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It's a rhythm for them now. Almost every evening, Daishou shows up at Kuroo’s door, Kuroo lets him in, they spoon all night, and Daishou pretends to tell him to piss off come daybreak after he sleeps away his heartbreak. He doesn’t care about Kuroo’s. Naturally.

Convenient, Daishou had called him the first night he showed up at Kuroo’s dorm room after his last boyfriend had dumped him. Kuroo is a faceless hand to hold while Daishou’s lovelife smolders like a garbage fire in the background.

But Kuroo adjusts accordingly. He finds a way to sleep and to have an appetite in the morning, and he is barely ever late for class because of the limbs that latch around him at night. He even hides a key outside his door so Daishou doesn't have to freeze his balls off waiting for Kuroo to come back to his dorm room or leave when Kuroo does.

Mika seeks Kuroo out here and there, but they usually bump into each other in the one class they share. She has crystal ball-level knowledge of the situation — how, Kuroo isn’t certain, since he’s not the one filling her in. It’s both irritating and a relief that someone else understands, but this is one of those times that fall solidly under the former. “So, have you and Suguru finally made it to first base?”

Kuroo wrinkles his nose. “It isn't like that and you know it.”

“But you want it to be.” Mika rolls her eyes. “How long are you going to wait? If you don't do something, he’ll be a stupid baby about it and go find someone else who will never give him what he really needs.”

Crossing his arms, Kuroo mentally begs the universe to make his professor hurry up and start the lecture so this conversation can die in the hottest fire. No such luck comes his way, however.

Mika gives him a tired smile. “He needs someone who knows who he is, Tetsu. You know he's kind of screwed up, and you love him anyway. I couldn't do that no matter how hard I tried, and neither could his ex-boyfriend.”

“What am I even supposed to tell him? ‘Hey, you fucked up bag of dicks, you know how I let you sleep with me and invade my personal space? It's because I love you.’ That's ridiculous.” Kuroo huffs and faces straight forward. “Sounds like a good way to get kicked in the nards.”

Falling silent, Mika stares off into space before she finally says, “You know, that might actually work.”

“Fantastic.” Kuroo’s thoughts are preempted by the professor arriving at last to put him out of his misery.

Her words haunt him all day, and when he returns to his dorm at the end of the day, even Daishou, who is wearing nothing but his underwear and one of Kuroo’s hoodies while he cooks, notices his preoccupation. “You look dumber than usual.”

“Yeah, bite me,” Kuroo hisses, peeling off his jacket and flinging himself on his bed. “I'm not in the mood.”

Daishou’s hand stills mid-stir. “And shittier than usual.” He turns off the hot plate and splits the food into two servings, handing one of the bowls to Kuroo and settling down next to him on the bed. “Eat and you’ll be less annoying.”

Kuroo grumbles but takes the proffered meal and shovels it into his mouth to keep himself from saying something that will shatter the fragile truce they have. But by the time he runs out of food to keep him quiet, Kuroo thumps the empty dish on his nightstand and growls. “Suguru, why are you still here?”

“What?” Daishou’s eyes are wide, and his shoulders shrink at Kuroo’s irritated tone.

Leaning forward and hanging his head between his knees, Kuroo says, “You said I was convenient, right? Well, it's been a month. How much longer are you going to pretend it isn't something else that's keeping you here?”

“Because nothing can hurt me here.”

Daishou’s soft reply is aberrant against his usual abrasive demeanor, and Kuroo can't help but notice it. Not a question or a challenge, but a matter of fact. He hazards a glance over at Daishou, but he blithely chows down on his own meal.

“No, you don't get to ignore me. Not now.” Kuroo jerks the bowl from Daishou’s hand and heaps it on top of his own. “We need to talk, and you need to not be an asshole for five friggin minutes.”

After a few failed attempts to take back the last dregs of his dinner, Daishou pushes off the bed and snaps, “Don't do this, Tetsu.”

“Why, because I might tell you something you don’t want to hear?” Kuroo stands and matches Daishou’s stance. “Too bad. You used me for your broken heart. I’m just a sleeve to wipe your nose on, so now I’m gonna do the same.”

Kuroo lolls his head back and chuckles. “God, I can’t believe I’m finally going to say this.” He fixes Daishou with a wry smile. “So here’s the thing. There’s this guy I have liked for what feels like forever, but for as long as we’ve known each other, he’s never given me the time of day unless it’s to insult me.”

“Smart guy,” Daishou spits, averting his gaze while his bottom lip thrusts out petulantly. “I get it. You’re tired of me. Now can you just get this over with so I can go throw up?”

“Gladly.” Kuroo’s face softens, and he reaches up to cup Daishou’s cheeks in his hands, thumbs brushing the smooth flesh beneath rapidly widening eyes. “The crazy part is that the guy I’m talking about is you.”

Daishou gasps and bites his bottom lip. “You don’t want me, Tetsu. I’m so messed up right now.”

“I know.”

“I act like a piece of shit, but I really do appreciate how much you’ve helped me this past month. I don’t deserve it, but I needed it.”

“I know.”

Eyes fluttering shut, Daishou face crumples. “I don’t want to be here when you realize you can do better.”

Kuroo brushes his lips tenderly to Daishou’s forehead before resting it against his own. “How can I do better than the person I’ve always wanted?”

Daishou lets out a choked laugh and croaks, “Don’t say stuff like that. You sound like a sappy piece of shit.”

“I’m a romantic like that, so sue me.” His breath quickening, Kuroo murmurs, “Suguru?”

“Yeah?”

“I’d really like to kiss you now.”

His reply comes in the form of Daishou roughly wrenching Kuroo close to smash their mouths together, growling in the back of his throat while he wrestles Kuroo onto his back on the mattress behind them. He straddles Kuroo’s lap, and he leaves a burning trail of kisses down Kuroo’s jaw and neck. “You’re wearing too much.”

Kuroo chuckles. “For once in your life, I think you’re actually right about something.”

 

The Next Day

Kuroo whistles as he jauntily strides into his physics class. A few of the less-chipper members of the class glare at him for having the audacity to be happy at eight in the morning. One person, however, doesn’t seem surprised or annoyed at all.

Sliding into the seat next to his, Mika elbows Kuroo and grins. “You finally did it, didn’t you?”

“‘Did’ is such a broad term,” Kuroo whispers not-quite-softly-enough, earning himself a nose wrinkled in distaste from the person sitting on his other side. “A lot of things happened last night.”

Mika’s smile only widens. “And what’s going to happen tonight?”

Kuroo looks straight forward and sighs, propping his cheek in his hand. “I’m cooking dinner, and then we’re watching Netflix.”

“Sounds all gooey and domestic.” She leans in and winks. “Almost like you’ve been dating for a month already and you’re finally comfortable together.

Kuroo doesn’t answer, and he knows he doesn’t have to. Everything that he can possibly say is wrapped in the knowledge that there is no question of it anymore. They have finally made it.

Six years, more insults than either of them can count, pining, angsting, and a whole host of other things have come and gone. What’s finally left in the dust of it all is just them, and as he tries and fails to drag his mind away from the night they had spent together doing nothing but talking and just being together, Kuroo is thankful for every irritating moment he’s suffered because of Daishou Suguru. Without it, he isn’t sure coming out on the other side of it would feel so damn good.