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In the Making

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He hasn’t been doing it for long, he doesn’t think. Since he’d gotten hired at this bar a couple of months ago, he’s seen the same alpha with the messy black mop of hair and stern scowl every single night. To the far left, the very last bar stool at the end of the bar, Kageyama would sit and he would write.

 

Hinata knew very little about him aside from the name on the tab, and everyone who approached him- patron or staff- would get growled at, sneered at, or even stared at like they were speaking another language. Hinata hadn’t approached him for a number of reasons- his scowl being one. The other?

 

He was the only omega- well, unmated omega- working at this seedy bar. Why? Of course it was because he needed money, and of course it was conveniently close to where he lived; however, he found it enjoyable.

 

He knew he stood out- the collar was a dead give away right off the bat- but he liked to think it was because he was enjoyable to be around. In contrast to his coworkers, he seemed to be the only one bright enough to talk to even the most hard-edged people in the room. 

 

And perhaps that was also why he’d tasked himself with taking care of Kageyama.

 

The man didn’t speak- he never so much as uttered a word. He drank frilly drinks (which was strange, but never questioned), and if he wanted something from the bartender in his area he’d stare at them until they noticed- which ensued a guessing game or a quiet one-worded response.

 

Although, for the past two months, Hinata had been tasked with the far left area of the bar. Prior, he’d only taken charge of the smaller section nearest to the entrance, but he supposed it was only a matter of time before he moved. 

 

And move he did.

 

The rotation seemed to be preferred for all parties- the other wait staff, some of the regular patrons who flirted way too much, and of course Kageyama too.

 

It had been a slow start to begin with, but with some reflection, it must have been because he’d so thoroughly and effortlessly taken care of Kageyama that everyone decided it was best to keep him there. When his drink was near empty it’d be refilled either with the same drink (on a bad day) or a different type (if he seemed less moody). Hinata had also steered quite a bit of betas and omegas away from his direction. It was no secret that Kageyama hated human interaction, but for some reason nobody seemed to be getting the message- so Hinata had decided to make sure he was left alone as much as possible- and that, he found, was difficult considering he was always constantly being eyed by everyone in the bar.

 

Like now- Hinata eyed a pretty brunette whose eyes kept flicking over in Kageyama’s general direction. Kageyama, as always, was writing and paying no mind. His scribbles looked nonsensical to Hinata, but with this level of intense concentration clearly they were legible and important to him. 

 

The nameless female- a beta, by her scent- seemed to work up the courage. Her friends whispered and giggled and gave her a push to urge her forward, and Hinata groaned as this was the third in the span of a simple hour. He didn’t know how many he’d chased off since he'd started working this rotation, even if it was to prevent them from having a bad day. 

 

She worried her bottom lip, clasped her hands together and took another step forward. Too close- she really was gonna go for it.

 

Hinata lifted the gate with relative ease, rounded the bar, and lightly tapped her on her shoulder.

 

She startled at the touch, but Hinata held up his hands in defense and smiled the warmest, biggest smile he could muster.

 

“Hi there!” He chirped, “Is it okay to talk to you for a quick second? Over there?”

 

Moments like these he was grateful that he had his uniform on. If he didn’t, it’d make these things sort of difficult. He wasn’t out to hit on anybody, but he knew if he was wearing anything but the ‘Crow’s Tavern’ logo, he’d probably be taken for a pervert. 

 

Her eyes flicked to Kageyama once more, and she wet her lips, eyes lingering a little too long on his broad frame and toned arms. Hinata knew what she must feel, but he also knew the outcome, so he tapped her again and flashed her another smile.

 

She sighed heavily, although, when she really saw him she nodded eagerly. He never understood why they did that- if he flashed a smile and batted his eyes, it always did the trick. Was it because he was an omega and he just had that effect? He wasn’t sure.

 

He led her to the opposite side of the bar, and her gaggle of friends followed stealthily behind. Drunk as they were though, it wasn’t hard to miss them.

 

“I’m sorry for disturbing you,” he started gently, “but that alpha has a tendency to get upset when people try to talk to him. I know he’s interesting to look at, believe me I know, but I want you to have a good night tonight and I don’t think that direction is...” Hinata trailed off, glancing back at Kageyama, who unfazed and unknowing of the entire situation, continued his messy scrawl on paper.

 

“Poking a bear can be scary,” he amended sheepishly, “and you seem really nice. I don’t want you to end up upset.”

 

She seemed to weigh his words, and perhaps it was his sincerity that had her frowning but nodding nonetheless. Most conversations went like this- and only every so often they’d ignore his warning and end up scared half to death from the glare they received upon ‘poking the bear’.

 

Sighing in relief, he watched her rejoin her friends and carry on deeper into the throng of people.

 

Crows tavern was never usually very busy. It had it’s good nights, and it was a decent enough place, but there had been times where fights broke out between alphas, or someone ordered a drink but didn’t want to pay and argued about it. Sometimes, on the really rough nights, Kageyama would be one of a handful of patrons hanging around and they'd have a hard time cutting even.

 

But Kageyama was always, always there. Always to the far left, always staying until close, and always writing something in the hours between. 

 

Every night was usually the same. For the past two months since his rotation Hinata arrived to work at five pm, he’d chat and make tips with his flashy smile and twinkling eyes, keep Kageyama’s drink full and steer people away; then at the end of the night, he’d take his tips and his till, cash out, then be on his merry way home with a fellow employee following behind.

 

Kageyama was usually gone before he left at that time, and he was sure that was only because Daichi kicked him out so they could close in time. While not the owner of Crow’s Tavern, Daichi was the manager- and a damn good one, too; everyone seemed to think so. Daichi was never mean to Kageyama during those times, but he certainly wasn’t afraid of being stern with him either- which Hinata was grateful for. Kageyama had never been physically violent with anybody (if he had he wouldn’t have been welcome in the bar), but he supposed if someone really got to him there could be a first for everything.

 

This particular night was no different, it seemed, as an alpha drunkenly knocked into Kageyama’s back, spilling his drink all over the place and sending Kageyama's pencil flying forward over the page.

 

It hadn’t been on purpose, but it had caused the paper in his book to tear along with the words he’d carefully spent the last twenty minutes agonizing over. Kageyama had glared daggers at the man, and for one tense moment Daichi had anticipated a fight. Both were poised, metaphorical hackles rising as if to prepare to lunge- before Kageyama straightened with a huff and turned the page to rewrite what was destroyed.

 

Kageyama was always interesting in that way. Although he never spoke, it was never hard to guess what he wanted or needed or what he meant with his physical expressions. He was rather easy to read when he was trying to give an honest non-verbal answer, but when he was busy nobody could tell what he was thinking. 

 

Except, perhaps, Hinata, who had an accurate guess here and there. 

 

“Sir, if you’d like I can refill the drink you spilled,” Hinata offered softly, wanting to be of some use- to drag the wide-eyes alpha away from Kageyama before things got any worse.

 

Daichi cupped his shoulder, squeezing lightly, and Hinata briefly wondered if it was because he’d done something right or something stupid. Offering a drunk man more drink was often not a good thing- especially to an untethered Alpha. 

 

But Daichi moved on wordlessly, leaving Hinata to wonder if he should take the offer back. But the man was getting up onto the stool and setting his glass in front of him. He flicked the alcohol from his fingers, and Hinata noticed that indeed he’d spilled it all over. Thankfully his clothes seemed relatively unharmed, but the floor beside Kageyama wasn’t so lucky.

 

And that was where he noticed Daichi to be, hunched over on the ground sopping up the drink from the tile.

 

Hinata quickly offered the man some paper towels, and a grin was shot his way. Hinata offered his same flashy smile and twinkling eyes, and pointed to his drink.

 

“I know it sucks sometimes when that happens; although, if you drink too much its to be expected.” He laughed softly. “What did you have?”

 

“I don’t know. Vodka... something Russian I think.”

 

“Ah- a Black Russian maybe? Did it have a coffee taste to i—“

 

“M’yes! Yes that’s it. Y’er smart for an ‘mega.”

 

Hinata blinked, taking the dirty cup from in front of him and wiping the bar top. He set the cup in the sink, brow quirked in question.

 

“I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand what you mean, sir.”

 

The alpha pushed himself up in his seat and leant a little forward across the bar top. It wasn’t close nor was it weird, and Hinata wondered if maybe he didn’t want to speak too loudly- so he stepped forward. 

 

“What’s a pretty thing like you doin’ down here in this part of town?” He asked.

 

“Uh...” Hinata laughed, “I work here. I’m behind the bar, see?” He chirped, and motioned to the counter.

 

The man’s lips twisted up in confusion and for a full second he didn’t say anything. It wasn’t until Hinata asked him if he was okay that he actually responded. 

 

“Not what I meant,” He breathed. His voice was a little slurred, but he seemed to be making an effort to keep his words straight.

 

“You’re very pretty. Very, very pretty- ‘n I think... I think you’d look good with your legs wrapped around me.”

 

Hinata blinked, and when the words came in, when he was able to process them, his face broke out in a bright red blush. He waved in front of him madly, choking a little. 

 

“N-no! No, I just, I work,” he fumbled. “I work here. That’s it- I don’t... um, I’m sorry I—“

 

“Hinata, are you alright?” A familiar voice came to his rescue. He glanced over at his friend- his savior- Sugawara who sauntered over at the sight of him fumbling.

 

“Oh! Yes, Yes I’m fine. I was remaking this nice gentleman a drink that got spilled. No problem at all!”

 

Suga reminded him of his mother sometimes. It was nice, actually, having that kind of figure at work. Someone keeping an eye on him and making sure everything rolled smoothly. As luck would have it, Suga was also an omega- which, he supposed, helped to alert him if he was ever stressed out. It was helpful to have him there, and with Daichi and Suga both working tonight, it had him calming down quicker. The two were a pair, mated at the age of 18, off together as soon as they were free from the unforgiving clutches of both parents who found reasons not to like one or the other. Hinata thought both of them were great, though. They worked well side by side, and appeared to be every bit in love at the age of 28 as they did ten years before. 

 

“You sure?” Suga asked, squinting first at him then at the drunk guy. “He’s not giving you any problems?”

 

“No! Not at all!” Hinata smiled warmly, although his heart was still beating really fast from the words that had tumbled from drunken lips. “In fact, he—“

 

“Wait- wait a min’t.” The guy said, holding up a hand and effectively shushing Hinata.

 

“You think I’m...” the guy’s eyes fluttered for the barest of seconds, “‘m the bad guy?”

 

“No- not at all!” Hinata replied, sensing that he needed to get a handle on this situation before it spiraled. “You seem like a wonderful guy—“

 

“‘M alpha.” He grunted, “You... you two ‘megas don’t know.”

 

“What?”

 

“Don’t know how good it’d feel t’have my cock inside you.” He breathed. “You-“ he pointed at Hinata vaguely. “I can make you scream. You’d come so fast ‘n so good around my knot.”

 

Suga immediately had none of it. Hinata didn’t think he’d ever seen the pretty silver-haired omega move so fast— or so aggressively.

 

“Out. Get out- the door is over there.” He hopped the bar- didn’t even use the gate, he just hopped right over top of the counter and scooted to jump down on the other side.

 

At his firm tone, the alpha stood up tall and glared down like he was about to challenge him, but suddenly Daichi was behind him, giving him a not-so-friendly shove forward.

 

“If he says out, you get out.” Daichi said sternly. He wasn’t taller than the alpha, but he certainly wasn’t shorter. Daichi was built far better, leaner with more muscle, and Hinata couldn’t help but appreciate Daichi for the alpha he was. He was very good at being exactly where he needed to be- especially where Sugawara was concerned.

 

The other alpha only glared, but a clear head would always beat a drunken one, so Daichi kindly walked him to the exit and slammed the door in his face. It didn’t gather a crowd, but some people did look.

 

And though mildly shaken and confused, Hinata finished out the rest of his shift with calm reassurances from Daichi and Suga and warm smiles. 

 


 

Daichi and Suga decided they both would stick around when Hinata closed. Daichi was often the last to leave, but he’d somehow managed to make sure everything was closed up by the time Hinata was putting on his jacket. A miracle, if you asked him. 

 

“Daichi, think you could walk Hinata home today? It isn’t far- but if I don’t catch the bus I’ll never make it to Asahi’s in time.” Suga asked as Daichi locked the front doors.

 

“Asahi?” Hinata inquired, although not meaning to interrupt.

 

“Ah- yes, Asahi, you remember? He worked here a month ago. That seasonal position? He’s an old high school friend of ours. Super tall- has really long hair.”

 

“That tall guy who wears a sports head band?” 

 

“Yes! He’s having a get together with some of our other friends from high school and it’s been forever since we met up.” Suga grinned.

 

“Actually,” Daichi popped in, “I don’t have to swing by the house. I brought everything with me do you remember?”

 

“Oh...”

 

Hinata blinked at the two of them, who stood there dumbly in the dimly lit alleyway outside of the bar... communicating with their eyes about... something Hinata couldn’t decipher.

 

“Well!” Hinata interrupted. “You guys go then! If you’re going to miss the bus, it’s important you guys go now. The bus’s last run for the night is one isn’t it? I thought it was weird how we got out a bit early...” 

 

“Hinata, someone should walk you home.” Daichi said. “It’s too... it’s a bit... and especially since you’re...”

 

Suga bumped his elbow into Daichi’s ribs and he recoiled with a wheeze.

 

“Are you sure? We can still walk to get there or have someone pick us up. Your safety is important.” Suga said sternly. 

 

“You know where I live.” Hinata said, moving to the end of the alleyway and pointing down the sidewalk. “Look- you can see the complex from here!”

 

“It’s still quite a ways...” Suga observed. “It’s much further than it looks. Just because there’s no trees or big buildings blocking it—“

 

“I’ll be fine! Seriously! It’s almost one now- you should hurry!” Hinata urged.

 

And with a few more unsure comments and firm ‘go!’s, the two were off, holding hands and jogging to the bus stop down the street. 

 

Hinata looked on fondly at the two, briefly, fleetingly wondering if he’d ever find a love like that. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to him he had just dug his own grave.

 

Looking back towards the direction of his complex, he heaved a sigh. Suga had been right of course- his apartment appeared much closer than it actually was. The downside, he supposed, was that he was alone now in a bad part of town at one in the morning. Usually a friend was kind enough to walk him home- and more often than not Suga (and sometimes Daichi if he finished early) would walk with him. 

 

Hinata wrapped his coat tighter around himself to stave off the chill in the air and started onward toward his home.

 

“God, I thought they’d never leave.”

 

Hinata’s feet froze mid-step and he felt his stomach drop. His heart picked up pace until he felt like he was sweating.

 

He ever so slowly turned his head, hoping beyond all hope that it was only his imagination- that it wasn’t the same voice that whispered filthy things to him earlier that evening that had gotten him kicked out.

 

His eyes met the lean figure of the blond stranger from earlier. He’d clearly changed clothes and despite how much he had to drink, he no longer sounded so slurred. It made him nervous beyond belief- even if the stranger was attractive.

 

“Um...” he started, squeaking hoarsely. This man wasn’t a regular so he didn’t know his name, but he did wonder if he’d come back specifically for him. At close. To... to...

 

“Sorry, um, we’re closed now, sir.” He tried, offering his smile. Perhaps if he flashed one of his smiles like he did at the other patrons he’d go away. 

 

It, of course, had the opposite effect.

 

The stranger pushed away from the side of the wall and approached him, causing a near heart attack to thunder in his chest.

 

He stood straight and held out his hands, waving wildly. “I’m! I’m heading home so- so you can see me tomorrow! You should go home and get some rest!”

 

“Already did.” He said, “and I couldn’t get you out of my head. There’s just something about you...”

 

He approached- predatorily, Hinata noticed- and he swallowed hard in response. He didn’t like this one bit, and yet his feet were frozen where they stood. He was circled, and he shuddered.

 

“I was serious about what I said earlier,” the man breathed, leaning in behind him. He felt warm palms against either side of his hips and he involuntarily let out a whimper.

 

“You want me- I know you do. It’s written all over your face,” He continued. “I’d treat you so good. You’d feel so good.”

 

Hinata tried to pull away but the warm hands, once soft now felt like an iron grip clamped around his hips. 

 

“Please,” he whimpered, “I just... I want to go home...”

 

The man nipped the shell of his ear, and his body betrayed him when he cried out. He didn’t like this. He didn’t like this. He really didn’t like this.

 

“Please... please don’t...” he breathed. His voice was shaky and high, and he hated it. Hated how his body had begun to say one thing despite how hard he was trying to not.

 

“Are you sure?” The man asked, breath hot on the slope of his neck. He could feel the alpha in all sorts of ways he didn’t want to, and his eyes squeezed shut in hopes that this was just a dream. That this was nothing more than a nightmare and he’d wake up at home in his own bed. He’d count his blessings. He’d never take advantage of the fact that he had someone to walk him home every day. 

 

But the feeling was much too real to be a dream.

 

He felt the alpha’s hard chest against his slender back, and the hard pulse of his member through his pants. This alpha- his scent was smoky and suffocating and leaking out all around him and- and it certainly wasn’t helping the situation.

 

“Please” he found himself whimpering. He wanted out. He wanted to go home. He knew he was fortunate to never have this happen to him before, but he really should have expected something like this. He should have been prepared! He should have brought a knife or some mace or something!

 

His fingers dug like talons into his flesh, and his whimpers grew louder as he forced his feet to move. Not an inch of space was left between them as he walked them both forward towards the brick wall of the alley. This was still near the front entrance, but nobody would be here to see. This was no dead end either, but it was sheltered enough that he was sure anybody passing by would think perhaps they were two homeless people wrestling or something.

 

He cried out when he was flipped around, back now against the wall, the cold seeping through his jacket and into his warm skin. His hips were yanked forward, and his eyes shut hard when the breathless alpha rolled his hips into his. 

 

“Take it off.” Was the growl, and Hinata whimpered. It was an order- he felt it. Felt it vibrate through his being but his hands, they stiffened. “Your collar. Take it off.”

 

Immediately he resisted the order. He fought to keep his shaking hands at his sides, but they lifted. They dug into his pocket to flip the key to his safety around and he wondered if maybe he could destroy the key. Make it so that he couldn’t follow the order.

 

“Hurry.” Was the following order. “Hurry and take it off. You’ll feel so much better.”

 

A sharp exhale of a sob left him and he gripped the key, extracted it, and did as told. The key and the collar both fell to the ground and his realization that this might actually be it- the end of his freedom- rung loudly in his ears. Curse his biology for being vulnerable to an alpha's word!

 

His head thudded against the brick wall as the alpha stepped between his legs and intruded into his space, and suddenly his hands- he remembered his hands. 

 

He placed them against the alpha’s chest, he dug them into the fabric of his shirt and he pushed- he pushed as hard as he could.

 

It made him stumble a bit, but the hands on his hips tightened right up and he stumbled with him.

 

He cried out in fright this time, and he tried desperately to struggle away, but the alpha found his footing.

 

And he wasn’t happy.

 

He felt a hand lift from his hip and he breathed an easy sigh wondering if maybe he was gonna let him go.

 

Oh what damnable thoughts those were. Of course he wouldn’t let him go.

 

The hand closed around his throat, and he gasped when he was pinned against the wall. The grip was tight and cinching at his airway and he mewled in protest, arms flailing and pounding against his chest like it would do any good. It didn’t.

 

“Let me go! Please! Please I don’t want this!” 

 

The alpha cinched his grip tighter around his throat, and he looked upward just to ease the pressure. It didn’t help; his head was pounding and now it was even harder to breathe. He could tell this alpha wasn’t trying to hurt him, but he was. He was.

 

He gasped for air, and if he could whimper he would. He felt the pulse in his throat against the alpha’s fingers, and the pressure in his face was mounting steadily. He felt his other hand wander, push off his coat and unbutton his pants, but he couldn’t see. He couldn’t see behind the blur of tears that formed in his eyes so he shut them and let them fall.

 

If... if this was going to happen, he didn’t want to be conscious for it anyway. He didn’t want this... but he didn’t want to hurt through it all either.

 

He felt warm breath at his nape and his entire body shuddered from it. 

 

“You’re wet, I can smell it.” He breathed, “I’ll make you feel so good. I’ll be the best alpha you could ever dream of having.”

 

He shuddered again when the alpha tugged at his pants, and if he could breathe he was sure he would sob. He would scream and cry and yell profane insults and throw rocks and dirt and anything he could get his hands on. 

 

But he was wet, and the heady scent of this alpha was intoxicating him and draining him of fight he needed. He was trembling, at the alpha’s complete mercy, and it wouldn’t be long before the too-tight grip would be the last thing he recalled when he passed out. 

 

But he didn’t pass out.

 

And the hands on him were suddenly lifting, lifting, then gone all together.

 

He slipped to the ground, eyes still shut, clutching at his throat and coughing, wheezing, dragging in one beloved lungful of air at a time before finally letting his eyes flutter open.

 

And he nearly screeched and pressed himself into the wall harder at the sight of the alpha on the ground, unconscious, eyes closed but still breathing. Still breathing. Still alive- not dead.

 

And when he looked over, when his eyes saw the tiniest movement, they picked up a second pair of feet.

 

And his eyes slightly raised, higher and higher until his shuddering breath ceased. 

 

Kageyama.

 

He rubbed at his still-blurry eyes, wondering if he was just seeing things. If he was imagining his savior- or if he was just hallucinating... or if he’d actually passed out.

 

Kageyama fell to both knees, hands digging into the dirt in front of him, breathless, too, and he wondered why.

 

He’d knocked the alpha out so easily, it was hard to think that something like that would wind him.

 

Hinata brought his legs up to his chest and hugged them. His t-shirt still displayed the logo of Crow’s Tavern, as he hadn’t brought spare clothes. It was cold, and the wetness in his pants was making it worse.

 

“K... Kageyama...?”  

 

The male grunted, still breathless, and crawled closer. He didn’t appear to be of any threat, but Hinata remained on guard all the same. He, too, was an untethered alpha and he had to remind himself of it. 

 

But the closer he crawled, the more aware he became of his scent. Perhaps it was still because he was wet and shaky and worked up from the other alpha’s pheromones.

 

He smelled... he smelled different from the other alpha. Instead of heady and smoky and thick in his throat, he smelled sweet. Well, perhaps not berry sweet. More like... sandalwood? He wasn’t sure if that was accurate, but the closer he got the more he decided to settle with it.

 

Until he was almost too close. 

 

He swallowed thickly, head still against the wall, throat exposed and sort of on display if he were to lower his legs. 

 

But Kageyama wasn’t touching him. He didn’t appear to be trying- or wanting to. Which, he supposed, was a good thing.

 

But his face kept moving closer, and he was maybe, slightly, getting a little concerned. Just because Kageyama happened to be there, to haul the other alpha away, did not make him safe.

 

He gulped, eyeing him carefully. He’d never been this close to Kageyama before, and his brain was ticking and tripping over the same gear as he stared.

 

He wouldn’t lie- he’d thought about Kageyama like this. He’d traced over his form from afar and quietly admired his strong body and his toned arms. His messy but perfect hair and his blue eyes.

 

Up close they were even bluer. Vivid, like he’d imagined electricity underground to be like. 

 

He took in a shuddery breath when Kageyama’s nose nearly brushed his. 

 

It made him even more wet down below, and he wasn’t sure if he should take the time to apologize- to interrupt whatever this was and crawl away in a hurry.

 

But the sound of Kageyama deeply inhaling, the feel of his nose lightly poking his cheek made him, embarrassingly, elicit a moan from deep within his throat.

 

It was that moment that he heard a click- the feel of leather closing around his throat and the gasping breath of relief Kageyama exhaled into his ear.

