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nevermind (but i mind)

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Halfway through his morning run, something feels--

Wrong.

It’s not pain, exactly, that makes him slow to a stop outside the corner store, but something sweeping and uncomfortable. The sensation of falling while standing completely still. The hyper awareness of his own sweaty, too tight skin. He presses fingertips to his pulse point, keeping time as the song fades out.

Perfectly normal.

He looks out over the mountains, skips to the next song, and starts again.

--

He can’t shake the feeling, though, everything buzzing constantly, incessantly--cicadas to the baseball cards clipped in kids’ bike spokes to sizzling asphalt under the soles of his shoes as he loops down to the bridge at the very edge of town, then back up around again. Maybe if he runs fast enough, hard enough, he’ll be able to exhaust himself to the point of not being able to feel anything. It’s the same thing he yells at his teammates to never, ever do.

It’s the dreaded Mandatory Break Week. A point in the summer where practice has been suspended. As much as you need to train and discipline your bodies, Coach always says, you also need to treat it right. That means taking care of yourselves, resting properly. Light workouts, but nothing too strenuous, and no practice. Go spend time with your families.

It echoes through Hajime’s mind as he dry heaves into some bushes, thinking he might’ve overdone it in the last stretch.

Being a hypocritical ass he is, he texts Oikawa, You better not be at the gym.

It’s a little weird that Oikawa doesn’t answer him immediately--outside of practice the guy is glued to his phone, and texts faster than the speed of sound--but Hajime just takes it as a silent admission of guilt as he whips out his keys and starts scaling the steps to his apartment.

--

“Something the matter?” his mom asks the next night from the sofa, book open in her lap. She looks how she always does, legs tucked underneath her and hands turning pages until her eyes get tired. He’s seen her exactly like this in that exact spot countless times, and the familiarity only makes weights that feeling of offness inside of his chest.

“‘m fine,” he mutters, biting off the end of his thumbnail and spatting it into the wastepaper basket.

Her frown is immediate. “That’s disgusting.”

“Yeah, well, you’re the one you birthed disgusting into this world,” he wanders over and collapses back onto the sofa next to her.

She reaches over, brushing hair out of his face and cupping it. “You don’t feel hot…”

He swats at her. “I said I’m fine.”

“You’ve been spaced out all day. I saw you walk into the bathroom door before,” she worries at her bottom lip, like she’s debating on whether or not to say whatever she’s thinking. But she does, asking, “Is it Tooru-kun?”

It isn’t like he hadn’t noticed. For hours now, Hajime’s found his hand reflexively reaching for his phone, ready to check the usual dozen or so texts Oikawa’s sent him that tended to pile up, only to see that his inbox was empty. He’s found himself looking around, feeling the oddest sensation of being lost in the town he’s lived in his entire life, the empty space on either side of him open enough to echo. He’s found himself wandering down the street towards the long road that would eventually lead to Oikawa’s house on the southside of town, just over the train tracks. He’s found these things, but he hasn’t found Oikawa.

Still, he’s not ready to admit that the reason he’s been feeling so off the past couple days is just because Oikawa hasn’t been around. That’d be ridiculous. If he’s been staring off into space, or if he’s walked into a couple of doors, or if he feels something that could almost be called loneliness, well then…

He sweeps his feet up onto the couch, laying down with his head in his mom’s lap. “I’m fine. Really.”

If Oikawa wants to talk to him, he’ll talk to him, because out of the two of them Hajime is definitely not the clingy one.

-

Hajime picks his buzzing phone up off his desk, leaning back in his chair. “Yo.”

“Iwaizumi,” Matsukawa’s comes through crisp and clear. It makes Hajime fidget. “We’re all getting lunch downtown if you wanna come with.”

“Oh,” he pauses. Why had he automatically thought it was Oikawa calling? Oikawa doesn’t call. Oikawa either texts or demands Hajime get on video chat.

“You don’t have to, if you don’t want.”

Hajime jumps. “No. I mean, yeah, I do wanna go.”

There’s a beat. “Are you--”

“Listen, I’ll meet you there,” Hajime cuts him off, hitting the end button. He presses his forehead against the surface of his desk, feeling strangely like he’s just been caught.

-

They end up at their usual sandwich place, and he watches Matsukawa and Hanamaki gorge themselves, grunting at each other for napkins. If Hajime wasn’t already not feeling food, he would’ve definitely lost his appetite. Did he look like that when he was eating? Damn.

“W’as wrong?” Mastukawa asks through a mouthful half chewed sub. Hajime winces.

“Nothing,” he looks down at his own sandwich, the few bites he’d taken out of it before putting on back on the tray. “Just not as hungry as I thought I was.”

“You look like you’ve got a serious case of that, y’know, that thing,” Matsukawa snaps his fingers, trying get out the word. “Yo, what’s the thing I’m thinking of. It’s like a fancy French word for being a sadsack.”

Hanamaki swallows, wiping at his mouth with a napkin. “Ennui. The word you’re thinking of ennui.”

Matsukawa snaps one last time, pointing. “That’s it. Ennui. You seem like you’ve got some serious French sadsackery going on.”

“Arguably the saddest of the sadsackery,” Hanamaki adds.

Hajime scowls, wadding up a used napkin. “I’m just not hungry, you idiots.”

“You’re never not hungry,” Hanamaki leans his chin against his hand. “I’ve seen you put away meals meant for a family of four.”

“I’ve had nightmares about how much you eat,” Matsukawa nods. “There was one where I watched you eat Oikawa. It was terrifying, but also kind of funny...mostly funny. He kept yelling that you were so rude for eating him.”

“Speaking of,” Hajime starts, desperate to change the subject. He pulls his phone from his jacket pocket. “Where the hell is Oikawa? He usually jumps at the chance to flirt with the girls here.”

When the only thing that answers him is silence, Hajime looks up. Matsuwaka has stuffed the last quarter of his sub into his mouth, chewing slowly while Hanamaki suddenly seems incredibly interested in the formica table top.

“What?” he barks, that falling sensation flipping, accelerating as they both refuse to say a word. “What’s wrong?”

They’re both sweating, and looking at each other like they’re expecting the other to jump in first, but neither makes a move.

“You--I mean, well,” Hanamaki looks to Matsukawa, who shrugs, then back, “We just thought someone would’ve told you by now...”

“Told me what?” Hajime looks between them, and then, louder, “Told me what?”

The girls at the counter thank the customer who just grabbed their order, and the bell above the door chimes seconds later. It sounds too close to an alarm.

“Okay, the most important thing you need to know,” Matsukawa leans in, “is that he’s fine.”

