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tongue tied

Chapter Text

To: Iwa-chan

iwa-chan! still studying? (*^ ▽^*)

To: Iwa-chan

iwa-chan answer me

To: Iwa-chan


To: Tetsu-chan

tetsu-chan! let's play! \(^▽^)/

From: Tetsu-chan

not again

From: Tetsu-chan

there's still silly string on the ceiling and when are we dealing with that statue anyway

To: Tetsu-chan

no, no not that! im waiting for iwa-chan but he's being slow ( ゚´Д`゚) ゚ hang out with me?

From: Iwa-chan

yes i am now shut up

To: Iwa-chan

so mean! 、ヽ`(~ д~*) 、ヽ`

From: Tetsu-chan

oh sure. where?

To: Tetsu-chan

room 7259 of chem building! ( ノ´ヮ´) ノ*: ・゚

To: Iwa-chan

ill be in 7259 for when you're done though! o(^ ◇^)o

To: Iwa-chan

tetsu-chan and i will play until you're finished (/^ ▽^)/

From: Iwa-chan

play? what are you, six?

To: Iwa-chan


From: Iwa-chan

lol looks like you

To: Iwa-chan

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

"You may call me Oikawa-sama!" Oikawa introduces himself with a bright smile.

Kuroo stares at him. They're two of the few people in the lecture hall because graduate students have the same sense of timeliness as undergraduates. Kuroo's sitting in the third row from the front and had been texting Kenma when this person suddenly comes up and introduce himself brightly. Kuroo didn't realize this was a tactic of making friends but, luckily for him, Kuroo can go with just about anything.

He smirks and locks his phone, turns it face down. "Nah, I"ll call you Piggy-chan."

There's an aghast expression but Kuroo catches onto the glint in his eyes and decides this kid's interesting. He likes him.

"Mean!" he pouts.

"Princess-chan?" Kuroo offers instead, smirking and moving his stuff aside so Oikawa can take the seat next to him.

Oikawa meets Kuroo Tetsurou on the first day of class as a graduate student because Kuroo Tetsurou is the kind of person who takes a class for organic chemistry students for fun. So Oikawa calls him a nerd, to which Kuroo stares at him.

"You're getting a master's in ochem."

"You're taking this class for fun, Tetsu-chan!"

He raises an eyebrow at the nickname but smirks and seems to allow it. Oikawa smiles and from then on, they end up as good friends, matching each other in terms of work ethic and sass. One of the earliest sources of conflict is what Kuroo has saved him as in his phone; Oikawa eventually allows it because he saves everyone as a nickname. But when he introduces him to Iwaizumi and finds out Kuroo has Iwaizumi saved as 'iwaizumi' while Oikawa is saved as 'princess-chan' he throws a fit again.

Anyone who Oikawa has intentions on being friends with is introduced to Iwaizumi. It's not something Oikawa goes out of his way to do; Iwaizumi's just such a big part of his life that anyone who Oikawa hangs out with often will eventually meet Iwaizumi. He's glad when Iwaizumi and Kuroo get along, though is a little annoyed because "Iwa-chan, you never listen to me when I talk about covalent bonds!" "because you make them sound shit boring."

Oikawa's waiting in an empty classroom, backpack and textbook on some desk. He's already finished his homework, even doodle a bit on the chalkboard and left some nice diagrams for whatever class is coming in tomorrow morning. He's waiting for Iwaizumi so they can go home because walking together has become sort of an unspoken part of their day that's only skipped if absolutely necessary. Oikawa doesn't mind waiting around while Iwaizumi is at his study session.

Except Oikawa's bored.

He's really bored now.

He's been texting Iwaizumi to try and entertain himself, but Iwaizumi's responses are slow and Oikawa figures he should let him study. He texts Kuroo instead and is pleased when he says he's free.

Humming, he pockets his phone and pushes off the ground with his feet, flying backwards in the rolling chair as he shoots a crumpled piece of paper towards the trash can. He's watching the paper soar, wondering if it'll go in when the door opens suddenly. It interrupts the makeshift ball's trajectory and Oikawa whines as it bounces off and lands on the floor.

"Tetsu-chan! You ruined my shot!"

Kuroo Tetsurou raises an eyebrow, stares at the piece of paper by his feet. He picks it up after pocketing his phone and lets the door close behind him as he walks over to Oikawa, turns and easily makes the shot. He smirks at him. "Not even hard," he says airily as he slips his backpack off, sets it on the ground. "Need to work on your aim, Oikawa."

"I was moving," Oikawa explains and watches as Kuroo walks over to a desk and sits on it, meeting his challenging gaze with a raised eyebrow. "That makes it harder."

