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                "Iwa-chan!"

                "What?"

                "Iwa-chaaaan!"

                "WHAT."

                "Are you going to propose to me this century, or what?"

                "No. Could you stop asking? We're still at the reception."

                "But all this wedding cuteness makes me want to have one! Just look at them!" Oikawa pointed a long finger in the direction of Daichi and Suga, who were, at this point, breaking it down on the dance floor.

                "Then go marry yourself; nobody loves you more than you, after all." Oikawa leaned back in his chair, inhaling dramatically.

                "Mean! Okay, while that is true..." Iwaizumi pressed a kiss to the corner of his mouth, a throaty chuckle barely escaping his lips. "I'll take second-best, though. I'm feeling charitable!"

                "Ah, what have I done to deserve the privilege of your love, oh great Trashykawa?" Iwaizumi deadpanned, rolling his eyes and taking a slow sip from Oikawa's (fifth) wine glass.

                "Hmm, well-" Tooru tapped a finger on his chin as though he was deep in thought. "I guess you look great in a suit, even if it is such a boring black, and you're pretty good in bed."

                "Pretty good?"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

                "I'm open to improving your bedroom rating. Maybe if we leave a little early~" Given that they were at a function with their friends and Daichi and Suga's families, Iwaizumi refrained from throwing anything at his boyfriend. He hoped that nobody had overheard their last exchange because Hajime was in no way interested in being on the receiving end of glares for the rest of the night. "But first! IWA-CHAN! This is my song!" Hajime found himself being dragged unceremoniously to the dance floor where Daichi, Suga and several others from their volleyball team leapt on him. He had every intention of chewing Oikawa out for declaring that every song was his song, but when Iwaizumi saw the look of pure, unadulterated joy on Tooru's face as he swayed to the music - well, he really couldn't be bothered to say anything at all. It was about the time that Suga and Oikawa began singing along to "I Like Big Butts" and leering at their significant others that Daichi and Hajime started to get awkward. Both men were aware that they were gifted in that particular region, but neither was interested in having this broadcast to the public at large (no matter how little English most spoke). Especially not Daichi, who was trying to shield his impressionable grandparents from Suga's increasingly lewd gestures. There would be a time later in the evening for Daichi to thank whoever had been refilling Suga's wine glass, but that was not it. Koushi and Tooru had hit their stride, managing to invent their own harmony for the refrain, so Hajime and Daichi took the opportunity to fade through the crowd and out onto the patio of the reception hall.

                "How long do you think it'll be before they find us?" Iwaizumi laughed by way of response.

                "Having an open bar was a terrible idea, Daichi."

                "Do you really mean that?"

                "Not at all." The two men chuckled. "So, you're a married man now, huh?"

                "Yeah! I don't feel any different, but I don't think it's set in yet." Daichi looked down at his left hand, twisting the silver band around his previously naked finger. "He's stuck with me for life now!" He laughed brightly, the sound hardly doing justice to how happy he was at that moment. Iwaizumi couldn't help but mirror his grin.

                "Just as a warning, Oikawa filmed you crying, and I'm pretty sure it's entirely for blackmail."

                "If I said I was surprised, I'd be a liar. As long as it doesn't end up on one of his many social media outlets, I'm fine with it."

                "Ah, but I also filmed him blubbering over your vows, so he won't." Daichi met Iwaizumi's eyes, surprised, but impressed. "We've been together long enough that I know what I'm doing. I have a whole folder of Oikawa blackmail on my computer."

                "Your relationship sounds healthy."

                "Oh, it is."

                "Has he given up on needling you about proposing yet?" Hajime let out a long-suffering sigh.

                "No. He hasn't."

                "You're still not into the idea?" There were only so many times a man could sigh in a day, Iwaizumi thought, shrugging.

                "I don't really feel the need to do it? I mean, I'm happy for you and Suga, obviously, but I figured that sharing my life, apartment and finances with someone was enough. Maybe I'm wrong."

