“Do you,” Iwaizumi turned his head up enough to catch a glimpse of Oikawa’s eyes, “want me to stop calling you ‘Iwa-chan?’”
It was one of those days where Iwaizumi gave in and let Oikawa sit behind him, perched on their knees, gently massaging some musky-scented product into Iwaizumi’s hair before carefully styling the choppy spikes into something they liked to call ‘fashion forward.’ However, currently those calloused hands were paused, still nestled in Iwaizumi’s hair, but Oikawa was shifted, meeting Iwaizumi’s actions and sitting up a little higher, almost crouching now, and turning their head down to stare at Iwaizumi. The look they held wasn’t unfamiliar—different from the cold eyes and tell-tale smirk during games, but not the sarcastic warmth their face framed so nicely either. It was one of those Looks that only Iwaizumi saw with any real frequency without it blending with anything else. The I-really-care-and-am-looking-for-a-serious-answer-please-don’t-poke-fun-right-now look.
Iwaizumi turned away, not from embarrassment, but as a thinking habit. His mouth pulled to one side in a half-pout, eyebrows furrowing.
“I guess that might be best…” He mused, “I don’t really mind when you say it, but it’s more the thought of someone else misunderstanding or,” he huffed a little, “using it themselves.” Oikawa grinned at that, drawing their hands out from Iwaizumi’s hair and shuffle-crawling around to sit beside Iwaizumi instead, shoulders knocking. Neither of them moved away.
Iwaizumi folded his hands across his chest, Oikawa bit their lower lip.
They turned to look at each other. Iwazumi cracked first, snorting a half-swallowed chuckle before Oikawa doubled over, laugh loud and real.
“Well, that’s a no.” Iwaizumi grinned after recovering. Oikawa still giggled beside him, eyes shining with delight. “I think some of my old classmates from Aoba Jousai called me ‘Iwa-kun.’ The boys did at least.” He smirked. Oikawa laughed again, drawing their fingers through their fringe from habit, freezing a moment when they realized there was product still greasing them. Iwaizumi snorted while Oikawa hurried to fix their hair back into place.
“It’s not like ‘Iwaizumi’ is much better.” Oikawa grinned, leaning forward, knocking their chest against Hajime’s shoulder, who jokingly pushed them back. Oikawa just rocked in place on their knees. “It sounds too formal—I’ve known you too long for that, it’s just weird.”
Iwaizumi thought on that, hand lingering on Oikawa’s shoulder to help rock them back and forth, ignoring them when they claimed they were about to fall over.
“Ah, well…” Iwaizumi finally released Oikawa, his hand wandering back to his lap. Shy. “It wouldn’t really be strange for you to call me ‘Hajime’ at this point…”
Oikawa’s cheeks went pink. “Hajime…” they repeated, blinking maybe a few times too many, but not looking away, as if waiting for Iwaizumi to shove them over and shout ‘just kidding!’ But Iwaizumi stayed put, both hands in his lap now, worrying his too-short nails.
They both stayed silent a moment, but when Iwaizumi opened his mouth to speak, Oikawa cut him off. “’Tooru.’” Oikawa warmed from pink to positively rosey, twisting their pretty mouth into a smirk that looked out of place on their red face. Oikawa had always been one to blush easily.
“If I get to call you ‘Hajime,’ it’s only fair you call me ‘Tooru’ back.” Oikawa grinned, but they were still blinking too much. Iwaizumi held their gaze as best he could.
They both looked down.
Now there was red visible even on Iwaizumi’s dark skin. It took most of his self control not to cover his face with his hands.
Iwaizumi shot his head up, pouting in the way only Iwaizumi could, managing to somehow look fiercely offended with his face hot and hands wringing white-knuckled in his lap. Oikawa bit back a grin, ears painfully red and eyebrows squished together as if they weren’t quite sure if it was okay to laugh yet.
It was absolutely ridiculous: two twenty-year-old college voyagers, flustered out of speech by the use of their best friend’s given name. It shouldn’t be embarrassing. There was absolutely nothing to get embarrassed about by calling your best friend by their given name. And yet…
Oikawa cleared their throat. “It’s,” Oikawa turned their head away, pretending to be interested in a poster on the wall, “kind of romantic…” Iwaizumi froze, unable to keep his eyes off Oikawa’s burning face.
