If there is one thing Tooru is absolutely positive of, it’s that he needs to break off this thing he has with Suga.
He comes to this conclusion one morning when he’s running late to class, again, because he didn’t want to get out of bed and refuses to skimp on his morning routine no matter how little time he has. He throws on a jacket, slings his bag over his shoulder, and is about to run out the door when it opens on its own. Suga is standing on the other side, looking just as surprised as Tooru feels.
And then Suga does the worst thing possible—he smiles. He smiles like he has been ever since Tooru had a momentary severe lapse in judgement one late night several weeks ago and kissed him. It’s soft and fond and it makes Tooru’s chest ache in the most annoying way. Suga steps out of the way, says, “Have a good day at class,” and waves Tooru through.
Suga gets no response because Tooru is too busy rushing through the doorway and down the hall of the apartment building they call home during the school year. Tooru spends his walk to campus thinking about how Suga needs to stop smiling at him like that, how he needs to stop lighting up whenever Tooru comes home, and, most importantly, how he needs to stop looking so adorable and kissable.
Tooru is completely miserable and it’s all his roommate’s fault.
Tooru frowns. “Iwa, are you even listening?”
“Unfortunately.” Iwa’s pen stops moving and he glances up. “Your whining is goddamn annoying, like always.”
Tooru groans, and plants his face on the desk. He’s cleared a space for himself because he’s learned from experience that if he puts his head on a paper or book Iwa needs, he will not hesitate to smash his head in with a textbook to get to it. “Iwa,” he says deplorably, “what am I going to do?”
“Your half of the project, if I’m lucky.” Iwa looks up again and sighs at Tooru’s pout. “Look, this isn’t my problem to solve, Oikawa. It’s yours.”
“But it’s all your fault! This only happened because you refused to be my roommate.”
“Yeah, and I don’t regret it at all.”
“Iwa! That’s rude!”
Iwa laughs, but the sound has no humor behind it. “If I have to do this entire project, I’m telling the professor to give you a failing grade. Don’t think I wont.”
Tooru tries his best to stare Iwa down, but Iwa’s gaze is scary at the best of times and downright terrifying when he’s angry. Eventually Tooru can’t stand it anymore and has to break eye contact. He picks up a pen and twirls it in his hand as if he’s considering something, and then he says, “Fine, I’ll help. But I’ll be miserable the entire time.”
“I don’t care. Just do your work.”
It’s unsympathetic and completely unacceptable behavior from someone who is supposed to be Tooru’s best friend. He whines wordlessly, grabs a book from the pile before Iwa can punch him, and flips to a random page and stares at it. It takes him a few minutes still to get bored enough to start reading it, then to seek out the paper with the assignment on it so he knows what he’s supposed to be looking for.
Of course, that’s when Iwa decides to deliver his gem of an opinion. “You’re an idiot.”
“You’re an idiot,” Iwa repeats unnecessarily, “and Sugawara deserves better.”
Tooru bristles at the insult. “Says you! I’m quite the catch, anyone would be lucky to have me.”
“Are you sure?” Iwa says. He gestures over the table with one hand. “Because you’re sitting in the library talking about how you two aren’t dating and you need to break up with him anyway because he’s nice to you. How does that make you a great catch?”
Tooru doesn’t want to answer that question. He skims the rest of the assignment sheet, underlines a few things, and only looks up when he can tell Iwa is still staring straight at him. “If you don’t do your share of this project, I’m telling the professor to give you a failing grade,” he mocks. Iwa sighs, rough and frustrated, though he goes back to work without a complaint.
It’s late evening when Iwa finally releases Tooru from the shackles of the library. He makes his way back to his apartment in a tired, sullen daze, and he doesn’t even perk up when he opens the door and immediately smells something delicious.
“I’m back,” he says, frowning when he notices a strange pair of shoes placed neatly near the door. He takes off his own and purposefully places them on the opposite side of the door.
“Welcome back, Oikawa,” Suga says from deeper inside the apartment. Tooru has to take a few steps and peek around the corner in order to see him. He’s sitting at the low table in their main room with his old captain and apparent best friend from high school, Sawamura, who raises his hand to greet Tooru. Suga is in the middle of copying notes, Sawamura is typing away on his laptop, and each of them has a half-finished plate of food as well. “There’s enough for you in the kitchen,” Suga says, smiling up at Tooru. “It should still be warm.”
Tooru will wander his way into the kitchen for food later. Right now his curiosity is stronger than his hunger. He sits down at the third side of the table and props his head up in his hands. Casually he says, “Just what are you two getting up to in here?”
“Studying,” Sawamura answers. “I’ve got an exam in biology tomorrow and Suga has one in algebra the day after. We figured it would be easier to focus if someone was there.”
Tooru had no idea Suga has an exam coming up, and he certainly wasn’t asked to assist him in studying. There’s no way Suga doesn’t know by now that math is his best subject. He sniffs, offended, and says, “I just got back from the study session from hell with Iwa, so excuse me if I don’t join you.”
Suga smiles that same smile that has been driving Tooru nuts for week. “Don’t worry about it, Oikawa,” he says, “go on and take a break.”
He knows a dismissal when he sees one, and he doesn’t want to be hanging around these two and their private study date anyway. “Don’t go frying your brains now,” Tooru says as he stands. Sawamura shakes his head slightly, as if he really thinks Tooru wouldn’t notice.
“We won’t,” Suga promises, evidently missing the look on Sawamura’s face. Tooru waves his hand in acknowledgement as he disappears into the kitchen. There’s a plate of fried vegetables and fish accompanied by a bowl of rice sitting out. When Tooru touches the food he finds that it is still warm like Suga said it would be, so he doesn’t bother heating it before scooping up the food and going into his room.