                "Have you talked about it? I mean, actually talked?" Hajime's eyes flitted distractedly to the left of Daichi before he dropped his voice low.

                "If by talking, you mean yelling, then sort of. But don't let me rain on your parade - we're happy and we'll figure things out." Daichi leapt out of his skin when both Suga and Tooru yelled "BOO!" from behind him, both sporting identical, rosy, shit-eating grins. Iwaizumi failed at remaining stoic, and his cough turned into laughter at Daichi's horrified grimace. Suga's eyes were wine- and love-drunk, and he wasted no time in nuzzling up against his husband.

                "Iwa-chan, I think they've finished playing all my favourite songs!"

                "Good." Hajime muttered drily, his cheeks flushing when Suga caught his gaze and smiled fondly at the two of them.

                "We didn't get to dance!"

                "No, and I am not dancing."

                "Iwa-chaaaan!" Oikawa surged forward to latch onto Iwaizumi's lapel, but he was more affected by the wine than he thought, missing by several inches. Hajime caught him by the elbows, muttering under his breath.

                "If I dance with you once, and I mean once, will you let me be?" Oikawa pursed his lips, his muddled brain weighing the offer. Daichi and Suga murmured to one another softly several feet away from him.

                "We'll see you back inside!" Koushi waved enthusiastically, allowing Daichi to pull him to his side. Iwaizumi nodded, and Oikawa shifted his weight to one hip, rubbing his chin.

                "Trashykawa, it can't take that long for you to decide."

                "Iwa-chan, genius takes time!"

                "Do you even remember what you're supposed to be deciding on?" Tooru flashed a tipsy,  toothy grin that answered Hajime's question. As though summoned by some deity above, a slow song floated out onto the patio and Oikawa remembered.

                "Yes! Yesyes, I will accept a dance as payment for being your date."

                "Oikawa, these are your best friends, too."

                "But I am still your date."

                "Of course you are, idiot." Hajime crossed the space between him and a starry-eyed Oikawa, gently clasping one of his hands and pulling it up to his shoulder. The other hand snuck under Tooru's suit jacket, latching on to his slim hip, and smoothly bringing him closer. Oikawa hummed softly, resting his head on his boyfriend's and getting lost in the gentle warmth. Iwaizumi knew Oikawa could feel his smile on his soft cheek, but that was fine; long gone were the days when he was afraid to be affectionate around his favourite dork. Hajime closed his eyes, completely and utterly smitten by the familiarity of the firm body against his and the smell of the cologne Tooru hadn't stopped wearing since Iwaizumi had offhandedly mentioned that he liked it. They swayed to the muted song, the din of happy guests a distant cadence to those in their own wonderful world.

               

 

 

                Hajime and Tooru had been living together for four years by the time their two closest friends got married. Iwaizumi was order, and Oikawa was chaos, but they had reached a happy equilibrium in their lives, despite nobody understanding how their relationship really worked if they met them separately. Feeling comfortable in the life they were building together, Oikawa had begun niggling Iwaizumi about how it was high time for them to "settle down," as though they hadn't already done so. Hajime thought their relationship was just fine, going by the old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," where getting married fell under "fixing." Oikawa, on the other hand, would not let it drop, and it became a very sore topic for the both of them. At first, Tooru was coy about it, teasing in a light and airy way that made it easy for Hajime to brush it off and cuff the other man affectionately. As the months progressed, the good-natured teasing began to have darker undertones of disappointment and dissatisfaction; they fought about it more often than not and Hajime learned exactly how his neck hurt when he slept on their couch. Iwaizumi had tried to ask Oikawa about it as directly as possible, wanting to know why the desperation to get married when it really hadn't ever been an issue before. Tooru, true to form, skirted the issue and hoped that Hajime would be lured in by his half-truths and playful taunting. He wasn't.

