It starts with an invitation.
A wedding invitation.
It’s from a cousin Matsukawa can vaguely recall meeting a grand total of about eight times throughout his 24 years of life, and he doesn’t think he’s even met her groom-to-be (though he thinks they might be Facebook friends - the result of social media stalking gone awry), but he appreciates the invitation all the same.
He especially appreciates the location (a weekend away at a fancy hotel) and the footnote about an open bar, hastily added in almost minuscule print at the bottom of the invite.
“You’ve got a plus one.”
“Hm?” Matsukawa hums, barely reacting as he feels a familiar weight press against his back and a chin drop onto his shoulder.
“Mm.” Hanamaki nods, apparently it’s still too early for totally coherent sentences, yawning a little as he drapes an arm over Matsukawa’s shoulders to prod at the invitation in his hands. “They’ve given you a plus one.”
“Oh.” Matsukawa frowns as he squints at the invitation. He hadn’t even noticed the extra addition by his name. “Weird.”
Hanamaki hums again, still apparently struggling to come up with a sentence that isn’t monosyllabic, and Matsukawa has to pretend like he doesn’t miss the comforting warmth when he eventually pulls away, stretching a little as he lazily shuffles towards the kitchen.
“Coffee?” he calls, barely waiting for Matsukawa’s answer before he tugs two well-used mugs out of their cupboard and begins making their drinks.
A comfortable silence blankets their tiny shared apartment as Hanamaki busies himself with their drinks while Matsukawa flicks through the rest of their mail.
(Bills. Bills. An order of sticky putty Matsukawa is almost certain he doesn’t want to know why Hanamaki has purchased. A much needed care package from his mother. And more bills.)
He likes mornings like this. Mornings where they’re both too tired to speak, still blinking sleep dust from their eyes as they slip into an easy routine like a well oiled machine. Matsukawa grins a little, dropping himself onto their sofa as Hanamaki shuffles back into the living, tongue poking out slightly in concentration as he makes his way to the sofa without spilling the drinks in either hand.
He watches as Hanamaki places their mugs on the coffee table before flopping onto the sofa next to him. He wriggles around a little before sitting so his back is pressed up against the arm of their ratty old couch and swings his legs up to push against Matsukawa’s bare thighs. He cackles loudly, giving his best impression of a pantomime villain, when Matsukawa recoils to the other end of the sofa.
“Why are your feet always so cold?” Matsukawa sniffs, reflexively reaching for a cushion to use as a barrier in case Hanamaki decides to go in for a second attack. (Very likely.) “Ever heard of slippers? Or even socks?”
Hanamaki pulls a face, looking scandalised at the very thought of having to cover his toes at night. “Why don’t you wear anything but shorts to bed?”
“Oh, I’m supposed to sweat to death at night just because you have inhumanly cold toes that you’ve somehow managed to weaponise?”
“I mean. If you could?” Hanamaki wiggles his toes dangerously and nods towards Matsukawa’s thighs peeking out from underneath his pyjamas shorts (which, in all honesty, are just a pair of old boxers.) “All this bare flesh is just way too tempting. Hey—” He ducks as Matsukawa grabs the cushion turned protective barrier against Hanamaki’s evil toes, and chucks it at him.
This too is part of the odd little routine they’ve managed to develop over the last year or so, and it always ends in the same way.
Like clockwork Hanamaki stretches his legs out, dropping them unceremoniously onto Matsukawa’s lap. Their sofa is a bit on the small size, barely big enough to comfortably seat them both, and his feet hang from the other end slightly.
“And don’t even think about tickling me,” Hanamaki warns, narrowing his eyes suspiciously as he reaches for his coffee on the table. “If we get another stain on the carpet, I don’t think we’ll get our deposit back.”
They both glance at the various stains on the floor below them, a testament to other lazy mornings filled with coffee, cold toes and subsequent tickle wars. Secretly, Matsukawa thinks they probably lost their deposit a long time ago (somewhere between that time Iwaizumi and Oikawa stayed over and somehow the bathroom got flooded or that other time Iwaizumi and Oikawa stayed over and an impromptu wrestling match turned into a food fight), and one extra stain isn’t really going to do much damage.
