"Oikawa-san!" comes a voice from behind him, on Monday lunchtime. Oikawa turns to find a furiously blushing girl extending a bento box to him. "Please accept this!"
Not again. Oikawa lets his lips curl into an apologetic smile - he'd practiced it in front of the mirror for hours - preparing to let her down gently, but she pushes the box into his hands before he can do much more than open his mouth. "I'm sorry," Oikawa starts, but the girl has already turned tail and fled.
Oikawa blinks down at the box in his hands. He usually makes a point of letting his fans down gently, but this one caught him off guard. He knows he should return it, but, well… he doesn't even remember the poor girl's face anymore.
He may as well enjoy the bento, then.
When Oikawa opens the box, he can't help the way his nose scrunches up a little in disgust. It's tonkatsu curry with rice. He avoids curry like the plague - it makes his breath smell for the rest of the day. There are artfully cut up vegetables beside it, and several croquettes, but overall, the meal doesn't appeal much to Oikawa. Iwaizumi would love it, though.
Oikawa blinks. Where did that thought come from?
Then again, it's true that Iwaizumi loves all things curry. Since Oikawa doesn't want it, wouldn't it make sense for him to give it to Iwaizumi instead? He knows it's a little callous - since the bento was, after all, someone's confession - but Oikawa finds himself rapidly warming to the idea. It's not like Iwaizumi has a legion of fans like Oikawa. It's Oikawa's responsibility to make sure that Iwa-chan gets some tokens of affection too.
Mind made up, Oikawa practically skips to the volleyball club, knowing Iwaizumi will be there. He finds Iwaizumi scowling at a textbook like it's personally offended him. Not for the first time, Oikawa wonders when he started thinking of Iwaizumi's impressive scowl as 'cute'. "Iwa-chan!" he says, plopping down next to Iwaizumi.
Iwaizumi doesn't even look up. "I'm studying."
Oikawa clasps a hand to his heart. "So rude!" he whines. "And here I was preparing to give you something."
He finds himself on the receiving end of Iwaizumi's scowl. "What is it?"
With a grin, Oikawa pulls out the bento from behind his back. "Ta-da!"
Iwaizumi looks at Oikawa, then down at the box, then back at Oikawa again. "What."
"It's a bento box," Oikawa huffs. "I know you've never received them, but to think you didn't even know they existed? How sad, Iwa-chan."
"Sh-shut up! Trashkawa!" Iwaizumi splutters. His face has gone all red and blotchy. Oikawa finds himself staring, unused to seeing Iwaizumi so bashful.
“You're embarrassed!" Oikawa says gleefully, feeling his mouth curving upwards into a slightly deranged grin. His fingers are half itching to take a photo of Iwaizumi's expression.
"Dumbass!" Iwaizumi says, before snatching the box from Oikawa’s hands. When he opens it, he just stares at what he finds inside.
"So?" Oikawa asks, but Iwaizumi still has that dumbfounded expression on his face. "I just- I thought of you, that's all, and I-"
Iwaizumi smacks him on the back of the head.
"Ow ow ow!" Oikawa whines, pouting. "That hurt! If you treat everyone like that when they give you bentos, that explains why you never get any. How pitiful, Iwa-chan!"
"Shut up," Iwaizumi murmurs, but there's no heat to it. He separates the chopsticks, then takes a bite. "Thank you," he finally murmurs, not looking at Oikawa, the tips of his ears still pink. "It's good."
Oikawa doesn't know what to say. There's this warm, tingly feeling inside his chest. "You're welcome," he finally says, and watches Iwaizumi finish the meal in silence.
Later, when the girl who gave him the bento comes to his locker and stutters through asking for the box, Oikawa assures her that he enjoyed it a lot and that he appreciated the gesture.
It doesn't take long for word to travel through the student body: Oikawa thanked a girl for making him a bento.
Less than 24 hours later, Oikawa finds himself confronted by three different girls in succession, each one with a different bento box. He gently rejects the first two, but finds himself hesitating on the third. It has sausages shaped as cute little octopuses, alongside delicious-looking tamagoyaki and vegetables cut into small flowers. Unbidden, Oikawa finds himself wondering how Iwaizumi would react to receiving such an adorable bento, and, despite his better judgement, ends up accepting.
Iwaizumi fixes him with a narrow-eyed look when Oikawa strides into the club room, whistling. The others usually prefer to have their lunch with their classmates, but Oikawa and Iwaizumi have eaten in the club room ever since fans started swarming Oikawa whenever he stepped outside or onto the roof.
"You're plotting something," Iwaizumi informs him. "It's terrifying."
Oikawa presses the back of his hand to his forehead, as if in dismay. "Accusing your best friend of plotting for no reason? How cold, Iwa-chan."
"You always whistle when you're scheming."
"Do not!" Oikawa says, a little ruffled at being seen through so quickly. He really is up to something - if trying to get a reaction from Iwaizumi counts as 'something' - but Iwaizumi doesn't need to know that.