                One morning, Tooru had simply woken in a sour mood, starting his day with snide quips and excessive glowering. To avoid the looming confrontation, Hajime busied himself with breakfast and an extra-full cup of coffee, scooting a plate of scrambled eggs across the table to his cranky better half. Though he was making no effort to improve his dour demeanor, Tooru accepted the scrambled eggs, spearing them angrily with a too-small fork. Hajime stood, seemingly satisfied with the noisy chewing as opposed to spiteful words, and dropped onto the couch.

                "Iwa-chan, why did you give me the small fork?" Oikawa demanded, gesturing with the utensil.

                "We haven't done dishes and-"

                "This is a fork for children."

                "Just eat your eggs."

                "Do I look like a child? Is this why you don't want to get married? Because I'm young and deserve teeny-tiny little baby forks instead of Iwa-chan's man forks, hmm?" Iwaizumi took a long, frustrated slurp of his coffee, giving himself some time to formulate an answer that wouldn't fan the rampaging flames.

                "No, Oikawa, you don't look like a child, and no, that has absolutely nothing to do with marriage."

                "Then what?" Tooru released the offensively small fork from his hands, letting it drop on his empty plate with a loud clatter. Hajime ran a hand up over his face and through his hair, exhaling with more force than necessary.

                "We've been over this."

                "No, we haven't."

                "We have."

                "Then humour me. Why? Am I not good enough?"While normally able to compose himself in the most stressful of situations, Tooru felt no need to do so here. Hajime knew that his boyfriend was intentionally encouraging his own destructive feedback loop to prove a juvenile point. He turned to Tooru, whose nostrils were flared exceptionally, but not doing anything to distract from the wry grimace twisting his mouth. Iwaizumi looked him dead in the narrowed eyes, his composure a hair's breadth from cracking.

                "Tooru."

                "What, Iwa-chan?" He spat.

                "This has never been a question of whether you're good enough. I would not have asked you to move in if you weren't good enough. I wouldn't be sharing my entire life with you if you weren't good enough. Hell, I wouldn't be allowing that hideous lamp across my threshold if I didn't love you. That is a damned ugly lamp, Oikawa. A damned ugly lamp.  Getting married would prove nothing; the only thing that would change would be the fact that we'd each have a nice accessory to wear around on our fingers."

                "How are you so stupid?" Hajime tried to take it in stride, knowing that the weight behind the insult was a product of frustration, but it was really difficult to rein in his own words. Tooru stormed into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. "Your scrambled eggs were terrible, by the way." He observed loudly before the sound of rushing water drowned out his voice. Even so, Hajime noticed the plate sitting on their dining room table was picked clean. He allowed himself a deep, bone-rattling sigh before downing the rest of his coffee.

 

 

 

                Iwaizumi knew that a large part of Oikawa's frustration was born of insecurity. While he could put on a show as well as the next cocky brat, it was not from naive overconfidence; Tooru's bravado burned brightly to smother the deep-seated fear of rejection plaguing his every action. He had hidden it well in the first six or so months of them dating, but Hajime had caught on. He made every effort to support Tooru and be there for him when he was falling apart under his own lofty expectations of himself, but old habits die hard. While Oikawa had markedly improved since they had  started seeing each other, it was hard to completely erase the crippling insecurities that had taken root over more than two decades. Every time Oikawa lashed out, it was never to wound; it was to protect himself, offer a distraction from his fragility. Hajime knew this, and his boyfriend always, always came up to him after the heat dissipated, his taller frame curling up around Iwaizumi's body by way of apology. Sometimes Iwaizumi could make out the 'sorry' mumbled up against his neck, but he usually just felt it in the way Oikawa held him just a little tighter, his fluffy hair tucked under Iwaizumi's strong jaw.

                Later that same day, Oikawa had sulked up to Iwaizumi, who was reading a book on the couch, and sprawled across his lap, quietly whispering that all he really wanted was to be together for the rest of their lives. Hajime smoothed wayward strands of hair from Tooru's face, gazing fondly at the man whose vulnerability still made his heart hurt.

