Chapter 1: Watari: Appeasing The Mad Dog Isn't Always Easy
Current concern: He'd like to build up more muscle.
(Wow, this one's long.)
It’s far from the first time Watari’s seen his teammates buck-naked in the changeroom, but he’s certainly never paid this much attention to how strong and big and scary everyone looks. How chiseled.
Or in Oikawa-san’s case, how curvy, the lithe, almost feminine shape of his body hiding under the sharp ridges of muscle, the bumps of his trapezium connecting the neck and shoulders seamlessly, the two little dips in his back tracing defined shoulder blades —
“Why don’t you take a picture, Watacchi-chan?”
Watari blinks away with a start. He wants to say, can I? but he has a feeling that Oikawa-san would take it the wrong way. So he doesn’t open his mouth, only smiles inwardly when he sees Iwaizumi-san kick the setter in the shin, and quickly finishes putting on his own shirt.
Today’s forecast brings a clear new revelation, an interesting one at that — one that shyly suggests that it certainly wouldn’t do any harm to try and put on a little more muscle.
And, well, he can’t help but like a challenge.
Watari’s a small boy, as liberos tend to be, he thinks, not that it’s any form or shape of an excuse — he’s heard that Karasuno’s libero, Nishinoya, has been working out with their own terrifying spiker, for a month now at least, and he’s really not one to want to fall behind. Even Matsukawa and Hanamaki-kun, lean as they are, have the beginnings of telltale abdominal squares on their chest — and as for Iwaizumi-san, don’t even get him started on Seijoh’s thick-muscled, perfectly proportionate Ace.
He thinks about all this and more as his feet carry him past of school’s heavy doors and down the familiar road home. He pauses halfway down a block, then changes directions when he remembers that he’d wanted to check out the gym down at the recreational center, maybe give it a try. He shoots a quick text to his mother, then heads back the way he came, whistling all along.
A shirtless Kyoutani Kentarou is perhaps one of the last things Watari was expecting to see on this here day, in this here gym, though he isn’t quite sure why — seeing as the guy must be doing something to maintain that body for peak spiking conditions if he gets kicked out of practice so often. Or, if he doesn’t even come in the first place.
Actually, him being at the community gym makes a lot of sense now that Watari thinks about it. He wishes he didn’t start thinking about it, though, because now all he can do is stand frozen at the doorway and admire his teammate’s sturdy back, flush with sweat, not sure whether he should say something, ignore the boy completely, or avoid the situation altogether by going home and coming back another day. Watari doesn’t usually have to make these kind of decisions. A day of novelties, truly.
“Hey, Kyoutani-kun,” he says, winding his way through the contraptions and machines and weights that crowd the room.
The other boy, who’s doing weighted sit-ups on a bench, comes to an abrupt stop mid-set. He sits up, tense and rigid, and Watari watches as he turns his head toward him slowly, deliberately.
Scary! Kyoutani’s face is scary!
They stare at each other for a long second, and then Kyoutani turns back to the weight sitting in his lap, huffing a monotonous “oh, you.”
“Me,” Watari agrees. He gravitates toward one of the benches next to Kyoutani, just so he can watch his face. His legs swing back and forth idly, barely long enough to touch the ground. And because he feels, surrealistically, that he can, since the first interaction has decidedly gone in a most optimal way, and because he has absolutely no clue what any of the curious contraptions in the room are, he adds, “Would you teach me how to use the equipment?”
“No,” Kyoutani states with finality, this time not bothering to pause whatever ridiculously painful-looking exercise he’s carrying out.
“No time for you losers.” But strangely it doesn’t bite Watari in the chest like he knows it could have. Then, “Learn it yourself, dumbass.”
Watari shrugs indifferently, not expecting anything else, really. “I could use your help,” he says, but there is no longer any sign that the other boy is still listening to him.
He hops off the bench, leaves the gym behind him, and goes to do laps on the tracks outside instead.
“Something on your mind, Watacchi?” Captain calls from the bleachers, adjusting his knee supporter. “You missed a receive, that’s not like you.”
