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and when summer fades

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They don't see each other at first. The train is crowded, filled to the brim with commuters and teenagers and passerbys alike. Oikawa has his headphones slipped on, is looking out the window to watch the station whiz by rather than the people taking their seats, is settled in his own mind rather than trying to understand anyone else's. The summer will soon wilt away and take with it what's left of last years bloom, leaving the world to grow anew just as it always has before, and from the window, he can almost watch it pass in a time lapse, city blurring as it whizzes by, leaving him miles away from where he once was.

The interhigh is over, and Oikawa's team jacket feels much heavier with the weight of knowing that there's only so many more practices, more months, more matches before his time is up. He has tasted victory and has washed it down with defeat, and yet the eyes that remain burnt into the back of his mind aren't brown, but— golden.

Oikawa clicks his tongue, because he doesn't have time for those thoughts, not now, when every movement is a calculation and every step is a plan. His gut pulls him where his mind follows, and his pride grows heavy and swells the same as apples at the final fall harvest, ripe. He doesn't have time for Hinata Shouyou and the eyes that won’t leave him and replaying the first practice match where they never seemed able to look away.

Volleyball— that's what matters. School, too, but Oikawa has never struggled with that the same as keeping up with something ever evolving, ever changing. The train hums around a corner and Oikawa tightens his grip on the rail above him, swaying back into a perfect balance as someone small collides with his chest, bag knocked over and sliding against the wall.

Oikawa tilts his head and looks down, pulling his earbuds out as a ginger head rises, excuses and apologies falling from lips spread wide into a nervous grin. Oh, he thinks. Hinata — he's different like this, when he's stammering and afraid. Oikawa tilts his head and just listens, noting how he's yet to look up. "It's fine, Chibi-chan," he says, voice smooth with his usual cheer, but even, slow. Hinata looks up in something akin to horror or delight, eyes widening twice their size as the train lurches again, sending him flying back against Oikawa's chest. When a second flurry of apologies escape followed by an obligatory Grand King?! Oikawa cannot do anything but smile.

They're still pressed together, tight in the busy train car, chest to chest. Hinata hardly reaches Oikawa's collarbone and Oikawa's stomach grows a little fluttery at that fact. He beats it down as he waits for Hinata to say something else besides an apology, to wipe the flustered fear from his face and reveal the intensity Oikawa remembers. He'd be lying if he said he didn't like this too— the fear, the red cheeks and averted eyes, how his heart beats heavy on his ribcage.

"Chibi-chan, where are you headed?" Oikawa asks, because they’re on a train and they've both got destinations in common in one aspect, though not this. Hinata's body goes rigid at being addressed again, loosening his vice grip on the pole he and Oikawa hang onto as his free hand rubs the back of his neck.

"Well, um, to practice!" he exclaims. "Kageyama hasn't been tossing to me." A part of Oikawa— a small, curious, stupid part of Oikawa— unravels. A voice in his mind bites typical, because it seems expected of his junior to do something that way, seems expected of his mind to hold bitterness three years old. Yet, Oikawa's hand twitches before he can stop it, brushing along the side of Hinata's thigh as if there lies the lock to pick, the enigma to solve. Hinata barely notices the touch, shifts to his right as Oikawa continues to look down at him and smiles.

"Then why don't you practice with me?"

"W—why me?" Hinata asks, squawks, and Oikawa chuckles just slightly as his surprise— surprise, surprise, surprise.

"Because you learn quick," Oikawa shoots back, without second thought. Because you evolve. "Because you'll listen to my advice.”

Hinata pouts for a second, as if upset at Oikawa's reading. He isn't an open book, because Oikawa has yet to see through the midnight darkness of his uniform jacket, has yet to see skin and bones and muscles and the heart that lies underneath. He doesn't get why Hinata acts how he does, would sooner satiate his own curiosity than preserve some strange hierarchy of enemies they're supposed to uphold. He’s beaten Hinata, if not by the sweat on his brow, then the skin on his teeth. He can do it again.

But right now, all he can do is slip Hinata his number with a smile he hopes raises more questions than answers, sticking out his tongue when Hinata sulks in confusion and waving as he backs off the train onto his platform. This is familiar, push and pull and tug and laugh. Hinata watches him through the window with flames burning in his eyes and a determination that makes Oikawa freeze at the danger zone next to the tracks. Hinata, in all of his glory, pours gasoline on the fire of Oikawa's excitement.

All Oikawa can do is grin.

