secrets i have held in my heart
are harder to hide than i thought
maybe i just wanna be yours
i wanna be yours, i wanna be yours
>> I’ll be in town the end of next month. Got company tours and meetings scheduled but I can free up some time if you’re available.
Oikawa’s heart soars, long fingers tightening their grip on his phone even as he tries to reign himself in.
“Who’s messaging you during such important family time?” Matsukawa asks from the other side of the booth, and Oikawa looks up from the screen to find not one but two pairs of eyes trained on him.
Schooling his expression into a shit-eating grin, he shrugs and waves his phone emphatically through the air in a gesture befitting of his usual flair. “Someone gracious enough to spare me from your disgusting PDA” he chirps, rolling his eyes at Matsukawa’s half-assed parody of a shocked gasp. He also chooses to ignore the pale hand Hanamaki suggestively sweeps down Matsukawa’s chest in response to the criticism - they’re in a family restaurant in the middle of the day, don’t they have morals?
Makki’s eyes turn even more sly than their default, and Oikawa braces himself. Why should he ever have expected someone with pink hair to have any sense of public decorum?
Said man only smirks, chin resting on Mattsun’s broad shoulder as he mock-whispers to him. “Can’t you tell? His eyelashes did that fluttery thing when he read it - and his shoulders hunched up. Only one person gets him so excited~” his gaze slices right through Oikawa, who’s starting to feel a little attacked already. “Mr. Jetsetter just made a booty call, didn’t he?”
Oikawa doesn’t need to move his eyes away from Makki’s sly ‘gotcha!’ grin to know that a tiny frown has colored Mattsun’s usually blank expression. His stomach sinks at the words ‘booty call’ (not because they aren’t true, but because they are and they make it sound so bad). He draws the phone clutched in his hands closer to his body, the screen gone black in his distraction. Despite what must be a clear dip in Oikawa’s mood, Hanamaki continues on:
“Your exotic American boytoy, yeah?”
His friend doesn’t mean anything by it besides innocent teasing, but the excitement that had bloomed in Oikawa’s chest just a minute ago has already begun to fizzle thanks to Hanamaki’s poor choice of words. Even though he rises to the bait as usual, it lacks the usual whiny insistence Makki is probably used to hearing when they tackle this topic.
“He’s Japanese, he just moved to America when he was a kid. Hardly exotic” Oikawa mumbles, eyes darting to the side just as a young waitress comes to collect their plates, providing an excellent buffer for a moment.
It’s not Makki’s fault he’s suddenly so put out - they’ve done this routine a few times before and Oikawa has never really had a problem with his… situation being described in such a way - until now.
Now, Oikawa remembers the last time Iwaizumi (apparently ‘Mr. Jetsetter’ to Makki today) came to Tokyo for business. He remembers staring at Iwaizumi’s broad, bare shoulders while he slept in the hotel bed, form illuminated by the neon signs outside the window. For the first time, Oikawa had found himself totally unable to force down the wish that the other didn’t have to go back home to the other side of the world; so far away that they could never see each other on a whim just because they felt like it.
If Iwaizumi lived here in Tokyo, Oikawa would have already taken a risk and asked Iwaizumi to date him for real. Or more likely, with that option from the beginning, he’d have done what he always does with guys he takes a fancy to - bombard him with texts and demand they go to this cafe he found, or attend this event or exhibition he’d read about on the internet. The very physical distance between them prevented that and so much more, and at first that wasn't so much of an issue. But these days... Well, the last time Iwaizumi was here a knot had formed in the pit of Oikawa's stomach, and it only seems to get tighter each time he thinks about the lost opportunities between them.
It’s his fault, and he will get over it. He tells himself he would have gotten bored of Iwaizumi had he been so accessible, just like with all the others. It’s just wanting what he can’t have, like he’s prone to do.
He plasters on a smile just as the silent concern radiating from Mattsun reaches its peak, but that doesn’t deter his best friend. “We still haven’t met him yet” he points out.
Whilst it sounds casual, Oikawa knows it’s anything but. Matsukawa and Hanamakki have probably discussed the “American toyboy” situation between themselves - his two best friends can be protective. It’s clear to see that Mattsun doesn’t like not knowing anything about the guy Oikawa will drop any and all plans for besides his name (which Oikawa made him promise not to tell Makki, who can probably find a man on social media based just on his ring size never mind his name) and the fact that he’s (for all intents and purposes) an American who comes over to Tokyo several times a year to liaise with the Tokyo branch of the company he works for.