Watari presses his mouth into a line and hits back the ball he missed. If anyone were to ask him, he’d say it was a simple mistake. Can’t I make one mistake? he wants to ask. But he sees that Oikawa Tooru, with his fingers now steepled together and his intense brown eyes and the tiniest lift of the corner of his mouth, clearly has different ideas, and so he keeps his mouth shut.
Three days later, Oikawa-san corners him in the changeroom.
His teammates look on absently, some with amusement, and some pity in seeing that little Watari seems to have something to owe to such a monstrous person, but they chatter and continue changing anyway, only occasionally glancing in his direction.
For everything Watari already knows and everything he can learn about anyone at a single glance, the pretty setter still falls into the category of completely unpredictable enigma, only controllable by Iwaizumi-san himself — who is still, inconveniently, in the showers, and not here — and the idea makes him want to get out of here pretty fast.
Curiously, Kyoutani Kentarou had shown up to practice this morning. And the morning before. Though he hasn’t been doing anything but serve volleyballs at the wall for a straight hour, and hasn’t even talked to anyone, actually — except Iwaizumi-san — it means he hasn’t made any quips at Captain, either. Yahaba hasn’t even had to really yell at him. Which proves he’s trying. So maybe this is okay, Watari thinks.
He definitely thinks it’s okay when he spots the angry spiker’s backside through the holes in Oikawa-san’s towering posture, and he watches his muscles respond satisfyingly to his every movement.
The setter in front of him pauses, turns his head to follow Watari’s gaze, and then looks back toward him with a ridiculous expression.
“Watacchi-chan,” he begins, and it is then that Watari Shinji knows he’s made a mistake of not trying to leave earlier, because escape now seems like a possibility too far from reality to pursue. “Are you into men?”
Is he into men?
Watari doesn’t really know, hasn’t really ever thought about it, which is the honest truth. He says as much, thinking it’s likely the safest response.
Oikawa’s smile never wavers. “Kyouken-kun’s favourite food is famima chicken,” he says then, like he’s reciting a script, leaning closer with his hands on his hips as if he cares to be quiet about it. “He works out on mondays, wednesdays and fridays, and he likes his milk tea with three sugars and a spoonful of cinnamon.” And then, he tilts his head backward to sigh at the ceiling. “Oh, but what a peculiar boy you’ve chosen, Watacchi-chan!”
“I didn’t choose any boy,” Watari states, “but thank you.”
“Sure,” Oikawa-san says easily. He winks at him, then turns around and goes.
It’s hard to appease Kyoutani Kentarou. But Watari already knows that.
Watari has long deemed famima chicken too oily a food to accompany workouts, and so he turns to granola bars and milk tea. Because, as they say, food makes friends. At least he hopes that’s the right expression.
The first time he goes back to the gym with Kyoutani’s drink in one hand and his own hot chocolate in the other, it seems like the spiker had returned to ignoring him. So he puts the cup down one bench over and goes outside to run his laps, like he’s been doing for a couple of weeks, now. He doesn’t know why it took him so long.
When he returns an hour later to pick up his bag, there’s no Kyoutani, only a scrunched up piece of paper with two lines of tiny, smudged writing on it:
isnt it too late for milk tea
The third time, he’s awarded a noise of gratitude, just loud enough for Watari to hear. That day, he runs his laps with a smile.
And then, on a cloudless, cinnamon-flavoured friday evening, Kyoutani growls as Watari breezes into the gym for the sixth time this month with his milk tea. “What is this,” he says, which Watari notes is the first outright comment the dyed-blond has made about this, whatever this is, anyway. The perpetually angry-faced boy is already done with his workout for the day, it seems, his hand moving to towel away the thin sheen of sweat visible on his body. “Bribery?”
The libero smiles, pleasantly surprised at the unprompted dialogue. “I usually get a hot drink at this time, so I don’t mind adding one to my order,” he replies.
Which is half true, of course, the true half being him not minding, but he supposes it’s okay as long as it’s for a good cause. The good cause being the daunting task of inducing one Kyoutani Kentarou to come to understand the concept of someone being nice because they can, the someone in this case being Watari — or perhaps more primarily, he thinks, it’s an occasion to have Kyoutani pass on his supposed knowledge of the countless body-improving equipment that lies unused in this particular room.