"You could be dangerous, you know."

Hinata lands on the gymnasium floor with a thud, knees bent, toe to heel, practiced, practiced, practiced. He looks at Oikawa with wide eyes and a wider mouth, panting slightly as he wipes the sweat off his face with his arm.

"What do you mean?" he asks, brown ws already furrowed, defence up. "I’m plenty dangerous, we deuced 'till the thirties!"

It hadn’t taken him long to warm up to Oikawa. Hinata was less of a nut to crack than a chocolate shell to melt in terms of friendship. Oikawa's chest tightens without his permission as he searches for words and slips once, twice over them.

“Serves. You're working on your control, you have power to match, and your jumps are spectacular."

Hinata's presence seems to grow, as if Oikawa's observation was not objective, as if it were praise. Maybe it was, Oikawa muses, tripping over his own feet as he grabs another ball. His grace is impeded when his mind refuses to let him think straight— ha— too focused on Hinata and how he's been tugging on the fibers of his heart since the second they met eyes at their first match.

"Whatever it takes to beat you," Hinata says, and oh, there's those eyes, stunning and shining and stopping Oikawa's heart then and there. Hinata doesn't move, and in that moment Oikawa knows all playful banter and mentorship has evaporated, has disappeared in favour of his stomach tying knots of excitement and Hinata Shouyou, staring him down.

Oikawa regains his composure after a moment, smirks and narrows his eyes, licks his lips once as he twirls the ball in his hands— one time, two times, three times. Ritualistic could describe him setting up to serve just as well as deadly can, long legs pushing him up into the air, arm connecting with the ball and sending it over Hinata's head and onto the other side of the court. They practice as a unit— as setter and spiker— but now they are truly opposed in one simple show of strength, in the echo that reverberates off the empty gymnasium walls as Oikawa falls back down to earth.

The best part of coming down isn't the satisfaction of being inbounds, but the awe struck across Hinata's face when he turns to look back at him. His throat tightens for a second, and then he smiles, right back, and whispers one more in time with Hinata, like they can read each other's minds.

Even when Kageyama starts speaking with Hinata again, they still meet to practice. Oikawa lets himself be disappointed for a few minutes before collecting his thoughts and returning to the real world, the world of school and volleyball and Hinata Shouyou and his bright smiles and arched back when he jumps. Oikawa thinks about setting to him again, thinks about creating a bond with the boy whose eyes hold fire, and sighs, because he can’t see him until he returns from Tokyo.

Stalemate, most would say, but Oikawa isn’t one to accept defeat. Instead, he checks the time— ten-thirty pm— and takes his phone off of his nightstand, lying on his back as he dials Hinata’s number, listening to the drone of the dial tone as he waits for him to pick up. It rings four and a half times before cutting to Hinata’s voice, bright and curious and a little quieter than usual.

“Oikawa-san?” he says. Oikawa reads: surprised, winded, happy, excited. “Why are you calling?”

Oikawa hums, rubbing his calf with his foot. “Just wanted to speak to you— is that a crime?”

Hinata inhales. Beat— silence. “Of— of course it isn’t! Just— here— let me go somewhere quieter to talk.”

Oikawa doesn’t hear any background noise, but Hinata’s voice is hushed enough to suggest that there’s something to tread on. Oikawa hums again and listens to the footsteps that echo dully through the line as Hinata shuffles to another location.

“Okay, okay, I’m good,” he replies, voice a normal volume. “What’s up?”

Oikawa thinks about what he could say, traces his fingers along his collarbones. He could prod about what Hinata did, about his day, or—

“My my, sneaking off just to talk to me?” he jests, a smile rising to his face. “I’m honoured, Chibi-chan.”

The response he gets is satisfying even without the picture. As Hinata sputters, Oikawa closes his eyes, imagining the blush that rushes to his cheeks and how he turns away, shrinking into himself. “I— what— Oikawa-san!” he whisper-yells, pulling a chuckle form Oikawa's chest. “I’m— don’t call me that!”

Oikawa snaps his eyes open, rolling onto his stomach. “Oh? So what would you rather me call you? Hina-chan? Shou-chan? Or perhaps...” He grins, voice dipping. “Shouyou?”

A strangled noise makes its way through the receiver, muffled by a hand, a shirt, distance— Oikawa can’t be sure. All he knows is the pride which swells in his chest is spreading all through his veins, pushing his heartbeat against his neck as he waits for Hinata to form any kind of response.