                "We will be."

                "That's a great sacrifice on my part, Iwa-chan. You'll probably get all gross and wrinkly and I'll have to use photoshop to make our pictures bearable for the public." Iwaizumi didn't miss a beat, putting Oikawa in a headlock while simultaneously finishing an engrossing paragraph in his novel. Oikawa yelped in surprise when his boyfriend dropped his novel to the side table, opting instead to grab him like a sack of unruly potatoes and carry him off to their bedroom.

                "You'll get all nasty too, Oikawa, but I guess I can deal with an eternity of saggy butt cheeks."

                "RUDE, IWA-CHAN! You're so mean!" Iwaizumi threw him onto the covers, laughing as he peppered Oikawa's face and neck with kisses.

 

                The cycle continued over months. They'd fight, resolve nothing, but apologize all the same. One night, both came home late from their workplaces, irritable and frustrated. If it were possible to eat more angrily than the duo, the world hadn't discovered it yet. They hardly spoke from the moment Tooru had crossed the threshold, dropping his jacket and keys on the table by the door, and dinner passed in tense silence. Afterward, Hajime was back to reading a novel on his side of the couch, and on the other side, Tooru was scrolling on the computer to occupy his mind. Normally, they'd be touching in any way possible, whether it be a foot, elbow or hand, but that evening, they had left a buffer a foot wide between them. Hajime noted that the physical barrier was not unlike the emotional distance that had been growing between them, only amplified by work stress and long days apart.

 

 

 

                As a physical therapist, Tooru had a slightly unusual schedule, so he worked Saturdays and had Fridays off. While Hajime was at work at the car manufacturing plant just outside of town, Tooru called Suga up to see if he would be available for lunch. The tension in their apartment was unbearable, even when he was alone on his off days, and Oikawa just wanted someone else to occupy him even if it was only for an hour. Cheerful as always, Suga met Oikawa at a ramen stand near his work. They ate in companionable silence, broken only by Suga's simple question.

                "Are you okay? You seem drained, Tooru."Oikawa placed his chin on his hand and met Suga's concerned eyes with an undecipherable expression. He was torn between unloading all his frustrations on his close friend and maintaining an air of casual indifference. The former won out.

                "Hajime and I are a mess right now, Suga. A complete mess."

                "I'm sorry."Tooru chuckled wryly.

                "Me too."

                "What's happening? I mean, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to-"

                "No, it's fine. We've stopped fighting about the marriage thing, but now we just don't talk at all, and it feels like we're growing further and further apart." Oikawa went silent for a moment, averting his gaze. "I'm really scared he's getting sick of me, Suga. I'm terrified, and I don't know how to talk to him right now. I know he's stressed at work because of that huge project he's got, and I-" Tooru sighed, smiling sadly as Suga rubbed his arm with gentle motions. "I've been awful to him. It's like I'm subconsciously trying to see how far I push him before he breaks, and I don't know why I'm doing it. I don't. Oikawa Tooru's crazy strikes again!" The normally proud shoulders sagged beneath the heavy weight of realization, and the corners of Oikawa's mouth turned down further the more he spoke. Suga hurt just looking at how dejected he seemed.

                "Here, Tooru, let me call work. I'll take the afternoon off and we can talk more. Give me a second."

                "You don't have to - it's not worth-"

                "Shut up, of course it is." Oikawa was immensely grateful for Suga's presence in his life.

                The two ended up walking around town, chatting, with Suga letting Oikawa air out his frustrations.

                "Why are you scared of him leaving? Has he said anything to that effect? Even a suggestion?" Suga inquired, taking a sip of his coffee as he struggled to keep up with Oikawa's long legs.

                "No...everything he says always points to him being committed to forever, I guess."

                "Hajime loves you more than anything, Tooru, and even an outsider can see that."

