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Risk Mitigation

Chapter Text

"Oikawa-san," Suga hissed through his teeth the moment the door closed behind him and two warm hands were on his shoulders. "Just because we -"


"How many times have I told you to stop calling me that," Oikawa grumbled, all the while fitting Suga up more tightly against his office door. Suga tipped his head back and glared. He tried to ignore how Oikawa smelled this morning… a pleasant mix of coffee and cologne.


He tried to ignore how easy it would be to lean up and catch Oikawa’s lower lip between his own -


"You’re my boss, Oikawa-san," Suga answered sweetly, forcing his thoughts onwards instead of downhill. "And just because we -"


Oikawa fluttered his eyelashes and oh, that wasn’t fair at all. He made no move to come any closer but that face — well, Suga knew Oikawa knew all too well what that face did to him.


"Just because we what, hmm, Kou-chan? Just because of last weekend? Is that what you were going to say? Because if I remember correctly, that night was initiated by you… and so was the next morning before I left…"


Suga stomped on his foot.


Oikawa let go with a whine, limping backwards. Suga nearly smiled at the pout the grown-ass man in front of him was wearing, but he kept a straight face and crossed his arms over his chest.


"Ouchhh," Oikawa snarled. "Mean, Sugawara. That was -"


"You were asking for it," Suga stated bluntly.


Oikawa shot him another watery-eyed glare and then turned to hobble around his big desk to sit in the wing-backed chair behind it, muttering under his breath. Suga sighed at the other’s dramatics. He hadn’t stomped that hard.


"So what did you actually call me in here for?" he asked, moving to lean a hip against the front of the desk. God, he envied Oikawa of his windows in here — they seemed to look out over the entire city and today was perfect. It was the kind of weather Suga wanted to go home to so he could curl into bed and finish his latest murder mystery novel — overcast and damp, the threat of rain hanging tenaciously in the heavy air.


Oikawa didn’t answer.


Suga tore his eyes away from the view and then startled a little at the look his boss was leveling at him over the wood.


"What?" he asked defensively.


"I can’t walk," Oikawa stated petulantly. "And I didn’t call you in for anything. I just wanted to -"


"You just wanted to ambush me at the door because we slept together a grand total of two times last weekend?" Suga finished, smiling wryly. Boy, he was never drinking near Oikawa again — because boy, Oikawa had been embarrassingly right with his earlier remark.


Suga had been the one to initiate… whatever had gone down between them last Saturday night. Sunday morning too. His cheeks threatened to burn right now just remembering how easily he had given in to his… baser needs.


In his defense, it had been the weekend after a big job had finished successfully, Suga had had a little too much to drink, and Oikawa had been right there — pretty and arrogant and everything Suga had promised himself never to get involved with.


Only he had. He had gotten involved with everything Oikawa had to offer. It didn’t help that they’d spent the last year flirting with each other at company events over glasses of champagne, winding each other up and firing jabs at department meetings, choosing each other as partners every time they held work holiday parties and there was a game to play against their sister industry across town.


Oikawa scowled at the words now, crossing his arms over his chest. His tie hung too loose around his neck, a silk thing made up of alternating colors, diamond-shaped. Suga’s fingers itched to fix it.


"Rude, Kou-chan. I just wanted to talk. I didn’t ambush you," Oikawa defended and Suga actually couldn’t help it this time. He laughed.


Oikawa watched him through narrowed eyes. Suga laughed harder.


"It’s not funny," Oikawa complained and Suga got his face under control again, shifting to sit a little on the edge of Oikawa’s desk. He didn’t miss Oikawa’s eyes, following the movement.


"Sorry," Suga apologized. He didn’t know if he actually meant it but he said it regardless. It seemed to appease Oikawa’s irritation a little at least, his brow smoothing out. He looked like a little kid for a moment — sitting in a chair too big for him, eyes large and bright and that annoyingly soft mouth curled down at the edges in uncertainty.


Suga cursed Oikawa’s good looks silently.


"Listen, Oikawa-san," Suga started when the silence started to grow a little too large for comfort. He couldn’t keep staring at Oikawa’s puppy-dog face or he didn’t know what he’d actually end up saying.


"Don’t call me that," Oikawa snapped again. "It makes me sound like my father."


Suga sighed. "Okay, fine. Oikawa… whatever happened last weekend, we should forget about it, okay? It was unprofessional and we both had too much to drink."