But the reason Watari chooses to leave this sticky morsel of labour to the terrifying spiker, and not the simple, yet all-too-quick satisfaction of a series of quick internet searches, is beyond even himself.
“How do you know how I like my milk tea, anyway,” Kyoutani grumbles, locking his hands tight around the warm cup.
Watari sits down on a bench and extends his legs, then takes a thoughtful sip of his own drink.
And suddenly, when an explosive cinnamon punches his taste buds, sugars effectively coating the less-than-desirable pungency of the milk tea itself — he’s punched, similarly, with a striking revelation — or, two revelations, actually. One being the fleeting thought that Watari would absolutely entrust his beverage choices to Kyoutani, if that sort of situation ever happens to arise.
And the other, well —
“You are your milk tea,” Watari marvels. And he watches Kyoutani’s face change, and he has to look away for a second, and he dares to feel a little astonished himself.
“You’re naturally bitter. But.” A pause to take another sip. Kyoutani scrunches his nose confusedly, leaning forward a little. “But, you’re still trying to be sweet.”
Watari keeps still when his claim is met by absolute silence, not even interrupted by the sound of enjoying milk tea, or even the ruffle of clothing that would signify the faintest of movements. He wonders, briefly, what it would be like to die at the hands of Kyoutani Kentarou.
When he finally dares to look up, Kyoutani’s already staring at him, and so they meet eyes.
And then Kyoutani promptly bursts into laughter.
It's a nice sound. His body folds inward with how hard he’s laughing, and he has to put his cup down so as to not accidentally spill it.
Now here’s the thing. The thing, okay, the honest truth of it all, is that nowhere in Watari’s plans did he ever even consider the possibility of bearing witness to such a shining novelty — or the sort of irony, he supposes, that comes with the idea that the mad dog is even capable of making such a noise, one commonly associated with, well, happy things — which, now that he thinks of it, makes him kind of like a hyena, so to speak — but as life so often goes, here he is now. Here he is.
“That’s stupid,” Kyoutani says when he’s calmed down, shaking his head, The quirk of his mouth is decidedly fitting on his face. “You’re stupid.” A beat of silence. “What’s the cinnamon, then?”
“Oh.” Watari smiles against the mouth of his cup. He thinks for a moment, then says, “the cinnamon is your dog.”
Kyoutani barks a laugh at that, too. "My dog," he repeats, with a shake of his head.
Watari doesn’t think he’s wrong. He’s only seen Kyoutani’s dog once, a teddy-bear-looking Welsh Terrier with a strong stance, an attention-demanding bark, floppy ears, and the whole world in his heart, and if he could attribute the cinnamon in Kyoutani Kentarou to anything, the beloved terrier was undoubtedly it.
And then, Kyoutani inhales and exhales deeply, hands pressed over his cheeks, and Watari Shinji decides that he has likely long overstayed his welcome.
He gathers up his jacket, because the weather’s turning a little chilly, finishes the grainy ends of his milk tea, tosses the empty cup into the trash-can.
He’s nearly out the door when Kyoutani calls out, “Oi, where do you think you’re going? Get back here, dumbass.”
And Watari stops and smiles, because oh, how he loves novelties. Because despite everything, despite the newfound anomaly that manifests itself in an angry seventeen-year-old wing spiker, everything had worked out okay. He has a brand new friend and cinnamon milk tea in his stomach. Which, he realizes now, was always the dream.
And maybe, he thinks, Oikawa-san isn’t all that bad.
Chapter 2: Kyoutani: Karaage And What It Does To You
Current concern: Lawson's new "Karaage Kun" is hard to throw away. (The Karaage Kun is a unique dish of fried chicken bits served by the Lawson franchise. To attract more clients, they use cute packages with mascots for carrying the food.)
(Yes, this one was originally separate. Yes, I decided to put it back, now that things are a little more figured out.)
