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Hajime thinks life’s been good recently. And it has. Summer’s started without much fanfare, and looking into their third year, he’s excited.

Takahiro and Issei are first string now, and Tooru’s been named captain, Hajime himself vice. The setter Tooru’s been grooming has matured well, and his smiles are sharp.

The relationship between Hajime and Tooru has grown well also, give and take as seamless as always.

Yeah, life’s been good recently. Hajime smiles to himself, looking to his left to see Tooru with his elbow on the handle-ledge and his head against his palm, fast asleep.

Tooru’s never been one of those people who can fall asleep anywhere, Hajime knows, but there’s always something about moving vehicles that makes it easy for him to doze. It’s adorable.

He’s adorable. Hajime looks towards the front of the minivan, in the row in front of them is Hajime’s younger sister and his mom, asleep, and in the front are his dads, talking quietly. Deeming it safe, Hajime reaches his hand over to link with Tooru’s free one.

At the contact Tooru sighs in his sleep and squeezes Hajime’s hand gently and Hajime tries not to scream as he feels his heart swell with affection. Tooru’s hair bounces lightly at every bump in the road, and shadows from trees they pass dance across his peaceful expression. Every so often they go over a pothole and Tooru tightens his grip on Hajime’s hand, and Hajime can’t even deny the calm smile that he can’t seem to get off his face.

Eventually Hajime’s dad makes a right turn into a small town. On the turn into a gas station they run over a speed bump, which jolts Tooru’s elbow off the ledge, and Tooru’s head slams into the window. Tooru blinks himself awake and looks around in confusion while Hajime laughs to himself.

Hajime’s dad reaches behind him to shake his mom’s knee, “Time to stretch our legs while we get gas.”

Hajime’s mom nods behind a yawn and wakes up Hajime’s sister before she opens the car door. Hajime pulls a tab and pushes the seat forwards so that he can get out, Tooru close behind him.

“Ugh,” Tooru groans, blinking up at the sun before he steps out of the car, jolting when a pair of sunglasses hits his chest, courtesy of Hajime. Tooru smiles his thanks and stands upright, stretching out each limb and wincing slightly when he gets to his right leg.

“You good?” Hajime asks, already opening the back of the minivan to grab a couple of bottles of water and Tooru’s brace.

“Fine Iwa-chan, it’s just hard to be crammed in a car when you’re tall-” Tooru runs an appraising eye over Hajime, “Not that you’d understand.”

Hajime throws Tooru’s water bottle at him and Tooru yelps, fumbling slightly to catch it, “Shut up and drink, you ass.”

Tooru looks like he wants to make a comment but Hajime’s sister climbs out of the car then and he settles for wiggling his eyebrows at Hajime.

Hajime hates that that’s enough to make him blush, and glad that his skin is just dark enough that the blush isn’t noticed by Tooru, who’s distracted with chugging his water.

There’s a click on the other side of the car, and Hajime’s father calls that they’re set to go again, and they only have about twenty more minutes to his sister’s beach house.

This time Hajime climbs into the car first, and when Tooru pulls the seat back into position he waits until everyone’s seated to scoot over to the smaller middle seat.

“What’re you doing?” Hajime asks, raising an eyebrow at Tooru.

“You haven’t slept since yesterday,” Tooru says, serious.

 “How do you know I didn’t sleep in the car earlier?” Hajime challenges, and Tooru just gives him a Look.

Hajime gives in and leans his head onto Tooru’s shoulder, curse him for being taller. Tooru leans his head on top of Hajime’s and turns over his palm, smiling when Hajime connects their hands.

Hajime doesn’t remember the last of the car ride.


Hajime’s aunt’s house is nice, but Hajime is more taken by the view. Tooru stands a few feet in front of him, a striking silhouette in front of the setting sun, purples and pinks and oranges floating in streaks away from him, clouds silken streams of red and scarlet.

Tooru turns to Hajime and his breath stalls. Tooru’s backlit, the colours still bleeding from him but now he seems part of them, hair glowing and outline blurred against the refracted light.

He’s beautiful.

Tooru’s hair shifts in the salted winds once more and his entire form seems to waver before he walks back towards Hajime, colours fading from him with each step until the moment is broken.

Tooru smiles at Hajime when he takes his hand, and Hajime thinks that that smile is just as beautiful as any force of nature.

“There’s a net here!” Tooru says excitedly, “I’m so kicking your ass tomorrow.”

Hajime laughs, never one to back down from a challenge, “Good luck with that.”

“Oh honey,” Tooru leans in close, gaze fierce as he leers at Hajime, “I don’t need luck .”

Hajime swallows hard, and he doesn’t miss Tooru’s eyes track the motion, “No,” Hajime’s voice is a bit rough when he says, “You need me.”

They’re close enough that Hajime can feeling the shift in Tooru’s breathing, and is ready for it when Tooru pulls him in for a hug.

“Love you,” is whispered in his ear, and Hajime feels the words settle into his being, rippling throughout his world and soothing his heart.

“Love you too.”

They turn to walk into the house, together.