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Uncertainty was the root of insecurity which Terushima Yuuji had with relationships.

It was fun to go all out when you date— to show the other person how it would be with the passion of going all out at 100%. Every moment brought about new surprises; it was always an adventure. After all, there was something new to be found out everyday! Something new to experience with someone! Terushima really liked the highs— the peaks of getting to know someone, to the teasing yet lingering touches, to the passion that would manifest in adventures, in physical encounters among other things.

The brand new, the unknown— it was something that terrified the fuck out of him yet it pushed him to go even further. Go beyond what was expected of him. Of course it would be terrifying yet he had to admit: it was fun.

He liked the rush. It was the best part. And this was precisely because no one could stay for too long. Unfortunately, not everyone could understand, much more keep up with the energy. Because of this, Terushima jumped from one person to the next, in hopes of keeping that thrill alive.

What the fuck was he supposed to do? Cry? Grieve? Fuck no; he wasn't going to stay sad over some temporary people. If they can't stay, then it's their loss. They were bound to leave anyway. Headfirst all the time; here's one person, another, and another and another— And yet he didn't want to admit it: the uncertainty was the root of all of this fear.

Going out with all this energy before being able to rebuild himself and recover? This was unhealthy. Maybe all he wanted was to settle? Maybe he wanted that security. Of course, who wouldn't want to have someone to be with who would support them and love them throughout the highs and lows, right?

Yes, his friends were there and he truly appreciated the platonic bonds—almost familial even— with them but there was this yearning he had for something of romance. Maybe he actually wanted to create a bond with someone and actually stand by this? Not run away when shit got rough? Not give up when an inconvenience presents itself? Maybe he just wanted a peaceful kind of love. Was he ready though? Especially with him working now, he wasn't able to go out and meet new people as much as he did in university.

Sure, the environment was one where he could network and meet people from a business standpoint but it didn't have the same level with how dynamics were when he was still a teenager up until his early twenties. The energy was different; he wasn't as sharp as he was before. University wasn't that long ago, but he had to admit, everything was getting a lot more tiring.

He never really talked much about this in detail with his friends since he never really thought of the need to but here he was, questioning himself in the middle of his break. He should be enjoying his lunch, the coffee, the company he had with him and yet he felt himself getting dragged by these insecurities. He could hear every little thing happening in this coffee shop: the sounds of the coffee machines, the chattering of different patrons, the clinking of glasses, of cutlery against plates, the typing on laptop keyboards, the laughter from different people— it was getting overwhelming.

On top of this, the voices of his insecurities were taunting him, they were whispering loudly into his ear saying You're going to die alone— Alone, Yuuji! No one will stay because you're too much— while pulling him lower and lower, until his breaths were shallower, his chest tightening. Help—

"Hey, Terushima, you there?" He felt someone's hand gently squeeze at his shoulder and he looked up to see a blurry figure of the officemate he was having lunch with—Misaki. Things were out of focus, so Terushima had to take a few deep breaths to re-center himself and for his vision to finally settle.

"Breathe—" He heard Misaki say in a soft tone. It caught him a little off guard; she wasn't normally this soft. Regardless, Terushima continued to catch his breath until he somewhat calmed down. "Sorry," he paused. "Was just a little tired, I guess. You know how it is." He then flashed a smile, which he hoped would cancel out how tired he was. Misaki noticed the glassed over look in Terushima's eyes. She scrunched her forehead for a second, before smiling gently at the blonde. She tried her best to give a few soft pats on his shoulder.

"If anything's on your mind, alright? Know I'll be here to listen."

"Mhm," he looked away from Misaki and stared at his half eaten pasta dish. He started to play with the tail end of the fork. "I appreciate it. Just— I don't know. Rough week."

"I get that," She decided not to comment on how different Terushima's energy was and continued to just sit quietly beside him. "Rest up, okay? You should take care of yourself. You know, I've known you for a really long time and I see that you keep giving things so much effort and energy. I know that's very you but don't forget to take care of yourself too, alright?" Misaki adjusted her posture. "Slowing down isn't bad, Terushima. It's okay not to have all the answers right away."

Misaki's words felt like a warm hug. Maybe reassurance was all he needed? Whatever it was, Misaki was right. It's fine to slow down. It's fine to figure things out as they happen and not rush headfirst into every single venture. Maybe he should do just that.

Chapter Text

Slow down.

