Being amazing and talented by default has obligated Tooru to never have to try particularly hard to succeed.
Things haven't necessarily been handed to him, they've just come easier—natural. This kind of speciality comes with the expectancy of attention but not all so positive; it's not his fault when hoards of girls swarm his every direction with praise and it's not his fault when the sneaky and unkind plot with him in regard.
Clinging to paper with printed equations and formulas beyond a majority's understanding, creasing it in between fingers and clammy palms, he wishes they would factor in and speed things along. Make things—anything happen. A clip, a hint, a peak in to what's to come next. He begs and pleads with teeth etching along glossed lips but gets nothing more than a migraine.
Tooru huffs and throws the sheet; it swings in a graceful descent near the bin by the door. He exhausts a sight into cupped hands, peeling them off after they drag down his face. He's never forced a vision; never considered that he's able to no matter how much he's wondered 'what's next?' in his life. Not only is the strain from the new experience of trying that but it feels like a hand is enclosed around his throat while he's plunged deep underwater.
A fair number of people in the world receive extraordinary abilities upon falling in to beautiful romances and couples are thereby affirmed as soulmates. Things like flying, phasing through buildings, lifting heavy objects aren't strictly fiction anymore. Tooru has one and has since been the type to parade it arounnd but it feels like a curse now.
As impressive as precognition is and for all its convenience, he didn't see himself being exploited; threatened by three upperclassmen into trying to see the answers to an upcoming test of theirs, a firm rejection but a pipe dream the moment they said his best friend's name. And so the entire week has been about forcing his magnificent gift in to doing wrong but the migraines are nothing he can't handle if it ensures Hajime—still without an ability—won't be hurt.
A click and turning of keys, then the door opening and giving Tooru no more than a second to throw himself in to a nonchalant position. It doesn't qualify, apparently, or even warrant questioning from Hajime, briskly walking in and past. He says, "This is why we don't have people round."
"I have people over, You don't have any other friends besides me."
"I could do if you were out of the picture."
Tooru's mouth falls open, "I can tell you right now, Iwa-chan, it's your brutish nature scaring everyone away!" he flinches and ducks, expecting something to be chucked at him—Hajime's usual conclusive rebuttal when he's tired and done with him for the time being. Nothing is thrown; Hajime is busy rummaging around in their room, seen hunched over between the crack of the door. "Iwa-chan?"
Hajime looks up and glares, "Flash drive for my next class."
Tooru hums, nodding along and giving a strained smile, "Okie-dokie!"
Tooru blinks, "What?"
"Why are you acting weirder than usual?"
Hajime sighs and decides to leave it; dealing with Tooru takes up more time than he has to spare. He finds his flash drive in the next minute and heads out for the door but stops, the sheet of paper thrown earlier crinkling under his feet, equations above their level in plain sight. He picks it up, smoothes out the damages he caused, "Why do you have—"
"Wanna let me finish first, Assikawa?" Hajime clicks his tongue, even more unconvinced it's 'nothing'.
Tooru turns his entire body away from him and looks out the window, the sunshine and clear sky greeting him, "You should take your umbrella.”
"Don't change the subject." Hajime glances to the windows too.
“Trust me. I wouldn’t want you to get wet for any reason other than me, would I?”
Hajime's answer to that is to slam the door on his way out.
Tooru is very cute at middle-school age because that's when he gets his first vision and he thinks it's a dream. Then morning comes and he does in fact see money on the ground like he did in his head (and it, of course, goes in to his trusty spaceship shaped money bank). He's giddy and jumping about, pulling on the arm of his best friend and shaking him in tow, “Iwa-chan, I saw it!”
"Oh, nice." is all Hajime says, assuming this is another ploy for attention and just because part of their friendship relies on him humouring Tooru when he gets excited like this.
"We'll be together forever!" Tooru declares, precocious and aware what his ability means without the montage of their future cycling through his head.
They've been been inseparable since.
Tooru doesn't officially ask for advice in so many words. Just leans against a row of first year lockers and does what he always does, "It must've drove you unbelievably mad when it took so long for Shrimpy-chan to get his ability!"
"It did." Tobio says sincerely, understanding without verbal affirmation the obvious: Tooru's scared. He was too, "But I knew so it didn't matter."
"But the guide says—"
"His words hold more weight than any book of stupid rules can ever print out."
Tooru stares, watching Tobio close his locker and walk away. It's not fair, he thinks, because Tobio and his boyfriend have their telepathic, alien-like way of reading each other—that incomparable and undeniable trust where words are moot.
He knocks his head against the lockers a few times.
"You'll get a concussion."
