Chapter 1: Buttons and Pocket Lint
"Ugh, again?" Kuroo grumbled, balling up the still-wet t-shirt and tossing it back into the dryer. He stood up, running a hand through his hair and sighed. He pulled a laundry basket towards himself and began filling it with the damp clothes.
"Something wrong with the dryer?" Akaashi said, peeking his head around the corner.
"Damn thing isn't drying the laundry all the way again, we need to get a new one." Kuroo huffed out in annoyance.
"I guess this means we'll be going to the laundromat in the meantime." Akaashi thought aloud.
"THE LAUNDROMAT?!" Bokuto yelled, bounding down the hall and skidding to a halt in front of his boyfriends. They whipped their heads to find him beaming with a frazzled, but curious Kenma slung over his shoulder. Kuroo let out a chuckle while Akaashi shook his head, walking over to save Kenma from their boyfriend's clutches.
"Yes, now put Kenma down before you drop him." Akaashi lightly scolded.
"Can we go to the one that has the old arcade cabinets in it? I wanna play some Pac-Man!" Bokuto said, crouching down to let Kenma slide off his shoulder. Kenma perked up at the mention of arcade cabinets.
"Sure, just help me load everything up and we can head that way." Kuroo waved his hand to beckon them over. The four of them took a basket each, except Bokuto, who carried two so he could show off. Kenma feigned swooning, lifting the back of his hand to his forehead before cracking a playful smile at his flexing boyfriend.
After loading it all into the car, Akaashi quickly ran inside to grab the detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener, their bags and the loose change jar. Locking the door behind him, he jogged over and climbed into the car.
Once they arrived, they piled out of the car and started hauling their laundry inside the building. They got themselves situated and began pouring the laundry into the machines, Kenma walking around to put quarters in for each one used.
“Make sure you checked all of your pockets! We don’t need candy sticking to our laundry.” Akaashi announced, giving a pointed look to Kenma.
After all the machines were going, they were left to their own devices.
Bokuto and Kenma played on the arcade cabinets, Bokuto hyping Kenma up as he got the high score on Pac-Man. Akaashi sat at a table near the windows and kept track of how much money they spent, while Kuroo squatted in front of one of the washing machines and watched as the clothing spun and whipped around.
An hour passed and they had switched all the laundry around, each electing to do something else now.
The laundromat wasn't busy at all today. In fact, they hadn't seen any other customers at all since they arrived. This gave them free reign to do as they pleased, and they seized the opportunity.
Kuroo sat atop one of the dryers, legs dangling over the edge. In his lap, Kenma sat criss-crossed and was leaning back into his chest while he played on his handheld game. Kuroo curled his arms around Kenma, resting his chin on the shorter man's head. They sat cuddled together, letting the rumble of the running dryer rock them gently.
Bokuto joined Akaashi over by the window. Absent-mindedly toying with Akaashi's hand, he made invisible drawings on the back with his finger. Akaashi attempted to steal his hand back to check his watch, but Bokuto's pouting won him over and he relinquished it to him. Instead, he pulled out his cellphone and checked the time. Realizing it was after 2 pm and none of them had had lunch yet, Akaashi pocketed his phone and pushed his chair back to stand up, Bokuto still holding his hand.
"I'm thinking about heading out to grab us something to snack on, what does everyone want?" He asked the group.
"Grab me a slice of pizza, some mixed nuts if they have them, and a sports drink, please!" Bokuto exclaimed.
"Okay, Bo," Akaashi smiled before turning to the others, "I know Kenma wants a double chocolate milk like me, what about you Kuroo?"
"Just some hot chips, if you would," Kuroo replied, quickly adding, "and make sure to grab extra napkins for me."
"Sure,sure,” Akaashi waved a dismissive hand as he tugged the other from Bokuto’s grasp, “you coming with me, Bo?” Bokuto hummed in thought before shaking his head side to side.
“Someone’s gotta be the responsible one while you’re gone.” Bokuto puffed his chest out a bit.
Akaashi’s face scrunched up in disbelief at the claim, garnering a jokingly hurt look from his boyfriend.
“Just don’t break anything, they have cameras.” Akaashi remarked, pointing a finger and at each of them as a warning. He grabbed his coat off the back of his seat and slung it over his shoulder. Kuroo fished the key out of his pocket and tossed it towards Akaashi. Akaashi held a hand out to catch it, doing so effortlessly. He headed toward the door, turning around to give one last wave before being on his way.
Juggling everything in his arms, careful not to let Bokuto’s slice of pizza slide out of his hand, Akaashi grabbed a single, bagged pickle from the cooler for himself before using his foot to lightly bump the door shut. Stopping to double check that he had everything, Akaashi walked towards the convenience store’s checkout counter. He was exchanging greetings and small talk with the cashier, when his phone rang out. Taking the bags from the cashier’s hand, he mouthed a thank you as he checked the contact name and answered the call.
“Kenma, hey, I’m on my way back now. Did you need something else, I can run back-,” He was cut off by a crash and raucous laughter coming through the speaker.
“‘Kaashi, they’re being dumb again,” Akaashi could hear how tired Kenma sounded on the other end, “you might wanna get back here as soon as possible.”
“I should’ve expected this…” Akaashi sighed as he started up the car, a small smile gracing his lips before he spoke again, “we really know how to pick ‘em, huh?