 

And oh, what a relief it was to have his collar back on. Kageyama- he put his collar... he’d grabbed it from the ground and had locked it back up where it belonged around his neck.

 

His fingers shakily raised to brush against the collar just to make sure it was actually there. He turned to face Kageyama (who was still too close- too comfortably... achingly... close...) and squeaked when their lips almost brushed in the movement.

 

Kageyama shot backward and nearly collapsed into the ground. He was still winded- still breathless, and he knew by now that it wasn’t knocking the alpha out that was doing this to him.

 

He squeaked in alarm, pushing himself back up to his feet. Although he was unsteady, although he was aching, and shaky and his brain was supplying dirty images of an alpha— Kageyama was in front of him so his face, unfortunately, was the image supplied— of him being filled right up and fucked into oblivion.

 

He was sweaty, and his fingers were tacked to the wall he supported himself on, and once he found his voice, he was apologizing.

 

“I’m... I’m so sorry— thank... thank you. Thank you for... that was so... scary...”

 

Kageyama’s eyes lifted, and... and though still breathless, he didn’t speak. 

 

Of course he wasn’t going to say anything. He'd never known him to say anything at all.

 

Hinata fixed his pants and folded his arms uncomfortably. Kageyama still stared from his disadvantage of the ground, and Hinata stared right back. He wasn’t trying to provoke him, but maybe, he supposed, some answers would be nice.

 

Daichi had kicked him out of the bar earlier upon closing, so why was he still here? Was he waiting around like this other alpha?

 

His gaze flickered back over to the other alpha, but screeched when he saw his eyes slowly open.

 

He stuttered against the wall and flew towards Kageyama, plucking at his shirt, trying to help him up and failing and earning the tiniest glare.

 

But he stood.

 

And the other alpha was beginning to rouse.

 

“K-kageyama. He’s- you’re- what do I...?” Hinata whimpered.

 

Kageyama had the nerve to look annoyed- at him? At him. He had the audacity to be irritated at him. And though Hinata was still buzzing, still leaky and wet and aching, Kageyama stomped forward towards the stirring alpha.

 

Ruthlessly, he leant down and slammed his fist into the man’s face. He didn’t stir again.

 

...

 

Effective, he supposed, but definitely unexpected. 

 

Hinata spluttered in confusion, but Kageyama only grimaced and bent down to grab Hinata’s coat. He grabbed the key to his collar, his bag, and offered them to him as he passed.

 

Hinata shakily took them, and watched as Kageyama passed by him and, only briefly out of sight, returned with a black leather jacket of his own and his dirty green laptop carrier. There was no laptop in it, Hinata knew- just notebooks, pens and pencils, and miscellaneous things. It was the bag Kageyama always had, but the coat was new. 

 

And perhaps he was staring a little too long because Kageyama’s face, though flat, somehow morphed into flat and annoyed.

 

Hinata squeaked and backed up a bit. Not that it did anything.

 

Kageyama only shook his head in- disbelief? Rude. So rude.

 

He stepped out of the alleyway and glanced in both directions before turning around. He stared, then, as if expecting him to... say something? Do something?

 

Hinata picked his way carefully out of the alley, stepping over the unconscious alpha and gulping. Once he met Kageyama, he lowered his head and quietly expressed his apologies again.

 

He looked on toward his apartment complex in the distance and grumbled quietly to himself about how annoying it was being so close yet so far from home.

 

“Well, um, thank you. Thank you very much for helping me- I owe you now. I’ll just- I’ll be on my way, now...” 

 

Kageyama didn’t reply, he only blinked.

 

Hinata turned and began walking toward home, slipping into his coat and zipping it up. His legs were still shaky, and with a groan he also realized that he was still hard. His pants were wet with slick, and the chill of the night was definitely not helping. A hot shower was in order.

 

He swallowed hard and fisted his hands into the straps of his bag. Yeah- a really hot shower. 

 

When he glanced over his shoulder, he slowed to a stop in surprise.

 

Kageyama was following him. He was keeping his distance but his hands had shoved into his pockets and he was keeping pace. He stopped when Hinata turned around, but he didn’t leave either.

 

“Can... can I help you?” Hinata asked.

 

Silence.

 

“It’s okay, thank you- I appreciate it, really. Um... I’ll buy your drinks tomorrow?” He offered. “Or... something else if you want.”

 

Silence.

 

Hinata huffed and turned back around walking just a little bit faster.

 

When he tossed a glance over his shoulder, Kageyama had no problems keeping pace with him. He was still following him.

 

He stopped again and so did Kageyama.

 

“Are... I hope... I hope you’re not stalking me. Because saving me would be really... it’d be awkward.”

 

Kageyama’s eyes narrowed dangerously, but again he didn’t speak. Hinata knew he tended not to speak in the bar, but... in general? He expected that anybody he decided to be around would obviously be talked to. 

 

Hinata’s shoulders deflated and he wiped a hand across his face and groaned. 

 

But then it suddenly occurred to him. 

 

“Oh!” He exclaimed. “Are... are you trying to walk me home?”

 

No response, but the lines in his face did ease and his eyes softened up a bit. He could have sworn that he gave just the tiniest hint of a nod of affirmation.

 

The widest smile Hinata had ever given crossed his face and he beamed.

 

“Thank you! Actually, I feel a lot safer knowing you’ll be there.”

 

Kageyama didn’t reply, but he did start walking. And as he passed, he looked behind as if to say ‘are you coming?’ And Hinata grinned.

 

Although, as they walked in silence it somewhat occurred to him that he didn’t know where he was going- which was both a relief and a concern since he’d taken the lead.

 

“Uh,” he started. “Do... do you know where I live, or...?”

 

He wasn’t trying to be rude, honest, but he had to make sure anyway. He had to be absolutely sure Kageyama wasn’t a stalker. But... if he thought really hard about it... he... he didn’t think he’d mind all too much. 

 

But Kageyama hesitated, looking back at him a handful of times before, finally, he fell back a little bit and let Hinata lead. 

 

He couldn’t stop the grin that spread across his face as he continued forward. Although, in hindsight, he almost wished Kageyama knew the way so he could look at him a little longer. He was tall and his back was broad and even with his leather jacket it was obvious that he was well-muscled. The jacket was tight in some places, and for some reason the back of his head was... cute? Maybe cute was too innocent a word. His hair was straight and glossy and well taken care of, but he adored how the ends trailed off in a ‘v’ above his nape. 

 

Hinata blinked rapidly when he felt a warm hand encircled his wrist and he was yanked. 

 

He yelped, and no explanation was given, but he supposed, upon looking at the direction his feet had carried him, it was self-explanatory. 

 

His cheeks heated in embarrassment as he’d almost walked out into the road and he would have if Kageyama hadn’t grabbed him.

 

He swallowed hard and apologized softly. On the bright side, he was almost home, and he told him so.

 

When they approached the gate that opened to the complex, Hinata stopped.

 

But Kageyama gripped the back of his shirt and drug him along as Hinata indignantly squawked. 

 

“Um...” Hinata started, watching as Kageyama hesitated once inside the gate. He glanced from building to building, grip still on his shirt, looking innocently from side to side like a lost puppy.

 

Hinata reached up to brush his fingers across the grip, trying to get him to let go- which worked, but Kageyama released him with a quiet hiss as if he’d touched fire.

 

He didn’t know why, but he seemed to be doing a lot of apologizing tonight- and he was the one that had gotten attacked.

 

“I live... I live in this building.” Hinata started, pointing towards the building on the left.

 

Kageyama blinked at him, and Hinata sighed. He was certainly determined to walk him all the way- right up to his door.

 

Which, of course, he found he didn’t mind all that much despite his encounter earlier.

 

His tongue was dry and thick in his mouth when he turned and began climbing the stairs. He took it slow- partly because he wasn’t sure just how far Kageyama was willing to follow and partly because he was heavy and achy and oh god he hoped he left right away once he’d gotten inside because if he didn’t take care of this situation it wasn’t going to go away. 

 

He was already wet- still wet, and on the journey home he’d taken to wrapping his coat around his waist so it would be less noticeable, but the slick still spilled forth at every glance in Kageyama’s direction.

 

He inwardly cursed himself, but he blamed the other alpha for getting him worked up like this. He blamed Kageyama for looking so good and keeping him like this all the way home.

 

Once they reached the very top level, Hinata extracted the key from his pocket and slipped it into the lock. He glanced over his shoulder and noticed indeed, Kageyama had ascended the stairs with him and was still and patient as he unlocked his door.

 

“Um... thank you again. I... appreciate you walking me all this way. It must have been so far out of the way for you...” Hinata trailed off as he stepped inside and toed off his shoes at the entrance.

 

“Be safe out there, okay? I don’t know how far you have to get home, but... I’m sure I’ll see you tomorrow...” 

 

Silence met his response and he rocked awkwardly back on his heels. 

 

“Well... I’m... I’m going to bed now. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

 

Silence.

 

Hinata carefully stepped back and moved to shut the door, but Kageyama’s hand came flying out, slamming against the heavy composite door base. It freaked him the hell out, and for a moment he thought Kageyama would intrude inside and... and... he didn’t know.

 

His scream died in his throat before it could escape, and his curiosity got the better of him as he stared. Kageyama didn’t seem the type to force his way in nor the kind to take advantage, but as Daichi had warned him when he first started working at the bar, there were plenty of people that would surprise him.

 

“You...” was the gruff reply. A voice, much too deep, much to raspy as if hardly used (probably unused. Definitely.) made him shudder right to the very tips of his toes.

 

“Your heat is coming soon.”

 

And with that said, Kageyama lifted his palm and turned, making his way back toward the stairs and down them without so much as a goodbye.

 

Hinata blushed so hard his ears were hot, and he clutched at his chest because- dear god, Kageyama had the sexiest voice he’d ever heard.

 

And it hadn’t even occurred to him that maybe, perhaps, his heat might actually be looming above his head. He hadn’t experienced them all that often. Contrary to what his mother had said, most omegas experienced their heat every three months, but he? Seemed to be different. He’d experienced it maybe once a month for a while and then it’d be six months, a year if he was lucky and then every two months after that... it was too all over the place to tell for sure when, so he went off of feeling alone.

 

He didn’t feel hot or uncomfortable. He didn’t feel thirsty and his thoughts didn’t wander to dirty things... often. 

 

Although, if that were true, it certainly made sense why he’d reacted to that alpha earlier so easily. And why he’d not gotten over it.

 

He breathed deeply and shut the door, locking it and double checking all of the windows just in case (because he was paranoid about that alpha now— and for some reason not Kageyama?) before heading to the bathroom.

 

He shed his coat, his shirt and his pants- god his pants. They were soaked. 

 

He shucked everything right off and started the shower. Normally he’d wait until morning to do it but he needed to. He needed this.

 

He slipped inside, the warm water immediately dousing him but not his need. He wrapped a hand around his hard member- which, sadly, had been weeping ever since Kageyama’s lips almost brushed his back in that alley. He didn’t want to admit it to himself, but Kageyama was...

 

Kageyama was hot. He’d always been hot. He’d always been that mysterious stranger with the same routine and same scowl, but he just couldn’t get him out of his head. He’d been there and he’d saved him, and his voice. God his voice. 

 

Your heat is coming soon.

 

It was simple and stupid to be using that phrase to get off, but he focused more on the ruggedness of the sounds. The way his mouth opened and his throat worked to make those words and the way his heavy palm slammed into the door like it was nothing...

 

Hinata gasped, squeezing himself a little too tight, a little too excited, and he reached back. He snaked a hand all the way back and bent forward a little. His finger- he prodded and brushed at his entrance and a soft cry left him.

 

He hardly, if ever, touched himself like this. His heats were awful when they did come, but he didn’t want to make it any worse by introducing something new to his body. He didn’t want to crave the feeling later. 

 

But oh how he did now. The feeling of Kageyama, maybe, behind him. Brushing the pad of his thumb over his entrance and hissing. Maybe he stared a little too long at him, and maybe he was rock hard and ready but wanting to watch.

 

Dream Kageyama would feel so good filling him up.

 

Hinata squeezed his eyes shut, hot water cascading down his back and thighs but doing him no favors as he sank a finger slowly into himself.

 

A hot moan fled his lips and he arched into the touch. His fingers were small and shaky and he couldn’t get very far— but Kageyama’s would be long. They’d be thick and round and they’d fill him and touch those places inside of him that only an alpha could reach. 

 

He’d whisper, he’d lean in and kiss his shoulder and tell him how good he was being. Or maybe not- perhaps he’d just breathe really hard and moan hot into his ear and let him know that way how good he felt around him.

 

He wiggled a second finger inside and pumped his dick in unison, wanting the ache to be sated, to leave him be and chase it far away back into that corner where he usually tucked it.

 

But he was mad, today. Starved for it.

 

He hated it.

 

He pushed his fingers deeper, trying to go as far as he could to give himself some semblance of relief.

 

It didn’t help at all, but Hinata’s next thoughts did.

 

Shoyou...

 

Silly. Stupid. But his own name echoed in his head as imagination-Kageyama rasped it, choked around it as, maybe, Hinata would grind against him. 

 

It had only taken that in his brain for him to cry out and string ropes of cum against the shower wall and the edges of the tub— all to be washed away by the ever present witness of the shower’s constant spray. 


 

He wanted to say it was annoying, but it really wasn’t. But it was, oddly, now a ‘thing’. 

 

At the end of the night, regardless of how busy it had been or how long it had taken him to cash his till out and count the tips and clean up, Kageyama would wait for him outside.

 

Perhaps this was a good thing, as Sugawara had the next couple of days off and since Daichi closed, there really wasn’t anyone who wanted to volunteer to walk several blocks in the opposite direction of their car.

 

It was also a good thing, because the same strange alpha hadn’t given up on him. It seriously put a damper on working there- and despite his best efforts to not see it as a traumatic experience, it really kind of... was. 

 

But Kageyama was there, and it made him feel so much better.

 

If not because Kageyama could punch the ever loving fuck out of an alpha and incapacitate them. Really, it was effective. But also terrifying if he ever got on his bad side.

 

Although, lately, he did notice that there were quite a bit more alphas hanging around until close than before, and he wondered briefly if it was because of that first alpha. He hadn’t bothered remembering his name, but he was definitely unperturbed by his insistent ‘no’s and ‘leave’s which, honestly, he was ready to file some sort of restraining order or protection order if he was gonna try anything again.

 

“Geez... is it really necessary to hit everyone that approaches me?”

 

Kageyama had been walking him for only a block- just one- and already he’d had to chase away three individuals with his fist. This last person was much too insistent, especially since it was painfully obvious that he, an omega, and Kageyama, an alpha, were not together in any fashion nor were either of them mated.

 

Kageyama’s only response was a quirked brow and Hinata held up his hands in defeat.

 

“Alright, you have a point. But remember- you’re scary to begin with so jeering at them seems to work too.”

 

Kageyama’s face fell flat and he motioned to the unconscious alpha on the ground.

 

“Alright! Alright! Yes, he tried to get handsy. In my defense, you ignored him until I looked at you for help.”

 

Kageyama shrugged and, seeming to take that as an end of the conversation, they moved on.

 

This had only been happening for two weeks. Kageyama walking him home, he was sure, couldn’t possibly be part of his routine. Sugawara and Daichi had both been speechless when he’d told them what had happened that night (He didn't want to get into the specifics so he just said someone hit on him and Kageyama happened to be there to stop it), and despite his best efforts to not make them feel guilty for leaving, they insisted he stay until Daichi closed up for good so that at least someone could watch him leave if no one was available.

 

Hinata had, at first, agreed. That was, until Kageyama made a surprise appearance the next night. And the night after that. And the night after that.

 

And into week two, Suga and Daichi seemed satisfied that Kageyama was doing a (somewhat) decent job getting him home safe. He said he could do better- perhaps not litter the ground with unconscious bodies.

 

But Hinata didn’t have a problem. In fact, he felt a little special knowing that Kageyama was there, showing up of his own volition, protecting him all the way home until, at the door, he would wordlessly turn and carry on back to... wherever it was he went. 

 

Tonight was no different, body count aside. Kageyama hadn’t touched him again after that one time, but it gave Hinata so many more reasons to let him lead the way and just... look at him.

 

After that one sinful night, he let himself stare when Kageyama wasn’t looking. Most times when he was working he only chanced his usual watchful glances, but when he was like this in front of him it was hard to look away. 

 

He took note of the odd ticks that he had, which were fun to notice. Sometimes when he seemed more on edge than usual he’d tuck his hands into his pants and his shoulders would be taut and rigid, but on the good days he’d keep one hand on his shoulder bag and the other limply at his side.

 

But really, most nights, he just looked like he was on a mission. And maybe he was- he was, after all, walking him home. If one considered that a ‘mission’. 

 

And the closer they got to his apartment complex, he saw the transition from relaxed to rigid, hands tucked into his pockets and glancing back at him every few seconds to make sure that he was still there.

 

Hinata always was- he was nice to look at this way. Although, he was beginning to notice the smaller things, too. About how his shirts were always tucked in and neat, and his shoes were always immaculately clean and tied the same despite the dirt they walked in to get to the stairs.

 

And he noticed how one hand always came up to grasp the rail as they ascended the stairs. Today, it was white-knuckled, but fit easily within his palm. Small, actually. The rail was small when he wrapped his hand around it, and Hinata could feel his knees wobble a little bit at the thoughts that began to intrude in his brain.

 

At the top of the stair, he bid his usual goodbye and thank you before turning to the door and unlocking it.

 

And unusually, Kageyama stayed still.

 

Hinata looked back when the door swung open, wondering if there was something he was forgetting, but shrugged it off.

 

Before he could take a step toward his entryway, Kageyama’s hand was wrapping around his wrist. Always his wrist- did he have a thing for wrists? It was tight and hot around him, and his skin came alive with goosebumps.

 

“Stay home tomorrow.” 

 

Ah, that voice. A voice he hadn’t heard since the first night. It made the goosebumps on his arms flair up again, and he shuddered because of it. 

 

“Uh... why?”

 

Silence.

 

“No, really, why? I have to work tomorrow and I have classes really early I can’t call out of. You’re not planning on killing anyone are you? Be honest, I—“

 

A soft growl wafted past Kageyama’s lips, and it sent shockwaves pulsing through his entire body. He hated that Kageyama had this effect on him, especially since it was obvious that Kageyama had no interest in him.

 

He didn’t respond after that, and much to Hinata’s disappointment, his hold on him lifted and he was turning, walking back down the stairs he’d just come up from and leaving Hinata to wonder what the actual fuck just happened. 

 

Kageyama was weird to begin with, but such a request? He thought for a moment. He stood in the doorway, letting the heat leak out of his apartment wondering why Kageyama would make such a request.

 

Until it hit him.

 

Kageyama must not be available to walk him home. If he were, then he probably wouldn’t have asked him to stay home. That was it. 

 

Kageyama didn’t have to walk him home- it wasn’t required of him, so surely he could have just left him to fend for himself. Maybe because there were so many alphas on the street lately... was the reason? 

 

If that was the case, he’d ask Daichi and Suga both to walk him home tomorrow so Kageyama wouldn’t have to worry. 

 

So that was what he did. He went to class as usual the next day, and to work at five. He’d of course woken up feeling dizzy and briefly thought of actually following Kageyama’s advice, but upon taking his temperature, he rolled his eyes. It was only a mild fever, and he’d be fine by midday. 

 

When he walked into work, he still felt a little dizzy. A little bit uncomfortable in his own skin, but that was to be expected. He was tired, and more than anything he wanted to be home and sleeping, but shook it off.

 

But he froze upon seeing Kageyama again. He was still sat at the edge of the bar- which was unusually busy for the time of day- and, as always, writing. 

 

He pursed his lips when he passed, walking to the ‘employee only’ entrance to drop off his coat and bag. If Kageyama wasn’t going to be available to walk him home, why was he here? Or was he going to leave early?

 

It’d be super weird if he knew he was getting sick, he thought begrudgingly. 

 

But he hung his things and clocked in and took up his usual position. 

 

He glanced over at Kageyama worriedly, and for the briefest moment he could have sworn he was staring at him- mad of all things, and he pouted. 

 

He didn’t understand. It wasn’t his fault- and it wasn’t like he could call and say he wasn’t going to show up because Kageyama said so. That’d be weird. That’s... that’d give too much power to an alpha that had no say in his routine. 

 

He stuck his tongue out at him, but it went unnoticed as he continued to write.

 

And for the most part, the night went smoothly. More people flooded in past ten, and Hinata thought to himself that he’d never seen the place so packed. With alphas. 

 

He glanced over at Suga when he’d refilled an alpha’s cup, choosing to ignore the slew of ‘hey gorgeous’ and drunken ‘kiss me’s. It wasn’t anything new, but there sure were a lot of them.

 

Suga noticed his staring and immediately came over, wiping at his apron.

 

“You okay?” He asked softly, just below the roar of the crowds and the music.

 

“Fine? Why?”

 

“Oh, nothing. You just look- are you sure?” Suga brought a hand up to rest over his forehead and Hinata blinked rapidly when he swore. Something Suga rarely did if it wasn’t directed at anyone rude.

 

“I’m okay!” Hinata squeaked. “I’m... I’m a little dizzy, a little sweaty- it’s just the lights, I think. There’s a lot of people in here- maybe it’s that?”

 

“The air conditioning unit has been on, Hinata.” Suga said, “maybe you’re getting sick, hm?”

 

“I don’t feel sick, though.” Hinata replied, turning at a patron’s request for a shot of tequila. 

 

He poured it and passed it, then turned back to Suga. “I don’t have a headache, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

 

Suga seemed to consider this before wiping at his apron. “I’ll be right back.”

 

Hinata raised a brow quizzically before some bills were tossed his way and another shot of tequila was asked for.

 

In all fairness, he’d never seen a man down so many shots back to back without puking, but he also hadn’t counted on the attention it (and he) got from it either.

 

“Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots!” Overwhelmed his senses, and his skin began to prickle again. It was a chill, a nice one to have since he was so hot- but it exhausted him, too.

 

He leant on the counter as he poured four rows of shots for the man- and several betas and alphas who decided to join in on the fun.

 

One beta held out the shot glass in front of his face, smiling lopsidedly and slurring words he couldn’t quite hear over the roar of chanting and music.

 

And then hands were on his back, startling him half to death and making him drop the bottle of tequila. It shattered on the floor, and ‘boo!’s echoed after the sound.

 

He glanced back in alarm, but relaxed when he realized it was Suga- with Daichi in tow. He leaned heavily back into Suga, who hissed a warning because of the broken glass, but accepted his weight readily.

 

Tired. He was so fucking tired. Was he really sick?

 

Daichi stepped in front of him, shielding the view of the raging Alphas and Betas who wanted more, and Suga moved to accommodate them and pour more drinks while someone else sneaked over to clean up the mess.

 

“Hinata- you need to go home. Now.”

 

“Mm... I can make it to the end of my shift—“

 

“No, you’re leaving.” Daichi said. “Argue again and I’ll order you to go home- and you know how much I hate doing that.”

 

It wasn’t a lie. Daichi believed in equality, which few alphas did, and hated the power he had over omegas. He’d sworn never to use it unless absolutely necessary, and if this was one of those cases... 

 

Hinata nodded solemnly, not understanding the urgency but agreeing quietly because he definitely didn’t want to argue with Daichi or cause a scene. 

 

“Kageyama-“ Daichi started, and Hinata shuddered at the name.

 

Kageyama didn’t lift his head, too immersed in whatever it was he was writing, and Daichi huffed.