Iwaizumi rolls his eyes. "Whatever." Then he takes in the way Oikawa's inching forward, hands clasped behind his back. "What are you doing?"
"Giving you another bento!" Oikawa exclaims, revealing the box he'd been hiding. "I know you must be sad because you never receive them, so I thought I would lift your spirits, Iwa-chan!"
Iwaizumi looks even more nonplussed than he did the day before. "Another-" he starts, before shaking his head and glaring at Oikawa. "What are you doing with this?"
Oikawa frowns. "Can't I give you bentos? I can give them to Makki and Mattsun instead if you're worried they'll make you fat."
"Shut up, Shittykawa. Give me the damn bento."
"Fine," Oikawa says, extending the box and bowing his head theatrically. "Please accept, Iwa-chan!"
"Dumbass," Iwaizumi grumbles, but his ears are pink, and Oikawa watches his face flush in fascination. It's much cuter than it should be.
When Iwaizumi sees the food inside the bento, his entire face turns crimson. Oikawa has to stifle a laugh. Iwaizumi just looks so disbelieving!
He resolves to give Iwaizumi another bento tomorrow.
No less than seven girls approach him the next day, each with their own bento box. Oikawa hums, deliberating, before finally picking one with yakisoba, decorated with little yakitori, bear-shaped onigiri, and umeboshi. He heads to the club room, but stops when he catches a glimpse of Iwaizumi and a girl talking together.
Something sinks inside Oikawa's chest. Iwaizumi and a girl?
He creeps closer to them, trying to stay out of sight, until he's close enough to hear Iwaizumi's deep, curt voice. "I'm sorry," Iwaizumi says. "I don't like bentos very much. Thank you."
The girl rushes off, her face crimson, but Oikawa ignores her in favor of mulling over Iwaizumi's words. 'I don't like bentos very much'? Iwaizumi loves bentos - Oikawa still remembers how excited Iwaizumi was for lunchtime in primary school, so he could see what his mother made for him that day. Why would he lie to that girl?
Oikawa frowns the rest of the way to the clubhouse.
He finds Iwaizumi staring into thin air when he comes in. Iwaizumi startles, before glaring at Oikawa. "Make some noise, Oikawa. Jeeze."
Oikawa shrugs. "It's your fault you have bad hearing. You keep listening to those horrible, loud noises you call music. How sad, Iwa-chan."
"At least I don't listen to Top 40 trash like you, Trashkawa!" Iwaizumi says, flipping him the bird. His expression rapidly shifts, then, from scowling to something that looks almost hopeful. "What's that you're holding?"
"Oh, this?" Oikawa asks innocently. "It's a bento. But I know that you don't like bentos very much, so I think I'll give it to Kunimi later instead."
Iwaizumi's face looks like it can't decide whether it's supposed to be furious or embarrassed. It's hilarious. "What."
Oikawa shrugs. "I just heard you talking to that girl, saying 'I don't like bentos very much'. Is that how you treat every one of your admirers? How cruel, Iwa-chan."
There a vein throbbing in Iwaizumi's forehead. "Shut up and give me the bento."
"Hmm," Oikawa frowns, tapping his chin. "Maybe I'll give it to Watari instead. Or Kindaichi."
"Give me the fucking bento, Assikawa."
"Or maybe- ow ow ow Iwa-chan that hurts!"
Iwaizumi snatches the bento from Oikawa's hands, releasing him from the vicious headlock he'd managed to trap him in.
Oikawa rubs his head. "You're so violent, Iwa-chan!"
Iwaizumi just glares at him as he opens the box. When he looks down, his face goes unexpectedly blank. He carefully prods at one of the little bear-shaped onigiri.
Oikawa blinks. He was expecting for Iwaizumi to act all embarrassed and cute again - and how weird is it that he's thinking of grouchy, grumpy Iwaizumi as cute? - instead of the way he's staring at the box in his lap. "Iwa-chan?"
Iwaizumi glances at Oikawa then, before his entire face flushes a bright red, from the tips of his ears and all the way down his neck. Oikawa suddenly finds himself wondering whether the blush goes down to Iwaizumi's chest. What would it look like? How low would it go?
With a start, Oikawa realizes he's imagining Iwaizumi shirtless in his head. He quickly looks away. "So you like bentos?" he asks, trying to relieve the tension while ignoring the way his cheeks feel hot.
Iwaizumi grumbles something.
"I can't hear you, Iwa-chan."
"I'll always like your bentos, dumbass," Iwaizumi grumbles louder, and Oikawa is completely unprepared for the feeling that spreads through his chest.
It's accompanied by a small twist of guilt in his stomach. Could it be that Iwaizumi thinks that Oikawa is the one making him the bentos? Oikawa can't remember if he told Iwaizumi that the lunches he'd been giving him were a secondhand gift. He feels dirty somehow, all of a sudden.
Oikawa is already halfway to the door before he realizes what he's doing. "I just remembered, Iwa-chan!" he says, with his best attempt at a smile. "I didn't say hello to all my fans today! I have to show them that I'm not ignoring them! Bye!"