“Point. But, as soon as you’re finished,” Matsukawa ghosts his fingers over Hanamaki’s left foot. “I can’t make any promises.”
“You fiend.” Hanamaki hisses, but he doesn’t make any move to jerk his legs away. In fact, he actually wiggles his toes a little defiantly in his face, as if daring him to attack. Matsukawa considers it for half a second before deciding against it on the off chance there still is a chance they might get their deposit back.
They slip into another comfortable silence as they sip their coffee, only broken every now and then by a hiss from Matsukawa when he burns his tongue on the still scalding beverage and a snort of laughter from Hanamaki, who then promptly goes on to do the exact same thing.
“Whose wedding is it?” Hanamaki asks suddenly, breaking the silence as he nods towards the invitation sitting on their coffee table.
“Cousin. You remember Umi-chan?”
“Well. Her.” Matsukawa shrugs, scrunching up his nose just a little as he tries to recall any particularly fond memories he has of his cousin. He thinks she’s something like his second or third cousin, the daughter of one of his first cousins, but he can’t be too sure, and he supposes that’s probably a glaring indictment of how close he actually is to any of his extended family. “No idea why she gave me a ‘plus one’ though.”
His knowledge of wedding etiquette is pitifully lacking (coming almost solely from the two weddings he’d attended with his mother as a very small child), but he’s fairly certain plus one’s are just thrown around without any care when it comes to the Big Day. He’s watched enough trashy wedding shows (Oikawa is a shameless fan of ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’) to know the guest list is a seemingly endless source of annoyance and stress for the bride and groom.
Nobody wants to fork out a small fortune for an extra unwanted mouth to feed if they can help it. As far as he can tell, plus ones are strictly reserved for close friends and family who are in a fairly committed relationship, but haven’t had the chance to pop the question themselves yet.
Which makes the plus one on his invitation that little bit stranger.
“She probably thinks you’re dating someone.”
“Why would she think that?”
Hanamaki shrugs. “Who knows? You’re at a dateable age, and I guess you’re not all that awful looking.”
“Thanks,” Matsukawa deadpans.
“You're welcome,” Hanamaki beams, without even the faintest trace of irony in his tone.
He supposes it’s not entirely unlikely that Hanamaki is right. He doesn’t know his cousin very well at all, and it is entirely plausible she just assumed he’d be dating someone solely because most people his age are dating someone.
Hanamaki pulls his leg back slightly and pokes Matsukawa with his big toe. “You gonna go?”
“I guess I should. It’d be rude not to.”
“And there’s an open bar.”
“Ugh!” Hanamaki places his hands over his heart and pretends to swoon. “Heaven. Make sure you sneak some home, we’re running dangerously low.”
“You could come with?” Matsukawa offers. “I’ve got the plus one, remember?”
“Oh, Mattsun,” Hanamaki gasps, batting his eyelashes and pretending to look shocked. “Are you asking me out on a date?”
“Of course,” Matsukawa says, injecting just the right amount of faux seriousness into his voice as he can muster up so early in the morning. “A wedding is the perfect place for a first date after all. If we’re lucky, one of us might even catch the bouquet.”
“You don’t have to sell it to me.”
“Yeah, you had me from ‘open bar’,” Hanamaki shrugs. “I was already planning on sneaking in your suitcase to be honest.”
Matsukawa laughs loudly, throwing his head back as the chuckles ripple through his body. He wouldn’t trade moments like this — lazy mornings with Hanamaki’s long legs sprawled across his lap, without any regard for personal space, filled with coffee and bad jokes — for anything in the world.
It’s been awhile since he last needed to wear something that actually adhered to a proper dress code.
He’s barely two years out of university and most of the events he attends still either fall into the category of ‘So Painfully Casual He Doubts Anyone Would Even Notice If He Turned Up In Pyjamas’ and ‘Fancy Dress’, which explains the, quite frankly, unjustifiable amount of clown masks, capes, face paint, and other strange fancy dress related items that have been stuffed haphazardly into the back of his wardrobe.