“Yeah, we do,” Kenma spoke in an amused tone. He began to speak again before Kuroo’s voice came over the line, much closer than before.
“And up you go,” Kuroo said, before Kenma dropped the phone with a gasp. Kuroo’s voice filled Akaashi’s ear.
“Hey babe, don’t listen to Kenma. We’re just having a little fun, and he’s going to join us. Be safe on your way back!” With that, Kuroo blew a kiss over the phone and hung up.
Akaashi could almost catch a snippet of Kenma saying something along the lines of ‘Put me down, you meathead!’ before the call clicked off. He shook his head and kept his focus on the road, trying not to imagine what kind of trouble they were getting themselves into.
Pulling into the laundromat parking lot, Akaashi quickly unbuckled, grabbed the bags, and headed inside. As he entered, he stopped in the doorway to take in the scene playing out in front of him. Kenma was sitting in one of the laundry carts with Bokuto pushing it, running up and down the aisles of washers and dryers. Kuroo was crouched on top of one of the machines, using his phone as a stopwatch. Kenma was obviously trying to mask a silly grin, failing miserably. Akaashi finished stepping in, waiting for them to come to a stop. When they did, Kuroo tapped his phone and let out a long groan. He turned the phone towards Bokuto and Kenma and began griping about how he had lost to Bokuto by 2 seconds. Akaashi cleared his throat, grabbing their attention.
The three of them turned to face Akaashi. He arched a brow at them expectantly. They each shot him a smile.
“Would you believe us if we said that we’re sorry...?” Kuroo asked, wearing the least apologetic smirk Akaashi believed the man could muster.
“Not for a second,” Akaashi deadpanned.
Kuroo walked over to him, arms wide and pulled him into his chest. Akaashi lifted his hands to Kuroo’s shoulders, pushing himself back a bit so he could see Kuroo’s face as he spoke.
“Alright ‘Kaashi, we’ll put everything up and behave ourselves.” Kuroo chuckled a bit at the last part. Akaashi’s face melted into a smile.
“Actually,” Akaashi began, his smile fading into something more mischievous, “I have a better idea.”
Kuroo loosened his grasp on Akaashi, giving him a confused look. Akaashi detached himself from Kuroo and walked over to one of the laundry carts.
“How about a little two-on-two race? Me and Kenma versus you two. Winners pick dinner, losers buy.”
Kuroo and Bokuto shared a look, before laughing.
“Oh, you’re going down!” The two of them said in unison.
Kenma and Akaashi’s triumphant laughs filled the laundromat as Akaashi brought the cart to a halt. Kenma stood up in the cart and launched himself into Akaashi’s arms, the cart rolling back from the push of his feet. Akaashi caught him, spinning him around a bit before placing him back on the ground. Kuroo and Bokuto stood nearby, bickering over why they lost.
“We could have won with me in the basket.” Kuroo remarked, sticking his tongue out at Bokuto.
“But Kenma made it look like so much fun earlier!” Bokuto argued.
“You guys would have lost anyway, Akaashi and I make the superior team.” Kenma said matter-of-factly.
“You say that, but you guys totally had the advantage. I was pushing around pure muscle!” Kuroo whined. Bokuto laughed at the unintentional compliment.
“Regardless, Kenma and I won so you two get to pay for dinner,” Akaashi reminded them as he took his seat by the window again, laughing when they both groaned but didn’t protest.
“ Okay ,” Kuroo drawled, “Let’s put the carts back so I can eat my chips. I need something to help me forget my sorrows while we wait for the laundry to finish.”
“Oh, poor baby .” Kenma said in a teasing tone while wheeling the carts back to where they were originally.
Kuroo pouted at the teasing, but didn’t retort. Instead he took a seat next to Akaashi, glancing at him to ask for permission to rest his head on his shoulder. Akaashi raised his arm up, allowing Kuroo to cuddle up against him. Once he was situated, Akaashi laid his head against Kuroo’s, letting out a content sigh. Kenma and Bokuto took seats across from them, reaching across the table to grab their snacks and drinks. They sat in comfortable silence, all lost in their own thoughts as they munched away.
Finishing first, Kenma peered around at the others. Kuroo and Akaashi were talking amongst themselves, flirting most likely, considering the tender looks on their faces. Bokuto was stretched over the table, fiddling with one of Akaashi and Kuroo’s hands each, rubbing small circles on the back with his thumbs and sometimes lacing their fingers together. Kenma smiled, finding the sight very endearing.
Watching them for a moment longer, Kenma got an idea, his smile cracking into a more playful one. He quickly jabbed a finger into Bokuto’s side. Bokuto yelped and jumped backwards so he was sitting straight up. He narrowed his eyes at Kenma, who was feigning innocence with a sly grin. Bearing a similar smile, Bokuto retaliated. Lunging for Kenma’s ribs, he tickled him relentlessly. Kenma let out a shocked gasp, breaking out into a screaming fit of laughter. In a futile attempt to get out of Bokuto’s grasp, Kenma wriggled and squirmed while he tried to pry his boyfriend’s hands from his sides. Bokuto let up, laughter still bubbling out of Kenma’s lips. Kenma smiled gleefully at him. Bokuto returned the smile in earnest before leaning in to plant a quick peck on the other’s lips. Hearing a noise from their left, both men turned to the source.