 

He lifted the gate to exit, and Hinata shook his head. “No- he said he can’t. And you shouldn’t- he probably can’t hear you over the noise anyway-“

 

“He heard me fine the first time.” Daichi said pointedly. “Alphas have a keener sense of hearing than you might realize.”

 

He turned back to Kageyama, then.

 

“Kageyama. Hey.”

 

Daichi settled a hand on his shoulder and Hinata winced. Still, no reaction was given. Was Daichi really going to risk it? Honestly?

 

Daichi tapped the corner of his notebook, and Hinata hid his face in his hands, hoping that he wouldn’t get hit for it or yelled at or glared at. 

 

When he moved his hands away, Daichi had successfully gotten Kageyama’s attention, but all he did was stare. As per usual. 

 

He watched Kageyama tap the tip of his pen against his book, and when Daichi spoke a second time, he saw his eyes flick up to meet Hinata’s.

 

He winced, but Kageyama had no expression. Said nothing.

 

Daichi lifted the gate again and ducked under, looking over at Suga who, in turn, returned a questioning gaze.

 

“The bar is still open,” Hinata said, “It isn’t as late as it usually is, so I’ll be fine by myself.” He said assuringly.

 

He heard a dull thud behind him, and turned. He watched Kageyama snap his book shut with one hand, cap his pen, and hop out of his seat. He effortlessly slipped into his leather jacket, packed his things away into his shoulder bag and fixed it over his head. He watched him walk to the entrance and lean against it, hands shoved into his pockets and silent as he closed his eyes. Immediately he was swarmed with a small group of omegas, but he didn’t look at them or answer them or even reward them with looking at their faces. 

 

There was always this group, Daichi had told him once. He was a magnet for omegas the second he walked in until the second he left. He believed it; nobody could be that good looking and get away with it.

 

He swallowed thickly, and Daichi patted him on the shoulder.

 

“I think that means he’s waiting for you.”

 

Hinata blinked, then looked at Daichi and Suga’s smiling faces in horror. He squawked in disbelief before scrambling out from behind the bar. Suga caught stragglers trying to catch him before he left with a ‘you’re so cute can I offer you a drink?’ And he didn’t think he was capable of being more thankful of the pretty omega. 

 

He shrugged into his coat and his bag, but immediately took them back off because it was just. It was too hot for this. He’d put it on outside.

 

He tucked them under his arm and ducked out of the employee only area and headed for the door.

 

An alpha tried to stop him from his exit but he’d never seen Kageyama move so fast.

 

He cupped the small of his back and growled this deep, guttural sound at the patron that vibrated through his entire body. He wasn’t even sure he knew how to work his legs right when Kageyama pushed him out the door with urgency.

 

Hinata whined, and he wasn’t sure why. 

 

Upon exiting, the chill of the fall air did not help him one bit. It was still hot, and the hand on his lower back was hot, and he wanted to douse himself in cold ice water. 

 

Kageyama did not pull his hand away, nor did he stop pushing with urgency. Hinata’s legs felt wobbly, and he cursed them. If anything, he felt bad for making Kageyama take him home after he said that he couldn’t, and now he was making everything more difficult for not being able to move properly.

 

He groaned and tried to slow their pace a bit, but Kageyama had none of it and kept up the pace.

 

“‘M sorry Kag’yama” He whined, “I tried to—“

 

You’re going into heat, Dumbass.” Was the whispered growl into his ear.

 

And it was as if the words themselves alone were enough to trigger it. Just knowing what was happening, the click in his brain where it all started to make sense- the heat in his body, his shaky hands and his dizziness. How good Kageyama looked and smelled right now and how heavy his hands were against his back.

 

He felt his body give out from under him, and an unrelenting heat crept up his neck. He felt it now, the slick slipping out of him and the flashes of Kageyama having his way with him- they were strong in the forefront of his mind.

 

“Shit.” Kageyama hissed, and the sound made Hinata whimper.

 

Kageyama had been right. He should have stayed home today- and it wasn’t because Kageyama couldn’t take him home or because he wasn’t feeling well. He was going into heat, and Kageyama knew. Had told him to stay home- had even told him two weeks prior that it was coming. He should have known better.

 

He felt a hand on his hip and another wrapped around his wrist. He was lifted from the ground, and it suddenly felt so much better than walking by himself. Most of his weight, Kageyama supported. Arm wrapped snugly around his neck and hip crushed to his side, they waddled together towards the apartment complex. 

 

Hinata was both amazed and turned on by the fact that Kageyama could resist an omega in heat- touch one, hold one, and still have a clear head.

 

God, he was strong. So strong- his arms, his heavy hands, and his face, god his face. Clearly it was taking a lot of energy out of him to haul him block after block, and the sheen of sweat on his forehead was making him even hotter. 

 

Not to mention his scent. It was a strong perfume in his nose now because of their close proximity (and his heat), but not overwhelmingly so. It was somehow more in the way that he wanted; in the way that he desperately needed. The only thing chanting in his brain by the time they reached the apartment's gate was how badly he wanted Kageyama to fuck him right now. Any way he could get him.

 

But once they approached the building, Kageyama slid his arm away from him and was hooking both of his arms over the base of the rail.

 

Hinata whimpered, and his body slowly sank to the ground when Kageyama released him.

 

“Fuck.” Was another expletive he felt privileged to hear slip past those beautiful lips.

 

He felt his hands on him again, helping him up, pulling, tugging him upward, and for a hopeful moment Hinata thought he’d keep touching him. He let go of the rail with one hand and reached over to touch him, but his wrist was grabbed and his hand was forced back onto the rail.

 

Kageyama let go again and took a few steps back.

 

Hinata swallowed back his whimpers and stared, trying to lean heavily against the rail, but his shaky legs wouldn’t let him move. He couldn’t even turn around and walk towards Kageyama if his life depended on it.

 

“K-Kag’yama...” Hinata whined, and his legs buckled again. He couldn’t help it- his body just felt so heavy. He was on fire, and every time Kageyama touched him he felt better. 

 

Kageyama raced forward to catch him before he could fall, and this time Hinata twisted, wrapped his arms around his neck and pulled himself upward. He pressed his face into his neck, rubbing his nose along his scent glands and purring when a burst of sandalwood filled his nose.

 

Kageyama, he heard him somewhere in the back of his mind. He was growling at him, but he didn’t care. He smelled so fucking good- and the months of staring, pining, wishing he’d look up just once circled in his brain. He got the ‘just once’ the time he’d saved him from that alpha in the alleyway. It hadn’t been enough, by far, but he was determined to tell him, to let him know how much he wanted him.

 

Kageyama wrapped his arms around his legs and waist and he was hauled from the ground. Hinata felt a small tremble of triumph rush through him, and he pressed as close as he possibly could to the hard body.

 

“You smell amazing, Kageyama.” He breathed against his neck, “I always wanted to know... and you smell so good...”

 

Mindlessly, Hinata laved his tongue across his glands, and he hummed in approval when he felt Kageyama shudder. 

 

He heard somewhere in the distance Kageyama chanting ‘fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck’ and taking the stairs near two at a time with him tightly clasped in his arms.

 

“Key.” Kageyama demanded next, breathless, coming to a stop. 

 

Hinata didn’t know what he was talking about. Key to what, again...? His collar? 

 

He hummed and suckled lightly on Kageyama’s neck, loving the way he shuddered and choked on a groan and tried to resist him. He really was testing this poor alpha’s patience but he didn’t care. If it was Kageyama, it was worth it. 

 

He felt hands in his pockets, then, and he moaned softly when the hands wandered a little too close- his dick, he could feel it, it was hard and weeping and begging for touches and Kageyama was teasing him. He must be, because he was grazing his poor member through his pocket and making the corners of his eyes prick with tears because it was a touch he so badly needed.

 

But the jingle of keys distracted him a bit, and he breathed slowly against Kageyama’s throat, remembering, oh yeah the apartment. He heard the lock click and the thundering sound of Kageyama throwing it open so hard it cracked against the wall- and all Hinata could do was purr in response because that was exactly what he wanted Kageyama to do to him on every available surface he had in his apartment. 

 

Kageyama moved quickly, entering the apartment and, with a glance at the couch, plopped him right there in the middle.

 

A whine left Hinata, hands still wrapped around his neck. They were grabbed at, pried off, and Hinata whimpered as his body fell back into the couch.

 

“No.” Kageyama muttered, taking a few steps back.

 

If he had the wherewithal to pout, he would have, but the ache in his body, in his core, was much stronger. His legs spread; it was still too hot. 

 

He quickly ripped his shirt off, hand raising, brushing over the bare skin of his chest and he gasped when his thumb flicked over his nipple. 

 

Kageyama stepped forward and wrenched his hand away from his chest, a firm ‘no’ leaving his mouth. Hinata’s head fell back and a low mewl of protest left him. 

 

Kageyama took some steps back again, and he chewed on his bottom lip, wondering if maybe Kageyama was going to stay. Perhaps he would? His hands were in front of him, and he looked worried like he was going to fall off the couch and maybe he would. He felt really unstable, but he was just hot

 

Kageyama wasn’t doing him any favors either by staying, and he lifted a hand weakly in his direction, fingers arching, stretching to touch him despite him being so far away.

 

Another stern ‘no’ left those beautiful lips, and Hinata thought he might just die.

 

He shimmied out of his pants with a gasp, but warm hands were on him again, trying to yank them back up his body with a huff. It was too hot. Better, but still too hot.

 

Kageyama,” he pleaded, “please- please-“

 

“No! Bad.” 

 

“But why?” Hinata whimpered, “Why can’t you stay?”

 

Kageyama let him go, and he successfully pushed his pants down and off his legs. All that was left were his boxers, and his dick felt so much better now that it wasn’t so tightly trapped. 

 

Kageyama hurried towards the door, grabbed the knob and tried to bolt right out of there.

 

But Hinata whined. He whimpered, not that it seemed to be effective. “Y-you’re just gonna leave me here?” 

 

That did it. Kageyama stopped where he stood, shoulders tense but still. Hinata bit his lip and let both hands wander up his chest, fingertips catching on his pert nipples and gasping. “P-please...”

 

Kageyama ever so slowly closed the door in front of him. He was silent, wordless as he toed off his shoes and carefully hung his jacket and bag on the coat rack. 

 

“You want an alpha that bad?” Was his soft inquiry.

 

Hinata shook his head slowly, humming because his hands- they weren’t enough, but Kageyama’s would be.

 

“If any alpha would do, do you think you’d be here right now?”

 

Kageyama blinked.

 

Hinata tried to sit up but slid further down the couch on accident.

 

“A-ah, Kageyama. Your hands- I keep...” he wiggled his hips against the couch, almost succeeding in sliding right off. “- and you’ve always smelled so good, and I- you’re just...”

 

Kageyama stepped closer, closer, until he was hovering right above him, and Hinata inwardly cursed the fact that he had to justify his need for Kageyama and not just any alpha. Of course any alpha would do- he was in heat- but there was only one alpha unique and beautiful and strong— and named Kageyama. 

 

“Touch me, Kageyama. Please.”

 

It seemed to do the trick. Kageyama’s hands slowly descended upon him, and his body arched into his touch the second he felt it’s warmth. 

 

And then he was hoisting him up again, pulling him close, wrapping him up in his arms and walking. Where? He didn’t know. He didn’t care.

 

His back hit his soft mattress after a moment, and he smiled his widest, sinking and settling in and grabbing at the plush blankets he often curled himself in.

 

Kageyama stared at him for a long time, and he wiggled around wanting Kageyama to touch him- to feel him up and work him open - however Kageyama wanted to do it. He just needed it. Badly. 

 

“Kageyama- please. Kageyama, Kageyama-“

 

The alpha growled in response, and Hinata was unsure whether it was to quiet him or because he was teasing. Was he teasing? Yes, absolutely. 

 

He arched his back off the bed, hoping to draw him forward- to pull him over top of him and let him have his way with him, and what do you know it worked. 

 

Kageyama, with his deep throaty growl, tore at his clothes like they were burning him, and Hinata smiled, because yes this was exactly what he wanted. Hot hands finally- finally touched him, and an even hotter mouth sought his.

 

He’d thought about this too. Kissing Kageyama- how he’d do it. If it would be soft and warm or hot and heavy, and perhaps now that it was happening, now that he was thinking about it, it was a bit of both.

 

Kageyama’s teeth tugged at his bottom lip, earning a gasp as he climbed his way onto the bed. He lowered himself, their bare skin brushing and Hinata whimpered underneath him. Kageyama’s tongue ran over his bottom lip to soothe the bite, hands gripping firmly at his hips but not hard. They were a reassuring weight and it felt good- it felt right.

 

Kageyama’s tongue swiped right inside, and a moan wafted past his lips as his tongue brushed his. His hips rose, knocking fervently into his, and he felt it. Kageyama- he was hard. He was painfully hard, and his boxers weren’t doing a very good job keeping him caged.

 

His hands touched Kageyama. He felt along his skin, over each new slab of muscle he’d never seen before and raked his fingers down his abdomen and right to those black cotton boxers.

 

He shucked them off, and Kageyama finished throwing them to the ground and returned to eagerly strip Hinata of his, and god did it feel good. The air on his cock, the heat radiating off Kageyama’s body to keep him warm. It was bliss.

 

He arched up to wrap his arms around his neck as they kissed, and Kageyama cupped his cheek to steady him. Fuck, he was a good kisser. His tongue was hot as it tasted him, traced along his, explored and suckled on him. It drug moan after moan from him, and Hinata didn’t think he could get enough of it.

 

Legs spread, he hooked them around his hips, trying not to grind upward but hopelessly doing so anyway because he was nearly at his limit. He needed to be filled and fucked, and it had to be Kageyama. He was wet enough, much too ready and eager for him ever since he’d spoken the very first time. 

 

Kageyama shifted, moving downward to skip over his collar and suck at the skin of his chest. Hinata moved a hand up to claw at the collar, hating it being there, and realizing that it was much too hot against his skin and slippery.

 

But Kageyama grabbed his hand and trapped it, growling, he thinks, something about it ‘staying on’ which he protested immediately.

 

Well, as much as his voice could manage before it puttered out when he felt Kageyama rim a thumb along his entrance. It was warm- it was welcome, and it was heavy and soft and he rocked his hips forward with a whine. Much better than what he'd dreamed up in the shower those two weeks ago.

 

Kageyama was, in fact, very careful with him. It was surprising, actually, just how light his touches became, and despite his heat making everything easier he eased in and out of him with his thumb, with his fingers, pressing deeper and gauging his reactions just to make sure.

 

It was maddening. Kageyama was touching him, filling him and burning his skin with his touch and he was so gentle. He wasn’t going to break, and he was seconds from voicing it, but he supposed Kageyama had watched people long enough to know because in the next instance he was quirking his fingers upward. He brushed over his sensitive insides, poking into the quivering bundle of nerves deep within his core and a hoarse scream of ‘yes!’ tore out from his throat.

 

Kageyama slid closer, lips pressing to his collarbone, trailing down as he stimulated him and lit every nerve in his body. Hinata lifted his hand, raking his fingers through his hair and yanking his head back up because he craved his kiss again. Because his taste, his flavor, and the way he kissed him made him melt and Kageyama didn’t resist it.

 

He fed him moans between kisses, breath hitching and writhing with need when Kageyama finally pressed his hard member against his entrance.

 

This would be his first, but Kageyama didn’t know that. Or maybe he did, because the worry in his face reflected in Kageyama’s eyes, and he eased in slowly, breathing, near gasping at how easily he slid right in.

 

And for Hinata, it was the best thing he’d ever fucking felt. To be filled to the brim, stretched beyond his means and wrapped up in an embrace far surpassed any and all expectations he had. His chest tightened and he felt the strangest urge to cry and sob and come, but Kageyama eased him with soft kisses to his cheek, to his temple, to his forehead and his nose. 

 

Kageyama, despite all outward appearances, was uncharacteristically soft. He loved it.

 

And it wasn’t long before Hinata was rocking against him, trying to get some sort of friction, get him moving, but Kageyama kept still. He was breathing deeply, and his fingers- his fingers, they were shaky. 

 

Hinata looked up at him through the haze of his lust, of his heat, and offered the tiniest smile. He reached upward to cup his cheek in his palm, and for just a single second, his heart stuttered as he watched Kageyama lean into the touch, as if cherishing it.

 

And then he was moving. 

 

Kageyama had given him the time he’d needed to adjust, had breathed through his need, and once satisfied that he was ready, fucked him relentlessly. He wasn’t even sure if his bed was sturdy enough for this kind of thing, but Kageyama fucked him deep and hard and fast, hitting spots that were making Hinata scream.

 

His nails dug into his shoulders for purchase, and he did his best to match his desperate thrusts. The bed shrieked under him, the frame slamming against the wall, but he didn’t hear. Kageyama’s name was the only coherent word for the entire night, and if he’d been in the right frame of mind, he would have realized that his name, in return, was Kageyama’s word for the night, too.


 

Hinata loved the feeling and the sound of Kageyama’s chest rising and falling beneath him. After a long night and early morning, they’d collapsed in exhaustion in a heap on his bed. He hadn’t minded the mess; they’d shuffled to a relatively clean corner of the bed and curled up, and that was exactly how Hinata had woken up.

 

Kageyama’s bare chest was warm and soft, and he stretched against him, smiling a little to himself when he felt one of those heavy hands seek across his waist.

 

Kageyama was still asleep, he thought to himself, and he did his best to remain still. After a single night though, his heat had dulled to a simmer, but was still present. Laying next to Kageyama now was definitely not helping, and he briefly wondered if he was being effected even in sleep, as Hinata felt slick begin to pool out of him and the coil of lust cinch tighter in his gut.

 

His fingers wandered down the front of the alpha's chest, and with a sly grin he grabbed a weeping, rock-hard member. It made Kageyama stir, but Hinata bit his lip, wanting to be filled and fucked again. He was sure Kageyama wouldn’t mind the surprise.

 

He pushed upward, leg swinging over his large body and pushing down the sheets. Hinata was still wet, his hole still twitching and ready and Kageyama- still hard. 

 

He lowered himself on the member, hand hovering, wondering if he could just fit himself right on without needing to guide him. And it worked. 

 

A moan left him when he’d seated himself all the way on, and his nails dug right into the flesh of Kageyama’s abdomen— and oh, look, he was awake now.

 

“Mm, y-you’re awake?” Hinata stuttered. 

 

Kageyama’s fingers raised to wrap around his hips and he grunted. “You really thought I was asleep?” 

 

“Mm... weren’t you?” Hinata gasped, rocking backward and then forward, hips stuttering because the fire in his gut was reigniting and he loved it. He wanted more of it.

 

Kageyama’s head pressed back hard into the pillow and Hinata thought he heard a gasp- or a moan? It was a noise that made him shudder.

 

“You move around too much.” Was the reply.

 

Hinata grinned, lifting his hands to his own head of hair and arcing. Kageyama didn’t waste the opportunity, running his hands up his stomach, up each rack of ribs until they settled on his shoulders.

 

“Y-you feel so good in me...” Hinata panted out, “if there was a way— to be like this—“

 

“-don’t say forever. You’d end up killing me.”

 

Hinata laughed, tilting his head back and letting his hair fall back. His collar was still unusually tight around his neck, but he was thankful that it hadn’t come off. Kageyama had some serious self control, and he applauded him for it. If he’d been anyone else, he was certain that they’d demand his collar come off— and perhaps he’d be marked instead of enjoying himself right now.

 

He experimentally lifted his hips and then dropped himself hard, slamming against Kageyama. He was rewarded with a hissed out moan, and Hinata decided that maybe he might actually really enjoy this. He was sore- but the good kind of sore. A blessing, considering he’d been fearful of what his first time might feel like the morning after.

 

“I hate you.” Kageyama hissed through clenched teeth, Hinata laughed again as he lifted and dropped himself. 

 

“Why?”

 

“You’re messing up my schedule.”

 

“Oh? You have a schedule?”

 

Hinata grinned wildly when Kageyama only glared. He lifted and dropped himself harder- faster- and was pleased to see Kageyama’s eyes roll back and feel his fingers slide right back down to dig into his hips.

 

“You,” he wheezed, “You sent me into a rut.”

 

“Is that what you call it?” Hinata teased, breathless, curling his fingers around himself because- fuck- he wasn’t going to last if Kageyama kept talking like this all low and raspy and sexy. 

 

“I’ll call it ‘The Dumbass Effect’. Because of you, my rut will be a whole month early from now on.” 

 

Hinata laughed again and leant down, lips hovering, wondering if he was actually, legitimately serious about hating him. He wasn’t. 

 

Kageyama arched up to make their lips meet just a second faster, and he gasped into his mouth when Kageyama lifted his hips and fucked right up into him. 

 

Yes. This definitely might be his new favorite way.

 

And for the majority of the day, they found themselves locked in various positions like this. Enthused, Hinata was bent over the couch, the table, hanging from Kageyama's strong upper body in the shower, and wrecked right on the floor of his living room. Most were initiated by Hinata, all too eager to work the alpha up- but the last one was a surprise. 

 

Kageyama hadn’t left his apartment for the few days they were trapped together in heat and rut, a miracle Hinata admitted, and he’d tried his best to stave off the urges, but Hinata could tell right away that it was an effort. He’d considered that perhaps he should make it his own fault so that Kageyama wouldn’t have to think too hard about what to do about it— but on the last day they’d shared, the third and final day, Kageyama was eager. 

 

Hinata had never been more excited and ready, his body pliant to his touch and shivering as Kageyama learned all the ways to pleasure him. 

 

This time, Kageyama had dragged him back to his bedroom. He’d mounted him like the alpha he was, spreading his legs and nipping down the front of his body with vigor. Hinata had never felt so driven to the brink of insanity during his stay.

 

“Tobio,” Kageyama whispered softly into the heated shell of his ear. 

 

Hinata didn’t need context to know that this was Kageyama’s given name- and that he wanted him to use it.

 

“Sh-Shoyou.” He replied in a gasp, toes curling as Kageyama filled him once more. 

 

He could feel Kageyama’s breath against his ear, and the sounds that left him, muted as they had been, suddenly feeding into his ear and making him hot all over.

 

Kageyama had scooped him from the bed, bracing most of his weight on his thighs and his forearms, and Hinata’s back bowed at how utterly deep he managed to bury himself. 

 

He hooked his arms around him, fingers digging into pretty black locks and mewing with each forceful rock of Kageyama’s hips. 

 

He hadn’t been lying to him earlier. If there really was a way to be like this- to live forever this way with Kageyama next to him, inside him, kissing him, he’d gladly take it. 

 

“T-Tobio,” Hinata whimpered, shoving his face into his throat. His scent was strong- stronger than it had been before, but he was sure it was just because they hadn’t showered yet. Or maybe it was because Kageyama really was in rut- but it didn’t matter.

 

“Again” Kageyama breathed raggedly.

 

Hinata obliged.

 

Tobio, Tobio, Tobio...

 

He said it until he was sobbing, Kageyama slowing, fucking him gentle and deep, making him cry in frustration because he was driving him crazy. He was hitting the very end of him, pushing and grinding and fucking him so good he might actually pass out from this.

 

Shoyou...” 

 

Hinata cried out, tightening right up and falling, falling, falling into the abyss of pleasure.

 

Kageyama squeezed him tightly to his body, climaxing with him, fingers in his hair and around his back and breathing. 

 

It was after this that Kageyama deemed it safe enough to leave. It left Hinata frazzled, but he’d at least convinced Kageyama to shower with him one last time.

 

He hated to admit it, but he was actually kind of sad to see him go. He wanted to say something- tell him to stay, but the words died on his lips. 

 

They washed together in silence, Hinata’s fingers lingering much too long against warm flesh he’d gotten used to touching. Kageyama, in turn, seemed to take his time. His fingertips ran along his shoulders— and over his neck.