So he decides it’s not all that surprising that he’s having difficulty squeezing into the one pair of fancy-ish trouser he downs, purchased hurriedly for his graduation nearly two years ago. They’re a little tight around the thighs and he knows he’ll have to be careful not to take any particularly long strides at the wedding, but they’ll do.
And, most importantly, he’s fairly certain they’ll satisfy his mother.
The mother who has spent the last twenty minutes chewing his ear off on the phone about the wedding.
“And remember,” she says sternly, taking what Matsukawa thinks is probably her first breath since the beginning of the conversation. “You need to bring a real gift. That means no Waitrose gift cards or cheap wine from the supermarket. Did you sign up to the registry like I told you?”
“Yes,” Matsukawa hums absentmindedly, dropping onto his bed as he tries to wriggle out of the trousers with only one free hand. The list of items on the registry had been stupidly expensive, but he’s quite happy with the (still stupidly expensive) cutlery set he and Hanamaki had eventually settled on after a night of trawling through the website.
(A night that ended in both of them drawing up a list of items they’d like for their own registry’s one day. ‘Makki, you can’t just ask for an endless supply of cream puffs.’ ‘My imaginary wedding, my imaginary rules.’)
“And even if I hadn’t,” Matsukawa continues, “the wedding is in two days, so your reminder is pretty useless.” He hears her click her tongue in disapproval and he has to bite back a snort of laughter.
“Hm. You think just because you’ve moved out, I can’t still ground you for talking back?”
“That’s the theory, yeah.”
“Uh-huh. You’re only one train ride away Issei, don’t forget that.” She clicks her tongue again and Matsukawa can practically hear her shaking her head at him. “And you’re sure you’ve picked out a nice outfit to wear?”
“You’ve asked me that four times already,” Matsukawa mutters, groaning quietly in relief when he finally manages to kick his feet out of the trousers and sends them flying across the room.
“Well I need to make sure,” she huffs. “I’ve seen how you dress yourself.” She ignores his splutter of ‘what’s that supposed to mean?’ and carries on. “What about Makki?”
“What about him?”
“What is he wearing?”
He doesn’t think to question just how his mother knew he’d be bringing Hanamaki with him without him actually mentioning it to her himself. It doesn’t even cross his mind.
“Last time I checked? The suit from last years Elvis Halloween costume.”
“He’ll be dressed properly as well. Stop worrying,” he laughs, imagining the look of horror that must have spasmed across his mother’s face at the thought of Hanamaki turning up to the wedding in an Elvis costume. “Now I have to go, I think I can smell my dinner burning.”
She scolds him light heartedly about his so far non-existent cooking skills before she finally says goodbye, tacking on another warning about bringing an appropriate gift and dressing nicely.
Once he’s hung up the phone (‘Yes mum, I’ll bring a good gift and yes I’ll dress nicely. Love you too’), he makes his way towards Hanamaki’s room, not really caring that he’s yet to put on a pair of sweats since shrugging himself out of his wedding outfit.
“Makki?” He asks, poking his head through Hanamaki’s door.
He’s lying on his bed, wrapped in nothing but a towel, with his skin still glistening slightly from his recent shower. Absentmindedly, Matsukawa wonders if this is weird; the level of comfort they have with each other that sees him strolling into Hanamaki’s room in nothing but his boxers, while Hanamaki lies on his bed with only a ridiculously small towel wrapped around him to cover his bits.
It doesn’t feel weird, but— Well. Sometimes he wonders.
“Mum says no to the Elvis suit.”
Secretly, Matsukawa has always known his mother has a soft spot for Hanamaki.
She does a terrible job at hiding it, and he’s known it ever since the first time he invited Hanamaki home with him for a study session after volleyball practice, and their casual friendship spiralled quickly into something so much more.
“Makki,” she cooes, barely waiting for Hanamaki to drop his suitcase to the floor before she pulls him down for a quick hug and presses a kiss against each cheek. “If feels like an age since I last saw you. Why do you never come to visit with Issei?” She’s standing with one hand on her resting on her hip, leaning against the concierge desk as she shakes her head at him and, Matsukawa thinks wryly, she genuinely looks like a mother scolding her own son.
