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There are many things in his life Miya Atsumu did not intend for. He’s impulsive and lives in chaos, as most people would say. He still has a list of life plans he’s made with his brother when they were younger, including the two of them being best friends even when they were old and wrinkly in their thirties (seriously, kids… ), being rich and moving into a big house in the country so they could take care of their granny when she could no longer take care of them. They made plans for when they got into middle and high school, plans for college and everything else, solutions for every fight and the footnote observations on what to do when the other was feeling down.

Miya Atsumu, as everyone knows, isn’t very good at following those. He still has the list, sure, but he also has lots of things that were not on the list, the topper of those being the fact that he was 22 and had a five-year-old son. Of course, it wasn’t planned, it wasn’t expected, it was an accident. Of course, it was terrifying and he spent so many nights wide awake thinking about the life he was partially guilty for. It had been an accident, the one in a million, but he never regretted it.

Having a kid at seventeen is scary, and even scarier when the baby is dropped off on your doorstep with a wave of the mother’s hand and a whisper of I birthed it, you take care of it before she found a way to disappear from their lives. Okay , he remembers thinking as he held the sleeping baby in his arms, I can do this. Turns out, raising a kid was a lot harder than he thought it would be, the permanent dark circles under his eyes a reminder of the thousands of sleepless nights he’s spent holding a crying baby on his arms, of the nights he’d lie wide awake staring at his sleeping form and thinking did I really make you? Can you even breathe sleeping like that?

He cried when Naoko first said dadada and cried even harder when he giggled with his first few teeth showing. He cried and squealed when he took his first steps, his arms open wide and a silly grin on his face as his son crashed onto him with a bububu . Osamu spoiled him rotten, their parents did the same, and soon Atsumu could no longer say this is too hard for me, I can’t do this alone . It didn’t come as a surprise when Naoko said Osamu’s name first, much to Atsumu’s dismay, but he let it slide because, in the end, he was daddy and that was better than being shamu.

Playing for a team such as the MSBY Black Jackals had its perks, one of them being the fact that he was now able to live alone with his son, to give him the best life he could. He now had a bit more money to pay for childcare and to buy him little presents whenever he thought he should, whenever he saw that one toy Naoko was talking about during dinner the other day or whenever he felt like surprising him. He would sometimes take him to practice with him, on those days his parents couldn’t make it on time and when Osamu had urgent business to attend, and he’d sit there and watch him play with eager, hungry eyes whenever his fingers touched the ball, whenever he sent it up, up, up and cheering whenever one of his spikers sent it flying across the net.

Nao-chan, do you want to learn how to spike?

Things got a bit harder when Sakusa Kiyoomi joined the team, eyeing Naoko with an expression that couldn’t be read as anything other than confusion. Why is a kid here, which one of you has a kid, where did this child come from was probably what he was thinking whenever his son would follow him around and eagerly pay attention to him doing literally anything. It was hilarious, the way Kiyoomi’s face contorted into confusion and awe when he first heard Naoko calling Atsumu daddy, when he picked him up and walked towards Kiyoomi with a grin. Since when do you have a kid, Miya? Since when have you been a responsible adult?

Atsumu couldn’t help but smile whenever Naoko would grab Kiyoomi’s legs and beg him to teach him how to do the things he did, how to throw a ball like woosh the way he did and how to go bam! when sending it across the net. Kiyoomi would frown at him at first, but in a matter of days he was the one kneeling down to get to his eye level and ruffle his hair before asking him if he wanted to learn this really cool move . Listening to Atsumu calling him variations of his name, Omi-kun, Omi, Omi-Omi, Naoko eventually picked up on it and Kiyoomi was no longer Sakusa Kiyoomi, opposite hitter for the MSBY Black Jackals, but Uncle Omi-kun . It came as a surprise that he not only didn’t get mad but took pride in that, smiling big and bright whenever Naoko called him that.

“D’ya like children, Omi?”

“I told you not to use that nickname, Miya.”

“How come Nao can call ya Omi-kun but I can’t?”

“I like him.”