Kuroo tried to stifle both his and Akaashi’s laughter by covering their mouths with his hands. It didn’t last long, his hand shooting from Akaashi’s face with a surprised look.
“ Ewww , did you just lick my hand?!” Kuroo managed to say through his laughter.
Throwing his head back, Akaashi let out an almost evil-sounding laugh. Kuroo frowned before getting an idea. He quickly licked both of his palms, slapped them onto Akaashi’s face and held it in place before licking his tongue up the side of Akaashi’s cheek.
“ Gross !” Akaashi chuckled out as he pushed his boyfriend away playfully. Kuroo easily powered through the halfhearted shove and was able to leave a kiss on Akaashi’s forehead. It was Kenma and Bokuto’s turn to laugh at their antics.
Their giggles died down as they heard the one of the dryers come to a stop, followed shortly by the rest. Bokuto walked over to one of the machines and opened it, checking the clothes before giving a thumbs up.
“They’re all good to go!” he said, jumping up from his crouched position. He walked over to the group and picked up one of the laundry baskets.
The other three followed suit, heading over to a dryer of their own and filling their baskets. Once their laundry was gathered, Bokuto and Akaashi carried it out to the car. Kuroo and Kenma threw away everyone’s trash and gathered their belongings. Hands on his hips, Kuroo gave the laundromat a once over for anything they may have forgotten. Pleased at seeing nothing left behind, he headed out the door, letting it swing shut. He climbed into the driver’s side, patting his pockets for the keys. Akaashi let out a small ‘ oh ’, grabbed the keys out of his coat, and held them out to Kuroo.
“Home, here we come.” Kuroo whistled out, taking the keys and starting the car.
They pulled into the driveway and began unloading the car. Before Kuroo could open his door to get out, Bokuto leaned up from behind and wrapped his arms around his neck. Kuroo chuckled at the action as Bokuto brought his face around the seat to kiss his cheek. They stayed in that position for a few moments before Bokuto, content with the small bout of affection, let go and they climbed out of the car to help the others.
The four of them carried everything upstairs to the master bedroom and began going through the clothing. There were stacks of laundry littering the bed, all organized by the person it belonged to. They worked methodically, folding everything as neatly as possible before passing them down the line to be assigned to a pile. Not too long into the process, Bokuto spoke up.
“This is boring ,” he yawned out, “why don’t we all take a nap before dinner and finish this later?”
“Hmm, I don’t know…” Kuroo said, suppressing a yawn of his own as he worked, “It’d be hard to take a nap together with the bed covered like this.”
“Oh, that’s an easy fix!” Bokuto said, leaping onto the bed and spreading his limbs so he resembled a starfish, “We just lay on top of it!”
The other three men felt their jaws go slack and brows furrow as they saw all their hard work go down the drain. They sat, stunned. Kenma recovered first, dragging his hands down his face to try to hide a laugh that had bubbled up inside of him. He got to his feet and crawled into the bed, snuggling up to Bokuto’s side.
Akaashi was next, his reaction delayed by the words of mourning he had been busy muttering to the destroyed clothing piles. He looked over to the laundry assailant, who met his gaze with a wide grin. Akaashi tried to frown in return, but he couldn’t hold it very long. His expression turned sweet, a small smile dancing at his lips, as he stood up and flopped onto the bed next to Bokuto.
Kuroo stood his ground, crossing his arms and turning his head away with an indignant huff. Bokuto slid his arms out from underneath Kenma and Akaashi and held them out in front of himself, making grabby hands at Kuroo. Kuroo barely glanced at his boyfriend. Bokuto gave his best puppy-dog eyes, clasping his hands together near his heart. Kuroo faltered at the sight, instinctively leaning down to reach out to Bokuto. Realizing what he was doing, he tried to regain his posture. Akaashi noticed this and used the chance to shoot forward and drag him down. Kuroo fell into Bokuto’s lap, knocking Bokuto back onto the bed and his face landing in his chest.
“Nice of you to join us.” Kuroo didn’t need to look up to see the cheeky grin on Bokuto’s face as he spoke.
“Shut up.” Kuroo said, burying his face into Bokuto’s chest, smiling.
Akaashi and Kenma found their way into Bokuto’s arms once again. Bokuto smiled, pulling them closer and squishing his three boyfriends together. He relaxed his arms a bit so they had wiggle room and sighed, totally at ease. The other three readjusted themselves to get comfortable, each staking claim to one of Bokuto’s body parts.
Bokuto hummed softly, no particular tune in mind. One by one, his boyfriends nodded off, nestling closer to him as they did. He felt his eyelids growing heavier. He didn’t bother to fight the urge to close his eyes. Instead he laid there, thinking over the day’s events and smiled to himself. Drifting off to sleep, he whispered something to his napping audience.
“I’m so lucky to have found you three.” And with that, he slipped into a peaceful slumber.
Chapter 2: As the Paint Dries
Set when Bokuto, Kuroo Kenma, and Akaashi first got their place together. They decide to paint the living room.
I wanted to have this out yesterday, but it was my birthday and I had forgotten that until my friends reminded me. So I took the day to just have to myself and talk to my friends. Anywho, I hope this isn't too hard on the eyes and that you enjoy the read.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Leisurely strolling through the hardware store, Kuroo threw his arm around Bokuto’s shoulder. He leaned closer to his boyfriend, shifting more of his weight onto him so that Bokuto was half supporting his body as they walked. Bokuto brought an arm around Kuroo’s waist, happy to let the man laze against him.