“I— I— um—” Hinata stutters, breathy, strained.

“I like Shou-chan,” Oikawa decides, resting his chin into his palm. “So, Shou-chan, how is training?”

Hinata clears his throat. “Are you spying on us?” he accuses, half playful, half curious.

“Only on you.” Truthful, to an extent. Oikawa doesn’t need to know the intricacies of Karasuno to beat them again, but he yearns to know every groove of Hinata so that he can make sense of what’s to come.

Hinata begins to stammer again, pulling Oikawa’s smile wider. He wasn’t aware that his voice had dipped again— didn’t do it on purpose, didn’t mean for it to happen— but the reaction it elicits is enough to warrant a suspicion, a theory confirmed by the way Oikawa can hear Hinata gulp on the other end. His grin quickly turns to a smirk as he kicks one leg idly on the mattress, tongue caught between teeth.

“Shou-chan? Cat got your tongue?” he asks again, laying on the smooth tone, the careful pace, the honey and the sugar and the syrup.

“I— uh— sorry! I just— just zoned out is all. It’s good here, I’m, um, great,” Hinata says, clearing his throat again. “I think I’m gonna be even better by the end of this— I’ll blow you out of the park when I get back!”

“Will you now,” Oikawa wonders, holding back a laugh as he leans down into his pillow. “I’ll wait here for you, then. Don’t think I’ll make it easy.”

Hinata’s breath catches again as he makes a noise of affirmation. Oikawa lets his eyes fall closed, listening to him ramble on, tripping over his words only to continue moving faster and faster. He likes to hear him speak, to hear what he has to say, to know what lies inside of his skull, between his ears. Oikawa listens and hums where appropriate and catalogues the small details and bookmarks the things he’ll need to remember, like how Hinata’s yawns stretch out high like a kitten.

“You should sleep,” Oikawa tells them. “What would everyone think if you were kept up too late?”

Hinata whines for half a second, and the sound has Oikawa freezing as he replies. “I guess… I’ll talk to you tomorrow, though!” he promises. “Goodnight, Oikawa-san!”

“Sweet dreams, Shou -chan,” he says, drawing out his name, and waits until he hears Hinata sigh before pressing an end to the call.

His phone bounces off the mattress and onto the floor as Oikawa reaches for the lamp, engulfing his room in darkness. He can only imagine what Hinata looks like now, blushing and catching his breath in a hallway before heading to sleep. Just the knowledge that Oikawa will be the last thing on his mind before he falls into sleep is enough to make him buzz, stomach flipping as he imagines the taste of Hinata’s flushed skin under his tongue.

The realist part of him tells him it’d just taste like skin, sweaty, because they only ever seem to meet in the time after their respective practices. And even though Hinata has smelt like faint hints of spice body wash and some shade of shampoo Oikawa can only call bright, he knows that the soap would just be bitter instead of sweet. Despite it all, the inner romantic that chews on his heartstrings and makes the idea of normalcy blown into etherealism until sweat and soap and toothpaste on lips are all things he craves as long as its a side effect of Hinata Shouyou.

Oikawa’s no genius, but he’s smart— smart enough that he can follow the gentle flow of Hinata’s eyes as the pass over his frame. They’re sitting on a park bench after jogging the route Oikawa usually takes on the days he doesn’t have practices, like today. Hinata tagged along because Oikawa invited him, and Oikawa’s halfway through planning how to ask him to come over to his place for the rest of the day when his mind fell off the tracks. Now, all he’s focused on is how Hinata’s hand inches closer to his, making him pause the motion of chugging down the rest of his drink to fixate on the brush of Hinata’s pinky against his and how his eyes have been stuck on the water dribbling down his chin. Oikawa’s heart clenches at the same time he sets the bottle down beside him, swipes away the water with the back of his hand, turning to stare Hinata down. He wraps his hand overtop of Hinata’s, lacing his much larger fingers with Hinata’s much smaller ones.

“O-oh,” Hinata stutters, looking down at their joint hands as if this wasn’t his goal in the first place. Maybe he didn’t expect Oikawa to be so forward, but he’s perceptive and has to know Oikawa wouldn’t back down. Playing coy, Oikawa tips his head to the side, licking the moisture from his lips as he waits for Hinata to finish his thought.

“Your— your hands,” Hinata says, finally, after his skin has tinted itself rose all the way across his cheeks.

“What about them?” Oikawa asks, rubbing his thumb along Hinata’s skin as he maintains contact with the depths of Hinata’s eyes. They’re wide enough that Oikawa can see his reflection in them, brown irises glowing in the sunlight.

