounds gross in your voice.” He flicks Oikawa’s nose, the man yelping indignantly. “And don’t fuck around, Tooru. What’s up?”

Tooru rinses the shampoo out of Hajime’s hair, heaving another sigh as his lips form into a wry smile. “I’d spent the past few years of my life sleeping around. During my last time I had to make a conscious effort not to call out your name.” Hajime couldn’t keep his eyes from widening. “I guess when I got the real thing I spent most of my time trying to convince myself it’s actually happening.” His smile turns more self-deprecating. “Pretty lame, huh?”

“Don’t be an idiot. When have I ever cared about whether or not you’re cool?” Hajime begins to wash Tooru’s hair, gentle despite his tone. “I don’t want our past to hold us down. The years we were separated happened, and I don’t want to act like they didn’t. But our good times outweighed that, I think.” Oikawa is silent when Hajime rinses out the shampoo, but when he sets the showerhead back in its holder, Oikawa pulls him into a tight hug.

“Quit trying to be cool, Iwa-chan.” He mumbles into Hajime’s neck.

Hajime instinctually cuffs the back of Tooru’s head but his face cuts into a fond grin that he tries to contain before Oikawa backs apart. “C’mon, we’re wasting water.”

They finish the shower quickly, making quips at each other that reminded Hajime of their childhood, warming his heart in a unique way. He feels over the moon, like his dominant hand had been missing but was returned to him suddenly. Being with Tooru made him feel complete.

“Iwa-chan, how can you have no mousse? I know you’re a barbarian but you should at least have mousse!”

Hajime heads into the bathroom, freshly dressed. “You’ll live.” He says, grabbing his toothbrush.

Tooru lets out a whine, about to complain when Hajime’s phone goes off. “Want me to get it?” He asks.

Nodding, Hajime focuses back onto brushing his teeth. He hears Oikawa pick up the phone. “Ah! Kiyo-chan! It’s been so long.” Why is Shimizu calling? She usually preferred to text. “He’s brushing his teeth. What’s up?” Oikawa returns to the bathroom, making eye contact with Hajime through the mirror, eyebrows drawn in concern. “I’ll turn on speaker phone.”

Hajime spits out the toothpaste. “Shimizu-san? What’s wrong?”

“Iwaizumi-san. I regret to inform you that my father has found out about Hitoka-chan and I.”

Hajime shares a shocked look with Oikawa before sputtering loudly. “What? How?”

“I would like to discuss the details with you in person, if you don’t mind. Can we go to your apartment?”

“Yes, yes of course.”

The other line goes dead without another word and it only fills Hajime with more dread. “Shit,” he hisses.

“What’s Kiyo-chan’s father like? Would he hurt her?” Oikawa looks truly concerned, and Hajime’s a little unnerved to see such a free expression on his face.

“He’s a little like my own father. I don’t think he would hurt her physically, however,” He crosses his arms gruffly, sighing. “He’ll probably try to break her and Yachi up.” Before Oikawa can speak, he shakes his head quickly and lightly smacks his back. “You should probably put on clothes. I’ll make tea.”

“Mm, yeah, probably not the best attire for serious company.” Oikawa winks and goes to Hajime’s room.

By the time Hajime sets the water to boil, Oikawa emerges, wearing tight fit jeans and one of Hajime’s hoodies. His heart flutters terribly and he hates that Tooru still has such a hold over his feelings but he loves the thrill he gets when little things remind him that Tooru is his and he is Tooru’s and his life is pretty okay right now. There’s an ominous blanket of guilt that weighs on him when he realizes Yachi and Shimizu are in danger of having that taken away from themselves. He feels like it’s his fault, somehow.

Oikawa’s arms wrap around his torso and he tucks his chin on Hajime’s shoulder. “Don’t feel like you’re responsible, Iwa-chan. And don’t deny it either, it’s written all over your face.”

“I just hope they both come out of this without getting hurt.” Hajime admits.