"Right. Just keep making excuses for why you suck."

Kuroo Tetsurou is a twenty-four-year-old biochemistry graduate student, spends his free time lounging around, studying, or, apparently, screwing around with Oikawa Tooru.

Kuroo gets along with everyone. It's always come naturally to him to befriend people; he's got a pretty laid back personality, one that easily lets him adapt to other people. It's like he's got a trait to fit with everyone; with Oikawa, it seems that trait is sass. Oikawa's a good person, he can tell relatively quickly into their friendship, he's just incredibly stubborn and horrendously immature.

But Kuroo is too sometimes, so that's probably why they get along.

Kuroo doesn't expect much from graduate school, just hopes to get his degree and go into research. Biochemistry has always been his forte and his passion; maybe he'd like to teach, he thinks sometimes. It could be his duty to pass off his infinite breadth of knowledge because he is always that kind.

(Kenma once choked on his rice when he heard that.)

He hadn't expected to make a friend like Oikawa. Kuroo's closest friend is Kozume Kenma, somebody he'd grown up with since they were kids. Their personalities seem opposite; while Kuroo is laid back but charismatic and easygoing, Kenma is quiet and withdrawn. He comes off as standoffish and rude to some people, but Kuroo knows he doesn't mean it. It upsets him to know people think of him that way, though he's become more confident as they've gotten older and that makes Kuroo happy.

A lot of things about Kenma make Kuroo happy.

"Hey, hey, Tetsu-chan."

Kuroo raises an eyebrow, doesn't like how Oikawa seems to be happy and eager.

"Yeah, Oikawa?"

"I've got a joke."


Oikawa seems especially proud and Kuroo mentally prepares himself.

"So a proton and neutron are walking down the street. The proton drops an electron, so he tells the neutron and asks him to help look. The neutron asks if he's really sure and the proton says…"

Oikawa takes a very dramatic pause.

"…Yes, I'm positive."

Kuroo Tetsurou has been subject to some bad jokes, as he's close with Bokuto Koutarou who can't seem to stop talking about owls, but this, Kuroo decides, this is an all new level.


"Funny, right?!"

"Don't ever tell a joke again."

He smirks at the way Oikawa's entire expression falls.

"M-mean, Tetsu-chan!"

A few more awful chemistry puns later, Oikawa eventually gives up, is quietly sulking. Kuroo's grateful that he's seem to run out; it's been a long day and he's not sure if he's got enough stamina left to deal with more jokes. Kuroo gives a sigh and looks out the window, knows that Oikawa will stop pouting sooner or later if he just waits it out. "So you're waiting for Iwaizumi, huh?"

Oikawa nods, standing in room 7259, which is where he once spent the night with Iwaizumi after a party. The building is exactly halfway between where the party had been and where their apartment is. So in a burst of inspiration, Oikawa announces they spend the night in the chemistry building.

So drunk he had been arguing with a statue, Iwaizumi had agreed.

Kuroo smirks, brings a leg up to fold his ankle under the other knee. "You two act like a couple. If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were dating."

Oikawa huffs as he walks over to stand in front of him, hands in his pockets.

"Iwa-chan and I are just friends, Tetsu-chan! Besides, I thought you were dating Pudding-chan."

Kuroo gives a quiet laugh as he leans back on his palms, neck craning as he looks out the window and Oikawa finds himself watching him. Kuroo's saying something but he doesn't pay attention, thus prompting him to look over again. His eyes are lingering on his Adam's apple when he realizes he hasn't been listening, eyes flitting up in time to catch Kuroo and he grins innocently enough.

"Like something you see?" Kuroo teases, raises an eyebrow.

Oikawa smiles.

"There's a stain on your collar."

There actually is.

Making a face, Kuroo sighs. He shifts again, bringing his leg down so both elbows can rest on his knees as two fingers come up to rub at his collar. Oikawa doesn't move, even though Kuroo's so close he may as well just lean his head against his chest. It's surprising how close he and Kuroo get; the only person Oikawa is truly close to and confides in is Iwaizumi. Kuroo isn't Iwaizumi. Kuroo isn't even close to being what Iwaizumi is to Oikawa, but Kuroo is the person he's most familiar with in this department.

Maybe it's their personalities.

Provocation expert meets people reader.

A match made in heaven.


"Could be a lipstick stain," Kuroo says after a moment with a smirk.

Oikawa laughs.

"Tetsu-chan's such a bad kisser she has to make excuses to get away? That's sad."

Kuroo's smirk widens, head lolls back as his half lidded eyes go to watch Oikawa. "That was awfully quick. Defensive?"

