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lessons in being romantic: a book (not?) written by kageyama tobio

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“You never get me flowers, Tobio-chan.”

It’s an offhand comment said one weekend while Oikawa’s lounging on the couch and stretching lightly. Oikawa didn’t mean anything by it, really; it was an observation he’s made, and he intends for the words to be nothing more than a passing remark.

When he opens his eyes, he is met by Kageyama intensely staring at him, and Oikawa sighs. Of course. His boyfriend is Kageyama Tobio, after all; there was no way this comment was getting brushed off like it was nothing at all. He watches as Kageyama frowns, and feels the corners of his lips quirk upwards slightly in the beginning of a smile. Oikawa tries to stifle it, and watches as Tobio moves to sit next to him on the couch.

“Do you want flowers now then, Oikawa-san?”

Now, Oikawa Tooru loves Kageyama Tobio. He really does. The only thing he loves more than Kageyama is teasing Kageyama and seeing how far he gets.

“No, Tobio-chan!” he huffs, crossing his arms as he mock-sulks, “The point is for me to not ask you!”

Oikawa knows Kageyama gets confused by seemingly contradictory statements; he takes everything at face value and doesn’t read between the lines. He’s trying not to let his pouty expression crumble and reveal a blooming smile at the way Kageyama’s face morphs into a confused scowl.

“How am I supposed to know you want the flowers if you don’t ask me? If the point is for you not to ask me, why say I never gave you flowers in the first place! You never ask me anyway.” Kageyama argues hotly, feathers ruffled as he mimics Oikawa’s crossed arms, this time in a show of annoyance. It’s gotten to him, Oikawa thinks, he’s definitely gotten under Kageyama’s skin.

“Surprise me, Tobio-chan!” Oikawa replies calmly, clearly having the upper hand in this situation. “You know, get me flowers when I’m not expecting it. Come home with flowers. That kind of stuff.” He continues, uncrossing his arms and finishing his statement with a light wave of his hand.

Kageyama continues to stare at him, still confused. After a beat of silence, he cocks his head a little, and asks again.

“...So do you want flowers now or not, Oikawa-san?”

Oikawa groans.

“I said no, Tobio-chan!! Which part of that don't you understand!?”

---

That was the end of that. Kageyama said nothing else afterwards, and for a little while there was really no more discussion on the matter. As if Oikawa had never brought it up in the first place. The incident was soon swept under the current of their daily lives, lost in the whirlwinds of everyday routine as it gets pushed to the back of their minds, buried under student responsibilities and grueling volleyball practice at their respective universities.

Except it wasn’t.

Oikawa’s home first today; his classes end early every Tuesday, and so he walks back into their shared flat, humming as he contemplates what to eat for dinner. Maybe he could make that curry Kageyama really likes; they haven’t had that in a while. He spares a glance at the clock. It’s only shy of four PM, but Kageyama should be returning from classes soon, so he might as well get started on dinner now.

Absently humming a commercial jingle as he opens the fridge to prepare the ingredients, his pleasant (off-key) tune was halted as he saw that they have, in fact, run out of eggs. He clucks his tongue in annoyance. He’s not about to walk out and buy the eggs himself! Rummaging through the fridge, Oikawa exhales a sigh of relief to see that eggs are really the only ingredients missing. It’s the food topping, so he should be able to call Tobio to get the eggs while he cooks.

He pulls out his phone, and begins to dial his boyfriend. The phone beeps the connecting tune twice before he hears an answering click.

“O-Oikawa-san!?”

The first thing that registers in Oikawa’s mind is how… shocked Kageyama sounds. As if he hadn’t been expecting that phone call.

As if he was hiding something.

That tone had guilt written all over it, coated with hush-hush and Oikawa can’t help but frown.

“Tobio-chan, it’s me! Have you forgotten your own boyfriend, is that why you’re so surprised~?” he croons into the phone, pretending he doesn’t suspect the sudden inflection in Kageyama’s tone as he tries to keep his own light and airy.

“Of course not!” A static huff, and then: “I didn’t know you were going to call.”

Ah, Oikawa thinks, something is definitely up. Well, he thinks, he’ll find out later.

“My classes are over!” Oikawa continues as nonchalantly as he possibly can, holding the phone to his ear using his shoulders as his hands deftly peel and chop the vegetables, eyes watching the pot on the stovetop as the stock comes to a boil. “I’m just calling to ask you to buy eggs. We’re out.”

Kageyama mumbles something that briefly resembles a confirmation, sounding distracted. Static rustling, and Oikawa briefly hears “Is that all?” that’s definitely not Kageyama. He’s at a shop, Oikawa deduces. What could he be buying that he doesn’t want Oikawa to know?

He tells Kageyama he’d see him soon, and ends the call. Oikawa puts the vegetables in the pot, and lets it simmer while he waits.

What could Tobio-chan be getting? he wonders as he sits on the kitchen table.

The curry bubbles away in the pot.