When the tea is set to steep, there’s a sharp knock on the door. Tooru pulls away from Hajime, kissing him on the cheek. “I’ll let them in.” He opens the door, revealing Shimizu and Yachi, polite smiles on their faces despite the situation. “Kiyo-chan, Hito-chan!” He hugs them both and then leads them to the living room.

Hajime steps out with the tea in hand a moment later and gives the newcomers each a cup made to their liking. They murmur their thanks and Hajime takes a seat across from them. “So, what happened?” He inquires.

Shimizu sets her tea down delicately, locking her hands tightly in her lap. “My father had returned from work early today. Hitoka-chan and I were in the garden, taking care of it. As you know, my father had always admonished me for helping Hitoka-chan, because the work she does is considered ‘below me’. So when he had seen us in the garden, he was coming in to get on to me, and he had just so happened to step out right when I had kissed Hitoka-chan.” She paused, eyebrows knitted furiously. “He fired her on the spot and kicked her out with all of her things on the front door. I told Hitoka-chan to put all of her stuff in my car, and then I went in to handle my father.” She sips her tea thoughtfully before entangling her hand with Yachi’s, who is looking decidedly distraught. “I’ll spare you the details, but basically my father yelled at me for lying to him about Iwaizumi-san and demanded that I never see Hitoka-chan ever again. I agreed, but only on the grounds that he let me move out.”

Oikawa gasps loudly, “You don’t mean you - ”

“No, no! I would never leave Hitoka-chan like that.” Shimizu gives Yachi a desperate look, which she returns. “I told my dad to let me drive her somewhere safe to stay and that I would say my goodbyes. But this is where I must ask a selfish request of you, Iwaizumi-san.”

Hajime jumps a little at being addressed. “What is it?”

“I’ll forever remain indebted to you for all that you’ve done for me already,” She starts, fixing him with a very intense stare. “Can you possibly let Hitoka-chan stay at your place? Only until I can get a place of my own – then I promise we will both be gone.”

“Of course – I mean you’re practically the one who owns my apartment. You could stay in there too, if you wanted.” Hajime says, surprised that Shimizu thought she needed to ask.

“No, it would be very crowded. Please just take Hitoka-chan.” She insists.

Hajime crosses his arms, turning towards Oikawa. “I don’t mean to pressure you, but do you think I could stay at your place while this gets sorted out? Just so they can be together…”

Oikawa nods enthusiastically, a dopey grin on his face.

“There,” Hajime says, feeling a bit better about the situation. “You and Yachi can stay here, and I’ll be out of your way.”

Yachi finally pipes up, lips wobbling into a shaky smile. “Thank you so much, Iwaizumi-san.”

“Any time. You guys know I have your back 100%.” Hajime pauses, eyebrows drawn. He feels Oikawa’s gaze on him, and he turns so they make eye contact. His eyes search Hajime’s own for a second before he turns to Yachi, standing and grinning.

“Hito-chan, your stuff is in the car, right? I’ll help you get it.” Yachi barely has time to make a peep before Oikawa is grabbing her arm and dragging her out the apartment. He turns at the last minute and makes eye contact with Hajime again, winking subtly.

When the door closes behind them, Hajime is rushed full of gratitude towards Oikawa’s ability to read him. “Shimizu-san,” he begins. “Are you still going to take over your father’s business? What about Yachi?”

Shimizu wrings her hands, but otherwise looks sure. “I plan spending the rest of my life with Hitoka-chan. But for now I will work on getting a stable life for us before I cut myself away from my father.”

Hajime admires her determinacy and envies her ability to be so sure and confident. “I’m sorry for doubting you, even a little. I just want to make sure Yachi won’t get caught in the crossfire.”

“I agree wholeheartedly. But if I’m being honest, I’m worried about you too. I don’t think my father would fire you for this, but there’s always a chance.” Shimizu’s expression turns guilty.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ve been looking for a more solid job, anyway.” Hajime stands up, cocking his head towards the door. “C’mon, let’s go help out.”