“I’ve missed you too, Matsukawa-san,” Hanamaki laughs, not bothering to wipe the two faint lipstick stains from either cheek as he pulls away. “And darling Mattsun never invites me.” He glances over his shoulder and pokes his tongue out at Matsukawa, looking incredibly smug when Matsukawa tries to sneakily stick his middle finger up at him in retaliation.
“Oh you don’t need an invite,” she titters, shaking her head a little, as if the idea of Hanamaki needing to be invited to come and visit her is the silliest thing she’s ever heard. “Just come whenever you’re free. I’ve been perfecting my recipe for those desserts you like, you know?”
Hanamaki’s eyes light up. “My cream puffs?”
She nods and Matsukawa doesn’t miss the way her lips twitch upwards into a proud little smile at Hanamaki’s obvious excitement. “I’ve developed a new technique I think you’ll really like.”
“Matsukawa-san,” Hanamaki sniffs dramatically, pulling her into another hug before he turns to glance at Matsukawa. “Mattsun? I’m adopting your mother. She’s mine now.”
She giggles nervously as Matsukawa rolls his eyes and steps forwards, physically prying them apart so he can hug his own mother. “You know,” he murmurs in her ear as he crouches down just enough to allow her to plant a soft kiss against each cheek. “You can at least pretend you prefer me to him.”
“Issei, please,” she scoffs, whacking his chest a little as they pull away. “I love you both equally.”
Matsukawa frowns. “I’m your son. You’re supposed to love me more.”
“And Makki’s like a son to me as well,” she says, frowning a little at Matsukawa as if he’s being the unreasonable one here, and her desire to adopt Hanamaki as another son isn’t strange at all.
If he’s honest with himself, it really isn’t strange, because it’s been like this for as long as he can remember.
While his mother was always kind and sweet to all of his friends (Matsukawa’s house quickly became the team’s home of choice to hang out after practice thanks to her sweet nature and predisposition to baking them treats when they arrived), Hanamaki always seemed to hold a special place in her heart that Matsukawa has never really been able to figure out.
She’d make an effort to speak to him more than the others, and asks him questions about his day, and find out the things he likes and, on more than one occasion, Matsukawa had returned home to find Hanamaki sitting in his lounge, sipping tea while engaged with his mother like it was the most natural thing in the world.
“Ah, let me carry that for you, Matsukawa-san.”
Matsukawa can’t help but grin as he watches as Hanamaki deftly leans forwards and grabs his mother’s suitcase, dragging it easily behind him (despite her protests) as they walk through the hotel’s lobby.
Maybe it is the most natural thing in the world.
“Hi, Umi-chan,” Matsukawa says, wincing slightly as his cousin detaches herself from his mother (‘Oba-chan, I’ve missed you so much!’) and wraps her arms around his midsection and squeezes very, very, tightly. “Congratulations.”
“Thank you, thank you,” she grins as she pulls away, eyes sliding from Matsukawa to a rather amused looking Hanamaki standing on his right. “And you must be Hanamaki.”
For a brief second, Matsukawa wonders what ‘you must be’ means, but he doesn’t have time to dwell on it because Umi is suddenly leaping forwards, pulling Hanamaki into an equally crushing hug, as if they’ve been friends for years and didn’t just meet less than thirty seconds ago.
Idly, Matsukawa wonders what it is about Hanamaki that makes seemingly all members of his family fawn over him. Maybe it’s his aftershave?
“It’s so lovely to finally meet you,” Umi cooes, clapping her hands together as she grins widely at both Hanamaki and Matsukawa. “I’ve heard so much about you.”
“You— You have?”
“Of course,” Umi nods and, for some reason, Matsukawa’s mother laughs, as if they’re both enjoying a weird secret joke that nobody else is privy to. “When we were younger Issei-kun didn’t stop talking about you. It was always ‘Makki this’ or ‘Makki that’, you know? I feel like I’ve known you for years.”
“Oh really,” Hanamaki grins, eyes flashing with what Matsukawa knows is the promise of blackmail.