If he were to be honest, Oikawa doesn’t actually know much more factual information about Iwaizumi himself, and he’d learned all of that the first time they'd met in a gay bar in Shinjuku. Of course, they talk about plenty of things when they’re together and (more often) text when they’re apart, but nothing that could really be considered important or deeply personal information. It's a strange situation, maybe. Oikawa can identify all the different ways Iwaizumi furrows his brow - when he doesn’t understand what’s being said in a conversation, when he’s annoyed, when he’s grumpy, when he’s tired. He knows Iwaizumi loves to eat agedashi tofu whenever he’s in Japan, but likes burgers and Mexican food almost as much. He knows which brand of beer he likes and the make of his favorite watch. He knows Iwaizumi likes kaiju movies and old school anime and got a red leather jacket just like Kaneda’s from Akira when he was thirteen.
He doesn’t know Iwaizumi’s biggest hopes or his darkest fears. He doesn’t know what his parents look like, or whether he’s close with them or not. He doesn’t know who Iwaizumi’s best friends are, or how well he gets along with his co-workers back home. Oikawa doesn’t know if Iwaizumi wants to continue to travel to and fro for his job for the foreseeable future, or if he wants to settle down and work in one place.
So Oikawa knows a lot of inconsequential things about Iwaizumi, but it’s the information he’s not privy to that really matters, that keeps him awake at night, wondering but too afraid to ask for fear of coming on ‘too strong’.
Oikawa zaps out of his musings and back into the present, hackles raising at the scrutiny of his friends. “And why would you need to?” he asks with a smile sharp as a dagger, a clear warning for them to drop the subject. “It’s not like it’s anything serious. We just hang out sometimes when he’s in Tokyo.”
Mood well and truly soured, and with no one to blame but himself for it, Oikawa decides this is enough ‘family bonding time’ for this week, slapping some bills down onto the tabletop since it’s his turn to pay for their lunch. He chooses to ignore Makki’s mumbled addition of ‘and text all the time’ and slides out of the booth, nose turned up at the disgustingly happy and drama-free couple opposite him. They’re so happy with each other it’s obscene.
“I have to get back to work,” he announces, even if everyone present knows that’s not strictly true, because Oikawa always takes a long lunch break on Tuesdays for these catch-ups, so a time constraint is certainly not the reason he’s leaving. “Have a nice life.”
He responds to Iwaizumi’s text once he steps out of the building, only cursing his lack of self-preservation once it’s successfully sent and he’s once again waiting for a reply. (He’s always waiting, at the mercy of a sixteen hour time difference and a debilitating need to talk to Iwaizumi always).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There are plenty of things Oikawa
loves likes about Iwaizumi Hajime. Or Iwa-chan, as he became known approximately fifteen minutes after they first became acquainted with each other in that hot, dark gay club in Shinjuku’s ni-chome district.
On the most superficial level is the way he looks. Thick, dark hair and tanned skin. Not as tall as Oikawa, but that didn’t exactly matter once the brunette had laid a flirty hand on his bicep and felt the solid mass there, which he’d later find out was to be found on every inch of him. He’s built solidly, muscled with an athlete’s frame and broad shoulders that Oikawa loves to sweep his hands across. He’s nothing special to look at, not in the way people have told Tooru he is since he was sixteen, but Iwaizumi certainly is objectively good-looking. The casual, masculine confidence that pervades every aspect of Iwaizumi’s look and demeanor is the kind of thing that Oikawa is always drawn to and has never possessed himself.
Still, it wasn’t exactly Iwaizumi’s appearance that made Oikawa pursue him the way he had once they got to talking. There was something else that pulled him in after that first initial spark, a force so strong and innate it felt like Oikawa was succumbing to gravity itself. Attraction, definitely. Compatibility? He’d like to think so. Regardless, Iwaizumi has always been just so damn interesting to Oikawa.
Part of it, he’s almost certain, is the contradiction of a native Japanese with the cultural identity of American. Oikawa has always been branded as ‘out there’ - obnoxious to most and charismatic to those that remain - but even so, he still has the cultural cues and values of Japan ingrained into every inch of him. He’s still one to ‘read the atmosphere’ as the Japanese social mantra goes, even if he has at times utilised that code of behavior to develop a talent for manipulating people and situations to his favor.
Iwaizumi is different. He’s Japanese, has Japanese parents, but having been plucked from his homeland at seven years old and raised somewhere completely different, he’s basically American in everything but ethnicity and heritage. Iwaizumi had been inclined to agree, when Oikawa had posed his musings to him after about a year of knowing each other, their legs tangled together in hotel sheets in the Tokyo dawn. Maybe the sentiment that everyone is the same at heart regardless of culture or upbringing is correct to some degree, but Oikawa still believes there’s at least a difference in tendencies and behaviors. Iwaizumi is essentially bilingual thanks to his parents’ efforts to keep up his Japanese (even if his kanji knowledge is shit and he sometimes relies on Oikawa to phrase things a little more simply or explain a word’s meaning) so the difference is perhaps more subtle than someone with no ties to their heritage, but his cultural identity is there in the way he behaves.