 


 

When they get all of Yachi’s things situated – Hajime cleaned up all of his stuff in his room and shoved it in his closet – and Hajime packs his bags, the group parts ways. Shimizu and Yachi are going back to get Shimizu’s things before her father gets back from work, and Hajime and Oikawa are going back to his place to drop off his bags.

After Hajime drops his duffel bag on the couch, he sits down beside it, allowing Kaiju to plant himself on his lap. Oikawa doesn’t sit down and instead fiddles with stuff around the apartment. If he notices Hajime’s trained stare following him, he doesn’t mention it. He gets tired of waiting for Oikawa to notice him, so he stands up and stops Oikawa’s fidgeting by wrapping his arms around the taller man’s torso.

Oikawa freezes, head craning slightly to look at Hajime behind him. “Iwa-chan, so affectionate!”

“Shut up, Asskawa. What’s bothering you?”

His body slumps almost completely, weight leaning against Hajime. “When we moved in together before, it was a sign of the end, wasn’t it?” He says simply, shrugging. “I got really bad, then.”

All of his attempts to sound nonchalant don’t fool Hajime, and he wraps his arms tighter. “Stop being stupid. Our situations aren’t the same now.” His voice is slightly muffled by the shirt in front of him, so he lifts his chin to rest on Oikawa’s shoulder. “You’ve changed, and you said yourself that you want to change more. I believe you.”

Oikawa has a look of disgust on his face, but Hajime can tell it’s directed at himself. “How many more times am I going to make you reassure me? Are you sure you won’t get tired?”

Hajime feels such affection swell up in his throat, making it hard to breathe. Seeing Oikawa weak reminds Hajime of how human he is and he thinks he just fell even more in love with Tooru. He tells him this much.

“I-Iwa-chan, you’re so blunt!” Oikawa turns around in Hajime’s arms, leaning down slightly to slot perfectly into his torso, face hidden.

“I love you, Tooru.” Hajime says again, hoping that Oikawa can feel the adoration that he thinks is seeping off of him in waves. This stupid, wonderful man. “I’ll tell you that as many times as you need.”

He can feel Oikawa’s smile on his ear, the man’s lips teasing slightly. “Say “I love you, Tooru-chan!” 10 times and maybe I’ll stop worrying so much.”

“Fuck off,” Hajime says, trying to push away from Oikawa’s embrace, but his grip is too tight and too welcoming.

 


 

Hajime and Tooru are surprised late in the afternoon by a delicate knock on the door. The two had been lounging in bed all day, both having the day off of work and choosing to spend it doing nothing. The knock was quiet, but steady, and Tooru states that he thinks it’s Shimizu and Yachi. “I’m naked, Iwa-chan, you open the door.” He whines.

“You’re not naked, my hand is literally touching your shirt right now.”

“Iwa-chan,” He whines louder.

Hajime grunts and rises off the bed after pushing Oikawa off. He hears a satisfying squeak-yelp noise that he muses all the way to the door. It is Shimizu and Yachi, but the looks they’re wearing are not ones Hajime always sees on the pair. “What happened?” He asks.

Shimizu seems as if she’s fighting a grin, face flushed. “Hitoka-chan and I are engaged.” Yachi nods enthusiastically.

What?

Standing in shock, Hajime barely registers the loud thumping behind him until Oikawa is standing with them, legs wrapped in sheets and eyes bugging. “You’re what?!”

Yachi sticks out a hand, spreading her fingers to show the small, thin silver band on her finger. “See?”

“Iwaizumi-san, Oikawa-san,” Shimizu begins, eyes bright but expression otherwise schooled, “We want you two to be the sole guests at our wedding ceremony.”

“When?” Oikawa sputters.

“Today.”

“Excuse me?”