“Shut the fuck up,” Kyoutani hisses, panicking inwardly when another slew of ridiculously cute food packaging comes tumbling out of his cabinet. “Did I ask you to touch my fucking things?”
“Hey-ey, so they are yours!” Terushima says, irritatingly delighted, and bends down to pluck one off the floor with his thumb and forefinger. “Lawson — oh, hey, I’ve heard of them.”
Kyoutani grunts a “course you have,” and decides to turn back to his game console, too troubled to pause it and too lazy to clean up the mess of packaging himself. He can sense Terushima’s sly smile cutting into the side of his head, and he starts to feel, stupidly, very red. Stupid Terushima. Stupid him for keeping the mountain of paper packaging in that cabinet. Stupid Lawson and their stupid chicken mascots.
He wishes he could safely say that he’d throw them out after this whole ordeal is done and over, but Kyoutani is an honest boy, and he doesn’t lie to himself.
“I thought you were leaving, shitty-shima,” Kyoutani says, eventually, but Terushima only hums as he loses to the same boss for the seventh fucking time. It isn’t his fault. He can’t find it in himself to concentrate with the stupid, dyed-yellow boy watching him so intently — uncharacteristically quiet, suspiciously so.
Huffing, Kyoutani throws the controller onto his bed, the device bouncing a few times across the mattress and then clattering to the floor. He collapses on the bed with his arms behind his head, fuming at the ceiling. Terushima laughs and scoops up another armful of the food packaging.
“Fucking what,” Kyoutani makes himself say, refusing to look at the other boy.
“Karaage, huh?” Terushima says, sounding smug, for some stupid reason. Kyoutani scrunches his face into a sneer when he feels a weight dip into his mattress. But he feels his heartbeat pick up, and boy oh boy does he want to punch himself, or Terushima, or both of them.
“What’s it to you,” he spits.
“What do you say I take you out for some karaage, sometime, hmm?” Terushima says softly, one hand turning Kyoutani’s face toward him, and it’s so genuine and so completely out of character that Kyoutani really does roll his torso sideways to punch the smug boy, hoping to send him flying off the edge of the bed, maybe out of his house. But Terushima’s all high stature and lean muscle, all elastic and playful and stupidly Kyoutani-resistant, so of course he only laughs instead, pushing himself back even closer to him. Fucking Terushima.
“What do you say you shut the fuck up,” Kyoutani says — but his voice is almost wavering, losing its bite, alarmingly so. And so he gets off the bed abruptly, red-faced. He distracts himself by picking up the rest of the Karaage Kun packaging and unceremoniously stuffing them all back into the cabinet, not even blinking when he kicks the door shut and it barely closes, everything inside threatening to spill outward again.
“Is that a yes?” Terushima asks, watching him bemusedly from the bed. His silver tongue stud glints in the dim light of the bedroom, and Kyoutani has to swallow and look away from the stupid sunshine boy for the millionth time today.
Kyoutani sits down on the cold floor, stretching his legs out, wondering how on fucking earth he got to this point, thinking that it would certainly physically kill him to admit out loud that yes, holy shit, I would love if you took me out, you stupid fucking yellow spiker, so he makes himself shrug half-heartedly instead. Then there’s a soft thud, and Kyoutani tenses up when he hears rapidly approaching footsteps, but he can’t bring himself to move when long, muscled legs appear next to his own, or when strong arms snake around his waist and pull him close to a sturdy chest.
“Fuck, you’re so adorable, Kyouken-kun,” Terushima coos, pushing his head into Kyoutani’s back, and Kyoutani knows when his heartbeat spikes that he is so completely and utterly fucked, what the hell, and he groans longsufferingly into his hands.
“Call me that again if you want to die, stupid-shima,” he grits out.
“Tomorrow, then?” Terushima says, a smile in his voice, frustratingly unbothered by the threat. “I know a good karaage place.”
“Fine, fine!” Kyoutani snaps, completely defeated, and pushes out of Terushima’s grip. He scoots away, still feeling disgustingly red, and crosses his arms. “Now get out of my fucking house.”
