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The only thing Yaku ever steals in his teenage life is a jersey.

A bright, happy red, with a number 11 in white on the front and back.

It's the Nekoma jersey Lev wears in their final tournament together, when Lev goes into his first rut, and Yaku humiliates himself on a national stage.

Lev leaves his jersey sitting unattended in the spare gym, and in an impulsive, almost instinctual move, Yaku sees it, grabs it, and shoves it to the bottom of his gym bag.

Later, Yaku is asked if he knows where it went during a half hearted search of the room, but it's their last game of the season. The last time Lev would ever need to wear it was three hours ago. When they can't find it, and Yaku only gives a shrug and a vague donno noise, they let it drop.

Yaku didn't have to do this. If he had asked, Lev probably would've been flattered. He probably would've handed it over gladly, bragging to anyone who would listen that Yaku-san had wanted it, had asked for it, his already enormous ego inflating to unsustainable proportions.

So – actually, Yaku did have to steal it. At least if he's ever going to be able to nest again, and annoyingly, Yaku doesn't have much say in the matter.

Yaku is a nester. Not all omegas are, not all omegas do it every heat, but Yaku is, and he almost always does. Whenever he can't, he gets antsy and agitated, outright snarling at any alphas who attempt to enter his space – even Kai. Even his mother.

Honestly, nesting isn't the worst thing in the world, it's not even the worst thing about heats. It's not painful, and none of the alphas Yaku knows have ever been assholes about it. In fact, in his first year of high school, all Yaku's alpha senpai gave him something as a matter of course during introductions.

After Kai went through his first rut in second year, he gave Yaku one of his hoodies after class, and Kuroo, who had settled into his mature scent three months before that, had gone red with some unnamed embarrassment, and literally yanked the sweatervest he was wearing over his head right then and there, tossing it over for Yaku to take home, too.

In second year Yaku was closer to Kai and Kuroo than any other alphas, and this bond made their scents especially suitable for his nest. He spent that year of heats with his face buried in anything they gave him, inhaling deep as comfort filtered down his body, goosebumps traveling across his skin like sinking into a hot bath.

Every so often, Yaku returns the clothing to the alpha who lent it, and every so often they give him new pieces. Easy. Painless.

Yamamoto had been particularly proud to give Yaku his t-shirt when he came into his scent at the very start of his second year, looking half terrified Yaku might reject it – of course Yaku didn't, but it was Yamamoto's practice shirt, stained with sweat and food. Yamamoto had only just matured, and Yaku was still adjusting to his particularly abrasive scent when he took it home, where he was forced to double bag and hide it deep in his closet during heat, his sensitive nose making the thing repulsive.

But by the time their third tournament season together arrived, Yaku had discovered something – earthy and pleasant about Yamamoto's scent, and his next attempt, a much cleaner button up shirt, found its place with the rest of the alpha-scents in Yaku's nest.

All these pieces are nice, they make heats easier, but Yaku doesn't need them. He'd never been reduced to stealing one before, but. He's never smelled any alpha like Lev before.

~

It starts all the way back at the beginning of the year, back when Lev's still mixing up middle blocker with wing spiker. Helping Lev with his new kneepads, Yaku kneels between his long, narrow legs on the floor of the gym. The pads have a fairly complicated netting/strap system, and the velcro had been rubbing uncomfortably against Lev's skin, turning it bright, irritated red.

Yaku yanks at the straps, and untwines the netting, and Lev leans forward, whining dramatically.

"It just keeps rubbing the same spot!" Lev complains, messing with the bright red skin, abused from the harsh fabric of the velcro, looking to Yaku for sympathy.

This position presses Lev's shirt against Yaku's nose, close enough to Lev's chest to feel the body heat.

It smells. Amazing.

Yaku freezes, breathing it in. Alpha. He wants to push his face into the fabric. Press the scent into his skin, and his mouth hangs open as he struggles to rein in this impulsive reaction, to just climb into Lev's lap, grab his shirt in both hands and bunch it into his face, maybe find the source, Lev's long, long neck –

"Yaku-san?" Lev asks, looking concerned.

"Yeah – nothing," Yaku says in a nonsensical rush, and finishes adjusting Lev's pads with slightly shaking hands.

He escapes after that, saying he has to grab something from the locker room, but ends up jogging around the gym, three – four times, desperate to clear his spinning head.

The assumption is that Lev hit his first rut, maybe during their break after finals, but when Yaku asks Kenma about it, Kenma only blinks, blank-faced.

"He smells the same to me."

Yaku has never reacted to an alpha's scent like that, ever. He's seen this sort of thing in romantic comedies and shojo manga, but never real life, never real people, never before an alpha's rut.

Alpha scents pre-ruts are faint, light. The sort of thing a mother could recognize in their alpha child, but not many others. It's a terrifying prospect that haunts Yaku the rest of the year – the knowledge that it will only get worse, in that Lev's scent will only get better, and it could strike at any moment. Lev's rut could happen when they're sharing a room during camp, when Yaku's keeping eye on the first year clean up. When he and Lev are alone, working on receives.

Or, even worse than that, during a tournament. In full public eye, in front of god and Kuroo and everyone.

This was the horrible thing that happened to Bokuto and Akaashi, last year.