Tooru angles his head enough to see his least favourite person. His mood isn’t completely spoiled though, the soaking form of his nemesis too good. He laughs loud and mercilessly, “Look at you, Ushiwaka-chan, you looked like a drenched mop!"
Ushijima pulls at a damp hair strand, inspects it, “I didn’t expect the nice weather to change so drastically.”
“If only you could see in to the future. I mean, my power’s not on your level or anything, but still, at least I look good and dry.”
“Actually you look troubled.”
"Your face looks troubled.”
"Come with me." Ushijima reaches for him.
Tooru steps back, “I know I’m pretty but try not to touch me whenever you feel like it.”
“It’s pointless to fight me.
"They had to give a guy like you super strength.”
"Fine, we'll talk here."
"It's none of your business."
"It's about your friend, isn't it? He's still powerless."
"He's pretty special already so it's fine."
"Then explain why you're running around trying to please a delinquent group. I’ve noticed them in your company a couple times. You should know that forcing the progression of your ability will put a strain on you."
"Why do you care?"
"We have two of the strongest abilities in the college."
"You’re forgetting that Tobio-chan can fly.”
"It’s not quite on our level.”
"You talk like you're not human."
"If I was only human, I'd be powerless like Iwaizumi."
"Don't talk like that about Iwa-chan, like he's beneath us!"
"Because you love him? He doesn't have a power so obviously he doesn't feel the same."
“That’s what Tobio-chan and shrimpy thought for a while. In my last vision before summer, I saw Iwa-chan and I and it was like we realised something huge. So he must’ve used his power." Ushijima lifts a brow, skeptical, thinking it's impossible, yet he cannot fault Tooru's brilliant gift. "It’s been months. I thought helping the gang and enhancing my ability would kill two crows with one serve."
"That's not the phrase."
"I thought I could get them off my back and understand what's going on with Iwa-chan."
"Refer to the guidelines."
"It's not telling me anything."
"You don't know anything! Iwa-chan loves me!"
The problem with Ushijima, as many will agree, is that when he thinks he’s right he settles on that. Walking away, declaring by himself that conversing any more on this matter is a waste of time, he is an irritating and fleeting echo, "It doesn't matter if he does because if he hasn't received his power then perhaps it's not each other the two of you are meant to be with."
When Hajime returns after his classes, he heads straight for his roommate and best friend looking grumpy on the couch, "Hey, people said you were with Ushijima but that no one got bitchslapped."
"We just talked."
"What the heck does that even mean?"
"There's no need to be jealous."
"Shut up. Did he try something?”
“Just pissed me off. The usual Ushiwaka charm.” Tooru sighs, feeling as drained as always when he's had the misfortune of being in Ushijima's company.
"I'm sure I've told you this before but worrying without a brain, Iwa-chan, is gonna give you a massive headache." Tooru says but without his usual teasing smirk, the mischief in his tone, the bounce in his step that's one move from being a sprint for his life. It's spoken too casually like it's just another sentence; the silence that follows is like a stranger in the room. He starts undressing, walks across to their room and climbs in to his bed on one side.
Hajime follows but doesn't ask; assumedly, Ushijima's presence will make anyone retire for the day, exhausted.
"Iwa-chan, do you love me?"
"I put up with you this much, I'd have to. And we've known each other for a very long time. Plus, no one else should have to deal with you. That an answer for you?"
“But do you love me?”
“Then why do you never tell me?!”
“Besides how it’ll inflate your ego? I shouldn't have to, it’s obvious. Besides...if I say it now, you'll think the worst. I know how you work."
“I’d be patient as I’ve been all this time.”
“You shouldn’t have to wait for me.”
“I’ll wait forever if I have to! Iwa-chan, you're cute when you're shy!" Tooru grins even when a pillow hits him in the fact and Hajime hollers 'goodnight, jackass!'. "What, no bedtime story?"
“Be a good boy and sleep and I won’t strangle you.”
“What if that’s my kink?”
Hajime starts rolling up the sleeves of his shirt.
“Fine!" Tooru surrenders with raised hands. "But sleep with me.”
"Have you lost your fucking mind?!”
“Completely clothed and appropriate.”
“Nothing about you is appropriate.” Hajime say but he’s already pulling off his shirt (and giving Tooru enough to ogle at, his abdominal exercises very much paying off and treating him well with deliciously toned muscles). He comes in from the free side and shimmies under the sheets; pulls them up to his shoulders and turns away from Tooru with closed eyes.
"Huh? Oh, right. Yeah, guess it is. But it's whatever. I mean, you already told me that I get it."
“It’s fine. It worked out for Kageyama.”
“You...haven’t met someone, have you? 'Cause if that’s why, just tell me now so I can stop kidding myself.”
“If you know an easy way to get you off me after all this time, I’m all ears.”