Chapter 3: Iwaizumi: Things Could Be Worse, Probably
Current concern: "Just 1 cm more...or 7 mm, at least...!" (In regard to his height.)
(Hey, wow. I really went running with this one. It was fun.)
Practice is over. Iwaizumi Hajime’s tying his boots on, knitting his brows together, when he physically feels Oikawa phase into existence in the changeroom.
Sure enough: “Iwa-chan!”
The last of the first and second-years push out of the changeroom, scrambling to avoid the fruits of Iwaizumi-san’s inevitable irritation. Rightfully so.
Hanamaki shoots him a wink before jogging out after Matsukawa, calling out a ‘don’t be too hard on the Captain!’ over his shoulder.
Iwaizumi grunts in response, kicking his rusty locker door shut, and Oikawa clicks his tongue at him.
“You’re not paying attention to me when I’m right here in front of you. Rude.”
“I’m thinking, kusoikawa. Shut up.”
“If you think too hard when you don’t have a brain, Iwa-chan, you’ll explode!” Iwaizumi watches him pull on his shirt in the corner of his eye, brown hair going flat with the movement, and blows a frustrated breath.
“You can say that again if you want to die.”
“Only at the hands of you, dear Iwa-chan!” Oikawa sings, pushing Iwaizumi in the shoulder. The ace only mutters another insult, turning to step out of the changeroom. Oh wait — the keys — he pats his pockets, growing more angry than annoyed as he realizes they’re not there.
A distinct clinking noise sounds behind him. Iwaizumi turns, and lo and behold, what a turn of events, it’s the shitty setter dangling the set of keys off his fingers. “This what you’re looking for?”
“Trash. I’m not in the mood,” Iwaizumi snaps, snatching the keys back. “I’ll leave if you don’t hurry up.”
“Okay, okay!” Oikawa says, hopping on one leg out of the room as he tugs on the other shoe.
Outside, the warm breeze rustles through the leaves on the trees, the setting sun casting a golden-red glow along the edges of the road and long shadows behind everything in its way. It would’ve been nice, really. It’s not too hot or too cold; in fact, it’s the perfect weather for Iwaizumi, who’s just worked himself up a massive sweat, his palm still smarting satisfyingly from hitting so many spikes, and there’s dinner waiting for him at home —
But Iwaizumi Hajime’s an intense person, so he’s been told, even comparable to Oikawa himself — which, seriously, that can’t be a good thing — and everything is just pissing him off today. Starting with the height measurements that Coach made them do at the morning practice — he literally hadn’t grown in the past two months, how is that even possible, ending with little Kindaichi nearly knocking him out with a serve — and, alright, that wasn’t his fault, he knows, but still —
Iwaizumi slams the door shut, harder than he has to, maybe, and locks the changeroom. Oikawa’s duffle bag feels too heavy on his shoulder.
He walks in silence, for a while, Oikawa next to him with his earbuds in. The other keeps stealing furtive glances in his direction when he thinks it goes unnoticed, but Iwaizumi will deal with that when it gets there, he supposes.
It gets there fast. Uncharacteristically quietly, perhaps a small cause for concern. “Iwa-chan?”
“Are you mad?”
The easy answer: “No.”
Silence, again. Not that it’s anything unusual, well, for Iwaizumi’s side of things — and apparently (amazingly), nothing particularly apocalyptic or fantastical happened today that Oikawa feels he needs to let him know about it. So it’s alright. He can just — stew.
“Is it the height measurements.” Oikawa doesn’t look at him when he talks, and he’s still got his earbuds in. A smart move, considering that Iwaizumi’s in the mood to punch any face he can see.
“Yes, trashykawa. I’m mad because of the height measurements. It can’t be anything else. I care so much about whether or not I grow those seven extra millimetres.”
Oikawa laughs, an obnoxious sound, which is how Iwaizumi knows he’s overdone it. “So that’s what it was all along. I knew it! There’s no way you could get mad at me.”
“Tch. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. I can be mad at you because you’re taller than me. Have you considered that?”