During one of their many practice matches with Fukurodani, a pleasant scent washed over the sidelines. Yaku had already liked Bokuto's scent, reminding him a forest, fresh and woody, and this new, stronger, headier version took him off guard. Beside him, Kenma moaned softly, struggling the same.

A moment of confused, alarmed shouting, but Kuroo didn't hesitate, slid immediately under the net, helping the rest of Fukurodani escort Bokuto away, while Akaashi stood there, nearly swaying, eyes glassy, face pink. He tried to follow, and when Kenma and Yaku held him back, he actually whined. He pushed, pulled, trying to escape Yaku's hold, to reach Bokuto, fighting so hard that both Fukunaga and Kai had to come over and add their weight.

Seeing Akaashi – composed, refined, disciplined Akaashi like that, was horrifying. Yaku doesn't have half the composure Akaashi does. A boulder doesn't.

Staring at Akaashi's flushed, desperate face, struggling to hold him back from following mindless instinct, Yaku knows he doesn't stand a chance.

Any lasting delusions that Yaku will be able to simply ignore Lev and his scent are put to rest during Yaku's next heat, and the urge to nest comes trundling along beside it, eclipsing then outweighing all other urges. Yaku struggles, burying his face in the stuff he already has, but only grows frustrated by it.

It's like standing in front of a well-stocked fridge, looking from shelf to shelf, unable to find something to eat.

He craves something, something he didn't know existed before, but now he does, and nothing else will hit the spot. Something that is not there, will not be there for ages to come, and Yaku spends Lev's entire first year in this unsatisfied misery.

~

"Whoa, Yaku-san," Lev says, scrunching up his nose. "Is that you?"

Yaku's in full heat, so it is probably him. He doesn't know how to answer this humiliating question, though, especially when faced with this evidence of Lev's obvious dislike, pinching his nose with almost comical emphasis.

"What's wrong with you!?" Yamamoto is his unlikely savior, punching Lev in the shoulder. "You don't ask an omega that."

"But it's so strong!" Lev whines, voice high and pitiful as he's pulled out of sight for further, alpha-ears-only scolding. "I like the way Yaku-san normally smells..."

Yaku watches him get dragged off, glowering darkly, but lets it go with a sigh once Shibayama catches his expression and awkwardly attempts to cheer him up.

"I'm sure he didn't mean it, Yaku-san, Lev is just – uhm." Shibayama looks around himself uselessly for something that could possibly describe Lev.

"It's fine," Yaku says, and it is. Yaku is confident in his own scent. He's had enough unwelcome comments from alphas to know that most of them find it pleasant, but strong mating scents are an acquired taste.

The problem is that Lev is a child. In almost every respect.

Even his body, while very tall, is a lanky and gangly monstrosity. He's immature and flighty, he thinks he can become the team's ace in a matter of weeks. He talks about going to the Olympics, he talks about becoming professional after high school, blocking every spike in their next game and scoring all service aces. These are childishly simplistic goals, with a childishly impatient time frame to meet them. Some players say similar things, but it is clearly boasting. Lev sincerely believes it when he says it, and has his heart broken with a betrayed gasp when they inevitably fail.

But Lev is disciplined. Determined. Confident. He tries, and tries, and tries, and only stops when he gets distracted by his own premature celebrations. Failure does nothing to discourage him, hard work only motivates him, and these are rips in the childish swaddle he's slowly outgrowing, glimpses, previews of the man Lev will one day become, a man that Yaku could one day be interested in.

But Lev is not there yet, and Yaku rolls his eyes when he hears a second smack, then pitiful, confused whine from Lev, sure he's said something else thoughtless.

~

Yaku's worst fears are realized at nationals.

It's not the sudden flip that Bokuto had, it's a slow, steady build.

Yaku catches wind of it in the early morning while they're gorging on breakfast.

Lev's eyes only half open, hair a thick, upright mess that rivals Kuroo's before his morning shower, but after a beat, Yaku decides he's only imagining it. Anyone's scent would be stronger in the mornings, and like usual, Yaku seems to be the only one who can smell it, no one else reacts to it, and Lev himself seems normal.

But again, during warm ups, a sudden strong waft makes Yaku's legs lock up, his grip on the ball in his hands growing tighter. His muscles tense into a tight, pleasurable knot, but only for a second, and he glances over at Lev, expecting to see him sweating, flushed.

He does not. Lev is currently knocking shoulders with Inuoka as they laugh, pumping each other up for the upcoming games.

He glances over to Kenma, who seems oblivious.

Okay. It's nothing, he's sure of that now, and to emphasize that to the universe, he's especially rough with Lev as they head out to the court, kicking at the back of his knees.

"Ow, Yaku-san!" he whines, like this was terribly painful. "What'd I do?!"

"Just keeping you focused," Yaku says.

With the realization that he is not actually in trouble, Lev straightens and a serious, almost predatory smile spreads across his face.

"I won't need Yaku-san's reminders to stay focused today."

Yaku stops, staring after Lev as he walks ahead, chest out, chin high. He feels stricken, his heart rate spiking as he stands in the trail of Lev's scent.

He wasn't imagining it. It's coming.

It's not quite here, but it will be soon, maybe a matter of hours, and Yaku can feel it like a sunburn, licking faintly against his skin, making it tighter, itchier, warmer. Again he looks to Kenma, and this time Kenma meets his gaze. He smelled it, too.