“Alright, alright,” Matsukawa grumbles, deciding that someone needs to put a stop to whatever this is before it turns into a game of ‘Who Can Tell The Most Embarrassing Stories About Issei?’ (a game he knows Hanamaki will win with ease). “You can finish giving him all the blackmail material he needs to never have to unclog the shower drain again later. We kind of wanted to drop our suitcases in our room?”
“Of course, of course,” Umi says lightly, dipping into her pocket to brandish a key card at them. “I made sure you two got a really nice room.”
She grins as she shoves the card into Matsukawa’s hand and, bizarrely, she even winks. “There’s a lovely view and an en suite shower and I even had room service fill up your fridge with some champagne.”
Matsukawa glances over at his mother who, like Umi, is beaming at him. “Am I— Am I missing something?”
“No, no, no,” Umi titters. “I just wanted to make sure you and Hanamaki felt comfortable, you know? I didn’t want you to feel nervous or out of place at my wedding.”
“Oh.” Matsukawa nods, thinking that he somewhat understands Umi’s thought process. It has been a while since he’s seen any of his extended family which could make for awkward silences around the dinner table, so he supposes it’s nice that Umi’s gone to such lengths to make him feel comfortable. If not a little weird and over the top. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome . Now, shoo, shoo,” she pushes him backwards gently and winks again (Matsukawa wonders if she might have a twitch). “Go and check out your room before dinner. I’ll take care of Oba-chan here.”
Matsukawa hesitates, there’s something about the situation that just feels weird and he’s certain he’s missing a pretty important piece of information, but Hanamaki gently tugs him backwards, and, before he knows it, he’s being led back down the corridor listening to Hanamaki mumble something about wanting to get a start on the champagne.
As they turn a corner and his mother and Umi disappear from sight, he’s sure he hears Umi say: “You were right Oba-chan, he is a handsome guy. Issei-kun is so lucky.” But, before he has the chance to question it, Hanamaki is dragging him into an elevator and Matsukawa decides he must have misheard.
Their room has one bed.
It’s a very nice room. It's also a very large room that could clearly fit more than one bed inside it if they really wanted, but no.
Their room has one bed.
And to make matters worse, it’s a heart shaped bed, complete with frilly red blankets and cushions and towels twisted into the shape of swans sitting at the foot of it.
“Well,” Hanamaki says, gingerly picking up one of the swan shaped towels. “This is—”
“Weird,” Matsukawa says heavily.
“I was going to say the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me,” Hanamaki laughs, plopping onto the bed. “But weird works too.”
“How is this amazing in any way, shape, or form?”
“Mattsun,” Hanamaki tuts, shaking his head a little as if he’s actually disappointed. “How often do you get the opportunity to sleep on a heart shaped bed. Oikawa’s going to be so jealous.”
Hanamaki shrugs. “Seems like the kind of thing he’d get jealous about.” He clears his throat, musses up his hair a little and puts on a face Matsukawa has come to recognise as signalling he’s about to be treated to ‘Hanamaki’s Awesome (Awful) Oikawa Impression’. “He'll be all ‘Oh, how are you two spending a romantic evening in a posh hotel before me and Iwa-chan? Ohhhh the injustice.’ Or something like that.”
“This isn’t romantic,” Matsukawa drawls, dropping onto the bed next to Hanamaki who immediately hooks a leg around Matsukawa’s waist and cries: “Take me, Mattsun. Ravish me.”
“I didn’t know tacky hotel rooms were your thing,” Matsukawa snorts, rolling slightly on his side so Hanamaki can hook his leg around his waist a little more comfortably. “If I’d known that I would’ve done this years ago.”
“I’m a man of simple pleasures,” Hanamaki sniffs, lips twitching as he fights to hold back his laughter. “Give me free booze and cheesy hotel rooms and I’m yours.”
“Good to know,” Matsukawa hums, skimming his hands over Hanamaki’s thigh as he wonders how far he can take this before Hanamaki, inevitably, cracks and bursts into laughter. “I’ll make sure to rem—”
The door to their room is roughly tugged open and they both blink up in confusion to find Matsukawa’s mother standing in the doorway with red cheeks and wide eyes that, for some reason, are looking everywhere but at them.
