"And his legs, Hina-chan! His thighs! They're so gorgeous, just like the rest of him. They're so steady and... thick." He shudders happily. "Oh, and his hands, holy shit. So strong! You've never been on the receiving end of his 'opposing captain' handshake. You haven't lived, Hina-chan!" Oikawa sighs as if exhausted and slumps forward in his seat. "Iwa-chan doesn't get it. He just shrugs, gets this stupid grin on his stupid face, and says, 'I've seen better,' before going to make out with Makki-chan and Mattsun." Hinata looks up from his homework with startled curiosity.
"They're together?" This is the first he's hearing of it which, given Oikawa's tendency of running his mouth, is surprising. Almost as surprising as this new development. He's answered by a snort.
"If the amount of times I've walked in on their tongues down each other's throats and on... other places is any indication, yeah." He shoots Hinata a mock disgusted look and then tugs at the high schooler's shirtsleeve. "But back to my problem! He's just so nice and perfect and, Hina-chan, your captain needs to stop. Like right now." He says it so adamantly Hinata can't help but laugh.
"Oikawa-san, first of all, Daichi-san isn't my captain anymore, Yamaguchi is, and second, you're not the only one tormented by his good looks and charms here." He can feel the pout form on his face but can't be bothered to stop it. It's true though. More than anything, the pair know, their friendship is one born of their shared feelings for Karasauno's former captain which they discovered at the end of Oikawa, and Daichi's, third year. Over time, of course, their commiserative friendship became an actual friendship but it's basis has never changed.
No longer slouching in a chair by Hinata's desk, Oikawa's moved to sprawl over Hinata's bed. A volleyball magazine lays closed and read by his head. It's rare nowadays to spend time together like this with their hectic schedules. They make do, though, and it's nice. This, simply sharing space and company. It's nice.
"Shouyou," Oikawa calls lightly. Hinata freezes and can practically sense his impending doom. He knows that tone. He knows this ploy; the use of his given name called when Oikawa wants something particularly troublesome. Over the years he's heard this a handful of times and it's never ended well.
"Yes, Oikawa-san? He replies; hesitant and cautious as he should be. Oikawa doesn't seem to think so.
"What's with that, Shouyou?" He whines. "Your distrust cuts Oikawa-san deep!"
"I know you're up to something! You should just come out and say it, Oikawa-san. I have a lot of homework and we both know it needs every scrap of attention I can give it!" Oikawa pouts.
"No trust, Shouyou, no trust at all. I don't think I'll tell you now after all."
"Oikawa-san," Hinata warns looking directly at his friend.
"Fine, fine. I have a bit of a situation. See, Hanako-san from modern physics has been rather... persistent with her affections lately. She's a nice enough girl and she probably doesn't mean any harm but she can't take a hint at all!" He fidgets tellingly and Hinata can't help but groan. "So, I might have told her I have a boyfriend."
"And you need someone to fake date you so you aren't caught out as a liar." Hinata extrapolates with an exasperated maturity that began appearing when he became a senpai the previous year.
"And you can't ask Iwaizumi-san, Hanamaki-san, or Matsukawa-san because of Iwaizumi-san, Hanamaki-san, and Matsukawa-san. Correct?" Oikawa nods sheepishly before his expression becomes expectant. "What am I getting out of this, hm? Last time we did this I ended up six thousand yen poorer and with a sprained ankle. I couldn't play volleyball for ages, Oikawa-san! It was torture!" In the blink of an eye, Oikawa is on his knees by the side of Hinata's chair, hands clinging to the hem of Hinata's shirt.
"I'll toss to you whenever you want! And meat buns, I'll buy you meat buns! Please, Shouyou, you're my only hope!" Hinata snorts and drops his head to his desk. His orange locks shake on the wood as he laughs helplessly.
"You did not."
"I did. Please?" Hinata sighs.
It's too cold for this. Training in the cold is one thing. Training is training and training is essential to be number one! Even biking over the mountain in the cold is bearable or, at least, more tolerable than this because, right now, he's incredibly uncomfortable. Who wouldn't be? It's cold and breezy and, in the past twenty minutes, no fewer than seven people have asked what a middle schooler is doing on campus. It's frustrating. Oikawa-San will definitely be buying double the meat buns.
