It was to no one's surprise to anyone that Inuoka was a morning person. The boy would jump out of bed looking like he’s ready for a long morning jog - which he did every day. He had tried to coax Kenma – the only Nekoma member who lived in the neighbourhood – to join him. But each time, Kenma would flatly refuse in favour of staying in his warm bed.
Inuoka changed into his training clothes and pocketed his phone before making a quiet exit through the back door, careful not to wake his grandmother from her slumber.
Just as he started the path to the local park, his phone buzzed. He looked at the screen and beamed at the name before answering.
“Am I the first!” the familiar voice shouted through the phone.
“Congratulations Hinata Shouyou!” Inuoka near-shouted as to not wake the neighbours. “You are officially the first person to call me this morning!” He couldn’t see his boyfriend but he was sure Hinata was doing a victory pose.
“Then I, Hinata Shouyou, will also be the first person to say happy birthday,” he said in a singsong voice.
Inuoka hadn’t realized that he was walking quite fast – it wasn’t a jog, but it definitely didn’t qualify for a leisurely walk. Just seeing his boyfriend’s name on the screen had pumped him up, and his body needed to use the excess energy somehow. He clutched the phone tighter in fear of dropping it and losing Hinata. He wanted to capture this moment – power walking in the autumn morning breeze, and talking to his favourite person other than his grandmother.
“Thank you Shouyou!” Inuoka shouted now that no house was in close proximity. “I wish you were here though,” he said in his normal volume.
Hinata usually travelled to Tokyo without the rest of Karasuno during breaks for a few days to spend time with his boyfriend. Inuoka’s grandmother adored Hinata – who doesn’t? – and often asked about the boy. She was the first person Inuoka told about their relationship, and she had responded by tackling him into a tight hug.
Inuoka had invited Hinata over for the weekend but the latter had too much homework to do and had promised to make up for it the next weekend. Seeing his boyfriend at any time was exciting but seeing Hinata on his birthday would be extra special. It was rather nostalgic. On Hinata’s birthday, Inuoka had made sure to be the first to call, and while he couldn’t make it to Miyagi on the day, he had made up for it during the school break. He had invited Hinata over for a whole week and even took him to Disneyland – paid for by Inuoka’s grandmother.
“Hey, what are you doing?” Inuoka asked. Hinata also jogged every morning at around the same time. In fact, he probably started earlier given that his shouting wouldn’t have been appreciated by his family.
“Hey look to your right!”
Inuoka frowned, confused about whether Hinata was still talking to him or someone else. He turned his head as instructed and stopped in his tracks.
Two figures were visible beneath a large oak tree. One was unmistakably his energetic and affectionate boyfriend. And the other was no other than his not-a-morning-person teammate, Kenma, who made no attempt to hide his yawn.
His feet sprinted before he could register the scene before him. His hand still held onto the phone tightly as he spread his arms out wide as Hinata also started to speed towards him. You’d think they hadn’t seen each other for months or something – when, in fact, they had seen each other just a fortnight ago. An unamused Kenma watched on.
When the distance between them was close enough, Hinata leaped and Inuoka flawlessly caught him. Hinata nuzzled against his neck and he could smell the fresh citrus smell in the orange hair that was bright even when the sun hadn’t fully risen.
They embraced while Kenma played on his phone – perhaps to give them privacy, but more likely because he wasn’t interested.
“When did you get here?” Inuoka turned to bury his nose deeper in the orange mess of a hair.
“Last night. I stayed over at Kenma’s,” Hinata mumbled into his boyfriend’s neck.
“Why didn’t you tell me? You know you’re welcome at my house anytime.”
Hinata straightened up slightly and frowned at Inuoka. “Where’s the surprise in that?”
Hinata leaned in and gave a quick peck on the lips. “Happy birthday,” he said more quietly this time.
“You already said that.” Inuoka chuckled softly.
“I can say it as many times as I want!” Hinata shouted as he wiggled in his boyfriend’s hold.
“Don’t do that! I’ll drop you!”
“No you won’t!”
The two laughed as Inuoka struggled to keep Hinata still. He could put his boyfriend down but he wasn’t ready for the loss of contact.
“Ow ow, okay put me down,” Hinata said. “I got cramps from laughing.”
Inuoka carefully returned his boyfriend to land. They stretched before racing towards Kenma.
“I win!” Hinata shouted when he touched the tree by Kenma first, barely under a second earlier than Inuoka.
Both laughed and tried to regain their breath as Kenma tucked his phone away and stood up.
“I’m going to head home,” Kenma said. “I’ll leave you guys alone.”
They didn’t protest. Kenma wished Inuoka happy birthday and left the two of them in the park. They weren’t entirely alone since there were more people arriving for their morning breath of fresh air.
“What do you say to a morning jog then go back to my house?” Inuoka asked, already stretching his legs in preparation. “Nan made strawberry cake this year.”
“Strawberry sounds good.” Hinata crackled his knuckles. “Race?”
Inuoka lowered into a starting position. Besides him, Hinata did the same. They looked at each other and nodded before counting down to the start.
It was going to be a great birthday with Hinata there with him.