Now, Atsumu knows Naoko knows many things. He knows he likes peanut butter and the tuna onigiri Uncle Shamu makes for him. He knows he likes volleyball and the way his daddy looks so, so cool when he’s on court. He knows he likes drawing and playing with toy swords. He knows he likes reading and it’s even better when Atsumu is the one reading for him. He knows he likes to have pancakes in the morning but he also really, really likes tamagoyaki and he knows his daddy can’t make those at all. He tries, but fails every single time. He knows his daddy’s teammates like him and he knows they’ll help him if he wants to play with them one day. But the thing is he likes Uncle Omi-kun more than he likes the rest of them and that is a secret he won’t tell anyone that’s not his daddy. He doesn’t like to make people sad.

“Omi?”

“Yeah?”

“Nao said he likes you more than he likes the rest of the team. Don’t tell’em.”

Kiyoomi laughs, loud and wholeheartedly from where he’s sitting on the floor of Atsumu’s apartment, a trail of colorful lines spreading across his skin from where Naoko is playing connect the dots with his moles. Do you? It’s nothing more than a whisper, it wasn’t meant for Atsumu to hear, but he’s learned how to listen after Naoko was born, he’s learned how to detect the minimal sounds just in case. Mm, he hums back, tongue poking out of the side of his mouth in concentration. Okay, I like you too.

It doesn’t start as something groundbreaking, the way they inevitably fall into this kind of routine. Nao comes to practice sometimes and those are the days when Kiyoomi leaves with them, letting Naoko grab him by his hand and pull him along as he happily asks him a thousand questions Kiyoomi doesn’t know how to answer. When that happens, he looks back at Atsumu and shoots him a desperate look, mouthing help before looking down at Naoko again, the tiny arch of his lips when he tries to tell a funny story only to get distracted by a cool-looking pebble on the side of the road. Sakusa Kiyoomi, by most considered a germaphobe (he isn’t, not really, he’s just a jerk), actually kneels down, grabs the cool-looking pebble and slides it in his pocket, we’ll wash it when we get home and then you can play with it. What a turn of events.

It starts with the routine they’ve built. Sometimes Atsumu loses track of time and rushes home to grab his things so he can run back to pick Naoko up from kindergarten only to find out Kiyoomi’s already done that for him and is now playing with toy swords along with him, his living room in a state of chaos as the cushions are stepped on and Kiyoomi inevitably trips and falls with Naoko climbing on top of him with a proud smirk, I won so now ya have to surrender, Omi-kun! Laughter echoes inside his eardrums, inside his heart, and that’s when he knows that oh, no. He starts noticing the way Kiyoomi smiles at Naoko, the way he plays with his hair and allows him to play with his curls (Atsumu was never allowed to play with his curls!). He starts noticing the way he kneels down and allows him to poke his cheeks and the way he laughs along with Naoko, the way he picks him up and walks around with him in his arms as if he’s his son too, careful and loving and everything Atsumu never thought he’d be.

It starts with the nights Atsumu is overwhelmed and can’t really do anything, the nights where he stands in the middle of his living room and feels a lonely tear sliding down his cheek. It starts with concerned looks and Kiyoomi’s hand over his cheek, his thumb wiping away the tears that start to fall after that. It starts with him shushing him, a whisper of it’s okay, you’re both okay, you’re great, he loves you, yeah? It starts with Sakusa Kiyoomi allowing him to wrap his arms around his waist and bury his face in the crook of his neck, staining his shirt with tears and snot and letting him cry. It starts with a low hum, a soft pat over his back and the nuzzle of Kiyoomi’s head against his. Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck , is what he thought, this is a dream, it has to be a dream.

It starts with him waking up on the couch with someone’s arms around him. It starts with him waking up to soft, sleepy dark eyes and a sweet smile, a hoarse whisper of have you slept well? It starts with Sakusa Kiyoomi brushing his hair out of his face and Naoko’s gasp when he comes out of his bedroom, his giggles when he jumps over them and yells that this is so unfair! I wanted to sleep with ya too!

“D’ya think ya could stay the night?” Atsumu asks him one day, cheeks burning and throat dry, not daring to turn around and face him, his eyes focused on the plates and the water falling over his fingers as he remains frozen in place. “Nao has been asking for ya to have a sleepover sometime. He really likes ya.”