Oikawa had tried to explain this to Matsukawa once, but he’s found it’s difficult to explain. It’s just-- sometimes the things Iwaizumi says, or the ways he says them, is jarring. Not because it’s wrong, but just because Oikawa feels it’s not the way a ‘Japanese person’ would say it. Iwaizumi is blunt - he doesn’t stop to ‘read the atmosphere’ because everything where he’s from is so explicit that he’s never needed to before. He told Oikawa once that back in the States, there’s no talking around a subject, or trying to silently gauge another person's meaning, or holding back opinions, because people are a lot less bound by a common code of conduct.
The explanation was followed by a casual-sounding ‘does it bother you? Is it embarrassing?’ and Oikawa had actually laughed. First of all because Iwaizumi is the least apologetic person Oikawa has ever met, so to hear him at least a little concerned about it had been odd. But also because-- Well, Tooru has spent his whole life perfecting how to use these useless social graces to his own advantage, to get his way by artfully playing the game that has to be played in this society. To him, it's just so refreshing to have someone around who simply chooses to ignore the game and its unspoken rules completely. Or perhaps just fails to recognize it completely - whichever it may be.
Anyway, the difference isn’t severe, probably thanks to the fact Iwaizumi isn’t an obnoxious person. The man's behavior is never enough to become a problem or make things awkward. So in short: no, it isn’t bothersome, nor is it embarrassing. It challenges Oikawa in the best way, not only because Iwaizumi is a new kind of player to deal with in the social game of life, but also because he occasionally challenges conventions Oikawa doesn’t even know he obeys, when even he finds himself surprised at something Iwaizumi decides to say or do. He's endlessly fond of Iwaizumi’s bluntness; enjoys it when he’s so blunt with Oikawa it’s almost shocking. He likes it when Iwaizumi abandons all formality and politeness and makes fun of him and calls him an idiot to his face. Engaging him in a conversation is thrilling in a way Oikawa has never experienced before. He loves it.
He loves this, too - the way Iwaizumi conducts himself in public while he’s with Oikawa. Oikawa doesn’t think Iwaizumi is that much of a ‘public affection’ kind of guy anyway, but he's still conscious of the fact he can’t be as open here as he’s maybe used to back home in Los Angeles. Even so, sitting here now in the cafe, the way Iwaizumi’s eyes are focused on him, dark and warm at they watch him, is just a shade more than ‘good friends’. There’s a small smile on his face as Oikawa regales him with tales of things that have happened to him over these past few months since they’ve seen each other, and though the ankles tangled with his own under the table are casual, if someone were to notice it, their insinuation would be far too blatant. It makes Oikawa’s heart race, the casual masculinity of Iwaizumi’s affection. It isn’t calculated - he doesn’t even think about doing it - it just happens. Oikawa has always liked to show off, and has always dreamt of the day he could make a display of affection with someone special beyond the safe boundary of the gay district. There are people who do so of course, because times are changing here, but they haven’t changed enough yet. For most people, and like most things, being gay in Japan requires restraint. The nail that sticks up gets hammered, after all.
And even so, Iwaizumi looks at him like this. Unable to touch him without it being hidden, he stretches his arm across the table and fiddles with Oikawa’s glass instead. While it isn’t a blatant public display of affection heterosexual couples maybe feel more at liberty to make, it’s enough to send a thousand butterflies loose inside his chest, wings fluttering against his ribcage. He knows it’s Iwaizumi reaching out, trying to forge some connection with him; an attempt to reduce the distance between them . It feels like a secret shouted out for all the world to hear, should they care to listen. It's not shame, it's affection or something close, simple and pure.
The way Iwaizumi abruptly - but politely - asks a passing waitress for the bill, all the while sending a warm, knowing smile in Oikawa’s direction is just another thing he loves.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Shit, baby, you’re always so perfect--”
There’s another thing Oikawa loves about Iwaizumi: the way he forgets and slips back into English when he’s so turned on that he loses himself.
Oikawa gasps at the groan to his ear, the pair of strong hands sliding down his front as if in worship, and tilts his head back further into the pillow. He loves talking to Iwaizumi. He loves spending time with him, being teased by him - he even loves the calm silences they have over coffee or sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in a taxi back to a hotel. But god does he love this, the way Iwaizumi presses him down into a mattress just to hover over him and whisper things Oikawa can only barely understand at the best of times into his ear.
“Iwa-chan--” he gasps, because it’s been three months since Oikawa has been touched by Iwaizumi, or anyone, and he suddenly can’t stand having him so close if he’s not inside. He’s desperate, hands and body shaking as they reach up to grasp broad shoulders, nails pressing a little too hard into skin as he starts to get sucked into the desperate, cavernous want he always tries to ignore.