"A game's only thirty minutes," Kenma says. His tone is uncharacteristically soothing, and Yaku realizes his face is twisted in fear. "We'll make it," Kenma finishes, a bit firmer.

Yaku nods, composing himself. An injury took him out of the finals, he's not missing out on this, his last high school game, especially for something as humiliating as dropping for a beanpole of a first year.

But Kenma's right. They do make it, just barely.

As much good as it does, because they lose.

Maybe if they had won, Yaku would've had some energy left, some strength to anchor to, but he's reeling from disappointment, the hurt, the realization that this is goodbye – the adrenaline's worn off from the final brutal third set, leaving him feeling especially drained, weak, and shaky. He's at his most vulnerable, bowing in line to the audience, putting a soothing hand on Yamamoto's back, when it comes.

Not a faint whisper or trail, but the overpowering scent of an alpha sweeps over him. Lev.

Mine, is the answer in Yaku. The noise of the crowd, the disappointment from their loss, and everything else in the world, dimming. That's mine, my alpha.

"Yaku-san?"

Yaku realizes he's practically shoved Kenma out of the way, trying to spot Lev down the line, and blinks, meeting Kenma's concerned gaze.

"I," Yaku says, and even just on the word, that short sound, his voice shakes. Embarrassed, Yaku tries to calm himself down, relax, but then he gets another heady breath of his alpha and the heat in his middle, between his legs, grows, and subdues rational thought where it stands. His breath is coming out in short, sharp exhales. Yaku feels like his feet are about to lift from the ground, heady and weightless and confused, he needs – to be near that scent – he pushes past Kenma, relief and desire washing over him as he sees Lev, hand to his own forehead, sweating, flushed. He glances up, and they make eye contact -

"Yaku-san," hands are on him, leading him down, away from the court, away from his alpha –

"No," he says, trying to pull away, and after a few tugs he makes it, overpowering the weak hands holding him back, looking up only to see Lev moving away - figures are obscuring him, blocking him from view, taking him away. Come back, Yaku whines out a noise of deep, desperate disappointment.

"Yaku." Louder voice, larger hands. Pushing him back, but Yaku can twist past that – he needs – he needs his alpha –

The hands come back again, more than one set, and Yaku is lifted from the ground, and this is when Yaku truly loses it, kicking, pushing, fighting, whining. He's over someone's shoulder, being literally hoisted and carried away, this is humiliating, but Yaku can't even bring himself to care, struggling to fight the arm around his waist, he needs that – scent, he needs his alpha –

"Yaku-san."

Yaku blinks, and realizes he's staring into Akaashi's concerned face. The jersey under his hands is Fukurodani's, too. Bokuto. He's over Bokuto's shoulder. Behind Akaashi stands Kenma, whose face is tense with concern.

"They took Lev back to the hotel," Kenma says.

Yaku stares, blank, holding in a reedy little whine at this news. He feels sane again, but obviously must not be, because hearing that is like hearing they decided to kick Lev off the island itself, sending him swimming back to Russia.

"Hotel?" he repeats, weakly.

Kenma nods, and tentatively, like he's partly expecting a trap, Bokuto lowers Yaku back to the ground.

"Are you alright?" Akaashi asks. It's frank enough for Yaku to be honest. He shakes his head no. Lev's not there, so he's better, but he knows the moment he smells him again he'll be the same mess. They'll need to be separated a least a little while longer.

It's Akaashi and Kenma who keep him company the rest of the day, and the two of them who give him a moment of privacy to change out of his sweaty uniform.

The smell is strong enough that he thinks - hopes - Lev himself is in the room at first, but when he opens the door to the gym that holds their bags, all he sees is Lev's stuff. Lev's jersey.

Just sitting there. On the bag. Yaku drifts toward it like a man possessed, and honestly doesn't know what he would've done if someone had interrupted him, tried to take it from his hands. He might have bitten them.

No one saw though, no one noticed, and once home, Yaku places the jersey on his bed. Sleeping with it kicks off his heat, but it's worth it.

"Yaku-san, you're in heat again," Lev says, wrinkling his nose the next Monday, still not accustomed to Yaku's smell.

Yaku kicks Lev's rear and tells him to shut up, and Lev yelps and apologizes. Same old, same old.

Yaku had been hoping, somewhat foolishly, that the rut would change things – at least how Lev felt about his scent – but it can take time. Yaku knew this, and he thought he accepted it, so the rejection stings more than he was expecting.

But really, it's fine. Because at home, in his bed, is all Yaku needs to finally, finally have a proper nest.

~

Yaku goes to college, plays volleyball, studies math, gets his own dorm, and sleeps with Lev's stolen jersey.

Lev grows up.

Too busy to make many trips down to Nekoma, Yaku watches it happen on social media. Lev's name goes from LION ACE OF NEKOMA VBC to FIGURE OF THE ACE THAT INSPIRES HIS ALLIES to Haiba Lev. He stops posting images of minions around his second year, and instead switches to song lyrics and quotes from Russian authors that are confusing, with a lot of grim imagery.

Third year, Lev's name changes to Haiba Lev, Captain of Nekoma VBC

Yaku likes this change, and leaves a comment about how he expects Lev to lead them to nationals this year. Lev likes this, and sends a message in return, a generic one thanking Yaku for all his help and patience.

