Iwaizumi was putting up his leather jacket when Makki opened the door.
“It’s Friday, Iwaizumi, not Saturday, so get up. I don’t have– whoa,” Makki stared. “I can’t believe it, you’re actually ready?”
Iwaizumi sighed and said, “I’m not going to school today and you won’t either.”
Makki’s eyes went round. “Well, that’s one hell of an idea.”
Iwaizumi rolled his eyes and, without a single word, he went towards Makki – took his cellphone out of his pocket and started to dial the phone number of the psychologist.
“I memorized the numbers,” Iwaizumi said and finished dialing. He gave the phone back to Makki. “You said you would go to him today with Matsukawa.”
Iwaizumi watched him realize. Watched him remember.
His expression turned into something more soulful – more real, breathtaking, serious.
It felt like watching someone change their skin.
And it was beautiful.
Iwaizumi realized another thing in that moment. Because of the time loop – now the biggest thing that mattered to him was people showing their true side.
Staying truthful to yourself. Being truthful to yourself and others.
And how rare it was to witness.
And yet how regularly I got to see it.
“I’m so glad you asked me to skip school today, Iwa–chan,” Oikawa smiled at while eating his pancake. “It’s just, there are so many idiots there, you know? I get tired so quickly, it’s impressive. I am capable of impressing myself. I think I just did the impossible.”
Iwaizumi was honestly surprised how well Oikawa could act.
There wasn’t a single trace – not even one – that he had those thoughts. In fact, Oikawa looked one of the happiest person right now.
I would’ve never noticed without the time loop.
And that was the truth. There was no use in lying. The Iwaizumi before the time loop had no idea.
No one did.
They were eating in the same place where Iwaizumi and Makki ate a long time ago. Iwaizumi didn’t know why he wanted to go here with him. He only knew that Matsukawa and Makki were currently driving to the psychologist’s place and he had to make sure Oikawa didn’t suspect anything.
“You know Iwa–chan,” Oikawa continued, taking a sip out of his tea. “I remember playing on that playground which is on the other side of the road,” he pointed at the window close to them. “I was always a king and you were a knight, protecting me all the time from common peasants.”
Iwaizumi gave out a little smile. He had thought about the same thing the first time he ate here. “We were young, huh?”
Oikawa smiled. That real smile again. And just like that.
“You and Sora were my whole childhood.”
Just like that.
Iwaizumi forgave him.
It wasn’t because he had a soft heart for Oikawa. It wasn’t because of how important Oikawa was to him.
It was because Oikawa had spent his whole life making Iwaizumi happy.
He had spent his whole life supporting him. Supporting everyone, being there for everyone.
I forgive you.
Because Oikawa was the most human out of any of them.
It was much easier afterwards. More comfortable with him, at least for Iwaizumi.
It felt different to be honest because for most of the time, Iwaizumi forgot that he was in a time loop.
It felt like a typical day between the two of them.
They only walked in the afternoon, through the rushing city. They were eating ice cream when Iwaizumi’s thoughts began to quiet down.
Only one passing thought remained.
It came out of nowhere, it felt like a sudden burst from a long forgotten moment. Maybe it was because Iwaizumi genuinely enjoyed himself today, being with his best friend all day. Maybe it was because he realized he needed Oikawa in order to be fully happy. Maybe it was because he remembered his own mother’s face whenever she saw Oikawa. Maybe it was because of how Sora had been taking care of Oikawa as well. Maybe it was because Iwaizumi was intrigued – maybe because he wanted Oikawa to get to know Ushijima better, get to know for who he was.
Maybe because Iwaizumi realized how hard it would be to live after Oikawa left.
Maybe because Iwaizumi wanted Oikawa to make up with Kageyama.
Wanted Oikawa to learn to love himself again.
Wanted him to find peace.
Because Iwaizumi’s thoughts quieted down. But only one remained.
I want you to grow up with me.
So Iwaizumi asked, “What would you do if you lived in the same day over and over again?”