"Nothing to be defensive about!" Oikawa sings.

It's quiet for a bit.

"Does Tetsu-chan want me to prove it?"

"You want to kiss me? I don't blame you."

"Well, Tetsu-chan, I would let you cut the line."

"Of people who want to punch your face in?"

"How mean…"

It's quiet as the subliminal message of this conversation sinks in. They say nothing and though the topic could be awkward for many, Kuroo and Oikawa aren't most people. So Oikawa stays where he is and Kuroo doesn't keep from his leg brushing against Oikawa's.

Oikawa's pretending to be very interested in the traffic he can see from the window when Kuroo breaks the silence.

"Mm… Oikawa."

"Yes, Tetsu-chan?"

"What would you do if I were to kiss you right now?"

Oikawa can't say he's surprised, so the way his eyebrow arches is more from interest than anything else. It's not that Oikawa thinks about kissing all his friends, but there's something about Kuroo. They're friends, they're just friends and Oikawa is absolutely sure of that, but something about Kuroo has always seemed like a challenge. Maybe it's the way he smirks or the way he acts, how he seems unattainable (and he is, from an emotional aspect), but something about Kuroo Tetsurou presents itself as a challenge.

Oikawa is never one to back down from a challenge.

A corner of his lips quirks and he meets Kuroo's gaze evenly, gives an enigmatic shrug. "Well, Tetsu-chan. Why don't you try and find out yourself?"

Oikawa isn't one to link physical intimacy solely to love. It does mean more, feel better with someone he cares about. When he kisses Iwaizumi at age sixteen, he explains the small flutter in his stomach as Iwaizumi being his best friend and refuses to linger on it when that kiss had been more electrifying than the good night one with his date.

Kuroo straightens and Oikawa feels his hands on his hips, obeys the command to step forward. Leaning down until their lips meet in a gentle kiss, Oikawa's arms unfold, hands opting instead to cup Kuroo's face and tangle in his absolutely ridiculously atrocious hair. Oikawa befriends Kenma—he's the type of person who can befriend anyone if he makes a genuine effort—and is introduced to a plethora of bad hair pictures of baby Kuroo, something he occasionally threatens to blackmail him with.

Right now, though, Oikawa's definitely not thinking about that.

Kuroo tastes of black coffee and Oikawa's sure he tastes like the caramel latte he had earlier. Taste aside, though, Oikawa will admit that this is one of the better kisses he'd had the pleasure of experiencing in his lifetime. It's slow at first; it's gentle and sweet. They break apart at a natural pause after the kiss, though still stay close enough to feel each other's breath on their lips, foreheads touching. Their eyes remain closed, but Oikawa can feel Kuroo smirking.

He gives a breathless laugh.

"Not bad, Tetsu-chan."

"Have to say… expected better from you."

Kuroo's most likely bluffing, knowing what buttons to press to irritate him. Oikawa knows that, and yet he takes the bait, accepts the challenge, leans in and kisses him again. He steps closer and grasps Kuroo's hair, yanking harshly to force his neck back. Oikawa's smirk into the kiss is short lived; Kuroo bites down on his bottom lip and he gives a slight groan. A hand releases the black hair in favor of moving down his chest, fingering the zipper teasingly before starting to ease it down.

The first kiss is good, but this second kiss makes it very evidence that he's kissing Kuroo Tetsurou. Because Kuroo's not a sweet, kind, gentle sort of guy (unless the person he's with is Kozume Kenma.) He's snarky and sassy, sort of an asshole, has that bad boy type charm that intrigues and draws people in. This kiss is reminiscent of that. There's a tinge of pain and yet he can't help himself, keeps wanting to kiss him more and more, lose himself in it entirely.

But then the door opens and Oikawa looks over, doesn't bother stepping back and just smiles. "Iwa-chan!"

To: kenma

hows miyagi?

From: kenma

fine. how was your exam?

To: kenma

did well on it, thanks to you

From: kenma

i didn't do anything

To: kenma

you sat on me until I studied

From: kenma

the floor was hard and cold

To: kenma

glad i can provide comfort. can you ask my mom to make some food?

From: kenma

tell her yourself

To: kenma

but you're there. and she can't say no to you

From: kenma

i am not your food mule

To: kenma

fine, fine. hurry back okay? getting bored without you. also running out of instant ramen

From: kenma

i know for a fact you can cook

To: kenma

don't feel like it

From: kenma

...fine, i'll ask your mom. make sure you're wearing pants when i come back

To: kenma


Iwaizumi realizes when he kisses Oikawa for the second time at age sixteen.