-

“Hajime-kun,” Oikawa’s mother lights up when she sees him. She’s got a massive bouquet of flowers in her arms, ornate and full of peonies and gardenias and little wisps of baby’s breath held together in a crystal vase. Against the stark hospital white, she’s a glowing beacon of color standing in front of him. He takes the flowers from her hands immediately. “Oh, thank you. We’ve been wondering where you’ve been.”

Oikawa gets it from his mother, that saccharine sweet grin spelling out in a line of white teeth I’m always right. It doesn't piss Hajime off when she wears it so much as it scares him, because she usually is.

“No one--” the excuse is in the tip of his tongue, but it melts into, “Can I see him?”

“Of course,” she tilts her head. “He’ll be ecstatic to see you.”

-

“Iwa-chan,” Oikawa sings, eyes glittering. “Are those flowers for me?”

A gentle hand rests on Hajime’s shoulder. “I’ll leave you two alone. Try not to cause a ruckus.”

Hajime nods, but his eyes won’t leave Oikawa. The pale yellow of his hospital gown washes him out completely, and it makes Hajime’s throat tighten. The door gently shuts behind her.

“Really, Iwa-chan, you didn’t have to go through the trouble of getting me such a lavish looking bouquet,” Oikawa’s smile spread slow and warm. “I know I’m worth it, but--”

“Shut up.”

It’s not annoyed, or dismissive, or even outright enraged. It’s bone dry, and hollow, and cutting as his fingers grip at the vase enough it feels like it might break.

Oikawa opens his mouth again.

“Shut. Up.”

It snaps closed.

Hajime throws the vase into the nearby chair, water spilling onto the floor as he storms over to the bed. “Your appendix explodes, you force everyone to not tell me, and I can’t even fucking hit you right now for being so stupid so shut up.”

“I’m sorry, Iwa--”

“No, shut up,” Hajime’s hand shoots out, wrapping around Oikawa’s wrist and squeezing. He’s there, he’s fine. “Shut the fuck up if you’re just gonna give me your normal bullshit personality. If you’re gonna say something, mean it or don’t say a damn thing.”

Oikawa twists the arm in Hajime’s grip, palm face up so he can get a hold of Hajime’s wrist. How many times have they done exactly this? Helped each other up off of scuff marked gymnasium floors, pulled each other to their feet, held on for a beat or two too long. They don’t touch that often, not like they used to. They used to be so tactile when they were kids, handholding and hugging and hair ruffling. Oikawa used to goad him into cheek kisses, a few pecks on the lips, clinging and cuddling.

Now it’s like he’s not reaching out for Oikawa unless it’s to shove, or smack, or headbutt. And it’s probably his fault they’re like this now. It’s not like Hajime couldn’t see most guy friends didn’t do what they did, weren’t like them. He knew, but the comfort of Tooru’s tiny, chubby hand in his was enough to have him holding on until middle school. It wasn’t that he would’ve really minded other guys talking shit, or thinking they were weird. It was just--

Suddenly there were tons of other people--girls--that Oikawa started doing those same things with, coinciding perfectly with the sudden flood of ringing insecurity of puberty that left Hajime sweating at the thought of holding his best friend’s hand. And if Oikawa was going to act like those things were something fun he could just do with whoever was giving him the most attention, and not in the way Hajime suddenly wanted him to mean it, then things had to change. He only touches and holds and hugs as much as he will with any of the other guys (that he can’t stop--he’s always been a hugger, a back rubber, a hair ruffler). He measures their lives together simply but strictly, and he’s gotten really good and drawing lines, never crossing them.

It’s only now that he’s realizing he’s drawn himself back into a corner.

“I just didn’t want to make you freak out,” Oikawa says, pad of his thumb pressing gently against Hajime’s pulse point. “You know how you get, mom.”

“Don’t call me that, Shittykawa,” Hajime huffs, giving one last good squeeze before pulling back. Oikawa lets go, too. “You owe me. I’m talking paying for all our meals out, seeing the movies I want to see, and going to the arcade.”

Oikawa whines, “I hate the arcade. I’m no good at video games, and it smells like a middle school clubroom in there.”

“You,” Hajime reaches out and flicks the end of Oikawa’s nose, “owe me.”

Oikawa keeps whining, making a show of waving his arms and kicking his feet until his mom comes back into the room and tells him to calm down.

-

Oikawa leaves the hospital that evening, and it takes four nurses to carry all of his flower arrangements out to the car, and even when it’s all gone the room reeks of the peculiar smell of too sweet hyacinth and roses and lilies mixing with with burn of antiseptic. It’s giving Hajime a headache.

Well, that and the fact that Oikawa is, of course, being a giant child. “I want Iwa-chan to be the one to push my wheelchair!”

“Tooru, Hajime-kun’s a man now,” Oikawa’s dad sighs, longsuffering as he crosses his arms. “Don’t you think you should stop calling him that?”

Oikawa waves a flippant hand. “Iwa-chan is Iwa-chan.”

A chorus of sighs. Hajime shrugs, “It’s fine. I don’t mind it.”

(It does, though, something whispers. It bugs you because he calls everyone something like that.)

“And I’ll push him,” his eyes cut to Oikawa, smirk twisting the line of his mouth. “Oh, I’ll push him.”

Oikawa has the decency to look terrified as Hajime grips onto the wheelchair handles.

“Wait, no, get that cute nurse with the glasses to do it--Iwa-chan, stop you’re gonna tip the whole thing over!”

-

Hajime slides into bed that night staring at the ceiling, exhausted but too wired to fall asleep. He grunts, turning onto his side, phone buzzing on his desk. His heart gives a small jump, and he reaches for it, but it’s just Matsukawa asking, are you still being a French sadsack?

He deletes it without answersing and finds Oikawa’s name instead, typing, be careful of your stitches when you shower.

It makes him a little too happy when Oikawa responds immediately, at least until Hajime reads the message. Thinking about me showering, iwa-chan???!!!!! pervert!!!!

Oh.

He snaps the phone shut without saying anything and lets it fall to the floor, thudding against the carpet in time with the accelerating beat of his heart. Heat blooms in his face, his stomach, seeping deeply through his entire body and humming under his skin. It’s dumb, Oikawa was just being an ass, but all it took was the slightest mental image flashing through his head of smooth sudsy skin--

He punches his pillow twice, as hard as he can before shoving his face into the dent.

He’s almost eighteen now. He shouldn’t get hard at a half-thought of his best friend in the shower. It’s absolutely beyond ridiculous.

(And yet, the voices says, here we are.)

A hand slithers down on its own acccord, gripping himself through his boxers. He’s hard. Shit, he’s so hard. Shit, shit, shit. He winces, grunting, thinking to himself he won’t. He can’t. Not again--

His tongue flickers out, wetting his bottom lip before biting down hard. He flops onto his stomach, pushing his underwear down around his thighs, face buried in his pillow as he fucks his hand, rutting slow and hard and trying his best to keep his mind completely blank.