“No,” Oikawa smiles, and takes out his earbuds. He loops them and stuffs them in his track pants. “Never grow again, Iwa-chan. I can’t reach your face if you’re too tall.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“What it sounds like.” Exaggerated kissy noises follow, and a horribly saucy wink, which just might be the cherry on the metaphorical disaster cake that has been this here day.
“Absolutely fucking not,” Iwaizumi says, batting Oikawa’s outstretched arms away and then running as far ahead as he can manage with the weight of the duffle bag. Oikawa catches up too easily.
What happens next is a complete blur.
Iwaizumi’s foot snags on a piece of the pavement — seriously, of all the fucking days — and goes down, the stupid duffle bag preventing him from catching his balance, and then — something (Oikawa, but he only processes that half a second later) pulling him in the opposite direction, up, and, predictably, failing to complete the otherwise-generous act. He finishes falling, lands on something distinctly un-pavement-like, and alright — so the duffle bag was useful after all, but then it did cause his predicament in the first place — and then feels the wind being completely knocked out of him as Oikawa lands on top of his back.
Now, Iwaizumi Hajime has had an extremely unpleasant fucking day, and he’s tired, alright. And so he submits to lying upon the duffle bag, in the middle of the sidewalk, while Oikawa descends into laughter on top of him, not the twinkling kind he often puts on for show, but a wheezing, coughing kind that means he genuinely finds Iwaizumi’s demise hilarious. Which is increasingly irritating, since Iwaizumi feels the precise opposite.
And then — what Iwaizumi would later recognize to be the ultimate insult of the day, which, really, is saying something — Oikawa presses his lips to the side of Iwaizumi’s face.
Then, “Get fucked, Iwa-chan.”
Iwaizumi punches him in the arm so hard he tumbles off of him with a delicate ‘ouch!’ and rolls a couple of meters away.
Which kind of balances everything out, Iwaizumi reasons, since Oikawa is the root of most if not all of his problems, and if this is the universe’s way of punishing his selfish, seven-millimetre-desires, well — it could be worse, really. He’s alive, after all. He feels alive. Oikawa’s a comfortable distance away, the warm breeze rustling through the leaves on the trees, the setting sun casting a golden-red glow around the setter’s unmoving figure and long shadows behind his feet. It’s not too hot or too cold; in fact, it’s the perfect weather for Iwaizumi, and there’s dinner waiting for him at home —
And, okay, fine, it could be worse. It really could be worse.
Chapter 4: Matsukawa: You Know That One Friend
Current concern: He's been told that his school uniform doesn't suit him.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“Late, Hanamaki,” Matsukawa says, as soon as his front door swings open.
The strawberry-blond stumbles onto the welcome mat, breath heaving, clothes sopping wet with the rain. He reaches under his jacket and pulls out a package, smiling triumphantly at Matsukawa when it comes out dry. “Sacrifice,” he says.
“No. The bread.”
Matsukawa accepts the bread and turns to the kitchen to call, “Mom! Hanamaki’s here!”
“Great! Breakfast will be ready soon!” she calls back, like she does every morning. “Oh, it’s really pouring out,” she adds. “Takkun, are your clothes alright? Hang your jacket by the vent.”
“Okay!” Hanamaki says. “I’ll leave the bread on the dining table.”
“Oh, that sweet, sweet lady. Give your mother my love, would you.”
“Haiiiii,” Matsukawa drags out as he heaves Hanamaki’s bag onto his shoulder. “Up we go.”
The less that is said about the state of Matsukawa’s room, the better. It’s not like he doesn’t like being neat; he does; but between volleyball and crying over endless math homework there really isn’t time to be spent on trivial things like that. Or, that’s his excuse.
“One day,” Makki begins, stepping daintily around garbage wrappers, “one day I’ll make you clean up your room, Matssun.”
“Clean up your life first, Makki.”
“Shut up. You haven’t even changed into your uniform yet.”
“Shut up,” Matsukawa mocks. “You saw that it was raining and left your umbrella at home.”
Makki smacks him. “Change,” he orders. “Oh, and give me one of your extra shirts.”
“There’s one in the closet, get it yourself.”