There was a beat of silence. Oikawa just stared at him, eyes unreadable. Suga stared back, defiant but definitely feeling like he could’ve made that argument just a little bit stronger now that he was finished talking. Why hadn’t he just ended it last Sunday again?


Oh right. He’d been too preoccupied to remember something as important as setting boundaries. Both of them had and Suga shook himself inwardly for their joint stupidity.


"Unprofessional," Oikawa finally repeated, breaking Suga from his inner turmoil. His voice was flat and unimpressed. "That’s what you’re going with? At least make me believe you regretted it, Suga-chan. Come on, use something a little more… oh, I don’t know. Harsh? Try saying it was a mistake instead. Come on, spit it out, don’t be shy."


Suga tilted his chin at Oikawa’s sneer but he kept his cool, eyes narrowing just a bit. A sugar-sweet smile found its way to his face by habit.


Oikawa sat back in the chair and even though everything about his posture was lazy and laid-back, Suga could tell he wasn’t. He was braced. He was waiting for Suga to repeat his words back to him, like a slap to the face. That little cruel twist to his lips only emphasized his discomfort, underneath it all.


Suga wondered if Oikawa knew that he could see right through it, the facade. He wondered what the other man was thinking, right now, as Suga hesitated for a moment.


The thing was, Suga had considered that night a mistake.


He had woken up the next morning to find his cheek pressed to a bare chest and Oikawa Tooru’s naked limbs wrapped around him and he had felt his stomach drop. Fragments of the night had come back in terrifying clarity despite being stained at the edges with the influences of alcohol — he had remembered excessive flirting, someone telling them to "get a room, my God", and then Oikawa’s mouth on his outside the bar… insistent and hot and just as sweet with chasers as his own.


He had remembered getting a cab and not being able to keep his hands off of Oikawa the entire way back to Suga’s apartment, swallowing Oikawa’s noises in the gloom of the backseat and digging his fingers into the muscle of Oikawa’s thigh…


… and after that it had been Oikawa’s lips on the back of his neck, telling him to hurry up with the lock as Suga fumbled with the key. It had been stumbling in attached to each other and not bothering to turn the lights on because Suga wasn’t letting go for a moment. It had been the smell of cologne and sugary alcohol and sweat and then a mind-bending heat everywhere — building and building and building with Oikawa’s hands wandering and Suga’s lips bruised and nothing but pleasure owning every inch of his skin as they fell into bed together, clothes lost somewhere between the front door and there.


Until Suga had woken up the next morning.


Then it had been a cold sweat and nausea and a head-splitting hangover… and regret. So much regret.


Until… until he had taken painkillers, had coffee, and then run into Oikawa fresh out of the shower — warm and dark-eyed and unbelievably pliant and soft the moment Suga had kissed him without thinking first.


Suga hadn’t even managed to get Oikawa back into his bedroom… they’d just wound up on his tiny couch in his living room that time.


Suga took a deep breath in the present, shaking himself from his thoughts with a little willpower. He focused on Oikawa’s iron gaze and he felt the words well up in his throat.


"It was a mistake, Oikawa-san. We shouldn’t be involved with each other. I don’t trust you completely and you’ll soon realize I’m not the kind of person you want either. We’ll break each other’s hearts."


Only they didn’t come.


Suga sat there, on the edge of Oikawa’s desk, as they stared each other down and he couldn’t force those four simple sentences up his tight throat.


"I have work to do," is what left his lips instead. Suga’s heart skipped an odd beat in his chest, hearing it out loud.


Oikawa’s eyes flickered to surprised at the same time. He obviously hadn’t been expecting that as much as Suga hadn’t decided to say it and he opened his mouth… but Suga had already done too much and not enough at the same time so he stood up before Oikawa could say anything.


He stood up before Oikawa could reel him back in with his voice.


"Have a good day, Oikawa-san," Suga threw over his shoulder, walking quickly to the door. He felt a hot flush of shame cover the back of his neck despite the cool discipline of his tone.


God damn it. He should’ve said what Oikawa had told him to. He should’ve said it was a mistake and he should’ve forgotten about everything after, washing the memories down the bathroom sink with cold water.


The thing was, he hadn’t…


… and the entire time after — right up until Oikawa’s office door closed behind him with a sharp click — Suga couldn’t shake the feeling of Oikawa’s eyes on him — a heavy gaze pressed flat, right between Suga’s shoulder blades.