Oikawa looked at him with silent eyes. The world seemed to vanish – as if everything had slowed down. Every person who were walking by had slowed down, every car passing by slowed down, the glowing of the lights had blurred out–
Because Oikawa’s eyes drifted down as he said,
“I think I would try.”
And Iwaizumi’s heart stopped for a moment. “Try what?” He asked quietly but he knew already the answer.
Try to live.
Oikawa was biting his bottom lip. “You know, you would have all the time. All the time in the world,” he was staring at his melting ice cream. “So I would try.”
Iwaizumi’s heart started beating again, slowly and surely. “Why would you try only then? You can try everything without living the same day again and again.”
Oikawa’s smile was soft. “It’d be different, Iwa–chan,” he looks at him, “It’d be like a restart.”
Iwaizumi felt goosebumps. “A restart?” He echoed.
And Oikawa didn’t look away as he said something that made Iwaizumi’s soul move,
“Sometimes life gives you a second chance because you weren’t ready the first time. It’s kinda like that and that’s what makes it so funny,” Oikawa grinned, shaking his head. “Because all we have is time. That’s all we truly have and we still want a restart.”
And Iwaizumi couldn’t answer. Oikawa’s words was so sharp and beautiful and Iwaizumi couldn’t answer.
Why couldn’t he answer?
Because I’m in my restart.
And there was no way that Iwaizumi hadn’t needed a restart in order to finally notice what really mattered in his life.
When the sky darkened and the city started to bloom into its breathtaking colors, Iwaizumi decided to go for a ramen with Oikawa. Because he knew Oikawa had never eaten at ‘Mirai’ – where he and the others ate on the day Ushijima told them he had been in a time loop –, he wanted to show Oikawa how good their ramen were.
Oikawa at some point went into the wrong direction – almost got hit by a car which ended up with both of them screaming – Iwaizumi decided to hold this idiot’s hand until they reached ‘Mirai.’
The name of the bar was glowing with big neon letters. Iwaizumi gave out a relieved sigh.
“We’re finally here, my hands are getting sweaty, you idiot,” Iwaizumi clicked his tongue, looking at the entrance. “You’re always stressing about traffic, I’m telling you–”
“Chibi–chan?” Oikawa suddenly shouted
Iwaizumi frowned, turning back at Oikawa and then–
“Seijoh’s Ace?!” Iwaizumi could read the words from the mouth from the other side of the glass–
And his eyes went round – because –
this was the first time
he had seen
And before he knew he and Oikawa both walked into the restaurant.
Iwaizumi had no idea how it happened.
They all ordered ramens and asked about how Hinata had ended up here, and then Oikawa started to threaten Hinata about how he would win the next match – Hinata promising the same thing. And then Oikawa ordered two more beers for himself and for him – Iwaizumi didn’t drink at all, he just made it look like as if he was drinking. In reality he only drink one beer but he doubted the other two noticed that. Hinata then started to take sips out of Oikawa’s beer and then, after all of this–
They became friends.
Iwaizumi started to wonder though. There was something really interesting here and he couldn’t put his finger on it what was it.
He had never seen Hinata here before – and he ate a lot of time during this hour a lot in the past couple of yesterdays.
There was also the fact that Hinata said his team was currently at a training camp. This was all normal and all – but then why was Hinata here?
Better question, where was Kageyama?
Because that’s where things got interesting for Iwaizumi. There was something weird about this thing.
Hinata and Kageyama were a package – even Oikawa knew that.
And yet Kageyama was nowhere to be seen. In fact, Hinata hadn’t mentioned Kageyama at all.
And all of this were happening after Ushijima telling him about Kageyama?
There is no way these things are coincidental.
“You jump so flawlessly, Chibi–chan,” Oikawa drawled, completely drunk and flustered. Iwaizumi lifted and eyebrow and looked down at him – he almost laughed. Makki would kill to see drunk Oikawa. He was a rare sight after all. “Every time I see it – I swear it’s like you’re flying,” Oikawa gave out a hiccup.