“Really, Issei. Makki.” she huffs, still determinedly looking away as Matsukawa and Hanamaki detangle themselves from each other. “You should lock the door if you’re going to be doin— If you’re going to be in here together.”
Matsukawa frowns, wondering why his mother looks so flustered. She’s still purposely not looking at them and is instead staring at her shoes as if they contain the secret to world peace. He glances over at Hanamaki who shrugs, looking equally confused.
“Is everything alright?”
“Everything is fine,” she chirps, voice a little higher than usual. “Just— Ah. Just, dinner will be ready soon, so come down when you’re ready. No need to rush or anything, just—” She clears her throat and, for the first time since barging into the room, meets their gaze. “Just finish up here and, ah, come down.”
“That was weird,” Hanamaki comments, watching as Matsukawa’s mother closes the door behind her and quickly disappears. “But,” he grins devilishly and hooks his leg back over Matsukawa’s waist. “I believe you were about to ravish me.”
Matsukawa snorts and easily shoves Hanamaki off the bed, enjoying his squawk of pain when he hits the floor with a loud thud . “No sex on the first date, Makki.”
“I’ve known you for nearly ten years,” Hanamaki says as he pulls himself back up onto the bed, taking care to poke Matsukawa sharply in the sides as he goes. He fixes Matsukawa with an odd look he can’t quite decipher. “I think we’re a little past ‘first dates’, Mattsun.”
Not for the first time, Matsukawa finds himself wondering if this kind of banter is really all that normal among friends. Of course, Iwaizumi and Oikawa do and say these kinds of things all the time, but neither of them are exactly the poster children for normalcy and Matsukawa wonders if maybe, just maybe, his perception of how friendships should be might be a little bit skewed.
But then Hanamaki suddenly remembers their mini fridge full of champagne and they’re both leaping off the bed, racing for the first bottle and Matsukawa realises he doesn’t really care.
“Why are your family so weird?”
Matsukawa groans, rolling onto his side in their (heart shaped) bed, to get a better a look at Hanamaki. They’ve just spent the better part of the evening, and most of the early morning, surrounded by hordes of Matsukawa’s relatives, who, for some reason, have all apparently forgotten how to act like normal people.
He tried to ask Umi what the hell was up with their room, but she only winked, giggled, and muttered ‘you’re welcome’ before darting away back to her fiance.
And the rest of his family were acting just as strange.
Throughout the dinner they kept getting approached by uncles and aunts and cousins and God knows who else, all of them grinning brightly as they shook Hanamaki’s hand and explained just how much they’ve been looking forward to meeting him or to express just how much they’ve heard about him. One great aunt even insisted on getting a picture with them both and took great pleasure in telling them that she’d had the perfect place among all the family photographs on her mantlepiece for it.
“It’s your fault.”
“My fault?” Hanamaki splutters, shifting slightly in bed to get a better look at Matsukawa. “How is it my fault?”
“Clearly you have some weird superpower that makes everyone in my family fawn over you.”
Hanamaki quirks a brow. “Clearly.”
“I’m glad you agree,” Matsukawa grins. “Sorry though. I have no idea what’s wrong with them all.”
“It’s the Matsukawa gene,” Hanamaki says sagely, tapping his chin thoughtfully with his forefinger. “I mean I’ve always known you were a weird one, but I had no idea it was hereditary. Hey—” He yelps when Matsukawa quickly snatches the blankets away from him. A tug-of-war ensues until Hanamaki suddenly remembers he has a secret weapon and manages to regain control of the blankets.
“Put some socks on, please,” Matsukawa whines, rolling as far as he can to the edge of the bed without falling off so he can avoid Hanamaki’s toes (which is actually quite difficult, because heart shape beds really don’t give you a lot of rolling room).
“Why don’t you put some trousers on?” Hanamaki shoots back, raising a brow as he lifts the blankets to glance pointedly at Matsukawa’s scantily clad lower half. “I mean, I know I’m your date and everything but really, Mattsun? Jumping into bed naked before you’ve even put a ring on my finger? What do you take me for?”
“Firstly, ” Matsukawa grunts, reluctantly shuffling back to his original position in the bed so he can tug the blanket back over him again. “I’m not naked. I’m wearing boxers.”