Suga sighed and slumped against the door once it had shut and he ignored the sharp look Oikawa’s secretary thew him from a few feet away. Iwaizumi Hajime was probably wondering if he’d been fired, Suga thought with a sort of grim humor.


He probably looked like he had been, in all honesty.


Suga straightened up and smoothed out his wrinkle-free tie and then marched past Iwaizumi’s desk with a curt nod, heading for the elevators to go back down to his cubicle. He wanted coffee. He wanted to get his latest project done so he could get Kiyoko-san off his back.


Most of all though, as the elevator dinged and opened and Suga stepped inside… he wanted to know why he hadn’t been able to say the right thing.


Suga stared at his face in the elevator mirrors, watching the way the harsh lighting turned his hazel-brown eyes to deep, dark pools… watching the way it made his beauty mark stand out in stark resolution.


Oikawa had had an odd fascination with that mark, Suga remembered vaguely then, side-tracking. He remembered the other man’s words in his ear — low and wanting — the butterfly-wing brush of his lips against Suga’s cheekbone — once and twice, countless times…


Would you stop? God. Suga shook his head and cleared his throat.


He backtracked.


He hadn’t been able to say the words to end it all. He had done the worst thing he could’ve done actually. He had given Oikawa hope and now…


Well now, Suga thought wryly, blinking when the elevator stopped and opened onto the sickly yellow glow of his own floor…


Now, he was screwed.

Chapter Text

"What do you mean you can’t go up there?


Suga winced, choking a little on his watered-down, oily, crap coffee. Kiyoko-san already sounded peeved.


He sighed, placed his chipped mug in the communal sink, and turned around. The break room smelled like overcooked tuna and there was a large water stain the size of Suga’s head seeping over a few ceiling tiles to the right… and Kiyoko Shimizu stood like an avenging angel in the middle of it all. Her glasses caught the lights. Her hands were on her hips.


"Let me reword that," Suga tried. "I won’t go up there."


Kiyoko’s face remained impassive. Suga felt his confidence crumble just a little bit…


… then a little more when Kiyoko spoke again, her soft voice wrapped around glass-tipped words.


"Oh? And why not, Sugawara-san? Am I missing something? Do you want to be fired?"


Suga shivered. His floor manager sure could be terrifying when she wanted to be. Now he was beginning to understand why Ennoshita-san was always hiding out in the bathroom stall after lunch.


"Oikawa-san doesn’t actually need anything important," Suga muttered in a last-ditch effort. He hated how whiny he sounded. "And I’m not his messenger boy. I have actual work to finish."


He heard his own voice grow quieter under Kiyoko’s wilting look. Her eyes burned into him. Suga was running out of excuses.


So he did the only thing left to do.


He used the last ghostly shreds of his bravery and blurted out what was really going to cause an uproar — the bombshell he had been hiding up until she’d cornered him in here.


She was going to find out anyway, sooner or later… and Suga would rather die here bravely on the battlefield than cower in his cubicle like a traitor.




Suga basically spat the words out, a jumbled mess of nonsense, and then held his breath, waiting… waiting…


There were exactly two beats of pure, complete silence afterwards.


Then Kiyoko lunged.


Suga shrieked and dodged… and somehow escaped her grasping fingers. He made it to the break room door, shoving past a very startled Ennoshita on the other side as he burst through it.


"Sugawara Koushi, come back here right now! Are you trying to get me FIRED???"


Kiyoko’s enraged voice followed after Suga as he sprinted down his floor, his leather shoes squeaking against linoleum when he skidded by the restroom doors.




Suga really wasn’t sure if Kiyoko meant a death wish because she was going to murder him or Oikawa was. Neither was good. Either was very, very possible.


Yeah, maybe sending Tobio had been a very, very bad idea… but Suga wasn’t going to come running for every beck and call from his boss anymore.


Especially not after yesterday.


He knew what would happen. Oikawa was calling him for something "important" according to Iwaizumi-san’s phone call — which really just meant that he was going to corner Suga again and they were going to have the same conversation again and Suga was going to say the wrong things… again.


Sending Tobio had been a power move if anything. A royal middle finger to Oikawa-san in his plush, amazing-views office. Suga was kind of proud of himself.


Except not right now. He wasn’t feeling too proud at this moment.