“He’s not the only one who likes me, is he?”

There it is, the crash of a plate against the sink, the sting of a small cut over his finger, the sting of something he doesn’t recognize inside his chest. Yes. No. Maybe? No. Absolutely. Yes? No. He hears footsteps coming from behind him, he hears them slow and steady and also fast and desperate and soon Naoko’s staring up at him with wide eyes, mouth open in a silent sob and tears threatening to fall from his eyes as his little hands grab Atsumu’s pajama pants as if he’s hanging on for dear life. He smiles at him, kneels down and nuzzles him softly before whispering daddy’s just tired, go on, Omi-kun will tuck ya in.  

Kiyoomi picks him up with ease, wiping away his tears with his thumb and telling him he doesn’t need to cry, telling him daddy isn’t upset, he just needs to sleep and that he’ll be all better tomorrow. He tells him he’ll take care of daddy’s wound and that he doesn’t need to worry about anything. His voice dies down by the time he reaches Naoko’s room and that’s when Atsumu finally allows himself to breathe, a strangled groan escaping his throat as he lets his head fall down, as he takes a deep breath and uses the five minutes he has to steady himself. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

“I can stay the night,” he says, eyes locked on the shards of the ruined plate still lying over the sink, hands inside his pockets and a faint shade of pink covering his cheeks. “Naoko asked me a few things and told me some other things. Let’s take care of that cut and then we’ll talk. How does that sound?”

And how else was Atsumu supposed to answer? “Okay.”

Kiyoomi’s hands are surprisingly soft. His fingers move fast, the sting of the soap around the cut barely noticeable to Atsumu when Kiyoomi was breathing right against his cheek, his eyes focused on the tiniest cut over his finger. It wasn’t a big deal, really, but who was Atsumu to deny being taken care of for a mere five seconds? So he lets him. He lets Kiyoomi hold his hand and clean the wound, he lets him wrap a bandage around his finger and lets him finish doing the dishes, you can’t get that wet , was what he said. So Atsumu stands there, watching the muscles on Kiyoomi’s back move as he picks up the shards and leaves them in a high enough place so that none of them get hurt as he looks for old newspapers to wrap the glass in.

“What did he tell you?”

“Hm?”

“Nao. Didn’t he tell ya something?”

He chuckles. “He did, yeah. He told me I shouldn’t waste time, that time is very precious and I was definitely wasting it doing what I was doing. Very smart kid for his age, actually. Where did he learn that? Are you sure he’s your son?”

Atsumu snorts. “Yeah, I was shocked too.”

They talk.

They talk about Naoko and how similar he is to Atsumu when he’s upset, pouting and crossing his arms over his chest as if shielding him from an answer he doesn’t want to get. Kiyoomi laughs, actually laughs, the sound thunderous and melodic, and tells Atsumu about the drawing Naoko made for him the other day. It features both of them with Naoko in the middle, a volleyball in his hands and big, bright smiles on their figure-sticks selves. He tells him about the day he picked him up from kindergarten ( I told you to remind me not to overdo it, Omi, why'd ya have to leave me to overpractice and leave him waiting?!) and how Naoko was so excited when he saw him arriving. That’s my Uncle Omi-kun, ya know? He’s the best of the best!

“Don’t flatter yerself. He says that ‘bout everyone.”

“I am flattering myself,” he chuckles. “Especially when all he ever talks about is you.”

Atsumu nods. “It’s the two of us all the time. It’s hard for my family to come visit and we can’t really drop things here to visit ‘em so he got used to it. We play and we cook together and sometimes we even call Samu as we’re cooking only so that he can yell at us for doing it wrong.”

Kiyoomi smiles, head tilted to the side as he rests his chin over his palm. He’s watching him with the eyes of a predator, blinking slowly at him whenever Atsumu stares up at him. It feels like his cornered in his own home, the pounding of his heart so loud he’s afraid he’s going deaf, the suffocating warmth spreading across his chest when Kiyoomi inches closer and closer and closer until there isn’t barely any space between them and it’s just so hard to breathe Atsumu can’t help but groan. What is it that you wanted to talk about, is what he meant to ask, but all he managed to do was choke out a pitiful whimper.

