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Six Sessions

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Iwaizumi was not an angry person. He really wasn’t. And he certainly didn’t have anger issues. But it did really piss him off that the dean seemed to think that he did.

In his defense, he was having a bad day.

It was the first day of classes, and his alarm didn’t go off, resulting in him rushing out of his apartment and forgetting his lunch. He was an hour late to his lecture and attracted stares when he’d burst through the door in a panic.

Then, after realizing he was in the wrong class, he’d tried to leave inconspicuously, tripped on the stairs, and landed flat on his face in front of everyone.

When he finally made it to the right class, the asshole sitting next to him spilled juice all over his lap, and he had to trudge back to his apartment only to find that he’d left his keys sitting on his counter.

“Damn!” he pulled out his phone and dialed, “Hanamaki. I need a favor.”

You need a favor? What happened to big, strong ‘I-have-my-own-apartment-now-so-suck-it’ Iwaizumi?”

“Just shut up and bring my extra key. I’m locked out and my pants are all sticky.”

“Ew dude.”

Iwaizumi groaned and leaned against the wall. “Can you just-”

“Yeah yeah I'm on my way.”

It took Hanamaki twenty minutes to get to his apartment in which Iwaizumi spent avoiding the weird glances he got from passersby. “Looks like someone didn’t have a good first day,” Hanamaki said as he handed over the key.

“Whatever.” Iwaizumi shouldered open the door and threw his stuff on his coffee table before going to his room. Hanamaki flopped down on the couch and started rummaging through his bag.

He pulled out a couple of papers and frowned. “Your classes look so boring. What is all this science shit?”

“I’m studying sports medicine.” Iwaizumi called from the other room, “I have to learn the science shit first.”

“Boring~”

“I’m sorry. Not everyone has a fun major. What’s yours again? Undeclared?”

“That’s low man.” Hanamaki threw Iwaizumi’s syllabi back on the table and turned on the TV.

“Hey, I’m going to take a quick shower, and then, you wanna get something to eat on campus?”

“Only if I can bring Issei.”

“Oh, he’s Issei now?”

“Shut up.”


Iwaizumi had only hung out with Matsukawa a couple of times. They first met when Hanamaki had dragged Iwaizumi to a frat party, disappeared, and then came back with the guy. He thought Matsukawa was pretty chill on his own but when he was with Hanamaki…

Iwaizumi shoved another fry in his mouth as he watched them from across the booth. Hanamaki was practically sitting in Matsukawa’s lap, both of them snickering over a picture on Matsukawa’s phone.

“You guys are insufferable,” he grumbled.

Hanamaki stuck out his tongue. “You’re just jealous cause Matsukawa replaced you as my best friend.”

“Actually I’m kind of relieved. I was getting tired of you sending me pictures of Kermit the Frog,” he sipped his drink as Hanamaki’s face morphed into horror.

“Who doesn’t like Kermit the Frog memes?”

“Nobody would like them if they were shoved in their faces every five seconds.”

Matsukawa shook his head, “I see why you dropped him. Man has horrible taste.”

“Terrible.”

“Despicable.”

“Downright offensi-”

“Okay, I get it.”

Matsukawa grinned. “You know what Hanamaki? I think Iwaizumi’s a little grumpy today.”

“Yes, you’re right Matsukawa. I think he needs a meme.”

“I swear if there’s a fucking frog muppet on your screen--”

There was a noise of disgust from somewhere behind them and the three boys turned to look at the source. A guy around their age with long hair was sneering at Hanamaki and Matsukawa squished together on their side of the booth. “I can’t believe they let people like that hang around our school. If I had my way, they wouldn’t even be allowed to step foot on campus.”

At that, Matsukawa disentangled himself from Hanamaki and scooted out the booth. The crestfallen look on Hanamaki’s face as he watched the other leave hastily was enough to drive Iwaizumi over the edge.

He had already been having a shitty day but this? This made everything--waking up late, embarrassing himself, the spilled juice, the left behind keys, Hanamaki’s dejected look from across the table--everything just come crashing down on his shoulders, and Iwaizumi had had enough.