Oikawa's going on a date with a girl and "needs to make sure he can kiss well" so Iwaizumi has been called in for practice. He doesn't think much about it at first; their first kiss had been with each other when they were fourteen, since Oikawa was throwing a fit and Iwaizumi just wanted him to shut up. He hadn't thought twice about it. It was a simple press of the lips that successfully silenced Oikawa, left him with a satisfied smile.

But this time when Oikawa pulls back, Iwaizumi wants to pull him back in.

Every cliché suddenly becomes relevant. There are butterflies, there are tingles, there are fireworks. He's left a bit dazed, lips feeling a buzz he can only compare to that of alcohol, and his heart is beating almost sickeningly quickly. He hardly hears Oikawa prompt him for an evaluation of the kiss; all he can see is his stupid grin, stare at his lips, want to kiss him again.


Iwaizumi clears his throat.

"…Yeah, you're set for your date."

Iwaizumi Hajime is officially in love with Oikawa Tooru.

Sometimes he wakes up in the morning and is still in disbelief. Not because he's lucky enough to fall in love with his best friend, not because he's unlucky enough to fall in love with his best friend, not because his soul mate is his best friend, not because the person he's meant to be with is his best friend, but because he's in love with goddamn-shitty-narcissist-whiny-annoying-insufferable Oikawa Tooru. It drives him crazy and he just asks him why every single day, but then answers his own question with:

How could I not?

Because Oikawa is loyal and hardworking, kind and determined. He's got a work ethic that Iwaizumi's always admired, always gets back up when he's fallen down. It's amazing. It's incredible. Oikawa's incredible, constantly inspiring and pushing Iwaizumi. He's strong but also has his flaws; while Iwaizumi will get frustrated that Oikawa constantly feels like he's not good enough, he also lives for those moments of success because Oikawa's happiness is his happiness.

Iwaizumi's in love with Oikawa and as much as it sucks, he's accepted it.

So now they're twenty-four and Iwaizumi realizes that a third of his life has been spent agonizing over his ridiculous infatuation with Oikawa. Except it isn't just infatuation; it's everything he'd ever dreamed about, except no one told him being in love would suck so much.

He bids his study group farewell; about half of them send him off with smiles but the other half keep studying and Iwaizumi can't blame them. There's an exam in a few days and if Oikawa hadn't been forcing Iwaizumi to study with him at regular intervals throughout the term, Iwaizumi would more likely than not also be in that state. It's incredibly surprising, but Oikawa's a good student. There have been a few times where he's pulled unfortunate all nighters, but for the most part, he gets his work done.

Iwaizumi doesn't quite understand Oikawa sometimes.

So Iwaizumi leaves early because of three reasons. One, he doesn't need to keep studying with them. Two, Oikawa's waiting and the longer he waits, the more he whines. Three, he can't focus on capillaries when his confession is acting as his bookmark.

Stopping in front of an elevator, Iwaizumi's holding his textbook on human anatomy. But when he looks down, it's not the skinned person that has him flinching. It's the envelope on top of it. It's a simple envelope and Iwaizumi can't believe he's going to confess with a letter. It's better than a text, of course, but a letter. He's so cheesy. It's like he's transported himself back to high school, is now one of those girls who always hang around after practice or games to wait for Oikawa to appear.

He can't believe himself.

Iwaizumi's always been fine with their friendship. It kills him on the inside, but that's okay. But because of outside forces planting the seed of an idea in his head (he should not have let Kindaichi watch Inception), Iwaizumi's feeling this nagging desire to just tell Oikawa and get it over with. He understands the risks. He knows he's going to expose himself to someone who's incredibly good at finding weak points and exploiting them.

But this is Iwaizumi and Oikawa.

So Iwaizumi summons all the courage he's ever had, borrows some from the future, and pens a letter in order to confess. If he does it verbally, he'll end up swearing and probably hitting him. If he just hands him a letter and waits as he reads, it's much less likely he'll spew profanities and engage in violence.

Oikawa's always been someone Iwaizumi's comfortable around, so being nervous today is a first. Oikawa is his home, he thinks. As cheesy as that is, Oikawa is the one person he'll turn to when everything is wrong and spiraling.

So he's going to confess, get it over with, get it out in the open. If Oikawa doesn't feel the same way, their friendship should be strong enough survive it. If he does…

Iwaizumi's stomach flips and he pushes the thought away.

He hates false hope.

Stepping in, Iwaizumi watches the different floor numbers light up, heart thudding more rapidly as he nears seven. Part of him feels like the elevator is going too quickly. Another part feels like it's going to slowly. And another part just wants to hurl.