 

It was bare this time; he had gotten his collar wet the last time and had to take a break to let it dry— he wasn’t about to do it all over again.

 

He shuddered when his fingertips brushed over his shoulder, up his neck and scent glands along his throat, and Hinata smiled softly. They lingered over the faint outline of a bruise he'd received some odd weeks ago, and Hinata closed his eyes.

 

“You trust me too much.” Kageyama commented softly, thumb brushing over the bruise but otherwise continued his exploration.

 

Hinata tilted his head back, turning into the spray and letting his back face Kageyama.

 

“Perhaps,” Hinata murmured, “But I wouldn’t take it back.”

 

Kageyama’s dancing fingers stopped at his shoulders, squeezing fractionally, and Hinata took it as a cue to walk backward into him.

 

When their bodies met, it was a sort of relief. Kageyama was much, much taller than him and he loved it. He was strong and toned and fit; he definitely kept in shape, though he didn’t know how— but more importantly, Hinata seemed to slot against him just right. Like a puzzle piece, almost.

 

Almost.

 

Kageyama’s arms swept downward and around his waist, chin resting gently atop his head and giving out the tiniest sigh Hinata had ever heard. It was beautiful. 

 

Kageyama was beautiful.

 

And though Hinata was reluctant to finish the shower, they were both clean and Kageyama dressed himself in his last outfit. Somehow he managed to make wrinkled clothes hot where Hinata, dressed in sweats and one of his grey university t-shirts, managed to look homeless. 

 

Kageyama slipped into his leather jacket and carefully slipped his bag over his shoulder before turning. 

 

He was silent, but Hinata didn’t mind. This was the goodbye- the part that at least he had been dreading. 

 

Kageyama didn’t say a word, turning again and opening up the door. The air outside was crisp and refreshing, and inwardly he winced upon realizing how stuffy it had been in his apartment. He’d have to air it out.

 

“K-Kag— Tobio.” Hinata stuttered, trying to find something to say. He didn’t... he had to say something and ‘thank you’ wouldn’t do it justice. In short, Kageyama had done him an enormous favor, and he might, ever so slightly, feel just a tiny bit guilty. He hadn’t meant to make Kageyama stay; he’d been asked by Daichi to make sure he’d gotten home safely, he knew, but that was it.

 

Yeah, thanks was not near good enough for what Kageyama had done for him.

 

And what was more, was that his gut was swirling, telling him to yank him back in and keep him there. But he was certain it was just that omegan part of himself that yearned for him. The last tendrils of his heat clinging to him, urging to draw Kageyama back inside.

 

Kageyama froze, having barely crossed the threshold. He didn’t turn back to him, but Hinata didn’t need him to.

 

He approached him, wrapping his arms around him and buried his face into the warmth of his back. He still hadn’t put his collar back on, but he really should. His scent was still strong, and perhaps this was what Kageyama had meant when he’d said that Hinata was a little too trusting of him.

 

He was probably right.

 

Hinata didn’t have any words to say to him, but he hoped beyond all hope that maybe Kageyama would get what he was trying to say without words. That, perhaps, Hinata’s thoughts would absorb into Kageyama’s skin and travel upward and deposit themselves into his brain to rest and to remain there forever.

 

He felt Kageyama shift a little, and he tightened his grip, not ready to let go. But he lifted his head when he felt a warm hand encase one of his own at his waist, and when his eyes met Kageyama’s, he could have sworn those beautiful blues were shimmering with tears.


 

Kageyama wasn’t crying.

 

Hinata knew, staring down at the giant dickbag that had spent three whole entire days with him, that this jerk absolutely was not on the verge of tears.

 

Silly. He hadn’t thought anything significant would change- but he did, perhaps, expect more than what he was currently getting.

 

Which was total silence.

 

Kageyama had walked in, spent the night as his usual grim self, and had left when Daichi had prompted him to at close. Except, he hadn’t been there to walk him home and he’d been lucky enough to snag Daichi just in time.

 

The next night was where he currently found himself. Kageyama had wordlessly taken up his post at the far left of the bar, and Daichi had shrugged when asked if anything about Kageyama had been different.

 

The only ‘different’ thing Daichi could think of was something Sugawara had mentioned the night before. About how oddly strong he smelled of Kageyama, and how many alphas had avoided him because of it.

 

Hinata didn’t mind. The less alphas around him the better. 

 

But that still didn’t excuse Kageyama’s ass from abandoning him. A warning would have been nice. 

 

He slid Kageyama a drink out of habit, picking up his empty one and setting it in the sink. The bar wasn’t quite packed as it had been a week ago, but there were still a significant amount of people there.

 

Everyone was on the dance floor and Suga seemed to be the popular bartender for the evening (not that Hinata was trying to be at the moment. He was sure he could compete if he really wanted). Hinata, meanwhile, rested his elbows on the cold counter, watching Kageyama scribble away on his notebook. He didn’t even seem to be phased by his presence nor did his pen falter. 

 

He supposed it was a good opportunity as any to be nosy. If Kageyama didn’t like it he’d say so, or he’d continue to ignore him per usual.

 

His head tilted, trying to read the scratchy words from upside down, and it was difficult... but there were a few words here and there that stood out.

 

“Hinata! Could you help cover me a little bit?” Suga called, the slightest smile on his face as he was swarmed. The conclusion of the song was swelling, and people were already starting to make their way back over. “I know Kageyama is interesting but it’s just you and me tonight.”

 

Hinata blushed, pulling away from the counter top and answering back enthusiastically. 

 

He couldn’t quite make out most of the words, but it looked to him like... like a story. 

 

He missed the curious glance Kageyama threw his way, having heard Suga’s voice in the lull between sentences, and even if Hinata had seen it, he wouldn’t have believed it.

 

Not that he had a chance to pay him much mind anyway for the rest of the night.

 

Despite the heavy scent of Kageyama still lingering on him (Suga said, again, that it was heavy but Hinata paid him no mind), he still got plenty of off handed comments. Perhaps it was the collar or maybe it was the strong scent of alcohol in the air, but the alphas and betas (and one or two omegas), didn’t seem to think much of his scent. 

 

For the most part, Hinata didn’t have to chase many people always from Kageyama, as most of the focus was on him. Admittedly, he didn’t mind as it helped pass the time. 

 

He loved the bar. He loved the people- and he certainly loved working with Daichi and Suga. Most of the time they were three of the five on rotation for the evening shifts, and Hinata wouldn’t have it any other way. Suga and his grandeur performances, pouring pyramid drinks and crazy line shots while he, a relative new hire, stuck to the regular drinks.

 

It wasn’t often Sugawara got wild with the shots, and it was even more rare that Daichi would appear and show off his skills, but Hinata always had fun even if he was flirted with or talked at. 

 

And each night always wound down nearly the same at an easy pace from full swing to tepid lull. Kageyama was no different from usual, but at the end of the night Daichi, arm hooked around Suga’s waist, asked him about his plan for the walk home.

 

“If you don’t mind, I’d be super grateful if you two could walk me home tonight.” He smiled. “I think Kageyama probably relieved himself of that duty. I was thinking about it actually- I think he only did that because he sensed my heat.”

 

Suga and Daichi exchanged a quiet look.

 

“He... sensed your heat?”

 

“Yeah... is that not something alphas take note of?” Hinata asked inquisitively.

 

“Uh... I mean, not normally?” Daichi said, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. “I didn’t pay that much attention to my health class back in college...”

 

“Of course you didn’t- but you still managed to get an A in that class which, by the way, I still resent you for.” Suga muttered under his breath. “Hinata- it’s not unusual for an alpha to notice such a thing. Unless, like, they’re really attentive or your heat is much, much more obvious, I don’t think alphas... I don’t believe they’d care all that much.”

 

Daichi shrugged, “I mean, I myself never paid attention to it. Sometimes I’d notice walking by an omega already going into heat or nearly in it already when I was on campus, but- I mean, until I met Suga it wasn’t something I focused on.”

 

“Lots of people are different though!” Suga said, “Kageyama might just be very attentive.”

 

Hinata’s lips twisted in a small frown before nodding slowly. Yeah... attentive. He guessed that made sense.

 

Suga pulled away from Daichi to loop his arm through Hinata’s, ushering them all out the door so that Daichi could do his final lock up. 

 

“So! You never did get around to telling me why you smell so much like him. I have some guesses, but- is that his shirt? Is that why?”

 

Hinata glanced down, taking note of his tavern shirt and raised a brow at Suga. 

 

“Kageyama doesn’t... he wouldn’t own a Crow’s Tavern shirt.” Hinata said slowly. Or did he? He thought they were only given to employees...

 

He watched Daichi smack Suga on the back of his head, but he couldn’t figure out why.

 

“Well, let’s go. It’s late and, Hinata, you said you had a test tomorrow didn’t you?” Daichi asked.

 

Hinata blinked, but then nodded vigorously. “And I have to study! Ah!” He groaned, tugging at his hair. He had almost forgotten. He’d planned on studying for it when he thought he was sick. It was why he hadn’t had to worry about calling out of class- he’d told them already that he wasn’t feeling well and had requested the materials just in case he really was ill.

 

Unfortunately, that led to him falling into heat... and the next three days of... of Kageyama being... well, with him.

 

“Oh, ho, ho! Who do we have here?” Suga barked a laugh, pulling them all to a stop as soon as they reached the main sidewalk.

 

Hinata looked up in alarm, only to meet Kageyama’s startled ones. He’d been leaning against the brick wall next to the alley, hands tucked into his pants while he waited and looking as gorgeous as ever with his usual frown, and Hinata felt a little ashamed that his heart swelled with a happiness he wasn’t ready for.

 

“I thought you said he was done walking you home?” Daichi asked curiously.

 

“Apparently not.” Suga said, hiding a not-so-innocent giggle behind his hand.

 

They continued forward, passing Kageyama, and Hinata almost spoke up about how it was rude of them to ignore him. That, perhaps, he needed something or if he really had planned on walking him home, the pair could be on their merry way in the opposite direction.

 

But Kageyama didn’t miss a beat. He pushed away from the wall, straightening his jacket and his bag before tucking his hands back into his pants and walking.

 

He followed at a distance behind, and Suga (bless Suga) got this shit-eating grin on his face that told Hinata that he was planning something he really shouldn’t be.

 

“So,” he started, “about the shirt?” 

 

Hinata blinked, eyes rolling down to look at himself while they walked. “Uh, no... it’s... I mean, this shirt fits me so... obviously it’s mine?”

 

“Fine- I’ll give you that one. He is much bigger than you.” Suga said, reaching over to lace his fingers with Daichi’s. “But if not the shirt, then it’s got to be something. Cologne, maybe? Does he wear cologne?”

 

Hinata ducked his head shyly, a light blush gracing his face. “Um...” of course. Obviously Kageyama wore cologne, but he knew that wasn’t quite what Suga was hinting at and he wanted to die. Were they really going to try to pick apart the events? He thought it was already pretty obvious... but they were really, actually going to make him say it.

 

He watched Suga’s eyes glance back at Kageyama before meeting Hinata’s again. “Tell me how it happened!” He insisted with a wide grin.

 

Hinata sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck, and he knew for sure now that Suga was doing it on purpose. He didn’t know if the goal was to embarrass him or to provoke some sort of reaction within him, but perhaps the best way to go about this was to get it over with and be up front about it.

 

“Well, um, you see- Kageyama walked me home, and—“

 

He heard Kageyama’s feet pick up their pace, and before he could finish his sentence he felt warm fingers wrapping around his mouth and tug his head near violently backward.

 

“—and nothing else noteworthy happened.” Kageyama said.

 

Suga’s feet stumbled as they walked and they slowed to a stop as Daichi yanked him upward to keep him from falling.

 

“He speaks!” Suga cried in alarm.

 

Daichi also looked wildly surprised, blinking and staring right at Kageyama like he was a wild beast that jumped in front of him out of nowhere.

 

“I’m not mute, if that’s what you’re suggesting.” Kageyama muttered.

 

“Ah! But so quiet! You barely even look up from the counter! So silly of me- I should have known you could talk. Perhaps deaf would be the better—“

 

“I’m not deaf, nor am I mute- but you will be if—“

 

“Is this what you said was called a pissing match, Daichi? Is that what's going on now?” Hinata asked Daichi innocently, and Sugawara spluttered out a laugh because he just couldn’t help it... and it was a wildly random thing to blurt out.

 

Daichi had clapped his hands over his mouth to stifle his own laughter, but Hinata was serious. He was so serious. Daichi had mentioned it to him once before and he wanted to know if this was what it was.

 

He glanced over at Kageyama, but more than anything he looked annoyed. His arms crossed and he shook his head despondently. 

 

The rest of the walk was like this, too. Kageyama tried to remain silent as he had before, but Suga absolutely would not have it and provoked him every chance he got.

 

It wasn’t until they reached the gate that they all stopped— except for Kageyama, who continued on and pushed past the gate as if unaware that they’d stopped.

 

And maybe he hadn’t been, or maybe he just didn’t care, but he kept going with his hands tucked into his pants.

 

“He...” Suga started softly, then pointed after him. “Does he know where he’s going? Or does he assume we’re still behind him?”

 

Hinata sighed and shrugged. “He usually walks me straight to my door. The first night he walked me home I tried to get him to stop here at the gate but he didn’t go away and he just kept following me.”

 

“Wait- so you just... you let him follow you straight to your front door?” Daichi interrupted, mouth agape.

 

“...yeah? I didn’t see any harm in it. And, besides, he was being super careful after the... the um... encounter...” he trailed off silently.

 

Did... did he ever actually tell Suga and Daichi about the alpha Kageyama had saved him from?

 

By the looks on their faces, concerned as they were, he was guessing not.

 

“Um... Kageyama saved me.” He murmured. “It- it was honestly nothing, and, you know, I’m super grateful that he was there and all—“

 

“Hinata, out with it.” Suga urged, taking Daichi’s arm and squeezing.

 

He licked his lips nervously, and suddenly he felt all too small in front of them. They weren’t that much older than him, but it definitely felt like admitting to his parents that he’d lied.

 

“That party you said you had to get to, Suga- the one at Asahi’s?”

 

“Two weeks ago?”

 

“Yeah. It wasn’t long after you two left that, um, you remember that one annoying guy? The blond alpha you had to kick out because he was...”

 

“Being rude and provocative? Yes. Continue.”

 

Hinata wrung his hands nervously. “Well, he- he came out of nowhere. I didn’t see him or anything, he just- he was suddenly there and he... said he was waiting for you guys to leave.”

 

“Oh god- Hinata, he didn’t... you’re not hurt...?”

 

“N-no! No, I... he tried...” his voice died down to a quiet whisper, and he hugged himself and looked down at his shoes. He quietly scuffed them against the concrete. “He almost did,” He whispered, “He ordered me around. Got m-my collar off...” he stuttered.

 

He didn’t want to admit that it had been a trauma, but telling Suga and Daichi this now revealed how much it really actually had been.

 

“If...  if Kageyama hadn’t been there... if he hadn’t knocked him out...”

 

Suga’s brows furrowed and Daichi held him fractionally tighter.

 

“But I was there, and you’re okay.” Kageyama spoke softly, making all three spin around in surprise. 

 

He pushed the gate back open and approached from behind, warm hand sliding across Hinata’s lower back and relieving some of the tension he hadn’t known had built up. 

 

“Kageyama...” He breathed softly, tilting his head back to look at him upside down. The sight of him was reassuring and the weight of his palm against his back was honestly doing more good than he thought it would.

 

“Thank you...” Suga breathed, turning to hug Daichi sideways. “For watching him for us.”

 

Kageyama only blinked, and Hinata decided to study his feet. Because it wasn’t Kageyama’s responsibility to keep watch over him nor was it his job to be a body guard the entire walk home. But he was still grateful. Grateful that he’d been there to stop that scary experience and further, dedicating his free time to making sure he always made it home safe.

 

He wished he could properly express his gratitude, but he just wasn’t good with words. 

 

“Alright, well, I assume you’ll handle it from here?” Suga grinned, “I suppose I can forgive the explicit activities for tonight- but don’t get too wild okay? Don’t make me come back with my belt and m—“

 

“OH-kay, time to go.” Daichi laughed, cutting off Suga’s threat and dragging him away. “See you tomorrow!”

 

Hinata’s face grew hot, and the tiny glance up at Kageyama told him that the same result was splayed across his face, too.

 

He opened his mouth to speak- to apologize for Suga- but Kageyama’s hand dropped to encircle his wrist. He tugged lightly, just barely enough to signal that they needed to keep going, and Hinata gulped and followed. 

 

They were both silent as they walked past buildings, past the familiar rows of mailboxes and up the stairs to his front door. 

 

Hinata didn’t bother unlocking the door this time, only stared with his hands neatly clasped in front of him. Kageyama didnt move to go back down the stairs, but he did stare at him inquisitively.

 

“So...” Hinata started awkwardly. “Is... I mean, you don’t have to keep walking me home if... Suga or Daichi usually...” he trailed off, wringing his fingers uncertainly.

 

Kageyama didn’t reply, but he didn’t leave either.

 

Hinata groaned quietly to himself, wondering what the best way to go about this was. He wanted Kageyama to continue to walk him home, but he didn’t want to make it inconvenient for him either. He wanted more- so much more than just this, too, but...  he didn’t know. 

 

Kageyama had stayed with him for those three days because he was, actually, quite certain that he’d guilted him into it. He had been in heat, after all, and it would have taken a superhuman amount of effort for an alpha to walk away from an omega in need. 

 

He licked his lips before settling on a choice. It was now or never, and if... if Kageyama said no, if he didn’t want it, he’d force himself to accept it and move on. 

 

No matter what outcome he hoped for.

 

Courage built, Hinata stepped closer. He watched Kageyama’s brow raise in question, but he ignored it. He grabbed the front of his shirt (he tried not to be aggressive about it, but there was only so much he could do with their height difference), and pulled. He pushed up onto the tips of his toes, and with just a smidgen more effort, his lips met his.

 

It was no surprise that they didn’t move against his as familiarly as they had before, so he let him go and rocked back onto his heels.

 

He couldn’t bring himself to say the words. They were too much- too awkward, and he was afraid of messing it up and saying something else besides what he actually wanted to say. So, he’d settled with this. He hoped that the message got across- the ‘I want you’ in the statement, the ‘can we date please god because this is killing me and I want this too much to admit it out loud’ statement.

 

But the longer Kageyama stared down at him in shock, the heavier his chest felt. Was this the message back? His ‘sorry I’m not interested’ reply? His face looked a little confused, so he shouldn’t be so hopeful- but he supposed a few more seconds wait was okay. Although, his heart seemed to have already resigned to the obvious answer.

 

He stepped back again, a smile on his face. He didn’t want to make it awkward, so perhaps he could help with this.

 

He waved his hands in defense, smiling his best, his widest and hoping that it would work and help like it did on other patrons. “Well! Goodnight! I suppose I’ll see you tomorrow? Just let me know if you don’t want to walk with me, okay? That way I can grab Suga or Daichi or whoever is available.”

 

Careful. Don’t rush. Try to stay calm, he chanted. This was normal- just act like it didn’t happen. Yeah, he could do that. It was simple. Kageyama would leave on his own, he just... he just needed a push, it looked like.

 

He pulled out his keys and turned, unlocking his door and reminding himself, again, not to rush.

 

He really, really wanted to.

 

He opened it and stepped through, toeing off his shoes as he usually did and turning around.

 

Kageyama’s face was blank, no longer confused, and he tried not to think about it. He was being rejected- it was cool. It was fine- this was okay. He’d been rejected before and he got over it just fine. Even if it didn’t quite feel this heavy, he chanted in his mind that it was alright. 

 

He just had to remember that, from now on, the rule was look and not touch.

 

He swallowed thickly and offered a tiny wave- and honestly, he didn’t mean to shut the door in his face, but some nights he just wasn’t given a choice.

 

And tonight appeared to be one of those nights.

 

He carefully, very slowly shut the door. When he heard it click in place, when he twisted the bolt to lock himself inside and he heard Kageyama turn and walk back down the stairs he felt something... break. Inside him.

 

His head thumped against the door, and he tried to focus just on breathing. He couldn’t lie to himself like other people could, as much as he wanted to. He couldn’t tell himself that maybe, just maybe, Kageyama hadn’t understood why he’d kissed him or left so fast. He couldn’t make up a fake reason as to why it was starting to hurt so much- because he already knew exactly why.

 

That was the downfall of his honesty, he thought bitterly, because it meant he was much too honest with himself, too.

 

Kageyama had taken on the responsibility of walking him home out of obligation, and he knew it was because of that incident. Like most people, he was sure Kageyama didn’t want to hold himself accountable for anything that might happen if he wasn’t there. Furthermore, Hinata had been ignorant and stupid about his own heat. He hadn’t heeded Kageyama’s warning, and as a result, he’d placed himself in danger. Daichi had asked him to take him home because he’d noticed that he had before and was trusting him to do so before he fully went into heat. But he had- and once he’d safely delivered him home, he’d guilted Kageyama into staying with him.

 

No matter how good it was, no matter how happy he felt, he knew in his heart that it was just fantasy. Kageyama had stayed because he’d asked him to, and had gone into a rut because of it. No matter how he prettied up the situation or glossed over the obvious and stern ‘no’s leading up to his final plea to stay, manipulation was still manipulation— and he owed Kageyama an enormous apology for it.

 

He pulled away from the door as he felt each minute tick by, his heavy thoughts weighing him down. He wanted to beat himself up over it, but it would be useless to. He had ruined a potentially good thing, and now he had to deal with it. He wasn’t always smart or bright about these kinds of things, but he definitely should have known better than this.

 

Turning from the door, he padded into the living room, wanting to strip, to lay himself on the couch and just... immerse himself in study until he fell asleep— but he stopped.

 

A knock sounded on his door, and his fingers, curled at the base of his shirt and ready to pull it off, fell to his sides.

 

Was... was Kageyama still there? On the other side of the door? He was sure he'd heard him leave before...

 

Or maybe it was someone else?

 

He glanced at the clock, noting that it was almost two in the morning, fifteen minutes shy of it— but he couldn’t imagine anyone but Kageyama being here at this hour.

 

He padded back to the door and, ever so slowly, unbolted the door. He didn’t have a peep hole to look through, and he cursed himself for not having a blunt object nearby just in case.

 

But he opened the door anyway. Slow, at first, because he wasn’t entirely sure who it could be, then swinging it wide open because, indeed, it really was Kageyama.

 

He blinked, confused, because he was sure he’d heard Kageyama leave— and obviously he did, because he was breathless upon opening the door. His hair was a little messier than usual, his cheeks a tad flushed from— did he run? Did this guy seriously run back up the stairs? Whatever for? he wondered.

 

Or barely had time to wonder anyway, because in the next moment Kageyama’s fingers were in his hair and on his hip, yanking him and pulling him forward and up- smashing their lips together hard. 

 

He squeaked in surprise, his body trembling, but all too ready to accept this new reality. Kageyama? Here? Kissing him?

 

No.

 

Kissing him back.

 

He was making a decision here. Kageyama- god, Kageyama was accepting his request.

 

Hinata let out the tiniest whimper, pushing up onto the tips of his toes so fast he felt like a rocket taking off. His arms wound around his neck, his mouth opening right up and accepting Kageyama as he laved his tongue across his bottom lip and sucked.

 

A moan wafted past his lips and his heart began to soar. No longer was it bumming in the depths of despair, but leaping- flying- taking off right into the sky and reaching for the heavens.

 

He couldn’t help it. It was just how Kageyama made him feel.