Matsukawa turns to the mirror and pulls off his pyjamas. He isn’t uncomfortable naked anymore, he can’t be, what with Oikawa always being literal seconds away from changing his uniform after practice for him. It’s at times like those that Matsukawa thanks the heavens for Iwaizumi Hajime. (No, that’s not exactly true. Matsukawa thanks the heavens for Iwaizumi whenever he can.)
It’s two minutes later that Matsukawa remembers that Hanamaki is still in the room and has probably changed into the new shirt by now, and is, as such, acting very, suspiciously, quiet.
“What are you looking at,” Matsukawa says, pulling the white blazer on. Hanamaki’s sitting on the bed with a hand on his chin. He gets up to fit neatly into the mirror next to Matsukawa.
“What’s a guy like you,” he says, reaching to poke him in the side, “doing in a place like this?”
“This is my house,” Matsukawa says, turning to kick the other boy out of the mirror’s view.
Makki hums, unperturbed.
“What?” Matsukawa says, tilting his head back dramatically to tie his tie. “You like this?”
The other boy breaks into a grin. “Hell yeah.”
“No, but like, seriously. You got a problem?”
“No, seriously. You’re hot. Would smash.”
“No, seriously.” Matsukawa laughs, running his hands through his hair. “I’m talking about the uniform, bitch.”
“Yeah, seriously,” Hanamaki says, smiling wryly, and Matsukawa’s just opening his mouth to retort again when the strawberry-blond adds, “the uniform looks fucking stupid on you.”
“Oh, I’ll definitely come ag —”
Matsukawa grabs the wet shirt and flings it across Makki’s face. It gets picked up and flung right back. Then more of Matsukawa’s laundry gets thrown around, and empty juice boxes, and notebooks, textbooks. Hanamaki throws one of Matsukawa’s mudkip plushies and it lands unceremoniously on the floor.
“My pal,” Matsukawa says, forgetting entirely about his uniform. He carefully plucks up the plushie, dusts it off, and puts it back on his bed. “You wanna fucking go?”
“Yeah, let’s go, Matsu, come the fuck on.” Hanamaki grins, dropping into a lower stance before accidentally crunching on some wrapper on the floor. “Uh. On second thought,” he says, removing the wrapper from his sock.
“Boys!” Mom calls from downstairs. “Are you fighting? Breakfast is ready!”
“No, mom!” Makki and Matsukawa call back at the same time. “Coming!” Matsukawa adds, slapping a hand over Hanamaki’s mouth before he can say anything unnecessary.
“Yo dude, flip your collar up,” Hanamaki says, sputtering against the hand. “You’ll look like an asshole.”
“Well, lucky for you then, you already look like one,” Matsukawa says, wiping his hand on Makki’s shoulder and then obliging.
“Hot,” Makki comments, snickering, taking a hold of Matsukawa’s tie and pulling it even tighter.
Matsukawa stands there for a second before pulling Makki’s face closer and squishing his cheeks together.
“What,” Hanamaki says.
“You are so fucking annoying,” Matsukawa replies, and kisses his forehead.
“Boys! The food’s getting cold!”
this just in: matsukawa issei big gay
Chapter 5: Hanamaki: Let's Get This (Milk) Bread
Current Concern: No matter how hard he tries, he can't beat Iwaizumi at arm wrestling.
WINKS VERY HARD I'M BACK AND NASTIER THAN EVER
“Profiteroles are now in the equation,” Oikawa says as Matsukawa comes through the door.
Takahiro grits his teeth, tightens his grip around Iwaizumi’s as Matsukawa sheds his jacket somewhere by the club room’s space heater, then joins Oikawa and the handful of first- and second-years in watching their bloody spectacle.
That's right, it's a fucking spectacle. And Takahiro just might be the clown.
Iwaizumi grins at him across from the table, shark-like, and grips back twice as hard. Takahiro resigns to accept the fact that there may or may not be some collateral damage that will inevitably follow the awful digging of the grave that he'd put himself up to — collateral meaning that of the bone-breaking sort, and damage meaning the complete and utter demolition of his pride, or what remains of it, anyway.