Ahead of them, Akaashi made a beeline for the color sample cards with Kenma in tow. The two of them began picking through the columns of colors, pointing out ones that caught their eye to the other. They turned to hurriedly wave the other two over. Kuroo and Bokuto smiled as they released their grip on one another. They lightly jogged over to meet their boyfriends.
“What do you guys think, should we go with a grey or a blue tone?” Akaashi asked, holding out two color swatches, adjusting the basket he was holding so it sat comfortably in the crook of his arm.
“Mm, I don’t know. What do you think, babe?” Kuroo hummed, turning to Bokuto to get his input.
“Hmmm,” Bokuto’s face scrunched up in thought. His eyes closed, he pointed a finger out at one of the cards and spun it around a few times before stopping abruptly. He opened his eyes and smiled wide, “this one!”
“Grey it is, then.” Kuroo chuckled at Bokuto’s decision making methods.
Pleased with the answer, Akaashi walked to put the blue toned sample card back in its place. Kenma found his way to the greys section and began hunting for the perfect one. Akaashi, Kuroo, and Bokuto followed soon after. They managed to narrow it down between two sets. Kenma held them out for the other three to look at.
“I say we go with ‘Cathedral Grey’.” Akaashi suggested.
“A darker grey would be more welcoming, in my opinion. ‘Elephant in the Room’ is my pick, for sure.” Kuroo stated.
“The darker one has a funnier name, so I obviously have to go for that one.” Bokuto laughed out.
All eyes turned to Kenma. He flinched and guarded his body with his arms, brandishing the color swatches like weapons. Their eyes bore into him as they waited for his decision, each telling him to pick the one they had chosen. He gulped before speaking up.
“I could deal with either one, but if I have to pick,” he began, choosing his words carefully, “I’d go with… ‘Cathedral Grey’.”
Akaashi perked up at the support for his choice, smiling at his boyfriend. Kuroo and Bokuto held their heads in their hands, groaning about how they had hoped to get him on their side. With it being two against two, they stood silently trying to figure out how to break the tie. Bokuto slapped his fist into his palm, his mouth opening into an ‘o’ shape.
“Let’s play ‘rock, paper, scissors’ for it!” Bokuto declared.
They all nodded and picked who would play for each side. It was decided that Kuroo and Akaashi would face off against one another. Kuroo winked at Akaashi as they took their stances. Akaashi rolled his eyes at the flirting and leaned forward, fist in hand. They exchanged playful dirty looks, their shoulders tensed, waiting for the starting signal.
“And, go !” Bokuto yelled.
“Rock, paper, scissors, shoot !” Kuroo and Akaashi chanted in unison as they slammed their fists into their hands.
“Aw, yes!” Kuroo exclaimed, pumping his hand up in the air, his fingers still forming scissors.
Akaashi ducked his head and turned to Kenma with an apologetic look. Kenma only shrugged at their loss, placing a hand on Akaashi’s back. Bokuto and Kuroo rejoiced, perhaps a bit excessively. Bokuto jumped into Kuroo’s arms, Kuroo using one arm to catch and hold his boyfriend as he continued to pump the other in the air.
“Um, excuse us,” a hesitant voice came from beside them, “We need to get past you, if that’s alright?”
The four of them froze in place. They looked to their right and saw a small family had witnessed the entire display. Kuroo released his grip on Bokuto, allowing him to slide out of his arm gently. Wordlessly, they each took cautious steps backwards and cleared a path for the bystanders, their backs pressing against the store shelves.
“S-sorry… about that.” Kuroo’s voice cracked as he apologized.
A small nod accompanied by a smile that was trembling from suppressing laughter was all the response he got. The family made their way through, grabbed a can of paint, and quickly stalked away. A minute later, a small burst of laughter followed by a giggling ‘ shh ’ could be heard from the direction they had gone. The four men shot their hands to their faces in embarrassment.
“That,” Kuroo sighed, “was mortifying.”
The four men stood in the aisle, somewhat ashamed and downtrodden at having done something so childish in public. Bokuto spread his fingers apart so that he could peek at his boyfriends through his hand. Their heads were hanging low, uneasy grimaces painting their faces. He slid his hands from his face, slapping them against his thighs with a smile, startling the other three. His embarrassment seemed to have been an illusion-- a trick of the eye.
“At least they got a laugh from it all. Any audience is a good audience to have, I’d say.” Bokuto beamed as he spoke.
His boyfriends looked to him, a hint of confusion in their expressions. The heavy mood from before became light in a matter of seconds. Kuroo broke first, a small chuckle escaping him. Soon, Akaashi and Kenma joined. Bokuto stood, one brow arched in a questioning look before shrugging and joining in.
“You’re something else, Bo.” Kenma said, looking to the man with a fond smile.
“Just one more reason you all love me.” Bokuto sing-songed.
“Yes, yes, one of your many good qualities,” Akaashi agreed. Bokuto became even brighter at the compliment, “Now let’s hurry and get the paint before we make a spectacle of ourselves again.”
Splitting up to check different parts of the shelves, they began their search. Kenma walked idly, paying more attention to his phone than to the paint cans. He would look to his side every so often to check a couple labels, quickly abandoning the task in favor of his game each time. He walked to the end of the aisle, deciding it was time for him to check again. He scanned the racks of paint, his eyes stopping at the highest shelf.