"Shou-chan," Oikawa calls his situationally necessary nickname loudly as he sees his friend-come-savior at the gate. Hinata pastes on a smile and waves over his not-boyfriend. He hopes Oikawa can sense his discomfort. From the apologetic look he shoots upon approach, Hinata believes he does. However, as he's wrapped in an almost crushing hug and a kiss is pressed firmly to his cheek, perhaps the apology is for the false affection to come.
Physical affection, for Hinata, is incredibly important. In fact, giving and recieving affection is one of his favorite things to do. This fake, forced, mockery of genuine affection was anything but pleasant. Not that he and Oikawa aren't affectionate, it's the situation. Knowing that the hug is a part of the ruse and not because of their camaraderie is disquieting. He deals with it, though. This is important and there will be volleyball and meat buns later.
"Sorry I was late, Shou-chan! Hanako-san stopped me for a chat." He declares loudly before dropping his volume so only they can hear. "She's following me, I think. She's skeptical about the whole boyfriend thing. Sorry, but we'll have to hold hands until she leaves us alone."
"It's fine," Hinata murmurs. Over Oikawa's shoulder he can see a swarm of students staring blatantly at them. A fan club, he realizes, and Hanako is probably one of their number.
Oikawa ties their fingers together with a reassuring smile and they make to leave. They're stopped by a confused and questioning voice.
"Oh, Oikawa and... Hinata? What are you doing here?" It's not Hanako as they had feared. No, it's so, so much worse. It's none other than-
"Daichi-san!" Hinata squeaks as he spots his former captain strolling toward them. "What is he doing here?" Hinata hisses quietly to his "boyfriend"."
"I don't know! How should I?" Oikawa hisses back before smiling at the man of their affection. "Sawamura, nice to see you!" Daichi quirks a brow and frowns ever so slightly.
"You too, though, I am wondering what my decoy is doing here." Internally, Hinata cheers loudly and enthusiastically at being called Daichi's anything. Who cares if it was a volleyball term. He'll take what he can get.
"Oh, that? We're just-" Oikawa stops short when he notices the crowd that's hovering nearby and freezes when he spots Hanako at the front of the herd. He sighs and squeezes Hinata's hand in what he can only assume is an apology. This, what Oikawa's about to announce, could ruin any and every possible and theoretical chance either could have with Daichi. He squeezes back hesitantly, a reassurance they both need. Hopefully they'll get a chance to explain things after the crowd and Hanako disperse.
"We're going on a date!" Oikawa exclaims with false cheer. Not that anyone bar Hinata notices. Daichi's eyes flicker between them and then focus on their joined hands that, beneath their gloves, are clenched so tight their knuckles have turned white. Understanding dawns on Daichi's face and he smiles happily and, oh, neither of them had a chance to begin with. Hinata feels his heart drop. If the trembling of Oikawa's hand is any indication, so does he. Hinata's not sure what he was hoping for, if he was hoping for anything, but that smile, so honestly happy for them, speaks of no envy, jealousy, or pain.
Hinata knows he's not the smartest person in the world or even in his immediate group of friends but, he's not so stupid to wish Daichi would feel pain at their announcement. He knows, has always known, the chances of his feelings being requited were small. Minuscule. Oikawa's always had a better chance in theory and yet. It hurts; more than a little. It hurts very, very much and he wouldn't wish it on Daichi ever. Not even out of heartbroken spite. He's disappointed all the same.
"Congratulations, then," Daichi says as he slaps them one the shoulders. His hands, bare and warm despite the cold, shock them out of their respective introspective states. "Though," he says with a stern look at Hinata, "shouldn't you be in school today, Hinata?" Hinata swallows his pain and dutifully ignores the pounding in his ears. If his face is red, well, it's rather cold weather today.
"A-ah, don't worry, Daichi-san! We're on break right now and there's no practice today or tomorrow!" He chirps and even to him it sounds hollow and weak.