(So rude, Iwa-chan, it says, thinking about your best friend when you touch yourself.)

“Nng,” Hajime whimpers, spilling into his hand. “Fuck.”

He cleans up the best he can with tissues, letting waves of shame lull him into an exhausted, dreamless sleep.

-

Oikawa seems fine. He is fine. Hajime is just on edge. Any kind of slowness, any fraction of a frown or hesitation has him at Oikawa’s side with a gentle hand at his back, ready to guide him to the nearest bench. But all Oikawa will do is turn and beam at him, start animatedly talking about one thing or another, totally fine. Because he is fine. Oikawa’s fine.

Knowing that, repeating it in his head like a mantra--even then, Hajime can’t seem to step back, sticking close with his hands finding home between broad shoulder blades, at the end of his spine, at the nape of Oikawa’s neck where he ruffles the soft hair there. “Your hair’s getting long,” he’ll say, scritching his nails, and let Oikawa lean into the touch.

So there’s no reason to feel bad for extorting him for ramen after school a few times a week. He owes Hajime that much.

“I’m benched until I get the stitches out,” Oikawa pouts, his chin against the counter as they wait for their food. “This sucks--what the hell is the appendix even useful for anyway?”

“It’s not,” Hajime shrugs. “It used to be the part of us that could let humans eat raw meat, but after millions of years it doesn’t do anything.”

“Except apparently rupture at 6 o’clock on an otherwise perfectly fine Saturday morning, interrupting my sleep and getting me suspended from practice for two weeks.”

“That’s…” Hajime stops himself, looking down as his bowl is placed in front of him. “Never mind.”

“What?” Oikawa has never, in the history of their friendship, ever let Hajime get away with a never mind. “What, Iwa-chan, what were you gonna say? Iwa-chan, tell me. Tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me--”

“Shit, okay, calm down,” Hajime hisses, opening his chopsticks. “I was on my run that morning, and around the same time I had to stop ‘cause I got this weird feeling.”

Oikawa parrots, “Feeling?”

“Yeah, like,” Hajime expels all the breath in his lungs through his nose, knowing exactly what Oikawa’s going to say after. “I don’t know. I just felt off.”

Oikawa’s eyes glint as he lowers his voice, ducking in close as he says, “Telepathy.”

He groans. “For the last time--we do not have telepathy.”

“Well, maybe we would,” Oikawa points, circling his finger in the air, “if you’d practice with me.”

“Okay,” Hajime decides to indulge him. It’s not an impulse that comes along very often, but he’d feeling lighter than usual today, leaning his face against his hand as he cocks an eyebrow. “What am I thinking?”

“Hmmm,” Oikawa hums, tapping a finger to his chin before leaning in dangerously close from his stool. His eyes narrow, lips pursing, a burst of soapy aftershave and shampoo cutting through the thick scent of grilled meat. Oikawa smiles. “You’re thinking ‘oh wow, Oikawa is so handsome. And he smells really great, too.’”

Hajime’s heart thuds against his ribcage, and he smashes his hand into Oikawa’s face, shoving him away. “No, I’m thinking you’re too close, Shittykawa.”

“Ow, I’m injured, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa whines. “You can’t hit an injured person! It’s tacky.”

“That personality of yours is what’s tacky,” Hajime snorts. “Shut up. I’m trying to eat.”

“What if you’d broken my nose?” Oikawa cups his hands over his face. “It’s easily my best feature.”

Oikawa does have a really nice nose. He’s heard girls call it cute. Hajime shakes head head to shake the thought, reaching over. “Gimme a chicken cutlet, weirdo.”

“Only,” Oikawa pulls his bowl back, “if you guess what I’m thinking.”

Hajime feels his eyebrow twitch. He hates when Oikawa does this--flirts with him the way he’ll start flirting with anyone who’s around long enough. Old ladies on the train, the guy manning the register at the drugstore, Hajime’s own mother. Oikawa usually knows better than to pull that bullshit with him, but there are the occasional slip ups where he’s bone tired and clingy, when they’ve been drinking and he gets all mushy, when it’s summer and they bikeride out into the countryside to watch the fireflies come up from the fields, talking about the past, looking towards the future.

Right now there’s no excuse. Oikawa’s just being obnoxious.

Hajime leans in, reaching across Oikawa’s chest and pausing just long enough to lock eyes. Cocking an eyebrow, he snatches piece of chicken from Oikawa’s bowl before rashing back onto his stool. Hajime blows lightly on the cutlet. “This isn’t one of your lame dates, Oikawa. Don’t pretend to flirt with me just ‘cause you’re lonely.”

Whatever tension building up in Oikawa’s chest is exhaled in a sigh Hajime can’t miss. It matches the same strange, sad lilt in his eyes as faces forward again. “If this was one of my dates, I’d be feeding you--ow, stop hitting me, jackass.”

--

“How’s Tooru-kun?” his mom asks over dinner that night.

“Insufferable,” he answers, picking out the mushrooms on his plate. “His usual insufferable self.”

“That’s nice,” she says, sipping her drink. “I’m glad you two are talking again.”

“We’re never not talking,” Hajime squirms in his seat. “He was just trying to hide shit from me.”

“What about last May? You two definitely weren’t speaking for at least two weeks,” she leans her chin against her hand. “You were the insufferable one then.”

“He was seeing that university girl, who was way too old for him and he wouldn’t even introduce us to her,” he waves a hand. “If you’re dating someone you can’t even introduce to your friends, then there’s definitely something wrong with her.”

“Maybe they weren’t a girl.”

Hajime promptly chokes on spoonful of curry he’d just shoveled into his mouth. His mom comes around the table and starts whacking him on the back until he’s finally able to get it down.

--

Practice resumes, and even though he’s benched Oikawa shows up regularly. He wears his uniform and sits by the coaches, eyes calculating and arms crossed. If Hajime didn’t know better he’d think Oikawa almost looks mature. He’s not whining and pouting like he was the other day, practically blubbering and refusing to eat as he whined Iwa-chan over and over again. He huffs out a laugh, shaking his head. It’s kind of nice, knowing he’s probably the only person who gets to see that.

(Except that guy he was dating.)

“Look out!”

The spike nails Hajime right in the face, the rush of blood following shortly after as his arms windmill and his body falls back with a thud that makes the gymnasium floor rumble. There’s a chorus of shouts, but Hajime’s already waving them away, going, “I’m fine, I’m fine!”

There a cloth being shoved into his face, head held back.

“I would say sorry,” Matsukawa says, “But you shouldn’t be so spaced out on the court.”

“Iwaizumi,” Coach sighs, “Sit out for the rest of practice, will you?”