Oh yes, Makki would kill an entire country just to see this.
Hinata was no better, if Iwaizumi wanted to be honest.
The poor kid began to eat the slice of chocolate cake he had ordered an hour ago or so. He looked like as if he had just noticed the cake.
“But your spikes are amazing,” Hinata gestured wildly, throwing his little fork. Iwaizumi followed it with his eyes, full of fear until it hit the darts far away, right in the middle. Someone began to clap, another person whistled. “It’s like you’re God sent or something,” he mumbled.
Iwaizumi shut down his eyes, already knowing what was about to happen. Because normal Oikawa was already weird when he got a compliment – but drunk Oikawa was on another level–
“Did you hear that, Iwa–chan?” he heard Oikawa whimper.
Here we go.
He opened his eyes to look at him. “No one has ever said something like this to me before–” Oikawa hiccuped.
Oh, you’re not getting sick on me and start whining about it later–
He handed a tissue to Oikawa. “Hey, stop the crying–”
Hinata started to giggle and touched Oikawa’s hand who’s eyes widened with surprised.
“Can I tell you a secret?” Hinata said.
Iwaizumi answered with pure reflex. “That’s a bad idea.”
He and Oikawa looked at each other after they had said the two sentences simultaneously.
Remind me to never let him get drunk again.
“This is the fifth time I live this day.”
What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What–
“What do you mean?” Iwaizumi heard Oikawa say but he was still so far away from–
“I’m stuck in the same day,” Hinata continued. “I have to live it over and over again.”
Oh my god.
There was no way–
Oh my god.
“I feel like I’ve heard this before.”
Oikawa’s words snapped Iwaizumi out from his thoughts – it sent chills down to his spine. Because yes Oikawa indeed heard this before.
He had heard it before he–
“Because you did,” Iwaizumi answered, his voice was shaking so he cracked it. Then he began to write down his telephone number on a napkin. He gave it to Hinata – his hands were shaking – and said,
“Memorize this and call me on your tomorrow.”
And that’s when he noticed – Hinata’s eyes.
Oh my god.
Because even though, he couldn’t feel what he felt towards Ushijima – the feeling about how he wanted to have that person in his life – he should have noticed Hinata’s eyes.
But he didn’t search for them. He wasn’t paying attention enough.
Oh my god.
Hinata Shouyou was in a time loop. The same time as him.
“You don’t mean–”
“I’ve been in a time loop,” Iwaizumi sighed and wiped his face. He looked over to see that Oikawa had passed out and was slowly beginning to drift into sleep.
Good. Oikawa doesn’t need to hear this for the second time.
“How do I get out, Iwaizumi?” Hinata’s voice sounded desperate and Iwaizumi’s heart clenched because he didn’t know. “Please tell me, how–”
Hinata’s time loop must be different than his. And if that is true – then he can’t help.
He didn’t know.
I can’t help you.
“You don’t know, right?” Hinata asked. Iwaizumi shut down his eyes and shook his head. “Because you’re still in it.”
Iwaizumi nodded because that was all he could do.
“How many days?” He asked, already afraid of hearing the answer.
You don’t want to know.
Iwaizumi swallowed. “Twenty.”
Hinata closed his eyes and pressed his lips into a thin line. He was shaking, Iwaizumi could see that from there and he started to reach out, trying to comfort him–
“I have to get out,” Hinata whispered and stood up, taking the little napkin with Iwaizumi’s number on it. “I have to get out, I can’t stay here–”
“Hinata!” Iwaizumi called after him but Hinata didn’t stop.
Iwaizumi had already his phone in his hand, starting to dial–
“Who the fuck are you and how the fuck do you know my fucking number you fucking fucker?”
“Tendou, what the hell?” Iwaizumi frowned.
“Ah, Iwaizumi,” Tendou’s voice completely changed. “What an interesting turn of events, how are you, my friend?”