“Oh, found it!” he called out.
He began to stretch upwards, standing on his toes to try and reach the cans of paint. Just then he felt a presence behind him and a hand on his shoulder. Kuroo’s hand easily stretched past Kenma’s, grabbing a can of ‘Elephant in the Room’. He removed his hand from Kenma’s shoulder so that he was free to grab another can. Handing them off to the shorter man, Kuroo placed a kiss to the top of Kenma’s head. Kenma pulled his head away with a small smile on his face, his eyes drifting to look at Bokuto and Akaashi.
Bokuto whined, not bothering to hide his want for affection. Kuroo shook his head lovingly. He walked over to Bokuto and pressed a kiss onto his cheek. Bokuto hummed, satisfied with the peck. Akaashi tried to hide his sulking, turning his face away and keeping a hardened look as best he could. The pout of his lips gave him away, much to his dismay. Kuroo smirked at this, taking a step towards Akaashi. He grabbed hold of one of his hands, lacing their fingers together.
“Better?” Kuroo asked, shining a smile Akaashi’s way. Akaashi’s eyes widened before the expression melted into a look of admiration.
“Better.” Akaashi smiled to himself, giving a gentle squeeze to Kuroo’s hand.
Bokuto walked over to where Kenma stood, grabbing four cans of paint himself.
“I think six cans is a good start. We can always come back if we need more.” Kenma said.
“True. Now that we have the paint, that should be everything.” Akaashi said, peering down into the basket.
Kuroo called out various painting tools from a list and Akaashi looked through the items in the basket. After finding everything was there, Akaashi and Kuroo nodded at one another. They waved the other two over and began walking towards the front of the store. Finding a checkout counter that was empty, they began loading everything onto the conveyor.
Bokuto made small talk with the cashier as they scanned the items. Kuroo bickered with Akaashi about his ability to be trusted with the debit card, he eventually won and was handed the card. Kenma took the bags as they were filled. Kuroo moved past Bokuto to get to the card reader, lightly grabbing his hips as he did so. The cashier finished bagging the items and read the total aloud. Kuroo slid the card into the reader, watching it intently waiting for the purchase to be authorized. Once he got the ‘OK’ from the machine, he pulled the card out and handed it back to Akaashi, making a kissy face at him as he did so.
Akaashi rolled his eyes and blew a quick kiss back. Public displays of affection were something he’d never escape as long as he had Kuroo and Bokuto around-- not that he minded. He took the card back from Kuroo and slid it into his wallet. He took a moment to look over the photo he keeps in the leather pouch, wiping a thumb over it. It was their very first Valentine’s Day photo together. He wore a silly grin, closing his wallet and pocketing it. Kuroo noticed and shot him a look, but Akaashi shook his head, dismissing the questioning gaze.
Bokuto found Kenma’s side and took some of the bags from his hand as they exited the store. Bokuto began chattering away about anything and everything while Kenma simply listened, nodding along every so often. Akaashi and Kuroo followed behind, their hands finding each other once again. As they neared the car, Kuroo dug the keys out of his pocket and clicked to unlock the car and pop the trunk. Bokuto and Kenma lifted the bags into the trunk before hopping in the back seat. Kuroo and Akaashi caught up, Kuroo slamming the trunk shut as he passed by. He climbed into the driver’s side and settled in, popping the key into the ignition and starting the car. After checking that everyone was buckled in, he pulled out of their parking spot and they were on their way.
Driving down the street to their new home, Bokuto pressed his face against the window to get a better look at their surroundings. As soon as they pulled into the driveway, he excitedly jumped out of the car before it could even come to a full stop. He ran to the front step, spreading his arms out wide in awe. Kuroo chuckled at him, turning off the car. Akaashi and Kenma let out identical sighs. Kuroo smiled at them sympathetically, turning around so he could face both men.
“You know he’s just excited for this next big step in our lives together.” he said, reaching out to take each of their hands.
“We know, we are too.” Akaashi said, looking at Kenma, who bobbed his head in agreement.
Kuroo let out a proud huff and gave each of their hands a reassuring pat. He climbed out of the car and headed for the trunk, mumbling something about Bokuto leaving them with all the work under his breath. As though he could tell he was being talked about, Bokuto suddenly straightened up before turning around to jog back to the car to help carry in the supplies.
Akaashi rooted around in his pocket for the house key. He pulled it out, a warm fuzziness collecting in his chest as he stared down at it. He got out of the car and walked to the front of the house. Kuroo, Bokuto, and Kenma crowded around him, watching closely as he turned the key and unlocked the door. Akaashi took a deep breath in and swung the door open. They stepped inside in a single file line. They entered the living room, the reality of it all crashing down on top of them.
“I can’t wait to make this place our own,” Bokuto whispered, a giddy smile plastered on his face.
The other three simply smiled, none of them paying any mind to how misty their eyes had gotten. Kuroo brought his arm up to wipe his eyes, careful not to whack himself in the face with a can of paint. He smiled and spoke up.
“Well,” Kuroo started, holding the cans of paint up, “it’s about time we get to it, isn’t it?”
They all four gave determined nods. They went through the bags, grabbing paint rollers, trays, brushes, and tape. Bokuto opened the cans of paint, Kenma taking and pouring them out into the trays. Akaashi and Kuroo began lining the borders of the walls with tape.