"That's good. Wouldn't do for the vice captain to skip out. What about you, Oikawa? How's the team here?"
"Oh? Trying to steal our secrets, hm?" Oikawa teases. His grip grows tighter. Hinata doesn't mind. He can't feel it all that much anymore. "Shame on you, Captain-san!" Daichi barks out a laugh that would usually make his heart flutter uncontrollably. The crowd has lifted and few remain. Hanako is among them but she looks far less determined than before. Never the less, she's still there so the charade must go on.
"No, no, it's not like that. I was just passing by. Suga and the Cat," cat? "study near here. I'm just visiting." He stops suddenly and pulls out his phone. "And I'm late. I gotta go but I'll see you later, I'm sure. Enjoy your date!" Just like that, completely unaware of their turmoil, Daichi leaves with a lazy wave over his shoulder. They never got a chance to explain.
Oikawa and Hinata are alone now. Even Hanako has left, apparently satisfied with their relationship. Tomorrow Oikawa will be delivered an apology and Hanako will make steps toward moving on. But now, cold and unpleasantly numb, Oikawa and Hinata release the death grip they held on each other's fingers. Hinata's hands ball at his sides, shaking, and Oikawa's come up to cover his face.
"What have we done," Oikawa whispers muffled by his palm. "What the he'll just happened, Hina-chan?"
"W-we just convinced Daichi-san that we're d-dating and he was happy for us. He was happy." A quiet and slightly bitter laugh forces itself from his lips. There are tears on their faces. Silent, ugly tears; the worst kind.
They don't talk on the way to Oikawa's apartment, nor do they speak once inside. They move in silence, like ghosts, as if one word could break them. For all they knew it could.
It would have been fine, Oikawa now knows, if it was one or the other; Hinata or himself. They could deal with that and the envy that would enviably come with. They are friends and they care for each other enough that it wouldn't break them. But this hurt. As much as he knows there was no confession and, thus, no actual rejection, it still hurts. Maybe more so because of how indirect the entire exchange was. What's more, it hurts the most that neither of them would get to be as happy for the other as Daichi is for them.
It's only as they fall asleep, tangled in their shared heartbreak and the alien blankets Oikawa insists on, Hinata realizes he never got those meat buns.
Daichi is confused and wants brownies.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Oikawa and Hinata are dating apparently. This isn't a problem, not at all, but Daichi can't help but be a little confused. Last he'd heard they weren't even friends! Not that there's a problem with that either. Still, it's the principle of the thing.
The library is quiet, as it should be, only the sound of whispers and pages turning fill the air. This quiet is the perfect environment for Daichi to loose himself in his thoughts. Never mind the material he really should be studying.
Did they get together while they were all in high school? Was Hinata wooed under Daichi's captaincy? Or perhaps it was Oikawa who was wooed. What kind of captain could miss something so important to his player? Maybe they got together later, which brings up the question— how long have they been an item? Really, it's none of his business. Logically he knows this but he's damn curious.
He wonders for a moment if it would be considered rude to just text one of them and ask. It probably would be.
Someone clears their throat in an attempt to grab his attention. Daichi pays them no attention.
Maybe he could drop by one of Karasauno's practices; see how they're faring. If he ends up questioning Hinata while there perhaps that would be okay. Probably not. As former captain he knows how important practice is. It doesn't feel right to intrude. He sighs. This is seriously none of his business.
The throat is cleared again, this time with more force and accompanied by swat over his head by a book. It hurt. Got his attention, though.
"Suga, what the hell!" He exclaims with a glare toward his best friend. He can see the other occupants of the library turn toward him in annoyance. He raises his hand in apology and then sets his glare on the other men at the table. While Suga looks entirely unapologetic but otherwise composed, Kuroo does nothing at all to hide his cackles. Daichi's glare intensifies. Ever since Suga got together with that damn bed-headed cat his life has been nothing but suffering.
"Daichi, pay attention. We're here to study and pray we don't fail our tests, not daydream." Suga scolds.