Hinata’s cheeks darken as his hand involuntarily squeezes Oikawa’s. “It’s just… rougher, than I thought. Calloused.”

“Setter’s hands,” Oikawa tells him, a wide smile softening his eyes shut. He opens them after a moment to gauge Hinata’s reaction. His mouth is parted in a gentle o, an exhale falling from red lips. Oikawa’s stomach tries to leave him via contortion, but he swallows it back down and raises his and Hinata’s joint hands, pressing their palms flat together, fingers splayed out, just to see the difference.

Oikawa’s fingers are long, slender, worn around the edges from years of playing volleyball. They stretch much higher than Hinata's— the tips of his fingers just brush along the first joint after the knuckle. He stares at the difference with wonder, flexing his fingers as if to close even a millimeter of difference to no avail. Oikawa laughs lightly, bending the tips of his fingers so that they fold over top of Hinata’s before intertwining them entirely.

“Tiny,” he murmurs, thoughtful. “Cute. Like you.”

Hinata’s hand melts into his, a smile gracing his lips. “Cute,” he echoes in a whisper, as if he could hardly believe it.

“Adorable, even,” Oikawa adds. Hinata’s smile only grows, bashful as he turns away ever so slightly, their hands settling to rest between them. He rubs his thumb along the back of Hinata’s hand, keeps the spark of satisfaction mixed with— excitement? curiosity? glee?— at bay while Hinata slowly shifts closer and closer to him. It takes ten minutes for their shoulders to become pressed together, another five for Hinata’s head to settle tentatively onto Oikawa’s shoulder, and thirty seconds for him to realize he may be deeper in than just wading.

Oikawa takes Hinata on adventures in the smallest places. It’s out of the goodness of his heart, really, only half the selfish desire to see Hinata smile up at him, only half wishing that it’s caused by his hand around his shoulder or words falling from his mouth. Hinata is a puppet and the puppeteer all in one, is a tangle of strings on fire, is a star that burns forever and dances by the light of its own flame. Oikawa wants to be the wind in his sails and the water underneath his hull, wants to push and pull him to a destination even he doesn’t know and leave him to adjust to full mast.

He’s a little in love, but that’s only natural. Only natural, he tells himself, as Hinata talks and talks and talks with hands illustrating a picture only he can see. Only natural, he thinks, drawing circles on Hinata’s back through the thin of his shirt and grinning when he freezes, sighing with him as he melts back.

They’re sitting on the patio chairs outside of an ice cream parlor, an awning keeping them both dry as rain patters down around them. Hinata bought vanilla ice cream dyed black because it looked cool, staining the inside of his mouth dark and making Oikawa smile in between licks of his own cone— coffee flavoured, with chocolate swirl. Hinata’s already making headway biting down the sides of the cone, but Oikawa can tell that isn’t where his focus is. He misses his mark twice because he’s looking straight ahead when he guesses Oikawa isn’t looking. Oikawa is, out of the corners of his eyes as he watches the rain fall and wash away the grime from the street.  

Oikawa turns back to Hinata just as he finishes the cone, chuckling as his haste to wipe away any crumbs. He misses some, just as he always does, mind moving just a touch faster than his body can follow. When he’s stopped moving, Oikawa leans over, extending his hand to brush the black cream from the corner of his mouth with one swipe overtop of his lips, eyes hooded and locked on his and movements slow, languid. Hinata holds his breath until Oikawa has sat back down in his seat, finger on his tongue as he licks the ice cream away. Hinata stares back at him in shock, reaching to touch his cheek, blush deepening after Oikawa sends him a wink and returns to his ice cream. Hinata looks just about to burst, and Oikawa revels in it, teasing him with a brush of his foot to Hinata’s shin.

“O—Oikawa-san!” Hinata very nearly shouts, palms splayed across the small table between them.

“Hm?” Oikawa hums, reaching out his free hand to cover Hinata’s right. “What is it?”

Hinata’s shoulders straighten, eyes darting down to their joint hands before flicking back up to Oikawa, holding his gaze. “Um— I— I was wondering— if I could, you know, if you wanted— to take y—you…”

Oikawa grins, heart blooming like a rose come spring, watching Hinata stumble over the rest of his sentence. “Take me where?” he asks, sliding his hand up and down Hinata’s wrist.