“Look,” Iwaizumi looked at the sleeping Oikawa, laying on the table. “I want you to come to ‘Mirai’ right now. Oikawa is here and drunk and I can’t stay here. Please look after him.”
“Sure but where do you need to go?” Tendou asked.
“Just come here, okay?” Iwaizumi said. “And please hurry, I explain everything later.”
“Roger that,” Tendou ended the call. He didn't live far so he should be here in a minute or two.
The moment Iwaizumi saw Tendou – he rushed out of the door, giving him a half hug and chased after Hinata.
He let his senses escort him.
And turned out he was right.
Hinata ran into a mugging in a dark corner. The woman tried to pull back her purse but couldn’t do it, and then the attacker noticed Hinata.
And before Iwaizumi knew it,
the man fired his gun and the bullet flew right into Hinata’s heart.
Iwaizumi was petrified and the woman
That was the moment when he realized. Hinata’s time loop was about death.
Iwaizumi ran as if he was being chased. Every people on the street was staring at him as he passed by as if they had seen a lunatic but Iwaizumi didn’t care.
He only ran.
He dialed another number and raised the phone to his ear – not stopping at all.
Sora picked up.
“I swear to god, James, If you call me again because of your ex girlfriend’s wedding, I’ll fly back and break your fucking nose. She said yes to Scott, get over it, don’t be a fucking dick. Women deserve to make their own choices, goddamn.”
For real, what was with Sora and Tendou picking up their phones?
“Sora, it’s me, Hajime!” Iwaizumi panted already seeing his house. “Quick question, can I borrow your car?”
“Firs of all, what the fuck?” Sora began. “Second of all, what the hell are you doing, you sound like you’re on the verge of dying. And third of all, you do what you want I really don’t care.”
Iwaizumi knew he was lying but decided to ignore it. “Cool, is the key in the glove compartment as always?”
“Damn right it is,” Sora answered.
“Thank you, bro, can’t wait to see you,” Iwaizumi smiled. “Love you.”
Iwaizumi ended the call as he walked towards their garage. He opened the door with their password and sat in the black BMW.
He started the car and drove out from the garage – the door automatically closed down. Iwaizumi drove to the road and then – only then – realized he had no idea where that training camp was.
He called Tendou again and put him on speaker while he drove through the traffic.
He picked up.
“The fuck is this?”
“Oh for the love of god, Tendou!” Iwaizumi shouted. “You really need to stop starting your phone calls like this.”
“Ah, Iwaizumi. What an interesting surprise.”
“What are you on?” Iwaizumi asked, completely serious.
“Ain’t taking drugs, I’m broke as hell,” Tendou sneezed. “Bless me, goddamn.”
Iwaizumi furrowed his brows. “Why didn’t you save my number?”
“I am occupied,” Tendou simply said. “Drunk Oikawa here is trying to argue with Ushijima because he thinks he’s stalking him.”
“Oikawa is stalking Ushijima?”
“No, Iwaizumi, Ushijima is stalking Oikawa,” Tendou snorted. “According to him anyway.”
“And what’s your job there in all of this, exactly?”
“I am occupied,” Tendou simply said again. Iwaizumi laughed and then suddenly froze. He took a sharp right turn.
“So, Ushijima’s there?”
He hasn’t even met him today.
“Your boy?” Tendou sounded smug. Iwaizumi had a sudden urge to punch him. “He sure is here. Wanna say hi? I put you on speaker.”
Iwaizumi drove out of the city and now only valleys and flowers surrounded him under the starry sky.
Iwaizumi’s stomach did a flip. He shouldn’t even react to Ushijima like this – they’ve already kissed a lot of times.
“Hi,” Iwaizumi voice changed – the tone was completely different that what he had used during his talk with Tendou. “So umm... thank you for helping Tendou... and you know... looking out for Oikawa.”
Such a good job, Hajime. You nailed it.