“Literally the tiniest boxers I have ever seen ever.”
“Secondly,” Matsukawa continues, pointedly ignoring Hanamaki’s interruption. “Well. I don’t have a second point actually.”
“Does that mean I win?”
“Go to sleep, Makki.”
“I’m taking that as a yes.”
“I hate you.”
“Love you too, babe .”
“Go to sleep, Makki.”
“Don’t I get a kiss goodnight?”
“You can kiss my ass.”
“Is that an invitation?”
“Alright, alright,” Hanamaki grumbles and, for a moment or two, Matsukawa thinks that’s going to be the end of the matter. Then he feels the blankets shift slightly around him and the bed dip, before he feels a familiar weight pressed up against his back.
“What’re you doing?”
“You’re warm,” Hanamaki mumbles as he wiggles his arms around Matsukawa’s waist and pulls himself closer.
“And you’re freezing.”
“Sacrifices have to be made, Mattsun. Now ssh , go to sleep.”
“Why do I have to make the sacrifices?”
“Sleep, Mattsun, sleep.”
He considers arguing. Thinks about how easy it would be to tug the blankets away from Hanamaki and shove him off the bed, but, if he’s honest with himself, he really doesn’t mind the way they’re curled up beside each other.
Not at all.
As soon as they enter the reception hall, Hanamaki makes a beeline for the buffet table, ordering Matsukawa to go and find their seats while he grabs their food.
The wedding was nice.
Umi cried. Her husband (whose name Matsukawa can’t, for the life of him, remember, though he thinks it might begin with an S) cried. His mother cried. Pretty much everyone cried. Even Matsukawa managed a watery smile when they said ‘I Do’ and finally kissed.
It was a nice wedding.
'Was' being the operative word.
Matsukawa bristles slightly as he watches Hanamaki cross the hall and make his way to their table.
“What is that?”
Matsukawa shoots him a Look™.
“Oh! You mean these?” Hanamaki grins brightly, brandishing the large bouquet that is definitely not the food he was supposed to be getting. “I believe they’re called flowers you uncultured swine.”
“And where did you get those flowers from?” Matsukawa asks, ignoring the mild insult. He’ll tackle him for it later.
“Ah.” Matsukawa leans back into his seat and decides that explains why several women are glaring in their direction. “I know I’m going to regret asking this but, why do you have it.”
“Really , Mattsun,” Hanamaki laughs, dropping into the empty seat next to him. “You’ve never been to a wedding before? Don’t you know you’re looking at the next bride-to-be?”
Matsukawa snorts. “And who’s the poor sucker you’ve conned into marrying you?”
“Still working on it. Although,” Hanamaki raises a brow and places a hand gently on Matsukawa’s thigh, his fingers tracing an invisible pattern against the soft material. “I am open to suggestions.”
“Oh really?” Matsukawa hums, a grin forming on his lips as he allows himself to be tugged into Hanamaki’s latest round of teasing. Never one to be outdone, he leans forwards and places his own hand on Hanamaki’s thigh, squeezing gently. “What’s your type? I’m sure I could find someone.”
He sees Hanamaki’s lips twitch upwards and he inwardly cheers. Victory will be his! He inches closer towards Hanamaki, sliding off his own seat just a little as he lets his fingers drift higher and higher up his thig—
“Oh. Oh. Sorry to interrupt boys.”
Matsukawa frowns, turning a little to the right to find his mother hovering awkwardly by their table. Her cheeks look oddly flushed and, once again, she’s looking anywhere but at them.
“Is everything alright?”
“Fine, just fine.”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course, Issei,” she sighs, pulling her bottom lip between her teeth as she glances over at him and Hanamaki. “I just wanted to let you know they’re serving the desserts.”
“Desserts?” Hanamaki is up and out of his seat before he’s even finished saying the word. “You want anything, Mattsun?”
“I’ll just steal whatever you put on your plate.”
“Touch my cream puffs and die,” Hanamaki warns in his best ‘I’m totally scary’ voice, that kind of falls completely flat considering Matsukawa knows exactly where to tickle him in order to reduce him into a screaming pile of goo hollering for ‘mercy’.