 

And when Kageyama suckled off, kissed the corners of his mouth and raked his fingers through his hair, a happy little sigh left him.

 

“I... I can’t stay.” Kageyama breathed, still appearing to be catching his breath. “I have... I have a deadline tomorrow, but... afterward...” 

 

Hinata nodded vigorously. “I’m done with all of my classes at eleven. Any time after that, if you’d like to come- to... to be here...”

 

Kageyama ran his fingers down his cheek and under his chin. Hinata’s smile was wide— and this time genuine. He thought he saw relief flicker in Kageyama’s eyes, but he didn’t understand why. 

 

“Tomorrow...” he breathed.

 

“Tomorrow.” Hinata replied, and he watched, this time, as Kageyama turned and descend the steps.

 

Once he was gone again, Hinata closed and latched the door behind him, falling into the composite frame and shrieking internally because. Because he didn’t know what was happening anymore.

 

One minute he was despairing over Kageyama, and then the next everything was better than okay. It was perfect.


 

By tomorrow, Kageyama meant at five, right on schedule, right when he walked into work.

 

It wasn’t unusual at first, because he had assumed Kageyama was sitting in his seat and working on his... story? He was gonna assume it was a story. 

 

He slipped his coat off and hung it up on the rack, slid his bag into the locker, locked it, and turned around to see Kageyama.

 

His hand was wrapped around his bag, jacket on and bag packed and waiting at a distance. He was not an employee and he didn’t pretend to be one, so he waited for Hinata to reemerge from the section.

 

He gaped, staring at Kageyama, who only blinked at him as if to say ‘what are you waiting for?’ Or maybe it was ‘why are you staring?’ He couldn’t tell.

 

Hinata hurried forward, meeting Kageyama with a flushed face and wondering if people were staring. If it had been him, he probably would have stared- no, he definitely would have- if the quiet and brooding hot guy who never strayed from routine suddenly was... straying from routine.

 

“What are you doing?!” Hinata exclaimed, gesturing wildly at him.

 

Kageyama only blinked, turning to the bar and then back at him. He didn’t say anything, but Hinata didn’t need him to.

 

He smacked his own face and let his hands slide down with a groan. 

 

“I’m working- I... we’re just... I have to...” he gestured at the bar, at him, at the air, and another sigh of exasperation left him.

 

Kageyama didn’t speak.

 

Hinata walked past him, but his wrist was caught. Oh, god, typical- but at work? He wanted to die. If nobody had been staring before they would be now, especially since he was jerked backward.

 

They were still in that little hallway. That little bit of a section that couldn’t possibly be called a hall but was definitely the area where employees would go, where the entrance to the bar was, and where the coat racks were; not quite near the bar but not far from it either.

 

His body slammed into Kageyama with an ‘oof’ and warm arms wrapped around him. 

 

He wasn’t cold, but he was convinced that Kageyama thought he was, because he opened his coat up and accepted his body close, pressing his face against his t-shirt despite the jacket being just big enough to fit Kageyama and only a little bit of his sides.

 

Kageyama twisted him, pulled him close and urged Hinata’s arms to wrap around him under his jacket, and he didn’t get it. He wasn’t cold, he didn’t ask for this, he was at work, but it was certainly a comfort. It felt... safe. Heat was enveloping him- Kageyama's heat, and that made him feel just the tiniest bit special.

 

His face buried into Kageyama’s chest and an easy sigh left him, his arms warm, his nose filled with Kageyama’s sweet scent. He felt this strange rumbling sensation in his chest, and it took a moment to realize that he was purring. He really, really liked this.

 

And maybe Kageyama had been the one to need this. He wasn’t going to question it, especially not when Kageyama sighed out the quietest, tiniest sound of a breath.

 

Hinata could have stayed there forever, but he knew better. As much as he wanted to forget the outside world and live like this, he couldn’t ignore his responsibilities. If Kageyama needed him, if he had wanted this even, he had hoped that it had been enough for him.

 

He pulled away reluctantly, but not before chasing Kageyama’s lips before he could stand up tall. It was a brief thing, the barest kiss, but it made his lips tingle for the remainder of his shift. 

 

Once again, Suga commented on how strongly he smelled of Kageyama, asking again, maybe, if he was wearing his shirt this time. Obviously not, but Hinata blushed all the same and ignored the question. Obviously he’d smell like Kageyama- he’d basically just... he’d hugged him, so of course he would. He was sure Suga had seen it because when he'd walked behind the bar he was smirking at him.

 

Suga continued to relentlessly tease him day in and day out, always commenting how strongly and often he smelled of Kageyama, even though they hadn’t hugged like that since. He’d thought it odd at first, wondered if it’d start to become a regular thing but it didn’t. Hinata didn’t question it, thinking simply that perhaps Kageyama had just needed it. 

 

But he always walked him home afterward. And they always kissed goodbye like they did that one time before. Hinata was determined to get Kageyama to stay at least once, this time without his heat looming in the distance. Kageyama hadn’t said yes any of those times, but Hinata took note that they weren’t entirely ‘no’s either. 

 

Hinata often times didn’t put in much effort into making Kageyama stay a little longer than usual. In part it was because Kageyama had expressed that his deadlines were usually that morning of or something important was waiting for him upon his return. He understood- Kageyama must work early; he’d assumed so, as he was at the bar from (at least) five pm to close. He had first thought that Kageyama was crazy for picking the bar of all places to unwind and spend his evening, but knowing Kageyama as he did now it was starting to make a little more sense. If he truly had wanted to be left alone and had no place at home to, going somewhere he could drown everything out and focus and not worry about someone familiar approaching him... made sense. 

 

As weeks passed, Hinata had fallen into a routine with Kageyama. It wasn’t anything to be giddy over, nothing too out of the ordinary, but it still made his heart flutter.

 

At the end of the night Daichi would close, they’d walk out together— and they’d do a pass off. Kageyama, poised near the sidewalk and propped against the brick wall, would untuck his hands from his pants and approach. Daichi and Kageyama would eye each other, like, speak some unknown and foreign language with eyes that Hinata didn’t understand, and Daichi would turn and leave. 

 

 No words would be shared during the walk home, and for the longest time neither would they touch. But Hinata had taken his chance a couple of days ago, had reached out between them and grasped ever so lightly at Kageyama’s fingers.

 

It had been an internal war, at least that’s what Hinata had thought he was seeing, as every kind of emotion flashed across Kageyama’s face before it finally settled and the hold was accepted. It had been tiny at first, fingers cupping fingers, palms brushing and the tips of their fingers latching but not quite catching the whole way home.

 

But Hinata had settled with his courage and had decided to take his hand fully this time. 

 

Kageyama had bid goodnight to Daichi as he walked away, and the two of them continued on towards Hinata’s apartment. Hinata reached out, cupped Kageyama’s hand in his and laced their fingers. It felt right to do it, more so than all the times before, and he walked a fraction closer to Kageyama. 

 

Kageyama held him back just as firmly, only looking onward and not paying Hinata any mind, but that only gave Hinata an excuse to look at him. He saw his face, and he smiled a little to himself that the weather wasn’t what was making his cheeks turn a little pink.

 

The end of their trip was always the same, though, and Hinata wouldn’t change it for the world. Except, perhaps, to welcome him inside for the night- that might be it. 

 

When they mounted the stairs, when he unlocked the door and stepped inside to toe off his shoes, he’d turn and he’d stare at Kageyama. He’d wait patiently, a smile on his face, knowing that Kageyama wouldn’t leave without a proper goodbye. 

 

He let Kageyama take the lead in it, and he loved how gentle he always was, too.

 

Kageyama would step just the tiniest fraction forward, just barely intruding in the entry way, and he’d tug on his hand. He’d pull him forward, encourage him closer, and then both of his strong hands would wrap around his thin hips and he’d pull him up.

 

Hinata would stretch, would push himself onto the tips of his toes just to kiss him a second faster, and Kageyama would smile. He’d breathe a happy sigh into the kiss and he’d hold him firmly against his body. His bag would slip forward but he wouldn’t mind, he’d nip at him the gentlest way, cinch his hips and make him gasp, and then he’d kiss him deeply.

 

The tips of their tongues would touch, meet, and Kageyama would kiss him so sweetly, make him crave more, make his fingers dig even harder into the front of his leather jacket and leave him breathless and gasping for air and wanting more by the time he finally pulled away.

 

But he’d always finish out with a kiss to his forehead, or his cheek, or the tip of his nose, leave the barest touch tingling against his skin to be remembered through the night and into the next day until they could touch again.

 

Tonight, though- tonight he wanted him to stay. Tonight he craved it so badly, his chest aching to have him next to him— even if they didn’t touch. Even if all they did was stare at each other from across the room for the remainder of the night, he’d take it.

 

But Kageyama didn’t say yes. He didn’t say no, either, but it definitely appeared to be the usual silence met with the request.

 

Kageyama lifted his hand, brushing his forehead with the back of his knuckles, and Hinata leaned in out of habit. 

 

Kageyama’s other hand raised to cup his face, and Hinata wondered if he was going to get more touches today, too. He could be okay with that.

 

His eyes fluttered closed and a soft hum vibrated his throat, and when he opened them, when Kageyama took his hands away, Kageyama was smiling. It was only a tiny one, the barest of bare smiles, but it was there.

 

“Sleep.” He said softly, voice still as raspy as ever. 

 

Hinata’s head tilted to the side a little, wondering if this was his answer to staying over. It might be.

 

He reached out and grabbed his hand, playing with his fingers and smiling just a little because Kageyama was letting him do it.

 

“We- we don’t have to do anything.” He murmured, “I just... I think... it’s been forever since you’ve been inside.”

 

Kageyama blinked, and he could have sworn he saw his eyes soften. 

 

Kageyama’s free hand raised to cup his forehead again, and Hinata pouted a little bit- but not before a small ‘fever’ whistled past Kageyama’s lips.

 

Hinata blinked, letting go of Kageyama’s hand and watching it fall to still at his sides, and he raised his own hand to his forehead. Fever? He was warm... but he didn’t feel overly so.

 

Was this the same thing as before? Unlike his heat, it seemed impending. 

 

“Oh... oh, I understand now. You want me to rest.”

 

Kageyama nodded a little, and Hinata didn’t know why- just the sight of him, blue eyes soft and round and careful, nodding that yes, yes he wanted him to rest and get better and be careful— it was so endearing.

 

Hinata smiled brightly, then stepped back out of the apartment. He slid his hands underneath Kageyama’s jacket, pressing into him, hugging him, wanting that same sense of safety it had provided him at the bar. His skin tingled when he felt his warmth and Kageyama's arms around him, and that familiar vibration from deep within his chest began to rev. 

 

Kageyama leant into him, placed his chin right on top of his head, and that was yet another endearing thing Hinata was steadily getting attached to. Kageyama was just so much bigger than him, always so quiet but welcoming and warm, and he found himself arching up a bit because he loved it.

 

This might just be his new favorite embrace.

 

Kageyama was the one to pull away this time, and as always, Hinata was reluctant.

 

They shared a kiss, slow and tender but brief this time, and Hinata understood. Kageyama had lingered for a little longer than he should have and it was time to go home.

 

But on a whim, Hinata felt the need to say something. To speak his mind. He wanted to tell Kageyama how he felt and what he wanted. More than anything, even if Kageyama didn’t want to touch him so intimately, he wanted to know for sure that this was the direction they were heading together. The right direction. 

 

Hinata’s heart pounded in his chest and he licked his lips, watching Kageyama take one, two, three steps backward before turning and clasping the rail.

 

“Tobio.” Hinata spoke.

 

Of course it made him freeze on the stair. He hadn’t spoken his name since... since that night.

 

Kageyama looked at him with wild and concerned eyes, but he hoped his next words would make him smile. Would make all of his fear and concern wash right away.

 

I love you, Tobio.

 

Kageyama didn’t say anything to it, but Hinata watched in horror as every emotion Kageyama possessed flashed across his face. The corners of his eyes wrinkled and his lips twitched in a way that Hinata couldn’t determine was a smile or a frown, and for a horrifying moment he wasn’t sure what Kageyama would do.

 

In fact, that horrifying moment played in a continuous loop, stretching out the seconds into minutes, into hours like a broken record skipping and repeating the same line over and over again.

 

It kept skipping in his head long after Kageyama’s wild panic returned to his face and he’d long since fled down the stairs. Hours of it looped, his body robotic as he wordlessly turned, shut the door, and proceeded inside.


 

He was sick the next day.

 

He’d woken in a panic, wondering and scared out of his mind about what he’d said the night previous. It was just a dream- a fear. 

 

It wasn’t a dream.

 

He clapped a hand over his mouth, tearing the sheets off his body, racing to his bathroom and retching into his toilet violently. He’d barely made it to the bowl, and he didn’t remember eating any of what he saw swirling around in it. Much to his dismay, he’d filled two toilet bowls full, feeling the insides of his stomach reject and tear at his insides like sharp fingernails against a chalk board. 

 

His forehead thumped against the seat, his body trembling and shaky, not wanting to think of anything, but his brain didn’t give him a choice.

 

Kageyama had frozen at the statement- at the confession Hinata had nurtured for the past two weeks. It had taken everything in him to say the words and to say them properly so that Kageyama would know how he felt. 

 

But it appeared Kageyama did not share the same sentiment.

 

Hinata pushed away from the bowl, standing on shaky legs and hunched because he felt like he was going to puke again. There was nothing left to vomit by this point, but he spit anyway in hopes of getting rid of the queasy feeling in his gut.

 

He pressed both hands to his bloated stomach and groaned. “God, why are you doing this. Today of all days.”

 

Today he had a test. Which he did not study for. Today Daichi had planned on training him elsewhere in the bar, so he would not see Kageyama if he decided to show up. 

 

He lifted one hand to the back of his head, but felt no fever. The reverse, actually, as he was chilled to the touch instead.

 

He frowned, letting both hands drop to his sides. He didn’t... he didn’t feel like he had a fever. Miserable? Absolutely. One-hundred percent. But was today doable? 

 

He turned and braced the countertop, glaring at himself in the mirror. 

 

His hair was wild and tangled, the corner of his mouth was damp with spit, and his eyes looked hooded as if he hadn’t slept all night. He could believe that. 

 

He was pale- probably too pale. Paler than normal? He’d just thrown up. Probably. His eyes looked— well, normal, he supposed. Normal was good. They looked a little dead, but... that was to be expected he supposed.

 

But he looked fine. He felt like he could be fine. He just needed to eat something, drink a little water and get himself together for the day and everything would be fine.

 

Kageyama hadn’t answered his question, and he was determined to get him to say it out loud. The kisses had been wanted, he was sure. The hugs, the way he held his hand just a fraction tighter after he’d moved to grab them- that couldn’t possibly be signs of someone indifferent.

 

Shakily, he brushed his teeth, returned to his bedroom to dress himself, and by the time he was headed out the door he was feeling much better. In fact, he even splurged a little and got himself a breakfast wrap from one of the coffee shops near his school. 

 

Unfortunately, splurging on it went to waste, as he’d end up bent over the toilet in the public bathroom.

 

But it was okay. He’d kept his breakfast down earlier- it was probably that he ate too much. Or maybe it was because it was spicy. He didn’t handle spice well usually; but he didn’t remember it ever tasting spicy before now.

 

By the time he’d finished classes, he had returned home a nervous wreck. He had only thrown up twice- but he was fine. Totally fine. Kageyama had said he’d come by the apartment after his classes- or, well, that’s what he’d assumed after their conversation. After what happened, he wasn’t quite sure if he would actually come, and as each minute ticked by, he was saddened with the reality that he really wasn’t going to come.

 

But that was okay, he told himself. He was going to be at the bar. He was going to be bold- he was going to be the one to interrupt him this time. He needed an answer, and he wasn’t afraid to put him on the spot— although, perhaps waiting until closer to closing time was best. If the answer was no, Hinata didn’t think he could stomach the rejection. 

 

Mentally or physically.

 

So when he showed up to work, hanging his coat and packing his bag into his locker, he steeled himself. 

 

Passing Suga behind the bar, he tucked towels into his back pocket. He tried not to look at Kageyama or pay him any mind, but it was so hard. He was there, as always, scribbling away in his little book, and Hinata busied himself with stocking product and doing what little dishes they had.

 

“Still not his t-shirt?” Suga prodded, smiling wide and knowingly, twinkle in his eye as he served up drinks next to him.

 

He shot Kageyama a look, but he was as stoic as ever, pen never skipping a beat. He didn’t seem to mind that he was at work— then again, he didn’t exactly tell him to stay home either.

 

“That’s not funny anymore, Suga.” Hinata whispered softly. “We did it once. Weeks ago. On accident. We haven’t done it since.”

 

Suga’s smile fell, a frown replacing it. He didn’t speak for several moments, but when Hinata moved to the other end of the bar for a martini glass, he felt Suga’s hand on his shoulder.

 

“Okay, okay. I’ll stop- but, you’re serious? You’re not wearing anything of his? Not cologne or anything? You’ve aired out your apartment—?”

 

Yes.” Hinata insisted. “Why do you keep asking?”

 

Suga’s nose wiggled in response. “I thought you were doing it on purpose. Ever since Daichi asked him to take you home because of your heat, you’ve smelled so strongly of him that it’s a little hard to be around you. Daichi and I are mated so, honestly it doesn't bother us all that much, but that’s why I’ve been getting so many people from your side. They can’t stand the smell. It’s all over you.”

 

Hinata’s brows furrowed and, ever so inconspicuously sniffed the corner of his shirt. He didn’t smell anything other than himself.

 

“I can’t tell...” Hinata whispered, “What... What should I do? I don’t want to be a problem...”

 

“You wont be. I have some refresher spray in my locker you can use. It’ll mask the scent, but I don’t know how long it’ll last. It varies.”

 

Hinata considered this for a moment before nodding. “I’ll try it- think you can manage for a moment?”

 

Suga flashed him a warm smile. “Don’t I always?” 

 

Hinata fought the urge to roll his eyes and pushed past him. Lifting the gate, he’d almost made it to the end of the bar before he heard Suga call out to him again.

 

“Don’t use too much! If you put a lot on it’ll attract the alphas instead of neutralizing the scent.”

 

Noted. He didn’t want the attention anyway, especially not after his last traumatic encounter.

 

He slowly opened Suga’s locker, rummaging through as little as possible until he found it. Or what he had assumed was it- there was no label on it and it seemed to be the only spray he could find.

 

He brought the cap to his nose and sniffed. It wasn’t that bad, really. It smelled sort of... dusty? If dust was a smell. This would really attract alphas if he put too much on? He didn’t believe it.

 

But Suga had gone out of his way to warn him, so he wasn’t going to take any chances. 

 

He sprayed a little on his chest, but it felt light, like it hadn’t sprayed any at all. Maybe it was jammed? 

 

He shrugged, spraying again. This time it hitched under the pressure and the quietest, barely-there mist puffed against his chest.

 

Ugh. Suga didn’t tell him it was broken!

 

He glanced around, wondering how badly he’d fuck this up. If he had to leave to fix this problem he would, but hopefully it wouldn’t come to that.

 

He twisted the nozzle off and looked down at the liquid. The bottle was too small to fit any of his fingers in, but maybe if he grabbed a paper towel? He could do it that way.

 

So that was what he did.

 

And God did he want to die when he came out.

 

The music was loud and thrummed through the tavern walls; the air inside was never humid but it did get a little warm depending on how many bodies were present and moving. The bar area was never packed unless something wild was going on, and the entrance to the tavern was always barren as people sought deeper within for more excitement.

 

As he reemerged from the employee only section, nothing much was different— except that everyone within his immediate vicinity was staring right at him.

 

His cheeks tinged pink and he knew- he knew with certainty that he’d overdone it. He retreated backward into the employee only section slowly, watching Suga motion wildly to Daichi from across the room and rip off his apron.

 

“S-Suga, the nozzle was broken so I tried to put it on a—“

 

“Shh,” Suga murmured, hurrying over. He pressed hard against his shoulder, pushing him back, back further into the employee’s section. No longer could he see the bar from around the corner, but he did see curious eyes peering around.

 

Some were predatory, he thought with a gulp, and it made him shudder in discomfort.

 

Speaking of discomfort, Hinata’s stomach was beginning to shudder. Oh god- was he going to puke? Right now?

 

“Hinata are you okay?” Suga breathed, wrapping an arm around him soothingly. “You look pale... is it them?” He asked, gesturing vaguely over his shoulder.

 

Hinata held his breath and shook his head.

 

“The spray maybe? Come on, don’t worry, we’ll just...” he glanced around, and Hinata felt bad for him. He was trying so hard to find a solution- but the problem wasn’t really the spray.

 

He was gonna vomit. His stomach was already gurgling.

 

He hunched over, his stomach tying itself in knots and Suga rubbed circles into his lower back before jumping away.

 

“You wait here- I’m... I’ve got an idea.”

 

Hinata groaned in protest, turning to the trashcan nearby and moving to stand over it as Suga disappeared.

 

He heard chattering, and glanced over his shoulder to see a crowd. It made him blink a few times because he wasn’t sure what he was really seeing. Patrons who had already been hanging near the end of the bar and near the entrance had been drawn in from the scent, but upon having taken notice that something was going on, more people flooded over. Daichi, tried to bark at them- tell them to back off- and some of the omegas and betas that lingered near the back drifted away, but for the most part nobody budged.

 

But they did part as Suga pushed his way back through.

 

With Kageyama.

 

Hinata swallowed his own heart at the sight of him. He didn’t think he’d ever felt so relieved, and he’d only just glanced at him seconds prior. 

 

Whispers began to circulate at his presence, and Hinata understood. He would have been surprised too- that guy moved? He walked? He was doing something other than staring at a notebook; whatever could he be doing?

 

And that was Hinata’s question, actually. What was Kageyama doing? Certainly not warding off the alphas, as he’d slipped in behind Suga with ease. 

 

He was dressed in his black leather jacket, his green shoulder bag draped over him, hands tucked into his pockets and looking, again, annoyed. He always seemed to look annoyed these days.

 

“Suga?” Hinata mumbled weakly, standing from his spot above the trashcan. “I just started my shift—“

 

“I’ll leave you to it, Kageyama. Don’t take too long though, okay? Daichi and I will try to get this crowd under control.” Suga smiled, whacking him on the back a few times and completely ignoring Hinata. 

 

Kageyama grunted at the force, but otherwise didn’t say a word.

 

And Suga left, shouting, gesturing, wildly waving his hands and asking if anyone wanted to watch him do a trick. With fire.

 

Suga and fire? He outwardly shuddered. 

 

But then he felt hands on his back; they were light and gentle and when he glanced up and saw Kageyama, when he inhaled his sweet scent, he didn’t feel the need to be close to the trashcan anymore.

 

His stomach loosened and settled, the cramping had ceased, and he had to stop himself from arching up into his light touch.

 

“What...?” Hinata breathed slowly. “What did Suga ask of you this time?”

 

Kageyama, as always, didn’t say a word.

 

But he did pull back a bit, shifting his bag back a little and opening up his jacket. He stood there like that, waiting for him patiently.

 

And Hinata blinked- and then it clicked.

 

Oh.

 

Oh, Kageyama was going to mask it. With his own scent?

 

Oh god.

 

All the times they’ve embraced- maybe it had simply been an embrace, but on top of it... was Kageyama scenting him? This entire time- had he been marking him?

 

Hinata wrapped his arms around himself and shook his head wildly.

 

“No- No, I’m... I don’t want that.”

 

Kageyama remained still, but the longer Hinata didn’t move, the more agitated he seemed to get. His eyes, normally calm and collected had begun to swirl. Was he angry? Frustrated? Probably. Irritated? Definitely.