Tooru makes a show of closing the door behind him with a loud thud, but as soon as he puts his dinner on his desk he’s back at his door, turning the knob as silently as he can. Suga and Sawamura were silent when he was in the kitchen, but as soon as he went into his room they started talking in hushed voices. With his door slightly ajar, he can finally make out what they’re saying.
“See? What did I tell you.”
“Alright, I admit, I was wrong. But I’m still worried about you.”
“Why?” Tooru can picture the frown on Suga’s face, and he imagines he’s leaning forward slightly, like he does whenever he’s in suspense.
“You’ve got it bad.” Papers rustle, and Suga starts to say something, but Sawamura cuts him off. “Let me finish. You’ve got it bad for him. But you’ve never talked about it together and he’s not going to. If you keep letting things continue like this, you’re going to get hurt.”
“Daichi...” There’s a long moment of silence, then Suga sighs heavily. “We should go back to work.”
“I’m just worried—”
“I know, and I appreciate it. But this is my problem, not yours.”
Tooru closes the door and slowly turns the knob back around so the latch won’t make a noise when it’s released. His palms feel cold, and when he takes his first bite of dinner it tastes like cardboard. He cleans his plate, at least. He piles the dishes to the side and boots up one of his favorite crappy old sci-fi movies on his laptop. This time he leaves one side of his headphones off, just to keep tabs on what’s going on in the living room.
Poor Suga, he thinks to himself, he has no idea Tooru plans on breaking his heart.
Tooru knows exactly when Sawamura leaves, but he still gives it nearly half an hour before he decides it’s time to take his dishes back to the kitchen. By some terrible twist of fate Suga is still sitting at the table, though he’s put away his notes by now and is instead typing something on his phone.
“Sawamura went home?” Tooru asks, mostly to get a conversation going. He ducks into the kitchen and places his dishes in the sink.
“A little while ago, yeah,” Suga says, sounding a little distracted.
“And just when were you planning on telling me about your algebra exam?” Tooru stops in the archway that connects the kitchen to the main room and leans against the wall, crossing his arms. The corners of Suga’s lips turn upwards, though he doesn’t look away from his phone. “I guarantee I am much better at algebra than anyone else you know, Suga, and I’m offended that you wouldn’t think to go to me first.”
“You were busy,” Suga explains. “But if I had found a problem I couldn’t figure out I would have gone to you immediately.”
Tooru catches himself smiling, so he forces his face into a frown. “Good,” he says, all the banter he could have shot back with disappearing from his mind without a trace. Instead he stares at Suga, watching him finish typing what’s probably an absurdly long email to his mother.
It would be easy just to blurt it out now, Tooru thinks. Just one sentence, one blunt sentence. I’m not actually into guys would work, or maybe he could go with Did you know you look a lot like a girl I dated back in high school? The I was drunk is a classic, but he was stone cold sober the first time he kissed Suga as well as all the times following, so he probably wouldn’t be able to get away with it.
Suga’s smile gradually falls as if he knows what Tooru is thinking about. He sets his phone down and looks over at Tooru, concern written all over his face. “Is something up?”
Tooru opens his mouth and imagines himself saying, We need to stop this, but he doesn’t manage to form the words.
“What is it?” Suga stands up, frowning, and when Tooru still doesn’t say anything he takes a step forward. “What’s wrong, Oikawa?”
“Nothing,” he says automatically. He sighs heavily and pushes himself off the wall, dropping his arms loosely to his sides and glancing away for a quick second. Unfortunately Suga seems to think that this is invitation for a hug, judging by how he closes the distance between them and wraps his arms around him. Tooru sighs again and pulls Suga even closer, going against every part of his brain that’s shouting at him to stop.
“Is this about me studying math without you?” Suga asks, his jaw brushing against Tooru’s skin as he speaks. “Because I didn’t think it was going to be a problem.”
“No, of course not.” He’s chickened out again, he just knows it. “Teaching you math constantly would be such a hassle.”
Tooru can feel Suga’s smile against his shoulder. It’s awful and he hates it, but it manages to get even worse when Suga turns his head slightly and kisses Tooru’s collarbone through the material of his shirt. He shudders, but then all the tension leaves his body as he gives in to yet another failure at breaking up with his roommate. He buries his face in Suga’s hair and is prepared to stay that way for hours if he needs to, but unfortunately it’s Suga’s turn to stiffen.
“Oikawa,” he says, voice quiet. “I have a question.”
Tooru has no idea what it could be, but he’s certain he doesn’t want to hear it. “What is it?”
Suga hesitates, then says, his face still hidden in the crook of Tooru’s neck, “Are we together?”
Tooru’s head is spinning. Suga pulls back just far enough that he can look Tooru in the eye. “I mean, I want to know if we’re dating. Because...” Suga looks to the side and looks surprisingly shy when he says, “Because I want to be.”
This isn’t what Tooru expected from this evening at all. He takes a deep breath, tries to remember every long list of reasons he had for not dating Suga, and manages to say, “Okay.”
“Okay?” Suga repeats. “Just okay?” The mischievous smile is back on his face and Tooru knows he’s screwed.
“How else am I supposed to respond to a question out of the blue like that?” Tooru huffs, but Suga doesn’t look deterred. Instead he leans up, stopping only when his lips are mere millimeters from Tooru’s.
“Take me out to dinner Friday,” he says, “okay?”
“Okay,” Tooru says, then he closes the paltry remaining distance for a kiss.
The next morning Suga smiles while he’s pouring two mugs of coffee, looking like he very much doesn’t hate the world and doesn’t hate waking up, a state of being Tooru still does not understand. “Good morning, Tooru,” Suga says. Tooru is so startled he walks straight into a wall.
Tooru is over the moon and it’s all his boyfriend’s fault.