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A Place to Call Home

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Iwaizumi saw him every day.

Which sounded a bit suggestive, when put like that.

There was nothing suggestive about it, rest assured. It was simply a matter of fact.

Iwa saw him every day, climbing up the stairs to what Iwa guessed was apartment 3F.

Which now just sounded creepy. Especially when put like that.

But it was nothing of the sort. Simply another fact of the matter, because Iwa just happened to see it, every day at four in the afternoon, which he only knew because that was when he started his practice with the kids at the park. And standing in the park, he had the perfect view of the row of apartments that lined the opposite side of the street, but more importantly, of the incredibly attractive omega that would always return home at the same time.

At least, he was pretty sure the omega was attractive. Assuming it was an omega to begin with. But Iwa was always pretty sharp when it came to those sorts of things.

Still though, the distance was a little far, and Iwa only ever got the side of his face, but it was a really nice side of his face, in his very honest opinion. And aside from that, the omega had a very beautiful build.

Well, a beautiful back would be more accurate, since Iwa was granted a much longer view of that, when the omega was opening his door.

It was the kind of back Iwa already knew his fingers would never get enough of, trailing them up and down the omega’s spine until the omega was nothing but whimpering shivers.

Yeah. That’d be good.

Of course, all of this was hypothetical. More of a daydream, really, considering he didn’t even know the omega’s name let alone anything else. Sort of shallow, really. But it was harmless, Iwa reasoned, if his mind happened to wander every now and again.

Because it was better than what he had now. Which was equivalent to nothing. Not that helping kids with their volleyball wasn’t rewarding, it certainly could be, but gods he’d kill to have an adult conversation with someone that didn’t consist of how their son was doing.

Iwa sighed, trying to bring his attention back to the kids. But it was hard, that little voice in the back of his head tugging at his thoughts.

He’d never seen anyone other than the supposed omega enter that apartment. Did he leave alone?

Probably not.

And not just because Iwaizumi’s luck was shit. But with an omega who looked like that, it would be more likely to assume that he already had an alpha to come home to.

Or an alpha to wait on.

Iwaizumi shook his head, because it was most definitely inappropriate to have apron-wearing, what-would-you-like-for-dinner fantasies in the middle of coaching practices.

He really needed to get a grip.

“I’m home!” Oikawa kicked the door shut, struggling with his bag of groceries, tossing his keys into the little bowl on the table.

“Kitchen!”

There was a scurry of little feet rushing on the roof over his head, and then down the stairs, which manifested in the form of Eiji, hair and temperament just like his mother’s.

“Welcome home Mommy!" Oikawa had his legs tackled, which nearly made him drop the bag he was holding. Still, he managed to ruffle up his son’s hair.

“Hey there stud-muffin. Help me with the groceries?”

“I can!”

Tooru handed his son the loaf of bread, watching the almost four-year-old carry it proudly into the kitchen. He smiled to himself slightly as he followed, setting the bags down on the kitchen counter with a relieved sigh.

Bokuto waved a knife at him in greeting. “Hey hey hey~ Welcome back.”

Tooru sighed again, leaning against the counter, “Thank you for picking him up.”

“No big deal. Started on dinner.”

“Didn’t burn down the kitchen, I see,” Tooru said, swiping a bit of tomato sauce from the bubbling pot.

“Hey,” Bokuto pointed the knife at him, “I can cook just fine. It’s baking that gets me.”

“Ironic, truly.”

Bokuto made a mocking face, “Ha, ha. So funny.”

Oikawa licked his fingers, a questioning look on his face that made Bokuto think his sauce had turned out bad.

“What?”

Tooru pointed at him, “Is that my apron?”

“Mommy, Mommy!" His son ran up to him again, holding up a large sheet of paper, “Look what I drew!”

“He was working on that all afternoon.” Bokuto informed, as Oikawa took off his work jacket and let it hang on the back of the chair.

“Well let’s take a look shall we?” Oikawa took the paper and then picked up his son, sitting down on one of the stools by the counter and then placing his son on his lap so that he could scent mark him. Eiji seemed annoyed at that, wanting nothing more than to show his mother his picture. Eventually Tooru gave in, pressing his cheek against Eiji’s as he held up the crayon colored picture like it was a masterpiece.