Slowing down as difficult given the nature of Terushima's work. Going headfirst into things while keeping himself on his toes? This was his approach with almost everything he needed to do. The office's was always going at a fast pace; it was as if everyone needed to run to catch their deadlines. A whirlwind of different tasks needed to be accomplished all at the same time— dealing with clients, researching and fixing data collection, writing reports, giving presentations, attending conferences, creating more presentations to present to meetings— if you dared slow down, you will in inevitably crash and burn. As the top management said, deadlines were the lifeblood for Tala, the advertising firm which Terushima was working for.

Of course, no one can run on 120 percent energy on the daily. Everyone needed breaks. Terushima wasn't the type of person to run on full speed when he knew that he was running on fumes. The only problem is, as much as he wanted to recharge, his idea of recharging involved a lot of socializing and conversing. And a lot of sex.

Did Terushima have the time to organically do this and avoid any and all clients altogether? Probably not. Naturally, this would mean the return of getting back on those dating apps for the thrill once more. Luckily, Terushima had a day off that day so he could just stay in his apartment all day and figure out how to get a date— or even just a hookup— within the 24 hours he had. His roommate, Iwaizumi, had an idea of what Terushima was going to do so with all his power, he tried his best to stop him from getting into anything risky. Again.

"Hi," Iwaizumi made himself comfortable on the sofa-bed, beside Terushima. Before he could even properly set himself down, he peered over to his left to see Terushima's phone screen. "Gago, delete mo nga 'yan." the brunet scoffed; he didn't say it out of annoyance. Rather, he did it more of concern without a filter.

"Delete what?" Terushima looked up from his phone and looked at his roommate with a genuinely confused look on his face.

"Don't play dumb; those dating apps," Iwaizumi said, pointing at Terushima's phone, which had tinder open on the screen. Terushima rolled his eyes and returned his attention to reading bios and started to mindlessly swipe the screen once more. 

Iwaizumi sighs and puts on a stern tone. "I know you've been using those a lot; I've known you since university, so that's been, what? Almost five years? I've been meaning to talk to you about it, but never got the opportunity to do so. So here: from one friend to another, they're making your anxiety worse."

Terushima couldn't help but look at Iwaizumi once more and raised an eyebrow at the insinuation. Where was this all coming from? 

 

"Excuse me?"

"'Wag ka nga ganyan." A laugh escapes Iwaizumi's lips. "You think I don't notice after your flings?" Iwaizumi finally made himself comfortable on the sofa-bed. "Tulala ka; ang hirap mong kausapin. Sure, you keep smiling and cracking jokes but halata na 'di ka masaya."

"Atake naman o, tol. "

"Look, I'm not calling you out to make you upset. I'm just trying to look out for you. Haven't you noticed when Bokuto and Kuuro drop hints about it? They're hoping that it'll help. Told them you needed a more direct approach but they didn't know how to do it. So, eto tayo."

Terushima kept quiet and exhaled audibly. He knew Iwaizumi was simply being a good friend by calling him out on his bullshit but he had to admit, it was really difficult to come into terms with his harmful tendencies. He knew that mindlessly hooking up with people wasn't good for him. He knew that jumping from one person to the next wasn't going to help him deal with his fear of the unknown, of uncertainty— ultimately, of abandonment.

He should really be better. He really should.

"Okay, okay. I get it. I understand. I know it's really bad for me and I really should stop but—" before he could finish his entire speech, he got a notification that he got a match. Iwaizumi shot him a look of disappointment, but that didn't stop him from checking who it was. It was a guy named Sawamura who donned a short haircut and a proud smile. Iwaizumi looked at the screen and raised his eyebrows, mildly surprised.

"Iwa, isn't this your old college orgmate? I remember seeing him sometimes during your org events or after meetings when we'd go home together."

"Yes, you're right." he took a few seconds to process this new information. Was that really  Sawamura? "I didn't realize Sawamura used these apps too— Anyway, okay, go. Landiin mo siya. Matino naman yang tao. Which is the only condition which is okay with me— Last mo na talaga 'to, ha. If I see you fiddling around any more with those apps—"

"Ano, ano gagawin mo, ha?" Terushima's voice was snarky and he fake huffed his chest. Iwaizumi laughed at this and shook his head.

"No more drinking privileges inside the unit. And I won't work out with you anymore, Teru."

Terushima looked at Iwaizumi in disbelief, looking quite dramatic in the process. "Ano? But," he heaved a sigh. "Okay, fine. I agree."

Iwaizumi smiled at how easy the blonde agreed to those terms and the two of them shook hands on it to signify the seriousness of the deal.

"I mean, after all, binigyan mo na kong basbas para landiin si Sawamura, so it's the least I can do."

And the two burst into laughter.