“Today, Oikawa-san!” Yachi cheers, face sheepish but neither of the girls could seem to contain their excitement.

Hajime breaks into action then, pulling Shimizu and Yachi into a tight hug. They’re all laughing, and Hajime feels Oikawa join behind him. “We have to celebrate!” He’s yelling.

Shimizu is the first to pull away, fixing her clothes primly. Oikawa then gasps, pushing himself in between her and Yachi. “You can’t see each other on your wedding day! It’s bad luck!”

“Err, Oikawa-san, we’ve already seen each other several times…” Yachi’s saying, but it goes ignored.

“Iwa-chan, I’m taking Kiyo-chan! You guys need to get ready! I’ll call you!” Is what he says before taking Shimizu by the hand and slamming the door behind him, leaving no room for comment.

Hajime and Yachi sit in silence after the smack of the door, eyes wide.

“So,” He says, clearing his throat, “This is certainly…sudden.”

“Ah, I know but,” Yachi has a dreamy smile on her face, “Kiyoko-chan told me that she doesn’t want to wait, and that she wants to make sure I know that she won’t let me go despite her father’s wishes. And we know that our type of marriage isn’t legal but we like the idea of it.”

Hajime shrugs, “Well, I guess that’s good then. I’m happy for you guys.”

She nods, happily, smile turning timid. “Iwaizumi-san, can you help me get ready for our wedding?”

“Ah, sure,” He replies hesitantly. This had always been Oikawa’s forte – he doesn’t know anything about fashion or weddings. “Should we go buy you a dress, or something?”

“Yeah, but it doesn’t have to be a wedding dress or anything. I also need to do my hair…” She says.

Hair? What could be hard about hair? “I’ll do it.” He offers. What could go wrong?

Everything, apparently. After shopping for a dress, they had gone back to Iwaizumi’s place to finish getting ready. Yachi sits in a chair in his bathroom, clad in a pale yellow dress that ended at her knees and a pained expression. “Ah, Iwaizumi-san, you’re hurting my head.” She says quietly.

The blonde mess sits upon her head, tangled beyond recognition. “Sorry,” he apologizes, picking up the detangling spray and wetting her hair. “I, uh, I’m not sure what I’m doing.”

Yachi takes the brush from Hajime and sets to work on sorting out her locks. By the time she gets all the knots out, Hajime gets a phone call from Oikawa.

“Iwa-chan, baby!!” Oikawa sings into the phone.

“Don’t call me that,” He quips. “What are the plans, exactly?”

“After you get Hito-chan ready, meet us at the park! You know, the one where I dropped my ice cream and forced you to buy me a new one? Anyway, I know how incompetent you can be, Iwa-chan, so I already took care of everything. All you have to do is bring Hito-chan. You can do that, right?” He can just see the expression on Oikawa’s face. He wants to punch him.

“Shut the fuck up, Oikawa. I’ll see you in an hour.” When he hangs up, he turns to Yachi, her hair now a blank canvas again. Eventually they settle on a ponytail, and it’s cute and small, if a little messy.

“It’s okay, Iwaizumi-san, it doesn’t matter what I look like.” She grins.

They get on the subway to get to the park and Hajime has time to let the information finally sink in. Shimizu and Yachi hadn’t been together for that long, but according to Shimizu they had been dancing around each other for a long time. The way Hajime sees it, time doesn’t matter. If you want to get married to someone you love, nothing should stop you. Plus, he had been around them enough to see genuine feelings. He wonders if he and Oikawa will ever get married. He had never thought of it – before, the idea of he and Oikawa being together forever was just a given, in his mind. He feels silly for assuming so he just shoves his hands in his pockets, side-eying Yachi. Her body is exuding energy, and it clears Hajime of some of his embarrassment. The pure happiness she’s portraying makes him feel okay with feeling the same emotions about Oikawa.