“Shh, me too,” Iwaizumi coos in English, and it’s his soothing tone rather than his actual words that Oikawa is able to comprehend, heels digging into the mattress as he tugs at Iwaizumi’s expensive belt with his right hand, chanting a whiny and breathless ‘need you, need you, need you’ that he’d be appalled at if he could hear himself.
But Iwa-chan doesn’t help his clumsy fingers in their mission. Instead he pauses, leaning forward to press a kiss to Oikawa’s forehead and brush the damp hair out of his eyes. It’s a soft gesture so out of place in the growing heat of Iwaizumi’s hotel room. He’s looking at Tooru like he’s considering something; meanwhile Oikawa’s heart pounds. Why is he waiting, why isn’t he inside, Oikawa prepared himself for this before they even met up this evening so they could get to it quick, but really he’s been ready for this for months now anyway and--
“I’m going to give you what you want,” Iwaizumi says gently, in Japanese this time. “But you need to calm down okay?”
Only then does Oikawa realise he’s trembling, right hand still at Iwaizumi’s buckle and his left in a vice grip around a strong shoulder. Tooru’s blood runs cold at his lack of control. He forces himself to let go and nods shakily, willing himself to relax and let the tension leave his body. Iwa-chan smiles but there’s an odd look in his eyes that makes Oikawa worry that he's shown too much, makes him feel like he should say something to throw Iwaizumi off the scent. Before he can fully consider it though, the other is pulling back and removing his belt with an efficiency that makes the already-burning heat in Oikawa’s abdomen spike again. The next few minutes pass by in a slick, heavy blur and before he knows it they’re both naked and the pillow that had been behind his head is now under his hips. Iwaizumi’s hand presses into the mattress, the other wrapped around Oikawa’s hip, and then he’s pushing inside.
It’s an explosion of sensation.
Oikawa’s back lifts off the mattress in an arc as he lets out a soft whine, every inch of him damp with sweat by now. Iwaizumi feels amazing, but then he always does. A casual arrangement shouldn’t feel like this - it never has before, at least - but Oikawa can hardly dwell on that when Iwa-chan takes his legs and pushes, creating all the room he needs in the way that he knows Oikawa loves. He’s reverted back to English again, whispering hoarse somethings Oikawa can only decipher as praise from the way they sound, but the fact that he doesn’t actually understand the words somehow only makes it hotter, better.
Iwaizumi is as talkative as Oikawa is in bed - maybe even more so - and Oikawa loves that; loves the way the soft moans and whispers make him feel wanted. If he’s honest, feeling desired is not exactly something new to him, but there’s something about having Iwaizumi’s attention, and about being wanted by Iwaizumi like this, that feels much more special than it would if it were anyone else. Oikawa doesn’t even want to look at anyone else anymore, much less waste his time trying to reach the heights Iwaizumi takes him to with someone else. So he doesn’t bother, even if it leaves him alone and wanting late at night, brown eyes staring at a ‘message read’ notification or a world clock with the city set to Los Angeles, CA, USA.
He kisses Iwaizumi like he’s drowning, and it certainly feels like he is when Iwaizumi’s teeth clamp down on his bottom lip hard, a damp tongue soothing it immediately after with a messy swipe across flesh. Then there’s a hand around his cock and Iwaizumi is driving harder into him and Oikawa’s vision is swimming so much that he’s forced to close his eyes, riding towards the edge solely on the barrage of sensation Iwaizumi forces onto him. He comes with a cry, clinging to Iwaizumi even after he follows him to orgasm, dropping down onto Oikawa in a heavy heap once he’s finished.
Oikawa holds him close, stealing his body heat and inhaling his scent in an embrace that masquerades as nothing more than a quick post-coital gathering of wits. He can always get away with clinging to Iwa-chan in the soft sleepiness that will come for them later, but in order to stave off any suspicion about what he may or may not feel, he has to keep it short for now. Except, when he removes his arms from around Iwaizumi with a final swipe of his hand down a broad, damp back, Iwaizumi rolls off the bed and makes quick work of disposing of the condom as he always does, but he doesn’t collapse in the space beside him when he’s done like usual. Instead he climbs back across the mattress, lowering himself so he’s laying half on Oikawa and then proceeds to drape his arm atop Oikawa’s sweaty skin, hand resting over his heart. Oikawa stares down at said arm in bewilderment, heart beating a mile a minute (surely Iwaizumi can feel it), words refusing to come to him.
“I know you need to shower,” Iwaizumi murmurs sleepily into Oikawa’s shoulder, “but let’s just lie here for a few minutes.”