Hajime starts to protest. “I’m--”

“Go.”

Kindaichi leads him over to the bench, asking him if he’s okay twice even though Hajime keeps assuring him that he’s fine. He sits, and doesn’t even have to look at Oikawa to know how smarmy he looks. “Shut up.”

“I never said a thing, Iwa-chan.”

“I can feel your beady eyes staring at me.”

“You mispronounced beautiful, Iwa-chan.”

Hajime swivels his gaze around, ready to come back with something his usual brand of scathing when he realizes this asshole has leaned in so incredibly close and is batting his eyelashes (long, long eyelashes) in the most obnoxious way possible.

“If you don’t back up right now I’m gonna bleed all over you, jackass.”

“Iwa-chan’s so brutish! You’ll never get a girlfriend like that.”

“Oikawa,” Coach shouts as he stalks back towards the bench. “This isn’t break time--stop flirting with Iwaizumi and watch your teammates.”

Oikawa can’t really see the smarmy expression Hajime’s wearing, but that doesn’t stop him from going, “Shut up.”

-

His nose eventually stop bleeding, and after he’s finished changing in the clubroom he turns and sees Kunimi looking at him.

Hajime cocks an eyebrow, adjusting his bag over his shoulder. “What?”

“Nothing,” Kunimi shrugs. Then, “I’ve just never seen you like this.”

He frowns. “Like what?”

Kunimi considers him for a moment, like he’s debating whether or not it’s even worth the breath before he caves, grabbing his own bag and heading towards the door. “Distracted.”

Hajime blinks, watching him leave, face heating as Oikawa calls from outside, “Iwa-chan, it’s so hot out, let’s go!”

-

He knows Oikawa flirts with everyone. He knows. He just didn’t think that extended to actual dating. Which is ridiculous, now that he thinks about it, and what’s even more ridiculous is the anger that floods his body at even the thought of Oikawa trying to keep something like that from all of them, from Hajime--

(That’s not anger, something inside him whispers. You’d never be angry at him for that.)

Those thoughts follow him later that week when he goes with Oikawa to get his stitches out a week or so later, listening to Oikawa cry the whole time. “I’m gonna have a scar.”

“In my experience,” the doctor says, “women think scars look rugged.”

Hajime snorts. “Oikawa’s about the furthest thing from rugged. Squishy would be a better word.”

“Stop mocking me, this is serious,” Oikawa’s eyes dart nervously back to the doctor, to the tools in his hands. It’s simple, short, taking thirty seconds tops, but Oikawa’s overdramatic hissing and pained expressions make it feel like an hour. “Iwa-chan, I can’t look--am I disfigured?”

It’s just a curved line hooked above the cut of his hipbone, swollen and red, but in time it’ll fade and soften. He’s distracted for a moment by the thatch of dark hair leading down from Oikawa’s navel, to the unbuttoned top of his pants, the bright white elastic of his underwear. Looking up Hajime notices the doctor staring at them as he slowly packs up his things.

He looks Oikawa dead in the eye. “Now no one will ever love you.”

Oikawa starts flailing, and Hajime tries his hardest not to laugh outright. At Oikawa or in the doctor’s face.

-

They hit up a diner afterwards, Hajime offering to pay as a sort-of apology. Oikawa won’t stop pulling up his shirt at lulls in their conversation to look at his scar as they sit and wait for their food, pressing fingers along the line and making the most pathetic expression. Full on watery-eyed pouting with pink high in his cheeks, constantly sniffing. It’s seriously starting to piss Hajime off, because he’s pretty sure Oikawa is just using this as an opportunity to show his six pack off to random passersby.

“Stop touching it,” he snaps.

“I can’t,” Oikawa slumps down his his seat, head thrown back. “It’s so ugly.”

“It’s not ugly,” Hajime rolls his eyes. “No where near as bad as your face, at least.”

“So rude!” Oikawa throws a sugar packet at him. Hajime catches it easily, smirking. Oikawa scowls. “You think you’re so cool, don’t you?”

Hajime shrugs. “Not really.”

“You do. I can tell. Because--”

“Don’t say it.”

“--telepathy,” Oikawa crosses his arms, nodding like he agrees with himself. He squints. “What am I thinking?”

Hajime raises an eyebrow. “The hell am I s’posed to know?”

“Iwa-chan, humor me.”

He sighs, resting his chin in his hand as he gives Oikawa the once over. His hair seems fluffier than normal today. According to his mom there’s no way Tooru-kun doesn’t blow dry his hair most mornings, and there’s the telltale yellow tint of concealer underneath Oikawa’s eyes, barely there but in the light spilling in from the window it’s almost impossible to miss. Hajime snorts. “You’re thinking I hope no one notices I’m wearing makeup today.”

The bit of concealer Oikawa’s wearing doesn’t do anything to hide the red blooming dark and sudden in his cheeks, and he folds his arms defensively, looking away. “Some of us care about how we look, Iwa-chan. Just because you clearly don’t…”

Hajime frowns. “You been sleeping okay?”

It’s that smile. The one he serves to teachers, to their waitress, to Hajime’s mom, so sweet and seemingly unassuming, jam packed with wrong. Wrong, false, untrue. “Hm? Oh, yeah, I’ve been sleeping like a rock.”

Hajime’s about to say something, mouth open when their waitress comes back to the table with their food, going, “Careful of the plates, they’re a little hot.”

Oikawa melts, leaning forward with his eyes half lidded and mouth curving. Hajime has to look away, because he knows what Oikawa’s going to say before he even opens his mouth, “They’re not the only thing that’s a little hot.”

The poor girl turns pink from her hairline to the collar of her shirt, squeaking out a small, “I-is there anything else I can get for you?”

Hajime covers his face with a hand. This poor, unsuspecting girl.

Oikawa’s practically oozing with what he probably thinks is raw sexual magnetism. “Your number would be fantastic.”

Hajime kicks him under the table, then turns to the waitress with his best, most apologetic smile. “Sorry about him. We’re fine right now, thanks.”

She asks them to enjoy their meal before spinning on her heel and scurrying away as Oikawa rubs at his shin, cursing under his breath.

“Cut it out, assface,” Hajime kicks at him again, for good measure. “You were making her uncomfortable.”

“Aw, Iwa-chan, don’t be jealous,” Oikawa leans his chin against his palm, going from sniveling brat to smarmy asshole in under a second.

“Like I’d ever be jealous. You’re like that with everyone.”

“I’m not like that with you, am I?” Oikawa asks, and the way he asks makes it feel like he’s testing Hajime or something.

“No, because if you were ever that nauseating with me I’d kick you clear across Japan.”