--

When the doorbell rings, Oikawa jumps to his feet and opens the door a little too eagerly. Kageyama, however, doesn’t notice that; he’s drowned in his own apparent nervousness, eyes staring at everywhere but Oikawa as both his hands remain firmly hidden behind his back. Naturally, this gesture invites Oikawa to peer over his shoulder in curiosity, but Kageyama backs away.

“Aw, Tobio-chan!” Oikawa whines. “I just want to see the eggs you got!”

Which definitely aren’t just eggs, but we’re about to find out.

“Well, I didn’t just buy eggs.”

Bingo, Oikawa thinks, but doesn’t stop Kageyama.

“I, well. Bought something else.” Kageyama murmurs.

Oikawa raises his eyebrows. “Is that so, Tobio-chan? Well, come in. Are you going to stand around all day?”

Kageyama fidgets some more; he doesn’t actually step in, and Oikawa takes it as his cue to turn away so he can’t see what Kageyama’s gotten behind his back.

How cute, Oikawa huffs, but makes a mention about the curry going to boil over and walks into the kitchen. He hears Kageyama shuffle inside, and he lets Kageyama close the door as he checks on the curry. It’s not actually going to boil over; he had lowered the flame earlier, but an excuse is an excuse.

He heads back out to the living room, hoping to see what Kageyama brought, but is disappointed to see that while Kageyama has laid out the eggs, the Mystery Item™ is still… well, a mystery. He’s going to have to go straight to the point, then.

“What did you buy?” Oikawa asks.

“Well.” Kageyama murmurs, still hiding the item behind his back, “you said something, last time… you know.” He murmurs, the last of his words tapering off into awkward silence.

“Last time?” Oikawa echoes, and then--

Oh.

“...The flowers,” Oikawa blinks in disbelief, and then a smile begins to stretch at his face. He doesn’t stop it this time.

“Did Tobio-chan get me flowers?” Oikawa coos, “that’s so sweet of you~! A bouquet of flowers for Oikawa-san, I’m so honored! Give it to me, we’ll get a vase--”

Kageyama coughs. “It’s. Not a bouquet.”

Oikawa stops. “It’s not a bouquet.” he parrots.

“No,” Kageyama confirms, “I didn’t get a bouquet.”

“...Hold on,” Oikawa begins; he’s confused for real, now, “did you get me fake flowers!?”

“No!” Kageyama says indignantly, “No, I didn’t!”

“Then what did you get!?”

Kageyama exhales, then puts a small pot of flowers on the coffee table in their living room. Oikawa can’t even admire the kind of flowers his boyfriend got. He just stares mutely at the pot. Silence descends over both of them.

The flowers sit innocently.

“...A pot.” Oikawa murmurs at about the same time Kageyama says “Do you not like the flowers?”

Both stop, and then Kageyama nods at Oikawa, gesturing at him to speak first.

“Well. No. I mean. They’re flowers, but… A pot. You got me a pot of them.” Oikawa blinks, still in disbelief. “Tobio-chan, when I said flowers… I meant a bouquet. A bouquet of flowers.”

Oikawa doesn’t even know what to say. Tobio did get him flowers, and technically he was right, and it’s not like he hates it, but a pot! How unromantic of him, Oikawa thinks and sighs. How unromantic and typical. Of course.

“Why a pot?” Oikawa questions, feeling a little bad. Kageyama did try. And it’s not a bad gift, but this was out of left field. His reaction probably told Kageyama that he didn’t like them-- which isn’t true-- but he decides he’ll let Kageyama explain. He’s curious, after all.

“Well.” Kageyama answers, still fidgeting. “Bouquets are big, and I guess they’re nice.”

Which is why people get them, Tobio. Oikawa grumbles inwardly, but doesn’t interrupt him.

“...But these bouquets don’t survive very long.” Kageyama continues. “They die after like, three days. Even if you put them in a vase. And then you just throw them away. That’s kind of sad, I think.”

Something tugs at Oikawa’s heartstrings. And here he’d thought Kageyama was being careless and unromantic... It was very Tobio-like to buy a pot instead of a bouquet, but this reasoning-- It’s also very Tobio-like, and Oikawa feels something akin to affection balloon in his chest.

“Oh.” is all Oikawa says, floored as he is. For the first time in a long while, he is at a loss for words.

“Are these flowers bad?” Kageyama mutters, looking away.

At that, Oikawa smiles; this time, it lacks its usual teasing quality.

“No, they’re pretty.” Oikawa laughs, lightly. “I’ll put them at the windowsill. Thank you, Tobio-chan~ you do listen to your senpai, after all!”

Tobio glows brighter than a beacon after that, all through dinner and the rest of the evening.

Funny how something he said offhandedly ended up like this, Oikawa thinks as they settle on the couch to watch Kageyama’s favorite TV show. Then something strikes him, and he snorts.

“Tobio-chan, you know what else people give? Diamonds. Diamond rings.”

“...Oikawa-san, maybe you’ll have to wait thirty more years for that.”

The thing is, he doesn’t doubt that in thirty years-- if they’re still a thing-- Tobio would definitely buy him one.

Oikawa laughs again, and leans in to kiss Kageyama’s temple.

“I’ll wait, then.”