Oikawa doesn’t dare move an inch until Iwaizumi’s breaths even out into the endearing little huffs that reveal he’s asleep. He's terrified the tiniest movement will shatter the illusion his mind must have conjured up, because Iwa-chan doesn’t initiate cuddles with him after sex. Usually Iwa-chan lies down next to Oikawa, leaving at least a polite couple of inches of (cavernous) space between them, even if he doesn’t say anything or pull away when they wake up wrapped around each other the next morning. It’s the way they’ve operated since the first time, and this deviation is entirely unexpected. Oikawa eventually slips away to shower, bringing back a damp hand towel to gently wipe his sweaty Iwa-chan down whilst trying not to wake him, then slides onto the mattress behind him to spoon him like always.
Iwaizumi’s only here for five days this time, and they only have tonight together. The hotel room is eerily quiet as Oikawa leans forward to press his nose to the soft, dark hair at the base of Iwaizumi’s skull, slick with sweat from the sex and the heat. He's so precious and soft when he's asleep and Oikawa loves to treasure it - the real reason he always demands on being the big spoon.
Those same thoughts creep back in as they always do. He’s never seen Iwaizumi off at the airport; has never been asked to do so nor asked himself if he can. He didn’t care at first, but the past few times he hasn’t dared to broach the topic in case it sets off a chain reaction of sheer doom and brings about the destruction of-- well, whatever this is right now. He's too scared to ask. Is it too much, to go to Narita International with him and wave him off like a real lover would? They’re not together, so surely that’s too much for their casual arrangement, right? By asking would it be obvious to Iwaizumi that Oikawa maybe wanted more?
It’s so exhausting to toe the line when Oikawa has no idea what their boundaries even are. Tooru has the image of someone never afraid to test the waters, to test the extent of his ability and influence. That’s true, to a certain extent, but he’s always been terrified of things that matter to him - or rather, the thought of potentially losing them. Fear suddenly catches the breath in his throat, and though Oikawa can’t bring himself to beg Iwaizumi to stay out loud, his lips move to form the words in the darkness, the breath against the back of the other’s neck a whisper of a desperate plea.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Things start to truly hit the fan nearly a month later, on ‘girls’ night’ with Makki. They’re having Korean food, though their favourite restaurant in the heart of Ebisu is busy enough that they’re stuck sitting side by side at the last available table, both facing the wall and the slightly pixilated stock photo of Seoul plastered across it for decoration. The grill between them sizzles with the meat Makki is gleefully cooking, but Oikawa is too concerned with the extra bibimbap he’d ordered. It feels like he’s been eating it for days and there’s still no end in sight. How typical of him, to get himself into these kinds of messes-- He sighs and Makki tuts in response, picking up his screwdriver cocktail to take a long sip through the straw he insisted on despite the fact he’s a twenty-eight year-old man drinking alcohol. not an eight year-old drinking soda. When Oikawa glances at him, those sharp eyes are peering at him intensely.
“Is this about your slice of American pie?” he asks directly, and Oikawa almost chokes on his spoonful of rice.
The ever-changing puns and nicknames are old hat by now so unless they’re particularly hilarious Tooru has learnt to ignore them, but that's a new one. There’s a reference there he doesn’t get, probably; but he’s more surprised by Makki’s freaky ESP when it comes to his relationship woes. It’s a wonder Oikawa keeps him around to be honest, because it isn’t fair that the friend with the least care for tact is the one that possesses such a gift.
“No,” he immediately lies, mostly just to keep up appearances because he knows Makki isn’t about to buy that.
Hanamaki rolls his eyes and sets down his glass with that air of a man that is just done with his friends dramatic behavior. “Liar. What’s the problem? I thought it was just a hook up thing - you’re both still seeing other people, so why are you so bothered about one guy not always being around?”
Oikawa freezes for a second, before reaching out to delicately pluck his whisky Highball off the table and taking a long, innocent sip. Makki gasps, the sound so scandalized it would be funny if the situation wasn’t so damn depressing.
Oikawa knows it’s inconceivable - it’d be so easy for him to do so, after all. It’s always been so easy for him to find a hook up on the weekend if he needed it. Unfortunately, he just doesn’t want to. He averts his eyes and tightens his fingers around his glass.
“Tooru!" Hanamaki exclaims, disbelieving. "He comes, what, every two or three months if you’re lucky?” Well yes, the lack of sex would be the kicker for Makki - who was the party boy of Ni-chome (along with Oikawa) until he’d discovered Mattsun was hopelessly in love with him and immediately admitted that he felt the same. For him, the second he’d become monogamous he’d entered into some weird symbiotic marriage with Mattsun fueled mostly on memes and sex that left them both happy and fulfilled human beings.