“You sound nervous,” Ushijima answered, completely throwing off Iwaizumi.
“Nervous? Why would I be nervous?” Iwaizumi’s laugh was filled with stress.
“I have no idea,” Ushijima said. “Tendou told me everything, so if that’s what bothers you then don’t worry.”
Iwaizumi’s grip on the wheel grew stronger. “I’m just... I don’t know... I feel weird because I know you don’t remember.”
Ushijima got quiet for a minute before he answered, “Well, I was surprised to hear that I was in a relationship with a guy – or in a relationship in general.”
Iwaizumi was surprised. “Really? Why?”
“Because I was never interested in anyone,” Ushijima said. “Especially not in boys. So with all due respect, Hajime, if we’re together then you are quite special and don’t need to be nervous at all.”
Iwaizumi blinked, hearing his name again from Ushijima’s mouth. It did things to his stupid heart.
You are quite special.
Iwaizumi felt his cheek turn crimson.
“Hajime?” Ushijima asked. “Are you still here?”
Iwaizumi blinked again. “Yeah I’m here, sorry,” he sighed. “Does any of you know a phone number from either Karasuno or Nekoma?”
“I know Kuroo’s from Nekoma,” Tendou spoke up. “I’ll send it to you.”
“Thank you,” Iwaizumi then realized what Tendou had really said. “How did you get the Captain’s phone number?”
“I lost a bet with Fukurodani’s Captain once,” Tendou said. “Long story short, never mention Budapest in front of Bokuto. Especially not when I’m in the same room as well.”
Ushijima began to laugh, making Iwaizumi smile immediately. “How’s Oikawa?” He asked.
“Passed out,” both of the boys answered simultaneously. It went quiet for awhile.
“I just checked his pulse. He’s breathing,” Tendou confirmed.
“What a good babysitters you two are,” Iwaizumi mocked them. “I wouldn’t even leave my nonexistent niece with you two.”
He should have known better. He really should have. He literally walked right into it.
“What does that mean?” Tendou sounded so offended it moved the phone and it almost fell down from its place. “You won’t bring your children to Uncle Tendou, is that it? Shame on you, Iwaizumi.”
Iwaizumi almost choked on his own spit. “Children?”
“And I thought I was important,” Tendou continued. “I already planned to help with the adoption too. Guess it was all for nothing, huh?”
“CHILDREN?” Iwaizumi tried to be louder.
“I already decided to have them over on every Sunday – Wakatoshi, are you okay? Hey, big guy!” Tendou suddenly began to laugh. “Oh my god, Iwaizumi! Wakatoshi is so red, it’s unreal.”
Iwaizumi – after hearing this – turned red as well.
“I bet you are too, aren’t you?” Tendou’s laugh was louder. “I can’t – Makki, my boy, is going to love this–”
“I gotta go,” Iwaizumi was sure that his whole face, neck and ears were red by now. “Bye.”
He ended the call and tried to pull himself together. He called Kuroo.
He picked up.
“I’m not going back to jail.”
What the hell–
First Tendou, then Sora and now Kuroo.
“I’m Iwaizumi Hajime from Seijoh,” he began. “The Vice Captain to be exact – I got your number from Shiratorizawa’s Tendou Satori. I want to know where your training camp is at. I want to talk to Hinata, nothing more, nothing less. I don’t want to cause trouble.”
Kuroo didn’t answer soon but when he did the answer he decided to give was priceless.
“You think you can throw me off? I wasn’t born yesterday – that kind of talk won’t get you anywhere.”
And then Iwaizumi remembered about what Tendou had said.
Kuroo must love betting.
“If you tell me where the training camp is at and if you let me in – I will ask Shiratorizawa to participate in a practice match against Nekoma and Karasuno as well.”
Kuroo went deadly quiet. “Ushiwaka would never accept it. There is no way you can pull that off.”
Iwaizumi had the nerve to smirk. “Wanna bet I can?”