He got up and beelined to the kid. “What did you just say?”

The kid stood his ground and smirked, “I said I can’t believe they let people like that in our school.”

“Like what?” Iwaizumi growled.

“Like fa-”

Iwaizumi’s fist slammed right into the other’s face with a resounding crunch. The kid wailed in pain and Iwaizumi distinctly heard Hanamaki whoop in the corner.

And then, suddenly, he found himself sitting in the dean’s office being yelled at as the kid smirked from the sidelines.

He was only half-listening, more upset that he was the one in trouble instead of that dickhead. It was like this day couldn’t get any shittier.

He glared at the kid who shrunk back a little. Good. You better be scared of me asshole. Because if I catch you saying any of that shit to my friends again, I’ll break more than your precious little nose.

“Due to the circumstances, I’m not going to suspend you,” the dean was saying, “but you’re going to be required to have six weeks of anger management sessions every Friday with Dr. Nakamura.”

Six weeks of anger management sessions.

Sessions that started the second he was dismissed from the dean’s office. Iwaizumi glanced around the empty waiting room with its cream-colored walls and ugly painting of flowers.

This was going to be a nightmare.

“Iwaizumi Hajime?” someone called and he lifted himself off the stiff plastic chair with a sigh and followed the attendant down the hall.


Being a psychology major was fun. You got to learn how the mind worked and how other people thought the mind worked. Mainly the latter half of that sentence but still.

It was cool stuff to Oikawa. He’d always been interested in learning how thoughts are processed and what made people tick.

He’d been lucky enough to be able to transfer to a university with a great psychology department with an internship program that actually allowed students to shadow the counselors at the school. There was no better training in Oikawa’s opinion.

Sure it came at a cost. He had to move four hours away from his hometown, which meant having to figure out how to maintain a long-distance relationship with his boyfriend, Sato. They’d had to draw up a schedule in which they would take turns visiting each other over the weekends and they even started making plans for the holidays and festivals in between.

It was the only thing that assured Oikawa that they’d be alright.

The program also came with a lot of paperwork: NDAs and doctor-patient confidentiality forms and other legal work that Oikawa didn’t bother to read over. He just filled them all out and signed whatever papers were given to him, eager to meet Dr. Nakamura, one of the most prestigious psychologists in the country.

“I’m telling you, Yahaba-kun. This year is going to be the best!” Oikawa beamed, holding his phone between his ear and his shoulder as he balanced his textbooks in his arms.

“Yes I know you’ve been raving about it all week,” his roommate replied, “It’s been giving me a headache.”

“Aw I’m sure Mad Dog-chan will make it all better,” he heard a disgruntled noise in the background. “Ooo! Is he there now?”

Yahaba evaded the question, “Doesn’t your first day with Dr. What’s-His-Face start in five minutes?”

Oikawa checked his watch. Shit. “Oops gotta go! Make sure to use protection~” then he ended the call quickly before Yahaba could curse him out.

Right… Now, where was the psychology building again? He shouldered his bag, readjusted his books, and took off across campus.


Oikawa signed in with the receptionist at the front then scurried to the oak door emblazoned with his mentor’s name on it. He took a moment to comb his fingers through his hair and straighten his shirt as best he could (first impressions were so important) before he opened the door.

He noticed the subject was already there, seated stiffly on the couch across from the psychologist. He seemed to be around Oikawa’s age, bulky, tan, with dark spiky hair. The subject also scrunched up his face as soon as they made eye contact.

“Hello, doctor! I’m so sorry I’m late,” Oikawa shook Nakamura’s hand.

“It’s no problem. Take a seat.” Nakamura gestured to the couch across from him where the subject was sitting.

Oikawa placed his bag and books on the table between them, then settled himself as far away from the stranger as he could. He made sure to angle his body so that he was facing both the subject and Dr. Nakamura then took out some paper, clicked his pen, and sat back to observe.

“Now I understand we’ve been having some issues,” Nakamura said with a smile.