Yaku reads it, trying to spot the boastful, awkward first year he knew. His picture alongside it has matured as well, his features have become more defined, and Yaku has noticed, many times before tonight, that he's grown into his ridiculous body. Lev doesn't post ab pics, but he does share some of his workouts with his team, praising his kohai for their hard work, and competing fiercely with Inuoka. He's become... impressive.

The scent from Lev's jersey has faded, gradual enough that Yaku didn't sense the loss. He keeps it on his bed, but truthfully he doesn't need it. He's successfully weaned himself from the addiction, and frankly his bed smells more like Kuroo than anything else.

He could move on, he could find another alpha – it's something he's never particularly tried to do before, busy with his studies and the spot in his mind and heart vaguely occupied by Lev.

But he thinks of this possibility when he sees Lev's new, somewhat imposing life, coupled with the fact that Lev never actually shared any real interest in Yaku. The strongest memory Yaku even has of their last time together is Lev complaining about his smell. He obviously wouldn't do the same thing today, at least not out loud, but it's an intimidating place to pick back up…

A new message notification hits Yaku's screen during class, and he frowns, not recognizing the name or icon of the sender.

 

Is this Lev-kun's senpai? An omega that plays serious VB?? Maybe I can give you some lessons off the court ;)

 

Yaku stares at this message, left on Lev's wall. Whoever sent it looks to be around Lev's age, but Yaku doesn't recognize his school. He's getting ready to reply with a classic and direct fuck off, when Lev comments, four in a row, rapid –

 

Tumo. Only address Yaku-san with respect on my wall.
Or anywhere.
And Yaku-san has nothing to learn from you.

 

Yaku raises an eyebrow, and after a moment, deletes his own message, satisfied with how Lev handled it. He likes the last one, And Yaku-san has nothing to learn from you.

~

When interhigh comes, Yaku really has no excuse to miss it. It's being hosted in the Sumida gym again, which is a four minute train ride away, and he has no classes. Kai is working at his internship and Kuroo is on vacation with his family, so really, at least one of them ought to be there.

He rides out to the auditorium, but arrives too late to see the warm ups. Nekoma is already in the middle of the first set when he takes his seat, and sees a strong team – there's less focus on receives than in Yaku's time, but it's more dynamic, more experimental combos and Lev is a downright monster at the net with his blocks. They win two sets straight in one game, then power through three in the second, and Yaku is unsurprised when they make it to the semi finals.

He claps along with the rest of the audience when they take their bows, and grins at Lev's double take – going from the mature captain back to that endlessly energetic first year, waving.

"Yaku-san!!"

Yaku waves back as Shibayama and Inuoka spot him, too. They head back to the locker rooms, and are still full of giddy excitement from victory when he meets them out in the hall.

The captain leads the way, and obviously, he's seen Lev's photos, but as Lev approaches it becomes apparent pretty quickly that they don't capture his presence. Captain Lev has that same confident, self-assured aura as before, but steady and grounded now. A third year.

He introduces Yaku to his team, and from the looks on their faces they obviously know his name. He praises Shibayama for his quick positioning, and tells the team how excited he is to see them do just as well next week.

They're all dismissed to catch the bus, but Lev lingers. Yaku sensed that he might. Yaku allows it, and tries not to lean into the scent that drove him so wild in high school. It still could, if Yaku stepped closer – it's a busy hall, there's a lot of people, and a lot of alphas, but if Yaku got close enough and made the effort. He could breathe Lev's scent in, and let it fog up his senses like before.

Apparently this is what Lev wants, because he takes a step closer.

"Yaku-san," he says, obviously nervous, building up to something. Yaku waits, his body thrilling at this proximity to what it still stupidly sees as his alpha, here, finally, here again, he smells just as good - "Want to get some ice cream?"

Yaku blinks in surprise, then laughs. "Sure."

Yaku didn't date in high school, and hasn't met many alphas he'd be interested in at university. He decides as they walk down the street to the closest shop, that this is his first date – even if Lev wasn't intending it that way, though he's pretty sure he is – Yaku has decided it counts.

Lev insists on ordering first, then makes a show of paying for Yaku's as well.

"Dating a high schooler? How scandalous," the server behind the counter teases after taking their orders. Yaku opens his mouth to reply, then realizes the question and scolding tsk is being directed toward Lev.

Yaku looks down at his outfit – ugh. Jeans and a t-shirt and an oversized jacket. He's been mistaken for a high schooler before, especially in casual clothes, even a junior high student by one particularly stupid driver, but this is the first time he's seen Lev get mistaken for a university student. He supposes, looking him over, it's not the biggest leap in the world either, a reality that's only a few months away, even, but he was not prepared for the two assumptions to be combined.

"Actually, Yaku-san – "

"Come on," Yaku says, dragging his oversized body toward a booth, while the server grins, like this is cute.

It's been a while since they last spoke, and the conversation starts out slow, relearning one another. Lev has matured, certainly, but he is still a brat, and they finally find a familiar rhythm when he makes a cheeky comment about Nekoma's new second year manager being the same height as Yaku.

"So she's tall for her age," he says, grinning, and flinches, but quickly grins again after Yaku kicks his shin. "Ah. I missed Yaku-san."

"I don't know why," Yaku mutters, stirring up his ice cream. "But I missed talking to you, too."