“Naoko told me I was being a coward,” Kiyoomi tells him. “Your kid is very observant. He likes pretty rocks and cheesy movies. He likes to draw and those thick books you keep by his bed even if he still doesn’t really know how to read. He likes your food and the way you brush his hair in the morning. He likes me, which is great, I like him a lot too.”

He gulps, Atsumu notices.

He’s nervous .

“I can’t believe a toddler managed to pick up on this stuff when we didn’t,” he sighs and then laughs and then sighs again, his eyes darker than usual, his breathing faster, his hands tucked under his thighs so Atsumu doesn’t see them shaking. Too late for that, he wants to tell him, but he doesn’t, the words don’t come out. “What kinds of things have you been teaching your kid?”

“Nothing I shouldn’t have,” Atsumu whispers with a hint of a smile playing with his lips. “Why? What stuff did he pick up on? Ya can’t keep being vague, Omi. ‘m starting to get worried.”

It’s barely audible, the words coming out of Kiyoomi’s mouth and dying down as soon as he said them. It’s barely there, the blush creeping over his cheeks and the smirk that follows as soon as Atsumu connects the dots in his head, as soon as he realizes that oh. Oh, no. Oh, yes. Oh, fuck. He gasps, whimpers and whines, he clicks his tongue and widens his eyes only to close them because Kiyoomi is definitely too close and Atsumu can see everything his heart is too weak to process right now. I like him a lot too. I like you. Now Atsumu is the one who’s shaking, who’s about to cry and jump over the cliff.

“I have a son,” is what he replies.

“I know.” Kiyoomi laughs. “I’ve met him. I’ve picked him up from kindergarten and I’ve just tucked him in. If that’s what you’re worried about, there is no need to. I like him.”

Of course he does. And Naoko likes his Uncle Omi-kun. Hell, Atsumu likes his Uncle Omi-kun. Probably a lot more than he should, but what can he do when it’s Sakusa Kiyoomi who’s standing in front of him with an easygoing smile playing with his lips, curls falling over his forehead from where Naoko played with them earlier. Atsumu almost reaches out to brush it off, almost melts right there and then when Kiyoomi's smile grows wider, when he tilts his head to the side and watches.

“I have a son,” he repeats.

“I know you do.”

“He likes you a lot,” he whispers.

“I like him too.”

“I like you too,” he chokes out.

“Yeah,” Kiyoomi grins. “Yeah, I know that.”

They sleep on the couch again, Atsumu’s head over Kiyoomi’s chest, their bodies awkwardly bent in angles they shouldn’t be bent in, Kiyoomi’s fingers tracing the lines of his jaw and chin and stroking soothing circles over the skin on his arm. Atsumu whispers things he’s never had the courage to, he tells him everything he’s been keeping inside for who knows how long. Kiyoomi hums against the top of his head, nodding and whispering his own words back, the things he’s felt for years and the things he’s buried under so many layers of unsaid stuff, things he thought he’d never have the courage to say until a child poked his chest and threatened him with cold-sounding words. 

Nao-chan is scary.

“D’ya think he looks like me?”

“Yeah,” a kiss to the top of his head. “He’s just as stubborn.”

“Pfft. Ya say that as if yer not the one who made his attitude worse.”

“Touché.”

Their lives don’t change much after that.

They still have practice and they still bicker on court with a plethora of your set was sloppy, Miya, or maybe if ya had paid attention to where I was sending the ball ya wouldn’t have missed it, ya jerk. Atsumu still takes Naoko to practice sometimes and Kiyoomi still walks home with him in his arms, babbling about kindergarten and the super-duper fun thing that happened and that he couldn’t wait to tell them once they got home. They still have movie nights and Atsumu still cooks for them (almost) every night. They still tease each other relentlessly until Naoko puts an end to it by poking their cheeks and yelling stop! when they refuse to. Kiyoomi still stays the night sometimes, but he no longer sleeps on the couch.