The elevator dings upon arrival and Iwaizumi steps out, takes a deep breath. It's silent; it's not unusual for the seventh floor of a lower traffic building to be deserted on a Tuesday evening. Classes are over and if anyone does hang around, it's usually in the libraries. Iwaizumi walks to the end of the hallway and knows to veer, heads to classroom Oikawa has declared as his favorite.

(He doesn't know why Oikawa has a favorite classroom, but this is Oikawa.)

(He's strange.)

(Wonderfully so, sometimes.)

(Annoyingly so, other times.)

His footsteps reverberate in the empty hallway and Iwaizumi's heart is racing by the time he stops in front of room 7259, taking a moment to collect himself. This is the number Oikawa texts him when Iwaizumi asks where he is; he remembers his phone lighting up in the middle of an argument over a practice question. He'd smiled because of the emoticons Oikawa decorated his text with; he remembered at one point chastising him on all that wasted time, but Oikawa just patiently explained his emoticons made his texts special.

Nothing Oikawa does is ever ordinary to Iwaizumi.

Iwaizumi grips his anatomy textbook a bit tighter and opens the door, opens his mouth to call out Oikawa's name.

He blinks and the first syllable never leaves Iwaizumi's lips because Oikawa's not alone.

Oikawa Tooru is standing there in the classroom, except Kuroo Tetsurou's hands are on his hips, holding him close as he kisses him.

This must be what it's like to die, Iwaizumi thinks.

They pull apart but Iwaizumi's stomach twists when Oikawa doesn't step back, is still between Kuroo's knees and rests his arms on his shoulders. When Iwazumi first hears about Kuroo, it's in the context that he's in the biochemistry graduate program. So Iwaizumi naively says that they're the same, to which Oikawa very agitatedly explains that they are not the same. Oikawa's giving his big speech from a different room, so Iwaizumi just puts in his headphones, which works at canceling out his voice until Oikawa comes back and sees. Then he yanks them off and whines very loudly for a very long time.

Iwaizumi has to endure both the "biochemistry and organic chemistry are not the same!" speech and the "Iwa-chan, why don't you listen to me?!" speech in one sitting.

But he remembers meeting Kuroo. Iwaizumi thinks it's unfortunate Oikawa and Kuroo meet and become friends because it seems like a recipe for disaster, but Iwaizumi doesn't have anything against Kuroo himself. He's a decent guy and they get along pretty well. He's laid back most of the time, but being with Oikawa brings out a mischievous side that he also sees with Bokuto. Iwaizumi doesn't really mind Kuroo.

Except Kuroo is kissing Oikawa right now and Iwaizumi minds a lot.

"Iwa-chan," Oikawa smiles and Kuroo just offers a smirk from his seat on the desk. "Ready to leave?"

He's still close to him, Iwaizumi notes.

Oikawa is still so close to Kuroo and making absolutely no indication that he's going to move anytime soon.

The part of Iwaizumi that wants to hurl is beginning to overpower the other two.

Iwaizumi opens his mouth but he ends up gaping, can't stop staring at how close they're standing, how comfortable they seem. How Oikawa's a master of fake expressions, but that smile's real. He feels his heart sink and loosens the grip on his textbook for just a moment, taking a step back and turning. "…Actually, just came by to say I'm going to study a bit longer in the library. You can go home first."

And he leaves in the middle of what's probably a taunt from Oikawa, hurries off. He can hear Oikawa's voice calling out to him just before the door slams shut behind him.

"I was actually trying to help though…"

"You're like the kid who cried wolf, except you're the guy who's always kidding."

"That's mean, Tetsu-chan."

Oikawa breaks away from Kuroo and goes over to the door where an envelope lays facedown. Picking it, he opens the flap and fishes out the note; he looks at it for just a second before he recognizes what it is. After all, this isn't the first time Oikawa's seen a confession letter.

His eyes light up.

"Huh… Iwa-chan was going to confess to someone?"

Oikawa turns around and grins, waves it around. "Let's read it!"

Kuroo stares at him.

"So you're invasive and masochistic."

"Don't be so crass, Tetsu-chan!" Oikawa feigns a hurt tone as he holds up the letter and gives a pensive hum. He voices a few choice words and Kuroo guesses he's about halfway through when he stops, can see Oikawa's eyes going back up to see who it's addresses to. Kuroo smirks dryly. "Look on the front of the envelope," he says because that's what facing him, that's the first thing Kuroo sees.

Oikawa turns it around and Kuroo watches his face pale, tilts his head and is lucky enough to view another exhibit as to why Oikawa Tooru is impossible to understand.

"…Oh, god."

To: Shittykawa