 

Kageyama took a step forward, arms still out as if to say ‘why are you hesitating?’ And ‘this is common sense just do it’. And it really was common sense- Daichi couldn’t scent him because he was mated to Suga, and with a majority of their staff Betas, there was only one other Alpha that could fix this situation.

 

“I want a real answer.” Hinata spoke instead, choosing to ignore him. He’d been saving this conversation for their walk home- if they walked home together- but now seemed like the perfect opportunity.  “To last night. You walked away- but... but you always walk away so- so you’re gonna have to say it out loud. You’re going to have to tell me no to my face.”

 

Apparently that was the wrong thing to say, because Kageyama now looked extra irritated.

 

He strode forward, enveloping Hinata in his coat whether he wanted it or not; and Hinata, with so little will to resist Kageyama in the first place, found himself wrapping his arms around him and soaking up his warmth.

 

He was comforting, even if Hinata wanted to protest it. He was warm and gentle, still calm despite his irritation, and Hinata hated him for it.

 

His ear was pressed to his chest and he closed his eyes, drinking in his scent focusing on that steady thump-thump of Kageyama’s heart beating beneath him. 

 

He felt him lean his head down a bit, pressing the glands on the side of his neck into his orange mop of hair and releasing his scent. He did so with a soft sigh, like it felt relieving to do it- and Hinata couldn’t help but agree. Kageyama’s scent was something else- he could get high off it and be perfectly content, and his chest ached because of it.

 

Kageyama was so stupid. He hated him and his kindness- but not really. He didn’t think he’d ever be able to truly bring himself to hate Kageyama for anything. He would have to settle with making the front of Kageyama’s shirt wet with his tears as payback for making him do this.

 

Hinata didn’t let him go after he’d dropped his hands away, but Kageyama didn’t pull away either. 

 

They stood that way for such a long time; he didn’t want to let go. He felt warm and safe and the flutter of happiness in his chest was swelling and he didn’t feel like he was going to throw up (something he’d felt all day long waiting in the shadows).

 

But he did have a job to do, and he did feel guilty for putting everyone into this situation. Suga, he was sure, was doing tricks to keep everyone occupied, and Kageyama he’d drug from his work- or whatever it was he did every day.

 

So he pulled away, head still lowered, wiping furiously at his face and not wanting to say a word about it. Kageyama didn’t make him, nor did he answer his question. 

 

When Hinata looked up, his back was already turned and he was exiting the ‘employee only’ section.

 

...

 

...

 

Kageyama did not walk him home that night.

 

Of course, he hadn’t expected him to, but there was that tiny sliver of hope that just maybe he would. That, like all the other times, he’d walk with him silently- and maybe Kageyama wouldn’t hug  (or scent?) him, and maybe they wouldn’t kiss goodbye or make eye contact, but he certainly didn’t expect complete isolation.

 

Hinata didn’t want to cry over it. It wasn’t that big of a deal- it shouldn’t be, really- except that, it really kind of was. He’d spent so much time with him, even if they didn’t speak or touch all that much- it was still his constant presence that made him feel a little bit better about being alive every day. 

 

And now, despite Daichi and Suga’s cheerful attitudes as one day turned into two, and two turned into a week, he couldn’t bring himself to focus on anything anymore.

 

School was important- it had always been important,  but after Kageyama had scented him the very last time, he hadn’t quite gotten over it. His fever had come back that night, and he had found himself heaving whatever he had tucked into his stomach into the toilet bowl.

 

The next week had been like this, and it drug on for so long that even Suga had taken note of his state and had called him out on it while they were walking home.

 

“Maybe you should go see a doctor?” He suggested. “A week is a little too long to be throwing up every day.”

 

Hinata waved him off with a sigh. “No, honestly, I think it’s just the mornings. I’ve been trying to eat light stuff before I go to bed because I always end up throwing up after my first alarm goes off. By midday I’m okay, but I can still feel it.”

 

Hinata poked himself in the stomach with a pout, feeling its firmness and grimacing. “All day I just drag, I feel bloated and tired, but I guess that can’t be helped.”

 

“Definitely go see a doctor, then.” Suga repeated, “Just to be on the safe side. At least they can give you something for the nausea, but I’d for sure ask for a blood test. Make sure you’re not actually sick.”

 

Hinata mulled this over in his head before nodding ever so slowly. 

 

“I’m getting a little sick of it to be honest- if this continues for much longer then I’ll make an appointment.”

 

Suga agreed and told him he’d watch him a little more closely just to see if he could pick anything out.

 

“Hinata- have you seen Kageyama today?” Suga asked as they approached the gate.

 

When they came to a stop, Hinata raised a brow. “Aside from at the bar? No. I told you he hasn’t walked me home since... well, for about a week now. Why?”

 

“Hmm...”

 

“What?”

 

“...Nothing. You just- you still smell strongly of him. I can’t pin my finger on it. Perhaps, maybe, that’d be something to mention to your doctor?”

 

Hinata gaped. He hadn’t so much as looked at Kageyama let alone touch him since that night he’d tried to use Suga’s refresher spray! 

 

“How?!” Hinata cried out, “There’s nothing in my apartment- it’s been nearly a month since he was inside. He hasn’t been near me at all—“

 

“Hinata. It was merely an observation. Something I’ve been noticing. I just thought you should know.”

 

Hinata pouted, not knowing what to say. He couldn’t blame Suga for trying to look after him... but he supposed the situation was just more irritating than it was anything else.

 

“I’ll make an appointment first thing tomorrow. Classes got cancelled for faculty meetings anyway, so... so I guess it’s a good opportunity.”

 

Suga lightly clapped him on the shoulder, squeezing reassuringly before sending him off with a smile and wave. 

 

“Tell me how it goes!” He shouted.

 

Hinata didn’t think anything would come of it, but he promised it anyway. He didn’t think he had any sort of disease or illness— none ran in his family that he knew of, although, his father’s side was still a bit of a mystery. He’d check. Just to be sure.

 

But first, he was really craving some chicken nuggets. And sauerkraut. Would those two be good together? Probably not, but his mouth was already watering. Maybe both of them- separately.

 

...

 

...

 

He did not eat them separately. And he also drenched them in soy sauce. 

 

Yeah, there was definitely something going on.

 

To be fair, he hadn’t been shopping in weeks, and he wanted some sort of sauce to go with it— soy sauce just happened to be there in the fridge. Staring at him. Begging him with those little cap openings for eyes— use me, Shoyou! Use me! I’ll taste good with those nuggets and I’ve been lonely for soo long~

 

The second his doctor’s office opened at 7 am he was calling.

 

In truth, he was starting to panic just the teeniest bit. He hadn’t thrown up that morning- which was good, but also terrifying since the concoction had settled when plain white bread did not.

 

The receptionist had been kind; groggy and understandably so, but had booked his appointment the earliest they could no questions asked.

 

And an hour later he was walking in, nerves jumbled and feeling like he was gonna be sick. Again. 

 

He clutched his stomach and groaned. Still bloated. He hoped he didn’t have a build up of fluids or some wild anomaly taking place in the pit of his stomach. 

 

This early in the morning was quiet, as he expected it to be. Despite it being a big and popular local office, there was a sleepy lull. Only one or two people were seated and waiting for their names to be called and the lights were half on and the blinds only half raised. Even the television was set to a low volume, the newscasters humming out their daily’s and their forecasts— a quiet background noise Hinata appreciated.

 

But he was awake and his nerves were on fire. Once he signed in he sat to watch the mindless forecasts and briefly grimaced as nothing but rain showed for the next week. 

 

“Hinata Shoyou?”

 

He perked up when his name was called and he fixed his jacket upon standing, hurrying towards the voice that beckoned him and the stranger waiting beside it.

 

He had this tendency to mumble and talk when he was nervous; he’d gotten better about it when he’d gotten to college, but it was still a default program in his brain. He was surprised that he didn’t chase off the patrons at the bar- or Kageyama for that matter- but Daichi had said, with confidence (and with Suga’s permission) that he was cute and to not worry about it.

 

These poor betas were trying so hard to keep up with him, he could tell, but he was talking way too much and he needed to slow down- to stop- but it wasn’t working and he ended up crying as they took his weight and his height.

 

He might have also taken it a little bit hard when he learned he’d gained an additional five pounds and didn’t increase in height.

 

He was sure they were relieved to get his information, stash him in a room and be done with him until the doctor saw him. At least they had the decency to offer him tissues.

 

And being alone again helped a bit. His nerves were still frayed and he raised a hand to bite at his thumbnail- another bad habit that had begun to return over the past week. He chewed, thought, winced at how pathetic he was being right now, and then stopped all together as he braced himself on the side of the raised bed they’d set him on. 

 

He needed to get ahold of himself. This wasn’t the end of the world. He just needed to breathe.

 

And breathe was what he did until the doctor came in.

 

She was friendly- very nice- an omega he’d met once before and had hit it off great with. She had become his primary care doctor when his previous one had retired, and she’d promised to do her best to fill his shoes.

 

“Hello Shoyou, it’s been quite a while!” She greeted warmly.

 

What a relief it was that her voice eased his anxiety. Was that normal? Did he normally just stop ticking when people spoke? 

 

“You alright? The nurses out there seemed a little worried about you.” She took a seat and rolled over to him, clip board in hand and looking absolutely beautiful in her white coat.

 

“I’m fine, Ms. Shimizu- nervous, I guess; there’s a lot that I need to talk to you about.”

 

“Oh?” She asked. “Let me look- the chart says you’ve been vomiting a lot lately?”

 

“Yes. Yes, that was my main concern.” Hinata spoke swiftly, “but I’m worried I have a disease now. Or an illness. Something foreign- I’m so freaked out. My friend freaked me out- or did I freak myself out? No, it was my friend.”

 

Her laughter filled the room and his stuttering ceased. It was oddly peaceful, and he found himself unclenching his fists.

 

“I’m sorry- I know it’s not polite to laugh, Shoyou. I think you’ll be fine, but lets make certain of it alright?” She smiled. “Can you answer a few more basic questions for me?”

 

Hinata nodded slowly, quietly, and folded his hands into his lap neatly.

 

“Good. Okay- so, vomiting was a symptom. We established that. How long has that been happening?”

 

“A week... maybe two?”

 

“Okay- every day? Every other day?”

 

“Nearly every day. Mostly its when I wake up, and then if I eat something that my stomach doesn't agree with later... I don’t know. It seems a bit more sensitive later. Maybe I ate something bad?”

 

“Maybe.” She agreed quietly, “but what other symptoms do you have? Sleeplessness? It might be an allergy. Have you eaten anything different these past few weeks that you know of?”

 

Hinata thought back- all the way back to when his symptoms first appeared. He didn’t remember all that much... but she might be right. An allergy did make sense.

 

“I’m not sensitive to anything usually,” he said, “But I do remember the lunch lady at the cafeteria of my college put out spicy chicken instead of sweet and sour chicken. I got it because I like sweet and sour... but I can’t handle spice well. Some foods have been spicy to me since then, but I just thought that must have been a psychological thing.”

 

Shimizu nodded, glancing down at her clipboard and scribbling something down. “Mm, that might be psychological, you’re right- but I can do a test if it makes you feel better. Just a few more questions and I’ll get to work.”

 

Hinata nodded, and Shimizu scanned her list.

 

“Have you started any new medications since last I saw you?”

 

“No.”

 

“And your heat cycle, you said it’s always been pretty irregular. Is that still true?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And when was your last heat?”

 

“Uh...” hinata thought, and blushed as he remembered. He remembered a little too much, to his credit, more than he wanted to and he ended up attracting Shimizu’s attention because of it. “Two months ago? Three?”

 

“Anything I should know about it?” She pressed gently, “anything different about it?”

 

“W-well...” he stuttered, “I... I, um... I mean, it wasn’t...” Hinata hummed in nervous laughter. 

 

“T-there’s this alpha, you see. He told me weeks in advance that it was coming because he could tell, that I should probably not be out and about. I didn’t know what he meant though because he doesn't really talk- not that he was trying to be weird about it!” Hinata said defensively, “He was just trying to look out for me. I almost got jumped on the way home from work one day and he happened to be there and helped me and decided to walk me home from then on and-“ Hinata took another gulp of breath because he wanted to skip over it all and get to the point and end this embarrassing story.

 

“And my heat came and my boss asked him to walk me home before it hit and then, in the middle of the sidewalk it did, and he tried to get me home and he did a good job and he tried to leave but I convinced him to stay— I feel bad about it but that doesn't matter— so, we, um... it... so I... so we...”

 

“So an alpha helped you through your heat, then?” She asked.

 

Hinata blew out a nervous breath. “Yes-yeah. Yeah.”

 

She scribbled something onto her clipboard.

 

“And this alpha- what state was he in?”

 

“What?”

 

“What condition was he in? Did he genuinely help you through your heat or did he stay through his rut? How long, approximately, did you two stay together in this situation?”

 

If Hinata’s face wasn’t red before it was certainly red now. He flailed his hands in front of him, not wanting to discuss it with his doctor and not wanting to think about it either. 

 

“Th-three days,” Hinata peeped out. “It was fine the first day, and... and he said for the last two I sent him into an early rut...”

 

Shimizu nodded. “That happens. So he was probably close to a rut, then, when you went into heat.”

 

Hinata shook his head wildly. “N-no, he said. He said it was a whole month early.”

 

Shimizu blinked, pen stilling on her clipboard.

 

“I’m sorry, Shoyou, I don’t think... hm... how well do you know the anatomy of an alpha?” She inquired.

 

“W-well, I mean, those videos in health class I suppose—“

 

“—Then you know that sending an alpha into a rut an entire month early is not possible. Alphas ruts aren’t triggered by an omegas heat or vice versa- it’s just a cycle that happens every few months or so for the purpose of reproduction.”

 

Hinata thought for a moment. “Kageyama wouldn’t lie, though. I don’t think he was lying about it either. He seemed pretty annoyed, actually...”

 

Shimizu was quiet for a moment, then she set her board and her pen down in her lap.

 

“It’s possible,” She said softly. “I can tell you with certainty that this is absolutely not the case for you because it’s so extraordinarily rare- but I’ll tell you that it’s possible.” 

 

“Possible?”

 

“For an alpha’s rut to be triggered by an omega’s heat. For a heat to be triggered by a rut. It’s definitely unheard of- physically impossible for 99% of the population- but there is that 1%. It’s rare enough that it’s not widespread in common knowledge, and we health specialists only ever hear about it in the textbooks, but if you have the right genomes, the right genetic make up and the same basic physiology - second gender aside - then its completely possible. I’m sure you’ve heard of them.”

 

“What, true partners? Something like that?” 

 

“True Mates,” Shimizu corrected, “Most popularly labeled as soulmates. An anatomical, universal pull that tugs you in the direction of your other half. It’s rumored- only rumored, I don’t know for sure- that the connection between the two mates is much deeper than anything else. Both as strangers and in bond. Not much is known about it.”

 

Hinata began bouncing one of his legs. It was a nice thought to entertain- being soulmates with Kageyama. He didn’t think he was apart of the 1% though, and he wasn’t arrogant enough to think he was special enough for it. But he did want to tell Shimizu about the oddities.

 

“That conversation aside though,” she started warmly, “lets get back to the questions again, shall we? I’ve got one or two left.”

 

Hinata nodded.

 

“So, heat and rut did happen- they did coincide.” She confirmed, and Hinata again nodded.

 

“Did the two of you use protection?”

 

Hinata stiffened, and when he didn’t answer she fired more questions.

 

“Did he knot you or did he remove himself beforehand?”

 

“I...” Hinata stuttered, “Y-Ye- no? No, we... it was an accidental... I don’t— it was my first heat that I’ve ever shared with anybody before...” 

 

More writing.

 

“Did he knot you?”

 

Hinata gulped. He didn’t know for sure. “Y-yeah? Probably? I... I wasn’t paying attention...”

 

“So, you’re saying that there might be a chance you could be pregnant?”

 

Hinata hopped off the bed immediately, shaking his head from side to side so hard he felt dizzy afterward. “P-p-preg-? No! No of course not!”

 

Shimizu, unfazed, only blinked at him. “But he did share your heat with you? Regardless whether he was in rut or not you didn’t use protection, and to my understanding he most likely knotted you on several occasions?”

 

Hinata’s face was redder than a tomato. This entire conversation was way out of bounds, way beyond the realm of conversation he had intended to have with his doctor- with Shimizu. On this visit. They were supposed to be talking about any illnesses he might have developed!

 

When he didn’t reply, Shimizu stood and slid a hand along his shoulder to calm him down. “It’s okay, take a deep breath Shoyou.” She cooed. “I just want to help you. These questions will help me get to the bottom of what your problems are. I’m not saying that you definitely are pregnant, but it does put it on the table. It should be considered along with anything else we might find, and on the off handed chance you really are, we wouldn’t want to do anything that would harm the pup- understand?”

 

Hinata was trembling, and he was starting to get that feeling again in the pit of his stomach. After a week it had become a familiar foe, and he gestured vaguely to the tiny trashcan in the corner.

 

Shimizu didn’t miss a beat and grabbed it. It was empty, save the black bag, and he gripped it tight.

 

“I’m going to order some labs,” she said quietly, helping him sit back down. “I’ll look for anything and everything I can to make sure nothing is wrong with you— and then, if you’re okay with it, I’d like to order an ultrasound. Even if you’re not carrying a pup, it’d be a good idea to get a look and see if there’s anything blocking your intestines. We might not pick up anything on it, but it’s the safest way to go since there’s a chance...” she let the unspoken words hang in the air, rubbing his back a little longer before exiting the room and letting him breathe.

 

He set the trashcan next to him on the bed and clapped his hands over his face.

 

He was ill. He had sworn he was ill with some disease— the vomiting, the weird food cravings... god. God. What if he really was pregnant? What would he do? What would he say? To Kageyama- god, Kageyama.  

 

He’d confessed his love for him, and he’d been rejected. Kageyama didn’t want a relationship with him, and he would have totally been ready to admit defeat and accept it once he got Kageyama to say it out loud and confirm what he already thought.

 

But now this?

 

This was a train wreck

 

He winced when he thought about his mother. His first time sharing his heat with an alpha and he went and got pregnant... there was no way.

 

“I can’t be.” Hinata spoke aloud, hoping that the words themselves would make them true.


 

Different nurses came in to take his blood. They didn’t chat with him, and he vaguely remembered that it was still early morning and everyone was still waking up. Not him. He was wide the fuck awake and panicking more than he’d ever panicked in his entire life.

 

They took his temperature and his blood pressure, checked his ears and swabbed his nose. They drew blood, asked more food and medication questions, and then left. Not long after that, he heard a second knock to his door, and a nurse with a giant machine was wheeling in.

 

She seemed kind enough. Bright and sunny and more cheerful for the early morning hour than he’d seen all morning. She was new- err, well, looked new, and he hadn’t seen her here at this office before.

 

She pushed the giant machine up to him and let it click when she let go of the bar, locking the wheels where they rested on the carpet. 

 

“Hello Hinata! My name’s Yachi, it’s a pleasure to meet you!” She said cheerily.

 

Hinata blushed a little and nodded his greeting. She was a beta- it was obvious- but she looked... so much happier than normal betas. It was a little refreshing.

 

“I’ve heard a little about what’s been going on, so they asked me to look at you and see if there was anything I could find on here.” She said smiling, patting the resting beast beside her.

 

Hinata again nodded and she started to wring her hands nervously.

 

“Um...” she glanced back at the closed door and then returned her innocent gaze back onto him. “I know this probably... it’s not very professional of me to ask you any of these things because it’s not my business, so if you don’t want to answer please don’t.” She started.

 

Hinata shifted, quirking a brow.

 

“Um...” she tweaked a strand of her golden hair, “I happened to... to look at the screens out there. Doctor Shimizu is with some other nurses comparing DNA results, and they have another patient up there on the screen, too. I was wondering if... if you knew the other person?”

 

Hinata blinked, not sure what on earth was was getting at, but then let his mind drift. This was a clinic for alphas, betas, and omegas, so... maybe...?

 

“Kageyama?” He asked, wondering if that was it. If not, he had a few more names he could list, but he didn’t really know. She was making him guess- patient confidentiality maybe?

 

She nodded her head vigorously. “Yes! Yes- you do? They’re comparing your charts and, honestly, I was afraid to ask why because I don’t really know. I’m... I happen to be good friends with Miwa.”

 

“M-Miwa?”

 

Yachi tilted her head to the side a little. “Yeah. Kageyama Miwa- Tobio’s older sister.”

 

Hinata blinked. Older sister?

 

He didn’t know he had an older sister...

 

“U-um... but, that wasn’t the question.” She started awkwardly. “I was... I was going to ask you if... if you knew anything about... about why they were comparing stuff? I don’t... I’ve never seen anybody do that before.”

 

Hinata shrugged awkwardly. “I... I couldn’t guess.” He started slowly. “I asked Shimizu to look for everything she could find.”

 

Yachi hummed softly, considering his words and all the while asking him to take off his shirt, to lay down, to get comfortable and to not be scared of the machine’s long robotic arm.

 

“Is that why you’re getting an ultrasound?” She said after a while.

 

“...yes...” he answered slowly. “I... I really don’t want to be sick, so...”

 

“Ah- maybe they’re looking for a match then?” She asked, spreading and rubbing gel over her gloved fingers to warm it up. “Like, I don’t mean to pry, honest- do... do you need a donor? Is that what this is about?”

 

“No.” Hinata said, trying to relax as she smeared the half-cold gel on him. “Nothing like that. I just...”

 

Hinata and Yachi paused as the machine beeped to life and began whirring, loading a screen he could barely see from where he was laying. It wasn’t pointed in his direction, but the screen was capable of pivoting.

 

“Shimizu wants to make sure I’m... that I’m not...”

 

“That you’re not pregnant?” Yachi guessed immediately. Then gaped in awe. “Wait— with Tobio’s-?”

 

“—SH!!” Hinata exclaimed, even though they were in a room all by themselves.

 

Yachi ‘eep’ed and apologized profusely, shaking her head and grabbing onto the robotic arm.

 

“L-let’s just focus! This thing? This is the camera.” She said, pointing at the very bottom of the arm. “It’s built into the ball here, and it’s gonna roll across you wherever I put it and I’ll be able to see on this screen here.” She said. “I’ll look for whatever anomaly I find- if I find any at all okay? I’ve been told that it helps to talk through this so you’re not overthinking this process.” 

 

Hinata nodded, the paper underneath him crinkling as he did so. 

 

“Ok, here we go.” She said softly, and lowered the device to his stomach. It was just as cold as the gel, maybe a little colder, and he let out a soft hiss.

 

“So... everyone was saying how tense you were out there. You cried? I heard you cried at the scale.”

 

Hinata clamped his eyes shut. Ah, yes, what a humiliating topic to start off with.

 

She ‘eep’ed again and apologized, quickly switching to the weather, how it was gonna rain and thunder nonstop all week.

 

“I... I’m a mess...” he mumbled softly, trying not to mind the wandering on his stomach. “None of this was supposed to happen. I was just- I work at this bar, you see. I met Kageyama there. He just kind of sits and scribbles—“

 

“—writes?” Yachi supplied with a hum. “Yeah, I heard he was an author. Some scientific, sci-fi... thing? Miwa said he was super smart. Like, genius smart. She told me he could have published autobiographies or studies of... something I can’t remember... but he really likes to write whatever comes to him. Lately, she said he’s been on a biology binge? Whatever that's supposed to mean— oh, no! I totally interrupted you I’m so sorry! Continue, please!”

 

Hinata found a chuckle escaping him, and he relaxed into the table. She was seeming easier and easier to talk to with each passing minute. Strange- Shimizu was normally the one who could calm him like this, but Yachi was friendly and warm and... and kind. She was thinking about his feelings and for some reason that meant a lot to him right now.