Lev beams. He wants to go for a walk along the river, so they do. They find a cat on the fence and give it some attention for a while, and talk about Lev's goals for university.

"I thought you were going to go straight to a professional team," Yaku teases, stroking down the cat's back, and Lev huffs, embarrassed. "I thought you were going to be scouted right out of high school – "

"Well the year's not over yet!" Lev says, stubbornly, and Yaku laughs.

Yaku did not anticipate seeing Nekoma play would end up with Lev in his dorm room. But Lev gets excited when Yaku mentions a manga collection he just finished, and wants to borrow it.

Yaku is feeling indulgent and happy, if he's being honest, a bit flirty. Schooling down his excitement about this, he takes Lev up to his room.

Where his bed is.

"Yaku-san?" Lev asks, standing in the doorway, staring at the aforementioned bed.

Yaku follows his gaze, feeling a chill when he sees the bright red jersey. Impossible to miss, impossible to be confused for anything other than what it is – Lev's old jersey, in Yaku's bed, beside the pillow.

"You've had it?" Lev asks. His eyes are bright, shameless, wide, waiting. Hopeful. "This whole time?"

"I – just," Yaku says. "The scent helps. That's all."

Lev has the nerve to look hurt by this. "That's all?"

"It's – " Yaku says, flustered. Honestly he hadn't expected Lev to believe that. "I shouldn't have taken it, I'm sorry – "

"It's okay," Lev says, sadly.

"Sorry," Yaku says again, pushing the manga and jersey into Lev's hands. He accepts them, sadly, turning the shirt over, looking down at the 11. It's gigantic, so big it would drape like a tunic on Yaku, but Lev's already outgrown it. The fabric would strain across his wider shoulders, around his chest and arms, filled out with muscle. He wears a 1 on his chest, now.

"If it helps," Lev says. "I could give you something new."

Yaku should say no, to regain some of his lost pride at least, but. But the scent on the jersey has faded, and after tonight, after being around it again, he knows. It would help.

"… Sure," Yaku says.

Lev hands over his jacket. They power through a few more minutes of awkward small talk, then he leaves. Yaku stands there in the silence of his dorm, holding Lev's jacket, knowing that could've gone better.

Lev isn't a child anymore. He isn't the infant alpha who recoiled at Yaku's scent in heat. He's clearly interested, so what is Yaku doing?

He sits down in bed slowly, then wraps himself in Lev's jacket, and the thing alone, just this, is enough to be a satisfying nest. The familiar shudder, warmth crawling up and down his skin, giving him goosebumps, something he hasn't experienced since second year, has him clinging to the fabric, eyes shut tight.

Yaku wakes up purring, nuzzling it, legs wrapped around a pillow, humping it lazily. Driven by thoughtless, floaty instinct to see this through, Yaku jerks off lazily, not bothering to question the moment before rolling back to sleep, feeling content and satisfied.

When he wakes up again, for real this time, several hours later, he's decided. He's waited long enough.

~

"Oh, Yaku-san!" Lev smiles in surprise when he opens his front door and sees Yaku on the front porch. "I didn't have a chance to start reading the manga yet, but – "

"Lev."

Yaku spoke quietly, but Lev stops instantly, eyes bright, waiting. He must have heard the intent there, in Yaku's voice. He seems excited, hands clenching and unclenching in fists at his side.

"Could you show me your room?"

Lev would be more than happy to. He almost falls on one of the steps, and ducks on habit when he reaches the landing, the people who constructed this home not anticipating someone would need a 204 centimeter clearance.

"Here is," Lev opens the door, standing aside so Yaku can enter first. "My room."

The scent is pure Lev.

Yaku has been sleeping with this scent, obsessing over it and growing familiar with it for years that stepping into Lev's room has a degree of coming home, walking into his own space, somewhere safe and known. It sets him at ease instantly, and he turns around, grinning at Lev, who is still in the hallway, hand on the doorknob.

"Come here."

Lev eyes Yaku up and down. He seems nervous but Yaku knows Lev – he's not scared, really, he's being cautious, trying to hold back hope for what, exactly, is about to happen. He steels himself, and enters.

"You seemed disappointed yesterday," Yaku says, as Lev closes the door behind him. "When I gave your jersey back."

"I," Lev is flustered. "Was hoping..."

When he simply trails off without a finish, Yaku prods, "You were hoping?" This isn't really fair, Lev was only following Yaku's lead when he kept the details of his feelings to himself last night. Yaku should be the one clearing the air with his candid feelings, but Yaku's also the one who spent almost three years pining, and he has learned in that time, life is not always fair.

"I just – I was hoping it was doing more than just helping with your nest!"

"Like what?"

Lev narrows his eyes, reaching his limit. "You're the one who kept it, Yaku-san," Lev says. "You know like what."

Yaku frowns, not expecting to get called out so quickly. "I spent a long time waiting for you to catch up."

"You didn't have to wait!"

"I didn't?" Yaku asks, actually amused by this.

"No!" he says, sounding a little annoyed at the implication that he did not emerge from the womb fully formed and adult. "I've wanted you – a long time, too, Yaku-san."

"One of the last things you said to me was to hurry up and finish heat so I'd stop smelling so gross."

Lev's mouth works, shocked. Maybe he'd forgotten until just now. That would be a nice thought, that Lev somehow always remembered Yaku as an omega he wanted, desired, not an omega with an overbearing smell he slowly learned to like after that omega lost his mind over Lev's rut.