“There’s nothing romantic about ‘kun.’” He huffed, bashful, falling back on teasing instead of addressing what Oikawa has suggested. He tried very hard not to let his thoughts linger. Romantic romantic romantic.
“Not that!” Oikawa retorted, leering at Iwaizumi before recalling the conversation at hand and promptly looking away again, keeping eye contact with a poster on the opposite wall. “…With the…” they trailed off, as if spelling out the exact intimacy of the situation made it that much more embarrassing.
“…This isn’t a very funny joke…”
“I’m not trying to—“ Oikawa cut off, running their fingers through their fringe again, aggravated, flustered. This time they did not stop to fix the stray hairs. “I’m not trying to joke.”
Iwaizumi felt his hands grow clammy, but couldn’t quite muster the strength to stop wringing them together. Oikawa wasn’t exactly faring much better, eyes screwing shut hard before popping back open, like they did when they willed an eyelash out of their sclera, or fought back a sneeze, still staring ahead at that same worn volleyball poster.
“It… It kinda is…uh..romantic, that is…” Iwaizumi mumbled finally, finally, after what felt like forever for both of them. Iwaizumi felt a sudden urge to crack his knuckles. Oikawa swallowed dry-mouthed and wished for a glass of water.
“Does that mean—“
They started at the same time, cutting off in turn also. Oikawa held up their hand, flapping it uselessly in Iwaizumi’s direction, prompting him to go ahead. It was a wonder they didn’t slap him on accident considering they refused to move their eyes from that incredibly interesting volleyball poster.
Iwaizumi cursed that of all the times for Oikawa—Tooru—to pass the reigns—“So!” He cringed at his own volume. He breathed slowly. “So…this could, uh,” yikes “be a… romantic… sort of thing,” oh god “I guess…” Iwaizumi willed his foot to stop shoving itself further and further down his throat, or at least for it to get far enough to choke him.
“Yes!” Oikawa said too quickly, snapping their attention back to Iwaizumi. Their mouth hung open a few seconds before actual words could be formed. “I’d like,” they gulped in air like water, “I’d like it to be a… romantic type-thing.” Their mouth hung open, closed again, opened, and snapped shut once more as they debated how to sound less relieved and desperately excited, but Iwaizumi was already buzzing, unintentionally mimicking Oikawa’s fish-mouth as they both looked at each other without really looking at each other, shaking from the stress of it all.
“I’d like it to be too!” Iwaizumi said maybe a little too loudly when he realized he hadn’t replied yet. Oikawa’s face miraculously grew even hotter. As if on cue, they both looked down again and said nothing.
Iwaizumi felt ready to burst. “So, just to make sure,” he started quickly, before forcing himself to take a deep breath. Slower. “Are we… dating? Now?” At this point Iwaizumi couldn’t even recognize his own voice. The entire situation felt much too embarrassing. “B-because that’s what I want. I—” he cut off suddenly, holding his mouth open a moment before finally shutting it, unsure what else to say.
If Iwaizumi had lifted his head, he’d have seen Oikawa visibly shaking, teeth no-doubt chattering behind tight lips. “I want that too.” Oikawa nodded, sounding short of breath.
Neither lifted their heads, but the air felt a little lighter.
“We’re dating now.”
Both held their breath.
“…We’re dating now.”
“We are dating. Right now we are…dating.”
Slowly, with several pauses, Oikawa reached out with timid fingers, bumping clumsy against Iwaizumi’s—sweaty, worried—ones. Iwaizumi unsnaked his hands to interlock with Oikawa’s instead. It all felt scandalously intimate. They both smiled at the sight without thinking.
“Hajime,” Tooru looked up at him, all bright eyes and red cheeks, dark bags and barely-smudged eyeliner. Beautiful. “You’re my boyfriend.”
Hajime grinned so large it hurt. “Yeah,” he gave Tooru’s hand a squeeze and somehow didn’t worry that his hands were sweaty. “Yeah, I am.”