 

Oh god, don’t cry. Don’t cry- now was definitely not the time!

 

“It’s okay!” He exclaimed happily, trying to override the feeling. “I’m a little all over the place myself. My emotions are out of wack and I talk a lot when I get nervous so I’m very super sorry if you have to cut me off or leave mid sentence.”

 

“Oh! No I’m that way, too!” She laughed. “But- back to the subject,” she squeaked. “Tobio- I don’t know a lot about him, just what Miwa tells me. She said he’s super broody and quiet and—“

 

“—never talks? Ever? She’s right. Glares all the time. Pouts. I think it’s super funny but he doesn’t.”

 

They shared a laugh and when it died down it was a natural and comfortable lull; Yachi squinted at the screen but rolled the robotic arm around more.

 

“I’m scared.” Hinata whispered quietly, breaking the silence.

 

She stopped moving the arm and looked down at him. 

 

He... he didn’t know where that came from. That’s... so stupid! Why would he say something like that? There was nothing to be afraid of! He was being taken care of- by two super awesome people instead of one!

 

“Mm... I would be, too. If I were in here instead of you, I mean.” She said softly. “I get it. I understand. Nobody wants to be told they’re sick- they don't want to be told about being terminally ill—“

 

“—or pregnant—“

 

“Or... or pregnant.” Yachi said softly. “I mean, not always.” She corrected. “Most of the time this situation can be happy, but a lot of the times it isn’t. Some omegas aren’t careful, and some are careful and just really unlucky. Bad things happen to good people all the time...”

 

Hinata drummed his fingers against the table, considering her words carefully.

 

“I mean...” he started hesitantly. He fell quiet, unsure how to finish that sentence. Then, because he felt brave, and because Yachi seemed really nice and really honest, he glanced up at her.

 

She was looking at the screen, but when she looked down at him their eyes met.

 

“I’m... I’m in love with him...” he murmured. It was the quietest, lightest breath of an admission, but the sounds still bounced loudly off the walls like an echo. “...but I don’t think he loves me.”

 

He brushed his thumb up his hip. “It was an accident; I didn’t think I would... with someone like him... but he saved me once. From another alpha. He committed himself to walking me home every night— and a couple months ago when I had my heat... I was at work. He took me home, he tried to make sure I was safe... and I convinced him to stay.” He croaked that last sentence out like he regretted it- and he did, he felt so incredibly bad about it, but a part of him wanted to believe it wasn’t entirely his fault either.

 

“He shared my heat. He went into a rut— we... for three days straight we were together in my apartment... and after that time, even after I did that to him, he still walked me home. He still made sure I was safe. He hugged me and... and he kissed me. I thought—“

 

“—are you sure?” Yachi interrupted, then had the decency to look a little sheepish at the interjection.

 

“Am I sure what?” Hinata inquired, going along with it, hoping her question would help him not tear up any more than it already was.

 

“Are you sure he doesn’t love you back? Because those things don’t sound like Tobio at all. I don’t think he’d do something like that with somebody he didn’t at least like.”

 

Hinata squirmed, not sure what to do with that information. “I don’t know. I want to be- I had hoped he would. I told him, actually, one night. That I loved him. And I saw him panic- I don’t think I’ve ever seen him panic that much before. He walked away, and I haven’t really interacted with him since— well, no, I... that’s not true.” He quickly amended. “My friend said that I smelled so strongly of him all the time. He said I could use this spray— but it kind of backfired. He ended up convincing Kageyama to come over and... and mask it again.”

 

“Refresher spray?”

 

“Y-yeah- it wasn’t my idea!” He exclaimed, hiding his face with one hand.

 

“Well, it sounds like everything will be okay...” Yachi said slowly, “If he really wanted nothing to do with you after that, I don’t think he’d go that far.”

 

Hinata frowned, not knowing how to feel about that. “You... think so?”

 

“I know so.” She smiled.

 

Hinata slowly nodded. “Then... then I... maybe if I approach the question a different way, it might...?”

 

Yachi hummed. “You’ve got time... but it sounds like you’ll need to come up with a plan because-“ she twisted the screen towards him. She angled the arm a fraction lower, just below his belly button. 

 

“Because that, my friend, is a tiny heart beat.”

 

...

 

...


 

Yachi emerged from the room with the smallest smile on her face, but it fell away into surprise when Shimizu approached— with a little more speed than usual.

 

“Find anything?” She asked in a hurried yet hushed tone. Several nurses had wandered over, their curiosity too high to ignore, surrounding Yachi and her machine and making her feel super duper small.

 

“Um... no anomaly...” she murmured. The nurses and Shimizu relaxed a fraction.

 

“But,” she started. 

 

The nurses were on the tips of their toes in apprehension.

 

Yachi turned, glad that she didn’t turn off the machine yet and pulled up the latest image of her findings. She turned the screen towards the bunch of onlookers and smiled her brightest smile.

 

“—it appears he’ll be having a pup in the spring time.” 

 

Shimizu’s mouth fell open, and several nurses in the background squealed their delight. Hinata wasn’t famous by any means. He was one patient of many who always came for their regular appointments.

 

But he was certainly going to be famous if this crowd had any say in the matter.

 

“How far along?” One nurse cried.

 

“Boy or girl?” Another chimed in.

 

“Omega? Alpha? It’s got to be one of the two right?” A third added.

 

Shimizu raised her hand, snapping her jaw closed and effectively silencing the crowd.

 

“Pup’s too small to tell,” Yachi answered quietly. “It only appears to be a couple of months—“

 

“—I can’t believe it!” Someone in the back crowed. “This is the first ever! In like- how long? This is-!”

 

Yachi tilted her head, not quite understanding as the nurses fell into excited chatter. Shimizu stepped forward, folder in hand and held it out to her.

 

“I’ve made copies of these, but I’m going to give him this.”

 

Yachi opened it, scanning the documents. Her brows furrowed and furrowed not understanding the numbers and the lines or... was that an equation? Several-? Math??

 

“What is this? What are you going to tell him?” She squeaked, handing the folder back.

 

Shimizu grabbed it, smiling so wide Yachi felt it in her soul.

 

She watched her grab the handle to Hinata’s door, the tiniest laugh escaping her. “To tell him he’s part of the 1%” she said.

 

Whatever that meant.

 

And Hinata returned to his apartment, brain severely overloaded, folder in hand and ultrasound pictures Yachi had given him tucked in tight. 

 

It was too much to process... and yet there was so much he needed to do.

 

One day was simply not enough to get everything done— and his panic was heightening each step further into his apartment. His head was dizzy, and he wanted to sleep, but he had people to call. 

 

Shimizu told him not to stress- that it was important to take care of himself and to take steps back if he needed to. His bloodwork came back completely fine; his blood pressure was a little elevated and his iron was a little too low, but other than that, he was given a clean bill of health.

 

In light of his concerns, of his vomiting, Shimizu had told him that it would be better to wade through it. She ordered him a prescription to help keep the vomiting at bay if it got to be too much for him to handle, but she had expressed that she didn’t want him to fill it unless absolutely necessary, so he didn’t.

 

He flopped unceremoniously onto the couch, hand shakily raising, not quite believing this yet. His bloated stomach- cramping and twisting from nausea- was actually...

 

It actually contained... a pup.

 

He needed to call his mother first and foremost. Even if she was mad- even if she didn’t understand (and neither did he) she would know what to do. Next, he’d need to call the school. He’d need to inform them of the situation and request a leave of absence or have them place a temporary hold on his grades and his account in light of these events.

 

Then, he would have to call Daichi and Suga. He bit his lip and whimpered a little, not wanting to tell them but also not wanting to lie to them either. There would be no dancing around the subject; he wouldn’t need to explain himself, either. It was Kageyama’s- they would infer that; furthermore, it meant that he could no longer work at the bar safely- especially since he was still unclaimed. Without an income he would have to give up his apartment and move back in with his mother. He was sure it wouldn’t be a big deal; his mother loved him and still had his room kept just the same as it was when he’d left it in case he needed some place again.

 

Lastly, he had to tell Kageyama. It should be the very first thing, not the last, but Hinata was dreading that conversation. Even if Yachi had told him there was a chance- how would he take something so drastic like that? He wasn’t sure of Kageyama’s history. He didn’t know his likes or dislikes, and up until a few hours ago he didn’t even know Kageyama was an author- let alone a genius one. He certainly didn’t want to guilt Kageyama into being with him, but with this new information hanging above both of their heads, it would be hard to see it as anything but guilting.

 

Hinata rubbed his stomach, thumb brushing over the spot Yachi had pinpointed and he took a shuddering breath.

 

Because his life really was changing right in front of his very eyes— and it was moving far too quick for his liking.

 

But that wasn’t all he would have to discuss.

 

Hinata reopened the folder Shimizu had given him before sending him off. It was filled with all sorts of information, and he saw a copy of what Yachi had mentioned earlier. His name, a picture of his face, all of his basic information as well as his DNA information... alongside Kageyama’s. It was an exact replica of information, save height and weight, eye color and all that. 

 

But his DNA information- the kind of stuff written and provided and given to him was way out of anything he’d ever seen before. He didn’t even know this kind of thing existed... and to have Shimizu sit and tell him, repeat and say that it wasn’t possible, only 1% of the world’s population ever experienced this kind of thing... and then turn around, Shimizu telling him that she took it back- that she stood corrected, he was special.

 

Special to Kageyama.

 

His brain’s internal gears were starting to click and hitch, all the information overheating the circuits in his brain. It was too much to process.

 

But he knew that he could do one thing. 

 

He could pack. He could- he could reorganize a bit. Get his life a little bit more together. He’d call his mom and apologize and tell her everything. He’d spill his guts to her and she would be the superhero mom he always knew her to be and would come and help him.

 

So he did that. 

 

Albeit a little haphazardly. He got a little too invested in the organization, starting one thing and not finishing it. He pulled out everything from the fridge to see what he could save and bring with him, but got distracted with snacks.

 

His posters, his pictures, all of his keepsakes he put in a pile in the center of his room, then moved them to the living room couch because he needed the space for other things; he didn’t know what to take with him immediately and what to get later. He pulled each of his drawers out, leaving them skewed as he shoved the articles of clothing into a pile on his bed.

 

His suitcase wasn’t big enough for everything, and it had taken so many boxes to move him into this place to start with— not to mention all the extra stuff he had ended up buying to make his apartment more of a home and less of a temporary stay.

 

In the end, he’d called his mother. He was probably overwhelmed from the information, the mess he’d made in the wake of reorganizing, and on top of it all trying to pack for home when he wasn’t even sure if it was okay to return.

 

 But she took care of him just as she always had. She even made a special trip out to the bar where he worked to pick up his things.

 

And to talk to Suga and Daichi.

 

...

 

Three days passed before Kageyama had taken notice.

 

He’d been at the bar, same time as always, same pen and same notebook in hand and scribbling away. Suga and Daichi’s voices were familiar to him by now, and on occasion, he’d hear voices from patrons that frequented the place.

 

But one voice was missing.

 

Kageyama would have brushed it off, continuing the string of sentences without a hitch, but something caught his attention. It wasn’t so much any specific words than it was the voice itself.

 

It wouldn’t have bothered him, except- he didn’t recognize it. Not at all. And it was moving back and forth, pacing, shrilling and squeaking as annoyingly as Hinata always had. His glass was filled with the same drink, but not as often as he was used to.

 

He was used to the lack of attention when Hinata wasn’t working, but this was a bit too much; it wasn’t until the voice was squeaking annoyingly into his ear repeatedly that it drew his attention completely.

 

Upon looking up, he blinked at the unfamiliar face. It matched the voice he’d been hearing, and he only stared as the boy fumbled and asked him all sorts of nonsensical questions- apologizing, repeating himself, asking him if he was okay. 

 

He didn’t like this person all that much.

 

He glanced around him, spying Suga who was swarmed with his regulars and Daichi, back turned, seeming to have a serious discussion with one of the patrons.

 

The boy in front of him waved, seemed to be nervous as he asked him what kind of drink he wanted instead because- he didn’t care why. His eyes slid down to the nameplate that affirmed that he worked here, taking in the slant of ‘Yamaguchi’ before his eyes rolled up and over to Suga.

 

He was still busy, but as his eyes happened to slide over, to lock with Kageyama’s, he was pausing his ministrations and hurrying on over with a smile.

 

“Sorry! Sorry!” Was the apology, “Yamaguchi is still training- its his second official day. He’s doing pretty good, though, so in time he’ll get used to your routine. He was going to start mornings, but we need him in the evening now.” Suga smiled.

 

Yamaguchi stuttered out question after question, but he didn’t hear it. His eyes rolled back down his to notebook, of the last sentence he’d finished writing and tapped the tip against the paper methodically.

 

“Come, Yamaguchi. You refilled his drink that’s all he needs.”

 

“But-!”

 

“-but! I need to show you the register anyway! If you’re gonna be closing with us from now on you’ll need to know how to work it and close it up for the night!” Suga said cheerily.

 

Kageyama stiffened the slightest bit at the information and wondered, briefly, if Yamaguchi was replacing Hinata. Was that his fault? Most likely. 

 

He drummed his fingers on the counter, resting his chin on his palm with his other hand as he thought. There was, he concluded, an 86% chance that it was his fault; of course, that was also based on observation and what little he knew of Hinata outside of his work.

 

If Hinata were working earlier, though, he would catch him leaving. If Hinata worked the earliest he possibly could to avoid him (the earliest being 12pm) and taking into consideration the time he walked in and seated himself (3pm), that would leave Hinata approximately 62.5% (or 5 hours) of a shift left over where they’d be stuck in the same vicinity. 

 

Simply put, Hinata would not be able to get through a shift without having to be in the same vicinity; he wouldn’t be able to hide from him either. The prickle of awareness when he was nearby always made it hard to concentrate as it was— so obviously he’d know if he was close by. 

 

And three days was much too irregular for it to be normal. The logical conclusion, he then corrected, was that Hinata was not working at all. The reasons he could have for doing so were endless, among them simply being that, perhaps, he had taken days off to rest?

 

He’d told him that he needed to stay home and rest. A fever was brewing beneath the surface, and Kageyama thought that this time he’d actually listen to him— but of course he didn’t and showed up anyway. 

 

Could his fever have gotten much worse? Was there anyone taking care of him during this time? His apartment was filled with junk, but only the junk of one person, so he knew nobody lived with him.

 

Or was it much worse than that and something had happened? Did he get jumped again? Surely not... Sugawara and Daichi always seemed to alternate walking him home for the past week, and they’ve been remarkably dependent on him whenever they couldn’t. 

 

So why was he not there?

 

The pen dropped from his hand- an accident, but he took it as a sign. He closed up his notebook and capped his pen, swiveling from his chair and jumping right up. 

 

His stomach was too queasy to be tolerating these kinds of thoughts and his brain was so distracted, now, that he couldn’t concentrate. He should just ask. 

 

He slipped into his coat and packed his bag, and once he was put together he approached Sugawara’s end of the bar. 

 

When he stopped at the corner, when he looked at Suga and patiently waited for him to notice, Suga’s mouth fell open and he was scrambling towards him. A unique attribute of Suga he learned, was that it was painfully obvious when he was interested in something.

 

Daichi hovered nearby and Yamaguchi slid over because his trainer was giving him attention.

 

Yeeeesss?” Suga balked, hanging over the counter.

 

Kageyama blinked at the action and paid it no mind. “Hinata?” He asked in the quietest voice.

 

Suga’s mouth fell open again and he withdrew, palms slamming onto the countertop instead in disbelief.

 

“What about him?” Suga exclaimed. “You mean to tell me you don’t know?”

 

Kageyama’s heart rate picked up a bit, and he tried not to show his panic, but it was much too obvious.

 

Suga opened his mouth to speak again, but Daichi came up behind him and settled a hand on his mate's shoulder.

 

“If he doesn’t know, it’s not our place to say.” Daichi spoke quietly. It was quiet enough for most people not to hear, but with his keen alpha sense of hearing he caught it and grit his teeth.

 

“He doesn’t work here anymore, Kageyama. You don’t have to worry about walking him home again.” 

 

The sentence seemed to sadden Daichi, and even Suga looked a little lost at the words.

 

Kageyama’s hands fisted at his sides, and with nothing more to say, he turned and exited— before closing, before it had even gotten dark.

 

He would stray from routine just this once. His concern for Hinata- what happened and why- it was too much for him to leave be.

 

And he finally had his answer, now, that Hinata had asked nearly a week ago. Or, not a question, but a statement with a question that lingered behind it.

 

He hadn’t known what to say then. He’d been through too much- had hurt too much- to answer right away.

 

But he knew what he felt. He knew what he wanted now.

 

He was just afraid that what happened last time, with her, would happen this time. With Hinata.

 

He shoved his hands into his pockets and picked up the pace, trying not to run but wanting to walk faster. He needed to at least see that he was okay- to look him in the eye, to see him breathing and alive the way he should be before he let this go. 

 

He was much too pent up to write; much too pent up to focus on anything other than Hinata.

 

And before he knew it he was smacking the gate open to the community housing, jogging a little to reach the bottom of the stairs and taking them two at a time until he reached the top.

 

But his heart only pounded harder in his chest when he approached the door.

 

More so, because it wasn’t shut.

 

The door was obviously ajar, but not wide at all. Cracked.

 

He knocked, afraid of what he might find on the other side. Flashes from his past surfaced, of knocking on a bedroom door, hand on the handle, yanking and pulling and twisting and not being able to enter. Shouts, screams of a name not so foreign but not so familiar anymore. 

 

No answer was given, and he pushed the door open, announcing that he was entering.

 

It wasn’t until he saw the state of things that he really, actually, began to panic. Full blown mania, he equated it to, and he knew he was going through it. He knew, without a doubt, that if something happened this time he would most definitely develop PTSD. 

 

He couldn’t go through this a second time. His heart wasn’t ready.

 

The place looked absolutely wrecked. 

 

Papers, clothing, trinkets were strung along the floor. It looked ransacked like someone had trespassed. Items he’d seen laying around were nowhere to be found and his body tingled with the fear that somebody had broken in, burgled the place, and harmed Hinata.

 

The tv was gone. Most of the electronics were nowhere to be seen and the dust that had built up over time was all that was left. The couch had items on it- like pictures and keepsakes, but they looked neatly stacked. 

 

The kitchen was a mess, and a lot of things from the fridge were still set out. The smell from it starting to spoil permeated the air, and though he wanted to clean, to put things back in order, his first necessity was to find Hinata. 

 

He searched the apartment, finding the bathroom in a similar state of disarray with toiletries scattered and the shower curtain rod half collapsed and hanging on the wall.

 

Then he turned his attention to the bedroom.

 

It was open, no need to break it down or check to make sure it wasn’t locked. There was no body twisted on the floor, but the phantom of hers crept up from the bottom of his vision and invaded his reality.

 

Hinata was not here, he was not on the floor next to pill bottles and devoid of life.

 

But he wasn’t certain he was safe, either, given the state of things.

 

Daichi’s words drifted through his brain, and his panic increased tenfold. 

 

Hinata wasn’t here, and Kageyama didn’t know where he was.

 

But Daichi might.

 

He turned and raced out of the apartment. He latched it behind him this time, not caring if it was unlocked but wanting to shut it all the same.

 

He bolted down the street, his bag bouncing, the crinkle of all his snacks and protein bars, his notebooks and his pens shuddering around as he ran and ran.

 

It took him nearly no time at all to burst through the tavern doors, breathless, wild eyed and making Sugawara scream in surprise (and fright?) when he threw himself at the counter.

 

“Where is he?!” He screeched. His voice- it was ragged from his run, but the volume was loud. He didn’t mean to yell- he didn’t mean to attract the attention of the regulars hanging nearby- but he did.

 

He wanted answers.

 

Daichi peeked out from around the corner, half inside the ‘employee only’ section and half outside as if he was just leaving it. 

 

He hurried over at Sugawara’s scream but said nothing.

 

 Now he knew how frustrating silence could be. He hated it.

 

He slammed a fist against the bar counter once more, demanding to know where Hinata was- if he was okay- asking why his apartment was wrecked and why he wasn’t there.

 

Diachi and Suga seemed surprised at the information, but they didn’t look as concerned as he thought they were going to be.

 

He watched Suga turn and hug Daichi, and the pit of his stomach burned with envy. He had his safety net, a mate who could take care of him— and Hinata was out there all alone, maybe scared and frightened, maybe dead.

 

He should have walked him home. He shouldn’t have stopped. He should have admitted to himself sooner that what he felt for Hinata was true and good and right.

 

“Take a deep breath, Kageyama.” Daichi finally spoke, but Kageyama shook his head madly, eyes alight with fear and frustration and concern.

 

Daichi exhaled softly, and Suga squeezed his hand. 

 

“Just give him the address, Sawamura.” Suga breathed, “If it were me, you’d want to know, too, wouldn’t you?”

 

“But it isn’t our place to—“

 

“—they’ll talk, and I’m sure he’ll find out that way.” Sugawara insisted. “We’re just giving him the means to do so. If they haven’t talked about it yet, then they should. Something like this can’t be ignored forever. You know that.”

 

Daichi was still for a minute, and then seemed to give in. He moved away, headed towards the employee only section and all the while Kageyama’s eyes took in all the information that could be afforded to him.

 

Something was happening- or did happen- that Kageyama didn’t know about. Whatever it was, it involved him (or sounded like it did? 74% chance) and there was an address. An address to where? Maybe where Hinata was? No- where all the information he needed was. 

 

When Daichi reemerged Kageyama was getting antsy. 

 

He handed him a folded up piece of paper, but before he could take it, Daichi put his hand on his shoulder.

 

“Relax. Hinata is fine; he’s safe. I’ve no idea why his apartment is like that, but I’m sure he’ll be able to tell you when you see him.”

 

The scrap of paper was handed off and Kageyama squeezed it in his hand and took a deep, relieving breath. It didn’t completely calm his panic because something happened- he wouldn’t have just left his job at the bar. There was some reason.

 

He opened the paper up and read the address. It was on the other side of town; he’d have to take a train, it looked like. But he could do it. He could get there.

 

“That’s the Hinata residence. Please don’t go barging in and please don’t tell his mother that we gave this to you. If anything, please just say that Shoyou gave it to you some time ago for emergencies. I don’t want to get in trouble for handing out personal information.”

 

Kageyama folded the piece of paper back up and shoved it into his bag with a nod.

 

“Tell him to come back soon.” Daichi amended as Kageyama strode for the exit. “Whenever he’s ready, we’ll still be here.”

 

Kageyama tucked that bit of information into the back of his mind and bolted. He was slightly reassured that Hinata wasn’t hurt, but the disarray of his apartment was still a worry so he made it a point to hop the very next train.

 

And he didn’t want to admit that he was running- it was more like a decently paced jog- but he needed to see Hinata with his own two eyes. He needed to see for himself that he was okay, that he was breathing and very much alive.

 

The home the address led him to was quaint. It was small, a little worse for wear, but still cute. There was a garden out front, well kept and maintained with flowers and bushes. It looked like a peaceful home; one of those welcome and warm loving families must live here. 

 

He made his way up the walkway and rapped his knuckles against the wooden door in lieu of ringing the bell. He didn’t know what was going on inside, but the thought of him interrupting something made him feel guilty when he did so.

 

Someone from behind the door shuffled, unlocked the bolt and opened the door. It was a woman, a little taller than him with Hinata’s fiery orange hair and welcoming honey-colored eyes. She seemed wary of him, but when her nose twitched at his scent she relaxed a bit.