Now, he has his own drawer and a toothbrush waiting for him on the bathroom sink. Now, they kiss. Now, he sleeps with Atsumu’s weight over his chest, with his legs intertwined with Atsumu’s and white blond hair tickling his nose whenever he moves around in his sleep. Now, he wakes up to Atsumu’s smiling face staring down at him with a soft morning, Omi. Now, he wakes up to a surprised gasp coming from the door when Naoko sees the two of them cuddled up on Atsumu’s bed, when Atsumu giggles like a child and Naoko whines, this is so unfair! I wanted to have a sleepover too!

It’s a nice routine. 

Waking up, making breakfast and proceeding to give Naoko a bath and argue with him that no, you’re still not big enough to take a bath on your own, now come here and let me rinse your hair . Dressing him up three times because he didn’t like the first two outfits. Letting him climb on his shoulders and taking him to the kitchen where Atsumu is still trying to perfect his tamagoyaki and failing miserably. It’s okay, daddy, we can have scrambled eggs, I don’t mind. Taking Naoko to the table and putting him in his special chair before starting to help set the table (and maybe steal a few kisses, finally, because Naoko isn’t looking). Be interrogated as to why they took so long in the kitchen and why was he left out, were they sharing a secret that Nao wasn’t supposed to hear? He wanted in! This is so unfair! Picking him up after breakfast and taking him to the bathroom so he can brush his teeth and then taking him to kindergarten and rushing to practice. Running to kindergarten to pick him up only to learn he’s been telling everyone his daddy found a new (new?!) husband and being congratulated on their marriage, being told they are so, so brave for not being afraid of being who they are and for raising such a wonderful kid. Telling Naoko he shouldn’t tell people they’re married, but that they love him (and each other, but they don’t say that part) very much. Struggle to get Naoko to take another bath (he took one in the morning! He doesn’t want to take another one! Uncle Omi-kun, you meanie!) as Atsumu starts cooking their dinner. Leaving the bathroom with shampoo on his own hair and a panting Naoko who took a bath against his will and is now dressed in his comfy pajamas and rushing towards the living room because come on, come on, come play with me!

It’s only after tucking him in that Kiyoomi finds the time to breathe and wonder how the hell did Atsumu manage this on his own for so many years, balancing finishing high school and a volleyball career on top of that.

“Is he asleep?”

Atsumu hands him a mug with a soft smile on his face.

“Yeah,” Kiyoomi sighs as he takes a sip of his tea. “I’m all sore, I can’t believe you’ve been doing all of this ,” he gestures vaguely to the empty space in front of him, “and all of that ,” he points to their bags and shoes by the door, “all on your own.”

“I didn’t really have a choice,” he shrugs. “And besides. It’s worth it, don’t ya think?”

Kiyoomi smiles. “Yeah.”

He stretches his arms over his head, closing his eyes and groaning when he pulls a muscle he probably shouldn’t have pulled. He hisses, letting his arms fall back again and throwing his head back, over a cushion that probably shouldn’t have been there, but thank fuck it is. Atsumu snorts, shaking his head and crawling closer, his hands slowly settling over Kiyoomi’s shoulders, his nose brushing against Kiyoomi’s ears as he whispers that: “Come on, stand up straight, I’ll give ya a massage.”

Kiyoomi lets him, letting his head fall to the side as Atsumu slowly works his fingers over the knots on his shoulders, on his back, resting his chin on the crook of Kiyoomi’s neck and making a trail of kisses over his jaw, over his neck and his shoulders until he looks back at him with a smirk, until he steals a kiss and asks, “What was that about giving me a massage?”

“I am ,” he replies with a shrug, mischief written all over his face. “But ‘m also doing other things. Can’t I?”

It’s familiar, the way their bodies fit against each other’s, the way they smile between their kisses and the way they sometimes have to pretend to be asleep when Naoko wakes up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Daddy? Omi? When no one answers, he walks back to his room and closes the door with a soft thud. He’s stopped calling him uncle a few weeks after they told him they were dating. Does that mean you kiss now? Atsumu had laughed his ass off while Kiyoomi looked for a place to bury his head in.