Chapter Text

Terushima was staring at his phone screen, his match with Sawamura open. He wasn’t sure on what to message; it was rare that he was speechless for things like flirting since this was the kind of thing that he would easily go through with no problems. 

Tangina, 'wag ka kasing tumakbong palayo. Wala kang mapapala kung ganito ka lang. Bwiset. Wala namang mangyayari if wala kang gagawin. Take the plunge. 

Just as he was about to type his opening line, he was surprised to get a notif from the match he was trying to talk to. It was a simple “Hey there! Your smile is really nice.”

Terushima couldn’t help but laugh at this since… it was so plain? So polite? But it wasn’t as dry as the usual hi-hello greetings he would get from people who could barely hold a conversation. It wasn’t that he was making fun of this person, it was just-- this opener was something he wasn’t completely used to. However,  before he got a chance to properly react, he got another message from Sawamura.

Sorry, I’m not really used to flirting! Haha 😅 but I’d love to get to know you better, Terushima!

Terushima was now in disbelief. He opened his messenger app and typed a message to his roommate, Iwaizumi, in reaction to the entire situation that was happening right now. This message read: Tangina, Iwa? Ang cute niya?? LUH 

Terushima couldn’t hide the smile from his lips and started to type a reply to Sawamura. He felt his energy start to improve and started to feel like he was getting back to his old self again. Maybe he could get through this and not screw up! His old energy was bound to bounce back into this and he could successfully flirt with Sawamura. 

It’s fine, no worries! Thank you, Sawamura 😁 I know this is kind of sudden, but do you want to have coffee sometime? Maybe later if you’re free?”

At least he still had his edge when it came to asking people out right off the bat. At least it was out of his system and he didn’t really expect much for a reaction. He was hoping that his Terushima brand charm would work on Sawamura since he really wanted to see him in person, even if they’ve only exchanged less than a handful of messages so far. It was probably because of the blessing that Iwaizumi gave him earlier on. 

After he sent the message to Sawamura, Terushima tapped on the circle icon of his chat with Iwaizumi once more and started telling his roommate about what he felt about this entire thing without a filter. 

Iwa di ba weird na the first thought i had talking to sawamura was na gusto ko siyang alagaan?” 

Not long after, he got a reply from his roommate “No, it just means you aren’t just a whore. I'm proud of you for having soft feelings.”

Terushima scoffed at this and immediately typed up his original reaction. “ BASTOS?? I CAN BE SOFT KAYA, IWA” which was followed by a bunch of crying stickers. 

Hoy, need I remind you that ikaw yung nakikitira sa condo ko, ha.

“Ay heheheh sorry boss ty sa housing, charot”

As Terushima awaited Sawamura’s reply, he started unmatching people from before, taking into consideration the level of wavelengths with those people, as well as if the conversations were dry as fuck. As he was in the middle of reading a really cringey conversation from a week ago, he got a reply from Sawamura. 

“Sure! I’m free later this evening naman. What time are you free? And where would be a convenient place to meet up for you?”

Terushima found this to be a victory; he was glad that Sawamura was up to meet up later that evening. I mean, sure, it was a wholesome meeting and not some hookup, but he was really excited. Was he really that socially deprived?

“Where are you based ba? I can adjust to where you are!”

“Ortigas, haha. Will that be amenable? If not, we can find a middle ground.”

Terushima was surprised at this knew knowledge. Of course, he was the dumbass who didn’t originally see how far the two of them were from each other and laughed at himself. Di ka talaga nagbabasa, ‘no, Yuuji. At least this worked to his advantage; flexibility for flirting with this guy is going to be relatively easier with logistics, 

“No, it’s fine! I’m staying at Ortigas, so it’s not hassle. Podium, g? Since coffee and all.”

He wasn’t sure where exactly he and Sawamura would end up going but he did know that there were some places at the Podium that were date-worthy. He could figure it out with the time left until he and this match were going to meet. 

“Wow, fancy ha. Game though! I work near there so it’s fine. What time do you want to meet?”

“Around 7:30 if you’re out of work then? Oh, and here’s my number--”

Sawamura agreed to the time and they ironed out all the details for the impromptu date later. The two exchanged numbers and Terushima was unbelievably hyped to meet Sawamura and get to know him. Sure, Sawamura seemed like a guy a bit too serious for his tastes, but that’s what he found exciting; he was trying to explore to other parts of the market so this would be a challenge. Plus, he just had this gut feeling that things would go well. 

Victorious, Terushima rushed to tell his roommate of the development and made his preparations to look presentable for later that evening.