Hinata shivers, taking a deep breath. His eyes close for a moment or two, Oikawa counting the beats of his heart as he waits for Hinata to regain composure and look back at him, and say:

“On… on a date.”

His voice comes out soft, gentle, a prayer whispered in confession with grace as if it were sung by the choir. The petals in Oikawa’s chest flutter and turn into wings, flying out of him in the form of energy he can hardly express with a tilt of his head and the widening of his smile. “Shou-chan, were these not dates?”

Hinata freezes, in part because of Oikawa’s knack for catching people off guard, in part because Oikawa’s fingers have begun to walk up his arm. Those two ideas are one in the same, but his words are what leaves the impact, what leaves him reeling as if he expected all of this to be unrequited. Oikawa almost laughs, almost calls him cute again. He settles for squeezing his hand and waiting for Hinata to respond.

When he does, it’s simple. “Oh,” he breathes. “Well, let me take you on one for a change.” His words are slower than Oikawa has ever heard them before, and somehow that burns up in his chest and sends warmth to every cell in his body.

Oikawa sighs, leaning forwards onto one elbow, feeling Hinata’s heartbeat through the vein on his wrist. “Okay, then,” he tells him. “Take me.”

Hinata takes him on a train to a few cities over four days later, the station small and paint fading from years of well use. Oikawa is curious the moment he steps onto the platform, but doesn’t have much time to think before Hinata is dragging him towards a small warf, complete with a pier at riverside and water like glass. The setting sun dyes the water from blue to orange, diluted only by the shadows of trees embarking on the banks. Hinata has been trembling since they stepped off the train, and frankly, was nervous before then. Oikawa can see the hesitation in the seize of his muscles when their hands slip together, in how it takes him one, two, three seconds to relax into Oikawa’s hold.

He walks slower now, that bullet-train speed slowed to a trickle of syrup sickly sweet. Oikawa lets himself be led to the edge of the dock, sits on the edge beside Hinata and his stuttering, half made motions, doesn’t tease how his lips open and close like koi waiting to be fed. He’s antagonizing, sure, but there will be plenty of time to poke and prod without risking Hinata’s confidence. For now, he notes how Hinata’s hair blends in with the brilliance of the sunset, how the bronze of his skin gleams in the light of the transition from day to night. There’s no need for words— not now, not yet. Oikawa drops his guard and lets a smile slip softly across his face while the current pulls slow and lazy beneath them. He slides his index finger along Hinata’s wrist, just to test if he’ll jump. He does, and his gaze is torn from the view to look at Oikawa as if he had forgotten he was there.

“Beautiful,” Oikawa murmurs. The sky paints a curious kind of glow in the depths of Hinata’s eyes, brown becoming warmed into something almost golden.

Hinata’s cheeks dust pink, and he leans down to escape Oikawa’s gaze for half a second. “Oh, it is, isn’t it?” he says, rubbing the back of his neck. “In the summer, Natsu and I come here with my mom. There’s people who line up all across the other shore and sell stuff,” he tells him, pointing across the river.

Oikawa doesn’t follow his hand. Instead, he leans closer, lacing their fingers together, an amused grin tugging on his lips. “I meant you.”

Hinata becomes more and more like the sky around them with each passing second. Golden skin shimmers from the sun and his own inner radiance, rosey blush intensifying to become a vibrant shade of scarlet. His tongue darts out to lick his lips as he laughs under Oikawa’s praise, Oikawa’s heart tightening at the sight. He wants, he wants so badly to lean forwards and taste him, to feel his warmth held back by his teeth, to drag his tongue across his neck. And Oikawa knows that Hinata wants that as bad as he does, can recognize the desire in his eyes the same way he can tell when passion burns under his skin.

So Oikawa leans closer and hoods his eyes and tilts his head to expose the clean line of his jaw, hums softly and holds back a chuckle at how Hinata sighs. “Thank you for taking me here,” he says, voice low, free hand resting atop Hinata’s thigh. “I love learning what you like.”

Hinata nods, catching his lip between his teeth and chewing on it. “I— I’m glad. I thought it’d be boring but… I wanted to show you.” His voice ends much quieter than when he started, as if it’s a confession of something Oikawa wasn’t privy to before.

“Was that all?” Oikawa asks, hand travelling a little higher up Hinata’s thigh, shoulder pressing against his. “I don’t know if I want to move.”

“Ah! Um, no, this was all… I figured we could just… talk,” Hinata explains. “If you’re alright with that, Oikawa-san.”