“It’s nice to see you both so happy,” his mother hums, slipping into the now empty seat next to Matsukawa as they both watch Hanamaki weave through the crowd to reach the buffet table. “You never wear an affectionate child. You know, I had to bribe you in order to get a kiss good night most nights?”
Matsukawa laughs. “So you keep telling me.”
She hums softly, dropping her head onto his shoulder as she shuffles closer to him. “I’m glad you’ve found someone you can be like this with, Issei.”
“Yeah, me too,” he murmurs almost automatically. He’s not actually paying attention to his mother, instead he has one eye trained on Hanamaki, watching him pile a dangerous amount of cream puffs onto a paper plate before he turns and faces the chocolate founta— “Wait, what?” Matsukawa jerks away from his mother. “What did you just say?”
She frowns up at him. “Just that I’m glad you’ve found someone like Makki. Someone that makes you happy.”
Matsukawa feels his mouth drop open slightly, the cogs in his mind finally clicking into place.
“I was a bit worried for you two at first,” she continues easily, seemingly not noticing the confused look on her son's face. “I know not everyone is— Well, I know not everyone is a liberal as I am, but everything worked out in the end, didn’t it?” She smiles up at him and pats his thigh fondly. “And you couldn't have picked a better partner in my opinion. Makki is a dream . Such a nice boy. I always thought so you know?”
“Mum?” He manages to croak out, trying to pretend like his vision hasn’t just started to swim. “Are you— Are you saying that you think me and Makki are together?”
“Well of course,” she laughs, slapping his thigh. “I know you’ve never official ‘come out’ to the family but, honestly dear.” She shakes her head, a smile tugging at her lips as if she’s recalling a fond memory. “You never were very subtle about it. Neither of you.”
Subtle about it? Subtle about what?
“Ooh,” she hops up from her chair suddenly with a level of speed that betrays her age. “There’s your uncle Kai, I’ve been meaning to have a chat with him.” And, before Matsukawa can ask her to sit back down, she’s off making her way across the dance floor to greet an uncle Matsukawa only has vague memories of ever seeing before.
For a few seconds, Matsukawa isn’t sure what to do. Suddenly, the way his mother has treated Hanamaki over the years finally makes sense, and he finds himself understanding why Umi gave them the room with the heart shaped bed, and why family members kept approaching them asking for photos to slip into the family album or to tell them how nice they look together.
Shakily, he stands up and begins to shuffle towards the buffet table where he can see Hanamaki waiting his turn to use the chocolate fountain.
“You look like you’re having an existential crisis,” Hanamaki frowns as he approaches. “You alright?”
"Did you know we're dating?" They’ve never been one for beating around the bush after all.
"What?” Hanamaki blinks. “Says who?"
"Says everyone apparently."
"Oh," Hanamaki frowns for a few seconds before shrugging and turning his attention back to the chocolate fountain. "Nice."
“Is it— Is it not nice?”
Matsukawa opens his mouth to argue but the words don’t come because, he realises with a jolt, that Hanamaki is right.
He thinks back over the last few years of friendship they’ve shared together. Over the late nights squashed on their couch watching crappy movies, or the early morning burning their tongues on coffee and tickle wars, and lingering touches and stupid inside jokes only they think are hilarious, and teasing Oikawa and Iwaizumi, and everything else they’ve both been too stupid to see for anything else but friendship.
It’s very nice.
“I am not dating you unless you ask me out,” Matsukawa says stubbornly, lips curving upwards into a grin when Hanamaki cocks an eyebrow at him. “If you want this,” he gestures to his body. “You have to ask.”
“Fine,” Hanamaki huffs. “Matsukawa Issei, will you do me the honour of being my boyfriend, even though we’re already apparently boyfriends and I’m pretty sure your mother wrote me into her will about five years ago?”
“Hmm, I’m not sure.”
Matsukawa laughs and takes a step forwards until there’s only a tiny gap between them. “Can I kiss you?”
“Are we dating?”
“I suppose so.”
Hanamaki lips twitch upwards into a small grin. “Then yes, you can kiss me.”
And he does.