"Shudup," Daichi grumbles, "it's not like you two are getting much done either."
"On the contrary, Sawamura. Koushi and I are having a very rewarding game of footsie right now. I'm winning, by the way."
"You can't win in footsie, Tetsuro. It's not that kind of game." Suga says plainly. Daichi groans.
"See, none of us are getting anything done! I'm hardly to blame here."
"Of course you are," Kuroo reasons. "We didn't start our game 'till your brain wandered off. Reel yourself in Sawamura. We can't spend time with you if you're only here in body." Daichi sighs once again, silently cursing Oikawa and Hinata for distracting him. He takes it back immediately. It's not their fault he's distracted. His curiosity had gotten the better of him.
"Daichi! Seriously, are you alright?" He got lost again, great. He waves off Suga's concern.
"I'm fine, I'm fine." He says lightly. "Got quite the surprise on my way here, though. 'M just a little off balance, I guess." Kuroo and Suga exchange a glance that Daichi can't decipher. Daichi's nerves prickle when they turn to him with matching shit-eating grins.
"Oh, ho? Something has Mr. Steady all shaken up?" Kuroo teases, leaning over the table slightly. "Was it a confession? Ho, ho, Sawamura, tell us more." Suga hums in agreement.
"This is obviously bothering you, Daichi. Maybe you should... distribute the load." It the deceptively gentle tone used is anything to go by, Suga wants answers. What Suga wants, Suga gets.
Daichi is silent for a minute. He can feel Kuroo and Suga's eyes on him as he fidgets uselessly with his trig book. It wouldn't be right to out the couple no matter how open they seemed about it earlier. However, he can admit, maybe if he talks about it he can push it out of his mind. Then he might be able to focus on his very important, very important course material.
"After I got off the train earlier, I ran into a couple of people we know. Apparently they're dating." He says, slight frustration edging into his tone.
"And..? Is there something wrong with that?" Suga asks. "You know a lot of people who are dating."
"Oh, I bet I know what's wrong! He's in love with one of them! A truly tragic tale, Sawamura." Daichi snorts.
"You lose that bet, Idiot. Anyway, there's nothing wrong with it at all! I'm really happy for them. It's just, I'm really confused? As far as I knew they weren't even friends! Actually, I'm pretty sure they actively disliked each other."
"Ah, you're probably a bit shocked by the difference between your expectations and the reality. And now, you're questioning whether or not you're and oblivious idiot. Right?" Although his wording leaves much to be desired, he supposes Suga's right. Being surprised by the reveal of Hinata and Oikawa's relationship is understandable but being thrown off balance— how pathetic. "Ya' know," Suga breaks him from his thoughts, "no pressure but, if you tell us who they are we might be able to confirm or deny your obliviousness."
"No pressure, though," Kuroo chimes in and Suga nods. Daichi mulls it over carefully. The couple in front of him, assholes though they can be, are incredibly trustworthy and kind individuals. The absolute fact that they would never go around blabbing this information only slightly lessens the guilt he feels as he beckons the couple closer.
"It- it's Hinata... and Oikawa." He says quietly. Kuroo's eyes go wide, clearly not expecting them at all. Suga, however, looks thoughtful.
"Hey, Daichi," Suga says slowly as if testing the words, "by any chance, when you ran into them, was there a crowd around them. Not just around them but all... vulture like?" Daichi thinks back. To be honest, he'd been so focused on the surprising couple, he hadn't payed much attention to the people around them. He does remember there being a lot of ambient chatter and the feeling of eyes glaring through his skull. Oh, definitely vultures then. He nods to Suga. "And, out of curiosity, when you left, was the crowd still there?"
"Yeah, at least I think so. I was running a bit late so I kinda left in a hurry." Suga, once again looks thoughtful. While he thinks, Kuroo, who apparently was not getting enough footsie attention from his boyfriend, starts back in at his own textbook. An action Daichi finds wise to copy. It's several minutes later when Suga breaks the table's silence.