 

“You must be the alpha,” she spoke softly. She wasn’t smiling, he didn’t expect her to, but her voice wasn’t sad either. 

 

She glanced behind her and patted a small child’s head- another head of orange hair peeked out behind her.

 

“Momma?” Was the innocent whisper.

 

“Don’t worry, Natsu- go finish watching rabbit okay? I’ll be there in a second.”

 

The little girl looked him up and down, and he itched the back of his hand self-consciously. He hated being analyzed by people; children even more so. 

 

“Is this brother’s friend?” She squeaked, “he smells like brother does.”

 

“Natsu,” she said more firmly, and the girl released her grip and moved away.

 

“I’m sorry about her,” she breathed lightly, “she’s just confused.”

 

“Shoyou- is he here?” He asked immediately, completely ignoring her words.

 

She blinked in confusion, turning to look up the stairs just inside before turning back. “He is... um... I can go get hi—“

 

Kageyama moved forward, causing her to step back, and he apologized for the intrusion and slipped his shoes off. He hadn’t been invited in, but in his defense, he’d waited until he confirmed Hinata was inside.

 

The whole house smelled like Hinata and different variations of him, and Kageyama’s skin fizzled with the awareness of it. Hinata was, indeed, in this house. He wasn’t on the first floor- there was only a small bedroom, living room and kitchen that he could see. Natsu was curled up on the couch in a blanket and the spot next to her was rumpled with a different blanket- probably the woman’s.

 

He looked to the stairs, the woman having moved out of his way and standing behind him wringing her hands nervously.

 

“He’s asleep now.” She said as he began mounting the stairs.

 

It only made him move faster. 

 

His heartbeat picked up again as he came to the last step, the woman- Hinata’s mother he was assuming- hot on his heels. He didn’t mind. He was intruding out of selfishness just to make sure Hinata was safe.

 

“The last door on the left is his.” Was the quiet direction, and he proceeded forward hurriedly.

 

Hinata’s scent leaked out from all around the door and his head thumped against it. It was closed, and he told himself that it was okay. That history couldn’t repeat itself this way. 

 

He knocked, but there was no answer.

 

“He’s asleep.” The woman spoke again softly, repeating the statement as if he hadn't heard it the first time.

 

He knocked again anyway, and when there was no reply he gripped the handle and turned it.

 

It resisted.

 

He tried to turn it again, but it resisted it’s direction.

 

His face paled and his stomach dropped. 

 

No... no. This- this couldn’t be... 

 

“Hinata!” He barked louder, his panic starting to unfurl itself. “Hinata! Open the door!”

 

The knob did not move. There was no shuffling. The voice behind him did not offer him solace, and he was alone again.

 

The apartment was cold, the walls colorless and greying— and he was cold; he swore he was cold, but the panic within him, the fear that mounted and bubbled out of him and set fire to every nerve in his body was making him hot. 

 

He was screaming, his throat was raw from saying her name over and over again, pleading for her to open the door but silence was the only thing that met him. Her scent had long ago grown sour with despair, and guilt churned in his stomach. He’d checked on her once before, but had figured she just needed some time to cool off. 

 

Her scent had taken on a funny smell he hadn’t smelled from her before, and he’d been afraid. It tore the fear from under him and shoved it down his throat.

 

He broke down the door, looking for her, to talk and to apologize- anything to make her okay again. But the sight of her on the ground, eyes blank and open staring at nothing, foam bubbling from between her lips and pill bottles- so many bottles- laid like a perfect crown around her head.

 

He collapsed to his knees, head pressed to her still chest and weeping when he heard nothing at all.

 

He felt a hand on his shoulder, then, and color washed back into his reality.

 

“Are you okay? I’m sure he just needs some time alone.” The voice spoke, trying to offer comfort, trying to be reassuring.

 

He shook her off and let go of the knob.

 

“I’ll pay for this door. I’ll replace it.” He said.

 

And before she could ask why, he was slamming his foot against the edge. He knocked into it so forcefully that the entire door came ripping off its hinges, thundering to the carpet with a loud thunk. The woman cried out in alarm, but he didn’t pay attention to it.

 

The first thing he looked at was the floor, but he kept having to rub at his eyes because they kept blurring, kept shrouding his vision for some reason and it was annoying.

 

But there was nothing there on the floor.

 

Before he could let himself relax, his eyes flitted upward to the bed- where the woman said Hinata would be- and low and behold... there he rested.

 

He was curled in a tight ball, bundled under layers of blankets and his face was red and tear-streaked. His eyes were closed, and around his head was a pair of red headphones nestled against both ears.

 

He strode forward, heart in his throat and breath suspended in his lungs.

 

He didn’t see him breathing- he couldn’t tell with his eyes that the blankets were rising and falling— why did that not wake him? Why did the sound of the door crashing into his bedroom not alarm him?

 

He crawled onto the full-sized bed, tearing at the blankets. He wanted to see, even if he heard the soft whistle of breath, that he was breathing.

 

The touches woke Hinata immediately. 

 

It made him scream in fright, the music much too loud in his ears and not matching the sight at all.

 

He ripped them from his own head and scooted up, heart in his throat and watching Kageyama slam his whole head into his chest with such force, such need, that he flopped back against the bed with a wheeze.

 

“K-Kageyama! What-? How did-?”

 

Kageyama’s eyes was blurred with tears, his face red with the evidence of crying. He wasn’t sure why- he was so, so confused- but he wasn’t going to question this.

 

He glanced at his mother, a questioning look in his eyes and wrapping his arms around Kageyama's shoulders as his shuddering body shook more fiercely and he collapsed into a full-blown cry session.

 

“He said he’d pay for the door.” Was what she ended up saying.

 

Hinata’s eyes fell to the door- which, upon first looking, he hadn’t noticed it’s absence.

 

Kageyama... broke down his door?

 

His fingers shifted to his hair, tangling in dark locks and feeling Kageyama shift him, push under him to grab him and fully hold him in an embrace while he wept.

 

“I’ll leave you two alone.” His mother said, eyes softening at the scene. “It’s-you know it’s still early. Natsu wanted to go out to eat tonight and I wasn’t going to, but... but perhaps we should. Her and I.”

 

Hinata hesitated, looking down at Kageyama, who was still fixed in his position, still bawling into his chest.

 

“O-okay...”

 

And with that she left.

 

Kageyama didn’t stop crying for a long time, but Hinata didn’t interrupt. He was curious- oh so curious as to why. 

 

His mother had gone to the bar for him to tell Suga and Daichi about the doctor’s findings, and they had all mutually agreed that it probably wouldn’t be a great idea for Hinata to continue working there. He wasn’t mated, but that wasn’t entirely the issue anymore.

 

With a pup on the way, an unmated omega was at a significant disadvantage. With a slower reaction, with his body and mind vulnerable now, if any alpha picked up on that, they could take him. They could mate him, destroy the pup inside him and replace it with their own. With alphas being as territorial as they were, an alpha would not allow their omega to produce a pup that did not belong to them.

 

When Kageyama finally calmed down, Hinata lifted his face to be level with his own. He opened his mouth to ask what had happened- if Suga and Daichi had said something to make him panic- but Kageyama’s mouth was on him before he could say a word.

 

His tongue swept right in, tasting him, nipping him, dragging a strangled moan from him because even after crying he was still so good at kissing him. 

 

But he forced them to part despite his wishes, and Kageyama moved to his neck.

 

He shuddered, realizing that his collar was off and not wanting to make things any more difficult than they were about to be, and tried to pry him off.

 

Kageyama was only kissing, only re-familiarizing himself with his sweet scent, and resisted the push with a loud, angry growl that had Hinata’s hands dropping quickly.

 

“K-Kageyama, you need- listen, you-“

 

Kageyama laved his tongue across his scent glands and immediately Hinata cried out, head tilting back and getting hard but hating the situation for what it was.

 

If it had been any other circumstance, he’d let Kageyama do this. He’d let him have his way with him.

 

But right now, there was so much he had to tell him. So much he had to share with him, and he knew he wasn’t going to like it. Despite how affectionate he was being right now.

 

Stop.” He pleaded.

 

He didn’t have the power of Word over alphas, that didn’t exist in an omega. Mated, perhaps, was different— but only an alpha had that kind of power regardless.

 

Yet Kageyama was reeling back, shaking, trying to collect himself and covering his face with his hands. A pitiful whimper escaped him, and it was so un-Kageyama that Hinata almost brought him back with an apology. Almost.

 

“L-listen,” Hinata started.

 

“No. You listen.” Kageyama shot back, effectively silencing Hinata. “I have stuff to say to you. I have- you will- I need—“ he cut himself off with a frown, leaving Hinata bewildered that he was speaking more than just a sentence.

 

He remained silent so Kageyama could continue.

 

“I should have said.” He finally amended, making Hinata blink owlishly. “I should have told you the second you said it, and—“

 

“Okay,” Hinata interrupted quickly, “You- uh, I understand. Look- I got the message the first time. I asked again because I wanted to make you say it to my face, not because I was unsure. I understand that you don’t love me back, and I’m okay with that. Well- no, that’s not true, I’m not okay, but it happens to everyone and I can get over it—“

 

“I do love you. Too.” Kageyama said, talking over him. “I love you. I do. I’m just... scared.”

 

“Scared?” Hinata echoed softly, confused.

 

Blue eyes locked with his own, and Hinata gulped as he watched war rage within those depths like they had on that night at his apartment.

 

“Yeah.” He breathed instead, pushing himself to his knees and folding his hands in his lap.

 

Hinata adjusted, too, pulling the blankets closer and up with a lick of his lips.

 

“I... didn’t want anything bad to happen to you.”

 

“Y-you didn’t...-? K-Kageyama, aren’t you a writer? Nothing will—“

 

“—Author. I’m an author.”

 

“...yyess, an author... but that’s not a dangerous profession? So, I guess I’m not really—“

 

“It happened once.” Kageyama said, shifting again to the edge of the bed. Hinata noticed his eyes casting to the floor, how hesitant they were to look his way and he gulped nervously.

 

“What happened?” He breathed, folding his arms insecurely.

 

Kageyama flashed him a look then glanced back at the floor. He was silent for so long that Hinata almost piped up to tell him that he didn’t have to explain.

 

“I was in love before.” He said slowly. “With another omega.”

 

Hinata felt the blood drain from his face and a hoarse ‘oh’ slipped past his lips.

 

If Kageyama minded, he didn’t show it.

 

“We went to High School together- it was one of those blended schools that aren’t usually very popular. I saw her, fell in love with her on the spot, and committed myself to her.” Kageyama rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, and Hinata folded his hands to stop himself from trembling.

 

“For years we were friends, and for all that time she knew I liked her and wanted to be with her. She told me she thought it would wear off over time, but once college started, I told her my feelings didn’t change, and we moved in together.”

 

“I’m... I’m sorry- I... I don’t... why are you telling me this?” Hinata asked hoarsely. Ever since he’d started this story, of course it was great and wonderful that it was more than a handful of words and he felt special to hear Kageyama speak at all, but the story itself was not a good one and a knot had formed in the pit of his stomach.

 

Having Kageyama admitting he so freely loved someone else and was committed to someone else was definitely not making him feel good. He might puke...

 

“She died.” He answered, as if sensing his discomfort on the subject.

 

It was a fact that stunned Hinata into silence, but Kageyama said it so matter-of-factly. He wasn’t... phased by that? How could he not?

 

He frowned when Kageyama continued from where he left off.

 

“A couple of months after we moved in together, I worked up the courage to finally ask her. I wanted to mate with her- to be with her for the rest of my life. She didn’t answer me, and it was late at night, so when she excused herself to our room to sleep I didn’t think anything of it.”

 

This was when Kageyama paused. Hinata noticed his shoulders slump forward and his hands raise to cup his face.

 

“It was an hour after I had asked her.” He breathed. “She locked herself in the room and she didn’t come out for hours. And I didn’t think anything of it when I went to go to bed- I just thought she was upset with me and I told myself that maybe it was too soon. I couldn't get in so I decided to stay up a little longer, then by the time I went back... it was just... this smell was... I got worried... I still couldn’t get in. I broke down the door.” He wiped clammy hands on his pants and breathed shakily.

 

“When I got in she was on the ground. She’d taken all of her medications and she’d just kind of collapsed like that and... and then she wasn’t alive anymore.”

 

Hinata leaned over to rub at his back, the story heavy and depressing in the air.

 

“I didn’t want it to end up the same way,” Kageyama croaked. “I’ve had years to reflect upon it. I was young then, stupid, and honestly I think it was more of a crush now than anything, but... you know? I loved her then. I don’t think she loved me back. And in the end she died. I pushed her into it.”

 

“No,” Hinata said immediately. “No, I don’t think it was your fault.”

 

Kageyama glanced over with a grim frown. “Everyone says that, but it’s hard to believe.”

 

“But its true,” Hinata said evenly. “If she cared even a little about you or what you had said, she wouldn’t have done it.”

 

“She was depressed—“

 

“Was she? Did she say so?”

 

“...”

 

“Listen, what you went through was terrible. Nobody should be put through that. Not ever.” Hinata said, pushing up and crawling over. He pressed his face into his shoulder, his skin tingling at the contact as it always had, and a small sigh of relief left him. Kageyama— he was worried about him.

 

He had told him this because he was scared that it would happen to him a second time. He understood now.

 

I love you.” He whispered into his arm. “I want to be with you- I told you- and I promise nothing like that will ever happen to me... because I’ll have you by my side.”

 

When he looked up Kageyama’s eyes were shiny again like he might cry a second time, but before they could fall he was wiping at his eyes.

 

“Yeah. Yeah you will.” He said.

 

And Hinata watched his lips lift, and his heart soared as he gave him the brightest, prettiest smile he had ever seen in his life.

 

Kageyama twisted, reaching out to grab him and pull him in. Their lips met; it was soft and gentle, delicate and seeking. If it weren’t for Kageyama’s hand falling to his hip he probably would have let it continue.

 

But when he felt his hand, he was pulling back in alarm. “Oh god- I didn’t... I still have to...”

 

Kageyama tilted his head in question, trying to tug him back into the kiss.

 

“N-no, stop, it’s important. I have to tell you.”

 

“Tell me? Why you stopped working?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Are you sick?” Kageyama inquired.

 

“No...”

 

“Impaired? Can you walk okay? Did you get into an accident of some sort-?”

 

“No! None of those things!”

 

“Then,” Kageyama murmured, “Can it wait? Because... if it’s all the same to you...” he whispered, cheeks tinging a beautiful pink, “I’d... I’d very much like... I mean- if you still want to... be my mate?

 

Hinata almost cried. Almost. Those beautiful words were everything he wanted to hear- and especially coming from Kageyama who barely spoke more than one sentence at a time in general... he more than deserved it. 

 

He wanted it so badly— but he had no clue. He had no clue about anything that had happened in the past week. Weeks

 

“I... I’d love to be your mate— I want that more than anything... but it is important. And I have to tell you before anything else happens.”

 

Kageyama didn’t protest it, but he did look a little crestfallen when he let go and pulled back.

 

Hinata had spent the better part of his three days at home (so far) trying to figure out what to say to Kageyama and how to phrase it. In the end, he knew he’d chicken out, so he’d come up with a plan. The plan was to find him in person— he didn’t know how he would have gone about that plan considering it was dangerous for him to begin with, but with him finding his way here that problem was solved. Then he'd just hand over the folder and let him figure it out for himself because the words would just end up turning into vomit- and he really didn't feel like puking all over Kageyama right now.

 

Hinata rolled slowly off the bed, blankets following him. He was hunched over because his gut had been wrenching their entire conversation— not to mention he’d vomited before he went to bed. 

 

His hand flew out to the bed when his feet couldn’t quite balance himself, but met Kageyama’s hands instead. They caught him, steadied him, and settled on his hips.

 

Kageyama stood, concern written all over his face.

 

The intention was to stand and kiss his sadness away but now he was just making him even more concerned and he softly grumbled to himself in irritation.

 

He stood the rest of the way, turning to embrace Kageyama, and pushing up a bit to kiss his collarbone.

 

“Afterwards, if you still want this with me, I’m all yours.” He whispered into his skin.

 

Kageyama hummed lightly, seeming appeased with the statement.

 

Hinata turned away again and padded over to his bookshelves, still wrapped up in the blankets and wishing Kageyama had followed him because he was cold now and Kageyama was warm.

 

He stared at the folder, which he hadn’t opened since the day he’d gotten it, but he knew what was inside. The image was burned into his brain. Tucked in it were two ultrasound pictures of his pup- of their pup- as well as the paperwork detailing the contents of his visit... and that extra couple pages with numbers, math he didn’t understand with arrows pointing every which way... and his and Kageyama’s profiles. The proof that they were a fated pair. 

 

He bit his lip, grabbing it slowly, then looking back over his shoulder.

 

Kageyama was waiting there by the bed patiently. He looked curious now, more than anything else- maybe happy? Was that a smile? No, it was too slight... maybe a small smile...

 

He shuffled back over to him, gripping the folder hard in his hand.

 

The first thing he’d probably see would be the ultrasound pictures, and if he was being honest, he didn’t want to watch all the looks that would cross his face. 

 

He was fearing panic and rejection the most right now. They weren’t mated- (yet, he told himself) and he wanted Kageyama to have the freedom to leave if he wanted no part of this. 

 

Despite Hinata’s mild optimism, fear was what was overwhelming him the most right now.

 

“I... I’m...” Hinata started, but stopped with a fierce shake of his head. “Sugawara said it was odd for me to be so sick so constantly- you told me before that I had a fever, and maybe I did, I don’t know, but... but Suga said I should go to the doctor.”

 

Hinata took a shuddering breath. “This is what I was given to take home with me. I have a follow up appointment in another month...” he lowered his head, studying the floor and handed the folder over.

 

Hinata squeezed his eyes shut in hopes that he wouldn’t see, and would have clamped his ears shut too, but he didn’t want the blanket to fall.

 

Kageyama accepted the folder hesitantly, wondering why he couldn’t just say what was up. Surely it wasn’t bad- if he was sick— well, no, he’d said he wasn’t sick. He said he wasn’t ill, nothing was wrong... yet he was shaking like a leaf.

 

He opened it, anticipating documents detailing some sort of... virus maybe? Did he get him sick?

 

He swallowed thickly when his eyes found that reason. 

 

And it all made sense.

 

His thumb brushed the corner of the small picture, lifting it and pulling it out. His heart began to race as he looked at it. And looked at it. And stared.

 

There, in this picture, an ultrasound, his mind supplied, was the tiniest form he’d ever seen. It was bean shaped, not quite big but not quite small, a head, legs and arms, and his heart— it was beating so hard in his chest.

 

He licked his lips, wondering how it was possible.

 

“My heat,” Hinata spoke quietly; it was the softest he’d ever heard him talk. “We were active all three of those days... we weren’t careful, and... and this happened. I’m... I’m so sorry.”

 

He hadn’t gotten a chance to connect the dots as to how or why, but Hinata’s explanation made sense. But this- reality- was it real? It couldn’t be real.

 

His fingers began to shake as he flipped through the pages detailing Hinata’s experiences, his weight, more about this pup...

 

His pup...

 

But his fingers stopped on the other pages, and for a second time he felt a punch to the gut.

 

He had to sit down. 

 

Hinata remained unmoving, head bent and eyes closed, and he couldn’t bring himself to keep reading it all. Was there more? Surely not...

 

“We’re fated?” He whispered out in a choke, “th-that’s... there’d only be a...” he sifted the math in his head “... a 0.978 percent of a chance... that’s- that’s not even a full percent...” he whispered in astonishment.

 

Hinata still did not move.

 

“And... and on top of it all...” he trailed off, disbelieving.

 

This was when Hinata looked up, meeting his eyes guiltily before looking back down to study his feet.

 

“... and I’m pregnant.” He whispered quietly.

 

Kageyama didn’t know what to make of it, but all the documents were here as proof that he was not crazy, that this wasn’t a lie at all. This was fact. This was all true. This was his reality.

 

“Let me see.” He choked out.

 

Hinata flashed him a look of panic, not sure what Kageyama was thinking or what was running through his mind. 

 

But he let his blanket drop anyway because he would do anything Kageyama asked of him. He was at his mercy, and deep down he knew he always would be.

 

“Come here.”

 

Hinata shuffled over, and Kageyama widened his legs so that he could stand between them. Kageyama set the folder off to the side and breathed deeply.

 

“Shirt.”

 

Hinata bit his lip but lifted his shirt up and pulled it over his head. When it dropped to the floor, Hinata’s breath hitched because Kageyama’s hands flew to meet his bare skin.

 

His stomach was still extended a bit, and he’d had time to come to the conclusion that he really wasn’t bloated— and he saw it now. He saw it, had felt it and poked it and felt its firmness instead of the pudge he was expecting.

 

Kageyama’s hands slipped and slid all over him from his bare chest to the swelling part of his belly, and he shuddered a breath. Hinata was crying now, but it was only because Kageyama was, too. 

 

“Is this...” Kageyama whimpered out, “Is this fate’s apology?” 

 

“Reward, maybe?” Hinata suggested out, choking out a happy laugh.

 

“Reward, is that what it is?” Kageyama sniffed, “For what I’ve gone through... a sorry?”

 

“Maybe we’re just lucky.” Hinata suggested.

 

Kageyama pressed a kiss to his belly and Hinata felt such relief and happiness zip right through his body that he pulled Kageyama into an embrace.

 

“If you’ll have me- if you’ll have us,” Hinata whispered, “we’re all yours.”

 

Kageyama hadn’t ever felt such happiness rush through him. Such pure relief and... and unfiltered, unrestrained love.

 

“I’m yours” Kageyama corrected, pulling him down to seal his lips over his.

 

He pulled him backward, shuffled further onto the bed so that he could crawl on, too.

 

He flipped them, Hinata on his back and looking up at him with those warm and inviting amber eyes.

 

Kageyama stripped himself of his coat, his shirt, all of his clothes, and Hinata’s too. He was trembling with his love for him.

 

He bent down, pressing his face into his chest and smiling because he couldn’t help it.

 

I’ve waited my whole life for you.” Kageyama found himself whispering, and he found that it really was true. The woman he’d been with before hadn’t wanted him. He was sure of that now— and he, in turn, probably didn’t love her as much as he thought he did. 

 

She’d always be important to him, though, but not because he’d loved her.

 

She changed him; she made him who he was today— and he’d found Hinata because of the path he had chosen to walk in the wake of her death.

 

Hinata couldn’t top those words, but he did yank him down and into a kiss. Kageyama was always so careful and calculated about everything, and if something like that were spoken out loud as honestly as it was, then it had to be true without a doubt.

 

Hinata was glad that his mother and younger sister had left, because he absolutely did not want them to hear the string of cries and screams that fled his lips in the wake of Kageyama burying himself deep inside of him. 

 

Nor did he wish them to hear the squeaking of his bed as they rocked together with fervor, or the cry of bliss and pleasure mixing together when he and Kageyama came simultaneously, his teeth embedding into his neck, marking him and claiming him as his own.

 

There was satisfaction in the way he’d done it, as if to prove to himself and to everyone else that he was stronger because of what he’d been through, and stronger still to come out of everything on the other side with a lover- a mate- and a pup on the way.

 

He showered Hinata in lazy kisses, wrapping them both up in the blankets and curling protectively around him. He stared at the mark fondly, and Hinata turned to stare at him because he felt their connection slotting together. He could feel it- Kageyama’s pride in it. His love for him.

 

He hoped Kageyama felt the love he held for him in return; it was pouring out of him, overwhelming him and making him cry.

 

Kageyama didn’t say another word, but he did brush his thumb under his eyes to catch the tears and kissed him softly.