"Well," Lev says, stubbornly. "I'm caught up now!"

"Yeah. I noticed," Yaku says, and Lev huffs once, like the seriousness of Yaku's tone stoked the flame of his interest.

"I hoped," Lev says, firmer. "That you wanted my jersey because you wanted me. Wanted to be my mate."

Yaku doesn't know why this is so hard to admit, bold faced like this, Lev just said it, Yaku more or less said it himself but. He feels his face pinking a bit, and he looks off to the side.

"... I do."

Lev inhales, happy with his entire body, and starts his approach with such enthusiasm Yaku almost takes a step back.

“But don't - don't let it go to your head!!” he yelps as Lev lifts him clear off the ground, hands huge on his thighs. Yaku's breath catches. Still holding him, Lev goes for a kiss, and there's no indication of strain in his frame, in his arms, as he takes Yaku's full weight, turning and carrying him where he wants, pushing him into the wall, properly pinned.

"Fuck," Yaku groans, reluctantly impressed and aroused by this display. He bites it into Lev's mouth, returning the kiss him roughly, and Lev keeps up, kissing growing aggressive, and wanting, Lev's massive hands on him shaking with that want, with the energy it takes to hold it back. Yaku feels it like a warning, how close Lev's self control is to breaking. God, Yaku hooks his leg around Lev's middle, bringing him in closer - this is picking up speed faster than Yaku expected, but then he probably should've. Their bodies have been in sync with each other since last night, and Yaku's has been reaching out for years. Once they actually fell in step, it was going to go fast, but –

"Your parents?" Yaku asks, already planning to offer his dorm if need be.

Lev shakes his head no, mutters "vacation" into Yaku's mouth and they kiss, until Yaku digs his nails into Lev's hair, scratching his scalp, and Lev growls, shuddering at the sensation. It activates something inside him, apparently, because he's dropping Yaku on his bed, where he bounces, once, before Lev's on top of him again.

Surrounded by the scent of the sheets, Lev's pillow, his blankets billowing high around him on both sides, and Lev himself, pushing him down into it – with his legs yanked so open, this is simultaneously the most exposed, and most safe, he's ever felt in his life. It's a dizzying combination that's disarming, alien, and enough to get his dick hard in moments. His moan goes high and annoyingly weak when Lev drops down properly, his full weight, pinning him there as they again. This position - how good it feels, Lev's impossible size, his dizzying, amazing scent, makes Yaku card through his most base fantasies, wanting – to jerk off for Lev. Wanting to see Lev jerk off. He wants to touch and be touched, he wants to come, and other private, embarrassing urges surface, some well worn in him, and some brand new. Is Lev going to fuck him?? he wonders, the hot, interested, somehow furious demand hisses from the back of Yaku's mind. Lev moves like he's planning to, planting himself above Yaku, breaking the kiss to stare down with hot, bright eyes.

After a beat of staring, intensity building, Yaku loses his patience.

"Do something."

Lev shivers, then does as asked – bending to renew their kissing, he slides his gigantic hands down, cupping Yaku's ass, fingers digging between Yaku's cheeks, through his shorts, where Yaku's grown wet enough for it to seep through the fabric with this touching.

Lev presses there, into the wet, pushing up lewdly with his fingers. Yaku's mouth falls open at the sensation, working silently, wanting to protest this outrageous, disgusting thing. It doesn't feel good, but the sheer want, the impatience, the animalistic desperation of Lev pushing as far up into Yaku as he can - then growling low in frustration, sends a shiver down Yaku's back. It's like being mauled.

"Do - do something else!" Yaku snaps, frustrated, pulling at the buttons, yanking the shorts down as far as he can manage, freeing his cock which is hard, swelling, eager and interested, undercutting his irritated tone.

Lev flings the shorts the rest of the way, then, and with nothing to stop him from his goal, returns to what is apparently the most interesting part of Yaku at the moment, this new thing he's discovered, smearing Yaku's wetness around his hole with two fingers. He's growling again, but it's a pleased noise this time as he watches himself work. He looks up, locking eyes with Yaku again as he pushes inside.

Yaku meets the stare, breath catching at the intensity, and the feeling.

The urge to look away, close his eyes, is strong, but even as he feels his face heat, Yaku refuses to back down from this challenge. He keeps his gaze steady as Lev explores inside him, testing, pushing, rubbing, and when he eventually stumbles right there! Yaku gasps, hips stuttering, and Lev's expression grows dark, almost angry - but it's just the pure, intense focus. He's a quick study, a good student, curious and bold, figuring out how to best work that area, circling, rubbing, teasing, and Yaku's head is thrown back, moaning out Lev's name before he realizes what's going on.

"Yaku-san," Lev says, voice deeper than Yaku's ever heard it. "You look so good – you're so – so pretty when you feel good."

Yaku punches toward Lev's shoulder blindly because he doesn't know what else to do. Embarrassed, his body arches, pushing down, playing along helplessly with each testing twitch and stroke of Lev's fingers.

“Shit,” Yaku chokes out. He’s explored himself before, but it’s an entirely different thing to feel someone else’s fingers, Lev’s fingers, longer and thicker than Yaku’s own, the same fingers Lev pulls out, then sticks in his own mouth, moaning softly at the taste.