“Shou-chan, you don’t need to call me that,” Oikawa says, smirking. He drums his fingers on Hinata’s thigh, causing Hinata’s gaze to shift down to his hand. He looks back up within a second, confusion flickering across his features as their eyes meet.

“What?”

“Tooru. Call me that instead,” Oikawa says, and they’re close enough that Oikawa is leaning over top of him, Hinata leaning back to look up. His eyes widen as his skin heats up again— the hand Oikawa holds has become a little sweaty, but Oikawa doesn’t mind. He was expecting this reaction, was expecting Hinata to become overwhelmed at the possibility of any kind of intimacy between them.

“I— I— we aren’t— we aren’t dating!” Hinata exclaims in a hybrid stage whisper, shrinking in on himself as Oikawa finally lets a laugh escape.

“But aren’t we on a date right now?” he asks. “You’re already taking me out, Shou-chan.”

Hinata huffs, shifting side to side. Oikawa has a point, leaving the ball in Hinata’s court to toss back at him. With a deep breath, he opens his eyes, speaking slow and careful.

“I… I’ll think about it,” he tells him.

“We’ve got all the time in the world,” Oikawa hums. “I’ll wait. Let’s just enjoy the view, mhm?”

Hinata nods quickly, perking back up as his head whips around to stare back out across the river. He starts speaking about something else with the same kind of magic he uses whenever he describes volleyball. It’s that brightness, that fire again, the thing that Oikawa finds himself yearning to burn in. That night, Oikawa hardly even notices the sky’s fade to darkness. He only knows that hour has crept past dusk when the moon illuminates Hinata’s eyes in a different way.

Oikawa hopes he isn’t upset that he only had eyes for him.

Hinata finally stays the night a weekend later, meets Oikawa at the train station with a duffle bag thrown over his shoulder, still wearing his clothes from practice. It’s late and the excuse of having Hinata meet his folks doesn’t make much sense since they’re asleep by the time they make it back to his home, but they’re both more interested in spending time together— or at least, Oikawa is. He puts his money on Hinata’s willingness to go along, judging by the energy with which he buzzes around his foyer, hushing his voice but animating his hands wildly while explaining how nice Oikawa’s house is.

Endearing, Oikawa thinks, smiling to himself while leading Hinata to his room. It’s tidied, books shoved under the bed and clothes folded and set away so that the floor is clear. His bookshelf is as clean as it’ll get, overflowing with novels and DVDs and games he hasn’t had time to finish, and Oikawa even went through the trouble of untangling the mess of wires where his laptop rests. Hinata looks around the room as Oikawa plops down on his bed, freshly washed sheets and all.

“It’s very you!” Hinata says, looking up at the ceiling. “Are those stick on stars?”

Oikawa nearly freezes. “They— yeah, they are,” he says, catching himself before his voice breaks and maintaining his composure. “They glow in the dark.”

Hinata looks back at him, smiling. “Those are cool! Natsu wants those, but mom doesn’t want to ruin the ceiling.” He drops his bag onto the ground, before rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. “Do you mind if I use your shower? I kind of rushed to catch the train and didn’t have time after practice.”

Oikawa’s stomach flutters, a smug smile working its way across his face. “Of course, Shou-chan.” It’s courtesy of being a good host, of course, but he won’t deny the selfish desire to see Hinata with his hair wet and eyes soft smelling like his soaps and shampoos.

“Thanks!” Hinata chimes. He drops down to the ground and begins rifling through his bag, plucking out a toothbrush and sticking it between his teeth. Oikawa watches him search idly for a few moments before noticing his haste, interest piqued once Hinata stops completely.

“Um, Oikawa?” Hinata asks, voice wavering.

Hope sparks in Oikawa's chest. “Yes?”

Hinata blushes, looking down at the ground. “I, uh, forgot to bring pyjamas…” He trails off, cheeks burning red. Slowly, he looks up at Oikawa— grinning, smug Oikawa— and speaks. “Can I… borrow something to wear?”

Forget catching the canary— Oikawa has caught something even better. He tilts his head and hums, standing to head towards his drawers, ruffling Hinata’s hair as he passes. “Sure,” he says, opening one of the drawers to look for one of his softer shirts. “You’re small, so my clothes will be big on you, though.” Oikawa looks over his shoulder, back at Hinata. “I hope you don’t mind.”

Hinata’s plays with his toothbrush, rolling it in his hands as he looks away quickly. “Y-yeah! That’s— that’s great— I mean it’s fine!”