Panting, Suga careened into a nearby stairwell and then hunkered down behind the door, holding his breath.


"Uh… do I want to know what’s going on here?"


The voice came from behind Suga’s right shoulder and he whirled around, his heart up in his throat, beating like the frantic push and pull of the birds’ wings who were always sitting on the window ledges of the office…


… only to see Daichi holding a can of instant coffee and wearing a look of utter regret. Regret concerning becoming Suga’s best friend probably, Suga figured logically.


"Uh," Suga started.


"Yes?" Daichi asked.


"SUGAWARA!" Kiyoko pterodactyl-screeched from somewhere outside the stairwell.


Daichi and Suga flinched simultaneously, both of their eyes snapping to the stairwell door… and then the sounds of war slowly faded in the opposite direction.


A few beats of silence passed.


Finally, Suga breathed out shakily. Then he tried to smile winningly at Daichi.


"Actually, you know what?" Daichi said. "Never mind." He wore the look of a man who had seen too much but would rather deny anything had ever happened than ask.


"Good choice," Suga answered. He stood up, brushing off his work slacks. "Where were you? Visiting Michimiya-san on the third floor again?"


Daichi leveled Suga with a deadpan expression but Suga was too busy trying to scrape his pride back up off of the floor to notice much.


"No, actually, I wasn’t. I was upstairs talking to Iwaizumi-san. About you."


Suga choked on his own spit.


"Yeah," Daichi continued, taking a sip of his coffee and then crossing his arms over his broad chest. He looked infuriatingly smug. "It doesn’t sound too good when the CEO’s secretary is asking about a worker on the fifth floor, huh?"


Suga glared. "Just spit it out. What did he say?"


Daichi took his time. He sipped his coffee. He pretended to think. He was enjoying it, Suga could tell and Suga was about ready to punch him between the ribs when Daichi finally answered.


"It was really weird, actually," he offered. A door somewhere down below them opened and closed with a creaky squeak. The stairwell lights were an odd, faded yellow that smudged Daichi’s hideous orange, silk tie into something that reminded Suga of the color of the cheese-flavored corn-puff chips his own younger siblings loved. "He said he needed to know what your favorite type of flowers were."


Suga didn’t react. He couldn’t because his mind had gone blank and his palms were clammy and he was pretty sure that itch in his fingers was the urge to commit homicide. He was pretty sure he knew who the victim was going to be too.


For now though, Suga just stared Daichi down. Surely he was joking. Surely, surely, that’s not what Iwaizumi-san had wanted to ask him…


"I’m not joking."


Suga squeezed his eyes shut and breathed very slowly through his nose. He was going to murder someone. Forget homicide. He was going to actually murder someone right now.


Daichi kept going, oblivious to Suga’s emotional dilemma.


"Yeah, he was pretty pissed too. Apparently Oikawa-san has had him running around like a chicken doing 'useless shit', to quote Iwaizumi-san. He called the CEO a 'cocky, petulant bastard' too. You should’ve been there to hear that. I mean I know they’ve known each other for a long time but sti- Koushi? Are you okay?"


"Dai, did you tell him what my favorite flowers are?" Suga asked his question in an eerily calm voice.


Daichi blinked. His warm brown eyes were confused.


"Uh yeah. I was confused at first but then I figured that they were just planning for the company party coming up next month, remember? It’s garden themed or something, so it makes sense that they’re recording everyone’s preferences. Probably for the table toppers or -"


"Everyone’s preferences?" Suga hissed, interrupting him. That was it. That was the final straw. Suga felt something snap inside him. "Did Iwaizumi-san ask about your favorite flowers too?"


Daichi startled, caught off guard at the fire Suga could feel burning in his own eyes.


"Uh -," he started again but Suga was pacing now. He couldn’t believe this. He could not believe this.


"When did Iwaizumi-san ask you?" Suga asked, pinching the bridge of his nose. He was starting to get a terrible headache.


"Koushi, what - Okay, okay, don’t look at me like that. Jesus. I went up there an hour and a half ago. We got sidetracked talking about…"


Daichi paused then and Suga swore he saw the lightest of flushes dust the tops of his best friend’s cheeks but he was too absorbed in his own personal issues that he didn’t ask. He’d corner him later. There was a lot to unravel there and Suga didn’t have time right now.


"… other things," Daichi finished lamely.