When Yachi and Hajime make it to the park, their gazes directly lock on Shimizu. She looks stunning in a form-fitting black dress, her hair curled and tied up with a precision that could only be Oikawa’s work. Hajime feels very underdressed, but at least Oikawa is wearing similar clothes too. She has a veil on her head and a bouquet in her hands, and Oikawa himself stands by with similar objects in his arms.

Once Tooru sees them, he runs up to Yachi. “Hito-chan, you look too cute! Here’s your veil and your flowers.” He gives Hajime a greeting kiss then asks, teasingly, “You did her hair, I’m guessing?”

“Fuck off,” He says, walking up to Shimizu with Yachi. “You look great, Shimizu-san,” He grins. She gives him a shy nod and turns to Yachi, eyes burning with pure love. They whisper to each other quietly, and Hajime takes that as his sign to turn back to Oikawa. The man is looking at the pair with a fond, wistful expression that makes Hajime’s heart skip a little.

When Oikawa notices Hajime’s staring, he grins. “I’m gonna be the officiant.” He says proudly.

“Like you actually have the power to do that.” Hajime snorts, crossing his arms.

“It’s not like this is a lawful wedding, anyway.” Oikawa shrugs, turning to Yachi and Shimizu and clapping. “Places, places!”

Hajime and Oikawa are standing by a tree opposite to Yachi and Shimizu, who are standing next to each other with bouquets tightly fisted in their hands.

“Iwa-chan, music,” Oikawa says in a stage whisper, and Hajime scrambles to press the play button on his phone. Some traditional Western wedding march begins to play on the tinny speakers, and the two women begin walking towards them. They look beautiful and elated. Shimizu’s elegance reflects perfectly upon Yachi’s cute, charming being, making Hajime’s heart clench happily. When they make it to Oikawa and Hajime, they turn to each other, and lift their veils.

“Ladies and gentleman,” Oikawa begins, “We are gathered here today to see two knockout cuties get married! They’re tired of being apart because it’s just not as cool as being wives and they want to be together for the rest of their lives. So Iwa-chan and I are gonna make sure that happens and we’re gonna be witnesses or something!”

It’s probably the worst speech Hajime’s ever heard, but the jubilant expressions on the ladies’ faces never waver. “Let’s exchange vows!” Oikawa announces, “Kiyo-chan, you start.”

Shimizu nods slightly, and purses her lips. “Hitoka-chan, you’ve been my source of sunlight for a long time. Days without you may as well not exist, because there is no life without your presence. When I look at you I am reminded that love is everlasting because I don’t see the end of it when I’m with you. I want my days to begin and end with you, Yachi Hitoka, no matter what my father or anyone else says.”

Hajime’s briefly surprised at how outspoken Shimizu is being, but then he realizes that it’s probably Yachi’s doing that she’s more open.

“Beautiful!” Oikawa says, clapping. “Hito-chan, you’re turn.”

Yachi jumps, head bowing. “Kiyoko-chan, I love you a lot! You make my heart fly so fast that sometimes I’m afraid it might explode. No matter how many times I see you, it just keeps pounding and pounding. But when I’m separated from you, it feels like it stops. I don’t feel alive or anything, and I feel really sick, Kiyoko-chan. I would rather my heart explode from being with you all the time than feel nothing!” She yells, as if she really believed her heart would burst.

Shimizu smiles gently, her eyes squinting slightly.

“Hito-chan, you’re so cute!” Oikawa coos. “Alright, uh.” He looks at Hajime for help. “What’s after that?”

Hajime panics and shrugs. “The ‘I do’s’?”

“Right!” Oikawa steadies himself and clears his throat. “Shimizu Kiyoko-chan, do you take Yachi Hitoka-chan to be your super cute wife? Will you keep her safe and make sure her heart doesn’t actually explode?”

“I do…”

“Yachi Hitoka-chan, do you take Shimizu Kiyoko-chan to be your hot babe wife? Will you make sure she doesn’t drown herself in text books, and will you give her father a roundhouse kick to the face if he tries to split you guys up?”