But that was Mattsun and Makki. They were soulmates and always had been. Just because Oikawa had stopped his (probably unhealthy) routine of picking up a random guy every Saturday in between Iwaizumi’s ‘visits’ didn’t mean anything. Except for the fact he now spends those Saturday nights (and the other six days of the week too) hopelessly pining and-- And he most definitely had feelings for Iwaizumi, his life is the worst.
“I mean come on, that’s a bad idea and you know it. He’s like some international business man, right? He probably travels to all sorts of places, yeah? You’re his Tokyo boy, but I bet he has someone in each city he visits - which is fine I guess, as long as there’s no strings and no one catches feelings--”
There’s a sudden onset of silence, as if Makki is only just now realizing that is definitely the case, which perfectly compliments Oikawa’s earth-shattering discovery that what Makki is saying to him is probably very true. He’d never thought of it before. His face feels slack and he notices numbly that the spoon he’d been holding is no longer between his fingers but is instead laying sadly in his bowl.
Iwaizumi had mentioned occasionally travelling to other cities, New York and Osaka and the like, but Oikawa had never considered the possibility that Iwaizumi has people like him everywhere he goes even semi-regularly-- Iwaizumi is so amazing, and kind, and funny, and he and Tooru are just casual anyway, so what’s stopping him from having ‘arrangements’ in every city, really? But that would make him, what, just a pit-stop? Oikawa turns his eyes to Makki, who is watching his reaction with something like horror.
The meat sizzles between them, charring and forgotten.
“Oh no Tooru-” but thankfully Makki doesn’t say anything other than that. It’s obvious that he’s just shoved these awful sorts of ponderings right at Oikawa’s blissful ignorance. They reach for their drinks in sync, and Tooru tips his glass to his oncoming emotional apocalypse in one last sardonic acknowledgement of his terrible life before they both take a long pull of their drinks because oh yes, he’s fucked.
He has feelings for Iwaizumi Hajime, who probably has casual lovers just like him in every major city he visits on business, as well as a string of them at home in Los Angeles. One or two might even be prettier or smarter than Oikawa. Maybe they’re bilingual and take the strain of an occasional language barrier out of the equation. Maybe they’re even allowed to see him off at the airport. Oikawa is just his Tokyo Boy, just another pit-stop on Iwaizumi’s travels.
He needs another fucking Highball, mashing the button to call a server over to take the order.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The next morning sees Oikawa stumbling into his bathroom to heave out the contents of his stomach and for a while he’s too busy lamenting his pathetically hungover state, long limbs akimbo on his bathroom floor, to remember why he’d gotten so fucking drunk in the first place. It comes to him eventually though, with the inevitability of an avalanche or volcanic eruption, and leaves him lying on the sofa, tangled in a blanket and feeling very sorry for himself. He’s watching some vapid variety show and one of the kooky presenters is in America, trying to navigate themselves through some appointed task despite the fact they don’t know any English at all.
Oikawa had been good at English in school, but he’d quickly learnt that memorizing grammar and earning high test scores meant nothing for actual skill in conversation. He curses the Japanese school system for his linguistic failings as he watches the man try and ask for directions, thinking this is what he’d be like if he ever went to America. Iwaizumi’s anonymous Osaka Boy is probably bilingual and has probably been to America and is probably much easier to be around--
Just as Oikawa begins to delve a little too deep into his morbid fantasy, there’s a key turning in the lock of his front door, the familiar sounds of Mattsun shuffling his way out of his shoes in the genkan following soon after.
“Are you wallowing?” he asks as he enters the living room, small smile on his face and smart trench coat billowing behind him. Oikawa had bought him that for his birthday a couple years ago, and had immediately regretted it after he’d put it on for the first time and it became apparent that Mattsun was infinitely cooler and more suave without even trying than Oikawa could ever be. “‘Hiro told me what happened. I figured I’d let you deal with your hangover first and then come over. I love you, but not enough to suffer through the noises you make when you throw up.”
Oikawa has to concede to that. He is awful at vomiting, or being ill in general. He just can’t handle it. People like him belong on the healthy end of the spectrum - any other state of existence is a complete waste of his good looks and natural charisma (even if he can’t speak English). Not that he feels particularly charismatic or good-looking right now. He just feels sick and totally irrelevant to the lives of people he cares about.
Oh, and add pathetic to that list, too.
There’s a box of pizza in Matsukawa’s hands, which he sets on Oikawa’s lap before shucking off his coat and draping it on the back of a chair. Opening the lid, Oikawa finds it covered in plenty of cheese and an assortment of greasy meats and sighs happily, picking up a slice and taking a tentative bite. With no sign of his stomach revolting against him after a short wait, he finishes the slice in three more bites. Mattsun has gone to the kitchen and refilled his glass of water somewhere in that time, placing it carefully by Oikawa’s feet before dropping onto the sofa beside him, lidded gaze wandering to the TV.