Yaku's face goes so red, he can feel the heat of it. "You - that's disgusting," he sputters out, horrified, and horrified further when his cock twitches, ridiculously.

"You taste good," Lev says, bending closer. Afraid he's after a kiss, Yaku recoils as far as he can into the pillow, but Lev is aiming for his neck, biting and scraping his teeth. "You smell so good, Yaku-san… You're perfect."

"Stop it," Yaku protests in a strangled, frustrated voice, overwhelmed at being this aggressively cherished, because that really feels like what Lev's doing. Like Lev's discovered his newest, most precious thing, and it's gone to his head again, and Yaku knows, already, how impossible it is to distract Lev from his goals and his wants.

The terrifying thing, to be the newest thing Lev's set his target on.

"Can I taste you?" Lev asks, shaking with how badly he wants to, hands on Yaku's hips.

"You just did!"

"I meant – I mean – " Lev is sliding down, and somehow, even with all the context clues, Yaku doesn't cotton on to Lev's request until he's shoving his face between Yaku's cheeks.

"You wha," Yaku gasps, voice breaking as Lev's tongue pushes inside. He's some kind of animal, Yaku thinks, crying out as that Lev circles on that sensitive spot, but almost as an afterthought – truly, Lev seems determined to taste everything Yaku has to offer, both hands clamped tight on Yaku's sides, holding him in place, Yaku's legs up and over his shoulder helplessly as Lev gets his fill of Yaku's hole.

Lev is bigger than him, Yaku's always known this obvious thing, but he feels it in a new way, now, so open and spread, his most vulnerable and sensitive parts at the mercy of Lev's mouth and tongue, his hands heavy and large on his waist, his weight alone enough to pin Yaku's body down. Yaku would not be able to pull away – he is truly at the mercy of Lev's whims, except not. Because he also knows, with certainty he feels down to his bones, all it would take is a word and Lev would fall back, do as Yaku likes. It's simply that Lev wants to devour Yaku, wants to make Yaku scream from pleasure so intense he's left shaking, hands digging int Lev's hair, hips snapping needily up toward Lev's touch.

How could Yaku say no?

"I'm – sh-shit, Lev," He's going to come, from Lev's tongue. Yaku can feel it building, close to snapping, and is actually inhaling to scream out this overwhelming sensation, when Lev pulls out.

"Lev??" Yaku begs, confused, hurt – his balls tight, up against his body, ready to release. He's ready, he wants it –

Lev wipes at his chin, eyes feral, bright. He looks more than just animalistic, he looks predatory, his massive chest heaving in and out with his excitement. He shifts from where he's already between Yaku's legs, forcing the spread wider.

"Can I fuck you?" he asks, his voice a deep, pleasant rumble.

"You better," Yaku says with near wild desperation. What else had Lev been planning to do?? Eat Yaku alive? Possibly, and Yaku lays there, legs spread, wanting and impatient as Lev fumbles for a bedside drawer for lube, which he pours onto his dick, slicking it further.

This seems unnecessary, Yaku is wet – extremely wet, especially after Lev's attentions, he's never felt this slick, tingly, and lewdly open in his life, but the impossible size of Lev's fat, wide head attempting to push its way in makes Yaku instantly glad for the additional lube, easing the way, just a little more.

"God," Yaku moans, covering his eyes with his arm. It's so much, he's so – so fucking thick, and Lev moves slow, sinking carefully inside, but it's – it's too much.

Yaku whines again, reaching between his to jerk at his dick, so hard from all this new, unfamiliar activity that it's aching, weeping desperately from this impossible stretch of Lev's cock.

"You're so hot, Yaku-san," Lev says, breathlessly, and Yaku looks up to see him watching the movement of his hand, up and down his dick. Lev bites his lip like this is too much to stand, and in a fast, startling stab of his hips, thrusts in.

"Lev," Yaku yelps, and Lev freezes, eyes wide like he can't quite believe he did that himself.

"Sorry, I'm - sorry, Yaku-san - "

"It's," Yaku catches his breath slowly and realizes that it didn't actually hurt. It wasn't bad. It's just something new, he's never felt something this large in him and his mind is tempted to classify it as pain, but it's – it's not. "Keep – going, it's okay."

Lev pushes in. And pushes in, and in, and soon Yaku is struggling to breathe, spreading his legs wider as though this will somehow help. Lev's just so fucking long, and thick.

"Yaku-san?"

"I... " Yaku doesn't finish. He can't. Lev's too big, and he's stretching Yaku too wide. It's impossible, the sensations traveling through Yaku's body, he shouldn't be able to take something so large, but he is. Lev is deep in his body, and all logic says this should be an unnatural, painful thing, but the longer he's in there the better it starts to feel, until each slight shift of his weight is enough to make Yaku's breath catch, gripping the base of his own dick, arching against the pleasure it sends through him.

"I want to move, Yaku-san," he says, voice childish and pitiful after a long beat.

"Shit," Yaku says, one hand to Lev's shirt. "Okay. Careful."

Lev nods. He shifts his hips slightly up, then back down. Slow, easy, careful, but the sheer size of his dick makes any movement rise and fall like a tsunami in Yaku, and he needs time to brace, to recover. He gasps, head thrown back through these first experimental shifts, adapting to the motion slowly.