He'd lost count of which round they were on since the morning began. The tenth, maybe? Twentieth? Hundredth?
And out of all the rounds, with Iwaizumi having produced only a single bead of sweat since the start compared to Takahiro, who's wheezing with effort, the arm-wrestling champion had allowed Takahiro one single victory. And it hadn't even been his intention, which, if it had been, then Takahiro would naturally have felt a sort of patronization, and even he isn't the sort to accept a pity win, as they call it. However, impossible as it might be, the alternative this time is much, much worse.
Oikawa, normally, arrives at the precise time that Iwaizumi does, meaning they walk through the club room doors simultaneously, with one of the two more skipping and less walking, and with the other one of the two more irritated than alive. Today, in a surprising turn of events, Iwaizumi had seemingly abandoned his partner on the way to practice, which Takahiro quickly finds out is because Oikawa had taken a detour to purchase a bag of fresh milk bread as breakfast, expecting Iwaizumi to follow, which he evidently did not.
Takahiro takes to laughing when Oikawa mopes into the room, bread squished under the arm of his windbreaker. Takahiro's just about to lose that round when Oikawa straightens up in his peripheral, makes a motion like he's about to pull of the most powerful whip in all of his career, and all of a sudden a pink blur comes rocketing full-speed at Iwaizumi's left ear.
Takahiro, because he is a man of opportunity, is not above such things as taking advantage of a change in the external situation.
Time slows down as soon as he recognizes the offending object as the very bag of bread that Oikawa had supposedly gone to buy, and then, almost magically, there comes a moment where Iwaizumi, too, realizes that he's about to be slapped full force by a targeted attack, one that he has no time to dodge. It is then that Takahiro notices the ever-so-slightest change in Iwaizumi's muscled grip, just a minute twitch of the thumb, and Takahiro yanks downward so hard that he's almost afraid that Iwaizumi must have broken a couple of his knuckles. Or, if not, that Takahiro is about to get his knuckles broken.
The whole affair is so supremely dramatic that Takahiro genuinely believes, for the better half of a minute, that he had contracted some sort of fear-induced heart-attack that would kill him before Iwaizumi did.
But "that was a fair win" is all the guy says, clapping Takahiro on the shoulders with both his hands. His very muscly hands.
He then scrapes his chair back, getting up to retrieve the bag of bread that had, as far as Takahiro had managed to see, only scruffed up the top of his hair after all before slapping the wall full-force. Amazingly, the loaf of milk bread isn't the least bit deformed. Iwaizumi kisses Oikawa on the head, takes out a piece of bread, and stuffs it into the pretty boy's mouth, which tickles Takahiro in a spot he didn't even know he was ticklish. (As subjects concerning Iwaizumi are reportedly prone to doing.)
So that is then. And now Matsukawa is in the room, and Takahiro is struggling to remember how the bottom of his elbow is supposed to feel like when it isn't pressed painfully into the club room's ratty desk, and Iwaizumi is back to not knowing how to break a sweat.
"Profiteroles, huh?" Matsukawa is saying. He circles around to Takahiro's side of the desk, wrapping his long arms loosely around his too-warm neck, resting his chin on the mess of pink hair. He smells good. Somehow. "Hmm, my bet is still on Iwaizumi. Sorry, sweetheart."
"Fucking traitor," Takahiro says, trying to lean forward away from Matuskawa's touch, playfully offended.
"Which is stronger, Makkun? Your undying love for cream puffs or Iwaizumi's brute muscle?" He leans forward again, whispering into his ear. "Or your need to impress me?"
Takahiro's hold wobbles, flinching away from the ticklish feeling. "I'll go feral if you make me lose like this, Matsu," he hisses.
"You two are awful," Oikawa complains, and one of the first-years giggles to himself. Takahiro spares a glance. Between Oikawa and the two kids to his either side, Kunimi and Kindaichi, about half of the bag of bread has disappeared.
“Seriously, Makkun,” Matsukawa continues, purring. “Who needs cream puffs when I can give you a cream p — ”
(Later, he wins in other ways.)