Kuroo attempted to lift Akaashi off the ground so he could tape the area where the wall meets the ceiling, but Akaashi flailed around and barked at Kuroo to put him down. His thrashing caused Kuroo to lose his footing, sending them both toppling down to the floor. Akaashi landed on Kuroo, cushioning his fall. Kuroo didn’t get so lucky. His body collided with the hardwood flooring, his chest caving as he got the air knocked out of him by the man that had fallen onto him. Akaashi’s eyes widened and he began to scramble for words. Kuroo let out a hoarse laugh, bringing his forearm to his face and placing the other hand on Akaashi’s shoulder.
“Are you okay?” Akaashi asked, a hint of panic in his tone.
“I’m okay, I promise.” Kuroo reassured him, coughing a bit as he sat up. Akaashi hesitated for a moment. He let out a relieved sigh, his face twisting in annoyance quickly after.
“Next time at least warn me before you pick me up like that, idiot!” Akaashi gave Kuroo a light, but firm smack on the shoulder as he scolded him.
“What are you, my mom ?” Kuroo sneered, his lips curling up in an impish smile.
Akaashi’s eyes just about popped out of his head considering how hard he rolled them. He pushed Kuroo away from himself and stood up, brushing his lap off.
“I don’t know why I was even worried about you.” Akaashi half-heartedly spat the words out at his boyfriend.
“Oh, come on, you love me and I never fail to make you fall for me. That’s why. ” Kuroo laughed at his own joke, pulling Akaashi back down into his lap until they were nose-to-nose. He brought their lips together briefly, pulling away to look Akaashi in the eye. They were leaning in for another kiss when they heard Kenma complain.
“Hey, stop flirting and come help! It’s your house too.” he grumbled, pointing an accusatory finger at the both of them.
“Yeah, yeah. We’ll be right there,” Kuroo called. He faced Akaashi and continued, “Let’s get the step ladders this time.”
Akaashi stood up and offered a hand to Kuroo. Kuroo took it, teasing Akaashi about how gentlemanly he was. Akaashi only smiled as he helped his boyfriend to his feet. They clambered off to the car. They came back in, mindful of the door frames as they waddled in with the ladders. The two of them set up and began lining the ceiling, properly this time. Once they had a wall bordered off, Bokuto and Kenma dipped the rollers into the paint trays and got to work.
About an hour passed, by now all the windows were open and small gusts of wind would blow through occasionally. Kuroo stood back from the wall to admire their work so far, standing the roller up on the ground with his other hand on his hip. He inhaled deeply, the smell of paint and fresh air mingling in his nose. His stomach growled, the sound filling the room. He brought his free hand to his stomach.
“Guess that’s a sign that it’s time for a break.” Kenma said, wiping his brow with his forearm.
“Thank god, I’m starving.” Bokuto threw his whole body backwards in an exaggerated motion. Kenma braced himself for Bokuto’s fall, his arms shooting out to catch him.
Bokuto shot straight up before he reached Kenma’s arms, much to Kenma’s relief. Kuroo patted his pockets for the car keys and pulled them out, twirling them around his finger.
“I’m thinking…” Kuroo trailed off, “maybe Subway?”
Bokuto, Kenma, and Akaashi faced one another and shrugged their shoulders-- none of them had a better suggestion so there were no objections to the idea.
“It’s decided then. Anyone want to come with me?” Kuroo looked over his shoulder as he headed for the door.
“I’ll come along. You never make my drink right, anyway.” Kenma explained.
“It’s not my fault you make such a weird concoction!” Kuroo whined.
Kenma stuck his tongue out with a bored look on his face, ending the small exchange. He untied his jacket from around his waist and flung it onto Bokuto’s head. Bokuto gasped at the action, feigning offense before pulling the jacket down and tying it around his waist. Kenma half jogged to catch up to Kuroo, waving goodbye to Bokuto and Akaashi. Kenma and Kuroo headed out, both watching in the rearview mirror as the house became smaller until it was completely out of sight.
Kuroo and Kenma stood a ways away from the counter, staring at the menu that hung on the wall. They let the few people that came in after them go ahead of them in line. Kenma sighed, looking over to Kuroo.
“You already know everyone’s order, what good does staring down the menu do?” he asked.
“I was considering getting something different this time around. Nothing looks good, though.” Kuroo answered, rubbing his chin with his hand.
“Then go with what you know you’ll like.” Kenma suggested.
Kuroo exhaled, leaning his head back in compliance. They stepped towards the counter, the worker lifting their head to acknowledge both men.
“Hello, what can I get started for you?” the employee gave a polite smile.
As Kuroo rattled off the various orders of food, Kenma found his way to the other end of the counter. His gaze fell upon the cookie display, his eyes locking onto the chocolate chip cookies. Minutes later, Kuroo and the worker moved down the counter towards him. Kuroo let his hand sweep across Kenma’s upper back as he passed by.
“And can I get a dozen chocolate chip cookies and four fountain drinks added on, too?” Kuroo requested.
“Sure thing.” the employee chirped, getting the cookies ready as they spoke.