                "I know, but I guess part of me can't believe it still."

                "You know him, though. You know how vocal he is about things and people he doesn't like."

                "He still keeps my ugly lamp, even though he tries to hide it under a scarf."

                "That lamp really is awful. I'm actually impressed you had the balls to bring it into the apartment. It's a testament to how much he loves you that he puts up with that hideous thing. I honestly think Daichi might accidentally-on-purpose break it next time we come over, it's so bad."

                "I actually hate that lamp, but it's cute when Iwa-chan tries to ignore how awful it is."

                "See? The man puts up with your horrendous lamp. It's obvious that he's not going anywhere."

                "Suga!"

                "Tooru, seriously though, take it from me as someone who was around for Hajime's other relationships -  if he is unhappy enough to consider leaving, he will say so. He may be stubborn as a mule, but he is always willing to fix things before writing them off. If he hasn't said anything about being unhappy, it means he's riding out the storm because he thinks there's a future." Oikawa's lower lip trembled. "Go home and talk to him tonight. The worst thing you can do is keep everything bottled up while you just let the space between you get bigger."

                "Thanks, Suga."

                "Ah, it's nothing! All in a day's work!" Suga playfully punched Oikawa in the side a touch too forecefully, laughing when the man winced.

                "You're so meeean, ow, Sugaaa."

                "Suck it up, princess. Let's go grab some dessert and judge people." Suga flashed his ten megawatt smile and linked arms with Oikawa happily.

 

 

 

                Iwaizumi slowly turned his key in the lock, praying to any deity that would listen that he could have a quiet, peaceful evening with Oikawa, without drama. Emotionally prepared for the discomfort, he stepped into the apartment, smelling something delicious.

                "Hi." Oikawa stepped out of the kitchen, white v-neck covered in what appeared to be some sort of sauce. "I made dinner!" Hajime hadn't seen Oikawa look so sheepish in a long time, hands wringing a corner of his shirt.

                "Hi, gorgeous." Iwaizumi walked over to the kitchen, kissing the taller man gently. Oikawa hadn't made dinner in weeks, and neither had Iwaizumi, so a warm meal sounded especially pleasant. "What made you decide to cook tonight?" Oikawa shrugged, loosening Hajime's tie slowly and deliberately.

                "I wanted us to have a nice night, for once, since I've been really-" Tooru paused at the top button of Hajime's red button down. "-I've been awful to you for the last little while."

                "It's not your fault. I've been pretty useless, too, Oikawa."

                "You're always useless, Iwa-chan, you just hide it better sometimes." Tooru teased, a genuine smile crossing his face. Iwaizumi flicked his forehead, lips turning up subtly. "Mean!"

                "Says the man that just called his boyfriend useless."

                "I'm only speaking the truth, you know. Does this look like the face of a liar?" He batted his eyelashes to underscore his point, but Hajime was immune to his charms.

                "It does. Like a." Hajime kissed Tooru on the corner of his mouth. "Big." The junction of his jaw and neck. "Fat." Collarbone. "Liar." Oikawa sighed beneath the tender ministrations, clutching the front of Hajime's shirt, his body fighting a losing war between hunger and arousal. "Well, we should eat before it gets cold."

                "Ugh, Iwa-chan, right when it was getting good..."

                "I promise it'll get better after we eat."

 

               

                They lay wrapped up in the covers, Tooru's head nestled on Hajime's broad chest, fingers tracing the hard lines of muscle.

                "I want us to get married because I'm scared you'll leave me if we don't." Oikawa blurted out, hiding his face between Iwaizumi's chest and bicep. Hajime was silent for a moment, staring thoughtfully at the ceiling.

                "Tooru, why would I leave you?" Iwaizumi looked down, pulling Oikawa's chin up with his hand.