“This one’s you,” the little boy pointed, “And that one’s Uncle Bokuto! And that’s me.”

“Mhmm,” Tooru admired the piece, “And who’s this?” He pointed to the unmistakable little dog in the corner.

“That’s Wan-chan!” Little Eiji’s eyes lit up excitedly, letting his legs dangle off his mother’s lap.

“You really want a dog don’t you?” Bokuto chuckled as he chopped up some green onions.

“It’s almost my birthday!” Eiji explained, turning awkwardly so he could face his mother, “And, I’d take good care of him—”

“Eiji,” Oikawa put on a very motherly tone, holding onto his son’s waist, “We talked about this, didn’t we? No Wan-chan yet. When you’re older I'll let you pick out a dog.”

“But I’m already four!”

Oikawa swiped his nose, smiling nice and big, “Almost, Ei-chan.”

Eiji pouted, but his expression quickly faded, when Bokuto announced that dinner was ready.

Bokuto always told incredibly elaborate bedtime stories while Oikawa washed the dishes. Sometimes, the omega worried his son’s head would be filled with utter nonsense, but he couldn’t help but give in when he heard the ecstatic laughter coming from his son’s room, or how lively Eiji always was the next morning, recounting his dreams that seemed to be a continuation of Uncle Bokuto’s tales.

It was just about 7:30, when Bokuto shut the door to Eiji’s room, letting Oikawa know that the little alpha had fallen asleep.

“Thank you. As always.”

Bokuto waved it away. “You know you guys are family. Were there any—”

Tooru lifted up the tupperware, shooting the alpha a knowing smile. “All packaged up and ready to go.”

Bokuto blushed, taking the tupperware and putting it into a bag. “Thanks.”

Oikawa glanced at the clock, patting his hands on his jeans, “Will you make it in time?”

“Yeah,” Bokuto shrugged without worry, “It’s not far. And I tend to half run…so…”

The omega snickered, waving his hands to push him along, “Well get moving, then.”

Bokuto tipped an imaginary cap, “Wish me luck.”

Oikawa crossed his arms and shook his head, “Always do.”

Bokuto let the omega shut the door for him, as he stepped out into a humid breeze. He breathed it in, feeling content regardless, because quarter to eight had quickly become his most favorite time of day.

He cut through the alley behind the apartment building that led to the busy street, crossing at the light and then turning left at the next signal.

Maybe it was childish, to say that he was bubbling, but it was true; he was bubbling. Because most days Bokuto found himself in a quiet little bakery, one that only held three employees, one of which included the owner.

A very young, very driven, very beautiful omega by the name of Akaashi Keiji.

Bokuto pushed the door open to a jangle of a bell, and he was greeted in the same monotone as always, with an ever present ghost of a smile by the owner himself.

“Evening,” he grinned, holding up the grocery bag, “I made dinner.” He walked up to the counter, before setting it down directly in front of the omega.

“You don’t have to keep doing this…” Akaashi began, as always.

And Bokuto brushed it away, as always. “You know I make way more than I have to! It’s no trouble! Besides I know you’re here till late!”

The omega smiled fondly at that, looking down at the plastic grocery bag and then putting it on the counter behind him. “Would you like to try what’s new?”

“I’d love to!”

Akaashi bent behind the display of sweets, pulling out a small tray and placing it over the glass case. “Sugar-roasted pears topped with a mascarpone cream.”

Greedy fingers picked at the biggest one, Bokuto popping the whole thing into his mouth easily. His eyes lit up, as the sugar touched his tongue. “Ish shweet!”

The omega hid a giggle behind his hand, smiling gently at the alpha, “You always eat my desserts so earnestly, Bokuto-san.”

Bokuto chewed quickly so that he could swallow and reply, nearly choking in the process. “Oh, I’ve told you you can drop the san! No need to be so formal.” He smiled widely, as if he were a dog wagging his tail before its owner.

Akaashi’s smile dimmed at that, putting the tray of pears back in their display. Maintaining formalities was an absolute necessity. As much as he was drawn to Bokuto, the alpha held a faint scent of omega, and until Akaashi was absolutely certain that it was just a cousin, or something of that nature, he wouldn’t allow himself to get too close.