Oikawa chuckles, going back to searching his drawers. He pulls out a worn v-neck shirt and a pair of drawstring shorts that he’s been using to sleep in ever since they’ve become too small to wear outside. Tossing them to Hinata, he backs up against the drawer to close it, already impatient to see Hinata in his clothes.

“The bathroom is right across the hall,” Oikawa tells him. “Feel free to use the soap there— my parents use the shower downstairs.”

Hinata nods, holding the clothes and his toothbrush in his arms before slipping out of Oikawa’s room and across the hall. When he hears the soft click of the door being shut, Oikawa finally lets himself relax, collapsing back onto his bed with a self satisfied sigh. Hinata Shouyou, in his house, in his shower, soon to wear his clothes to sleep in his bedroom.

He lies there for a few minutes, listening to the drone of water through the pipes and the spray of the shower running before sitting back up and changing into his sleep clothes. He’d usually forgo a shirt, but in an effort not to kill Hinata before the boy works up the nerve to kiss him, he throws on a tank and some sweatpants and goes through the motions of the night. His contacts find their home in their case, vision blurring at the edges as he blinks to adjust to the change. Hinata isn’t back by the time he’s ready for bed, leaving Oikawa to huff and lie down, waiting and wondering when Hinata will be back.

His prayers are answered in the form of the water shutting off, causing him to fling himself upright and stare at the door, feigning nonchalance by picking up his phone and scrolling idly through pictures of celebrities and strange sea creatures. Finally, the door creaks open, drawing his attention to Hinata Shouyou and all his glory, sneaking back into Oikawa’s room and dropping his discarded clothes onto his bag.

Oikawa allows himself a few moments to just look before doing anything more. The collar of his shirt edges on Hinata’s shoulder, just milimetres from slipping off entirely. Even now, it exposes his collarbones and part of his chest, reaching down to mid-thigh and covering the shorts Oikawa had given him. It provides the mind blowing illusion that he doesn’t have anything underneath, rising heat to Oikawa’s cheeks at the fantasy of Hinata in his shirt, just his shirt, and nothing more.

Baby steps, he tells himself. For now, he can admire how Hinata seems to fit his clothes better than he could ever imagine, dwarfed by the garments, hair towel dried and fluffy, glowing gentle in the soft way most people tend to after a nice hot shower. Hinata seems happy, seems pleased, a small smile playing on his lips despite the redness on his cheeks as Oikawa looks him up and down.

“H-hey,” he says, kicking his bag to the otherside of the room.

Oikawa clears his throat, licking his bottom lip. “You look nice,” he tells him, low, honest, leaning forwards a little more than necessary. “C’mere, I want to show you something.”

Hinata looks like he’s about to sputter at Oikawa’s praise, but complies, climbing onto the bed next to him and fitting himself against Oikawa’s shoulder. He smells like Oikawa— his shampoo and soap and detergent— and that alone is enough to make Oikawa’s head spin. In all honesty, there was nothing he wanted to show Hinata. All he wants is him pressed against him, so he opens up one of the short videos and slips an arm around Hinata’s shoulder, turning up the volume so they can press together and watch two otters float in the shallows of a river.

“They’re snuggling!” Hinata coos, eyes scrunching as he smiles ear to ear, video ending.

Oikawa hums. He lets his phone slip onto the bedside table, nestling Hinata closer to his side. “Just like us,” he purrs, giving Hinata one moment to process what he’s said before rolling on top of him, thighs pressing against his sides.

The air leaves Hinata’s lungs in one heavy sigh, lips parted as their eyes lock together, Oikawa looking down at him, elbows bracing either side of Hinata’s head. Their noses almost touch like this, and Oikawa can stare straight into the golden eyes that have burned themselves into his psyche for so long, can breathe in Hinata’s every exhale and feel the warmth of his skin.

“O-Oikawa—”

“Can you call me Tooru now?” Oikawa asks, barely above a whisper, a murmur. Hinata’s breath hitches, no answer escaping his lips, so he continues. “I see how you look at me, Shouyou. You don’t have to hesitate anymore. You already know how I feel.” Hinata bites his lip, blinking as Oikawa continues. “Won’t you tell me how you feel?”

“Tooru…” Hinata breathes, eyes not leaving his.

Oikawa hums again. “Good boy, Shouyou,” he mumbles. “I notice things about you... like how you react when I speak… you’re doing it right now, aren’t you?”

Hinata’s breath hitches. “Mhm…” he admits, cheeks darkening, burning.