Kuroo then gave out the loudest laugh Iwaizumi had ever heard. And then the Captain of Nekoma said,
“You crazy motherfucker.”
And Iwaizumi knew he was in.
The moment Iwaizumi found Karasuno’s place –his leather jacket turned ruffled, his hair was a mess. He must have made quite an appearance as far as he could tell by looking at Hinata’s widened eyes.
“The Vice Captain of Seijoh?”
After all of them had said it out loud, both the bald guy and the blond first year turned to look at Hinata.
I’ve never thought I’d say this but good to see you, Hinata.
Iwaizumi hold up his hands in defense. “I’m not looking for trouble, Kuroo told me the address – don’t ask, we have a bet going on,” he frowned. Fuck, he was not ready for this conversation. “I’m not spying on your practice, I’m alone – no, Oikawa’s not here and I only want to speak with Hinata.”
The bald guy stood up with the one who wore glasses, completely bewildered and astonished. “Sure,” the older boy said and then walked out of the room, still looking as confused as ever, the younger following him, who looked back at Hinata for some reason.
Hinata nodded at him, with a slight smile on his face.
He looked absolutely devastated, tired and so young and old at the same time and Iwaizumi felt sorry for him so much because neither of them deserved this and Hinata had gotten killed and oh fucking hell–
He wanted to hug this kid – so he rushed over to him the minute the door was closed and kneeled in front of him, touching his shoulders. Trying to give him comfort – trying to give him that no one had given him at the beginning of his own time loop.
“I saw you die, Hinata,” Iwaizumi needed to keep his voice steady, he needed to remain strong before Hinata. “That motherfucking bastard shot you – I followed you and when I saw how that man turned the gun to your–” Iwaizumi squeezed his shoulders, pressing his lips into a thin line.
Stay calm. He needs you.
You already saw death – not in this way but in another way.
Stay calm, you can do this, Hajime.
Be like Ushijima.
“I drove as fast as I could – my loop will activate soon,” Iwaizumi looked at his watch. Fuck. “I don’t have much time so I need you to listen to me,” Hinata couldn’t stop shaking but he still nodded, biting his bottom lip.
He looked so brave.
Iwaizumi remembered Ushijima’s words. “The most important thing in this fucking messed up shit is that you can’t cheat death,” Hinata’s amber eyes widened. “You can feel it, can’t you?” Iwaizumi asked softly.
But if Hinata always died–
Maybe this was the first time for him to die by someone else’s hands?
That’s why he looked so shocked when he heard him say he couldn’t cheat death.
“Every other deaths were accidents – I know because it’s the same for me.”
Yes, it was the same for him. Oikawa never died because of homicide. He died because of suicide.
Yes, that had to be it.
“But yesterday was not an accident. He killed you yesterday. That’s not the same. It’s nowhere near to your original death, ” Iwaizumi tried to sound as strong as Ushijima. That was the only thing that kept him going. “This might be your last day.”
Hinata looked so lost.
“How do you know all of this?” He asked. He sounded tired. “How? There’s no way you could figure this out in 20 days–”
Iwaizumi pulled back from the hug at his wristwatch, “Fuck,” he said and then looked up again at him.
I can’t tell him about Kageyama.
He won’t take it well. Not in a state like he was currently in. Not while he was in a time loop. And there was no time to tell about Ushijima either.
Where was Kageyama anyway? Why isn’t he doing something? He must have touched Hinata once during his time loop – he should have known Hinata was in one by now.
Shit, Iwaizumi’s time was running out.
He started, trying to keep Hinata’s hope alive, giving him something to think about in order to not give up–
“I promise you one thing, Hinata. Find a way to live through this day and I tell you – I swear to the fucking almighty, I’ll tell you, just don’t die–”
Iwaizumi woke up
He heard the music and it felt like a jolt, firing his veins.
He stood up and ran a hand through his hair.
It was day twenty–one.
And Hinata Shouyou was in a time loop.