He was failing most miserably, considering the alpha brought him dinner most nights, and Akaashi found himself offering the alpha samples of his pastries left and right. Because mostly, Bokuto just didn’t seem like that sort of person. So he was pretty sure it was probably just the scent of some relative or other.

But dammit Akaashi was going to keep the san if it killed him.

But formalities or not…no one had ever looked so happy before, tasting the things he’d made. That was really how they’d met in the first place. And with the alpha’s boisterous personality it didn’t take very long for them to start talking. And to keep talking, which was a wonder, truly, because Akaashi didn’t talk to very many people in the first place.

“A-Are you doing anything later?”

Akaashi looked at the alpha, his palms starting to itch. Was that supposed to be an invitation, or just more idle chatter?

“Cleaning up as usual…” he began carefully, ”and then just heading straight home. Early morning again tomorrow.”

Bokuto chuckled nervously, “Right of course. You guys still open on Saturdays.”

Akaashi nodded, before lowering his gaze slightly. “But…we’re closed on Sundays…” He wasn’t really sure what he was saying, since something like that was obvious enough. But part of him was hoping, maybe…

“Oh well that’s good! Most businesses are, right? Good thing you can get some rest.”

Bokuto’s smile was almost too innocent, and Akaashi’s perhaps a bit too pained.

Another alpha came to the counter just then, returning the tray and plate, and thanking Akaashi for the meal.

“Ah,” Bokuto ran an anxious hand through his hair, “I should get going too.”

“Of course.”

“Have a good night, Akaashi!”

Bokuto waved, so excited that he bumped into the other alpha that was leaving, just as they were going through the door.

“Oh crap! My bad!”

Iwaizumi knew he was going to get run into before it even happened. This other alpha had his head completely in the clouds. Really, it was part of the reason he finished his sandwich so fast, because watching him flirt with the owner was as painful as it was awkward.

“No worries,” Iwa replied smoothly, about to say something about how the alpha should just go for it, but he caught a foreign scent. It smelled good, too. But it screamed omega. And it definitely did not belong to the shop owner.

And either way the other alpha was too far gone now, skipping stupidly down the street, so Iwa was left to mutter to himself, shaking his head with a disapproving scoff, “No good alpha.”

Eiji always woke up at precisely 9:15pm, so that he could drink a warm glass of milk with his mother.

Of course, his mother’s had coffee added to it. But Eiji had tried it, and he was not a large fan of coffee himself, so at his own request he stuck to simple milk.

“And then we did shapes, but I already knew them all!” He said, swinging his legs back and forth on the couch, holding his sippy cup carefully between two hands.

Oikawa sat down next to his son, patting his head, “Of course you did. You’re my son after all.”

Eiji pursed his lips, trying to hide his smile, “Hiro didn’t know all of his.”

Oikawa grinned right back, tapping his mug against his son’s sippy cup. “Good. That’s what he gets.”

“That’s what I thought!” Eiji said excitedly, “But, I didn’t say it out loud.”

The omega couldn’t help but laugh, nuzzling the young alpha. “That’s very mature. We don’t say rude things out loud, right?”

Eiji shook his head, “Because then people will be rude right back!”

“Mhmm,” Tooru relaxed into the couch, drinking his coffee, “That’s exactly right.”

Eiji continued to swing his legs on the couch happily, nuzzling into his mother’s side and drinking his milk. 

Tooru stroked his son’s hair back, letting out soothing purrs to softly lull his child to sleep. It never fully worked, however, Eiji seeing his milk as his top priority, so he always made sure to finish it first.

“Done, Mommy.”

The omega took the cup, and set it down on the coffee table. “Ready for bed?”

Eiji responded by raising his arms, eyes heavy and lidded, Tooru picking up his son and cradling him close to his chest. “It’s the weekend tomorrow, do you know what that means?”

A sleepy cheer came from his son, murmuring happily into his mother’s neck, “Waffles…!”

“Exactly,” Tooru smiled, maneuvering his way into Eiji’s room, and tucking him into bed. The little alpha curled up, plopping down on one pillow, and pulling another one close to his chest.

“Goodnight, Mommy…”

It was a wonder the words managed to come out at all, the young child was so overcome with sleep, already drifting into dreams as the last syllable left his lips.

Oikawa couldn’t stop smiling, brushing the hair out of Eiji’s face so that he could kiss his son’s forehead.

“Goodnight, Eiji.”