That’s clearly not the answer Oikawa wants, because while he’s not outright pouting like he normally would, something in his expression becomes subdued. Muted eyes and seemingly unaffected smile that forces Hajime’s own mouth to frown immediately. What, is he really that mad that Hajime yelled at him for flirting with their waitress?

They eat in mostly silence, silverware clinking against plates and even when Oikawa’s eyes meet his over the table, they’re obviously looking right through him to somewhere a million miles off.

--

Hajime takes them the long way home, scuffing his shoes against the pavement and rambling, trying to knock Oikawa into a better mood. But no matter what he tries, from general comments about the weather, about Kindaichi’s rumored girlfriend, the fast approaching end to their last summer as high schoolers--all of which Oikawa’s answers brightly and easily, like he’s talking to anyone else.

But Hajime’s not just anyone else.

Wordlessly they both start down the slope at the end of the street instead of veering right and heading towards the train tracks. They clod straight down, past the convenience store and towards the bridge, humidity making their clothes cling to their skin. Over the bridge and up stream about a mile there’s a huge clearing that slants into a valley, sprawling acres of hilly farmland just before the rise of the mountains. It’s where they used to camp out--Hajime would say he was sleeping over at Tooru’s, and Oikawa would say the opposite to his parents, and they’d ride out together and sleep under the stars in the summer.

He remembers the summer during their first year of middle school, Tooru’s tiny voice whispering to him in that dark--Hajime had made some offhand comment about Tooru not really needing him with all those girls around, all his new guy friends--and Tooru could only say back, but none of them are you, Hajime. You know me better than they ever could. I can’t do this without you.

He never asked what this was, and back then he didn’t get the chance, because Tooru had leaned in and kissed him, chaste and sweet on the mouth. Not the first time, but it was the last--the next time Oikawa had tried Hajime pretended like he didn’t know what Oikawa was doing and turned away, giving a short laugh and saying something inane about...shit, the homework, or something.

Hajime sees them, these ghosts of their younger selves sprinting off ahead, beat up and smiling. Tooru’s hand holding his.

“Remember that time,” he hears himself say, “you were trying to be cool by walking on the railing to impress those girls from you block?”

“I was being cool,” Oikawa turns his nose up in the air. “Then you had to go ruin it by trying to pull me down.”

“Then you fell, and I tried to stop you, and you just wound up pulling me down with you,” Hajime sighs, but he’s smiling all the while. “It was summer then, too.”

Oikawa rounds on him, hands clenched at his sides with that easy going careless expression obliterated with this raw, red, wet look.

“Iwa-chan,” he exhales through his nose. “What am I thinking?”

“God, Oikawa,” Hajime stuffs both hands into his hair, jamming his eyes closed. “I don’t know. Is that what you want to hear? I don’t know.”

Oikawa looks so disappointed. Hajime can’t say he really blames him.

“Forget it,” Oikawa leans against the railing, smiling at nothing in particular. “I was just messing around. Like always.”

He hadn’t been, Hajime knows that, it’s just...he can’t bring himself to call Oikawa out on it. Shit, what’s wrong with him--that used to be the only thing he could do. He’s never been afraid of anything, especially Oikawa.

(That’s not true, the voice says. That’s not true at all.)

“I have to head back,” Oikawa says. “Thanks for coming with me today.”

“Oikawa--”

“Seriously,” Oikawa casts a last look back at Hajime. “Thanks for everything.”

Hajime says it again, louder, “Oikawa!”

Oikawa doesn’t look back this time, just raises his hand over his head for an easy wave without saying a word

-

The walk home feels long and short at the same time, dizzyingly familiar but it feels like he’s somewhere else entirely until he’s sprinting the last two blocks and taking the steps two at a time up to his apartment.

“Hajime?” his mom’s voice rings out through the apartment when she hears the door open. Her head peeks out from the kitchen, and when her eyes settle on him, she immediately asks, “What’s wrong?”

“He’s so--” Hajime flexes his hands, glaring daggers at the floor. He’s flushed, sweating from running so hard so fast. “Ridiculous. He’s always so ridiculous. I hate him.”

“Oh,” his mom seems relieved was she watches Hajime kick his shoes off. “Tooru.”

“He thinks he can just--do whatever he wants and act however he wants and fool everyone. He doesn’t tell me shit,” he kicks his sneaker hard enough that it hits the door, bouncing off. “But he expects me to know what he’s thinking, and I hate that I can’t even begin to guess half the time.”

She lays a hand on his shoulder. “Come sit down.”

“I don’t want to,” he huffs, but lets her lead him by the elbow into kitchen, to the table where she kicks out a chair, pushing him towards it. He plops down, and immediately resigns himself to burying his face in his folded arms.

He hears running water, then his mom’s voice going, “Tea?”

“No.”

“Well, you’re gonna get some anyway,” she says, punctuated by the rapid click and hiss of the gas burner. “It’ll help you calm down.”

He lifts his head, watching her reach up into the cabinet for the green tea. He presses his hot cheek against the surface of table and the minutes go by, the kettle just starting to whistle before she grabs it off the stove. He thinks about all the other countless times she’s done this for him, how she knows what he needs better than he knows. He wonders if it’s a mom thing or just a her thing, and why he hasn’t absorbed it yet in the almost eighteen years they’ve been living together.

“Now,” she says, settling down across from him with her own cup. “Tell me what’s wrong.”

“I don’t know,” Hajime stresses, “because he won’t tell me. But it’s like he expects me to be able to read his mind. It’s always been like this, but ever since he got out of the hosptial it’s been worse and I don’t know what to do.”

“Hm,” she sips from her cup. “Well, how is he supposed to know you feel this way if you don’t tell him?”

“Me? He’s the one who-who--” Hajime splutters. “He was hurt and didn’t tell me--”

“And that was wrong on his part. He probably knows that,” she tilts her head. “But you can’t always blame him for not being honest with you when you can’t be honest with him.”

“I--” he swallows, throat tight. “I don’t think I know how.”

She doesn’t have answers, and he doesn’t expect her to, but she takes him in his arms like he hasn’t grown a day since he was born, folding him into herself and rocking him back and forth.

“Hajime,” she says, rubbing a hand over his back. She’s a tiny woman, barely over five feet, thin and perfumed and sometimes when he hugs her he thinks he might break her. But she never minds, just squeezes back just as tight, saying the name she gave to him over and over like he’s five years old again. “Hajime.”

That’s when the tears come.

--

It doesn’t take long for Hajime to cry himself out, giant wet spots on his mom’s shirt where his face was pressed. She smoothes his hair down and make his stoop so she can kiss his forehead. “I’m working late tonight, but I can maybe switch with someone if you need me more.”

“No, I’m fine,” he says, feeling it for the first time in a long while. “Really. I think I know what to do now.”

She hums. Hajime realizes, not for the first time, that he’s very lucky.