It’s exhilarating, the way Atsumu calls his name in the morning and how fast it makes his heart beat. It’s hot and slimy and everything Kiyoomi’s never felt before, the feeling building up and pooling in his stomach when Atsumu crawls over to him and settles over him, one leg on each side of his waist, and leans down to kiss him oh, so softly before backing down with a smirk on his face. Nao is having a sleepover tonight. We’re all alone, Omi. Once upon a time, Kiyoomi remembers thinking Atsumu would be the death of him and he was right.

It happens when they think Naoko is asleep, as most things do.

They’ve just finished doing the dishes and are now not-really-watching a documentary, cuddled up on the couch as they always do. Atsumu is yawning, his head resting over Kiyoomi’s shoulder, Kiyoomi’s fingers playing with his hair as he hums softly. It’s not like he meant for it to happen, it’s not like he wanted it to happen right now, and he blames it exclusively on the fact that he hasn’t been sleeping all that well recently with all of the nightmares Naoko has been having and the amount of times he’s jolted awake in the middle of the night with a tiny hand over his face and a whisper of his name. Talk about terrifying.

Thing is he didn’t really mean for it to happen, but it’s already too late when he notices Atsumu looking at him with wide eyes and mouth hanging open in shock, red spreading through his cheeks faster than Kiyoomi’s ever seen it happening before.

“What?”

“Did ya just.”

Oh, fuck.

He did just.

“No!”

Oh, no.

Standing a few feet away from them is Miya Naoko, almost a six-year-old, wearing a onesie he got as a gift from his Uncle Shamu (because the nickname stuck, Osamu argues, and he doesn’t want to feel like his only nephew is growing up), holding his stuffed toy in his hands and pouting furiously, furrowing his brows and all. Kiyoomi knows this already, but it’s still surprising how much he looks like Atsumu when he’s mad, from the frown that knits his eyebrows together to the way his whole face contorts in anger. Kiyoomi sits up straight and opens his mouth to speak, Atsumu too shocked to even blink, but before he can come up with the words, Naoko marches over to them and shoots Kiyoomi a deathly glare.

“Ya can’t do that!”

Atsumu covers his mouth to hide the smile creeping up on him, to hopefully muffle the laughter that’s sure to come. He knows where this is going, he knows his son and knows exactly what he means by that. Write this off as the world’s funniest proposal, yeah? He stares at Kiyoomi, as white as paper, at his wide eyes and open mouth in the shape of the words he didn’t get to say.

“Ya can’t take my dad away from me, I won’t let ya!”

Kiyoomi makes a face that makes it impossible for Atsumu to keep the giggle from escaping.

“He wants ya to propose to him, Omi,” he whispers to him in hopes Naoko won’t hear. “He doesn’t want ya to steal me away and leave ‘im alone. We’re a combo, ya know?”

He’s still pouting when Kiyoomi unceremoniously gets off the couch and down on his knees on the floor, when he leans forward and grabs Naoko’s little hand and forces him to look straight into his eyes, the pout still present on his face as a silly grin threatening to part Kiyoomi’s lips when he, very seriously, asks: “Then. Will you be my son?”

Naoko beams, a huge smile on his face, but quickly regains his composure and pretends to still be upset, closing his eyes and pretending to think. He’s a terrible actor, really, and both Atsumu and Kiyoomi exchange funny looks and bright, big smiles before Naoko opens his eyes again and Kiyoomi has to pretend to still be in serious mode, frown tugging his eyebrows down and a pout starting to form. When Naoko giggles, unable to keep up the act, he nods and throws himself on Kiyoomi’s arms, stuffed toy forgotten on the floor as he lets Kiyoomi pick him up and swirl him around.

Atsumu is still sitting on the couch, eyes teary and lips pressed tight against each other.

“So.” Kiyoomi speaks up from where he was spinning. “What’s your answer?”

It’s a pssst that breaks the silence as Atsumu was taking a deep breath to finally give his answer. He looks over at Naoko, head resting over Kiyoomi’s shoulder and a bright, comfortable and sneaky smile burning on his face as he whispers softly, as if Kiyoomi wouldn’t hear him, “ Daddy, say yes! Say yes!”

And, really, what other option was there?