Kuroo thanked them, smiling at the silent glee radiating from his boyfriend. He paid for the food and took the bags from them. Kenma carried the cookies and grabbed four cups. They found a table near the soda fountain to set their belongings at. Kuroo filled two cups at once, glancing back and forth to each cup. At the other side of the fountain, Kenma filled his cup halfway with Sprite. He walked over to the lemonade and started filling the rest of the cup with lemonade. Once it was full, He carefully put a lid on it, grabbed a straw, and began filling up a cup with Sprite for Akaashi.
They finished up the drinks and collected their things, calling out a ‘ have a good day’ to the worker on their way out. They hopped into the car and situated everything before pulling out of the parking lot.
Back at the house, Bokuto and Akaashi sat on the floor, Akaashi’s hand resting atop Bokuto’s lazily. They were talking back and forth aimlessly, switching topics with each breath. Just then, Bokuto realized something.
“Oh, yeah! I completely forgot,” Bokuto jumped up, and ran over to the spot on the floor where they had left the bags from earlier, “I grabbed something at the checkout lane while we were at the store. I had a great idea!”
Akaashi quirked an eyebrow. Digging through the bags, Bokuto gave a small ‘ aha! ’ and held something above his head.
“Permanent markers?” Akaashi tilted his head to the side.
“Yep! I thought if we’re repainting the walls anyway, we could write something on them before covering it up!” Bokuto explained, uncapping a marker as he did so.
“What would we even write?” Akaashi asked.
“Whatever we want! I know what I’m going to write already.” Bokuto replied, striding over to the only wall they hadn’t done anything to.
Intrigued, Akaashi stood up and followed Bokuto to the wall. Bokuto hummed a familiar unnamed tune as he propped his body up against the wall to begin writing. He leaned over his spot on the wall so Akaashi couldn’t see around him, only standing back from it once he was finished. He beamed proudly at his work and stepped aside for Akaashi to get a look.
Inside of a big heart that he had drawn, Bokuto had put all of their initials with the word forever underneath. Akaashi held onto Bokuto’s arm, resting his head against it.
“Your turn ’Kaashi.” Bokuto said, holding out the permanent marker to him before stuffing the other three into his pants pocket.
Akaashi took it and took his place along the wall. He tapped the bottom of the marker against his chin in thought. He threw his eyebrows up in realization, sticking his tongue out a bit as he wrote. Bokuto watched him with an adoring smile-- Akaashi was just too cute. He was dragged from his thoughts by Akaashi looking over at him and asking him what he thought. Bokuto craned his neck to get a better look at the writing on the wall.
‘With you all by my side, I’ve finally found my home.’ was written neatly a little ways away from Bokuto’s heart.
“Akaaaashi,” Bokuto drawled, throwing his arms up to give his boyfriend a noogie, “stop being so damn precious!”
Bokuto rubbed his knuckles into the top of Akaashi’s head, both of them looking up to see that Kuroo and Kenma had returned and were watching as they played around. Bokuto let Akaashi escape his grasp, bouncing over to where Kuroo and Kenma stood with food. Kuroo held out food for Bokuto to take as Kenma searched his arms for his cup of water.
“One sweet onion chicken teriyaki protein bowl for Bo, with a water,” Kuroo began listing everyone’s order off, handing the food out as he went, “Tuna sandwich on wheat bread for Akaashi, with a Sprite. A cold cut combo on white bread for Kenma, and whatever mess of a drink he got. A steak and cheese on italian bread for myself, with a Dr. Pepper to wash it down. And enough cookies for everyone.”
Now that everyone had their food, they headed into the kitchen to avoid any paint-in-food accidents. Akaashi, being the only one that had enough spare time the past few weeks, had come to the house before the others to tell the movers where certain things went and set up any furniture he could manage, so thankfully the kitchen table and chairs were ready to be used. They all took a seat and began munching on their food, talking amongst themselves about what their next plans for the house were.
“So, what’s this?” Kuroo asked, gesturing towards the unpainted wall in the living room.
The rest of them followed him, stopping to stand behind him. Bokuto explained his idea of writing messages and painting over them once again.
“That’s a good idea, Bo!” Kuroo exclaimed. He held his hand out and waited for Bokuto to give him a marker to write with.
He thought for a moment, then began his work. He scribbled away before pulling back and capping the marker.
‘I promise to make it so we can keep falling in love together.’ was scrawled on the wall next to Akaashi’s writing.
Kuroo grinned at them, all three returning the smile. Bokuto shoved his hand into his pocket again and pulled out another marker, tapping Kenma on the shoulder with it. Kenma took it and took his place at the wall.
“No peeking.” Kenma said, narrowing his eyes at the three of them.
Akaashi simply nodded, while the other two threw their hands up defensively. Kenma faced the wall again and began doodling, his hand making slow, decisive movements. He took quite awhile, crouching down some halfway through. When he finished, they all looked over his shoulder and saw three small drawings. One drawing of what they could guess to be some sort of dog, one of a tree, and one of a face that had a very familiar rooster-like bedhead.
“A drawing that represents each of you. The siberian husky for Bokuto, the tree for Akaashi, and Kuroo for Kuroo.” Kenma said, hoping to clear any confusion.
“Why a dog for Bo? Wouldn’t an owl make more sense?”
“I guess I just thought that was a bit too... obvious? Siberian huskies are friendly dogs that are easy to get along with,” Kenma paused, his eyes locking on Bokuto as he spoke, “They enjoy attention and can be a little sensitive, but are intelligent in their own right. An active, charismatic dog that makes for great company? I think that fits Bo well.”