“Would you go down to the store,” she grabs her purse, “and pick up some shampoo? Make sure it smells nice.”

“Yeah,” he says, “of course.”

-

Hajime’s not surprised when he finds Oikawa coming out of the store just as he’s walking but, but his heart skips a beat like he is.

“Hey,” Oikawa says, and it looks like he’s posing with own of his legs thrown out and his hip cocks, holding his plastic bag and a handful of crumpled bills. His eyes dart around, like there might be someone there to catch them.

“‘Sup?” he says back. He inhales, straightening his spine. “Can we talk?”

Oikawa is predictably flippant. “About what?”

“Just,” Hajime shrugs, jamming his hands into his pockets, “whatever.”

“Well, I have a date, so,” Oikawa pushes the hair out of his face.

Hajime tries to keep his face blank. “With a guy?”

That at least gets him a reaction, big eyes snapping up, carefully casual expression blasted open. He tries to cover it up, looking away. “And if it is?”

“Then we can talk for a few minutes, get it all out, and you can go out on your date,” Hajime says. “Did you think I’d be mad at you?”

“You never want to hear about my dates,” Oikawa crosses his arms. “You’re kind of really immature.”

Hajime lets out a short, loud laugh. It echoes ugly against the sky, and Oikawa actually rears back but Hajime just can’t help it--it’s just so funny.

“You--” Oikawa’s hands are fists. “You’re so rude!”

Hajime rights himself, charging forward and snatching Oikawa by the wrist, pulling him along. “C’mon.”

“Iwa-chan.”

“It’ll be fine,” Hajime looks back over his shoulder. “So let’s go.”

--

They end up at the bridge. It feels right, Hajime thinks. It feels like it’s supposed to happen here.

It’s a little cooler than it has been, overcast and windy, but the breeze is still hot and the air is still thick with humidity. Oikawa complains loudly for most of the walk, but when he realizes Hajime’s not going to react and clams up and falls into step beside him without having to be dragged.

It rained the night before and the river below them is flush and full, rushing underneath them like a carpet being pulled out from underneath their feet. The bridge suspends them, Hajime gripping onto the railing and flexing his hands around the warm metal.

“You need to tell me things,” Hajime says, finally, looking from the mountains out in the distance round to Oikawa just a few feet away. “You need to, or this isn’t gonna work.”

“There are some things I can’t tell you,” Oikawa sags, rubbing at his eyes with one hand. “There are things I can’t tell anybody. That’s just the way it is.”

“So you can’t tell me when you’re hurt?” Hajime squints. “When you’re in the hospital?”

“That’s what this is about? I apologized, Iwaizumi, I don’t know what else I can do.”

Hajime’s voice booms. “You could mean it. You could stop fucking around and tell me shit like you used to.”

“Well, things aren’t the way they used to be, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa’s using that voice, that floaty, overly sweet it’s almost mean sounding voice that digs right past Hajime’s clenching ribs. “We both know that much.”

“What? You want me to act like we’re still in elementary school?” Hajime barks. “Want me to call you Tooru and hold you hand and let you kiss me like we’re seven again? We’re not kids anymore, Oikawa.”

“I know that, okay?” Oikawa crosses his arms, looking away. “You think I don’t know that? You’ve made it clear for years exactly how you felt about those things.”

“Because those things mean something different now! How the hell do you not get that?”

Oikawa’s head snaps forward again, eyes lit and locking with Hajime’s as he storms forward.

“I do get it though,” his says it so low, just above the sound of the wind whipping around them. “I get exactly what those things mean now, and I still want them. I want everything with you.”

The wind stops whipping, and everything becomes incredibly still.

He’s never seen Oikawa look so defeated. They’ve been absolutely crushed, everything they worked years for pulverized in mere minutes. He’s seen Oikawa whittle himself down to nothing, sweating and crying at the same time, and they’ve picked themselves up to do it all over again. But somehow--somehow--none of that even comes close to the look on Oikawa’s face right now as he shrugs and says, “So if we’re done here, I’ve got a date.”

He moves to push past, but Hajime’s not letting that happen, catching Oikawa by the arm and spins him around to clench a fist into his shirt, yanking forward. Oikawa flinches, like he’s expecting the impact of Hajime’s skull against his face. He must be incredibly surprised when the worst Hajime can manage is a chapped kiss against the corner of his best friend’s mouth.

Hajime pulls back, feeling a consuming, burning heat split his face open. “I want that, too.”

Oikawa is silent, eyes wide and shining. His hands come up, tentatively at first, hovering for a moment before they realize Hajime’s not pulling away. They settle at the back of Hajime’s hot neck, thumbs brushing against his jawline gently. He’s about to yell at Oikawa to stop treating him like one of his girlfriends when it’s cut off by a mouth pressed against his own.

When is it gonna stop hurting? he thinks. Oikawa’s here, kissing him, with him, and his heart still feels like it’s screaming inside of his aching chest. He hates this. He hates this, and he never wants it to end.

He pulls Oikawa in close with the hands that are still fisted in the front of his shirt. He’s never done this before, doesn’t know how this should really go, but his body works faster than his mind, flat of his tongue running across Oikawa’s softly parted lips. He yields, opening and letting Hajime lick into him, letting himself get backed up against the railing with a rattling thump. He tastes overly sweet, like fruity gum or citrus soda or something so undeniably Oikawa he almost can’t stand it. It makes his teeth ache.

Hajime rips himself back, breathing hard. Oikawa’s mouth is an abused red, swollen and shiny with spit, eyes just as glazed and cheeks just as dark. He looks thoroughly debauched, and what’s better is it seems like he hadn’t expected it at all.

He composes himself, going, “C’mon. I’ll walk you home.”

“Iwa-chan.”

“Or you could come back to mine.”

“Iwa-chan.”

“It’s okay,” Hajime says, holding out his hand, and when Oikawa won’t budge, he echoes, “It’s okay.”

“Iwa-chan,” he hears telltale sniffles, and Hajine can feel the prickle of something in the corners of his own eyes. Then, between big gulping breaths, “Iwa-chaaaan.”

“Don’t cry, dumbass!” he just walks faster, pulling Oikawa along. “If you cry, I won’t--I’m not gonna be able to--”

Oikawa catches up to him, wrapping his arms around Hajime form behind and holding tight. Hajime can’t for the life of him understand why he’s crying--ugly crying, face swelling and nose running and everything. He’s sure Oikawa has to look the same, even worse probably. Still, he doesn’t try to stop it. There’s a loud clap of thunder, the sky opening up overhead and sheets of rain pouring down.

-

“Where’s your mom?” Oikawa asks, kicking his shoes off as they push inside the door to the dark, quiet apartment. Water drips from the tip of his nose, his matted hair.