They’re silent until Oikawa finishes his third slice, conceding defeat for now and curling against Mattsun’s side. A long arm wraps around his shoulders, Mattsun’s hand patting at his wild bedhead, his calm aura doing wonders in soothing Oikawa. Makki is Oikawa’s best friend, and they can laugh and holler at anything and everything until the first train home in the morning, but Matsukawa is something more that he can’t quite put into words. Mattsun, who knows every good and bad thing about him; who is always there to open his weirdly-long arms for a hug whenever Oikawa needs it; who is always there to make him feel safe and never brings any of these moments up to make him feel embarrassed later. Mattsun is a lighthouse of stability and love in the raging seas of Oikawa’s hectic existence.
“Do you wanna talk about it?” the taller asks quietly and Oikawa shakes his head no, turning so his back is against Mattsun’s side and the other’s arm is draped over his chest, warm and secure. He doesn’t want to talk about it, so instead presses his face into the soft sleeve of Matsukawa’s sweater. Now that the idea is in his head and he’s sober, he has a lot to think about it.
Oikawa has had dozens of one night stands throughout his mis-spent youth (or rather, his early twenties), sprinkled with a few flings and even a couple almost-credible relationships. Thinking about it, he doesn’t think he’s ever really been emotionally available before. He had his own problems to deal with, issues with spite and crippling self-doubt and seeking validation in the wrong places. He likes pretty faces and dynamic, exciting, difficult people, but deep down he’s always known he’d needed something different. Something beyond the superficial - something understanding, forgiving, stable, reliable. Like what Mattsun gives him, except different. More.
Oikawa thinks he’s been avoiding all of these things and sticking with one night stands because that’s easier. Because Oikawa has always known once he opens himself up to the other option he’ll fall, fall, fall. Oikawa knows himself. He’s fragile in a way he’ll never admit, and to pursue the things he actually wanted and needed in a relationship would be painting a target over his heart. Oikawa has hurt himself enough in the past; still has the potential to do so now. He doesn’t need to give someone else the opportunity to do it, too.
He’d just wanted a hook-up with a masculine, slightly above-average-looking guy that night. It had gotten even more exciting when he turned out to be unusual, out of Oikawa’s normal. And because Iwaizumi wasn’t really going to be around, it didn’t seem like it would do any harm to exchange numbers and maybe set up another hook-up the next time he’d be in town, because there’d never be enough time to develop feelings or make things complicated. Even the second time they met, Oikawa hadn’t really expected there to be a third, fourth, or a fifth time, or however many times there’s been up to this point. He hadn’t expected Iwaizumi to be all the things he’d always secretly wanted but conscientiously avoided. He hadn’t expected to walk right into the trap, ironically by doing everything in his power to avoid it.
He hadn’t expected to feel a sick, churning in his stomach at the thought of Iwaizumi with anyone else. To his credit, he’d never actually thought about it before - how the possibility of this meaning as little as a convenient hook-up for the other man could be so painful for him. But now Makki has woken him up to it, and Oikawa has to face the consequences of that. If he is just Iwaizumi’s Tokyo Boy, he’ll have to end it, even if almost every part of him revolts at the idea. It’s for his own sake, before he acknowledges words like love and it all gets so much more ugly and painful.
He’s going to have to start talking. He’s going to have to start asking the questions he’s always wondered, has only ever breathed in the dark of night when Iwaizumi’s sound asleep. Except now he’s more afraid of the answers than ever before.
After a couple of hours and an endless cycle of worrying too much and then chewing jerkily on pizza to distract himself, Oikawa decides he’s had enough. This indulgence in his life’s woes isn’t healthy and besides, he’s been monopolising too much of Mattsun’s time today, which can’t be fun for his friend. Especially when he’d graciously allowed Oikawa to use him as a human pillow this whole time, barely moving.
“Alright. I’m fine, you can go now,” he declares, turning to face Mattsun, bringing his long legs up onto the sofa. “I’ve kept you too long--”
Matsukawa cuts him off with a flat stare, silencing Oikawa without a word. The brunette huffs in response and Mattsun smiles. “I’m here because I wanted to make sure you were okay. Makki understands that. Stop feeling guilty.” And really, that’s all well and good, but it still didn’t make Oikawa feel okay about always needing Mattsun to clean up his emotional messes or be there for him and take him away from Makki-- “Besides - he got called into work this morning. And the asshole next door was playing his trumpet again so I couldn’t play Zelda in peace.”