Kenma looked down at his hands, twiddling with the marker before adding something else.
“Plus, the black and white colors remind me of him.”
Kuroo busted out laughing at that, slapping a hand onto Kenma’s shoulder to support himself. Kenma stiffened, lightly pushing his boyfriend off. Kuroo stood back up after a moment, taking a deep breath to steady himself. Bokuto stared at the dog doodle, beaming at the sweet words his boyfriend had said about him. He stepped closer and threw an arm around Kenma’s shoulders.
“Well, I am pretty great, aren't I?” He laughed. His face fell into a more subtle smile and he leaned down so he was speaking directly into Kenma’s ear, planting a small kiss on his earlobe, “Thank you, Kenma.”
Kenma brought a hand up to cup Bokuto’s cheek, nuzzling his face into the other man’s. Bokuto responded by doing the same, before pulling away. Their hands didn’t leave the other’s face until Bokuto had stepped away completely. Akaashi smiled at their show, but decided to get the conversation back on track.
“Okay, so what about the mine? And Kuroo’s?” Akaashi asked, clearly interested in Kenma’s thought process behind his own drawing the most.
“Yeah! How come they each get something cool and I get my face?” Kuroo sounded a bit incredulous.
“Well, that’s because...” Kenma put on the softest smile he could manage, going in for the kill, “there’s nothing quite like you in this world, Tetsurou.”
Kuroo just about fainted on the spot, Akaashi and Bokuto rushing to hold him up. Kenma recoiled-- he had been unaware of just how affected Kuroo would be by his honesty. Akaashi and Bokuto were surprised as well, not expecting Kenma’s usage of Kuroo’s first name. Kuroo recovered from his shock after being given a minute to clear his head. He was very obviously still a bit flustered, though.
“Then what about ‘Kaashi’s?” Kuroo asked, clearing his throat.
“Mmm, ‘Kaashi,” Kenma started, looking off into space, “He’s like a tree in the sense that he’s encompassing, sturdy, and observant. He’s distant at times, but he’s always there, watching over us. He has a very comforting presence, one you can rely on. A truly gentle and loving force.”
Before anything else could be said, Akaashi wandered over to Kenma. He bent down, placing his face in the crook of Kenma’s neck and embraced him. Kenma felt Akaashi bury his head further into his neck, his eyelashes tickling Kenma’s skin. Akaashi pulled back from the hug, his face scrunched up from trying to stop the tears that were on the verge of spilling. He tried to speak, his voice failing him several times. Finally, he managed to choke out a single sentence.
“I love you so much.” Akaashi said, hoping the emotion he felt came through in those few words.
Bokuto and Kuroo watched on as they left the other two to have their moment. There was another hug, along with whispers of sweet words. When they were finished, Akaashi wiped his eyes with the back of his hand, letting out a ragged breath.
“Okay,” Akaashi clapped his hands together, “no more tears today. We’ve got to finish this up before dinner time.”
They all agreed, dispersing to get to work once again. Kuroo and Bokuto started on the first coat of paint on the wall while Kenma and Akaashi began cleaning up the other tools and putting it all where it belonged. As they did their tasks, they talked about their plans for dinner, things that happened at work, and any other small talk they could think to have. Eventually, there was a lull in conversation that led into a comfortable silence. They worked until the sun began to set.
They all four stood back in the living room doorway. They had finally finished and, as far as they were concerned, they did a pretty good job.
“We’re finally done.” Kuroo said with a disbelieving tone.
They each felt their chest swell with pride and joy. They had tackled and conquered their very first home project. They stood awhile longer, drinking in the sight and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
“I say we do something to celebrate. What do you all think about going out to eat tonight? There’s a nice restaurant that opened up a month ago, no reservations necessary. I’ve been wanting to take you guys for a while now.” Kuroo talked as he pulled his phone out to show them pictures of the restaurant.
Bokuto, Akaashi, and Kenma all perked up at this, bobbing their heads up and down. Kuroo chuckled, cutting it short after he got a good look at the state of everyone’s clothes.
“Okay, we’ll go after we get changed.” Kuroo ushered them all upstairs where boxes of their clothing were waiting for them.
They all changed out of their dirty outfits, exchanging them for cleaner, nicer ones. Double checking that they had everything they needed-- wallets, phones, and keys, they headed back downstairs and piled out the door. Bokuto and Akaashi straggled behind a bit, standing in the door as the other two went to the car. Bokuto tugged on Akaashi’s wrist, taking a small step forward.
“Come on, Akaashi, what’re you waiting for?” Bokuto questioned.
“It just feels so... surreal. We’re finally moved in together after all this time.” Akaashi responded.
“Yeah, it does sorta feel like a dream come true, huh?” Bokuto said, turning around to fully face Akaashi. He curled his arms around Akaashi’ waist, “But it’s real life. This is our home.”
The last sentence struck a chord with Akaashi, leaving him speechless. Then he smiled and tilted his head to the side.
“Yeah, our home.” Akaashi said, removing Bokuto’s arms from his waist and linking their hands together.
“Now let’s go, before they leave us behind!” Bokuto joked, dragging Akaashi with him as he ran towards the car, both men grinning the whole way.
Hope you enjoyed reading. I know I have a lot of room to improve so, please, if you have any constructive criticism, let me know in the comments.