“Working late,” Hajime says, and it’s only then he realizes how it seems.

“Inviting me over when no one else is home,” Oikawa sings, batting his wet eyelashes. “How presumptuous of you, Iwa-chan.”

“Jackass,” Hajime snaps, shoving his shoulder. “It’s not like that and you know it.”

“You don’t need to get all defensive,” Oikawa leans against the wall, tilting his head. He looks like a drowned rat. “I wouldn’t mind, though.”

Hajime’s stomach flutters. Sometimes Oikawa can look really cool. Sometimes. “Mind what?”

“I wouldn’t mind you presuming things.”

“Don’t say shit like that,” Hajime spins on his heel, headed towards the kitchen. “It’s embarrassing.”

“What?” Oikawa squawks after him, thundering footsteps soon following. “Are you kidding--I sounded so cool just then!”

He snorts. “Sit down. You want some clothes to borrow?”

They change into spare t-shirts, and Hajime makes a whole show of making tea and bringing out a bag of chips and pouring them into a bowl. Oikawa indulges him, letting Hajime pretend that they’re gonna go sit down at the coffee table and watch a movie like they normally would. He even picks at the chips, chewing slowly and purposefully, circling Hajime like a shark, round and round with his eyes sharp and trained.

Until, finally, Hajime turns only to find himself pinned against the counter by Oikawa.

Oikawa’s breath is warm, fanning against his face. “What am I thinking?”

“Oikawa--”

“Just,” he says, “guess.”

Hajime’s eyes keep falling to Oikawa’s mouth, remembering the feel and shape and taste of it. Heat prickles up his neck. “Something perverted, probably.”

Oikawa kisses him, hands against Hajime’s sides with his fingers slotting between his ribs, feeling like they fit. Whatever last strand of hesitation, of self consciousness, of fear snaps at the feeling of suddenly feeling whole for the first time in a very long time.

Oikawa pulls back, and says in a quiet voice. “I didn’t really have a date.”

Hajime had figured, somewhere between the bridge and the front door. “Dirty liar.”

“I can’t help it,” Oikawa nips at his jaw leading up to his ear. “I like trying to make you jealous.”

The stove gets turned off, tea left to get cold as Hajime leads Oikawa back to his bedroom like he’s done a thousand times before. He flicks the light on, kicking old clothes into corners and stopping before the edge of his bed.

“I,” he rubs at the back of his neck, “um.”

Oikawa hums, making him turn, and he winds his arms over Hajime’s shoulders. One, two, three popping kisses. Hajime steps back, pulling Oikawa with him. The bed is right there, but actually getting on it will make this very real very quickly. His hands are at Oikawa’s hips, thumbs just barely brushing the exposed skin where his t-shirt’s ridden up. It’s electric, and he wants more.

“Can I touch you?” he asks, their noses bumping, their breath shared.

“I--” Oikawa stammers, leaning their foreheads together. “Yeah. Yes.”

He glances at the unmade bed over his shoulder. “You wanna--?”

He more or less gets tackled back onto the mattress, Oikawa sinking down on top of him and peppering his face, his jaw, his neck with kisses. He seems fixated with this, and Hajime would be lying if he said he didn’t find it just as endearing as he did annoying. He flips them onto their sides, leveling the playing field. Oikawa’s bangs have fallen into his eyes, and Hajime reaches up to brush them away. They’re still damp, and Oikawa smells like rain and familiar laundry detergent.

“Iwa-chan,” he gushes, “so gentle.”

“I don’t,” Hajime admits, swallowing, “really know what I’m doing.”

“That’s okay,” Oikawa breathes out, moving closer, eyes trained on Hajime’s mouth.

“I mean, you’ve done this more than I have, so,” he shrugs. There the barest hint of stubble on Oikawa’s chin, and he reaches out to touch it with the lightest touch of his fingertips just because he can. He looks up into Oikawa’s eyes. “I’ll follow your lead, captain.”

“Not,” Oikawa’s face turns dark red, “that many more times...”

Hajime can’t say he didn’t really expect as much. Oikawa’s always been coy about these sorts of things--he always assumed it was feigned chivalry, a part of that princely schtick he liked to tote around so much.

“I can’t even begin to guess how many girls you’ve been out with,” Hajime is more amused than anything, head tilted and the corners of his mouth quirking up. “And you’re telling me you’ve only done stuff with...what? A handful?”

“Besides kissing,” Oikawa sits up, fidgeting under Hajime’s stare. “I let--once. One time.”

Hajime starts laughing.

Oikawa whacks him with a pillow. “Shut up!”

“Everyone thinks you’re such a stud,” Hajime clutches at his stomach. “And really you’re just a big liar!”

“I didn’t lie. I wouldn’t go around spreading rumors just so people think I’m cool--I’m already cool,” Oikawa crosses his arms. “But if no one asks me and they just make things up because I’m so popular, I can’t control that.”

Hajime laughs harder.

“I felt bad!” Oikawa smacks his thigh. “I didn’t like doing things with them when I was thinking about someone else.”

Hajime sits up, laughter all gone and something softer replacing it as he leans forward. He doesn’t get to see Oikawa genuinely embarrassed often, but when he does it’s always the same--it melts something inside Hajime he forgets is there most of the time, something he thinks is tethered only to Tooru. It might be his heart, or something suspiciously close to it.

“Jeez,” Hajime hangs his head. “You’re so uncool.”

Oikawa raises his hand to swat at him again. “Hey--”

Hajime snatches it midswing at the wrist, pulling it between them as they sit facing each other on the bed. He slides down, pad of his thumb brushing across Oikawa’s knuckles, back and forth, over and over. He’s never taken the time to feel this part of Oikawa before. It’s kind of intoxicating to think about.

“I guess that makes me just as uncool,” he says, eyes locking with Oikawa’s, “since I’m the one in love with you.”

Oikawa grips his hand back so hard it hurts. Hajime hears sniffling, and he sighs reaching over for the tissue box. “Don’t cry.”

“I’m not crying,” Oikawa says, clearly crying.

“I’m sorry,” Hajime says. “I was young, and scared.”

Oikawa squints. “Iwa-chan’s never scared.”

“Everyone gets scared,” Hajime threads their fingers. “I’m still scared.”

Oikawa blinks, face still very red, and blows his nose loudly.

“So hot.”

“Shut up,” Oikawa reaches for another tissue. “I’m always hot.”

Hajime bites his lip, wondering if he should ask, if he really even wants an answer. “That one time...was it the guy you dated last spring?”

Oikawa’s eyes turn up towards the ceiling, avoiding Hajime’s

“Was it?”

A sigh. “Yes, but--holy shit, don’t look at me like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like you’ve been challenged.”

“I’m a competitive person,” Hajime leans in, tilting his head “I can’t help it.”