“But it’s a Saturday!” Oikawa complains on both Makki and Mattsun’s behalf, because neither working nor getting terrorized by your trumpet-fanatic neighbor on the best day of the week is fun. Mattsun just shrugs in agreement and grabs the last slice of pizza, frowning as the limp base makes the whole slice flop sadly.
“I know, it’s the worst. So let me waste the day here with you even if you aren’t a snotty, heartbroken mess that needs to use me as a human tissue.” The ‘like usual’ is omitted, but Oikawa feels like Mattsun has dealt with the aftermath of more than a couple of jerks to make it a fair addition. Just because he’d been avoiding the type of guy that’d make him the most vulnerable didn’t mean Oikawa hadn’t gotten hurt by plenty of outright assholes, after all.
He is okay today, though. A little shaken by the possibility of being one convenient acquaintance in a crowd of others to Iwa-chan, yes, but nothing he can’t handle. And despite how Oikawa feels, the other hadn’t exactly promised him anything. They’d never discussed it, but Tooru had been aware it was to be a casual thing when they started it, so why should it be any different now? Oikawa’s feelings are all on him, and nothing to do with Iwaizumi. He’s about to tell Mattsun this when his phone buzzes, the part of the screen still visible from where the device sticks out between his couch cushions lighting up. The box that flashes up tells him he has a text and after wiping his greasy fingers on his sweatpants (that’s what they’re there for), he plucks it out, swiping the screen to unlock it.
>> Being dragged back over there in two weeks for interviews. Plus side is I’m free the weekend I’m there, from March 1st.
The thing with Iwaizumi is that he won’t often explicitly ask Oikawa out, or ask him to make time for him when he comes over. He says it’s because he hates how smug Oikawa gets when he’s upfront about wanting to see him, but Oikawa thinks it’s Iwa-chan trying to be considerate, or something. He’s always been one of those guys focused on consent and no pressure - he’d already told Oikawa a couple of times that he didn’t have to feel obligated to see him whenever he’s in Japan, because Iwaizumi realizes Oikawa actually has a life here and can’t always drop whatever plans he’s made just to see him. Of course, that’s exactly what Tooru does every time, but it’s never out of obligation. Oikawa always wants to see him: even now, despite all the worries and negativity swirling in his stomach, he still wants to see Iwaizumi.
He taps the phone against his forehead as he thinks. He wants to see Iwaizumi, but this time it’s actually inconceivable for him to cancel his existing plans.
A look he sends Mattsun’s way says ‘of course’ in reply.
“He’s coming back over?” Matsukawa asks, and Tooru nods.
“You’re going to see him right? To clear things up once and for all?” Oikawa can only shrug before Matsukawa preemptively speaks up again. “You owe it to yourself, Tooru. You need to know where you stand, you can’t--”
“It’s not that,” he butts in, waving the phone through the air for emphasis. “He’s coming, and he says he has free time. On March 1st, which is your birthday and me, you and Makki have plans already--”
“So invite him.”
Oikawa’s hand drops to the cushion immediately, round eyes beseeching Mattsun’s, who look calm as ever. “Seriously - invite him. We were only gonna hang out at Ukai’s bar anyway. If he comes, you’ll be able to celebrate my birthday and see him.” Lazy eyes flash with a mild intensity before Mattsun says, “And me and Makki will finally get to meet him. If he says no or makes some shitty excuse about why he can’t make it, as if he really doesn’t want to meet your best friends - well, you get your answer then too, don’t you?”
It’s a compelling case; Oikawa can’t deny it. If Iwaizumi shuts him down with an excuse when he’s already said he’s free, then it would be pretty obvious it’s because he doesn’t want to get involved in Oikawa’s life, that he’s not interested in more than what they currently have. It’d be enough of an indication to break it off even without a conversation.
He hums, thinking about it for a minute. He wants to see Iwaizumi. He wants answers. But he also wouldn’t dream of cancelling out on one of his most precious friend’s birthdays, especially not for a boy. ...And as much as he likes to rib both of them, Oikawa also trusts Makki and Mattsun to behave - they won’t jump on Iwaizumi demanding the answers Oikawa needs; they’ll leave that for him to deal with privately.
More importantly, if he’s being honest, he trusts their judgement probably more than his own. Having them there to finally feel Iwa-chan out might actually be a good idea - he probably should have done that sooner. He does want both parties to meet each other, after all. It seems like a no-brainer now that he’s opened up to them about Iwaizumi more (or been forced into it by his and Hanamaki’s conversation the night before, but still).
Even if nearly every fiber of his being is telling him to keep Makki away from Iwaizumi, for the latter’s sake, there’s also a part of him that wants to see how Iwa-chan will handle it.
Oikawa takes a breath to steady himself, and then takes the plunge, fingers flying over the touchscreen keyboard.