                "Because I'm annoying. And childish. And I get mad for no reason sometimes and say really awful things. And-"

                "Stop." Neither Oikawa nor he expected the sternness of his tone. "Just stop. First of all, there is nothing I love more than hearing your stupid 'Iwa-chaaan' first thing in the morning, even if I beat you over the head with my pillow. Yes, sometimes you drive me insane, just like I know I can make you crazy. It's part of being different people, and I am okay with it. Really. You're not always childish, either, and I actually like  your goofiness. Stop smiling so smugly and let me finish. Finally, I would be the world's biggest hypocrite if I got mad at you for irrational anger. You're not perfect, I'm not perfect, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Saying I'd leave you for having flaws is stupid, for one, because I like to think I'm not that shallow, and besides, you have so many absolutely amazing traits that I love. If there is anything negative, I don't notice because all I can see is the positive. Except for when you give me that cocky-ass grin and - I will smother you in your sleep." Hajime pulled the pillow out from under his head and smacked a giggling Oikawa in the head. Tooru hid behind one of his forearms, reaching his free arm out to grab some ammunition of his own. He leapt onto Hajime, shoving the pillow into his face despite his protests.

                "Ahh, and Iwa-chan loses again! So sad!" Oikawa yelped when Iwaizumi tipped him over with a tilt of his hips, pinning him to the bed.

                "When have you ever won against me?" This was better than fighting, Tooru thought, willing himself to believe that Hajime's honest words were enough to placate his inner demons.  

 

 

 

                It hadn't taken much to improve their attitudes; both Iwaizumi and Oikawa made a conscious effort to be better to each other, and the chasm between them narrowed. Unfortunately, both were also mistaken in thinking words would be enough to eradicate Oikawa's insecurities about commitment. Tooru tried, he really did, to let himself be filled with the warm comfort of Iwaizumi and trust in his desire to make forever a reality without a ring. Much to his great disappointment, it didn't work, but he wasn't about to ruin Hajime's happiness by bringing it up. Tooru bore it alone, occasionally succumbing to bouts of devastating fear in the middle of the night, waking to make sure Iwaizumi was still next to him, breathing deeply and evenly. He'll be here, Tooru thought, he'll always be here, but there was that voice within him that kept calling him a liar.

 

 

 

                Hajime leaned back in his office chair, minimizing a work order and toying with his phone. Looking up at the clock, he realized he had more than enough time for a quick phone call; he had missed talking to Tooru in the morning because the man had slept clean through Hajime's alarm.

                "Iwa-chan! Are you missing my voice at work?" Tooru cooed.

                "Would it make you happy if I said yes?" Hajime couldn't help but smile, imagining the bright face on the other end.

                "Always, Iwa-chan!"

                "Then, yes. I miss your annoying voice."

                "And here I thought you were going to be all romantic. I should have known better."

                "You should have, it's been how many years?"

                "You never fail to disappoint your hard-working boyfriend!"

                "Who is probably on his way to spend money on too-tight pants."

                "For you, maybe. You could go a size smaller and show off that butt, Iwa-chan. Unlike you, I need no help in that department. I am flawless!" Iwaizumi laughed, carding a hand through his hair and staring at the email notification that had just popped up on his screen.

                "Oikawa, you're ridiculous."

                "I prefer charming."

                "Right. Where are you heading? You sound like you're in the car."

                "I am, in fact, off to buy you a surprise!"

                "Please, do not buy me pants."

                "Won't be paaants~"

                "I'm honestly terrified."

                "Don't you trust me?" Iwaizumi swore he could hear him pouting. Only Oikawa.

                "As far as I can throw you."

                "Which is?"

                "Hmm, depending on the  air resistance and how much you've eaten that day, probably around 7 metres."

                "You should get back to the gym, then."

                "I hate you."

                "Ah, but you doooon't, Iwa-chan."

                "True, I guess."

                "Oooh, they've opened a new restaurant by the grocery store! We should try it."

                "Do you want to go tonight? Oikawa?"

                "Hm, sorry, was trying to see how big it was. I just drove by."