(I really, really can’t.)

The sheets get kicked to the floor by scrambling bodies with Hajime pressed to Oikawa’s back with his arms wrapped around, hands working Oikawa’s cock at a good, slow pace. Oikawa keeps making these broken little sounds, twitching and throwing his head back against Hajime’s shoulder with silent shouts whenever Hajime grips the base to keep him from coming.

“I-Iwa-chan,” he gasps, the line of his throat dipping as he swallows. “Please.”

“I like it like this, though,” Hajime brings his other hand to grab Oikawa’s jaw and move his head to the side for a kiss that’s all tongue and spit and teeth. He’s learning he likes that, so turned on he can barely think. He likes this messy, sloppy, graceless kissing and rutting. He likes making Oikawa squirm and work for it.

“You’re so mean,” he pull back, smiling wide and shaky. “Somehow I knew you’d be like this.”

“Hm?” he nips at Oikawa’s ear. “You’ve thought about this before? Tell me.”

Oikawa squirms. “I--no.”

“C’mon,” Hajime whispers, slowing his hand.

There’s a shuddering breath, then a voice just as weak, “I just--I used to think about you.”

“Thought about me...what?”

“Just,” Oikawa’s getting testy now. “Doing this. Exactly this. Testing my patience even though I’ve been waiting for years--shit.”

Hajime rubs his thumb against the head, other hand sliding up Oikawa’s shirt and finding his nipples. They’re hard, and Oikawa’s voice cracks with another moan, entire body shaking. Hajime smirks against the back of his neck. “Sensitive?

“Shut u--oh, oh, yes, don’t stop, Iwa-chan, please.”

Hajime wrings the orgasm out of Oikawa, loving the way he throws his head back and lifts his hips up off the bed before sagging back against Hajime.

“You killed me,” Oikawa gasps, “I’m dead.”

Hajime’s about to shove him off so he can take care of himself, still throbbing in his pants, pressed against Oikawa’s lower back when Oikawa suddenly falls forward, shucking his pants as he rolls onto his back. Hajime’s heart starts thudding against his chest, staring down at a thoroughly debauched Oikawa with his flushed, sweat slicked face, come all over the shirt he’s borrowed. His smile is slow and wide, and Hajime’s seen it so many times before, but never like this.

“Iwa-chan,” his legs fall open, “wanna use my thighs?”

This is how he ends slicking Oikawa’s inner thighs with lotion and fucking into them, pressed tight together with his knees hitched up over Hajime’s one shoulder. He rocks his hips back and forth in quick, jerky thrusts that Oikawa has the audacity to make little whimpers during, eyebrows draw together and mouth slack as he pants Iwa-chan, Iwa-chan, Iwa-chan--

“Hajime,” he moans, back arched and thighs flexed into a vice.

His hips stutter, coming in stripes over Oikawa’s soft cock, his abs, his shirt with Hajime’s mouth falling open, broken shout spilling out

He drops forward, rolling onto his side with his back pressed to the wall. Oikawa is next to him, staring wide eyed with his lips parted. Hajime is suddenly wracked with a shock of self-consciousness, trying to pull away, but there’s nowhere to go. “What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“No reason,” Oikawa’s turns his head, staring at the ceiling. “That was just fast.”

Hajime reaches for the pillow above and smashes it against Oikawa’s face.

“And it was hot,” Oikawa laughs, yanking it away and turning back to look up at Hajime through half-lidded eyes. “You’re hot, Iwa-chan.”

Hajime scowls. “Shut up.”

“I’m being serious!” Oikawa shuffles closer. “You should’ve seen yourself--ow, don’t bite me you giant child.”

“You’re such a shitty liar,” Hajime moves closer, too.

“Fine, you’re ugly and have no sex appeal whatsoever,” he huffs. “And you’re so sweaty. Gross.”

“Well, I was the one doing all the work.”

“I let you come all over me, and you’re literally being so rude.”

There’s a tug low in Hajime’s belly, mental image of Oikawa on his knees, open mouthed and beet red with Hajime’s come dripping down his face.

Oikawa glares at him. “You’re thinking something dirty, aren’t you?”

“I’m thinking you smell, Shittykawa.”

Oikawa squawks indignantly, but lets Hajime pull him in anyway.

--

Oikawa gave him.

The biggest fucking hickey.

Hajime grabs him by the collar of his shirt, yanking. “How the hell am I supposed to go out with this thing?”

“I did you a favor, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa’s sweating, hands held up in surrender. “Now everyone will know you’re getting laid.”

“Including my mom, you asshat,” Hajime shoves him back. “Did it ever occur to you that if my mom knows about us, she’ll tell your parents, and we will literally never be able to be alone in a room together again?”

Oikawa fixes his shirt. “There’s obviously only one solution then.”

“I’m not wearing your makeup,” Hajime crosses his arms. “Your skintone’s way lighter than mine.”

“We’ll just have to get our own apartment together.”

Hajime stares. “What.”

“Your school’s in Chiba, mine’s in Tokyo, I’m sure we could find a place that’s more or less equidistant,” Oikawa falls back onto the bed, mattress bouncing under him. “I’ve been looking, and I think there are some nice options--they’re all one bedroom, because it’s cheaper, obviously, and--”

Hajime tackles him back, hands against Oikawa’s shoulders as he stares down at the most ridiculous person knows.

“You’re mad,” Oikawa states, looking up at Hajime with a guarded expression.

“I’m annoyed,” he pinches Oikawa’s nose, watching him squawk. “Stop doing everything on your own.”

A pause, then, “Wanna look with me?”

“Get my laptop,” Hajime rolls off of him.

“Bossy,” he rolls his eyes, but leans over to the desk to grab it anyway.

Hajime places his foot against the dead center of Oikawa’s back, nudging. “You like when I boss you around.”

The look Oikawa serves him over his shoulder should be illegal. He bounces back onto the bed, scooting in close as he pulls the laptop open, mouth going a mile a minute, “I’ve narrowed it down to three top contenders.”

“I can already tell I’m not gonna like any of them.”

“Every day I think to myself wow, there is no way Iwa-chan can get any ruder. And every day I’m proven wrong.”

He leans his cheek against Oikawa’s shoulder, loving how it’s okay now. Okay to just reach out and touch, whenever he wants. Hajime kind of wishes he could just smother Oikawa--not violently, just smush his face and suck his fingers and press their bodies together and never let go. He wants to smother Oikawa in the sweetest possible way. “That’s not what you really think, and you know it.”

Oikawa turns his head, cocking an eyebrow. “Oh? What am I thinking, then?”

Hajime just circles his arms around Oikawa’s waist and pulls him in close. He can feel the vibration of Oikawa’s voice through his chest, their bodies fitted together exactly right.