“I-I do?”

“Exchange your rings or something and by the power vested in me by – well, you – I now pronounce you wife and wife! Smooch each other with abandon!” Hajime quickly scrambles to play the music again. Yachi and Shimizu lean forward and kiss each other after sliding on their rings, giddy smiles breaking through.

Hajime is clapping as Oikawa sobs on his shoulder, grin ever-present on his face. “It’s so beautiful!” Oikawa cries.

Laughing, Hajime shrugs him off his shoulder. “Quit crying, dumbass.”

Shimizu pulls away from Yachi, but they lock arms. “Shall we proceed with the after-wedding festivities?”

“Ah!” Oikawa pops up, picking up the bags behind him. “Let’s go to my place,” Oikawa suggests. “We can watch movies and play games!”

Surprisingly enough, Shimizu and Yachi agree and they all hop on the rail back to Oikawa’s place. They gain weird looks in the subway, the veils probably attracting the most attention. But none of them seem to care, to busy riding the after-wedding high to mind what other people think. Hajime hears Shimizu and Oikawa talking quietly, and he pleasantly notes that they’re acting a lot more amicable than they were before. Of course, before Oikawa had thought that Hajime and Shimizu were dating.

When they reach Oikawa’s house they file in and converge in the living room, taking out board games and movies. They get settled in with a large spread of food and drinks and socialize and play until late, late in the night.

 


 

Oikawa had offered his room to the newlyweds, opting for him and Hajime to use the pull-out bed in the couch. They all had gone to bed around 3 in the morning, exhaustion from the day seeping into their bones.

Hajime lays in bed, staring up at the ceiling. The quiet snores from beside him soothe his nerves, but he can’t seem to keep his eyes closed. By the time he gives up, it’s already almost 4. He gets out of bed as slowly as he can muster, and stumbles his way to the kitchen. He gathers the ingredients to make hot chocolate, and grabs a second mug on a whim. He walks over to Oikawa’s sleeping form and gently jostles him awake.

“’wa-chan?” Oikawa mumbles, sitting up groggily. “Wha’s up?”

He shoves his hands into the pockets of his hoodie. “Let’s go watch the sunrise.”

A slow, easily smile breaks across Oikawa’s face and he nods. Hajime makes his way back to the kitchen to quickly prepare the hot chocolate. Oikawa comes in with his arms wrapped around a blanket and cheers quietly. “Yay, I get to have Iwa-chan’s homemade hot chocolate.”

When he finishes, they go out on the balcony and cuddle together, wrapping the blanket around their intertwined bodies. They sip their hot chocolate in silence as Oikawa wakes up with the heat of drink.

“Iwa-chan,” Oikawa calls.

“What?”

“Are we going to spend the rest of our lives together?”

“Yes.” He answers, and he believes it too.

Oikawa gives a peaceful sigh and lays his head on Hajime’s shoulder. “Hajime, do you remember that day we were fighting that one time in junior high and I was running away but I tripped and busted my nose?”

Hajime cringes at the memory. There was blood everywhere. “Yeah?”

“Well, you were taking care of me and cleaning me up as if we never fought, and I started crying, remember?”

“Mhm.” Yeah, he remembers. He was so confused as to why Tooru had been crying after he had been patched up.

“That’s when I decided I was going to spend the rest of my life with you, I think.” Tooru stays quiet after that, and looks to the sun, finally rising. “Ah, it’s still pretty no matter how many times I see it.”

Hajime tears his gaze away from the sunrise to glance at Oikawa. Tooru sits up at the movement, and looks over to Hajime, eyes searching. “We’ve pretty much been married since junior high, haven’t we?” Hajime says.

“Yeah. But don’t think you get to skip out on a wedding ceremony. And I want one bigger than Kiyo-chan’s and Hito-chan’s! I want the whole nine yards!”

“Really?”

“Really.”