                "You better have me on the handsfree system, Oikawa, or I'll kill you."  

                "It's fine! The roads aren't that busy today."

                "Tooru."

                "You're such a worrywart, Iwa-chan, I'll be fine." Tooru laughed airily while Iwaizumi frowned. He did worry, but with reason. Oikawa wasn't the most focused driver to begin with, let alone when multi-tasking.

                "That's what I'm afraid of."

                "MEAN! You know you would miss my flawless face and body, and-" Hajime heard a shrill cry followed by the utterly unmistakable shriek of twisting metal. His blood froze in his veins.

                "Oikawa? Oikawa, this better not be your fucking idea of a joke. Oikawa! OIKAWA, ANSWER ME! TOORU?" Iwaizumi was starting to hyperventilate, breaking out in a cold sweat as his mind ran through hundreds of awful worst-case scenarios. He felt like someone had reached in his chest and begun squeezing, crushing his heart and lungs. There was no way he could get to where Tooru was very quickly given how far his work was; he quickly dialed Suga's number, stumbling over the digits with shaking hands.

                "Oh hey, Hajime! What's-"

                "Suga, I think Tooru's-I-we were talking and then-holy shit Suga, I-I can't get there very fast! I'm so far-I'm so far and he might be-"

                "Hajime, please breathe. What happened?" Suga's voice was blessedly calm.

                "Tooru was driving and we were on the phone and I think he crashed, or something, I don't know, but-Suga-oh God, Suga-"

                "Oh, oh no. Where was he, do you know? I'm leaving work now."

                "He drove by that giant grocery store he likes-you know the one with the stupid pink bakery next door? What's it called?"

                "Yeah, yeah, I know where that is. I'll call you when I know anything - please drive carefully, we don't need you to get into an accident on the way over here, please, Hajime." Hajime whimpered, running out of the plant and towards his car. "Breathe for me, okay?"

                "Okay. I can do that." Iwaizumi hung up, having told the biggest lie of his life to date.

 

 

 

                He had never had any complaints about speed limits on Japanese roads before, but this was one time where they were painfully inadequate for how fast Hajime needed to be going. Suga would likely find Tooru about ten minutes before him, at the rate Iwaizumi was driving, and hopefully there would already be an ambulance there. He felt like he was underwater, taking turns mechanically, eyes darting around frantically. Hajime had never felt such abject dread in his entire life. He was so close, yet so far, and for all he knew, the love of his life could easily be-no. He couldn't think like that. Turning onto the street with the grocery store, he slowed to look for an accident. The blood rushed in his ears and his heart pounded more heavily with every passing second. Up ahead, he saw Suga's Civic pulling up by the side of the road, right behind Oikawa's Corolla, which looked like it had mated with a small Ford Fiesta. Hajime crossed three lanes and pulled up behind Suga, nearly tearing his seatbelt off as he scrambled out of the car. Suga was getting out of his own car next to a casually smiling Oikawa, who was chatting amicably with a small, skittish blonde girl who was, presumably, the owner of the car he had run into. Hajime felt his fear instantly ignite into rage, his hands tight and shaking in the unmistakable gesture of 'I will strangle you."

                "Iwa-chan! You-" Abandoning the idea of murder for the time being, Iwaizumi threw his arms around Tooru', smashing their lips together to make sure that the idiot standing before him was actually alive and breathing. Oikawa mewled, wrapping his arms around Iwaizumi's waist. Hajime pulled away, resting his forehead on Tooru's shoulder, his body shaking. Oikawa pulled him tighter, still puzzled. Iwaizumi stepped back, smacking the comforting arms away.

                "I will fucking kill you now that I know you're alive, you little shit." The small blonde in his peripheral vision squirmed, taking a step away.

                "Hajime, what-"

                "Why the fuck did you not answer your phone?"