Slowly, he's not just enduring. Slowly, the teasing from before, the building pleasure that Lev brought to life with his fingers and tongue, starts waking up again, more intense this time, stronger, hotter, coiling something deep inside Yaku that he can feel pulling from his toes, tightening in his center, and all Yaku can do in response is moan, desperate and continuous.

"Faster?" Lev asks.

Yaku can’t get it together enough to respond, not out loud, but he wraps his legs around Lev's waist, encouraging the movement, encouraging more, and faster.

Yaku feels that pleasure reaching a peak in him again, stomach tightening with near climax, and he's gasping out a warning, when Lev suddenly rolls them over.

Fuck, he gasps that instead, eyes wide, thrown by this new angle. "Oh – god – "

"Wanted - wanted to see," Lev says, hands wrapping around Yaku's waist once again.

Well, seeing seems to drive Lev wild, watching Yaku mounted on his dick, and soon he's pulling Yaku down, bouncing his hips up in time, and Yaku barely hangs on for this ride, trying to catch his breath and failing, crying out, "Leh – Lev – Lev,"

"I'm going to put it all the way in now," Lev pants. "Okay?"

"Wha – " Yaku gasps, trying to make sense of that. Lev shows him before he can, though, bringing Yaku down, his own hips up, slotting in – deep, deeper than he has before, touching somewhere new, and Yaku's eyes white out.

The new sensation traveling across his body in a violent, electric pulse of pleasure, and Yaku chokes on a gasp. Then Lev pulls out and thrusts in again, just as deep as before, and Yaku screams, body arching wildly, unable to keep up with the pace Lev sets.

"I thought you'd be too small," Lev sounds happy to be proven wrong. "You're – you took all of me, Yaku-san."

Yaku sobs, Lev fucking that huge, thick cock up into him relentlessly, feeling out of his mind.

Lev sits up, cradles the back of Yaku's head and brings him in for a kiss, and Yaku falls into it, mouth open for Lev, letting him do what he likes, filled on both ends, until it gets to be too much.

"Close – I'm close, I'm gonna – come – " Yaku breaks free, babbling.

Lev changes his speed, his rhythm, going deeper, harder, slower, grinding inside Yaku. This new, heavier pace shoves Yaku over, and Yaku wails, coming with spasms that lock his entire body in pulsing bursts of pleasure.

Lev shoves himself inside, brutal. It's going to leave Yaku sore in the morning but in the mindless now, Yaku can only be grateful for - this insane stretch, this rough, insistent stab of ecstasy, underscoring his climax, his own cock twitching uselessly with each movement.

The cock inside Yaku is growing bigger. Yaku's eyes go wide – Lev is knotting. Lev's dick is stuffing him up, to an impossible size, to the point that he can press down on his lower stomach and feel the distended firmness, and locking in place. Yaku feels his legs start to quiver, mouth falling open.

"Yaku-san?" Lev asks. "Should I pull out?"

"Lev," Yaku cries out, shifting his hips, shifting his weight, back arching uncontrollably. "Oh shit. That's – "

"I'm knotting," Lev says.

"It's so big," Yaku sobs, thrusting back down on it. It's a weak, aborted movement, Lev's knot is huge, keeping him properly stuck in place. "Lev, you – aah," he falls apart, loses everything when Lev reaches forward, jerking Yaku's cock again, which can't seem decide between staying firm or softening. Lev's encouraging, warm touch settles it. Arousal comes back to life under Yaku's skin, and he shakes as it sings through him, spreading his legs wider for his alpha, letting him do as he likes to his body, make him feel good, help him endure this insane cock he's shoved inside him.

"Fuck," Yaku whimpers, coming a second time, spraying up into Lev's hand, clamping down on the knot inside him and hearing Lev groan, loud and long in response.

He drops, and almost instinctively, he wraps Yaku with both arms, holding him tight against his chest.

The blurred, distant world around him slowly retakes its shape, and Yaku feels his heart start to calm, and the strange sensation of rising and falling with each breath Lev takes.

"Yaku-san," Lev says, solemnly. "You were so hot."

"You were a wild fucking animal," Yaku says, whacking his chest, but lightly. As expected, Lev takes this as a compliment, smiling so hard his eyes shut, nuzzling down into Yaku's throat.

"You smell so good," Lev sighs, drinking it in.

"Well," Yaku sighs. "You're not too bad, either."

Lev laughs.

They've shifted into a comfortable position to ride out the knot, on their sides, Yaku tucked between Lev, and Lev's blanket against the wall.

Yaku likes this angle, because it means he can get his fill of Lev's scent as well, the thing that's been taunting him for so long. He closes his eyes and rubs his face along the smooth skin of Lev's cheek, feeling overwhelmed, and full, and content. As far as Yaku knows, there's really no science behind scents compatibility making for long lasting mates. It's some sort of primal call, and most well reasoned people try not to let it weigh too heavily on their evaluations of a potential mate.

Yaku is certain there's no way Lev would've stood out to him without it. There's no way he would've waited, but he also knows, this hot, pure form of happiness spreading across his chest when he hears Lev laugh would've never happened without it, either. By destiny, chance, or luck, Yaku knows he's as happy as he could possibly be at the moment, and he holds onto the moment, and that knowledge, with both hands, burying his face in it, like he would with any nest.