"Daichi, I'm totally not saying this is 100% true, just that it's a possibility, okay? I'm jumping to conclusions based on very little information so, don't take what I'm about to say for anything other than speculation. 'Cause that's all it is." Daichi and Kuroo look at Suga with blatant curiosity, their books forgotten. "It's possible, they're not actually together."
"What?" Kuroo and Daichi chorus.
"About the oblivious thing, well, Daichi, you might be a little because Oikawa and Hinata've been friends since the end of our third year. They're pretty close, as far as I know, and never hid it or anything. Apparently, according to Hinata himself, sometimes they do this thing where they pretend to date for the sake of getting people off Oikawa's back. It's been a while since they've done it though." Daichi's brows furrow as he tries to digest this information. So they were just trying to keep someone away?
"They're not together?"
"They might be," Suga assures hastily, "in fact they probably are. Like I said, I don't have all the information. Besides, it's been a while since they pulled one of their ploys off. If I remember correctly the last one ended poorly. Under those circumstances I don't see why they'd fake it again. But, now at least you know they weren't dating while you were captain! So you're only a little oblivious!" Kuroo snickers— this doesn't make him feel better at all. Daichi sighs for the third time. Really, this is all the more confusing. Curse Suga and his minimally plausible scenarios. And, it's not like he can come out and ask Oikawa and Hinata, 'Are you really dating?' No, that's worse than asking, 'Since when are you two even friends?'
The conversation after that settles into something more study related. The couple across the table resume their game of footsie, occasionally kicking Daichi in the progress. Oikawa, Hinata, and their questionable status as a couple are not brought up again.
Saturdays are wonderful slices of paradise in Daichi's hectic life. No practice, no classes, just a day for himself, provided he's finished studying. This day, this glorious Saturday, is shaping to be everything he could ever dream of.
The air, though bitterly cold, is warming thanks to the cloudless sky and brightly blazing sun. Snow dusts the ground creating a picturesque landscape without the need to dawn heavy snow boots. His fridge is full, the heater is working, his skin is clear, it's the perfect day and he hasn't a care in the world.
There's an ice cream shop ten minutes away, by foot, from his apartment. In the summer it's a, figurative, hotspot able to claim being the only ice cream shop within a mile and a half. Located so close to the university, business booms. Hardly anyone wants ice cream in the winter, however. Business was practically non existent in the winter months until they started selling brownies from October through January. The brownies, formerly only used as an optional topping, are by far the best chocolate anything Daichi's ever tasted.
It only goes to reason that, on the perfect day, he should treat himself to the prefect brownie.
The walk to the shop is pleasant. The coat he wears is comfortable and for once he hasn't forgotten his gloves. He stops to say hello to a dog on the way and reaches the shop in fifteen minutes. He doesn't mind the doggy delay. Excitedly, he enters the heated store.
By the time he's reached the counter his heart has dropped and he can feel a weeks worth of stress accumulate on his shoulders. A headache starts to build behind his eyes. It's not much, two little things really but, after the week of confusion and intensive studying he's had, they deflate his mood completely.
One— there's a sold out sign hanging over where the brownies should be.
Two— sitting at a table in the back left corner of the shop are none other than Oikawa and Hinata.
The couple see to be in the middle of a heated discussion only a few degrees away from a full blown argument. He averts his eyes. There's a line forming behind Daichi. He's apparently not the only one the brownies will let down. A clear path to the exit is no where in sight. It's not as if he wants to avoid the couple but he's not sure how to approach them. The past few days have been filled with not only studying but also pondering the couple that now sits before him. Even if they weren't arguing he isn't sure he'd want to approach them at all. He'd just feel... awkward.
His entire thought processes grinds to a halt when he sees the plate sitting forgotten on their table. They have brownies. Several in fact. Screw awkwardness.
He walks toward them, determination coursing through his body. As he approaches, the couple notice and fall into an abrupt, shock-induced silence. Daichi plasters, what he hopes is, his kindest smile and stops mere inches away.
"Hey, sorry to interrupt your date but, are you going to eat all of those?"
Idk how sugakuro happened but I don't regret it at all. What I do regret is depriving all those poor people of those lovely brownies.