"Right," Suga deadpanned before returning to his previous worries. Daichi sputtered and blushed harder. Yeah, Suga was definitely going to get him later…


… but right now he had started pacing again. He bit his lower lip, thinking hard. His palms were full-on sweating at this point.


An hour and a half ago, Daichi had said. Was that enough time to…


In the next moment, Suga’s worst fears came true. He didn’t even have time to finish his dreaded question.




"Oy! Hinata! Shut up you dumbass! People are trying to actually get shit done in here!"


"You shut up, Kageyama! No one asked you, stupid!"


Suga’s heart leaped into his mouth. He immediately pushed through the stairwell door — no longer caring if Kiyoko was still circling somewhere nearby — and made a beeline for his cubicle.


He saw Hinata and Kageyama first. The two of them were still bickering. Hinata was jumping up and down, his name-tag bouncing up around his face.


Kageyama looked more frazzled than usual, like one of those crows with its feathers ruffled. Suga winced inwardly. He probably shouldn’t have sent his new trainee up to deal with Oikawa earlier but well, it was all said and done now. Now poor Hinata was paying the price…


… and Suga had bigger problems to handle by the looks of it.


"Suga-san!!" the orange-haired intern yelled the moment he saw Suga over Kageyama’s bristling shoulders. He pushed past a growling Tobio and was suddenly all up in Suga’s space. He smelled like cough drops and "Oh," Suga thought, "poor thing"… he had clearly caught the cold going around the building because his eyes were all watery and his nose was an awful red.


"Hey, Shōyō," Suga said, tamping down his nerves. "What’s going on?"


Suga knew his voice sounded calm. After years of working in this business, he had a pretty good handle on how he came across to people in stressful situations.


That didn’t mean his head wasn’t exploding on the inside.


Please don’t be what I think it is. God damn it, I’m too soft. I should’ve just cut it off yesterday. I should’ve nipped the whole thing in the bud. Stupid. So stupid. Why did I sleep with him?? I knew he was trouble the moment I met him. I knew I couldn’t give in to that - that stupid face. He’s a classic heartbreaker. You’re going to get your heart broken, Sugawara Koushi and it’s going to be all your fault.


But you’re still thinking about it, aren’t you? another voice in Suga’s head — one farther down that he’d been trying to ignore since the weekend — whispered. That night. You wanted him. And yesterday… pfft, you say you don’t want to get involved but really, is that the truth? Why couldn’t you just say the words then? You know why. Because you didn’t really want to say it was a mistake. Because you didn’t want to forget or pretend like it didn’t happen or cut Oikawa out. You wanted to -


Suga’s carousel-ride of thoughts was interrupted quickly by Hinata’s stuffy, raspy voice.


"Suga-san you’re never going to believe - I mean you have to see - it’s AMAZING and -"


Suga took a polite step back — he most definitely did not want to get sick — and nodded like he understood what Hinata was trying to tell him. Kageyama rolled his eyes so hard Suga thought they’d get stuck in his head. Suddenly, Daichi was there too, hovering over Suga’s shoulder.


"Can you distract him for a sec?" Suga muttered to Daichi out of the corner of his mouth, still trying to keep up with Hinata’s excited babbling.


Daichi snorted softly but then complied, mentioning something offhand about a shadowing appointment Ushijima-san from the second floor was supposed to let Kageyama sit through the next morning… and Hinata’s bleary gaze immediately snapped from Suga’s face to his mentor’s, eyes lighting up with a terrifying brightness.


Suga edged past Hinata — who was now attracting a crowd Suga did not need by rasping out hoarse cries of "JAPAN!!!" — and then stopped dead in the opening to his cubicle.


The prettiest smudges of violet laid… everywhere. "Violet hydrangeas," Suga’s brain offered helpfully.


His favorite flower.


They ranged from the deepest blushes of purple to the most delicate periwinkles, stained through with veins of cobalt… and they coated Suga’s cubicle like a garden in full bloom.


"Holy fuck."


Suga didn’t even move towards Daichi’s voice. He just reached for his rolling desk chair and sank into it, putting his head in his hands.


There were a few more horrible beats of dead silence and then Daichi finally spoke again, making the tips of Suga’s ears flare even hotter.


"Well," Daichi said, voice wry and trying for joking, "I guess now we know they weren’t for the table toppers."


Suga made sure to count to a solid three before he lunged for him.