                "I dropped it after I ran into Yacchan's car, and I was so afraid I'd hurt her that I forgot to-" Iwaizumi looked from the crumpled hood of Oikawa's blue car back to Oikawa.

                "You didn't think that MAYBE, just maybe, ending a conversation with THE SCREECH OF METAL AND A SCREAM WITHOUT SO MUCH AS AN EXPLANATION WOULD UPSET YOUR BOYFRIEND, HM? NO. THAT WOULD REQUIRE SOME THINKING, WOULDN'T IT?!" Iwaizumi flinched away from a hand that had been placed carefully on his back. Suga looked worried, watching Hajime's chest heave and face turn progressively redder. Recognition dawned on Oikawa's face and he reached for Iwaizumi's arm.

                "Hajime, I'm so-"

                "I need a minute." Iwaizumi stormed back to his car, flung the door open and sat, feet still on the soft grass by the side of the road. He buried his sweating face in his hands, feeling the crippling fear melt away slowly along with the ice in his veins. He shook as his body struggled to return to its pre-shock equilibrium. Hajime's shoulders vibrated with tremors from the sudden wave of unstoppable laughter that seized him. He thought Tooru was gone. Hajime felt the onslaught of hysteria. Even thinking of the possibility of not waking up to the world's whiniest 'Iwa-chan!' was enough for the hysterical chuckling to dissolve into quiet tears. There was no world in which he would want to exist if Tooru wasn't there with him. He saw two familiar shoes stop before him as he stared down at the grass; size 11 Keds, a limited-edition print of a galaxy on them. Tooru kneeled in front of Hajime and leaned between his hands to rest their foreheads together.

                "I'm sorry, Hajime. I know the car is new, but I think we could get it fixed. I can take the train to work just fine!" Iwaizumi lifted his head slowly to meet Oikawa's owlishly blinking eyes. Oikawa actually looked genuinely worried. Hajime took a deep breath, grabbing hold of Tooru's hands.

                "Are you stupid?" Oikawa leaned back, hurt flashing across his features.

                "I said I'm sorry! Yes, the car is busted, but I-"

                "Are you stupid enough to think that I'm upset about the car?" Iwaizumi's voice was startlingly low in his throat.

                "Why else would you be so mad?" Tooru's voice was small, barely audible, and he looked away from Hajime's red eyes. "You're so mad at me that you're crying; I've never seen you do that before."

                "Shittykawa. I am crying because I thought you might have died. You actually think I'm crying over the fucking Corolla? We can get another! I don't care! It's not even that nice. Those come off a manufacturing line! Where in the hell am I supposed to find another Oikawa Tooru, huh? What am I supposed to do if YOU are gone, asshole? You're the only person I ever want to be with, so you're not allowed to die. You can't. I couldn't live without you, stupid." Tooru sat back on his haunches, his chocolate brown eyes watering, finally grasping the gravity of the situation. He pressed Iwaizumi's hand over his heart. That was the first time the words burned his inner demons, driving them away.

                "Iwa-chan, that's no way to talk to someone that's come back from the dead!"

                "You weren't dead, you jackass."

                "Is this a bad time to ask you to marry me?"

                "Fuck, whatever, okay. Taking advantage of my emotionally compromised state is so you, Oikawa. If it takes a few stupid rings for you to be happy, then fine. You're stuck with me for life, anyway, you turd."

                "So romantic, Hajime."  Oikawa leaned in, capturing Iwazumi's lips in a passionate kiss, curling his fingers around Hajime's neck. Iwaizumi pulled Tooru closer, determined to never let him go.

                "Guys? That girl still needs your insurance information." Suga giggled at the couple making out like there was no tomorrow. "Or not."

 

 

SEVERAL DAYS LATER:

 

 

                "Oikawa, what is this fucking lamp?"

                "It's your surprise!"

                "Lord almighty. It's worse than the one we already have."

                "That was the idea."

                "I retract my decision to marry you."

                "Iwa-chan!"