"You're so weird, Oikawa," Iwaizumi mutters from behind him.
When Oikawa turns, he finds Iwaizumi smiling, just a little. It lights up his face, making him look… making him look-
Oikawa isn't just weird. Oikawa is fucked. So fucked. So very, very fucked.
Oikawa receives more than ten bentos the next day, and he turns down every single one. He's so exhausted at the end that he doesn't have the strength to chase after the girl who pushes a small box of heart shaped cookies into his hands.
That's when he spots Iwaizumi on the other side of the corridor.
"Iwa-chan!" Oikawa says, mustering up a smile. "I have something else for you. Here!"
Iwaizumi looks at Oikawa, then at the proffered box, then back at Oikawa again. He has an unfamiliar expression on his face. "Didn't one of your fans just give this to you?"
"Yes!" Oikawa says, feeling a little bit on edge. He knows he's done something wrong, but he doesn't know how to make that strange, odd look disappear from Iwaizumi's face. "I thought you might appreciate them more than I will, so I decided to give them to you."
Iwaizumi looks away. "And the others?"
"They…" Oikawa closes his mouth. "I- I didn't make them either. My fans gave them to me, and I thought-"
"Sorry," Iwaizumi says stiffly, still looking away from Oikawa. "I don't like bentos very much. Thank you."
He walks away, then, and Oikawa doesn't know why it feels like someone just tore his heart out of his chest and drove over it with a steamroller.
Iwaizumi doesn't acknowledge him for the rest of the day. His eyes skate across Oikawa like he's not even there. He doesn't even show up for volleyball practice.
"Iwaizumi isn't feeling well," Hanamaki tells Coach Irihata, and Oikawa just feels shittier.
He puts on an act all the way through practice, smiling and nodding and behaving how he'd usually do. It's only when his teammates file out of the showers that Oikawa finally lets himself break down.
He thumps his head back against the wall. Iwaizumi is mad at him. More than that - Iwaizumi is angry. And furious. And… and maybe a little hurt.
Oikawa scrubs at his eyes. He hadn't known that what started out as a joking gesture would go sour so quickly. It seems too simple, though, almost laughable to try to excuse what happened with only an 'I didn't know' as an apology. Words aren't going to be enough. He needs to do something else for Iwaizumi to forgive him.
Unbidden, Oikawa remembers what Iwaizumi had said yesterday. 'I'll always like your bentos, dumbass'.
And suddenly, Oikawa knows what he's going to do.
Iwaizumi determinedly looks away from him when Oikawa hesitantly comes into the club room.
"Iwa-chan-" he starts, but Iwaizumi cuts him off.
"It's fine, Oikawa," Iwaizumi says, but he still won't look at Oikawa at all. "I was- we were both stupid. Just leave me alone for a while. Please."
Oikawa swallows hard. "Iwa-chan," he says again. "I made you something."
Iwaizumi stays still for a few moments, before sighing softly and turning to face Oikawa. The resigned expression on his face goes blank the moment he sees the box Oikawa is extending towards him with trembling hands.
"Please accept," Oikawa says quietly. There's a breathless, heart-stopping moment where he's sure that Iwaizumi isn't going to do it, that he's going to say that he doesn't like bentos, that he doesn't like Oikawa.
Iwaizumi takes the box.
His expression doesn't change when he opens the lid. Oikawa can see, from here, the onigiri, the little yakiniku, the tonkatsu cutlets drenched in curry, the vegetables cut up into small hearts. He waits, heart thumping loud in his ears, as Iwaizumi roughly separates the chopsticks, rubs them together, and finally, finally, takes a bite.
Iwaizumi looks up at him, that same blank expression on his face. "It tastes like shit."
It's like something inside Oikawa's chest snaps in two. "Oh," he says. He doesn't have the strength to pretend that Iwaizumi's words haven't affected him, but he can't bring himself to feel anything more than numb inside, even knowing the heartache must be written loud and clear across his face.
But before he can do so much as move, Iwaizumi's hand shoots out, gripping his arm tightly. "But," Iwaizumi says, and there's something raw in his eyes, vulnerable. "But you made it. So I like it."
Oikawa looks at him, then at the hand gripping his arm so tightly that it's creasing his jacket, then back at Iwaizumi again. "Iwa-chan," he says, before pulling Iwaizumi forward and crushing their lips together, bento box between them, forgotten.
Oikawa rejects every single one of the bentos offered to him the next day. He's unfailingly polite, giving each person a kind smile, saying thank you and sorry and everything else expected of him.
And later, at lunchtime, when he opens his locker, he pulls out the small bun of milk bread inside. It's decorated with a shaky and slightly lopsided heart, burnt at the edges, but Oikawa eats it anyway.
And then, of course, he makes his way to the clubroom and teases Iwaizumi about his pathetic baking skills for five minutes.
Iwaizumi shuts him up with a violent, bruising kiss.
Yes, Oikawa decides. He could definitely get used to this.