“I don’t think it needs to be said anyway when we know ourselves.”
“That’s what I was trying to tell Ushiwaka!”
“You know he’s too stubborn to listen to anybody." Hajime chuckles and feels around under the sheets for Tooru's hand, holding it securely. "It'll come when it comes, Tooru. If it doesn't, well..." he shrugs.
Tooru squeezes his hand, "It will."
“What was it like when you got yours? You were really young.”
“It was exciting, and felt like everything made sense.”
“Where you and me are concerned, yes.”
Hajime opens his mouth but whatever he means to say, he doesn't. It's as if his thought pattern is hijacked and he's hollow for the time being, lips apart and eyes fixated on an unspecific space on Tooru's face. When Tooru goes to poke him, he's startled by Hajime snapping and ripping his hand out of reach, "That bastard!”
"Why didn’t you tell me what that bastard Ushijima said about me, huh?!" Hajime's hand bunches up tightly, veins protruding and skin reddening, "Damn him, fucking saying that shit about me!"
“What are you talking about?”
"You know what! He told you that I must not give a crap about you if I don't have my ability yet! The fucking nerve...like, I knew he was full of himself but this is fucking takes the—”
“How do you know that?”
“I fucking saw you two—”
“Were you there?!”
Hajime calms, realising, “...No, I just...saw it. Not like I was there, but just…I could see it. Like I was watching through your eyes.”
“Like a vision?”
Tooru has envisioned this moment both unprompted and supernaturally; has thought of how he could respond and only felt it truly fitting to tease, be obnoxious and act like it's not a big deal.
Instead, he swoops in and takes Hajime's lips like oxygen. They entwine hands, fingers threading through each other's as their life plays back; it's clearer than any simulation, real and meaningful because they were actually there.
Tooru’s practically skipping through the hallways, his hand interlocked with Hajime beside him, “You could be a cop! Oh my God, Iwa-chan! You’d look so delicious in a uniform!”
“That’s not what the job’s about.”
“No, I know, but you’d get to come home to me wearing it.”
“We’ll live together eventually.” Tooru says and Hajime realises yeah, of course. Then the brightness of Tooru's smile dimmers and disappears; he clams up and his pace stiffens at the obnoxious laughter of three upperclassmen at the lockers in the other side is deafening.
Hajime doesn't miss a trick, “You know them, don’t you?”
“Come off with that bullshit, Tooru. You’ve been weirder than usual and they’re why, aren’t they?” Hajime tugs a little firmly on their locked hands, encouraging Tooru to be honest. “I’ll find out even if you don’t tell me.”
Hajime’s hand still holding his links him to Tooru’s memories of being cornered, of being told to cheat for them, of threatening to hurt him. Hajime sees all three of them across the lockers in red vision. Loosely letting go of Tooru’s hand and telling him to wait there while ignoring his pleas to wait and come back, he storms over to them.
They all cut their conversation and look at him.
“If you asshats try to extort my boyfriend again, I’ll kick your ass.”
The one in the middle seems to understand, spotting Tooru watching in the distance, “So he told you?” He asks, teeth gritting because he can’t threaten Hajime anymore. Though he doesn’t realise he never could; that even without a power, Hajime would fight tooth and nail for Tooru. He doesn’t need any powers to push his fist in to their faces or ram his foot up their asses.
“Just stay away.” Hajime’s eyes are hard with no sign of threat, just a warning. “Tooru’s gift is amazing and it makes me sick to see it abused.”
Tooru lights up. He’s had compliments but coming from Hajime, who he had been convinced wasn’t a fan of powers when it gave people advantages, who is the reason he has a power at all, it means the world.
Hajime comes back, takes Tooru’s hand in his and picks up their route down the hallway. “Tell me if they bother you again.”
“You’re not my mom, Iwa-chan.”
“Thank fucking God for that.”
Tooru gapes for a moment but then their usual banter makes him laugh. “You looked cool talking back to seniors.”
“I don’t care who they are.”
Hajime hisses, “You should’ve told me, idiot.”
“I’d rip the world apart for you.”
Tooru stops; he's never had that said to him before. It's nice. It likely won't be said again for an annoyingly long time too. Luckily, Tooru's always had an impressive account of events—not selective like teammates have claimed but the important ones just so happen to be his favourites too. Like this right now, Hajime, in his own way, expressing everything that was already known to Tooru long ago.
“I love you too.”
Hajime's complexion flushes furiously but he denies nothing.
And from this day on, Tooru's visions aren't felt like drowning in a lake with a hand around his throat. Still holding his breath mentally but his head full of more promises of days spent with Hajime. Even though he knows what'll come next, he looks forward to each step forward with Hajime.