“Your heart is speeding up, your breaths are becoming shorter,” Oikawa notes, shifting his hips slightly. “It’s a lot to take in, especially when you’re like this.”

Hinata’s eyes widen a fraction. “O-oh?”

“Yes,” Oikawa answers. “You have no idea what you do to me, and I have no idea what you’re thinking. A fair trade off, but if you’d be so kind, maybe you could tell me if you want me like I want you.”

Hinata inhales deeply, pushing himself up with his hands. Oikawa leans back, moving his arms to wrap around him instead as Hinata sits up, collar of his shirt slipping off to expose his entire shoulder. Oikawa’s eyes flick down to his exposed skin before returning to him, desire held at bay by pupils blown wide.

“Oi— Tooru…” Hinata says, arms resting around his wait. “You’re… you’re too much. I just want…”

“You want?” Oikawa asks, tipping his head to the side, eyes lidded and voice slow.

“You.”

Oikawa’s heart skips a beat, soul floating for a moment of pure elation before coming back down to his body. “Oh, Shouyou,” he says. “You’ve had me for quite awhile. I’m yours for the taking.”

Slowly, Hinata leans forwards, rising up as best he can with Oikawa still very much in his lap, eyes fluttering shut a moment before their lips brush. It’s chaste, sweet, aided by Oikawa’s hand moving to cradle the back of Hinata’s head. The kiss only lasts a moment, Hinata pulling away with open eyes to stare up at Oikawa, worry still flashing across eyes even after everything that has happened. And Oikawa, patient, playing Oikawa, finally lets the water escape from his fingers, surges forwards and pushes Hinata back down on the bed.

Their lips meet again, but this time, Hinata’s sighs, reaching high to comb his fingers through Oikawa’s hair. Oikawa hums into the kiss and licks at the lips he hasn’t stopped playing with since he arrived. Hinata parts his mouth and Oikawa licks inside, tastes the sharp mint of his toothpaste and presses his tongue against Hinata’s, hot and wet. Hinata makes a small noise that’s muffled by Oikawa against him, hands tugging a little tighter and pulling at Oikawa’s scalp. A shiver travels down Oikawa’s neck, his hand sliding up the bare skin of Hinata’s thigh, drawing goosebumps in its wake. He rests it just underneath the shorts Hinata wears, his shorts, the fact once again clouding his mind with useless desire.

It’s exploratory for the most part, Hinata’s inexperience showing in the clack of their teeth, in his allowance for Oikawa to lead. Oikawa doesn’t mind, guides his hand along Hinata’s thigh as he nibbles his lips. It’s kissing for kissing’s sake, and Oikawa revels in how Hinata responds— the soft breaths, the shivers as his fingertips brush his hip, the drag of their legs moving against each other as Hinata shifts underneath him. Hinata continues to comb his fingers through Oikawa’s hair, tugging him closer when Oikawa swipes his tongue across his lip. The force of the action nearly smacks their faces together, leaving Oikawa to lean back and peck Hinata’s nose.

“You seem to be enjoying yourself,” he mumbles, beginning to sit up. Hinata’s eyes flutter open, blush bright on Hinata’s cheeks to his ears and creeping down his neck. His eyes are lidded as they stare up at Oikawa, breath leaving him in heavy pants from swollen lips. Hinata makes a noise of affirmation.

“I— I am…” Hinata breathes.

Oikawa cups his cheek, brushing his thumb over the side of his lips. “Do you know how long I’ve waited for this?” he asks, soft and sultry. “How much I’ve thought about kissing you senseless? How much I’ve longed and yearned for it?”

Hinata’s ears darken, swallowing thickly as he stares up at him. “I— Oikawa—”

“Tooru,” Oikawa corrects, kissing his cheek. “We can spend the night like this, if you’d like. You and I,” he murmurs, mouthing down his jaw.

“Th-that sounds nice,” Hinata whispers. He squirms, tilting his head to allow Oikawa more room. “T-Tooru.”

Oikawa feels colour tickle his cheeks as he shifts once more to kiss Hinata’s lips, humming softly as Hinata’s arms loop around his neck. He can feel Hinata smiling underneath him, kissing back again, and again, and again, until they’re simply resting noses and foreheads against each other, eyes fluttering open to meet.

“Again?” Hinata whispers, and Oikawa chuckles, brushing his thumb over Hinata’s cheek.

“Of course, Shouyou,” he murmurs. “Again.”