The subject looked irritated, “I’m sorry,” he jabbed his thumb in Oikawa’s direction, “Does he have to be here?”

Oikawa bristled. This guy… It was like he thought that Oikawa was here to collect personal information and then gossip about him. Couldn’t he see that Oikawa was professional, here to shadow a well-renowned psychologist? “You have a problem with me being here?”

“Yeah actually, I kind of do.”

Nakamura cleared his throat. “I’m sorry Iwaizumi, but it would be best to conduct this session with both of you in the room.”

“Yeah, Iwa-chan. Chill out.” Oikawa muttered.

Apparently, he wasn’t quiet enough, because he received a murderous glare from Iwaizumi. “Don’t call me that.”

“Seems like we need to work on your communication skills,” Nakamura continued, jotting something down on his pad. Oikawa copied the words “bad communication skills” diligently ignoring the hard stare of Iwaizumi.

(No, you know what? Screw it. As long as he was going to be an asshole to Oikawa, he was going to call him Iwa-chan. Fuck that guy.)

Nakamura finished writing his notes and sat back in his chair. “We’re going to start off this session with one question: What does the word ‘love’ mean to you?”

Iwa-chan’s face soured. “Can we do a different question?”

Nakamura turned to Oikawa. “Why don’t you go first?”

Oikawa had to admit this was a weird part of the session. He was only supposed to be shadowing, which meant that he was supposed to remain a bump on a log, a potted plant in the corner of the room, a pillow on the couch he was currently sitting on.

Maybe he was being tested…

“Well,” Oikawa straightened up. “According to Sternberg, the three components of love are intimacy, passion, and commitment. So to me, love would be the perfect combination of those three.”

Iwa-chan scoffed. “You make it sound like a formula.”

“Do you have a better answer?” Oikawa shot back.

Iwa-chan frowned, “I just think that love is about caring for another person through thick and thin. It’s supporting them when they need it and making sure they don’t do anything stupid.”

Oikawa rolled his eyes, “Ugh, yours sounds so cheesy.”

“Those are both very good answers.” Nakamura interrupted before Iwa-chan could retort, “Let's delve into those more. Oikawa, you said that love means a combination of intimacy, passion, and commitment. Which one of those things do you think you’re missing from your life right now?”

“Uh…” Oikawa glanced over at Iwa-chan, who was playing with a button on his jacket, disinterested.

Maybe this shadowing thing was more interactive than he thought? Was he supposed to help pry answers out of Iwa-chan by providing personal examples?

“I-I don’t know?” He thought about his and Sato-chan’s relationship. He’d like to think that they had all those things. The only real problem right now was… “I guess intimacy?”

“And what about you Iwaizumi?”

“All of them.”

Nakamura raised his eyebrows and scribbled more things on his notebook. “I see. I see. Well, that is very concerning.”

Huh... Iwa-chan was single?

Oikawa began to analyze his couch partner. Iwa-chan wasn’t that bad-looking. He was in good shape, probably went to the gym every day based on the size of his arms and thighs (there was probably a six-pack under that baggy shirt too). His eyes were a lovely shade of olive green and his short spiky hair suited him well. And based on his answer to the love question, he seemed to be a romantic, even though he had a grumpy face.

So how come he was still single?

“Now I have some homework for you two.” Oikawa could see Iwa-chan hold in a groan as Nakamura slid over a couple of slips of pink paper across the table. They each took one. “I want you to take this quiz online and follow the instructions accordingly. Bring back the results for our next session together alright?”

Oikawa read the paper. It was titled “The Love Language Quiz” in big loopy letters followed by a url. He glanced over at Iwa-chan, who looked confused. “Is this it?”

Nakamura nodded. “We’re having a short session today. Next week will be much longer as we’ll be discussing your results and doing some practice exercises.”

Iwa-chan scowled, “Fantastic.”

“Alright. I’ll see you both next week.”

Nakamura got up and held his office door open for them. Iwaizumi swung his bag over his shoulder and strode out immediately. Oikawa fumbled with his things and Nakamura waited for him to shuffle out before closing the door promptly behind him.